Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Woman dies at Akinjide’s home
Lagos police rescue American School pupil NEWS
•Fence collapses on supporters
•Boy’s family driver is chief suspect
VOL. 8, NO. 2470 MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
O them, it is just one of their favourite pastimes. But popping champagne is becoming more than a habit of the rich; it is putting this country in the record books. Nigeria spent N9.4billion ($59 million) on consumption of champagne last year, a report by the AFP has said. Recent data puts Nigeria among the fastest-growing
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Nigeria spends N9.4b on Champagne countries for champagne consumption, spending an estimated N9.4billion ($59 million) last year on bubbly, according to Euromonitor International research firm. That number is up from N7.84 billion ($49 million) in 2011, and the firm forecasts that the country will spend
some N616.8 billion ($105 million) on fizz in 2017. Analysts say oil wealth, hiphop, movie stars and an elite obsessed with status symbols have driven demand. One Euromonitor analysis using data from about a year and a half ago forecast Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil produc-
er, as having the world’s second-highest growth in new champagne consumption from 2011-2016, trailing only France. The study showed 849,000 litres in new consumption during that timeframe in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with a huge gap be-
tween its rich and poor. Euromonitor senior analyst Spiros Malandrakis said the figures have since come down somewhat, with projections around 500,000 litres in new consumption from 2012-2017, which would still keep Nigeria in the upper tier. “It’s among the top markets
for the future of champagne,” Malandrakis told AFP. Malandrakis said one aspect of Nigeria’s market seemed to set it apart from countries such as China, where champagne producers have banked on an emerging middle class to drive growth. “In the case of Nigeria as Continued on page 2
Obasanjo to Jonathan: I’m not afraid of probe
What we saw in Baga, by military team
Pipeline agency is corruption, says ex-president
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
X-PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday challenged the Federal Government to probe his eight-year administration instead of descending on his cabinet members. Besides, he criticised the establishment of an agency to protect oil pipelines, describing the action as a move for “another chop, chop” - a veiled reference to corruption in governance. Obasanjo, who spoke at the 50th birthday thanksgiving for a former Vice-President of the World Bank, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, at the TEAPRCCG 45 in Abuja, said he was ready to account for his tenure. He said if the government found anything wrong, he would carry the can. The former president was reacting to the recent moves to probe Ezekwesili by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the challenge thrown to the former World Bank Vice President by the Presidency to account for her tenure as Minister of Education. Facing Ezekwesili, Obasanjo said: “Actually, those who wanted to probe you, you should have asked them to, because if they are honest probers, they would find out that the government of Nigeria should give you money for what you have done for this country without stealing money. “I have always said this, whatever you want to blame in my government, blame me, don’t blame any of those people who assisted me. If there is any credit to dispense we share it. But for anything you want to say is wrong, I was the one in charge and I was in charge.” Looking at some of his former cabinet members, Obasanjo added: “When I look at you, I thank God for making you available to serve my administration, to serve Nigeria and serve God at the time you did.” The ex-President condemned plans to create Continued on page 2
I am not aware that there is a plan to probe the former President ...I did not accuse Oby of embezzling any money. She didn’t get her facts right on the amount left in the Foreign Reserves and the Excess Crude Accounts and I set the records straight —Okupe
I have always said this, whatever you want to blame in my government, blame me; don’t blame any of those people who assisted me. If there is any credit to dispense we share it. But for anything you want to say is wrong, I was the one in charge and I was in charge —Obasanjo
The corruption in the society right now is so endemic; it’s almost become democratised. And that is going to sink us. We need not implode under the weight of corruption. We need to tackle corruption and tackle it as you would tackle cancer. It can kill —Ezekwesili
HE military mission sent to Baga, the border town 180 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has discovered that the fundamentalist Boko Haram sect has an operational base in the town. The team may turn in its report today. Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad is billed to receive the report from the team, led by the Chief of Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Ngubane. Besides the confirmation of a “well-established” Boko Haram base, the team also uncovered nine fresh graves, contrary to the 228 graves counted by Senator Maina Maaji, who is representing Borno North Senatorial District. The submission of the report is without prejudice to other security reports or any other report on the massacre in Baga. But it was gathered that the military high command has decided that the troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) will remain in Baga to ward off insurgency in the area. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “When we got to Baga, we interacted with the Local Government Chairman for Kukawa Local Government Area, AlContinued on page 2
•ANAMBRA ‘DIDN’T DISPARAGE MONARCHS’ P53•CRUDE OIL LOADING DOWN P4
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
NEWS ICC ‘begins’ probe of extra-judicial killings in Nigeria
NKNOWN to many, the Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, has begun investigation into allegations of extra-judicial killings in Nigeria by security forces. Bensouda confirmed this in an interview published in the August/September 2012 edition of the New African Magazine. She was quoted as saying: “The OTP (office of the prosecutor) is currently conducting preliminary examinations in a number of situations, including Afghanistan, Georgia, Guinea, Columbia, Honduras, Korea and Nigeria” The on-going inquiry is sequel to a petition lodged with the Special Prosecutor on be-
By Joseph Jibueze
half of the Socio-Economic and Accountability Project (SERAP) by rights activist Femi Falana (SAN) two years ago. Only last week, following the killing of 185 people in Baga, the border town 180 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, by Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) described the attacks on the civilian population as crimes against humanity. It said the military action requires ICC’s attention to bring the actors to book since the government has not been able to deal with the situation effectively. Falana, in a statement, said
the disturbing phenomenon of attacks on civilians was confirmed by the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke (SAN). According to the lawyer, Adoke revealed at a public event marking the Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012 that the Police alone had killed 7,108 persons in four years. Of the victims, 2,500 were detained suspects. Falana said with such summary executions by the police all over the country and the brutal killing of hundreds of innocent people by the joint task forces operating in the Niger Delta and in some northern states, a strong case had been made for the imme-
diate intervention of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try the culprits who have committed such crimes against humanity with impunity. He said pursuant to the provisions of the Rome Statute to which Nigeria is a signatory, allegations of crimes against humanity and genocide are triable by the ICC where a state is unwilling or unable to prosecute suspects under its own legal system due to lack of political will. Falana believes since the Federal Government has allegedly consistently demonstrated its unwillingness and inability to try security personnel and powerful civilians who engage in extra-judicial killings and other crimes against humanity, Continued on page 57
What we saw in Baga, by military team Continued from page 1
haji Kone, the District Head of Baga, Alhaji Babagana Zanna, aid workers and residents. “The first thing we discovered was that Boko Haram has a well-established military base in Baga, and they have been in total control of the place. There was no corner in the town that we did not visit. “In fact, when the sect clashed with the MNTF
troops, they set a part of the base on fire. We were still able to recover some arms and ammunition from the place. “This discovery has proven assumptions wrong that Baga is not a terrorist enclave. It is no doubt a fishing town but with a heavy presence of insurgents. “Boko Haram has taken over the town in such manner that most of the locals were
afraid to talk because of reprisals from the sect. They said each time they got information and leaked it, Boko Haram would deal with them. “So, Baga is an entrenched base for Boko Haram. It is more like an entry point to Northern part for the insurgents.” Asked about the conflicting figures on the death toll, the
source said: “When we met with the local government chairman, he said he was not in town when the incident took place. The district head also told us that he had not been briefed. “The team also moved round for two days and discovered only ‘nine’ fresh graves. Up till now, no mass grave was sighted. Continued on page 57
NCAA: grounded plane isn’t Rivers’ By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
HE Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said yesterday that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding how the aircraft, which flew House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and others on Sunday overstayed in Nigeria without applying for extension of permit. The NCAA said it was already investigating the number of flights the aircraft embarked on within the country after the expiration of its permit to enable its legal and technical units work out the sanctions to be paid by the owners of the aircraft.
Continued on page 57
Report: Nigeria spends N9.4billion on Champagne Continued from page 1
•From left: Ezekwesili’s mother, Mrs. Cecilia Ujubuonu; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Ezekwesili’s husband, Pastor Chinedu Ezekwesili; and birthday girl, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili; at her 50th birthday celebration in Abuja...yesterday.
Speaking yesterday in a telephone interview, the director of airworthiness standards of NCAA, Mr. Benedict Oluwole Adeyileka, an engineer, said the owners of the aircraft would have to apply for permit to enable them fly it out of the country, even as he described failure by the managers of the aircraft to embark on flights outside the approved time as a serious infraction on civil aviation rules. Adeyileka said it was wrong for a foreign registered aircraft to fly into the country and embark on domestic shuttles without notifying the aeronautical authorities the airports it intends to fly into. He said :” There will be sanction for the owners and operators of the aircraft. We need to make it clear that the aircraft does not belong to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State; the aircraft was brought into Nigeria by Caverton Helicopters. The authorities were not informed that it was being op-
far as I understand, we have a very divided society with big sections of the population in the working class,” he said, while the elite “have the money to spend on really extravagant consumption.” Oil barons and Nigeria’s movie industry, known as Nollywood, have especially helped drive growth, he said, while hip-hop has also played a role. US hip-hop stars with global appeal have long promoted their love of bubbly — and Nigeria’s homegrown music scene has toasted it as well. Prices at clubs can vary widely here, with a standard bottle of Moet & Chandon running around N19,200 ($120), while bottles of Cristal can come in at 144,000 ($900) or more. Store prices tend to be much lower. Nigeria has long been considered one of the world’s most
corrupt nations, with billions in oil revenue pocketed and misused over the years, while basic development has been neglected. Such spending on champagne is particularly striking when considered against World Bank calculations from 2009-2010 showing some 63 per cent of Nigerians live on less than N160 ($1 dollar) per day. Data from the same years, the latest available, shows 46 percent of the country’s population living in poverty, a slight decrease from 48 percent in 2003-2004. However, the decrease is less than population growth, meaning more people live in poverty today than a decade ago. The gap between the rich and poor has also been growContinued on page 57
Obasanjo to Jonathan: I’m not afraid of probe No plan to probe Obasanjo, says Okupe
Continued from page 1
a special desk or agency/commission for national integration. He said: “The entire constitution of Nigeria is for integration; what else do you need? You have a constitution that is intended to integrate the country. You have things (agencies) like the Federal Character Commission; what is that one meant to do? It is for integration. The entire constitution is all about integrating this country. If at all we failed to use it, it can even be said we have breached the constitution. You don’t need a commission for integration.” Obasanjo also said moves to set up an agency for pipelines protection are meant to further perpetrate corruption. He said: “This morning, I was travelling from Abeokuta. I was listening to radio. I heard that they said that they are going to set up an agency for pipeline protection. Now, what are the police there for.? What are all the security agencies that we
HE Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has no plan to probe Obasanjo. Okupe, who spoke on the phone last night, said: “I am not aware that there is a plan to probe the former President.” have doing? This is another chop chop. “I just hope that we will get it right. We have no choice; we have to get it right. Let us decide individually that I would do what I have to do to bring about change in Nigeria. If you do that, let me assure you, you will be called names. You will be abused; some people are hired to do that. But like Oby, say what you believe is right and stand by it.” Mrs. Ezekwesili said: “I was born to parents who are from a humble family. My daddy was a man of uncompromising integrity. My daddy worked in
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
Asked about the issues he joined with Mrs. Ezekwesili on the $67 billion in Foreign Reserves and the $22 billion in Excess Crude Account, Okupe said: “I did not join issues with Oby. “I did not accuse Oby of embezzling
Nigerian Ports Authority. He used to say to us that the Nigerian Ports Authority has become a centre of corruption. That was so many years ago. My mother talked my father out of public service because she was afraid for him. “My mother used to go to Tejuosho market, like what we call bend down boutique, to buy clothes for us. She knew what they called grade one Okrika. We did not have money. We were poor but were rich in values. Those values shaped everything about my life. From young age, good governance and accountability mattered to
any money. She didn’t get her facts right on the amount left in the Foreign Reserves and the Excess Crude Accounts and I set the records straight.” On the pipeline protection plans by Jonathan administration, he added: “I am out of Abuja; I won’t be able to respond to that immediately now.”
me. “I feel a sense of completion of a certain phase in my life. When I look back and I just remember so much that God has done in my life, I can’t help but really understand God as the one who gives grace. “It is only because of the grace of God that I am what I am today. It is not because I deserved it but because God decided that he will take a child from humble home and enable my parents to give me education, and laid on my path the opportunity to prove myself. Then He blessed the work that I did at different stages of my life.”
In an interview with reporters at a reception at the Peace Centre, International Conference Centre, Ezekwesili said corruption would sink Nigeria. She said she would not stop talking against bad governance because it is her civic right. She pleaded with Nigerians not to swallow up their voice against lack of accountability and transparency. Ezekwesili is optimistic that Nigeria will attain greatness, but the nation needs “sacrificial leadership” to move forward. She said: “I cannot even really relate to a life where people Continued on page 57
ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
NEWS •Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (right) discussing with the Chairman, Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC), Prof. Lawrence Ekpebu, during the inaugural board retreat of the BDIC at the Gloryland Castle, Government House, Yenagoa.
•From left: Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, Prime Minister, Republic of Cameroon, Mr. Philémon Yunji Yang and Managing Director, UBA Cameroon, Mr. Georges Wega, during a visit by the UBA management to the Prime Minister in Yaounde...at the weekend.
•From right: The Executive Director (Abuja and North) of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, Mr. Adam Nuru, the Country Director of ENACTUS Nigeria, Mrs. Adesuwa Ifedi, the Consular Officer for Public Affairs at the American Embassy, Malisa Ford, the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence McCulley and the Commissioner for Environment in Sokoto State, Alhaji Mohammadu Kilgori, at the flag-off of the Evergreen Programme sponsored by FCMB.
‘Corruption f The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has praised the Federal Government’s “prudent macroeconomic policies,” but corruption is costing the country billions of dollars, which can be used to reduce the poverty that fuels insurgencies by Boko Haram, reports Bloomberg’s Maram Mazen
IGERIA is gripped by a “civil war” over political patronage and the corruption it fuels, with government officials trying to end systemic graft at risk of losing the battle, Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said. They “have to literally wage a war against those who believe that we should continue doing things the way they’ve always been done,” Sanusi, 51, said in an interview last month in Lagos. “I don’t think the reformers are winning.” Hopes for change have faded since 2011 when President Goodluck Jonathan promised to fight corruption and named former Managing Director of the World Bank Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Finance Minister, ex-Goldman Sachs (GS) Managing Director Olusegun Aganga as Trade and Investment Minister and retained Sanusi as Central Bank Governor. Sanusi said on March 20 he won’t seek a second term when his contract ends in June 2014. While the International Monetary Fund has praised the government’s “prudent macroeconomic policies,” corruption is costing Nigeria billions of dollars. The funds could be used to reduce the poverty that fuels insurgencies by the Islamist group Boko Haram in the North and militants in the southern oilrich Niger Delta. As of 2010, more than 60 percent of the population of Africa’s largest oil producer and most populous nation lived on less than $1 a day, up from 51.6 percent in 2004, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Ex-Boss Pardoned “Political corruption has always been one of the drivers of unrest and activism,” said Roddy Barclay, an analyst at Control Risks, a London-based business consulting group. “It plays into issues such as Boko Haram and the Niger Delta
militant campaigns.” Last month, Jonathan pardoned his former boss, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the ex-governor of oil-rich Bayelsa State who was convicted for corruption and money laundering in 2007. The pardon, which allows Alamieyeseigha to return to politics, “makes a joke of all the war against corruption,” said Nuhu Ribadu, 52, who headed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission when its probe of the governor led to his conviction. Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty and returned about N43 billion ($270 million) of embezzled funds to state coffers, Ribadu said in an interview. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja, the capital, called the decision “a setback in the fight against corruption.”
‘Extremely Remorseful’ Okonjo-Iweala, in her book Reforming The Unreformable published last year, hailed Alamieyeseigha’s sentencing to two years in prison as one of the first high-profile convictions of a corrupt official in Nigeria. “It was an important signal that there could be no more impunity,” she wrote.
Production hitch r L •From left: Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Seye Bolaji, Chairman, Committee of Deans, OAU, Prof. Wale Fadare, Acting Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria(PCN), Gloria Abumere and Chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria, Dr. Lolu Ojo at the induction of Pharmacy graduates ... yesterday.
OADINGS of the Brass River crude oil will fall in June by 9,613 barrels per day (bpd)to 90,290 bpd from May’s 99,903 (bpd), according to a copy of the grade’s loading schedule seen Platts. The number of Brass River cargoes in June is set to remain at five, the same as the previous month, but the cargo sizes are smaller than they will be in May. Total volume will fall to 2.79 million barrels in June from 3.09 million barrels in May, the report
… Mobil’s p said. Typically, monthly exports of Brass River range between five to six cargoes totaling 3.5-3.6 million barrels but the grade has been experiencing production problems which have reduced its volumes in the last few months, it added. In April loadings fell to their lowest this year, with just 2.35 million barrels scheduled for the month. In late March, Italy-based oil major
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
n fuelling poverty in Nigeria’ ‘Corruption in Nigeria
Jonathan’s spokesman Doyin Okupe said the pardon was granted after Alamieyeseigha served his two-year jail sentence, returned stolen funds and was “extremely remorseful.” He has strong influence on militants who attack the oil industry in the Niger Delta and “has been assisting this government to ensure that the boys are kept quiet,” Okupe told reporters on March 14. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, said on April 3 that it was resuming assaults after a hiatus of about four years following the imprisonment of its suspected leader. Attacks, including kidnappings and bombings, cut Nigeria’s oil output by more than 28 percent between 2006 and 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
U.S. Rebuke While the U.S. acknowledges the Nigerian government’s moves against graft, more must be done, Ambassador Terence McCulley said yesterday in an op-ed on the Embassy’s website: “Corruption in Nigeria diverts financial resources from building roads,
hospitals, schools, and otherwise investing in infrastructure that would serve businesses, attract foreign investment and create jobs.” It “serves to promote criminal and extremist activity by creating barriers to legitimate economic endeavours.” Record-high interest rates and economic growth of more than 6 percent last year fueled foreign investment in stocks and bonds. That has helped boost the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NGSEINDX) by 60 percent since the beginning of 2012 and strengthened the naira by 2.2 percent against the dollar over the same period. Still, foreign direct investment (FDI) is coming under pressure. An increase in militant attacks and the stalling of the passage of a bill that will change the way the oil industry is regulated led to a 45 percent slump in FDI to N393 billion in the first half of 2012 compared with a year earlier, according to the central bank.
frastructure, high crime and widespread insecurity cost Nigerian companies more than 10 percent of sales in 2011, a level that is twice as high as in South Africa, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia, according to the World Bank. Berlin-based antigraft group Transparency International ranked Nigeria 139th out of 174 countries in its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, from 143rd the year before. The officials trying to clean up Nigerian governance can’t expect to make quick progress, said Abubakar Umar Kari, a lecturer in the political sociology department at the University of Abuja. “They’re a tiny minority, because they are just like one island within a sea of graft,” he said. “There’s a well- entrenched system of graft and gratification system of corruption in place, and until it’s extricated, uprooted, individuals like Lamido Sanusi and Okonjo-Iweala will not make much difference.”
Corruption, the poor quality of in-
Nigeria’s 53 years of indepen-
dence from the U.K. have been tainted by numerous examples of corruption, from the unfinished $5 billion Ajaokuta Steel plant to last year’s conviction of former Delta State Governor James Ibori for 13 years in the U.K for stealing about $250 million of public funds. Albert “Jack” Stanley, the former KBR Inc. chief executive officer, was sentenced in February 2012 to twoand-a-half years in prison in the U.S. for bribing Nigerian officials to win $6 billion in natural gas contracts. Between 2001 and 2010, Nigeria had the seventh-highest level of illicit financial outflows out of 143 developing nations, totalling $129 billion, according to Washingtonbased Global Financial Integrity.
Gas Prices A task force commissioned by the petroleum ministry to look into graft found that Nigeria LNG, owned by state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Total SA (FP) and Eni SpA (ENI), may have underpaid the country for gas before exporting it to
h reduces Brass River crude oil loading
s production not affected by communal crisis Eni said it had been forced to shut down its onshore activities in the swamp area of Nigeria’s Niger Delta and had declared force majeure on confirmed oil liftings after persistent attacks on its facilities by thieves. Eni was producing between 35,000 and 40,000 b/d of oil from the swamp area, according to company data. Some of the oil from the swamp area feeds in to the Brass River grade
and as a result Brass River exports have been down since April. Brass River is a typical high-quality West African gasoline- and gasoil-oriented crude. It has an API gravity of 36.3, a sulfur content of 0.13% and a low metals content. The grade is loaded from the Brass River terminal, operated by Italy’s Eni. MOBIL Producing Unlimited yesterday said the closure of its op-
erations in Akwa Ibom offset its operation. The firm shut down its operations following a crisis between two of its host communities; the company said operations are ongoing. The company’s Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Nigel Cookey-Gam, told The Nation on phone that the road that leads to Mobil’s offices passes
through the feuding communities. He said the company took closed for the safety of employee of staff. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the crisis between Esit Urua and Mkpanak communities in Eket Local Government Area and Ibeno Local Government Area, respectively forced the oil firm to shut down operations. NAN said the clash between the communities was over ownership of land and the crisis, which started on April 25, led to the de-
diverts financial resources from building roads, hospitals, schools, and otherwise investing in infrastructure that would serve businesses, attract foreign investment and create jobs
international markets. That cost Nigeria about $29 billion in the decade through 2011, according to the report. Nigeria relies on crude oil sales for about 80 percent of government revenue and more than 90 percent of foreign income, according to the central bank. Since the report was submitted to Jonathan in November, “not a word has been heard so far,” said Ribadu, who headed the task force. The report is “entirely flawed,” Nigeria LNG said in November. NNPC spokeswoman Tumini Green and General Manager of Media Relations Omar Farouk Ibrahim didn’t answer several calls and text messages seeking comment. Another parliamentary probe said the government paid N1.1 trillion illegally to fuel importers between 2009 and 2011 and recommended that top officials be investigated. “We just have to keep doing our best,” Sanusi said. “Everybody just has to keep trying not to give up and maybe something will give, and something has always given in the history of every country.” struction of properties in the two warning communities, paralysing social and economic activities in the area as markets and other businesses had remained closed. The clash spread to the EketIbeno Road Office of Mobil and the management of the company reportedly shut the premises and directed the workers to go and remain at home till further notice for security reasons. “The situation in the area forced the management to shut the premises and evacuate most of the expatriate workers by helicopter, from Qua Iboe Terminal to its housing estate in Eket,” a company source told NAN.
THE NATION MONDAY APRIL 29, 2013
NEWS Nigeria elected chair of AU Conference
IGERIA has been elected to chair the new Bureau for the African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Health (CAMH6), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. The conference is a biennial meeting that provides AU Health Ministers the opportunity to review and assess member states’ performance in the health sector and suggest new policies targeted at addressing identified areas of challenges. Nigeria emerged as the chair of the bureau from the West African region at the end of the 6TH Session CAMH6 held between April 25 and April 26 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Other AU member states elected to serve in the Bureau according to the report of the ministerial meeting made available NAN, include Gabon (Central Africa) as first Vice Chairperson; Saharawi Republic (North Africa) as second Vice Chairperson. Others are Uganda (East Africa) as third Vice Chairperson and Zimbabwe (South Africa) which emerged as the Rapporteur of the Bureau.
ACN accuses Jonathan administration T of assault on citizens' rights HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday accused the Goodluck Jonathan administration of launching what it called an unprecedented assault on the civil rights of citizens, through the reported $40 million Internet Surveillance Contract. The contract will allow the government to invade the privacy of citizens, especially journalists and those considered to be opponents of the administration. In a statement in Lagos byits National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said since the report of the contract, said to have been awarded to an Israeli firm, has yet to be denied several days after it was published, it is safe to assume that it is indeed true. If so, it said, it will mark the beginning of what is sure to
By Precious Igbonwelundu
be the curtailment of the right to freedom of speech and expression and the freedom of the press, in addition to the invasion of citizens' privacy, just to mention a few implications. The party said: ''For a government that is increasingly paranoid, having failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry who are justifiably becoming restive by the day, the ability to spy on the Internet communications of citizens as well as to intercept and read private emails, not to talk of being able to suppress unwanted connections, is a potent weapon against the civil rights of
Nigerians as well as the constitutionally-guaranteed rights like freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of association. ''It is common knowledge that the Jonathan Administration has been getting a bad rap from Nigerians in the traditional media as well as the social media - a veritable platform for the citizens to vent their frustrations at a do-nothing government. It went on: ''It is also common knowledge that journalists have borne the brunt of the administration's increasing propensity to stifle freedom of expression and press freedom, while members of the opposition are being portrayed more and more as en-
emies of the administration, rather than being seen as indispensable allies in the nation's quest to evolve a strong and enduring democracy. ''These may have been the motivation for the administration to acquire the Internet Surveillance capability. However, no government in the history of our country, whether elected or otherwise, has taken this kind of brazen measure for whatever reason, hence it must raise serious concerns among the citizenry, their political representatives as well as civil liberties organisations,'' the ACN said. The party said while the government may seek to hoodwink Nigerians by saying the technology is to en-
Firm launches online mart in Lagos
N indigenous IT firm, Morpheus Online Business Services, has launched an e-commerce platform in Lagos. According to the firm, the platform (buyam.com.ng) will alleviate the stress shoppers’ encounter while trying to meet their needs. It is a unique ‘storefront’ concept that allows merchants to create an online destination for their brands within the portal. Managing Director of the firm Emeka Mordi, said in a statement that the platform will provide shoppers opportunities to Nigerian stores to leverage e-commerce to grow their business exponentially without the normally prohibitive associated cost, adding that they will enjoy up to 50 per cent discount on a wide range of products ranging from household electronics to smart phone.
Nigerian Compass editor resigns
ANAGING Editor of the Nigerian Compass, Gabriel Akinadewo, has resigned from the organisation. In a letter to the Chairman of Western Publishing Company Limited, publishers of Nigerian Compass and The Westerner, Aare Kola Oyefeso, he thanked the Chief Promoter and the Board for the opportunity given him to serve the organisation since 2008. The letter reads: “Sir, I hereby resign as the Managing Editor of the Nigerian Compass. I want to thank the Chief Promoter and the Board for the opportunity given me to serve as the Weekend Editor, Editor and Managing Editor since May 26, 2008 when the newspaper hit the newstand. Thank you sir.” When asked about his future engagement yesterday, Akinadewo said he, with people of likeminds, would explore the fresh opportunities “in the modern journalism world.”
able it to keep a tab on the insurgents who are rampaging in a section of the country, such justification cannot hold water since it violates the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In any case, who will police the use of the technology to ensure that it is not abused? ''Desirable as it may be for the government to be able to gather useful intelligence on the terror groups that have held a section of our country by the jugular, nothing can justify what will essentially become a weapon for harassment, intimidation and even decimation of perceived opponents by a desperate and paranoid administration that is already firing poisoned arrows at those it sees as its enemies, within and outside its fold, in the run up to the 2015 elections. ''This is why we are calling on the National Assembly, civil liberties organisations, professional groups and ordinary citizens to speak out now before it is too late. No government should have the right to play a 'Big Brother' role in the lives of the citizens, because this will ultimately herald the return to autocratic rule and sound the death knell of our democracy,'' it said.
Lebanese killed in Nigeria
A •From right: Director General, Centre for Black and African Civilisation (CBAC), Prof Tunde Babawale; winner of the 2012 Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) Media Award and Editor of Sunday Punch, Miss Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye; NAS President, Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe; Prof Olusegun Adewoye; Adviser for Africa International Hospital Federation, Dr Leke Pitan and NAS PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI Treasurer Olusoga Sofola, presenting Miss Ogunseye with her prize.
Expect 10,000 megawatts by December, says Perm Sec • Fed Govt gets over $600m from private investors in power sector
HE poor electricity supply in the country might be a thing of the past if the plan by the Federal Government to generate about 10,000 megawatts of electricity by end of the year becomes a reality, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali, has said. Igali, who was speaking with reporters at an interactive session organised by the Nigerian Newsworld Leadership Forum at the weekend in Abuja, said the government has realised over $600 million from private investors in the power sector while efforts are being geared towards completing all the power projects across the nation. He said the money represents 25 per cent of what is expected from the firms, adding that all the successful bidders have met the deadlines for payment. Igali, deploring the continuous vandalisation of electricity installations by some unscrupulous Nigerians, noted that the investments made in the sector in the past years would yield positive results this year and beyond. He said: "At the moment, we have over 4,000 megawatts going out and it has been increasing. We can only grow better from this level. We are looking at well close to 10,000 megawatts before the end of the year by the time all the NIPP comes on stream, towards the end of this year. By the time all of them come on stream, we shall have well over 9,000 and heading to
From Yomi Odunuga, Deputy Editor, Nation's Capital
10,000. "We were looking at when power availability was eight hours or even less than that. Now, we have even been able to cross over from eight hours to 12 hours or even more than that. We now have over 16 hours of power supply. It is a gradual process and it is time for Nigerians to begin to appreciate the staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria who, through many years, have maintained the integrity of the system, working under difficult moments to keep the system going; but there is some improvement". On the investments in the sector, Igali said: "The processes were transparent and how much each of the companies needed were all published, but the companies were required to pay 25 per cent even if some of them are prepared to pay 100 per cent. But, from the information we got form the Bureau of Public Enterprises, we have almost received $600 million". On why the public is yet to feel the positive impact of the huge investments in the sector, he explained that: "These power plants are huge equipment, turbines, etc. They are not materials you purchase off-the-shelf. It takes between two years and more to manufacture the turbines, depending on the capacity you want and other configurations.
LEBANESE was at the weekend killed in Nigeria after getting attacked by unidentified assailants, caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said. “The killing of the young man, Adel Jamil Bejjani was due to an attack by unidentified assailants in Nigeria,” Mansour told National News Agency Saturday evening. Local television station LBCI had reported earlier Saturday that Bejjani was killed at his home in Nigeria during a robbery operation. The report said that Bejjani, 29, had worked in the hotel management field in Nigeria for almost a year and was planning to go back home next month. Mansour said that his ministry contacted the Lebanese Embassy in Nigeria on the request of President Michel Sleiman in order to get more details on the circumstances surrounding the incident. He added that the embassy will follow up on the investigation with concerned Nigerian authorities, adding that Bejjani’s body will be transferred to Lebanon today.
‘MTN Nigeria ‘dominant’ in mobile voice market’
ELECOMS sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday decalared MTN Nigeria ‘dominant’ in the mobile voice market while the telco shared ‘dominant’ position with second national operator, Globacom, in the ‘wholesale leased lines and transmission capacity market.’ The nation currently has a subscriber base that is slightly above 113 million while MTN has the largest chunk of about 50 million. The three other mobile operators, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat
By Lucas Ajanaku, Assistant Editor (Business)
share the remaining 63 million. According to the NCC, in June last year, it engaged KPMG Professional Services to assess the current level of competition in the industry, having undertaken a similar study for the Commission in 2005. Then it was revealed that no operator satisfied the criteria necessary for being declared dominant in the mobile and long distance markets, which were considered at the time.
The study has now found MTN and Globacom to be ‘dominant’ in the telecoms sector. “Based on empirical findings, the Commission has determined that MTN is dominant in the Mobile Voice Market (while in the) Wholesale leased lines and transmission capacity market, (it added that) Based on empirical findings, the Commission has determined that Glo and MTN have joint dominant position in the Wholesale Leased Lines and Transmission Capacity Market,” the study revealed. According to the NCC, dominance in itself is not neg-
ative because it is an indication of the effectiveness, resourcefulness and strategic decisions of the operator, adding however that the conduct of the operator determines how its dominance would be perceived, particularly if that conduct is likely to substantially lessen competition and distort the market. In view of this, the regulator promised that necessary regulatory tools to correct current and potential anticompetitive practices such as predatory pricing, margin squeezes and cross-subsidisation by any of the operators
with dominant position in any of the market segments or sub-segments are to be applied by the Commission. NCC explained that the market study by KPMG that produced latest result began in the form of one-on-one interactive meetings with the operators, followed by a stakeholders’ forum in order to sensitise the industry and provide opportunities for constructive contributions on the state of the telecommunications markets in Nigeria. In addition, the network operators provided industry statistical data for the study.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
NEWS NLC targets 15-year repayment From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said the repayment period for its 600,000 housing units for workers is 15 years. The NLC, according to its Deputy President Promise Adewusi, in a pre-May Day media briefing with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Abuja, will begin the construction of the houses during this year’s Workers’ Day on Wednesday. Adewusi said the houses would be built throughout the federation for workers in the public and private sectors to have their homes. The Labour leader said the NLC also plans a liberal interest rate for the scheme. He said: “We will cease the opportunity again to begin the construction of over 600,000 housing units that we intend to build throughout Nigeria. That day, the website will be active and Nigerians will know how they can apply. The houses are going to be subscribed to by only workers properly identified. By this, we mean that the person must have an employment. There is a salary that you earn on a monthly basis. The interest rate will be at a very liberal rate. The repayment period is going to be over 15 years. Our President will unfold these details in his speech.”
Jonathan proposes life jail for chemical weapons offenders I
F a Bill, which seeks the prohibition of chemical weapons in Nigeria sails through at the National Assembly, any person who contravenes the law risks life jail. President Goodluck Jonathan submitted the Bill, entitled: Chemical Weapons Prohibition Bill, 2013, to the National Assembly last week for consideration and enactment into law. A copy of the Bill, which The Nation obtained, states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly (a) develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain a chemical weapons”. The Bill also says it shall be unlawful for any person to (b) transfer, directly or indirectly, a chemical weapon to any other person”.
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
It adds that it shall be an offence for any person to use chemical weapon, engage in any military preparation to use a chemical weapon or assist, encourage or induce, in any way, a person to engage in any activity prohibited to a state party under the Convention. According to the Bill, any person who contravenes the provision of the Section shall be liable on conviction to, in the case of a natural person, a term of not less than 10 years imprisonment or life impris-
onment and a fine of not less than N10 million. In the case of a corporate body, the offender would be liable “to liquidation and confiscation of its assets, including all of the company’s facilities used in the commission of the offence and a fine of not less than N100 million”. The Bill states that where any chemical weapon is developed, produced, otherwise acquired, stockpiled, retained of transferred in contravention of the law, the weapon shall be forfeited to the Federal Government and may be seized without a warrant by any authorised officer of the Federal Government and shall
be stored pending the disposal, and disposed of, as the National Authority deems fit. A chemical weapon is said to be a device that uses chemicals formulated to inflict death or harm on human beings. Studies have shown that chemical weapons may also be classified as weapons of mass destruction, though are separate from biological weapons (diseases), nuclear weapons (which use sub-nuclear fission) and radiological weapons (which use radioactive decay of elements). A chemical weapon can be widely dispersed in gas, liquid as well as solid forms and
By Precious Igbonwelundu
CNPP alerts Nigerians to another ‘debt trap’ From Chris Oji, Enugu
Al-Mustapha’s, Shofolahan’s appeal for hearing today HE Court of Appeal in Lagos will today hear the appeal filed by Major Hamzat Al-Mustaphapa, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, with Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, an aide to the late Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late business mogul, Aare Moshood Abiola. Al-Mustapha and Shofola are contesting the death sentence passed on them by Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, on the murder of the late Kudirat. Both convicts were arraigned in October 1999 on a four-count charge of “conspiracy and murder of Alhaja Abiola on June 4, 1996, on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. Justice Dada, on January 30, last year, convicted and sentenced the duo to death by hanging. The appellate court, presided over by Justice C. C. Nweze, fixed today for hearing of the appeal, after the counsel to both convicts applied for the regularisation of their briefs of argument. Counsel to both appellants, Joseph Daudu (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo, applied for the leave of the court to file their clients’ briefs of argument and serve same on the respondent. The appellants prayed the Appeal Court that the death sentence passed on them was unwarranted. They argued that the trial court erred in law when it arrived at the conclusion that they conspired and killed Alhaja Kudirat on June 4, 1996.
may easily afflict others than the intended targets. Nerve gas and tear gas are said to be two modern examples. The Geneva Protocol, officially known as the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gasses and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, is an international treaty prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons. No date has been fixed for the first reading of the Bill. Besides the Chemical Weapons Prohibition Bill, Jonathan also submitted the Pension Reform Bill for the consideration of the Senate.
• From left: Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN); Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Mr Jim O’Neill and Managing Director, Investment Banking Division, Goldman Sachs lnternational, Mr China Danforth Onyemelukwe, during a special interactive session with the governor on the theme: Delivering Nigeria’s Growth Promise, at the Goldman Sachs Growth Markets Summit in New York.
Aregbesola: I’m worried about Nigeria’s insecurity O SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has expressed worry over the insecurity across the country. He said there is need for the media to make governments at all levels responsible to the people. Aregbesola spoke at the weekend in Osogbo, the state capital, when he hosted the newly elected executive members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), led by its President, Mr. Femi Adesina, the Deputy Managing Director and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, to a dinner at the Government House. He urged the media to practise developmental journalism. Apparently referring to the recent kidnap and the release of a council chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan in Lagos State, Aregbesola wondered how much ransom would be placed on governors, ministers and federal lawmakers, if abductors placed $1 million ransom on the kidnapped council chief. The governor noted that Nigeria is on the verge of disintegration. He stressed that unless the Federal Government urgently takes some concrete steps, the nation may collapse. According to him, his fear lies in the protracted unrest in
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
all parts of the country. Argegbesola said anyone with the interest of the country at heart would know that the nation is closer to failure than success. The governor noted that rather than address the fundamental causes of the crises, the Federal Government is only scratching them on the surface. He said: “I am particularly worried about the fate of this nation today. Nigeria is very close to being a failed state than being successful. A nation can only remain indivisible and hold itself together when people charged with responsibilities refuse to shirk in the dispensation of such responsibilities. “Crises manifest in different ways but the real causes of the nation’s abnormalities have not been addressed. It is not enough to tag the insurgency in the South as militancy or youth unrest and the one up North as a religious crisis or Islamic fundamentalism; rather, what we need are solutions to the unrests.” Aregbesola said national issues on security should not be sensationalised, adding that
the time has come for media managers to make “all of us in government to be socially committed and responsible to the people”. Worried by acts of terrorism and kidnapping across the country, the governor expressed shock, particularly at the kidnapping and killing of former Anambra State Deputy Governor Chudi Nwike, by his abductors. He said: “My fear is that I’m no longer sure of my safety in some places in this country. If a former deputy governor could be kidnapped and killed like that, no one can be sure of his safety in this country.” Aregbesola noted that through developmental journalism, stakeholders would know where the nation is heading. The governor said media managers would stimulate the people for effective civic responsibilities that would change people’s attitudes. He added: “The media should challenge the leaders and wake them up to their responsibilities. I want you to use your medium to also correct the bad impressions created about our state. All these are borne out of rumour-monger-
ing.” Adesina said Aregbesola’s good work is manifesting across the state. He said the Guild of Editors and the media would always support and cooperate with a government that stands for the people, as Aregbesola is doing. “We will always cooperate with any government that stands for the people. We will support any government that works with the people. “We will cooperate with any government that serves the people, gives them dividends of democracy and puts smiles on their faces, like you are doing,” Adesina said. A member of the executive council of the NGE, who is also the Editor, Sunday Sun, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, thanked the governor for the reception. She said the gesture showed the hospitality for which the state is reputed and the good works of the Aregbesola administration.
HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has said the Goodluck Jonathan administration is pushing Nigeria back into another debt trap. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, the party regretted that this is happening despite the unprecedented oil and gas, Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS’) tax and Customs duty revenues decked with Excess Crude Account. It recalled that in 2006, Nigeria spent $12.4 billion, which it said could have been used to improve electricity, to pay the Paris and London Clubs’ loans. CNPP said: “We rejected it and was assured by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that Nigeria was out of the debt trap. We pointed out that the loans she paid were fraudulently obtained through corrupt and unjust methods by unconscionable civilian regime and military dictatorship. It was unconscionable in the sense that 75 per cent of the 63 projects upon which the loans were borrowed, failed.” The party recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, at the House of Representatives in 2005, allegedly said: “The people who gave the loans knew that the money was not being well spent wisely. Perhaps they even took their own cut. Yet, the ordinary people of Nigeria have to pay back the loan.” CNPP added: “Jeffrey Sachs, a Nobel Laurete in Economics, in November 2005, cautioned that ‘$12 billion in Nigeria would have gone a long way towards saving children, immunisation, health care, all kind of things’. But the donors got greedy, they said: ‘Take the oil revenue that you have responsibly been saving up and, instead of investing it in your needs, give it to us’. To this, I say return that money, where it is needed most, not in your coffers?’ “CNPP once more alerts the nation that instead of stemming the pervasive, endemic and monumental corruption going on in the administration, the same minister, who promised that we were out of debt trap, would say that the present $9 billion loan approved by the National Assembly and the National Economic Council, would hit $20 billion external debt and N6 trillion domestic debt before the end of 2014.”
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
OLITICIANS in Ekiti State have been urged to “allow God choose another deputy governor for the state”. The retired Bishop of the Ekiti Anglican Diocese, Rev. Samuel Adedayo Abe, spoke yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Okesa, during the outing service for the late Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, who died of cancer on April 6. The service was the end of activities lined up for the funeral, which began in Lagos last Tuesday. Rev. Abe condemned attempts by politicians to attain political positions through diabolical means, saying “it is God who appoints people to positions of authority”. He also condemned the Yoruba adage that says “if things do not go bad for one person, they will not get better for another”, saying it was coined by evil souls. The cleric said: “I know people will start running from pillar to post now for this position. They will start consulting monarchs, chiefs, Ifa diviners, pastors and Alfas, invoking various evil powers, to fill the vacant seat. “But those who support Governor Kayode Fayemi prayerfully are more than those attacking him spiritually, so the efforts of the evil ones will come to naught. We should allow God to appoint another deputy governor.” Praising the Fayemi administration’s efforts to develop infrastructure, Rev. Abe said: “We can see all the governor has been doing, but you cannot satisfy the entire world. I travelled one day and came back at night to see light everywhere. Fayemi has done well. We can only urge him to remain guided by the truth and the fear of God.” Recalling the governor’s tribute to his deputy, in which he said he had “lost a co-pilot”, the cleric said: “You might indeed have lost a co-
•From left: Fayemi; Erelu Bisi; Adebayo; Edo State Deputy Governor Dr. Pius Odubu; Omirin and his wife, Chioma...yesterday.
‘Let God appoint Ekiti deputy governor’ From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
pilot, but you have not lost God. Let God and the truth continue to guide you. I have never seen that type of honour for the dead in my life. Even the president of a country could not have received more. We should be thankful to God. “I know it affected you a lot, but Jesus is ever alive. Hold on to Him. He is with you. I know Erelu Bisi (the governor’s wife) was touched, as they did so many things together. We must understand that she went at the appointed time and should
•Fayemi urged to trust in God not grieve endlessly.” Fayemi said efforts would be made to establish a cancer diagnosis and treatment centre in the state. Thanking the people for the “outpouring of love and appreciation” during the funeral, he said: “Your action was proof of what my late deputy was to people in various walks of like. Please continue to support us with your prayers. We need to pray for God’s guidance in all we do. In the course of this week, Nigerians will hear from us on what we will be doing in honour of Mrs.
Ajimobi is a listening leader, says Alaafin
LAUTECH ASUU gives Oyo, Osun govt one week ultimatum From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
•Varsity campus for Oyo town
HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso branch, has given the owner states of the institution seven days to constitute a Governing Council. It threatened to go on strike if they fail to do so at the expiration of the ultimatum. ASUU made this resolution on Friday, two days after its congress. In a statement by its Chairman, Dr O. O. Oyegoke and Secretary Dr M. A. Azeez, the union said several attempts to make the governments of Osun and Oyo states adhere to the “edict establishing the university” failed. They said: “The union’s executive committee has written severally to the owner states to convoke a Governing Council for the university. “The two visitors to the university have not redeemed the pledge they made on December 19, last year, to inaugurate a Governing Council as well as appoint principal officers for the university within one week of their visitation. “The absence of a Governing Council in the university has led to the perennial usage of principal officers in acting capacity, a trend that has become a norm in the recent history of the institution. As inheritors of a solid educational legacy bequeathed by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Oyo and Osun states cannot be said to be devoid of credible and seasoned administrators, who can be appointed into the Governing Council. “Consequent upon this, the congress has resolved and has been empowered by the National Executive Council of ASUU to embark on a full scale strike, if nothing is done within one week to address the above issue.”
Ondo Govt urged to provide more court rooms From Damisi Ojo, Akure
CTIVIST lawyer Titiloye Charles has urged the Ondo State Government to provide more court rooms. He said the state lacked enough court rooms to accommodate magistrates and judges, adding that this was impairing the smooth administration of justice. Charles said: “Four magistrates use one court room meant for Magistrate Court 4 at Oke Eda to attend to cases meant for their courts. Two High Court judges are using one court room at High Court 5. “Cases have to be adjourned or delayed to allow one magistrate or judge finish his court session before another can sit. We have to stand down cases for days to get a court for the magistrate/judge to attend to urgent cases. “The two rent tribunals at Oke Eda have abandoned their court rooms due to cracking wall and have taken over Magistrate’s Court 3, where they now rotate days for sitting. “Not only are the cases of litigants delayed, suspects in prison custody have their cases unduly prolonged because the court has no room to hold its sitting. “In view of this inadequate infrastructure in the judiciary, it is necessary to remind the government of its social responsibility to ensure easy access and maintain the integrity of courts. “Proper funding of the judicial arm of government is sine qua non to achieving this goal. By failing to provide adequate court rooms for the judiciary, the state government has contravened the right of citizen’s to fair hearing within reasonable time as guaranteed under Section 36 of our constitution.”
Olayinka’s memory.” Present at the outing service were Erelu Bisi; former Governor Niyi Adebayo; Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi; House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin; members of the state executive council; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu and the Head of Service, Mr. Olubunmi Faamosaya. Also present were the Vice-Chancellor of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Prof. Patrick Aina; Provost of the College of Education Prof.
Fransisca Aladejana; Chairperson of the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) Prof. Modupe Adelabu; renowned scholar Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun and his wife and the Famuagun family, led by the Sasere of Ado-Ekiti, High Chief Olusegun Famuagun. Monarchs at the event included the Chairman of the Ekiti Traditional Council of Obas, Oba Michael Gbadebo, who is also the Owa Ooye of Okemesi and the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Samuel Ajakaye. The monarch of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, was represented by Olori Abosede Adejugbe, the Eyesorun of Ado-Ekiti.
HE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has described Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi as “a listening leader, who has continued to fulfill his electoral promises to the people”. Oba Adeyemi spoke in his palace on Saturday while hosting the governor, who led residents on a fit-
ness walk, tagged “Ajumorin Walk”, in Oyo town. The monarch, who briefly participated in the walk, urged the people to continue to support the Ajimobi administration. He said: “Governor Ajimobi is a man of honour. He made promises to the people during his electoral campaign and he has started fulfilling them. We should all support him as he continues his transformation programme.” Ajimobi said a satellite campus of the Technical University, Ibadan, would be sited in the town. He said more campuses would be sited in other zones to ensure even distribution of educational facilities. The governor inspected the Erelu
Water Works in the town and assured residents that it would become functional in six months. He also said neighbourhood markets would be built in the town and its environs. Ajimobi urged the people to exercise regularly to promote healthy living and longevity. He said: “Fitness walk shows the people how to live long through regular walk and exercise.” The governor, who was accompanied by his wife, Florence and top government officials, walked through Owode Hospital road, Akeetan Baale road, Jabata road, Agbaa road, Akesan and Atiba to the Alaafin’s palace. Residents turned out for the walk in their thousands.
ACN accuses Accord of playing dirty politics
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has accused the Accord of playing “dirty politics”, following the arrest of the former Vice-Chairman of the State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board (Muslim wing), Alhaji Abass Oloko. Oloko was arrested on Friday afternoon in connection with the invasion of the home of a former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Ayodele Adigun. On March 26, unidentified gunmen invaded Adigun’s Ikolaba home in Ibadan, the state capital and killed his guard. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, ACN condemned Oloko’s arrest and described it as a ploy by the Accord to destabilise the party. It said: “We challenge Adigun and the Accord to give evidence that
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
Oloko was involved in the attack. He should allow the police conduct their investigation and stop pointing accusing fingers on our innocent members. “Oyo State has gone beyond the dirty politics that threw up his party’s leaders from office. We warn them to desist from harassing our members with policemen. “Why should somebody we hold in high esteem stoop so low to make the reckless statement that our member was involved in such a shameless act. We trust our members and know that they cannot be involved in such. We urge Adigun to desist from cheap blackmail and face the numerous challenges facing him and his party.” In a telephone interview, Oloko
said: “I have been released by the police, but I was asked to come back on Monday for interrogation with Adigun. I am innocent and I believe they are just trying to destroy my reputation.”
Okeigbo Forum holds summit Wednesday
HE maiden edition of the Okeigbo Consultative Forum will hold on Wednesday at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja. The theme of the event is: Okeigbo Kingdom: Issues and the way forward. According to the association’s President, Chief Dele Oduwale, the forum will be chaired by Chief Oye Elusiyan, the Chairman of Okeigbo Central Council.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
DANGOTE CEMENT PLC
PAY & COLLECT
NEW AND IMPROVED PAYMENT SYSTEM FOR DANGOTE CEMENT
In a bid to improve our customer service we have re-designed our payment system for easy processing of Delivery Documents (ATC). No more extended periods for payment confirmation and dispatch.
THE NEW PROCESS OF BUYING CEMENT: 1.
Walk into any of our Partner Banks and make payments using the customized Dangote Cement Deposit Slip providing the following details: a. Customer ID b. Quantity of Cement to be purchased c. Collection Depot/Plant
Receive a Special Coded Receipt (SCR) and Bank Teller
Visit a Dangote Collection Center with the Special Coded Receipt (SCR) to collect Delivery Document (ATC)
Present the Delivery Document (ATC) a. At specified Plant/Depot for cement collection or b. In exchange for cement delivered to your location
DANGOTE COLLECTION CENTERS: ABUJA Dangote Cement Plc, Abuja Regional Office, 4th Floor Adamawa Plaza, Plot 1099 1st Avenue, Off Shehu Shagari Way, CBD, Abuja.
IBADAN Dangote Cement Plc. Ibadan Regional Office, SDM buildingâ€™ Off Union bank, Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo State.
PORTHARCOURT Dangote Cement Plc. Federal Ocean Terminal Onne, Eleme, Portharcourt, Rivers State.
OBAJANA Dangote Cement Plc. Km 22, Kabba/Lokoja Road, Obajana, P.m.b.1085, Lokoja, Kogi State.
IBESE Dangote Cement Plc. Ibese Plant, Along Ilaro/Ibese Road, Ibese, Ogun state.
GBOKO Dangote Cement Plc, Km 72 Markurdi/Gboko Road, Gboko, Benue State.
KANO Dangote Cement Plc, No 1 Ungogo Road, Off Muritala Mohammed Way, Kano, Kano State
HEAD OFFICE Dangote Cement Plc, No 1 Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
PARTNER BANKS Access Bank Plc FCMB Plc Guaranty Trust Bank Plc Zenith Bank Plc For more information on Partner Banks and designated branches please visit www.dangote.com You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08071093413, 08070490477 for more information
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (sixth left); President, Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina (fifth right); his deputy; Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (fourth left); Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, National Mirror, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (left); Social Publicity Secretary Mrs. Funke Egbemode (fifth left); Chief of Staff to the Governor Alhaji. Gboyega Oyetola (second right); Assistant General Secretary, Guild of Editors, Mr. Mustapha Isah (right); General Secretary Mr. Isaac Ighure (third right); Acting Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State Elder Lowo Adebiyi (second left) and others during a dinner organised for Adesina and other executive members of the Guild at the Government House, Osogbo...at the weekend.
Five injured as hoodlums attack Oyo lawmaker From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
HE convoy of the lawmaker representing Lagelu Constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. Olatoye Temitope (a.k.a. Sugar), was attacked by hoodlums at the weekend. It was learnt that about 50 hoodlums attacked the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lawmaker and his supporters on the Aboke road in Lagelu Local Government. Olatoye was returning from the eighth day fidau for the late traditional ruler of Aboke, when the incident occurred. The lawmaker escaped unhurt, but five of his supporters were critically injured. The former Accord member, who defected to the ACN months ago, said he has reported the incident at Iyana Ofa Police Station. The injured, Abimbola Alawaye, Gbenga Abatan, Saidi Olanrewaju, Taofeek Balogun and Wunmi Ajase, were taken to the Adeoyo State Hospital, where they are still receiving treatment. Olatoye said: “I thank God for sparing my life and my supporters. The hoodlums targeted me. It is unfortunate that this kind of thing happened at a time when people should be in a sober mood. We were coming from the eighth day prayer of one of the traditional rulers in the council, who died recently.”
Oyo, Chinese firm partner on vehicle assembling plant
HE Oyo State Government has concluded plans with a vehicle-assembling plant from China to start assembling cars and commercial buses in the state. Governor Abiola Ajimobi spoke at the weekend in his office in Ibadan, the state capital, while receiving delegations from two Chinese companies. The visit was the aftermath of a visit to some firms in China by Ajimobi and officials of First Bank Nigeria PLC a few weeks ago. The governor said some Chinese companies had agreed to establish their presence in the state in the areas of agriculture, education, silos and tractor manufacturing, e-learning and digitalisation of the state-owned Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS). He said: “In China, we met companies that would build silos for us for storage. We discussed industrialisation and they have decided to bring to us here in Oyo State, a vehicleassembling plant, to assemble cars as well as big and small buses.” Ajimobi said his trip to China resulted in the state partnering seven Chinese companies to speed up the state’s growth. He said: “Our visit to China was for the development of the state and not sightseeing. The visit to seven provinces was worth the trouble. It has paid off, as the companies have agreed to help our development efforts.” Leader of the China Poterio Group Miss Cheryl Li said her company would partner the state on e-learning, street lights, building of silos and digitalisation of BCOS. The Executive Director of First Bank Plc, Mr. Uron Kalu Eke, lauded the governor’s leadership qualities and his determination to develop the state. He said: “In First Bank, we are excited because we are working with a committed team. Ajimobi, during the trip to China, demonstrated a very keen understanding of economics and I hail him for that. “He (Ajimobi) really means well for the people of Oyo State. We are ready to help the state government to build human capacity in articulating projects and policies that will have more impact on the lives of the people.”
Jonathan, Hayatou, Awujale, others hail Adenuga at 60 P RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with Globacom Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., on his 60th birthday. Adenuga, one of Africa’s frontline businessmen, was born on April 29, 1953. He was recently conferred with Nigeria’s second highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), for his contribution to the nation’s growth. Jonathan said Adenuga is celebrating 60 years of great achievements and described him as “diligent, committed, patriotic and selfless”. He said: “You are celebrating 60 years of a remarkable life filled with monumental achievements in entrepreneur-
ship, philanthropy and dedicated service to God and country. “On behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I join your family, friends, protégés and well-wishers in thanking God for your exemplary life. It is my prayer that the Almighty God will continue to bless you with robust health and enduring happiness.” The Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, described Adenuga as “a prized asset to the country”. He said the businessman has created jobs for thousands of people. President of the Confedera-
‘You are celebrating 60 years of a remarkable life filled with monumental achievements in entrepreneurship, philanthropy and dedicated service to God and country’
tion of African Football (CAF) Issa Hayatou said Adenuga has not only affected Africa positively through his business accomplishments, but has also
One killed as Akinjide’s fence collapses on supporters
RAGEDY struck at the Geelekale, Ibadan home of a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide, at the weekend, when the fence of the house collapsed on several supporters of his daughter, Ms. Jumoke Akinjide, the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). A woman, Alirat Rauf, was killed and six persons injured. It was learnt that Ms.
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
Akinjide’s supporters besieged the house to benefit from the gifts the minister regularly doles out to them. Sources said many who could not gain entry into the compound chose to climb over the fence. The fence collapsed under the pressure, killing Airat. The victims were taken to Benbow Hospital and were
discharged after treatment. Ms. Akinjide is said to be generous, an attribute that attracts several people to her. Police spokesperson Mr. Olabisi Ilobanafor confirmed the incident, saying it was caused by the impatience and disorderliness of the crowd. She said: “The minister was trying to ameliorate their problems, but they were impatient. People should learn to queue up and be orderly.”
Policemen, drivers clash in Ekiti
OLICEMEN and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), at the weekend, clashed in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. It was learnt that a disagreement ensued when a policeman, who boarded a commercial bus from Akure, the Ondo State capital, refused to pay the N300 fare charged by the driver. An eyewitness said the argument degenerated into fisticuffs and the policeman started shooting at the bus, shattering its rear wind shield. The witness said this attracted drivers from nearby motor parks in Ajilosun, who joined their colleague to beat up the policeman.
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
It was learnt that the policeman phoned his colleagues, who responded promptly in a pick up van and started shooting sporadically into the air. Residents ran helter-skelter and traders hurriedly closed their shops as the guns boomed. Sources said members of the drivers’ union confronted the police with stones, broken bottles, iron rods, cutlasses, axes and other weapons. Many people were injured in the clash, which spread to other parts of Ado-Ekiti, especially Ijigbo. The drivers made bon fires on the Ado-Akure road from Ijigbo junction and condemned
their “habitual exploitation” by policemen. This caused a gridlock on the Ado-Akure road from Ijigbo junction. Motorists heading for Ijigbo from the Old Garage had to take alternative routes. The intervention of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Internal Security, Mr. Deji Adesokan, brought the situation under control. NURTW State Chairman Prince Julius Jegede could not be reached as all his handsets were switched off. Police spokesman Mr. Victor Olu-Obayemi said the police were on top of the situation. He said: “Investigations are going on to know the cause of the matter.”
been the pillar of sports in the continent. Hayatou said: “I wish you a happy birthday. You are a pillar of African football. You are a grand sponsor of the CAF, as well as Nigerian and Ghanaian national football teams. May God protect you and give you good health to continue to grow your business and help grow African football, Ghanaian football and Nigerian football.” Publisher of Ovation Mr. Dele Momodu and a former Managing Director of Sun Mr. Mike Awoyinfa, in their columns, hailed Adenuga for his resilience, business acumen, outstanding achievements and exemplary humility.
Police rescue abducted nonagenarian From Damisi Ojo, Akure
HE 90-year-old man that was abducted last Wednesday by gunmen in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Alhaji Musa Adisa, a.k.a. Labaika, has been rescued by the police. He was rescued from the kidnappers’ hideout in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, and three of the gunmen were arrested. The police trailed the hoodlums through the mobile telephone number they used to call the victim’s family a few hours after he was abducted. They traced the call to a house in Ado-Ekiti and rescued the old man. It was learnt that the phone number belonged to a man that was earlier robbed by the hoodlums. Although the owner of the number was arrested, he was released after it was confirmed that he notified men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) after he was robbed. The victim urged parents to monitor the activities of their children, so that they would not become a nuisance to the society. His son, Musibau, who is the President of Bakers’ Association in Ondo State, thanked the police for rescuing his father safely. He said the family did not pay a dime to the kidnappers, who demanded N30 million. The old man was abducted on his way to the mosque for his morning prayers.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Shonga award: Belgore urges govt, Saraki to apologise to Kwara K WARA State Action of Nigeria Congress (ACN) chieftain Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN) has urged the state government and Senator Bukola Saraki to apologise to the public on the award the government reportedly claimed the Shonga Farm won in France. Belgore said a leading online newspaper, confirmed to be false the claims that a documentary on the farm won a Grand Prix Award in the Agriculture and Green Economics category of the Deauville Green Awards. In a statement yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital, by his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye, Belgore said: “Following a disagreement between us and the government over the truth or otherwise of the claim that a documentary film on Shonga Farm won a Grand Prix Award in the Agriculture and Green Economics category of the Deauville Green Awards, the Premium Times online newspaper, on April 26, published a
•Online paper vindicates ACN From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
well-researched story on the matter. “Relying on its findings, the paper wrote: ‘Kwara State Government’s spokesman, Femi Akorede (and Saraki) had said that the documentary, entitled: A farm for Africa, won the Grand Prix Award in the Agriculture and Green Economics category. The documentary never won that category, Premium Times check revealed.’” The Premium Times’ story is entitled: Kwara Government lied on Shonga Farm French award, says Belgore. Asking the government and Saraki to apologise for the embarrassment they have caused the people of the state, Belgore added: “Now, despite the glaring evidence against their position, we regret that
the Kwara State Government and its officials are not remorseful. This indicates that the decision to claim an award they never won was deliberate. “And in its warped attempt to defend its lies, even when confronted with irrefutable evidence, the government ended up contradicting itself. For instance, in its Thursday, April 25 response to our statement, the government insisted (without any verifiable fact) that the documentary on Shonga Farm ‘beat 200 other entries to win A Grand Prix Award.’ Did Akorede forget so soon that he had claimed in his statement on Thursday, April 18, that the film “beat off tough competition from seven other entries’? So, how many entries did the documentary actually
beat? “We also note that the government, obviously overwhelmed and embarrassed by the facts in our statement, insisted it won a ‘Grand Prix Award’ without stating this time, as it shamelessly did in the April 18 statement, the category of the award it won. ‘Grand Prix’ is not a category of award in that competition. You cannot win just a Grand Prix; it must be a Grand Prix in a definite category. “The lesson the government should draw from this self-inflicted embarrassment is that falsehood cannot travel far undetected. Finally, we demand from the government and, of course Senator Saraki, a public apology on behalf of Kwara people who are embarrassed by this very dishonourable conduct.” The government had berated the ACN for picking holes
Benue ex-Deputy Governor Ajene’s body in Abuja •To be buried May 11 From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
in its claims on the award. A statement by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communications, Dr Muideen Akorede, had said: “I wish to state with all emphasis at my disposal that I received a Grand Prix for A Farm for Africa, which is a documentary film on the revolutionary Shonga Farm project in front of a crowd of film producers, government officials and representatives of non-governmental organisations. Clearly, ACN and its leaders are the ones peddling falsehood here.”
1,000 couples marry in Kano
Nigerian security award debuts By Wale Ajetunmobi
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
MEDIA outfit, Crown Media Limited, in collaboration with some of Nigeria’s frontline media organisations will, in July, hold a security award in Abuja. The other media organisations are: TVE, a subsidiary of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), The Nation, Vanguard and Soundz and Mekniz. Individuals, groups, security agencies, corporate organisations and state governments, which have contributed to the security of life and property in Nigeria will be honoured at the event to encourage them to work harder for the nation’s security, especially as the nation faces security breaches across the country. Unveiling the plan at the weekend in Lagos, the chairman of Caniz Limited Dr Austin Nonyelim Izagbo said the award is being organised to sensitise the populace on the importance of neighbourhood security in relation to national security. Izagbo, a security expert, noted that insecurity is a threat to Nigeria’s coexistence, adding that never has it been in the front burner of national discourse. The security expert said he was alarmed by Nigerians’ relaxed attitude towards security breaches in their neighbourhood. According to him, the nation witnesses despicable crimes because the people fail to volunteer information on the activities of criminals.
•From left: Former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Chairman, Admiral Ndubisi Kanu (rtd); Campaign for Democracy (CD) President, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; United States (US) Consulate-General, Jeffrey Howking and Public Affairs Officer, Mrs. Dehab Ghebreab, during the celebration of Dr Okei-Odumakin as woman of courage, organised by civil society of organisations in Nigeria in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA
Baga: NEMA distributes relief materials as normalcy returns
ORMALCY has returned to Baga, the traumatised town sacked in a military operation in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, humanitarian workers, led by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), have distributed relief materials to displaced persons in the town. NEMA’s Director-General Muhammad Sani Sidi had dispatched a team of officers with relief and medical items to af-
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
fected persons in the area. They reportedly discovered that most of the displaced persons were scattered in the bush; others were taking refuge in the homes of their relations in neighboring communities. The Director, Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, who led the team of rescue and relief officers to Baga, said the major task they faced was to ensure that the people in
the bush move out to temporary camps. He said a team was ready to assist the victims. Otegbade said: “We immediately conducted a rapid assessment, in collaboration with Red Cross and voluntary organisations. We then distributed relief items while those with minor injuries were treated at a temporary camp clinic. The communities affected are: Bayan Bulabulin, Anguwa Gajagaja, Aliya, Musarin Baga, Kasuwan baga,
Layin yannono. Items presented were meant to assist in the rehabilitation of the affected persons.” The team leader urged the people to remain calm, adding that no development can be achieved without peace. NEMA officials distributed the items with other humanitarian workers, including officials of Borno State Government and Kukawa Local Government. The items comprised medical, sanitary, food, household and tents.
Suswam canvasses massive investment in agric
EFORE some international business executives and Africa’s top government officials, Benue
HE body of the former Benue State Deputy Governor Ogiri Ajene, who died on April 20 in the United Kingdom (UK), has been flown back to Nigeria. It arrived aboard a British Airways (BA) flight at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, early yesterday. The body was accompanied by Ajene’s successor, Chief Steven Lawani, who was the head of the government delegation that conveyed the body back home. Other officials on the delegation included the Special Adviser on Special Duties to Governor Gabriel Suswam, Chris Dura, as well as Ajene’s younger brother. Jacob. The state government has fixed May 10 and 11 for the burial rites of the late Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain.
State Governor Gabriel Suswam at the weekend canvassed a massive investment in agriculture to enable Nigeria attain its developmental objectives. The governor noted that Nigeria’s and Africa’s development is only possible with the transformation of the agricultural sector. He said the time has come for Nigerian government and other African countries to focus on agriculture by investing in the creation of a value chain for the sector’s products.
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
The governor spoke at the annual Scottish-African International Conference and Exhibition at the Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland. It was organised by the African Forum, Scotland, and attended by diplomats, business leaders in Africa and Europe. In a paper entitled: Sustainable Agricultural Development in Africa: A way Forward for Business and Economic Growth, Suswam said agriculture holds the best promise for Africa’s economic development be-
cause it is the largest employer of labour, especially in subSaharan Africa. The governor regretted that much of agricultural practices today are at the subsistence level with little or no value addition to the crops and animal products. The situation, he stressed, does not augur well for the economic development of the continent. Reeling out statistics to justify his position, Suswam said 60 per cent of the world’s uncultivated land is in Africa yet
only 10 per cent of cropped land is prepared by tractors on the continent. The governor cited the case of Nigeria, which he said has 10 tractors per 1,000 hectares of land compared to Indonesia with 241 tractors per 1,000 hectares. With current initiatives by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to boost rice production, Suswam expressed the hope that Nigeria, within a short period, can become a net exporter of rice, even to Asian markets.
HE Kano State Hisbah Board at the weekend conducted a mass wedding for 1,000 couples in the third edition of the state governmentsponsored programme for widows, divorcees and spinsters. The government said the programme would reduce rising marital problems in the society. The grand wedding fatiha (rites) was held simultaneously at the Emir of Kano’s Palace Central Mosque and the palaces of the district heads of the 44 local governments. At the Emir’s palace mosque, the mass wedding was conducted after the payment of N10,000 dowry each by the representatives of the grooms with Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in attendance. The governor thanked the Hisbah board, Muslim scholars and traditional rulers for contributing to the success of the wedding. He prayed Allah to bless and make the marriage blossom. The Commandant–General of Hisbah Board, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, described the event as historic and the first of its kind in Africa. “We are grateful to Allah for making us realise our dream of marrying off 1,000 women as part of our commitment to mitigate the social malaise we’re facing in our society,” he said. The Muslim scholar thanked individuals and groups who donated to the grooms to pay their dowries and the government for providing the brides with furniture, kitchen utensils, foodstuffs and N20,000 to each couple to enable them start small scale businesses. Daurawa urged the couples to have the fear of Allah in their new lives, adding that patience and endurance are necessary in married life. One of the beneficiaries, Usman Kanar Dangwora, 70, expressed delight over the historic event. He hailed the government and the Hisbah board for sponsoring the wedding. The new husband said the event was one of happiest moments in his life. Dangwora thanked Kwankwaso for making it possible for him to marry his 65-year-old third wife.
THE NATION MONDAY APRIL 29, 2013
NEWS PDP threatens court action over Edo council polls
Five die in road crash From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
A TOYOTA Sienna, with registration number Lagos 403 AW, was yesterday involved in an accident on the LagosBenin Expressway after Oluku before Ugbogui near Benin City. According to an eyewitness, five persons died, including a baby and his mother. It was learnt that the vehicle was coming from Lagos heading towards Benin, when the driver ran into a trailer.
Dickson: Orji pillar of PDP From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
BAYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson has described his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji, as a major pillar of support for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Dickson spoke in Umuahia when he visited Orji on his way to attend the wedding of a friend’s daughter in Obingwa Local Government. He said the PDP leadership and the Presidency are happy with the development made by the Abia governor. The Bayelsa governor said part of the reasons he was in the state was “to visit his brother, a senior colleague in whom the Governors’ Forum is well pleased, to see what goes on in the state and to learn from him.” He said: “Ochendo has been doing a wonderful job and I have learnt a few things from him. “I think I will get back to Bayelsa State richer than I came and will try to implement what I have learnt here. “What I see and am commenting upon is with an objective mind, what I have come to see is Ochendo’s governing style. “Ochendo has been a major pillar of support for our party. The party leadership and the Presidency are happy with that development and that is part of the reason why I am here.” On his perception of the relationship between Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan, the governor said he wouldn’t comment on such issues. “In politics, a lot of things happen like quick sand. What you see as a thick cloud will just evaporate within a twinkling of an eye.” Dickson said people should not be deceived with what they think is happening as there may be nothing to it. “In politics what people see in most cases are not what happens. “PDP leaders are working hard to ensure that the party is unified and made stronger. “They are working to ensure that the party becomes stronger to face the challenges ahead.”
•The MT Shandy...yesterday
PHOTO: SHOLA O’NEIL
JTF impounds vessels, 61 boats Navy arrests five suspected sea pirates A N
MULTI-MILLION dollar sea-faring crude oil tanker, MT Shandy, has been impounded by troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta. Twelve crew members were also arrested. The vessel was impounded by a JTF gunboat on Otokomabie creek, around Oloma Community in Rivers State, for alleged illegal bunkering. Another barge conveying about 50,000 litres of crude oil was also seized on Odioma waters in Nembe Local Government of Bayelsa State. Troops also impounded 61 boats conveying nearly one million litres of stolen crude and destroyed 28 illegal refineries in Delta State. JTF’s Media Coordinator, Lt. Col Onyeama Nwachukwu, in a statement yesterday, said: “Mt Shandy, before being impounded, had been kept under surveillance by JTF operatives while it lurked around the Bonny anchorage. “The JTF gunboat patrol team laid in wait until the vessel prowled into Otokomabie creek close to Shell Petroleum Development Company
From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
AVAL officers from the NNS Victory at the weekend arrested five suspected sea pirates. The Commander of the NNS Victory, Cmd James Oluwole, told reporters that the suspects were arrested at Parrot Island, on the Calabar channel. Oluwole, who was represented by the Base Operation Officer, Commander Ifeanyi Okpala, said the suspects were on board a boat and on further scrutiny they discovered that one of them had a gunshot injury on his leg. According to him, they tried to evade arrest. “We brought them to base, investigation is still on,” he said. Cmd Oluwole said over the past few months, the naval base in Calabar has reduced the spate of pirate attacks on vessels. “In January, we had about 16 attacks, last month it was just one and this month, we have had no attack. “So our continued presence at sea has been able to reduce piracy. We would continue to provide necessary security to protect vessels on the Calabar channel. From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt
(SPDC) pipelines before swooping on it,” he added. Lt-Col Nwachukwu said the crew members initially resisted arrest and refused to let down the vessel’s ladder for the patrol team to access the vessel. “Eight of the 12 crew members arrested are being quizzed at the Sector 2
Headquarters in Port Harcourt. “The four others were left behind to man the vessel, which is secured at the NPA Jetty on Bonny Island,” he added. Lt-Col Nwachukwu also said troops of 343 Regiment impounded a metal barge near an illegal oil loading point between Brass and Obiama waterway in Brass
Local Government of Bayelsa State. He said the barge was towed to Agip Brass terminal while preliminary investigations were being carried out. The JTF spokesman revealed that JTF operatives intercepted 61 assorted boats conveying stolen petroleum products in Whiteman community, Benneth Island and Spediagbene areas of Warri South West Local Government of Delta State. “Twenty eight illegal oil distilleries were also scuttled and clamped down by the troops in the same general area. “Apparatus used by the oil thieves to facilitate their illicit activities recovered from the site as exhibits are in custody of the Battalion.” He said 76 suspects were nabbed for various crimes during the operations from 15 to 27 April. “The suspects are undergoing preliminary investigation in various sectors of the JTF after which they will be handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies.”
Jonathan approves Niger Delta Trust Fund •Fund to mobilise about N3.2b for investment From Vincent Ikuomola and Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has endorsed the proposed Multi-Stakeholders Trust Fund (MSTF) for the Niger Delta. He announced the endorsement at the weekend shortly before inaugurating the National Council on
Niger Delta in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, which climaxed the five-day Niger Delta Stakeholders Conference and maiden meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta. The fund, which is contained in the Niger Delta Action Plan, is expected to solve problems of funding the region. The Federal Government would mobilise additional $200 million (about N3.2billion) as the first tranche through the proposed MSTF to provide a new, complementary funding vehicle to support investments of high impact.
The fund, which is being proposed in the new action plan for the oil-rich region through the Ministry of Niger Delta, will focus on market development initiatives. The fund is also expected to serve as a catalyst to investments by providing grants to organisations/ communities in the establishment of inclusive business models. Jonathan, who was represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, said the fund would help the government coordinate development resources. “This mechanism will assist the ministry to coordinate development resources from different stakeholders, in achieving the intended
objectives.” He also noted that the inauguration of the Council marks one of the efforts of the Federal Government to consolidate and reaffirm all commitments to the people within the framework of the Amnesty programme in 2010. He added: “We must now capitalise on the prevailing peace and development frameworks to push forward a new dawn in the region. “When we work together, we are better able to unleash our creative potentials in optimising our huge human and natural resources for the stability and prosperity of the Niger Delta, and the good and progress of our country, Nigeria.”
HE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened to challenge the conduct of the April 20 local government election in Edo State. The party did not win any seat. At a briefing yesterday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the election posed serious threats to the survival of the nation’s democracy. The ruling party also called for a probe into the deployment of soldiers during the election, saying the soldiers were used to intimidate voters. “We call on the military authorities to investigate the role of the Brigade Commander in Benin on the use of the military against PDP members during the elections. “Since the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential elections, we have never in the political history of this country witnessed such assault on the people and democracy like what is going on in Edo State today. “As I address you, the people of Edo State are being subjected to the worst form of tyranny. “Their will have been subverted and their rights to choose their leaders absolutely taken away from them. “Under the orders of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) openly truncated our democracy as it intimidated the people,” Metuh complained. The PDP spokesman accused Oshiomhole of storming polling centres with armed policemen.
MAN hails Oshiomhole
HE organised private sector, under the aegis of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has thanked the Edo State Government on its initiatives in development. The MAN Chairman, Edo and Delta states, Humphrey Emuobor Masodje during a visit to the Government House, said Governor Adams Oshiomhole has stirred an infrastructural revolution. Madsodje said dumping of inferior substandard products from Asia and low patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods were some of those challenges the nation has to grapple with. The Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, said: “In Edo State, we have no problem patronising made in Nigeria goods. “We have a policy of not buying goods outside unless we can’t get it to buy here. We have discovered that made-in-Nigeria goods are of equal or even higher quality and, if those who manufactured it are just around the corner, it is easier to call them when there are problems to come and fix them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with madein-Nigeria goods.”
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS
Onshore/offshore fixation •Debate an unnecessary distraction. Federalism is the answer
HE onshore/offshore oil dichotomy debate again came alive at the North-West zonal public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in Kaduna last week. Again, it was Kano State Governor, Musa Kwankwaso, leading the charge when he attributed the high level of poverty and hopelessness in the North and the spate of Boko Haram insurgency to the dichotomy. His words: “I am vindicated on what I said that offshore/onshore will bring more poverty that will lead to insecurity which we found ourselves today. In addition to the 13 per cent derivation, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, amnesty programme with billions of naira, all for the south-south region, this country is building towards one direction ... Even the national budget is toward one direction. Offshore/ onshore dichotomy should be abolished”. His Kaduna counterpart, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, would also join the chorus when he rejected the PIB, under consideration, claiming that it would further alienate other parts of the country economically. Again, it seems the trouble with the governors is their attempt to link the challenges facing the North with the efforts to redress the age-long imbalance in the revenue allocation to the oil producing states through specific intervention agencies. Going by the logic of the governors’ position, that effort has merely translated to an equal or greater injustice to their states as indeed the states in the north – a case of justice to one leading to injustice
to another. We find the zero-sum argument not only baffling but dangerous if merely on account of its failure to properly situate the problem correctly. This newspaper is on record to have variously identified the failure of governance across the board as the cause of the ravaging poverty and despondency in the land, whether the poverty is of the mangrove swamps or in the Sahel region. Linked to the problem is virulent fixation with petro naira and with it the psychology of dependence that it has bred. To these is the utterly skewed federal structure which, in addition to reducing the states to vassals of the centre, also imposes a fiscal absurdity that discourages industry and hampers states’ capacities to harness their resources. Were our Union to be a functional rather than parasitic federation, the whole debate on the dichotomy would have been entirely pointless. In that sense, the debate is nothing but a distraction. No one denies that the oil producing states have received greater inflow of resources in recent years. However, much of this has been somewhat palliative and remedial – at best to compensate for the years of neglect and the attendant despoliation of the environment brought on them by the activities of the oil-prospecting companies. Even at that, it is still a long way in the journey to right the many wrongs in our iniquitous federal practice. We appreciate the governors’ quest for more funds to fastrack the pace of devel-
opment in their states. Legitimate as the quest is, we must say that it cannot be at the expense of denying the oil-producing states their fair and just dues, particularly as these were won after protracted struggle. A more agreeable way is for the governors to press for a slash from the federal revenue pie of 52 percent – to boost states’ share from the distributable pool. While the latter is merely a variant of the same tradition of dependency, the surest bet to eliminate the covet-thy-neighbour psychology inherent in the current distributive arrangement, is to navigate the nation along the path of true federalism. That way, states would be allowed to exploit the resources beneath their soil and only pay royalties and taxes to the centre.
‘We appreciate the governors’ quest for more funds to fastrack the pace of development in their states. Legitimate as the quest is, we must say that it cannot be at the expense of denying the oil-producing states their fair and just dues, particularly as these were won after protracted struggle. A more agreeable way is for the governors to press for a slash from the federal revenue pie of 52 percent – to boost states’ share from the distributable pool.
Crude theft •NNPC can do beyond telling us the figures
HE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) seems to be shifting from its hitherto conservative posture to suspiciously becoming a beacon of transparency, with its curiously damning public disclosure on crude oil theft in the country. The corporation, through Ms. Tumini Green, its acting group general manager, public affairs division, said Nigeria in the first quarter of this year lost N191billion ($1.23billion) to crude oil theft and vandalism. This figure could be an understatement when juxtaposed with figures from other credible sources. Just last year, the International Energy Agency published a report indicating that Nigeria loses about $7billion annually to oil theft. Also, recently, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) through Babatunde Ogun, its president, disclosed that the
‘NNPC cannot exculpate itself from the rotten state of affairs in the oil industry. Does the corporation expect us to clap for it for reeling out doubtful figures of oil theft when nothing concrete has so far been done to stem the injurious tide? We consider NNPC’s revelations as appalling’
country loses $6billion annually to crude oil theft, and that Nigeria has also lost N105billion to theft of refined products. The theft of crude and even refined products has become intractable because of systemic conspiracy and corruption. Indeed, its negative impact is daily being felt. For example, Shell has shut down the Nembe Creek Trunk line due to stealing of an estimated 60,000 barrels of its produced crude per day. Even the NNPC reveals that there are 53 discovered break points along the 97kilometre Nembe Creek Trunk line, yet, nobody has so far been held responsible for this criminal act. Agip has also suspended production in Bayelsa State because 60 per cent of its crude oil production of about 90 barrels is stolen daily. The NNPC/Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture has also reportedly declared a force majeure on Bonny Crude due to incessant crude oil theft, and resulting in the loss of 150,000bpd of crude oil being produced through the venture. The recent damage to pipelines and stealing of refined petroleum products in Arepo, Ogun State, is just one example of so many like that across the country. This kind of vandalism, especially of major oil pipelines within the Niger Delta, is largely responsible for the drop in the nation’s oil production. Regrettably, the situation looks irredeemable due largely to systemic corruption. In practical terms, this nefarious act has led to a reported fluctuation of daily crude oil production in the first quarter to between
2.1 million and 2.3 million barrels per day - a sharp drop from the projected estimate of 2.48mbpd. Expectedly, the government has reportedly lost $1.23billion (N191billion) that ought to have accrued to the Federation Account. It is sad that despite the existence of a law that provides life imprisonment for anyone engaging in stealing of crude oil/ refined petroleum products and damaging of pipelines, no person has been apprehended or prosecuted. The NNPC cannot exculpate itself from the rotten state of affairs in the oil industry. Does the corporation expect us to clap for it for reeling out doubtful figures of oil theft when nothing concrete has so far been done to stem the injurious tide? We consider NNPC’s revelations as appalling. The corporation is established to work and not to complain. It easily tells the public how much was stolen. But it finds it difficult to tell Nigerians the actual amount of crude that Nigeria produces per day or even open its books for scrutiny. In this regard, NNPC had failed several legislative/public scrutiny tests in the past. No doubt this degree of oil theft is unsustainable. One other thing we have to look at is the way oil wells are allocated in the country. There is so much impunity in the manner of allocation; this has to be addressed to make the process fair and equitable. Also, the present security system in the country is very weak and incapable of tackling the challenge of oil theft. All said, a paradigm shift is inevitable in the oil industry if these absurdities are to be checked.
Only acting now can stop chemical arms disaster
OUNTING evidence that Bashar al-Assad’s desperate and ruthless regime has started tentatively to use chemical weapons against rebels fighting to overthrow his regime demands an urgent and robust international response. There is as yet no firm proof that loyalist forces have been firing nerve gas shells at their advancing opponents – as Britain, France and now Israel are claiming – not least because the Assad regime is denying entry to the UN team investigating these allegations. But if, as close observers of the Syrian conflict believe, the claims are true, then only concerted action now can hope to prevent atrocities in the future such as that of Halabja, where in 1988 the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq gassed to death 5,000 of its rebellious Kurdish citizens. The Syrian regime has been getting away with murder for decades. If it gets away with using nerve gas, this will certainly embolden the Assad clan to use these monstrous weapons more. Barack Obama, US president, has been warning Syriasince last year that using chemical weapons would be a “red line” that would change his calculus on intervening in a conflict from which he has shied away. Last month he reiterated that it would be a “game changer”. Were those to prove yet more empty words, it would send a terrible signal to the world about the US and its allies as guardians of a rules-based international system. The west, it should not be forgotten, was at best cynical, at worst, relaxed about Saddam’s use of chemical warheads – the ingredients for which were largely supplied by western companies – against Iranian troops during the 1980-88 IranIraq war. That surely lowered the barrier to his genocidal attack on the Kurds. So far, the Assads appear to be testing the resolve of not just the US but the whole international community. They should be in no doubt that if they continue on this path all means will be used against them. The UN Security Council has been impotent on Syria. Russia, in particular, has stood by the dictatorship while it has used everything from ballistic missiles to cluster bombs against its own people. But there is no room for equivocation or power politics if the Assads make the leap to chemical weapons. The risks –for Syria, the Middle East and internationally – are too potentially devastating. This is a gangster regime prepared to bring down Syria if it cannot possess it, and to scatter the debris all over its regional neighbours. It has to be stopped. – Financial Times
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile
• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu
•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon
•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike
•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina
• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge
•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) Yomi Odunuga •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Manager, Corporate •Group Business Editor Marketing Ayodele Aminu Hameed Odejayi •Sport Editor • Manager (Admin) Ade Ojeikere Folake Adeoye •Editorial Page Editor
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: I dare say that it feels good to be a citizen of the State of Osun, where evidently a visionary, purposeful government is fully on ground adding values to lives through structured and disciplined implementation of well-designed programmes. There is ample evidence that the present administration – led by Governor Rauf Aregbesola – places a high premium on the conditions of the environment and the health of the people. The dutifully observed monthly and weekly sanitation exercises; the clearing of waterways, canals and drainages; the organised and improved waste-disposal system; the landscaping, beautification of major junctions and road medians; and the introduction of environmental health officers, are part of the deft moves being made by the Aregbesola administration to create health-friendly environments across the state. What inspires my applause of the state government’s concern for promoting healthy living through sanitisation of the environment is the unmistakable impacts of the idea on socio-economic development. When people inhabit environments devoid of avoidable causes of illnesses and diseases, they are healthy and psychologically well-adjusted to bring about improved productivity. Equally remarkable is the fact that the efforts at ensuring clean environment makes the empowerment of many hitherto idle hands feasible. Surely, only a rigorously introspective government like the present one in Osun can make this happen.
EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: email@example.com
Osun’s health-friendly environment initiatives I recall that during the better-forgotten years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the cities, towns, markets, and major roads in Osun were largely defaced and made eyesores by heaps of refuse and waste items carelessly disposed. It was so disturbing that even the masked afro-beat maestro, Lagbaja, made it a subject of his masterful rendition, lamenting actually that “dirty full everywhere, no be small/dirty full anyhow, no be small ooo/ … for Osogbo, the same thing ni …”.
The profusely hazardous environment (the subsisting conditions of the places where people lived and worked) had negative impacts on the well-being of the people as mosquitoes and their vectors found comfy breeding habitats from where they freely lobbed the lethal missiles of malaria into human bodies. No doubt, the capricious government of the time was out of tune with the modern method of waste disposal and management, even as it was abominably ignorant of the fact that environmental conditions
can cause and worsen health challenges. Those horrible realities defined the interred years of the PDP-led government in Osun. Since Governor Aregbesola took office, remarkable changes have occurred in the areas of health and environmental cleanliness. The reprehensible habit of improper disposal of waste and unsightly scenes that were roundabouts on major roads across the state have yielded space for effective system of waste disposal and beautification projects that now give
• Idowu Adediran, Ipetumodu, Osun State.
CBN’s somersault on polymer notes
IR: Despite public apathy to the introduction of polymer Naira notes in year 2006, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo the then rabid and super Central Bank governor ignored every dissenting voices and went ahead to launch N10, N20 and N50 notes at the whopping sum ofN750 million Naira. In fact, the policy was a done deal forced down our throats for the governor and his team had their mind made up despite our ranting so to say. The only cogent reason he ad-
duced then was that polymer notes were better and could last longer than paper notes. Today the aesthetics and texture of the notes cannot compete favourably with pure water nylons littering our streets. Seven years on, the pessimists of that time have been proved right as CBN is ready to revert back to the same paper notes. According to Tunde Lemo, deputy governor Banking Supervision, the apex bank decided to scrap the polymer notes because they fade easily, despite earlier experiments which
showed that the notes could last longer than paper notes. If earlier experiment has shown that polymer lasts longer than paper currency, what went wrong with ours? I suspect that somebody encouraged made in China polymer naira notes instead of that of an Australian note-printing firm – Securency which won the contract. Why should it take CBN seven odd years to realise that the project they spent so much tax payers money in promoting was a complete failure? This matter needs to be thoroughly
Olayinka: When death is honour
IR: “To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?”- Socrates The first time I read the above quote by Socrates, I couldn’t but disagree, for being alive while he wrote it, how could Socrates have know that death could be the greatest
engaging aesthetics to parks, motorway medians and bus-stops. Through its O’Clean programme, the government has been able to convince and mobilise the people to always ensure that their environments are in sanitary condition. Truth be told, the current healthfriendly environment initiatives of the state government deserves not only applause but continuous support by citizens, clean environment advocates, and even the harshest traducers of the helmsman – if only for the sanitary environment in which they labour lucklessly to pooh-pooh the unprecedented changes birthed by Aregbesola. I counsel the government to not by any means take off or slacken its hands on the plough of health-friendly environment programmes and other socio-economic development efforts.
good? If Socrates knew so much about death, why didn’t he kill himself at the time to enjoy the greatest good? Whatever misgivings I had against Socrates, these past few days changed that. For the first time in my life, I see people envying the death of another. A young man said to me that if not that it would sound out of place and weird, he could have wished to die. As a friend later joked, even if this young man gets his weird request to die, can his death be as honourable as the one that he covets - that of Adunni Funmilayo Olayinka, the late
Deputy Governor of Ekiti State? The issue here is not about whether the young man’s death would be as honourable; the issue is that he was moved enough to covet death just because that of Adunni Olayinka is honourable. This young man’s weird but meaningful covetousness and the empathy that the death of the Deputy Governor has generated changed my mind towards Socrates’ quote, making me agree further with him that “Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” It is also at times like this that we know who love us, the dead and the
people they leave behind. It is in identifying with the grief of those left behind by the dead that one knows whether the dead or the people he/she left behind were/are good people. That the whole world is identifying with Ekiti shows beyond words that Adunni Funmilayo Olayinka was a good person. It shows also that those she left behind, her husband, her children, her relations, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Erelu Bisi Fayemi are good people, people who have overtime demonstrated the ability to be above board. • ‘Dimeji Daniels Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State
investigated by the National Assembly and other relevant security agencies. Mismanagement of public fund for any reason is a crime. The apex bank only succeeded in mismanaging the resources of Nigeria and at the same time shamelessly appeals to the sensibilities of the same poor people to bear the brunt of their mistakes. In developed climes people should be talking of resigning their appointments instead of selfexoneration. It should be noted that the same Tunde Lemo who released the statement was deputy governor banking operations when the polymer notes were introduced. It is common for Nigerians in position of authority to go about with the impression of being omniscient. Their ideas are the best and worst at last. The country itself is unfortunately run with myriads of inconsistencies and policy somersaults. However, if we are ready as a nation to get out of this doldrums, Public views should be taken into cognisance in policy making while errant leaders should be made accountable for their negligence in the discharge of their duties no matter how highly placed. • Sunday Onyemaechi Eze , Zaria, Kaduna State
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
T is not necessarily true that you will live longer if you don’t drink, smoke, or chase women—it is the feeling that you get that matters. The poor tend to abuse such privileges which explains the good health of the one they call ‘The Guru.’ According to Ark Linkletter, there are four stages of man: infancy, childhood, adolescence...and obsolescence, but in the case of this icon, youthfulness characterizes his personage at 60. Perhaps the greatest secret of the success profile of The Big Boss is that he does not believe in pleasing everyone. He does not care about what his hypercritics think of him and does not flow with the current. The mogul we are celebrating today, especially, and at other times has no immediate plans to retire from economic activism even as he begins the eventful journey to 70 and beyond. Did you know that at the age of 26, Dr. Michael Adeniyi Ishola Adenuga, Jr. was already a multi-millionaire by American standards? Dr. Adenuga laid the foundation of what he is today by learning the ropes from his late mother whom he cherished till her last breath. He owes everything to her. Family members will intimate you to the fact that this Grand Commander was most loved and favoured of all her mother’s five children. And that the virtuous woman in her heyday imbued this last-born with entrepreneurial spirit. This multi-billionaire even at the age of 60 still looks so youthful that you will think the Adonis is just about 40! It has to do more with gracefulness than deep pocket. His dreams, vision and astounding entrepreneurship are unparalleled in this part of the world. Were you aware that this colossus was a director in the old Newswatchweekly newsmagazine before the brusque intervention and acquisition by Barrister Ibrahim Jimoh? With the celebrator, there is no dull moment and life must be lived to the fullest? His fountain of compassion and philanthropy is an ocean that never dries? His generosity is confounding. He does not segregate on grounds of religion, ethnicity, gender or class? All those who have encountered him will readily confirm this. The oil and gas magnate hates people who are liars, thieves, irresponsible, lazy, unimaginative, unintelligent, timid, fraudulent and dirty. And profusely loves those on the converse. He loves to the extreme and beyond human comprehension! Dr. Adenuga has a passion for good life which explains why he is splashing more than N100 billion on his aristocratic home on Banana Island (Lagos) where he neighbours Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Birds of a feather flock together! Virtually everything for the massive residential network of buildings is imported! What do you expect from a man with paradisal taste? It will eternally be on record that it was Dr. Adenuga’s bullish entry into the GSM industry that revolutionized Nigerians’
‘He knows something about everything and is well-informed on all organisational issues concerning constituents of the Mike Adenuga Group, Nigerian and global economy’
HERE is a particular saying that when a child is crying and pointing in a particular direction, it is either the mother or father is there. When the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Ositadimma Nebo, stood before the Senate earlier this year to declare that he was going to exorcise the demons in the power sector, it immediately made headlines in the media. It had to, because this line of thought was completely new. Nobody before him had openly pursued it. If they contemplated it, they never brought it to the public space. That Nebo has blazed this trail, is not surprising. He possesses what many of his ilk lack, or overlook. It is strange that many people who have gone through the academic mills and acquired the first-grade credentials he has, soon abandon the most essential and crucial part – God. Many of them even begin to delude themselves and commit the most atrocious infamy and sacrilege of declaring with their mouth that there is no God, while others, at best, pay halfhearted heed to His existence and dictates. That, of course, is one of the major fundamentals the former Vice Chancellor of two federal universities in Nigeria, is bringing to the table, which, rather than serving as a footnote, is likely to define his era in his present job and from there create the template to leapfrog Nigeria into the future of greatness that has become so elusive, but which everybody, including its enemies, believe is waiting right at the next bend. And nobody is guessing here. It was the same talisman that Nebo used to end the many years of rot at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), which, before his arrival, had gained notoriety for being a theatre of war and bloodshed due to student’s cultism. Who didn’t hear that the menace grew so high that Nebo’s predecessor, Prof. Ginigeme Mbanefo, was actually kidnapped and for some days, became game for the unconscionable elements? Who didn’t hear of the killing of 15 students in a fell swoop in the university in 2003 or how a former dean was butchered thereafter? What magic did Nebo apply to ensure that his five-year tenure, between June 2004 and June 2009, led to a totally different story in the university, not only in infrastructural development but total eradication of cultism? Of course, his story at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, evokes a similar sentiment. There, he practically squeezed water out of stone in his attempt to build a first class institution that would train the body and mind of Nigerians constantly in search of quality education, such as the likes that the minister had. Needless to say that he was still at this project when his new appointment came. This streak of successes, where many have failed, can only mean one thing – that Nebo, does not only possess the credentials to achieve his goals, but applies them with a rare
Mike Adenuga at 60 By Ebere Wabara way of talking through the instrumentality of per-second billing. You may not believe this: Dr. Adenuga works almost round the clock and scarcely has time for relaxation. He spends virtually the whole day holding meetings with directors and managers from his group here and overseas till the early hours of the next day and by 9 a.m. the day continues with fresh challenges and different sessions with new sets of managers. Indolent people cannot work with or even for him! Indeed, some employees of his wonder whether he sleeps at all! This will interest you: it is easier to access President Goodluck Jonathan than to interface with Dr. Adenuga. I say this from experience and with all sense of responsibility. You cannot see him unless he invites you no matter who you are (with few exceptions)! Nobody can present your challenge to him except he demands to know your circumstance, which he does periodically. He does not like to be persuaded over things he desires to do—the moment you do that, he is enraged and that could hallmark doomsday! Nobody risks his anger up to the point of timidity, which he abhors in contradistinction. Dr. Adenuga’s retentive memory and general cerebral comportment leave people gasping for breath. He knows something about everything and is well-informed on all organisational issues concerning constituents of the Mike Adenuga Group, Nigerian and global economy. Nothing makes this entrepreneurial whiz-kid happy as diligence, which explains the robustness of his passion for hard work by those privileged to be associated with his vast empire. Apart from the direct human capital in his supranational institutions, he has fertilized and watered innumerable private initiatives of people who have come his way over the years from all walks of life. His accommodative organizational capacity is unparalleled in this part of the world. Overall, Adenuga, an unprecedented visionary symbol, has a profundity of energy, enthusiasm and empathy running in his veins. At times, those who know him closely wonder whether he would ever retire from economic activism. I have the conviction that his beneficiaries’ prayers for him have the propensity to keep him for the next 60 years and possibly beyond. Simply put, this man has affected and continues to affect uncountable lives, many of whom I know. He enjoys offering Nigerians and non-Nigerians unlimited opportunities particularly through the instrumentality of Globacom as long as they believe in themselves. Most times, those who have access to this sports benefactor wonder if he has time for relaxation considering the maze of documents that crave his attention daily, including weekends, multifarious meetings that span all day and other official engagements that are equally time consuming and energy sapping. Does he have time to sleep at all? No weakling can work with or for this big boss: the challenges are pleasurably demanding and appreciated at the earliest opportune time.
Another thing you may, probably, not know about this global torch-bearer is his morbid phobia for failure. As I pointed out earlier, Mr. Chairman abhors all manner of drawbacks. This explains why he goes for the best of anything. He doesn’t compromise standard. And for him, no half-measures at all. On this score, one can call him a Eurocentric person because of his unmitigated subscription to foreign things which he passionately believes have incomparable quality with products from this locale. This applies to even betrothals, branding, concepts and even obsequious circumstances. Adenuga is a cultivator of acquaintanceship, companionship and friendship, but, in the same breath, he does not hesitate in calling it quits if associational challenges arise in breach of his rare privilege craved by one and all. Surprisingly—because of his large heart—he gracefully allows room for serial makeups and continual reunion. Contrarily, too, some of the relationships taste better as they get older just like wine, with time. In his relational activities, he does not just nurture bosom relationships; he pampers most of his friends and even few lucky staff in his employ up to the point of superfluity and satiation! A very ambitious man and a study in diligence, he rejuvenated—after acquisition—National Oil and Chemical Marketing (NOLCHEM) which metamorphosed into Consolidated Oil (Conoil) with upstream and downstream prospecting portfolios. It was the first indigenous oil company to strike oil on December 24, 1991. Clearly, he is a generational anchor endowed with divine blessings. He personifies entrepreneurship strewn with benevolence. A gentleman with Midas touch who has mastered his environment by conquering all the latent constituents and elemental forces against all episodic odds, this investment captain remains an embodiment of industry, a beacon and blistering light in usually impossible tunnels and difficult terrains. I round off this tribute by underscoring the fact that God’s favours to our unassuming big boss are immeasurable. He is 99 per cent self-made. There is nothing else to add here except Happy Birthday, Sir! May you continue to find favour in the sight of God and man. Let me paraphrase the Psalmist: may the Almighty cause your name to be celebrated in all generations. On retirement—if ever—you will be remembered for your unfazed economic nationalism and philanthropic superfluity.
‘A gentleman with Midas touch who has mastered his environment by conquering all the latent constituents and elemental forces against all episodic odds, this investment captain remains an embodiment of industry, a beacon and blistering light in usually impossible tunnels and difficult terrains’
Nebo and the power sector By Sunny Igboanugo single-mindedness. That is why, he must therefore, be taken seriously when he said that he is going to succeed in the power sector and deliver on President Goodluck Jonathan’s promise of making Nigerians enjoy constant electricity during his tenure. That is why those he has been pointing at since his coming on board as the spoilers, must not only think seriously about their options, but become wiser and more prudent with their ideas of doing things the old way. Reading the riot act for the umpteenth time, during an interview on a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme, Platform, recently, the minister accentuated the fresh impetus thus: “We are setting up a very robust monitoring device. One thing I can assure you is that all leakages will be plugged. It’s not going to be business as usual. The legacy that we have now will not tolerate the so-called Nigerian Factor and leakages. It is time for everybody to know that it is no longer business as usual. If anyone wants to continue in the old games, then we will hold them accountable. I can assure you that we have put in place a solid mechanism to ensure that when government puts in funds somewhere, government gets a concomitant, good, quality work that it has paid for.” Nebo would also lament on how a cabal had grown out of some people seized by evil forces. These people, who he described as powerful, would not want the Nigerian power sector to heal, because of their proclivity to benefit from the suffering of the people by absconding with funds they obtained for specific power projects. “I mean, it is all too obvious that lots of funds have gone into the sector but in some areas, you don’t see a concomitant development in the sector, so there are problems within and without. There is the issue of Nigerian factor, cartels that feel that once there is power, they lose their own businesses,” he added. Reiterating his resolve to solve the problem in line with the President’s resolve, Nebo, who said he was equally troubled vowed to do everything required to ensure that the present crisis is resolved in favour of Nigerians. And this resolution, according to him would mean a robust economy, where the giant will wake up again; where virtually the about 70 per cent or more of all the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), that have died in Nigeria would wake up again; where the barbing saloon, hairdressing saloon, vulcanizing, welding businesses and the likes, would
be alive and well; where Nigerians would go back to work earn their living honestly and as a result, reduce all the vices currently plaguing the nation due to idleness and absence of alternatives; where the big businesses, like the telecommunication companies would cut down operation costs by half, because they would no longer rely on diesel, thus producing competitive goods and services like telephone tariff that is currently the highest in the world. It is a common saying in Nigeria that only a tree will hear that it would be cut down and still stand in one place. A human being would shift grounds. Is it not time for this cabal to rethink their position? Indeed, many people have actually argued that cabals are not necessarily bad by their name, but in what they do. They insist that most developed economies have their own versions of cabals, which corner all the big contracts and businesses, make huge profits, but still deliver. In so doing, they may even become instruments for checking charlatans and quacks. Perhaps, Nebo, may not be as virulent in his resolve to end their reign if the Nigerian version would try this option. But it is indeed up to them to explore it and see what happens next. But to obdurately remain a clog in the wheel of progress, could become a recipe for their doom. The blacksmith, who doesn’t know how to make the gong, it is said, must study the shape of the kite’s tail. Most of the big empires in America today, who have established foundations to help humanity, according to some history, were actually bandits, who involved in all manner of crimes. But they had to give up, do a rethink and turn a new leaf when the time was up for them. A similar wind is blowing in Nigeria today. The momentum is so fierce it will certainly destroy all obstacles on the way. It is hurricane Nebo. • Igboanugo, a journalist, wrote from Lagos
Nebo would also lament on how a cabal had grown out of some people seized by evil forces. These people, who he described as powerful, would not want the Nigerian power sector to heal, because of their proclivity to benefit from the suffering of the people by absconding with funds they obtained for specific power projects.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
T has become obvious that Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi is in for serious trouble. Not only is he dogged in a battle of survival to retain his current position as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum NGF, the rug is about to be pulled off his feet in respect of his control of PDP party structures in the state. Already, the PDP has formed its version of the governors’ forum and is assiduously working in concert with the presidency to ensure that Amaechi does not return to his seat when the governors elect their chairman next month. Series of meetings are reportedly being held at the presidency to whittle down the support which Amaechi enjoys not only among PDP governors, but also others from the opposition. As things stand, it will only take a miracle for Amaechi to emerge victorious when that election comes up. As if that is not enough trouble, a high court sitting in Abuja last week sacked the Chief Akeled state executive committee of the party considered loyal to Amaechi and upheld his rivals led by Felix Obuah as the duly elected state executive committee of the party. Yet the Ake-led executive had emerged victorious at the state congress of the party held about a year and half ago. And immediately after that court decision, the national chairman of the party Alhaji Bamanga Tukur hurriedly inaugurated the rival state PDP executive committee in Abuja. If there was any shred of doubt regarding those behind that curious court judgment which has been largely spurned by stakeholders in the state, that inauguration gave clue as to where the drum beat was coming from. And to cap the suspicion that the new executive was on a vengeance mission, no sooner had they arrived Port Harcourt than the new chairman issued an order that they will probe the leadership of the state including all other elected and appointed officers of government. According to them, at the end of the probe, they will issue certificates of clearance to those they find nothing against while the indicted ones will be referred to anti-graft agencies for further investigations and trial. The same Obuah-led executive is also spoiling for war with governor Amaechi and the state assembly over the sacking of the leadership of the Obio/Akpor local government council. It has issued an ultimatum for the sack order to be rescinded threatening fire,
Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email: EmekaOmeihe@yahoo.com
Amaechi’s many troubles lime and brimstone. As things stand, there is palpable tension and fear of threat to law and order with allegations that some unseen hands are simulating conditions that will precipitate the declaration of a state of emergency in the state. Curiously, the tension in River state is the making of the ruling PDP. This is a party that has of late, been going round the country preaching peace and reconciliation among its factionalized members. At a time, both Tukur and Anenih the BOT chairman were involved in such parallel peace moves ostensibly because of their genuine desires to repair their umbrella torn by lack of internal democracy and brazen acts of impunity. Incidentally the peace Tukur and Anenih offered with the right hand, they are now taking with the left hand. So who says that the chameleon can ever change colour? That is the PDP for you. At the centre of the raging crisis is the scant regard by the party to internal democracy. That has been the main source of disenchantment by aggrieved members of the party. Those who have left, have series of stories to tell in this regard. If with all these, the PDP still conducts business as usual, then its avowal to free and fair polls cannot be trusted. What is all the fuss about the control of party structures if the sovereignty of the electorate as expressed in the ballot will be respected? What difference does the control of party structures make if votes will count? These posers have been raised to underscore the point most poignantly that there is yet to be a change of attitude by the PDP to electoral matters. And the crisis in Rivers State is necessary to the extent that it will help the PDP to capture the state come 2015.
N April 5, the world began the 1,000-day countdown to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline. Created in 2000, the MDGs spurred action from governments, international organizations, and civil society. In recent years, we have cut the global poverty rate in half, reduced the prevalence of deadly diseases, improved sanitation, narrowed the gender gap, and more. Although we have made progress toward these goals, there is still much to be done, especially for the girls and women of the Muslim world. Despite the ample evidence that ensuring the well-being of girls and women spurs development, gender equality indicators in many majority-Muslim countries are some of the worst in the world. If we are to continue making progress towards the MDGs, we must prioritize the health and rights of our Muslim mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters everywhere – including those in Africa. The continent is home to hundreds of millions of Muslim women. Yet unfortunately, a large number of African countries –including majorityMuslim nations like Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Djibouti, Senegal, Guinea, and more –are expected to fall short of the 2015 MDGs deadline for their girls and women. It has been shown time and time again that we can accelerate progress towards the MDGs when we invest in girls’ and women’s health and rights, including their rights to reproductive health. When women have access to contraceptives, maternal and child mortality rates are greatly reduced; sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are prevented; the number of safe and unsafe abortions is lowered; and pregnancy and birth-related complications are avoided. Girls and women are more likely to stay in school and spend more time in the workforce when they are able to plan their pregnancies. All of this helps us close the gender gap, reduce poverty, spur economies, and stabilize nations. Yet women in many Muslim communities face barriers to contraceptive access and family planning services due to
‘A number of African countries, including Rwanda and Ethiopia, have made great commitments to increasing contraceptive prevalence and are seeing the benefits of doing so. Yet others, including Niger, Nigeria, the Congo and Chad, are still considered to be some of the worst places in the world to be a woman. Such disparities are unacceptable and debilitating to development, and we must continue to strive until they are eliminated’
The crisis in Rivers is all about 2015. Governor Amaechi is said to be enjoying wide support among his peers. They want him back as the chairman of the governor’s forum. But Jonathan does not want to see that happen. His touted ambition to run as a vice presidential candidate with Sule Lamido of Jigawa state has not gone down well with the presidency and everything must be done to cut him to size and teach him a hard lesson. The ruling of the Abuja high court that ousted the state executive committee loyal to him is seen as part of the plot to clip his wings. It also fits into the character of the ruling that ousted erstwhile national secretary of the party Olagunsoye Oyinlola and some other leaders of the party in the Southwest. Those axed were ace loyalists of former President Obasanjo who was also involved in a battle to control the soul of the party.
‘The judiciary must begin to take a serious view of its increasing perception as being amenable to manipulation by the ruling class in order to settle political scores. For now, that appears to be the reading of events that led to the sacking of the national secretary of that party and the state executive committee of the Rivers State chapter’
Since that deadly blow courtesy of the judiciary, not much has again been heard of the all powerful Obasanjo in the calculations of the party. Incidentally also, all these fit into the devious strategy adopted by Obasanjo when he held sway. Off course, the outcomes of elections conducted under that regime were anything but free and fair. It is obvious that Jonathan is going the inglorious path of Obasanjo even with the armada of opposition against his running in 2015. In all these, the role of the judiciary has been anything but inspiring. The impression is fast gaining ground that the judiciary is increasingly lending itself to ease of use by the executive to settle political scores. And that is the greatest danger to our democracy. It is issues like this that the US must have taken copious note of when in its 2012 report, it posted very negative verdict on the Nigerian judiciary. The report spoke of monetary inducements and the increasing loss of confidence in the capacity of the judiciary to serve as the last hope of the common man. These are the issues to watch. The judiciary must begin to take a serious view of its increasing perception as being amenable to manipulation by the ruling class in order to settle political scores. For now, that appears to be the reading of events that led to the sacking of the national secretary of that party and the state executive committee of the Rivers State chapter. Allowing such an impression to fester will be counter productive in our quest for a stable political order. We should be wary of lending the judiciary to Marxian postulation that sees it as part of the structures that exist to serve and sustain the interest of the ruling class. If that happens, the predictions that the Nigerian state will soon fail, would have taken the pattern of that vividly captured by Karl Marx. The posturing of Obuah since the judiciary armed him with the contentious leadership of the party in that state is something to watch. All of a sudden, he has emerged from the blues to arrogate to himself all manner of powers issuing sundry orders. It is obvious that he is on a vengeance mission which sooner than later will snowball into a crisis of unimaginable proportion in the state. With the state assembly disowning his socalled leadership and vowing not to have anything to do with him, it is clear that danger is lurking in the air in that state. He must be restrained from turning Rivers state into a battle field.
Making reproductive rights global priority By Dr. Gamal Serour religious and cultural misconceptions. The reality is that Islam is – and always has been – supportive of women’s reproductive rights. The family is the basic unit of a Muslim society, and the mother is the keystone of this unit. Islam is a progressive religion that encourages its followers to uphold principles and practices that ensure maternal and reproductive health, and family planning is a central component of such practices. Islam does not forbid a woman from controlling the spacing and number of her pregnancies. A thorough review of the Holy Quran reveals no text (nuss) prohibiting the prevention or planning of pregnancy, and there are several traditions of the Prophet (PBUH) that indicate such practices are permissible. Many modern contraceptives and family planning methods, by analogy (kias), are similar to coitus interruptus (al-azl), which has been practiced since the time of the Prophet (PBUH). Modern contraceptive pills, injectables, implants, and other reversible methods were not known at the time of the Prophet (PBUH), but serve the same purpose as coitus interruptus as they temporarily prevent pregnancy. Hence they can – and should – be used today. A number of African countries, including Rwanda and Ethiopia, have made great commitments to increasing contraceptive prevalence and are seeing the benefits of doing so. Yet others, including Niger, Nigeria, the Congo and Chad, are still considered to be some of the worst places in the world to be a woman. Such disparities are unacceptable and debilitating to development, and we must continue to strive until they are eliminated. This May, the world will come together to do just that. Muslim community leaders will join other women’s health and rights advocates from all over the world for global advocacy organization Women Deliver’s third global conference, Women Deliver 2013. Women Deliver 2013 will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 28-30 May. This is the first time a Women Deliver conference will be held in a majority-Muslim country. Malaysia has made great strides in improving women’s health and rights, and serves as a strong example of how investing in women pays. Women Deliver’s estimated5,000 attendees will drive conversations that ensure that global commitments to girls and women are kept at the top of the international development agenda. With the world’s Muslim population expected to reach approximately 2.2 billion by 2030 and the MDGs deadline fast approaching, this is the time to act for the girls and women of the Muslim world. It cannot be denied that Muslim girls
and women across Africa and elsewhere are subject to a unique and complex web of political, social, cultural, and religious factors, but this does not mean that the battle for their health and rights is lost. To win this battle, we must continue to uphold the commitments we have made to our mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives, including those made to their reproductive health and rights. These commitments cannot waver based on cultural or religious misunderstandings. Reproductive rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. We must keep fighting for them until every girl and woman has access to the life-saving contraceptives and family planning methods that she deserves. • Dr. Gamal Serour is the Director of the International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research at AlAzhar University, Egypt
• Dr. Gamal Serour
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
BUSINESS THE NATION
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
Industrial sector still in doldrums - P. 27
‘Farmers need concessional interest rates’ - P. 37
News Briefing Electricity workers seek mass transfer WORKERS of the successor companies unbundled from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) are seeking mass transfer from the northern part of the country as a result of the state of insecurity created by the Boko Haram religious sect, The Nation has gathered.
- Page 26
Oracle to invest more in training ORACLE Corporation plans to invest more in manpower training by increasing the number of the beneficiaries of its programmes in tertiary institutions in the country.
- Page 26
Review our benefits, urge pensioners
Foreign portfolios hit N4.3tr at F stock market
OREIGN investors staked about N4.3 tril lion on quoted shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) between 2007 and March 2013, The Nation’s investigation has shown. The latest report showed that foreign investors gradually and consecutively increased their investments in Nigerian equities from about 15 per cent of total market turnover in 2007 till a high of
By Oluwakemi Dauda
- Page 29 DATA STREAM
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
about 67 per cent in 2011. Foreign portfolios were, particularly, the main drivers of transactions on the NSE in the past two years, with foreign investors accounting for average of two-thirds of equity transactions between 2011 and last year. Nigerian investors have, however, made strong rebound this year, displacing foreign portfolios as
Importers, agents condemn use of obsolete cargo equipment
Senior citizens under the aegis of the National Association of Pensioners (NAP) have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over Federal Government’s failure to review their benefits in the last six years.
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
By Taofik Salako
• Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
MPORTERS, exporters and customs licensed agents have condemned the continued use of obsolete handling equipment at Lagos ports. They lamented that this is affecting their business efficiency. They blamed the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for the issue. There is acute shortage of cargo handlers in some Lagos terminals. Also, at Apapa and Tin Can ports, there is a disturbing deterioration in port services and port. As a result, port users are dissatisfacted with the terminal operators’ mode of operation. Speaking on behalf of importers at Tin Can Port, Mr Olasunkanmi Solomon, said the essence of concessioning the ports by the government under its economic reform agenda, was to incorporate private sector efficiency, independence and discipline into the loading and off-loading of cargoes and to make
the ports system efficient, cost-effective, and internationally competitive. These objectives, Solomon said, had been defeated by inadequate cargo handlers. According to him, stakeholders are reeling under the burden of heavy demurrage and charges foisted on them by concessionaires. He said the terminal operators were exploiting the absence of a commercial regulator to introduce various arbitrary charges to extort importers. He said his colleagues were going through hell to do their business in the port because the concessionaires were not meeting up with their obligations of providing efficient services. “The way they are running some of the terminals is not in the best interest of the country and its people,” Solomon said. The President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said the challenges facing importers, exporters and clearing agents included port congestion, block stacking, high cost of demurrage and increased rents on port facilities. But the spokesman of the APM terminals, Apapa, Mr Bolaji Akinola, denied the allegation. He said the terminals have modern and sufficient equipment.
• Nigerians take lead as market recovers the main drivers of stock market’s transactions. Compared with the situation in 2011 and 2012, when foreign investors accounted for 67 per cent and 61 per cent of total turnover on the NSE, foreign investors accounted for about 43 per cent. Nigerian institutional and individual investors stepped up their transactions from a recent low of 33 per cent in 2011 to 39 per cent in 2012 and account for more than 57 per
cent of total transactions. The report underlined the early positioning of the foreign investors, who had saw through the prospects of Nigerian equities amid the downtrend and the rampant herd instinct of the domestic investors, who mostly usually look at recovering market. The two-way flow of foreign portfolio investments showed that while foreign investors flowed in about N2.01 trillion during the period, they
equally took away about N2.17 trillion. Foreign portfolio transactions increased from N615.6 billion in 2007 to N787.4 billion in 2008. These trimmed down to N424.6 billion in 2009 before rising consecutively to N577.3 billion and N847.9 billion in 2010 and 2011. Foreign portfolio trades stood at N808.4 billion in 2012 and were reported at N215.6 billion by March 2013. Market analysts said the proportionate increase in domestic investors’ portfolios would help to stabilise the market against the speculative activities of the foreign investors, though they were cautious about the tendency for domestic investors to resort to panicky portfolio reviews.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
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
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40
• Revenue collection adversely affected By Emeka Ugwuanyi
curity situation in the region. “They told the minister that the security situation in the region is adversely affecting their operations and income generation as most corporate consumers have closed shops. There is serious apathy for payment of electricity bills by the customers. There is mass request for transfer by the workers as well as irregular work attendance for fear of attack.” According to the source, the CEOs noted that service delivery and revenue generation had been hampered by the high incidence of illegal re-connection and evasion of payment by some consumers in different parts of the country. The source added that the development may affect the power sector privatisation programme of the Federal Government as investors in the power assets in the north may decide to withdraw. On the strength of the complaints of the CEOs, the minister was said to have set up an action committee chaired by the Perma-
nent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali, to look at the issues and report to him for presentation to the Presidency. The follow-up action committee, it was gathered, was inaugurated with seven terms of reference, which include the setting up of timelines for the attainment of the various key performance indicators; drawing up an executive summary for work and possible submission to Mr President and the Federal Executive Council (FEC), among others. The minister, it was gathered, re-assured the CEOs that measures were being taken to ensure adequate funding, especially their imprest,urging them to work harder at their revenuegeneration efforts. Other issues that were discussed at the meeting include how to move the privatisation programme forward, settle outstanding labour issues, fasttrack work on ongoing power projects, strengthen the transmission profile by ensuring the inauguration of the Supervisory Board of the Transmission Com-
12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
ORKERS of the successor companies unbundled from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) are seeking mass transfer from the northern part of the country as a result of the state of insecurity created by the Boko Haram religious sect, The Nation has gathered. Besides, the officials of electricity generation and distribution companies in the affected states are complaining about the dip in revenue generation as customers of the utility companies are unwilling to pay their electricity bills despite persuasion by the companies. It was also gathered that the chief executive officers (CEOs) of generation and distribution companies from the north complained about the situation when the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, had a meeting with them, heads of parastatals of the power industry and the leadership of the ministry in Abuja. An official of the Power ministry, who spoke in confidence to The Nation, said: “The officials in charge of power facilities in the northern parts of the country complained about the peculiar problems created by the se-
08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20
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
Boko Haram: Electricity workers seek mass transfer
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
• From left: Enterprise Bank Limited Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Ahmed Kuru; Chairman, Mr Emeka Onwuka and Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Mrs. Olufunke Olakunri, at the bank’s First Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.
Japan, Russia to boost business ties
APAN and Russia expect to clinch up to 20 deals, launch an investment fund and reopen talks on a territorial row that has kept them from signing a peace treaty formally ending the Second World War when Japan’s prime minister goes to Moscow this week, Reuters reports. Japan also expects Russia to present a proposal for Japan’s participation in building a pipeline connecting East Siberian gas fields and a planned $38billion Vladivostok gas hub built by OAO Gazprom, Deputy Chief Cabi-
net Secretary Hiroshige Seko told Reuters at the weekend. The summit between Shinzo Abe and President Vladimir Putin, the first between leaders of the two countries in a decade, may open the door to progress in the long-stalled territorial talks given converging strategic interests and a Japanese premier who, for the first time in a decade, appears to have the influence and staying power needed to make commitments. Japan is the largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world
and could provide Russia with the money and technology to develop its under-populated east. Japan, for its part, sees Russia as a strategic partner as it looks to diversify and cut the costs of LNG imports, which shot up after a 2011 disaster at its Fukushima nuclear plant. “With the aim of diversifying energy supplies in mind, we look forward to an offer from the Russian side during this visit,” Mr. Seko said. He added, however, that a major deal on the project was unlikely during Mr. Abe’s visit.
Oracle to invest more in manpower training
RACLE Corporation plans to invest more in manpower training by increasing the number of the beneficiaries of its programmes in tertiary institutions in the country. Senior Vice President, Eastern Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Middle East & Africa, Alfonso Di Ianni, said the firm is doing this because of the resources and population of the country. “We have a lot of programmes for the development of Nigeria in the future.We believe in developing the people (youths) because the people (youth segement) make the country. We will encourage the creation of more Nigerian solutions, more Nigerian innova-
By Lucas Ajanaku
tions. To achieve this, we have several programmes with some universities in the country. We have programmes with eight universities, which allow us to equip them and ensure they are given instruction using the appropriate technology. We believe that if we can equip the universities with the right technologies, that will open a lot of employment opportunities and with the knowledge acquired, they can contribute to value creation in the country,” he told The Nation in Lagos. Shedding more light on the programme, the firm’s Country Manager, Layo Ajayi, said it has opened what she called the Oracle Academy where it offers the
training that will make them ICT compliant after graduation. “What we are doing is that we opened Oracle Academy. We ensure that modern technologies are used by these students and they actually add it to their curriculum so that by tiime, they are graduating from the university, they are not looking for jobs, they are not inundated with the pains of asking what they are going to do to earn a living. “We make sure that skills required by SMBs are taught in schools. We are not only encouraging them to obtain the certificate, but equipping them with hand on about how to deploy the skill acquired to work in any organisation whether it is in Oracle or not,” he added.
pany of Nigeria (TCN), and finalising management issues for the company. Nebo reiterated the government’s resolve to generate 40,000MW by 2020, and praised the efforts the Niger Delta Power Holding Company to delivering on the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP). He acknowledged the indispensable roles of the CEOs and other heads of the ministry’s agencies in the task of accomplishing the Federal Government’s aspirations in the power sector.
Govt urged to stop cheap rice smuggling By Daniel Essiet
HE Project Manager of Cas sava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA), Dr Kola Adebayo, has asked the Federal Government to stop the smuggling of cheap rice worth 80,000 metric tonnes from Benin Republic. Its estimated duty loss is put at N9.7 billion monthly. He said the government’s goal for self-sufficiency in rice might be threatened by its smugglers. According to him, if the government is serious in achieving the targets set on rice production, then its smuggling must be curbed. He urged the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) to rise to the challenge and curb the menace. He implored the government to help farmers and other allied sectors by supporting them with direct credit, sustained subsidy for production input, the development of irrigation systems and post-harvest facilities, extension services and research and development to improve local production. Because of the entry of smuggled rice into the country, local rice producers are not sell their products like importers of foreign rice. Farmers fear that prices for locally produced grains would drop further. They continue to bear the brunt of depressed farm gate prices. The influx of cheap smuggled rice is affecting the livelihood of thousands of local rice farmers.
U.S. consumer sentiment wanes
NITED States consumer sen timent eased this month as Americans remained concerned about their employment and financial prospects, a survey released at the weekend indicated, Reuters reports. It was an improvement from this month’s preliminary reading of 72.3. The barometer of economic conditions fell to 89.9 from 90.7, while the gauge of consumer expectations slipped to 67.8 from 70.8. Just 23 per cent of consumers anticipated a decline in the unemployment rate during the coming year, while three out of four expected an unchanged or higher jobless rate. Consumers continued to take a grim view of government economic policy, with just nine per cent rating policy favourably, slightly above the all-time low of four per cent. The outlook for vehicle and home purchases remained positive, with eight out of 10 respondents viewing home buying conditions as favourable. But the overall index measuring buying conditions for durable goods fell to 137 from 140. The survey’s one-year inflation expectation fell to 3.1 per cent from 3.2 per cent, while the survey’s five-to-10-year inflation outlook also edged down to 2.9 per cent from 2.8 per cent.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
• A manufacturing plant.
In the past, the industrial sector, especially the textile industry, was one of the highest employers of labour. The story has since changed as most industrial estates have been turned into worship and event centres. Despite government’s consistent pledge to revamp the sector, the operating environment remains unfriendly, reports TOBA AGBOOLA.
Industrial sector still in doldrums I
N the past few years, Nigeria’s development has been private sector-led. There is no doubt that the industrial sector is still underdeveloped, despite various reforms being implemented by the Federal Government, especially in the manufacturing sector. The unconducive environment, especially lack of infrastructure, such as power, is the biggest challenge to industrial growth. According to the data re-
cently published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the industrial sector of the economy, which comprises petroleum and natural gas, solid minerals and manufacturing, contributed an average of 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2007 and 2012. Sadly, manufacturing sector, which should be the bedrock of industrialisation contributed less than five per cent to the pool, while oil and gas contributed 95 per cent.
Similarly, 2011 GDP statistics of countries published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show that, while the industrial sector of emerging economies, such as China and India contributed about $3.4 trillion and $482 billion, to their GDP, the Nigerian industrial sector contributed a mere $122 billion, of which 95 per cent was from oil sector. It is an indication that the industrial sector is still grossly underdeveloped. The manufacturing segment
remains a fundamental pillar upon which enduring economic growth and development are hinged. However, manufacturers find it difficult to operate at optimal capacity due to many economic and environmental challenges that have continued to hamper productivity. Operational difficulties include epileptic power supply; decreasing credit facilities from banks and other financial institutions; importation of fake and substandard products, as
well as inconsistent and unfavourable government’s economic policies, among other issues adversely affecting the sector. All these impediments have prevented the sector from contributing substantially to the overall economic advancement of Nigeria. Also, a recent survey by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) through its Business Confidence Index (BCI) for the second quarter, •Continued on page 28
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Industrial sector still in doldrums •Continued from page 27
showed that unless the Federal Government addressed some of its unfriendly business policies, the nation’s goal of reviving its industrial sector as well as enhancing bilateral trades remains a dream. Though the report showed a modest improvement of 16.5 per cent from the 10.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, the BCI scores for the two periods remain far below the 50 per cent global confidence threshold. According to the LCCI, some of the factors responsible for the slow-paced growth are that investors and business leaders are still wary because the state of the economy and the unfriendly business environment. Specifically, the BCI, which assessed the peculiar factors that impact domestic business outcomes in Nigeria in 14 sectors and 37 sub-sectors, showed a gloomy outlook for 2013, noting that the real sector growth is largely constrained by rising socioeconomic uncertainties. According to the research, the factors that weakened the index score include: poor access to credit, inhibitive tendencies of monitoring and regulatory agencies, sustained insecurity situation across the country, dwindling public power supply and budget approval/ implementation crisis. The President, LCCI, Goodie Ibru, reiterated the need for the government to give due consideration to economic diversification, noting that recent developments in the global economy underscore such urgent need, as the risks of oil prices volatility are real. He said: “We are concerned about the weak impact of the growth performance on private sector and the welfare of the Nigerian people. Virtually all business segments lamented the harsh operating environment. The power situation deteriorated as we now have a relapse into a chronic power failure. The refineries are still underperforming; unemployment level is still high and cost of fund is still high. “The credit situation is still a major problem for investors in the economy. As in the previous quarters, lending rates were well above 20 per cent. Many small and medium scale enterprises still have serious challenge in accessing credit even at this high rate. The tight credit situation is a major inhibiting factor to the capacity of domestic enterprises to take advantage of the robust Nigerian market. “We reiterate our call for both fiscal and monetary authorities to work together to ease the credit conditions, especially for the small and medium scale enterprises and more importantly domestic businesses. This is critical as well to stem the gradual crowding out of domestic entrepreneurs by foreign investors.” He urged the government to create a conducive operating environment for investors, considering the involvement in economic transformation, inclusiveness of nationals in the growth process, job creation and general improvement in the welfare of Nigerians. At the Fourth Manufacturers Consultative Forum in Ikeja recently, the Chairman, MAN), Ikeja branch, Rev. Isaac Agoye, said the manufacturing sector was on the throes of death and would witness total collapse if the government continued to deny it the enabling environment. The chairman said many manufacturing industries have closed shop, adding that most of the company premises have been turned to worship centres while others have become event centres. He said the ever-busy industrial estates have become shadows of their past glories, lamenting that what the government at all levels keep saying indirectly is that they need more funds and the manufacturing sector
must provide it without a commensurate provision of an enabling environment. “Our universities are churning out thousands of graduates without the hope of gainful employment. The level of abject poverty in the land has deepened, the degree of insecurity has become unprecedented simply because we have failed to bring the manufacturing sector out of the woods,” he said. He said a possible solution to the many questions about the country is for the manufacturing sector to be given the opportunity to thrive and
live up to its bidding as a catalyst for employment generation. He further said there was the need for the government to urgently act in ways that would make the country attractive for investors. Agoye also criticised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over its practice of substituting naira for dollar– derived revenue, adding that this is responsible for the ever declining rate of the naira, as this framework translates to too much naira chasing relatively modest sums of dollars auctioned by the CBN every week. “We observe that the villain militating
‘The credit situation is still a major problem for investors in the economy. As in the previous quarters, lending rates were well above 20 per cent. Many small and medium scale enterprises still have serious challenge in accessing credit even at this high rate’
against our economic growth is the payment system in which the CBN captures national export dollar revenue and substitutes hundreds of billion of naira as monthly allocations to the three tiers of government. “We note the ever-present scourge of excess liquidity caused by CBN’s frontloading of naira in substitution for dollar revenue is also responsible for government’s accumulation of an unnecessary debt burden that attracts huge interest payments annually to predominantly the same bank that are the prime beneficiaries of the largesse of deposits of huge naira allocations every month,” he said. The President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA), Dr. Herber AJayi, canvassed an enabling environment for their operations, especially in power generation and security challenges to bolster the attainment of government’s development objectives. He urged the Federal Government to implement policies that would ease the business environment, especially policies that affect the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The Director-General, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Dr Segun Oshinowo, also blamed dearth of infrastructure as one of the reasons for the poor business development in the country. He noted that the poor performance of business was as a result of the inability to access funds by members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS). According to him, another factor that negatively affected business is insecurity, which works against the private sector and the government’s goal of bringing more foreign investors into the country. “The security situation in the country affected both the local and discouraged many foreign investors from coming into the country, especially the northern part of the country. Federal Government must take drastic steps to arrest insecurity in the country and provide the necessary conducive business atmosphere. “There was no significant transformation in business environment in year 2012 because business and economic environment was typically characterised by upsides and downsides,” he said. Oshinowo said though last year and the first quarter of this year offered huge opportunities to investors, especially indigenous entrepreneurs, they were constrained by some challenges, which greatly affected the sector. He called on the Federal Government to create a conducive business environment. On a positive note, however, the country seems to be making modest achievements, especially in the manufacturing sector. For instance, the MAN reported that most of the variables for measuring the performance of the real sector have been on the upward swing. The report stated that the capacity utilisation of the sector was about 49 per cent compared to the 47.5 per cent average in 2011/2012, indicating that more companies are putting more resources to use in their factories than they did in previous years. It says the value of industrial production has also increased, though marginally, from N130 billion to almost N350 billion at the end of last year. New investments entered the sector and the firms like Dangote Group, Lafarge Cement WAPCO, De United Foods, Procter and Gamble as well as Guinness Plc added more to their production lines, as well as built new factories, thereby creating additional industrial jobs. In his contribution, LCCI DirectorGeneral, Muda Yusuf, noted that the business and economic environment was typically characterised by upsides and downsides, but the latter seemed to have outweighed the former.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
LABOUR Police target N100,000 minimum wage
ILO seeks action against occupational diseases
• Govt, workers disagree on safety regulation enforcement
HE International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called for an ‘urgent and vigorous’ campaign to tackle the growing number of work-related diseases, which claim an estimated two million lives per year. In Nigeria, workers in the chemical sector say the government is not doing enough to protect factory workers, as many employers disobey the constitutional safety and precaution rules that guides the establishment of factories in the country. In a message on this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work, ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Rider, said: “Occupational disease impoverishes workers and their families and may undermine whole communities when they lose their most productive workers. “Meanwhile, the productivity of enterprises is reduced and the financial burden on the state increases as the cost of health care rises. Where social protection is weak or absent, many workers as well as their families, lack the care and support they need.” He called for the prevention of diseases, saying it is more effective and less costly than treatment and rehabilitation. He said the ILO was calling for a “paradigm of prevention with comprehensive and coherent action targeting occupational diseases, not only injuries.” The Head of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Brent Wilton, said: “The ILO is well placed to lead a concerted and holistic effort to address OSH challenges by providing integrated web-based information that is practical and easily accessible to workplace actors, prevention and treatment centres, employers’ and workers’ organisations, enforcing authorities and labour inspectorates. ‘’We have an opportunity to ensure that countries are better equipped to avert the risk of facing the same OSH challenges by learning from shared experiences, he said. General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow, said: “Our societies must not accept that workers can lose their health to make a living. And we must not forget that occupational diseases put a huge burden on families and the public purse – a burden that is preventable.
“Harnessing the knowledge of workers, backed by their unions, is crucial for preventing death and illness. Protection, including through respect for workers’ rights to trade union representation, and government legislation and enforcement following ILO standards and guidance should be expanded.” In a report, the ILO said despite the fact that occupational diseases kill six times more when compared to other diseases, accidents attract greater attention. Of the estimated 2.34 million annual workrelated deaths, the vast majority — approximately 2.02 million — are due to work-related diseases. This represents a daily average of 5,500 deaths. The ILO also estimates that 160 million cases of non-fatal workrelated diseases occur yearly. Technological and social changes, along with global economic conditions, are aggravating health hazards and creating new risks. Well-known occupational diseases, such as pneumoconiosis and asbestos-related diseases, remain widespread, while relatively new occupational diseases, such as mental and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are on the rise. Occupational diseases carry an enormous cost – for workers and their families, as well as for economic and social development.
The ILO estimates that occupational accidents and diseases result in an annual four per cent loss in global gross domestic product (GDP), or about US$2.8 trillion, in direct and indirect costs of injuries and diseases. Good quality data is of key importance, providing the basis for an effective prevention strategy. Yet, globally, more than half of all countries do not provide statistics for occupational diseases. Only a few countries collect sexdisaggregated data. This makes it difficult not only to identify specific types of occupational injuries and diseases that affect men and women, but also hinders the development of effective preventive measures for all, ILO said. “Significantly reducing the incidence of occupational disease is not simple, it may not be easy and it will not happen overnight, but progress is certainly feasible. So, let us, in our respective areas of responsibility, set clear OSH goals, establish a road map and most critically, act and persevere
so that, together, we succeed in turning the tide on the epidemic and make good progress on this dimension of decent work,” Ryder said. The Labour Minister, however, Chief ‘Emeka Wogu, said the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity is doing a lot by way of factory inspection to ensure safety in the workplace. The General Secretary, National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Douglas Adiele, said employers were not fulfilling their legal obligations. He, however, said some employers were pulling their weight in that area, while others just neglect the safety precautions. “The Ministry of Labour is not doing enough. They have an inspectorate division. But are they doing enough? There are regulations, but to what extent has this regulation been enforced?” he added.
NUJ to picket debtor-media houses Wednesday
• Workplace safety tools
Review our benefits, pensioners urge Jonathan
ENIOR citizens under the aegis of National Association of Pensioners (NAP) have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over the government’s failure to review their benefits in the last six years. In a letter dated April 15, 2013, and signed by the association’s President, Mr Chimezie Ahaneku, and General Secretary, Mr Segun Afolabi, the pensioners complained about government’s refusal to comply with Section 173 of the Constitution, which directs that pensions of retirees be reviewed every five years. They said the pension in the Federal Civil Service should have been substantially reviewed upwards with effect from September 1, 2010. And that another review should
HE Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, has said N100,000 was being proposed as the minimum salary for the least police officer. He spoke at a lecture for police officers in Jos, Plateau State. He Abubakar, who was represnted at the event by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone Four, Mr Mike Zoukomor, said: “The money you are being paid is not enough. That is why the police is working towards increasing the money. “We are doing our best to ensure that your morale is high. You must, therefore, put in your best at ensuring that the society is free of any form of crime.” He urged policemen to exhibit the highest sense of discipline and professionalism in carrying out their duties. “You must ensure that you do not extort money from members of the public and you must be polite in dealing with them as well. “If you are caught stealing or found taking hard drugs, you would be severely punished, because you are supposed to show good example. “Things like drunkenness will not be tolerated. Police officers must not be seen as drunks,” he warned. Plateau Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Olakpe, advised the officers and men to put into practice the advice of the IG. “The IG has told us that it is what you sow that you would reap. You must continue to work very hard and do the right thing,” he said. The commissioner promised that the men and officers of the command would continue to protect lives and property in the state.
have been effected in 2011, following the approval of N18,000 minimum wage. The letter said: “We are imploring your Excellency to, for once, devote a significant portion of the Presidential message on the occasion of this year’s May Day, towards addressing the problems confronting pensioners. “Kindly wipe out our tears by granting us a 53.4 per cent upward review of pension with effect from September, 2010 as was done for workers and then direct the relevant agencies of government to ensure its speedy implementation.”
• Pensioners at their meeting
HE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said it will picket media houses, which are not paying salaries of their members on Wednesday. This is contained in a 14-point communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Umuahia. According to it, the NUJ leadership appeals to state governments to implement the 22 per cent weigh-in allowance for journalists. The document, signed by Mallam Shu‘aibu Leman, the National Secretary of the union, urged the Federal Government to pay the arrears of the weigh-in allowance owed its media workers. The union appealed to the government to ensure the security of life and property of Nigerians by addressing security challenges across the country. The communique condemned the increasing spate of arrests of journalists, especially the four staff of Leadership Newspapers, describing it as a siege. “The NUJ will not shy away from its responsibility of protecting the interest of journalists; members should carry out their duties in line with the ethics of the profession,’’ it said. The union expressed the need for the review of the code of ethics of the NUJ to be in tandem with emerging realities in the media and in line with international best practices. It re-affirmed the commitment of the union to the welfare of members, adding that the recent journalists of the year award initiated by the leadership of the union was meant to encourage journalists.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-04-13
Dangote Cement optimistic on future returns
MPROVING demand for cement has placed Dangote Cement on the path for better performance in 2013, the management of the cement company has said. Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Devakumar Edwin in a statement at the weekend said cement sales have improved in recent periods. According to him, current trading has been strong with increase of almost 16 per cent in demand for cement in the first quarter of 2013. “I am pleased to report that our volumes rose by substantially more than the market’s growth rate in the same period. Such a strong start gives us confidence that 2013 will be a good year for Dangote Cement,” Edwin said. He outlined that the company achieved its goal of making Nigeria an exporter of cement to neighbouring countries in the first quarter of 2013 and it would
By Taofik Salako
soon be manufacturing cement in Senegal as it expands into other African countries to supply a basic but profitable commodity that is vital to Africa’s growth. Edwin said a combination of some managerial strategies adopted in the face of import dumping which led to the glut in the year under review accounted for the impressive performance in 2012. He pointed out that Dangote Cement achieved strong increase in revenues and profitability in 2012 despite severe flooding that affected demand and a shortage of gas that affected margins. “The Group achieved several key objectives in 2012. In the first half of the year we launched 11 million tonnes of new capacity that brought Nigeria to self-sufficiency in cement production. Because of our investments, there is no more need
for Nigerians to buy foreign cement,” Edwin said. He said Dangote cement’s massive investment in new capacity has paid off as it recorded upsurge in sales of its locally produced cement to the tune of 10.4 million tonnes in 2012. Key extracts of audited report and accounts for 2012 showed that market share rose steadily during the year, averaging an estimated 57.1 per cent in 2012 compared with the 50.5 per cent achieved in 2011. The company announced a profit after tax of N151.93 billion up from N121.4 billion of 2011 representing an increase of 25 per cent. The board of the company has recommended a dividend per share of N3. Dangote Cement plans to list on the London Stock Exchange next year. Already the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa, Dangote Cement wants to reach 43 million metric tonnes in 2015. With three plants and 70 per cent market share in Nigeria, the company has contracts to construct factories in eight African countries, from Senegal to South Africa to Ethiopia.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26- 04-13
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
MONEY LINK IBTC Enterprise Bank records N11.3b profit Stanbic to raise $150m E S NTERPRISE Bank Limited has announced a profit-before-tax (PBT)of N11.3 billion during its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) held last week. The bank was one of the bridge banks that emerged on August 5, 2011 following the takeover by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) of the defunct Spring Bank Plc. The new bank was recapitalised by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). In a statement, the bank said the profit, which is for the year ended December 2012, is a marked improvement from the loss of N5.2 billion for the five-month period it operated as Enterprise Bank in 2011 (August to December 2011). The PBT represents a growth of 316.6 per cent. Other figures from the result show that gross earnings grew by 283.9 per cent to
Stories by Collins Nweze
N40.4 billion as at year ended December 2012 from N10.5 billion achieved in the five-month period in 2011. The bank’s deposit also grew from N162.6billion to N208.4 billion between the five months in 2011 and 2012 financial year respectively. This represents a growth of about 28.2 per cent. Total assets also experienced a growth of 31 per cent between the periods from N198.5 billion as at end of 2011 to N261.1billion by the end of 2012. Speaking during the meeting, the Chairman of Enterprise Bank Limited, Mr Emeka Onwuka, attributed the achievement by the bank to a sustained growth in quality risk asset creation, which equally engendered growth in interest income. The Chairman stated that in addition, the bank’s other banking income
awareness about the bank in the marketplace He said the bank’s electronic banking platform has been further enhanced by capital investments in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and several variants of electronic cards. Business alliances were also entered into with major players in e-business, so as to ensure seamless transaction processing on the platform. Capacities and competencies have been built in retail and SME banking business sectors, which shall fundamentally shape the future of banking in Nigeria. The core banking application and other business applications have been upgraded to latest versions, which have enhanced the robustness and resilience of the platforms for effective and seamless business activities.
items such as commissions, fees, electronic banking income, significant improvements in trade-related transactions, facilitated through its strategic focus on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) helped in boosting the bank’s fees and commission income. Onwuka declared that by this performance, “a solid foundation has been built by the bank to ensure a sustainable growth in its business activities.” He listed some of the valuable structures that have been put in place by the executive management of the institution, with the full support of the Board of Directors, which include renovations carried out on the corporate head office and branches of the bank. The renovation will enhance the competitiveness of the bank in the industry, he added. He said several brand management initiatives were implemented in the year, to create more
Cashcraft gets new MD
Diamond supports entrepreneurs
IAMOND Bank Plc has declared its commitment to supporting small businesses. The bank said it has disbursed excess of over N71 billion to support capacity-building initiative to Micro Small and Medium-scale Enterprise (MSME) in the country. Also, the bank said it extended its credit expansion support, which is about N2 billion to over 2000 small and medium scales enterprises in the commercial city of Kano under the BusinessXpress Enterprise loan scheme. According to Adaeze Ume, a senior executive MSME, the lender is committed to the economic development of the state through capacity development initiatives.
Ireyomi. Until his appointment, MrAnthony Ikpea was Executive Director responsible for Business Development and Market Strategies, a position he has held since 1996. In a statement, the firm described Ikpea as a qualified broker and member of Council of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers. He was educated at the University of Ife from where he graduated in 1986 and also has a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Lagos State University specialising in financial management. He has also attended several courses locally and overseas including courses at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ikpea has extensive capital markets and financial services related experience. The Board’s Chairman, Otunba J.
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
Ume said over 12, 000 entrepreneurs benefited from the loan of over N71 billion across the country. She further noted that the management of the bank resolved to come up with the scheme as a way of building the capacity of the beneficiaries so that they can make success of their enterprises. “As a way of assisting them we have brought in a consultant as well as successful entrepreneurs to help identify their areas of weakness, and guide them on how to overcome them, and teach them about the best practices required to grow their businesses,” she noted.
HE board of Directors of Cashcraft Asset Management Limited has announced the appointment of Mr Anthony Ikpea as the new Managing Director of the company. He replaces Mr Deolu
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($)
OBB Rate Call Rate
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
JOHNHOLT IKEJAHOTEL RTBRISCOE UTC UNITYBNK AIICO HONYFLOUR STERLNBANK DANGSUGAR UPL
1.40 0.70 1.82 0.63 0.62 0.81 2.71 2.34 7.29 4.60
1.54 0.77 2.00 0.69 0.66 0.86 2.81 2.42 7.49 4.70
CHANGE 0.14 0.07 0.18 0.06 0.04 0.05 0.10 0.08 0.20 0.10
CUTIX NEIMETH AIRSERVICE COSTAIN BERGER TOTAL REDSTAREX WAPIC LIVESTOCK LEARNAFRCA
1.80 0.91 3.65 1.44 8.30 172.00 3.90 0.99 2.63 2.21
C/PRICE 1.62 0.82 3.29 1.30 7.50 157.00 3.60 0.93 2.52 2.12
Exchange Rate (N)
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) 149.7450
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
Bureau de Change 152.0000 Parallel Market
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY • ARM AGGRESSIVE
LOSERS AS AT 26-04-13
Amount Sold ($)
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12
GAINERS AS AT 26-04-13
A. O. Ogunfuwa, confirmed that the relevant regulatory authorities have duly been notified of his appointment. He described Cashcraft Asset Management as a leading stockbrokerage and investment company in Nigeria. It started business in 1994 and has 11 business offices in major cities in Nigeria including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Nnewi, Benin and Oshogbo. The company is registered with the SEC as broker/dealer, fund managers and issuing house as well as with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as a dealing member firm. The company has significant investment in IT infrastructure that makes it easier for it to provide financial and investment services to all its clients that are spread across Nigeria and in the Diaspora.
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
TANBIC IBTC Holding Co, the Nigerian unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank Group, plans to raise $150 million in new capital this year, its Chief Executive Officer Sola David-Borha has said. According to Bloomberg report, David-Borha said at the weekend that the bank plans to use the Tier 2 capital for investments in infrastructure and lending. “Loans and advances are planned to grow by 15 per cent by end of 2013, from six percent in 2012,” she said. Nigerian banks are returning to profitability after Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi fired the CEOs of eight of the country’s 24 banks in 2009 and gave them a N620 billion ($3.9 billion) bailout, after lending to equity speculators and fuel importers pushed the industry to near collapse.
9.17 1.00 138.34 143.59 0.80 1.15 1.07 100.00 1,000.00 1,805.48 15.86 1.39 1.87 10,855.53
9.08 1.00 137.92 144.38 0.78 1.15 1.05 100.00 1,000.00 1,799.18 15.09 1.33 1.80 10,528.92
• KAKAWA GUARANTEED
CHANGE 0.18 0.09 0.36 0.14 0.18 15.00 0.30 0.06 0.11 0.09
• STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE
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%
OPEN BUY BACK Previous
04 July, 2012
07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE CEO Mechanised agriculture and outsourcing of non-core agricultural activities in the commercial sector of the industry are gradually eliminating sharp practices, which account for increase in labour costs, says Mr Ikechukwu Azogu, Executive Director, National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM). He explains to DANIEL ESSIET why mechanisation has become important to farmers’ economic survival.
‘Farmers need concessional interest rates’ W
HAT is the state of the agric ma chinery industry in the last five years? The agricultural machinery industry has grown rapidly in the past five years. The government’s policy is changing towards supporting the sector. The administration has shown increased desire to support and sustain agriculture, ensure food security and encourage more productive farming methods. Agricultural machinery producing companies are making their presence felt as they move to expand their global footprint.The global downturn a few years ago, which led to a decrease in the purchasing power of consumers also offered farm machinery makers a chance to compete in market by producing low-cost machines and parts. Solid agricultural performances have also encouraged reinvestment this year. The rising costs of raw materials, such as steel, and energy such as coal and fuel have been of concern. How are these affecting agricultural machinery? Steel is one of the largest input used in making machinery and equipment. The impact of changing market requirements for steel has been dramatic. The demand growth is exceptionally strong. Consumption continues to grow strongly, matched by a large rise in production.The reasons for steel prices escalation are numerous.There has been a worldwide industrial growth. A boom in construction, along with rapid industrialisation is causing demand to increase. Impact of steel price increases is affecting the agricultural machinery industry. This is because manufacturers use steel, iron ore and coal as their basic input. So, the steel crisis has certainly provided manufacturers with a major challenge – reduce costs to offset the increases or risk losing margin. Locally, we rely on materials from the scrap market. The scrap price is crucial to the agricultural machinery industry. Earlier, the industry was sustained by importation and assembly. Has it developed capacity for manufacturing and development of new equipment that are appropriate for the sector? We were importing tractors both in completely knocked down (CKD) and completely built up (CBU) condition from abroad. With the realisation of the importance of farm mechanisation in crop production, the demand for tractors has increased gradually and also their imports. All the tractors and farm machines were imported. Since then, the imports have gradually given way to local production. However, a variety of implements are still being imported from Europe and USA. We are meeting the country’s needs for technologies that it could not obtain for a variety of reasons. We are developing what could be better education and agric research system. We hope that as the agric sector advances, foreign investors would be attracted to establishing assembly plants in Nigeria. We have also got to the level where we dissect imported tractors and copy their parts, to enable us to replace broken down or worn out machine parts. This is cheaper for us than going all out to import these parts. What are the implements manufactured in the country? We have done a lot in terms of simple tillage implements that prepare the soil for planting by loosening the soil and killing weeds or competing plants. They include machines for tilling the soil, planting seeds, irrigating the land, cultivating crops, pro-
Profile Institutions attended University of Nigeria; Obafemi Awolowo University Qualifications
B. Sc; M.Sc (Agricultural Engineering)
Technocrat, administrator, engineer
Deputy Director, Engineering
tecting them from pests and weeds, harvesting, threshing grain, livestock feeding, and sorting and packaging the products. The Centre has developed technologies that have impacted positively towards the use of land tools, animal traction and engine powered mechanisation technology. The machines include: seed treatment dram, manual seed planter, manual seed and fertiliser broadcaster, weeding hoe, cassava lifter, cassava peeler, cassava grater, groundnut digger, groundnut decorticator, paddy parboiler, oil palm fruit processing machines, maize shellers, melon shellers, palm nut crackers, okro slicer, lysimeter, yam chipping machine, threshers and vegetable slicers. The centre has trained numerous fabricators on how to produce these machines. We need to create the necessary awareness of the immense potentials of these products to the economic development of the nation. Our mandate empowers us to carry out adaptive and innovative research in design, fabrication and testing of proven agricultural technologies. NCAM conducts programmes on adaptive research for the development of better agricultural tools, equipment and machines for land clearing, weeding, harvesting, crop preservation and processing, as well as the development of
low cost machine and equipment appropriate for the effective mechanisation of farming operations, which at present, are predominantly small-scale. We have a pedal operated cassava grater - a farm processing equipment fabricated to improve the traditional way of grating peeled cassava tubers into fine mash for further processing in terms of drudgery, timeliness and output capacity. The grater comprises a grating drum, a rectangular hopper and drum housing a gear system and a pedal. The output capacity of the machine depends on the strength and agility of the operators. Two operators can produce 30 kg cassava mash per hour. There is also the oil palm fruit processing equipment - a complete set of labour saving devices for the production of palm oil from palm fruit. The set comprises of a palm fruit steamer/steriliser which is made of standard 50-gallon oil drum with upper and lower chambers, perforated circular metal sheet and a drain plug. There is a palm fruit digester used to depericarp or macerate the mesocarp and extract the oil from the cooked palm fruits. They are of two types, namely: vertical and horizontal types. Their essential features include cylindrical housing, the inner perforated cylindrical drum, ashaft, spikes and a handle. The palm oil clarifier is
a cylindrical container made from iron sheet. The main features are upper cylindrical section, lower cylindrical section and a drain pipe. We have established a liaison programme to facilitate linkages with research Institutes, and the manufacturing Industries. This ensures that prototypes designed by the research institutes are manufactured and mass produced by the local and indigenous manufacturing industries that no doubt have more adequate engineering infrastructures for the manufacture and mass production of the prototypes for distribution to end-users. In addition, this arrangement encouraged more entrepreneurs to establish industries for the manufacture of the locally designed equipment or even sponsor research and development works on agricultural equipment development. We distribute our equipment through the Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) as well as directly to end users. Do we have competencies to manufacture combined harvesters and heavy tractors? No. It takes four to five years to develop a new product and have it ready for the market. We want to respond to this growing market by developing products unique to the nation’s agricultural processes. There is rapidly growing demand for agricultural equipment. The challenge, however, is the difficulty in obtaining investment for agricultural machinery. At present, NCAM is mandated by the Federal Government to test the quality and adaptability of every tractor imported into the country, an attempt aimed at stalling the importation of low quality tractors that hardly last for six months before they pack up. We are aware that after we have tested and certified, some of these importers still go back and import low quality tractors. This singular reason underscores the need for NCAM officers to be at the ports and work •Continued on page 38
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
‘Farmers need concessional interest rates’
•Continued from page 37
hand in hand with the Nigeria Customs Service to ensure that the machines being brought in are in tandem with our specifications. Do you have a functional national system of apprenticeship and formal education through the polytechnics for technicians, artisans and for qualified engineers? As the agricultural and turf machinery business becomes more technologically advanced, the need for skilled people working in the industry becomes ever greater. It’s not just about the machines either. Sophisticated parts and service systems require the same skills too. One of the major benefits students and apprentices enjoy doing their industrial attachment with NCAM is the certainty of attaining prescribed standards of training. Indeed, the quality of training delivered is such that the students should be widely sought after in all fields of agric engineering. We focus on capacity building so that the farmer has a wide range of skills to run the farm. There are apprenticeship programme, which provide a high-quality route for agric engineers to acquiring skills. At NCAM, we provide internship for undergraduates. Those who participate are guaranteed adequate training and standards are followed. Apprentices have a chance to learn and get real work experience. What impact will financial liberalisation have on agric businesses, especially farm machinery companies? The availability and cost of finance within the agricultural sector is generally assumed to exert an indirect but important effect on the level of total agricultural production through its effect on investment. Because of the contribution made by the agricultural sector to the nation’s economic viability, it is most important that the resources required for the expansion of agricultural output, in both the traditional and non-traditional areas of production, are available. Perhaps the most vital of the resources needed, if the desired increase in agricultural output growth is to be achieved, is the provision of adequate capital. The government has sought to encourage the flow of funds to agriculture from banks by indicating lending priorities. There are a number of long-term national policy issues related to agricultural financing, which may require review in the light of changing economic and market conditions, and their success in furthering government’s objectives and their effects on undesirable economic phenomena, such as land price escalation. These include concessional interest rates for farming, and the specific farming purposes for which funds are allocated under the lending policies of these institutions. In the short term, decisions must be made on the annual allocation of funds to government institutions and on the need for special financing arrangements in times of climatic stress. It is essential that policy makers at both the national and institutional levels be able to plan for changes in demand and be aware of developing shortfalls in supply. Until the government has the necessary background data to make appropriate decisions, provision of funds for agricultural purposes will lack focus and coherence. Objective decisions on the direction of government funds to the agricultural sector and on the allocation of those funds within the sector, there exists a risk that groups of farmers selected for targeted assistance will not be those in need of assistance, or that the assistance is not being given where the nation will benefit most. Do you think the economy has prospects to sustain multinational agric businesses? Management of international agric firms can utilise the benefits of what NCAM can provide them such as base of operations. There is an enabling environment to encourage many international firms to establish operations and/or conduct business within our market. Nigeria is highly regarded as a location, which includes highly-skilled engineers, governmental aid, good geographic location and some tax and custom benefits. The industry is capable of enjoying tremendous profitability. This is in terms of added value, export rates and productivity per employee. The government is making efforts to improve the climate for foreign investment as it seeks to develop a more market-oriented economy. What has NCAM done to assist SMEs? The major constraints on improving the small scale agricultural mechanisation value chain are lack of information, including financial feasibility information, about the
machines and technologies that are available. The large capital outlay for specialised harvesting equipment can be daunting. If a farmer buys this equipment, he will likely only use it for a few weeks every year. It is not economically viable to have this expensive equipment standing idle in a shed for the remainder of the year. However, should a silage contractor do so, he can harvest and ensile forage crops for farmer clients, spreading his costs and income across many different farms and across different seasons to make the capital outlay and running costs economically viable. An added challenge is that, due to very high land prices, many farmers can’t afford to buy the neighbouring farm land to expand and so take advantage of economy of scale. So, many farmers are looking further afield for more economically viable farm land on which to grow maize silage.Technical knowhow is by far the most important aspect to ensure that small-scale farmers succeed. This is why the centre has specific projects to enable small-scale farmers to produce enough food to meet their needs and contribute to national food security. This is a big task because small-scale farmers are not really being supported in this regard. There are lots of farmers in the rural areas that need training and better knowledge of agricultural practices such as preventing disease. Can you justify the establishment NCAM, considering the similarity of roles with organisations, such as the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), that are also involved in the production of small agric machines? NCAM was established by Decree No.35 of 1990 with the objective of accelerating the pace of mechanisation in the agricultural sector. To achieve this, we design and develop simple and low-cost equipment, which can be manufactured with local materials, skills and facilities. We bring into focus mechanical technologies and equipment developed by various institutions, agencies or bodies and evaluate their suitability for adoption. We manufacture replacement parts for equipment. Because the majority of purchases of farm equipment are financed, improvements in borrowing capacity represent potential for increased equipment purchases by farmers going forward as they work to keep up with increased demand.
We produce a wide range of machines including hand tools, draft animal implements, ridgers, shears, milling machines, cassava processing machines, oil palm processing machines, grinding machines, threshers, shellers, hullers, and expellers, among others. We carried out programmes focused on the enhancement of the capacities of the public institutions involved in the promotion of agricultural mechanisation to better perform their duties to increase production and utilisation of agricultural mechanisation input. NCAM has the mandate to conduct research towards development of indigenous machines for farming and processing, including the design of simple machines which can be manufactured locally. NCAM is also mandated to standardise and certify, in collaboration with SON, agricultural machines, equipment and engineering practices in use in Nigeria. In addition, it is supposed to bring to focus mechanical technologies and equipment developed by various institutions, agencies or bodies, and evaluates their suitability for adoption. Farm technologies from land preparation to milling activities are available here. These include, hand tractors, power tillers, floating tillers, four-wheel tractors, transplanters, drum seeders, mechanical reapers, combine harvesters, threshers, seed cleaners, shredders and different types of grain dryers and rice mills. The test and performance evaluation of the farm machinery is part of the monitoring of projects of NCAM to keep the quality and efficiency of the machines being availed by farmers’organisations. Experts from the centre train agricultural engineers to test the land preparation, planting, harvesting, drying and milling technologies. We are trying to support the development of skills and expertise within the industry. We have a long history of working hand in hand with government agencies and the private to deliver workable solutions appropriate to local conditions be it soil type, climate, social or environmental conditions. We work with the government to give advice on policy and strategy issues affecting agriculture and food security. We also make recommendations for agricultural projects and give government technical assistance when required. Can Nigerians manufacture standard rice processing mills? Modern rice mills are scientifically up-to-
‘Because of the contribution made by the agricultural sector to the nation’s economic viability, it is important that the resources required for the expansion of agricultural output, in both the traditional and non-traditional areas of production, are available’
date units, with most modern plant and machinery. Rice produced in a modern mill would be of superior quality and thereby finding greater customer acceptance. Further, the bye-product of such mills, rice bran, could find great demand as raw material among solvent extraction plants. NCAM has not produced rice mils. What we have just done was to order rice mills from abroad. The motive is essentially to dissect and copy this machine which is cheaper for us and it will enable us to mould and fabricate spare parts when necessary. Rice cultivation becomes more profitable with the introduction of the machines, due to increased area under cultivation, maintenance of optimum plant density. Small scale farmers require small machines due to the small size of their farms and affordability and large scale farmers require bigger machines with higher work output. Compared to village-level systems, the commercial milling system is a more sophisticated and configured to maximize the process of producing wellmilled, whole grains. In modern rice mills, many adjustments, for instance (rubber roll clearance, separator bed inclination, feed rates) are automated for maximum efficiency and ease of operation. The whitener-polishers are provided with gauges that sense the current load on the motor drives, which gives an indication of the operating pressure on the grain.This provides a more objective means of setting milling pressures on the grain. Mechanisation is not just a question of supplying farmers with tractors and machinery or of making mechanisation services available to them through the public sector. The utilisation of mechanised input must be profitable to all parties concerned. The best way to mechanise is for farmers to own their machines or for them to hire services from other farmers. Most farmers still cannot afford mechanisation. The cost of doing business plus the inherent risks involved in tractor ownership is key constraints currently affecting demand for mechanisation inputs. The major costs of doing business for the tractor owner is funding the initial capital costs of purchasing the tractor. The major risks are not being able to meet the loan repayments and lack of tractor-hire opportunities. The availability of credit is a major factor in the development of mechanisation. Investment in farm machinery requires large amounts of capital that is amortised over several years. Lending large amounts over long-time horizons is risky for lenders. Farmers need knowledge of which types of equipment are suitable for their conditions and crops being grown. What are the problems in the industry? Challenges facing the agricultural machinery industry in Nigeria include low purchasing power of most small scale farmers, inadequate agricultural credit and unfavourable interest rates of banks, importation of farm machinery of poor quality; inadequate aftersales service support, poor production infrastructure, comatose steel industry and inefficient power sector. The industry has been confronting a lot of issues such as, lack of adequate research facilities, lack of availability of standards and proper raw material for manufacture, lack of trained and efficient manpower, lack of after-sale service and lack of standardisation and quality control. What are your plans for the year? We have numerous projects that are either field orientated or deal with policy and strategy issues. Our biggest project relates to capacity building of agricultural professionals. Mechanisation, particularly for harvesting, is being introduced. Introducing mechanisation for all stages of production - from transplanting to harvest - would help further improve efficiency. NCAM has partnered with the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to establish a low-land rice demonstration farm in the State of Osun. The initiative is to enhance food security and improve the yield for rice farmers to an average of 4.5 metric tonnes per hectare of land. The demonstration farm, which would be established on the Songbe-Ogbaagbaa Road, is expected to cover 385 acres based on the application of SAWAH EcoTechnology for low land rice production. It is obvious that to transform Nigeria’s largely traditional farming system to modern commercial one, there is the need to inject in the system, substantial engineering and technological input that are properly managed.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Nestle Nigeria: Getting better
ESTLE Nigeria combined appreciable growth in sales with more efficient cost management and substantial deleverage of its balance sheet to deliver its most impressive results in recent years. Audited report and accounts of Nestle Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed that significant reduction in financing charges and improved cost management accentuated topline growth. Total sales grew by 19 per cent but pre and post tax profits rose by 38 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. With 28 per cent increase in net earnings per share, the board of the food and beverage multinational has recommended increase in cash payout by 59 per cent. The company is distributing about 75 per cent of net earnings for the year, gradually moving back to Nestle Nigeria’s traditional payout policy of almost distributing net earnings to shareholders. Besides, net assets improved by 47 per cent, underlying increase in equity funds due to improving retained earnings. The balance sheet position of the company emerged stronger with better financial structure and improved liquidity.
With zero immediate gearing ratio, the proportion of equity funds
By Taofik Salako
to total assets improved from 30 per cent to 38 per cent. The proportion of long-term liabilities to total assets dropped from 38 per cent to 33 per cent while current liabilities amounted to 28 per cent of total balance sheet size in 2012 as against about 32 per cent in 2011. Nestle Nigeria’s total assets increased by 14.5 per cent from N77.73 billion in 2011 to N88.96 billion in 2012. Long-term assets had increased by about 13 per cent from N55.5 billion to N62.61 billion. Current assets rose by 19 per cent to N26.36 billion as against N22.21 billion in previous year. Total liabilities remained almost flat at N54.78 billion in 2012 compared with N54.52 billion in 2011. Current liabilities stood at N25.18 billion as against N24.82 billion while long-term liabilities slipped from N29.70 billion to N29.60 billion. Paid up share capital remained unchanged at N396 million. Shareholders’ funds meanwhile grew by 47.3 per cent from N23.21 billion in 2011 to N34.19 billion in 2012.
Efficiency Average number of employees increased marginally from 2,168
persons in 2011 to 2,179 persons in 2012. The company’s cost efficiency improved during the year as the company reined in relative cost of sales. Average cost of sale per unit of sale decreased in 2012, providing early headroom for profit growth. While average cost per staff increased from N5.21 million in 2011 to N6.08 million in 2012, average contribution of each employee to pre-tax profit improved from N8.39 million to N11.50 million. Overall outlook suggests improved productivity alongside the improvement in cost efficiency. Total cost of business, excluding finance charges, dropped slightly from 78 per cent in 2011 to 77.7 per cent in 2012.
Profitability Nestle Nigeria recorded appreciable improvements in both underlying and actual profit and loss items. Substantial growths in sales and profit translated into equally significant increase in cash distributions to shareholders. The congruence between outward profit and loss items and key indices indicated a major rebound for a company that had struggled with higher costs and declining margins in the previous year. Total turnover rose by 19 per
cent from N97.96 billion to N116.71 billion. Cost of sales increased by 16 per cent from N57.37 billion to N66.54 billion, providing impetus for 46 percent increase in gross profit from N40.59 billion to N59.17 billion. Total operating expenses however rose by 27 per cent from N19.08 billion to N24.18 billion. With about 72 per cent reduction in interest expenses from N3.32 billion to N939 million in 2012, profit before tax rose by 38 per cent from N18.2 billion to N25.05 billion. After taxes, net profit increased by 28 per cent from N2.08 billion to N2.67 billion. Earnings per share stood at N26.67 in 2012, representing an increase of 28 per cent on N20.81 recorded in 2011. Gross dividend increased by 59 per cent from N9.95 billion for 2011 to N15.85 billion for 2012, representing dividend per share of N20 for 2012 as against N12.55 distributed for 2011. Net assets per share also improved by 47 per cent from N29.28 to N43.13. Beyond the surface, underlying profitability indices improved considerably. Gross profit margin increased from 41 per cent to 51 per cent. Profit before tax margin also improved from 18.6 per cent to 21.5 per cent. Return on total assets stood at 28.2 per cent in 2012 as against 23.4 per cent in 2011. Return on equity however dropped from 71 per cent in 2011 to 62 per cent in 2012. Sustainable dividend outlook diminished slightly with a dividend cover of 1.3 times in 2012 as against 1.7 times in 2011. Segmental analysis showed growths across the two business segments. Turnover in the food business improved from N60.73 billion to N70.4 billion while profit in the segment increased from N13.40 billion to N16.05 billion. Sales in the beverage segment also improved from N37.23 billion to N46.31 billion. Profit before tax within the segment stood at N10.04 billion in 2012 as against N8.22 billion in 2011.
Fiscal Year Ended December 31 Nmillion
2012 12 months
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 Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net Assets per share (kobo)
70,395 116,707 66,539 50,169 24,180 909 1,848 25,050 21,137 2,667 15,853 2,000 4,313
15.9 19.1 16.0 23.6 26.7 3735.4 -44.7 37.6 28.1 28.2 59.4 59.4 47.3
60,726 97,961 57,368 40,593 19,080 24 3,339 18,199 16,496 2,081 9,948 1,255 2,928
62,160 62,607 13,457 26,356 88,963
13.0 12.8 22.5 18.7 14.5
55,018 55,518 10,983 22,210 77,728
19,003 0 25,180 29,598 54,778
31.7 -100.0 1.5 -0.4 0.5
14,426 2,659 24,815 29,703 54,518
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
Nestle Nigeria emerged with stronger liquidity, signposted by positive working capital and better financial coverage for immediate liabilities. Current ratio, which measures the financial agility of a company by relating current assets to relative liabilities, improved from 0.90 times in 2011 to 1.05 times in 2012. Working capital/turnover ratio stood at 1.0 per cent in 2012 as against negative rate of 2.7 per cent in 2011. Debtors/creditors ratio stood at 70.8 per cent in 2012 compared with 76.1 per cent in 2011.
Governance and structures Nestle Nigeria is a member of the Nestle Group, which holds about
•Martin Woolnough, MD Nestle Nigeria
62.76 per cent equity stake mainly through its Ghana-incorporated Nestle CWA Limited. There were no major changes in the board and management of the company. Chief Olusegun Osunkeye still chairs the board while Mr. Martin Woolnough, an Austrian, directs the executive management team. Nestle Nigeria subscribes to many international codes as well as Nigerian code of corporate governance for public companies. The annual report also contained corporate governance report detailing key principles, methodologies and actions. The highest-priced stock at the Nigerian stock market, Nestle Nigeria has also been hailed severally as the icon of good corporate governance. It has usually been the first quoted company to submit its audited report and accounts well ahead of due date and its forecasts are mostly reliable.
Analyst’s opinion The latest report underlined the benefits from recent expansions, which have continued to stimulate the top-line performance of the company. With efficient cost management strategy, the company emerged with better profitability. Balance sheet restructuring, with attendant reduction in financing charges, had removed a major snag that had undermined the overall return outlook in previous years. The company appears to have found the right mix. Stable cost management strategy, deleveraged balance sheet and aggressive sales growth strategy should provide impetus for future growth. The company should remain focused on this threeprong strategy. Against the background of its market valuation, which had moved closer to historic six-digit level, Nestle Nigeria needs to justify investors’ confidence with higher earnings and dividend yields. Overall, there is reasonable basis to assume that the company would sustain its positive performance outlook.
Fiscal Year Ended December 31
Financing structure Equity funds/Total assets Long-term liabilities/Total assets Current liabilities/Total assets Debt/Equity ratio
38.4 33.3 28.3 0.0
29.9 38.2 31.9 11.5
Profitability Gross profit margin Pre-tax profit margin Return on total assets Return on equity Dividend cover (times)
43.0 21.5 28.2 61.8 1.3
41.4 18.6 23.4 71.1 1.7
Efficiency Pre-tax profit per employee (Nm) Staff cost per employee (Nm) Cost of sales, operating exp/Turnover
11.50 6.08 77.7
8.39 5.21 78.0
Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors
1.05 1.0 70.8
0.90 2.7 76.1
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Abia, Kano, Yobe budget for citizens’ welfare As the first month in the second quarter comes to an end, the outlook of some states’ budgets is beginning to emerge, reports SIMEON EBULU, Deputy Business Editor Abia State ITH a budget of N134.148 million, Abia State has outlined a series of projects it plans to accomplish in the current fiscal year. Tagged, Budget of hope, the Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, highlighted Works and Transport, Health, Commerce and Industry; Education and Agriculture as areas the state will deploy its resources. Orji was mindful, also, of checking leakages and pilferage in revenue generation and collection, as well as improving the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). To address these issues, he said the government has adopted the direct bank lodgment of all proceeds. “We have adopted the strategy of Direct Bank Lodgment of Electronic Collection System through the banks to capture and confirm all payments made to the state. There are other control measures in the area of assessment, collection, and accounting of all tax revenues,” he added. “To improve our internally generated revenue, we have also resolved to widen the revenue base. This will enable us to reduce our dependence on statutory allocation from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC),” he said. He gave further insight into the revenue profile of the 2013 Budget estimates.
Internal Revenue He said: “For the 2013 fiscal year, our internally generated revenue is estimated at N34.94billion. This represents an increase of 57.37 per cent over the 2012 IGR. This figure is 26.05 per cent of the total budget outlay of N134.15billion and 30.94 per cent of total projected revenue of N112.94billion.” External Sources He explained that the external sources constitute a major part of the revenue profile of the state, saying it comprises the Federal Allocation, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Derivation. “Our projected revenue from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) for 2013, is N60 billion. Compared to 2012, figure of N58.9 billion, it showed an increase of N1.1 billion. Our expectation from Value Added Tax (VAT) is N5 billion, as against the N10 billion in 2012. From Derivation Fund, we are expecting a revenue of N10 billion as against N9 billion in 2012. From the foregoing, our revenue expectation in 2013 stands at N112.94 billion, as against N107.67 billion in 2012,” the governor stated. Expenditure Profile He outlined the expenditure profile of the budget thus: Recurrent Expenditure Orji said his projected recurrent expenditure for the year is N67.82 billion, contrasting the 2012 recurrent expenditure of N58.84 billion. This represents an increase of N8.98 billion or 15.26 per cent. A break down of the recurrent expenditure showed that personnel cost will take N24.39 billion for the year, as against last year’s figure of N23.88 billion, representing an increase N504 million or 2.1 per cent. “For overhead costs, we are appropriating N30.9 billion as against N26.74 billion in 2012, showing an increase of N4.2 billion, or 15.70 per cent,” he said, adding that the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charge for 2013 is placed at N12.5 billion,
BUDGET 2013 ABIA KANO YOBE
CAPITAL RECURRENT N66.33b (49.44%) N67.82b (50.56%) N175.51b (75%) N59,79b (25%) N54.14b (62.5%) N32.52b (37.5%)
TOTAL N134.15b N235.31b N86.658b
representing an increase of N4.2 billion or 52.08 per cent. He explained that the total recurrent expenditure is 50.56 per cent of the budget outlay, while capital is 49.44 per cent. Budget Goals He listed the budget objectives to include: •Continuous improvement in our revenue base and machinery for increased internally generated revenue. •Increasing domestic production of our staple foods and essential raw materials derivable from the state. •Concentrating on completion of all on-going projects. Kano State Kano State’s Budget of economic consideration and fiscal disciplines, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso said, is anchored on a N235.31 billion proposal directed at accomplishing several projects. The salient point of the Kano State budget is that, it is heavily skewed in favour of capital expenditure, as opposed to most budgets, including the federal budget that are in favour of recurrent expenditure. In his words: “The total size of the proposed budget is N235.30 billion made up of a recurrent expenditure of N59.8 billion, representing 25 per cent and capital expenditure of N175.5 billion, representing 75 per cent.” Giving the breakdown, the governor said the recurrent expenditure proposal, consists of N2.2 billion for Consolidate Revenue Fund Charges (CRF), N35.839billion for Personnel Costs and N21.706 billion for Overhead Costs. The capital expenditure programme of N175.427 billion will be funded from an expected surplus over recurrent receipts of N89.071billion and an expected capital receipt of N67.139 billion. “It is a balanced budget with expenditure matching revenue of the same size. The 2013 Budget is higher than that of the Amended 2012 estimates by N13.69 billion representing six per cent increase,” Kwankwaso said. Education The Governor listed education, health, water supply, agriculture, science and technology, works and environment among other sectors that the budget will be focusing on. On education, he said the government has proposed an expenditure of N24.17 billion, adding that out of this amount, N16 billion is to cater for basic and secondary education, while N8.1 billion is earmarked for higher education, among other projects. Health Under health, N8.04 billion has been allocated for capital projects. “Out of this amount, N1 billion will be expended on upgrading, expansion and rehabilitation of health fa-
cilities across the state,” the governor said, adding that N1.05 billion has been set aside for procurement of specialised hospital equipment to be spread across the state’s hospitals. In addition, N7.445 billion, N9.68 billion and N1.5 billion have been allocated to address water supply, agriculture and natural resources, as well as information communication technology (ICT). Infrastructure (Land And Physical Planning) He said N5.6 billion has been voted for the development of infrastructure for the old and new layout, acquisition and payment of land compensation, development of KANGIS and the Western Bypass Project. He added that N3.6 billion will be used for the construction of roads within Kano metropolis, including the dualisation of Air Force Base Road to Airport, Umar Galadima Road and Farm Centre Link Road, among others. Works Kwankwaso said another N41.8 billion has been voted for the execution of some projects in the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. These include: N2.498 billion for the construction and rehabilitation in 21 institutes across the state, including the School of Nursing at Madobi, Informatics at Kura, Enterprenuer Institute at Dawakin Tofa and Post Basic Midwifery at Gezawa. Yobe State Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, said the 2013 Budget, tagged: Budget of consolidating the focused socioeconomic transformation programme is yet another opportunity to consolidate the gains made towards moving Yobe on the path of socio-economic greatness. He said the policy thrust of the N86.658 billion budget is to enable the government to continue with its numerous policies of enhancing multi-sectoral development for the achievement of the goals of socio-economic advancement of the state, adding that its implementation will continue to lay emphasis on addressing basic areas of need in fulfillment of “our campaign promises.” He said the budget will continue to accord priority to projects that have the potential for fostering unity, peaceful and harmonious co-existence among our people as well as with our neighbours to usher in investments for the overall development of the state. Objectives He said: “The 2013 Budget shall, among others, focus on the following socio-economic and institutional objectives: setting all budgetary expenditure items at sustainable level; ensuring that capital investment funds are directed to the government priority areas and completion of all on-going projects; rehabilitation of public buildings destroyed by the insurgents; building greater transparency, accountability, probity, good governance and comprehensiveness in the implementation of the budget.” He added that the budget would be used to create more avenues of providing job opportunities for “our unemployed citizens, poverty reduction and agricultural growth as articulated in the Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) of some MDAs and in consonance with the objectives of Yobe Socio-Economic Reform Agenda (YOSERA III).” It will also be used to intensify the drive at harnessing the numerous agricultural, solid minerals, tourism and commercial potentialities as well as other endowments that the state has been blessed with for the enhancement of economic activities and higher internal revenue generation, adding that it will also allow the state to explore areas of collaboration on Public-Private Sector Partnership (PPP) basis.
MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
POLITICS THE NATION
Rivers State has become a battle ground between the forces loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike. There are two parallel executive committees fighting for the soul of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).The crisis between the two key politicians has also polarised the House of Assembly. BISI OLANIYI writes on the war of attrition, the key figures in the protracted feud and the effects on the platform.
Rivers PDP’s war of attrition T
HE die is cast between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The battle ground is not only the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), but also the troubled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. The President’s foot soldiers are led by the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, who wants to succeed Amaechi in 2015. His second-in-command is the party’s newly-inaugurated chairman Chief Felix Obuah. The governor, according to observers, is on the defensive. Amaechi is battling with the President to have a second term as the NGF Chairman. He is also fighting for the reinstatement of the sacked party chairman, Chief Godspower Ake. With the governor is Senator Magnus Abe from the Southeast District, who is also believed to be eyeing the governorship.
Preparations for 2015 The bone of contention is the 2015 governorship. Amaechi, an Ikwere, stirred the hornet’s nest last year when he declared that power should shift from Ikwere to another ethnic group. He explained that justice and fairness demanded that he should not be succeeded by another politician from Ikwere. But Wike’s supporters have disagreed, saying that it was an attempt to edge him out of the race. Wike is Ikwerre from Rumuepirikom. The minister fought back. He became the internal opposition leader in the Rivers PDP, firing salvos at the governor. So potent is this opposition that it has dwarfed other opposition parties in the state. There has been a cold war between Amaechi and the minister, since he was appointed a minister. Sources said that Wike had preferred the job of the Chief of Staff to ministerial responsibilities. In his view, being a state functionary would have made his senatorial ambition much easier to accomplish, while operating from Port Harcourt. But the governor thought otherwise. However, when Wike resumed at Abuja, he made up his mind to guard jelously his support base at home. Since the mininster indicated his interest in the governorship, the governor has taken some drastic steps to frustrate him. Five of the 32 members of the House of Assembly loyal to Wike have also been having a running battle with the governor. Parliamentary sources hinted that plans were underway to suspend them for going against the governor’s interest.The five “rebels” had voted against the suspension of the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Prince Timothy Nsirim, the vice-chairman and all the seventeen councillors on April 22. Wike is from this local governmet. The lawmakers are Michael Chinda (Obio/Akpor II Constituency), Kelechi Godspower Nwogu (Omuma), Evans Bipi (Ogu/Bolo), Martins Amaewhule (Obio/Akpor I) and Victor Ihunwo (Port Harcourt III). Following the suspension of the elected Obio/Akpor council, a seven-member caretaker committee, headed by Dike Chikordi, was inaugurated by the Secretary to Government, Mr. George Feyii, on April 23, following the screening of the committee members by the House. Sources hinted that the suspended officials of Obio/Akpor council might not be allowed to return to office, thereby sending a signal from Amaechi’s camp that the battle line has been drawn. Prior to the suspension of the elected officials of Obio/Akpor Council at an emergency sitting of the House on April 22, presided over by the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree, the lawmakers deliberated on the report of the House Committee on Local Government Affairs, chaired by Lucky Odili (Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Constituency, which found the sacked chairman and his team guilty of maladministration. Nsirim was accused of engaging in reckless spending and abuse of security funds. His deputy and 17 councillors were also accused of complicity. The House Committee indicated that its preliminary findings, which informed the interim report, were based on the petitions received from the locality. According to the committee, it is improper to allow the people being investigated to remain in office in the course of the investigation by the House. The committee urged the House to suspend all the elected officials and appoint a caretaker committee to run the council, pending the investigation. The committee also called for the immediate freezing of the council’s accounts. The Speaker did not permit any debate on the matter be-
•The Deputy Governor, Mr Tele Ikuru, addressing the rally.
fore the decision was taken, making the pro-Wike legislators to accuse the Speaker of bias. These loyalists of Wike therefore, decided to vote against the decision.
Rancorous congress The Rivers PDP congress took place on March 17, 2012 at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt. It was attended by the three senators from the state, The deputy governor, Tele Ikuru, an engineer, was in attendance. Ake emerged victorious. However, Obuah went to the court to challenge Ake’s emergence. He alleged that the emergence of the former National Vice Chairman (Southsouth) as the state chairman was undemocratic. On April 15, Justice Ishaq Bello of the Abuja High Court declared that his court had jurisdiction over the matter and adopted the affidavit of the Edo PDP chairman, Dan Orbih, who claimed that the results tendered by Ake did not emanate from the congress that he conducted in Rivers state. Justice Bello also overruled the video evidence to prove that Ake was the duly elected chairman.
Show of strength Obuah returned to Port Harcourt from Abuja on April 19. He was welcomed by a mammoth crowd at the International Airport, Omagwa. It was a long convoy. Supporters were drumming, singing and dancing as they accompanied him to the the party secretariat along Aba Road. The next day, there was a carnival-like solidarity rally by Amaechi’s supporters at the main gate of the Government House, Port Harcourt with prominent politicians addressing the crowd. Wike was just about 100 metres away from the scene. He was a guest on a live programme, Viewpoint, at Rhythm 93.7 FM. There, he attacked the policies and programmes of Amaechi’s government. Many stayed glued to their radio for
‘The control of the party machinery is critical to the realisation of the governorship ambition. That accounts for why Amaechi and Wike are locked in battle for the control of the party. There are discordant tunes. The court said that Obuah is the authentic chairman of the party. But Amaechi’s men are kicking against the ruling’
the programme. Others monitored the current affairs programme on their transistor radio.
Succession battle The succession crisis has engulfed the state. Before Wike’s entry into the governorship race, the wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, was supporting Senator George Sekibo from Rivers East for the slot. The minister’s partisan moves changed the calculation. Reality dawned on Amaechi’s men that Wike was not preparing for the senatorial race. The control of the party machinery is critical to the realisation of the governorship ambition. That accounts for why Amaechi and Wike are locked in battle for the control of the party. There are discordant tunes. The court said that Obuah is the authentic chairman of the party. But Amaechi’s men are kicking against the ruling. The Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, who is barely a month old in the state, said that the command would stand by the court judgement, which sacked the Ake-led executive. Mbu also threatened to deal ruthlessly with anyone or group of people trying to foment trouble in any part of the state.
ALGON’s threat The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Rivers State Chapter, is taking sides in the divisive issue. On April 17, it cried out that the Federal Government wanted to shove Amaechi aside through an illegal impeachment. The body rejected the Obuah–led executive of the PDP. The 23 council chairmen, who belong to the PDP, said they were not afraid of expulsion. They converged on the residence of the Chief of Staff, Tony Okocha, where they threatened fire and brimestone. “We shall not support, recognise or do any business with any other state executive council of PDP, except the one duly elected by us and the accredited delegates from our various LGAs. The unfortunate decision of the Abuja High Court is a bad luck to democracy in Rivers State and Nigeria”, said the ALGON chairman, Chimbiko Akarolo. “The judgment is an indefensible judgment. It is being challenged at the Court of Appeal. We insist that Ake is the party chairman”, he added.
Parting of ways In 2011, Amaechi and Wike were best of friends. Little did the governor guess that his former Chief of Staff will later disagree with him on succession. The feeling in Rivers State is that Wike is an automatic senatorial candidate. Observers have predicted that this will create tension between him andAmaechi, who is also eyeing the Senate. According to party sources, Wike thought that, since the next office •Continued on page 44
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
POLITICS A legal luminary, Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN), recently joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He spoke with AUGUSTINE AVWODE on partisan issues, shortly after the recebt party’s convention in Lagos.
PDP has failed, says Ahamba
WO years after you an nounced that you were quit ting partisan politics, you are back. What informed your decision to come back? When I made that statement on January 26, 2011, withdrawing from politics, I also said that I was not going to abandon the people. And that at anytime I felt they needed my voice, I would back. That is exactly what I am doing. I am just keeping to my words. What informed your choice of ACN? First, it would appear that ACN has the best internal democracy of all the parties in Nigeria and the most disciplined. These things are sine qua non for any government that wants to do well because charity begins at home. You can’t give what you don’t have. I see ACN as a party that is disciplined enough to impose discipline on Nigeria. And a party that is democratic enough to oversee democracy in Nigeria. I am not saying they are perfect, but they are the best. The ACN has now voted to join other progressives to form the All Progressives Congress (APC). How do you think the political space in the country will look like, when it is finally registered? There will still be enough political space because the APC will only mop up few parties out of about 50. We have other parties that are still there but these three are the most potent and visible and have decided to go together since they have a common vision of salvaging Nigeria from what you have at the moment. From 1999, one political party has ruled Nigeria in almost all parts of Nigeria. And since that time, there has been tales of woes. What is the problem? Now, if PDP couldn’t tackle corruption and doesn’t have teeth for fighting corruption, the best thing for Nigerians to do, since they want to fight corruption, is to try another team. If a team doesn’t score goals, you change the team. The PDP team has so far failed to score goals for Nigeria. And why should it continue? Now let us use a clear analogy to make it simple. Imagine a situation where you sent someone to the market; after four years, he came back from the market and told you he forgot what you asked him to buy; could you please tell him those things and allow him to go back to the market to buy them. You obliged, sent him back to the market and gave him a list of what to buy. He came back from the market and you ask where are the things you bought? He said sorry, I bought them but left them in the market. Give me another chance to go and bring them. Then you send
him again only for him to say he doesn’t really remember when you sent him. Will you send that person to the market again to buy anything for you? This is the experience of Nigerians with the PDP. And the only wisdom Nigerians can manifest is to give another party a chance. Let them do what they know how to do best which is rigging elections. But the umpire has been put on notice, so he can’t be taken by surprise in 2015. The APC slogan is change. Do you think Nigerians are prepared for change? Ninety percent of Nigerians are ready to embrace change; 95 percent of Nigerians are afraid that those in control now will not allow the change. So, they are playing safe. Let me repeat; Ninetyfive per cent of Nigerians are afraid that those holding what needs to be changed will not allow them to change it. So, they play safe by sticking with it. All they need is the leadership they can trust and they will come out in their true colours. This is the truth about Nigeria. Ninety-five per cent of Nigerian don’t like what is happening, but belle politics is the problem. Nobody wants to lose his job because they believe that if those people do those things they know how to do best, that the opposition will do nothing about it. So, they play safe. And let me tell you another thing you must understand. There is a difference between getting a result and winning an election. I want to speak with candour, that, PDP has not won an election since 2003. The only election they won was in 1999. They didn’t win 2003, 2007 and they wouldn’t have won 2011
but for some tactical mistakes by the opposition. So, but they have been lucky to obtain results. You were in Nigeria, do they campaign? They don’t campaign, they only believe in securing results. If the people they have been fighting individually have decided to come together and resist those fights, then there is a likelihood of success in this. Let me also say this, as I join this group, I don’t see my target as the PDP. My target is Nigeria. We have not come together to fight PDP, we have come together to salvage Nigeria from its difficulties. The difficulties happen to have been caused by the PDP. Our focus must remain Nigeria and thepeople of Nigeria and we must offer them an alternative. So, what do you think makes APC tick? What makes APC tick is that, it contains the aggregate of individually strong Nigerian politicians, who, if they put their acts together would from a formidable team. Tinubu has developed into a national leader in the West. Since Awolowo, this is the only leader they’ve had. Buhari, undoubtedly, is in firm control of the North. The only place we have opening is in the East and I believe that by the time APC settles down, some leadership will emerge from there. I have always told them at home that you don’t appoint such leaders; circumstances thrown them up. So, we are praying God to allow circumstance give us a leader in the East by the time we are through with the 2015 elections. If we get this together, it will work. Look at the governments that are being run, you find that the governments run by the parties held by those who are coming together, appear to be doing better than those who are unsure of winning election because they don’t have to please anybody to win election. Nigerians must think. In 1962 or 63, Ogunde wrote a play Yoruba Ronu. I want to say Nigeria Ronu. We can’t continue to grumble without doing something about the subject matter of the grumbling. I don’t believe in it. So, we must have to do something legitimately to bring a change. I am an advocate of Constitutional Revolution. The revolution you do within the Law. That is why I have always believed in the courts. Win or lose, I got back to fight there. Accept me or not, hate me or love me, I go back to fight there because it is the most peaceful means of effecting change. The alternative is terrible. The situation of everyman for himself, God for us, may it never happen in Nigeria in Jesus name.
•From Left: Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, Commissioner for Information, Mr Lateef Ibirogba and Director, Press and Publicity, Lagos State Ministry of Information, Mrs Ronke Osho, at a joint briefing by Idris and Opeifa on Security in Lagos.
Rivers PDP crisis escalates •Continued from page 43
Amaechi could aspire to is the Senate, the governor would support him for the governorship to avoid a clash at the senatorial primaries. Therefore, when the governor declared that an Ikwere should not succeed him, Wike thought that it was an attempt to politically liquidate him.
Party chairman and House on war path If Obuah, who was edeclared as the authentic chairman, consolidates his hold on the party, it will be to the advantage of Wike. The impetus is being supplied by the Presidency, a source said. Obuah’s first assignment after returning from Abuja was to checkmate the House. But this has proved difficult because most of the legislators belong to the Amaechi camp. The chairman has demanded an explanation from the House over its plan to sanction some members who refused to toe the governor’s line. “The party is aware of the plan of the State House of Assembly to suspend from the House five members of the Assembly, for expressing their views on issues bordering on internal party democracy. “The party urges the State Assembly to discard the planned suspension of some of its members, as the party may take necessary disciplinary action against any errant member of the State Assembly. “The party views the purported dissolution of the chairman, the vice-chairman and 17 councillors of Obio/Akpor local government, without recourse to due process, as a flagrant display and abuse of power by the Rivers State Governor and the state House of Assembly and hereby condemns the action in its entirety. “Obio/Akpor council, under the able leadership of Prince Timothy Msirim, has performed creditably and deserves commendation from the Rivers House of Assmebly and the party. “It is appalling and disgraceful for the Rivers House of Assembly and Governor Rotimi Amaechi to trample upon the mandate of the good people of Obio/Akpor, on the basis of political victimisation. “The party hereby calls on the House of Assembly to take appropriate steps to review its decision within 48 hours, with a view to reinstating the sacked chairman, vice-chairman and the 17 councillors of Obio/Akpor local government in the interest of justice. “Otherwise, the party may be constrained to take appropriate disciplinary and legal actions, to check the excesses of Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and some members of the Rivers House of Assembly.” The Rivers PDP chairman promised to unite the party and bring back all the aggrieved members to the fold. Obuah also warned PDP members against unguarded utterances against President Jonathan, the party leader. Wike, who is supporting Obuah, has the backing of the President, although the first lady, Patience, who hails from Okrika in Rivers State, is allegedly backing Ake and Amaechi.
Allegation of judicial complicity Amaechi is bitter against the recent court judgment. The governor declared that the temple of justice had been desecrated, urging Nigerians to rise in defense of the rule of law. Amaechi also called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Maryam Mukhtar, to very quickly intervene in the crisis, in order to restore the battered image of the judiciary, the last hope of the common man. Amaechi, who was represented by his deputy, Tele Ikuru, while addressing the teeming supporters, said: “As a nation, one area we should not allow mud to go into is the judiciary. As a nation one area we should not allow to become a thing of play is the judiciary. “The temple of justice has been desecrated. Nigeria arise. If we do not rise, we will lose our country. As a nation, any day we allow the temple of justice to be desecrated, we will lose our country. “Any day a poor man cannot go to the court and state his case and get justice, that country is lost. “I therefore, call on the judges, particularly the CJN, to very quickly, with alarm, move into this matter. I have faith in the Chief Justice of this country. She is a woman of integrity. She is a woman, who has proved herself times without number. “This is another case for her to prove that she sits at the helm of justice in this country. She will ensure that justice is given to all. “I was privileged to be part of the Rivers State congress of PDP. I was privileged to see the votes counted. I was privileged to see the results announced and then suddenly, in broad daylight, somebody said that, that election produced another person. “When certain people die, their eyes will not close, because they tell broad day lies. Those who open their eyes, know what is right, see what is right and say something different. The day they will die, their eyes will never close”. Wike, however, said that, as a lawyer, he would never cast aspersions on the nation’s judiciary.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Lagos adopts computerised marketing strategy
ARMERS in Lagos State are to benefit from a computerised marketing strategy launched by the government. Speaking during the inauguration of the Commercial Agricultural Development Programme(CADP), Commercial Agricultural Development Association(CADA) Market Information Kiosk (MIK), at Agege and Ikorodu,the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr Olajide Bashorun, said the government set up the kiosk to help farmers identify good markets for their produce, adding that the kiosks will offer local farmers access to the Internet. Through the technology, farmers will make enquiries and get responses on the prices of different product prices. He said the platform would also minimise exploitation of farmers by middlemen. Bashorun, who spoke through the Project Manager, Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority, Mr Kayode Ashafa, said there was growing pressure for farmers to accelerate their efforts to commercialise production in the face of increasing market competition. He said the market information kiosks are intended to provide fast and reliable internet access and a variety of services that will enhance farmers bargaining
Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent
power and competiveness to promote agric businesses. He said the establishment of MIKs in the state when fully operational, will solve the problem of price fluctuations, providing global information on product availability ,type of products, quality and location of farms. The Kiosk, Bashorun explained, makes it possible for farmers to access a database with information about valued services while buyers can place orders for a variety of produce offered farmers in part of state. He urged the managers of the kiosks to carry out awareness campaign to enable farmers benefit from information service. Speaking with The Nation, State Project Coordinator, Lagos State Commercial Agriculture Development Project, Mr Kehinde Ogunyinka, said the availability of timely and appropriate information is necessary for the agric industry to grow. With the kiosk, he said farmers can access to relevant and timely information, knowledge about new technologies, skills, and practices. He said the kiosk aims to bridge the information gap that exists in the agriculture sector and build awareness and capacity of farmers to use ICT-enabled informa-
•From right: Commercial Agriculture Development Project, Senior Subject Matter Specialist (Crop), Mr Alphonsus Onwuemeka; Ashafa and Ogunyinka at the event.
tion and advisory services. He said the provision of information services to farmers will result in increased market access and an enhanced ability to make informed marketing decisions. This will eventually have an impact on the overall market efficiency — and finally help reduce poverty. According to him, the kiosks will be a window to the national market. The long-term goal of the project is to scale the network
throughout the state. The MIKs are located in three markets, Agege,Epe and Ikorodu,while other markets will be added in future. The information kiosks are equipped with computers that track retail, wholesale, and prices and make them available farmers and sellers in the markets. For Iyaloja-General of Ikorodu Markets, Alhaja Taofeekat Allinson, the project is epochmaking.
‘Cassava production clusters will fuel trade’
STABLISHMENT of cassava production clusters across the nation will fuel trade and create jobs, President, Cassava Growers Association Pastor Segun Adewumi has said. Adewunmi said the nation needed massive cassava production to be competitive on the global scale. To this end, Adewumi said the association was gearing up to reap the benefits of cassava cultivation to turnaround the fortunes of its farmers. If the plan works, he said cassava farms would dot many local government areas. Adewumi said the nation had immense potential for cultivating cassava that hadn’t been explored properly. Adewumi said his association wants to work with the government to establish sustainable livelihoods for farmers, based on garri production. He said his association is target-
IGERIANS are used to sloganeering. It has never solved any problem. In the past we had Operation Feed the Nation, Green Revolution, Farm Settlement Scheme etc, but hunger is still top of the challenges holding the nation from realising its full potentials. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Niger State government has elected to play down its rice multiplication programme. Yet, it has mobilised over 100,000 hectares of land, engaging over 50,000 rice farmers across the 25 local government areas in the state to achieve an inordinate quest to feed the subregion and bolster exportation of the staple food item beyond West Africa. The state government is determined to increase rice production in the state from 500,000 metric tonnes to 1,600,000 metric tonnes yearly. At the moment, Nigeria spends N1billion daily on rice importation from India and other countries of the far East, including
ing 60,000 hectares to produce 250 metric tonnes of arri per annum for five years which will increase revenues for poor communities, and create jobs at all levels. “We have got loan to finance peasant farmers programme up to 60,000 hectares.We are targeting 22 tonnes per hectare. We expect over one million tonnes in a year. With garri, it is feasible to sell cassava at N10,000 per tonne. We are asking the minister to give us order for 200 metric tonnes. The garri can sold to refugees camps or as relief material,” he said. Adewumi said garri production is sustainable in the long term because of the market for it. Peasant farmers, he noted, are key to the government achieving food security. Increasing their capacity nation, he said will reduce poverty reduction through entrepreneurial capacity building. This is because the association wants the Federal Government to
enter into contracts with farmers to buy their produce after harvest. While the big arms can sell for 8000 per tonne because of the advantage of mechanisation, he said the peasant farmers can sell for N10,000 per tonne. Adewunmi said there had been growing demand for starch and other industrial products. To meet this, he said there was a need to modernise production and the value chain . The association, he said was requesting for 3000 hectares of land in each state where the government is siting cassava processing centres. This is because of the water content of cassava which is 70 per cent. “We requested the government allocate 3,000 hectares of farm land to cluster each of processing centres.” He said the association will engage farmers to cultivate the land and supply the processing centers.
Jigawa farmers wait for rain
He said the farmers would be supplied with planting materials of improved cassava varieties to ensure the steady flow of raw materials. He said the farms need to be clustered near the processing centres so the project beneficiaries will not need to travel long distances to have their cassava roots processed.
Niger to increase rice production By Danladi Ndayebo
Thailand. Nigeria is the largest rice importer in Africa, with imports amounting to over 2.5 million tons in 2011-12, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina. Nigeria’s quest to increase local production led the Jonathan administration to increase the import tariff for rice by about nine per cent in the second quarter of last year.The motive is to discourage importation. Dr. Adesina while kicking off the commercial agriculture credit scheme and official roll-out of the growth enhancement support programme last year lamented Nigeria’s profligate spending of N1billion daily to import rice, a product that it has huge potential of exporting - to foreign countries. He promised that the Federal Government is putting structures in place with a view to stopping rice importation by 2015. Less than 20 months away, Nige-
ria is increasingly relying on Niger state’s rising rice cultivation profile to achieve this dream. While it is not in doubt that Niger State is the country’s top producer of rice, what is unknown is the volume of investment and determination of the State to dwarf its own achievements. Already, the Niger State government is working closely with Federal Government, which has just inaugurated a one-stop-shop Agro Input Centre at Wushishi and a whopping N500 million set aside by the state government to support its response mechanisms to Federal Government planned stoppage of the importation of rice by the year 2015. The state government had earlier accessed N1 billion from the N40 billion fund provided by the federal government for small holder farmers and has distributed same to 757 cooperatives/farmers’ associations in the state. These initiatives were bolstered by a recent visit by Governor Babangida Aliyu to Germany along
With the Internet linking producers to consumers, the farmer is likely to get better value for her/his produce. Although rural Lagos still suffers from a weak ICT infrastructure, the greater access and exchange of market and farming information provided by this initiative will alleviate rural isolation and poverty by creating market transparency. This, in turn, improves the rural farmers’ productivity and incomes.
with his counterparts from Rivers, Enugu, Plateau, Borno and Katsina states. During the visit, Dr Aliyu was enamoured by what he saw in small holder farmers’ partnership with equipment leasing and manufacturing firms and decided to replicate the German model to address the challenges confronting prospective entrepreneurs in the state, nay the nation and the sub-region. Some of the best practices, he has brought to bear include, setting up Agricultural Equipment Hiring Centres, bolstering cooperatives and rice production clusters and encouraging private sector participation. Already, seven rice milling centres have been established in Wushishi, Baddegi, Wuya, and Auna, others are located at Kwakuti, Jima Doko and Gonagi in a collaborative effort with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture,the state government and the private sector. Not done, the state government is partnering with AGCO, an American agric equipment firm to provide end to end solutions to Agro-mechanisation across the rice
ARMERS in Jigawa State are set for this year’s farming season, an investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has revealed. A NAN correspondent in Dutse, who visited many farming communities, found that farmers were busy clearing their lands in preparation for the season. In Siltilmawa village, a farmer, who gave his name as Ibrahim Abdullahi, said he was ready to start farming as soon as the rains start. Abdullahi said he had cleared his land and applied local manure on it, and that all he was waiting for was for rain to fall so that he could start planting. “I am ready with the seeds to plant and all the necessary farm inputs to apply on my farm,” he added. Mallam Tanko Shehu, a rice farmer from Hadejia, said he was ready along with many of his colleagues to start planting, adding “all we are waiting for is the rain to fall.” value chain. Similarly, AGCO will also be promoting “total value, total systems” solutions that will focus on development across the value chain. Already, a tour and assessment of Agro farm facilities at Doko, Jima and Mambe rice farm clusters have been concluded. The sites visited were proposed locations for Agricultural Equipment Hiring Centres. AGCO is providing equipment financing solutions for small farms with little or no working capital. Dr. Aliyu also got 25,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers to rural farmers to up the ante, while he has continued with his administration’s policy of buying 100 tractors every year, many of which have been evenly allocated for the purpose of rice production in the state. There is no piece-meal solution to the food insecurity crisis. It is an issue that has engaged all serious leaders across the globe and Babangida Aliyu is taking the lead in the subregion for others to follow. •Ndayebo is the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
FOREIGN NEWS French journalist expelled from north Mali THE Malian military says it has expelled a French journalist from northern Mali who had documented civilian deaths blamed on Malian soldiers. Lt. Col. Nema Sagara said Thursday that Dorothee Thienot, who has worked for French newspapers, was ordered by soldiers to leave the northern town of Gao. Sagara said that Thienot had been trying to “ruin the image of the Malian military” with her reporting. Earlier this year, Thienot was the first to document a number of bodies of civilians who had been thrown into a well in the central Malian town of Sevare. Human rights groups have since accused Malian soldiers of killing civilians they accused of having links to Islamic extremists. Thienot says she returned to the capital of Bamako after soldiers showed up at her place and demanded she leave Gao.
Gunmen surround Libya Foreign Ministry A Libyan military official says about 200 armed men are surrounding the Foreign Ministry building in Tripoli, demanding the ministry to reform and hire former fighters who helped overthrow former dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Esam al-Naas said 38 trucks, some mounted with machineguns, had surrounded the ministry on Sunday. The men allege that many supporters of the old regime are still occupying senior positions in the ministry and its missions abroad. He said negotiations with the protesters are underway and that no one has entered the ministry building.
Al-Jazeera, other channels banned
From left: Past and present US Presidents: Barack Obama; George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Centre in Dallas, TX. PHOTO: AP
North Korea charges US man with ‘treason’
ORTH Korea an nounced at the week end that an American detained for nearly six months is being tried in the Supreme Court on charges of plotting to overthrow the government, a crime that could draw the death penalty if he is convicted. The case involving Kenneth Bae, who has been in North Korean custody since early November, further complicates already fraught relations between Pyongyang and Washington following weeks of heightened rhetoric and tensions. The trial mirrors a similar situation in 2009, when the U.S. and North Korea were locked in a standoff over Pyongyang’s decision to launch a long-range rocket and conduct an underground nuclear test. At the time,
North Korea had custody of two American journalists, whose eventual release after being sentenced to 12 years of hard labor paved the way for diplomacy following months of tensions. Bae was arrested in early November in Rason, a special economic zone in North Korea’s far northeastern region bordering China and Russia, according to official state media. In North Korean dispatches, Bae, a Korean American, is called Pae Jun Ho, the North Korean spelling of his Korean name. The exact nature of his alleged crimes has not been revealed, but North Korea accuses Bae, described as a tour operator, of seeking to overthrow North Korea’s leadership. “In the process of investigation he admitted that he
committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK with hostility toward it,” the staterun Korean Central News Agency said Saturday. “His crimes were proved by evidence. He will soon be taken to the Supreme Court of the DPRK to face judgment.” DPRK is the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. No timing for the verdict issued at the austere Supreme Court in Pyongyang was given. Friends and colleagues described Bae as a devout Christian from Washington state but based in the Chinese border city of Dalian who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed the country’s orphans. At least three other Americans detained in re-
cent years also have been devout Christians. While North Korea’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion, in practice only sanctioned services are tolerated by the regime. Under North Korea’s criminal code, crimes against the state can draw life imprisonment or the death sentence. In 2009, American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to hard labor for trespassing and unspecified hostile acts after being arrested near the border with China and held for four months. They were freed later that year to former President Bill Clinton, who flew to Pyongyang to negotiate their release in a visit that thenleader Kim Jong Il treated as a diplomatic coup.
Boston bomb suspects’ father abandons plan to return to U.S. T
HE father of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has abandoned plans to travel to the United States to bury one son and help in the defense of the other, he told Reuters on Sunday in an interview in southern Russia. Anzor Tsarnaev said he believed he would not be allowed to see his surviving
son Dzohkhar, who was captured and has been charged in connection with the April 15 bomb blasts that killed three people and wounded 264. “I am not going back to the United States. For now I am here. I am ill,” Tsarnaev
said. He agreed to the face-toface interview on condition that his location in the North Caucasus, a string of mainly Muslim provinces in southern Russia, not be disclosed. “Unfortunately I can’t help my child in any way. I am in
touch with Dzhokhar’s and my own lawyers. They told me they would let me know (what to do),” he said. Tsarnaev had said in the North Caucasus province of Dagestan on Thursday that he planned to travel to the United States to see Dzkhokhar and bury his elder son, Tamerlan, who was shot dead by police in a firefight four days after the bombings.
RAQI authorities an nounced Sunday that they had revoked the operating licenses of pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera and nine other satellite TV channels, alleging that they are promoting a sectarian agenda as the country grapples with a wave of violence. The move, effective immediately, comes as Baghdad tries to quell rising unrest in the country following clashes at a protest camp last week. More than 180 people have been killed in gun battles with security forces and other attacks since the unrest began Tuesday. The violence follows more than four months of largely peaceful protests by Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority against the Shiite-dominated government. Al-Jazeera, based in the small, energy-rich Gulf nation of Qatar, had no immediate comment. The channel has aggressively covered the “Arab Spring” uprisings across the region, and has broadcast extensively on the civil war in neighboring Syria. Qatar itself is a harsh critic of the Syrian regime and a leading backer of the rebels, and is accused by many supporters of Iraq’s Shiite-led government of backing protests in Iraq too. Iraq and other governments across the Middle East have temporarily shut down Al-Jazeera’s offices in the past because they were disgruntled by its coverage. In a statement posted on its website, the commission blamed the banned stations for the escalation of a sectarian backdrop that is fueling the violence that followed the deadly clashes at the Hawija camp on Tuesday. Iraq’s media commission accused the stations of misleading and exaggerated reports, as well as of airing “clear calls for disorder and for launching retaliatory criminal attacks against security forces.” It also blamed the stations for promoting “banned terrorist organisations who committed crimes against Iraqi people.” The decree states that if the 10 stations try to work on Iraqi territory, they will face legal action from security forces. Signals of their broadcasts, however, remained available to Iraqi viewers Sunday.
Iraq PM Maliki warns of sectarian threat
RAQ’s prime minister has warned that a plague of sectarianism is threatening Arab nations, after the most widespread violence there since US troops left. Nouri Maliki said sectarian conflict had returned to Iraq “because it began in another place in this region” - an apparent reference to Syria. The violence has left some 170 people dead across the country since Tuesday. On Saturday, at least five
anti-al-Qaeda Sunni militiamen and three security forces personnel were killed. Police said the first attack saw gunmen open fire on a checkpoint near the city of Tikrit manned by members of the local Awakening Council. Awakening Councils, which were set up by Iraq’s Sunnis to combat insurgents linked to al-Qaeda, have been seen as a key factor in reducing violence across the country since
2006. In Saturday’s second attack, three army intelligence personnel were stopped by gunmen while travelling in a civilian vehicle near an anti-government protest camp in the city of Ramadi, police said. A gunfight soon erupted, in which the soldiers were killed. In a televised speech following the latest violence, Prime Minister Maliki condemned sectarianism as an evil that was being brought
back to Iraq. Awakening Council chief Sheikh Wissam al-Hardan was meanwhile quoted by state television as saying that if those responsible for killing soldiers in the past week were not handed over, it would “take the requested procedures and do what it did in 2006”. On Friday, the UN envoy to Iraq, Martin Kobler, urged political and religious leaders “not to let anger win over peace” and exercise restraint, warning that the country was
“at a crossroads”. The clashes in several towns and cities were sparked by an army raid on an anti-government protest camp near the northern town of Hawija on Tuesday that left 50 people dead. The protesters were calling for the resignation of Mr Maliki, a Shia, and denouncing the authorities for allegedly targeting the Sunni community. Although the violence is less deadly than that seen during the heights of the
insurgency in 2006 and 2007, it is the most widespread since the US military withdrawal in 2011.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
FOREIGN NEWS Iwo Jima flag hero Alan Wood dies
LAN Wood, the Navy communications officer, who supplied the Iwo Jima American flag, has died at 90. The Christian Science Monitor reports. Like many World War II veterans, after he returned home, Alan Wood didn’t talk much about his role at Iwo Jima. It wasn’t until years later, Wood began to share that it was he who provided the American flag raised by US marines on the peak of Mount Suribachi in 1945. Wood passed on April 18 in Sierra Madre, Calif. After the war, Wood worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, first as a technical artist and later as a spokesman. Wood had recovered the famous Iwo Jima flag from a salvage depot at Pearl Harbor, and brought it aboard the Navy vessel LST-779, where he was a communications officer, according to the Pasadena Star News. His ship was among some 450 that had amassed for the 1945 US assault on the key Pacific island. “I was on the ship when a young Marine came along,” he explained in the newsletter. “He was dusty, dirty and battle-worn, and even though he couldn’t have been more than 18 or 19, he looked like an old man. “ ‘Do you have a flag?’ he asked me. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘What for?’ He said something like, ‘Don’t worry, you won’t regret it.’ “ The US military decided they need to take the Pacific island of Iwo Jima. It was to be a critical refueling stop for US aircraft in the assault on Okinawa, Japan. But the Japanese had some 20,000 soldiers dug in – literally in tunnels criss-crossing the island. While the battle for Iwo Jima took 36 days to complete, after just four days, a group of US Marines was sent to the 556-foot summit to plant a US flag. According to the US Navy Department Library, some 40 men from 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, led by 1st Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier, raised the flag on Feb. 23, 1945. “At 10:20 a.m., the flag was hoisted on a steel pipe above the island. This symbol of victory sent a wave of strength to the battle-weary fighting men below, and struck a further mental blow against the island’s defenders,” according to the official Navy history.
Algeria president suffers stroke
LGERIA’s president was transferred to Paris for medical treatment following a mini-stroke and tests show he isn’t seriously ill, the state news agency reported last night. Abdelaziz Bouteflika had a brief blockage of a blood vessel known as a transient ischemic attack and was sent to the French capital for further tests under the recommendation of his doctors. The 76-year-old president had been checked into Val de Grace hospital, where he was treated in 2005 for a bleeding ulcer.
Bangladesh: Fugitive owner arrested as building toll reaches 377
HE owner of a factory building that collapsed in Bangladesh killing hundreds of garment workers was arrested yesterday trying to flee to India, as hopes of finding more survivors from the country’s worst industrial accident began to fade. Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested by the elite Rapid Action Battalion in the border town of Benapole, Dhaka District Police Chief Habibur Rahman told Reuters, ending a four-day manhunt that began after Rana Plaza, which housed factories making lowcost garments for Western retailers, caved in on Wednesday.
•Fire breaks out Bangladesh television showed Rana, a local leader of the ruling Awami League’s youth front, being flown by helicopter to the capital Dhaka, where he will face charges of faulty construction and causing unlawful death. Authorities put the latest death toll at 377 and expect it to climb higher with hundreds more still unaccounted for. Four people were yesterday pulled out alive after almost 100 hours beneath the mound of broken concrete and metal, and rescuers were working frantically to try to save
several others still trapped, fire services deputy director Mizanur Rahman said. “The chances of finding people alive are dimming, so we have to step up our rescue operation to save any valuable life we can,” said Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sohrawardi, coordinator of the operation at the site. About 2,500 people have been rescued from the wrecked building in the commercial suburb of Savar, about 30 km (20 miles) from the capital, Dhaka. Meanwhile a fire broke out late
yesterday in the wreckage of the collapsed building with smoke pouring from the piles of shattered concrete and some of the rescue efforts forced to stop, according to The Associated Press The flames broke out when sparks were generated by those rescuers trying to cut through a steel rod to reach the woman, said a volunteer rescuer, Syed Al-Amin Roman. At least three rescue workers were injured in the fire, he said. Rescuers have retreated from the part of the wreckage where the fire erupted, but were still trying to reach any possible survivors in other parts of the destroyed eightstory building.
•Marines raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan, Feb. 23, 1945.
13 die in Mexico prison fight
T least 13 people are dead after a battle broke out between prisoners at a jail in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. A group of inmates used homemade knives and picks to attack rivals at the La Pila prison, the state attorney general’s office was quoted as saying. Authorities took several hours to bring the fighting under control. Deadly outbreaks of vio-
lence are common in Mexico’s overcrowded jails, which house inmates from rival drug gangs. Dozens of people were injured - some seriously - in the fighting that broke out at La Pila, situated in the state capital, early on Saturday morning, officials said. The authorities in the northern state of San Luis Potosi have begun to name the dead and warned concerned families waiting for news that the number of fa-
talities may rise. Violence began when a group of prisoners took action after being harassed by other inmates, news agency AP quoted the state attorney general’s office as saying. Rivalries between criminal gangs frequently spills over into Mexico’s antiquated and dangerous prisons, correspondents say. Studies say some prisons are effectively run by gangs. Human rights groups say the penal system suffers
from chronic overcrowding and is in urgent need of an overhaul. Despite assertions that the prison system would be reformed after the last major incident, in which 44 inmates were killed, there have been no tangible improvements, neither during the final year of the previous administration nor in the first six months of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government, says the BBC’s Will Grant in Mexico City.
Hague judges rebuke Kenyatta prosecutors JUDGES hearing the case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court have sharply rebuked prosecutors for failing to disclose evidence that could be used in his defense, but stopped short of restarting the trial. While the reprimand will have no impact on the trial itself, it is a fresh blow to prosecutors who accuse Kenya’s newlyelected president of orchestrating bloody postelection clashes five years ago in which 1,200 people died. Judges said prosecutors should have told defense lawyers a crucial witness was not present at a meeting where prosecutors alleged acts of violence were planned, saying the prosecution made a “grave mistake” in not doing so. The loss of that witness’s testimony contributed to the acquittal earlier this year of civil servant Francis Muthaura, Kenyatta’s co-accused. Similar charges still stand against Kenyan deputy president William Ruto. But judges said there was no evidence prosecutors had deliberately withheld the exculpatory evidence, and turned down defense demands that the trial be abandoned or taken back to the confirmation of charges stage, when judges decide if the prosecution’s case is strong enough to warrant a trial. One judge went further in her criticism of the prosecutors. In a separate opinion, Christine van den Wyngaert said it was clear prosecutors were “not even remotely ready” when the trial had begun. “By the extremely late and piecemeal disclosure of an inordinate amount of totally new evidence, which was the immediate consequence of the prosecution’s failure to investigate properly prior to confirmation, the prosecution has infringed upon the accused’s rights,” she wrote. Van den Wyngaert, who is also a professor at the University of Antwerp, asked to be excused from trying the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto, saying her caseload at the court was already too great. There was no suggestion that her resignation was linked to her criticism of the prosecution.
Egypt officials in Iran for Syria talks
ENIOR aides to Egyp tian President Mohamed Mursi made a rare visit to Tehran for talks with Iran on an Islamic initiative to seek a peaceful solution to Syria’s civil war, the two sides said on Sunday. Tehran is Syria’s closest ally and has provided money, weapons, intelligence and training for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, while Egypt has
given political support to the opposition Syrian National Coalition fighting to oust him. Mursi’s foreign affairs adviser Essam Haddad and his chief-of-staff Rifaa ElTahtawy met Iranian officials in a follow-up to Iranian President Mahmoud A h m a d i n e j a d ’ s groundbreaking visit to Cairo in February for an Islamic summit. An Iranian Foreign Min-
istry statement said they agreed on “the necessity of an action plan...to act on the Egyptian president’s plan on the Syria crisis through an acceptable political solution which can help end the violence and help national reconciliation with the participation of the people of Syria”. Mursi included Iran, alongside Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, in a diplomatic “Islamic Quartet”
of countries established last year to try to broker a solution in Syria. The Egyptian leader proposed negotiations between Syrian government representatives not directly involved in repression and opposition leaders under regional or U.N. auspices on a transition of power. However, the Saudis stayed away from the group in February in apparent irritation at the inclusion of
the Iranians, and Syria has rejected foreign involvement in the national dialogue proposed by Assad. The visiting Egyptian officials met Ahmadinejad and senior figures in Iran’s foreign policy establishment - national security adviser Saeed Jalili, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
With ekpoita :firstname.lastname@example.org / 08077706130
ACROSS 1.German City (6) 3.South American Country (4) 5. Top European City (6) 8. Republic, formerly of Denmark (7) 10. Country, SE of Europe (7) 13. World Power, abbrv.(3) 14. W/A Country (6) 15. Sovereign Entity (5) 16. First Capital of Nigeria (7) 17. Eastern Nigerian City (3)
DOWN 1.Western Nigerian City (5) 2.Where Julius Caesar Reigned (4) 4.Nigerian State (3) 5.Nigeria’s Commercial Capital (5) 6. Central American Country (9) 7. Fmr. US Colony (6) 9. Coca Growing Country (8) 10. Fmr. Unit of USSR (6) 11. Spanish City (6) 12. French W/A Territory (5)
WORDWHEEL Form as many words as you can with the letters in the wheel below.Proper nouns and 2-letter words are not allowed. Every word must use the letter ‘E’.There is a 9-letter word with an ‘orbicular’ meaning hidden in the grid. This is the star word.
SANDS OF TIME Venus Williams’ gorgeous rose dress pop eyes at U.S. Open
poetry Smile If you're feeling down, turn your frown upside down. Put a smile on your face, take the world in your embrace. Ask for a little help from the man up above. And remember you have your best friends love.
-Jessica R. Dillinger
Success The road to success is not straight There is a curve called Failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, and caution lights called Family But if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, and a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success!! Niderah
UNSCRAMBLE THE WORD JUMBLED UP IN THE GRID BELOWTO REVEAL A 10-LETTER WORD MEANING “INVIGORATE”
E T E N HS G N R T
HUMOUR Sense of Responsibility. Venus Williams was a vision in rose recently wearing a beautiful self-designed dress during a first-round rout of Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the U.S. Open The dress is beautiful from afar, but hardly an impressionist painting up close. It’s designed with red and black roses with background stem lines and “love” written all over in script. To say it’s the best looking of Venus’ self-designed eleVen dresses could be damning it with faint praise. She’s dressed like a can-can dancer and fireworks display in recent years, so it’s not as if it’s a high bar to clear. This is a step in a different direction. It’s not the best Venus has looked in years; it’s the best anyone has looked. “It’s pretty fun for me to design this and actually wear it,” she told reporters after the match. “So it’s great.” For once, Venus didn’t have the most interesting outfit on the court. Her opponent, American Bethanie MattekSands, had her typical tight tank top, wrist bands, high compression socks and eye black. This time, she added red hightops to the kit.
A man goes into library and asks for a book on suicide. Librarian looks him and says, Who will return the book back!
Fill in the missing numbers in the grid to ensure that every row, column and 2 by 3 box contains the numbers 1 - 6. 2
Real Estate Salesman “This house,” said the real estate salesman, “has both its good points and its bad points. To show you I’m honest, I’m going to tell you about both. “The disadvantages are that there is a chemical plant one block south and a slaughterhouse a block north.” “What are the advantages?” inquired the prospective buyer. “The advantage is that you can always tell which way the wind is blowing.”
Chess Playing Dog A man went to visit a friend and was amazed to find him playing chess with his dog. He watched the game in astonishment for a while. “I can hardly believe my eyes!” he exclaimed. “That’s the smartest dog I’ve ever seen.” “Nah, he’s not so smart,” the friend replied. “I’ve beaten him three games out of five.”
BRAIN TEASER How can you throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you, even if it doesn't bounce off anything? There is nothing attached to it, and no one else catches or throws it back to you.
To conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one’s own Pep Talk nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat. Plato
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
94TH AND 95TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING It should by now be clear to all that this administration is firmly set on course to implement development projects that would be beneficial to its citizenry. Since the assumption of office, this administration has affirmed its resolution to uphold the constitution and be responsive to the challenges of governance. The support of the citizenry encourages the administration to tackle challenges that the immediate administration shy away from. This administration is not afraid of taking a daring and purposeful decision or action on development issues, abuse of power, financial recklessness, corruption and indiscipline within the Civil Service and the society as a whole. The aim of this stand is to create a better society, which guarantees individual progress through hard work and commitment. The Government is setting a plain ground for its citizens to freely seek and attain self-fulfilment. The central goal is to raise the level of incomes of its citizens and their standard of living through sustained economic growth, attacking factors that cause backwardness on every front by transforming all sectors of the society. This explains this administration’s decision to tackle the problems of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, potable water supply, roads, agriculture, urban development and planning. No policy comes out of the blues, but from a sustained thinking, deliberation and planning towards a better ‘Kano State’. Thus, this administration is giving support to agriculture, redressing the imbalance between the rural and urban centers through the provision of amenities, intensify educational pursuit, revise wasteful expenditure, support and encourage investment. What the administration achieved in less than two years has come a long way to justify citizens’ support. The administration is aware that such support coming from its citizens indicate the confidence, understanding and trust reposed on it due to its good intention and activities. The following decisions and approvals given for the execution of development projects and implementation of policies at the 94th sitting of the Council presided over by Governor Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso held on Wednesday 17th April, 2013 (7th Jumada Thani, 1434AH), should be understood based on the above stated platform. At the Sitting, three (3) Ministries and the Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted twenty four (24) memoranda for deliberation. Twenty-one (21) of them were approved for execution among which only three (3) were on policy issues while the majority were on projects covering an expenditure of Eight Hundred and Thirteen Million Two Hundred Ninety Seven Thousand and Three Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira, Forty Kobo Only (N813,297,334.40). Thus: 1. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING This Ministry of Land and Physical Planning submitted five (5) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Four (4) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Compensation for a Farm House (Estate) Located within the Centre of Amana City:From the ancient and congested city of Kano arises three modern cities of Amana, Kwankwasiyya and Bandirawo, which when completed will put Kano State amongst the developed centers of the developing nations. This decision could be linked to the old city of Kano dramatic increase in population and squatter settlements. These cities are being built from scratch and are being burdened or affected by the haphazard nature of the old city and its surroundings. This decision is a radical departure from other cities around the world that depend or transform old settlements by incorporating their architectural designs. These cities are brand new and will consume billions of Naira as the ones being established in Saudi Arabia (King Abdullah Economic City), South Korea (Sogdo), Dubai (Water City), and Equatorial Guinea (Malabo). This brings us to the issue raised by this memorandum submitted by the Honorable Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning, which reminded Council, through its contents of a directive to his Ministry to process acquisition of an existing farm estate named as Alheri Farms Limited situated at the center of the newly established Amana City. The Estate consists of an Office block, Staff Quarters; cow sheds; poultry sheds; milling/processing units; fish ponds and bore holes for which an overall assessment was computed as follows: • Land valued at N800,000.00 x 4.805 hectares. = N3,844,000.00 • Economic trees = N12,453,000.00 • Structures = N125,674,490.00 TOTAL = N141,971,490.00 So, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of the sum of N141,971,490.00 by Council to enable payment of compensation for the acquired Farm Estate (Alheri Farms Limited) situated at the middle of the Southern edge of Amana City. Considering the relevance of the request to the Housing policy of the present administration Council approved the release of the requested sum of N141,971,490.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to facilitate payment of the compensation for the acquired Farm Estate (Alheri Farms Ltd). This brings the total sum approved for payment of compensation for the acquired land, structures and economic trees to enable location of Amana City at its present site to the tune of N853,831,238.00 b) Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Compensation for Some Structures Removed to Facilitate the Relocation of Some Water Distribution Pipelines Affected by the Expansion of Sheikh Ja’afar Road:Sheikh Ja’afar Road is amongst the major road contracts awarded at the sum of N2,245,577,681.90 by the present administration to ease commuting within and out of the State Capital. The others are Hadejia Road, Zaria Road, and Gwarzo Road awarded at the sum of N2,697,089,131.74, N5,168,535,902.92 and N3,039,996,086.92 respectively. These major projects will consume over N13 billion excluding the compensation to be paid for land and structures affected by their upgrading and reconstruction. This explains the contents of this memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. The contents of this memorandum drew Council’s attention to its approval granted at the 88th Sitting of 06-03-13 for the payment of compensation for some structures affected in order to facilitate for the relocation of some Water distribution pipelines to actualize the expansion of Sheikh Ja’afar Road. Specifically, the approval directed the Contractor handling the project to settle the compensation sum of money as provided in Bill one of the BEME of the project. The Honorable Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning informed Council of the inability of the Contractor to comply with the instruction as the release of the stated sum of money in lieu of compensation will seriously affect his cash flow, which will consequently affect the execution of the project. As such, Council was requested to approve the release of the sum of N29,667,605.00 from the contract sum by the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to facilitate payment of the stated compensation. Relevance of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the sum of N29,667,605.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable payment of compensation for the affected structures in relocating some Water distribution pipelines in the actualization of the expansion of Sheikh Ja’afar Road. The State Ministry of Finance was directed to process for the release accordingly. c) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Water Reticulation System at Kwankwasiyya City:Council was adequately updated on the provision of infrastructural facilities at Kwankwasiyya City where drainage and road construction had reached completion stages. Contents of this memorandum stressed the need to engage a competent Contractor to provide an appropriate Water Reticulation System for the City. So, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning substantiated the expertise of the State Water Board to execute the project at the sum of N86,703,971.42, which was requested for release by Council to enable the provision of an appropriate Water Reticulation System at Kwankwasiyya City. Approval was granted by Council as requested for the release of the sum of N86,703,971.42. d. Presentation of Revised Estimated Total Contract Sum of Upgrading Failed Portion of Murtala Muhammad Way:The upgrading and reconstruction of Murtala Muhammad Way is amongst the numerous abandoned projects inherited by the present administration. The contract was awarded at the ebb period of the immediate administration. The contractor was asked to mobilize to site without mobilization fee released as a tradition in such kind of projects. The aim was to tie the hands of the incoming administration financially. This is in spite of the fact that the immediate administration left over N70 billion unpaid liability to this administration on purpose to curtail its ability to perform. However, with financial prudence almost most of such abandoned projects were completed and paid for. This explains the reasons behind the submission of this memorandum. Council was reminded of the Contract awarded for the upgrading of Murtala Muhammad Way failed section (from Daula Roundabout/Hotel to Ahmadu Bello Way Roundabout), which was revalidated. Works have reached completion stages but exceeding the discounted agreed revalidated Contract sum by N12,224,353.95, which was requested for release by Council to effect payment to the Contractor. Council considered the speed and quality of execution of the revalidated Contract by Messrs. Rocad Construction Limited and immediately approved the release of the requested sum of N12,224,253.95 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to effect immediate payment to the Contractor due to changes in the scope from dwarf median kerb to crush barrier median. 2. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Office of the Head of Civil Service. Both were approved for execution as follows; a. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of 1st Batch Contract Gratuity in Favor of 170 Officers From Nine (9) MDAs for the Year 2013:The Office of the Head of Civil Service reminded Council of its most recent approval for the payment of the 3rd Batch Contract Gratuity in favor of 200 Staff across ten (10) MDAs for the year 2012 which was successfully executed. Subsequently, a list composing 170 Officers from nine (9) MDAs has been compiled for the first (1st) Batch of beneficiaries of Contract Gratuity for the year 2013. This list was presented for Council’s Consideration and approval for the release of the sum of N22,724,556.40 to enable payment of the first batch of Contract Gratuity for the Year 2013. Complying with Statutory Provisions Council approved for the release of the requested sum of N22,724,556.40 to the Office of the Head of Civil Service to facilitate disbursement/payment of the first batch of Contract Gratuity to 170 Contract Officers from nine (9) MDAs in the State for the year 2013. b. Request for Funds as Government Assistance for the Conduct of the 2nd Medical and Health Workers Week Slated for (7th-13th April, 2013):The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) requested for financial assistance from the State Government to enable the conduct of its 2nd Medical and Health Workers Week 2013 slated for (7th-13th April, 2013) which was presented for Council’s Consideration by the Office of the Head of Civil Service. Council considered the Philanthropic nature of the activity and approved for the release of the sum of N1,000,000.00 to the Office of the Head of Civil Service for onward payment as the State Government’s financial assistance to the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MWHUN) for the conduct of the 2nd Medical and Health Week (7th-13th April, 2013). 3. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted twenty-four (24) memoranda on behalf some MDAs for deliberation by Council. Fifteen (15) of them were approved for execution. Thus: a. Request for Funds to Enable Payment for Some Colored Advertorial Placed in Some National Dailies:One of the cardinal resolutions of the present administration under the leadership of the 2nd incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE is to perform/operate transparently. So, advertisements, announcements and declarations on every Government activity is publicized so as to make people aware of activities undertaken in spending/ expending public resources. As such, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted a request, on behalf of the Director Press and Public Relations, for the release of the sum of N11,439,250.84 to enable payment for advertisements placed in nine (9) National Dailies. Details were presented for Council’s consideration. Considering credibility of the request and the significance of the activity to the policies of the present administration on transparency, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N11,439,250.84 to the Office of the Secretary to the
State Government for onward payment to the Office of the Director Press and Public Relations to enable payment of Coloured advertorial placed in nine (9) National Dailies according to the details presented. b. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Outstanding Allowances to Members of the Implementation Committees Appointed for the Establishment of 17 of the 21 Specialized Training Institutes in the State:Office of the Secretary to the State Government reported to Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, the Implementation Committees appointed for the implementation/establishment of the 21 Specialized Training Institutes initiated by the present administration under its empowerment policy, have facilitated for the successful take-off of most of the Institutes while Principal Officers to handle their affairs were accordingly appointed by Government. Pointedly, however, Council was alerted to the fact that the majority of the respective Committee Members were drawn from outside the mainstream of the Civil Service which prompted the Executive approval on provision of
Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso
monthly sitting allowance for the Chairmen and Private Members at the rate of N50,000.00 for the Chairmen and N30,000.00 for Private Members and Secretaries. Further, the approval directed that the Implementation Committees should wind up their activities which were duly complied with as substantiated by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government which reported that Letters of Dissolution have been served to each of the 21 Committees. Nevertheless, the government still owes outstanding allowances in respect of Private Members of the Implementation Committees of Seventeen (17) Institutes, thirteen (13) Chairmen, 124 Members and Secretaries. This range for periods of 1-15 Months according to the details presented for Council’s consideration which informed the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to request for the release of the aggregate sum of N37,090,000.00 to enable payment of the outstanding allowances. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N37,090,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for disbursement as outstanding allowances to Members of the dissolved Implementation Committees of the 17 from the 21 established Specialized Institutions. Council commended the respective and collective excellent performances in the successful implantation/establishment of the Specialized Institutions. c. Presentation on LGCs’ Shares/Investment in Quoted and Unquoted Companies:The contents of this memorandum drew the attention of Council to a report submitted by the Kano State Investment and Properties Limited (KSIP) on the ineffective management of the Local Government Councils (LGCs) Shares/Investment in some quoted and unquoted Companies. For instance, from the quoted 1999-2003 the market value of the collective share holdings of the LGCs in various Companies was put at N1,095,055,756.43 by July, 2006 but declined to N512,826,641.69 as at August, 2011 and to its lowest N464,500.00 by April, 2013. A Committee comprising members from the LGCs and KSIP was set-up to look into the issue and proffer recommendations on the way forward. The Committee did its work and proffered Interim recommendations as follows; • That appointment of Consistent Signatories to the LGCs Shareholding accounts should be made just like the KSIP which should be sent to respective Registrars. • That KSIP should be given the mandate to collect and process verification of all outstanding Share Certificates of the LGCs. • That new CSCS accounts for all 44 LGCs should be opened with a reliable Stock broking firm to verify and credit all Shareholding of quoted Companies into the accounts as well as to transfer WAPCO Shares now domiciled with the suspended stock broker into the new CSCS accounts. • That the KSIP Ltd. should be mandated to verify and determine status of all the Shareholding of the LGCs in Unity Bank and other Companies with a view to recovering shares and credit same into the new CSCS accounts. • That KSIP appoints Portfolio Managers to supervise the investments for the benefit of the LGCs. Council acknowledged the presentation in good faith and approved the implementation of the recommendations/measures proffered by directing the Ministry for Local Governments to appropriately take-up the matter in Liaison with the KSIP. d. Request for Ratification and Release of the Provisional Approval for the sum of Money for the Conduct of 1st Batch of 2000 Lafia Jari Barbers Empowerment Program:The contents of this memorandum referred Council to its earlier approval, which granted the release of the sum of N331,747,000.00 to the Office of the Special Adviser Sanitation and Immunization/Coordinator Lafiya Jari Scheme to enable the conduct of the first (1st) Batch of 2000 Lafiya Jari Barbers Program. The program aims at empowering our Indigenous youths with required modern skills to make them self-reliant as well as sanitize the operations of our local Barbers (Wanzamai) in the State. Approval was already granted; what was sought for was the release of the sum of N331,747,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Office of the Special Adviser Sanitization and Immunization/ Coordinator Lafiya Jari Scheme to facilitate for the conduct of the 1st Batch of 2000 Lafiya Jari Barbers Empowerment Program. This program like other empowerment programs, such as that of Poultry, Livestock, Irrigation, etc. is initiated and implemented by the present administration to alleviate poverty, reduce youths unemployment and encourage self-reliance. e. Request for Sale of Government Property (GP Houses) to Serving Expatriate Officers:The Honorable Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport drew Council’s attention, through the contents of this memorandum submitted on his behalf by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for its approval granted for the sale of GPs to Civil Servants that reside in them. The same gesture was sought to be extended to expatriate Officers serving the State for several years (15-20) while living in the GPs they currently occupy. Several plausible reasons were forwarded for Council’s consideration, which prompted the granting of approval for the sale of the following GPs to their occupants in the service of the State Government; i. GP 791/6 (Suleiman Crescent)-Dr. Makarious W.E ii. GP 487/1 (Suleiman Crescent)-Dr. J. K. Nabash iii. GP 480/4 (Suleiman Crescent)-Dr. Arandas Kundnami iv. GP 273/4 (Suleiman Crescent)-Dr. M. H. Chandhury v. GP 284 (Hospital Road)-Dr. Lateef Atailah f. Presentation of Letter of Appreciation from the National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP):The National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners submitted a letter of appreciation, through the State Ministry of Health, which was presented to Council by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. The contents of the Letter showered accolades and appreciation to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE along with his cabinet on the ongoing healthcare transformation drive in the State. Specifically, the National President of the NANTMP expressed his profound appreciation and that of the State Chapter for the five (5) days training/education offered to the Traditional Medicine Practitioners in Kano State through the Department of Medicine, Bayero University Kano. Council acknowledged the presentation in appreciation. g. Request for Funds to Enable the General Renovation and Furnishing Works at the Private Health Registration Unit Situated at the Hospital Management Board Under the Ministry of Health:Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted a request for the release of the sum of N12,493,582.18 on behalf of the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. This is to enable the execution of general renovation and furnishing works at the Private Health Registration Unit situated at the Hospital Management Board under the State Ministry of Health. The request emanated from compliance to a directive issued to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to inspect the site and prepare Bill of Quantities for the project. The Bill of Quantities was prepared to the aggregate sum of N12,493,582.18. So, Council considered the relevance of the request and approved the release of the sum of N12,493,582.18 to enable the execution of the stated projects at the Private Health Registration Unit. h. Request for Funds to Enable Conduct of 2013 IJMB Examinations, Marking and Payment of Affiliation Fees as 50% Subsidy for Kano State Indigenous Students:The administration is ready to support students in any way possible, either through direct sponsorship or the payment of examination fees to examination Bodies, such as WAEC, NECO, JAMB and IJMB. Thus, the contents of this memorandum is on this line, being a request for the payment of the sum of N10,872,500.00 for the State students sitting for IJMB examination this year. The payment is to subsidize the amount to be paid by each student by 50%. Council approved the release of the required sum for the stated purpose. i. Request for Funds to Enable Execution of General Painting Works at Governor’s Lodge (Mallam Aminu Kano House) Asokoro, Abuja:The Senior Special Assistant Liaison Offices corresponded with the Office of the Honorable Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport on the weathered/faded condition and general appearance of internal and external painting at the Mallam Aminu Kano House Asokoro, Abuja which serves as the Governor’s Lodge. In fact, the general paint work requires retouching. As such, the Senior Special Assistant, Liaison Offices presented a Bill of Quantities to the tune of N15,779,500.00 for the general renovation of the compound which was requested for release by Council. Council noted and considered credibility of the request and approved the release of the sum of N15,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable execution of the stated project so as to give the Governor’s Lodge a befitting face lift. j. Request for Funds for the Procurement of School Uniforms for 200 Successful Students Admitted into Kano Informatics Institute and Settlement of Registration Fees:The Ministry of Science and Technology requested for the release of the sum of N18,186,000.00 by Council through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for the procurement of Uniforms for 200 successful Students admitted into the Kano Informatics Institute and settlement of registration fees. Thus:
SN i. ii. iii.
ITEM Production/supply of Uniforms to 200 Students Renegotiation Sub-franchise mandate with Jigawa Informatics Institute Offsetting re-unit cost of previously registered Students Total
COST (N) 486,000.00 16,200,000.00 1,500,000.00 18,186,000.00
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013 Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N18,186,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Science and Technology to undertake the stated purposes. k. Request for Funds to Facilitate the Procurement and Allocation of Balance of 15 Units of Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick-Up as Replacement to the Neighborhood Watch (Vigilante Security Group) Kano:The Office of the Secretary to the State Government adequately substantiated credibility of the request from the Neighborhood Watch (Vigilante Security Group) Kano for replacement of the balance of 15 Units of Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick-Up vehicles as a balance of the 35 retrieved from the Group of which only 20 were returned. The request was considered credible but Council approved the release of the sum of N34,750,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to procure and allocate five (5) Units of Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick-Up vehicles in favor of the Neighborhood Watch (Vigilante Security Group) as part replacement. L. Request for Funds to Enable Renovation of the Perimeter Wall Fence at the Kano Race Course Situated in Nassarawa GRA:Contents of this memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, notified Council of the dilapidated condition of the perimeter wall fence at the Race Course. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport assessed the scope of work and prepared a Bill of Quantities for the works in the sum of N9,809,515.80 which was requested for release by Council to enable execution of the stated project. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N9,809,515.80 to the Office of Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to execute the project of renovating the perimeter wall fence at the Race Course situated in Nassarawa GRA so as to properly secure the celebrated public property. m. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Educational Consultancy Services:The Secretary to the State Government submitted this memorandum with contents that reminded Council of its directives to negotiate the fees chargeable for Consultancy Services to secure placement of Kano State Indigenous Students in educational sponsorship programs to study MBBS (Medicine) and Pharmacy in India. MESSRS. EDUSOFT ASSOCIATES LTD presented a proposal for processing and other logistics fees for one Hundred (100) Medical Students to be sponsored for studies in India. The Consultant is asking for 1000 US Dollars per student as consultancy fees for the securing of admission to State students sponsored to study medicine and pharmacy at selected institutions in India. The sum is less than 1% of the chargeable fees by the Institutions. Details were presented for Council’s consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N16,000,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to enable MESSRS. EDUSOFT ASSOCIATES LTD. provide the Educational Consultancy Services that will ensure the placement of 100 Kano State Indigenous Students to study MBBS (Medicine) and Pharmacy at Institutions in India (i.e. N160 x 1000 US Dollars x 100 Students = N16,000,000.00). The actualization of this project will add yet another feather to the cap of the present administration on the yet unsurpassed effort aimed at providing qualitative and required education/skill to our teeming youths locally and abroad.
95TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE presided over the ninety five (95th) sitting of the Kano State Executive Council today Wednesday 24th April, 2013 (14th Jumada Thani, 1434AH). Ten (10) Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) submitted sixteen (16) memoranda for deliberation. Sixteen (16) of them were approved for execution among which only two (2) were on policy issues while the majority were on projects covering an expenditure of Three Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Five Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty-Four Naira, Seventy Kobo Only (N3,495,734,744.70). However, before tabling any memorandum, the Hon. Commissioner for Planning and Budget was directed to report to the Council the stage reached on the implementation of the 2012 MDGs Conditional Grants Scheme in the State. Council was appraised that the State has received location sheets for the approved projects and policy brief on the implementation of the 2012 CGS. All participating States were advised to strictly adhere to the conditions detailed in the CGS Implementation Manual and the Signed Memorandum of Understanding. The Scheme was for five selected Local Government Councils; Dawakin Tofa, Madobi, Makoda, Tarauni and Doguwa. The objectives of the Scheme are reducing poverty and providing incentives for families to utilize MDG enhancing activities such as School enrollment, Infant Immunization and Antenatal care for pregnant women. Council was also reminded that the State Government had paid its share of the Conditional Grant Scheme to the tune of N187, 500,000.00 Counterpart funding while the OSSAP-MDGs had also credited the program account at the designated Bank (EcoBank) with an equal amount of money making the available sum of N375, 000,000.00. So, the currently available sum of N375,000,000.00 will be disbursed to the selected five (5) LGCAs with the objective of reducing poverty and providing incentives for families to utilize MDG enhancing activities such as School enrolment, Infant Immunization and Ante Natal Care for pregnant women. The State is also collaborating in another scheme under the same arrangement covering education, health and water and sanitation sectors to be implemented in six LGAs of Bagwai, Bunkure, Kunchi, Minjibir, Sumaila and Warawa. The Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs (OSSAP-MDGs) has already paid its matching grants for State Track-N418, 000,000.00 and LGAs Track-N600, 000,000.00. The State has paid its counterpart funding for the execution of the development projects in the selected Local Governments. There is also the 2012 MDGs-State Track Conditional Grant Scheme Projects for the construction and improvement of Bichi, Danbatta and Rano General Hospitals. The sum of N836, 000,000.00 was the budgeted amount estimated for the execution of the projects, which will be shouldered by the State and OSSAP-MDGs. Council noted that the previous Government was unable to access funds meant for meaningful projects for the State due to non-payment of the Counterpart Contribution (ESP) in the year 2009. This administration through the joint Contributory MDGs Grant in 2011 and 2012 expended N1.2billion and N836million respectively. The funds were utilized for the construction of over 40 Primary Healthcare centers, supply of equipment and drugs, tube well-based water supply, etc. Under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) arrangement, five Local Governments would benefit from the Scheme with the provision of over N50million and over. In fact, since inception the State has never failed to release its counterpart funding to execute development projects in the education and other sectors. The State Government is open to any collaborative venture and is ready to pay counterpart funds for any development projects for the benefit of the citizenry. Council appreciated such grants and assured that the State is ready to comply with all laid down conditions. Below are the decisions and approval granted for the execution of programs/projects at the 95th sitting of the Executive Council. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION 4. The State Ministry of Education submitted four (4) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Three (3) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Facilitate Converting Government Arabic Secondary School, (GASS) Gaya into a Tahfeez Boarding Secondary School:The Honorable Commissioner for Education notified Council of the irking fact that despite the multitude number of Islamiyya Schools in Kano, the State can only boast of possessing one Tahfeez Boarding Secondary School located at Kiru town in Kiru LGCs. So, pupils/students seeking the peculiar education/knowledge entailed congregate in Kiru town from across the three (3) Senatorial Districts (44 LGCs) of the State. This congests the School making the available physical structures and facilities inadequate. This reason and more informed the Ministry of Education to recommend for the conversion of GASS Gaya into a Boarding Tahfeez Secondary School, which will provide for the needs of Tahfeez Education to pupils/students of Kano South and other Senatorial districts. Relevant assessments were made on the requirements for the conversion by the Ministry of Education. Details of the findings were presented for Council’s consideration. An aggregate sum of N95,675,961.14 is required for the purpose at the first phase stage for which eleven main items are required. So, the Ministry of Education requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N95,675,961.14 by Council to enable the conversion of GASS Gaya into a Boarding Tahfeez Secondary School. Considering the relevance of the request to the needs of the people of the State Council approved the release of the requested sum of N95,675,961.14 to the Ministry of Education to enable conversion of GASS Gaya into a Boarding Tahfeez Secondary School in order to add one more to the only one currently available at Kiru. b. Presentation on the Need and Request for Funds to Convert Gwaron Dutse Psychiatric Hospital into a Day Secondary School:Contents of this memorandum amply substantiated the need to convert Gwaron Dutse Psychiatric Hospital into a Secondary School in line with the laudable policy of the present administration of converting all idle and under-utilized public buildings/facilities into proper use especially Schools. Many such conversions have already been undertaken for example; • Gidan Ado Bayero – Temporary site Northwest University, Kano. • Magwan Water Restaurant - First Lady’s College. • Psychiatric Hospital Yadakunya – Government Girls Secondary School Jan’ Baki etc. So, the Ministry of Education requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N38,479,724.20 to enable the undertaking of the first (1st) phase of the conversion project of Psychiatric Hospital Gwaron Dutse into a Day Secondary School. Details on the nine (9) items required for the implementation of the first (1st) phase of the conversion exercise were presented for Council’s consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N38,479,724.20 to the Ministry of Education to enable execution of the first (1st) phase of the conversion exercise of Psychiatric Hospital Gwaron Dutse into a Secondary School. c. Request for Funds to Enable Furnishing and Equipping of Science Laboratories in 100 Government Senior Secondary Schools in the State:The Honorable Commissioner for Education categorically blamed the pathetic failure of our Students in the Science/ applied Subjects on the inadequacy of provisions or total absence of Science Laboratories in our Government Senior Secondary Schools that offer Science subjects where the final results of the Science Students are perennially poor though the victims are characteristically brilliant. Furnished and fully equipped Science Laboratories will certainly provide the solution to the pathetic situation. Simple comparison of results obtained by Students who attended the Science Secondary Schools owned by the State to those obtained by Students who attended the ordinary Senior Secondary Schools will show the variation which can simply be traced to the availability or unavailability of fully equipped and furnished Science Laboratories. As such, the Ministry of Education solicited for proposals from viable suppliers of Science equipment and came up with a figure from the most competent among them. The figure stood at N1,268,421,467.00 which was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Education to enable furnishing and equipping of Science Laboratories in 100 Senior Secondary Schools in the State. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,268,421,467.00 to the Ministry of Education to enable furnishing and equipping of Science Laboratories in 100 Senior Secondary Schools in the State. The Office of the Deputy Governor/Honourable Commissioner for Local Governments was directed to release the money from the Local Governments’ SURE-P Account. 5. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/HONORABLE COMMISSIONER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS This Office submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. One (1) of them was approved for execution as follows: Request for Funds to Enable Conduct of Training Program for 220 Female Youths on TV Production, Photography, Videography, Printing and Event Management:The Deputy Governor/Honorable Commissioner for Local Governments notified Council of a proposal submitted to Government through the State Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture on a Training Program to involve 220 female youths by Dabo TV Center (an affiliate of VTF). The program aims at providing the female youths with specialized knowledge/skill in TV Production, Photography, Videography, Printing and Event Management. The program is designed to draw participants from the 44 LGCs to supplement the present administration’s effort on employment/job creation to the citizenry so as to curtail poverty in the society. This will certainly ensure wider participation across the State and ensure indigenous female involvement in the viable skills entailed in the program. Specifically, 220 female youths are targeted for the entire program with each of them benefitting the sum of N100,000.00 (covering allowances, supply of video/still-camera, etc.) which brings the total financial commitment for the program to the aggregate sum of N22,000,000.00 which was requested for release by Council. The program was considered credible and Council approved the release of the requested sum of N22,000,000.00 to the Office of the Deputy Governor/Honorable Commissioner for Local Governments to enable conduct of the laudable program to be charged under State/Local Government Joint Account with each Local Government Council sponsoring its candidates. Again, the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture was instructed to collaborate with the State Community Reorientation Council (CRC) and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in assembling a list of female prospective participants from across the 44 LGCs in the State. This will certainly further diversify and expand the areas positively intervened upon by the present administration under the leadership of the second incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. 6. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Three (3) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Health. Two (2) of them were
51 approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Permission to Replace the Already Ordered Ophthalmic Equipment for Eye Clinic at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano:Contents of this memorandum reminded Council of its approval granted to the Ministry of Health for the procurement and installation of Ophthalmic Equipment at the Eye Clinic of Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital. Substantially, Contract was awarded to Messrs. B & A Import/Export Nigeria Ltd. at the cost of N44,138,250.00. The Company supplied the equipment according to the approved specifications/Bill of Quantities. However, the Ministry of Health was informed by the Company that Shitoz Tonometer and Phacco Machine could not be sourced easily and even when found to manage them may require special training overseas for the Staff to operate them. The Ministry of Health recommended the substitution of these equipment with ‘Illuminated V.A. Chart’ and Perimetry Machine as they can perform the same functions and the staff are familiar with them. Council noted, considered and approved the substitution as recommended by the Ministry of Health. b. Request for Funds to Undertake General Renovation/Rehabilitation Works at Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital:The Honorable Commissioner for Health notified Council of the condition of Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital and the need for immediate renovation/rehabilitation of the facilities and existing structures so as to reinvigorate normal activities and improve the delivery of specialized Psychiatric Services in the State. Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital is the only referral Psychiatric Hospital in Northern Nigeria but suffered serious neglect by the past administration. In fact, the last renovation effort at the Hospital was undertaken in 2002 during the first incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. The Ministry of Health assessed the extent of the required work and prepared Bill of Quantities in the total sum of N170,381,035.84 but phased the project into three (3). Thus; • Phase I N50,096,704.89 • Phase II N59,595,332.82 • Phase III N60,688,998.13 Total N170,381,035.84 Itemized details for each of the three phases were presented for Council’s consideration of which only funds to facilitate the execution of phase I were requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Health. SN Phase I Contract sum (N) i. Renovation of Male Ward (1 NO) 13,850,877.13 ii. Renovation of LCT Block 2,173,473.54 iii. Renovation of Male Ward (2,3 and 4) 34,072,354.22 Total 50,096,704.89 Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N50,096,704.89 to the Ministry of Health to st enable execution of the first (1 ) phase of renovation works at Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital in view of the significance of the project and congruence to the policy of the present administration on the provision of qualitative health care delivery facilities/services for the citizenry. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT 7. This Ministry submitted ten (10) memoranda directly for consideration and deliberation by Council. Seven (7) of them were approved for execution as follows; a. Request for Funds to Enable Landscaping and External Civil and Electrical Works at Central Eid-Ground K/Mata, Kano:Contents of this memorandum politely notified Council of the need to upgrade/modernize the status of the Central EidGround at Kofar Mata for dual purposes, which necessitates the complete landscaping (hard and soft) and external Civil and Electrical works. Thus, the area could be used for the two (2) annual Eid-prayers and as a grand public parking space. Consequently, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested the release of the sum of N329,978,691.00 by Council to enable the execution of the required project. Considering relevance of the request, Council approved the release of 50% of the requested sum of money (i.e. N164,899,346.00) to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to commence the execution of the project so as to ease difficulties faced by the citizenry in terms of praying when due and daily parking convenience. b. Report on the activities of Task-force Committee on the Rehabilitation and Maintenance of Street and Traffic Lights in Metropolitan Kano This administration was sworn-in when the State was running adrift owing to a series of factors, ranging from lack of vision and mission, financial recklessness, lack of routine maintenance/expansion of facilities and general or purposeful neglect of governance. To move the State forward, this administration formulate and execute policies leading to the rehabilitation of infrastructural facilities through prudent utilization of resources. Since the inception of this administration, billion of Naira was expended for the provision of infrastructure and facilities thereby turning the State into a model to be copied by other States in the country. In fact, Kano State has never witnessed a period of infrastructural development as of this era. The Task-force Committee on the Rehabilitation and Maintenance of Street and Traffic Light amongst other Committees set up by this administration to undertake, identify, and assess the nature and scope of the faults associated with streets and traffic lights in metropolitan Kano. The aim was to launch an operation for their quick maintenance and installation of new ones on major streets. In the last 22 months the Committee undertook repairs and rehabilitation as well as installation of new street and traffic lights as follows: i) Rehabilitated 35 Streetlights ii) Installed 20 new streetlights (including ongoing one) iii) Rehabilitated 6 Traffic Lights iv) Installed 15 New Traffic Lights The sum of N2,225,620,630.32 was expended for the provision and rehabilitation of these facilities. This brings us to the requests submitted by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for the release of funds to install streetlights along the following roads: i) Zoo Road-Sheka-Medille; Sabuwar Gandu-Tukuntawa at the sum of N77,700,387.90 ii) Beirut Road from the Civic Center Road Junction at the sum of N6,588,128.40 iii) Matan Fada Road from the State Road to Abdullahi Bayero Road at the sum of N5,953,324.00 iv) Yankura from Murtala Muhammad Way Road About to France Road at the sum of N5,982,380.80 v) Kofar Na’isa to Mandawari at the sum of N15,798,746.00 vi) Koki Quarters (Gidan Aminu Dantata) sum of N9,825,918.90 Council deliberated on the separate requests on their merit and approved the installation of streetlights along the above listed roads in view of their relevance as well as congruence to the policy of the present administration on the beautification of Kano Metropolis in addition to the provision of security for life and property. MINISTRY OF FINANCE 8. The Kano State Ministry of Finance submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. One was approved for execution as follows: a. Presentation of Request for Treasury Loan to Kano Housing Corporation and Kano State Investment and Properties Company (KSIP):The State Ministry of Finance, through the Office of the Accountant General notified Council of the ongoing efforts, by the incumbent administration to facilitate the construction of affordable Commercial houses at the respective three (3) Cities of Kwankwasiyya, Bandirawo and Amana. Related to this effort, the State Government has already provided a treasury loan to the tune of N3billion (N1.5billion each) to the promoters (i.e. Kano State Housing Corporation and KSIP). This was to supplement the N2.6billion lent by the Kano State Pension Fund Trustees. Process for sales of the houses has been put in place to fine-tuning level while Certification is almost completed. So, Council was requested to continue the considerate gesture by approving the release of the sum of N1billion in the form of treasury loan on the same terms like the earlier borrowing terms and a 40:60 profit sharing arrangement (i.e. 40% to the State Government and 60% to the promoters). Council noted and considered the credibility of the request, which prompted immediate granting of approval for the release of N1billion as treasury loan to the Kano Housing Corporation and KSIP in accordance with the details presented. 9. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of 3,800 Lengths of 400MM Ductile Iron Pipes and Fittings for Dedicated Water Pipeline from Kafinchiri to Sumaila:Council was amply informed of the need to solve the potable water supply problem being experienced in Sumaila town and its surrounding areas. The Kafinchiri water treatment plant is in the near vicinity of the area. All that is required is to transport the processed/treated potable water to the area through pipelines of which 3,800 lengths of 400MM Ductile Iron Pipes and fittings are required valued at the cost of N718,462,657.50. Council deliberated on and approved the procurement of the pipes for improved water supply to the affected areas.
UPD ATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 95TH EX CO SITTING UPDA EXCO
1. TRAINING OF 500 LESS PRIVILEGED WOMEN Council acknowledged the conduct and training of 500 less privileged women by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development comprising Divorcees, Widows, Physically Challenged, HIV victims, VVF victims and the girl-child who were trained in various skills of making air freshener, liquid soap, hair shampoo and hair conditioner. Council also noted the effort of the Ministry to form the women into cooperatives for sustainability and progress. In the same vein, Council also noted the hosting of Walima for the female winners of this year’s Qur’anic recitation competition. WATARI IRRIGATION WATER SCHEME 2. Council noted the problem of water distribution at the Watari Irrigation Water Scheme and directed the immediate repair of the water distribution plant. Furthermore, Council calls the general public to exercise patience as the Government will do everything at its disposal to provide potable water to the populace. 3. GRADUATION OF 600 WOMEN FROM THE POULTRY INSTITUTE TUKWUI AND 132 PARTICIPANTS FROM INSTITUTE OF LIVESTOCK, BAGAUDA Council noted the successful graduation of 600 women from the Poultry Institute, Tukwui and the empowerment of 132 participants from the institute of livestock, Bagauda, which is in tandem with the present administration’s desire to improve the lives of the citizens and to be self-reliant. CONDOLENCE MESSAGE ON THE DEATH OF BARONESS MARGARETH THATCHER 4. Council with deepest sympathy condoled the Government and people of the United Kingdom over the death of the former Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher. 5. SIGNING OF LAWS BY THE GOVERNOR Council witnessed the signing of the laws of the Kano State Institute for Information Technology and the Kano State Security Trust Fund by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, which were recently passed into Law by the Kano State House of Assembly. 6. DONATION OF FIFTY (50) COMPUTERS TO KANO STATE POLYTECHNIC BY ZENITH BANK PLC Council witnessed and appreciated the presentation and donation of fifty (50) brand new desktop computers to the Kano State Polytechnic by Zenith Bank Plc. as part of its corporate social responsibility AWARD OF DISTINCTION CONFERRED TO GOVERNOR Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE 7. Council acknowledged the conferment of an award of distinction to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE by the Nigerian Youths Parliament, Kano State Chapter, for his tremendous stride and support towards making the Nigerian Youths Parliament a reality and functional in Kano state. COMMENDATION TO KANO STATE CHAPTER OF ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF POLYTECHNICS (ASUP) 8. AND SENIOR STAFF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN POLYTECHNICS Council commended the above mentioned associations’ congresses for agreeing not to participate in the current strike action embarked upon by the National Unions. This is as a result of the numerous and laudable development projects and programs initiated by the present administration. 9 STUDENTS EXCHANGE PROGRAM Council deliberated on the need for the State to propose Students Exchange Program to the Southern States of the country as being done with the Northern States to foster unity and exposure amongst the citizenry. The Ministry of Education was directed to link up with the Southern States for the program to materialize. 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 general public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking on – 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 further information on Government activities visit us at: www.kano.gov.ng/new
Signed: Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports & Culture
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY APRIL 29, 2013
Soldiers kill kidnap suspect, arrest four others KIDNAP suspect was killed and two others arrested during a gun battle between security operatives and suspected kidnappers in Akoli Imenyi, Bende Local Government of Abia State at the weekend. The shootout ensued when troops from Sector 4 of the Joint Task Force (JTF) moved to free a victim, who was abducted by gunmen in Ngbodo and Akoli-Imeni communities. One AK 47 rifle, two loaded magazines and 21 live rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition were recovered at the suspects’ hideout. In a related development, two kidnap suspects were arrested in Afukang, Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State during a shootout with men of JTF’s Sector 3 command. Udom Edidiong and Vic-
Police foil bank robbery in Abia
HE police in Aba, Abia State, yesterday foiled attempts by a six-man gang to break into the Asa Road branch of a new generation bank. The gang leader was killed during the operation while five other members of the group escaped by scaling the bank’s fence. The Area Commander, ACP Rabiu Dayi, told reporters: “The robbers entered the bank’s premises around 02:08hrs yesterday morning. “The operation lasted briefly because of the quick intervention of the police team. “The timely response of the Area Command’s anti-robbery squad, Police Mobile Force 28 and other police patrol teams foiled all the efforts made by the robbers from enFrom Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt
tor Akwang are believed to be members of a criminal ring operating in Cross River State. It was gathered that it took the cooperation of men of the State Security Serv-
From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba
tering the bank to carry out their nefarious act.” He said 17 shells of expended bullets, a master key and a mobile phone were recovered at the crime scene. “Of the six members of the gang, the leader whom you see lying dead here was killed by the Mopol officer on duty. The five other members of the gang escaped through the backyard fence when they noticed the heavy presence of police team.” The DPO-in-charge of the Anti-Robbery Unit, Anari Anari, said his team has launched a manhunt for other members of the gang.
, ices (SSS) and combined JTF troops to arrest the criminals from their hideout in Afukang. JTF’s spokesman Lt–Col. Onyeama Nwachukwu said the duo launched several attacks on innocent citizens before their arrest last week.
He said: “The suspects engaged the security team in a firefight before they were overpowered and arrested in a pre-dawn anti-kidnapping raid. “They have been handed over to the Department of State Security, Calabar for further investigation.”
•Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (third right), China Potevio Group representative, Miss Cheryl Li (second right), Executive Director, First Bank PLC, Mr.Uron Kalu Eke (second left), China Lightning Africa Group representative, Mr. Kelvin Zhang (left) and Head, Group Public Sector, First Bank, Mr. Timothy Arowoogun (right) during the visit of the officials of the Chinese companies and First Bank Plc to the Governor in his office at the weekend.
Amaechi: transition period always challenging HE Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said whenever there is going to be transition in governance, it is always a period of problems and challenges. Amaechi, who is also the Governor of Rivers State, urged clerics and others not to relent in praying for government at all levels. The governor, who was represented by Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt at the confirmation service and commissioning of elders at the Christ Church. He said: “The time of transition in governance is a period of problems and discord. “I believe that with your prayers, this country will come out of these challenges.” The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rev Nicholas Okoh, said the Federal Government’s amnesty committee on Boko Haram, should not be seen as an Islamic programme. Rev Okoh described the onslaught by Boko Haram members as a Nigerian problem and not a challenge for the people in the North. For the amnesty committee
•Boko Haram, a Nigerian problem, says Okoh From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
to be effective, the Primate noted that the government should monitor it closely, to prevent a one-sided affair. Rev Okoh said: “The issue of Boko Haram in the country is not personal. The government has taken a position. What we want the government to do is to monitor the committee it has set up, so that
it will not be a one-sided affair.” The primate also said Nigeria was in a difficult situation because of insecurity and corruption. He was sad that the recommendations of the Boko Haram committee would determine, if peace would return to Nigeria or not. Okoh said: “Nigeria is in a difficult situation and that
has to do with the insecurity in the land. “Even as we are looking forward to the outcome of the amnesty committee, it is not everybody who has accepted everything. “It depends on what the amnesty committee members will recommend. That is what will actually determine the peace of Boko Haram, the peace of the country and the peace of the victims.”
Anambra denies disparaging monarchs
HE Anambra State Government yesterday denied reports that Governor Peter Obi threatened to deal with traditional rulers who visited Ifeanyi Ubah, CEO of Capital Oil, in Lagos for the wedding of his sister, Vivian. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mike Udah, said Obi did not threaten any monarch but merely advised them on what to do before leaving the state. He said: “To set the records straight, Governor Peter Obi did not threaten any traditional ruler over the trip to Ifeanyi Ubah’s sister’s wedding. “His Excellency, in declaring open the second edition of the State Traditional Rulers Summit, urged the monarchs to be mindful of the nature of their positions and not de-
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
value their importance by indiscriminately conferring chieftaincy titles on people. “He reminded them of the rules of their office, which among other things, require them to notify the governor before they travel out of their domains just as the governor notifies the President before he embarks on any trip outside the country. “The governor frowned at the situation where he arrived at the venue of a state function only to discover that many of the traditional rulers were absent because they had travelled out of the state to attend a private event. “Anyone who knows the workings of the Traditional Rulers Council will attest to the fact that the governor has never interfered in the affairs of the council.”
SSIII pupil ‘kills’ four-year-old
FOUR-year old boy has been killed in Enugu. The boy’s headless body was said to have been discovered in a bush at Umuatugboma Akegbe Ugwu in Nkanu West Local Government. According to sources, the body was found, following the confession of a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil, who allegedly owned up to the crime. The source said after the search for the boy was intensified without success; some pastors were invited to intercede with prayers. After the prayers, the pastors assured that the boy’s killers would confess. The pupil reportedly con-
From Chris Oji, Enugu
fessed to his father that he was behind the boy’s disappearance. He took his father and other villagers to the scene, where the boy’s body was found in a pool of his blood. The pupil, who was writing the West African School Certificate Examination, was said to have told the villagers: “I was instructed by an evil spirit to spill blood.” Police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said police has begun investigation. He confirmed the arrest of the pupil. The body has been deposited at the Hospital Mortuary of General Hospital Agbani for autopsy.
Court orders Lagos to pay ex-deputy governor’s benefits By Preious Igbonwelundu
N Igbosere High Court, Lagos, at the weekend, ordered the Lagos State Government to pay the retirement benefits and pension to a former Deputy Governor Sinatu Ojikutu. Justice Funmilayo Atilade, who delivered the judgment, granted the reliefs sought by the former deputy governor. Mrs Ojikutu was a deputy governor between January 1992 and November 1993. She prayed the court for an order compelling Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) to pay her pension and other benefits, as provided for under the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law, No. 11 Official Gazette of Lagos State, 2007. In an originating summons brought pursuant to Order 3, Rule 6 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004 and Sections 1-6 of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pensions) Law 2007, No. 11 Official Gazette of Lagos State, Mrs Ojikutu prayed the court to declare that she is entitled to the payment of pension and other benefits, as provided for under the above law of the state. Mrs Ojikutu, who was overthrown via the Gen. Sani Abacha coup of 1993, also requested for an annual basic salary equal to 100 per cent of the annual salary of the incumbent deputygovernor of Lagos State subject to review every five years or salary review by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission in line with Section 210 (3) of the Constitution, as Amended in 2011. Joined as respondents in the suit filed through her lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), are: Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, as well as the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, Lagos State. In her statement of claim, Mrs Ojikutu alleged that towards the end of the administration of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the state Assembly enacted a law stating, among others, that: “Any person who held office as an elected governor or deputy governor (referred to in this Law as Public Office Holder) shall be entitled to the payment of pension at the rate equivalent to the annual basic salary of the incumbent governor or deputy governor and other benefits as provided by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission. “Any person duly elected as a public office holder shall, upon the successful completion of his term, be entitled to a grant of pension for life by the state; provided that such a person shall not be entitled to a grant of pension under this law, if he was removed from office by the process of impeachment or for a breach of any provision of the Constitution. “The total emolument of the public office holder shall include salary, allowances and fringe benefits...”
Crude oil theft: Act of conspiracy by govt officials, says NLC By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu
LARMED by the continuous theft of crude oil, the loss of which Shell and some other firms have put at $7 billion annually, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged oil workers to perfect an act to frustrate crude oil thieves. NLC President Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar at the weekend said the massive theft of crude oil in the Niger Delta was an act of conspiracy by some top government officials and their military and foreign collaborators to short-change Nigerians. He spoke in Lagos at the Special Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). Omar said NLC is ready to be part of any struggle to frustrate oil thieves. He said: “NUPENG and its allies in the industry should do all they can to expose, frustrate and possibly stop this illegal business.” Omar condemned the continuous theft of crude oil despite the presence of a fortified Task Force and the huge investment in security.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
CITYBEATS 'Govt right on dead bodies' burial’ By Gbenga Aderanti
THE chairman, Working Committee of the Lagos State Association of Funeral Directors (LAFD), Comrade Adewale Senbore, has expressed his support for government's move to stop the practice of burying dead bodies in residential buildings Senbore, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of D'Cross Funeral Homes, described the move as a good decision by the government, describing it as "something all of us should inculcate." Senbore said it was better for people to use public cemeteries, adding: "Thank God for Lagos State today that we have many functioning public and private cemeteries. He described the idea of burying loved ones at home as outdated and unhygienic, especially in this area where most homes generate water for domestic use. "People should learn to bury dead relatives at designated places," he said. While not in total support of burying dead people with expensive items such as gold ornaments, he described as laughable, the argument that undertakers and funeral managers go to cemeteries to dig graves and steal coffins. "I really don't think that the idea of stealing caskets from cemeteries or graveyards is real, but if you use the government or private cemeteries, there is no way someone will go there and dig out dead bodies because there is security in place. Nigerian undertakers are not tomb raiders; it is not possible," he said. Contrary to the belief in many quarters, Senbore said giving loved ones befitting burial with the services of funeral homes are not expensive. "Like D'Cross here, there is something for everybody; you don't have to break banks to give your loved ones befitting burial." He, therefore, recommended funeral insurance for people above 70 years.
Madam Ige for burial June 1 DUE to the monthly environmental sanitation cutting across the South West states and other exigencies, the burial ceremony earlier announced by the family of late Madam Comfort Aduke Ige, has been postponed by one week. In the new burial arrangement, the Christian Wake takes place on Friday, May 31, at her K52, Isare Street, Efon Alaye home by 5pm. There will be church service on Saturday June 1, at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Idagba Street, Efon Alaye at 11am after which interment takes place. Reception follows the interment same day at Oke Are Primary School, Efon Alaye between 2pm and 7pm. Madam Ige, popularly known as Mama Olopo-Ewa, died on Friday in Lagos after a brief illness. Described by many as a hardworking, God-fearing, reliable, virtuous, trustworthy and a caring woman, the deceased was a unifying force among her people who related and treated all well regardless of age, tribal or religious leanings. She is survived by Mrs Folake Idowu, Chief Kayode Allen Ige, Engr. Bankole Julius Ige, Mr Kehinde Festus Ige, Mr Taye Felix Ige, Mr Idowu Olajide Ige and Mrs Alaba Christianah Oderinde.
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
Residents jittery over coming rains R ESIDENTS of over 30 communities in Ikorodu, on the outskirts of Lagos, are living in fear because of the coming rains. They are afraid that the deplorable conditions of two major roads in their neighborhood - Agbele (now Bola Ahamed Tinubu) and Oreyo - will worsen. Under the aegis of their Community Development Associations (CDAs), they are appealing to the state government to come to their aid after spending a fortune to fix the roads. The Chairman of Oreyo/Agbele CDA, Dotun Adetunji, told The Nation yesterday that the roads had made life miserable for residents. He said the constant erosion of the roads had paralysed social and commercial activities in the area. "This is very sad because anytime it rains, we are practically shut out from the outside world. Those who go out cannot come in and those who are inside cannot go out. Many of the schools that are unfortunate to be located in this axis are practically shut down. Even commercial motorcyclists and tricycle operators cannot use the roads," Adetunji said. “The Agbele/Oreyo Road was built
• One of the roads ... yesterday By Seun Akioye
in the early 1980s and since then, it has not been repaired. Its condition keeps on worsening,” Adetunji said, adding that his CDA had spent over N5 million in the past four years to upgrade the road. He said: "In the past four years, we have levied ourselves to buy our transformers, number our houses, grade and provide drainage as well as reconstruct the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Road. These have had enormous strain on our lean resources because we have spent over N5million to accomplish them. "But the challenge is that anytime we grade the roads, after the first rain, they would collapse. We need the might of the state government to help
Drunk candidate misses UME
22-year-old boy, Tope (surname withheld), yesterday missed the chance to write this year's University Matriculation Examination (UME). Reason: He got to his centre late and drunk. Tope got to his SMA College, Isolo, Lagos centre by 11. 23 am, over two hours after the examination began. He started banging on the gate of the centre when he arrived there, calling the officials supervising the exercise to allow him in. A National Security Civil Defence Commission (NSCDC) official who eventually opened the gate for him expressed shock on sighting his unsteady gait, screaming: "You are late and you are smelling alcohol; you are drunk, no wonder you were banging the gate."
By Medinat Kanabe
With the intervention of some parents, he was later allowed to enter the premises and when it was glaring that he might not be allowed to write the examination, Tope knelt down pleading that he wouldn't mind writing it outside the hall. He told The Nation that he came from Ogun State for the examination, adding that it was his first time in Lagos. Asked why he took alcohol, he said he was scared and needed something to help him subdue the fear. He eventually left the premises without writing the examination. An official of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) told The Nation that he was disallowed because he was drunk.
PHOTO: SEUN AKIOYE
Anytime it rains, we are practically shut out from the outside world. Those who go out cannot come in and those who are inside cannot go out. Many of the schools that are unfortunate to be located in this axis are practically shut down
us fix these problems. We are tax-paying responsible citizens of Lagos State and we feel we should benefit from this democracy even if only through this road," Adetunji said. The community accused its LCDA Chairman Mr. Adegbenga Basanya of failing to come to its aid. "The worst part is that the LCDA chairman is not willing to do anything about this road. It is a shame that this situation has come to this because we have made several entreaties to him without success. We have been bearing the burden of the yearly repairs on this road without any input from the government; now we are tired and cannot go any further," a resident, Adeyinka Makanjuola, said. "Nobody wants to come here again; when it rains, commercial activities are paralysed and I find it difficult to go to the market," said Olayinka Adeyanju, a small scale business woman. It was also gathered that the com-
munity spends N1million every year to clear the drainage channels, but still get eroded after the rains. "We have repaired the road this year and as you can see now, it is almost impassable. The problem of this road cannot be resolved until the state government re-constructs the road as well as the drainage so that the water will flow into the canal which is one kilometer away," Adetunji said. Bola Ahmed Tinubu Road is a major link road from Igbogbo town through Igbokuta to Ijebu-Ode where one can link BeninOre Expressway or any other major town in the Southwest. However, Basanya told The Nation yesterday: "I appreciate the efforts being made by the community. When they came, I told them we didn't have money. I went to the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) for assistance. I know how they feel because they are tax payers too. We tried to clear the drainage; unfortunately, the rains are already approaching. This is not what the local government can just dabble into; we need the might of the state government to complete it. "We lack funds in Ikorodu despite the big challenges. I explained this to the residents. The Lagos State government is constructing the Igbogbo-Ebute and Bola Tinubu Roads and they have started work at Agunfoye. I know the problems they are facing, but we cannot finish it at once." The councilor for Agbele Ward, Hon. Iyabo Salisu, also appealed to the government to help the community. "What we hear is that the road is already in the budget but not for this 2013. I am appealing to the government to help us here, even if this is the only thing they will do for us this year because the condition is very bad."
Council chair warns residents on sanitation
HE chairman of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, Mr. Oluruntoba Oke, has said his administration would reduce malaria scourge in the council area, even as he warned residents against bad sanitary attitude. Speaking during this year’s World Malaria Day held at the council’s secretariat, he noted that many families had not imbibed the right attitude to defeat malaria. He said: "To achieve this, all hands must be on deck. One is particularly happy to note that as part of our activities to commemorate the event, another opportunity is available to sensitise residents of the council area." Oke said that the council recently distributed insecticide-treated nets to about 8,000 homes. "We also during the last quarter attended to about 2,300 expectant women and children under five years to ensure they are safe from malaria." He maintained that the council
• L-R: Oke (middle); his wife, Modupe and a guest, Dr. Olufemi Olugba, at the event By Musa Odoshimokhe
would invest in any project that would add value to people’s health because without good health, productivity would be low and the council would pay for the consequences. Oke said: "To invest in the future is to kick malaria out today. This initiative is another giant stride by the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Health to
ensure qualitative healthcare delivery in the people’s interest. "Our council is an active participant in the weekly market sanitation. Market men and women are involved in the monthly environmental sanitation exercise; we commend all those who have participated in it." The chairman explained that in view of the priority his administration places on people's health, it had embarked on the rehabilitation of
some primary health centres and the construction of new ones within the council area. He urged residents to always keep their environment clean and seek medical attention from recognised hospitals instead of embracing dangerous selfmedication. He warned that whoever fails to take the sanitation exercise seriously would face the law, adding that the council would punish residents who allow their environment overtaken by dirt.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
Man loses wife, quadruplet at delivery
BICYCLE repairer, Mr. Ubakwe Mark has urged individuals and organisations to assist in nursing his three surviving babies following his wife's death while delivering the last of quadruplets. Ubakwe, who hails from Akukabia in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, said the last of the quadruplets also died. He lamented that the surviving babies who have been denied breast milk since the death of their mother were not feeding well because he cannot cater for them. Ubakwe said: "My wife died last month after delivering the quadruplets; the last baby also died instantly, remaining three. I have been trying my best to see if I could take care of the babies but there is no money to feed them. "When I brought them back to my village, some people assisted me for the babies' food, but when it finished, I started begging to ensure that I give them food. It has not been easy for me because I have no mother and my father is not healthy enough to assist me." Ubakwe said his wife was the family's breadwinner before she died, add-
C ITYBEATS Lagos Police rescue kidnapped American school’s pupil
•The motherless babies. Inset: Mark From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
ing: "We had one baby before the quadruplets and my wife, Ejiuwa was everything to me, especially when it was about providing for the family. "It is not that I am not doing my best as the head of the family. I am
trying the little I can to ensure that I support the family with what I realise from my bicycle repair business. But the most important thing now is how these children will survive. "Their condition is giving me sleepless nights; sometimes, many evil plans will just come to my mind but only God has been saving me from those evil thoughts."
HE police in Lagos have rescued an American International School pupil who was kidnapped about two weeks ago on his way to school. Policemen attached to Ikoyi division trailed the suspected kidnappers to a forest in Ilaro, an Ogun community, where the victim was kept under watch pending when ransom would be paid. It was gathered that the rescue operation led to the death of one of the suspects during an exchange of fire with the police. A police Corporal, The Nation learnt, was stabbed twice by the suspected kidnappers in an attempt to evade arrest. Police sources said the alleged mastermind of the kidnap was the boy's family's driver who usually drops the teenager in school. The driver was identified as Adebayo John. A ransom of N60 million was allegedly demanded from the victim's father. It was learnt that when information on the abduction reached the Area 'A' Command, it ordered the police operatives to fish out the suspects and rescue the victim alive. Police sources said the police detectives immediately commenced the
By Jude Isiguzo
monitoring of the suspects to trace the location from where they were calling their victim's family. Operatives traced the suspects to a hideout in Ogun State and stormed the place. Police operatives reportedly spent about four days scouting for the suspects until last Thursday when they arrested one of them. It was during interrogation that the arrested suspect disclosed where the kidnapped teenager was kept. Two members of the kidnap gang were said to have been waiting in the bush for the ransom last Friday, when operatives stormed the place. One of the suspects reportedly brought out a knife and stabbed one of the plain-clothe policemen twice in the head, while the others opened fire on the other policemen. But he was eventually shot dead. The deceased, as gathered during investigations, was said to be a sibling of the driver who allegedly masterminded the boy's abduction. Three of the suspects were said to have been whisked to Lagos for further investigation. It was gathered that they would be paraded this week.
Boko Haram: Hausa community O prevent the infiltrating of registers members
•L-R: Mrs. Laoye-Tomori, Bishop Adebiyi, Arch Bishop Olusola and his wife, Oluwakemi, and Mrs Orelope-Adefulire at the service yesterday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA
Joy as new Bishop takes over
T was an afternoon of fun at The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Diocese of Lagos West yesterday. Rt Revd James Olusola was enthroned the new Arch Bishop of the church. Olusola, who had served faithfully in the church for about 18 years, was allsmiles. The installation took place at a service held at Arch Bishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos. His predecessor, Right Reverend, Bishop Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, who retired last Saturday, enthroned Arch Bishop Olusola. Bishop Adebiyi, who held the position for 14 years, wished him well, saying: "God will sustain and strengthen you to take the church to greater heights." The Arch Bishop of Lagos, His Grace, Most Revd, Prof Dada Akinade, gave the "Pastoral Staff of Office" to Arch Bishop Olusola. He prayed for him, saying: "God will
By Olatunde Odebiyi
sustain and uphold you as you carry the staff.” He advised the Arch Bishop to keep watch over his shepherd, “encourage the faithful, restore the lost and build up the body of christ.” The new Arch Bishop assured the congregation that he would continue Bishop Adebiyi’s good works, with a pledge to do greater works in genuine service to God and humanity. “I am a man of peace and peace must reign in this church,” he added. He encouraged all to focus their minds on the Spirit, saying that things of the flesh have no profit. He said further: "Follow God's plan for your life, do only the things that will please God and never forget that God is the main reason for our existence. I have served within and outside this church for years. A man
who is too big to serve will be too small to lead; this is why humility is key in all we do. God will never forget our labour of love. He is a rewarder of those who diligently serve him." Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, congratulated the new Arch Bishop, saying: “He is a man of God. Since I met him preaching the word, he has been a blessing to me. I appreciate him and respect the grace of God upon him. He is well loved by the people; he is responsible and I’m sure he will lead us aright." Her Osun counterpart, Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, sought people’s support for the Arch Bishop “because we are all one body in Christ.” Wife of the new Arch Bishop, Olukemi, said: “God will help us. We made it not by our works of righteousness, nor for what we have done in the past; it is by His mercy. If he brought us in, he will take us through.”
Ogun govt, council train women
HE Chairman, Abeokuta South Local Government, Ogun State, Lanre Edun, has commended women in his domain for their various efforts at improving council area. He gave the commendation at a training organised for women leaders in the area, which held at the council's secretariat, Ake, Abeokuta. Edun, an engineer, also thanked the women for their invaluable support towards his administration and that of Governor IbikunleAmosun. He urged them to continue to support them in order to enjoy the full dividends of democracy. He also sought their support for the newly-formed All Peoples Congress (APC) Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in the state, Mrs. Elizabeth Sonubi, also enjoined women who
By Jude Isiguzo
had benefited from the empowerment loans granted through the ministry to repay in time. The one-day training, which centered on leadership and communication skills, was organised by the
Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in conjunction with the council to enlighten the grassroots women on contemporary issues. It was also meant to cross-fertilise ideas on matters affecting them and how to improve their socio-economic and political status.
Youth leader pledges reforms
HE newly elected President of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Comrade Henry Nwabueze has pledged to introduce reforms that will benefit the youth across the country. He told reporters in Lagos that youths need skill acquisition and other economic empowerment to engage their minds. This, according to him, would prevent them from
engaging in social vices that would threaten the security of the country. He thanked delegates who took part in the youth convention recently held in Akure, Ondo State, where the executive members were elected, saying: "This is a time we have to reform our organisation so that it will be in conformity to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan."
their community by Boko Haram, the Hausa in Lagos have begun the registration of their members. The national coordinator of Arewa United (AU), Alhaji Ado Shaubu Dansudu, who made the disclosure in Lagos yesterday, said the exercise would enable the group identity its members in any part of the state, adding that all those not registered would be sent packing. The form, which Dansudu showed The Nation, contains names, date of birth, sex, marital status, nationality, state of origin and local government area. Other details are residential address, occupation, phone number and guarantor. There is a time limit for prospective members to register. The form will be translated in Hausa for those who don’t understand English. On promotion of peace and cordial relations with other residents, he said: "We have adequate security in the markets. For instance, we always meet with the police, State Security Service (SSS) and soldiers, to ensure peace in the state and the entire country. I praise Governor Babatunde Fashola; Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 11 Onikan and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Police Command, Umar Manko for their commitment to improved security in Lagos and Ogun states. "It is lack of jobs that contributed to the Boko Haram menace as well as the fact that politicians often use people to achieve their selfish ambitions
•Dansudu By Ebele Boniface
and dump them." He urged the Federal Government to monitor the screening of people arrested and detained in connection with Boko Haram to avoid punishing the innocent. He wondered why no refugee camp had been established to take care of the children, old men and women, and widows who are suffering because of what happened in Borno, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna and Bauchi states, among others. Alhaji Ado, who also chairs Hausa community at Oke Odo Market, Oja Agege, called for either the resignation or sack of Joint Task Force (JTF) director; Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Director of Military Intelligence and the JTF Commander in Borno State for the recent killing in Baga, Borno State.
How to sustain cleft care, by expert
O achieve sustainable care for congenital birth defect otherwise known as cleft lip and palate, there must be fundamental shift in approach to tackling the deformities. This view was expressed on Saturday by Mr Remi Adeseun, the guest speaker at the Third Biennial General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Association for Cleft Lip and Palate (NACLP) held at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos. The theme of the conference was: Sustainability of Cleft Care in Nigeria. Cleft lip and cleft palate (CLP) are birth defects that occur when a baby's lip or mouth does not form properly. Adeseun, a pharmacist and president of Health, Education, Work and Shelter (HEWS) foundation, said there must be collaborative efforts between health workers and policy makers to prevent the spread of the defects. Arguing that Nigeria recorded 5,400 case of congenital birth defect in 2011 alone as against the cases in its neighbouring countries, Ghana and Cam-
By Wale Ajetunmobi
eroun, which had 656 and 60 in the same year, Adeseun said the nation still had a long mile to cover in reducing the spread of cleft lip and palate (CLP). He maintained that awareness among the populace remained the potent method to reduce the defect. He cited cultural and economic factors, which may arise from disagreement between organisations or governments funding the cleft campaign as reasons CLP is not routinely treated in Nigeria. Adeseun said the activities of quacks had compounded the problems facing the anti-cleft campaign. He said well-healed cleft lip with minimal scarring, good nasal correction and well-repaired functioning palate without fistula, would aid effective treatment of the CLP. Adeseun said genetic counselling, individual dietary education, collaborative approach with training, costeffective provision of surgical equipment and operation facilities were measures needed to create long-term and self-sufficient care for CLP.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
NEWS ICC ‘begins’ probe of extrajudicial killings in Nigeria Continued from page 2
•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (right) presenting treated Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets to women during the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets Campaign held in Asaba...Saturday
Obasanjo to Jonathan: I’m not afraid of probe Continued from page 2
want to enjoy something they have not worked for. It is just an anathema because my family was founded on the principles of reward on the basis of efforts, hardwork, diligence and character. “I have a very, very positive and optimistic view. I think I am congenitally optimistic. Concerning Nigeria, I am an eternal optimist. It does not matter if I am the only one standing and believing that this nation will attain the greatness that God destined for it. I am prepared to be that. “It does not matter what you see. Hope that is seeing is not hope. This nation will transform; true transformation will come to Nigeria.” Asked if she is interested in politics, she added: “No. Actually, there is nothing about being interested in politics, if you understand democracy. “Democracy is incomplete without the engagement of the citizens in the process. The demand for accountability and for results is the role of citizens, You don’t have to be in politics in order to be an active citizen engaged in the democratic process. “The reason that we have lacked results and accountability since our first democratic experiment in the 60s was simply because the citizens failed to play that role. I am not going to be a citizen that acts like a eunuch like there is no capacity to demand accountability. “So, I am not a politician. The day I decide that I want to be a politician, you don’t need to guess, you will see me. I am very candid. I am very frank; I am too honest to play games on things that I believe in. I don’t want to be a politician. I am not a politician but I am an active citizen who is basically carrying out the role that every citizen of this nation must carry out.
“My general overview is that we are going through the throes of challenges that require a very strong sense of sacrificial leadership. The corruption in the society right now is so endemic, it’s almost become democratised. And that is going to sink us. We need not implode under the weight of corruption. We need to tackle corruption and tackle it as you would tackle cancer. It can kill. “There is no need pretending that this country is not burdened by the weight of a cancerous phenomenon that is called corruption. Every Nigerian knows that we have a problem. This is a broken society and it has permeated every aspect of our national life. So, we must do something about it. “That is why, for example, when I talk about the active citizen that engages the democratic process. That is what I mean. The motivation that drives me is that look at me, the child of a poor family in a relatively decent society, I got a kind of education that has taken me thus far. “I was Minister of Education. A similarly poor child, who would come from the kind of family I came from when I was young, will not have the kind of opportunities that I had in this same nation. That is what it is about. It is not about anything other than building a decent society. “We must build a decent society that does not sow the terrible seeds of inequality that I see around me today. When I see the children of drivers, gardeners and I see that they will not get the kind of education, the kind of access that I had, the kind of opportunities that led to this life that I have, it pains me. That is what it is about.” Responding to a question, Ezekwesili said she is not controversial. She said: “Am I controversial? I don’t think I am controversial. I am not one bit contro-
versial. I, actually, am not. Perhaps why you are saying that is because of the incident on the Excess Crude Funds. No. “You should say that the government did not handle a citizen who has served this nation with all her heart well. My speech to the young people in UNN, Nsukka at the graduation ceremony was not picking on the government. It was picking on the collapse of the governance system in the petroleum sector and the fact that the oil sector had not delivered any benefit to the poor and that it needed to be tackled. That is what it was about. I am not controversial. “I don’t have to run for an office in order to make change happen. What I believe in is that every citizen has an important role to play. The most important role of the citizen is voice. Nobody is going to take my voice. Voice is God-given. God has given each and every Nigerian the voice in order to determine the kind of results that we are going to get from our leaders. “In a democracy where you swallow up your voice and you sit quietly and you are murmuring in your home, nobody that is leading will have the incentives to offer you results. Every one of us must demand for results. “The resources that are spent in this nation are greater than anything about 25 countries in Africa spend. There are some 25 small countries in Africa that do not have the equivalent of the budget that we spend. “So, to that extent, you can see that if there are no results that are coming out of the spending of oil money in this country, it must become your responsibility. It should not be my responsibility alone. The society must be mobilised to play its active responsibility in underpinning democracy that works for the larger number.” Asked if JAMB and NECO
should be scrapped, she said: “I cannot comment on that directly. But I do know that when I was Minister of Education, we tried to look at a consolidation process because with technology, you can actually converge a lot of the services that examination bodies offer. “So, whether it is JAMB, NECO or it is WAEC, you can bring them togather and can integrate their platforms. We wanted to have that kind of mechanism and restore the integrity of the examination and their certification process. “You would have to first think of the idea analytically, you must analyse it properly. And you need to engage with the National Assembly because they would need to repeal any necessary laws that need to be repealed. “But it must be done on the basis of the outcome. It must be that you know clearly what outcome you are seeking to get, not simply that you are in a very incomplete manner trying to scrap them.” In his sermon, a former Chaplain of Aso Rock, Rev. Williams Okoye, said: “Life is not about material things that some of us are concerned about today; life consists far more than clothes and food.” Some of those who attended the church and reception were: ex-Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammadu and his wife, Maryam Uwais; a former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo; a former Special Adviser to the President, Mr. Joseph Makoju; a former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mrs. Irene Chigbue; ex-Federal Capital Territory Minister Nasir el-Rufai; a businessman, Mr. Hakeem BelloOsagie; a former Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Senator Magnus Abe; and the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh.
What we saw in Baga, by military team Continued from page 2
“At a point, the team asked the locals if there was any mass grave; they said it is rare for Muslims to have mass graves as they do not like to lump corpses together. “We want those who have counted 185 or 238 graves to
also come up with empirical evidence of such. We went round, filmed the town and took photographs. “At the end, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces will have all reports, whether from the military or civilians and do anal-
ysis to draw a conclusion. The state government also has its own report. “The fact-finding team may submit its report to the CDS on Monday (today) in line with the scope of its assignment. “What is painful is that the situation in Baga was not the
way it is painted before the international community.” On the likelihood of the MJTF troops pulling out of Baga, the highly-placed source said: “The troops will remain in the town unless we want the sect to overrun Borno State.”
the suspects and their sponsors are going to appear before the ICC sooner than later. He added: “To avoid a situation whereby some highly placed public officers and security personnel are dragged before the ICC for conspiracy and crimes against humanity the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, direct the National Human Rights Commission to investigate and ensure the prosecution of all persons found culpable in the Baga invasion and other cases of extra-judicial killings in all states of the Federation. “The Commission is the only body statutorily empowered to investigate complaints of human rights abuses in Nigeria. The Federal Government should make use of the Commission instead of wasting public funds on ad-hoc panels or tribunals of inquiry. “When President Goodluck Jonathan visited Yobe and Borno States in March 2013, he warned that gone were the days ‘when one soldier is killed, the soldiers come and kill scores of people, we have always been admoninishing that’.
“Now that over 200 people were gruesomely massacred in Baga because one soldier was alleged to have been killed by a gang of criminals, the Federal Government must demonstrate a commitment to the defence and protection of the lives of Nigerians by bringing to book the coward murderers and arsonists, who invaded Baga penultimate week without any justification. “During his last media chat, President Jonathan was unsparing of the barbaric invasion of Odi in Bayelsa State in November 1999 by a detachment of soldiers. The Federal High Court has since awarded monetary damages of N137 billion against the Federal Government for the brutal infringements of the fundamental rights of Odi people. “Before then, the court had ordered the payment of N42 billion to the people of Zaki Biam in Benue State, who were similarly brutalised by armed troops on the illegal orders of President Olusegun Obasanjo. “President Jonathan should ensure that the compensatory damages are paid while the murderers who took part in the expeditions are fished out and prosecuted without any further delay.”
Report: Nigeria spends N9.4 on Champagne Continued from page 2
ing, with a scale measuring inequality moving from 0.39 in 2003-2004 to 0.42 in 2009-2010. Zero represents complete equality on the scale, while one is absolute inequality. “By international comparisons, that’s fairly high, but not
out of the range of other countries,” said John Litwack, the World Bank’s lead economist for Nigeria. Some members of Nigeria’s class of super-rich would likely have not have participated in the survey, possibly distorting the figures to a certain degree, he said.
NCAA: grounded plane isn’t Rivers’ Continued from page 2
erated by the Rivers State Government. The owners are the Bank of Salt Lake City , Utah in the United States (U.S.) . “We will meet at the NCAA today and work out the sanction after we have considered all legal angles to establish how many flights the aircraft carried out after the initial permit granted it expired. It is clear from our investigations that the aircraft after the expiration of the permit flew to airports beyond Owerri and Akure that were not captured in the documentation they submitted while coming into the country. “We will need to get to the root of the matter”. Asked why the NCAA did not inform the aircraft operators that its permit had expired, Adeyileka said: “It is not the responsibility of NCAA to remind them that their permit has expired. “It is irrelevant to the NCAA, which passengers were on board. If the operators of the aircraft need clearance, if they apply, we will grant them, but in this case, they did not follow the procedure required by civil aviation laws. Between March 23, and April 2, when the aircraft applied to be in the country, the crew or operator did not inform of any possibility to apply for extension.” The NCAA director said the aircraft posed no securi-
ty risk in Nigeria. He said the owners of the aircraft also did not state that it would be operated by the Rivers State Government. He said :” It is not a security risk. The owners of the aircraft did not state that the aircraft will be operated by the Rivers State Government. On the list of passengers on the flight, the crew only put on the manifest one Rotimi Amaechi; they did not give the full details of the personality. Whereas our investigations reveal that there were 16 passengers on board. Apart from the itinerary that the crew indicated when the aircraft arrived in Nigeria, it embarked on other flights, which presents a scenario of inconsistency. “In all, the aircraft overstayed without permit. We will sanction them. We will do this by looking at the number of flights done. This will be done after we have considered all legal issues before the sanction will be rolled out. The owners of the aircraft did not comply with operational procedure . Our investigation will purely be technical.” The acting Director-General of NCAA, Mr Joyce Nkemakolam, corroborated the account of the director of Airworthiness. He said: “The owners of the aircraft will be sanctioned over expired papers - in line with statutory regulations. We will write them to inform them of the default.”
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
‘Ronaldo, Messi beyond conmparism’
HE former Portugal and Barcelona midfielder says Cristiano Ronaldo and the Blaugrana’s Argentine star are beyond comparison and talks about Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho Fluminense midfielder Deco believes that Lionel Messi is the “cherry on top of the cake” at Barcelona. The former Blaugrana star spent time playing with the Argentine before joining Chelsea in 2008 and thinks that Tito Vilanova has perfected how the Catalunya club play. “Their style of play won’t change,” Deco said. “That’s cultural, that’s how they think football. What can change is how good you portray style on the pitch. “Nowadays, Barcelona can almost reach perfection with this style of playing because of the players they have. And they also have a footballer who is the cherry on top of the cake. Messi is able to make this already very good team be something else.” Deco also played with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo during his time as a
Portugal international but is of the opinion that the former Manchester United man and Messi should not be compared. “It is a natural comparison because they are far away in front of other players, and for media it is a fantastic subject. But I think it is unfair to compare as they have different styles, and are so good with their styles, that it would be unfair to judge who is better,” he added.” “Last year, Cristiano was better in the first six months, I mean he had better stats, but in the final part Messi got better with his. How can you judge this? I don’t know, it is hard, one has a rare quality. The other has a unique mentality that will never happen again in football. So it is difficult to say.” “I saw ‘Cris’ doing impressive things for the national team at a very young age. Cristiano impressed me with his winning mentality since he was very young, even more because of the family problems that he had and he had to live by himself early, he is an example of a person who overcame problems and
we must admire this. “His story should suggest a complicated end, but he did the best of it. He has a winning mentality that honest I have never seen. I have never met a player even with a closer mentality that the one he has.” Deco’s career was given an enormous boost while part of the Porto team which stormed the Champions League under Jose Mourinho and the attacker praised his Portuguese compatriot for the way he influences his squads. “Mourinho was the coach in which I really saw something different. He controls everything that involves football,” the 35-year-old continued. “It is not only match and training, he understands the way players behave, he is in control of everything is happening around the game, and these things make footballers more secure. “My experience with Mourinho was in Porto, and without him we could never have done that extra step, he brought us a winning mentality, a confidence, a feeling that we could go further.”
No transfer for Ibra now, says Raiola T HE powerful attacker has been linked with a return to Serie A, but his representative has stated that he is happy to stay put for now Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, has stressed that the Paris Saint-Germain striker has not instructed him to start looking for a new club. A number of recent reports suggested that the Sweden international has set his sights on a move back to Serie A, with Juventus closely monitoring his situation in the French capital. Nevertheless, Raiola has made it clear that his client
is happy at PSG for now. “Will Ibrahimovic stay at Paris Saint-Germain? At this moment, I’d say yes, but you never know how things look tomorrow,” Raiola told France Football. “Up until now, Zlatan has not asked me to find him a new club. He wants to be part of the project at PSG. But it is my job to be ready for anything. “There are teams out there that are interested in signing Ibahimovic, but I will not reveal the names of those
clubs.” Raiola had invited the Bianconeri to make a move for the 31-year-old earlier this week, but the attacker does not seem to be interested in a transfer just yet.
Klopp: Guardiola signed Gotze
URGEN KLOPP has claimed that the reason behind Mario Gotze’s
transfer to Bayern Munich was the playmaker’s wish to play under Pep Guardiola. The Borussia Dortmund star looks set to move to the Allianz Arena at the end of the current campaign after the Bavarians triggered his •37.5 million release clause and Klopp admitted that the former Barcelona trainer was involved in the move. “The reason Gotze is leaving? He is the favorite transfer of Guardiola,” Klopp told reporters. “So if it’s anyones fault it’s mine. I cannot make myself 15cm smaller and learn Spanish! Gotze wants to work with this extraordinary coach that is Guardiola. “I cannot preach football of quick transitions and now start playing Tiki Taka.”
Klopp also bemoaned their great rival’s decision to buy one of die Schwarzgelben’s best players and hinted that the German champions do not want his side to be successful. “I did not think Bayern wanted to annoy us like this. The rivalry does not go this far. “Somebody, whoever that might be, does not want us to be successful. But we will do whatever it takes not to let that happen. “If you react in the right way, you can gain strength out of every situation.” The 45-year-old admitted that he wasn’t happy about the move and stressed that he understands the frustrations the players and supporters will feel, he hopes it will not let it affect them in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. “I knew the day after the
Moratti: Stramaccioni’ll be coach next season
HE Italian’s future at the club has been the subject of much speculation following a poor run of results, but the
Nerazzurri chief has offered him his full support Inter president Massimo Morrati has confirmed that Andrea Stramaccioni will stay on as coach next season. The Italian coach’s future was thought to be in question with the Nerazzurri slipping to seventh spot before Sunday’s 1-0 win over Parma, with that victory lifting them into fifth spot. “The project will start again with Stramaccioni,” Moratti told Sky Sport Italia. “You always ask me whether
he’ll stay and I always tell you yes. “It is not easy to plan for the future if your computer has a virus, when you have had as many players injured as we have, but we are thinking about next season and doing that well.” The 67-year-old publicly supported both Alberto Zaccheroni and Roberto Mancini before they parted company with the club, but Moratti insists his backing of Stramaccioni is genuine. “Zaccheroni and Mancini
were different situations. Roberto decided to leave and then what happened, happened,” he explained. “We needed to look for a new coach even if Mancini had done really well and we therefore went to Jose Mourinho. But it was Mancini who broke away.” Stramaccioni took charge of Inter at the start of the campaign having originally been appointed caretaker boss in March of last season, following the departure of Claudio Ranieri.
Malaga second leg,” Klopp continued. “So I had 24 hours to be happy about that result. “I can assure that nobody needs to worry about our focus. This is a now more
important situation than it ever was. “I hope fans take the time to get over the change properly. This game is too important an opportunity for us to miss.”
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Championship will be tough H
ARRY REDKNAPP admits it will be a tough challenge to get QPR back in the Premier League after their relegation to the npower Championship was confirmed on Sunday. The west London club played out a goalless draw with Reading which confirmed both side’s drop to the second tier. “Next year it will be very difficult to get promoted, there are some good teams,” he told Sky Sports 1. “For us to get promoted we have to come back in preseason and get super fit. The Championship is Saturday, midweek. “It you are not fit enough you won’t survive, you wont get out of that league. The players that are here have to work so hard and want to get super fit to compete next year. “It will be a big challenge, lots of good teams in the
Championship. There are 15 big teams, it’s a real good challenge.” QPR have spent big over the past two seasons since owner Tony Fernandes came to the club and Redknapp is hopeful QPR could become a force to reward the Malaysian for his
sizable investment. “I will get to see him this week and we will have some meetings and talk about things going forward, with the team with the players” he said. “I have said many times they are good people, so I would
love to see them get back in the Premier league and build a team that will stay there next time.” His message to the fans was: “Keep coming, keep supporting us - we will have fun trying to get out the Championship.”
‘Records only matter when you win a trophy’ —Mancini
ANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini has downplayed his team’s club record run of scoring in 48 consecutive home games and claimed they should focus instead on ensuring they end the season with a trophy. The Manchester City manager complained about his team’s profligacy despite their equalling of a mark set in 1928 for consecutive matches in which they have scored on their own turf. City equalled the record set in 1928 under Peter Hodge by beating West Ham 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Mancini, though, believes a failure to take their chances has cost them the Premier League title this season and preferred to focus on their upcoming FA Cup final against Wigan. “Records only matter when you win a trophy,” Mancini told reporters. “With this one we do nothing. “Our problem this year has been that we didn’t score enough to win the title. Against West Ham we deserved to score four or five goals. “This is my frustration for the season. We had chances to win at Tottenham last week and lost. And against West Ham we didn’t score enough.”
Baines happy to avoid Suarez
EIGHTON BAINES is glad Luis Suarez will not be around when Everton face Liverpool in the final Merseyside derby of the season next Sunday. Boss David Moyes is yet to win at Anfield, but breaking an Everton winless run there that dates back to 1999 would mean bragging rights for the blue half of the city as it would guarantee them finishing the season ahead of their rivals. Although Liverpool won 60 at Newcastle on Saturday without their banned Uruguayan international, Baines believes they are a far different prospect with Suarez in their line-up. “We’re glad we don’t have to face Luis Suarez because he’s a top player and he has done so much for Liverpool this season,” Baines said. “If they had been missing him this season they probably wouldn’t be where they are in the league at the moment. He will be a big loss for them. “But they have got very good players throughout the team and it will be up to them to come to the fore and keep them going. We understand the importance of it, it is a big game. “Every derby is massive because of what it is and it means so much to the fans and us as players as well. But there is no added importance because it is at the end of the season, it is just another derby.”
Everton made hard work of beating Fulham 1-0 on Saturday, but that was enough to keep their slim Champions League hopes alive, and Baines says all the team can do is keep on pushing for positive results. He added: “We have to try to keep getting good results and we’ve definitely done that at home. We’ve dropped a few points away but that happens but we bounced back. If a couple of results go our way and we can keep winning games then who knows where we will end up.”
Barton slams relegated QPR
Adkins looks forward after Reading’s relegation
IGEL Adkins wants Reading to learn the lessons from this season after relegation to the Championship was confirmed after a 0-0 draw with Queens Park Rangers. Reading needed to win at the Madejski Stadium to keep their survival hopes alive, but the result condemned both clubs to the drop from the Premier League. Adkins, who only took charge of the Royals in late March, was disappointed to suffer relegation and is demanding a positive response from his squad. “I said to the players in the dressing room that it’s not nice getting relegated and I never want to be in that situation again,” Adkins told Sky Sports. “We’ve got to bottle that feeling. “We’ve got another game coming up next weekend against Fulham and two more games after that. We’ve got to put ourselves in a situation to keep progressing
as a football club. “We’re going to be a Championship football team so what we’ve got to do is give ourselves an opportunity to get back in the Premier
League and learn the lessons quickly from this season so we’re in a position to be equipped to get back in the Premier League and to give ourselves the opportunity to finish higher than we have done this year.” Asked if there were things he would have done differently since taking charge, Adkins replied: “When you look at it, there’s been a good progression. “We want to play winning football. Today both teams came out with different ways to win a game of football, but unfortunately it’s ended up with a 0-0 scoreline which didn’t help anybody. “We’ve got a nice bunch of lads who work hard. It’s a great football club and we have to rebuild and get ready for next season. “There is an opportunity to do that already and the mindset is we’re looking forward to next season. The lessons we’ve learned from this season are invaluable.”
N-LOAN Marseille midfielder Joey Barton has launched a scathing attack on parent club QPR following their relegation to the Championship on Sunday. A 0-0 draw at Reading saw both clubs demoted from the Premier League and Barton, currently on a season-long loan at the Stade Velodrome, was typically forthright in the wake of the final whistle. He questioned the attitude of the players and warned the Rs that they risk
repeating the struggles of Wolves, who are on the brink of successive relegations having fallen out of the top flight a year ago. “I can’t believe QPR have just been relegated and (Jose) Bosingwa was walking down the tunnel laughing,’’ Barton wrote on Twitter. “Embarrassing. Show some guts man... “Gutted for the club. To many w*****s amongst the playing staff. All brought in by (former manager Mark) Hughes. Some good lads but not enough. Too many maggots. “Hope they can get a load out, if not they’ll end up in a Wolves situation because trust me that Championship is a f****** hard league! “League table doesn’t lie. Both sides haven’t won enough games to deserve to stay up. Reading in a better position than QPR though...’’ Barton is under contract at Loftus Road until 2015 but his comments are unlikely to endear him to his QPR team-mates or manager Harry Redknapp, who suggested on Friday that the midfielder is unlikely to have a future at the club, “He’s a good player but, if you saw where Joey lives in Marseille, I would think it would be very difficult to get him back here,” Redknapp said. “You drive past the mountains and see all those big boats. He’s got a nice lifestyle there so I would be surprised if he wanted to come back. He would be a good player for you, for sure.’’
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Thiago: Barca CL comeback is possible B
A R C E L O N A midfielder Thiago insists the club can stage a comeback against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinal second leg. The Catalan club were blown away in the Allianz Arena as the Germans put four past them without reply but the 22-year-old is still hopeful Tito Vilanova’s charges can overturn what seems an almost insurmountable deficit. “I think we will make a comeback,” he told the club’s official website. “We’re in good condition and we have a team that
always want to win, but anything can happen in football.” The Camp Nou outfit were held to a 2-2 draw by Athletic Bilbao on Saturday in what was the Basques’ final game at San Mames before it makes way for their new stadium. And Thiago paid tribute to their ground and believes their new home will be just as good. He said: “San Mames is a historic stadium and we’ve always really enjoyed playing here, but I’m sure the new stadium will be great as well.” Alexis Sanchez was among the scorers as Barca edged
closer to the Liga title and the Chilean knows the value of having a fit Lionel Messi for the Champions League clash
against Bayern as the Argentine came off the bench to score and assist in Saturday’s league encounter.
“We know what it means to have Messi on the pitch, it doesn’t surprise us, when he comes in, he changes the
game,” he said. “[Against Bayern] we need to fight back, but we also know it will be very difficult.”
Di Maria: Derby win gives CL springboard
EAL MADRID winger Angel Di Maria says the 2-1 victory over Atletico can be the catalyst for Champions League redemption against Borussia Dortmund. The Spanish champions were humbled 4-1 by Jurgen Klopp’s men in the first leg of the semi-finals, but fired an immediate reply to their doubters by silencing the Vicente Calderon. And Di Maria, who was excluded from the starting line-up to face the Germans on Wednesday owing to the
birth of his daughter, believes the derby win can set them off on the right foot to turn the result around next week. “Winning this match is extra motivation and will help us to be at our best on Tuesday,” the 25-year-old underlined to reporters. “We do not take that match as lost. “The league, however, does not let up and we knew that if we lost they would draw level with us, so we did things as well as we could to get a decent gap between us and them so we can be calmer. “The truth is I needed a goal to dedicate it to my wife and daughter and I managed to get it. We did everything right and the way we wanted tonight. The coach put out the team he thought would get the result.” Starlets Nacho and Alvaro Morata echoed their teammate’s opinion, with the former quick to declare: “Madrid is the best team in the world. The team is very confident and hopefully can go on to the final.” Morata added: “Against Dortmund the team have to be united and the supporters also have to give all they can. We know the game will be dfficult, but we’ll try.”
Vidal: Just one more point for Juve
RTURO VIDAL was ecstatic after Juventus moved to within a single point of their second successive Scudetto with a 2-0 success at Torino on Sunday. The Chile international netted with just four minutes to go before Claudio Marchisio added an injury-time second to secure a victory which restored the Bianconeri’s 11-point lead at the summit of Serie A with just four rounds remaining. Consequently, Juve can
AC Milan won’t be caught by Fiorentina, says Amelia
ARCO AMELIA believes that AC Milan have the quality to hold off Fiorentina and seize third spot in Serie A this season. The Rossoneri have taken only two points so far this April after being held 2-2 by the Viola, drawing 1-1 with Napoli and last week falling to a 1-0 defeat against Juventus. However, Massimiliano Allegri’s team still occupy a Champions League place and Amelia is adamant that they will remain in that position until the end of the campaign. “The Viola are doing just as well as us,” the 31-year-old told Tuttosport. “It will be a good battle and go right up to the end. We will try to neutralise their challenge, especially since we are Milan. “We know what our potential is and we have a fixture list, which, if interpreted in the right way, favours us more. Of
course, though, the last five games of the season are not played on paper.” Milan, who face Catania on
Sunday, hold a one-point advantage over their Florencebased rivals, but Amelia is confident that, particularly under Allegri’s leadership, his side can enjoy a successful end to the year. “Allegri is very focused on winning third place and I think that for him there is nothing better for Milan,” the former Roma youth player continued. “I also do not see why he should leave the club- I think he will stay.”
now clinch the title with nothing more than a draw at home to Palermo next weekend. “It was vital to win today,” Vidal is quoted as saying by his club’s official website. “There’s really not long to go now. “But there’s still one point to get so we have to keep preparing well and then play a great game against Palermo. After that, we can celebrate. “It was a difficult game. Torino played well and proved to be very well prepared tactically. It was tough, as it always is in derby matches.”
While Juve are poised to underline their Serie A superiority next weekend, Vidal insists there is no chance of Antonio Conte’s men resting on their laurels given they desperately want to replicate their domestic dominance in European competition next season. “We still have to improve,” the midfielder acknowledged. “You always need to and that’s what we want to do, because our aim is to win everything.” Vidal joined Juve from Bayer Leverkusen in 2011 and is now set to collect his second Scudetto in two seasons.
Galtier content with stalemate
AINT-ETTIENNE boss Christophe Galtier says a draw was probably a fair result as Olympique Lyon came from behind for a 1-1 draw on Sunday. Les Verts remain in fourth position, while OL also kept hold of their third placed standing in the French Ligue 1. Young defender Kurt Zouma put ASSE ahead in the 29th minute, but Les Gones pulled the scores back to level
pegging in the 55th minute when Yoann Gourcuff slotted home after a clever exchange with Clement Grenier. Galtier believes a draw away from home in a derby against Lyon is not a bad result and highlighted the importance of keeping the pressure on the teams above them if they want to qualify for the Champions League. “When you come to Lyon for a derby, it’s always good to take a point,” he said. “We’re
winning at home and we’re not losing away. We will have to get a win (at home to) Bordeaux (next week) if we want to keep the pressure on the others.” Galtier added that top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang had enough chances to make the match a lot more comfortable. “We created a lot of chances, but ‘Aubam didn’t have any luck today,” the coach added. “I think we could have scored more than one goal.”
Ancelotti stays silent on exit rumours
ARIS SAINTGERMAIN coach Carlo Ancelotti has failed to deny rumours that he is to leave the French club at the end of the season. Rumours have circulated surrounding the Italian’s future in recent weeks, with reports linking him with a summer switch to
Real Madrid to replace Jose Mourinho, who in turn could move to the Parc des Princes. However, speaking ahead of his side’s visit to Evian on Sunday, Ancelotti claimed his destination for next season is yet to be set. “I told the players not to pay attention to the
rumours because nothing is done yet,” he said. “I can’t say 100 per cent that I’m staying. I will make a decision when the league is over although it won’t be a free call, because I’m under contract until June 30, 2014. “Hopefully, you’ll have to wait for 15 days to know whether I stay or not.”
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Woods still tops on rich list A
FTER experiencing a lean few years which saw him drop outside of the world top 50, the American returned to form at the end of last year and regained the top spot in the rankings earlier this campaign from Rory McIroy. According to the list, 14time major winner Woods is the richest sportsman in the world and he is worth a staggering £570m. The 37-year-old’s fortunes dwarfs that of Britain’s richest golfer Sir Nick Faldo as the six-time major winner is worth “only” £36m. Faldo is 22nd on the list of Britain’s 100 richest sportsmen, which is topped by former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham -
worth an estimated £165m with Dave Whelan and family, owners of Wigan Athletic in the English Premier League, second with £160m. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington is second on the list of Britain and Ireland’s richest golfers with £34m while Colin Montgomerie is four million off his pace and Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are tied for fourth with £28m. McIlroy, who became the world number one in 2012 on the back of his PGA Championship win, is worth £20m and he is tied for seventh with Ian Woosnam while Darren Clarke, Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Graeme McDowell complete the top 10.
UK Olympian Okoye says he’ll sign with 49ers
RITISH discus thrower Lawrence Okoye wasn’t taken in the NFL draft, but says he’ll pursue his American football dream by signing as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers Britain’s Lawrence Okoye competes during the Diamond League Athletics meeting in August last year in Lausanne. Okoye wasn’t taken in the NFL draft, but says he’ll pursue his American football dream by signing as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers. “Proud to announce that I will be signing with the San Francisco @49ers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Okoye said Saturday on the social networking site Twitter as the 49ers wrapped up the 2013 draft of new players — virtually all of them out of US university football programs — by taking Marcus Cooper with the 252nd overall and final selection. Okoye, a 21-year-old from Croydon, south London, finished 12th in the Olympic Games’ discus final last August. But while on a discus training camp in the United States in early April he decided to try out for the NFL, attending a regional scouting combine in Atlanta. He was impressive enough to be chosen for the super regional combine in Dallas, where scouts from all 32 teams could see him work out. Okoye is hoping to emulate the career of Michael Carter,
who won a silver medal in shot put at the 1984 Olympics and went onto have a dominant NFL career with the 49ers, who were beaten by the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl in February. He’s not the only British player who will be heading to the San Francisco Bay area to pursue an NFL dream. Menelik Watson, a 24-yearold offensive tackle from Manchester, was taken in the second round of the draft on Friday — with the 42nd overall selection — by the Oakland raiders. That’s by far the highest draft pick ever used on a player born and brought up in Britain. Watson is also a relative newcomer to the hugely popular US game — but he’s more experienced than Okoye. Watson launched his American sports career playing basketball at Marist College. After transferring to Saddleback Community College in California he began playing football for the first time in 2011. A move to Florida State University followed. Although he entered the draft having started just 20 games in his life, his size and speed have impressed NFL talentspotters. “We like his athleticism,” Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen said. “He’s got excellent feet, and he’s got a great punch.”
Khan urged to move to America A
MIR KHAN has been warned he must commit to a full-time future in the United States if he is to stand any chance of reclaiming the world title belts he has been without since losing to Danny Garcia last year. Khan’s first fight in Britain for two years in Sheffield on Saturday night almost lurched to disaster as he was floored in round four and hurt numerous times before wobbling to a 12-round win over Mexican Julio Diaz at the Motorpoint Arena. For all its undoubted excitement it was a wholly unconvincing performance from Khan, who looked out on his feet at times in the 10th and 11th rounds before rallying for a deserved 115113, 115-112, 114-113 unanimous verdict. Khan is now targeting a rematch with Garcia, who kept his own side of the bargain by scoring a thrilling unanimous decision win of his own over veteran and former Khan foe Zab Judah in Brooklyn later on Saturday night. But Khan’s trainer Virgil Hunter has told the 26-yearold he must spend more time at his training base in San Francisco if he is serious about once again holding his own with his sport’s elite fighters. Hunter said: “I’m convinced now that in his own mind Amir knows he’s got to work more and come to the gym more, and that he can’t just go off between fights. “Amir has to acknowledge that right now he is at a disadvantage because of the distance between us. “I see Amir for three months when he comes over here, so the opposition can creep ahead of you because all the top fighters are with their trainers all the time. “It is something we are
going to work on to see if we can bring him up to the level we need him to be at.” However Khan, who fought at a career-heaviest 143lbs as he mulls a potential future move up to the welterweight division, appeared less inclined to fully commit to a full-time training regime away from home. Khan said: “I will probably fly to San Francisco in between fights and do minicamps. It’s going to be difficult. My whole family’s in England but I don’t mind travelling back and forth.” Khan has no shortage of work to do with Hunter if he is serious about getting back in the ring with the likes of Garcia, after a performance which suggested he had learned little from his previous defeats. The 33-year-old Diaz last fought for a world title in the lightweight division six years ago and boasted little on his recent record to suggest he would unduly detain Khan in what was clearly designed as a routine assignment. Khan started solidly enough but by the third round there were already worrying signs that he was too willing to
engage with his experienced opponent, who enjoyed some success in landing left hands. Khan’s openness to big lefts were highlighted to dramatic effect in round four when he walked into a swinging shot which dumped him backwards onto the canvas, drawing gasps from the near-
full Sheffield crowd. If there were any evident improvements exhibited by Khan they were encapsulated in the way he soaked up Diaz’s best shots and came back for more, ensuring there was very little danger of him losing should the fight drift to the scorecards.
UCI rejects USADA Armstrong cycling claims
HE International Cycling Union has rejected claims by the US Anti-Doping Agency chief that it had done nothing to fight doping in the sport. Cycling’s world governing body on Friday strongly rejected claims from the man who brought down Lance Armstrong that they had contributed nothing to the fight against doping in the sport. The head of the the US AntiDoping Agency (USADA) Travis Tygart told a French Senate hearing on Thursday that the International Cycling Union (UCI) had blocked
efforts to clean up the tarnished sport since the scandal broke last year. But the UCI responded strongly, saying in a statement on its website: “The UCI categorically rejects allegations of collusion ... and states categorically that it has nothing to hide”. Giving evidence under oath to a committee from the upper chamber of parliament investigating the fight against doping, Tygart claimed the UCI “did everything to put obstacles in our way” over the Armstrong affair. A devastating USADA report
published last October said Armstrong orchestrated what it termed the biggest doping program in sporting history during his career, sending shockwaves through the sport. The UCI later rubberstamped the findings, banned the Texan rider for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France wins from 1999-2005. But questions remain about the extent of the governing body’s knowledge of his illegal activities, including claims they were complicit in covering up positive dope tests.
THE NATION MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013
Wenger disappointed by Robin van Persie reception
RSENE Wenger admits he is disappointed that Robin van Persie was continually booed by Arsenal fans during the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Manchester United. The Dutchman was making his first return to the Emirates, following his £24million move north last summer, and was subjected to continual abuse throughout the fixture. Wenger had called on
fans to show the Red Devils striker respect and admitted after the match that he was disappointed with certain section of the north London faithful. I think it's disappointing that, when you come back, you get real aggression from the fans "I think it's disappointing that, when you come back, you get real aggression from the fans." But the Frenchman did
defend the commitment shown by his players. "From the first to the last minute it was two teams giving absolutely everything to win," he said. "We gave everything and at the end of the day the regret you have is the way we conceded the goal. Just before half-time that was a serious blow to us."
•Arsenal players gave the Premier League champions a guard of honour before kick-off
Rangers topple Pillars 4-0 in Enugu
IGERIA CAF Champions League campaigner, Enugu Rangers have returned to the summit of the Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) after thrashing erstwhile leaders, Kano Pillars 4-0 in match day 9 tie played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu yesterday. The Flying Antelopes knowing that a good win would catapult them to the top of the league table went back to business almost immediately the game started and they were rewarded with three first half
•Wolves, Heartland, Enyimba record home wins From Tunde Liadi, Owerri goals and another one in the second period. The Enugu base side raced into the lead through Dada Bittus in the 14th minute. Bitrus has thus scored two goals in the last two games. Oghogho Oduokpe made it two just two minutes later while national U20 team player, Alhaji Gero, ensured the first half ended 3-0 in favour of Rangers when he increased the tally in the 24th minute. Former Gombe United goal
poacher, Sani Sanusi who came on in the second half in his debut league game for the Flying Antelopes netted the 4th goal for Rangers in the 79th minute. Rangers are on top of the log with 17 points from 9 games with goals difference of +9 having netted 16 and conceding only 7. Pillars moved slightly down to third with 16 points from 8 ties. At Warri City Stadium, Warri Wolves made sure of their second home win of the season after defeating Kwara United 2-
NFF gets N24m from Obi, N30m to club •Uplifts Rangers spirit with 30 percent increase allowance
NAMBRA state governor Peter Obi has presented cheques totaling over N54 Million to different football teams in the country. Obi presented a cheques of N24 million to the Nigeria junior National Team, the Flying Eagles for their one month camping in the state. He presented the cheque at the weekend during a reception organised for the team and former players of the Rangers International Football Club, Enugu at the Governor’s Lodge. He said the money would take care of the players accommodation, feeding, medication and allowances during their camping in the state in preparation of the coming World Youth Championship in Turkey. It was part of measures to equip the players properly for the competition. He announced a 30 percent increase in the monthly allowance for former Rangers players with effect from last January in addition to N50,000 Christmas bonous to each of the former players. The Governor earlier paid a condolence visit to the family of Okey Isima, and Ex Ranger and former Nigerian International at Nsugbe who died recently. A member of the team that won the first African Cup of Nations for Nigeria and who featured in many international competitions, the Governor regretted that neither the Ministry of Sports nor the NFA was represented. Governor Obi who also presenting a cheque of Thirty Million Naira to Ikpeazu Redoutable Football Club Onitsha at Imeobi playground Onitsha said the same amount he recently presented to the owner of Rojenny Stadium, Mr. Rommy Ezeonwuka.
CHANGE OF NAME OHUNENE I, formerly known and addressed as Raliat Ohunene Enessi , now wish to be known and addressed as Raliat Enessi Buhari. All former documents remain valid. University of Abuja and general public should please take note.
From Onu Nwanosike, Awka and Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi He said the interventions were to assist the club, first floated in 1956 and the first privately owned club to upgrade the infrastructure at the playground and equip the
players properly for future competition. He expressed confidence that if well harnessed, the facility would produce future champions, provide employment, help to fight extreme poverty and hunger as well as eliminate crime.
1. Musa Najere scored a brace for the home team including one from the penalty spot off an infringement on the club's leading marksman, Oghenekaro Etebo but the Afonja Warriors halved the scoreline with Didi Lawal's goal. Warri Wolves improved to 12 points on the log and have extended their unbeaten streak to 8 games this season while Kwara United are also on the same number of points from 9 games. At the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba, the Peoples Elephants halted their two matches without win run at home with a 2-0 victory over Dolphins. The Naze Millionaires, Heartland of Owerri were 3-0 winners at home to Wikki Tourists of Bauchi and they had Isah Akor, who notched his sixth goal this season to race to the top of the goal scorer's chart, was among the scorers for the club.
Staco to support Lagos MTN Street Soccer
NJURED players in the season five of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer Championship at the weekend got their insurance claims from Staco Insurance Plc. The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Staco Insurance Plc, Mr. Sakiru Oyefeso, handed the trio of Nimota Ajayi, Saheed Issa and Oboh Onyebuchi, their insurance claims with a pledge to continue supporting the tournament. In his remarks, Oyefeso said,
•Players get insurance claims partnering Lagos State was borne out of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). “I want to let you know that we cherish this idea of street soccer and for us, we are doing this as part of our CSR and we believe it will also add colour to our company. We are determined to touch the lives of the public and what Lagos State government and MTN are doing is commendable and we are glad
to be part of this noble event. As the organisers unfold their programmes for this year’s edition, I want to assure you that we will not relent in our support,” Oyefeso said. Executive Secretary, MTN Lagos Street Soccer, Mr. Deji Aladegbemi thanked the company for fulfilling its promises to the players with the offsetting of their medical bills, saying, “this shows the sincerity of the company to affect lives positively.”
Lagos Weightlifting boss charts way forward
HAIRMAN of the Lagos State Weight-lifting Association, Kunle Komolafe has said what was uppermost in his agenda is to take the sport to every nooks and cranny of the state. He explained that the last National Sports Festival hosted by Lagos afforded the association the opportunity to be equipped
with the right facilities to train at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park, Yaba. Komolafe called on corporate bodies to rally round the Association to enable it achieve the set goals, while promising to organize more competitions in the future. "Weightlifting has suffered neglect in the past years and we
are determined to revive the sport. Fortunately for us the Lagos state government has made it easier for us with the provision of modern facilities," he said. With the Association just concluding a one-week indoor weightlifting competition, the future seems bright for Komolafe and his team.
13 Brigade wins combat sports competition
HE 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army at the weekend emerged winner of the 82 Division InterBrigade Combat Sports Competition in Calabar. At the end of the 5-day tournament at the UJ Esuene Stadium, the 13 Brigade Calabar emerged overall champions with 27 Gold, 13 Silver and one Bronze medal. General Officer Commanding 82 Division NA Enugu, Maj-Gen Adebayor
From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
Olaniyi said that the competition was part if the division’s 2013 training programme, adding that it was also meant to foster spirit de corps among soldiers. Olaniyi also said that the competition was designed to prepare athletes from the division for the forthcoming NA combat sports completion in Kaduna. He commended the
participants for their gallantry, particularly those who won individual events, adding that as representatives of the division much was expected from them. ``I commend you for your efforts and as representatives of the 82 Division you will strive to make us proud during NA combat sports competition coming up in Kaduna, ‘’ he said. Eight brigades under the division participated in the championship.
WHO SAID WHAT
MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
VOL 8 NO 2,473
‘The issue of Boko Haram in the country is not personal. The government has taken a position. What we want the government to do is to monitor the committee it has set up, so that it will not be a one-sided affair ’ NICHOLAS OKOH
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
BOUT 200 years ago. This was a coastal town. That was a coastal town. Both seemed, at first, improbable to soar. This, like that, seemed forever sleepy and clung wearily to joyless traders. But salvation came from outside, from a remorseless greed for strangers. That was an outpost like this one. Because they embraced others, they expanded. Appetite became destiny, and so they grew. As their girths widened, their breadths became so breath-taking that they became cities. Both bustle with pride, so this is a superpower and that races at a supersonic speed. This is Lagos. That is New York. To pitch these connections was the man in charge of this. That is, Lagos. The journey began for Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, in New York City itself, what its habitués, with a measure of proprietary hubris, call the Big Apple. The Governor of example was hosted by Goldman Sachs in one of its sessions of a conference it tagged a summit of growth. Governor Fashola was to speak of the other city, the one he shepherds, with its sprawling cityscape, its surging population, its infrastructural demand, cultural mélange, its educational challenges and its ability to turn a fidgety city to a magnet of investment. Here, the audience was principally non-Nigerian. From his answers to a number of questions posed by the boss of Goldman Sachs who shared the stage with him, the impression is inescapable: where Lagos goes, so goes Nigeria. He spoke about the infrastructural layout of Lagos, the roads, the management of power resources, the environment, financial engineering, water provision, houses being built at furious pace, hospitals, education. From his tone and the audience, the reference to the larger Nigerian canvas seemed implied. The audience had a sense of the city in which they lived. New York is America’s indispensable city. That was where everything began, from its search for political thralldom to economic prowess, to technology acme to cultural pride. Did Hollywood not start with Edison and company in his days in the Big Apple? So when he spoke of this – that is Lagos – they wanted to know if that is Nigeria. But that was conundrum. He is governor of Lagos. But it was when Governor Fashola swiveled to the capital, away from that city of lights and money, that he articulated in greater depth the meaning of his assignment as the governor of Lagos. It was at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. He spoke of one of the great gifts of Lagos: people, especially people from elsewhere. He gave an anecdote about when he was given a diplomatic treatment at the immigration port
email@example.com 08054501081(sms only) •NMMA Columnist of the Year
The indispensable state
•Fashola as he entered the United States. Somebody yelled out, “Why should these visitors go through before me? This is my country.” It was a woman who did not understand that the country she called hers was not supposed to be hers if those who gave birth to her and those who gave birth to those that gave birth to her, etc did not enjoy the accommodation of strangers. Governor Fashola deployed this example to tell the story about the power of diversity, and why greatness of any country or people cannot come without leveraging the high gifts of others. He noted that the population of Lagos was about 2 million in the 1970s. Those of New York and London were higher then. But today with a population of about 21 million, Lagos bests the combined figure of the populations of the city of Winston Churchill’s courage and the economic capital of the
world. The prosperous countries are those who can keep their immigrant populations, he posited. So where would New York be without its immigrant populations? What would Lagos be without all the throngs of tongues and voices coming from all parts of the country? Lagos is the city of the talented, of the adventurous, of the innovator. It is Nigeria’s hive of progress. The originality of Fela, the fortitude of the Fawehinmi and the mercantile acumen of the Ibru brothers, the track ingenuity of a Mary Onyali and the political pyrotechnics of an Azikiwe, or the organising zeal of an Awolowo. All of these could not have blossomed in any other city. That is why Lagos is Nigeria’s indispensable city. Yet, it is a beauty and burden simultaneously, especially if you have to steer matters in this city within the constraint of centrifugal negatives from the centre. The governor of example referred to the now familiar theme of a suffocating federalism, where the centre takes a big chunk of 52 percent of the money, while the states and local government scramble over what is left. Yet, he notes that while a state like Lagos has over 6,000 roads, the federal government has far less than 200 in the state, and the states with fewer revenue streams have to do more. Yet the little the centre should do falls in the lap of the generous doer to accomplish while the big, fat centre luxuriates impotently with its largesse. Of course, questions were asked, and the Nigerians in Diaspora, apparently moved, asked to know what the incentive was to return home. They spoke with latent frustrations over life in God’s Own Country. “Home,” says Fashola, is the big incentive. They should dare to return and learn to prosper over adversity, and the resources are here to tap but with courage. He said he never had
N the day the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended Justice Charles Archibong of the Federal High Court, Lagos for sack, it also directed that Justice Abubakar Talba of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court be investigated for his widely criticised judgment on the police pension case involving an Assistant Director in the Police Pension Office, John Yusuf. Talba had, pursuant to the case presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), sentenced Mr. Yusuf to the maximum two years jail term provided by the law relevant to the case but gave him an option of fine on each of the three counts filed by the anti-graft agency. For a case involving the theft of about N32.8bn, a N750,000 fine was thought by many Nigerians to be unrealistic and provocative. Commentators also worried that the EFCC amended its initial case by substituting a 10-count charge with a maximum jail term of 14 years and a fine for a threecount charge carrying a maximum two years jail term or an option of fine. After an investigation that ran for about two months, the NJC has placed Talba on a 12-month suspension without pay for failing to exercise his discretion “judicially and judiciously” in passing the sentence on Mr.
any reason to go abroad while all his nine siblings did. One of the questioners unknowingly embarrassed herself when she said she witnessed a flooding when she visited and was amazed that others walked through it while she struggled. Suppressing his impatience, the governor lectured her on the fact that floods occur everywhere, whether in New York or China, and the important thing is that it drains away when the rains stop, as it happens in Lagos. The air of Lagos after Fashola was palpable when he spoke about the foundation he built on. “One must not underestimate the power of foundation,” he said. He noted that it is one thing to have a good foundation, and another to do well with it. “It is cold comfort,” he explained, “one must not squander an inheritance.” As a writer, I envied that metaphor. I recall also when his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, marked his 60th birthday. The Asiwaju was overwhelmed by the tributes of his (Tinubu’s) gargantuan stature in Nigerian politics and government. He took a sober moment in the party at Eko Hotel to note that if Fashola had failed him, a lot that he enjoys would have run into a problem. Nothing frustrates like a wasted foundation. Hence this writer noted at his 60th birthday last year that, perhaps, the greatest decision yet of his public career was backing Fashola as the governor of Lagos and his successor. As for the Asiwaju the future has just begun.
Goodbye to a great woman
HE left us but not wholly. Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, the stately woman who Governor Kayode Fayemi described as his co-pilot, was rare in our politics. She was brilliant but not puffy, well-heeled but not extravagant, beautiful but not showy, always showing up without superciliousness. The few years I knew this woman, I always marveled at her comportment and public discipline. It is sad that death exercises arbitrary wisdom and we are shown to be none the wiser when it picks persons like her and we have nothing to say but accept. Many women with half her gifts scramble for vain glory and superficial headlines. Not Mrs. Olayinka. Yet I was scandalised that the Presidency could go so low as to bring its malice with Governor Rotimi Amaechi to hallowed area of the dead. His plane was grounded for all of two hours, and it took the wise intervention of Speaker Tambuwal for the plane to be released. Now they have grounded the plane for opportunistic reasons. Politics in an ambience of funeral sobriety? What does that tell us about the desperation of the oga at the top? What desecration. What shame!
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Discipline of judges: CJN must proceed with caution Yusuf. Hardball can himself not explain why Talba chose not to play safe by exercising his discretion to give Yusuf the two years maximum penalty provided in the law. But that is the problem with discretion; it is a subjective thing, and can be exercised one way or the other. More importantly, that is also the problem with the law; judges, especially, bend over backwards not to be influenced by popular feelings and emotions or even conventional wisdom and political correctness. How to balance the provisions of the law with the popular demands of the society is one of the eternal struggles they face. Perhaps in the near future it may be known why the EFCC amended the charge against Yusuf, which amendment obviously entrapped Talba. For if the first 10-count charge had been maintained, the provisions of the law would not have offered the leeway the trial judge embraced. Better than in the Archibong case, where a controversy is still raging on whether the NJC gave the sacked judge fair hearing or not, some fairness seems to have been allowed in the Talba case. However, that an opportunity was given to Talba
to defend himself does not mean that justice was done. It still must be established that the NJC, under the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar, was indeed juridically right to have suspended Talba. Notwithstanding popular feelings on the case, it is indeed difficult to rationalise the NJC’s action. To what extent can the judicial body punish judges for exercising their discretion within, not outside, the provisions of the law? There have been thousands of cases where judges exercised their discretion, but that discretion was overturned on appeal and stiffer penalties imposed. In the Yusuf case, the matter is still on appeal, and the appellate court was yet to determine one way or the other what it thinks of Talba’s judicial or judicious discretion. Not only was the case then sub judice, by suspending Talba, the NJC had effectively determined the outcome of the EFCC appeal. This is both hasty and contemptuous of the court. The Talba case could in effect endanger jurisprudence in these parts by bringing the exercise of judicial and judicious discretion under the influence, sometimes irrational, of popular opinion. It could also have subtle and deleterious effects on the inde-
pendence of judges. It is doubtful whether this was the intended effect the NJC hoped to bring about. When she was sworn in last year as the CJN, AlomaMukhtar pledged to sanitise the judiciary. She deserves support. But she must recognise the extreme sensitivity of her office and therefore needs to proceed with even more caution. The Archibong sack is needlessly embroiled in controversy and appears to give the impression that petitions are encouraged against judges. Yet, judges themselves need protection. And, in fact, the CJN must reassure them that her perception of them would not be tied to popular emotions. Talba is suspended for 12 months without pay, though civil service rules indicate that suspensions should be with half pay. By all means the judiciary should be purged, but however that purge is done, it must never be to the detriment of the independence of judges in the exercise of discretion, or to the detriment of justice itself, for as a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, said, “…Where the exercise of discretion is vested, it follows that there is no absolute answer to the solution of the questions.”
Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO