Page 1

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Ekiti declares 7-day mourning NEWS

MEND: we killed 12 JTF men

Pages 2,3,4&10

NEWS Page 4

•Tributes to Deputy Governor

•JTF says security on alert

VOL. 8, NO. 2452 MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013



Cracks in Presidency over amnesty for Boko Haram NSA, minister fine-tune panel members’ list From Yusuf Alli, Abuja


ESPITE President Goodluck Jonathan’s disposition to amnesty for Boko Haram, not all members of his cabinet believe in the option, it was learnt yesterday. Also, it was learnt that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) and the National Security Adviser, Mr. Aliyu Sambo, on Saturday fine-tuned the list of members of the Technical Committee who will work out the modalities for the amnesty. The work of the Technical Committee will pave the way for the inauguration of the Main Committee in two weeks time. Besides, the NSA is said to have met with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for his suggestion on the security challenges facing the nation. Following a session of the National Security Council, the President decided to raise a panel to weigh options on amnesty for Boko Haram members. But investigation by our correspondent revealed that not all members of the cabinet supported the amnesty solution. It was learnt that some military chiefs, cabinet members and top aides prefer a military solution to the security threats posed by Boko Haram as the case in Turkey and Algeria. Apart from the gains recorded by the Joint Task Force in repelling Boko Haram, those opposed to amnesty indicated that security agencies had reached a stage of unmasking those behind the challenges the country is facing. They claimed that some of the detained Boko Haram members were already set to disclose their sponsors. According to sources, those opposed to amnesty are of the opinion that the political Continued on page 4

•T AKE HEAR T: Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi and wife, Bisi, consoling Mrs Adetutu Famuagun , mother of the late Deputy Governor, •TAKE HEART Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka and father Chief Festus Famuagun at the Famuaguns’ home in Ado-Ekiti…yesterday.

2015: ACN accuses Fed Govt of plans T to block free election

HERE are plans by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government to create a chaotic environment and prevent a peaceful election in 2015, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) alleged yesterday. The party cited some decisions of the government, which it said were directed at worsening insecurity and violence with the aim of ensuring that the election never holds or it holds in an environment that will prevent free and fair elections. ACN’s National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Lagos yesterday, said though his

•Claims misleading, says Presidency By Eric Ikhilae, Staff Correspondent

party had earlier complained before now that the Federal Government was promoting crisis and working towards incapacitating known opposition leaders,with its eyes on 2015, the situation is “more alarming now.”

Mohammed urged ACN supporters and other well-meaning Nigerians to be vigilant and prevent the breakdown of law and order. He said the PDP’s resort to such crude tactics was informed by its realisation that the elecContinued on page 4





Cancer… Amid poor medical facilities for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, many Nigerians, including men, women and children, continue to fall prey to various types of the disease, leaving their families and loved ones dejected, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU •The choir of the Apostolic Faith performing at the 2013 Easter Service at the Osun State Goverment House, Oke Fia Osogbo...yesterday. Inset: Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye- Tomori, reading the Bible at the the service.

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (left), Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Dr Segun Oshin and Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Saburi Adesanya (right), at the 22nd convocation of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye... on Saturday.

• President, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management (CIPSMN) , Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed (right) Colonel Gabriel Akpan (middle) and Fellow of the Institute, Mr. Kayode Tinubu, when the Nigerian Army College of Logistic’s Course 10/2013 participants visited the Institute in Lagos. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN


HEN it strikes, the agony stretches year long. The eyes of the children of the victims are often deadened. The widows or widowers battle to accept their new status. But, like day turning to night, they have got to live with their new reality of being orphans, widows or widowers. In some instances, where the victims have aged parents , they also have no choice but to live after their children. Welcome to the world of children, fathers or mothers and aged parents whose statuses have been changed overnight by cancer of various sorts. In their exclusive clime, sorrow and tears compete for attention because of the death of dear ones. Confusion often reigns too. And not a few keep asking: Why? Cancer shows no mercy. The latest of its influential victims is Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olayinka. Until her death last Saturday evening, she was Ekiti State’s deputy governor. Her loss to cancer has left her husband, three children, aged parents and boss, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, among many others, disturbed. Cancer has killed many prominent Nigerians and the poor, whose death are attributed to ‘brief illness’. Only last December, the wife of the chairman of MicCom Cables and Wires and MicCom Golf Hotel and Resort, Olufunke Ponnle, was buried after losing the battle of life to cancer. The late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, ace broadcaster Yinka Craig and former First Lady Mrs Mariam Babangida also fell to cancer. A nutritionist and mother of four, Mrs. Margaret Shogunro-Pitan, is also one of the victims of cancer. Mrs. Shogunro-Pitan in 2003 had Hysterectomy, the removal of her uterus and tubes because she had multiple fibroids. Not long after, she started feeling that her body was not functioning properly. She was feeling a lot of discomfort lying face down, especially with her right breast. But as a Christian and minister of God, she was quick to say ‘God forbid’ each time the reality of it being breast cancer crossed her mind. She headed for a private diagnostic laboratory for mammogram, a cancer screening test. But she never returned to the laboratory to ask for the outcome of the examination until two months later, when a doctor insisted on her getting the result of the diagnosis. It turned out positive for breast cancer. It was decided that a second opinion should be sought. And in February 2006, it was confirmed that she had malignant lump. She went to the Eko Hospital. For 29 days, she was on admission at the A-rate hospital, where she had mastectomy with equipment she said were fully automated. She had to undergo six courses of chemotherapy, 22 sessions of radiotherapy and CT scan. She seemed to recover thereafter. But she later died.

The cost of treating cancer

• Bishop Diocese of Lagos West, Methodist Church Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Isaac Ayo-Olawuyi, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Motor Vehicles Administration Agency , Mr. Akin Hanson (left) and Lagos State Head of Civil Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe (right), at the Diocesan 2013 Annual synod of the Ikeja the weekend.

Cancer does not just kill in one day. Before it does, it drains the families of the victims financially, emotionally and otherwise. The cost of treatment is killing. The cost varies depending on the type of cancer. But one ring cuts across all of them: they

don’t come cheap. Before a patient can undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy, a CT scan may be required. This costs between N30,000 and N40,000. And to ensure all the areas of threat are detected, the CT scan ought to be done for the brain, the chest, the abdomen and the bone marrow. To do all these, no less than N100,000 is required. But since most patients cannot afford this, an x-ray, which is less comprehensive, is adopted. The MRI scan, which is an higher form of CT scan, goes for at least N60,000. For breast cancer chemotherapy, a patient may have to take Adriamycin, which, from checks at pharmaceutical stores, costs no less than N2,000 per bottle. But if the patient has a heart problem, he or she has to use another variant of the drug known as Eprirubicin, which is said to cost about N10,000 per bottle. A patient is expected to use six courses of this every three weeks. By the time a patient is through with this, he or she must have spent between N80,000 and N100,000 on drugs alone. There is, however, a cheaper drug, which costs N400 per tablet. It is known as Cyclophosphamaide, which, an oncologist said, is not commonly prescribed. In the event that the patient needs surgery, the cheapest is Lumpectomy, which costs not less than N15,000. Mastectomy, which is the removal of affected breast, goes for about N50,000. As for radiotherapy done through linear accelerator machine for breast cancer, 20 sessions are said to cost not less than N100,000 anywhere in the country. The radiotherapy for cervical cancer costs about N50,000 more. If the breast cancer radiotherapy is done with Cobalt 60 machine, it costs less, especially in government-owned cancer clinics. The rate in private clinics is more. A hormone positive patient has to use an anti-hormone drug known as Tamoxifen. A pack costs N600, which lasts one month. But the patient who tests positive to this is expected to use this drug for five years non-stop for efficient result. This drug can only be used by women who have not reached menopause. For the five-year period, a patient needs N36,000. Those who are over menopausal age have to use Tamoxifen for between two and three years before combining it with another higher treatment, which costs more. The financial implications of all these drugs and treatments pale into insignificance when compared to what it costs to use the new wonder targeted therapy for women with HER 2+ breast cancer. The drug known as Herceptin costs N400,000 to acquire enough dosages for one month and a patient is expected to use it for one year. That means to enjoy the enormous benefit of this wonder drug, which can be an effective treatment both before and after surgery for people with HER2-positive breast, a patient needs N4.8 million!

What experts say


ROF. Muheez Durosinmi of the Department of Haematology and Immunology, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, in a paper published by the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, identified high cost of hospital care as the major factor against cancer treatment. His words: “The major limiting factors to successful treatment of cancer in Nigeria are the high cost of hospital care and the inability of a majority of the patients




Tales of sorrow, tears and death •Sympathisers outside the Ado-Ekiti home of the parents of the late Mrs. Olayinka... yesterday.

•Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora signing the condolence register at the late Mrs. Olayinka’s house in Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO

to obtain chemotherapy, poor supportive facilities and a high default rate. The unhealthy state of cancer therapy in this country is best illustrated with reference to our experience with the management of 213 patients with Burkitt’s lymphoma over a period of 13 years. Over 75 per cent of patients presented in advanced stages C or D; 132 (62 per cent) of the patients received less than the recommended number of cycles of chemotherapy before voluntary discharge from the hospital and, 41 (31 per cent) of these did not complete a single chemotherapy cycle. “The default rate was unacceptably high, with 166 patients (77.9 per cent) failing to return for outpatient visits after a median follow-up period of 2.3 months (range = 0,67 months). A five year survival rate of only 1.9 per cent was obtained, compared to almost 50 per cent reported in E. Africa, using a similar combination therapy - cyclophosphamide, oncovin and methotrexate (COM). Our experience with Burkitt’s lymphoma is similar to that of most other cancers, in that a large majority of patients present very late and are unable to purchase anticancer drugs.”

Tales from survivors


SURVIVOR told The Nation that she lost her hair, was gen erally weak, felt nauseated and lost appetite as a result of chemotherapy. Another said she was almost unconscious and had to take the last two doses with blood transfusion. Then another one claimed: “My skin darkened, my face was puffed up and swollen and my eye lashes disappeared.” But they all agreed that it is better to experience withered hair and all and stay alive than run away and die a harrowing death. After treatment, they all got their hair back, and puffed up face and disappeared eye lashes returned to normal and they live normal lives. There is also the problem of denial. When cancer is first diagnosed, not a few first engage in self-denial, looking for reasons why it could not be. Rahama Sani, a cancer survivor and social worker, said she faced this challenge and even latched on to a typographical error in her name to back her position that it could not be her. Sani identified access to diagnostic facilities as a major barrier to cancer detection and treatment, a development which, she believes, is capable of promoting wrong diagnosis. Sani said the first three investigations she did failed to show she had cancer. “I did three investigations. I did mammogram; there was nothing. Three investigations; there was nothing, until when the pathologist said they should remove it and he examined it and he confirmed there was cancer. When I got the result, I was like this was not my own because there was a typographical error in my name. But when I went to see the pathologist, he confirmed it was mine. I said we should have a second opinion. This was done by a renowned pathologist in ABU Teaching Hospital, Dr. Rafindadi. I went to see him

Atiku, Soyinka, Tinubu, Akande, Okonjo-Iweala condole with Fayemi


ORMER Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande yesterday commiserated with the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi over the death of his deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka. The former vice-president described the death of Mrs. Olayinka as “unfortunate”. Atiku urged the governor to accept the death of his deputy as an act of God, saying “the death of the Ekiti State deputy governor is not only a loss to Ekiti State, but to Nigeria because she was a faithful and committed compatriot.” Tinubu described the death of Mrs. Olayinka as a big blow. He said: "The sudden demise of Ekiti deputy governor Funmilayo Olayinka is a big blow and comes at a time when she is most needed to play a vital role in the transformation of Ekiti. She rose like a meteor and brought compassion and grace to the exalted office of the deputy governor. She was a leading light amongst women of her generation and creed. Alongside the people of Ekiti, I share in the sudden and painful loss of this great daughter of Oduduwa and rising star, Mrs. Olayinka. "Her painful death sadly reminds us of the parlous in Zaria and they did the test again and he confirmed the same result. I was so confused. But he counselled me,” said Sani.

Access to resources for global cancer control and care All these barriers are compounded by the fact that Nigeria is a developing country with less than 10 percent of the resources for global cancer control and care. In the World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Report No. 804 of 1990, it was reported that over 50 per cent of cancer victims live in poor nations like Nigeria, where a projection done some years back feared that this year, the figure of new cases could become as high as 500,000 as against the 100,000 cases annually previously. Of this figure, the Nigerian Cancer Society (NCS) says about 32,000 die annually. In 2005, cancer killed 89,000 people in Nigeria with 54,000 of this figure below the age of 70. It is feared further that by 2020, cancer incidence for Nigerian males and females may rise to 90.7/100,000 and 100.9/ 100,000 respectively. It is also anticipated that by 2020, death rates from cancer in Nigerian men and women may reach 72.7/100,000 and 76/ 100,000. Yet, a WHO statement said: “of the 10 million cancer cases occurring annually, 1/3 can be prevented, another 1/3 can be effectively treated with early diagnosis, and palliative care

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

state of our health care system in Nigeria. The lives of millions of our men and women are in jeopardy as they suffer under the disease of cancer without early detection and adequate treatment. A national cancer center of international center needs to be established with proper funding and subsidised cost for testing and treatment." Prof. Soyinka said her death would be felt by the state, her family and the country. Prof. Soyinka said: “Her departure will be felt as a great loss to your administration, to the people of Ekiti State, but most especially to her family, to whom I request that you be so kind as to convey my message of fortitude in the face of this grievous bereavement.” Akande said the deceased would be missed by the ACN for her selfless contributions. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala described her as “a beautiful and intelligent sister, who worked assiduously for the development of the state”. A former governor of the old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, described the deputy governor’s death as a “personally painful experience”. Olumilua, who is a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), said the late Mrs. Olayinka “brought glamour to governance and the politics of the state through her modest and intellectual approach in handling issues”.

can improve the quality of life of the last third.” But with a pharmaceutical industry that is at best crawling, it has to depend on the developed world for drugs for cancer treatment. WHO findings show that the third world countries consume only five percent of cytotoxic drugs, while the rest is sold in the richer nations which account for only 39 percent of cancer cases. Also disturbing is the fact that Nigeria, with a population of over 140 million people, has less than 100 practicing oncologists. The country also has no medical facility which specialises exclusively in cancer treatment. Another barrier centres around the fear of chemotherapy. This has made some resort to alternative medicine products. But what really is chemotherapy? It is the treatment of cancer with drugs that can destroy cancer cells. In current usage, the term “chemotherapy” usually refers to cytotoxic drugs which affect rapidly dividing cells in general, in contrast with targeted therapy. Chemotherapy drugs interfere with cell division in various possible ways, such as the duplication of DNA or the separation of newly formed chromosomes. Most forms of chemotherapy target all rapidly dividing cells and are not specific to cancer cells. Experts say it has the potential to harm healthy tissue, especially those tissues

that have a high replacement rate (such as hair, bone marrow and intestinal lining). These cells usually repair themselves after the therapy.

Beating cancer


OR now, in the face of these barriers, beating cancer may appear advisable. Experts say cancer – and by extension the attendant psychological, financial and emotional losses- can be beaten through early detection, avoidance of lifestyles that promote cancer such as smoking, exposure to industrial chemicals, consumption of excess fat and heavy use of alcohol, healthy sexual behaviours, and pursuing a lifestyle or diet that modifies cancercausing factors. A renowned gynaecologist and Medical Director, Medical ART Centre, Lagos, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, said: “As soon as you attain the age of 40, you should go for a comprehensive medical examination. As from 50 and above, women should be undergoing procedures like a mammogram, ultrasound scan and blood evaluation.” Associate professor and Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist at the Oncology & Pathological Studies Unit, College of Medicine (CMUL), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Rose Anorlu, also advised: “Don’t wait until they have symptoms before going for routine checks yearly for breast cancer, cer-

vical cancer including pap smear and ultrasound scan. Post- menopausal women in particular should go for routine self-breast examination, a mammogram test and a pelvic ultrasound scan to check the ovaries.” A consultant pathologist, head, Department of Histopathology, National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Paul Jubrin, said there is also the need to evenly distribute cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities. Jubrin said: “The facilities for the treatment of cancer in Nigeria are actually up-todate. But the problem is that it is not well-distributed. Cancer radiotherapy, one of the latest treatments of cancer, is only in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Zaria. At least, you expect up to two of them in each geopolitical zones of the country. If you come to the National Hospital, Abuja, the state-of-the-art equipment are there. We recently introduced nuclear medicine, which you can use to detect cancer in your body and apart from that we have an oncology unit. It is just distribution. National Hospital has started training for oncologists. The screening method for cervical cancer called pap smear is between N2, 000 and N3, 000. It is now available everywhere. Now, we have what we call visual inspection with iodine. You don’t even need a specialist for this.” An environmentalist, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, said effective tobacco control through the passage and implementation of the National Tobacco Control Bill would go a long way in helping to curb cancer. Akinbode explained that many types of cancer have been linked to cigarette, which contains over 4,000 toxic and carcinogenic agents. The bill, which President Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign into law after it was passed by the National Assembly, seeks to domesticate the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global treaty that has the potential of checkmating the evil of tobacco use, among which is cancer. Smoking related cancer, he said, accounts for not less than 30 percent of cancer related deaths. The bill has been represented at the National Assembly by a member of the House of Representatives, Dayo Bish-Alebiosu. Sani said diagnosis must be done properly. She said: “I hope our government will put in place proper diagnostic facilities so that people won’t be wrongly diagnosed and they can take informed action. We need to improve the diagnostic system. I am sure a lot of people have been wrongly diagnosed.” Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, a breast cancer survivor and president, Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), believes early detection and treatment can help save victims and their loved ones from the pangs of cancer.



NEWS MEND: we killed 12 JTF men


IL companies operating in the Niger Delta were told yesterday not to rely on the security guarantee given by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF). The warning issued by a faction of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) loyal to Jomo Gbomo came barely 24 hours after an attack by suspected militants on 12 policemen on escort duty to Azuzuama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa State. Bayelsa State Police Commissioner Mr Kingsley Omire yesterday confirmed the death of the officers, who were declared missing on Friday night. Omire, at a news conference in Yenagoa, the state capital, blamed the attack on ex-militants in the Young Shall Grow camp. MEND served last week a no-

•Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (right), his wife Senator Oluremi with the Assistant Secretary of the United States, African Affairs Mr John Carson and wife in Washington DC after the wedding of the daughter of Ambassador Howard Jeter

2015: ACN accuses Fed Govt of plans to block free polls •Claims misleading, says Presidency

Continued from page 1

torate is ready to back the opposition. He also urged Nigeria’s foreign friends to prevail on the government and the ruling PDP to allow peaceful election come 2015. Mohammed commented on the award of a multi-billion contract for the protection of oil pipelines in the Southwest. The move by the contract’s major beneficiary to resuscitate the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and the arrest of some Boko Haram suspects in Lagos confirm the party’s fear. Mohammed cautioned that no nation can survive a combination of ethnic and religious conflagration, and that those who will instigate crises to push a personal and selfish agenda risk being consumed by it. He said: “It is no longer a secret that the PDP-led Federal Government has failed the nation in all ramifications. “In the provision of social amenities and standard infrastructure, ensuring the security of lives and property, provision of jobs for our teeming unemployed youths and generally ensuring better life for our people, the party that has presided over the affairs of our nation since


HE Presidency yesterday alleged of a grand plan by the opposition to mislead the public, discredit the Office of President Goodluck Jonathan, and cause disaffection within the polity. Presidential spokesman Dr. Rueben Abati, who made the allegation, said there was an emerging pattern of disinformation and politics by trickery, orchestrated by National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He was reacting to the ACN claim that the policies of the PDP-controlled Federal Government could scuttle democracy. But Abati said the ACN claim was to pit the Presidency against Nigerians. The statement reads: “In a previous press statement, we had pointed out that a well or-

1999 has fallen short. “To make matters worse, the party itself is imploding as a result of its own failings, and its tattered umbrella can no longer provide shelter from the elements for its increasingly disenchanted members. “Against this background, the PDP is keenly aware that it has totally lost the confidence of all Nigerians, and the long-suffering people of this great country are now ready and eager to vote out this clueless party. “Keenly aware of this fact, the PDP has now realised that if in-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

ganized campaign by the opposition designed to mislead the public, discredit the person and office of President Goodluck Jonathan, and cause disaffection within the polity appears to be well afoot. “That there is an emerging pattern of disinformation and politics by trickery, orchestrated by Lai Mohammed and his ilk which is unsuitable to our democratic experience is now no longer in doubt. “We have been proven right, once more, with the deliberate disinformation engaged in today by the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

deed the 2015 elections are free and fair and conducted in a conducive environment, there will be no chance for the party. “What is the way out for the PDP? The party has decided to go for broke: Either there will be no elections in 2015 or the polls will be conducted in an atmosphere of chaos, thereby paving the way for the PDP to do what it does best - rig the elections! “Since the Boko Haram crisis broke out in some parts of the North, it has been largely restricted to those parts. This has made it possible to say to pro-

Continued on page 5

spective foreign investors and others that the whole country has not been engulfed in violence and insecurity. “But now, the areas that have been largely peaceful are being targetted by those who will only be happy when the whole country is in turmoil. Three recent events, all at the instance of the Federal Government, raise the red flag. “A multi-billion naira contract has suddenly been awarded for the protection of oil pipelines in Continued on page 62

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

tice to resume hostilities in the Niger Delta in protest against the sentencing of its chieftain, Mr Henry Okah, in South Africa to a 24-year jail term. The JTF dismissed the threat and warned that its men were ready to contain any insurgency. In the MEND online statement of April 3, Jomo Gbomo, threatened to launch a plague of sustained attacks, codenamed: “Hurricane Exodus”, with effect from Friday (April 5) at 00:00 hrs. Reinforcing the stand, Jomo Gbomo, in another an online statement yesterday, advised oil companies and members of the public to ignore the JTF’s assurance and the “false” comments by Comrade Azizi, who it said claimed to be the new Continued on page 62

Cracks in Presidency over amnesty for Boko Haram Continued from page 1 hiding under amnesty to get a forces behind Boko Haram are soft landing.” The source added: “Well, the just using the agitation for amcabinet members are suspecting nesty to secure a soft landing. A highly-placed source, who that Boko Haram sponsors are pleaded not to be named, said: looking for soft-landing. “In spite of the reservations of “Some cabinet ministers do not see any reason why the govern- some cabinet ministers and ment should grant amnesty to presidential aides, Jonathan has Boko Haram, in view of the ca- raised a committee to weigh all sualty figures from the attacks options. “The President decided to opt by the sect. “They are also of the opinion for amnesty to prove that he is that the amnesty bait might a listening leader and he wants prove fatal for the government to carry all the geopolitical if Boko Haram continues with zones along in his administration.” its attacks. As at press time, it was gath“They prefer military option instead of the political solution ered that the NSA and the AGF which some people in the met on Saturday to fine-tune the list of members of the TechniNorth are canvassing.” Responding to a question, the cal Committee, which will work source said some of the affect- out modalities for amnesty for ed cabinet members and top Boko Haram. aides have fears that those Continued on page 62 sponsoring Boko Haram are CORRECTION The Apostolic Church Nigeria is not the same as The Christ Apostolic Church as we inadvertently referred to in a story on page 61 of Friday, April 5, 2013 edition. The first paragraph of a story headlined: Apostolic Church president urges Nigerians to be tolerant, in the same edition should have read The National President of the Apostolic Church Nigeria and not the Apostolic Church International. Also, Pastor Gabriel Oladele Olutola is president of The Apostolic Church Nigeria and not The Apostolic Church worldwide in a photo caption on page 8. The errors are regretted —Editor

My sister felt she would live, says Ekiti deputy governor’s sibling


T was all gloomy yesterday at the 25, Royal Palm Drive, Osborne Foreshore Estate

II, Ikoyi, Lagos home of the late Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, as sympathisers trooped in commiserate with her family. Mrs Olayinka died on Saturday in Lagos after a long battle with cancer. To her younger sister, Mrs. Fehintola Tade-Adekunle, who spoke on behalf of the family members, a role model is gone. According to her, the deceased was optimistic she would recover. “No one will call me ‘kora’ again, Mrs TadeAdekunle said, adding: “She gave me the pet name because I was very fair as a baby. Growing up with sister Funmi was fun. “I fed her at the hospital last week. She was strong and optimistic she would make it. She told me we will sit together in the house once she was discharged from the hospital. “She was a rallying point. She was very optimistic of making it through. She never gave up on her bed. She was still active and talked with us even on her bed.

Ekiti declares 7-day of mourning, suspends official functions


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday declared a seven-day mourning in honour of his deputy governor, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, who died in Lagos on Saturday after a long but spirited battle with cancer. In a broadcast, Fayemi described as painful the exit of a loyal deputy. He directed that condolence registers be opened in his ofiice, that of the deputy, the House of Assembly, government offices and Ekiti State Liaison Offices in Abuja and Lagos. Fayemi recounted how he wished Mrs Olayinka would survive the terminal disease to pair with him in taking the state to a loftier height. He said: “In all of these challenges, I was of the belief that because of her courage and determination to live, she would pull through her health challenges. But man proposes and God disposes. She lost the battle. “Fellow citizens of Ekiti State, I am pained by the exit of our Deputy GoverBy Precious Igbonwelundu

“She was our role model, mother and everything. She was always interested in everybody and carried everyone along, such that you would never know ours was a polygamous home.”

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

nor who was my ready partner in our collective quest to develop our dear state. “As my dependable ally in the struggle to free Ekiti, she was a consistent bulwark of support, especially through the period of the judicial struggle to reclaim our mandate. “I was never in doubt of her unalloyed loyalty, competence and integrity. I shall miss her greatly. In the course of our struggle, she also became my wife’s best friend. “As my deputy, she was a hardworking, God fearing, reliable and trustworthy companion.” Fayemi listed the Ekiti State Economic Management Team; Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Ekiti State Tenders Board; the State Pilgrims Welfare Board; and the Branding and Communications Strategy, among others as some of the areas where the late Mrs. Olayinka left her footprint. The governor said: “She served our people meritoriously in various capacities, overseeing key units of government including her several

Mrs. Tade-Adekunle noted that the late Mrs Olayinka, who was the first of six girls in the family of 10 children, was a strong woman who competed among men without intimidation. “She was very hardworking. Except for her looks, everything

achievements in office. She would be particularly remembered for overseeing the birthing of a new brand identity for the state; restoring the dignity and honour of our people and bequeathing brand identity icons that have become unifying forces among our people, regardless of age, gender or socio-political leanings. “Her unique legacy is that active participation and high achievement in politics and governance should not exclude women; this is particularly instructive in our society today as we pursue inclusion in every sector of national life. “She was a virtuous family woman and devout Christian who served God practically and diligently, touching many lives in compassion and humility. Even as we mourn the dearly departed, we are consoled by the fact that she has gone to rest with the Lord and thus she is free from the burdens and worries of this earthly realm.

about her is manly. She usually called us ‘the girls’ and would ask after everybody regularly. “Her death is still a joke - to me. I still feel like she is still sleeping. I just want to wake up and realise I have been dreaming. Life without her will be so tedious.

Continued on page 5

“Even as a deputy governor, her commitment to the family did not shake. She was still sending us text messages and prayers. If you called her and she was not able to pick your call, sister Funmi would ensure your call was returned, even if it was midnight.

•Mrs. Tade-Adekunle...yesterday

“We were happy and stood beside her throughout the struggle. We are happy she was committed in her service to our people. She was a beacon of hope.” Continued on page 5

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NEWS PDP: INEC, judiciary plot to discredit our leaders From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and “bad eggs” in the judiciary to discredit the party’s 2012 national convention that produced the current leadership to office. A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh yesterday accused “a tiny clique of undemocratic elements” of acting in league with their cohorts in INEC to destabilise the ruling party. Metuh accused those he described as reactionary forces of trying to revisit the flawed 2012 national convention of the PDP, saying they have manufactured spurious reports to discredit the said convention. The statement warned that the leadership of the party would not fold its hands while those whose lack of confidence in free and fair election destroy the party’s hard earned credibility. The statement reads: “We wish to alert Nigerians to a destructive plot by certain reactionary forces who are working hand in glove with collaborators in the INEC have manufactured a spurious report, specifically aimed at destroying the credibility of the party’s 2012 National Convention which brought in the current National Working Committee (NWC) using judicial officers of questionable integrity. “The current NWC since inauguration has maintained a sound working rhythm with the members and critical stakeholdersthe President, the National Assembly which the party controls and the PDP State Governors whose newly formed forum which the party leadership engineered, is already sending cold shivers and causing colly-wobbles in the opposition camp. “Till date, the PDP remains the only political party in the country that conducts transparent internal elections which start with the ward, local government and state congresses culminating in the national convention. “The 2012 exercise was not only unique in the level of participation of party members but in the rancor-free, sports-like attitude which various contestants exhibited. “In whose interest therefore are these system vampires fighting? In whose interest and at whose behest are these merchants of infamy laying these mines which could blow our great party sky-high? “It is no doubt in the service of selfish interest of this tiny clique of politicians of fortune, those whose ambition must be served or the party crumbles”.

Secret of GTBank’s success, by CEO


FRICAN Banker of the Year and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, has attributed the bank’a success in 2012 financial year to customer loyalty. Speaking to a group of reporters few days after the bank published its audited results, Agbaje said no organisation in the world could be profitable if its customers did not believe and support its vision. His words: “There is a direct relationship between a company’s level of profitability and public perception about its brand. When people see a brand as a valued partner, they continue to do business with it, which ultimately translates to profitability. Companies on the other hand have a responsibility to ensure their customers are satisfied at all times and treated with re-

•Attributes performance to customer loyalty By Collins Nweze

spect. This knowledge is the base rock upon which our 2012 performance is hinged’. Guaranty Trust Bank’s results for the 2012 financial year showed a Profit Before Tax of N103 billion, the highest for any Nigerian bank from continuing operations at both bank and group levels. The Group’s results also show improved gross earnings of N221.9 billion and 69 per cent improvement in Profit After Tax to N87.3 billion. This is against the N51.7 billion posted in 2011.. The bank closed the 2012 financial year with an OnBalance Sheet size of N1.73 trillion as against N1.608 trillion in 2011. The total assets and contingents stood at N2.26 tril-

lion compared with N2.14 trillion in 2011, representing a growth of 8 per cent and six per cent respectively. Additionally, the bank’s stance as an upstanding social citizen and commitment to full disclosure was evidenced by its 2012 tax liabilities, which came to over N16.3 billion, while total dividend payment for the financial year is projected at N45.62 billion (N1.55 per ordinary share of 0.50 kobo each). Agbaje confirmed that the bank would continue to introduce products and alternative channels that will allow the public to undertake their banking activities quickly, safely and conveniently. Guaranty Trust Bank was established in 1990 and is regarded by industry

watchers as the best run financial institution within the Nigerian financial services space, due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The bank operates from over 200 branches within the country and has banking subsidiaries in Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. In recognition of it service standards, management quality and financial performance, the Bank has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years that most recently include the Best Bank in Nigeria Award for the fourth consecutive year from Euromoney Magazine and the Best Bank in Nigeria Award from EMEA Finance.

•The cleared Marine Beach Under bridge during Governor Babatunde Fashola’s inspection tour of regeneration work at the Ijora-Apapa axis ...yesterday. INSET: Fashola (second left), Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey (left), Chairman of the Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences, CSP Bayonle Sulaiman (second right) and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye (right).

Resuscitation of UPN not feasible, says Fasanmi


ECOND Republic Senator Ayo Fasanmi has flayed plans by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) leader Dr. Fredrick Fasehun to resuscitate the proscribed Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) led by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He described the move to resurrect the party as a grand plot to create division in the progressive bloc in the Southwest and use the platform to propagate retrogressive ideas. Fasanmi, who was a member of the Committee of Friends, which metamorphosed into the UPN, said Fasehun’s effort is an exercise in futility.

By Emmanuel Oladesu

The elder statesman said that, though he held Fasehun in high esteem, he had opposed to the odea when he informed him. Fasanmi said: “It is an exercise in political futility. It is subversive. I love Fasehun. My relation is married to his relation. What he is doing does not augur well for the progressive camp. It has subversive tendencies. He called to inform me, but I queried it. I said, why should it be Fasehun. The action should not be encouraged. It should be condemned. It will create division in the progressive camp”.

My sister felt she would live, says Ekiti Deputy governor’s sibling

•Continued frompage 4

Among sympathisers that thronged the deceased’s home were former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; Deputy Governor of Lagos, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and her Ogun State counterpart, Segun Adesegun; House of Representatives member, Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator Olurunimbe Mamora, as well as Lagos Commissioner for Environment Tunji Bello. Osoba, who was sober, neither signed the condolence register nor spoke with journalists. Akeredolu, who spoke after commiserating with the

deceased’s husband, Olayinka and three children, Yeside, Lolade and Olumide, noted that her death has left a big vacuum in leadership. He said he had called the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, about five days ago to enquire about the state of her health and was told that she was getting better. “It was a shock to hear few days later that she had died. Funmi had been ill for a while, no doubt, but we were hopeful she would make it. “Funmi will be remembered for her unflinching support and loyalty to her governor, Fayemi, when he was struggling to reclaim the Ekiti mandate.

“She was with him in every step of the way and, together, they were inseparable. We all saw her as the only person that stood beside him almost everywhere. “She will be missed and I pray God will grant the state and the family the fortitude to bear the loss.” Akeredolu said the late Mrs. Olayinka would always be remembered for her dignified poise and sartorial splendour. To Mamowora, the deputy governor’s death was a pity and sad loss. He said: “It is a pity that we lost her at this point in time. She was a very amiable person, especially with her infectious smile. She carried herself with

dignity deserving her office. Of course, she did not carry her office on her head. “She gave her job the best she could, and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Funmi left a legacy and the family should take solace in the fact that it was God’s will.” Adesegun, who signed the condolence register, said: “It is a sad loss, beyond words and I pray that God in His infinite mercies will grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss”. Bamidele described the late Mrs Olayinka as a diligent woman with grace. “I know that all the people of Ekiti State, her family and the entire nation will miss her greatly.”

Presidency: Party’s claims misleading •Continued frompage 4

“Recall that last week, we were regaled with the publication of a fictitious Presidential directive on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC and other matters which turned out to be a dubious bromide containing nothing more than a mishmash of carefully arranged and concocted lies, presented to the public as evidence of a document emanating from the presidency. “A press conference in Lagos, this thanksgiving Sunday, addressed by Alhaji Lai Mohammed continued this pattern when he alleged that the Federal Government was deliberately promoting policies that will plunge the nation into crisis with the objective of scuttling the 2015 elections. “He tried to exploit real challenges confronting the nation by instilling fear in the populace through the use of unrelated events; hoping to use such patterns and trends to build a conspiratorial case. Like all conspiracies, the case made fell quickly like a pack of cards when confronted with the facts. “It is a fact that President Goodluck Jonathan has presided over major elections since his assumption of office – the 2011 general elections, the 2012 state gubernatorial elections in Edo, Kogi, Adamawa, Sokoto, Cross River and Bayelsa as well as other elections in different parts of the country; which were all adjudged by local and international observers as free, fair and peaceful. “Indeed, President Jonathan’s commitment to electoral reforms which is founded on the ‘one man-one vote’ ethos underscores the administration’s belief and commitment to an emerging political culture that is inclusive, participatory and transparent.” The Presidential spokesman said Mohammed’s allegations were similar to those heard ahead of the elections referenced above. He denied allegation that an oil pipeline protection contract has been awarded to serve as a smokescreen to fund activities that would create chaos in the South-West. “Fact is, no such contract was ever awarded by this administration,” Abati said. The Abati statement further reads: “The more alarming aspect of the disingenuous press conference was the deliberate attempt to exploit religious and ethnic differences amongst citizens to create a state of siege and fear ahead of the 2015 elections. “This was clear in the use of the national Boko Haram crisis and the ‘terror-baiting’ of the populace. Is the ACN hatching a plot of electoral violence through auto-suggestion?” Abati urged the opposition to constructively engage the government of the day on issues of national importance in its legitimate search for political power.

Ekiti declares 7day of mourning •Continued frompage 4

“In reflection of the mood of our state in this trying moment, a period of sevenday mourning shall commence from this moment during which all flags in the state will fly at half mast. During this period also, all state official ceremonies will be suspended. “The state shall liaise with her family in preparation for a full state burial. I also use this opportunity to request that you remember the family she has left behind in your prayers.”




CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

•Favour with the Njokus

•The home ... at Olodi-Apapa, Lagos

'Help me… I want to go to school'


ADDY, daddy, please help me; I want to … go to … school," Favour Njoku pleaded in smattering English. Remember the three-year-old boy whose father disappeared at the height of his mother's cancer ailment? The woman died last year, leaving the boy to face a bleak future. The story of his plight was first published in The Nation of March 20. Since then, kind-hearted Nigerians have expressed their desire to help him. To enable them fulfill their wish, Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation, has opened "Master Favour Njoku Trust Fund” account at Sterling Bank Plc, Matori, Lagos, with number 0019623543.

By Adegunle Olugbamila, Staff Reporter

Favour lives with his jobless cousin, Njoku at 13, Braimoh Street, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos. Their apartment is an eyesore. "Welcome sir," Njoku's wife, Deborah, greeted this reporter. Responding, the reporter made to remove his shoes. "Don't bother removing your shoes sir," Njoku said, adding: "You can come in like that; we don't have a carpet here." As this reporter was about stepping in, an unkempt man emerged from

•Dejected orphan, Favour begs Nigerians the backyard, dragging a sack full of stinking fermented cassava. "I think we have to go out for sometime because of this odour," Njoku said apologetically, adding: "This is what we experience here every day and I hope you will just pardon us sir." About 40 minutes later, the reporter and his hosts were back in the dingy one-room apartment. At one corner of the room is an old iron bed. Two mats, apparently for the children, including

Favour, stood in another corner. A small wooden table was at the centre of the room, facing two plastic chairs. A 16-inch television set stood behind the only wooden window besides the main door. "Oga, this is where we live o," Njoku said, as he shook his head pitiably. According to the Njokus, the structure belongs to one of the wealthiest settlers in OlodiApapa. The man, whom they

said is old, has many investments and buildings in the area. He reportedly abandoned the old building for lack of what to do with it. So, they live there without paying rent. The family thaked The Nation and Nigerians for their willingness to assist Favour. They also urged Nigerians to assist them financially to be able to train Favour. For now, Njoku is jobless while is wife is a petty trader. Njoku lost his only means of livelihood when

Youths hold rally for empowerment


OVERNMENTS at all levels have been urged to empower the youth to secure their future and improve national productivity. A youth association, Youth for All Nations Empowerment Association (YOANEA), made the call during a six-day awareness rally across Lagos State, which ended on Saturday. The rally, the group said, would be extended to some other states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Jeff E. Joshua, a lawyer and chairman of the association, said youths had suffered a lot from the misdeed of the political class, adding that the group, a humanitarian organisation, aims to liberate the youth through empowerment. Joshua also called on youths in the country to take their destiny in their hands and rise against all the challenges confronting them, so as to draw the attention of the country's leadership to its responsibilities.

Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

He further said there is need for the government to carry the youth along in its programmes if truly it sees them as the nation's future leaders. "The purpose of this rally is to cry out to our leaders to have attitudinal change towards the youth. The theme of this rally is "crying out aloud for change" and the recovering of the lost rights of the youth," he said. The group's president, Comrade Babatunde Ifenuga, said the group was concerned about the plight of youths in the country, adding that it is on that basis that the group took upon itself the burden of empowering them. Lamenting that the nation's leaders had long neglected the youth, Ifenuga said it was time government showed sensitivity to the plight of youths in the country to curb crimes in the system.

E •Senior Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Youths, Sports and Social Development, Dolapo Badru, addressing the youths led by Joshua and Ifenuga, at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja … on Tuesday. He called on youths to shun social vices, as, according to him, his group "is tired of seeing youths being used by moneybag politicians in carrying out nefarious activities, especially during electioneering pe-

riod." Chioma Elejume, also a lawyer and the group's vice president, said the group was formed in 2006, with 500, 000 members across 10 states in the country, warning: "Any

country that fails to empower its youths will fail in all spheres of life." She advised the youth to embrace patience and strive hard in whatever they do, but desist from all negative ways of life.

Police arrest three, recover 2.5m fake dollars

T •Lagos Police chief Umar Manko

HE police in Lagos have arrested three suspected members of fake foreign currencies syndicate. They were arrested by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) yesterday. About 2.5 million fake dollars and a counterfeit Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) foreign currency dealership certificate were also recovered from them. It was gathered that the suspects, Olasende Akinsiku, 40; Abiodun

By Jude Isiguzo

Akiniyi, 35, and Tajudeen Lasisi, 40, were exposed by a retired Major General after they had swindled him. The suspects, it was learnt, lured their victims with the promise of more than the required dollars for fewer naira notes. Akinsiku, said: “I am a graphic artist from Ondo State. My friend, Abiodun, alias Tokunbo Babatunde, is the owner of the machine we used

to print the fake dollars. He introduced me to the crime. We usually told our victims that we stole the dollars from my place of work and wanted to convert them to naira notes at cheap rates so that they would not suspect that the notes were fake.” On how they were arrested, Akinsiku said: “I went with Tokunbo to meet the Major General at the Women Development Centre, Agege, to collect N40, 000. We were introduced to the man in Abuja. He had

concluded arrangement to come back to Lagos to transport the consignment with a bullion van to Abuja. We didn’t know the General had alerted policemen. That was how we were picked up.” The suspects also made the cash look authentic with a forged CBN certificate and an identity card bearing ‘Mr. Tunde Bakare, No.011’, with which Abiodun allegedly impersonated a CBN official. A police operative at the SARS who sought anonymity confirmed the arrest, adding that the suspects were under interrogation.



C ITYBEATS Man dies from acid bath in Enugu

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

HE went to visit his girlfriend at home but ended up in the morgue. The late Peter Ugwu was bathed with acid on Chima Line, old Army Barracks, Nsukka. He died at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), ItukuOzalla. The Enugu State police

From Chris Oji, Enugu

spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu said Ugwu was attacked with acid by a group of six yet unidentified armed men. The police, he said, had commenced investigations into the case.

Lagos opens centres for pilgrims

his motorcycle was seized in the wake of the Lagos State's new Traffic Law. "We are happy that Favour will soon be enrolled in a moderate private school, thanks to kindhearted Nigerians. But Favour cannot get the best of education if he still lives under this kind of place with us. We are trying our best to move to a better place and start a business, however small, but we have been incapacitated by lack of money. We plead that Nigerians also show us mercy," said Njoku. The dilapidated house where they live is not fit for human habitation. The ramshackle structure has long been abandoned by the owner who probably might be considering pulling it down for a more befitting structure. The roof of the building has given way. The remnants of the planks supporting the fragile roof are old and weak. They may cave in any moment. The walls of the building are dangerously cracked and have become home to lizards. The Njokus are seeking to enrol Favour in Cedec International

THE Lagos State Government has opened five registration centres ahead of the commencement of the Unified Pilgrims Electronic Registration System (APERS). The new electronic registration process, introduced by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCOM), is a pre-condition for the issuance of visas to prospective 2013 hajj pilgrims and will be conducted in centres spread within the five divisions of the state. The centres and the Local Government and Council Development Areas (LCDA) of coverage are: Ojo Local Govt. Secretariat; Kosofe Local Govt. Secretariat; Ikeja (Muslim Pilgrims Board Office); Surulere Local Govt. Secretariat and the Eti-Osa Local Govt. Secretariat. The new system, according to the Principal Information Officer, Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture, Mr Ganiyu Lawal, is meant to ease the process of hajj registration, enhance synergy of hajj operations and reduce the inconvenience faced by intending pilgrims, especially those

‘We are happy that Favour will soon be enrolled in a moderate private school, thanks to kind-hearted Nigerians. But Favour cannot get the best of education if he still lives under this kind of place with us. We are trying our best to move to a better place and start a business, however small, but we have been incapacitated by lack of money. We plead that Nigerians also show us mercy’ try form, feeding, books, uniform, tuition, PTA dues, social fees, bus fare).

Lagos Airport radar equipment in order, say experts


XPERTS in the aviation industry at the weekend confirmed the workability of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), which was installed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, about three years ago. The confirmation of the effective operation of the radar equipment is coming on the heels of the facility visit by industry’s stakeholders including the Secretary-General of Aviation Roundtable, Mr Sam Akerele, and Captain Kola Abejide. Akerele told reporters after the visit: "What we have now is a complete radical departure from the past. The old order cannot continue. The new radar is a good thing to happen to this generation as we can see that flights are properly vectored by the controllers without stress." He noted that comments by some stakeholders had been rather speculative as, according to him, they lacked technical knowledge on the workings of TRACON. He stressed that their visit was to educate those members who had dismissed TRACON as a mere terminal radar and let them see that the radar covers the shores of Nigeria and beyond. He described the new radar as a state-of-the-art equipment that

‘What we have now is a complete radical departure from the past. The old order cannot continue. The new radar is a good thing to happen to this generation as we can see that flights are properly vectored by the controllers without stress’ By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

could compete favourably with those in developed countries in Europe and America. He added that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) “should be commended for the efficient and optimal performance of its radar and communication system.” Aviation Roundtable, is a nonprofit-making professional body. Its membership, he said, includes air traffic controllers, pilots,aircraft&system engineers, technicians and marketers. The Secretary-General, who led

who have to come from afar to register. All intending pilgrims who were screened and adjudged fit for the 2013 hajj are required to visit the centres assigned to their Local Government areas for the Unified Pilgrims Electronic Registration capturing. The state Pilgrims Board, he said, had been directed by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria to inform all intending pilgrims that all the female ones among them must be accompanied by guardians to forestall the repatriation experienced during the year 2012 hajj airlift. All intending pilgrims above 65, he added, must be accompanied by younger relations, while anyone with health challenges will not be allowed to perform this year's hajj. NAHCOM, he also said, had directed that 80 per cent of state allocation be reserved for first-time applicants to ensure equal opportunity for all.

Minister mourns slain prison comptroller

•Inside the building

Schools, Olodi-Apapa, and the cost of enrolment, according to Njoku, is N98, 000 (including en-

By Nneka Nwaneri

members on a fact-finding tour of facilities at the agency, said their visit became imperative, following embarrassing comments made to journalists by some stakeholders who, according to him, had not been privileged to visit TRACON and hence, might not know how the radar works. Akerele expressed gratitude to the Managing Director of NAMA , Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, an engineer, for granting them access to the facilities. He also expressed the hope that their visit would educate misinformation and enlighten misinformed members about the safety of the Nigerian airspace. Also in his remarks, another member of the organisation Capt. Kola Abejide, said he was very excited at what he had seen and that he was grateful to God that "this milestone is happening in our generation." He urged NAMA to continue to improve on its good job. The new radar, it was learnt, has four main locations in Lagos,Portharcourt,Abuja and Kano Airports with five remote stations at Ilorin, Maiduguri,Obubura, Numan and Talata Mafara.

THE Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has condemned the killing of the Deputy Comptroller of Sokoto State Central Prisons, Usman Zaki Gwandu. Gwandu was killed last Thursday by yet unknown gunmen on his way home. Moro described the killing as depressing, callous and utterly condemnable. In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, George Udoh , Moro said the Gwandu's killing was as a great loss not only to the Nigeria Prisons Service, but to the people and government of Kebbi State the deceased's state, and the country in general. He added: "But we are consoled by the fact that the Nigeria Prisons Service under the Ministry of Interior will not forget his meritorious and selfless service to the country and the leadership he provided as Deputy Comptroller. Though the suddenness of his physical departure could be painful to his family, they should take solace in the fact that he was a worthy ambassador of his

By Jude Isiguzo

fatherland." The Minister assured Nigerians of government's readiness to ensure adequate security of lives and property. He urged security agencies to fish out those responsible for Gwandu's murder.


New order at Oko-Oba Abattoir EFFORTS have been redoubled to enhance effective sanitation and security of lives and property at the popular Oko-Oba Abattoir in Lagos State, its management assured on Saturday. The Managing Director, Harmony Abattoir Services Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adesegun Bello-Olusanya, who gave the assurance, said the company was doing everything possible to complement state government's efforts at ensuring improved sanitation at the premises. "We have organised functional drainage services, mechanical slaughter halls which complement the age-long open slaughter slabs; sweepers and security personnel are on ground to enhance efficient sanitation and security of lives and property of operators and visitors. Miscreants had long been driven away, while wholesome meat, certified by Veterinary Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, is now neatly arranged and transported in vans to their final consumers. "Harmony Abattoir Services Nigeria Limited is poised to do more,

given the management's renewed commitment to putting on the ground, cutting-edge strategies to meet world standard in spite of the challenges," Bello-Olusanya said. Stating that uncontrolled access into the Abattoir complex and forced settlement of displaced persons inside and around the complex had become a major sanitation and security challenge, he said the state government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, had promised to redesign and construct enlarged Intake Pit of the Sewage Plant to handle the increasing volume of sewage water at peak periods in the complex. "The government also pledged the perimeter fencing of the Abattoir Complex and cordoning off the entire slab area in order to control entrance into and exit from it; the putting a new evacuation regime in place through daily evacuation; educating butchers on the merits of using the mechanised slaughtering method and processing; and enforcement of sanitation laws and the prosecution of offenders by mobile courts," BelloOlusanya added.



NEWS ‘Omisore’s allegations are lies’

Maintain Okere’s legacy, Ajimobi urges Saki people O YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has urged the people of Saki to maintain the legacy of peace left behind by the late Okere of Saki, Oba Olatoyese Kelani Olarinre II. He spoke at the funeral of the monarch, who died on Friday. Ajimobi said the late Oba Olarinre’s contribution to the peace and development of Saki and the state could not be quantified. He urged the kingmakers to ensure that the selection of another Okere does not lead to crisis in the town. In his sermon, an Islamic cleric, Alhaji Kabir Olohunlase, urged people in

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

positions of authority to impact positively on the lives of the masses. His Christian counterpart, Rev. Bamgbala Adika, said the protracted rift between Saki and Oyo was amicably settled during the reign of the late Oba Olarinre. The Oyo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) commiserated with Ajimobi and the people of Saki on the monarch’s death. In a statement by its Pub-

licity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, ACN said: “While we are still grappling with the passing away of Chief Bayo Akinnola, Apostle Timothy Obadare and Chief Oluwole Awolowo, death came calling again and took away Ekiti State Deputy Governor Mrs. Olayinka and Oba Olarinre in their prime. “May God grant his family and subjects the fortitude to bear the loss. We also prayed for the repose of his soul.” Saki West Local Government Chairman Dapo Popoola said was with the

monarch for several hours last Wednesday. Popoola said the monarch told him to sustain the peace in the community. “I did not know Kabiyesi was bidding us farewell”, he said. Popoola said: “He was full of life when I chatted with him two days before his demise. There was no sign of any illness. Immediately I returned from Ibadan that day, I went to see him and we were together for hours, speaking about the town’s development and related issues. “Later I learnt that Kabiyesi was taken to the hospital after complaining of weakness

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


and by 2am, we received the shocking news that he had passed on. It was a rude shock.”

2014: Osun ACN accuses PDP of plot to rig polls


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of plans to “massively rig” the 2014 governorship election. The party alleged that the PDP was working with the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to create chaos before and after the election, but the PDP debunked the claim. In a statement by its Publicity Director, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, ACN alleged that the NLC leadership has been bought over by the PDP. The ACN said: “At a meeting in Osogbo, the state capital, at the weekend, PDP leaders gave graphic details of how to tamper with the voters’ list

•Party: ACN is jittery, says PDP From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

in each polling unit, effect the mass transfer of non-corrupt security personnel outside the state and orchestrate massive ballot box-snatching like they did in 2003, when former Governor Bisi Akande was rigged out of office. “We also have the privileged information that PDP is planning to set aside huge cash to influence labour unions to go on strike shortly before and until the end of the election process. “The grand design of this plan anchors on collaboration with criminal elements

in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abuja headquarters, and the exercise of federal power over the police to destabilise the tight security that has been put in place by the state command in conjunction with the state government. “The PDP leaders at the meeting were said to be unanimous in their belief that with the tight state of security in the state, it would be impossible to create the kind of mayhem the party would need to rig the 2014 election. “The PDP has put in place mechanism to ensure that

Abuja displaces the current security arrangement in Osun state, just before the election, and gets INEC to disorganise the voters’ list in each polling station to create maximum confusion and disenfranchise thousands of ACN supporters, whose name would have been transferred from their voting centres. “A committee has been set up the PDP in each ward to

copy the list of names in the register of each polling unit for transmission to Abuja, where a fake register would be compiled. ACN warned that any attempt to rig the election would be resisted. In a statement by its Publicity Director, Prince Diran Odeyemi, PDP said: “The allegation is funny. We have not even picked a candidate out of the six aspirants. How can we be planning to rig when we have not had our primary?”

Automatic jobs for OOU’s First Class graduates


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has announced automatic employment into the state civil service for all First Class graduates at the 22nd Convocation Ceremony of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. Amosun spoke at the weekend at the ceremony. He urged the outstanding graduands to help re-build the state. Amosun said: “With the many graduates coming out of this great institution and

others in our state, we have enough skilled human resources to realise our Mission to Rebuild Ogun.” The governor said his administration has also created opportunities in the agricultural sector for graduates to be self-employed. He said his administration will strengthen educational institutions in the state and bring them up to date. Amosun said in the last one-and-half years, the processing and issuance of certificates in OOU have improved.



This is to inform the general public that Messer Dart Logistics Limited of Suite 1, Cooperative Building Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos which provides services as stated below: 1) Processes flight permit/clearance to and from Nigeria 2) Logistic support for airline crew i.e. ground transportation, hotel accommodation among others. 3) Logistic support for flights and freights from the ramp to NAHCO or SAHCOL warehouses at the airport. And to also provide inventory report and PODs 4) Make statutory payment to relevant authorities and Agencies on behalf of airlines 5) Ground support services for aircrafts, e.g. aircraft fuelling, cleaning among others Has applied to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as an Agent of Foreign Airlines in Nigeria. Any objection or representation regarding the registration should be forwarded to the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Aviation House, PMB 21029, 21038, Ikeja, Lagos. Such objection or representation, which should contain reasons for doing so, should be made within 28 days of this publication.

Signed: MANAGEMENT Dart Logistics Limited

THE Alliance for Collaborating Political Parties (ACPP) in Osun State has debunked the allegation that Governor Rauf Aregbesola bought a helicopter for N7 billion. It was reacting to a statement credited to a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore, in a newspaper interview. It said the allegation was “unreasonable and unfounded”. In a statement by his Chairman, Alhaji Waheed Lawal, ACPP also faulted another allegation by Omisore that Aregbesola hired an aeroplane from Ibadan to Lagos for N400 million. It challenged Omisore to publish evidence to support his claims. ACPP said a Boeing 747 aircraft with 500 passengers capacity is being sold for less than N1.6 billion in the market and wondered how the governor could have bought an helicopter for N7 billion. It said: “Omisore is a failed politician, who is still living in the past. “During the interview, he claimed that the people of Osun would vote for him next year. “As a senator in 2011, Omisore did not even win his ward. What that simply means is that Omisore is not qualified to be a councilor or even a council chairman. “It is irrational for a politician that has been rejected by the people in his immediate environment to think of winning a free and fair election.”

10th memorial anniversary for Atinuke Ige From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

FRIENDS and well wishers of the late former AttorneyGeneral and Minister for Justice, Chief Bola Ige, will on Wednesday mark the 10th anniversary of his wife’s death. There will be a thanksgiving service for the late Justice Atinuke Ige at St. Anne’s Church in Molete, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, by 11am. In a statement, the deceased’s son and Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Muyiwa Ige, said: “After the service, we will move to the Vale College in Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan, where we will dedicate a hall to her memory. “It would be followed by the presentation of a book written in my mother’s honour by my wife, Oyindamola. We have also put together a book of tributes that will be a keepsake.”

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the general public that the original copy of the lease agreement between Alhaji Ajagbe A. Akeredolu and Oyegoke Olakunle Akeredolu and original survey plan no KZ739,receipt no 0225144 and refrence No R 24 Vol 967 148,of a property at 24 adebola ojomu street aguda lagos is missing since 10th of October 2009,and all effort to trace proved abortive.General public please take note.






Mark, governors, First Lady mourn Ekiti Deputy Governor


MINENT Nigerians have continued to mourn Ekiti State Deputy Governor Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, who died on Saturday. She died of cancer at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos. She was 52. Senate President David Mark yesterday described her death as “a huge loss to the nation”. In a condolence message to the government and people of Ekiti State, Mark said: “Mrs. Olayinka was an indomitable amazon, who stood to be counted when it mattered. At a time when it was a Herculean task for women to aspire to elective office, Mrs. Olayinka was among the few Nigerian women who ventured into politics. “She was a very determined person, who had a dream and mission. She proved her mettle and contributed immensely to the building of a new Ekiti State. We shall miss her resourcefulness and robust contributions. We shall miss her passion for women and youth development.” The Senate president urged the bereaved family, the government and people of Ekiti State to take solace in the fact that the late Mrs. Olayinka lived an “eventful and accomplished life worthy of emulation”. He urged the state government to immortalise her in “recognition of her contribution to the state’s growth”. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola also condoled with the Olayinka family, Governor Kayode Fayemi and Ekiti people on the deputy governor’s death. Aregbesola urged government at all levels to give the necessary attention to the early detection and treatment of cancer. He said with early detection and quick treatment, many cancer patients would survive. Aregbesola said: “Lives of millions of women are threatened by cancer without early detection and adequate treatment. Government at all levels should rise up to the task by subsidising the cost for testing and treatment.” Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole said he was shocked by Mrs. Olayinka’s death. In his condolence message to Fayemi and the people of Ekiti, Oshiomhole said: “We learnt about her death with deep shock and grief. Mrs. Olayinka gave her all to the recovery of the mandate she and Fayemi won. She was unwavering in her quest to deepen the nation’s democracy by going through the judicial process. “I met her several times and she exhibited deep knowledge of the problems facing the people of Ekiti and how she and the governor were working hard to leave a lasting legacy in the state.” Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun said Mrs. Olayinka’s death is “unbelievable”. In a statement, Amosun recalled her struggle and Fayemi’s after the 2007 governorship election. He said: “She was a com-

Where is my daughter, Ekiti Deputy Governor’s mother asks Fayemi


T was all tears yesterday at the Ado-Ekiti home of Papa Festus and Mama Grace Famuagun, parents of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, when Governor Kayode Fayemi visited. Mrs. Olayinka died of cancer on Saturday at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos. She was 52. As early as 7am, the Isato home of the Famuaguns was filled with swolmitted ACN member, who contributed immensely to the development of Ekiti State. She was an embodiment of humility and selfless service. She will be greatly missed.” Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi commiserated with Fayemi and the Ekiti people. He described Mrs. Olayinka’s death as “unfortunate, disheartening and sad”. In a statement, Ajimobi said: “She was not only gentle, unassuming and articulate; she was also a seasoned banker, an administrator par excellence and a progressive-minded personality.” Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola described Mrs. Olayinka as a successful professional, who served her people until her death. In his condolence message, Fashola said he shares in the sorrow of Fayemi, the government and people of Ekiti State, as well as that of Mrs. Olayinka’s family. He said: “As a brother governor, I feel completely overwhelmed, just imagining the depth of your pain on the death of a most loyal, dependable and diligent deputy, which you had in Mrs. Olayinka. “When the history of the restoration of the democratic mandate freely given to Fayemi and Mrs. Olayinka, as well as the back-breaking work to restore meaningful governance to Ekiti State is written, a very glorious mention would be made of the late deputy governor. “She was a humble, unassuming, successful corporate player, who opted for public service and worked for the good of her people till the last. May God grant her departed soul peaceful repose.” Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko said the death of such a young, lively and active leader cannot but evoke a deep feeling of loss and sadness. In a statement, Mimiko said: “Nigerians knew she was indisposed, but were hoping and praying that she would come out stronger and better. We were shocked to hear of her death. It is a sad news. It evokes a deep feeling of loss and sadness.” Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said Mrs. Olayinka died at a young age with a lot of ideas, zeal and vision that could help in building a better Ekiti State and Nigeria. Ahmed urged Fayemi, the Olayinka family and the Ekiti people to take solace in the fact that the late Mrs. Olayinka contributed to the

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

len-faced sympathisers. Many swore intermittently, saying “the deputy governor “should not have died now”. One of them said: “We will all die but this death should have come to her aged parents. Papa and mama are over 80 years. Why didn’t death allow them to enjoy their old age?” When Fayemi arrived around 10am and held Mama’s hands, he could not

hold back his tears. Others joined him and Mama repeatedly asked Fayemi where her daughter was. She said: “Deputy e nko, deputy e nko (where is your deputy? where is your deputy?)” The governor had no answer to her questions. He held her close for about five minutes, consoling her. Many people discussed how the deceased had touched their lives.

hardworking and respon-

entrenchment of democracy in Ekiti and Nigeria through her participation in politics and her steadfastness in the long judicial struggle that culminated in the inauguration of the Fayemi administration. Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime described Mrs. Olayinka’s demise as sad and unfortunate. He said it has robbed the state of an eminent daughter.He condoled with the late deputy governor’s family and the state government, urging them

•The late Mrs. Olayinka to be strong. Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), in a statement by its Chairman, Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, said the best tribute the people of Ekiti State can pay to the late deputy governor is to sustain her good work of touching the lives of the weak and poor. Oyo House of Assembly Speaker Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu also condoled with the government and people of Ekiti State. She described the deceased as a “very

sible woman”. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said: “I join the government, Ekiti people and the rest of Nigeria to mourn the sad passing-on of a promising female leader. She was a progressive and distinguished professional, who wholeheartedly dedicated herself to the service of the Ekiti people and the nation.” Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said: “Not once did she betray signs of being ill. May be a few persons were aware of her health status. All we saw

was a courageous and strong woman willing to please everyone.” Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology Senator Bukola Saraki, in a statement, said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing away of Mrs. Olayinka. Words cannot express how sorry I am over this devastating news. Ekiti State and Nigeria have lost a rare gem. Her outstanding charisma and humility as a public servant and a mother will be sorely missed.” The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, said: “The late Mrs. Olayinka was one of the fruits of the struggle to ensure a better participation in politics. “I condole with the deceased’s family, the governor, government and people of Ekiti State and pray God to grant them the grace to pull through this mournful period.” Senator Oluremi Tinubu described the deceased as “a sister, who never compromised her commitment to progressive ideals”. She said: “Her advocacy for women’s rights, social justice and genuine development marked her out as a true progressive. She was such a sweet and gentle soul, who believed the society can be reformed for the common good. “I believe her gentle soul is resting in the bosom of the Lord. May God strengthen those she left behind.” Imo State Deputy Governor Prince Eze Madumere said Mrs. Olayinka’s death came at a time when her fight for the rights of Nigerian women was beginning to yield fruit. Osun State House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salaam said the late Mrs. Olayinka was an intelligent and decent politician. He said she was an “epitome of integrity” and was committed to the service of humanity. An ACN leader and Second Republic Senator, Chief Ayo Fasanmi, said the news of

I lost a friend, a sister and a compatriot. She fought bravely to defeat cancer. She fought till the end. She kept insisting she would use all the power God gave her to fight the monster and emerge victorious. Femi, stop crying’, she kept telling me. She said we were going to do a big thanksgiving when she overpowers the monster. - Senator Babafemi Ojudu

Mrs. Olayinka’s death was “shocking and devastating”. Describing her as a lovely and kind personality, he said: “My wife and I will always remember her good relationship with us. It is a personal loss to my family. I pray that God will grant her everlasting rest in His bosom.” An Akure lawyer, Mr. Titiloye Charles, said: “Mrs. Olayinka was dogged, resilient, positive and unwavering in her determination to give Ekiti people the best of life and leadership. “She belongs to the class of Mama Funmilayo Kuti, among female activists and politicians in Nigeria. Death has again robbed us of another progressive. We are consoled that she lived a fulfilled life.” The ACN in Oyo State also condoled with the government and the people of Ekiti. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, ACN described Mrs. Olayinka as “a blessing to mankind, a humble personality and an epitome of loyalty, adding that she stood firmly by Fayemi to give good governance to the people”. Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji said: “Considering the superb family, academic and professional background that Mrs. Olayinka brought into office as deputy governor in 2011, it is sad that we lost such a charming and priceless jewel to the cold hands of death.” Senator Babafemi Ojudu said: “I lost a friend, a sister and a compatriot. She fought bravely to defeat cancer. She fought till the end. She kept insisting she would use all the power God gave her to fight the monster and emerge victorious. “’Femi, stop crying’, she kept telling me. She said we were going to do a big thanksgiving when she overpowers the monster.” The Chairman of the Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities (CAANU), Chief Richard Ahonaruogho, said: “I remember the warmth and passion with which the late Mrs. Olayinka received CAANU during our third quarterly conference last year at the Ekiti State University (EKSU). “While we are cannot question God on this sad loss, we must take solace in the fact that she lived a purposeful life and impacted most positively on the lives of Ekiti people.” ACN Southwest Zonal Caucus said: “The late Mrs. Olayinka was a dependable and loyal deputy to Fayemi. She was a fearless human rights fighter, particularly for the femine gender, a workaholic and a strategist. Ekiti State will miss her; ACN will miss her.” A pan-Yoruba group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), said: “We know that her demise has surely decimated our ranks, but we take solace in the fact that she did not live a wasted life. She spent her life fighting for the good of the common people. For Mrs. Olayinka, service to humanity came first. That was why she fought side by side with Fayemi to claim the people’s mandate in Ekiti State.”






Bayelsa CP confirms policemen’s death


HE police in Bayelsa State have confirmed the death of 12 policemen on escort duty at the weekend. Their ill-fated boat was heading to Azuzuama, Southern Ijaw Local Government, for the funeral of the mother of Kile Torughedi. Torughedi is the Special Assistant to the governor on Maritime Security. Commissioner of Police Kingsley Omire confirmed the death at a briefing in Yenagoa yesterday. Omire said a search party had been mobilised to the site and gave assurance that efforts were being made by divers to recover the bodies. The commissioner dismissed speculations that the attack was from the militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger

•Governor condemns attack Delta (MEND), which had earlier threatened to resume attacks. Omire said some aggrieved ex-militants took advantage of the malfunctioning speed-boat to launch the attack. He regretted that the policemen were merely “soft targets’’ in the attack, in which two of the 14 policemen survived. The commissioner said: “Fifty policemen set out on assignment to Azuzama. On their way, one of the boats conveying them developed engine fault. “A Joint Military Task Force (JTF) gun boat was moving ahead of them. “They were isolated and became soft target. Intelli-

gence reports have shown that those involved in the attack were hoodlums within an ex-militant group. “Of the 50 policemen deployed to Azuzuama community, 12 officers were declared missing. “They include two police inspectors, four non-commissioned officers, (NCO) and six constables. “As I speak to you, some policemen are still at the community. “It was the disabled nature of the speed boat conveying the affected policemen that made them soft targets. “We had lots of gunboats and security personnel in the area. As I speak with you now, Azuzuama community has been condoned off."

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the policemen were sent from the Command headquarters in Yenagoa to escort dignitaries to a funeral in Southern Ijaw Local Government. However, the boat conveying the policemen reportedly came under attack when it developed a fault. The yet-to-be identified gunmen shot the 12 policemen, whose remains were yet to be recovered. Governor Seriake Dickson has described the death as shocking and disheartening. In a condolence message to the Inspector-General of Police, the governor said the policemen were killed in their prime. Dickson expressed the government’s condolences to the Force and the families of the deceased.

Ghanaian President hails Akpabio


HANAIAN President John Mahama has described Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio as a good example of leadership in Africa. Mahama, who was accompanied by Ghanaian Ambassador to Nigeria, Baba Kamara and Information Minister Felix Ofosu Kwakye, said this yesterday when he visited the governor in Uyo. Mahama said: “It takes leadership to bring about transformation. “Governor Akpabio is not a visitor to Ghana. When he

visited me, he presented a book entitled ‘Uncommon Transformation’. “From my visit today and what I have seen on ground through the numerous projects indicate a testimony of what true leadership can do to transform the lives of the people. “I am impressed by what I have seen today in the state. “Africa is changing and transforming. We are experiencing positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth compared to the 80s, when the economies were

contracting and growing negatively. “Africa needs a new leadership to grow into development. “You can have growth without transformation. It takes leadership to bring about development. Akwa Ibom is an example of good leadership.” Akpabio said Ghana and Nigeria have a long rich history. He enjoined Akwa Ibom businessmen to partner Ghanaian businessmen. “Let's integrate the


economy of both countries for growth.”

Dickson warns council chairmen


OCAL government chairmen in Bayelsa State have been warned against turning the monthly allocation and other funds accruing to the council to “pocket money”. Governor Seriake Dickson spoke at the inauguration held at the Government House, Yenagoa. He said: “As the government is, we are neither deducting nor authorising any form of deductions from your council funds. “We will also ensure that you chairmen particularly do not use council funds as your pocket money. “The present administration will not allow council chairmen to use the resources coming to the councils to service godfathers, godmothers, godsisters and godbrothers. “The resources coming into this state as you have clearly seen at the state level are being deployed fully to the development of our state.” Dickson said the administration would monitor and give monthly reports on their activities to ensure that funds accruing to the third tier of government are utilised solely for development.

Fishermen demand N9.82b from Shell


ISHERMEN in Akwa Ibom State, under the aegis of Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), have demanded N9.82billion as compensation from Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) for the Bonga oil spill. In a statement by the Association’s Chairman, Samuel Ayadi, yesterday in Uyo, the group said Shell should pay the money to ameliorate their situation. The amount, according to Ayadi, represents total compensation demanded from Shell by all fishermen in the state. His words: “We have been rendered jobless as a result of the Bonga spillage as we could no longer make any reasonable catch. “The people have to depend on fish from neighbouring Cameroon to survive. “Akwa Ibom is home to Bonga and crayfish, and as I am speaking with you now, my members are facing serious shortage of this type of fish and they cannot meet the demand required of them. “We are appealing to the Federal Government, the National Assembly and stakeholders in the oil sector to prevail on Shell to accede to our request and avoid unpleasant consequences,” Ayadi said.

















Banks and development •How bank CEOs underdevelop Nigeria


ESS than four years after the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s axe fell, wiping in one fell swoop, the careers of dozens of top bankers, opinions expectedly remain divided on the overall impact of the exercise on the industry. At the heart of the debate is whether appropriate lessons have been learnt, given the N3 trillion cost of the clean-up. This amount includes the initial N620 billion injected to bail out the initial eight banks, the N1.725 trillion spent by the Asset Management Corporation, (AMCON) to acquire the non-performing loans of banks, and the N679 billion also expended to recapitalise the three Bridge Banks. Today, financial stability has no doubt returned to the industry just as the path of profitability seems pretty assured. Naturally, there are those who would argue that the outlandish figures of banks profitability being de- •Mallam clared mean nothing in an economy where poverty and unemployment rule, and where the phenomenon of de-industrialisation is a grim, distressing reality. While the point is unquestionably a valid one, it merely highlights the yawning gap between what is expected of the banks as catalyst to the economy and what it is doing at the moment. There can be no questioning the fact that the banks have a long way to go. The rosy picture of an industry on steady growth path is however a partial one. The humongous cost of the bailout aside, the real sector remains ill-served both in terms of access to credit and cost of funds – about four years after. Credit, the lifeblood of business remains a sticky issue. Where available, it is only to a few privileged class; not necessarily those who need them the most, at least, not the small and the medium scale industries that have impossible requirements to contend with. And then of course is the prohibitive cost – the result of which our traditionally non-competitive firms are rendered even more so. We wish we could vouchsafe that the factors which precipitated the crisis are no longer with us. We refer to the problems of fraud, corruption and mismanagement in the environment of poor corporate governance culture and ineffectual leadership. These were to manifest in sundry abuses of credit guidelines, the

Sanusi jettisoning of the extant industry’s financial controls, and in extreme cases, outright theft of depositors’ funds. We recall the once upon a time when bank executives took heavy bets with depositors’ funds; when they lived large and chased after luxuries that money can buy at a time the real economy headed south; when bumper profits, which rather than reflect the grim actually reflected the creative bookkeeping of the era, were cited as proof of financial soundness. We wish we could state that these belonged in the past; the truth however is that it is far from being the case. The men who ravaged the industry and brought it to near ruin are very much around still; those who took bad credit decisions for personal gains are walking in freedom; their accomplices – the chronic, pathological debtors whose portfolio debts nearly took the economy down have since gone back to business despite the so-called naming and shaming of barely four years ago. Several cases on the matter presently linger in various courts for want of diligent prosecution. As for those convicted of grievous economic crimes, they have since been asked to go and sin no more. The atmosphere of impunity has all but returned – sadly a few years after the last crisis. A variant of the same malignancy of institutional corruption which although has been with us, has not only gone full bloom, it has since metastasised. In its more serious form, it

‘To cite a specific example – a recent staff audit involving 153,019 Federal Government employees. The exercise reportedly yielded 45,000 ghost workers said to involve a net loss of N100 billion to the treasury. Who collected the money? Of course, the ‘ghosts’ were not paid through the relevant ministries’ cash offices but through the banks. Whatever happened to the Know Your Customer (KYC) rule which requires banks to keep basic data of their customers?So pervasive is the menace that nearly all the states have at one time or the other reported ‘shock finds’ of ghosts in their work force’

comes in the billions of public funds misappropriated, stolen and laundered by officials through banks’ vaults. A most recent example is the alleged scam in the police pension’s office running into hundreds of billions of naira. We have also seen milder forms of the same malfeasance in the countless reported cases of officials putting funds meant for paying salaries and other emoluments of workers in interest-bearing accounts for private gain. Yet another example is the phenomenon of ghost workers that has come to characterise the public service. To cite a specific example – a recent staff audit involving 153,019 Federal Government employees. The exercise reportedly yielded 45,000 ghost workers said to involve a net loss of N100 billion to the treasury. Who collected the money? Of course, the ghosts were not paid through the relevant ministries’ cash offices but through the banks. Whatever happened to the Know Your Customer (KYC) rule which requires banks to keep basic data of their customers?So pervasive is the menace that nearly all the states have at one time or the other reported ‘shock finds’ of ghosts in their work force. The verification in Bayelsa State for instance, is said to have yielded a net saving of N2.5 billion in the wage bill – from N6 billion to N3.5billion in one year. That of Rivers is said to have yielded 8,000 ghosts; Delta 7,000; and Kebbi 9, 300. If the amounts involved are mind-boggling; the frequency is even more benumbing. Their prevalence raises questions on the efficacy of existing financial intelligence regulations and the willingness of bank executives to comply with them. And if we may add that these workers are ghosts only to the extent that the top officials prefer to make the individuals unknown, and to the extent that the officials of the banks through which these payments are made would shield them for their pecuniary benefits. The point here is that banks have a huge role to play in providing muscle without which the economy will not lift. They have stayed far too long in their comfort zones of conservatism when their creative interventions are sorely required. They need to address the issue of access to credit by the small and medium scale industry; ditto the issue of prohibitive cost of lending. It is high time the bankers committee did something about the high cost of funds. We believe that the banks have a big role to play in fighting corruption. We do not think that the banks have done enough to assist the anti-graft bodies to fight the menace neither have they done enough to purge their ranks of same. Rather than new regulations, we believe that existing regulations, scrupulously observed, will go a long way to tame the scourge. It seems about time also the CBN made good its threat of zero tolerance for violations of financial regulations.

Waging war on war

• Treaty on conventional weapons trade is useful first step


FTER seven years of negotiation, the UN General Assembly has approved a treaty that regulates trade in conventional arms. It is the first of its kind. While nuclear and biological weapons have long been subject to international law, there is no global framework for monitoring the import and export of military equipment such as tanks and missiles. Countries opting to sign and ratify the treaty will have to ensure that the arms they trade are not used for acts of genocide, war crimes or terrorism. This is an important step. The flood of weapons into some of the most vulnerable countries in the world has fuelled civil wars, costing lives and obstructing economic development. Governments from across the globe have a moral obligation to intervene. Signatories will also be obliged to make public any information over arms imports, exports and transfers. Violators will be named and shamed by a newly created international entity. This pressure will make it harder for governments to close their eyes to morally questionable deals. Of course, there are limits to the impact of the agreement. Given the large backing it received on Tuesday, it is almost certain that 50 nations will ratify it. This is a precondition for the treaty to go into effect. Yet Russia and China, two of the world’s largest arms exporters, are unlikely to sign it. US President Obama changed his country’s stance on the initiative and chose to back it. Yet, regrettably, more than 50 US senators have already signalled that they will oppose its ratification. The treaty, as currently structured, lacks teeth. First, it does not include military aid. Signatories will be able to exploit this loophole to help friendly regimes in acts of civil repression. Most importantly, there is no specific enforcement mechanism. The UN will have no concrete powers to sanction violators. Yet realism over what the treaty can achieve is no good reason to oppose it. Governments across the world should swiftly sign it and ratify it. Once the agreement is in place, it can be tightened, for example by broadening its scope so that it includes military gifts. Since only those that have ratified the treaty will be able to amend it, large countries such as the US have an interest in doing so in order to be able to influence the negotiations. The backing of big powers would also give the treaty greater legitimacy, which is essential for it to become relevant. – Financial Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

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• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) Yomi Odunuga •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Manager, Corporate •Group Business Editor Marketing Ayodele Aminu Hameed Odejayi •Sport Editor • Manager (Admin) Ade Ojeikere Folake Adeoye •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni




IR: Sometime in April 2011, at a world news conference called to round-off his electoral campaigns, the presidential candidate of the CPC, retired army general, Muhammadu Buhari choked with tears and publicly wept for Nigeria. Coming on the heat of electioneering activities, Buhari’s tears immediately became the subject of conflicting political interpretations; as supporters debated with detractors, and sympathizers with cynics. Pundits and spin doctors ranted the news houses with barrage of divergent insinuations and allusions carved out of it. While the naïve wondered, asking ‘why did Buhari cry before he was hurt?’ the farsighted counseled us to make much of one, as such tears are quite rare. On his part, the three times presidential aspirant did not feel mollified enough to defend his 2011 preelection tears until a year later at a June 2012 media address. He had explained: “(I wept) having seen how rich this country is and how God really blessed Nigeria, the whole world is almost envious of Nigeria….” Did the farmer who cried in the face of a latent third year of failed harvest, do so out of fear of the impending emptiness of his granary; or the looming threat of starvation upon his community and the imminent famine in the land? Medically, a teardrop is seen as a sign of emotional overload, since by weeping the choking rage of passion is appeased or expelled. The human eyes shed tears to ease off the burden of the afflicted soul. Hence, General Buhari, known for his tough mind, was after all a human! Buhari shed tough tears in the face



Buhari’s 2011 tears

of that latent danger of missing it on the greater hope of uprooting corruption and suffering, by entrenching change and reforms. Alas, the series of mystifying events that haunted Buhari’s tears, from the post-elections violence, to the fuel subsidy strike of January 2012, the widespread flood disaster of the same year and the subversive kidnapping and insurgency that con-

tinued to date; were vindicating enough to the most carefree observer. However, quite unlike modern day critics and doomsday prophets who would rejoice when their predictions become vindicated, Buhari has affirmed that he is most dismayed by what is trailing his foreboding tears. Such is Buhari and what he stands for, which may be

termed ‘Buharism’; an ideology that promotes low-key radicalism through honourable and principled defense of the masses, with an extremely disciplined and puritanical political stance. Buhari is not a bloodthirsty firebrand as he would never instigate any sort of Arab Spring or Russian Winter, when the masses have not been cured of their common reluc-


repeatedly declared that he could cure HIV/AIDS(on Thursday) and Asthma (on Saturday)using natural herbs with some banana and peanuts and by reciting prayers and some verses from the Koran. He has refused to reveal the ingredients he used in preparing some of the concoction. Jammeh had no medical training. He claimed to have inherited the ‘healing power’ from his father. There is no evidence that Jammeh has inherited any form of healing power from anybody. He is a quack taking advantage of the situation of poverty, disease and poor medical care in his country. During his ‘healing session’, he carries a copy of the Koran and his muslim beads to attempt to give the process some legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of the majority muslim population in the country.

Jammeh’s cure claims have been dismissed by medical experts globally. And many people are particularly concerned that Jammeh’s reckless and irresponsible cure claims could undermine efforts to combat the AIDS pandemic in Gambia and in other parts of the region. Between 2007 and 2011, I visited Gambia several times. And during my visits I tried to find out about the efficacy Jammeh’s cure claims. I contacted some people living with HIV/AIDS to find out if there was any one who had been cured by‘His Execllency’. But there was no one. In fact there was not even a single person who said he knew someone who was cured by ‘Dr Jammeh’. Through a local NGO that worked with people living with HIV/AIDS, I met a woman. She was HIV positive and was on anti retroviral drugs. But she stopped taking her

Gambia’s Jammeh and HIV cure claims

IR: Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh, continues to insist that he has a cure for HIV/ AIDS. While people outside Gambia might think he is a lunatic and that his claims are bizzare and should be ignored, many sick people in Gambia take him seriously. They are trooping to the state house to receive ‘free treatment’with no proof of efficacy or effectiveness from his ‘Excellency’. Yahya Jammeh must be told to his face that the sham and shameful drama he’s staging, the dangerous precedent he is setting in Gambia, does not represent what Africa stands for. Africa is not a theatre of absurdity, insanity and inanity. It is not a continent where woo woo medicine is presented and brandished as “Africa”. Jammeh, who came to power in 1996 through a military coup, has

What’s the fuss about Nigeria Governors Forum?


IR: The Presidency seems to be losing its sleep over the affairs of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF). Not minding calls for its complete annihilation, meddling in the affairs of the forum is quite disheartening as it infringes on their constitutional right of association. What exactly is it with the NGF anyway, and why all these interests? After all they are just a couple of guys rubbing

tance to be armed with indomitable resolution of incorruptibility. The safest and quickest way to sustainable change is not found in a thoughtless resort to taking arms. Yes. Buhari wept! The great patriot wept because he foresaw defeat; but which? It was the defeat of the people’s power. He had seen that the masses could not stand and those standing could not count. In such a defeated circumstance, no language could be understood more than tears, and crying is the noblest language. In the end, only time will tell if Buhari’s great cry and burning tears were in vain. Although the truth is some tears are not shed more than once! • Mazhun Ya’u Idris Hanwa GRA, Zaria.

minds and comparing notes; so why the obsession with their affairs? Opponents of the NGF, those currently calling for the amendment of the forum’s constitution, are obviously crying more than the bereaved. As a think-tank, the NGF does not need outsiders to tell it what to do and how to go about conducting their business. The composition of this present forum is

mind-boggling – SANs, doctors, technocrats and seasoned politicians – so they are intelligent and competent enough to make their own rules and how to live it; we doubt if babysitters are welcomed at the forum. Fitch, a global rating firm, has given Rivers State an AA+ in fiscal policy, and Transparency Nigeria voted Kano the best in budgetary implementation. Lagos, Edo and

Rivers stand out in terms of infrastructure, Ekiti and Osun in education, Ondo, Imo and Akwa Ibom in social welfare. So, instead of crying wolf where there is none and creating an air of animosity, the Presidency should borrow a leaf and learn a thing or two about policy and governance from the governors. • Lloyd Robinson Port Harcourt, Rivers State

anti retroviral treatment in order to receive the presidential AIDS “treatment”. Some weeks later she went for a medical test and found out that her viral load had increased. She stopped going for Jammeh’s treatment and continued with her anti retroviral drugs. The father of another lady I spoke to wasn’t so lucky. The father was asthmatic and went to Jammeh for treatment but died some weeks later. And ‘President’ Jammeh sent the family some cash and food stuffs as condolence. It is difficult to know the number of people who must have died since Jammeh came out and started administering his unsubstantiated and quack cure claims. In Gambia there is lack of freedom of expression, most Gambians are afraid of saying anything critical of the president or whatever the president does. So those who are critical of Jammeh’s cure claims are reluctant to speak out. They fear they could be victimized. A UN official in Gambia was told to leave the country after she expressed doubts about Jammeh’s cure claims. Those of us who are concerned about the spread of HIV and AIDS and woo woo medicine in Africa should speak out against Jammeh’s cure claims and supposed treatment. Evidence, as always, is key and Jammeh has none. • Leo Igwe Bayreuth, Germany





HE sustained agitation for the manifestation of our regional selling points has never been this feverish. The preponderance of opinions is that it will herald a new vista for Nigeria, if faithfully embraced. Again, it appears to be a prescription, which will strengthen the professed indivisibility, which our country is desirous of protecting. Just recently, the former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme steered a new body in town: Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (S.N.P.A) to advocate for a return to the six zonal arrangements which the generality of Nigerians sympathise with. Constant resonation of this reality had always featured in the charismatic devotion of some present-day gubernatorial stewards to inject life into some latent and comatose legacies of their regional heroes past. This is symptomatic of a renewed zeal in Abia State to strengthen Dr. Michael Okpara’s mile-stone in agriculture exemplified by the once vibrant Abia Palm at Ohambele in Ukwa East local government area. This effort is being complemented by a rare initiative of locating farms in each of the 17 local government areas of the state under project “liberation farms”. In my estimation, we stand to substantially reward Nigeria, if there is a deliberate regional effort programmed to maximize the mineral and agricultural competencies of a region devoid of federal encumbrances. A federal structure, which empowers component units to express themselves exploratively and pay economic homage to the centre will in my minds eye, engender healthy competition in the polity and herald a departure from our present monolithic and precarious arrangement which is hopelessly tied to uncertainties of the global oil market. A recent and widely reported decline in America’s demand for Nigeria’s crude drives home the point I am trying to infer. This submission is without prejudice to the demand for even distribution of state creation as against what presently obtains. If anything, it will fast track development in the six geo-political regions, given a foreseeable scenario of regional stakeholders going the extra-mile to maximize the potentials located in their domain. Lord Lugard’s unification of 1914 meant only the loose affiliation of three distinct administrations of Northern, Western and Eastern regions. Consequently, each region was still administered by a lieutenant governor, who bestrode independent government services. This latitude enabled each governor to coordinate virtually autono-


T is universally settled in the western world, that the chief business of government is to bring development to citizens. As Aristotle suggested, the critical benchmark for measuring development is people’s quality of life, not to be confused with wealth. It is the prospect of people to realize their full potential as human beings. As espoused by Mahbub ul Haq in the first Human Development Report, “the basic objective of development is to create an enabling environment in which people can enjoy long, healthy and creative lives.” Whereas, standards of living are difficult to measure, indicators of social development are available: Employment, Agriculture, Health, Infrastructure, Investment, Safety and Security, Education, and Good Governance, among others. How does Governor Dickson’s administration fair measured against these universal standards? The primary obligation of any government is to protect the public, the lives and property of the people. This requirement cannot, obviously, be unqualified for the reason that there will always be those determined to breach the law or undermine whatever safety measures are put in place. But it is the government’s job to do its best in ensuring that in a free society, people can go about their lives facing the least‘ possible risk of crime or harm. The state government has been conscious of its responsibility in this regard. As it is said, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. As a direct strategy to prevent the youth from being idle and ensure security and safety for the people of the state, the government is taking aggressive steps to create opportunities for the youth by making Bayelsa State the investment magnet of the Niger Delta. The Bayelsa State Secret Cult and Kidnapping and Similar Offences (Prohibition) Law 2012, was proposed by the governor and has been passed and duly signed into law. The Anti-kidnapping law prescribes the death penalty for the crime of kidnapping. Considerable funds have been committed to strengthening the police force in the state to effectively discharge its obligations. The formation within its ranks of Doo Akpo, a well trained and equipped Rapid Response Unit, monitoring both the land and the waterways, has been well received by the people. In addition, there is a twenty-four hour, aerial surveillance over the entire state, which gives timely information to Doo Akpo. Also, the importance of health in personal life cannot be overemphasized. It has come to be regarded as a prerequisite for optimum socio-economic development of man. Health care as a right of every individual has been recognized in many countries. Apart from plans to upgrade the 500- bed Hospital in Yenagoa to a state-of-the-art specialist facility, comparable to any other in the world, modern General Hospitals are being built in each of the local government areas, thereby eliminating the need for people to commute outside their areas of residence for medical attention. With the global trade in fake drugs reaching several billion dollars yearly, the establishment of the Bayelsa State Pharmaceutical Company being handled by former DG, NAFDAC, Prof. Dora Akunyili, to procure, produce and distribute drugs, can be

Harnessing regional abundances By T.A. Orji mous entities that had overlapping economic interests, but little in common politically or socially. However, our reception of democratic tenets as ingredients of political and economic development will make it imperative for its replication in all geo-political entities of the country. Consequently, while we seek to deregulate the economic atmosphere of each region, our shared democratic values will be administered nationally for constant promotion and maintenance of our national identity. As earlier on somewhere highlighted, the inevitability of synergy, in the face of dwindling economic resources, has become imperative. In a lecture, I, delivered, during the public policy forum of Business Hallmark, July 4, 2012, I did observe that the need to seek integration of contiguous states, especially those already bonded together by cultural and historical affiliations has become unavoidably expedient for states to be in a position to harness and accelerate their economic development. Having constituted a look at the past and how it compares with the present, it is obviously evident that at the point of independence, the colonial British and Nigerian nationalist routed for a broad based federal system of government. Each of the regions, through their inaugural heroes, sought to exploit their potentials to develop and this ushered Nigeria into the healthy era of celebrating regional competencies. The north covered up for agricultural deficiencies, prevalent in other regions, and we could hear of the groundnut pyramid, which featured prominently in Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings. Same spirit of enterprise played out in the eastern part of Nigeria as it was widely reported that by 1960, Chief Michael Okpara, Premier of defunct eastern region, had laid a solid foundation, upon which the economy of the region stood without mineral resources. The strength of then eastern region motivated many political and economic permutations to posit that the region will ultimately actualize Nigeria’s long held desire to be among the most industrialized countries of the world. We could also hear of the cocoa merchants in the west ably piloted through the foresight arising from the well-

established Odu’a Investment Company, in 1965. Odua’s blue-chip subsidiaries spanned publishing, manufacturing, and properties such as the Western House in Broad Street Lagos, Cocoa House in Ibadan Oyo State and other industrial concerns like Durosyn paint and Polyplast, Airport Hotel Ikeja and so on. A praise worthy resilience and tenacity of purpose have kept some of Odua Investments going, while many have also gone the way of others. Given the enormity of merits located in revisiting a reformed regional structure, it has become unavoidably necessary to stimulate a healthy debate in that direction. A broad based national conviction will usher in a sincere adoption, as investments will be directed to regions with comparative advantage for a significant rise in the nations’ productive capacity. Let us remember that at independence when regions prospered, it was simply because each of them found a reason to prosper through collaborations with the contiguous localities, and the federal government was undoubtedly the beneficiary in its transformed economy. Consequently, leaders of the regions saw no attraction in operating from the centre. We can, if we put our minds to it. • Orji, Governor of Abia wrote in from Umuahia.

Given the enormity of merits located in revisiting a reformed regional structure, it has become unavoidably necessary to stimulate a healthy debate in that direction. A broad based national conviction will usher in a sincere adoption, as investments will be directed to regions with comparative advantage for a significant rise in the nations’ productive capacity.

Bayelsa: From cynicism to confidence By Justice Joffa considered a key development, indeed, a huge boost to effective health care delivery. To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jnr. darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Ignorance cannot drive out ignorance, only education can do that. Progress in education is critical for human development in its own right and because of the links to health, equity and empowerment.” Here again, the Dickson government has been active in confronting the challenge. Free and compulsory education throughout primary and secondary tiers of education has been declared and is being purposely implemented. Schools are being renovated and new ones built. Science and laboratory equipment are being supplied to the schools. Uniforms and books are free and available. Arguably a major example anywhere else in Nigeria is the building and equipping of residential quarters for teachers and school heads. An agreement has been reached with a reputable Canadian institution to train teachers from the state. There is growing enthusiasm among young graduates to take up opportunities in teaching. There is a scheme that automatically assures graduates with a minimum second class upper division, scholarships to any institution of learning in the world for further studies. Impecunious but brainy children from the creeks of the state also have a special scholarship programme in place to school anywhere in Nigeria and abroad. This is commendable. Staying true to the traditional occupation of the peoplefishing, the government is making significant foray into modern aquaculture. People are being trained to handle and manage fishing trawlers. Large scale fish and shrimp production is on stream. Rice farms in Isampou, Peremabiri and Yenagoa have been revived with the potential to produce enough grain for the entire West Africa market at full capacity. Infrastructure equally scored very high in current development in the state. The state capital and beyond, wear the look of a mammoth construction site. Winding road network linking all senatorial areas together and out of the state are progressing rapidly. The determination of the government to align the state with the standards obtainable in other jurisdictions is tangible. It was Barack Obama who said Africa did not need strong leaders, but strong institutions. Interestingly, one area in which Governor Dickson has shown strong leadership is the establishment of strong institutions. In keeping with his campaign promise, he insisted on the passage of the Bayelsa State Accountability and Fiscal Responsibility Law. This law, in effect, recognizes the fact that leaders are de facto servants of the people, by compelling the government to give monthly stewardship of the monies entrusted to their charge. This the governor personally discharges in the monthly Transparency Briefings before journalists and Bayelsans

from all walks of life. A further requirement of the law is the compulsory savings of the state for the proverbial rainy day. Far from being mere window dressing, today government business is not shrouded in secrecy, indeed ordinary Bayelsans know how much the state receives, spends and saves on a monthly basis. Supplementary to the transparency briefings, a Committee on Information Management has been setup, with a view to affording people opportunity to call dedicated hotlines and make inquiries about government activities. All the above are impressive democratic ideals which we appreciate as institutional values in our organization and we see them as fundamental tom good governance. The foregoing has boosted the confidence of Bayelsans in the good intentions of their government and the investing public in the integrity of the state to protect their investments. The corollary of this is the record influx of investors into the state. The employment projection for the youth in this regard is pretty good. A major concern for many people trying to do business and engage with governments in Nigeria is where to direct inquires and get honest, reliable answers. The Diaspora/ International Relations bureau, headquartered in the Governor’s office, is not an office in name only, but a fully equipped and functional Bureau. Here, concerns on bilateral ties to the government and business are promptly treated. Governor Dickson, the visionary of the new Bayelsa may be affectionately called “Countriman” as testament to his enduring affinity with the common man. There is nothing common about the robust agenda he has set for the state, nor in the determined fashion he has set about executing it. Many of his initiatives have been brilliant, bold and courageous. He has surrounded himself with the most discerning and astute minds, regardless of their state of origin. Most notable of all his policy directives thus far, has been his Transparency Initiative, fueled by his desire to change the governance culture in Bayelsa State. • Joffa is of the League for Accountable and Responsive Governance.

‘There is growing enthusiasm among young graduates to take up opportunities in teaching. There is a scheme that automatically assures graduates with a minimum second class upper division, scholarships to any institution of learning in the world for further studies’





ERHAPS, nothing illustrates more clearly, the contradictions in the senseless killings in the north than recent statement by the leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. He had threatened to launch a war against the north if the killing of the Igbo persists. But he was quick to add a caveat, “the Hausa community living in the South-east should not be afraid, no one will attack them. We are not going to resort to reprisal attacks but soon I will declare a full scale war against northerners in the north. We can’t take it anymore. We will take the war to their doorsteps now”. It is evident from the above that the MASSOB leader is not happy at the unprovoked killing of the Igbo in the north since the Boko Haram insurgents struck. He feels his group can no longer watch helplessly while their people are killed daily for no just reason. The bombing of a motor park in Kano in which scores of people were killed may have further angered him. For these, he is now ready to do battle with the north and northern interests. But the battle is not going to be waged in any other place other than northern soil. That is why he has urged northerners living in the Southeast not to worry as nobody will attack them. And that is what makes this battle a very peculiar one indeed. No doubt, it is going to be a difficult battle. It remains to be imagined how MASSOB hopes to wage war against the north on

‘The threat of the MASSOB leader should be seen as an act of desperation of a people who have constantly been victims of acts of violence in the north. It is an indication that their patience is fast running out and government must take decisive steps to reassure them that their lives have value’


Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Uwazuruike’s war drum northern soil and hopes to succeed. Not with the sophistication of the insurgents and their easy resort to suicide bombings. It also remains to be imagined how MASSOB will move its members to the north in large numbers without being confronted by the security agencies. It would appear therefore that Uwazuruike and his group may be heading for a suicide mission if they make good their threat to attack northerners on their soil. What one can glean from the dilemma posed by this resolve is the frustrations of the group in the face of the regular killing of the Igbo without the government finding a quick handle to it. Such killings have forced many to flee the northern states thus questioning our claims to one and indivisible country. Matters are not helped by the selective nature of the killings which seem to be in line with the avowed commitment of the sect to drive southerners out of the north. But despite all moves to force southerners out of some of these states, many have refused to abandon their hard earned investments and are not likely to do so. The terror group seems to be saying that since southerners do not want to leave, they have to pay dearly for it. Hence the selective attacks as witnessed in the Kano suicide bomb at the motor park. Of course, the sections of the country anticipated to die in that attack were known. The luxury buses, those who patronize them and their owners were selected for maximum impact. It is true that some other people died from the attack especially hawkers and sundry helpless people. But that does not in any way obliterate the

N one of the most poignant ironies of global literary history, the creator of Things Fall Apart, doubtless the most famous African novelist, died without the Nobel Prize for Literature, undeniably the world’s grandest literary decoration. Long after Chinua Achebe’s death on March 21 at age 82, it is likely to remain a puzzle to many how it happened that the prestigious award eluded him. However, Achebe’s loss again prompts age-long questions about aesthetic objectivity and the determination of artistic value. He lived long enough and his oeuvre was sufficiently broad, which led many to argue that the Swedish Academy, custodians of the yearly Nobel Prize, not only had adequate time but also available body of work to have reached a favourable conclusion on Achebe. If this did not happen, could the reason have been that he simply did not measure up? Achebe’s most recent laurels before the end, the 2007 Man Booker International Prize and 2010 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, provided deep insights into his stature in the world of letters. It is interesting that on the judging panel of the International Prize was the South African female writer and 1991 Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer who said Achebe was “the father of modern African literature” and that he was “integral” to world literature. Also of interest is the fact that there were 14 other finalists for the award, worth 60,000 British pounds, including the female British novelist Doris Lessing, who was awarded the Nobel Prize later that year. The biennial literary award, given to a living author of any nationality for a body of work published in English or generally available in English translation, rewards one author’s “continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage.” The judges for the year compile their own lists of authors and submissions are not invited. It is intriguing that Achebe was preferred for the International Prize ahead of Lessing who was picked for the Nobel Prize in the same year. It is uncertain whether Achebe was among the Nobel finalists that year, or any other year for that matter, because nominations are officially kept secret for 50 years. Achebe was the second recipient of the International Prize, began in 2005, and which in 2011 was given to the American novelist Phillip Roth. After Roth was announced as the recipient, Carmen Callil withdrew from the judging panel, saying “I don’t rate him as a writer at all; in 20 years’ time will anyone read him?” Indeed, this divergence is significant because, on the issue of artistic longevity and reader appeal raised by the judge, Achebe continues to enjoy a wide readership more than 50 years after his first novel. In fact, the 50th anniversary of Things Fall Apart in 2008 was a global party. It is fascinating

target population as the casualty figure will reveal. Uwazuruike’s threat therefore brings to the fore the frustrations of a people that profess one and indivisible country yet citizens cannot freely live in some other parts of it. It also raises question as to what remedy there is for these non indigenes in the face of constant and unprovoked attacks on their lives and properties. This is more so when the government has found itself incapable of finding lasting solutions to the menace. The MASSOB leader thinks the Igbo should no longer be at the receiving end of these senseless attacks. He thinks it is a huge contradiction that citizens of this country can no longer live freely in some other parts of the country. He also reasons that such a situation should not be allowed to persist. He has a point here. As a solution, he has vowed to levy war against the north on their soil to make the point very clearly that no citizen should be debarred from that inalienable right to live in any part of the country. By promising to fight back on northern soil, he is saying that this country belongs to all of us and not body should force any citizen out of his area of abode through acts of intimidation and violence. He is saying that the Igbo have the right of self defense and could also turn out to be purveyors of violence even in the north. And that even the northerners themselves could also be attacked on their own soil as no body has the monopoly of the means of violence. He is saying that the Igbo have a

right to live and do business in any part of the country just as other ethnic groups live in other parts of the country including Igbo land. Is it not a contradiction that southerners are being driven out of the north through selective attacks and killings yet northerners are comfortably living and doing their businesses in the south? One had expected that if Uwazuruike really wanted to do battle with the north, the starting point would be the South-east where his men hold sway. But he says no. He has urged northerners living in the south-east to go about their normal businesses as his group will not attack them. For him, the war will only be fought on northern soil. It is therefore not that the MASSOB leader is a war monger. Far from that! The nature of his anticipated war and the difficulty in prosecuting it, underscore the inherent contradictions in the continued violence in the north against southerners. He is drawing attention to the danger in allowing these unprovoked attacks and killings to fester and the wider repercussions should those at the receiving end resort to self help. That to me is the symbolism of the threat of MASSOB to wage war against the north on northern soil. If they were really interested in waging a war, the starting point could not have been northern soil. In effect therefore, the threat of the MASSOB leader should be seen as an act of desperation of a people who have constantly been victims of acts of violence in the north. It is an indication that their patience is fast running out and government must take decisive steps to reassure them that their lives have value. The impression is fast being created that each time there is crisis in the north the South-east must suffer for it. This has to be quickly arrested. Northern leaders must take the responsibility of ensuring that non indigenes live and do business in that region without let or hindrance. That way, we can stave off the temptation for those who have been at the receiving end of these attacks to take laws into their hand.

‘It is true that some other people died from the attack especially hawkers and sundry helpless people’

Nobel and how not to judge Achebe By Femi Macaulay that one of the 2011 finalists, John le Carre, asked to be removed from consideration, saying that he does not compete for literary prizes. It is a matter for conjecture whether the award would still have gone to Roth, irrespective of le Carre’s withdrawal. However, it goes to show how even extra-literary situations can intervene in the award of literary prizes. Although the $300,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which recognizes artists who have had an extraordinary impact in their field, is, unlike the International Prize, extraliterary in scope, its award to Achebe at a ceremony in New York, nevertheless, made a huge statement for his literary accomplishments. Even though Achebe produced other worthy novels, they were overshadowed by Things Fall Apart, his1958 debut novel and pioneering work of African fiction, which reportedly sold over 10 million copies and was translated into some 45 languages in his lifetime. It is rated among the best written in English, and in the estimation of many, by itself, guarantees Achebe’s place in the pantheon of literary greats. Achebe’s then unprecedented plot of a pre-colonial African people, the Igbo, who lost their pristine condition to Westernization, catapulted him into the limelight, even before his other novels, No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). It is remarkable that Achebe’s pre-eminence in the continent’s literary firmament, particularly because of Things Fall Apart, led to cases of mistaken identity where people mistook other prominent African writers for Achebe. Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiongo said he had been a victim and, according to him, Nigerian playwright and 1986 Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka said the same too of himself. By the time Soyinka received the Nobel Prize, the first African to do so, Achebe’s magnum opus was close to its 30th year, and his most recent novel was published 20 years back. Although Soyinka was reportedly a popular choice, many wondered about Achebe. Before his demise, three other African writers were recipients of the Nobel Prize, the Egyptian Naguib Mahfouz (1988), and South Africans Nadine Gordimer (1991) and J.M.Coetzee (2003). Since age is no disqualification, it remained a theoretical possibility till he died that Achebe could be eventually picked for the award despite his advanced years. After all, Doris Lessing, the oldest recipient of the award, got it at 88.

But the ways of the Nobel Prize are mysterious, probably more than any other major literary award. To be eligible for the 112-year-old Nobel Prize, now worth about $1.4 million, a candidate must be nominated by a stipulated qualified person. In its work in choosing a Nobel Prize winner the Swedish Academy is assisted by a Nobel Committee comprising four to five Academy members, elected for threeyear periods. It often happens that the same names are put forward time after time, until the nominee either wins the prize or dies or the sponsors give up. It is noteworthy that the Swedish Academy has long been controversial for its apparent Eurocentric bias as well as sometimes baffling decisions, and there is a thought-provoking list of widely acknowledged “great writers” who never won the Nobel Prize while supposedly lesser writers did. One recent instance involving 2004 Nobel laureate, the Austrian female novelist and playwright Elfriede Jelenik, provides food for thought. According to reports, Jelenik herself believed that she should not have received a Nobel Prize and that she had only been chosen for “being a woman.” A member of the Swedish Academy, Knut Ahnlud, shared Jelenik’s belief and resigned over her selection, claiming she had “done irreparable damage” to the prize. From these happenings, it is evident that if Achebe went to the grave without the Nobel Prize, it is not necessarily a statement against the aesthetic intensity or artistic profundity of his fiction. The questions are: What standards of assessment determined his inappropriateness for the prize? Was his fiction deficient in form or content? Or was he unlucky for non-artistic reasons? One thing is certain, though, for a writer who produced fiction that belongs to the literary canon, Achebe’s exclusion from the Nobel Prize ironically provides enlightenment on how not to judge literature. • Macaulay is on the editorial board of The Nation

‘It is evident that if Achebe went to the grave without the Nobel Prize, it is not necessarily a statement against the aesthetic intensity or artistic profundity of his fiction’







We want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged thereby making it difficult for the plaque of substandard products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON



Creative song writers, creative jobs- P. 36

‘Users will pay toll if services are good’ - P. 27

News Briefing CBN settles N1.3b agric credit claims THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) settled Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) claims worth N1.3 billion in 32 years, The Nation findings have shown. - Page 26

Reserves may hit $60b on rising oil output FOREIGN reserves, which stood at $36.39 billion on August 7, 2012, are expected to hit $60 billion as oil production soars. - Page 26

‘How bulk SMS drives business’ THE use of bulk short messages services (SMS) and customised voice messages are the easiest ways to get products and services to the end users, achieve profitability, an information technology (IT) enterpreneur, Lawrence Ogunleye, has said.

ALSCON is bankrupt, says KPMG T

HE Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) is bankrupt, an audit by KPMG has revealed. Details of the report made available to The Nation put the value of ALSCON as at December 31, 2011 at $89.9 million, whereas the company has accumulated a debt in excess of $135 million, or N22 billion. According to the report, entitled: Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria Plc Financial Statements - December 31, 2011 together with directors’ and auditor’s reports, under current liabilities, said ALSCON received a short term loan of N21.348billion in 2011. The report noted that the short term loans of N18,173,266,000 were given to DAYSON Holdings Limited;RUAL Limited

COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/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 JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.560 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation 11.9% Treasury Bills 7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending - 15.87% Savings rate 2% 91-day NTB 15% Time Deposit 5.49% MPR 12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

N2,719,758,000 and SEA CHAIKA Corporation, N455,323,000, totalling N21,348,347,000. According to the report, “the loan agreements provide that the loans shall bear no interest, except where the company fails to fully repay the loan at the maturity date, in which case the company would be obliged to pay interest on the outstanding amount of the loan at the rate of two per cent per annul.” It further revealed that the movement in the loan balances during the year showed that N17.513billion was the balance at the beginning of the

Rewane faults IMF’s advice on AMCON • Defends Corporation’s role on economy


• EFCC may intervene


HE recommendation by the International Mon etary Fund (IMF) that the operations of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) be wound down has been faulted by the Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismark Rewane. The Fund had in its Article IV Consultation published last week advised the Federal Government to halt the operations of the corporation to curb moral hazard and fiscal risks. But Rewane said AMCON was set up to revive and stabilise the banking industry through the purchase of nonperforming loans (NPLs) from the lenders. He said the corporation has so far acquired over 10,000 NPLs worth N3.5 trillion, adding that before its formation, NPLs ratio in the banking industry was in excess of 35 per cent. “As of December 31, 2011 the NPL ratio had fallen to five per cent, enabling the banks to focus on lending. In addition, AMCON injected fresh capital into eight banks, five of which have entered into successful mergers. As a result of the recapitalisation of banks, it owns Mainstreet Bank, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank. The establishment of AMCON has also averted a potential financial disaster,” he said. Rewane said apart from the resolution of manifested risks and toxic assets roughly estimated at N4 trillion, AMCON was also considered an essential part of the institutional framework for preventing and developing early response to

By Collins Nweze

isolated pockets of risks that could easily become contagious or viral. He said: “The question of a moral hazard arises, when the cost of an alternative resolution option is less expensive to the system and tax payer.” He added that it also becomes a problem if the defaulting operators pay a less than punitive price which encourages deviant behaviour in the future. Rewane said the price at which AMCON is purchasing toxic assets is so punitive that no rationale banker or operator will sell assets to it except as a last resort, adding that the stigma of being an AMCON client in the domestic and international business community is both a fiscal and social burden. He admitted that the IMF Article IV Consultation and review is important and extremely useful tool for IMF member-countries and market analysts. Rewane admitted that the process is objective and dispassionate, thus almost ensuring that the outcome is consistent with the process. He said almost all bad banks have become profitable over a period of time. This is because the toxic assets are purchased at steep discounts and are sold back into the market after a recovery, he added. He said Nigerian banks are bearing the funding costs of the exercise, paying 0.5 per cent of their total assets as a levy. The financial burden of the Treasury and taxpayer is minimized by the banks agreeing to pay a levy for 10 years.

year, while N3.042billion was the amount of loan drawn down during the year. There was no repayment of the loan during the year and there was an exchange difference of N792,348,347,000, totalling N21,348,347,000. The President of BFIGroup, Dr. Reuben Jaja, confirmed that ALSCON was, indeed, bankrupt. He said BFIG had also seen the audit and the N21.3 billion short term loan that was in the books of the company. Dr. Jaja said BFIG will invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate what led to the insolvency of ALSCON, and what the money was used for. He wondered what the loan could have been used for since there

were neither machinery upgrades, nor acquisition of new machines. He lamented that ALSCON has only N94.5 million as cash in the bank and at hand as at the time of the audit. Jaja said he was worried that the condition of the company might be worse, two years after the audit. He expressed dismay that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which has a seat on the board of ALSCON, should have been aware of this indebtedness before offering to sell the firm to BFIG for $450 million. BFIG, he said, would also invite the EFCC to investigate what RUSSAL had done with the $120 million credit the Federal Government extended to the Russians for the dredging of the Opobo/Imo River estuary since 2004. He alleged that to claim the

$120million credit the Federal Government promised it for the dredging of the Imo River, RUSSAL brought Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation Marine Technologies and Safety from Russia to claim the money. The BFIG president reiterated that “the BPE’s claims that BFIG did not make the payments for ALSCON and also failed to sign the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) are false.” He said the group had signed the mutually agreed SPA which was prepared and delivered to it by the BPE and the group in turn hand delivered the signed SPA to the privatisation agency with five days to spare and also requested for the BPE’s bank details so that it could make the initial payments but that the BPE refused to release it’s bank details.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 7. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 9. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Aero 12.20 13.30 15. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 16. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 17. Arik 13.45 14.45 18. IRS 14.00 15.20 19. Aero 14.10 15.30 20. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 21. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 22. Arik 15.50 16.50 23. Aero 16.00 17.20 24. IRS 16.30 17.50 25. Arik 16.50 17.50 26. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 27. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 29. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 20. Arik 18.45 19.45 31. Aero 19.20 20.40

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

By Collins Nweze

agriculture finance value chain, build long term capacity and instituionalise incentives for agricultural lending. It said the potential lenders include traditional banks, microfinance institutions, trade finance providers, asset managers, and private equity funds. Credit to the sector could also come as a loan portfolio, a loan, a bond or in some cases, a specific commitment letter. He said NIRSAL Credit Risk Guarantee range from 30 per cent to 75 per cent and could be loan principal, or interest payments. The funds are targeted at farmer groups, large corporate farmers, processing companies, agricultural service providers, logistic companies, wholesale distributors, among others. It can also be targeted at the agribusiness value

chain which covered across crops and livestock activities. He said NIRSAL was a public/private initiative designed by the apex bank and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in 2011 to disburse such grants to financial institutions for easy access by farmers nationwide. He explained that N45 billion had been earmarked from the N75 billion as loans to the farmers, while the balance would be used to train the farmers and insure them. The CBN director said the funds will be driven by five pillars, in which N45 billion will be channelled into risk sharing facility.There is a N4.5 billion insurance facility that links insurance products to loans provided by banks to borrowers. He reaffirmed that NIRSAL’s target is to de-risk agriculture finance value chain, build long term capacity and institutionalise incentives for agricultural lending.

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) settled Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) claims worth N1.3 billion in 32 years, The Nation findings have shown. The scheme, which started in 1978, has assisted farmers to get credit from the Federal Government. The apex bank is also considering an intensive performance rating for commercial banks to determine their effectiveness of lending to agriculture.To achieve this, it has set aside N1.5 billion, out of the N75billion allocated for the implementation of the Nigeria Incentivebased Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) project. The CBN said the rating of banks is one of the strategic measures being taken by the apex bank to stimulate lending to the sector. The NIRSAL objective is to de-risk

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Aero 10.50 12.30 5. Arik 11.40 13.00 6. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 7. IRS 13.30 15.00 8. Arik 14.00 15.20 9. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 10 Arik 16.10 17.30 11. Aero 16.15 17.30 12. Arik 17.10 18.30

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

CBN settles N1.3b agric credit claims

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30

• From left: Chairman Keystone Bank, Moyo Ajekigbe; and Managing Director/CEO, Philip Ikeazor, at the AntiMoney Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) training in Lagos.

Reserves may hit $60b on rising oil output


OREIGN reserves, which stood at $36.39 billion on August 7, last year, is expected to hit $60 billion as oil production soars. Crude oil production spiked to an all-time high of 2.7 million barrel per day (mbpd) on July 25, 2012, the first time in 50 years. This peak represented an increase of 28.57 per cent from the year-to-date average of 2.11 mbpd. In the Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Economic Report for August, its Managing Director, Bismark Rewane, said at an average production level of 2.7 million barrels production per day (mbpd), there will be 10.7 per cent increase in government revenue to N946.97 billion. He estimated a 9.12 per cent rise in forex inflows to $4.02 billion, and reserves accretion to $60 billion, covering over 10 months of import cover, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may allow the naira to appreciate sharply to N145 to a dollar, to compensate for the substantial increase in oil revenue.

• Naira records best week By Akinola Ajibade

“The combined effect of the relative peace in the Niger Delta region, and the likely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), would result in an increase in oil production above the current trend of 2.1mbpd on average, in the short run,” he said. In another development, the naira strengthened a fourth day last Friday to complete its best one-week performance since August after oil companies sold dollars to meet local expenses. The currency rose 0.1 per cent to N157.45 per dollar according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It gained 0.7 per cent last week, it’s best performance since the five days through August 17. Oil companies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), are the second-biggest source of dollars after the Cen-

tral Bank of Nigeria, which offers foreign currency at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to maintain exchange-rate stability. “The naira strengthened on the back of foreign-exchange sales from oil companies last week, expected dollar sales from the NNPC and to a lesser extent, some modest foreigncapital inflows,” Samir Gadio, an emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Limited. in London, said in an e- mail. “It is likely that dollar-naira will drift higher once the NNPC effect dissipates this week.” The apex bank sold $237 million at an April three auction, compared with $300 million at the previous sale on March 27. It didn’t hold an offer on April one, because of a public holiday. Borrowing costs on Nigeria’s local-currency debt due January, 2022, rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 10.89 per cent, according to last week’s prices compiled by the Financial Markets Dealers Association.

Operators fret over restoration of bombed BTS


ELECOMS operators have expressed worry over difficulties in restoring bombed base transmission stations (BTS) in the northeastern part of the country. They are insisting on approaching the Federal Government for a financial bailout to shore up the losses suffered in the wake of the premeditated bomb attacks on the facilities. Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said restoration efforts of the BTS are being hampered by persisting insecu-

By Lucas Ajanaku

rity in the region. According to him, aside gaining access to the bombed sites, some of the indigenes too are wary that if the facilities are resuscitated, their communities may easily become vulnerable to attacks by the insurgents. “More than 250 sites were affected by the spate of bomb attacks. We are having challenges accessing some of the sites. Some locals (residents of the host communities in which the sites are cited) are wary of allowing restoration efforts to take place be-

cause they fear it may make them vulnerable,” he said. Speaking in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said most of the BTS lost to flood in the Niger Delta area have been restored. Specifically, he said the vandalised sites in Bayelsa State have been restored, adding, however, that the same story could not be told of the ones in the northern part of the country. He said the security situation in the north has made it difficult to send “engineers” work there.

Experts seek solution to bad debts By Daniel Essiet


DON, Prof. Bola Okuneye, has urged businesses to rise up to the challenge posed by their bad debts by taking action to bolster their balance sheets. Okuneye, a Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), said economic recovery was in danger of being hampered unless businesses took action. Okuneye said borrowing costs had risen significantly, raising concerns about their ability to repay their debts. He said the problem was serious and that the government and business should reckon with a long period of low growth. At the heart of the problem is a massive overhang of debt left over the years, from big and small businesses. With these debts, Okuneye said, businesses were struggling to stay afloat. The potential for rapidly escalating interest payment on loans is one of the wrenching challenges facing business living beyond its means. Also, the Director-General, Kaduna Business School,Dr Dahiru, said increasing business debts were unsustainable. He said increasing numbers of businesses experiencing financial worries, were in such situation because of poor budgetary management. He said the government needed to take a hard look at the terms and repayment rules for loans, and the industry might have to develop a new lending model to prevent a bad situation from getting out of hand. He said it was not correct to blame rising costs of living and government policies for pushing them into the red. He admitted that the government regulations might have little impact, but that poor strategic response to the economy was contributing to prolonged effects of the squeeze taking their toll on the nation’s finances.

‘How bulk SMS drives business’


HE use of bulk short mes sages services (SMS) and cus tomised voice messages are the easiest ways to get products and services to the end users, achieve profitability, an information technology (IT) enterpreneur, Lawrence Ogunleye, has said. Ogunleye, who is the chief executive officer, BridjSMS, said since the evolution of the global system for mobile (GSM) communication in the country, the scope and shape of marketing have been greatly transformed. This is, he said, is because the mobile phone has become a tool that people cannot afford to leave behind when going out. ”Bulk SMS is a platform you use in doing direct marketing. Since the development of the revolution that swept across the industry years back, a lot has changed. People now use iPhone, smartphone, tablets, minilaptops and other hand held devices. “One of the things you can use the SMS and customised voice platforms for is to do direct marketing to people. To me, you get to make more money if you use the platform to advertise your products and services to people. It is a way of using the SMS as a marketing tool to drive your brand, your products and services to get money coming to you massively. A lot of people use this platform daily and it has really worked because people have their phones with them and they are able to read instantly and respond to any offer you are giving them. This generates money to you in a fast way and that makes you not to spend so much on advert but rather gives you money in terms of sales of your products and services,”he explained.




• Bello

‘Users will pay toll if services are good’ The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) minds public infrastructure and lists those that should be commissioned to provide better services. Its Acting Director-General, Dr. Ghali I. Bello, in this interview with our Assistant Editor, NDUKA CHIEJINA, speaks of his vision for ICRC, the challenges and the controversy surrounding Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects.


HAT do we expect, now that you are at the helm of affairs? For us to make a difference, we need to understand who we are and what our mission entails. Once we are clear on these, we would then assess what we have achieved within the short time that the commission has been operational. Primarily, the ICRC was set up through an Act of Parliament in 2005 to fill the gap in infrastructure deficit which our country is experiencing. We wake up in Nigeria to no light, no airlines, children don’t have good schools, no good hospitals, we lack most of the things that make an economy to function. Actually, we have them, but they are not in the best form. ICRC was set up to provide those goods and services, which ordinarily the government ought to provide, so the best option was to get the private sector to come and partner with us to deliver those services that ordinarily the government ought to provide. Old infrastructure have deteriorated and the government is not in a position to provide them, so the commission was set up to partner with the private sector on PPP basis to deliver those goods and services that otherwise the government should provide. The former board of the ICRC was a unique and powerful board, with a former Head of the Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, as the chairman. In addition, you have almost all the key players in the government on the board, like the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Minister of Finance, the Attorney-

General of the Federation, the Governor of the CBN and the DG as the secretary of the board. Also included were six others from the private sector who were selected on competence basis from the six geo-political zones. That board did its best and you have to realise that during the time, we had to start from ground zero. So, what will you do differently? The perception of the commission outside is that the ICRC is not known by many people. Philips Consulting carried out an online survey of about 1000 people, and 57 per cent say they have never heard of ICRC I would like to make ICRC more visible to the outside world by reaching out to the people. I would like to bring ICRC to the fore. So, we need to let the public know that we are here to serve them and make a difference in their lives. To do these, I must consolidate on what the former board did and further that by creating a general awareness within the country.

We also want to work closely with the MDAs to assist them develop the needed infrastructure. The MDAs are the owners of the projects we are to regulate and we have been able to get a buy-in from the MDAs. There was a circular passed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Head of Service of the Federation directing all MDAs to create PPP units. It’s a new concept and like everything new, there will be resistance to it, so if one is able to bring to the attention of the public that this institution exists to serve the interest of the public, I think we would have been able to create some level of difference in that direction. We want to sensitise the public that this institution exists to serve them. In summary, we want to really raise the profile of the organisation and bring the MDAs to appreciate that we are partners. We want to create a scenario whereby at the end of the day the infrastructure deficit will be addressed in the interest of the country. We want to develop the regulations because

‘We need to let the public know that we are here to serve them and make a difference in their lives. To do these, I must consolidate on what the former board did and further that by creating a general awareness within the country’

as an agency of the government. We have to develop regulations and provide and issue the guidelines as a regulator. At present, I do not think we have developed any guidelines for any sector of the economy in the last four years. So, we have to develop guidelines for the power sector, ICT, transportation, port concession, as well as for about 12 sectors as provided for in the Act setting up the ICRC. We have a lot of work to do to deliver on these mandates and by His grace (if we are permitted to be around in the next couple of months), we will turn things around and create more consciousness in the mind of the public about the ICRC and this will go a long way to make us achieve what we are set up to do. Concessioning infrastructure will lead to tolling or imposing tariff on these infrastructure and many Nigerians may not like the idea of paying tolls on these public infrastructure. What is your commission doing to balance tolling these infrastructure and allowing the concessioneers to make profit from their investment? I don’t think Nigerians don’t like paying tolls, stakeholders’ consultation is important when public infrastructure are to be tolled. People will pay if the service is good and alternatives are provided so that they can migrate to other alternatives. A good example is the public school system, people withdraw their children from public schools to private schools where they pay more because •Continued on page 28




‘Users will pay toll if services are good’ •Continued from page 27

the services are better. The PPP is a good concept that is new and because it is new, it will have resistance and also by its nature it has a long gestation period. How would you react to the controversies that have engulfed some critical PPP projects in the country? There are conditions for terminating agreements and these are usually contained in the terms of the contract that any member of the contract can terminate the agreement based on certain conditions. The ICRC has been shy in taking a definite position on certain issues, such as the Marvis/ Aviation PPP saga, and the revocation of the Ibadan Expressway project. Why is this so? I wouldn’t say the ICRC has been shy in taking a definite position on these matters. In all these issues, the position of the ICRC has always been clear. As a regulator, we are supposed to be an impartial umpire which means that we are not supposed to align with any of the contending parties. We are expected to look at issues without bias to either parties and proffer solutions. The award of the contract of the LagosIbadan Expressway was done before 2008 well before the inauguration of the last ICRC board. The issue surrounding that project predates the ICRC. We are new and we didn’t want to mire ourselves in controversy. The award of that project by the Obasanjo administration was done with the best of intentions. Though there was a contract awarded for the job, it did not reach financial closure. The project was awarded and nobody wanted to put up the money, that was why Babalakin could not go outside to pick money for the project, but the intention to do it cannot be doubted by anybody because it is the major track that links the South to the rest of the country. What was the specific role of the ICRC on the Lagos-Ibadan/Bi-Courtney controversy? The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway concession pre-dated the ICRC, the commission advised that procedures were not followed and that was the saving grace for the ICRC. If we were to do it on PPP there were things to do and unless you do those things, it will not fly. I think we have been vindicated because it didn’t fly. What about the Lagos Trade Fair Complex and Marvis contract? I think I have a little bit of consultation to do on that. I have a general idea but since you are asking me for specifics, I don’t want to give you information that is inaccurate. As a regulator can’t you put your foot down and take a stand on some of these issues instead of just advising that procedures were not followed? One of the reasons we have not been able to put our feet down, is because we do not have enforcement powers. This is because there is regulation in place. Once the regulation is in place that empowers us to enforce, we will act. As I have told you, we have not developed the regulations and with no regulations, how are we going to enforce the rules because the regulations have to pass through different stages to get approval and stipulate sanction for different forms of violations? In addition, the regulations have to be comprehensive to spell out the sanctions for violations. With the regulations in place, we will become more effective regulators. How soon are we going to see the regulations in place? This is not something you do over night, but since we have a clear idea of where we are headed, we are going to put the machinery in motion to develop the regulations. As you know, to develop the regulations, you need to have to conceptualise, carry out extensive consultations, get the input of stake holders. After that, we will be re required to pass it on to the Federal Ministry of Justice to go through and see if it reflects what it is supposed to be. Once they are satisfied, we pass it on to Mr President for final approval. Do you mean there will be no new PPP projects until this process is over? Development is not something you do overnight, it is something that is incremental. We are not just going to focus on regulations and say give us two or three years to develop the regulations. No! While we are doing these, we will also continue with the other functions of our mandate. For instance, we will be developing the human skills gap which at present do not exist in the MDAs. We would also be coordinating with the MDAs closely such that they will be able to

• Bello

‘There are islands of plans in all the ministries, but they are not talking to one another and we have abandoned projects simply because they were not planned. However, if we are able to get all the ministries to state their long term goals and we are able to synchronise these goals and they speak to one another, chances are that the issue of abandonment of projects will stop, there will be investments in all these sectors because investors will be speaking to one another’

• Bello

develop the projects that will be taken to the market, so while they are developing the projects for the market, we would also be enhancing the capacity of the MDAs and consulting with development partners to come

up with the regulations. Recently, the steering committee of the National Infrastructure Master Plan was inaugurated and the director-general of the ICRC is the co-chair of that committee. What

should we expect from that committee? First of all, you look at the history of our country. In the past we used to have development plans, then all of a sudden that was truncated, especially following the intervention of the military. Now what we are seeing is that evidence abound that most of the countries we are trying to copy, like Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc sit down to strategise for a long time. They have short, medium and long term strategic plans and ask themselves what can we do as a country and where we want to project ourselves in the next five, 15, or 20 years as a country. Anybody who fails to plan, plans to fail. If we are able to have this infrastructure master plan, it will enable the development of the country to work systematically in a manner and also enable us to prioritise. There are islands of plans in the ministries, but they are not talking to one another and we have abandoned projects simply because they were not planned. However, if we are able to get all the ministries to state their long term goals and we are able to synchronise these goals and they speak to one another, chances are that the issue of abandonment of projects will stop. There will be investments in all these sectors because investors will be speaking to one another. There will be planning and coordination which will guide us in our development. But in the absence of that, every minister will just come do what he or she wants and leave. But in other countries, when one minister leaves, his predecessor takes over from where that old one stopped. If Vision 2010 had been implemented, we would not be where we are today. Section 2 (4) of the ICRC Act states that the commission should publish projects that are eligible for PPP, but in the last four years, we have not seen such publications. Why? Yes, that is because in the last four years, the last board was pre-occupied with setting up the framework and mapping out the way we want to move forward at that point in time. It was too early to publish the projects because even the projects were not in place. The ideas were there, but they were not coordinated. People were happy to have PPP. They want to participate in PPP projects, but when they discover that the process is not that easy, they will back off. Gradually, as you move along, you will have what is known as a learning curve. On our part, it was not that there was no effort, but rather, it was because the concept was new. Now people are beginning to buy into the idea of PPP and trying to understand what is to be done. Projects are coming on board and we are working closely with the MDAs and we have reached an advanced stage and very shortly, we should be able to publish what projects we have. The present crop of leadership wants to make an impact. If your board is confirmed, what will you do to encourage local businesses and entrepreneur to participate in PPP projects? The beauty of PPP, which escapes most people is that when we talk of PPP people have this big picture of the projects. They don’t know that there can be PPP to even build a hostel. We will encourage investment and make people know what PPP is all about, so that they can deepen it. We also have to break down the mystery. It can be down on a small scale even at the local level, but all these cannot be done unless you have the knowledge. Right now, if you do a survey, not many people know about ICRC, let alone know what the mandate of the ICRC is all about. We will make activities known to the people and creating the enabling environment in relationship with other agencies of the government, because creating the enabling environment is not a one man, or one agency show. For example, we want to know how we can utilise pension funds to finance infrastructure development. One thing about investment is that when people know that an investment will bring money, they will go for it. Nigerians have a lot of expectation with regards to infrastructure provision. What message do you have for Nigerians and the ideas that you are bringing in as you assume office? There is genuine desire to, on our part, transform the landscape so that people know what PPP is all about and also know that this institution is there for them. Secondly, we will collaborate with stakeholders to bring the benefit to the fore, with the right mindset and attitude, people are collaborating and will soon begin to bring out the dividends. I am convinced that very soon, things will begin to change.






African Alliance, Universal Insurance seek merger approval


NIVERSAL Insur ance Plc and African Alliance Insurance Plc will merge their business operations to form a new company - Universal Alliance Insurance Plc, the firms indicated at the weekend. The companies have submitted a pre-merger notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), seeking provisional approval that would enable the merging parties to continue the business combination process. According to the regulatory filing, all the shareholders of African Alliance Insurance Plc will exchange their shares for shares of Universal Insurance and Africa Alliance Insurance will be absorbed by Universal Insurance, which would be the surviving entity. Both African Alliance and Universal Insurance have stagnated all through this year at their nominal value of 50 kobo each. The business combination between Universal Insurance and Africa Alliance came on the heels of consummation of merger between Custodian and Allied Insurance and Crusader Nigeria Plc. With 30 companies, insurance is the most populous sector at the NSE, accounting for 15.1 per cent of total number of listed companies, far ahead of banking sector, which now accounts for 7.5 per cent. Most insurance stocks have however

•Equities retain N245b capital gains By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

been dormant at their nominal values. Many analysts expect insurance industry to witness self-induced consolidation as insurers strive to develop scale and synergies to hedge against competition in a highly fragmented industry. Meanwhile, equities recorded a weekly average return of 2.28 per cent last week as substantial gains in earlier trading sessions absorbed declines that characterised the last two trading sessions. The main index at the NSE, the All Share Index (ASI) that tracks prices of all equities on the NSE, appreciated by 765.12 points to close the week at 34,301.37 points as against its week’s opening index of 33,536.25 points. Most indices at the NSE indicated a broad-based capital appreciation. The NSE 30 Index, which gauges the 30 most capitalised stocks on the NSE, increased by 2.23 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 0.09 per cent. The NSE Banking Index rose by 1.0 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index improved by 3.01 per cent. The NSE Insurance however, depreciated by 7.38 per cent.

With 45 gainers to 35 losers, aggregate market capitalisation of all equities increased by N245 billion from N10.733 trillion to close at N10.978 trillion. Okomu Oil Palm recorded the highest gain during the week with addition of N22.50 to close at N95. Total Nigeria followed with a gain of N10.95 to close at N180. Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria trailed with addition of N10.59 to close at N86.59 while Nestle Nigeria chalked up N10.50 to close at N960.50 per share. Losses were relatively marginal. MRS Oil and Gas led the decliners with a loss of N2.48 to close at N22.40. Julius Berger Nigeria dwindled by N1.90 to close at N51.10. Nigerian Breweries declined by N1.70 to close at N161.50 while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company dropped by N1.38 to close at N6.11. During the four-day trading week, investors swapped 1.60 billion shares worth of N19.09 billion in 26,264 deals. Financial services stocks accounted for 1.2 billion shares valued at N11.45 billion in 15,771 deals. Banking stocks alone accounted for 951.16 million shares worth N9.31 billion in 11,498 deals. Volume in the banking subsector was largely driven by activities in the shares of Zenith Bank, Sterling Bank and Wema Bank, which altogether accounted for 368.485 million shares, representing 38.74 per cent of the turnover recorded by the subsector for the week.





Q1: Foreign portfolio investment drops by N140b F

OREIGN portfolio invest ment dropped by N140billion or 39.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, a report by Financial Derivative Company has revealed. Also, foreign exchange sales at the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) fell from $6billion in the corresponding period of last year to $3.9 billion this year. In its April Economic Report, the company noted that the pressure on the naira in the forex market will persist but continued Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention to protect the local currency will also continue. The report said the Sovereign Wealth Fund has a N1 billion start-up capital. He said that Nigeria will also borrow in 2013 to support its infrastructural and other capital projects. FDC said the monetary policy stance of the CBN has been tightening in spite of rising inflation, adding that the reserves was $49 billion in first quarter and would cover 13 months of imports and payments for the country. The firm said hot money in the economy is unofficially estimated at $11 billion adding that capital inflows have been trickling in after the earlier gush in late 2012. He said the decline in the inflation from a peak of 12.9 per cent to nine per cent in January before climbing to the current 9.5 per cent was due to base year effects even though the core inflation rate declined in February. “The major threat to price stability remains the fear of fiscal dominance and high powered money. The possibility of a supplementary budget and electioneering spending in a politically polarized environment is a

Stories by Collins Nweze

clear and pre-sent danger to the explicitly stated objective of keeping inflation below 10 per cent,” he said. He said the markets have already discounted the interest rate as a nominal anchor, rendering it as an impotent benchmark. “The treasury bill auction rates have declined down to 9.2 per cent per annum. The Bond yields have gone the same way. This disconnection between the market and the benchmark is partly because of the impact of T/Bill maturities and the huge federal government disbursement of N888 billion and N400 billion capital votes last week. We expect the market to continue the trend of interest rates declining slowly until the next meeting in May,” FDC said. The report said the Monetary Policy Rate, the benchmark rate by which the CBN determines interest rate, has remained at 12 per cent since October 2011 when it was increased from 9.25 representing 275 basis points raise. It said, the CBN was advised to sustain its efforts at finding other innovative ways to unlock the credit market and stimulate the economy adding that despite implementation of the cashless policy, 90 per cent of transactions are still cash-based. According to the report, poor corporate governance practices, undue exposure to the capital market, oil and gas sectors, poor risk management, distress signs through the banks’ frequent resort to the inter-bank market and the Expanded Discount Window (EDW) were defining issues before

•FDC CEO, Bismark Rewane

the reforms. There were also matters relating to inadequate disclosure and lack of transparency about banks’ financial positions, making the reforms inevitable. Rewane said emerging markets also facing serious inflationary threats, which could

Bank wins Oil & Gas award


HE Project Finance Magazine, a publication of the Euromoney Plc, UK has adjudged Fidelity Bank Plc the winner of The African Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2012. The bank said in a statement that the award recognises achievement and excellence in getting projects built, bought or refinanced. Fidelity alongside GTBank, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, and other International lenders and legal firms won the award with the $1.5 billion Syndicated Financing for the 2012 Drilling Programme of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/ExxonMobil Joint Venture via their Special Purpose Vehicle RDP Funding Limited. This, the organisers said was the most interesting financing to emerge not only from Nigeria but also from the African upstream sector. “The $1.5 billion deal builds on the JVs earlier receivables-based deals, including the $600 million satellite field financing, which closed in 2005 and backed the development of live specified fields, and the $1.42 NGLII refinancing which closed in January 2011”. Whereas the satellite and NGLII financings related to discrete assets and will be ringfenced from the latest deal, the 2012 drilling programme financing is designed to back a more general programme of drilling at all the four oil mining leases that it owns. “All of these deals demonstrated that there was healthy bank appetite for uncovered commitments to the joint venture given the operational history”, Project Finance said. Receiving the award, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Reginald Ihejiahi, said that the honour further demonstrated the bank’s commitment to the development of the Nigerian economy. Ihejiahi, who was represented by the General Manager, Operations, Sam Obijiaku, noted that Fidelity Bank has enhanced market competitiveness through improved infrastructure, quality service delivery system and increased nationwide spread.

MasterCard defies debt crisis


ASTERCARD Inc., which is under pres sure from France to cut card payment fees, said European consumers are increasingly using credit and debit cards for purchases, dismissing the region’s sovereign debt crisis, Bloomberg report has said. “Our business in Europe has been growing really well. The sovereign debt issue isn’t affecting consumer confidence in the way that it might,” Ann Cairns, president of international markets at the company, said in an interview in Dubai. MasterCard Inc said it is expanding even as Europe’s finan-

cial crisis enters unprecedented territory after Euro-area finance ministers yesterday agreed to a tax on Cypriot bank deposits. The Purchase, New York-based company said, it’s benefiting from strong consumer spending in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Germany and Eastern Europe. At the same time, consumers are also turning away from cash in favor of plastic. Mastercard is expanding even as Europe’s crisis enters unprecedented territory after the region’s finance ministers agreed March 16 to a tax on Cypriot bank deposits. Officials unveiled a 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) rescue plan for the




Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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



OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 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 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012



O/PRICE 2.10 0.80 23.94 2.14 0.90 80.00 0.73 0.57 2.88 1.70

C/PRICE 2.31 0.88 26.33 2.35 0.98 86.59 0.79 0.61 3.05 1.80

CHANGE 0.21 0.88 2.39 0.21 0.08 6.59 0.06 0.04 0.17 0.10


O/PRICE 0.70 1.93 2.55 1.07 0.76 1.54 1.51 1.65 1.29 6.40

C/PRICE 0.63 1.74 2.30 0.97 0.71 1.45 1.43 1.57 1.23 6.11



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57










Bureau de Change 152.0000




(S/N) Parallel Market





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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

July ’12





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% 11.8%





Offered ($) Demanded ($)

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

country, the fifth since the debt crisis broke out in 2009. Gross dollar volume in Europe, or the value of transactions processed by MasterCard, climbed 9.3 per cent to $1.1 trillion on a local currency basis last year, according to the company’s annual statement. Mastercard expects an 11 per cent to 14 per cent net revenue compound annual growth rate this year, Cairns said, without giving more detail on its expectations for Europe. Europe’s 17-nation economy will follow last year’s 0.6 per cent contraction by shrinking 0.3 percent in 2013, the first back-to-back decline since the euro’s debut in 1999, according to forecasts from the European Commission.

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 138.34 147.89 0.80 1.14 1.10 100.00 1,000.00 1,786.88 15.58 1.39 1.87 10,855.53

9.08 1.00 137.92 147.26 0.78 1.14 1.09 100.00 1,000.00 1,781.87 14.82 1.33 1.80 10,528.92


CHANGE 0.07 0.19 0.25 0.10 0.05 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.06 0.29


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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%




04 July, 2012

07, Aug, 2012
























•From left: Governors Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), the celebrant Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, wife Senator Oluremi and Governor of Central Bank, Sanusi Lamdo Sanusi at the ceremony.

Politicians and other stakeholders have reviewed the state of the nation at the recent Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos. ERIC IKHILAE captures their yearnings for power shift and good governance.

Calls for power shift, good governance hot up H

OW to salvage the country was their major concern. To the various speakers at the recent Bola Tinubu Colloquium, which held in Lagos, power shift is the answer. However, they were also unanimous in their conviction that only a mega opposition platform can translate the dream into reality. The fifth edition of the colloquium was organised to mark the 61st birthday of the former Lagos State governor. The theme was : ‘Beyond mergers: A national movement for change-A new generation speaks’The key speakers sought to engage youths, with a view to stirring their interest in the quest to create the needed broad-based national movement required to engender a reversal in the country’s current management structure and paradigm. Eminent ,including Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Tinubu, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi examined the country’s socio-economic and political arrangements, and agreed that all was not well. They suggested that urgent steps be taken. The event’s anchor - the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice - Ade ,said the theme was in response to the recent merger of major opposition parties to form the All Progressive Congress (APC), a party expected to provide a better alternative to the ruling party. He observed that the optimism for the future provided by the emergence of APC has, somewhat arose public enthusiasm in its ability to serve as the vehicle for a more broad-based movement for national transformation. Young professionals, including the Managing Director, Frontier Capital Limited, Femi Edun; Chief Executive Officer, Venia Consulting, Kolawole Oyeneyin; lawyer, Myani Bukar; musician, Olubankole Wellington (Banky W) and Special Adviser to Ogun State Governor on Millennium Development Goals, Hafsat Abiola-Costello examined the issues the nation’s challenges and suggested ways out. Prof. Soyinka, who was the event’s chairman, provided the opening remarks that sounded the tone of the days’ proceedings. He praised Tinubu’s fighting spirit; reflecting on the “days of struggle,” when they were labeled “political fugitives” and had to escape into exile. He also noted Tinubu’s creative ability and survival instinct. Soyinka expressed displeasure expressed discomfort over the state of affairs in the country and warned that if the country’s leadership fails to take the necessary steps to halt the growing

insecurity, it would end in a civil war. To him, the nation’s leadership seemed unaware of the magnitude of the threat posed by the security challenge the nation was currently faced with. Edun, who spoke on the topic: “Poverty and the Nigerian State”, lamented the ravaging effect of poverty in the country despite its wealth potentials. He blamed the nation’s poverty on the failure of the leadership to create a functional and productive economy, where state’s institutions do not exist in names alone. He faulted the nation’s economic model, which he observed has resulted in state where the country is now faced with the paradox of steady and sustained growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per head alongside steady growth in the incidence of poverty. Edun blamed the nation’s leadership for the growing poverty in the land. He contended that nations remain poor because of the choices that the policy makers and economic actors in a nation make, an assertion, he said, is informed by the general understanding that sustained economic growth and development, which serve as means of lifting nations out of poverty, are achieved through choices made by those in authorities. In addition, he observed other contributing factors to the country’s poverty. This, he said include that the country’s political and civil institutions are extractive and weak and there is endemic corruption in public and private sectors. “Policy makers choose unsustainable and poor macro-economic policies and perpetuate a volatile and risky macroeconomic environment; the economy erects and sustains high barriers to trade and investment; little investment in education and that government spending is directed towards consumption and involves waste.” Edun also identified “low security of life and

property; little institutional investment in, and protection of the female half and the vulnerable segments of the population.” He lamented the impact of poverty on the youths and their ability to exhibit their capabilities, particularly participating in political activities. He argued that poverty denies the youths their right to good health and education. Edun argued that poverty did not only denies the youths a voice by making it impossible for them to denies access to education and the vital knowledge, skills and values required to be effective actors in politics and governance, it traps tem in unemployment, which ends in crime, violence and all sorts of anti-social behavior. “Poverty traps the youth in a vicious cycle of defeat, degradation and despair. Poverty denies the youth the dignity and confidence to speak and act in their best interests,” he said. As a way out, he suggested that the leadership should engage in a deliberate planning, initiation and execution of policies that help in the creation of viable and strong institutions. This, in addition with a “change of approach” at public governance, would result in the needed growth. Oyeneyin lamented the plight of the poor and growing generation, who, he argued, have been and consistently denied the best f the country. He noted the threat posed by the book haram crisis to nation’s quest for growth, insisting that “it is a time bomb that is about to blow up.” Oyeneyin spoke on: “Beyond the merger: The responsibility of the older generation on the younger generation.” He argued that the country’s governance and political systems were deliberately skewed in a way that excludes youths’ participation and prevents them from being heard. He observed that while the country’s political leaders of today only tolerate the youths to the

’Corruption is a problem. But do we understand that there are different types of corruption and that some are even more dangerous and disruptive than others? There is corruption in Russia, China, etc, but why are those economies eradicating poverty? What is destroying this country is that people are corrupt and doing nothing. We need to be asking questions. As civil society, what are we doing’

level of casting votes and using them as canon folders, they believe the young generation should not be allowed access to power. He noted that incidentally, most of them got into political offices when they were barely 30 years. He urged those behind the merger of the opposition parties to court the young generation and ensure that they play major roles in the movement to retrieve the country’s destiny from the dogs. He said “this merger will truly deliver on its promise and failure is not an option.” On why the young generation is important for the success of the merger, Oyeneyin argued that the youth Ideology; create access to the people, possess systemic delivery of leaders not accidental, but deliberate leadership. He suggested the creation of generational transition plan through the younger generation, this he said, was because “it takes a generation to move any country from third world. Make politics ‘sexy’ – the days of rice-based politically rallies are number. “Let’s create a Democratic Party-Style Convention those appeals to the intellectuals and filters down to the grassroots now. Godfatherism - There is nothing wrong with positive God-fatherism. Joel Bricks was Obama’s Chicago godfather. ANC Model; Identify the leading light in this younger generation and begin to provide the right kind of mentoring now,” Oyeneyin said. Bukar, who is also a development economist and policy researcher, addressed the topic: “The Issue of Citizenship and Identity.” He noted that a common trait in post 1999 democratic Nigeria has been the incessant occurrence and rising profile of violent conflicts in various parts of the country, which he blamed on what he termed identity-based conflicts. He blamed this on the country’s inability to effectively identify who a citizen is. This, he said, informed why “any discourse on the emergence of a new Nigeria must pay close attention to this malady as it goes to the core of who we are as a people and how our polity is structured to deliver development for us all.” “My submission is that the criteria for citizenship must be focused on the individual. Focus must be the equality of all individuals before the law and not sub national groups or ethnicities. Every Nigerian should belong to the same civil space and interact directly with the state without the mediation of the ethnic •Continued on page VII




2015: AD won’t collaborate with PDP, say party leaders


HE Alliance for Democracy, (AD) has said that it will not collaborate with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the purpose of the 2015 general elections. The party said that it does not share any ideological links and ideas with the conservative platform. AD also refuted the claim that it has adopted President Goodluck Jonathan for the presidential election. Rising from its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Lagos, the party leaders said at no time did they take any decision to support the ambition of President Jonathan. The meeting, which was chaired by the national chairman, Chief Michael Koleoso, was held at the lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja. It was attended by the deputy national chairman, Alhaji Musa Umar, national secretary, Allhaji Mogaiji Kwaranga, and vice chairman (Southwest), Rev. Tunji Adebiyi. The National Chairman, Chief Michael Koleoso, who spoke with reporters, said that certain elements were using the name of AD to cause confusion because they have derailed.

By Emmanuel Oladesu

He said: ‘This action definitely, is the handwork of some elements who are notorious for causing disaffection and using the party’s platform for personal business fortunes”. The party called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to call Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa to order, pointing out that he has violated the court ruling by parading himself as the national chairman. Koleoso recalled that the court had affirmed him as the authentic national chairman, adding that Akinfenwa is an imopostor. Indeed, it is a period of harrowing experience for the first progressive party in this dispensation. Its vast members had deserted the boat and they have gone to seek refuge in the PDP, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and other parties. In 1999, the party produced six governors in the Southwest states of Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti. However, in 2003, the party fell into the trap of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who cajoled its leaders into an alliance, which backfired. The Afenifere leaders of the party

• Koleoso

who were parties to the controversial pact were jolted from their delusion. Five governors were dislodged by the PDP. Only the former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, escaped the onslaught. The party never recovered from the colossal defeat. To the surprise of party chieftains, the AD national chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadir, became the Spe-

cial Adviser to Obasanjo on Manufacturing. He claimed to have stepped aside. His deputy, Chief Michael Koleoso, became the acting chairman. However, crisis broke out in the fold when Akinfenwa and Chief Bisi Akande competed for the chairman of the party. Akande got the popular endorsement at the Lagos Congress, but some party members also held a factional meeting at Abuja, proclaiming Akinfenwa as the chairman. Obasanjo capitalised on the crisis to infiltrate into the party. When it was clear that the progressives may not be able to use the platform for the 2007 polls, Tinubu rallied them to form the Action Congress (AC) and Akande, who resigned from the AD as chairman, became the chairman of the new party. Koleoso later became the AD chairman, to the consternation of Akenfenwa. A Federal High Court in Abuja has affirmed that Koleoso is the authentic chairman, but Akinfenwa has continued to parade himself as the factional chairman. Koleoso, who is conscious of the historical antecedents of the progressive bloc, said that it is reactionary

for any AD leader to support a government that is leading Nigeria further into the dark. He stressed: “This attempt to support the PDP by the AD is a strange development in human political history where a progressive party will overnight lend support to its arch enemy. Corruption and personal gains are at work. We are opposed to this tendency. “We want to cultivate, promote and ensure an enduring and sustainable democratic culture, which is the only universally acceptable medium for the transformation of any society. “AD has made impact in the recent history of Nigeria, the founders of the party being largely responsible for leading the struggle that led to the termination of military rule. The crisis in the AD was fanned and orchestrated by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with the aim of emasculating the progressive tradition in Nigeria. We therefore, cannot collaborate with the PDP. “AD is convinced that Nigeria needs to walk side by side in dignity, pride and the enviable tradition of freedom, open and a plural society in the comity of nations”

Calls for power shift, good governance hot up

•Continued from page VI

group. “Consequently, residency not indegenship should be the operational basis for citizenship and the indigene/settler divide should be operationally and legally done away with. The constitution should be so amended. “The abandoned 2004 Citizenship Residency Bill which stipulates among other conditions, 5 years of residency in a place as the basis for citizenship and full political participation probably deserves a revisit in this regard. “Secondly, the federal character principle should be seriously overhauled if not totally done away with (to be replaced by a case by case, time based, contextual affirmative action policy). “Third, we must reconsider the place of religion in the political and economic space and by this, I mean the existence of institutions like Christian and muslim pilgrim boards ought to be discontinued. Lastly, the land ownership system, I think, requires a critically looking into as well. “On the economic policy front, the rent state must be killed paving the way for a multi resource economy operational within a system of individual entrepreneurship and the development of the local economy. “May I at this juncture, recommend that we again revisit the recommendations posited here in 2010 by Prof. Hernando de Soto and specifically recommend that everyone here reads his book ‘Why capitalism triumphs in the West but fails everywhere else,’ Bukar said. Mrs Abiola-Costello spoke on the theme: “The Millennium Development Goals: Where are we in the race and how can we go faster?” She identified youth, not oil, as the nation’s most valuable asset. She noted that by 2030, Nigeria will be one of the few countries in the world that has young workers in plentiful supply, but argued that the country has not made considerable progress in meeting the MDGs. Mrs Abiola-Costello argued that the country has no option by to accelerate the MDG goals’ attainment, which could only be achieved by creating a functioning economy. “Nigeria has to produce a functioning economy, if it wishes to attain the MDG goals. WE have to make the economy work, so that the majority can work and earn money. The window of opportunity which Nigeria has is the imminent global food crisis which we make agriculture the new

•Logo of progressive parties on display at the event.

gold commodity, positioning our people for wealth creation. “This is a golden opportunity to create wealth, employment, ensuring our children are educated, that the maternal and child health is improved etc. by preparing to bridge the gap that China and India may create in global food supply,” she said. She urged the people to ensure a positive change come 20015. Wellington urged the youth to be involved in the political process, by first, registering to vote, and actually voting for the right candidates. Its either they do that, he said, or they sit back and let someone else “steal your voice.” Wellington said youth should continue to protest peacefully against misrule, using social media (also new media) as a tool. “Become fully involved in the political process. Use whatever voice or platform you have constructively,” he said. Sanusi faulted the current political arrangement, where people without known pedigrees find their ways to public offices. He suggested a review to allow that the best is enthroned. “To speak about economics in isolation of the fundamental character of the state, a state that has been built

by the Nigerian elite, by you and I, not just those in politics, a state that is neo-patrimonial, a state that is prebendal, a state that is not a vehicle for delivering development but for enriching a small minority, these are fundamental questions that need to be addressed. “They are not questions to be asked by politicians. In fact politicians are the worst people to address those questions,” he said. He urged the youths to be inquisitive, engage the nation’s leaders and get involved in political activities so that they could help bring about the needed change in the country. Sanusi argued that the youth could effect the change the nation desires if they could organize themselves and form a political party. He noted that with their current population, they could displace the current old political players. “When you had ‘Occupy Nigeria’, I was on the other side of the debate. But if you remember an interview I gave on Channels, yes, I disagreed with Occupy Nigeria on the question of fuel subsidy, which was just an opportunity for rent-seeking by a small number of people. “But on 99 per cent of the things

the young people were saying, those are the things we should have been talking about 30, 40 years ago. Everywhere in the world, political society is checked by civil society. Chief Awolowo famously said that a country gets the leadership it deserves. “Yes, corruption is a problem. But do we understand that there are different types of corruption and that some are even more dangerous and disruptive than others? There is corruption in Russia, China, etc, but why are those economies eradicating poverty? “What is destroying this country is that people are corrupt and doing nothing. We need to be asking questions. As civil society, what are we doing?” Fashola cited the instance of India where the opposition was so strong that the party in government loses election when it does not perform. He said the opposition in Nigeria expects to get to that level. “In India, the difference between the opposition and the party in power is so thin. So the party in government disconnects with its people at its own peril. It’s out at the next election.

‘What will do it for you is strong determination, perseverance, courage, and boldness. If we fail to join the movement, we’ll fail to continue to interrogate our leaders, and fail to do what you did during the oil subsidy removal’

“So, that is the capacity for change that the merger that is on the horizon brings. The only thing that I can say to the regulator of that process is that I have looked at the provisions for merger as well. “It is the same oil money that pass through our hands that pass through the leaders of Dubai. Therefore, although the guidelines are there, the question to ask is what does a party that needs to merge do? Should it keep its name and hide it, because some people will hijack it? Tinubu, who was elated by the high turnout of participants, thanked those behind the colloquium for their initiative. He argued that the country is currently drafting apart because” we have leadership that is dividing us more and more every day.” Tinubu called for value reorientation among the leadership and suggested a reversal to the old national anthem that deemphasizes differences. “We must question ourselves in Nigeria. I disagree with my brother and friend Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who says youth may form your own party. Politics is not economic policy where you can change a bank note. “If only to merge, some people are already forging names, and trying to prevent the creation of APC, you can imagine what you will go through. Come and join us. You see, with a wife like this (pointing to Oluremi standing behind him), is politics not sexy? Join us, it’s sexy here on our side. “On your side, it is a challenge that you have to face. It’s not a question about age. We have seen example of age. “The present President is a young man, but he has been appointing an 83-year-old man to be chairman, not just of board of trustee, but of a ports authority where high decisions, articulated, modern, 21st century information technology are needed, but the man cannot identify the keyboard of a computer. How do you modernise? So, youth belong here. “We can see the live tweets of this event. So, it’s not about age. There are a lot of educated relics. I have not seen anything higher than Ph.D in the academic curriculum of universities. So, we have a Ph.D man (holder) there now. “What will do it for you is strong determination, perseverance, courage, and boldness. If we fail to join the movement, we’ll fail to continue to interrogate our leaders, and fail to do what you did during the oil subsidy removal,” he said.




Suzuki raises bar for passengers’car car


HE Suzuki family in Nigeria has introduced a small passenger car – Swift Dzire. Swift DZire is a result of an indigenous project started in 2005 to design a three-box notchback version of the swift hatchback. Some changes have been made to the car’s overall styling to seamlessly integrate the boot. The wheelbase remains the same. The car weighs about 30–35 kilograms (66–77 lb) more than the hatchback. Few modifications in the rear suspension have been done to cope with the additional weight of the boot and improve the ride quality for the rear passengers. Adjustments in the rear seat inclination have been made to improve the rear seat comfort and legroom. C&I Leasing Group, the authorised dealer/distributor of the Suzuki brand in the country, unveiled the car in Lagos recently. The group said their target is the taxi market in the cities. Managing Director of Suzuki, a subsidiary of C&I Motors Limited, Vikram Mehtani, projected that the company would account for 20 per cent market share in the first one year of the car in Nigeria. Apart from the taxi business, Mehtani said, the vehicle would do well among young people, especially those who just secured employment. “We also have a lot of companies looking for operational vehicles that are not really expensive, below N3million; they will be interested in our Swift Dzire,” he

•From left: Chairman C&I Leasing Group, Mr Emeka Andrew; Executive Director, Total Health Trust Limited Dr Ebun Sonaiya; Mr Mehtani and Omobolanle Atobatele represented Dr Newton Jibunoh during the unveiling of the car PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO By Tajudeen Adebanjo

said. He admitted that the company was aware of the stiff competition posed by other automobile companies in the sedan segment of which the newly launched car was classified. “Swift Dzire belongs to the sedan segment. Which include offering from our competitors, such as Kia, Hyundai and to some extent Yaris from Toyota. We are looking at 20

per cent market share in the first year in that segment. We hope to use this brand to further make our huge presence in the Nigerian auto industry,” he said. The latest Suzuki Swift Dzire, he said, was a sedan brand that the company hoped to further consolidate its presence in the nation’s auto industry. The Indian-built car comes standard with a “K12? engine, a 94 hp 1.2-litre four-cylinder with 113 Nm of torque and a choice of a five-

speed manual or a four-speed automatic. It comes in GL, GLX & GLX SPL variants, all with power steering, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and a CD/MP3 player as standard, while options include full power features, keyless entry system, alloy wheels, fog lamps, USB port and automatic climate control. It replaced the long standing Maruti Esteem and shared its engines with the hatchback. Mehtani described the sedan as an

irresistible car for people who desire efficient and comfortable sedan. “The swift Dzire is an absolute new automobile from Suzuki stable, which I hope will help us tremendously to increase our presence in the entry level sedan segment of the Nigerian automobile market, which offers a great promise,” he said According to Mehtani, the swift Dzire is a new offering in the sedan segment that combines an appealing shape with high fuel efficiency and robust engineering design.


Tinted vehicle glasses – all you need to know


HE Police High Command has observed with concern the unnecessary controversies that have trailed the recent Inspector -General of Police (IGP’s) announcement on the ban on the indiscriminate use of tinted glasses on vehicles plying Nigerian roads. The Force has observed that one of the issues that have generated so much contention and sometimes endless arguments between Police officers enforcing the ban on the one hand, and motorists on the other hand, is the contention by some vehicle owners that there is no valid law restricting the use of tinted vehicle glasses in Nigeria. Others who claim to be aware of the legal restriction argue that because the tints on their glasses are ‘factory-fitted’, they are under no legal obligation to obtain a permit. Yet, others hinge their arguments and objections on the fact that their car tints are not as dark as others and thus, should be excused from the requirements of obtaining Permits. While some of these arguments may sound persuasive or even plausible, they are, unfortunately, devoid of any known legal foundation. Nigerian Laws are unequivocal in their restrictions on the use of tinted vehicle glasses. For instance, regulation 66(2) of the National Road Traffic Regulations (1997) provides that: ‘All glasses fitted to a vehicle shall be clear and transparent to enable persons outside the vehicle see whoever is inside the vehicle and the glasses shall in no way be tinted except as may be approved by the Inspector-General of Police for security reasons.’ (Emphasis mine)

By Frank Mba However, it will appear that the most comprehensive legislation on the use of tinted car glasses in Nigeria is the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) Act, CAP M21 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Formerly Decree No. 6 of 1991). According to Section 1 (1) of this Act, except with the permission of the ‘appropriate authority’ and for ‘good cause’, “no person shall cause any glass fitted to a vehicle to be tinted, shaded, coloured lightly or thickly, darkened or treated in any way so as to render obscure or invisible persons or objects inside the car”. Under the Act, it is also an offence to aid, counsel or procure the commission of the offence. From the reading of the law, it is clear that the law made no distinction between manually fitted tints and factory fitted tints. For purposes of the Law, ‘appropriate authority’ refers to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) or any other person duly delegated by him, while ‘good cause’ means health or security reasons. The implication of the above is that it is only the IGP or any such person or persons duly authorised by him that can issue a tinted glass permit. In addition, such permit can only be issued on health or security grounds. Owners of vehicles with tinted glasses are therefore mandated by law to seek the authorisation of the IGP before deploying such vehicles on our roads, whether such vehicles came with factory tints or whether the tints were manually fitted. However, by the operation of Section 3 of the Act, such persons – importer, buyer, donee - have 14 days grace, from the date of the purchase of the

car or the date of arrival of the car in Nigeria (whichever is applicable) to either remove the tinted glasses or obtain the tinted glass permit. Persons convicted for committing offences under this Law are liable to a fine of N2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both fine and imprisonment. Where the offence is committed by a corporate body, the Police may by the operation of Section 4(2) of the Act, proceed against its director, proprietor, manager, or other senior officers of the organization. It must be noted that legal restriction on the use of tinted car glasses is not peculiar to Nigeria. There are many countries – both developed and developing - with similar restrictions. The law is designed to promote and protect the collective security of all, through visual transparency. It reduces the chances of persons plying vehicles with opaque glasses from ferrying dangerous objects such as explosive devices, arms, ammunition and other incriminating materials undetected from one part of the country to the other. It is also designed to enhance the smooth discharge of Police duties, by making the monitoring of motorists easy. It is therefore advisable that persons without good reason to use tinted glasses in their cars should refrain from doing so. In Nigeria at the moment, the decision by the Police High Command to ensure a strict enforcement of the relevant laws prohibiting unauthorised use of tinted glasses on our roads is predicated on the need to effectively tackle contemporary security challenges in the land and ultimately serve the common good of all Nigerians. Intelligence

reports and empirical statistics at the disposal of the Police Force indicate that majority of crimes relating to terrorism, suicide bombing, kidnapping, gun-running, human trafficking, armed robbery and other related offences are committed with the use of vehicles with tinted glasses. Perpetrators of these heinous crimes hide under the cover of tinted glasses to ply their nefarious trade. It has therefore become a matter of urgent national security importance that indiscriminate use of vehicles with tinted glasses be checked in accordance with our laws. The good news however is that the Law authorises the appropriate authority (in this case the IGP) to issue tinted permits to Nigerians on health and security grounds if they are so qualified. Persons desirous of obtaining tinted glass authorisation are advised to follow the following steps: •Write a formal application to the IGP for the use of factory tinted glasses, stating the reason for use, bearing in mind that approval of such application is predicated on health or security reasons only. •Applications should be accompanied with the following: •Photocopies of all relevant particulars of the vehicle. •Photograph of the vehicle. •Profile of the applicant with relevant background information. •Passport size photograph of the owner of the vehicle. •Any other supporting document/information that may help to justify the request. The Police authority, conscious of the fact that some unscrupulous Police officers may take advantage

of the new regime of enforcement to engage in the harassment and extortion of helpless motorists, has issued strong warnings to all Policemen charged with enforcing the law to ensure that they act within the confines of the enabling laws and the Police Code of Conduct at all times. Command Commissioners of Police have been charged to ensure strict supervision of men deployed for these duties while the IGP Monitoring Units have been empowered to arrest and bring to book any officer found acting in a manner inconsistent with his or her oath of office. Police Officers are also warned to desist from harassing Nigerians who have already obtained valid tinted glass permits, as provided by the extant laws. Finally, the (IGP) calls for the support, understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians, including corporate citizens as the Force embarks on a strict enforcement of the tinted glass laws. •Mba, CSP, is Deputy Force Public Relations Officer (PRO)











• Songwriters at work

Creative song writers, creative jobs Creating good music is not easy. It entails a lot of hardwork. And brain work. It is the lot of songwriters to write such music where the musician is not so talented. DANIEL ESSIET writes.


ECORD companies depend on the huge earnings from albums that ride high on the charts for a year or more. These albums contain hit songs. But albums can seldom sustain that kind of momentum without a stream of hit singles, which get the airplay that stimulates sales. Songs that will rule the air waves for months are composed with what seems like a binding appeal. Such is the power of a hit song. But not everyone has the talent to write hit songs. Few singers have the knack for writing half an album’s worth of surefire hits (records that are sure to sell). Many artistes don’t write their own songs. They rely on songwriters and lyricists for new and original songs. Because of this, good songwriters make good incomes, as they have several artistes on their payroll. Sidelined for years by performers who composed their own songs, writers are now among the industry’s most valuable players. Right now, the craft of songwriting is bigger than ever because the stakes are higher. Increasingly, hits are coming from song-

writers and the demand for them its high, with the rise of pop divas, such as Whitney Houston, who sold nine million copies of one of her hit albums. But the singer doesn’t write her own songs. She relies on songwriters. Speaking after a presentation on song writing at the Christian Song Writers Conference in Lagos, Grammy award winner for songwriting and writer of songs recorded by Don Moen, Ron Kenoly, Alvin Slaughter and others, David Baroni told The Nation that there is high demand for good song writers. The industry, he said, needs new songs to sustain its growth. A national number one song can earn its author more than N5 million in one year. Individuals who are talented in expressing themselves with words, he said, can develop careers writing words to songs. Baroni is successful because he enjoys putting words together. He works every day at trying to improve his writing. As a celebrated Christian song writer, Baroni is fascinated with putting words together and seeing how a collection of words can produce a profound effect on people. He is meticulous with every word and every

chord that he uses. He wants every song he writes to be a potential hit. While playing an instrument is not a requirement, Baroni said it is an asset. For him, the most important thing is having an ear for harmonies and the basic knowledge of chords. While talent is a wonderful thing, which some musicians have, he said what separates the wheat from the chaff is what the artistes do after the inspiration is over. By digging in, doing the work, and following through, Baroni said one would get a much better shot at the kind of songwriting successful people all dream about. Industry wide, songwriters compose music, write lyrics, or both. Those who write both lyrics and melody make a lot of money if they sell their songs. The songwriter also receives royalties each time the song is performed. They also receive a negotiated fee if the song is synchronised in a movie or TV show. If the song is printed, the writer receives a percentage of that as well. Songwriting guilds track this information and pay songwriters who are members of their guild. Individual songwriters approach the busi-

ness of writing in many different ways. Some schedule daily time to write alone or with a co-writer. Others wait until inspiration strikes and then they write until that song is finished. Most are comfortable writing both words and melody, but some may only compose music or write the lyrics. International music publishers provide a writing room for staff songwriters, where most writers keep regimented schedules and booking cowriting appointments. Other writers, particularly those with home recording studios or music rooms, will begin work on an idea and continue until they have completed the song, or reached total exhaustion. Often, they will lay down tracks or record work in process. According to him, there are some writers who learnt how to write and became successful. There are also others who just knew that they were songwriters and wrote songs. Chief Executive, Fountain of Praise, •Continued on page 37




Creative song writers, creative jobs •Continued from page 36 Wale Adenuga, has written some of the wellloved praise and worship songs. He is an exceptional mentor. He is organised, efficient, creative and a genius when it comes to songwriting. Adenuga is a performing songwriter. He creates and performs his own music. He has worked as a solo act and a leader of a group. He is one of the few good song writers that have worked in the music industry for more than 10 years. Addressing a workshop, Adenuga said songs are written for the people and that when he is writing a song, he imagines performing it. As with anything, Adenuga said experience and practice make one’s skills more proficient. He said anyone who is in the songwriting industry must have excellent communication skills. According to him, the basic, reallife emotions people express in their everyday relationships are the building blocks of songs that tap into the lives of listeners. Song titles and ideas are in the air, adding that it is the job of the songwriter to catch these fleeting thoughts as they fly by. He said plenty of songwritings go on in moving vehicles. When a bolt of inspiration strikes, he said many writers break out cassette tape recorders or tiny digital recorders to catch the spark. He is never without his phone or a mini-cassette recorder. Besides, Adenuga said he is constantly open and receptive to the nonstop flow of ideas. Adenuga writes with verse, chorus, verse, bridge and chorus. Sometimes the structure of the song changes according to inspiration. He also has specific tempos in mind to suit certain songs. He said songwriters have to be well-versed in a wide variety of musical styles, in addition to their own area of specialisation. He said it is an important capability for them to develop if they are desirious of tapping into the wide range of employment opportunities and projects. Virtually all songwriters started out by playing one or more musical instruments and they may have even joined a band or

orchestra at some point in their lives. They often continue to do so while engaged in their songwriting career. Many employment opportunities typically require applicants to have a bachelors degree, either in music composition or a related field. Adenuga created the workshop series with the goal of educating people in the craft and business of songwriting. The participants explored the techniques and inspirations for writing good song and the process of breaking into the music business and getting songs recorded. Akinbode Kehinde Olumide fondly known as Kenny Kore, a former lead singer of the multiple awards winning gospel group. Infinity, is a gifted and versatile songwriter. He believes in bridging the extremities between art and spirit. With a memorable voice that speaks loud, Kore’s musical compositions canvas an array of real-life emotions. He has written numerous hit songs. His album entitled: Eledumare gained massive airplay in most radio stations. No matter what genre of music, he said the songwriter is important. Kore said good music is identified by a good lyrical content. He lamented, however, that artistes want to make fast money and by so doing, they don’t attach importance to their lyrics. Kore said music artists need to break out of that captivity and shatter the ceiling of complexity. To become a strong songwriter, he said one must be able to think creatively to come up with strong lyrics, and also play a musical instrument well enough to perform in front of an audience. Kore said the musical content should preach the good news and encourage Nigerians to be responsible, respectful and love themselves. He said a good story or lyrics must actually say something. Kore said a song writer has to write lyrics that would bring imagery to the listener and a hook to it. He said songwriting is an art. Like all art, he said songs require a healthy dose of inspiration which is nearly impossible to predict or control. He said the spark

• Baroni

• Adenuga

that results in the creation of a song is a gift, but the rest of the process is nothing more or less human work. By following through in a variety of different ways, he said one stands a much better chance of achieving the goal of getting one’s songs out and hopefully generating some income. Kore advised song writers to be original and never rest on their oars, until they succeed. He said there are opportunities for songwriters to write music for radio and television commercials. To achieve this, he said they must be skilled in all styles, be strong arrangers, and be able to compose well for a very short form. He said songwriters may be trained and educated people who have chosen to enter the specific profession. He said they are hired by music publishers, record companies, producers, and other production or recording groups. He said they may work in recording studios to aid would-be performers in writing their own songs; as freelance songwriters, writing songs for television or movies; or commercial jingle writers. Songwriters work in a wide variety of settings, ranging from religious organisations to orchestras, chamber music groups, opera companies, theater groups and ballet. They can also find careers writing for musicians and singers who perform in entertainment spots. Further employment opportunities can emanate in radio and television.

According to Kore, writers may work on their own or under a part-time contract with various companies, securing single-song agreements either under a ‘work-for-hire’ contract or a songwriter agreement. Songwriters, according to him, have countless outlets for their music. Talent and creativity is a must and songwriters have to be able to write in a wide variety of styles, very often on a deadline. Salaries are extremely variable in this field, as someone who freelancing will often make much less than those who works exclusively for a record label. Some songwriters go through the training and rigour of schooling. They often have to attain a bachelor’s degree. Songwriters usually begin their career by getting a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communication, or virtually any music related field. Most of them can play various instruments and have excellent understanding of how to read music. They are educated in a variety of musical styles and have an ear for what is used to make up different styles. Once a songwriter has made connections and gained experience in the field, they can often be picked up by a particular artist or record company to write exclusively for them or their label. Songwriters usually start off by freelancing, but once they become popular, they can get picked up by a record label to write for them.


Politics in the work-place: Are you an owl or a fox?


O be effective and to survive, managers require leadership competencies which include envisioning, mental energy and stamina, a sense of purpose, ability to continue learning, ability to handle organisational politics, understanding and managing teams, facilitative in approach, being intuitive, change management, communication, stress management, balancing ambition and integrity, etc. Countless hours of training, books upon books, academic and non-academic papers and vital units of business education curriculum have been devoted to one of the above competencies/skills or the other. However, little has been written about organisational politics, either because many find the subject distasteful or perhaps because it is deemed to be worthy of study. Neither is it found in the syllabus of any management programme of MBA course that I have come across. What a waste! It is possible that more people’s careers flounder on the rocks of organisational politics than for many other reasons. Yet it is an area of great interest to practising managers. An exceedingly high proportion of the extra-curricular questions (i.e. those asked in the bar at the end of the day) in most out-of-site training programmes centre on this thorny area. Whether we want to admit it or not, the stark reality is that there is heavy, sometimes dangerous politicks, is going on in our establishments and corporations. While it may not be surprising to find it in government institutions and corporations, the academia is not left out. Even the socalled blue chip companies are not left out, including the local subsidiaries of transnational corporations. In our environment,

By Olu Oyeniran

the basis of the politicking is a little more complex and the instrument of practice can be scary. Organisation politics here is complicated by unbridled nepotism, ethnicity and corruption. It is not unusual for promotions, appointments and postings to be done on one or more of the above considerations rather than merit and competence. And the instrument ranges from the absurd to the macabre-juju, assault, arson and, even, assassination!

So, how can politics be defined and, more importantly, how can it be survived? If company politics can be described as ‘the way we do things around here’, then surely it can also be described as ‘the way that we do things to people around here’. It is sad truism that whatever people gather to tackle a task, there will be tension, rivalries, jealousies, hidden agendas and plain old-fashion mischief. Not only do people want to achieve the task their own way, they also want the way that the task is approached to reflect glory in certain specific directions and to help the careers of specific individuals or groups. It may not be pleasant, but, whether your place of work is a merchant bank or a monastery, it is unavoidable. Indeed, there is evidence to show that the more senior and better educated the participants, the more prevalent and unpleasant will be the politics. At Marks & Spencer’s Head Office in London in the 70s, a number of highly qualified, talented individuals played fast and furious political games. The reasons? The awesome organisation in its retail stores did not extend to Head Office, where many sen-

ior professionals were somewhat underemployed. As the saying goes, ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’, and the spare hours were filled with all sorts of intrigue. The concept of political animals is a popular one, and the University of Birmingham has conducted intriguing studies on the nature of these beasts in organisations. Researchers identified two axes behaviour: • That of being ‘well-read’ in what was going on politically within the organisation: having an interest in the different factions’ power camps and power plays. The degree to which one was well-read could be high or low • That of having an interest in self and the promotion of one’s own aims versus that of having a prime interest in the fortunes and welfare of the organisation. With these axes in mind, it then became possible to identify four discrete orientations and to label each with the name of the animal most representative. Orientation 1: Here the individual was politically well-read and had a high interest in the fortunes of the organisation rather than self. This individual they labelled the Wise Owl. Owls are both liked and respected; furthermore, they are seldom hunted and usually survive. There is one downside, however: they do not often get to the head of the forest. Orientation 2: In this box the individual was well-read and took an active interest in the politics; moreover, the individual promoted him - or herself actively within the organisation. Here we have the Crafty Fox. The fox is not always popular, for it hunts and it can create mayhem, but usually it is a

survivor. Occasionally, it oversteps the mark and is hunted down, but even fox hunt in the area of southern England where I live are anything to go by, I’m glad to say!) Orientation 3: In the first of the lower boxes is found the person who is politically illread, but who on the other hand has a high degree of self-interest. The researchers contemptuously label this individual as the Donkey – both stubborn and stupid. The donkey is used as a beast of burden, resents it and is seldom thanked. It never reached the top. Orientation 4: The final box contains those who are badly read politically, who have no interest in improving their knowledge or skills and yet who continually put the organisation before self, Loyalty, blind loyalty, is the name of the game, and these people are labelled Sheep, unquestioning naive. It is often happens that the sheep end up in the slaughterhouse. So, where is the best position to be politically? Having put this question to a wide variety of executives from different countries and cultures, the answer is invariably ‘just to the right of the Fox/Owl divide (i.e. a combination of both, but being slightly more of a Fox). In other words, they were saying that you have to know the political forces at work and have to keep up to date with the trends and development here.

•Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Associates & author. Jobsearchguru’s Job-Hunting Manual. He can be reached on Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).































NEWS Actors campaign for Ubah


OLLYWOOD stars, including Chinedu Ihemeze (Aki) and Victor Osuagwu, were part of the campaign team of the Chairman of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Ubah. The team stormed St Peter’s Anglican Church, Abagana, Anambra State, where the Capital Oil boss told the Old Njikoka Union (ONU) of his governorship ambition. Ubah said: “My own Ubah is from Nnewi with the alphabet “h” at the end which stands for honour.

•Bayelsa StateGovernor Seriake Dickson (right) congratulating Tobiyei Billy after he was sworn in as the Chairman of Ekeremor Local Government Area at the Government House in Yenagoa.

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

“I am a man of proven integrity as my records speak for me. “My enemies subjected me to ridicule because of politics, but God vindicated me. “We have a mass industrial action plan to engage the youths and to create a lot of business opportunities. “We also need to do technological transfer by sending our youths abroad and bringing in expatriates that will help develop our state.”

Fire guts Alade Market

Family of six die in Cross River T •Six die, two injured in Rivers S IX members of a family were killed when their car collided with a trailer on the Calabar-Ikom Highway in Cross River State at the weekend. The accident, which occurred at Ehom village in Biase Local Government, claimed the lives of four women and two men of the Osim family. An eyewitness said a Toyota Camry driven by Bernard Osim, an anaesthetist at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, was trying to overtake a vehicle at a bend when it collided with the trailer. The trailer was reportedly going to Calabar to convey goods. The Osim’s were on the way to Ikom. Bernard, who was the elder brother of the Special Adviser to Governor Liyel Imoke on Political Affairs, Fred Osim, died with his wife, Mercy; his mother, Agada; niece, Faith

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar and Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Odigha; younger sister, Delight and an unidentified younger brother. It was gathered that the family was travelling to Ikom to distribute Delight’s wedding invitation, which was scheduled for May 11. A family source said: “Delight was the last child of the family and she was the one the brother and mother were taking to Ikom to distribute her wedding invitation. We are short of words as we are mourning.” The trailer driver, it was gathered, dashed into the bush with his assistant to escape the rage of the youths of the community.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), led by the Itigidi Unit Commander, B. I. Abdul, deposited the bodies at the Ugep General Hospital mortuary. FRSC Sector Commander Yusuf Salami said the accident was caused by dangerous overtaking. Salami said: “The accident was caused by reckless overtaking. “If someone wants to overtake, he should do so when the road is clear but if he overtakes at a blind bend without seeing oncoming vehicles, then he is likely to run into avoidable accident. That accident was avoidable.” Six persons have died in an auto crash in Ogoniland, Rivers State. Two people were injured and are receiving treatment in

an undisclosed hospital. The accident, which occurred at Nonwa Junction in Tai Local Government, involved a Toyota Sienna XLE car, with registration number MUS 744 AV. It was learnt that the vehicle left Bori for Port Harcourt, the state capital, around 6:20 pm on Saturday. The car, according to witnesses, overtook another vehicle and ran into a crater. The FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Kayode Olagunju, said: “One vehicle and eight people were involved in the accident. Six persons were killed. Two were injured. Overspeeding might be responsible. “Policemen took the victims to the mortuary. “Among the three persons rushed to the hospital, one later died. The obstruction has been cleared from the road.”

We’ll give Achebe befitting burial, say Obi, others T HE Southeast Governors’ Forum yesterday said it would give the late renowned writer, Chinua Achebe, a befitting burial. It resolved that Achebe should be given a proper honour because he brought honour not only to Nigeria but to Africa. The Forum Chairman and Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, addressed reporters after a meeting in Enugu. Obi said the Forum had received the report of the com-

From Chris Oji, Enugu

mittee set up to resolve the crisis in the Igbo socio-cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo. The governor told reporters that stakeholders and the governor also deliberated on security and infrastructure in the region. “Our meeting today is based on three items. We have received the report of

Ohanaeze committee, which was set up by the Governors’ Forum. “We have received the report, which we will look into to enable us come up with a position,” he said. Present at the meeting were Governors Theodore Orji (Abia), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, Special Adviser to President

•The late Achebe

Goodluck Jonathan on InterParty Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, among others.

Police invite Leadership editor, reporters


HE police have invited an editor and two correspondents with a national newspaper, Leadership, following the publication of a story entitled: Outrage trails presidential directive on Tinubu, APC.” Those invited include the paper’s Group News Editor, Tony Amokeodo; Chibuzor Ukaibe (Correspondent, Abuja) and Taiwo Ogunmola Omilani (Correspondent, Lagos).

By Eric Ikhilae

They were invited through a letter, dated April 7, signed by Danmallam Mohammed, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Admin) for the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIGP), ‘D’ Department, Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja. The invitation states that the trio are to report by 10 am today .

The letter reads: “This office is investigating the circumstances leading to your front page publication entitled: ‘Outrage trails presidential directive on Tinubu, APC’ and a sub-title captioned ‘Bromide of the presidential directive.’ “The publication, which featured in your April 3 edition, was reported by the trio of Tony Amokeodo, Chibuzor Ukaibe and Taiwo Ogunmola-

Omilani. “Based on our fact-finding efforts, you are hereby requested to release the reporters for an interview with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, D’ Department, FCID on April 8 at 1000hrs. “Note that it is your civic and corporate responsibility to assist the police investigation by honouring its invitation in the interest of justice and due process.”

THE popular Alade Market, a highbrow ware point on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, was on fire yesterday. The cause of the inferno, said to be intense, was immediately unknown. Alade is famous for its bureau-de-change operations and boutiques. The Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Razaq Fadipe, who confirmed the incident on the telephone, said fire fighters were battling to put out the fire. He said: “We got a distress call this evening that Alade Market was on fire. We have deployed a team from Alausa station in the place. The fire is extensive, but as I am talking to you, we are working hard to put it out.” The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) was said to have mobilised its personnel to the scene to boost rescue operations. The spokesman for the Lagos Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said policemen had been deployed in the area to prevent looting. She said: “The Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area is already on the ground. He is leading the effort to ensure that hoodlums did not take advantage of the confusion that the inferno will cause to commit crime. “Right now, rescue efforts are ongoing.”

‘Agitation over Amnesty Committee unnecessary’ By Precious Igbonwelundu


GROUP, United Niger Delta Energy Development Securirty Strategy (UNDEDSS), yesterday said the agitation trailing the Boko Haram Amnesty Committee set up by the Federal Government was unnecessary. The group spoke through its Secretary General Tony Uranta in Lagos. It said the criticisms were uncalled for. UNDEDSS, a coalition of all ethnic and political pressure groups in the Niger Delta, however noted that only the restructuring of Nigeria can truly guaranty an end to terrorism in the nation. Uranta said: “I am amused at the level of agitation over the Federal Government’s decision to set up a committee to work out modalities for a possible amnesty to Boko Haram. “The government step is good but can only be feasible if the Boko Haram sect will stop its hostilities. “The United Nations has recommended Disarmament,Demobilisation & Rehabilitation phases an integral part of Amnesty-granting which must be preceded by armistice. “Terrorism is a global phenomenon and the trend will not cease merely because this is Nigeria.” According to Uranta, there was no need for criticisms over the amnesty committee when people have not understood its terms of reference. “I find it unbeleivable that otherwise discerning pundits equate this to the Federal governement granting Boko Haram amnesty. “If I ponder over taking a wife, does that mean I am married? Who will be the Boko Haram that will dialogue with anybody?. “Has Al Qaeda ever dialogued? Do you see any terrorist in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan etc lining up to be biometrically registered?” He queried. Uranta stressed that the terrorist threat to Nigeria was not merely a Nigerians-driven one but influenced from beyond the country, just as he described the setting up of committee as government showing putative goodwill. “But I foresee the whole thing being an exercise in futility because of the fundamentals of this type of sectarian terrorism worldwide. “I do not think the federal government is oblivious to this frighteningly sad reality, but I join every sane Nigerian to pray for an end to this wanton mass murders currently going on,” he said.

Gunmen injure policeman in Borno church attack


IVE gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram sect

members, yesterday injured a policeman when they attacked the Ekliziyar Yan’uwa a Nigeriya (EYN), aka Church of Brethern, in Bulumkutu Ward of Maiduguri, the Borno State

capital. The gunmen allegedly arrived on the church premises in a tricycle, popularly called Keke NAPEP, at 11.02am when the sermon was ongoing. They reportedly opened fire on the Joint Task Force (JTF) troops guiding the church. The troops repelled

the attack. An eyewitness, who spoke in confidence, said the gunmen arrived on the church premises on a tricycle and started shooting. The eyewitness added that he believed the targets were the JTF security personnel attached to the church.

It was learnt that the quick response by the JTF operatives forced the gunmen to flee the scene. No arrest was made as at time of sending this report last night. The eyewitness said he could not get the details of the attack to know if any member of the sect was injured.

But the eyewitness confirmed that a policeman was shot in the leg, adding that he noticed this when the policeman was being rushed to the hospital for treatment. JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa confirmed the incident. He said some suspected

Boko Haram members attacked the JTF location at the EYN Church in Bulumkutu Ward of Maiduguri, but were repelled. The JTF spokesman added that the policeman was injured in the leg, was treated and immediately discharged from the hospital.





overnor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE presided over the ninety-second (92nd) Kano State Executive Council sitting today Wednesday 3rd April, 2013 (22nd Jumada Awwal, 1434AH). Seven (7) MDAs submitted twenty-six (26) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Out of that number twenty-two (22) were approved for execution with eleven (11) of them having financial implications to the tune of Three Hundred Sixty Four Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy Three Naira, Thirty Eight Kobo (N364,959,873.38) while the remaining eleven (11) are on policy issues. Thus: 1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted sixteen (16) memoranda on behalf of some MDAs for deliberation by Council. Thirteen (13) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Presentation on 5th Progress Report on Amana City Project (December, 2012 to February, 2013):This administration has initiated and established three new cities of Kwankwasiyya, Bandirawo and Amana without the support or financial investments of the Federal Government, Banking Sector or private developers. This policy is not decided from afar but from the reality on the ground. It is a policy that is based upon the need to make urban life liveable, safe and sustainable. It is a policy that is meant to make the State modern and attractive to foreign and domestic investors through the provision of decent and responsive accommodations at affordable prices. These cities are becoming realities and are the first to be executed by any State Government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Beside, Abuja, no major urban sector project has been executed by any public or private concern that can match what the present administration is implementing now. Through these cities, the old Kano metropolis will be decongested thereby transforming the State into one of the most developed and modern centers in the nation. It was in recognition of this, the Governor received numerous awards from NGOs all over the world for his vision on urban and rural transformation. Of recent was the Housing Circuit Magazine Award, where he received the Housing/Urban Development Governor of the Year 2012. In executing these cities, compensation for land and economic trees had to be paid to owners amounting to over N3 billion in addition to other infrastructural facilities required to make the sites available for the projects. Council recalled that at an earlier sitting it approved the release of the sum of N528, 546,464.00 for the payment of compensation for the acquisition of land for Amana City. Already, process is in motion to acquire more land by extending the city to Zaria Road on the West and Fari/Gurjiya Road on the East. This memorandum by the Senior Special Assistant on Amana City informed Council about the progress so far made on the provision of infrastructural facilities in the city. The report covers the activities undertaken by the Senior Special Assistant for the period of three months (December, 2012 to February, 2013). The report presented findings on two main activities which centered on a series of visitations undertaken in order to assess two issues: i. Assessment of Developmental Activities Reportedly, H & M Construction Company handles the construction/provision of road network and drainages at the City. Work execution by the Company is slow and still at clearing and filling stage (tipping of laterites), which makes the pace/ speed of work to be behind schedule. The reasons adduced are related to the following: Six months lapsed before actual commencement of work which was blamed on administrative bureaucracy. There was an additional expansion of the area in question. As such, there is need to review the completion date upward by six months by signing a new agreement between the Government and Contractor for the completion date. ii. Assessment of Actual Building/Construction Projects All building contractors engaged by Kano State Investment and Properties (KSIP) are on site where work is in progress for various categories of housing units. The level achieved and quality attained is appreciable in all cases whereby the various contractors appear to be in healthy competition with their counterparts on standards and speed. Ten (10) building sites handled by different contractors were visited and appraised while others are in the pipeline. Nevertheless, the Senior Special Assistant on Amana City intends to schedule a general meeting with contractors handling civic works, Government Engineers and representatives of MDAs. Main Agenda of the meeting will include the following as Council was politely notified: i. Soliciting for cooperation and fostering synergy among/between contractors and Supervisory Engineers. ii. To call for higher speed in the execution of work without compromising quality to meet the completion date. iii. Discussing the need to adhere to standards agreed on in the bill of quantities. iv. Discuss problems faced by Contractors if any and proffer practicable solutions to same. v. Emphasizing respective tolerance by Contractors handling different projects at Amana City. For example, Road Construction Contractors, Surveyors, House Building Contractors, etc. The presented report was acknowledged with appreciation by Council, which called on contractors to speed up execution of work so as to meet agreed completion date. b. Request for funds to enable the provision of five (5) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up to the State Police Command Headquarters:Council approved the release of the sum of N34, 750,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to procure and allocate five (5) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up Vehicles to the State Police Command Headquarters as support/ assistance to encourage effective patrol by the police in the State. The positive response to the request by Council was informed by the fact that the State Government partners and cooperates with all Security Agencies and other Federal Government establishments that operate in the State. The State Government, for example, shouldered the reconstruction/rebuilding of burnt Police Stations at Zaria Road, Farm Centre, Naibawa and Tudun Wada and provided Office accommodation for the three newly created Area Commands at Bichi, Dala and Wudil. This is beside the 71 Toyota Hilux 4×4 Double Cabin vehicles that were procured and supplied to the Police Command by the present administration from 2011 to 2012 for its operation as per the breakdown below: In 2011 a. Office of the Commissioner of Police 3 vehicles b. Divisional Police Offices 44 vehicles c. Metropolitan Police Office 1 vehicle d. Area Commandant 1 vehicle e. Kano Area Command 1 vehicle In 2012, a total number of 21 vehicles were procured and released to the Police Command in the State, making the total number to 71 vehicles. The Police were not alone as, the Military, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) benefitted similar gesture of solidarity from the State Government. c. Presentation on Diagnostic and Disease Control Center (DDCC) and the Proposed Northwest University Teaching Hospital:The Healthcare-Related Programs Trust Fund Ltd/GTE corresponded with Council through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, via contents of this memorandum, on issues to do with the Diagnostic and Disease Control Center (DDCC) and the proposed Northwest University Teaching Hospital. Reflectively, this correspondence maintained that, the Diagnostic and Disease Control Center (DDCC) being built at Kwanar Dawaki in Dawakin Kudu LGCA is near completion. The imposing edifice is being built with funds from Pfizer Incorporated USA as part of the Non-Prosecution Agreement reached in July, 2009 between the State Government and Pfizer Incorporated USA (Pfizer Specialties Nigeria) arising from the Trovan study in Nigeria in 1996. The main thrust of this Center will be the control and management of Infectious Diseases as well as the management of Public Health issues such as Industrial Waste disposal and contamination. The Center will also have a diagnostic wing fitted with specialized diagnostic equipment, with an admission capacity of 55 beds and a day-care center of 20 beds capacity attached. As the Center is being completed, the State Government has set into motion the process of its taking over and plan for the employment/deployment of qualified number of staff and enacting of relevant law that guides the setting up of the management are being treated by the relevant MDAs. Nevertheless, Council acknowledged that the Center has the potential of being converted to a Teaching Hospital but this requires a reliable/implementable plan of action designed in phases for execution. The need to establish a Teaching Hospital by the State for the Northwest University is based on the fact that, this Government regards good health as a ‘right’. This Government believes that its citizens should have access to medical services. The basic idea that health services are essential needs and people have a right to receive them runs consistently throughout this Administration thought. On this issue, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government was directed to step in and ensure the conversion of the Center into a Teaching Hospital for the Northwest University, Kano. d. Request for funds to enable registration and procurement of 250 Private Plate Numbers for use by the first Batch Amana Luxury Taxis:One of the cardinal resolutions of the present administration, under the leadership of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa, FNSE is the transformation of the entire transport sector by efficiently enhancing the existing infrastructure especially roads and the introduction of new innovations and ideas. The whole essence is to improve and provide easy movement of people in the State from one place to another, which could be movement to places of work, business, visitation to friends and relatives etc. At the same time, employment opportunities are provided to the citizenry thereby improving their respective and collective economic status. To modernize, decongest and ease commuting in the metropolis and the rural areas many important but abandoned Road Construction Projects were revalidated while repairs and construction works on new ones are in earnest progress. Flyovers are also being constructed, for the first time, in the State in order to facilitate decongestion and ease of movement for the populace. Street and traffic lights are continuously being repaired while new ones are installed on almost all major streets, which are concurrently beautified by the laying of interlock tiles along their pedestrian walkways. This administration does not stop there. Government has procured 1000 Taxis and 500 buses, which were distributed to unemployed youths to improve commuting and increase economic activities in the State. Presently, the Government under another scheme called “Amana Luxury Taxi” in furtherance of the laudable general transformation of the Transportation Sector by the present administration has acquired 1000 brand new Toyota Corolla Saloon vehicles for distribution to unemployed school graduates, who must be holders of Diploma and other higher degrees.

So, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the sum of N5, 875,000.00 by Council to enable the registration and purchase of 250 private motor plate numbers for use by the first batch of Amana Luxury Taxis. The request was considered credible and approval was granted by Council for the release of the requested sum of N5,875,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to undertake the stated purpose so as to commence usage of the Amana Luxury Taxis as envisaged. e. Request for funds to enable the immediate take-off of operations at Kano State Geographic Information System (KANGIS):The present administration initiated/established the Kano State Geographic Information System (KANGIS) in order to modernize all issues related to the administration and dispensation of Land as obtained nationally. Progress has been achieved in the construction of an edifice to serve as the KANGIS Headquarters. Still, fourteen (14) items are required, as worked out by the Director General KANGIS and presented by the Office of Secretary to the State Government for Council’s Consideration and approval for the release of the sum of N44, 865,000.00. Thus;

S/N i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. x. xi. xii. xiii. xiv.

Items Creation and administration of Website (1 year) Ten (10) Customized Laptops with Licensed GIS Program. Basic Training and orientation on work ethics Registration with Cyber Security/SWIGS Media and Publicity Upgrading/Partitioning of building and provision of shelves Installation of CCTV Cameras Purchase of Locks and access control gadgets Printing of Official Stationeries Printing of Posters and flyers etc. Refurbishing deficiencies in Furniture, Electricity/Plumbing Fueling of electricity generators and vehicles Facility Management/Security and Cleaning of KANGIS Office Refreshment/Electricity Bills TOTAL

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso

Cost (N) 1,280,000.00 8,000,000.00 2,000,000.00 5,650,000.00 1,000,000.00 4,150,000.00 1,600,000.00 3,000,000.00 1,865,000.00 500,000.00 4,520,000.00 3,000,000.00 7,000,000.00 1,300,000.00 44,865,000.00

Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N43,865,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for the execution/procurement of the required items. f. Presentation regarding the petition filed against the activities of the Kano Pillars Football Club (KPFC) Management:The Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture reported to Council results of its appraisals regarding petitions filed against the activities of KPFC management through the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner Ministry for Local Governments, which was submitted to Council for consideration by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. Six (6) findings were highlighted as follows; i. That appointed Co-management Officials by the General Manager (GM) (their respective educational qualifications not withstanding) lack adequate practical experience of football management. ii. The four (4) Co-management Officials were appointed based on personal relationship with the General Manager KPFC not necessarily on demonstrated club patronage. iii. That inadequate revenue generation is caused by poor management/control of stadium gate fees during Home Matches. iv. No ghost agreement was discovered as signed by any Player; everything was done in accordance with NFA conventions/stipulations. v. The usual annual Audited Account of KPFC has not been submitted yet. vi. KPFC lacks Private Sector Support which makes the Club to depend on Government financing for its day to day activities. As such, Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner Ministry for Local Governments recommended to Council to consider and approve the following regarding the KPFC, as presented by the Office of Secretary to the State Government. Government to constitute a Board for the KPFC in compliance with the Conventions/Stipulation of Nigerian Premier League and need for proper management; The Board should be directed to improve on revenue generation during Home Matches by the KPFC; The Government should direct the management of KPFC to submit a report on the conducted players Negotiation/ Agreement Exercise as well as the Annual Audited Accounts for five (5) years to the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture in line with prudent management demands; The new Constituted Board should sensitize private sector on the need to extend financial support to KPFC as part of their corporate social responsibility regarding sporting activities. Council, noted, considered, appreciated the presentation, and approved the implementation of the recommendations submitted on the KPFC being the premier club and pride of the State as far as football is concerned. g. Presentation on Letter of Appreciation on the inauguration of the Nigeria Niger Chamber of Commerce (NNCC) in Kano on 19th February, 2013:The Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) submitted its compliments through the contents of this Letter presented to Council by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. The Honorable President NACCIMA conveyed the expressed profound gratitude and appreciation of the entire members of his Association to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, for the honour granted to the organized Private Sector in Nigeria, by hosting the first General Assembly Meeting and Inauguration of the Nigeria-Niger Chamber of Commerce (NNCC), held on Tuesday 19th February, 2013 within Africa House (Government House, Kano). The continuous support of the Government of Kano State to the organized Private Sector was profusely applauded and appreciated. h. Presentation on the recent commendable performance of Kano State Para-Soccer Team in Adamawa State (30th January to 2nd February, 2013):Office of the Secretary to the State Government drew the attention of Council to a correspondence received from the State Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture on the recent commendable performance of the State Para-Soccer Team in Adamawa State (30th January to 2nd February, 2013). Thirteen (13) States participated in the Competition/Championship among which Kano State took second position/ runner-up and won a trophy and secured Certificates. Council acknowledged and appreciated the presentation wishing the team success in their future encounters. i. Request for funds to facilitate the execution of a proposal for the training of 500 female youths in Modern Bakery, Sweets Production and Events Management:The moderated sum of N13, 567,000.00 was requested for release by Council, through the contents of this memorandum submitted by the Management of Kano State Institute of Hospitality and Tourism. The Institute proposed to undertake the training of 500 female youths in Modern Bakery, Sweets production and Events management techniques. Nevertheless, Council was notified of the fact that, the Institute currently operates at its temporary site which is deficient of space to properly accommodate the targeted number of beneficiaries for the training envisaged. As such, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested, on behalf of the Management of the State Hospitality and Tourism Institute, for granting the following approvals by Council The release of the sum of N13, 567,000.00 to enable full implementation of the proposal including procurement of training equipment, mobilization of resource persons and participants, production of Certificates and issuance of an empowerment grant of N10, 000.00 to each of the 500 beneficiaries (or N5, 000,000.0). Granting permission for the Institute to utilize the Sani Abacha Youth Training Center Kofar Wambai to conduct the training exercise. The credibility of the requests and their congruence to the empowerment policy of the present administration prompted Council to approve permission to utilize the Sani Abacha Youth Training Center Kofar Wambai for the envisaged training exercise and the release of the sum of N13,567,000.00 to the Management of Kano Hospitality and Tourism Institute to enable the conduct of the training. j. Presentation on activities of the Kwankwasiyya Medical Outreach Program:This administration realizes the significance of providing healthcare to every nook and cranny of the State. In the process of implementing that the administration changes the orientation it inherited of the ‘disease palace’ syndrome, which is hospital oriented medical services to ‘health service delivery for all’. Already, the administration has procured ten (10) fully equipped ambulances prototype, Mobile Hospitals stationed at strategic locations for prompt response to medical emergency calls round the clock across the 44 LGCAs in the State. The vehicles commute from one rural area to another to deliver medical services to rural communities. This program is tagged ‘Kwankwasiya Medical Outreach Program’. This memorandum is from the Senior Special Assistant on Kwankwasiyya Medical Outreach Program, on the activities

THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013 of the program for the month of March, 2013. The report presented highlights on findings and observations, within the period in question. According to the contents of the memorandum, since the commencement of the program in March, 2013 the team has visited 36 “hard to reach” areas at which 12,119 patients were treated with 129 of the cases referred to Secondary Medical care facility. It is encouraging to know the general public acceptance of the program as seen in their turning out en-mass to be checked by the medical personnel. Council noted the need for the services to be extended to encompass dental, eye care and Nutritional Package” since many of the observed ailments/cases are related to poor nutrition. In a related memorandum, a request for the procurement of one (1) Toyota Hilux DC for the Senior Special Assistant was submitted for approval at the sum of N6, 950,000.00. The request was considered credible by Council due to the need for the coordination of the activities of the Kwankwasiyya Medical Outreach and approval was given for the release of the sum of N6, 950,000.00 to enable the purchase and allocation of one (1) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up for such purpose. 2. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE The Office of the Head of Civil Service submitted two (2) memoranda for Consideration by Council. Both were approved for execution as follows: a. Presentation on a Report from the State Executive Council Committee on Kano State Community Development Association Bill, 2013:The Head of Civil Service, in his Executive mandated capacity as Chairman of the five (5) -member Committee on Kano State Community Development Associations Bill, 2013, submitted report/recommendations on the amendments to the proposed Kano State Development Associations Bill, 2013. The recommendations resulted from intensive deliberations/ appraisal by the Committee members, which presented the following for Council’s consideration; i. Observations The Kano State Community Development Association Bill, 2013 if assented, is proposed to replace the existing self-help (Registration) Law 1991. Proposed amendment on the composition and function of the Screening Committee to involve other Stakeholders within the Communities should enhance the proper registration process of such associations. Other amendments suggested could further revamp the effective performance of Community Based Organizations (CBOS) in the State in relation to the successful conduct of their activities. ii. Recommendations Based on the observations submitted, Council may consider and approve for processing passage of the Kano State Development Association Bill, 2013 to the State House of Assembly to become an enabling Law thereby repealing the existing Self (Registration) Law 1991. Council acknowledged the presentation with appreciation and directed the Honorable Commissioner Ministry of State Affairs to process passing the Bill to the Honorable State House of Assembly for passage into Law. b. Presentation on the Proposed Law to Establish Kano State Bureau of Statistics:The Executive Committee formed and directed to study the proposed Law for the establishment of the Kano State Bureau of Statistics under the Chairmanship of the Head of Civil Service submitted its report for Council’s consideration. The report presented highlights on the following: i. Observations The proposed Kano State Bureau of Statistics to serve as an outfit of Government under the supervision of the Ministry of Planning and Budget with the primary objective of sustaining the provision of required statistical data/information system for the State for planning purposes as well as creating awareness on the significance of such information to the Society. The proposed bill provides details on the structure, functions, funding and staffing arrangements for the Bureau which, among others, stipulate that the outfit should have a Governing Board headed by a Chairman while a Statistician General serves as Chief Executive Officer. Similar Bureaus were established at the Federal level (National Bureau of Statistics) and in some States such as Lagos, Cross Rivers, Sokoto, etc. Establishment of the Bureau in Kano State could aid in facilitating/enhancing the capacity of the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics at MDAs in carrying out their respective functions. Data to be produced by the Bureau could assist the State in obtaining development support (local and International) and might aid in attracting prospective investors. The Information could include Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Inflationary trends, price indices, Demography, etc. If established, the Bureau would align the State with the National Focus as well as International Best practice regarding research and statistics for development purpose. Sections 14 and 16 of the Draft Bill provide for tenure System in respect of the Statistician General/Chief Executive Officer while concurrently proposing that the Bureau Staff should operate outside the confines of the core Civil Service but in line with the University Scheme of Service. ii. Recommendations The Committee submitted two (2) cardinal recommendations for Council’s consideration. Thus: Amendment to Section 14 and 16 of the proposed Bill is necessary by expunging the tenure for the Statistician General/ Chief Executive Officer while the staff should be drawn from the public service meaning that the Bureau should operate as an organ of Government within the public service. The proposed Bill was recommended for processing and passage to the State House of Assembly for passage into an enabling Law after the amendments cited on Sections 14 and 16. Council acknowledged the presentation in appreciation and approved for the adoption of the following: i. That the tenure/incumbency period for the Statistician General/Chief Executive Officer for the proposed State Bureau of Statistics should be four (4) years. ii. That the Bureau should operate as an organ of Government with staff drawn from the public service. After the amendments by the Committee, Council directed the Honorable Commissioner Ministry of State Affairs to process the amended Bill on the establishment of the Kano State Bureau of Statistics and pass it to the Honorable State House of Assembly for passage into Law. 3. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Request for funds to enable the purchase of required Textbooks, Equipment and Other Working Materials for the Immediate Take-off of the New College of Post Basic Midwifery, Gezawa:The incumbent administration under the leadership of the second incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE established over twenty (21) Tertiary Institutions spanning various aspects of academics and employable skill acquisition. The State presently owns two Universities and eighteen skills acquisition Institutes established all over the State for the benefit of the teeming unemployed/unskilled youths roaming the streets of the State. The health sector is not abandoned in the transformation effort of the present administration. Efficient health delivery requires professional knowledge and skill for which the State Government continuously expends resources to maintain. For example, this administration sponsors Indigenous Students for studies in Medicine/Surgery, Pharmacy, etc. at local Universities and abroad while maintaining the established Schools of Nursing, Midwifery, Health Technology, etc. So, the Honorable Commissioner Ministry of Health applauded the decision of Government/Council to grant approval for the establishment of the new School of Post Basic Midwifery, Gezawa to admit hundreds of students who cannot be absorbed by the one in existence. Reportedly, the Gezawa Local Government Council has provided a temporary site for the Institution and completed renovation works at the proposed male and female Students’ hostels, classrooms, administrative/Office for Principal, Vice Principal and tutors to enable the successful take-off of the College in 2013/2014 Academic Session. Nevertheless, academic activities/lectures cannot commence due to the absence/inadequacy of basic instructional materials such as textbooks, equipment and other working materials. Assessment of the requirements reveals the following;

S/N i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii.

DESCRIPTION OF ITEM COST (N) Procurement of required textbooks 8,625,000.00 Procurement of Nursing Practice equipment/instrument 6,158,535.60 Procurement of furniture for Students Common room/Reception facilities 2,199,165.90 Procurement of laboratory equipment/reagents 7,184,750.00 Add 5% VAT 1,208,372.57 Add 1% S/D 241,674.50 Application form fee for new School and accreditation activities 1,700,000.00 GRAND TOTAL 27,317,498.57

As such, the Ministry of Health requested approval by Council for the release of the sum of N27, 317,498.57 to enable procurement of items listed in the table presented above so as to facilitate the immediate take-off of academic activities at the newly established College of Post Basic Midwifery, Gezawa. The credibility of the request was considered as Council granted approval for the release of the requested sum of N27, 317,498.57 to the Ministry of Health to expedite action in the execution of the project presented so as to ensure the immediate actualization of the envisaged purpose for the establishment of the new College of Post Basic Midwifery, Gezawa. 4. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT Request for funds to enable the production of 3,000,000 Assorted Tree Seedlings:Desert encroachment is a menace that faces areas in close vicinity to the Sahara Desert. Kano State is among such areas whereby creation and maintenance of shelterbelts is paramount. The present administration under the capable Leadership of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE has never relented in its effort to support the establishment and maintenance of Shelterbelts in the State. Last year (2012) was cited as an example by the Ministry of Environment during which the State Government approved the release of colossal sums of money to enable the production of 2,000,000 assorted tree seedlings at the 18 nurseries spread across the State. These were appropriately distributed to Schools, LGCAs, Interested farmers, Traditional Rulers and Interested persons. The impact was glaring. As such, the Ministry of Environment has planned to produce 3,000,000 assorted tree seedlings that will be used for rehabilitation of existing shelterbelts, establishment of two (2) new ones, take-off of the “Great Green Wall” program and distribution to stakeholders so as to improve on the worsening situation of deforestation in the State. A detailed breakdown of the commitments was submitted to Council for Consideration. So, the Ministry of Environment requested approval by Council for the release of the sum of N29, 790,800.00 to enable the execution of the stated project. Council noted, considered the request and approved the release of the sum of N19, 860,533.33 to facilitate the production of 2,000,000 assorted tree seedlings by the Ministry of Environment for distribution and utilization according to the details presented. The gesture was informed by significance of tree planting not only as shelterbelts but for other economic, social, etc. purposes. 5. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport submitted three (3) memoranda for deliberation by Council. All of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for revalidation and release of funds to facilitate the continuation of Contract NO. BLDE/CF/2362/1/13 for the construction of the Director General’s Office Block at Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission:Provision of befitting Office accommodation/facilities to serving Civil Servants is among the cardinal resolutions of the present administration. As such, the contract for the construction of the Director General’s Office Block at Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission was amongst the abandoned projects inherited by the present administration. The Contract was awarded in the total sum of N46, 095,948.50 out of which an interim payment of N14, 199,500.60 was made to the Contractor while the level of work executed is at roof stage and the Contractor has an outstanding unpaid voucher of N6, 688,009.06, which if settled will leave a balance of N25, 208,474.58. Considering the significance of the project, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport invited and negotiated a discount of 15% amounting to the sum of N3, 781,271.18. This reduced the balance down to N21, 427,203.40 which was requested

55 for the completion of the project. The request was considered reasonable by Council, which did not flinch in granting approval for the revalidation of the contract to enable the contractor complete the project. b. Request for funds to facilitate the conversion of Yadakunya Psychiatric Hospital (Phase II) into Government Girl’s Secondary School (GGSS) Janbaki:This Government realizes that amongst the greatest challenges facing developing nations have been for decades improving their educational systems. Indeed, this part of Nigeria has been lagging behind educationally due to the failures of the Governments to expand education by making it available to all. Through expansion as being done by this administration, States can raise literacy rates, which is a major prerequisite for economic development. This administration believes that through education the citizenry could contribute productively. This explains the reasons behind the memorandum submitted for the conversion of the Psychiatric Hospital into a Girl Secondary School. This project is yet another laudable feat of the incumbent administration under the leadership of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, which leaves no stone unturned in its effort at the provision of qualitative education at all levels and in all ramifications. This administration had the wherewithal and wisdom to convert and relocate the Kano State General Drug and Medical Consumables Store located at Kofar Nassarawa to boys Secondary School tag-named Governor’s College. The unused/ wasted edifice Magwan Water Restaurant is now being converted for use as a Girl’s Secondary School tag-named “First Ladies College”. To top it all, Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE and his versatile Cabinet approved the usage of Gidan Ado Bayero, a prideful legacy of the Rimi Regime, as the temporary site for the Northwest University, Kano. So, it is only genuine patriotism that energizes these decisions to include the glaringly under-utilized Psychiatric Hospital located at Yadakunya for conversion into Girl’s Secondary School. Phase II is the essence presently for which the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport was directed to reassess an earlier submitted Bill of Quantities submitted by the State Ministry of Education at the sum of N135, 238,267.26. Accordingly, an independent assessment of the Phase II of the conversion project was undertaken by the State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. A new estimate was arrived at to the tune of N83, 837,302.37 which was requested for release by Council to enable the execution of the Phase II of the conversion project. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N83,837,302.37 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to expedite action in executing the Phase II of the project of converting the Psychiatric Hospital Yadakunya to a Girl’s Secondary School. 6. MINISTRY OF PROJECTS MONITORING AND EVALUATION Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Projects Monitoring and Evaluation. Thus: a. Presentation on the Need to Adopt the “Annual Sector Performance Review Guidelines” (ASPR):The Honorable Commissioner for Projects Monitoring and Evaluation informed Council that, the “Annual Sector Performance Review Guidelines (ASPR) is a document produced by DFID/SPARC along with stakeholder MDAs in the State between 2010 and early 2011 to measure the success, progress and challenges faced by MDAs in their day to day activities. In modern management, ASPR is the most potent tool/method or system that enables regular stocktaking of progress/achievement and/or challenges faced in the execution of projects/programs on an annual basis. Further, unlike the old practice of measuring MDAs performance in terms of input or activities, the ASPR guideline seeks scientifically to gauge performance using three indices: • Output • Outcome • Impact This implies that performance in Government Agencies would henceforth be measured by changes resulting from initiatives by the MDAs in any program/project. Importantly, the performance review process is an integral element of both planning and budgeting approach recently introduced in Kano State (Medium Term Sector Strategy) and the development of Monitoring and Evaluation capacity in the State. Notably, the ASPR provides information on Government Performance in relation to what was planned, what was achieved and what was spent in achieving the vivid results in each sector. More details on ASPR were presented to Council by the Ministry of Projects Monitoring and Evaluation, which requested for approval by Council that, the Projects Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate should continue to lead/coordinate the adoption of ASPR guidelines in three (3) MDAs as a pilot project. The proposed MDAs for implementation are the Ministries of Water Resources, Environment and Agriculture and Natural Resources. b. On Contract Administration and Payments Council deliberated on the observations and recommendations submitted by the Hon. Commissioner for Projects Monitoring and Evaluation on the need for MDAs to follow the standard/approved Due Process and Guidelines in the award of contracts/procurement. Since inception, this administration has run an open, honest and prudent Government and will leave a legacy that would be hard to beat in transparency, accountability and strict compliance with Due Process in the utilization of resources. Council approved and directed that on no account should MDAs disregard Due Process. 7. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Request for funds for the introduction of E-Learning Project in Kano State:The Honorable Commissioner for Education informed Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, the Hon. Commissioner for Projects Monitoring and Evaluation along with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education undertook a trip to Tunisia with the sole purpose of acquiring the required information on the introduction of E-Learning in Schools. This is in collaboration with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) towards assisting Kano Education Sector. Essentially, the E-Learning project entails the following: It is a process of digitizing textbooks into a small tablet-like an IPAD. The tablet is capable of containing more than 1000 textbooks-a capacity that replaces the textbooks. The tablet is solar powered and contains textbooks as well as notebooks. Again, the tablet has the following advantages: i. Students will have all the textbooks they need for their Secondary Education in a tablet. ii. Students can take notes with the tablet as well as write assignments, which can be sent to the teacher electronically for marking. iii. Students reading habit will improve because they have enough reading materials at their disposal. iv. Students will have the opportunity to begin learning Computer application at an early stage. v. The cost of learning will reduce as the cost of textbooks is reduced by more than 70%. vi. Students’ performance will improve because of availability of textbooks and other relevant reference materials in the tablet. Specifically, the Ministry of Education requested the release of the discounted sum N66, 073,000.00 to enable piloting the program at the Governor’s and First Lady’s Colleges by providing 1,500 units of the tablets including Internet Connection. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N66, 073,000.00 by the State Ministry of Education to pilot the program at the Governor’s and First Lady’s Colleges according to the details presented. This will accord Government the opportunity to experiment on the applicability of the innovation and contend with the likelihood of extending its usage to all and sundry.


1. NATIONAL QUR’ANIC RECITATION COMPETITION Council acknowledged the closing ceremony of the National Qur’an recitation competition, which was organized by the Centre for Islamic Studies, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto where the State participants won in various categories of the competition. Council congratulates Abdul-Aziz Umar Faruq Sa’id, Abdullahi Salihu Yahaya Abubakar, Ibrahim Abubakar Muhammad Ibrahim, Sadiq Umar Abdullahi Sulaiman, Zahrau Auwal Sa’idu and Kabiru Abubakar Musa who respectively won 1st position in memorization of the Holy Qur’an. 2. COMMENCEMENT OF TRAINING FOR 600 WOMEN AT POULTRY INSTITUTE, TUKWUI Council acknowledged the flag-off of training for the 7th batch of 600 women at the Poultry Training Institute, Tukwui, Makoda Local Government, which is in line with the present administration’s desire to improve the lives of women and youths by creating job opportunities and empowerment to become self-reliant. 3. DELEGATION FROM AREWA CONSULTATIVE FORUM (ACF) Council acknowledged the visit by a delegation of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) to the Kano State Governor, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. During the visit, vital issues aimed at improving socioeconomic wellbeing and enhancements of the security situation of the Northern region were discussed and articulated. Furthermore, the Government expressed gratitude to the forum for their visit and should always count on the support of the State Government. 4. DELEGATION FROM THE NIGERIA LABOR CONGRESS (NLC) Council received a courtesy visit on Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE by the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) where fruitful discussions bordering on Government/workers’ relationship were extensively discussed. 5. ABSENTEEISM FROM OFFICE BY STAFF OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Council noted with dismay the report from the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner Ministry for Local Governments on the habit of absenteeism and late coming to work by some staff of the 44 Local Government areas of the State. Council calls on those involved to desist from this behavior, which contradicts the laid down rules and guidelines of the public service and that suggestion boxes will be placed at various locations to get the culprits and appropriate penalty will be issued to the offenders. 6. SIGNING OF MOU AGREEMENT WITH CCECC Council witnessed the historic signing of MOU Agreement by the Kano State Government and CCECC on the introduction of a light rail mass transit system (KLRMT) within the metropolis, which is in line with the present administration’s desire to improve and develop the State Transport System and create an avenue for job opportunities, ease the transportation difficulty etc. in the State. 7. RE: INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH OF HAMZA DAN’AZUMI Council acknowledged the unfortunate and mysterious death of Hamza Dan’azumi a JSS3 student of the Nigerian Military School and an indigenous citizen of Kano State. Accordingly, the Government has since registered its concern to the authorities over the circumstances that led to his death and will follow with keen interest the ongoing investigation for the unraveling of the mysterious death of the young boy. Already, a letter of concern was sent to the Minister of Defence, which was copied to the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and the Commandant, Nigerian Military School, Zaria. 8. PRESENTATION OF AWARD Council witnessed the presentation of an award to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE by the Students Association of Albasu Local Government for his tremendous stride in improving the Education Sector of the State. 9. DECORATION OF MAGAJI DANBATTA AS “CON” Council noted that the elder Statesman, Alhaji Magaji Dambatta was decorated with the National Honor of Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) two years after he was conferred with an award by the Federal Government. Council, on behalf of the people of the State, congratulates the recipient and his family for the well-deserved honor. USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the Security Agencies for easy access in case of any emergency. The general public may contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, Illegal/Wrong Parking on – 08091626747. The State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888. For update on the activities of Kano State Government click to Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports & Culture



NEWS Jonathan, Ekweremadu greet Mark at 65 From Augustine Ehikioya, Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu yesterday congratulated Senate President David Mark on his 65th birthday today. The President hailed Mark for consistently demonstrating “exceptional patriotism” and capably leading the National Assembly into a productive partnership with the Executive arm of government for national progress and development. In a statement in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Rueben Abati, President Jonathan said: “I write to convey my goodwill and warm felicitations to you on the occasion of your 65th birthday anniversary.” “Over the past years, you have consistently demonstrated exceptional patriotism and abiding faith in the peace, stability and progress of our dear nation in every capacity in which you have been called upon to serve: through distinguished service in the military - as a military governor and member of the Federal Executive Council. “You have brought these worthy ideals to bear on the discharge of the functions of your high political office as President of the Senate and head of the legislative arm of government...” Ekweremadu described Mark as a servant-leader. In a statement in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, the Deputy Senate President noted that Mark’s life was worth celebrating. He said the Senate President did “not only serve the nation in many capacities but also did so with distinction”. Also, the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has congratulated Mark on his 65th birthday.

South-South youths berate Melaye over call for Adoke’s sack From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


GROUP, South-South Youth Leaders Forum, yesterday faulted the call by the Anti-Corruption Network, led by Mr. Dino Melaye, that President Goodluck Jonathan should sack the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN). In a statement in Abuja by its Chairman, Ambassador Odiedim Amachree, the forum said the call was made in bad faith. According to the group, Adoke is a minister who was committed and dedicated to the functions of his office in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. The statement reads: “We condemn in very strong terms the recent call by the Anti-Corruption Network circulating in the media, asking Mr. President to sack the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for reasons known to Mr. Dino Melaye and his cohorts. “We view this call as an insult to Mr. President and a slap on the faces of Nigerians, especially as such a call tends to armtwist Mr. President and not in the interest of the nation…”

‘Jonathan can’t unilaterally scrap exam bodies’


HE senator representing Akwa Ibom North East in the National Assembly, Ita Enang, yesterday said President Goodluck Jonathan cannot unilaterally scrap the law establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). He, however, said the President could send a proposal to the National Assembly for a debate on the matter before a final action is taken on it. Enang told reporters in his home in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital, that he supported the move by the Federal Government to scrap the two examination bodies, but warned that the implementation of the proposal must have the blessing of the National Assembly. According to him, sending the proposal to the National Assembly will afford NECO, JAMB, vice-chancellors and other stakeholders, such as students’ representatives, parents and others, the opportunity to contribute to the debate. The senator noted that such a process would guarantee an informed decision on the matter. Enang, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules

•NECO: our exams will hold on schedule •No stand yet on proposal, says Wike From Sanni Onogu, Abuja, Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo, Jide Orintunsin, Minna

and Business, explained that scrapping both examination bodies would also save cost because the present situation causes wastages. He said: “But I would urged the President that he should not seek to implement this first because all these are established by law, it should first of all bring the proposal to the National Assembly so that we can look at it. “Unless we repealed the law, the proposed scrapping of JAMB and NECO cannot come into effect. This is because the laws establishing them were efforts between the Executive and the Legislature as well as the laws made by the National Assembly and assented to by Mr. President. The President cannot unilaterally scrap them; he can only make a proposal on them so that we can discuss it. “I don’t want it to be like the matter of University of Lagos,

where the pronouncement was made and later was sent to the National Assembly and there was opposition. What I want the Federal government to do is ensure that it sends the decision to the National Assembly. Let’s discuss the pros and the cons. Call NECO, JAMB, VCs and representatives of students so that we can take an informed decision. “I am in agreement with the Federal Government to scrap JAMB and NECO, but I would want it to retain WAEC. This is because when the students sit and pass JAMB, they are sent to the schools. The schools still conduct another set of examinations to admit them students. So, it becomes a wasted and double effort. Therefore, the cost of administering JAMB at that level would be used in funding universities and other educational facilities and infrastructure. “Do not forget that the President set up a committee, the Oransayan Committee, which made the recommendation on reducing certain parastatals and making them more functional.

I believe this is one of such recommendations and I am in utmost support of that action of the government.” Despite the recommendation of a presidential committee for the scrapping of the NECO, the examination body has said its scheduled examinations would hold as planned. In a statement at the weekend in Minna, the Niger State capital, the NECO Governing Council and management assured the public, especially students, parents and other stakeholders, that none of its scheduled examinations would be affected by the scrap plan. Last week, the Federal Government reportedly approved the recommendation of the Stephen Oransanye Presidential Committee on Rationalisation of Federal Agencies, which suggested the scrapping of NECO, among other decisions. NECO’s statement by Malam Lamara Garba, an Assistant Chief Information Officer, said it was “necessary …to notify the public as well as candidates and schools for the council’s exami-

nations that the examinations’ schedules and timetables remain unchanged”. The examinations, NECO said, include the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), scheduled for April 13; the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), scheduled for May 9 and 23 as well as the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), scheduled for June 1. Also, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has said the Federal Government had not taken the final decision on the scrapping of the NECO and the JAMB. The minister said the White Paper on the Stephen Orasanye Presidential Committee had not been released and considered by the Federal Government, hence the reports on the scrapping of NECO and the restructuring of JAMB could be considered a speculation. Wike, who spoke at the weekend in Abuja, explained that when the White Paper is eventually released, it would be dispassionately considered by the Federal Government and a position that would enhance the education sector would be taken.

MDGs: Presidency happy as Southwest meets target •N25b for 56,000 poor households From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja


• The father of the bride and Commissioner of Lands, Niger State, Dr Peter Sale Sarki (left); the groom, Lonkat Dennis Lamuaka; his bride, Maureen Sarki (JP) and Governor Babangida Aliyu, at the couple’s wedding at St. Michael’s Catholic Cathedral, Minna... at the weekend

NLC partners developer on N960b housing units


HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in corroboration with a private property developer, Kriston Lally, will develop housing estates of $6 billion (about N960 billion) for its members across the country. An agreement on this was signed in Abuja at the weekend. NLC Acting President, Comrade Promise Adewusi, and the Group Executive Vice-Chairman of Kriston Lally EPC, Mr. Mustapha Madawaki, launched the partnership. Adewusi explained that under the plan, affordable hous-

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

ing units would be provided for about 8 million willing NLC members. He said: “We, as a labour movement, are worried about the 40 million housing deficit that exists in the country, as revealed by a United Nations (UN) study. This collaboration with Kriston Lally Nigeria Limited is to ensure that a good number of our members have decent roofs over their heads. “The project is expected to cost about $6billion or N960billion. We consider the two per cent interest rate of the total amount

of the property, which will be spread over 15 years, as very attractive and well below what is obtainable in the mortgage environment.” The NLC chief said the step would prove wrong the notion that trade unionists were only known for making trouble and calling members for strikes. He explained that the NLC piece of land in Nasarawa State and in other states would be used for the project. According to him, the congress will reach out to other state governments to acquire land for the project, where it did not have land.

The Group Executive ViceChairman of Kriston Lally EPC, Mustapha Madawaki, said the housing units would include bungalows, two and three bedrooms, while the estates would include construction of a fourstar hotel with a 180-guests room capacity. He said: “The opportunity is open to any member of the NLC. Beneficiaries are expected to pay a minimum 10 per cent of the cost and pay the rest over 15 years. All interested persons should do is to pay at any branch of Zenith Bank and we will take over the process from there.”

Activists urge govt to save 14 Nigerians on death State; Silvester Nwolisa, IGERIA’S rights groups row in Indonesia Idemmili, Anambra State; at the weekend peti-


tioned the National Assembly over alleged maltreatment of Nigerians in Indonesia. The groups said about 14 Nigerians are awaiting death by execution in prisons. Others have been killed in the Asian country. They urged the Senate to mount pressure on the Presidency to intervene in the matter and ensure that the liberty and lives of those Nigerians are secured. Addressing reporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital, President of World Alliance

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Against Terrorism (WAAT) and Violence and Inhuman Treatment (VITA), Mr Anthony Orunkoya, noted that the failure of the Presidency to wade into the matter might destroy the nation’s pride. Orunkoya explained that besides the 14 Nigerians on death row, 31 others were serving various jail terms in different prisons in Indonesia for various offences, including drug peddling. The activist said investigation by his organisation showed

that of the 16 condemned Nigerians, two of them - Samuel Iwuchukwu Okoye and Hassan Anthony Nwolisa - were executed on June 28, 2008. Augustine Ogbonna died in a mysterious circumstance in prison custody in September 2008. He also listed the names of 14 Nigerians awaiting death. They are: Martins Anderson (aka Bello), from Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State; Kingsley Okonkwo, from Onitsha in Anambra State; Obinna Nwajagu, a native of Ufuma in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra

Humphery Ejike, Isuku Ato in Abia State and a man simply identified as Usman, Ihiala in Anambra State. Others are: Emmanuel Ihenjirika (Ebonyi State); Daniel Enemuo, (Udin in Enugu State) and Michael Titus, Okwudili Ayataeze, Oziazi Sibamda, all from Idemmili. There are also: Eugene Ape, (Nsukka in Enugu State) as well as Fredric Luther and Denis Anumona, (Anambra State). A copy of the petition has been submitted to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

S Nigeria counts 997 days to achieving its target on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, has said the Southwest has achieved the targets of the global development programme. But the presidential aide decried the effects of insecurity in the North to make the targets the programme. Dr Gbeneol spoke at the weekend in Abuja at a media briefing marking the 1,000 days to the end the MDGs framework. She said: “The Southwest has achieved the MDGs. We don’t want women to die. Women are not supposed to die while giving birth. Every part of the country is supposed to be crashed to zero as much as possible, but the target is 250 for the nation by 2015.” The presidential aide said some regions have achieved the goal on maternal health. She added that some northern states with security challenges include Yobe, Bauchi, Borno, Kano and Kaduna.

Police warn vehicle owner


HE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of accidented and abandoned vehicles parked at Area ‘F’ Command, Ikeja, to remove them or lose them to the public through an auction after 21 days. They are: Mazda salon car, with registration number UX767KJA; Mitsubishi Galant, MR643KJA; Isuzu Rodeo Jeep, LH796AAA; Pathfinder Jeep unregistered; Range Rover Jeep unregistered; KIA Optima salon car, unregistered; Hyundai coupe salon car, EC743FST and Hyundai V6 salon car, DY492LSR.








Al-Zawahri urges Muslims to unite in struggle


L-QAIDA'S leader has urged Muslims in Arab Spring countries to unite to institute an Islamic state, while warning France that its intervention in Mali will be bogged down. "I warn France that it will meet in Mali, with God's permission, the same fate America met in Iraq and Afghanistan," Ayman Al-Zawahri said in a 103-minute audio message posted on militant websites late Saturday. France launched a military operation in Mali last January after being asked to intervene by the country's interim president. Since then, French and Malian troops have liberated main towns in the north, but remnants of an al-Qaida cell remain active there in some of the vast, rural areas. In the recording, al-Zawahri urged Muslims to liberate their lands from oppressive regimes and foreign troops,

apply Islamic law, halt the plundering of Muslim wealth, support rebellious Muslims and oppressed people worldwide, and establish the Islamic Caliphate, or religious state. The audio was produced by al-Qaida's media arm, As-Sahab, and was presented alongside video footage showing Iranian revolutionary guards captured in Syria, and other events in the Middle East. The al-Qaida leader praised the mujahedeen, or holy warriors, in Syria, urging them to step up their fight against the regime of President Bashar Assad. But he also warned them against letting the country fall under the influence of the United States, the Arab League, the United Nations and Israel should they gain control of it. "(They) want to steal your sacrifices and your jihad to give them to their supporters


in Washington, Moscow and Tel Aviv." Al-Zawahri also lashed out against Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Iran for their support of Assad, saying that "the true faces of Iran and Hezbollah have been exposed, and their ugly reality has appeared in the field of holy war in Syria." He called The Syrian government a "criminal secular" regime. Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian, criticized the country's ruling Muslim Brotherhood for a weak response to the country's poverty, saying "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Have the Islamic movements provided better education, health or transportation?"

Christian mourners, mob, police clash in Egypt


MOB threw rocks and fired birdshot Sunday at several hundred Christians marching in a protest against Egypt’s Islamist government after the funeral of four Christians killed in sectarian clashes over the weekend. The Christians were chanting slogans against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, just as several thousand did earlier during the funeral service nearby in the Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo. The attacking mob, described by witnesses as residents of the area, forced the

marchers to take shelter inside the sprawling cathedral complex. They also showered the protesters with rocks from the roofs of nearby buildings, according to witness Ibrahim elShareef. Mohammed Sultan, director of Egypt’s national ambulance services, said at least 17 people were wounded in the clashes. Riot police later arrived, firing tear gas at the Christians and the mob. Several tear gas canisters landed inside the cathedral’s grounds, causing a panic among women and children who attended the funer-

al. Video footage aired live on the private ONTV network showed young men on the roof of a building adjacent to the cathedral firing handguns in toward the compound. The four Christians, along with a Muslim, were killed in clashes on Saturday in a town north of Cairo. Inside the cathedral, several thousand mourners chanted slogans against Morsi, calling on the Egyptian leader to step down. They shouted “Leave!” and “This is our country, we will not leave.”

UK pledges $102 million more in aid to Sudan


HE British government says it is giving an additional 67 million pounds ($102 million) to Sudan over the next three years, with at least half of the aid earmarked for the war-torn Darfur region. International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone says the funds will help end Darfur’s dependency on emergency aid by tackling the root causes of poverty.

The money will go toward helping communities grow their own food and get skills training. The announcement through Britain’s Department for International Development came ahead of an international donor’s conference on Darfur’s development held Sunday in Qatar. Britain currently spends 25 million pounds a year in Darfur.

EU: Nuclear talks with Iran have failed


RAN and six world powers failed to reach agreement Saturday on an approach to reducing fears that Tehran might use its nuclear technology to make weapons, with the EU’s foreign policy chief declaring that the two sides “remain far apart on substance.” Expectations that the negotiations were making progress rose as an afternoon session was extended into the evening. But comments by the two sides made clear that they failed to make enough headway to qualify the meeting as a success. “What matters in the end is substance, and ... we are still a considerable distance apart,” Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s head of foreign policy, told reporters at the end of the two-day talks. Ashton said negotiators would now consult with their capitals. She made no mention of plans for a new meeting — another sign that the gap dividing the two sides remains substantial. Chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili spoke of “some distance between the positions of the two sides.” He suggested Iran was ready to discuss meeting a key demand

of the other side — cutting back its highest-grade uranium enrichment production and stockpile — but only if the six reciprocated with concessions far greater than they are now willing to make. Iran’s 20 percent enriched uranium is just a step away from weapons-grade uranium. Stopping its production and shipping out most of it would keep Iran’s supply below the amount needed for further processing into a weapon. The six — the United States,


Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — say the Islamic Republic must meet its demand on 20 percent uranium, and make that move first, to build confidence that its nuclear program is peaceful. But Iran wants greater rewards for any concessions that the six are ready to give. They have offered to lift sanctions on Iran’s gold transactions and petrochemical trade. But Tehran wants much more substantial sanctions relief.

Syria activists say 20 killed in army airstrikes

YRIAN government airstrikes killed at least 20 people as the army pressed ahead Sunday with its campaign to crush the rebellion against President Bashar Assad, activists said. State television said the primary goal of the airstrikes was to “recapture areas taken by the terrorists,” a reference to the rebel Free Syrian Army, who took up arms against Assad after security forces launched a bloody crackdown on protesters two years ago. The rebels control large swaths of northern Syria, and captured their first provincial capital — the city of Raqqa —

last month. They have also been making gains in recent weeks in the south, seizing military bases and towns in the strategically important region between Damascus and the border with Jordan, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the capital Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Sunday’s airstrikes targeted the northern cities of Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Idlib, the western Mediterranean city of Latakia, the eastern province of Deir el-Zour and the suburbs of Damascus.







NEWS Benue ACN to agency: show World Bank’s N850m projects From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


HE Benue State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chairman, Comrade Abba Yaro, has urged the management of Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) to show the public where the N850million ruler projects said to have been executed by the World Bank are located. At the presentation of its four-year report, CSDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Rebecca Afatyo said with World Bank’s assistance, the agency had executed projects estimated at N850million in Benue State. She also said CSDA was in 95 communities across the state with over 300,000 beneficiaries from its projects. But Yaro told The Nation that the ruler projects in 95 communities and their over 300,000 beneficiaries only existed in the imagination of the CSDA management. He said there was nothing on ground to show that such money had been expended on the projects in the state. The politician noted that in the last 10 years the agency had been in Benue State, it had nothing to show the people. According to him, primary school pupils still attended classes in thatch houses. Yaro wondered where N850 million must have been spent when Benue rural roads are the worst in the country. The ACN chairman called for the probe of the agency by anticorruption agencies.

Akume donates church From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


ENATE Minority Leader George Akume yesterday donated a multi-million church building to St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, Wanune (now Deanery), Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State. Scores of people across party affiliations attended the dedication of the edifice, located in the heart of Wannune, the country home of the former governor, on Makurdi-Gboko federal highway. The 70,000-capacity modern Catholic church building on the hill top of the town was filled with worshippers. It was an occasion that supporters of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) mixed freely and showed camaraderie. The Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Williams Avernya, hailed Akume and his friends for building the house for God. The cleric urged Christians to use the church well and worship God in truth and spirit to enjoy His blessings. The bishop noted that though Akume built and donated the church, it was no longer his church but God’s building. Akume hailed his friends for supporting him in building the magnificent edifice. He prayed God to bless them and their families for the gesture. Over N10 million was raised by Akume and his friends to support the work of the gospel at the occasion.

Nigeria can’t progress with corruption, says Osinbajo at cleric’s 80th birthday


FORMER Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said Nigeria cannot progress unless individuals shun corruption and other antisocial vices. The eminent lawyer noted that integrity and righteousness are fundamental to individual’s life, especially Christians who are commanded by Christ to lay a good example for the people to follow. Osinbajo spoke in Lagos as the guest speaker at a public lecture, entitled: Bridging the Gap Between Our Spiritual Life and Our Secular Behaviour: A Tool for Good Governance, organised for the 80th birthday celebration of the National President, The Apostolic Church Nigeria,

By Jeremiah Oke

LAWNA Territory, Dr. Gabriel Olutola. Osinbajo said the rate of corruption in Nigeria has taken another dimension, to the extent that Christians were actively involved. He decried the level of corruption, examination malpractice and maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, saying the nation’s higher institutions’ certificates were not valued in the international market because of corruption. According to him, the government is not helping the situation because since the assassination of notable Nigerians, including the late Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Chief Bola Ige;

Niger to try seven firms for N4b ‘tax default’


HE Niger State Board of Internal Revenue yesterday said it would prosecute seven companies for allegedly owing it over N4 billion tax arrears. Its Chairman, Alhaji Sulieman Abdullahi, told reporters in Minna, the state capital, that the board discovered the defaulting companies following the engagement of tax consultants. He said: “The preliminary reports of the some of the consultants’ tax audit showed that some organisations had owed the board huge sum of money. Seven of them owed over N4 billion unpaid taxes and we are set to collect the money.” Abdullahi said the revenue board had written the affected

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

companies on the need for them to settle the arrears and normalise their books with the board or be prosecuted. The board chairman said two organisations in Suleja had been taken to court for failure to pay their taxes, after the board had met with them during its tax enforcement drive. He said the organisations refused to heed the advice of the board’s officials. Abdullahi, who said the engagement of the tax consultants would help the board to meet its monthly target, added: ‘’We have to engage 19 additional consultants to the one that has been working with the board, to expand our

2015: ACN accuses Fed Govt of plans to block free polls Continued from page 4

the region.The main beneficiary of the contract has suddenly realised that the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), formed by the respected statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is no longer in existence, and has thus decided to revive it. “Just about the same time, suspected Boko Haram members have been arrested in Lagos, specifically at a house belonging to the government of Bayelsa State. “The questions that arise are: What is the real intention of the Federal Government in awarding this oil pipeline protection contract? “Is it a mere coincidence that the main beneficiary of the multi-billion naira oil pipeline protection contract is also the same fellow who is promoting the revival of the UPN? “Could the huge contract have been meant to provide the seed money for the promoters of this party? “Is it true, as it is being alleged in certain quarters, that the essence of the contract is to recruit 30,000 youths who will ostensibly protect the pipelines, but in the real sense are ready hands to foment violence on demand in the Southwest? “Is it true that the so-called revival of the UPN is to provide a platform for anarchists and end-gamers in the Southwest to infiltrate the ranks of the progressives and throw the region into chaos? “Why is it that suddenly, Boko Haram suspects are popping up in Lagos, and some of those who have been arrested were residing in a building owned by the Bayelsa State government? “Is the Bayelsa State government aware of this and if so, what has it done to evict them from the building? Who are the

ragamuffins paraded by security agencies as Boko Haram suspects working for? “Why have some people in the Southwest been engaging in Boko Haram baiting in recent times, vociferously warning that if Boko Haram comes to the region, they will be crushed? Is it a coincidence that this Boko Haram baiting has become stronger since the oil pipeline contract was awarded? “Who are the brains behind the continuous efforts to sabotage the merger of the progressives? Who bankrolled the tatterdemalions, the disreputable people who are parading themselves as African Peoples Congress? “Only this morning, it was reported that a new group is trying to register APCN, in continuation of the sabotage attempts. And who are the real faces of the so-called ANPP stakeholders who have been making spurious claims concerning the All Progressives’ Congress (APC)? “We are also concerned by the allegation that the Federal Government may be promoting a policy of inciting some parts of the country against the other, as well as Christians against Muslims. We sincerely hope this is not true. “May we also use this opportunity to restate our stand, that the Boko Haram crisis - which by the way is a social rather than a religious problem - has festered either due to the ineptitude of the Federal Government or because it fits into the game plan of those who are bent on erecting a road block on the path of free, fair and peaceful polls in 2015. “We make bold to say that the stand of the PDP is that having seen the handwriting on the wall, the party realises it cannot win free and fair elections in 2015.

Lagos politician Mr Funsho Williams, as well as several others, nobody has been brought to book or prosecuted. Osinbajo said: “If we change our ways from corruption, Nigeria will move forward. Individuals, especially the Christians, are to be held responsible for the woes of the nation, because God has said they are the salt of the world and they are to lay a good example for others. We have no basis to question the leadership. We need to teach the people what Christ commanded us. “Despite our huge resources, Nigeria remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Nigeria is also rated among the most corrupt nations in the world. We know that corruption has even taken another dimen-

“PDP and its stalwarts are therefore perfecting a sinister plan that will make free and fair elections impossible in 2015, or if at all the elections will be held, they will hold under curfew to give the party the cover it needs to rig the polls. “Also being considered is a plan under which emergency rule will be imposed on most parts of the country, following which elections will be put in abeyance, paving the way for tenure elongation. Instigation of violence in hitherto peaceful parts of the country is one of the means to achieve this plan. “We are, therefore, alerting the good people of Nigeria as well as friends of the country around the world to closely monitor events as they unfold in the days ahead, along the lines that we have enunciated above. “On our part, we will be keenly watching events as they unfold, either in the Southwest or elsewhere. After all, it is said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. In this regard, we call on all our supporters, all progressives and indeed all Nigerians to be vigilant. “We will also like to warn that no nation can survive a combination of ethnic and religious conflagration, and that those who will instigate crisis to push a personal and selfish agenda risk being consumed by it. “We say no to violence! We say no to do-or-die politics! We say no to any anti-democratic measures as a means of retaining power at all cost. “And lest we are misunderstood, the constitution of our great country allows freedom of association and anyone who so desires can form a party. But where the purpose of the party being formed is to instigate chaos and scuttle democracy, every right thinking person must be concerned!” the ACN spokesman said.

horizon and ensure easier collection of taxes from individuals and organisations. “We borrowed a leaf from Lagos State, which has over 700 consultants on tax collection, each with a specific mandate to tackle tax in its area of specailisation, to ensure optimal tax collection.” The chairman explained that the board had written the affected organisations to pay within a month or face prosecution. He added that the consultants would continue their audit of payments by various organisations to ensure that defaulters pay their tax arrears. Abdullahi said the board was working to meet its N1 billion monthly target.

sion in this country. It is only in this country that you discover that the Executive has to bribe the Legislature to get a project approved. “When (former United States Secretary of State) Mrs Hilary Clinton came to Nigeria, she testified to this when she said the level of corruption was unbelievable. That’s the truth. Nobody has been held accountable for this; nobody has been punished. Generally, we have seen the corruption as the normal way of life. When you look at the number of the unresolved assassination cases in this country, starting from Bola Ige in 2001, down to Funsho Williams in Lagos in 2006, and many more unresolved murdere cases, there is no hope that they will be resolved.”

Alaafin hails Yuguda’s leadership style From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi


HE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has hailed the leadership virtues of Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda. The monarch described the governor as a detribalised Nigerian whose leadership style other Nigerians should emulate. Oba Adeyemi spoke in his palace in Oyo when he hosted Yuguda. The monarch, who happy by the governor’s visit, noted that “with people like Yuguda in leadership positions, the country will be much better”.

Cracks in Presidency over amnesty for Boko Haram Continued from page 4

Although the list of the members of the Technical Committee was kept under wraps, it was gathered that it comprises both military officers and strategic cabinet members. Another source in government said: “When the Technical Committee completes its assignment in two weeks, the Presidency will then constitute the main panel, which would handle the amnesty pro-


gramme for Boko Haram.” The NSA met with Obasanjo on the security challenges facing the country. According to a source, Mr. Sambo Dasuki had talks with Obasanjo on the way forward for the nation. “I think Dasuki, acting on the instructions of the President, went to discuss with Obasanjo on government’s plans. It is likely that the NSA put Obasanjo in the picture of the amnesty plan before Jonathan conceded to it.”

MEND: we killed 12 JTF men Continued from page 4

spokesman of the militant group. The JTF - codenamed Operation Pulo (oil) Shield, through its spokesman, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that the security outfit was on the alert; with marine and air assets fully mobilised and land and patrol on waterways being intensified. MEND said yesterday: “For dismissing Hurricane Exodus as an ‘empty threat’ by the Nigerian security forces, heavilyarmed fighters from MEND, at about 17:00 hrs., Saturday, April 6, 2013, intercepted and engaged government security forces in a fierce gunfight, lasting over 40 minutes at Azuzama, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. “The clash, which happened in the river, left over 15 security forces dead, as we also lost two of our fighters in the battle. “We hope this encounter will serve as a lesson to the JTF to desist from making careless ut-

terances that cannot be backed, as we remain resolute in our resumption of hostilities. “All oil companies and the public are advised to ignore the false sense of security being peddled by the JTF, as well as the false comments from a ‘Comrade Azizi’ who claims to be the spokesman for the group. This person is not known to MEND, does not speak for MEND and his utterances and style do not reflect our plans and actions.” MEND, in its earlier statement, declared that the attacks would be sustained, until an unreserved apology is offered to it by the Federal Government, which must also show willingness to dialogue with the militant group, as being planned with the Boko Haram sect. The JTF, however, said yesterday: “Some policemen heading for Oporoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State for the burial of the mother of someone nicknamed Young Shall Grow (an ex-militant leader, with camps

in Bayelsa State) were attacked by assailants when their boat developed a problem on the waterway. JTF troops, however, came to the rescue of the survivors. “The five sectors of the JTF covering the nine states of the Niger Delta region are on the alert. Our maritime and air assets have also been mobilised and we have intensified our patrols to dominate both land and waterways to checkmate any assailant. “We will not permit any lawlessness that will jeopardise the peace in the region. We again call on all peace-loving and progressive Niger Deltans to dissociate themselves, their communities and leadership from this gang of retrogrades, parading themselves as MEND.” Reacting to the statement: “We are now determined to conjure this imaginary trumped-up threat into a painful reality”, credited to MEND, the JTF said it had redeployed more personnel to tackle any upheaval, warning the threatening “gang” not to try any attack.





VOL 8 NO 2,452

‘The present administration will not allow council chairmen to use the resources coming to the councils to service godfathers, godmothers, godsisters and godbrothers.The resources coming into this state as you have clearly seen at the state level are being deployed for0 the development of our state’ SERIAKE DICKSON



N Sunday, I read the story of Lazarus and the rich man, and wondered why no one has observed it as a parable on Nigeria. Mind you, the Bible refers to two Lazaruses. One of them died and enjoyed the gift of resurrection from the Trojan spirit of the Christ. The other was the man of sores and crumbs who was transported to the bliss of Abraham’s bosom. The first was reported as a true story in the scriptures, the other of the ulcerous sore was a parable from the Lord himself. Nigeria is the Lazarus of the parable. I daresay that the rich man in the story is also Nigeria, a Nigeria of oil whose table abounds with the aroma and sights of the choicest delicacies. The rich man also is like the rich among us, dressed in glamour outfits, with the top brands on earth, carted in excess luggage in first class in some of the tony airlines that bustle through the clouds. Their gates are high and impregnable portals. But the rich man is Nigeria with lots of jewelry and bluster and contempt and palaces here and there. Their mansions compare in frills and ostentation with the marble redoubts of upscale neighbourhoods anywhere. Lazarus is a mere beggar and remains at the gate. When the flamboyant rich man has finished his meal, the crumbs drop on the beggar’s hands, the Lazarus, who represents the majority of Nigerians. He is the metaphor of the abject underclass of the day. He waits for the rich to take the most of the oil wealth. After that, he settles for the crumbs of federal allocations, of oil subsidy windfalls, of contracts awarded but not executed, of excess crude largesse, church and mosque offerings and tithes, of salaries not paid because they were tucked aside in the bank to generate interests for months. The crumbs cannot pay school fees, house rents, food or pay for minimal medical fees. They are the real Nigerians. The Lazarus and the rich man story says that we live in a society of great social chasm. When Lazarus died, he goes to Abraham’s bosom, which some bible scholars call heaven, but they have no evidence of that because Christ said no one had ascended into heaven before he came on earth. So I see it as a fantasy for Lazarus. Lazarus goes to a better place, while the rich man goes to hell burning with fire. I see the story of Lazarus going to hell to mean the consequence of the mismanagement of resources in this country. Nigeria, as it is, stands as a dead wasteland like the first Lazarus, who died and waited for the benignity of Christ’s miracle. The rich man had all the abundance but the riches are of no benefit for the poor. They keep him hungry, and his legs are full of sores and dogs lick the sores for nourishment. The rich in Nigeria do nothing for the poor among us. How many Nigerians with their fabled wealth have endowments for the poor in universities or scholarships for the indi-


...beware of FAIRLY-USED WIFE


IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •NMMA Columnist of the Year

Days of Lazarus

•Dr Fayemi gent in primary and secondary schools? How many donate equipment to hospitals or adopt wards or devote money for specific disability care in this country? All we see is the obsession with the top brands peddled in Manhattan or London or Paris. That is the story of the rich man. But if, eventually, the rich man went to hell, why did Lazarus go to a better place in Abraham’s bosom? Was poverty, therefore, a good thing? I see it differently. The death that takes place is the revolution. The death was the end of the order of things that created the class chasm between the all-powerful, well-heeled rich man and the Lazarus who is the wretched of the earth. When the revolution came, the rich man cried to Abraham, who was the revolutionary, and begged for a drop of water from Lazarus who was in the lap of luxury.

‘Revolution will not come when we celebrate these rich men and see our sores and crumbs as gestures of divine kindness on which we celebrate our tithes in churches and zakat in mosques’ But he was denied. The illusion was that the rich man thought he did Lazarus a favour by giving him crumbs. That is also the tragedy in Nigerian society today. We have millions who slave but their employers think they work. They merely survive. They toil to justify their pride. If you work merely to live another day, then you are no better than the Lazarus of the pestiferous sores. The Lazarus of the real story is Nigeria of today awaiting resurrection. As a nation of the 1950’s and 1960’s, we were a half-made, half-born society. From the 1970’s, we retreated to a coma, and later died since the 1980’s. We are looking for a miracle like Lazarus. But Lazarus the dead cannot become Lazarus of the Abraham’s bosom without a



FTER many months of dithering, the scale of killings in the North and the virtually stalemated military campaign against Boko Haram terrorists have seemed to finally persuade the Goodluck Jonathan presidency to resignedly offer amnesty to the violent Islamist sect. There is hardly a voice of dissent against amnesty in the North, perhaps because the region has borne the brunt of the violence undermining regional commercial activities and engendering poverty, social dislocations and alienation. But the South has been largely unenthusiastic about amnesty. It describes the proposed deal as wicked, unfair and counterproductive. Even if the Jonathan government goes through with the deal, a consensus between the North and the South on the amnesty deal is unlikely. Amnesty for Boko Haram militants is still a long way off. There is no agreement yet on who should be talking with whom, or when the talking should begin. More importantly, and no matter how much everyone pretends these things do not matter, there are deeply troubling issues, some of them moral, surrounding the proposed amnesty deal. First, and considering the senseless bloodshed, would it be wise to

pursuit of justice, or a revolution, or without an Abraham. Abraham, for the purpose of this essay, implies a revolutionary leader. The half-born society of the 1960’s was full of promise. At that time, we beat Indonesia, Australia, India, South Korea and Brazil in many indices. We did not have the epaulet of the rich man of the parable: oil. We had groundnuts, palm produce, cocoa, enough to usher in an era of prosperity. That society died when oil came. The rich man was a metaphor for deadness because it was an embarrassment of riches. In those years, Nigerian ruler General Yakubu Gowon said the problem with Nigeria was not how to make money but how to spend it. Our state has never known the value of money. That is why the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is trying to galvanise money in the name of a phony centenary glee to build a gate, a city like Dubai, roads, schools, etc. The Government announced this as though we just started the project Nigeria, and we had never needed to renew our cities, build roads, and schools and other nonsensical projects to fritter away the wealth that belongs to our Lazaruses. All the countries that were behind us have had their Lazarus moments. They went through years of miracle while we slept. Governor Kayode Fayemi, the enlightened governor of Ekiti State, engaged this theme in a recent lecture on rebranding, and demonstrated how some of these countries have overcome their anomies. They did that through vision and industry, through the work of a dedicated citizenry inspired by the example and tenets of thinking elite. India is a high-tech miracle, China is on the verge of topping America as the world’s biggest economy, Brazil jolted a generation of about 30 million people out of poverty, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore were labeled Asian tigers. Even next-door neighbour Ghana, which once poured its refugees into our bosom, now educates a generation of our children. As Governor Fayemi noted, these are not perfect societies. India reels from sectarian woes and ineffable poverty. China is entangled in democratic barbarities. Japan still snorts with cultural drawbacks in the work place in spite of its world-class brands. Class chasms still dog Brazil and terror pangs rankle Indonesia. Lazarus the dead will not become Lazarus of Abraham unless we address the challenges of waste and inequality among us. Revolution will not come when we celebrate these rich men and see our sores and crumbs as gestures of divine kindness on which we celebrate our tithes in churches and zakat in mosques. Meanwhile, the pastors, soldiers, businessmen and politicians mock us with crumbs like the rich man.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

A most contentious amnesty extend amnesty to Boko Haram masterminds, or should amnesty be limited to only the foot soldiers? If the masterminds know they would be excluded, would they be willing to talk peace and sheathe their swords? Assuming that that dilemma can be surmounted, would the proponents of amnesty, who have persuaded themselves that Boko Haram is largely a product of economic alienation, not expect a massive infusion of funds to wage war against poverty in the affected areas? And if funds are allocated to fight economic alienation in the affected areas, would this not amount to rewarding lawlessness? Would it not suggest to future law breakers that levying war against the state has its sweet rewards? There are many more issues surrounding the amnesty issue that require deep reflections and negotiations before the deal can fly. But overall, if no one is punished for the senseless waste of lives and destruction of public property, it is hard to see how an enduring peace can be secured in the face of such grave injustice. This may be why many have qualified their support for amnesty

with a call for the sect’s masterminds to be punished, while others have asked for Boko Haram leaders to demonstrate public penitence before amnesty could be given any consideration. The country, particularly the federal government and the North, is desperate for peace, for the scale of destruction is so massive that the region may need many years and much help to rebuild its economy, an economy which was in the best of times gasping for breath. The country will also have to ask itself why the economic inequality in the country seems pronounced in the North in spite of the federally allocated and internally generated revenue accruing to the state and local governments in the Boko Haram region. The question is whether the revenue is too small or public officials have injudiciously used the money. Finally, and still on the propriety of amnesty, the country will have to ask itself whether by negotiating with terror, it is not demonstrating lack of character and principles or setting a precedent that could yet return to haunt it in the future.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation April 08, 2013  

The Nation April 08, 2013

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