Page 1

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Gunmen kill four policemen NEWS Page 57

•Police station, village attacked

News 42 govt agencies get boards P12 Sports Ejide accepts Eagles challenge P24 Business Conoil grows net profit by 225% P54 www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 8, NO. 2583 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

Strike: Govt offers to pay ASUU N30b allowances We’ll report to our principals, say teachers APC urges action

U

NIVERSITY teachers have been offered N30 billion to call off their strike. The cash will be for their allowances, which they said the Federal Government had agreed to pay in an October 2009 deal. The teachers are asking for N87 billion, besides other

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

demands. The government had earlier approved N100 billion for projects in the 61 public universities. President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the two Federal Government committees negotiating the requests

ISSUES IN 2009 GOVT/ASUU AGREEMENT •Federal Government assistance to state varsities •Progressive increase of education budget to 26% between 2009 and 2020 •Earned academic allowances of N87b •Amendment of pension/retirement age from 65 to 70 years •Establishment of a pension fund administrator •Transfer of landed property to the universities •Setting up research and development units by companies operating in Nigeria •Budget Monitoring Committee by ASUU to take immediate measures at ending the strike, which began on July 1. The Chairman of the Universities Needs implementation

Committee and Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, announced the presidential directive after a meeting yesterday at the Presidential Villa

in Abuja. At the meeting were VicePresident Namadi Sambo, the Chairman of the Earned Allowance Committee; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; Ministers of Education Prof. Ruqayyat Rufai and Labour, Emeka Wogu, National Universities Commission (NUC) Executive Secretary Prof. Julius Okogie and Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadome, attended the meeting. Suswam said ASUU ought to call off its strike based on the N130 billion that the gov-

ernment offered. The cash is made up of the N100 billion to be injected into infrastructure in the 61 public universities (federal and states) and the N30 billion for the earned allowances of lecturers. For shifting ground from no money to agreeing to assisting the Governing Councils of universities with the N30 billion for the earned allowances, Suswam said ASUU should reconsider its stance on the strike. But ASUU remained adamant last night. Its PresiContinued on page 4

•Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) activists march in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Karachi, Pakistan…yesterday.

PDP panel to reconcile Jonathan, Amaechi D ETERMINED to resolve the crisis of confidence between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors have decided to

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

raise a three-man reconciliation committee. The committee, which will be under the watch of exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo, may be constituted with-

in the PDP Governors Forum, it was learnt yesterday. But the governors have asked President Jonathan to checkmate the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, and demanded a Continued on page 4

PHOTO: AFP

Reps attack Ezekwesili over N1tr pay remark

T

•Ogene

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

HE House of Representatives has described the comments of former Minister of Education and Solid Mineral Resources Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili as a “simplistic and escapist way of addressing a problem”. The lawmakers noted that being a former minister, she would have been more objective if she took time to tell Nigerians what the recurrent expenditure was during her tenure. Continued on page 4

•N17.9B FRAUD IN BANKS P7 •MOKOLA FLYOVER BARRIER DEMOLISHED P8


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

2

NEWS

How govt’s

•From left: Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako, President, Dangote Group of Companies Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Bank Atedo Peterside and Chairman, Forte Oil Femi Otedola discussing during the Economic Management PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN. Team Meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja... yesterday.

The hearing in absentia of a memorandum by Pastor Joshua Daudu, District Head of Bassa in Nasarawa State, which accused the Fulani of using mercenaries to attack his people yesterday led to a drama at the sitting of the panel on Nasarawa killings, reports SANNI ONOGU, LAFIA

T

•Assistant Brand Manager, Promaidor Izegbuna Izeabaye (left), Managing Director, Bridgeworld Communications Mr. Gboyega Akosile, Event Co-ordinator Miss Shola Bankola and President, Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria Mr. Goddie Otose at a news conference on the Nigeria Brand Expo/Brand TV Awards in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

•From left: Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO) Mr. Abraham Nwankwo; Director, Strategic Performance Department Mrs. Asmau Mohammed; and Head, Policy Strategy and Risk Management Mr. Joe Ugoala at a seminar/retreat for members PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria and Investment Journalists in Lagos.

•From left: Director, Laboratory Services, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC)Mrs. Stella Denloye, Managing Director, ECO Embassy Pharamaceuticals Sir Nnamdi Obli, NAFDAC’s Director-General Paul Orhili, Director, National Drug Policy Programme Mrs. Joyce Ugwa, during a stakeholders’ meeting on the inauguration of PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS the Mega Centre Pharmaceutical Limited, Onitsha in Lagos...yesterday.

HE Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the killings in Nasarawa State was yesterday told how the negligence of the government and security agencies led to the killing of 107 Eggon indigenes when their villages were invaded by mercenaries. This was contained in two memoranda heard in absentia by the Justice Joseph Gbadeyan-led commission in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, yesterday. The first memorandum was submitted by the Ward Head of Eggon Ruttu, John Allu and Peter Galilee Ezhim, on behalf of the affected communities in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The second memorandum was submitted by Nuhu Kagbu and Bala Ayaka on behalf of Iggah Community in Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area. According to Allu and Ezhim, Governor Tanko Al-Makura and security agencies allegedly failed to intervene when 19 Eggon villages were invaded four times. They alleged that 56 Eggon indigenes were killed in the attacks carried out by mercenaries. Properties were also destroyed. The panel was set-up by AlMakura following the alleged killing of over 50 policemen and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) in an ambush by members of Ombatse in Alakyo village, last May 7. Following the withdrawal of the Eggon communities in Ruttu and Burum-Burum from the proceedings, Justice Gbadeyan ordered the Commission’s Secretary, Abubakar Sadiq Ishaq, to read the memorandum. The Eggon communities alleged that between January 12 and February 2 armed groups they referred to as “mercenaries/militia” allegedly invaded 19 villages, killing 56 persons without provocation. They said: “It was also observed by Eggon people that as the attacks were continuing, the resident Fulani were seen running alongside Eggon and other people to Doma and other nearby towns for safety. This gives us further credence to the impression that foreign mercenaries were used in the

•Al-Makura

insurgence.” They added that the BurumBurum community which is inhabited by Alago, Eggon, Gwandara, Tiv, Hausa, Fulani and Igbo people was invaded four times in two months because security agencies and the state government did not respond to distress calls for intervention. They noted that the different tribes had “lived in peace with each other over the years with incidences of inter-tribal marriages.” The communities added: “Suffice it to state that in all these incidences, distress calls were placed to law enforcement agents but none showed up. Our people were left at the mercy of God, their strength, and the mercy of the invaders/attackers. “All efforts to get the government to intervene even when they were informed of these impending attacks ahead of time failed.” In their demands, the communities urged the government to be more proactive in future by living up to its responsibility of protecting lives and properties.” Also yesterday, Eggon leaders from Iggah community in their memorandum submitted by Nuhu Kagbu and Bala Ayaka, called for the prosecution of persons or groups that allegedly invaded and killed their kinsmen. Kagbu and Ayaka accused security agencies in state of failing to stop three attacks on their communities by mercenaries which led to the killing of 42 persons. The memorandum accused Gwandara youths of aiding and abetting the mercenaries to raze Eggon villages. They insisted that the government and security agencies failed in their duty to protect lives and property when suspected mercenaries invaded Eggon villages thrice, killing 42 persons between February 2 and March 17 The memorandum reads: “The mercenaries were heavily armed with charms worn all over their bodies and with assorted sophisticated guns as the sound of the shooting is heard in far away communities. “Usually, they came in large numbers, shooting sporadically and at sight, thereby causing panic, pandemonium, fright and deaths. Equally, after shooting, they would set the houses at sight ablaze. “It is equally worthy to state here that while these killings and destruction of properties were being perpetrated by the mercenaries, some youths who happened to be of Gwandara extraction rose and began setting people’s houses ablaze while some of the mentioned communities like Iggah were caught and brought to their


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

3

NEWS

negligence ‘killed’ 107 Eggon indigenes

Alhaji Aliyu Maigida (Makungijin Kwandare), Alhaji Iliyasu Galadima (Wambai Kwandare), Mallam Abdullahi Galadima and

Mallam Aliyu Oboshi on behalf of Kwandare community, “is still very much intact before the Commission.” He said: “The publication was made in error. The memorandum by the Kwandare Community is still very much intact before the Commission. I also want to state that at no time was the submission withdrawn. “We are very much ready to go on with the memorandum which was duly filed before the Commission and slated for hearing this Thursday. In fact, because of the over-zealousness of my clients to move the memorandum, they were before the Commission today (yesterday). “We want to say that the publication should be retracted as it does not reflect the true position of Kwandare Community on the memorandum which will be coming up for hearing on Thursday this week.”

On how they intercepted the vessel and took the nine-man crew hostage, another suspect, Segun Oyo said they trailed the barge and overpowered the crew. He said: “We trailed the barge and then used our weapons to overpower them. We did not shoot any-

one rather we threatened them with the guns and weapons we had on us. “We were able to overpower them though they had crowd because of our weapons.” Oyo said he would advise his colleagues to desist from crimes if he was released.

It was also observed by Eggon people that as the attacks were continuing, resident Fulani were seen running alongside Eggon and other people to Doma and other nearby towns for safety. This gives us further credence to the impression that foreign mercenaries were used in the insurgence •Justice Gbadeyan (back row left) and members of the commission.. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

chiefs who identified them to be his subjects, but subsequently pleaded that they should be forgiven in the interest of peace and harmony.”

Counsel representing Kwandare Community at the panel refuted reports that the community has withdrawn its memorandum .

The lawyer, Ubandoma Abdullahi, said the petition which was submitted by Alhaji Musa Darinya (Ubangarin Kwandare),

Navy parades four suspected pirates

T

he Navy yesterday paraded paraded four suspected pirates in Lagos, who allegedly hijacked an oil vessel, MV Crow at the Escravos on August 14. They were paraded a few days after 12 of a 16-man gang of pirates who allegedly hijacked a vessel, MT Norde, loaded with petroleum products were killed in Warri, Delta State. The suspects, according to the Commander Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, were arrested in Ondo State following a tip off from Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). While parading the suspects at the Defence Jetty, Marina, Ezekoba said the vessel was pursued to Aiyetoro, Ondo State. He said: “When we circled her, there was no sign of life on board. We called and radioed severally but there was no response. “Of course, our suspicion was

By Precious Igbonwelundu

aroused and then we fired a barrage of shots into the air. Once they heard the shots, the sea robbers came out and threw their weapons into the water.” On how the navy intends to maintain the tempo and ensure the nation’s waters were safe, he said: “If the acquisition of more vessels are maintained, our waters would be safer. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has listed our country as the second next to Somalia and we are working assiduously to change that perception. “But it is pertinent to state that our challenge in Nigeria is sea robbery as opposed to piracy which is obtained in Somalia. “We have over 6000 creeks between Lagos to Calabar and it is easier for the sea robbers to attack and slip back to the creeks.” However, the leader of the gang, Adekunle Adeboye, who claimed it was his first operation, said the four suspects were deployed by their

•The suspects... yesterday

master known as General. “General had sent us from Igbokoda to go and hijack oil vessels. This was my very first operation and I was recruited this month. “The ‘General’ promised us money if we succeed in hijacking and emptying an oil vessel,” Adeboye said.

Abuse of drugs capable of killing faster, say experts

E

XPERTS say that indiscriminate use of drugs, especially antibiotics can cause complications and drug resistance in future. They agree that antibiotics can be lifesavers, but misuse may increase the number of drug-resistant microorganisms in the body. Resistance occurs when antibiotics are no longer effective, resulting to long-lasting illnesses, more visits to the doctor or extended hospitalisation, among others. A principal medical officer at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Abiodun Awolusi, says most drugs have side-effects and may “even make one’s condition worse’’. He explains that people often take pills for common ailments like fever, colds, cough and headaches without bothering to consult a doctor. Awolusi says many potent drugs, such as pain relievers, cough remedies, anti-allergies, antibiotics, and vitamins are sold over-the-counter which can cause allergy and addiction to the body. He notes that there are some drugs

By Jacinta Nwachukwu

that must not be administered when one has a particular condition, because it acts on the cells in the body. He says that antibiotics should be prescribed and the dose adjusted according to the body weight of the patient. Awolusi further explains that given drugs without proper examination and diagnosis, can result to causing more harm to the patient or may even worsen the patient’s health condition. “When somebody is having stomach ulcer and headache, and aspirin is given, it may worsen the person’s condition. “The headache may go but the person may start bleeding from the ulcer,’’ he explains. Speaking on the dangers of drug abuse, a public health physician, Dr Baba Ahmed, says that indiscriminate use of drugs, especially antibiotics, can lead to drug resistance and liver problems. Ahmed, who works with the National Blood Transfusion Services, says that taking drugs without

doctor’s prescription and diagnosis can lead to wrong treatment. He says that for antibiotics to be used there should be an indication that the ailment requires the drug, noting that the antibiotic must be sensitive to the organisms being treated. Ahmed says that antibiotics are used in the treatment of micro-organisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. According to him, antibiotics are anti-microbial. Anti, means to stop a process, while microbial are small living organisms that infest or cause problem in a particular part of the body. “Because of their growth or the effect of their presence in that part of the body, antibiotics would be used to treat the patient. “Most of the antibiotics taken are reprocessed in the liver and kidney because they are taken indiscriminately; the organs are stressed, resulting in liver and kidney diseases.” He also notes that the abuse of antibiotics had become a big problem in the country, adding that “even the

health care providers have become a medium for abusing it. “The problem we have is that there is no control generally; there is a problem in the way drugs are dispensed in this country,” Ahmed added. Ahmed says that indiscriminate use of antibiotics is so bad that people take Flagyl and Tetracycline without prescription once they have frequent or watery stools. He advises that antibiotics should only be taken after a test to avoid damage to vital organs. Speaking on the appropriate time to use antibiotics, Dr Mamman Ibrahim, a paediatrician at Garki Hospital, Abuja, cautions that antibiotics should be given when children develop symptoms of immune suppression and fever. Ibrahim also warns parents against abusive use of antibiotics on children, saying it can be a potential poison. He says that improper use of antibiotic could damage the immune system. “It is not every child you see with cough and catarrh you will rush and

give antibiotics, because it is a viral thing; these antibiotics though they are helpful, they are also potential poison. “Everything you give is a potential poison because every drug will go to your liver first before it is metabolised to active form and transferred to its site of action. “If you give a child who has a viral thing an antibiotic, you are further depressing that immune system. “You are also increasing the risk of the child developing resistance; so please for every cough and catarrh, do not just go and take cough syrup or anything, consult your doctor.’’ Ibrahim says antibiotics should be given to a child for cough and catarrh only if the child has symptoms of immune suppression, fever and weight loss. Drug is no food that should not be taken indiscriminately; so people should heed the advice of experts and avoid taking drugs without prescription.

•Nwachukwu is of the News Agencyof Nigeria


4

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

NEWS PDP plans emergency NEC meeting over crises

A

N emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been convened for tomorrow in Abuja. The 62nd NEC meeting is coming two months after the last one, held on June 20. The party’s constitution stipulates that NEC meeting should hold every three months. Notice of the meeting was conveyed through an internal memo, signed by Acting National Secretary Aderemi Akitoye. The memo said the meeting starts at 2 pm and urged members to be punctual. Although the memo did not state the agenda, sources close to the party secretariat said crises rocking the national and the various state chapters are to be given priority attention. The meeting will also regularise the various resolutions •Members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, creating awareness for the one million trees-planting programme in Abuja…yesterday

Reps attack Ezekwesili over N1tr pay remark Continued from page 1

The lawmakers also challenged the former World Bank executive to disclose what it cost taxpayers to maintain her and her aides for a year. The Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Victor Ogene, speaking with The Nation yesterday, regretted that the former Minister could not come up with simple calculation of what accrued to the National Assembly and the lawmakers in particular in the period under review. Ogene said the National Assembly, comprising 109 Senators, 360 Representatives and the bureaucracy, which is the National Assembly Commission, began to draw its N150b annual budget from the first line charge in 2010. According to him, the N150b was meant for legislators’ allowances, their aides, the civil servants, capital projects and allied institutions under the National Assembly, such as the Institute for Legislative Studies, among others. “Going by the fact that the en-

tire National Assembly began to get N150b in 2010, it means that before then we could not have got up to that amount. “To now come up with a calculation that the lawmakers alone got over N1 trillion during the period, I think that person is jaundiced. What is the percentage of N150b in a budget of N4.9 trillion? she should tell Nigerians”. Besides, Ogene noted that the Legislature has always been championing reduction in the cost of governance, adding that the National Assembly set a precedence by cutting its recurrent expenditure which the Executive has failed to do. He said: “If we are truly talking about cutting cost of governance, it has to be across the three arms. If that is the case, how do you explain a fleet of 10 aircraft in the presidential fleet and how do you maintain them? “Again, how do you defend N2b spent on air tickets by a minister, and that is just one Minister, what about the rest despite the fact that there is a presidential fleet. Why do we need up to 40 Ministers in the first place? “The legislature and the judiciary have principal officers too

and they have to travel as well; how many aircraft are they maintaining?” Ogene said as an institution, the legislature will not descend low to addressing issues raised by individuals such as Mrs. Ezekwesili but would look beyond that to her tenure as a minister and a public official. “She was part of several reform committees that ended up being reformed themselves. In view of this, the best way to go to equity is to go with clean hands. “It would, however, suffice for Ezekwesili to tell us what recurrent expenditure was during her tenure and what it cost Nigerian taxpayers to maintain her and her aides for a year,” he said. On Mrs. Ezekwesili’s suggestion that the federal legislature be reduced to unicameral, the deputy spokesman noted that the advice was in bad faith, adding: “I would rather say this is akin to cutting off one’s nose to spite the face. “It is more like removing a child from a private school and placing him in a school without teachers or necessary infrastructure. The legislature is the hallmark of democracy and the National Assembly is always ready

and willing to do the best for the Nigerian people. “While they (executive) are shouting about cost-effective governance, we will not be blackmailed into accepting suggestions that tend to proffer solution for symptoms and not the actual cure.” House Spokesman Zakari Mohammed said if it was the wish of Nigerians, the lawmakers would have no problem with that. The chairman, House Committee on Finance, Abdulmumin Jibrin, referred The Nation to the findings of his Committee on remittances of the Federal Government share of internally generated revenue (IGR) by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) that have always been subjected to manipulations. He said: “We recovered N108b for government in six months, but the question is, where was the money going to before? “When you look at the IGR of the country, say 10 years back, that sub head always carries a total sum of about N300b to about N450b year after year as projections for that category. “But at the end of every year, Continued on page 58

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

reached at the June 20 meeting, especially on the position of the acting members of the National Working Committee (NWC). The acting members were initially given a July 14 timeline but they are still functioning in their various positions till date. The division in the Anambra State chapter where the party operates under two factional chairmen and the plethora of court cases instituted by various groups and individuals against the party leadership are also said to be on the card. Southwest congresses are billed to hold on August 14. The Anambra State governorship election will hold on November 16. It was gathered that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who complained that he had been excluded from party activities, will attend the meeting.

PDP panel to reconcile Jonathan, Amaechi Continued from page 1

probe of his activities. The decisions of the governors were communicated to the President last Friday by the Chairman of the Forum, Obong Godswill Akpabio. According to a governor, who pleaded not to be named, PDP governors are eager to reconcile the President and Amaechi as part of steps to put the party in good stead for 2015. The source said: “Actually, there was a meeting of PDP governors as a fall-out of a meeting with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. Mr. President called a meeting with Akpabio and said we should harmonise the outcome of the meetings with Obasanjo. “We summoned the meeting of PDP governors to consider reconciliation and how to move forward. “Some of the governors mentioned the resolution of the crisis in Rivers as central to the reunification of the party and insisted that a reconciliation committee be set up. “We decided to raise another three-man committee to reconcile Mr. President and the Rivers State governor. We agreed that the new committee should not be part of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s Reconciliation Committee.

“We also reached a consensus that National Chairman Bamanga Tukur should make no input in the constitution of the panel. But we said the committee should be under the watch of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.” Asked when the reconciliation committee will take off, the governor said: “I think by Friday, August 23rd, we should be able to constitute it. It may be an intra-PDP Governors Forum committee.” The source also highlighted other issues tabled before the President. They include complaints against Wike, why Tukur should remain in office as the National Chairman and 2015 polls. The source added: “Some of the governors said Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike should be checkmated and warned by the President because he is taking the Rivers crisis too far against the Chief Security Officer of the state, who is Amaechi.” They said the President should ask relevant agencies to revisit how some governors were stoned during a solidarity visit to Rivers State by Wike’s supporters. Adamawa State Governors Murtala Nyako was said to have come up with some alleContinued on page 58

Strike: Govt offers to pay ASUU N30b allowances Continued from page 1

dent, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, said the negotiation team would report back to “our principals” when asked whether the teachers were willing to accept the government’s offer and call off the strike.

Fagge said: “The objective of the on going strike is to get government to implement the 2009 ASUU/ FGN agreement, particularly to implement the provision of the memorandum of understanding we reached in 2012. “It’s important to clarify that at this point, we are not making a demand. There was an agreement with government. At this point, what the union is talking about is the 2009 agreement, not the renegotiation of the agreement.” He added: “We will wait to hear from government. For now, we will go back and report to our principals.” Suswam said the Federal Government will meet the universities’ councils and vice chancellors this week to update them on the decisions taken so far and to urge them to certify those really entitled to the N30 billion to be released for the earned allowances.

APC to Fed Govt: meet ASUU’s demand without delay

T

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has advised the Federal Government to honour its agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to enable the university teachers end the ongoing strike, which has paralysed academic activities in the nation’s public universities. In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said no government worth its salt would play with education, because it is the path to national development. It said ASUU was not making any fresh demand beyond the agreement it reached with the government in 2009, adding: “Agreements are meant to be honoured, and breaching them comes with some On whether the Federal Government is ready to shift ground from what it is offering, he said: “Well, let me say that negotiation is still on-going. The Federal Government has opted to also meet with the Councils and managements of the universities because earned allowance is something that can be certified by the management and councils of the universities. “Yes, if ASUU said this is the

consequences.” APC noted that the strike has kept students in public universities at home for many weeks, adding that this is a further blow to the country’s education system. The progressives’ party said Nigeria’s education system has deteriorated so much that none of the nation’s universities is currently listed among the top 100 universities in the world and only a few Nigerian universities are among the top 100 in Africa. It said: “The N87 billion, which ASUU is demanding, represents earned allowances, hence it cannot be renegotiated. In any case, this amount pales into insignificance when placed side by side with the N1 trillion that has been spent on federal legislators in the last eight

amount of money that the Federal Government is owing them and the government has shifted ground from its initial posture that there was no money to offering N30 billion, it means we are moving forward and with N100 billion available now for addressing the physical infrastructure deficit in our universities, I think the Federal Government has done quite well to have moved to where we are today.”

years; or the frivolity involved in a government minister travelling to China to negotiate a $1 billion loan in a chartered jet (with its attendant costs) and with a retinue of workers who earned generous estacode in hard currency. “It is an indication of the kind of priority that this Federal Government attaches to education. While it has refused to meet its side of an agreement it reached with ASUU since 2009, it could pay out N3 trillion in non-existent fuel subsidies to fat cats; spend N10 billion annually to maintain the jets in the presidential fleet and do little or nothing to prevent the stealing of 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which translates to $120 million in a month, money that surely ends up in some people’s pockets!

Suswam added: “I can say that we have made substantial progress and we are hoping that this strike should be called off, based on some of the mechanisms that we have put in place to move the sector forward. “We met extensively yesterday. You know there are two components, to the whole issue; the needs assessment component, which is the one that I’m handling. We have to some large

extent, concluded on that, the earned allowance committee, which is being headed by the SGF; that is where there are some contentions, but as you must have heard, the federal government made an offer of N30 billion to assist the various Councils of our universities to be able to pay the earned allowances.

“There is also N100 billion that is why myself, the Minister of Finance, the SGF, the

•Suswam...yesterday ministers of Education, Labour, the Chief of Staff and the VP have just risen from a meeting to take some decisions that would end the strike and the

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678


5

THE NATION WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21, 2013

NEWS

Assembly not probing Jang over SURE-P, says Speaker

T

HE Plateau State House of Assembly has said it is not probing Governor Jonah Jang over the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) fund. Assembly Speaker John Clark Dabwan spoke yesterday in Jos, the state capital, when he was reacting to reports on the alleged probe. He said the Assembly was investigating the status of the SURE-P funds as well as its level of implementation at both federal and state levels. Speaking through the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Diket Plang, the Speaker said the Assembly was not in doubt about the ability of the Executive to ensure a prudent management of state’s funds. Dabwan said: “The action of the House in finding the status of the SURE-P in the state was to ensure we protect the interest of the state in the Federal Government’s programme. Indeed, we need to commend the state government for the transparent manner it has pro-

‘APC will rule Nigeria in 2015’ From Dele Wnofi, Abuja

•ALGON: our SURE-P project ’ll take off soon From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

tected the fund it received from the Federal Government. “We are aware of various kinds of SURE-P projects going on in other states, being sponsored by the Federal Government. We need to know why nothing of such is happening in Plateau State. “The Ad Hoc Committee of the House has not concluded its assignment. It has only submitted an interim report. The committee will go to Abuja to make more enquiry from the relevant federal agencies. “So far, we are satisfied with what we got from the Plateau State government concerning the state’s share of SURE-P. But we have to also know what the Federal SURE-P will do for Plateau and how soon we expect that. “So, our overall interest is to make sure we protect the

interest of Plateau State both in state government’s and Federal Government’s programmes.” The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Davo Mang, told the Ad Hoc committee that the N5 billion received by the state was intact. Mang said: “It is true that the cash has not been spent because it has not been appropriated by the House of Assembly. While the SUREP cash is kept in normal current account of the state government, that of the local governments goes to their accounts.” The Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr Paul Wai, explained why the funds had not been spent. He said: “The delay in the take-off of the SURE-P programmes at the local government level is due to late submission of the programme’s outlines by the committee of the local governments. “All the local governments

were asked to submit project plans that are peculiar to their communities. The implementation of the SURE-P in the local governments is largely dependent on programme outlines of the local governments. “The SURE-P funds are controlled by the Joint Account Committee of the state and would be managed the way any state fund is managed. That is, it will be used for all sectors of the state’s economy.” The state Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Emmanuel Loman, gave reasons for the delay in the implementation of the SURE-P in the local governments. He said: “The local governments would not rush into wasting public funds carelessly. We have to plan for it; we are still planning for it. “We have identified various programmes, such as youth empowerment, wom-

•Jang

en’s programme and others that majority of our people will benefit from. I mean, there must be the right reasons to spend this money. We don’t want to waste it. The identified projects will soon take off in all the local governments as soon as all arrangements are concluded. “In any case, this fund is for the state to spend on areas of needs. Besides, Plateau State’s major need is security. The state could have spent this fund on solving its security problems but the government is very cautious in spending public funds. That is why the cash remains intact, until government finds the right reason to apply it.”

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) will take over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria in 2015, House of Representatives Deputy Minority Leader Suleiman Kawu Sumaila has said. Sumaila spoke yesterday in Ciromawa, Kano State, when he led leaders and supporters of the party to welcome former governor and APC chieftain, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, to the state. He said Kano residents were ready for change in 2015 because the people have suffered for too long. Sumaila said: “Change is already done in Nigeria with the coming of the APC. As you can see all over the country, Nigerians have responded positively to the emergence of the APC. The cloud is here; very soon, there will be a downpour of change in this country. APC: one Nigeria, one Kano State! “We have to thank God Almighty because people have responded to our call. God is intervening in the affairs of Kano State, and its people. This is because we handed over everything to him and, as you can see, he is with us...”

Group congratulates Lagos FRSC chief

T

HE Board of Trustees (BoT) of Automobiles and Road Safety Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has congratulated Mr. Nseobong Charles Akpabio, the Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on his promotion as Assistant Corps Marshall. In a statement by its President, Mr. Samuel Oloyede Oriowo, the organisation

noted that Akpabio deserved the promotion, having been working hard in his previous positions. It said through motivation, Akpabio had reduced accidents on Nigerian roads, especially in Lagos State, which accounts for about 55 per cent of traffic in the country. “It’s no surprise that he got this promotion. It’s extremely a great news to us,” the NGO said.

NAN acting MD is NGE fellow

T •From left: Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar; Vice President Namadi Sambo and Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, during the inauguration of the Force CID building complex in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

NANS passes vote-of-no-confidence in Wada

T

HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has criticised Kogi State Governor Idris Wada on the state of the education sector in the state. The association said it has passed a vote-of-no-confidence in the governor for his alleged inconsiderate attitude to the sector. In a statement yesterday by its National Welfare Director/Kogi State NANS Coordinator, Miss Blessing Alaofin, the association rated the level of attention given to the education sector in Kogi State “very low”. It added: “We have confirmed that the reports, which said Kogi State earmarked over N100 million for scholarship, are false; they are mere facade. “It has been noted that ever since the present administration started in Kogi State, there has been no development in the state’s edu-

T

‘Why we lost confidence in Education Minister’

HE National Association of Nigerian the matter. Students (NANS) yesterday explained He said: “...NANS is worried by the current why it returned a vote-of-no-confidence unpleasant academic posture of universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the counin the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu try. Our decision was motivated by persistent Rufa’I, following a similar vote-of-no-confi- complaints from our members via the social medence in President Goodluck Jonathan. dia and through their Students’ Union Presidents In a statement yesterday, NANS Public Re- and other individuals who were calling for lations Officer Comrade Victor Olaogun said urgent federal intervention to save the he received several calls threatening him on institutions from imminent collapse...”

•Governor’s spokesman: Allegtions ridiculous cation sector. “It is believed that education is a right and not a privilege, but the reverse is the case in Kogi State. The people voted the governor in and it is time he showed them they did not make a mistake doing so. A lot of hardship has been put on parents in sending their children to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state. Parents can no

longer afford to send their children to school because of high school fees. “We wonder if the governor, during his time as a student, paid one-quarter of what he expects the students to pay now. The common student welfare package by the government (bursary), which students enjoyed in past years, is no longer in place; he has totally neglected the students.”

But the government said the allegations were false. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Strategy Mr Jacob Edi said the Wada administration placed emphasis on the education sector. He saidthe first place the governor visited when he assumed office was a school, adding that there has not been a strike in Kogi State since Wada became governor.

HE Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has conferred its fellowship award on the Acting Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Chief Jide Adebayo. A letter by the General Secretary of the Guild, Mr Isaac Ighure, conveyed the decision of the guild to Adebayo. The letter said it was part of the Guild’s efforts to accord recognition to “editors who have distinguished themselves” in journalism. It said the decision to honour Adebayo, along with some other senior editors, including the past NAN Edi-

tor-in-Chief, Mr Segun Aribike, was taken at a recent meeting of NGE’s Standing Committee. “A committee set up this year to identify personalities who have made a mark in the profession, selected you as one of its fellows,’’ the letter said. The investiture, according to the letter, would hold on Saturday in Asaba, the Delta State capital. Adebayo, whose journalism career spanned over 30 years, had been the Commissioner for Information as well as Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Culture in Kwara State.

Building collapse: Fed Govt unveils new building code

T

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

HE Federal Government will, tomorrow, unveil a new building code to address incessant building collapse across the country, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amma Pepple, has said. Ms Pepple spoke on the new building code yesterday when she briefed the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the activities of her ministry at the party’s secretariat in Abuja. The minister explained that although the building code ought to be reviewed by the Federal Government every three years, the existing one was last reviewed in 2006. She said the non-enforcement of existing laws caused building collapse, contrary to the belief that there were no laws regulating the activities of professionals in the building sector. Ms Pepple warned that the Federal Government has put in place measures to prosecute violators of existing laws in the building sector. “The the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has been mandated to sanction any of its erring members involved in the collapse of buildings anywhere in the country,” the minister stated.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

6

NEWS Expert hails JTF on terror A SECURITY expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has hailed the Joint (Military) Task Force (JTF) on the killing of Momodu Bama, the second-in-command to the Boko Haram leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau. He said the decimation of the top leadership of the terrorist organisation would lead to early victory in the war on terror. Ekhomu urged the Boko Haram leaders to embrace peace and stop the attacks. In a statement in Abuja, Dr. Ekhomu, the first chartered security professional in West Africa, said the JTF security operation in the Northeast had been a success. He enjoined the military to develop a security masterplan in the Northeast aimed at containing isolated Boko Haram attacks. The security expert urged the implementation of a security initiative, tagged: “Community Vigilance Defence Shield” (CVDS). He said the “civilian JTF” in Borno State had shown that vigilantism was essential in winning the anti-terror war. Ekhomu, the president of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, said vigilance groups should be organised in communities to defend the society. He said the mosque attack in Kondugha, Borno State, was possible because there was no community defence shield in place. According to him, the community vigilance defence shield should be operated at the local government level and should involve district heads, traditional leaders, clerics and other centres of influence at the local governments, towns, villages and community levels. Ekhomu said the shield would serve as a source of intelligence not only for the JTF and its counter-terrorism operations, but also for the police agency and its efforts to control crime in the rural communities.

Health workers embark on strike From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

FOLLOWING the inability of the Federal Government to resolve the lingering issues between it and the health workers, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) yesterday directed its members to proceed on an indefinite strike with effect from midnight of August 21 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Health workers in the states’ and local governments’ health facilities are expected to join from midnight of August 28. The strike was announced through a statement by Dr. Ayuba P. Wabba, the national president, Medical & Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN); Comrade Marcus I. Omokhuale, the secretarygeneral, Medical & Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria; Comrade Adeniji A.A., the national president, National Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Association Institution; and Comrade Yusuf Badmus W.G., the acting general-secretary, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.

‘INEC lacks capacity to prosecute electoral offenders’

T

HE Chairman of the Independent National El ect o ra l Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said INEC lacks the capacity to prosecute electoral offenders. He urged the National Assembly to revisit the Justice Mohammed Uwais-led Electoral Reform Committee’s recommendation to establish a separate commission to handle electoral fences, and leave INEC to face its primary function of conducting elections. Jega spoke yesterday in Abuja at the INEC/Democracy and Good Governance (DGD) experience-sharing and confidence-building workshop with political parties on the voter register, continuous voter registration and permanent voter card. The workshop was targeted at the women and youth wing of the parties. Jega said the electoral body does not have the manpower to prosecute electoral offenders at once. He blamed the judicial system and the police for the slow nature of most of the cases in court. He said: “I have mentioned our partnership with the security agents.

•From left: INEC National Commissioners, Mrs. Thelma Iremiren, Dr. Abdulkadir Oniyangi and Prof. Jega, discussing with the Director, International Co-Operation and Protocol, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, in Abuja...yesterday From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

We are doing our best to apprehend and prosecute the culprits if it happens, but we are also trying to prevent it from happening. In the past, there was no successful persecution of those who have committed this crime. Since we came to the commission, we have apprehended and prosecuted some of them. We have prosecuted about 200 people, who have committed electoral offences. “We have prosecuted

electoral offenders and the evidence is on our website. Before we came to the commission, there was no evidence of one person that had been prosecuted for electoral offences. “Unfortunately, there are many people, who have committed these offences and we do not have the capacity to prosecute everybody. We do not have the resources to attract a large legal department that can help in the persecution. This is why the Mohammed Uwais commission has recommended the establish-

ment of an Election Offences Commission.” Prof. Jega said another major challenge before the commission was how to change the mindset of politicians, who he described as an incredible breed. Using the word of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he said politicians have a mindset of “do- ordie politics.” H e s ai d u n t i l t h i s i s changed, the country will face the challenges of violence and malpractices. Jega said INEC is

Ex-IG: Boko Haram menace subsiding

E

X-Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, has said government’s effort in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency is yielding result. He added that the sect’s menace is subsiding. Coomassie spoke yesterday in an interview with reporters after the inauguration of the renovated Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) building complex in Abuja. He urged Nigerians to play their part by providing the police and other security agencies with the relevant information to enable them get rid of the sect. “You can see that the Boko Haram menace has subsided. “The Federal Government is doing a lot of work to get rid of these people (Boko Haram members). “With more intelligence and effective cooperation, we will return to the status quo and live in peace. “But, it is the job of all of us. If you have information, authentic intelligence in-

Jonathan urges police on maintenance culture

P

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja.

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Nigeria Police to develop a maintenance culture in the use of accommodation and office infrastruc-

ture. He spoke yesterday during the inauguration of a rehabilitated Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) building in Abuja. The President, who was represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, said the building was a milestone in policing, adding that it would improve the welfare and efficiency of police personnel. “I’m impressed with the work carried out on this edifice at a reasonable cost. Strict code of maintenance should be put in place to maintain the rehabilitated building. I enjoin stakeholders to join hands with the Inspector-General of Police in giving the police a befitting environment to work,” Jonathan said. formation, pass it to the police and other security agencies,” Coomassie said. The former I-G enjoined government to provide the police with the wherewithal, including training and retraining, to enable them do their job and make the

nation safer. Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar said the police authorities were committed to providing a conducive environment for the personnel for effective policing. He hailed the officers and

men of the force for doing their best in the fight against crime and insecurity, urging them to do more. “You have been putting in good efforts in your fight against crime. But I expect nothing less than the best henceforth. “You have been provided with a conducive working environment and the necessary tools to do your work. This must reflect in your mode of operations and activities,” Abubakar said. The Minister of Police Affairs Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd) said the capability to investigate crime was a major factor in achieving security. “With this project (renovated complex), there is no doubt that the police are now better-prepared to discharge their responsibility of proper investigation of crimes,” he said. Olubolade said proper crime investigation could result in a “safer and more secure Nigeria.

JAMB directs varsities to end admissions by October 31

T

HE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday directed universities to conclude admission processes on or before October 31. JAMB’s Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, gave the directive in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, during the first Technical Committee meeting on the 2013/2014 admissions to degree-awarding institutions. He urged the universities to adhere to the dateline, as late submission would not be entertained. The meeting, which is being attended by officials of the board, is saddled with admission processes in feder-

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

al, state and private universities. His words: “I wish to remind you that admissions will come to an end by October 31. You are enjoined to adhere to this date, as late submissions will not be entertained. “I wish to inform you that the next admissions exercise for the 2013/2014 academic session will come up from October 14 to October 18 at the board’s national headquarters, Bwari, Abuja.”

“strengthening the strategies of engagement with political parties and politicians to see how we can help facilitate a positive change in the attitude of our politicians.”

NANS lauds APC governors

T

HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has passed a vote-of-confidence in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors. It said they are performing and have enabled the citizens to enjoy the dividends of democracy through the laudable projects they are embarking on. NANS, in a statement by the National Secretary, Daniel Momodu, said: “Governor Adams Oshiomhole has performed beyond expectation in Edo State. He is a blessing to the state in particular and Nigeria in general. We hail him on the infrastructural development in the state and his contributions to education. “We hail Osun and Ekiti State Governors Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Dr. Kayode Fayemi. “We are confident they will emerge victorious in the forthcoming elections in their states. “Aregbesola’s contributions to education is exceptional and worthy of praise. His Ekiti counterpart, Fayemi, has ensured the overhauling of the education sector. We urge students in these states to re-elect the progressives governors. “We also enjoin them to resist attempt by any individual, political party or group to use them as political tools during the poll. “We urge politicians in other parties to defect to the APC to stop poverty in the land. “Students are tired of sitting at home because of a failed agreement between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). We believe the politicians paraded by the APC have regards for education. “Governor Abiola Ajimobi has also impressed us that we were astonished by the way he ended the troubles of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State.”


7

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

NEWS

D

Banks record N17.97b fraud, says NDIC

EPOSIT Money Banks (DMBs) reported 3,380 fraud cases involving N17.97 billion with expected/contingent loss of about N4.52 billion in 2012. The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) which disclosed this in its 2012 yearly report, said: “The expected/contingent loss in the review period may have gone up by N455 million (10.9 per cent) as against N4.072 billion reported in 2011.” It added: “Notwithstanding the 43.7 per cent increase in the number of reported fraud cases from 2,352 in 2011 to 3,380 in 2012, the amount involved decreased by 36.4 per cent from N28.40 billion in 2011 to N18.04 billion in 2012.” The NDIC report said the body has continued to pay depositors of banks-in-liquidation during the year under

• 3,380 recorded •May have lost N4.52b From Nduka Chiejina, (Asst. Editor), Abuja

review, adding that N6.82 billion was paid to 528,212 insured depositors of closed banks as at December 31, 2012, as against N6.68 billion paid to 527,942 insured depositors as at December 31, 2011.” NDIC said it was able to achieved feat despite the long closure of the banks and the unwillingness of many depositors to file for their claims. According to the report, N2.505 billion was paid to 75,322 verified depositors of 95 out of 103 closed Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) during the year, as against N2.249 billion paid to 72,062 verified depositors in 2011. In addition, N73.58

billion was paid as liquidation dividends to 250,209 depositors of DMBs as at December 31, 2012, NDIC, said. The report noted that 14 out of the 34 banks-in-liquidation prior to 2006, had declared a final dividend of 100 per cent of their total deposits, indicating that all depositors of the affected closed banks have fully recovered their deposits.” With regards to banks’ performance, the NDIC report said the industry recorded significant improvement in its financial condition and performance in 2012. For instance, the banking industry’s total assets grew from N21.89 trillion in 2011 to N24.58 trillion in 2012, or 10.91 per cent.

Out of the industry’s total assets of N24.58 trillion, total loans and advances stood at N8.15 trillion, representing over 33 per cent, or onethird of total assets. Of the industry’s total loans, N4.48 trillion, or 54.97 per cent was extended to the real sector of the economy in 2012, as against N3.88 trillion, or 53.37 per cent, and N3.51 trillion, or 48.95 per cent in 2011 and 2010, respectively. On asset quality, the NDIC report pointed out that significant improvement was recorded during the year as the ratio of non-performing loans to total loans decreased from 4.95 per cent in 2011, to 3.51 per cent in 2012. The improvement in the banking industry’s asset

quality was attributed to the purchase of the non-performing loans of DMBs by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), and the enhanced credit risk management by DMBs, the report, said. It noted what it called “the rising trend in the banking industry’s credits to the Agricultural Sector which stood at 3.60 per cent of total loans and advances in 2012, compared to the 2.15 per cent and 3.11 per cent recorded in 2010 and 2011.” NDIC said the banking industry was adequately capitalised in the year under review with capital adequacy ratio of 18.07 per cent, compared to 17.71 per cent recorded in 2011. All the DMBs the NDIC said “met the minimum liquid-

BoA’s equipment lease financing for farmers coming

T

HE Managing Direc tor, Bank of Agricul ture (BOA), Dr. Mohammed Santuraki, yesterday said the bank has resolved to boost equipment lease financing skill of Nigerian farmers. He said this provides creative alternative funding model in the BoA’s drive towards the mechanisation of agriculture. Santuraki said a major challenge to the realisation of the laudable objective of agriculture mechanisation in Nigeria is the lack of resources capacity by most of Nigeria’s farmers to process the necessary equipment. He said one option towards surmounting this challenge is the sourcing of credit to procure modern farm equipment.

He, however, noted: “Our experience as an agricultural financing institution over time has shown that huge loans to small and medium scale farmers for the procurement of these equipment imposes huge burden on them. More so, they are often unable to use to maximum capacity this equipment because of the relatively small sizes of their farms.” Speaking at the opening of the international workshop of agricultural lease financing at Abuja, Santuraki said: “Agricultural lease financing is increasingly becoming a specialised form of financing in our sector.” He also noted that as the

primary agricultural financing institution in the country with the primary mandate of developing the agribusiness sector, the bank has found it incumbent to provide the necessary leadership in deepening knowledge and improving the skill sets of practitioners in the evolving practice of agriculture lease financing in Nigeria. He explained that the image of the man with the hoe and cutlass remains an apt description of a typical Nigerian Farmer. According to the Managing Director, despite decades of huge investments by the state and federal governments, farming is still a harrowing experience in Nigeria. He added that: “The over-

all scenerios of our farming environment depicts indulgency and drudgery, hence the youths are not attracted to farming. “These are critical issues which we have to address if we are to optimise the numerous agribusiness importunities which our natural environment has bestowed on us.” He said over 60 per cent of the country’s workforce is engaged in agribusiness, stressing that despite huge involvement Nigeria is unable to meet the dietary needs of its citizens and relies on food importation. He noted that “a comparative appraisal of agribusiness practice in Nigeria reflects that we are lagging behind in the contemporary practice“.

nomic services, public financial management reforms, and project coordination and implementation support. It said it would help increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in by Broadening the tax/ revenue base; verify existing tax database of the state; strengthen tax administration to improve collection, and facilitate the shift in tax structure from a

reliance on higher tax rate, to a broader tax bases, improving efficiency and transparency in tax/revenue collection and data management process. In applying the criteria for selecting the most qualified consultant for the project as spelt out by the World Bank, the 35 bidding firms applauded the choice of the six firms that were short listed, based on the

merit of proposals submitted. At the end of the harmonisation of the Technical and Financial proposals submitted by the shortlisted firms by a team of evaluation experts approved by the World Bank, a Nigerian company, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), won the bid for the Project Consultancy in Edo State.

From John Ofikhenua and Chioma Onyia, Abuja

PricewaterhouseCoopers wins Edo consultancy job

W

ORLD renowned consultancy firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), has emerged winner of the Edo State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) Project. The project, which is a joint collaboration between Edo State Government and the World Bank, is aimed at ensuring youth employment, access to socio-eco-

ity threshold of 30 per cent. The effect of the industry’s sound health, the report said, was an improvement in the industry’s profit before tax which increased from a loss of N6.71 billion in 2011 to a profit of ?525.34 billion in last year.

‘National ID cards out in December’

T

• From left: Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; Group Managing Director /CEO, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Mr Larry Ettah; Managing Director, MDS Logistics Plc, Mr Solomon Aigbavboa and CEO, Imperial Logistics, Marius Swanepoel at a dinner by Imperial Logistics for its stakeholders in Lagos.

• Managing Director, NDIC, Ibrahim Umar

HE National Identity Management Com mission (NIMC) would begin the pilot phase of the national ID Card scheme before December. This phase is being supported by banks. It will issue national ID cards that are biometric national ID. Speaking in Lagos yesterday, the Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, Mrs Omokehinde Ojomuyide, said 22 financial institutions will issue the national ID cards. She said MasterCard has collaborated with NIMC, as well as providing the technology that would help to do the job. She said the body has capacity to facilitate the issuance of millions of such cards, adding that NIMC planned to roll out 13million cards for the pilot phase of the project. She said: “We have extensive discussion with NIMC on the project. We are providing the chips that would be on the cards. The Chips have the capacity to perform thirteen different functions.Apart from the fact that the cards are going to be securityproof, they can be used for

By Akinola Ajibade

payment of goods across the world, payment of pension funds, insurance fees, among others. That is why an agreement was reached to put the MasterCard logo beside the national ID card. Anywhere you go, the MasterCard will serve as evidence that you can transact businesses with the card. Our role is that of an enabler, while the banks are the issuers of the cards,” She said NIMC will determine the number of cards that would be rolled out by December. ‘Though NIMC has agreed on 13million cards for the pilot phase, the agency is in a better position to say whether it would stick to that figure or not. You know there is protocol in government things. Bureaucracy among other problems that can determine when and what time the national ID cards would be roll out. But we are hoping that the cards will be issued before December end,’ she added. According to her banks, electronic transaction payment rested on four pillarsIssuers of cards, Merchants, Acquirers and Card holders.

Rail services begin in eastern district

T

HE Nigeria Railway Corporation(NRC), Eastern District has started rail services. This was after a protracted revitalisation programme by the Federal Government to return the rail system to its glorious days. In a statement in Enugu, the Eastern District Manager, Felix Njoku, said the revitalisation of the rail sector was made possible by government’s resolve to restore the rails transport system,adding that the track materials required for the eastern line rehabilitation have been imported and delivered to the Port Harcourt station. To enhance speed of reha-

A

From Chris Oji, Enugu

bilitation work, the contractor, ESER West Africa, has connected the missing sections of the lines between Port Harcourt and Enugu.” He said the Nyaba Bridge in Enugu, the reconstruction of the heavy washout at Eziama in Aba and the reconconstruction of Bridge three in Port Harcourt have been completed. NRC Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijuwade, said the “delivery of 16,795 tons of railway track materials will result in the removal of 560 trailer trips from the road, thereby reducing the potential of road accidents and other damage”.

Birds stop Medview flight

MEDVIEW flight to Yola, the Adamawa State capital was attacked by flying birds as it was taxing to a stop at the Yola International Airport yesterday.

The plane took off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Most of the persengers who had boarded the flight could not fly as they were seen hanging around at the airport.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21, 2013

8

NEWS Oyo to review health workers’ salary State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yes terday pledged to review the salary of health workers to reflect the country’s economic situation. He spoke in his office in Ibadan, the state capital, while hosting executive members of the Association of Medical and Dental Officers. Ajimobi said his administration is determined to promote health care delivery through the provision of equipment in hospitals and improved welfare for workers. He said: “I hail you for your cooperation with the government, which has allowed peace and development in the state. Our development, in terms of infrastructure, is unprecedented in the history of this state and the whole world is attesting to it. All these could not have been achieved without your support, understanding and sacrifices.” The governor said his administration would not relent in its efforts to better the lot of the people and urged well-meaning Nigerians to partner the govO

YO

ernment, especially in the provision of basic health services. He said: “We have a transparent, efficient, accountable and people-oriented government, but no matter how much we do, we must expect criticisms. Our concern is to do our best to promote the progress and happiness of our people. “This is the essence of governance. You can assist the government by bringing up ideas on how to identify areas that need attention and improvement.” The association’s Chairman, Dr. Fola Oni, hailed the Ajimobi administration for improving the health status of the people through improved environmental sanitation and an effective waste disposal system. Oni called for the review of the edict establishing the State Hospitals’ Management Board, so as to create semi-autonomy for state-owned hospitals and to allow the board play only administrative roles. He also called for the review of health workers’ salary.

Bullion van driver held

T

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

HE Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Spe cial Offences yesterday arrested a bullion van driver for violating a traffic law. The Task Force Chairman, Mr. Bayo Sulaiman, told reporters in Alausa, Ikeja, that the driver of a bullion van, marked PF 4582 SPY, was arrested around noon on ACME road in Ikeja. Sulaiman said: “The task force was on routine patrol in Ikeja when the driver was spotted driving against traffic. He had no reason to do so because the road was free, so we tried to stop him, but he sped away before he was arrested at ACME road. “He attempted to hit me and some of my men, but we arrested him and the police escort. We seized the bullion van with the cash and moved them to our premises in Alausa.” He said the driver had been arraigned and the escort handed over to police. Sulaiman lamented incessant violation of traffic laws by bullion van drivers and said the government would not condone it. He said the fact that they were involved in the movement of cash does not exempt them from obeying the law.

T

Cleric hails Osun

HE Chairman of the World Christian Council As sociation, Primate Ayoola Omonigbehin, has hailed the Osun State government for giving the late Prophet Timothy Obadare a befitting burial. He said Governor Rauf Aregbesola has shown that he has no religious bias. The cleric said: “We thank the Osun government for what it did for the late Obadare. It shows religious division has no place with the governor and that he believes we all serve one God.” He said the late Obadare lived a fulfilled life and contributed to the growth of humanity.

Ogun Assembly okays bills

Govt accuses opposition of demolishing barrier on Mokola flyover T HE feud between the Oyo State Government and the opposition over the Mokola Flyover in Ibadan, the state capital, deepened yesterday as both sides disagreed on the demolition of a barrier restricting heavy duty vehicles from plying the bridge. The barrier at one of the entrances was destroyed by an articulated vehicle around 2pm yesterday. The driver of the truck was arrested and detained by the police. In a statement by the Ministry of Works and Transport, signed by the governor’s Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Mr. Kayode Adepoju, the government said it was interesting that only a few weeks ago, the opposition threatened to pull down the barrier. It said the ministry was working on the theory that the barrier was probably demol-

•Ladoja: I‘ve nothing to do with it

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

ished over night and the truck ran into it. It said about three weeks ago, the government alerted the public to alleged plans by the opposition to demolish the barrier. In a broadcast on the state Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), the government alleged that it received security reports that some thugs had been employed by the opposition to demolish the barrier, which the opposition claimed showed that the bridge was substandard. Former Governor Rashidi Ladoja, in a recent interview on a radio station in Ibadan, described the bridge as unnecessary.

He said it was substandard and queried its cost. A few weeks after the interview, one of Ladoja’s aides, Mr. Lanre Ogundipe, published an advertorial in a newspaper in the name of an anti-corruption group and urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the project. The state government sued Ogundipe and the paper for the publication. Reacting to the government’s stand that the bridge might have been demolished overnight, Ladoja’s media aide, Mr. Lanre Latinwo, said: “The government is afraid of its shadow. Ladoja should not be blamed for the demolition. It is unthinkable that some people

Shekau: Lagos Assembly urges caution

T

HE Lagos State House of Assembly has urged the military defence headquarters not to rely on the “hasty speculations” made by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno States that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, may have died in Amitchide, a border community in Cameroon, after an encounter with troops in June this year. Speaking with reporters in his office at the Assembly complex yesterday, the House’s spokesman and Information

By Oziegbe Okoeki

Committee Chairman, Mr. Segun Olulade, said given the sect’s sophistication, reliance on the JTF’s speculation can be risky unless there is concrete confirmation. He urged the JTF to intensify its operations in Chad and Cameroon borders and Boko Haram concentration camps to curb their activities. Olulade said there were many occasions when the death of Osama Bin Ladin was speculated and celebrated even be-

fore he allegedly masterminded the bombing of the World Trade Centre in the United States (U.S.) on September 11, 2001, adding that the fact that Shekau was injured during a crossfire with troops in Sambisa Forest was not enough reason to believe he is dead. He hailed the JTF men for their exploits, especially the killing of Shekau’s second-in-command, Momodu Bama, and 17 members of the sect, as well as the arrest of 24 members. Urging the JTF not to

tinkered with the barrier, which is situated right in the middle of the town in the full glare of security operatives. “What the incident has exhibited is the fragility of the bridge, which was built at an inflated cost as earlier pointed out by us. The government is advised to interrogate the truck driver to ascertain the breaking of the barrier, rather than hastily blaming the opposition for its shortcoming. “The bridge is a white elephant project, since such accident has never occurred at that location before the erection of the contraption, called a flyover. The chicken has come home to roost; a word is enough for the wise.”

• Shekau

relax, the lawmaker said the war against terrorism must be fought tirelessly to ensure peace and development.

Why we patronise local contractors, by Ajimobi

O

T

HE Ogun State House of Assembly has passed the Child Rights Bill into law. It also passed the Pension Reform (Amendment) Bill into law. The motions for the third reading of the bills were moved by the Majority Leader, Mr. Israel Jolaoso, and seconded by Mr. Olayiwola Ojodu and Mr. Aina Akinpelu.

•Ajimobi (second left) receiving a plaque from the Vice-Chairman, Association of Medical and Dental Officers in Oyo State, Dr. Nafisat Abdullahi...yesterday. With them are Oni (right), Dr. Muyideen Olatunji (left) and Dr. Waheed Abass.

•Amosun

Speaker Suraj Adekunbi ordered that clean copies of the bills be sent to the Governor Ibikunle Amosun for assent.

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday explained why his administration patronises local contractors. He said it was to boost the economy, reduce capital flight to foreign countries and create jobs. Ajimobi spoke with reporters through his Acting Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr. Kayode Adepoju.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

He said his administration would continue to engage local contractors, including artisans and professionals, to give all stakeholders an opportunity to contribute to the state’s growth. Ajimobi said big projects, including the dualisation of major roads, are awarded to local contractors, adding that the government supervises

them to ensure they deliver top quality jobs. He said: “About 250 roads have been rehabilitated, reconstructed and constructed by this administration, including six dual-carriage ways, eight bridges and over 20 culverts, and they were all done by local contractors. “As for the six dual-carriage ways we are building, the one in Ogbomoso is being handled by a Nigerian com-

pany. The companies that are not Nigerian are mixed. We will not fold our arms and allow them take our money back to China. “We are not perfect as human beings, but we want to maximise the usage of the artisans because we are concerned about them. We have told them to register with their professional associations and will engage them for our projects.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

9

NEWS

My U.S. visit fruitful, says Aregbesola

O

SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday said his visit to the United States (U.S.) last March has started yielding fruits. Speaking at a Trade, Investment and Culture Conference at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding in Osogbo, the state capital, Aregbesola said his administration’s two-and-half years in office has committed huge human and material resources to providing an enabling business environment. He said his administration’s desire for development was not just “word of mouth, but backed with action”. Aregbesola said his visit to the U.S. brought partners from the African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) of Philadelphia, the Christian Evangelical Economic Development Inc. (CEED) of Pittsburgh and the WURA Arts Services & Productions LLC (WURA) of New York City to participate in the trade and investment programme. He said: “In our development drive, we have focused mainly on four key areas. These are culture and tourism, agriculture, information technology and solid minerals.

T

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

“Osun State is indisputably a custodian of the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people, who are mainly domicilled in and originated from Southwest Nigeria. IleIfe, which is in this state and about 30 minutes drive from this podium, is the cradle of Yoruba culture and civilisation.” Noting that Osun occupies a central place in Nigeria’s tourism map, the governor said besides Ife, there are other numerous centres of cultural and tourism significance across the state. He said there are over 60 tourism sites in the state, adding that the Osun Grove is already globally renowned as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Aregbesola said: “Our goal is to provide food for the Southwest and capture a sizable chunk of the N3 billion daily food market in Lagos. By a stroke of fortune, our natural endowment also includes solid minerals, especially gold. “We have gold deposits in commercial quantity in many parts of the state that are waiting to be fully exploited. It is our goal to develop this in partnership

No credible poll without credible register, says Oke

HE verdict of the Supreme Court in last October’s governorship election dispute in Ondo State will set a precedent in the judicial system, Chief Olusola Oke, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) candidate, has said. Oke, PDP, the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria and its candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, are challenging the declaration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko as winner of the election. They alleged that fictitious names were injected into the voters’ register used for the election and that the poll was marred by irregularities. Speaking with reporters yesterday in Akure, the state capital, Oke said: “We have put all the facts before the Supreme Court and are waiting for it to make the final pronouncement, which will set a precedent. “If the Supreme Court says you cannot build something on nothing, it will become a precedent and will send a signal to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be credible in its sensitive assignment.” The former PDP National Legal Adviser called for a complete overhaul of INEC to achieve credible elections in 2015. He said the replacement of the commission’s head has not translated into fundamental changes in INEC’s activities. Oke said although INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega has good ideas, those working with him, who have been in the commission for years, have refused to change. He said the country’s voters’ register had been “bastardised” and could not be

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

used to conduct any credible election. Oke said: “When I read about INEC’s outburst on the illegal injection of names into the voters’ register in Anambra State, I was delighted because it vindicated our position. “If you are talking of credible elections, the voters’ register must be sanitised because it is the foundation of any election. You cannot build something upon nothing and expect it to stand. If the voters’ register is not credible, you cannot talk about credible election.”

Four ruling houses withdraw support for Osun Osogbo

Osun is a state investors would like to do business; a place where we honour contracts. Here, you (international investors) will share business prospectives, meet with the government, agencies and our businessmen as well.

A •Aregesola

with willing and capable partners. This administration will ensure that this interactive platform is a continuous exercise. “It is my fervent wish that the objectives of organising this conference will be realised and our efforts will yield mutual benefit for all of us.” The Director-General, Office of Economic Development and Partnership, Dr. Charles Akinola, said Osun is economically viable for investment because of its “present credible leadership, peace and security”. Akinola described the state as a one-stop shop for investors because of the “well-co-

ordinated system that makes partnership and investment easy”. He said: “Osun is a state investors would like to do business; a place where we honour contracts. Here, you (international investors) will share business prospectives, meet with the government, agencies and our businessmen as well. “We are hopeful that the outcome of this conference would yield huge investments and culminate into many bilateral agreements.” Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperative and Empowerment Ismaeel Alagbada said the conference is the first in the state.

Deji of Akure returns from America

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

S the grand finale of the Osun Osogbo festival slated for Friday draws nearer, four ruling houses in the Osun State capital yesterday withdrew their support for the annual event. They are Sogbo, Matanmi, Lahanmi-Oyipi and Lajomo (Olude and Aderohunmi) ruling houses. They disowned the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, saying the court does not recognise him. Speaking with reporters in Osogbo, representatives of the ruling houses, led by Alhaji Nasiru Oyeniyi and Pa Cladius Fayoyiwa, said they decided not to participate in the festival to avoid sending a wrong signal to the people that they approve of Oba Olanipekun’s stay on the throne. Warning Oba Olanipekun to stop parading himself as the Ataoja, the royal families urged the state government and other authorities to stop recognising him. They said Oba Olanipekun does not belong to any of the ruling houses and they could not understand how he ascended the throne. Oyeniyi said the four ruling houses had been challenging Oba Olanipekun’s appointment since he was installed in 2010 by the Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration. He said the State High Court judgment, which nullified Olanipekun’s appointment and declared the stool of the Ataoja vacant, is still intact. Urging Olanipekun to vacate the throne, Oyeniyi said: “We state clearly that Olanipekun is just an interim occupant of the stool of our forefathers. We are only waiting for the Court of Appeal, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, to determine Olanipekun’s appeal by upholding the judgment that dethroned him. “Two judges of the Osun State High Court, Justices Yinka Aderibigbe and Jide Falola, in their separate rulings, ordered Olanipekun to vacate the throne and declared it vacant.”

More knocks for Obasanjo

T

HE Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida, yesterday arrived in the country aboard a Delta Airlines flight, which landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. Oba Adesida, who was accompanied by his Olori, Mojisola, said he is alive and well. Dispelling rumours of his death, he said Africans believe anyone rumoured to be dead while he is alive would live long. Speaking with reporters at the airport, the Deji said he travelled to the United States (U.S.) to inaugurate the Oyemekun chapter in Atlanta. He said: “I am happy to be back home. I travelled to Atlanta to inaugurate some

By Oziegbe Okoeki

L •Oba Adesida and Olori Mojisola ... yesterday

•’I’m alive and well’ By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

Ondo indigenes association in the Diaspora and urged them to contribute to the state’s development. “I was surprised by the rumour. It is bad to wish anybody dead. Our people say any traditional ruler ru-

moured to be dead would live long. I pray to live long.” One of the monarch’s brothers, Dr. Lanre, who accompanied him on the trip, said: “The rumour is the handiwork of his detractors. You can see that he is alive. You just spoke with him. The Deji will continue to carry on with his work as a leader.”

Oyo monarchs in battle for supremacy From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

•Oba Popoola

T

HE rivalry between the Onijeru of Ijeruland, Oba Olaniyi Popoola, and the Onipetu of Ijeru, Oba Oladapo Oyediran 11, in Oyo State resurfaced yesterday as the former said the Onipetu has no right to claim Ijeru as his domain. The monarchs have been fighting for the control of Ijeru. Oba Popoola said the disa-

greement started 27 years ago and Ijeru people sued the former Onipetu,the late Oba Atobatele Mosobalaje. He said: “A judgment was delivered at the Ogbomoso High Court by the late Justice Ayorinde of blessed memory in April 24, 1987, in the Onijeru’s favour. The Onipetu appealed the judgment. Two kings died on the throne during that period but the appeal was struck out around 2,000 or there about. “Ijeruland was established in 1614 by a great hunter, Ohunsile, who migrated from Ile-Ife to Ota, when he had a chieftaincy dispute with his brother. The issue was taken to Oyo and the case was ruled in favour of his younger brother. This annoyed him and he left the place for Oyo. “Ijeru’s boundary starts from Laka Elepo, from that bridge to Temidire in Ogo Oluwa area. We have expanded

greatly. In those days when we used to have Fulani wars, about 142 settlements and villages ran to Ogbomoso for safety, including the Onipetu family, because those who established Ogbomoso were warriors. “All the other people have left for their homestead, but the Onipetu family refused to leave because they were being over-pampered here in Ijeru. The late Premier of the Western Region, Chief Ladoke Akintola, gave them political power and told them not to leave, forgetting that the truth will prevail some day. “There is no controversy about who owns Ijeruland. It belongs to the Onijeru and nobody else has the right to lay claim to what belong to us. The problem is that our government does not have respect for tradition and the rule of law, because it appoints judges, attorney-general and others, who give judgment in court cases without abiding by it.

“The Onijeru is recognised by the court as the authentic ruler of the domain. We have a court judgment in our favour.” Oba Popoola urged the government to reconsider the status of the Onijeru in the traditional rulers’ council. Oba Oyediran said the Onijeru was trying to distort history. He said: “When Ohunsile, their ancestor, came from Oyo, he met some people here. Let the Onijeru tell the world who he met in that place and who gave him the land they settled on? They claimed they did not settle on Olugbon’s, Aresa’s or Onikoyi’s land, so who gave Ohunsile the land? I will be pleased if they can answer this question?” On the purported court judgment, he said: “It was a chieftaincy matter and I can show you a copy of the judgment. We appealed it and their lawyer withdrew the case because both the complainant and the defendant were dead.”

AGOS State House of Assembly Deputy Whip Rotimi Abiru has criticised former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s comment that former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, former VicePresident Atiku Abubakar and some others failed the nation. At an event in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, last week, Obasanjo said Atiku, Tinubu, former House of Representatives Speaker Salisu Buhari, former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and some others, who he referred to as young politicians, had the opportunity to do things right but failed. Abiru said: “It is unfortunate that such a comment could come from a man we all regard as an elder statesman and a former President. It is in fact an indictment of himself. “Obasanjo should be mindful of his comments. He is well respected and he should not be heard saying things that would generate controversies. “If those he accused decide to hit back at him, people will feel they are disrespecting him. He also had the opportunity to right all the wrongs in this country, but what did he do? “Let him come out and tell us how the masses benefited from his administration. He brought this country to the situation it is today. When he was leaving office, he gave us former President Umaru Yar’Adua, may his soul rest in peace, and when Yar’Adua died, the doctrine of necessity produced President Goodluck Jonathan, who has made things worse.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

10

CITYBEATS A 14-year-old robbery suspect, simply identified as Obumselu, who was arrested by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Adeniji Adele, Lagos, has narrated how he joined the underworld. His gang, police said, specialises in diverting trailers loaded with motorcycles from different parts of the country to Nnewi in Anambra State. He said his boss, Ikechukwu Peter, a trailer driver and native of Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, recruited him into the gang. According to Obumselu, Peter, who is still at large, promised to free him from poverty and frustration, if he participated in the operation. Spokesman of FSARS, Lekan Ogundare, a Deputy Superiatendent (DSP), said the suspect was arrested based on a petition sent to the Commissioner of Police in charge of the department, Mohammed Gana, by Fidelix Onyejegbu. The petitioner had alleged that his trailer loaded with 130 Lefan motorcycles was robbed by some armed men at Shagamu-Ore Express Road and diverted to an unknown destination. He alleged that the goods were loaded on Ojo Road in Lagos on August 1, adding that the trailer was heading for Warri, Delta State. It was gathered that based on the petition, the CP mobilised a crack squad led by Inspector Banjoko Oluwemimo to track down the hoodlums and recover the goods. Fortunately, the team tracked down another trailer marked XK134NSH, carrying

R

Badagry festival kicks off By Musa Odoshimokhe

• Trailer loaded with motorcycles. Inset: Obumselu

How I went into robbery, by teenager

By Ebele Boniface

the hijacked motorcycles around Challenge Area, Ibadan, Oyo State capital. Its driver, Ikechukwu Peter, escaped upon sighting policemen, but Obumselu was arrested. Obumselu told the police that he and his master were not the ones that stole the trailer at the Ore Road, Shagamu. He explained that the goods which are the property of Finos Global Enterprise, Warri, were off-loaded in Ibadan by the robbers who diverted it. He said his master told him that the goods were stolen from a warehouse in Ibadan.

I did not know my master would run away ... it was the first time I would follow him to rob or do this kind of thing Police operatives said the motorcycles were inside Peter's trailer on its way to

Nnewi when they were sighted. The owner of the goods said his motorcycles were 130, but when it was recovered, 110 motorcycles were left. The driver of the trailer that initially carried the goods from Ojo Road, it was learnt, is being detained at the Odogbolu Police Station, Ogun State. Obumselu confessed: "I don't know the registration number of the trailer. My master called me and told me that thieves stole motorcycles and that we

should go and steal them in a warehouse in Ibadan. "We went there and loaded the motorcycles on August 14. We were heading for Nnewi when policemen stopped us in Ibadan. I did not know that my master would run away, otherwise, I would have beaten him to it. If we had reached Nnewi, it would not have been possible to recover the motorcycles again. It was the first time I would follow him to rob or do this kind of thing." The trailer and the recovered motorcycles were parked at the Adeniji Adele Police Station. The PPRO said investigations were going on in a bid to arrest all those involved in the robbery.

Collapsing bridge worries community

ESIDENTS of Arowojobe in MendeMary land in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State, have sent a saveour-soul (SOS) to the government. They are appealing to the government to rescue them from the danger posed by a collapsing bridge, in the community. The bridge has been decrepit for almost 20 years. According to them, the bridge, which was named after the community, serves as a link between them and their neighbours. It was constructed about 25 years ago, but it only served them for five years as it started sinking thereafter. The residents fear they may soon be cut off should the bridge completely collapse, claiming that all the pipes underneath the bridge have ruptured and could no longer hold water, adding that it overflows during rainfalls and thus prevents residents from using it. The residents said the bridge is now a threat to commercial activities as it is no longer useful for heavy-duty vehicles. A resident, Mr. Okey Felix, called on government for

L

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

IVEWELL Initiative (LWI), a non-profitmaking healthcare organisation, has sought improved awareness the health status of Nigerians. Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mrs Bisi Bright, made the call at the end of its stakeholders' focus group meeting on promoting healthcare. It was held

By Yinka Aderibigbe

succour, saying that the present position of the bridge can lead to loss of lives and property in the community. ''I am afraid about the present situation of the bridge because we don't know what will happen next. The government should res-

cue us from an impending danger,'' he said. Clement Diisu, an artisan, said the situation was becoming unbearable and requires urgent attention. ''We know the government is trying its best but the job is uncompleted until the bridge is fixed,'' he said.

Also, a resident and proprietor of a private hospital in the area, Dr Ademola Oladosu, said: ''Water usually flows back at the base of the bridge simply because the pipes underneath it are narrow and can no longer hold water. Also, there are some uncompleted plots which harbour waste and

at the end of the day, this flows into the canal, thereby blocking the narrow pipes. The traditional ruler of the community, Chief Kehinde Arowojobe, said ''the bridge has been sinking for over a decade and we want the government to intervene by fixing it.''

THE President of African Renaissance Foundation, Mr. Peter Olaide Mesewaku has said the ongoing 2013 Badagry Festival would boost the revenue base of the country because foreign investors will be part of the event. Addressing reporters at a conference to flag off the festival last weekend, he said the festival would also feature speeches by international scholars on the position of Badagry in the world. He said: "The festival is dedicated the memory of Marcus Garvey, who championed African renaissance and campaign for black dignity in world history." Mesewaku said Garvey was a leading pan-African nationalist, who spent a good deal of time to reposition black people, adding: "He was responsible for the returnee slaves' involvement in the development of their roots; some of them made impacts in Badagry." The chairman of Badagry Local Government, Hon Hositode Dosu, said the vantage position of Badagry in Nigeria could not be underestimated, noting that the community is now fully involved in the Black Heritage Festival which is being coordinated by Professor Wole Soyinka, he said. He said: "The festival is two-fold - to reflect on the relevance of Badagry festival through her very rich culture and the huge evidence of the socio-political usefulness of Badagry to Lagos State and other Africans states." The Police in Ogun yesterday urged owners abandoned or recovered stolen vehicles and motorcycles at Ibafo/Ilese Divisions to claim them. He said the vehicles would be auctioned if the owners fail to claim them within the next two weeks.

Maritime workshop holds By Sampson Unamka

• Arowojobe

• The bridge ... yesterday

Group advocates health awareness By Uyoatta Eshiet

in Lagos The meeting, which was chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lagos State, Dr Olufemi Olugbile, was attended by Dr Mona Khanna, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois, USA, and Fox Chicago.

They discussed "promotive healthcare," with focus on palpable health threats such as: Hepatitis in Africa, executive health/work place wellness, poverty and illness, Mrs Bright said the meeting resolved that screening and testing screening should be conducted on Nigerians on diseases such as

hepatitis. This, she said, could be done through awareness and making testing available through health fairs, taking a cue from Lagos State Government. Those who test positive, she said, should be educated on how to minimise transmission, adding that treatment should be made available.

Mrs Bright sought collaborations across the health sector, and advocated prevention of illness and injury through training and hazard awareness and the implementation of risk hazard management protocol, using the Elimination, Engineering, Mitigation and Treatment (EEMT) model.

BABCOCK Consulting, the Consultancy outfit of Babcock University, IlishanRemo, Ogun State will hold a two-day Maritime Management Course in collaboration with the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association between August 29 and 30 at the institution's campus. According to the National President of the association, Mathew Alalade, an engineer, the course is for the training of Merchant Mariners including Ship Officers, Marine Pilots, Deck Officers and Managers in the Maritime and Offshore Industries. He said that organisations having shipping department can nominate their staff for the course. Alalade added that individuals who are interested in acquiring knowledge in Maritime Management can also register for the course, which according to him, would provide comprehensive professional and educational training for participants for the development of maritime and other sectors of the economy based on maritime operations and logistics.


11

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

CITYBEATS

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Delta supports Nollywood awards

• Scene of the incident ... yesterday

PHOTO: SEUN AKIOYE

Riot as policeman 'kills' motorcyclist

H

ELL was let loose yesterday in Ikorodu on the outskirts of Lagos. Commercial motorcycle operators (okada riders) engaged the police in a freefor-all, following the alleged killing of one of them by a policeman. The victim, who was identified as Lekan, was allegedly shot dead by the yet unidentified policeman in the Ojubode area of the town about 2pm. The Nation gathered that a team of policemen in a Rapid Response Squad (RRS) van, while on patrol in the area, had attempted to arrest the late Lekan aka Ifa. But he reportedly protested and in the process, he was allegedly shot dead by one of the policemen.

T

By Seun Akioye and Jude Isiguzo

It was learnt that the deceased was arrested two days earlier by a team of policemen, but allegedly bailed himself with N5, 000. This, The Nation learnt, was why he engaged the policemen in an argument that led to his death. The policemen allegedly fled the scene of the incident by shooting into the air to scare away other okada riders and touts who had gathered to protest the incident. The body of the deceased was deposited at the Ikorodu General Hospital mortuary, while about 1,000 embittered bike riders and touts blocked the popular Beach Road in protest. Policemen from Owutu,

Ebute and other police stations, including OP-MESA personnel, were drafted to the scene to disperse the protesters. The Nation learnt that the protesting colleagues of the deceased defied the police and made bonfires on the road with used tires, as they chanted war songs. Many of them demanded the prosecution of the police team that allegedly killed their colleague. At press time, the community was tension-soaked, but a team of soldiers from OPMESA took control of the Beach Road to restore peace and smooth traffic flow. The deceased was said to be the only child of his parents. His mother, it was learnt, resides in Bariga area of Lagos

and had been informed of the tragedy. In a telephone conversation with The Nation, the Chairman of Motorcyclists Association of Lagos State (MOALS), Ikorodu, who is popularly addressed as ''Jendor,''described the incident as barbaric. He urged government to bring the perpetrators to book. ''This is too much for us to bear,'' he said. Lekan's death occurred six months after a policeman , Corporal Goroye Folagbade, was dismissed for stealing an impounded motorcycle from Saheed Owolabi at the same Ojubode park. Effort to get Police Public Relations Officer Ngozi Braide failed as she could not be reached on phone.

the purpose which it was built. Mrs Odunayo said the building had defects such nonadherence to set-back provisions of 15 metres away from the road and three-square metres by the sides. The agency also sealed off another building under construction at 42, Boladale Street, Oshodi, for lacking approval. "Though people are free to construct, they should also

abide by the regulations. People must do the work according to what has been approved and not deviate. Unfortunately, we have some that construct without approval," the LASBCA boss said. She accused the building's developer of breaking a seal placed on the building by the government, warning it was an offence to stack building materials on the road.

Agency demolishes defective buildings

HE Lagos State Building Agency Control (LASBCA), has demolished a defective building on Ireti-Oluwa Street, along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos. The demolition was carried out during an operation conducted by the agency to ensure that buildings are erected in compliance with the 2010 Urban and Regional Planning and Development

Music label fetes Highlife maestro Olaiya

By Temitayo Ayetoto

law and to checkmate incessant cases of building collapse in the state. The building, according to the General Manager, LASBCA, Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun Odunayo, flouted government's approval plan. She said the building was constructed with substandard materials and therefore, was not fit to serve

her people were ready to grace the event on November 9. Mercy Aigbe, Moyo Lawal were among Nollywood celebrities who graced the unveiling. Oloketuyi added: "Apart from the Awards, we will be setting a record for the longest Red Carpet in the world also on November 9. It's a dream we have had since 2010, which could not be actualised because of technical hitches. This time, we are flying officials from the Guinness Book of World Records from the United Kingdom."

•Oloketuyi

PUBLIC NOTICE

THE FLOW HOUSE INTERNATIONAL WORSHIP CENTRE

This is to inform the general public that the above named Church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C, of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Pastor Evans Odum Chairman 2. Roselyn Nwagu Treasurer 3. Blessing Udah Secretary 4. Goodness Isaac Member 5. Frank Dike Member OBJECTIVES: 1. To reach out to the lost souls. 2. To bring men close to God. Any objection(s) to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days from the date of this publication. Signed: BARR. JUDE MAMAH

PUBLIC NOTICE Dynamics of Money ,a book written by Pastor Toyin Oluwagbani Jacob. A must read for the youths. For information, call 08036709843 or visit any Charismatic Renewal Ministries Inc. Nationwide. PUBLIC NOTICE

OBINWANNE PROGRESSIVE CLUB

I

T was a night of mini concert as Naijazz Label, an initiative of Inspiro Productions, put Highlife maestro, Dr Victor Olaiya in the spotlight. Feting the music icon, various young talents sang for the old superstar who took to the dance floor. The organisers said they were out to nurture burgeoning music talents in Highlife and other traditional music genres, and honour deserving music icons. At the first in the series of events aimed at celebrating music legends , Olaiya walked into the waiting crowd at the Stadium Hotel arena in Surulere, Lagos. Amid cheers,

THE Delta State Government has expressed its readiness to host the Best of Nollywood (BON) 2013. It was confirmed at the unveiling of BON Award at Yellow Chilli, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. Ferguson Atakere, who represented the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo, said: "To us in Delta, it is important we develop Nollywood, especially with the way filmmakers have gradually turned our state to the Hollywood of Nigeria. It is on record that on the average, 300 films are shot yearly in Asaba because we have given the producers the right environment and also because our state is safe from armed robbery and kidnapping; besides, our people are extremely friendly." Executive Producer, BON Award, Seun Oloketuyi: "The journey has been tough for Best of Nollywood, but we have stayed focused because we believe that Nollywood should have a befitting reward system to celebrate the achievement and hard work of these movie stars. Our dreams are huge, but we believe we shall get to a stage where the BON Awards will be a global event with the help of corporate Nigeria." The President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Ibinabo Fiberesima, said

The above named CLUB has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No 1 of 1990 THE TRUSTEES ARE; 1. Amos Ogbonnaya Uwa - President 2. Sunday Simon - Vice-President 3. Agwu Michael Okorie - Secretary 4. Nwani Abel - Treasurer

• Olaiya and some of his admirers at the event By Victor Akande

he was ushered in. The artistes sang and performed different instruments to the pleasure of the 84-yearold legend widely adjudged the father of Highlife music. Nodding with satisfaction to the various performances,

Olaiya was particularly glad when one of the artistes said Highlife music was made compulsory when he was in music school. The man noted that they were made to understudy two legends - "Osita Osadebe and the great Dr. Victor Olaiya." The crowd cheered as they celebrant rose in appreciation of

the remarks. Guests included Femi Esho of Evergreen Music, Mr ; Stella Monye, promoters and students of music. Esho, who urged Olaiya to perform a song to appreciate the gesture, lamented that Nigerians celebrate Bob Marley more than the local musicians.

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE; To help oneself in terms of needs,and also when hospitalised. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded within twenty-eight days to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Cresent, off Aguiyi lronsi Street Maitama, Abuja.

SIGNED: TRUSTEES


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

12

NEWS

Jonathan appoints chairmen for 42 Fed Govt agencies

P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday approved the appointment of chairmen and members of the Governing Boards of 42 Federal Government corporations and agencies. A statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said membership of each governing board shall include all the statutory ex-officio members in accordance with enabling laws of the corporations and agencies. According to him, the dates for their inauguration would be announced by the supervising authorities and ministers. The chairmen and non exofficio members as announced yesterday are: Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology - Chairman: Prince Olusola Akanmode. Members are Idonibin

•Tokunbo Kayode, Ray Ekpu, Kanayo O.Kanayo make list

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Obagama, Garba Dahiru, Mahmud A. Gurumpawo and Mohammed Bello Abdulkadir (Salankan Zazzau). National Mathematical Centre - Chairman: Abubakar H. Girei. Members are Prof. G.A Badmus, Stephen Ahaneku and Zilkifilu Abdu. Universal Basic Education Commission - Chairman: A. J. Turner. Members are Mohammed Bello, Chuma Nnaji, Hauwa Musa Kida, Abubakar L. Audu, Tarfa Atu, Kunle Yusuf, Nnalue Kingsley Chizobam, Sharon Oviemuno, and Mathias Ekweremadu. National Commission for Colleges of Education - Chairman: Chukwuemeka Ezife. Members are Mrs. Margaret

Zidon, Mohammed Dantsoho and Mrs. Ngozi Nnadozie. National Institute for Education Planning and Administration - Chairman:Bolaji Anani. Members include Jamila Baba Buhari and Nma Mowete. National Institute for Fresh Water Fisheries Research Chairman: Arma Abubakar. Members are Francis Ayodele Akinkiawe, George Moghalu, Bimbola Yusuf and Oche Ekoza Elias. Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria -Chairman: Sulieman Galadima. Members include Umoru Barau Ningi, Bennette E. Ughamadu, Oluomo Yinka Adeojo and Uche Igbokwe. Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Re-

search - Chaiman: Bello Gusau. Members include Ahame Adamu Bawa, Mrs. Aduke Waziri, T. Dawari Horsefall, Felix Mgbada and Abdullahi Ohiomah. National Cereals Research Institute - Chairman: Igwe Ginger Ibeneme. Members are Adeboro Onibalusi, Mrs. Margaret John Zamdai, Mrs Toru Ofili and Otuu Irukwu. National Eye Centre Chairman: Prof. C.I.P. Anibeze. Members include Chimezie D. Ugochukwu, Femi Babalola, Abdulrahman Abdullahi Wase and Nma Nwokeocha. National Root Crops Research Institute - Chairman: Oluwole Oludaisi Aina. Members include Steve

Nwachukwu, Folake Olunloyo Osinowo, Mrs. Hannatu Ullam, Ahmed Sani Kaura and Shola Ogbemi-Daibo. National Horticultural Research Institute - Chairman: Juliet Wayoka. Members include Chael Kusah, Bello Abdullahi, Ituma Valentine Emeka and Abdulmumuni Vaki. National Inland Waterways Authority - Chairman: Bashir Dalhatu. Mike Onah is a member of the board. National Animal Production Research Institute - Chairman: Emeka Otozi. Members are Robinson Ejifoma, Mrs Felicia Diejemao, Saidu Ahmed Jere, Anicho Sunday Okoro and Babagana Zanna. Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority - Chairman: Cairo Ojougbo. Members include Emmanuel Ekuwem and Husaini Jalo. National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies Chairman: Kanayo O. Kanayo. No members yet. National Institute for Nigerian Languages - Chairman: Tosin Awolalu. Members are Prof. S.O. Igwe, Kabiru Ladan Barwa, Venesa Tobechukwu Kemakolam, Francis Ozoemena and Nana Aisha Abdulqadiri. National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and NonFormal Education - Chairman: Mrs. Esther Uduehi. Members are Prof Dakum Shown, Abiola Makinde, Tanko Kokwai, Alonge-Niyi Dennis and Geofrey Okpe. Nigerian Film Corporation - Chairman: Bongos Ikwue. Members are Sani Danja, Wada Musa, and Bright Chinedu Nnebedum. Nigeria Building & Road Research Institute - Chairman: Dele Okeya. Members include John Alkali, Adamu Waziri, Austin O. Ene and Gunju Ojo. National Orientation Agency - Chairman: Edoh Obi. No member listed. Sheda Science and Technology Complex -Chairman: Nuhu Aliyu. Members are Eka Williams, Uchenna Daniel Oko, Tanko Ayuba, Garba Taura, Audu Bababyo, Solomon Adama Yisa, Bob Nege, Bola Jafojo-Adedeji and Prof Iwe Maduebibisi. National Commission for Nomadic Education - Chairman: Mohammed Sallah Shettima. Members include Abba Kura Jibrin, Yusuf Sulieman Jibiya, Zainab A. Gidado, Adeolu Aluko, John Uhana, Nkem Obiako, P. Oristse Nanna and Yamkyeh Ebibu. Nigerian French Language Village - Chairman: Emmanuel Edohoeket. Members are Abbas Tijanni Hasshim, Mrs Rebecca Ogundare, and Sally Ogbogu. Centre for Black & Africian Arts and Culture Chairman: Gen. Brimmo Yusuf. Members include Ray Ekpu, Paul Godfrey, Mary Ogbonnaia, Folorunsho Taiwo, Rhoda Fiberesima, Patrick Aiden Anuda, Oyedokun S. Oladepo and Frank Ikpeze. Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre Chairman: Tokunbo Kayode. Members include Richard Lamai, Kunle Sulieman, Ibrahim Mohammed Gada, Abah Lewis and John Kalu.

National Productivity Centre -Chairman: Innocent Nyingirefaka. Members include representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). National Oil Spill & Detection Response Agency - Chairman: Lancelot Anyanya. No member listed. National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency - Chairman: Ishiaku Huzi Mshelia. Members are Hajara Amadu, Lynn Nathan and Vitalis Okafor Project Development Institute - Chairmaan: Emmanuel Mbaka. Members are Phillip Ehigie, Dr. Okey Nnadozie, Udemba Chukwudolee and Bukar Zarma. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission - Chairman: Ibrahim Bio. Members are Dauda Sulieman, Aliyu Datti Esq, Idris Abdullahi, Setonji Koshedo, Eboh Ihekwereme and Geraldine Oku. Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation - Chairman: Adamu Atta. Members include Miriam Onuoha and Sunday Olufemi Oroniyi. National Business and Technical Examination Board Chairman: Garba Nadama. Members are Ralph Nwike and Adewole Oludare Adewunmi. Nigerian Council for Management Development Chairman: Emma Aguarivwodo. Members include Adeyemi S. Obakin, Amanuna Afragana, Anochie Haffner, Obong Emmanuel J. Akpan and Joseph Ahile. Lake Chad Research Institute - Chairman: Yakubu Tsala. Members include Pastor Nonie Robinson, Prince Hope R. Lawson, Hajiya Amina Takwai and Alhaji Abba Ahmed. Federal Road Safety Commission - Chairman: Felix Chukwu. Members are Jackie Umoru, Alhaji Ahmadu Inuwa Gambo, Mrs Maryam Gwaram, Mallam Aminu Bello, Senator Dahiru Bako Gassol, Emmanuel Egwu and Yinka Taiwo. Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria - Chairman: Mrs. Abisola Clark. Members include Mrs. Bridget Torbua and Asmau Saad Usman. Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation - Chairman: Mrs. Chioma Ohakim. Members are Grace Eni Nsot, Igwe B.N. Eze and Lawrence Onoja. Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria - Chairman: Prof. Francis Fadahunsi. Members include Dadawei Terilayefa Ebimo, Hadjia Meiro Momoh, Mike Inalegwu, Mrs. Ugo Ukpai and Hadiza D. Mohammed. News Agency of Nigeria Chairman: Ibrahim Buba. Members include Tony Prest, Dr. Atah Pine, Ifeanyi Ossai and Tons Fetepigi. Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) - Chairman: Goodluck Opia. Members include E. N. Mordi, Maigida Stephen, Muhammad Sallah Shettima, James Katagba and Haruna Dabin. National Information Technology Development Agency - Chairman: Tosin Ajayi. Members are Musa Bello, Saidu Gwadabe, Ben Bako, Wilson Chinedu Agu, Harami B. Balami, Segun Ilorin, Sa’adatu Ayitogo and Emmanuel Ighomena.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

13


14

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

15


16

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013


HELP

Succour for orphans Kwara

46

PROJECT

SECURITY

Council battles desert encroachment

Peaceful Sallah in Damaturu

Jigawa

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

Yobe

47

48

Page 17

Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

‘BP, eye tests saving lives on Southwest roads’

R

•ACM Lawal

EGULAR blood pressure checks and eye tests have helped to reduce road crashes and consequently fatalities on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. How? Assistant Corps Marshal Ademola Lawal commanding Zone II of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said he and his personnel had to add medical options to their operations when they discovered that too many crashes and deaths were occurring on the highway. FRSC officials, in concert with medical personnel, have since moved into motor parks, testing drivers’ blood pressure as well as their visual health. Those requiring medications are assisted to get the recommended

E

KITI State government is getting youths to fall in love with agric once again, and in doing so, ensuring food security. The sector has been unflattering. Youths have fled the fields, preferring white-collar jobs in glitzy corporate offices. When those jobs are not forthcoming, some have taken to demeaning activities and even outright vice. Having enough food has always been a big challenge to governments at all levels as the issue has always defied solution. Formerly the mainstay of the nation’s economy, employing millions of Nigerians, the serial neglect of agric has contributed in no small measure to the scourge of joblessness ravaging the country. Youths who abandoned the rural area practically left old people who depend on simple farming implements with the task of providing food and cash crops for the nation. Ekiti State is taking the lead in reversing the trend with the governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi introducing the Youth Commercial Agriculture Development (Y-CAD) to positively engage youths in large-scale agriculture purely on commercial basis. Modernising agriculture is the third component of his administration’s eight-point agenda. Fayemi has always emphasised that agriculture remains a key factor in the effort to turn the fortunes of the state around. He expressed dismay that the state which used to lead in cocoa production in the past has lost its position due to the fact that most of the old farmers depend on basic

By Ogochukwu Ikeje

drugs, while drivers with failing sight are helped to get corrective glasses. “The result is amazing,” said Lawal. Commuting has improved. One day, a shocking scene played out right on the premises of the FRSC. A man had come to

process his driver’s licence. Done with the job, he got into his car and drove off, but just before he could get to the gate, he suddenly veered off the road and crashed. Curious officials found out that the man was not overspeeding but that his blood pressure had gone alarmingly up. That was when the FRSC

Do you see commercial drivers wearing recommended glasses? Is it only office workers who have eye defects? How often do drivers check their blood pressure, or blood sugar for diabetes?

started thinking that perhaps some road crashes are not only the result of over-speeding or other careless indulgences. Untreated health conditions are also to blame. Lawal asked: “Do you see commercial drivers wearing recommended glasses? Is it only office workers who have eye defects? How often do drivers check their blood pressure, or blood sugar for diabetes?” The response to this challenge was code-named ‘Beyond the Road’. On the first day they launched out to test the drivers at Ojota Motor Park in Lagos they found blood pressures •Continued on Page 45

• The agric scheme catches on

Food security in Ekiti Youth scheme revives agric By Odunayo Ogunmola

farming implements. The Y-CAD scheme is highly mechanised as tractors and other modern equipment have been purchased for that purpose. The move was aimed at ensuring that agriculture contributes 50 per cent of the state’s Internally Generated revenue (IGR) by making agric

more attractive to youths of the state. Through this, the government intends to provide a major shift from ageing subsistent farming to vibrant youth-based commercial agriculture. However, the emphasis on youth involvement does not mean that the aged farming population will be abandoned as adequate provision has been

made for them in the agenda of his regime. Through the Y-CAD initiative, the major farm settlements in the state have been revived and now play host to youths who have keyed in to the agriculture agenda of the administration. Y-CAD was also designed to turn the farm settlements into Centres of Excellence in agriculture and ensure all-round production of cash crops in the •Continued from Page 45

•Dr. Fayemi


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

18

T

•Governor Al-makura

HE Nasarawa State AIDS Control Agency (NASACA) is partnering with Lafia Local Government Council to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS in the area. The partnership was part of a resolution of a meeting between NASACA and the council during HIV/AIDS monthly review held in Lafia. The Executive Director of NASACA,Dr Umar Zachary and Malam Alhassan Sheik, the council’s Director of Personnel Management (DPM), signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. Zachary, who was represented by Christiana Ajiloku, NASACA Data Manager, noted that the meeting was designed to review the performance of the council and development areas in the state and evolve sustainable strategies for the campaign. Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, Director of Works, Lafia Local Government Council, who represented the DPM, said the council was determined to ensure that new HIV infection was

Abia community seeks NDDC’s help

T

HE residents of Asa North autonomous community in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State has called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to mobilise contractors handling their community road projects back to site. Sam Adiele, the community’s spokesman addressing reporters at Obingwu, one of the villages in Asa North, alleged that after NDDC awarded the contract for the reconstruction of Uratta/Obokwe and the Obingwu/Umugo, they hurriedly came to the site at the beginning of the rainy season, did an untidy scratching of the earth and abandoned the road projects into thin air. Adiele said that since the contractors abandoned the two major roads in the community, the situation has become bad that, they can hardly have access to the road, especially, now that the rain is at its peak The community leader said his people were experiencing hardship as vehicles no longer come in or leave the community due

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

to the bad nature of the roads, adding that the community whose residents are largely farmers now find it difficult to take their farm produce to urban centres to sell . He said he had contacted Mr Amadi, (the man in charge of Abia projects at NDDC) and complained about the abandonment of the project and the deplorable condition of the roads, but that nothing had been done. He, therefore, appealed to officials of the commission to mobilise the road contractors back to site in order to complete the road projects, stressing that the project when completed, would assist the community have access to urban markets now that the harvest season at the corner. Mr. Tony Aniekwe, whose house and poultry farm were affected by the flood called on the authorities to come to their aid in order to save them from economic and food wastage.

Agency, council partner on HIV/ AIDS

Council battles desert encroachment

W

ORRIED by the high rate of desert encroachment in the area, the Kiyawa Local Government Area in Jigawa State is planting 20,000 trees to mitigate its effect. This was disclosed by the chairman of the council, Alhaji Dahiru Madaki Katuka while flagging off the local government chapter of the tree planting exercise.

Nasarawa

prevented and those already infected adequately taken care of. “Our role has to do with logistics to make sure they are able to reach the nooks and crannies of the local government by way of sensitisation,” he said Hajiya A’ishatu Kazeem, NASACA Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, expressed dissatisfaction with the low turnout of participants and called for a change of attitude, stressing that the fight against HIV and AIDS was a struggle that everyone should actively participate. On his part, Mr Abdullahi Mohammed, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Lafia Local Government Council, at the end of the meeting presented a report on the HIV situation in the area from January to June.

Group praises Ooni, Alaafin THE World Christian Council Association has expressed joy at the return of peace to the relationship between the Ooni of Ife, Oba Olubuse Sijuwade and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi. In a statement by the chairman of the group, Primate Ayoola Omonigbehin it said: “We consider the enduring peace between these reverred fathers a plus to the unity among the Yoruba. Oduduwa descendants here and everywhere will continue to be grateful to them and wish them long and proeperous reigns”.

NGO donates N30m to the less-privileged

A •Wife of Mushin Local Government Chairman Mrs Oludayo Adepitan (left) presenting food items to women to reduce hunger. With her is the Head of Agric, Rural and Social Development, Mrs Mojisola Akinola (middle) and one of the beneficiaries, Alhaja Ramota Mohammed

Retired high court judge teaches in primary schools A RETIRED High Court Judge in Kebbi State,Hon.Justice Zakari Gulma,62,has taken to teaching in primary schools as his post-retirement hobby. Gulma,told journalists in Argungu that prior to joining the judiciary sector in 1980, he had served as a teacher for 10 years. He stated that his love for teaching in a village school was to enable him contribute in raising the standard of education, considering the dearth of teachers The former judge explained that for this reason, he decided to resume teaching at the Fadama and Argungu Emirate Model primary schools in 2012, after his retirement.

Pensioners seek government support

L

AGOS State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has appealed to the state governor Babatunde Fashola to assist them in the payment of outstanding allowances to its members. According to the union, the entitlement they are demanding include; non payment of the pensioners gratuity between 2006 and 2010, non-implementation of pension increase of six percent in 2003 and 15 percent in 2007, non payment of 36 months balance of 142 percent of pension increase from year 2000 till date, non- review of pensions for the past 10 years in contradiction of the 1999 Constitution. The state chairman and the Southwest Coordinator of the union, Alhaji Nojeemdeen Ibrahim, said the group had made several efforts to speak and hold a peaceful protest to demand for the gratuity of some of it members who had retired since 13 years ago but all to no avail. He said many of the people involved have children in school and some of them are dying because they cannot pay for treatment in hospital. He added that some are ageing and many are dying of hunger because there is no money to take care of themselves. Ibrahim said the union now decided to em-

•A cross-section of the pensioners

By Jerimah Oke

bark on fasting and prayer because they have adopted many strategies to demand for their entitlements from the government. He maintained that the union resolved to embark on fasting and prayer because it is only God who can help them. In his words; “we have held several meetings with the government but the people in charge are trying to play politics with our demand. Many times they will tell us that they have taken it to the State Executive Council meeting which we know that they are just trying to play pranks with this issue. Meanwhile, many of our people are dying and if they don’t give them when they are alive, when will they receive what they have worked for in many years back. “Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo do not owe their pensioners; it is only the Lagos and Osun that are stubborn in this regard. In his remarks, the Lagos State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Comrade Akeem Kazeem, appealed to the state government to address the issue before it gets out of hand. He said the people involved are aged people and the goverment have to address it before they all die.

47

Kebbi

He said his quest for knowledge propelled him to study law and become a Judge, serving for 19 years at the bench. “A knowledgeable,well trained,dedicated and responsible teacher, will be honoured even after his death,” he stressed, adding that his decision to resume teaching while in retirement, had made him a fulfilled person He called on the state government to employ more qualified teachers in primary and junior secondary schools. “It is not enough to build more schools, but qualified and competent teachers need to be employed too. “The practice of not paying teachers adequately and promptly can only discourage people from becoming professional teachers,” he said.

NON GOVERNMENTAL Organisation, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, has donated N25 million to nine persons for the treatment of various ailments in Lagos. The Executive Director of the foundation,Imam Shuaib Abdullahi, said seven of the beneficiaries had holes in their hearts, while the others had kidney problems. Besides, the NGO gave out cash, deep freezers, tricycles, generators, computers, And stabilisers, to the less-privileged, irrespective of their religion. Abdullahi said the items were worth N5million. “As a humanitarian organisation, inspired by Islamic faith, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation do not discriminate against Muslims and non-Muslims.

Jigawa From Ahmed Rufa’i Adamu

Alhaji Katuka said the council had raised over 20,000 seedlings would be planted at about 70 kilometers road distance. Alhaji Dahiru Madaki noted that “over 20, 000 different varieties of seedling to be distributed free to any interested person for planting in the local government area”. According to him, “this time around, we place emphasis on economic trees while raising in several tree nurseries in different parts of the area. He added that the motive behind economic tree seedlings production is that apart from preventing desert encfroachment, its would also increase fruit and vegetable and improve the economy of the people in the area. He said the seedlings will be planted at the major road side that link Kiyawa local government with its neighbours.

W

OMEN in Nigeria have been urged to take active participation in politics in order to bridge the gender inequality gap. At a workshop organised for women leaders in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State, participants called for statutory allocation of political slots for women. Speaking at the event, Mrs Titi Akosa of the Centre for 21st Century Issues admon-

Briefly

Governor condoles with ex-LASIEC boss

• From left: Pastor Adepegba, Pastor Kehinde Buraimoh; Rep of school board, Pastor Brown Oyitso, Pastor Amos Emovon, Mrs Anurl, the Zonal Directorate of Education, Pastor and Pastor (Mrs) Ade Omokorede at the commissioning of the ICT laboratory of Ifako Comprehensive Senior High School.Ifako Gbagada, Lagos.

Group backs rotational presidency

T

HE National Coordinator, Nigeria League of Democrats (NLD)Mr. Omoniyi Adebanjo, has advocated for rotational presidency as a panacea to the lingering social, economic and political challenges in the country. Addressing reporters at a Southwest political stakeholders meeting, in Ibadan, Oyo State, he said rotational presidency was the most visible solution because power needed to be shared among the zones in the country. He said: “Nigerian will be more committed to democracy and are pleased with rotational presidency arrangement which will help to resolve a lot of socio-economic problems associated with politics. “Our research has shown that there are mutual distrusts among political leaders across the geopolitical zones and this has been the major reason behind the unresolved internal crisis among the different political parties in Nigeria.” He added that the organisation had concluded plans to storm the National Assembly to make a case for the inclusion of rotational presidency in the constitution. “We are backing our position because of the result of an independent political research report carried out in June 2013 by an assemblage of political scientists, researchers and academia

By Musa Odoshimokhe

across the world on the future of the country.” He said Nigeria is a conglomerate of different ethnic groups and whenever an ethnic group felt insecure or shortchanged in political arrangement, they always seek for means of finding redress and this has always been the reason behind all the national crises. “If Obasanjo presidency stabilised the Southwest in 1999,and Jonathan emergence as president was able to pacify the restive NigerDeltan militias with amnesty programme, we are of the belief that a Northern president in 2015 will finally resolve the combative and destructive Islamic militia who are unleashing destruction on northern zone” He further stated that NLD leaders have decided to throw their weight behind the Northern Presidency because it will help stabilise the polity. •Adebanjo

LAGOS State Governor Mr Babatunde Fashola has condoled with the former Commissioner of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Mr Musbau Oyefeso, on the death of his mother, Alhaja Mulikat Anike Oyefeso. Alhaja Oyefeso until her death was a devote Muslim and a caring mother. The governor’s condolence message was contained in a letter sent to Mr Oyefeso through the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Olanrewaju Babalola. In the letter, Governor Fashola described late Alhaja Oyefeso as a forthright and honest person. “Without doubt, Alhaja was a worthy role model whose forthrightness, honesty and piety must have rubbed off positively on you and your siblings given your most commendable service to the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission where you served till recently as an electoral commissioner,” he said.

Church marks 14th anniversary The Christ Covenant Generation Assembly will hold its 14th annual thanksgiving service on September 1.It is tagged Bethel Convention 2013. However there will be a four -day programme preceeding the event starting from August 25.There will be service between 4.30 and 7.30pmfrom Monday,August 26 to Thursday,August 30. There will be the ministers and church workers session in the morning, 9am to 1pm and evening session at 5pm to 8.30 pm. On Friday,August 31,there will be vigil ,with the Voice of Enthronement performing at 10.00pm. The grand finale comes up on Sunday, September 1 at CCGA, 7,Association Avenue,Atala Estate,Madam Poultry Way, Adesan Road, Obafemi Local Government Area, Ogun State.

•From left: Wife of the Chairman of Agege Local Government, Alhaja Sherifat Abdulkareem, Vice-Chairman of Ojokoro LCDA, Hon. Fausat Olajoku, Vice-Chairman of Agege Local Government, Hon Sulaiman Odueso and his wife, Olabisi at the event.

Lagos trains council’s budget officers

T

O meet up with the new Medium Term Sector Strategy being implemented by the Lagos State government, all budget and planning officers of the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas must conform with the new accounting system that would go into operation next year. Dropping the hint on Monday during the workshop held for 58 budget officers at the Training Centre of the Local Government Service Commission at Ikeja, the Director of Budget in the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, MBEP, Mrs Oluremi Jibodu, said the government would no longer tolerate a situation where reports by budget and planning officers are muddled up and do not conform with acceptable practices. Jibodu said the training is meant to refresh the ideas of accounting officers to keep accounting officials at the council level to be in tune with the global best practices. She added that the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning has decided to adopt the United Nations approved the Classifications of Functions of Government (COFOG), adding that when it fully comes on stream would ensure that accounting reports of the state government whether at the state or council level remains same. She said: “Government wants a situation where what the budget officers’ report at the council level is the same with what accounting officers and state treasury officers (STOs) use. Our objective beginning from the 2014 fiscal year is to ensure that we achieve the same thing. Let the reporting format be the same.” She added that when classifications are clearly stated and classified, there would be no ambiguity. According to her, the state as part of the reforms has developed seven segments and 36 digits of classifications which all budgetary or

By Yinka Aderibigbe

planning officers whether at the council or state level must adopt and make use of in putting together their report. She listed the critical segments to include; fund, organ, function, sector, programme, location and accounts, adding that each of these have number codes from one to 25, which represents all the development sectors already identified in the state, adding that there is no function or activity of government that cannot be captured under the 25 categories.

•Governor Sule Lamido Earlier, the Head of Agricultural Department, Alhaji Musa ,said the council purchased the seedlings for distribution free and called on the state Ministry of Environment to provide additional seedlings to the council.

Experts urge women to take politics serious By Kunle Akinrinade

ished participants not to be intimidated by their male counterparts in partisan politics. “Women must take active participation in politics so as to have a balancing in the polity. They must take an affirmative action in line with the United Nation’s declaration which called for the allocation of three percent of political offices to women. “We should no longer take back seat in the political development of our society because we also have equal rights as men to seek election into political offices. In his welcome address, Chairman of Agege Local Government Area, Hon. Jubreel Abdulkareem said:”The purpose of this workshop is to show our women folk and appreciate their contributions so far in the fledging Nigerian politics.” In her remarks, Vice Chairman of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Hon. Fausat Hassan-Olajoku called for a change of attitude of women in the quest to achieve gender equality in Nigeria. “Women are often their own worst enemies. When they occupy political positions, they become inaccessible, arrogant and unhelpful. We must change these attitudes of ours , so that we can collectively achieve our aims of gender equality. As the 2015 elections draw nearer, we must rise up and fight for political offices and not to remain at the kitchen while men continue to dominate political power,”she said. The brain behind the workshop, Mr. Adeola Bello of Bellcom Consulting, said:”We have organised this workshop because women play active role politics yet they are barely recognised especially at the grassroots.”

•From left: Mike Okri Manager, Patrick Osunbor, Special Project Manager, Premier Records Ltd, Michael Odiong, Mike Okri and Chief Marketing Officer, Spinlet, Mark Redgaurd, during a briefing on Mike Okri's new single with Omawumi, in Lagos. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

19

COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

New Police PFA •Before this programme begins, we should know the fate of the other pension schemes

T

HE Nigeria Police Force has established its own Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), ostensibly to curb the irregularities in the management of pensions of anguished police retirees in the country. The PFA creation that came after its purported compliance with the extant Pension Reform Act, 2004 and the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), has reportedly received the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan. But will its birth address the challenges currently being faced by police retirees? Is Mohammed Abubakar, the InspectorGeneral of Police’s (IG) reported optimism over the PFA while declaring open a three-day capacity building workshop for the police pension desk officers not misplaced? On Abubakar’s sanguinity, he declared: “I am glad to mention the creation of a Police Pension Fund Administrator… It becomes necessary that we take our destiny into our own hands … It is for this reason that President Goodluck Jonathan directed that the police should continue to be covered under the contributory scheme but approved that we should have a PFA of our own...’’ Ordinarily, such an important workshop, with participants drawn from all police pension formations across the country should serve as a good source of education/enlightenment and empowerment for the police pension officers: It should teach them how to manage their pension fund in line with the National Pension Commission’s guidelines. The workshop ought to let them know that a selfless and properly managed pension scheme for the police could motivate not

only the force’s retirees but also those still in service to give their best through noble service to the nation. But we have our doubts whether these lofty aims can be achieved by the force PFA. More than anything else, systemic corruption is the cause of failed pension schemes in the country. Some unscrupulous but powerful elements that feed fat on the system divert not only police pension funds but others meant for retirees across the country into private accounts. No one is again asking questions about what happened to the stolen billions of naira police pension. The chief culprit, John Yakubu Yusufu, a former director in the Police Pension Scheme Office was shamefully convicted to a two-year imprisonment with an option of a paltry fine of N750, 000 by an Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Abubakar Talba. It is also sad that Abdulrasheed Maina, Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Force Team openly confessed that about N3.3 trillion that was released by the Federal Government for public sector retirees since 1976 was done ‘without accountability.’ What a country! More disgusting is the fact that those in high quarters have turned the other cheek to the awful spectacle of siphoning of not only police retirees but other aged retirees that routinely, but sadly, collapse and die in endless pensioners’ verification queues - after having been beaten by scorching sun and heavy rains. We demand for explanations regarding what happened to the Police Trust Fund money before the new PFA commences operation. If such funds could just go down the drain, what is the assurance that the

PFA will not - not even with a largely demotivated police force perceived in the public domain as notorious and highly corrupt. The panacea to failed pension schemes is not necessarily the creation of a new PFA that would be run largely by the same corrupt class of people that contributed to the demise or failure of earlier ones. Pension schemes work in other countries because in such climes, their systems work. We deprecate an evolving Nigerian tradition whereby otherwise good policies are abandoned mid-way due to avoidable manmade hiccups. The country and not only the police should endeavour to fix policy problems rather than keep adopting the easy way of coming up with new ones that would most probably also fail.

‘The panacea to failed pension schemes is not necessarily the creation of a new PFA that would be run largely by the same corrupt class of people that contributed to the demise or failure of earlier ones. Pension schemes work in other countries because in such climes, their systems work. We deprecate an evolving Nigerian tradition whereby otherwise good policies are abandoned mid-way due to avoidable manmade hiccups’

RCCG’s giant strides

•Pastor Adeboye pulls a great crowd of the faithful again at the church convention

T

HE ordination of over 10,000 pastors by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) at its 61st annual convention draws the church closer to fulfilling the purpose of its mission statement. The yearly event, which took place at the expansive Redemption Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway drew Christian faithful from all over the world and from different Christian denominations. Speaking on “Change”, the theme of the convention, the church’s general overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, a mathematics lecturer at the University of Lagos before he was sought out by Josiah Akindayomi, founder of the church went down memory lane: “Before I became born-again, I had a lot of friends. They would always branch at my house to enjoy the type of life we used to live. But as

‘Adeboye has lent the weight of his office to, among others, ministering to the spiritual needs of the nation. If some Nigerians have not gone violent in protesting government’s misrule, if there have not been outright sabotage of government’s policies and programmes; if some Nigerians continue to feed on hope of a better tomorrow, the credit goes to the Adeboyes’

soon as I became born-again, though they were still coming, initially, my offer would not satisfy them and they all ran away. “But look at you, the multitude of friends God has given me in their stead. Therefore, you lose nothing when you give your life to Jesus and become His friend.” The mission statement of one of the world’s fastest growing and most influential churches is to ensure that its members rejoice with Jesus Christ in heaven; towards this end, the RCCG wants as many as possible of its members to sit at the table with Jesus Christ at the last supper. It also wants every family in all countries to wear the RCCG badge. Since he joined the church in 1973, initially as an interpreter to the church’s founder, Adeboye, who was ordained as a pastor in 1975, has proved beyond doubt that he is a true man of God. Although he speaks truth to power, he believes that should be done away from the prying eyes of the media. As a man who is a cross between the ancient and modern school of theology, Adeboye takes to heart Saint Paul’s injunction to the Romans: “let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for there is no power but of God; the powers that are ordained by God.” For him, Christians should be exemplary citizens, showing respect to those in positions of authority. Adeboye has lent the weight of his office to, among others, ministering to the spiritual needs of the nation. If some Nigerians have not gone violent in protesting government’s misrule, if there have not been outright sabotage of government’s policies and pro-

grammes; if some Nigerians continue to feed on hope of a better tomorrow, the credit goes to the Adeboyes. One of the major highlights of the 61st annual convention was the announcement by ‘Daddy G.O’., as Adeboye is fondly called, of plans by the church to build a new auditorium stretching three kilometres in length and breadth. He appealed for donations for the new auditorium so that the project could be completed before next year’s convention. He pleaded with some of his friends who could support him with N1billion or N500milion to see his secretary. He also called on those who could help with N50million to assist. Regular visitors to the monthly Holy Ghost service of the church will no doubt appreciate the need for the new auditorium. Every first Friday of the month, thousands of worshippers congregate at the Redemption Camp for the Holy Ghost service and the camp is the Mecca for many Christians from all over the world for the yearly Holy Ghost Congress. As the church embarks on what promises to be a very big and comfortable house for God, we join millions of Redeemers to congratulate it. We enjoin builders of the new edifice not to overlook the basic convenience of worshippers. At the last convention, many congregants turned open grounds to convenience spots. Small matters like adequate and clean conveniences, the issue of environmental sanitation of the camp should be accorded the deserved attention. Once again, congratulations for a spiritual experience.

False choices on Egypt

A

SURPRISING number of world leaders and foreign policy experts have effectively acquiesced in the continued brutality of Egypt’s generals, arguing that support for the military is the only way to restore stability in the Arab world’s most populous state and limit wider regional turmoil. But this is just one of several false choices misinforming the debate and one that is certain to ensure more unrest, not less. After overthrowing Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, the military could have been a positive force if it had put in place a transition plan that included all groups, including Mr. Morsi’s allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. But instead of encouraging Egyptians to settle differences through democratic means — elections, for instance — the generals and their anti-Morsi allies, invoking the threat of “terrorism,” took the ruthless, likely fateful, decision to crack down on peaceful demonstrators. The death toll of more than 1,000 now includes 36 Morsi supporters who died on Sunday under suspicious circumstances in police custody. The choice the generals are promoting is that the world must decide between them or instability. “At this point, it’s army or anarchy,” one Israeli official told The Times. Israel has been vigorously lobbying the United States and Europe to back the generals. Over the weekend, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia strongly endorsed the crackdown; he and other gulf monarchs, who hate the Brotherhood, have pumped billions into Egypt’s treasury. There is a better path, and that is to choose not to help the military, which is making things worse, and could fuel a generation of Islamists to choose militancy over the ballot box. (The possible release of ousted President Hosni Mubarak from prison would be the ultimate repudiation of the 2011 revolution.) Is that really in the best long-term interests of the United States? Obviously not. There is much at stake in the United States relationship with Egypt, including the IsraelEgypt peace treaty (Israel’s priority), counterterrorism cooperation, priority treatment for ships transiting the Suez Canal, overflight rights for planes to and from Afghanistan. But the point to remember is that Egypt benefits from this relationship, too, as do the generals. President Obama’s muted chastising of the generals and his indecisive reaction to the slaughter does not inspire confidence. Instead of wringing their hands, administration officials should suspend the $1.3 billion in annual American military aid to Egypt — including the delivery of Apache helicopters — until the military puts the country on a peaceful path. Some say the aid can easily be replaced by the gulf states, but they have often promised aid — for the Palestinians, for instance — and failed to deliver, whereas the United States has reliably provided Egypt with an estimated $60 billion over three decades. Long term, Egypt cannot subsist on handouts and needs to develop a real economy to provide jobs, education and other opportunities to its people. That is the road to true stability and will require tourism and foreign investment. But that cannot happen in a country in perpetual turmoil with a repressive military intent on obliterating its adversaries. The United States should not be complicitous in this unfolding disaster. – New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

• Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •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 •General Manager (Abuja Press) Kehinde Olowu •AGM (PH Press) Tunde Olasogba

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness

•Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) •Press Manager Yomi Odunuga Udensi Chikaodi •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Legal Counsel John Unachukwu •Dep. Business Editor Simeon Ebulu • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye •Group Sports Editor Ade Ojeikere •Acting Manager (sales) •Editorial Page Editor Olaribigbe Bello Sanya Oni


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

20

CARTOON & LETTERS

S

IR: Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo told a wild lie when he stated that his generation bequeathed a purposeful progressive visionary leadership to the nation. To explode this self -conceited myth which is the trademark of Obasanjo, me quickly say that it was the greed and personal ambition of one of his senior colleagues in the Army, Lt. Col. Ojukwu that unleashed a bitter fratricidal internecine but unavoidable civil war on the nation.Whilst the war lasted, thousands of lives were roasted and the country’s infrastructure willfully destroyed. Obasanjo served in the unfortunate war as a colourless war commander. He later wrote a book pompously entitled “My Command” to ingratiate his ego. The

S

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG

mantle to win the Nigerian/Biafran civil war fell squarely on Chief Obafemi Awolowo whom Obasanjo reviled sorely. Awo as vice chairman to Gen. Yakubu Gowon in the Federal Executive Council organized his colleagues within the cabinet and in the process won the war on the field of internecine diplomacy. Or is Obasanjo saying he belongs to Awo’s generation? He dares not

say so! Rather than retiring to barracks after the civil war, Obasanjo and his so called generation stayed put in government having been enthralled by the sheer cupidity of power and perks of office. Obasanjo ran a very profligate corrupt administration; while he sold the nation the dummy dubbed Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), his personal farm, Temperance in

Otta, Ogun State flourished immensely. At an African Leadership Forum event in Otta, Ogun State, visiting former president of Tanzania, Nwalimu Julius Nyerere reportedly exclaimed in soliloquy that how on earth could this guy ( referring to Obasanjo ) acquire so much to build palatial mansion amidst hunger and poverty of the people? Obasanjo had an axe to grind

cent and at most 13 per cent of the GDP will go a long way in providing preventive services to the citizens. Secondly, scale-up communitybased health insurance schemes across the federation. The federal government need to ensure that those in the informal sector are covered and provide safety nets for poor Nigerians who constitute about 65 per cent of our population in order to increase access to health care for the people. Most Nigerians are confronted with catastrophic expenses

due to lack of social protection which makes them pay out-ofpocket. Besides, out-of-pocket payment for health care increases poverty. Thirdly, after several years of having the department of public health under the Federal Ministry of Health, there is a need to upgrade this department into an agency. The establishment of a National Public Health Agency will increase the capacity of Federal Ministry of Health to provide prompt and effective health interventions to Nigerians.

This is necessary if government must reduce the incidence of diseases and disabilities. Finally, all Nigerian companies/ employers should by law be mandated to pay for their employee’s healthcare insurance while the employees pay part of the cost of this insurance. There should also be a mandatory healthcare insurance for all Nigerian children. This will help reduce the rate of mortality among this vulnerable group in the society. • Bolaji Samson Aregbeshola, Lagos State.

with the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1979 hence he said that the best candidate would not win. He handed over to Alhaji Shehu Shagari amidst controversies to the nation’s regret. Obasanjo and his acclaimed generation of leaders are the nurseries of corruption, bad governance alongside public immorality that germinate and flourish with impunity in geometric proportion across Nigeria. It is an open secret that most of the present crop of politicians are graduates from the corrupt, banal and sanguinary military dictatorship that nurtures our democracy. Little wonder the apparatus of government has gone hay wire! Referring glibly to the chieftain and leading light of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a corrupt leader, it is a defence mechanism by Obasanjo to rationalize his party People’s Democratic Party (PDP) outright rejection and crushing defeat at the polls in the South -west. A Yoruba maxim runs thus: show me your friend I will tell you the type of company you keep. Asiwaju Tinubu has distinguished himself as a formidable magnetic personality that could attract such men of integrity and valour. Obasanjo and his political outfit is in short supply of men imbued with strong character to change the ill-fortunes of the economy. • Ayodele Fagbohun Akure, Ondo State.

posted to the L.G.As for their primary assignments. May I suggest further that the 36 states chose friendly crops, fishery, poultry or any other agricultural activity depending on their climate and other vital factors. During harvest, the products will be transported to the three senatorial zones where the Federal Government must have built processing and storage facilities. After processing, the Youth Corps members will be responsible for the marketing of the products. For example, if Enugu State, where am serving produce garri as the final product from cassava, the Corps members can make arrangements with ministries and local government

chairmen to sell the products to their staff, even on credit basis. The chairmen will help in the recovery of the money through deductions from the staff salaries at the end of the month. The product (garri) can be packaged in bags of 25kg or 50kg also, if the cassava production is combined with maize, the NYSC in Enugu for example, can sell the maize to any other state that chose, for example, poultry and feed production. With this idea, I believe Nigeria will rule the world with agricultural products. Whenever we have the production in excess, they could become exported goods which we can then export to other countries that may need them. I see the National Youths Service

Corps (NYSC) as the catalyst to agricultural revolution in Nigeria. The prices of food stuff in our markets are still very high, but if this idea is implemented, food stuff prices will crash down by 50%. The reason for this suggestion is that in most places Corps where members are sent for their Primary Assignments, they already have enough workforce for the jobs. For example, the secondary school where I teach as a corps member has 100 teachers according to the principal of the school and up to 40 Corps members serving in that same school. I suggest that the SURE-P fund be used to kick off this project. • Obioha Kelechi Enugu State

SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 1000 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.com

Obasanjo: Kettle calling the pot black

Memo to the President on healthcare

IR: One of the responsibilities of government is to improve the health status of all citizens but past governments do not seem to view healthcare as a fundamental human right. This among other factors explains why there is yet no universal health coverage for citizens although health insurance insurance is available for a few. The NHIS which is a social health insurance programme established by Decree 35 of 1999 and was kickstarted in September 2005 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to provide health services to the formal sector as well as complement sources of financing health and improving access has only provided coverage for less than 10 per cent of the population. Achieving universal health coverage and maintaining it once it has been achieved is no doubt a daunting task but the following are steps President Jonathan can take to provide access to healthcare for the over 90 per cent of Nigerians who are either uninsured or underinsured. First, increase spending on disease prevention services and public health and ensure that curative services do not suffer as a result of this. The health of the Nigerian people must be a national priority. Though, there are other issues that are begging for government’s attention but increasing budgetary allocation for the health sector to at least 12 per

S

Let NYSC drive agricultural sector

IR: I suggest that the federal government equip the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to feed the Nigerian masses. I know that some of my colleagues may not like the idea, but it is very necessary to stop hunger in Nigeria and feed the continent. The Federal Government should build farm settlements in each of the 774 Local Government Areas. Here, youths will be posted to take charge. I also suggest that the three weeks orientation period be extended to one month. Within this period, the youths will be taught about the unity of Nigeria and how to operate agricultural machines like tractors, harrowers and other important equipments. At the expiration of this, youths will be


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

21

COMMENTS

Slash Political ‘SAP’ by 75%; ‘24 Hour Power’ in 3 months-Solar; Are checkpoints legal?

P

OLITICIANS are often selfish but are they ignorant also? Many are playing with fire, insulting the electorate in their lifestyle and speech and exTony pecting praise. Did you Marinho not shudder at the Egypt’s political upheaval gunfire? Patience Jonathan’s expensive, traffic snarling ‘Peace Rally’ flies in the face of poverty, angers the nation and is not the answer! Better governance is the only answer! Politicians should see the effect of bad politics on the faces in Egypt and Borno, in Plateau states and the murderous fire fight on the North-South cattle corridor. Politicians would be enlightened if Nigerian newspapers kept a ‘Cumulative Death List’ and counted refugees. Blankets and buckets do not replace loved ones or livelihoods. Refugees deserve large cash handouts and business support. Politicians should learn about the killed and kidnapped. They also voted. The dead are not ‘only 25 died’ or mere numbers. They were living people with life ahead. Politicians should calculate the cost of violence inflicted by their decisions. The River’s State crisis mirrors the Oyo State violence four years ago. The peace in Oyo State today is ‘normal’ and credit to Governor Ajimobi’s strategy of saying “No” to thugs’. The NURTW needs re-education, ID cards, speed limit controls and registration. Politicians must be reminded that their exorbitant ‘Salaries and Perks’, SAP, scam since 1999, allowed them to ‘legally but immorally steal billions’, distort the economy and precipitate the current national wages crisis. As suggested by this column and by NUC, political SAP should be political issue for APC party and the 2015 elections. The citizens should only vote for politicians signing a ‘Personal 50-75% Salary and Perks Reduction Agreement’. Nigeria cannot afford the hundreds of billions of naira spent on politicians. This dividend of democracy, no Nigerians except the politicians want! Meanwhile government politicians have no money for ASUU bills.

T

HE debate following the decision of the Nigerian Senate’s vote to keep the controversial clause in Section 29 of the 1999 Constitution has been rather interesting to follow. The thorny Section 29 (4) (a)(b) of the Constitution stipulates (in paraphrase) that a married female of any age at all shall be considered to be “full of age,” meaning that it is valid to get married to a female-minor. This further presupposes that a girl-child automatically assumes the status of an adult irrespective of the age at which she becomes married. Of course, the exercise started as an innocuous vote to determine the age at which a Nigerian female could be regarded as being old enough to repudiate her citizenship if she wishes. It became such a prominent vexed issue mostly because of the histrionics of Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, who began to act as though calling for any sort of debate on any subject remotely connected to religion is equivalent to cutting off his oxygen supply. With or without Yerima’s antics, the opprobrium that has trailed the decision of the Senate not to yank off that clause has been right all the same. This is because, somehow, the vote ended up strengthening the position of the likes of Yerima, who has unsurprisingly been at the head of the vanguard for the retention of the vexing Section 29. It has simply given them a good platform to continue to exploit minors under the guise of marriage. Having abstained from writing about this issue all along, what really got me ticking this time around were the comments recently credited to a respected Islamic scholar, Professor Ishaq Akintola. Akintola is the Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). In his contribu-

Never forget that since 1999 every single politician of all political parties, without moral exception, appears to have happily taken their allowances or fees for furniture, hotel, vehicle, sitting, standing-in, out-of-station, bush, travel, overnight, per diem, appearance, brown envelope and cash-under-hat as and when due. In fact we should be forcing a change in politics towards cheaper politics, a Parliamentary rather than a Presidential System or at least a ‘Part Time Parliament’ paid per diem. Politicians must accept that their Salary and Perks’ structure SAPed Nigeria dry, post Babangida’s SAP, and is the catalyst for nationwide unrest and inflation in rent and other prices. It has increased those in poverty by devaluing the naira and undermining anti-poverty strategies. SAP are the stick beating down the masses for politicians to earn a minimum of N12m/year rising to N30m while millions are on N15,000-18,000/month or N490-590/day. ‘Politics’ is just another subject with an examination every four years or so. ‘The Mass Failure’ of politicians cannot be swept aside by elections, bought and paid for by money largely stolen from the electorate and diverted from development. Politicians must know that nothing is secret. They should not be deceived by the Al Mustaphas or the thieves who stole the petroleum and electricity money and are now big philanthropists to cover their tracks. Nigeria is in need of ‘Emergency Measures’. Nigeria is populated by millions of hard working Nigerians trying to be self-sufficient who deserve the rights of 21st century human beings, including cheap grid electricity -100,000Mw. The hopeless power situation is not a game or a joke but a Nigerian yoke. Though this government has power it fails to give the citizens power. This government has held ‘Uninterrupted Political Power’ since 1999, and government was held by others before this government. Old or young, the leadership including every single president during the last 30 years is disgraced by this lack of power which has taken up to half of the earnings of many businesses. If Nigerians ran such businesses in a Nigeria with ’24-hour Power’ like in many African countries and worldwide, imagine the savings, profits, service delivery, silence, lack of noise and air pollution and how many Nigerians would be above the poverty line. In

spite of this, government demands more taxes. Government complains about food imports but is silent on fuel and generator imports resulting from government’s power incompetence. The questions all Nigerians ask are: ‘How dare governments provide every electricity need for its political and civil servant members, using tax funds, to the exclusion of the people’s needs?’ and ‘Why is there no apology?’ Nigeria’s government has no excuse not to get the USA, UK, Germany and Japan to provide the ‘Emergency Power Supply’. They are also leaders in new solar battery technology. The Japanese replaced the losses at Fujiyama within three months. It got emergency power because Japanese politicians know that the people’s needs today are more important than long term solutions bedevilled by corruption and never-executed contracts. Here Nigerian politicians ignore even Godsent solar power which needs no grid, gas contracts or distribution networks. Government should invite the Japanese as an emergency measure, now! The lesson from ‘The Festus Osugwor Extortion Case’ is ‘Always Turn on Phones’. With many Nigerians owning a phone, we can join the anti-corruption war as the FOP, ‘Fear of Phones’ should reduce corruption and save lives. Has the IGP reversed the law banning static police checkpoints? They are back with one nearly permanent checkpoint now on the Ibadan’s Bodija-Awolowo Road, near SSPeter and Paul. IGP, is it legal?

‘The questions all Nigerians ask are: ‘How dare governments provide every electricity need for its political and civil servant members, using tax funds, to the exclusion of the people’s needs?’ and ‘Why is there no apology?’

Still on the Child-bride tion to the raging debate, Akintola said: “The conditions of marriage in Islam are four, namely: proposal and acceptance, approval by both parents, payment of dowry by the groom and the presence of at least two male witnesses at the ceremony. Age is, therefore, not part of the conditions which must be met before marriage can be solemnised in Islam. He added: “Where the bride is a minor, Islam prescribes protective solemnisation of marriage without consummation. This means that the girl, who is deemed to be of tender age, is left untouched by the man until she attains puberty. Another condition for child marriage is that the girl herself has the right to repudiate the marriage, when she attains maturity if she does not like her spouse.” Now, one needs to ask: Why would a religion in which Allah Himself is said to detest divorce more than anything else in a marriage, a religion in which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is said to have admonished couples to strive with every ability within their means to keep a marriage together, turn around and encourage such a flimsy marital environment, knowing that there is a high risk of the ‘bride’ deciding to exercise her “right (to) repudiate the marriage when she attains maturity?” If truly, even by Akintola’s own admission, it is stated in Islam that a minor, upon coming of age, can opt out of an arranged marriage, then, surely, we can agree that this means that either these proponents of child marriage are reading from a different scripture or, as it is now more

‘A grave error it will be indeed if we have to continue to keep northern Nigeria as the home of the highest cases of Vesico-Vagina Fistula in the world’

apparent, are merely twisting the tenets of Islam to suit their personal cravings and those of their co-conspirators. From what I know about this issue from across the globe, more than 80 per cent of Muslim countries are firmly opposed to child marriage. Even in Saudi Arabia, the guardian home of the Islamic faith, child-marriage is not a state-sanctioned practice. Hence, there have been heated debates on the subject for decades now. One of the more prominent ongoing critics on the issue in Saudi Arabia is Sheik Abdullah al-Manie, a member of the Council of Senior Ulamma. In a widely circulated criticism of the practice as published in the Saudi Gazzette as well as the Okaz newspaper in Saudi Arabia, Sheik al-Manie argues that even though child marriage was condoned in the time of Prophet Muhammad, the circumstances today are grossly different from what obtained then. The Sheik said further: “It is a grave error to burden a child with responsibilities beyond her years. Marriage should be put off until the wife is of mentally and physically mature age and can care for both herself and her family.” I happen to also understand from some of my friends who are Muslims that, in the Sunnah (sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad, SAW), it was reported that a young girl once ran to the prophet complaining that her parents were on the verge of forcing her to marry a man she did not want to marry. The prophet was said to have admonished the parents not to force any marriage on her. This evidently further puts a lie to the claims by the likes of Yerima and Akintola, who have drummed the religious beat all along. But aside from being made to come across as a touchy Islam ver-

sus Western civilization subject (which it is not), the issue at hand is one that poses all-too-real socioeconomic challenges to the society today and into the long-term future. The truth here is that by bending for this sort of practice, we plant poverty and diseases even more firmly in our society. And heaven knows that the North especially already suffers too much poverty and disease without having to face even grimmer prospects by legitimizing the child-marriage. So, to borrow words from Sheik al-Manie, it would be “a grave error” if the Senate does not retrace its steps and do the right thing as far as this issue is concerned. A grave error it will be indeed if we have to continue to keep northern Nigeria as the home of the highest cases of Vesico-Vagina Fistula in the world. This is a health condition that directly results from under-age sex (or pregnancy), which is, in turn, almost always a direct result of under-age marriage. Are we really supposed to continue to close our eyes and watch more and more girls, mainly from the North, lose their right to education whilst we continue to spread poverty by so doing? The truth is that a girl who gets married off at a tender age does not have a chance to compete mentally and intellectually with her peers. I shiver to imagine what sort of wife material my under-13-year-old daughter could really make to anyone at her age. Imagine how grievously her mother and I would have injured her dreams if we suddenly decide to hand her over in marriage at this age. Here is a girl who is constantly reminding everyone who cares to listen of her dream to become a doctor or an engineer in the future. How barbaric it would be for me to be party to taking that future away from her! Amidst all of the debate, we are

Dele Agekameh also inadvertently making even more apparent a point that we all know already about our political reality in this country, namely: that the Nigerian politician, nay parliamentarian, does not actually represent the interest of the general populace. Rather, the Nigerian parliamentarian is merely self-serving. How else do you explain the disdain with which the likes of Yerima have continued to treat the millions of voices that have been rising against their decision? As so-called representatives of the people, one would have expected them to begin to come around given the sheer din of voices against their action, especially voices from Yerima’s own North and even the Islamic community. But no, they can’t be bothered at all because democratic representation, as far as the Nigerian politician is concerned, places the representative as an all-wise master over the people. To these senators, therefore, even this most salient of touchy issues of broad social, economic, political and moral ramification for the wider population and generations to come must suitably cater to the perks of the lawmakers first and above all else, even to the mortal detriment of everyone else. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21 , 2013

22

COMMENTS ‘All Obasanjo’s talk on corrupt Nigerian leaders is medicine after death; after all, Nigerians know the good, the bad and the ugly ones. He is part of the failed system; it is a better forgotten issue. Now is time to forge ahead; Obasanjo should bring his wisdom on how we can move the nation forward rather than calling names and crucifying those who failed the nation during their time. Nigerians are yet to reap good governance despite their plight since independence. From Gordon Chika Nnorom Umukabia, Abia State’ now Salami, though alive. Judicial injustice is definitely the ultimate of corruption. May God have mercy on Nigeria. From Femi Ayoola, Ipetumodu For Segun Gbadegesin •Justice Ayo Salami

For Olatunji Dare Sir, human beings never enjoy complete happiness in this world. Justice Ayo Salami was not born for a different destiny to the rest of his species. However, those enthusiastic admirers of wicked acts and the snooping moral insensates among us will live to regret their happiest moments on earth very soon. May the Nigerian electorate elect a matured leader (in the forthcoming 2015 elections), whose ideas are rooted in unchanging principles but with great respect for organic growth and the body of settled opinion. From Adegoke O. O., Ikhin, Edo State Sir, how can one obtain a copy of Olatunji Dare’s ‘’Matters Arising’’? The retired career ambassador did not prove that Allah De was political. ‘Demo Bori’ was a masterful caption of a true satirist. From Adesola Ajala In the province of the president’s mind, he knew the true picture about Salamis’s case but he chose to play politics about it. If the rullings had favoured PDP, the president and his co-travellers would have looked the other side. Now where is the rule of law? The NJC had cleared the man of no guilt and president allowed himself to be used by the hawks in PDP to deal with the man. From Hmza Ozi Momoh, Apapa Lagos. Re: Salami: An epic injustice. Retired Justice Ayo Salami began own problem by believing nine of his 62 judges. However, if I were you, journalists, I would meet and interview Mr. President on why Pa Ayo Salami should not be reinstated. How many of you did that? None! Sometimes what the government sees, the public/journalists do not. If one or two things unknown to us are bared, Salami may end up being worse disgraced than his recent soft-landing. From Lanre Oseni Anytime I listen to the president saying something about transformation agenda, I ask myself if the president means translation of agenda or transformation of agenda. Because the only agenda the president is having is translating the rule of law into the ruin of law. The president should have acted on NJC recomendation but he chose to play politics with the case rather than allowing the rule of law. Now where is transformation agenda that he has been making noise about? Nigerians are too wise now to be deceived by those whose agenda is to cook lies instead of truth and be telling people what does not exist. Nigerians will know the true transformatiom when the time comes not this regime of 16 is bigger than 19. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa Lagos Dear Dr. Dare, your piece, “Salami:An epic injustice” refers. Your recall of the genesis of Justice Salami’s ordeal and the stance taken thus far on the matter by Dr. Jonathan brings to mind the question of whether or not the man is running a “Kindergarten Presidency”. If the man failed to use the opportunity of the recommendation to reinstate Justice Salami but chose to follow the counsels of kindergarten minds, how do we describe that? Also, how do we describe the President’s choice of Jonah Jang’s score of 16 votes over Amaechi’s 19? It is only a kindergarten pupil who would not know that 16 is inferior to 19. From Bola Olugbade, Abeokuta Reading through your article “An epic injustice”, it is not an exageration to say that great Yoruba sons of our time are an endangered species. Why? Awo, Ige, Abiola and

I agree with almost all your submissions in the entry “What ails Nigeria?” except your insinuation that the late sage, Chief Awolowo was a visionary leader. The truth about him (Awolowo), is that he was the most sectional leader Nigeria has ever witnessed. Truthfully, his passion to evolve a politically and economically independent “west”, isolated him as a generational sign-post of ethnocentric political player. From Matthew Ejem, Abuja I enjoyed your Friday piece on ethnicising politics. The truth is that Jonathan has not delivered on his promises and as a result we the people of this nation are affected. Jonathan asked us to vote for him and we did but he has now reneged on his promises. I only hope that God comes to our aid and delivers this country. From Hamzat Omawunmi, an SS2 student Ayo Salami, to the authorities, I think, was living ahead of the ideal Nigerian state we all pray for but are yet to arrive at; the state where the rule of law, among other things, is supreme and integrity, acceptable code of moral and judicial conduct. So they have to call him to order by way of suspension which must be tactically allowed to drag no matter what, till his age of retirement. And that is not strange. In a corruptive administration where every other judge is expected to dance to the tune of the powers that be, it must be seen as a sacrilege for any judge of integrity to attempt to differ, especialy in matters affecting the continuity in power of the ruling government. Ayo Salami, as far as being true to one’s profession can go, has committed no offence against anybody in the matter. He is simply a victim of circumstances of the type of government he found himself at the twilight of his great career. It boggles the mind. From Emmanuel Egwu God bless you. Only the truth can cure Nigeria. Anonymous Hi Segun, I quite agree with you that Nigeria’s serious ailment is public denial of her ailments. The earlier we accept fundamental mistakes of our past and sincerely challenge them the better for Nigeria. From Chris Onuigbo, Lagos. You are right sir! Untill we redefine this unholy marriage called Nigeria, we cannot advance. We need to sit and discuss the way forward. The various people of the Nigerian nation must agree whether they want to remain as a nation, if yes, they must all work towards the development and advancement of the country but if No, every one should be allowed to go to his tent. Let there be a Sovereign National Conference if we want to move forward as a nation. From Mbamara Joshua, Sci UNN. Brother Gbadegesin, in your philosophising, you appeared to have deliberately ignored Nigeria’s most serious and terminal ailment - corruption. Is it not corruption in all spheres of our life that is preventing us from moving forward as a nation? From Noah Musa, Erhunun-Uneme What ails Nigeria are Nigrerians themselves. What would a nation gain that its people chose to elect a visionless leader instead of visionary one. Nigeria’s problem is on our palms which can be easily cured by dropping politics of ethnicity and religious politics. Those who struggled for independece played the politic of free mindedness without harbouring any grudges agaist one another. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa Lagos Do Nigerians need somebody to come and tell us that we are all sick? We are our own

enemies. Our minds are dirty, authomatically a dirty minded peoson will be given to us as a leader. From Hamza Ozi Momoh Apapa Lagos “Salami: An epic injustice”, to a man in love with justice is not a good story to tell about the administration of justice in Nigeria. Surely, his place in history will smell nice than those of his traducers. From Alhaj Hon ADEYCorsim, Oshodi, Lagos Segun, what ails Nigeria is self-deception and lack of perception which are the bedrock of hypocrisy from which we are already paying the price. Inertia and wishful thinking guide the affairs of ignorant people. Truth not denial is the solution. From Ukeh, Makurdi Segun, I doff my cap. Think of where some Nigerians earn as much as N60 million a month (N2,000,000 a day) with blank eyes and heads and other Nigerians cannot be paid the minimum wage of N18000 a month (N600 a day) and our universities are closed because of poor funding. Their children are reading out there. That is shamelessness. From Ejike Kenn, Awka What ails Nigeria is those in authority collaborating with those ministries, parastatals and agencies to milk Nigeria dry. If this is not so, why has the government refused to probe institutions like NDDC? Lest I forget, I was in a cab one day when some men were expressing a bitter experience of how the directors share the jobs, collect half of the money meant for the jobs and leave the contractors with little or nothing. Our founding fathers were very honest except paying back for those who never voted for them. Anonymous For Tunji Adegboyega Re: ‘The sermon, by Saint Obasanjo’ (The Nation on Sunday, August 18, 2013). It would have been better presented if ex-President Obasanjo had laid Nigeria’s causal problem of leadership to the older generation and degenerational leadership problem to the younger ones due to greed and anxiety for wealth! However, to some extent, Pa OBJ was correct, but was wrong for his generalisation. From Lanre Oseni. All Obasanjo’s talk on corrupt Nigerian leaders is medicine after death; after all, Nigerians know the good, the bad and the ugly ones. He is part of the failed system; it is a better forgotten issue. Now is time to forge ahead; Obasanjo should bring his wisdom on how we can move the nation forward rather than calling names and crucifying those who failed the nation during their time. Nigerians are yet to reap good governance despite their plight since independence. From Gordon Chika Nnorom Umukabia, Abia State. I read your column titled: “The sermon, by Saint Obasanjo”. Please plead with him to quickly do away with his ’son’ (GEJ) before he will turn our country to a battlefield. From Oloyede, Osun State. Tunji, PDP is not our problem, neither is APC the solution. Nigeria still has a long way to go unless we turn away from greed, tribalism and selfishness. Anonymous. Obasanjo’s was the patron of FESTAC ’77 in his first coming. After that jamboree, we saw the beginning of large scale fraud such as the Scania bus scandal, and massive corruption. But for the Yar’Adua/GEJ eras, the OBJ years epitomised the PDP rule in Nigeria and the dominance of corruption. OBJ gets these leadership brainwaves when out of office. Our problem of leadership has nothing to do with age but everything to do with honour. Dishonourable men who steal in the day, drink and womanise in the night (apologies to el-Rufai)will give good leadership to no one. Nigerians must say ‘never again’ to PDP rule if the country must be

•Obasanjo

saved. Anonymous. Thanks for that excellent piece on ‘Saint’ Obasanjo. Very sweet from the beginning to the end! Why will the general not feel too self-important and too self-opinionated? For more than one year he was forced out of reckoning in the PDP, no one heard from him, not even a whimper. He was left in the lurch to lick his wounds. Now, the same forces that nearly liquidated him are now genuflecting before him. He has suddenly found his voice. Why will he not see himself as a god who must be worshipped by the rest of humanity? A great pity! From Olu Ajayi, Abeokuta. It is not true that the wrong people get into leadership positions. Every social system creates its ruling class. That is why the present dependent capitalist system exploits the toiling masses and protects the bourgeoisie. That is why the exploited must take state power in order to build a humane society. No doubt, the present system cannot produce leaders that will eliminate exploitation and oppression of the working people. From Amos Ejimonye, Kaduna. For Olakunle Abimbola Icon Ola, more ink to your pen. A time will soon come when through your pen every Yoruba will wear the cap with the title ‘Icon’ marked in front to show their superiority to all other subtribesmen like Jonathan and you will be their principal allowed to unbutton the front of your trousers like a German soldier under Hitler. Regards. From AEO Uyo. Your ‘Republican Ripples’ last Tuesday brought out your legal mind in reasoning that Ahoada and courts must, as a matter of necessity, be on the same page on the issue of Lloyd’s bail. Ride on and more ink in your social crusader’s pen. From Bola Abimbola Ige Your article on “Tale of two Scapegoats” is a must read for every right thinking Nigerian and true description of how justice should be meted out. But do you think the political elite sees it this way? Those who uphold the greatness of 16 over 19 cannot buy your idea, but ... Time will tell if our Police Force and Judiciary are upholding the tenets upon which they are being paid for. From Biyi Ogundele, Ore, Ondo State Sir, what you said is absolutely true. I read the book, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.” It is true but now I think we need a book on “How Nigeria or Africa Underdevelop Themselves.” Thanks. From Bade Ojelabi, Lagos General Alabi is just as guilty as General Obasanjo for self-glorification. As rightly put by General Akinrinade, the piece was written in anger and perhaps for vengeance. Those of us who are versed in military tactics are aware that many claims in the book are falacious and verbose. Truly, it is old soldiers; new fight. God bless Nigeria. Anonymous Re: What ails Nigeria? The following ails Nigeria - 1914 amalgamation, regional political focus, Money Politics, Corruption, Lack/poor technology, frequent labour unrest, Monocultural Economy, federal character in place of merits and Indiscipline. From Lanre Oseni It is good a piece, ‘Tale of two scapegoats.’ Nigerians are watching. From Gordon Chika Nnorom.


25

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

Life

The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Text only: 08023058761

Devotees celebrate Yoruba religion – Page 26

Alaafin gets award – Page 28

‘Achebe’s writings gave me confidence’

‘Why capital growth is vital’ •Adichie

– Page 37

– SEE STORY ON PAGE 27


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

26

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

The 10th Orisa World Congress held at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, attracted devotees of Yoruba religion, scholars and researchers worldwide. It was a festival of culture and ideas that reflected a rich heritage; explored the place of indigenous faith and its challenges in a world of diversity of religions. Editorial Board member FEMI MACAULAY was there.

Devotees celebrate Yoruba religion

“W

E have a story to tell,” Prof Wande Abimbola, a retired academic and culture exponent, declared during an interactive session with participants at the 10th Orisa World Congress held at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State. It was a defining statement about the place of Yoruba religion and culture, also known as Orisa tradition, in a global village of multiple faiths. Earlier, while making a contribution to a discussion during the five-day programme, Abimbola went directly to the nub of the matter, saying, “Ifa is the heart and soul of the culture and philosophy of the Yoruba people. It is not dead, but parts of it are going into oblivion.” Ile-Ife, which is regarded as “the source” and cultural capital of the Yoruba race, was an appropriate setting for a focus on the challenges of the Orisa way of life, especially in the context of a diverse globe, and contending faiths, some of which have the advantage of apparent numerical dominance. The variegated gathering, which included participants from the United States of America (USA), Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico, demonstrated the appeal of the religion beyond its local provenance, and brought instructive international perspectives. An all-male family of four from Cuba, a Chinese couple who live in Venezuela and a densely bearded white American were among the alluring sights. There is no doubt about the international status of Yoruba religion, which is reinforced by the fact that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2005 added the Ifa Divination system to its list of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” Ironically, however, it would appear that the religion is, to a large extent, unrecognized among Nigeria’s Yoruba population in this day and age, majority of them reportedly either Christians or Muslims. This observation was rejected by Dr. Kola Abimbola, an academic, the international coordinator of Orisaworld and son of Prof Abimbola. Both of them are also Ifa priests, Babalawo. “Orisa religion and culture is the largest indigenous culture of the world,” said the younger Abimbola. He argued, “As you know, I went to the London School of Economics and Political Science, so it is very difficult for statistics to be used as wool to cover my eyes. I don’t accept that in Yoruba society, Christianity and Islam are the dominant religions. It is not true.” Giving grounds for his rather unusual position, he reasoned, “For example, let’s just use simple arojinle- philosophical analysis. Yoruba/Orisa religion doesn’t have this standard Christian and Muslim approach of having churches and mosques. So, for us, counting Orisa temples is not a good way of determining how many practitioners of Orisa/Yoruba religion there are. Secondly, any honest Yoruba person will tell you that when people run into trouble, almost everyone who claims to be a Christian or a Muslim goes to Babalawo or Iya Onifa, Iyalorisa to divine.” According to him, “If you go to church, you also go to a diviner; then, you are practicing the two religions. So how can you count yourself as being a Christian and not as being the other? People are not bold enough to say what they really do. There are those like me who have absolutely no reservations whatsoever practising what we practise. So tell me, are there more Christians and Muslims than practitioners of Yoruba religion? I don’t think there are, we are more. That’s the problem: statistics and figures. There is one book which I use to teach Statistics or Mathematical Logic; How to lie with statistics-that’s the title.” A multitude of gods or orisa makes up the Yoruba pantheon, with Ifa as the oracular mouthpiece of Olodumare, the Almighty in Yoruba religion. Who would have imagined that Orisa tradition could prove relevant to the Boston Marathon bombings in USA on April 15, 2013, when two pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring 264 others? One woman who lives in Boston, 47-year-old Clemencia Lee, an American of Columbian origin initiated into the religion 10 years ago, said being a devotee of Yoruba gods saved her and members of her family from the bombings. According to her, “It was definitely the Orisa that watched over us to not be there and right where the bomb was.” She attended the congress with her husband, Tony Van Der Meer, an American academic of Suriname-Dutch origin and Orisa devotee, and her second daughter who is also an initiate with a Yoruba name, Adetutu. There was an unmistakable irony in the insistent efforts by many of the foreign participants to speak Yoruba language, especially in the context of exchanging greetings with others. Such cultural projection was food for thought, considering the observed societal trivialisation of the language in favour of English. A panelist in one of the several round-table dis-

•Cultural dancers

•From left: Mrs Abimbola, Prof Abimbola and Chief Elubuibon

FESTIVAL cussions, Prof Segun Gbadegesin of Howard University, USA, highlighted this absurdity, saying, “Seventy percent of Yoruba elite discourage the use of Yoruba language by their children in domestic settings.” It was also interesting to see foreigners who were devotees prostrate themselves in a customary Yoruba way while greeting others. Some of the foreign visitors were simply captivated scholars, and not adherents of the religion. It was William Cullinan’s first visit to Africa and Nigeria. A white American Christian, 64 years old, from Philadelphia, he said, “I came to Orisa World Congress because I’m interested in learning about different religions and cultures, and I had always wanted to come to Nigeria because Ile-Ife is considered to be the centre of civilisation according to the Yoruba.” A striking highpoint of the event was the declaration by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, the community’s revered traditional ruler and Grand Patron of the Orisa tradition and religion, that July and August will be celebrated as “Yoruba cultural months” from next year. “I implore all descendants of Oduduwa to return home every year during these to celebrate our culture and religion,” he said, at the opening ceremony of the congress at Oduduwa Hall, OAU, on July 24. Oduduwa, regarded as the progenitor of the Yoruba people, is artistically represented by an imposing wooden sculpture carved by Lamidi Olonade Fakeye, which was unveiled at the front of the university theatre in 1987 by Sijuade himself. Speaking on the launch of the cultural months, Sijuade declared, “All my children in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo Republic, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Sudan, invite all lovers of Yoruba culture to the homeland during the months of July and August. Celebrate the values, virtues and treasures of our

towns and cities. Hold public events, conventions and activities that showcase the invaluable riches of Yoruba culture and religion. These are the treasures that have made Yoruba culture and religion a global heritage of humanity.” Stimulating discussions on various issues of interest in the context of Yoruba religion and culture took place at Oduduwa Hall and Institute of Cultural Studies on the campus, with wide-ranging topics including Ifa, Education and Culture; Youth Rights, Elder Rights: Generational Integration; Poverty Eradication; Youth, Education and Spiritual Development; Globalization and Cultural Identity; and Nollywood versus Hollywood: Images of Orisa in Movies. It was a reflection of the times that the subject of homosexuality came up, and many were curious about the position of the religion on this controversial question. After a lively debate, it was Prof Abimbola who had the last word. According to him, “We cannot say exactly how Ifa views this. There is no need for us to get involved in this controversy.” A major aspect of the programme was the first Awo Ifatoogun Lecture delivered by Prof Moses Akinola Makinde, a retired university teacher of Philosophy and DG/CEO, Awolowo Centre for Philosophy, Ideology and Good Governance, Osogbo, Osun State. Although not an initiate, he is respected for his work in the area of African Philosophy and Yoruba cultural thought. He revealed to the audience that he had been influenced to rethink the labelling of his scholarly work as African Philosophy, rather than “Yoruba Philosophy” which formed the basis; and he made an argument for “Yoruba Philosophy as a sub-set of African Philosophy.” He attributed his new perspective to his son, Olumide Okunmakinde of the Institute of Cultural Studies, OAU. The Awo Ifatoogun Lecture, in honour of an outstanding Ifa •Contiinued on page 27


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

27

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

‘Achebe’s writings gave me confidence’

She was good in science. But Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie embraced writing. She was inspired by the writings of the late Prof Chinua Achebe. Today, her writings have paid off for her as she has some awards in her honour. OZOLUA UHAKHEME, Assistant Editor (Arts) reports.

F

IVE months after his death, the late Prof Chinua Achebe’s influence on many African writers, especially the young ones continues to show at literary platforms. Last Friday, Nigeria’s celebrated international writer and current winner of Chicago Tribune Heartland prize for fiction Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said Achebe’s writings gave her the confidence to go into writing. She said Achebe was very important to her like others such as Flora Nwakpa. She spoke at a reception tagged; Literary Evening marking the closing of a 10-day workshop for 22 talented creative writers organised by Farafina Trust and Nigerian Breweries Plc in Lagos. Adichie said she initially found it difficult carrying on with the writing of her earlier books, adding that it took her about two-and-a-half years to complete her first book. “In fact, my second book took me five years to complete. You live to prepare to fall and rise again,” she said of how she weathered the many challenges of writing. Reacting to why she abandoned medicine for political science and communication, she said it was the best decision of her life. Adichie, who claimed she is not into poetry writing, said: “I passed well in science. I left medical sciences because it did not seem right for me. During lectures, I will be writing poems on the back of my note books. Leaving medicine was the best for me. I did not want to study literature after that, so I took to political science and communication.” She observed that at the workshop, writers that came with best entries never emerged as the best of the lots, but added that there are enormous potentials in the writers. Eight hundred entries were received for this year’s workshop, out of which 22 were selected. Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolas Vervelde said the partnership between Nigerian Breweries and Farafina Trust which began five years ago, was founded on the company’s desire to encourage the development of literary writing skills in Nigeria, as part of “our strategic corporate initiatives towards talent development and youth empowerment.” “We expect that the impressive parade of facilitators this

•Corporate Affairs, NB Plc, Mr Kufre Ekanem, Vervelde, Adichie and Human Resources Director, Victor Famuyibo

LITERATURE

‘I passed well in science. I left medical sciences because it did not seem right for me. During lectures, I will be writing poems on the back of my note books. Leaving medicine was the best for me. I did not want to study literature after that, so I took to political science and communication’ year just like in the past years would help give birth to a new generation of writers in the mould of the Chinua Achebes, Wole Soyinkas, Ben Okris and Chimamanda Adichies among others,” he said. Vervelde hoped that the writers that have emerged from the workshop would have the potential to become future Nobel Laureates in literature. The literary event, which was held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos was spiced up with poetry performance by Efe Paul, one of the participants and musical performances by KCee, of the Limpopo fame. Certificates of participation were presented by Mr Vervelde and Chimamanda Adichie to al the 22 participants. Other writers that facilitated at the workshop included Kenyan writer, Mr. Binyavanga Wainaina; who won the

•Adichie

Caine Prize for his short story Discovering Home in 2002, Mr Aslak Sira Myhre; a Norwegian politician and former party leader of Red Electoral Alliance (RV), Dr. Eghosa Imasuen; a Nigerian writer, medical doctor and author of Fine Boys.

Devotees celebrate Yoruba religion •Continued from page 26

priest and university teacher, Prince Babalola Adeboye Ifatoogun, who died in 2009 at age 85, provided a platform for Makinde to explore the concept of Ifa as “a repository of knowledge.” According to him, “Ifa’s many branches encompass the whole of human knowledge.” He coined the term “Ifaology”, which he likened to Epistemology or philosophy of knowledge in Western Philosophy. Central to Makinde’s lecture was “Ifa and the concept of Omoluabi,” which considered Yoruba religion and culture in the context of “morality, social and political philosophy.” Ever conscious of intellectual integrity, Makinde also gave credit to his son for helping to further clarify the concept of Omoluabi as captured by Ifa. Omoluabi, according to Makinde, defines “a good, cultured and virtuous person” in relation to “his expected contributions to society” based on “honesty, integrity, transparency, accountability, good governance and other good things concerning the life of a man in a sane society.” This lecture, significantly, projected the inclusiveness of Ifa, showing that it was not only about religion, and should not be seen in ritualistic terms alone. When the time came to go to the Ooni’s palace in town, there was a predictable eagerness among the participants. A pleasant surprise awaited them. July 27 was also Prof Abimbola’s 80th birthday, but the news didn’t leak. So, in a large decorated hall with shimmering lights, the Royal Court Band played danceable melodies, and the participants socialised in a setting that reflected monarchical grandeur. Their host, Oba Sijuade, 83, was resplendent in a white flowing robe over purple attire. He wore purple shoes and a glittering white cap. “Eating in the Ooni’s palace is a privilege,” said the MC of the congress, Chief Yemi Ogunyemi. It was a memorable birthday for Prof Abimbola who holds the chieftaincy title, Awise Agbayie, conferred on him by Oba Sijuade in 1981, in recognition of his services to Yoruba religion and culture. It was momentous that three devotees were installed as Cultural Ambassadors at the party. They were: Suriname-Dutch American Tony Van Der Meer, Chinese Chiu

•Oduduwa’s statue

Ming Ho, and one of Prof Abimbola’s wives, Michelle, a white American. There was a mystic dimension to their installation

as each went briefly into an enclosure formed by powerful traditional chiefs who created a human screen, preventing any view of their encounter with the Oba. There was an infectious festivity in the air all through the congress, with displays of the rich resources of the indigenous culture, ranging from fabrics and adornments to music and songs, from poetic performances to vibrant dances. Two foreign musical groups were part of the show: Omo Alagba/Miyaasu/Ibori Records and WolfHawkJaguar. Founded in 1981 by Prof Abimbola, Orisaworld is “an organisation of practitioners and scholars of Orisa tradition, religion and culture.” The group “promotes culture, education and peace in a world where Orisa tradition and culture plays a central role in the day-to-day lives of over 100 million people,” and has “individual and institutional members from over 50 countries.” The tenth edition of Orisa World Congress in Ile-Ife, with the theme “Culture and Global Peace,” was the fourth in the ancient town, starting from the first one 32 years ago, and six others have been held in Brazil, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba. While serving as an umbrella to all other Orisa and Yoruba cultural organisations, the group’s overriding aim is “to revitalise and rejuvenate the Orisa culture and all its traditions.” Prof Abimbola announced that future congresses would be held in Nigeria, and that the next one would take place in 2016 in Ile-Ife. At the opening ceremony of the 10th congress, Oba Sijuade declared with poetic overtones, “I hereby make the following proclamation: the religion of Yoruba land; the religion of Oduduwa who descended from Heaven on a chain of iron; the religion of Oranfe who lives in a house of perpetual fire in Heaven; the religion of Ifa, witness of destiny; the religion of Sango, the great warrior and giant, child of Oranmiyan; the religion of Oya nicknamed oriirii, eater of she-goats, the female warrior who wears a sword as part of her outfit; the religion of Osun nicknamed ewuji the greatest mother of all; the religion of Obatala, owner of ancient Iranje; will never perish.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

28

The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Alaafin get getss award

T

HE Yoruba in South Africa have honoured the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, with The Most Influential Cultural Monarch in

Africa. The Egbe Omo Yoruba event, which took place at Soweto, South Africa, was an affirmation of Alaafin’s commitment to the revival of African culture, and the unity of the Yoruba across the globe. The organiser of the event, who is also the co-ordinator of Egbe Omo Oduduwa and owner of renowned cultural centre in South Africa, Fictom Institute, Peju Ismail, described the Alaafin as “a legend, pathfinder, upright and selfless monarch whose contributions at ensuring the continuity of collective historical facts which were seriously upset by colonial and neo-colonial presence is second to none.‘’ According to Ismail, “the wisdom in Alaafin’s advocacy is that sound education and proper enlightenment would generate positive actions and attitudes, thus ensuring the preservation of the value of our common heritage. These days, apart from fiery speeches at UNESCO fora or other international assemblies, those who claimed to be custodians of African culture are hardly able to hide their ignorance or their superficial knowledge of the ancestral heritage.’’ She added that it was through the Alaafin’s courage, bold steps and sincerity of purpose that Yorubas in Diaspora are able to trace their roots. “We Yoruba not only in South Africa but worldwide are really grateful for the wonderful job our inestimable royal father is doing. Alaafin is our pride and

Dawn of a rebirth

POEM

Biased umpire

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo.

By Habib Akewusola.

AWARD

Suspicious turbulence after the race I gallantly won Judges quarry I crossed lane, To touch the finish reborn first.

we look unto him as a mentor. “Despite reforms experienced since independence by the quasi-totality systems of formal education inhertited from the colonial masters by different nations, and though serious efforts have been made to diminish the most ridiculous or unproductive positions of the former systems vis-à-vis real African cultural values, we must know that we are still far from harmonious integration of our cultural heritage in the framework, methods and official programme’’ Responding after receiving the award on behalf of her father, Alaafin’s eldest daughter, Princess Arewa Folasade

We Yoruba not only in South Africa but worldwide are really grateful for the wonderful job our inestimable royal father is doing. Alaafin is our pride and we look unto him as a mentor

My coach continuously path me on the back Whispers as I gasp, “Good run my boy, soon,you will Rule the world”.

Alaafin

Adeyemi thanked the Egbe Omo Oduduwa in South Africa for the worthy honour conferred on him. Oba Adeyemi said: “I will not only keep up but sustain the tempo of the struggle for African cultural renaissance. One sure way of generating interest in the protection of African people’s material and non-material heritage is by raising its value, ensuring as large a spread as possible through promotion and awareness. Now is the time for Africa to begin a head count and systematic documentation of her cultural properties which should be properly documented.” The paramount ruler noted that these great cultural materials across Africa put together today, belong to Africa and to humanity collectively.”

See him mount pressure on my coach Dramatize with a chalk Hitting the score board, subsequently subtracting my scores... Why! What has my athlete done? No black gold for a Black boy.

Group urges rebirth By Nneka Nwaneri

H

T

HE duo of Ato Arinze and Solomon Isekeije will hold a joint art exhibition titled: Primal Rebirth, of about 40 works to re-introduce the old form of art made of clay. It will open at the Quintessence Gallery in Park View Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos on Saturday and run till September 8. It will feature ceramics sculptures, prints and drawings. The exhibition is a collaboration to spark a renaissance, and an awakening to address cultural, economic, spiritual and geopolitical issues through artistic explorations and altruism. For the artists, Primal rebirth is a call to action for self-review and effect change through the arts. Isekeije’s works to be exhibited include Irinkeredo “Constant Traveller”, a serigraphy print which explores the process of artistic and personal acculturation. This piece explores a psychological journey through once Diaspora experience. Benin Head I, a mixed media artwork which depicts an iconic Edo mask, flanked by a ceremonial sword called Eben, with its characteristic fan like blade in a decorative color field, composed by a repeat pattern of River leaves. Dance of the red moon is used to create clay slab which forms the basic framework for three dimensional ceramic sculpture titled Sonnet for the red moon. Sonnet to the red Moon explores the notion of duality and similar differences through storytelling. The sculpture above is a metaphorical representation of the sun at rest, and the moon in full glow as human heads. Lastly, Totem to the Palm-wine drinker celebrates the merriment, joyful noise and boisterous stories associated with the palm wine shack. For Arinze, his works include Lifescape II, Growth, Trapped III, Syria, Within-Lovers and Crying out. Co-founder and co-ordinator of - Artzero Group, Ato Arinze, said that his thoughts, concept and feelings are influenced by nature and events around the world and all

Match commissioner approaches in White shorts, Pot belly jumps as he jogs Wearing a tank top, carrying bold Inscription of “I love sports”.

•Arinze and Isekeije By Ekekwe Chinasa

VISUAL ARTS these, determines the faith of a given vessel. He said the shape and form of his works depends solely on a vision inspired by activities in the environment. He said that enlightment and understanding of how ‘we can co-exist as humans through sharing, giving and loving is key to creating a peaceful society. He said these are key motivation and his devotion to the arts.’ Arinze is a 1991 sculpture graduate from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. He has over 20 years of studio practice as a Ceramics Sculptor. His love for the Clay medium and perfection in handling the material has endured him in the minds of Art Patrons. He has organised and facilitated many seminars and workshops on creativity, art business, pottery and sculpture. He has participated in many exhibitions both within and outside the country with his work well represented in private and public

collections. In 2002 he recieved the Solidra Award for Sculpture and Pottery, also in 2008, he was honour by the Society of Nigerian Artists with the SNA Distinguished Artist Award. Isekeije explores the notion of personal identity exemplified through the use of abstract and representational images. He examines unique African cultural nuisances, the similar differences between traditional African and western cultures and the dual exchange involved in the process of acculturation. He is a contemporary African artist in Diaspora. He had his professional artistic training at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, in Nigeria. He was mentored by Professor Agbola Folarin and he also had the opportunity to study with Dr. Bruce Onobrakpeya. Isekeije obtained a M.F.A in Visual Studies at Norfolk State and Old Dominion University. Currently, he teaches sculpture, ceramic and printmaking studio courses and manage a state of the art, computer laboratory.

OW should a person be judged? A person should not be judged by where he comes from or his religion, says an advocacy group, Organisation for Truthful Rebirth (OTR). According to OTR, the strength of a man’s character should tell who he is. OTR was formed as a non-governmental organisation to educate the minds of Nigerians to be of good moral values and character at all times, while doing away with prejudices inherited from history. Parents were also urged to contribute their quota to the development of the country by teaching their children to be truthful at all times and portray good character, that will gain them favours where ever they go. Convener if the group, Eben Akinyemi, who said the institution, was borne out of the need to enact change in the society by freeing the minds of the people and help them organise themselves and get them character-based favours, character being the greatest door opener. Every Nigerian, Akinyemi believes, should be judged by the strength of his character and not by how much of the ‘share of the spoils’ he has obtained. “Anyone can be great simply on the strength of his character. Our motives are clear. We want to do things right in the country by being the voice of change. We are showing that where two or three people gather and reason with themselves, they can change the world. “So, we want everyone with a problem to come to us, we will counsel and treat them like a brother. We will advise you and set many Nigerians up.” Akinyemi said. The group called on government to revisit the educational sector and envisage dreams of making Nigeria a place to live by 2100 when Nigeria is projected to be the third largest most populous country with an estimated 900million people.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

29

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b

NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

Capital market regulators, operators review new capital base C APITAL market regu lators and operators have advanced discussions on the new capital requirements for all capital market functions in a paradigm shift that may see capital requirement tied to risk and size of operations. Market operators include stockbroking firms, issuing houses, fund managers, custodians, trustees, and investment advisory firms, share registration companies, corporate secretaries, depository, securities exchange, venture capital, receiving bankers and underwriters. A regulatory source told The Nation that the proposal for the new capital requirements has entered the consultation and discussion stage wherein the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeks to build consensus across the market

By Taofik Salako

groups and supervisory organs. According to the source, SEC has sought the buy-in of the Ministry of Finance, which supervises the apex capital market regulator while also reaching out to other financial services regulators and self-regulatory organisations (SROs) and groups. “The consultation on the new capital requirement is a wide-ranging one, both vertical and horizontal, so that as much as possible it serves the best interest of the capital market. It’s not a quick-fix thing. It takes a consensus building and management to reach the fine line between competing

interests,” the source said. It should be recalled that The Nation had recently reported the country’s assessment of securities regulation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which supported increase in capital base of broker-dealers. The report-Assessment of the level of implementation of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Principles in Nigeria, noted that due to the weak financial condition of many broker-dealers and limited ongoing monitoring, new risks may arise and remain unaddressed. “The SEC should promptly implement a major overhaul of the capital requirements applied to broker-dealers, by raising their initial capital requirements and requiring them to maintain sufficient risk-based capital on an ongoing

basis,” the reports. Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commis-

sion (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, said the apex capital market regulator would soon announce new minimum capital base for capital market operators. SEC has changed the fidelity bond requirement for capital market operators. Registered capital market operators are required to maintain a fidelity bond which has a validity period from January to December of each year. The announcement of change in fidelity bond policy, otherwise known as professional indemnity policy, came on the heels of a report by The Nation.

Crude production falls, says OPEC By Akinola Ajibade

T

HE Organisation of Petroleum Export ing Countries (OPEC) has said crude oil production for member-states fell to 30.31million barrels per day last month. OPEC in its monthly report for the month, said oil production was down by 0.10mbd from the previous month. Citing sources, the body said oil production excluding Iraq stood at 27.34mpd last month, indicating a drop of 0.05million mbd over the previous month. According to the report, Nigeria’s production fell from 1, 881mbd to 1,861 between June and last month; Algeria from 1,725 to 1, 710 mbd; Libya 1,862 to 1, 062mbd; United Arab Emirates 2,757 to 2,742mbd; Kuwait 2,837 to 2, 826mbd; Iraq 3,023 to 2,292mbd; and Iran 2,685 to 2,684mbd. It said Qatar and Ecuador did not experience decrease in crude production between June and last month. The report said Algeria marginally increased its oil production by 6,000 from 1,148 to 1,154mbd, while Saudi Arabia produced 9,696mbd in July as against 9,599mbd in June. It said global oil supply increased by 0.08mbd in July to an average of 89.95mbd , adding that non-OPEC oil supply saw growth of 0.17mbd between June and July.

‘CBN reforms will boost investment’ By Collins Nweze

•Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, flanked by Awawu Olumide-Sojinrin (left), Acting Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria; Suleiman Shaibu of Microsoft and Olayinka Oni, National Technology Officer, Microsoft during CON’s hosting of nominees for the African Young Person Award of the Future Africa Award project in Lagos.

Importers flay high cost of business

I

MPORTERS and clear ing agents at the sea ports have berated terminal operators, shipping companies and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over the high cost of doing business, urging the Federal Government to address the problem. But the importers, who spoke with The Nation, however, gave kudos to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); the Technical Unit on Governance and AntiCorruption (TUGAR) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on their recent re-

‘Sanusi’s coming exit will put pressure on Okonjo-Iweala’ - P 30

By Oluwakemi Dauda

port on the ports which has revealed that importers and their agents need a minimum of 79 signatures of government officials to clear a vehicle or container from the seaports. The importers said they have complained on several occasions to the Customs' authorities and the management of the NPA on the number of tables of their officials their entry/document will pass through before clearing a container from the port, but have failed to address the problem because they benefit from it. The President, Association of Nigerian Licensed

Customs Agents (ANLCA) Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu also wondered why a clearing agent or an importer would need to wait for almost two weeks before terminal operatos would position their containers for examination. Shittu said he was happy that the mind-boggling revelation pushed to the front burner when the ICPC, TUGAR and BPP met with stakeholders to validate the CRA report. “We are happy that the report has shown that it takes 79 signatures to process a cargo in some ports and 100 signatures in others. This has not only shown that the process is not well harmonised giving rise to

Nigerian banking stocks attractive - P33

the high cost of doing business in our ports," he said. An importer and the Managing Director, Folas Shipping Logistics, Mr Folagbade Mosaku, said they were happy that at the ICPC's validation meeting with stakeholders, he said ICPC Consultant, Constantine Palicarsky identified lack of standard operation procedure by government agencies as a major hindrance to port operations, thereby giving rise to high costs. Mosaku, therefore, urged the Federal Government to address the problems identified by the report as responsible for corrupt practices and the high cost of doing business at ports.

T

HE reforms intro duced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are expected to enhance investment in the country, Oxford Business Group (OBG) has said. In a report obtained by The Nation tagged: Nigeria -2013 Report on economic reforms,’ the firm said the reforms Aare prompting investors to take a “fresh look” at the country. Also, the Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast said the Nigerian government’s privatisation and anti-corruption reforms would create better opportunities for investors. “These ongoing changes will create better opportunities for all Nigerians and for investors from around the world. Canadian businesses are taking a fresh look at Nigeria and the opportunities it presents. They see that the environment is good for business, including a fair and strong regulatory framework to support and protect them,” he said.

From bleach supplier to soap maker

- P35


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

30

MONEY

‘Sanusi’s coming exit will put Why banks fail, by NDIC pressure on Okonjo-Iweala’ W

T

HOUGH he still has 10 months to go, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s coming exit is already causing ripples in the financial market. His exit in June next year, says Renaissance Capital (RenCap), Global Chief Economist Charles Robertson, will shift the burden of the banking reforms to Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Robertson, in an emailed report obtained by The Nation, said Sanusi’s exit would, however, not alter views about Nigeria’s economy. “We doubt the expected 2014 change of the CBN Governor will change our currency view, but his departure does mean even more responsibility lies on Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to maintain the reform process,” he said. Sanusi became CBN governor in June 2009. He has aside sacking Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of eight rescued banks and appointing new ones, also injected about N620 billion into the troubled banks to keep them afloat. The reforms that followed, have pushed majority of the banks into profitability. Their results for the financial year ended December 31, last year, showed that almost all the lenders declared huge prof-

•Mrs Okonjo-Iweala Stories by Collins Nweze

its. Their combined results were over N500 billion. This is against losses made by some of the banks in previous years, following the financial crisis which started in 2008 that affected many of them. Also, virtually all the banks also declared dividends for their shareholders. Robertson said corruption seemed to get worse when leaders stay in power for more than 15 years.

He said South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is disappointing. “So while South Africa looks good relative to its peers, it has, in fact, deteriorated for the best part of a generation. Rwanda is best within Sub-Saharan Africa, but Nigeria has improved significantly over the past decade,” he said, adding that Russia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria remain among the best in the world on public finances. “We continue to forecast growth at the higher end of a six to seven per cent range through to the 2015 presidential elections. The elections (and relatively high oil prices) also means we expect the Central Bank will succeed in keeping the currency broadly stable. We expect only mild depreciation in nominal terms,” he said, noting that there is value for foreign investors in local naira debt in Nigeria. Robertson said a rise in electricity supply was key to the success of Nigeria’s development. He said the budget deficit would shrink after what he calls the “brave decision” to remove fuel subsidy, but stated that more work is required before “we can” get comfortable with this credit. ‘’Even dollar investors required an eight per cent yield on the 10year dollar bond July issue, against 6.8 per cent for a Nigeria bond a month earlier,” he said.

HAT is responsible for bank failures? Banks fail because of insider abuses, weak internal control system, poor corporate governance, says Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). NDIC Deputy Director Research, Usman Wali told members of the National Association of Banking and Finance Students (NABAFS), of Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa that the corporation’s role in protecting depositors’ interest was key to the nation’s financial stability and economic development. He said the visit was crucial to the enhancement of NDIC’s public awareness on its mandate and activities, adding that the corporation is focusing on its core man-

date of deposit guarantee, banking supervision, distress resolution and liquidation. He said the NDIC insured deposit liabilities of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Microfinance banks (MfBs) and licenced Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs). Depositors of insured banks will get N500,000 for DMBs and N200,000 for MfBs and PMBs in the event of failure. Representatives of Bank Examination Unit (BEU) Shehu Aladire said on-site and off-site activities of the corporation are aimed at efficiency and compliance with rules. He listed four types of on-site bank examination as maiden, routine, target and special examinations.

CBN’s action stirs anger

C

RITICISMS are trailing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to raise the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) on public sector funds. The policy quarantined N520 billion, about 38 per cent of the estimated N2.6 trillion government deposit in the system. The Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Ayo Teriba, said the policy is destablising the sector, adding that it also showed that the CBN could be unpredictable. He said in more developed countries, the CBN would have carried the banks along in the scheme of things. “In a more civilised environment, the CBN would have carried the banks along. It was an impulsive decion which may place some banks ahead of others in terms of deposit mix and balance sheet size,” he said. He said what the CBN had done might have altered the equation, to put some banks ahead of others in terms of deposit mix and competition. Afrinvest West Africa Plc said the policy has affected its market and rate performance. It said last week’s decline in the All Share Index (ASI) by 280 points was attributed to attractive

yields in the money market due to the CBN’s policy. In the firm’s weekly report, it said the policy has led to a switch by investors in favour of the money market instruments, saying that the Nigeria Interbank Offered Rate (NIBOR) rates surged by an average 600 points in the last two weeks. It said the call rate gained the most, with 820bps to 18.9 per cent last Friday. This was followed by the seven-day and 60-days tenor with about 700bps average increase. This increase in money market rates can be associated with the recent increase in CRR on public sector funds, creating liquidity shrink at the interbank. However, the firm said it expects a marginal decline in rates in the coming weeks as the market gradually absorbs and normalises the disequilibrium. The policy raised cash reserve ratio on public sector deposits from 12 per cent to 50 per cent. Its implementation began on August 7, when the the apex bank debited banks’ accounts. This policy has drained liquidity from the system. Now banks are scrambling for funds/accounts outside the public sector.

Western Union’s $1.7m grant for Nigeria, others

W

• From left: President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Alhaji Kabir Mohammed in a handshake with doyen of accounting Mr Akintola Williams. With them are ICAN’s immediate past president Mr Adedoyin Owolabi (right) and Registrar Mr Rotimi Omotoso.

DMO: IFC, Barclays Capital, JP Morgan okay HE nod given to the Federal given foreign investors inforGovernment of Nigeia (FGN) FGN bonds also mation for investment decisions bonds by the Internationa Fi and created market benchmarks for

T

nance Corporation (IFC), Barclays Capital and JP Morgan has assisted in the development of the domestic bond market, the Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, has said. Nwankwo, who spoke at a debt conference in Lagos, said JP Morgan included FGN Bonds in its Emerging Markets-Government Bond Index last year Barclays Capital did the same on its emerging markets –Local Currency Bond Index in March. The IFC has issued naira-denominated bonds in Nigeria’s bond index, he said, adding that these steps were indications of the confidence these global the financial institutions have in Nigeria’s bond market.

This, he said, led to some benefits, including increased foreign exchange inflows, adding that by December, last year, foreign investors holdings in FGN securities amounted to $5.112 billion, compared to $500 million in January, same year. The DMO chief said there was significant reduction in government’s cost of borrowing, which fell by about 400 points between August and December, last year. He said financial institutions issued Eurobonds amounting to $1.45 billion in the last three years. He said GTBank issued $500 million, Access Bank, $350 million. Fidelity Bank and FirstBank, $300 million each. The development, he said, had

future borrowings by the sovereign, sub-nationals, as well as corporate bodies. He said with a favourable domestic market environment created by the DMO, 20 organisations also raised long term capital of over N200 billion from the domestic debt market between 2005 and last year. “The atmosphere is conducive for Nigerian corporates to access fund both in the domestic and international capital markets to develop the sector. For now, banks can only use the fund generated for lending purposes. It is also important to explain that it is not only banks that have the advantage of credit rating, as companies can be rated too because, in the domestic market, most markets that access debenture gets rated,” he said.

ESTERN Union Foundation is committing $1.7 million to more than 20 non-profit, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). This year, the Foundation has announced grants worth over $2.9 million. In Africa, $25,000 has been given to kick-start a small business training for farmers in Kenya and $20,000 to supporting Mashutwero pre-schools in Botswana - helping to provide academic and personal development opportunities for local youths. This quarter, $114,114 will be

given to the Daniel Ogechi Akujobi Memorial Foundation (DOAMF) towards Project Read to Succeed, which provides libraries for public schools in Nigeria. The grants are designed to help increase access to, and improve the quality of education programs in multiple regions. The grant cycle provides further support for the Western Union Education for Better programme, which is a three-year commitment to growing young minds through strategic grants that focus on secondary education and vocational training.

Stanbic launches executive service

S

TANBIC IBTC Bank has launched its executive bank ing services to cater to the banking and other financial needs of high networth individuals and busy professionals. Executive Banking is a personalised banking service that allows clients to be served 24 hours on one-on-one by a bank executive, who helps to evaluate the client’s specific banking needs and then assists him in a timely and professional manner. At the launch in Lagos, Executive Director, Personal and Business Banking, Obinnia Abajue, said the service offers considerable benefits to customers adding that it was designed to save clients and their loved ones money and time “At

Stanbic IBTC Bank, we realise that people have different banking and financial needs and that the busy professional needs a specialised banking service that is safe, secure and convenient during and after office hours,” he said. He said the Executive Banking service provides the busy executive with convenient banking locally and internationally, with an array of products and services to satisfy diverse needs for clients and their families. He assured that as an end-to-end financial solutions provider backed by the experience of the Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC belongs, clients are guaranteed a safe, secure, and speedy financial services experience.


31

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

AVIATION

NCAA directs airlines to establish complaints’ desks T HE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has di rected airlines to establish ConsumerComplaints’ Desks (CCD) in every airport to ensure compliance with the Passerngers’ Bill Right (PBR). Its Director-General, Captain Folayele Akinkuotu, said the desks would enable passengers to lodge complaints on flight cancellations and on missing luggage. He said NCAA would not want to be seen as policing the airlines over passengers’complaints; rather, it would want the airlines to be selfregulatory, adding that the agency will only intervene if passengers were dissatisfied with airlines’services. Akinkuotu cited the British Airways, which denied nine passengers boarding despite holding valid tickets, adding that the pasengers were not attended to until NCAA’s intervention. He said each passenger was then paid 250 pounds for inconvenience, adding that Ethiopian Airlines that was made to refund N129,000 for selling an unsatisfactory product to a passenger. Noting that the Bill was not new, Akinkuotu said it had been in existence since last year, adding that what was lacking was the execution. He enjoined passengers to ensure

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

that when they buy tickets, they read and digested the printed carriage guidelines of the airlines, saying it is only when passengers understand the conditions of carriage that they would know the obligation the airlines owed them during their flights. “This is good in the event of any complaint arising therefrom, they would know how to properly channel their grievances, Akinkuotu said, adding that passengers with complimentary tickets do not have any right to claims if flights are cancelled, because such tickets are regarded as freebies.” He explained that the only set of passengers to which airlines are obligated are full-fare paying customers first, before considering whether or not they could accommodate passengers with complimentary tickets. They are at the mercy of the airline,” the NCAA chief added. ”We would ensure we carry stakeholders along to ensure compliance with the PBR,” he said. He said the regulation also affects the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace

Management Agency and the Nigerian Customs Service. He said the idea is for the NCAA to take up the challenge of defending the rights of any passenger, or consumer who feels he has not been fairly treated, stressing that NCAA will investigate complaints to ensure that passengers’rights are protected. “This we will do, and without being long on promise, we will deliver. Not just passengers, the NCAA will also address issues affecting all stakeholders covered by the bill,” he said. He said baggage damage and pilferage will attract NCAA’s attention, as many passengers suffer from this abnomality. Akinkuotu assured that there will be enough consumer education to drive this process through, stressing, “but the consumer, or passenger should also fight for his, or her right. We will ensure that all sharp practices by both foreign and domestic airlines are addressed”. He said the era when airlines do not abide by time frame for promotional fares are over. “Our desire is to see that passengers have a good travel experience from the airlines,” he said.

Passenger, cargo traffic up by 30 %

P

ASSENGER and cargo traffic went up by 30 per cent, following the rehabilitation of some airport, data from the Federal Airports Au thority of Nigeria (FAAN) has shown. According to the data, the increase in patronage has also resulted in revenue growth for airlines. Specifically, the figures showed that on the average, 122.700 tonnes of cargo were ferried by air yearly since the reforms started in the sector, while passenger traffic at airports grew to 14.9 million last year. FAAN’s spokesman, Yakubu Dati, described the growth as an indication that the industry is steadily coming out of its recession to a path of prosperity. “The transformation agenda has changed and started to move the industry on the path of recovery,” he said. There has been significant increases in passenger, aircraft and cargo movements, he said, adding that total revenue generated from air ticket sales increased from N225 billion in 2011, to N232.5 billion in 2013, while the total number of people employed in the sector increased from 60,000 in 2011 to 85,000 in 2012. Under the Airport Remodelling Project (ARP), designed to transform airport terminals, the airports have witnessed infrastructural transformation in the last one year, Dati said, adding, that airports are no longer mere departure and arrival points for aviation. They have become big businesses globally, actively driving the development of air transport which is a veritable vehicle for rapid industrial and economic growth. Since the commencement of the Airport Remodelling Project, five terminals in Lagos (Domestic Terminal 1), Abuja, (General Aviation Terminal), Benin, Kano (International Terminal) and Enugu have been inaugurated, while the remaining terminals are at various stages of completion, including the international terminal at the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Ikeja, Lagos.

Three African airlines seek flights into Nigeria

A

IR Zimbabwe, Air Uganda and Binter Canarias have expressed interest in operating flights into Nigeria. Other international airlines, who are operating into the country also wanted a greater participation in the market. Plans by the airlines were unveiled at the just concluded Routes Africa strategy summit in Kampala, Uganda. At the event, different groups and airlines who met with the Nigerian representatives at the event expressed their willingness to partner with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) in exploiting opportunities in the Nigerian Aviation market, especially exploring additional routes. FAAN’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Mr George Uriesi was represented at the event by the General Managers, Business Development and Planning, Abubakar Achimugu and Nse Ikiddeh. The summit also focused on the need for private sector investment and participation in airport management and infrastructure, with emphasis on public- private- partnership, financial and operating models.

Ethiopian Airlines links Enugu Airport

T •Site for the tankers

Tankers relocate from airport access road

P

ETROLEUM tanker drivers operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport have started relocating to the site allocated to them by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Their relocation followed the expiration of the deadline issue d t o t h e m by t h e F ed er a l Government, as part of efforts to clear the access road leading

to the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed. According to the General Manager, Corporate Communication, FAAN, Mr Yakubu Dati, over two-thirds of the tankers has relocated. He said the over 200 tankers parked at the airport access road had shrunk to about 50. The need for the fuel tankers to relocate out of the access road

was part of efforts by the government to enhance safety and security at the airport. He said: ”The relocation exercise is going on successfully as the exercise is being supervised by the Lagos zonal council of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, a branch of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers(NUPENG).”

Involve stakeholders in policy decision

T

HE National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has asked the Federal Government to involve stakeholders in important aviation policy matters, particularly the plan to create a national carrier and an Aerotropolis project. It said it would make itself available in this regard, adding that this is the only way to guarantee success of the ventures. It cited Ethiopian Airline which was started with stakeholders and is now a success. In a communique after its 13th National Delegates Conference, NAAPE noted that some airlines had disallowed their workers from becoming members of the union,

contrary to labour law. It said the non-unionisation hinders human capacity development and holds back NAAPE’s effort to place the industry on the global stage. ‘’Therefore, the conference mandates the National Administrative Council (NAC) to use all lawful means to ensure that all working Pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers are fully unionized. It should, however, be clearly stated that the notion which depicts Union as a foe is a misconception. As a matter of fact, NAAPE has been, and remains a worthy partner committed to the progress of aviation companies.” It also mandated the National

Administration Council to immediately set the machinery in motion to stamp out all abuses in the expatriate quota regime to ensure that Nigerian Pilots and Engineers are gainfully employed and also to enhance human capacity growth in the sector. The association praised the Aviation Roadmap, new airport terminals (delivered and to be delivered), the Aerotropolis concept, aviation policy review, airside development and expressed the hope that the effort would be sustained. It called for urgent and definite action to be taken to upgrade the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria in other for it to regain its world-class statute.

HE Minister of Aviation, Pricess Stella Oduah, has confirmed that Ethiopian Airlines will kick off its inaugural flight from Enugu to Addis Ababa later this month. This would mark the first international flight operation from the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since it was designated by the Federal Government as an international. The commencememt of direct flights between Enugu and Addis Ababa is part of the Aviation Master Plan, which gives every zone an opportunity to grow to its full potential in economic and social development. She said the airline will operate four weekly flights from the Coal City, largely regarded as the capital of the Southeastern zone. "The operation of Ethiopian Airlines into Enugu will be the satisfaction of an enduring call from the people of the South East who have for many years clamoured for an international airport for the zone, which they believe will reinforce the resourcefulness of the people, who are known for their entrepreneurship and trade,” he said. The General Manager, Corporate Communication, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Yakubu Dati said the Jonathan administration has fulfilled its promise of giving every part of the country equal opportunity to develop and realise its dreams, adding that few months ago the President unveiled the domestic terminal at the airport and also laid foundation for the building of international terminal, which work is in progress. He said: “This Minister of Aviation has shown her determination to actualise the goals of the aviation master plan which the Jonathan administration has pegged its transformation agenda which objectives include giving every part of the country and every citizen the opportunity to grow to his full potential. With the international flight operations at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, a novel opportunity has been given to the people of the South East zone to expand their business horizon without stress and the inconveniences of having to travel far to catch international flights.”

Chanchangi acquires aircraft

C

HANCHANGI Airlines has taken delivery of an additional aircraft to boost its flight operations. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-500 with registration number 5N-BQZ flew into Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at the weekend, where it was received by officials of the airline and relevant regulatory authorities. According to the Group Public Relations Manager Chanchangi Airlines, Mr Oludele Balogun, the aircraft is suited for short haul operations. The aircraft wet-leased from a South African company brings to two the aircraft in the airline’s fleet. The Lagos Station Manager, Ahmed Babadiya, explained that the airline is repositioning for better domestic operations. According to him, the airline is grappling with some challenges which it hopes to overcome soon. He added that the airline is rebranding to meet its customers demands. Babadiya said, the airline will also take delivery of some aircraft to boost its operations.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

32

THE NATION INVESTORS Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, spoke on Nigeria’s debt management and economic outlook at an exclusive panel interview session with senior journalists. Capital Market Editor, TAOFIK SALAKO was there. Excerpts

‘Govt, private sector must play active roles in developing alternative financing sources’

W

HAT is the government doing to encourage private sector operators in the real sector to approach the bond market for funds? Government has done the best thing it can do for the private sector as far as the bond market is concerned; government used the opportunity of the fact just like any another government it would need to borrow money from the market to fund its fiscal deficits, which is what every government does and did it in the past. The government is subjecting itself to the discipline of the capital market; borrowing from the capital market. The government didn’t simply go to borrow from the capital market, it made sure that these were structured in such a way that they helped to develop the market for long time funds for the private sector; so that’s the best the government can do in that particular respect and it has done so. Government knows that it also needs to establish a benchmark for the private sector and it has done that successfully making sure that it succeeded in raising funds at competitive coupons, which will make sure that when the Nigerian companies go to raise funds they can benchmarked their issues on the sovereign bonds. Go and look at other countries that have issued bonds since we issued ours and check on what their own coupons are compared to ours. So, government had done the best it can do as far as debt market is concerned, it is permanently working with the private sector, like I said earlier, to make sure their various concerns are addressed whether in terms of tariffs, duties and infrastructure. On diversification of instruments and investors’ base, what are you doing to tap into the global alternative market like the Sukuk and others? Government is already working on alternative financing sources and generally the non-interest financing products including the Sukuk and others. Just last week there was a workshop in Abuja organised by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) which involved other African countries and we deliberated on how to go forward. So, Nigeria is seriously working on establishing the necessary frameworks for tapping into alternative sources of funding; including Sukuk like I mentioned earlier.

•Nwankwo

Nigeria is going to take advantage of all available and appropriate funding sources. At the Abuja forum, I did say that it should not be taken that development of the alternative financing should be restricted to government. Just as in the conventional debt instruments that we are encouraging the private sector to take advantage, we are also for the non-interest financing including Sukuk while encouraging the private sector to also play the lead role. It’s not only for government to start issuing sovereign Sukuks; at the appropriate time, they will do that, the private sector should understand these new financing alternatives so they could take advantage of these. The absence of credit enhancement and guarantees is one challenge being faced by the private sector in raising funds from global capital market, is there any possibility of the DMO as a sovereign issuer providing credit enhancement and guarantees for corporate issuers? There are various credit enhancements that are already in place. For instance, there is the partial risk guaranty offered by the World Bank Group, which usually comes through the Ministry of Finance, I’m aware there are a couple of projects seeking funding through this alternative. There are arrangements in place if some foreign investors possibly in collaboration with Nigerian partners want to invest in the country, and they need some form of political guaranty that can be accessed from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, this is available. Let me also mention that something related to that is the fact that the Minister of Finance has made known on a number of occasions that before the year ends, government would have established the mortgage liquidity facility which is to help the private sector be able to fund mortgages. These are some of the credit enhancement schemes in various forms. The coordinating minister of the economy has made it clear on many occasions that government has obtained a $300 million from the World Bank as a mortgage liquidity facility and that will be finalised before the end of the year. So, there is a lot that the government is doing to make sure that they provide the necessary support for the private sector to overcome some of the structural constraints that they have. Looking at efforts to create a flexible market with variety of debt instruments. When do we expect to see some of your new products? Some of the products will be coming in the near time; some will be in the medium term. For example the Global Depository Note we talked about, which is a way of encouraging special classes of international investors who would not invest directly in the domestic bond market except through a depository arrangement, is likely to come on stream before the year-end as approved by the National Assembly. The inflation-linked bond we are working on, we believe in the near time it will come to fruition. The other flexibility arrangements we talked about including the securities lending certainly will come on stream before the end of the first half of 2014. So, many of these measures, the concrete new products as well as the flexibility instruments are coming in the near to medium term. As at December last year, you said that foreign investors holding of FGN securities amounted to $5.1 billion, can we have a more updated figure? We are used to emphasizing statistics that our public debt is so much, and that

•Nwankwo

is why in today’s event we focus on talking about what are the benefits to the Nigerian economy, particularly through the private sector, that derived from these beautiful statistics we talked about. We have spent today explaining to financial journalists those statistics, what are the opportunities in real terms embedded in them that will translate to good standards of living for our people and that’s why our emphasis is on pointing out the opportunities we have created for the private sector so that they will issue their own debt instrument in the markets. We have developed the bond market so that they can raise long term money to invest in the real sector of the economy, in infrastructure, by so doing, they will create jobs for our teeming population and it will lead to more incomes in the society; because for every Nigerian who earns income by being gainfully employed, you know that there are many other dependents relying on that person, so there will be spread in welfare and reduction in poverty. What is the most current figure of government’s debt? Our focus is not talking about figures, let me say in summary that our debts as usual remain sustainable, and the statistics are there. But it’s not an issue of statistics, over the past seven years; we are

‘Just as in the conventional debt instruments that we are encouraging the private sector to take advantage, we are also for the non-interest financing including Sukuk while encouraging the private sector to also play the lead role. It’s not only for government to start issuing sovereign Sukuks; at the appropriate time, they will do that, the private sector should understand these new financing alternatives so they could take advantage of these.’

one of the least borrowed countries in the world in terms of statistics. All of us should appreciate there is the need for us to diversify our economy because we are overly dependent on oil revenue for driving our economy as a source of foreign exchange and revenue for government. So, the focus is on diversifying the sources of revenue for government. If we do this, we will observe that beyond the statistics, our debt will even be more sustainable instead of depending on oil and gas for about 80 per cent. The IMF has raised Nigeria’s borrowing threshold. What does that imply for us? The IMF didn’t raise Nigeria’s borrowing threshold; maybe indirectly. Countries are classified in various groups, so Nigeria belongs to a particular category and because of change in Nigeria’s per capita income, it has changed categories and the one in which it belongs is allowed technically to borrow up to 56 per cent of its debt GDP ratio without raising eyebrow in terms of credit worthiness. So, it’s an appreciation from the point of view of those global financial institutions that Nigerian economy is moving to the next level and in doing so, it has been reclassified in terms of its capacity to borrow. However, Nigeria’s President, the coordinating minister of the economy and the debt management office have made it clear that in spite of that technical space created, Nigeria will continue to be conservative in its borrowing as if nothing has really happened in terms of more space for it, so Nigeria will continue to be prudent and to continue borrowing as if it’s using the old limits, because the emphasis is not for government to do more borrowing, but to create space for the private sector to do the borrowing and that is why the theme of our interaction was on the opportunities created for the private sector from debt management achievements so they are now being encouraged; base on the benchmark created in the international capital market, based on the benchmark and market we have developed domestically, the private sector is now being challenged to take advantage and be the borrowers to invest in agriculture, solid mineral, infrastructure and so on.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

33

THE NATION INVESTORS

Berger Paints’ N543m rights issue opens

A

PPLICATION list for the N543.42 million rights issue by Berger Paints Plc opened yesterday as the paints and chemical company seeks equity funding from existing shareholders to modernise its manufacturing operations. Berger Paints is offering about 72.46 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to existing shareholders at N7.50. The rights issue was preallotted on the basis of one new ordinary share for every three ordinary shares held as at May 31, this year. The board of directors of Berger Paints, issuing houses, stockbrokers and other parties had completed the pre-offer processes on August 1, 2013. Chairman, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc, Mr. Clement Olowokande, has said the net proceeds of the rights issue estimated at N521.71 million would be used to finance the modernisation of the company’s factory operations. According to him, the modernisation was the main thrust of a strategic plan to ensure that the company continues to operate at the forefront of paint technology by replacing its aging manufacturing infrastructure.

He said the modernisation of the company’s factory operations would lead to improved efficiency that will positively impact on turnover and profitability. He outlined that the net proceeds would be used to purchase and install water-based plant and solvent-based plant from Spain. Olowokande said the company also plans to commit substantial investments on major improvements of its distribution channels. He said the company has taken several initiatives and entered new partnership that would greatly enhance its products and services in the Nigerian paint and coating industry in the period ahead. He noted that Berger Paints has always been the standard-setter in the industry with enviable records of pioneering wide range of popular special products. He said he was confident the company would record significant growth and improvements in its operations in the years ahead in order to create better value for shareholders. He urged all shareholders to participate fully in the rights issue to ensure they continue to maintain their positions in the company.

Nigerian banking stocks attractive, IGERIAN banking stocks says Investec are attractive and have

N

potential for fundamental growth that will drive returns over the next two to three years, Investec Asset Management has said. Investec, which manages some $105 billion, said quoted banks are set for profit growth of about 20 per cent a year over the next two to three years. Analyst, banking stocks, Investec Asset Management, Mishnah Seth, told Bloomberg that Nigerian banks look favorable and they were cheaper than their South African peers. According to her, from a valuation perspective, Nigerian banks are cheaper and would give you superior growth over the next two years than their South African competitors. Analysts said the privatisation of power plants and transmission and electricity distribution companies and other expansionary activities would provide fertile ground for banks’ earnings to grow. Telecommunication companies, including MTN Group Limited and Globacom Limited, plans to invest at least $5 billion in Nigeria in anticipation that Africa’s biggest market of 114 million subscriptions, will expand to 200 million by 2017, according to Informa Telecoms & Media estimates. African equity analyst, Exotix Limited, Ronak Gadhia, said banks have large headroom to grow their earnings from the expansionary activities in the telecoms and oil and gas sectors. “There’s a lot for the banks to do. Telecommunication companies are pretty expansionary, oil and gas still needs quite a lot of investments,” Gadhia said. South African banks deserve to trade at a premium to lenders in Nigeria because of the West African nation’s regulatory environment, Peter Mushangwe, an analyst at Johannesburg-based Legae Securities, said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg. “We view 2012 as having been largely a recovery phase, which

includes earnings recovery and stability to asset quality, but we are not yet in a normal valuation phase, as is the case with South African banks,” he said. “It will come but it may take its time.” Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced a 50 per cent cash-reserve requirement on public sector funds on July 23, this year after highlighting the risk of excess liquidity in the banking system. The regulation, which applies to about N1.3 trillion deposits, could result in N500 billion of liquidity being withdrawn, increasing funding costs and hurting profitability, Fitch Ratings said July 31 in a statement. Investors are overlooking other risks such as the violence in some parts of the country to gain a foothold in a country at a different stage of development. The gross domestic product of Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation with more than 160 million people, may exceed that of South Africa by 2016, according to Renaissance Capital, the investment bank owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Currently, Nigeria ranks 139th out of 174 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, compared with 69 for South Africa. Barclays Africa Group Limited, which owns South Africa’s Absa, the nation’s third-largest lender, trades at about 11 times profit, on par with Nedbank, the fourth-largest. Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria’s largest, has a price-to-equity ratio of 8.2, compared with Ecobank’s ratio of 4.6. Nedbank has an option to buy 20 per cent of the Lome, Togo-based Ecobank. The banks all declined to comment or didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on valuations. Even with tighter monetary policy, Nigerian lenders are forecasting loan-book growth of 20 per cent this year, Gregory Kronsten and Olubunmi Asaolu, analysts at FBN Capital Limited in London, wrote in a recent note. Standard Bank increased its loan book by 12 per cent in the first half, while losses on bad debts soared 29 percent.

0

•From left: President, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Chief Executive Officer, NSE Mr Oscar Onyema and the Minister of Communication Technology Mrs. Omobola Johnson ringing the Trade Closing Bell at the Exchange in Lagos ... at the weekend.

Analysts set N198 fair value for Total Nigeria T

OTAL Nigeria Plc’s share price could rise by about 28 per cent to attain a fair value of N197.79 per share, analysts have said. Analysts at Morgan Capital Group, an investment and financial services group, in their latest equity valuation report stated that Total Nigeria, which opened yesterday at N155, was substantially undervalued. According to analysts, Total Nigeria is currently trading at a 27.60 per cent discount to its estimated fair value of N197.79, with a 12month investment horizon. “Our fair value computation is based on our financial performance expectation for full-year 2013. We placed a positive outlook on the stock because of the upside potential of the stock from current price to our fair value estimate,” analysts stated. They estimated that Total Nigeria could record turnover of N239.63 billion and profit after tax

of N5.14 billion, which will result in earnings per share of N15.11. Analysts said they expected increased sales volume in premium motor spirit, especially in the fourth quarter because of the associated festivities which triggers higher consumption volume of PMS noting that the company has been well-positioned to capitalize on the benefits of full deregulation as evidenced by over 500 retail outlets spread across the country. “Overall, we expect an improved performance on a year on year assessment for full-year 2013 and fullyear 2014 and despite the many challenges in the sector; we think our earnings expectation is realizable,” analysts stated. They estimated dividend of N12 for the 2013 business year, which amounts to a 79 per cent dividend payout ratio on earnings estimate for the year.

“The company is a solid brand and despite the sector wide challenges has managed to grow its revenue consistently over the last three fiscal years. The company has also been consistent with its dividend payout and have paid dividend in all of the last five fiscal years. The company remains a favorite for value investors like Pension Fund Administrators and other institutional investors. For a value stock, the upside potential is attractive at 27.6 per cent from current price to our estimate fair value. Overall, Total is a very strong brand for value investors,” analysts pointed out. They however warned that slower than expected growth in revenue could be a major factor that can impair earnings estimates. They added that the company’s dependence on high cost bank credit to fund importation as a result of the delay of the federal government to pay subsidy refund is also a major risk factor.

PZ Cussons grows profit by 109%

P

Z Cussons (Nigeria) Plc rode on the back of improved cost management and internal efficiency to double net earnings in the immediate past year, prompting the board to recommend distribution of N2.22 billion as dividends to shareholders. Audited report and accounts of PZ Cussons for the year ended May 31, 2013 showed that while sales slipped by 1.12 per cent, profits before and after tax jumped by 77.6 per cent and 110 per cent respectively. The improvement in the bottom-line impacted on the underlying returns to shareholders as earnings per share increased from 61 kobo in 2012 to N1.23 in 2013. Turnover closed May 2013 at N71.34

billion as against N72.15 billion recorded in 2012. Profit before tax meanwhile rose from N4.31 billion to N7.65 billion. Profit after tax also doubled from N2.54 billion to N5.32 billion. The board of directors of PZ Cussons has recommended payment of N2.22 billion as cash dividends, representing a dividend per share of 56 kobo, an increase of 30 per cent on 43 kobo paid for the previous year. The performance in 2013 represented a major recovery for the fast moving consumer good company, which had suffered significant decline in the previous year. Audited report and accounts for the year ended May 31, 2012 had shown turnover of N72.16 billion as against

N65.9 billion in 2011. Gross profit however dropped to N16.18 billion as against N18.45 billion. Profit before tax also halved to N4.31 billion compared with N8.03 billion in 2011 just as profit after tax dwindled from N5.7 billion to N2.5 billion. PZ Cussons appeared to have benefitted from extensive cost restructuring and internal efficiency management. With costs constraints and efficiency issues becoming evident in its performance, the global conglomerate had started global restructuring of its operations including closure of manufacturing operations in several countries and concentration in some countries including Nigeria.

DHTL Capital to train capital market HTL Capital Management lawyers capital in the capital market and Limited is set to train finance generally since the market

D

lawyers on how to package various offerings to raise funds for companies. Managing Director, DHTL Capital Management Limited, Mr Tunde Adeyemi, said the training is part of the company’s contributions to human capital development in the capital market. He noted that since the capital market crash of 2009, there has

been significant reduction in the momentum of human capital development, especially from the legal practitioners to tackle issues and packaging of offerings. According to him, DHTL plans to have specialised school in finance where participants will obtain a practical-mini-master certificate in four intensive weeks of study. ”There is need to improve human

has rules and regulations that make it to function effectively. But most operators without financial background find it difficult to finetune deals. So, the summer school will provide such opportunity and also teach participants on how to do business in Nigeria,” Adeyemi said. He said DHTL Capital will be bringing facilitators from outside the country with wide knowledge in finance.


34

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

E

Russian recession worsens

LENA Dibova was ready to pledge her 15 million-ruble ($456,000) apartment to get finance for her metal-safe business. As her bank dragged its feet, she hit the roadblock companies across Russia face as the economy sinks. Corporate-lending growth has plunged as the weaker economy prompts banks to demand more collateral and as borrowers shun interest rates that can top 20 per cent. As VTB24, the retail arm of Russia's second-largest lender, expanded its list of demands, Dibova borrowed 2.5 million rubles from her business partners so she could join a tender to supply the Moscow police. "I'd have an entirely different strategy for developing my business if money was easily accessible," said Dibova, 48, who also halted investments and canceled a holiday after giving up on her bank. "I'd have expanded or would have built something, but it's impossible with loans costing so much." President Vladimir Putin is seeking ways to shore up the economy as corporate credit dries up amid policy makers' reluctance to cut interest rates in the face of above-target inflation. The economy grew 1.2 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter, the slowest pace since 2009, as investment shriveled. That may mean Russia has entered its second recession in five years, according London-based to Capital Economics Ltd. "Corporate lending has been decelerating for the last six to nine months," Ivan Tchakarov, chief economist at Renaissance Capital, said in a phone interview. "It's hard for companies that aren't big, quasi-sovereign companies to access credit."

Loans to companies increased 12 percent from a year earlier in June compared with 24 percent in the same month of 2012, central bank data show. The average weighted interest rate on loans to smaller companies is between 15 percent and 17 percent, according to SME Bank, a unit of state development bank Vnesheconombank, or VEB, that focuses on such clients. By contrast, state-run telecommunications company OAO Rostelecom agreed this month to borrow 5 billion rubles at 7.8 percent from OAO Rosbank (ROSB), a unit of Societe Generale SA. Russia, the biggest emerging economy to raise borrowing costs last year, left its benchmark rate unchanged at 8.25 percent, for an 11th month Aug. 9, with inflation exceeding its 6 percent goal for an 11th month in July. Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire owner of United Co Rusal Plc (486), the world's biggest aluminum producer, has said policy makers "sucked all blood from the Russian economy" by refraining from rate cuts. "Rates are too high and under those conditions our industry isn't competitive," Deripaska said in a June interview with state television channel Rossiya 24. "We have to compete with producers in Germany, Korea, America when their rates are twice or three times lower." The downturn in the world's largest energy exporter is threatening to undermine the consensus that's underpinned Putin's 13-year rule, which has been challenged by the largest protests of that period in recent years.

•George Chen of the South China Morning Post chairs the debate on the future of Hong Kongwith Business leaders at a town hall meeting. With him are Albert Ng (left)1, Benjamin Hung, John Slosar, Chan Ka-keung and Vincent Lo.

India markets plunge

I

NDIA'S biggest two-day stock market slide since 2009, surging bond yields and a plunge in the rupee to a record low are pressuring officials for fresh steps to stem capital outflows and support the economy. The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) Index sank 1.6 per cent at the close in Mumbai, extending the five per cent loss on August 16. The rupee tumbled 2.3 per cent against the dollar, touching an all-time low of 63.23. The yield on the government bond due May 2023 rose 34 basis points to 9.24 percent, the highest on a 10-year note since 2008. The market rout underscores the failure of months of measures to con-

tain outflows, from higher interest rates to gold import curbs. Foreigners sold a net $3 billion of Indian stocks and bonds in July as the slowest growth in a decade made Asia's third-largest economy vulnerable to a pullout of funds from emerging markets, spurred by speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve will cool stimulus. "The market is questioning the effectiveness of policy makers' moves and the options available to them," said Priyanka Kishore, a strategist at Standard Chartered Plc in London. "Earlier, the government said it had a grand plan. This is what the market expected, but the final measures disappointed."

The currency has weakened about 28 per cent versus the dollar in the past two years. The tumble has brought back memories of the early 1990s crisis, when the government received an International Monetary Fund loan as foreign reserves waned. India won't face a repeat of that situation as it has enough reserves for about seven months of imports, compared with 15 days back then, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last week. "Our primary concern is that the policy authorities still don't 'get it' - thinking this is a fairly minor squall which will simmer down relatively quickly with fairly minor actions," Robert Prior-Wandesforde, an economist at Credit Suisse Group AG in Singapore, wrote in a note.

DISCOURSE

T

HE graduation is a joyous occasion to the institute, as it demonstrates the continued resolve of the management to achieve the enviable dreams of the founding fathers of the institute. Let me for the umpteenth time, salute the revolutionary vision of the founding fathers, who established the institute for the training of Nigerians for the nation's petroleum industry. The wisdom of these men and women realised early at the inception of the Petroleum industry in Nigeria, that indigeneous human capacity will be critical, not only for the development of the industry alo for creating value for the economy will long be remembered. Since PTI was established by Decree No 37 of 1972, several events at national and international levels have continued to justify its creation. Just three years ago, precisely on April 22, 2010, the President and Coomander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, signed into law the Nigerian Content Act and established the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to implement it. By doing so, Dr. Jonathan demonstarated an uncommon willto to push through the policy of increased indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry. The soon expected passage into law of the petroleum industry will be another landmark in the history of the petroleum industry, with unquantifiable positive implication for local capacity for the industry. We are most honoured to have among us today the driver and catalyst of these twin landmark policy initiatives in the person of our indefatigable Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Alison-Madueke (CON). In Africa, the acute shortage of technical Manpower in many African Petroleum Producers' Association (APPA) member-countries has been a source of concern for the association. To solve this problem, APPA in collaboration with the government of Egypt has established an African

PIB will be landmark A speech by the Principal/chief Executive Officer(CEO), Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State Mrs Nnenna C. Dennar during the institute's graduation recently. Petroleum Institute (AFPI) in Egypt to produce the required technical manpower. I am happy to inform you that Nigeria represented by the Institute was a member of the five member-countries committee that accomplished the task. For the 40 years of its existence, it is on record that PTI has been consistent as the sole supplier of fitfor-purpose technical manpower to the Nigerian and other African countries' oil and gas industry. Our ability to do this stems from our culture of excellence nurtured by hard work. The institute's education and training programmes are underpinned by the highest quality and standards. Our tamper proof admission process, which ensures that we admit students who have the preparation and motivation to take full advantage of the institute's distinctive educational and training experience is complemented by quality curricula and assessment. We constantly invest in the capacity development of our faculty and staff as part of our quality management system. As an institute dedicated to excellence, we realise that quality is a moving target, which must be followed to keep pace with it. We have, therefore, with the tacit support of the Federal Government, been strategically refocusing to meet the evolving industry's demand for certified technicians and technologists. It might interest you to know that through the PTDF upgrade project of the Federal Government, the institute is now equipped with several cutting-edge industry grade facilities. Top of the

•Mrs Alison-Madueke

•Mrs Dennar

long list of such facilities for training and research in different disciplines are the Drilling Simulator (DRILLSIM (000) and TESTSIM 5000 which are the first of their kinds in any research facilities in different disciplines are the Drilling Simulator(DRILLSIM 6000, which are the first of their kinds in any training institution in the World. These simulators - are used for the training of all categories of personnel involved in onshore and offshore drilling operations. Apart from the upgrade project, the Federal Government also approved three strategic capital projects with which the institute intends to extend its services to critical areas of need. The projects located at the institute's Osubi land are: the Centre for

Corrosion Study, the Skill Acquisition Centre and the Fire Academy. Most of these projects have been completed. I am confident that the remaining ones will soon be completed. It may interest you to know that the motivation for a special skill acquisition centre arose from the need to address the problem of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta through a well-articulated skill acquisition and entrepreneurship programme. We deeply appreciate the encouragement, patronage and show of concern by oil and gas companies, governmental bodies and other stakeholders who have assisted in addressing the problem of youth restiveness through the patronage of our skill acquisition programmes. I

wish to specially thank Brass LNG, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Chevron Nigeria Limited, Ondo State Oil Producing Areas, Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Rivers State Government, Other government agencies and individuals for the patronage. Let me also use this opportunity to appeal to other companies to key into this programme. Today, we are gathered here to celebrate scholarship and achievements. For our dear graduating students who imbibed the institute's culture of excellence through hard work, this is your pay day. In this ceremony your hard work, diligence and focus shall be rewarded with diplomas, certificates and prizes. At the end of this ceremony you can say with confidence and pride that you are, indeed, graduates of PTI. I salute your sense of hard work. I urge you, therefore, to ensure that in whatever you do, you let the fear of God, diligence, hard work be your guiding principles. I wish you success in your future endeavours. While congratulating the graduates, it will be immodest to fail to congratulate the Management, faculty, staff and students and friends of the institute as well as the host communities and the petroleum industry in general because the milestone we are celebrating is a function of collective commitment geared tpwards the accomplishment of the objectives of the institute. I most thankfully acknowledge the donations and complimentary messages from various companies that responded to our appeal for assistance towards the success of this convocation. We are gratefully for your noble gesture and look forward to more fruitful years of cooperation between your organisations and the institute. I thank you once again for your presence and attention. I wish you safe journey back to your respective destinations. God bless you all!


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

35

SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP

From bleach supplier to soap maker For a Lagos-based entrepreneur, Ganiyu Bolarinwa, perseverance is the only way to success, DANIEL ESSIET reports.

G

ANIYU Bolarinwa, Chief Executive Modemi Roral Ventures’started small, but today he is big. Bolarinwa studied marketing in France. On his return home, he joined a Lagos-based engineering firm that supplies spare parts to organisations. Then, the supply business was good. Bolarinwa saw a big market for machine parts and went for it. That was in 1989. This first entrepreneurial gamble got him fired up. He started supplying manufacturing companies. One day, he was with the Head of Procurement of a

quoted company, when he over heard a discussion on a local purchasing order (LPO) to supply bleach. He asked the procurement officer if the company was ready to accept more contractors. He was asked to bring a sample. Leveraging on his knowledge of chemicals formulation, Bolarinwa went home and prepared a sample and brought it in three days. On submission, the product was taken to the lab. His product was the best. The order for other supplies was cancelled. This was the opening he needed to prosper. For seven years, Bolarinwa

supplied the company bleach until it outsourced its laundry department. He consequently went into bleach production. He started selling bleach in the market. He wanted to make more sales. His key customer are low income earners and older people, hospitals and public institutions. But he had much bigger plans for the future. Bolarinwa veered into cleaning products, including soap. His major challenge was

USTARD powder is a powdery meal for Nigerians, especially those in the urban areas. Due to its aesthetic look, good taste and short time of preparation, the product has found place on many breakfast tables. As a result of the continuous rural – urban drift and the eating habits of most urban dwellers in Nigeria, this product will continue to command high demand. An investment into this line of production is a step in the right direction that is definite to yield great returns. The raw materials for processing custard powder are – corn flour, arrow root starch, food colours and essence. The raw materials are available and can be obtained 100 per cent from our local market. A small scale plant envisaged for this project consist of the following machinery and equipment – electric oven, milling/ grinding machines, mixers, dryers, weighing instruments, etc. All the machines and equipment can be procured from our local

The government’s clarion call for entrepreneurship and innovation is yielding result. Jerry Osagie, a student of the University of Benin has heeded the call. DANIEL ESSIET reports on how

‘I failed in my maiden business’

T

HE state of the economy notwithstanding, more students are starting their own businesses instead of seeking employment. Such budding entrepreneurs manage to maintain their fulltime course loads while taking on the drivers seat, with many sleepless nights to show for their efforts. Jerry Osagie is one of them.He is setting the IT world on fire . A University of Benin postgraduate student of Petroleum Chemistry, Osagie having been mentored by leading entrepreneurs, is producing some products. He launched his first on-line business in 2007 with N5000. The income he earned gingered him to go on. He started his own business when he was an undergraduate at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. It helped him to pay his fees. Osagie is from a family of six. Most of his siblings were in the university then and things were difficult. He had to look for ways to support himself. A friend introduced him to

online survey jobs. He tried to make some money from it. But he failed. “Istarted attending seminars on GSM recharge card printing and googleadsensein various states. “There was a particular one I attendedin Awka, Anambra State.The seminar made impact on me. “I was exposed to internet business. We closed late that day and couldn’t get a bus to return to Benin that same day. Luckily, I was able to find a tipper driver who agreed to help me to Benin. I arrived home around midnight. Since then, I have relented my efforts at creating extra sources of income.” In 2009, he went underground, painstakingly researched and came out with hot ideas and cutting edge tools on traffic generation, seo, article writing, Google Adsense, PPC advertising, professional copywriting, and web design, which eventually gave birth to his first breakthrough online via Google Adsense in 2010. His deep knowledge and experience in web design helped him to expand the business. He has since designed websites for

•Bolarinwa

ergy invested in the venture. The right business environment, to him, means what is available and required in terms of raw materials and local demand.

Custard powder processing

C

•A girl sells drinking water packed in small plastic bags on a street in Maiduguri, Borno State

competition. The business empire he started with N500,000 is now worth N5 million and he employs five persons. His hard work paid off. He can motivate a lot of people. For Bolarinwa, any one can start a small-scale enterprise, adding that entrepreneurs need a high level of discipline, dedication, persistence and creativity and work. With the right business environment, he said micro entrepreneurs will be able to run ventures that produce sufficient income to justify the time and en-

someindividuals,business organisations and some churches in Nigeria. He has a network of successful blogs. He is the author of the book: eCash Hybrid (ECH101) – how an average Nigerian can easily make $250 daily on clickbank. For Osagie, starting his own business is a way of earning some extra money, as well as gaining invaluable experience. His master’s year has means well for him. He has time to get the business up and running and iron out any difficulties. His business and degree course are flexible, allowing him to organise his schedule. In the long term, he hopes to expand the business, to provide employment for people and to reach more customers. He wants his products to transform the lives of Nigerians, allowing them to provide for their families, educate their children, and pursue a limitless future. He stressed that true passion must be at the core of any business. According to him, if there’s no passion behind the idea, then there will be no substance to anything else one does. Osagie believes one must live and breathe his mission and idea.

By Edwin Agbaike

fabricators. Production of custard powder takes the following stages: drying – the ingredients for the custard powder are dried in a drier. The electric oven is used for the drying process. The dried ingredients are then poured into the milling machine for grinding into powdered form as finished products. The products are measured and package in either a 450 gram plastic/tin containers or packed into polythene bags of various sizes and sealed, before sending to the market. The project can be located in any part of the country where there are abundant supply of corn and the other raw materials. The required accommodation is a two bedroom flat for a start. The environment should be healthy and free from any form of pollution. Investment cost for setting up this project is estimated at about N700,000. This amount can be scaled down or increased, depending on the financial position of the promoters. The machinery

in consideration has a capacity of producing 250,000 units of the 450 grams/ year, working at eight hours per shift of 250 working days. Assuming a wholesaler price of N35 per unit, this will give revenue of N8.75 million/ year. A conservative pre-tax profit of 35 per cent or N3.06 million is realisable in the first year of operation. The viability of this project is not in doubt considering its high turnover and envisaged profit margin. Sales outlet for this product include supermarket, catering outfits, the open market and appointment of sales agents. A high standard of hygiene and good packaging makes the product sell fast. For a well-packaged and feasibility report, which is also a pre-requisite for fund sourcing and proper implementation of this project, please contact us t h r o u g h krisedbrilliant@yahoo.com or call 08023381900.

Banks starving SMEs, says group

T

HE Association of Micro Enterprises of Nigeria (AMEN) has blamed banks for starving small businesses of cash. Speaking in Lagos, its President, Prince Saviour Iche, said it was ‘heartbreaking’ to see so many businesses collapsing because lenders refused to assist them. Specifically, he criticised Bank of Industry (BoI), saying that it has done nothing to assist micro enterprises. The small-scale industrial sector, Iche added, if properly harnessed and given financial backing, technological and market back-up, can trigger economic development. Despite billions of naira claimed to have been pumped into the economy, Iche said small businesses were getting them. He said banks have refused to even consider the request of micro entrepreneurs simply because they were start-ups and their turnover wasn’t high enough. According to him, the industry was awashed with stories of healthy small businesses mucked around by banks, either by withdrawing a finance or with massive increases in their charges. He insisted that one of the key priorities for banks is to support small businesses if they want more jobs created. The goal of banks, he added, should be encouraging investment practices and the SMEs. He added that efforts were made

By Daniel Essiet

by the government to create an investment-friendly environment, adding that these were not enough. He urged the government to engage infrastructure in economic activities, and to fast-track the process. The unemployment problem, which has crippled the youth because of lack of jobs in the formal sector, Iche said, could be absorbed by the small-scale industries. The AMEN chief added, however, that this could only be achieved if concerted efforts were made to transform into a meaningful platform. He urged the nation to wake up to assisting the small-scale industrial sector, noting that it could be the engine to drive the economy. To this end , he said there was need to create a SMEs credit portfolio to look into the requirements of this sector . One objective of this idea, he said, is to develop a financing mechanism for SMEs, which would enable business owners to access the loans without being subjected to unattainable requirements put forward by the traditional banking sector. The requirements of collateral, business plans, proper maintenance of business records and the impressive deposits would not be a factor in considering loans for the SMEs.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

36

EMPOWERMENT CLINIC with

How to manage your business and get results BOOK REVIEW Author: Peter F. Drucker BOOK REVIEW Publisher: Self-improvement Publishing Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi

GOKE ILESANMI

A

NYBODY setting up a business has the desire of making profit and sustaining the business. But mastering the fundamentals of business success is critical to making any headway in one’s business engagement(s). This is, especially, so because business is both an art and a science. That is, it is a matter of practical experience, calculation, foresight and fortune. These are the fundamentals we will be learning in this book entitled “How to Manage Your Business and Get Results” written by Peter F. Drucker. Drucker is a business management consultant of repute who is concerned with the economic tasks that any business needs to perform to be able to achieve enviable results. He says this book attempts to organise these tasks so that executives can properly organise them so systematically, understandably and reasonably with the possibility of accomplishing tangible results. Drucker asserts that the book has a thesis and is practical. The book is segmented into three parts of 14 chapters. Part one is eclectically christened “Understanding the business” and contains the first eight chapters. Chapter one is entitled “Business realities”. According to him here, it is a universal complaint that executives give neither sufficient thought to the future. Drucker adds that every executive voices it when he or she talks about his or

her own working day and when he or she talks or writes to his or her associates. The author stresses that it is a recurrent theme in the articles and management books. Chapter two is based on the subject matter of the result areas. Here, Drucker says the basic business analysis starts with an examination of the business as it is now and the business as it has been bequeathed to us by indecisions, actions and results of the past. He explains that we need to see the hard skeleton, the major stuff that is the economic structure. According to him, we need to see the relationship and interactions of resources and results of efforts and achievements of revenues and costs. Chapter three examines the concept of revenues, resources and prospects. Here, Drucker says every executive today is inundated with figures, and more and more data pour out daily. He educates that many businesses will ask that their financial analyses be based on cost accounting. The author explains that the answer is that it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it, figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs. Drucker educates that cost accounting has to find a place for every penny spent, and where the cost accountant cannot document what costs are directly incurred in making this or that product, he or she must therefore allocate. In chapters four to eight, the author examines concepts such as how we are doing; cost centres and cost structure; the customer as the business; knowledge as the business; and the business being ours. Part two is generically entitled “Focus on opportunity” and covers three chapters, that is, chapters nine to 11. Chapter nine has the thematic focus of building on strength. Here, Drucker says analysis of the entire business and its basic economics always shows it to be

in worse disrepair than anyone expected. He explains that the products everyone boasts of turn out to be yesterday’s breadwinners or investments in ego. Drucker stresses that activities which no one paid much attention to later turn out to be cost centres and so expensive as to endanger the competitive position of the company. In chapters 10 and 11, the author X-rays the concepts of finding business potential and making the future today. Part three, the last part is based on the general subject matter of a programme for performance and contains three chapters, covering chapters 12 to 14. Chapter 12 is tagged “The key decisions”. Drucker educates here that decisions are made and actions are taken at every step in the analysis of a business and of its economic dimensions. He adds that insights are “bled off” and converted into tasks and work assignments. At every step

of the analysis there should be measurable results, guides this expert. In chapters 13 and 14, Drucker beams his analytical searchlight on the concepts of business strategies and building economic performance into a business. If there is one thing that makes this book intellectually solid, it is the depth and creativity of its contents. By segmenting the text into three parts of 14 chapters, Drucker is able to make the book easy to read and study. The number of chapters, that is, 14, creates some poetic allusion as it reminds one of the fourteen-line poem, technically called “Sonnet”. The language of the book is still contextually simple despite the technicality of the subject matter. What’s more, the “Stylistics” tool of “graphology” is also employed in the design of the title of the book on the outer front cover where keywords such as “Manage”, “Business” and “Results” are put in capital letters to convey their conceptual importance, while other less important words are in small letters. There is also application of separate colours to the keywords and less important words to show interface between visual distinction and conceptual uniqueness. Also, the book looks like a typical essay in that it has the introduction, body and conclusion. Another of the enviable achievements of Drucker in this book is the combination of specific economic analyses with enviable knowledge of entrepreneurship or business success. However, one of the errors noticed in the book is “Acknowledgement” instead of “Acknowledgements”. On page 28, omission of a comma immediately before the word “Figures” from the expression “…it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs” seems to make the expression ambiguous”. It is supposed to read “…it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it, figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs”. Also the layout of the book needs to be improved upon to make it (more) eyefriendly. In a nutshell, this text is a reservoir of effective business management strategies. If you want to run a successful business, then you need to read and apply tips of this book that is conceptually precious.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION HERE are three things you need to sell yourself in life and reach the Effective public speaking and business presentation T peak of success. These are competence, likeability and luck. While competence and likeability will almost always mastering: The essentials of public speaking deliver “luck” to you, one potent instrument that is very critical to your ability to advertise your competence and become likeable and “lucky” is the power of effective communication, especially excellent public speaking and presentation skills. This is why an average but articulate and confident candidate often outshines brilliant but inarticulate candidates at oral job interviews. Sometime ago, a lawyer told me he wanted to attend our public speaking training and I was surprised. He said despite having a second class upper first degree in law as well as a master’s degree in the discipline, he lacked the expected confidence and oratorical competence to speak in public and by implication successfully defend clients in court.

Current realities More than ever before, people are now being increasingly called upon to present their information publicly to co-workers, customers, etc. To get ahead, you must make presentation. Being an excellent presenter will enhance your business, career and social life. Organisations from time to time make presentations to existing and prospective customers to sustain and increase their customer base. This means that if your staff cannot display enviable oral (and written) communication skills, your business is paying the price in lost time, lost customers and lost revenues.

Political necessity and greatest fear As a politician, for instance, you need to

By Goke Ilesanmi

master the art of effective public speaking and persuasive communication to succeed because you must be able to convince the electorate and even win opposition over during electoral campaigns so that they can vote for you. Research shows that the fear of speaking in public is more than that of death. Yes. For instance, it is not all the people that are ready to join the security forces, despite the risk of untimely death, that are bold enough or ready to speak in public. Yet, speaking effectively in public or making business presentations is inevitable if we must succeed in our business or career. Many people have got retarded career or business growth just because they are afraid to speak in public or make oral business presentations that should have accorded them opportunity to market/sell themselves.

The courage Gaining self-confidence and courage as well as the ability to think calmly and clearly while making a presentation is not one-tenth as difficult as most people imagine. There is no reason why you should not be able to think as well in a perpendicular position before your audience as you do when sitting down. In other words, you need to train your brain to think better even when facing an audience. You should not allow their presence to frighten you, rather let it be your source of motivation or inspiration.

Great public speakers The fact is that many great public speakers often claim that their brains become more functional whenever they stand before an audience. You can also become an expert too if you are determined to get over your fear through constant practice and training. Do not imagine that your case is unusually difficult. Even those who afterward became the most eloquent representatives of their generation were, at the outset of their careers, afflicted by this blinding fear and self-consciousness.

Evidence In the words of Lloyd George, a renowned public speaker, “The first time I attempted to make a public talk, I tell you I was in a state of misery. It is no figure of speech, but literally true, that my tongue clove to the roof of my mouth; and, at first, I could hardly get out a word.” In a related development, Jean Jaures that was the most eloquent political speaker produced by France in his generation sat for a year, tongue-tied in the Chamber of Deputies before he could summon up the courage to make his initial speech. Also John Bright, the great Briton who defended in England the cause of union and liberation during the civil war made his maiden speech before a group of country folk gathered in a school building, and he was so frightened on the way to the place that he told his friend to start applause to bolster him up whenever he radiated any sign of nervousness.

Composure More than ever, people now have to present information to others as part of constant up-dating. People are being increasingly called upon to present their information publicly to co-workers and other departments. To get ahead, you have to present! But how often are we taught how to present? One major area of skills to presentation is self-management, the ability to remain composed in front of an audience. Learning this skill makes a huge difference not only to the quality of your public presentation but also to your enjoyment. Truly fantastic presenters are quite a rare commodity because most people have never taken the time to learn. Being an excellent presenter will enhance your career and social life. • To be Continued

•GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/ CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: gokeiles2010@gmail.com Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

37

The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Two years ago, Pa Alimi Amodu, 82, made history when he graduated from the Lagos State University, Ojo, as the oldest student. Last Saturday, he was the first to register for the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) post-graduate diploma in Nigerian indigenous language programme. He also got the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke’s scholarship for the programme, reports Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME.

Why human capital growth is vital, by minister

‘I knew my father through his books’

‘A rare spirit’ From Dr. E A Abiodoun

I

T is Williams Shakespeare who declared in ‘MACBETH’, “Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour on the stage, and then is heard no more, tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The eternal truth in this philosophical declaration cannot be faulted by all mortals. The shocking demise of Prof Tunde Ipaye, as he was popularly known, whose obituary was carried newspaper recently, is an eloquent illustration. Professor Ipaye was a professor of Counselling Psychology, a scholar of international repute, an education administrator par excellence, a brilliant initiator and motivator, a workaholic, and a prolific writer. All these were in display when he was the provost of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo between 1991 and 1998. One of such was the sandwich NCE Programme, which enabled thousands of Grade II Certificate Teachers become holders of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE). Another was the introduction of the post Graduate Diploma in Education of which hundreds of graduate without teaching qualification were beneficiaries. Yet another was computer Science programme. Apart from these, he upgraded academic and administrative facilities. He looked for and employed highly qualified academic and administrative staff. The result of this was that the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, to which the college was afflicted, was very proud of the quality of graduates turned out of the college. Happily, successive administrators of the college have continued on the legacies. As a man of God who believes in the powers of prayers, he made it compulsory for all staffs and students to assemble in the college auditorium on the first Monday of every month between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm for prayers. He ensured that there was harmonious relationship among staff, and he went further to see to it that there was stability in the homes of his staff. The regret, however, is that the professor, though aged 73, passed on at the time he should be enjoying the fruits of his many years of hard labour in the academia. But who are we to query God, who knows best? The consolation is that he had left an indelible mark in the field of education in general, and that of guardian and counseling in particular. The condolence of my entire family goes to his devoted wife and the beautiful children and grand children he left behind. May God grant them the needed fortitude to bear to the irreparable loss. Adieu Tunde ‘A rare spirit never did steer humanity’.

British Council holds fashion, film workshop •From left: Acting Vice-Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi Prof Aminu Mikailu, Duke, Dr. Ayakoroma and Nelson Campbell at the ceremony

F

OR two hours, the audience especially, the 217 graduating students of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) were full of joy and fulfilment. The students dressed in academic gowns, filed into the Cinema Hall One of the National Theatre, Iganmu Lagos and sat in the centre rows facing the top table. To their left was Pa Alimi Amodu, who sat quietly, watching the proceedings of the first convocation of the 2008 to 2012 sets. “I will be one of you in the next ceremony,” he told himself quietly. Few minutes to the close of the ceremony, his dream was backed by the Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Minister, Chief Edem Duke who awarded him scholarship to study at NICO Training School, Ibadan Study Centre. “Pa Alimi Amodu, I am truly glad that you are a truly fascinated Nigerian. I will pick the bill of your post graduate programme in Nigerian languages at NICO Ibadan Study Centre,” the minister said. The occasion was the maiden convocation of the institute which turns 20 years this year. The minister said human capital development is strategic to the socio-economic development of the nation, adding that investing in it is critical, such investment is targeted at ensuring that the human resource endowment is knowledgeable, skilled, productive and healthy to ensure optimal exploitation and utilisation of other resources to engender growth and development. He said his ministry places high premium on training and retraining of officers because “we appreciate that policy formulation and implementation are likely to suffer setbacks if the human capital is deficient or ill-equipped for the task.” According to him, the creative sector has been identified as one of the major growth drivers for achieving the nation’s vision and the transformation agenda. “It is one of the reasons that informed our recent launch of the nation’s tourism brand, Fascinating Nigeria. If the target of diversifying the nation’s economic base is to be met, cultural officers who are strategic stakeholders, should be adequately trained and informed in line with the goals and vision of government,” he noted. Duke urged chief executives of the various cultural agencies to take advantage of the platforms created by

?????????? CULTURE NICO to enhance manpower development in the sector. He pledged that he would ensure that government would consider that every Nigerian mission anywhere in the world must have a trained cultural administrator. Chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ben Nwankwo wished there was a Constitutional provision that every council have cultural officers who will promote values, peace and unity at the local level. Nwankwo urged the ministry to design a truly Nigerian culture-based curriculum as a course of study in Nigerian universities. He described the 1914 amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates by Britain as a deliberate effort to create the greatest nation that will sustain British interest. He identified challenges and opportunities as key issues the amalgamation bequeathed the Nigerian people. Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma disclosed that the institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nasarawa State University, Keffi for an affiliation of the Training School with the Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies. He described the intensive cultural training offered by NICO as a panacea to most of the problems faced by the nation. He noted that challenges such as insecurity of lives and property, mass unemployment, infrastructural decay, lack of trust for one another, could be adequately tackled through better understanding and appreciation of the potentials inherent in the nation’s culture. Of the 217 students, twelve won the best students awards. Best overall student award went to John Titilayo Anastasia, while best overall diploma student award went to Oluwole Kingsley. Earlier on Saturday at the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs, NICO held its fourth annual public lecture delivered by Prof. Ayo Akinwale, dean, faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin. His paper, Nollywood as a medium for the promotion of Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy: reflections of a cultural administrator, torched on the low and high points of Nigerian movies.

T

HE British Council, Lagos is inviting applications from filmmakers interested in exploring fashion as a theme, adding range to their body of work and contributions made to art. The five-day fashion and film workshop will take participants through the central aspects of the fashion filmmaking process. The workshop includes: an illustrated introduction to film language using examples of fashion film; Introductions to planning, shooting and editing a fashion film, and participants then plan, film and edit a simple sequence. It is open to filmmakers and their teams which should include a minimum of the following: editor and director of photography/lighting technician. The team can also include art director (optional). Each selected film making team will work with a design team comprising – fashion designer, stylist, hair / makeup stylist. Experienced filmmakers, especially those interested in producing short films and experimenting in the genre as well as applicants should be able to assemble the team required to produce their film. The workshop will be facilitated by London born film director, Grace Ladoja. Grace has worked on films for an array of clients including Nike, and has gone on to found her own production company, Ladoja & Sons. In two short years it has created a name for itself with its steady output of music videos, fashion films and personal projects, becoming a truly unique platform with a heavy creative output.

Pasuma storms Osogbo

R

EGAL Dry Gin ambassador and Nigeria’s foremost Fuji musician, Alhaji Wasiu Alabi, popularly known as Pasuma will perforrm at the grand finale of the annual Osun Osogbo festival on Friday, August 23. Brand Manager, Regal Dry Gin, Olufemi Falomo, assured visitors that the festival would be a memorable one. He said that Regal Dry Gin plans to mark its presence at this year’s Osun Osogbo festival with Pasuma as part of the brand’s effort to tap into the blessings of Osun Osogbo and to connect with the good people of Osogbo during the festival. Falomo said Pasuma has always performed at the annual Fuji slam sponsored by the brand as a way of rewarding loyal customers and giving them the opportunity to feel the brand since Regal Dry Gin is all about excitement and enjoyment. Pasuma promised to thrill the crowd with his performance. “My fans really believe in the brand and I am happy to be working with Regal Dry Gin because of consumer’s love for the product. This Saturday promises to be good show in Ikorodu,” he said.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

38

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

OYASAF holds talk on price of arts By Chinasa Ekekwe

O

MOOBA Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) holds its third lecture series titled: The price of art and its implication on art practice in Nigeria today, by 10:30am at OYASAF Conference Centre, Okupe Estate, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos. The lecture will be delivered by the Dean, Faculty of Environmental Design, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof Jacob Jari. The paper will examine the staggered beginnings of contemporary art historical studies in Africa in the age where a more systematic classification and articulation of formal and contextual genres seems to be emerging. A statement by the foundation said the dynamics of change in the 20th century Africa, considerably transformed art forms that are typical of the earlier artistic traditions found in the various creative cultures that constitute the present day Nigeria. “Within this paradigm shift however, is located the tensile strings of continuities that unify the past with the present; thereby justifying the maxim that culture is a continuum,” it added.

Developing Nigeria through art By Olushola Orebajo

F •One of the art works

Nigerian female artist and her unique perspective

T

HERE is no gender in art. Creativity doesn’t select what sex an individual is in order for it to be expressed. Martha Graham, the American choreographer, described creativity as ‘a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into actions and because there is only one of you in all time; this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.’ For the female in the visual arts, there is really no special treatment. You are expected to work just as hard as your male counterpart, be as productive as they are and produce as much as they do. In Nigeria’s not-too-distant past, of course, the female was not permitted by tradition to produce certain types of art. In fact, we celebrate today the pioneering efforts of Princess Akenzua, the mother of Peju Layiwola, who was the first female to formally produce Benin bronzes. Historically, the Nigerian female artist has never been this free. Art which had been taboo for women to create 30, 50 years ago is now accessible. This, indeed, is the Golden Age. A female artist in present-day Nigeria under the age of 40 who is single has the following advantages: absolute freedom to create any form of art that she desires and to travel as she likes without a male escort; she is also independent of parents or guardians. More than likely, she is financially independent and can provide minimal health care for herself and probably look after a ward or two. She needs little time to prepare for an exhibition and no permission to attend one but the one she gives herself. She understands pressing national and social issues and possesses a certain measure of confidence and will speak when given the opportunity. This is a positive development. One only imagines the silent agony creative women must have endured in the past when they lacked the freedom to express their creativity in any medium of their choice. Women can now use the therapeutic qualities found in the creative process to heal themselves, justifying Sigmund Freud when he said, and I quote, ‘Unexpressed emotions never die. They are buried alive and come forth later in uglier ways.’ Or Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when she writes: ‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’ The role of the woman in society is now more sophisticated and complex. It seems as if, for all the freedom this century has offered, society now demands full payment for that freedom. Single, sit-at-home moms are no longer acceptable. Non-professional women are frowned upon and considered lazy. The average woman is expected to be a perfect mother, an excellent wife, a caring and polite in-law, a successful professional, a good marketer and a PR person . Any flaw in her performance in any of these roles and the whiplash of criticism comes pouring in. The society expects the modern woman to be a super-hero and will punish her mercilessly if she falls short of expectations. For the present-day female artist, time management is the key factor to achieving this goal. The expectations of the society, plus those of the family and individual goals, all make a huge demand on this limited time. Many days I wished there were more than 24 hours in one day. What would the world be today if Leonardo Da Vinci had been born a woman and his study drawings of the helicopter not been made?

From Juliet Ezenwa Maja-Pearce

VISUAL ARTS For me, I would not be happy doing anything else but creating works of art. The practice of art is my life’s activity. I love the creative process as well as the creation itself. Most of all, I love selling them. I find that people regard creative people with trepidation. This is not surprising because I believe the ability to capture that creative idea or essence in your mind, to hold it long enough in order to bring it alive, takes its toll on the psyche of the creator. No wonder artists are sometimes lost in their works, and often described as weird. Ideas are like fleeting thoughts. The challenge, therefore, is to use them before they disintegrate. The lifestyle of the artist is quite simple. Primary allegiance is to the art, closely followed by the family. Many artists don’t have much of a social life as a result of the huge demand the creative process makes on their time. Someone once described art as that flower in a forest. The place of art is, for me, like the perfume that you wear, the salt in your soup, that intangible quality that gives value to an object. It is a fact that the great civilisations of old are classified according to the quality of art they left behind. A house or a home with lots of art works quickly tells the visitor that the residents are people who live a quality life and like fine things and are therefore civilised. Because the creative artist needs to maintain a high level of purity of thought in order for the art to emerge as true, the artistic mind quickly finds itself as the conscience of the society. Artists have been known to possess the ability to see into the future, as witness the drawings of Leonardo. For any individual or society which desires to be futuristic in approach, artists are a sine qua non. The society, on its part, needs to understand that the creative individual should be handled differently from others. Like the goose that lays the golden egg, they should be handled with extreme care. For the female artist, 100 per cent spousal support is vital. Many female artists stop practising art as soon as they marry because of the marital demands made on them. However, we have some female artists who have triumphed in this field juggling art, marriage and the salary job, successfully. We look up to them hoping to draw strength from their achievement. Women like Chief Mrs Nike Okundaye of the Nike Art centre, Ms Ndidi Dike, topmost female sculptor, associate professor Peju Layiwola, the master jeweler and artist. Mrs Veronica Otigbo, a sculptor, Mrs Nkechi Nwosu-Edoche and Ms Peju Alatise, just to mention a few. In the same way that society expected the female to fulfil multiple roles, so the art is expected to be multimedia in presentation. The traditional two-dimensional art is no longer enough to hold the audience’s attention. There is the need to create a memorable experience in order to meet these new demands; the art needs to be more dramatic and exciting. My personal philosophy has been guided by this quote by Linda Ellerbee: ‘If you believe in your heart that you are right, then you must fight with all your might to do it your way. Only dead fish swim with the stream all the time.’ •Ezenwa Maja-Pearce is Lagos-based fine artist.

ORMER deputy governorship candidate of defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) Chief Nkechi Chukwueke has described unemployment rate in Nigeria as a problem, but praised Chief Solomon Ogbonna for establishing a private museum and an art foundation. Nkechi, said: “Solomon project will not only serve as an avenue for job creation but also expose young artist to the art world. With such magnitude of artworks in the care of a private collector, there would be attraction to other art lovers in other countries which will create revenue for income and boost the country economy through tourism.” She spoke at a media parley by art collector, Chief Solomon Ogbonna in Ajah, a suburb in Lagos. Chief Ogbonna, who has over 6000 pieces of artworks, including beads, bronze, metal, wood, copper, painting and terracotta is involved in the advocacy aimed at protecting and preserving the art, culture and tradition of his people, especially those being eroded by western influence. He is constructing a building for a private museum and also for his art foundation which he called ‘Aguene’. His words: “The preservation of art, culture and the tradition of the people is a vision flowing in the blood of my family. The Aguene Art Foundation is a result of my love for art, I want to use this foundation to help the young artist who are talented but do not have the material to showcase and expose their talent to the world because of no resources. The foundation will help them with their creativity and make them independent on their own, and also serve as a medium to empower student who are creatively talented from primary to secondary schools and also university.” According to Ogbonna, foreign art collector is partnering with him. He said his artworks are not for sale because they are history that must be preserved. “I and the foreign partners agreed on exchanging our artworks for a period of time, they will take some of my works for exhibition in their country, and I will also take some of their works for exhibition in our own country,” he added. Ogbonna’s private museum will open soon to the public and will serve as an opportunity for employment.

Alake at Niteshift

A

S part of the activity marking the 70th birthday of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo, leading celebrity hangout, Niteshift Coliseum, will be hosting the respected monarch to a grand house reception. The event is billed for September 7, at the Club Arena in Opebi, Lagos. Guv’nor of Niteshift Coliseum KenCalebs Olumese, said after a long absence of GHR, the club considers it an honour having such prominent personality as Alake as guest on its return. With citation, presentation of plague,an interactive session laced with comedy and music by leadin performers,the evening promises to be exciting and rewarding,” he said. Olumese, who has since retired from night clubbing business, also assured that the GHR for the Alake would parade glamour in huge doses. The GHR is coliseum’s flagship event and notable Nigerians and foreigners have been honoured during the events.They included President Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice-President Atiku; former Ghanaian President J. J. Rawling; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola. Oba Gbadebo, the Okukenu IV, will be the first monarch to be honoured by the club’s prestigious GHR.


39

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

The Midweek Magazine Eke’s ‘Symphony of Becoming’

E

VERY young writer, except for a very exceptional few, labours under a cloud as he sets out on a literary career. This cloud is one of anxiety and influence. Respected academic and critic, Harold Bloom wrote a whole book on this. His 1973 publication, The Anxiety of Influence: A theory of Poetry written seven years before Iquo Eke was born, rings true today as it did then. Bloom’s thesis is simple; “the poet in a poet” is inspired to write by reading another poet’s poetry and will tend to produce work that is derivative of existing poetry, and, therefore, weak. Because poets must forge an original poetic vision in order to guarantee their survival into posterity the influence of precursor poets inspires a sense of anxiety in living poets.” Bloom’s views are not new or original. TS Eliot had made the same case in his essay “Tradition and Individual Talent” written in 1919 and published later in the book, Sacred Wood. Eliot’s argument is that a poet to really become must embody the tradition of poets who have gone before him. As he puts it “the most individual parts of his (the poet) work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously.” There again, comes the anxiety of influence, the haunting footsteps of the works of those who have written before us. This influence is palpable in the 49 poems that make up Iquo Eke’s debut collection of poems. Her influences range from poets like Lola Shoneyin, in the unabashed sassiness of some of the poems to Angela Nwosu, in her feminist and very socially conscious concerns to a male poet who shall remain unnamed whose influence is evidence throughout this collection. To return again to the realm of literary theory, Mikhail Bakhtin in speaking about the novel as a contemporary art form used a term called Heteroglossia, which transliterated means a multiplicity of voices, to describe the interplay of the author’s voice, the character’s voice and the narrator’s voice in a novel. We find that same sense of a multiplicity of voices in Iquo Eke’s poetry. There is the sedate poet of the first section;

which is aptly titled “Reflections”. There is the socially conscious and patriotic poet in the second section “Of nationhood”. Then we meet the sassy, saucy and sensual poet of the third section, “Heartbeat” before we encounter the assertive poet of the final segment, “Praise Songs”. The multiplicity of voices, the constant switches from one persona to another help provide the collection with depth and thematic range. These are not poems written to a set agenda. These are poems that address many issues and which reflect an urgent engagement with diverse topics and themes. The poems are thus at once public and private testaments, reflections and assertions, wishes and declarative statements. In “I set Sail” the first poem of the collection, Iquo writes: “I set sail Borne on waves of Small beginnings and endless possibilities Alone with my paddle I wade through the water” This is the self assured statement of intent of a woman embarking on a journey of discovery, or as the title suggests “of becoming.” And becoming in Iquo Eke terms is at once symptomatic of departure and arrival, beginning and completion even though it is in the present continuous tense. The early poems are unsure and tentative, filled with regret and often times questioning. They are marked by a rash of ifs and shalls. In “Nature” she writes: “If I perceived your serenity This night would be reminiscent Of blissful meadows and undulating planes” And in “The Caged One” a poem that reeks of regret and unrealised potential we read: “I am the butterfly that never broke forth... The moth, never seduced by the flame I am the caged bird with wings clipped...” Self assertion happens slowly but surely and it is the ascent of a woman who hitherto did not realise what power she can wield. Realisation dawns in these lines from the poem, “Of Becom-

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

BOOK REVIEW Title:

Symphony of becoming

Author:

Iquo Eke

Reviewer:

Toni kan Image books

Publisher:

Pagination: 7 3 ing.” There is a thin line between day and night In the brief glimpse of dawn Is where the seed is sown Awaiting the chance once again to be.” The poems which make up the section “Of Nationhood” are the least realised in the collection. They are strident and lack control as they veer towards propaganda in the poet’s attempt to remain socially conscious and relevant. It is only in “Chosen” that the poetry shines through. “You are called upon To re-write the elegy that entangles In the confused dance of uncertainty...” We may not know who the “Chosen” is but we are gladdened by the tone of hope that emerges.

“It is you on whose lips dirges become ballads.” The sassy, saucy and unabashed Iquo is a delight. She is flirty, flighty, sensual and unapologetically sexy. In “Nostalgia” we read: “My yearning is measured in heartbeats One for every time I yearn to see you... Five more for each craving to taste your lips. Ten for every memory of your complete snare...” The sassiness and sauciness is evident in the poem “This Is No Love Song” where Iquo, seemingly no longer enamoured of love, takes a not too subtle dig at Cupid. “For this is one heart sorely stricken in love Whose sores will not be tended By a fabled toddler’s strike.” “Say My Name”, which is without a doubt, Iquo Eke’s most popular poem delivers on the page with the same evocative aplomb as it does when she performs it on stage. “Say my name in soft monotones,” she coos. The assertive poet emerges in “I am”, the poet that opens the last section. Here, the journey “of becoming” is nearing completion tracing her journey from childhood to adulthood as wife, mother and poet. “I am Poet I tease you with my words... For my poetry is Rage...” And this brings us to another issue. This is a rage filled book. The word occurs over 20 times in 73 pages. The poems in this collection as we have mentioned earlier, are intensely personal poems that pulse with pain and rage. But it is not gratuitous rage. It is rather catharsis at work as a young woman battles to navigate a life that is overwhelming and it is gladdening to read at the end that she has found her way home. In “Home At Last” we read: Yesterday, I was the lonely branch by the river banks Swept by its tides In my never ending fright Today I am proud Amaryllis Bouyant with radiance Firm in the certainty of life. The Symphony of Becoming is finally complete.

Family products get awards

A

RIEL Detergent and Always sanitary pad, leading brands from consumer goods company, Procter and Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, have bagged awards at the BusinessDay Generation Next Survey Awards. Always was conferred with the award of ‘Coolest Sanitary pad 2013’; Ariel got the ‘Coolest Detergent’ award at the ceremony organised by HDI Youth Marketers in collaboration with Business Day in Lagos last weekend. Oral B toothpaste was also nominated for an award in the category for toothpastes. P&G’s Company and Femcare Communication Manager, Miss. Tomiwa Akande, said,” P&G is honored by this special recognition for two of our flagship brands in Nigeria. The company is dedicated to making everyday life a little better for Nigerians. One of the ways we do this is by providing innovative world class brands, the latest product innovation, technology and standards to meet the needs and budgets of our Nigerian consumers. The awards show that our brands are appreciated by consumers across Nigeria and for this we are truly grateful”. The Managing Director, HDI Youth Marketers, Mr. Joko Okupe said the awards were conferred on brands based on results of a recently concluded survey in the country. “The survey was in three stages. There was the poll building, then the submission of entries, and then the focus group discussion to collate findings. HDI aims to make meaningful and memorable differences in the lives of youths in Africa and to understand the fast-changing dynamics of youth culture and their behavior”, Mr Okupe said. Editor–in-chief of Business Day newspapers, Professor Jemie Onwuchekwa said “It is important to note that the youth constitute approximately 60

•From left: Prof Onwuchekwa, Akande and Bolade at the ceremony

per cent of the Nigerian population. This is very large and they are, therefore, a force to reckon with. They are

primary consumers of several brands, influencers of some brands and the future market for most brands.”


40

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

KCee and little Chidinma Okeke, 7, at the 2013 Literary Evening organised by Nigerian Breweries Plc at Oriental Hotel, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

‘Politics no threat to Port Harcourt Book Festival‘ Will the political climate in Rivers State affect this year’s Port Harcourt Book Festival? The answer is no, says founder of Rainbow Book Club Mrs Koko Kalango in a chat with Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME.

F

OUNDER of Rainbow Book Club, Mrs Koko Kalango has reassured Nigerians that the current political crises in Rivers State will not impact negatively on this year’s Port Harcourt Book Festival holding in October. She said concrete steps are being taken to institutionalise the festival such that it could run successfully on its own with little or no support from government. The festival originally known as Garden City Literary Festival has been changed to Port Harcourt Book Festival. This transformation, she said, is to enable organisers to expand the scope of the festival beyond literary, which many think restrict the content of the festival. She also noted that the change of name for the festival was in line with international best practices where festivals such as London Book Fair, The Cape Town Book Fair, The Edinburgh Book Festival and Frankfurt Book Fair are named after their host cities. “There are apparently several Garden Cities around the world and on the world wide web, which creates a lot of room for ambiguity. However, there is only one Port Harcourt. The name change, therefore, makes us easily and quickly recognisable by internet search engines,” she added. She disclosed that the founding of the Port Harcourt Book Society, which comprises elder statesmen such as Elechi Amadi and Prof Tekena Tamuno as patrons, and Tonye Cole Chidi Amuta as trustees among others is one of such steps at institionalising the festival for sustainability. “The institutionalisation of the festival is on course. And the festival is not only important to Port Harcourt and Nigeria but also to the continent. The festival has come to stay. In fact, a development driven project

FESTIVAL like the festival will always weather the political storm currently threatening the state,” she said. Kalango who spoke in Lagos recently on update on the festival stressed that the festival is very important because it is the year for the celebration of Port Harcourt centenary anniversary aswell as the last festival before the UNESCO Book Capital City activities. She explained that for ‘us to be able to play on the world stage, we must look into creative industry and its benefits. Our writers and Nollywood artistes must synergise in bringing our good books to limelight for the globe to enjoy.’ The festival that has Literature and the creative economy as theme will motivate and inspire creative minds to take advantage of the global ‘economic spring’ to express themselves, square up to challenges facing the sector and exceed aspirations. It will focus on subthemes such as literature and the performing arts, digital technology and the literary sector, museums, and cultural heritage and the sustainability of the creative industries. Among the guest authors expected at the festival include winner of 2012 LNG Prize for Literature, Chika Unigwe, Julius Agwu, and Titi Horsfall. There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe, On Black Sisters’ Street by Chika Unigwe, Jokes Apart by Julius Agwu, and Esther by Titi Horsfall make the ‘books of the festival.’ The festival will feature symposium, book fair, meet the author sessions, writers workshops (script writing), events for children and drama performances.

•Kalango


OTHER SPORT...OTHER SPORT...


POLITICS

43

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

• Uba

•Ngige

• Obiano

November 16 is a day of decision in Anambra State. The fate of political parties fielding candidates for the governorship election will be decided by voters. Who are these candidates? Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the strengths and weaknesses of the likely flag bearers.

T

Who succeeds Obi in Anambra?

HREE parties -All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-are warming up for theNovember 16 election in Anambra State. Although the Labour Party (LP) is also making efforts, but it is a party on the fringe. Observers contend that the race will not be a walk over for whichever party that eventually lifts the trophy. As the parties streamline the number of aspirants, the contest is being narrowed down to a few contenders. Last week, the APGA separated the wheat from the chaff. The Screening Committee headed by Alhaji Tayo Sowumi disqualified six aspirants from the race. Among them were Dr. Charles Soludo, former Central Bank governor, who defected from the PDP, Secretary to Government Osealoka Obaze, Emmanuel Nweke, Tony Nnaechetta, Dr, Dike Obidigbo, and Chinedu Idigo. In the ruling party, seven aspirants will fight for the ticket at the primaries. They are Chief Willie Obiano, the former Fidelity Bank Executive Director, House of Representatives member Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, Chukwuemeka Nwogbo, John Nwosu, John Emeka and Nwachi Obianwu. However, eyes are on Obiano, whose entrance into the crowded race generated excitement. Observers point out that he is a candidate to watch out for two reasons. He is from Aguleri in Anambra North Senatorial Zone, which Governor Peter Obi is backing for the slot because the district has not produced a governor since 1999. Also, the former bank executive is said to be very close to the governor. The thinking in APGA is that the candidate should have a financial muscle to run a successful state-wide campaign, ahead of the poll. It is believed that, among the aspirants, only Obiano can meet this requirement because, apart from the fact that he is wealthy, he has friends and associates who can support him to succeed. However, his emergence as the candidate may sow a seed of discord. Party members may perceive it as a curious move to reap where he did not openly invest. A source close to the screening committee disclosed that APGA should prepare for the post-primary crisis that may affect its chances. “That is why we have asked the aggrieved aspirants, who were screened out, to appeal to the national secretariat of the party.

Saved on Politics Mac Local Disc

Before, during and after the primaries, the party must do a lot of fence mending”, he added. In the APC, the coast is almost clear for Senator Chris Ngige, the former governor, who was deposed by the court to pave the way for Obi. Since 2006, he has been nursing the ambition to return to the Government House. His supporters are also soaring daily. This attests to the fact that the senator from Anambra Central Senatorial District is popular. Many indigenes recall that, although his tenure as the governor was controversial, he fought the infrastructure battle very well. The roads he constructed have convinced the people that, if he returns to the government, he will not disappoint them. Ngige is not the only aspirant in the race in the APC. He has three contenders to face at the primaries. Two of them, Senator Annie Okonkwo and Goodwin Ezeemo, are touring the districts and zones, drumming support for their candidature. Their supporters have alleged that their ambition may be jeopardised, if a shadow poll is not conducted in the party to choose the candidate. Although the aspirants could not confirm, if pressures is mounted on them to step down for Ngige, their supporters are already crying wolf. Last month, a group of youths from the defunct Anambra ACN stormed the Lagos residence of the national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to demand for primaries. “We don’t want imposition of any candidate. We want the aspirants to participate in the primaries. The party members should decide their fate,” said their leader, Luke Uche, who urged the party leadership to ensure a hitch-free contest. Also in Lagos, Ezeemo warned against imposition, saying that it will affect the chance of the APC at the poll. “We will insist on internal democracy in the APC and I believe that our leaders will not do anything that will tarnish the image of the party”, he told reporters in AmuwoOdofin during a press conference.

After the primary hurdle, the APC will also have to brace for the campaigns. Already, APGA is sponsoring a media propaganda against the newly registered party, following the alleged deportation of 14 destitute to Anambra State by the Lagos State government. APGA chieftains have deliberately been inflating the figures to embarrass the APC, ridicule it before the people and score a cheap point. Expectedly, APGA hopes to profit from the power of incumbency wielded by the governor. However, the ruling party is still engulfed in crises. Obi is championing the zoning of the governorship to the Northern Zone. Besides the protracted leadership tussle in the fold is not totally resolved as the forces loyal to Maxi Okwu are murmuring. Also, both APGA and APC soldiers have not succeeded in wiping out the PDP from the state. Despite its past electoral misfortunes, PDP has not gone down. This contrasts with the fate of the Labour Party, which now revolves around the personality of the oil magnate, Ifeanyi Ubah, who has not really made any political point in the state, Relying on federal might, the PDP, whose arrow head is Senator Uba, is seriously mobilising supporters for another epic battle. Uba’s ego had been bruised in the past, when he was deposed by the court, barely a month in the saddle as the governor. But, like Ngige, his confidence was restored, following his election into the Senate. Also, like Ngige, he is a top contender. As eyes are on Ngige in the APC, many are rooting for Uba in the PDP. Although he was a governor by default, Ngige erected lasting legacies, which were acknowledged by Obi and other Anambra leaders. Reflecting on his tenure as governor, Ngige said that he served the state without blemish. “The roads I constructed are everlasting. I served with diligence and sense of purpose. I can confidently walk on the streets un-

‘The APGA separated the wheat from the chaff. The Screening Committee headed by Alhaji Tayo Sowumi disqualified six aspirants from the race. The hammer fell on the political novice, Dr. Charles Soludo, former Central Bank governor, who had defected from the PDP, Secretary to Government Osealoka Obaze, Emmanuel Nweke, Tony Nnaechetta, Dr, Dike Obidigbo, and Chinedu Idigo’

molested and without an escort. I wanted to solve a lot of problems in the state”, he said. Ngige is on a familiar terrain. His supporters believe that he is known and tested. He is not required by the law to resign his seat as a senator. He has organised empowerment programmes for the people. Ngige declared that, at this stage, the acquisition of wealth is not a priority for him, adding that the welfare of the state is the primary concern. . His philanthropic activities have endeared him to more people. Many of them recall that, as the governor, he fought corruption and channeled the state’s scarce resources to its development. Observers contend that Ngige will not lack the resources to oil his campaign machinery. Indisputably, he has the backing of APC leaders. As a senator, Ngige is a rallying point at home. Many people also believe that his party has good programmes. Uba is waxing stronger. Like Ngige, he is not expected to resign as a senator before contesting the governorship. He has the sympathy of prominent PDP elders, who believe that he was robbed of the ticket in 2009, when it was handed over to Soludo. Then, in protest, Uba defected to the LP to contest, but without success. In 2009, he had been elected as the governor. He spent 19 days in office before the court declared that he was elected in error. A PDP source said that the senator also has the backing of President Goodluck Jonathan, the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) members and other top party financiers. “Uba is a formidable candidate in the PDP and it is the belief of the PDP. It is significant that his brothers, Eselu Chris Uba and the elderly Senator Ugochukwu Uba, still call the shots in the Anambra politics. His past political tragedy is now a blessing. More than before, he is perceived by the PDP family as a vital asset, committed leader and promising contender”, he added. Another factor that may work for Uba is his solid structure. When he won the senatorial election in 2011, his rating in the PDP became high. At the grassroots, he has been solidifying his structures and the party organs by providing financial resources and credible leadership. Thus, among the party supporters, he is a household name. The fact that each of the three parties-APGA, APC and PDP-has a senatorial seat is an indication that none of them can be written off. But November 16 will tell which among the three is first among equals.


44

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

POLITICS Senator Iyabo Anisulowo is a former Commissioner for Agriculture in Ogun State and Minister of State for Education. She spoke with MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE on the activities of Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his bid for a second term.

Amosun deserves second term, says Anisulowo

M

ANY people are endorsing Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun for a second term. What is your view? Yes, I have said it many times. He has been doing well, especially with the infrastructure - roads, schools and opening up investment opportunities for people. Workers in the state are being taken care of; the area that I am expecting him to do more is agriculture. If he doesn’t go for the second term, how will he open up the rural roads that would enable investors to plan, invest and move their finished products out of the markets? He is trying and in fact, I never knew he could do the much he has done now. I believe that we should be patient; we should give him support and, no matter what he may have as his shortcomings, at least, we are all human beings. But for me, nothing will make me go against him. If I go against him, it will also mean I don’t have the love of my people in my mind. So, let us give him the chance. Let him go for the second term so that he can actually help us also, in this area (Ogun West Senatorial District) because we are nearer to the Egbas. I mean, Egba and Yewa, we are nearer to one another. And the wind should blow across the land so that we can say that, at least, we have experienced democracy. But your kinsmen from Yewa land still feel that the governor has not been fair enough to the zone. Do you share that view? Every human being has his own different strategy. Amosun’s strategy is to combine four local government areas across the pure Yewa land. The road ,which he started from Aiyetoro, through Imeko, Ilara, Ijoun and the rest, is a major breakthrough for us in the border area. And when roads along these routes are put in the proper shape, development will come and radiate across the towns. To me, honestly, he has started well and even if I don’t benefit anything, no problem. If it is for some personal bases, well, I can say he shouldn’t go for the

second term. But I don’t have any covenant with him to say he should go for only one term or not. Also, the constitution allows him to go for the second term. Therefore, let him go. To me, as an individual and also, as a leader in this community, as many I can convince, I will. What is the agitation for power shift to Yewa all about? I don’t think we are prepared for it because the major stakeholders are looking at this Amosun issue. They are feeling that “ko sa wa seti wa na” (He should come and do our own too). It is the survival of the fittest for now. For most people, that he has been demolishing houses in Egba, Aiyetoro, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu and others, and you should know that, it is four-legged. He has touched the four zones and I must confess to you. The extent is what we are talking about. Nobody can compete with Abeokuta; it is the state capital. If a Yewa-born person becomes a governor, he will live in Abeokuta because it is the state capital. He can’t shift the state capital to Ilaro, no! He can only, like we have a governor’s lodge here too, beautify or expand it to his own taste so that whenever he comes to his constituency he can have where to pass the night there and his entourage. But the capital will always remain in Abeokutaand that has been established. So, if they are spending 30 percent of the state income in Ijebu and they are also spending 30 percent in Yewa/Awori, definitely, Abeokuta will take the remaining 40 percent. And most people, especially workers live in Abeokuta. So, the economy will be better off than any other place. It is we, ourselves that we should sit down and map out our strategies on how to develop our own area, according to our ability. What is your position on the local government autonomy? For me, honestly, it is a difficult thing to do. When I was the Senate Committee Chairperson on State and Local Government Administration and,

‘The reason for the joint account is that the Federal Government puts its own money to the local governments and the state governments are required to add additional 10 per cent of their IGR into it and then, they will now share. So, invariably, the constitution meant well. It is the interpretation and the implementation of the clauses of the constitution that is causing problem • Sen. Anisulowo

if not for the third term agenda that we threw out and other things, we would not have been better off. Take for instance, we have changed Yewa name. Sagamu too was badly spelt in the constitution. The local government autonomy then, thank God, the current Senate President, David Mark was part of the review. I could remember we went to Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, to review the constitution in a bid to change certain things and clauses. It was not controversial that time. I mean the issue of the local government autonomy. I am surprised now because, without the local governments having financial muscle, the rural areas can’t develop at all. Invariably, I am in support of local government autonomy. I had been the senate chairperson on state and local government administration and I know the limitation of the state. The states themselves, according to the constitution, are supposed to add 10 per cent of their Internally Gener-

ated Revenue (IGR) to the local council funds. That is why they have the joint account - state and local government. The reason for the joint account is that the Federal Government puts its own money to the local governments and the state governments are required to add additional 10 per cent of their IGR into it and then, they will now share. So, invariably, the constitution meant well. It is the interpretation and the implementation of the clauses of the constitution that is causing ‘wahala.’ It is to enrich the local governments so that they can execute projects, take care of the environmental sanitation, to pay staff salaries, health and others. Why is it difficult for the National Assembly to create states? It is unfortunate that we don’t do our politics right in the south, especially as it concerns the creation of more local governments. And they (north) like joining the Army and you can see balance. The north believes in democracy and militocracy. If they can’t make

it democratically they believe they will make it militocratically. And so, everybody either good or, bad was sent to enlist in the Army. But in our own case here in the South, we were resenting the Army and we didn’t send our children to join the Army except the ones that were stubborn. You can see where it has landed us. It landed us in an area of succession because we were not able to enlist our people. And because they had killed one nobody would want to take over. But they, if they are still killing 100 persons of their own they would have people stepping into their shoes. In the area of local government or state creation, it is very difficult now because we are in a democratic era, but it is on the military by its fiat that you can just create local governments and states. But in a democracy like ours, it is difficult because it has to be discussed and debated. Population will be brought into focus. Take for instance, if we are creating local governments the questions of what are the potentials would come in? How buoyant is the local government? In this wise, sustainability will come in. And when this debate starts, interest groups will come in. And there are some people in this country that have money to stop whatever they want to stop or promote whatever what they want to promote. They have enough funds and that is the problem, but God is supreme. So, it is going to be difficult and when they were saying it, that they would create more local governments and states and I was once in that chamber before. I know what can happen and I know what can’t happen because when they close the doors behind them so many things go on inside. And when that those things are going inside, even with your best ideas you will realise that you can’t speak for your own people alone. You will have to think Nigeria and when you are thinking Nigeria certain things can’t be done.

Former Secretary to Ekiti State Government and High Commissioner to Canada Ambassador Dare Bejide spoke with reporters on his ambition to rule the state.

W

Why I want to rule Ekiti, by Bejide

HAT is your vision for Ekiti State? My vision for the people of Ekiti State is to reduce poverty by promoting economic development through job creation, job retention, self-employment and to create an enabling environment where an average Ekiti man will be ready to contribute his own quota to the development of the state. I believe agriculture is very important. If you promote agriculture, you are likely to provide food security. In other words, the people will be able to feed themselves and also feed others too. You are also likely to attract young people into farming because those who are farming now are getting old. And, if we are not careful, nobody will be ready to farm again. How can agriculture be promoted? My plan is to encourage farmers to be on the farms. We would encourage them to farm in groups, not only to feed the people, but to also produce raw materials for industries so that we can attract investments to the state. We will also make farming more attractive. You will realize that at a particular period during the year when the farmers are harvesting their crops, there is no technology for preservation and the crops are sold at ridiculous prices. At another time, they won’t have anything to sell because they are still planting their crops. That will stop as soon as I am elected as

governor. What I will do is to make government the buyers of last resort. We will encourage farmers to produce as much as possible, and if they are unable to sell, we will buy from them at competitive prices and store them so that they (farmers) can remain in the farms for 12 months. We shall offer credit facilities to farmer to enable them have enough funds for farming. In addition ,we shall make farming more attractive to young people by creating farm estates On education, which the state is noted for, how do you really want to improve on what is the ground now? Education is very important. That is why the state is called the Fountain of Knowledge. The experience of the last few years has not been palatable going by the results of examinations bodies like NECO, WAEC and JAMB as regards our children. We will promote compulsory basic education and provide g mid-day meals for our kids. We shall upgrade facilities to enhance qualitative and functional education . Our government will embark on diversification of curricular so as to place emphasis on integrated skills to make education more meaningful in the state. We would encourage the teachers to do well. Our government will encourage and motivate the school inspectors. At the level of secondary schools, we believe in the boarding schools and we would also make it compulsory

that, at least, there is a boarding school in each of the local government. We are going to strengthen the school enterprise project by introducing the theoretical aspects of the program in all schools to promote skill acquisition and functional education. Functional in the sense that we would let people know that government cannot employ everybody. So, you must acquire one type of skill or the other while in school. The problem is that everybody looks on to government for employment. However, it is not possible, or done anywhere in the world. Even in advanced countries, it is not more than 10 per cent of the people that are employed by the government. But if you acquire additional skill, you will not only employ yourself but also create employment for others. Can your party beat the APC, which wields the power of incumbency? The power of incumbency has always been there. It was there during the time of the AD and they lost. As I said earlier on, it is difficult to manage success, particularly for those who have not lived with the people sufficiently enough to understand the sensitivity of the people. The power of incumbency has its own negative and positive effects. The positive side is that, if you are an incumbent and you do well, it has the potential of giving you more votes to come back again. But, if you don’t do well, it is a minus

and has the potential of throwing you out of power for non-performance. And how do you see the performance of INEC, so far? The INEC has done considerably well going by our past experience. But again, it is not for INEC alone to ensure credible election. The politicians must also learn to be transparent in whatever they do. If you are talking about electoral fraud, it is difficult for the INEC officials alone to alter the result of an election without inducement by politicians. INEC officials will not bring thugs to the voting centers. So, the issue is that politicians must endeavor to play the game according to the rules. Once we play the game according to the rules, we won’t have any problem about INEC officials What is your advice for the political class and the electorate, ahead of the governorship race? For the political class, they should learn to play the game by the rules. Whether they are 20 or 30 of us contesting for the governorship, only one person will eventually emerge. We should appreciate from day one that we are going into this contest with the understanding that only one person will emerge as winner . Once we have this in mind, the issue of desperation becomes irrelevant. But, if a man feels he must win by all means, he will do a lot of terrible things to win. So, I will advise politicians to have it at the back of their mind that, in going to a contest, it is possible for one to win or not

• Bejide

to win. I will also advise politicians, particularly my colleagues, that whosoever emerges should also embrace the losers. The idea of winner takes all should be a thing of the past. Once the loser knows that he is a stakeholder in the polity, he won’t be desperate; he will be willing to cooperate with the winner. For the electorates, they should think less of what they want to take from the man who wants to contest. They should think of the man who can deliver; they should think of the politicians that they know very well, and familiar with. They should ignore emergency politicians because they will abandon them whether they win or lose. If they believe that all they need is to take money from whoever is contesting, they should know that at the end of the day, they would also pay the price at the appropriate time.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

45

‘BP, eye tests saving lives on Southwest roads’ •Continued from Page 17

reading 145 to 450 over 89. ‘Beyond the Road’ is not the only strategy adopted in the zone to cut crashes and deaths. Lawal whose zone comprises Lagos and Ogun states, said his officers also monitor drivers under the passenger-watch strategy. They do so by putting their undercover personnel on commercial buses. They watch the driver, correct him when he overloads the bus, over-speeds or makes phone calls behind the wheels. If he takes correction, fine, but if not, the mufti-clad FRSC personnel could ease out of the bus under any pretext and put a call through to the next command, whose men will promptly book the disagreeable driver. All this has helped to significantly scale back road crashes and fatalities, but there are other strategies, too, one of them the Special Intervention •Continued from Page 17 state. When the Y-CAD programme was launched on April 29, 2012, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, commended Dr. Fayemi for the initiative which he said would help Ekiti exploit its rich agricultural resources and depend less on the accruals from the Federation Account. A total number of 1,500 beneficiaries were mobilised for the first phase of Y-CAD thereby reducing the number of unemployed youths in the state. The minister urged other states to emulate Ekiti in using agriculture to reduce unemployment. Barely one year and four months after it was launched at the OrinEkiti Farm Settlement in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of the state, Y-CAD has changed the lives of the youths who are involved in the scheme. The beneficiaries who are full of praises for the vision of Governor Fayemi in giving them economic empowerment through agriculture spoke on the progress they are making and how some of them have become employers

Patrol or SIP. Lawal said on seeing that more road accidents were occurring on the LagosIbadan Expressway than elsewhere in the zone, it was reasoned that more vehicles should be withdrawn from their unit commands scattered across Lagos, for instance, and taken to the Lagos-Ibadan corridor. It helped, because reckless drivers now began to see more FRSC vehicles and became more cautious. On the weekends, even more vehicles are recalled from several other commands to strengthen the fleet on the crucial corridor. In-between, FRSC personnel also inspect commercial vehicles before each trip, checking tyres and other driving aids. Response time was equally stepped up, taking between 10 and 15 minutes, from the time a crash is reported. The result has been wonderful, said ACM Lawal. Gridlock has eased considerably but most importantly, crashes have been drastically cut down by about

•FRSC personnel on a rescue mission

20 per cent. Whereas 721 crash cases were recorded from January to June in 2012, the crash figure was reduced to 586

within the same months one year later. This has pleased Lawal who has spent about one and a half years as the administrative and

Food security in Ekiti of labour. In Igede-Ile Ona, there is a nursery belonging to one of the Y-CAD participants, Ayodeji Owoeye, a graduate of Biochemistry from the Lagos State University, (LASU) who keyed into the YCAD programme after years of joblessness. Now, just within the space of seven months, the young man can now boast of 10,000 oil palm seedlings, 20,000 cocoa seedlings and 20, 000 teak seedlings being sold to various customers. Owoeye urged the State Government to extend the programme to more youths

considering how his own life is fast changing as a result of his recruitment into the Y-CAD scheme. At Efon-Alaaye in Efon Local Government Area, Y-CAD has empowered eight young men and a woman to set up fish ponds which they intend to use to contribute meaningfully to the economy of the state. Five of them, Ojo Olajide, a graduate of Mining Engineering; Adejumo Adesegun, Accounts graduate; Austin Olalekan, Education Management graduate; Otunlape Amos, Economics

Ayodeji Owoeye, a graduate of Biochemistry from the Lagos State University, can now boast of 10,000 oil palm seedlings, 20,000 cocoa seedlings and 20, 000 teak seedlings being sold to various customers

graduate and Olajide Adeola, who studied fishery at EKSU; are sitting atop 30,000 table size fresh fish and planning to have a greater capacity in the next cycle. They explained that their interest in fishery has been boosted by the Y-CAD scheme expressing confidence that the future is indeed bright with the Y-CAD platform. Another beneficiary, Zoki Benjamin, is cultivating more than 50 hectares of rice plantation in Ikoro-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area. Zoki said he was doing great and now has the privilege to sponsor his child’s education in one of the best private schools around. His colleague at Ikoro, Omotosho Adebayo, who also sits atop about six hectares of rice plantation, showered encomiums on Dr. Fayemi for using the YCAD platform to transform his life. “This is the first time in the history of Ekiti State that youths are being given solid empowerment rather than the lip

operational head of the zone. He added, though, that there is need for firmer enforcement in order to keep the crash rate further down. service paid by the successive administrations. “When we heard of the scheme, we all thought that it was one of the gimmicks being used to deceive people. We enlisted and were trained and today, we have every reason to thank God for giving us Governor Fayemi whose dream has now become a reality. “I have become the owner of my business with this rice plantation and my long search for whitecollar jobs has ended and my life has now been transformed”, Adebayo explained. At Erifun, on the outskirts of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, one of the Y-CAD beneficiaries, Alowolodu Ademola, now has 9,000 birds in his poultry, courtesy of the government intervention. These success stories are replicated by other Y-CAD participants scattered all over Ekiti State and engaged in various forms of agricultural activities to boost food security and production of cash crops to widen the income base of the state. Y-CAD beneficiaries were selected through a thorough

Ogun warns against flouting traffic rules

T

• From left: Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State; Grand Patron, Bauchi State NUJ/Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu; NUJ National President, Malam Mohammed Garba and Council Chairman, Bauchi NUJ, Malam Dahiru Mohammed, at the inauguration of the NUJ secretariat, Bauchi State Council

HE Ogun State government has said that any road user caught flouting traffic rules across the state would face the wrath of the law. Speaking with reporters in Abeokuta, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Gbenga Opesanwo regretted the increasing number of casualties caused by traffic violations despite several safety measures and enlightenment programmes carried out by the government. Opesanwo, in a statement signed by the Information Officer of the Bureau of Transportation, Femi Olayinka, pointed out that government has invested a huge sum of money on construction of roads across the state, installation of traffic signs and other road furniture at various locations in order to ensure safety on

the roads He added that travelling by road is meant to be pleasurable and enriching affair. He said that government would not compromise on its commitment tosafety of people. Opesanwo further stressed that the avoidable mishaps on the roads are attributable to irresponsible behaviours of road users, which he said would no longer be condoned. Consequently, he acknowledged that the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE) and other relevant agencies have been given a new mandate to ensure the strict compliance of road traffic laws is established. The governor’s aide urged road users to act responsibly and be safety conscious.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

46

‘Why we must accommodate ex-convicts’

“O

UR present justice delivery system is dangerously skewed. It only satisfies the state and inflicts far-reaching injuries on the offender. The victim is left with the psychological trauma, emotional disability that would neither help him nor improve the health of the society.” With these words, the Executive Director, Prison Fellowship Nigeria (PFN), Benson Ngozi Iwuagwu expressed his discomfort over the growing spate of crime in the country, which, to him, had been worsened by the stigmatization of ex-convicts. “What is the condition of inmates in our various prisons? How justified is their imprisonment? Out of the jail houses, do we welcome them back in such a way that would make them reformed citizens? All these account for why the PFN is committed to responding to the hurts and harm caused by crime to the offender, the victim and the community. We seek to restore all those affected by crime through ministration of the word, prayers and practical action,” Iwuagwu told News Extra on Tuesday in Lagos. It was an encounter during which he unveiled the group’s

Succour for 560 orphans in Kwara

T

HE Quranic injunction of lending a hand to the needy and orphans has been the driving force of an Ilorin-based non-governmental organisation, Islamic Orphanage Foundation (IOF). Established in 2002, the foundation has so far assisted no fewer than 560 children of the widows and widowers in and outside Ilorin, the Kwara State

By Dada Aladelokun

planned bi-annual national prison ministry and restorative justice conference billed to hold at the Merit House, Central District, Abuja on September 12 and 13. The conference, with the theme, “Restoring Justice,” he said, would feature speakers including Prof. Mark Yantzi of the Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada; Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, and his predecessor, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN). Expatiating on the talk, the PFN director, said: “Peace and security have become pressing priorities of our society in particular, today. This is the crux of the jaw-jaw. If

proactive measures must be taken against the ugly evasion of peace and security by crime and corruption, the Penal reform, reformation and rehabilitation of ex-convicts and inmates must be taken seriously. “Our prison inmates came from the society and to the society they must return. If the society, through its criminal justice system, adjudged them guilty of anti-social conducts which infracted the law, would it be justice that during their sojourn in prison, such anti-social conducts are not investigated, analysed and remedied prior to being released at the end of their sentence? It would be oppressive injustice, not only to the ex-prison inmates but to the society itself.”

What is the condition of inmates in our various prisons? How justified is their imprisonment? Out of the jail houses, do we welcome them back in such a way that would make them reformed citizens? From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

capital. IOF which started with just 10 children in 2002 currently takes care of 252 kids from nursery school to tertiary institution. The chairman of the foundation, Alhaji Seiffullahi Alege spoke this at the weekend to mark IOF 2013 orphans’ day in the Kwara capital city. Alhaji Alege added: “The major project we have at hand for now is the building of our own centre and this centre will cost us about N250m. The centre will house school, vocational centre and hospital to take care of the children whose mother die during birth and other orphaned infants. Also we want to have to central mosque at the centre. “So far, we have started with five classrooms and the hall. Also each time our children are

beginning new session the secondary school, it is always tasking as we pay for the whole session at a go. These are the major challenges before us. However, we survive by the goodwill of Nigerians and even people in the Diaspora. It is through the press assistance that we are afloat. On the whole we have 252 children in our care, apart from those going to vocational centres. “The orphanage started in 2002. We started with just 10 children. Generally, the number of orphans including those that have graduated from one tertiary institution or the other we can boast of 560. We are responsible for the training of the children in our care from nursery to the completion of their tertiary education.” The chairman of the occasion, who is the Grand Khadi of the

Saying that the society must embrace ex-convicts, Iwuagwu, added: “The Prison Fellowship Nigeria has taken up the initiative to package the two-day conference to build professional synergy for robust dialogue on a criminal justice system that is holistic and restorative for effectual results - transformed lives, reconciled relationships and restored community. The conference, he explained, aims at motivating stakeholders to play their roles “towards a synergistic justice and correctional systems that will guaranty the true ends of justice-freedom, post-service occupation, rehabilitation that is motivated for communal blending, acceptability and true attitudinal turn-around capped with security of lives and property.” The PFN chief further stated that organisations with passion for corporate services and social responsibility will find relevance in the programme which, he explained, would ultimately ensure that no ex-convict goes back to crime, apart from having a justice system that reckons with victims of crime and social harmony.” “The society gets better when our ex-convicts become trustworthy business men, productive artisans,

Kwara state Sharia Court of Appeal, Justice Idris Haroon said that it is incumbent of all to cater for the orphans, needy and less privileged in the society. “The foundation is doing what God wants. Nobody desires to loss any of his parents; orphans of necessity to be taken care of. The foundation is shouldering the responsibility of government. In some climes government caters for the poor, widows and orphans in the society,” the judge who was represented by Dr Abdulmumni Usman added. Permanent Secretary, Kwara state ministry of works and transport, Alhaji Alabi Amuda has this to say: “We thank the members of the foundation for this wonderful job. It is in line with the preaching Prophet Mohammed that we should take

•Iwuagwu reliable professionals, landlords, religious leaders and formative rights campaigners, with a fair sense of satisfaction that justice has been done. “This is why credible, experienced facilitators from various professional backgrounds have been selected as speakers, chairpersons and discussants in the conference to ensure balanced benefits for all concerned,” he said.

care of the orphans. They need to be educated; they need to be fed. This is a body that has come to coordinate all this responsibility. “I believe we should support them individually and as a government. Government is doing its best. The objectives of the foundation are in line with Quranic injunctions of taking care of the orphans. If we support the orphans, Allah will take care of all of us.” A widow, Mrs. Fatima Garuba applauded the foundation for doing a wonderful work of wipe tears off the chins of the fatherless and motherless, as well as going hope to the hopeless in the society. She therefore urged the well-todo and government to readily come to the assistance of the orphans in the society. Said Mrs. Gariba: “IOF is doing what government should do. Government should try as much as possible to assist them. We don’t know what these children will become in future. I feel excited. I am so happy; in fact I don’t know what to say.”

So far, we have started with five classrooms and the hall. Also each time our children are beginning new session the secondary school, it is always tasking as we pay for the whole session at a go. These are the major challenges before us • Some of the orphans with members of the foundation


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

48

There are so many lessons we Muslims are supposed to draw from this celebration. We need to reflect more on this day instead of just eating and drinking like any other day…If we miss out on the importance of fasting that has brought us to this day, then we are missing out completely on the rewards that come with it

F

OR some time now, the joy and excitement that accompany Sallah celebrations in Yobe State had been absent, no thanks to the insecurity of life and property that enveloped the area. It was a security risk for people, especially children, to be seen outside let alone visiting during festive periods. However, with the security checks put in place by the Federal Government when it declared a state of emergency in the state and two others, normalcy gradually returned to the troubled state owing to the military actions of the Joint Task Force (JTF) that waged war against insurgents. It was gratifying that the justconcluded Sallah celebrations went without the ususal terror. Children trooped to the streets in joyful mood to celebrate and visited friends and relations. In their new dresses, they savoured the fresh air on the streets of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. They wore make-ups, eyecatching shoes and spectacular eyeglasses as they called on friends and relatives. Parents were equally not afraid to allow their children to leave the enclave of their home to roam the streets, visit their friends, relatives, family members and so on due to the improved security situation in the state. In the last Sallah celebrations worshipers deserted the Eid praying grounds in the state capital, with many preferring to stay at home for fear of attack by the dreaded Boko Haram sect. This year’s Eid celebration, however, witnessed hundreds of thousands of worshippers at different praying grounds in the state capital. Our correspondent who was at the Yobe Mosque during the Eid prayers saw a huge crowd that turned out to perform the prayers. It was, however, observed that many worshippers were late for the two Rakat prayers due to the tight security checks to the entrance of the praying venues which include phase 1; Waziri Ibrahim; Nyarnya and Yobe Mosque. Immediately the prayers were concluded, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu headed straight to the WAWA Hall of the Government House, Damaturu which played host to orphans

•Such freedom was rare a year ago in Damaturu

Peaceful Sallah in Yobe From Duku Joel, Damaturu

from YETIM Care Foundation and other dignitaries in the state. While speaking to the gathering, Mr. Aliyu admonished leaders and followers to retrace their ways to Allah for a better society. He regretted that the love shared on festive periods like Sallah among neighbours in the past has vanished. He called on such lost love to be renewed as a mark of brotherliness and love for one another for both Muslims and nonMuslims alike. The Deputy Governor also urged the people for a more sober reflection on the Sallah day than allowing the day to pass like any other day. “There are so many lessons we Muslims are supposed to draw from this celebration. We

need to reflect more on this day instead of just eating and drinking like any other day. “If we miss out on the importance of fasting that has brought us to this day, then we are missing out completely on the rewards that come with it,” Mr. Aliyu said. The orphans from YETIM Care Foundation, after some quaranic citations, prayed for peace in the state and the country as a whole. Mr. Aliyu also commended the security operatives for restoring peace in the state, even as he called on the people to be patient with the soldiers who he said are risking their lives for the people to have peace. “I thank God that last Sallah; we did not witness this kind of turn out. But today, security has improved in the state. I must say that it is the commitment of the JTF.

Let us be patient with these soldiers and co-operate with them. They take the bullet, risk their lives for us to have peace. So, why can’t we give them the co-operation they need. After all, they are doing it for our sake?” Mr. Aliyu said. The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Yobe State chapter led by its chairman Rev. Garba Idi also paid Sallah homage to the Deputy Governor during which he stressed the need for religious tolerance. The state CAN leadership further praised the state government for the efforts made so far in restoring peace. The Emir of Fika and the Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs His Royal Highness Mohammadu Abali Ibn Mohammadu also led a delegation of traditional rulers in the state to pray with the Deputy

Governor on the Sallah celebration. Addressing the traditional rulers, Mr. Aliyu advised them to step up enlightenment campaigns for more education of the youth so as to avoid keeping bad companies. According to him, sound moral and religious upbringing and strict monitoring of children will go a long way in solving the insurgency problems, stressing that no parent will advise his child to follow bad company. In his remarks, the chairman of Yobe State Council of Chiefs and the Emir of Fika regretted how the economy of the state has nosedived due to the insurgency. The royal father called on the state government to come up with more youth-oriented programmes and other economic empowerment programmes to revive the economy of the state. He also called on government to impose strict laws against indiscriminate felling of trees. He rather suggested that tree-planting campaigns should be encouraged to tackle desertification.

Rotary Club launches N10m community projects

T

• From left: Sector Commander, FRSC, Osun Command, Mr Imoh Etuk; Zonal Commander, Zone 2, Osogbo, Mr Lukas Kinya; Deputy Corps Marshal, Operations, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi and Sector Commander, Oyo State Command, Mr Godwin Ogagaoghong, at the inauguration of FRSC Zone 2 special patrol exercise in Ibadan

HE Rotary Club of AbujaGwarinpa, has launched six community projects value at N10 million to be executed in the 2013/2014 Rotary year. The launch was one of the high points of the investiture ceremony of Mr James Ugbeda as the 5th president of the club in Abuja at the weekend. . According to agency reports, the ceremony attracted prominent Nigerians, including the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who was represented by a senior aide, Dr Albert Okoragu. The occasion also witnessed the presentation of humanitarian service awards to some notable Nigerians, including popular Nollywood actor, Mr Francis Duru and Mrs Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, the Executive Secretary, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) In his inaugural address, the new club president listed the projects as

construction of toilets, equipping of libraries and provision of desktop computers and textbooks to public primary and secondary schools in Gwarinpa, a Federal Government housing estate in Abuja. Others, according to him, are provision of wheelchairs, clutches, mosquito nets, blankets, among others to individuals and hospitals in the community. Ugbeda added that the club would build three additional bus stops at strategic junctions as well as construct a borehole with an overhead tank in one of the public schools in the area. He solicited “generous contributions” from Rotarians towards achieving these goals to enhance the welfare or members of the community. The new president commended his immediate predecessor, Mr Jeremiah Haruna, and his board members for their “laudable achievements” with a promise to build on the foundation.


49

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

CROSSWORD PUZZLE

With ekpoita :funtreatsvilla@yahoo.com / 08077706130

DOWN

ACROSS

1. Misfortune (4)

1. Canoe (4) 4. Price (4)

2. Keen (4)

7. Container (4)

3. Until (3)

8. Father (2)

4. Gonorrhea (4)

9. Tack (4)

5. Range (4)

11. Not Near (4)

6. Prostititute (4)

13. Final (3)

10. Insect (3)

14. Wasted (5)

12. Gave food (3)

15. Indicating location (2)

14. Pig’s pen (3)

17. Grain (3)

15. Skill (3)

19. Unit (2)

16. Verruca (4)

21. Aid in crime (4)

18. Asia (4)

24. Pain (4)

19. Exclamation (2)

26. Eggs (3)

20. Tide (4)

27. As it is (2)

22. Boyfriend (3)

28. Narrated (4)

23 Fish (3)

29. Net (4)

25. Expression of surprise (3)

WORD PUZZLE

ShOwBiTz

NFLer Nnamdi Asomugha & Kerry Washington Tie Knots

Olivia Pope is off the market. In a move worthy of her TV alter-ego, Kerry Washington has secretly wed San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on June 24 in Hailey, Idaho. Bet you didn’t even know she was dating. Hell I didn’t! The secret ceremony was witnessed by only closest friends and family and the marriage certificate was witnessed by the actress’ parents, Earl and Valerie. Minister Chisaraukwu Asomugha officiated the nuptials. The last known relationship Kerry was in was with her fiancé David Moscow whom she was with from 2004 to 2007. In her last tweet before taking a break Kerry wrote, “Ok. Logging off! See u in a few weeks! SO excited 4 all u UK #Gladiators about 2 experience Season 2! Spread the word!” Congrats Kerry and Nnamdi!

Pep Talk

Find alternative words to the clues below and fill them in their spaces in the grid.When you are done another word for ‘APPEALING’ would be spelt. The first one has been solved to spur you on.

poetry

A B A T E

What is Fear? I lay on my bed soaking my pillow with my tears, I try to remember exactly what it is that I fear. Is it the passing of time or the love that I lack? Is it the mistakes that I’ve made or the fact that I can’t bring the past back? What is it that I’m afraid of? Why am I so scared? Is it the people I’ve hurt or the people that have hurt me? Am I afraid of everything that I cant seem to see? Is it the love of a friend, or the loss of my family? Is it the possibility that my life can end in a tragedy? What is it that I fear most? What do my eyes say I’m scared of? Is it the sun that sets but won’t seem to rise? Is it the hope that I have that always seems to die? Is it the trust of a person that I cannot begin to grasp? Is it all the memories of my horrid past? Is it me? Can it possibly be that the thing I fear most is the thing I can’t be? The things that I try to understand? The me that I try to be with when I’m feeling sad? The person I’m expected to be? Is that what I fear? . . . I think the thing I fear most . . .is me

Bianca

Flores

Smile A smile is cheer from you to me, the cost is nothing its given for free. They console the weary and gladden the sad. And can make someone happy when they are mad. Unlike blessings in which we pray its the only thing you keep when you give it away. - Heather Black

CLUES 1. Ebb 2. Fact 3. Vagrant 4. Awaken 5.Turn Away

6. Crawl 7. Flatter 8. Inaction 9. Speak out 10.Occurrence

HUMOUR

Teacher & Student Teacher :What happened in 1809? Student: Abraham Lincoln was born. Teacher :What happened in 1819? Student: Abraham Lincoln was ten years old Teacher: How old is********** your dad. Student: He is as old as I am. Teacher: How is it possible? Student: Because he became a dad only after I was born. A gift for girlfriend Man 1: I want to buy a gift for my girlfriend for her birthday but I don’t know what she would like. Give me a suggestion. Man 2: Does she like you? Man 1: Yes Man 2: Then she would like anything.

A well-cultivated mind is, so to speak, made up of all the minds of preceding ages; it is only one single mind which has been educated during all this time. - Bernard de Bovier de Fontenelle


50

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

51


52

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

NEWS

Travails of a new wig

A paper delivered at the ceremony in honour of the graduating final-year law students of the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State on June 15, 2013, WAHAB SHITTU

P

ERMIT me to start this address by thanking the authorities of the Igbinedion University particularly its prestigious Law Faculty for graciously extending to me the invitation to address this August gathering. It is indeed a huge privilege to beopportune to mount this unique podium today realizing the fact that there are millions of people of greater accomplishments who would have willingly and eagerly jumped at an opportunity such as this to talk to aspiring lawyers of the most distinguished and noble profession. I must also confess that I have some other private reasons why I could not have refused this tempting invitation. Professor RasheedIjaodola the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Igbinedion University who thought it fit to honour me with this invitation on behalf of the faculty is not a stranger to me at all but a real brother in the true sense of the word that some of us have always looked up to over the years as a mentor, inspirer, and an exemplar per excellence. In saying this, I recall that Professor Ijaodola it was who first broke the record of offering and excelling in four (4) A level papers at the Kwara State College of Technology, Ilorin in the late 70s, a tradition which also encouraged yours sincerely to toe the same path. Secondly, I recall that our distinguished professor also served meritoriously as the National President of Offa Students’ Union a move which also encouraged this writer to also follow suit in his footsteps. Thirdly, I am sure all of you are aware that your Dean is an Alumnus of the Prestigious Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, I was also privileged to have attended that celebrated University. I am also sure that most of you are aware that your Dean enjoyed and still enjoys a formidable reputation at the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin where for more than two decades he joined others in mentoring law students of that university most of whom are accomplished legal practitioners today. Interestingly, this role he combines effectively with distinction and recognition in legal practice. Apparently following that footsteps too yours sincerely is also a Lecturer presently at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos where I play my little role in mentoring future lawyers. Lastly, Professor RasheedIjaodola is my kinsman, a proud native of Offa regarded in some circles as ‘Small London’. Given this antecedents how could I have refused an invitation from such a distinguished fellow who is a pacesetter in the profession? The expectations and frustrations of the new wig Now to the business of the day, the Travails of a New Wig; The Law! The Law!! The Law!!! The monstrous chants are endless, the expectations all the more huge. Like a little bird weaned from its mother, the young law ‘otondo’ - as would be called, joins the noble league of men in silk charting the course of legal freedom. He is left to fly into an endless world of possibilities – some positive, others negative. The many dreams he had as a child are beginning to materialize faster than he imagined. Things are becoming clearer, reality shaping his view and outlook to life. No doubt, he is in one of the most prestigious professions in the world. The possibilities are that he might have had those dreams for the prestige that comes with the profession or opted into it in order to please his parents but the fact remains unchanged – a new wig just like most others is to be immersed in the das-

tardly, merciless quest for survival and success. The many ordeals of ‘baby lawyer’ start the moment he filled in Law as course of study in his Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) form, an act that bestows on him great responsibility. At this stage he has no idea of what rigours are ahead of him. If he did, he’ll probably have had to reconsider. He soon realizes the enormity of the expectations before him when he is admitted to join his colleagues in the prestigious law faculty. Asides from having to contend with the jealousy and frustration of those who could not make it to study Law, he is posed already with the responsibilities of lawyer right from his first year of study. It is not uncommon to have him arbitrate, mediate or moderate arguments between students on campus all because he is a law student. The status of the law student however, comes with its advantages too. While the males deploy their so-called status to woo girls all over campus, females also feel they are the perfect ‘independent wife material’ for suitors outside campus. Coupled with the tedious rigmarole of academic challenges, the law student is usually in for a tough time on campus. Many are engulfed by all the activity, do not make it till the end but those that do usually believe it’s the end of the tortuous road. Little do they realize it had only begun! After five years of the rigorous baking process with all the hype, the prestige and the respect notwithstanding, Law graduates are not guaranteed a secured future unlike their medical counterparts. Passage to law school after university is always almost impossible for a good number of the erstwhile envied ‘The Laws’. While a medical student on internship is on attractive monthly remuneration for the one year period, a law-school bound graduate is made to cough out a fortune. Inability to afford the ever-exorbitant law school fee has made some aspirants become lawyers later than they ought to. If they are fortunate enough to afford Law School and its rigours and so bag their ‘Call to Bar Certificate’, their troubles still do not end. The literarily ‘new wig’ swaps his wig for the cap of a ‘youth corper’ in the year-long National Youth Service. He is employed into a State or Federal Ministry of Justice which is inadequately funded itself and so it goes without saying that he’ll be paid ‘peanuts’. If not, he is posted to a private firm where he is apportioned the most work load but when it comes to remuneration, someone always remembers he is a mere ‘corper’. After his youth service, the new wig plunges into a deep of ocean of confusion in a bid to find a path to tow of the many legal frontiers to explore in accordance with his passion and interest. This is coupled with the frantic search for employment made worse by pressure from family and friends who can hardly wait for ‘The Law’ to start dispensing his legal duties. After many denied attempts, he is forced to make do with whatever job comes his way giving personal interest least priority. If he is lucky to find any job at all in the very competitive Nigerian labour market, it is either his take home can hardly take him

home or he suddenly finds himself in a slave camp where he wriggles in a web of stringent dos and don’ts such that he begins to lose his confidence and the assertive aura of a lawyer. He begins to prefer an encounter with a strict judge in open court to an encounter with his fiery, bad-tempered and hard-toplease boss in the office, a fellow lawyer. The poor lawyer begins to have a rethink. In a bid to find a comfortable working environment as well as better pay, he finds himself swapping portfolios from Company Secretary to Legal adviser to Partner-in-Chambers. He hardly has any time devoted to carving a niche for himself in a particular field, proper career progression or self-development. In similar vein, he is battled with the need to garner as much experience as possible, a challenge tied to his ability to get as much knowledge around his field of interest. The question is: how is he expected to get experience if he is not even certain about a field of interest and all he does is jump from one job to the other? Tired of his situation, the learned counsel begins to think of tossing his wig, hanging the gown and opting for other well-paying jobs. In the alternative, he may be toying with the idea of going solo. And with such frustration-induced determination to survive against all odds, very many despicable practices may follow, thus lowering the standards of the noble profession, and by extension degrading its practitioners. The result of these many travails of the new wig, is an ineffective, shabby and corrupt justice delivery system. A system that does not put appropriate structures or modalities in place for the sustenance of the harbingers of the legal system to ensure that the generation coming behind is even better than the present one, a system that is riddled with inadequacies, inefficiencies and lowered standards, a system where lawyers are only concerned about remuneration as opposed to quality service delivery and proper career progression. The fact remains that the governance system has failed us but the onus is largely on us not to fail ourselves. If we can rise above the stakes and the daunting challenges, it would only ensure we are made a better generation. If we turn our fortune around, we would largely be the generation of lawyers to beat in the world! Categories of lawyers Let me start by identifying two categories of lawyers: the first category is those lawyers who are obsessed with the theory of change. The second category is those lawyers who are obsessed with the theory of forestalling change. At the end of this address, all of us here gathered as aspiring lawyers would have to make up our minds which of the category we would want to belong to and into we would want to be remembered. The category to which any of us will choose to belong would depend largely on convictions, principles, goals, aspirations, perceptions as well as revolve round the choice of whether we would want to be remembered on the positive or negative side of history. On perception, our choice of the category would depend on how we view our calling as a lawyer. Do we see our calling as a lawyer merely from the perspective of a career, or do we see it as a call to

•Wahab Shittu duty to render imperishable services to humanity? If we conceive our calling merely as a career, our aspiration would be guided largely by the profit motive as well as the indices of success whether by hook or crook. I want to encourage all of you gathered to see your emergence in the legal scene beyond the fulfillment of the demands of a career and extend your aspirations to the realm of rendering such qualitative services that would impact positively on humanity. Therefore, it would not just matter to you that you qualify as a lawyer but you must also be able to ask yourselves genuinely the question, what kind of lawyer are you? This brings us to the travails, challenges and prospects of the young lawyer. Let me ask you the question, do you all want to be successful lawyers? I can hear all of you answer in the affirmative. If that is the issue, what are those core values that you need to imbibe on your road to success, speaking from my perspective as a lawyer with more than two decades experience in legal practice. Let me first proceed by making a distinction between legal practice and the business of legal practice. If you practice law alone without factoring into your calculations the business component of legal practice, you may end up been less than successful and this in many quarters would certainly be considered as tragic. I will return to this subject later when I start giving you tips of what you need to do in order to be able to rise above poverty line in legal practice. Elements of success in the legal profession (a) Talent Since all of us resolve to be successful, I must say that what guarantees your success in legal practice is just not your knowledge of the law or your finishing your graduating exams and even your law school exams with first class degree honours or second class honours upper degree. Excellent results at the end of these examinations are important and may infact demonstrate the depth of your knowledge and talent in law. But talent is never enough. Like Peter Drucker, the father of modern management said: “There seems to be little correlation between a man’s effectiveness and his intelligence, his imagination or his knowledge…intelligence, imagination and knowledge are essential resources but only effectiveness converts them into results by themselves the only set limit to what can be contained.” Please do not misunderstand me. When people graduate with excellent results we should marvel at their giftedness and also recognize their unique talents as well as what

such excellent results contribute to society. However as Irving Berlin said; “The toughest thing about success is that you have got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point in business. You have got to keep working that talent.” Therefore beyond knowledge or talent there are other fundamentals that you must put in place if you want to be an enduring success in your career. What are these fundamentals? Peter Drucker says effectiveness is necessary for converting talent into results. In his own words “The key choices you make apart from the natural talent you already have- will set you apart from others who have talent alone.” In the words of Dr. Suss in his book ‘The Places you’ll Go,’ he summarized the position as follows: “You have brains in your head You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself Any direction you choose.” What does this mean? It implies that more than your knowledge or great talent, you need to make the right choices in order to be a talent plus person or if you like a celebrated lawyer. These key choices will add value to your talent. How do you begin to achieve this even as you leave this hall after this address? (b) Belief in yourself The first thing is that you must have belief in yourself in that such belief in yourself will lift your talent. This implies you must have self-confidence always. The first and greatest obstacle to success is lack of belief in yourself, lack of trust in yourself, which in itself is a self-limitation. This element of belief itself has several variables. It also includes belief in your potential. This is because your potential is a picture of what you will become. The Indian statesman, Mohandas Gandhi said: “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” (c) Belief in your potential Regrettably, many people fall short of their real potential because of lack of belief in their potential. In the words of Cartoonist Charles Schulz: “Life is a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.” What does this mean? You don’t have to underrate yourself. In the words of Charles Schwab: “When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do.” Therefore, underrating yourself as to the height you can attain in life is a disservice to your destiny. In the words of Robert J. Kriegel and Louis Patler in the book If it Ain’t Broke: “We don’t have a clue as to what people’s limits are. All the tests, stopwatches, and finish lines in the world can’t measure human potential. When someone is pursuing their dream, they’ll go far beyond what seems to be their limitations. The potential that exists within us is limitless and largely untapped…When you think of limits, you create them.” Therefore, I charge all of you to live your life to the fullest and actualize your full potential. In the words of Phillips Brooks, writer of the song “O little Town of Bethlehem,” “When you discover you have been leading only half a life, the other half is going to haunt you until you develop it.” As lawyers you must always be very confident, assured that you are capable of winning your cases no matter the profile of the lawyer on the other side. Arnold Palmer, the Golfer lived by a credo which he hung in his office. It reads: “If you think you are beaten, you are. • To be continued


THE NATION WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21, 2013

53

NEWS

Court reaffirms Oguebego as Anambra PDP chair A

FEDERAL High Court in Port Harcourt yesterday reaffirmed its order that Ejike Oguebego is the authentic chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Anambra State. Oguebego filed a suit, urging the court to declare him the authentic chairman. The court gave an exparte order restraining the Indepen-

dent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and PDP from dealing with the Ken Emeakayi faction, until the main application for injunction was heard. It warned that Oguebego should continue to be recognised as the chairman.

At the court yesterday, Oguebego complained that despite the exparte order, the PDP national body has been dealing with the Emeakayi faction. PDP ‘s lawyer M. Kanu told the court that the party would not disobey the order any-

more. INEC’s lawyer Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) said INEC would continue to abide by the order. The court, however, could not hear the main application but the PDP filed a suit challenging the order and the jurisdiction of the court. The court adjourned till Monday the hearing of the PDP application.

Inmates rearrested in Delta

O

T

•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (left) with the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Bianca Ojukwu and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh, at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia... yesterday.

T

APGA congresses controversy lingers

HE rancour that greeted the congresses of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is yet to go away. Members accused party executives of hijacking the exercise in their areas. But the chairman of the National Ward Congress

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Committee, Jolly Benjamin Ngbor, told reporters yesterday in Awka, that the exercise was successful. Ngbor said in every contest, there must be winners and losers, adding that the party had a wonderful experience.

He debunked claims that there were shootings in some local governments. But some of the members accused the party leaders of creating confusion. One of them said: “What they have done was a sham. Buccaneers

have entered APGA and this is not good for our party. “Some of us were not allowed to make contributions in our local governments, those who call themselves the executives hijacked the process. “It is very unfortunate for democracy in Nigeria.”

First international flight lands in Enugu

T

HE Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, yesterday received its first-ever international flight, four days to the official landing of international commercial flights. Billionaire businessman Arthur Eze flew in from Senegal in a private jet, marked 5MPZE, which landed at 3.20pm. President Goodluck Jonathan approved the upgrading of the airport two years ago and laid the foundation for the building of the international wing early this year. Although work is still on at the various sections, the Ministry of Aviation has slated the official landing of commercial international flights into Enugu for Satur-

T

•The plane at the airport...yesterday thronged the airport, Eze From Chris Oji, Enugu praised President Jonathan day. for keeping his promise. Ethiopian Airline is billed He said the upgrading of to fly in and out of the coal the airport would boost the city. economy of the Southeast. Speaking to reporters af“Look at me, I flew from ter the four-hour flight, amid Senegal to Enugu for four jubilation by residents, who hours. I don’t need to go to

Lagos or Abuja to catch any international flight again. “It is a good thing and I thank God for the development. The people of the Southeast will live to enjoy this because it will improve our economy,” the businessman said.

Voter registration stalled in Anambra

HE ongoing voter registration in Anambra State has suffered a hitch, with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) machines getting stuck. At the All Saints Primary School in Onitsha, the registration officers only registered two persons before the machines stopped working. At 11.45am yesterday, the operators took the machines to the local government headquarters for repairs. Also in Awka and environs, the story was the same as residents continued to parade the centres without success. INEC’s spokesman Frank Egbo said the machines were old. He said some of them were used in 2007 and had been undergoing series of repairs.

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Egbo said: “INEC is on top of the situation. We have a technical support crew going round the state, repairing the machines. “For the machines that are not responding, we have sent in generating sets to help the situation. “INEC has created 326 registration area centres. The 64-0 units are spread across the state. “Of such units, 34 are situated in Awka, the capital, where registration is expected to begin afresh. “The commission is working and very soon, all these complaints will be in the past.”

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

FFICIALS of the Nigeria Prisons Service in Delta State have re-arrested two inmates after a jail break. It was gathered that the inmates, who are cousins, were re-arrested after a massive manhunt. Louis Achollo Etomi and Sunday Acholo escaped from the Ogwashi-Uku prison on different dates. Their offences ranged from conspiracy, kidnapping to robbery. Etomi, who is awaiting trial, was remanded in prison on December 14, 2011 by an Asaba High Court. His cousin was sentenced to 12-month imprisonment on May 13 by a Magistrate’s Court in Ibusa, Oshimili North. A 27-year-old lady has been arrested for allegedly stealing N.75million from some bank customers. It was gathered that the suspect steals from unsuspecting customers in the bulk room. Police spokesman Lucky Uyabeme said the suspect stole N350,000 from a customer and N400,000 from another customer. Uyabeme said she was arrested, following a report by a customer, who claimed his money was stolen when he went to the bank. The spokesman said the police mounted surveillance after her picture was obtained from the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). He said the suspect would be charged to court soon.

PDP holds repeat congress

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday held a repeat congress in Anambra State, following the confusion that trailed last week’s exercise . Some of the governorship aspirants have hailed the exercise, saying it was better than the last one. The congress committee is headed by Austine Akobundu. Congresses have been held in 101 wards and are still on going. At some local government areas – Ihiala,

T

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Anambra East, Onitsha North and South Awka, North and South, people were still voting. One of the aspirants said: “My brother, this is the way things are supposed to be in this state. “If it had been like this, nobody would have called for a repeat. “We are happy that at last, PDP has got it right and we are going to wait for the names to be forwarded to our national secretariat.”

Drug centre in Onitsha

O reduce counterfeiting and discourage open drug marketing, the Federal Government yesterday inaugurated the Onitsha Mega Drug Distribution Centre. Health Minister Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu said the centre would ease the chaotic drug distribution in Nigeria and reduce fake drugs in circulation. Chukwu, represented by the Director, National Drug Policy Programme, Mrs. Joyce Ugwu, at the inauguration in Lagos, said the centre didn’t align with the National Guidelines for Drug Distribution (NGDD) because it

By Wale Adepoju

was built before the rules were formulated. He called on private individuals and organisations to invest in building mega drug markets to address the “uncoordinated” drug distribution in Nigeria. The minister said: “The distribution centres are far from the rural dwellers and concentrated in urban centres so we need them across the country. “Mega Drug Distribution Centres are needed across the remaining five geopolitical zones. “Wholesalers and retailers are also required to ensure evenly distribution of drugs.”

Community partners police

T

By Taibat Idowu and Helen Wakawa

HE Yaba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, in partnership with the police’s Crime Fighter, yesterday held a security awareness forum at the University of Lagos, Akoka. Crime Fighter is a television programme organised by the police Commissioner of Police Umaru Mako said his administration has tried to reduce crime in the state. He praised Governor Babatunde Fashola for his handling of security issues, saying the state was safer. The producer, Mrs. Aisha Agberebi, said the nation was faced with various security challenges, which are affecting its socio-economic development. She thanked the LCDA chairman, Olajide jimoh, for creating an awareness programme and urged the community to collaborate with securities agencies to ensure a peaceful environment. She added that “the police alone cannot stem the tide of crime in our community.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 20-08-13

Conoil grows net profit by 255% in first half

C

ONOIL Plc yesterday released its first half earnings report, indicating that profit after tax rose by 254.8 per cent to N1.6 billion in the review period. Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of the firm for the period ended June 30, 2013 showed that the downstream oil company drew on improved cost management to optimise marginal growth in sales. While turnover grew marginally by 4.5 per cent, profit before tax jumped by 198.6 per cent while profit after tax leapt by 254.8 per cent. Profit before tax closed June 2013 at N1.98 billion as against N663.1 million recorded in comparable period of 2012. Profit after tax leapt to N1.6 billion compared with N450.9 million, underlining similar increase in earnings per share from 65 kobo to N2.30. Gross profit rose from N7.73 billion to N8.33 billion. Turnover had risen slightly to N79.6 billion in 2013 as against N76.2 billion by June 2012. The report underlined significant improvement in the profit-making capacity of the company. While gross profit margin improved from 10.14 per cent to 10.46 per cent, pretax margin quadrupled to 2.49 per cent in 2013 as against 0.87 per cent in corresponding period of 2012. The bottom-line shows a robust outlook for the shareholders, which last week an-

By Taofik Salako

nounced a dividend per share of N1 for the 2012 business year. First half’s net earnings in 2013 already indicated the company could double such dividend. The company said the performance demonstrated its resilience in spite of the overwhelming challenges in the sector. The company attributed the results to the adoption of robust growth strategies, efficient management of resources and total elimination of waste in its operations. It assured its shareholders that it would sustain and grow the impressive performance in the remaining six months of the year, pointing out that there would be better returns to shareholders at the end of the current financial year. According to Conoil, it strengthened and repositioned its core businesses with huge investments in retail network expansion, which involved building multi-million Naira mega stations across the country as part of efforts to demonstrate its long-term growth strategy in the industry. “For us, the downstream remains fundamentally attractive now, in the medium and long term. With our clarity of direction and focus, our company’s long term success is assured. We will sustain our improved performance and

realize our aspiration to become the leading petroleum products marketer and one of the most profitable quoted companies. We will continue to benchmark our company against best global standards and practices to ensure that the business is managed in the best interest of all stake holders,” Conoil stated. Meanwhile, equities remained on the downtrend at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as new earnings reports failed to rally the market to a rebound. Equities recorded a daily average decline of 0.66 per cent yesterday, underlining the decline in market capitalisation of all equities on the NSE from N11.655 trillion to N11.578 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the value-based index that tracks all quoted equities, recorded its second consecutive decline this week to close at 36,558.50 points as against its opening index of 36,800.68 points. Nigerian Breweries topped the losers’ list with a loss of N3 to close at N166. Champion Breweries followed with a drop of N1.93 to close at N17.42 while Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria lost N1 to close at N94. On the other hand, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) led the gainers with a gain of 30 kobo to close at N14.70. Guaranty Trust Bank, which announced an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share based on its half-year earnings, chalked up 28 kobo to close at N25.30. Okomu Oil Palm trailed with a gain of 20 kobo to close at N44.70. Turnover was around average with exchange of 198.15 million shares valued at N1.88 billion in 5,243 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 20-08-13


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

55

MONEY LINK

Compliance officers task T banks on money laundering

T

HE Committee of Chief Compliance Officers in Nigeria (CCCOBIN) has asked banks to provide adequate resources and empowerment for Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) involved in money laundering control. This, they said, will ensure that Nigeria’s AntiMoney Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) risks are well managed. CCCOBIN Chairman, Pattison Boleigha said during a meeting in Lagos that bank officers involved in driving the implementation of the money laundering laws and regulations need to be protected. He said there should be penalties against

Stories by Collins Nweze

non-compliant staff. He said Nigerian banks are already showing commitment to ensuring that the sector received positive response from Financial Action Task Force (FATF) during their next review on the country. Boleigha said there is need for banks to strengthen their processes and ensure that issues identified by FATF are addressed by their management and staff. He explained that FATF will be in Nigeria next month to access the country’s level of compliance in eradicating money laundering and terrorism financing. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

also said it is taking measures aimed at getting the FATF to delist Nigeria from its list on non co-operative countries (NCCTs). The FATF had listed non implementation of procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets and failure to ensure that customer due diligence requirements apply to all financial transactions as areas Nigeria needs to address in order to ensure her removal from the high-risk and noncooperative jurisdictions list. To achieve this feat, the CBN has mandated international travelers to declare funds or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000 to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

GTBank reports N57b Q2 profit

•Agbaje

G

UARANTY Trust Bank Plc yesterday released its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2013, which saw its Profit Before Tax (PBT) soar to N57.36 billion. In a report to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges, the bank said the result is an improvement from N53.64 billion

recorded in June 2012. The lender also reported a 2013 half year Profit After Tax (PAT) of N49.01 billion an increase over the N45.55 billion reported in June 2012. Gross earnings stood at N124.20 billion, an increase of N10.68 billion from the N113.53 billion reported for the corresponding period in 2012. The lender’s total assets and contingents stood at N2.50 trillion, customer deposits was N1.25 trillion and shareholders’ funds N296.95 billion. The bank’s non-performing loans remained low at 3.32 per cent. It’s Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) closed at 33.78 per cent and 5.45 per cent respectively. The bank is proposing interim dividend payment of N7.36 billion to shareholders (N0.25 per ordinary share of 50 kobo each). Managing Director/CEO of Guar-

anty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, attributed the bank’s success to the continued support of its customers, hard work of its dedicated staff and strong corporate governance standards. He said the bank will continue to add value to its stakeholders through excellent customer service, innovative products and value adding services. “It is the bank’s beliefs that success on these fronts would enable it deepen its share of market across all sectors and improve profitability, despite today’s extremely challenging business environment,” he said. He also thanked the customers for their loyalty and staff for their continued hard work and dedication.

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

Q

NIDF NESF

OBB Rate Call Rate

Current Market 5495.33 N552.20

Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 20-08-13

SYMBOL MULTITREX VONO TRANSEXPR JOHNHOLT JOSBREW THOMASWY ROYALEX UPL NEM WEMABANK

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

0.60 0.62 1.15 1.16 1.27 0.67 0.52 4.10 0.73 1.01

0.66 0.68 1.26 1.27 1.39 0.73 0.55 4.29 0.76 1.05

350m EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS)

CHANGE 0.06 0.06 0.11 0.11 0.12 0.06 0.03 0.19 0.03 0.04

Year Start Offer

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

Current Before

Current After

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

CHAMPION INTENEGINS NPFMCRFBK COURTVILLE PRESTIGE STERLNBNK LIVESTOCK FIDSON ZENITHBANK OANDO

O/PRICE 19.35 1.83 0.83 0.75 0.55 2.63 4.20 2.12 20.99 11.40

C/PRICE 17.42 1.65 0.75 0.68 0.51 2.46 3.93 2.01 20.00 10.97

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8

2-7-12 27-6-12

113m

113m

155.7

22-6-12

NSE CAP Index

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

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

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

Movement

Date

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

CHANGE 1.93 0.18 0.08 0.07 0.04 0.17 0.27 0.11 0.99 0.43

Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

CUV Start %

LOSERS AS AT 20-08-13

SYMBOL

percent weighting. Banks whose 2012 data were not available as of March 31 were excluded. A bank’s rank on each factor was multiplied by its weight to derive a score. The five scores were added together, the total determining the final rank. Banks that reported a loss for their 2012 net income or whose capital plan was rejected by the Federal Reserve were excluded. All data were for banks’ 2012 fiscal year, which in most cases ended December 31. Banks that hadn’t reported 2012 year-end data by March 31 were not included.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

Qatar National is world’s strongest bank in 2013

ATAR National Bank has been rated the strongest bank in 2013 by Bloomberg. Tier 1 capital ratio, the ratio of a bank’s core equity capital to its risk-weighted assets, received a weighting of 40 percent. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets received a weighting of 20 percent, as did the ratio of reserves for loan losses to nonperforming assets. Bloomberg report said the ratio of deposits to funding accounted for 15 percent of the final score, and the efficiency ratio, which compares costs with revenues, received a 5

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00

economic opportunities, which is the objective of the cooperation among the Central Banks. Those present at the brief ceremony were the Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at the D8 Mission in Istanbul, Turkey, Ambassador, Ibukun Olatidoye; Director, Multilateral Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hussein Abdullahi; Director, Monetary Policy Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Moses Tule among others.

DATA BANK

FGN BONDS Tenor

D-8 lauds Sanusi

HE Secretariat of Developing Eight countries (D8), has commended the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for his efforts in promoting D8 activities. They said Sanusi has ensured that members share and benefit from the experiences of respective countries. Presenting the award, the Secretary General of the D8, Dr. Sayed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, noted that such efforts have assisted member countries in harnessing financial and

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 9.08 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE 140.65 140.16 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 157.46 155.73 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.80 0.78 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.16 1.16 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.18 1.16 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 100.00 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 1,000.00 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,808.48 1,794.68 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 14.73 14.01 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 1.33 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 1.80 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 11.386.29 11,045.54 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE • OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

56

NEWS Youths attack Edo Commissioner From Osagie Otabor, Benin

YOUTHS in Evboriaria community have attacked the Edo State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr. Osikhena-Boih Donald, who led officials of the ministry to demolish the houses built on government’s land. Sources said the youths pelted the commissioner’s convoy with stones when the caterpillar began the demolition. The presence of heavilyarmed policemen did not stop the youths from attacking the commissioner and other government officials, which made them to leave the community. It was learnt that the youths told the government officials that the land belonged to them and no land was acquired by the government in the locality. A top official of the ministry, who confirmed the incident, said they left to avoid clashes that might lead to death. The commissioner, however, said it was disappointing the rate people encroached and built on government’s land despite several warnings and notices.

Senator :Anti-Amaechi forces after treasury T

HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Down-Stream), Senator Magnus Abe, has said those fighting Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi are only after the state’s resources. Abe, who represents Rivers Southeast, spoke at Nchia, headquarters of Eleme Local Government, during a public hearing on a bill for a bye-law. It was organised by the Eleme Local Government Legislative Assembly. He said: “The reason, I know all these, is because the governor is vocal, he speaks his mind on issues. Some people are interested in getting control of the Rivers State Government by hook or crook, not because they love the state, not because they even hate Amaechi, but because they want to be the ones to control the state’s resources.

“For the past six years, we are witnesses to what our resources have been used for. Those things would not have been possible if the Rivers State’s resources are not in the hands of those who think that the people matter more than the big men.” While urging the indigenes to be on the alert, Abe said security had been compromised in the state, stressing that the police have become more interested in the politics of the state than in security. He lauded the decision of the National Assembly to take over the functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly, saying it was taken so that frayed nerves could calm down while mature minds look for a solution to

the crisis. Abe said: “Thankfully, the National Assembly has taken over the legislative functions of the House of Assembly. It is done to solve the problems, so that mature heads will look for a solution that will restore constitutional rule.” A Commissioner in the Rivers State Civil Service Commission, Chief Bebe Okpabi, thanked the senator for providing quality representation for the people of Rivers Southeast and hailed him for the water projects and bags of fertiliser provided for the people. The Chairman, Eleme Local Government, Oji Ngofa, pledged the commitment of the people to Amaechi and Abe.

Amaechi swears in acting chief judge From Shola O’Neil, S/South Regional Editor

•Amaechi

R

IVERS State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has sworn in the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Peter N. C. Agumagu, as the acting chief judge. Justice Agumagu, a senior judge in the state, was sworn in as the CJ at a brief ceremony by the governor. He was sworn in after the former Chief Judge, Justice Iche Ndu, retired.

Governor opens project GOVERNOR Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State yesterday inaugurated a 4.5 million Dollars (N720 million) Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC)-sponsored water scheme project at AletoEleme. He said during the inauguration at Aleto-Eleme in Eleme Local Government that the project would supply potable water to 40, 000 people in five communities. It is inline with the recommendation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on the area. The report said oil spills had contaminated the surface and ground water at levels more than 900 times above the World Health Organisation (WHO)-prescribed safety limit. It recommended that the Nigerian authorities compel multinational oil companies operating in the area to clean up the pollution caused by decades of oil exploration. Amaechi said SPDC provided 4.5 million dollars for the project and the government executed it.

Outrage over civil service forms From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

THERE was anger at the Cross River State Civil Service Commission, Calabar, yesterday over the unavailability of forms for employment into the Federal Civil Service Commission. When The Nation visited the commission, thousands of applicants, who had been in the rain to get the forms, were angry that the forms had finished. Efforts to get officials of the commission to comment on the incident proved abortive.

A statement from the Government House said Justice Agumagu was sworn in yesterday at the Council Chambers, Government House, Port Harcourt. Governor Amaechi said the acting chief judge shall hold the office pending the approval by the National Assembly of the candidate recommended as chief judge by the National Judicial Commission (NJC).

‘Give peace a chance’ Shola O’Neil, S/South Regional Editor

T

HE Paramount Ruler of Port Harcourt, Victor Nnanna Woluchem II, Eze Epara Rebisi XII, has appealed to those fighting Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi to give peace a chance. Speaking with The Nation shortly after his coronation yesterday, he said the anti-Amaechi forces in and outside the state should listen to the voice of the people and allow peace to reign so that the governor could continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. He said: “I can tell you without fear of contradiction that we have seen positive changes during Governor Amaechi’s tenure. There are projects on ground; things we can see. “I pray that the government should be allowed to continue its good work. Those who have issues should adopt dialogue to settle their differences.”

Kidnapped council boss escapes From Osagie Otabor, Benin

•One of the shops destroyed yesterday. INSET: A bullet shell discovered by a boy in the community after the mayhem.

Security men terrorise residents, destroy shops

T

HERE was chaos yesterday at Esuk Utan in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, when security men comprising Army, Navy and police terrorised the residents. When The Nation visited the scene, people were running helter-skelter and shops were shut. It was learnt that the problem started when members

T

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

of the Quick Intervention Squad (QIS) accosted a man on a motorcycle and attempted to seize his bike, since motorcycles have been banned by the government. Our source said the man resisted and he was attacked by members of the squad, which consist of the Army,

Navy and Police. The squad was inaugurated to aid in handling emergency cases. It was learnt that a lady, whose identity could not be ascertained, told them to stop beating up the man. At that point, the security men reportedly attacked the lady, beating her up for daring to question them. The source said when they

would not stop, nearby youths attacked the security men and injured one of them. The security men then called for a reinforcement. Several truckloads of QIS vehicles brought more security men, who shot sporadically, beating anyone in sight and destroying shops.

T

HE Vice-Chairman of Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, Walter Aiwekhor, who was abducted by unknown gunmen, has escaped. He was abducted on Ogan Road near Abudu on his way to Ehor, headquarters of the local government. The abduction of Aiwekhor occurred 48 hours after two teachers and three children were abducted by gunmen. It was learnt that he escaped through the bush and surfaced at Ubiaruku village in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State. Police Commissioner Mr. Foluso Adebanjo confirmed the incident.

Fed Govt dismisses NGO’s report on alleged extra-judicial killings

HE Federal Government said yesterday that reports by a human rights group, Amnesty International (AI), on alleged extrajudicial killings in some northern states were not factual. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru, spoke in Abuja at an international conference on “Human Rights, Human Security and Conflict’’, organised by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR). The group in its 2012 report accused Nigerian security personnel of “unlawful killings, dragnet arrests, arbitrary and unlawful detentions, extortion and intimidation” in some

northern parts of the country. The minister said the group had, however, apologised to Nigeria. “Nigerian armed forces have served well over many countries with impeccable record; human rights is part of their training. “When amnesty was here, they said they were sorry; if you are sorry, you say it outside, let people know. “I have given them the invitation to come and open an office so that when they write, it will be factual. “We are not afraid of our operations because the military

keeps to the rule of engagement, this is why there are so many arrests made.’’ According to him, those that are killed died in the usual course of exchange of fire and the military had a duty to protect themselves. “For us in Nigeria, we are signatory to human rights and people’s rights; whatever level of involvement, we always remain conscious of our obligations to humanity. “We are committed to continue the pursuit on this path for enduring peace both in Nigeria and Africa,’’ Ashiru said. The minister described Ni-

geria as a major contributor to global peace, adding that issues of human rights were enshrined in the country’s constitution and were also complied with. He noted that human rights issues in Nigeria predated the colonial era. According to him, the conference is an opportunity to showcase efforts made in the sustenance of human right laws in the country. “In Nigeria and most African countries, we have been forthright because we have entrenched human rights provisions in our constitution and that was what gave rise to the bill of rights of 1958. “This has now formed into chapter 3 of the 1960 Inde-

pendence Constitution, and today all the issues of human rights are enshrined in chapter four of the 1999 Constitution. “Human rights have consistently been provided for in our constitution since our independence because of the respect we have for it.’’ Ashiru said it demonstrated that the country did not only respect human rights, but it would also remain committed to its promotion in all facets. Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, explained that challenges of the promotion of human rights existed globally. He said the promotion and defence of human rights required collective and global efforts to be addressed.


57

THE NATION WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21, 2013

NEWS

Tears as Jigawa Assembly bids Deputy Speaker final bye From Ahmed Rufa’I, Dutse

M

EMBERS of the Jigawa State House of Assembly yesterday wept during a valedictory session for the late Deputy Speaker Inuwa Sule Udi. The late Deputy Speaker died last Thursday night in an auto accident on the KanoRingim-Hadejia Road. He was 56. The special session was attended by the State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Salisu Mamuda and his deputy; Majority Leader Adamu Jafaru; the Chairman of Ringim Local Government, Alhaji Murtala Abubakar as well as several people from Udi’s constituency. Opening the session, Speaker Adamu Ahmed Sarawa described the late Udi as hard working, loyal and committed. The Speaker said: “In all our stay with him as my deputy for over six years, he never disobeyed me. We never had any misunderstanding. He also never refused my orders. “I was optimistic and confident in him to represents the Assembly and me on whatever issue or matter. That’s because I never expected failure or a misrepresentation.” The Speaker, who broke down in tears, prayed for his former deputy’s soul to rest in peace. The House Leader, the Majority Whip and other members paid glowing tributes to the late Udi. They urged the House leadership to name an important place after him. They prayed Allah to “grant him Al-Jannah fir’daous”. The late Udi is survived by two wives, 18 children, and grand-children.

NDLEA arrests 185 suspected drug dealers in Plateau From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

T

HE Plateau State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it seized 1,320 kilogrammes of cannabis (Indian hemp) and other prohibited substances since the beginning of this year. The command also arrested 185 suspected drug dealers between January and August. The State Commandant Ngozi Madubuike spoke yesterday in Jos, the state capital. She said: “Though Plateau State is not a cannabisproducing state, but it ranks among states with high rate of consumption.” Mrs. Madubuike said most of the cannabis seized was brought into the state from other places. She said 85 persons were admitted into the command’s rehabilitation programme, adding that 63 of them have been discharged, following their recuperation; then other 22 are said to be undergoing rehabilitation.

Gunmen kill four policemen, others in Kaduna attacks

•Yero condemns attacks •Govt to pay survivors’ hospital bills

U

NKNOWN gunmen have killed four policemen and an unidentified person in two attacks on a Divisional Police Station in Kajuru, the headquarters of Kajuru Local Government Area, and in Nungu community, Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It was learnt that three policemen died in the attack in Kajuru. Two others, including a police officer, died in the Nungu attack. The gunmen were said to have arrived in Kajuru at 11.30pm. They reportedly attacked the police station and freed the detainees. Two of the policemen on duty were reportedly killed. The third, a policewoman, died on the way to the hospital. Governor Muktar Ramalan Yero has condemned the attacks. He urged security operatives to fish out the perpetrators. The governor described the attacks as unfortunate.

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

He assured the residents of his administration’s readiness to tackle criminals. Yero urged the people to remain calm, assuring them that the government was equipping security agencies to secure the lives and property of the people. In a statement yesterday in Kaduna by his spokesman, Ahmed Maiyaki, the governor sympathised with the police command and the residents on the attacks. He said: “This ugly trend has to stop. We are committed to bringing the perpetrators of the attacks to book by all means possible.” Yero condoled with the families of the policemen, saying: “At such sad moments, our hearts and prayers are with the immediate families of those that died in the ugly incident. We pray that Almighty God repose their souls and give their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

The governor promised to pay the bills of those receiving treatment at St. Gerald’s Catholic Hospital in Kaduna. One of the surviving policemen, who spoke in confidence, told reporters that the gunmen stormed the station in several vehicles and started shooting. He said: “We were not many; we couldn’t stand their sophisticated weapons. They killed three of our colleagues, including an Inspector and a Sergeant. Three of our colleagues sustained serious injuries and were rushed to the hospital in Kaduna. A female police officer died on the way to the hospital. “They (the gunmen) came around 11:30pm yesterday (Monday) and they operated for about an hour. It was the mobile policemen from various locations that saved the situation. Otherwise, the gunmen would have also attacked the other residents. “If not for the intervention of the mobile policemen, the situation could have been hellish for the residents. They were many. They came in sev-

eral vehicles. They released all the detainees in the cell. Some of us immediately removed our uniform and pretended to be among the suspects in the cell. That was how we survived. Others managed to escape into the bush.” Police spokesman, Aminu Lawan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the attack. He said the command was investigating the incident and that its details would be made public later. In a telephone chat with our reporter, Lawan said: “We are still assessing the details. We will let you know when we are through.” There had been rumours of an anonymous letter sent to the police command in which they allegedly threatened to attack places like SabonTasha, in the Southern Kaduna and other communities in the area.

T

Ilorin

great. Nigeria can become the place where there will be security of lives and property; where there is religious harmony. This is attainable and doable.” The governor urged the polytechnic rectors “to focus on finding solutions to the critical problems of middlelevel manpower deficit confronting our nation, especially as it affects our educational system”. He added: “Today, our labour markets are sadly saturated with unemployable

graduates; youths who cannot clearly express themselves, not to talk of possess the required skills for self-employment. As heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology, who determine the direction of our technological development, there is the need for you to refocus attention on quality education and business skills to prepare our youths for successful entrepreneurship on graduation. “It is indeed worrying that most new graduates wallow in joblessness because they are either unemployable or cannot find suitable employ-

ment. Even more concerning is the fact that a significant proportion of school leavers are unable to proceed to higher education due to limited spaces at tertiary institutions or lack of financial capacity to pursue higher education.” The Chairman of the Governing Council of Kwara State Polytechnic, Prof Shehu Jimoh, said cultism has become endemic. He added: “I hear cult groups are everywhere now, including secondary schools.”

Sule: Failure to uphold Sardauna’s legacy IGERIA’s former has polarised North Permanent Repre-

N

sentative to the United Nations (UN), Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, has said the neglect of the legacies of the late Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto), was the major cause of the divisions threatening the unity of the North. Sule spoke at a youth parley, under the auspices of Arewa Citizens Action for Change. He noted that the unity of the North makes it a formi-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

dable force in the country’s political arena. Sule said: “I vividly remember that while the Sardauna was championing the activities of the region as the Premier, he was instrumental to the establishment of Northern Association of Christians of Nigeria, before it was generally adopted and transformed into the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Minna

THE Niger State Chief Judge, Justice Fati Abubakar, yesterday decried the incessant transfer of Investigating and Prosecuting Officers (IPOs) by Police authority lamenting that this has grossly hampers smooth administration of criminal justice. She also blamed the inability to bring to book some culprits of rape cases due to delay by victims of rape to under-go medical test and obtain medical reports immediately they are violated. Speaking through Justice Musa Abdul at the opening ceremony of a two-day capacity building for 250 prosecutors and investigators of the police command in Minna, the state capital, the Chief Judge noted that the constant transfer of IPOs creates logistic problems, which affects the smooth administration of justice.

Kaduna promotes 13,667 Kaduna

Kwara to punish students-cultists From Adekunle Jimoh,

From Jide Orintunsin,

From Tony Akowe,

•From left: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr Macjohn Nwabiala; Niger State Governor Babagida Aliyu and representative of the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr Akinbola Agboaye, at the Third African Expertise meeting in Abuja..yesterday

HE Kwara state G o v e r n o r AbdulFatah Ahmed yesterday vowed to punish anybody or student found culpable in cultism in tertiary institutions. Ahmed said his administration has zero tolerance for cultism. He said this was the reason it embarked on constant advocacy against the menace. Ahmed spoke at the opening ceremony of the 126th Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology (COHEADS), hosted by the Kwara State Polytechnic. He said: “I swear by the heavens, if we catch any of you involved in the act, we will deal decisively with that person. There is no escape route for you. We know you. Cultism is an escapist means of catching up with the society. People luring students to cultism are mentally weak. “Cultism does not pay. It only brings sadness to those involved in it. Students, don’t allow yourselves to be lured into it. The best thing is for you to follow the path of honour and complete your education. The country needs you. “We know that family and religious values have broken down, but Nigeria can still be

‘Why cases are delayed’

Against this backdrop, it shows that he was a disciple and blood descendant of the late Usman Danfodio and the leader of the Nigerian Congress of Muslims. “That was how the North was built, regardless of religious and or ethnic leanings. This ensures that nobody identifies with any religion or tribe. Instead, people were proud to associate with the northern region.”

THE Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has promoted 13,667 teachers and nonteaching workers for the 2010/2011 period in the 23 local government areas. A statement yesterday by the Director, Social Mobilisation of the board, Alhaji Shuaibu Dabo, quoted its Chairman, Ishaya Dare Akau, as saying those promoted were among 15,758 senior workers who were shortlisted for the exercise. He explained that henceforth, promotions would be based on the results of the pupils the teachers handle. According to him, the time has come for every teacher in the government’s employ to be conversant with the state’s benchmark on literacy and numeracy.

2015: Benue deputy governor joins race From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

BENUE State Deputy Governor Steven Lawani has joined the 2015 governorship race on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Since the creation of Benue from Plateau State, this is the first time a deputy governor has openly expressed his desire to succeed his principal. Lawani is from Benue South Senatorial District, which is yet to produce the governor in the 37-year-old state. The deputy governor said he was responding to a request by a Forum of Governor’s Aides from Zone C to contest in 2015. Lawani said he had informed the State Executive Committee of the PDP and the party’s caucus in the zone about his ambition. The deputy governor explained that having served Governor Gabriel Suswam for eight years with rancour.


58

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

NEWS Wike’s group kicks as Amaechi swears in Rivers acting CJ

R

IVERS State Governor Chibuike Amaechi yesterday swore in President, state customary Court of Appeal, Justice Peter Agumagu, as the acting chief judge, pending the approval of the female nominee, Daisey W. Okocha, by the Nigeria Judicial Council (NCJ). Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Mr.David Iyofor said the appointment was based on the order of seniority in the profession billed to last for three months. He said: “Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has sworn in the new Acting Chief Judge of the State, Justice Peter N. C. Agumagu. ”Justice Agumagu was sworn in after the former Chief Judge of the State, Justice Iche Ndu, retired from service. ”Justice Agumagu was sworn in during a brief ceremony at the Council Chambers, Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday (yesterday). Amaechi urged him to discharge his responsibilities without fear or favour. Explaining why he made the appointment, Amaechi said: “ I sat through the week with the Attorney General to review the appointment and we looked at the constitution and the constitution says the most senior Judge of the High Court, and we looked at your appointment as a Judge of the High Court and compared it with the rest of the judges in the state and realised that you are the most senior judge of the high court of Rivers State. We therefore took that decision to proceed with the appointment.” He told the judge “we hope that within the three months of your acting, you will discharge your responsibility.” State government officials, in-

From Bisi Olaniyi and Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

cluding the governor and the Attorney-General, boycotted the farewell ceremony of the retiring CJ on Monday But Minister for State for Education, Nyesom Wike, Amaechi’s rival in the unabated Rivers political crisis, a lawyer, was fully robed at the event. Justice Ndu was appointed by former Governor Peter Odili in 2001. The Wike group criticised yesterday’s inauguration of Justice Agumagu. The minister’s group, Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), in a statement by its President-General, Bright Amaewhule, yesterday described Agumagu’s inauguration as a rape of the Constitution The Rivers State government, through the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha, however, declared that Wike and his cotravellers were ignorant of the law. Wike’s group expressed shock that the Rivers governor and Boms could boycott Monday’s valedictory session for the retiring CJ, despite of being in Port Harcourt and without any cogent reason, alleging that Ndu refused to be used as a tool for political vendetta against their perceived

political opponents. The Rivers chief of staff, a lawyer, also maintained that Amaechi acted within his rights and in order, stressing that the law empowers him to appoint an acting chief judge, if the situation arises. Okocha said: “I should not be responding to positions of those who lack knowledge of the law. When people are not aware, they make such ignorant comments and judgments. “The governor has powers to appoint an acting chief judge, even without recourse to the Assembly and such appointment is, according to the law, bound to last three months. “The governor is well aware of his rights and responsibilities. He is not one of those who act without disregard for the law. Even while he was performing the swearing-in ceremony, he said that a substantive appointee would be sworn in, if the National Assembly approves the recommendation of the NJC, at its resumption from recess.” The GDI, however, accused Amaechi, of having a non-performing executive arm of government, a comatose legislature and who now sought to destroy the Rivers judiciary, to voluntarily resign from office, describing him as a danger to democracy and the rule of law. By appointing Agumagu as

the acting CJ, Wike’s group noted that the Rivers governor had violated Section 271 (4) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides that until a substantive appointment is made, filling the vacancy in the office of the CJ of the state, the most senior judge of the High Court of the state, shall be appointed to perform the functions of the CJ. The GDI’s president-general said: “Amaechi and Boms, in clear violation of section 271(4) of the 1999 Constitution refused to swear in Hon. Justice Daisy Okocha, who is the most senior judge of the High Court of Rivers State, in an acting capacity, until the procedural niceties of appointing a substantive CJ of Rivers State are fulfilled. “Justice Daisy Okocha happens to be the same judge of the High Court of Rivers State that both the Rivers State Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Commission have recognised as the substantive CJ of Rivers State and recommended for appointment to Governor Amaechi. “Governor Amaechi does not have the constitutional power (as much as he would wish he had) to appoint the CJ of Rivers state, be it in a substantive or acting capacity, outside the provisions of Section 271 of the Constitution.”

Strike: Govt offers to pay ASUU N30b allowances Continued from page 4

President has instructed us as to what to do and he has shown a lot of commitments and launching of projects worth N100 billion in the 61 universities. “So, we are hoping that we will be able to see the end of the strike very soon if at the end of the day ASUU is satisfied

with the measures that have so far been taken. The President has graciously agreed that in the first week of September, he will be able to launch the projects. “You also know that the procurement process will have to be followed and these projects include hostels in our universities, classrooms and

lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, among others. Some are renovations, some are new and all the 61 universities are going to benefit from one project or another. “So it is not going to be selective; all the universities are going to benefit from this infrastructural revitalisation of our universities,” he said.

Reps attack Ezekwesili Continued from page 4

when you go back and look at the performance of that sub head, we never had more than 5 per cent performance. So, even if the projection for a particular year is N100billion, we have never had not more than N2.5billion, and in most cases much lesser than 5 per cent? Leader of Opposition in the House , Femi Gbajabiamila, said simple mathematics must have failed the former Minister. According to him, Dr. Ezekwesili failed to comprehend the workings of the National Assembly before making her conclusion. He said: “I think we should be objective and not dramatic about this obviously sensitive matter. From my simple mathematics if

you divide N1 trillion over an eight year period, you will get an average of a little over 100billion per year. “Now, this is for a whole and distinct arm of government and covers salaries of legislators, staff of both Houses, the National Assembly Commission, capital projects and over heads etc. When you compare this with the budget of just a single agency or Ministry which is not an arm of government, you begin to get a better understanding and a clear picture. “I don’t think N100billion represents two per cent of our annual budget. “If part time legislation is the panacea or antidote or solution to our myriad of problems in this country, I am all for it but something tells me it is not tenable for now,” he said.

PDP panel to reconcile Jonathan, Amaechi Continued from page 4

gations against Wike and asked that the President be notified of the minister’s activities. On the fate of Tukur, the source said although some governors raised issues against the national chairman, most did not want him removed. The source said: “Some of the governors said the alleged high-handedness of Tukur should be curtailed. They complained of not being carried along on party matters. “In spite of the fact that at the tail end of the meeting, emotions rose on Tukur’s leadership style, majority of the governors said he should not be removed.” The source also said the governors agreed that “2015 poll is around the corner and Rivers State is vital to PDP. “They said PDP should not lose 2.3million votes from Riv-

ers to the ongoing crisis.” Another governor confirmed that early last Friday, Akpabio met with Mr. President on the decisions of the governors. The source added: “Akpabio tabled all the decisions of the PDP governors to the President, who promised to look into all the issues, including observations on Wike. “Akpabio, who is presently in the United States, is expected to meet with the President again on August 20.” But it was learnt that Akpabio had also been reaching out to Amaechi and Wike. The source said: “In the last three weeks, Akpabio has spoken four times with Amaechi. He is trying to see how reconciliation can be effected between the President and the governor. “Akpabio has tried to call Wike to order to restore peace to Rivers State.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

59


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

60

FOREIGN NEWS U.S: House chairman rejects ‘special’ citizenship path

Egypt arrests Brotherhood’s spiritual leader

E

GYPT’s military-backed authorities yesterday arrested the supreme leader of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood, dealing a serious blow to the Islamist group at a time when it is struggling to keep up its street protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in the face of a harsh government crackdown. The Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, Mohammed Badie, was arrested in an apartment at the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City, close to the location of the six-week sit-in protest by supporters of Morsi, who also hails from the Islamist group. The encampment was cleared by security forces last Wednesday, along with another protest site in Giza, in a raid that killed hundreds of people. Badie’s arrest is the latest stage in an escalating crackdown by authorities on the Brotherhood in which hundreds have also been arrested. The Brotherhood’s near daily protests since Morsi’s ouster have somewhat petered out the last two days, with scattered demonstrations in Cairo and elsewhere in the country attracting hundreds, sometimes just dozens.

Brotherhood condemns arrest, former VP El-Baradei to face charges EGYPT’s Muslim Brotherhood has condemned the arrest of its leader Mohammad Badie over allegations of incitement to violence and murder. A Brotherhood spokesman said the arrest was part of a plot against the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. Mr Badie was detained near the site of a Cairo protest camp cleared by police last week with heavy loss of life. Meanwhile Egypt’s former Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei is to face trial on charges of breaching national trust. Mr ElBaradei, who is out of the country, resigned on 14 August after security forces dispersed two protest camps in Cairo set up by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Mr Badie has reportedly been temporarily replaced as “general guide” by the movement’s deputy leader, Mahmoud Ezzat. Mr Ezzat is also subject to an arrest warrant. Mr Badie, 70, had initially been a prominent figMorsi himself has been detained in an undisclosed location since the July 3 coup, prompted by days-long protests by millions of Egyptians demonstrating against the president and his rule. He is facing accusations of conspiring with the militant Palestinian Hamas group to escape from prison

ure at the Brotherhood’s protest camps in Cairo, but went into hiding as the military-backed interim government stepped up efforts to shut down the protests. He is facing charges of inciting violence and murder over the deaths of eight anti-Brotherhood protesters outside the movement’s headquarters in Cairo in June. Officials said he had been detained in a flat in Nasr City in north-east Cairo, near the site of one of the protest camps broken up by security forces last week. Mr Badie’s 38-year-old son, Ammar, died in last week’s violence. Almost 900 people have been killed across the country since Wednesday. Among them are 36 Islamist protesters who died in a prison van in Cairo on Sunday. The UN’s human rights agency OHCHR has said the deaths of the detainees are “deeply disturbing and need to be fully investigated”.

during the 2011 uprising and complicity in the killing and torture of protesters outside his Cairo palace in December. Badie’s last public appearance was at the sit-in protest last month, when he delivered a fiery speech from a makeshift stage in which he denounced the July 3 military coup that re-

moved Morsi. Badie’s arrest followed the death of one of his children, son Ammar, who was shot dead during violent clashes between security forces and Morsi supporters in Cairo on Friday. Also, Badie and his powerful deputy, Khairat el-Shater, are to stand trial later this

T

•Badie

month on charges of complicity in the killing in June of eight protesters outside the Brotherhood’s national headquarters in Cairo. Security officials said Badie was taken to Torah prison in a suburb just south of Cairo and that a team of prosecutors were to question him. Torah is a sprawling complex where the autocrat Hosni Mubarak, ousted in the 2011 popular uprising, is also held, along with his two sons. Several Mubarak-era figures are also imprisoned there, as are several Brotherhood leaders and other Islamists. In the aftermath of last Wednesday’s violence, the military-backed government is considering outlawing the Brotherhood, which has spent most of the 85 years since its creation as an illegal organization.

HE chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is rejecting the idea of giving immigrants in the U.S. illegally a special pathway to citizenship. Republican congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia told a town hall meeting in the Shenandoah Valley on Monday that the House must chart its own course on immigration even if it never results in a bill President Barack Obama can sign. He said that he’ll do everything he can to ensure the House never takes up the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, which includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. Goodlatte said the House will proceed with individual immigration bills once lawmakers return to Washington in September from their summer recess, beginning with bills on interior enforcement, border security and workplace verification. Goodlatte has said that immigrants could get a legal status short of citizenship and from there using the existing pathways of family or employment ties to eventually obtain citizenship.

Peru drugs: Two UK women arrive in court

T

WO UK women arrested in Peru on suspicion of drugs smuggling have arrived at court to find out if they are to be charged. Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon, and Melissa Reid, from Lenzie near Glasgow, both 20, are accused of trying to smuggle 11kg (24lb) of cocaine. The pair was stopped while trying to board a flight to Madrid two weeks ago. They have maintained that they were forced by an armed gang to carry the drug, which was in their luggage. Both women say they were forcibly recruited as drug mules by the gang while working in bars in the Spanish island of Ibiza and travelled to Peru under duress. Police said the cocaine had a street value of £1.5m. BBC correspondent Will Grant reported that Ms McCol-

lum and Ms Reid were taken from their cells in Lima at 07:00 local time (13:00 BST) yesterday and transferred by police escort to the neighbouring province of Callao, which has jurisdiction over their case. He said the women were given a brief medical exam before being taken to the public prosecutor’s office, where they are required to give full statements. Once this has been completed, the women are expected to be moved to Callao’s Justice Building, our correspondent added. They will then hear the charges against them and enter their pleas. It is not yet clear if they still intend to enter a not guilty plea. Our correspondent said that once pleas had been entered the pair were expected to be placed in a holding cell within the Justice Building, ahead of transfer

•Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid on their way to court...yesterday.

to a women’s prison later this week. On Monday, Ms McCollum’s solicitor Peter Madden who had travelled to Lima with Ms McCollum’s brother Keith on Friday - criticised some of

PUBLIC NOTICE

ORO IMPACTED COMMUNITY FORUM (OICF)

The general public is hereby given notice that the above named association has applied for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Mattered Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Hon. Sunday Usoh 2. Hon. Daniel Edet Asukwo 3. Hon. Elder Asuquo Owineng JP 4. Hon. Roland Okon Ebek 5. Hon. Emetuei Frank Emetuei 6. Comrade Emmanuel Nduonyi 7. Prince Usin Edet Essang THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. To foster Unity amongst the Youths of ORO Communities. 2. To promote the development of ORO Communities. 3. To promote Peace and Love amongst members and society at large. Any objection thereto should be addressed to the RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication. Signed:Alh. Ibrahim M.T. (Solicitor)

Z

the press coverage of the case. Over the weekend some newspapers had reported on the Ibiza drugs scene and had questioned the women’s stories. Mr Madden said he had

shown some reports to his client, who he said “totally denies” the contents. Also over the weekend, the head of Ibiza’s police investigation into drug trafficking, First Sergeant Alberto Arean

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai may face IMBABWE’s opposition contempt charges leader Morgan Tsvangi-

rai may face contempt of court charges for “disparaging remarks” he made about the judiciary. High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu said prosecutors would be informed. His comments came as Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party lost two court cases relating to the disputed 31 July election. The Constitutional Court said President Robert Mugabe’s re-election was “free, fair and credible”. Mr Mugabe won with 61% of the presidential vote against

34% for Mr Tsvangirai. The two had been part of power-sharing government formed in 2009 under pressure from regional leaders following elections the year before marred by violence and allegations of rigging. The Constitutional Court made its ruling on Tuesday despite the MDC withdrawing its case last Friday, alleging it would not get a fair hearing. The MDC’s separate case before the High Court seeking full details of the results from the electoral commission was also dismissed yesterday.

Justice Bhunu said the High Court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the matter, adding the case had no merit because of the applicant’s “gross conduct in soiling the dignity and integrity of this court”. Mr Tsvangirai, who served as prime minister in the power-sharing government, had said there was little difference between the judiciary and Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party as judges had been appointed while he was in office without him being consulted, as required by law. Such “scathing and disparaging remarks concerning the entire judiciary of this country” would be referred to either the attorney general’s office or the National Prosecuting Authority for them to consider pressing contempt of court charges, Justice Bhunu said.

Varela, cast doubt on the claims that the women were coerced into trying to smuggle drugs out of Peru, saying they had several opportunities to alert the authorities.

Al-Jazeera America debuts

A

L-JAZEERA, the Doha-based cable news network is launching a new TV news channel in the United States. Al-Jazeera America will be available in almost 48 million US households, offering 14 hours of news each day. The new network replaces Current TV, the cable television network founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, which the Qatarowned broadcaster acquired in January 2013 for around $500m. However, it has yet to sign agreements with major operators, such as Time Warner Cable, to carry the channel. Al Jazeera America said that they will give less airtime than other US networks to advertising, typically carrying six minutes of adverts each hour, less than the industry average of 15 minutes.


61

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

FOREIGN NEWS

Pakistani’s ex-leader Musharraf charged with Bhutto’s murder

P

AKISTANI ex-President Pervez Musharraf has been charged in connection with the 2007 assassination of opposition leader and former PM Benazir Bhutto. The former military ruler has denied charges of murder, criminal conspiracy to murder and facilitation of murder. It is the first time a current or ex-army chief has been charged with a crime in Pakistan. Mr Musharraf says the charges are politically motivated. Ms Bhutto was killed at an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007. This indictment had long been expected but was delayed because of threats to the former military ruler from the Pakistani Taliban. When he finally made an appearance in the antiterrorism court in Rawalpindi it was amid tight security. Six others were charged along with Mr Musharraf, including four suspected militants and two senior police officials. The court set the next

A

•Musharraf

Mr Musharraf’s attempts to sack the entire higher judiciary in 2007. Or it could simply be an opportunity to break new ground in Pakistan’s legal history by arraigning a former army chief. The former military ruler returned to Pakistan from selfimposed exile earlier this year and is currently under house arrest. He came to power in 1999 when he ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup. He ruled the country for nine years before being voted out and then he left Pakistan to

live in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London. Upon his return he hoped that he could lead his party into elections, but was disqualified from standing and found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power. These include cases relating to the murder of a Baloch tribal leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, in 2006 and his attempt to sack the entire higher judiciary in November 2007. Mr Sharif is now back in power, having emphatically won elections earlier this year.

His government has said that it also plans to put Mr Musharraf on trial for treason. A 2010 UN report said Benazir Bhutto’s death could have been prevented and that Mr Musharraf’s government failed to provide enough protection at the time his aides dismissed the report as a “pack of lies”. Ms Bhutto was the daughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was himself executed in 1977 after being ousted in a coup. She was imprisoned shortly after that coup but went on to be twice elected prime minister.

Egypt: Rights’ group want legitimacy restored

GROUP of Human Rights organisations and religious bodies under the banner of the Nigerian Civil Society Coalition Against Coups and Militarisation of Politics in Africa, have called on the African Union, individual African government and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to restore democratic legitimacy in Egypt and put an end to the bloodshed. The group enjoined all progressive forces in Africa and beyond to rise up against the plot of the Military Junta in Egypt led by General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to pull down the democratic value. At a World Press Conference held yesterday at the International Press Centre, Ogba, Lagos, the coalition chided the United States President Barrack Obama for not standing up for justice and his tactical embrace of the coup in Egypt. The coalition wants the Nigerian Government to articulate its condemnation of military intervention in Egypt by taking necessary diplomatic steps in this regard. The statement read by Dr Ismail Ibrahim of Forum for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (FOSDA) and Comrade Buna Isiak Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) regretted that the rights of the citizens and the media practitioners are being increasingly violated with impunity. The statement reads: “Apart

T

hearing for 27 August. The court that indicted Pervez Musharraf has made history. In a country where the military has controlled political power directly or indirectly for most of its 66-year history, no civil court has ever charged a service head with a political crime. The charges against him carry a maximum punishment of death. A UN inquiry requested by the former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government clearly raised questions over his government’s role in the Benazir Bhutto murder. But the PPP had little interest in pursuing that case, probably as it too was being hounded by the military and judiciary - and Mr Musharraf was in exile anyway. Even after he returned earlier this year, the interim government didn’t want to drag him through the courts, so the judiciary took the lead. The motive may be revenge, according to some, because of

HRW wants executions halted in Gaza

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

from killings, arrest and detention, torture, arbitrary and extra-judicial killing of protesters, cases of rape have also been on the increase. “We condemn in the strongest terms the violations of the human rights ofprotesters in Egypt and demand a stop to these violations. We call for the immediate re-instatement of the legitimately elected president Mohammed Morsi to office and demand immediate investigation of genocidal crimes committed by General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his collaborators and prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC). “No doubt, the events in Egypt are in clear violation of the rights of the citizens, United Nations declaration, the African charter on human and people‘s rights and other known human rights instrument to which Egypt is a signatory. Only yesterday, the international media reported the cruel murder of 36 Egyptians who were under the custody of the military junta. Also yesterday, the editor of Al-Ahram, one of the biggest newspapers in Egypt was shot dead at a roadblock, another journalist in the same car sustained gunshot injuries. Needless to add that many media houses seen to be sympathetic to deposed President Morsi have been shut down.

“What is happening in Egypt is a coup by reactionary forces in the military led by a blood thirsty, depraved military dictator and his gang who are fighting a bloody battle not for the sake of Egypt or Egyptians but to further entrench the military economic interests which have pauperised Egypt for more than 60 years and is not ready to let go of the spoils of office it has enjoyed for more than six decades. “This blood thirsty cabal, desperate to protect its interest, has also embarked on a vicious, deliberate and calculated campaign to portray the victims in this struggle as villains and terrorists through a well resourced propaganda machine desperate to feed the world a bunch of lies to win national, regional and global sympathies.” Among those at the briefing were Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) Director Professor Ishaq Akintola; Comrade Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO); Dr Sylvester Odion Akhaine (Centre for Constitutionalism and Demilitarisation); Reverend S.A. Adelakun (Anglican Communion, Ishonyin Parish); Sheikh AbdulRahman Adangba (Coalition of Islamic Organisations); Comrade Lanre Siraj (Human and Environmental Developmental Agenda); Oluremi Olaleye (Human Rights Education and Development Project); Ustadh

CIA concedes to role in Iran’s 1953 coup

THE CIA has released documents which for the first time formally acknowledge its key role in the 1953 coup which ousted Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq. The documents were published on the independent National Security Archive on the 60th anniversary of the coup. They come from the CIA’s internal history of Iran from the mid-1970s. “The military coup... was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy,” says one excerpt. Mohammad Mossadeq, Iranian prime minister until being overthrown in a CIAorchestrated coup in 1953 Prime Minister Mossadeq was overthrown after a bid to re-

nationalise Iran’s oil industry The US role in the coup was openly referred to by then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2000, and by President Barack Obama in a 2009 speech in Cairo. But until now the intelligence agencies have issued “blanket denials” of their role, says the editor of the trove of documents, Malcolm Byrne. This is believed to be the first time the CIA has itself admitted the part it played in concert with the British intelligence agency, MI6. Mr Byrne says the documents are important not only for providing “new specifics as well as insights into the intelligence agency’s actions before and after the operation”, but because “political partisans on all sides, including the Iranian government, regularly invoke the coup”.

Lukman Abdul Raheem (The Muslim Congress); Ruth Bose Suberu (Women Against Oppression); Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen (Muslim Students’ Socie-

ty of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit); Hajia Sherifa Ajibade (Social Advocacy Project) and Comrade Raji Rasheed (Yoruba Citizens Action for Change).

THE international group Human Rights Watch urged all upcoming executions halted, saying Gaza’s justice system is badly tainted, including by forced confessions, and that executing a child offender is “especially atrocious.” A Gaza rights group, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said inviting spectators to executions adds cruelty to an already inhumane punishment. In all, Hamas authorities have executed 16 prisoners since 2010, most convicted of killings or spying for Israel, according to the New Yorkbased Human Rights Watch. Sixteen more await execution, including Abu Aliyan and another prisoner who are first in line because they have exhausted all appeals. Abu Aliyan’s father, Mohammed, a 55-year-old farmer from the southern town of Khan Younis, pleaded for his son’s life, saying he has shown remorse, has turned to religion and should get a chance to see his own 5-yearold son grow up. “They can keep him in jail forever,” the elder Abu Aliyan said in a phone interview Tuesday. “At least let his son know his father.” Executions have aroused little public opposition in conservative Gaza, where tribal customs and Islamic religious law, or Sharia, call for putting to death convicted killers.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

62

NATION SPORT

H

Igiebor: I’m ready for Eagles return

OW will you describe the last pre season you had with Betis with few days to the start of the La Liga season? The pre season went well. First of all, I will like to thank God that the injury is now a thing of the past. I am fine, okay and fully fit for the rigour of the season. I guess when I'm fully fit without any injury worries, I can always be on top of my game and very much ready to enjoy my game. It is my prayer that I should overcome the surgery worries. At the start of the pre season it was not easy but before the United Kingdom trip everything became perfect. It gave the chance to really show what I have and it was the reason I did my best during the UK tour. Real Betis will face Real Madrid in the first game of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday how prepared is your club for the game? Sure, everyone is prepared for the game. This is the first game of the season and we are playing against one of the best teams in Spain and also in the world. We know what it takes because we have played them before. We beat them at home last season and lost the second leg away. We know them very well and they equally know us too. We are looking forward to the game with high expectations. Betis made some acquisitions at the start of the season and particularly they also strengthened your position. Does this make you afraid that you may soon lose your place in the team? For me? Well, I am so confident about my position and I am not perturbed that new players have come in. Betis bought players that will rival me in my position. They are no doubt good players but for me I am not always scare for sure. In a recent interview with the Super Eagles' head coach, Stephen Keshi he said it was your injury of late that has made him to exclude you from the Nigeria National team set up and that once you are fully fit and playing regularly for your club, you will be handed a recall. How do you feel about this comment? Yeah! Keshi has been like a father to me. He has been a model for me too. He knows me very well and he knows what I can do too when I'm fully fit and I respect that. He knew when I was injured and he called me and said he wished me well. I think I'm looking forward to coming back to the team but first

•Nosa Igiebor in action

Nosa Igiebor was the cynosure of all eyes when he went with Real Betis to England where they concluded their pre season exercise ahead of the Spanish La Liga season which starts this weekend. He featured in friendly matches the club had against top clubs in the premiership and championship teams. In this chat with TUNDE LIADI, the former Warri Wolves' midfielder explains his mission for the new season; his connection with the Eagles' boss and his dream for Nigeria's berth at Brazil 2014 World Cup; racism and his English Premier League hint among others. EXCERPTS of all I have to start playing regularly for my club. The season is starting for Betis on Sunday and I have to do my best to ensure that I am used regularly by my club so as to put myself in the national team reckoning again. I thank him for the fact that he took time out of his busy schedules to call him and assure me that I would get over the injury worries. I will ensure I do my best to be used regularly by my club so that Nigerians can get to watch me at home. The Super Eagles played against South Africa on recently. Did you watch or follow through the course of the game? No! I wasn't chanced to watch it because these days we train twice daily and I was still at training by the time the game was

•Nosa Igiebor

played. I later learnt we won 2-0. How do you feel about it? Yeah! Beating South Africa away from home is something special. For me It was lovely winning another game away from Nigeria. I tried to know the names of the players that featured for the Super Eagles and I confirmed we went with a big squad. The scoreline wasn't a surprise to me. It would have been a surprise to me if we had played draw because we are the African Champions and South Africa are always chasing after us without success for them all these while. Nigeria has a game against Malawi next month, how do you wish the Eagles approach the game and if you are called upon will you be available for the match? I will answer the last question first. I am always willing and ready to don the green and while colours of the Super Eagles. I will come immediately I get a call up to come and contribute my own quota to the national team quest to qualify for the final round of the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier. Just like every other Nigerian, it is my wish that we beat Malawi and that we should not show them any pity when they visit Calabar for the final game. We have the ball in our court and we must learn to handle it well so as not to regret it at the end of the day. Nosa Igiebor is in his second season in Real Betis and in extension the Spanish La Liga. How much have you improved? How much have I improved? It is not me that should tell you how much I have improved. You watch me every week and so it is not something I should

be saying myself. You and other media will have to do that. Mine is to play and it is the work of journalists to do a constructive critique of how I and other players play. But for me, going to UK and becoming the toasts of every UK media is a thing of joy. I have been the subject of discussions and write up since I featured with Betis for the pre season in UK. If you call anybody in England now, they will tell you that I have been making headlines for the good reasons. It is just to show to you how much I have improved. I have also been subject of transfer speculation among English clubs with newspapers' reports linking me to a club or the other. Which game gave you the biggest challenge when you featured for your club during the pre season in England? I don't have any favourite among them. All the games I played I was just at my best and all the clubs and coaches recognised my presence. I played 45 minutes against Manchester United because it is a pre season game and we had more than 30 players itching to come on. Even with only 45 minutes on the pitch Manchester United top officials made enquiry about me from my manager. They hailed my performance as being brilliant. I played against Everton and scored a goal in that game. After the game their coach(Roberto Martinez) waited for me and was expressing his surprise at the way I played. It was still the same against Fulham and the rest ones I played. They would call my coach afterwards and congratulate him for having such a good player. I have been the subject of the pre season in England and

not only that alone, things are still going on underground for now. But, I have to be silent on that because I am still comfortable where I am presently. I will like to talk about it when things have become concrete. For me, things are moving too very fast in my career. Is it your wish to play for any of the English Premier League clubs in the nearest future? Yes, it is a personal wish and I believe very soon I will looking forward to playing in the premiership very soon. Your Nigerian fans stood by you during your difficult times. What do you have to say for them? My fans are like my people. I love them so very much because they have supported me at every point of my career. I just want to say to them that Nosa is fully fit and back after the operation and I am looking good and even better than before I went for the operation. I just want to also tell them that I am back and doing what I know best to do-playing football. I know very soon I will play again in the national team. What are your targets for the season?

I think it is to have a very good season and be injury free. It is the most important thing to me. Will Nosa Igiebor stay away from controversies unlike what you had last season with Betis? I don't know about that and I will rather not speak about it because nobody is planning any clash. What happened in the past came up as a result of an accident and it wasn't my fault at all. If it was my fault the Spanish Football Federation would have fined me or something like that. They found the trouble maker fan about •5000. Mario Balotelli went out on CNN to say that if anybody racially abuse him he would kick the person in the face. I have seen black people walk out of the pitch due to racial abuse from fans. I have seen this thing happen in many places. Nobody wants to be called a black monkey. For me it is not a question I should be asked because if anybody calls me a black monkey believe you me, if there is something I want to do that time, I will do it. Racial abuse is not allowed in football and it is what FIFA is preaching against. For me nobody should call me a black monkey or something closer to that at all. I have come to play my football and to enjoy it but if you try to mess me up I will mess you up back. You have played in Norway, Israel and now in Spain, If you want to make comparison, what will you say concerning the three countries in brief? There is something similar with the three countries, we kick football same way in them but Spanish league as all you have known is one of the best leagues in the world and I think the league is so competitive. Real Betis as a team is made up of bunch of talented players. Spanish football players are too gifted because those that sit on the bench are most times as good as those that start the game. Even the league itself has shown that no club should be underrated. A team like Levante can go and beat Barcelona at home and get away with it. It is the best league in the world and it has really helped me to improve on every aspects of my game. While with Hapoel Tel Aviv of Israel you played in the Europa League and you are also warming up with something similar with Real Betis. What are the prospects now? For me I have tasted it before and I know how it is. For sure I wish to go far and play against some top clubs from other nations. We just have to take the game one at a time becuase we have the La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and so on. It is a long season and we just have to take it one game at a time and not focused on too many matches at a time this season. Who is your best friend among your team mates? Everybody in this team is my friend. I don't have any close friend. We joke we laugh and share things in common.

Yeah! Beating South Africa away from home is something special. For me It was lovely winning another game away from Nigeria. I tried to know the names of the players that featured for the Super Eagles and I confirmed we went with a big squad. The scoreline wasn't a surprise to me. It would have been a surprise to me if we had played draw because we are the African Champions and South Africa are always chasing after us without success for them all these while.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

63

SPORT EXTRA 2013 AFROBASKET

We’re tired of playing second fiddle —Bakare

C

•Super Eagles in training

2014 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

Keshi invites 42 players for Malawi game

S

UPER Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi has invited 24 homebased professionals and 18 overseas-based boys to camp ahead of next month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying game against Malawi in Calabar. Only five of the 24 home boys will eventually join the 18 overseas-based stars for the big game, as well as for the international friendly against the Etalons of Burkina Faso in Kaduna on Tuesday, 10th September. The list include, goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe and Benjamin Francis, as well as midfielders Sunday Mba and forward Muhammad Gambo headline the home boys’ contingent. Defensive pillar Godfrey Oboabona has been called, but will come in as an overseas-based professional if he is able to conclude his transfer to Rizespor of Turkey in a few days. All 24 home boys are expected at the Bolton White Apartments, Abuja on Sunday, 24th August, while the 18 Europe-based stars are expected to arrive unfailingly in Calabar on Monday, 2nd September. “We are calling up 24 home boys in order to be able to identify new players for the 2014 African Nations

Championship, for which we have already qualified,” said Keshi. Goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide, defenders Efe Ambrose and Elderson Echiejile, midfielders John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi and Victor Moses and forwards Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa and Brown Ideye top the list of the Europe-based. Two-goal hero against South Africa in last week’s Nelson Mandela Challenge, Uche Nwofor retains his slot while Spain-based midfielder Nosa Igiebor returns for the first time since the Africa Cup of Nations finals. Englandbased Shola Ameobi and Lokomotiv Moscow’s Obinna Nsofor also return. Nigeria, on nine points, need only avoid defeat against seven-pointer Malawi at the U. J. Esuene Stadium on 7th September, to reach the 10-team final elimination round of the African qualifying race for next year’s showpiece in Brazil. The friendly against the Etalons at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium three days later brings together the two teams that battled for the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in Soccercity, Johannesburg on February 10. Nigeria won 1-0 that day. LIST OF HOME-BASED

PROFESSIONALS Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC) Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Enugu Rangers); Yinka Adedeji (Sharks FC); Ganiyu Ogungbe (Kwara United) Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Solomon Jabason (Akwa United); Olufemi Oladapo (Shooting Stars); Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Moses Orkuma (Lobi Stars) Forwards: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC); Mbah Ezekiel (Akwa United); Barnabas Imenger (Lobi Stars); Izu Azuka (Sunshine Stars); Dimgba Stanley (Kwara United); Osadaiye Joseph (Warri Wolves) LIST OF FOREIGNBASED PLAYERS Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel) Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Efe Ambrose

(Celtic FC, Scotland); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa) Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Fegor Ogude (Valerenga FC, Norway); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain) Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo, Netherlands).

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAY-OFF RESULTS S’ Karagandy 2-0 Celtic V’Plzen 3-1 Maribor Lyon 0-2 Sociedad P’Ferreira 1-4 Zenit PSV 1-1 Milan TODAY’S FIXTURES Fenerbahce v Arsenal Ludogorets v Basle Zagreb v FK Austria S’Bucuresti v Legia Schalke 04 v PAOK Salonika

FALCONS’ CARETAKER COACH

Technical Committee recommends Okon

R

ISING from its meeting at the NFF Secretariat, Abuja on Tuesday, the Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation announced that it has recommended the constitution of a caretaker coaching crew for the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons. Acting General Secretary, Dr.

Emmanuel Ikpeme stated that the committee made the recommendation, pending the ratification of the NFF Executive Committee, in view of the two international friendly matches against the Senior Women’s Team of Japan, coming up in two Japanese cities on September 22 and 26 respectively. Okon, who led the U-20

Women’s Team, Falconets, to the semi finals of last year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, incidentally hosted by Japan, will be assisted on this caretaker basis by Christopher Danjuma, with Bala Mohammed as goalkeeper coach. Ikpeme said: “The duo will have charge of the team for only the friendly games, as

substantive coaching crews for the Super Falcons, Falconets (U-20) and Flamingos (U-17) will be constituted in due course.” The committee also recommended that the NFF Executive Committee approve for four-time African Woman Player of the Year, Perpetua Nkwocha to proceed on a coaching course.

Be good Ambassadors, Abdullahi tasks Team Nigeria

S

PORTS Minister/ Chairman, National Sports Commission, NSC, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi has charged the senior men’s basketball team to the Afrobasket 2013 to be good Ambassadors of the country as they campaign for the title in Abidjan.

The minister, while assuring the players that the people and government of the federation were fully behind them in their quest to lift the basketball Nations Cup title for the first time, however, charged them to remain good Ambassadors of the country. Malam Abdullahi gave the

charge during a reception/ sendforth dinner organised for the team by the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF in Abuja on arrival from the United States after their training tour there. “I want you to do justice to the individual talents God has endowed you with and do

Nigeria proud. I am not telling you that you must go to Abidjan and bring the cup back home. Beyond winning the trophy and making Nigeria proud, I want you to use this competition to inspire the younger generation of players,” he stressed.

HIEF coach of Nigeria’s senior national male basketball team, Ayo Bakare has sounded it clear to his squad at the 2013 Afrobasket holding in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire that the country was no longer willing to play second fiddle to any team in Africa. He gave this charge to the players captained by both Olumide Oyedeji and Ike Diogu at the Westpoint hotel in Abuja on the team’s arrival from the United States shortly before they departed Abuja for Abidjan Sunday. Bakare, who qualified the team for their first ever Olympics in 2012, charged the players to put in their best as they begin the campaign for the title they had never won in the competition’s history against Mali today. The coach assured the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, president, Tijani Umar that the current

crop bunch of players are the best the country has ever assembled and are in a good position to come out tops in the competition. “I want to say that we have played second fiddle for too and cannot afford to continue that way, so we must put in our best to ensure we achieve success. This is the best set of players we have ever assembled and I believe we can win if we put in our best,” he said.

•Bakare

West Brom ponders move for Victor Moses

A

CCORDING to Express and Star, N i g e r i a international Victor Moses is on the wish list of West Brom manager Steve Clarke in the ongoing summer transfer market. Clarke wants to strengthen his attack and is thinking of signing Chelsea's Victor Moses after talks stalled over the acquisition of Scott Sinclair of Manchester City.

Last month, Moses , 22, was linked with a move to Everton , but talks on signing him on loan were rejected by the Blues hierarchy. Victor Moses was not listed for Chelsea's first game of the new English Premier League season against Hull. He arrived London late after playing for the Super Eagles against South Africa.

Heartland FC recalls suspended Madu, Chukwu

T

HE management of Heartland FC of Owerri has lifted the indefinite suspension slammed on two of its officials, Coach Ramson Madu and Head of Protocol, Tonex Chukwu following a controversial home loss to Enyimba Int’l of Aba last July. A statement from the club on Tuesday said the duo were recalled following a review of the report of the Panel of Inquiry which sat over their case as well as other issues surrounding the lost match. “The decision which has been approved by the club Chairman, Chief Fan Ndubuoke was based on the need for all hands to be on deck in the on-going effort to navigate the fortunes of Heartland FC upwards and to a comfortable position on the league table by the end of the

season,” the statement read. According to the statement, both are to report back to duty immediately but with a warning to desist from acts that tend to bring discord and rancor among the various segments of the Heartland FC family. The two were strongly advised to work in harmony between themselves and with one another in the club for the overall interest of Heartland FC. Last Sunday, the Panel of Inquiry which looked into the case involving the two officials and the lost match, submitted its report to the government through the chairman of Heartland FC immediately after the week 26 league game against Dolphins of Port Harcourt which the home side won by 1-0.

Gomo off to goal-scoring start

N

IGERIA international Gomo Onduku has said he is thrilled to start his career in Europe with a goal on his debut for Concordia Chiajna. Gomo, who was a 48th minute substitute, scored his Romanian club's third goal in the 85th minute. "I am very excited to score a goal in my first game in Europe," Onduku told MTNFootball.com "The coach wanted to start me, but I told him he should let me start from the bench so I could pick some tactics from the game before I go in since I have not played for them before, he

agreed and it paid off." The former Sharks winger sporting jersey number 16 stole the ball away from the goalkeeper when teammate Flora pulled out before he fired home. He dedicated the goal to God, his family and Super Eagles coaches led by Stephen Keshi. "Firstly, I dedicate the goal to God who has been faithful to me till now, to my family who have been by me since I was born and then to the Super Eagles technical crew led by ‘Big Boss’ Keshi who I have learnt a lot from," Onduku told MTNFootball.com


TODAY IN THE NATION

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

F

OR the second time in recent years, former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has begged to differ from his “boss,” as he often likes to call General Olusegun Obasanjo (Obj), on the seemingly perennial debate about the Oldbreed political class versus the New. Tuesday August 13, Obasanjo, the only person to have served Nigeria as its leader in khaki (1976 to 1979) and mufti (1999 to 2007), came down heavily on the latter class of politicians like a ton of bricks. As a group they were, he said in effect, worse than useless. The occasion was the Fourth Annual Ibadan Sustainable Summit at Le Chateau, Bodija, Ibadan, where he was the guest speaker. His topic was Leadership in Africa’s Quest for Sustainable Development. As often happens on such occasions, what made the banner headlines the following day was not the paper the former president delivered. Rather, it was the extempore remarks he made in response to comments and questions by discussants of the paper and from the audience. The comment by Professor Mojeed Alabi, the first of the two discussants and a former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, that the country’s problems stems mainly from the refusal of the Oldbreed to “step aside” - to borrow Babangida’s now famous phrase when he notso-voluntarily left office in August 1993 - for the Newbreed apparently got old man Obasanjo’s dander up. The professor, he said in effect in a counterpoint, was talking so much rubbish. Many governors during his tenure were less than 50. The first Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Salisu Buhari, was even much younger, he pointed out. Yet the record of these Newbreed politicians on the whole was, he said, dismal. “We had some people who were under 50 years in leadership positions. One of them was James Ibori. Where is he today? One of them was Alamieyesiegha, where is he today? Lucky Igbinidion, where is he today? The youngest was the Speaker, Buhari. You can still recall what happened to him. You said Bola Tinubu is your master. What Buhari did was not any worse than what Bola Tinubu did. We got them impeached. But in this part of the world some people covered up the other man.” Trust the man not to leave out his deputy and eventual nemesis, Atiku Abubakar, in his list of villainous Newbreeds; the former vice-president, he found out after studying him for a year, he said, was too corrupt for him to have groomed as his possible successor. In short, the Newbreed, he seemed to say, should not complain anymore since they had their chance but blew it. This was the conclusion General Babangida, not surprisingly, found somewhat disagreeable, as a well known champion of the Newbreed even though he had had cause in

‘A grave error it will be indeed if we have to continue to keep northern Nigeria as the home of the highest cases of Vesico-Vagina Fistula in the world’ VOL.8 NO.2,577

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

People and Politics By

MOHAMMED HARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

Obj, IBB, Oldbreed and New

•Babangida •Obasanjo recent times to express his disappointment at their record of performance in power, a complain which I once loudly thought on these pages meant he has at last broken faith with them. In a rejoinder to my article in question entitled “A Newbreed apart” (July 7, 2010), which was a tribute to Honourable Isa Kawu, a Newbreed member of the Niger State House of Assembly who had stood virtually alone as a thorn in the flesh of the state’s executive and has also stood almost alone as an example of a rare exception which proves the rule that, generally speaking, our politicians’ first commitment is to themselves and everyone else a distant second, Professor Sam Oyovbaire, my Political Science teacher at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in the early seventies and much later, Babangida’s minister of Information, said his principal never lost faith in the Newbreed. “It’s not true,” Oyovbaire said in his rejoinder, “that IBB has changed his views about the historic role and value of the ‘new breed’ segment of the political class. His well-honed critique of its disappointing performance from the Abacha era through the OBJ’s horrible legacy to date has been, as usual with the press mindset on anything IBB, badly twisted and made to hang! He believes in the potentials of the youths/new breed in the development process. Believe me on IBB’s thoughts.” On the occasion of his 72nd birthday last

Saturday, the general seized the opportunity of an encounter with the press to reiterate his faith in the Newbreed and disagree with his “boss” over his (the boss’s) expression of lack of faith in the competence and integrity of the Newbreed in politics. “I am not sure,” Babangida said during the encounter, “I read what he said neither am I sure he said so. In any case this is a matter of opinion...There are other young men who have done equally well.” The former military president is absolutely right to say Obasanjo is wrong to tar all Newbreed politicians with one brush. However, he too is wrong to think the role of the Oldbreed in bringing about development in society is essentially marginal simply because the future belongs to the Newbreed. In other words, both of them are wrong to think leadership is essentially a matter of age. It is not. The virtues of leadership have never been a preserve of any age group. There are good and bad, wise and foolish, etc, old men and women, just as there are good and bad, wise and foolish, etc, young men and women. Obasanjo may be right to say that right now the preponderance of Newbreed politicians have proved incompetent and corrupt but to conclude, as he seemed to have done in his counterpoint to Professor Alabi, that governance is therefore best left largely, if not solely, in the hands of the Oldbreed is to mistake correlation for causation. Not only does he seem to have mixed correlation and causation in his conclusion, the old man was characteristically selective in his choice of examples to buttress his condemnation of the Newbreed. Conspicuously missing from his list of villainous Newbreed politicians was his own daughter, Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello who rode into the Senate more on his coattail as president than on her own merit but whose tenure as chairman of the important Senate Committee on Health was scandal ridden. Even worse for the selective amnesia was his remark that the media and the leadership of a section of the country employed

HARDBALL

D

OUBLE jeopardy: that is the abiding lot of women who are extremely beautiful and extremely intelligent to boot, especially in this part where half the men start processing their thoughts from around their waists. Half of we men would love to have the deep, delectable damsels and the other half would rather hound them so either way, the bright and beautiful gal is doomed. Hardball confesses he is not an expert in the exotic art of feminine psychology but his hunches suggest to him that Ms Arunma Oteh’s unceasing troubles seem to lay in this – let’s call it – bar room hypothesis. Now consider the story, hardly was Oteh appointed as the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), about two years ago, than the body was put under a probe by the House of Representatives. The Nigerian bourse was actually at its nadir with stocks having crashed to near zero in most cases and investors worsted and disconsolate. Oteh was actually brought in to clean up the mess and restore confidence in Nigeria’s capital market. The House’s probe was headed by a very young man, Herman

Oteh: Legislative terrorism? Hembe, who incidentally, was the chairman, House Committee on Capital Market. As a matter of fact, by way of back grounding and with no intention to disrespect, Hembe was probably still in high school when Oteh was making forays in international financial institutions as Nigeria’s flag-bearer. It turned out that the probe was not really a probe but an institutionalised extortionate binge in which Hembe was the leading act. On many occasions as his ‘probe’ went on Hembe demanded and received ‘assistance’ from Oteh’s SEC. Yet when they went before life television, Hembe would bully, harangue and put down big Aunty Oteh until one horrific day, right there on live television, Oteh banged the probe table and said enough was enough of this charade. Is this a probe or a soap and who really ought to be probing whom, she must have asked. First it was becoming a weird public show of an inquisition, second, this small fellow of an impostor didn’t know the difference be-

tween a bourse and a bus thus cannot deign to be probing something he was so illiterate about and lastly if she did not put a stop to this mess thus far and cut her losses, she would come out of it all worse than a stale pot of potage. That was how Oteh upturned the table and spilled the beans on Hembe. The House probed Hembe, found him guilty and promptly removed him from the probe. A new chairman, Ibrahim El Sudi, was installed whose conclusion on Oteh was that she was not qualified to head the Commission. And verdict: Oteh must be sacked. When the Presidency would not yield to the House’s directive (or was it an order?) the lawmakers chose to force its wish on the executive by denying SEC its statutory right of a budgetary allocation in the 2013 Appropriation Bill. Last week, the chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, noted that SEC was spending

DELE AGEKAMEH

double standards in their treatment of the accusations against Speaker Buhari and Governor Tinubu in 1999 that they forged their university certificates. While he made sure, he said, that Buhari was impeached – itself an admission of his interference in the internal affairs of the federal legislators, something he had often denied – “in this part of the world some people covered up the other man,” meaning, of course, Tinubu. What the former president forgot to mention was, first, he wilfully ignored to check out information in the open that the young man might have forged not only his university certificate but also that of his age, all in his bid to impose a leadership on the House which he could easily manipulate. Second and worst of all, he conveniently forgot to mention that he quickly granted the former speaker presidential pardon after he was tried and convicted and sentenced to jail with an option of fine which he quickly paid. However, the one point the former president made which is hard, if not impossible, to disagree with is that development is not just about leadership alone. “If you talk about good leadership,” he said, “you should also talk about good followers.” The Encarta Concise English Dictionary defines leadership as “the ability to guide, direct, or influence people.” We have remained underdeveloped precisely because we all think the virtues needed to be able to guide, direct or influence others are different from those needed to be good followers. In this sense, the leader/follower dichotomy is a false one. The fact is that only a good follower can make a good leader because, leader or follower, you need a sense of equity, self-sacrifice, self-discipline, compassion, personal integrity, competence, among others, to be the good and honest person any society needs a preponderance of to make any progress. However, in so far as the leader/follower dichotomy exits in our minds, the burden of cultivating these virtues lies more with leaders, elected or self-imposed, than with followers. For, without enough leaders willing and able to practice the virtues of being good and honest men and women, the vicious circle between bad leadership and bad followership will never be broken. The problem with Nigeria is that we have engaged for far too long in a futile debate about the false dichotomy between Oldbreed and Newbreed politicians when it is pretty obvious that the answer is Good-breed. To that extent, the Oldbreed, Obasanjo included, must accept greater responsibility than the Newbreed for our lack of development because, by merely preaching virtues they hardly practiced, they have only succeeded in creating a Newbreed of leaders – and followers - after their own poor image. •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above its internally generated revenue to beat the budget ban by the legislature. Muhammed described the development as “an act of impunity,” noting that the House would take up the matter when it resumes in September. It’s its prerogative to stick to its guns but here are a few questions the lawmakers might want to ponder as it enjoys its vacation. One, the National Assembly’s duty is largely oversight and approval; does it include termination of appointments of members of the executives? To insist that Oteh is not qualified for the job is to indict both the Senate and the Presidency; would it take orders from the executive arm to sack its own appointees? If this is not a witch hunt and undue highhandedness, does the NASS have such powers to deny a statutory government agency its due budgetary allocation? Can’t NASS see that no president would allow the legislature dictate whom to be sacked in the executive cabinet? If the House gets away with SEC, would it not someday invoke zero allocation on the Presidency too? Unless there is more to it than we know, the House would do well to rethink this seeming legislative terrorism in this Oteh affair and allow the fair lady be.

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: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO


The Nation Aug 21, 2013  

news, sports, education, editorial, business, nigeria, nigeria news, nigerian newspaper

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you