Alex Ibru lecture examines media’s role in conflict situations NE of the primary duties of professional O journalism, which is to ensure that citizens’ right to truthful and vital information is not infringed upon, was the crux of this year’s second Alex Ibru legacy lecture series, held at the University of Port Harcourt last week. Chief Alex Ibru, who established The Guardian in 1983, died on November 20, 2011 at the age of 66. The yearly lecture was instituted
in his honour by the institution, having endowed a professorial chair before his passing. From time immemorial, both democratic and authoritarian regimes have always attempted to stifle the free flow of ideas, and had often despised the visibility that a truly free press could provide. Government security agencies have also often been at loggerheads with the media, especially over specific
news items that the government might consider inimical to its strategic interest. It was on this premise that the University of Port Harcourt’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, while declaring the lecture open, observed that the prevailing situation in the country “makes it imperative to equip journalists on how best to discharge their statutory responsibility to society. ”
Ajienka, who described Ibru’s decision to continue to publish The Guardian at a time when it was practically dangerous to practice journalism in Nigeria as courageous, also stated that the late Ibru’s rare trait informed the choice of the theme. MORE ON PAGE 11
TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, May 19, 2014
Vol. 30, No. 12,926
APC flays Jonathan over insurgency, Anenih faults critics - Page 5 EFCC arraigns accountant for alleged N5b fraud - Page 6 FG denies accepting police report on Toba Falode’s death - Page 8
National President, Kibaku (Chibok) Youth Association of Nigeria, Moses Zakwa (far left); Comedian, Ayo Makun (a.k.a A.Y) and his wife, Mabel; Nollywood Actress, Bimbo Akintola; Senior Pastor, God Bless Nigeria Church, Pastor Tony Rapu; Nollywood Actress, Joke Silva; Actress, Ufuoma Ejenobor (back); Resident Pastor, GBN Church, Pastor Orhonor Orhonor and other Chibok indigenes resident in Lagos, celebrities and GBN Church members during the GBN Church-organised Freedom Walk calling for the release of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls in Lagos … yesterday.
Julius Berger assures investors on 2nd Niger Bridge - Page 43
Govt set to offload shares in privatised PHCN firms From Mathias Okwe and Emeka Anuforo, Abuja ONTRARY to stakeholdC ers’ position, the Federal Government has not entirely offloaded all its shares in
some of the recently privatised Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor firms. In fact, going by latest statistics sourced by The Guardian, government retained shares
• Retains stakes in plants, discos in some of the newer thermal (gas) plants, while it sold off all its shares in the very old plants, and indeed, only
concessioned the hydro-electric power plants for a period of 20-25 years. And for states which had pre-
viously made some level of investments in the firms situated within their region, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) will soon start the allocation of shares to them from the remaining
government stakes in such plants. But this move is being delayed by the governors themselves, as they have allegedly CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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2 Monday, May 19, 2014
Labour serves June 5 ultimatum on FG over health workers strike By Chukwuma Muanya and Wole Oyebade RGANISED labour yesterOday served a June 5 ulti-
matum on the Federal Government to fully implement agreements reached at a reconciliatory meeting with aggrieved stakeholders in the
• Writes President Jonathan health sector. The organised labour, made up of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) said barring a 100 percent implementation plan by June 5, 2014, they would deploy all needed resources to support the indefinite strike action of health workers that was suspended on January 25, 2014. In an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, signed by NLC President, Abdulwahed Omar and his TUC counterpart, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, they stated that, “Our members have been patient for far too long for the Federal Government to resolve the mess created by the Federal Ministry of Health.” “Your Excellency, we, therefore, put you on notice that if at the next meeting scheduled for June 5, 2014 to reassess the level of implementation by the government, a 100 percent implementation plan is not in place, then we will support the indefinite strike action of health workers,” the statement read in part. It would be recalled that the aggrieved unions under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) in a letter dated May 2, 2014 gave a 15-day ultimatum to the government to resume the suspended industrial action by its members after four months of pre-verifications including dialogue, which according to them was not productive. A conciliatory meeting was
consequently held at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Productivity. The parties reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after extensive deliberations on the issues in dispute. The parties had agreed on resolutions which addressed lopsidedness and unlawful constitution of Boards of Management of various tertiary health institutions; increase in retirement age of health workers from 60 to 65 years and promotion of officers from CONHESS 14 to 15 as Directors, implementation of skipping of CONHESS 10 and payment of its accrued arrears. Others are circularization of proper placement of intern Medical Laboratory Scientists on CONHESS 8; abolition of the post of Deputy Chief Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC); adjustment of collective bargaining agreement of 2009 as it was done for Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in the same sector in January, 2014 and Advertorial for appointment of CMDs/MDs should no longer be skewed in favour of one professional group but made open to all competent and qualified health professionals. Organised labour in their letter to the president stated that in view of the above conclusions, the trade unions under JOHESU/AHPA agreed to suspend their ultimatum to embark on an industrial action as stated in a letter cited earlier.
They added: “The legitimate struggle for fair industrial treatment has perennially been truncated by the incumbent Health Minister, Prof. C. O. Chukwu using the full apparatus of the bureaucracy of the Federal Ministry of Health in the current dispensation. “Amongst numerous aberrations, the Federal Ministry of Health continues to frustrate peaceable efforts of other prominent officials of the Federal Government by actively endorsing the position of some stakeholders who are his kith and kin against others through its challenge of the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in favour of JOHESU at the Court of Appeal. “While the Federal Government is negotiating on moral grounds that in view of the national mood (abduction of Chibok girls and Nyanya bomb blast victims), health workers should not go on strike, the Health Minister and the Federal Ministry of Health continue to consolidate in the legal arena,” the statement read in part. In a related development, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo observed that the smooth dialogue with government had dragged on for over five months now because of the “intransigence of the Health Minister, Prof. C. O. Chukwu, who continues to give unlawful directives which suit the dictates of members of the medical profession he belongs to.” He said PSN appreciates ef-
forts of the Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu and the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to put an end to this crisis, which led to the MoU signed with the Health Sector Unions and Professional Associations on May 13, 2014. “While the Federal Ministry of Labour and the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation appear to mean well, it is obvious that the Health Minister and the legal department of the Federal Ministry of Health are bent on reducing this ‘productive dialogue’ to a monologue. “This is because the Federal Ministry of Health, which ordinarily should modulate the interests of all major professional groups and unions in the health sector has continued to pursue legal options with government apparatus and paraphernalia to champion the interest of the NMA, a professional body which Prof. Chukwu belongs to and which he is bent on lording over other stakeholders who account for over 95 per cent of the workforce in healthcare. “The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in the light of the many excesses of Prof. Chukwu who carries on like a sacred cow calls on Organised Labour to ensure that if after the review meeting of June 5, 2014 all areas of the MoU signed on May 13, 2014 are not adhered to, then health workers who have been patient to almost a point of stupidity will be mobilised by the full force of labour to commence its earlier suspended strike of January 25 2014,” Akintayo said.
Govt set to offload shares in privatised PHCN firms CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 not given the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) full collaboration in an ongoing verification exercise to determine the extent of such investment so far. In a post-privatisation interview with The Guardian team in Abuja, Director-General of the BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, stressed that once the verification exercise being conducted by NERC is completed, some of the remaining Federal Government shares in the utilities would be allocated to states. On some of the utilities postprivatisation, Dikki said: “There are a number of categories. One is the hydro-electricity power plants category, which are Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro. They were not sold. Concessions were granted to the investors for a period of 20-25 years. We cannot sell the hydros because there is water. There are natural assets. If you sell them, you are selling the land, which belongs to the generality of Nigerians. What we did was to grant them concessions to use the water and produce power for a period of 20-25 years. “So, hydros have not been privatised. They have only been concessioned out. “The second category are those gas fired plants that
are so old. Some of them were built in the sixties. Government decided that if we want to retain shares in these old plants that are already outdated (let’s put it that way), there would be end for us to make investment. Why don’t we sell those plants 100 per cent so that the new investors will have the impetus to go and find the funds to make the necessary investments? So, such plants like Ughelli and Afam were sold 100 per cent. There are other plants that are newer like Geregu, which was sold 51 per cent. Egbin was sold 70 per cent. So, government still had 30 per cent.” He added: “The next category is the distribution companies. Government sold only 60 per cent of the stakeholding in all the distribution companies. So, government still retains 40 per cent. Now, that 40 per cent is intended that members of staff would have some shares. State governments that have investments in power infrastructure would have their investments valued and they will be given a share holding out of this 40 per cent. Whatever the balance is will then be brought to the capital market through a public offer and shares would be offered to the generality of Nigerians so that
they can also take the dividends of democracy and also share in the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan Administration.” On when the process of disposing of the shares would start, Dikki noted: “The process will start when we assess that these companies have stabilised and are making profit. If we sell the shares now, there is a risk that it may take some time before these companies begin to return profit and pay dividends. We don’t want to run into a situation where we sell shares to Nigerians and they spend five years without dividends and people begin to accuse government of selling them a bad investment. “We are going to allow the companies some time to stabilise. And I want to remind you that there has been little investment in improving the power infrastructure over the last 50 years. These people need to make investment. The new investors need to make investments and stabilise it. Once the system stabilises, then we will be able to project the profit.” “We have technical losses in transmission and technical losses in distribution. So, there is a financing gap; you don’t want to sell such shares to the public when
these kinds of challenges are there. You want the market to stabilise. We now wait for the declaration of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) before these things will come on stream,” he stressed. He added: “The state governments equities are being valued. Their investments are being valued by the NERC. As soon as NERC completes the evaluation of the investment made by each state, we shall begin to allocate shares to them. The challenge NERC is facing is that many of the states have not responded positively by giving the commission information. “What NERC requires is, for instance, states saying that they have installed some transformers, and they need to tell us where the transformers are and further provide evidence that they purchased the items. It must be something that we can verify and audit. We also need the price at which the items were bought, and all those kinds of variables that go into evaluation. Now, some states have cooperated, but some have not. I want to appeal to the state governments that have not responded to do so that we can expeditiously allocate the shares to them and move on”, he added.
Monday, May 19, 2014 NEWS | 3
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
News CNPP accuses confab delegates of plot to extend Jonathan’s tenure From Adamu Abuh, Terhemba Daka, Karls Tsokar (Abuja), AlemmaOzioruva Aliu (Benin) and Wole Oyebade (Lagos) HE Conference of Nigerian T Political Parties (CNPP) at the weekend alleged a plot by some delegates at the on-going national conference to extend the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan beyond May 2015. CNPP made the allegation in a reaction to a call by a delegate to the conference, Chief Okon Usong, for temporary postponement of the scheduled 2015 general elections to enable the authorities tackle the myriads of challenges, including high level insecurity and religious fundamentalism, bedeviling the country. And citing the hardship attendant of exploration in oil producing states, environmental activists have faulted the decision of delegates to retain 13 per cent derivation formula for oil producing states. Similarly, a body, Defenders of democracy Group (DDG), has insisted that only a referendum would authenticate the resolutions of the delegates in the conference and not subjecting the decisions to approval by the National Assembly whom it feared may tamper with them to the detriment of Nigerians. Meanwhile, the plenary session of the conference in Abuja will resume today May 19, with commencement of consideration of reports of the 20 committees assigned to handle critical national issues. While some of the committees have already submitted signed copies of their reports with agreed-upon recommendations to the conference secretariat within the week for distribution to delegates, others were still busy with the collation of their final reports by the weekend. It would be recalled that at specific times within the three weeks, the committees’ leadership met with the conference management comprising the chairman, deputy chairman, the secretary and the three assistant secretaries to rub minds on certain issues that facilitated their work. It was during one of the meetings that the issue of time extension for committees from two to three weeks was discussed, agreed upon and implemented in view of the workload assigned each committee and the various national public holidays that followed. Submission of committee reports to the conference is in line with Order 12 (d-e) of the National Conference Procedure Rules 2014 which states that “Each Committee shall submit to the Conference the report of its activities. The report of a Committee is the collection of all views expressed showing the consensus on decisions reached by seventy-per cent (70%) of majority of delegates present and voting.” The modalities for consideration of reports would be
• Plenary session resumes, considers panels’ reports • Environmentalists flay retention of 13% derivation • Group insists on referendum for final report
Jonathan made known at the resumption of plenary, and it may include consideration of recommendations contained in each report clause-by-clause; and will on each item take a vote where there is no clear consensus. The pattern of voting as contained in Order Eleven of the National Conference Procedure Rules 2014 would be adopted by the Conference Chairman and former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi. The Order states that “All decisions of the conference at plenary and committee stage shall be reached by consensus; or in the absence of that, the chairman shall, at his discretion adjourn proceedings to allow for further consultations. “In the case of failure to reach a resolution on the matter by consensus, it shall be decided by a vote of seventy per cent (70%) majority of delegates present and voting.” Usong, in a document titled “Preserve Nigeria’s Democracy: Postpone the 2015 Elections Now!” made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday said the call had become inevitable in order to avoid an impending catastrophe by way of a constitutional “crisis or deadlock of unimaginable proportion” in the country. He said the impending constitutional crisis could be exacerbated as Nigerians prevaricate over whether to submit the national conference report to a referendum or to the National Assembly for ratification. Justifying the call, the delegate yesterday explained that the decision was predicated on altruistic motives, with a
Kutigi patriotic zeal and genuine concern for the enthronement of democracy, good governance and effective participation in the country’s electoral process. He however said the suggested temporary postponement of elections should not be misconstrued and equated with tenure elongation bids akin to what Nigerians experienced under some previous leaders, including Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and Olusegun Obasanjo. Usong explained that the difference between these past attempts towards “tenure elongation” or “tenure extension” and the present proposal for temporary postponement of the election by 18 months is in he fact that the current proposal is non- partisan, and is aimed at profiting all Nigerians across the political divides. “We cannot fold our hands and watch in fatalistic resignation without pointing the way out of an imbroglio. It was Nigeria’s military President who once declared that history will judge a leader unkindly not for taking a bad decision, but for prevaricating or failing to take a decision at all when confronted with a problem-solving situation,” he said. He further submitted the proposed postponement of the election is the ardent need to stave off the phenomenon of military intervention now that Nigeria seems to be experiencing gradual institutionalization of democratic processes, given the background that the country has already had two previous successful civilian-to-civilian transitional elections (in 1999 and
2003). According to him, most of the essential ingredients that normally uncork coups d’état in Third World countries appear to be present in Nigeria presently. He made reference to the North-East which has been infested with (or virtually taken-over by) Boko Haram terrorists/insurgents, despite the declaration of a state of emergency there, as well as what he presented as criminal activities of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in the SouthSouth, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in the South East, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the South-West and Fulani herdsmen alleged to be ravaging the North Central, killing and maiming innocent civilians. “An ominous cloud of insecurity is hanging perilously and menacingly over the country like the Sword of Damocles currently. In particular, the North Eastern States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa hold the ace, with the dubious distinction of being the most volatile, with occasional forays being observed in Benue, Plateau and Kaduna states and the Abuja Federal Capital Territory, where the terrorist group has taken devastating tolls in human lives and destruction of property, climaxed recently in the kidnapping of about 276 girls of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State. “In recent times, we have witnessed carpet-crossing by National Assemblymen in a manner that portrays abysmal lack of ideological
commitment and has nothing to do with the interest of the electorate. Rather, such unwholesome practices are tantamount to sheer ‘political opportunism’ - a tendency which throws principles and decency to the winds in the conduct of political affairs. “Even as Nigeria’s Federal Government and the international community prepares to mount an operation to rescue the Chibok girls, a report came in of a ‘big Islamist (Boko Haram) attack in Gamboru, Borno State, during which about 300 people were killed’, thus prompting the United Nations Security Council’s condemnation and a demand for ‘the immediate and unconditional release of all the abducted girls still in captivity,’ ” he said. He posited that no one can authoritatively say when the state of insecurity in the country will abet or be brought to an end. “For instance, the state of emergency declared by President Jonathan over Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in May 2013 has been extended in number of times with no end in sight. Instead, available empirical evidences indicate the snowballing of insurgency into Benue, Plateau, Kaduna and neighboring states and the Abuja Federal Capital Territory (FCT).” Although the international community is deploying security experts and other essentially technical assistance into Nigeria in a bid to galvanize joint efforts towards rescuing the Chibok girls abducted by the terrorists, these developments, according to him, portend grave and imminent dangers to Nigeria’s fledgling democracy, if allowed to proliferate unchecked, and will
likely provide the needed alibi to prospective coup-makers. “The proposal for deferring election for a short period is to take the wind out of the sail of coup enthusiasts and proponents, and thereby deny them the excuse for plotting coups. The in-built mechanism inherent in democracy should be allowed to operate so that coupplotters will be deprived of the opportunity of arguing that African leaders lack the capacity for institution-building,” he added. But the CNPP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, flayed the proposal, claiming that it is a plot for tenure elongation through what he termed an unnecessary doctrine of necessity. Okechukwu enjoined the chairman and entire members of the conference to forthwith stop the alleged hidden agenda of tenure elongation. “It is our considered view that there is no cogent reasons for the invocation of the doctrine of necessity to elongate the tenure of Mr. President and other elected officials less than 12 months to general elections. “Accordingly, we challenge the chairman of the Jonathan National Conference, retired Justice Idris Kutigi to nip it on the bud so as not to subvert the good intendment of the national conference and threaten the corporate existence of our dear country. “CNPP has always maintained that the Jonathan National Conference was ill timed, selfserving, a distraction and diversionary, as the 2015 general election, more than any talk shop, provides the greatest referendum to remedy the fault lines which divide the country. “Is it not unfortunate that the Conference Hidden Agenda is coming at a time when Nigeria has attained the zenith of liberal democracy, where two political parties – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) prevail in a multi- party system? For in the 2015 general elections, neither PDP nor APC will win the presidential election with more than 53% of the votes, or 2/3 of the governors of the 36 states and members of Houses of Assembly. Otherwise, how can the 18-month extension advocated by Osung better guarantee security, peace and stabilise the country better than the referendum which the 2015 general elections presents to Nigerians, to either vote for Jonathan if the voters are satisfied with his performance or vote him out if dissatisfied with his performance? “In other words, what Osung and his masterminds are saying is that the Nigerian voters should award 18 months to President Jonathan and all others instead of utilizing the time tested provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to avoid impending constitutional catastrophe by way of constitutional crisis or deadlock of unimaginable proportion.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
4 Monday, May 19, 2014
Two feared killed in Kano council poll violence From Murtala Mohammed Kano WO persons including a T woman were reported killed yesterday during the conduct of local government election in Kano. The woman died of stray bullet discharged allegedly by a policeman in Kiru Local Council. Suspected hooligans also invaded one of the polling units in Kunchi and carted away electoral materials. The official vehicle convening reporters of the African Independent Television (AIT) was also damaged while covering the election in the metropolis just as APC is reportedly maintaining early lead. The woman identified as Halima was allegedly hit by police bullet at Kafimayaki Ward in Kiru Local Government, about 40 kilometers away from the metropolis. The Guardian gathered from an eyewitness that trouble broke out when a team of policemen at the polling station attempted to disperse suspected political thugs who were assembling at the ward. A fracas thus broke out forcing the policemen to fire tear gas and allegedly live ammunition ostensibly into the air. In the ensuing melee, several voters ran for cover, with many sustaining varying degrees of injury. At Shuwaki Ward in Tudunwada Local Government area, members of All Progressives Congress and that of Peoples Democratic Party were en-
• APC in early lead, PDP flays election gaged in clashes leaving one person dead with many sustaining injuries. In response to The Guardian inquiry, a text message sent by Ada Bisong, AIT reporter, alleged that some APC supporters attacked its press crew and damaged their official vehicle. In her short text message: “The LG elections in Kano have been characterised by several electoral inconsistencies and violence. In Nassarawa LG at Gama ward, some APC supporters assaulted AIT crew and destroyed its branded vehicle.” Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Magagi Muas Magiya and chairman of Kano State Independent Electoral Commission KANSIEC to confirm the deaths were not successful. Meanwhile, voters at many polling units visited complained of late arrival of electoral materials. As at 10 a.m. in the morning all the polling units in Municipal, Kunbotso, Gwale, Fagge, Dala and Ungogo all in the metropolis, electoral officers did not report to their duty posts despite the high turn out of voters. According to the electoral body, accreditation was supposed to commence between 8b a.m. and 12 noon after which voting was ex-
pected to kick off and end by 3 p.m. However, APC is reportedly leading in many local government areas as at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, the PDP has condemned the Saturday elections, insisting that there was no evidence to prove
election take place in major wards in the state. The party also alleged APC of deploying thugs to intimidate its supporters. A statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of the state caretaker committee Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso contended, “It is obvious that in several local government areas no election took place since no electoral ma-
terials and officials were available.” Kwankwaso hinted that the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission refused to make electoral materials available in due time and where available, they arrived late deliberately, to short change supporters of PDP in Kano. “We the PDP have ample evidence that where ballot box-
es were supposedly provided, they were very much short of the number provided for the polling units, which made it impossible to accommodate our voters and on top of that no voters’ provided. was register PDP affirmed that it would take extra mile to seek justice and thereby urged its supporters to remain calm and maintain law and order.
A Serbian rescuer carries an elderly woman out of a flooded house at Obrez village, near the central Serbian town of Varvarin, south of Belgrade, at the weekend. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century.
Why we honoured Alex Ibru, by Anglican diocese From Kodilinye Obiagwu and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) OR his service to humanity Flegacies, and God, and his indelible the late Chairman of the Guardian Newspapers Limited, publishers of The Guardian, Dr. Alex Uruemu Ibru, was yesterday honoured by the Anglican Diocese of Oji River in Enugu State.
Reminiscing on the life and times of the late publisher, the Bishop of Oji River Diocese and Archbishop of Enugu Province, Most Reverend Amos Amankechinelo Madu, at a colorful service yesterday to conclude the first session of the sixth Synod of the diocese, described the late Ibru “as an exemplary Christian who lived his life for God.” Presenting the posthumous honour, which was the highlight of the conclusion of the Synod, Madu took particular note of how the late Ibru gave out his beautiful village home/ estate to the Church. “That compound is today known as the Church of Nigeria Retreat Centre or Ibru Centre, Agbara Otor in Delta State.” The late Ibru, whom he recalled, called himself “God’s
Treasurer” ensured, while alive, that his death will not hamper the progress of the Ibru Centre and so “set aside money for its maintenance.” The chancellor of the Diocese and Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal, Imo State Judiciary, Justice Francis Abosi, presented award on behalf of the Oji River Diocese and the archbishop of Enugu Province. “I present this gift, this honour to a famous family, to a humanitarian family, to a decent family, to a wonderful family and to a family devoted to the Anglican Communion,” Abosi said. Recalling how Ibru could not be deterred even by the assassins’ bullets in 1996, Madu told the crowded church that
the late publisher of The Guardian was a man of faith, a builder, a very passionate man, who handled everything he believed in with utmost concern. “He didn’t think of only himself. He built a newspaper which is nurtured by conscience. After he was shot, not many people thought he would survive. When he returned from London, where he was flown to, his survival was considered a miracle. He lost some of his fingers when he tried to shield himself from the assassins’ bullets while he told himself that it was not meant to be this way. “This was a man who lived his life very close to God. It was God who saved him and
made it possible for Ibru to come back to serve Him. After his return, he gave everything he had to honour God and the Church. “The life he lived has touched my ministry so much and I draw great inspiration from his life,” the archbishop said. It was gathered that the theme of the synod, “Living and Giving to the Glory of God,” was inspired by the values by which the late Ibru lived. In his charge, the Bishop stated that, “the major challenge of the church today is the failure of many who profess the Christian faith to live a life that honours and glorifies God. Every Sunday we see worshippers trooping to church to worship, but
when we encounter some of them in their offices or shops within the week days, we doubt their integrity.” Naming Ibru as one of the Christian people whom we can cite for their faithfulness in serving the Lord during their era, he listed others who have also “lived for God” to include William Wiberforce, Mary Slessor, Mother Theresa, C.M.S. missionaries, Dr. Martin Luther King jr. Nelson Mandela and Corrie Ten Boom. Archbishop Madu called on Christians to imbibe Godly virtues by using what they have to work for God, insisting that it is the only way they could be remembered after death.
Ajimobi defends move against criminals From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi G of Oyo State yesterday declared that he was not only interested in the peace and tranquility of the state, but bringing criminals who terrorise the state to book. Ajimobi, who spoke against the backdrop of arrest and detention of the embattled leader of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, Mukaila Lamidi (a.k.a. Auxilliary) by the police few weeks ago, said he swore to the people to protect them from ‘criminals’ hence has no regret for his actions. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, the governor said: “I swore to the good people of Oyo State in May 2011 that I
would protect them from the hands of rampaging criminals. I swore that political affiliations would not colour my judgment. I detest crime and criminals and that is why ours is about the first government that would openly advertise disconnect with thugs and violence. We will continue to do this in the interest of the great people of our state.” Asking the security agencies in the state to step up the search for every wanted criminal and apprehend their collaborators, no matter how highly-placed they may be in the society, Ajimobi expressed delight at the arrest of ‘Auxiliary’. The police had in June 2011 placed a ransom of half a million naira on ‘Auxiliary’ and the former Chairman of the National Union of Road
Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (a.k.a. Tokyo), over the murder of the National President of the Nigerian Medical Students Association, Bala Usman Shanono, a 500-Level medical student of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, who was caught, along with other travellers, in a crossfire in Iwo Road, Ibadan, while waiting for night buses to their various destinations. The duo were also declared wanted for their alleged role in the bloody clash between members of their factions which claimed innocent lives, along with the wanton destruction of property. “At a moment like this when the whole country is apprehensive of violence and violent individuals, especially the mindless killings by the
Boko Haram sect, unauthorised ownership of guns and other criminal weaponry should bother every peaceloving citizen”, Ajimobi said. The governor reiterated his shock that a top People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in the state, Senator Lekan Balogun, who is also the Osi Olubadan, could descend so low as to be the spokesman of the wanted NURTW chieftain. “All peace-loving citizens of the state should ask Balogun what the connect is between a holder of that highly exalted office of the Osi Olubadan and a wanted dreaded criminal. Right now, we should put partisan politics aside and let us savour the peace we have had in Oyo State in the last three years,” Ajimobi further stated.
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Monday, May 19, 2014 NEWS | 5
APC flays Jonathan over insurgency, Anenih faults critics
From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan’s aborted trip to Chibok has been condemned by opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), which sees it as “symptomatic of his administration’s policy flip-flop in the fight against the terror group, Boko Haram.” In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said that just as the administration has bungled the fight against the sect, it has also exhibited sheer cluelessness in handling the abduction of the schoolgirls. “With his utterances and actions or inaction, President Jonathan has deepened the pains of the parents and guardians of the girls, and indeed that of the whole nation, when he should have been the consoler-in-chief at such a difficult time for a nation he leads,” it said. However, the Chairman of Board of Trustees (BOT), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, yesterday described as unpatriotic calls by the opposition on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign over the protracted Boko Haram insurgency. In a statement in Abuja, Anenih called on all Nigerians, irrespective of political differences, to support the administration’s efforts to end the insurgency. He urged opposition politicians to learn from the Westgate shopping mall killings in Kenya, where the opposition leader, Rahila Odinga, supported President Uhuru Kenyatta while the latter was addressing Kenyans on the dastardly attack. Anenih also recalled how America and Great Britain supported their respective gov-
ernments in the aftermath of al-Qaeda’s deadly attacks on their nations, pointing out that in none of these cases did the citizens call on their president or prime minister to resign. He commended the United Nations (UN) solidarity and the collaboration by France, United States (U.S.) and Great Britain with Nigeria and its Francophone neighbours Chad, Cameroun, Niger and Benin Republic. Insisting that Jonathan had done well in the fight against terrorism and insurgency, Anenih declared that no president of Nigeria could have done better within the ambits of constitutional powers. The APC said alleged that the administration has resorted to lying to Nigerians, claiming that Jonathan never planned to visit Chibok in the first instance, even when it has been widely reported in local and international media that his advance team was already in Borno State before the trip was cancelled. According to the party, the President “made his lying aides look squeaky clean when he told the world’s media that he did not go to Chibok because the girls are not being held there and because the trip will not lead to their release. “This statement shows that President Jonathan does not understand the demands of his office, and that in good/bad times, he is to be seen and heard as the lead celebrant/lead consoler for his compatriots. His statement is the most pedestrian justification of a presidential faux pas ever. “As usual, a trip - belated as it were - that could have gone a long way in redeeming the battered global image of the Jonathan administration in
the handling of the abduction issue has turned out another albatross for the President. Again, a President who is demonstrably averse to success has snatched defeat just when he was on the cusp of victory.” It added: “This definitely explains why, increasingly, Nigerians are resorting to selfhelp, why ordinary citizens are taking up cudgels, machetes and dane guns to battle Boko Haram. It is nothing but the clearest indication of state failure and presidential ineffectiveness.” It advised the administration “to make amends by immediately packaging a presidential visit to Chibok that would only be announced after the President must have gone and come back, instead of one in which the President’s men leaked the trip to the world in the hope of gaining mileage, only to reap opprobrium when the trip was cancelled.” Nevertheless, Anenih counseled: “As a father, I deeply sympathise with the parents of the abducted Chibok girls and pray for their safe return. No parent should have to experience what the parents of these innocent girls are passing through on account of this outrageous abduction by Boko Haram. “I also understand the anger that has been expressed through the global #BringBackOurGirls movement and wish to state that President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP are fully committed to ensuring the safe return of our daughters. “I must, however, deplore the situation where some opposition politicians have tried to make political issues out of it by calling for the resignation of President Jonathan over a group that is waging
DHQ warns against un-vetted movement of visitors in operations areas HE Defence Headquarters T has noted the presence of a large number of tourists, journalists and adventurers of diverse interests moving about in areas where security operations are currently ongoing especially in Adamawa and Borno States without the necessary security cover or clearance, a trend which constitutes not only an unnecessary risk to the persons especially the foreigners involved but is also an undue obstruction to operations. In a statement signed yes-
terday by the Director Defence Information, Major Genera Chris Olukolade,DHQ stated :“Much as the military has nothing to hide and believes in the freedom of movement in the country, the need for all persons to recognize the status of certain places as operational areas is hereby reiterated. Anyone violating the existing procedures for coverage or movement in the mission area does so at his or her own peril as the security forces should not be held responsible for any un-
savory outcome of such movement. “Necessary arrangement will continue to be made for the protection of persons and visitors whose movement is duly vetted and in line with development in the security situation on ground in particular mission area. “The general public is hereby informed that obstructive, suspicious or risky movement of visitors will not be condoned in any mission and operational area in the country”, the statement concluded.
war against the Nigerian state. Such behaviour is unbecoming of patriotic citizens of a democratic nation like Nigeria. “When militant gunmen attacked a shopping mall in Kenya, killing many people and holding many others hostage, the opposition leader, Rahila Odinga, stood right beside the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, while the latter was addressing Kenyans on the dastardly attack. “We are all witnesses to the fact that when al-Qaeda attacked the United States of America and the United Kingdom, citizens of those countries, irrespective of political affiliations, closed ranks and supported their respective governments in their fight against the perpetrators of terror. In these specific cases, political opponents did not ask their President/Prime Minister to resign. “Boko Haram is a threat to Nigeria and to our democracy. Nobody is more aware of this fact than President Jonathan. That is why he is doing all that is within his constitutional powers to fight the terrorist group. It is his respect for constitutionalism that has kept him from employing jack-boot methods. I make bold to say that no president of Nigeria could have done better within the ambits of constitutional powers! “Unfortunately, certain comments I have heard or read in recent times from some Nigerians who ought to know
better make me wonder if they expect the President to put on a helmet, pick up a rifle and personally march into Sambisa Forest. I ask: where in the world does a President do that? “I am also amazed that some Nigerians have forgotten so soon that President Jonathan has replaced service chiefs twice since he assumed office in a bid to bolster the operational efficiency of the military. Fighting terrorism is a unique kind of confrontation, unlike conventional warfare where enemy targets are easy to identify. “In this respect, we must differentiate between the Boko Haram insurgency and the Niger Delta militancy. Whereas, the Niger Delta militants were known persons, the Boko Haram insurgents are faceless. “It was because the individuals involved in the Niger Delta militancy were known that some of us, including President Jonathan (who was then Vice President), were able to engage them in negotiations that led to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Negotiations of this sort are difficult in the Boko Haram case. “All over the world, fighting terrorism takes time and requires patience, cooperation and national unity. The United Nations has expressed solidarity with Nigeria and pledged its support for the country’s efforts at tackling the Boko Haram insurgency.
“There is no doubt that there are challenges, but it is disheartening that some Nigerians are unsupportive of President Jonathan’s genuine efforts in the war against Boko Haram, even when nations such as France, United States and Great Britain have been collaborating with Nigeria and her Francophone neighbours (Chad, Niger, Benin Republic and Cameroun) in search of a solution to the crisis. “The Boko Haram insurgency is not against Jonathan as an individual, rather it is against the Nigerian state; that is why our collective efforts are needed to tackle the challenges. In this respect, the military needs assistance, especially vital information from the citizenry, to work with. “President Jonathan has said it several times that in fighting Boko Haram, the Federal Government is dealing with fellow Nigerians, who are brothers and sisters. Consequently, the military cannot deploy its full might against them. Besides, doing so would be against international rules of engagement. We must be tactful not to allow the insurgents use our children as shields. “I, therefore, urge all Nigerians to stand united behind President Jonathan, the Federal Government and the security agencies in this fight against terror. The message to Boko Haram from all Nigerians must be: we will never bow to terror!”
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EFCC arraigns accountant for alleged N5 billion fraud By Olawunmi Ojo HE Economic and T Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a former accountant of Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr Michael Adenuga, for alleged fraudulent conversion of a landed property worth N5 billion. He was charged before Justice Sendoten Ogunsanya of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja. At the hearing of the case ID/494C/2014: Federal Republic of Nigeria V Michael Olawale Adenuga & Others, counsel to EFCC, Mr. Jamiu Musa, alleged that Adenuga and his company, Covenant Apartment Complex Limited, fraudulently converted the land, measuring about 22.68 hectares, to himself. The property is at Ayetoro, Ikota in Lekki, Lagos. The commission said the property is jointly owned by Covenant Sugarland Property Development Company Limited, under a partnership between Adenuga and Sunday Kehinde Oyeniran, an engineer. Oyeniran, who petitioned the EFCC to investigate the matter, said the anti-graft agency has been on the case for over a year. “We took the matter to EFCC because we want justice. We have been delayed and financially stressed. We are also losing everyday. At the moment, we have got exposures
to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to the tune of almost NI.8 billion on the project, which started in 2008,” he said. Oyeniran, also an exChevron staff member, said investors have committed funds to the land, which was to be sandfilled and reclaimed for a proposed estate to be called Sugarland Town. Along with other investors, he claimed that they had invested about N3 billion in the project. But the defendant allegedly secretly obtained the signatures of the land owners, and registered in his name. He was also alleged to have forged the survey plan. Oyeniran also claimed that Adenuga used the same alleged forged documents to secure a loan of about N600 miilion from GT Homes. As stated on the charge sheet, the defendant allegedly presented a false document titled, ‘Contract of Sale between Covenat Apartment Complex Limited and Kingview Realty’ to EFCC officers contrary to Section 363 and 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State. The charge sheet further reads: “Stealing by fraudulent conversion contrary to section 278 1(a), 285 (1)(8),279(1)(2) of the Criminal law of Lagos State 2011. The accused person dishonestly converted into his own use some expanse of
land worth Five Billion Naira, a property of Covenant Sugarland Property Development Company Limited. “Forgery contrary to section 465, 467 Cap C17 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria. The accused person knowingly made a false document between Covenant Apartment Complex Limited and Kingview Realty with intention to defraud others.” The alleged offences are said to have been committed in July 2008. But Adenuga pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge, claiming he could not steal what belongs to him. Counsel to Adenuga, Mr. Ehis Agboga, who told the court that he had filed a bail application, pleaded that his client be remanded in EFCC custody for health reasons and to enable him see his doctors regularly. He said his client is diabetic and has high blood pressure, adding that remanding him in prsion custody would worsen his health. “He needs to be alive to stand trial,” Agboga said. But EFCC’s lawyer (Musa) differed, asking the court to remand him in prison pending the determination of the suit. Justice Ogunsanya ordered that the defendant be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons. She adjourned the case till May 21 for hearing of the bail application.
UNFPA commends C’River for meeting MDGs target NITED Nations Population Imoke in Calabar, declared Agency and for creating an enU Fund Agency (UNPFA) has the state as a model, which abling environment to succommended Cross River State should be emulated not only ceed thereby encouraging the government for its partnership to create an enabling environment to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target, thus contributing to the improvement of the welfare of its citizenry. UNFPA Country Representative, Ms. Ratidzai Ndhlovu, who made the commendation while on a courtesy visit to Governor Liyel
in Nigeria but also in Africa. Ndhlovu said the state has built existing structure through the support of the Agency, noting that it would continue to work with it to ensure that more remarkable feats were achieved. According to her, “I commend the state on the various programmes which it has initiated with the support of the
development partners to do more.” “Cross River is a model in the whole country and Africa,” she stated, stressing that, “there are leaders who would not look into tomorrow but here, the state projects into the future for its yet unborn and I can assure you that we will put all we can to achieve a fruitful result.” “You are organized, focused and coordinated and you need to strengthen already available programmes as a model and in spite of your complexity and diversity, I commend your effort to meet MDGs target,” Ndhlovu said. She assured the state of the Agency’s continued support to ensure it gets positive result in the interest of Cross River people. Responding, Governor Imoke explained that the state believes strongly in partnering with the different agencies of the United Nations, as according to him, he saw them as great contributors to its developments. Imoke disclosed that the state was focused on ensuring that those that needed government most were served because they do not have access and that it could only do it with the support and cooperation of the agencies. He said there was need to strengthen the partnership as well as create opportunities for development.
Ekiti govt flays Fayose’s comments on dam contract Stories by Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau Ado Ekiti) KITI State Government has E described as unsubstantiated and reckless the allegation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Ayodele Fayose that the recently awarded N1.4 billion contract for the Turn-Around Maintenance of the Ero Dam was to fund the re-election campaign of Governor Kayode Fayemi. The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, who responded to the allegation, said the people of the state cannot be fooled by the antics of the former governor whom they know for his antecedents of subterfuge and misinformation. Ekundayo said that contrary to Fayose’s claims that the contract was a conduit pipe to fund the governor’s campaigns, it is one of the efforts of government to ensure that the dam which was constructed in 1985 returns to full capacity and be able to deliver water to the people of nine of the 16 local government areas in the state. Stressing that the dam has not undergone any TAM since it was constructed about 30 years ago, the government spokesman said that no rational thinking person would imagine that a contract that has just been awarded could be used to fund the campaign which is nearing conclusion
knowing the usual process it takes to process even the initial 30 per cent mobilization of the contractor to site. “Fayose was in government for three and half years. He didn’t deem it fit to refurbish the dam, which was gradually silting up then. Rather he was more concerned about things like changing the nomenclature of the water corporation than improving actual water production in the state,” the commissioner stated. On his reference to the 27.5 per cent Teachers Pecuniary Allowance (TPA), Ekundayo reminded the former governor that the issue was settled about one year ago during which it was agreed between government and teachers that 16 per cent would be paid immediately while the remaining 11.5 per would be paid as soon as the resources of the state improved. What the governor recently did was a fulfillment of the promise made which has nothing to do with the oncoming election. This government, Ekundayo noted, is a listening one, which is why the TDNA that the teachers do not support has to be abandoned, as we know that in a democracy the wish of the people must be respected. The commissioner noted also that Fayose in his characteristic way said that he appointed in 2003 teachers as Permanent Secretary and Tutors-General. “From available records, Fayose did not appoint teach-
ers as Tutors-General until 2006 when his impeachment was pending in the house and that could be considered as a panicky measure; or does Fayose not know that there is a marked difference between teachers and Education Officers? “Fayose did not appoint any teacher as Permanent Secretary during his controversial tenure contrary to his claim that the appointment of teachers to the position of PS was scrapped by successive administrations in the state. “It is on record that the Fayemi administration, since its assumption of office in 2010, has appointed two education officers to the position of permanent secretaries and also appointed three teachers to the rank of tutors generals while fourteen teachers were recently promoted to special Grade Level 17,” Ekundayo stated.
Accord blames APC, PDP, LP for rising violence CCORD Party in Ekiti State at Ijero-Ekiti, the governor- while the shoot out lasted beA has blamed All ship candidate of AP, Mr. Kole tween the warring parties. Progressives Congress (APC), Ajayi stated that the rising Ajayi advised his co-contestLabour Party (LP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the rising violence and heating up of the political temperature of the state. The party therefore, advised the warring political parties to base their campaigns on issues, as violence will scare many voters on the election day. Addressing party supporters
level of violence among the concerned parties has become very alarming, saying that the security agencies should live up to their responsibility of apprehending party officials that carry weapons. Ajayi specifically condemned the alleged shoot out between APC and LP stalwarts at IlaweEkiti where innocent people were traumatised for hours
ants to know that it is only God that crowns the King and that the electioneering campaign should be conducted without rancour. He specifically accused APC of masterminding violence saying that APC members perpetrated the previous attacks on Accord Party members and destruction of its billboards in recent times.
Bamidele promises prompt payment of pensions ABOUR Party (LP) candiLEkitidate in the forthcoming State governorship election in June, Opeyemi Bamidele has promised to make pension payment a first line charge if elected as the helmsman of the state. Bamidele stated this in AdoEkiti during an interactive session with the members of the Ekiti State chapter of Nigeria Union Pensioners. He said the move, which would be a budget provision, was aimed at making the delay in the payment of pension and gratuities a thing of the past. The member of House of Representatives, who decried the backlog of pension arrears owed the people, said the pensioners would be accorded top most priority in an LP government. While declaring that over N1 billion would be required to pay up the arrears, he said N112 million would be committed to the cause within
the first eleven months of his administration. He said, “We will run programmes and policies that will make you proud pensioners again. Delay in the payment of pension will be addressed from the budget by making it a first line charge.” Bamidele also accused Governor Fayemi’s administration of paying lip service to industrial development. Bamidele recalled that Fayemi at his inauguration on October 16, 2010 promised to diversify the economy the state from its present monolithic economy through industrialization but that has not been seen in the last three and half years. In a statement by Ahmed Salami, his media aide, Bamidele queried that what has been the contributions of the moribund Ire Brick Industry and Road Material Company (ROMACO) in Igbemo to the development
of the economy of the State in spite of over N2 billion that had been expended to resuscitate the industries. He criticised Fayemi led administration for not revamping the defunct Oodua Textile Mills in Ado Ekiti with Oodua Group of Companies, saying the conversion of the site into a lock-up-shops further underscores Fayemi’s deception and aversion for the growth of this sector. The Federal lawmaker stressed the need to place high premium on industrial development in a state like Ekiti, saying the government would not have plunged Ekiti into debt, if it has made remarkable feat in the industrial sector. Bamidele urged him to explain to Ekiti how far he has gone in the development of agro-allied industries, exploitation of mineral deposits in the state and other allied matters capable of driving the economy.
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FG denies accepting police report on Toba Falode’s death HE Ministry of Foreign T Affairs has denied that the Federal Government has accepted the United Arab Emirate’s police report on investigations into the cause of death of Oloruntoba Oluwadamilola Falode, who was a student of SAE Institute, Dubai, UAE. This is contrary to the headline of a story published in The Guardian of Friday, May 16, 2014. The report, based on a telephone interview with Nigeria’s envoy to the UAE, Ambassador Ibrahim Auwalu, stated that the mission had “received the report of Oloruntoba Oluwadamilola Falode’s death” and not that such report had been accepted. A statement signed by the Director/Spokesperson,
There was no where the ambassador was quoted as having accepted the contents of the police report and forensic investigations carried out on the remains of the deceased. What is obvious in the report is that the ambassador provided highlights and obviously, the conclusion of the host police’s investigations into the alleged murder Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogbole Amedu Ode, said, “there was no where the ambassador was quoted as having accepted the contents of the police report and forensic investigations carried out on the remains of the deceased. “What is obvious in the report is that the ambassador provided highlights and obviously, the conclusion of the host police’s investigations into the alleged murder. This is in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). We
Govt seeks expanded regional economic cooperation From Karls Tsokar, Abuja S the conference of Directors of Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS) opens today in Minna, Niger State, the federal government has stressed the need to expand regional cooperation in Africa and explore emerging sectors to boost the continent’s economy. Speaking in Abuja at the weekend, the Supervising Minister of National Planning, Bashir Yuguda, said that “regional co-operation among African nations would fast track economic integration and development on the continent.” As he received the Special Adviser to the President on New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, Yuguda agreed
on the need for greater collaboration in monitoring and evaluation of government projects and programmes to realise the economic transformational goals. “With the new picture we now have on the performance of different sectors of our economy and the diversification already attained, NEPAD should explore new areas of collaboration, especially in those emerging sectors as entertainment Information and Communication Technology. Earlier, Njeze said the mandate of NEPAD to facilitate the effective monitoring of development projects and programmes of governments in Africa is to ensure the economic prosperity of the continent and Nigeria’s transformation.
must therefore hasten to say that receiving a report does not amount to accepting the contents of the report as the caption of the story conveys. “What is more, in conclusion the reporter quoted Ambassador Auwalu as saying that, “…As far as the family is concerned the matter is ongoing, and of course we have to go by the wish of the family. We represent Nigerians and their interest.”
Guest Speaker, Rt. Revd. Prof. Dapo Asaju (left); Mrs. Abosede Osunkeye, Diocesan Diocese of Lagos West, Anglican Communion, Bishop James Olusola Odedeji, his wife, Lydia, Industrialist, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, Bishop of Ilesha, Samuel Sowale, Bishop of Kwara, Dr. Segun Adeyemi and others during the closing ceremony of the 3rd session of the 5th Synod held at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, G.R.A., Ikeja, Lagos … yesterday. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
Travelers allege plans to discredit Enugu int’l Airport From Uzoma Nzeagu, Awka USINESSMEN and traders have alleged of plans to ground flights and other activities at the Enugu International Airport in order to create the impression that passengers are not making optimum use of the facility and consequently shut it down. Speaking to newsmen at Onitsha at the weekend, the Chairman of Osakwe Industrial Cluster, Onitsha, and Managing Director, Johnson Ploy Industry Limited, Mr. Johnson Okolo, said the officials of the Ministry of Aviation and Nigerian Customs Services were behind the plot. Meanwhile, the Anglican Bishop of Isiala Ngwa South, Rt. Rev. Isaac Chijioke Nwaobia, has commended the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, saying he demonstrated to the world what true governance should be. Nwaobia, who spoke at St. Mary’s Church, Mbutu Ukwu, during the just concluded second session of the second synod of the diocese, said that Obi’s service as governor was a refreshing example of responsibility in leadership and should be emulated by other chief executives. Okolo was flanked by over
• Obi was an exemplary governor, says cleric They were doing the search manually instead of using scanning machines, and even seized our International Passports, thereby delaying us for over five hours before we were allowed to leave. 20 others, who said they recently fell victim to the plot by airport and Customs officers working at the airport. He narrated: “We boarded a flight from China to Ethiopia via Enugu Airport. On arrival at the airport, the Nigerian Customs and airport officials delayed us, claiming what they termed the 100 percent search of passengers and their luggage. “They were doing the search manually instead of using scanning machines, and even seized our International Passports, thereby delaying us for over five hours before we were allowed to leave.” He wondered why an airport of such international could not provide electronic scanning machine to save time, saying the aim was to ground flights as an excuse for the Federal Government to close it down. They all called on the South East Governors Forum to intervene as such unwholesome activities were scaring passengers away from the air-
port. Nwaoha said: “We commend the leadership style of the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, for making act of governance less expensive, giving attention to people-oriented projects and having left the sum of N75 billion - in combination of cash and investments, foreign savings/investments. “While other governors were auctioning all government property, leaving debts through international and local loans, huge unpaid salaries and pensions, Obi left money for the state and did not borrow or raise bonds.” For the Anglican Bishop of Okigwe South Diocese, Rt. Rev. David Onuoha, all Ndigbo, Christians and Nigerians should join hands in advertising the Obi’s good governance for others to follow, adding: “His partnership with the church, especially in the area of education and health, went a long way in changing the face of Anambra State.”
Stakeholders lament impact of terrorism on healthcare From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja CTIVITIES of terrorist groups in parts of the north could obstruct immunization programmes and scare away health workers, especially in the north-east, stakeholders at the World Health Assembly, which opens today in Geneva, have said. This concern over the “persistent cases of terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria” was raised by the World Health Organisation and the Commonwealth ahead of the Assembly. A statement yesterday quoted the Minister of Health. Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, as saying that absence of peace and socio-political stability, though not a direct mandate of the ministry, “imposes threats on the performance of the health sector and increases the burden of health problems.” He stressed the need for WHO member-states to consider security in the provision of better healthcare service delivery. Also, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, London, said that about 98 million people have eye impairment and other forms of blind diseases, with its Chief Executive, Dr Astrid Bonfield, noting that “the prevention of avoidable blindness in the Commonwealth is their major focus.
Nigeria records 2,740 daily infant deaths from malnutrition From Itunu Ajayi, Abuja STAGGERING one million A children under five years (about 2,740 daily) die every year in Nigeria, according to a research conducted by the Nutrition Research in Northern Nigeria, which also puts Nigeria as one of the six countries that account for half of all child deaths from malnutrition worldwide. In Northern Nigeria, half of all children under five are stunted and one in five suffers from acute malnutrition, while there is poor awareness among families and communities on how best to feed infants and children. Also, a majority of rural woman has no access to health facilities, especially during childbirth. To this end, the researchers emphasized a decisive policy statement from government on the importance of nutri-
tion as a developmental issue and the need for increased funding for nutrition-specific interventions. At the presentation of a research in Abuja over the weekend, Dr Vincent Ahonsi, the national team leader of the research team, which did a pilot study in four northern states - Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi and Katsina - explained that the study was meant to deliver evidence-based and cost effective direct interventions for prevention and treatment of malnutrition through government health system. Though policy makers are becoming more aware of the importance of nutrition and the problems caused by poor nutrition and other healthrelated issues, Ahonsi said there were still inadequate health facilities care providers in the rural areas. He explained that nutrition
is not all about food but that access to portable drinking water and sanitary facilities plays a vital role in tackling the challenges of malnutrition holistically. Therefore, he enjoined federal and state ministries of water resources, women affairs and social development, education, agriculture and rural development to synergise in tackling malnutrition. Speaking at the event, the national programme manager, Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN), Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, said there was need for government to be financially committed to solving the problem of malnutrition and strengthening multi-sectoral coordination for nutrition. “At the moment, there is no national or state budget for nutrition and where budget line exists, release is very
poor,” he noted. “To improve nutrition in northern Nigeria, there should be more funding for nutrition-specific interventions such as improved infant and young child feeding (IYCF), management of children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), improved healthcare services for mothers and children such as ante natal care and immunization, management of diarrhea, micronutrient supplementation like vitamin A, iron foliate and iodine fortification.” The DFID-sponsored programme, which began in 2011 in five northern states, aims to improve nutrition through the management of severe malnutrition, promotion of better feeding of young children and ensuring that children and pregnant women receive essential nutrients while learning.
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Friend of Richard Coker-Enahoro, Fauzi Fahm (left); the mother, Mrs. Julie Coker; Chief Executive Officer, EMC3, Baba Yallah Epega, and Managing Director, Kina Buti Fashion Initiative, Francesca Rosset, at the presentation of cheque to Francesca Rosset by Richard Coker Foundation in Lagos last week Tuesday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN KUTI
President Goodluck Jonathan in a group photograph with delegation of traditional rulers, chiefs, elders, stakeholders and leaders of thought of the oil and gas producing communities of Nigeria, during their visit at State House. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Edo State Governor, Adam Oshiomhole, Commisioner for Transport, Edo State, Orobosa Omo-Ojo(left), Chairman of the former Okada Riders, Comrade Peter Adoroh; and Group Managing Director, C&I Leasing Plc, Emeka Ndu, at the launch of Suzuki vehicles to replace commercial motorcycles in Edo State.
A completed section of the Benin-Ore-Shagamu expressway by Federal Ministry of Works.
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya (left); Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, Sunil Mittal; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and Chief Regulatory Officer, Airtel Africa, Mamodu Kolade, at the just concluded World Economic Forum in Abuja, Nigeria.
President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Lanre Ajayi (left); handing the Regulator of the Year Award won by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to Mr. Tony Ojobo, director of the NCC, at the Beacon of ICT Awards held recently in Lagos.
MD/CEO Crospil, Ben Eboh E. (left); Marketing Director, Nigerite Limited, Toyin Gbede; CEO, Hotel Partner Africa, Mr. Vernon Page, and MD/CEO AIM Group, Amine Moussali, during the Lagos Architects Forum 2014 held at Expo Hall, Eko Hotel and Suite, Lagosâ€Ś recently.
Picture shows the Callistheric Display during the 6th Anniversary of Climate Change Club in Lagos State Schools, at the Police College Playing Ground, Ikeja, Lagosâ€Ś yesterday. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON
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Monday, May 19, 2014
WorldReport Mali ‘at war’ after Tuareg separatists abduct 30 ALI’S prime minister said M his country was at war with Tuareg separatists after the rebels attacked a northern town he was visiting, killing soldiers and abducting around 30 civil servants. Some shooting had already broken out before Prime Minister, Moussa Mara arrival in Kidal early on Saturday and he was forced to take shelter in an army base as rebel fighters attacked and seized the regional governor’s office. Clashes continued throughout the day with sporadic shooting eventually easing during the night. “In light of this declaration of war, the Republic of Mali is henceforth at war,” Mara told Reuters. “We are going to formulate the appropriate response to the situation,” added the prime minister, who was visiting Kidal for the first time since his appointment last month to revive long-delayed talks with northern armed groups. Mali, a former French colony, was thrown into turmoil in 2012 when al Qaeda-linked Islamists took advantage of a Tuareg-led rebellion and seized control of the country’s north. A French-led military operation, known as Serval, drove
back the Islamists last year but now the Mali government’s focus has turned back to the Tuareg rebels. A spokesman for the MNLA rebel group claimed control of the town of Kidal yesterday. During the day Mara moved on from Kidal to another northern town, Gao. At least one soldier was killed and 23 others were wounded in the clashes which now threaten to sink efforts to find a peaceful solution to long cycle of rebellions in the West African nation’s desert north. MINUSMA, a nearly 13,000strong United Nations peacekeeping mission, is rolling out but is not yet at full strength. Mara poured criticism on
both the French and United Nations forces for allowing the attack to take place. “You were witnesses today to the more than passiveness of these forces,” he said. “The very least we’d expected from MINUSMA and Serval was that they’d ensure the governor’s office wasn’t attacked.” A U.N. spokesman yesterday declined to comment on the events in Kidal. A Malian military source said Saturday’s gun battle erupted after MNLA fighters aboard two pick-up trucks attacked an army checkpoint in front of the governor’s office. Mara saw the body of one dead soldier, which was brought to the Malian army base where the prime minister
was forced to spend the night. A MNLA official claimed at least eight Malian soldiers had been killed in Saturday’s violence. The region’s governor Adama Kamissoko told Reuters yesterday that three of the worst injured soldiers had been evacuated by helicopter. He said MNLA fighters had kidnapped the civil servants, who had gathered at the governor’s office ahead of a meeting with the prime minister. A spokesman for the MNLA said the army attacked first, opening fire on the group’s barracks following pro-independence protests in the town. He said that the rebels were controlling key locations in Kidal.
Egyptian court jails more than 160 Brotherhood supporters N Egyptian court jailed A more than 160 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to up to 15 years in prison yesterday, pressing a crackdown on the Islamist group before a presidential election former army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win. Defendants chanted “Down with military rule” as Judge Hassan Fareed handed down 10-year jail terms to 126
Brotherhood supporters accused of violence and membership of a terrorist group in one of the cases. A further 37 people received 15-year sentences in a second case related to an alleged attempt to blow up a Cairo metro station. The security forces have detained thousands of Brotherhood supporters since the military deposed president, Mohamed Mursi
last July following mass protests against his rule. Sisi, expected to easily win the May 26 to 27 vote, has signaled there will be no reconciliation with the Brotherhood. Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Badie, who was among 683 people sentenced to death last month, made a rare address in court, rejecting the accusations leveled against his group.
Toll mounts as thousands in Serbia, Bosnia flee historic floods HOUSANDS of people while on the other side of the T crammed into boats and Sava river, in Serbia, at least 16 army trucks fled their homes in Serbia and Bosnia yesterday after record rainfall turned the Sava river into a deadly torrent and caused the worst floods in more than a century. According to officials in both countries, the disaster has killed at least 44 people. Some towns have been completely cut off and rescue teams feared the worst as improving weather allowed them to move in. Some 10,000 people have been evacuated so far from the worst affected areas of northern Bosnia. In the town of Samac, hundreds of stranded residents were waiting to be rescued. “We sent rescue teams into a part of the city we had not been able to access so far. They are entering those areas fearing what they might discover,” Mayor Samo Minic told reporters. The worst rainfall since records began in the late 19th century caused landslides that brought more destruction and also prompted a landmine warning. Bosnia’s demining agency said residents around the towns of Doboj, Maglaj and Olovo, which saw fierce fighting during the war in the 1990s — should be particularly wary. Twenty of the 27 deaths recorded in Bosnia occurred in Doboj
bodies were found. In the town of “Obrenovac alone we recovered 12 corpses,” Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said, bringing the toll in Serbia to 16. “Unfortunately there are estimates that the death toll will be higher,” he said. Croatia has also confirmed one casualty, as a result of bad weather that engulfed much of central and parts of eastern Europe at the weekend. Ukraine emergencies ministry said electricity had been cut to about 100 villages in the north and west because of heavy rains and winds but that no casualties had been reported. In the Serbian capital Belgrade, dozens of schools and sport centres were turned into shelters for the thousands of evacuees plucked the disaster zones by boats, buses and helicopters. Thousands of volunteers worked through the night to stack sandbags along the banks of the Sava river in Belgrade, expecting a “flooding wave”. Mayor Sinisa Mali said he was confident any swelling of the Danube tributary could be contained but there was still concern further up river.
Monday, May 19, 2014
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Focus Alex Ibru lecture examines role of media in conflict situations The second Alex Ibru Legacy Lecture, held last week at the University of Port Harcourt, focused on the context of media audacity and conflict sensitivity in the country’s current security situation. KELVIN EBIRI reports on the highlights. NE of the primary duties of professional journalism, which is to ensure that citizens’ right to truthful and vital information is not infringed upon, was the crux of this year’s second Alex Ibru legacy lecture series, held at the University of Port Harcourt last week. Chief Alex Ibru, who established The Guardian in 1983, died on November 20, 2011 at the age of 66. The yearly lecture was instituted in his honour by the institution, having endowed a professorial chair before his passing. From time immemorial, both democratic and authoritarian regimes have always attempted to stifle the free flow of ideas, and had often despised the visibility that a truly free press could provide. Government security agencies have also often been at loggerheads with the media, especially over specific news items that the government might consider inimical to its strategic interest. It was on this premise that the University of Port Harcourt’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, while declaring the lecture open, observed that the prevailing situation in the country “makes it imperative to equip journalists on how best to discharge their statutory responsibility to society.” Ajienka, who described Ibru’s decision to continue to publish The Guardian at a time when it was practically dangerous to practice journalism in Nigeria as courageous, also stated that the late Ibru’s rare trait informed the choice of the theme. Represented by Prof. Onyewuchi Akaranta, Head of the University’s Centre for Research Management, The Vice Chancellor explained that the late founder of The Guardian had before his demise, endowed a professorial chair in the University. “And so long as the professorial chair exists, the university will continue to propagate his ideas and principles.” Ajienka explained that the essence of the legacy lecture was to propagate Ibru’s ideas, and most importantly, to equip journalists across the country on how to report conflict situations. He observed that while the political class was amassing weapons ahead of the 2015 general elections, the media must be prepared to use its power to stem the looming conflicts that might possibly erupt as the politicians jostle for power. The national coordinator of the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), Prof. Danjuma Gambo, while delivering a paper titled: The audacity of the pen in a challenging environment, said but for the media, the true situation of the crisis in the North East would have been unknown to the rest of the world. Gambo, who teaches at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, which is the epicenter of the current Boko Haram insurgency in the country, observed that reporting conflicts of different kinds “is not strange to the media.” However, he pointed out that the unfolding insurgency in Nigeria seems to pose a new challenge to individual journalists. He argued that after the federal government’s violent suppression of the sect’s 2009 uprising in Maiduguri, it had come under the erroneous illusion that the crisis, like other similar religious conflicts in the past, had been eliminated. But, ironically, he noted, the group re-emerged under a new umbrella, using guerrilla tactics and thus killing, maiming and kidnapping individuals, and also destroying public infrastructure in its war against the state. According to him, the renewed violent campaign, now in its fifth year, “has had a devastating impact on the political, economic and social life of Nigerians, particularly in the three states under emergency rule.” He explained that since the end of the Nigerian civil war, the country had never witnessed “this magnitude of devastation occasioned by the recent ethno-religious political conflict caused by the Boko Haram.” He regretted that rather than address the root cause of
Late Alex Ibru the crisis, the government, as was the case with the Ogoni uprising and the Niger Delta situation, resorted to the use of military might. “But, barely one year after, the group began a gorilla campaign which initially had targeted the police and has now spread to other parts of the country, including Abuja.” Gambo, who has vowed that himself and other academics at the University of Maiduguri would not leave the campus irrespective of the worsening insecurity in the North East, also explained that before the declaration of state of emergency, the demand for more reliable information on the security situation had increased, especially with real time reports on happenings on different locations. He further explained that the formation of the Joint Task Force to tackle the menace in Borno, Yobe states included the appointment of military spokespersons that managed public relations by giving official versions of reports to the media and the general public on incidents or any controversy surrounding the conduct of security personnel within their respective states. According to him, in almost all cases, the information given by such spokespersons runs counter to common knowledge about security breaches. In what appears to be a real wartime scenario, he said the Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters has constituted a joint information center counter terrorism campaign, which has taken over the management of information on counter terrorism in all parts of the country. He argued that the establishment of this centre “has further complicated information management” because of bureaucratic bottlenecks between the center and current happenings at the state level. He stressed that but for the audacity of the media, the true story on the situation in the Niger Delta and the North East could not have been known beyond what is available in ordinary official circles, like the joint information centre counter terrorism campaign which gave a misleading information about the release of
He regretted that despite the complexity of the security situation in the country, politicians and their followers have continued to overheat the polity by struggling for a place in the 2015 general elections, thus dividing the attention of the media between the devastation of insecurity and the politics of 2015. He challenged the media to subject the political leadership to thorough scrutiny, by finding out whether the 2015 general elections are more significant than arresting the insurgency that now threatens the corporate existence and security of the country over 200 kidnapped Chibok female students who are still held hostage by the Boko Haram. His words: “For example, less than 48 hours after more than 200 girls at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok were abducted, Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters claimed that all, but only eight of them were found. However, contrary to this, counter reports from Chibok indicated that the report was false and misleading. This has had severe negative consequences on the credibility and reliability of not only the centre, but also the military campaign in their areas of operation.” He regretted that despite the complexity of the security situation in the country, politicians and their followers have continued to overheat the polity by struggling for a place in the 2015 general elections, thus dividing the attention of the
media between the devastation of insecurity and the politics of 2015. He challenged the media to subject the political leadership to thorough scrutiny by finding out whether the 2015 general elections are more significant than arresting the insurgency that now threatens the corporate existence and security of the country. “The President has repeatedly insisted that the federal government will never allow terrorists to arrest government business; which was why, barely 24 hours after the recent AbujaNyanya explosion in which more than 70 innocent Nigerians lost their lives, the President danced away at a PDP rally in Kano. The media beamed our president and his supporters in a celebration that insulted the collective sensibility of many Nigerians. Even if the government would not succumb to terrorism, Nigerian leaders need favourable international public relations as politicians with conscience,” he said. Gambo noted that as the country grapples with the challenges facing it, higher demands are going to be made on the media to contribute to the speedily resolution of the conflicts. He pointed out that while many businesses have folded up or moved out of Maiduguri and Damaturu, the media has remained an exception. To this end, he charged journalists, irrespective of pressure from the establishment, to cover the insurgencies, but with a sense of responsibility that enables dialogue and eventual peaceful resolution of the conflicts in the country. He also emphasized that it was beyond the reach of reporters and editors to gather information on or reveal the hideout of any alleged terrorists or criminals, “as this is strictly the job of security personnel, who have the legal mandate, requisite training and equipment to handle such situations.” The publisher of The Guardian, Mrs. Maiden Ibru who was represented by the Managing Director, Mr. Emeka Izeze, emphasized that no government and country could make remarkable progress without a free media. At the lecture, which also attended by the Editor of The Guardian, Mr. Martins Oloja, she explained that media organizations, irrespective of their relationship with the establishment, must at all times remain the voice of the people. According to her, for the media to be effective and audacious, it must not be timidly and easily pocketed by the ruling class. “The interest of our society must be uppermost in our mind and that was the idea that Ibru espoused. He knew that the power of the media can change society. If we are to be effective in the media, we must pay the price. In paying the price, you have to incur the wrath of the powers that be,” she said. Mrs. Ibru recalled how The Guardian was shut down during the era of military rule for voicing the opinion of Nigerians, which the military was adverse to. She urged the media to go beyond politics and resist anything that stands contrary to national interest. She however, stressed that one remarkable achievement of the current democratic dispensation in the country “is the freedom of the citizens to freely debate and in the process, making meaningful contributions to national development and growth.” She continued: “Like in The Guardian, when we need to be critical on national issues, we do. Such is the audacity of the pen. We in the media must see our role beyond politics. Our interest must not run counter to our national interest. We must at all times subjugate our interest to that of our national interest. This is not a time for people to push ethnic, religious and political agenda. The pen must remain audacious than ever in our national interest.” The Chair occupant, Ibru Chair for Communication Studies, Prof. Shirley Yul-ifode said the chair was endorsed by the founder of The Guardian to promote Nigerian journalism to world class.
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Monday, May 19, 2014
Politics THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE
A mix of drama, novelty, status quo ante in constitution making Political Sketch By Akpo Esajere T was the touchy of the questions — restrucImar turing of the federation. It was the make-orquestion before the National Conference sitting in Abuja. Other problems tend to acquire huge relevance or complexities from it. The South swore by it. The North vowed it wouldn’t happen. How can the Nigerian federation be re-invented or re-launched to strengthen it and make it workable and functional as to be able to achieve its goals of development, progress, territorial pride and preservation? This was the dominant question the assemblage was to find answers to. If it were taken as given that Nigeria is a federation, so described because the 1999 Constitution says so, and Nigeria’s political class fancifully call it so, the confab was to take a hard look in the light of current dynamics, to see how and what things to do differently to meet the needs of changing times. It seems that whatever the decisions were arrived at on this sphere would, at the conclusion of the talks, show whether the conference succeeded or failed. Notably, fiscal federalism, a contentious component of restructuring, with its features of how resources will be shared; should federating units control resources in their areas; should a percentage given to them; and what formula for distributing the revenues in the common pool, were bound to task the delegates to the limits. Failure to come up with options capable of addressing the flaws in the 1999 Constitution, which has been criticised by various groups especially for imposing an over-centralised “unitary” system on the country, would amount, as it were, to the talks having failed. Here, for example, is how elder statesman and former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, spoke about it at a recent function in Lagos: “Inappropriate governance since the military intervened in 1966 is the cause of the problems because it ended true federalism under which the country was making faster development in our early years of independence. “The challenge of the National Conference is to produce a consensus for restructuring the present architecture of the country. The conference will be a monumental failure if it fails to reach a consensus on restructuring Nigeria into a true federalism. “Nigeria should ideally be restructured into a federation of six regions based on the six geopolitical zones with most of the powers devolved to the zones to enable each region develop at its own pace.” Restructuring at confab so far THE conference leadership wisely assigned restructuring specifically to one of its 20 committees: Restructuring and Forms of Government. This panel, along with a number of others similarly considered as handling politically volatile topics, was assigned with cochairmen from North and South to ensure a North-South balance and stave off rumour of unfairness and injustice. As at now, with committees coming out with various consensus measures to be presented to the conference plenary, issues of restructuring have again seized the air-waves, particularly the restructuring panel’s recommendation for Nigeria to remain a federation, and with states as federating units. In doing so, the panel turned down the other strongly canvassed option to make for bigger, more viable and competitive federating components by making the six geo-political zones the federating units of the federation. Under the current democratic dispensation,
Kutigi the present 36 States had been politically regrouped into six zones, namely, South West, South East, South-South, North West, North East and North Central. There was also the option to revert to the pre1966 four-government set-up of four Regions and a Central (federal) government. In recommending a federation with states as federating units, according some delegates, the committee was mindful that the country needed to “make progress slowly by taking every part along, instead of the winner-take-all” approach. The committee was further conjectured to be mindful that the confab had “no mandate to reconstitute states” or for that matter, delve into issues of boundary adjustments. Critics of the decision are retorting that the 492-
Attah member confab had no mandate for anything, but to review things realistically in order to determine and chart new ways forward. Over time, some pointed out, the states have proved ineffectual such that under a properly re-constituted zone/region federal set-up, the states could only be enabled to operate as development areas. However, it is noteworthy that Nigeria is to run as a federation of two governments only: one at the centre, the other at the state. The Restructuring panel recommended removal of the country’s 774 local governments recognised under the 1999 Constitution, and made local governments an affair of the state legislature. It is a milestone that addresses age-long dirty politicking, including grievances and agitation
Another quarrelsome issue under fiscal federalism or intergovernmental fiscal relations is the derivation principle, which can also be called mineral rights, particularly rights over geo-strategic minerals of oil-bearing states of the Niger Delta region endowed with crude oil and gas resources. The oil-bearing states have had 13 per cent, which they consider grossly inadequate. At the confab, the Northern delegation had circulated a 47-page position paper, rejecting all claims to oil resources by the oil-producing states. The paper demanded that all minerals, including oil, should remain under the Exclusive List of the Federal Government and that the previous dichotomy on offshore and on-shore be restored. Initial reports speculated explosive dispute; that delegates of oil-bearing states were set to vehemently reject the Northern position… The matter appears tentatively settled for 13 per cent to remain operational over what the co-chairman of the committee on Power Devolution, Obong Victor Attah, was quoted to call ‘equilibrium.’ He said, ‘we felt we must maintain equilibrium that we have in this country today so that there will be no loser or winner.’
over devolution of powers between states and local governments and saves the country of the half-measures with which they are adorned to make them third tier of government. They never measured up to their mandate for grassroots development. The committee recommended the creation of one more state for the Southeast zone. It felt eminently persuaded by the long agitation for an additional state to put the area at par with other four zones — South-South, North Central, North East and North West with six states each, except the South West that has seven states. This decision, presently received with eager approval in some parts of the country and severe criticism in others, could provoke new scenarios. During its long engagement with constitution amendment, the National Assembly was besieged with agitation for states. The Assembly received over 60 separate proposals for new states. The Igbo nation of the Southeast, which now has five states, while four other zones have six and the North West seven, has long demanded one more state. To sustain the states structure now 36, it clearly would be unfair to continue in denial that the Southeast, for the sake of equity and justice, deserved one new state, something well acknowledged by members of the panel who “unanimously agreed” that a new state in the Southeast is “in the interest of justice and fair play” and to “give the zone a sense of belonging.” However, other five zones of the country would increasingly point to the unfairness of one zone, the North West, having seven states; they would be justified to ask for more states across board. Right there at the conference, demand for at least one state, Apa, for the Idoma nation of Benue State, surfaced. It seems, however, that a reduction of the powers, functions and funds of the federal
Monday, May 19, 2014 13
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still to enjoy the cloak of immunity. Bribery and corruption could easily make this of little significance. The office of Accountant General of the Federation is separate from that of Accountant General of the Federal Government. It is not clear how far this could check the whims of the big and powerful presidency in Abuja or the tendency of politicians to manipulate the variables for distributing national revenue. It is doubtful whether these measures could in any significant way make the centre less attractive and for politicians to direct attention at development of the regions and states. Centralised police structure remains essentially untouched despite campaigns for state police. The committee is un-persuaded that the current police system is ineffective and cannot be sustained under a federal system. Put forward is removal of the Police Affairs Ministry and replacement with a Homeland Ministry to co-ordinate the Police, National Guards, Civil Defence Corps and Nigerian Prisons Service. The Office of the Attorney General is separate from the Minister of Justice, while government is requested to create a constitutional court across the states.
government, including the removal of local governments, with the resultant stoppage of politics of first-line charge, may eventually lower agitation for states. The 30-member Restructuring panel did not foreclose creation of more states. It recommended merit as basis of any other demands. This is an emotive or redundant proposal since state agitators base their demands on the merits of their cases. The committee however wants states that wish to merge to do so. The six states of the Southwest are already “cooperating” on various socio-political and economic spheres without merging. It seems pragmatic and logical for Yoruba Southwest, with the advantage of language and history and even geography, to have strong impetus to do this. Other ethnic nationalities may not be as endowed; a point, which may have informed the committee to play safe by not upstaging the apple-carte of making any other units than states as federating units and also giving it to states to consider mergers or how far they could merge. The committee proposed that “without prejudice to states constituting as federating units, states that wish to merge may do so in accordance with the constitution subject to three conditions: (a) majority of two-thirds of Assemblies of the states for which merger is proposed (b) 75 percent of eligible voters agrees at a referendum (c) Senate and House of Representatives by a simple majority. If the recommendation sails through the plenary, the third condition becomes inoperative and should be struck out in the light of another of the panel’s unanimous recommendation of a unicameral National Legislature of House of Representatives only. It phased out the upper chamber, Senate.
The committee, like a number of the confab committees, seem to have in view a modified presidential system. No word emerged about parliamentary system of Nigeria’s First Republic that had attracted sizeable memoranda to the confab. The panel looked as if concerned to cut, to an extent, expensiveness that politicians have made of the presidential system in Nigeria modelled after the American presidential system. The plenary may consider adding a clause for “question time,” a useful feature of the British Parliament, which a few members of the National Assembly mentioned during their constitutional sittings. It is time for government functionaries to face the parliament. The committee sounds convinced as having done the needful. “Let it be on record that this committee did the right thing but was rejected,” said Dr. Sam Egwu, a former governor of Ebonyi State and member of the panel, obviously in counter to the possibility of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) taking a dim view of the proposal to phase out the Senate when it eventually ratifies the conference report. The panel wants equal representation of states at the federal unicameral legislature (only House of Representatives) based on equality of states representation and population; that is, 50-50 per cent. This is sequel to its phasing out of the Senate constituted on equality of states. It thus applied it along with population employed for the House of Representatives, to the coming unicameral federal parliament, House of Representatives. But the committee made the coming parliament full-time. This, however, has not attracted much adverse public comments from proponents of part-time parliament. “We have to reflect the two factors so that no segment of the state will feel neglected or undermined,” said Mohammed Kumaila, co-
chairman of the Restructuring Committee. “The decision was based on the need to be fair, futuristic and building the country on a solid foundation because the issue of population is critical.” According to him: “There is no way we can compare Yobe and Kano when it comes to population. So, if we pick 100 per cent representation on the basis of population, states like Kano would be disadvantaged, as all would have the same number of representatives notwithstanding their population. “That is why we say the other half of 50 per cent should be based on population because parliament is about representing the people. Moreover, we are of the opinion that 50-50 option would be easier to adopt as all interests would have been taken care of.” Devolution of powers HE confab was convened against the background of many groups calling for “true federalism,” interpreted to mean divesting the Federal Government of many of its powers and functions and giving such to the federating units. The Devolution Committee has come up with a consensus position, reducing the Federal Government share of national revenue by 10 per cent. It is presently put at 57 per cent, and along with revenue due to other tiers of government, a subject of whimsical calculations and endless disagreements. Various committees of the confab put forward various “propping-up” measures. For example, all principal executives both at federal and state levels (President, Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor), are to face criminal prosecution while in office. The highly contentious immunity clause recognised in the 1999 Constitution, goes except in cases of civil offence where they are
Revenue sharing/derivation/resource control ET, another quarrelsome issue under fiscal federalism or intergovernmental fiscal relations is the derivation principle, which can also be called mineral rights, particularly rights over geo-strategic minerals of oil-bearing states of the Niger Delta region endowed with crude oil and gas resources. The oil-bearing states of the Niger Delta have had 13 per cent, which they consider grossly inadequate though enshrined in the constitution. At the confab, the Northern delegation had circulated a 47-page position paper, rejecting all claims to oil resources by the oil-producing states. The paper demanded that all minerals, including oil, should remain under the Exclusive List of the Federal Government and that the previous dichotomy on offshore and on-shore be restored. Initial reports speculated explosive dispute; that delegates of oil-bearing states (South-South states) were set to vehemently reject the Northern position. The oil dispute broke down at the 2005 Political Reform Conference organised by former President Obasanjo. While delegates from the Southeast supported the South-South demand for nothing less than 25 per cent revenue, the Southwest were said to be ready to go with 19 per cent and the North rejected the proposal — a position it has again enacted at this conference. Although South-South delegates were calling for amendment of Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution, to demand additional revenue, the matter appears tentatively settled for 13 per cent to remain operational over what the co-chairman of the committee on Power Devolution, Obong Victor Attah, was quoted to call “equilibrium.” “More than anything else,” the former Akwa Ibom State (South-South) governor said, “we felt we must maintain equilibrium that we have in this country today so that there will be no loser or winner.” But both 13 per cent and the matter of Federal Government’s allocation seem likely to surface at the plenary. Individuals and groups had canvassed that the country did not need a derivation principle; that what it needed was devolution of powers to diversify the economy so that the federating units could have partial ownership and control of resources. Chief Anyaoku, at the Lagos event, for example, said, in considering revenue allocation, there was need to “look at man-made resources and God-given resources (minerals and petroleum). “For equity,” he said, “God-given resources should be allocated in the following manner: Federal Government 20-23 per cent; mineral producing areas, 15-17 per cent, and six regions 60 per cent. “Under this structure, the states should remain as developing areas in the regions. The benefits of restructuring include a massive reduction in recurrent revenue, which is currently 70 per cent and more funds will be available for capital development. “The do-or-die political competition for the centre, which fans the embers of religious and ethnic sentiments, will end; there will be faster socio-economic development, greater accountability and reduction of corruption.” But as it is, some of the committees, the engine room of the conference, working by compromise and consensus, were creative and novel in carrying out a delicate balancing act in some cases, maintaining the status quo ante (that is, keep things as they are) in others, and basically avoiding rocking the boat.
14 | Monday, May 19, 2014
Conscience Nurtured by Truth
FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816
Editorial The pro-Goodluck Jonathan campaigns N total negation of the rules, campaigns for Nigeria’s highest political office in the 2015 general elections have begun, albeit by proxy. The public has been shamelessly assailed with unsolicited media messages from scores of political support groups of President Goodluck Jonathan who allude to his ‘unparalleled’ achievements in office and the need to consolidate such by retaining him in office. These campaigns are not only cheap, they do little credit to the President or his supposed credentials in office and must stop. The infamous list is growing by the day. At least 10 such promoters are now engaged in the media campaigns, including Defenders of Nigeria’s Democracy, Niger Delta Residents’ Alliance, Goodluck Jonathan Leadership Centre, National Coalition for Jonathan and Sambo Presidency, Dynamic Delta Ladies, The Transformation Network, Goodluck Initiative for Transformation (GIFT) and Jonathan/Sambo 2015 Forum. There are also Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, Goodluck To Goodluck (G2G) 2015 and Protectors of Nigerian Prosperity. In the works are New Deal and Nigeria Youths for Goodluck Jonathan 2015 ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ among others. Ridiculously, one of the volunteer groups based in Abuja even reportedly resolved to “compel” the president to run. Some have organised rallies and press conferences to show their conviction in his capacity to continue in office. Could this be an indicator of value degeneration, dragging a man to act against his conviction, which has been the recipe for continuous bad leadership in Nigeria? How close are the groups to Jonathan to determine how his mind works for another rigorous term in office? Thankfully, the Presidency has publicly disowned the big spenders. Claims that “they are spending their own money… They are not campaigning now because there is no candidate yet…they are violating any rule” may be true but does it make the campaigns outside of the rules right or legal? The presidency could actually do more to protect the president’s integrity by publicly stopping the hasty supporters lest he opens himself up to accusations of complicity. The president must set good examples by avoiding negative media which has characterised his tenure for as long as his stay in office. Any attempt to explain away the criticism of illegal campaign, that the promoters are entitled to expending their resources as deemed fit would be untenable because the integrity of the president and his party is at stake. Typical of the average Nigerian politician or political investors at the sidelines, sources of funding those media campaigns are yet elusive and may never be unearthed. Two, the television adverts are loaded with political meanings, hence they are offensive at this stage of the election process. Placements at this time no doubt translate to indirect political campaign by a party to gain mileage over other parties and/or their potential presidential candidates. It must be discouraged. Agreed that the system permits the rot, but must impunity continue to be the Nigerian way of life? Undoubtedly, Jonathan has the constitutional right to seek a reaffirmation of his tenure by the electorate. However, we must all learn to play by the rules. The process must ensure a level playing field. Instructively, barely eight months to the elections, there has yet to be a formal declaration of interest or otherwise by the man the rent seekers are investing on despite his purported body language. As it is, he seems now to be caught in the web of his own strategy of keeping the citizens in suspense even as appears incapable of finding a solution to the horrifying insecurity engineered by mindless insurgents in the north eastern part of the country. The campaigning foot-soldiers are undeterred by any challenges of insecurity and are spending big, of course, in anticipation of bigger returns on investment if and whenever their ‘candidate’ returns to office. Hence, Nigerians should be prepared for more obscene spending as the groups try to draw attention of the president or his party (the PDP) to their supposed relevance for future political gains. They must also view those behind this shamelessness as the potential enemies of the nation who are interested in nothing other than their pockets. In reality, much of the media exposure is negative. Whichever way the argument swings, an administration’s success should speak for it in physical terms. That is, a government’s achievements in real terms should be visible to the citizens who are the judges. Any heavy spending on media exposure for non-existent or inconsequential achievements is a fraud. At this point, campaign funding should be a matter of public interest. Political jobbers should not be left unrestrained in pursuit of selfish interests as it is being witnessed through the campaigners. They often invariably force elected officials to fiddle with public funds in an attempt to recoup investments, among many other evils. Surely, public service should not be a business venture with profit motives. Hopefully, President Jonathan would not be taken in by the messages of deceit the promoters are also dishing out about him to curry his favour. And INEC, the electoral umpire, has a duty to keep defaulting individuals and parties or their supporters in check as they run against the rules.
Please, get the budget signed IR: It is unfortunate that rent insurgency in the land. Sgone, with almost half of the year Whatever discussion there is the budget has not been between the Ministry of signed into law. Please, recall that on April 10, 2014, the National Assembly passed an appropriation bill of N4.695 trillion for the 2014 fiscal year on the estimated oil price of N77.5 per barrel while crude oil production was set at the rate of 2.3883 million barrels per day and transmitted it to the Executive for assent. Curiously, it was about N53 billion higher than the N4.642 billion presented by the Executive. According to Coordinating Minister of Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo Iweala, distortions in the 2014 Appropriation Bill, which is currently before the Executive, are responsible for the President’s delay in assenting to it and that there is need to look into them because of the negative impact those distortions will have on the implementation. The National Assembly which caused the distortion by jacking up the appropriation bill and the Executive that is trying to maintain status quo are performing their constitutional rights but both arms of government must let the national interest supersede any selfish interests. The irony of the matter is that even the Ministries of Defence and Police Affairs for instance need their share in the budget to fight the cur-
Finance and National Assembly must be concluded this week so that the budget can be signed. If this had been the first time of disagreement, Nigerians would have takeN them serious thinking they are disagreeing to agree in the interest of nation’s economy but it has now become a routine for the budget to be concluded late. The end of the year is fast approaching when all the ministries and different parastatals will be asked to return the unspent money to the
Federation Account and we don’t want the situation where the ministers will be conniving with the permanent secretaries and railroad contractors to award contracts so as not to refund the unspent money. Nigerians want results not disagreements, therefore, the differences between Presidency and the National Assembly must be resolved urgently and amicably. The Executive and Legislature must therefore make sure that the budget is signed this month in the interest of the masses. John Ajiboye, Lagos.
The leadership question president has shown how incompetent he Sis IR:toin usThe his leadership style in terms of protecting the citizens. It is an embarrassment to Nigeria as a whole especially to those who fought for its greatness to this point. I am writing this with great pain and fear of what is going to be left of Nigeria if Dr. Jonathan is given another chance to rule again. Nigeria today is not the country that was ruled by the likes of Gen.Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo and Shehu Shagari, the Nigeria that was built by Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Gen.Abdulsalami Abubakar.
All these are leaders who never wavered to see the country become a land of opportunities and a future place to be. Nigeria is not a great country anymore; it was known to be a peaceful country in Africa but now it is facing a painful, sorrowful fate. More disturbing is the call for help of the Americans, British and French troops in finding the Chibok abducted girls. I thought Nigeria has its own military? Are the troops that weak to rescue the Chibok roses? The real worry is whether we, as a people, are not exposing our weaknesses and incompetence. • Kudu Samirat , IBB University, Lapai.
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Opinion Our economy and our society’s security By Muhammadu Buhari N the last couple of weeks our country has Iwrong attracted the world’s attention for the reasons. The dreadful and appalling crime of up to 300 school girls’ abduction has shocked the world’s conscience. News of efforts to rescue the girls has rather overshadowed the World Economic Forum Africa, whose theme was: Forging inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs. The backcloth of the Forum itself was the statistical exercise that rebased our economy. The result of the exercise made us the largest economy in Africa and placed us among the top 25 in the world. But those numbers are at variance with the lived experience of our citizens. Across the length and breath of this country and in our cities, poverty is so visible, so general and so extreme. Those numbers have no meaning to the well being of the vast majority of our society. The theme of the conference was also at variance with existing policy priorities. The rebased numbers were weighed in favour of the service sector, particularly the banking sector which contributed about 70% of the growth. For the rebased economy to affect lives of our citizens in a positive way and for the theme of the conference to have any meaning, we must take a serious look at our economic policy priorities and rebalance our policies in favour of agriculture and manufacturing to take people out of poverty and make them consumers for the expansion of the productive private sector and manufacturing. In addition to create jobs for millions of young unemployed and create
opportunities for the millions entering job market every year. Everywhere you go there is display of foreign goods. We are turning ourselves into hawkers of other peoples’ manufactured goods. It makes no sense to maintain policies which close our factories but help keep foreign factories open! The way out of poverty is to get people to work. Workers should earn reasonable wages for their work and farmers reasonable prices for their produce. The Government should have a second look at agricultural support. Current efforts on large scale farming are laudable, but it is the small scale farmer across the country who needs support to improve his yield and get out of poverty. The Federal and State Governments should in addition to current efforts concentrate on provision of small-scale credits, inputs (pesticides, fertilizers), extension services and revival of local cooperatives. That way, the small farmer will be empowered to produce more and enhance his income. Industries are in a bad shape. It is a national calamity. Government should look at quick remedial and relief measures. First, help industries with their fuel and power costs. In recent months, two countries whose industries are more established than Nigeria’s (India and U.K.) received massive government grants to cover their energy costs. And for the manufacturing sector to thrive in Nigeria the government needs to extend and widen the CBN intervention initiative with much lower interest rates and longer periods of repayment. In this way, we will be on course to develop
an economy that is inclusive, a society that is prosperous and at peace with itself, guaranteeing not only prosperity and peace to West Africa but also to Africa as a whole, currently home to the world’s poverty, conflict and insecurity. Nigeria is the buffer and shock-absorber to the West African sub-region. Our current difficulties notwithstanding, the conference, a private sector initiative was a welcome move to partner with our private and public sectors to complement our efforts in line with our developmental policy priorities, especially in long term infrastructure while the state concentrates in decisive intervention in health, education and facilitation of pro-poor and support for industry. We must have a sensible balance between the private and public sectors without ideological preference to either. To attract beneficial long term foreign investors, as opposed to predators, we must dramatically improve on our governance. Our processes must be transparent, our legal system must be professional and law enforcement agencies also professional. Above all, eliminate corruption which is the greatest danger that stands in the way of our progress and peace. Needless to point out that the best thoughtout economic plans and policies can have no effect if the security situation is dire. No one will bring his investment when bombs are exploding and school-girls are kidnapped! The security situation the country is facing requires a holistic approach: security agencies of the (Federal) Government need closer cooperation with civilian security infrastructure which is in place but seldom considered as a
part of the security effort. The local government structure from Ward to district to state level is an excellent starting point for an overall new security initiative. State-wide effort should be carefully coordinated with federal authorities. It should be a bottom-to-top operation. The bickering between Abuja and the states should cease if we are serious in wanting to win the war and end the conflict. All moneys voted must demonstrably be seen to be spent on security. The country should also come together with unequivocal support to the government and security agencies in this fight against mindless violence and mad-cap ideologies. The country should have one narrative about Boko Haram. It is an abhorrent, anti-Islamic, anti-religion, anti-human sect. Accordingly, under the auspices of the Federal Government prominent representatives of Islamic, Christian, traditional rulers, political leaders, labour leaders, women leaders and the youth should in one and the same forum come together and issue a declaration to demonstrate to the world that public opinion in Nigeria is at one in dealing with the wicked cancer of Boko Haram which is threatening the country’s peace. We should not allow politics, ethnicity and religion to disorganize the country. The internationalization of this rescue effort is welcome to Nigerians. The command and control should however be led by Nigerians and foreign forces should respect the country’s sovereignty and be wary of local sensitivities. • General Buhari (retired) is a former Military Head of State.
Legacies: Lord Lugard and indirect rule (1) By Patrick Dele Cole UR history tells us that in the North the Fulanis were the IsO lamic scribes (ullemas) of many of the Hausa Kings and chiefs. We were also informed that these Hausa Kingdoms were beginning to fall apart if not atrophied; that the kingdoms had no cohesive ideology, no grundnum or higher ideological authority to which they could refer to reinforce their own identities and nationalities. There was a mealstrum sweeping through Hausa land. The only group that had a superior ideology was the Fulanis who were the scribes in the Hausa kingdoms. The Fulanis were Muslims and applied Islamic teaching to a wholly homogenous set of doctrines expressed in a way of life which through scholarship was capable of providing states and nations a coherent basis for existence. Islam also had a proven record, we are told. By 1900 it had a history of having spread from the deserts of Arabia to the West, conquering everywhere between Arabia and Spain. It has moved further east and north of Arabia as far east as India, Pakistan , Bangladesh, Philippines and Indonesia. Islam ruled parts of Russia, and Eastern Europe – Serbia (Bosnia Helzogoranis, Yugoslavia), the whole of North Africa from Mauritania , Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. All these areas found political expression in the Ottoman Empire which encompassed various nationalities in three continents. There is even the claim that Turkey ruled Borno and had envoy or “Bey” in Lagos. The Fulani clerics regarded their pagan Hausa lords as uncouth and barbaric. They were according to Islamic traditions, infidels whose overthrow was recognised, necessary, justified and imminent. That overthrow took place towards the end of the 19th century and culminated in the emergence of a fiery cleric – Usman Dan Fodio – the Scion of the Sokoto Sultanate. Other Fulani clerics were dispatched west and south of Sokoto. In Bornu, this particular brand of Islamic colonization was stopped as it was also stopped in Oyo. I do not intend to engage in whether what is written above is absolutely correct. It is enough that for the purposes of argument; we accept that this is one version of events. We are further informed that, as happened in countless other Islamic conquests, the ruling Fulanis, (or ulemas) married into the local aristocracy or into the conquered people. We are informed therefore that there is some consanguinity in nearly all the Emirs of the North (except the Shehu of Borno). What is written above is the gravamen of Lugard’s Book – Dual Mandate – where the doctrine of indirect rule is enunciated. Lugard then went on to implement it. First as Governor of Southern Nigeria and then as Governor of the amalgamated Northern and Southern Nigeria. Before this, Lugard had implemented it in
Uganda, East Africa. There are a number of disturbing consequences if we accept the interpretation given above. It makes the under class of the Northern emirs a rather colourless group who were quiescent to the eradication of their individual and peculiar national personalities. Places where indirect rule did not work in Northern Nigeria are then described as autochthonous or semi autochthonous societies like they say about the Igbo of Southern Nigeria. That interpretation goes for large areas of Plateau, Benue areas inhabited by the Tivs, Idomas, Angas, etc. What the colonial Government did in order to pursue indirect rule was to establish a pale imitation of the emirates in areas such as Wukari, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kwara (expect Ilorin – where a full indirect Rule system was in place). At school we learnt that virtually half of the present Niger, Kebbi up to far north just south of Sokoto was regarded in those geography books as “Uninhabited” i.e. most of Gwari Lands. There was a different paradigm for the West. The Yorubas had a long history, claiming descent from one source – Oduduwa; and one location – Ile Ife. But no sooner do you say this than all sorts of qualifications become necessary. Let me then apply some large brush strokes because the argument I want to present is not anchored on the accuracy or otherwise of the origins of the Yorubas and the relative position of their Obas. Granted that they had empires Oyo, Ife etc; granted also that some Yorubas claim consanguinity with the Oba of Benin (who is reputed to have sent his son to rule over the Itsekiris and the Lagosians) the British were never able to implement a full fledged indirect rule system in the West partly because the kind of political hegemony which conquest brought to the North was not replicated in the West. The crowned heads of Yoruba Kingdom were jealous of their independence as well as their common ancestry – (e.g. the Yorubas would gladly tell you how the Are Ona Kakanfo was able to stop the Fulani onslaught into southern Nigeria). By 1900 when Lugard was formulating his theory of indirect rule many Yorubas had been educated in Lagos, Ilesha, Ibadan, Abeokuta, and his scheme had no place for them. In fact, Lugard tended to despise all educated Africans. Many Yorubas in 1900 were not only educated, they were rich also and highly urbanised. The Benins presented a wholly different set of problems for the British who had a grudging admiration for their culture, in much the same way as they had for Ife. That there was a link between the two royal households must have impressed the British. In any case the British incursion into Benin had been inauspicious as the foolhardy major who wanted to visit Benin at the height of major Benin traditional rites had been killed. The British with the ubiquitous Maxim gun had led an expedition to Benin, looted the place and extracted a protectorate
treaty from them [the same modus operandi was used in Abeokuta when again some foolhardy colonial official was told that the timing of his visit was inauspicious. He refused and his Colony was attacked and massacred. The British retaliated and got on protectorate treaty] There is no doubt that the various kingdoms comprising the Yoruba in the West had a number of common characteristics. What they did not have was a central authority which is a sine qua non for indirect rule to succeed. The same applied to present day Edo vis - a- vis the Oba. Many parts of Edo acknowledge the Oba of Benin as either their Chief, or a great Chief to be respected. But his writ was not all encompassing and there was little power to enforce his writ to recalcitrant “subordinates” – further north of Benin. (Again at school we learnt of Afemai Ishan, “Kukuruku” – the last name having disappeared in common usage to-day) further South of Edo i.e Agbor, Obulu Uku, Asaba, Itsekiri– there is a lot of influence of Benin culture, at last in the kingship rites, but a very tenuous relationship of subservience to the Oba of Benin. South East of Benin, i.e the Delta region – the Olu of Itsekiris is a Benin descendant) but his power has always been circumscribed by the more numerous Urhobos, Isokos etc. The riverine peoples of the Delta were Ijaws, a ferocious and warlike people who as late as 1953 were still fighting inter tribal wars. There was no central Ijaw King and therefore no possibility for indirect rule. Mosquitoes did not quite encourage colonial officers to live there but by and large, because of the ports at Sapele, Calabar, Warri, Abonnema, BuTutu, Bonny, the British were satisfied that goods – such as palm produce, rubber, timber etc could be shipped to England. The primary source of traditional life, custom etc, of the Ijaws are contained in the numerous books and intelligence reports the colonial officials wrote, trying to decipher the complexities of the Ijaws in the “Oil Rivers protectorate”. In Eastern Nigeria, indirect rule was impossible because the Igbos were largely autochthonous and also extremely energetic and enterprising. Colonial Office reports are replete with how confusing trying to rule the Igbos but they also had this fantastic ability to assimilate, adjust, compromise and prosper. These qualities impelled them to the ready acceptance of religion. With religion, you did not need indirect rule- edicts, laws, regulations, enforcements; information came to the British through the churches and its several layers of influence. This is not to suggest that the Igbos forsook whole-heartedly their traditions. Their conscience mightily fought against the changes wrought by colonialism. Their innate vision saw before anyone else in Nigeria, the need to embrace the new circumstances and to turn it to advantage. • To be continued tomorrow • Dr. Cole, OFR, is a Consultant to The Guardian Editorial Board.
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Opinion Excess crude: The House vs Okonjo-Iweala By Henry Boyo N a previous article, we considered the House Iappears Committee on Finance’s questions on what to be government’s gleeful and inordinately costly borrowing spree, while the Honourable Minister of Finance, on the other hand, insisted that Nigeria’s increasing debt burden and the attendant high cost do not pose any threat to our economy. This week, we will assess the contending views from both parties, on the “small” matter of the Excess Crude Account (ECA), which was established to warehouse all crude oil revenue that exceeded actual annual budget projections, during Okonjo-Iweala’s first time in office. Thus, under this arrangement, if, for example, anticipated crude oil revenue was predicated on price and output benchmarks of $75 per barrel and two million barrels per day, respectively, then, all income above these projections would automatically be channeled into the ECA. Consequently, according to the Minister, if oil price or output unexpectedly falls, Nigeria will be under no pressure to forcibly borrow at high cost in order to fund such revenue shortfalls. Nonetheless, the legislators have accused the Honourable Minister of adopting unduly low benchmarks, which deliberately understate revenue expectations, and create ‘ghost deficits’ that require to be funded with expensive loans. Notwithstanding, the minister contends that our conservative benchmarks were not inappropriate, as several OPEC countries actually adopt comparatively much lower crude oil budget benchmarks than Nigeria. The House Committee on Finance, however, considers the existence and management of the ECA as patently illegal and unconstitutional. Conversely, the Finance Minister insists that although the issue of illegality and unconstitutionality should best be answered by the
Attorney General of the federation, she, however, explained that the establishment of the ECA is actually empowered by the juxtaposition of Section 162(1) of the Constitution, which provides that the federation shall maintain a special account into which shall be paid all revenue collected by the Federal Government, and Section 35(1) of the 2007 Fiscal Responsibility Act, which also stipulates that “Where a reference commodity price rises above the predetermined level, the resulting excess proceeds shall be saved”. In further justification of the rationale for the establishment of the ECA, the Minister cited Section 16(1a) of the 1999 Constitution, which stipulates that “…the State shall harness the resources of the nation, and promote national prosperity and an efficient, dynamic and self-reliant economy”. Thus, in the light of the foregoing, the minister suggested that regardless of legitimacy, the critical question must ultimately be whether the establishment of the ECA has been beneficial to Nigeria; Okonjo-Iweala, therefore, argues that the availability of the ECA enabled Nigeria to survive the negative impact of the global economic and financial crisis when oil prices fell from $149 to $40/barrel in 2008! In the absence of the ECA, Nigeria would have financed its increased deficits by borrowing with very unfavourable terms. Consequently, the Minister celebrated the availability of the ECA, as Nigeria was one of the few countries that did not seek budgetary support from multilateral institutions such as the IMF or the World Bank. Other critics may, however, argue that, ironically, such multilateral loans from IMF/World Bank would certainly have been much cheaper and less oppressive than the double-digit interest rates charged for our domestic borrowings at that time. Notwithstanding, the legislators concluded
that the Honourable Minister’s preceding responses only partially answered the question of the illegality and unconstitutionality of the ECA; the House Committee consequently directed Okonjo-Iweala to provide fresh answers, which are clearer and unambiguous to the question of the illegality and unconstitutionality of the ECA, as there is evidently no current Act of Parliament that supports its existence. Furthermore, the House observed that the minister was equally evasive on issues relating to the optimal management of the ECA for the promotion of positive economic and social development. The Committee, therefore, suspects that the evidently deepening poverty nationwide is confirmation that the Honourable Minister has failed in her constitutional mandate to prudently manage the nation’s resources and ensure long-term macro-economic stability. As an expression of its dissatisfaction with the minister’s tardy explanation of ECA management, the House demanded for relevant supporting documents, which indicate monthly inflows and drawdowns, and the year end balances in the ECA between 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the Honourable Minister will also provide authentic statistics and evidence of actual sharing of each drawdown from the ECA among the three tiers of government with the related dates. The legislators also demanded to know why government lately borrowed to finance deficits in budget estimates arising from the deliberate understatement of the actual oil revenue, and yet inexplicably, simultaneously also rapidly consumed and depleted the accruable surplus above the lower benchmarks adopted in each year’s budget. The House Committee, therefore, wonders how “surplus in the trade of a single commodity in one year could also result in deficit on an account of the same commodity in
the same trading period.” Consequently, the lawmakers require further explanation on the apparent contradiction in the Finance Minister’s deliberate budget projections of lower oil benchmarks, when she knew fully well that this would ultimately lead to costly loans and contraction of government spending, particularly on capital and infrastructure, with the expected positive social multiplier effect. Consequently, the Legislators demand to know if the honourable minister would have projected a lower crude oil benchmark with the attendant budget deficits, if the ECA did not exist in the first place. Finally, the House Committee demanded for explanation on how, in spite of our increasing indebtedness, the CBN accumulated its $43bn special reserves as at December 2013; in other words, what business does the CBN do to accumulate such a bountiful reserve balance. Indeed, we have consistently maintained in this column that our economic dysfunctionality and deepening poverty inversely correlates with CBN’s increasing dollar reserves, which are in reality the product of hundreds of billions of naira substituted as monthly allocations for distributable dollar revenue by the CBN to inevitably induce the oppressive burden of systemic surplus cash and its collaterals of too much naira chasing fewer goods and services, consistently high cost of funds, with increasing public debt and a naira rate of exchange that is constantly under pressure. In other words, does it make sense to borrow while CBN sits comfortably on such bountiful reserves or is it best economic practice, as admitted by Lamido Sanusi last year, for CBN to provide the banks with government deposits at zero cost, only to return to borrow back these funds at a shylock rate of interest? Answers to these questions should be quite revealing! • Boyo is a commentator on public finance.
Beyond the Boko Haram By Zakariyyah ’Sunkanmi Ajiboye OR the past many months, the terrorists group known as “Boko Ftrating Haram” has been on rampage in Nigeria. They started perpehavoc in Borno State, it later spread to other states in the North Eastern part, and now up to FCT, Abuja. Many lives have been lost; many are in hospitals; while a large number of victims are rendered homeless. The group, Boko Haram, claims they are Muslims but what they do is highly un-Islamic. Boko Haram kidnapped girls and forced them to change their religion. Islam says: ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion...’ (Qur’an 2:256). Boko Haram have forcefully married off girls. Islam says: ‘Do not inherit women against their will’(Qur’an 4:19). Boko Haram are aggressive towards those who do not follow their beliefs. Islam says: ‘if it had been your lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed [in one religion]…’(Quran 10:99). Boko Haram have murdered thousands of Muslims and Christians alike in cold blood. Islam says: ‘..if anyone slew a person - unless it be for guilty of murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.’(Quran 5:32). Boko Haram has nothing to do with true Islam Boko Haram are using the cover of Islam to commit their mayhem and claim they are doing Allah’s work. Islam says: ‘..but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors.’(Qur’an 2:190). Boko Haram believe once you are not with them you are an enemy to them. Islam says: ‘O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other)..’Quran 49:13). Boko Haram have unleashed tyranny and indecency in the land. Islam says: ‘God commands justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny..’(Quran 16:90). Despite all their false claims, it is clear, for those who wish to see, that the Boko Haram do not represent Islam because they are clearly acting against it! “Do not denigrate the whole because a hole was poked by a tiny band of convoluted minds, warped nitwits, bigots and godless impostors. Indeed, Boko Haram is antiIslam. It is important to reinstate the fact that Islam does not encourage taking human lives unjustly. All the wars fought by the Holy Prophet (SWS) were in self-defence against non-believers. In addition, Islam was the religion that came and restored women dignity. All the claims as being canvassed by Boko Haram are highly anti-Islam. As mentioned earlier, the activities of Boko Haram were localised in Borno State until when their leader, one Yusuf, was killed by
the Nigeria Police extra-judiciously. That was just one of the extra-judicial killings by the Nigeria Police. However, that led to the Police Headquarters’ suicide bombing. The Police being a federal agency, fighting the police tantamount to fighting Nigeria. Hence, it became a national issue that led us to where we are today. While one prays for the quick intervention of the Almighty God, for victory over the Boko Haram menace, we need to deeply re-examine ourselves as a nation and work out plans to confront the different challenges facing us as a nation. Today, at least, nine out of every 10 Nigerians believe Nigeria is a corrupt country. This can easily be deduced from the way we speak about our country and leaders. This is also the way nonNigerians see us. Many have blamed corruption as the midwife of Boko Haram, or that it changed their objectives from extremists to violent extremists. Digging for the source of the evil But where did we get it wrong? Most African values of great discipline are no more in us. People discuss and take bribes with impunity. It cuts across all strata of our lives – and not only in government circles. In public and private sectors; young and old, male and female, all are involved. You hardly get anything done without giving bribes. When you are coming into Nigeria or going out, law enforcement agencies would ask for “recharge cards” at checking point. You can hardly get anything done in most offices (except few multinationals), without giving out something or without knowing a powerful person that can stand in your favour. Even to get employment, most slots are fixed before advertising for it – and this only to fulfill all righteousness. Things are no more done on merit. Private sector is getting worse. People in HR, Marketing, Account/Finance, lawyers and others in various professions don’t, in most cases, do things according to the ethics of their professions. They do all to get rich(er) quick. Forgetting that all is vanity. One after the other, we’ll all leave all we acquire in this life and give accounts in the Hereafter. Politicians are worse off. They are our rulers and leaders. But how do they lead us. They show terrible examples not only to the younger ones but the ruled at large. Most of them behave as if there is nobody that can bring them to book. They manipulate the judiciary to the detriment of the ruled, the common citizens. They have destroyed our polity and values. There is hardly anything worthy of emulation in most of them. Nigerian politicians are very good example of bad leaders. Their leadership styles led Nigerians to join Boko Haram group. If these people are well educated, there is every probability that they would not belong to this sect and we won’t experience what we are going through today. But come to think of it, are the ruled better than the rulers? The answer is no. Because as it is written in the Qur’an, God promised to select from amongst us, our rulers. So, we voted for people like us to rule us and since they are part of us, they are giving us what we demanded for. A lot of us are more terrible than the politi-
cians. We are good at criticising but when we have the opportunity to be in position, we do worse things. There are churches and mosques on every street and neighbourhood all over Nigeria. Churches don’t preach salvation again, but miracles and get rich quick strategies. Swindlers are celebrated and embezzlers are being honoured. Parents give their wards money to bribe lecturers. There was a joke that a young boy was asked what he wanted to be in future and why. The boy wanted to be a policeman because he would collect money from motorcyclists and drivers on the road. This is quite disheartening! To get the image and values right To get out of this mess, we need a well-planed strategy and a good head to implement it. The strategy would focus on how we can retrace our steps and get back our values. We need proper education and re-orientation. We need a leader that is ready to be just and fair to all. The president should be highly apolitical in treating issues. He should know that he is a father to all Nigerians and not to a political party. He should know the time to play politics and time to play a leadership role for the nation. He should play by the rules and obey and uphold constitutional values on the nation. He should be a leader and surround himself with those that would not tell him want he wants to hear alone but the needs to move the nation forward. A lot of people are talking of revolution but this can be brought about by a good leader. Each arm of government should be re-organised and re-orientated to do things right, professionally. Nigerians just need good leaders to inspire them. We should get leaders to manage each government agencies. We very much know that there are professionals in Integrated Marketing Communications. These professionals can, if properly engaged, re-orientate us. This is not about slogan or claim of who or what we are not. We need to build an image upon which communication would rest. With the cooperation of a good leader, Marketing Communication specialists will turn around the psyche of Nigerians and we’ll begin to think right. The President should hire these professionals to manage his image and to manage the national image. They are two separate issues that meet at a point, and this should be well noted. Journalism is just one of the vehicles for image making and most journalists hired to launder images do their bests but they definitely cannot handle it like professionals in IMC. We don’t need to over flog the fact that we lack discipline. This cuts across all our lives - political, social, economic, religious and all. What can we do to turn around and get our acts together? The answer is it is within you and I. We have it. We know it. We can make Nigeria great again. Let’s all work towards it. Let us individually, truly serve God Almighty. And our only ONE GOD will support our course. • Zakariyyah ‘Sunkanmi Ajiboye is National President, Association of Muslim Professionals
Monday, May 19, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
TheMetroSection Zuriel advocates for girl-child education • ...In solidarity and sympathy with abducted Chibok girls
Zuriel interviewing the Prime Minister of St Vincent & Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves IGERIAN-AMERICAN 11-year-old wonder N girl, Zuriel Oduwole, who was listed in New Africa Magazine last December as one of Africa’s 100 Most Influential People of 2013, and also named World’s Most Powerful 11-year-old by United States & Singapore Business Insider, is in the news again. Zuriel recently held her maiden First Lady’s Colloquy on Girls’ Education in Lagos. It was her own way of lending voice to the calls for the return of the Chibok girls, in order to allow them continue their education. In recognition of her incredible and highly remarkable accomplishments and unparalleled achievements at the age of 11,
she was invited to visit the State Department by the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs - Ambassador Linda ThomasGreenfield. Recently, Zuriel honoured the invitation on her way from the First Lady’s event she hosted in Lagos. She was welcomed by the Deputy Director for Public Affairs - Naomi Fellows, who commended her efforts in keeping the issues of Girl Education in Africa on the front burner. She was later received by the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, who was thrilled to meet the young lady in person for the first time. She was full of praise for Zuriel, and sug-
gested she should visit Rwanda and Burundi to use her platform to help with the healing process of those two conflictbruised countries, who were involved in a deadly genocide encounter 20 years ago. Thomas-Greenfield then mentioned to Zuriel that she might want to consider a career in the State Department since she once headed its Human Resources (HR) Department, though she believed Zuriel was already far ahead in her accomplishments than most new entrants into the foreign service, especially since she had on her own met and interviewed more than a dozen current world leaders, and also interviewed one-in-six African heads of government. Zuriel was then presented with an autographed picture of the Secretary, which she confessed was the first one she was ever giving out, an indication of how much she admired the young lady’s accomplishments. Recently, Zuriel also interviewed two more Prime Ministers from the Caribbean- the Prime Ministers of St Vincent & Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves and the Prime Minister of St Kitts & Nevis,Denzil Douglas and she has also been invited to visit that region to talk to the girls in the region. In a related development, famous car renting company – Hertz, a subsidiary of C&I Leasing Plc., has officially unveiled Zuriel as its brand ambassador in Nigeria for projecting the company’s activities. At the unveiling ceremony in Lagos, Hertz’s Country Manager, Babatunde Ayodele, said the company decided to partner with Zuriel Oduwole’s pet project – Dream Up, Speak Up and Stand Up, because of the ways it is impacting positively among millions of young children in Africa, who have given up on their dreams of becoming successful in future due to African challenges.
It was her own way of lending voice to the calls for the return of the Chibok girls, in order to allow them continue their education. In recognition of her incredible and highly remarkable accomplishments and unparalleled achievements at the age of 11, she was invited to visit the State Department by the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs - Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Oduwole, an 11-year old Nigerian Americanbased child, said that what motivated her to embark on the foundation was not only that she was fortunate to be born in Los Angeles, U.S.A, but African blood runs through her veins and she was touched to see lots of young children being forced into slavery and early marriage. She pointed out that it was time “to speak up, stand up and defend the rights of the African child,” stressing that the responsibility lies with African leaders who have, for several years, neglected the youths. According to her, she has been at the vanguard of this foundation since she was six years old and the project had taken her to many African countries where she has been engaging with African business leaders and their leaders to do more to raise the hope of African children. Oduwole, however, said that her dream is to become the President of America at the age of 19, and by then, she would have accomplished her goal.
Angela Osaigbovo: Seven-year-old scrabble whizkid is innocent-looking SgelaHE and fragile, but Miss AnOsaigbovo, aged seven and a pupil of Grange School, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, is beautiful and intelligent. At an immature age of four, she was introduced to the brainy game of Scrabble, and after much diligent coaching from her schoolteacher, Angela started showing marked improvement and good grasp of the game. Angela started riding high in the game of Scrabble when she emerged the best junior scrabble player in her school, a feat that adequately prepared her for external competitions outside her school environment. She was invited to participate in an all Lagos secondary schools championship competition, even as a primary school pupil, where she came second at the end of the contest. She also bagged the coveted prize as the Protégé Scrabble League champion for the beginners’ category in 2013. In December of the same year, she cut her teeth on the International circuit when she was invited to participate in a world youth Scrabble competition in Dubai where she emerged 114th overall and came 2nd in the Under-8 group. This year, Angela was among hundreds of youths invited to participate in the
Lagos State Scrabble competition tagged: “Ibile Games.” She was the only primary school pupil that participated in the all secondary school competition and she emerged second in the overall female junior singles category. Interestingly, when the Director of Sports, Lagos State, Dr. Kweku Tandoh was to hand over her performance certificate to her, he was stunned to see the little girl and praised her efforts. Also, Sanjo Lawal, a lawyer, who decorated her with her medals for the singles and doubles, could not hold his excitement when little Angela approached the podium. The ambitious little lady also emerged third in the Protégé Scrabble League for 2014. Meanwhile, Angela has been penciled down to represent Nigeria in International Scrabble Contests scheduled for August and December this year. She’s also scheduled to participate in a world competition in Scotland. Angela takes you into the world of Scrabble in this short interview with The Guardian. What is your name? My name is Angela Osaigbovo. How old are you? What’s the name of your school and in what class are you? I am seven years old; the name of my school is
Miss Angela Osaigbovo Grange School, and I am in Year Three. What was your last class result? My last class result was A+, 92.14%, and 2nd overall. How did you come to know about the game of Scrabble? When I was in year one, I joined my school’s Scrabble
Club and they taught me the basics of the game. What is Scrabble? Scrabble is a game that develops your mental math and literacy skills. How has the game affected your life?
I have become a Scrabble champion and it has helped me with my word power. Do you tell other kids about Scrabble? Yes! If you are to tell other children the basics of scrabble, how will you explain it? I will tell them that Scrabble
will improve their word power, teach them new words and improve their knowledge of mathematics. Who has been the main person encouraging and inspiring you? My mother. As a girl and a primary school pupil, don’t you think that the game of Scrabble is a distraction? No, it’s not, because I have a lot of time to play, to study and to play scrabble. What are the advantages of playing Scrabble? It teaches you mental alertness, mathematics and literacy. Do you enjoy a sense of satisfaction playing Scrabble? Yes! What do your classmates, friends and teachers say to you? What do you mean? About Scrabble? Yes, what did they tell you? Mrs. Akande, my class teacher, congratulated me for doing a good job in the competition, and my friends said ‘Whao! How did you manage to win?’ What are your goals at this time? My major objective is to be the best scrabble player, to know all my two, three and four letter words, and to publish a book on Scrabble in 2014. I also wish to win a scholarship, and to be the most talented scrabble player ever.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
18 Monday, May 19, 2014
Oyekanmi becomes 2014 Shift Ambassador
ODM publisher prays for abducted Chibok girls HE publisher of Our Daily Manna (ODM) Publisher/InternaT tional Evangelist, Dr. Chris Kwakpovwe has joined millions of people around the world in the popular hash-tag crusade: “Bring Back Our Girls”, which decries the plight of the abducted girls by calling for their immediate release. The pharmacist- turn– preacher urged Nigerians to rally support for President Goodluck Jonathan in these trying times, saying what we need as a nation is a united front against the scourge of terrorism and criminality. “We must stand as one nation behind our leaders as they confront the greatest scourge of our day. “We must not politicize this crisis. Terrorist do not know tribe, race or religion. When they strike, anyone could be a victim,” he added. The General Overseer of the Manna Prayer Mountain, Ogudu Orioke, Ketu, Lagos, who is well known around the world for his ODM daily devotional and the anointing crusades, urged the youths of the country to take advantage of the expanding economy of Nigeria, as evidenced by the recent rebasing exercise and see how they could engage themselves productively. According to him, God said in the Bible, “I will bless the work of your hand; so, you need to work to access some Divine blessings, and stop roaming the streets. An idle hand is the devil’s workshop,” he warned.
Council of African Apostles calls for release of abducted Chibok girls
Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire (right), Convener, Charles Kpandei, 2014 Shift Ambassador, Lekan Oyekanmi, his father, Mr. Tajudeen Aremu Oyekanmi and Mrs. Onari Duke at the just concluded 2014 Lagos Shift at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. By Isaac Taiwo HERE was a display of artistic talents by youths at the just-concluded ‘Lagos Shift Season III’ with the theme: “Innovation Personified,” which produced ‘2014 Shift Ambassador,’ a 25-year- old graduate of Human Anatomy from University of Ilorin, Lekan Oyekanmi. It was a very keenly contested competition and the event succeeded in rejuvenating the dwindling hope of every determined young Nigerian that “there is still a very bright future.” The programme, which was organized by the ‘Youth Initiative’ of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), featured the Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and the wife of the former Cross River State governor, Mrs. Onari Duke as special guests of honour. The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adejare Adeboye was represented by the Special Assistant to the Gen-
N Assembly of Eminent Church leaders from across sub-SaT A hara Africa, The Council of African Apostles has called for the immediate release of more than 230 school girls of Government Girls’ Secondary, Chibok, Borno State in Northern Nigeria abducted by Boko-Haram, describing the abduction as a deplorable act of terrorism that are affecting innocent lives who has no role whatever in the conflict or grievances that the militants group has against the Federal Government of Nigeria. In a joint press statement signed by the President of the Council of Africa Apostles Bishop Tudor Bismark of Zimbabwe, Bishop Mike Okonkwo of Nigeria and Dr. Mensa Otabil of Ghana, the Council stated that, “the abduction and other related callous acts of terror that have been undertaken by Boko Haram in the recent past should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The reports that they are being sold off into marriage for US$12.00 and that others have died of snake bites only serve to make the call for their urgent return, they should not have been touched by this conflict in the first place”. According to the Council none of the abducted girls has any role in whatever conflict that Boko Haram has against the Federal Government and that, “as a body of believers we uphold and recommit to the principle of diversity, but that diversity cannot lead to divergence that overtakes the sanity of human life”. It, therefore, becomes necessary for the Council of Africa Apostle to join hand with community leaders in Northern Nigeria and other concerned parties to strongly call for the immediate return of the more than 230 school girls of Government Girls’ Secondary, Chibok, Borno State in Northern Nigeria.
Winners emerge in 2014 Bola Ige Scholarship Award INNERS have emerged in both the primary and secondary W school categories in this year’s edition of Bola Ige Scholarship competition. The oratory skills based competition saw Master Ganiyu Folajuwon Bausit of Community Primary School, Ayekale, Ibadan and Miss Friday Titi of Command Children’s School Odogbo, Ibadan merged as the winners in the primary school category. In the secondary category, the duo of Master Adewale Boluwatife and Miss Tijani Adetomiwa, outshined other competitors. Each of the two winners in the primary school category is entitled to N2 million worth of six years secondary education at the Highgrow Vale College, Iyaganku, Ibadan. Essentially, the scholarship would cover tuition, uniforms, accommodation, textbook and feeding. The reward of the secondary category winners is N1 million worth of scholarship each, which grants them the privilege to study and write the Cambridge A-levels examinations at the Vale Tutorial College with all expenses covering tuition, accommodation, feeding, textbooks and cost of examination forms written off by the sponsor of the awards. Students from 33 secondary schools and 42 primary schools respectively participated in this year’s Bola Ige scholarship competition. The Bola Ige scholarship is a yearly award being sponsored by Mrs. Funso Adegbola, the daughter of the late Chief Bola Ige in memory of her late parents. The late Chief Bola Ige was the former Attorney General/Minister of Justice while his wife, the late Justice Atinuke Ige, was a retired Justice of the Appeal Court.
Nigerian student gets NSHSS scholarship STUDENT of Doregos Private Academy, Lagos, Miss Adebola Duro-Aina, has been selected to become a member of National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) of United States of America (USA). She, therefore, joins the league of over 950,000 members spread across over 160 countries of the world, enjoying benefits such as scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events, membership-only resources, publications, participation in programmes offered by educational partners, personalized recognition items, and publicity honours. Adebola was conferred with the honour in recognition of her intelligent, outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment. Announcing the honour, NSHSS Founder and Chairman, Claes Nobel said “on behalf of NHSS, I am honoured to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Adebola has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence. Adebola is now a member of a unique community of scholars – a community that represents our very best hope for the future”. Speaking on the achievement, the proprietor of Doregos Private Academy, Mrs. Clementina Doregos stated that “Adebola is one of the best brains Nigeria has to offer the world, stating that education remains the best legacy any nation can bequeath to its younger generations.”
eral Overseer, (Administration and Personnel), Pastor Johnson Odesola. Other special guests included King Sunny Ade, “Tosin Bee” and a motivational speaker and Author, Steve Harris. The Convener, Charles Kpandei, who re-emphasized “Shift” as a platform for youths to discover their talents, was satisfied at the 2014 Shift, which according to him, brought together more youths than in the previous programmes. “We did auditioning in seven zones spread across the state, including Badagry and we witnessed an increase in the number of youths who participated this year. “Season II Shift Ambassador was empowered with the sum of N1million and the current ambassador too would enjoy an empowerment that would enable him to establish any chosen vocation. “Three winners emerged in the assessment conducted by tested judges with documen-
tation while the personalities and the judges unanimously voted for Lekan Oyekanmi as ‘2014 Shift Ambassador’. “We will improve in the areas in the subsequent programmes, which would feature entrepreneurship and other skills. We hope to enjoy the support of our stakeholders who believe in what we are doing,” he said. Adeboye, who spoke through Pastor Odesola told the youths that as long as “they think aright and remain positive, God would take them to their destiny.” “Your thinking pattern will determine your future and so, it is very important you have a good thought about yourself and know that nobody is better than you. “My admonition for the new ambassador is to live a life that others would like to emulate by being a good ambassador representing God and man,” he said. Orelope-Adefulire, who described the programme as inspiring and educative, prayed
that God would take the youths from glory to glory. “This programme is aimed at youths discovering their talents and creative abilities with a view to provoking positive changes in their lives,” she said. “When we were given a topic for this programme, I depended on God who gave me the inspiration for my songs including the last one “To be carnally minded is dead, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” “I have been enjoying my family support especially, my father’s. He has always been very supportive,” Lekan said. Lekan’s father, a welder, Mr. Tajudeen Aremu Oyekanmi, who said he came from a Muslim background though went to Christian schools, disclosed that Lekan eventually converted to Christianity. “I am very happy today to see my first son become the 2014 Shift Ambassador and this is a great day in my life,” he enthused.
Seven feared killed in explosion near NNPCHe,facility however, confirmed that
From Kelvin Ebiri, Port-Harcourt O fewer than seven suspected petroleum products pipeline vandals were yesterday feared killed while several others sustained injuries following an explosion near the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation jetty at Okrika, Rivers State. The Guardian gathered that the victims are suspected to be part of a syndicate that specializes in the siphoning of petroleum products from the NNPC pipelines at the Okrika jetty. Though the exact cause of the early morning explosion is yet to be ascertained, but sources told The Guardian that the
tragic incident was as a result of illegal bunkering of refined petroleum products by the victims. A source in Okrika who pleaded anonymity said that a pipeline was connected to one of the main pipelines at the Okrika jetty to illegally supply refined petroleum products to the creeks where the products are siphoned and then later sold. It was gathered that shortly after the explosion, officials of the NNPC had to disconnect the pipeline where the accident occurred. One of the persons involved in the rescue operations, but
who declined to disclose his name, told journalists that about seven persons were killed and several others injured in the explosion. The Chairman of Okrika Local Government Area, Tamuno Williams, who was at the jetty to assess the situation, blamed the accident on illegal siphoning of petrol from the NNPC pipeline. Williams said the number of casualties could not be properly ascertained as at press time due to the difficult nature of the terrain where the incident happened and the level of security within and around the NNPC Jetty.
the survivors of the explosion were in hospitals receiving treatment. “There was an explosion related to siphoning of products from NNPC pipelines. Williams also appealed to the NNPC to ensure adequate protection and security of their pipelines against such illegal act to ensure that it does not endanger the lives of Okrika people. An official of the NNPC who pleaded anonymity told The Guardian that the matter was a security issue and that the corporation will make official statement on the cause of the explosion today.
Nigeria’s transformation hinged on evangelism HE country may soon witT ness a massive revival, a renewal of spirit and subsequent improvement in morality if efforts by Every Home for Christ, an interdenominational Christian organization committed to evangelism, start to bear fruit. Every Home for Christ, in collaboration with Global Outreach, a global evangelical ministry, has set out a mission to take the gospel of Christ to every home in Nigeria. At a well-attended conference tagged Vision Casting at the Airport Hotel, Lagos, over the weekend, leading to the Global Outreach Day on June 14, National Coordinator, Every Home for Christ, Lanre Da Silva, while lamenting spiritual slumber among Christian faithful, said the time has come to transform the nation and engender peace and
Mr. Werner Nachtigal; Pastor Patrick Uponi; Mr. Lanre Da Silva and Mrs. Felicia Uponi; at the event love through spiritual renewal. godly people have taken over He noted that the transforma- leadership of the church and evangelism has been relegated tion would be achieved by in Christendom. However, preaching the good news of Every Home for Christ and Christ to every home in NigeGlobal Outreach working with ria. According to him, the body Christian bodies and leaders, of Christ has a burden to transare beginning to change this,” form the world, particularly Da Silva said. Nigeria. He said that this can International President, only happen if the evangelical Outreach, Evangelist Global zeal to share God’s words is reWerner Nachtigal, said the vivived among Christians. sion for evangelizing the world “It is unfortunate that un-
is a powerful one, which will ensure that every individual on earth receives the good news of Christ. According to him, G.O.D. is a day set aside to bring to the consciousness of believers the need to reach out to the lost world. “On that day millions of Christians of all ages and from all cultures and denominations around the world will use their gifts and opportunities to share the gospels in various ways,” Nachtigal said. He, however, stressed that evangelizing should be an everyday practice for Christians and that G.O.D. is simply a day set aside to sensitise believers on the need for evangelism. In its third year, G.O.D. has so far mobilized 25 million Christians for evangelism around the world.
BUSINESS INTERVIEW / 60, 61
Govt plans private sector intervention to upgrade FESTAC Town
‘We’ve proved that agriculture can work as a business in Nigeria’
MONDAY, May 19, 2014
ICT, financial stocks raise NSE’s volume by N20.9b By Helen Oji turnover of 1.675 billion shares worth N20.861 billion was exchanged in 24,513 deals by investors on the floor of the Exchange last week, in contrast to a total of 1.697 billion shares valued at N17.424 billion that changed hands in 22,096 deals during the preceding week. Specifically, the financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.192 billion shares valued at N11.260 billion traded in 14,410 deals; thus contributing 71.14per cent and 53.98per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The ICT industry followed with a turnover of 214.189 million shares worth N107.677 million in 58 deals. The third place was occupied by the Consumer Goods Industry with 96.202 million shares worth N6.443 billion in
3,676 deals. Trading in the top three equities namelyMass Telecommunication Innovations Nigeria Plc, FCMB Group Plc and FBN Holdings Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 505.271 million shares worth N2.765 billion in 3,880 deals, contributing 30.16per cent and 13.25per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Also traded during the week were a total of 10,329 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N3.305 million executed in 18 deals compared with a total of 13,692 units valued at N363,198 transacted last week in 21 deals. Similarly, 50,000 units of FGN bonds valued at N51.513 million were traded this week in 1 deal compared with 37,723 units of FGN bonds valued at N39.654 million transacted last week in three deals.
President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (left); Coordinating Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Ag. Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Alhaji Kabir Mashi; Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria LNG Limited, Babs Omotowa; and the Director General, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Frank Nweke (Jr), during the FIRS Engagement Stakeholders Forum, at Eko Hotel, Lagos. PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU
CBN abolishes over-the-counter transaction charges By Chijioke Nelson HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has long barred the nation’s deposit money banks from charging customers who withdraw smaller amount of money through the counter. The charges were earlier introduced to compel people to embrace and use the electronic payment channels at the onset of the cash-less project,
• NeFF rates banks’ fraud disclosure high • ‘Strategies to mitigate e-payment frauds’ but has since been reversed. The Director of Banking and Payments System Department of CBN, ‘Dipo Fatokun, reiterated this at the stakeholders’ meeting of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), in Lagos, at the weekend, adding that banks’ customers should report such anomaly to
appropriate quarters for action. “Charging customers for withdrawing small amount over the counter has actually been abolished. The guideline to that effect came along with the circular issued last year, where CBN said that third party cheques above N150, 000 can-
not be cashed over the counter, but through the clearing house,” he said. Meanwhile, NeFF has described the level of compliance by banks in the disclosure of e-payment related frauds in their respective operations as very high, which is a clear departure from their responses at the beginning of the campaign against e-channel frauds. Fatokun, who doubles as the
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cases taken to court, even prosecutions have been obtained. Sincerely, more can also be done in this direction and we are already working with organisations and stakeholders in the payment industry to evolve international best practices,” he said. As part of measures to stem card-related frauds, he assured that there is on-going plans to ensure that when a card is trapped in an Automated Teller Machine and perforated, a new one will be issued to the customer
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THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
20 Monday, May 19, 2014
Nigeria’s bilateral trade with Britain hits N5.1 trillion By Helen Oji The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has disclosed that the range of trade possibilities between Nigeria and Britain would hit £20bil-
lion (N5.1 trillion) in the next five years. The President and Chairman of the Council, Adeyemi Adefulu, during a press conference on the June 2014 trade mission to UK, held in Lagos
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on Thursday, explained that if government would put appropriate infrastructure in place, make consistent policies, as well as improve incentives, the business possibilities between the two countries would surpass the range. “In 2010, president Goodluck Jonathan and Prime Minister David Cameron resolved that the trade between the two countries must double from £4billion to £8 billion within four years by 2014. I can say authoritatively that the figure will be achieved. We in NBCC believe that the potential of trade between the two countries within the next five years may well be in £20 billion. “This, however will not be achieved by with feel thinking but by strategy and hardwork. Presently, it stands at £8 billion but if government is consistent with its policies., fix infrastructure, improves
incentives, with our efforts and others, that business possibilities is probably at that range or over . “The business of promoting Nigeria is constantly that of the government. We are only supporting. The policies must be right and the environment conducive for foreign inflow. Many countries court foreign investment and many countries want it. It is whoever that is offering the best arm that gets it. Every country is trying to win it over,” he said. The Chamber, which has continued to focus on promoting trade and investment flows between the two countries, according to Adefulu has concluded plans to hold its 2014 trade mission to UK. He pointed out that with the just concluded Economic Forum for Africa (WEFA), which attracted world leaders and delegates from various
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As k Ask 1. 3698 1.3698 1.6823 1. 6823 101.54 101. 54 0.89240 0. 89240 1.0860 1. 0860 0.93700 0. 93700
international countries, with focus on Nigeria’s economic possibilities, the trade mission to UK, formed part of concerted efforts to “sell Nigeria and promote Anglo-Nigeria trade relations.” He explained that the trade mission, which is slated for June 9 and 13, 2014 was designed to network, boost business engagements and attract foreign investment
into the country. “The NBCC-UK network, Nigeria High Commissioner in the UK have begun sensitization visits and contacts about our trade mission to relevant business communities and the Nigerian in Diaspora to ensure that the right and relevant audience is made aware of our trade with a view to making the mission a resounding success,” he said.
Paga chief outlines ways to mitigate e-payment frauds CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 without bearing the cost alone. “We are also discussing with banks such that the trapped cards can be communicated electronically between the issuing bank and the one where the card is trapped. That is, there may not be physical return of the card before the issuing bank will know that its card has been trapped in another bank’s ATM. “This will ensure that trapped cards are disabled immediately, when it is obvious that they cannot be retrieved in front of the cardholder,” Fatokun added. The Founder and Chairman of Paga, Tayo Oviosu, in his presentation titled “Fraud Response Process: Working Together to Combat Fraud,” said that mobile payment is beneficial for the achievement of the financial inclusion, ensures ease of payment, convenient, affordable and accessible to all. He however, noted that its challenges lies in identifying and controlling source of funds; interaction and response between partiesbanks, telecommunications
companies and businesses involved; and unavailability of an information database to aid Know- Your-Customer initiative. “We are committed to the proper use of our resources for legal financial transactions, while protecting and securing our company and stakeholders assets to the best of our ability and operate a zero tolerance policy towards fraud and will combat fraudulent activity wherever found,” he said. According to him, to manage the fraud occurrence, Paga has effected transaction monitoring- limits and velocities; trends monitoring and triggers implementation; account hot listing; investigating and reporting; reviews – corrective and preventative action. He pointed out that suspicion of fraud or irregularity can be discovered in a number of ways, but in all cases, it is important that stakeholders be able to report their concerns and aware of the means to do so. “Having experienced an incident of fraud, organizations must conduct internal reviews, implement changes and monitoring,” he added.
Bank plans regional expansion of the region. Francophone TANDARD Bank has Spresence West Africa is less wellunfolded plans to use its known to South Africans but in the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) to expand service offering across the rest of Francophone countries. The move by the lender was on the backdrop of its projection that the countries were poised to experience an investment boom as foreign companies were lured by the region’s mineral wealth and economic growth. Africa’s largest lender opened its Ivory Coast representative office in the capital city of Abidjan in November last year to service its 145 clients with operations in Francophone Africa in sectors ranging from mining, oil and gas, infrastructure, power and energy to fast moving consumer goods. Standard Bank said at the time that the investment signified a deliberate drive into West Francophone Africa due to Ivory Coast’s membership of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), which includes Benin, Burkina Fasso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. “It’s fair to say that we’ll be using the Ivory Coast office as a launchpad into the rest
it cannot be ignored due to the economic potential. “The region has all the components to benefit from the next global mining and infrastructure boom, which in turn will lead to economic growth in other sectors as well. Our clients are increasing presence and exposure to West Francophone Africa and we plan to follow them,” the Executive for Client Coverage Africa at Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking unit, Greg Goeller, said. According to him, “the story of Francophone Africa is really the story of the rediscovery of the region’s mineral wealth, following years of political instability and conflict. Ivory Coast is the perfect example of how the economic growth potential of countries in Francophone Africa has overtaken their internal political challenges.” He pointed out that these nations have the advantage in that their currency (CFA franc) is guaranteed by the French treasury, while both the currencies used in the two monetary unions, the West and Central African CFA francs, are pegged to the euro.
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FRC appeals against judgment on Sanusi HE Financial Reporting T Council of Nigeria (FRC) has appealed against the May 12 decision of a Federal High Court in Lagos, presided over by Justice John Tsoho, restraining the FRC from investigating the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. According to the appeal, contained in Suit No FHC/L/CS/414/2014, filed on May 15, 2014, the FRC contends, among others, that the court erred in law by assuming jurisdiction in the case contrary to Sections 28 and 66 of the FRC Act, 2011. The FRC also disagreed with the court for relying on Exhibit 1 (Briefing Note), which the court had earlier declared to be inadmissible.
The FRC also contended that it was the only body empowered by the law to carry the investigation, which the court judgment is preventing it from carrying out. The FRC Appeal filed by its counsel, Bola Ajibola and Co, stated that while the court held that the FRC exceeded its powers, it did not define the limits of FRC’s power. The FRC in its appeal also contended that the court erred by admitting that there was likelihood of bias against Sanusi by the FRC panel when in fact the panel was not only meant for the suspended CBN Governor, but it involved other parties who appeared before it without complaining of bias. The FRC also held that the
court ignored the fact that Sanusi did not comply with Section 66 (2) and (3) of the FRC Act before bringing an action against the Council in court. The FRC disagreed with the court that Sanusi’s claims were based on fundamental rights and not economic rights. In appealing the decision of the court, the FRC also said it erred by giving judgement against non-parties to the suit.
Another ground of appeal was the treatment of the FRC Panel as a judicial panel, whereas it is an administrative panel. The FRC also contended that the court erred when it assumed likelihood of bias against Sanusi by the Council whereas Sanusi was not under investigation. The subject of the panel is actually activities of the Central Bank for the financial years ended December 2011 and 2012.
FirstBank partners WAEC on e-registration scheme Bank of Nigeria Limited operation in the continent. The choice of the bank was FsalesIRST has been designated the point for the electronic- also in line as the financial registration (e-registration) forms of candidates for the November/December 2014 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The move by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) may have been adjudged strategic with the bank’s over 750 branches across the federation and 120 years of business
Africa Business forum to discuss private sector growth HE second T of the Africa Conference
edition Business (ABC), tagged ‘African Lions Arising: Driving Private Sector Growth through Enhanced Intra Africa Trade’ will hold at Lagos Business
School on May 30, 2014. The conference, organised by the School’s Africa Business Club, holds more promise for prospective participants t han the maiden edition last year and seeks to bridge the gap between potential
and contemporary business leaders to ensure sustainable prosperity on the continent. It will also be focused on promoting credible and sustainable partnerships between African businesses and their foreign counterparts.
institution said it has been a consistent partner for educational projects and economic development. The e-registration materials, which has been available since May 5, would run through July 4, 2014 and can be obtained over the counter at all FirstBank branches across the country, at N11, 440. Also, a late registration window period would run between July 7 through August 1, 2014, but at with additional charge to N21, 400, as stipulated by WAEC. Candidates are however, expected to collect an e-Receipt, containing the registration PIN, the registration kit and the result checker scratch card after the payment of the fees.
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EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY
MARKET REPORT AS AT 16=05=2014
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AS AT 16=05=2014
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Govt, UNDP launch $5.7m Niger Delta Biodiversity Page 48 project
Mabogunje, others canvass peopledriven urban development scheme Page 37
Ogunya family appeals verdict over Ogun land ownership dispute Page 32
MONDAY, May 19, 2014
Lagos State proposes Agege-Ifako-Ijaiye model city redevelopment scheme Urban Development By Tunde Alao FTER all checks would A have been done, sprawling suburbs in Local Government Area and the Local Council Development Areas (LCDA), Lagos State, would undergo massive redevelopment, packaged under a new scheme known as AgegeIfako-Ijaiye Model City Plan. The proposed city plan, would among other things lead to infrastructure and physical development within that corridor, which population is swelling by the day and may be higher in the nearest future. Coming as the eighth of such plans after Ikoyi-Obalende, Victoria Island, Alimosho, and Lagos Island, amongst others, the Model City Plan would be executed by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD). Specifically, the proposed Agege Ifako-Ijaiye is a 30-year plan (2013-2033) scheme, with three major transformation agenda, namely: transportation plan, activities centre and infrastructure provision. Under the plan, there is a
Like its counterparts, Lagos is set to transform Agege and Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Areas into a model city, with provisions for upgrading existing roads, activity centres and Pen Cinema axis as the Central Business District (CBD). The CBD will have a park and ride facility and other new projects to enhance its status proposed outer ring road, pedestrian bridges to be constructed at strategic locations namely Kola area in Agbado Oke Odo, Abule Egba, Ile-Epo, with similar ones located at Iyana Ipaja, Dopemu, and Cement are currently under construction. The plan has the following features: High residential density, medium, and upper medium residential density. Others are commercial areas, industrial areas, areas for institutions, mixed used areas, open space/ recreational areas, gorge/canal and rail, cemetery and special projects known as Airport projects. Road construction activities would include the proposed
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Housing Proposed Park and Ride facility, Pen Cinema area, Agege, Lagos and the existing arterial roads, expansion and upgrading of the existing ones where necessary. The utility lines include the setbacks for horticultural and farming use, rail line, Power Holds Company of Nigeria (PHCN) transmission lines and petroleum pipelines. In addition, boundary loca-
tion between the local government areas and the Local Council Development Areas would be marked out. Another important features of the model city plan are the involvement of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The plan incorporated BRT routes to eight major areas. These are IjuOshodi, Iyana-Ipaja-Ayobo,
Iyana-Ipaja-Moshalashi, IyanaIpaja-Oshodi, Maryland-Iyana Ipaja and Ota Maryland. Speaking at the public presentation and stakeholders’ forum of the Model City Draft, held at the Women Development Centre, Pen Cinema, Agege, last week, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban
Development, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, a town planner, described the final draft of the plan as another milestone and commitment to ensure a better planned livable, healthy business and human environment through innovative and sustainable physi-
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Govt plans private sector intervention to upgrade FESTAC Town Housing By Chinedum Uwaegbulam GAINST the backdrop of A deteriorating environment in one of its choice residential
Some parts of Festac Town, recently
estate, the Federal authorities have announced plans to invite the private sector to upgrade some of the disused facilities in the popular Festac Town in Lagos. Festac Town is the first project of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), which came into being through Decree 40 of 1973. It provided first-class accommodation for all delegates and visitors to the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture tagged FESTAC ’77. The Festac town project also had as its long-term objective the provision of a model residential community with necessary facilities and amenities to ensure high quality of life and environment for the residents. But as the years past, the estate managed by FHA over shot its population and infrastructure
Ahead of plans to begin the Festac Town phase II development, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi has thrown her weight behind the moves to restore the estate to its lost glory through private sector support and harmonizing levies as well as charges by the FHA and Lagos State Government. was poorly maintained. With the Supreme Court ruling that ceded some parts of town planning activities to Lagos, the residents went further into dispute with FHA and Lagos over Land Use charges and levies. Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi who made the pronouncement during an official visit to Lagos, said that government resources are limited and the best option open for mitigating the challenges is through Public Private Partnership. She further expressed concern over the collapse of the central sewage system in the estate, the total takeover by
squatters, especially mechanics of open spaces and the unresolved issue of payment of ground rents and land use charges. She said the charges and ground rents would be harmonized to bring about synergy between FHA, Lagos government and the residents. The minister hinted that the private sector would be invited to bid for a new central sewage system, as the financial outlays for the repairs will be huge. She was shocked at the way some of the drainage system and roads have collapsed as well as the manner some of the residents
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LITIGATION Ogunya family appeals verdict over Ogun land ownership dispute
The appellants believe that the trial court its judgment misplaced justice and therefore seeking a Court of Appeal, Ibadan, to stay, and eventually upturn the verdict, which strips them of a claim to be the owner of the landed property
Litigation By Emmanuel Badejo HREE months after an T Ogun State High Court gave a judgment in a tussle over ownership of a landed property involving representatives of Ogunya family of Imoshe Village and Osoja family of Ikogbo, both natives of Ogun State, the former, on allegation of miscarriage of justice, has appealed the verdict. Also, Ogunya family, led by Joel Aina, has asked the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, to stay, suspend and issue a restraining order against Osoja family from executing the judgment delivered by Justice O.S. Olusanya of the High Court of Ogun State, Otta Judicial Division in February 2014. Essentially, the Ogunya family, which also includes Chief A. Akingbade, Chief Amusa Lawal, Mr. Aliu, Mr. Nurudeen Opagun, Sunday Ajose, Karimu Lawal, Tajudeen Aliu, Adele Balogun, Chief Sunday Idowu and Chief Ajulo Abu, said their grounds of appeal raised substantial, cogent, arguable and recondite issues of law with high probability of success and further
show special circumstances warranting the grant of their application. Following a dispute over the landed property, the claimants, Osoja had sought for courtâ€™s intervention, claiming a declaration that they are entitled to the Customary Right of Occupancy to all that vast area of land known as Igbinrin/Muwo/Egbe-Odan all together known as Ikogbo land in the Ado-Odo.Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State which is more properly described and delineated on Survey Plan No. SJA/301/005D/2011/OG dated 25/2/2011 drawn by S.J. Anthony (Registered Surveyor) and verged GREEN thereon. They also sought N10,100,00 damages for trespass committed by the defendants on the landed property and a perpetual injunction restraining against the defendants, with all their privies. They also asked for N100,000,00, being an annual rental value of the land In 2009, the ninth-fourteenth defendants applied to be joined in the suit and they were joined. They thereafter counter-claimed seeking: A declaration that the coun-
Imoshe... a village neglected by government in terms of infrastructure, last week try claimants are entitled to the Statutory or Customary Right of Occupancy overall that piece or parcel of land situate, lying and being at along Igbesa Captain Davies Road, Imose village, via Igbesa Town Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State which land is more particularly described
and verged RED in survey Plan No OG/1214/2011/035prepared by A.O. OLABISI, a registered Surveyor. The sum of N5,000,00 (Five Million Naira) being general damages for the acts of trespass committed by the defendants by counterclaim by themselves, their agents, servants, thugs, privies and
other persons claiming through them on the land in dispute. An order of perpetual injunction restraining the claimants by themselves, their agents, servants, privies and other persons claiming through them from committing any further acts of trespass on the land in dispute.
From the pleadings and evidence adduced by the parties, two issues arise for determination: â€œWhether the claimants have proved their case on a balance of probabilities and are entitled to the relief sought; and whether the ninth-four-
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Propertygate tasks real estate experts on advisory services Professional Practice By Emmanuel Badejo OISED to minimize growP ing trend of investment loss, unrealized dreams and, in some cases, total ruin among other consequences, professionals in the housing industry have been urged to broaden their knowledge in real estate advisory services, that would expose them to hinder but drivers of investment portfolio within the sector. Real estate industry has been said to be a complex venture
Prospective homeowners, investors and real estate professionals, who fail to get extensive and intensive advisory services on real estate investment portfolio have had their fingers burnt at one time or the other, thereby leading to lost of huge investments and therefore requires specialist knowledge, multidisciplinary skills and demonstrated experience, and underestimating this complexity has time and time again, resulted in huge financial losses. But lenders, investors, individuals and corporate real estate users and other interested participants can have their positions significantly
enhanced for success in real estate ventures by leveraging real estate advisory services. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi, while interacting with journalists in Lagos, last week said that this is one major reason his firm has decided to undertake real estate advisory servic-
es. According to him, extensive advisory services should involve development conception, design-build-and-transfer, development/investment appraisal, development monitoring, property rehabilitation, and performance measurement, among others. Ajayi, who said Propertygate is proficient in all of the servic-
Lagos relocates Adeniji Adele housing estate occupants Urban Renewal to its promise to improve living standards Lof IVING citizens in the state, the Lagos State Government last week, commenced the relocation process for residents of dilapidated buildings in Adeniji Adele Housing Estate as part of efforts to properly rehabilitate the property. The Guardian learnt that some of the affected residents were handed over allowances and allocation letters to the new places created for displaced persons. Their relocation is part of redevelopment process,
being handled by the Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority (LASURA). Speaking at the handing over ceremony of the allocation letter and compensation, LASURA General Manager, Mr. Benedict Olawunmi Kehinde, a town planner, stated that phase one extension is the pilot scheme of the total redevelopment of the affected estate. According to Kehinde, a total number of 30 flat owners received relocation allowances including the allocation letters and keys to occupy LASURA Transit Camp, located at Amuwo
Odofin and Iba Housing Estate, while some affected occupants opted for relocation allowance of three years rent. He stated that a study was conducted by his organization to revalidate the earlier data collected in 2009, where it was established that phase one extension consisting five blocks suffered the highest degree of vulnerability, hence, “the cellular regeneration method”. His Words: “What we are witnessing today is the execution of collective and agreed resettlement plan among all the stakeholders
during reconstruction period that is tentatively put at three years. “A breakdown of the resettlement indicated that 18 flat owners opted for accommodation at LASURA Transit Camp, while the remaining 12 occupants requested for private accommodation of their choice at the prevailing rent rate in the metropolis”, he said. He added that the gesture restates the State’s commitment not only to ensure a liveable environment for her citizens, but also to do so at the best consideration of their convenience and safety.
es said that, to ensure success, the delivery of a real estate project must start with sound and rigorous thought process that consider proposal from ideas, through execution to management and eventual disposal before implementation is ever contemplated. “We may then proceed to site sourcing (if not yet acquired), designs, approvals and pricing depending on the scope of the brief.” He added that, his company assists clients with existing sites, source for those without sites by conceiving the most suitable development schemes for the location and site, designs, actual development to completion, with a goal to achieve total resource optimization and client’s satisfaction, the development, which would be handed over upon completion. For clients with existing proposals, Ajayi said Propertygate understudies the proposals and assesses them in relation to the development/investment objectives, during which questions like “can it be done? If yes, how profitable will it be?” In addition, a risk assessment is done to identify, profile and suggest mitigating techniques against different risks; ultimately aimed at helping investors achieve the best value possible while reducing their exposure to risks. Between conception and
delivery of a development project lies several pitfalls during implementation, Ajayi maintained. “A proposed development initially appraised to be feasible and viable could at the point of execution go bad due to variations in sensitive factors affecting the investment. These factors require close continuous assessment till the project is eventually delivered. We assist sponsors of development schemes by monitoring, reporting and advising on key areas of ongoing development, which include market conditions, risks, operating models and construction among others.” On property rehabilitation, Propertygate chief said with its specialist knowledge of the relative lifecycles of developments, his company provides innovative solutions that could rejuvenate such properties and place them on profitability course again avoiding outright demolitions, taking into account original objectives of properties, market trends and their relative critical success factors, professionals, who have requisite knowledge on advisory services can assist in reconceiving them as well as consider the property’s highest and best use, poised at optimizing the value of the developments through diligent rehabilitation and thus avoid redevelopment.
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URBAN DEVELOPMENT Ondo, Mabogunje, others canvass people-driven urban development scheme Urban Development By Emmanuel Badejo OR sustainability and in Ftional compliance with internanorms, policy makers have been urged to ensure that all urban development schemes should be people driven to reduce inequality between the rich and the p o o r . Speakers at a book launch authored by UNhabitat Director, Prof. Banji OyelaranOyeyinka, made this submission in Lagos last week. The book title: ‘’Rich Country Poor People Nigeria’s: Story of Poverty in the midst of plenty, ex-rayed the state of plenty in the country, while the people are living in abject poverty. The author, who called for a balance in the inequality between the rich and the poor made some suggestions that would improve the living standard of the people. Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, said the root to rapid development was to reduce the wide space of inequality between the poor and the rich, adding women empowerment was one major way to engender equality. According to him, the more women are empowered, the more the children and the family exposure to
quality education, ‘‘I have no doubt in my mind that for us to move forward, we must tackle gender inequality.’’ On urban regeneration programme, Mimiko said: ‘‘City Renewal is good but if it is at the expense of the less privilege, is not good for the nation’s development stride. Any city renewal that displaces the less privilege is inimical to inclusive development.’’ While agreeing that the world space is not equal, he called on all policy makers to make deliberate efforts towards reducing the inequality. His counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun said undoubtedly, Nigeria is a country endowed and blessed with diverse natural and human resources, adding that just recently, it was said that our country has the biggest economy in Africa. But, according to him, despite all these endowments, many Nigerians are still languishing in abject p o v e r t y . Amosun said ‘‘indeed, this book is part of the hallmark of our long search for new Nigerian State. From the struggle that culminated in the independence of our great country, Nigeria, in 1960, to the various experiments and experiences that define the actions of the country’s leaders in the post independence era, one
Surveyors’ conference on land reform holds in Benin Professional Practice HE Nigerian Institution of T Surveyors (NIS), who will converge on Benin city, Edo State this week for the body’s 2014 Delegates Conference/Annual General Meeting, will discuss how to fast-track the process of land reform in the country. The discussions will be followed by the election of Mr. Bernard Akhigbe as the new president to replace the incumbent, Mr. Bode Adeaga, whose tenure expires during the AGM, as well as other officers, who will steer the affairs of the institution for the next two years. Two former vice presidents of the institution, Mr. Akin Oyegbola and Mr. Charles Alabo, are contesting for the post of the deputy president. The conference, which has as it theme: ‘Connect and Collaborate: Creating Opportunities and Awareness for Spatial Integration’, will feature a keynote address to be delivered by the Chairman, National Law Reform Commission, Prof. Osarhemen Osunbor, while the Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, will be the chief host. Justifying the theme of the conference, NIS National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Oluropo Olajugba, said it was meant to provide opportunities for professionals in the built environment, government functionaries and foreigners to share knowledge through interaction. Speaking on the need for land reforms in the country, Olajugba pointed out that less than 10 per cent of the Nigerian land mass was surveyed, while less that three per cent had title. He said failure to properly title land and conduct surveys
were responsible for low the level of investment and development in the country.
Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, the book reviewer, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, author and UNhabitat Director, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Dr. (Mrs) Tokunbo Awolowo- Dosunmu, foremost town planner, Prof. Akin Mabogunje and Ogun State representative, , Mr. Adebowale Oyeneye during the launching of the Rich Country Poor People in Lagos, recently underlining and fundamental pursuit has been consistent. It is the quest to establish a tested and an enduring structure on which the Nigerian State will thrive. We need to evolve strategies that will make our nation comfortably assume the status of the heart-beat of the black race while occupying an enviable position among the comity of nation.’’ In his remarks, Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said the book offers an analysis of Nigeria’s prospects and promise as nation of huge human and material endowments, its
missed opportunities for making the most of these endowments, and the understandable frustration of its people who continue to wallow in the mire of poverty in a country that is literally an ocean of tremendous wealth. Aregbesola said Nigeria is a painful paradox of the ‘wealth trap’. And by this I mean the painful psychological torture of the people who see but cannot feel their country’s stupendous wealth gift, not to mention the existential agony occasioned for them by their material deprivation and miserable condition of existence in spite of this wealth endowment.
‘‘It behooves those of us in positions of authority, who have the greatest task of seeing to the country’s development and the realization of our people’s aspirations to take our responsibilities in our stride and conscientiously perform the duties for which we were elected to office’’, adding that this has been the overriding principle that has been driving
governance in Osun since he assumed office in the state. Foremost town planner, Prof. Akin Mabogunje decried over concentration of power at the centre, saying it was tragedy, which must be addressed if the envisioned development of the country would come soonest. He added that development should be inclusive and not
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Julius Berger assures investors on 2nd Niger Bridge, acquires N23b equipment Julius Berger has reiterated its commitment towards further diversification of portfolio with regard to business segments and clients as part of ways to maintain a steady dividend pay-out policy from retained profit in the year Projects By Chinedum Uwaegbulam ITH turnover in 2013 finanW cial year hitting N212.74 billion signifying an increase of six per cent over N201.57 billion in the previous year, Nigeria’s foremost construction company, Julius Berger assured investors that the final engineering design work on the Second Niger Bridge connecting Delta and Anambra states has commenced in earnest, and the new business model will meet expectations in terms of profitability. The group finance director, Mr. Wolfgang Kollermann who made the pledged at the company’s investors’ forum held in Lagos, last week, revealed that during the period under review, the company laid emphasis on research, development and innovation, across all operational areas; provided internationally certified fire proof hollow blocks and internal doors; introduced polymer modified asphalt mixtures and engaged in long term research on wind and rainfall in Nigeria. According to him, Julius Berger has increasing profitability, entered into power sector as EPC contractor and intensified presence in down-
stream sector. Kollermann stressed that in 2014, the company plans to maintain consolidation of performance to current level, further diversification of portfolio with regard to business segments and clients, maintain holistic approach to client servicing and improve our position as a strategic partner to clients. He disclosed that company’s significant increase in Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE) in the period came about as a result of increased investment in new equipments amounting to almost N23 billion. “Older items of PPE disposed in the period amounted to about N2.5 billion since most of the equipments are new which eventually gave rise to a very lower capital gains tax.” Major on-going projects include Akwa Ibom Sports Complex, Uyo; National Institute for Legislative Studies, Abuja; Second River Niger Bridge, Asaba/Onitsha; Lagos–Shagamu Dual Carriageway; P&G Baby Care Facility, Agbara and Edo Cement Plant, Okpella. Highlights of performance during period shows that profit before tax increased by 31 per cent from N12.34 billion to N16.22 billion in the current period as a result of the
On-going construction work by Julius Berger at the National Institute for Legislative Studies, Abuja increase in profitability of the subsidiaries. Profit after tax slightly increased by two per cent from N8.26 billion in the prior year to N8.43 billion in the current year. The net flow
from financing activities had increased substantially from the prior year negative balance of N6.7 billion to a positive balance of N3.5 billion in the current period. The company rec-
ommended a final dividend of N3.2 billion, representing N2.70 to the qualified shareholders for the year ended December 2013. “Julius Berger has maintained
a steady dividend pay-out policy from retained profit in the year and these trend has been consistent over the years. Earnings retained are used for future expansion and the Group is optimistic that the overall long term impact of earnings retained will be extremely favorable for shareholders/” On the possibility of 2015 election affecting its profit margin, Kollermann allayed their fears by saying that the company had been in the country for over 40 years and had seen it many times – new governments, and new policies, but “we are not afraid of any political changes.” Reacting to investors’ question on the invasion of the nation’s construction industry by Chinese firm with cash and equipment, he said that Chinese does not pose any threat as the company is miles ahead in quality, standard and road technology as well as undertake most of the challenging construction jobs in the country and provides employment for Nigeria’s teeming population. His words: “The Chinese are not competitors to us. We are doing something different. We undertake challenging projects. The N462 billion value of project at hand excludes the second Niger Bridge project. Nigeria is a huge market for construction companies. The Chinese are welcome. I hope they can employ so many Nigerians as we do than bringing too many Chinese workers.”
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Architects canvass local content policy in construction industry Professional Practice By Emmanuel Badejo IGERIAN architects N under the aegis of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) have expressed serious concern over the incursion of foreign counterparts without meeting the local content law, blaming their woes on the inactiveness of their regulatory body, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON). They, almost in one voice therefore called for a total overhaul of ARCON, whose membership, according to a source are largely civil servants and not practitioners. It was at the “Best Practices” session during the sixth edition of the just concluded Lagos Architects Forum (LAF) 2014, themed: “Lagos 5.0-Architecture and Real Estate,” where the professionals expressed their views about ARCON. In fact, while one contributor said ARCON was sleeping, another said the body was not in existence. Reacting to the incursion of foreign professionals, Past President, Mr. Charles
The inactiveness of architects’ regulatory body under the aegis of Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has given room for foreign counterparts to disregard the nation’s laws on rules of engagement and undue exposure of Nigerian architects to some unwholesome, though avoidable challenges Majoro, said the misfortune of architects today were caused by themselves and until they rose to the challenge of correcting the problems, members of NIA would keep experiencing the worst. “We are the albatross of our problem and if we want a definite change, we must arise and say no to foreign professionals, practicing in Nigeria without complying with the known law, guiding our practice. During my days, I did not allow it and the swelling trend hurts me and we must stop it now.” Deputy President, NIA, Mr. Adibe Njoku, said it was unfortunate that those saddled with the responsibility of championing their cause are sleeping. “We have a sleeping watchdog. ARCON sleeps! I want a day it would
wake and implement the law guiding our practice. We want a regulatory body that is alive to its responsibilities.” Another contributor said: “by law, the only body that can protect us is ARCON. Who are in-charge of ARCON? They are civil servants, who do not understand the nitty-gritty of practicing. We need to change the structure of ARCON.” President, Association of Consulting Architects of Nigeria (ACAN), Mr. Tayo Babalakin, said the incursion of foreign architects, was reaching a worrisome height, and they must close ranks to ensure return of sanity in their field. “We are all working together to ensure that our country has the best built environment. But the incursion of
foreign architects is worrisome, as we have in the recent times seen flagrant disobedient of the enabling law. This is not good for our country and the built environment. We, as architects will continue to fight this to put a stop to the unfortunate trend.” In his welcome address, NIA Chairman, Mr. Ladipo Lewis, said their aim was to strive further and achieve greater heights, taking advantage of the immense opportunities available in the city of Lagos, adding that an important part of NIA’s goal was to continuously raise standards, set new design and quality benchmarks in their profession. According to him, “We need to create an enabling environment for the development of real estate as a vibrant business open to everyone no matter their economic status. This in turn will create a vibrant economy and prosperity for all.” During a press parley, NIA past president, Ibrahim Haruna, called for a review of the NIA president, Mr. Waheed Brimmo, in his good will
Govt, Lagos to harmonise charges, levies in Festac town CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 have left their houses without paintings for several years. On the committees set up by his predecessors to restore the estate to its former glory. She gave the committees one week to submit their reports to enable a smaller committee harmonize the recommendations and come up with a workable joint implementation plans. The two committees are headed by the Lagos
State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde and Special Adviser on Tax Matters, Lagos State, and Mr. Bola Sodipo. Earlier, FHA Managing Director, Mr. Terver Gemade while responding to the minster’s concerns on developments in the estate, said the authority was determined to rehabilitate the ageing infrastructure in the estate but lamented that the finances
involved in conducting a total overhaul was beyond the resources available to the Authority. Gemade who disclosed that most residents no longer observe the original terms of occupants agreement, bemoaned residents’ response to the issue public water supply, as most of them have boreholes. He lamented that the authority is short staffed and need more hands to check illegal activities in the
Agege - Ifako - Ijaiye model city underway CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 cal planning and balanced urban development in Lagos State. According to Ayinde, it is worthy of note that more people are now living in the urban centres globally with developing countries like Nigeria accounting for more than sixty per cent of the urban dwellers. “The frightening demography arising the rapid urbanization has made Lagos wear a mega city status with a population of 22 million at 8 per cent growth rate translating to emerging challenges of congestion in housing, overstressed infrastructure, security/crime control, transportation system, and urban management to mention a few”, saying that it has become expedient that the state government must address the declining state of the city to avoid total collapse of the economy. He said over three decades after the competition of the UNDP sponsored Master Plan for Lagos Metropolitan Area (1980-2000 AD), which identified 35 urban districts, the areas still face the challenges of infrastructure decay, unsightly living condition, housing shortage, imbalance land-use developments, illegal change of use, erratic
power/energy supply, inadequate recreational facilities. Hence, this administration resolved towards efforts at rebuilding the mega city through a conscious approach by re-planning these urban districts and rebranding some as model cities. The Commissioner stated that Agege-Ifako Ijaiye Model City Plan was the eight in the series of development plans, adding that the presentation was necessary for the administration to involve the people in its developmental efforts. “The Forum is organized to let the various stakeholders participate in the planning process, which is aimed at guiding future development of our communities. The Model City Plan has being prepared taking into consideration the policies and programmes of the state government and the aspirations of the people of Agege-Ifako Ijaiye. “Thus, the implementation of the key proposals of the plan will facilitate improved housing, transportation, employment, commerce and recreation in addition to infrastructure upgrade”. A community leader in Agege, Chief Lasisi Arogundade described the move as a welcome development, “though, long over-
due”. Arogundade urged the residents of Agege and IfakiIjaiye to cooperate with government, especially, in the area of redevelopment that may likely affect illegal structures. “It is a reality that in view of the expected population in these axis that was put between 2.3 million in 2006, with likelihood of jumping to 4.5 million in 2033, we need infrastructural expansion that would not only cope with the projected population, but also make living better for us and unborn generations”. But Chairman of Ojokoro LCDA, Mr. Benjamin Adeyemi Olabinjo lamented the area was not involved in the project. “I wasn’t aware of any such plan. I was just called this morning to the stakeholders meeting.”
estate. Other challenges he noted, include conversion of residential to commercial buildings and development of the master plan for over 2,000 hectares of Festac Town Phase 2, restoration of key infrastructure such as street light, redevelopment of parks and green areas Chairman, Ayodele Adewale lamented the deplorable state of some basic facilities in Festac Town due to abuse by residents On the state of the sewage system in Festac Town, Adewale regretted the actions of some residents who diverted their sewage pipes into open drainage stressing that the unsanitary act poses great danger to the environment, which will manifest either now or in the future. However, President of Festac Town Residents Association, Jola Ogunlusi, while reacting to the Minister’s speech, urged her to increase the number of staff at the FHA’s physical planning unit. He said that resident’s suspended payment to avoid double payment, as Lagos government was also demanding payment from them. According to him, residents have been the ones fighting the battle to restore the estate by kicking against the sale of gardens and parks for building and removal of illegal shops, adding that their members removed about 200 illegal container shops in the estate. Ogunlusi further called on government to help provide a bridge and an alternative route for Abule Ado residents who are also part of Festac town.
message said in the past decade Real Estate has impacted Architecture dramatically in Nigeria beyond the widest dreams of most practitioners. The theme therefore is apt and the target participants should provide good and desirable mix for needed exchanges. “It is commendable that LAF has metamorphosed over the years to a one-stop event that caters for holistic professional development comparable to similar ones any where in the world. LAF can be classified as a 5-star Continuous Development Program (Exhibitions/ Exposition /Exchanges/ Exploration and Excursion). It need be clearly stated that our mission statement as an Institute is the mobilization of informed membership for
quality services and LAF has consistently fulfilled this mission.” Guest speaker, Dr. Maurice Ngwaba, said for Nigeria to truly develop to its highest potential and be comparative to the best international standards, the Nigerian educational and architectural practice standards should be outstanding and of the highest quality, adding that, among the fundamentals for a great profession is one that is based on the highest ethical standards with the most focus for the public interest.
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Family appeals verdict on land dispute CONTINUED FROM PAGE 32 teenth defendants/counter claimants have not upon preponderance of evidence established their right to judgment upon the counterclaim.” Basically, in this suit, the claimants and the defendant/counter claimants sought for declaration of title to land. The claimants claimed to be entitled to the title over the land in Igberin Muwo/Egbe Odan, known as Ikogbo land. Claimants tendered exhibits 004 a composite plan SJA/301/005D/2011/OG the area claimed against the defendants as the total area verged Green. The defendant/counter claimants on the other hand claimed that their land is situate and lying at Imose village via Igbesa town. Same was pleaded and they led evidence through their surveyor who tendered the survey plan exhibit 007. The two plan exhibits 004 and 007 put side-by-side showed that Ikogbo land claimed by the claimants and Imose claimed by the defendants/counter claimants are neighbors sharing a boundary Ikogbo to the west while Imose is to the east. The defendants/counterclaimants also relied on traditional history in this suit. It was their case that Ogunya first settled on the land including the land in dis-
pute known as Imose land and that he exercised acts of possession thereon. Ogunyas successor-in-title was Ayawo who begat Asade. Iyinade, Adimi Aregbe Togun Oteasole and Ajose Aburo. It was the case of the defendants that the present counter claimants are the descendants of the said Ogunya through the above named children of Ayawo and that the land devolved on them by inheritance. It was the contention of the claimants that Ashade family is part of Ogunya family. The Supreme Court in the 1914 case in exhibit 002, shows that the case was for trespass by Ashade on the land of Mowo, EGbe/Odun near Igberin. On exhibit 002, the court said it “I find that a trespass has been committed on the land at Mowo in the land at Ibesan to the possession and occupation of the plaintiff by himself through his tenants and 1 assess damages at £75 and 10 guineas as costs. In that case damages was awarded against Ashade, a family member of the defendants in favour of Osoja the claimants family in this case. “I find that exhibits 001,002, and 003 show that the claimants family was in possession of the land in dispute in view of the credible evidence of the claimants which remains uncontroverted in support of the claim of the claimants to the area verged green in exhibit
004. “I am of the firm view that the land in dispute forms part of the land litigated upon in 1914 in which the claimants family Osoja was found to be in possession against Ashade of the defendants family. It is still the same land the defendants are claiming part of in this suit. Therefore, there is no way the defendants can divest themselves from Ashade family who also is a part of Ogunya family in respect of the land in issue.” In conclusion, the court held: “I am of the firm view that the claimants have proved their case on a balance of probabilities and are entitled to the reliefs sought while I find that the defendants/counterclaimants have not upon preponderance of evidence established their right to judgment upon the counter claim. The two issues raised are therefore resolved in the favour of the claimants. The defendants/counterclaim is therefore hereby dismissed. The claim of the claimants succeeds and I hereby make the following declaration and orders.” Apart from upholding the claimants’ claim to the disputed land, the court also awarded N2.1m as damages for trespass committed by the defendants on the land. While a perpetual injunction restraining all the defendants was also granted, a cost of N100,000.00 was awarded in favour of the
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Govt, UNDP launch $5.7million Niger Delta Biodiversity project
Ogun State shuts down eight firms for violating environmental laws The Environment From Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta OR violation of environFgovernment mental laws, the Ogun State has closed down
NOSDRA Director General, Mr. Peter Idabor, representative of the Minister of Environment and GEF Desk Officer, Mrs. Halima Mohammed and National Coordinator, Niger Delta Biodiversity Project, Dr. Mathew Dore during the inauguration of the expert working group of the projects in Port Harcourt, River State, recently
Conservation By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Assistant Housing & Environment Editor MID the quantity of oil A spilled into the environment each year put at 2,500 cubic meters (660,430 gallons/year) with an average of 300 individual spills per year, a comprehensive new initiative is in the offing that will strengthen the governance framework of law, policy, and institutional capacity to enable the mainstreaming of biodiversity management into the oil and gas sector (O&G) in the Niger Delta region. The project, budgeted to cost $5.7 million (about N969 million) will be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Environment in partnership with United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) through a project management unit in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, plans to garner stakeholders’ support for longterm biodiversity management through the establishment of a Niger Delta Biodiversity Trust with a collaborative engagement mechanism for local communities, oil and gas companies and government as core beneficiaries. Under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded conservation of biodiversity in the Niger Delta, four states - Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta has been mapped out for the project. Government, O&G industry and local communities will adopt and pilot new biodiversity action planning tools for proactive biodiversity mainstreaming in the Niger Delta. Niger Delta with total combined area of these states is
The project targeted at four coastal oil producing Niger Delta States: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers provides strategic vision for biodiversity conservation in one of the world’s largest wetland ecosystems, that includes critical habitats; priority species and communities of species and biodiversity hotspots 46,420 kilometres is characterized by high biological diversity, abundant natural resources, and extreme poverty. A survey of current knowledge on the biological diversity of the Niger Delta reveals striking global significance across the full range of biological diversity at the genetic, species and ecosystems levels. In a message during the inauguration of the expert working group of the projects in Port Harcourt, River State, recently, Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, said the degradation of ecosystems in the Niger Delta caused government to establish a variety of institutions; the creation of the Federal Ministry of Environment in 1999, specialized agencies of the nascent Ministry such as National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), research bodies such as the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) and management bodies dedicated to specialized conservation strategies such as the National Parks Service. Represented by the GEF Desk Officer, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Halima Mohammed, the minister stated that an engagement mechanism is very important to ensuring a platform for communication among all players
for the benefit of the biodiversity of the region. “The Niger Delta Biodiversity Project calls for new ways of doing business in the delta. Government being one of the major players in the industry aligns itself with the stated goals and objectives. “Biodiversity is a concurrent matter and efficient conservation has been challenged by this fact. The quest for mainstreaming biodiversity into the O&G sector has been long in taking root. If we can achieve the outcomes of the project, we would have gone a long way in addressing some of the socioeconomic and ecological stresses of the Niger Delta as well as meet our obligations to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). We are aware of the unique assemblages; in terms of species, genetic varieties and ecosystems in the delta,” Mallam said. NOSDRA Director General, Mr. Peter Idabor said that the agency successfully conducted an activation exercise of the National Oil Spill. Contingency Plan (NOSCP) in PortHarcourt to assess the oil industry and stakeholders preparedness as well as capabilities to respond effectively to worst case scenarios of oil spill and to appraise the effectiveness and efficiency of inter- agency collaboration as a necessary ingredient for a successful Tier three oil spill management. His words: “NOSCP is a verita-
ble tool in biodiversity management. This is indisputable, considering that its primary concern is to ensure that our rich biodiversity resources is protected from the impact of oil spill by putting in place adequate preparedness, control and response measures for sustainability. The NOSCP has mainstreamed the sensitivities of the biological diversity of the Niger Delta to oil spill incidents for the purpose if identifying areas of high risks for effective protection.” Idabor stressed that NOSDRA is fully committed to supporting to the new initiative in order to achieve to update the existing oil spill contingency plan in. Niger Delta with biodiversity oriented information, focussing on areas of higher risk of oil spills and on areas of biodiversity significance. According to him, NOSDRA has established an environment sensitivity map, up to 100 kilometers from the coastline to the inland and biodiversity has been embedded in the two projects. “You will be able understand the overlay of our sensitivity maps on the operational areas, especially by the oil companies in the Niger Delta.” National Coordinator, Niger Delta Biodiversity Project, Dr. Mathew Dore disclosed that 20 communities in the region have been selected as the prime beneficiaries of the pilot project in the four targeted states. He noted that inadequate level of uptake of international best practice on the part of the O&G industry in the Niger Delta and a low level of accountability for results (positive and negative) in biodiversity actions have undermined
the O&G sector’s ability to mainstream biodiversity management objectives. The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nnimmo Bassey told The Guardian that “this project is significant because it will dwell on biodiversity losses and impacts caused by the oil and gas sector. Another aspects is the participatory involvement of communities to enable them review their knowledge base and gain new tools not only protecting their biodiversity and ecosystem, but also remediation or restoration of what have been l o s t . “It will help to wake up the entire system, we have wasted a lot time already. Three years ago, UNEP produced a damming report on Ogoni land, nothing significant have been done, only to put sign posts warning people that the land is contaminated, they should keep off. People will not keep off their ancestral homes. This project will empower people not only to ask questions, but carry out actions to defend their environment. The sense of resource democracy, of communities owning their own knowledge base, resources and being able to have a say on it is very significant. Bassey said: “For the oil companies, it makes business sense for them to buy into it. If they don’t, they would have lost another great opportunity. You cannot be giving tokens to communities as part of corporate social responsibility. It is time to do something that is sustainable. Government should also not just pay lip service to collaborating with other agencies, private sector or donor organizations, but step up their acts.”
eight companies operating in the State. The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Ayo Olubori, an engineer who spoke during a Press Conference in Abeokuta last week on the activities of his ministry, expressed the disapointment of government over the attitudes of some firms toward environmental laws put in place, insisted that as much as the government is doing everything possible to encourage investors to establish in the State, it would not allow any company to violate the laws guiding clean and healthy environment. The Commissioner disclosed that the Ministry has recorded significant improvement in level of industrial pollution control through the reinvigoration of the inspectorate and compliance enforcement arm of the agency. He explained: “We are not interested in closing down or shutting down any companies, we are mild in our approach to companies violating environmental laws and how to enforce such laws. What we are doing is to sensitize them and let them know how important it is for them to obey the laws”. According to him, government is not happy celebrating such move (shutting down company). “Today, Ogun State has become the host to the largest companies in the country and part of measures to woo all these investors is to ensure that we are not too harsh on them. As the investors are rushing into the State, what we are doing now is to upgrade and look into the environmental laws and this we are doing very well”. The Commissioner revealed that the Ministry, as part of efforts to minimize industrial pollution, said a new initiative, “Polluter- pay-Principle” had been put in place as part of its enforcement tools, explained that the principle is that whenever there is pollution, offenders must pay, irrespective of the pollution, being a domestic, chemical or otherwise. He disclosed that government, spends between N40 and N43 million monthly on environmental waste evacuation in the State. Olubori seized the occasion to informed the public that government has done its bit to help Ogun indigene students affected by crisis in the northern parts of the country by providing adequate security for its people, which is its responsibility, the onus lies on the people to decide the next line of action. “Security of the people is Paramount to the government, taken those people back home safely was our priority then and we give thanks to God, that we were able to do that.
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Lagos stakeholders advocate curriculum development for climate change education Climate Change By Tunde Alao O make lasting and effecT tive impact on the younger generations, there is need to have in place curriculum that would detail study on climate change, concerned stakeholders have said. According to the stakeholders, one-off strategy against challenges of climate change was not enough, but the phenomenon needed all hands to be on deck towards reducing the risks associated with climate change. These stakeholders spoke last week in Lagos during the 6th anniversary of Climate Change Clubs in Lagos State Schools, held at Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, where hundreds of schools, both in Lagos and Ogun States participated. Speaking on year 2014 edition of the Summit, titled: “Children Across Boundaries Unite To Combat Climate Change”, Governor Babatunde Fashola while expressing his appreciation at the way school children in Lagos are positively responding to the issue of climate change, said their contributions showed that there is hope for better tomorrow in Nigeria as far as war against climate change is concerned. According to Fashola, the participation of children in Lagos in the fight against climate has significantly increased, especially, as reflected in the
Climate Change Clubs was put in place to allow students in the high school and pupils at the primary level to sensitize them with consequences of climate change and how they can be the instruments of change as they grow up areas of energy conservation and efficiency, resource conservation and recovery, recycling, greenery, amongst others, where the children have shown uncanny understanding of the different areas. “The result of your various exchange programmes and performances at international competitions have reaffirmed my belief in your ability to make a change which has also encouraged us as a government to do more in our collective desire to attain a sustainable environment and bequeath a future for incoming generation”, said Fashola, urging all the stakeholders to mentor, encourage and support them along the thoughts of utilizing their abundant strength /capacity to transform the society into a low-carbon and climate resilient future. The Governor noted that globally, children, by proxy, are presumed to represent
Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Hakeem Adeniyi Ogunbamb(Left)i, Lagos Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire and Commissioner of Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello during the 6th anniversary of Lagos Climate Change clubs at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON their counterparts in Nigeria and other parts of the world, since at their prime time, they possess a lot of energy to effect changes in the environment as change agents. He also urged governments at all levels to embrace the development of climate change education programmes policies, and materials, especially, finding a way of including
them in the school curriculum. Earlier in his Address, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, stated that the theme was a timely wakeup call to all young ones globally to join hands in fighting climate change, saying such exercise will engender shared knowledge and best practices in
addressing the challenge of the menace amongst the children. According to him, the curiosity of these young children, their readiness and openness t learn and share knowledge has been fruitful in the last six years. “Our children are changing and they are changing others including we adults to make ecologically conscious deci-
sions. I like to reassure that we will continue to cherish and welcome the commitment of our children to the growing concerns for the fight against climate change”, said Bello, asking the participating students and pupils to cooperate with their peers across the world, as well as complement governments in stemming the scourge of climate change.
Nigeria, others for GEF Assembly in Cancun, Mexico The Environment By Chinedum Uwaegbulam FTER it’s recent successful A replenishment negotiations, with over 30 countries pledging US$4.25 billion to fund projects with global environmental benefits during the next four years, Nigeria and representatives of 182 member countries that governs Global Environment Facility (GEF) will meet in Cancun, Mexico next week to review, evaluate general policies and the facility’s operational structure. GEF Assembly meets every four years and participants include ministers, prominent environmentalists, parliamentarians, entrepreneurs, scientists, and civil society organizations. They will also discuss various ways to more efficiently address environmental problems by financing projects that trigger transformative changes that help preserve the environment. The Assembly also considers and approves proposed amendments to the GEF I n s t r u m e n t . At the fifth GEF Assembly, key activities will include high-level roundtables and panels, a civil society organization forum, side events, visit to GEF projects across the Yucatan Peninsula. Mexico will have the opportunity to
GEF CEO, Naoko-Ishii
The GEF Assembly meets once every four years to review, evaluate GEF policies, operations, and membership. Nigeria is among the countries in the region being supported by the GEF Trust Fund to address myriad of environmental challenges. describe successful GEFfinanced projects such as the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, the Natural Protected Areas Program, and the development of a programme for biodiversity and sustainable productive sys-
e m s . Past meetings of the Assembly have been held in India (1998), China (2002), South Africa (2006), and Uruguay (2010). The GEF is currently the most important source of financing for proj-
ects that improve the global environment. Since 1991, the GEF has provided $12.5 billion in grants and leveraged $58 billion in co-financing for 3,690 projects in 165 developing countries. Through its Small Grants Programme
(SGP), the GEF has also made more than 17,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $617 million. Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Political Focal Point will lead the Nigerian delegation to the Assembly. Nigeria had been supported by the GEF Trust Fund to address myriad
of environmental challenges through the implementation of a total of 39 full size, middle and enabling projects while the GEF Small Grants had supported 113 projects through NGOs and CBOs. GEF had supported projects in the following focal areas: climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, land degradation International Waters, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and ozone depleting substances. These projects are implemented as full and medium size projects, enabling activities to the Conventions as well at the community level under the SGP, which has resulted successes some of which have been globally acclaimed and won awards such as the Equator Prize. “The implementation of GEF projects has benefitted Nigeria immensely from the various strategic relationships that have been developed and maintained over the years between the government and our development partners. Our partnerships with them has contributed to the steady and growing increase in the GEF portfolio and profile in the country, a good testimony to the role of international partnership for development,” according to the GEF Desk Officer, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Halima Mohammed.
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Monday, May 19, 2014 INSURANCE
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FINANCIALGUARDIAN Companies wishing to exhibit next year should contact PETAN early as exhibition space nearly always sells out.
Remi Aiyela, Editor-in-Chief
Shell Lifts Force Majeure on Forcados Exports EARLY two months after it declared a force N majeure on Forcados exports, Shell has reopened the crucial terminal. The force majeure
OTC 2014 Beats All Attendance Records HEOil Technology Conference (OTC) 2014 which took place from the 5th to the 8th of May in T Houston, Texas, has smashed all attendance
records to become the highest attended in the show’s history. Attendance at the annual conference reached a 46-year high of 108,300, the highest in the show’s history and up 3.3% from last year. The event took up 680,000 square feet of space with 2,568 exhibiting companies, almost half being international companies, representing 43 countries. Chairman of OTC, Ed Stokes, said: “OTC’s great success this year is yet another validation of the great vision inspired by the founders who created the conference in 1969.” He gave credit to the deep and broad coverage of the technical program, panels, keynote presentations and thousands of displays of the latest in new technology. This year’s event featured nine panel sessions, 29 executive keynote presentations at luncheons and breakfasts, and 308 technical papers. Another key event in the OTC agenda was the Spotlight on New Technology, which recognized 12 technologies for their innovation in allowing the industry to produce offshore resources. NOGintelligence will be featuring these new technologies in its next magazine edition focusing on Technology. Meanwhile the Nigerian contingent under the aegis of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) at OTC, with the support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) put up a great show. The Nigerian Pavilion featured 41 Nigerian companies (the fifth largest country represented) and some estimate up to 5,000 visitors. NOGintelligence spoke to many of the exhibitors and visitors. The exhibitors spoke very highly of the exhibition saying that it afforded them the opportunity to showcase their capabilities on the world stage, although many expressed regret that most of the visitors to the Pavilion were Nigerian. However, some saw it as an advantage allowing them to present their services in one place to a Nigerian audience that they would normally have to traipse round the whole country to see. Many said they had been exhibiting for many years and had seen measurable and quantifiable benefits in exhibiting at OTC. All said they expected to exhibit again next year at OTC. Visitors to the Nigerian Pavilion expressed their surprise at the growth in Nigerian capability in the upstream sector based on the companies that exhibited at the event. Some foreign visitors said visiting the Nigerian Pavilion gave them the opportunity to make new contacts ahead of impending visits to the country itself. In addition to the exhibition, PETAN also had a number of events that it hosted. First there was a pre-conference workshop. The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, represented the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources at the PETAN Panel Session on the second day of the exhibition. At the sold out event, the Minister pointed to the development of Nigerian content over the last four years, since the introduction of the Nigerian Content law, which she said, was the catalyst for the growth in indigenous capacity and service delivery. PETAN also hosted a joint award dinner with NNPC and a joint technical workshop with the Association of Nigerian Petroleum Professionals Abroad (ANNPA). The next issue of NOGintelligence print magazine will cover the events of OTC 2014 in more depth and will focus on technology. Nigerian service companies with new and innovative technology for the Nigerian oil and gas industry are urged to get in touch by email to info@NOGintelligence.com for editorial coverage in our technology edition. OTC 2015 takes place 4-7 May 2015 in Houston.
declaration, was imposed by the Dutch giant, Nigerian’s largest producer, after discovering theft points on the export line on March 4th. It is thought that up to 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day may have been deferred as a result of the declaration. One of the companies hit by the deferral, Heritage Oil has already announced an 18 per cent drop in production for the first quarter due to the shut in. Shell said in a statement that the terminal is now open following “the removal of a crude theft point on the export line.” Shell blamed sabotage by oil thieves for the damage to the pipeline although militant organisation, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility for the sabotage saying that they were even managing to sabotage the repairs even as they were taking place. Shell has repeatedly called for determined action against what the country chair, Mutiu Sunmonu, called “princes and principalities” to curb the epidemic that experts estimate is losing Nigeria some $6 billion in revenue every year.
NNPC Signs 100 mmboe OPL 281 Production Sharing Contract with Transcorp of Transnational SsawHAREHOLDERS Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), who dividends for the first time this year since the initial public offering by the company are rejoicing over the signing of the long overdue Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in respect of onshore Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 281. The commencement of exploitation of the block brings them close to a bumper harvest on their investments in Transcorp. OPL 281 was awarded to Transcorp in a mini bid round in 2006. Since then, first, London based, but Nigeria-focused Energy Equity Resources and Johannesburg and London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed SacOil have farmed into the block, subject to Ministerial approval with a 20 per cent share holding each, leaving Transcorp with 60 per cent. Following the award, Transcorp has been struggling to get the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to sign the PSC, which will regulate exploration and production on the gas rich block. The execution of the PSC now paves the way for Ministerial Consent to the farm in to EER subsidiary EER 281 and SacOil subsidiary, SacOil 281. Two discovery wells have been drilled in OPL281: Ekoro- 1 in 1967 and Obote 1 in 1970. Ekoro 1 well encountered hydrocarbons in 8 intervals between 8,260 ft and 10,761 ft while Obote 1 well encountered 4 hydrocarbon bearing intervals between 8,720 ft and 12,350 ft respectively. A 3D seismic survey was performed by Shell in 1991/92. TRACS, an independent consultant, has issued a Competent Persons Report (CPR) estimating a gross 2C unrisked contingent resources of 99mmboe (P50). This implies net 2C unrisked contingent resources to EER of 3.8mmboe (net entitlement post royalties and tax). Significant exploration upside exists with Prospective Resources in deeper horizons and several prospects have been identified for further studies, which may become future drill candidates. The block, is well situated in the Obotebe Kingdom in the Delta South area, in close proximity to the Forcados Crude Export Terminal and the Odidi Platform (the regional gas condensate processing plant). Shortly before news of the execution of the PSC broke, CEO of Transcorp, Obinna Ufudo, had told shareholders that the company was expecting to embark on an aggressive drilling campaign with a view to achieving commercial production before the end of 2014. With news of the signing of the PSC, they are now on track to achieve their ambitious exploration and development programme for OPL 281. Transcorp is planning an energy city in Delta
State and will supply gas from the block which unconfirmed reports say holds as much as 30 trillion cubic metres of gas. Transcorp is also planning fertiliser and petrochemical plants and a 1000MW capacity power plant at Ughelli. Tenoil will provide the technical services support base for the exploration programme as well as managing the seismic and well delivery programmes on behalf of the project owners Transcorp Energy, Sacoil and EER of the UK. Under the PSC, Phase 1 exploration commitments include the reprocessing of existing 3D seismic data and the drilling of one exploration with a financial commitment of US$30 million. Phase 2 consists of one well plus the acquisition of 3D seismic data over the remaining part of the block without 3D coverage.
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Caverton Offshore Plans IPO HE Initial Public Offering (IPO) fever that has T gripped the oil industry, following Seplat’s $1.9 billion listing on the London and Nigerian Stock Exchanges has not escaped the service sector. Caverton Offshore chairman, Aderemi Makanjuola has just announced that Caverton is going public, which on listing will make Caverton the first indigenous oil and gas service company to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Caverton Offshore Support Group provides a variety of services to the marine and oil and gas sectors, including equipment, supplies, provision of marine vessels, workboats, jack-up rigs, tugs and allied equipment and services. The company’s focus and primary business is to provide logistics and environmental support services to oil and gas fields. The jewel in the crown of the offshore services group is subsidiary, Caverton Helicopters, which started life in 2002 as an intra-city helicopter service has grown to become a charter, shuttle, sales and maintenance company. Caverton Helicopters made history as Nigeria’s first in the rotary subsector to start international operations after expanding its operations to Cameroon under a 5-year contract with the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company. The company’s big break came when Shell awarded Caverton Helicopters (alongside its partner, Dancopter of Denmark) a five-year contract valued at $648 million for the provision of six AW139 helicopters, after a rigorous and competitive bidding process. The contract was the largest ever awarded by Shell to any indigenous company in Nigeria. Caverton currently operates out of a 10,000 square metre flight facility at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, a 9,000 square metre facility in Port Harcourt, and also from the Shell bases in Warri and Port Harcourt. The company also operates the only heliport in Lagos metropolis (Victoria Island) and has 18 aircraft in its fleet. As to why he now wants to go against the grain of family companies, and take the company public, forward thinking Makanjuola says the decision was signed off by the board back in 2008. He says that the board figured that given the significant growth opportunities, debtfinancing would be limiting. He said: “We decided that the equity funding route will ultimately give the best return on capital. So the journey to tapping into the Nigerian equity market began with our private placement in 2008, which culminated in the imminent listing. The timing was determined by a combination of the prevailing market conditions and the company’s current growth stage.” The company has engaged KPMG to advise on the IPO and take it through the regulatory hurdles it has to cross before it can list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
OPEC daily basket price stood at $105.66 a barrel Thursday, 15 May 2014 HE price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood T at $105.66 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $105.62 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Prices were expected to hold high, buoyed by the International Economic Agency (IEA)’s forecast that demand for oil this year would be slightly higher than expected. The Agency is urging OPEC to raise production sharply to meet what they predict will be record global demand. The International Energy Agency raised its forecast by 65,000 barrels per day to 92.8 million barrels, largely because of unexpectedly strong demand in the first quarter, driven by consumption in the US economy.
Court Has Jurisdiction to Hear Chevron Divestment Dispute with Brittania-U NDIGENOUS oil company, Brittania-U’s quest to Ionshore be declared winner of the bid for Chevron’s blocks, Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 52, 53 and 55 has received a boost after a judge in the Federal High Court ruled that it had jurisdiction to hear the matter. Chevron had sought a dismissal of the case, brought by Brittania-U against Chevron, in which Seplat is joined as a co-defendant. Chevron had argued that the Court did not have jurisdiction over the matter. The dispute arose after US oil giant Chevron put up its 40 per cent share of the three OML’s, part of a planned five-asset onshore divestment, for sale. The oil major, which confirmed the auction of the three onshore blocks in June 2013, was reportedly keen to wrap the process up quickly. After an initial invitation to 20 companies, Chevron had to open the process up to more companies as it was inundated with applications. A preferred shortlist emerged in mid August enabling the preferred bidders to do more in-depth due diligence and finalise their bids. They were then expected to submit their final bids by the 30th of September and to pay 15 per cent of their bids as a deposit. Sources close to the deal said at the time that Chevron would prefer to sell the three OMLs in one lot and has already weeded out bidders who were not interested in acquiring all three assets. The three blocks are said to have total oil reserves of around 134 million barrels and five trillion cubic feet of gas, with the combined values of the three blocks being estimated currently at between US$500 million and US$600 million. NOGintelligence reported in Issue 70 that Britannia-U, First Hydrocarbon, SEPLAT, Seven Energy, Sogenal, South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) and Vertex were all said to be among local players that were expected to put in a final bid. The enthusiasm of the bidders for the rare assets was unaffected by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s declaration midrace that bidders should not expect to assume operatorship as the role, currently fulfilled by Chevron in the blocks, would revert to NNPC following the divestment. It soon became clear that trouble was brewing after conflicting rumours began to circulate of the winners. On the one hand, Britannia-U was said to have won with a $1.6 billion bid for all three assets. On the other hand, three companies, working in close corporation were said to have won the bids for the three assets. Seplat, the recently listed company that can seem to do no wrong, which was said to have bid for OML 53, while Amni, recently having undergone a boardroom shuffle, was said to have bid for OML 52 and Delta State-owned Belema Oil was said to have bid for OML 55, altogether putting in a reported combined bid of $900 million. As time went on, Chevron notified the losers, but continued to drag their feet over declaring Britannia-U the winners. According to Britannia, it came to their notice that Chevron was communicating with Seplat. They went to court to ask to be declared winners of the auction on the basis of having put in the highest bid. They immediately secured a High Court injunction, preventing Chevron from transferring the assets to Seplat or any other bidder. Chevron had sought to have the case thrown out for lack of jurisdiction on the basis that it was a private commercial matter and further that it should be referred to arbitration on the basis of the confidentiality agreement signed by the parties. The court ruled that there was a triable dispute over which it had jurisdiction. Among the issues stated in Statement of Claim were: why the highest bidder for the leases was not announced, whether the bid process had been transparent and whether Chevron had arbitrarily or whimsically terminated the bid which Britannia-U alleges it won. The case, in which Brittania-U is seeking specific performance, was adjourned to May 23, 2014. The marginal field producer is seeking $10 billion dollars in damages for NOGintelligence readers will recall that as many competitor publications continued to declare Seplat and its co-bidders the winners, NOGintelligence cautioned against writing off the chances of Britannia-U led by the indomitable Uju Ifejika. As we said, all those wishing to write off the company’s chances would do well to remember the saying in the world of opera: “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” As we said, so it has come to pass. It seems that the fat lady hasn’t sung yet!
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Monday, May 19, 2014
BusinessInterview We’ve proved that agriculture can work Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, was the toast of delegates at the 24th World Economic Forum for Africa (WEFA), in Abuja, for his leadership in the transformation of the nation’s agriculture sector. At a media leadership forum held on the sidelines of WEFA, he spoke on the future of Nigeria’s agriculture and other issues. Our Abuja Bureau Chief, MADU ONUORAH, was there. hat is the renewed focus on Nigeria’s agriW culture sector all about? First, we abandoned the agriculture sector because everybody was making cheap and easy money from oil. Yes, you can scoop oil, but nobody eats or drinks oil. You need agriculture to be able to feed the nation. This trajectory that we were spending so much money importing foods that we ordinarily should be producing in Nigeria didn’t make any sense, because Nigeria doesn’t have any business importing most of the food items. We have the land, the water, cheap labour and the market. Mostly, 167 million people are there to eat whatever we produce in the country. When Mr President launched the agriculture transformation agenda in 2011, by appointing me as the Minister of Agriculture, that agenda was very clear - that we should add 20 million metric tonnes of food to our domestic food market between 2011 and 2015. We should also create 1.5 million jobs. There should be a lot of seasonal jobs through agriculture. It was clear that we have to move in a different manner and that we have done. Agriculture in this country has always been there as a development sector. But it is like a social sector that does not really add up. So, we took a decision that agriculture should not be a development or social programme, but a business, as everything about agriculture is how to create wealth and valued jobs and revival of rural economies. In doing that, we decided to start with a number of reforms. First, we decided that beside agriculture being a business, we have to be private sector focused. We also resolved that we have to focus on value chains. So, it is not just about producing more of cassava or maize, but about adding more value to every single thing that we produce and that is how you make money in agriculture, not just because you produce the product. When I became minister, I took that position that every commodity value chain has to be developed. And our starting point was to work closely and actively with state governments. The job has to be done in the states, so I got Mr President’s permission to decentralize the entire Ministry of Agriculture. Today we have 36 state offices being manned by qualified people. We also have six regional directors representing the six geopolitical zones. This is very crucial to the successes we have achieved so far. We wanted to have both the state and federal governments working and aligning towards the development of agriculture as a business. We are now planning with the state governments, monitoring and evaluating programmes as they commence. This has never happened before and it totally changed the relationship between federal and state governments in such a way that National programmes on agriculture now work in all the states. What further reforms followed? We also decided that, if we are going to succeed, we need a number of fundamental reforms. You cannot put old wine in a new wine bottle. Mr President has been fantastic in backing these reforms and without his support, the reforms wouldn’t have succeeded. As you know, the first reform was in the fertilizer sector. For 40 years, Nigeria has been running a system of fertilizer procurement by government. This had number of problems as it did not deliver fertilizer to real farmers. Only 10 to 11 per cent of farmers had access to the fertilizer sold by government. There was a lot of chaos because we had people bringing in 50 per cent fertilizer and 50 per cent sand then. The system was so corrupt and became rent seeking and it was not serving any
Adeshina purpose to farmers. The use of improved varieties by farmers was very low. The system also displaced the private sector and was not investing in seed. Also, the fertilizer company was not investing because there was no reason to do that. That should not have been the role of government, as it does not buy or distribute Coca Cola drink, yet the product is everywhere. We took a position that we have to turn everything around. And we did. We ended a corruption that existed for over 40 years in fertilizer procurement and distribution in 90 days. We took government totally out of buying, selling and distributing fertilizer. Everything is all in the hands of the private sector and that is the way it should be. Another thing was that because government has always monopolized the seed sector, we planned to stop it. Like fertilizer, government had monopolised the seed sector for decades and no industry grew with the monopoly of the seed foundation. We ended that and today, foundation seed productions are all in the hands of the private sector. In addition, we also began the hard work of knowing who our customers are. Except if you are planning to steal or divert government resources, you will want to know who your customers are, what they are doing and what they are spending your money on. This country has never had a database for farmers. It is like saying a banker who does not know those who take loans from the bank. We started by putting in place the first-ever national biometric database for farmers in this country and within two years, we registered 10.5 million farmers. We have biometric information on them and linked them to the Nigerian Identity Management System. We are the first
ministry or agency of government to do that and today, our farmers have identity cards. We are moving them to have smart cards for their biometric information. I must say that we are the first country in Africa to do this and all other countries are now coming here to learn the system. What this means is that we know who the farmers are, where they are and how to target them. That is what we have been doing with the biometric information. What has been the strategic effect of the reforms? We now know how to get the seeds and fertilizers to our farmers through a system that cuts away the rent seekers. Farmers now have mobile phones and we are reaching our farmers directly. It is just like somebody going to the bank to collect his or her own money. You cannot collect another person’s money. The mobile phone and the identity management information allow us to do that. We have also designed and launched the Electronic Wallet System. The system allows farmers to get access to seeds and other equipment via their mobile phones. The most potent tool in the hands of farmers now is the mobile phone, as they access farm inputs and funds through it, just like you and I browse our accounts on our mobile phones. We have now begun the process of modernizing agriculture using ICT. Within two years, we reached eight million farmers directly via the electronic wallet system. In the past, you would see farmers queuing to get fertilizers and they were being treated like beggars, as if giving them fertilizers was a favour. We changed this system and it is the best agricultural policy that this government has introduced. Being the first in Africa and the world to launch
the Electronic Wallet System, India, Brazil, Argentina and China are all coming to us to learn about it. If you were at the World Economic Forum in Abuja, you would have seen how African countries were coming to us for enquiries. Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Ghana are coming to learn this system. In fact, the African Union said they are going to make the Nigerian Electronic Wallet System something that should be done by every African country in order to end corruption in fertilizer and seeds distribution. This is very significant as Nigeria had the worst corrupt fertilizer system. But today Nigeria is exporting the product. I saw women farmers when I went to Zamfara and Katsina States. Immediately I alighted from my car, they rushed to me. Security agents with me were scared and wanted to stop them but I said no, that the women had nothing threatening. The women who were very happy put their hands in their pockets and brought out mobile phones. They said ‘Hon Minister, with these mobile phones, the men can’t cheat us anymore.’ One of them, Alhaja Tella from Katsina State, built a house from the system. Another woman from Zamfara built a house from the two acres of land where she farms. Today, she is taking care of 23 orphans. One cannot despise the time of little beginnings. That means a lot to her. And that is what I think government is all about. Government is about getting the citizens empowered in a transparent way. What challenges were there in transforming the sector? Yes, we encountered challenges as we rolled out these programmes. It is usual with any
Monday, May 19, 2014
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as a business in Nigeria, says Adesina thing in life. It is sometimes like surgery, where you go in to remove something that are not good in the system, but when you get in, you now discover that it is complicated. In some areas, there was the problem of mobile penetration. We wanted this programme to work well in every local government across the country. So, we resolved to work together with the UK government on that. We have updated the system with what we call tap technology. The farmers are still getting their seeds and fertilizer through mobile phones. They would bring their biometric cards, which have all their information that cannot be duplicated, and tap on the Android phone and all the information on them will come. They do not need any mobile network to do this. Immediately, the information on their phones would be used to transact the fertilizer or seeds business. They used that to trigger payment into the agriculture dealer. According to the UK government, we are the first in the world to do so. All I am saying is that we are rapidly innovating in agriculture in Nigeria. As the President said, we want to make the sector to be productive, efficient and competitive. We are not going to lag behind in technology. Generally, what are the benefits of the new agricultural focus in the country? The benefits of all these are that in the last two years, $5 billion of investment has come into Nigeria to manufacture fertilizer. Where did this money come from? It came from Indorama, $1.3bn. Notore and Aliko Dangote are investing about $2.5bn. In about three to four years, Nigeria will be a major exporter of fertilizer. This is happening because government is out and private sector is in. Secondly, in terms of seeds, what has happened in the last two years as a result of the reforms is that seed companies have multiplied. When we started in 2011, we had only five seed companies. Today, we have 80 seed companies in the country including the largest seed company in the world. It has opened offices in Nigeria and has already hired 35 members of staff. Every seed company wants to be here because of the reforms. Let me move to the impact of all of these on the financial market. When we started two and half years ago, only 0.7 per cent of total bank lending was going to the agricultural sector. We put in place a facility with the Central Bank of Nigeria. We worked very closely in the development of a programme that would reduce the risk of lending facility to agriculture. We fixed all the agricultural value chains. Last year, the total of bank share going into agriculture was increased from 0.7 per cent when we started to five per cent. We expect that it will get to seven per cent this year and 10 per cent in another year from now. I used to run after bankers. But today bankers run after us. They have seen the business opportunity in agriculture. The banks’ total lending figures to agro-dealers in 2012 when we stated was $20 million. By 2013, banks in Nigeria have lent to these agro-dealers $53 million. Let’s take the fertilizer companies. Because of the reforms, banks lent to them $100 million in 2012; in 2013, $500 million. The banks did not lose anything for lending to agriculture. So, we have proven that agriculture can work as a business. Today, agriculture has the lowest nonperforming loans in this country. We just launched a fund known as Funds for Agriculture Financing in Nigeria (FAFIN). This fund is another innovation because we recognized that businesses need more than short term planning. They need long time measure. We took government money and that of Germany to set up this fund. It is a N100 billion fund. This fund will now lend to new agro businesses to enable them grow. We are not going to abandon new and small-scale agro-business companies. We are putting around them right financial structures to enable them grow. At the start of the administration, we said that we are going to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice by 2015. Many people thought that was impossible. But we were not discouraged. I was mindful of all the challenges we have around it. It didn’t make any sense that Nigeria was importing rice at the scale we were importing it. We were the second highest importer of rice in the world. Yet we have lands and facilities to produce
Adeshina rice. There is no part of this country that cannot grow rice. Nigeria should be exporter of rice and not importer. We went into the hard work of doing just that. We started with mass distribution of high quality seeds to our farmers. These seeds are called New Rice for Africa (NERICA). The two main varieties are called Faro44 and Faro52. These are long grain rice varieties that march any type of rice that is imported to Nigeria today. We began to give that to our farmers and there was instant transformation. Today, literally every farmer that is growing rice has shifted from local varieties into these two varieties. The yield is phenomenal. What we are seeing today is that rice pyramids are coming to Nigeria. Farmers in the country produced 2.95 m metric tons of rice last year. In 2012, we did 1.5 million metric ton additional. If you take a look at that and you say yes convert it, you will know that we have gone far. We were importing 2.3 million metric tonnes. So, we are now about 80 to 85 per cent self-sufficient in paddy production. We are close to our target. We are working very hard to transform paddy into high quality rice. The number of integrated rice mill that can turn paddy into finished rice increased from one functional one that was in Kano when we started
three years ago to 15. Total capacity of all of them is 540,000 metric tons. Small-scale mills are expanding. Go to Kano, Abakaliki, Enugu and so on, the mills are growing at 20 to 40 per cent per year. They are competing very well. The rice policy is working. People who were saying that it will not work, are recanting now. Yes, we have some challenges. But we are overcoming it. Dangote has shown interest in the rice business. He announced that he will invest $300 million into rice production in Nigeria. Investors are growing in this area. It shows Nigeria is doing well in the area. What has your ministry done to get cassava beyond the level the last administration left it? Mr. President was very concerned about the issue of high import bill we have for wheat. We spent $5bn importing wheat. We were making farmers of other countries happy importing wheat. I don’t have any problem with importation of wheat. But we must find a way of cutting that bill down by using our own local products to substitute for the wheat we import. That was why Mr. President launched the cassava composite flower for making bread. We are the largest producer of cassava in the world. We must also become the largest exporter of the produce. We
In about three to four years, Nigeria will be a major exporter of fertilizer. This is happening because government is out and private sector is in. Secondly, in terms of seeds, what has happened in the last two years as a result of the reforms is that seed companies have multiplied. When we started in 2011, we had only five seed companies. Today, we have 80 seed companies in the country including the largest seed company in the world. It has opened offices in Nigeria and has already hired 35 members of staff. Every seed company wants to be here because of the reforms
decided that we must use cassava flower to produce bread, cassava for starch and cassava sweetness to replace sugar that we are importing. We decided to turn cassava into gold for farmers. When I became minister, 45 per cent of cassava in this country was under the ground. It could not be marketed. That created a lot of problem. What we did was simply to start creating market for cassava. And it is working. Today, we have 30 bakeries that are producing cassava bread. The breads are fresh and good. The bread is cheaper and healthier. If we can cut the consumption of wheat by 20 per cent, we will save N240 billion every year. We have a US company that is working in Nigeria in the last one year. It wants to invest $200 m at Alape, Kogi State in setting up a company that will be producing cassava starch. It will also produce sweetener from cassava. It does appear that your ministry is focusing on few crops. How true is that perception? It is not true. Let me tell you what we have done in cocoa. We are doing remarkably well in that area. Nigeria is playing second or third fiddle to other countries. The big players are Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon. We have the potential to produce more cocoa than these countries if we do the right things. The cocoa transformation is working in the South West, South East and South South. We are distributing 3.5 million of high quality cocoa pods to farmers. The president has authorised the distribution to farmer free of charge. In terms of seedling, that translates into 114 million of cocoa seedlings. In 2013, we distributed 1.1 million metric tons of the pods. We are still distributing. The cocoa hybrids that we are distributing in Nigeria will give five times the yields we were getting before. 2.5 tonnes per hectare is the average yield now. Farmers were getting 0.5 tons per hectare before. So you can see the difference. Secondly, they mature in two and a half years instead of five years. Today, the World Cocoa Foundation said that to fill one million metric tonnes deficit in the global market, a lot of it will come from Nigeria because of what we are doing. There is massive amount of work going on. We distributed to farmers last year 12.5 million seedlings. All was done free of charge. From Ekiti, Ondo, Cross River to Abia states, cocoa is growing very well. We are establishing in the next quarter what is called Cocoa Corporation of Nigeria. It will replace the old Cocoa marketing board. It will allow our farmers to get better market, better prices and better support. This is the first major institutional reform and it is being done by this government. On oil palm, we are distributing to our farmers nine million sprouted nuts of high yielding oil palm seedlings. These are short stature oil palm seedling that gives you high yield. That is being given free of charge. The seedling is given to everybody both in the private sector or public sector. Look at what has happened to palm oil sector especially the Okumo and PRESCO companies. They are doing well in the stock market. Investment in oil palm sector is expanding. The government is committed to raising it to a height that it can compete at the global stage. For cotton in the North, when I came on board, there was no single seed of cotton in the country. I had to almost go and beg a country that I would not like to mention its name for some seed. We began the hard work of developing seed for our cotton. We worked with West Africa Cotton Company to introduce new cotton seed varieties for our farmers. Right now, every single high quality cotton seed that you find is being distributed to state governments free of charge. We are doing well in the area of fish. South South, especially is strong in this area. We are registering all our artisanal fishermen just as we are doing for crop farmers. We are getting a database of all of them. Some of them when they stray into other peoples waters they arrest them. Secondly, the President has approved for us a massive programme of aqua culture. He has interest in the area. Our target is that within four years, Nigeria will produce one million metric tons of table size fish, 250,000 metric tons per year. We have started a massive work on aqua culture. We have private sector moving into aqua culture.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, May 19, 2014
CIIN donates books, computers to boost insurance studies in institutions By Joshua Nse HE Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in a move to sustain insurance education and capacity building in the country, has made good its promises to equip accredited tertiary institutions offering insurance programmes with relevant tools to help students in their insurance career as well as deepen penetration. The President of the Institute, Fatai Kayode Lawal, addressing representatives of the institutions during the presentation of computer systems to the institutions at the Council chambers of the institute in Lagos, said the event was in realization of another phase of the major anchors of the theme of his presidency of the
institute: “Promoting insurance education in Nigeria.” According to him, although the life of his administration commenced on June 14, 2013 during his investiture ceremony as the 45th President of the Institute, we have worked concertedly towards the actualization of our five-point agenda. The five-point agenda include production of insurance textbook for Secondary Schools to actualize Federal Government approval of insurance as a course of study in “O-Level” examination; support for accredited tertiary institutions offering insurance to enhance their capacity to offer quality education; reinforcement of activities at the College of Insurance and Financial Management at Asese village
along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; completion of the ongoing restructuring of the institute’s secretariat to enhance operational efficiency and effective service delivery; and resuscitation of the institute’s Victoria Island building project. The CIIN boss said that the agenda command the significant signposts for developing a lasting legacy in the promotion and sustenance of insurance education and for ensuring that we entrench the standards requisite for the production of an excellent workforce for the insurance sub-sector of the national economy. He said “Let me reiterate that the theme of my presidency is borne out of the belief that we can only create the necessary
insurance awareness where people are fairly and reasonably educated about it. The less than optimal financial literacy in Nigeria today is at the root of poor patronage of financial services and insurance happens to be one of the most affected in the sector”. According to him, the Nigerian population has just about 3,500 professionally qualified insurance practitioners out of about 160 million people. Getting only 3,500 educated out of this figure is a far cry. The only way we can get insurance to penetrate every nook and cranny of this country is to get more people involved as crusaders for insurance. This we believe is the way to go. The Institute President said
the donation of computer systems to tertiary institutions is not only significant as a landmark commitment to our growth agenda, it also forms the final part of a series of actions geared at accelerating the empowerment of institutions offering insurance courses across Nigeria. He said “Our institute is continually committed to the act actualization of its statutory responsibilities as enshrined in Decree No. 22 (now Act) of 1993 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Chief of these is the determination of the standards of skill and knowledge for the ethical and professional delivery of insurance services in Nigeria. Therefore, the promotion of insurance education is not only a key to unlocking the huge potentials of our industry but also a means of opening the doors to the younger generation who represent the insurance practitioners of tomorrow”. He requested that the items donated to the institutions should be appropriately utilized by the students. It is our desire to occasionally make additional book donations in order to enrich the glossary of books in this subject. In his remark, the DirectorGeneral of the Institute, Kola Ahmed, said the presentation is the forth in the series of the promise made by the President in Council during his investiture in fulfillment of his agenda to move and enhance the capacity building and insurance education in the country. According to him, as we match forward , we aim to boost the student enrolment in the tertiary institutions and
spread the gospel of insurance to every Nigerians. He said, “As we move forward, we aim to boost students’ enrolment for the institutes examinations; pursue a more robust and better packaging of the institutes programmes and activities, sustain and improve upon memberships’ interest and attendance at the institutes programmes, ensure and enhance the level of confidence in and support for the secretariat, and to guarantee greater demonstration of accountability and transparency as well as greater prudence in the management of affairs of the institute. He said, “We have replaced the culture of gloom and resignation with that of enthusiasm and high morale amongst staff to provide excellent quality services. We have replaced the culture of impunity with that of organized and structured administration. “As a result, we want to express our appreciation and sincere gratitude to the president and Chairman in Council as well as the Governing Council for the recent approval of a new salary structure for the staff of the institute. In his remark on behalf of the three institutions, Head, Department of Insurance, Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, Dr. Sarage Adebayo Raji, said on behalf of the three institutions, we thank the Council of the institute for the donation to assist teaching and learning of insurance in our institutions. This is not the first time we are receiving assistance from the institute, this is going to enhance the interest of the students and challenge them for excellent research pursuit of their career.
ARM grows operation funds to N500b ITH a little beginning of W only N10 million in 1994, Asset & Resources
Head of Service, Enugu State, Chidi Ezema, (left); Managing Director, Premium Pension Limited, Wilson Ideva; and South East Zonal Head, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Eneh Michael Ejiofor during a retirees’ forum organized by Premium Pension Limited in Enugu
Old Mutual posts strong sales in Africa ANGLO-SOUTH African financial group Old Mutual posted a 24 percent rise in gross sales of its products ranging from insurance to investment funds, helped by a strong performance in Africa. In a trading statement on Thursday, the company - a member of Britain’s FTSE 100 index - said gross sales in the first quarter reached 6.2 billion pounds ($10.4 billion), ahead of a consensus forecast of 6 billion, helping funds under management expand 2 percent on a constant currency basis to 297.7 billion. The company said it was well placed to benefit from recent changes to UK pensions, which will effectively remove the need for any retiree to buy an annuity from insurers and will allow them more flexibility in how to invest their money.
“We expect to be a net beneficiary from the radical changes to the UK pensions system,” said Chief Executive Julian Roberts on a conference call. “We have no exposure to annuities but are a leading provider of pension income drawdown.” Sales in emerging markets were up 18 percent on a constant-currency basis at 1.9 billion pounds, helped by strong retail sales. “We are making good progress towards our ambition to become Africa’s financial services champion,” said Roberts, who said sales in Africa were up 27 percent excluding South Africa, and added that the group had signed new bank distribution agreements in Nigeria and Ghana. Old Mutual, founded in Cape Town in 1845, had said in
January it planned to increase the share of profits generated by its African business to 15 percent by the end of 2015, up from 10 percent. The group reiterated its intention to list a minority stake in its asset management business in the United States, USAM, which suffered cash outflows of $3.6 billion in the quarter - a performance which analysts said was disappointing. “We reiterate our ‘hold’ recommendation but highlight the continued excellent progress the group is making at the underlying level, especially as a regards asset accumulation, and its positioning in the UK post the Budget changes,” said analyst Eamonn Flanagan at brokerage Shore Capital in a note to clients. Old Mutual shares were down
just over 1 percent at 0745 GMT, having hit a near 12month high last week. Roberts also said Old Mutual had regulatory approval for the disposal of its Skandia Poland unit, after having already sold the Austrian and German businesses of its wealth management arm for 220 million euros. The weakness of the South African rand and U.S. dollar, which flattened the group’s profits in 2013, wiped 50 percent off the group’s gross sales on a reported currency basis, but Roberts remained upbeat. “I believe that the results we are announcing today, despite the currency headwinds, are evidence of the strength and appropriateness of our business model,” he said. ($1 = 0.5960 British Pounds) (Editing by Chris Vellacott and David Holmes)
Management Limited has grown to emerge the biggest indigenous investment company in Nigeria with funds under management in excess of N500 billion, ($3.1 billion.) Strategically investing in key sectors of the economy, ARM currently has business comprising non-pension asset management, life insurance, pension fund administration, stock broking and execution services, trust services, real estate management and development, infrastructure finance and development, private equity, and hospitality and retail, and today has 500,000 clients group wide. Rated ‘AA’ by Augusto & Co, as the only Nigerian asset manager with such grade, ARM with diversified asset classes of long term investment horizon has workforce in excess of 800. Deji Alli, chief executive officer, ARM Group who spoke at the firm’s 20th anniversary celebration in Lagos said “This is 20years of realizing ambition; it is 20-years of trackable success. “In almost two decades of existence, we have recorded numerous successes, and in the process become a diversified and integrated asset management firm with scalable business operations in defined niche areas.”
“We have built a platform for meeting the needs of our diversified clients, fulfilling our mission of continuously seeking wealth creation opportunities for those who entrust us with their assets, Alli said. Felix Ohiwerei, chairman, said ARM indeed is one of the rare success stories that shows what is possible in Nigeria if minds are focused on hardwork, teamwork and truth as well as having the right perspective of time. “When ARM commenced operations in 1994 as a company managing quoted equities mainly, its goal was to one day, provide every client (regardless of resources, status or exposure) with access to the best selection of investment opportunities to meet their financial goals.” “This growth is a testimony to the resilience of the company’s leadership, its determination to succeed and most importantly, the faith and trust bestowed on us by our clients and shareholders.” According to him, there are several attributes that have stood the Company clearly in its journey of becoming the preferred financial services partner, such as our professionalism, integrity, foresight, innovation, responsiveness to our environment, and continued focus on our clients, he said.
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Willis Brokers initiates $55million reinsurance capacity for African catastrophe insurance pool ILLIS Group Holdings plc W (WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, has secured US $55 million of index-based reinsurance capacity from the international weather risk markets for Africa’s first ever catastrophe insurance pool, Africa Risk Capacity Insurance Company Ltd (ARC Ltd). ARC Ltd, a Bermuda based mutual insurance company, has been set up to issue insurance policies against drought to an initial group of five African countries: Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger and Senegal. It will allow member countries to respond quickly to a developing crisis, and rely less on uncertain international aid in
times of drought. Teams from both Willis Re and Willis’s Global Weather Risks Practice were involved in shaping the structure of ARC Ltd’s reinsurance programme. David Simmons, Managing Director of Analytics at Willis Re, said: “The underlying insurance policies issued by ARC Limited are cutting-edge index-based coverages, with parametric triggers tailored to reflect each country’s specific rainfall requirements for growing staple crops. The calculation of claims to the programme is based upon satellite rainfall data which is used to objectively determine whether a drought has occurred. This then allows claims to be calculated quick-
ly, and as a result, funds can be deployed in a timely and efficient manner. This is one of the first times in Africa that the reinsurance process has become such a key instrument in achieving humanitarian and development goals.” Julian Roberts, Executive Director of Willis’s Global Weather Risks Practice, commented: “A mechanism such as ARC Ltd demonstrates the very best of what can be achieved when governments and the re/insurance sector work together, and has the potential to increase the
resilience of African countries to the climatic challenges which they face.” Claire Wilkinson, Partner of Willis’s Global Weather Risks Practice, added: “We noted significant appetite for this risk from both the reinsurance and index-based weather market, which were very keen to support something so innovative and ground-breaking. Despite keen pricing, the core layers of the programmes were around three times oversubscribed. It is heartening to see so much support from the re/insurance industry for a
project that has the potential to do so much good.” Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 18,000 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world’s leading authorities on analytics, modelling and miti-
gation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website, www.willis.com, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-theminute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world. Willis Global Wealth Solutions was established in 2012 and has operations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich.
Leadway Assurance donates to charities in memory of founder th
of the 15 IingNyearcommemoration anniversary of the passof its founder, Sir (Dr.)
Olusola Hassan Odukale, Leadway Assurance Company Limited has donated medication, foodstuff and equipment worth thousands of naira to four homes in Lagos state namely Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home School, Akoka; Ile Aanu Olu Pre-school, Surulere; Nigeria Society for the Blind and Wesley Schools for Hearing Impaired Children. A statement from the underwriting firm confirmed that the donations were made following the May 3 anniversary date in furtherance of the ideals of the late founder who was wellknown for his philanthropy, integrity and sound professional/business ethics within the industry.
Using the platform of the Leadway movie club, the company also hosted about 180 children from less privileged homes to a kiddie movie at the Silverbird Galleria, Ahmadu Bello, Victoria Island, Lagos. The children from Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home School, Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, the Slum to School Project along with their caregivers, were treated to popcorn and drinks and were excited to visit the renowned cinema house. Speaking at the event, Amaka Obidi of the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, lauded the company’s initiative in providing the platform as an alternate means of educating the children. She enjoined other corporate institutions to take a cue from Leadway and show similar constructive philanthropy to the children.
BIBA admits NCRIB as affiliate HE quest for greater interT national relevance by the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has begun to yield dividends with the admission of the Council as an affiliate of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA). The affiliation has now paved way for better exchange of market information and human capital development between the two professional institutions. BIBA is the world leading umbrella body of insurance intermediaries. Conveying the admission after a special session with Nigerian delegation to the 2014 BIBA Conference held in Manchester, United Kingdom; the Chairman of BIBA, Mr. Lord Hunt disclosed that through the synergy, the two professional bodies could now latch on each other’s strength to grow insurance broking in their different jurisdictions. Hunt, who was a former UK Science Minister opined that the contemporary challenge of technology and global business had placed insurance business at the centre stage in the scheme of things, necessitating the dire need for strong international synergies across
insurance professionals in the world. He noted further that the world of insurance and pensions have become highly complicated and as a result made insurance brokers and similar intermediaries more relevant than they had ever been. Hunt said that the market basis between UK and Nigeria was similar in so many ways, hence the two climes must look unto each other for continuous guidance. Speaking earlier, the President of NCRIB, Mr Ayodapo Shoderu had noted that the need to grow the Nigerian insurance broking practice across international borders informed his administration’s focus on global synergies, noting that the new BIBA affiliation will provide a leeway for insurance brokers under the aegis of the Council to develop greater capacity. He appreciated BIBA for acceding to the request for affiliation which was made during his recent visit to the Association, noting that the development would place NCRIB and its members in a better pedestal in terms of professionalism and market exposure.
President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Ayodapo Shoderu (2nd left) in a handshake with the Chairman of British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), Lord Hunt during the 2014 BIBA conference held in Manchester, UK. With them are Kayode Okunoren(right) and Shola Tinubu, Deputy and Vice Presidents of the NCRIB respectively
Security and insurance experts warn of future climate costs POWERFUL voices in finance and the armed forces have raised concerns about the risks of increasingly extreme weather events causing billions of dollars of damage and potentially igniting humanitarian disasters and regional conflicts HE world’s biggest and oldT est insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, has published a report that urges insurers to include climate risks in their models. It says: “Scientific research points conclusively to the existence of climate change driven by human activity. “Nevertheless, significant uncertainty remains on the nature and extent of the changes to our climate and the specific impacts this will generate. Many of the effects will become apparent over the coming decades and anticipating them will require forward projections, not solely historical data.” Quoting the Munich Re insurance group , the World Bank says damage and weatherrelated losses around the world have increased from an annual average of $50bn in the 1980s to nearly $200bn over the last decade. The Lloyd’s report was published the day after the US
National Climate Assessment (NCA) warned Americans that climate change is already
causing havoc across the country. John Holdren, the White House science adviser, said the NCA was the “loudest and clearest alarm bell to date signalling the need to take urgent action to combat the threats to Americans from climate change”.
The most expensive year on record for natural disasters was 2011, when insured losses cost the industry more than $126bn. In 2012, Super storm Sandy caused $35bn of insured losses, making it the most expensive hurricane in US history after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Sovereign Trust partners centre for values on leadership N furtherance to fulfilling its Henshaw and a host of others. Insurance Plc has been doing Iadvancement commitment towards the The ‘Walk-the Talk’ campaign and also implored other corpoof the Nigerian rate organizations to emulate Society through its strategic Corporate Social Responsibility platform, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is set to collaborate with the Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL, in hosting the maiden edition of the Center’s Road Show tagged ‘Walk The Talk”, geared at entrenching good leadership in the society and promoting positive values. The event, slated for Saturday, May 17, 2014, will bring together distinguished Nigerians who are accomplished role models in their chosen fields. Some of these notable dignitaries expected to take part in the Walk include, Professor Pat Utomi, Mr. Wale Onaolapo, MD/CEO, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Joke Silva, Kate
which literarily means ‘practice what you preach’ is a change movement initiated to preach CVL’s leadership values while reaching out to correct some social, economic and political challenges in our society. The objective of the movement is to equip generations of young Nigerians with values and leadership skills which will make them become effective and value-driven leaders in future. The event co-coordinator, Miss Stephanie Etokeren expressed her profound gratitude to the Management of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc for its continued commitment in identifying with laudable CSR initiatives in the Nigerian Society over the years. She further applauded the good work that Sovereign Trust
such initiatives demonstrated by the Underwriting Firm in being a Socially Responsible Corporate Entity. According to her, “Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has shown a great deal of commitment to advancing the Nigerian Society and one cannot but, applaud the good work of the company in every ramification.” While responding, the Managing Director/CEO of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mr. Wale Onaolapo said that the company is committed to the development of the Nigerian Society in every regard, and he equally opined that a great deal of work still need to be done in getting to the desirable State that every Nigerian would be proud of.
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Monday, May 19, 2014
Media How UNIC Lagos kept WPFD’s memory alive Issue By Kabir Alabi Garba HAT this year’s World Press Freedom Day T (WPFD) fell on a weekend - Saturday, May 3 precisely - nearly took shine off the commemoration in Nigeria. Apart from the International Press Centre (IPC) that issued a statement reiterating the significance of the Day in relation to security challenge that is currently confronting the country, it is not certain if other media professional groups that used to put up one activity or the other remember to do so this year. But the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos rescued the situation with a symposium that critically examined the theme: Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda plus other related issues such as media’s importance in development; the safety of journalists and the rule of law; as well as the sustainability and integrity of journalism. What appeared unique about the gathering at the UNIC office in Lagos on Tuesday, May 6, was the assembly of town and gown with a view to jaw-jaw over matters that could enhance the performance of journalists in the society. With the collaborations of Media Awareness and Information for All Network (MAIN) and United Nations Associations of Nigeria, the symposium attracted scholars from ivory towers such as Dean, School of Communications, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Lai Oso; Associate Professor Rotimi Williams Olatunji, also from LASU who gave the keynote address; Prof. Umaru Pate from Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano spoke on Re-tooling cross-cultural communication as a panacea for peace in Nigeria; while Dr. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndizika, Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos examined Media, Gender and the Quest for Peace in Nigeria. National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun treated Mediatising Conflicts in Nigeria: A Reflection. Participants were also drawn from all media establishments — print, broadcast, online and wire service — in Lagos as well as non-governmental organisations whose activities are closely connected with media and gender issues. Commissioner of Information, Lagos State, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba declared the symposium open. Assistant director/Head of Strategies in the Information Ministry, Mrs Toro Oladapo represented Ibirogba. The programme had two sessions: opening ceremony and the seminar. A brief on the World Press Freedom Day by Soremekun set the tone of discussion as Senior Public Information Officer, UNIC Lagos Ms Envera Selimovic read the joint message from the UN scribe, Ban Kimoon and DG of UNESCO, Irina Bokova. Giving a background to the theme of the commemoration: Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda, the two global citizens argued, “This year, the international community has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to prepare a long-term agenda for sustainable development to succeed the Millennium Development Goals when they end in 2015. “Successfully implementing that agenda will require that all populations enjoy the fundamental rights of freedom of opinion and expression. These rights are essential to democracy, transparency, accountability and the rule of law. They are vital for human dignity, social progress and inclusive development.” World Press Freedom Day, they stressed, “highlights the importance of independent, free and pluralistic media to protecting and promoting these rights. Journalism provides a platform for informed discussion across a wide range of development issues — from environmental challenges and scientific progress to gender equity, youth engagement and peace building. Only when journalists are at liberty to monitor, investigate and criticize policies and actions can good governance exist.” In the keynote address, Olatunji dwelled on concept and evolution of Press Freedom; global overview of threats to press freedom and media professionals; sustainability and integrity of
Cross section of participants at the symposium on World Press Freedom Day held at UNIC office in Lagos on May 6, 2014 journalism; as well as the contributions of media to development. In his recommendation, Olatunji laid emphasis on Media and Information Literacy (MIL). He justified his point with another media scholar’s argument that “it is wrong to assume that the skills for interpreting and creating media-rich messages come naturally to individuals simply because they encounter such content so frequently.” MIL, he added, would transform “youths in Nigeria” from mere consumers to “positions where they become media producers and content generators.” The degree of unethical practices among media operators, the journalism teacher urged, should be frontally addressed. The solution to this menace, he cautioned, “does not lie in suppressing or curtailing media freedom. Neither does it lie in criminalization of offences, but one in which, on the one hand, the rule of law is strictly followed when handling issues relating to offensive publications; and on the other hand, it requires that
media operators becoming more alive to their social responsibility by wholly subscribing to the ethics of the profession. “In this regard, quality media education and professional development of operators are critical, just as media organizations should provide adequate remunerations and other incentives to discourage employees from financial and other forms of inducements. Gender equality and sensitivity to the peculiar needs of female journalists should also be pursued.” To make media freedom a reality, Olatunji canvassed what he termed “political will to support the media sector and rule of law to protect it.” He argued further: “the legal and regulatory environment must allow for openness and pluralism; existing laws granting access to information must be respected by government authorities while such laws should be put in place where none exists, and should be extended to publicly quoted companies. “Also, crimes against journalists should not be allowed un-punished; impunity against jour-
Experiential Marketers launch code of conduct By Gbenga Salau O promote professionalT ism that meets global standards, Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) has launched a Code of Conduct to guide the operations of its members. Unveiling the code in Lagos recently, president of the association, Mr. Kayode Olagesin, said the development of a Code of Conduct for its members is a fall-out of one of the cardinal points of the agenda of the association’s executive team when it was inaugurated last year. He said during the inauguration, the Executive Committee articulated the agenda to be driven under the acronym, KLIPP, which translate into Knowledge, Leadership, Integration, Protection and Professionalism, with the Code of Conduct coming out of the Professionalism subagenda.
In his words, “The culmination of all our efforts is to improve professional practice. In engaging our members, our clients expect value for their money and nothing short of global standards in the delivery of their business and marketing objectives. We take this responsibility very seriously hence the drive to get all our members to operate professionally. “One of the things that sets professionals apart is their adherence to a code of conduct as well as standards and procedures they adopt in the delivery of their services. In recognition of this, we have been very busy in developing a Code of Conduct for self-regulation. We have shared this with major stakeholders in the industry for their input and shall continue to do so post-launch as it is a living document that we shall continue to fine-tune as time goes on”. For Olagesin, it is the begin-
ning of better days to come as the executive continues to work towards the fulfillment of its pledge to the industry at inception to promote the professional practice of Experiential Marketing and the general advancement of marketing communications industry in Nigeria. Before the launch of the Code of Conduct at the event, the president gave a brief on efforts made by the executive aimed at working in line within the key words under the agenda. He narrated what the association has done to increase the knowledge base of its members including organising training for new entries into the experiential marketing field; how it has provided thought leadership; integrated with other professions and associations within marketing communications and protected the business interests of members from quacks and unfair terms by clients.
nalists should be laid to rest. In addition, media workers need to be assisted in boosting the MIL skills, just like we need to invest in the improvement of MIL among students at all levels of education in the sub-Sahara.” According to him, umbilical cord relationships exist between media freedom, transparency, good governance and development. “An open, transparent and accountable government will make it possible to reduce or eliminate poverty, and release scarce resources for developmental purposes. More importantly, it will release the creativity and potentials of every sector of the populace to addressing societal problems,” he concluded. Earlier on Monday, May 5, the International Press Centre (IPC) had issued a statement urging “Nigerian media not to rest on its oars in monitoring governance and making governments at all levels properly accountable to the people as envisaged by section 22 of the Constitution.” Specifically, the centre asked the media to help set a firm agenda against increasing acts of impunity in the country. In the statement, IPC Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said media freedom cannot be separated from the freedom of the people. “This is the more reason why the Nigerian media should deploy all investigative tools and embark on all necessary campaigns and advocacy to ensure the freedom of the latest victims of impunity in our society - the over 200 Chibok school-girls being held in un-deserved captivity in Borno State.” Impunity, Arogundade insisted, has become the order of the day as huge budgetary allocations for the nation’s development are not accounted for. “For example, it is both saddening and disheartening that in spite of special budgetary allocation to fight terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria, as well as huge security votes by the executives, the tide seems un-abating especially with the brazen manner with which the insurgents are now operating, bombing and kidnapping at will,” he explained. Mr. Arogundade however said that for the media to effectively carry out the expected responsibilities, the journalists must be adequately empowered and protected. Media organizations, he canvassed, should always be willing to strengthen the capacity of practitioners through various development programmes. “They should also ensure the safety of journalists in the course of performing their duties through adequate remuneration and enhanced welfare packages including insurance policies,” said he.
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Caverton rebrands to reflect new image By Gbenga Salau EPOSITING an organisation for greater R heights could take rebranding and tinkering with its non-tangible assets in order to conscously and unconsciously communicate to the market its new drive. While it is often said on the average that a corporate entity can rebrand after a decade, many firms are compelled to rebrand as a result of merger or acquisition so as to merge the ideas and philosohies of the two organisations coming together into the non-verbal communication tools of the new entity. And to effectively do the rebranding project, it could entail redesigning the logo, visual language, colours and the photographic style. Although there is usually one main reason for making the change, the motivation behind a rebranding project is often a combination of several factors. One such organisation that has decided to rebrand knowing that the ethos of its former entities are important elements of the new corporate entity is Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc. The company was incorporated in Nigeria in 2008 as a private limited liability company with the aim to operate in the marine and aviation logistics sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The group was formed to acquire Caverton Helicopters Limited and Caverton Marine Limited, both of which were already operating in the Nigerian offshore oil and gas logistics industry. Since inception, it positioned itself as one of the leading indigenous oilfield services
Makanjuola companies in Nigeria and following the passage of Local Content Policy aimed at substantially increasing indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry. It has since positioned itself to leverage the opportunities this represents. In order to fuse into one, a new logo was created to unify across all the companies in the new group to reflect the common purpose and what the group stands for. A top management staff said, “Over the years, our businesses have grown and established three distinct entities – Offshore Support, Helicopters and Marine. We have decided to bring all businesses under a
Uncommon Transformation magazine out NCOMMON U Transformation is the latest addition to the news magazine market in Nigeria. It’s from the stable of D.R.E.A.M.S POINTER INT’L, led by young and vibrant events manager, publisher and media consultant, Love Idoko. The 88page, all colour, all gloss magazine chronicles the Godswill Akpabio years in Akwa Ibom State and the uncommon transformation he has performed. According to the publisher, ‘The magazine focuses on Akpabio’s achievements in the last seven years and what he intends to accomplish between now and his final year as governor of the state, and added why she joined the terrain of publishers, “Our country is in dire need of leaders, good leaders that can translate our enormous human and natural resources into abundant wealth for her citizens.” In the magazine, although there are sections devoted to stories about Akwa Ibom and her people, most of the stories revolve around the persona of the Governor, his story, his vision and calling. There are three stories on the front cover: “Akwa Ibom: the making of a model State (infrastructure, education, health
care, aviation, tourism, agriculture)”, “Uyo: the new Nigerian holiday and business destination”, and “Gov. Godswill Akpabio - Laying foundation for lasting legacies in Akwa Ibom.” There are major stories also on milestones recorded in the six cardinal transformation areas - First lady’s projects, views of eminent personalities including Mr. President, Past Presidents, Religious Leaders, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Regulators, Celebrities, etc. The printing of the magazine is superb, the packaging is good, and the use of all gloss paper makes the pages bright and attractive. Although the point size in some the pages are small and can be improved upon, good of colour combination enhances the magazine’s overall aesthetics. The only downside the magazine has is the fact that no mention is made of the challenges Akabio faces as well as projects he failed to carry out in the state. There is no denying the fact, however, that this is a quality magazine, a must-read for not only Akwa Ibom-ites, it is for leaders and would-be leaders as well as every other Nigerian. And with the 2015
elections around the corner, every aspiring politician will find Uncommon Transformation a worthy companion.
strong single “Mother” brand that will enhance our brand strength where the individual businesses will leverage the overall strength of the “Mother” brand. “Though our logo is changing to a single logo for all Caverton companies, our commitment to safety remains unwavering. Our brand is our greatest commercial asset and dictates how we behave and what we say”. As part of its repositioning and rebranding efforts, Caverton Offshore Support Group Limited will be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on May 20, 2014. This, according, to the management is to further re-enforce the global brand first in the NSE and progressively at international stock exchanges, adding, “The logo symbolises the Bluton Compass of three blue colours which is built on Caverton’s brand legacy showing the indispensable rich, deep-seated, robust experience in the aviation and marine sector capped with safety as number one brand value hence the logo should always be placed on a white background. It is a ‘cave icon’ carved out of Caverton’s first alphabet letter C. “The letter C illustrates a cave that opens outward to its limitless environment and also opens inward to a ‘cavernous’ environment. It also symbolizes the rudder of an aircraft as graphically as that of a ship. Apart from identifying the aviation and marine sectors, the Blue colour also reflects ‘safety’, Caverton’s irreplaceable brand value which is further accentuated by the choice of White, another colour that signifies ‘safety’. The Blue Curve altogether underscores Caverton’s safety-oriented business operations and brand promise of safety.” The new non-verbal communication tools are also in line with the group’s strategic objectives of drawing from both global offshore experiences acquired from its strategic partners and the service delivery competence of its member companies. This is besides its commitment to the local content drive of Nigerian government as reflected in its well-articulated and continu-
ous manpower development plan. In addition, the group plans to substantially utilize local resources and facilities on its service delivery platforms. It is also in line with the corporate philosophy, which is driven by the necessity to create a company that will attain pioneer status in the ownership and operation of premium offshore oilfield assets. Leading the new aspiration of the company as Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Olabode Makanjuola, who also doubles as Executive Vice-Chairman of Caverton Offshore Support Group. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Leicester and a Master’s Degree in Trade, Shipping and Finance from City University Business School. His educational qualifications and exposure have enabled him broker several commercial trading contracts with the Nigerian LNG LPG Off-takers. He has also contracted several Ship Management and Agency contracts with both indigenous and foreign companies. The Executive Vice chairman is being supported by Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors that include Mr. Akinsola Falola, Mr. Bertrand Bril, Mr Samuel Ileoma, Mr. Bashiru Bakare, HRM Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru, Mallam Gwandu, Mr. Akin Kekere-Ekun, Chief Raymond Ihyembe and Ms. Modupe Omojafor as company secretary. Falola, an Executive Director of the Group, also doubles as the Managing Director of Caverton Helicopters Limited. He is an economist with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s of Business Administration. He is a registered member and associate member of the Chartered Institute of Banking and Nigerian Institute of Management respectively. He has over 17 years experience in the banking industry before joining the Caverton Group as Chief Financial Officer. He is presently Chairman of the Board of Caverton Aviation Cameroon Plc, an affiliate of the group.
Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries plc, Walter Drength (left) President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Charles Chijide, Client Service, Lowe Lintas, Lawson Omor, Chairman, Media Link, Babu Akinbobola and Senior Brand Manager, Nigerian Breweries plc, Ita Bassey at the presentation of Grand Poster Award to Nigerian Breweries plc at the 8th Exhibition and Poster Awards in Lagos at the weekend PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
For outdoor advertising, multiple taxation makes things unworkable By Gbenga Salau RESIDENT of global association for out-of-home practitioners, Mr. Karl Javurek, has said that multiple taxation would do the outof-home advertising no good as it would make things unworkable. Meanwhile, Star-Shine On was adjudged the Best Out-f-Home billboard as it smiled home with the Grand Poster Award. While speaking as a special guest at the 8th OAAN Exhibition and Poster Awards held last week in Lagos, Javurek, who was represented by the General Secretary of the association, commended the leadership of OAAN for providing thought leadership for
the industry within Africa, saying, “We recognise the enthusiasm of your president and his efforts in uniting the region in order to grow the profession”. He called for better cooperation among stakeholders for the industry to grow bigger and move to the next level. He also enjoined professionals to be accountable by engaging in research and ensuring that there are data to work with in the industry. In the Dairy/Food/Beverages category, Loyal Milk was declared the best; in Non-Alcoholic drinks category, Fanta got the nod as the best; Best Out-ofhome for Alcoholic drinks went to Star.
In the electronics and electrical category, LG Smart TV smiled home with the award. For the Public service, there was only an entry with no winner, but in the Telecom/ICT and Household categories, Swift 4G and Mouka Foam were adjudged winners respectively. In the financial sector, Fidelity One card was the named the best. In his welcome address, President of OAAN, Mr. Charles Chijide, who restated the objective of the award, which is to reward excellence and encourage and promote the creative thinking of those who create the messages that are exposed on its platforms, maintained that the place of outdoor advertising in the marketing communica-
tion field could not be over-emphasised. He further said that it is a highly efficient platform because it helps to reach higher number of viewers repeatedly making it the most cost effective and the lowest cost per thousand. He promised that the association would continue to be committed to the highest level of professionalism, acceptable global standards and best practices. Chijide, however, noted that the industry was groaning under the yoke of uncontrollable, unregulated and indiscriminate regulation and multiple taxation, which he said were grossly unjustifiable, and imposed by
the various agencies and departments of governments. He stated that the association is not opposed to regulation and sanitization to the extent that such is within the limits of identifiable laws of the land. He said it was difficult to understand why most state governments now suddenly look in the direction of outdoor advertising to boost its internally generated revenue. He noted, “And in doing so, rate and charges are now being set without any justifiable reason. As it now stands, all over the world outdoor advertising is most expensive in Nigeria. The result is that today most advertisers are looking in the direction of other media platforms”.
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FINANCIALGUARDIAN Winners emerge in iQube’s contest HE Innovation Challenge T (TIC), TIC, a yearly entrepreneurship-focused competition designed by iQube to inspire, as well as reward excellence, has emerged three winners at its grand-finale. According to the organisers, Tony Oniwon, who developed an easy-to-use educational solution for the preparation of entrance examinations into tertiary institutions, emerged winner, followed by Oluwaseun Odukoya, who designed a power generating system, while the second runner up is Saleem Habeeb, for designing the eco-friendly ceiling boards. The final 10 contestants that went to the grand-finale were selected after multiple rounds of assessments on over 500 submissions from the initial stage. The panel of judges was made up of reputable entrepreneurs and seasoned business professionals like the Founder of LEAP Africa, Ndidi Nwueli; Chief Executive Officer of House of Tara, Tara Fela-Durotoye; and Head of Small and Medium Enterprises Banking, First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB), George Ogbonnaya. As part of the reward for winning The Innovation Challenge, Oniwon’s solution will be featured at the upcoming iQube conference- The African Enterprise, scheduled to hold on May 17, 2014, at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Additionally, the entire top 10 contestants will also be supported by the iQube 2014 partners like Microsoft, Ciuci Consulting, ES Africa, FCMB, and Avantgarde.
Divisional Managing Director, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Dr. Nino Ozara (left); General Manager, Zenith Bank Plc, Mrs. Nonye Ayeni; Managing Director-Designate, Peter Amangbo; and Managing Director, Honeywell Flour Mills, Lanre Jaiyeola, during a courtesy visit to company by bank’s team, in Lagos.
May&Baker reveals plan to raise fresh capital By Helen Oji AY&Baker Nigeria Plc has M disclosed plans to raise fresh capital to enhance its profitability and boost business operations. The capital, according to the Managing Director of the company, Nnamdi Okafor would be in a way of rights
issue and private placement. The Managing Director, while fielding questions from Journalists at a shareholders facility tour for the company’s new Pharma Centre in Lagos at the weekend, Okafor explained that the proceeds of the offer would be used to shore up its working capital to
enable them compete favourable in the industry. “We are not going into any major capital investment any more. What we are going to do is to shore up our working capital so that we will be able to compete strongly in the market and be able to deliver value to shareholders. The
Heritage Bank unveils new MasterCard product By Chijioke Nelson ERITAGE Bank Limited H has launched a uniquely designed transparent MasterCard, as part of efforts to entrench innovative banking service delivery across different spectrum of the nation’s economy. The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ifie Sekibo said that the transparent MasterCard is born out of the bank’s commitment to offer innovative banking services in a more convenient and efficient manner to customers. “This is the philosophy behind our e-payment services. There is more to e-payment than Nigerians are currently enjoying. We are determined to take Nigerians to new heights of
e-payment services that deliver unparalleled convenience and security. That is why we introduced the first transparent MasterCard in Nigeria,” he said. Sekibo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Ivory Banking, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, at the launch of the card in Lagos, said the new Mastercard is a product of thorough research by the company’s E-bank, with unflinching support from Mastercard and Interswitch Limited. “At Heritage Bank, our commitment o excellence service comes with uniqueness. Here we create, preserve and transfer wealth to our teeming customers. Our transparent MasterCard that comes with unique green strip at the bank will not only be transparent in its stylish out-
look, but will also bring the transparency to bear in dealings with our customers,” she said. The Bank’s Group Head, EBank, Tobe Nnadozie, attributed the organisation’s innovative success within a short period of time to team spirit and shared value of excellence and flexibility. According to him, the Transparent MasterCard is available to new and existing customers of the bank. “To own a Heritage Bank Transparent MasterCard is easy,” he said, adding that the card comes with no additional cost beyond the cost of applying for the average MasterCard. “The Heritage Bank Transparent MasterCard distinguishes our customers. It gives them the prestige and excitement of being part of
innovation, which is what the card represents. “The youths as well as adults will find it very attractive. Definitely you will like something that you will see through and something very presentable. It is for everybody. There are millions of people out there yearning for something different, something that would make them stand out from others. They will definitely find the Heritage Bank Transparent MasterCard attractive and embrace it. “Heritage Bank is the bank for the future, our style is quite different and we cater for all, we are not just looking at some segments. So we want everybody to come, whether old, high class, young, the middle class, we cater for everyone,” he said.
money will be majorly for working capital. He added that the proceed would be used to strengthen its core business areas which include; Pharma centre, foods, beverages, international partnership and biovaccines. On the amount to be raised, the May&Baker boss explained that the company’s boards are yet to make a decision on that but, however added that they are considering to raise between N2billion to N3 billion. “The board is yet to make a final decision on the amount to be raised but we would be raising somewhere between N2 to N3 billion. We are looking at rights issue and private placement because we don’t think it is right for us to go for public offer this time.” Concerning the Ikeja area factory , Okafor explained that the company has shut down the factory, noting that it has moved all the products to the new Pharma centre. He added that 100 per cent of the company’s manufacturing process is being carried out in the new factory. “The board has not decided whether to sell or lease the facilities in the Ikeja factory
office but if we have good offer, we would like to sell it. “ He explained that the company experienced some difficulties during the construction of the new pharmaceutical factory in Ota, Ogun state. This, according to him, was complicated with the implementation of IFRS accounting system in 2012. “I wish to thank the shareholders for their patience and understanding. I believe that the worst days are now behind us and that our company will progressively began to deliver better returns. We have already started taking steps to reverse the loss position of 2013 and bring back to profitability. “These measures include strategies to sustain revenue growth through more aggressive marketing and product initiatives, efficient management, enhancing working capital and aggressive reduction in overheads costs. “We expect that in the next couple of months, we should be able to scale through the first stage of bagging a World Health Organization (WHO) pre- qualification certification and look forward to fast tracking the second and final stage and before the end of the year, we would have our products
Bankers urged to increase investment in financial literacy efforts By Femi Adekoya O further drive the nation’s financial inclusion strategy, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), has tasked financial institutions on the need to intensify financial literacy campaigns, especially in the face of emerging technologies and the new media. Indeed, the institute added that though banking reforms were undertaken to ensure the safety of financial transactions in the country, financial
institutions need to intensify efforts in the area of capacity development for employees and customers to whom new products were being offered. Besides, the institute and other stakeholders in the banking industry urged financial institutions to adhere to the ethical standards guiding the practice in the country. Delivering his valedictory address tagged: “Banking and Bankers: Looking back, looking ahead”, the immediate past president and chairman
of council, CIBN, Dr. Segun Aina stressed the need for increased stakeholders engagement in the banking industry in order to attain desired development. According to him, it is imperative to have increased customer protection in the country if banks will remain profitable. “We need to enhance the customer complaints handling system in banks as a matter of urgency. Banks need to have an articulated customer com-
plaints management system that is functional and properly communicated to all its customers. This will reduce the incidents of justified customer complaints. “Banks should endeavour to embrace global best practices in all their operations, especially in the area of the attainment of the acclaimed International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). This will enhance greater disclosure and remove the current suspicion and mistrust
about banks and their financials”, he added. To drive inclusive growth in the industry, Aina advocated the need for banks to embrace the shared services concept and explore new areas for joint projects and collaborations among themselves. This, according to him, will reduce their operating costs and increase profitability, as operations would become more efficient. Chairman of the event and
Founder, First City Group, Otunba Subomi Balogun, urged the CIBN and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to work together in enhancing financial services in the country, adding that the CIBN should advocate adherence to ethics of the profession. Acting Governor, CBM Dr. Sarah Alade sought the continued collaboration of the institute with the apex bank in driving sound banking practices in the country.
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‘How Layelu Microfinance survived financial crisis’ By Chijioke Nelson DELIBRATE mix of good A corporate governance, income diversification, human capital development and prudence saw to the survival of Layelu Microfinance Bank Limited during the peak of the financial crisis in 2009. Chairman of the bank, J. O. Iwanefu, while presenting the financial institution’s report for the year ended December 31, 2012, at its 13th yearly general meeting, also noted that their last meeting was in 2009. Reflecting on the past few years, he reeled out the bank’s several challenging moments, including fraud and general sector crisis bothering on crisis of confidence and low financial knowledge of the rural populace where it operates. “The circumstances we found ourselves in were responsible for our inability to hold AGM until now that we have good news for you and other stakeholders. We render our unreserved apology to you, our shareholders, for the break in communication and interaction,” Iwanefu said. The bank’s Authorised Capital of N25 million, consisting 50 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, with a Paid Up Capital of N20.5 million as at December 31, 2012, had grown to N41.7 million as at same date, through retained profits from opera-
tions. The current capital base represents over 100 percent of the capital requirement for unit microfinance operations as stipulated in the guidelines and an indication that the bank is not under any threat of liquidation, even as underperforming banks are not allowed to pay dividends as it has done. Nevertheless, he explained that the management took to the strengthening of the financial institution through a credit policy geared towards achieving good quality assets and value addition to customers and shareholders in several ways. “Professional advice is given to customers when their proposals are considered not viable for financing,” he explained. “This, coupled with our rigorous risk management policy, ensured that our portfolio of non-performing loans was lower than average. “By the end of 2012, we had N52.8 million in Nigerian Treasury Bills and Federal Government bonds, which are convertible to cash on demand. To diversify our income base and ensure multiproduct offerings for sustainable income streams, we bought four new 15-seater Toyota Hiace buses at N24.2 million. “The bank entered into a three-year (2013-2015) management and later, Hire Purchase agreements, with a
reputable transport company. The total expected income for the duration of the agreement is N38.5 million, but by February this year, we have already received N11.96 million, a development that contributed to the significant leap in our profit in 2013.” According to him, the bank evolved many ways of providing opportunities for small savers, including its Daily Mobile Savings Account (DMSA), which offered faster, flexible and cheaper credit facilities to the extent of individual participation. The move, beside the income stream, encouraged customers to imbibe good savings habit, as well as credit discipline, which overall improved their businesses, fortune and the bank’s performance. Iwanefu noted that it was bank’s deliberate policy to improve the quality of its workforce through investment in several training and capacity building programmes, in-house and outside, organized by reputable financial training organisations. However, he noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) subsidise the training of microfinance bankers for the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) certification examinations, which its workers took advantage of.
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Sports HotSports threatens legal action against ‘impostors’
Okagbare hits gold in China, wins Diamond League’s 200m, long jump LESSING Okagbare set two B meet records on her way to victory in the women’s Long Jump and 200m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China yesterday. The reigning African champion and world silver medallist took the Long Jump with a leap of 6.86m (+0.1) in round 1 ahead of national recordbreaking Ivana Spanovic of Serbia (6.85m, +0.3) to move second on the 2014 world list. Germany’s Moscow world finallist Sosthene Moguenara finished third with 6.79m (+0.6), while Sweden’s Erica Jarder equalled her PB of 6.66m to take fourth, also in the first round. Russian world leader, Darya klishina, was short of her Tokyo form from last weekend, finishing fifth with 6.62m. Two hours later Okagbare, who skipped her last three jump attempts to rest, made it two from two at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League Shanghai with another meet record of 22.36 seconds in the women’s 200m, just five hundredths outside her personal best. The 25-year-old Nigerian cruised to victory with a commanding performance over a field missing the non-starting Olympic and World champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica. Double world junior champion, Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas was second in 22.50 seconds ahead of American kimberlyn Duncan (22.96) in third while the former World and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown from
Jamaica was fifth in 23.08. Four-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix made a disappointing return from injury at the second meeting of the Diamond League season, placing fifth in the 400m in Shanghai. Meanwhile, Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills ran in 50.31 seconds to edge Botswanan Amantle Montsho, while Felix finished in 50.81. American Justin Gatlin cruised the 100m in 9.92, the fastest time in the world this year, with Dwain Chambers seventh. Chambers’ fellow Briton Phillips Idowu was sixth in the men’s triple jump. Russian Lyukman Adams claimed first with a jump of 17.10 metres , while Idowu, 35, posted a 16.47. British record holder Steve Lewis finished eighth in the pole vault, won by Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie with a clearance of 5.92 metres. American Felix, 28, had targeted a quick return to the form that saw her crowned 200m Olympic champion in 2012, but was unable to follow the pace in her first race since injuring a hamstring at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. Gatlin, Olympic 100m gold medallist in 2004, finished 0.2 seconds ahead of Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, while his compatriot Michael Rodgers was third. “I know I did a good time but was not thinking 9.92,” he said. “I just wanted to put a good race together. I have much more left in the tank, I felt I made it look easy.”
HE official media partner of the Nigeria Football T Federation (NFF), HotSports
Up in the skies… Okagbare soars in the air on her way to the Diamond League long jump top spot. PHOTO: IAAF.
Elegbeleye targets first spot, as Team Nigeria leaves for Africa Youth Games HE Nigerian contingent wrestling, boxing, cycling, catching them young and left Lagos for Gaborone, judo, karate, weightlifting, also developing sports right T Botswana yesterday night for volleyball, swimming, table- from the youth stage. This will the second African Youth Games, tagged Gaborone 2014, which will hold from May 22 to 31, 2014. The delegation led by National Sports Commission’s (NSC) Diretor General, Gbenga Elegbeleye, will participate in 16 sports, including athletics, badminton, taekwondo,
tennis, rowing, canoeing, golf and football. Before the team left for Gaborone, the NSC boss said the Nigerian contingent would go to the competition with the aim finishing tops. Botswana will host 2,500 athletes from 54 African countries in 21 sports. “I have always believed in
Djokovic beats Nadal to win Rome Masters OVAk Djokovic rallied past N Rafael Nadal to capture the title at the Italian Masters for the third time. Djokovic claimed a 4-6, 6-3, 63 triumph in yesteday’s final, denying Nadal his eighth Rome championship. The two have combined for the last 10 titles at this French Open tune-up, as Djokovic previously won in 2008 and 2011. Nadal won the other seven times since his first title in 2005, including last year when he beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. This was the fourth meeting between the duo in the Rome final. Nadal won in 2009 and 2012, while Djokovic previously emerged victorious in 2011 before this year’s thrilling battle. Nadal opened a 4-1 lead early yesterday with a pair of breaks, but Djokovic got one back before the Spaniard finally closed out the first set. Djokovic turned it around by winning the first three games of the second set with a pair of
• Serena dumps Errani breaks, and Nadal managed to get one back to make it 3-2, but a double-fault on break point in the next game allowed the Serb to pull away and force a decisive third set. After Djokovic broke serve to start the third, Nadal broke back to make it 3-3. Djokovic, though, quickly again turned the tide by winning the first three points of Nadal’s next service game. Nadal managed to save one break point, but drilled a forehand long on the next and never threatened again. Djokovic held at love for a 5-3 lead and earned a pair of championship points in the next game. The Serb sent a return into the net on his first chance, but Nadal lifted a backhand long on the next point to end the match. Djokovic improved to 19-22 all-time against Nadal, including four straight wins. He also beat Nadal for only the fourth
time in 17 tries on the Spaniard’s favored clay surface. The win gave Djokovic his 44th career title, tying him with Thomas Muster for 13th on the all-time list. Nadal was trying for his 64th crown, which would have drawn him even with Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras for fifth. He also remained two claycourt titles shy of Guillermo Vilas’ all-time mark of 46. Both will next play at the French Open, which begins next Sunday in Paris. Meanwhile, world number one, Serena Williams overpowered home favourite, Sara Errani to retain her Italian Open title. The American, 32, powered through 6-3, 6-0 at Rome’s Foro Italico and took her record on clay to 53 wins and two defeats since 2012. She has now won 60 WTA titles, moving her into seventh in the all-time list. Williams will head to the French Open, which begins
next Sunday, as a strong favourite to successfully defend her title and win an 18th Grand Slam. Errani, 27, had beaten world number two, Li Na and world number eight, Jelena Jankovic on her way through the Rome draw, but she was overwhelmed in the final. Williams had won all six of their previous matches, including a 46-minute victory the last time they met in the 2013 French Open semi-final, where the Italian won just one game. Errani put up a better fight this time, though she displayed signs of nerves as the first Italian woman to reach the final since 1985. But despite the vociferous homecrowd support she could not consistently test Williams. The American quickly moved out to a 3-0 lead and Errani’s challenge was further hampered when she needed a medical timeout at 5-3 down to treat a problem with her left hip or thigh.
give any nation the reservoir and pool of athletes not only to pick from but to bank on to achieve success in sports generally. So I am excited to lead these greater tomorrow athletes to the Gaborone 2014 African Youth Games and I am confident of a good outing for Nigeria. “We need to start building our sports from the youth level and this kind of tournament will allow us to assess these athletes better. With hard work and exposure to other competitions, I am sure we will get some athletes that will do us proud in the nearest future. Don’t be surprised if some of them qualify later for 2016 Olympic Games because this is our target. “The athletes have prepared well for this competition and based on what we have seen so far from the various camps (of the 16 sports), I believe with the right condition and motivation from our side and also God’s backing we should come back with smiles on our faces after the Botswana Games”, Elegbeleye assured.
Nigeria Limited, has said it will not hesitate to take legal action against any individual or corporate organization found to have violated its rights. In a statement signed by Taye Ige, CEO of HotSports, the company said its attention has been drawn to attempt by certain individuals to infringe on its rights for commercial exploitation. This, the statement said, is not only unprofessional but also illegal and would be met with stiff resistance as well as appropriate legal action. It, however, said opportunity exists for individuals and organizations with ideas around the rights to approach HotSports as rights owners for negotiation, adding that the company is open for talks on how to benefit from the Rights. “For the avoidance of doubt, HotSports as the official media partner of the Nigeria Football Federation, is authorized to have its production crew at any of the Nigerian national football teams camp to film and observe activities within the camp as they prepare for competitions all over the world. “The company is at liberty to broadcast the content generated through whatever platform it so desires including TV, radio and the online media, subject to sponsors’ preferences. What this simply means is that HotSports is the media company granted the Rights to broadcast behindthe-scene activities of the Super Eagles as well as the other national teams of Nigeria including meal times, tactical sessions, warm up, moments before and after matches among others. “Any individual or organization who claims to have such Rights is an impostor and must be treated as such,” the statement explained. It added: “The company invested into securing the Rights and as such we have obligation to protect our Rights. We have properly briefed our legal advisers to take the required legal action against any individual or organization that infringes on these Rights. HotSports will vigorously protect and defend its Rights against infringement and ambush marketing attempts. The appropriate thing to do by anyone with ideas around these Rights is to come to us for negotiation. That is the right way to go. We are open to talks with individuals or organizations who want to benefit from the Rights.”
Glo Premier League Results Giwa FC 1-0 Nembe City 1-0 Rangers 2-0 Warri Wolves 1-0 Enyimba 1-0 Abia Warriors 2-1 FC Taraba
Gombe United (Hassan Babangida) El-Kanemi Warriors (Michael Okoro) Crown FC (Koly Pierre and Osagona Ighodaro) Heartland (Gbolahan Salami) Kaduna United (Sani Kaita) Lobi Stars (Warriors- Bishop Onyeudo, Omodigho Dafe, Lobi Stars: Ataka Azeez) 2-1 Bayelsa United
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Ekeji rues poor funding, insists Team Nigeria will excel at Commonwealth Games From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja ORMER director general of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Chief Patrick Ekeji, has warned that the poor funding of sports may affect the performance of the country at the series of major championships lined up this year. Ekeji told The Guardian in Abuja that in as much as he believed Team Nigeria would perform well in these competitions given the circumstances, adding, however, that most of the medals would be won by only those countries that have money and prepare well. he stressed the need for Nigeria to make money available for the Team Nigeria to commence full training and preparation for the games, noting that the administrators are facing hard times to raise money for their programmes. he warned that the country should not be expected to perform better than it has prepared, pointing out that Nigeria did not register for most of the medal hauling
sports. “ There is the World Cup in Brazil, Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympic Games, African Youth Games and West African Games etc. The NSC has no money, but it must attend to all these championships and they would be expected to beat the world. “I know what the managers of our sports are going through. It is not fun because it is a tough office. You have to win a lot of good will to excel from that office. I wish them well and I am quite convinced that they will do well. “For our expectations at the Commonwealth Games, I am convinced that our athletes will do well given the circumstances. One thing we have to ask ourselves is what do we expect from the Games. “First, it is obvious that we can not win the Commonwealth Games. For obvious reasons, we do not take part in aquarian sports like swimming. Also we are not taking part in boxing, gymnastics etc., which had produced a lot of medals for us in the past.
ITTF approves Lagos for World Cups qualifiers Journalists’ accreditation begins hE International Table T Tennis Federation (ITTF) has approved the maiden
Defending champion, Henry Atseye, relinquished his CBN Open Championship crown to Abdulmumini Babalola…at the weekend.
Babalola, Agugbom win 2014 CBN tennis tourney By Samuel Ifetoye OUR times champion of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Senior Open Tennis Championship, Babalola Abdulmumuni, added his fifth title at the just concluded 36th edition of the tennis tournament held at the National Stadium, Lagos. he defeated defending champion, henry Atseye, in two sets of 6-2, 6-2 to win the N700, 000 men’s singles prize. In the Ladies contest,
teenage sensation and former national junior champion, Elizabeth Pam, lost to the more experienced Christy Agugbom, a two-time winner of the competition. Pam did not give in easily though, as she took Agugbom round the court in the game that ended in three sets of 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 after more than two hours. For her efforts, Agugbom won the cash prize of N700, 000, while Pam got N500, 000. In the men’s double,
Glo Premier League: ODSFA slashes Sunshine Stars coaches’ salary hE Ondo State Football T Agency (ODSFA) has placed coaches of Sunshine Stars Football Club on half salaries to show its dissatisfaction with the team’s poor showing in recent times in Glo Premier League. Sunshine Stars of Akure managed to hold Sharks of Port harcourt to a 3-3 draw in a Week 13 match in Akure. According to a statement by the team’s Media Officer, Wahab Bankole, who is also the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Chairman of the Agency, Akin Akinbobola, the coaching crew has been given a mandate to pick a minimum of nine points from their next four matches or face dire consequences. The statement also charged the players to redouble their efforts and show more commitment and determination
to win matches considering the huge financial resources being expended by Ondo State Government for their welfare. The statement expressed unreserved apology to the teeming supporters and fans of the team, who have shown a lot of passionate and patriotic support for the progress of the club for the poor outing. The ODSFA boss said the supporters expect and deserve better performance from the team and promised that the management of ODSFA would continue to do everything possible to ensure that Sunshine Stars and all the other teams of the state excel in tandem with the philosophy of the state Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, who believes that the state is blessed and should be the best.
Babalola teamed up with Taiwo Owolabi to beat the pair of Albert Bikom and Tyolumum Tyav in two-sets of 6-7, 6-4, while Agugbom joined Blessing Samuel to dismiss the pair of Ronke Akingbade and Loila Kienka in two sets of 6-3,7-6 to win the ladies’ doubles title. The wheelchair Men’s single was won by Alex Adewale, who dismissed Jude Uwazie in two sets of 62, 6-2, just as Remi Basanya walloped Tosin Dowolu 6-0, 6-0 to win the women version. While savouring his victory, Abdulmumuni said: “I can say henry Atseye is my boy, and I can also say he is my rival as well. he defeated me last year in the semifinal. And I made a promise to myself that I would never lose to the same guy twice. And I needed to put on 200 per cent concentration to make sure I win the crown.” Also speaking at the end of the competition, the Acting Governor of CBN, Mrs. Sarah Alade, said “the skills exhibited by the players is a clear indication of the rising profile of the CBN tennis tournament and is enough proof that the championship has become a major source of talent hunt for the NTF (Nigerian Tennis Federation) in its quest to select credible representatives for international tennis tournament. “It’s worthy to note that last year the winners of the CBN tournament who represented Nigeria at the world championship in Netherlands, and at the All African Games performed creditably well as they won gold, silver and bronze
medals. This has obviously enhanced both individual and national rankings.” Also speaking at the event, Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) President, Sani Ndanusa, was delighted that Pam, a teenager and an unseeded player, got as far as the final of the Ladies singles, adding that such performances by the youth showed that Nigeria has a bright future in the game.
Africa Top 16 Cup holding in Lagos, as the continental qualifiers for this year’s Men and Women World Cups. The tournament holds on June 27 and 28 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium with the top rated African players competing for the sole spot in the men and women qualifiers. Also, most of the players taking part in the Africa Top 16 Cup will join their counterparts across the globe to be part of the ITTF Lagos World Tour tagged Nigeria Open holding on June 23 to 26 at same venue To ensure that the players expected are present in Lagos, the Africa Table Tennis
Federation (ATTF) has invited the top 16 men and top 16 women on the ATTF’s ranking lists for May 2014. Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin and Congo Brazzaville’s han Xing won the 2013 ITTF-Africa Senior Cup held in Oyo, Congo Brazzaville and they also represented the continent at the Liebherr Men’s World Cup and Women’s World Cup. Again, the two players will be part of the participants coming to Lagos in their bid to repeat the achievement. There is not doubt that Lashin and Xing may well start as favourites for gold but both will face stern opposition from Egypt’s duo of Omar Assar and Dina Meshref, who are potential entrants for the two-day competition.
Ahead Brazil 2014 World Cup: Supporters donate jerseys to media houses s part of its efforts to ease A the coverage of the forthcoming Brazil 2014 World Cup, the Nigeria Football Supporters Club at the weekend donated branded teeshirts to some electronic media organizations in the country. Speaking at the presentation in Lagos, President General of the Club, Rafiu Ladipo, said the gesture was to encourage journalists to identify with the country’s national colour when they are on official assignment, noting that the shirts branded in NTA, Channels Television, Galaxy, LTV 8, MITV and MSIC logos would help in projecting the country’s image. he disclosed that plans were also on to present similar customized tee-shirts to the print media because they are partners in progress. “Nigeria Football Supporters Club and journalists have been partners in progress and it is necessary that we extend our sincere friendship to them through the provision of the branded tee-shirts, which we believe will enhance their job. Meanwhile, the club has
announced that it would hold a fund raising dinner tomorrow at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos to enable it raise funds to take many fans
to Brazil to cheer the Super Eagles to victory. It also announced that the dinner would also be hosted in Abuja at a later date.
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78 | SPORT Monday, May 19, 2014
Wilshere dedicates cup win to fans ACK Wilshere dedicated JHull Arsenal’s FA Cup victory over City to the club’s supporters as the north London side’s open-top bus parade got under way in the streets of Islington yesterday. Arsenal fell behind to early goals from Hull’s James Chester and Curtis Davies in the Wembley showpiece, only to get back on level terms during normal time through Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny. Aaron Ramsey scored during the second period of extratime to ensure Arsenal clinched their first trophy since 2005 and Wilshere lauded the character demonstrated by his team-mates. “It’s hard to put into words (what this victory means to me). It’s been nine years now we’ve waited a long time for this,” Wilshere told Sky Sports News. “We’ve worked hard and the manager has worked hard but most of all this is for the fans who fill the stadium every week. This one is for them. “It was a bad start. We’ve done that a few times this season and been punished but we knew if we got a goal before half-time we could go on and win it. We’re a fit team and we’ve got quality as well. That’s a good mixture and we showed that. “We had a hard run (in the competition, having drawn Spurs, Liverpool and Everton) as well so you can’t say that we didn’t deserve it. We showed the character that we’ve shown all season in the final and fair play to the boys.” An estimated 250,000 people lined the streets of north London for the trophy parade which Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs believes illustrates the size of the club. “It’s something very special and I can’t believe how many people are here,” he said. “It just reiterates how big this club is and how important it was for us to win yesterday. “Now that we have got the first hurdle out of the way
hopefully it will give us a boost for the seasons to come. We’ve shown character for the last couple of years but yesterday was a testament to the players. “We overcame a big hurdle and we’re very proud of that. We’re very proud of how far we came in the competition and we did it for all these people.” Wilshere replaced Mesut Ozil at the beginning of the second period of extra-time on Saturday, but the 22-yearold allayed fears he may be a fitness concern for England ahead of this summer’s World Cup. “I’m feeling fresh,” he said. “It was nice to get on and I just wanted to be part of it. The boys done well and it was easier for me to come on with 15 minutes to go.” The future of manager Arsene Wenger has been the subject of much debate this season but reports suggest he will sign a new contract at the club later this week.
Arsenal players celebrate after winning the English FA Cup final match against Hull City.
Fabianski admits FA Cup win may be his last for Arsenal UKASZ Fabianski admits Lblythe FA Cup final was probahis last match for Arsenal but could think of no better way to end his time with the club. The Poland goalkeeper has spent much of his time since arriving from Legia Warsaw in 2007 watching from the sidelines. Fabianski, now 29, has understandably grown frustrated at playing second fiddle and is set to leave at the end of his contract this summer, having rejected offers of an extension. The last of his 78 matches for the Gunners came on Saturday, when Arsene Wenger plumped for the FA Cup ever-present instead of regular number one Wojciech Szczesny at Wembley. It was a decision the Frenchman may well have
been cursing as Hull scored twice early on in the FA Cup final, although it was all smiles in the end as Aaron Ramsey struck in stoppage time to secure a 3-2 extra-time win and end Arsenal’s nineyear trophy drought. “It feels great, it feels amazing,” Fabianski said. “I don’t know how best to express my emotions but it feels amazing. “It was probably my last game for Arsenal. I don’t know what I can say, but if I end my Arsenal career in that way then it is the best way to finish. “It is a massive relief because it has been a long time without a trophy, especially after that kind of game when we were 2-0 down in the cup final. “No-one was expecting us to be two goals down after 10
minutes and to produce that great comeback I think was a massive, massive relief. “Hopefully the club can now kick on. I think this gives us or gives Arsenal the idea that those players can win trophies, that they are able to.” Fabianksi may be joined by right-back Bacary Sagna in leaving the club this summer, although unlike the goalkeeper the France right-back was unwilling to speak after the final. However, even with those potential departures Wenger will be hopeful that Arsenal’s first silverware since the 2005 FA Cup can act as a catalyst to further success. Lukas Podolski did not have his greatest game in Saturday’s triumph but has been a key member of the squad this season and knows just how important the victory against Hull was.
“You win nothing for nine years so it is special for us,” the Germany international said. “We have to come and celebrate now. “For the fans, for the club, it is something special. You wait and wait for nine years and some people repeatedly said ‘Arsenal win nothing, Arsenal win nothing’. “It is a lot of pressure but in the end it is a cup game and, in the end, it can happen. We were 2-0 down and came back, it was a great match and we had the cup in our hands. “We have a great spirit in the team. Everybody is a part of this and you see in the last matches we did well, getting fourth place and now winning the FA Cup. “It was a special cup game because Hull fought great and played great but in the end we have it.”
PSG records most wins in a season ARIS St Germain celebrat- Geoffrey Jourdren pull off P ed their second Ligue 1 title two decent saves before his in two years in style by break- defiance was eventually bro-
PSG’s Thiago Silva (middle) celebrates with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (second left) and teammates on the podium after winning the French L1 title...at the weekend.
ing the record for the most wins in a season with a 4-0 rout of lowly Montpellier. Zlatan Ibrahimovic rounded off a remarkable year, notching his 41st goal in all competitions after Ezequiel Lavezzi had earlier nudged them in front. Second-half strikes from Lucas Moura and Adrien Rabiot completed the scoring to round off PSG’s 27th win of the season. Montpellier, safe from relegation due to their superior goal difference and the fact Evian were playing Sochaux, ended their poor season with a whimper in 15th place. Lavezzi got the party started as early as the second minute, sending the ball into an empty net after a scramble that saw Montpellier keeper
ken. Ibrahimovic had his first sight of goal in the ninth minute, with Jourdren getting down well to block his low shot from long range. Lucas surged forwards three minutes later and his shot from the edge of the box had the beating of Jourdren, but the Brazilian was denied by a post. In the 21st minute Ibrahimovic got his goal. Javier Pastore sent the Swede scampering down the righthand side of the box and his powerful shot left Jourdren rooted as it flew past him into the back of the net. PSG showed no signs of letting up after the break, with Lucas adding a third goal in the 51st minute after good work from Pastore.
Atletico fears injury to two players TLETICO Madrid faces A an anxious wait over two of their key players ahead of next weekend’s Champions League final. The newly-crowned Spanish champions lost star striker Diego Costa to a recurrence of a hamstring injury and midfield schemer Arda Turan with a knee problem during the 1-1 draw with Barcelona that secured the title on Saturday. Chelsea target Costa was pictured in tears as he left the field after only 14 minutes, with immediate concern about his place for the final in Lisbon and possibly his position in Spain’s World Cup squad as well. The 25-year-old scored 27 goals in Atletico’s rise to the top of La Liga and was linked with a £32m move to Stamford Bridge last week. Local media suggested after the game that Turan’s injury was not as bad as first expected and he is more likely to face Real Madrid on Saturday when Atletico go for the double. And coach Diego Simeone said there was little time for Atletico to rest on their laurels after securing their first title since 1996. “Without a doubt today we were able to make history,” said Simeone. “But we have to play on Saturday and we have to prepare ourselves for Saturday.”
Monday, May 19, 2014 SPORTS
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‘We have to concentrate, My World Cup story…Keshi find the balance, to make our people happy’ By Mitchell Obi HERE is a difference now T and he knows it. Expectations are high and even those shying away from saying that Nigeria should go for the World Cup, wriggle with the idea of a semifinal ticket. Close to their thought is the reality that a semifinal ticket opens the door clearly and confidently for a cup snatch. At that point, the cup chase dream gets into reality gear and beyond cementing a new African record in World Cup performance, it will provoke a fresh ambition and anxiety, a definitely leading to the old line of being bold for gold!! Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has seen this scenario play out at the continental level and that’s why this time, he is insisting on a simple formula. “We’ll take it game by game and give our ultimate best. What I am thinking about now is how I am going to make Nigerians happy; how I am going to make sure that the mental attitude of the players is great. We have to make Africans happy too because we are representing the continent.” No doubt, the fever of the feast of football in Brazil has gripped him and in a matter of days, he will get down to work. “What is most important now is to gather these players as from the 25th of this month in London and take them to the World Cup by God’s grace. We need to understand one another for us to go throughout the tournament period. I love my team to create unity, oneness, to respect one another because that is something very essential to have. With the time we have, we can reach that level and of course continue with the discipline. If we can have that, then that’s it!!” Keshi’s provisional list of 30
will have their first test against Scotland in London. He is looking to find the right balance for the team and the friendlies will provide opportunities for the players to show their strengths and ability to adapt to a game plan. Results may count for less, but there is a boost in confidence and the flow of joy that comes with victories and this element positive affects the playing style and attitude of the team. Once a team has a winning culture, it is easy for the players to enjoy their training and play with a measure of comfort that reduces anxiety and minimises mistakes particularly for the attackers and defenders. Keshi captures this mode. “We need to relax but not completely. Whatever you’re doing, you must have fun. If you don’t have fun in whatever you’re doing, you might as well quit. This does not take away the concentration in the game. At all times, even when having fun, we have to focus. “We have to concentrate in every match we play. There must be concentration that will help us through the 90 minutes. It’s very crucial but at the same time we have to find the balance. Not being too worried about the first game or getting anxious about the opponents. Thinking we are playing 80 and 80 and feeling the jitters. We have to relax during the game, stick to the game plan and have fun.” Before games, coaches strive to calm nerves, finding always the right words to reassure players and the fans, who expect good results. It is not a stroll in the park and the coaches know deeply that not many of the things they say are simply understood or remembered by the players and even those who wait on them to give them joy. Inside the pitch, after a
My biggest moment was when I qualified Togo to the World Cup. Nobody was really expecting us to qualify to go to the World Cup 2006 in Germany. It was also the same year I qualified Togo for the Nations Cup in Egypt and 80 per cent of the team were all local players. It was really great, but not going to the World Cup was a bit tough. Because after spending two years working with the boys in Togo and qualify.
long sermon in the dressing room, how many players remember what they are told. They just go out there and play what they have practised over the years. That’s why training and practice matches become crucial elements in preparation. As a player, who excelled in conveying the tips and instructions of coaches to his team-mates particularly in a game, Keshi has come to appreciate the need to forge a strong bond with his players and get them to do his bidding. To put it succinctly, “ you can’t get along if you don’t carry them along”. The time to carry all along is here and Keshi keeps working back at the defining point of this coaching career when the nation of Togo and the president backed him all the way. “My biggest moment was when I qualified Togo to the World Cup. Nobody was really expecting us to qualify to go to the World Cup 2006 in Germany. It was also the same year I qualified Togo for the Nations Cup in Egypt and 80 per cent of the team were all local players. It was really great, but not going to the World Cup was a bit tough. Because after spending two years working with the boys in Togo and qualify. Anything that happens, there’s always a lesson to learn from it. It was okay! I think it’s the will of God at that point, my son, you’re not going to the World Cup. But as long as there is life, there is always hope. It’s cool.” Has Keshi learnt enough of the lessons to carry him through the campaign in Brazil. “Ups and downs are part of life. It’s not because you didn’t have three square meals yesterday and today you begin to have three square meals, then you are going to forget. No it’s part of life. It has to do with growing in life.” For Nigerians, Keshi needs to go the extra mile and use up all the fuel he has accumulated over time for the speed of glory. In Brazil, he is aware he has to find the right shine and show us the difference, unmistakably star quality. A Mastersports International presentation 2014.
Keshi savours the adulation of defender, Kenneth Omeruo (left), during the 2013 African Nations Cup. PHOTO: AFP.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Femi Oni O fewer than 19 people were reported dead N among the over one million applicants for the Nigerian Immigration aptitude test. The truth has been laid bare- 5,000 or so vacancies declared by Immigration Service attracted more than six million applicants, from which over half a million was shortlisted, according to published reports. This is not unconnected with the unemployment problem plaguing the nation.This alarming level of graduate unemployment and the attendant youth restiveness makes entrepreneurship training an urgent need. All over the world, there is an awakening to the reality of a direct relationship between prosperous nations and entrepreneurship. Now, it has been realised that if a country must develop and become prosperous, it must have a vibrant entrepreneurial base through its youth population who are burning with imagination, passion, energy, creativity and intelligence. Entrepreneurship development is therefore a vital need for every country that is committed to economic growth and development. In Nigeria, entrepreneurship has become not only a growing but an urgent need. The nation needs to stimulate the entrepreneurial mindsets of its young people, encourage innovative business start-ups, and foster a culture that is friendlier to entrepreneurship and to the growth of small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which has proved to be the pivot of growth in any nation. Entrepreneurship education has been discovered to be the pivot of most developed economies right from childhood to tertiary level. In the developed world, where kid/teen entrepreneurship is encouraged, success in life depends more on the skills that an individual possesses. Children are encouraged to pursue their passions at an early age. Even in schools, the development of children is of keen interest to teachers who discover their talents and encourage them to pursue and develop such talents. Today, musicians, artisans and footballers and the likes are some of the highest revenue earners in those countries. Entrepreneurship education is by all means, a vital, crucial and commanding necessity for the social change that this nation earnestly needs; an endearing transformation in the direction of creating a prosperous, healthy and peaceful society. To realise this objective, our country needs to review its antecedents and with determination, muster strength to effect a revolution which begins with a determination to grow and build a new generation of Nigerian graduates thirsty for personal development, determined to earn themselves dignified and creditable livelihood, becoming employers and career entrepreneurs; thereby bringing the desired new lease and a decisive change to Nigeria. During the industrial age, the demand for employees grew. In response the government took over the task of mass education and adopted the Prussian system, upon which most Western school systems in the world are today placed. When you research the philosophy behind Prussian education you will find that the stated purpose was to produce soldiers and employees, people who would follow orders and do as they were told. Prussian system of education was a great system for mass production of employees. It was just a matter of training. Unfortunately, since independence, leaders, policy makers, educational and national planners have not significantly refocused our curriculum to produce a manpower that meets the country’s needs. Glaring examples of countries that shared the same colonial experience with Nigeria but have had their economies revolutionised include Malaysia and India. The consequence of lack of proper planning on the government’s side is the production of highly skilled, well-educated tertiary institution graduates who have no jobs even five to 10 years after leaving school. The problem is not only in
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Graduates that Nigeria needs
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu the fact that the absorptive capacity of the economy is not growing as fast as the country is producing graduates. But there is also a disconnection between the skill gaps in the country and the endowments available. Today, we have thousands of graduates chasing very few jobs. More disturbing is that the quality and content of their training is non-responsive to national requirements. People are trainable; they can be trained to either be employees or entrepreneurs. The reason there are more employees than entrepreneurs is simply because our schools train young people to become employees. That is why so many parents say to their children: go to school, so you can get a good job. I have yet to hear any parent say, go to school to become an entrepreneur. It is against this background that entrepreneurship education fills the missing gaps in our educational system that hitherto produced job seekers instead of prospective
employers. The unemployment, and by extension, the poverty level within the country are consequences of the nation’s faulty planning. There is not only a need to bring out the latent entrepreneurial talents in our citizens of all ages, there is also the urgent need to arrest the ever growing population of unemployed and unemployable graduates by filling–in the missing link in their educational careers. Businesses are created by entrepreneurs: Men and women who dream up ideas for wealth creation and then translate those ideas into realities, taking calculated risks. When they dream and envision, they undertake the rigorous resources (human, material and financial) to create the machinery (Enterprise) to realise their dreams. Usually, they make investments to build the enterprise and then use the enterprise to deliver products and services that will fill existing needs, solve outstanding problems or create the desired value and in the process create wealth for themselves, their stakeholders including the community and the nation. Our country is in need of virtually everything. Almost everything is in short supply. We are a nation of primary producers, a country crying for value addition and value creation. We export crude oil and import refined petroleum; export raw timber and import furniture; export hides and skin and import shoes and bags; rubber and import tyres. Water, water everywhere and yet there is none to drink! Refuse and garbage everywhere and we cannot generate electricity nor harness compost manure, sunshine all year round and we cannot harness electricity, natural gas everywhere and we import fertilizers. Are entrepreneurs born or made? I agree that there are some people who seem to have a natural proclivity to run with business ideas and seem to always want to start a new endeavour. I also know that certain groups of people seem to exhibit entrepreneurial tendencies more than other groups. The lgbos of South Eastern Nigeria, for example, are noted as more entrepreneurial than most. The ljebus, the Ijeshas and the Ogbomosho as well as Ejigbo people of the South-West and the Kano people of Northern Nigeria seem to share this ’group’ entrepreneurial spirit. But I do not think this is genetically derived, rather these tendencies may have evolved over time as a reaction from socio-economic circumstances
The YOUTHSPEAK Column which is published daily is an initiative of THE GUARDIAN, and powered by RISE NETWORKS, Nigeria’s Leading Youth Development Centre, as a substantial advocacy platform available for ALL Nigerian Youth to engage Leadership at all levels, engage Society and contribute to National Discourse on diverse issues especially those that are peculiar to Nigeria. Regarding submission of articles, we welcome writers‘ contributions by way of well crafted, analytical and thought provoking opinion pieces that are concise, topical and non-defamatory! All articles (which are not expected to be more than 2000 words) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org To read the online Version of this same article plus past publications and to find out more about Youth Speak, please visit www.risenetworks.org/youthspeak and join the ongoing National Conversations’’. Also join our on-line conversation
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and other cultural traits passed from generation to generation. I remember attending an after-school graduate development programme sponsored by SAMSUNG and AGDC. The programme was conceptualised by Mrs. Ibukun Awosika who is also a pastor and I must confess that after completion of the programme I discovered that I lack the entrepreneurial skills necessary to work for some of the high profile corporate firms. I got several invitations for interview after completion of the programme but I did not honour them. This is not unconnected with the fact that no graduate will go through the SAMSUNG/AGDC programme and still want to work for people. The question I asked myself was why was acquisition of entrepreneurial skills not introduced into our school curriculum? Permit me to say that the present crops of graduates are knowledgeable in their own fields but lack the entrepreneurial wherewithal to translate such knowledge to financial gains. This country is so crazy about educational qualifications that the present generations of graduates are nothing but certificated illiterates. The emergence of entrepreneurial minds capable of creating, growing and leading innovative and productive organisations in line with modern thinking is a critical and urgent challenge for national development in our beleaguered economy. There is the need for university administrators to conduct regular reviews of their entrepreneurship courses to make graduates imbibe the spirit of enterprise. Universities should not only focus on the theoretical aspect of entrepreneurship but should reach out to their alumni associations with a view to attracting successful entrepreneurs in their rank and file to take the students through the practical aspects of becoming successful entrepreneurs. Universities should prepare students for the world of market. Teaching the theoretical foundation of becoming successful entrepreneurs in our universities is good and very important. It will help the students to understand the concept being taught. But becoming successful as an entrepreneur is more than theory and that is why we need to look into the methodology being used in our universities. Rather than just teaching theory, successful alumni of various universities should be engaged and allowed to take the students practical aspect of imbibing the entrepreneurial mindset. And that is why there is the need for constantly nurturing engagement between the private sector and our universities. Nigerian graduates must be made to seek opportunities for entrepreneurship as first choice, and to fall back to seeking employment as second choice, perhaps when the conditions for the entrepreneurial take off is not quite right, rather than the current situation where every graduate leaves school seeking employment. With this changed mindset, they would carry the entrepreneurial disposition into employment, becoming entrepreneurs in whichever company or institution they may find themselves. The benefits to such companies and ultimately to the economy will, indeed, be enormous if both business owners and their workers share the entrepreneurial ethos. Even government or public sector companies or institutions will experience a new level of performance and service delivery when they have workers who have imbibed the entrepreneurial paradigm. Workers who understand the time value of money and who have a working knowledge of the profit and loss statement; workers who understand goal-getting and budgeting. Workers with the mindset of entrepreneurs and wealth creators. We must lead our young people to take pride in what they can do for their people rather than what is in it for me or what I can get from the nation. • Oni is a PhD student of University of Lagos. He can be reached on 08065848504 or firstname.lastname@example.org