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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

My deputy not spare tyre, says Fayemi

Lagoon accident victim’s body found NEWS

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•Sanusi, Dangote, others visit Ekiti

•Remains deposited in the morgue

VOL. 8, NO. 2459 MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013



MEND threatens to bomb mosques, hajj camps, clerics JTF: criminals are using MEND’s name From Shola O’Neil, Warri and Bisi Olaniyi, Yenagoa


ARELY a week after it claimed responsibility for the killing of 12 policemen in Bayelsa State, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has served another threat notice. It plans to launch a bombing campaign against mosques and Islamic institutions in what it tagged “Operation Barbarossa”. “The bombings of mosques, hajj camps, Islamic institutions, large congregations in Islamic events and assassinations of clerics that propagate doctrines of hate will form the core mission of this crusade,” its spokesman Jomo Gbomo said in an e-mailed statement. According to the statement, Operation Barbarossa will be launched on May 31. MEND, however, gave a condition for a ceasefire - intervention of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Catholic Church and Henry Okah, who is in a South African prison. The militant group at the weekend stepped up its promised attacks in the oil-rich Niger Delta region through its “Hurricane ExoContinued on page 4

Two firms partner to boost power supply


ENERATOR manufacturer Cummins Incorporated and United Kingdom (UK) based Gentec are involved in a joint venture business in Nigeria, it was learnt yesterday. They are to design, operate and maintain gas power plants. “Cummins partner in this new business venture is Gentec, a specialist UK based power plant constructor and operator, which has successfully built turnkey and independent power producer (IPP) plants powered by class leading Cummins gas generators in Asia, Europe and Africa”, the firm said in a statement. Gentec’s Chairman Mr. Dipi Khilnani said: “With over a million hours of operating experience with Cummins gas generator sets in Nigeria, we are confident that we have the right product and the right capability to meet the needs of Nigerian Industry.” He added that gas power delivers signifiContinued on page 4

•The Shofunlayo kids and their parents at the party...yesterday


‘Five Alive’ kids... one year, four months after


O you know Five Alive? Yes; the popular packaged juice. No; you are wrong; damn wrong. Even though they were found at a Lagos party yesterday, these “Five Alive” are no drinks; they are five kids born same day by same mother. The Shofunlayo quintuplets were nicknamed “Five Alive” because they survived —against normal expectations — at birth in 2011. They were part of the 1, 200

By Olatunde Adebiyi

babies conceived through Assisted Reproduction at Nordica Fertility Centre, which made its debut in 2003. Its 10 years anniversary party was held at the prestigious Civic Centre, Victoria Island. The quintuplets are: Eyitayo, Eyitope, Eyitomini, Eyimofe and Eyidayo. They are one year, four months old. They and their parents — Olayemi Victoria and Wale Shofunlayo — stood out in the

crowd. Their birth was unique; it was the Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s (LUTH’s) first quintuplets. An inexperienced doctor would have sealed up or terminated the fifth baby, but the experience and skill of a consultant in the Department of Obstetric and Gynaecology, Prof Godwin Ajayi, and his medical team, turned the hitherto fertility challenged couple to parents of quintuplets - 17 years after

their marriage. Recounting her experience, Mrs Shofunlayo said: “I thought they were four. But they turned out to be five. After a CS, which lasted about 25 minutes, I found out they were five. I was sedated; so, I didn’t know what was happening. I thank God for the bundles of joy.” Mrs Shofunlayo was on bed rest for seven of the nine months that she carried the Continued on page 4





Cleaning up

•Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu (third left), Secretary General, West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP), Dr. Azuka Opara (left), Chairman, Nigeria chapter, WAPCP, Mr. Ike Onyechi (second left) and President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Akintayo, when PSN members visited the governor in Minna. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

•Former Minister of Aviation Mr Femi Fani -Kayode (left), former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu (middle) Gen Alani Akinrinade at the funeral service of the late Mrs Folorunso Osuntokun, mother of Mr Akin Osuntokun, at Oke Imesi Ekiti, Ekiti the weekend

More than 460 children have died since 2009, and the health of thousands has been affected.The BBC investigates the lead poisoning in the North, which is associated with the small-scale gold mining industry in Zamfara State


N a remote region of northern Nigeria the signs of a lead poisoning crisis caused by smallscale gold mining are still visible especially among children, despite a four-year clean-up project. Four-year-old Umaima stares into space, seeming detached from all that is going on around her in the small village of Sumke. She has not been able to talk or hear since she was two. For some months she was unable to walk until she received medical treatment. “I feel lucky, because a child next door died of the same illness,” her mother says. The contamination in Nigeria’s Zamfara state is seen as the worst case of lead poisoning in the world. More than 460 children have died since 2009, and the health of thousands has been affected. The lead is a deadly by-product of the small-scale gold mining industry in Zamfara. The government says the mining is illegal, but in this rural Muslim region of north-western Nigeria it has been going on for generations - and it was a discovery of greater deposits that has led to the recent boom in digging for gold.

Dangerous work

• From left: Executive Director, Access Bank, Mr. Okey Nwuke, Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo,Director, Dangote Plc, Mrs. Chioma Madubuko and Managing Director, Toyota, Mr. Chandrasheker Thampy, at PHOTO:JOHN EBHOTA the launch of Toyota RAV 4 in the weekend.

• A doctor attending to a child affected by lead poisoning.

At the Darata gold mine, a group of men gather around several deep dark pits, waiting for their colleagues who are several dozen feet under the ground hacking away at the rock. It is dangerous work and some are

down the pits for several days at a time. “I’m never going to stop this work because it’s the only way I can earn a living around here,” says one of the miners as he emerges from a deep pit. “I know some people have died from poisoning, but not from my family and even if anything were to happen it would be a sign of God’s will,” he tells me.

Village dust The sacks of rock which are brought up from underground are carried on the backs of motorbikes to a nearby processing site. Here dozens of men and young boys work under the 45C (113F) heat hammering rocks, operating grinding machines and sifting for gold. The danger is in the dust. It is full of toxic lead, and is carried to the workers’ homes on their clothes and tools. Most at risk are the children because the dust turns their villages into a poisonous playground. Their young bodies are vulnerable to the effects of the toxins. This crisis began in 2009. The government has not stopped the activity, though it says it will introduce safer mining practices - which are yet to be seen on the ground. President Goodluck Jonathan pledged $4m (£2.6m) in May 2012, however, the money was not released until January.

Worsening oil theft’ll jeopardise economy, says ACN


• Managing Director, NBL, Mr. Nico Vervelde (left), his wife Clementine (right), Managing Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, Dr. Abraham Ajayi (second left), representative of the wife of Lagos State governor, Mrs. Adenike Ogunlewe (third left) and pharmacist and politician, Mr. Jimmy Agbaje, at the Nordica 10th anniversary in Lagos. PHOTO:JOHN EBHOTA

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned that the rising cases of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta will worsen the country’s economic woes, when placed side by side with other problems besetting the country’s troubled oil sector, unless the Federal Government acts decisively to stop the criminal act. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said oil theft and pipeline vandalism, the cost of which has been put between 6 and 12 billion US dollars per annum, have reverted to the pre-amnesty period, when oil

theft peaked at about 350,000 barrels of per day - higher than the quantity of oil produced daily by Gabon or Equatorial Guinea. The statement reads: ‘’On February 24, 2013, we raised the alarm that the country’s economy was heading for the rocks, citing the skyrocketing cost of oil production, from 4 dollars per barrel in 2002 to 35 dollars per barrel presently; the massive corruption in the oil sector; the sharp fall in the discovery of new oil and gas reserves due to the low investment in the sector, and the challenge posed by alternative sources of global supply of oil and gas. ‘’For raising that alarm, we were pilloried by those who acted more out of




Nigeria’s toxic playgrounds

•Zamfara children working in the mines outside of Bagega

It took an online and media campaign by local and international organisations to get the funds released. Mercy Abang, a journalist and activist from Citizens Platform, was part of that drive, and says it is not enough for the money to be released but it also has to be used appropriately. “It’s not news that we have a history of misappropriation of funds in Nigeria,” she says. “The money has to pass through several stages to get down, and it is necessary for us to follow the money at each stage.” Bagega village is the last of the eight affected communities to be cleaned up over the last four years. Using shovels, workers dig up and remove all the contaminated soil and replace it with clean earth - in some cases the walls of these mud buildings have to be plastered afresh. It is a painfully slow process, and is not helped by the fact that the equipment promised by the government has not arrived. No children in this village can be treated for the effects of the poisoning until this clean-up is completed. Long-term fears In Sumke village, where the toxic soil has been removed, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) runs a

treatment clinic where mothers bring their affected children to receive medicine. It is a complicated, drawn out process, which for some children could last up to 15 years. But the aid agencies will not stay that long. MSF’s Zackaria Mwatia worries that the government might not be able to take over from them. “The main challenge we face is we don’t see [the] federal ministry of health on the ground,” he says. “We would like them to send the doctors, the nurses, the laboratory scientists so that we build their capacity. “They would have built their skills and they will be able to handle this programme successfully.” Health Minister Dr Muhammed Pate said MSF had no reason to worry. “This is a man-made disaster; it is not a natural disaster - illegal mining is the underlying reason for this lack of awareness is behind it,” he says. “We can’t sit behind and… not take action. Government will continue to take all steps to protect the lives and well being of its people.” But as the blame is traded, thousands of children in these villages face a difficult future. As the mining continues it is they who will pay a high price.

We are particularly concerned that the Nembe Creek axis seems to have been the worst hit by the criminal act, despite being the operating base of a key former militant who has cornered a lucrative Federal Government contract to protect Nigeria’s coastline from the same bunkering activities that are now getting out of control

emotion than facts. Today, we say the situation is actually worse than we had thought, exacerbated by pipeline


vandalism and crude oil theft which have reached an unsustainable level. Add this to the resurgence of attacks

by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), and we are compelled to cry out again.’’ ACN said the action taken in recent times by two major oil companies, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), is the clearest indication yet of the seriousness of the situation. The party added: ‘’In March 2013, SPDC announced that it will shut down the 150,000bpd Nembe Creek oil pipeline this April due to the urgent need to clear away illegal connections meant to facilitate the theft of crude oil from the pipeline. Also in March, NAOC declared a force majeure regarding crude oil liftings at the Brass terminal and suspended its activities in Bayelsa State, following the intensification of illegal bunkering activities and the vandalisation of the 10'’ Kwale-Akri-Nembe-Brass oil delivery line. ‘’The shutdown of these two key oil delivery trunk lines by SPDC and

NAOC has cut nearly 300,000 barrels per day from already dwindling Nigeria’s oil output, now put at 2.2 million barrels per day, down from 2.75 million barrels per day a year ago, resulting from increased, organised and sophisticated illegal bunkering of oil by criminals operating in the creeks of the Niger Delta. ‘’To worsen matters, it has been alleged that some bad eggs in the military Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to the region to protect oil personnel and facilities have been accused of complicity in the illegal bunkering activities. This is why the Federal Government must quickly engage key stakeholders in a dialogue with a view to finding ways to stop the criminal act before it cripples the economy and brings Nigeria down to its knees. ‘’We are particularly concerned that the Nembe Creek axis seems to have been the worst hit by the criminal act, despite being the operating base of a key former militant who has cornered a lucrative

Federal Government contract to protect Nigeria’s coastline from the same bunkering activities that are now getting out of control.” ACN said it is worrisome that the relative peace witnessed in the Niger Delta following the amnesty programme for oil militants seems to have waned, going by available statistics: A total of 350,000 barrels per day was lost to illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta in 2012, representing an increase of 45 per cent over the figure for 2011 and 67 per cent over that of 2010. It added that the trend for 2013 is alarming. It said without prejudice to whatever solutions that key stakeholders may proffer to the criminal act of pipeline vandalism and oil theft, it is important for the security agencies operating in the Niger Delta to safeguard lives and property in the Niger Delta; and the government must recommit itself to enhancing security of investment in the region, while at the same time tackling headlong the grinding poverty in the oil region.



NEWS Firms partner to improve power supply Continued from page 1

cant operational savings in these difficult economic times. The new venture called Cummins Energy Solutions Nigeria Limited (CESN), according to the partners, is set to capitalise on Nigeria’s growing network of natural gas distribution. This fuel source will facilitate the construction of distributed power plants typically in the two megawatts (MW) to 50 MW range to meet a wide spectrum of industrial and IPP customers . CESN will also introduce smaller gas powered solutions from 40Kva to 1MW to enter into the SME segment. “This new venture further

illustrates Cummins’ commitment to Nigeria and this business will be an important vehicle to contribute towards reducing Nigeria’s critical power deficit,” said Satish Jayaram, the Director of Power Generation for Cummins Africa. “The new venture will harness the strengths of Cummins’ global expertise and its industry leading efficient gas technologies with Gentec’s proven power plant project implementation expertise in emerging markets. This strategic investment is testimony of Cummins’ vision and strategy to accelerate our presence and investments in Africa,” Jayaram added.

‘Five Alive’ kids... one year, four months after Continued from page 1 •Favour Odozor 20, Youngest Commercial Pilot Licensed (CPL) in Nigeria and South Africa, after his decoration at the Afrika Union Aviation Academy in South Africa. PHOTO: NAN

Fed Govt begs North’s leaders to get Boko Haram


NDETERRED by Boko Haram’s rejection of its amnesty offer, the Federal Government is reaching out to some elders and Islamic clerics in Borno, Yobe and Kano states to prevail on Boko Haram to embrace the proposal. The government is also considering talks with some Boko Haram leader in detention to facilitate contact with the sect. The options came even as the Northern Youth Forum (NYF) urged the sect to embrace the planned amnesty. Also at the weekend Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda expressed optimism that

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja, Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe and Emmnauel Oladesu, Lagos

the sect would embrace dialogue and accept amnesty. Besides, Yuguda’s counterparts in Borno (Kashim Shettima), Yobe (Ibrahim Gaidam) and Kano (Rabiu Kwankwaso) have begun moves to restore peace to the North. The Federal Government’s challenge is how to reach out to the sect’s leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau. The government, it was learnt, is already seeking the help of some elders and clerics in Borno, Yobe and Kano. A source said: “These leaders and clerics are not mem-

bers of the sect but they are respected by Boko Haram. They also know how they get in touch with them. The mandate given to these leaders and clerics is based on why the amnesty should be in place. “I won’t give you the names of these intermediary leaders to avoid scuttling the process. But we believe that once amnesty is in place, the sect’s leaders will have the freedom to come out for dialogue.” Asked why the government is going to this length, the source replied: “The rejection of amnesty offer by Boko Haram is suspected to be politically motivated. We are,

therefore, trying to give it a political solution by enlisting the right people to assist in persuading Boko Haram.” A source said locating Shekau remained the main issue. He added: “It has been difficult to locate the whereabouts of Shekau since the operation in Mali made the sect leaders to adopt a makeshift lifestyle. “No one can say whether they are in Nigeria or Mali or any of the neighboring countries. “This is why the government is adamant on a proclamation of amnesty in order to Continued on page 57

PDP crisis: Southwest leaders list peace terms for Anenih


HEAD of another reconciliation shuttle to the Southwest by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, leaders of the party have listed terms for peace. The terms include National Chairman Bamanga Tukur’s readiness to ensure

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

fairness and justice in the party, reinstatement of sacked National working Committee (NWC) members from the Southwest and protection of the party’s constitution. All seems set for a reconciliatory meeting between exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo and a delegation of the Board of Trustees of the PDP

to be led by Anenih. It was unclear last night if Obasanjo will meet with the delegation. But there were indications that besides how to reclaim the Southwest in 2014-2015, the fate of the sacked National Secretary of PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Chief Segun Oni (ex-National ViceContinued on page 57


pregnancy. She was delivered of the babies through Caesarian Section (CS). Mr. Shofunlayo, who hails from Ogun State, said: “The doctors only care, but God heals.” Narrating how the babies were born, she said: “We were only aware they were going to be quadruplets. Right from the start, even the last scan showed I was carrying four babies. The doctors also prepared for four, but when I heard the babies were five, I felt elated that God has blessed us even more. I just smiled; I know God did it.” According to Mr. Shofunlayo , during surgery, Prof. Ajayi said there was something remaining, which he thought was a fibroid. But, it turned out to be another baby. For about seven months my wife was admitted at the LUTH for bed rest and I was able to pay. The lucky husband said: “I will say kudos to the doctors and nurses for their efforts and consistency. They have really shown that Nigeria is not lagging behind in the preservation of human lives. I am satisfied with the services rendered by the hospital staff before and after delivery. “The nurses really tried. The only thing the doctors did was to get their hand

gloves and get going. None of them requested for any gratification. I commend Prof Ajayi for his effort and for the way he handled his job, like a true professional. He is like a father.” He praised LUTH for the provisional assistance given to his wife before the delivery. “This is my first experience in a public hospital and it is the best place for anybody to come for treatment. All the nurses cared and supported my wife,” Shofunlayo said. Asked if he would like to have more children, he replied: “The first child is a boy of about two years and the quintuplets just arrived. So I don’t think it is necessary to start thinking of another baby. However, I am a Muslim and I am not scared of having children. But, I want to be very modest and live within my limits.” The lawyer was advised to take his wife to India for safe delivery, but he had faith in Nigerian doctors. “We can do lots of things in Nigeria, if we believe,” he said. In Shofunlayo’s view the delivery was easy because his wife complied with the instructions of the doctor to be on bed rest. Shofunlayo is grateful for the kids’ survival. He said: “I am so happy Continued on page 57

MEND threatens to bomb mosques, hajj camps, clerics Continued from page 1

dus”. It claimed to have destroyed the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited’s (SPDC’s) Well 62 at Ewellesuo comminity in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Jomo Gbomo said his group was proposing Operation Babarossa to save Christianity from extinction in the country. The latest threat by the militant group followed last Thursday’s rejection by Boko Haram of the proposed amnesty being considered by the Federal Government. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau insisted that the fundamentalist sect had not done anything wrong to warrant amnesty from the government. MEND’s latest attack on Shell’s facility and threat to counter Boko Haram’s insurgency came barely one week after its fighters claimed re-

JTF: criminals are using MEND’s name


HE Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday warned criminals using the name of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND to engender panic and promote an atmosphere of insecurity in the Niger Delta. “Their cup is full,” the JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo (oil) Shield, said through its spokesman, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, who was reacting to the latest threat issued by the Jomo Gbomo-led faction of MEND in an on-line statement. The JTF spokesman urged community leaders, opinion leaders and all peace-loving residents of the oil-rich region not to panic. He admonished well-meaning Niger Delta leaders to “firmly” dissociate themselves from the criminals and to sponsibility for the death of 12 policemen on the waterways of Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The MEND’s statement reads: “On behalf of the hap-

From Bisi Olaniyi, Yenagoa

collaborate with the JTF and other security agencies to rid the society of criminals. JTF said: “It must be made clear that the authentic MEND, as we all know, went into extinction since the emergence of the Niger Delta and the freedom fighters from the dark days of turbulence in the region and quite a good number of them are partnering with their various states and communities for development. “Those attempting to christen themselves MEND today are impostors and a bundle of ‘never do wells, who want to be accorded undue recognition at the expense of the peace currently being savoured in the Niger Delta. “The lack of focus and genuineness

less Christian population in Nigeria, MEND will from Friday, May 31, 2013, embark on a crusade to save Christianity in Nigeria from annihilation. “The bombings of mosques, hajj camps, Islamic institu-

of intention of this gang seeking to hide under the name of MEND is apparent in its statements, as it continues to contradict itself. “You will recall that it had earlier claimed to be acting under the directives of Henry Okah and now it refers to the same person, as just one of the respected leaders of the Niger Delta. “Now, they are seeking sympathy and acceptance of the public by claiming to want to avenge for Christians. Niger Deltans, be not deceived by the tricks of the devil. Lawlessness is never a solution. “Obviously, their aim is to engender panic and a sense of insecurity in the region, using MEND’s name, but we assure them that their cup is full and will soon be caught up with by the law.

tions, large congregations in Islamic events and assassinations of clerics that propagate doctrines of hate will form the core mission of this crusade, codenamed Operation Barbarossa.

Continued on page 57

“This campaign will not in any way interfere with the ongoing ‘Hurricane Exodus’ – which on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at about 01:00 Hrs, Continued on page 57


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Afenifere Renewal Group calls for national conference FENIFERE Renewal group (ARG) yesterday called for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to debate the future of the country. The group said the rejection of amnesty and dialogue by the dreadful Boko Haram sect has confirmed the group’s commitment to the destabilisation of the fledgling federation. ARG Publicity Secretary Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, in a statement in Lagos, pointed out that Boko Haram does not believe in a secular Nigeria. He said: “We have consistently warned that offering Amnesty to the fundamentalist group or to any other for that matter, is certainly not the solution to the crisis of nationstate confronting Nigeria. “We strongly consider this rejection by Boko Haram as a challenge to the imagination of those in government, and to many of those in the larger society who seem to have subsumed the restiveness in the


Aregbesola endorsed for second term


PAN-Yoruba sociopolitical group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Osun State chapter, has endorsed Governor Rauf Aregbesola for a second term. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Olabisi, ARG said the endorsement was based on Aregbesola’s “superlative performance” within his short time in office. It said Aregbesola has fulfilled all his campaign promises in two years. The group said Aregbesola has brought developmental revolution to all sectors and turned the state into a huge By Emmanuel Oladesu

whole country, particularly in the Northern part as a challenge to the authority of those

construction site. It said: “The Aregbesola administration has been tackling hunger and unemployment with determination. His administration is transparent, accountable and prudent. “It has employed 40,000 youths through the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES). Aregbesola has reformed the civil service and rehabilitated roads in both rural and urban areas. He has assisted farmers and cooperative groups to boost food production and improve the economy.

“His administration has restored healthy living through various health programmes. It has maintained peace and improved security in every part of the state. It has promoted functional and standard education. “It is on the basis of this performance that ARG is supporting Aregbesola for a second term in the over all interest of the state. It is visible to rational and objective minds that a four-year term would not be enough for the Aregbesola administration to complete its laudable programmes.”

in government only. We believe that the Boko Haram menace and the restiveness in the various parts of the country, be it the militancy in the

Southsouth, the kidnappings and brigandage in the Southeast and the incipient, but growing loud grumblings in the Southwest, are all a mani-

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday congratulated the Olubadanof Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, on his 99th birthday. In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Reuben Abati, Jonathan said: “On behalf of myself, my family, the Federal Government and Nigerians, I wish the Olubadan a happy birthday celebration. “Oba Odulana has used his immense experience, knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of his people since he assumed the ancient throne. May God Almighty, who has already blessed the Olubadan with such extraordinary longevity, grant him many more years of good health and commendable service to his community and the nation. “I join the people of Ibadan and the Olubadan’s friends and well-wishers across the country in looking forward with great anticipation to Oba Odulana’s historic attainment of the age of 100 years next year. “I assure Oba Odugade and the people of Ibadan of the Federal Government’s support for the celebration planned to commemorate the landmark occasion, which fortuitously coincides with Nigeria’s centenary year celebration.” Also yesterday, the call for the creation of Ibadan State out of the present Oyo State returned to the front burner. The Bishop of Oke Ogun Anglican Diocese, Rev. Solomon Amusan urged the people to remain committed to the demand. Rev. Amusan urged the people to build a new palace in honour of Oba Odugade. He spoke at the Oba’s Monatan Palace at the thanksgiving service marking the Oba’s 99th birthday. The cleric said the people have a lot to do to ensure the creation of Ibadan State. He said: “I urge sons and daughters of Ibadan to take the

•ARG chief Wale Oshun

restate again that the time is NOW, unless we are all waiting for the death wish predicted by the United States intelligence agencies a couple of years back to come to pass.

Survey rates Zenith most Customer-Focused bank

ENITH Bank Plc. has emerged the Most Customer-Focused Bank in Nigeria. In a declaration by KPMG in its 2013 Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS), Zenith Bank’s best-inclass service delivery was ranked the topmost in both the retail and corporate banking categories on the basis of a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) which took into account key factors such as, Convenience, Product/Service Offering, Transaction Methods and Systems, Pricing and Customer Care. The survey covered more than 14,000 retail customers, 3,000 SMEs and 400 corporate/commercial organisations across Nigeria. The retail customers surveyed mentioned excellent customer service (35%), financial stability (26%), image and reputation (11%), employer requirements (10-%) and proximity of branches (10%) as their top reasons for maintaining banking relationships. On the other hand, the corporate/commercial organisations mentioned excellent service (29%), financial stability (27%), image and reputation (8%), banking support of business (7%) and efficiency of credit •From left: Oba Odugade; Olori Moriyike; Bishop Wale Oke of the Sword of the Spirit Ministry and Bishop of Okeogun the processing (8%) as the top reasons Right Rev. Amusan ...yesterday. for maintaining banking relationships. In the current edition of the survey, KPMG introduced a survey to understand the perception of young professionals on how they intend to interact with their banks in the future – about 50% preferred not to visit a branch. This fits into Zenith bank’s current disposition as a leading technological advanced financial services provider in Nigeria. Last week, Zenith Bank consolidated its position in Nigeria’s banking industry with an impressive operating result that indicated excellent performance in all parameters and gives credence to an increasing market share and acceptance of the brand by the Nigerian and international banking public. The result confirms Zenith’s leadership position in the industry as it became the first From left: Oba Odugade; Aare Arisekola-Alao and Olubadan’s son, Prof. Lana ...yesterday. to cross the N100 billion Profit After Tax mark in a financial year. Evidently, Zenith Bank places struggle for the creation of The Bishop of Ibadan Dio- Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola high premium on Exceptional Ibadan State seriously. The From Augustine Ehikioya, cese Anglican Communion, Rt. Alao; Chief Lekan Balogun; Service Delivery in its drive to creation of Ibadan State is long Abuja and Oseheye Rev. Segun Okubadejo, who Chief Eddy Oyewole; Chief consistently exceed customer exOkwuofu, Ibadan overdue and we should do all prayed for the monarch and Lekan Alabi; Chief Tunde pectations and the bank’s well arwithin our capacity to bring it he stood for, know that the fact Ibadanland, said Ibadan has Aboderin; Olubadan’s chil- ticulated strategy to meet and surto reality. “The people of Ibadan that he is alive at 99 is the grace witnessed remarkable devel- dren; Prof. Lana and Mrs. Sade pass customer expectations has opment under Oba Odugade. Bankole. continued to pay-off hugely. should rally round to build a of God. The Central Council of With its clear understanding of Dignitaries at the occasion “The Olubadan is a straightbefitting palace for the Olubadan. This will be a great forward, disciplined, honest included Bishop Wale Oke of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) pre- its market and environment, the mark of honour. Those of us and trustworthy person. He is the Sword of Spirit Ministry; sented the 99th anniversary bank is well positioned to conwho know what the Olubadan a man of extreme immunity Right Rev Amusan, the Aare cake and gifts to the Oba tinue to create value for its teemMusulumi of Yorubaland, Odugade. ing customers. has passed through and what and a student of the Bible.”

Fed Govt to support Olubadan’s 100th year •Jonathan greets monarch at 99 •Cleric seeks Ibadan State

festation of a terminally diseased nation state. “We are of the view that the Boko Haram insurgency should not be treated in isolation from the other outstanding issues that are begging for solution. By all means, Boko Haram is challenging the rest of us and giving assent to what needs to be done urgently, as regards the unresolved national questions tugging at us everyday, and impeding our match to greatness. For instance, we in Yorubaland are very clear about the damage that the current Nigerian structure is doing to our quest for development, and we seek a change. “The current scenario only reinforces our time-honoured call for a national dialogue. There is no better time than now to convoke a national conference where all the challenges facing Nigeria will be put on the table, discussed and resolved once and for all. We

‘Oba Odulana has used his immense experience, knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of his people since he assumed the ancient throne’




CITYBEATS Deportee attacked by robbers, 'rejected' by employer

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

•We're not liable, says company


IS world came crashing like a pack of cards. He was ambitious, but everything ended when he lost his arm while fighting off robbers trying to snatch his employer’s money. Tajudeen Komolafe was a salesman with a tobacco marketing firm, Intermarket Distribution Company Limited, when fate dealt him a cruel blow on July 20, 2005. His left hand can no longer yield to his command. He tried a few exercises by lifting the hand, but it remained numb. After a few more trials yesterday, he got frustrated. "This is useless," he sighed, adding pitiably: "I can't use this hand anymore." In 1998, in his search for greener pastures, he left for Libya, through the Sahara Desert. "Many people died on the way but I was one of the few who made it to Libya," he said. Following a revolt in 2000, he was deported and for the next one year, he was in small-scale business. Luck smiled on him in 2002 when Intermarket hired him as a motorcycle sales representative. His work involved selling the products of British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), the largest tobacco company, in the country. "I started out on a N5,000 monthly salary and by 2005, I was earning N14,500. I was diligent and even got some awards. I had plans to resign at the end of July, 2005, but I had an accident on July 20, which changed that entire plan," he said. According to Komolafe, he was returning from his sales round when he was accosted by two men on a bike, who demanded that he surrendered the sales proceeds. He refused and in the ensuing struggle, he was injured; his left hand got broken. A Good Samaritan took him to Mount Sinai Hospital being used by Intermarket where doctors said he suffered severe fracture. His hand had lost its vital vein and was to be amputated. When asked why he didn't just surrender the money and bike to the robbers instead of endangering his life, he replied: "Intermarket is very strict; they don't joke with their money. They might say I colluded with the

‘I cannot afford the bills for their (his children’s) school uniforms and other things; so, they have been at home for two terms now ... even my wife is tired. We have eaten into her petty sales and if the situation continues, she will have nothing to sell. I am desperate to have this hand operated on’

By Seun Akioye

robbers; so I decided to fight for the money - N168, 000." He refused to have his hand amputated, preferring to undergo the slow but painful treatment. That treatment lasted two years and when he returned in 2008, he could not resume as a sales representative because his left hand was already paralysed. "I told the company that I could not work and that I should be given N1 million as compensation to travel abroad to treat the hand. They refused and told me that even those who died did not get that much. Thereafter, they promised to take care of my hand and I was reassigned as cashier," Komolafe said. A January 15, 2008 letter of promotion indicated that his salary had also been increased to N15,500 per month. But Komolafe alleged that others were earning much more and when he asked why he earned less, he said was told the balance would go into paying for his medical expenses. Trouble started, however, in Sep-


tember last year when he resigned and demanded his medical funds which was refused. Instead, a 10month salary was paid him as gratuity. Shocked at the turn of events, he went to the Lagos State Public Advice Centre (PAC), which wrote to Intermarket on October 3, last year. However, the issues got more curious when Intermarket replied the letter on November 1, last year. In a letter entitled: 'Re: Compensation for Tajudeen Komolafe,' the tobacco marketers averred: "With respect to Paragraph 2 of your letter under reference, we vehemently deny that whilst in our employment, Mr.

Komolafe suffered any permanent/ total injury or disability whether to his left hand or any part of his body." The company said the provisions of the Employee Compensation Act of 2010 would not be applicable in his case as the event happened five years before the law came into operation. "In any event, we deny we are liable to pay Mr. Komolafe any compensation because he did not suffer any permanent/total injury of disability to his left hand as you have alleged and he voluntarily absolved the company from all responsibility when he tendered his resignation and same was accepted." Enraged by the firm’s position, Komolafe got a doctor's report from Mount Sinai Hospital which proved that Intermarket had been economical with the truth. On January 15, PAC transferred the case to the Directorate for Citizens Rights which has contacted the company on February 11. "Since then, I have not heard from Intermarket. My situation is getting desperate. I have missed lots of job opportunities because of this handicap. I trained as a plumber but I cannot work in that line again," Komolafe said. With the burden of caring for six children, Komolafe is at his wits end. "I am frustrated because of this hand. I hide it everywhere because it is very embarrassing. Every day I suffer acute

body pains because I have to concentrate all work on the right hand which is very strenuous." But that is the least of his troubles. Last month, his landlord reportedly gave him some beating because he failed to pay up his rent. Four of his children were withdrawn from private schools and taken to government-owned schools. "Even at that, I cannot afford the bills for their school uniforms and other things; so, they have been at home for two terms now," he said, adding: "Even my wife is tired. We have eaten into her petty sales and if the situation continues, she will have nothing to sell. I am desperate to have this hand operated on. There is a hospital in Germany that can fix it and that is why I am appealing for compensation from the company I served and in whose employment I became disabled." Contacted the Regional Human Relations Manager of Intermarket Tina Nwosu, said: "Please call me back; I can direct you to the Legal Services Department." After repeated calls, she promised to talk later. One of the Komolafe's children Olamilekan, a seven-year-old Primary Three pupil, stood at a corner of his mother’s shop at Oyingbo, Lagos Mainland, yesterday, dressed in his underpants. "We usually lock ourselves inside the house when other children go to school. I would always ask my father when we would resume school because every day I get ashamed."

Three die in Ogun road crashes


•Some women at Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Ijegun, Lagos, celebrating Mothers Day yesterday

HREE persons were yesterday killed in two separate auto crashes on AbeokutaSagamu and Papalantoro-Ilaro Roads in Ogun State. Confirming the incidents, the Itori Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Fatai Bakare, said both accidents happened early yesterday. He said: "Two persons died on Papalantoro-Ilaro Road when a Nissan car marked LND 121 BH lost control and rammed into a

commercial motorbike, killing the rider and his passenger. "But only one person died in the Abeokuta-Sagamu accident when two articulated vehicles marked XU 320 LND and LAGOS 777 FST had a headon collision around Lafarge Cement Company on the Expressway. All the victims were males and their bodies have been deposited at Ifo General Hospital. Four persons sustained different degrees of injuries in both accidents, including the driver of the car. They have been taken to a hospital for treatment."




CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Lagoon accident victim's body recovered

‘Affordable homes ready in Lagos’


AGOS State Government has assured residents that the government is committed to the various housing schemes that would make homes affordable for the masses in the state. Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje, gave the assurance while briefing reporters at a ministerial briefing to herald the 6th year of Governor Babatunde Fashola-led administration in the state. Jeje also dismissed the rumour making round that the government has fixed prices for the various completed schemes, saying: "I don't know where the people are getting those information about the cost of the homes; I can tell you that no price has been fixed. As soon as a decision is taken on that, I will let the public know and I assure you that it will be something that will be within the reach of the people." He said that despite the direct construction of 242 blocks, consisting of 2,624 housing units in

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie and Miriam Ekene-Okoro

13 locations across the state through private sector participation and other agencies of the state, the state will continue the construction of houses for the masses. The commissioner also explained that the ministry was considering upgrading bungalows to high-rise buildings in some areas, promising that most of the units were being constructed with consideration for civil servants and other low income-earning Lagosians. On the demolition in Ijora, Jeje explained that most of the structures demolished were shanties, pointing out that it is only the Ojora family that has come up with their Title Deeds despite calls by governments to owners of properties with genuine Deeds to come with their claims of ownership. The commissioner revealed

government's plan to construct 1008 housing units at the site of the demolished shanties at Ijora Badia. He said the design for the proposed housing units at Ijora Badia was ready, adding that it is an improvement on the existing Lagos Home Ownership Scheme (LagosHOMS) project which has 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats in a multiple storey buildings. Jeje further revealed that during the year under review, 300 Title Deeds were allocated to beneficiaries, thus enabling them to take the economic advantage of using them as collateral for loans in financial institutions. He said the state government had issued 300 Deed of sub-leases to beneficiaries of government housing schemes. He said the Ministry had finally prepared the layout plan for LagosHOMS Estates at Igbogbo IIB, Gbagada IIB,



Ajara, Badagry, IponriSurulere, Shogunro II and Shitta housing estates to ensure a well organised and salutary environment within the housing estates. The commissioner said about 500 units of 1, 2 and 3bedroom flats in the LagosHOMS had been developed, adding that the ministry and its agencies would continue to build more houses before commissioning and selling to the public at the appropriate time.

Osun community seeks monarch


INGMAKERS in Iwo, Osun State, have been cautioned against “undue delay” in selecting a new traditional ruler following the death of the immediate past monarch, Oba Ashiru Olatunbosun Tesere, in February. The monarch was buried immediately according to Islamic rites after which contenders from various royal families declared their intention to occupy the vacant stool. Addressing reporters in Iwo yesterday, the umbrella body of all Islamic groups in the town

under the aegis of Joint Muslim Action Forum (JOMAF), expressed the need for the kingmakers to fast-track the selection, appointment and installation of a new monarch for the town. JOMAF's coordinator, Mallam Hadiyatullah Abdurasaq, explained that indigenes of the town couldn't afford to wait for too long without a traditional ruler. He recalled that it had happened in the past when the Oluwo stool was vacant for over 10 years, resulting in retrogression.

He commended the manner in which the royal families were conducting themselves without rancour. The JOMAF leader noted that the group was only interested in peaceful transition that would produce a new monarch for the ancient town. He said: "We call on the kingmakers and the state government to implement the existing gazette to avoid chaos in the process of selection and appointment of new Oluwo as failure to do so will be very dangerous. "We urge the kingmakers

Bauchi needs N50bn to provide water


AUCHI State Government needs about N50 billion to adequately provide water for residents of Bauchi, the state capital and its environs, its Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Sani Mohammed Burra, announced yesterday. The state government also appealed to the residents to exercise patience over the water shortage in the state, particularly those in Bauchi metropolis and its environs, “as the government is concerned about the unfortunate situation''. Burra, who addressed a press conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, with Engr. Mohammed Damina, the state Commissioner for Information, assured that the Isa Yugudaled administration was working round the clock to address the

By Austine Tsenzughul Bauchi

problem of water scarcity and ensure adequate water supply in the interest of the people. He attributed what is being described as acute shortage of water in most parts of the state capital to the rusty nature of pipes whose life-span had expired, adding that some of the pipes had worn out. The commissioner, however, revealed that ''the state government has purchased new pipes that would help pump adequate water into the metropolis and a new system of reticulation is being designed, besides arrangement with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for the supply of adequate power to improve water supply to the Wa-

ter Works in the state. According to Burra, Yuguda had already approved the purchase of additional diesel and other lubricants to ensure that the generators pump enough water to the over-head tanks for domestic consumption. Besides the old age of the equipment including pipes, Burra noted that the recent increase in the state capital's population and its environs had further increased water consumption. As a panacea to the current shortage and long term planning, engineers are undertaking a comprehensive study of communities within and outside the state capital to access water demands and to fix faulty pipes for improved water supply.

Fire guts National Population Commission’s Lagos office


HE Lagos State Fire Services Department yesterday announced that there was a fire outbreak at the National Population Commission (NPC’s), Lagos Office on Babs Animashaun Street, Surulere. The Director of the establishment in the state, Mr Rasaq Fadipe, confirmed the incident. Fadipe said the fire engulfed a

building housing Ballot Boxes belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), at about 3.15 p.m. He explained that fire fighters and fire engines from Fire Service Departments in Isolo, Ilupeju and Sari-Iganmu, battled to contain the inferno. “The spill-over from the fire affected a nearby building, but

the fire-fighters were able to bring the situation under control shortly after their arrival. “Our men also battled to bring the fire in the building housing the ballot boxes under control,’’ he said. Fadipe, however, added that there was no causality as at the time of filing the report. (NAN)

Four feared killed as building collapses


O fewer than four persons were feared dead and three others injured in a building collapse in Moboreje, Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State, last Friday.

Sources said occupants of the dilapidated house were taking fresh air outside when the tragedy occurred. After the incident, the victims, it was learnt, were rushed to the Ladoke Akintola Univer-

sity of Technology Teaching Hospital (LAUTTH), Osogbo, the state capital, where four of them were confirmed dead. Three critically injured others were reportedly receiving treatment.

to quickly address issues that may be causing delay in the selection and appointment of new Oluwo and to carry out this assignment with dispatch, wisdom and sincerity in the best interest of growth and rapid development of this town." The group also said Prince Abdul-Azzez Inaolaji Adio "stands out among all the contenders and that he is qualified to be the next Oluwo, considering his pedigree and antecedents."

AGOS State Government has recovered the body of an occupant of a Hilux van that plunged into Majidun River in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, on Saturday. The General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, told reporters yesterday, that one person was in the vehicle when the accident occurred. He said four workers of

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

Ikoyi Club left their office that morning in the vehicle, adding that three of them alighted at Palmgrove bus stop while the deceased, who was Ikorodubound, remained in the vehicle until the accident occurred. He said the victim’s remains had been deposited in a mortuary. The deceased was said to have driven the vehicle marked KSF 918 AU belonging to Ikoyi Club.

Gains of Easter Carnival


HE just-concluded Lagos Black Heritage Festival and Easter Carnival had significant impact on the state’s economy, the Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Ralations, Mr Disun Holloway, has said. Holloway, who expressed satisfaction with the success of the carnival, said the state government hoped to sustain the momentum. The carnival, he added, provided an avenue for people to make good use of local materials in producing various items for display during the carnival. According to him, in the last three years, over 36,000 groups had participated in the carnival with an estimated audience of about two million residents at the TBS, including tourists from abroad. Holloway noted that the carnival had also accorded the state the benefit of appearing on the global map of major entertainment events during the Easter celebrations. On the economic benefit of

•Holloway By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

the carnival, the commissioner said many participants smiled to the bank, adding that there were over 500,000 fun seekers at the venue of the exercise. CHANGE OF NAME OSARA I, formerly known as MISS ESELE AMELIA OSARA, wish to be known as MRS ESELE AMELIA OLOGUNDE, following my marriage at The Annunciation Catholic Church, Eguare, Irrua, Edo state on Saturday 3rd December, 2011. All documents bearing my former name remain valid. The public should please take note.



NEWS Over 1m Nigerians’ blindness linked to cataract From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


CONSULTANT opthalmologist at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital LAUTECHTH, Osogbo, Osun State, Dr. Josephine Ubah, has linked over a million cases of blind in Nigeria to cataract. She said the figure represents 43 per cent of those blindness in the country. Dr. Ubah spoke at a lecture entitled: Cataract Blindness, Reaching the Unreached, delivered at the fifth annual scientific conference of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN), Osun State chapter. She noted that cataract remained the leading cause of blindness, adding that unlike blindness caused by infectious diseases, that from cataract cannot be eliminated. According to her, the disease is treatable with new technology. Dr Ubah said several people carried the disease for long because of poverty, lack of awareness, the bureaucracy of the referral system and some other frustrating factors. To reduce its effect on Nigerians, the expert advocated a reduction in the cost of surgery, and health education through the media. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Temitope Ilori, who declared the conference open, assured of the state government’s commitment to end blindness in Osun State. She said over 4,000 people had benefited from the free cataract surgery programme, adding that while some 5,000 has got eye glasses, with eye mission on cataract extraction would be launched soon in the state of Osun. The Chief Medical Director, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof. Solomon Olufemi Fadiora, hailed OSN for reducing blindness in the country. He said the annual conference was a forum for educating Nigerians on how to overcome cataract-induced blindness. OSN Chairman Dr. Adenike Adeoye, who was represented by Prof. Caroline Adeoti, said the society partnered the Osun State Government to provide free cataract surgical services in Osogbo, Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Iwo and Ila.

Zuma to visit Nigeria on Tuesday


OUTH African President Jacob Zuma is expected to visit Nigeria tomorrow, an official said yesterday. Mr Sonni Yusuf, the Nigerian High Commissioner in South Africa, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Pretoria, that the visit would strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Yusuf said: “Yes, I can confirm to you that President Zuma will be paying a oneday official visit to Nigeria on Tuesday, April 16. “All the required visas have been issued to all the members of his delegation. “I must say it is an official visit and not a state visit.’’ He said Zuma and his Nigerian counterpart would discuss and consult on regional and continental issues during the visit.


NCC unveils five-year strategic plan

HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the weekend in Abuja unveiled a new fiveyear strategic management plan (SMP). The plan would drive the telecoms regulatory mandate of the commission from this year till 2017. The NCC also said it was fine-tuning its mission, to support a market-driven communications industry, promote universal access and position NCC as a responsive world-class communications regulatory organisation. The formal unveiling of the plan by NCC’s Executive Vice-Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah, was the culmination of over-12 months of industry consultations managed

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

by Price Water-House Coopers (PWC) with input from industry stakeholders and the commission’s workers. Dr. Juwah presided over the presentation of the plan before he handed it over to the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Okechukwu Itanyi. The NCC Vice-Chairman said the new plan would be the roadmap for the commission’s future tasks, taking into consideration the current and emerging trends in the industry and the expectations of the industry’s diverse stakeholders. He said the SMP document

would be consulted regularly to ensure that the commission achieves its objectives. Dr Juwah said: “A robust SMP like ours has many purposes, such as ensuring the alignment of the day-to-day work to the commission’s strategy; prioritising programmes and projects to achieve NCC’s goals and objectives; ensuring optimal use of NCC’s recourses; providing objective basis for performance monitoring and management, as well as meeting the commission’s vision and mission.” The commission said its renewed mission is based on how to “support a marketdriven communications industry and promote univer-

sal access” while its vision is “to be a responsive worldclass communications regulatory organisation”. NCC’s Director of Public Affairs Tony Ojobo said the vision and mission were predicated on the dynamics of the industry today. He said the new mission was designed to support a marketdriven communications industry and promote universal access. According to him, this is because the industry is taking a new direction, especially in the convergence and broadband Internet services, for the provising quality access to end users. On the new vision, which is based on a responsive com-

munications industry regulator, ojobo said this would enable the NCC to quickly respond to the dynamics of the industry for optimum delivery to all its stakeholders. The NCC spokesman noted that the overarching principle behind the new mission and vision was “to promote an information-rich environment that can compete globally through the provision of quality communications service”. The Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy Ms. Funlola Akiode said the journey to produce the SMP was arduous but worth the while. She hailed NCC workers and other stakeholders for their contributions to the success of the document.

SSANU prepares for strike From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan


•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun welcoming the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Chris Cooter, to the Government House, Abeokuta... yesterday


Boko Haram: Jonathan’s govt has failed, says Fani-Kayode

FORMER Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has said the Goodluck Jonathan administration has failed to protect the lives and property of Nigerians in the last two years. Fani-Kayode said the most glaring of the failure is in the administration inability to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency in the North, where over 4,000 persons have been killed and scores of others injured and several property destroyed. Also, the President of the National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America, Yeye Afin Monilola Tenabe, yesterday said the concern of ethnic associations in America about the threat by the Boko Haram sect to peace has compelled the association and other Nigerian ethnic associations in the US to take up the issue with the State Department. She said her group, Egbe Omo Yoruba (North America), with the Igbo Congress as well as Zumuntal, which represents the North, have dialogued with the State Department on “what can be done to ensure the safety of our people and the country”. She added: “They (US State Department) assured us of their assistance. So, we are working with them so that they can work with the Federal Government.” The former minister in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration addressed reporters at the weekend at the Ikenne, Ogun State home of late Chief

•Yoruba in Diaspora meet with US State Dept on security From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta and Oziegbe Okoeki

Obafemi Awolowo. He was in company of former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to commiserate with the matriarch of Awolowo family, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo on the death of her son and Nigerian Tribune publisher, Evangelist Oluwole Awolowo. He expressed displeasure over the lackadaisical attitude of the Jonathan administration in handling the Boko Haram insurgency. According to him, the sect has killed about 4,200 Nigerians in the last two years. Fani-Kayode said: “One of the main reasons this government has not only proved itself incompetent or acting irresponsible is the fact that 4,200 people have been killed in the last two years by this Islamist rebellion group. “I have lived in the North for 10 years. I do not owe any apology to people that make it a business the killing of others in the name of their religious faith; impose their faith on others, both Christians and Muslims. “As far as I am concerned, this government has failed. It is a matter of law and order

to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. About 4,200 in a spate of two years is a record outside a civil war. “It has never happened since 1914, apart from 1960 when 4,200 Nigerians were slaughtered like chickens and goats by one terrorist organisation in the spate of two years. That is a record and legacy of this government, as far as I am concerned.” The former minister wondered why the Federal Government was planning to grant amnesty to the sect, when it could used its might to bring the sect’s members to their knees in a “battle-tofinish” approach. He urged the President to fight members of the sect on all fronts. Fani-Kayode said: “The government should rise up to the occasion by doing the right thing and stop the issue of amnesty. It should show strength. It is an insult on the souls of the thousands that have been killed for the Presidency to be considering an amnesty to the Boko Haram sect. “I identify with the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) president and many well-meaning Nigerians: there should be no discussion, no amnesty and nothing for Boko Haram. The only thing the government

should consider is to send them (Boko Haram members) back to hell, where they come from.” Mrs Tenabe addressed reporters at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, on the aims and objectives of her association’s visit to the Southwest. According to her, the nonpartisan association, is carrying on with its progressive agenda for the Southwest in line with the vision of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. She said: “We want to speak with the Yoruba that they need to move together, that we all need to cooperate in all aspects of development to make it easier for our people to interact, to come and go more easily. We, the Yoruba in the Diaspora, have the expertise and all the things we can bring back to help in developing the Southwest. We want to partner state governments to bring development to the Southwest.” Mrs Tenabe said the association believes in true federalism and that it was pursuing a Yoruba agenda aimed at “moving forward and caring for the Yoruba people and Southwest”. She said her group hoped to also partner the private sector, especially in creating jobs for the teaming unemployed youths in the region.

HE National Executive Council (NEC) of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) has mandated its leadership to declare a nationwide strike in universities, if their meeting with the Federal Government on Friday fails to address their demands. The university workers are agitating for the payment of Earned Allowance and rejection of the NEEDS Assessment Report in the university system. SSANU President, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, addressed reporters after the NEC meeting at the weekend at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State. He said varsity workers would begin the strike if, after its meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on Friday, the government fails to address the issues and others, such as the Payroll and Personnel Information System. He said the varsity workers may be forced to embark on another protracted nationwide strike because other unions in the universities - the National Association of Academic Technology (NAAT) and the NonAcademic Staff of Universities and other allied institution (NASU) - under the Joint Action Committee (JAC), have also secured the same mandate from their members to begin a strike on the issues. Ugwoke said the unions delayed the strike because of the intervention of the House of Representatives, which advised that the Executive should raise a Supplementary Budget to cover the payment of Earned Allowance. The union leader regretted that despite various meetings, dialogue and discussions under the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) in the last two years and government’s promises, the money for the payment was not captured in this year’s budget. According to him, this is an affront on the workers, the unions and their leadership. Ugwoke said: “All the unions at JAC, SSANU, NASU and NAAT were together at a meeting on the invitation of House Committee on Education. The committee invited us and there was a motion of urgent importance, moved by Alhaji Bashir of Ngogo Federal Constituency in Kano on the looming strike in the university sector due to non-payment of Earned Allowance, among others...”






My deputy was not a spare tyre, says Fayemi •Sanusi, others condole with governor KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has Tinubu eulogises Olayinka said his late deputy,


Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, was not a spare tyre. He spoke yesterday at the Government House in AdoEkiti, the state capital, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and top officials of the bank paid him a condolence visit. Others on Sanusi’s entourage were CBN Deputy Governor (Corporate Services) Alhaji Sulaimon Barau; a CBN Director, Alhaji Abdullahi; CBN Controller, Akure branch, Mrs. Ramat Yusuf and her Ado-Ekiti counterpart, Mr. Adetona Adedeji. Fayemi said his late deputy was central to the state’s economic development, having chaired its Economic Management Committee and supervised four key ministries. He said Mrs. Olayinka was not a “spare tyre” that could easily be replaced, in view of her outstanding contributions to the government. Fayemi said the number of Nigerians who have come to the state on condolence visits spoke volumes about her “excellent service to humanity”. Sanusi, who also visited the deceased’s parents, said he worked with the late Mrs. Olayinka in the banking industry in the 1990s; describing her as “a highly resourceful professional, patriotic and woman of integrity”. He said he was sure Fayemi found her as a right hand person, “considering the level of transformation Ekiti has witnessed under the current administration”. Sanusi said: “I know Funmi very well. She was a remarkably beautiful woman, whose


ENATOR Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central District) has described the late Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, as a sister, who never compromised her deep commitment to progressive ideals. In a statement yesterday, Senator Tinubu said the last time she visited the deceased, her (Mrs. Olayinka’s) strength and prayerful disposition gave her hope. She described her demise as a big loss to Nigerian women. Senator Tinubu said: “News of her death gives one a heavy heart. My heart goes to her aged parents, husband and children, as well as the Ekiti State Governor, his wife, the people of Ekiti State and many others, who feel the grief of this irreparable loss. “The late Mrs. Olayinka led a productive and focused life. Her advocacy for women’s rights, social justice and genuine development marked her out as a true progressive. “Beyond that, she was such a sweet, gentle soul, who ardently believed that we can reform our society for the common good. I believe her gentle soul is now resting in the bosom of the Lord. May God strengthen those she left behind.” From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

beauty radiates from within. She was a woman of quality. She stood for high standards and I am sure she brought that to bear on her assignment here in Ekiti. I know the two of you had a good working relationship, which reflects in the transformation that has taken place in the state. You are really going to miss her.” The CBN governor, who was billed to travel for the IMF/ World Bank Conference last night, said he decided to visit the governor and the parents of the deceased before travelling. Sanusi said CBN would continue to support the administration in its quest for growth. The former Senator representing Ekiti North, Ayo Arise, described the late Mrs. Olayinka as a good ambassador of the state. Arise, who visited the governor yesterday, said the late Olayinka displayed the Ekiti values everywhere she went.

He said his visit to the governor means that Ekiti people are one, regardless of their political affiliation, adding that whatever happens to one is borne by others.

•Fayemi and the Chairman of the Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, during Dangote’s condolence visit to the governor... at the weekend.

•The widower, Mr. Lanre Olayinka and Osun State Deputy Governor Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori during the latter’s condolence visit to the family in Lagos...on Thursday.

•Fayemi flanked by Sanusi (right) and Barau... yesterday.

Boroffice heads Ondo APC merger committee


HE merger committee of the new mega party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), was yesterday constituted in Ondo State. The committee, which was constituted in Akure, the state capital, is headed by Senator Ajayi Borrofice (Ondo North District). Boroffice will be assisted by a federal lawmaker, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde (Akure South/North Federal Constituency).

The committee said members from the parties involved in the merger will be announced soon. It said there will be three representatives from each party. Eleven parties have indicated their interest to be part of the merger in the state. Borrofice said it is necessary for all components in the merger to begin to interact and get to know one another. He said this would make

the merger easier and without rancour. Borrofice described APC as a timely intervention to alleviate the pains of the masses. He said Nigerians want the party and the will of the people must prevail. Abegunde said APC would unseat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the centre of power. The meeting was attended by members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),

Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Also present were Prof. Olu Aderomu, Prince Olu Adegbenro, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, Mr. Sehinde Akinbuwa, Mr. Ajanaku Benjamen, Mr. Femi Adekanbi, former Ondo Chief of Staff Mr. Foluso Aminu and former Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs Mr. Diran Iyantan.


HE Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing) has petitioned the National Hajj Commission on the alleged unfair and indiscriminate allocation formula to the state. The board requested a review of the allocation formula to reflect the Muslim population of each state in the federation. Its Chairman, Alhaji Taofeek Akeugberu, Akeugba-Gold, and Secretary Alhaji Kunle Sani spoke at the board’s office in Ibadan, the state capital, at the weekend. They said

Ogun spends N3b on Millennium Development Goals


HE Ogun State Government has spent about N3 billion on projects and programmes aimed at attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations (UN). The Special Adviser to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on MDGs, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, said the amount was spent on health, education and sanitation schemes. She said half of the money was provided by the Federal Government. Speaking in Abeokuta, the state capital, Mrs. Abiola-

Costello said the projects implemented include the construction of sanitation facilities in selected primary schools and Primary Health Centres (PHCs), construction of solar-powered boreholes and the distribution of mosquito insecticide nets through PHCs across the state. Others are the equipping of PHCs as well as the training of PHC and local government workers and state planning officers. The MDGs, she explained, refer to the eight goals aimed at alleviating poverty. They were set by the UN and agreed to by 190 coun-

tries, including Nigeria, in 2000. To meet the goals, she said the Federal Government initiated the Conditional Grant Scheme, through which funds secured from the debt relief granted to Nigeria by the Paris Club in 2005 are channelled to collaborating states and local governments. On how the eight goals are being pursued in Ogun State, Mrs. Abiola-Costello said in the health sector, the government has focused on goals four, five and six, which are reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, ma-

laria and other diseases. On education, she said the government is successfully implementing the Universal Basic Education (UBE), which is goal two, while its efforts at ensuring environmental sustainability is in line with goal seven, which focuses on sanitation. An innovation by the state government, she added, is the use of Conditional Cash Transfers to motivate poor expectant mothers to access the health facilities for antenatal care under a scheme called Gbomoro. Mrs. Abiola-Costello said the impact of the project, tar-

geted at 5,000 expectant mothers, is already being felt. She said: “On March 26, just before the 1,000 days to the 2015 target date set for the attainment of the MDGs, a poor woman in Abeokuta South Local Government was delivered of a baby girl through caesarian section,which was paid for through this scheme. Such was the gratitude of the parents that the baby was named Ibikunle, after the governor. “This story illustrates effectively the progress Ogun State is making toward fulfilling the MDGs. Ogun State is surely putting the people first.”

Oyo protests Hajj allocation From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

the allocation to Oyo State “is grossly inadequate”. Akeugba-Gold said: “We crave a review of the allocation formula because the Muslim population of Oyo State is more than the total population of so many states in the country. “As at the last census, Oyo had about six million people and 3.6 million of them are Muslims, whereas the population of Kwara State is 2.5 million. “A situation where some states that have a far less population are given more allocation than Oyo is unacceptable. They should review the current allocation formula for Hajj operations and rectify the anomaly.” He said the situation has caused much disaffection among states, adding that Oyo is not the only state “affected by the injustice”. Akeugba-Gold said Oyo State is always the first to pay up every year, adding that the board has started distributing forms to intending pilgrims with biometric registration as directed by the National Hajj Commission.




Dangote, Akinrinade, Falana, others mourn Ekiti Deputy Governor T

HE Chairman of the Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, at the weekend visited Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi at the Government House in AdoEkiti, the state capital, to commiserate with him on the death of his deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka. Dangote described Mrs. Olayinka’s death as “a great loss” to the country. Former Chief of Defence Staff Lt.-Gen. Alani Akinrinade; SenatorAjayi Boroffice (Ondo North); members of the Ekiti State Caucus of the House of Representatives and Lagos lawyer Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) also visited the governor. Members of the Ekiti Caucus of the House of Representatives include Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, Mr. Bimbo Daramola, Chief Robinson Ajiboye, Dr. Ife Arowosoge and Mr. Bamidele Faparusi. Dangote said: “It is a great loss and all of us will die at God’s appointed time. We pray for the repose of her soul and urge her family to take it easy. She has served the people and state well. She has served you (Fayemi) well.” In the condolence register, Akinrinade wrote: “You hardly let us know that you were going through so much pain. You were always cheerful and diligent in your contributions to our struggle. We are all grateful to have had you with us. May your gentle

We are not mourning her; we are celebrat‘ing her. She and the governor transformed Ekiti State from the land of brigandage to the land of honour. By Joseph Jibueze

soul rest in peace.” Boroffice said the late Mrs. Olayinka made remarkable impact within her short time in politics and added value to governance. He said she emerged on the scene at a time when there were few women in politics and made a difference. In the register, Boroffice wrote: “It is my belief that our great sister has been transformed from mortality to immortality. The legacy she left behind will continue to inspire us to give more to our people.” Bamidele, who spoke on behalf of the Ekiti Caucus, said: “The Ekiti State Government, under your leadership, did its best to keep her alive. There is little we can do other than to accept this as a reality of life. “May God grant you the fortitude to bear this loss and give you the grace and wisdom to fill the vacuum that has just been created.” Falana said the late Mrs. Olayinka emerged a leader through hard work and “conducted herself with grace and sartorial elegance”. He said she told him to be

Why Southwest is peaceful, by Ondo Army chief From Leke Akeredolu, Akure


HE upgrading of the Akure-Owena Barracks to Brigade has prevented Boko Haram activities from spreading to the Southwest, the Commandant, 32 Artillery Brigade and Garrison, Akure, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan Ali, said at the weekend. He said since Ondo State is the gateway to all regions in the country, the military camp has particularly guaranteed peace in the Southwest. Ali spoke with reporters in Akure, the state capital, on activities marking the one year anniversary of the Brigade. He said road blocks manned by the Brigade on all entrance points into the state to check vehicles to-and-fro Ondo has prevented Boko Haram members from moving into the zone. Ali said the upgrade was part of the transformation agenda of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, to secure the nation. He said: “Sometime last year, Boko Haram members killed some Christians in Kogi State and Kogi is one of the neighbouring states to Ondo. It is just a few hours’ drive to Ondo. “Immediately the Kogi attack occurred, we mounted road blocks in all entrances into the state and conducted proper checks on vehicles coming into and going out of Ondo to ensure that Boko Haram has no place in the region. “The responsibility of the Brigade spreads to Ekiti State, where we have also mounted road blocks to check the activities of these criminals. Please, I want you to know that putting our men on the roads is not to intimidate citizens. Any of our men found assaulting, harassing or collecting money from the public will be punished severely.” Ali said the military’s presence on the roads has reduced robbery. He said: “Recently, our men arrested seven members of a robbery gang and handed them over to the police. There is a mutual relationship between us and other security agencies. Most times, we act as a security adviser to them. “I am also honoured because when we arrived, the state was about to have its governorship election. My men ensured that there was no crisis during and after the election. That is why no party at the Election Petition Tribunal is challenging the election result on the grounds of breach of peace.” Ali thanked the governors of Ekiti and Ondo state for supporting the Brigade.

free to criticise the government when necessary, adding that she took criticisms with grace and maturity. Falana said: “During my daughter’s wedding in Lagos, she made it, despite her critical health condition. She sang and danced vigorously. “She and the governor impressed me with their tenacity in the struggle to reclaim their mandate, and after their

inauguration, she urged me to remain critical of the administration. “We are not mourning her; we are celebrating her. She and the governor transformed Ekiti State from the land of brigandage to the land of honour.” Former Minister of Education Prof. Tunde Adeniran described the late Mrs. Olayinka as a conscientious and patriotic Nigerian, who

demonstrated great discipline, humility and loyalty in public service. He prayed God to console the family of the deceased and the people of Ekiti State. Fayemi thanked his visitors for their support, saying nobody can question God on the death of his deputy. He said: “This is a collective loss to all of us. We all share in the grief. It is a loss to our party, a loss to our state and a loss to all of us. “She put in her best. Even at the height of excruciating pain, she was ready to bear the pain of others. We cannot question God; he knows best. His plan is not our plan. “God knows why he took her away from us, away from the trials and temptations of this world. We shall miss her greatly.

•The late Mrs. Olayinka Former Military Governor of the old Rivers State, Air Vice-Marshall Ernest Adeleye (rtd) and the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Jide Adeniyi, also visited the governor.




Bakassi refugees resist relocation


HERE was confusion at the weekend when officials of Bakassi Local Government in Cross River State, led by the Chairman, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, attempted to relocate refugees, who were allegedly evicted from Cameroon, to the resettlement camp in Ekpri Ikang. Ekpri Ikang is in the new Bakassi Local Government, which was created by the House of Assembly in 2007. The refugees, who are camped in the primary school in Akwa Ikot Edem, Akpabuyo Local Government Area, were allegedly chased from their homes in Efut Obot Ikot community in the ceded Bakassi Peninsula on March 7 by Cameroonian gendarmes. They have been in the school since then. The government officials were chased away by the refugees, who said they were not moving, except to a place of proper resettlement in Dayspring. It was a pathetic sight. Women and children were wailing. Men were resisting the efforts of security operatives, who came with the council officials, to move them. The leader of the relocation team, Iyadim Iyadim, addressed the refugees, but some of them blocked the camp’s entrance. They alleged that the gesture was a move to take them back to a hostile environment, where they were driven out in 2010. Their leader, Asuquo Etim, said:

•Some of the women protesting their relocation From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

“We have said we are not going to Ekpri Ikang. We said so even when the deputy governor came here. “We are not going there because of the nature of that environment. We don’t like it. “The chairman came to force us to that place, but we told him we would not be able to go there be-

cause there we were attacked, robbed and even our women were raped.” Another refugee, Bassey Okon, said: “In 2008 after Bakassi was ceded, we were taken from one place to another; from Ikang primary school to the council headquarters. “After that they gave us N15,000


200 PDP members join ACN


VER 200 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo Central Senatorial District have joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). They were led by former PDP Leader in Esan North East Local Government, Peter Imafidan. Imafidan said they left the PDP because they want to identify with the development programmes of the ACN led-administration of

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Governor Adams Oshiomhole. They joined the ACN at a rally in Uromi. ACN leader in the district Joe Okojie thanked the defectors for identifying with a ‘good thing.’ He urged the people to show appreciation to the ACN by voting for all ACN candidates in the local government elections on Saturday.

750 housing units for Rivers From Bisi Olaniyi, Yenagoa


HE Rivers State Government has partnered TAF Nigeria Homes Limited to build 750 housing units in Port Harcourt, the state capital. The houses will be at the RIVTAF Golf Estate, end of Peter Odili Road in the Garden City. The government has 20 per cent share in RIVTAF, while the investor has 80 per cent. Managing Director of RIVTAF Nigeria Limited Mustapha Njie, a Gambian, recalled that a contract was signed with the government on November 7, last year. He said the units would comprise 608 apartments, 62 terrace/ town houses and 31 villas, as well as a golf course, tennis court, club house, restaurant, retail centre and other recreational facilities. Njie said: “In terms of equity, the government provides the land and that is where it ends. Everything else is provided by TAF Nigeria Homes Limited, including the management of the estate and sale of the housing units.”

to start life afresh. Imagine, I was given N15, 000 to cater for my family of five. “Later, they allocated the housing estate to us but one day they came and drove us out and re-allocated that same estate to people who were not refugees. “Due to the trauma, I went back to Bakassi Peninsula to see if I could

make ends meet, and the Cameroonians brutalised us and you are saying you want to take us back to Ikang again to torture us as was done some years ago. “We will not go to Ikang. We prefer to die here, if government would not resettle us in the place of our choice, which is Dayspring.”

Oshiomhole: I can’t rig council polls

Bayelsa, Poland sign MoU HE Bayelsa State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Navimor International Maritime Academy of Poland to establish a maritime academy in the state. Deputy Governor John Jonah, who represented Governor Seriake Dickson, signed on behalf of the state while Romuald Kinda signed for the Navimor International Maritime Academy. The ceremony, which was one of the highlights of the Poland/Nigeria Business Forum, was witnessed by the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk and Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga. The academy is expected to start operation next year and it will be the second in the Southsouth, the first being the Maritime Academy, Oron in Akwa Ibom State. Jonah said: “We are establishing the maritime academy that would have international touch and recognition.”


From Osagie Otabor, Benin



DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has dismissed allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the April 20 local government elections will be rigged in

favour of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Oshiomhole said the PDP was living in the past where election rigging and manipulation were the pervasive norms. The governor, who spoke through his Media Adviser, Kassim Afegbua, advised the PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, to accept the fact that the one- man-one-vote mantra has come to stay. He said Orbih was seeking media attention. The governor said he had gone on campaigns to woo people to vote for ACN candidates because he abhors rigging.

“How does one rationalise these wild allegations when Orbih and his co-travellers have decided not to go on any campaign to woo the voters to their side? “What common sense does one derive from such scenario where candidates refuse to campaign for elections and yet they expect to win in a state that has bought the one- man-onevote doctrine? “He does not need to seek attention from the media daily to remind his political godfathers that the “boys are working”. “We understand how painful and trying it could be for a politician to be out of job for five years, with-

out the usual profiteering patronage. “The comrade governor has decidedly gone on rigorous campaigns across the local governments to convince the electorate to return the ACN candidates. “Given the fact that Oshiomhole abhors rigging, these campaigns become unavoidable. “We expected similar energy from the opposition, rather than this blackmail and attention-seeking charade. “Orbih and his beleaguered members should learn to respect the governor, if not on account of his age, then on account of his position.”

Tension over detention of ACN candidate


HERE was tension yesterday in Fugar, Estako West Local Government of Edo State, following the detention of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in the April 20 local government elections, Emma Momoh. The lawmaker representing the constituency in the House of Assembly, Johnson Oghuma, yesterday blamed a politician in the Presidency

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

for the “harassment and intimidation of ACN supporters in the constituency”. Supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ACN clashed on Wednesday night and three people were killed in the ensuing fracas. Momoh was arrested immediately. Commissioner of Police

Foluso Adebanji said they were not acting on orders from anyone in the Presidency. When asked why the ACN candidate was taken to Abuja, Adebanji directed our reporter to call the Force Headquarters’ spokesman, Frank Mba, for further details. Oghuma said: “This is not the first time ACN supporters are being provoked, a PDP supporter known as

Akwa Ibom varsity to get N6.8b hostels


HE Akwa Ibom State Government has approved N6.8 billion for the construction of four 650 bed space hostel blocks for the State University. The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Aniekan Umanah, said the hostels would be built on the Ikot Akpaden and Obio Akpa campuses .

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

Umanah said Governor Godswill Akpabio has approved the development of a permanent site for the State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency, AK-RUWATSAN. The site, which is to be located at the industrial layout, will be built at a cost of N199.8million.

‘Agbabi’ drove a bus into an ACN campaign rally in Fugar, injuring three persons, which led to the fight. “The Commissioner of Police invited both the PDP and ACN candidates and later said he was taking Momoh to Benin. “We received a phone call that our candidate has been taken to Abuja. ”And since then we haven’t been able to reach him or know where he is. “In the last election ACN won with over 17,000 votes, so, we cannot be intimidated. “I don’t know why they run to Abuja all the time? Is there no law in Edo State? “What has our candidate done? He was not even around when the incident occurred. Is it a crime to be a candidate of the ACN?”
















CEOs and development (2) •How politicians work with banks and ministries to under-develop Nigeria


N the quest for a society of highprobity,Nigerianshave either turned a blind eye or have fallen prey to institutional ignorance about the connection between the political elite, the business class and government bureaucracies on the one hand, andthebankingeliteontheother. Unless we x-ray this maggoty part of our national narrative on corruption and attack it, we shall remain a nation of hypocrites. Sincethedawnofthisrepublicin 1999, the Federal Government has lofted as priority the significance of installing the rule of law. The idea is to trim our excesses as a people of impunity and establish discipline as a national habit. The establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) became the signpost of this grand ambition. But since then, we have seen appearances of gravity in this battle. Many big names among the political elite have been charged withfraud,whetherasgovernors orasministers.Thenewsinitially generates a lot of excitement, but after a few months, the story fizzlesintostagnationinthecourts. They crawl through several ad- •Mallam journments. Eventually they die in public either onthealtaroftechnicalitiesoroverthefrivolityof plea bargains. Wearealsonotunawarethatsomeofthecases thrivedonpoliticalblackmailasthegovernment of the day deployed the war on corruption as revengeorintimidation.Westillhavethattoday. IntheearlydaysoftheEFCCwhenthewaron corruption swung about in a berth of innocence, the anti-corruption czar, Nuhu Ribadu, swaggered on the image akin to a rock star. He had a messianic glow, even dwarfing any other nationalfigure,includingclerics,inmoralgrandeur. The arrest and conviction of an inspector-general of police helped to seal the public perception. We were ready to abide the contradiction that a supposedly thieving elite had institutionalised a mole in their midst to expose and root them out. It appeared in the form of a classic class suicide. In spite of all that, the Ribadu regime enjoyed declining, though acceptable, levels of public praise that ached with doubts and scrutiny. It was a measure of the political elite coming to terms with its own moral perfidy. It coalesced forces in the early days of the regime of former President Umaru Yar’Adua to oust Ribadu. The result has been a craven warfare with battles that came across less as blows than as handshakes between government institutions and the accused.

they are not bankers. They need co-conspirators, partners in felony. Wehavealsohadmanyformer governors that have been prosecuted, like in Ogun State with GbengaDaniel,orOyoStatewith Adebayo Alao-Akala, but the bank CEOs were not named in the suits. The bureaucracy suffers the same fate. The pension scandal still rankles the nation’s skin today. Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, whoisnowatlarge,couldnothave tinkered with the money of the lifetime perspirations of hardworking Nigerians without theroleofthebankmanagement. There are many of such stories. If we say we want to follow due process, we must apply the same logic in investigating fraud and malfeasance in government. The EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) cannot dig out the scum of financialcrimeswithoutencountering the bank officers and their roles along the way. Again, such moniescannotmovewithoutcatching Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN governor the eyes of the CEOs unless they are incompetent and they lack We have had a few of such narratives in the coun- requisite vigilance for their offices. try, but the glue between the political elite and the News reports have swarmed the media business class and bureaucracies has been the chief about the cosy relationships between the poexecutive officers of the banks. As we noted in the litical elite and the business elite. Reports also firstpartofthiseditorial,tonsofmoneyaremovedin have it about how governors, ministers, even the bank vaults from one place to the other, and local government chairmen connive with suchheavyliftingisnotpossiblewithouttheknowledge and – or connivance - of the bank executives. banks to stay payments, including contract We know the case of now pardoned former gov- money and salaries in order to generate interernorofBayelsaState,ChiefD.S.PAlamieyeseigha, est. The relationship between politicians and who was not only convicted but served a term in banks is inevitable, but it ought to be reguprison. We know of the case of former Delta State lated. The story is also rife that the business Governor James Ibori who is now serving his term eliteserveasfrontsforpoliticalelite,anditisin in a British jail. We know of the plea bargain that thatcontextthatwemustlocatetheinvisibility former Edo State Governor, Lucky Igbinedion, se- ofthebankCEOsinthestoryofpoliticalfraud. We have not reached the stage where we cured after a sustained hullaballoo died as though it never sounded in the first place. We have had can hold political operatives to account on the smaller “sins” belonging to less decorated or flam- moneyspentonelectionsandothercampaigns. But if we take seriously the war on corruption, boyant men of that class. Hardly were the complicities of the banks delin- we must unleash our searchlights not only on eated in these heinous endeavours. The charges the obvious suspects but also their subterraagainstthechiefexecutivesinvolvedbillionsofNaira nean backers. Unlesswedothat,wemaketriflethewaron and we can only lie to ourselves as a people if we deny that such tremendous money flows transpire corruption.Wewillcontinuetoclutchatstraws. out of the ken of the bank elite. If the banks know We will accuse and not convict and that beabout this, why do the bank officers involved not comes a vicious cycle that hardly addresses come up for questioning? Why are they not pros- the issue. It is an irony that an anti-democratic reecuted? We do not want to accept that the bank officers gime under General Sani Abacha hounded were used as informers. The offenders do not have down errant bank chiefs. Also ironic is that the capacities to move money in the banks because the democratic dispensation under Obasanjo pruned the banks for their inefficiencies and corruption. Yet the bank enjoyed immunity while he hunted ‘Hardly were the complicities of the banks delineated in these chiefs corrupt politicians over billions of Naira. Thepoliticalelitegovernthiscountry,andif heinous endeavours. The charges against the chief executives they are not above board, we need to create a involved billions of Naira and we can only lie to ourselves as a rubric to hold them in check. If we fail in that we mock ourselves when we yell to people if we deny that such tremendous money flows tran- regard, the world about the war on corruption. spire out of the ken of the bank elite. If the banks know about The consequence is immeasurable. We have contracts awarded but siphoned this, why do the bank officers involved not come up for ques- shall away with the help of the CEOs. Roads will tioning? Why are they not prosecuted? .... If politicians are the notbeconstructed,schoolsupplieswillsuffer hospitals will churn out the dead and source, the banks and their CEOs are the glue. We need to neglect, not the living, etc. We shall run a country for If politicians are the source, the banks initiate the divorce and free taxpayers ‘money to lift the lives of ruin. and their CEOs are the glue. We need to iniour people’ tiate the divorce and free taxpayers ‘money to lift the lives of our people.


A WikiLeaks way out • The government’s case against Pfc. Bradley Manning smacks of overkill. It’s time to make a deal.


ROSECUTORS must prove that Pfc. Bradley Manning “had reason to believe” that the classified material he provided to WikiLeaks would harm the nation, a military judge ruled Wednesday — offering the Pentagon and the Obama administration an opportunity to bring an end to a prosecution that has become an exercise in overkill. Manning, the 25-year-old former intelligence analyst in Iraq, pleaded guilty in February to 10 charges, including possessing classified information and transferring it to an unauthorized person. The plea alone could subject him to 20 years in prison, but the government wasn’t satisfied. It continues to charge him with multiple violations of the Espionage Act and of “aiding the enemy.” Conviction on the more serious charges could put him in prison for life. To Manning’s supporters, he is a valiant whistle-blower; they often cite the video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack that killed 12 civilians in Baghdad that Manning provided to WikiLeaks. His detractors argue that his actions sprang as much from personal problems as from altruism and that his indiscriminate document dump went way beyond identifying war crimes, undermining national security and the conduct of diplomacy. Even if Manning was engaged in principled civil disobedience, he must face the consequences that await anyone who violates the law in a supposedly higher cause. But the current charges against him go too far. In arguing that Manning aided the enemy, the government’s case apparently will rest on the assertion that some WikiLeaks material made its way to a digital device found in the possession of Osama bin Laden. This is an ominously broad interpretation. By the government’s logic, the New York Times could be accused of aiding the enemy if Bin Laden possessed a copy of the newspaper that included the WikiLeaks material it published. As for the Espionage Act charges, the judge, Col. Denise Lind, ruled that the prosecution must prove that Manning had “reason to believe” that providing computer files to WikiLeaks would harm the nation; it wouldn’t be enough simply to show that he knew he was disclosing classified information. Whether this ruling would make conviction of Manning significantly harder isn’t clear. But it could make it easier for the government to announce that pursuing the additional charges wouldn’t be productive — a graceful exit that would still leave Manning facing considerable time in prison. – Los Angeles 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

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IR: The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines amnesty as ‘an official statement that allows people who have been put in prison for crimes against the state to go free’ or ‘a period of time during which people can admit to a crime or give up weapons without being punished’. From the above definitions, it follows that we have been misapplying the word. Amnesty as it has been used here largely means giving money and other material benefits to troublemakers in exchange for cessation of violence. In other words, a euphemism for ‘bribe for peace’. In a place where injustice and impunity reigns supreme and nearly everything is measured in naira and kobo, this disingenuous tactic is gaining acceptance as the most pragmatic means to appease individuals or groups who seriously threaten to upset the apple cart. It is not at all surprising that some persons recently came out boldly to advocate amnesty for the Boko Haram Islamic sect. There have been muted calls for that all along. The advocates mostly from the North have often tried to draw a parallel between the group and the Niger Delta militants. According to some, if the boys from the creeks could be granted amnesty, why not those from the Sahel; what is good for the goose is equally good for gander. For most of them, it matters little what atrocities the sect has perpetrated against fellow citizens;




Amnesty or bribe for peace? the most important thing is that if other people were paid to halt violence, then there own people must also be paid. However, only a mischievous fellow will claim not to see a difference between the two movements. There may not be any need to make that differentiation here for the group seems set to make it themselves. The advocates of ‘monetized amnesty’ must be really naïve if they really thought that that is the

solution to the recurring violence in the north. Of course the reality is that the idea is as seething with ulterior motives as it is devoid of any sense of justice. Whenever amnesty is declared, millionaires and perhaps billionaires are bound to emerge. Did those calling for amnesty for Boko Haram actually consider their aims? Did the group tell anyone that they’ve done any wrong talk more of being penitent? What the

advocates perhaps did not realize is that they in a way imply that the North has been deliberately murdering other Nigerians for over three years either to embarrass the government or extort money from it. Well, Boko Haram seems to have made it clear that they are far from similar to the Niger Delta militants. Recent information have it that the group has rejected the proposed amnesty even going on to tell government that it is it not they that is

• Nnoli Chidiebere Aba, Abia State.

Police ban on cars with tinted glasses


IR: The recent ban on use of tinted windshields for all car owners by the Inspector General of Police appears to be another avenue by the police authorities to extort Nigerians. While I’m not engaging on any campaign of calumny against the police, or trying to dent already battered image of the force, my personal experience has given me every reason to doubt the sincerity of the police that the ban is based on security reasons. I have observed that since the ban by the IGP, policemen across the coun-

try have embarked on an aggressive enforcement of the ban. My encounter with the police occurred on Sunday April 7, when I was stopped on the road by a team of policemen on grounds that I was driving a tinted vehicle. All efforts to explain to them that my vehicle has a factory-fitted tinted windshields fell on deaf ears. Eventually, I was allowed to go when it became clear to the policemen that I won’t part with any “tip”. Nevertheless, I enquired how I could obtain the permit and the policemen

said only the IGP at the force headquarters in Abuja could grant such request. On arrival at the force headquarters for guidelines on how to obtain the permit, the policemen at the gate told me that I need to produce my vehicle particulars and pay N25,000 to get the permit! To my consternation, two other persons willing to pay for the permit were promptly attended to and granted access into the building by these policemen. Whereas it would be preposterous

Who wants the National Theatre sold?

IR: The report in the media that the Federal Government is moving to turn the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu-Lagos, to a five-star hotel is appalling, disappointing and defeats the spirit behind the building of this great monument. The National Arts Theatre built in the 1970s to celebrate the Festival of Arts and Culture, popularly referred to as FESTAC ’77, to showcase, promote and preserve Nigeria and by extension Africa’s arts and rich cultural heritage must not be allowed to die. Truly this historical edifice has been neglected and practically abandoned by every successive government to

in need of pardon. Their stance should not be surprising to the perceptive. Only a man grossly lacking in insight does not appreciate the ideological cum religious bent of Boko Haram’s agitation and indeed many of the violence in the North. Poverty is not just the problem! An unprincipled man believes everyone has a (monetary) price. Boko Haram seems to be saying that they cannot be bought that cheaply. If indeed they have rejected the bribe for peace which amnesty actually represents here, then it shows that they are perhaps more honourable than those advocating pardon for them. Let’s search for a honourable and enduring solution to the problem –that’s if key stakeholders really desire to see an end to it.

the detriment of our rich cultural heritage, young and talented artists. We cannot continue to wipe away our history because a few amongst us has refused to get it right. What the masterminds of this National Theatre conversion is telling Nigerians is that we may not have the edifice to point to our children and grand children when telling them the story of FESTAC ’77. The National Theatre complex is a cultural edifice belonging to the people of Nigeria and must be protected by the Federal Government on behalf of the people. It is just because our tourism ministry is not thinking positively that the place is lying comatose. It is in this edi-

fice, in the mid 1980s, that I, with others in my student days watched live a popular Nigerian play by Ola Rotimi, The Gods Are Not To Blame. Why would a country like Nigeria not know that it is very vital for us to have such a complex and equally put it in use for the benefit of the people? Today in Nigeria tourism is gradually dying, not because we lack tourist sites, or we do not have things to show but, because the managers of those in the ministry are not positively positioning or investing greatly in the tourism industry. It is said that in Nigeria, the only way people relax is visiting drinking joints and that is why

we have more drinking bars, parks and gardens scattered everywhere in Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Uyo, Enugu, Owerri, Kaduna, Jos, etc. No theatres, no cinemas, it is very absurd! There were reasons for putting up such national buildings by the Federal Government in the first instance; they worked before until bad management brought them on their knees. It is still possible to bring them on their feet again. It is corruption that we must fight to get back the nation on sound footing. • Uzodinma Nwaogbe Maitama – Abuja.

to blame the police authorities for the action of these policemen who demanded money for the permit, the negative antecedents of the force, coupled with the avoidance of clear guidelines on how to obtain the permit has given rooms for suspicions. Thus, certain salient questions require urgent answers from the Nigerian Police. Why should Nigerians pay to obtain these permits? If the reasons for the ban are security related, why would police authorities collect money and issue permit without any security check on the vehicle or the owner? Can the pronouncement of the IGP, which would affect all Nigerians become a law without legislation? Is the pronouncement by IGP a subtle ban on the importation of cars with factory fitted tinted windshields? Is the police now a revenue generating organisation? Where will these monies go to? It is not enough for the IGP to announce a ban. He should also let Nigerians know the procedures and modalities of obtaining a permit, especially by those whose cars have factory tints. The police have a duty to protect its integrity by ensuring that its directives are unambiguous. • Ayo Martins Utako, Abuja




Ekiti Deputy Governor in restful sleep D

EATH is a debt which everyone owns to pay. One and all will experience physical termination as an inevitable part of human life. Life comes from God as a gift and it is only God that has immortality. Death is an enemy that confronts people no matter who they are. Although it is very potent to contest with it, but what should be done is to take heart whenever it hammers. This is because human beings are utterly powerless to prevent or overcome it when its fated time comes. The mightiest efforts to defend selves from ultimately being in the grave eventually end in failure. In short, everyone is bound to die physically. Yet, death is not the end; it’s just the start of a new beginning. Mrs. Olufunmilayo Adunni Olayinka, the Deputy Governor of my Ekiti State has done her bit and gone to rest. Her departure, though painful, I see it as at her time. It was reported by our weekend paper that few hours before her death, her Osun State counterpart, Mrs. Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, visited her in the hospital and prayed with her. But the following evening, a text was sent by a member of the Olayinka family informing her of the death of the Deputy Governor like her who was a good close friend. So distraught was Mrs. Laoye-Tomori by the news that her cell phone fell off her hand and was not herself any longer - sweating and looking blank. During a commiseration visit to the family of the deceased, it was reported that she wrote in the condolence register: “Indeed, the news got to me as a cruel, rude and painful shock. When I visited and prayed with her barely 24 hours before her sojourn to the great beyond, there was nothing to suggest that Olufunmilayo would be leaving so soon.” I hardly lament over death as long as the deceased lived a fulfilled life, no matter the tenureship on earth. This is because how one understands the value of the journey of life is what really impacts the way one lives. This is why I consider earthly life as cheap until one gets to the place of eternity. But in this instance, I was hit virtually the same way as Mrs. Laoye-Tomori, more because of the family members and friends Mrs. Olayinka left behind. The


Y attention has been drawn to your widely publicised directive to officers and men of your organisation to commence physical apprehension of persons who use vehicles with tinted glasses insisting that the ban on the use of vehicles with tinted glasses is still in force. I am greatly disturbed and concerned by this fresh directive and insistence whereupon I have also elected to openly express my resentments for the following indisputable facts: On Friday March 4, 2011, the then Hon. Minister of Police Affairs, Humphrey Abah caused to be published an advertorial titled ‘EXPIRATION OF THE DEALINE ON THE USE OF VEHICLES WITH TINTED GLASSES’ by which his ministry announced that Saturday March 5, 2011 was the deadline given to the general public against the use of tinted glasses, covered number plates and unauthorized use of siren. Accordingly, Commissioners of Police in all the states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory were directed to commence physical apprehension and prosecution of offenders pursuant to the Motor Vehicle (Prohibition of Tinted Glasses) Act. Five days later, on March 9, 2011, I formerly wrote to the Minister of Police Affairs urging him to reverse his decision regarding the ban on the ground that it directly violates my fundamental human rights of movement and freedom from discrimination as guaranteed under Sections 41 & 42(1) (a) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) as well as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. Although the said letter duly received and acknowledged at the ministry was also dispatched to your office and duly acknowledged by your office on March16, 2011, our appeal was completely discountenanced and unattended to. In consequence, I approached the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos on May 24, 2011 in Suit No FHC/L/CS/622/11 Between Malachy Ugwummadu Vs. Minister Of Police Affairs; Inspector of Police and Attorney General of Federation for an Order of Judicial Review by way of Certiorari to quash the decision. The matter commenced in earnest on January 19, 2012 before Hon. Justice Okechukwu Okeke with legal representations from both the Ministry Of Police Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General Of the Federation. While I acknowledge, appreciate and commend your force for the perceived principle behind this ban which is to moderate and mitigate the rising incidence of crimes allegedly perpetrated with vehicles of such tinted glasses, I am constrained in the interest of justice, rule of law and the fate of democracy in this country to resist the brazen discrimination inherent in your policy and directive. The threshold of the concept of rule of law as a primary condition for every civilized nation is equality before the

day I saw most of the leading newspapers carrying on the front page the photograph of her weeping parents being comforted by Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and his wife, tears rolled off my eyes. I felt sad not because of the departed since I know prayer can no longer work for her, but for the rest of us she left behind. My consolation only came with my belief that death is not the end since there is another sphere. But where exactly is what that other sphere is? What happens when one dies? Would the accolades people give over the dead so that they can be seen or reported as sympathisers and well-wishers add to the value of a spent life? The vital question that always bothers me is whether it is the age when one dies that matters or if the person will go to heaven or hell? There is an invisible spiritual part of human life that exists apart from the physical body. God lends us a part of Himself while we are alive, but for those who accept it, that part returns to Him when we die since it was on loan from Him. It is not an immortal human soul, but rather a spirit from God. One can imagine the pain, the struggle and the heartbreak with the cancer that took away our beloved sister who worked as a devoted Deputy Governor in the on-going transformation of Ekiti State. Some people know ahead of time when their death will occur. Terminal illnesses, when diagnosed ahead of time, allows a person to set his or her affairs in order, make relationships right, and say goodbye to loved ones. But we learnt that Mrs. Olayinka did not fear that cancer would terminate her sojourn here on earth because she had placed her life in the hand of her creator. Although incurable infection might give a chance to gradually adjust and make peace with death, as much as possible, not everyone has this chance. Many deaths occur suddenly and can, and often do, strike without warning. No one knows what tomorrow will bring forth. The only thing that can be counted on is today. The solution is to always be prepared for a place of eternal life where there will be sustainable peace and joy. As earlier stated, death is not the end. It is just a brief interlude. When people die, they go to sleep. They do

not go immediately to heaven or to hell which are places of reality. They rest in the grave until the resurrection morning. In this order, the death of a child of God is a restful sleep. With the right spirit and soul, the length of days spent on earth hardly matters, but a glorious ending is what will determine the place of ultimate destiny. This is because a soul is not something that one has as human being; a soul is what we are. It is our thoughts, feelings and purposes. If we go back to how God created man, death could be seen as the reverse of the creation. Unrighteousness of man brought forth death. The comforting hope for children of God is that death is not the end. In more than 50 places, the Bible talks about death as a sleep. This is why the reassuring thing about somebody like Mrs. Olayinka is her being a devoted Christian is with the good news that death is not the end for her. This is why we should therefore have the comfort that until the resurrection morning, our loved one is simply resting in the peaceful sleep of death. She is no longer tormented by looking down at the trials and the tribulations that we are going through on planet earth and especially in this our troubled nation. She is now resting and the last thought she had when she died will just continue when she resurrected. Hence, let those of us who are still alive weep for ourselves as the challenges ahead are enormous. According to 1 John 5:12, “he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” It is only those who see Jesus coming in the clouds of glory that might have live a fulfilled life that will guarantee fullness of joy. Let the consolation of Ekiti State people be that God has taken Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka to keep him company up on His throne. It is our hope that the truth about death will relieve our fears and burdens and allow us to enjoy life to the fullest while we still have it. For those of us who believe in Jesus, in Him we have hope for resurrection and eternal life. The conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc 12:13)

Directive on cars with tinted glasses: Letter to IGP By Malachy Ugwummadu law. The present government under the presidency of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan touts its total commitment to this cardinal ingredient of democracy, yet by your categorical exemption of the President, Vice President, Governors and their Deputies, Senate President, the Deputy Senate President, Senate Leader, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker and the House Leader the rule of law has been captured as the first casualty of your directive. First, it should be placed on record that the extant law MOTOR VEHICLES (PROHIBITION OF TINTED GLASS) ACT CAP. M 21 LFN 2004 under which you exercised your powers limits the exercise of your discretion as to permission and exemption to the twin conditions of health and security and not political. I am therefore taken aback to note that the exemption accorded the aforementioned category of persons were purely on political grounds. Assuming without conceding that there are security considerations in the exercise of your said discretion thereat, I hold the view that such security consideration constitutes a serious affront to the fundamental rights of every other Nigerian including my humble self against discrimination as enshrined under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. Assuming further that your directives are predicated on security grounds, I am surprised at the level of insensitivity which you have displayed in limiting such security consideration to such highly placed public officers in total disregard of the defenceless, vulnerable and predisposed citizens of this country whose lives are cut short on daily basis without clue by the Nigeria Police Force. I am aware, as you are bound to know, that all the persons whom you have exempted from this ban are public officers who are entitled to huge monthly security votes by reason of the fact that they hold and occupy those offices. In other words, they have sufficient security votes to take care of all security exigencies and other issues incidental thereto. It is a common knowledge that all of those persons who have benefited from your exemption are political office holders who have retinue of heavily armed security men and women drawn from all the security agencies in the country and hand-

somely paid from our common purse to guard them both in their respective homes and offices and to protect their private interests and concerns all over the country. It is therefore my considered view that such persons whom you have exempted from the ban to use the tinted glasses are already “over secured” both physically and financially to the detriment of the ordinary Nigerians who depend solely on the minimal security they can afford and provide for themselves including the use of tinted glasses for their vehicles. Did it also occur to you, even as the chief law enforcement officer that neither the Chief Justice of the Federation nor the President Court of Appeal or the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court or indeed any judicial officer benefited from your exemption yet Deputy Speakers and House Leader were qualified for this patently skewed exemptions? Meanwhile, these Justices and judges handle very sensitive cases that regularly expose them to danger. On the whole, it is evident that your directive is biased, selective and discriminatory against the express provision of Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution notwithstanding the idea behind it. It is also not supported by the law under which you purported exercised your discretionary powers. In view of the foregoing facts and considering that they are the same issues we have submitted to the Lagos division of the Federal High Court for adjudication, we most respectfully urge you to desist from your present insistence pend-

It is therefore my considered view that such persons whom you have exempted from the ban to use the tinted glasses are already “over secured” both physically and financially to the detriment of the ordinary Nigerians who depend solely on the minimal security they can afford and provide for themselves including the use of tinted glasses for their vehicles.





VERY interesting but unusual event played out in the Awka diocese of the Catholic Church in Anambra State last week. According to reports, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Rt. Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor has banned the compulsory levying of church members in the diocese. For him, members should rather be encouraged to donate freely. The Bishop also banned the practice requiring relatives of a dead person to clear their church dues before their dead relation can be buried. He said, such clearance should be for the dead alone and not include their relatives. Bishop Ezeokafor justified his decisions on the ground that the church should show “compassion to the bereaved as such insensitivity makes people leave the church after burial”. Bishop Ezeokafor has said it all. He has demonstrated that he is at home with the realities and sensibilities of the people of his diocese. He must therefore be commended for this visionary and compassionate decision. Catholics in the Awka diocese who would have been grieving under the yoke of sundry levies will now heave a heavy sigh of relief. It is very surprising that relatives of the dead are made to clear their dues in the church in addition to those of their dead relations before the dead can be buried. Given the high cost of burials especially in the eastern part of the country, such a practice adds up to increase the burden of the bereaved while trying to bury their loved ones. And in a cultural setting that has been contending with sundry demands on the bereaved, asking them to clear their debts before their relations can be buried amounts to adding salt to injury. Little wonder those who have had the misfortune of losing their loved ones usually

‘The Catholic Church must therefore rise to the challenge of identifying extant practices that create problems for members and modify them in keeping with the realities of our time’

Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Burying the dead post a record of debts after such burials. Burials in that part of the country have turned into a huge business. There are minimum standards a burial must meet irrespective of the financial standing of the families involved. And by a very conservative estimate, that minimum is definitely beyond the reach of an average family. That is why most families resort to taxing adult members each time they are faced with burial plans for their loved ones. But for the small gifts that come by way of condolences, the situation would have been something else. Beyond all these, the decision of the bishop has brought to the fore the attitude of the church and the larger public to the dead. I do not know what obtains in other churches. But in the Catholic Church which is under focus, there is the need to show more compassion to the bereaved especially in the rural areas. The conduct of some church leaders when it comes to securing clearance from the church to bury a dead member is something to watch. Some of those charged with overseeing such matters sometimes go outside their mandate to enter judgment on the conduct of a dead member. They behave as church judges with awesome powers to determine who to bury or not. And at issue most often, is money. Given the limitations of some of those who preside over these decisions, their rulings on matters brought before them can sometimes irritate. Little slips are blown out of proportion sometimes to settle personal scores. Families have been denied their burial rights on

issues that ordinarily should be resolved in their favour. Many of those who could not bear it are known to have even left the church in protest. That is the point the Bishop raised when he spoke of compassion and how such insensitivity compel people to leave the church after such burials in protest. The issues the bishop addressed are so fundamental that they should not be limited to the Awka diocese alone. Multiplicity of levies and the issue accountability for such have to be looked into. There are several levies members are asked to pay in the rural areas that sometimes end up in the pockets of some unscrupulous officials. These should be streamlined. Sometimes, it is also difficult to say with some measure of accuracy what constitutes the mandatory levies members should pay. It may be on account of the confusion that goes with this that the bishop had to take the radical decision of abolishing all forms of levies. Good as the decision is, the real problem with the levies is in the manner concerned church official deploy them to deny members of their rights especially at death. They exploit the desire of every catholic to be buried by the church to intimidate, harass and deny members of their rights on very flimsy grounds. Admittedly, a church member should be up and doing in his church obligations. But the church is not all about money. The church should not discriminate between the rich and the poor. Where a member is unable to meet all his financial obligations at death, the church could still bury

such a person. It is our duty to bury the dead. That is the compassion the bishop talked about. More seriously, traditional churches are increasingly facing serious challenges from the new ones. Some practices are also being challenged by events in the new generation churches. Some of these new generation churches, even with all their limitations focus more on the welfare of their members. Little wonder the increasing patronage they are getting. The Catholic Church cannot shut its eyes to these developments. The bishop struck the right chord when he averred that multiplicity of levies and requiring members to offset their dead relations’ debts before they can be buried sometimes compel members to leave the church. It is a statement of fact which the Catholic Church cannot afford to ignore. It is true that the Catholic Church is a universal church. It is also true that apart from some of these levies and the abuse of them by sundry church officials; it is one church where people contribute according to their volition. It is good a thing that the bishop has spared some thought to practices that are capable of demoralizing ardent members to the extent of leaving the church. Before now, such decisions to leave the church were hard to come by. But not anymore as things are fast changing. The subsisting protests at the Ahiara diocese of the Catholic Church in Imo state over the appointment of a new bishop are clear indications that it is no longer business as usual. Before now, such protests led by very senior priests against the decision of the Pope were unthinkable. The Catholic Church must therefore rise to the challenge of identifying extant practices that create problems for members and modify them in keeping with the realities of our time. Bishop Ezeokafor has taken the lead and it is in the overall interest of the Catholic Church that such practices that force members out of their faith are either modified or abrogated. Where there is need to maintain some of these levies, steps must be taken to reduce abuse. Above all, the church must do more to prune down the high cost of burials in the eastern part of the county. That is the key message brought to the fore by Bishop Ezeokafors’ directive.

Foreign opinion


ONDON — Almost unnoticed, one of the great civil rights struggles of our times is being fought out in our midst. Across the Indian subcontinent, in Afghanistan and in Africa, supporters of universal girls’ education are being threatened, assaulted, bombed and murdered. Within the past two weeks alone, a 41-year-old teacher was gunned down 200 meters from her all-girls school near the Pakistan-Afghan border; two classrooms in an all-girls school in the north of Pakistan were blown up; and at an awards ceremony in the heart of Karachi, a principal was shot to death and another teacher and four pupils were wounded after grenades were hurled into a school that specialized in enrolling girls. It was perhaps no coincidence that the Karachi teachers had been visited last year by Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old who was shot in October simply because she wanted girls to go to school and is now a global symbol for the right of girls to education. In the last two years hundreds of schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been firebombed and closed down by religious fundamentalists determined to stop the march of girls’ education. But just as in 1960s America, when unspoken resentments against discrimination slowly transformed into a wave of public defiance, Pakistan’s silent majority is refusing to stay silent any longer. More and more are saying that neither bombs nor bullets nor arson will now stop them from sending girls to school. And, for the first time, it is not adults but girls themselves who are pushing this civil rights movement forward. A few months ago, when Morocco’s education minister visited a Marrakech school, he told a 12-yearold named Raouia Ayache she would be better off leav-

‘It was perhaps no coincidence that the Karachi teachers had been visited last year by Malala Yousafzai, the 15year-old who was shot in October simply because she wanted girls to go to school and is now a global symbol for the right of girls to education’

Girls who risk their lives for education By Gordon Brown ing school and becoming a child bride: “You! Your time would be better spent looking for a man!” But Raouia stood up to him and stayed in school, her family protesting to the government about how the education minister had betrayed his obligation to promote education. Across the Indian subcontinent, teenage girls are joining together, village by village, to create “child-marriagefree zones.” In Bangladesh, the so-called “wedding busters” have now created 19 such zones, pledging that they will support one another to stay in school and resist being married against their will. Add the child-marriage-free zones, the Malala demonstrations, the petitions against child labor, the growing movement exposing child trafficking, and there are a million young Malalas. All are trying to uphold and affirm their human dignity and battling for their rights, doing so far from the glare of publicity, fighting a daily unrecorded battle for human decency and fair treatment. Of course many of the rights that girls are fighting for are those that have been taken for granted, at least for a century, in most countries. We have moved from an old world where, if you were a girl, your rights were what others decreed, your status what others ascribed to you, and if your mother was poor, so too would you always be. But today’s movement is not just for emancipation — a 20th-century demand for freedom from injustices — but for empowerment, a 21st-century demand for freedom to make the most of your talents. It is a liberation movement more akin to the Arab Spring. And it is, potentially, a game changer. The movement challenges world leaders to recognize that, despite the Millenium Development Goal promise to ensure universal education for girls by the end of 2015, progress has

stalled. As Martin Luther King said in his time about the “promissory note” on black rights, the check has been returned marked “insufficient funds.” Next week, The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and the president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, will meet with countries that are off-track to discuss the legislation, incentives, reforms — and money — needed to speed up the enrollment of girls in schools. I will share with them the testimony of the two friends of Malala Yousafzai, Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, who were also shot on the Swat Valley school bus that fateful day last October. Both want to be doctors. Both are still in Pakistan, protected in their homes by security guards, escorted to school by police. I have talked twice to the girls, and, as they repeated to a foreign TV crew only a few weeks ago, they are being persecuted but will never again be cowed. Four years ago, Kainat says, girls were hiding their books under their burqas. Now, she says, the Taliban “can’t stop us from going to school. I want to study. I am not afraid.” Now, Shazia says, “We are strong.” • Gordon Brown is the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy for global education. He was Britain’s prime minister from 2007 to 2010.

‘Both want to be doctors. Both are still in Pakistan, protected in their homes by security guards, escorted to school by police. I have talked twice to the girls, and, as they repeated to a foreign TV crew only a few weeks ago, they are being persecuted but will never again be cowed’







Long road to quality service - P. 27 News Briefing ALSCON: KPMG denied access to parts MORE revelations continue to pour out of the audit carried out on the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) by KPMG.

- Page 26

IMF praises CBN on banking reform THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for restoring financial stability after the 2009 banking crisis.

- Page 26

Equities down by N265b THE Nigerian stock market was overshadowed by strong midweek recession as equities lost N265 billion in spite of a last-day rally. Average return of quoted equities recorded a weekly loss of 2.30 per cent, pushing the year-to-date return to 19.36 per cent.

- Page 34 DATA STREAM 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

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

Building hangars, creating jobs - P. 36

N40b Cabotage fund trapped in banks T

HE N40billion Cabo tage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), designed to assist indigenous shipping firms to acquire capacity to match foreign dominance in coastal and inland trade, is trapped in the banks. The fund, established under the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003, is derived from the two per cent deduction from all contracts awarded under the Cabotage regime. The banks, government sources said, are reneging on

By Oluwakemi Dauda

the agreement they signed with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA) before it made the deposit. Under the agreement, NIMASA is expected to contribute 55 per cent each to all approved companies, while the partnering banks and the respective firms are expected to contribute the balance of 35 per cent and 15 per cent required to buy the vessel at an agreed 5.6 per cent interest approved by

the Board of NIMASA. The banks, sources said, are reluctant to meet their financial obligations under the agreement in the disbursement of the fund, which has risen to over $255 million (about N40 billion). NIMASA is the government agency charged with managing and disbursing the fund to indigenous operators. Sources alleged that the banks are foot dragging in matching their own 35 per cent obligation based on the

agreement. “There are serious indications that the banks are not willing to bring out their counterpart funding based on the 5.6 per cent agreement they had with NIMASA. Although NIMASA may not be willing to say the fact, I can tell you that the banks are responsible for the delay in the disbursement of the fund, “ the source said. The Nation learnt that some maritime lawyers, who are uncomfortable with the twist of events, are considering initiating legal processes to re-

solve the issues. “The banks need to note that the industry watchers are interested in the disbursement of the fund. If they intend to sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government and NIMASA, I am sure they should be prepared for litigation after using the money to promote their businesses,” he said. When contacted, the Deputy General Manager, Public Affairs, NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka said the money would soon be disbursed.

Govt to pay PHCN workers’ benefits with investors’ $2.237b


HE Federal Govern ment plans to pay severance benefits of workers of the sold successor companies unbundled from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) with the $2.237billion proceeds from investors who bought the assets. Although payment of the severance package is expected to start immediately the government concludes discussion on the issue with the electricity workers, the eventual handover process will still await the final payment by the successor firms for the assets they bought, a top official of Ministry of Power, said. The government and the workers are still discussing. The result of the biometric exercise carried out on the PHCN staff last year to determine genuine staff members that deserve benefits is being collated. After the collation and settlement of other outstanding issues with the labour group, the payment of the workers’ benefits will commence, but the exact number of PHCN staff that will benefit from the severance package is unknown, The Nation learnt. The preferred bidders for five generation and 10 distribution companies, according to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), have paid 25 per cent value of the bids they made, which totalled $559,445,573.96. The process of selling the remaining generation company Afam Generation Company and (Genco) and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Disco) is on-going. The bids initially submitted by the investors didn’t meet the required criteria and were quashed. It was gathered that after the government and the workers have reached a consensus, the govern-

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

ment will start the first payment with N50 billion and will continue the payment with the 75 per cent final proceeds expected from payments of the preferred bidders. The Federal Government has agreed to earmark N384 billion as severance package for the PHCN workers, while the labour union is demanding N700 billion. But an official confirmed that the power assets will not be handed over to the preferred bidders until they complete payment. However, the non-conclusion of issues in the power industry has grossly affected electricity supply. Power supply in most areas across the country has dropped by over 70 per cent from what it used to be last year. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, promised that power generation would rise to 4000 megawatts (MW) by weekend, which is much less than the 4,425MW generated last year. The 15 assets sold and the preferred bidders include Vigeo Consortium, Benin Distribution Company ($32.25million); Transcorp/Woodrock Consortium, Ughelli Power Plc ($75 million); CMEC/EUAFRIC Energy JV, Sapele Power Plc ($50,249,965); Kann Consortium, Abuja Distribution Company ($41 million); Aura Energy, Jos DistributionCompany ($20,464,968.15); Mainstream Energy Limited, Kainji Power Plc ($59,467,500); and Sahelian Power SPV, Kano Distribution Company ($34.25million). Other are Amperion Power Company Limited, Geregu Power Plc ($33 million); Integrated Energy Distribution & Mar-

keting Company, Ibadan and Yola Distribution Companies ($42.25 million and $14.75 million ); NEDC/KEPCO, Ikeja Distribution Company ($32.75

million); and West Power & Gas, Eko Distribution Company ($33.75 million); 4Power Consortium, PortHarcourt Distribution Company ($31million); In-

terstate Electrics Limited for Enugu Distribution Company ($31.5 million); and Northsouth Power Company, Shiroro Power Plc ($27,913,633.50).



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

From Nduka Chiejina (Asst Editor), Abuja

“included in stocks are storeroom supplies carried at N5.9 billion as at 31, December 2011. We were not provided with sufficient appropriate audit evidence as to the need to recognise a provision for stock obsolescence irrespective of the fact that some of the items have remained unused for several years.” The report added: “We were also unable to carry out alternative audit procedures to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence due to the inability of the company to determine stock obsolescence. Consequently, we were unable to determine whether any adjustment to this balance is necessary.”

The auditors were also stymied when they inquired about the company’s butts (casks or barrels) carried in the books of the company at N0.4 billion as at December 31, 2011. The report noted: “We were not provided with sufficient appropriate audit evidence about the physical quantities of butts. We were also unable to carry out alternative audit procedures to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence due to the inability of the company to physically verify the quantity of butts. Consequently, we were unable to determine whether any adjustment to this balance is necessary.” There have been allegations that ALSCON was grounded by RUSAL with the Bureau of Public Enter-


12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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 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

prises (BPE) doing nothing about it despite being on the board of the company. An example of such huge expenses engaged in by the company was recorded in the report. The report stated that the company spent N2.4 billion on administrative expenses in 2011, comprising N586,464,000 as staff cost; N126,759,000 on travel and freight expenses; N192,000 on Board expense and N199,794,000 as net foreign exchange loss, among others. The company recorded a loss before taxation in 2011, which decreased by 94 per cent from N4.5 billion in 2010 to N0.27 billion in 2011. The decrease, the report said, “is mainly as a result of decrease in cost of sales, which resulted from write-back of prior year cost of sales adjustment and inventory adjustment passed during the year to correctly state the cost of sales and storeroom supplies.”

Naira declines as oil firm’s sales wane

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

ORE revelations continue to pour out of the audit carried out on the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) by KPMG. The Nation learnt that the 2011 audit report showed that the company withheld information from the auditors. Besides, the company could not account for the whereabout of brand new equipment valued at N5.9 billion at the request of the auditors. When ALSCON was completed by Reynolds of America, several parts were brought in to keep the company running, but were never used. Upon selling the company to RUSA, the new owners took possession of the parts and equipment which they claimed had depreciated. When asked to produce evidence of this, RUSAL was unable to do so. According to the auditors,

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

ALSCON: KPMG denied access to parts, equipment, says report M

• From left: 1st Vice President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Alhaji Sakirudeen Labode; Director, ENS Forensics, South Africa, Mr Robert Cameron-Ellis; ANAN President, Hajia Maryam Ladi Ibrahim and Managing Director, ENS Forensics Limited, Mr Steven Powell, at a workshop on Forensic Accounting, Auditing and Fraud Investigation in Abuja.

‘6.5 % GDP growth forecast not achievable’


HE expected economic growth of 6.5 per cent pre dicted by the Bureau of Statistics may not be achieved, an economic advisory group, has said. In a report, the Resources and Trust Company (RTC) Advisory and Strategic Group, an independent economic advisory body, said the economy is not expected to achieve much growth because of certain challenges. “The economy is forecast to grow by 6.5 per cent in the second quarter. Economic growth will probably slow down after and this may be caused by the massive insecurity in

By Toba Agboola

the Northern area; scarce credit to SMEs and the private sectors, as well as the poor oil sector output growth,” it said. It said the major positive maybe the conclusion of power sector privatisation, which portends short term efficiency gains, and medium to long term sector transformation. It said the negative remains insecurity, especially the devastating effect on output from the Northern and the dampening effect on investment. Other significant negatives, according to the reports, are the outstand-

ing PIB and downstream oil sector deregulation plus expenditure of N2 trillion yearly on wasted oil subsidies. It said though the administration will advance policy in significant areas, such as agriculture, housing, transportation, education and other infrastructure, it will be distracted by the increasing focus on the 2015 election. The reports said the non-oil sector has been affected by the incidence of flooding, as well as muted consumer demand, adding that the Infrastructural challenges will hampered manufacturing.

IMF praises CBN on banking reform


HE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for restoring financial stability after the 2009 banking crisis. The Fund, which gave this commendation in its concluding statement of the 2012 Articles 1V Consultative Discussion on Nigeria, also lauded the apex bank for its revamp of the regulatory and supervision framework. Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually yearly. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board,

summarises the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. Available data, according to the IMF, suggest that the CBN has achieved considerable success in its reform agenda, and that these reforms serve as a model for both developed and developing countries. A recent Financial System Assessment Programme (FSAP) by the IMF in 2012, concluded that “the Nigerian commercial banking system as a whole, can absorb most credit and market risk shocks, withstand liquidity pressures, and absorb moderate potential losses”. This, according to the Fund, is a welcoming affirmation of a banking sector that was considered to be in a dire condition as a result of the financial crisis only four years ago. “Good financial soundness indicators point to continued improvements in the health of the banking system,” it added. When the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, embarked on

the banking reform, some stakeholders had raised questions about the genuine and intuitive intentions of the reform agenda. This group of stakeholders had no fundamental understanding of the breadth and depth of the rot within the banking system as revealed by the special audit of the banks. If the rot had been left unattended, it would have had far reaching implications for the Nigerian economy. The stakeholders with good grasp of the issues applauded the reform agenda, while the doubting Thomases accused the CBN and its governor of witch-hunting perceived enemies. Even, the legislature accused the apex Bank of overstepping its mandate and acting unilaterally. Undoubtedly, these opposing stakeholders failed to pay attention to the fact that regulators in the financial sector usually require swift actions to avoid possible and unprecedented systemic effects that could arise from such actions.

HE naira declined in the last day of trading last week as sales of dollars by oil companies and inflows from investors’ portfolios slowed. The currency slid 0.1 per cent to N157.80 per dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That brought its five-day decline to 0.2 per cent, the second retreat in three weeks. Oil firms represent the secondbiggest source of dollars after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which offers foreign currency at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to maintain exchangerate stability. The apex bank sold $600 million last week, the most in nine months. “The naira has been supported by dollar sales from oil companies earlier this week, but those have probably dried up for now,” Samir Gadio, an emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Limited, in London, said by e-mail. “We expect dollar-naira to drift moderately higher in the near future, assuming net foreign capital inflows remain subdued.” Borrowing costs on Nigeria’s local-currency debt due January, 2022, rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 11.08 per cent, according to Friday’s prices compiled by Bloomberg.

Surveyors seek incentives for housing By OkwyIroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor


HE Federal Government has been asked to fashion out policies and incentives that will encourage housing production to bridge the widening gap in the sector. Chairman, Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors &Valuers (NIESV), Lagos branch, Mr Shola Fatoki, told The Nation that the govrnment should address infrastructure, such as roads, potable water and electricity to encourage developers and release up funds to build more houses. He canvassed a deliberate policy to encourage the use of local building materials, adding that most of the researched local building materials have been left on the shelf of the research institutes, unused by either the government or individuals. Also, the President of the body, Emeka Eleh, urged the government to address leakages in the sector to create employment in the sector. He noted that if players in the sector were encouraged by some policies the huge youth unemployment figure could be reduced as an average of 70 people is needed to build a three bedroom house.




It It is is an an agony agony subscribers subscribers go go through through almost almost daily. daily. They They dial dial and and dial dial without without success. success. When When they they eventually eventually get get through, through, they they can can hardly hardly make make clear clear conversations. conversations. The The line line is is full full of of static, static, making making conversation conversation difficult. difficult. This This is is the the kind kind of of service service subscribers subscribers have have been been putting putting up up with with since since the the coming coming of of the the global global system system of of communication communication in in 2001. 2001. LUCAS LUCAS AJANAKU AJANAKU writes. writes.

• Base Transmission Station (BTS)

Long road to quality service


EORGE Edet, a 37-year-old petroleum engineer, had a bitter experience recently with his mobile telephone service provider. He had bought a N1000 recharge card. After several futile attempts, he finally succeeded in loading the air time. After scaling that, he was faced with another hurdle, making calls to his family

•SAVED ON MAC. 70 Issues - 15-04-13

in Akwa Ibom State. "I needed to talk to my mummy in Uyo, concerning final plans for my wedding. My fiancee and I had earlier met with the head, Marriage Counselling Unit of our church the previous day and we had been advised to cut down some of the •Continued on page 28




•Mrs Johnson



Long road to quality service •Continued from page 27

frivolous items on the list sent by the family of my fiancee. Mummy already had a copy, which she was going to act upon. So, I needed to stop her. But all my efforts were futile. It was either my service provider said: “The number you have dialled is incorrect, check the number and dial again” or it simply said: “The number you have called is not assigned to any customer,” Edet lamented. For Richard Adeyeye, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Richbrands Limited, his problem was that he had to contend with incessant drop calls. A resident of New London in Baruwa, a Lagos suburb, each time his phone rings, he is reluctant to pick the call because he is sure that the conversation will snap in less than one minute after picking the call. "The quality of service has become so worrisome. Given of the nature of my business, I depend on my mobile phone to get across to my clients. But my experience has been most unpalatable. When a call comes in and I pick it, no sooner had the conversation begun than it snaps. When I also make a call, after the initial 'hello' that precedes conversation, the other person stops hearing what I am saying or I stop hearing what he is saying. This has compelled me to have three mobile phones," Adeyeye lamented. In this era of universal licences, which allow operators to also do data services on their networks, it is not only voice calls that are affected by low quality of service, data is also affected as subscribers rarely get the speed and bandwidth promised by the service providers. Most times, the subscriber who has already signed up to either a monthly or weekly data bundle plan hardly enjoys it. Since it is mostly prepaid, whatever happens to the subscriber after payment becomes his/her burden, even when it is due to the operator's inefficiency. These are just some of the pains the 113 million telephone subscribers in Nigeria pass through daily as they try to connect to business associates, family members, friends and even call for help in times of difficulty. A former Minister of State for Communications, Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, aptly captured the feelings of subscribers when he said: "The spate at which the challenge of quality is going is becoming fraudulent. Calls are generated, but not finished and charges are made. We will no longer allow the challenge of the power sector as an excuse." Stakeholders in the telecoms sector, argue that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which is the regulator, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON),the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) all agree that the level of services in the sector leaves much to

be desired. But while the operators, comprising the global system for mobile (GSM) communication operators - Airtel, MTN, Globacom and Etisalat, with their counterpart in the Code Division Multpile Access (CDMA) sector, Starcomms and Visafone, have consistently blamed factors, such as vandalism, theft of generators at mobile phone Base Transmission Stations (BTS), extortion by officials of the three tiers of government, bureaucratic bottleneck in acquring approval to build BTS and the protracted issue of the grant of Right-of-Way (RoW), the regulator and the subscribers have insisted that what is required are the networks of the burdens of promotions and lotteries and massive investment in infrastructure, especially BTS, to make the networks more resilient. Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC, said operators would need to invest massively on bakchaul infrastructure. According to him, it is the absence of this that is responsible for the low quality of telecoms services in the country. He said the telecoms facilities were grossly inadequate to cope with the increasing demand since the subscribers could make more calls as a result of lower tarriffs. "The subscribers demanded that the prices should come down and NCC did not force prices down. I have always said competition will force price to come down. "So, having forced down prices, more people are making calls. The demand on the network has been increased. So, people get drop calls in one way or the other because of congestion. It can only be solved by extra investment in the network. It is not an overnight issue. You cannot improve quality of service without investing more in the network. You have to build new base stations. You have to build new transmission facilities to carry calls. You have to also build new switching centres," he insisted. Deolu Ogunbanjo, president, NATCOMS, agreed with the Juwah. According to him, promotions and lotteries designed to acquire more customers unwittingly congest the networks and compromise service quality. He therefore advised the regulator not to rescind its decision banning promos and

lotteries on the network since the ban has not even translated to any appreciable stability in service quality. Ogunbanjo said operators must keep building network infrastructure. He also wants the NCC to stop issuing new subscriber identity module (SIM) number range, arguing that the SIM number range already in circulation has not been exhausted by the operators. Chief Executive Officer, Teledon Group, Emmanuel Ekuwem, also agreed with the infrastructure deficit issue. He said the operators were not ‘ploughing back' enough of the gains they make in the country to grow the network. "The problem is lack of capacity. The operators should invest in building additional capacity," Ekuwem, who is also past president, ATCON, suggested. The Chief Operating Officer, Phase3 Telecom (a telecom infrastructure firm),Olusola Teniola, said the number of BTS in the country was inadequate to meet the demands of subscribers. He called for investment in providing infrastructure rollout, adding that the Federal Government support was vital to achieve high quality services in the sector. ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, who argued that the service quality woes were not the fault of the operators agreed no less with the others. According to him, if telecoms companies are to meet the service quality mandates of the regulator, operators will have to deploy additional 50, 000 BTS across the country. Nigeria is a huge country in terms of population and total land mass. With a population estimated at 167 million and subscribers' base standing at 113 million, it is certainly not realistic that about 18 BTS will support the telecoms sector. According to the 2011 census, the total population of the United Kingdom (UK) is around 63,182,000 while there were approximately 52,500 mobile phone base station sites in the UK at the end of 2011. Adebayo said there were a little over 20,000 BTS sites in Nigeria serving a population of over 150 million people as at the end of year 2011. "In comparison, there were approxi-

‘The spate at which the challenge of quality is going is becoming fraudulent. Calls are generated but not finished and charges are made. We will no longer allow the challenge of the power sector as an excuse’


mately 55,000 BTS sites in the UK at the end of 2011 serving a population of just over 60 million people. The latter figure could rise in years to come," he said. Adebayo, whose opinion is fairly representative of that of the operators, lamented that efforts by operators to invest in BTS rollouts to ensure improved service quality is being frustrated by agencies of federal, state and local governments. He said one of the factors impeding quick rollout of BTS, which was critical to quality telecoms services, was the delay by the relevant authorities in approving the site building proposals for the operators, thus preventing them from achieving the number of BTS the country needed to guarantee better service. "Multiple taxation and regulation by myriad of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal, State and Local Governments increase considerably the lead time to roll out and costs of deploying such infrastructure. "Theft, vandalism and sabotage of network equipment, etc impede our capacity to carry out timely equipment upgrades contributing to protracted site deployment timelines," he said. Mrs Omobola Johnson, Communications Technology minister, is not happy about the unending issues with telecoms service quality in the country. She said the Federal Government was working with the relevant agencies to ensure that certain bottlenecks militating against roll out of infrastructure were tackled. Corporate Services Executive, MTN, Akinwale Goodluck, confirmed that given the economic situation in the country, building a base station would cost a telecoms firm about $200,000. "In the reality, an operator will invest an average of $200,000 and $250,000 to build a base station, depending on the terrain," he said. Etisalat Nigeria CEO, Steven Evans, also confirmed the huge cost of building a BTS. "The cost of building base stations from the time you secure the land where you want to install the BTS and the time it goes live is around $250,000," he said. Goodluck, who is also the Vice Chairman, ALTON, said the BTS lost by the operators to the raft of senseless bombings and floodings also took a toll on service quality.While the operators have succeeded in restoring some of the BTS lost to flooding, the same could not be said of those lost to bombings in the Northeast part of the country. Airtel CEO, Segun Ogunsanya, corroborates this. According to him, Airtel has restored all the BTS lost to flooding in the Niger Delta while the volatile security situation in parts of the north has made it impossible to deploy engineers to the area for any restoration effort. The customer, it is often said, is king. Operators must, therefore, rise up to the occasion and offer seamless, hitch-free telecoms services to the subscribers.







Africa Business

Africa drives bargain with Chinese investors


OR more than a decade African governments have rolled out the red carpet for Chinese investors, trading oil, coal, iron ore and other resources for badly needed ports, roads and railways, Reuters reports. But policymakers and executives, worried the flood of cheap Chinese imports is sapping Africa's own manufacturing potential, say the continent must drive harder bargains with China. The time has come, some say, to jettison the view of Beijing as Africa's benevolent partner, bound by a common resistance to the meddling West. "The sad reality is that they are not comrades. Their companies are there to make profits like everyone else," Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit this week. "The African textile industry has basically collapsed because of cheap Chinese imports ... Africa needs China but let's create an equitable relationship." China's trade with Africa has surged from about $10 billion in 2000 to $166 billion in 2011, with much of that an exchange of African minerals for Chinese manufactured goods. Nigerian Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi warned last month it was time for Africans to wake up to the realities of their relationship with China.

"It is a significant contributor to Africa's deindustrialization and underdevelopment," he said in an opinion piece in the Financial Times that ruffled feathers in Beijing. Even in South Africa, the continent's largest and most developed economy, manufacturing accounts for just 15 percent of GDP. It is even lower elsewhere, under 11 percent in Kenya and 10 percent in Nigeria. Part of the fault may lie with African policymakers, for not demanding enough from their Chinese counterparts at the bargaining table. "If you allow the Chinese to come and rape you and take whatever they do because you're just looking at the money they bring, and if you're looking on a short-term basis, the country will suffer, there's no two ways about it," said Sipho Nkosi, CEO of South African mining company Exxaro Resources (EXXJ.J). Africa must demand that China transfer skills and technology to the continent instead of allowing it to simply export raw materials, he said. For some African politicians, part of China's attraction lies in its unwillingness to criticize local governments over human rights or corruption, unlike the West. "You can't blame the donor only. You need to blame the receiving government as well," said Elias Masilela, the chief executive of South Africa's government pension fund.

Cronos Airlines connects Malabo


quatorial Guinea-based carrier, Cronos Airlines has partnered with Nigeria’s Peacock Travels and Tours Limited to open the Malabo-Port Harcourt route. The development followed an agreement inked recently by the two companies. Peacock has now obtained the exclusive General Sales Agency right to issue the airline’s tickets all over Nigeria. According to a statement by the Executive Chairman, Peacock, Chief Segun Phillips, he said Cronos also has plans to begin flights from Malabo to Lagos and Abuja before the end of the year. According to him, Malabo as a destination has historical link with Nigeria, especially the Efik speaking tribe who are found in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. The Malabo-PH service, he said, came at the right time for the sizeable number of Ibo traders plying the route. He said, “Previously, the traders go by ship which is slow, hazardous and unsafe. The new air link between Port Harcourt and Malabo, which lasts for just 45 minutes, become a comfortable, fast and reliable option than going by ship.” Other segments of people plying the route, according to the statement, are business executives and oil exploration workers. The route also comes handy for leisure travellers, who want to go to Equatorial Guinea to enjoy their vacation, according to the travel

management company. “It is an interesting tourist’s destination which boasts of upscale holiday and recreational facilities, including luxury hotels and one of the best golf courses in Africa,” the chairman added. Furthermore, Chief Phillips said with the popularity of golf game in Nigeria, the airline and Peacock would give priority to golf players for easy access. The company said that it would offer total package, including entry visa and flight tickets for prospective passengers. To do this effectively, Peacock has three offices located Aba, Port Harcourt city and Port Harcourt International Airport. Peacock will assist prospective passengers to facilitate the issuance of visa. Chief Phillips said the airline was already looking forward to signing interconnectivity with some foreign airlines in order to link Malabo to other oil producing cities in the world including Houston in United States and Dubai in United Arab Emirates. Equatorial Guinea has the highest per capita income in Africa. This attests to the prosperity and business opportunities in the country, according to the statement. The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc does ground and cargo handling for Cronos. Passengers can also connect Lome and Cotonou through Cronos.

Africa's banks spread wings


T took Kenyan lender KCB Group (KCB.NR) less than a year to break even after opening in tiny Burundi, a country better known for explosive violence than explosive growth, Reuters reports. KCB's success highlighted the hunger for financial services that the biggest local banks are turning regional to tap. Stretching beyond home markets, they are morphing into formidable competition for established international lenders - and becoming potential acquisition targets for outsiders seeking a foothold on the fast-growing continent. "It's an incredibly exciting phase," said Diana Layfield, Standard Chartered's chief executive for Africa, where the global bank has worked for over 150 years. "What you have seen, particularly in some of the newer local regional banks, is an ability to serve emerging

mass market consumers where other financial institutions haven't necessarily been able to cover effectively," she told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit this week. Despite being in Africa for so long, foreign headquartered banks such as Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and Barclays (BARC.L) have tended to focus on businesses and the wealthiest. African banks are seeing more opportunities at the lower end of the market. Innovations such as mobile banking offer them the chance of getting access to more people more quickly than ever. KCB opened in Burundi in 2012, bringing the number of its east African operations to six. Equity Bank (EQTY.NR), its bigger rival by market capitalization, is in five countries and is also eyeing southern Africa. On the opposite side of the continent, Nigeria's Guaranty

Trust Bank (GUARANT.LG) announced plans this week to make acquisitions in three east African countries. The $4.4 billion bank already has six operations outside its home market. South Africa's "Big Four" are also building up to the north - the biggest, Standard Bank (SBKJ.J), operates in 18 African countries. While there is an average of pretty much one deposit account for every South African, according to the latest World Bank data, that falls to fewer than 220 accounts per thousand people in Burundi, a 2012 survey showed. Growth can be dramatic. Between 2006 and 2009, the number of accounts in Burundi's neighbor Rwanda grew more than 20-fold. Present in the largest number of countries is Togo-based Ecobank Transnational (ETI.LG), a $1.6 billion lender with branches in 32 nations and plans to enter five more.



THE CEO The financial markets are major sources of raising funds for transactions. In this interview with AKINOLA AJIBADE, the Managing Director, UBA Trustees Limited, Mrs Oluwatoyin Sanni, advises investors to operate a balanced portfolio of investments. She also speaks on the capital market, retail bond trading, appointment of women onto boards of companies and attainment of Vision 20: 2020 objectives, among others.

‘Entry, exit are free in capital market’

• Mrs Sanni


HE capital market is topsy-tursy. What does this portend for the long-term growth of the market? The market is a critical part of the financial industry. The growth recorded in the market is crucial to the health of the financial industry, and the economy in particular. When you look at the stock market, you will discover that it is an integral part of the financial services market. Now that the market is rebounding, it’s going to provide long-term avenues for individual and institutional investors to make money. It will also provide opportunities for long-term wealth creation, if investors recognise the fact that it is not wise to concentrate all their investments in one market such as equities. It is worthy of note to say that our markets are inter-dependent. Each needs the other for growth. We need the money and capital markets to grow our investments and vice versa. They work hand in hand. Therefore, investors should not put all their investments in one basket if they want to achieve good returns on the investments. There must be good and balanced investment portfolios. Do you think the tempo of activities in the market can be sustained, given the measures put in place by the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)? The reforms are still unfolding in the market. Many are initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Others came from the Exchange. The Exchange has shown a strong drive to grow the market in recent times. For instance, the introduction of market making, lending, investors protection fund among other initiatives have buoyed

Profile Institution Qualities Previous Position Experience Courses attended

(Master of Laws, Secured Credit Transactions/Int’l Economic Law, 1997 – 1998), University of Lagos Lawyer, Chartered Secretary and Stockbroker AGM, First Trustees Nigeria Limited 25 years Euromoney School for International Financial Law, Oxford University, UK

confidence in the market. Before now investors have lost confidence. But many have now regained their confidence as a result of the steps taken by the regulators. I think the activities in the market are sustainable.

The growth in the market is largely driven by local and foreign investors. Do you foresee a recurrence of what happened in 2008 when foreign portfolio investors were forced to leave?

‘We need the money and capital markets to grow our investments and vice versa. They work hand in hand. Therefore, investors should not put all their investments in one basket if they want to achieve good returns on the investments. There must be good and balanced investment portfolios’

You cannot force investors to stay in your market. We need to understand the pull and push factors in the market. What we need to do is to make our market attractive as much as possible. We must ensure that our market in comparative terms is more attractive than the next market. We must ensure that all necessary infrastructure are available in our market.We must ensure that our disclosure obligations meet international standards. For instance, if there is a major liquidity squeeze in the continent and investors need funds to meet their domestic obligations, they have no choice than to pull out their investments from the crisis zone. That is the reality on ground. But that does not give us room to discourage the participation of foreign investors in our market. The truth of the matter is that we need inflow of capital into our market to make it stronger. Sometimes people need to move their money out. What we need to do is to put in place measures that would allow them to get their money easily or move it out as when due. In a situation where regulatory impediments prevent foreign investors from moving their funds out, such investors would come back. Be that as it may, we still need to encourage domestic investors because they are more likely going to be stable. If you look back at what happened in the market, it is not only the foreign portfolio investors that left, everybody left. Everybody crashed out. What we are trying to do is to encourage investors to come back. It took sometime before retail investors came back to the market. •Continued on page 33




‘Entry, exit are free in capital market’ •Continued from page 32

Foreign portfolio investors are the first to come back. Since they came back, they have been able to get over 80 per cent of volumes of shares in the market. Has the market makers really impacted positively on the market? I think the market making initiative is still relatively new. I understand that four more market makers are coming. We are expecting an updated list of market makers. Even, the securities that are available for market makers are still being updated. Whichever way you look at it, market makers are relatively new. The securities lending that support the market is in progress. It is too early to measure the performance of market makers. You earlier mentioned the issue of having balanced investment portfolios. Can you explain better? There are various ways of having good and balanced investment portfolios. First, people should try and seek professional advice. Secondly, they should monitor the movements of their investments in line with the realities of the market. For instance, when equities market goes up, a lot of investors move in. When this happens, investors would like to exit the market. As they do that, rates would probably go up in the alternative investment portfolios. As investors, your best bet is to maintain some reasonable investment balance. What you should be more interested in is the credibility of your income to meet your needs. You have to consider your active employment years before you arrive at investment decisions. If you are much younger, let’s say you are in your 20s, you can afford to have investment portfolios of about 60 per cent in equities. Because what you are interested at that stage is an opportunity to grow your wealth overtime. If you are looking for classes of assets that can give you a healthy investment returns over a long time, returns that have a good chance of being higher than the cumulative rates of inflation, then the stock market is a very good place to invest. When you also consider that there are people at various stages of employment, we have people in the early 20s, 40s, people that just joined the workforce, they also have provisions being made for them in the National Pension Scheme as contained in the pension reforms Act. If you were to invest pension savings in money market instruments, there is the possibility that the returns may actually be lower than the rate of inflation in an inflationary environment. In real terms, you may actually have lost money. I always say that a big proportion of endowment fund, pension fund among other long-term funds be invested in the capital market. The reason is because the rate of returns always exceeds that of inflation. But like I said, the whole idea is striking a balance. To what extent do you think the retail bond trading will impact positively on the market? I’m cautiously optimistic about the issue. You need to recognise the fact that the bond market needs big players to grow. The market is dominated by corporate investors. Therefore, do not expect the level of retail activities you see on the equities side in the bond market. The bond market has huge potential, and should naturally be bigger and larger in volumes than the equities market. The main reason for creating retail bond market is to enable investors to enjoy free entry and exit. In the past, there were individuals who had bonds (primary offers) and were unable to exit the market. They bought these bonds when they were issued as initial subscription, and could not get an outlet to exit the market. Before now, bonds were not only being traded at Over-The-Counter (OTC) platform, but in large volumes. Then, the only outlet available was the corporate end of the market that attracted larger and highvolume investors. The advantage is that if I subscribe to Lagos State bonds or Benue State bonds and I buy N1 million or N500,000 worth of bonds, I can only sell under that platform. That would encourage me to buy again when any state government rolls out its bonds for corporate organisations. Nobody wants to be locked into investments where there is no way out. Now that the retail bond market has been created, people can buy bonds at the retail end of the market. Even at that, people should not expect huge growth from the market compared with wholsesale bond trading market.What I’m saying is that we should not be over optimistic about it in our expec-

• Mrs Sanni

‘You cannot force investors to stay in your market. We need to understand the pull and push factors in the market. What we need to do is to make our market attractive as much as possible. We must ensure that our market in comparative terms is more attractive than the next market. We must ensure that all necessary infrastructures are available in our market. We must ensure that our disclosure obligations meet international standards’

• Mrs Sanni

tations of the market because we need to recognise that the bond market is not predominantly a retail market anywhere in the world. It appears women have been crowded out of the financial services sector, especially in the area of giving higher responsibilities. What is your comment on this issue? This is something I’m passionate about. I do not think that marginalisation of women is limited to the financial industry, it is all

over. In the business and employment worlds, women have been marginalised from time immemorial. There was a time it was not lawful for a woman to own properties. Experience has shown that in most cases where women have been given opportunities to function, they have shown what it takes to excel. I’m gladdened by some of the initiatives that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, spearheaded to ensure that there are more

positions for women on boards of the banks. The Deputy Governor Services (DGS) recently talked about financial inclusion for women. Rather than discriminating against women on the boards, we need to give them opportunities to function. Before we look for the next man for the job, we need to compare the number of qualified men with that of qualified women with open minds. You would be surprised that there a lot of qualified women. Before a woman can get to a position of authority, she has faced a number of challenges that a man has faced or more. Can we say that the CBN Governor has bailed out women? CBN has not bailed out women, rather it is trying to champion the cause of women. I do not want to look at it from the point of numbers. Like I said, do not limit it to one sector. Generally in the business, employment, financial and industrial worlds, we need to ensure that the number of women at the head increase because nobody has been able to show me that women are inferior to men intellectually or capacity wise. Findings have shown that the ratio of men to women is 50: 50. From Assistant General Manager (AGM) to Managing Director (MD), the ratio becomes 1 to 50. Won’t you wonder what is happening? What I’m saying is that the proportion of women at the apex should reflect the proportion of women in the entire organisation. Can Nigeria achieve the goals of Vision 20: 2020, given the fact that enough steps have not been taken in this regard? To achieve the dreams of Vision 20: 2020, we need to address political problems. We need to place emphasis on unity. As long as we are not united, we cannot trust each other. We would be working against each other, rather than working together. There is no way we can achieve the objectives without unity. We need to understand the fact that we cannot go far, if we do not deal with the problem of corruption. We keep paying lip service to the fight against corruption. Corruption permeates every facet of life. If I have a project and cannot be sure that the fund for the project would not be diverted, what is the guarantee that the project would succeed. If I have the plans to put critical resources in place, I cannot guarantee that qualified person would be put in a position as opposed to a favoured person. There is no transparency in the ways and manners people are selected for positions in both the public and private sector. That is another problem. Infrastructure is another problem. If we do provide necessary infrastructure, we would still have big companies moving out of Nigeria to neighbouring African countries. We need a radical change in the way we think as individuals and a nation to achieve the goals of Vision 2020. What are the areas of competence of UBA Trustees Limited? The company provides services to all categories of clients. Broadly, there are two types of trustees. First is the Public Trustees, which ensures that services such as collection of investment schemes and handling of public offers such government and corporate bonds are provided to investors. Others are holding trust on syndicated loans, and other similar structures designed to help companies raise funds from banks. Secondly, is the private trustee. This has to do with the issue of project financing, among other services. Of note is the fact that UBA Trustees has been providing quality services to clients since inception. The firm’s franchise dates back to 50 years ago, hence, we have attained leadership position in some key areas. These have created opportunities to boost skills, and develop upcoming professionals for growth. Also, the company is an active member of Association of Corporate Trustees, of which I’m the president. UBA has a holding structure, which allows it to retain some of its subsidiaries. What added-value has UBA Trustees brought to the group? In actual sense, UBA did not go for the holding structure. What happened was a unique kind of restructuring in the bank. Under the restructuring, the bank divested from its investment banking and assets management subsidiaries within the group. Those subsidiaries are now under the holding company known as UBA Capital Plc. One of such subsidiaries is UBA Trustees Limited. In terms of value addition, UBA Trustees made a profit of over a billion naira last year and has over N40 billion assets under its trust.




Equities down by N265b •Bagco’s shareholders get 50.9m shares in merger deal


HE Nigerian stock market was overshadowed by strong midweek recession as equities lost N265 billion in spite of a last-day rally. Average return of quoted equities recorded a weekly loss of 2.30 per cent, pushing the yearto-date return to 19.36 per cent. Aggregate market value of equities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the week at N10.713 trillion as against its week’s opening value of N10.978 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the main value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities and serves as Nigeria’s country index, dropped by 2.30 per cent to close the week at 33,514.14 points as against its indexon-board of 34,301.37 points. Besides insurance sector, most tracked sectors recorded losses but the recession was more pronounced in the banking sector. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks 30 most capitalised stocks, dwindled by 2.35 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Index declined by 0.19 per cent. The NSE Banking Index slipped by 5.36 per cent. The NSE Oil and Gas Index lost 1.40 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index dropped by 1.12 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index meanwhile, appreciated by 3.86 per cent, reflecting gains by some leading insurance companies including Wapic Insurance and Mansard Insurance. With 59 decliners to 20 advancers, the market was overtly bearish. Access Bank dropped by N1.66 to close at N8.84. United Bank for Africa (UBA) lost N1.52 to close at N6.60. Airline Services and Logistics dropped by 85 kobo to close at N3.90. Eterna declined by 66 kobo to close at N2.85 while AG Leventis lost 54 kobo to close at N1.07. Turnover increased to 2.19 billion shares worth of N24.94 billion in 33,100 deals, partly due to the additional trading day in the

five-day trading week as against the four-day trading week in the previous week. Turnover stood at 1.60 billion shares valued at N19.09 billion in 26,264 deals two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the number of listed companies reduced by one with the delisting of Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company (Bagco) Plc. The delisting was the final process in the merger with its erstwhile parent company, Flour Mills of Nigeria. Subsequently, a total of 50.89 million ordinary shares of Flour Mills of Nigeria were allocated and listed for shareholders of the former Bagco. The NSE has also placed Crusader Nigeria on full suspension, in preparation for the impending delisting of the financial services company after it consummated business combination with Custodian and Allied Plc. Okomu Oil Palm continued to ride high on its combined cash dividend of N7 and bonus issue of one for one share with a gain of N9 to close at N104. Julius Berger Nigeria rallied N3.39 to close at N54.49. CAP added N2.90 to close at N40 while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated gained 90 kobo to close at N14.90 per share.




International Business

Cyprus to seek more bailout from EUU


YPRUS is considering putting European Union structural funds to earlier use to help its stricken economy but is not asking for a bigger bailout from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund than the agreed •10-billion, EU officials said, last week, Globe and Mail reports. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told reporters in Nicosia last week that he would send a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy to give it extra assistance given the bad economic situation of the island. In Lisbon slum, the poorest bear brunt of austerity measures That fuelled speculation on financial markets that the island may be pushing Brussels for more money under a bailout package which now shows Cyprus contributing almost twice as much in budget cuts and asset sales than originally mooted. But euro zone finance ministers gave political backing to •10-billion ($13-billion U.S.) of loans for the Mediterranean island on Friday and said there were no plans or requests to raise that amount. “The letter from President Anastasiades has nothing to do with asking for more money than the sum agreed in the MoU,” Brussels-based spokesman Michalis Koumides said. “It is about a request for more sup-

port and financial assistance from our EU partners in the middle-term because of the financial and economic situation Cyprus is facing,” he said. “For example, it asks about finding ways to use EU structural funds in better ways to help Cyprus,” he said. The two international lenders have forecast Cyprus will contract almost 9 per cent this year and almost 4 per cent in 2014 before returning to growth in 2015. Structural funds come from the long-term EU budget and are used to co-finance projects in less EU developed countries to help them expand economically. The flow of such funds is spread over the seven years of the EU budget, but can be accelerated to increase the amount of money in the earlier years at the cost of the outer ones – this method has been employed to help Greece already. “There is a big misunderstanding about this in the press this morning,” a European Commission official said. “The Cypriots are asking for help in the form of technical assistance with structural funds absorption which is what we have committed to provide through the Task Force for Cyprus that is being established,” the official said. “The program financing is up to •10-billion and everyone agrees on that including Cyprus,” the official said.

• Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, centre, speaks to media after a meeting with cabinet ministers at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan on plans by the United States to allow a deal with Tokyo to join talks on a U.S.-led Asia-Pacific free-trade pact.

JPMorgan climbs as ‘London Whale’ hit fades


PMORGAN Chase & Co. posted higher first-quarter profit last week as it spent less money on litigation, but most of its major businesses turned in tepid performances, and the bank’s overall revenue declined, Rueters reports. The results reflected the pressure the largest U.S. bank is under even as it recovers from the disastrous “London Whale” trading losses that cost more than $6-billion (U.S.) last year.

JPMorgan’s shares fell 1 per cent to $48.80 in premarket trading. Profit in its consumer banking segment fell 12 per cent to $2.6billion, and ignoring accounting adjustments, its corporate and investment banking profit dropped 2 per cent to $2.5-billion. Profit rose in commercial banking and asset management, but the growth was too small to have had much impact on overall results. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in a statement that loan growth was soft across the industry

Saudi Arabia pays price for crackdown on foreign workers


GOVERNMENT crackdown on illegal foreign workers in Saudi Arabia has disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of people and made it harder for some businesses to operate. But ultimately it may create a stronger, more diverse economy., Reuters reports. Thousands of foreigners – over 200,000, according to an unnamed passports department official quoted by the al-Hayat daily last week – have been deported from the country over the past few months. People stopped going to work at some businesses in major cities such as Riyadh for fear of being caught by government inspectors. Parents at some private schools said there were unscheduled holidays because

London’s financial sector job openings soar


OB vacancies in London’s financial services sector rose by a quarter in the first three months of the year as employers picked up their hiring activity, boosting confidence in the labour market, a survey showed, Reuters reports. Job vacancies in one of the world’s top financial centres rose to 7,308 in the first quarter, up from 5,859 in the same period last year, according to recruitment firm Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor for March. “This picture of the hiring market is backed up by what employers are telling us; that there is more appetite to hire and the process is more fluid with fewer obstacles to bringing new talent on board,” said the firm’s financial services operations director Hakan Enver in a statement on Thursday. The survey is in line with the latest figures on Britain’s dominant services sector, which showed services output grew at its strongest pace in five months in January, easing concerns that the country may slip into its third recession in five years.

teachers were staying home. The turmoil was so great that last Saturday, King Abdullah ordered a three-month suspension of the crackdown, to give foreigners time to sort out their papers. Many people remain fearful of trouble with authorities when inspections resume. Some businessmen in Saudi Arabia complain privately that the government should have launched its campaign more carefully, coordinating closely with companies to reduce their uncertainty over staffing levels. The crackdown is likely to have an economic impact far beyond the country’s borders, since foreign workers from south and southeast Asia remit billions of dollars home to their families every year.

But within Saudi Arabia, the economic costs are likely to be outweighed in the long run by the benefits of reducing excess manpower, creating upward pressure on local wages and moving Saudi citizens into private sector employment, analysts said. “Most of the illegal labour is unskilled labour, extra labour that in fact creates inefficiency in the economy. So these people are more than the economy needs,” said Abdulwahab abu-Dahesh, a Saudi economist. “Proper policies to reduce inefficiencies will create more competitiveness in the economy.” Since its 1970s oil boom, Saudi Arabia has imported growing numbers of foreign workers for its en-

ergy, construction and service industries. In many cases, Saudi citizens have not been willing to perform the strenuous jobs or accept such low wages. There were almost six million foreigners in a total workforce of nearly 11 million people in 2012, according to official data. The number of illegal foreign workers has been estimated by analysts at an additional 1 or 2 million, conceivably more. The remittances sent abroad by these foreigners have averaged $18billion a year over the past decade, or 6.2 per cent of gross domestic product, making the kingdom the world’s second biggest source of such money flows after the United States, the International Monetary Fund said in a September study.

Brazilians groan as prices surge for tomato


HE tomato has long been a near-obligatory garnishing for just about any Brazilian dish, yet it’s becoming the country’s apple of discord.,Associated Press reports. A longer-than-usual rainy season, high fuel prices and superheated demand have combined to send prices for the beloved food soaring, and consumers are seeing red. Facebook pages have popped up for Brazilians to vent their anger, and some restaurants have even dropped tomato-based dishes from their menus. Opposition lawmakers pushed grocery carts laden with tomatoes and other pricey fruits and vegetables into the House of Representatives to complain about inflation, while people living near Brazil’s southern border are crossing into Argentina and Paraguay to smuggle in tomatoes in defiance of customs laws. The price of tomatoes has more than doubled over the past year, according to Brazil’s IBGE statistics agency. A kilogram now fetches as much as $6.50 (U.S.) at some Rio de

Janeiro supermarkets — a hefty sum in a country where the minimum wage is just $339 a month. While the price of a whole range of basic vegetables from carrots to cabbage to potatoes has risen steeply over the past year, only manioc flour, which saw a 140 per cent price spike over the past 12 months, has risen more steeply than the tomato. Clever cartoons and tongue-incheek photos on the “Tomatoes are very expensive” Facebook page cast them as a luxury, Brazil’s newest status symbol. “Five star meal,” reads the caption above a photo of a workaday lunch of breaded meat, rice and salad, crowned by two skimpy tomato slices. “Want to conquer her love? Give her this,” says a cartoon featuring a shining gold band topped off with a pyramid of juicy red tomatoes. According to a report in the newspaper O Globo, the online backlash started when an Italian restaurant in Sao Paulo announced that it was holding off on buying fresh tomatoes and suggested clients opt for spaghetti with shrimp sauce in-

stead. A segment on the Globo television network showed Brazilians stocking up on tomatoes at supermarkets across the border in Argentina. The piece ended with a stern admonishment from a Brazilian customs agent warning that crossing back into Brazil with such “contraband” could lead to its confiscation. Vendors and buyers at an outdoor fruit and vegetable market in Rio’s Flamengo neighbourhood this week had tomatoes on the brain. Chauffeur Otacilio Cavalcante sorted through a bin of mostly small and yellowish tomatoes, searching for the juiciest and reddest specimens for a special lunchtime treat. “I’ve pretty much cut tomatoes out of my diet because at prices like these, who can afford then?” Cavalcante said with a shrug as he picked out four tomatoes destined for a salad. “I used to eat them all the time, but now they’re a just for special occasions. It’s crazy.” At $5 a kilogram, the small bin of tomatoes at vendor Adelina Dias stand garnered precious little attention.

in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter, noting that small businesses remained cautious and were not investing their capital. JPMorgan’s corporate and private equity unit, which housed the group that posted the London Whale trading losses, had a profit of $250-million in the first quarter of 2013, compared with a $1.02billion loss in the same period a year earlier. The bank also enjoyed a big benefit from declining litigation expenses, which were close to nil in the first quarter of 2013 versus about $2.5-billion in last year’s first quarter. With that change, net income for the overall bank rose to $6.53-billion, or $1.59 a share, from $4.92billion, or $1.19 a share, a year earlier. Total revenue fell 3.6 per cent to $25.12-billion. Year-ago results were reduced by 12 cents a share due to losses from the London Whale credit derivatives trades. Results for both periods included other special items. Income in mortgage banking, which helped boost profits last year, fell in the first quarter to $673million, from about $980-million last year. Profit margins from lending have been shrinking across the industry.

Japan, U.S. agree on Tokyo joining TPP talks


APAN and the United States have agreed on a deal to allow Tokyo to join talks on a U.S.led Asia-Pacific free-trade pact that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making a keystone of his strategy to open Japan’s economy and spur long-sought growth., Reuters reports. The agreement brings Japan closer to entering talks on the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), which Japan hopes to participate in as early as July. “Japan and the United States have reached an agreement on Japan’s participation in the TPP talks,” Abe told reporters on Friday after a meeting with cabinet ministers. “I think Japan’s national interests are protected under this U.S.-Japan agreement,” he said, adding he hoped Japan could take part in the negotiations as soon as possible. In Washington, Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said Japan had agreed to “a robust package of actions and agreements” to address U.S. concerns in the automotive, insurance and other sectors.




Forte Oil: Getting back on stream?


OR the first time in four years, Forte Oil Plc returned to profitability. From a N20 billion net loss in 2011, the company recorded a modest profit of N1.01 billion in 2012. Audited report and accounts of Forte Oil for the year ended December 31, 2012 highlighted the increasingly efficient cost management and realignment of core business operations, though the immediate restrain further weighed on the top-line. While turnover dropped by 22 per cent, actual and underlying profitability recorded most in recent years. Management’s tight control on sales and operating costs underpinned a turnaround, which trickled from the top to the bottomline. Cost of sales dropped by 25 per cent and reversed the sustained decline in gross profit. Gross profit rebounded with an increase of 16 per cent in 2012 as against declines of 28.2 per cent and 8.1 per cent in 2011 and 2010. Operating expenses, including distribution and administration expenses, also dropped by 72 per cent. This further moderated decline in non-core business income and increase in finance expenses. These top-down cost managements boosted the bottom-line. Average gross profit margin improved from 7.5 per cent in 2011 to 11.2 per cent in 2012. As against average pre-tax loss of 17.1 per cent on every unit of sale in 2011, Forte Oil made a modest profit of





By Taofik Salako

1.3 per cent in 2012. The improvement in profitability also changed underlying returns from negative to positive just as the intrinsic value of the downstream company improved considerably. However, the company’s balance sheet showed a mixed outlook, with less liquidity and higher financial leverage counterbalanced by improved equity/total assets ratio. Its negative working capital also underlines the challenge for continuing recovery.

Financing structure Forte Oil’s paid up share capital remained unchanged at N540 million, consisting of 1.08 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. Shareholders’ funds rode on the back of increased profitability and retained earnings to N7.58 billion, representing an increase of 29 per cent on N5.89 billion recorded in 2011.Total assets stood at N42.51 billion in 2012 as against N45.23 billion in 2011. Total long-term assets increased by 16 per cent from N15.28 billion to N17.79 billion to counterbalance almost similar decline in current assets from N29.94 billion to N24.72 billion. On the other side, total liabilities dropped by 11 per cent from N39.34 billion to N34.93 billion. Current liabilities stood at N34.58 billion as against 38.21 billion. Long term liabilities dropped from N1.12 billion to N347 million.





Equity funds provided stronger supports at 18 per cent of total assets in 2012 as against 13 per cent in 2011. The proportion of current liabilities to total assets stood at 81 per cent in 2012 compared with about 85 per cent in 2011. The proportion of short-term bank loans to equity funds, however, trended upward to 130 per cent as against 108 per cent, underlining consideration for equity recapitalisation.

Efficiency Average cost efficiency improved during the year as the company reined in relative cost of sales and operating expenses. Average cost of sale per unit of sale decreased in 2012, providing early headroom for profit growth. Overall outlook suggests improved productivity alongside the improvement in cost efficiency. However, there were no data to determine actual productivity level in relation to average cost per human capital. Total cost of business, excluding finance charges, improved commendably from 117 per cent in 2011 to 97.5 per cent in 2012.

Profitability Forte Oil recorded its first profit in four years in 2012 as improved cost management enhanced the profit-making capacity of the downstream company. Underlying profitability indices firmed up to highest levels in recent years, which also catalysed the rebound of the outward profit and loss items. Gross profit margin improved from 7.5 per cent in 2011 to 11.2 per cent. Average pre-tax profit margin turned round from -17.1 per cent to 1.3 per cent. The positive bottom-line also reflected on the underlining returns. Average return on total assets recovered from negative 44.1 per cent to a positive of 2.7 per cent. Return on equity improved remarkably from -331.7 per cent to 13.3 per cent. Forte Oil made profit before tax of N1.15 billion in 2012, a major recovery from pre-tax loss of N19.95 billion in 2011. As against net loss of N19.54 billion in 2011, the company bounced back with

Fiscal Year Ended December 31 Nmillion

2012 12 months

% change

2011 12 months

Profit and Loss Statement Main Business Segment Total turnover Cost of sales Gross profit Operating expenses Interest and other incomes Finance expenses Pre-tax profit(loss) Post-tax profit (loss) Basic earnings per share(kobo) Gross dividend (Nm) Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net Assets per share (kobo)

90,984 90,984 80,839 10,145 7,885 611 1,722 1,150 1,008 93 0 0 702

-22.2 -22.2 -25.3 16.2 -72.2 -43.5 22.8 -105.8 -105.2 -105.1 0.0 0.0 28.8

117,000 117,000 108,273 8,727 28,357 1,082 1,402 -19,950 -19,536 -1,809 0 0 545

8,968 17,794 12,959 24,719 42,513

-6.8 16.4 -36.4 -17.4 -6.0

9,621 15,284 20,371 29,941 45,225

22,184 9,878 34,583 347 34,930

-22.3 54.9 -9.5 -69.1 -11.2

28,544 6,377 38,214 1,122 39,336

540 7,583

0.0 28.8

540 5,889

Balance Sheet Assets: Fixed assets Total long term assets Trade debtors Current assets Total assets Liabilities: Trade creditors Bank loans Current liabilities Long-term liabilities Total liabilities Equity Funds Share capital Total Equity Funds

net profit after tax of N1.01 billion. It had wallowed in the red with net loss of N2.7 billion and N9.2 billion in 2010 and 2009 respectively. On the average, shareholders earned 93 kobo on every ordinary share of 50 kobo each in 2012 as against a whooping loss of N18.09 per share recorded in 2011. The intrinsic worth of the shareholders’ value improved by about 29 per cent with net assets per share of N7.02 in 2012 as against N5.45 in previous year. Total sales stood at N90.98 billion in 2012 compared with N117 billion in 2011. Cost of sales dropped by 25 per cent from N108.27 billion to N80.84 billion. This nudged gross profit by 16 per cent from N8.73 billion to N10.15 billion. Midline costs declined considerably in 2012. Distribution expenses halved from N5.84 billion to N2.87 billion. Administrative expenses dropped by 63.7 per cent to N5.01 billion in 2012 as against N13.81 billion in 2011. Total operating expenses also declined by 72 per cent from N28.36 billion to N7.89 billion. Non-core business income dropped by 43.5 per cent from N1.08 billion to N611 million. Finance expenses also increased by 23 per cent from N1.40 billion to N1.72 billion. In spite of the net profit, the board of the company has however, not recommended any dividend payment, meaning that shareholders still have a long wait.

Liquidity Forte Oil’s liquidity position appeared stable, although its negative working capital still coloured the overall liquidity outlook. Current ratio, which measures the financial agility of a company by relating current assets to relative liabilities, stood at 0.71 times in 2012 as against 0.78 times in 2011. Working capital/turnover ratio stood at -10.8 per cent in 2012 as against -7.1 per cent in 2011. Debtors/creditors ratio closed 2012 at 58.4 per cent compared with 71.4 per cent in 2011.

Governance and structures Forte Oil, formerly known as African Petroleum (AP), is a major downstream company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The Forte Oil Group includes a foreign subsidiary, AP Oil and Gas Ghana Limited (APOG), which operates some eight retail outlets in Ghana and an indigenous upstream services company, AP Oilfields Services Limited (APOS). Forte Oil has more than 500 retail outlets spread across the country, a fuel storage facility at Apapa and aviation joint users hydrant in Ikeja, Lagos. It also operates another large storage depot at Onne, Rivers State as well as

•Femi Otedola joint aviation depots in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano. With 1.08 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, Forte Oil currently has market capitalisation of N15.3 billion. The board and management of the company remain stable. Mr Olufemi Otedola, the core investor in the company, chairs the group’s board of directors while Mr Akin Akinfemiwa leads the executive management team as group chief executive officer. On the basis of available information, the company has largely complied with extant codes of corporate governance and best practices.

Analyst’s opinion The overall outlook for Forte Oil is a bit encouraging, especially against the background of the chequered history of the company. The success factors have been management’s intensive cost control and realignment strategies. It needs to sustain these while building on the top-line to create headroom for sustained profit growth. The 2012 results could serve as the foundation, upon which the company could rally all stakeholders to irreversible path of recovery. With the completion of the restructuring of its business and subsequent transformation into a lean and more efficient technology-driven company, aggressive business drives in the downstream and upstream sectors should coagulate into stronger platform for future growth. It, however, still needs to be conscious of the red flags- its high financial leverage and related financing expenses, fragile balance sheet structure and sales volume growth. As future profitability reinforces investors’ confidence, Forte Oil needs to consider readjusting its equity-loan balance through additional equity funds. While the oil and gas sector is plagued with several extenuating global and domestic factors, including its deformed deregulation, which could moderate performance, there is reasonable basis to assume stable outlook for the company.

Fiscal Year Ended December 31

2012 %

2011 %

Financing structure Equity funds/Total assets Long-term liabilities/Total assets Current liabilities/Total assets Debt/Equity ratio

17.8 0.8 81.3 130.3

13.0 2.5 84.5 108.3

Profitability Gross profit margin Pre-tax profit margin Return on total assets Return on equity Dividend cover (times)

11.2 1.3 2.7 13.3 0.00

7.5 17.1 44.1 331.7 0.00

Efficiency Pre-tax profit per employee (Nm) NA Staff cost per employee (Nm) NA Cost of sales, operating exp/Turnover

NA NA 97.5116.8

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

0.78 7.1 71.4

0.71 -10.8 58.4





• An embraer aircraft maintenance hangar

There are many benefits in having hangars in a country. Besides reducing the cost of aircraft maintenance, they create jobs. In Ethiopia, the Boeing Maintenance Hangar has created thousands of jobs. Aviation Correspondent KELVIN OSA-OKUNBOR reports.

Building hangars, creating jobs M

AINTENANCE Repair Organisations (MROs) worldwide have facilities where major repairs of aircraft are done. In aviation, aircraft maintenance hangars are potential job creators for aircraft engineers, avionics specialists and other categories of technicians that. Anywhere aircraft maintenance hangars are established, thousands of direct and indirect jobs are created. This is why airlines fly to the United States, Turkey, South Africa and Ethiopia, among other countries for regular maintenance and checks on their aircraft. Aircraft maintenance hangars are major foreign exchange earners for countries where they exist. For instance, the Boeing maintenance hangar in Ethiopia, continues to generate thousands of jobs. There have been calls for the establishment of aircraft maintenance hangars in Nigeria. Airline operators believe that the segment can generate thousands of jobs. In 2001, efforts were made by an American firm to establish a national aircraft

hangar at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. The project did not take off because of certain issues. For some years, foreign and domestic airlines as well as some industry players have been contemplating establishing an hangar. Plans by the German carrier, Lufthansa, to build an hangar in Abuja, which is expected to serve as a major hub for aircraft repairs in West, Central and other parts of Africa is on the drawing board. Besides job creation, the establishment of an hangar would reduce the huge cost of aircraft repairs by domestic carriers, which travel to Turkey, Germany, Europe and the United States to fix their aircraft. Such repairs can also be done at the Royal Air Maroc facility in Morocco, South Africa or Ethiopia. But there is hope for job seekers amid plans by a domestic carrier, Arik Air, to rebuild its hangar at its headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. This multi-billion naira hangar is being packaged in partnership with major aircraft

manufacturers, including Bombardier, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, Boeing and Airbus. At a reception for Bombardier President, Mr Pierre Baeudoin,Arik Chairman Ikhide Arumemi, said an agreement had been signed with Lufthansa Technik as major partner. Arumemi said Arik would sign an agreement with Lufthansa Technik in Germany for details of how the hangar would be rebuilt. He said when completed, the hangar would not only carry out major repairs of Arik aircraft, but also new generation aircraft in the fleet of other domestic airlines. He spoke of plans to consolidate the business relationship between the airline and Bombardier to involve other areas of airline operations, not limited to aircraft acquisition. Soon, he said, when the number of aircraft type manufactured by Bombardier increases, discussions on maintenance could be explored. He said: “We are on the last lap of the agree-

ment. We are in discussion with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany. This is to enable us to rebuild our maintenance hangar that will take care of the repairs of our Bombardier aircraft, the company is buying into it, even, Boeing is buying into it. “The hangar is going to be rebuilt, and it will take care of major repairs of aircraft, manned by Lufthansa personnel for the repairs of new generation aircraft of all airlines. This will be affordable for everybody.” Aircraft manufacturer Embraer also plans to establish an aircraft service maintenance centre at a SkyJet Airlines facility in Kaduna State for executive jets. The Regional Sales Director, Mr. Lynton Van Aswegen, Embraer Executives jets for Africa, said the facility is being built on SkyJet premises because of the airline’s capability to take over the burden of aircraft repairs, insurance and crew •Continued on page 38




Building hangars, creating jobs •Continued from page 37 matters from the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer when the line comes. Aswegen said when the facility comes on stream, it will be the first in Africa. It will save operators of private jets in Nigeria the huge cost of flying their aircraft to Europe, America and other far destinations for maintenance. The service centre is expected to generate hundreds of jobs for teeming aviation professionals. He said: “We are planning to set up a service centre in Nigeria, Kaduna precisely, at the premises of SkyJet Airlines facility. It will help operators run their aircraft more efficiently. “This will be important to owners of private jets in Nigeria, because most aircraft manufacturers do not have such facility in the country. This will assist them to run the aircraft more efficiently, by saving them huge costs of maintenance, if they have to ferry the aircraft abroad. “This is how the SkyJet Airlines facility will be of tremendous help. It will save cost, as the operators will not need to take their planes outside Nigeria to be fixed. When Embraer appointed SkyJet Airlines, we considered its capacity to manage our aircraft type. This will take the burden of issues involving crew management, insurance and aircraft maintenance off our neck.

• Arumemi

• Fadugba

“The executive jet business is booming in Nigeria, and it is still growing. This is why Nigeria has the highest number of private jets flying in Africa. And most of the executive jets are new airplanes with the latest technology.” The President, Aviation Roundtable, Captain Dele Ore, and the former Secretary-General of African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Mr Nick Fadugba, have canvassed the establishment of a strong MRO for airlines in Nigeria to generate jobs. Ore called on the Federal Government to set up a committee to seek ways of collaborating with the Akwa Ibom maintenance repair and overhaul facility in Uyo to enhance capacity and create jobs. Fadugba said the necessity to set up a maintenance hangar in Nigeria was long over-

due, adding that the establishment of such a facility will generate jobs for industry professionals. According to the former AFRAA secretary, there is need for airlines to pool their resources together, establish maintenance hangar and run it at a profit. Fadugba said: “Nigeria is ripe to have an aircraft maintenance hangar. It is long overdue. We can acquire the expertise. The point is, do we have enough aircraft fleet? No, we don’t. All the commercial aircraft are just about 50. Seriously speaking, Nigeria needs a modern international MRO (Maintenance Repair Overhaul), in Lagos. “MRO must be where the business is, which is Lagos. Abuja is great, but MRO must be where the business is, and that is Lagos, because not only will you do line

maintenance (daily servicing of the aircraft), you can also do checks - light and heavy repairs on the aircraft. “One airline may not be able to build a hangar, or none of them has the fleet size to justify the investment.” The Chief Executive Officer of Belujane Konzults, Mr Chris Aligbe, canvassed the setting up of a maintenance facility for aircraft repairs in the country. He said such a facility would reduce operating costs for domestic carriers that fly their planes overseas for major repairs. If the facility is established here, it would create jobs for the industry’s professionals, he said. Aligbe, a former spokesman of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited, said to make the project viable, the facilitators must adopt measures to sustain patronage for the project. He said: “A maintenance facility in Nigeria is long overdue. The government should facilitate the establishment of such a project, and ensure that the airlines have enough aircraft in their fleet to ensure that it is profitable. “If there are not enough aircraft to sustain the maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, it could be a failure. Above all, there must be competence in fleet and aircraft type to make it work. “One sure way of achieving this is the entrenchment of standardisation of fleet and line management to boost the competence of such a facility.” He affirmed that without standardisation of aircraft type, the industry could have problems with growth and development, as major aircraft repair facilities are driven by the development of competences in aircraft types. Aligbe said: “Most of the airlines in Nigeria do not have commonality of aircraft type to drive maintenance and repair overhaul facilities.”

MOVERS AND SHAKERS DHL gets manager for West Africa

D • Animasaun

HL Nigeria has app o i n t e d AdesolaKudirat Animasaun as the new IT Manager Programme for West Africa. The appointment took effect from January. Before the appoinment,

Animasaun was Head of IT Manager, Anglophone Africa and was responsible for the provision of IT professional services that make DHL business to obtain its competitive advantage and state of the art IS solution. She was also responsible for

the management of IS services and Infrastructure for DHL business in pre-sales and post-sales customer IS requirement. A statement from the firm said: “Animasaun is an experienced IT professional. She is internationally certified

and that has made her what she is today. She is an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual, who always strives to achieve a very high standard in whatever she embarks on. She has worked as IT personnel with numerous conglomerates and private organisa-

tions before joining DHL in 2001.” She has B.Sc/Ed in Computer Science from Ogun State University (OOU), Ago Iwoye. In her new position, Animasaun is expected to deliver all DHL applications and programmes or projects in West Africa and also to integrate DHL solutions to customers.


Getting your dream job: Techniques, strategies


ELCOME to another Mon-day and another series in our self-made avowal to empower individuals to get their dream job in the shortest possible time. The inspiration came from Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and feedback from numerous readers of The Nation. You’ve got that great résumé in hand and you are rearing to get on and be on your mother of all searches: to find a job! But wait, it takes much more than having just a résumé and bristling energy to have a successful job search. You need a search game plan. The job hunter or career changer can find job hunting to be a frustrating experience. Fact is, it’s a job finding a job! There are no set of rules for job hunting; no magic formulas or solutions. However, by utilising all the options available to us, we can make the job search more efficient and be successful in the shortest possible time. A successful job search starts with thorough preparation and planning. This is true whether you are beginning your career, seeking re-employment or considering a more satisfying occupation. First assess your characteristics; take a good look at who you are and what you have done. This will require time and effort, but the time you invest will be worthwhile. Selfassessment can help you to decide on a realistic job objective. The information you discover will also be helpful when writing your resume, completing job applications and preparing for job interviews. In exploring career options the questions are:

By Olu Oyeniran

Do I want to remain in that field? • Would the strengths I have serve in a related field of work? • Would I consider returning to school to learn new job skills which are in demand? • As a recent college graduate, could I translate my strengths into a career? • Is self-employment a possibility? • In answering these questions, carefully consider personal circumstances, your lifestyle, health, family circumstances and financial needs. Keep these factors in mind when making career plans. • Considering everything you know about yourself, try to think of some career possibilities that you could do well arid would enjoy.

Organisation is key Staying organised in the hunt is imperative. It is extremely important to be organised. Maintain a notebook with contact sheets for recording names and information relative to your efforts. Keep copies of all job leads or ads that you respond to. Maintain a calendar or weekly plan of action for your job hunt and record and review the number of contacts made each week. As stated earlier, it is job looking a job! If you are experiencing a career transition, staying in the routine of a job hunt is difficult. Remember, you are marketing yourself daily. Begin each day with the attitude that you are “open for business.’ Follow the plan

you established for yourself and keep with it until you’ve reached your goal. Don’t unwittingly extend your job search time by limiting the techniques you use. There are several techniques and strategies for effective job fishing. We shall proceed to look at them.

Networking Networking is a key process in job seeking, job keeping, and position advancement, in the future it will be necessary to give greater attention to this process as competition for good jobs becomes keener and advancement opportunities become fewer. More and more, individuals must learn to develop and use networks of contacts if they are to best achieve their goals and career potential. Networking in a nutshell, is nothing more than asking the people you already know to help you find out about the job market and meet the people who are actually doing the hiring. The hard facts “Informal contacts account for almost 75 per cent of all successful job searches. Agencies find about nine per cent of new jobs for professional and technical people, and ads yield another 10 per cent or so. Don’t hesitate to talk to friends, acquaintances, and neighbours about your job search in reality, you are asking for advice, not charity. Most of the people you contact will be willing to help you, if only you will tell them how. You probably know more people than you think. The key to making progress is to start asking the right

people for the right kind of assistance. The ultimate object of your job search is to convince the person who has the power to hire you that you ought to be working for him or her. The one you want to talk to is not necessarily the president of a company; it is rather the one who heads the department that could use your expertise. Direct contact with the hiring authority is far and away the most effective job-hunting method. Your strategy and schedule should reflect that fact, and most of your energy should be devoted to direct contact. You may want to explore other methods of contacting potential employers, but that should take up no more than a quarter of your job – hunting time. How do you find the hiring authority? If you are lucky, someone you know periodically will tell you whom to see and introduce you. Otherwise, you will have to do some homework. If you cannot find out who heads the department that interests you, call the company and ask the operator. Do not assume you can get to the hiring authority through the personnel department. If at all possible, you will avoid filling out ally personnel forms until you have had a serious interview. The same goes for sending resumes. In general, resumes are better left behind after an interview than sent ahead to generate a meeting. •Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Associates. He can be reached on Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




Foreign capital inflows hit $9b


HE aggregate foreign capital inflows were $9.1 billion in fourth quarter of 2012, External Sector Development Report released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated. The report published on the CBN website at the weekend, said the figure rose by $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter when compared with $6.6 billion recorded in third quarter of last year. Further analysis showed that both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and portfolio investment inflows increased over their levels in the third quarter by 110.9 while investment inflows remained dominant in the aggregate foreign capital inflows. However, its share declined from 78.1 per cent in the third quarter to 66.2 per cent. However, the outward foreign capital flows increased from $0.91 billion in third quarter to $1.08 billion in fourth quarter due to the ac-

Stories by Collins Nweze

tivities of the subsidiaries of domestic money banks in the West African sub-region. The CBN said foreign exchange inflows to the economy in fourth quarter stood at $32.24 billion compared with $31.23 billion in third quarter, representing an increase of 3.2 per cent. Total outflows amounted to $8.15 billion as against $8.67 billion. Consequently, a net inflow of $24.09 billion was recorded in 2012 compared with $22.56 million in third quarter. External reserves also increased from $40.64 billion to $43.83 billion during the review period, while the exchange rate remained relatively stable. “Despite these positive developments, the persistent deficit in the services account calls for proactive policy actions targeted at the development of services sub-sector and

Skye Bank offers $500m loan to maritime sector

investment in human capital through vocational and technical education. The current attention being given to the agricultural sector should be sustained in order to reduce high import bills on food items. The major threats to external sector stability in the medium term are; the volatile nature of the short-term capital inflows, slowly rising external debts and non-diversification of the economy,” it said. The estimated current account position showed a lower surplus of $7.2 billion or 10.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in fourth quarter compared with $7.7 billion recorded in third quarter of 2011. It attributed the development to the increased out-payments on services while the widened services out-payments suggest the need to enhance the development of the sub-sector through adequate government support and development in human capital, tourism and health.


•CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido

“Relative to the level recorded in fourth quarter of 2011, the surplus in the current account in fourth quarter of 2012 increased by 188.2 per cent. Further analysis revealed that exports of goods declined by 0.8 per cent from its level in third quarter of 2012 as against an increase of 3.5 per cent over fourth quarter 2011,” it said.

Forensic expert wants Nigeria out of corrupt nations


ORENSIC expert, Mr Steven Powell, has urged accountants to work towards getting Nigeria out of the list of corrupt nations. Powell, who is the Managing Director of ENS Forensics Limited, South Africa, spoke at the Fifth Convocation Lecture of the Nigerian College of Accountancy (NCA), Jos, a Post Graduate Accountancy College established by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN). “My challenge to you is to get Nigeria away from the list. Accountants have practical roles to play in the future of the country as Nigeria is being perceived as a highlycorrupt nation,” he said. Powell said the association is happy

about the upcoming whistle blowing legislation in Nigeria. “In Nigeria, people are so scared to come forward and blow the whistle. Staff should be courageous to come forward with information without fear. When dealing with organised crime syndicates, if the whistle blower’s identity is disclosed, his life is in danger. But if the identity is not disclosed, it is hard to get the whistle blower and his life is safer,’’ the forensic expert said. He urged accountants to report fraudulent practices to the law enforcement agencies, adding that accountants should also be vigilant. “Make sure your organisation adopts the necessary control measures as an auditor. Do not look the

ency International,’’ he said. The International Adviser to ANAN, David Hunt said the association had been a very ethical and professional.

other way, act with honesty and integrity. Nigeria is rated at the bottom by Transparency International. We want to see Nigeria scoring at least 50 per cent mark by Transpar-

Standard Bank’s costs weigh on profit


TANDARD Bank will press ahead with expensive plans to open another 30 branches in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aiming to cash in on booming loan and deposit growth even as the costs of such investment hit its bottom line. Reuters said Africa’s biggest bank by assets, is 20 per cent owned by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. It blamed a below-forecast

nine per cent increase in first-half profit on costs of investment. “It really has been growing rapidly and we’ve continued to invest, which is part of the reason for the cost growth that you’ve seen,” Chief Executive Jacko Maree said, referring to its 16 operations across the continent. “But if you look at the profitability in Africa you saw the profits


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

GAINERS AS AT 12-04-13




5.58 2.35 0.75 1.10 1.71 0.65 0.56 1.13 0.68 0.72

6.13 2.58 0.82 1.20 1.86 0.70 0.60 1.20 0.71 0.75

CHANGE 0.55 0.23 0.07 0.10 0.15 0.05 0.04 0.07 0.03 0.03


O/PRICE 1.90 0.81 3.16 1.39 1.18 0.78 8.73 1.58 2.99 1.87

C/PRICE 1.71 0.73 2.85 1.26 1.07 0.71 8.00 1.45 2.90 1.82



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%


LOSERS AS AT 12-04-13



Offered ($) Demanded ($)



growing by some 80 per cent, just looking at the on-the-ground banks on the continent, which is a very big jump.” He pledged to do all he could to control spending after a 17 per cent rise in the six months to the end of June but said costs would continue to climb as the bank seeks to cash in on an estimated 30-40 per cent rise in loans and deposits across the continent.



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

KYE Bank Plc has granted facilities amounting to $500 million to operators in the maritime industry in recent times and has reaffirmed its commitment into funding projects in the subsector. The bank’s General Manager, Corporate Banking (Maritime and Aviation sector), Mr. Segun Opeke, explained that the loan was part of its commitment to the development of the maritime industry in the country. He said the amount represents money provided to indigenous ship owners and other stakeholders for the acquisition of ships and other critical work tools needed to strengthen operation o the sector. Speaking at a forum of maritime stakeholders, Opeke said the bank was prepared to expand its credit lines to the operators to further develop the industry. According to him, the bank was responsible for the provision of credit facilities to indigenous ship owners for the acquisition of an estimated 50 per cent of the entire fleet in the country.

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 138.34 152.72 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 1.00 137.92 153.03 0.78 1.14 1.09 100.00 1,000.00 1,781.87 14.82 1.33 1.80 10,528.92


CHANGE 0.19 0.08 0.31 0.13 0.11 0.07 0.73 0.13 0.09 0.05


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











Drop in petrodollars push naira to five-day decline training over the last 10 years to many clients in Europe and North America, we look forward to being of service to an African clientele,” said Marc Gardiner, CEO of IASeminars said in a statement. Also, Oduware Uwadiae, Partner - IFRS Services, Deloitte West & Central Africa said his firm is pleased to be working with IASeminars to provide a comprehensive range of IFRS training solutions. “Our technical IFRS knowledge added to the IASeminars international training expertise represents a premium IFRS education opportunity for the West African market,” he said. The statement explained that under this arrangement, a wide range of IFRS courses have been scheduled in a number of African locations, as well as abroad and also online. Topics available include IFRS Immersion, US GAAP to IFRS comparison, IFRS Updates, and industry-specific courses such as Oil and Gas, Financial Services, and Public Sector Accounting (IPSAS). •Dollar notes


HE naira sustained a losing streak throughout last week as inflows from International Oil Companies (IOCs) investors’ portfolios waned. The currency slid 0.1 per cent to 157.80 per dollar bringing a fiveday decline to 0.2 per cent. Oil companies remain the second-biggest source of dollars after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which offers foreign currency at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to maintain exchange-rate stability. The apex bank sold $600 million last week, the most in nine months. “The naira has been supported by dollar sales from oil companies earlier last week, but those have probably dried up now,” Samir Gadio, an emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd. in London, said. However, borrowing costs on local-currency debt due January 2022 rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 11.08 per cent, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. Yields on Nigeria’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 declined 10 basis points to 3.967 per cent on Friday.

Eurobond yields Nigeria’s dollar-denominated borrowing costs fell to the lowest in more than nine weeks on expectations that central banks globally will provide more stimulus measures to boost their economies. Bloomberg said yields on the West African nation’s Eurobonds due January 2021 dropped 18 basis points to 4.04 per cent by, the lowest since January 31. “The market now expects the quantitative easing program in the United States to go on for longer and probably for rates to remain low for a more meaningful period. That should provide support for the Eurobond asset class,” Samir Gadio, an emerging- markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said. Yields on Ghana’s $750 million Eurobonds, due October 2017, slipped 8 basis points to 4.76 per cent. Gabon’s $1 billion debt due December 2017 retreated 11 basis points to 3.12 per cent. The United States 10-year bond yields traded below two per cent for the third straight week as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled in a speech on Tuesday that there was room for improvement in the economy, spurring bets the central bank will maintain asset purchases. The Bank of Japan last week announced stimulus measures.

IFC/SMEs The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is partnering with 10 local banks to de-risk lending to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in the country. Speaking at the SME Toolkit Global Partner conference held in Lagos, IFC, Nigeria Country Manager, Solomon Quaynor said the Corporation has realised that banks do not want high risk transactions, synonymous with lending to SMEs. He said the SME Toolkit launched in the country by IFC, IBM and EDC Pan-African University, will enable the entrepreneurs effectively manage their businesses. Consequently, he said the IFC has stepped in to derisk such loans by providing financial infrastructure and developing collateral registry that will assist banks in lending to the subsector. Quaynor said that since a lot of the SMEs do not have landed assets, except receivables. IFC he said is working with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Ministry of Trade and

Bank to bank report

•Naira notes By Collins Nweze

Investment to build a registry system that should include the ability of SMEs to borrow from banks. “We are working on getting the SMEs to use toolkit, so that banks can be more comfortable lending to the subsector. Our focus is not about giving money to the banks to lend to SMEs. It is about building their confidence in the SMEs so that that subsector can easily obtain loans from lenders,” he said. He said the corporation spends a lot of time training the banks to understand SMEs, by designing products for the subsector among other things. It is not about the money we are providing for banks, but that we are getting them to be more careful in lending to SMEs. Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan African University, Peter Bankole, said that minimum 80 per cent of jobs created in Nigeria are from small businesses. “The National Bureau of Statistics survey conducted last year showed that SMEs sector will continue to play dominant role in job creation in the economy,” he said. Bankole said the challenge remains that majority of SMEs are micro, but government is trying to move as many as possible from micro to small because that will give better multiplier effects for the economy and job creation.

ICAN The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called for improved accounting standards in the country. ICAN President, Adedoyin Owolabi disclosed this during the recognition of some of its newly accredited tertiary institutions, polytechnics and training centres in the country. He said the accreditation was meant to improve the standard of learning among students in the recognised institutions. He said the accreditation followed the need to initiate quality control and improve the level of pass rate of students in its various ICAN examinations. He said the major causes of students’ poor performance remain poor preparation by students, inadequate teaching personnel in terms of number and quality, decayed infrastructural and instructional facilities in many institutions, poorly articulated curricula for accounting related programmes and poor library facilities among others. “Therefore, in line with its statutory mandate of setting standards and regulating the practice of accountancy in the country, the council resolved to accredit centres where its’ potential registered students could receive appropriate and qualitative technical and academic training,” he said.

IMF Economic growth in Nigeria is likely to rise above seven per cent in 2013 with inflation

slowing below double digits, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had said. In its 2012 review of Africa’s second largest economy, the IMF projected that the pace of growth would pick up to 7.2 percent this year from 6.3 per cent in 2012. It said Nigeria’s tightening of monetary policy was in line with the authorities’ efforts to contain inflation below 10 per cent. The IMF also estimated that Nigeria’s currency, the naira, was “broadly in line with fundamentals”. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) held rates at 12 percent last week for the ninth consecutive time, citing concerns about ongoing external price pressures. Nigerian consumer inflation rose to 9.5 per cent in February from nine per cent in January, staying within the central bank’s single digit target. Food prices rose to 11 percent.

West African Economic Union Growth in the eight-nation West African Economic and Monetary Union will hit 6.5 per cent this year thanks to a post-crisis recovery in regional powerhouse Ivory Coast but governments need to press ahead with reforms, the Central Bank chief said. Tiemoko Meyliet Kone said strong commodities demand from emerging economies such as China and India would help the currency bloc shrug off the effects of an economic slowdown in Europe, traditionally its main trading partner. The currency bloc’s $80 billion economy grew by 5.8 per cent last year as Ivory Coast the world’s largest cocoa producer - bounced back from a brief civil war, growing by 9.8 per cent. “Faced with the current slowdown in global growth, Africa is an important region for both emerging and developed economies,” Kone said in an interview. “In 2013, the West African Monetary Union expects growth of 6.5 per cent despite the current difficulties in Mali and Guinea Bissau.” “In 2014, growth should reach seven per cent for the first time,” he said. “But despite this potential and the promising outlook, African economies are confronted by important challenges.” The central bank, which has its headquarters in Dakar, serves Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Guinea-Bissau.

Deloitte Nigeria IASeminars, a UK-based company specialising in international accounting seminars around the world and Akintola Williams Deloitte have announced their collaboration in training courses on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). “IASeminars is proud to be working with Deloitte to service the IFRS training needs of Nigeria and of the wider African market. Having provided IFRS and other financial

‘Oil companies remain the second biggest source of dollars after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which offers foreign currency at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to maintain exchange-rate stability. The apex bank sold $600 million last week, the most in nine months’

Stanbic IBTC Bank has announced the launch of Stanbic IBTC MobileMoney App for smartphones running on BlackBerry, iOS and Android operating systems. Stanbic IBTC’s Executive Director for Personal and Business Banking, Obinnia Abajue said the launch underlines the lender’s commitment to providing Nigerians with value-added products and services that suit their lifestyles, whilst giving them access to basic financial options via a secure mobile application wherever and whenever they want. The Board of Directors of Jaiz Bank Plc has appointment its General Manager in charge of the bank’s Business Development Group, Hassan Usman as the Acting Managing Director. This followed the resignation of the Managing Director, Muhammed Mustapha Bintube after almost 10 years of meritorious service, announced the The statement described Hassan as a chartered accountant and banker. He graduated with a first class in Accounting in 1985 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and became an Associate Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1989. He obtained his Postgraduate Diploma in Management in 1995 from Maastricht School of Management. Hassan also attended the Oxford University Executive Management Programme in 2002. Six winners have emerged in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc’s (GTBank’s) ongoing ‘GTCrea8’ e-savers promo for undergraduates. The winners according to a statement, emerged from six regions namely - Lagos, Abuja, Southeast, Southwest, Port Harcourt and Northern region, at a draw in Lagos. Speaking during the draw held in Lagos, an official from the bank’s Communications and External Affairs Department, Oyinade Adegite said the winners were rewarded with bedside fridge, an ipod touch, a galaxy Samsung tab 2, Samsung notebook, blackberry phone and a LED television. She said the promo was designed to encourage students to save. According to her, all that is required to participate and benefit from the promo is for students in tertiary institutions to open a GTCrea8 e-savers account and conduct a minimum of three transactions monthly on alternate banking channels such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sale (PoS) and internet banking. The Project Finance Magazine, a publication of the Euromoney Plc, UK 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.”

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013




ANAMBRA POLITICS Political parties are warming up for the next governorship election in Anambra State. Correspondent NWANOSIKE ONU examines the strengths and weaknesses of the aspirants.

Who succeeds Obi? T

HE next governorship election is expected to be a mile stone in Anambra State. Governor Peter Obi will bow out in March, next year, following the expiration of his second term in office. Will he hand over to another All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governor? Will any of the opposition parties steal the show and instal his successor? The political parties are warming up for the epic battle. The contest may hold in November. The governorshipaspirants have started positioning themselves. Four parties are in contention. There is the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which is fusing into the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Labour Party (LP). There are two other parties-the African Democratic Party (ADC) and the United Peoples Party (UPP). The PDP, which is the self-styled largest party in Africa, is in disarray in Anambra State. The ruling party,APGA, also has its problems, although the governor has done it proud by performing in office. The fearsome APC is being expected when the merger plans between the ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) are concluded. APGA is basking in the euphoria of the power of incumbency. But ACN has said that this will collapse on poll day. There are three zones Obi is pushing for power shift to Anambra North Senatorial Zone. He is mobilising party leaders to support the rotational principle. The governor has pointed out that since the creation of the state in 1991 by the former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida the zone has not produced any civilian governor. The Central Senatorial Zone produced Obi (2006 till date), Dr. Chris Ngige (2003-2006), Dame Etiaba (November 2006-February 2007). The South produced Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju (1999-2003), Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife (January 1992-November 1993) and Dr. Andy Uba, who was deposed by the court. Thus, in the last 22 years, the South has produced three gov-

• Obi

deared herself to the hearts of the people because she is a colourful politician. Recently, there was the rumours that she is only interested in becoming the deputy governor. But she debunked it, saying that “if anybody is thinking of such a thing, it means the person does not understand what politics is all about. I was there in 2010 and I want to state it here again, that I, Uche Ekwunife will be running for the governorship of this state. Why should I vie for deputy? I am not joking about it.” Ekwunife is contesting on the platform of APGA. She is from Central Senatorial Zone and the only woman running for the position at present. She is the House Committee Chairman on Environment. She has given scholarship to over 300 students, not only in Anambra, but also in other states. She has widows and other less privileged persons on her pay roll. In the state, Ekwunife is described as the woman with the heart of gold. The only thing that disturbs her mind right now is the crisis tearing her party apart. Already, the aspirant has visited the 21 local government areas for the inauguration of her campaign committees. Ekwunife, Ngige and Ifeanyi Uba are the only contenders for the governorship position who are serious with their projects at the moment.

Uba (PDP) • Map of Anambra State.

ernors and the Central has also had a stint. Anambra North has only been playing the second fiddle. The former deputy governor, Dr. Chidi Nwike, who was recently murdered in Asaba, Delta State capital, hailed from the zone. He was until his demise the National Vice Chairman of the ACN in the Southeast. Chief Chinedu Emeka, who was deputy to Mbadinuju, is also from the zone. The various groups and associations calling for power shift to the North have been strengthened by the governor’s position. However, the aspirants from other zones are not deterred by this clamour. Those of them who belong to the ruling party have vowed to resisit the governor’s move to back a contender from the North. From all indications, the aspirants from the other zones seem to be stronger than those from the North. Therefore, observers contend that the North may end up producing another deputy governor. Already, the posters of the aspirants have flooded the nooks and crannies of the state. Those who have not come out with posters said that they are consulting with the stakeholders. The aspirants include ACN

• Senator Ngige

strongman, Senator Ngige, who represents Anambra Central, the federal legislator from Anaocha/ Njikoka Dunukofia Constituency, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, Senator Andy Uba, Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, and Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu. Others are Chief Olisa Metuh, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, Dr. Ifeanyi Uba, Mr. John Nwosu, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu, Oseloka Obaze, Senator Emma Anosike, and Sir Godwin Ezemo. PDP has more aspirants than other parties. APGA has a sizeable number. But ACN seems to parade the strongest aspirant. There are some aspirants still floating without any political platform. Some are just in the race to seek relevance. Some of them lack a strong financial base. More aspirants may still join the crowd.



E is the political bulldozer. The dimunitive, bearded politician is very popular in the state. Many admire him for his courage and strong will. He is vocal on the podium and he has mobilisation skill. Ngige is running for the third time. He ruled the state between 2003 to 2006, be-

fore he was removed by the Appeal Court in Enugu, which ruled that Obi won the 2003 poll. He has a good leadership style. He also performed creditably as the governor. Ngige constructed many roads that have continued to remind the people that he cared for them. The roads opened up many communities. Recently, Ngige said that he was not coming back to play but to continue the good work. He explained that his motto now is: “Operation totality for restoration of the abused system”. However, he will have challengers in the ACN, although there is the pervading feeling that he will get the ticket. Ngige’s popularity has reflected in the outcome of past polls in Anambra State. His party won six House of Assembly seats, one House of Representatives seat and a senatorial seat. During the senatorial election, he defeated the former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof Dora Akunyili of APGA. If he emerges as the ACN candidate, he will be the candidate to beat.

Ekwunife (APGA) Uche Lilian Ekwunife has en-

Ngige ‘He has a good leadership style. He also performed creditably as the governor. Ngige constructed many roads that have continued to remind the people that he cared for them. The roads opened up many communities. Recently, Ngige said that he was not coming back to play but to continue the good work. He explained that his motto now is: “Operation totality for restoration of the abused system’

Andy Uba, who represents Anambra South Senatorial Zone in the Senate, had tested the carrot in 2007 when he won the seat under (PDP). But his tenure lasted for only 17days, following the interpretation of tenure by the Supreme Court that returned Obi to power. In 2010, PDP denied him the ticket and handed it over to the former Central Bank Governor Prof Chukwuma Soludo. Uba moved to the Labour Party, but he failed to make an impact. Many believed that he was in the race to reduce the chances of Soludo. After the election, Uba returned to the PDP, where he has been consulting with stakeholders on his ambition to return to power . This seems to be yielding dividends. Although he has not formally launched his ambition, political hangers-on have been urging him to contest. Analysts believe that Uba may make an impact during the election, if given the ticket by his party. However, others are equally going for the same ticket. The only problem he may face is clearing the mess of his enfant terrible younger brother, Chief Chris Uba. Political observers say he may not likely pursue his project on the platform of PDP because of his alleged romance with LP , if he is denied the PDP ticket, which is likely to happen.

Nwankpo (PDP)


ANY believe that he has the backing of the Presi dency to grab the PDP ticket. He is the Secretary of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Em•Continued on page 44




• Uba •Continued from page 4

powerment Programme (SURE-P), which has been enmeshed by controversies. The man, who hails from Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area, has been acquiring chieftaincy titles since 2012. He has also actively participated in alleviating the sufferings of the flood victims. However, some people have been alleging that he does not have what it takes to rule Anambra State and that he is not a grassroots politician. Alhough he has not corrected such impression already created by delving into the foundation work, analysts still believe that he still has a lot of work to do. A close look at him could convince one that he is a gentle man, but the question remains whether he could swim in the political water of Anambra State, despite his closeness to President Goodluck Jonathan. Nwankpo is believed to be in the good books of all the appointees of the President, but can he get the ticket?

Ukachukwu (PDP) In 2010, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu contested the governorship on the platform of Hope Democratic Party (HDP), but failed to secure the ticket. Today, he is back to the PDP . He has not formally announced his ambition, but insiders in his camp told The Nation that he is seriously mobilising for the exercise. A dogged fighter and mobiliser, Ukachukwu is known for contesting every election in the state. He contested and won the House of Representatives seat in Abuja Municipal Council in 1999. Already, he has taken a full duplex in Awka for his campaign, with his photograph boldly displayed in front of the building along Onitsha-Enugu Express Way. His major problem now is how to get the PDP ticket, which is also being contested by Nwankpo and Uba. If he eventually emerges, he is likely to face stiff opposition from some party chieftains.

Obaze (APGA) A career diplomat, Obaze returned to the state on Obi’s request to become the Secretary to the Government. Described as a gentleman and a hard worker by his admirers, Obaze replaced his younger brother in Obi’s executive council, Dubem, who was referred to as de-facto governor of the state during his time as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters. The Nation gathered that the ground is being watered for him by APGA to replace Obi, despite the number of interests in the plum job. The Ogbaru Local Government borndiplomat, returned to the country in 2012, when he assumed his new position. Many APGA faithful believe that the party may be embarking on a suicide mission, if eventually he picks the ticket because he is a political neophyte.

• Obidigbo



Who wears the crown? Uba


‘Analysts believe that Uba may make necessary impact during the Governorship election, if given the ticket by his party. However, others are equally going for the same ticket. The only problem he may face, is clearing the mess of his enfant terrible younger brother in the state, Chief Chris Uba’

‘Many associations have been formed in the state by the youth and the women in support of Ubah with “h”, while actors and actresses under the aegis of Nollywood have been following him to every nook and cranny to show their support’



‘I was there in 2010 and I want to state it here again, that I, Uche Ekwunife will be running for the governorship of this state. Why should I vie for deputy? I am not joking about it’ But what is going for him is his humility, sense of direction and organisational acumen.

Ezeemo (ACN)


OR now, he is the only person to battle Ngige for the party’s ticket, having been with the party when he was in London. He is a party financier. Sir Godwin Ezeemo’s gestures to churches, markets, artisans, corporate organisations and has really brought him closer to the masses. Moreover, his support for Ngige for a period of over seven years has made people to believe that, if given such opportunity, he is likely to surpass what the former governor did. The amiable young man built a twostorey edifice for the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Anambra State. It is worth over N80 million. Previous and present administrations could not achieve that. Not only that, in May 2012, the Orient Magazine and Newspaper publisher took another giant stride in collaboration with the Anambra State NUJ by organising a one-week public conference on value re-orientation. He is a formidable challenger to Ngige.

Ubah (APGA) Ifeanyi Ubah is the man the Uba Dynasty in Uga, Aguata Local Government Area, refers to as Ubah with “h” in the

‘Many APGA faithful believe that the party may be embarking on a suicide mission, if eventually he picks the ticket because he is a political neophyte. But what is going for him is his humility, sense of direction and organisational acumen’ state. The Chief Executive of Capital Oil and Gas hails from Nnewi. It was believed that his travails recently were the handwork of some people in the state because of his political ambition. Apart from Ngige and Ekwunife, who are on the lips of ACN and APGA faithful, Ubah is the next person in line that has appealed to the people. In 2012, he distributed kerosene to many homes at the peak of scarcity which hit the country. He ordered that a litre should be sold at N50 when it was being sold at N150 per litre elsewhere. Many associations have been formed in the state by the youths and the women in support of Ubah with “h”, while Nollywood actors and actresses have been following him to every nook and cranny to show their support. Before now, he has supported the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, who is battling other party leaders for the soul of the party. His subtle endorsement earlier by Umeh was what triggered off the sour relationship between Obi and his chairman. However, political observers believe that, with Uba and Ekwunife pairing , APGA is likely to give other candidates sleepless nights as being speculated.

Anosike (PDP) The only thing that has been hampering Emmanuel Anosike from kicking off his campaigns is the crisis that has bedeviled his party in the past eight years. The senator, who represented Anambra

North, but was replaced by Senator Joy Emodi following a Court of Appeal verdict, has been holding meetings in his country home, Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area. Anosike had equally represented his Anambra East and West in the House of Representatives between 1991 and 1993 where he excelled. Since then, he has not looked back in Anambra politics and is regarded as a political buldozer by his admirers and supporters. He seems to be the only person in the PDP that has officially announced his interest and readiness to represent the party during the election. Furthermore, it is believed that “Opete Umueri” has the ears of the powers that be in the party. He is close to the Presidency, which was the reason for his being made the Southeast Co-ordinator of Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation during the 2011 presidential election. Apart from these gladiators, there are other candidates in other smaller parties. They include Dr. Chike Obidigbo, who hails from Umunya in Oyi Local Government Area. He is the Southeast Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). He has been going round to canvass for support and relies heavily on the promise of Governor Obi that the North should produce the next governor. There is also Dr. Alex Obigbolu from Onitsha, who was the chairman of the Anambra State Local Government Civil Service Commission. He contested the governorship in 2010 on the platform of African Political System (APS). Later, he defected to the PDP. He sees himself as the most qualified among the candidates. Though his backers are not known, but from all indications, he has a large following at the grassroots. The only thing that can hinder his chance is the lack of strong financial base. An orator and a gentleman, Obiogbolu’s intelligence is another strong point. Recently, a PDP chieftain told The Nation that the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, is also interested in the plum job. He however, said Metuh is studying the crisis in the party, which has failed to abate. Other aspirants are John Nwosu and Patrick Obianwu. The list may swell as time goes on. The Nation learnt in Awka that Obi’s deputy, Emeka Sibedu, may throw his hat into the ring. A source said that the pendulum may swing to his favour, despite the clamour for a candidate from the North. However, his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Madu, told The Nation that those behind such speculations are on their own, adding that his boss has never has no ambition. “My boss is only interested in giving his full support to his oga, his Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, in making sure that Anambra State becomes better than they met it”, he said. The whistle has been blown. The race is on. Whoever emerges as flag bearer of his party would work harder to replace Obi n 2014.



MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013


•Wide-view prototype of the project

The N30 billion World Bank and France Development Agency’s expansion project of the Ikorodu road is part of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority’s (LAMATA) plans to extend BRT service from Mile 12 to Ikorodu town. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO writes.

New twist to traffic decongestion


HE Mile 12-Ikorodu road extension is not only to improve the Ikorodu Road network, but to extend the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service from Mile 12 to Ikorodu Town, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) Director of Public Transport, Olugbenga Dairo has said. The corridor covers a distance of about 13.5kilometres. It is designed to be a medianrunning (middle) BRT with bilateral bus station configurations linked to pedestrian bridges for access. The project on completion next year will extend BRT network to approximately 36km from Ikorodu to CMS. The population of people living in Ikorodu, Dairo said, is increasing daily and this has

•Prototype of the road

caused a high demand for public transport. Dairo said the existing public transport is inadequate, unsafe and operate in an informal sector. The low and middle class status of residents of Ikorodu and the deteriorating nature of the existing transport infrastructure, he said, necessitated the extension. He said the project on completion would improve mobility along the Ikorodu road corridor by providing high quality, low cost, environmentally friendly public transportation system. The project is characterised by dedicated bus lanes; three interchange terminals (at Mile 12, Agric Bus Stop and Ikorodu); modern bus depot/garaging facilities; fully enclosed accessible bus shelters with step-free; gap-free boarding facilities; pothole free traffic lanes with multiple u-turning opportunities and grade separated pedestrian crossing facilities. The running of the BRT, he said, will fea-

ture off board electronic ticketing system; use of high capacity modern bus fleet; high frequency bus operation; effective monitoring and enforcement of BRT regulations; safe and secure public transport system. Promising at least 20 minutes reduction in waiting time for passengers on queue, Dairo said: “Not only that, the project will create no less than 2,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs and 16 per cent reduction in Co2 and 50 per cent reduction in public transport related accidents.” He said there will be 15 bus stations seven on either side with one at Mile 12. The station, he said, is designed to be integrated with pedestrian footbridges. “The bus stations will be located at Mile 12, Owode-Onirin; Irawo; Majidun; Ogolonto, Agric and Aruna. We have provisions for concrete side drains and extension of pipe and box culverts. We are going to construct new bridges at nine locations - single and double lane bridges. Likewise, there will

be provision of lay-byes for other public transport services with U-turns at 12 locations (six per direction),” he stated. On how the immediate communities are buying into the idea, Dairo said the stakeholders have been properly briefed on the development the project would bring into the areas. “Do not forget that 265 buses would be deployed on the corridor which would transport no fewer than 160, 000 passengers daily. The surrounding communities would benefit more. That is why we are taking them seriously on this project. We have held series of stakeholders’ meetings and community forums to constructively engage the diverse stakeholders on the project and I can say we have been able to secure the stakeholders buy-in into the project," he said. Residents of Ikorodu and environs who groan under the scorching sun due to the ongoing work are asking for a quick completion of the project.




Toyota unleashes RAV4


ASKING in the euphoria of its success last year, Toyota (Nigeria) Limited (TNL) has unveiled the new generation RAV 4 for auto lovers. Guests at the Zinnia Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island last Friday had a feel of the new mid size Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). The SUV has been upgraded with trendier exterior, spacious interior and is bigger than the former ones. Speaking shortly before the unveiling, TNL Chairman, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, described the new SUV as another trail blazer. “Indeed, it is a remarkable package of safety, comfort and performance in equal proportion. As a matter of fact, the all new RAV 4 will not only fulfil your mid size SUV expectations, it will avail you value for your hard earned money,” Ade.Ojo said. He said the car is another masterpiece from the stable of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan to the Nigerian market. Chief Ade.Ojo reminded the gathering how TNL expanded their model portfolio by introducing the Fortuner Fabric seat option into the market. “We did not stop there we closely followed this up in the second quarter of last year with the unveiling of the new Avenza to meet the demand of the multipurpose vehicle segment. In realisation of the customer fervor that greeted this series of introductions, we took a step further by making the leader seat variant of the Fortuner available complementing


•Toyota RAV4 during unveiling By Tajudeen Adebanjo

it with Hilux automatic transmission which instantly became the icing on the cake in the pick up segment.” “Our ultimate goal in this direction, he said, includes increasing the option available to our customers in the SUV segment and generally stimulating healthy competition in the

market place.” He stated that introduction of series of state-of-the-art models at regular intervals is a key part of TNL corporate philosophy. “This tradition of excellence is informed by our resolve as a responsive and proactive organisation to meet our custom-

ers’ cravings for products and services that match current trends both in the global and local markets,” he said. Describing the RAV4 as a key Toyota model which evolved from the rich heritage of Toyota unmatchable superior quality engineering, Chief Ade.Ojo said the rich

history of the car imbues it with a treasure house of attributes peculiar only to its siblings. While lamenting the lull in the business climate, he restated Toyota’s determination to continually raise the quality of after sales service delivery to customers to sustain high confidence level value of their brand.

Trucks, vehicle manufacturer set for auto fair


ANUFACTURERS and distributors of commercial vehicles and trucks have affirmed their readiness to delight customers of their segments with the best of commercial vehicles and trucks at the forthcoming motor show. This is to keep the pace with the growing demand for durable and efficient commercial vehicles and trucks by logistics and business entrepreneurs in the country. The eight Lagos Motor Fair and Autoparts Expo Nigeria, organised by BKG Exhibitions Limited and SENEXPO Interna-

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

tional Fairs, will holds at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island next month. Some of the categories of commercial vehicles and trucks set to be at the venue of the event included: light and heavy duty trucks, tractor heads, tippers, trailers heads, tankers, cargo trucks, garbage trucks, 30-seater commercial Buses and pick-ups. Leventis Motors, distributor of Volkswagen and Eicher brands, National trucks Manufacturers (NTM), the nation’s largest com-

mercial vehicle manufacturer and, First Automobile Workshop, distributor of FAW Trucks and buses are among companies warming up to showcase the best and latest from their stables. According to the Chairman organising committee, Mr Ifeanyi Agwu, the aforementioned had agreed to continually create and consistently provide relevant, affordable and dependable automobiles to the Nigeria and ECOWAS markets for safe and convenient transfer of goods and people. Agwu said: “These giants of

truck distributorship in Nigeria while announcing their readiness to storm the fair arena with their wide range of heavy and light duty trucks, revealed their determination to unveil the best of the truck world to visitors at the fair. Another category of automobiles where keen contest will be highly at play is the luxury car and bus sections. On parade, there will be the latest from Toyota Nigeria Limited, Stallion Motors will parade its multi brands of Honda, Audi, Porsche, Hyundai, Skoda, Mahindra and

Volkswagen products, while KIA Motors will showcase the latest in the KIA family etc. “From the lubricant section, Mobil, Oando, Coin Ventures and Lubcon Limited will be exhibiting the best in engine oils and transmission fluids. International Energy Insurance (IEI) will lead the financial sectors while Rosabon Nigeria Limited will showcase the best in Fleet Management and the chief regulator of automotive sector in the country, the National Automotive Council (NAC) will lead the government sector at the event.”



N the course of my business, I have touched every state in Nigeria and I have lodged in several hotels including five star hotels. In virtually all the hotels that I have used at one time or the other, I noticed one common factor, “the waiting game.” By “waiting game”, I mean a situation where hotel managements wait until customers complain before they put some faulty facilities right if at all they put them right. There is a particular hotel in Abuja that I used thrice within a period of two months. As at the third time, I deliberately requested for that same room only to discover that the same faulty facility had not been fixed after several complaints from me and

Nigerian hotels, govt and road safety several other clients. Why on earth must they wait for customers to complain? It is expected that every hotel management should have a system whereby routine inspection is carried out on all the rooms and facilities with the goal of fixing the faulty ones without waiting for customers to complain first. Now relating this experience to Nigerian roads and road furniture, a trip to several roads in all the states will bring up a question which the passenger of a commercial bus once asked, "are government officials not plying this road?" It is expected that the Federal, state and local governments should institute a system whereby a par-

ticular department in the Ministry of works or other relevant organs will be responsible for carrying out a routine inspection of all the roads (trunk A, trunk B and trunk C as the case may be) with the aim of identifying the failed portions so that immediate action can be taken to prevent more damage to the road as well as prevent the loss of lives and properties. Why on earth should any wellmeaning government wait for public outcry on any road before taking palliative measures? Let us come to the home front. Is there any responsible father that waits for his children to start crying for food before he makes provision for their feeding? The difference here is that the father knows

that it is his responsibility to supply the needs of his children. The opposite is, however, the case in governance. The government does not believe that it owes Nigerians any obligation. The government believes that whatever they do for the citizens is a privilege to them and not a right or obligation. Whose money is being used to repair the roads? It is time now for governments at all levels to wake up to their responsibilities of paying more attention to the conditions of all the roads with the goal of making provisions for temporary and lasting solution to the roads. There are some road conditions that just one bag of cement with a little gravel

Jide Owatunmise •Registrar / Chief Executive, Professional Driving and Safety

can put right and thereby save the lives and properties that would have been wasted in such places. My question again, "why wait till the people cry out before you perform your responsibilities as the government?"




Forging a synergy between public and private universities Text of a paper delivered by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), former president, Nigerian Bar Association) and pro-chancellor and chairman of Council, University of Ibadan, at the debut of Distinguished Lecture Series of the Elizade University, Ondo State, on March 28. Continued from Friday


NOTHER reason for the establishment of private universities was/is the limited and decaying infrastructural facilities in public universities. The situation could be attributed to the poor funding of the universities by Government. Over the years, financial allocations to the universities are consistently inadequate in quantity and epileptic in supply, thus making it difficult for the universities’ administrators to put in place adequate and reliable infrastructural facilities for effective teaching of students.[34] The table below brings out the budgets of Nigeria’s Premier University (UI) in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. •Chief Olanipekun

Although I am not an economist, accountant or quantity surveyor, it is not that difficult for me to hazard a guess that tens of billions of naira might have gone into the planning and establishment of Elizade University within the past two years. If I am right, it then means that the Founder of Elizade University is committing much funds to this University than what the Federal Government expends on its Premier University and the increase in future years would be in geometrical proportion. We are all living witnesses to the fact that academic calendars in our public universities nowadays have become so uncertain, as a course which should ordinarily take four sessions or years is prolonged to a minimum of five to six years, due to a lot of variables, including but not limited to strikes by both the academic and administrative staffs, intermittently (ASUU, NASU, SSANU etc), students’ unrest as a result of several factors relating to poor or inadequate facilities, cultism, insecurity etc. One is not aware of any public university in Nigeria (apart from the University of Ilorin) that in recent times and years that has boasted of running crisis-free academic calendars for two consecutive sessions. It is on record that medical students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, as well as Olabisi Onabanjo University spend not less than between eight to nine academic sessions to obtain MB,BS degrees. In like manner, law students of these and other universities spend not less than six sessions to obtain their LL.B degrees and in the process, lost their chances of attending the Nigerian Law School, for two to three consecutive sessions. This again leads to this poor students losing for life their seniority and precedents in a profession like Law. Therefore, to parents and guardians who can readily afford the fees being charged by private universities, the establishment of these institutions became a welcome development. Below is an alphabetic listing of privately owned universities in Nigeria, showing their years of establishment.

7.9 There is also no gainsaying the fact (also as borne out in Table 5) that the unding of our public universities is receiving far less attention than it deserves, both nationally and by international or global imperative. The Editorial of Thisday newspaper of February 11, 2013 titled ‘The Latest Global University Rankings’ presented and still presents a gloomy picture of our universities’ status. The Editorial was prompted by the result of the 2012/2013 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. The rankings were based on the relative strengths of the world’s leading universities, concentrating on the areas of research, employability, teaching and internationalization. Over 2000 universities were considered and over 700 ranked with the top 400 ranked individually, while others were ranked in groups. In terms of annual budgetary allocation to education, Nigeria occupied the bottom position, that is, we came 20th out of 20 countries selected. N426 billion, which is 8.7% of the N4.9 trillion 2013 budget was miserly allocated to education and a good chunk of it would to go the settlement of overheads. Not unexpectedly, universities in the leading countries of the world were ranked amongst the best and almost seriatim, that is, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, China, South Africa, France, Spain, Egypt. This depicts and brings to the fore the inseparable relationship between education and national growth or development. It should be noted that by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) prescription, national education should be funded to the tune of 26% of the overall annual budget of any nation. As reported by the Vanguard Newspaper of Sunday 8 October 2012, no Nigerian university made the list of the top 400 in the world for 2012-2013. The only African universities on the list are based in South Africa. According to the report, the University of Cape Town which ranks 113 in the world with 55.8, ranks as number one in Africa. South African universities also came in second, third and fourth on the African scene with the universities of Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch and Kwazulu-Natal, respectively scoring 226, 251 and 351 overall. California Institute of Technology, United States, with overall score of 95.5, came first, while University of Oxford, United Kingdom and Stanford University in United States shared second place. American universities dominate the Times Higher Education global rankings for 2012-13, occupying seven of the top 10 spots, but Asian institutions are on the rise as reflected in the report. The ranking shows the California Institute of Technology retained number one position, but Harvard University dropped from the second position it shared with Stanford last year, to number four as the University of Oxford and Stanford shared second place. The top 10 group is relatively the same as last year, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago. From the foregoing analysis, it is obvious that the funding and administration of universities in Nigeria are dysfunctional. The state of Nigerian university system is not encouraging. There is inadequate investment in research and development and innovations. Little wonder Nigeria remains a mono-economy. We are yet to link academic knowledge and research to national development neither have we developed a capacity to do so. What can be done to arrest the deteriorating situation? There are many steps to be taken. However, time will not permit me to highlight all. I will limit myself to the focus of this lecture. One of the ways by which the situation can be improved is for universities to forge a synergy in multi-dimensional ways to lift the Nigerian education from its current unenviable state. How then can synergy be harnessed between the public and private universities? How earlier universities have been faring inspite of their age Earlier in this presentation, references have been made to some of the oldest universities globally. The first one was established in 859AD, while Bologna in Italy, Oxford in England, Paris in France and Cambridge in England were established in 1088, 1096, 1150 and 1209 respectively. The table below shows the list of the 12 first universities in the world.

Table 7: Some of the world’s oldest universities S/N Name of university Year Estab. 1 University of Al Karaoune, Fez, Morocco 859AD 2 Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt 975AD 3 University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy 1088 4 University of Oxford, Oxford, England 1096 5 University of Paris, Paris, France 1150 6 University of Modena, Modena, Italy 1175 7 University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England 1209 8 Salamanca University, Salamanca, Spain 1218 9 Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq 1233 10 University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal 1290 11 University of Sankore, Timbuktu, Mali 1327 12 Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey 1453 (Source: Okebukola, P, The State of University Education in Nigeria, Abuja Nigeria: National Universities Commission, 2002) It is trite and I dare repeat the submission by stating the very obvious that the first Nigerian University is just 64 years old. Compared with its present status in global ranking, as well as the infrastructure on ground and the funds available to it on yearly basis, one might be tempted to conclude that for now, the University, which is the symbol of our educational arrival and announcement on the global scene, is not particularly doing well. The question again arises that how have these ancient universities managed to survive to the extent that they are still reckoned with amongst the best globally? The answer is not far-fetched. Their individual countries qua proprietors appreciate the value of education and give it the prime importance. The said universities are also free and independent from every interference and encumbrance. Forging a Synergy As I have stated elsewhere, our country, Nigeria is besieged with diverse problems, including massive and unbridled corruption, failure of leadership, abject poverty, growing illiteracy level, crime and terrorism, massive underdevelopment, lopsided federalism, lack of accountability and weak institutions. It is my candid belief that a synergy in form of academic collaboration could be forged between the public and private universities in Nigeria to proffer panacea to some, if not all of the highlighted problems that form the bedrock of our underdevelopment and national malaise. The ubiquitous maladies can be arrested through cross-border and intra-university partnerships. A recent study by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Academy concluded that: “Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria will undoubtedly depend heavily on [Higher Education] HE and research system to tackle its many developmental challenges, while UK development work also stands to benefit from a well supported and responsive Nigerian research sector”. I absolutely agree with this candid statement. Hence, there is an urgent need to forge a synergy between the public and private universities in Nigeria to arrest our underdevelopment. Benefits of synergetic collaboration It is generally agreed that there has been a decline in research productivity in the Nigerian university system. Yusuf attributed this to poor and irregular funding, declining infrastructure, poor research motivation, and rising work load associated with deteriorating staff/student ratio. Collaborative research partnership between public and private universities will address some of these problems. Research collaboration has significant benefits. The most significant benefit is an increased access to new university research and discoveries and the potential for national development. All higher education systems can benefit from cross border and trans-institutional discoveries. In the face of limited funding, public and private universities may benefit from each other’s best resource. • It is now established that collaborative research may improve the validity of research outcomes. • Collaborative research can help overcome a lack of communication and misgivings between the public and private universities. • Collaborative research has the potential to contribute to curriculum development and healthy rivalry among partnering institutions. • Enhanced capability for creation of new knowledge • Peer recognition • Collaborative research increases the knowledge based of all those involved. Range of frontline and academic experiences can be applied to solve national development problems. Research links already exist in some areas, in Nigeria, including the recently established West African Research Management Association. Such interventions often have a catalytic effect by helping universities to access internationally available resources, and thereby ensuring long term stability. • Continued on page 48





Forging a synergy between public and private universities Text of a paper delivered by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), former president, Nigerian Bar Association) and pro-chancellor and chairman of Council, University of Ibadan, at the debut of Distinguished Lecture Series of the Elizade University, Ondo State. Types of Collaboration Funding and Access to funding UNDING plays a pivotal role in establishing and running of a university. University administration requires substantial funding in all facets; administration, over heads, research and development, books, infrastructure, physical development, and ICT etc. University requires constant funding. It follows then, that public and private universities need to collaborate not only for the purposes of saving cost and leveraging on their area of strengths but pulling human resources together to attract funding from donor agencies. Foreign donors and international organizations are more comfortable with partnered projects and research, which is the modern trend across the globe. I need to emphasize that aside from the associated credibility, collaborative research can easily attract funding. For example, DFID plans to support ‘up to 300 partnerships through the Development Partnerships in Higher Education Programme (£15 million for 2006-13) which will help reduce poverty, promote science and technology and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Basic economics teaches that one should leverage on his area of comparative advantage. When two or more universities pool resources together, taking advantage of their respective intellectual prowess and specialization, it will be far easier for them to attract funding and interest from sponsors both locally and abroad. In facilitating collaboration in relation to funding, the Federal Government has a significant role to play. I will like to start with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment, etc) Act 2011. Under this Act, Tertiary Education Trust Fund is charged with the responsibility of imposing, managing, and disbursing tax funds to public universities. There has been persistent call by various stakeholders that the fund should be extended to the private universities. I lend my support. Private universities are fulfilling a social responsibility of producing and equipping human resources that will drive the economy of this country forward. They should also benefit from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund. The Act should be amended to extend funding to the private universities. It is gratifying to note that the Vice President, Namadi Sambo has promised that the private universities will soon be benefitting from the Fund. He was quoted to have said in his speech of October 8, 2011: “I know for instance that a lot of private tertiary institutions, particularly the universities, still grapple with the issue of funding and are clamouring for consideration with regard to Tertiary Education Trust Fund. The government will as a matter of responsibility, look at this issue and device means by which necessary support will be rendered.” I hope the Federal Government will soon give effect to the promise of the Vice President in this regard. Staff/Personnel Public and private universities can collaborate in the area of sharing academic staff. The dearth of senior academic staff in both public and private universities is widely acknowledged in the country. Reports suggest that ‘45% of the country’s Professors recently retired. Obafemi Awolowo University has already lost 76 Professors to retirement in the last five years, while the University of Ibadan expects to lose a third of its 300 Professors’.The few that are available are not willing to leave their comfort zones. It is highly desirable that senior academic staff in public universities should collaborate with the staff of private universities as either visiting Professors or part-time staff of private universities. Also, contract employment can be offered to retiring and accomplished senior academic staff of public universities. The dearth of senior academic staff is more pronounced in the private universities. Hence, private universities must device a means of attracting senior academic staff. One of the ways of attracting senior academic staff is to improve their condition of service, job satisfaction and job enrichment. Research and Collaboration The primary focus of a university is research, development and innovations. Research is a painstaking and systematic search for knowledge and creating added value to existing knowledge and innovations. Qualitative research is a sine qua non for national development. Research and development is the bedrock of any technological breakthrough and advancement.


I have earlier in this lecture, stated the significance of collaborative research. Collaborative research is a partnered research engagement between institutions with common objectives and aspirations. By building collaborative programmes in specialized areas, and by making use of institutional hubs as appropriate, research, training and mentoring schemes could be delivered, and shared research programmes established, which aim for economies of scale, and leverage wider expertise’ within the academia. The Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Academy noted: “With modern HE and research systems now depending more and more on international collaboration, donors such as DFID can help by supporting Nigerian universities to enhance their participation in international networks, ensuring that their research is of high quality and while addressing local needs is still connected to global scientific debates. Given DFID’s substantial commitments to development research over the coming years, we believe that this is an agenda with which DFID could productively deepen its engagement in Nigeria.” Capacity Building Public and Private universities can benefit hugely from forming a synergy in the area of capacity building, training, workshop and staff development. Public universities are blessed with senior and experienced academic staff. Private universities have a lot to benefit in partnering with the public universities in this area, particularly in the era of training and giving the award of a PhD. The private universities can also partner with reputable foreign universities across the globe. The quality of staff determines the future of a university. Quality Control Quality control protects the integrity of the university system, without effective control of academic standard in the university a university certificate will be worthless. Quality is anchored on various interrelated factors, such as the quality of academic staff, course content, library resources, admission process and procedure, lecture methodology, and physical infrastructures. It is no rocket science that selfassessment by a university will be delusional and insufficient. Public and private universities must collaborate to monitor standard. For example, while the public university might boast of better faculty, their physical infrastructure is lagging behind that of the private universities. For example, the state of hostel and toilet facilities in most of the public universities is nothing to be proud of. They can benefit from the state-of-the-art facilities in the private universities in this regard. However, it is also essential that in terms of maintenance of academic standard, private universities should collaborate with experienced academics from public universities and engaged them as external moderator, external examiner and external supervisors. This is the only way quality of syllabus content, research outcomes, teaching, and assessment activities can be assured. In a university context, quality control ‘determines that the management of its teaching and learning and assessment activities is working as planned and intended, to verify that such activities are carried out satisfactorily. This includes feedback systems’. In its recent nationwide accreditation, the National Universities Commission noted a general decline in the quality of academic programmes across the universities. Resource sharing and ICT In the face of limited resources, the need to collaborate and share resources cannot be overestimated. In other climes, university libraries are connected through modern technologies and web based learning. For example, a student in Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto should be able to access the Elizade University libraries online. If hard copies

•Chief Olanipekun

are needed, facilities should be put in place to make them available to him within a short period of time. There is urgent need for Nigerian universities to collaborate on getting increased bandwidth for teaching and research. At present: “Nigeria does not yet have a truly functional National Network backbone. There have been more than a dozen efforts to create National Research and Education Networks (NRENS) in Nigeria, including, Nigerian Universities Management Information System (NUMIS), Nigerian Universities Network (NUNET), Nigerian Education and Research Network (NEARNET: a collaboration of NUNET, Poly Net and Teach Net), eLFL Net- consortium of Nigerian Libraries, National Virtual (Digital) Library Project (NVLP),Nigerian Virtual Library Consortium (VLC). Several National committees have been set up to ‘harmonize’ a number of these different projects. University libraries have tried to get the latest information and to improve the dissemination of information services, but these efforts failed because of the lack of equipment.” In view of the facts alluded to in the above quotes, it is imperative for the public and private universities to work together to ensure that adequate networking and technological facilities are put in place to facilitate functional and effective national network. If necessary, private sector participation and or foreign assistance might be sought. The Nigerian public and private universities should take a cue from the universities in developed countries, particularly in the United Kingdom, by integrating their libraries through information and communication technologies. This provides terrific avenue for knowledge sharing and networking among researchers and students; it gives easy access to data, saves precious time, prevents duplication and increased research productivity. Features of a Successful Synergy I cannot agree less with Hartway’s time-tested proposition for successful research collaboration. In other words, for collaboration to succeed the features set out below must be articulated and incorporated by the parties, and in this context, the public and private universities: i. Well defined Administrative Structure: Partners have to define the way they are to collaborate together. ii. Mutual self-interest and common goals: Partners must agree on common goals and mutually co-operate to develop them. iii. Participant and Time Commitment: Partners must agree on timelines and commit to it. They must all have a feeling of ‘togetherness’. iv. Mutual Trust and Respect: A conducive atmosphere of mutual trust and respect must be created in the team. v. External Support: Adequate resources must be provided to support the success of the partnership. vi. Shared Decision making: A decision making process should be set out and should be agreed by all parties. vii. Clear focus: There must be clear focus for the partnership. viii. Information Sharing: There must be an effective communication channel. ix. Management Agenda: Each objective must be stated in terms of outcome and timeline.

Quality control protects the integrity of the university system, without effective control of academic standard in the university a university certificate will be worthless. Quality is anchored on various interrelated factors, such as the quality of academic staff, course content, library resources, admission process and procedure, lecture methodology, and physical infrastructures. It is no rocket science that self-assessment by a university will be delusional and insufficient

x. Dynamic Nature: Parties must articulate and incorporate procedures for justifying and initiating changes in goals, objectives, activities and timeline. xi. Ongoing process of evaluation: The parties must incorporate an evaluating process into the programme. Obstacles to Collaboration I have to acknowledge that collaboration between the public and private universities may be faced with some challenges but such challenges must be eliminated. There is every propensity for public and private universities in Nigeria to view each other as a primary source of rivalry. The public universities are generally perceived as lagging behind in the area of infrastructure and funding, coupled with the menace of secret cults and perennial disruption of university calendar through strikes, riots and other forms of unrest, whilst the private universities are generally perceived as overbearing, inexperienced, undue interference from proprietors, and the faith based universities being diametrically opposed to academic freedom. This type of unhealthy rivalry may hinder the sharing of knowledge, contents, skills and information. The universities should look beyond the highlighted parochial divide and collaborate for the sake of national development. Next, I will evaluate the correlation between National Development and Academic research to further underscore the need for collaborative research Collaborative Research and National Development 10.1 Research indicates that technological breakthrough and industrial innovation across the globe has been based on collaborative academic research. Economic and technological developments are driven by application of knowledge. Developed economies have moved away from an agrarian based to knowledge driven economy: ‘A knowledge-based economy is not just a matter of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge; it is also, and probably more so, about the most effective use and exploitation of all types of knowledge in all manner of economic activity’. This is more pronounced in manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. For example, ‘MIT, Berkeley, Illinois, Stanford, and CMU are most frequently cited in electronics; and Harvard, UCSF, Stanford, and Yale are most frequently cited in pharmaceuticals’. This position received the support of the World Bank, the World Bank noted that ‘For countries in the vanguard of the world economy, the balance between knowledge and resources has shifted towards the former; knowledge has become, perhaps, the most important factor determining the standard of living ... Today’s most technologically advanced economies are truly knowledge based’. A knowledge based economy is anchored on collaborative learning and shared knowledge. I observed in the past, about 17 years ago, that: “Education is the leveler between a developing or third world country and the developed or industrialized ones. [Education] will level or bridge the wide gap between the rich and the poor, the privileged and under-privileged, the king and the subject, the oppressor and the oppressed and the teacher and the pupils or students. .. Great and revered leaders all over the world have always focused their primary attention on education.” It has also been established that, collaborative research programmes have a significant impact for building academic and research networks which are essential for national development. “Universities have been the traditional repositories of knowledge; the highest concentration of intellectual strength. They are, therefore, best suited to create and disseminate knowledge through their students. As carriers of knowledge, students with university-processed knowledge are the engines of the modern economy, future labour force; they play vital roles in the national and international public society. Therefore, tertiary institutions, and particularly, universities are inevitable contributors to national development”. The experience of the Asian tigers is a testimony to my propositions. I remain fortified in my views more than ever, that without education, research, innovation and development from our institutions of higher learning, our collective problems as a nation will remain. There is no developed nation in the world that treats its educational policies and implementation with levity. It is therefore imperative for the public and private universities to form a lasting collaboration through the building of bridges and linkages to engage in collaborative research that will make Nigeria proud. There is growing recognition that highly productive research and innovation, capable of generating new business ideas, transforming existing industries and addressing pressing national problems is more likely to occur when research excellence is promoted, linked and coordinated. • To be continued











NEWS Praises for Oshiomhole


HE Pro Chancellor, Western Delta University, Prof Andrew Onokhoraye, has described Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the only man, who has impacted on a state within record time. Onokhoraye made this assertion during the university’s first convocation, at the weekend, where the Secretary to the Edo State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, delivered a lecture entitled: “Private Universities and National Development”. Onokhoraye, who poured encomiums on the governor, said for a long time, I have not seen anyone who has an intriguing example of developmental projects and who has truly impacted on a state within a record time like the governor. Ihonvbere said: “Today, it is safe to say that our educational system has produced 10 per cent that think, 10per cent that think they are thinking, 30 per cent that do not want to think at all about anything and 50per cent that would rather die than think. “Is there any wonder why we remain challenged with the largest number of school age kids out of school in the world; more students failing national entrance examinations, importation of old cars, toothpicks and all sorts of foreign products.”

Our agony, by brother of slain ACN vice chairman T

HE elder brother of the late Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Vice-Chairman (Southeast), Chudi Nwike, has spoken of the family’s ordeal. Bufo Nwike said after his younger brother was abducted, the family entered into negotiations with the kidnappers. “I wonder why they killed him. The kidnappers have agreed to collect N5million to release the late Nwike, who was also a former deputy governor of Anambra State. “The kidnappers demanded that my brother’s wife and I bring the ransom to them. “But we refused and told them that we would rather give it to a neutral person, who will bring the money to them. And they agreed. “We got someone and chartered a car for him. Both men took the money to the abductors at Abraka in Delta State, as agreed. “The kidnappers collected the ransom and killed my brother,

ACN flags fly at half mast


O mourn the murder of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Vice-Chairman, Chudi Nwike, ACN leader in Anambra and Southeast Senator Chris Ngige has directed that the party’s flag be flown at halfmast for the next seven days in all its offices in the Southeast. Nwike was killed by his abductors, who held him captive for over two weeks, even after the payment of ransom. Condolence registers have been opened at all ACN offices.

•Obi condemns act From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

the man who brought the ransom and even the driver of the chattered car. Why? “We were waiting for him, for his phone call for us to come and pick him up. We didn’t know all these had happened. “We only got to know when a policeman attached to the Central Police Station, Agbor, Delta State, phoned

my niece to inform her of her father’s death. “We have recovered the body. It has been deposited at the Iyienu hospital mortuary, Ogidi.” At the late Nwike’s home in Amawa village, Ogbunike, Oyi Local Government, sympathisers were discussing. Most of them believed there was an “insider-element” to the story.

Though the widow and children were not in the village, a condolence register has been opened there. The late Nwike (61) was reportedly abducted on the Auchi–Abuja road on March 19. His body was discovered in Agbor on April 9. Another version said he was abducted from his home at Ogbunike. Governor Peter Obi has condemned the killing, describing it as pathetic, crude and inhuman. Obi described his death as a great loss to the state and country. “By this death, the state has lost another experienced voice in terms of advice about governance,” he said. The governor described the killers as barbarians. He said such callousness has strengthened his resolve to continue to fight crime in the state. Obi assured the family that the government shares in their sorrow and prayed to God to strengthen them. The police could not be reached for comments.

ANAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has said the reconstruction of roads in the state is to further open the socio-economic and industrial frontiers. Obi spoke during the kick-off of the reconstruction of the St Thomas-Igwe Orizu Junction-Egbu Umuemem Otolo NnewiAwka-Etiti Road. The 4.5 kilometre road awarded at N700million will be completed before December. The governor said the contractor had been mobilised and assured that the project and other on-going projects would be completed by his administration. The Commissioner for Works, Callistus Ilozumba, said the administration has spent over N80billion on road projects, of which over N25billion was expended on roads in Nnewi and environs.

Akpabio picks Etuk as manager Uyo

From Chris Oji, Enugu


From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

From Kazeem Ibrahym,

‘Investigate APGA convention’ HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has called on the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to investigate “the convention of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).” Its Secretary-General, Willy Ezugwu, made the call in Enugu yesterday in a statement. Ezugwu, who is also a chieftain of APGA, said the CNPP was confused at the role INEC played in monitoring the proceedings, which was held at 1am. He said: “We are calling on INEC Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega to investigate the fraudulent conduct of the convention purportedly convened by Anambra State Governor Peter Obi. He should also probe the authorisation of the INEC personnel, who monitored the proceedings of the midnight convention. “I do not see any reason why Obi should support such an illegal convention. “The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Joemartins Uzodike, condemned the Appeal Court ruling, which returned Victor Umeh as the national chairman of the party. “Uzodike described it as a judgment in futility. Does he know more than the court?” The CNPP scribe also called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate the 24 impostors ,claiming to be state party chairmen who signed the notice of the congresses and convention.

Obi kicks-off N700m road

•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (second left), Deputy Governor Prof Amos Utuama (second right), Speaker of the State House of Assembly Victor Ochei (right) and the Vice Chancellor, Western Delta University, Prof Peter Hugbo at the institution’s first convocation at Oghara, Delta State… at the weekend.

Bayelsa boat operator relives attack in which 12 policemen died


HE operator of the boat conveying the policemen, who were killed on escort duty in Bayelsa State, has debunked claims that his boat developed a fault mid-way. Peter Etete (43), who hails from Kiagbodo in Burutu Local Government of Delta State, said he had been operating boats for over 20 years. “I was saved by God’s grace, after jumping into the river,” he said. The survivor also said the 15 policemen on his boat, three survived the attack. Etete said the militants attacked and shot at them at Lobia-2 community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, and not in the bush, as claimed. The slain policemen were heading to Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government for the funeral of the mother of an ex-militant leader, Kile Torughedi, aka Young Shall Grow. Etete said: “The police hired my boat for the funeral of the mother of Young Shall Grow. I carried 15 policemen. We left the Government Jetty, Yenagoa, around 1pm. “The incident happened around 4pm. It occured at

•‘I was saved by God’s grace’ From Bisi Olaniyi, Yenagoa

Lobia-2. After Lobia-2 is Azuzuama. “When we got to the community (Lobia-2), we were exchanging pleasantries with people ashore. But the first thing I heard was consistent gunshots. “I looked and saw seven people on the bridge, who directed their gunshots at our boat. “There was confusion. I jumped into the river and because it was a full tide, I hid myself in the mangrove. At that point, the boat’s engine stopped working. “Then, some gunmen used a speed boat to go and meet the policemen in the boat, who could not swim. “When they got there, they started shooting them one after the other. “Residents of the community took a boat to rescue the three policemen who escaped. Among the three policemen are two Ijaw and one Calabar. “We left Yenagoa together with Joint Task Force (JTF) operatives. Their engine was faster because they used 200 horsepower, while I used dou-

‘I was only saved by God’s grace. I have never seen this all my life. I have never anticipated that gunmen will attack us in a community’ ble, 75 horsepower. “The JTF men had got to Azuzuama before the incident happened. “The community boys took us from Lobia-2 to Lobia-1 (also in Southern Ijaw), where they hid us. “The next day, the gunmen got wind that we were hiding in Lobia-1 and came there. Maybe they wanted all of us to die. The community people refused and hid us from house to house. “The police could not shoot in that confusion and even as the boat of the militants was approaching, the gunmen on the bridge were still shooting. “It was inside the community that they shot us, not in the bush. We were relaxed, thinking that we had got to a community.

“Some of the gunmen wore masks, while others opened their faces. Apart from the people on the bridge, the area was surrounded by other gunmen, who were waiting in speed boats. They were many. “It was on Saturday evening that JTF operatives came for us. No security personnel came for us till around 6 pm on Saturday. “After 30 minutes from the time the incident happened, almost everybody heard it. “Immediately it happened, they called the commissioner of police and he said his men were coming. But we did not see any of them till the next day by 6pm. Policemen came, along with the naval personnel. “I was only saved by God’s grace. I have never seen this all my life. I have never anticipated that gunmen will attack us in a community. My boat did not breakdown. As the gunmen saw us, they started shooting at us. “We could not escape or move along with the JTF operatives, because of the capacity of our engine. Their engine is more powerful than ours. The creek was not wide enough. So, there was no way I could turn.”

AKWA IBOM State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday announced Senator Aloysius Etuk as his campaign manager for the 2015 senatorial election. Akpabio spoke at the 20th year remembrance of former Southeastern State Governor, the late Brig-Gen Udoakaha Esuene, in Eket. His words: “This is the first time the senators are going to know that Senator Aloysius will be my campaign manager during the senatorial election in 2015.” He said for every fund he donated, it has been budgeted for, and that he saw no reason people should misconstrue his good gesture. Akpabio said: “Whenever I donate money for a good cause, it becomes a source of national discourse.”But sometimes if you make a donation within the purview of your budget, I don’t think it is right for the people to complain, particularly when the donation is to enhance an edifice in the state.”

Imo elders caution politicians From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

A GROUP of Imo political leaders under the aegis of Concerned Elders’ Forum (CEF) has called on politicians to stop undermining the peace and tranquility in the state. The elders warned political office seekers and opposition parties not to capitalise on the impeachment of former Deputy Governor Jude Agbaso to foment trouble by “mischievously” inciting the people against the state. Briefing reporters on the affairs of the state in Owerri, the state capital, the group’s Secretary, Temple Ekemezie, said the group would not tolerate the “desperation of partisan politicians” who are bent on disrupting the good work going on in the state.





oday Wednesday 10 th April, 2013 (29 th Jumada Awwal, 1434AH) the Kano State Executive Council held its ninety third (93 rd ) Sitting under the Chairmanship of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Sixty nine (69) memoranda were submitted by fourteen (14) MDAs for deliberation by Council among which fifty (50) were approved for execution with forty four (44) of them having financial implications to the tune of One Billion, One Hundred and Fifty Five Million, Five Hundred and Thirty Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy Two Naira, Forty Four Kobo (N1,155,533,972.44) while the remaining nineteen (19) were on policy issues. Thus: 1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT The Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted thirty four (34) memoranda on behalf of some MDAs for deliberation by Council. Twenty two (22) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Registration of Qur’anic/Tsangaya Schools in the State It is the belief of this administration that the successful conduct of the census of Qur’anic/Islamiyya Schools is indispensable for effective implementation of any program aimed at streamlining the system for the benefits of the society. The State Government is convinced that knowing an accurate and up-to-date number of such schools/students is essential for any meaningful governance and successful implementation of programs that will in the near future solve the menace associated with ‘almajiranci’. It is with this belief and concern this administration accepted the challenge of conducting a census. This administration believes that the only way to bring development in any sector, such as on the traditional/religious education system is through knowing how many are engaged in the system. In fact, past experience has shown the failure of the immediate administrations in transforming the traditional/religious educational system to the lack of adequate statistical data. The effort of knowing their number is the only source of data that can help provide the basis for a solution to the problems so much linked with the system. Through this the Government will be able to identify the needs and priorities of the pupils, teachers and parents and provide a rational basis for beneficial policy. The physical needs, aspirations and living conditions of the students/pupils can be understood and assessed. There are compelling reasons why this system and its participants must be integrated into the modern development process. This is because of the numerical strength of the participants and their untapped youthful energy for a nation that requires every support from its citizens to progress. This explains the basis for this information memorandum submitted by the Senior Special Assistant on Qur’anic/Islamiyya Schools. In the report he informed Council that there is a total of 8829 Qur’anic/Tsangaya Schools with 795,009 students/pupils scattered in the 261 wards of the following census Local Government Areas: *Albasu, Bichi, Danbatta, D/Tofa, G/Mallam, Gaya, Gezawa, Gwale, Gwarzo, Municipal, Karaye, Kibiya, Kura, Madobi, Takai, Tofa, Tsanyawa, Wudil, R/Gado, Gabasawa, Kunchi, Makoda, Tarauni, and Dala. The report indicated that out of the total number of 795,009 students/pupils from the 24 Local Government Areas, there are 436,160 Kano State Indigenous youths, 88,563 non indigenous and 4,138 foreigners. Council appreciated this report and urged the remaining Local Governments to submit their findings. b. Presentation of Brief on the Reform of Public Transportation for Effective Revenue Generation, Control and Compliance with Traffic Rules and Regulations in the Metropolis:The State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport alerted Council, through the contents of this memorandum that the Commercial Transport Sector in Kano Metropolis needs urgent transformation in view of the current chaotic situation. The chaos is caused by the dominance of unorganized private sector participants and absence of minimum entry regulations. The government initiated Kano Road Transport Agency (KAROTA) in order to urgently salvage the situation through ensuring improved compliance with traffic rules and regulations, decongesting of roads, enforcement of the use of Government approved motor parks and improvement in revenue generation while at the same time carving a new image for the State. The effort is capital intensive and calls for deliberate effort by Government to maximize and expand revenue collection so as to maintain the infrastructure as provided in the Government approved motor parks. Council was further alerted that, to successfully transform transportation in Kano metropolis there is a need to introduce and enforce the use of centralized “Passenger Manifest” in all public motor parks. This proposal is a consensus among Transport Unions, the Nigerian Police, KAROTA, etc. In any case, KAROTA and the Nigerian Police will provide check points which will be responsible for the enforcement of the use of this manifest through the provision of checkpoints at gateways from/into Kano. This is envisaged to provide the following: • Safety and Security of Passengers • The total closure of illegal motor parks as all commercial vehicles will be checked at gateways to display their manifest. • Improve Government revenue generation To produce such manifests, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the sum of N25,000,000.00 to enable KAROTA commence with the implementation of the program. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N5,000,000.00 only to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable KAROTA initiate and implement the stated program in view of its relevance to the policy of the present administration. c. Request for Permission/Consent for the Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Water Resources to serve as a member of the Steering Committee on the World Bank Funded Irrigation and Improved Projects:Contents of this memorandum, submitted by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, informed Council of the inauguration of a Steering Committee on the World Bank funded Irrigation and Improved Projects by the Honorable Minister for Water Resources. The Committee is composed of the following: • Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources- Chairman • Representative from Federal Ministry of Power- Member • Representative from Federal Ministry of Agriculture-Member • Representative from Federal Ministry of Environment-Member • Representative from Federal Ministry of Finance-Member • Hon. Commissioners of the affected States. Essentially, Council was further informed of the fact that, Gari and Kano River Irrigation projects are amongst the projects earmarked for rehabilitation by the initiated Assisted Programs of the World Bank with a pledge of assistance of the sum of 400 million US Dollars (N64,000,000,000.00) for the development of water and irrigation sectors in the country. As such, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested permission for the Hon. Commissioner for Water Resources to serve on the Steering Committee as a member. Council granted the request as Kano State is a prominent stakeholder when it comes to irrigation agriculture in the country. d. Presentation on the likelihood of some of the 501 Students Sponsored for Postgraduate Studies Abroad to Switch to PhD Programs:In fact, a large part of the services to be rendered by any administration must focus on the development of human resources through the provision of qualitative education. This administration is investing in human capital through the sponsorship of indigenous qualified youths to pursue education and other career courses within and outside the nation. Such investment is expected to increase and expand the capacity of the State human capital. The impact may not be immediate but will be seen in the near future. The State has sponsored 501 students to study for second degrees overseas in different academic and professional fields. This is in addition to the 100 youths selected to study medicine and another 100 to study pilot and aircraft engineering in Jordan. This brings us to the contents of this memorandum submitted by the State Scholarship Board. The gist of the communication was that out of the 501 students sponsored for second degrees some of them are being considered for PhD programs by their institutions due to their excellent performance. So, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested Council to grant mandate to the State Scholarship Board to consider such cases as they emerge based on their merit though without additional cost. Council noted, considered and granted approval on mandating the State Scholarship Board as suggested by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. This is certainly an added advantage. e. Request for funds to settle 2nd and 3rd Quarter Feeding Allowance in Respect of the First Batch of Sixty Five (65) Kano State Indigenous Students Sponsored for Studies at Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State:The present administration under the capable leadership of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE delivers on its commitments from inception to date. Sponsorship was granted to a multitude number of students for studies locally and abroad. Such students have to be adequately fed and provided for. So, the State Scholarship Board requested for the release of the sum of N3, 900,000.00 by Council through the contents of this memorandum. The money is to be disbursed to the first batch of sixty five (65) students sponsored for studies at Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, in settlement of their 2nd and 3rd quarter feeding allowance. Approval was granted by Council as requested for the release of the sum of N3,900,000.00 to the State Scholarship Board for disbursement to the sixty five (65) students sponsored for studies at Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State in settlement of their 2nd and 3rd quarter feeding allowance. f. Presentation of Complaint/Petition on Some Alleged Irregularities in Employment Status of Some Kano Line Staff:The Head of Civil Service reminded Council, through the contents of this memorandum submitted for Council’s consideration, that some individuals under the banner of “Concerned Kano Line Staff” had submitted a Complaint/Petition highlighting any alleged irregularities in employment status of some Kano Line Staff. A small Committee was formed, as instructed by Council, to look into the issue. The findings of the Committee were presented in summary for Council’s consideration. i. Eight (8) of the Staff at Kano Line are indeed pensioners as correctly alleged in the petition but were re-absorbed by the Agency based on their expertise and the peculiarities of the Agency. ii. Six (6) Staff are Degree, Diploma and NCE holders who were employed and placed on lower grade levels not commensurate with their educational qualifications (i.e. GL 03-05). This allegation was also true but investigation confirmed that their appointment was based on available vacancies at the disposal of the Agency at that point in time and the Officers were given the opportunity to accept or reject the offers. As such, the authorities cannot be blamed for this. iii. It was established that six (6) of the eight (8) Officers reported to have been placed on the appropriate grade level based on alleged good rapport with the management were found to be suitable for employment under their current grade levels. However, it was determined that the appointments of the remaining two (2) Officers was in breach of the relevant provisions of the scheme of Service. iv. It was determined that the four (4) staffs portrayed to be non-indigenous to Kano State are actually Kano State Indigene. As such, the Office of the Head of Civil Service, submitted the request listed below for Council’s consideration and approval. • Council should grant concessions to Kano Line to engage Pensioners as Contract/Casual Staff based on the Agency’s peculiarities as a profit making organization that requires the services of qualified/reliable Staff at all times. • Maintenance of the Status quo should be approved by Council on those Degree, Diploma and NCE holders recruited on lower grade levels as the decision of the authorities at Kano Line to engage them under terms was dictated by the vacancies available at that point in time. Council noted, considered and approved the two (2) prayers but also encouraged the Agency to engage fresh applicants than to continue with the employment of retirees who earn monthly pension. g. Request for Funds to Enable Purchase of Heavy Duty Hydraulic Jack:The cardinal aim of establishing the Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) is to facilitate easy movement on our roads by enforcing traffic rules and regulations and decongesting of roads of unnecessary blockages. Overloaded trucks that break down in the middle of the roads are among the causes of such unwanted blockages. KAROTA usually tow away such vehicles. Heavy Duty Hydraulic Jacks are required for this purpose. KAROTA has the appropriate number of required heavy duty operational vehicles for the purpose but lacks the heavy duty hydraulic jacks for the operation. So, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N3,600,000.00 to enable the procurement of three (3) heavy duty hydraulic jacks for use by KAROTA to tow away broken down vehicles from the roads. The credibility of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N3,600,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for the procurement of three (3) heavy duty hydraulic jacks for the use of KAROTA in the execution of their duties. h. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Rent Supplement for the Year 2013 to Judges/Khadis:Office of the Head of Civil Service requested for the release of the sum of N116,044,780.00 through contents of the memorandum submitted to Council. This is to enable payment of Rent Supplement en-bloc for the year 2013 to the State Chief Judge, Grand Khadi, twenty one (21) Hon. Judges and nine (9) Hon. Khadis of the State Judiciary. Considering the Statutory Credibility of the request, Council approved the release of the sum of N116,044,780.00 to the Ministry of Justice for disbursement to the respective beneficiaries. i. Request for Funds to Enable Eight (8) Hon. Judges Attend a Five (5) Day Refresher Course:The State High Court of Justice requested for the release of funds by Council through the Office of the Head of Civil Service. This is in order to enable eight (8) Hon. Judges attend a Refresher Course organized by the National Judicial Institute slated for 8th – 12th April, 2013 at Abuja. The request was for the release of the sum of N1,184,000.00 to be disbursed equally to the beneficiary Judges as DTA respectively. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,184,000.00 to the Ministry of Justice to enable eight (8) Judges of the State High Court attend the stated Refresher Course in order to improve and update their knowledge and capacity in the dispensation of Justice. j. Request for Funds to Enable Purchase of Midwifery Kits-Tag Named Kwankwasiyya Midwifery Kit:The Ministry of Health alerted Council, through the contents of this memorandum of receipt of a Letter from The Pestagon Nigeria Limited. The Communication was presented to Council by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. Pestagon Nigeria Limited proposed for sell a prototype Midwifery kit consisting of all necessary tools required for Child Birth/delivery especially in remote areas of the State where such facilities are scarce. The kit was forwarded along with a comprehensive list of its contents at the unit cost of N77,070.00 for Council’s consideration. This communication recommended and requested for approval by Council for each of the 44 LGCAs across the State to contribute and purchase 500 units of the Midwifery kit at the total cost of N77,070.00 x 500 = N38,535,000.00. Each LGCA will therefore contribute the = N875,795.46 to secure at least eleven (11) of the kits. Considering the policy of the present

administration for qualitative Health Care Delivery Services to reach all nooks and corners of the State as climaxed by the Kwankwasiyya Medical Outreach program, Council approved and permitted all of the 44 LGCAs in the State to contribute the sum of N875,795.46 each to enable the purchase of 500 units of the Kwankwasiyya prototype Midwifery kit. k. The Take-Off of Kano Roads Maintenance Agency (KARMA):The contents of this memorandum submitted for Council’s consideration by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, maintains that KARMA has been established complete with appointment of relevant Senior Officers to manage its affairs as a formidable Agency that handles required maintenance of roads across the State. In this regard, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested from Council the granting of approval for the allocation of operational and official vehicles to the newly appointed senior officers of the Agency and the allocation of the KNUPDA yard at Kofar Dan’ Agundi as KARMA’s permanent Office. Council approved the request for the allocation of the KNUPDA yard to be the permanent site of KARMA and the release of the sum of N24,072,110.91 for its renovation. Council also noted, considered the requests as plausible and approved the procurement and allocation of one (1) Toyota Corolla Saloon and three (3) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up Vehicles by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for use at KARMA. l. Request for Funds to Enable Beautification of Zaria Road Flyover Interchange:Beautification of Urban Kano is among the cardinal resolutions of the present administration. Many projects in this regard are in progress while multitude numbers of others have been completed especially the laying of garden interlock tiles along pedestrian walkways on our major roads and installation/repairs/maintenance of street and traffic lights. The Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Urban Beautification and Development Control requested for the beautification of the Flyover Interchange at Zaria Road for which the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the scaled down sum of N36,434,868.75 to facilitate the execution of the proposal. Council granted the request. p. Request for Funds to Facilitate the Provision of Required Office Furniture at the Newly Constructed Office Block of the Pension Fund Trustees (KSPTF):Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted this memorandum for deliberation by Council on behalf of the Kano State Pension Fund Trustees. The contents of this memorandum reminded Council of its recent approval granted for the construction of a new Office Block to replace the previous one destroyed during the rampage that occurred as an aftermath of the 2011 Presidential Elections. The new Office is now completed and set for utilization once appropriately furnished for which Council was requested to approve the release of the sum of N24, 503,555.60 to facilitate. Approval was granted by Council as requested for the release of the sum of N24,503,555.60 to the Kano State Pension Fund Trustees (KSPFT) to furnish its newly constructed Office Block for immediate occupation/utilization. q. Presentation of Report from the Committee on the Registration of Local Estate Agents (Dillalan Gidaje da Filaye) and Request for Funds to Enable the Registration Exercise:The contents of this memorandum presented highlights of the report submitted by the Committee on Registration of Local Estate Agents (Dillalan Filaye da Gidaje). The main highlights of the report were on the findings and recommendations of the Committee to Government for consideration as presented by the Office of Secretary to the State Government. Essentially, seven (7) findings were highlighted based on which seven (7) recommendations were proffered to Government by the Committee. The recommendations, which were approved by the Council include: i. The Committee plans to sensitize the Local Estate Agents on all Government Land policies by conducting Seminars the Executive Rabi’u MusatoKwankawaso members of their Associations and airing jingles over the media (Radio, Television, etc.). ii. That the Committee will collaborate with the Executive members of the Local Agents (i.e. Kano Property Agency Development Association or KPADA) to assist the Local Estate Agents obtain registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) or Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism. iii. That the Committee plans to conduct Bio-Data collection of all the Local Estate Agents for easy identification. iv. Proper identification cards will be issued to every registered Local Estate Agent at the cost of N1,000.00. v. KANGIS is proposed to be the custodian of all relevant data/information collection for the Local Estate Agents. vi. That the Committee should be elevated to the status of a Standing Committee. vii. That Government should approve the release of the sum of N16,492,000.00 to enable facilitation of the registration exercise. r. Request for Funds to Enable the Installation of 100KVA Electricity Generators at Kura and Dawakin Kudu General Hospitals:The Hon. Commissioner for Health submitted a request for the release of the sum of N8,610,151.00 by Council, through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, to enable the purchase and installation/maintenance (1year guarantee period) of two (2) 100KVA electricity generating sets at Kura and Dawakin Kudu General Hospitals. This is in order to address the incessant electric power outages at the respective hospitals. Cognizant of the existing realities regarding electricity supply in the State and the Country in general, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N8,610,151.46 to the Ministry of Health to enable the procurement and installation of two (2) 100KVA electricity generators for the General Hospital Kura and Dawakin Kudu. s. Presentation of Letter of Appreciation From the Nigerian Prison Service:The Controller of Prisons, Kano State submitted an appreciation letter to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. The contents of the letter expressed profound gratitude over the granting of approval for the purchase and allocation of two (2) brand new 18-Seater Toyota Hiace Buses to the Prisons Service Kano State for use in conveying prisoners to and from the Courts. t. Request for Funds to Facilitate the Payment of Transportation Allowance to Students on Exchange Program:The Ministry of Education submitted a request for the release of the sum of N3,733,600.00 by the Council, through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to enable the payment of transportation allowance to Students from other States studying at Kachako, Karaye Unity Schools and the School for Arabic Studies (SAS). The money will be utilized as follows; i. 957 Students from other States will be paid transportation allowances back to their respective States for the 2nd term break/holiday. ii. 629 Kano State Indigenous Students studying in other States will be paid transportation allowances to resume studying for the 3rd term in other States. iii. 20 Teachers to escort the 957 Students back to their home States will be paid transportation allowances. Considering the relevance of the request, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N3,733,600.00 to the Ministry of Education to facilitate payment of the stated transportation allowances. 2. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING The Ministry of Land and Physical Planning submitted five (5) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Three (3) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Compensation for Acquired/Required Land (Site) for the Purpose of Construction/ Building of a Clinic by the Nigerian Red Cross Society:The Hon. Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning informed Council, through the contents of this memorandum that a piece of Land was secured for the construction of a clinic by the Nigerian Red Cross Society along Zaria Road for emergency services. The Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of the sum of N798,280.00 by Council to enable payment of compensation for the acquired piece of land for the envisaged purpose. The request was approved. In a related development, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning submitted a memorandum for the supply of an operational vehicle for the dispensation of the day to day professional functions of the various Departments especially Survey, Deeds, Physical Planning, Cadastral and One-Stop-Shop Office. Each of these Departments deserves the allocation of at least three (3) operational vehicles to total up to twelve (12) for the four (4) Departments. The functions of these Departments entail compensation, Survey, Acquisition, Valuation, Cadastral record, Land transaction and revenue generation. So, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for approval by Council for the procurement and allocation of twelve (12) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up vehicles for use by various Departments in the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. Council considered the request and approved as well as directed the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to process the procurement and allocation of two (2) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up vehicles in respect of the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning at the aggregate sum of N13,900,000.00 (i.e. N6,950,000.00 per unit). b. Request for Funds to Facilitate the Relocation of PHCN Utilities and Construction of Drainage Along Sokoto Road:Sokoto Road is among the eleven (11) roads recently selected for the laying of garden interlock tiles along their pedestrian walkways with the aim of beautifying the roads and making the walkways more comfortable to walk on. This protects the walkways and guards them from hawking and encroachment. The eleven (11) roads (Sokoto Road inclusive) were earmarked for an expenditure of N84,989,100.00 for the interlock tiling project. In any case, as the interlock tiling project progresses on Sokoto Road, it was discovered that some section of the road (Guda Abdullahi Junction to Wudil Road) has no drainage system and is considered inevitable to ensure free flow of water during raining season. There is also the existence of PHCN facilities that required relocation. Reportedly, KNUPDA has assessed the cost of both relocation of the PHCN facilities and construction of the drainage amounting to N10,000,000.00 and N15,988,727.27 respectively totaling to the aggregate sum of N25,988,727.27. Notably, there is a provision for cover slabs in the BEME for the interlock tiling projects for the selected. Eleven (11) roads (Sokoto Road inclusive) to the sum of N29,700,000.00. This can be replaced by the project of relocating the PHCN facilities and construction of the required drainage on Sokoto Road. So, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested Council to grant approval for the swapping of the provision of cover slabs at the cost of N29,700,000.00 from the N84,989,100.00 approved for the interlock tiling project on the eleven (11) selected roads. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N70,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable KNUPDA continue with the general interlock tiling project on the selected roads and the execution of the relocation of PHCN facilities and drainage construction on Sokoto Road. 3. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE This Office directly submitted five (5) memoranda for deliberation by Council and four (4) were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of the First Batch of Bereaved Family Allowance for the Year 2013:Office of the Head of Civil Service requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N5,685,000.00 by Council in compliance with Statutory provisions for disbursement as bereaved family allowance(s) to 105 families of deceased Civil Servants as first batch (1st) for the year 2013. Council promptly approved the release of the requested sum of N5,685,000.00 to the Office of the Head Civil Service for disbursement to the 105 bereaved families of deceased Civil Servants as the first batch for the year 2013. A report of the successful disbursement of the eleventh (11th) batch of the year 2012 was presented to Council for perusal. b. Request for Funds to Enable Registration of Serving Civil Servants Currently with Both the State and LGCAs and Members of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Kano Branch:The Head of Civil Service politely alerted Council of a request for financial assistance from the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Kano Branch to enable registration of its members with the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria. ANAN is one of the two professional accounting bodies in Nigeria recognized by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria. It is a virile homegrown accountancy body which provides a path to a recognized professional qualification which is of the highest international standard and is open to both genders solely on the basis of educational qualification/capacity. Officially launched on 1st January, 1979, ANAN is charged with the general duty, among other things, with advancing the Science of Accountancy. Presently, 175 of its members work with both the State and LGCs among which 142 are Civil Servants with the State Government. So, the Head of Civil Service requested for the release of the sum of N2,982,000.00 by Council to enable the registration of 142 Civil Servants currently with the State Government and direct the 44 LGCAs to process the registration of their respective Staff. The registration fee per individual is N21,000.00 and this multiplied by 142 Civil Servants with the State amounts to the requested sum of N2,982,000.00 which was approved for release by Council to the Head of Civil Service to enable registration of the 142 Civil Servants and members of ANAN with the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria as the Accounting profession demands. Council directed the 44 LGCs to process sponsorship of Staff under their domain for the registration exercise. c. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Death Benefit in Respect of Late Justice Muhammad Halliru Abdullahi:Council approved the release of the sum of N68,663,138.04 as the Statutory Benefit for the bereaved family of Late Justice Muhammad Halliru Abdullahi while commiserating with them for the irreplaceable loss as the contents of this memorandum, submitted to Council for consideration by the Office of the Head of Civil Service, recounted the glorious history of Late Justice Muhammad Halliru Abdullahi. d. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Allowance to 288 Magistrates, Judges, State Counsel and other Judicial Staff:Office of the Head of Civil Service presented a request submitted by the State Ministry of Justice, Shari’a Court of Appeal, Law Reform Commission and the State High Court Judges. The request was for approval by Council for the release of robe allowance to a total of 288 Magistrates, Judges, State Counsels and other Judicial Staff to the tune of N8,640,000.00. The request was considered credible with the potential of improving the condition of service for the Judicial Officers in the State. So, Council considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N8,640,000.00 to the Office of Head of Civil Service for disbursement to the 288 Judicial Officers in the State according to the details presented. 4. MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND BUDGET Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Planning and Budget. Only one (1) of them was approved for execution. Thus; Presentation on Reconstitution/Resuscitation of Committee on Revenue Generation, Mobilization and Auditing as well as Formation of a Technical Committee:The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Planning and Budget, notified Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, since the establishment of Kano as a State, there has been a Standing Committee on Revenue consisting of stakeholders from key Revenue generating MDAs. The Standing Committee is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the optimum revenue collection, proper accountability and transparency on collections and related matters. Further, Council was reminded of recent approval granted for stopping all contra-entries by MDAs and Centralization of all Revenue

THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013 Accounts under the supervision of the Board of Internal Revenue in order to stop leakages and enhance Internal Revenue Generation (IGR). This feat earned Kano State recognition and granting of an award by “Transparency International, Nigeria” which rated the State as first in the Federation on Transparency, Accountability and Prudence in Budget implementation, fiscal discipline as well as enhanced revenue generation. This needs to be sustained and consolidated. So, Council was notified of the composition of the new Revenue Generation, Mobilization and Auditing Committee’s membership under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Finance. The Committee comprises sixteen (16) members which will constantly be engaging/liaising with all Revenue generating entries so as to ensure that targets set for Revenues/Tax collection are achieved as scheduled. Monthly meetings will be held by the Committee in order to review collections, etc. This will certainly facilitate for accruing more revenue/resources to the Government to sustain its laudable developmental projects across the State. Hence, a Smaller Technical Committee was formed which will meet more frequently (weekly) in order to collate, analyze and report to the main Committee on all data/information on revenue collections by MDAs and other sources. This Technical Committee comprises nine (9) members under the Chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance. Essentially, the terms of reference for both Committees were presented for Council’s perusal and appropriate direction. Council acknowledged the presentation in appreciation and approved the composition and membership of the two (2) Committees. 5. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Three (3) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Health. All of them were approved for execution as follows; a. Request for Funds to Enable Construction/Renovation Works at School of Basic Midwifery Dambatta:The Health Sector is among those that enjoy priority consideration in the general transformation efforts of the present administration. Infrastructure and qualitative number of personnel required to deliver impeccable Health Care Delivery Services are continuously provided especially as regards the training of professional health personnel. Council was notified that, the School of Basic Midwifery, Dambatta was established to supplement and reduce the pressure on the only one (1) existing School of Midwifery, Kano. This ensured expansion, improvement and availability of Midwives/Staff strength in the health sector of the State as well as provided skilled health care delivery to address Maternal and Child Mortality and Morbidity. The contents of this memorandum reminded Council of the supportive effort of the present administration since its second inception to the School of Basic Midwifery, Dambatta. Approvals were granted in 2011 for the construction of additional Students’ hostel, supply of required textbooks, furniture/equipment and other working materials at the cost of N73,992,862.27. Reportedly, the approved projects have been executed successfully to 100% level. And, the Ministry of Health submitted yet another proposal for Council’s consideration and approval which centers on the need to renovate/ refurbish the female Students’ hostel which was destroyed by fire outbreak, Tutorial/classroom, construction of Office block and toilet, etc. Designs/Drawings and Bills of Quantities for the proposed projects were prepared and estimated at the total contract sum of N56,203,938.88 which was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Health to enable execution of the projects. Council considered the request credible and congruent to the policy of the present administration. So, approval was granted for the release of the sum of N56,203,938.88 to the Ministry of Health to enable execution of the stated projects at the School of Basic Midwifery, Dambatta. b. Request for Funds to Facilitate Additional Interlock Tiling/Renovation Works at Multi-Drugs Resistance Unit of Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) Kano:The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Health, reminded Council of its approval granted for equipping/furnishing of T B Multi-Drugs Resistance (MDR ward) unit and Landscaping/interlock tiling, conversion of box culvert to Ring covered drainage/renovation of two (2) blocks of six (6) cubicles VIP Latrines at this regional referral Infectious Diseases Hospital. The projects were approved for execution at the total release sum of N92,849,927.48. The approved projects were successfully executed and Commissioned on Thursday 1st November, 2012. The Hospital premises presently looks good. Nevertheless, some additional works were identified as required for interlock tiling/renovation at the MDR unit. This additional works need to be executed so as to improve the general environmental/sanitary condition and comfort commensurate to the current standard of the IDH as well as avert the unprecedented spread of communicable diseases within the Hospital and neighbouring Communities. The additional work was assessed and estimated at the cost of N13,497,349.68 which was requested by the Ministry of Health to enable execution of the stated additional works at the IDH so as to complete the good work initiated. Approval was granted as requested by Council for the release of the sum of N13,497,349.68 to the Ministry of Health to undertake the stated project in view of its significance. c. Request for Funds to Enable Construction of Additional Structures and Extension Works At Kwankwaso New Cottage Hospital:Contents of this memorandum, submitted to Council for consideration, cited recent approvals granted to the Ministry of Health concerning the new Cottage Hospital at Kwankwaso Town. The approvals included the ones with reference numbers SSCA/CA/EX/13/1/13 dated 9th December, 2012 and SSCA/CA/EX/13/1/42 dated 22nd May, 2012 for the renovation/construction and equipping/furnishing works at the total contract sum of N54,388,853.71 and N57,212,081.45 respectively as phase I and phase II of upgrading Kwankwaso Primary Health Centre to Cottage Hospital. These projects have been executed successfully awaiting the addition of necessary structures and extension works to enable smooth take-off of the new Cottage Hospital and subsequent Commissioning as well as commencement of service delivery. The Ministry of Health reported to Council, through the contents of this memorandum the scope of works required has been inspected, assessed and estimated at the cost of N99,515,780.82 which was requested for release by Council to enable execution of the stated required additional works at Kwankwaso new Cottage Hospital. Approval was granted by Council for the release of the requested sum of N99,515,780.82 to the Ministry of Health to expedite action in the execution of the stated additional works at the new Cottage Hospital at Kwankwaso so as to ensure its immediate Commissioning and commencement of service delivery. 6. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport directly submitted six (6) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Five (5) of them were approved for execution as follows; a. Request for Funds to Enable Provision of the Proposed Trade Cluster Butchers’ Market at Post Office Road:The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport politely reminded Council, through the contents of this memorandum of, the present administration’s policy on the need to cluster identical trades amongst which is the Butchers’ business center proposed for construction at Post Office Road/area in the State. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport assessed the extent of works required and prepared drawings and Bill of Quantities in the sum of N12,977,501.01. Details were presented for perusal by Council while approval was sought for the release of the assessed/estimated sum of money to enable execution of the project. The request was favorably considered by Council which granted approval for the release of the requested sum of N12,977,501.01 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable execution of works on the provision/construction of the proposed Trade Cluster Butchers’ Market at Post Office Road/area according to the details presented. This will actualize another laudable policy of the present administration. Notably, the present administration has approved and released the required funds for the training and empowerment of 10,000 butchers across the nooks and crannies of the State. Already, 4,400 Butchers selected from across the 44 LGCAs in the State had undergone the empowerment program. b. Request for Funds to Enable the Immediate Take-Off of Kano State Driving Institute at Wara-Talla Along Zaria Road:The Kano State Driving Institute was amongst the 21 Entrepreneur/Empowerment institutions established by the present administration aimed at training youths skills for self reliance. These institutions are targeted at alleviating the scourge of mass unemployment in our society where thousands of our youths are jobless. They are also meant to inculcate the ethos of self-employment which is a strand in this administration’s economic reconstruction program. Thus, the Driving Institute is now ready to admit students but for furnishing of some offices and classes. This explains the contents of this memorandum in which a request for the release of funds to enable the supply of furniture and other learning facilities at the cost of N47,944,568.70 was submitted earlier on. Luckily, some of the required items were obtained by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport from among the furniture removed from Abuja Liaison Office. So, a new Bill of Quantities for the furnishing was prepared at the cost of N34,902,875.70 making a saving of N13,041,693.00 when compared to the earlier request. As such, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the sum of N34,902,875.70 by Council to enable execution of the stated works at the Kano State Driving Institute at Wara-Talla along Zaria Road. Approval was granted by Council as requested for the release of the sum of N34,902,875.70 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable execution of the stated project so as to ensure immediate take-off of the Kano State Driving Institute at Wara-Talla along Zaria Road. c. Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Tollgates (with HD Scanners) at Gun-Dutse:Council was politely reminded, by the contents of this memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, of its effort at providing lasting solutions to traffic congestion in Kano Metropolis. In line with this, the present administration awarded contracts for the construction of two Termini at Dawanau and Gundutse. The general concept involves the construction of a Tollgate at Gundutse to control and divert incoming trailer trucks and other heavy-goods carrying vehicles into the Gundutse Terminus. Now, HD Scanners will be mounted at the Tollgate and contents carried by vehicles could be identified thereby boosting security and preventing smuggling in/out of contraband goods into and out of Kano City/metropolis. The work required entails construction of Toll Officers’ room, security post, shops, toilet cubicles, structural steel framing, external civil works and HD Scanners installation. A Bill of Quantities was prepared to the tune of N87,861,171.62, which was requested for release by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the project. The request was considered credible by Council, which granted approval for the release of the sum of N87,861,171.62 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the construction of the tollgates (with HD Scanners) at Gundutse Terminus as one of the legacies of the present administration. d. Request for Funds to Facilitate the Reconstruction of Bakwato Culvert Along Dawakin Kudu to Ladin Makole (Dawakiji) Road:The contents of this memorandum submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport maintain that, a report was received about a culvert that failed along Dawakin Kudu-Ladin Makole (Dawakiji) Road, which if left unattended will cutoff the road making it difficult for road users. A team of Engineers from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport visited the site and assessed the situation and reported back that failure of the Culvert was a result of the following; • Exposure of the reinforcement for the deck due to poor construction. • Heavy trucks plying the road frequently. • Cracks on the beams and columns that support the Culvert. Required works were professionally assessed and a bill of quantities was prepared to the tune of N12,229,930.42. Details were presented for consideration by Council which made the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to request for the release of the same amount of money to enable execution of the project. The importance of the project prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N12,229,930.42 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to expedite action in the execution of the reconstruction project of Bakwato Culvert along Dawakin Kudu-Ladin Makole (Dawakiji) Road so as to salvage failure of the Culvert which threatens non usage of the road that could tantamount to hardship for users of the road. e. Request for Funds to Enable Furnishing of the Newly Constructed Office Block for Kano State Water Board Situated at Urban Water Supply Premises:The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport reminded Council of having directed his Office to reappraise the request for furnishing the newly constructed Office block referred which was estimated at over N41,000,000.00. An Independent reassessment was made along with the preparation of a new bill of quantities including all Statutory taxes to the tune of N31,685,629.50 as against the estimated over N41,000,000.00 by Council to enable furnishing of the newly constructed Office block for the Water Board situated at the Urban Water Supply premises. Council considered the lowest estimated cost and approved for the release of the sum of N31,685,629.50 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the furnishing project. 7. MINISTRY OF RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Two (2) memoranda were submitted for consideration by Council from the Ministry of Rural and Community Development. Both were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable the Maintenance of ITC of Zarewa-Sundu-Jajaye-Tsamiyya and Tsara in Rogo LGCA and the Provision of Relief Transformer at Trade Fair Complex Neighborhood:The contents of this memorandum submitted for consideration by Council tacitly cited the resolve of the present administration to supply electricity to all nooks and crannies of the State. In this regard, the Ministry of Rural and Community Development instructed the Rural Electricity Board (REB) to assess some demands for ITC maintenance and provision of Relief Transformer from Rogo LGCA and the Neighborhood of Trade fair Complex respectively. The REB complied, appraised and advised for the maintenance of Inter-Town Connectivity (ITC) covering Zarewa-Sundu-JajayeTsamiyya and Tsara in Rogo LGCA from Kaduna through Sundu at the Contract sum of N14,512,344.00. The procurement and installation of a relief transformer for the Trade Fair Complex neighborhood was estimated at the sum of N18,903,336.00. The total monetary requirement is to the tune of N33,415,680.00 which was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable execution of the stated project. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N33,415,680.00 to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable execution of the projects on ITC maintenance and provision of Relief Transformer at the stated locations. b. Request for Funds to Undertake Repairs/Rehabilitation of Five (5) Wind-Powered (Windmills) Water Solution Supply Facilities:Wind-Powered (Windmills) Powered Water Supply System/mechanism utilizes and obtains energy to turn its turbines freely from nature and saves cost. The Ministry of Rural and Community Development deemed it wise to present the submission of the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) on a request for renovating/restoring the ideal functions of such abandoned facilities in the State. Feasibility studies and cost assessment in respect of restoring function of some five (5) abandoned Windmills located at five (5) respective LGCAs across the State were undertaken. The LGCAs include; Chiromawa in Garun Malam; Dangora in Kiru; Lahadin Makole (Dawakiji) in Dawakin Kudu; Kachako in Takai and Dorayi in Gwale. The cost of the entire project was assessed at the sum of N11,198,000.00 which was requested and approved for release by Council to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable execution of the stated projects at the locations mentioned. 8. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE The Ministry of Justice submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Both were approved for execution as follows; a. Presentation on the Pfizer Issue-Joint Donor and Trustees Meeting:The State Attorney General/Commissioner Ministry of Justice notified Council of his attendance at the 3rd Joint meeting of Donors and Trustees of Health Care and Meningitis Trust Funds held on 27th March, 2013 at Abuja. The Attorney General was accompanied to the meeting by Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) A.B. Mahmoud while Pfizer was represented by Tony Idigbe, SAN and three (3) others. Further, Council was notified of the following: • That the meeting resolved to appoint a Management team and set-up two (2) Trustees bodies. • That the meeting agreed that all Claimants for Compensation should be paid some money and the balance be expended on Health Care delivery related programs in the State. • It was resolved that Pfizer will retain part of the compensation money in case of anticipated Litigations. However, in the absence of Litigation, the money will ultimately be released for Health Care delivery programs in the State. • The meeting resolved that the Diagnostic Center should be autonomous/independent of Government to enable the Center attract/ source funding and support elsewhere/from Donor Organizations.

55 • It was resolved that another meeting be scheduled and held when necessary documents to give effect/credence to the resolutions are ready at which time His Excellency the former Head of State Retired General Yakubu Gowon hopes to meet with Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation. b. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Furniture Allowance(s) to 94 State Counsels:Council was politely reminded of the recent approval granted to Judicial Staff for a Furniture grant/allowance of N120,000.00 each across State Shari’a Court Judges. This was appreciated and applauded as it positively impacted on the improved performance of the Jurists. Importantly, the State Magistrates have also submitted a similar request for Council’s consideration and approval. The State Counsel in the Ministry of Justice is the sister of the Judicial Staff who shares the same conditions of service as per circular NO. ESM/MIS/S/53/V.I/ 75 dated 8th December, 1992. As such, the list of ninety four (94) State Counsels as at 21st February, 2013 which implies a financial commitment in respect of their furniture allowance to the tune of N120,000.00 x 94 = N11,280,000.00 which was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Justice to enable payment of furniture allowance to ninety four (94) State Counsels commensurate to their counterparts in the State Judiciary. The request was considered credible and Council approved for the release of the aggregate sum of N11,280,000.00 to the Ministry of Justice to enable payment of furniture allowances to the stated ninety-four (94) State Counsels. 9. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES Presentation on Donation of Two (2) Holstein (Friesian) Calves and 50 Sex Semen Straws to Kano State by Nagari Farms Ltd for the Purpose of Cross Breeding:This second coming, Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE resolved to transform the agricultural sector by modernizing the techniques and inputs involved. We have the land and the required number of people to provide the labor, all that remains is the utilization of appropriate skills/techniques to ensure higher yields irrespective of whether it is agrarian crop production, livestock/animal husbandry, poultry, fishery etc. This explains the large sum of money expended in the establishment and maintenance of Agriculture related Institutes by the present administration. For example, the animal traction Institute at Gwarzo, the poultry Institute at Tukwui, the fisheries Institute at Bagauda, the livestock Institute at Bagauda, etc. All were established with the aim of inculcating one skill or knowledge in order to improve agricultural production. At the right time, the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources informed Council, through the contents of this memorandum, of the donation of two (2) Holstein Calves and fifty (50) Sex Semen’s to the State by AFAN Chairman (Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu-former Governor Nassarawa State). This certainly provides access to and acquisition of the required skills in artificial insemination (AI) to our teeming farmers/livestock keepers and producers. Artificial Insemination (AI) is the most efficient means of improving the quality of cattle. So, the two (2) Calves (one male, one female) will be stationed at the Tiga Livestock Development Center where the atmosphere is conducive with the availability of roughages (natural feeds and clean drinking water for the Calves which are expected to arrive or must have arrived Kano on 11th April, 2013. Nevertheless, the Sex frozen Semen will be preserved in a nitrogen cylinder (Dewar) with liquid nitrogen to preserve its viability. The current price per straw of the Sex frozen Semen plus synchronization is N10,000.00 only. 50% of the price will be charged (i.e. N5,000.00) per straw from the livestock farmers. As such, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N980,000.00 by Council to enable procurement of essential items, such as liquid nitrogen, cylinder, concentrates, mineral salt, molasses, Herman, etc. so as to properly accommodate the donated Calves and extend the AI Service to Livestock Farmers. The request was considered credible by Council which approved for the immediate release of the requested sum of N980,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to enable the actualization of the stated purposes in relation to the donated calves and artificial insemination (AI). 10. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES One (1) memorandum was submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Water Resources. Both were approved for execution as follows; a. Request for Funds as Assistance for the Supply of Diesel for the Operations of Challawa and Tamburawa Water Treatment Plants:The State Water Board requested for the supply of additional diesel for the operations of Challawa and Tamburawa Water Treatment Plants due to erratic electricity supply from PHCN. The Ministry of Water Resources deemed it appropriate to point out to Council that it has become a routine that every year from March to July electricity supply in the Country becomes more erratic when its demand is at peak level. The situation is the same this year. As such, the State Water Board has already started running standby electrical generators for long hours to maintain operations since the first week of March. The financial profile of the Water Board cannot cater for the cost of the diesel required to maintain continuous water supply in Kano metropolis. This was the genesis of the request from the Water Board for the resumption of the provision of the N32,000,000.00 grant for five (5) months (March to July, 2013) to cater for the anticipated power outages from the National Grid for continuous water supply. So, the Ministry of Water Resources requested for approval by Council for the release of N32,000,000.00 monthly as assistance/grant to the State Water Board for five (5) months starting from March, 2013 to July, 2013. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N50,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Water Resources to enable the State Water Board cater for the supply of the diesel required to run the standby electricity generators at Challawa and Tamburawa Water Treatment Plants at this time of need in order to maintain steady water supply to Kano metropolis. 11. MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION One (1) memorandum was submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Higher Education. Both were approved for execution as follows; a. Request for Funds to Provide for the Quarterly Overheads Cost to the Northwest University, Kano:Contents of this memorandum presented a request submitted by the authorities at the Northwest University, Kano for the release of quarterly overhead funds through the Ministry of Higher Education. Significantly, Council was informed of the current stage of development in the newly established Northwest University, Kano. Admission/ Registration of Students has been completed with a total of 1,100 Student population as at 18th March, 2013 while all academic Staff are present and that lecture has fully commenced. Nevertheless, the Institution requested, as submitted for consideration by Council through the State Ministry of Higher Education, for the provision of a quarterly overheads grant for the remaining three (3) quarters of the year 2013 at the reviewed rate of N187,009,300.00 per quarter. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N20,000,000.00 quarterly for the remaining three (3) quarter of the year 2013 which will total up to N60,000,000.00 by the end of the year. 12. MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT This Ministry submitted one (1) memorandum for deliberation by Council. One (1) of them was approved for execution as follows; Request for Funds to Enable Conduct of Empowerment/Training Program for Less Privileged Women, Divorcees, Widows, HIV Victims, Deserted Women, VVF Patients and the Girls Child:This administration understands the significance of integrating women in its development process due to their numerical strength and roles in the transmission of societal values, culture and norms. In fact, no development program will be of meaningful impact if women are not fully involved. Development of this State should have to be carried out in partnership with the women especially those who are less fortunate. This group of women has a lot to contribute towards the development of the nation, hence efforts should be made to empower them to be useful to themselves and the society. This brings us to the purpose of this memorandum submitted by the Hon. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development. The contents of this memorandum politely reminded Council of its approval for the release of the sum of N5,646,500.00 for conducting the program mentioned above in liaison with State Community Reorientation Council (CRC). The training took-off on Monday 8th April, 2013 with 500 beneficiaries selected from across the three (3) Senatorial Districts in the State. Nevertheless, as the program progressed, a new initiative came into view which necessitated an upward review of the approved and released sum of N5,646,500.00. This initiative is none other than the need to make the graduation ceremony of the program more colorful by holding it at the Government House possibly in the presence of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. A live coverage of the program is the issue so as to relay details of the program to the general public locally, nationally and internationally. This changed the required funds for the entire program upward to the tune of N6,995,500.00 with a variation of N1,349,000.00 which was requested as a top up of the already approved released the sum of N5,646,500.00. The request was considered relevant and Council approved the release of the pruned sum of N1,300,000.00 to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development for the successful conduct of the graduation ceremony for the stated program complete with a live coverage by the media. 13. STATE AFFAIRS Compensation for land acquired for the expansion of the School of Environment The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of State Affairs, in his mandated role as the Chairman Compensation, was directed by Council during its sitting on Wednesday 27th March, 2013 to study a submission from the State Ministry of Land and Physical Planning on compensation for land (site) acquired for the extension of the School of Environmental Studies, Gwarzo. The Compensation Committee appraised the submission along with Staff of the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning as well as inspected the site. A discrepancy was discovered in the compensation that involved economic trees. An error of N1,220,000.00 as ascertained which lower the compensation sum of money down to N80,441,092.00 which was requested for release to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to facilitate payment for compensation of the site in question. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N80,441,092.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to effect payment for compensation of the site acquired for the extension of the School of Environmental Studies, Gwarzo. 14. MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, INTERNAL AFFAIRS, YOUTHS, SPORTS AND CULTURE Presentation of the Governing Board of Kano Pillars Football Club (KPFC):Contents of this memorandum politely reminded Council of its directive to the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture during the sitting of 3rd April, 2013 to forward the proposed list of newly constituted Governing Board of KPFC for consideration and approval. Complying with the directive strictly, the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sport and Culture forwarded the proposed list presented below:

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

NAME Alhaji Abba Yola Representative Ministry of Information Dr. Rabi’u Muhammad Babangida Umar Little Kabiru Ali Chairman F A Kano Nasiru Garba Bichi Chairman Fan Club Babangida Adamu Shehu Adamu Muhammad Rabi’u Sabo Bakin Zuwo Uba Dan Zainab (SSA Sports) Alhaji Abba Galadima (GM KPFC) Garba Umar Bashir Ahmad Mai-Zare

DESIGNATION/POST Chairman Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Secretary

Council acknowledged, appreciated and approved the forwarded list of the members of the Governing Board of Kano Pillars Football Club.

UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES FOR THE 93RD EXCO SITTING 1. TRAINING OF WOMEN IN POULTRY AND FISHERIES INSTITUTE Council acknowledged the receipt of information of the commencement of the training of 130 women from the Poultry Institute and 400 women from the Fisheries Institute. 2. TRAINING OF 500 WOMEN FOR SKILLS ACQUISITION Council appreciatively acknowledged the training of 500 women in skills acquisition, which was organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in conjunction with the Community Reorientation Council (CRC). 3. INSPECTION TOUR TO FIVE (5) LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Council acknowledged the visit by the Deputy Governor and his team to some Local Government areas of the State to assess the level of works being executed by the contractors. 4. SWEARING-IN OF INTERIM MANAGEMENT OFFICERS Council witnessed the swearing in of three (3) Interim Management Officers (IMO) who were appointed and posted to the following Local Governments areas: 1. Dauda Usman Kura –D/Tofa Local Government 2. Labaran Jazuli D/Tofa –Kumbotso Local Government 3. Faruk Abdu Gaya – Rogo Local Government USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily Contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, Illegal / Wrong Parking to kindly Call KAROTA through the following number – 08091626747. Similarly, 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: Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports & Culture




‘How ‘soldiers’ killed expectant mother in our village’ •Teacher relives day of horror From Uja Emmanuel,Makurdi


ATTHEW Nyam is a teacher and an indigene of Mbalagh ward in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State where suspected Fulani herdsmen allegedly killed 30 Tiv farmers last Tuesday morning. Nyam alleged that the herdsmen enjoyed the backing of soldiers from the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering (NASME) in Makurdi, the state capital. He told The Nation how he was beaten to the pulp when the residents attempted to stop soldiers from shooting an expectant mother who was


•The baby, whose mother was killed by soldiers in displaced persons’ camp at North Bank, Makurdi, and other victims.

protesting the incessant killings of Tiv farmers. Sitting in a plastic chair and carrying a partially blinded eye with a swollen face, the teacher looked ruffled. Blood was dripping from his mouth as he narrated his ordeal. The 40-year-old man had lost his composure; he carried the mien of a tormented soul. The scares of his sad encounter with the soldiers were clear on his face. As he struggled to narrate his ordeal in the hands of the

soldiers, tears rolled down his eyes. His memory of the bloody attack on his kinsmen evoked an image of horror and trepidation. Nyam said it would take a long time for him to forget the incident. According to him, for over three years, there had been no schooling in Mbalagh ward because of the incessant attacks and killings of Tiv farmers. The teacher said the residents had always suspected that the soldiers from the

NASME were involved in the killing of Tiv farmers. According to him, the reality dawned on the residents when, last Tuesday, 30 persons, including women and children, were allegedly killed. He said three loads of Toyota Hilux vans bearing Nigerian Army number plates and colour with military men in camouflage uniforms stormed the village at 5am. Four Fulani sat at the back of one of the vehicles, Nyam said.

When the villagers first saw the vehicles, the teacher said, they thought the soldiers were on patrol. But as the residents moved towards the vehicles, the soldiers allegedly opened fire and killed many of them, including women and children. They also moved into the village, where they allegedly killed 16 villagers and set their homes ablaze. The soldiers allegedly took away 17 residents to an unknown destination; their whereabouts are still un-

known. Nyam urged the Federal Government to save his kinsmen from extermination. The teacher called for an investigation into the attack and severe punish against the culprits. Attempts to speak with NASME Commandant in Makurdi failed. Our correspondent was directed to the Army headquarters in Abuja for any comment on the matter.

North’s Speakers back legislative, council autonomy Ita-Giwa mourns Awolowo


HE Northern States’ Speakers’ Forum yesterday urged the National Assembly to use the ongoing constitutional amendment to expunge contentious issues that hinder the autonomy of the two arms of government. Rising from its 24th conference in Minna, the Niger State capital, the forum hailed the National Assembly for the progress it has made in constitutional amendment. The committee Chairman, Mr Stephen

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Onmeje, noted that the legislative autonomy and that of the grassroots administration would strengthen democracy and enhance democratic culture and practice. The lawmakers’ group advised state governments, elders and traditional rulers in the North to ensure that peace returns to the region in the interest of its development.

It urged the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the Hydro Power Producing Area Development Commission Amendment Act, 2012, to ensure the take-off of the commission’s activities. On Mambilla Hydro Electricity Project, the forum resolved to pressurise the Federal Government for the actualisation of the project. It called the attention of the Federal Government to the bad state of its roads across

the country, adding that most of them have become death traps. The committee cited roads as Lambatta-Lapai-BidaMokwa, in Niger State; the Nguru-Gashua-Bayamari Road, in Yobe State, as well as the completion of the KanoMaiduguri road dualisation. The conference appealed to the Federal Government to revisit the 33KVA power project from Gombe to Damaturu and Maiduguri.

‘Why Gaidam gave N100m lifeline to HE Special Adviser to ailing indigenes’ the Yobe State Gover-


nor on Media and Information Affairs, Mallam Abdulahi Bego, has said Governor Ibrahim Gaidam gave N100 million to 21 patients with terminal ailments for medical treatment abroad on humanitarian grounds. Bego told reporters in Damaturu, the state capital, that “though the state government is providing free treatment for children under five years as well as

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

expectant mothers, Governor Gaidam had to move a step forward to make the gesture to enable the sick get another chance to live”. The governor’s aide explained that the 21 patients would get specialised treatment on various ailments, ranging from kidney transplant, heart surgeries

and bone marrow transplant. He said the governor’s gesture was based on the recommendations of the state medical council, adding that over N200million had been spent on similar cases in the last two years. Bego added that the free medical policy of the state government for expectant mothers and children has been

Council poll: Kogi CNPP faction confident in KGSIEC •They’re govt apologists, says ACN From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja


reinvigorated for better service delivery.

NAFDAC wins appeal against Fed High Court


FTER three years of legal battle, the National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has won its appeal against a ruling of March 4, 2011, at a Federal High Court in Kano. The court discharged a Kanobased Indian businessman, Dijay Lawani, of criminal charges brought against him by the agency. NAFDAC had filed an appeal, challenging the ruling of the Federal High Court in Kano, which dismissed the criminal charge of faking Rambo insecticide, a product of a Kano-based company, Gongoni Nigeria Limited. The Indian was arrested in Kano in November 2010 for the importation of 1,l500 cartons of fake Rambo insecticide, valued at N8 million. The alleged fake

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

products were said to have been manufactured in China and imported into the country via Dubai. The accused was charged to the Federal High Court, Kano, in November 2010. After several months of legal fireworks, the Indian was discharged on technical grounds. Justice Shehu Yahaya averred that he would not proceed with the criminal charge for some technical reasons, which Gongoni Nigeria Limited preferred against the accused over the infringement of its trademark. The Federal High Court’s ruling in favour of the accused followed the argument of the defence counsel, Maxwell Duru, that the case against his client was not properly brought before the court.

He prayed for the accused to be discharged on the grounds that there was a duplicity, as his client was facing both criminal and civil charges in the same court at the same time over the same case. But the counsel to NAFDAC insisted that all legal procedures were duly followed in arraigning the accused. The Appeal Court ruling by Justice Abdu Aboki, a copy of

which was made available to The Nation in Kano yesterday, frowned at the lower court’s ruling. It said: “This appeal is hereby allowed.” The Appeal Court declared that the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court was ordered to re-assign the matter to another judge of the Federal High Court in the Kano Judicial Division for a trial de novo.

Kano shuts 31 private health institutions From Kolade Adeyemi Kano



ORMER Special Adviser to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, yesterday visited the Ikenne, Ogun State home of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo to condole with the family on the demise of the late Oluwole Awolowo. The politician was received by Dr. Tokunbo AwolowoDosunmu and Mr. Segun Awolowo. They expressed happiness that the senator found time to condole with them. Ita-Giwa reminded them that she was with the late Wole at the Constituent Assembly during the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s government. She also extolled the virtues of the late sage, who she described as a nationalist who fought British imperialism and neo-colonialism. Ita-Giwa said the late Awolowo was also among those who secured independence for Nigeria. She urged political leaders to embrace politics of ideology as exemplified by the late Awolowo, adding that they need to prepare successors that will take after them.

HE Kano State Government has shut down 31 of the 313 private health institutions in the state in the last six months for allegedly operating below standard. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Private Healthcare Institutions Dr Salisu Ibrahim said the affected institutions had been operating with substandard and obsolete facilities.


FACTION of the Kogi State chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has expressed confidence in the state’s Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC) to conduct a free, fair and credible local government election on May 4. Addressing reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, a factional chairman, who is also the chairman of Labour Party (LP) in the state, Mr Abubakar Aliu, noted that the call by some opposition parties to postpone the election was in bad faith. Aliu noted that the legal battle instituted by the political parties, under the proposed All Progressives Congress (APC), was not only retrogresive but a ploy to distract the people. He alleged that the trio of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) went to court to stop the conduct of the local government poll in apparent disregard to good morals and societal values. “Three political parties cannot stop 18 political parties and over 1.4 million voters, we urged the ACN, ANPP and CPC to allow equity and good conscience to prevail by taking part in the council election” But the chairman of ACN, Haddy Ametuo, described them as an arm of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the state. He said: “We have two CNPP in Kogi state. The opposition and progressives CNPP headed by myself, Haddy Ametuo, and the government of Idris Wada’s CNPP. So, you can see where they are talking from. “We, therefore, urged all political parties to play the game according to the rules in the interest of our dear Kogi state.” The CNPP factional leader also said his group would not succumb to any blackmail, adding: “Kogi State is under political fire work for the local election. There is no going back on May 4, 2013.”



NEWS Gunmen kidnap toddler •Bayelsa State Deputy Governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NAVIMOR Maritime Mr. Romuald Kinda while Prof Allison Oguru, Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government looks on.

PDP crisis: Southwest leaders list peace terms for Anenih Continued from page 4

Chairman, Southwest) and former National Auditor Chief Bode Mustapha will not be discussed. A source said: “The BoT is going to beg Obasanjo because the party’s target is how to reclaim the Southwest from the opposition in 2014 and 2015. But the lingering crisis in the party, especially in Ogun State, is a big headache. “The crisis in Ogun has grounded the party’s machinery in the Southwest. It has also led to the removal of three NWC members by Tukur. So, you can see why they are passionate to see Obasanjo. “The reconciliatory agenda will certainly focus on how to avert the dwindling fortunes of PDP in the Southwest and the fate of Oyinlola and others.”

But the PDP leadership has been warned by leaders in the Southwest “not to encourage the implementation of contentious court rulings” on Oyinlola and others. It was learnt that the Southwest leaders of the PDP have given conditions for the return of peace to the party. A document obtained by our correspondent said: “ More importantly, it is pleasing that the national leader of the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan has decided to wade into the matter, which has assumed a dangerous proportion. We pray that God will give Dr. Jonathan the courage to see that there is the need for positive change to correct the so many ills that have plagued the PDP and impeded progress in the last one year in office of the current NWC. “ As a first step, President Jonathan is advised to prevail

on the National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, to regard himself as the father of all and refrain from acts that could lead to further disintegration of the party, ensuring that PDP constitution is not violated and rules and regulations are not side-tracked. “In addition, Tukur should be made to realise that PDP would grow stronger with teamwork in which all members of the NWC would agree to swim or sink together and, therefore, do away with the numerous hangers-on who misadvise him as members of the parallel working committee’. “The national leader of the PDP is enjoined to act dispassionately to get the PDP on course again; and digest all the reports of the Chief Tony Anenih Committee which is touring all states as a neutral party, in realisation of the fact that without the cooperation

of all key stakeholders, PDP could be dislodged from its prominent position by opposition parties which are strategising on how to win future elections in this country.” The position paper also sought the reinstatement of all officials sacked from the National Working Committee. It added: “Justice Abdu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on January 11, 2013 ordered the PDP to conduct a fresh zonal congress to replace Prince Oyinlola as National Secretary. “Similarly, Justice Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in his ruling of April 9, 2013, ruled that the PDP should swear in the ag National Secretary, Onwe Solomon Onwe after putting in place a caretaker committee whose members are to be selected by five officials of the National Working Committee of the PDP.”

‘Five Alive’ kids... one year, four months after Continued from page 4

that my children are normal and complete - healthwise. I thought they may have one health challenge or the other because their conception was through IVF, but to my surprise through the help of God and Nordica Fertility Centre, they are excellent children.” Commenting on Assisted Reproduction through which the likes of Shofunlayo are now parents, Dr

Abayomi Ajayi, the Managing Director of Nordica said the fertility centre was set up to put smiles on the faces of couples, reducing the prevalence of infertility. Ajayi said: “Through the centre, about 1200 babies have been born into different families and they are doing excellently well. Many are in primary schools around the world. Families have given birth to triplets,

twins and singles.” He said the centre monitors the progress of the children and is prayerfully waiting to celebrate the first university graduate among them. “God has been faithful through it all, as some couples who had their child/ children through IVF have been able to have more children on their own” . The clinic manager, Mrs.

Tola Ajayi, said: “We want people to know that we can help with the problem of infertility. It’s not only about prayers; medical intervention can also be of help. We are very happy today; we are a decade old and we are still counting.” The first child born by the help of Nordica, Julian Onwudinjo, nine years, prayed that God would give the centre “grace”.


WOMAN, Mrs Elizabeth Obio, whose two-year old son was snatched from her on Ikot Obio Nko in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government of Akwa Ibom State yesterday, has appealed to security operatives for help. Narrating her ordeal from her bed at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), the victim lamented that the toddler would be three in September. Mrs. Obio said the hoodlums, who operated on a motorcycle, attempted to take her son from her and when she refused to let go shot her in the back. Her words: “We came back from the farm in the evening and wanted to go to the stream with my husband. My third child (the boy) insisted he must come with us. I said he shouldn’t, but because he was crying, the father said we

Continued from page 4

teraction with many of the sect leaders and members on the way out,” a source said, adding that the governor persuaded some of them to assist the government in resolving the logjam. “Already, this idea is being sold to the Federal Government to adopt. The proposed amnesty committee should meet these high-profile detainees and build confidence in them to enable them to reach out to Boko Haram leaders to have faith in the amnesty programme,” said the source. The NYF appeal was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its bimonthly meeting which ended at the weekend in Gombe. The Forum also praised the government on the proposed

amnesty, believing it would restore lasting peace and stability to the North. It, therefore, “urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders (Northern Elders Forum) to involve the youths in the process of the amnesty programme”. The Forum ascribed the security challenge bedeviling the country to poverty, unemployment, lack of proper educational policies and loss of moral values in the society. Yuguda is confident that Boko Haram members would accept amnesty and embrace dialogue. Yuguda drew a line between the “real Boko Haram” protesting against poverty and misery and the “political and criminal Boko Haram”, which is a tool in the hands

of “desperate, “unscrupulous and “unpatriotic” politicians to destabilise the country. The governor acknowledged that poverty, unemployment and lack of social infrastructure may have instigated anger on some elements in the North. But he disagreed with those fuelling the violence for political reasons, stressing that these agents of violence are “criminals, armed robbers and killer Boko Haram”. Yuguda spoke with reporters at the weekend on the state of the nation in Lagos. The governor denied the allegation that he was interested in the Vice Presidency in 2015. He pledged his loyalty to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Vice President Namadi Sambo.

should take him since we were going on a motorcycle. “So when we got to a hilly area where the motorcycle could not continue, my husband dropped us and asked us to move towards the stream that he will meet us. “While we were going, suddenly two men on a motorcycle blocked us and they immediately started struggling to get my child from me. “I struggled with them, but one of them brought out a gun and shot me in the back. I became unconscious and they left with my son. I just want my son back, the police should help me.” Police spokesman Etim Dickson said he was yet to be fully briefed on the matter and pledged that the police would investigate it thoroughly.

Criminals are using MEND’s name Continued from page 4

“The claim by the criminals of blowing up a well head is false, as our troops on patrol along Nembe Creek 1 Flow Station have earlier reported an incident of oil spill on water around Owelesu Community in Nembe, resulting from the activities of oil thieves and a joint patrol team, comprising of JTF troops and NN (Nigerian Navy) personnel was able to trace the spillage. “The troops observed a fresh dug-out, possibly for laying illegal pipeline and fresh footprints, which were traced to a small camp. Items

such as hacksaw for cutting pipeline, three shovels, food items, cooking pots, sleeping mat, footwear, bags of pure (sachet) water and clothes were found in the camp. “It was suspected that some miscreants were trying to open a new, illegal loading point. The camp has been destroyed in situ and patrols will be maintained.” The security outfit also stated that the oil well was shut to avoid further spillage, pending its repair by the Anglo/Dutch oil giantShell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

MEND threatens attack Continued from page 4

swept through the Ewellesuo comminity, Nembe, Bayelsa State, leaving the destruction of Well 62, belonging to Shell Petroleum in its wake. “We may only consider a ceasefire of Operation Barbarossa if the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Catholic Church and Henry Okah, one of the few leaders in the Niger Delta region we respect for his integrity, intervene. “Also, the assurance for a cessation of hostilities targeted at Christians in their places of worship, made privately or publicly by the real Boko Haram leadership will make us call off this crusade. “We have no problems with their (Boko Haram

Fed Govt begs North’s leaders to get Boko Haram serve as a guarantee that the sect’s leaders are protected from harassment if they come out for dialogue.” Shettima is believed to have reached out to some of the detained leaders and members of Boko Haram. The governor’s talks with the sect were still ongoing as at press time last night. The governor is said to have visited sect members in detention at Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri. He also visited some detainees at the Police Crack Team. “At the detention camps, he was not too pleased with the condition of some of the detainees and he made money available to buy blankets and basic provisions for them. He had one-on-one in-

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

If the Northern Speakers’ Forum (NSF) has its way, all 19 governors in the North would be included in the amnesty committee raised by the federal government to to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency. The Forum rose from a conference of the 19 Northern Speakers in Minna, the Niger State capital and commended the government on the steps it took towards negotiating and possible acceptance of the amnesty. In a communiqué signed by Mr. Stephen Onmeje, the speakers urged the various state governments, elders and traditional rulers from the region to ensure that peace return to the region in the overall interest of North’s development.

sect’s) attacks on security agencies, including the prisons, for their role in extra-judicial killings, torture, deceit and corruption.” A notable Muslim cleric and President of Delta Muslim Council, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, yesterday cautioned MEND against carrying out its threat to attack mosques and Muslims in the region. Unagha, who was reacting to the threat by MEND to unleash mayhem on mosques and Islamic institutions in the Niger Delta to counter the onslaught of Boko Haram in the North, described Boko Haram as not a Muslim group. He cautioned the group on the call for the assassination of Muslim clerics, warning that such action could promote religious war. Unagha said: “MEND’s is myopic and a deviation from their struggle. They were complaining of marginalisation and the President today is a Niger Deltan. They should focus their anger on the right channel.” Besides, Unagha noted that attacks by Muslims have felt the pangs of Boko Haram’s onslaught, stressing that even the Emir of Kano, a staunch Muslim was attacked by the group, while scores of Muslims were also killed in the Kano bus attack. “I am a Muslim, Asari Dokubor is also a Muslim and we have large Muslim communities in the Niger Delta and the West. This is not a communal clash. If they go ahead with their threat, they would have killed the essence of the struggle. “Was it Muslims that jailed Henry Okah or the other agitators?”




Gunmen attack Somalia courthouse, 19 killed A T least 19 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Sixteen people, including nine attackers, are believed to have died after gunmen stormed the city’s main court buildings. Later a car bomb was detonated on the road to the airport, killing three, including two Turkish aid workers and the attacker. The Islamist militant group al-Shabab says it carried out the attacks. Al-Shabab, which has links with al-Qaeda, has been blamed for a series of attacks in Mogadishu in the last two years. But correspondents say Sunday’s violence is the worst seen in the city since alShabab was pushed out of the city by AU and Somali forces in August 2011. The attacks have created an atmosphere of fear among Mogadishu residents. They are not the biggest Mogadishu has seen. But they came as people in Mogadishu were starting to experience relative calm, when life in the capital was beginning to return to normal. The attacks have challenged the government’s authority in the capital. Police


•SOMALIA, Mogadishu : A Somali policeman walks past a burning car on April 14, 2013, in Mogadishu, after a suicide bomber attack in the regional court premises that left several dead. Gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed the main court complex in Mogadishu on April 14, killing at least five people before holing themselves up as Somali and African forces surrounded the building. Several people were wounded minutes later when a remote-detonated car bomb went off as a Turkish aid convoy drove AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB by near the airport, in some of the worst violence to hit Mogadishu in months.

have been deployed on the streets and government buildings are being protected. But the government has previously admitted there is only so much it can do to stop suicide bombers. The deaths of two Turkish aid workers will also raise concern among the increasing number of aid organisations working in Somalia.

Egypt to try Brotherhood members accused of torture

The Islamist group still controls most villages and rural areas of Somalia. BBC reporter Mohamed Ibrahim at the scene says armed intruders entered the court in the capital and began firing, after which there was an explosion. A gunfight followed as security forces exchanged fire with the attackers. Witnesses said at least one car bomb was used in the at-

tack. “Armed men entered the court and then we heard a blast. Then they started opening fire,” witness Hussein Ali, who works at the courts, told Reuters news agency. Ugandan troops - part of the African Union force stationed in Mogadishu - arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting started. The Somali government said that nine gunmen had

been involved in the assault, and all had now been killed. Six of them detonated suicide vests, it said. Other witnesses said the attackers were dressed in Somali military uniform. People were seen trying to escape the violence from the upper floors of the court buildings by breaking windows and climbing out of the buildings. Some were said to be senior officials.

Dr. Hilary Koprowski, polio clinical known as fellow researchers trial inventor dies Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin,


WO Muslim Brotherhood members in northern Egypt have been ordered to stand trial on charges of detaining and torturing students during a protest against the president the group propelled to power. The charges are a rare acknowledgement of the alleged role that some of the president’s supporters have had in attacks on his opponents. The U.S. State Department suggested this month that Egypt was selectively prosecuting those accused of insulting the government while ignoring or playing down attacks on antigovernment demonstrators. Opponents of Mursi also accuse him of trying to dominate state institutions such as the judiciary. The president has said he is working to rid the government of corrupt remnants from the era of Hosni Mubarak, ousted by a popular uprising in 2011. The prosecutor’s office in Damanhour said on Sunday the men were accused of detaining and beating the students in November at the Brotherhood office in the Nile Delta city during clashes between opponents of Mursi and his Islamist supporters. The clashes in Damanhour were part of a wave of protests and violence set off by Mursi’s decree in November to temporarily expand his powers and prevent court challenges to his decisions. The crisis triggered by Mursi’s decree deepened the divisions in Egyptian society, mainly between the increasingly empowered Brotherhood and its allies and other groups that fear what they see as autocratic tendencies of the Islamist group.

Iraqis prepare for first vote since US withdrawal



HILADELPHIA — Dr. Hilary Koprowski, the Polish-born researcher who developed the first successful oral vaccination for polio, died at his Philadelphia home. He was 96. Although not as well-


Koprowski’s 1950 clinical trial was the first to show it was possible to vaccinate against polio, the crippling and sometimes fatal disease that’s now all but eradicated. Koprowski’s son, Christopher, said Saturday his father liked the scientific recognition his work received without the celebrity of Salk and Sabin. “He enjoyed not having his scientific work disrupted,” said Christopher Koprowski. “Not that he was a modest individual, mind you.” Christopher Koprowski said his father had been sick for several months before dying Thursday in the same

home he’d lived in since 1957. Hilary Koprowski self-administered the live-virus oral vaccine he developed before the 1950 trial — about two years before Salk’s injectable version using a dead form of the virus began testing with the backing of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, now the March of Dimes. Sabin, who Koprowski’s son said sometimes collaborated with his father, was the first to get the more effective oral version, which didn’t require boosters, licensed for use in the U.S. Koprowski went on to be the director of The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia from

1957 to 1991. Under his leadership, the independent research institution developed a rubella vaccine that helped eradicate the disease in much of the world, Wistar officials said. It was during that time the institute also developed a more effective rabies vaccine. A talented musician, Koprowski was a penniless immigrant in Rio de Janeiro making money teaching piano before hooking up with a lab there and eventually moving to the United States, his son said. “He was a great dad. He was colorful, charismatic,” Christopher Koprowski said. “He’s still the most brilliant person I’ve ever met.”

Brazil's Rousseff to make rare state The red-carpet reception also visit to U.S. RESIDENT Dilma will be a political victory for Rousseff will make the

first formal state visit by a Brazilian leader to the United States in nearly two decades, a diplomatic breakthrough for an emerging power that has clashed with Washington but is hungry for closer ties and recognition of its growing prestige. The trip will occur later this year, likely in October, officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity because the White House has not yet announced the visit. A White House spokeswoman declined comment. A state visit, which includes formalities such as a black-tie dinner and a military ceremony upon arrival, is usually reserved for Washington's closest strategic partners.

"It's great news, long overdue," said Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center, a think-tank in Washington. "It shows that the United States really values the relationship, which is what Brazil most wants to hear." The upgrade in diplomatic ties is likely to rekindle hopes for a long-sought treaty to avoid double taxation on Brazilian and U.S. businesses, as well as the chance for greater commerce between the two largest economies in the Americas. Bilateral trade totaled about $59 billion last year, but Brazil's economy remains relatively closed to imports and its 200 million-strong population is seen as a big potential growth market for U.S. companies.

Rousseff, a left-leaning but pragmatic leader who has sought closer relations with the United States but felt snubbed when President Barack Obama did not host a more elaborate welcome during a White House visit in April 2012. Relations have been cordial, but marked by disagreements. Latin America's biggest country has been frustrated by a perceived lack of support from Washington as it seeks a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and other recognition of its rising influence following an economic boom over the past decade. Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, angered Washington by blocking hemispheric trade talks and trying


to broker a deal to end the global standoff over Iran's nuclear program in 2010, the final year of his presidency. Rousseff, by contrast, has mostly avoided dealing with Iran, more strongly emphasized human rights in Brazil's foreign relations and also taken a relative distance from Venezuela, Washington's loudest antagonist in Latin America.

HE April 20 vote for provincial governing councils will be the first election since the U.S. military withdrawal in December 2011. Even though elections for federal positions such as prime minister and parliament are not scheduled until next year, this will nevertheless be a key test for Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s dominant political bloc. Members of the police and army cast their ballots early in special voting on Saturday. The results will be an important gauge of support for various political blocs heading into 2014 national elections. Al-Maliki has not ruled out seeking a third term next year despite charges from opponents that his administration is a dictatorship in the making. A vote without major violence would be a victory in itself for the police and army, who face a reviving al-Qaida insurgency. Militants are making sure they are heard in the run-up to the polls. At least 13 candidates have been killed so far. In one attack earlier this month, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a lunch hosted by a Sunni candidate in the city of Baqouba. The candidate survived. More than 8,000 candidates from a dizzying array of dozens of electoral blocs, including many little-known small parties, are in the running. In the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, the fierce competition among them is evident. Posters of the candidates hang in the narrow spaces among the crowded tombs and mausoleum walls.

Nigerian arrested with heroin in Kenya


NIGERIAN has been arrested in Kenya allegedly with about 10 grammes of a substance believed to be heroin. Police now want Mr Anthony Chinedu deported. Mr Chinedu was seized at his house in Kileleshwa on Saturday when Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) officers raided the premises. He said Mr Chinedu was expected in court in a matter of hours. Detectives said they would apply for Mr Chinedu’s deportation based on the weekend arrest and past cases. In the past, Mr Chinedu has successfully fought deportation attempts. The Nigerian has been embroiled in a lengthy property dispute with his estranged Kenyan wife Joyce Akinyi. He told the Nation that his wife could be trying to settle scores with him through a man who was at his house at the time of alleged drug bust. “The officers came to my place and said I owed the man some money. When I confronted him, the story changed and they forced themselves in,” he said. Police, however, said there was a major anti-drug operation going on in the city. On Wednesday night two men, one of them a Nigerian, were arrested in the city centre. The first man was allegedly found with 268 grammes of heroin while the Nigerian had 20 grammes of the drug.




Egypt judge withdraws from P Mubarak trial T HE judge presiding over the retrial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has withdrawn himself from the case as the trial opened in Cairo. There were chaotic scenes as the judge said he was referring the trial to another court. Mr Mubarak was convicted last June of conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 revolt that ended his rule. He was sentenced to life but a retrial was ordered in January after he appealed against the sentence. About 850 people were killed in the 2011 crackdown. Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah announced his decision at the start of the retrial at a police academy on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital. The judge said he was referring the case to the Cairo appeals court as he felt “unease” in reviewing the case. That court is then expected to appoint a new panel to hear the retrial. But there was shouting in the courtroom, with relatives of protesters killed in the 2011 uprising chanting: “The people demand the execution of

Mubarak!” Also, prosecution lawyers complained that the transfer could delay the case for months and make it less likely that the former president would be convicted and sentenced. “Egypt cannot close the door on the former regime until there is justice for the martyrs of our revolution,” said Mohamed Rashwan, quoted by Reuters news agency. Stretcher again Mr Mubarak, 84, is in poor health and currently being held in a military hospital in Cairo. On Saturday, he was flown by helicopter to the courthouse at a police academy on the outskirts of Cairo. State TV showed him being wheeled into the building on a stretcher, wearing a white outfit. Wearing dark glasses and with an intravenous cannula on his hand, he later waved to the courtroom from inside a cage. His first trial, at which he also ap-

peared on a stretcher, lasted 10 months. Two sons of the former leader, former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six aides will also be re-tried, facing the same charges as before. Mr Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa, will be retried on corruption charges for which they were acquitted in June, because of the expiry of a statute of limitations. The former president was also found not guilty of corruption. Businessman Hussein Salem, a close associated of Mubarak, is being retried in his absence - he went to Spain after being cleared of fraud in his first trial. The 18-day uprising in 2011 ended Mubarak’s 29-year rule of Egypt. Families of protesters who died in the crackdown were disappointed that the former president was not convicted of ordering the killings. There was also been anger among some that he has not faced trial for abuses allegedly committed earlier in his rule.

•FRANCE, Lyon : Militants of the movement “La Manif Pour Tous” (Demonstration for all !), opposed to same-sex marriage, demonstrate in Lyon, on April 14, 2013. France’s upper house Senate voted two days before to approve a landmark bill granting homosexual couples the right to marry and adopt, after a heated debate and mass protests from conservatives and religious groups. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZES


HAT a week! North Korea’s 30-year-old maverick leader Kim Jung-un catapulted and somehow somersaulted from Armageddon to a Marathon, celebrating the April 10 birthday of the nation’s founder Kim Il-Sung, his grand-father. The world stood waiting for his mounted supposedly nuclear arsenal from the east coast of town targeting at least United States’ colony of Guam not to talk of his post 1953 armistice– held neighbour to the south. Anyway while at that, The Iron Lady arch conservative Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, slipped through our very nose to the eternal terrestrial after a stroke-related ailment Iran kept playing the eagle-eyed ball game about its nuclear power proliferation capability and rights thereof. Tinkering with this our universe, my News Editor thundered my back; my friend what’s going on with our 15.8million peopled West African Mali. Well, France’s Operation Serval was at its positive crescendo, having effectively stopped the Islamist rebels and their al-Qaeda backers (AIQM) in their tracks. The logical step is securing Mali along the path of sustainability and peace. For now, the rebels have scattered into their mountainous hide-outs launching occasional forays. This has now emboldened the shaky government egged on with prompts by US, France and the European Union to hold presidential and parliamentary elections come July 7. So last week’s nomination of Dramane Dembele, a 46-year-old mining engineer by the leading political party Adema-PASJ, to carry its presidential banner is raising concerns as to the timing of the elections amid grave structural deficiencies and insecurity, which pervade the social, po-

Global Focus DAYO FAKUADE, Foreign Editor

Mali: Is time ripe for elections? litical and economic landscape. Dembele will be contesting with 12 others, including former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and exfinance minister Soumaila Cisse. His party won 54 of 160 seats in the 2007 National Assembly elections. Francois Heisbourg, a researcher with Foundation for Strategic Partnership Agreement, a Paris-based institute, noted that although France’s Malian mission codenamed “Operation Serval” has as its cardinal objective of securing Mali’s “territorial integrity”, accomplishing this alone cannot substitute for a “legitimate government based in Bamako in control of the entirety of its territory”. The issues on the ground include voter lists update, which is made further complicated by the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, as well as those who are in refugee camps scattered in Niger, Boukina Faso and Mauritania. The Tuaregs in the northern part still control Kidag, a very strategic northern gateway, though it has pledged laying down its arms in exchange for a greater regional au-

‘The issues on the ground include voter lists update, which is made further complicated by the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, as well as those who are in refugee camps scattered in Niger, Boukina Faso and Mauritania’ tonomy. More importantly, there is still a great disconnect between the general populace to the extent that meaningful and issue-driven political discourse cannot hold under the prevailing atmosphere of insecurity and weak political leadership. The mood in the nation is that of more of the same as corruption and

Palestinian PM resigns ALESTINIAN officials and the United States voiced optimism on Sunday that the resignation of U.S.-backed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad would not hinder Washington’s planned development initiative for the West

Bank. Fayyad quit on Saturday after months of tension with President Mahmoud Abbas, leaving the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in confusion just as the United States tries to revive peace talks with the Jewish state. His exit came less than a week after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited and promised a plan to remove “bottlenecks and barriers” to economic development in the West Bank. Kerry told reporters in Tokyo on Sunday the United States would pursue its initiative “no matter what” and there is “more than one person that (the United States) can do business with”. “We will continue to work at this and hope that President Abbas finds the right person to work with him in a transition and to work with us and to establish confidence,” Kerry said. U.S.-educated Fayyad, a former World Bank official, was appointed in 2007 and drew Western praise for his efforts to develop institutions fit for a future Palestinian state. But his popularity sank amid 25 percent unemployment and soaring prices. Palestinian officials said Fayyad, trusted by the West as a non-corrupt conduit for aid funds, would not handle the U.S. development plan as interim caretaker prime minister. But, one official said, “everyone knows that aid is meant for the Palestinian people, and not just one man”, and implementation of the initiative would be monitored by President Mahmoud Abbas and “a team of his choosing”.

U.S. works with China on North Korea


HE United States said on Saturday that China had agreed to help rid North Korea of its nuclear capability by peaceful means, but Beijing made no specific commitment in public to pressure its long-time ally to change its ways. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met China’s top leaders in a bid to persuade them to push reclusive North Korea, whose main diplomatic supporter is Beijing, to scale back its belligerence and, eventually, return to nuclear talks. Visiting Beijing for the first time as secretary of state, Kerry has made no secret of his desire to see China take a more active stance towards North Korea, which in recent weeks has threatened nuclear war against the United States and South Korea. Kerry and China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, said both countries supported the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. “We are able, the United States and China, to underscore our joint commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner,” Kerry told reporters, sitting next to Yang at a state guesthouse in western Beijing. But North Korea has repeatedly said it will not abandon nuclear weapons which it described on Friday as its “treasured” guarantor of security. Yang said China’s stance on maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula was clear and consistent, repeating phrasing used by the Foreign Ministry since the crisis began. “We maintain that the issue should be handled and resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultation. To properly address the Korea nuclear issue serves the common interests of all parties. It is also the shared responsibility of all parties,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “China will work with other relevant parties, including the United States, to play a constructive role in promoting the six-party talks and balanced implementation of the goals set out in the September 19 joint statement of 2005.”

lack of trust of the political leadership dampen any expectation of genuine development in the country. Mali remains one of the poorest countries in the world with 70 percentile of its 15.8 million people mostly involved in agrarian activities, especially cotton. To gain the trust of any new electoral arrangement will be daunting. First of all, the government is still weak and shaky. The electoral arrangement, which produced the failed 2007 general elections, is yet to be rectified, especially with the voter lists which needs updating. The biometric voter registration and voting confirmation worked well with the Sierra-Leone and recent Kenyan elections and there is no reason why a genuinely holistic and hitch-free process can not be deployed to allay the fears of the opposition parties in such a politically-fractious nation as mali. The Tuaregs in the northern part of the country who were the principal elements of the crisis now control Kidal the third largest town in the Algerian border. They are considering dropping their arms in support of the Bamako-led national government, only if it could be granted greater regional autonomy. This was the first cause of the present upheaval. Above, all the question of timing is very essential in Mali. France will be pulling all its troops out by year’s end with 1000 left behind. Hopefully, what United Nation’s Secretary- General Ban Ki Moon has proposed and might pass this week is the retention and upgrading of what we now have on the ground from7500 AFISMA forces to an 11,200 UN monitoring forces plus a 1440 police force to maintain the peace achieved by France’s Operation Sercal. On the financing end, the European Union has been altruistic and forthcoming in its 50 million Euro pay-

ment of logistical stabilization funding of the Malian mission. In Abuja last week the first tranche of this pledge was made available in an occasion witnessed by members of the donor and diplomatic community in Abuja. Right now the issues on the ground mitigating a July 7 general elections in Mali are germane and concrete. While the rebel elements have been temporarily put out of business, the overall landscape is yet devoid of a robust capacity to cause mass havoc from their mountainous haven. Second, the nature of United Nation’s peace keeping mechanism is so slow as to mitigate a veritable window through which prepared insurgents, well situated rebel elements could throw wrenches into the peace modicum within a twinkle of an eye. Above all, the question is about timing. With a very weak governmental infrastructure, an election in Mali right now stands the risk of monumental failure. Logistically, it is noteworthy that a landlocked Mali needs $25million to arrange a hitch-free election while undergoing a basically foreign-aid sustained economy. The Medecines Sans Frontieres, international group which provides medical care for internally displaced persons, is overwhelmed with needs for ever arriving refugees. France might be attempting a gleeful exit with enamored success. They sure deserve it. At a time when the UN was waggling its tail, at a time when a rudderless so called Nigeria Giant Of Africa cannot understand the security imperative of a trouble next door, France deserves Africa’s thank you But timing is of the essence as France can now exit gracefully leaving the stage for a territorially stable Malian state as long as the regional stake holders can step up to the plate.




NATION SPORT Pardew rues Krul´s seasonending injury

RVP almost killed me with goal celebration, says Fergie S



EWCASTLE keeper Tim Krul will miss the rest of the season after dislocating his shoulder in Sunday’s 3-0 drubbing by Sunderland. Krul landed awkwardly after punching the ball clear during the match, and was swiftly replaced by Rob Elliot on 57 minutes before being taken to hospital for assessment. The Dutchman’s injury comes as an additional bitter pill to swallow for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who believes his side failed to recover from Thursday’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Benfica that saw the Magpies crash out 4-2 on aggregate. Pardew told reporters: “I don’t feel particularly great. It was a tough day really. “They looked like a team that had worked all week on us and we looked like a team that had a really tough game on Thursday night. “We looked a little bit tired in our minds and our fitness and our application to the game. We were always struggling in that game. Unfortunately it turned out to be a great day for Sunderland and an awful day for us. “To our fans, that’s everything and we just have to make sure that in the last five games we put that right and get some work in on the training ground. “Three or four of our players never trained after Thursday night, just a short warm-up and a massage. “Cabaye looked really tired, Mapou (Yanga-Mbiwa) particularly, even Papiss (Cisse) looked a little bit tired and it’s enough at this level.

Giroud: Never-saydie spirit was vital


LIVIER GIROUD says Arsenal’s never-say-die attitude was the catalyst for the comeback that secured a 31 victory over Norwich City on Saturday afternoon. After going behind to Michael Turner’sheaderearlyinthesecond half, Arsène Wenger’s side struck three times in the closing stages to turn the game around and claim victory. Giroud was pleased with the manner of the comeback, and was adamant that the Gunners’ second goal should be credited to him and not to Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong. “We feel relieved tonight because wehadabadstart,”hetoldArsenal Player. “We had some chances to score but we didn’t succeed to in the first half. “In the second half, Norwich scored from a free-kick. We knew [that was where they are strong] so we need to be more concentrated at set pieces. Fortunately we had a good run and succeeded to score three times.

IR Alex Ferguson will be hoping Robin van Persie doesn’t suffer too many more goal droughts after ‘almost killing him’ while celebrating his strike against Stoke. The Dutchman had endured over two months without a goal before converting his 66th minute penalty in the 20 win against the Potters, which sparked his run towards the Manchester United dugout where he clattered into the Scottish boss. ‘He nearly killed me with his celebration – he forgets I’m 71!’ joked Ferguson. ‘He did ever so well for the

penalty, though.’ Van Persie was clearly pleased to finally end his baron run, but insists the result was more important than his personal achievement. ‘It was a big win, let me put it that way,’ said the striker. ‘My goal came at an important point in the game, but the main thing today was to win, it was all about the win – I wouldn’t have cared who had scored the goal. ‘It was just important that we bounced back after last Monday. Every single player battled out there. And credit to all of us because we deserved this game.’

Distin: Arsenal match not decisive


VERTON’S Slyvain Distin says the outcome of Tuesday’s encounter with Arsenal will not prove decisive in the race for a Champions League berth. Everton travel to north London just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, although having played a game more, following a run of four wins in their last five Premier League matches. David Moyes’ side extended their recent good run with a straightforward 2-0 win over


relegation-threatened QPR on Saturday. And Distin does not believe Tuesday’s game is any more important than the others Everton face in the run home. “Tuesday is only as important as today’s game or any of the other 30 we have played,” Distin said after the QPR win. “There are no small games, we have to be consistent. We just have the final push to get fourth or fifth place. A deflected Darron Gibson strike and a Victor Anichebe goal secured victory against Harry Redknapp’s strugglers and Distin is desperate for his side to maintain their momentum. “Three points and a clean sheet; we are happy and we are doing well at the moment. We need to keep pushing to get a place in Europe,” he said. “The most important is the three points. I want to win games - if I can help (by scoring) then that’s great but it doesn’t bother me.”

•RVP and Fergie celebrate

Di Canio dedicates derby victory to late mum


AOLO DI CANIO dedicated a stunning derby victory at Newcastle to his late mother after Sunderland enhanced their prospects of Barclays Premier League survival. The 44-year-old Italian celebrated on his knees as the Black Cats romped to a 3-0 win at St James’ Park, their first in enemy territory in 13 years and just their second anywhere in 17 attempts. A priceless triumph ended a run of nine league games without a victory and lifted the club three points clear of the relegation zone with five matches left to play. Asked if that was how he had dreamt the first derby encounter of his reign would be, Di Canio said: “Can I tell you something? “Sometimes, some special things have to remain inside yourself. It’s not good to share with others because it’s very deep inside yourself. “But I believe in this thing. Before the kick-off, I saw the face of my Mama smiling. Exactly yesterday, it was one

year since she passed away. “Exactly one year ago, there was the same situation. I was in the dug-out the day after she passed away and we won the game - I was at Swindon and today, it has happened again. “For this, I have to thank not only my Mama, otherwise my Dad - he is next to her, but today, he is going to be upset. “But Dad, Mama was special today, so my dedication goes to her today, to my Mam.”

•Di Canio

Lambert warmed by Villa form


STON VILLA manager Paul Lambert believes his team are “bouncing” with positivity as they scrap to retain their top-flight status this season. The Scot has never wavered in his belief that this young Villa side will stay in the Barclays Premier League, despite being in the relegation mire for much of the season. That confidence has been justified in recent weeks, winning three of four before Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Fulham. While Villa let a lead slip to lose two points in the battle for survival, the one they did earn at least helped them three points ahead of 18th-placed Wigan, though the Latics have

two games in hand. Lambert insisted the draw was a good result despite Fabian Delph’s own goal gifting Fulham a point after Charles N’Zogbia’s opener. The Scot is particularly happy with his side’s performances and spirit. “The pleasing thing at the moment is the players are performing,” he said. “They are getting going. If you can get a couple of wins, that will be great. We have certainly put a lot of pressure on everybody. “The thing is we are not going into games thinking ‘we’re not playing well, we don’t know what’s going to happen.’ We are right in it. “I have nothing but praise for the fans too. It’s a demanding place but you

have to handle it. With the noise and atmosphere, the crowd are right behind us. “The team are bouncing off them. That’s a powerful thing. That’s what is happening at the minute.”





Ambrose inspires Celtic to final N

I G E R I A international, Efe Ambrose was fully fit to inspire his Celtic side to victory in a seven-goal thriller with Dundee United in the Scottish Cup semi-final played on Sunday April 14, 2013. Ambrose played for all duration of the game, and Kris Commons scored twice, to ensure Celtic advance on a 4-3 victory after extra-time at Hampden Park.

Commons had taken just 82 seconds to break the deadlock when he collected a pass from Victor Wanyama and turned 35 yards from goal before past Mark Millar and dispatching a shot beyond the diving Radoslaw Cierzniak. United made the most of that escape as Jon Daly pounced on a Kelvin Wilson slip to release Gary MackaySteven (24) and the winger exchanged passes with Ryan

Gauld before placing his shot past Fraser Forster. The Hoops went 3-2 up when Ambrose burst forward and freed Izagu on the left to once more cross into the six-yard box where the ball spun-off Commons (60) and over the line before the midfielder could react. Cierzniak denied Commons a hat-trick when he deflected the ball round the post with his foot two minutes before Daly planted

a header past Forster which went in off the upright from a brilliant Mackay-Steven cross to make it 3-3. United scrambled away a last minute shot from James Forrest, who was also thwarted by the foot of Cierzniak in extra-time after exchanging passes with Anthony Stokes just a few minutes after Daly headed against the post at the other end. Forrest then turned

provider for the matchwinner when he crossed for Stokes (104) to net with a powerful header and book a place in the final against Hibernian next month. Just 24 hours after Hibs fought back from 3-0 down to beat Falkirk 4-3 in the first semi-final, Hampden witnessed another sevengoal thriller with Anthony Stokes scoring the dramatic winner.

Kalu Uche suffers shock home defeat


IGERIA’S Kalu Uche did not only fire blank in Sunday’s Super Lig clash at home against Akhisar Belediyespor but also slumped to a shocking 0-1 defeat in the duel. Kalu was tipped to add to his 17-goal tally but failed as Akhisar Belediyespor gave themselves a big lift out of the relegation waters they had been swimming all season. After the host failed to convert the myriad of chances that came their way Akhisar Belediyespor broke the deadluck in the 41st minute through Theofanis Gekas. The visitors hung on to the slim lead al through the 2nd half as they ran away with all three points on offer. For Kalu and teammates Sunday’s home loss at Tayyip Erdogan Stadium is a big setback for their European club competition target and would have to double up when they take on another relegation haunted team Orduspor in the next round of fixtures in the League.

•Kalu Uche

Minister, NFF commend Glo Soccer Academy initiative T

HE Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has commended Globacom for its unrelenting commitment to the development of football in Nigeria and West Africa. The Minister made the commendation in Abuja on Friday when he formally received the 16 finalists of Glo Soccer Academy who just arrived in the country after undergoing training on fundamentals of modern football at the famous Manchester United Soccer Schools in Carrington, U.K. A highly elated Chief Duke, described Globacom as the backbone of the success of Nigerian national teams, adding

•Dream Teams presented in Abuja that the company, through the academy, has started a process of transforming the lives of young Nigerians. "The Glo Soccer Academy is an eloquent testimony of practical sense in transformation and I commend Globacom for this unique initiative" the minister added. He later, on behalf of Glo presented cheques of One Million Naira each to fifteen members of the team,while the Most Valuable Player; Muri Lawal received Five Million Naira. Earlier the team was received by the Board of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) where the

Kareem Yaqub’s title defence suffers another hitch



UPER Eagles’ defender Godfrey Oboabona scored twice to help Sunshine Stars defeat Wikki Tourist 3-0 in a week seven of the Nigeria Professional Football League played in Akure on Sunday April 14, 2013. Oboabona, who is the captain of his side, scored through a powerful header at the close of the first half to put Sunshine ahead going into the break. Wikki Tourist came out stronger from the dressing room, and were close to equal the scoreline five minutes after resumption, but for the coordinated defence of the home team. But the final ten minutes was to be dramatic, as Oboabona, who is making his first start since returning from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, scored another goal after forward Dele Olorundare had hit a splendid 25-yard shot which flew past Wikki Tourist keeper. With the latest result, Sunshine Stars now have 11 points from six games with an home game in hand against Lobi stars, while Wikki Tourist stay on seven points from seven games.

•The Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, presenting a cheque of Five Million Naira to the Most Valuable Player of Glo Soccer Academy, Muri Lawal when he hosted the team in his office in Abuja on their arrival from Manchester United Soccer Schools, U.K on Friday. With them is Kemi Kaka (right), Globacom’s Divisional Director, North West.


HE Commonwealth super flyweight fight between Yaqub Kareem and British boxer Paul Butler earlier scheduled to hold April 12 at the Liverpool Olympia, England has been shifted to April 20. According to sources in London, the organisers failed to give any reason for shifting the fight, despite the increasing interest from spectators to grace the venue. The fight had

Oboabona’s brace seals victory for Sunshine

been postponed on two occasions, owing to the inability of the Nigerian to get entry visa matching up with the February 26 original date. In his swift reaction to the recent postponement, Kareem’s manager, Isiaka Olatunji is unfazed with the development, but charged the boxer not to play ignorant against the antics of the British opponent. “We prepared for the April

12 fight, but only to be informed the fight has been shifted again. Kareem know what is at stake, and he is doing everything to make Nigeria proud. I don’t understand why they keep postponing this fight; the only thing I keep telling Kareem is to be aware of the politics and antics of the British people. We know the opponent is a British, so we are not ready to take any chance”, he said.

President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari who was represented at the occasion by the General Secretary of the Board, Barrister Musa Ahmadu, described Globacom as the best thing to happen to Nigerian football adding that the country will benefit a lot from the products of the academy who will represent the nation in the future. He acknowledged Globacom’s several investments in Nigerian sports which are gradually transforming the sector. According to Maigari, “I praise the company for its high confidence in the Nigerian Football Federation, in the form of unbroken partnership with the NFF even when we failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of nations Finals in Equatorial Guinea. Globacom remains the biggest supporter of football in Nigeria”. The NFF Board later presented the AFCON trophy won by Super Eagles recently to the team to inspire the boys. In his speech, The Glo Divisional Director, North West, Mr Kazeem Kaka, pledged the company’s continuous support for genuine efforts to develop African football through the activities of its Soccer Academy which discovers hidden young talents at the grassroots level. He noted that with the sterling quality of the training given the boys in Carrington and the platform of the Glo Soccer

Academy, it would not be too long before they start to dominate the leagues and national teams of Nigeria, Ghana and Republic of Benin from where they were discovered. He said the Glo Soccer Academy was established as part of Glo’s business strategy and in fulfilment of the company’s vision to promote and develop youth football which would lead to the discovery of raw talents that may ordinarily lack the wherewithal for exposure. He described the screening process of the Glo Soccer Academy as transparent and thorough, and thanked the technical crew of Victor Ikpeba, Tijani Babangida, Tony Baffoe, Moussa Latounji and Zion Ogunfeyinmi for discovering and nurturing the raw talents. Sixteen finalists emerged from thousands of participants drawn from across West Africa in The Glo Soccer Academy. Twelve of the boys from Nigeria and Benin Republic made it to the UK training while the remaining four boys from Ghana will undergo a training tour of Dubai's soccer academy. The Glo Soccer Academy was organized to discover and train talented young footballers across West Africa and it was conceived to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for talented footballers to kick-start their career in professional football.


Shooting Stars stop Akwa in Ibadan


KWA UNITED was literally disunited in Ibadan after falling 41 to Shooting Stars in one of Sunday’s Nigeria Professional Football League Week 7 matches. The Oluyole Warriors who in the midweek game away to Bayelsa United got a 3-1 thumping came out to vent their anger on the Justin Tenger-tutored Akwa-Ibom side, who against the run of play, got a shocking lead just after the half hour mark from a strike through Nfon Udoh. Thereafter, Gbolahan Salami in the 52nd minute opened the floodgate of goals at the Lekan Salami Stadium for Shooting Stars before teammate Chima Akas doubled 3SC’s lead in the 58th minute. The Oluyole Warriors wanted not just three points but a thorough victory as Akindele Toluwase made it three in the 70th minute before Moses Ogaga completed the routing in the 77'th minute. The win keeps the 100% home record for the former African Champions intact.




Four-star Success dims Black Starlets


ICTORY is so sweet and the Golden Eaglets are savouring their latest feat after a 6--1 win over Black Starlets of Ghana on Sunday at Stade de Marrakech in the 10th Orange CAN Under-17. Star striker, Isaac Success lived up to the billing by grabbing four goals in the 10th, 29th,60th and 68th minute while Bernard Bulbwa and Kelechi Iheanacho scored the other

...Dedicates goals to hospitalised teammate, mum goals in the 29th and 94th minute. The victory gave Nigeria the first win of Group B after Congo and Cote d'Ivoire had earlier played a pulsating draw. " We enjoyed this victory against Ghana because they area good side and we are traditional opponents," Coach Manu Garba (MFR) said at the

post match conference." It is a good start for us but we remain focused because we have not won anything yet. “This is not the first time Nigeria is winning by a big margin at this level, when we won the tournament in Togo in 2007, we beat Eritrea 8-0 but this is the first time we are beating Ghana this way. “We are happy and we are looking forward to a good tournament and by the grace of God, we shall qualify for the World Cup as African Champions,” he noted. The Golden Eaglets played a purposeful game after a tentative start from the two West African rivals. But it wasn't long before the Nigerian lads turned on the heat as they piled pressure on their opponents. Success got the curtain raiser when he collected a pocket pass from Musa Yahaya which he cleverly slotted to the left side of goalkeeper Ati Lawrence. The second and third goal was typical of Golden Eaglets with Bulbwa and Success feeding off from pocket passes to end the first half 3-0. Success added the fourth goal with a penalty kick after

Lawrence fouled Bulbwa in the box. He added the fifth goal in the 68th minute while second half substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scored the last goal in the 94th minute. Ghana’s consolatory goal was scored by Yeboah Yaw who shot from 30 yard to beat a flat-footed goalkeeper Adeyinka Adewale. Success that was given the match ball following his hat trick in the meantime, has dedicated his goals to his mother and Golden Eaglets’ teammate, Friday Njengo who is hospitalised at the National Hospital Abuja following injury in an auto-crash in February. Njengo who had been in coma for weeks was recently transferred from the hospital's Intensive Care Unit to the general ward as he recuperates. "Our thought and prayers always with Njengo who would have been here with us if not for the accident he had, “said Success.” We missed him so much. "I'm dedicating this victory and two of my goals to him and the two others to my mother. "We pray that God grant him good health soonest," he added.

Rangers batter Dolphins


ANGERS International FC thrashed Dolphins 3-0 in a Nigeria Professional Football League game played on Sunday in Enugu. The fact that the game was played in an empty stadium

•Isaac Success

Nigerian Ambassador commends Eaglets


ENATOR Abdallah Wali, the Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco has enjoined the Golden Eaglets to go all out and win the 10th Orange CAN Under-17 trophy as a special gift to President Goodluck Jonathan, even as he commended the team for the 5-1 win over Black Stars of Ghana on Sunday. The Nigerian Ambassador who met the team at their Ryad Mogador Menara Hotel before the game told the players to preserve the country’s rich pedigree at the Under-17 level and show the rest of the world that the Golden Eaglets is the team to beat.

•Wants Cup for President Jonathan Nigeria is the most successful nation in the tournament's history, with three titles and three runner ups at the global stage and Senator Wali has tasked the current boys to extend the record. “When any Nigerian national team is playing, we all pay attention but when it is the turn of the Golden Eaglets, we pay special attention,” a wellinformed Senator Wali stated. “In 1985, Nigeria was the first to lift the U-16 World Cup and we have won it three times with better records than any other country. Now it is your turn to keep that tradition as you are

now the torch bearers and we have no doubt that you are going to do the country proud following all the spectacular results you have recorded coming into this competition.” The Ambassador said he and his family would be with the team throughout the tournament in order to keep President Jonathan abreast of situation within the camp: “I want to assure that President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians generally are following you and I'm going to be here with you throughout the tournament to support you.”

Pillars hold Sharks to goalless draw in PH


HARKS football club of Port Harcourt continued to drop points in the 2012/2013 Nigeria Professional football league as they were held to a barren draw by Kano Pillars in the week seven encounter played at Sharks stadium on Sunday. The game witnessed a highly improved Sharks, with several goal-mouth actions which could have changed the fortunes of the blue Angels but for poor finishing resulting from inexperience. Pandemonium broke out as Sharks’ fans could not hide their anger against the club management, who they say has failed to use the funds made available to source for the right players to execute the league matches. An angry supporter who

•Fans call for action from management From Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt identified himself as Fineboy Sharks was virtually shouting at the top of his voice as he called on the management to do the right thing. "Make una tell commissioner for sports Rivers state and the people wey dey manage the football to bring players. The money wey Amaechi release to take sign players we no dey see am. Sharks no go fit win any match here for this ground till they look for good players. We don’t know where they brought this people from, some of them live at the waterside. Tell them to bring good players for us", he told the

Press as several other fans echoed their support. For Pillars' Baba Ganaru, it was a good game: "I feel happy and I think its a very good match. Sharks is not a bad side. They are a good side and we saw it today in the play. They were not able to score because of the pressure. Am satisfied with the match", he said.

•Baba Ganaru

did not take much shine away from it with early exchanges between both sides that failed to produce a goal until the 42nd minute of the game. Defender, Chimezie Ajaegbo capitalised on a mixup in the Dolphins’ defence and ran all the way to slot behind Terhemon Akombo in goal for Dolphins. Akombo had come on in the 8th minute for Sunday Rotimi who hurt his groin as early as the 2nd minute of the game. Just before half time, Rangers got a free kick from about 25 yards and Chobuzor Okonkwo blasted it with such power that it looked to have passed through Akombo in goal for Rangers’ second of the day. Seven minutes after the restart, Rangers scored their third of the day when Efe Yahere pounced on the rebound after Akombo failed to hold down a shot from Sunday Chinedu. It wasn’t until the 54th minute of the game that Dolphins got their first shot on target when an Isiaka Olawale effort was scrambled by the goalkeeper for a corner kick. In the 68th minute, Dolphins coach, Stanley Eguma threw an all attacking side in, taking off Defensive midfielder, Hassan Hussein for Fred Okwarah and had three shots on target and four corner kicks in the last ten minutes but the score line remained the same. Dolphins’ coach, Stanley Eguma said he hoped his side would get better after the loss. “There’s nothing we can do about this one. It’s gone. We just have to go back home and prepare better for other games. This one is gone. “We tried to wake up in the second half but the damage had already been done,” Eguma said. Rangers’ coach, Okey Emordi refused to talk to the press after the game.

Coach tasks young Taekwondo athletes on electronic scoring gadgets


BRAHIM YAHUZA, a coach with the Kano State Taekwondo Association (KSTA), on Sunday urged upcoming athletes to take advantage of the new electronic scoring devices in the sport to perfect their act. Yahuza told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the introduction of the gadgets had drastically reduced the incidence of injuries during competitions. ``The introduction of the current gadgets have drastically reduced the fear of injury among athletes because we now train our taekwondoists to fight according to the subsisting rules. ``Fighting techniques must be in line with the stipulated guidelines, so no amount of kicks or blows are directly absorbed by a fighter because he or she is protected with the gadgets,’’ he said. He also urged state governments to assist their associations to procure the gadgets, in order to familiarise their taekwondoists with the

scoring devices. ``It is necessary for all states to have their own complete and proper devices, to enable their technical officials to have the equipment to train their athletes. ``We cannot all have direct access to the gadgets, which were made available by the National Sports Commission (NSC) in 2011, but the States should endeavour to have theirs,’’ he said. Yahuza noted that the new scoring system makes competitions to be devoid of controversies, citing that the 2012 National Sports Festival was one taekwondo competition that was incident-free. The coach also urged the States to organise competitions on a regular basis, to popularise the sport. ``Taekwondo involves more of the youths, so there should be music, entertainment and other side attraction, to add life to championships and make them outstanding,’’ he added. Yahuza also prevailed on corporate bodies to support the development of the sport through financial support and competitions.

Bayelsa begins build-upprogramme for 2014 19th NSF


ACKSON BIDEI, the Bayelsa Director of Sports, on Sunday said that the council had commenced a build-upprogramme’ to ensure a creditable performance at the 2014 National Sports Festival (NSF) in Calabar. Bidei told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the state would take the festival by storm and shock Nigerians with its sporting prowess. ``I am very sure of getting the best in Calabar. With the ongoing build-up programme of the state’s sports council; we will have an impressive performance at the festival. ``We intend to improve on our performance from the Eko 2012 festival, and demonstrate our commitment to grassroots sports development in the state. ``So, as part of our efforts to improve the state’s sports profile, we have directed all

primary and secondary schools to regularly observe the annual inter-house sports competitions. ``Of course, this is the way to push sports transformation as students who are talented in one sport or the other will be easily identified and groomed, `` the director said. Bidei added that coaches have been deployed across the state to fish out outstanding budding talents in the various disciplines. The director told NAN that the state’s elite athletes were also being put through their paces in their training schedules. He said that the programmes were to establish the talents to be able to represent the state in national and international competitions. NAN reports that Team Bayelsa emerged in the fifth position on the medals table of the 2012 National Sports Festival, with 17 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze medals.

NCF: Olatunji named `player of tournament'


THE Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) on Sunday announced Oladotun Olatunji as the “cricketer” of the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 7 tournament in Botswana. The league commenced on April 6 in Gaboronne and it featured teams from six countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Germany, Fiji, Vanuatu and hosts, Botswana, after which Nigeria and Vanuatu got promoted to Division 6. In a statement signed by the NCF General Manager, George Wiltshire, Olatunji was named “Man of the Match” thrice in the competition. According to the statement, the team would be arriving in Lagos on

April 15, aboard a K The statement quoted the NCF scribe as urging cricket enthusiasts to welcome the team at the airport. ``Cricket enthusiasts are expected to turn up at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 1, to welcome the team who did the nation proud in Gaborone,” it said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that if the country had been unable to secure the promotion to Division 6 at the tournament, Nigeria would have been out of the international Cricket scene and it would have also affected its world ranking in the sport. The WCL Division 6 is scheduled to be played in Jersey, US from July 21 to July 28.





VOL 8 NO 2,459

‘What common sense does one derive from such scenario where candidates refuse to campaign for elections and yet they expect to win in a state that has bought the one- man-one-vote doctrine?’




HAT is mocking us today is not love but faith. Yet faith should proceed from love. Faith has abused love, and love faith. The twain, to paraphrase Poet Rudyard Kipling, shall not meet. The cries over amnesty evoke the union of incompatibles – religion and politics. They don’t blend very well. The crisis in the Middle East is intractable because one side regards itself as God’s and the other as Beelzebub’s. Mutual contempt is guaranteed. Most Americans threw their weights behind President George W. Bush when he railroaded the world’s top military into Iraq and his lies became truth about weapons of mass destruction when he cast Saddam as the Satan. Evidence is irrelevant in faith because it is its own proof. We saw that dark farce last week. Character A offers pardon. Character B says no and feels offended. Character B says it cannot brook the effrontery of Character A because the offender is not Character B but Character A. Character B says it owns the moral high ground and so it is on the right platform to offer pardon. That is the character of dark farce. One side, that is Boko Haram, said it owned the moral force. The Federal Government under Goodluck Jonathan said the religious militants were miscreants of the macabre with a blood trail of massacres. The Christian Association of Nigeria ruled out pardon even before Boko Haram rejected. This is a season of allegations. Everyone says it is on God’s side. The CAN says it cannot forgive, and the Boko Haram says, in spite of all the bloodshed, it owns the right to forgive. In the final analysis, we know that no one is on God’s side, and what is going on is the religious taking advantage of the political and the political taking advantage of the religious. Two toxins have entered into a bucket, and the only result is poison. So, the fury and bloodshed rage on. Less emphasised is the plight of the victims. Those who have died all these years, the fathers lost, the sons slaughtered, daughters slain, wives widowed, whole families impoverished and dislocated. Amnesty is good, what of amenity? Where communication fails, peace eludes. Those who call for amnesty are heard but not understood by those who reject. Those who reject are heard and insufficiently understood by those who can grant. Those who can grant cannot grant because of unrequited love. Those who profess the love of Christ cannot forgive even if Jesus commanded it. Now, what we have is not a theocratic state. It is not even a society of believers. It is a secular state professing a belief in a higher God whom no one obeys. Like Charles Dickens’ novel on the French Revolution, it is the epoch of belief and the epoch of incredulity.





sult neither the Koran nor the Bible, but the constitution of Nigeria. How do we anoint a secular text to resolve acts beholden to the canons of deity, secular system against theocratic temperaments? We have evidence against detainees, the ones caught, and they are inevitably consigned to punishment. But most of the militants are out of our ken, hidden in shadowy communities of the North. How do we galvanise a believable system of assessing criminals and punishments? We also know that in the Niger Delta, all are forgiven. But the issue has not even been raised by Boko Haram because they believe they are God’s army. They should dispense God’s justice. So who is anyone, who is human, to challenge them since they have the ultimate backing of the Almighty? President Jonathan says he will not negotiate with ghosts. What it shows is that the President has run out of ideas. If he had control, these offers and rejections will not happen. His first task as president is security, we are reduced to exchange of offers for rejection, and a general clamour in the open because the centre cannot hold. President Jonathan is a cagy commander. It is time for a new paradigm. Repetition of a jaded approach brings repetition of failures. It is a collective frustration. This is a frustrated country because it elected a frustrating leader. The billions spent, the states of emergency, the soldiers deployed and intelligence officers of impotence, only point to failure. He has not worked with northern governors like Kashim Shettima of Borno. The much bandied talk about the North not cooperating with Jonathan is the excuse of the lame. He claimed a pan-Nigerian mandate when he won in 2011. Now is time for a pan-Nigerian peace.


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

•NMMA Columnist of the Year

From amnesty to paralysis

Everyone is going to heaven and everyone is going the other way. If we say we want to grant amnesty, it provides a conundrum. Who do we forgive and who do we punish? This is a season of anonymous massacre. No deaths bear any one’s imprints. It is either we forgive all or punish all, but we can do neither. So we face faith without evidence. That works for religion, but it does not work for politics. The only way we can resolve religious issue among humans is in the turf of politics. There has to be a panel. There will be accused, witnesses, prosecutors and judges. They will all be human, and they will con-


FTER exulting for over a week on its decision to grant the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, amnesty, as if it were a

great discovery, the Federal Government has had its hopes dashed and expectations cut short. Responding to the President Goodluck Jonathan government offer of amnesty, the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has insisted the one in need of amnesty is the government. The French news agency, AFP quoted the sect’s leader as saying “Boko Haram has not committed any wrong to deserve amnesty…Surprisingly, the Nigerian government is talking about granting us amnesty. What wrong have we done? On the contrary, it is we that should grant you (government) pardon.” It was an unexpectedly blunt repudiation of the last hope the government seems to have in bringing the insurgency in the northern parts of the country to an end.The government offer followed the strident calls by notable northern personalities suggesting that the only way to resolve the crisis was to extend amnesty to Boko Haram militants in the same way Niger Delta militants were pacified under the President Umaru Yar’Adua government. As soon as the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, suggested Jonathan


EW weeks back, the Osun chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria declared that Governor Rauf Aregbesola planned to islamise the state. I examined this matter and the farce seems something out of Soyinka’s plays. They claimed that the governor scheduled events for Sunday and that he had imposed hijab as school uniforms. They also caviled his school architecture. Lastly, they wept over calling Osun the state of the virtuous. St. Paul said, to the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupted is nothing pure. If anyone heard them, they would think the governor routinely schedules events for Sunday, whereas he did it only once in 2011 and it was a press conference over a matter that they wanted urgently to beat deadline for the Monday papers. I know that his predecessors held some events on Sundays, where was CAN then? No one has shown by evidence or policy where the governor had imposed hijab. An Islamic group is in court now trying to coerce the government to use hijab because the governor has not followed that path. The so-called Christian leaders did not address that issue. On the land of the virtuous, the Christian men were disingenuous. The expression “Living spring,” did not come out of a Christian concept of the state but its natural endowments of waterways. That the CAN saw it as a Christian idea for Osun meant that they wanted the state to Christianise Osun. They are guilty of their accusations. Again, they should understand processes before making high decibels of nonsensical noise. The phrase “land of the virtuous” came out of the phrase “omoluabi.” In translation, it became “virtue.” Virtue does not belong to Muslims alone. St. Peter wrote, “add to your faith, virtue…” He was not addressing non-Christians. Overwhelmed by their spirit of adversary, CAN and its fellow cohorts are denying a preeminent Christian quality. As a Christian myself, I weep. If the CAN is not happy with the modern schools Ogbeni is building, they must be turning CAN into institutional apostasy. The Bible says we should follow whatever things are pure and of good report. I have seen the schools and only a CAN inspired by politics rather than virtue will condemn them. Have they seen the urban renewal going on there, the strides in educational amenity, or health care, or infrastructure? If CAN would rather see ghosts of zealotry, it is tragic. They are Pharisees in Nigerian politics, “whited sepulchres” with dead men’s bones within, apologies to the Christ. 08054501081(sms only)

•Dr Jonathan

The Pharisees of Osun

Ding-dong over Boko Haram should embrace the idea of amnesty, many other northern leaders were quick to jump on the bandwagon. The near unanimity of opinion in the North on amnesty obviously encouraged Jonathan to give ear to the suggestion. Of course the fact that the Boko Haram violence was spiraling out of control also added urgency to the amnesty idea, notwithstanding the huge opposition to it from the south and from mainly Christian community.Though the government has shamefacedly stuck to pursuing the amnesty idea, last week’s announcement that amnesty was on the cards was not the first time the Jonathan government would flirt with the controversial option of entering into dialogue with the violent sect. The war against the sect was not going on well, especially with allegations of extra-judicial killings and use of excessive force by security forces. It was, therefore, no surprise that when the heat became too unbearable at a point, the government moaned that if only it knew the faces

of Boko Haram commanders, it would be willing to enter into dialogue with them. That in itself was an admission of helplessness. Along the line, dialogue broke down, and many in government, including security officers, felt once again that the campaign could be resolved militarily.Now that Boko Haram leaders have rebuffed amnesty, what will Jonathan do next? It is hard to tell. Nor, judging from his flip-flops over the months, does he himself know. He is, however, pressing ahead with the search for a workable modality for administering amnesty, he said bravely, perhaps for the benefit of frustrated Nigerians. But privately, there is no proof he is not deeply troubled by the turn of events, especially the increasing violence in the north and the seeming hopelessness of the crisis. The president will probably be wondering just when the ding-dong with the intransigent sect will end. Since a military victory appears increasingly remote, he may in fact not be as confident today as he was when the war against terrorism began under his watch. Indeed, it can be said that he is struggling not to succumb to his worst fears, for the longer it takes to pacify the sect the greater the danger of one small, reckless action triggering a rapid descent to chaos.

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The Nation April 15, 2013  
The Nation April 15, 2013  

The Nation April 15, 2013