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VOL. 7, NO. 2087 FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2012

•Catholic priests during a procession for the Chrism Mass celebration at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos ... yesterday



Jonathan’s defence of church gift deepens row •See also page 2

Lawyers, ACN, David-West insist on President’s sack Calls for resignation satanic, says Church of Nigeria


AWYERS joined yesterday the row over a construction company’s church gift to the President’s home town, saying his defence of the alleged bribe is untenable. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which called on the Na-

From Bisi Oladele (Ibadan), Eric Ikhilae and Precious Igbonwelunde

tional Assembly to impeach Dr Goodluck Jonathan for alleged violation of the Constitution, restated its stand yesterday. It rejected the Presidency’s explanation that the

President never solicited for the “gift” and that the church does not belong to him or his family. Gitto Contstruzioni Generalli Nigeria Ltd. (GCG), an Italian firm, has said the church renovation is part of its Social Responsibility. Besides, the Church of Nigeria


Oyo State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Godwin Ogagaoghene confirmed the death toll.

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


Ogagaoghene criticised the kind of buses being used by private schools. He said proprietors should use the FRSC – specified school bus, which is safer. Continued on page 2

Continued on page 2

HE United States and Britain yesterday raised a security alert on Nigeria. They warned that the country faces a “high risk” of attack by Boko Haram terrorists during this weekend’s Easter holiday. But the Police have put their men on high alert, with Inspector General Mohammed Abubakar ordering surveillance on all places of worship during the Easter celebrations.

•Ajimobi visits victims From Bisi Oladele and Osheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

received so much contract from the Federal Government. According to him, should the investigation prove the culpability of the President, the National Assembly should have the political will to impeach him.

U.S, UK issue security alert on Nigeria

Death toll rises to seven in Ibadan school bus fire ARENTS were weeping yesterday in Ibadan as the death toll in Tuesday’s school bus fire rose to seven. They besieged the University College Hospital (UCH) where 17 pupils are hospitalised.

(Anglican Communion) defended Dr Jonathan, saying the President has done no wrong. Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), in a telephone interview with The Nation, said the allegation should be investigated first, stressing that it should be ascertained if Gitto has

•IG Abubakar

Continued on page 61




NEWS Death toll rises to seven in Ibadan school bus fire Continued from page 1

•From left: Company Secretary, Chipita, Mr. Theophilus Emuwa, Musician/Brand Face for 7 Days Croissant, M.I., Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Bimbola Ashiru, Chipita Director Mr. Antonios Nikolopoulos and MD Blueseal, Mr. Sam Obosi at the Official Launch of 7 days Croissant in Lagos.

Lawyers, ACN, David-West insist on the President’s sack


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has slammed the PDP and the Presidency for going “hysterical and resorting to the worst form of crudity” in their separate reactions to its (ACN’s) call on the National Assembly to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan for soliciting and accepting a church “gift” in contravention of the laws. “For the avoidance of doubt, there was nothing exculpatory in the pedestrian statements issued by the PDP and the Presidency. Instead of employing facts - if they have any - to explain to Nigerians what they felt transpired, they resorted to name calling and endless ramblings. What an opportunity gone down the drain,’’ the party said in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Mohamed said: “Since the statements did not deny that the church in question was constructed or ‘renovated’ by a foreign construction firm

Church: ‘call for resignation is satanic’


HE Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh has described the call by the ACN for the impeachment of President Jonathan over the church building donated to his Otuoke community by an Italian construction firm, as” Satanic”. He described the call as capable of causing religious bigotry in the country. Okoh, who spoke with reporters in Enugu yesterday through the Southeast Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rt Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma, demanded an apology from the ACN and its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for the call. Okoh regretted that the ACN, instead of dissipating its energy on burning national issues in the country, decided to distract the attention of the president with a call for his impeachment. The primate said there was nothing wrong for a contractor who is working in the

taking contracts from the government and that the church is situated in the President’s community, and since they did not refute the statement credited to the President himself that he so-

From Chris Oji, Enugu

President’s home town to build a church in the community, in fulfillment of its corporate social responsibility. The head of the Anglican Church in Nigeria explained that the church was built before Jonathan became the president, explaining that the foreign firm only renovated it. He called on the National Assembly do disregard the call for the impeachment of the president, insisting that the call was irrelevant and does not deserve the attention of the lawmakers. Okoh assured the president that the Anglican Church was solidly behind him and advised him not to be distracted. “The call for the impeachment of the president over the renovation of the church in his town is satanic and it is capable of causing religious bigotry which we don’t want. The ACN should apologise and retract the statement. We call on the National Assembly to disregard the call,” he stated.

licited and received the ‘gift’, then we are compelled to renew our call on the National Assembly to urgently launch impeachment proceedings against the President. “While we will not like to

deviate from our well-acknowledged style of dwelling on issues to trade words with an increasingly confused and an apparently overwhelmed presidential Continued on page 61

According to him, the school bus introduced by the FRSC has two exit doors which makes coming and going out easy for school children. The FRSC boss also condemned the use of just anybody as driver. He advised school proprietors to employ qualified drivers to handle their school buses. He also stressed the need for vehicle owner to always have fire extinguishers in their vehicles, saying if the school bus had fire extinguisher, and the driver was trained, the situation would have been prevented. A bus conveying 21 pupils of Divine Wisdom Group of Schools caught fire, burning 13 pupils aged between five and 11. Three died in the hospital on Tuesday; two died yesterday. Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who confirmed the death toll after a visit to the injured at the hospital, ordered the procurement of medical needs for the injured pupils. Parents, guardians and well-wishers were crying at the UCH where they massed at the Accident and Emergency Unit. While hospital officials confirmed five dead, unofficial sources said seven kids might have passed on. Many parents of the victims, their relatives and sympathisers were at the hospital, praying for the children’ recovery. One of the parents, Mr Oyeleke Oluseye said his children escaped the incident by the whiskers. He said: “I was at the bus stop, which is just a few meters away from the spot of the fire when we got information that the bus had caught

fire. I know the children that were involved are in God’s hand.” The school was closed down temporarily by the proprietress, Mrs Oke Ejemuta, to mourn the deceased and allow parents gain psychological balance. She announced the closure on Wednesday. Ajimobi ordered the immediate release of N6m to buy of all the equipment needed to treat the children. He said the supplier of the equipment should be escorted to and from Lagos by security operatives attached to his office so as to hasten the arrival of the equipment. Ajimobi was told by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital, Dr. Biodun Otegbayo, that some of the children were in critical condition and needed urgent medical attention. He said the hospital did not have the equipment to handle the cases. The governor, who was moved by the condition of the children, said 17 were on admission at the hospital. Aside the purchase of the equipment, he also said the medical bill of the children would be borne by the government. Ajimobi commiserated with the parents and guardians of the children. He said a thorough investigation would be carried out on the school to determine if there was negligence that led to the incident. Said the governor: “We take this opportunity to warn school proprietors to care for the safety of our children; safety is very paramount; and we shall be investigating to know what has happened and where we believe that there was negligence, we will take appropriate sanction.”

Jonathan’s defence of firm’s church gift deepens row Continued from page 1

“But the Nigeria factor of dog does not eat dog may hinder the investigation and I’m sure that is why the opposition is calling for Mr. President’s impeachment. The anti-graft agencies are empowered by the Constitution to carry out their functions and they should do so without fear or favour,” Akintola said, adding: “The legal structures are there for such cases but the National Assembly lacks the political will to execute them.” Constitutional lawyer Fred Agbaje minced no word in calling for the President’s impeachment. He said: “I share in the ACN’s anxiety and call for the impeachment of the President based on the violations of oath of office, constitution as well as provision for Code of Conduct for Public Officers.” “The argument put forward by the President’s spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, has further worsened matters for the President in the sense that the so-called denial is half-hearted and devoid of any iota of truth.” He noted that Abati’s argument failed to address the following issues:

“If the President has denied soliciting for a church gift from Gitto, why was the church given to Utuoke and not another village in Bayelsa State? Was the gift of church not as a result of the patronage the company has enjoyed from the Federal Government?” “The President should be removed and let the EFCC or ICPC pick him up because the allegation is abuse of office, which amounts to corruption,” stressed Agbaje. Rights activist Bamidele Aturu said there was no doubt that in a serious society, it is an impeachable offence for the President to say he received a gift from a company. According to Aturu, the National Assembly lacks the will to impeach him. “It constitutes gross misconduct for the President to receive such gifts. The ACN is right about their call but they should not limit it to the President. The party should also look inward even within its governors and ensure they too do not breach the Code of Conduct,” Aturu said. Messrs Norrison Quakers and Joseph Nwobike (SAN) expressed divergent opinion on the issue, Nwobike described the controversy generated by the incident as unnec-

essary. Quakers argued that though President Jonathan could not be faulted on moral ground, his action could be challenged on constitutional ground. Nwobike contended that the president could not be faulted because he did not personally benefit from the gift. Nwobike said “I do not see anything wrong in that. The donation was not made to the President in person. The renovation work was on a church building that had been in existence. “Although it is the President’s village, it is not to his personal benefit. For the President to have been accused of any wrong doing, it must be established that he benefited personally. “There is no evidence that he worships in the church alone or that he worships there every time. He may decide not to worship in the church at all. I don’t think it benefits the President personally. “This is a place were every member of the community worships. I think it is an issue we should not waste our time on. There are ore compelling issues on which the presidency to be challenged,” Nwobike said.

According to Quakers, “there are two ways to it. Constitutionally, one could say it is wrong. But morally, there is nothing wrong with the President’s action. We have had a precedent. Former Olusegun Obasanjo influenced donations to his personal library project. And he went away with it. “So, on that basis, one could say, morally, it is justifiable for the President to have accepted the donation of a church. It depends on the motive of the donor. The construction company could say it was part of its social responsibility efforts. “But constitutionally, it could be faulted because one will query the company’s motive. Was it done to seek the president’s favour? Does the company wants some favour from the government and decided to act this way? Is it intended to sway the president’s judgment on issues that affect the company’s interest? “It is to avoid this that the Constitution, under the Fifth Schedule, Part Two precludes public officers, under the Code of Conduct for Public Officers at Section 7 Sub-Paragraph B, from accepting gifts, loan and private benefits from government contractors and their likes.

“So, morally, I will say it is alright; but constitutionally, it is wrong,” Quakers said. Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Tam David-West asked President Goodluck Jonathan to tender his resignation letter over the church gift presented to him by an Italian firm which is a contractor to the Federal Government. Speaking on the telephone yesterday, David-West said it is worse that the president is insisting that the gift was not a bribe. He argued that a gift coming from a major contractor to a government of which Jonathan is the President is clearly a bribe, stressing that attempts to change the nomenclature is an insult to Nigerians. He said President Jonathan should resign honourably and immediately. This company is a major building contractor working for the Federal Government after Julius Berger. For it to have built a church for him in his village or town is nothing short of bribe, corruption and abuse of office. “He has even desecrated the holy name of God with this corruption. Why didn’t they build the church for him when he was governor of Bayelsa State? Why didn’t they build

it for him while he was working at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)? “Before this time, former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, had revealed that another company which constructed a five star hotel for Bayelsa State when Jonathan was the governor, built a mansion for him (Jonatha) in his home town,. If we put all these together, Jonathan has demonstrated that he is corrupt both at the state and at federal level.” The former minister gave the example of how he faced a military tribunal on a trumped up charge of accepting a wrist watch and coffee from a firm while he was Minister under Military President Ibrahim Babangida. According to him, he was summoned for the charge four years and eight months after he left office. David-West recalled that he spent over nine months in prison before the Supreme Court discharged him, saying he did not commit the offence. “So, Jonathan must resign immediately. What happened is pure corruption. There should be no double standards in fighting corruption,” he said.

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How the World Attention has been swirling around economist Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Nigeria’s finance minister, as one of three candidates for leading the World Bank


•From left: Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi receiving the Marketing and Innovation Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc Mr. Ruari Twomey who presented the company’s new product, the Dubic Extra Lager beer, to the governor at the Government House, Ibadan, Oyo...Wednesday. With them is: Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Oyo State, Hon. Dapo Lam-Adesina.

•Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr. Chris Cooter, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe and Ekiti State Commissioner for Integration and Inter-governmental Affairs Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami, during the envoy's visit to the Ewi's palace in Ado-Ekiti ...yesterday

•From Left: National Coordinator,Barrack Youth Empowerment Summit, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola; Representative Of Chief Of Army Staff And Goc, 2div, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Abubakar and Deputy Director, Chaplain Services, Lt. Col. Bante Kauche, at the 4th Summit of Barrack Youth Empowerment in Ibadan...yesterday PHOTO: NAN

•Minister Of State for Trade and Investment Chief Samuel Orthom (left), receiving the Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria Dirk Verheyen in his office in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO: NAN

RESIDENT Obama’s announcement in March that he would be nominating Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank took many by surprise. A physician and co-founder of a global health organization that aids the developing world, Kim, now the president of Dartmouth College, was seen by many to be an inspired and out-of-the-box choice. For decades, the post has been filled by bankers, Washington insiders and Wall Street titans; Kim would bring new thinking and fresh strategies to an institution many say is in need of change. But attention has also been swirling around economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian finance minister, who is one of two other candidates seeking the job. This is the first contested election for the World Bank presidency — the job has traditionally gone to whoever gets the nod from the U.S. president. Okonjo-Iweala has served twice at the World Bank in the past, first as an economist, vice

president and corporate secretary and then, from 2007 to 2011, as the organization’s managing director under Robert Zoellick. She is known for helping Nigeria, once considered the world’s most corrupt country, add transparency and enact reforms that clean up its finances. She is also quickly becoming a favorite among some editorial boards and economics writers to get the post. Called a “triple threat” for her experience in government, economics and finance, the woman who once walked her malariastricken three-year-old sister to a clinic 10 kilometers away to save her life also knows a thing or two about public health problems in the developing world. As The Economist put it, she is “the best candidate available,” calling her a “formidable public economist” and saying “may the best woman win.” Reuters’ Felix Salmon was even more blunt: “Does anybody at all think Kim’s a better candidate than Ngozi?”

How Jim Yong Kim could change the World Bank


IM Yong Kim, President Obama’s surprise pick to lead the World Bank, will become the first physician, the first Asian-American and the first person who has devoted his career to helping the poor to lead the more than 60-year-old organisation. Since its founding in 1944, 11 men have led the World Bank, among them a former defence secretary, the CEOs of major banks and even the one-time publisher of The Washington Post. Investment bankers, former Wall Street titans and Washington servants figure prominently in the organisation’s leadership history. Kim brings to the post an entirely different set of experiences and, consequently, surely a different world view than those who have held it in the past. Though he has been the president of Dartmouth since 2009, Kim, a physician and anthropologist by training, is perhaps most known for co-founding the global health organization Partners in Health with Paul Farmer. He also has directed the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organisation, where he led an initiative to treat 3 million new HIV/AIDs patients with antiretroviral drugs. If Kim is selected (Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has also been nominated), it’s hard to see how his leadership would not usher in a sizeable organisational shift. I’m far from being an expert on the culture of the World Bank, but an institution that has been led for more than 60 years by bankers, politicians and defense experts cannot be left untouched by the backgrounds of the people who hail from those fields. At last, an organisation whose mission is supposed to be lifting people out of poverty will have someone at the helm whose life’s work has been dedicated toward a similar goal. As President Obama said in announcing his selection: “It’s time for a development professional

to lead the world’s largest development agency.” Shifting the organisation to line up with its new leadership will no doubt be Kim’s biggest challenge. The World Bank, which has been the subject of many efforts at reform over the years, is an organization that has no shortage of critics. They point to mismanagement and ineffectiveness, as well as a culture dominated by bankers and politicians who, in the words of Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, were part of making the bank seem “like just a bank” and “who lack the expertise to fulfill the institution’s unique mandate.” To carry out this shift, Kim will need to bring on more senior people who share his expertise. (Sachs might still be interested!) At the same time, to combat any questions about his own background that will inevitably rise, given how different it is from that of past leaders, he will need to do plenty of outreach to the bankers and economists both inside and outside the organisation, getting them onboard with his vision for the institution. And he will need to carefully outline the priorities of the organisation, making sure that incentives and opportunities to advance are in step with those goals. As with any leader managing change, one of his biggest challenges will be shifting the minds of people, not the work or goals of the organization. As Kim said in a video interview with On Leadership, great leaders know how to make tough decisions, inspire others and take responsibility for bringing people together. They know when to keep quiet, and how to take an organisation “to a place that’s better than it was before.” But they also know what may be the hardest jobs of any leader—how to carefully break long-standing traditions and cultural norms, and how to shift the mindsets of the people who work for them. •Culled From Washington Post




Bank could benefit from Okonjo-Iweala ‘ ‘ Jim Yong Kim could very well do a wonderful job leading the World Bank. He is thoughtful about the challenges of leadership . But in Ngozi OkonjoIweala, the World Bank gets both: a veteran of the institution who is also an outsider

Knowing how a place works — what motivates people, what kind of internal politics are at play, what has been tried in the past and doesn’t work — is much of the battle of leading an organisation.

Another key advantage, it shouldn’t be forgotten, is that she’s something of an insider. After working two stints at the World Bank in the past, she knows her way around the bureaucracy and will know how to drive the people there


to make the World Bank faster, more nimble and more responsive to the needs of developing countries. As she told The New York Times’ Annie Lowery, “I’d look to do things in days and weeks rather than months and years, and

I have the bureaucratic knowledge, the knowledge of the institution, to make that happen.” This is no small upside. Knowing how a place works — what motivates people, what kind of internal politics are at play, what

has been tried in the past and doesn’t work — is much of the battle of leading an organisation. As Salmon writes, “Okonjo-Iweala is in many ways the ‘establishment choice’ for the job. But … when you’re talking about a massive

bureaucracy like the World Bank, only an establishmentarian has a chance of being able to steer it, rather than simply being steered by it or completely marginalised.” We seem to have blind faith in the power of the outside thinker and the anti-establishment figure to bring about change. From consultants who’ve never managed a balance sheet to presidential candidates who’ve never held public office, we have a fascination with the belief that fresh thinking can solve any problem. But while leaders can bring in all the new ideas in the world, if they don’t have the knowledge of an institution’s inner workings, it can take so much time to enact change that they lose the patience of the people waiting for it. All too often, they’re out of a job before those new ideas and fresh approaches have a chance to take hold and gain momentum. Jim Yong Kim could very well do a wonderful job leading the World Bank. He is thoughtful about the challenges of leadership and his nod could very well usher in change that no traditional banker who’s held the post in the past ever could. But in Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the World Bank gets both: a veteran of the institution who is also an outsider — this is no Wall Street banker, after all — with deep and successful experience in the developing world. •Culled from Washington Post

What do Nigerians think of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala?


S the World Bank prepares to select its next president, the candidacy of Nigerian finance minister Ngozi OkonjoIweala has many Nigerians calling on the US to step aside, and let Africa lead. Okonjo-Iweala is the most qualified candidate for the job, say Nigerian commentators and economic analysts, despite her role in a controversial fuel-subsidy cut earlier this year, and a fair, transparent selection process should result in her appointment.”It would be a great concession from the Western world toward recognizing emerging economies,” Bismark Rewane, the CEO of Nigerian economic consultants Financial Derivatives Company, told GlobalPost. In the 68 years since the bank’s founding, the US has always nominated an American candidate to lead it and the shareholders have always appointed that candidate. In recent years, this has led to complaints that the US has too great a say in an organization whose primary beneficiaries are developing countries. This year the debate has intensified around the candidacy of OkonjoIweala, a former World Bank managing director, who was nominated for the bank’s top seat last month, along with Colombia’s former finance minister, José Antonio Ocampo. Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment could give a much needed boost to Africa’s most populous country and largest oil exporter, said Rewane. Nigeria has seen mass protests and hundreds killed by Islamist militants already this year. In January, Nigerians took to the streets, demanding the re-instatement of the canceled fuel subsidy after gas prices skyrocketed. Economists generally hailed the cancelation, saying the subsidy institutionalized corruption and stunted development. But after the widespread strikes threatened the nation’s economy, the subsidy was partially reinstated. Rewane said the public’s anger was fueled by the be-

As the Nigerian finance minister vies for the World Bank presidency, locals weigh in on a tempest she sparked back home.

•Zoellick lief that officials were not acting in the interest of the people. “The reason we had a strike in January is because [government] credibility has been eroded very badly,” Rewane said. “You can’t ask people to make sacrifices if they don’t trust you.” In the aftermath of the subsidy cut, Okonjo-Iweala “almost became Nigeria’s least admired public servant,” according to an editorial in Nigeria’s Vanguard. The controversy, however, does not distract from her accomplishments, according to author Rotimi Fasan, who

•Jim yong also called for her appointment. “It would be a big minus for the World Bank if America has her way again,” Fasan writes. “Dr. OkonjoIweala is eminently qualified, her experience is more relevant to the office and her long insider position in the World Bank makes her the better candidate.” Other local commentators are more enthusiastic in their support, calling the minister, “Africa’s bride and pride.” “All is set as Africa and Africans eagerly wait to have an African, for the first time in the history of the

World Bank chosen as its president,” reads an editorial in the Nigerian Tribune. Originally nominated by South Africa, Nigeria and Angola, OkonjoIweala later won endorsements from the African Union, regional governing bodies, the Nigerian presidency, and news organizations across the continent. As Okonjo-Iweala’s bid gains momentum, the World Bank is under increasing pressure to seriously consider her candidacy. The World Bank was urged to be seen “standing on the right side of history,” by women’s rights group

Graca Machel Trust, in a statement released Wednesday. Other African aid organisations, human rights groups, business associations and regional leaders have voiced their support for Okonjo-Iweala. Leading Western news organizations like The Guardian and The Economist have also endorsed Okonjo-Iweala. The Economist called on the World Bank to take its own advice by rejecting “cronyism and fill each important job with the best candidate available. “In appointing its next president, the bank’s board should reject the nominee of its most influential shareholder, America, and pick Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,” wrote The Economist. But many Americans say the groundswell for the Nigerian is unrealistic. World Bank President Robert Zoellick, speaking in India last week, said the bank must consider the consequences of excluding Americans from leadership roles in international organisations. He said the tradition of appointing Americans to the bank’s top position helps maintain US support. “I often have to fight against those in the United States that want to move away from these institutions,” Zoellick told reporters on March 30, according to a World Bank transcript. “So, therefore, I believe it’s important for the US to have some people that are in leadership roles in some of the institutions. Now, that may or may not be the bank.” US President Barack Obama last month nominated Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to fill the post. Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said he supports the former World Health Organization HIV/AIDS director. “He is a highly competent individual who spearheaded efforts and contributed to AIDS issues,” Azumi said in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg News. “We judge he’s an appropriate candidate for the World Bank.” •Culled from Global Post




Governors propose 42% for states in revenue sharing formula


TATES yesterday intensified their push for more cash from the Federation Account. Governors raised a committee to strengthen their demand for 42 per cent of the Federation Account revenue. This will mean a drastic reduction of the Federal Government’s share. The governors adopted wholesale the Babatunde Fashola Committee’s proposal – Federal Government (35 per cent); states (42 per cent) and local governments (23 per cent). The current revenue formula gives the Federal Government 52 per cent, states 26.72 per cent and local governments 20.60 per cent. The governors ratified the

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

proposal at a meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) in Abuja on Wednesday night. The communiqué of the meeting, signed by NGF chair Governor Rotimi Ameachi of Rivers State, reads: “The Forum deliberated extensively on the continuing unconstitutional deductions by the Federal Government from the Federation Account in the name of oil subsidy which negates the principles of federalism and budgetary provisions. It noted that despite the increase in pump price of petrol, the quantum of subsidy deduction is still worrisome. The Forum, accord-

ingly constituted a Committee to meet with Mr. President. “Following briefing by the National Security Adviser, the Forum reiterated the need for closer cooperation between the States and Federal Government in addressing security challenges, noting also the necessity for increased empowerment of the State Governors to perform their role as Chief Security Officers in their respective States; “The Forum considered the current revenue allocation formula of the country and reiterated its commitment to its earlier report that proposed, among others, the following revenue allocation formula: Federal 35%, State 42%, & Local Government

23%; “Noting the urgency of the need to completely eradicate polio from Nigeria, which remains among the last three polio endemic countries in the world along with Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Forum renewed its commitment to a holistic approach to polio eradication. It specifically agreed that for maximum effect, Deputy Governors should take charge of State Task Force on polio eradication; “After listening to a comprehensive presentation on Tax Matters, with particular focus on the unique Tax Identification Number, the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011 and other ac-

tions designed to increase revenue at the State level by Mrs Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Joint Tax Board (JTB), the Forum thanked her and commended Mrs. Okauru’s exemplary and distinguished service to the nation, wishing her the best in her future endeavours.” Already, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has written to the governors and other stakeholders of its intention to review the revenue formula. It wants the governors to justify why the allocation to the states should be increased. The RMAFC has raised six teams to do field work be-

UK Foreign Sec decries religious intolerance

New boss for FIRS From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

MS Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru yesterday stepped down as chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). She was in office for seven years and 11 months. Her tenure will expire on Monday. President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday appointed Mr. Kabir Manhi, as acting chairman. Manhi, until the appointment was the Co-ordinator/ Director of the Support Service Group of the FIRS. Ms Omoigui-Okauru addressed the staff of the FIRS to inform them of her exit after returning from an assignment at the Presidential Villa where the new Tax regime was launched by the President.

Church to honour heroes ST. PAUL’s Church, OdodeIdanre in the Akure Diocese of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria, will hold a special ceremony in honour of Pa Daniel Akinseye Olamiti and past servants of God said to have made sacrifices for the church since its inception over a century ago. A special service for this honour is to be held at St Paul’s Church Odo-Ode Idanre on Saturday April 28 2012 at Those to be honoured by the Church include, Clergies and Catechists who indeed, laid the foundation of the Church beginning from last century, just as the special ceremony had been designed as a means of reviving the Church and raising its level of spirituality. Pa Olamiti was the first catechist that shepherded Christians from the hills of Oke Idanre to the present city of Odode-Idanre. Pa Olamiti, the church said, made immense contributions to the progress and development of the church as a Catechist between 1942 and 1948. The Committee added, “God had use Pa Olamiti to consolidate the faith of his adherents on the solid foundation laid by the early converts. He was known to be a great teacher of the Bible and inspirational leader of worship”

tween April 20 and May 20 and also consult widely. The RMAFC is the body empowered by the Constitution to review the revenue allocation formula. Its authority is derived from Section 162 (2) of the Constitution, which states: “The President upon the receipt of advice from the RMAFC shall table before the National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of states, internal revenue generation, land mass, terrain as well as population density.”


• Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (left); Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (second left); and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (right), at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in

Ondo group eulogises Tinubu at 60


EMBERS of Dynamic Circle Okeagbo in Ondo State have showered encomiums on former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on his 60th birthday. They described the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Natiional Leader as an icon and achiever par excellence. In a statement, the socialites noted that Tinubu’s efforts and contributions to the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria “cannot be quantified”. The statement reads: “We members of Dynamic Circle of Okeagbo Akoko, Ondo State, join the good people of Nigeria and the Yoruba race in particular to congratulate Asiwaju Tinubu on his 60th year on earth. “To the members of Dynamic Circle and the majority of Okeagbo youths, who we represent, Tinubu is an icon and an achiever par excellence; his style of leadership is worthy of emulation. Through relentless service to the development of mankind and humanity, he has touched the lives of many people in positive ways. “As a visionary leader, who is full of passion for the emancipation of the com-

By Olamilekan Andu

mon man, he has been able to build round himself scores of successful elites who are ready to take up the mantle of leadership. This is seen as a major attribute of a great leader, which Tinubu is. “Tinubu’s efforts and contributions towards the emergence of democracy in Nigeria cannot be quantified. This dates back to his days as a Senator during the aborted Third Republic under the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). Then, the events that followed forced Tinubu into exile in Europe and America, where himself and other patriotic Nigerians

played prominent roles in the formation and finance of the dreaded National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), a major opposition group that launched international campaign against the despotic regime of the late General Sanni Abacha, to a halt. “Again, the achievements of Asiwaju Tinubu as executive governor of Lagos State has remain a reference point. As governor, he demonstrated his passion for democracy, rule of law and equality of all before the law. Even in the face of frustration and threat to his life, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld the state’s federal allo-

cation, Tinubu took the battle to the Supreme Court and the apex court ruled that it was unlawful to withhold Lagos State’s fund. “Tinubu’s achievements and records as Governor of Lagos State provided the leverage for the success recorded by his successor, the energetic Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN). “Therefore, as we celebrate Asiwaju Tinubu at 60, the Dynamic Circle, as a social group within Akoko Division in Ondo State, is using this medium to make a passionate appeal to our great leader not to relent in his effort until the best is achieved for the Yoruba race and the people of Nigeria...”

UN: Nigeria, US, three others to lead city growth


IGERIA, India, China, Indonesia and the United States will lead the world’s growth in urban populations in the next four decades. This will lead to challenges in the provision of jobs, housing, energy and infrastructure, the United Nations said yesterday. Ahead of its sustainability summit in Rio, Brazil, in June, the world body released new forecasts for urban populations in a bid to urge global leaders to come up with concrete plans at the conference in Brazil to produce sustainable cities. Nigeria’s cities are expected to add 200 mil-

lion people by 2050, more than doubling the country’s current population; India’s cities are to add 497 million, increasing the current total population by more than 40 per cent; and Indonesia’s cities are set to add 92 million people, about a 38 per cent increase in its total population, according to the UN’s 2011 Revision of the World Urbanization Prospects. U.S. cities are forecast to add 103 million people, raising the country’s population by a third, while China is due to boost its total population by a quarter, with an increase of 341 million in its cities.

RITISH Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged

Christians to use the Easter to remember those struggling to regain their right across the world. In a statement by the Press Secretary, British High Commission, Hooman Nouruzi, he said: “I would like to send warm wishes to all of those around the world celebrating Easter, along with my hope that it will be a peaceful, happy and contemplative time for their families. “Too many people continue to struggle for religious and other freedoms in many countries, and we still see unacceptable examples of religious intolerance, including against Christians. During this Easter period, we remember those still struggling for their rights across the globe. The effective promotion of human rights remains at the heart of our foreign policy and I am determined we shall remain a strong voice standing up against all discrimination on the basis of religion, faith or belief.”

Disqualified students beg Fayemi

From Leke Akeredolu,



OVER 1,000 external students who registered but were disqualified to write this year’s May/June West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) in Ekiti State yesterday urged Governor Kayode Fayemi to give them a chance. The students, who are indigenes of Ondo and Ekiti states, were at The Nation office in Akure, the Ondo State capital, begging the governor to review their case. They noted that the government’s action, if not reversed, might jeopardise their future. The Ekiti State Government, through its Ministry of Education, announced the disqualification of some students from participating in the examination because of some alleged irregularities in their registration.




08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

Govt to arrest stray animals By Daniel Essiet

•Demands N1b compensation for dead colleague


CTIVITIES at the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) headquarters in Yaba, Lagos Mainland were disrupted yesterday, as members of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) stormed its national head office, in protest of the death of their member inside WAEC's elevator last Wednesday. The deceased, Fatai Olalekan Odeniyi, a 300-level student of the Lagos State University, reportedly went to collect his secondary school certificate at WAEC office when he fell off the elevator and died. Odeniyi, a clerical official at Odi Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, Ilupeju, had successfully collected the certificate and was returning to the office when he was called to sign a document on the 8th floor. On his way back from the 8th floor, he decided to use the eleva-

• The protesters... yesterday. Inset: Odeniyi By Jude Isiguzo

tor which, unknown to him, was not functional. Immediately he steeped inside, he fell, landing on the ground floor, sustaining limb and head injuries. The protesters, comprising workers from 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas and led by their president, Comrade Ayinde Akinsanya, bore placards and sang solidarity songs. Although the over four-hour protest was peaceful, policemen

from Sabo, Yaba, were invited apparently to prevent a likely hijack by hoodlums. The protesters blocked both entrances into WAEC, preventing the staff from going in, a development that almost resulted in a fracas as WAEC workers attempted to force their way in. Attempts by policemen to dislodge the protesters met with stiff resistance as they refused to leave until they were attended to. Part of their request, included WAEC's automatic employment for Odeniyi's widow, scholarship

Two remanded for alleged robbery

Fake Army Colonel nabbed


MIDDLE aged man Olugbemiga Osoba, has been arrested by officials of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement). Osoba was arrested over an alleged impersonation. He had visited the Alausa office of the Taskforce, disguised as a Colonel and sought the consent of the taskforce chairman, Bayo Sulaiman, to release his friend's commercial bus seized along Ikorodu road. Before his arrest, Osoba, who hails from Ogun State, was said to have boasted that he would deal with the taskforce officials who impounded the bus. Osoba was said to have vehemently demanded to see the taskforce chief and filled a form indicating that he was a colonel in the army.

By Miriam Ndikanwu

The taskforce chief, Sulaiman asked the fake colonel to produce his identity card and he brought out an identity card issued to him as honorary member of the Nigerian Army Officers' Mess Apapa. Seeing that his game was up, he prostrated before the task force chief pleading for mercy, while the taskforce chairman was said to be angry and ordered his arrest for impersonating the military. Sulaiman said the fake army colonel would be charged to court for impersonation to serve as deterrent to others. Osoba admitted that he was not an army colonel, saying he lied and asked for mercy. "I made a bloody mistake. I am an honorary member of the army officers’ mess, Apapa. I knew I lied and it was to help my friend," he said.

for his children and N1 billion compensation. No compromise was reached between WAEC and the protesters as no representative of the deceased’s family was present. Another meeting, according to Comrade Akisanya, has been slated for April 18. It was learnt that WAEC engineers, who were arrested over the incident, had been released. They regained their freedom shortly after making statements at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba.



According to him, his friend’s bus was impounded and he had wanted to help him by posing as a senior military officer.

N Ebute Metta Magistrates' Court, Lagos, on Wednesday remanded a teenager, Omoniyi Ayetoba and Babatunde Afolayan, 34, in prison over alleged armed robbery. Magistrate O.O. Olatunji said that the court would not take the pleas of the accused, pending legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The court ordered that the accused be remanded in the Ikoyi Prisons and adjourned the case to May 7, to get the DPP's advice on whether it could hear the case. Ayetoba,18, and Afolayan, an artisan were charged with armed robbery. They were arraigned for allegedly robbing one Elizabeth Nutiamodo of her valuables, worth N200,000, at gun point. The accused are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery.

NSCDC shuts down 52 illegal security outfits HE Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Lagos State Command said 52 illegal security guard companies has been closed down in the last seven months. The organisation warned members of the public and corporate organisations to be vigilant when seeking the services of private security companies. The warning was issued by the command following the rise in crime as well as recruitment of untrained security guards in the state. Speaking with reporters yesterday, the Assistant Commandant


By Jude Isiguzo

and Head, Department of Private Guards Company, Mr. Samuel Fadeyi, said the command had discovered and raided 50 illegal companies about six months ago and another 12 last month across the state. He however said that some of the companies were investigated and found to be in the process of completing their registration. Fadeyi added that the modus operandi of these companies was to register at the Corporate Affairs Commissions and on this basis, deceive unsuspecting corporate

organisations into doing business with them. Fadeyi maintained that security companies ought to have documents of incorporation as well as licences issued by the Ministry of the Interior. He said, "In a renewed offensive against illegal operators of PGCs in Lagos, we discovered and raided 12 illegal companies across the state fronting as licensed companies within the last one month. "It was discovered that these companies register at the CAC and on the basis of this registration alone, they deceive some corporate entities to engage them for

purpose of guarding their business. "Out of the 12 companies shut down, two of them had forged purported letters of comfort from NSCDC, authorising them to operate pending issuance of licences." Fadeyi stated that one of the reasons bank robberies and thefts of valuables of customers in cabinets designated for their bags was rampant was because some banks engaged the services of these quack security organisations. Fadeyi added that many of these quack companies were owned by ex-servicemen.

LAGOS EMERGENCY LINES STATE AGENCIES 4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 080-75005411; 080-60152462 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) 080-23111742; 080-29728371 Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 080-23909364; 080-77551000 070-35068242 01-7904983 080-79279349; 080-63299264

1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 080-23321770; 080-56374036. 2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No:080-33706639; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-34346168; 01-2881304

070-55462708; 080-65154338 767 or email: 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.

THE Commissioner Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has said stray animals would henceforth be arrested. He said the government stepped up the campaign to take strayed animals off the streets. Henceforth, Lawal said, strayed cows, goats and horses will be impounded by members of the task force. He said any animal found straying on the roads would be put away at the owners' costs. Owners of such animals, he added will forfeit them to the government. Lawal said stray animals are the most visible city management issues today, with emphasis on dogs, horses sheep and cats. He said the importance of stray animal campaign cannot be over-emphasised. Lawal said the government is establishing stray animal campaign across the state to keep animals away from the streets and roads. He said an animal rescue centre will be established at Lekki where all stray animals arrested will be kept and taken care of. He said the government wants to foster an environment that encourages businesses. As a mega city, Lagos, he said, is striving to provide more sophisticated services to spur entrepreneurship, partnerships, adding that the menace is not helping the image of a mega city. He hoped residents and businesses will cooperate with the government to create a more supportive environment by keeping animals off the roads.

Goldie becomes UN Ambassador By Ahmed Boulor

AWARD-WINNING singer Susan Harvey, (Goldie), has been conferred a UN Youth Ambassador for Peace. The award was conferred by the Federal Government. As a UN Ambassador, Goldie will be joining hands with other Ambassadors - home and abroad - in making the world a more peaceful place to live in by getting involved in aidgiving programmes in areas of unrest. "I will be representing Nigeria all over the world, in summits, world conferences, United Nation’s meetings, I will also go to places of strife to try and give aid either by philanthropy, or by mediation," she said. Her office will also demand proper report and relay of pertinent information on U.N. activities to the countries' diplomatic centres around the world. She is conscious of the task ahead and is prepared to use the platform in the best possible way to put Nigeria in a good place. "Nigerians are naturally peaceful people. We have a few bad eggs though whose sole aim is to cause conflict and disintegration. These few bad factions will definitely be weeded out in no time." Goldie is looking to building alliances across the world through this opening. Her job as an Ambassador also requires meeting with delegates from other countries while on international missions and building professional relationships that will ultimately be beneficial to Nigeria.



NEWS Obalende’s transformation under way, says Fashola


•Fashola (2nd left); Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello (2nd right) and the Permanent Secretary (Office of Drainage), Ministry of Environment, Mr. Muyideen Akinsanya (left) inspecting on-going projects at Obalende...yesterday.

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday inspected drains, road and other ongoing projects in Obalende. He said the projects would transform Obalende and improve the quality of life there. The governor described the projects as “a multi-solution intervention on real property revaluation, regeneration, traffic management and control, pedestrian and commuter convenience, security, regeneration of business and night life”. He said Obalende has a rich history and used to be famous for its suya. Fashola said: “By regenerating the area, we can bring back visitors to come and experience the ambience and night life of Obalende again. If you

look around, many of the property have lost value, simply because the place has become disorganised. “This is part of what we are trying to do. This place will be lit up at night. We have seen what the Ministry of Environment is doing about the drainage channels that have been overtaken by development. You can also see human intervention conscripting the drainage channel. These are issues we will resolve. “There is a famous hospital around this corner. I do not know how they have been faring, having made that kind of investment with the degradation that we have seen here. “I am sure all of these businesses will come back to life as soon as the intervention is completed.”

Stop using pupils as political agents, activist warns Mimiko

OSOPADEC: EFCC invites Ondo A SSG, others T HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday invited three top officials of the Ondo State Government for interrogation over the alleged misappropriation of funds at the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), it was learnt. They are: Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Rotimi Adelola; Commissioner for Finance Yele Ogundipe; and the Accountant-General, Ibukun Alabi. According to competent sources, they were allegedly taken to Abuja yesterday night. OSOPADEC Chairman

•Accountant-General, Finance commissioner also for questioning From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Prince Debo Ajimuda was arrested two weeks ago by the anti-corruption agency over an alleged N61.63 billion fraud. Ajimuda was released on bail after one week, but EFCC said it would invite some state government officials for further investigation. A source told The Nation that the three officials were

invited following some information given by Ajimuda. EFCC has interrogated the Accountant of the House of Assembly, Mr. Akin Akinnagbe; and the Clerk, Mr. Jaye Dada, over the alleged inflation of some contracts awarded by the House, led by Speaker Samuel Ajayi Adesina. It was reported that EFCC officials stormed the Assembly complex at 2pm

on Tuesday and whisked Akinnagbe and Dada away to Abuja for interrogation. The agency’s officials were said to be acting on the petitions written to the commission by a lawyer and human rights activist, Morakinyo Ogele, and a group, Concerned Citizens for Good Governance (CCGG). Both petitions alleged that the Speaker inflated some contracts and mismanaged N900 million. Police spokesman Aremu Adeniran did not deny or confirm the arrests. He said EFCC does not have to notify the police before executing its duties.

Agency to re-arraign Daniel April 16


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it would re-arraign former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel. In a statement in Abuja by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the commission said: “The coast is now clear for the re-arraignment of Daniel, after Justice O. O. Olopade, the Chief Judge of the Ogun State High Court, Abeokuta, granted the request of the EFCC to proffer information against the former governor.” The EFCC had, through its counsel Rotimi Jacobs,

•Court grants commission leave to file charges Nigeria to proffer informaFrom Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

filed an Application for Leave to proffer an information under Section 340(2) (b) of the criminal procedure laws of Ogun State 2006. The notice, dated March 30, 2012 and signed by the Chief Judge gave the Federal Government the permission to re-arraign Daniel. The EFCC quoted the notice as follows: “I hereby give my consent to the Federal Government of

tion against the abovenamed accused person. “The EFCC has sought the leave of the court to proffer information against Daniel, after Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje of the Ogun State High Court dismissed the 43count charge against the former governor because the commission purportedly failed to seek the leave of the court to file the amended information. “However, with the consent given by the State Chief Judge, Daniel will now be arraigned before

HUMAN rights activist, Morakinyo Ogele, yesterday warned the Ondo State Government against using secondary school pupils as political agents. Ogele was reacting to a programme tagged: “Youth Forum”, which comes up on Mondays on the State Television. He alleged that some of Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s aides organised primary and secondary school pupils to sing the government’s praises on the programme. In a statement, Ogele said: “It is on record that the organisers invited pupils from various secondary and primary schools, and political appointees told these pupils why the present administration should remain in office. “These pupils have not enjoyed free education and temporary political appointees should not be allowed to mess up the future of these innocent pupils.

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

“Let the government follow the footsteps of Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, who has made education free from the primary to tertiary level. Okorocha is providing free lunch for pupils and giving them monthly pocket allowance. “The Ondo State government should start by making education free and providing jobs for our idle youths. “I urge head teachers not to allow their pupils attend any political forum. Let them face their studies.” The Nation phoned the Chairman of the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC) Board, Chief Ayo Oyisan, to get his reactions, but he did not pick his calls. A top government official, who preferred anonymity, urged the public to disregard Ogele’s statement, adding that OSRC has not flouted any rule of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Lagos traders demand bridge



Justice Mabekoje on April 16 in Abeokuta on a 38count charge bordering on the abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds when he was the governor of the state.”

RADERS at the Ladipo Auto Parts Market have urged Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola to build a pedestrian bridge at Toyota Bus Stop on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. The newly elected President-General of the Ladipo Auto Central Executive Committee (LACEC), Mr. Ikechukwu Animalu, made the request at the weekend during his acceptance speech at the inauguration of the new executive. He said many people have been killed at the spot while

By Oye Ogunwale

trying to cross the road. Other members of the new executive are: Vice-President, Mr. Nze Ultimate Durueze; Secretary-General, Pastor Steve Paul; Financial Secretary, Mr. Ray Ukpabia; Treasurer, Mr. Jude Nwankwo; Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Onyeka Igwe; Assistant PRO, Deacon Nkire Ezeigbo; Chief Provost Ifeanyi Paschal Onwuka; and Welfare Officer, Chief A.V.C Ajuluchukwu. Animalu also urged the government to repair Ladipo Road.

NULGE demands N1b compensation for family of colleague killed in WAEC elevator


HE National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has demanded N1 billion as compensation from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to the family of its member, Mr. AbdulFatia Lekan (44), who was killed in the organisation’s elevator last week. The union also wants WAEC to employ Lekan’s widow and grant scholarships to his three children. The union made these de-

By Jude Isiguzo

mands yesterday, when it sealed off the premises of WAEC. Its members carried placards with various inscriptions, such as “We demand justice now”; “The soul of Comrade AbdulFatia Olalekan cries for justice”; “an injury to one is an injury to all”; “Murdered by WAEC’s criminal negligence”; “Fatai will not die in vain”; “WAEC officials, you are murders”; and

“Who killed Comrade Lekan?”, among others. They sang and cried and showed passers-by and motorists the picture of the late Lekan. The late Lekan, who was an employee of Odi-Olowo/ Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area (LCDA), went to WAEC office on March 28 to pick up his certificate, which he wanted to present to the Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, where he was a 300 level stu-

dent. After he finished his business on the eighth floor of the 12-storey building, it was gathered that the late Lekan decided to use the elevator. But when the elevator’s door opened minutes later and Lekan walked out, thinking he was on the ground floor, he walked into space. It was gathered that the elevator was faulty and the box did not come with it, so Lekan walked into open space and fell from the eighth floor.

He died immediately. NULGE President Lasisi Akinsauya said the union wrote WAEC, but its management did not respond. He said: “We are here because one of our members was gruesomely murdered. He came here to collect his result and he decided to use the elevator. But because it was faulty, he crashed and died. “Since the management knew it was faulty, why did they not put a caution sign

there to stop visitors from using it? We have written WAEC and made publications, but WAEC has not responded. We are here because want them to know that it was a human being that was killed.” No WAEC official came out to address the protesters. Armed policemen from Sabo Police Station, led by the Divisional Police Officer, simply identified as Mr. Aruna, were on ground to maintain law and order.








EFCC closes case After devastating rainfall, Ogun community counts losses against Akingbola T HE Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) yesterday closed its argument in the case of theft of N47.1 billion against the former Managing Director, Intercontinental Bank Plc at a Lagos High Court, Ikeja. Charged along with Akingbola in the court presided over by Justice Habeeb Abiru was his associate, Bayo Dada, the General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited. Akingbola initially had a 29-count charge preferred against him but was later reduced to 21 after the charges that were directly related to his wife, Anthonia, were dropped. During the about 10 months that the trial lasted, the prosecution called only two witnesses, the Chief Inspector of Access Bank, Mr Abdulraheem Jimoh and one of the team of EFCC operative that conducted investigation in the bank, Mrs Nkechi Ibekaku. Ibekaku told the court that the second defendant, Bayo Dada did not produce any document to back all the transfers of money allegedly made by Akingbola, which went into Tropics Securities Limited account and some other companies in which Akingbola and wife, Anthonia, have interest. The EFCC operative, who

By Adebisi Onanuga

was being cross examined by Akingbola’s counsel, Mr. Deji Sasegbon (SAN), told the court that as at the time the transactions were made, there was no money in the account of the former boss of the bank. Ask for what she knew about three Skye Bank cheques which totalled N2.5 billion issued by Chartwell Securities Limited, Ibekaku said that their investigation revealed that the money was an illegal transaction. She said investigation revealed that the account of Chartwell was credited from the account of Intercontinental Bank with CBN and that the beneficiary was Akingbola. Pressed further on the transaction, “I believed and still believe that it was Intercontinental Bank money with CBN that went into Tropic Finance account. “The cheques of Chartwell were already issued in favour of Tropics and anybody could be sent to deposit it. But we noticed that the cheques were deposited by a staff of the Intercontinental bank” she said. She also told the court that there was no simultaneous exchange of cheques to the tune of N2.5billion that was paid into the Access Bank account of


Chartwell Securities. The EFCC operative argued that the difference between the total sum of $11,797,063.75 mentioned by prosecution and that of burea- de- change put at $11,840,427.00 which was converted to pound sterling and transferred to the London account of Furghers Solicitors was not an attempt to mislead the court on the transaction. “The fact is that there is over $11 million that was illegally transferred from the banks dollar”, she said. Ibekaku also told the court that no document was provided during investigation to show that there was a transaction from which Akingbola was entitled to N10million as commission. The trial judge, Justice Habeeb Abiru adjourned the matter to May 21,22,28 and 30 when Akingbola is expected to open his defence.





Petrochemicals such as fertilisers, methanol, propylene, ethylene, plastic industry, oil and gas industry including research and development and innovation will be linked as part of enhancing productivity and industrial skills development. -Mr Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investment

Naira heads for two-week high

Interbank rates fall


NTERBANK lending rates fell this week to an average of 14.41 per cent, down from 15.33 per cent last week, as matured treasury bill funds boosted liquidity and helped ease pressure on the cost of borrowing, traders said. Traders according to Reuters new said though the market opened with a negative balance of N42.60 billion ($270.37 million) yesteday but the repayment of about N98 billion in matured open market operation (OMO) bills boosted liquidity. Rates on short-term borrowing on the interbank had risen to around 15.5 per cent for overnight at the close of market on Wednesday because of large fund withdrawals by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). “The injection of about N 98 billion into the system from matured OMO bills brought down cost of borrowing among banks today,” one dealer said. NNPC usually sells dollars to banks on a monthly basis and recalls a portion of the naira proceeds to its account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The secured Open Buy Back fell to 14.25 per cent from 14.75 per cent last week, 225 basis points above the CBN’s 12 per cent benchmark rate, and 4.25 percentage points above the Standing Deposit Facility rate.

HE naira strengthened against the dollar and headed for the highest close in more than two weeks on a tight supply of the currency and dollar inflows. The currency gained 0.1 per cent to N157.55 per dollar on the interbank market as of 11:10 a.m. in Lagos, heading for the highest close since March 21, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The naira has gained 3 per cent this year. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has kept interest rates at a record high of 12 per cent this year and sold $250 million at foreign exchange auctions this week. “Tight liquidity conditions, real interest rates and improved market confidence have probably contributed to this trend,” Samir Gadio, an emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd. in London, said in an e-mailed reply to questions yesterday. “The naira is supported by consistent foreign exchange oil flows and offshore inflows into Nigerian treasury bills.” The yield on Nigeria’s $500 million of dollar bonds declined 3 basis points, or 0.03 per cent, to 5.379 per cent in London. Borrowing costs on the West African nation’s naira bonds due 2019 fell two basis points to 15.29 per cent Wednesday, according to the Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA) website. Nigeria’s foreign reserves have risen 8.8 per cent this year to $35.8 billion as of April 3, CBN data show. The nation’s benchmark bonny light crude has gained 13.7 per cent this year. Ghana’s cedi fell for a third day, weakening 0.2 per cent to 1.7875 per dollar, as of 10:20 a.m. in Accra, the capital. The cedi has declined 8.3 per cent this year.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$123.6/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N6.503 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 245 $ 156.4 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 241 RIYAL 40.472


• President Goodluck Jonathan (right),being captured by Tax Data Capturing Machine to signal commencement of the National Tax Identification Number Policy in Abuja ... yesterday. With him is Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru.

Fed Govt launches new tax policy, ID number I N a bid to improve tax administration in the country, the Federal Government has launched a new tax policy. Also launched yesterday by President Goodluck Jonathan was the nationwide Tax Identification Number (TIN), which was issued to him. Vice President Namadi Sambo and Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Governor Rotimi Ameachi of Rivers and his colleagues in Anambra, Ekiti, Kogi, Ogun and Niger states were also issue the TIN at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja. TIN is an electronic database system for the registration and storage of data of tax payers in Nigeria. NEC is a statutory body, which comprises of the 36 states governors, governor of the Central Bank of Nige-

From Vincent Ikumola, Abuja

ria (CBN), minister of National Planning, Minister of Justice, minister of State for Finance. Speaking at the inauguration, Jonathan said the new tax regime marks the culmination of a journey of about a decade and it is expected to lay the foundation for the complete transformation of the Nigerian tax system. He noted that the new policy provides clear principles governing tax administration and revenue collection. “TIN is a revolutionary poll of tax administration and holds immense potential not just for expanding the nationwide tax base with consequent increase in rev-

enue collection accruable to all tiers of government but it is also a big step in the modernisation of the Nigerian tax system in line with global best practices and expectations. “The idea of national tax policy first arose from the report of the presidential study and a private sector working group set up in the year 2002, which examined the Nigerian tax system and made recommendations towards entrenching a better tax policy and improved tax administration in our dear country,” he said. The policy, he added, will lay the foundation for the complete transformation of the Nigerian tax system, sets parameters for taxation and other auxiliary matters and

provides clear principles governing tax administration and revenue collection. He said the unique nationwide tax identification number is a collaborative project between federal and state governments and is a key deliverable under the national tax policy. The president also commended state Governors and the joint tax board for their collaboration in ensuring the successful implementation of the tax payer identification number. Also, the Minister of Finance and Cordinating minister, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala said the new tax policy is a revolutionary one that will help curb corruption in the administration of tax in the country.

PHCN workers protest officials’ sack


ORKERS of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) headquarters yesterday trooped out to protest the sack of their principal officers by the Federal Government. The aggrieved staff shut the entrance to the headquarters complex in Maitama, Abuja. They engaged in prayers and singing in the premises, chanting war and anti-government slogans. The Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, had on Monday announced the retirement of the Transition Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) Managing Director, Akinwumi Bada, the Market Operator, Uzoma Achinaya and the Executive Director, Human Resources, PHCN, Olushoga Muyiwa. Bada and Achinaya were re-

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

placed by Shola Akinniranye and Evarestus Mogbo respectively. But while speaking with journalists yesterday , the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) Council chairman of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Comrade Wisdom Nwachukwu, said sacking the officers was a bare- faced hypocrisy on the part of the Federal Government and an attempt to have their “destinies pushed to the street.” He added that the minister’s action was against the spirit of on-going negotiations with the workers. “A month ago, the minster went to our national body in Lagos and resolved that we should both go to the status quo and allow the

Hassan Sumonu led committee appointed by the President to negotiate further. Another round of negotiation was supposed to hold by the 16th of this month, but the minister has gone ahead to sack some of our principal officers because they did not obey his instructions not to pay us our salaries.” Nwachukwu added that the minister has instructed the new people he appointed to transfer the headquarter staff to PHCN successor companies. “ That letter has been written as I speak to you and ready for signing. Some are being transferred to offices that have no structure, such as the Electricity Management Services,” he alleged. While calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to

review the sack of the three top officials, he accused the minister of having a sinister agenda in the privatisation exercise by not following due process. He said, only 616 of the 10, 000 casual workers have had their employment regularized, against the agreement reached with the government. “Before you transfer anybody to a successor company, you have to finish everything about the asset and liability because the successor company will not accept liability. Discuss the severance package with them and let everybody who has done a pensionable job know what he/she is getting before transferring him/her to another place. At the end of the day, it becomes optional whether to go on transfer on not,” he stated.

NIPC to release incentive policy From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


HE Nigerian Invest ment Promotion Com mission (NIPC) will soon release the document on specific incentive policy for the realisation of vision 20:2020. Arrangements are in top gear to present the document to stakeholders in May 2012, as the Presidential directive on this policy had been given since 2007. The Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamusedeen Usman disclosed these in Abuja while receiving a copy of the document from the Executive Secretary of NIPC, Engr. Mustafa Bello. He noted that there was need for good policies that will advance the economy. “The role NIPC is playing is critical to the development of the economy, especially the transformation agenda of the present government, as we have just presented the final document to the Economic Management Team (EMT). This is one of the key things that will make us to realise vision 20-2020. It is a very good initiative. “NIPC should be given prominence by the Federal Government in order to realise its objective and mandate, Investment Promotion and Facilitation is key to economic development and job creation.




Experts canvass pension plan for farmers A

DON, Dr. Fayeye Rotimi, has canvassed the implementation of a pension scheme for farmers to enable them to enjoy their retirement. Rotimi, who is of the Department Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, said, this will enable them to receive monthly stipends.

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

Many years ago, he said farming was largely peasantry and planning for retirement for farmers was not easy. “You kept farming until you dropped dead,” he added. Today, the quest for children’s education and the desire to meet other basic family budgetary

needs after their forced or voluntary retirement from the farm have become major concern to farmers. Some developed economies in Europe have long appreciated this need and have developed their farm retirement schemes. According to him, the farmers pension scheme is aimed at stimulating productivity in the

From left: State Project Co-ordinator,CADP, Mr Bolaji Balogun;Programme Manager, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Mr Kayode Ashafa and former Assistant General Manager, Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), Mr Babatunde Sanni, during a briefing in Lagos.

Don makes case for preservation of original crops species C ASSAVA Adding Value for Africa (CAVA) Project Manager, Dr. Kolawole Adebayo, has called on researchers to preserve original species of crops for posterity. Speaking with The Nation, Adebayo said using local crops and varieties which suit the local environment is better when breeding for high input as they have inbuilt resistance for pests. He said new varieties will need to adapt to less favoured areas and they could pose a challenge for producing food with higher nutritional value. For farmers to achieve good harvests, he said researchers would require plants that are more productive, use of nutrients and water more efficiently, have greater resistance to pests and diseases and are more tolerant to droughts, flood, frost and higher temperatures. He said a range of genetic variation is needed in species to help them adapt to changing environment. He explained that genes from wild relatives have been particularly important in providing resistance to pests and diseases. According to him, traditional varieties and the wild species of crops are being lost through genetic erosion. He said farmers adopt new varieties, and cease growing the old ones that they have nurtured for generations and eventually lose the latter. He said future crop improvement needs the genetic variation from traditional varieties and related wild species to cope with challenges in various crops. At the just-concluded Regional Consultative workshop on Improving Linkages between Conservation and use of Food Crops in West Africa in Ghana, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, said despite strides that research has made in developing improved variety of crops, it is imperative that genetic diversity is maintained for posterity.

He said yam, sorghum, millet and cowpea are very important as far as food security is concerned not only in Ghana but in the sub-region. He noted that it was for that matter that the government attaches great importance to the project. It is being supported by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, a foundation for food security and was attended by 40 participants from Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Benin, Switzerland and Italy. The ministry, he said, has been conducting extensive consultations on policies. It is aimed at environmental mainstreaming. Director of Crop Services of the Agriculture Ministry, Mr Asante Krobea, said food security cannot be achieved without application of science and technology, especially now that the country’s biodiversity of crops is being threatened with extinction. This, he said, is due to population pressure, food production practices, and commercial land use for mining, timber and climate change, among other factors. The conservation of traditional crop variety such millet, yam, sorghum and cowpea in changing environment is critical to addressing food security in the sub-region as these yields depend upon increasing population on daily basis. He said: “It is the belief of most people that for the world to feed the ever- growing population and in the face of climate change, it is important to develop innovative actions that will allow food and agriculture to use traditional and new findings to increase productions for consumption and industries.” One of such ways is to promote linkages between disciplines and adoption of genetic policies for our system. Senior Science Co-ordinator, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Mr Luigi Guarino, said the body aims at accelerating the use of conserved crop diversity in the pilot project in Ghana, Nigeria and Mali, where

it is working with four crops, namely cowpea, pearl millet, sorghum and yam. Through national consultations, the body engages with experts from national conservation and breeding programmes in target countries to identify bottlenecks in the use of gene banks and develop ways to address them. The Trust said through the stimulation of the flow of conserved genetic diversity down to the “use of pipeline”, it will help demonstrate the importance of links between conservation and use for adopting agriculture to climate change and increasing food security. Director-General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Dr Ahmed Baba Salifu, called for more attention for crop production, especially in the face of climate change. He said there is the need for the adoption of innovative strategies that would allow agriculture to use traditional and new findings to increase production for consumption and commercial purposes.

farming sector, adding that it is being implemented in countries such as Tanzania and Ghana. “The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in 2011 decided on the first-ever Pension Scheme for its 800,000 cocoa farmers to ensure that they do not suffer when they retire. The project, was a collaborative effort between COCOBOD and its consultants with input from the farmers. The aim of the project was to improve the plight of cocoa farmers and as well contribute to the development of the country.” Under the project, he said the government and the board would make contributions on behalf of the qualified farmers. Tanzania, he explained, bought the idea of a pension scheme for farmers with 150 cashew nuts growers in Tandahimba District, Mtwara Region. Farmers joined the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) only last year. This was because since 2004 when Nigeria started the contributory pension scheme for workers in the public and private sector , farmers were excluded.

He added that this was not fair for a group, which makes the second largest contribution to the National Gross Domestic Product GDP). Urging the government to borrow a leave from other African countries, Rotimi said the farmer’s pension scheme is part of national programmes in Europe and Asia to stimulate productivity in the sector. “In Ireland for instance, the early farm retirement scheme is a scheme co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the National Exchequer to encourage farmers aged between 55 and 66 to retire from farming and transfer/lease their land to a younger farmer after meeting certain conditions. Prof. Abel Ogunwale, a lecturer in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, supports the idea. He said farmers deserve a good pension scheme like farmers, especially a formal pension scheme. He called for government’s subsidised contributions to the pension plan to make it attractive to farmers.

Multi-million naira roads project to link Lagos farms


HE Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) is to rehabilitate 10 roads in Lagos. The N800 million deal is being executed by the World Bank and the Lagos State government. It covers 17.40-kilometre roads and drainages. The state Project Co-ordinator, Mr Bolaji Balogun, who disclosed this in Lagos, said there was the need for future investment on roads to open farms to markets across the state. Last year, he said the agency rehabilitated 10 rural access roads totalled 22.4 kilometres worth N640 million. The roads have improved access for poultry, fish and rice farmers in the state, he added. According to him, the infrastructure gap is enormous and this it is hampering agricultural growth. The poor state of transport, Balogun said, adds what he described as “economic distance” to agric trade. High transit costs caused by infrastructure problems, he added, make farmers lose money. Since a large per cent of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood, Balogun

said the project is taking an approach to spur agricultural development by strengthening market linkage, and improving infrastructure to facilitate trade. The agency assists in improving agricultural productivity and through investments in infrastructure, such as feeder roads, which are capable of expanding economic activities. He said the agency is funding the improvement of feeder roads linked to agricultural development across the state. Closing the infrastructure gap, he noted, is vital for the future of agriculture. Describing Lagos as an important agric investment destination, Balogun said the government is implementing a plan to drive private investment. Emphasising that infrastructure make economic growth and development possible, Balogun said the project is procuring and installing power transformers in farming communities in Lagos State. Appraising the performance of the project, he said it has increased total production and processing in rice, poultry and aquaculture by 25 per cent and total sales of agricultural products under the targeted value chains by 30 per cent.

‘Package labelling’ll boost safety’



EAD of Food and Nutrition, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Dr Salifat Sanni, has called for the package labelling of some popular meat and poultry products with key nutrition information. She said such labelling will provide consumers with sufficient information to assess the nutrient content of the commodity, enabling them to select meat and poultry products that fit into a healthy diet that meets their family or individual needs. She said some people eat meat from chicken breast or steak, and that information on the package

labels will assist them. She noted that producers are not providing information on meat in the store to give shoppers a clearer sense of the options available, thereby allowing them to purchase items that are most appropriate for their families’needs. Enforcing this on the labels, she said, would help consumers to make more informed food purchase decisions. According to her, the label will list the number of calories and the grammess of total fat and saturated fat that a product contains. She said consumers will be able to compare the calories and fat content for meat and poultry products in the stores.




Making Delta an investors’ destination


•From left: Managing Director/Chief Executive, UTC Nigeria PLC,Mrs Folusho Olaniyan and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, at the presentation of 40 per cent cassava bread in Lagos.

‘Increase awareness for organic agric’


XPERTS have stressed the need for the development of skills and practice of organic agriculture as the panacea to food insecurity. This was the suggestion at the just-concluded International Workshop on Curriculum Development for Postgraduate Studies in Organic Agriculture in West Africa, organised by the West African Network on Organic Agriculture Research and Training (WANOART), at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Delivering a lecture on concepts and misconceptions of Organic Agriculture, the Project Co-ordinator, Centre for Agro-ecology and Food Security, Coventry University, United Kingdom, Prof. Phil Harris, disclosed that the 2008 United Nations report observed that organic agriculture in developing countries, had contributed to an increase in food security, through the promotion of natural environment, community co-operation and partnerships, as well as increase in education, skills and health care. He pointed out that the practice of organic agriculture transcended the use of pesticides and inorganic fertiliser,

Stories by Daniel Essiet

but involved positive, sustainable management processes through the recycling of residual biomass and the use of biological fixing of atmospheric nitrogen, biological and cultural control of pest diseases. The Project Co-ordinator rejected some misconceptions which described organic agriculture as being old-fashioned. Rather, he said “organic agriculture takes the best form of traditional knowledge and practice, but develops new scientific approaches and specific technologies.” He highlighted some benefits of organic agriculture to include being environmentally-friendly, safe and sustainable, assuring that the international market for its products is high. Speaking on ‘’Promoting organic monogastric livestock production in Ghana: prospects and challenges,’’ Prof. Stephen Osei of the University of Animal Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, decried the inadequate official attention given to the development of organic livestock in Ghana.

According to him, Ghana is a net importer of meat, milk and eggs of up to $1billion with an average intake of 30 eggs per year. Osei identified factors militating against the development of organic agriculture in Ghana to include inadequate knowledge and skills by academic institutions as well as low level understanding of the principles and practice of organic agriculture. He called for the development of an effective curriculum in organic agriculture that will help to adequately train future farmers, teachers, policy makers, scientists and researchers. In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Prof. Felix Salako, commended the commitment of WANOART at bridging skills gap in organic agriculture in West Africa, through manpower training. He noted that the workshop was “strategic and important because of the need to proffer solutions to the intractable food security challenge ravaging over 300 million population of women and children in the West Africa sub-re-

gion.” Balogun explained that “organic agriculture, which is the current trend in sustainable and healthy food production globally is a unique way of producing, handling food and fibres in an environmentally sustainable way, by exploiting the benefits of ecological cycles and deliberately excluding the use of agro-chemicals, which could be harmful to human health and the environments now or in the future.” The vice-chancellor reiterated his university’s interest in the outcome of the workshop. He assured that its commitment to organic agriculture remained as strong as it was in 2004, when it inaugurated the Working Group on Organic Agriculture, which eventually brought about the Organic Agriculture Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN). “No effort will be spared in keeping the vision alive. We want to continue to take the lead in breaking new frontiers in learning and research. We shall continue to collaborate with other institutions in Africa that are also passionate about food security and sustainable development,” he added.

OXFAM praises govt’s policy on direct distribution still prevailed in the country XFAM, an internaof input to farmers becausemany families find it tional confederation difficult to afford good food


of 15 organisations, has commended the Federal Government’s direct delivery of agricultural input to farmers under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). The Country Director of the confederation, Mr Tunde Ojei, said in Abuja that the gesture was imperative and timely given the need for Nigeria to ensure food security and earning of foreign exchange through the development of the agricultural value chain. OXFAM, founded 1942 in Oxford, United Kingdom, by a group of social activists, is working in over 90 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In Nigeria, it is focusing its attention on livelihoods, agriculture, de-

veloping emergency response and promoting women’s rights. It works with small-scale farmers to help them improve food production, and sell their food in markets. They also encourage farmers to form producer groups together and use their collective voice to lobby decisionmakers for extra support and resources. Ojei said the direct delivery of farm input, such as fertiliser, seeds and herbicides to farmers through the voucher system, would ensure food security, prompt delivery and better life for the farmers. “I think that part of transformation agenda, in terms of the issues, such as fertiliser, the new approach

is a welcome approach in the sense that no matter how you subsidise fertiliser, there will still be middlemen who will hijack this and increase the price. “But the new scheme will ensure accessibility which is one of the critical things; accessibility also has impact on prices; so if this will help to increase accessibility for farmers, then definitely it will actually help agriculture in Nigeria, ultimately, because our ultimate aim is to use fertiliser for what its was meant for and by those who are actually in the field doing the work - the small scale farmers.” Ojei said there was the need for the Federal Government to take drastic steps to ensure food security in the country. He observed that hunger

daily. The director urged the government to work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which, he said, was eradicating poverty and hunger. According to him, food security is not restricted to the availability of food, but included its affordability. Ojei, therefore, advised the government to enhance the incomes of Nigerians to enable them to afford quality food. Making a case for rural women under ATA, Ojei noted that rural women provide more than 70 per cent of agricultural labour and produced not less than 90 per cent of domestic food.

ELTA State is an investment destination that is increasingly gaining attention from those looking for agric business opportunities. Rich in resources, specifically, fisheries and agriculture, the economy has been performing strongly mainly due to the high demand for commodities. ‘Agriculture and allied’ industry is divided into several segments, namely: horticulture and its allied sectors (including fruits and vegetables, flowers, plantation crops, and medicinal plants); fisheries sector; animal husbandry and livestock; and sericulture. The state varied agro-climatic conditions are highly favourable for the growth of many crops. The force behind commercial agriculture in the state has been crops such as palm oil, rice, cassava , lime, sweet orange, banana, grape, sapota, peppers, tomato, peas etc. These are framed by both plantations and small cropfarmers. The state blessed with rich soil, reliable rainfall and warm climate is ideal for growing many agricultural commodities. Rich soils and good rainfall mean that chemical fertiliser and intensive farming methods tend tobe unnecessary. The state is largely selfsustaining in fresh fruit and vegetables. Agriculture and allied sectors are the mainstay of the economy. They are important sources of raw materials and demand for many industrial products, particularly fertiliser, pesticides, agricultural implements and a variety of consumer goods. The fisheries sector occupies a very important place in the socio-economic development of the state. It is a big source of employment opportunities for many people, especially rural population. It has a huge export potential. The state government has invested adequately in fisheries due to the natural resources which the state is blessed with. Fresh fish, crabs, shrimps and dried fish abound in almost all the local governments. Opportunities to do business in agriculture are enormous. Specific investment opportunities dwell in coffee, oil palm, cocoa, coconut/copra and spice crops. The government has made some special incentives for those interested in agribusiness projects with a special tax rate of 20 per cent for agribusiness projects and other general tax breaks. One of the recent success stories is palm oil. Several key investors have developed projects that have been well suited for palm oil. Other significant investment opportunities remain in the state, but agribusiness certainly is a promising sector for astute investors. The state government has focused on the production of sufficient food for the teaming population of State. The state through the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources provides direct assistance to farmers in agricultural mechanisation, tree crop development, agricultural credit, provision of

improved and high yielding planting materials and other agricultural input, farm settlement scheme, communal farming, livestock and fisheries development. Other services provided through the Ministry include veterinary, produce inspection and agricultural extension services and produce inspection. Since 2007, a new generation of farmers has emerged from the Youth Empowerment through Agriculture (YETA) scheme with the establishment of cluster farms. OFN/ Delta Farms Ltd., a joint initiative of the Obasanjo Farms and the state government is producing the highest number of poultry in the country. The state government is to partner with the Niger Delta Basin Authority to use agriculture to solve unemployment problem and redirect the energies of the youths in the region. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said a partnership with the agency would, therefore, be a tonic that would accelerate the agricultural programme of the state government. He said the state has invited investors from Taiwan to contribute towards the state agricultural programme even as he explained that his administration believes in private sector participation in agriculture. The governor said some experts commissioned by the state have completed feasibility studies on an aquaculture estate in the state, adding that emphasis would be placed on aquaculture and rice production. The governor, who said agriculture holds the key to peace and security, said “farmers are to be encouraged and we are using agriculture to promote peace and security. Delta is a natural advantage for agribusiness.The state has considerable natural advantages. In fact, the state ’s economic future will depend on the expansion of its promising agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and forestry sectors. The Ministry of Agriculture is the main agency for regulating and developing activities relating to agriculture, horticulture, fishing, animal husbandry, etc. It is implementing various schemes and policies for the sector. The ministry is actively engaged in promoting entrepreneurial activities in the segments of fish processing as well as fruits and vegetables processing.









Philantropist builds for community

Orji inaugurates projects

Four years after JTF, a kingdom celebrates

Anambra 46






Page 17


Okorocha seeks partnership on cassava production



MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has urged the Federal Government to partner with the state in cassava production. The governor stated this when the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Akinwumi Adesina paid him a courtesy visit in the Government House, Owerri. Okorocha explained that with its third position in cassava production in the country, Imo has the potential to produce enough cassava flour for local consumption and even export under the federal government’s agricultural revolution scheme. He said: “Imo is an agrarian state with vast agricultural potentials.

We presently occupy third position in cassava production which means that our state has the potential of producing enough cassava flour for local consumption and large commercial quantity for export if federal government partners with us. Apart from creating massive job opportunities, the programme also has the capacity to diversify our economy which presently depends on crude oil.” Okorocha disclosed that the state government has taken proactive steps in the agricultural sector which led to the concessioning of Imo Palm Plantation formerly known as Adapalm to Roche Group through which about N3.5 billion was generated.

He added that efforts are being intensified to ensure that the moribund Avutu Poultry is revived to function to its optimal capacity while arrangements have been made to plant an improved variety of palm seedlings in each of the 27 local government areas. Okorocha further stated that the government has engaged the services of some agricultural experts under the Rural Agricultural Programme (RAP) for massive food production. He disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the state government and the Republic of Kosovo has been signed on the exportation of agricultural produce from the state.

Earlier, the Minister, Dr. Adesina said that the Federal Government has concluded plans to build an industrial cassava plant in Imo State to harness its potentials in the production of the crop. He disclosed that under the ongoing agricultural revolution in the country, the Federal Government would assist Imo State to actualise its plan to revive the Avutu poultry. He applauded the giant strides the Okorocha administration has made on the infrastructural development of the state as well as the policies and programmes introduced to ensure food security in the state.


NAMBRA State government has acquired different sanitation trucks and waste receptacles with which to rid the state of filth. The equipment cost over N300m. Onitsha, its commercial capital, hosts one of the biggest markets in West Africa but it is hardly one of the cleanest. For over a decade, disused plastic bottles and discarded cellophane materials have helped to give the commercial city an ugly face. Governor Peter Obi is determined to put an end to the filth regime. In fact, the war against unsightly environment is at its peak now in the state with the procurement of sanitation trucks and receptacles, which the governor has inaugurated. At the inauguration, school buses worth over N200m were also commissioned. Inaugurating the equipment at the premises of Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company, Nnewi, Obi said the state will become the cleanest in Nigeria if waste managers take their jobs seriously. Obi commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his interest in private enterprise as proved by his acceptance to commission the motor plant during his visit to the state in 2010 against the advice of his staff. He praised the efforts of industrialist Innocent Chukwuma to site the manufacturing company in Nnewi. The governor also called other Nigerian investors to emulate Chukwuma. Obi said he deliberately decided to perform the commissioning at the premises of Innoson to show to the world that such things were now manufactured in Anambra State. “Come and buy your wide range of needs at Innoson, rather than travel abroad for the same purpose,” Obi said. The governor who disclosed that the state would buy more of such vehicles, said the school buses were meant for some schools that did not benefit from the over 150 buses distributed to

•Obi inaugurates the trucks

Obi cleans up Anambra Commissions sanitation trucks, receptacles Governor stresses better waste management From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

schools earlier. For the refuse disposal trucks, he said the commissioning represented the change in tactics for the disposal of refuse in the state. He further said his government is now paying for fire

trucks and would soon take deliveryof the vehicles. Obi said that part of the tactics was the formation of a new Anambra State Waste Management Agency (ASWMA) and the appointment of an environmental chemist, Dr. Anthony Okoye, to head it. “As long as refuse is not seen on

Anambra streets, his work is secure, otherwise the contrary will be the case. Now is not the time for platitudes, but for action and more action,” Obi thundered. The governor said the take-off of the agency was a bit delayed because he wanted to provide them with the tools to work with.

In his speech, Chukwuma said he received tremendous goodwill from Governor Obi and that he did not regret investing in Anambra State. He called on other investors to come and invest in the state and enjoy the support of a governor who understands investment in its totality. He informed on how the parts for his vehicle manufacturing were mistakenly sold by Customs and how Obi assisted him •Continued on Page 45




Rivers fire victims get relief materials


•Governor Amaechi

HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has donated relief materials worth millions of Naira to victims of the recent fire incident in Igwuruta, Ikwere Local Government of Rivers State . The Director General of the agency, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, handed over the materials to the state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Emeka Wogu, in Port Harcourt. Sani-Sidi said that the donation was part of the agency’s efforts to cushion the effects of the disaster on victims of the March 17 fire incident which ravaged the community. The materials included bags of rice,

Anambra to establish braille centre


HE Anambra state government is to establish a Braille Centre for the blind to enhance the documentation of resource materials for easy research, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Ego Uzoezie has said. Uzoezie, who made the disclosure at Women Development Centre, Awka at the Anambra state 2011 International Day For Persons with Disabilities , explained that when completed, it will stand as a model Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre for the blind. “The blind people cannot effectively use other ICT centres, so this will become a model for the blind so that they can come and learn”, she said. Presenting mobility aids, computers, sewing machines, perkins braille machines, wheel chairs, grinding machines, clutches, shoemaking kits, vulcanizing machines, among other items to persons with disabilities at the event, Uzoezie frowned at the non challant attitude of the disabled persons for not making use of the skill acquisition facility provided them by the state government. “It is a reality that many of you do not support yourselves with the skill acquisition centre provided for you by the state government. The essence of establishing those centres is for you to realise whom you are. You should work hard to realise yourselves”, she admonished. In his keynote address, Governor Peter Obi said his administration had given N2 million

Anambra From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

to some disabled persons as business start off grants to ensure their self reliance.

New product


EDICAL experts in Lagos have hailed the introduction of a new product for immunotherapy in the country. They spoke during separate clinical presentations held in four public hospitals in the state by the manufacturer, Immunotherapy Nigeria Limited. The product, Immunocal, is a tool of immunotherapy in modulating glutathione in the body cells, aimed at reducing the number of patients in the hospitals and reducing treatment failure from conventional medical treatment. The presentations held by the company under a programme tagged: Breakthrough in the management of chronic diseases, took place at the Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki, Isolo and Lagos Mainland general hospitals. Dr. Anthony Falana of the Lagos Mainland General Hospital, said the presentation was enlightening and incisive. He described the technology employed in producing Immunocal as the future of medicine.

Orji inaugurates projects


HE Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, has inaugurated the first phase of projects completed by his adminisrtation in the last one year. They were three road projects and a pedestrian bridge in Aba. The roads were the Ukwu-Mango, Old express and Dan-fodio roads and a pedestrian bridge across Aba-Owerri road. fThe governor also commissioned two road projects in the state capital, Umuahia, - the Nkata-Umukabia Ohuhu and the Okwoyi roads, with the promise to inaugurate more projects in the state. Speaking at the ceremony in Aba, Orji said that despite the seeming hide and seek relationship between his administration and the City of Aba, he will never stop putting up structures that will stand the test of time.

Rivers beans, groundnut oil, onions, and mattresses. The fire incident, which claimed many lives and properties, including a family of four, was ignited by a petrol tanker which skidded off the road and caught fire. The Director General urged the council to be transparent in the distribution of the materials, saying that every victim must benefit. He praised the state government for its efforts to mitigate disasters over the years. “Your giant stride in the development of the state and support to NEMA are the manifestation of your commitment to good governance,” Sani-Sidi, said. Wogu, who received the items, expressed happiness for the donation, adding that the prompt response of NEMA indicated that Nigeria had a caring government. Wogu said the ministry would continue to partner with the agency to ensure effective disaster management in the state and the South South zone. He assured that the materials would be judiciously shared to the victims of the incident.

• From right: Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola; Chairman, Iba Local Council Development Area, Hon. Nimota Adeyeri Oseni, Permanmant Secretary, Pension and Establishment, Mrs Iyabode Obasa and Council Manager, of the LCDA, Mr Victor Layeni during the last sanitation exercise .

Council chair promises to transform primary schools


HE Chairman of Igbo Etiti Local Government Area in Enugu State, Mr Festus Ozoemena, says his administration is poised to transform all the primary schools in the council area. Ozoemena made the pledge in an interview with

35 convicted for sanitation offences


BONYI State Environmental Sanitation Court convicted 35 persons out of a total of 53 persons arraigned before it by the state environmental sanitation task force for flouting the state Environmental law The presiding Magistrate Chinue Ukwa who read out the sentence to the defaulters said they were sentenced for their failure to obey the state environmental laws. Some of the defaulters however pleaded not guilty, maintaining that they were returning from church. But the Magistrate, reminded them that ignorance of the law is not an excuse and asked them to pay a fine of between N3, 000 to N5, 000 or serve two months imprisonment. 33 of those convicted paid the fine and were

Ebonyi From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

subsequently set free while three of them who could not pay up were sent to the Abakaliki Prison to serve their jail terms. The state Commissioner for Environment, Engr Paul Okorie who regretted the high level of violation ofenvironmental laws by members of the Nigerian Police and Army threatened to start arresting them if they continue to disobey the law Engr Okorie further said that the ministry will not start enforcing the new environmental bill which was supposed to come into effect yesterday, 1st of April was yet to be passed into law by the state assembly.

•Chairman, Odi-Olowo-Ojuwoye LCDA, Lagos, Aremo Adeyemi Alli (left) deworrning children between 0-12 years at the council secretariat .

•Hon Mrs Biodun Adegoke, Supervisor for Agric. and Rural Development, Ikeja Local Govt., presenting prizes to Master Samuel Aigbokhaode, the winner of the Primary School Category of the Spelling Bee Competition in Ikeja

South African varsity to honour Nigerians A S part of our effort to recognize and encourage excellence, the New World Mission Dunamis International University, South Africa will honour some distinguished personalities in Nigeria for the conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa). The conferment would be performed by the President of the university, Prof. Louis Mathys De Bruin from South Africa on Thursday April 12, at the University of Lagos Conference Centre, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos , Nigeria. According to the press statement by the Director of the Programme in Nigeria, Dr. Akin B. Ogunsakin, “This well deserved honour is to recognise extraordinary intellectuals, outstanding achievers in national building, educational and professional advancement in Nigeria. The finest and most useful method to recognise their accomplishments and to formally bestow upon the worthy individuals the respect they deserve is by the conferral of the degree.” NWMD International University’s honorary doctorate degrees are awarded to leaders of national and international eminence in their areas of endeavours. This unique programme recognises profound contributions in the arts, science and technology, education, politics and

law, public service, humanitarian pursuits, religion and moral leadership, and civil rights. Those nominated for the prestigious award include: Maulana Sheikh Tahir Usman Bauchi, (OFR), Kaduna; Mr. Emmanuel Iyagwere Ajayi, Managing Director/CEO, Biostadt Nigeria Limited, Lagos; Dr. Olabayode O. Awosika, MedIn Specialist Hospital, Ogba, Lagos; Chief Benson Kola Majekodunmi, Managing Director Systems Tech Toner Cartridge Remanufactures Nigeria Limited, Lagos; Chief (Sir) L.M. Ojimba, Chairman, Envoy Oil Industries Nigeria Limited, Onitsha; Hajia Amino Abubakar, Chairperson, Imani & Sons Nigeria Limited, Abuja; Mr. Kole Olatunji, Chairman/CEO, Immac Nigeria Limited, Lagos; Dr. B. O. Babalakin, SAN, OFR; Chief H. T. O. Coker, SAN, OFR; Alhaji Gambo Migaji, Chairman, Industrial Port Engineering Services (Nigeria) Limited, Lagos; Chief (Dr.) Francis Inegbenike, Chairman/CEO, Ine Oil Nigeria Limited, Lagos;. Alhaji Abiso Walmore, Chairman, Walmore Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Maiduguri; Lt. Col. O. W. Attang (RTD), Chairman/CEO, Infinite Holdings Nigeria Limited, Lagos; Prince Frands Olu Awogboro, Chairman, Ark Insurance Group, Lagos; Mr. Alfred I. Okoigun, Managing Director, Arco Marine & Oil Field Services Nigeria Limited, Lagos.

Enugu journalists in Enugu . He said that already, construction of classroom blocks and provision of infrastructural facilities in most of the primary schools had begun . The council chairman explained that his administration would ensure that all the dilapidated classroom blocks in the primary schools would be upgraded. Ozoemena said work had commenced in eight primary schools which would be completed in a month’s time. He also said that the administration had procured 5000 desks and tables for pupils and teachers in 15 primary schools in the council. He said the council had also embarked on an aggressive construction of boreholes in different communities to make water available for the residents. “My administration, since its inception, has drilled not less than three boreholes at the first three months of this tenure. “Work is still ongoing in the rehabilitation of greater Ukehe water scheme to boost water supply in the local government area. “This administration is very sensitive to water reticulation at various communities, so, a lot of emphasis has been laid in making sure that every community in the local government is provided with potable water.” He added that arrangements had been concluded to drill more boreholes in different communities of the local government.

Church to empower youths By Nneka Nwaneri


O fewer than 10,000 youths will be empowered at the Youth Centre of the Redemption Camp, Lagos Ibadan Expressway this Easter period. The programme is run by the Dominion City Church The four-day camp which runs from April 5 to April 9 with the theme: Global Trends, will endow attendees with what it takes to embark on missionary work, leadership in various sectors, health tips, NGO services, a career guide to those who wish to further their education and sessions on biblical teachings. The Programme Director, Utchay Odims, said the event will afford youths the opportunity to commune with God and also pray for the country. He said:“We are educating the mind, heart and the hands of these young ones. We hope to raise leaders for a new Nigeria that would transform the society.” Entertainers like J Martins, Klint the Drunk and Helen Paul will be present to stage a performance. Expected to attend are delegates from Uganda, Australia, Ucraine, Ghana and South Africa.

Police warn vehicle owners The Lagos State Police Command has directed the owner of the Volkswagen bus (unregistered) parked at the Langbasa Division, to remove it or forfeit same through auction.


Groups collaborate to improve THE NACCIMA Export Action Group (NEXAG) non-oil exports and Cobalt International Services Limited, the only pre-shipment agency in Nigeria responsible for the inspection of goods going out of the countr, have both come together to facilitate the growth of non-oil exports in Nigeria. Speaking during a courtesy visit, the Managing Director, XPT Logistics International Limited and a member of NEXAG, Mr. Kola Awe, said that the reason for the visit is to create a bridge between exporters and Cobalt services to facilitate quick inspection of products so that He added that NEXAG has a lot of exporters as members and it is the only group that has government agencies as its members and in essence, Cobalt will understand the membership strength of NEXAG in the non-oil export. This will create a platform to relate with government agencies where export-related issues and problems could be resolved amicably. “We look forward to a relationship where Cobalt International Services will be there for our people and the essence of timing in export transaction will be made known since time is an important factor in export transaction. “Nigeria is a monocultural economy and we need to push our non-oil export and see how we can develop the nation in the diversification of non-oil export. So, other organisations that deal with non-oil export should join the NACCIMA Export Action Group (NEXAG) saddled with the responsibility of building access to

information data bank on export and export related matters, facilitating trade especially the non-oil exports, sensitising and raising the level of awareness of local materials among others”, Awe said.

Abia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

Orji said that the projects being commissioned are part of the dividends of democracy in Aba and other parts of the state, stressing that his administration will do everything possible to ensure even development in the state. He said: “I am always pleased and excited to be in Enyimba City to meet with our citizens and you know that you are always on my mind, despite what seems to be an interminable ‘cat and mouse relationship’, you remain the primary concern of our government”.The governor noted that if previous administrations have done what they were supposed to do in the city and the entire state, the amount of funds being spent now would have been used for other things. He added: “There is no amount of intimidation from any quarters that will make this administration to shy away from its responsibility to move the state forward, we are determined to do this difficult job, initiating original, prime projects and tackling the seemingly impossible ones”. Orji explained that some of the projects being commissioned had been left unattended to by former governments, “But we have done them with the mind to help expand the city, with the

•Governor Orji safety implications often ignored by our people and also to maintain the aesthetic value of the city”. The governor said that the projects he had commissioned would help in the vehicular and human movement and also assist in the development and fast flow of business activities in Ariaria market and other business concerns in the city, “This is just the beginning of the good things to come to the state in the next three years.

•From left: Mr. Sam Anyanwu, Assistant Director (Administration and Supplies) Lagos Operations of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN); Mrs. Sherifat Ahmad, Assistant Director, News; Alhaji Bola Agboola, Director; Mr. Oyebanji Ogunwale, Deputy Director, News and Mr. Christopher Afolabi, a media consultant, during a five-day workshop for New Entrants in the News Sub-Directorate, Lagos Operations of FRCN held in Ikoyi, Lagos

Council chief lauded


HE Proprietress of Bluesleeves Private School, Oshodi, Lagos, Mrs Bola Aboderin, has applauded the strides of the Chairman of Oshodi Isolo Local Government to bring development to sports in the council. He gave the commendation at the school’s inter-house sports competition. But she wants the chairman to do more in creating more spaces for sports in the council. ‘’I know the local government has always been active in sporting activities if not we wouldn’t have a medium size stadium within the community, but the unavailability of space

By Amidu Arije

has been a handicap for our kids to have trainings and to know their capabilities in some sports activities,’’ she said. Mrs Aboderin stated that the essence of the sporting event was to make the children understand sports and to share love among themselves. ‘’The essence is to give the Nigerian child a wholesome education. Thank God for today, the children have been able to understand the need for sporting events and I know what we have today will go a long way in their lives to appreciate sports. I am really happy for the whole thing,’’ she said. She thanked the teachers for their sacrifices and passion for the success of the inter-house sport. ‘’I thank the teachers for their efforts. They have made a lot of sacrifices. They were so passionate about the sports. They have done a good job they should continue in that spirit,” she said.

Easter programme

T •From left: National Co-ordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, Ambassador Segun Olushola, Mr Ayodele Akele and Guest Speaker, Prof. Charles Ade Alade at the Grand finale of 2012 Eledumare Day in Lagos PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

HE Easter programme started by the Anthony Village Foursquare Gospel Church, City of Refuge on Wednesday will today feature a vigil programme with the theme: The Power of the Blood at the Idimu headquarters. It will be co-ordinated by Rev Gbenga Adekoya. Saturday will witness a rally at Anthony and Ajao Estate from 3pm to 6pm. The programme runs through Sunday with the topic: He is Alive and a grand finale on Monday tagged: Brethren Visitation and Picnics at the church premises.





Chief Commander at 70


• Nigeria celebrates a musical icon

N a country where there is often much cause for lamentation, it is heartwarming to know that there are a few citizens whose lives and work have given their compatriots a great deal of happiness. A principal member of this distinguished group is Chief Ebenezer Obey, who marked his seventieth birthday anniversary on Tuesday. Born Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Obey-Fabiyi, Obey is one of Nigeria’s best-loved musicians whose songs have provided the soundtrack to major aspects of Nigerian life since the 1960s. His first entry into music occurred in the 1950s when he played in the band of Fatai Rolling Dollar before setting up the International Brothers in 1964. The band was later renamed the Inter-Reformers Band. Obey was one of the pioneers of the musical genre that has come to be known as Juju. An infectious combination of indigenous rhythm and percussion, highlife, church music and jazz, Juju reflected the talent and innovativeness of its practitioners. It utilised both traditional and modern musical instruments and deployed lyrics which spoke of the joys and frustrations of modern life while displaying a yearning for the certainties of the traditional past. Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey and his Inter-Reformers were outstanding in their creation of a melodious brand of Juju which successfully combined danceability with social relevance and profundity. Albums like “Ewa Wo Ohun Ojuri,” “Board Members,” “Aimasiko Lo’ndamu Eda,” “Arambada Owo Ko Je,” “Ota Mi Dehin Lehin Mi,” and “Eda To

Mose Okunkun” were evergreen hits through which Obey simultaneously entertained and enlightened his audience. The high quality of his music was matched only by its quantity. Obey has been an extremely prolific musician, having produced in excess of a hundred albums, often at the rate of at least two a year. All of them were distinguished by creativity, constant innovation in instrumentation and rhythm, as well as a topicality that informed even as it delighted. Obey’s albums have spoken about the Civil War, the change to right-handed driving and the creation of states. He has celebrated fellow-musicians like Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, military leaders like General Murtala Muhammed, and politicians like Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He has hailed Nigeria’s uniqueness, its diversity and its potential. He has praised the virtues of patience, forbearance and honesty. Perhaps the most characteristic feature of Ebenezer Obey’s music is its overt religiousness. Even though he did not begin playing explicit gospel until quite late in his career, his music has always displayed an unobtrusive but definite religiosity wrapped in d elightful melody. Without preaching to his audience, he explained the principles of uprightness and decency in relationships and in public life to the extent that many were not surprised that he took up a full-time evangelical career in the early 1990s. Unlike many musicians and entertainers whose stardom was often diminished by a less-than-stellar life off-stage, Ebenezer Obey stands out as a person

who assiduously avoided scandal in his private life. Throughout a career lasting nearly 50 years, there has not been a breath of shame attached either to his name or to his businesses. Even when busybodies tried to foment a supposed quarrel between him and his great rival, Chief Sunday Adeniyi, aka King Sunny Ade, Obey was able to effectively quash it through the sheer force of his personality. Ebenezer Obey’s life and career are a tribute to his hard work and consistency. Not only has he achieved commercial success and widespread renown, he is also genuinely beloved by generations of Nigerians from all over the country, and by non-Nigerians spread across the world. We wish him many more fulfilling years.

‘Ebenezer Obey’s life and career are a tribute to his hard work and consistency. Not only has he achieved commercial success and widespread renown, he is also genuinely beloved by generations of Nigerians from all over the country, and by non-Nigerians spread across the world. We wish him many more fulfilling years’

No longer sacred


• If Turkey could review its past, put two generals on trial for coup plotting…

ROM Turkey came the grim reminder that there is no statute of limitation on abuse of power or crime against the state, with the beginning of the trial, on Wednesday, of that country’s former president, Kenan Evren. Evren, 94, and his co-conspirator in the September 12, 1980 coup which ousted the country’s civilian government, 86-year-old Tahsin Sahinkaya, are to justify their action which eventually led to the establishment of a brutal military regime that had been accused of widespread human rights abuses. Evren was Turkey’s seventh president from 1982 to 1989. Because the duo are in poor health, they could not turn up for the trial on Wednesday. But the issue is not about

‘But leaders, particularly African leaders who behave as if power is an end in itself, should know that the possibility of their being called to account for their actions years after they might have left the scene is high once they are still alive. The world is changing fast and the continent cannot afford to be left behind. And in Nigeria, today’s political leaders may lack the courage to ask our former leaders to explain their roles in the country’s sordid past, the fact is that it is not over until it is over’

whether they were present in court or not; the fact that they are facing trial at all is more fundamental. Coming 32 years after they seized power, their trial has only reinforced the global trend whereby past leaders with questions to answer are being called upon to account for their actions while in power. Of course there had been other coups before the one of 1980 in a country where the military sees itself as the guarantor of secularism; there was one in 1960 and another in 1971. Also, the military pressurised an Islamist-rooted government to relinquish power as recently as 1997; but then, the 1980 putsch was the bloodiest; hundreds of thousands of people were arrested and about 250,000 were charged. Fifty persons, including a 17 year-old boy were executed while dozens died of torture and many fled on exile. Perhaps more of their accomplices would have been made to face trial with them but for the fact that Evren and Sahinkaya are the only surviving members of the junta that seized power in 1980. The aspect of the constitution that would have shielded the generals from trial was removed in 2010, hence they must face trial. They are lucky though, in that if the trial had taken place in their time, they would have bagged the death penalty upon conviction. Mercifully, however, the worst punishment they can now get is life imprisonment, if convicted; Turkey having abolished the death penalty since 2002. Their trial is another chapter in the present government’s campaign against the

country’s once untouchable top brass. This is a good development. Its significance lies in the way the country is dealing with its past. There comes a time in the life of a country when such retrospection becomes necessary in order to see where and how things went wrong with a view to making amends for a better future. Perhaps this is one of the things working for Turkey that used to be referred to as ‘the sick man of Europe.’ There have been tremendous improvements in the country, especially in the last decade or so. It is important that soldiers know the limits of their powers in spite of the fact that they bear arms. Violent changes of government that coup represents is no longer fashionable. It is even worse when it has to come with the attendant loss of lives and limbs and all manner of deprivations as the 1980 coup for which the generals are being tried. We welcome the development but plead that the trial be transparent. But leaders, particularly African leaders who behave as if power is an end in itself, should know that the possibility of their being called to account for their actions years after they might have left the scene is high once they are still alive. The world is changing fast and the continent cannot afford to be left behind. And in Nigeria, today’s political leaders may lack the courage to ask our former leaders to explain their roles in the country’s sordid past, the fact is that it is not over until it is over.

Calling radicalism by its name


RESIDENT Obama’s fruitless three-year search for compromise with the Republicans ended in a thunderclap of a speech

on Tuesday, as he denounced the party and its presidential candidates for cruelty and extremism. He accused his opponents of imposing on the country a “radical vision” that “is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity.” Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential front-runner, has embraced a House budget plan that is little more than “thinly veiled social Darwinism,” the president said, a “Trojan horse” disguised as deficit reduction that would hurt middle- and lower-income Americans. “By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training, research and development, our infrastructure — it is a prescription for decline,” he said, speaking to a group of Associated Press editors and reporters in Washington. Mr. Obama has, in recent months, urged Republicans to put aside their destructive agenda. But, in this speech, he finally conceded that the party has demonstrated no interest in the values of compromise and realism. Even Ronald Reagan, who raised taxes in multiple budget deals, “could not get through a Republican primary today,” Mr. Obama said. While Democrats have repeatedly shown a willingness to cut entitlements and have agreed to trillions in domestic spending cuts, he said, Republicans won’t agree to any tax increases and, in fact, want to shower the rich with even more tax cuts. The speech was the first time that Mr. Obama linked Mr. Romney, by name, to his party’s dishonest budget and discredited trickle-down policies. As Mr. Obama pointed out, Mr. Romney described as “marvelous” a budget that would drastically cut student financial aid, medical research, Head Start classrooms and environmental protections. Mr. Obama further ridiculed the budget’s deficit-cutting goal as “laughable” because it refuses to acknowledge the need for new revenues. The speech was immediately attacked by the House speaker, John Boehner, for failing to deal with the debt crisis, but Mr. Obama pointed out how hollow that charge has become. “That argument might have a shred of credibility were it not for their proposal to also spend $4.6 trillion over the next decade on lower tax rates,” he said. The math is, in fact, quite simple: cutting both taxes and the deficit can mean only more sacrifice from the middle class and the poor, ending the promise of Medicare and Medicaid. Over the long term, the deficit can be brought down through a combination of cuts and new revenues; doing so immediately, as Mr. Romney and his party want to do, would reverse the fragile recovery. Mr. Obama provided a powerful signal on Tuesday that he intends to make this election about the Republican Party’s failure to confront, what he called, “the defining issue of our time”: restoring a sense of economic security while giving everyone a fair shot, rather than enabling only a shrinking number of people to do exceedingly well. His remarks promise a tough-minded campaign that will call extremism and dishonesty by name. – New York Times

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IR: History provides a litany of invasions where armies have used their might to subjugate and oppress people. The spiritual invasion of Jerusalem during the first Palm Sunday was not a violent invasion we know from history. Jesus invasion of Jerusalem mocked the Roman invaders and the messianic hopes of those who believed that Jesus would restore the empire of David and Solomon. The invasion mocked the Roman leaders who were not able allow freedom of political expression. Guess what the two disciples sent by Jesus to untie the horse were thinking. They might have imagined for themselves a nobler role; thinking of sitting on the left and right of Jesus in his glory; jockeying for advantage, angling for glory, arguing who was the greatest. Among the reasons for this season is the challenge of Palm Sunday. Two thousand years ago it was an engagement in an unromantic form of ministry and leadership, mucking around the stable, looking suspiciously like horse thieves. The church is called to go into the stables and untie sinners, where sufferers are silenced, poor and innocent are dying rather than sitting in cushioned air-conditioned churches. Again, another challenge of Palm Sunday is about the branches cut from tree which don’t live long. The


IR: It is sad that some disgruntle civil servants in Oyo State have not allowed reason to prevail, in spite of the several efforts by Governor Abiola Ajimobi to lay bare before them the financial situation of the state. From media reports, the governor had, during his interactive session with the civil servants, said that to pay the new minimum wage to the 38,000 workforce, government would require about N4.1 billion, representing 92 per cent of the total state’s monthly income of N4.6 billion, with only eight per cent left to cater for other citizens of Oyo State who represent over 99


Reasons for this season cross. They would wave palms before the coming King, but they would not obey the Suffering Servant. The reason for this Easter season is a call to missional and spiritual invasion rather than recitation of old liturgies that holds no water or save a single soul. Easter time is the time to go into the stables and city gate to right the wrongs. Arise and Go. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the visible proof that there is another

life, an undiscovered country Jesus has gone to prepare for those who belief in him as their Lord and Saviour. Jesus’ resurrection is an affirmation that he is sent of God as acceptable sacrifice for the sins of humanity. In essence, our gospel is a gospel of a living Saviour and an assurance that believers trials will vanish. What is your trouble? Remember and think of Jesus as the living Sav-

IR: Extremism and fanaticism are two sides of a bad coin. An extremist or fanatic is blind to the inadequacies in the belief or cause he is fanatical about. He believes in the absolute purity and superiority of his ideology or belief, so he brooks no opposition. .In fact, he can do anything to protect what he is fanatical about. .Friends, if you see a python and a fanatic at the same time,

run away from the latter first. Then you can take care of the former later. Of a truth and if the truth must be told without bias, nothing on earth has absolute perfection. There will always be shortcomings. Nature has designed it that way. So whoever holds an extreme view about a concept or an idea deserves more than a cursory examination. Perhaps, he may have a warped mind! Your race is not superior to another

person’s nor the making of your brain or even your religion. Perfection belongs to God. A fanatic thinks in a one-dimensional way. No alternative route to his thought process. It could be as a result of brain-washing by a master who has some ulterior motive apart from teaching the protégé to follow a particular concept. Parents, look out for what values your children cherish!

per cent of the entire population. It is also on record that from the paltry N9,400 being collected by the least paid worker in the state as at April 2011, the state government had increased it twice within a year, first to N13,000 and now to N19,113. Workers in the state also collect their wages on the 25 th of every month and civil servants are now being sent for courses abroad. So what is their problem? Do they want to destroy the government on behalf of their sponsors in the PDP so that Ajimobi won’t be able to perform? And the PDP would have a point

to campaign in 2015? This can be deduced from their irascible disposition to this issue and their being hell bent on destroying the government, in spite of various explanations on the financial situation of the state. Which reasonable government would spend 92 per cent of its earning on a population of less than one per cent? I recall that Gov. Ajimobi paid all the workers 13th month salary in full in December 2011, out of his commitment to their welfare; while vehicle loans have also been given to various categories of civil servants in the last three months. One, therefore, expects that work-

excitement of the Palm Sunday’s crowd soon faded and when Good Friday rolled in, many of the same voices who shouted ‘Hosanna’ were shouting ‘Crucify Him.’ Their love for the Lord was shallow and based entirely on their hope of what exciting things Jesus could do for them. Too many pilgrims would get in behind Jesus on the road to the throne, but they would not follow him on the way to the


iour, full of power and love. Let you hope come alive. Jesus resurrection proves the futility of all your oppositions and enemies. Jesus’ death and resurrection discharged our debt, sorrow and sickness, and exhibited the receipt of all our liabilities. Arise and shine, your light has come. God is saying to someone: henceforth, mercy will locate and smile at you; your life will be glorious in contrast with your past and present humiliations; your sorrow and weeping are swallowed up in the victory of resurrection. The glory and power of Jesus’ resurrection will change your poison into medicine. • Very Rev Dr Deji Okegbile, Wesley House, Lagos

Fanaticism breeds terrorism

Oyo workers and us ers would be reasonable enough to take whatever is being offered them now, continue with their work and explore further avenue for negotiation with the government on the nagging issue of minimum wage, in the interest of the state. They should also live to their promise that they would eradicate corruption within the system and do everything possible to shore up the internally generated revenue of the state, so that more funds would be available after the payment of the minimum wage to develop the state. • Idris Onaolapo Akobo, Ibadan.

Fanaticism breeds terrorism. Terrorism is the employment of force(brutal) by a fanatic or extremist to bring about compulsory conformity by people around him to his beliefs and ideas. Most times, it results in death of the innocent. So, a fanatic can kill, if he is not checked and reported to the appropriate quarters for urgent intervention... To curb a potential terrorist before he explodes, the community must be vigilant and alive to its responsibility of monitoring or policing as the case may be. A fanatic suspect can be monitored and offered counseling before he morphs into a terrorist or a suicide bomber. They say a stitch in time saves nine. Regulatory bodies should be set up to monitor the teachings of most religious organizations in order to ensure that their adherents do not misconstrue what they are taught. Religious terrorism is the most virulent. .And for a country like ours with millennial poverty as her signature tune, every citizen must be conscious of the dangers posed by the fanatic. • Akinboyo Temidayo Igbotako, Ondo State.




Reality Bites I

End of the working class heroes… Readers’ parliament

Olatunji Ololade

HAVE been reading your editorials for a very long time now. I must admit that you are a fearless writer in a country where yellow is orange and where people always have reasons to fear. To say that 80 per cent of Nigerians are cowards is an understatement. Sad thing is how many have access to your column? Sadder still; how many are aware of events about the Arab spring. To be aware, they need electricity to be connected to the outside world via CNN or more. When the negligible light is available, they will rather watch African Magic on DSTV. So how the hell can they be able to borrow a leaf from the Arab spring? Mark my word, fuel subsidy will be

‘Olatunji, ride on. Please tell the Nigerian leadership that “enough is enough!” about oil subsidy corruption. Imagine cost of fuel in Nigeria being the highest among oil producing nations in the world. Besides, it is toxic and damaging to our car engines and the Nigerian Standards Organisation (NSO) is doing nothing about it. Let the government stop unfair charges. Let the government confront the oil cabal or mafia and ensure total transparency in the oil sector. Engineer Victor. 08037364525’


removed and nothing will happen as usual. Nigerians will only blow hot air. After one week of strike action, the outcry will fizzle out. Nigerians can’t sustain strike neither do they have the heart for a fight to free themselves from the yoke of bad leadership. 08064286736. More of this instructive article on “End of the working class heroes,” will be good for all – both the ruling class and the working class. Thank you so much. 08023012584. Hello Olatunji, if your editorial is all I read in newspaper, I will be very okay with it. After all, I only buy The Nation on Fridays. The country lacks people who romances with the truth in the media. Keep up the good work. The liberty of this country is in your editorial. Udoh from Jos. 08032033374. Olatunji, ride on. Please tell the Nigerian leadership that “enough is enough!” about oil subsidy corruption. Imagine cost of fuel in Nigeria being the highest among oil producing nations in the world. Besides, it is toxic and damaging to our car engines and the Nigerian Standards Organisation (NSO) is doing nothing about it. Let the government stop unfair charges. Let the government confront the oil cabal or mafia and ensure total transparency in the oil sector. Engineer Victor. 08037364525. I have waited for too long to have this stark realities told by you today on Page 21 of The Nation; 2015 may be too long and far away…but sure, obo ti pa ara re (the monkey has killed itself). More ink to your pen. 08037144300.

N 2000, the burning desire of Anambrarians to own a university was realised consequent upon the relentless effort of the then Governor of the state Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju. Anambra State University (ANSU) was formally established by the Anambra State law No. 13, of January 1, 2000, as amended, in order to open its doors without discrimination to the teeming population of youths in Anambra State, its environs and the wider public who desire higher education. Hence, the university places high premium on arts, sciences and technology and their applications to enhance the over-all well being of the society. More over, the pursuance of academic excellence in all aspects of human endeavour relating to cultural, social and economic developmental needs of the nation is encapsulated as its guiding philosophy. In line with its goals and mission, the university established two campuses at Uli and Igbariam, respectively, for academic and administrative convenience with seven faculties/colleges and 37 departments, to develop and harness the rich but diverse potential in the students. In 2007, the university introduced part-time/weekend programme in response to the noble desires of Anambrarians and the wider public who may not be opportune to engage in full-time studies to achieve their educational ambition. The university’s school of post-graduate studies took off in 2009 to enable interested persons to advance their education to masters and doctorate degree levels. Notwithstanding, the university has over the years produced sound graduates with unique and outstanding intellectual ingenuity in various fields of study; courtesy of the school management and the dedicated lecturers who are always determined to make a difference in their style of imparting knowledge to the students. The prevailing reading culture among students is as a result of the university’s bold measure against truancy and examination misconduct. In fact, many employers of labour have borne eloquent testimony to the quality of graduates produced by the university. And, in spite of cynics, Anambra State University teaching hospital situated in Amaku

The end 1 and 2 Sir Ololade, the picture you paint in your “The End 1” is too scary but true. Like a movie, you recreated the dreadful pictures of the civil war and the horrors that television brought into our living rooms from other lands. Shall we be allowed to see 2015? And will they allow us elect the ones you envisaged? I am waiting for the second part! E.U. Ukairo. FSTC Uromi, Edo state. 07032345312. Only pain! Only misery! Only five years of hell as a graduate in Nigeria. Only hope and prayer that this prophecy is averted because it will be bloody. But that’s what satan their master want from us. Maybe it’s a necessary evil. Phillip. 08033817094. Mr. Ololade, are you a prophet because I can see you are seeing a vision in “The End (1).” Do we need to sit down and watch those things happen? Chinedu Osumili. 08130239474. UNN. Hi, Olatunji, just read your article: “The End 1” and it is a terrific read. I look forward to your articles. Very firebrand and passionate. Thumbs up. 08180661079. We must overcome this criminal government. 07036662806. Re: The End (2); fine piece. It frightens me that I am not the only one thinking along these lines. Akinyode. 08033705338. Behold Nigeria’s Nostradamus! You sound between a prophet and a perfect prognosticator. I have been keenly following your lamentation right from “The End 1.” Do we need to go to the planets to verify the authenticity of the truths that are tormenting you to explosion? You are speaking of what even our western neighbours know as the inevitable truth. But you err by aiming straightforward for the truth. Winston Churchill said you don’t do that. I

however encourage you to keep on telling the truth. Soji Ojediran. Ibadan. 08063939858. Did Jonathan read the piece titled: “Farewell Umaru, Jonathan has come to us at last” of May 14, 2010? The answer is “no!” I think the Egyptians are more politically conscious than the oppressed Nigerians. PDP and Jonathan are one ideologically. Thank you. Amos Ejimonye. Kaduna. 08039727512. Sir, I am a passionate reader of your “Reality Bites” indeed. And I must commend your journalism prowess and equally pray for you not to be lured by better pay to the presidency like some people we know. 07067416008. I love your “Reality Bites” column. No doubt that a thoughtful and committed group of people can restrategize Nigeria and give voice to the silenced. 08062704585. Ebele Baba and his 40-something cripples (Economics according to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) You tried by calling them cripples. I see them as blind men. Feyi Kareem. 08094418491. In a nutshell, your write-up is informative and brilliant even if our happy-go-lucky president is reeling punch-drunk on the canvas. Olumide. 08035874105. I think you are right. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is blindly trailing behind Okonjo Iweala. It’s a huge surprise that government is silent on corruption hence no policy will work. According to Muhammadu Buhari, government should spare the masses and fight graft. Dr. Onoh. Enugu. 08072027158. Olatunji, Sanusi is speaking to himself and IMF. His economics is childish and porous. Ask him how long it will take to fix a refinery and the an-

Challenges and prospects of Anambra varsity at 12 By Ezenwaka Macdonald is near completion with elegant structures and modern medical facilities installed to meet international standards, kudos to Governor Peter Obi, the architect of Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). Furthermore, the effective and efficient functioning of the university system, coupled with the serene environment propitious to serious academic business is another feather added to the administrative sagacity and managerial acumen of the incumbent vice Chancellor, Prof. Fidelis Okafor and his vibrant team. Recently, the university’s management, with the support of the state government, has reduced the school fees from the hitherto N129, 000 to N109,000 and N76,000 thousand, even though this has not satisfied some of the students who have continued to demand for further downward review of the fees. Also, the new anti-cult security outfit instituted by the vicechancellor has curbed, significantly, cultism and cult-related activities on the campus while effort has been intensified to rehabilitate those who renounced cultism, hence discipline remains the order of the day among ANSU students. Taking cognisance of the fact that no individual or organisation functions without encountering one challenge or the other, Anambra State University is not an exemption. The university has its own challenges. Despite the infrastructural feat attained by the university through the support and commitment of the past and present governments in the state, the university is in dire need of physical and social infrastructure. More lecture halls and offices need to be erected and furnished to ameliorate the infrastructural challenges currently faced by the university. Secondly, the desire for an avalanche of reputable professors by the university is still hampered by the glaring impecuniosities being paced by the school. Though the 90 million naira

monthly subvention received by the school from the government is actually big, it is insufficient to reverse this pitiable situation. Hence, government should take a realistic step to address this problem by increasing the monthly subvention to the school. Thirdly, the completion of the university teaching hospital and getting it accredited poses a lot of challenges to the university. This is due to the high cost of procuring modern medical facilities and the wage bill to be incurred from employing medical specialists and lecturers to measure up with globally acceptable standards. Fourthly, to maintain a pride of place among universities across the globe, and to continue actualising its objective of producing sound, innovative and creative graduates who can compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world, the university library should be upgraded to electronic library for effective teaching and research. This is more so because research is indispensable to social, economic, political and technological development. The university is also faced with the challenge of providing Information Communication Technology (ICT) Training Centre for intensive practical training of the students in ICT. This centre is needed to acquaint the students with the knowledge of ICT, since almost every human activity today requires the knowledge of ICT. In addition to making Anambra State University students ICT compliant, an entrepreneurship training centre should also be set up to consummate its target of producing entrepreneurs, job creators rather than job seekers. Sixthly, the resilience of the university to instill hard work, reading culture and academic excellence, as well as maintaining a malpracticefree setting is never a mere reverie. The university has recorded a lot of successes through its internal administration machinery,

swer will end. Harris. 07034935307. The self-styled Marxist (Lamido) despite his puritan leaning is as elitist as they come! I am surprised that nobody in civil society has done the math on how the commoner who buys PMS for his electricity generator, takes public transportation and uses kerosene to cook will have anything left out of N18, 000 minimum wage. It’s not rocket science…brilliant piece today. F. Patrick. Abuja. 08186054747. Great write up! Sanusi Lamido Sanusi makes me sick. 08032131438. Sanusi and company do not have new solution to Nigeria’s problem. we need new economic models to solve our problems. KOKS from Calabar. Cross River state. 08184141004. Thanks Olatunji; Sanusi’s predecessor at CBN also enthralled us with his dramatics until the bubble burst. They think Nigerians are dumb as they are. Iff not, why have they failed to answer the simple question of about why Nigeria is the only oil producing nation that imports refined products? How sane is a leadership that wants to extort money from its citizens in order to provide their basic needs? 08033013597. Well articulated! 08023600373. I can’t blame those that do not know that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has penchant for playing to the gallery. He cares less for the poor…Ben Oluyemi. 08080996134. Dear Olatunji Ololade, I just read your piece now on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi…al I have to say is that thank God you are out there for us. Your ink will never run dry. Your Godgiven power of thought and courage will keep increasing as far as you use it to serve humanity and the truth. 08029952832. • To be continued For SMS only 08038551123

in preventing and curbing the derogatory menace of examination malpractices and other sharp practices. Nevertheless, there are grey areas that need to be brushed in wining the fight against examination misconduct in the institution. In conclusion, most of the nagging challenges mentioned boil down to the poor state of the university resulting from inadequate monthly subvention from the state government and the inability of the school to exploit other avenues for income generation. Therefore, the state government is called upon to increase her monthly subvention to the university to enable it over- come these challenges. Though, this call to augment state subvention is not unmindful of the indefatigable effort of Governor Obi in making the university a model citadel of learning Using ANIDS as the compass to achieve even sectoral development in the state, in spite of the meager federal allocation accruing to the state, Governor Obi’s reputable and sublime financial responsibility and management in governance cannot be disparaged. On the other hand, the university management should be more prudent in financial administration and strive to invest in certain areas like transportation within and outside the campus, building of hostels and provision of other services needed by the students so as to generate more revenue to complement state allocation to the school. So far however, Prof. Okafor must be commended for his industry and proactive steps in introducing changes to and addressing the needs of the university. Moreover, Anambra State has no other university other than this one. The university is not owned by Governor Obi but by all Anambrarians, thus the clarion call to goodspirited people within and outside Anambra State to contribute to the education of the present and future generations by assisting the university financially in executing some important projects. They can even partner with the university in providing certain services such as ICT and entrepreneurship training centres for the university community. The university is ever ready to immortalise the names of such people for posterity to appreciate. • Ezenwaka Macdonald, an author, writes from Awka.



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.’ ——— Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)


Mobolaji Sanusi (Contd from last week)The public still remains enthralled by the tenacity with which Tinubu fights his many battles within and even outside power. He fought ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s tyranny against true federalism in Nigeria. At a period in office, Tinubu believed that the large population of Lagos needed more local governments so as to further bring development to the grassroots and he created more. But the Obasanjo administration resisted the move with all arbitrary might, even when the Lagos government in deference to the rule of law, quickly approached the Supreme Court that gave judgement that recognized the legality of the act, even though in its learned view, the process was ‘inchoate.’ The federal government used extrajudicial means to frustrate governance in Lagos when Obasanjo unconstitutionally seized the funds meant for the local councils, but Tinubu remained undaunted. The local council development areas (LCDAs) courageously created then are still in existence. The way Tinubu conquered the petty bickering against true progress of Lagos and federalism by PDP henchmen such as Adeseye Ogunlewe, a former Lagos State senator and Minister of Works, and Bode George, an ex-convict and

‘Tinubu has over time proved to have the uncommon ability to wine and dine with the devil without getting his hands burnt. At a point during the local council funds crisis, his information managers put up a press release describing Obasanjo as a statesman among other superlatives’


HE moment has presented an uncanny parallel between President Barak Obama of the United States of America and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s finance minister. Four years ago, a certain Senator Obama, an African-AsianAmerican achieved the uncommon when he soared literally to the most powerful position in the world – the President of U.S.A! A black man sitting on the very bastion of power of the blue-eyed Western Caucasian world was something in the realm of dreams and utopia. And it took over 200 years in coming. But it came when it must come in 2009 and a certain Obama was the harbinger and inheritor of that momentous change. We must draw the same parallel here with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 57- year- old economist, scholar, technocrat and public administrator who seeks to do the unheard of – she wants to become the first non-US citizen and the first black person ( and woman at that), to become the president of the World Bank (WB). For a bit of background, the WB is a veritable child of capitalism conceived by the US and her powerful European allies after their victory in the Second World War. Founded at a place called Bretton-Woods, in New Hampshire, USA, the WB and its other sister institutions were originally designed to pool funds for the reconstruction of a warravaged Europe. Naturally, the bank’s first huge loan was to France, to reclaim a country that had been ravaged by Hitler’s rascality. For 67 years (from 1946 to date) all the bank’s 11 presidents have without exception, been Americans and usually, the nominees of the US President. In deed there is an unwritten agreement - and which has remained unbroken since inception - that an American would preside over the WB while a European oversees the affairs of sister institution, the International Monetary fund(IMF). But so much has changed since 1946 and the WB transformed tremendously from a myopic capitalist institution catering to the needs of Europe to a development institution helping to drive global economic growth and to build bridges between rich and poor nations. Today, there are 187 member countries whose finance ministers constitute the bank’s Board of Governors. There is also

Unfinished Greatness

• Asiwaju erstwhile Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority and former south-west vicechairman of the PDP requires rigorous scholarly study. Tinubu has over time proved to have the uncommon ability to wine and dine with the devil without getting his hands burnt. At a point during the local council funds crisis, his information managers put up a press release describing Obasanjo as a statesman among other superlatives. I took him up in my column in Vanguard newspaper then, promising him that he would regret that action and further admonished him to remain steadfast and not waver on the principled path he had chosen. But the intolerance in his media managers came to fore as I was viciously attacked through a rejoinder signed by Kehinde Bamigbetan, his Chief Press Secretary then but now chairman of Ejigbo

Local Council Development Area in Lagos, that was published in my column the following week. I was proved right by time as Obasanjo truly claimed not to be what Tinubu’s information managers unstrategically called him. He held onto the local council funds until the expiration of himself and Tinubu’s tenure. The funds were reportedly released by late President Umaru Yar’Adua to Governor Babatunde Fashola, Tinubu’s successor in office. Tinubu has come out of very difficult situations in the past without blemish. He is a cat with nine lives. He survived the conspiracy of the older Afenifere. The public appreciated his foremost contributions with other leaders like Chief Bisi Akande, Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba and Alhaji Lam Adesina to establish Action Congress (AC) in 2006 and later Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), a political party that today is proudly the fulcrum of political administration in the south-west. As a Senator in 1992 representing the Lagos West constituency in the truncated Third Republic and later frontline founding member of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), he mobilized support for the restoration of democracy and sought recognition and revalidation for the annulled June 12 presidential election results, before he was forced to flee to exile in 1994. He returned to the country in 1998 after the death of the military dictator, Sani Abacha. Tinubu has truly paid his dues in politics. It is pertinent at this juncture to remind Asiwaju that he needs


SMS O8181624757,

World Bank job: OkonjoIweala and the Obama parallel a 25- member Board of Executive Directors which selects (ratifies) the president. This allimportant body is highly skewed in favour of the US and major European powers. President Barak Obama has appointed Mr Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American, a scholar and health enthusiast to succeed Mr Robert Zoellicks who leaves in June. kim has no experience whatsoever in finance or development economics. Mr Obama has done what he has to do and in fairness to him, he could not do otherwise. But the unimpeachable fact is that Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala is the most qualified for the job today. She studied at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), earning a doctorate in economics. She has been in the WB system for about 25 years rising through the ranks to reach the position of vice president and managing director in charge of Africa, south Asia, Central Asia and Europe. It will be no exaggeration to say that Okonjo-Iweala is almost perfect for the job: she has the requisite education, hands-on WB experience and the additional advantage of running the finance and economy of her country Nigeria; an important and peculiar experience. Indeed, overseeing the finance ministry of Nigeria, a job she has been invited to undertake twice, is without doubt, one of the most difficult assignments in the world if we consider the mix of endemic corruption,

stark under-development that is pervasive in Nigeria on the one hand, and the people’s phobia for World Bank’s liberal economic policies deemed to be inimical to developing economies. To judge Okonjo-Iweala by her performance in Nigeria’s haphazard system would be as unfair as the world judging her by the sound of her name. But even her critics will admit that she kept her head, she mitigated the drain on Nigeria’s national treasury and she brought some sanity to the system. As WB helmsman, Okonjo-Iweala would come into her own. This will be her ultimate test. For the first time, the buck will stop on her table; she would not have to subject her actions and subordinate her persona to the whims of her sometimes, less than capable bosses. She would not have to tip-toe through a mesh of intrigues or traverse the ramparts of Nigeria’s political whoredom to achieve the results she desires. In summary, Okonjo-Iweala is the best man for the job. All the other contestants, one dares say, pale miserably beside her. It is indeed appropriate to say that just as it would have been an anticlimax and a low for America had Obama lost in 2009, same way it would be untenable if not injurious to the essence of today’s World Bank and the world peoples if you like, should Okonjo-Iweala be bypassed. Let merit prevail… let’s break the old World Bank mould!

more of people who can think strategically in the progressive fold. He has gained strength, courage and confidence by every political experience he has passed through. Much more is expected of him on the path of excellence that he can neither afford to fail nor falter. The south-west and the entire country look up to him for a deepened strategic thinking in his continuation of meritorious leadership to the progressive fold in the ongoing struggle for the soul of Nigeria. Indeed, the greatness is just unravelling for Asiwaju. —Concluded. ( My contribution to the book: ‘Asiwaju: Leadership in Troubled Times’ that was launched on the eve of his 60th birthday on March 28, 2012) Corrigendum Last week, there was a production mix-up that led to the use of Akinrogun Segun Osoba’s picture rather than that of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the object of focus of that and today’s article. The mix-up which is corrected in today’s concluding piece on Asiwaju is regrettable. My unconditional apologies for any embarrassment such production misdemeanour might have caused particularly Asiwaju, Akinrogun and my readers.

Elder Jadesola Ibidapo @ 80

One of the most amiable, peaceful and pleasant mothers that l have ever met will clock 80 years tomorrow. The celebrator of tomorrow’s 80th birthday is no other person than Chief (Mrs) Jadesola O. Ibidapo, the mother of Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, the indomitably spirited and hardworking former acting vice-chancellor of LASU and the current deputy VC of that great institution who is at the moment in NIPSS, Kuru, Jos. There will be Thanksgiving service to mark the event tomorrow morning at African Church Cathedral, Broadstreet, Lagos while reception follows immediately at KFA Events Centre on Lekki Expressway. Our mama is not just the mother of Professor Olatunji-Bello and her siblings but a good and caring mother to all of us that are part of the family. Mama’s love for her darling husband and pillar, Chief Meshack Emiola Ibidapo, like a red wine is ever refreshing. As mama clocks 80 today, I sincerely wish her many happy returns of the day while praying that peace and joy will not elude her and Papa all the remaining days of their lives. Accept my 80 ‘gbosas’ ma! LAST MUG: So tey, Bill Gates dey give us yam: Yes, the same Bill Gates, (there is only one)the Microsoft mogul is so moved by the warped Nigerian condition he is providing improved yam seedlings to rural Nigerian farmers. He noticed that yam, a common Nigerian staple is getting so out of the reach of poor Nigerians that many can only afford to buy mere slices instead of a whole tuber. Touched, Gates through his foundation has donated N1.87b ($12m) to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to boost the production of yam for consumers in Nigeria. Yam is a common staple across West Africa and beyond. Just one state in Nigeria can feed the entire Africa with yam and its derivatives if we get it right. Readers’ react: Re:ifueko and Chris, may your tribes increase: Steve thanks for showcasing those two great Nigerian women (Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru and Sen. Chris Anyanwu) especially the one at FIRS. I am a bit skeptical about Nigerian politicians, especially legislators but I think Sen. Chris is trying. Jamiu Morufu, Ibadan Thanks for your article on Ifueko and Chris Anyanwu… for a change you praised our leaders instead of criticizing them all the time. Even the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders – Ochekpa Egede, Ogoja Good job my brother on Ifueko and Sen. Chris. I have particularly followed Ifueko for sometime now, I think she is a great woman; Nigeria needs more of her type. May her tribe increase many fold – Justin, Enugu steve I think you got carried away this time. All Nigerian leaders are corrupt and greedy. Have you investigated them and found them to be free of corruption or are you saying that once they are performing their jobs well that’s good enough? – Omoniyi Santos, Lagos

‘It will be no exaggeration to say that Okonjo-Iweala is almost perfect for the job: she has the requisite education, hands-on WB experience and the additional advantage of running the finance and economy of her country Nigeria; an important and peculiar experience’





All for Jagaban Borgu Decked in a black suit, a white shirt, a black bow tie and a pair of shoes, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his wife, Senator Oluremi, in a glittering black blouse and a long skirt with a touch of black, were a delight to watch on the dance floor. It was at the black tie dinner to round off Tinubu’s 60th birthday last Friday. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO and NNEKA NWANERI were there.


T was the climax of the week-long celebration of the 60th birthday anniversary of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former governor of Lagos State. Everything was thrown into making it a memorable night not only for the “birthday boy” but also for the guests. The expansive Grand Ball Room of Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, was tastefully furnished. The decorators spent extra time in beautifying the hall. Twentyfour hours before the event, The Nation had visited the venue to see them at work, cheerfully putting finishing touches to the settings. The guests were astonished. There were a state-of-art stage before a computerised huge banner displaying messages and designs, screen-like banners in strategic positions for guests to watch the proceedings and stunning disco lights. The event could have been mistaken for a presidential banquet, and many of the guests were not surprised when Ghanaian Vice-President John Dramani walked in with his beautiful wife. Decked in black suit, white shirt and black tie, Dramani led a large entourage from the Gold Coast. President Goodluck Jonathan was represented by Senator Ben Obi. They were received by Tinubu and his wife, Senator Oluremi. On arrival, the Tinubus stepped on to a long red carpet, posing for photographs at the paparazzi spot. A big backdrop branded with the Asiwaju’s 60th birthday logos was placed behind the spot. From there, they were ushered in to meet the guests. Two kids presented flowers to the celebrator and his wife. With comedian Gbenga Adeyinka and Mrs Dayo BenjaminLaniyi as compere, it was fun all the way. The glamorous night kicked off with nice music by the Nene-led band. As she mounted the stage with her crew, the light went out and all eyes were fixated on the stage. After her splendid performance, Adeyinka showed the stuff he is made of, thrilling the audience with jokes. A welcome address was delivered by the celebrator’s son, Seyi. Another musician, Bola Fresh thrilled the guests with old school music. The organisers gave the emcee a free hand to co-ordinate the night. Without mincing words, he gave orders to Governor Babatunde Fashola and his wife, Abimbola. When Fashola asked for his tax clearance certificate, the comedian jokingly replied: “Sir, you are the governor of Lagos but I am the governor of tonight’s event. So, you have to obey my orders,” the hall burst into laughter. When Fashola’s wife answered three questions worth N6 million, the comedian asked the governor to kiss his spouse. The questions, which were on the celebrator, are: When did the Tinubus get married? When did Tinubu become a Senator? and Which football club does Tinubu support? The monetary prize won by Mrs Fashola was donated to the Children Development Centre (CDC) in Surulere. Fashola, however, refused to obey Adeyinka’s order. The comedian enlisted Asiwaju Tinubu’s help in getting the governor to kiss his wife. He consequently sought the assistance of Yeye Asiwaju, who asked the governor to comply. Fashola did and the audience erupted in wild jubilation. Several short video clips were played at intervals, one of which is entitled:“A man of many parts.” A veteran broadcaster, Dan Aigbagbe, read the tributes of President Jonathan; Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate Gen Muhammadu Buhari and former military president Gen Ibrahim Babangida. Shortly after, a drama dance group thrilled the guests with Salsa dance before Bisade Ologunde, popularly called Lagbaja stormed the hall. For the first time, Lagbaja led what Adeyinka called “Bata battalion” on stage. Over 20 band •Continued on page 26

•The celebrator Asiwaju Tinubu dancing with his wife Senator Oluremi





•Asiwaju Tinubu and wife Senator Oluremi assisted by (from left) Governor Amosun; Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola; Mrs Olufunso Amosun; Senator Ibrahim; Mrs Dramani; Mr Dramani; Senator Obi; Mrs Abim Florence Ajimobi and Ogbeni Aregbesola

•Governor Ajimobi

•Brig-Gen Johnson

•Oba Oyefusi and Olori Muyibat

•Senator Ngige (left) and Ambassador Jefter

•From left: Mrs Sarah Sosan; Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori and Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire

members, dressed like Lagbaja himself electrified the hall. While many were looking for Lagbaja among them, the masked musician suddenly emerged. The audience first sighted him behind the seats of Tinubu and other

•Aremo Osoba and wife Derin

dignitaries. The hall yelled, everybody rose on his feet dancing to his music. Prof Shamsudeen AbdulWahab from Chicago, United States proposed Asiwaju’s toast. He described Tinubu as a born activist

•Jim Ovia (left) and Chief Pius Akinyelure

and risk taker. AbdulWahab recalled Tinubu’s activism while in school in the mid-70s. “He was always in the forefront among protesters in Chicago when the US authority was deporting Nigerians.We always marched to the US Embassy every last Saturday of the month,” AbdulWahab recalled.


Dramani, the special guest of honour, supervised the cutting of the cake. He described Tinubu, whom he first met in 2008 when he was picked as Atta Mills’ running mate, as his brother and mentor. •Continued on page 26




•Continued from page 25

Senator Obi; Mrs Abimbola Fashola; Governor Fashola; Mrs

•Mrs Ajimobi dancing with Asiwaju Tinubu’s son, Seyi while Alhaja Aregbesola; Hon Toun Adeniran and Comedian Adeyinka watch keenly

•Senators Zainab Kure (left) and Chris Anyanwu

•From left: Justice Oguntade; Chief Okoya and Chief Samuel Adedoyin

•From left: Mr Louis Odion; Mr Tunji Bello and his wife, Prof Ibiyemi

•Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) (left) and Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN)

•Dr Muiz Banire and his wife Funmilayo

•Prof Williams (left) and Chief Ajibola Ogunsola


Muyibat and former governors of Ogun and Cross River states Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Donald Duke and National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria Bisi Akande. Also, there were former Lagos State military governor Brig.-Gen Mobolaji Johnson; former governor of Ekiti Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Senator Chris Ngige; Senator Chris Anyanwu;

Oba Otudeko; Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi; Chairman of Eleganza Industries Razaq Okoya; Asoju Oba of Lagos Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas; ACN chieftain Joe Igbokwe; former Minister of State (Defence), Demola Seriki; renowned essayist Prof Adebayo Williams; former Supereme Court Justice George Oguntade and Dr Doyin Abiola.

“He is a man with many insights. He is one of the uncommon breed of leaders Africa is crying for in a world where there are no more people who can give selflessly to the people,” he said. Afterwards, Lagbaja mounted the podium, thrilling the audience with songs till late into the night with his Bata band. He kept guests

wriggling their waists and nodding their heads to his Koko Below songs and others. Among those in attendance were: Governors Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim representing Senate President David Mark; Ayangburen of Ikorodu Oba Salawudeen Oyefusi and Olori




•Mr Duke and wife Onari

•Chief Balarabe Musa

•Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola and wife Kafayat

•From left: Alhaja Wonu Folami; Alhaja Fatimo Bintu Tinubu and Alhaja Ramdat Okunola

•Mallam Sanusi

•Oba Otudeko

•Group Managing Director Sterling Bank Mr Yemi Adeola

•Yeye Oge of Lagos Chief Oprah Benson (left) and Mrs Abba Folawiyo

•Chief Sunny Asemota

•Chief Moshood Tijani (TIJACO)

•An Industrialist Alhaji S.O. Babalola

•Hon Aderemi Ibirogba flanked by Hon Abiodun Mafe (right) and Alhaji Jubreel AbdulKareem

•Chief Ayo Opadokun

•Hon Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe flanked by Arinola Fuwa (right) and Yetunde Eyitanwoju


29 FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2012

Vol 3 No. 146

May Nzeribe, founder and CEO, Sunrise Advertising, and former Chairman, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), has remained as constant as the northern star in Nigeria’s and Africa’s advertising galaxy. As a practitioner, he has been involved in activities that have, over the past three decades, helped in galvanising advertising practice. Yet, when you ask for his contribution to the growth of the profession, he sounds indifferent. A past president of the International Advertising Association (IAA) Nigerian chapter and Vice-President, Association of Advertising Agencies in Nigeria (AAAN), Nzeribe is also cerebral. His book: Political Advertising in Nigeria, published several years ago, remains a reference point in the industry. An advocate of comparative advertising, Nzeribe’s copy on two different dry cell battery brands in the 80s stands out as a paragon of excellence. In this encounter with WALE ALABI, he offers insights into advertising, marketing communication business and his life.

‘There’s no textbook approach to advertising’ Proliferation of agencies


ROLIFERATION in business is not peculiar to advertising agencies or business alone. And this is not new; we’re operating in a society where everybody wants to be his or her own boss. So, I wouldn’t want to see this development as proliferation because proliferation means many operators or people chasing small business. That’s a misconception. I believe there’s still room for more but decent practitioners to set up agencies, operate and get involved in the economy. And talking about the economy, especially the productive sectors, how much have they invested in marketing communications? Too small! If they had injected a lot of funds in marketing their products, the advertising agencies would have done a lot more in the areas of helping them to package and promote their products and this in turn would have helped to grow the economy the more. However, in the same breath, I feel a lot of advertising practitioners, without acquiring enough experience and adequate professional competence, are in a hurry to become managing directors. Miracle advertising on TV There’s no ban on miracle advertising on TV or any other broadcast media. If you go through the APCON directive and the Broadcasting Commission code, you’ll find out that nobody has banned miracle advertising on TV or anywhere. For instance, what the APCON directive says is: if you have to do any promotion at all because of the inherent danger involved in leading people on a slope, because of our attachment to hope in life which is the major product of evangelism, the testimonial of the miracle to be advertised must be well documented so that it can be verified. Testimony should contain full contact addresses and names of the beneficiaries of the miracles. Even in testimonial which is an integral part of advertising, you don’t just advertise it without proof, that is, the names and addresses given must be authentic. The same thing also applies in religious testimony. So, if a miracle has taken place and you’re putting it on TV, you must also go ahead and put the full names and address so that it can be verified that before the miracle took place, the person or persons was or were actually afflicted by the ailment that has been cured through a miraculous encounter. So, nobody has banned miracle adverts on TV. All we’re asking for is confirmation so that the claims made can be substantiated. Let’s look at it from the personal spiritual level. When Jesus was around, He did perform many miracles. But did Jesus go to any televi-

sion station to broadcast or announce his feat? No. Do you believe that there’s a human being that can perform miracle? If any miracle takes place, it was done on behalf of God. So, why claim that you’re the one doing it? Even if God gives you the power or gift to perform miracle, must you commercialise it on the television? Is that the only way to win souls? Is that the only way to spread the word of God? You don’t get to see miracle adverts on TV anymore because of the stringent conditions stipulated by the law that they must comply with before they can advertise. Otherwise if the conditions were not stringent they would have continued to advertise. Window of opportunity We’ve said it time and time again. But then let me repeat it. The law setting up APCON to regulate advertising practice really spells out certain conditions that must be complied with by practitioners. However, in the APCON law, unlike some other professions like law, accountancy and medicine, there are some limitations in its implementation. So, we recognise these limitations. We discovered that to sanitise the industry we need to take some radical steps. But in taking the steps, we have to recognise the uniqueness of advertising practice itself. The profession gives room to a lot of creative people from diverse backgrounds. Over the years, they have been running advertising agencies, although they have no formal training in advertising. So, what do we do with this category of people? We examined two options. First, do we get the police to arrest them and prosecute them as prescribed by law? The second alternative is to look at it and take an administrative angle. And taking an administrative look means that since we have been empowered to regulate the practice, and this set of people are deficient as the law stipulates, what we should do is bring them into the fold, because if they’re not within the fold we can’t enforce discipline and standard. So, that was what informed the council’s decision on the window of opportunity programme. For example, you have a B.Sc in Sociology or B.Sc in Political Science and you’ve been working in an established advertising agency for five or six years, what should then


stop me from inducting you into the fold? Looking at it from a proverbial angle, I have a cloth and you’re outside in the cold shivering, what stops me from covering you? Over 1,000 people were registered under the programme. So, the programme was quite successful. I don’t regard the window of opportunity as a favour, rather I believe it’s what we have to do in the course of our duty; to look at how we can effectively regulate the profession. It was a one-off thing. Any other persons from now on would have to go through our induction. Toothless bulldog It’s unfortunate. APCON has not lacked the will. It only seems that way because they’ve not been empowered to do what they’ll like to do. For example, you may want to travel to Britain in the next one hour. But before you realise this goal, you need three things: you need a valid visa, you need air ticket to take you there and you need the ability to be able to get there. And if you don’t have all these, does this make you a fool living in a paradise? But if we become look at issues very objectively, the comment that APCON is a toothless bulldog would not have come up because the APCON law that you called an enabling decree merely looks like an enabling decree, but to a large extent, it’s a disenabling decree. Despite the fact that APCON was put in place, it still needs a lot of things to operate like a proper regulatory body. For example, APCON does not possess the same power granted to institutions like NAFDAC, SON, EFCC and others. It doesn’t.

‘We discovered that to sanitise the industry we need to take some radical steps. But in taking the steps, we have to recognise the uniqueness of advertising practice itself. The profession gives room to a lot of creative people from diverse backgrounds. Over the years, they have been running advertising agencies, although they have no formal training in advertising. So, what do we do with this category of people?’

We are trying to address this. And I want to believe that as a government-approved regulatory body, APCON would soon be empowered. The brand Nigeria project The Minister of Information and Orientation made a public presentation where he unveiled the Project Nigeria recently. At that event, he intimated us with what they have in the pipeline. As a practitioner, I would like to reserve my comment until the time to execute the project; there would be the need for us to give certain input. There would be the need for us to re-engineer our image first, at the local level. But I think it is a worthwhile effort. However, the change in attitude or image would not happen overnight. It would take time. Yes, APCON was aware of the project, we had discussion before it was unveiled. That’s the much I can say. But don’t let’s forget that APCON is just a regulatory body. Cost of doing business in Nigeria We’re operating within the system. We’re operating within the economy. It’s difficult running the productive sector whom we are supposed to help improve on their business performance. The sector is operating below installed capacity and what affects them would definitely affect us. Talking generally, the economy is bad. There might be one or two business areas that seem to be doing well Yes, there may be what seems like a boom in advertising spend in the GSM sector but when you look critically at the growth in the sector vis-à-vis advertising the spend seems low. Qualities of a thoroughbred advertising professional There’s no textbook approach to this. But in this business, knowledge is important. You must equip yourself professionally. You must have a good capacity to handle people.Your human relations must be excellent. But first and foremost, knowledge is important.



Brandnews The substandard culture


SYSTEM in which community members prefer inferior values and products over superior quality others; in which one’s own is looked down upon in preference to another’s, to artificiality and superficiality; in short a practice which condemns the followers who are actually victims of their creation to self-depreciation is vanity and sure proof of emptiness: a substandard culture. There is a saying that every child praises the mother’s cooking. It is frowned upon when a child not only rejects the mother’s cooking but prefers another woman’s that is not as good as the mother’s. True, everyone is not born equal; some people seem to have been short-changed: they are born blind while some have just an eye. But are such conditions enough for self-denunciation? Inferiority as well superiority complexes come from within. They lie in the minds. Persons who go for inferior wares are not forced more by lower economic fortunes but mainly by poor mind and soul. Some blind persons beg for a living while many not only fend for selves in dignity but support many able-bodied persons. Are we not witnesses to beggars with their two eyes and no bodily deformities and blind persons who employ top class managers and other skilled personnel to run their businesses? Standard and substandard are from the mind and soul more than external circumstances. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. True; but this applies exclusively to persons who see a challenge as an opportunity, not an obstacle. Anyone who detests a challenge and seeks ways to bypass rather than face it boldly never benefits from challenge and the danger is that he must live the low life all over. The Federal Government set up the Standards Organisation of Nigeria in 1971 and some commentators have said the failure of the agency over the years was in the nature of things; that the military lack high standards and therefore no moral strength to set up the body. The critics quote the dubious cliché that says the worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship. There are standards and there are standards; also standards of democracy or governance per se. A bad democracy is a fake despite what

By Joe Anatune

the operators may pretend. As for the military establishing SON and that assumed reason why the agency failed to live up to its mandate is not supported by logic or history. The point is that standards and standardisation go beyond merchandise, go beyond buying and selling but reflect the true state of life of a people. Now, can a standards body give citizens a standard that the people and their government have not provided? It must be near-impossible to set and ensure high standards in Nigeria with 70 per cent of citizens living on less than one dollar a day. No! One hundred and fifty naira to feed, clothe, shelter, provide personal hygiene and other necessities, daily translates to substandard living, short and simple. Substandard wares and ways of life exploded on Nigerians after the civil war in 1970. For one, Igbo and peoples of the southeast/Delta, who survived the ravages, were in haste to survive the peace. It would not make sense surviving a war only to die miserable in peace or would it? In any case, basic necessities such as water, food, clothing, medicines, housing and transport were in critical short supplies at the end of the war. Many survivors could not bother about quality: a semblance of availability sufficed and for anyone who wanted quality, 10 others were on queue who were not so minded but eager to snatch what was on offer and no questions asked. In Lagos where vast numbers of returnees flooded, there were houses without window or door, without kitchen or toilet, with bare, rugged floors and falling walls. Anyone in need of shelter sighed with relief to have something with five others in tow! And if you live in a subhuman abode, what won’t you do to survive or keep afloat? Don’t think that Igbos are the main manufacturers and distributors of fake and or substandard goods and services in Nigeria.No, substandard became a way of life and thus a culture as both civilians and military regimes did not rise to national challenges. •To be continued •Anatune a brand consultant wrote in from Lagos

From left: Senior Brand Manager, Maltina, Mrs Ngozi Nkwoji; Media and Public Affairs Manager, Mr Edem Vindah, and Marketing Director, Mr Walter Drenth, during a briefing on Maltina Sharing Happiness promo in Lagos.

LG launches new air conditioner


G Electronics, has introduced its new Multi V III Solo air conditioner to the market. The move came as LG looks forward to placing more emphasis on its business in Nigeria, where the demand for energy-saving technology is growing rapidly. The launch, which is LG Electronics’ newest HVAC solution, is evident of the electronic giant’s drive to always be ahead of competition and lead in innovation by ensuring consumers’ satisfaction and comfort is key when manufacturing products. Combining this innovation with higher efficiency Multi V III Solo delivers fast response cooling and space-saving smaller footprint. Expectedly, this cutting edge would make it gain significant market share in Nigeria and Africa. The air conditioner has three unique benefits, which the consumer stands to enjoy. These are the higher energy efficiency, eco friendly, and longer piping design. The unit’s increased energy efficiency which is boosted by LG’s unique DC inverter compressor technology, delivers a COP level (coefficient of performance) of 3.5. With a total piping length up to 150 m and a level difference of 50 m between ODU and IDU, the Multi

From left: Edwin Ikechukwu, a winner from Jos; Moses Bako from Kaduna; Chiwendu Anielo from Abuja and Bamikole Bodunde from Abuja, at the presentation of cheques to winners in Abuja.

V III Solo provides optimum solution for small/medium-sized building. Multi V III Solo can be connected to max no of 32 indoor units in any building. “As a company with a great focus on producing energy saving and efficient products, we are happy to introduce the Multi V III Solo into the market,” said Mr Clinton Yoo, General Manager, Air conditioning and Energy Solution division, LG Electronics West Africa Operations. “With this product in the market, we are in a better position to work with our dealers and business partners to make LG the No. 1 provider of smart and efficient HVAC solutions,” hea dded. The Managing Director, Tecnicool, Mr Niyi Kolawole, said: ‘There is no better time than this to

introduce to the market an AC with fast cooling response and space-saving smaller footprint. This is a great need that the LG Multi V III Solo has come to fulfil in Nigeria.” The Managing Director, Blue Ocean Technical Services, Mr Anupam Ghosal,lauded the initiative of LG Electronics in its bid to provide products to meet the needs of its consumers. He said: “Only a compassionate organisation like LG Electronics would stop at nothing to ensure that its consumers are pleased with its ranges of products built on innovation and cutting edge technology.” The Managing Director of PERABEAM, Shola Erinle said the introduction of Multi V III Solo has heralded a new era into the business of commercial ACs in the country.

Seaman’s Ayo TV show excites consumers


HE Seaman’s National Ayo Competition, showing on select television stations across the country is bringing out the beauty in the traditional Ayo game. Based on the email messages received so far from viewers across the country, lots of viewers are excited with the cultural dance and traditional facts segments of the show. Ade Oluwajomiloju, one of the numerous viewers that sent email messages from Lagos, said: “The Seaman’s National Ayo Competition showing on Realstar TV on Startimes and other stations, has really awakened my interest in traditional game. Worthy of mention also is the expository documentary on our culture and tradition. Honestly, I could not have asked for more.” Some lucky viewers have also won exciting prizes through the home play segment. They included: Onwuteaka Onyebuchi from Awka; Omoregie Osayanede from Benin and Michael Oladele from Ogbomosho. Aare Fatai Odesile, the Marketing Director, Grand Oak Limited showed excitement at the rate at which the programme is gaining prominence among the viewers. He said Seaman’s Schnapps, a drink that is synonymous with culture and

tradition, was proud to be a channel through which some of our eroding culture are being revamped. He said: “We are proud that Nigerians appreciate our little effort at re-awakening their consciousness to imbibe our culture and tradition. The emails that we have received so far are very encouraging. Viewers at home are also not left behind as a greater percentage of them consistently participate in the home play segment. All these point to the fact that Nigerians are really proud of their own customs and we shall continue to promote the proudly Nigeria concept”. The championship which is being organised by Grand Oak Limited, makers of Seaman’s Schnapps in conjunction with the Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria (an arm of the Nigerian Sports Council) currently shows on Realstar TV on Startimes, (on at Sundays 10pm), NTA Awka (Saturdays 10 PM), LTV Lagos (Thursday 10:10 pm) BCOS Idadan (Saturdays 11:00PM) OSBC Oshogbo (Tuesdays, 10:30 PM and Independent Television, Benin (Wednesday 10:30 PM), are the other stations showing the championship. The programme hit the airwaves some weeks back and has three exciting segments: Our Game, Our Culture and Our Heritage.






e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


Online shopping gains popularity Online shopping is catching on, following technology advancement. It is also gaining popularity as an option for cash-less banking. It has made shopping fun for many who can simply select items on their computers and have them delivered at their door steps. But some fear that fraudsters may take advantage of online shoppers. But it ought not to be so. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes.


HOSE who shop on-line have the advantage of shopping from the convenience of their homes or wherever they may be at a particular time. These days, many things, such as hotel and flight ticket reservations are done online. In many cases, it is even cheaper. It is not just the convenience of paying online that makes buying over the Web enticing, but also the advantages of finding an item from different sources and suppliers that probably offer a more competitive price. Many consumers would rather sit and • browse the Internet for a product than walk around all day window shopping. Even ordering for fast-food deliveries is now done online. Many also advertise their various products online. Online shopping has been designed to help the shopper shop easily. With e - commerce, shoppers are able to find the right stores from which to purchase goods, locate the goods that they need, identify the prices and even refer their friends to the shops. The beauty of this is that the shopper does not carry the items with him after the shop-

ping; they are delivered to them by post or courier services. Most of the sites in which shoppers are linked are required to register with the shop official websites by entering their home addresses to which the goods will be delivered on each transaction made. With this they are able to order for goods online and they will be delivered instantly when ordered for. Some sites will not accept international credit cards, some require both the purchaser’s billing address and shipping address to be in the same country in which site does its business, and still other sites allow customers to send gifts anywhere. The financial part of a transaction might be processed in real time (for example, letting the consumer know their credit card was declined before they log off), or might be done later as part of the fulfillment process. This period of Easter, many sites offer gift items to the delight of shoppers. For many busy executives, who hardly find time to go to the stores, shopping online sometimes becomes a convenient solution. Mrs Chinwe Emole, a district bank manager, is one of such. She said: “I have been enjoying online shop-

• Shop online

ping for sometime. At first, I was skeptical about it, but somehow, I tried it and it paid off. I first purchased an item online when I was about doing my wedding three years ago. Then, I was looking for a style to make for my wedding so I went searching some wedding sites I had seen on Wedding TV. In the process, I realised I could just pick a style and order for it immediately and I did just that. It took away the stress of going from one bridal store to the other. I have been buying stuffs through the web ever since.” An international businessman, Mr Johnson Asuquo noted that while shopping online could be interesting, there is need for caution. He said: “I bought my ipad online. I have shoes I also bought on-line. I travel a lot so wherever I am at a particular time, I order for whatever I want and they deliver it to me in any hotel I am putting up. But I am very careful because I have a friend who was duped, so I only shop on selected stores”. Just as many are getting interested in online shopping, some are using it as a means to engage in fraud and swindling victims of • Continued on Page 32

• Online shopping cart

Getting the best acquarium tank Gifts that endear

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Creative Easter for kids Page 34




Online shopping gains popularity • Continued from Page 31

their money. Credit card fraud and identity theft produces so much anxiety for the victim and can destroy his or her credit and financial health for years afterwards. Some fraudsters open false sites, advertising various products that do not exist. Among the popular items for which people have fallen victim are animal pets such as dogs and cats. The unassuming shopper pays for the item and waits for it to be shipped down but this amounts to effort in futility. Such con men smile to the bank while the victim is left to mourn his or her loss. Mainly whites, especially teenagers have fallen victim to this kind of fraud. The one that is common in the country is where scammers open all kinds of accounts in a victim’s name and even buy a house. This leaves the victim with thousands of dollars in debt. The majority of fraud occurs online, so shoppers must be careful and diligent when they are using their credit card for purchases on the Internet. Another common internet fraud is called phishing. This is when people receive emails from people who claim to be a bank or financial institution that requests the reader to give them vital personal and financial information claiming that it is needed for authorisation for a large deposit to be sub-

mitted to the victim’s bank account. The victim unknowingly, obliges and hands over the information, not knowing that on the other end of the email is a scammer. Once that scammer has the victim’s information, he will access the user’s bank accounts and drain them all! The emails look very professional and official. By the time the victim realises what happens, the money is gone, the credit card accounts have been opened and gone over the limit. Unfortunately, with people constantly bombarding the Web with their personal data and numbers, online fraud will continue to grow, According to the Herald Sun, more than 50 Australians fall victim to online banking fraud every week. This is corroborated by bank sources who said that these criminals make a staggering $1.5 million every month. So, take precautionary steps to avoid being scammed online. For starters, never send credit card details through email. Banks do not ask their patrons of this. Do not click that loud, blue link that claims it will direct one to their account. Another precaution that can be done is to double check the site’s security. For instance, instead of the usual HTTP:// it should be HTTPS:// when paying online. Scanning through those monthly statements is another important precaution. Make sure all transactions mentioned are real and le-

Getting the best acquarium tank

• Online-shopping-coupons

gitimate. Finally, use only lowrisk cards when shopping online. Use the normal credit cards for purchases where a consumer has to be physically present. Only then can online shopping continue to be fun for a consumer. Protecting your credit card information So what should consumers know to make sure that they do not fall victim to these predators? First of all, these emails most often will not address the reader by their full names. The greetings are going to follow the style of something like “Dear Customer” or “Hello”. Genuine communications by institutions and lenders are going to

have the proper name of the recipient in the salutation. Do not ever respond to these emails; instead, report it. You can report it to the institution that the email looks to be from. You can also inform your local authorities of the email as well. If there is a link within an email that you are encouraged to click on, don’t. Just by trying to access a phishing website can provide scammers with your financial information! To help combat this, lenders have come up with plans to increase security and reduce the risk of fraud that is initiated online. Sometimes you will see sites that have been verified by credit card companies

In choosing the best aquarium fish tank, a buyer should consider the material the tank is made of, its size, shape and the cost. TONIA ‘DIYAN writes.


EEPING acquariums at home is not an easy task. You have to change and adapt as situation demands. If the house is too small for a growing population of fish, you have to upgrade quickly. If the tank is too large for a small room or office, you will have a space problem in the room where the tank will be. What then are the practical solutions? The fresh water aquarium tank is a solid and well -designed self- contained structure for keeping fish in a safe, controlled environment where you should have total control over them. Each point has its advantages and disadvantages. Of course, innovations are not made for nothing and the long history of the hobby is a statement to its overall success. You may ask yourself: can I handle a small or large fish tank? Can I have the classic look? Or rather contemporary? Can I go with cheap or an expensive tank? The details below are basic information on a standard fresh water aquarium fish tank according to the type of material the tank is made of, its differing sizes and shapes and its corresponding cost. A fish tank can be made of glass and acrylic. Glass tanks are the classic types of aquarium tanks. Since the introduction of glass during the Roman Empire, glass in general and the glass fish tank has undergone major changes and improvements. On the other hand, acrylic tanks became popular in the latter parts of the 19th century and the tank itself has not gone through as many changes as the glass tanks have. Both are made of relatively good materials though they differ in weight and performance. A glass tank is heavier than an acrylic one and many people prefer the acrylic type for that reason. Also, it is not as fragile as the glass type which can break easily. Thus, acrylic tanks are easily shipped from one place to another. From the store or company where it is purchased to your home or from one room in your home to another. Acrylic tanks require a smaller heater than glass tanks. They are proven as better insulators and are historically more stable in terms of temperature. However, many still prefer the glass tank be-

and for these websites, shoppers are taken to a different site to complete shopping transactions. Users have to confirm their identity and confirm the card that they are using. Unfortunately, scammers now create pages that look identical to the credit card pages and shoppers are still at risk for having their details and passwords stolen. It is getting increasingly difficult to recognise the fraudulent sites, so shoppers have to know what their intended website looks like, how it behaves and learn to recognise suspicious details that might tip them off to potential disaster involving their credit card.

• A coffee table with fish tank

cause of its availability and tendency not to get yellow over time and its strength against being scratched. The new glass tanks with laminated glass are a clever way to have the advantages of both glass and acrylic. For really large aquarium such as those in museums and public aquariums, fibre glass is used. Tanks can be small, medium or large. Standard small tanks range from two to 15 gallons. Mid-sizes tank range from 20 to 40 gallons, while large tanks range from 50 to 180 gallons. These may come in various length, width and height proportions. It should be noted that every gallon of added water in the tank is around 10 pounds. This calculation is needed when choosing your tank’s stand and a stable space to put it. It is not true that the smaller, the tank, the easier it will be to manage. Another principle is the larger the tank, the better it is for the fish. The shorter but horizontally long tank is better than a thin and vertical tank in terms of swimming space for the fish and circulation of oxygen from the surface. Of course, it follows that with enough oxygen, fish becomes healthier and the stocking capacity increases but the tank

should never be over stock with too many fish. This will help to avoid oxygen depletion. The most common type of shape for tank is the rectangular and spherical (such as a fish bowl) types. Modern technology has made it possible for tanks, especially the acrylic type to come in varied shapes such as cubic, hexagonal, L-shaped and bow-front where the front side is convalescent. Glass tanks have sharp edges while acrylic tanks can appear with curved smother edged. You can choose to be conventional or experimental when it comes to shape. Please be aware that the shape of your fish tank will have an effect on the circulation (or lack of circulation) of oxygen and nutrients needed by your fish. Talking about cost, glass tanks can cost two to three times more than the acrylic tanks. However, when it comes to very large tanks like 250 gallons and above, the price is neutralised because it will cost you a lot, no matter which type you choose. Choose your tank according to the type you can afford and maintain. Acrylic tanks have higher maintenance cost than glass tanks.

You should decide to choose the best tank based on the type of material the tank is made of, its size, shape, cost, and your available space. People should go for a tank that they can afford. While it is true that any type of tank can be considered reliable because they are manufactured for that reason, one still needs to keep in mind the cost associated with the fish tanks set up and on going maintenance. Like in any experience, there may be nuances in the beginning but as you take steps, you will discover everything that you need to know about your total costs to stay involved in this hobby. Just remember that each model of tank has it pros and cons. You may freely weigh and balance them according to your needs. Their infinite variety of colours, shapes and movement are not only pleasing to the eye but extremely salutary as well. The engaging nature of the aquarium helps individuals to look outside of themselves, providing a distraction from the pressure of everyday life. Research has shown that watching fish in an aquarium can help promote a feeling of well-being, generating a sense of calm and relaxation that can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Be aware that the fish tank itself will be your biggest expense, but not your only expense. Also, be patient. You can get a good deal on a nice tank by taking your time and shopping around for the best deal that you can afford instead of buying the first tank that your eyeballs see. The Nation Shopping spoke with some aquarium lovers at a one stop aquarium shop situated at Sylvia Cresent, Anthony village, Lagos. Ms Ikem said she owns two different typesthe tropical and marine fish and that they are both very easy to maintain. “I love the sight of it. It keeps my company when I am lonely, but most importantly, it beautifies my little apartment”, she said. Mr Bayo Komolafe said: “Do I say I have passion for aquarium? I simply love its simplicity, beauty and serenity. It heals as well. I own a giant fresh water type and it is splendid. It is the most valuable asset I own in my home and my family has also fallen in love with it. You need to see it at night; its beauty is just unexplainable. Please get yours if you haven’t.” he smiled.




Shopping for durable cars If Karl Benz and other automobile inventors were to be alive, they would marvel at the pitiable state of cars on Nigerian roads. If people were to shop carefully and maintain their cars, they will last longer and be in good shape, writes OMOLARA MOFESOLA OMONIYI.


PART from bad roads, another reason for many accidents is poor maintenance of cars. Brand new cars are believed to be the best and even though everyone prefers to buy a brand new car, the state of the economy makes that impossible. Many, therefore, go for fairly used cars otherwise known as tokunbo, which are relatively cheaper. Consequently, the cars need adequate maintenance to last long and be able to withstand the dilapidated roads that have become a death trap. A car dealer, Mr Fasiku Jacob Adeolu, gave insight into what to consider when buying a tokunbo car and how to maintain it to ensure durability. He said: “The first thing that attracts one to a car is its outer appearance. It is good to buy a beautiful car but that should not always be the priority, as there are other factors to consider when buying one. We have to consider other factors such as the condition of the car engine, its durability, among others. “Some cars appear to look good, but their engines have been over-used. The engine of a car is the main component of the car. There are many instances where people buy second hand cars that appear clean and fairly used but the engine starts giving problems after a few months of use; some of these sellers actually know of the poor condition of the car engine and still sell them at expensive prices”. He noted that the cost of maintenance is also very important. “The cost of maintenance differs from one car brand or product to another. In buying a car, the buyer should make findings and consider his/ her pocket before going for it. Fuel consumption, availability and the price of spare parts differ from one car to another. “For example, Mercedes products are quite cheap because its demand is low due to the high cost of maintenance, its fuel consumption is very high and spare parts are very expensive compared to Japanese products like Nissan, Honda and Toyota which are the most sought after products in the automobile market. “German brands like BMW have come out with computerised cars that cannot be handled by roadside mechanics; they are designed in such a way that only spe-

• Boy’s shoes

Dear reader, We greatly appreciate those of you who make it a point to read us and especially to those who send their comments. Indeed, we are poised to serve you more and give you every valuable pieces of information on our finger tips. As we do first Friday of every month, here are some of your responses as space would enable us. Please bear with us if your comment is not published in this edition. Thanks a million, Janice.


enough. That is why so many public functionaries indulge in money laundering. No matter what they acquire, it is never enough for them. Ebele Umeani, Awka. Janice, that write up on how many clothes people stock in their wardrobes is true. What is someone doing with 200 shoes or 500 wigs? Where would the person keep it? Na wa for some people o. Seyi Akinyemi, Ilorin.

• Adeolu

cialised companies such as Coscharis’ Motors can handle them at very expensive rates. He continued: “If you are based in a place like Kwara State where there is no Coscharis branch, you would have to call the Lagos office to send a mechanic whose to and fro flight you will have to pay for. They charge sometimes about N800, 000. An average earner will not be able to afford to maintain this kind of car and may have to go for a car that can be handled by roadside mechanics at far cheaper rates”. He stressed that good maintenance culture should be adopted to keep cars up to standard. “Any little fault should be amended immediately by experts as nonexperts will make matters worse. It is high time we Nigerians set an acceptable standard for choice cars. This will help to put a close check to avoid making Nigeria a dumping ground for junk vehicles. Patronising known dealers will discourage illegal car sellers, Nigerian roads should be kept free from death traps in the guise of automobiles. This will keep the nation on better global perspective”, he added.

Kids’ shoes are the most difficult to get because they are easily and quickly outgrown. There are rules one needs to follow when shopping for children’s shoes, reports OMOLARA MOFESOLA OMONIYI.



I like your article with the caption ‘how many clothes do you need anyway?’ The truth is that we like to acquire so much. No amount of anything is ever

Ideal shoes for children OO much money should not be wasted on children’s wears, except the ones for special occasions. Reason: children quickly outgrow their shoes. Before going to the market, their feet should be measured while standing. As one foot is believed to be larger than the other, the larger feet should be used to test the shoes. Soles should be flexible, so that it will

Shopping Right with

move with the foot. Buy shoes with soft materials, to avoid smelly and sweaty legs over time and also to ensure durability. Kid shoes should have a fastening system. Avoid slip-on shoes for them. Do not purchase shoes that are not comfortable. Avoid overlarge shoes. Some people are tempted to buy shoes that are extra large. This may cause a trip in which the kid may sustain injuries.

• Girl’s shoes

‘How many clothes do you need anyway? A good topic and quite timely, with this corruption saga here and there. It only reveals the major problem of man- greed and selfishness. They are never contented with what they have. Some years ago, I had the opportunity of being in a governor’s house. The number of cars I saw really baffled me. It appears as if his family will be changing cars the way they change clothes. I can just imagine that his daughter can even choose to drive a car which colour matches with the dress she is wearing. I won’t be surprised. The only thing I am saying is that they should stop their greed and selfishness. We are not saying that they should not eat o. All we are saying is let them do something beneficial to us. After all it is our money and we have a right to good condition of leaving. Thank you Suleiman, Kano. The average Nigerian is too foolish thinking a large wardrobe will elevate him or her. Few, unique and quality clothes is it. Anonimous. Dear Janice, thank you for educating the masses. Your piece on fashion jewellery and quality customer service on Friday, March 23 was excellent. Keep it up. You are the future. Nero Ogbogho, customised costume earrings manufacturer. Janice, great write up on quality service. Keep it up - Ebi Emarah Janice, Do it yourself was a good piece. I like the way you just pick those useful tips. Do you know that most of the things people do to reduce cost is DIY? Almost everyone practices it. Many practice it without knowing. For instance, what will you call that little electronic fault you fix by yourself rather than get an electrician? How about those little stitching we do on our clothes? The other day, my kitchen sink refused to drain water. I knew at once that there was a blockage. I disconnected it from the pipe linking it underneath and the water poured out. I could easily fix it through DIY without immediately looking for a plumber. Thanks for reminding us of some important things. Yussuf Adejo, Badagry. Hi Janice, I thank you for your good advice on shopping. Without your advice stated in The Nation Newspaper, I wouldn’t have realised my mismanagement in spending money. Now, I go for what I plan to buy. Please keep on advising people on shopping right. Ngozi Nwosu, Lagos. Thanks for enlightening us on quality service. Actually, many do not know that they have a right to good service in any store they patronise. I have seen people who bought things that soon got bad and could not do anything about it. I have also tried to enlighten people on it because many do not even know that there are warranty services for most items they buy. Joseph Olojede, Teacher, Abeokuta. DIY is a challenging way of creating new styles in anything you do and it has really been working for me. People are always surprised whenever they see any DIY bead work I carve out. Olowofela Taiwo, Graduate of Bead works. Dear Lady Janice, DIY is good. I think it is a lesson that should even be taught in schools. I don’t know what our little ones are taught in their schools. I first made iro and buba with needle and thread when I was in secondary school. I guess that is DIY, isn’t it? Thanks, Tessy Ufoma, Benin. I am an ardent reader of your column, Shopping right. I like what you are doing. Please don’t stop the good work. Thanks Bolade Johnson, Abuja.

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992




Gifts that endear Easter is here again. People are getting ready to mark it in various ways. Aside cooking for the family and guests, many buy gifts to appreciate one another. In choosing gifts, consider the ones that would appeal to the whole family. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes.


ANY stores around the country have stocked wares for shoppers in anticipation of Easter on Sunday. Store owners, who spoke to The Nation Shopping, said they will celebrate with friends and family. Mrs Elsie Unachukwu, a house wife, said: “Basically, my family and I shall go to church on Easter Sunday. Before then, I would have woken up very early to prepare delicious delicacies for them. Some of our family friends will come around too. I have been buying things little by little. Tomorrow, I will do the final shopping for perishable items”. Mrs Unachukwu’s submission was corroborated by many. While the period is for the commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the saviour of the world, many use it to entertain them-

selves. Many use it to go on a brief holiday. Entertainers also organise shows for people to have fun. Some also give out gifts, though not as much as is done during the Yuletide. Among suitable gifts for the season are personalised house wares that would be appreciated by the family. Gifts such as dishwashers, microwave, ceramic coffee mug, dishwashers, dish towel, ceramic plates and tea sets and dinner wares, among others, would be happily received by any family who receives them. To add an Easter flavour to it, it could be personalised with Easter symbols. Majority in western countries are shopping for Easter bunnies, baskets and eggs in lieu of the Easter celebration. A few people in the country also practise the Easter egg tradition. If you are among this class of peo-

• Personalised mug

ple, you might find gifts, such as bunny toilet lid cover, egg shaped lotion soap dispenser and Easter egg centre piece. Meanwhile, on Easter Monday, the First Family of the United States will host the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme is

• Personalised plate

“Let’s go, let’s play, let’s move”. More than 35,000 people will be joining Barrack Obama and his wife, Michelle on the South Lawn for games, stories and the traditional egg roll. In addition to all the fun and games, the day’s activities, which will in-

clude sports courts and cooking demonstrations, will help educate families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines, which are key pillars of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s move! Initiative.

Creative Easter for kids To make the Easter holiday worthwhile for your kids, you could treat them to creative crafts, writes JANICE NKOLI IFEME.


ANDICRAFTS are good for kids and they enjoy making them, if wellguided. Many schools now add hand made crafts to their curriculum.As you watch your children grow and learn, one of the greatest joys is seeing their creativity blossom. Children are naturally creative. They learn by seeing, and exploring. They master difficult concepts by recreating them at a child’s scale (a laundry basket becomes a spaceship hurtling through space, for example, or a stack of blocks becomes the world’s tallest skyscraper). If you give them plenty of opportunities to express themselves through art, they will have a natural outlet for all their creative energy. To encourage their creative growth and development, you should establish an environment that helps foster artistic expression. With Easter symbols such as the Easter bunny and eggs, the season offers an opportunity to stimulate your child’s creative talent and imagination with fun crafts of bunnies and eggs. For instance, you

• Easter dish towel

could guide them through making crafts like an Easter egg cardboard gift box or chocolate gift pack. Check your kitchen cupboards for the ingredients for some play dough. Favourite materials are common household items such as cereal boxes, paper and plastic bags, milk cartons, newspapers and egg cartons. Brown paper lunch bags make great crafting material; puppets, book covers, paper chains and more. You can even cook up a recipe of paper mache paste and have a blast tearing yesterday’s newspaper and create a piggy bank where your kids can stash their allowances. Paper plates become masks, purses, or funny animals. There are novel ideas for cards, gifts, decorations and accessories, attractive ways to jazz up a T, shirt or create a costume, and delicious recipes for fancy cakes and other edible treats. Keep art supplies accessible: Do not lock them away in a closet; keep them within reach in an area where your children can use them when they are inspired.

• Hand crocheted humpty dumpty

Have them help you pick out a bright organiser to store their art materials, and let them help you decide where the supplies should go. Stock up on the basics: You do

• Easter bunny cookie jar

• Little mice in a box

not need to go out and buy all of the latest paints or the craziest invisible markers that only write on black paper. You only need the basics: some plain white paper, construction paper, crayons, mark-

• Hand crafted rabbit

ers, kids’ scissors, paint and glue. From time to time, you could supplement with extras, such as glitter, sequins, yarn, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, clay, or even scraps of fabric to glue or stitch together.




Guinness to spend $20m on safe water project


UINNESS Nigeria Plc has celebrated World Water Day with the inauguration of a mini waterworks comprising boreholes, overhead storage tanks, water treatment plant and reticulation network in its ‘Water of Life’ project at Jebba, Kwara State. Speaking at the inauguration, the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by the Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr Abubakar Garba-Idris, praised Guinness Nigeria Plc for meeting the need of rural communities through sustainable potable water supply. “Guinness Nigeria’s kind gesture will to a great extent improve the significant ‘water gap’ visible in the lives of the inhabitants of Jebba”, he said. According to Ahmed, the problem caused by drinking unsafe water is so enormous that government alone cannot solve it. He urged other corporate and nongovernmental organisations to emulate Guinness’ gesture in improving the welfare of Nigerians. “To succeed in the socio-economic development of Nigeria, the private sector and government must work together,” he said. Mike Onuoha, Head, Public Policy, Guinness Nigeria, who handed the facility to the community, explained that the company’s determination to provide potable water to communities across Nigeria is one of its principal objectives. “Clean potable water is of immense importance to the workings of the human body and healthy living as it plays key role in the prevention of diseases,” he stated.

The event was attended by the Oba of Jebba, Oba Alhaji Abuldkadir Alabi Adebara and indigenes of the community as well as directors from Kwara State Ministry of Water Resources and the Moro council chairman. Oba Adebara said the facility has met the needs of the people. Oba Adebara stated that residents of Jebba have, in recent times, suffered water scarcity. He urged nongovernmental organisations, to emulate the good gesture of Guinness Nigeria in providing social amenities that will improve the livelihood of Nigerians, especially those in rural areas. Ngozi Ife Anene, Corporate Communications Manager, Guinness Nigeria, said the Water of Life project is part of the company’s contribution to resolving the global concern of accessibility to safe water in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals to “halve the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015”. Other communities that have benefitted from the Guinness Water of Life project are Ekiti, Oyo, Abia, Anambra, Benue, Ondo, and Edo. Guinness Nigeria has signed a partnership deal with other organisations to launch Safe Water for Africa (SWA). The partnership aims to invest over $20 million to provide sustainable access to safe drinking water for five million people by 2015, beginning with 43 communities and 430,000 beneficiaries in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia this year.

Cannes Lions unveils jury list


EMBERS of four additional juries for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, taking place from June 17 to 23, have been announced. The juries are: Creative Effectiveness, Design, Film and PR Lions. “Both as a collective and as individuals, these jury members play a vital and integral part at Cannes Lions as they set the global benchmark for the future of creative communications. They have all been chosen based on their award winning contributions to the industry and it’s an honour to be able to work with them at the upcoming Festival,” comments Terry Savage, Chairman of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Each of the juries will be chaired by their own jury president with David Jones, Global Chief Executive Officer, Havas & Euro RSCG Worldwide heading up the Creative Effectiveness Lions jury; Bruce Duckworth, Creative Director, Turner Duckworth leading the De-

sign Lions Jury; Khai Meng Tham, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather presiding over the Film Lions Jury, and Gail Heimann, Global Vice-Chair, Weber Shandwick heading up the PR Lions Jury. The International Festival of Creativity, also known as Cannes Lions, is the world’s leading celebration of creativity in communications. Founded in 1954, the Festival takes place every June in Cannes, France. As the most prestigious international yearly advertising and communications awards, over 28,800 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy honouring the most creative Film, Print, Outdoor, Interactive, Radio, Design, Promo & Activation, Film Craft, Mobile, Branded Content & Entertainment and Integrated advertising, as well as the best Media, Direct, PR, Titanium and Creative Effectiveness ideas.

• From left: Najite El-David, the evicted Nigerian Idol contestant being appreciated by Mrs. Patricia OdiaIletogun, Marketing Manager, Key Accounts, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, at the eviction party, in her honour.


Students endorse La Casera

HE Students Union Government of universities, polytechnics and colleges of education have hailed the ongoing La Casera Thrill Trail Campus Activation as one of its kind for the buzz, fun and excitement created on their campuses. The La Casera Thrill Trail Activation Drive, which was flagged off in Lagos in February has covered 10 cities across the Southwest and Southsouth, berthing at various touch points such as motor parks, shopping malls, markets, and campuses to engage and excite


freshment to tea consumption in the country. “Consumers are becoming more health conscious and rightly so. The new offerings are expected to provide the secondary need state requirement of fun, excitement and refreshment. Further to that, with our new offerings, we are treating the consumers to a thrilling world of choices,” he added. In the Top Tea tradition, the new

Management and Technology, IMT and Enugu State University of Technology both in Enugu; Cross River University of Technology, Calabar; and River State University of Science & Technology, Port Harcourt. In commendation of the La Casera Thrill Trail, Amadi Godswill, SUG President of River State University of Science & Technology, hailed The La Casera Company for its milestone in the carbonated soft drink market and its knack for consumer engagement.

NIMC urges banks to support national ID project


O ensure the smooth execution of some of its mandates, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has appealed to banks to support the two concessionaires engaged to serve as the Front End Partners (FEPs) to the project. NIMC engaged two consortia, Chams and Onesecurecard in July, 2010 to handle the project. Its Director-General, Mr Chris Onyemenam, who made the call at the second International Conference on Due Diligence organised by the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCCOBIN), lamented that after 15 months of signing the agreement, the consortia have been unable to raise the funds to execute their

New Top Tea variants to hit market soon

ROMASIDOR Nigeria Limited is set to launch new variants of its Top Tea brand into the market. They are expected to stimulate further interest in tea drinking in the country. Kachi Onubogu, Marketing Director of the company, said the new variants were being introduced to offer consumers different choices and also add fun, excitement and re-

consumers to create awareness for its newly launched ICE FEEL bottle and assure consumers of the distinctive taste of the La Casera Apple Flavor. On the Campus Activation Drive, the trail berthed at several campuses such as the University of Ibadan; The Polytechnic, Ibadan; Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe; Federal University of Technology, Akure; Adeyemi College of Eucation, Ondo; Federal Polytechnic, Auchi; University of Benin, and College of Education, Ekiadolo both in Benin-City; Institute of

variants will offer consumers quick infusion and high quality brew. Other key attributes are exciting flavour options, convenience, good taste and aroma. Top Tea was launched in April 1998 to satisfy consumers’ demand for high quality and high infusion in teas. In 2009, Promasidor Nigeria repositioned the brand with both communication and packaging redesign support.

mandates. Subject to the provisions of the agreement, the consortia are responsible for, and bear the financial and other risks in relation to, the design, financing, construction, completion, commissioning, maintenance, operation, management and development of the works and the registration centres for the purpose of the national ID project. He explained that the concessionaires are entitled during the

concession period to manage and operate the assets and collect and retain such proportion of the revenues that accrue from the use of the data acquired and stored in the National Identity Database (NID) for personal identity verification services as parties may, from time to time agree, and such other authorised business as may from time to time be specified by the grantor subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement.

Firm rewards trade partners


HE makers of solar lantern, d.light, in conjunction with its trade partner, Primlaks Limited, has rewarded its dealers in Nigeria. The dealers were presented with gifts worth millions of naira at the yearly dealer forum in Lagos. The forum was attended by the Business Development Manager for West Africa, Mr Emeka Nkpa; Head of Marketing, Primlaks, Mrs. Funke Akinloye; Head of Sales Mr Gbenga Johnson as well as brand activators and top dealers from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Owerri, Aba, Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Delta and Enugu. Speaking at the forum, Nkpa said “as a business we have deep insight into the importance of bonding and appreciating our dealers as they form the bedrock of our business expansion

and sustainability.” He added: “We are here today to dialogue and reward everybody that has contributed to the business in the last one year. It is also our wish to get feedback on how we can promote the business in the new financial year.” Johnson, while reviewing the trade performance for last year, said reward for performance and excellence is to encourage stake holding which will push growth and development for the company and its trade partners. He said the firm is committed to the provision of capacity building, trade intervention, appointment of more distributors, grant of credit facilities, developing a robust brand activation scheme and training of distributors. It will participate in trade fairs to promote the business, he added.



Winning with Quickteller

Maltina toasts consumers with new promo


RANDS are noted worldwide for engaging in reward processes to garner loyalty, some offer substantial cash rewards to lucky consumers for their loyal patronage, while others creatively skew the pricing of their goods and services to attract more patronage or retain loyal customers. Yet, others offer below-the-line shows and activations coupled with raffle draws designed to both create fun and reward customers who had stayed with their brands through the year. If properly and honestly implemented, consumer reward activations can be blended with a reward program to create and retain loyal customers’ base for a brand. The benefits of such a blend are multifarious for the rewarding company and diverse for the consumers. For the consumers, there is first the joy in participation. On another level, there is the pride for them in emerging victorious, especially in a promotion that involves a raffle draw. The consumer of products also enjoys the feel-good effect of being appreciated by a company with which it has always had an impersonal relationship over time. When Maltina, the foremost malt brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc crafted the popular Maltina Dance All (MDA), a unique dance reality show that encapsulates the full participation of all members of the family, most analysts felt that was the peak in the brands ability to create a platform that can project her goal of sharing happiness, and promoting family values and bonding. However, the brand’s latest step which is a unique National Consumer Promotion (NCP) tagged “Maltina Sharing Happiness Promo” where five lucky Nigerians and their families would witness a radical turnaround in their fortune, shows the creative ingenuity and capacity of mega brand Maltina to up the ante from any angle. Competitors can only ignore this frontline home brewed non-alcoholic malt drink at their peril. In line with Maltina’s pay-off line “Sharing happiness”, this new promo is riding on the wings of a brand proposition of five brand new exotic homes at the high brow Lekki-Ajah axis of Lagos, and other exciting prizes which the brand intends to touch the lives of Nigerians in a way no malt drink has ever done in Nigeria. Putting the cards on the table at a recent press briefing at the company’s premises, Corporate Affairs Adviser,Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Yusuf Ageni, revealed that the huge success of the 2011 re-launch of Maltina with a new packaging upgrade, new communication and revised positioning had a positive impact on the brand’s volume, market share and overall equity which also rubbed off on the consumers who also shared in the good fortune, smiling home with fantastic prizes. Ageni added that “the success of 2011 and in response to the yearnings of our consumers, the Maltina brand has concluded plans to reward consumers this year with a national consumer promotion, a promotion which size and scale has never been done before in the history of non-alcoholic malt drinks in Nigeria.” Outlining the mechanics of the promo which will run from April 2 to May 25, 2012, the corporate affairs adviser said it “will be crown cork-based. There will be two categories of winning crown corks-‘instant winning crown corks’ and ‘alphabet code crown corks’. For the ‘instant winning crown corks’ whatever is seen under the crown cork is what the consumer gets instantly! The prizes are shown under the crown corks and prizes can be redeemed at any of our 1,200 redemption centres located across Nigeria.” The instant prizes include N1 million, N100, 000, which will come in form of a Maltina branded ATM card and other brand memorabilia which include wrist watches, millions of free drinks and others. The second category he outlined is the Alphabet code combination crown corks which would win the grand prize of a Luxury Home. It would consist of the following letters; S – M – I – L- E. “In order to win the grand prize,” according to Ageni, “a consumer is expected

to collect a combination of crown corks that spell the word S-M-I-L-E. Maltina shall be giving out a total of 5 houses. Under the letter ‘M’ crown corks; there will be special differentiated alphanumeric codes. These codes qualify consumers for weekly raffle draws. The 5 houses will be given out in three weekly raffle draws as follows: 1st Raffle- 2 houses, 2nd Raffle- 2 houses, 3rd Raffle- 1 house.” He reiterated that holders of the raffle draw crown corks can enter the raffle draws by either sending their code, name, sex, age and address (address should include state) to 30380 or going to any of the 1,200 redemption centres to register their names and contact details. “Holders of the S-M-I-LE crown corks will be expected to keep them as the ultimate proof of ownership. The SMS will work with all major telecoms operators.” Ageni, who was represented by Mr. Edem Vindah Media and Public Affairs Manager, Nigerian Breweries, reminded the gentlemen of the press that Nigeria “has recorded several milestones in its history, this year and more importantly today, we will all be part of making history as we witness the Maltina brand reward its loyal consumers with five brand new houses and amazing cash and consolation prizes for consuming the rich, creamy, tasty nations no 1. Malt drink- Maltina.” Also, being a responsible corporate citizen, Maltina has reiterated her support towards Federal Government’s drive toward a cashless society. The non-alcoholic beverage drink has reflected this in the pattern in which cash rewards will be given out to winners of the promo, the first brand in the malt sector to be doing this. The brand’s long list of exciting gifts as rewards for consumers, have in place stipulated branded Automated Tellers Machine-ATM cards that will contain the amountwinners take home. The cash categories slated for this year’s promotion are, N1, 000,000 X 5 cash in (Maltina branded ATM cards), N100, 000 X 15 cash in (Maltina branded ATM cards), N5, 000 X 4,000 cash in (Maltina branded ATM cards) all in compliance with the cashless policy. According to Tokunbo Adodo, Marketing Manager, Non-Alcoholic Drinks, who fielded questions from journalists at the press conference to flag-off the campaign at the company’s headquarters in Lagos, stated that the choice of employing the use of ATM cards were hinged on the CBN’s directive of cashless policy and safety. “The reason this ATM method was adopted is to ensure that we as a responsible organisation comply with the CBN’s directives of a cashless society, which in a way allows the winners to withdraw conveniently at anytime they choose. Also to ensure that cash winnings like others gifts are safely protected.” This promo, which is arguably the first of its kind to ever happen in the history of Nigeria, is setting the pace not only in the type of rewards, but the first to comply with the Federal Government’s directive on the issue of the amount of cash that flows around even as it has been shifted to January 2013. As a result of a successful outing in 2010, Maltina was named “Brand of the Year” by the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN). Apart from this, Mr Idorenyin Enang, then President of ADVAN, said the awards were for well-deserved brands that have over the years remained fresh. He said campaigns that won this year (2010) must have impacted positively across the world as well as have cultural acceptability as it relates to Nigeria “especially in use of the media.” Maltina was also endorsed by the Nutrition Society of Nigeria. Since it hit the Nigerian market in 1976, Maltina has consistently satisfied its consumers with high quality natural malt drink, fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. It is the first and only malt drink officially endorsed by the Nutrition Society Nigeria. This provides Nigerians the vitality and superior nourishment necessary for their daily activities - including those special fun moments shared with friends and loved ones.


O serve their customers better major telecoms companies, cable TV operators and state governments have seized the opportunity offered by Quickteller platform, which allows service providers to give simple and convenient way of rendering better services to customers and citizens effortlessly through this platform. Quickteller is the Interswitch value added service platform that provides airtime recharge, utility bill payment and payment for goods and services across ATMs, PoS and Online at Giving the breakdown of the top rated service providers that have joined the platform since inception in 2009, Group Chief Marketing Officer of Interswitch, Mrs. Tito Adeniyi-Aderoju, said the list of service providers and billers cut across different segments of the economy including telecommunication, banking, aviation, entertainment and oil and gas among others. She explained that billers are interested in making life easier for their customers by providing them with payment channels that are convenient to use. According to her, leading cable TV operators in Nigeria including DSTV, HiTV and myTV are leveraging the advantage proffered by the Quickteller platform to ensure their customers can pay their subscriptions and get immediate value. Customers paying through ATMs or online at are connected immediately payments are made using the Quickteller platform. Two major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) IPNX and Swift Network are also

on the platform. Other corporate entities that have hooked up to the Quickteller platform are UBAMetropolitan, GTAssurance, Aero Contractors and several NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) including Freedom Foundation and Red Cross Society of Nigeria, who are all making it easier for their customers to make payments for goods and services. Various state governments are also leveraging the Quickteller platform for collections of various taxes and levies from corporate organisations and individuals within their states. She further stated that Mobile Network Operators such as MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat, are offering their consumers value-added services using the Quickteller platform. With Quickteller, instead of getting a paper printout with the recharge PIN, a subscriber’s mobile phone can instantly be credited with the appropriate amount within a few seconds of payment, making it easy to send airtime to family and friends as there is no need to scratch, it reduces errors of texting the pin and saves time. Subscribers using the Quickteller platform can load any amount of airtime from as low as N50 to N3,000 depending on the mobile network or channel used. It is a win-win situation for billing organisations she said, as they can view and verify all payments made from the comfort of their offices whilst giving instant value to customers. To access the service, customers can use their Verve and MasterCard Verve debit cards online at and anywhere they see the Quickteller sign at the ATMs.

‘With Quickteller, instead of getting a paper printout with the recharge PIN, a subscriber’s mobile phone can instantly be credited with the appropriate amount within a few seconds of payment, making it easy to send airtime to family and friends as there is no need to scratch, it reduces errors of texting the pin and saves time. Subscribers using the Quickteller platform can load any amount of airtime from as low as N50 to N3,000 depending on the mobile network or channel used’

From left: Eresanara Oluwatoyin Nigeria, consultant to NobleLink Energy; Ethel Rugba Alaka, President/CEO, NobleLink Energy and Laura Oloyede, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, Cutler Ogilvy Public Relations, during NobleLink Energy briefing in Lagos

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, , e-mail: © All rights reserved.




Niger Deltans rise for their man in Lagos They stormed Lagos in their numbers. They came all the way from the Niger Delta to honour one of their own, Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Matters, who was decorated as Maritime Man of the Year 2011, last Friday. KELVIN OSA-OKUNBOR was there.

•Chief Clark (left) presenting a plaque to Kuku

•Mrs Briggs flanked by Dokubo (left) and Ateke Tom


E proved that his appointment was not a fluke. The calibre of people at his investiture as Maritime Man of the Year 2011 showed that he is on the ground back home in the Niger Delta.Kingsley Kuku, the president’s Special Adviser on Niger Delta Matters, stood tall last Friday in Lagos as his people rallied round him as he received the award. The irrepressible Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark was there, so also were former Niger Delta militants leaders like Asari Dokunbo, Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tom Polo) and Ateke Tom. Despite the distance, they all travelled to Lagos to show solidarity with Kuku, who exuded joy in seeing them. The hall of the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos venue of the event, was filled with elders, leaders of thoughts, activists, youth crusaders, players in the maritime sector and lawmakers. The former militants were also in attendance to a honour man that has piloted the amnesty programme, which they described as a lofty initiative by government. It was a reunion of sorts for many stakeholders and leaders of thought in the Niger Delta region. Comedians and musicians lit up the night with jokes and songs. Guests exuded joy throughout the night. Setting the tone for Kuku’s investiture, Asu Beks, the Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Media Limited, organisers of the award, described the presidential aide as one of the uncommon persons that have shaped the lives of youths from the Niger Delta region, especially in maritime and related fields. The choice of Kuku for the award, Beks said, did not come as an accident. “At the Presidential Amnesty Programme he is overseeing, he has contributed immensely to building local capacity for the maritime sector, as more youths from the region are being trained in related fields. “Using the amnesty platform, he has put the interest of the maritime industry first in his order of preference in the training of ex- Niger Delta agitators,” he said. It is not a surprise, Beks said, that the amnesty office had trained 3,000 youths in marine-related fields as at January in institutions within and outside Nigeria. “This, no doubt, is a big boost to

•Prof Clark (left) and Dr Owola Sodipo

•Capt. Adejimi Adu (left) and Mr Kabowei Akamande

•Alhaji Suleiman Hassan (left) and Mr Andrew Pinneh

•Hon and Mrs Abayomi Kiyomi

•Col. Godfrey Okoro (left) and Mr Newton Owi

•Mr Stephen Eche (left) and Mr Geoffrey Kwale

the manpower base of the nation’s maritime sector,” he said Clark congratulated Kuku on the award expressing delight over his rise. He described Kuku as a shining example among the young men propagating the region’s cause. Clark said it would be improper for anybody to criticise Kuku on the

“Casualties”, as his favourite. He described the award as a tonic that will spur him to do more for the region. “Today is not the celebration of an award. It is merely a reminder to the fact that Nigerians are keenly watching what we are doing. It is a reflection of the job that God has used the President

amnesty programme, adding that it is wrong for anybody to challenge the government for giving attention to the Niger Delta. The arrival of foremost poet, Prof John Pepper-Clark, enlivened the hall. Kuku saluted the prof’s intellectual sagacity with the numerous poems he has written describing the


to achieve for Niger Delta people and the entire country, to stabilise the security of the region, through the amnesty programme, he said. Among those in attendance were Ebikabowei Victor-Ben (a.k.a Boyloaf) and Bibopreye Ajube.




‘She’s more than a jewel’ What do you give your wife when she turns 50? A lavish party, you would say. Bayo Onanuga, Managing Director/ Editor-in-chief of The News, went beyond throwing a party for his wife, Oluwatoyin Olamide. He also serenaded her, throwing guests into ecstasy. NNEKA NWANERI reports.

•The celebrator (second left) assisted by her husband Onanuga (left) and other members of the Onanuga family


ITH his serious looks, no one will ever believe that Bayo Onanuga, the Managing Director Editor-in-chief of The News has a soft side to him. Last Wednesday, he displayed that soft side when he sang a song for his wife of 23 years. It was at the 50th birthday of the woman who has walked beside him for over two decades. The song was to renew his love for Oluwatoyin Olamide whom he described as being more than a jewel. It was a show of his appreciation for a woman who has been with him through thick and thin. As he burst into the love song, the guests mostly journalists joined him in singing the evergreen Haruna Ishola’s song: Bobinrin ba dara ti ko ni wa mi o le fi one kobo fe Ti obinrin ba lewa To tun niwa mo le fi one thousand fe He also spoke of how he met his wife, saying: “The day I saw her was the day I married her. I knew she was my wife the minute I set my eyes on her and for 23 years since May 1989, she has been an amazing woman who never ceases to amaze me daily. Throughout my trying times in Concord newspaper, she has been very supportive. She is what every man needs in a woman and I cherish the day I met her. She is my greatest critic when I write. She is more than a jewel if there is anything more to be called and I thank God and her parents for giving her to me”. The Events hall of the Lagos Television (LTV 8) Agindingbi, Ikeja, Lagos was filled. Though the event held on a working day, guests still turned out in large numbers. Purple was the colour picked for the event and most of the guests were decked out in it. The reception was preceded by a church service in the same hall. There was dance and music. The celebrator could not contain her joy as she moved round, acknowledging cheers and exchanging pleasantries with guests. Many also posed for photographs with the ‘birthday girl’ and the paparazzi kept clicking their cameras. She told The Nation that she is grateful to God for bringing her husband her way. She described him as a great supporter. “My husband is priceless”, she said, beaming with smiles.

•From left: Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Otunba Biodun Onanuga and Senator Babafemi Ojudu

•Senator Lekan Mustapha (left) and Uncle Sam Amuka-Pemu

•From left: Seye Kehinde; Mayor Akinpelu and Chris Mammah

•Otunba Kunle Balogun (left) and Mr Biodun Rufai

•From left: Mr Gbenga Aroteun; Dr Tunji Dawodu and Dr Toyin Okunobi

•Alhaji Bolarinwa (left) and Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA





Reward for hard work The Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria, (CIPPON) on Tuesday held its awards and dinner at the Airport Hotel Ikeja, writes NNEKA NWANERI

•From left: Mr Lawal presenting a plaque to Mr Julius Aina; Otunba Solarin presenting a plaque to Mr Charles Adaramonye

•The celebrator Prof Akeusola cutting the cake

50 toasts for teachers’ teacher

It was a gathering of academics as the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED) Provost Prof Dhikrullah Akeusola celebrated his 50th birthday. MEDINAT KANABE was at the school’s auditorium, Epe, Lagos, venue of the event.


•Mr Fashanu (left) and Hon Surakat


T was the maiden edition of the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) awards. CIPPON rewarded some members for their solidarity and achievements in the printing industry. . As the awardees stepped out to receive their plaques, they gleamed with joy. They had invested reasonable time and energy on the development of the institute and it was payback time. One of those who bagged awards from the institute was the Senior Manager, Human Resources, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting, Mohammed Datti, whose birthday coincided with the awards. Datti was born into a lineage of printers and has been in the business for over 32 years. Guests sang him the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. CIPPON’s President/Chairman of its council, Mr Wahab Muhammed Lawal, said the selfless services of the 29 earned them their awards. He recalled how millions of naira is lost yearly to the flight of printing jobs to other

‘It is a peculiar profession only for those who are ready to go through the mills’


countries. “It is a peculiar profession only for those who are ready to go through the mills,” he said. He said the institute is putting the necessary machinery to licence printers throughout the country. Otunba Solarin Lawal, the President of Rotary Club of Ikeja, who chaired the occasion, said though he is not a printer, he set up a printing press 40 years ago to publish a book he wrote. Lawal encouraged the institute to build capacities in the printing industry. Special guest of honour and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Evan Brothers Publishing, Ibadan, Mr Gbenro Adegbola, was represented by Mrs Funmilayo Ayorinde. Adegbola congratulated the awardees. As publishers, he said, printers are the end result and they are ready to partner to ensure good quality printing and put an end to piracy in the business. He expressed optimism that there are still quality printers in the country. He lauded the council members, whose effort allowed for the gathering. A N20 million fund raiser for its Practical Training Centre was launched, after which there was presentation of licences to printing houses. Among guests at the event were the Minister for Information, Hon Labran Maku, represented by Mr Sunday Baba Adejo of the Ministry for Information; the Chairman of Ibeju-Lekki Local Government, Hon Kemi Surakat; Adams Audu represented the Lagos State Commissioner of Police; and Hon Babatunde Isiaq.

OW can one explain a party meant for 50 invited ending up with over 500 guests? The Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED) Provost, Prof Dhikrullah Oluranti Akeusola, was surprised when he saw dignitaries walking in in such a large number. At a point, he was speechless, wondering how many came about the knowledge of the event. He could not but beat the emotion by embracing the "uninvited guests". It was at his 50th birthday and the school's auditorium was full to the brim. The party started 12pm with prayers. The celebrator was called to the stage. He sat there alone. There was a cultural dance from the Cultural and Creative Arts Department of the institution, music and dance from the MOCPED International Nursery and Primary School and French presentation from MOCPED international Secondary school. Afterwards, the celebrator's citation was read by Dr Oluwakemisola Idowu-Osho. Highpoint of the ceremony was a book launch. The book From Zero to Hero was written by the quartet of Dr Ayo Yusuff, Toyin Lamide; Dr J.O.S. Banjo and Tayo Mabeweje. The 183-page book chronicles the life of Akeusola. Yusuff was called upon to read the cognomen (Oriki) of the celebrator which he translated to English. Lagos State University (LASU) Vice-Chancellor Prof John Obafunwa congratulated the celebrator on impacting positively on many people. Obafunwa supervised the launching of the book. Encomiums were poured on the 'birthday boy'. Former Lagos State Commissioner for Education Prof Olakunle Lawal described him as an epitome of tenancy and determination. Lawal said the celebrator has continued to be a rolling stone that has been gather-

ing many mosses. Prof Tunde Ajiboye from the European Languages Department, University of Ilorin marvelled at the celebrator's scholarship. “For those of us who have had the opportunity of seeing Olu grow, perhaps nothing can be more gratifying than seeing him become so rapidly a big fish in his field," he said. Former Dean School of Science, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Mr Adetunji Oloyede, described Akeusola as hardworking, creative, energetic with sound initiative and managerial skills. “I wish you a happy birthday and God's continued guidance, “ he said. National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Deputy Registrar John Ubaji wished him best of good things. “I worked very closely with Akeusola when he was the Dean of School of Arts and Social Sciences in NOUN. One thing that struck me about him was that there was something different about him. He makes things happen around his environment. He is a man of action. With him there is no dull moment. I am proud to be associated with him as he celebrates his 50th birthday," he stated. The elated ‘birthday boy’ said he is very happy, fulfilled and highly delighted. He said determination led him to where he is today. "I didn't work for up to 21 years before I became a Professor of French and Comparative Grammar. If you are determined and believe in yourself, you will make it," he told The Nation. "My greatest regret was that I was relying too much on my father's wealth. The comfort given to me at a tender age made me believe that I could get anything at anytime. When I lost my father in 1983, I had to buckle up, “he added. According to him, the book was a surprise from his friends. He urged youths to always work hard and not rely on their parents to become something in life.





The Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Ikorodu last Sunday concluded its 18th Annual Synod with a thanksgiving service at the church premises; the occasion coincided with the Palm Sunday. AMIDU ARIJE reports

In praise to God T


HE Synod is a yearly gathering of the Com-

municants (members) of the Methodist Church Nigeria to assess and make decision on the way forward for the coming year. It started on Wednesday, March 28, this year with a Holy Communion while the opening ceremony came up the following day at the church’s premises. Basking in the euphoria of the success of the synod, they gathered on Sunday to give thanks to God. Their guests trouped in as early as possible to rejoice with the Diocese for the thanksgiving and Palm Sunday. Top on the A list of guests on the occasion is the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Salawudeen Oyefusi, his wife, Olori Muyibat; Lisa of IKorodu Chief Zacheus Odusog; Odofin of Ikorodu Chief Kabiru Shotobi; Chief Mufutau Odusoga; Noah Jaiyesimi; Falola Odubote; Mr Tunde Ajumobi among others. The event was anchored by



OMORROW, the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel


Not minding the situation of the country, he stressed that Nigerians should not be despair of the blessings of God. Oba Oyefusi sang praise songs when he was asked to give a talk at the service. The monarch enjoined the people to move nearer to God. “My advice for our people is that they should move closer to God so that God will continue to hear and accept our prayers,” he said. Revd Odejayi said the theme of the Synod was to bring hope to Nigerians in spite of the many challenges facing the country. “There is hunger in the land; millions of people are in extreme poverty; many are dying every day from malnu-


ODAY, former Miss Olawunmi Olomola and her beau Temitope Fadun will be joined in holy matrimony at the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos. The reception will follow immediately at the AdeyemiBero Auditorium, Lagos State Secretariat Alausa, Lagos.

•From left: Bishop Odejayi; Oba Oyefusi and Olori Muyibat

the Bishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Ikorodu, Revd Olumuyiwa Odejayi. Revd Odejayi’s melodious songs and dance thrilled the church members as they danced to different songs in appreciation to God’s favour on them. He said the congregation must thank God for seeing them through the event successfully and having witnessed the end of another year. The Bishop of Ijebu Revd Adegbemi Adewale delivered sermon at the event. He urged the congregation not to lose hope of God’s blessings on them as He had promised to always do new thing in their lives.

trition, lack of adequate medical care and many are destroyed daily by the insurgent of Boko Haram,” he said. He, however, stated that there is hope for the nation. “I want to assure us that God has not and will not and will never abandon this nation, so your trust in Him will not be in vain,” he said. In his message to the Synod, the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Rev Sunday Makinde, lamented the increasing unemployment in the country in the country. “Unemployment of our young ones at all levels of education, in our country, has contributed largely to the danger of insecurity of life and properties in our nation,” he said.




OMORROW, Edo State Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will lead others to an award event organised by the Etunu Youth Association (EYA). The ceremony will hold at the Rocky Valley Hotel, Utua quarters, Igarra, Edo State. Other awardees are Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru; Hon Augustine Asi-


•Pastor Adefarasin


N Sunday, The House on the Rock will hold its Amazing Grace Service (A Special Communion Service) at the Eko Hotel Expo Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Pastor Paul Adefarasin will deliver the sermon while music will be supplied by The Chosen Generation.



ODAY, the remains of the Chief Executive Officer of Dinta Risk and Insurance B r o ke r L i m i t e d C hi ef Dede Ijere Ogwo will be laid to rest after a fun e r al s e r v i c e a t S t . Andrews Presbyterian Church, Abuo, Amogudu, Abiriba. A thanksgiving/outing service will also hold at the same church on Sunday.


Shana and Mr Karimu Maliki.


OMORROW, the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN) will hold its triennial conference. The event is billed for the association’s secretariat at Bola Kadiri Street, Shasha, off Oyegbemi Street, Alimosho, Lagos. The conference with the Theme: National integration in Nigeria: Islamic solution will be chaired by Senator Ganiyu Solomon. Lagos State University (LASU) Political Science lecturer, Abdur-Rahman Olalekan Olayiwola will deliver the lecture. Lagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, his Osun State counterpart Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu are expected at the event.


•ICDA Chairman Alhaji Olumide Olufowobi

Mr Oluwatosin Idowu and Mrs Olanike Idowu during their wedding

Eweta Uduaghan, will present the Staff of Office to the Ovie of UmiagwaAbraka Kingdom Air Vice-Marshall Lucky Ochuko Ararile at a coronation. The event will take place at the King’s Palace, Oria, Abraka, Delta State The ceremony will be followed by a thanksgiving service on Sunday at the First Baptist Church, Oria, Abraka, Delta State.


HE Imodi Community Development Association (ICDA)

will on Sunday hold its maiden conference at St. Mathew Church’s Recreation Hall, Imodi-Ijebu, Ogun State. The conference, which has the theme Community development: Challenges and repositioning of CDA in ImodiIjebu, will be chaired by the Trio of the Baba Ijo of St. Mathew Church, Chief Abiodun Talabi, Arowosadinni, Imodi-Ijebu Alhaji Ganiyu Mustapha and Chief Deji Adeleye.


OMORROW, the children of Otunba Morakinyo Hanson and the late Lateef Saka, Onikepo Omowunmi and Oluwasegun Ahmed, will marry at the Methodist Church, Opebi, Awuse Estate, Ikeja, Lagos. The reception follows immediately after at 10 Degrees Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.


SUN State House of Assembly Speaker Hon Najeem Salam, his deputy, Hon Akintunde, among others will be honoured by the Ansaru-ud- Deen Society of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter at its Annual Congress. The event will start today with a courtesy visit to the palace of the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyesosin; this will be followed by a special Jumah service at the society’s mosque. The congress is meant to discuss issues that will see to the progress of the society. Other guests on expected on


•Hon Salam

the occasion include Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, his wife Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola and Muslim organisations in the state.

•Compiled by Damilola Bamidele, Aminat Adesina and Abike Adegbulehin

"Bayern Munich are a quality team with excellent players. We (Real Madrid) expect to play a good game in Munich and resolve the tie at the Bernabeu and reach the final.” Friday, April 6, 2012



Bayern can accomplish anything •Badstuber


Aimar: Individual quality saw Chelsea through



We'll overcome Bayern Munich EAL Madrid defender Pepe believes that Los Blancos will be able to overcome Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League in order to book their ticket to the final. Jose Mourinho's men qualified for the final four by beating APOEL 8-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals to set up a date with their continental rivals from Germany. Pepe is expecting a difficult tie against the Bavarians, but is confident that his side can go all the way in Europe's elite club competition. "Bayern Munich are a quality team with excellent players. We expect to play a good game in Munich and resolve the tie at the Bernabeu and reach the final," Pepe was quoted as saying on the club's official website. The centre-back insisted that Madrid are not thinking too far ahead as they are solely focussing on La Liga for now. "We only talk about the match against Valencia because of how much will be at stake for us." Madrid defend a sixpoint lead over rivals Barcelona in the Primera Division.

ABLO Aimar has voiced his disappointment with Benfica's Champions League elimination as he believes that Chelsea's individual quality made the difference in their quarterfinal tie. The Portuguese side was beaten 2-1 at Stamford Bridge after losing the first leg 10 at home, but Aimar stressed that Benfica deserved better than two losses. "I think that we played our own game, and we did it very well. Some things didn't go for us and they had the individuals to see them through to the semifinals of the Champions League," Aimar said to "We're talking about a team [Chelsea] that have lots of great individuals. You don't get a big window of opportunity against them. In matches like this it's very hard. I thought we played a good game. We were coming off a very difficult defeat in the first game, but I •Aimar think we deserved to win." Benfica resumes domestic action on April 9 when it travels to Sporting Lisbon. The Benfica playmaker feels that the Premier League side's individual class made the difference in the quarterfinals but argued that the Portuguese giant deserved better.

Real Madrid defender Pepe looking forward to the two-legged UEFA Champions League semi-final clash between the Los Blancos and the Bavarians.

•Di Matteo

Di Matteo plots Barca upset


NTERIM Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is looking forward to pitting his wits against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals. The Blues secured progress to the last four on Wednesday night by seeing off Portuguese side Benfica 3-1 on aggregate. Chelsea boasted a 1-0 lead heading into the quarter-final second leg at Stamford Bridge and looked to be cruising through after Frank Lampard's first-half penalty was followed up by Maxi Pereira's 40thminute dismissal for two bookable offences. However, Benfica attacked after the break and forced a nervy ending when Javi Garcia nodded home five minutes from time. Raul Meireles netted in stoppage time to settle proceedings and set up a semi-final encounter with reigning champions Barcelona. "It will be exciting to play two games against probably one of the best teams in the world," Di Matteo said. We will find a strategy that will suit our players and our team to face Barcelona. "I think it will be a combination [of playing to our strengths and attempting to cancel out their players]. They obviously have some individual players that are a big threat and very dangerous, but we also have to play our game and play to our strengths.”


OLGER Badstuber has suggested that Bayern Munich is more than capable of beating Real Madrid when the two teams lock horns in the Champions League semifinals. The Spanish giant secured passage to the last four with an 8-2 aggregate victory over APOEL on Wednesday night, while the Bavarians coasted past Marseille, beating the French side 4-0 over two legs. Jose Mourinho's side is widely regarded to be among the favourites for the competition, but Badstuber says his side has no reason to approach the game with fear. "From now on, anything is possible," the 23-year-old told Bild. "We can accomplish anything, really. It's all in our own hands. We'll have to invest a lot for that. "If we continue like we did over the past few weeks, I have a very good feeling." Despite standing on the brink of European glory, Badstuber urged his teammates to shift their focus back to domestic matters, starting with the Bavarian derby against Augsburg on Saturday. "We all know that the Bundesliga is the top priority," he said. "Everyone must be focused. Against Augsburg, it will be difficult. They're in a good run of form, and they're always willing to go the extra mile against Bayern. They'll be very eager." Jupp Heynckes' side is currently second in the Bundesliga, three points behind Borussia Dortmund with just six rounds to go. The 23-year-old believes that the Bavarians have no reason to fear Real Madrid on current form, but urged his teammates to focus on domestic matters in the mean time.


delighted with Madrid swansong A

P O E L F C midfielder Nuno Morais said there could have been no more fitting venue for the end of his team's European adventure than the Santiago Bernabéu where the Cypriot champions succumbed to tournament giants Real Madrid CF. Ivan Jovanovic's side knew before kick-off in the Spanish capital that they faced an onerous task trying to claw back a 3-0 first-leg deficit and the Liga leaders quickly moved out of sight in the tie by registering first-half goals through Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká. The visitors rallied after the restart, however, and despite conceding three more times, were happy to hit the target twice themselves thanks to Gustavo Manduca's fine finish and Esteban Solari's 82ndminute penalty. "It was fantastic playing

against Real Madrid, they are one of the best teams in the world," Morais told afterwards. "Obviously it was difficult but I think we gave a good impression of ourselves and we are happy with the journey we've had in the Champions League this season." APOEL's incredible foray into European football's elite competition began almost nine months ago away to Albanian side KS Skënderbeu in the second qualifying round. Then, after eliminating ŠK Slovan Bratislava and Wisla Kraków in further qualifiers, they became the first Cypriot team to reach the knockout stages having topped a group that contained FC Zenit St Petersburg, FC Porto and FC Shakhtar Donetsk. Olympique Lyonnais fell in the round of 16 before Madrid arrived in the last eight.





Following the March 24 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP that produced a new leadership, the newly elected helmsmen are giving indications of what to expect. Tuesday’s unexpected resignation of the chairman of the Board of Trustees and meetings held with the Southwest leadership have sent out signals of the executive’s priorities, reports Assistant Editor GBADE OGUNWALE.

PDP: Can Tukur chart new course? N

EWLY elected national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Bamanga Tukur may be courting controversy from his first day in office. Some stakeholders in the party have been kicking against certain persons perceived to be angling to become close aides to the chairman. The names of Alhaji Habu Fari and Mr. Kenny Martins who are being seen around Tukur lately have continued to generate controversy among the leaders. While some see Habu Fari as a member of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Martins is still associated with the infamous Police Equipment Fund baggage. Opponents of the duo insist that Tukur, who is known for his independent mindedness and frank disposition, may be weakening his defences were he to bring Fari and Martins on board. In his trade mark open mindedness, Tukur had advised President Goodluck Jonathan to focus on the economy rather than get himself enmeshed in politicking. Many viewed the statement as a bold attempt at putting things in the right perspective, saying that the President would be doing himself and the nation a world of good if he could heed the advice. A recent statement had quoted Tukur to have come down very hard on the various suspects in the Police Pension Fund scam. He reportedly commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecuting the suspects and vowed that the PDP would work together with the National Assembly to strengthen existing relevant legislations in that respect. Tukur had added that the party would soon undertake a multi dimensional engagement with the Federal Government with a view to broadening the dragnet of the anti-corruption crusade. “Our vision for greatness cannot be transformed into reality in the horizon of corruption. Corruption has eventuated a severe disjuncture between the promises of greatness and the virtual lots of the mass of our people. As part of our rebirth agenda which is in line with the transformation programme of the PDP led Federal Government therefore, the PDP is ready to orchestrate a change in the tapestry and tenor of the war on corruption”, the chairman added. A visit to the national headquarters of the party showed little to be going on. The chairman and his executive had reported in the secretariat immediately after the convention to formally take over and signal the commencement of a new era. Shortly thereafter, however, the officials chose to go on a break to enable the Christians celebrate the Easter festival with their families, while others could take a rest after the hectic campaign leading up to the convention. Who are these officials and what is to be expected of them?

Bamanga Tukur As the new national chairman, Tukur is coming in at a time that the Peoples Democratic Party

•Tukur flanked by Governor Murtala Nyako (left) and Governor Liyel Imoke during the convention.

(PDP) is in dire need of a principled leadership to pilot the affairs of the party. Tukur has made a name for himself as a reputable businessman and politician with appreciable grasp of the Nigerian political and business environment. He is expected to bring his wealth of experience to bear on running the party, particularly in terms of his political clout and his connections in the business world. As chairman of the African Business Roundtable, Tukur is generally presumed to be in a better position to guide the ruling party in the right direction in matters of political and economic policies as they affect the Nigerian people. With Tukur at the helm of affairs, many are wont to believe that the ruling party has been spared of garrison commanders and yes men who preceded him in office. They are firm in the conviction that Tukur would not be inclined to issuing threats to dissenting voices neither would he be answering “sir” to state governors. Strong willed and independent minded, the new chairman may turn out an asset to the ruling. But many fear that those who ensured his emergence as chairman might have different reasons other than the common good, for pushing his candidature through. Opinions are still divided as to whether his advanced age constitutes an asset or liability to the party. It is too early to tell.

Olagunsoye Oyinlola A connoisseur of the good life, this ex soldier cum politician had been on the right side of the power balance both as a soldier and a politician. A former military administrator in Lagos State and former Osun State civilian governor, Oyinlola can hardly be described as a political neophyte. Though he can be credited with the requisite experience to efficiently discharge

the duties of party scribe, his background and orientation in politics may stand in the way of disinterestedness when the chips are down. A politician of the conservative school, Oyinlola may not be willing to stick out his neck in a clash of interests between the party and the powers that be. With little pressure, the happy go lucky prince from Okuku may rather prevaricate than turn against the powers that brought him to office where the interests of the godfathers are at stake. He is more likely to play safe than to rock the boat. However, given his long standing tradition of loyalty to those in authority, Oyinlola may turn out a great asset to his mentors He is not likely to embark on any power tussle that could rob him of the good life. It is not yet clear whether his longstanding relationship with former Military President Ibrahim Babangida would affect his role as secretary with President Goodluck Jonathan as national leader.

Olisa Metuh This new national publicity secretary is a man of many parts. A young man and lawyer, Metuh is known to have always had a good relationship with the media. He is said to have a good disposition to the press and this could now serve him and the party in good stead. Olisa Metuh is not given to euphemism neither does he know how to call a spade by any other name. He is frank, blunt and down to earth in his dealings with both his political friends and foes. There are fears that the festering sore in his Anambra home may get in the way, but a combination of this former Southeast zonal chairman of the party and the national chairman could do the party some good..

Kema Chikwe She has acquired enough public

service experience as a former minister and ambassador. Chikwe’s emergence as women leader did not come to many as a surprise, given her exposure at the national level, even though there was stiff opposition from Imo State where many party members thought she had benefited enough from appointments. Her long years of loyalty to ex President Olusegun Obasanjo seem to have paid off. And this time around, she is taking up a less troublesome portfolio at the party level. She will be shielded from the scathing public criticisms that saw her being deployed from one federal ministry to the other under the Obasanjo Presidency. Like her predecessors in office, her major responsibility will be to mouth women empowerment and ensure adequate representation of women in public and political offices, either on conviction or as mere sloganeering.

Mbu: Ode to a trailblazer (A tribute by the Government of the State of Osun)


ARE were your feats when you emerged from a political vista called Nigeria. Decades after, yours have remained a reference point in trailblazing, at least, within this clime. Mathew Tawo Mbu, an Ambassador extraordinaire came to a final end on March 6, 2012. For about five decades, he remained in the consciousness of Nigeria and those watching her affairs globally. From a humble start as parliamentarian at the age of 23; graduating to become an Ambassador to the United Kingdom until 1959, Nigerians watched the gradual rise of a lawmaker, a nationalist, diplomat, lawyer and

politician who would remain a major player in the determination of the affairs of his fatherland. Since his return to Nigeria in 1960, his journey in public life had continued unabated. He served in different capacities ranging from Minister of Defence and Naval Affairs, member, Constituent Assembly which drafted the 1979 Constitution; Chairman of the Eastern Nigerian Public Service Commission; and in various other capacities that kept him in the minds of many Nigerians. As a politician, he exuded love for Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe though, Mbu later pitted his tent with the NPN after leaving the Nigerian Peoples Party, a party where he

served as the National Vice Chairman. Of course, during the military interregnum, Mbu had remained at the back bench only to come forward again when he was returned to his well-known turf, diplomacy in the 90s as the Foreign Affairs Minister during the short-lived term of Mr. Ernest Shonekan’s Interim National Government (ING). No doubt, he will be remembered for his various contributions both as a nationalist, lawmaker, diplomat, lawyer and a champion of the course of his people. History shall definitely remember Mbu as one of those who left indelible marks in their paths.




Orji, Ufomba renew rivalry in Abia Correspondent UGOCHUKWU EKE reports moves by Governor Theodore Orji to woo the people of Aba with the commissioning of projects, even as the war of words between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) continues. He spoke with key stakeholders in both parties.


BA was agog last Friday as the Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, commissioned the newly reconstructed UkwuMango road that had suffered neglect for 25 years. Speaking with journalists in Umuahia when he returned to the state after the PDP national convention in Abuja, Orji said that he was poised to change the face of the state. Orji who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, said Aba was dear to him and that it explained his decision to spend about N5 billion on giving the commercial city a facelift. He said that the commissioning of the Ukwu-Mango road would help increase economic activities in the market and the town, thus boosting internally generated revenue accruing to the state government. The governor said that from Friday, “I will be in Aba to commission some finished projects starting with the commissioning of the pedestrian bridge built at the entrance into the Abia Polytechnic for the safety of students of the institute”. He said that the idea of building the pedestrian bridge was conceptualized after seeing the number of students and those who go there to do one business or the other being killed by overspeeding vehicles virtually on daily basis. Orji said that after commissioning the pedestrian bridge the next project to be commissioned will be the Danfodio road by East Street, stressing that the road in question has never been tarred. The governor explained that the last project to be commissioned in Aba will be the old express road also leading to Ariaria market, while the next day, some of the roads in Umuahia like the Umukabia Ohuhu road and the Okwueyi road. The governor described the condemnation of his administration by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), as the ranting of a failed political party and its governorship candidate, stressing that their aim is to distract him, assuring that they will fail the same way they failed during the elections and at the tribunal. The frosty relationship between the governor and Aba people came up as Orji said he would continue to work for the whole people of the state without any form of discrimination. He said, “I am always pleased and excited to be in Enyimba city to meet with our citizens and you know that you are always on my mind, despite what seems to be an interminable ‘cat and mouse relationship’, you remain the primary concern of our government”. The governor noted that if previous administrations had done what they were supposed to do in the city and the entire state, the amount of funds being spent now would have been used for other things. “There is no amount of intimidation from any quarters that will make this administration to shy away from its responsibility to move the state forward. We are determined to do this difficult job, initiating original, prime projects and tackling the seemingly impossible ones”, the governor said. Orji explained that some of the projects being commissioned had been left unattended by former governments, “But we have done them with the mind to help expand the city, with the safety implicationsoften ignored by our people and also to maintain the aesthetic value of the

Niger State has the lowest national poverty rating, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics. In this interview, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo, sheds light on the concerted efforts that led to the feat. JIDE ORINTUNSIN reports.

How Niger State’ll conquer poverty



• Reagan

city”. He said that the projects he had commissioned would help in the vehicular and human movement and also assist in the development and fast flow of business activities in Ariaria market and other business concerns in the city, “This is just the beginning of the good things to come to the state in the next three years”. He said, “With these new projects we commissioned, we will soon begin to exploit the larger effects and gains, as well as begin to address all the access roads in Aba, even where restorations and reconstructions are already going on”. The governor during the commissioning ceremony said that with the commissioning of the projects at both Aba and Umuahia, that he wants to tell the opposition parties like APGA that they are not on ground to know what his government has been doing to uplift the standard of the state. The governor’s action has led to division in APGA. Emeka Nwachukwu, a chieftain of the party took exception to the actions of the governorship candidate of the party in the last general election, Reagan Ufomba. He warned Ufomba to desist from disparaging the person of Abia State governor, Theodore Orji and go back to the drawing board for the next election. Speaking with newsmen in Umuahia over the recent call by Ufomba asking the governor to resign, Nwachukwu said that the former governorship candidate of APGA is not the leader of the party in the state and cannot speak for it. Nwachukwu said that Ufomba lost at the governorship poll because he did not campaign during and before the election, adding that he should not blame his failure on anyone but himself. He said, “I am challenged and provoked by the vituperations and misrepresentation of facts and falsehood geared towards deceiving the people of Abia state, by Ufomba which has led to diversionary atmosphere in the state”. The APGA chieftain said that he ran to represent the people of Umuahia/Ikwuano federal constituency, and “I owe it as a duty to the constituency and indeed the entire state to put the record straight in the face of false allegations aimed at deceiving the people and distracting the government of the day”. Nwachukwu noted that Ufomba had ascribed to himself as the disciple of the late Dim Emeka Ojukwu, “when he has no affiliation to the late Igbo leader when he was alive,

Ndigbo are known to have respect for the dead, for their souls to rest in eternity, and so he should stop disturbing the spirit of the great Ojukwu”. He said that Ufomba joined the party barely three days to the party primaries and moved through the back door to purchase his ticket against the more credible candidates, “it is obvious that he was not capable to lead the party since he has no political clout, financial muscle to face a candidate like Governor Orji”. The APGA chieftain said, “Ufomba was the worst APGA governorship candidate among other candidates in the state during the last election, as he ran did not run a issue based campaign but was busy doing mudslinging”. Nwachukwu explained that from the campaign issues raised by Ufomba during his campaign that it was clear that he has no idea of what he wanted to do for the state, stressing that he was busy looking for the platform to sell the APGA party. He said that the party had been hijacked by evil forces in the state, pointing out that they can steal the body of the party and not the soul and that the evil forces had merely succeeded in killing it in the state. The acting council chairman of Isiala Ngwa North local government area, Onyeukwu Nwogu also joined the fray as he described the statements credited to Ufomba as unfortunate. He described the APGA candidate as a politician who has no base. Nwogu said that Ufomba has no moral ground to criticise the governor considering his antecedents. Nwogu expressed confidence in the performance of the governor and said that the people of Ntigha clan where Ufomba hails from and indeed the entire Isiala Ngwa North are happy with the landmark achievements of Governor Orji. A former council chairman, Ginger Onwusibe, berated Ufomba for his cynicism notwithstanding the tangible transformation in all the sectors of the economy in the state. Onwusoibe said that the defeated APGA governorship candidate does not have the temperament of a leader, pointing out that it is only a sadist that will fail to see the good works of the governor since he assumed office. The war in APGA is raging. It is a house divided against itself. As the main opposition party, and with the decisions by the elections petition tribunal and the Appeal Court in favour of the governor and the ruling PDP, there may be no distraction in the second term.

T’S a great accomplishment for the Chief Servant, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and members of his executive council who have stood behind him in the last five years. In the last five years or thereabout, the PDP-led government in Niger State took deliberate steps aimed at delivering on the promises it made to the electorate. So, the rating by the National Bureau of Statistics is adjudged recognition of hardwork and dedication to the service of the people and humanity. In specific terms, what would you say the state did that earned it this rating? As you know, things do not just happen; people make them happen. The success that we have recorded between 2007 when Dr. Aliyu took office as Governor of Niger State between and now is a product of a well thought-out action plan that was put together to drive the process of promoting the welfare of citizens so as to engender the desired change necessary for growth and development. At the inception of the administration, government reinvigorated the machinery of governance through rapid reforms of the public service. The Chief Servant then moved on to embark on developmental projects that has brought succor to the electorate. What are the priority areas? Key sectors of human development as health, Agriculture, housing, education, social security and rural development enjoyed adequate attention. Government has a free education policy which takes responsibility of sponsoring the education of all children of school age who are resident in Niger State irrespective of their tribes or religious beliefs. Meaningful change is also noticeable in the lives of Nigerlites courtesy Dr. Aliyu’s strategic intervention in the area of health care delivery in the state. New hospitals have been built; old ones refurbished and equipped to meet the ever increasing challenges in health care delivery. The package also takes adequate care of free ante natal care for pregnant women and free medical care for the aged and children. The state has never had it so good in terms of infrastructural development. Bad roads that hitherto made driving through the state capital a nightmarish experience have all been rehabilitated, expanded and made motorable. The state has equally constructed and commissioned several roads across the three senatorial districts in the state. Some of the roads that have been built by the current administration include Kutigi-Fazhi Road, Batati-Dabban Road, Luma-Babana Road, BonuGurara waterfalls Road, Mokwa-Raba Road just to mention a few. The reconstruction of major roads in Kontagora is also ongoing. We have also keyed in to Millennium Development Goals framework as a guide post for achieving the eight developmental targets endorsed in 2000 by world leaders under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly. And we have made tremendous impact in all the areas from reduction of extreme poverty and hunger to achievement of universal primary education and from reducing child mortality to the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment, Governor Aliyu has done very well. Apart from the MDGs and SUBEB where the state collaborate with the

Federal Government to implement programmes that have direct bearing on the lives of the people, iin which other sector or sectors would you say the state has done creditably to deserve its current rating? Like I told you earlier, there is hardly any sector where the current administration has not stamped its seal of excellence. In the area of Agriculture for instance, Niger State Government has de-emphasized the mundane approach to agricultural practice which focuses mainly on tractor hiring, grains distribution and fertilizer procurement/ distribution to farmers, even where such was unnecessary. And the reason is simple— there is so much more to agriculture in a fast changing world than fertilizer allocation and tractor hiring. It is the Chief Servant’s belief that it is not enough merely to glorify our potentials without taking concrete steps to realize these potentials for the economic prosperity of the state and our nation. It is for this reason that we are exploiting our natural endowments and agricultural resources to drive our economic re-engineering efforts towards the realization of our vision of becoming one of the top three most developed economies in Nigeria. Governor Aliyu started by strengthening the Buffer Stock programme by procuring 6,272.3 metric tons of assorted grains from farmers to encourage them to produce more and to stabilize the market prices of the commodities for the benefit of the public. This intervention is continuing. Government has also reintroduced the Farm Institutes Scheme in all the senatorial districts of the State to create employment opportunities for our youths in line with our strategic Youth empowerment programmes. We have also focused attention on agricultural research and consultancy, horticultural crop production, nutrition and household food security programme and irrigation development schemes. But most importantly, government has mobilized rice cooperative groups in the State to form rice clusters to enhance rice production, packaging and marketing for domestic consumption and export. The result of this effort is that we have retained our 2008 position as the largest rice producer in Nigeria.




Obi cleans up Anambra •Continued from Page 17 in recovering the money as well as tarring the road to his factory. The state Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Mike Egbebike, who recalled the sacrifice the governor makes for the good of the state, said that the Governor was committed to environmental cleanliness, not just for the purpose of good health of the people, but also to create the environment that would allow business to blossom. He informed that he was happy that refuse is littered around receptacles now as evidence that people no longer pour their refuse inside the water channels but have started bringing it out. He said once the receptacles and trucks are delivered, refuse will no longer litter the streets as they would be packed out immediately. He said the state has achieved its three targets of proper receptacles of waste, proper management and proper payment by the public for waste. He informed that the revenue from waste has risen from far below N10 million a year to far above N50m a year now, adding that government was putting up efforts to raise more money through waste disposal and management. He said with the law on waste management and appointment of waste managers things would be alright soon. Egbebuike further said that the Ministry now buys back plastic waste at N100 per

•The trucks kilogramme. The state Commissioner for Education, Dr. Kay Onyechi said that due to Obi’s revolutionary approach to education, the sector has changed completely from what it

used to be. According to her, Anambra schools now have buses, well equipped science laboratories, computers and other modern learning aids. She said that the amazing thing in all this is that he channeled

Imo to mediate in kingship tussle


HE Imo State government is set to inaugurate a commission of inquiry to investigate claims that some traditional rulers do not have the mandate of their subjects. The commission will also probe the allegation that the monarchs only ascended their thrones by the grace of certain well-connected individuals. His Royal Majesty, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri who chairs Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, revealed this when the people of Isiala Oparadim Development Union, in Ahiazu Mbaise Council Area of the State visited the stormed the Council Secretariat with litany of complaints against their traditional ruler, HRH Eze Isidore Azika Ijezie Atughara. The monarch said he was confident that the Okorocha administration is committed to listening and address-

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

ing the problems of the people. He assured them that once the committee is set up, their grievances will be handled by the committee, advising them on the need to be Law abiding by ensuring adequate maintenance of peace, stability and unity of purpose in their community. The Chairman regretted some administrative lapses created by previous administrations in the State with regards to recognition of traditional rulers assuring that the present State Government is committed in rectifying them, Speaking, Sir Joseph Duru, the immediate past President General of the Autonomous Community who led the delegation expressed gratitude to the administration of Owelle Rochas

Okorocha and noted the resolve of his people to remain supportive and co-operative to the Rescue Mission Administration. Duru who accused their Traditional Ruler HRH Eze Atughara of being high-handedness, greedy and insubordination on matters affecting the members of the Autonomous Community passionately pleaded on the urgent need for the State Government’s Intervention. The Community leader reported that their populace does not want their Traditional Ruler to be part of the forth coming 4 tier government which HRM Eze Ohiri countered by saying that so far as the State Government has not withdrawn the Staff of Office and Certificate of Recognition of the Traditional Ruler that he is still the Legitimate Traditional Ruler of the Community.

•From left: Guest Speaker, Mr Steve Olayinka; Chairman of the occasion, Mr Omotola Edward Oluremi and Pastor Babatunde Salawu at the 2012 Learners’ Forum orgainsed by Nigerian Institute of Training and Development, Lagos. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

some of the things donated to him for private use into the schools. Members of the State Executive Council, traditional rulers from the 177 communities as well as the President-Generals of town unions


HE Nigerian Project on Science and Technology Education at the Post Basic Level (STEP-B) has donated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to 17 institutes and faculties in the University of Calabar. The gesture, Project Manager of STEP-B, Professor Emmanuel Ezedinachi, said was to aid the institution aid produce higher quality and more relevant research and teaching. He said the project aimed at Nigerian education and research institutions and their partners to produce more and better qualified science and technology graduates at the post basic level. Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof James Epoke lauded STEP-B for

in the state and the transition committee chairmen of local government and their members graced the occasion which ended with a facility tour of Innosson Company by the guests.

Organisation donates ICT tools to varsity From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

the gesture, saying it was a rare one. He urged the heads of the institutes and faculties to ensure the equipment are used adequately used. Chairman of the committee of deans, Prof Robert Etor who responded on behalf of the recipients, assured that the equipment would be put into maximum use to achieve the aim of the project.

Monarch urges more effort against HE people of Obudi-Agwa kidnapping Autonomous Community in


Oguta Local Government Area of Imo Statehave been commended for their effort in checking kidnapping and other criminal activities in the area but they have also been enjoined to do more in keeping these vices at bay. His Highness, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri who is Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers made the appeal when the people and leaders of Obudi-Agwa Development Union led by Mr. Johnson Hezekiah stormed the Council Secretariat with some complaints. The royal father assured them that their reports and grievances will be communicated to Governor Rochas Okorocha and would be addressed soon.

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Speaking, Mr. Johnson Hezekiah who was the spokesperson of the group said that since last January their community has been under the siege of armed robbers and kidnappers. Hezekiah who said he is a Community Leader pointed out series of efforts they have made to frustrate the kidnappers and the hoodlums but regretted that a prominent son of Mbano Agwa Autonomous Community and their daughter married in Obudi Agwa has been frustrating their efforts. He appealed to the royal father and state government to call the accused persons to order to avoid them taking the laws into their hands.



More bursary for Delta Law School students


ELTA State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has announced a 100 per cent raise in the bursary paid to law graduates of the state’s origin in law schools across the country. The governor who announced the increase from N50,000 to N100,000 per student while pre-

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

senting cheques to the beneficiaries in Asaba, said the increase would take retrospective effect from the last batch. He directed the Chairman of the State Scholarship Board, Buchi Aniyem to prepare a supplementary estimate to accommodate the

Uduaghan said he has no regret investing so much in the bursary programme, stressing that human capital development was central to the economic transformation of the state •Uduaghan

expenditure. Governor Uduaghan said his administration spends about N1 billion yearly on bursary and promised to sustain the project. He said he has no regret investing so much in the bursary programme, stressing that human capital development was central to the economic transformation of the state. He decried the unwholesome attitude of students union bodies towards the programme, stressing that the government would not allow student unions to take over the functions of the State Scholarship Board. The governor said it was the statutory function of the State Scholarship Board to disburse bursary to students, adding that

the state government was not prepared to shift that responsibility to student union bodies. His words: “Let NADESU behave and be orderly. If the body fails to change its attitude we will do what is necessary. We will no longer take unruly behavior from the union.” Uduaghan who blamed the student union body for the mix-up in the scholarship list of beneficiaries, said the scholarship board was already working hard to rectify the problem. Delta Commissioner for Higher Education Prof. Hope Eghagha enjoined the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of the state especially as government was providing the scholarship in spite of competing demands.

Philanthropist builds church for community


ORMER Vice President Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and his wife Margaret were among dignitaries who attended the inauguration of a cathedral in Umunnamehi, Ihiala, Anambra State. The structure was built and donated to the community by one of its illustrious indigenes, Dr. Obinna Uzoh, a lawyer. At the event, the Apostolic Nuncio and Representative of the Catholic Pontiff in Nigeria, Most Rev. Augustine Kasujja advised Nigerians to eschew violence and embrace dialogue as a way out of their problems. Kasujja was speaking at the dedication of All Saints Catholic Church built by Uzoh. The quiet community of Umunnamehi, Ihiala witnessed an unprecedented crowd ever recorded in the annals of its history. The magnificent church the donor built in memory of his parents, the late Chief Simon and Justina Uzoh stands on an expansive piece of land. The church boasts state-of-the-art equipment, well-fitted marbled altar and golden worship ornaments. It is also complemented with a tastefully furnished Parish rectory and a Blessed Sacrament chapel all made possible through one man’s effort. To ensure enough space for the church, the rectory and other allied infrastructure, Uzoh bought parcels of land elsewhere and exchanged them with pieces of land called Okpuno Ndudoani. Security agents had a Herculean task controlling both human and vehicular traffic as people that cuts across tribal lines and languages, businessmen, community leaders, clergymen, politicians, government func-

From Emeka Attah, Onitsha

tionaries, students and elders all converged to glorify the Lord for what He had used the man to accomplish for the community. The youth coordinator, Transform Nigeria Movement, Anambra State chapter, Comrade Obinna Omenugha gave more insight on the reason why the church dedication witnessed such an unprecedented crowd. He said: “The donor of the church building, Dr. Obinna Uzoh is a detribalised Nigerian, a friend of the youth, a social engineer, a true nationalist, an accomplished business guru, a legal champion, an epitome of humility, a true family and society builder, a mentor and a practical Christian who has selflessly invested his time, talent and treasures in nation-building. So, this is an honour well deserved and we share in the joy.” Among the dignitaries that attended the event were about 10 bishops and archbishops, over 100 priests, Speaker, State House of Assembly Hon. Princess Chinwe Nwaebili, Deputy Governor, Mr. Emeka Sibeudu and wife, the National Chairman, All Progressive Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh, Former VicePresident of Nigeria Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Minister of State Foreign Affairs Prof. Viola Onwuliri and husband, leader of Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and so many others. Among the Catholic Bishops in attendance were those of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah, Minna Diocese Martin Uzoukwu, Archbishop Val Okeke of Metropolitan Archdiocese of Onitsha and

Today gives us opportunity for reflection. If Christ comes here today in this church will He be happy with all of us or will He bring out a horsewhip and cane all of us like He drove the Pharisees out of the temple? Nigerians are too religious yet so corrupt. We export religion yet we are rated as the most corrupt people in the world

•Dr. Uzoh and family receiving gifts from Papal Nuncio, Kasujja

others. Condemning the spate of bombings in Nigeria, the Nuncio Archbishop Kasujja appealed to Nigerians on the need to embrace the message of ecumenism as demonstrated by the Pope. He said that “dialogue is the new form of evangelization.” He thanked Governor Obi for correcting the injustices of the past through the recent return of schools to churches. In a special homily which held the people spell bound, the host bishop and the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev. Hillary Odili Okeke thanked God for the gift of Obinna Uzoh, even as he urged all Nigerians to turn away from evil and worship God in truth and honesty. “We are celebrating our faith in God. In some western countries, churches are closing down and giving way to dance clubs, gymnasiums, and casinos. But here, God has continued to bless us with the gift of faith which shows that we share in God’s love. May God bless anybody who contributed in any way in this building project? “Because we work by faith not by sight, we see what people do but we believe God who sees their heart rewards them abundantly. Some use their God-given resources to foment trouble in their communities, others use theirs to

oppress people or to accumulate earthly properties for themselves and their generations yet unborn. “Some also use theirs to store treasury bills in United Kingdom and other places abroad, but Obinna Uzoh has used his own to make the house of God better for the people of his community. This is the best investment and may God bless those who invest in His work,” he said. Bishop Okeke said that church dedication carries much significance. He, therefore, urged all to respect the sanctity of temples of worship. He also advised Christians to be holy since the church is holy instead of wearing hypocritical garb like the Pharisees. “Today gives us opportunity for reflection. If Christ comes here today in this church will He be happy with all of us or will He bring out a horsewhip and cane

all of us like He drove the Pharisees out of the temple? Nigerians are too religious yet so corrupt. We export religion yet we are rated as the most corrupt people in the world. A Christian must not do if you can’t beat them you join them,” he said. In a remark, Governor Peter Obi described Obinna Uzoh as a good man and an exemplary Nigerian who plays politics without bitterness. Recounting his encounter with Uzoh during the campaign for the 2003 governorship elections in Anambra State, Obi said: “Both of us brought freshness to Anambra politics. While we campaigned in all parts of Anambra State, we compared notes every night and swapped campaign venues also. Even after the elec•Continued on Page 48



I feel very happy today because there is peace. By the grace of God I think we will have peace for ever. My message to the Niger Delta youths is that as people live together, problems will always come but the ability to manage problems is what is important


OUR years after Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State was razed by the Joint Task Force (JTF), the Ijaw people of the kingdom have celebrated the Egbesu Amaseikumor Festival in Oporoza, their traditional headquarters. The Egbesu deity is believed to be the strength of the Ijaw people, in general and the Gbaramatu in particular, whose youths held federal troops in a bloody duel that lasted several weeks. During the clash prominent Ijaw towns including Okerenkoko, Oporoza, Kurutie, Benikrukru and others were straffed by helicopter gunboats in 2009. The Pere of the kingdom, Godwin Bebenimibo, DSP (rtd) JP, Oge Gbaram III, said since the invasion of the community, the people have continued to show resilience and commitment to the peace effort of the federal government adding that they have also shown that they are ready for the much talked about development to arrive the Niger Delta. The Pere said: “The Niger Delta people have always prayed for sustainable development and the Gbaramatu people in celebrating the Amaseikumor festival have indicated that they are prepared for peace, unity and prosperity. That is what our forefathers have always celebrated over the years and this celebration will continue to emphasise that point.” The former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and chairman of the occasion, Mr. Time Alaibe, said, “The Egbesu Amaseikumor festival signifies peace, unity and prosperity of the Gbaramatu kingdom. And I am personally committed to this process and I if you must recall, as at the time when this community was challenged I was the first government official that arrived here. Today I am delighted to be here, seeing the resilience of this community is all build up

•Chief (Mrs) Vero Smooth, Chief Dennis Otuaro and Mr Timi Alaibe

Four years after JTF attack, kingdom celebrates From Shola O’Neil, Warri

again because it all signifies prosperity. “I am here to encourage you as an Ijaw man from Bayelsa State to continue to maintain the same disposition like your forefathers

in celebration of this festival as always maintained. I identify with you at this moment as I have always identified with you. I pray the almighty God will ensure that as you celebrate this festival that you continue to see peace, unity, prosperity and sustainable development for the Gbaramatu peo-

ple, for the Gbaramatu kingdom and of the Ijaw people,” Alaibe added. High Chief Government Ekpemukpolor, (alias Tompolo), who was a key player in the crisis that engulfed the kingdom, expressed joy that peace had finally come to the people of Niger Delta,

Philanthropist builds church for community •Continued from Page 46

tions and I became the governor, we still maintained the friendship as he will always offer useful suggestions on how to move our state forward.” The APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh described building for God as the wisest decision on earth. He encouraged people to emulate such acts for promotion of people’s spiritual growth. “With this kind deed, Obinna has stored his own treasure in heaven where no thief can steal it away because this magnificent church will add to the spiritual growth of this community. “As a man who has understood the essence of living and serving God, there is no better way to run our Christian race than to do things that will promote the work of God, charity and love for one another. I think what he has done is worthy of emulation. “Looking at what he has invested in putting this church together, you will believe that the

money is enough for him to acquire properties and estates even outside the country but he chose to put it here. This is a wise investment and I call on people who are equally blessed like him to put their money in the work of God,” Umeh said. Taking a deep reflection on the journey so far in his life and outpouring of emotions among the people that converged to witness the church dedication, the donor, was overwhelmed with joy. He recounted how he started his business years back with a paltry sum but promised God that if he blesses the fortune in his hands, then he will use his wealth to assist humanity. ”Today, I stand before you honoured and humbled as Solomon was to build a temple for God from a business enterprise. Gocuz Nigeria Limited which I started in 1987 with only N5, 000 has today grown into conglomerate of many companies. In spite of being a successful businessman, I was able to pursue an academic career that earned me in Business Administration,

•Mrs. Margaret Peter Obi (right) and Princess Chinwe Nwaebili

in Marketing, LLB in Law, BL from the Nigeria Law School, and PhD in Economics including other honorary doctorate degrees. “Today, looking back to my humble beginning, I see God’s intervention at every step of the way. I am grateful that unlike David who never saw the temple

he longed to build for God, I longed to build this church and God has granted me the grace to witness its completion and dedication,” he said. Guests were not only lavishly entertained with assorted dishes and drinks but went home with several souvenirs.

adding that the festival which is one of the oldest festivals ever celebrated in the history of Africa, has buttressed that point. Ekpemukpolor called on Niger Delta youths in the country to live together as one, saying that though problems may arise, it is their ability to handle the problems that is important. He said: “I feel very happy today because there is peace. By the grace of God I think we will have peace for ever. My message to the Niger Delta youths is that as people live together, problems will always come but the ability to manage problems is what is important. Nigeria as a country today, you know we have done our part but we still want our brothers (Northerners) over there to still respect us as part of this country. “ The Fiywei of Gbaramatu Kingdom and National Chairman, Host Communities (Oil and Gas) of Nigeria, Chief Alfred M. Bubor, said the festival dates back to 1331, adding, “We are doing this celebration now because there is peace in the river now, no quarrels no problem and for the whole year you will see that the kingdom will be peaceful and death will not be rampant because that is the believe of the people till today.” Former Chairman, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commision, DESOPADEC, Chief Wellington Okrika who also attended the occasion, said that with the celebration of this festival, the agitations in the area have become a thing of the past. The highpoint of the festival was cultural displayed and different colourful dances from different masquerades in the kingdom and from environs.












URELY man is history after his demise; therefore endeavour to be a good history after your own demise”. By an Arab poet Man’s life is a pilgrimage from the unknown to the unknown. No one knows whence he emanated or whither he is bound. But through a peregrination on earth and confrontations with certain realities of life, man gathers some experiences which form the particles of his footprint after his demise. A chronology of such particles is called biography. Nigeria’s first President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe captured this scenario very vividly in the preface to his autobiography (My Odyssey) when he wrote:“Man comes into the world and while he lives, he embarks upon a series of activities absorbing experience which enables him to formulate his philosophy of life and to chart his courses of action; but then he dies. Nevertheless, his biography remains a guide to those of the living who may need guidance, either as a warning on the vanity of human wishes or as an encouragement or both”. One unassuming but genuinely great man, Alhaji Yisa Olasunkanmi Akanni (YOA) Yagboyaju popularly known as ‘Baba Ewe’ who became demised last Saturday passed through that inevitable process and has now become history. This is not a forum for writing his biography. His biography is not what matters here but how people react to the life he lived and the legacy he left behind. Such reactions as found below are far superior to what could have been called his biography. Please, note the calibre of people who reacted and the contents of their reactions as well as their locations in the country. His deeds while alive now speak for him. We pray the Almighty Allah to repose his rightly guided soul in eternal bliss and protect his rear. Since we are all from the mother earth and we shall all return into it, no Muslim should forget that death is a debt which everyone must pay. Below are what people say about Baba Yagboyaju. What do you expect people to say about you when you are no more? Read on: “The announcement of Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju’s demise last weekend came to Nigerian Muslim Ummah both as the end of an era and as a reminder that death is a leveller of mankind. His life was an example for most people who want to learn to live according to Allah’s will. Muslims in Nigeria and beyond will miss his courage, his religious agility, his openness, his philanthropy as well as his wise counselling. By his standard of living based on Islamic principles, despite his material wherewithal, he has set a footprint on the sands of time for those who appreciate the values of discipline. I pray the Almighty Allah to repose his soul in Al-Jannah Fridaws and grant his family as well as the Muslim Ummah the fortitude to bear the loss”. Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto “Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju was a very prominent Muslim leader in the Southwest, especially in Oyo and Osun states which he served tirelessly. He was very close to the youths to whom he gave considerate moral and financial support. A frontline player in the struggle for unity in Nigeria, Alhaji Yagboyaju was a conscientious member of NSCIA and was ever regular at meetings of the Council in various parts of the country. We will miss him greatly. We pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him Al-Jannah Firdaws”. Dr. Lateef Adegbite, Secretary General, NSCIA and first President of MSSN “Our father, Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju was sent to the world to teach us a lesson in Islamic philanthropy. That we started doing the little we are doing now is in emulation of Bashorun MKO Abiola of blessed memory and Baba Yagboyaju. They were our models. Baba Yagboyaju never patronised the social world when he got Allah’s blessing in his cotton business. He ploughed substantial part of his wealth into Islamic propagation. He has now left an indelible mark on the sands of time. I pray Allah to repose his soul peacefully in AlJannah Amin”. Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao, Aare Musulumi of Yoruba Land “Oh Allah! Grant Baba Yagboyaju AlJannah Firdaws. He was a trail blazer in Islamic philanthropy. He loved the youths 08122697498

An icon’s footprint 2 lah to let his gentle soul be in peace forever”. Abubakar Mujahid Dokubo Asari, former Coordinator, NACOMYO, Rivers State.

• The Ka’aba and gave them spiritual growth throughout this country and beyond. I pray Allah to enable his gentle soul in perfect peace”. Ibrahim Shekarau, former Governor of Kano State “With the passing on of our brother, Baba Ewe Yisa Yagboyaju, d Nigerian Muslim Ummah, particularly the youths, has lost a hugely precious asset. His contribution to the progress of the Ummah was eminently unique. Verily, the traces of his good deeds shall remain indelible. May Allah grant him a comfortable barzakh and easy entry into Al-Firdaws. Prof. Dawud O. S. Noibi, Executive Secretary, MUSWEN. To a man who, through self-sacrifice, raised the spirit of volunteerism in Yoruba land. I pay my respect and pray Allah to grant him the best abode in Al-Jannah”. Prof Ishaq Olanrewaju Oloyede, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin. “The first features that one noticed about Alhaji were his compulsive neatness and simple but meticulous dressing that portrayed great respectability. Then would come the welcoming smile and his amiability would unfold in no time. Before much longer, one discovers a strong character, exuding a lot of confidence that is anchored to his strong faith. His total commitment and dedication to Allah, SWT, and His cause could not be missed; particularly his fascination with and dedication to serving Muslim Youth. His philanthropy stood him out. It is a glowing tribute to Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju that he made his name and established his fame within the Ummah. May Allah, Most Beneficent and Most Merciful, sanctify his rest and grant him a place in AlJannah Firdaws”. Dr. Abdullah Jibril Oyekan, former Director, Ministry of Petroleum. “Every soul shall surely die but it is always painful to hear of the death of those who impacted positively on the lives of millions like Chief Yisa Yagboyaju. When it comes to supporting Islamic activism he was a legend. Every Muslim youth saw his house at Iwo Road, Ibadan as his second home. We take solace in the fact that he left behind good children who are also Jihadists in their own right. We pray Allah to blot out his shortcomings and provide him a befitting place in Paradise”. Moshud Iyanda Lawal, Oba Arowoduoye II, Iba of Kishi, Oyo State “The news of Baba Yisa Yagboyaju’s death hit me like a thunderbolt. I related very much with him during the few years I spent in Ibadan. He was one of the few Muslim leaders who dedicated all their endowments to the Deen without any strings attached. He was transparently honest, humble and related with us as if we were of the same age bracket. We pray to the Almighty Al-

“Baba Yagboyaju was an Islamic icon who blazed the trail of Islamic renewal in Yoruba Land when it was unfashionable to do so. At a time when his Muslim contemporaries were spending their resources on praise singing and other frivolities, he diverted his wealth on propagation of Islam. He lived well and left a legacy of Islamic reawakening for which Allah will surely reward him with Al-Jannah”. Yusuf Olaolu Ali, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ilorin “Baba Yagboyaju’s demise is painful because we just lost another wonderful Muslim brother, Ahmad Okiri, from Niger Delta who embraced Islam in 1965 and gave birth to more than 20 children all of whom are Muslims. Baba Yagboyaju was a Muslim in all ramifications. He was caring and loving across tribes. It is my prayer that Allah rewards his good deeds with AlJannah, Amin”. Sheikh Adam Idoko, Chief Imam, University of Nigeria, Nsukka “So, our Baba is gone? We offer our condolences to his family. He did his best for Islam, especially among the youths and left an everlasting legacy of altruism that is worthy of emulation. We pray Allah to grant his soul perfect peace”. Prof Naiya Sada, former Dean, Faculty of Law, ABU, Zaria “A prominent Muslim philanthropist is gone. Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju, ‘Baba Odo Musulumi’, Grand Matron of MSSN died at 80. He was an advocate of education for all who sponsored many Muslim students at both junior and higher education levels. He authored many Islamic stickers including the popular one ‘Islam is Peace’. He was the first Muslim philanthropist in the Southwest. He established the very first Islamic Centre in Ibadan and allowed his house to serve as the secretariat of the MSSN Area Unit. He was a member of MSSN BOT and Vice-President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). I pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings and admit him in Al-Jannah”. Prof Rashid Aderinoye,UBEC, Abuja “Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un. Oh Allah! Let the soul of Baba Yagboyaju rest in perfect peace. We implore Allah to forgive him and grant him Al-Jannatul Firdaws”. Prof Awwalu Yadudu, Kano, Former Legal Adviser to General Sani Abacha. Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju was apt for those of us in the MSSN Ife-Ibadan axis who interacted with him. This Baba did all he could for the youths in Islam. I can particularly recall an IVC in Akure where Alhaji brought us fresh loaves of bread from the oven all the way from Ibadan. It was a sign of his love for the youths. I plead with Allah to consider that singular act of Ibadah and reward him with Al-Jannah; Amin. Olayinka Bashir Balogun Commissioner of Police, Edo State “Bodija (Ibadan) Estates and Environs Muslim Community received the news of the demise of Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju (father of one of us) with deep sense of loss. In his life time, Alhaji Yagboyaju feared Allah, believed in the unseen and was steadfast in prayers. Pious Muslims in the entire nation will miss him. We pray he be

granted Al-Jannah Firdaws, Amin”. Ganiyu Oladimeji, Chairman, Bodija and Environs Muslim Community, Ibadan “The late Alhaji (Chief) Yagboyaju was an exemplary leader during his life. He was a good Muslim philanthropist who sponsored many Islamic programmes. The Muslim youths named him Baba Odo (father of youths) due to his interaction and support for the youths. When I was the NACOMYO Coordinator for Irewole Local Government of Osun State in 1992, he came to our programme on invitation and donated very generously at a time when we had no hope at all. Adieu Baba Odo. I pray Allah to grant you eternal bliss. Hashim Olapade, Secretary, Osun State Muslim Community Chief Yisa Yagboyaju was and an uncommon Muslim Philanthropist who was totally committed to the emancipation of Muslim youth from the zest pool of ignorance and illiteracy. He had no other past time except Islam. He worked tirelessly to see Muslims climb the ladder of political leadership in Yoruba Land as far cry from the era of their indefensible marginalisation. His place will be difficult to fill. Oh Allah! Grant this wonderful servant Al- Jannah Firdaws”. Sulaiman Lawal, CP, E Dept. Police Headquarters, Abuja. “Chief Yisa Yagboyaju was a great Jihadist. His philanthropy was unique in that it had no boundaries. Till his death, he saw himself as a youth and his fame was regular at both the IVC and MSSN national conferences. He was a very humorous personality and there was no dull moment with him. We are consoled that he lived a Spartan Islamic life worthy of emulation for the coming generation. God grant his soul perfect rest. Muzzemil Sani Hanga (Kano), former National President, MSSN To Muslims, young and old, who participated in the activities of Muslims Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in the old Oyo State, Alhaji Yisa Yagboyaju and his one story building on Iwo Road in Ibadan were synonymous with Islamic renaissance in that part of country. Alhaji Yagboyaju was totally committed to the course of Islam. He opened the doors of his house to Muslim students 24/7. The only “visa” you needed to enter the beautiful and well kept compound was ‘Salaam Alaykum. He did not only sponsor events, he also participated in them effectively. His was a prominent elderly face at Islamic Vacation Courses (IVC) and provided shelters for many Islamic organisations, particularly COMYO, now NACOMYO. Oh Allah! Forgive this peerless Jihadist and grant him Al-Jannah Fridaws. Kunmi Olayiwola (Abuja) former MSSN President University of Ife, Nigeria “I first met Baba Yagboyaju in 1977/78 when I was an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan. He was then the Grand Patron of MSSN of Oyo Area Unit ‘A’. That position transformed him into an ideal Muslim distinct from his contemporaries. He thence dedicated his life and property to the service of Allah. He was the only elderly Muslim staying with us in IVC camps and National Conferences. He was simple, humane and selfless. I pray the Almighty Allah to grant him Jannatul Firdaws. Amin” Dr. Wole Abbas, Senior Lecturer, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan “Baba Yisa Yagboyaju was a unique Islamic philanthropist. He pioneered a lot in the field of Islamic propagation. He was the first to sponsor preaching on radio and television. He was the first to print stickers with Islamic messages for free distribution. He was the first to donate vehicles to Islamic groups, especially MSS and NACOMYO. He never lived a flamboyant life. He was simplicity personified. He was humble to a fault. In spite of his wealth, he built only two houses one in Ede his home town and one in Ibadan. A lion’s share of his wealth was expended on scholarships, mosques and further expansion of Islamic ideals. May Allah forgive him and make Jannatul Firdaws his everlasting abode”. Kunle Sanni, Ibadan •This write up was meant for last Friday. But circumstances beyond this columnist caused precluded its publication.






Transcorp records 49% profit drop


RANSNATIONAL Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc witnessed a major reversal in profitability in 2011 as sluggish sales amidst rising costs weighed in on the bottom-line. Audited report and account of the company for the year ended December 31, 2011 made available yesterday showed that profit before tax and after exceptional items declined from N6.91 billion in 2010 to N3.50 billion in 2011. Profit before tax and exceptional item also dropped from N4.06 billion to N3.50 billion. With tax write-back, profit after tax stood at N4.67 billion in 2011 as against N5.39 billion in 2010. Total turnover had increased marginally from N13.93 billion in 2010 to N14.08 billion in 2011. The report indicated marginal decline

• Market remains bullish By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

in shareholders’ funds of the conglomerate from N26.64 billion to N26.62 billion. Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market sustained its positive outlook yesterday, although the momentum of the bullish rally slowed down, signaling cautious trades by investors seeking to lock in gains. The benchmark index-the All Share Index (ASI) gained 0.04 per cent to close at 20,941.93 points, compared with 0.41 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 20,934.47 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N2billon to close at N6.64trillion, lower than the increase by N26.8billion recorded the preceding day to close at N6.63trillion.

Paint Manufacturing Company of Nigeria Plc led the gainers’ table with four kobo or five per cent to close at 84 kobo per share, followed by Berger Paints Plc with 40 kobo or 4.95 per cent to close at N8.48 per share. AG Leventis Plc added seven kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N1.51 per share, while Union Bank of Nigeria Plc appreciated by 11 kobo or 4.70 per cent to close at N2.45 per share. GTAssurance Plc rose by six kobo or 4.32 per cent to close at 54 kobo per share. On the flip side, Ashaka Cement Plc dropped by 53 kobo or five per cent to close at N10.07 per share, while Presco Plc dipped by 53 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N10.11 per share. GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals Plc lost 99 kobo or 4.96 per cent to close at N18.97 per share, while Dangote Flour Plc declined by 22 kobo or 4.94 per cent to close at N4.23 per share. BAGCO Plc depreciated by 0.09 kobo or 4.64 per cent to close at N1.85 per share.





Sanusi: CBN’s balance sheet can’t support infrastructure


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) balance sheet cannot support in infrastructure funding, its Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said. He said the regulator had tried to use its balance sheet to support power, agriculture and real estate with little success. He therefore called on International Finance Corporation (IFC) to invest in critical sectors of the to enhance economic development. Sanusi spoke at a send forth for the IFC’s Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and Western Europe, Mr. Thierry Tanoh, in Lagos on Wednesday night. He said Nigerian banks will not grow in the long-term, until there

• Says Okojo-Iweala’s best candidate By Collins Nweze

are structural adjustment into manufacturing, agriculture and agro-business, power and these would not happen without the basic infrastructure. These he said are the kind of things that the IFC should be focused on. Sanusi said the IFC has worked like a development bank with an eye on returns, adding that the bank has carried out development projects in a manner that allows it make good money while contributing to growth and development of the

sure that confidence does not disappear because once there is no confidence, nothing will work. Then when we needed credible institutions that would come up and say what we did was right, and at that time, the IFC was one of the first that came to meet us, and issued a public statement in support of the actions that we had taken and effectively said what we did was what central banks everywhere should be doing,” he said. Sanusi said such support was needed greatly at such times, and as a country, Nigeria will remain grateful to the IFC. He also said Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala is the best candidate for World Bank Presidency. “The Economist has said it, The Finan-

economy. “If you invest in Nigerian power sector, you make a lot of money and by generating power, you create jobs, and you lift people out of poverty. If you invest in infrastructure, its the same thing. So, there is so much you can do in this country to make money and move so many people out of poverty. And that is what the IFC has done,” he said. He commended the IFC for standing with Nigeria during the banking sector crisis, adding that the financial institution boosted investors’ confidence in the sector. “When you have a banking crisis, your biggest problem is not how to raise liquidity, not how to raise capital, but to make

Ecobank woos funds transfer customers


COBANK is offering a 50 per cent discount on transaction fees to new customers who use its Rapid Transfer service during the Easter period. Announcing this offering during a media briefing in Lagos, Ecobank Group Head, Domestic Bank, Kingsley Aigbokhaevbo, said all the customer has to do is open an Ecobank account by completing an account opening form and presenting requisite means of identification. In return, the bank would give

the customer a Rapidtransfer Loyalty Card. “Just show your Loyalty Card every time you transfer money up until April 30, 2012 and we will refund 50 per cent of your Rapid Transfer commission at the end of the promo” According to Mr Aigbokhaevbo, Rapid Transfer is an Ecobank proprietary send and receive money transfer product available in all Ecobank branches across Africa. “It’s aim is to facilitate easy transfer and access to funds both in Nigeria and across countries where

UBA Ghana profit rises 143%

Ecobank is present. It is designed to eliminate the risk of carrying cash as well as facilitate easy payment for goods and services without the hassles of sourcing for foreign exchange as the payments are made in the local currencies of both the transfer and the receiving countries,” he remarked. He reiterated that customers choose Ecobank Rapidtransfer because it is a fast, convenient and reliable means of sending and receiving money within Nigeria and across Africa.


HE United Bank for Africa (Ghana) Limited, a subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, profit for the year ended 2011 showed an increase of 143 per cent. The bank recorded a profit before tax of GH¢30.2 million ($17.653 million) in 2011 against GH¢13.9 million ($7.86 million) in 2010, representing an increase of 143 per cent over the previous year. Profit for the year after tax also increased from GH¢9.2 million ($5.20 million) in 2010 to GH¢22.4 million ($12.72 million). The result came on the back of improved risk analysis and prudent operational costs. In a statement, the bank said the result was an affirmation of claims made recently by the Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr

Diamond Bank rewards children


NTENT on supporting and grow ing the creative talents of the next generation, Diamond Bank Plc recently announced its collaboration with the Lagos Black Heritage Festival to sponsor the Vision of the Child Painting Competition. The Vision of

the Child is one of the key events of this year’s Lagos Black Heritage Festival which is running from April 29, 2012. According to a statement issued by the Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank, Ms. Akpo

Daniyan, the bank’s decision to sponsor the Vision of the Child Painting Competition of the Lagos Black Heritage Festival was informed by the bank’s commitment to capacity development, especially of the next generation.


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11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m



Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




0.80 8.08 1.44 2.34 1.39 0.52 1.42 32.42 11.50 31.42 142.00 3.70


0.84 8.48 1.51 2.45 1.45 0.54 1.47 33.50 11.88 32.39 146.00 3.80


NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

O/PRICE 10.60 10.64 19.96 4.45 1.94 2.38 0.96 1.14 1.16 0.58 10.00 4.00

C/PRICE 10.07 10.11 18.97 4.23 1.85 2.27 0.92 1.10 1.12 0.56 9.72 3.90

CHANGE 0.53 0.53 0.99 0.22 0.09 0.11 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.28 0.10

29-2-12 27-2-12




C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

Dec ’11





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37


Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%




Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8



0.04 0.40 0.07 0.11 0.06 0.02 0.05 1.08 0.38 0.97 4.00 0.10


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


Phillips Oduoza, during an address to the stockbrokers and investors at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), that increasing numbers of the bank’s subsidiaries have turned corners, thus contributing significantly to the Group’s bottomline. Deposit volume for the period increased to GH¢404.6 million ($228.8 million) from GH¢311.2 million ($176 million) in 2010. A decrease in interest income margins last year presented an opportunity for the bank to go into fees and commissions, which generated about 57 per cent of the bank’s income during the 2011 financial year. Similarly, the bank’s improved risk analysis and prudent measures contributed in reducing its non-performing loans (NPLs) from 19 per cent in 2010 to 7.91 per cent in 2011.



Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20

cial Times has said it and I don’t think there is anybody that doubts that Ngozi Okonjo-I weala is a candidate to beat there,” he said. According to him, she is qualified in all ramifications to be the World Bank President. “We are talking about somebody who is competing, not because she is a Nigerian, black or a woman, but because of her curriculum vitae, her education, and her experience. There is simply no candidate out there, on merit that can compete with her,” he said. Sanusi said that expectedly, the contest will be merit-based. “We do hope that the Americans and Europeans would practice what they preach to us and actually allow merit to reign,” he said.

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 122.48 98.79 0.72 1.08 0.88 1,686.98 7.74 1.33 1.80 7,071.36 191.08 1.62


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011










NEWS Court grants ex-pension directors bail From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


N Abuja High Court yesterday granted bail to two former directors and one worker of the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) arraigned on Tuesday for an alleged N109 million pension fraud. They are facing a 12-count charge of conspiracy to commit fraud, forgery and fraudulent conversion of funds. The accused are Hassan Mohammed Tukur, Babatunde Abisuga and Mohammed Ndakupe. They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Tukur and Abisuga retired from the Commission as Deputy Director of Finance and Assistant Director of Finance last year. Ndakupe is said to be a staff in the office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation. The accused allegedly withdrew money from several First Bank Plc accounts belonging to the Commission between October and November 2010. Justice Maryanne Anenih held that the offences, which the accused are being charged with, are bailable. She granted N5 million bail each with one surety in like sum, who must have a landed property within Abuja, with valid evidence of ownership. The sureties are also to leave two passports with the Registrar of the court. The defence counsel, M. A. Ebuka and Anthony Agbonlahor, earlier begged the court to grant the accused bail on liberal terms, in view of the provisions of Section of 341 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code. They said the proof of evidence brought by the anti-graft agency cannot be used as a prima facie evidence to deny the accused bail.

•Wike and Masida at the event...yesterday. With them are other ministry officials

Wike calls for extension of teachers’ training

Ekweremadu for lecture in Canada From Sanni Onogu, Abuja


EPUTY Senate President Ike Ekweremadu is to deliver the sixth Annual Oputa Lecture on Governance in Africa. In a statement in Abuja, Ekweremadu’s media aide Uche Anichukwu said the annual lecture series is organised by the York University, Toronto, Canada. The lecture, “Nigerian Federalism: A Case for a Review”, will hold on April 11. It is organised by the Osgoode Hall Law School and the Nathason Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, both of the York University. In a letter of invitation signed by the convener and member of the United Nations Human Rights Advisory Committee, Prof Obiora Okafor, the university said the Oputa lectures “provide a forum in which Africans who are involved at the highest levels with governance on the continent can interact and exchange ideas with the York University community.”


INISTER of State for Education Nyesom Wike has called for the extension of the timeline for the partnership between the Federal Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the training of mathematics and science teachers. Wike spoke at the stakeholders meeting for Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja yesterday. He said the challenges being faced by implementing agencies of the Federal Government indicate that the programme should be extended to 2014 for the target objectives to be met. Wike regretted that the implementation of the SMASE programmes at the local and international levels have been hampered by inadequate funding of training programmes. The minister said he would work with other Federal Government agencies to ensure that more funding is secured for

SMASE. He said because mathematics and science education are critical to the development of the nation, the training of teachers to actively participate in the creation of a formidable foundation for national development remains paramount. According to him, “we have set up a mechanism to overcome the funding challenges that the SMASE programme has encountered along the way. We shall also collaborate with the National Planning Commission to present the case for more funding at the National Economic Council. The Acting Chief Representative of JICA, Yasiro Masida, said the Japanese government was committed to the training of 70,000 mathematics and science teachers. On the request for the extension of deadline, he said it would be determined by the level of seriousness and commitment shown by the Federal Government.

Fed Govt may present new PIB to National Assembly •Reverses MDGs funds sharing formular •Jonathan, governors to pay tax on official emoluments


HE Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which is still before the National Assemby, may have hit a dead end after all. The bill, which seems to have been dumped by the National Assembly, is to be replaced by a new one going by the information emanating from the National Economic Council (NEC). The NEC rose from its monthly meeting yesterday advising the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, to present a road map on the sector for the purpose of sending the new bill to the National Assembly. The bill, aimed at regulating activities in the oil and gas industry and stimulate investment in the oil and gas industry, may not see the light of day after all. Also, council has set up a committee to resolve the lingering legal tussle between the Federal Government and states over excess crude account deduction. The governors agreed to an out-of-court settlement and have agreed to set up a team to meet with the Federal Government delegation, led by Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Also yesterday, the sharing formula for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) fund was reversed in favour of the states. It was agreed that the Federal Government would now

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

get 40 per cent and states 60per cent. NEC is a statutory body, which is chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo and comprises governors, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, minister of National Planning, minister of Justice, minister of state, Finance. Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswil Akpabio, who briefed reporters with Benue State Deputy Governor Stephen Lawan and Minister of National Planning Shamusideen Usman, said council resolved to work towards the early passage of the PIB. He said Mrs. AlisonMadueke has been directed to present a roadmap on the conclusion and finalisation of the PIB to the relevant organs of the executive for final consideration. This, he said, would enable President Goodluck Jonathan to present the bill as a matter of urgency to the National Assembly. The governor said Council resolved and accepted the new Oil Bench Mark Price of $72 as contained in the budget after an explicit presentation on the local and international economic fundamentals that informed the determination of the benchmark price by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.

On oil subsidy/export data, the governor said the Council considered a presentation by the Finance Minister on oil subsidy financing and noted the need to establish a reliable system for the tracking of oil exports and imports. Based on this, the council set up a committee headed by the minister with some governors. On the issue of the Excess Crude Account, Akpabio said Council welcomed the decision for an out-of-court settlement. Akpabio said council agreed that a law to criminalise bunkering be put in place. He said the Law against Oil Theft and Vandalisation should be strengthened to save the nation from revenue loss, which has been put at over $1 billion monthly. On the New Personal Income Tax, he said following a presentation by the Chairman of the FIRS, Mrs. Ifueko Omouigi on the new personal income tax regime and its effect on the revenue accruable to the states, the Council agreed that the governors and deputy governors would now pay tax on their official emoluments. The new personal income tax regime will improve revenue generation and hold significant potentials for growing state revenue above what is obtainable now”.




Group raises alarm over planned protest against Boroffice


From Damisi Ojo, Akure

GROUP, Boroffice Campaign Organisation (BCO), has raised the alarm over an alleged plan by opposition members and some elements in the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), especially in Akoko area of the state, to protest against the governorship aspiration of Senator Ajayi Boroffice. A statement in Akure, the Ondo State capital, by Mr. Solagbade Amodeni, on behalf of the organisation, alleged that the opponents planned to organise a series of protests from next week. It said the move is to give the impression that Boroffice is not acceptable in Akoko. The statement reads: "It must be noted that Senator Boroffice is the Asiwaju of Akokoland and well loved by the Akoko people, particularly for empowering the youths and his commitment to community development. "In fact, Senator Boroffice ventured into politics because the people of Akoko wanted him to represent them politically to be the voice of Akoko. "It is, therefore, a futile exercise for any group of people to want to malign him for their selfish interests." The group urged those it described as "enemy of progress" to stop heating up the polity because of their selfish interests. It alleged that most of those opposed to Boroffice's governorship ambition were being sponsored by the ruling Labour Party (LP) to destabilise the ACN.


Oyo workers suspend strike

TRIKING Oyo State workers yesterday suspended their threeweek-old action to return to the negotiation table with the government. The suspension followed an intervention by some Ibadan elders and other prominent residents who urged them to negotiate with the government on their grievances. The government offered them N19,137 minimum wage, but the workers rejected the offer on the excuse that increases in workers’ salaries were marginal. Governor Abiola Ajimobi held an open meeting with the workers where he laid on the table the state’s financial position. The governor said the of-

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

fer takes 92 per cent of the state’s total income, adding that it was impossible for his administration to stretch itself further. But the workers insisted on an increase and embarked on an indefinite strike. The government hailed the workers’ gesture. It noted that the suspension would afford them time to dispassionately look into the issue more closely with a promise that the government would listen to them. The Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Nurudeen Arowolo, and the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Bashir Olanrewaju,

confirmed that the strike was suspended after the intervention of some elders. Among the elders is the senator representing Oyo Central, Ayoade Adeseun. He urged the striking workers to end their face-off with the government over the new minimum wage and return to work. Arowolo told reporters in Ibadan, the state capital, that the workers agreed with the elders that negotiations would be completed within two weeks. Commissioner for Information and Orientation Bosun Oladele said the workers should sit down and dispassionately look at the finances of the state as presented by the government dispassionately.

He said: “The figures are not what should be glanced through but to be studied by the workers dispassionately with the aim of moving the state forward.” The Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU) had directed its members to resume work last week following a directive from its national leadership in Abuja. It was learnt that members of the union considered the data released by the Ministry of Finance on the inability of the government to pay more than it presented. The understanding was strengthened by the government’s promise to increase salaries as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increases.

Adefarati’s widow criticised for visiting Mimiko


From Damisi Ojo, Akure

SON of the late Ondo State Governor Adebayo Adefarati, and chieftain of the Ondo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Otunba Adegboyega Adefarati, yesterday criticised his father’s widow, Adetutu, for embarking on a private visit to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, on Tuesday. During the visit, the late governor’s widow reportedly prayed God to direct Mimiko on his second term ambition. The young Adefarati, who was ACN’s House of Representatives candidate in last year’s elections, noted that Mrs Adefarati might have been misunderstood. According to him, if her comment was true, it was her personal opinion. He said: “Her comment during the recent visit of Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), an ACN governorship aspirant, to Adefarati’s family estate in Akungba-Akoko was contrary to what is being reported. “What the woman said during the visit was that Mimiko stampeded and stabbed her husband out of office; that Mimiko should not be surprised if he is being asked not to go for a second term; that he has not performed to justify his second term in office; and that he is an apostle of one governor, one term in office.” The ACN chieftain noted that with the unfolding scenario, Mimiko could see failure staring him in the face as the October governorship election draws nearer. According to him, Adefarati’s political family remains fully committed to the ACN philosophy and its ideology. He added that the family would forever remain within the progressives’ fold. Many political associates and supporters of the late Adefarati wondered what could have prompted his widow to visit Mimiko, especially with the current heat over the governorship poll.


ACN canvasses support for Ogun Investors’ Forum

HE Ogun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday assured the residents that Governor Ibikunle Amosun is committed to implementing the government’s resolutions reached at the recent Investors’ Forum. The party said the governor is sincere in his determination to restore the lost glory of the state, particularly its economic fortunes. In a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Sola Lawal, the ACN noted that the Investors’ Forum was a vital ingredient for the success of rebuilding the state. It said the forum is not like what the residents had witnessed under the past administration. It said: “This is not a government of platitude or propaganda but one with a sincere determination to building structures for sustainable economic restoration. “This explains the mass support the forum enjoyed with the attendance of prominent Nigerians and foreigners, including Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, governors of Kaduna, Lagos, Osun and Oyo

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

states and industrialists such as Aliko Dangote and Oba Otudeko.” The party bemoaned the downward trend every sector in the state suffered due to what it called the selfishness and insensitivity of the government of former Governor Gbenga Daniel. It appealed to the residents to support Amosun to enable him accomplish his policies and programmes. ACN said: “The defective policies of the Daniel administration dealt a big blow to the labours of successive progressive governments in the state and it is incumbent on all well-meaning indigenes of the state to be partakers in the selfless and well thought-out policies of the Amosun Government, particularly its five cardinal programmes. “The speed with which Senator Amosun swung into action towards the implementation of these programmes after his assumption of office is a testimony to his determination and sincerity to restore the fortune of the state as a trailblazer.”

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left); Marketing and Innovation Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr Ruari Twomey Middle) and Oyo Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Dapo Adesina, at the unveiling of the sponsorship for Oyo State Government-owned 3SC Football Club in Ibadan...yesterday.

Ekiti targets N1b monthly IGR through e-payment, tourism


KITI State Government has set a target of N1billion monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with the introduction of the electronic receipt (e-receipt) payment system and improvement of its tourist sites. The Chairman of the state Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Mr. Isola Akingbade, addressed reporters yesterday in his office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, during the visit of the 1984 set of Old Students’ Association of Okemesi Grammar School, led by its Chairman, Mr. Agboola Ogunfeitimi. Akingbade noted that though the state now records over N6million monthly, the

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

N1 billion target is achievable “if existing loopholes could be blocked”. He said the increase of the IGR from N109 million to over N600 million has been achieved without imposing new taxes on the residents. The IRS chief noted hat though the state did not have plans to introduce new taxes, it was planning to further sharpen the strategies for more effective application of the e-payment system. Akingbade said: “With the plans to harness immense potentials at the Ikogosi

Warm Spring, Arinta Water Falls, the Ero Dam, among other sites, the possibility of attaining N1billion monthly appears immensely possible.” He noted that the developmental strides of the Kayode Fayemi administration, as encapsulated in the Eight-Point Agenda, would be consolidated if the state’s IGR could be increased. According to him, the fortunes of the state has more to do with the weight of the IGR and less on federal allocation. Akingbade said the IRS plans to increase the state’s IGR by 25 per cent on consistent monthly basis by stopping illegal lumbering going

on at the state’s forest reserves. He said: “The Ikogosi Warm Spring, which is a meeting point for warm and cold water springs, is one of its kinds in the whole world. There are two of its kind, and Ikogosi is reputed to be the bigger and the better of the two. “The state government is tapping the uniqueness of opportunities in the state to create more funds. The Federal Government takes its officials to the Obudu Ranch for retreats, why can’t it also bring them to Ikogosi to come and see the wonderful gift the nature has bestowed on the state?”

Rainstorm destroys market, homes, electric poles in Ibadan


HEAVY rainstorm has blown off the roof tops of many homes and those of the popular Aleshinloye Market in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The storm occurred on Wednesday night and raged for about three hours across the ancient city. Property destroyed were estimated at several millions of naira. The storm blew off the roofs of over 15 shops at Aleshinloye Market in Ibadan South West Local Government Area. The traders lost their goods. Some of them were seen yesterday in the market trying to salvage what remained of their shops. Electricity cables belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

were felled in some parts of the city, leading to blackout. Workers of the electricity company were seen yesterday removing the poles and cables from the roads. Though the storm led to a heavy downpour, it did not flood any area of the city, as it did on August 26, last year. Among the worse hit areas are Oke Remi, Layout, Oke-Tunu, Aleshinloye Market, Baba Sala area of Sango, Akobo, Bodija, Omi-Adio, Eleso and Ido town in Ido Local Government Area. When The Nation visited some of the areas at Omi-Adio, Akobo, Aleshinloye Market and Sango - where

the storm wrecked havoc - the residents were seen outside their damaged homes discussing the their fate. A resident of Omi-Adio, Alhaji Aminu Adekanmbi, told The Nation that the storm was a bad omen. He noted that the storm was a warning signal to the residents about what might happen when the rainy season fully begins. The roof of a bungalow near the Ibadan-Abeokuta Expressway, at OmiAdio, was blown away by the raging storm, which also felled some trees onto the road. It was gathered that though the storm was violent, it did not lead to any casualty.



NEWS PDP to hold primaries in Akwa Ibom

Four die of Lassa fever in Rivers

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo


ECURITY has been strengthened as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) holds its local government primaries for those to contest in the June local government election in Akwa Ibom State. Security agents, comprising officers of the Police and the State Security Services (SSS), were observed controlling party supporters. The PDP State Chairman, Paul Ekpo, gave electoral materials to party officials across the 31 local government areas. Ekpo while addressing party officials said primaries would hold in all the 329 wards. His words: “I want to assure you today that the exercise is going to be free and fair. I want to warn the electoral officers that we have great respect and regard for you. “I want you to be fair and do justice to all. None of you should circumvent the legal proceedings. One thing is very paramount, if we have any report of violence from any ward, the candidate will be disqualified. Our women must be given a free hand to also represent the party. PDP is gender-sensitive.”


OUR persons have died of Lassa fever in Rivers State. Six new cases have been diagnosed. This was made known in Port Harcourt yesterday by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker. Parker said members of the Rapid Response Team on Lassa Fever, set up by the government, would address the challenge. He said members of the team were moving round the 23 local governments to

•Six new cases diagnosed From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

enlighten the people. The commissioner said the government has declared an epidemic on the disease. A nurse died in Port Harcourt, causing fear among health workers. But Parker said the equipment, drugs and protective items to treat Lassa fever had been provided. He said: “Rivers State has a challenge of Lassa fever.

“It is real. It is the first time medical notice of the ailment is taken in the state. It is an epidemic. “Lassa fever is carried by some species of rats, which stay in filthy environment. “We must ensure personal and environmental hygiene, as well as good waste disposal. “All domestic wastes should be covered in bags and disposed off appropriately. “Rivers people should be

vigilant and correct one another, because one person’s mistake can be disastrous. “The dead persons might have ensured personal hygiene, but their neighbours might not have been careful. “Lassa fever is a viral illness. The symptoms are so varied and non-specific. Clinical diagnoses are often difficult. “We must discourage self-medication. Go to the nearest health facility for examination by health personnel.”

Akpabio hails judgment


KWA IBOM State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday hailed the Appeal Court judgment that affirmed his electoral victory, saying the court is the last hope of the common man. Akpabio said he was not only oppressed but he was a victim of vile propaganda during last year’s governorship election. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), its gover-

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

norship candidate and running mate, Senator John Akpan Udoedeghe and Ime Umanah, had challenged the emergence of Akpabio as the winner of the April 26 governorship election. Dedicating the victory to God and the people, he pledged to continue with monumental and developmental projects that have defined his government these past years.

52 vehicles for police in Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday presented 50 Hilux vans fitted with communication gadgets to the police . Oshiomhole, who made the presentation to the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, in Benin, said the donation was his administration’s efforts at reinforcing the police to fight crimes effectively. The governor said 150 vehicles have been given to the police command since he assumed office, adding that police officers required the right tools and gadgets to fight crime. He urged politicians to stop politicising security issues which, he said, was an issue of concern for all Nigerians. Abubakar said the vehicles were bought primarily for safety and security of Edo State and must not be put to other use than the purpose for which they were bought. The IG said there was nothing to worry about regarding the warning by the Joint Task Force (JTF) on plans to bomb some places in the North. Abubakar said the reformation of the police would take some time, saying police officers would be properly trained. He said police officers would no longer participate in sport competitions to enable them keep the pace in crime fighting. “Sports and crime cannot go together. Sports is on the hold for now. We have produced the best in sports. We produced Chioma Ajunwa, Samuel Peter and others. Till date, nobody has been able to beat our record.”

Kidnapped lawmaker’s father released From Osagie Otabor, Benin


HE father of the Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Pa Osagie Imarhiagbe, has been released by his abductors. He was released on Wednesday in a bush on the Benin-Auchi Road. His son, Samson Osagie, confirmed the release but declined to say how much was paid as ransom. Pa Imarhiagbe was abducted on Monday at his residence at Urhokuosa village in Uhunmwode Local Government of Edo State.

•Parker displaying a syringe. With him from left are Managing Director Pan Africa Health Foundation Auston Novotry, Executive Secretary Amenya Wokoma and Orhii... yesterday.

NAFDAC DG Orhii hails Amaechi


HE Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Paul Orhii, has lauded Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi for setting up the state-owned Integrated Medical Industries Limited, which manufactures syringes and other medical devices. The NAFDAC Director-General spoke yesterday, shortly after a facility tour of the plant in Rumuosi, East-West Road, Port Harcourt. The plant was recently pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation

(WHO) to manufacture syringes and other medical devices that can be used anywhere in the world. Orhii said: “I congratulate the Rivers State Government, the governor and the people. “With this prequalification, these products can be sold all over the world. I remember that they have already started. “I think during the Haiti earthquake some of the products from Rivers State were sent to that country and they were accepted. So, I think this is a very big one for us.”

He said the plant was prequalified by WHO because of its technical competence, excellence and maintenance culture. Commissioner for Health Sampson Parker, who represented Amaechi, thanked the NAFDAC boss for the visit. He said: “I am excited. Mine is just to thank God, then the governor for the support he has given to healthcare delivery in the state. “He is a governor who is personally involved in the day-to-day running of the health system and that this thing is happening in his time and our time is a big joy for us.”

Daar Communications appeals ruling on bank accounts AAR Communications Plc has appealed last Monday’s ruling of a Federal High Court in Lagos directing 18 banks, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to provide information regarding Daar Communications’ financial standing. In a notice of appeal dated


By Eric Ikhilae

April 3, the firm is challenging the decision of Justice Mohammed Idris as contained in his ruling in an application for garnishee nisi filed by Fidelity Bank Plc. The bank, in whose favour the court entered a judgment of over N7.5 billion on

Dickson sends nominees to Assembly From Isaac Ombe,



AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson has sent 26 nominees to the House of Assembly for screening as commissioners. The nominees include pioneer Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) President Felix Tuodolo, ex-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State Acting ChairmanJames Dugo; Secretary James Agari; Mitama Obodor, Marie Ebikake, Francis Egele and Francis Ikio. Others include Sarafina Otazi , Duate Iyabi, Sylvanus Abila, Akpoebide Alamieyeseigha, Furuebi Akene, Thomas Commander, Salo Adikumo, Lawrence Erudjakpo and Kuroekigha Walter Ben-Wari. The rest are: Ayakeme Massah, Dein Benadoumene, Fred Obuah, Nelson Belief, Ambrose Alfred, Markson Fefegha, Zuwa Konugha, William Alamene, Gesiye Isowo and Ball Oyarede. All nominees are expected to appear before the Assembly for Screening on April 18.

March 26, seeks to recover what is left of the judgment sum through a garnishee proceeding. Daar raised two grounds in its notice of appeal. It urged the court to set aside the ruling and transfer its pending applications before the lower court to another judge for hearing. It argued that the lower court erred in law in electing to hear the bank’s motion ex-parte for garnishee order, despite its pending application for a stay of proceedings. The firm further argued that the lower court erred in its application of the Court of Appeal decision in the cases of Purification Techniques Nigeria Limited vs Attorney-General, Lagos (2004) 9 NWLR (part 879 at page 665 and NITEL vs ICIC (2009) 16 NWLR (part1167) at page 356 in deciding to hear the garnishee application as against its pending application for a stay of proceedings.

Justice Idris also directed the 18 banks, listed as garnishees in the application, “to prepare and file before the court statement of accounts showing the judgment debtor’s (Daar Communication) financial status with the garnishee as from March 26.” He set April 24 as return date. By that date, the banks are expected to have responded to the court’s order. The affected banks are First Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Enterprise Bank, Ecobank, Access Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Wema Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fin Bank, Keystone Bank, Mainstreet, Union Bank, Diamond, Skye, Unity Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Zenith and CBN. Fidelity Bank’s lawyer Zainab Kelani had while moving the application for garnishee order, stated that the judgment debtor “has refused and neglected to pay the outstanding judgment sum as contained in the judgment of March 26.”




Police track agent for illegal sale of property to Zamfara Governor


N Abuja based property agent, Mr. Obinna Kanu has been declared wanted by the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the Police in Abuja for allegedly selling the property of his principal to Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State. According to Special Police Gazette Bulletin issued under the authority of the Inspector General of Police, Kanu is wanted for alleged conspiracy, forgery and stealing of N300 million belonging to one Chief Ernest Elochukwu. The said property n 1, Fatai Williams Street, Asokoro, Abuja, was reportedly sold to the Governor by the agent

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja without the Governor knowing that the agent did not have the consent of the owner of the property. The Bulletin also stated that Kanu sold another of Elochukwu’s property, on House 421 (A) Road, Federal Housing Authority Estate, Lugbe for N200 million. He was said to have converted the proceeds from the two property to his personal use. The police added that the agent allegedly converted to his personal use, another N100 million given him by Elochukwu for the purpose of procuring a quarry licence.

“The method used in committing the offence is that the suspect being the manager in charge of Sir Elochukwu Ernest properties in Abuja, fraudulently sold Chief Ernest Elochukwu properties at No. 1 Fatai Williams Street, Asokoro and House 421 (A) Road, FHA Estate, Lugbe, Abuja respectively without his consent and converted the proceeds amounting N200,000,000.00.” “If seen, suspect should be apprehended and handed over to any nearest police formation or directly to the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police Special Enquiry Bureau (S.E.B) ‘D’ Department FCID, Area 10, Garki, Abuja”, the bulletin added.

Nwabueze, Balarabe Musa, 48 others sue Fed Govt, governors


CONSTITUTIONAL lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze; former Kaduna State Governor Balarabe Musa; Odua Peoples Congress (OPC)founder Dr. Fredrick Fasehun and 47 others have sued the Federal Government, challenging its hike of the fuel price from N65 to N97. They are asking the Federal High Court, Abuja, to declare the action unlawful, null and void. Others plaintiffs in the matter include popular lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite; former Minister of Finance, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu; popular economist and politician, Prof Pat Utomi; widow of the late lawyer and activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s wife, Ganiyat; rights activist Shehu Sanni, among others. The defendants are: President Goodluck Jonathan; Sen-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

ate President David Mark; House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal; Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the 36 governors. In the originating summons, the plaintiffs claimed that by Section 7 of the PPPRA and Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution, the defendants are not empowered to validly increase the pump price of petrol as they did on January 15, from N65 per litre to N97. Nwabueze and the 49 others insisted that by virtue of Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution, the defendants cannot sit as a body or in consultation with one another and validly take any decision affecting the appropriation of revenue accruing to the federation and,

•Prof Nwabueze

in particular, the removal of subsidy on petrol without a valid Appropriation Act. The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Festus Keyamo, in the suit which has been assigned to Justice Adamu Bello, is asking for a declaration that the increase of petrol pump price from N65 to N97 by the defendants while sitting as a body or in consultation with one another is in violation of Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 7 of the PPPRA Act.

Nigeria rated low in water sanitation IGERIA has been ratimplementation ed low in the imple-


mentation of the water sanitation policy. The country, which scored 54.8 per cent in 2010, as against the 58 per cent it recorded in 2010, is striving to attain 75 per cent by 2015. The National Project Coordinator, Urban Water Sector Reform of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Benson Ajisegiri, said the statistics showed that the country was not making enough progress. According to him, the studies have shown that less that 50 per cent of the 36 states have policy on water sanitation. Speaking in Lagos at a stakeholders’ forum on water supply and sanitation pol-

icy, Ajisegiri said state governments must plan their strategies and develop policies to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) targets for the nation. He described the nation’s water sanitation rating from 38 per cent in 2008 to 31 per cent in 2010 as unacceptable, saying it showed a decline. He said he believed that the conscious efforts made by Lagos and other states to develop a water sanitation policy and the steps and guidelines adopted to meet their own target would go a long way in helping the country to attain the 75 per cent water supply target in 2015. His words: “National target for us is to achieve 75 per

cent, but it is not the same in the 36 states. So, if state governments have to plan their strategies and develop policies, we will achieve the target.” Ajisegiri said he was delighted in the consultative process of developing a water sanitation policy in the state, describing the document as a roadmap to satisfy stakeholders. “Under water reform, which includes development of water supply and sanitation policy, we are almost concluding the process for Lagos. There has been a lot of consultations here, hence the robust document,” he said.

Gunmen kill three policemen in Anambra


HREE mobile policemen were killed yesterday at Ukpor Police Station in Anambra State. This is the third time the gunmen have struck this week. So far, they have killed seven policemen and injured many. Gunmen stole 14 AK47 rifles and freed two suspects at a police station on Wednesday in Anambra. It was gathered that about 10 hoodlums drove to the station in a white Hummer bus and a Hilux van at 1:30am and started shooting. Sources said the gunmen called the names of some policemen and challenged them

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

to come out. They said the gunmen destroyed part of the station with a locally-made grenade. It was learnt the policemen on duty fled, but two officers; Mohammed Musa, Ismaila Danjuma and another unidentified policeman, were shot dead. Their bodies have been deposited at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Univeristy Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) morgue. It was learnt the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), whose name could not be ascertained, rushed to the station at 2am

when he was informed of the attack. But his efforts to mobilise men from other stations failed, as they did not respond to his emergency calls. Sources said the DPO had removed all the arms and ammunition in the armoury after the attack on Amichi Police Station, in which 14 rifles were stolen, to prevent a recurrence. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka could not be reached, as his phone was switched off. It was learnt the victims were posted to Ukpor three weeks ago from Mopol Base 54, Onitsha.



NEWS 51 rocket launchers seized in raid of Gombe bomb ‘factory’


ECURITY operatives yesterday seized 51 rocket launchers from a home in Barunde, Gombe, that is used to manufacture rockets and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the raid, carried out by State Security Service (SSS) personnel and the army, came a few hours after four persons were arrested with 60 explosive devices in another part of the city. The Director of SSS in Gombe State , Mr Bitrus Asha, who conducted reporters round the ‘factory’, said one man has been arrested. Asha said 51 rocket launchers, 48 bags of fertiliser, sulphuric acid and cortex items were recovered. Other items recovered are detonators, remote control devices, different types of chemicals, six containers for preparation of improvised explosive devices and other items. He advised people to report suspicious characters to security agents, adding that the SSS and other security agencies would reinforce the operation, which would be sustained.

Ahmed, Saraki, others for Okeya Day


WARA State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed will tomorrow lead other personalities to the sixth edition of the Okeya Day. They are, Senators Bukola Saraki and Simeon Ajibola, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in the state, Alhaji Ishola Balogun and Secretary, Yemi Afolayan. The main event of the day, according to the Sixth Okeya Day Committee Chair, Mr. Ademola Adedoyin, is the N250 million Infrastructural Development Fund Raising. Dr. Fidelis Ayebae, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo, Alhaji Sule Akande, Mr. Tunji Gafar and Toyese Oyinlola are the special launchers. Also expected are first

class traditional rulers: Olofa of Offa, HRH Oba Muftau Oloyede Gbadamosi, Esuwoye II; Olupo of AjasseIpo, Oba Sikiru Atanda Woleola; Elese of Igbaja, HRH Oba Yakub Babalola; Olomu of Omu-Aran, HRH Oba Charles Oladele Ibitoye. Others are Oloro of Oro, HRH Oba AbdulRafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye and Elese of Esie, HRH Oba Yakubu Ibrahim Babalola. The Sixth Okeya Day is expected to generate fund for the rehabilitation of the town’s premier secondary school, Okeya High School and hospital. Police stations would also be built to enhance security in the community.

Robbers snatch workers’ salary in Yobe


RMED robbers yesterday stormed the Potiskum Local Government secretariat in Yobe State and stole the workers’ March salary. An eyewitness, who spoke with our correspondent on the phone, said the hoodlums arrived the council secretariat about 3.30 pm when the workers were collecting their salaries, and shot into

From Duku JOEL, Damaturu

the air. The workers fled without their money. The source said movement has been restricted in Potiskum, while security operatives are trailing the robbers. Yobe State Police spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin said “we have not received report about the robbery.”

Baptist Church holds conference


HE 2012 Eschatology Conference of the New Dawn Baptist Church, Victoria Island, Lagos, will take place from Friday, April 6 to Sunday, April 8 on the church premises.

The theme of the conference is:“The clock is ticking”. Evangelist Gboyega Shitta is expected to be the guest minister, while Bimogha Dambo is the conference repertoire.

Church holds crusade


HE Glorious Prayer Church will hold a three-day Easter crusade in Lagos. The title of the crusade is: “Jesus has paid the price for

all”. It will feature free medical check-up and distribution of free drugs. The General Overseer, Rev. Simeon Bamidele, said there would also be spiritual counselling. The pastor-in-charge, Yomi Ariyo, will deliver the sermon.




•Kebbi State Governor Saidu Usman Dakingari jubilating after his electoral victory


Soldiers kill Fulani in Taraba

EMBERS of the Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday killed Fulani militants in the crisisridden Takum, Taraba State. The soldiers arrested 100. The attack followed the killing of two soldiers by the Fulani militants after torching Tor-Tser, a Tiv settlement in Takum. Soldiers were drafted to Takum to keep the peace between the warring Tiv and

•Arrest 100 militants From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

Fulani communities. It was gathered that the private parts of the massacred soldiers were removed, and their rifles and uniforms taken away. One soldier sustained an injury after he was shot in the hand.

“This angered the soldiers and they attacked the Fulani militants in their hideouts at night. Many of them (Fulani militants) were killed and scores were arrested,” a military officer, who pleaded anonymity, told The Nation. He added: “Two of our men have been killed, we are searching for their rifles.”

Police spokesman Ibiang Mbasike confirmed the arrests. He, however, declined comment on the killings. Mbasike said: “Our Divisional Police Officer in the zone told me that about eight Fulani militants have been arrested. They were arrested after being disarmed.” Soldiers said most of the arrested Fulani militants are mercenaries.

Death toll in Maiduguri market killings rises to six


WO of the people seriously injured following the gunshot wounds they sustained during an attack by suspected Boko Haram members at the Monday Market, Maiduguri, on Wednesday have died. Suspected Boko Haram members killed a spare

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

parts dealer in his shop at Rowan Zafi Ward, Maiduguri and others at the Monday Market, Maiduguri. The latest victims; Mr. Rufus Okafor and his daughter, Chiamaka Okafor, a final year student of the Universi-

ty of Maiduguri, were taken to the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital for treatment, but they died a few hours later. The late Okafor and his daughter were said to have been shot about 2:30pm in his shop at the Monday Market. During the attack, which

UniAbuja students march on minister’s office


HE Federal Government may rescind its decision on the suspension of four key programmes at the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), as some of the aggrieved students yesterday took their protest to the Federal Ministry of Education. The protesters had on Wednesday barricaded the Airport/Giri Expressway, leading to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to register their displeasure over government’s decision. But the situation was brought under control by security personnel. Over 1,000 students pro-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

tested the suspension of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Agricultural Science programmes in the institution, a situation that has degenerated into a disruption of academic activities in the institution. It is believed that government is working on the advice of the Needs Assessment Committee it constituted to assess the priorities and needs of public-based universities in the country. The committee is headed by Mahmood Yakubu, Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET-

fund). The committee recently visited the institution where it found out that most of the affected departments lacked essential facilities. There was no clinical laboratory for Medicine, while Vet Medicine and Agricultural Sciences lacked an ideal farm settlement for practical. Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, engaged the Vice Chancellor, Sunday Adelabu, other senior officials of the university and students’ representatives in a truce meeting that lasted for several hours at the ministry. It was inconclusive and has been rescheduled for next Thursday.

DG, treasurer, cashier arrested over N21m missing salary


HE Director-General, Service and Administration, Treasurer, Cashier and two other workers of the Tarkaa Council in Benue State have been arrested and detained at the CID cell over a missing N21 million. The money was meant for staff’s salary, which was supposed to be paid before the Easter break. The Nation learnt that the money was withdrawn from a bank, but the cashier, allegedly acting on the instruction of the treasurer, refused to

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

pay the workers. He was alleged to have decided to defer payment till yesterday. The money was said to be kept in the cashier’s office and locked in a drawer. When the workers resumed yesterday, they were shocked to hear that the money had been stolen. When our reporter visited Tarkaa Local Government secretariat at Wannune, angry workers were seen milling around the chairman’s office, discussing the incident.

An Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) activist, Mr. Justine Anjemba, said he suspected foul play. “How can they say they kept such a huge amount in the office? Please let the chairman and the council officials tell the police more about the missing cash. I think they are playing games with the workers’ salary,” he said. The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer Ejike Alaribe confirmed the arrest of the officials and said the police are investigating the matter.

lasted for about five minutes, 12 people including traders and customers were said to have been injured. Sympathisers have been trooping to the home of the late Okafor at the Federal Low Cost Housing, Maiduguri to commiserate with the family.

Firm to restore human value A PERSONAL injury consultant company, Strategic Insight Solution Limited (SISL), has urged Nigerians to increase the value of their lives through compensation from personal injuries. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joel Akande, said lack of information on how to get compensation after suffering personal injuries (PI) would soon stop, with the involvement of his company. He said the company was established to protect Nigerians from personal injuries arising from assault, rape, medical and professional negligence. He added that other personal injuries that can be taken care of are those sustained at work and in public places and product liability in which a client or consumer suffers an injury. Akande said Nigerians would no longer incur losses from personal injuries if they register with restitution companies, adding that service and product providers would also be made to take responsibility for their actions with the establishment of restitution companies in the country. “In the case of omission, for example, if the doctor mistreats you or a local government fails to cover a manhole and somebody falls inside and breaks his leg, the council will be held responsible,” he said.




FOREIGN NEWS Mali’s junta seeks Western intervention


Lawyers, ACN, David-West insist on the President’s sack

•ECOWAS considers military option

HE head of the military junta that sparked international outrage when it seized power in Mali two weeks ago begged Western powers yesterday to help it counter an Al-Qaeda-backed revolt. Capt. Amadou Sanogo told the French dailies Le Monde and Liberation his government would need international assistance to regain control of the north of the country, which has fallen to the Tuareg rebels. “If the great powers are bale to cross oceans to battle fundamentalist structures in Afghanistan, what’s stopping them coming to us? Our committee wants the best for the country,” he said, in an interview. “The enemy is known and

it is not in Bamako. If a force was to intervene it would have to do so in the north,” he said, referring to the vast desert territory seized by rebels, which includes the towns of Gao and Timbuktu. Foreign powers have expressed concern about the rapid advance of the Tuaregs, a mix of separatist forces and Islamists, including fighters loyal to Al-Qaeda’s North African wing, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). But the international community has also condemned the March 22 putsch which brought Sanogo to power, at least in the parts of the country still controlled by government forces in the south and west. “In Bamako, life continues, the administration goes

about its affairs, people look after their businesses, our committee is respected. So there’s no crisis in Bamako. What’s urgent is the North,” said Sanogo. Sanogo, whose coup overthrew Mali’s elected leader President Amadou Toumani Toure, said he saw no difference between the rebels fighting for an independent Tuareg homeland and their Islamist allies. “Why would I draw a distinction between armed groups?” he demanded. “As long as they sow terror, I don’t differentiate between them. The doors to dialogue are open, we will talk, but we will not negotiate away Mali’s territorial integrity,” he insisted. “The situation has been crit-

Continued from page 2

•Capt. Sanogo

ical for a while. That’s the reason for which we overthrew the power in place. There was treason, the army was abandoned in the face of the Tuareg rebellion,” he argued. “Today, it’s no longer a simple rebellion. It’s Islamist groups basing themselves in the north of the country. If Mali is left alone to face this problem, Africa and the world will face the consequences.

Gunmen kills 10 security operatives in Afghanistan


UNMEN attacked an outpost of a government-sponsored militia and killed 10 members of the security force in western Afghanistan, officials said yesterday. The Taliban are targeting Afghan and NATO security forces as they fight to assert their power and undermine United States efforts to try to build up the Afghan military, which will take the lead in combat responsibility over the next couple of years. In other violence, a suicide bomber struck a bazaar in a northeastern district yesterday, killing two people and

wounding 16 others. The attacks appear to be part of an increase in violence at the beginning of the spring fighting season. During the harsh Afghan winter, snow often blocks roads and fighting dies down. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack on the outpost late Wednesday in Farah province’s Khaki Safed district. Militants armed with assault rifles stormed the post manned by members of the Afghan Local Police, said provincial police chief Shamsul Rahman Zahid. The militants shot a guard

who was posted outside, then pushed into the compound and opened fire on those inside, said Abdul Khaliq Noorzai, the district administrator. Another two militia members were dragged outside and shot dead, while four militiamen survived the attack, Zahid said. The Afghan Local Police is a force created with the help of the American military. They have been described as an armed neighborhood watch. The members come from the local community and receive a small government salary to man check-

New clashes as UN team arrives in Syria

Malawi’s president unconscious after cardiac arrest


ALAWI’s President Bingu wa Mutharika, 78, was unconscious in hospital after suffering a heart attack yesterday, amid mounting discontent with his leadership and demands for his resignation. “He had a cardiac arrest, he is still unconscious since 9:00 am (0700 GMT),” a senior official at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe said on condition of anonymity. According to the source, Mutharika collapsed at his official residence and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. He is currently being treated at an intensive care unit and his condition has been described as critical. He has been visited by senior politicians from his cabinet, including his wife and


children. “Those who visited the president in the intensive care unit included his brother Peter Mutharika, the First Lady Callista, his daughter Duwa and the Chief Secretary to the President, Bright Msaka,” the source said. Energy and Environmental Minister Goodall Gondwe also visited the president. Mutharika, a former World Bank economist, was re-elected with a sweeping majority in 2009 as president of the poor southern African country. But his second term has been marred by anti-government protests, with activists accusing him of mismanaging the economy and trampling on democratic freedoms.

points and oversee security in their area. They receive a few weeks of training before starting the work. The suicide bombing occurred in the Kishim district of Badakhshan province, which is relatively peaceful. Provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb said the attacker was targeting Nazok Mir, an area elder who commanded Afghan fighters against the Soviets in the 1980s. Insurgents killed Mir’s brother last year. Insurgents plot to kill leading figures in the north to eliminate opposition to the Taliban, which has its strongholds in the south.



Two weeks ago he vowed to govern until his term ends in 2014 after a leading rights group threatened unrest if he did not resign or call a referendum on his leadership. “I would like to say that Bingu doesn’t run away from work, Bingu doesn’t desert responsibility even if the going gets tough,” he told a rally.

YRIAN troops have launched fresh assaults on rebels, activists say, as an envoy of United Nations mediator Kofi Annan arrived in Damascus to discuss implementing a ceasefire plan. Activists say several towns, including Homs, Deraa and the Douma suburb of Damascus, have been shelled. The UN Security Council has urged Syria to carry out the plan “urgently and visibly”, with a ceasefire by 10 April. It calls on Damascus to pull back its troops and heavy weapons from city centres by that date, and for all parties including the opposition to cease armed violence within 48 hours of this pull-back.

spokesman and a greenhorn PDP spokesman seeking relevance, we will like to put it on record that their statements are ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’ - apology to William Shakespeare.” The ACN said presidential spokesman Dr Reuben Abati’s explanation that the church’s renovation is part of the construction company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and that the church does not belong to Jonathan or his family compounds the issue. The party said: “What is this company’s track record of CSR in Bayelsa or any other state in Nigeria, where it has obtained billions of naira in contracts? Why did the company choose the President’s village to do its CSR? Even if it is CSR, is it not a gift to the President’s community? What qualifies that community for this CSR above any other community? Assuming it was even legitimate CSR, shouldn’t the President see the obvious conflict of interest in a church where he worships being gratuitously renovated by a government contractor? “In other climes, the President and the company will give

a full account and a full scale investigation will be launched. Instead of the President’s handlers to be remorseful for what is, at the very least, a poor error of judgment by the President or his community in accepting this Greek Gift, they resorted to firing darts at imaginary political opponents of the President. “The reactions never mentioned the fact that the President himself, in his now trademark Freudian Slip, admitted soliciting and receiving the ‘gift’ from the construction firm. One would have expected that they will put a lie to this by causing the President’s speech at the inauguration of the church to be played for Nigerians to hear. “The truth is that the President’s handlers are either grossly incompetent or are terribly overwhelmed by the demands of their office. Otherwise, they would have ensured that the President does not make a statement that will put him in bad light. Had they done that, they would have saved themselves from having to issue, in regular intervals, statements that do no credit to the competence and professional standing of those who sign them.”

U.S, UK issue security alert on Nigeria Continued from page 1

The UK Foreign Office and the US Embassy in Abuja, issuing the updated travel warnings, noted that Boko Haram carried out attacks on Christmas Day last year. The UK advised its citizens to avoid travel to Borno, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Yobe states. “There is a high threat of terrorist attack during religious festivals,” the UK warning read. The US warning noted the near-daily attacks in Nigeria, noting that there have been “continued threats, including several that mention US interests”. The warning also noted that personnel from the US Embassy no longer travel to northern Nigeria, a rule put in place after a Boko Haram attack on Kano in January killed at least 185 people. “The US Embassy continues to monitor closely the ongoing threats posed by Nigerian extremist and criminal groups, and their stated intentions to carry out attacks against the Nigerian government and western interests and targets in Nigeria,” the message read. The police chief directed zonal and state commands to

provide adequate security to all places of worship during the Easter celebrations. The Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Mr. Ade Shinaba, placed a travel restriction on police personnel. The IGP’s statement said zonal Assistant Inspectors-General and Police Commissioners should ensure proper coverage of all vulnerable points and highways during and after the period. The police boss praised Nigerians for being co-operative with policemen in their various communities and called for more support and understanding of the security challenges. The statement praised for their tireless and selfless service to the nation. The statement reads: “The administration of the force is committed to giving a new lease of life to the Nigerian Police and ensuring that its past glories are restored, as a highly dedicated, motivated and efficient police force”. Abubakar urged Nigerians to avail the force with useful information to track down criminals. Shinaba directed police patrol teams to be very proactive and maintain adequate security around worship and recreation centres.

Fayemi, Ahmed, Osun ACN, others preach love among Christians

KITI and Kwara states’ Governors Kayode Fayemi and Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday urged Christians to celebrate the Easter with love and rededication to the nation’s unity. In their messages to Christians, the governors noted that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for mankind, urging them to emulate the Messiah. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Olayinka Oyebode, the Ekiti State governor congratulated the people of the state for witnessing another Easter and all Christians for the successful completion of the fasting period. He noted that the Easter

•Osun Speaker hails Aregbesola for free rail service

From Adekunle Jimoh,

Ilorin , Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

offers Christians and the residents an opportunity for sober reflection, urging Christians to use the period to pray for peace, development and prosperity of Ekiti State in its ongoing transformation of key sectors of the economy. Fayemi hailed Christians in the state for living in harmony with followers of other religions. The governor said though the task before him and his team is enormous, he added that success is achievable with the support of the electorate who voted him into office.

He urged the residents to be moderate in their celebration, saying Easter is not for eating and drinking alone but for reflecting on the past and hoping for a better future. Ahmed urged Christians to use the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to show greater commitment to peace and unity of Nigeria. In a message by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, the governor said the period should be used to reflect on the essence of nation-building. He noted that the death and resurrection of Jesus climaxed his mission on earth, which is the redemption of

mankind and the restoration of the essence of God. Ahmed thanked Christian and other religious leaders in the state for cooperating with his administration towards attaining harmony. The governor appealed to Nigerians, irrespective of their religious persuasions, to use the period to imbibe and entrench the values of good neighbourliness and patriotism so that the nation would continue to live together in peace. He said that the Easter period provides a good opportunity for Nigerians to work towards resolving the present peace and security

challenges confronting the country. In a statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, the ACN Chairman urged Christians to attune more to the lessons of total commitment to God and have faith in Jesus in all situations. The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly Najeem Salaam urged Christians in the state to allow the teachings of Christ to guide their paths. In a statement by his Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, the Speaker noted that good neighbourliness and love of others, which Jesus preached, should be ob-

served and imbibed by all during and after the festivities. The Speaker hailed Governor Rauf Aregbesola for making rail transport accessible to the poor, who may not afford transport fare hike that happen during festivities. Salaam, who noted that the gesture is commendable, added that the free train service has proved to the world that democracy is about people and for the people. He urged the residents to continue to support the government with prayers, saying if governance is left to politicians alone, the masses may not have good things to celebrate.





42ND KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING The Kano State Executive Council held its fourty second (42nd) sitting today Wednesday 4th April, 2012 (13th Jumada Auwal, 1433 AH) during which various submissions from different MDAs were presented and received deliberation and blessing of the Council as follows. Today Wednesday 4th April, 2012 (13th Jumada Auwal, 1433 AH) is the fourty second (42nd) sitting of the Kano State Executive Council and is in maintenance of the tradition of continuity with previous sittings during which Council typically deliberated on important policy issues and programs that impact positively on the quality of life of our citizenry. Records have it that the present administration maintains a steady vigorous tempo in pursuing projects that touch on everyday life of our people and for which an expenditure of over forty one billion naira (41 Billion) has been approved for execution from its first to the forty first Council sitting (from inception to date). Tangible progress has so far been attained on improving the quality and quantity of services delivered by Government in the areas of provision of employment opportunities, healthcare delivery, infrastructural development/maintenance, water supply, agricultural production, education, rehabilitation/reorientation of our youth through skill acquisition programs aimed at inculcating self-reliance, ensuring security of life and property of our people. A conspicuous and vigorous tempo has been maintained in the execution of an expenditure of the average of up to N1,004,497,849.00 per sitting up to the 40th Council sitting. 1. Office of the Secretary to the State Government 2. Ministry for Rural and Community Development 3. Women Affairs Ministry 4. Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperative and Tourism 5. Ministry of Science and Technology 6. Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Total

= = = = = = =

N4,840,000.00? N8,442,800.00? N40,965,000.00? N5,000,000.00? N14,000,000.00? N289,920,000.00? N372,167,800.00

Today Wednesday 4th April, 2012 the Council deliberated on twenty two (22) memoranda submitted by twelve (12) MDAs. Seventeen (17) memoranda entailed projects with monetary cost implications while the remaining five (5) do not. The total expenditure deliberated upon and approved for execution by the Council today is N1,499,896.643.52? As follows:1. Office of the Deputy Governor The Council approved release of the sum of N6,200,000.00 to the Office of the Deputy Governor of Kano State Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje charged under budget code 23/30/02 for onward payment to the Committee charged with organizing and executing of the foundation laying ceremony of the Northwest University Kano on 14th April, 2012 which is appropriate pending the first year or Democracy celebration day (i.e 29th May, 2012) of this administration. This is an august occasion as it celebrates the Foundation laying ceremony of the second of two Universities established in two tenures of Gov Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso. This ceremony is to draw participation from across the North – West Geopolitical zone in order to sensitize stakeholders about the educational challenges facing the zone and ginger up deserving commitments so as to advance the course of education in the zone and the nation at large. As such, the benefits to be drawn from this occasion are infinite. 2. Ministry of Rural and Community Development i. Retirement of cash savings from the Rural Electrification Board Account:The Council noted retirement of N6,138,725.00 as cash saved upon successful completion of the rehabilitation exercise carried out on vandalized electricity network on which an extra – material savings/surplus (from material purchased) after judicious usage of the N199,812.980.00 approved for release to the Rural Electrification Board via conclusion number SSCA/CA/EX/18/ 1/130 dated 17th November, 2011 to undertake the second phase direct rehabilitation of vandalized electricity networks in some parts of the State. Upon successful completion of the work, the saving of N6,138,725.00 realized was used to further execute some additional electrification projects (outside the shortlisted ones) requested by members of the public. 3. Ministry of Education N371,532,600.00 was approved for release by the Council to the Ministry of Education to be used as payment for registration and accreditation fees for WAEC, NECO, TAHFEEZ/TAJWEED (NBAIS) and female internal examinations for the year 2012. Council is aware of the indispensible need for the funds required for conducting examinations whether external (WAEC, NECO and NBAIS types) internal (KERD and AIED types) or general internal examinations since they provide the most reliable means of assessing and evaluating the quality of standards achieved by learners whose performances determine the quality of certificates awarded. Such certificates or their equivalents are still the main ‘tickets’ or pre-requisites that give access to further education at tertiary institutions of learning. Again, the “Girl Child Initiative” policy of this administration informed the positive decision of the Council in approving release of the fund to ensure registration of female students for the Kano Educational Research Department (KERD) and Arabic Islamic Education Department (AIED) of the Ministry of Education internal examinations. Continuously and relentlessly, this administration provides qualitative and important services for the advancement of education at all levels whereby the entire sector enjoys priority attention. Evidently, several projects aimed at improving the quality of provision for education are being executed. Such include construction and establishment of new schools, construction of more classrooms and staff quarters in existing schools, provision of laboratory equipment and consumables, provision of learners’ and teachers’ furniture, etc. This is being done at all levels of conventional/regular education (basic, intermediate and tertiary). In fact, the unsurpassed policies on the provision and supply of uniform to learners at the lower basic or junior primary level and provision and supply of food (feeding) to all learners in primary schools across the 44 Local Government Councils in the State are being implemented with all the seriousness they deserved. In fact, the revival of the entire activities of the Community Reorientation Committee (CRC) attests the Administration’s commitment to improve standards of education. Notwithstanding, this administration continues to shoulder the responsibility of paying for registration of our candidates for Senior Secondary Certificate (SSCE) and other examinations. Encouragingly, the Government continues to reward good performance at SSCE examinations by donating Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination registration forms to deserving candidates. Nevertheless, the approved sum of money for the purpose at hand is to be shared between the State Government and the 44 Local Government Councils across the State; Thus:1. State Government 2. 44 Local Government Total


N41,816,000.00 N329,181,600.00 N370,997,600.00

4. Office of the Secretary to the State Government Five (5) issues (projects) under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government were deliberated upon and approved for execution by the Council: viz:i. The Council approved the release of N14,000,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for purchase of 1000 copies of four (4) sets of books consisting of past examination question papers and answers for eight (8) core subjects put together as reference materials for all category of schools. The books are to be distributed to some Senior Secondary Schools, KERD, KSSSMB, Science and Technical Schools Board and the Ministry of Education to be placed in libraries. ii. N6,500,000.00 was approved for release by the Council for the SSG’s Office to execute rehabilitation work on seven (7No.) Intake and Kwarin Sako water pumping station with a view to ensuring 24hours working capacity of the station. 5. Office of the Chief of Staff a. N11,450,000.00 was approved for release by the Council to the Office of the Chief of Staff for onward payment to the Office of the Special Advisor on Inter – Party Relations for disbursement to twenty nine (29) other Political parties operating in the State as financial support in order to enable each of them pay the necessary rent money for their offices across the State. This is in fairness to the dictates of the rules of the game of politics to engender maintenance of a level playing ground. 6. Ministry of Justice Council deliberated and endorsed the “Abubakar Rimi Television Corporation (Amendment) bill 2012” submitted by the Ministry of Justice and directed for onward transmission to the Kano State House of Assembly for consideration and passage into law.

accrued between May – December, 2011 on the old salary rate and N6,128,276.40 from January – March, 2012 based on the new minimum wage totaling to N24,513,105.00 and books allowance in respect of 237 eligible medical students in the sum of N12,144,733.20 which brings the total sum approved to N31,193,114.71. Council considered the importance of maintaining the bond provisions between the medical students and the State Government in deciding on the matter so as to ensure the availability of vitally required manpower in the health sector. 10. Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. N98,850,000.00 was approved for release by the Council to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the immediate purchase of one hundred (100) tons of different crop seeds from May Agro-seed company of Turkey. The crop seed types include 40 tons of

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso

maize, 10 tons of sorghum, 30 tons of cotton, 5 tons of tomato and 15 tons of groundnuts. All are crops commonly grown in Kano State. Council considered and approved release of the fund in recognition of the fact that seed planted is one of the most important pre-requisites in crop production. 11. Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Co-operatives and Tourism. Three (3) issues submitted by this Ministry were deliberated upon by the Council as follows:a. First Report of the Committee enacted to ensure employment of State indigenes by all operating industries in Kano State:The Council read, considered and accepted contents of the report and i. Directed the Ministry of Justice to come up with a draft Law that will provide legal backing for the policy on employment of indigenes at lower cadre by the private sector. ii. Directed the Directorate of Youth Development, Guidance and Counseling to send Seven-up Bottling Company the list of applicants for the 4 posts of salesmen/Drivers for employment. iii. Directed the Secretary to the State Government to write and present commendation letters to the following individuals and organizations for according priority to the State indigenes when recruiting works:1. Klysat Wire and Cable Nigeria Limited 2. Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc 3. Mario Jose Enterprises Limited (Mamuda Group of Companies). 4. Angel Spinning and Dyeing Limited. 5. Fata Tanning Limited (Lee Group of Companies) 6. Umar Abdulhamid (Group Head, Retail Banking NW) of First Bank. 7. Alhassan Abdulkarim (Relationship Manager) of Access Bank. 8. Yusuf Yakubu Kankarofi and Alhaji Balarabe Yakasai of Mamuda Group of Companies. iv. Considered and approved the upgrading of the Committee on ensuring employment of State indigenes by all operating industries in Kano from Ad-Hoc to a permanent standing committee. v. Considered and approved the allocation of 18 seater bus to the Committee through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to cater for its smooth operation. vi. Considered and approved the release of N450,000.00 to aid the operations of the Committee for the second quarter (April – June, 2012) under the relevant vote on Committees and Commissions under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary to the Government. Progress Report The esteem Council has today received various reports on the progress of activities been approved/executed by the present Administration through its various Ministries, Departments and Agencies as follows:Launching of Consumer Protection Committee Council noted the launching of sensitization programme for Consumer Protection Committee. The programme which is planning to go round all major markets across the State is aimed at safeguarding the right of consumers for access to qualitative products. Government Water Improvement Strategy A brief was made by the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resources on their official trip to China for physical inspection of 600mm (42km length) and 1000diametre pipes procured by the State Government for laying from Bagwai - Bichi to Miltara and Challawa – Goron Dutse respectively. Council noted with appreciation that the 600mm approved to be laid from Bagwai to Miltara is now in Lagos State waiting conveyance to Kano for onward execution of the work while the 1000diametre pipes has been in advance stage of production in China and would soon be shipped to Nigeria. KwanKwasiyya Babes Football Club Noted by Council today is the impressive performance of Kwankwasiyya Babes during Youth Tournament at Dubai. The club defeated Sudan and Ireland while lost to Saudi Arabia and won the second position in the competition. Earning the second position enables the club to represent Nigeria comes July this year in Saudi Arabia for the next match. The club’s wonderful performance earns it to sale out five of its players. Three to Aljazeera and Two to Al-Shabab Football club, Abu-Dhabi. Polio Eradication Campaign Gigantic effort and various strategies were employed by the Committee of Polio Eradication which yielded positive result in terms of compliance by resisting families. Council noted the development and appreciated the assistance of Emirate Council, Hisbah Board, Nigerian Police and the general public for their support and cooperation to the success of the exercise. Disbursement of N220m Vehicle Loan to Civil Servant Council noted the disbursement of the total sum of N220million as vehicle loan to various civil servants in the State. While acknowledging the fact that the scheme is part of Present Administration’s welfare package to its workforce, Council called on the beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by putting in their best in the day to day discharge of their various responsibilities. Selling of Government Houses (GP) to Civil Servants The State citizens are aware of the Present Administration Plan to sell out Government Properties to enable the occupants own the houses as well as pave way for Government to utilize the proceeds realized for building other new houses. Council has noted the progress of the exercise which has now reached an advance stage. Passing out of Batch “C” NYSC Members Council noted that the batch C NYSC members are about to finish their one month orientation camp and would be deployed for their one year primary assignment. You may recall that the State as a result of massive expansion in its educational sector which translates into the constructions of more classrooms and the establishment of new schools required more teachers approved that all Corps Members posted to the State will be posted to schools to teach with the exception of those with specialized discipline like health professionals. Having noted that the earlier batch now serving have been given an intensive workshop with a view to sensitizing them on teaching principles to enable them adjust to their new roles as teachers, Council directed for conducting same to the incoming batch to serve the purpose. Proposed Sport Complex at NAMA Site K/Na’isa A joint Inspection to the site was conducted by Hon. Commissioners of Works, Housing & Transport and Lands & Physical Planning to ensure smooth conduct of the contract at the site. The Council directed the team to routinely inspect the work along with other ones for proper execution of Government contract. Noted also by Council is the progress of Government House fencing contract which reached about 95% completion stage.

7. Ministry of Health The sum of N48,823,272.00 was approved for release by the Council to the Ministry for onward payment to the Office of the Special Adviser to the Executive Governor on Sanitation and Immunization (Lafiya Jari) to facilitate the third (3rd) batch lafiya jari empowerment program involving 200 unemployed health professionals from across the 44 Local Government Councils in the State. Council considered the incumbent Government’s commitment to the provision of qualitative and reliable health care delivery practices of which access to genuine pharmaceutical products is one. This 3rd batch is only in continuation with an already started laudable program.

Illegal Motor Park A report was received by Government from the Committee on enforcement in respect of 15 designated Motor Parks in the State. Council noted and appreciate public observance as well as enjoined them to continue supporting the measure for the sake of security.

8. Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. Two projects were approved for execution by this Ministry they include:a. N22,447,542.90 was approved for release by the Council to the Ministry to effect payment of compensation for structures within the School of Informatics premises, Kura. Council upheld its commitment to the establishment of this institution in this important decision making.

State GDP Council noted the State successful boosting of GDP this year as testify by the National Planning Committee. In this direction, Council directed Ministry for Planning & Budget to continue working harder towards boosting and sustaining the tempo. Courtesy Visit to His Excellency the Governor, by RUFOBA Council noted that a courtesy visit was paid to His Excellency, the Governor by Rumfa College Old Boys Association (RUFOBA) delegation under the chairmanship of Alh. Nu’man Barau. While appreciating the effort of the association towards various logistics support to the school, Council called on similar associations to emulate this famous association through putting in the best to their schools.

9. Office of the Head of Civil Service Council approved the release of the total sum of N31,193,114.71 to the Office of the Head of Civil Service for further disbursement to sixty nine (69) bonded eligible medical students presently at 300 level. The money include payment for arrears of N12,920,105.10

Signed: Hon. Commissioner for Information, Internal Affairs, Youth & Sports




HE hot news from the capital of the Pace setter State this past week was about former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s visit to former Governor Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja. From what we now know, Chief Obasanjo and Chief Ladoja had a private meeting in the house of the latter and both had lunch together, courtesy of the lady of the house. This is normal African hospitality and nothing sinister ought to be read into the matter of a former president and a former governor having a sumptuous dish of pounded yam, except, of course, when we are reminded of a history of pounded yam lunches and dinners that ended up in disaster. Still the issue is not the lunch. The purpose of the visit, according to news stories, was to reconcile Chief Ladoja with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State in particular and the nation in general. There is also nothing unusual about this. After all, the Almighty tells us that those who engage in the commendable work of reconciliation are blessed. So what is to worry about? As one sympathiser put it, only those who do not wish the party well would oppose the move toward reconciliation. Putting it that way of course can only mean one thing: it’s all about the party. This raises the question: does the good of Ladoja count? Does his wellbeing matter? Does his interest count? As I think about these questions, I am reminded of the victimisation of the former governor in the hands of the party hierarchy right from the beginning of his tenure in 2003 up until his illegal impeachment, reinstatement, and denial of a second term ticket. It’s hard to think of any other politician who suffered more abuse and indignity in office as a result of a deliberate action of his party leadership than Ladoja. And while it lasted, Ladoja was able to count on the firm support of progressive leaders of opposition party, including AD and AC at the time. Now that the same cabal that tormented him for four years are back in his house to be reconciled to him, Ladoja, the once bitterly divorced wife, has become a beautiful bride again. And I am reminded of Flyleaf’s Beautiful Bride lyric: Beautified diversity, functioning as one body/Every part encouraged by the other/No one independent of another/You’re irreplaceable, indispensable/You’re incredible, incredible./Beautiful bride, body of Christ/One flesh abiding, strong and unifying/Fighting ends in forgiveness/Unite and fight all division, beautiful bride. Chief Obasanjo must be humming the tune of this song as he woke up that beautiful


A beautiful bride’s dilemma

What can possibly be at stake in the burden that Ladoja has to carry in this matter? He has to decide whether to go back to PDP, stay in Accord Party or join with Progressives, who stood by him through thick and thin, to move the Pacesetter State forward together. • Obasanjo

• Ladoja

morning on his way to Ibadan. A self-acclaimed born-again, he must have thought about his legacy and it must have occurred to him that he needed a break. His concern, apart from strengthening the party,certainly has something to do with his own standing as party leader under whose watch the party was routed in his domain. If he thinks this way, he needs to stop worrying himself because it was clear from the beginning that the party was not in the reckoning of southwesterners. That was the clear signal in 1999. Assume, however, that Obasanjo is concerned about his legacy and standing. He now needs Ladoja to redeem him from the scorn of especially the national leadership. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, himself a victim of Obasanjo’s fury, has not relented in his heaping all the blame for the woes of the party on his former boss. The


Baba is RELEVANT to his FOWLS

NO. 2087


TOMORROW IN THE NATION ‘In many homes today, most children who suffer such abuses are afraid to speak because their parents never gave them the opportunity to do so. Many parents simply do not have the time to listen to them. They are too busy trying to make money and, in so doing, neglect those little things that bond the family together.’ YOMI ODUNUGA

point, then, is that this is about Obasanjo as much as it is about the party. To leave a lasting legacy, Obasanjo would like to recapture the Southwest for PDP; and to realise this goal, he needs Ladoja. This is Obasanjo’s burden. Recall that Obasanjo was not as passionately disposed to Atiku’s entreaties even when the latter paid him a reconciliation visit. Ladoja is the beautiful bride that is “irreplaceable, indispensable” and “incredible.” Obasanjo’s is the burden of abusive husband who divorced his wife on grounds of irreconcilable differences and later found that he cannot live without her. The beautiful bride has her own burden. Will she fall into the trap a second time? Will she take the bait? There is a well-known illustration of the epic of an abusive relationship that goes down to the core of the Yoruba value sys-



T is hard to imagine that even in a failing state a judicial officer could use power so flagrantly and as flippantly as Magistrate A.A. Oshoniyi of an Ikeja Magistrate Court did on Wednesday in Lagos. What sort of provocation could have led a judicial officer to order in one fell swoop the arrest of about 13 journalists who were in the court to cover a coroner’s inquest? The reporters involved in the misunderstanding recounted an argument with a prosecutor and social worker called Rose who mistreated the journalists by ordering them out of the court. Her angry and insulting tone and refusal to listen to explanation led to an altercation that drew the attention of the magistrate. Oshoniyi, who should have handled the misunderstanding with the maturity and civilised comportment of a judicial officer simply entered the fray on the side of Rose and ordered the police to arrest the reporters. When judicial officers misuse power, it does not of course indicate that the whole judiciary regularly behaves atrociously. But it reminds all of us of the unending woes we face as a nation. Add the magistrate’s intemperate behaviour to the unthinking reaction of the police invited by the irate prosecutor into the fray and you will get a clear picture of the problems and malfeasances undermining good and modern governance in Nigeria.

Disgraceful use of judicial power The police were not only brutal in arresting the journalists whom they accused of behaving as if they were above the law, they also dehumanised them. Lagos Police spokesman, Mr Joseph Jaiyeoba, offered an interesting justification of the brutalisation of the journalists. When a person resists arrest, he says, the struggle between him and the police tends to look like harassment. In addition, he says worryingly, when a judge gives an order, the police are bound to carry it out. He did not draw a line between lawful and unlawful orders. What if the magistrate had given an order for the journalists to be shot, would the police have obeyed simply because the order was given by a judge even outside the purview of a trial? The orientation of the police, the fury of the magistrate, and the hysteria of the prosecutor/social worker leave much to be desired. They not only abused power, they also showed us what long journey to civilised governance lies ahead of us. Both the magis-

tem. It is the story of Orunmila and Iwa. Orunmila married Iwa, the daughter of Suru. Iwa was radiantly beautiful and tried to do her best for her husband. But Orunmila was never satisfied. When Iwa couldn’t take it any more she took leave of Orunmila whose fortune thereafter dwindled and he was forced to look for Iwa for reconciliation and redemption. Iwa, knowing better, refused to go back. Will Ladoja be the Iwa of the 21st century? What can possibly be at stake in the burden that Ladoja has to carry in this matter? He has to decide whether to go back to PDP, stay in Accord Party or join with Progressives, who stood by him through thick and thin, to move the Pacesetter State forward together.His decision on any of these has to be based on his own rational interest. That is what politics is all about, as they say. But politics also has to do with virtuous intents and outcomes. You go into politics to make a difference in the lives of people, and not just about your own bottom line. If that is the case, then it behooves a politician to demonstrate consistency of action and nobility of intentions. It is unclear how Ladoja can expect that the people who are loyal to him and the whole of Oyo State will fare better in a PDP-controlled government. Furthermore, it remains to be seen what welcoming hands are spread for him in the Oyo State PDP. Already, there are discordant notes about the reconciliation moves. Once beaten, twice shy is still a wise counsel of the elders.If there are no other suitors, isn’t remaining single and living a peaceful life a better option? This leads us to the issue of other suitors. Surely, this beautiful bride does not lack suitors. Indeed, as remarked above, out of genuine love and sympathy for his unjustified victimisation, members of the progressive movement devoted time and resources to his support even when they were themselves in the crosshairs of the heavy metal of his tormentor. If you were so loved by progressive suitors when no one in your husband’s family cared about your pain, doesn’t it make rational sense to pitch your tent with them? Of course, it takes two to do the proverbial tango, and progressives must redouble their efforts in outsmarting those tacticians of the ruling party who swallow their pride and embrace reconciliation. The need to mobilise and recruit on behalf of progressive agenda has never been greater and it matters a lot how many people are on board. While ideas matter and in the end the distribution of the dividends of democracy is what counts, the role of numbers cannot be discounted. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above trate and the police displayed long-standing bias against journalists. Yet the nature of their work as public officers does not permit them such biases. Their superiors, rather than defending the objectionable behaviour of these public officers, must work hard to reorient them, or failing that read them the riot act. They must be made to understand that there is a level below which at all times they must never descend. As a matter of fact, we expect an official reaction from the police and the Lagos State judiciary in the coming days. The account of the journalists is fairly persuasive, and the harassments they received real, but it is also possible they were partly responsible for the misunderstanding at Oshoniyi’s court. Unfortunately, because they were victims of cruel treatment, it is pointless focusing on their shortcomings. Instead we should see the misbehaviour of the magistrate and the police as offering us the opportunity to assess the capacity, emotional stability, and sound judgement of those in public office entrusted with great powers and responsibility. In Oshoniyi’s court on Wednesday, the magistrate and the police comprehensively failed to rise up to the level of responsibility required of the immense powers at their disposal. Their failure is unacceptable to Nigeria and humiliating to the public offices they purport to serve.

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The Nation April 06, 2012  
The Nation April 06, 2012  

The Nation April 06, 2012