Issuu on Google+

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Shekau’s death doubtful, says Sani NEWS

Page 6

•Activist faults Fed Govt’s tactics

Ozekhome: Outrage over abduction NEWS

Page 7

•Lawyer’s kidnap angers NBA, others www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 8, NO. 2588 MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

•SIX GOVERNORS, OTHERS SEEK TO REGISTER PARTY FOR 2015 •P6

B

How banks evade billions payable to govt, by Reps

ANKS have been inflating their operating costs to reduce their taxes, it emerged at the weekend. The House of Representatives Committee on Finance, which is probing tax remittances, tax assess-

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

ments and payments by banks, said majority of the banks were violating laws, making false declarations and distorting information, among others. Committee Chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin regretted

that most of the banks seemed determined to either mislead or confuse the Committee as balances reported in the published audited accounts of some of them showed huge variance with the figures submitted to the committee.

The Committee found out that data submitted to the CBN in the banks’ monthly returns on the same issues were different from what they presented the Committee for investigation, Jibrin added. Besides, he explained that

the Committee was not making unsubstantiated comments, as the documents submitted by the banks were analysed with capacity support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International and Development (DFID), National Assembly

Budget and Research Office (NABRO) and reputable professionals in the industry in conducting the investigations.

He said: “Preliminary findings show a poor quality of returns by the banks, Continued on page 4

Fragile Suntai returns Taraba governor keeps quiet after 10-month trip From Yusuf Alli and Gbenga Adanikin, Abuja

A

FTER being hospitalised for 10 months in Germany and the United States, Taraba State Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai returned yesterday to Nigeria. He was in a fragile state. Suntai was given a four-minute reception on the tarmac and shielded from reporters who were anxious to interview him. Suntai travelled from the Republic Airport on Long Island, New York aboard a chartered Gulf Stream jet with registration number N388CA belonging to Shelt Air. The plane left at exactly 7.43pm, New York time, about 1am in Nigeria. He was escorted to the airport by Nigeria’s New York Consul-General, Amb. Habib Habu, close relations and friends. The governor flew a Cessna 208 aircraft which clashed at the Yola International Airport as it made to land on October 25, last year. Onboard with Suntai were his Aide-decamp (ADC) Iliya Dasat, Chief Detail Joel Danladi and Chief Security officer (CSO) Tino Dangana. They were all injured. They have all returned home after receiving treatment. At the airport yesterday, Suntai raised his right hand, as if to wave, but he was not really doing that. His face was expressionless, contrary to the excitment of the moment. He winced occasionally — as if in pains. The governor was aided out of the aircraft at about 1.05pm by three men. His handlers allowed photographers to take shots of him just for about two minutes. Dressed in blueblack suit with a light blue shirt, Suntai was assisted by the men into a black Sport Utility Vehicle with registration number, Lagos-SC

•Suntai raising his hand to wave in Abuja...yesterday

•Suntai being received by a government delegation led by Gana (left) in Abuja...yesterday

•A man struggling to be himself •Exciting welcome in Jalingo PAGE 4

Continued on page 4

•DELICA TE: Suntai being helped out of the plane in Abuja...yesterday •DELICATE:

•Suntai on arrival in Jalingo...yesterday PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE FANEN IHYONGO

•MONEY, MONEY EVERYWHERE, YET FLOOD PAINS REMAIN PAGES 2,3&5


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

2

NEWS

Money, money

•Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (right), Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke (centre) and Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Sam Ikon, at the PDP 2013 Southsouth Expanded Zonal Executive Meeting in Calabar....at the weekend.

The Federal Government, individuals and organisations donated billions of naira to victims of floods, which wreaked havoc in 22 states last year. But, one year after and despite the N17.6 billion Federal Government grants, among others, the pains are still fresh, writes SEUN AKIOYE

•Youths breaking the remnant of Omiringi bridge to sell

T

From left: Managing Director, American Porters Water Group Mr Richard Wukish; Managing Director, Osun State Investment Company Mr Bola Oyebamiji; Managing Director, Safari Holding Solution, USA Mr Carole Obam and Managing Director, Unicapital Consulting Mr Bode Adikoye at the Osun International Trade and Investment Conference in Osogbo. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

• Managing Director, Johnson Wax Mr Kwame Wiafe (second right) presenting a gift to the winner of the ‘Scratch your way to Millions Promo’ , Mrs Akinyombo Oluwatoyin in Lagos... at the weekend. With them are Marketing Manager Mrs Onome Odili (left); Human Resources' Director Mr David Okpan (second left) and Director of Sales Mr Oladimeji PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN Osingunwa.

•Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CIBN) Chief Joseph Sanusi, Deputy Governor of CBN Dr Kingsley Moghalu and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) President Mr Segun Aina at the CIBN’s investiture of fellows... at the weekend.

WENTY-two states were ravaged. It was flood like never seen before. It also came with cash like never donated before for any relief effort around here. President Goodluck Jonathan gave a grant of N17.6 billion “in direct financial assistance to the affected states and federal agencies”. The affected states were divided into four categories, according to the severity of the damage done. Category A states, such as Oyo, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Delta, Bayelsa and Anambra, got a grant of N500 million each. Category B states, such as Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Taraba, Cross River, Edo, Lagos and Imo, got N400 million. Category C states, such as Kwara, Kastina, Gombe, Ogun, Ondo, Ebonyi, Abia and Rivers, got N300 million. Category D states, such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Yobe, Enugu, Ekiti, Osun, Akwa Ibom, Borno and the Federal Capital Territory, got N250 million each. But, one year after the grants, most of the states, especially those in categories A and B, seem not to have made judicious use of the funds to rehabilitate the flood victims and fix public infrastructure destroyed by the flood. There have been cases of misappropriation. Last month, Taraba State’s Acting Governor Garba Umar sacked the Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Njiwah, five commissioners and two special advisers for allegedly mismanaging the N400 million flood-mitigating grant. A report by an ad-hoc committee set up by the House of Assembly to probe the utilisation of the funds indicted them. “They were indicted by the House of Assembly for failing to properly account for the N400 million Federal Government intervention fund for the 2012 flood disaster in Taraba,” a statement by the Press Secretary to the Governor, Kefas Sule, said. The commissioners affected are Anthony Jellason (Agriculture), Rabo Usman (Water Resources), Yakubu Agbaizo (Education), Jonah Agyo (Works) and Christy Green (Women Affairs). Others are Joshua Augustine, Special Adviser, Revenue, and Manasseh Kaura, Special Adviser Border Development. According to the statement, the Commissioner for Health, Mustapha Hamman-Gabdo, had earlier tendered his resignation, which was accepted by the governor. "The affected functionaries are to individually refund the various sums of money misappropriated by them or face prosecution," the statement added. In Bayelsa State, which received N500 million from the Federal Gov-

•Princewill

ernment and another N500 million from business mogul and Chairman of telecommunications giant Globacomm, Otunba Mike Adenuga the rehabilitation of the damaged public infrastructure has not been done. The government also took N1.5 billion from the state’s Compulsory Savings Account (CSA), to cushion the effects of the flood on the victims. It was also gathered that Dickson also recently got another N1 billion from the CSA, bringing the total of the funds to N3.5 billion. Bayelsa has three committees committed to the flood rehabilitation programme. The Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by the Deputy Governor Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd); the Post-Flood Infrastructural Committee headed by Mr. Charles Doukou and the Post-Flood Management Committee led by Chief Francis Doukpola. When The Nation visited Bayelsa, it was discovered that the Akragba Bridge in Otu-Asiga, which was washed away during the flood, has not been fixed. Four indigenes of OtuAsiga constructed a plank bridge and collect a toll on it. “We spent over N300, 000 to construct this bridge; we took the materials on credit and have been paying back the debt from the toll we have collected. We have only N30, 000 to pay now before we can start to make profit,” Wisdom Dick, one of the workers said. Another worker, India Otuma, berated the government for neglecting the victims of the flood and called for immediate action on the bridge. In Omiringi community in Ogbia


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

3

NEWS

y everywhere, yet flood pains remain

•The wooden bridge which has replaced the Akraba bridge

Local Government Area, the bridge that connected the community to the rest of the state has also caved in. The children of Omiringi community have, however, devised a new way of filling their leisure time and making it profitable. From dawn till sunset, they converge on the Omiringi Bridge, which until September last year, connected their community with the rest of the state. They are manually breaking it down into stones to be sold to house builders. Children as young as seven years are active participants in this new business; a small bag of such stones sold for N300 and, according to one of the children, they sell at least four bags in a day, making a tidy N1, 200 profit. HAIRMAN, Omiringi Com munity Development Com mittee Onwuga Onwuga said the community has been suffering since the bridge collapsed and noted that erosion is now threatening the community. He acknowledged that the community received 400 bags of cement from the committee, which was shared to 20 victims with the most critical needs. “We lost everything to the flood, our farms and most importantly our bridge, we are expecting something tangible from the government,” he said. In Otu-Aba, a community close to the residence of President Goodluck Jonathan in Otuoke, mud houses pulverised by the flood are yet to be rebuilt. A resident of the area, Rejoice Agu lamented: “We have not received any form of assistance from the government, even the bags of cement distributed by the committee did not go round.” A member of the civil society, Morris Alagoa, said the people have been shortchanged by the government. “We didn’t see anything tangible from the government; that is why we are worried. They sent 400 bags of cement to some communities; the people are asking what about the zinc, the nails and the plank? Some communities also got three bags of garri. The Omiringi road has collapsed, the bridge collapsed. This is an opportunity for the people to feel the presence of a responsible government.” The Nation also learnt that some communities such as Ondewari clan in Olodiama, Southern Ijaw Local Government decided to build a public toilet with their own share of the cement received from the government. The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nnimmo Bassey, said: “A year after the 2012 flood, relief materials and sprinkling of cash is just reaching some of the affected communities and persons. It is unimaginable that an en-

C

•250 housing units for teh victims being built in Lokoja

FACTS AND FIGURES N17.6b N500mN400m N300m Federal Government’s grants to affected states

What Category A states got from the Federal Government

What Category B What Category C states got from states got from the the Federal Federal GovernGovernment ment

N250m N500m N10b N700m What Category What Bayelsa D states got State got from from the Feder- Mike Adenuga al Government tire community would be given 400 bags of cement. The cement blocks that could produce would not be enough to build the foundation of a low cost house in the floodplains.” The representatives of the United Nations in June visited the state and promised to provide technical assistance in rebuilding damaged infrastructures. United Nations Under-SecretaryGeneral for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, who was on a two-day working visit, inspected some of the affected areas. She said: “I am here in Bayelsa to see for myself the impact of the devastating flood of last year. I have had the opportunity to talk to the ordinary people and the Post Flood Management and Response Committee on the efforts made in the provision of food, shelter and other relief materials. “There are lessons to be learnt and we would like to work with the state government and federal authorities to support and partner in strengthening preparedness and look at ways in which we can assist with technical support.” Duokpola said the state was eagerly waiting for the UN to redeem its promise, adding that the committee was designing a technical report on the disaster to enable it source funds from other interventionist agencies and individuals. He said the committee had been ameliorating the plight of the victims by supplying then with relief materials. He, however, regretted that some persons, especially community leaders, were bent on sabotaging the efforts of the committee. He said at least five leaders of communities were in trouble for selling bags of cement donated to victims by the committee, adding that the defaulting communities were from Ogbia, Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw local government areas. He faulted the arguments of the Community Development Committee

What Delta says it needs to fix the devastation caused by flood

What Benue State says it spent feeding the victims

(CDC) chairmen of the affected communities that they sold the cement to cater for other pressing needs were not tenable. “It is unfortunate that some communities sold their bags of cement. We will identify the CDC chairmen and prosecute them. We are not taking the matter lying low. The suspects will face prosecution after investigations,” Doukpala said. He said the committee had so far distributed 107,000 bags of cement to the communities, which were ravaged by the floods. He said the committee intended to send 130,000 bags of cement to 13,000 communities. He said: “We are making arrangement to either build shore protection or higher grounds to prevent the looming floods. It is safer and better to prevent the floods than going into a higher ground. But it is left for the communities to choose between local shore protection or higher grounds”. ATANI Local Government Area was another flashpoint of the flood in Delta State. Over 61,000 households were affected, according to the flood records. Chief Bomabere Sunday, a community chief, lamented government’s lack of commitment towards reconstruction after the flood. “No compensation was given, no road was repaired and all the damaged infrastructure are still there. In Aven community, one organisation gave each family N36, 000 for rehabilitation. Where is the government?” he asked. An indigene, Mr. Asiuwhu Princewill, said the community received some agricultural produce from the flood committee but there is need to fix the damaged infrastructure, especially the Patani General Hospital. When The Nation visited the hospital, a large section of the building has been destroyed; equipment worth several millions of naira, which were destroyed, have been abandoned.

P

But, Ogenejabor Ikimi, a lawyer and National Coordinator of Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defense(FJHRD) and a member of the Delta State Flood Management Committee, told The Nation in Warri that contrary to insinuations that the Federal Government grant has been embezzled, the committee has received only N237 million of the N500 million grant. Ikimi said the committee is not aware of any other fund aside the grant from the Federal Government. He said: “We drew up a budget of N237 million in December last year and the money was released in April this year. We have a detailed account of how that money was spent. We distributed farm inputs, including 50,000 bags of high yielding cassava stems, groundnut seeds and vegetables this costs N60million, we made 1,800 desks for the affected schools which cost N30 million, we budgeted N18 million for the churches affected and N19million was used to procure drugs which were distributed to the dispensaries in the affected communities. We also budgeted N19 million for boreholes in the 14 local government areas affected.” Ikimi acknowledged that though the committee received the fund late, it has done the best possible with what was given to it. “We are working on a strict budget and from what we have; we can’t start to fix roads or hospitals. The technical committee said we will need N10 billion to fix the problems of the flood; so, what can N500 million do?” The reports from other states are less than sterling. In Imo State, controversy continues to trail the disbursement of the N400 million Federal Government intervention fund. Coastline communities in Ohaji/ Egbema and Oguta Council Areas accused the Imo State Flood Relief Management Committee of diverting the intervention fund for personal purposes after disbursing a paltry N67 million. An embittered Ozor Chimuanya, a community leader in Oguta, said: “The government is yet to come up with a comprehensive action plan that will address the immediate challenges or proactive measures to forestall a possible re-occurrence”. The affected communities are now at war over how to share the largesse. Chimuanya alleged that the cheques were written in the names of aides to senior government officials. Former Chairman of Oguta Local Government Area, Emma Mazi, said: “The money as we were told was meant for the flood victims to alleviate their sufferings but the Imo state government diverted it for other uses, which has not reflected on the plight of the suffering victims.”

PHOTOS: SEUN AKIOYE

He berated the plans of the government to build town halls for the community even in places where town halls already existed. However, the Chairman of the Committee and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Obi Njoku, dismissed the allegations as unfounded and frivolous. His words: “Every kobo of the intervention fund is accounted for. Apart from the N67 million earlier disbursed to the affected communities, which we are monitoring, the state government is currently building farm settlements in the 16 communities at the cost of N25 million each. This will serve as rehabilitation centers”. Njoku said the government had expended “several millions” of naira in resettling and providing relief materials for the victims, adding that the government had augmented the intervention fund with N129 million. He said: “That is why we are able to build the farm settlements, which will be delivered soon. I think the cause of these controversies is our blunt refusal to handover the fund to certain individuals in these communities who had thought it was another windfall.” HE conditions at one of the temporary camps in Oguta revealed derelict and poor sanitary conditions of the camp, which may have forced residents to abandon it. A simply calculation also revealed that the cost of the 16 rehabilitation centres being proposed by the government is N400 million, which is exactly the amount received from the Federal Government. It remains to be seen why the state chose to expend the exact amount of the intervention fund on rehabilitation centres. Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Ondo states were not spared by the flood. The extent of destruction indicates that the efforts of governments to minimise flooding have not yielded the desired results. It shows that regular clearing of blocked drainage channels is not enough to solve the problem. The flooding of June 27 and 28, last year resulted in massive floods which rendered thousands homeless in these states. It mostly affected people living on flood plains. In Lagos, areas, such as Arowojobe and Akinwunmi estates in Maryland, parts of Ikeja GRA, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Victoria Garden City (VGC), Ibeju-Lekki, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Yaba, Surulere, Gbagada, Oworonshoki, Mafoluku-Oshodi, Iyana-Ejigbo, Isheri-Osun, BergerAlagbole Road, Ajegunle, Ikorodu

T

Continued on page 5


4

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

NEWS Fragile Suntai back in Jalingo

Unkempt Benin Airport provides cover for stowaway lad

T

Continued from page 1

989AAA and taken straight from the tarmac to the VIP wing of the Presidential Lounge. Apparently to shield Suntai’s fragile state of health from curious reporters, his arrival formalties were restricted to the tarmac. The reception lasted between four

and five minutes. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “You know he came in a chartered jet; he is experiencing jet lag. This is why he cannot immediately address reporters. “Within the next hour, we should be able to move to Jalingo. But you can all see that he is not brain-damaged or incapacitated as being insinuated.” Drawing the attention of the source to a deep cut on the head of the clean-shaven governor, the source said: “That is one of the scars of the plane crash. You should expect such.” Those who received the governor at the tarmac were a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana (who led the delegation); a former Minister of Sports, Mr. Damisi Sango; the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Darius Dickson Ishaku; Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN); Senator Emmanuel Bwacha and Chief John Dara, a former Special Adviser to a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma. Gana told reporters: “We are happy the governor is back. You have seen him and we are all elated that after the crash and the treatment, he is finally back in the country. He is doing well and, of course, he needs to rest because of the long flight.” Ishaku, said: “We are glad; you can see he is back. We thank God for his life.” Dara, who spoke outside the tarmac, said: “As we saw, the governor had some pains in his legs and the rest. Oh yes! That is understandable. He is obviously recuperating. “ We were really excited to see the governor. What is clear is that after the long journey from America, he was obviously weak and tired.” Asked what will become of

•The governor’s vehicle being escorted by security men into the Government House in Jalingo...yesterday PHOTO: FANEN IHYONGO

Huge crowd welcomes Suntai to Jalingo

S

UNTAI arrived yesterday to a tumultuous reception in Jalingo, the state capital. The plane marked 5N-12Y, in which he travelled in landed at the Jalingo Airport at about 3:40p.m. Before then, two aircraft, marked N224BA and 5NBMR, had landed at 2:58pm and 3:37pm. Security was extremely tight. Many people came around to welcome back the governor. They waited for hours before the arrival of the plane. When the plane landed, Suntai’s wife was the first to enter the plane - apparently to greet her husband. Suntai’s deputy, who has been the acting governors since Suntai was flown abroad 10 months ago, Alhaji Garba Umar, also went inside the plane. Suntai then alighted, assisted by his wife and some aides into an unregistered red Range Rover Sports HSC. He waved at the people briefly. His body looked healthy but weak and tired. The governor was clad in a navy black suit with a blue strip shirt. He did not wear a tie. Suntai did not speak to the crowd. He did the Personnel changes made by acting Governor Garba Umar in Suntai absence, Dara said: “Those were minor administrative issues. “If somebody was sacked and if he as the governor is convinced the person should be reinstated, he is reinstated. If the governor is convinced they were fairly treated when the facts are presented to him, it is up to him.” A friend of the governor, Mr.

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

not speak also to reporters. His natural fair complexion was radiant –unlike when he was pictured some months ago in a Hanover, Germany hospital. The governor was driven straight to the Government House. In the vehicle, he sat with his wife at the back. The glasses were wound down and he waved at the large crowd along the road. People who saw him were shouting “Ya dawo”, meaning he has come. Others said “shi ne”, meaning he is the one. But many did not catch a glimpse of him due to the heavy security presence. Security personnel were escorting the governor’s car on foot. A truckload of security men –policemen and soldiers – guarded the car conveying the governor. The deputy governor’s car and a few other vehicles followed. From the airport, they drove through the Road Block, enroute Hammaruwa Way via Barde Way into the Government House.

Rima Shamulu, said: “The governor’s doctor will advise him on when to resume. This is a simple matter as he will only need to transmit a letter to the speaker of the state Assembly of his intention to resume office.” Concerning when the governor would speak to the media, Rima simply said: “This will be arranged as soon as possible.” “There are provisions in the constitution for you to take

EENAGER Daniel Ihekina, stowaway on an Arik Air flight from Benin to Lagos on Saturday, might have entered the Benin Airport Terminal through the several holes in the airport’s barbed-wire perimetre fencing. Some parts of the barbed wire have broken off, making it easy for animals to stray into the airport. Around the airport are bush paths through which people walk to another street on the other side. A large part of the airport’s surrounding is unkempt, some crops are planted in other areas. Federal Airpoert Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) officials said no family member had come for Ihekina. It was gathered in Lagos that the boy might have been handed over to operatives of the State Security Services (SSS), for further interrogation and questioning by the Murtala Muhammed Airport police. A source said he was taken by aviation security personnel to “Tango City”, a detention facility around the international terminal, before being handed over

Continued on page 58

to the police. The police reportedly completed their interrogation on the circumstances leading to how Ihekina got into the aircraft wheels and handed him over to SSS operatives for investigations to establish the airport’s vulnerability. Officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Police Command declined to comment on the matter. A public commentator and one time top shot at the Lagos Airport said stowaway is not new to Nigeria. He said there was a similar experience of a teenager who was brought back from Amsterdam in the 1990s. He is growing up today at MMIA as tout. There was another incident in the early 1920s. He said FAAN is expected to conduct background checks on the staff working at the airport security controlled areas and have airport security fence in addition to Perimeter fence. But what evidence do we have that adequate background checks are done on staff. Today, no Nigeria airport has security.

A man struggling to be himself

H

E was a man full of life. That was before October 25, last year. He flew a plane. Not as an amateur. He is a certified pilot. But the plane came down and life for Danbaba Danfulani Suntai, Taraba State governor, has not been the same again. He returned to the country yesterday, but he is not the Suntai many knew. His gait gave the impression he could fall if not supported. His look unfocussed, as though blank.

ANALYSIS By Olukorede Yishau, Asst. Editor

He shook hands as though it made not much meaning to him. Almost everything about the new Suntai raises posers: Is he really well? Did he rush home so he could keep his seat as governor? Will he be able to function efficiently as governor? Why was he preContinued on page 58

How banks evade billions, by Reps Continued from page 1

over or not to. “And if he gets back to Jalingo today, and he transmits a letter to the Assembly through the speaker that he has arrived, that is all; he can take over as the governor. “So, I don’t know why there are speculations around because there is constitutional provision when someone becomes too sick to function; it is not for us to speculate.

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor, Lagos and Osagie Otabor, Benin

discrepancies in data submitted, outright refusal to present documentary evidence, blanket violations of existing laws, self exemption from existing rules, false declaration, manipulation and distortion of information among others. “These despicable acts of gross misconduct clearly depict the unscrupulous and roguish character of some banks and their Chief Execu-

tive Officers. For the Committee on Finance, this is unacceptable. “For instance, balances reported in the published audited accounts of some banks show huge variance with the figures submitted to the Committee. The data submitted to the CBN in their monthly returns on the same issues were found to be different from what was tendered before the Continued on page 58

Anenih kicks against PDM’s registration

T

HE war over the registration of the Peoples Democratic Movement(PDM) continued yesterday with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, kicking against the transformation of PDM into a party. He alleged that some PDM leaders had secretly and mischievously registered the group with INEC to operate as a political party Anenih has been a member of the PDM since its formation. Also, it was learnt that there is a secret plot by some forces in the Presidency and the PDP to ensure that the PDM is deregistered. The forces are either considering a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) or going to the court to quash the registration of PDM. But the National Chairman of PDM, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said the party was happy that the masquerader behind the anti-PDM propaganda has been unveiled with Anenih’s outburst. Anenih, who felt hurt by the registration of PDM, issued a statement in Abuja in which he

From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

claimed that he was not consulted as a founding member of the pressure group before it was turned into a political party. He asked PDM members not to panic and claimed that the group still remains a part of PDP. The statement said: “Reports about the registration of Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have inundated the polity; and because of my leading role in the formation and nurturing of the Movement, concerned members of the Movement have contacted me to confirm if it was our PDM that has witnessed the transformation. “After in-depth investigations and extensive consultations with a wide spectrum of the membership and leadership of the PDM, which is just like a pressure group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), I consider it moral to use this medium to clarify that the PDM, which some persons, purporting to be interim leaders, secretly and mischievously promoted and succeeded in registering with INEC to

operate as a political party, is not our PDM that worked with other political associations to form the PDP in 1998. “For the avoidance of doubt, the PDM, which we collectively envisioned under the leadership of the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, remains an integral part of the PDP, whose Board of Trustees I currently chair, by the grace of God and the consensus of founding fathers and leaders of our great party. “I hereby wish to urge those who look up to me for guidance in this circumstance to remain steadfast with me in the task of building a much more united and formidable PDP and to discountenance the registration and treat it as a political trickery which will not survive the test of time. “Members of the Peoples Democratic Movement, which is working for the unity and success of the PDP and the Federal Government under the able leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Joanthan, GCFR, should not panic. “They should see it as an attempt to undercut our PDM, which was never intended to be and should not be a registered political party within and

against the PDP.” But the National Chairman of PDM, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said the party was happy that the architect of the antiPDM propaganda had been unveiled. In a statement through the party’s Media Adviser, Alaba Yusuf, the National Chairman said: “The masquerader behind the anti-PDM propaganda has been unmasked. Chief Anenih’s statement is a positive advertisement for PDM and what it stands for. “There is no turning back the hand of time. PDM is an idea whose time has come. We are not going to waste our time exchanging word with those who want to live in the past. “Let the chief resolve the crisis tearing his party apart before dabbling in the affairs of another party over which he has no control.” Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said his position is only different from that of Chief Anenih “to the extent that he believes in the right of freedom of association which is guaranteed by the constitution of Nigeria. PDM, even when Shehu (Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua) lived never operated as a regimented

organisation like the police or the army. “Don’t also forget the fact that this is not the first time that the PDM had sought registration. They sought to register as Peoples Front,PF under the Babangida Presidency but this was denied them. “They tried to do this under Abacha but instead, parties described as ‘the five leprous fingers’ were registered. When he called many of the the PDM members, including Chief Anenih to the PDP in 1998 and they agreed to come, several others including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu chose the other parties such as the then Alliance for Democracy, AD and the defunct All Peoples Party, APP.So they, as PDM members were really never sworn to an oath, to belong to only one political party. “So, while others like Chief Anenih have made the choice of remaining as members of the PDP, neither of them reserves the right to take away from a fellow citizen, his right of freedom of association as accorded by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is time for some of them, the elders in the polity to allow our younger members to express themselves.

•Anenih

“We can advise them without imposing our political views on them. It is by this spirit that we can guide and grow the next generation not by hindering them” Atiku said, according to his spokesman Garba Shehu.

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


5

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

NEWS

•Kabawa Primary School: under reconstruction. PHOTOS: SEUN AKIOYE

•Abandoned equipment at Patani hospital

Money, money everywhere, yet flood pains remain Continued from page 3 Road, Ogijo and Odogunyan were affected. A resident of Akinwunmi Estate in Mende said blocked carnal should be blamed for the problem in the bulk of Lagos. He said: “We are begging the government to come and clear the canal; it is because people build houses in the canal; that is why we are suffering like this. Raining season is a time for sadness and loss. The government should please come and demolish all those houses that are built in the canal so that we won’t experience this kind of disaster anymore.” Parts of Ogun State, which share boundaries with Lagos, that were submerged are Akute, Alagbole, Olambe, and Ojodu-Abiodun, among others. Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment Mr. Tunji Bello believes relocating communities located in the lowlands to the uplands would solve the problem. He listed the areas to include Eti-Osa, Badia, Amukoko, Makoko, Iwaya, Ajegunle, Owode and Agiliti, among others. “As a proactive and responsive administration, committed to the overall wellbeing of the residents, this alert becomes necessary to sensitise all the residents, especially those that reside in the flood-prone areas to be on the alert in order to prevent the loss of lives and property,” he said. The commissioner said residents must clean the drainage channels in their neighbourhoods, warning against making the flooding worse through the dumping of waste into canals, and erecting of structures along drainage channels. He said the state has posted Drainage Engineers and Drainage Maintenance officers to the 57 local government areas to solve their drainage challenges, urging residents to use them in case of emergency.

Too little, too late

A

RECURRING decimal that has played out in most of the affected states is delay in the distribution of relief materials or rebuilding of damaged infrastructure. In Kwara State, where 50,000 people were displaced, most of the victims complained that they were yet to receive any form of assistance from the government. In Patigi, Edu, Kaiama, Baruten and Ilorin, victims claimed that contrary to what the state’s postflood committee chairman Alhaji Muhammed Dabarako said to the effect that N300 million has been used to purchase relief materials for the victims, no relief material has been received. However, a community leader in Asa community of Taiwo Isale Local Government Area Mallam Hammed Hakeem said: “It is saddening to raise alarm at this point that this community has never benefited in the palliative measures provided by the Federal Government to cushion the effects of the damages done

to our homes in 2012 and years before.” Dabarako said: “During the 2012 flooding, we were able to calculate over 50,000 victims and federal government gave N300, 000 million. That amount was meant for immediate relief of the people. The relief includes food items, clothing materials and other things that can make people easily go back to farming. The state government purchased those materials with the N300, 000 the Federal Government gave us.” The situation is not much different in Ebonyi State, where the flood affected six local governments and killed three persons. The state got N300 millin and provided and additional N100 million. But the victims were seemingly left on their own until April 2013 when the money was distributed to some of them who got a paltry N15, 000. The case of Enugu is instructive. The N250 million grant seems to have disappeared leaving no trace behind as the victims expressed anger over government’s refusal to help them. According to one of them in Nsukka, “We have been waiting since last year but nothing has happened. The only people that visited us are local government chairmen in the state who donated to us 10 bags of rice. Anybody that tells you that SEMA or NEMA gave us relief materials is being economical with the truth.” At Okutu community, where 230 people were affected, an angry victim, added: “For the sake of clarity, the items donated to us were 10 bags of rice; a bag of beans, two jerry cans of vegetable oil, six cartons of toilet soaps, one carton of tin tomatoes, a Ghana Must Go bag of onions and 4 bags of salt.” The SEMA coordinator in Enugu State, Mr. Joe Offor, declined comment on the issue, saying: “I am not in a position to comment. This is a government matter. So, I have to consult with the government first.” In some states, it is a case of the victims helping themselves while they wait for their respective governments to act. In Cross River, which got N400 million, The Nation observed that most of the affected farmers are yet to get back on their feet. Many of them are making the slow and painful journey to recovery without the support of their government. The Afi community near Ikom, which had its river polluted by mudslides occasioned by the floods, lamented they had been left to their fate since then. A clan head, who does not want to be named, said Afi River served as the only source of drinking water for more than forty villages on its banks. He begged for sinking of boreholes and water purifying chemicals as an interim measure to meet the needs of the affected villages. The Agwagwune and Eja communities who lived by the flood plains were promised to be relocated but nothing

has since been done. But the secretary of the state’s flood management committee, Vincent Aqua, said relief materials have been distributed to all the affected local governments. He would not disclose how much has been spent so far from the intervention fund. Benue’s statistics of disaster was staggering. Of the 113,245 displaced persons, at least 50,000 remained in the camp for five months. The government claimed it expended N700 million feeding the victims. The victims also got N2, 000 transportation claims. But while many of the displaced still languish in squalor, the government said it is building drainage from Kyabiz Hotel to Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), where water would be channeled into River Benue. The Commissioner for Environment and Urban Development, Dr. Eugene Aliegba, told The Nation that his ministry is handling the drainage under direct labour and more than N300 million has been set aside for the project. In Edo, the state government has just commenced the disbursement of the funds to the affected families. Hajia Meimunat Momodu, who is the Chairperson of the State Flood Relief Committee, said the least beneficiary would be paid N20,000; the highest would get N250,000. She blamed the delay in the commencement of the exercise on the need to do a thorough job of capturing the genuine victims of the flood.

Setting the example

K

OGI is one of the few states to publicly publish what do nations it received and what has been done with it. According to Abu Michael, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor and chairman of the flood relief committee, Yomi Awoniyi, the state received the following donations: N500 million, N150 million, N50 million , N10 million and N10 million from the Federal Government, Aliko Dangote, Jide Omokore, Alhaji Isa Kutepa and Kano State government, making a total of N753, 092,704.00, including donations from some individuals and organisations. Michael said the state has been sensitive to the plight of the affected people and had disbursed N139 million to the victims of the flood through the local governments which were mandated to constitute a flood relief committee. The state enumerated its projects as: Rehabilitation of schools; N81, 376,646.55, rehabilitation of the Ideh-Onyedega road and ShintakuOdubgo-Mozum Road for N423 million. Construction of 250 Post- Flood Housing units of 1-bedroom and 2bedroom apartments for N504 million, 6,500 hectares rice plantation established by the river plains for N200 million. The Nation visited Kabawa Primary School, whose renovation cost N29,

735,709, all the classroom blocks was being repainted and others completely refurbished. Also, one block of classroom was newly built. In all, 11 blocks of classrooms and administration blocks were being refurbished, making a total of 27 classes ready for students. But the situation was different in LGEA Primary School, Adankolo, which was said to be renovated for N10, 863,921 and Gadumo Primary School for N7, 666,357. It was observed that no work has been done at all in the two schools. A visit to the post-flood housing estate behind old Polytechnic quarters also shows that while work is already underway, only 80 units of two-bed and 20 units of onw-bed apartments have been constructed. One of the contractors told The Nation that the twobed apartments were delivered at N4.8 million for two units of two-bedroom apartments while four units of onebedroom cost N6 million. Michael said the state insisted on using quality materials and to deliver the units by September 2013. However, no rehabilitations have taken place in Adankolo layout, which was one of the affected communities in Lokoja. Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources Abdulrahaman Wuya said the government would still relocate those living by the flood plains to avert further dangers to lives. He said the state has been honest about the utilisation of the funds; he lamented lack of resources to implement the plans of the government as fast as the state would have wanted to do. When The Nation visited ShintakuOdubgo-Mozum Road in Bassa Local Government, work had already been halted as only two bridges have been built. Many Shintaku residents lamented the abandonment of the project. Michael said the contractors have been mobilised to site and the Deputy Governor has been visiting the site to ensure implementation. The state has also spent money on a rice project. The N200 million rice project in Sarkin Nomi, according to Musa Ahmed, the supervisor of the project, has been a huge success. “This is the first time I have achieved this result in Sarkin Nomi; we had more than 600 tons and we are yet to finish the entire harvest,” he said. Niger has recorded achievements, mainly in the movement of the displaced people to new homes in seven re-settlement centres in the state. The state received N400 million from the Federal Government and generated an additional N150 million internally. According to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) boss, Mohammed Shaba, funds were also disbursed to the affected local councils, according to the severity of the problem. He said: “The severity of the flood determined the categorisation and allocation of funds to the affected areas. Councils in Group A were given N22 million each, those in Group B received N17 million while

N12 million each went to the last group. This give us a total of N335 million of the Federal Government intervention fund. “We also spent N50 million on the construction of five clinics and N5 million was committed to the procurement of drugs for the clinics while the balance of N10 million was expended on logistics.” Kano State government has also constructed mass housing for the victims using the N400 million intervention fund it received from the Federal Government and internally generated revenue. In Warawa, 70 houses have been built and allocated to people while 30 houses are under construction. Also in Makoda and Kunchi Local Governments areas, the same exercises are on-going. Of the 102 houses to be constructed in Kunchi town, 61 houses are at various stages of completion, while in Makoda, 48 of the 86 houses are at appreciable level. Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso told The Nation that about 50 per cent of the job has been completed. He said: “We have succeeded in moving some of them to a high land because their areas were low-lands. We have moved them to the new houses that the state government built and we are about to enter the second and third phase, while constructions on those projects have gone very far.” The Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR) co-chaired by Aliko Dangote and Olisa Agbakoba has not fully started implementing its programmes. Recently, the committee said it would soon begin the construction of two-bedroom and threebedroom apartments in the affected states. At a fund-raising dinner last November, it got pledges of N11.35 billion. The Federal Government and Dangote pledged N2.5 billion each. Heir Holdings Tony Elumelu, ex-Zenith Bank’s Jim Ovia and business magnate Arthur Eze pledged N1 billion each. Firms, such as Dantata and Sawoe, Julius Berger, oil majors and telecommunications giants also made pledges. They were promised tax holiday by President Goodluck Jonathan. As at June, many of the pledges were yet to be redeemed, even though the firms have started enjoying the tax holiday that came with the pledges. The committee threatened to publish the name of defaulters. However, as the nation awaits another season of flood, according to meteorologists, trouble may just have begun for those who are yet to recover from the devastation of last year’s floods. Additional reports by: Mike Odiegwu, (Yenagoa), Jide Orintunsin, (Minna), Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia (Benin), Kolade Adeyemi (Kano), Adekunle Jimoh (Ilorin), Okodili Ndidi (Owerri), Nicholas Kalu (Calabar), Chris Oji (Enugu), Uja Emmanuel (Makurdi) and Ogochukwu Anioke.


6

THE NATION MONDAY AUGUST 26, 2013

NEWS Mark: Saleh Jambo was man of the people From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

SENATE President David Mark yesterday described the death of former presidential aspirant and leader of the United Nigeria Democratic Party (UNDP), Alhaji Saleh Jambo, as painful and devastating. Mark noted that the late Jambo was an astute businessman and a frontline politician who managed men and resources creditably. In a condolence message yesterday to the Plateau State Government and the people, Mark said the late politician would be missed for his statesmanship and dependability. The Senate President, in a statement in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, said the late Jambo was a detribalised Nigerian, whose goodwill cuts across ethnic and religious boundaries. He said: “He was a businessman with an uncommon touch. As a politician, he carried his followers along. He played the politics of inclusiveness. He played politics with maturity and without bitterness but with service to the nation.”

Boko Haram leader Shekau may be alive, says Sani

C

IVIL rights activist Mallam Shehu Sani said yesterday in Kaduna that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau may still be alive, contrary to the claim that he has been killed. Sani said since the group is yet to announce a successor and the military yet to show Nigerians Shekau’s body, it is difficult to believe that the insurgent leader is dead. Sani, who addressed reporters in Kaduna, described the five governors who are seeking democracy within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as patriots.

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

“Governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) are patriots who have the interest of the nation at heart,” he said. The activist advised that they should be courted by the All Progressives Congress (APCa). Sani was the first person to contact some members of the insurgent group, when he led former President Olusegun Obasanjo to

visit top officials. He said even if it was true that Shekau was killed, his death could not mean an end to the insurgency. Sani accused the defunct Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Saminu Turaki-led Federal Government committee of lying to Nigerians on the actual situation of things. He said: “If he (Shekau) was killed by the JTF, there would be an announcement by the Shura Council (the Boko Haram highest organ) that Shekau had been ‘martyred’ and they would have naturally appointed a successor. “Nigerians should not believe that Shekau has

From left: Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Seni Adetu; CEO, Tasho Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Taofeek Sodia and Sales Director, West Region, Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Afeez Ajibowu, at Guinness Nigeria’s Distributors Conference, tagged: Celebrating Great Partnerships, at Darlington Hall, Ilupeju, Lagos... at the weekend

Namibia’s Dillish wins Big Brother Africa’s The Chase By Dupe Ayinla-Olasukanmi

AFTER three months of exciting drama, Namibia’s Dillish Matthews last night won this year’s edition of Big Brother Africa reality show, tagged: The Chase. By her victory, Dillish goes home with $300,000 (about N48 million). The show began with host, IK Osakioduwa, making an amazing entry with a dance crew dressed in black. Before the eviction began, the last five contestants were shown seated in the living room; they tried to relax as the tension of the final day gripped them. The eviction started with the two representatives from Nigeria – Melvin and Beverly Osu - shown the way out. Though she had survived 91 days in the house without any nomination - a record feat Miss Osu was the first to be evicted yesterday. Her eviction was followed by Melvin’s, who was also known as Mr Gentleman. The highlights of their stay in the house were shown to viewers. The third housemate evicted yesterday was Elikem. IK announced his eviction in company of the other two last housemates. Most of the earlier evicted Chasers had been brought to the show, to the surprise and delight of viewers. Nigerian rap artist, Ice Prince, performed live for the audience his hit song, titled: Aboki. Dillish, 22, said she entered the competition because she had been a fan of the show for some time. The Namibian said she had also promised to enter the reality show as soon as she was old enough.

been killed until the JTF or government or the dialogue committee presents Shekau’s body before Nigerians. “We should not misinform ourselves. The killing of Shekau will not end insurgency in Nigeria as long as there are one or two persons who are aggrieved. We will still be having problems of this insurgency and violence. “The only way out of this insurgency is for the government to dust the report which I brought to them through former President Obasabjo and the one that was brought to them through Dr Datti Ahmed,

ASUU rebuffs govt’s ‘no work, no pay’ threat

T

HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said the Federal Government’s threat to implement its ‘no-work, no-pay’ policy cannot stop its ongoing strike. The union described the policy as an “obsolete familiar threat”. In a statement yesterday, titled: ASUU: On Government’s Threat of NoWork, No-Pay, by its Chairman of the University of Ibadan (UI) chapter, Dr Olusegun Ajiboye, said members of the union have resolved to pursue the strike.

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

The statement said ASUU members are using the action to defend the integrity of the university system in Nigeria and save it from universal mockery. Dr Ajiboye said the minimum funding requirement for public universities this year is N500 billion and not N100 billion, as being touted by the Federal Government. The union leader added that anything short of this is unacceptable to the union. He said the Federal

Government’s N100 billion offer showed that the government “is just begging the matter”, because the money is like a drop in the ocean. According to him, no blackmail will break the ongoing strike. “The academics remain resolute on this struggle ,” Dr Ajiboye said. On government’s N100 billion fund for the universities, the union leader noted that “this is just the beginning; the government is just starting”. He added: “Going by the ASUU agreement of 2009 and the Memoran-

dum of Agreement (MoU) signed by the Federal Government in January 2013, the minimum funding requirement for the universities as at 2013 is N500 billion and not N100 billion. Only the provision of this will meet the immediate needs of addressing the rot and decay in the public universities. Anything short of this is not acceptable to the union. “Therefore, rather than engage in cheap blackmail and unworkable threat, the government should address the issues on the table.”

PDP governors, others seek to register party

A

NOTHER political party, the Voice of the People (VOP), has applied for registration. The five People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governors, who are agitating for democratic rights within the PDP, are believed to be behind the party. Sources said Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso

By Our Reporter

(Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) with embattled Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, are behind it. House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, a political as-

sociate of Wamakko, is also linked with the association. It could not be confirmed last night from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) whether it had received the registration request of VOP. But a single horse standing on its hind legs, superimposed on a white colour

with green and brown colours on its right and left side, is the logo of the VOP. A source, however, said the governors have not concluded yet on whether to form a party or not. The source also said there were many names being considered, adding that the governor were still open to discussions within the PDP.

which was facilitated by a freelance journalist, Ahmed Serkida. “The road map for peace is first and foremost, to get mediators that are accepted by Boko Haram and recognised by the government. The Dialogue Committee is recognised by the government and not accepted by Boko Haram, as it is now. When you have a mediating body, which has the stamp of approval from both sides, both sides will listen. “Secondly, a ceasefire needs to be agreed upon. Such a ceasefire should be announced by Boko Haram and not by the government, because all the ceasefire that has been coming up for the past two to three years was announced by the government and dismissed by Boko Haram.”

FRSC redeploys 45 senior officers From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

T

HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said yesterday it has redeployed 45 senior officers across the country. The affected officers include the former Corps Legal Adviser, Chidi Nwachukwu, who is now a Deputy Corps Marshall in charge of Training, Standards and Certification. A statement in Abuja by the commission’s Education Officer, Jonas Agwu, said a Deputy Corps Marshall, 10 Assistant Corps Marshalls, 22 Corps Commanders, seven Deputy Corps Commanders, four Assistant Corps Commanders and a Chief Route Commander were affected in the exercise. The statement said: “This appointment, which is coming on the heels of last week’s decoration of recently promoted senior officers of the commission with their new ranks, also witnessed the movement of Assistant Corps Marshall Yakubu Attah to Jos as the Zonal Commanding Officer.” Details of the postings showed that a former Zonal Commanding Officer RS Five Benin, Assistant Corps Marshall Wole Olaniran, takes over from Chidi Nwachukwu as the Legal Adviser. A former Lagos State Sector Commander Nseobong Charles Akpabio, now an Assistant Corps Marshall, assumes duties as the new Zonal Commanding Officer, RS Five, Benin, comprising Edo, Delta and Anambra states. Also, a former Zonal Commanding Officer in Bauchi, Assistant Corps Marshall Comfort Uwadoka, has been moved to Port Harcourt as the new Zonal Commanding Officer; Assistant Corps Marshall Ahmad Hassan, formerly the Zonal Commanding Officer in Bauchi, goes to the National Defence College. The former Sector Commander in Rivers State, Assistant Corps Marshall Kayode Olagunju goes the Policy Research and Statistics Department.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

7

NEWS

APC sets up state interim committees

T

HE National Interim EXCO of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approved the establishment of the State Harmonisation Committees (SHC), in order not to create a vacuum and also to regulate the activities of the party at the state level and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the decision to set up the SHC followed the adoption of the report of the Masari Committee by the National Inter-

T

im EXCO, which met last week in Abuja. According to the party, the SHC shall comprise President/Vice President, past and serving, who are members of the legacy parties; Governors/Deputy Governors, past and serving, who are members of the legacy parties; serving and former Senators, who are members of the legacy parties; serving Members of the House of Representatives, who are members of the party and Speakers or Minority Leaders of the Houses of Assembly, who are members of

taries of the legacy parties; members of the National Interim EXCO and federal commissioners, who are members of the legacy parties. The party said these persons shall be recommended to the National Interim EXCO for their approval and inauguration by the National ViceChairmen in conjunction with members of the National Interim EXCO from their Zone. It listed the functions of the SHC as including to harmonise and fuse the structures of legacy parties into one united, strong and vibrant APC in

an atmosphere of peace and harmony; organise and hold meetings of the party at all levels in the state (that is polling units, wards, LGA, area council and state); and to embark on massive mobilisation, coordination and consolidation of members into the party in accordance with the stipulated guidelines issued by the National Interim EXCO. APC said the SHC shall also take inventory of the existing assets of legacy parties across the state, harmonise same for the effective establishment of the party structure in all poll-

Outrage trails Ozekhome’s abduction

HERE was outrage yesterday following weekend’s abduction of Lagos human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, on the Benin-Auchi Highway in Edo State. Four policemen were killed as the kidnappers seized their victim, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Senior lawyers have called for his release. Edo Police sources said a contingent of crack detectives is combing the bushes in the state and in neighbouring Delta and Ondo states for the hideout of the kidnappers. Police Commissioner Folunso Adebanjo said: “This is a security matter. We will ensure that they are freed unhurt.” He was also referring to the primary school teachers and three children abducted last Sunday. It was learnt that the spouse of one of the victims, Mr. Nathaniel Elebe, an engineer, has been hospitalised following the kidnap of his wife. The teachers were abducted at different locations when going to church. Family sources said the kidnappers are yet to demand a ransom. Ozekhome’s kinsmen, Afenmai Youth Coalition, said it was regrettable that he was kidnapped after struggling over the years for good governance, equality, justice and accountability in governance. They said: “He has fought for the poor and has fought for the rich. He has defended the defenceless and has of-

Lawyers seek state police as NBA demands his release

T

HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday urged the Federal Government to ensure that Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who was kidnapped on Friday, returns to his family safe and sound. NBA President Okey Wali (SAN) made this call in his speech at the association’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to mark the beginning of its 53rd Annual General Conference in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. This is as lawyers called for the creation of state police to tame the high rate of insecurity in the country. The conference has the theme: “Law, leadership and challenges of nationhood in the 21st century Nigeria.” President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to declare the conference open today. Wali said the activist-lawyer’s kidnap “is a sad commentary on the state of our national security.” “The NBA condemns the kidnap of Ozekhome and urges the kidnappers to release him. We also urge the Federal Government to ensure that he returns to his family safe and sound,” Wali said. The issue of insecurity dominated discussions at the meeting, with lawyers saying state police remains the only anFrom Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

fered probono legal services to the disadvantaged in the society.” Some prominent lawyers in Lagos condemned Ozekhome’s abduction. They described the spate of kidnappings across the country as worrisome. Some of the lawyers, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), expressed grave concern about security

PHCN's successor firms 'll deliver on power, says BPE

A

the party. APC listed others as former Ministers, who are members of the legacy parties; immediate past National EXCO members of the legacy parties; immediate past governorship candidates of legacy parties, and their deputies where APC does not have a sitting governor, who are still members of the legacy parties; nine persons comprising three elders, three youths and three women, with one of each being from each of the senatorial districts of the state; state chairmen and the secre-

ing units, wards, local government and state in accordance with the directive and guidelines from the National Interim EXCO and ensure effective implementation of the registration process, such that all persons desiring registration into the party are afforded the right to be so registered in accordance with the directives from the National Interim EXCO. “This committee shall be answerable and report to the Interim National EXCO of its decisions and steps taken in the performance of the assignment through the National Vice- Chairman of the zone,” the party said.

HEAD of the take off of the 13 successor power generation and distribution companies next month, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has assured that the coming on board of the GENCOS and DISCOS would mark a turning point in the history of the power supply in the country. It added that the decision to allow private organisations to invest in the sector is a good one, which is capable of making the nation achieve the objectives of providing electricity for economic growth. BPE's spokesman, Joe Anichebe, said the technical expertise of the 13 successor firms is not in doubt, adding that they have what it takes to improve the status of electricity generation and distribution in the country. He said the agency took the technical proficiency of the companies into consideration before allowing them to submit bids for the power projects. Anichebe said a lot of com-

By Akinola Ajibade

panies were evaluated based on their technical skills prior to the period before they were selected to offer bids, adding that they were found to possess enough expertise to run the sector. He said the new entrants have excellent track records, noting that they stand out in the markets that are bigger than where they have won the bids to manage the distribution and generation assets. "The winners have the required technical skills," he said. Anichebe said the companies would not experience difficulties in the area of collecting revenue because of their expertise. "Like any other business, people will pay for the services they are enjoying. In the case of utilities' bill, they use what is called aggregate collection and losses system because people are not paying for the power they are using," he said.

•Begins annual conference From Joseph Jibueze, Calabar

swer to the country’s security challenges. Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) said most states are already funding the federal police, and wondered why such states should not be allowed to establish and run their force. “If a state is funding the federal police, it may as well have its own police. We need to decentralise the policing structure. What we have cannot guarantee us the security we need,” Ndoma-Egba said. Former NBA President, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said in the past, Nigeria had municipal, regional and federal police. The federal police was only called in when needed and not for regular policing, he said. “Nigeria has become unitary in everything. The NBA must join those advocating the establishment of state police,” he said. Another former NBA President, Joseph Daudu (SAN), said the problem with federal police is corruption. “It is not that the Federal Government is not funding the police, but the money disappears in a cesspool of corruption. It

situation in the country and urged security agencies to intensify their efforts toward apprehending the kidnappers. Mr. Onyekachi Ubani, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, said: “It is very appalling; both low and high profile individuals are being kidnapped across the country. It shows that there is a problem.” Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) described the situation as unacceptable. “A situation where innocent, hard working and lawabiding Nigerians are regularly kidnapped for ransom is absolutely unacceptable.

is stolen,” he said. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Paul Ewekoro, said there has to be a fundamental restructuring of the police and that states that could afford their own police should be allowed to establish them. He said state police will free up federal officers who can be deployed to the states, which do not have state police. Another SAN, Jibrin Okutepa, said if urgent steps are not taken to stem the spate of kidnappings, a time may come when even lawyers will not go to court for fear of being abducted. Lawyers also spoke on the appointment of a President of the Customary Court of Appeal as the acting Chief Judge of Rivers State, with many saying it was an illegality. Wali said it was a matter for the National Judicial Council (NJC) to resolve, as no such appointment is made without its ratification. “NJC will deal with the matter. No such appointment can go through without the NJC’s approval. I don’t have any doubts as to what will happen. “We don’t need to set up any committee on the issue. My confidence lies in the fact that it’s a matter that is within the purview of the NJC,” Wali said.

Government must work hard to improve on the situation.” He said the high level crime was a reminder to the rich that they could not enjoy their wealth in a desert of poverty and want, adding that it was high time the government changed a policy that declared economic growth without development and mass prosperity. Appealing to Ozekhome’s kidnappers to release him without delay, he said Ozekhome had a track record of human rights activism aimed at protecting the vulnerable in the society, adding that it was ironic that the same Ozekhome would fall victim to kidnappers.

Akintola said governments at all levels must tackle youth unemployment that breeds crimes, such as armed robbery and kidnapping. He, however, appealed to youths, saying crime is no solution to economic privation. Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni said Ozekhome’s abduction was a reflection of the security situation in the country. He said: “Until socio-economic injustices are tackled, we may continue to have these security challenges. “Kidnapping is now rampant because of the limited opportunities available to Nigerians due to poverty and unemployment.” Another human rights ac-

tivist, Fred Agbaje, said it was regrettable that Edo had become a hotbed of high profile kidnappings. The wife of Supreme Court Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour and his daughter were also recently kidnapped in Edo State. Agbaje urged government at all levels to ensure that citizens had access to adequate welfare packages in line with the social contract theory in governance. Second Republic Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) and former Kwara State governorship candidate, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), also lamented the kidnapping. Akinjide described the situation as unfortunate and appealed to Ozekhome’s abductors to release him immediately. He said: “It is really an unfortunate situation. I am appealing to those involved that he should be released immediately and in good condition. “I pray for his safe release and good health.” To Belgore, Ozekhome’s abduction is “sad and regrettable” especially because he has dedicated his practice fighting for the down-trodden and the oppressed. “It is an indication of failure of government to provide security for life and property of Nigerians. It just could happen to anyone. “This shows we are near a state of anarchy because most of these kidnappers go without being arrested. The Raymond Dokpesi Centre for Media Development also appealed to the kidnappers to release Ozekhome. The Director- General of the Centre, Mr. Chris Ebuetse, urged “all spirited Nigerians to join hands to see to the release of Ozekhome.”

•FRSC Corps Marshall, Osita Chidoka (right), showing the Vice-President’s wife how the tracking devise of FRSC works, when she came to procure her driver’s licence.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

8

NEWS

Tinubu stresses selfless service as Omojola turns 75 •’Nigeria needs home-grown policies’

F

ORMER Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has proposed the establishment of a foundation to be called ‘Baba Omojola Foundation’. He said it was to inculcate, preserve and expand the ideas and values of selfless service, which Comrade Oluwide Omojola, a progressive and activist, stands for. Tinubu, who was represented by Prof. Adebajo Williams, made the proposal at the 75th birthday celebration of the activist in Lagos at the weekend. Urging well meaning Nigerians to donate selflessly to the cause, he described Omojola as a rare gem, who has spent 60 of his 75 years on earth fighting for the good of all Nigerians without asking for any form of compensation. Comrade Frank Kokori, who chaired the event, hailed Omojola for standing tall, despite the hassles he went through fighting for the emancipation of the Nigerianstate from the colonial masters and later from the military and corrupt politicians. Kokori said it was common these days in Nigeria to find people organising frivolous birthday parties for people who have done nothing for the country, but who, through dubious means, found themselves in one political office or another. He said it was a waste of public funds and part of the corruption besetting our nation, when people in their 40s or 50s in public offices, who have not contributed anything to the country, waste so much funds on birthdays. Kokori said Omojola is a hero of democracy and is worth

World Bank spends N1.2b on Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

I

N the last four years, the World Bank has spent N1.2 billion on community projects in Osun State. The Nigerian team leader of the World Bank-sponsored Community and Social Development Projects (CSDP), Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa, spoke at the weekend while inspecting some of the projects. Okunmadewa said N900 million was spent on the projects and N300 million on logistics. He said 252 communities have benefited from the gesture. Okunmadewa said the communities choose the projects they want and contribute 10 per cent of the cost. He said Osun, which is one of the 26 states benefiting from the World Bank’s support, prioritised projects in water, education, health, roads and other sectors affecting the people directly. Okunmadewa said: “Osun State focuses on projects that have a direct bearing on the lives of the people. The people are aware of the opportunity the World Bank support offers their various communities to develop and they embrace this quite appreciably.”

•From left: Prof. Williams; Mrs. Kudirat Alao Akabashorun; Comrade Silvester Ejiofor; Omojola; Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Opadokun and Kokori...yesterday. PHOTOS DAYO ADEWUNMI

By Uyoatta Eshiet

celebrating at 75 because he facilitated changes in many aspects of our nation’s life, “having dedicated the best part of his years to working for Nigeria’s economic and political growth”. The Secretary-General of the Coalition of Odua Self-determination Group, an umbrella body of the six self-determination groups in Yoruba land, Comrade Rasaq Olookoba, said since he met Omojola in 1989, he has had no cause to regret knowing him. He described the septuagenarian as an inspiration to everybody who comes in contact with him. Olookoba said: “Baba’s life is an inspiration to some of us, who have devoted our lives to making the world an egalitar-

ian society. His life style is recommended for everybody who means well for the society. If his life style is followed, the society will be better for it.” He said though Omojola was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he took to a hard life to help the down trodden in the society, adding that he has never regarded himself as an influential person. Olookoba said: “He has dedicated his scholarship, wealth and energy to the struggle to make Nigeria a better place for all of us and for our country’s liberation. Someone like Omojola, who has been to so many fronts fighting for Nigeria and Africa, is worth celebrating. He did not pursue wealth or position, even though he had many opportunities to dump the struggle and go for those

things as others did.” In a lecture titled: “An overview of the progressive movement in Africa”, Dr. Nkem Onyeke of the Department of History and International Studies, University of Lagos (UNILAG), said for one to be called a progressive, he must have the political consciousness and ideology aimed at changing the status-quo for the benefit of the majority. Nkem said while conservatives work for the benefit of a few, progressives ensure that the resources are used for the good of the greater number in the society. He said the progressive movements in Nigeria are mainly concerned with how to capture political power. Nkem advocated the devolution of more resources to other tiers of government,

stressing that this would ensure rapid development as opposed to the present concentration of resources at the centre, coupled with corruption. He urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to reach out to people with progressive minds in other parties to form a national government to work for the majority. Another member of the lecture panel, Prof. Idowu Awopetan, said the current progressive politics in Nigeria refers to those who are out of power and are looking for a way to get back. He said what is lacking is proper coordination of youths to participate actively in politics. Awopetan said: “We need to create politics and ideology on the way our economy should run for the people and not the way it is now.”

‘Opposition envious of Fayemi’

E

KITI State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Tayo Ekundayo has urged the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), to focus on solving the nation’s security challenges. Ekundayo condemned the minister’s criticism of “the N20 billion bond taken by the state government for infrastructural development”. He said opposition politicians are jealous of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s accomplishments “because of their history of failure”. In a statement at the weekend, Ekundayo said lying to the people to discredit the Fayemi administration would not work because the government is “transparent about its transactions”.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Ekundayo described Olubolade’s statement in some newspapers as “most unbecoming, unwarranted, baseless, illogical and ill-intentioned.” He said: “There have been explanations and clarifications about this time and again, but they pretend not to know that which they know. Their twisted intentions are known to the people they seek to confuse. “The N20 billion bond was meant for specific infrastructural projects. Given the shortage of fund in the state, the bond was a viable and reasonable alternative. “We still remember the profligacy of the ousted administration of Mr. Segun Oni, which squandered billions on

projects that benefited no one. Fayemi can account for every naira he has taken in 2011 from the bond market. The projects on which he spent the money are there for people to see and assess. Upon these accomplishments, Fayemi has received accolades. “As I speak, nearly half of that sum has been defrayed and a sizeable amount is being paid monthly to defray it further. It is sure that by the end of four years, the N20 billion would have been entirely amortised.” “The judicious use of the bond has translated into legacy projects, including the State Pavilion, Civic Centre, new Governor’s Lodge, Governor’s Office and Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort, which has been transformed into world-class standard.

Police recover bodies of fleeing ‘robbers’

T

HE police in Ogun State have recovered the bodies of two fleeing robbery suspects, who engaged members of the Anti-Crime Patrol Unit, Odogbolu Division, in a gun battle on the Omu/ Epe Road. The team received a distress call that robbers were dispossessing road users of their property and responded. On getting to the scene, the suspects en-

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

gaged them in a gun battle. Two of the suspects were killed and three escaped with bullet wounds. Yesterday, policemen and members of the State Vigilance Service found the bodies of two of them. Police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said their remains have been deposited in a mortuary at Ijebu-Ode.

Convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform (CODER) Ayo Opadakun said if the Nation fails to reward Omojola’s contributions to national growth, God would reward him. Omojola told The Nation that he was exposed very early in life to activism to liberate Nigeria from the colonialists. He regretted that over 50 years after independence, Nigeria is yet to be economic independent and is still propagating the economic ideas of its former colonial masters in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Omojola said the country needs home---grown policies to develop. He advocated the convocation of a national conference where Nigerians will decide “if we are to stay together and how”.

Amosun mourns Tejumade Alakija

O

•Dr. Fayemi

“Unlike the profligate administrations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Fayemi can today account for every dime he has collected, either from the Federation Account or the bond market. “His accomplishments in less than three years are eternal evidence of his Godly leadership and focused devotedness to the cause of instituting lasting change in Ekiti. “The state’s revenue generation has remained unsurpassed since its creation 16 years ago. From a paltry N100 million monthly before assumption of office, this administration has increased it to N600 million. “Fayemi’s Eight-Point Agenda has remained a reference point within and outside the country. Through it, Fayemi has transformed lives, unlike the last administration, which failed the state in all ramifications.”

GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has commiserated with the people of Oyo and Osun states on the death of Princess Tejumade Alakija, daughter of the former Ooni of Ife, the late Oba Adesoji Aderemi. He described the deceased, who was the first female Head of Service in the old Oyo State, as “a quintessential public servant, who served the Western Region meritoriously”. In a statement, Amosun said the late Princess Alakija was “a consummate administrator, whose footprints in the Civil Service will remain indelible”. He said: “Mama Tejumade devoted her life to the service of the Western Region, especially the old Oyo State, where, through hard work and dedication, she rose to the enviable pinnacle of her career in the Civil Service.” Amosun commiserated with the deceased’s family; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, and the people of the Southwest and prayed God to grant Princess Alakija eternal rest.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

9

NEWS Osun youths for Germany

O

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle) with members of the Busy Bees Society of the United African Methodist Church Cathedral, Oke-Arin, Lagos, during the church’s Juvenile Harvest Thanksgiving Service...yesterday.

Ondo: Supreme Court hears appeals tomorrow

T

HE Supreme Court has set a new date to hear the four appeals filed in relation to last year’s governorship election in Ondo State. It will hear the appeals tomorrow, as against September 24, which was earlier communicated to parties. In a statement, the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s (CJN’s) spokesman, Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, said the change was to ensure that the appeals were

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

“heard within 60 days” as stipulated by the law. Isah said the decision was a departure from the court’s tradition of not sitting on appeal cases while on vacation. The court is on vacation and will resume next month. The statement reads: “The CJN, Justice Mariam AlomaMukhtar, has re-fixed hear-

ing of appeals filed against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which declared Governor Olusegun Mimiko as validly elected in the Ondo State governorship election, to August 27. “The Supreme Court earlier fixed September 24 to the hear of the four appeals filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),

Fashola advocates laws to protect physically-challenged L

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola at the weekend urged lawmakers to make laws to make life easier for the physically-challenged. Fashola spoke at the wedding reception of Abdul AlMakura, son of Nasarawa State Governor Tanko AlMakura, who has hearing challenges. He said people with disabilities are special and should be encouraged to reach their full potential. Fashola, who chaired the occasion, said: “I appeal to everyone to be sensitive to the plight of those with disabilities. They are special people and we need to pro-

vide for their special needs. “I urge states that have not enacted a law protecting people with disabilities to do so.” Describing the reception as an “international and inter-party event”, he wished the couple a blissful marriage. Supervising the cutting of the cake, the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, urged the groom to “respect, love and believe” in his wife. She said: “To you my daughter, submit, obey,

support and respect your husband. Do not involve a third party in your affairs and do not report your husband to your mother or his mother.” The groom, who lost his hearing when he was four to Lassa fever, met his wife, Anisa, who also has hearing challenges, at the Galodet University, where they both study. The governors of Kogi, Katsina, Gombe, Niger, Imo, Bauchi and the bride’s family from Pakistan, were also at the event.

‘PHCN equipment vandals’ held in Ondo

T

HE police have arrested two suspects for allegedly vandalising a 300KVA electricity transformer in Pele, Ondo State. Ojo Abiodun (21) and Oladiran Olawale (29) were arrested around 6am on Saturday while allegedly trying to escape with their loot in a Golf taxi painted in the state’s commercial colour, marked Lagos EU 199 KRD. Electricity cables, transformer winding coil, laminated cord, feeder pillar,

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

laminating sheets, two 50-litre jerry cans filled with transformer oil were recovered from the suspects. Also recovered were several bottles of liquor, pliers, knives, torch, spanner and a substance suspected to be cannabis. It was learnt that two other suspects escaped on a motorcycle. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Funbi Fagun Po-

lice Division, Mr. Emmanuel Okorie, said the suspects would be arraigned as soon as investigation is concluded. The taxi conveying the suspects has been impounded. Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) spokesman Mr. Orghale Eduziare lamented several cases of vandalism in the community. He hailed the police for arresting the suspects and urged the people to always protect public property.

Mimiko and the Labour Party (LP). “But following protests from some quarters that September 24 will be outside the 60 days stipulated to deter-

mine the appeals, the CJN has adjusted the hearing date to Tuesday (tomorrow). Ordinarily, the Supreme Court does not sit on appeals while on vacation.”

SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s efforts to achieve agricultural development through collaborative efforts have yielded fruit. The first batch of 20 youths chosen for agricultural training in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, will leave Nigeria next week. At the weekend, the youths went through an orientation programme handled by experts in health, information and communications technology as well as ethical training at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Osogbo, the state capital. Topics treated included: Food, clothing, medication and health insurance in Germany: Implications for first-time and non-frequent travellers; the concept of virtuous living and the Six-Point Integral Action Plan of the Aregbesola administration. The governor will address them before they leave. During Aregbesola’s visit to Germany last year, SaxonyAnhalt agreed to train 40 Osun youths in best agricultural practices to assist the administration’s food security programme. They will spend four weeks in a training school, where they would be taken through the rudiments of agriculture and food crop production techniques. After this, they would be attached to 11 large scale co-operative farmers for eight weeks. On January 3, the German government sent a language and agricultural expert to Osun to prepare the youths for the trip.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

10

CITYBEATS

'Why I empower my people'

“THESE are indeed trying times for the masses of this country; this is why every privileged Nigerian must make sacrifice if necessary, and contribute to improving their lot." These were the words of Dr Ifeoluwa Arowosoge, who represents Ekiti Southwest/ Ikere/Ise-Orun Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, on his ongoing empowerment programme for his people. The lawmaker, who said the enormity of the problems facing the masses deserves urgent government attention, said it had got to a state whereby every public servant in the country must be involved in efforts at rescuing them from the grip of poverty and sundry deprivations. On the 120 members of his constituency being empowered by him, the lawmaker said: "It is a project that is dear to my heart. We have trained them on various vocations with the ultimate aim of making them self-reliant economically. This, I believe, will help them cushion the pangs of the current economic woes of the nation. "I have put some money in the Bank of Industry (BOI) with which I hope to help them start off their various vocations.

By Uyoatta Eshiet

However, it will take some processes which are being handled by the bank. But because the prospective beneficiaries are eager for the gesture, I have, in the meantime, given each of them N25,000 to begin something pending the conclusion of the processing of their grants by the bank." Admonishing the beneficiaries to make good use of the gesture, Arowosoge added: "I am committed to the cause which I had imbibed as a youth, even long before I served as local government chairman many years ago. For me, lifting the poor is an inviolate covenant as well as a bounden calling. If all of us see the care of the less-privileged as a commitment, the tension caused by all forms of insecurity in the country would be minimal and all would live peacefully."

• Arowosoge

Generation Next Awards winners emerge CONSISTENT high quality, good marketing support and understanding of the market and consumer trends, have paid off for Chi Limited. It won some awards in the justconcluded Generation Next Awards, 2013, which was held in Lagos by HDI Youth Marketers. The newly introduced Generation Next survey award is the largest youth brand preference study on their taste and preferences. The nominated brands in each category were first selected by interviewing 1000 respondents; with winning brands in each category chosen through an independent survey of more than 15,000 youths across Nigeria. Coming tops in the Juice drink category was Chivita

By Sampson Unamka

Premium fruit juice. Hollandia Yoghurt topped the Yoghurt/Milk drink category, while Hollandia Evaporated Milk clinched the second position in the Milk category. The Managing Director, Chi Limited, Mr Roy Deepanjan, said: "We are excited about these awards. No doubt, we have aptly demonstrated that the best way to consumers' hearts is to offer a variety of good choices at affordable prices. Chi Limited will continue to do its best to satisfy consumers of its various brands." The Generation Next Awards is reputed to be South Africa's pre-eminent brand survey-based award that has held in the past nine years.

Ikoyi Club 1938 clocks 75 THE prestigious Ikoyi Club 1938 has begun the celebration its 75 years of existence with an array of activities. Addressing reporters on Saturday on the celebration, the club's Vice Chairman who doubles as Chairman, Anniversary Sub-Committee, Yomi Orenuga, said the anniversary tagged, "An enduring legacy," which has since commenced, would be rounded off on Sunday with a Gala Nite. He said: "This anniversary represents the celebration of a gift that has endured; a gift of our club, our values, and our pride, which will open a new chapter in our Club's existence. This informs our 75th Anniversary theme: "An enduring legacy." "The celebration features health talk, Jazz music and sections' games, Elders' Day, anniversary lecture/dinner and comedy/light music, cultural evening, children's party and disco evening for junior members. The grand finale and closing ceremony will hold on Sunday. He added: "Ikoyi Club was

established in 1938 following the merger of the European Club and Lagos Golf Club. Through careful nurturing and the breaking down of artificial boundaries of segregation, our club which started as an assembly of largely expatriate civil servants and members of the business community, has blossomed into a study in inter-racial and inter-ethnic relations. "Today, Nigerians of various ethnic origins, nations of various nations and people of diverse callings at top echelons of their organisations make up the membership of our club. Occupying 456 acres of land and providing recreational facilities for about 10, 000 members with eight sport sections, including Swimming, Golf, Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis, Squash, Badminton, Snooker and others, Ikoyi Club 1938 lives up to its motto of fostering "Global Harmony through Recreation" and it is one of the enduring institutions from colonial times.”

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

“I

DOUBT if what the biblical Job went through in his bad days was anywhere near what I'm undergoing. Somebody must come to my aid in time," 27-year-old Mathias Uzochukwu pleaded as he broke down in tears. The Imo State-born Uzochukwu was making a living from his auto-mechanic business until December 24, 2011, when he had an accident. The accident occurred on Ring Road in Ibadan, Oyo State capital. Though he survived, his hip joint was damaged. He told The Nation that he was rushed to the Metropolitan Specialist Hospital and Maternity Home, Ibadan, unconscious. He was admitted, treated and discharged after seven days. However, his relief was short-lived. After eight months, severe pains took him back to the hospital for another x-ray. Then, it was discovered that the dislocated hip had not returned to its proper place. In December last year, the hospital referred Uzochukwu to Dr O.Agboola of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, for surgery. The projected cost of initial treatment issued to Uzochukwu by the UCH in January 2 was N302,500 without which the treatment would not begin. The amount, according to the patient, would cover the cost of operation, anesthesia, recovery room, blood, labo-

•Uzochukwu on the hospital bed

'How Christmas Eve tragedy killed my joy' By Uyoatta Eshiet

ratory investigation, x-ray, physiotherapy, medical consumables, service charge, feeding and accommodation among others. The hospital, according to Uzochukwu, however, told him that the projected cost was subject to change with time and course of treatment. This means that he now has to pay more to be fully treated since the cost estimate was issued over eight months ago. Mathias said he and his family spent over N600,000 apart from the cost of drugs

for the initial treatment at the Metropolitan Specialist Hospital, lamenting that to raise the amount needed to treat him now is a "huge problem." "The way things are now, I want my hard-working state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Nigerians and organisations to have mercy on me by coming to my aid. I can no longer walk well let alone carry out any form of work to earn a living," he said. He said he suffers shock and sharp pains around his waist each time he tries to walk, fearing that he might not be

able to have a family unless he receives the much-needed succour. He said the UCH gave him the projected cost since January and he was expected back for the treatment in February but failed to go since then because his family could not raise the money, adding: "Nigerians should please help me so that I can walk and work to earn a living. I want to be useful to Nigeria." He gave his account details as: Mathias Joseph Uzochukwu; Access Bank, with number: 0042097554. He also gave his mobile phone number as: 07052122376.

LAWMA partners pupils on waste disposal

P

ARENTS have been urged to teach their children how to dispose of waste properly. The Acting Managing Director of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mrs Abimbola Jijoho-Ogun, gave the charge at the agency's second annual edition of 'food -to-waste' programme. The programme, which was targeted at school children during the holiday, was held at Agege Stadium, Agege, a Lagos suburb. Mrs Jijoho-Ogun said: "The waste-to-food initiative is to inculcate the waste sorting and recycling in the children at the early stage. It is also to integrate children and corporate organisations into recycling initiative. "The initiative is to ensure that children are rewarded for

•The chairman, Apapa Local Government Area of Lagos State, Hon Ayodeji Joseph, laying the foundation of a block of classrooms at the Arakan Barracks Primary School, Apapa. With him are other officials of the council

By Emmanuel Udodinma

the “recyclables” they collect with food/gifts vouchers that are redeemable at designated centres. The approach is an initiative to encourage the children to participate actively in our recycling programme." Saying that the outcome of the first edition was impressive, hence the second edition,

Mrs Jijoho-Ogun said the recycling initiative had to do with the sustenance of environmental sanity. Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, who was represented at the event, also charged the pupils to always dispose of their wastes properly by sorting them to make recycling easier. The programme, which was

supported by the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC), maker of Coca-Cola products and UAC Food, attracted pupils from primary and secondary schools across the state. Among the schools were: Eko-Akete Grammar School, Army Children School and Ajayi Crowther Secondary School. Each got three sets of waste recycling containers.

Lawmaker's gesture excites community

A

MEMBER of the House of Representatives representing Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Federal constituency, Hon. Hassan Anthony Sale, has donated a 500 KV electricity transformer to Orido community of Benue state. The National President of Orido Progressive Union,

Ogoyi Sunday John, told The Nation that the gesture was a relief to the community that had been in darkness long. He said: "He came to our community when he was campaigning and promised to provide us with a transformer. He has fulfilled that promise and very soon, our community will

start enjoying light. He also promised to assist us in all our developmental efforts. John commended the lawmaker for his support towards the development of the community, pointing out that it was the first time a campaign promise was being fulfilled in the community.


11

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

CITYBEATS

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Customs chief warns smugglers By Biodun-Thomas Davids

"WHAT we have achieved so far is a tip of the iceberg; we have plans to wreak more havoc on the smugglers who are bent on thwarting the efforts of the Federal Government." The Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone 'A', Ikeja, Lagos, Nuhu Isa Mahmoud, made the vow following the seizure of a truck laden with over 1,200 cartons of imported frozen poultry products, worth about N12 million, concealed with iced fish. The customs chief, who said the seizure occurred on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, last week said: "They were acted on a tip-off following which they trailed the consignment till it got to that point. The patrol team was led by CSC Hinga Philips and six other officers." "What happened with the said consignment underscores the desperation of smugglers to circumvent federal government's policy on trade. The truck with registration number PHC 653 XA, with a total of 2,642 cartons of assorted imported frozen poultry products valued at about N12 million with a duty of N2.4 million and a duty paid value of N14.3 million. But we will send them out of the illicit business."

Lions Club lifts the needy By Olatunde Odebiyi

THE Ikeja Golden Lions Club has donated some items to a care home, Ozanam House (Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul). The items included food items, provisions, fruits and clothes among other things worth several thousands of naira. It was during the club's visit to the home. Its President, Lion Mercy Aje-Omosun, who said the club is committed to helping the needy, praised the sisters in the house for taking good care of the children. The club's chairperson, Lion Caroline Adediran advised the children involved in teenage pregnancy not to see it as the end of life and continue with life and ensure that such a mistake does not repeat itself. Sister Stella Mbanu praised the club for the gesture, disclosing that the home takes care of teenage pregnancy victims and other less-privileged ones. She noted that teenage pregnancy is rampant in the society today and urged parents to caution their wards against it. Mbauna came against the idea of abortion of teenage pregnancy, saying: "It is not the right of anyone to carry a pregnant teenager to the hospital for abortion."

Suspected robbers relive operations

M

EMBERS of a fiveman armed robbery gang smashed by the Federal Special AntiRobbery Squad (FSARS), Adeniji-Adele, Lagos, have spoken of their escapade. One of the suspects, who are now being held by the FSARS, Nurudeen Yinusa, 33, told The Nation: "I am from Ibadan; I am a bus driver, plying Ijesha to Yaba in Lagos. I pick conductors from any bus stop, garage or motor park in Lagos. I reside at 25, Asabi Soniyi Street, Ijesha-Tedo, Surulere, Lagos. I am not an armed robber, but I know some of the suspects, especially, Taye, Ahmed, Boro, Kola Sule and Funmilayo. I used to meet them at Funmilayo's shop where I often drink and smoke at my leisure time. That day I was

By Ebele Boniface

arrested, I was there, drinking my beer and playing with Funmilayo's sister when policemen arrived. They just ordered me to stand up and move into their vehicle; that I was under arrest. I was there when they pursued the main suspect. I did not run because I am not a member of their gang." He added: "I knew Suleiman, Kola as friends. Kola is a motorcycle (okada) rider in that area; Suleiman is a welder. I had nothing in common with them except that they are fellow street boys.” “If I knew that the case would be like this, I would have escaped,” he said. The second suspect, Suleiman, 18, said: "I reside at 12, Atirelu-Ijesha in Lagos. I

‘I was ... drinking my beer ... when policemen arrived. They just ordered me to stand up and move into their vehicle’ am a native of Kwara State. Sule and I are friends. We attended Mummy Shaibu Nursery and Primary School. The AK47 rifle recovered from us belongs to Sule. We have one AK47 rifle and one locally made pistol. We are many in our gang but I can only remember are Sule, Kola, Pepper, Saula, Kazeem and Nasiru. I think we are seven in number. Wasiu escaped with one AK47 rifle. Sule is our gang leader. His popular name is Starboy." The third suspect, 30-yearold Funmilayo, from Ile-Ife,

Osun State, in whose shop the police recovered Sule's gun, is also being questioned by the operatives. Boro, it was learnt, escaped and abandoned his AK47 rifle and a car. He escaped with Sule, whom other members of the gang called their leader. Most of them, the police said, were arrested at Ogunlana, Ijesha in Surulere area while enjoying their loots. Their arrest, residents said, had restored sanity in the area and reduced the incessant armed robbery operations. Confirming their arrest, the

• Yinusa FSARS spokesperson, Lekan Ogundare, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said they would be charged to court after investigations.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

12

NEWS Dickson’s reforms generate N182m in Bayelsa council From Mike Odiegwu,Yenagoa

T

HE local government reforms recently carried out by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State are yielding benefits. Yenagoa Local Government at the weekend said it has saved over N182 million into the accounts of the council. Investigation showed that before the reforms, the local government could not meet up with its financial requirements, including the payment of salaries. The former chairman of the council was said to have depended on loans to pay salaries. But Dickson, through various legislation and policies introduced some fiscal disciplines in the eight councils, tightened financial loopholes and removed the senior civil servants working in the old system. Following the development, the present Council Chairman, Mr. Chubby Ben-Waltson, said in his monthly transparency briefing that the council has a balance of N83 million in June and July.

Oshiomhole seeks peace, unity

E

DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has urged religious leaders and groups to build bridges of unity and peace to enhance development. Addressing a delegation of Majlis Ansarullah Ahmadiyya Nigeria, who visited him at the Government House, Benin City, yesterday, he said he believed that religion should be used as a tool for peace and progress. The leader of the delegation, Alhaji Mashhud Fashola, said they were in the state for their convention.

Ogoni, others storm Lagos tomorrow for Saro Wiwa From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

T

HE Ogoni Solidarity Movement (OSM), in conjunction with the Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) and Ogoni Economic Forum, will, tomorrow, hold a special memorial lecture for the late Ogoni environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa. The lecture, which will take place at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, is expected to be chaired by former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon. Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the National Coordinator of OSM, Celestine Akpobari, said the Ogoni would use the opportunity to unmask the murderers and betrayers of Saro Wiwa.

‘Wike can’t give Amaechi conditions’ A GROUP, the Rivers Peoples Forum (RPF), has dismissed as laughable and ridiculous, reports that the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, has said for peace to return to Rivers State, the suspended Obio-Akpor Local Government chairman and councillors must be recalled. The group, in a statement by its president, Charles Bekwele, said Wike cannot give anyone conditions and insisted on its earlier call that he must be arrested and prosecuted for threatening the peace and people of the state. “It is sad, very sad and unfortunate that Wike, who has been certified to be a danger to democracy, who has threat-

ened the peace and people of Rivers State, is still being allowed to roam the streets and make inciting statements. “Who does he (Wike) think he is to say the suspended Obio-Akpor Council executive must be recalled for peace to return to Rivers State? “For crying out loud, these people were suspended for a monumental fraud and a serving minister is saying they should be recalled just like that, without any investigation! “This clearly shows the world the kind of character Wike is. It shows that he loves

and enjoys corruption, and even thrives in it,” the statement said. Continuing, RPF lambasted Wike for denying that he didn’t threaten the peace and people of the state and reiterated its call for the arrest and prosecution of the minister. The group said Wike is already campaigning to become the governor of Rivers State, adding that it is too late for him to deny this. “Wike threatened the peace and people of Rivers State. He said the state would be uncomfortable, ungovernable. It is on record, on tape,

$1b Malabu deal: ‘Etete victim of circumstance’

Y

OUTHS from the Southsouth geopolitical zone, under the auspices of Southsouth Youth Leaders Forum (SSYLF), have accused the National Assembly of victimising a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Dan Etete, in the $1 billion Malabu oil deal scandal probe. Etete’s Malabu Oil and Gas Company owns the OPL 245. The SSYLF, in a statement yesterday, claimed that Etete’s fate is a fallout of his minority status and urged the National Assembly to probe similar oil blocks owned by the Abacha family and other prominent northern and western families. The Chairman of the forum, Mr. Amachree Odiedim, said: “Chief Etete has suffered

From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt

more than enough victimisation and persecution at home and abroad on this issue. We can no longer tolerate such a broad daylight marginalisation any longer. “They (National Assembly) should consider the most lucrative and controversial oil block in the country, OPL 246, of which 60 per cent belong to the Abacha family, 10 per cent to Gen. T.Y. Danjuma and 10 per cent each to Gilbert Chaguori as well as Roland Chaguori. “We are confident that this drama of a probe can only happen when a “minority”

Ijaw man is involved, but can never happen if the OPL 245 is owned by a northerner or a westerner or even Lebanese like the Chagouri brothers.” The statement noted that the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration had earlier “framed” Etete in a money trial in France, adding: “Between 2002 and 2003, the House of Representatives held the country to a standstill for 10 months and almost on a daily basis was probing this same Malabu’s OPL 245. Months after, the Senate took up the same probe. Also in 2011, the House of Representatives opened a probe on this same Malabu’s OPL 245 and now again it is the turn of the Senate.”

MOSOP flays Rivers PDP’s stance on governorship poll

T

HE Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has considered the reported anointing of the sponsor of the Chief Felix Obuah-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, by the party’s chair as a sentimentally- disappointing approach. Speaking in Port Harcourt yesterday, the President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, said it represented a huge conspiracy against the Ogoni governorship move that is of grave concern. Said he: “We also consider the action as an appalling and shameful response to our quest. MOSOP thus calls on the national leadership of the PDP to call its Rivers chair, Chief Obuah, to order. “The deed in our view, is not only a deliberate infringement on fairness but also politically inept, insensitive and unfortunate. It is clear that the Ogoni governorship quest is most popular and widely overwhelmingly supported within and outside Rivers State. The PDP would be losing a golden opportunity to monopolise and secure its electoral advantage of the huge Ogoni voting strength if it fails to commit her platform to any Ogoni seeking to govern Rivers State in 2015. The sustained unguarded and inflammable utterances and actions of the PDP state chairman, demonstrably betrays a devious attempt at scuttling Ogoni political interest and it is unacceptable. If the untoward development is not addressed, it would require inflexible Ogoni response. “We are aware that Chief Obuah is acting a script as we

know the forces at play. However, the stance reflects an implicit admission of what we have all along been suspecting. Nonetheless, we would like to warn that Ogoni will refuse to be confined to being heavers of water and fetchers of wood in a state that we are not inferior but eminently qualified. “The Obuah-led PDP’s insistence on depriving Ogoni of her deserved berth at the office of governor of the state meant that the red line has been crossed and would no doubt provoke tough, decisive attention as we will not continue to be political passersby in our state. Again, is it not unfair that while Rivers West and East senatorial Districts have produced governors of the state under a zoning understanding, efforts are being made to deny Rivers South East Senatorial District of the opportunity others have enjoyed?” “The Obuah/Wike’s intention to scuttle the political understanding in the state is definitely anti-Ikwerre and his party. MOSOP feels the PDP chair’s action negates internal democracy and paints the platform in bad light. “Without mincing words, MOSOP would pursue this course with the same vigour, collectivity and articulation with which it fought environmental injustice in addition to effective mobilisation of the Ogoni society. While we are resolute on our position and would resist temptations to be swayed otherwise, we will continue to stick to our avowed commitment to methodological purity and peaceful advocacy.

•Wike

the video is on the Internet and many newspapers reported it. He cannot try to twist it now. Wike must be arrested and tried for threatening the peace and people of Rivers State. The Inspector-General of Police must act now. This man should not be allowed to roam the streets and make more inciting comments.”

Edo APC chieftain ‘kidnapped’

O

NE of the leaders of the newly-registered All Progressives Congress in Edo North, Mr. Athanasius Ogbome, may have fallen victim to those suspected to have kidnapped rights activist, Mike Ozekhome. The suspected kidnappers of Ozekhome and his driver were said to have ambushed a police patrol team despatched on a rescue mission and opened fire on them, killing four policemen. Unconfirmed report said Ogbone’s white Toyota Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), was in front of the one conveying Ozekhome. It was further learnt that the hoodlums took away their victims in Ogbome’s vehicle. Ozekhome’s SUV was seen on the scene of the incident by policemen, who discovered the identity of the kidnapped lawyer. The APC chief, who with others, inaugurated the party in Ekperi, Etsako Central Local Government Area, last Saturday, was said to be returning from a funeral in Fugar. His elder brother and former House of Assembly member, Pascal, was unable to confirm his brother’s whereabouts. He, however, said the family was praying for his safe return. Briefing reporters, Police Commissioner Foluso Adebanjo said: “Operatives of the command led by DPO Ehor division responded to a distress call about 3:30pm that unspecified number of armed men had blocked theBenin-Auchi Road on the Ehor axis. The hoodlums ambushed the patrol vehicle and opened fire on it, prompting an exchange of fire. “At the end of the gun duel, the hoodlums escaped with bullet wounds but not without their victim, who was later identified, upon a search on his abandoned vehicle, as Chief Ozekhome and his driver.

Tompolo trains 50 science teachers

T

HE Tompolo Foundation, sponsored by Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), has embarked on a 10-day teacher capacity building programme for 50 science teachers in Warri, Delta State. A statement by the Executive Secretary of the foundation, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, said the programme, which begins today, is aimed at strengthening the skills and competence of science teachers in the basic and secondary schools in the area.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

13


14

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

15


16

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

17


18

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

19

COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

Not yet uhuru •NDIC 2012 report indicates the Bankers Committee is yet to find the right mix

L

AST week, the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) released its 2012 annual report on the state of the nation’s lenders. Among its many highlights, it showed that the banking industry recorded a total of 3,380 fraud cases. The figure for 2011 was 2,352. However, there was a significant decline in the amount involved, from N28.4 billion in 2011 to N18.04 billion in 2012 – that is, 36.4 percent. In the same vein, the contingency loss rose from N4.072 billion in 2011 to N4.52 billion – a quantum jump of 10 percent. Among the other highlights, the banking sector’s total assets reportedly grew from N21.89 trillion in 2011 to N24.58 trillion in 2012 (10.91percent). As for the ratio of non-performing loans to total loans, this is said to have decreased from 4.95 percent in 2011 to 3.51 percent in 2012. The NDIC attributes this to the purchase of the non-performing assets of the banks by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Credit to agriculture stood at 3.6 percent of the entire loan portfolio in 2012 –a slight improvement from 3.11 percent in 2011. In all, the NDIC rated 10 of the 24 banks as “sound”; nine were rated “satisfactory” just as one bank was rated “marginal”. It found no bank “unsound”. Four years after the exercise undertaken by the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi-led Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cleanse the industry of its rot, the mere suggestion that fraud continues to fester ought to trigger alarm. If it is any indication, it is

of how the internal controls instituted by the banks in the aftermath of the exercise have failed to square up to the challenge of fraud. And here we are dealing with a quantum jump in fraud cases from 2,352 to 3,380 all in one year! Taken together with the jump in contingency losses by as much as 10 percent, there can be no better indication of how much the system has remained fraud-ridden. The challenge of course is to bring fraud cases to the barest minimum. That would obviously require taking a comprehensive look at the internal controls of the banks, with a view to bringing them up to date. Investing in new technologies to fight fraud would be a positive move at this time; however, a programme of human capital development to address the problem would seem infinitely better in the long run. The challenge for the Bankers’ Committee is one of finding the right mix. What the NDIC report suggests is that it is yet to get there. At the heart of the NDIC report is the question of the state of the financial services sector. Most instructive is the NDIC’s rating of the financial services sector as relatively stable in spite of its findings of only 10 “sound” banks out of 24. The nation deserves more than a “relatively stable” financial sector. We say this because it’s been eight years since the first round of banking reforms – consolidation – and four since the second cycle – sanitisation – ended. Once the nation had a motley club of 84 banks;

now there are 24 with the anaemic banks supposedly gone with their toxic assets. What Nigerians are interested in is whether anything has changed in any substantial sense. Are the banks better primed to assume their financial intermediation roles to the credit-starved economy? Are the costs of funds to the real sector any cheaper now than they were prior to the reforms? What about the plan to deepen the financial services sector? Is the informal sector now better served post-reforms? These are the questions that bother Nigerians – not some high-minded system stability. Above all, does anyone need other proof of the neglect of the vital agricultural sector than the paltry 3.6 percent credit extended to it in 2012?

‘The challenge of course is to bring fraud cases to the barest minimum. That would obviously require taking a comprehensive look at the internal controls of the banks, with a view to bringing them up to date. Investing in new technologies to fight fraud would be a positive move at this time; however, a programme of human capital development to address the problem would seem infinitely better in the long run’

Lesson from Mali •In spite of everything, Malians successfully held a presidential election

T

HERE is every reason to jubilate over the last election in Mali. First, that country had been at war for over 18 months; in which case the prospects of a peaceful election seemed farfetched. Second, in Africa, it is rare for a loser in an election to accept defeat, not to talk of congratulate the winner. This happened in Mali. Moreover, Mali used to be a model of democracy in West Africa; it is therefore something to cheer that the country has been able to retrace its steps to this glorious past. But it was a bumpy road to success. On March 21, 2012, some elements of the army, prompted by an uprising by Islamists and Tuareg separatists, staged a military coup d’etat in Mali and formed the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State. Thus, Mali exploded into a civil war, having been frustrated by a lack of progress in dealing decisively with the stubborn Tuareg re-

‘It is noteworthy that, in spite of his comments on “some irregularities” and that “the votes had been marred by fraud and intimidation” Cisse, in an uncharacteristically African gesture on election results, conceded defeat to Keita and indeed congratulated him. Hear him: “my family and I went to congratulate Mr. Keita, the future president of Mali, on his victory. May God bless Mali’

bellion in the North, which was the reason the soldiers gave for sacking President Amadou Toumani Toure. The general turmoil and confusion in Mali’s capital, Bamako, gave the Tuareg rebels and their allies the opportunity to move swiftly and capture about twothirds of the country, a thing that made the United States suspend aid to Mali. This and the pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), followed by economic sanctions and blockade, forced the coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo, to announce an early restoration of the suspended constitution. This was followed by a deal also prompted by ECOWAS in Burkina Faso where the head of the military junta, Captain Sanogo, surrendered power to Dioncunda Traore as interim president. It was this interim government that organised the election largely described as free and fair. Altogether, there were 18 candidates, with Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, popularly known as “IBK”, Soumaila Cisse and Dramane Dembele as front runners. On July 28, presidential election was held amidst tight security, with fears of attack by the Islamic Movement for the Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) that helped in overrunning the north in 2012. But a two-headed contest became inevitable as Keita failed to get an absolute majority in the first round. However, having got the support of 22 of the 25 candidates who lost out in the first round of election, Keita’s chances of winning the presidential run-off on August 11 became a foregone conclusion. He won a landslide of 2,354,693 or 71.61

percent of the total votes (3,126,521) leaving Cisse, his only opponent, with 679,258 or 22.39 percent of the total votes. It is noteworthy that, in spite of his comments on “some irregularities” and that “the votes had been marred by fraud and intimidation” Cisse, in an uncharacteristically African gesture on election results, conceded defeat to Keita and indeed congratulated him. Hear him: “my family and I went to congratulate Mr. Keita, the future president of Mali, on his victory. May God bless Mali”. We commend Cisse for rallying round the winner of the election (as it happened in Ghana before) and recommend it to other African countries, especially Nigeria. The new president is however faced with the task of reforming the military, curbing widespread corruption and reviving the ailing economy which shrank 1.2 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “IBK” must take advantage of his rival’s support and his landslide victory that showed his popularity and love by the Malians to restore the country’s democratic credentials. This would be praiseworthy for a country that battled political turmoil for almost two years, to bounce back into its past glory as a model of democracy in West Africa. We join the United States and other countries s to congratulate the interim government that supervised the election and Malians generally for its success. We hope Mali will sustain this tradition.

Russia’s Olympic Games should go on Moscow’s discrimination against homosexuals should be denounced, but it should not be the basis for another Olympics boycott.

R

USSIA has embarked on a series of shameful steps against homosexuals. A recently passed law lays out heavy penalties for anyone who disseminates positive information to minors about “nontraditional” relationships, a vague law that could be construed to mean that a gay couple holding hands in public would be in trouble if children were present. Another law bans adoptions not just by homosexuals but by anyone living in a country that confers marriage rights on gay and lesbian couples. These laws should be denounced by leaders everywhere. And if consumers worldwide decide not to indulge in Russian vodka as a form of economic protest, that’s fine too. But Russia’s homophobic actions, dismaying as they are, should not become the basis for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Violations of human rights are unfortunately too common in too many countries. China is among them, which didn’t stop it from successfully hosting the Games in 2008. Even the United States wouldn’t necessarily be exempt from calls for boycotts; the death penalty, for example, has been abolished in almost all European nations as a human rights violation. Boycotts are a time-honored way for individuals and consumer groups to pressure companies or governments to change their ways. But governments and official organizations such as the International Olympic Committee should tread far more carefully lest every major event becomes subject to boycotts and counter-boycotts. In 1980, the United States shunned the Summer Games in Moscow — and how many of us remember that it was over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a country now occupied by American forces? It didn’t change Soviet policy. Four years later, the Soviet Union led a boycott of the Summer Games in Los Angeles, a move that was widely interpreted as retaliation. Athletes and the Games themselves suffered as a result. By contrast, American participation in the Berlin Games of 1936 showcased the abilities of Jesse Owens and other black athletes, and undermined Hitler’s hope of using the event as a display of Aryan superiority. There is one thing, though, that the IOC must secure from Russia before going ahead: The government there must ensure that athletes are protected from these repressive laws during the Games. No legal action can be allowed against athletes who openly state their sexual orientation or who kiss a samesex partner after winning a medal. The Olympic competition is held on an international stage, no matter where it happens to be. Russia can make its own Dark Ages laws, but it cannot set policy for the modern Olympiad. • Los Angeles Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor 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


20

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

CARTOON & LETTERS

S

IR: There appears to be no letup in the crave by former Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili to get back into national consciousness, simply by randomly throwing pot shots anchored on misplaced aggression, in the ardent hope that such mudslinging would elevate her to the status of a moral crusader. As an institution, we ought not to be responding to the tirades of Ezekwesili, especially as they are anchored on wrong deployment of figures, weird generalizations and outright falsehood. But as elected representatives, we owe it a duty to Nigerian people to always seek to conduct our affairs in an atmosphere of openness, candour and a fidelity to the truth. In-

S

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.net

Ezekwesili’s flight of fancy deed, if there is any point we are agreed upon with Ezekwesili, or anyone else for that matter, it is the promotion of transparency in governance and ensuring that democratic institutions of state function optimally for the benefit of all. On the basis of this shared vision, the 7th House of Representatives wholeheartedly welcome her re-

quest for a public hearing on the stated ideals. In doing so, however, the former Minister must be ready to comply with some basic ground rules, so that we may all not be fooled by the guerrilla tactics of someone plagued by an out-of- office syndrome. Nigerians would remember that in the course of a similar misadventure,

in January, Mrs Ezekwesili had made wild claims bordering on the alleged frittering of $45 billion of the country’s external reserves, and $22 billion in the excess crude account. While she is yet to fully justify those allegations, the former minister is this time seeking a fresh sparring partner in the legislature. If it were not so, why would an

Open letter to Governor Ahmed on Erin-Ile/Offa crisis

IR: As an aftermath of the recent crisis between Offa and the Erin-Ile communities, we are aware of the following decisions by your government through radio broadcast, news paper publications and a letter from the white paper implementation committee, even when the government white paper is not out: the proscription of NURTW in both communities; the removal of garages from Idi-Igba in Erin-Ile and at the Ajegunle saw mill in Offa. Also that the garages be 5km apart from each-other; that both communities recognise the Unity Road as a buffer zone-even when there is copious evidence that Erin-Ile community at no time accepted the road as a boundary, and finally that government take steps to ensure that both communities co-exist in peace permanently, etc. This letter serves to express our community’s gratitude to your government for her relentless efforts to ensure peace in our communities. However, we wish to point out that no peace can be attained without justice. For the umpteenth time, we wish to state that our community has no problems with Offa nor do we have a boundary dispute with them. Prior to Adaramola Commission, we had a boundary with them. They disputed it, hence the commission. That commission, after exhaustive investigations involving visits to farm sites, family compounds and interviews of many witnesses, affirmed the boundary to be the PHCN sub-station at Idi-

Ogun at the southern tip of Offa. Offa community challenged the verdict of the commission wholesale and headed for the High Court of northern states. They filed a 10point ground of appeal and argued nine, voluntarily withdrawing one. Offa lost all grounds of appeal at the High Court and even had costs awarded against them. Not satisfied, Offa appealed to the Supreme Court which also unanimously affirmed the commission’s findings. It was only after then, that the KWSG spent tax-payers’ money to fix boundary pillars along the delineated boundary. For peace sake, Erin-Ile is pre-

pared to consider land requests for Offa’s development once they formally recognise the sanctity of the Supreme Court boundary. A few detractors of our principled stand argue that land is a natural endowment not worth fighting for. We see the argument as illogical and shallow. Land is not the only natural endowment; life itself, wealth, power and beauty are. Almighty God endows these to individuals or a people as He pleases. It is a sin against God for a people or an individual to wish to deprive those endowed of these forcibly. Humanity also makes such forcible deprivation a crime hence the of-

fences of murder, criminal trespass, malice and malicious damage and treasonable felony are created. Finally, we seek clarification as to the location of motor parks. We are confused about the 5km distance between the garages. Where will the epicentre of the 5km be? We suspect that the Unity Road should be, based on your decision on that road. This means there should be no garage 2.5km north or south of that road. What arrangements shall be made for intra and inter community movement within the 5km corridor? • Gp. Capt. M.O. Salami & Barr. Kunle Alabi Erin-Ile, Kwara State

address which centred on a “cost of governance in Nigeria” be curiously limited to an inquest into the operations of the National Assembly, leaving out the other two arms and arriving at the rather simplistic suggestion of the introduction of a unicameral or part-time legislature as the panacea of all Nigeria’s problems? What is the percentage of the National Assembly’s N150 billion allocation in a budget of N4.9 trillion? Is it right to insinuate that the budgetary allocation for the National Assembly is for “members salaries and allowances”, while deliberately leaving out capital projects component, salaries of legislative aides and the bureaucracy, as well as allied institutions such as Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS? What is the total disbursement to the executive and the judiciary over the same eight-year period? If she was not mischievous, why would she elect to believe The Economist, rather than the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC over the issue of salaries of Nigerian public officials? Indeed, answers to these posers are necessary in the build-up to Ezekwesili’s anticipated incarnation as an activist; else she would once again embark on spontaneous flight of fancy, whose major destination is mere ruffling of feathers. • Hon. Victor Afam Ogene Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, National Assembly, Abuja

OBJ’s pontification on leadership IR: Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s name has become synonymous with betrayal, subterfuge, corruption and above all, abuse of human rights. Today, Obasanjo is at daggers drawn with all those who helped him become president in 1999 after spending their fortune. He betrayed Generals Danjuma and Babangida; ditto Solomon Lar, Lawal Kaita, Adamu Ciroma, Alex Ekwueme, Orji Uzor Kalu, late Bola Ige and Atiku Abubakar. In 2003, it was the turn of South-west governors who worked for his re-election as president even though they belonged to a different party from his. Bola Tinubu was the only man standing after the election. Obasanjo’s party rigged the gubernatorial election in all the six South-

S

west states and installed his party men as governors. He committed genocide at Odi and Zaki Ibiam in Bayelsa and Benue states respectively. Obasanjo caused to be destroyed entire families, communities, trees, plants, farms and animals. Recently, Obasanjo caused to be sacked a Lagos community called Igbogbele in Badagry West Local Government Area. Indigenes of Igbogbele village in Badagry numbering about 200 were rendered homeless by thugs allegedly hired by Obasanjo’s Bells University of Technology. On June 16, the hoodlums in the presence of the police demolished all the houses, mosque, church, and pig pens at Igbogbele sea-beach and set everything ablaze

including the personal effects and livestock of the villagers. His Bells University-illegally acquired 255 hectares of land and gave some villagers and Badagry chiefs 400,000 naira as the purchase price. The owners of the land went to court in 2004 and sued both Bells University and Lagos State government at a Lagos High Court sitting in Badagry. The trial judge, Hon. Justice E.A. Adebanjo, ordered the parties to maintain the status quo antebellum. In violation of the order of the court, Bells University of Technology in November 2012 erected fence walls round the 255 hectares of land. The claimants rather than take the laws into their hands went back to court and reported the new

development. Hon. Justice O.H. Oshodi granted an interlocutory injunction on Monday, February 11, restraining the defendants/respondents from digging trenches and/or erecting fence walls or any structure whatsoever on the land or in any manner whatsoever commit any further acts of trespass or interfere with the subject-matter of the suit. This injunction was not respected as the events of June 16, amply demonstrate. What Obasanjo and the Nigeria police committed comes within the meaning of crimes against humanity. • Naa Mensa ADC-Law Ghana.


21

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

COMMENTS

F

ORMER military ruler General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) must have done some soul-searching on his 72nd birthday, August 17. It is likely that he wondered about his place in history, considering his undeniable mortality. Interestingly, however, some well wishers lightened the moral burden he brought upon himself 20 years ago when he crushed the people’s will by inexplicably and inexcusably annulling the country’s historic presidential poll of June 12, 1993, which endorsed Chief MKO Abiola. The public display of warmth toward him through sponsored congratulatory statements in some newspapers was indeed food for thought. It was not only a reflection of the fickleness of human nature; it was also an indication of shocking revision. One statement described Babangida as “The People’s General.” It said, “You remain a great Nigerian statesman that is least understood, appreciated and celebrated in terms of your numerous contributions to the socio-political and economic re-engineering of the Nigerian state.” Furthermore, it added, “All that you modestly started during your regime, and were rejected by your critics, have today become the head of the corner. You are indeed a leader who has been vindicated by history during your life time.” Another praise singer called IBB “A leader of leaders.” His own statement described IBB as “a bridge builder, a patriot of no mean stature, who loves this country of ours without reservation.” He called Babangida “an unusual lover of his friends,” saying, “you always courageously take responsibility in every circumstance.” He added, “Your contribution to the development and emancipation of this country cannot be over-emphasised.” In one more example of this curious re-branding of Babangida, yet another statement referred to him as “a national figure to be toasted.” Irrespective of the country’s undulating political landscape and its perhaps unpredictable features, these attempts to idealise Babangida’s time in power surely

‘Babangida represents a metaphor for historically challenged leadership. The enduring lesson, particularly of his power years, but also of his pathetic struggle for relevance outside power, is that political leadership ought to be history-sensitive’

T

O say I was “horrified” is to put it mildly, after watching a Channel Television news report on Senator Yerima’s passionate appeal to his colleagues in the senate on the need to retain Section 29(4) b which stipulates that: “Any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age”. Since 1999, the National and State legislatures have made attempts to strengthen Nigerians’ ownership of the constitution, which has widely been perceived as a product of the military with little or no input from the Nigerian population. Nigerians have welcomed these processes, identifying them as opportunities for positive change and the deepening of our democratic processes. Besides, global best practices identify several opportunities presented by constitutional reform processes. They include, entrenching provisions and values missing from earlier constitutions and/or adopting appropriate new values; instituting proper checks and balances, and strengthening the rights of citizens to demand accountability. It also includes, developing adequate forms of facilitation and participation in the constitutional process itself, and, deepening the people’s political and civic education. (The Sixth Assembly: Making Democracy Work 2010). Constitutional Reform processes in Nigeria have been froth with intense efforts by the leadership of both executive and legislative arms of government to hijack the mechanism by either excluding qualitative and quantitative participation of the Nigerian people or terminating the processes completely. They did this by diluting the core issues of reform with issues based on their whims and self interests. This was true of the process between 2005-2007, when President Obasanjo attempted to turn the constitutional amendment process to that of tenure elongation. Again, in 2007/ 2008, the Electoral Reform Committee’s Report which was widely accepted by Nigerians was watered down by a Federal Government White Paper and as a result the key popular demands were never implemented. Now in 2013, after widespread attempts to hamper effective participation of Nigerians in the constitutional amendment process, issues that were never advocated for by the people are being propounded and promoted. Senator Yerima is, no doubt, using religion as a ploy to cover up his obsession to legalize child marriage in Nigeria. His marriage to a 13-year Egyptian girl in 2009 was widely publicized and condemned in the media. If Yerima is truly a devout Muslim as he claims to be, then he is certainly not informed. It should be noted that even Saudi Arabia is worried by today’s social problems of child marrige and addressing them through legislative reform. The Senate and Nigerians cannot afford to be blackmailed by the likes of Yerima who hide under the blanket of religion to abuse and destroy the future of other people’s daughters. The consequences of legalizing underage marriage in Nigeria are too grave socially, economically and politically. The sustainable development of our dear country is under

Romanticisation of Babangida By Femi Macaulay leave a sour taste in the mouth. However, much more unsettling is the trivializing falsification that, regrettably, accompanies such experimentation. Although it is 20 years since Babangida’s epic betrayal of the people and the country’s consequent loss of epochal opportunity, the logic of dynamism, constant flux or perpetual motion should not promote selective perception or, even worse, wilful forgetfulness. By a fascinating coincidence, Abiola would have been 76 on August 24, just a week after IBB’s birthday, had he survived the brutality he suffered in the course of asserting his popular mandate. His controversial death in 1998, under a different military administration that nevertheless owed its perpetuation to IBB’s original sin, still haunts the polity to this day. It will always be a question to ponder whether the country, indeed, lost a positive turning-point opportunity by IBB’s inscrutable indiscretion, considering that Abiola’s “Hope 93” campaign was full of motivational energy and the majority eagerly bought his promise of constructive change. On his birthday, IBB would most likely have remembered the tough stain on his years in power, even in spite of himself. Such is the force of reflex recall, especially in a birthday situation, which usually prompts retrospection and reflection. With the benefit of hindsight, could he have wished he had behaved differently, more specifically, that he had respected the wish of the electoral majority? It is probable that he has not had a truly happy birthday in the last two decades since his infamous defiance of the people, never mind the conventional greetings wishing the celebrator happiness. It must still hurt him that he left the stage broken and humiliated by the popular resistance to his display of raw power, leading to his rushed and unceremonious exit, even though he installed a puppet civilian administration in a futile face-saving terminal move. Not surprisingly, seeking the elusive perfect ending, he indicated interest in the presidency two years ago, only to learn, to his extreme chagrin, that he was generally considered a defective product that could not benefit from even the most creative promotional stunts. In a manner of speaking, he could not be made to smell like a rose. Nevertheless, he has managed to maintain a status of political relevance that is unimaginable in the light of his track record in power, or in spite of it. His political

stamina is an intriguing study in the sociology of power. Instructively, on two recent noteworthy occasions, he arrived in Lagos from his glitzy hill-top mansion in Minna, Niger State, to offer condolences to Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the influential arrowhead of the political opposition in the country, on the loss of his respected mother, the late Alhaja Abibat Mogaji; and not quite long after, to sympathise with Lagos State Governor Raji Fashola on the death of his father. These instances of physical expression of sympathy by IBB took many people by surprise. After all, he remained a card carrying member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and could well have stopped at issuing statements to commiserate with the two politicians who belonged stoutly to the opposition. Indeed, there was a hint of collaboration, which was reinforced by the unfolding political realignments across the country ahead of the all-important 2015 general elections. It is fascinating that the retired soldier who held the country captive for eight years, and so dictatorially aborted perhaps its most promising opportunity for democratic transformation, desires the image of reformation and, evidentially, would love to be seen as a change agent. Indeed, he should be regarded as a champion of change, specifically, of the negative and counter-productive kind. In the final analysis, Babangida represents a metaphor for historically challenged leadership. The enduring lesson, particularly of his power years, but also of his pathetic struggle for relevance outside power, is that political leadership ought to be history-sensitive. Perhaps the fundamental guiding questions in the context of power should be: “How do I want to be remembered?” ”How will I be remembered?” • Macaulay is on the editorial board of The Nation

‘It must still hurt him that he left the stage broken and humiliated by the popular resistance to his display of raw power, leading to his rushed and unceremonious exit, even though he installed a puppet civilian administration in a futile face-saving terminal move’

Echoes from ‘girl marriage’ By Angela Odah, threat; the future of our children hangs in the balance if we give in to this blackmail. The Nigerian government has taken some positive actions such as Nigerian Child Rights 2003, adaptation of a gender policy in 2007, establishment of the Ministry of Women Affairs since 1983, women development centres in 36 states, adoption of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Law Enforcement and Administration Act, Establishment of a National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons; the adoption of a national policy on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and female genital mutilation. With all these international, continental and national efforts, it would be ridiculous if not absurd for our senate to fall for such cheap blackmail by Senator Yerima. Child marriage is one of the worst forms of violence against the girl child marked by harmful physical, sexual, psychological or emotional and social consequences. Many girls are uninformed about their bodies, sexuality and reproductive health before marriage and are thus unprepapared physically and emotionally for motherhood. Several researches, especially by Population Council and AHIP (2007), have reported girls’ embarrassment and lack of resources as barriers to reproductive health services. Key among the health implications of child marriage are the cuts, bruises and tears inflicted on the girls during forced sexual relations with their so-called husbands. Child marriage exposes girls to Visio-Vaginal Fistulae (VVF) which causes involuntary dripping of urine. Through VVF, a girl’s presence can become a nuisance to all around her since she always smells of urine. She is no longer desirable and wanted by the husband. She becomes a social outcast. In some areas they are given special black uniforms and are seen on the outskirts of villages begging for food. Malnourished, anaemic, divorced and rejected, she travels long distances to seek modern treatment (Farhang Tahzib, 1989). According to a recent statement by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, Nigeria has the highest incidence of VVF put between 400,000 and 800,000 cases with 20,000 new cases reported yearly, mostly in the north. Child marriages account for a high percentage of maternal and prenatal deaths in Northern Nigeria. With a maternal mortality ratio of 704 to 1000 per 100,000 live births, Nigeria continues to have one of the highest levels of maternal mortality. The root cause of child marriage is probably due to poverty rather than religion. Population Council/AHIP (2007),

found that child brides come from poorer families and have lower levels of education compared to girls who marry after adolescents. Poverty seems to play a role in girls’ marriages in the north-east and north-west. 67% of girls classified as poorest on the wealth index were married by 15 years compared to 46% of “richer” girls, and 25% of the “richest” girls. Additionally, low levels of education were associated with high rates of early marriage. Marriage has a significant impact on the quality of a girl’s life, shifting her focus increasingly to family life and motherhood rather than exploration of work world or continuation of education. Marriage confers upon girls a new and different set of expectations, pressures and risks. Girls are treated as objects by men old enough to be their fathers. They are denied their innocence and childhood, straddled with responsibilities, intrigues, complexities, expectations of husbands, and in-laws that come with marriage, but unfortunately, girls, being growing children, are incapable of handling these challenges. Child marriage denies girls access to education. This is especially so in northern Nigeria where girls are withdrawn from school for the purpose of marriage. This scenario would no doubt have grave consequences for the sustainable development of Nigeria economically and socio-politically. When the gifts, talents and capacities of half of the population of Nigeria are not fully utilized and maximized there can be no development and a vicious cycle of poverty continues. The National Assembly and State houses of assembly should recognize the present constitutional amendment process as an opportunity for positive change. They need to look beyound their personal interests and put Nigeria and Nigerians first. The future starts today. Clearly, section 29(4)(b) which stipulates that: “Any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age”, should be deleted from our Constitution because it is not only ambiguous, it also contradicts Section29(4)(a) of our constitution which provides that: “Full age means the age of eighteen and above” and Section 23 of the Child Rights Act which makes it a criminal offence to marry a girl under eighteen years and prescribes a penalty of five years imprisonment. If Section 29 (4)(b) is not deleted, it would be used by pedophiles and rapists to violate Nigerian girls, Muslim girls, inclusive. All women and men of good conscience in all spheres of human endeavor must rise up and protect the future of Nigeria. Child marriage is a threat to the future of our girls, to the sustainable development and transformation of Nigeria, socially, economically and politically. • Odah, is of the Centre for Gender Education


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26 , 2013

22

COMMENTS

T

HE reported death of Abubakar Shekau, leader of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram is bound to generate considerable interest within and outside the shores of this country. The Joint Task Force JTF had last week announced his possible death as a result of injuries sustained in a clash with Nigerian troops. According to the JTF, “Shekau might have died between July 25 and August 3 in Amitchide, Cameroun, after being mortally wounded in an encounter at the Sambisa forest”. Since that report, opinions have been torn between optimism and disbelief as the JTF could not provide credible evidence to substantiate its claims beyond relying on intelligence reports. Its position is not remedied by the position of some defence officials who have described the announcement as hasty. The officials also queried why it took the JTF so long and the eve of their departure to make the purported death public. For the unnamed defence officials, the confirmation of such a report would involve a thorough scrutiny including substantive evidence from the Cameroonian side which the announcement by the JTF fell short of. The news of the purported death of Shekau should be of considerable public interest in more ways than one. First, it would signal a very significant success in the fight against terrorism that has in the past couple of years, held this country to its knees. Lives and properties of inestimable value have been lost in the process. It has also come with challenges that have thrown to question our corporate existence as one indivisible country that guarantees co-habi-

‘The dangers in accepting Shekau’s death in the absence of very credible evidence far outweigh its temporary gains especially if it turns out to be false. For one, it will give the military a false sense of success that may end up obfuscating its overall calculations on the war’

T

Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email: EmekaOmeihe@yahoo.com

Beyond Shekau’s death tation among its distinct units. The death of Shekau will no doubt demoralize his supporters and change the tempo of the terrorism engagement. It will also be a huge moral booster for the military and the Jonathan regime that have told whoever cares to hear that they are winning the war on terrorism. Besides, it will equally enhance the confidence of the international community in the country’s capacity to take its destiny in its own hands. This is more so when it is realized that even the United States of America US had labelled Shekau and two other Boko Haram figures as “specially designated global terrorists” and placed the sum of $7 million on Shekau’s head. Thus, his death will be of considerable interest to the US especially given that those responsible for it might make claims to this hefty sum of money. Expectedly, the US has swung into action to ascertain the facts of the matter. Its State Department Deputy spokesperson, Ms Marie Harf believes the death of Shekau if it is true, will set back Boko Haram operations and remove a key voice from its efforts to mobilize violent extremists in Nigeria and around the world. What is evident from all these reactions is that though the death of Shekau will gladden the hearts of many, it is by no means the end of the war on terrorism. Equally evident is the fact that the report is still viewed with subdued caution. Reservations on the matter are therefore to be expected. More over, this is not the first time such a report on his death is making the rounds. With the hindsight of a similar report that turned out false, not many would want to buy the latest one until it is proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Osama Bin Laden, the

HE recent baseless diatribe by Ayo Aluko-Olokun, spokesman for Senator Akinola Olasunkanmi Akinlabi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), against Osun State’s United Nations supported Urban Renewal Project and the “sincere” way he signed it off compelled me to take up the space and raise the standard. Strangely, Aluko-Olokun threw caution to the winds by taking swipes at the separation exercise carried out in the state to remove obstructive structures on the major highways. Indeed, he refused to advert his mind to the fact that Osogbo and our major cities in Osun should and ought to be re-designed to meet modern standards. Investment and investors all over the sane world move in the direction of sanity, peace, orderliness, harmony and communal peace. A situation whereby our capital city is inhabitable for business and investment requires practical steps that the present administration has taken to correct the unwholesome growth of these illegal structures in Osogbo. The people, who are the direct beneficiaries of these innovative city re-designing and planning projects are grateful for the bold step, first since 1991 when Osun was created. Interestingly, the PDP administration at the federal level has done it without apologies and compensation to the victims. The Abuja master plan was doggedly implemented to ensure that the mistake made in not properly planning Lagos, the former Nigerian capital city, did not re-echo in Abuja. The Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law, 1992, stipulate the specific distance as the Right of Way and the penalties for different categories of violation. Alignment for federal roads usually covers 47.5m across or 23.75m to either side from the middle of the road. Once the actual width of the road is taken out, the rest is termed road setback. The space from the edge of the road is reserved for public usage like laying of service pipes for water and gas supply, telecommunications and underground electricity transmission and distribution cables among other public purposes. Apart from this, the Right of Way also serves as an important buffer in a situation whereby vehicles veer off the road in case of auto-accidents, mechanical faults or even momentary stoppage by motorists. Any structure standing within this space on any side of all major highways anywhere in Nigeria are strictosenso, illegal and should be removed. The Federal Ministry of Works and Transport, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had always drummed this into the

world dreaded terrorist leader was severally reported to have been killed at the Afghan mountains by the US when the man was enjoying himself in his palatial Pakistan residence. All these finally came to limelight when he was hunted down and bombed at his mansion in Pakistan where he lived with his wives and children. So it is not out of place if the latest report on the death of Shekau is being viewed with studied caution. It could turn out a ruse. Shekau could be somewhere savouring the escapades of his foot soldiers. He may not even be part of the fighting force if he is real. But Minister of Information, Labaran Maku would want us to resolve the doubts created by the unsubstantiated report in favour of the military. His position is anchored on the fact that the killing of Shekau ought to be a logical progression of events since the onslaught against the insurgents started with the declaration of state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. He said if the military was successfully prosecuting the war against terrorism, then there should be no reason to doubt its claim on Shekau’s death. Such a report he said, should give us more confidence on the capacity of the military to tame the monster. The optimism of the minister is not out of the way. There is no doubt that the killing of Shekau or the eventual defeat of the terrorists will gladden the hearts of our people who have suffered immeasurably since the terror war commenced. It is the wish of every fair-minded Nigerian that this senseless campaign be subdued. Thus, the killing of its leader would send the signal very clearly that the terrorists are being smoked out of

their hiding places and the battle will soon be over. Yet, such confidence in the capacity of the military to win the war cannot be earned when claims on successes are bandied without substantive evidence. We will be happy if Shekau is either arrested or killed given that he is the brain behind all the atrocities that have been committed in the last couple of years in this country in the name of terrorism. It will also gladden the hearts of many if terrorism can be brought to an abrupt end now. But such optimism must be anchored on credible and verifiable successes by the military in the battle field and not speculations that may turn out to be false. That appears to be the point of departure when the minister wants us to resolve scepticisms arising from the inchoate information on the purported death of Shekau in favour of the military. The dangers in accepting Shekau’s death in the absence of very credible evidence far outweigh its temporary gains especially if it turns out to be false. For one, it will give the military a false sense of success that may end up obfuscating its overall calculations on the war. It is more promising to have a correct picture of the battle on the ground than celebrate successes that may soon turn out pyrrhic. Calculations anchored on such inaccurate information may turn out very disastrous. For another, even defence authorities are not enthused by that report for the same reason of unreliability. There are insipient suggestions that the JTF released the information at the eve of its departure and after a message purportedly by Shekau to position itself for credit in the event he is eventually confirmed dead. All these do not imbue confidence in the overall credibility of the report. Before now, we were told by the amnesty committee that it had signed a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram represented by Shekau’s deputy. Even when Shekau in his usual video message repudiated that report, the committee still insisted that the ceasefire agreement was real. But the JTF came out some weeks ago to tell the nation that Shekau’s deputy has just been killed in a battle in Borno. These contradictions do not help matters. Neither do they give confidence that the latest report should be trusted in the absence of credible evidence. It is therefore pertinent that the military should avoid dishing out information they are unsure of. That is the way to earn public confidence and enhance overall credibility in the very difficult engagement the military has embarked upon.

PDP’s tantrums on Osun’s urban renewal By Gbenga Fayemiwo hearing of all that it would not tolerate illegal constructions within the Right of Way. The campaign had been on several years ago. Only ignorant politicians would go to town with the story that offenders of this Federal law are crying and not our people who are supportive of the Governor Aregbesola’s drive for a better State of Osun. The fact of the matter is that those affected by the Right of Way law were served removal notices by the immediate past administration of retired Brigadier Oyinlola. They were told in clear terms to remove the illegal structure since then. All illegal structures including mosques, churches, schools’ fence, office extensions, shopping complexes and kiosks that were affected were clearly marked with maroon-red ink with dates of notices on them. Many of such structures are still carrying the marks and are to be removed if the owners refuse to remove them. It started with the popular Ajegunle spare parts market in Osogbo which was largely affected by the ambitious dualisation of Osogbo-Ikirun-Okuku-Ila-Odo- Kwara State boundary that has been moving at accelerated pace. Governor Rauf Aregbesola not only met with these traders and explained the programme, he provided them alternative site for them to develop and compensation. The same was the case with Alekunwodo plank market and MDS traders who were provided alternative sites. Within the entire city of Osogbo, the only recalcitrant group that have refused to see what was good in the urban renewal project of the Aregbesola administration is Osun PDP. Rather than obey the federal law, the PDP decided to erect a huge billboard for President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election bid on the federal right of way. It is instructive that former Governor Oyinlola lost the moral courage to carry out the removals after the enumeration and marking exercises out of fear of reprisals arising from the burden of stolen mandate until the courageous men and women of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, booted him out of office. The Holy Bible holds as sacred the fact that it is sinful for a man to know that a thing is good and refuses to do that good. Governor Aregbesola knows what is good for

the State of Osun and her people and he is doing it with courage because he derives his mandate from the people. The story is akin to a Medical Doctor who must perform a painful surgery to remove a malignant tumour. If the surgeon should hold back his blade just because the patient would complain of pain and fails to do his duty, he will run foul of the Hippocratic Oath he took. Our people know that after this temporary discomfort, Osun will become a haven of prosperity, peace and plenty where all will live happily, long and meaningfully. What the administration is doing is right and just and the people are appreciative of the bold, courageous steps taken by the administration to set Osun on the path of irreversible progress and development. Abuja has been cleaned up. Those whining should comment on the massive demolition of whole housing estates for standing within the green zone in violation of the Abuja master plan before offering their diatribe. PDP chieftains have been engaging in the frenzy and frenetic of confusion and windy but deceitful diatribes as we move towards Osun 2014. Lies, damned lies do not help any cause. The people will revile, loathe and scorn a liar once his high jinks have been exposed and they are parked in the troubled PDP’s house of commotion.

Fayemiwo is Assistant Director (Press), Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, State of Osun, Osogbo.

“What the administration is doing is right and just and the people are appreciative of the bold, courageous steps taken by the administration to set Osun on the path of irreversible progress and development. Abuja has been cleaned up. Those whining should comment on the massive demolition of whole housing estates for standing within the green zone in violation of the Abuja master plan before offering their diatribe.”


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

23


25

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

THE CEO

ISSUES

‘Public sector funds made banks lazy’ -P. 28 News Briefing Nigeria leads Africa with $16.6b FDI NIGERIA is leading Africa in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with $16.5 billion recorded in the last two years, the Minister of State, Industry,Trade & Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has said.

- Page 26

Microsoft closes Windows XP UNITED States technology giant Microsoft Incorporated has said it will withdraw security cover for its ‘legacy’ operating systems, Windows XP and Office 2003 to pave way for Windows 8 and Office 365.

- Page 26

ITF needs N112b for facilities’ upgrade THE Industrial Training Fund (ITF) needs $740 million (N112 billion) to upgrade its facilities and build new training centres nationwide, its Director-General Prof Longmas Wapmuk has said.

- Page 39 DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N12.1 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8.4% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $46.9b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

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

Are port charges high? Importers: yes; Shippers: no - Pg 37

PIB: Nigeria risks $185b loss, says ExxonMobil chief N IGERIA risks losing $185 billion within 10 years as higher taxes proposed by a new law will deter investment in the country’s oil industry, an association of energy companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) has said. Nigerian oil production may slump by 25 per cent from 2.4 million barrels a day if the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is implemented, Mark Ward, managing director of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Nigerian unit, said in Lagos.

A

By Simeon Ebulu with agency report

The loss of investment caused by the law would leave it insufficient to tackle decline rates at oilfields, said Ward, representing the Oil Producers Trade Section at a conference in the commercial capital. “The terms proposed increase royalties, increase

taxes and lower allowances or incentives all at the same time,” said Ward. Energy companies are “deeply concerned” as the new tax proposals will “create one of the world’s harshest fiscal regimes.” The new law is aimed at reforming the way Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is regulated and funded, and seeks to increase the government’s

Over four carriers coming

IR fares on domestic routes may soon crash following the emergence of new entrants in the industry. The new airlines include Discovery Air, Hak Air, Azman Air Services Limited, West link Airlines and others that are at the finishing stage of securing their Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Other airlines that had suspended operations but are staging a come back include First Nation Airways, Chanchangi Airlines, Afrijet Airlines, Capital Airlines as well as Associated Aviation. Confirming the development, outgoing Assistant General Secretary of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) Mohammed Tukur said the increase in the number of airlines would bring about lower fares. Tukur said AON was not opposed to new entrants, adding that the government should create an enabling environment for domestic carriers to thrive, without giving undue advantage to some operators. The plan by Discovery Air to hit the skies next month, is generating anxiety among airline owners who see it as a major competitor because of its structure and aircraft. At the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two of the Lagos Airport, new offices and counters have been branded for Discovery Air, which sources say may take over the structure of Air Nigeria. The airline, it was learnt, has acquired some operational aircraft. According to sources, major personnel eased out of former Virgin Nigeria Airways, may form the bulk of the staff of the new carrier. The carrier, it was learnt, would offer cheaper fares. It intends to alter the operational equation on the Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt routes. Hak Air has acquired four aircraft; it plans to hit the

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

skies soon as its personnel are working round the clock to offer a new regime of fares. The promoters of Hak Air, it was learnt, are leveraging on the experience of liquidated national carrier, Nigeria Airways, to run a successful airline. A source hinted that Azman Air Services Limited, which intends to operate from the MMA2, Ikeja, Lagos has concluded plans to acquire aircraft that would offer lower fares. The airline has links with some officials in government, who would leverage on that to deliver a top of the range low fare carrier. West Link Airlines is planning scheduled operations as it has concluded plans to secure aircraft type that would reduce its operating costs to enable it to offer cheaper fares. Its Managing Director, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia said last week that fares could crash if the government intervenes in the price of aviation fuel. Mshelia canvassed local refining of aviation fuel as one of the measures to bring about lower air fare regime to boost profitability for airlines. He said if the cost of aviation fuel is reduced significantly, attendant costs could be reduced to ensure profitable operations because over 60 per cent of operating costs goes into aviation fuel. Other costs that operators may contend with are the huge cost of offshore maintenance of their aircraft, and aircraft spare parts. On how to reduce air fares of domestic flights, Mshelia said: “ We send crude out; it is refined and sold back to us at exorbitant cost. I believe that if we refine our own aviation fuel, it would cause the price to come down and air fare reduced.” The return of First Nation Airways is unsettling some

leading operators who are thinking of crashing fares to attract passengers. At counter airline, activirties have peaked ahead of the planned commencement of flights.

share of profit from oil pumped to at least 73 per cent, from 61 per cent, according to Petroleum Minister Diezani AlisonMadueke. The Oil Producers Trade Section, or OPTS includes Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Chevron Corp. (CVX), Exxon Mobil, Total SA (FP) and Eni SpA. (ENI) The companies pump about 90 percent of Nigeria’s oil through ventures with stateowned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Proposed increased taxes in the legislation would make exploration “uneconomical,” they said in a joint presentation to lawmakers last month. The PIB may boost the government’s share of oil

profits to as much as 96 per cent, Ward said. For gas projects, the PIB will increase the tax rate to 80 per cent from 30 per cent, “significantly reducing incentives for investments.” Under the bill, rentals and penalties would be set by the petroleum minister, while the country’s president would be able to award licenses without competitive bidding. Companies remain concerned that there’s no guarantee of the sanctity of existing contracts, or of independent arbitration when disputes arise, Ward said. Africa’s most populous nation, with more than 160 million people, relies on oil for as much as 95 per cent of export earnings and 80 percent of government revenue. The West African nation produced 1.92 million barrels a day of oil in July, according to reports.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

26

BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

Rains revive hope of good harvest

MONDAY - FRIDAY

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

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

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

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

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

08.00 18.00

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

A

• Chairman, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Bolade Agbola (right), presenting an award of supporting bank to Head, Human Resource, Strategy, Skye Bank Plc, Mr Ayo Fadipe, during CIBN’s 50th anniversary in Lagos.

Nigeria leads Africa with $16.6b FDI

N

IGERIA is leading Africa in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with $16.5 billion recorded in the last two years, the Minister of State, Industry,Trade & Investment Dr. Samuel Ortom has said. He told The Nation that an additional $1 billion in equipment and accessories manufacturing was coming from General Electric (GE), adding that the deal is expected to create 2,300 jobs. He said another investment worth $520million for household consumables plant, and Gulf Ware-

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie, Asst. Editor

house costing $390 million is coming from Procter & Gamble. He said for the first time, the nation developed a strategy for domestic, regional and international trade, established a Diaspora Export Programme, as well six transNational border markets with Okerete in Oyo State. He said the Ministry is working with the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to establish Sealink Coastal Ferry services for goods and human transport to reduce

travel time from six weeks to less than one week. He said: “The administration is committed to driving export and adding value to locally produced raw materials, in order to lift the local economy into a productive one that will earn exchange for the country.” He addeed that the on-going privatisation of Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange, including the introduction of Warehouse Receipt System, represents new lines of business with great benefits for both farmers and other businesses.

ATMs, SMEs threatened as Microsoft closes NITED States technology gi a core software and services Windows XP being ant Microsoft Incorporated company, to devices and solutions

U

has said it will withdraw security cover for its ‘legacy’ operating systems, Windows XP and Office 2003 to pave way for Windows 8 and Office 365. The firm said April 8, 2014 will mark “end of support” for Windows XP and Office 2003 globally. So many individuals, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and big businesses, including banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) run on Windows XP and Office 2003. This implies that with the withdrawal of its cover, users of the device, will become vunerable to attacks from malware, virus, pishing and other dangers that may arise from the Internet. Specialist Sales Manager, Ade Famoti, Microsoft Anglophone

T

By Lucas Ajanaku

West Africa, who spoke in Lagos over the weekend, warned that time was fast running out for individuals, big corporations and SMEs to start taking steps to migrate from what it called, the firm’s “legacy technology” to modern technology. Famoti dismissed insinuations that the firm’s engineers will unleash a massive virus attack on people whose sytems were still running on Windows XP and Office 2003 at the expiration of the deadline, saying the firm is “ethical company listed on the US Stock Exchange and would not engage in anything unethical.” He described this year as a year of transformation for Microsoft as it embarks on a ”paradigm shift from

company. “Without sounding hysterical, the ATMs deployed by the banks in the country still run on Windows XP. Office 365 is the innovation that is at the vanguard of the “transfromation,” which will reduce capital cost and increase productivity, he said. According to him, customers will have an experience that will be completely different from what they are used to, saying that everything will now be in the cloud. Datacenter Solution Specialist, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Oluyomi Alarape, said 12 years ago when Windows XP was introduced into the market, it was a great product, adding that change in technology has necessitated the development of new products.

‘Invest SURE-P funds in petrochemicals’

HE Federal Government has been urged to invest part of the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds into petrochemical industries. Chairman of the states’ Commissioners of Finance, Timothy Odaah, gave the advice at the just concluded National Council of Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Minna, the Niger State capital He spoke against the backdrop of what some state government called lack of proper harnessing of Nigeria’s resources. He urged state governments to diversify their sources of revenue and depend less on proceeds from crude oil.

From Nduka Chiejina (Asst Editor), Abuja

He expressed concern that with United States gradually building up its oil reserves and exploring Shale oil and gas, and China’s growing investment in crude oil across the world, the continued dependence on only one source of revenue for Nigeria was dangerous. Odaah lamented that Nigeria’s oil is about to finish, saying that Nigeria should diversify and encourage professional education in the fields of science, technology and research. While supporting the growth of agriculture, Odaah, attributed the growing fall in gross revenue to what he called, “less extraction and not harnessing the resources in

other sectors.” Over the months, fall in gross revenue has been attributed to continuous theft of crude oil, leakages, pipeline vandalism at various terminals, and repair works. To check these, Odaah suggested that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) should be independent, arguing that the practice of plea bargain should be discouraged. “Plea bargain will encourage criminals to continue in their nefarious activities with realisation that if they return part of their illgotten wealth, they will walk away with the rest of their criminal proceeds,” he added.

By Daniel Essiet

FTER the ‘August break’, rain lashing on northern states will bring back smiles to farmers who had lost all hopes of a good crop this year, the Programme Coordinator,Farmers Development Union (FDU) Mr Victor Olowe has said. He was reacting to reports on rains in Bauchi and Katsina states. He said harvest prospects would improve significantly with good rains. According to him, this was a relief to producers who had expected poor weather to impact crops more severely. He said the cultivation of crops will get a boost this year if rain continues like that for a while. According to him, farms in the south will receive their share of rain and predicted a good prospect of crop yield this year. Despite fears in the North, Olowe said the heavy rains will end soon. Dry spell in some areas of the North have adversely affected crops meaning a lean year ahead for farmers. Farmers were facing a very serious situation because of the dry spell as thousands of hectares of farmland on which different types of crops would have been destroyed. The net effect of this is that the nation have to depend on imports to meet its food requirements.

ADVAN awards hold October 26

A

DVERTISERS Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) is set to confer its Marketing Excellence awards on some distinguished Nigerians for their contributions to the profession. This is the third edition of the awards and it is billed to hold on October 26 with winners expected in 11 categories. According to the Chairperson of the Awards Committee Mrs Yomi Ifaturoti, at a briefing in Lagos, the event will be a celebration of hard work and ingenuity in the profession, adding that it is open to members and non-members of the association. She said: “To adequately award marketing excellence in its true form, there has been a complete overhaul of the award categories, judging criteria, and selection process for the edition,unlike previous editions where the selection process was based solely on the merit of entries sent in without third party authentication.”

Chivita, others win awards

C

HI Limited has won some awards in the just concluded Generation Next Awards in Lagos. It won in the Juice drink category with Chivita Premium fruit juice, renowned for its 100 per cent fruit juice content without added sugar, preservatives and artificial colours or flavours. Hollandia yoghurt came top in the Yoghurt/Milk drink category, while Hollandia evaporated Milk took second place in the Milk category. CHI Limited’s Managing Director, Mr Roy Deepanjan said: “We are excited about these awards. No doubt, we have aptly demonstrated that the best way to the consumers’ heart is to offer a variety of good choices at affordable prices. “CHI Limited will continue to do its best to satisfy consumers of its various brands.”


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

27

BUSINESS NEWS

T

Nigerian Shippers’ Council mulls new freight rates

HE Nigerian Shippers’ Coun cil (NSC) is to introduce new freight rates from October 1, this year. They may affect the revenues of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and shipping firms. The new rates, sources closed to the Council said, would give manufacturers, traders, importers and exporters the maximum profits required to excel in their business. The Executive Secretary of the Mr Hassan Bello however, said the

• NIMASA earnings may be affected By Oluwakemi Dauda

Council set the objective after reviewing three per cent levy collected by NIMASA on imports and exports. He said the levy has been reviewed and separated from high premium cargoes. According to him, there are certain trades that are either being overcharged or undercharged and under the Council’s new classification.

They have succeeded in separating them so that high premium cargoes does not benefit while low premium ones suffer. The Council boss assured Nigerians that there would be a gross reduction in the market price of products, adding that goods that were over-taxed had been separated. “What we import mainly is not premium cargo. So, if you peg it high, you are making it difficult for the trader who is importing to sell

and also break even. “Therefore, the market price of product will be grossly affected. So, it is not just the traders that are not going to benefit, it is the nation’s economy that will be affected,” he said. On the new rates by NIMASA, the Council boss said the document has been submitted to the Federal Government, adding that that it has been harmonised in the Nigerian Trade Hub of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS). “The NIMASA three per cent collection, shipping company earning

Fed Govt, Ecobank partner on CCT

T

T

Better economic outlook boosts European shares

By Collins Nweze

HE Office of the Senior Spe cial Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has appointed Ecobank Nigeria as partner in its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme. The scheme is aimed at assisting indigent and less-privileged families with monthly social subventions, which is part of the Federal Government’s MDGs assisted projects ahead of 2015 deadline. In a statement, the bank said the programme is planned to run in 12 months’cycles, would have funds disbursed to over 56, 000 households in 600 communities in its first phase. It is also part of the countdown strategy of the MDG office to achieve set objectives. The Federal Government provides N187.5 million for each of the 24 benefiting states, while the states provide a matching grant of equal amount. “This means that each state would receive N375 million. The states selected for this phase are Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Yobe and Federal Capital Territory,” it said. Ecobank’s Managing Director, Mr. Jibril Aku said the bank has N6.2 billion in its coffers ready for disbursement through the Ecobank Mobile Money platform. He said N5, 000 will be disbursed monthly for 12 months into the beneficiaries’ wallet while bulk-sum of N100,000 would be paid to each beneficiary at the end of the program as an exit strategy. He explained that Ecobank Mobile Money wallets would be created for the beneficiaries and disbursement of funds into the wallets would be based on OSSAP-MDGs’ instructions and notification sent to the beneficiaries. He said the bank has deployed agent points in 600 communities/local governments across the 24 states and that a full blown product education as well as customers supports services to the beneficiaries is already ongoing.

A

• Chairman, Governing Council, Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Mr George Osahon; Acting Principal/CEO, Mrs. Nnenna C. Dennar and Mr A. Abba of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) during an inspection of facilities of the institute by the chairman in Effurun, Delta State.

S

South Africa banks on Microsoft for IT expansion

OUTH Africa’s government, having failed to bring afford able Internet to the continent’s largest economy in its almost 20 years of democracy, is giving Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) a shot. The software maker began a trial in the northeastern province of Limpopo last month that taps unused slices of television spectrum to provide online access to remote townships. Potential partners include statecontrolled Telkom SA SOC Ltd. (TKG) and MWEB ISP, a unit of Africa’s biggest media company Naspers Ltd. (NPN), said two people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential. South Africa remains one of the world’s stragglers in Internet access, with average broadband speeds lagging behind smaller economies including Uganda and Azerbaijan, according to netindex.com. The latest test is a chance for Redmond, Washingtonbased Microsoft to catch up withGoogle Inc. (GOOG) in the country’s smartphone and cloudcomputing markets. Google is also testing the use of

so-called white spaces with a project spanning 10 schools in the Cape Town area. “We are being led by a generation that does not fully understand the value of this IT infrastructure,” Microsoft South Africa Managing Director Mteto Nyati, said. “The barrier for people to either get our services or buy our services is the connectivity,” he added. In an e-mailed statement, MWEB ISP said its Chief Executive Officer, Derek Hershaw, has held discussions in recent weeks with Microsoft, although the company isn’t currently involved in the project. A representative for Telkom declined to comment. A Microsoft spokeswoman in Johannesburg said the software company is looking for multiple partners for the project at one percent to 865.50 rand, while Telkom advanced 0.4 per cent to 22.50 rand. Slow connections limit the ability of businesses to grow and hurts South Africa’s economy, which will probably expand by two per cent in the year, compared with 5.6 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The ruling African National Congress has pledged to extend broadband access to every citizen by the end of this decade, a mission that has been entrusted to Telkom, South Africa’s largest fixed-line operator. The ANC came to power under President Nelson Mandela after the end of white minority rule in 1994. Telkom was awarded a near-monopoly five-year exclusive license in 1997 to expand fixed-line access in exchange for commitments including bringing cable to rural areas. That plan backfired because without competition, Telkom was able to price its packages above what people wanted to pay, according to Kate TurnerSmith, a BPI Africa Capital Ltd. analyst. “Because there was no fixed-line competition Telkom priced their service too high, so the majority of people opted not to go for broadband because they couldn’t afford it,” she said. Telkom charges 856 rand ($83) a month for 4 megabytes per second of uncapped Internet in a country where the average household income is $12,000. That compares with $30 offered byTalkTalk Telecom Group Plc (TALK) in the U.K., where the average household income is $49,000.

Nigeria, Japan set to improve bilateral trade

HE Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, In dustry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has expressed confidence on the willingness by Japanese firms to partner with Nigerian businesses. The National President of the association, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar, made this known at the Nigerian-Japan business forum in Lagos He said the challenges of business and investment environment like any other developing economies in the world have tremendously improved with numerous opportunities in the agriculture manufacturing, solid mineral, oil and gas, tourism, electricity (power) and telecoms sectors.

are going to be jolted a little for the time being and a very short period, revenue in NIMASA will certainly drop by a very little percentage but we will be gaining because what it will now mean is that we can trade cheaper, and an economy that trade cheaper is an economy on its way to prosperity,” he said. Sources also said a new committee for the review of the rates in March next year has been set up. Its members include officials of Shippers Council, NIMASA, Grimaldi Shipping, Comet Shipping, Maersk Line and Hullblyth, it was learnt.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie, Asst. Editor

He called on the Japanese firms to take advantage of the numerous incentives in the country. Director, African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affair of Japan Ambassador Yoshifumi Okamura said his country is committed to building a partnership with Nigeria, especially in the area of energy, infrastructure and transport. He said: “I have a strong hope that business forum would also give us the opportunity to provide long lasting mutually beneficial business relationships through which we will get to know each other with new ideas

and perspective.” The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Uhomoibhi said the visit was in response to the Federal Government’s investment drive aimed at stimulating economic growth. He noted that in order to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FID), the Federal Government has strengthened its ministries and agencies. The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by Director, Asia and Pacific Division of the ministry, Mrs. Adekunbi Osunaike, noted that Nigeria and Japan had enjoyed robust trade relations, noting that there was need to balance the gap as it favoured Japan.

He said told the visiting firms that Nigeria is open to investment in agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, oil and gas, infrastructure, with each sector having its incentives to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into them. Other incentives include tax holiday, pioneer status, company income tax etc. According to the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Mr Godwin Agbo, 24 Japanese firms are among the delegation on investment opportunities seeking mission in the country. He named some of firms such as Kanglo-B9 Technologies Ltd; Mitsui & Co. Ltd; Mirai Denchi Inc; Imanaka Ltd; Japan Ecological Carbon Co Ltd; Sojitz Corporation among others.

RALLY in commodity and financial shares on the im proving economic outlook helped European stocks to gain at the weekend, although the market was still headed for this month’s first weekly loss on concerns of a cut in United States stimulus. Thin volumes due to the holiday season and comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve members kept the market choppy throughout the day, with the FTSEurofirst closing 0.4 percent higher at 1,223.65 points after trading in a 1,214.28-1,226.26 range. Volumes were just 68 percent of the 90-day daily average. But the index, down 0.6 percent this week, recorded its first weekly loss since late last month on lingering concerns that the U.S. central bank could start trimming its liquidity support as early as next month, and the weekend’s comments from Fed officials failed to provide any clearer direction. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said he would back a cut in asset purchases by next month if data between now and then showed a “sustainable picture” for growth, while San Francisco Fed President John Williams said it would be wise to start the move “later this year”. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Fed start to reduce bond purchases in September. But I am not convinced that this is going to be a huge hurdle for equity markets to get through,” Ian Richards, global head of equities strategy at Exane BNP Paribas, said. He said that European shares were likely to go higher in September, when more investors were back from their holidays, as the Chinese economy was showing signs of stabilisation, European equities were still looking very attractively valued and economic figures from Europe were encouraging. Consumer morale in the euro zone jumped to its highest in two years, Germany enjoyed its fastest rate of economic expansion in more than a year in the second quarter, and Britain revised up its growth, data showed on Friday. Better economic prospects helped cyclical shares, with energy, mining and financial shares among the top gainers. The STOXX Europe 600 oil and gas index, up 1.2 percent, was the top sectoral gainer, while insurers rose 0.7 per cent and basic resources stocks gained 0.6 per cent. Britain’s commodity-heavy FTSE 100 index rose 0.7 per cent to 6,492.10 points to outperform the broader market following the GDP data and a rally in miners on stronger metals. “Macro momentum in the UK is one of strongest in any of the major developed countries right now,” said Nick Nelson, global equity strategist at UBS, who expected the FTSE to end the year at 7,000 and the STOXX Europe 600 index at 325 points. The STOXX index was up 0.4 per cent at 304.71.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

28

THE CEO

‘Public sector funds made banks lazy’

• Popoola

Many banks used to live on public funds. When the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hiked the cash reserve ratio (CRR), the music changed. But, to the Managing Director, CRC Credit Bureau, Tunde Popoola, the CBN action is welcome. In this interview with Senior Correspondent COLLINS NWEZE, Popoola speaks on the advantages of the policy and how credit bureaux can boost banks’ lending capacity, among others.

T

HERE have been complaints over paucity of credits. Is it the fear of default that is keeping banks from lending to the real sector? Actually, Nigeria has made significant improvement in lending to the real sector over time. If we look at where we are coming from, as at 2006, the total lending to the private sector was just about N2.6 trillion. By 2009, that figure, in four years, had moved to N10 trillion. By 2012, it had moved to N15 trillion. So, it has been some growth in banks lending to the sector. If you also look at from the point of credit penetration, that is the growth of credit, vis-a-vis the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it was 20 per cent as at 2007. By last year, it had moved to 37 per cent. So, that will let you know that sectorally, in aggregate, credit to the private sector has increased. And it has increased significantly. But if you look at credit to the private sector globally, the performance of Nigeria, you will discover that we are still far below. And I think that is what the issue is. Nigeria can do far better than we are doing now. But why are we doing what we are doing now? The fact is that even the real sector we are talking about needs a level of infrastructure to be successful. And banks would not want to give money to institutions and discover that it will go down the drain. So, where there is high level of infrastructural development that will also assist those compa-

Profile Institutions attended

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; University of Lagos; Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States.

Qualification

BSc (Economics); MSc (Banking and Finance)

Previous positions

General Manager, Finance & Strategy/Chief Finance Officer, Gulf Bank Nigeria; Pioneer Chief Executive, Abuja Enterprise Agency.

Present position

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, CRC Credit Bureau Limited.

Experience

Over 26 years.

nies, beyond money to succeed, banks will give more loans. You can’t say that it was because of lack of funds that a lot of manufacturing companies have relocated to Ghana. That is not correct. It is because of other factors. The issue of power, other infrastructure, transportation, the high cost of doing business in Nigeria, all these add up to what they are talking about. The second issue is that there is a high level of both financial and capital market developments. You see that our capital and financial markets are not big enough. So, they just concentrate on few transactions, where they think they are safe. There is also high level of inefficiency in the legal system. The legal system is so bad, that getting judgment is not easy. So, where you have low level of institutional development, it will affect the

performance of the financial system. It affects their ability to give credits. If you are giving credits, and you know that where there are litigations, all odds are against you as a financial institution, you will try as much as possible to run away from certain transactions. Besides, a lot of the real sector we are talking about are not well structured, especially when it comes to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), based on their age, their size, structure, they are not conducive for getting access to credit. What are some of the challenges affecting SMEs’ access to credit? Where you have SMEs that do not have board of directors, transparent financial and accounting systems in place, audited account and governance are almost zero. Financial institutions find it difficult to deal with them.

So, a lot of what of happening is inherent in the way we run our system. Also, in the way the companies themselves run their operations. In the way, the government has been unable to provide basic infrastructure to support the organisations we are talking about. I believe banks can do more. But a lot much more should come from the companies themselves and the environment where they operate. Banks will not operate in isolation. They operate within the concept of what is happening in the environment. What is the role of treasury bills and other government instruments in this? Recently, there has been a high level of interest rate on treasury bills. And treasury bills is government borrowing. So, if the rate of treasury bills is double digit, say 12 per cent, and I am supposed to lend at 18 per cent to the private sector, lending to government is supposed to be risk-free. So, I would rather do that 12 per cent without incurring any losses. The fiscal system also impact on lending. Treasury Bills are not supposed to be an alternative window of investment for banks. The real sector should be the primary target, but where the rates they get from risk-free investments, are almost the same from those they get from risky investments, then they go and invest in such risk-free investments which are treasury bills, government bonds and all that. That also contributes significantly to it be•Continued on page 29


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

29

THE CEO

‘Public sector funds made banks lazy’ •Continued from page 28

cause everybody is watching the market. The banks are out there to make money, and whatever will give them the money legitimately, is what they will do. If I have two sources of revenue, and one is risk, and one is risk-free, I will go for the one that is riskfree, and that also affects the lending to the real sector of the economy. Why are the rates in government securities like treasury bills and bonds over 12 per cent? In domestic borrowing by the government, demand goes up, and the rate will rise. If a company has not borrowed before, it is difficult for banks to lend to SMEs. How can we relate it to Central Bank of Nigeria’s hiking of cash reserve ratio from 12 per cent to 50 per cent for public sector funds? First, the Central Bank wants to push banks to go and look for private sector deposits. It is easier for banks to mobilise government funds. Once banks have government accounts, they hardly go to the rural areas looking for small deposits because local government or state government account can give the bank a cheque of N1 trillion. They will not, therefore, be doing their basic job of enhancing financial inclusion. Then, when the Cash Reserve Ratio is moved up, then banks will have less money. Also, the public sector funds will become less attractive because they can only use half of the money to do business. So, that forces them to be looking for deposits in the rural areas. It is only when banks have private-sector deposit liabilities that are long-term in nature that they can lend to the private sector for a long term. Does it mean that banks have been lazy in their drive for deposits? Banks have not been creative as they should be in deposits mobilisation. Their role of enhancing financial inclusion has not been successful, they should be. There are some local governments that do not have a bank at all. So, why can’t we have banks all over the country? Why are banks highly concentrated in the cities? So, they should learn to develop innovative products, to drive deposits. That is when they will have enough money to lend. The proportion of public sector deposit in some banks is over 40 per cent. That is not healthy. It is not healthy for them; it is not healthy for the economy. Those public sector deposits will not allow them to develop innovative products or do aggressive liability generation that will enhance financial inclusion. How can banks help the Central Bank achieve its financial inclusion plan? Basically, when you talk of access to credit, people must have accounts in the banks to have access to such credit. We still have over 50 per cent of bankable Nigerians who do not have anything to do with the banks. Those are the people they should go after. So, this type of policy has the ability to get the banks thinking of how they can reach the unbanked. Those in the banking system, how can we do more to get them to increase their transaction volume? The banks have to create attractive liability products, not lending products. The demand deposit rate in some banks is almost zero per cent. So, this type of system can get them to begin to jack up rates up. And if they do that, the customers can respond by leaving some balances in the banks. So, that is how it should work and is also the type of projection that the Central Bank has in rolling out the policy. In those days, government deposits were not even in commercial banks. They were kept with the Central Bank. The banks then complained and the funds were returned to commercial banks. But now, some banks are relying heavily on it. That is causing the type of challenges that we are seeing now. What other implications does this policy have on lending rate? The fact remains that lending rates will go up. The available loanable funds will be limited. So, once the size of the loanable fund is limited, everybody scrambling for the same funds, demand will outstrip supply, and it will increase lending rates. That is on the short run. But on the long run, once demand outstrips supply, the banks will keep on looking for other means of getting funds so that they can make more money. So, it is capable of really getting the banks to do more in terms of putting their thinking caps, and saying how else can we generate liability that is as cheap as possible. So, it can enhance financial inclusion.

• Popoola

What is the position of credit bureaux operations in the country. Are they really being working? Yes, the acceptance of credit bureaux has really gone up. We started in 2009, and we went live. By 2010, we had only 54 memberinstitutions on our platform. By 2011, it moved to 90 institutions. By 2012, it moved to 110, and by this year, it has moved to over 200, including the commercial and merchant banks, discount houses. Secondly, the sector coverage has also expanded. When we started, we had only commercial and mortgage banks and some microfinance banks. But today, beyond banking, we moved on to leasing companies, debt management companies, finance houses, pharmaceutical companies, retailers, hotels and tourism companies. Even cooperative societies have also joined. So, that has shown that acceptance is improving. In terms of number of institutions, it has gone up. In terms of diversity of institutions, it has also gone up. In terms of the number of reports that are being requested and generated, has also gone up significantly. In terms of data submission and quality of data, they have also gone up. The microfinance sector is still backwards when it comes to keying into credit bureaux services. There are less than 10 per cent of them that access credit bureaux services. They lack the needed system and infrastructure to key into the services. For instance, they must also have personnel to enable them. We had in the past dealt with microfinance banks whose software does not have the required facility to take information such as date of birth, sex of the customer. Systems of some of the microfinance banks cannot accommodate such information. Even though they are interested in joining, they lack the capacity to do so. They have also complained about cost of accessing the data and submission. What of commercial banks. Are there challenges you are facing with them? The challenge is that some of the banks are not using credit bureau services for all their transactions. So, the volume of usage that

you are expecting to see is not yet there for credit bureaux in Nigeria. By now, we would have expected that we will be doing thousands of transactions every day. We are doing thousands, but it is not the volume of transactions that we are expecting. For us we are doing less than 10 per cent of what we should be doing daily. And so, that is something that we have to work on. And it is only by continuing to tell people the value that credit bureau can add, to the risk management system that this will be possible. The time it takes to process credit has been brought down by availability of credit bureau. That is something a reasonable financial institution should key into. Banks will also have the opportunity to know the exposure of their customers to know whether it can lend more to such customer. That’s why we have at CRC moved beyond banks that should be of added advantage to stakeholders. Some banks are doing well. In every transaction, they consider credit bureaux report for loan renewal, and for restructuring. Some are doing it selectively, and that is the point. It is not supposed to be selective; it is supposed to be for every customer. Also, beyond loans, like employee engagement, contractor engagement, guarantee, bonds, and other products that can lead to exposure, the credit bureau has developed, products that assist all these institutions, to be able to deliver. We are ready, but we can do more than what we are seeing. However, the speed of growth is very small, compared to our expectations are and compared to what is happening in other parts of the world. We have three credit bureaux in Nigeria. Are they enough to cover our market? They are more than enough, because credit bureau is about bringing information on borrowers together. So, the more of them you have, the more challenging will it be for the user of the credit services. If you have only one, everyone submits information to that one operator. If you have two, people will have options, and that means a subscriber can pull information from two sources. That means additional cost. For

‘The proportion of public sector deposit in some banks is over 40 per cent. That is not healthy. It is not healthy for them; it is not healthy for the economy. Those public sector deposits will not allow them to develop innovative products or do aggressive liability generation that will enhance financial inclusion’

three, it is even mush more complex. There data from different sources and to be comfortable as a user, you may have to be taking data from the three operators. Such also have cost implications. In advanced countries, they know that the more credit bureaux a country has, the more challenges they pose to users. Consumer lending has not really done well here. What are the limitations that the sector faces? Consumer lending is very interesting and it is one of the reasons that a credit bureau is required in an economy. In fact, a credit bureau is not critically required in lending to a large corporate. It is mainly about cash flow. But for consumers, it is all about integrity and credit history and all that. So, that is why you will discover that in recent times, there has been upsurge in consumer loans products. You have institutions coming into the market, basically doing consumer loans. You have a lot a financial institutions developing consumer loans products especially credit cards. That was not the case about three to yours years ago. We have banks that are now setting up specialised desks for SMEs credit. A lot of financial institutions wants to lend to this segment of the market. Some are only lending to salary earners to start with. That is a segment of the consumer market. And once one takes loan for the first time, then they have credit history that they can rely on. That is also the reason as a credit bureau, we are expanding beyond banks. Now, cooperative societies are submitting data to us. A high level of lending takes place in the informal sector in Nigeria. Unless, you have access to the informal sector data, you will not be able to do as much loan as you would want to. What roles can cooperative societies play in making borrowers’ data available to lenders? Millions of Nigerians are in cooperative societies, and they are taking loans from those societies, and also paying back. So, they have very rich credit history and the data must be incorporated into credit bureau and make them accessible for former lenders like banks and microfinance banks. No bank wants to give out money to people they don’t know. The second challenge really, is the unique identification issue for consumer loans. There is no one unique identification in Nigeria. We need to address it as fast as we can. There are lot a lot of restrictions, on the type of consumer you can engage as a lender. More can be done where there is a means of identifying those consumers. New products can be developed to meet their needs if only you can identify who they are. How can credit bureaux help people in taking other financial decisions such as making purchases from unknown people? You know that’s part of the issue we have. Lack of unique identification is still a serious challenge in Nigeria. As a credit bureau, the only thing we can do is what we are doing. Keep on bringing data from various sources, and once those data are increasing, the number of people on the database is also increasing. And so, that becomes what you can work with as a mortgage bank or mortgage financial institution or even as a real estate developer. How are you handling competition in the industry? Competition is healthy and it is required in an economy. Monopoly is not good. Where you have monopoly in any sector, it brings in inefficiency, and prices of products are always high. At CRC, our major asset is our ability to respond to customer requests and meet them. Also, we are web based and our pricing is not bad and is tailored to ability to pay by each of the sectors that we are dealing with. We have self-enquiry product, batch processing, bulk portfolio for the banks among other products that keep us ahead of completion. How are you finding regulation of the subsector by CBN? Are there areas you would want to see changes? We have engaged the regulator in some of these issues and we are positive as an industry. Part of it is the ability to get data without the consent of the borrower. The rule is that you must obtain the consent of a borrower before doing a search on him. But a fraudulent borrower may not give such consent. Also, awareness is still very low. There is need for the regulator to support us.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

30

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-08-13

Banking stocks trail market's bottom

B

ANKING stocks retory reserves for public deposBy Taofik Salako corded the least returns its. Interim report and accounts nith Bank, GTBank, Access at the stock market as of Zenith Bank for the period Bank, ETI and Stanbic IBTC mid-year earnings failed to reended June 30, 2013 showed Bank have failed to stimulate kindle investors' optimism on that profit before tax rose to the pricing trend in the subfuture outlook of the N54.1 billion in first half of group. The subgroup fell besubsector. 2013 as against N50.2billion relow market's average last The Nigerian Stock Excorded in the corresponding week in spite of subsisting inchange (NSE) Banking Index period of 2012. The report interim dividends and earnings opens today with the least dicated that profit after tax rose reports. The ASI closed last year-to-date return among the from N42.41 billion to N45.419 week with a weekly loss of eight indices that track equibillion. Gross earnings grew 1.11 per cent. ties at the NSE. Besides, the by 13 per cent to N171 billion The NSE Industrial Goods Inbanking index is the only incompared with N151 billion dex indicates the highest yeardicator with successive negarecorded in the comparable to-date return of 55.26 per cent. tive returns weekly, monthly, period of 2012. The ethic-based NSE Lotus Isor quarterly. Also, key extracts of the inlamic Index, which comprises A review of year-to-date reterim report and accounts of of 15 equities that meet the turns of groups of tracked eqAccess Bank showed top-down Islam's standards, trails with uities on the NSE showed the declines in key performance the second highest return of banking index with the least indicators with profits before 42.86 per cent. The NSE 30 Inreturn of 17.78 per cent. Bankand after tax dropping by 14 dex, which tracks 30 most capiing stocks last week recorded per cent and 20.2 per cent retalised stocks on the NSE, average decline of 1.28 per spectively. Gross earnings had opens with a return-on-board cent, which built up a monthdeclined by 5.3 per cent. The of 28.33 per cent. The NSE Oil to-date return of -1.37 per cent bank however announced inand Gas Index still retains a and quarter-to-date return of terim dividend of 25 kobo, substantial year-to-date return 0.57 per cent. same rate declared earlier by of 25.18 per cent in spite of the The All Share Index (ASI), the GTBank. Access Bank's gross highest loss of 4.24 per cent recommon value-based index earnings dropped from corded last week. that tracks prices of all equiN109.96 billion in first half The NSE Consumer Goods ties, carries a year-to-date re2012 to N104.13 billion in first Index, which tracks fastest turn of 30.27 per cent, far ahead half 2013. Profit before tax was moving consumer goods comof returns in several subsectors lower at N26.09 billion as panies, has a return of 22.72 including banking, insurance, against N30.21 billion reper cent while the NSE Insurconsumer goods and oil and corded in comparable period ance Index is two points ahead gas subsectors. of 2012. Profit after tax slipped of the banking subsector with Unlike the ASI, which infrom N26.4 billion to N21.1 bila year-to-date return of 19.94 cludes all equities, the banklion. per cent. The NSE Insurance ing index is a representative Meanwhile, aggregate marIndex was the contrarian index index and comprises of 10 ket capitalisation of all equiin the pervasive downtrend at banking stocks including Acties dropped by N129 billion the stock market last week cess Bank, Diamond Bank, last week to close at N11.584 with a weekly return of 1.91 Ecobank Transnational Incortrillion as against its week's per cent. porated (ETI), Fidelity Bank, opening value of N11.713 trilInterim earnings reports by Guaranty Trust Bank lion. There were nearly two banks have largely showed (GTBank), Skye Bank, Sterling decliners for every advancer muted growths across key funBank, United Bank for Africa, with 52 losers against 28 gaindamentals, which analysts said Union Bank of Nigeria and ers. The ASI, which opened at highlighted the constraints Zenith Bank. 36,986.94 points, closed the imposed by new banking rules However, half-year reports week down at 36,577.28 points. on cost structure and mandaby several banks including ZeTotal turnover stood at 1.12 DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-08-13billion shares worth N12.94 billion in 24, 489 deals. The financial services sector contributed about 65 per cent of total turnover with 724.39 million shares valued at N6.29 billion in 13,418 deals. The conglomerates sector followed with a turnover volume of 129.62 million shares valued at N223.10 million in 961 deals.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

31

MONEY LINK ACCA partners PwC on IFRS

Banks raise interest on deposits by 4%

D

EPOSIT Money Banks have hiked deposit rates by four per cent to augment the shortfall in deposits. The action became exigent after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began implementation of 50 per cent cash reserve ratio (CRR) on public sector deposits. Analysts at Consolidated Discount Limited (CDL) said in an emailed report that many of the lenders, including those perceived as fairly liquid, are taking the step to safeguard existing deposits from being prised away. They said interest rates on deposits have been on the rise even as the deposit wars reminiscent of the pre-2009 banking reforms have resurfaced. The analysts said CBN may further raise the CRR on public sector deposits from 50 per cent to 100 per cent adding that the naira has not fared better despite the hike. They said stability of the naira is the most significant threat to the CRR figure. “We believe that even with the 50

T

.CBN may hike CRR to 100%

Stories by Collins Nweze

per cent CRR on public sector deposits, a policy aimed at increasing the scarcity of the naira, the local currency still remains vulnerable. Market hurts from the 50 per cent CRR on public sector deposits,” they said. The CDL analysts said the 50 per cent CRR on public sector has started to yield expected results. They explained that prior to the maintenance period of August 7, the market was logically jittery, which reflected in the interbank market. They said inflation rose to 8.7 per cent in July driven by the broad increases across all classes of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). “The July number is broadly in line with the Central Bank’s forward guidance which indicates that prices will be under pressure in the first two months of the second half of the year. The Core Index which is closely watched by the Central Bank because it excludes volatile food prices rose to 6.6

per cent in July from 5.5 per cent in June. But the sore point is that the Core Inflation recorded the biggest month-on-month change of 1.2 per cent in the CPI,” they said. They predicted that the headline inflation will remain in the single digit range for the second half of the year largely driven by the base effect and tight monetary policy. Also, pressure on the naira will continue despite the scarcity of the currency. Output leakages leading to a shortfall in government revenues, increased demand for US dollars by importers building stock for the yuletide season and fuel imports will serve as pressure points for the naira. But the CBN has demonstrated that it has options. “We believe the 50 per cent CRR on public sector deposit is a stop-gap measure on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prescribed Single Treasury Account (STA). If the pressure on the naira persists, we believe

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the CBN can increase the CRR on public sector deposit even to 100 per cent which would, ultimately, mean it has achieved the objectives of the STA, a tool for consolidating and managing governments’ cash resources, thus minimising borrowing costs,” they said.

seven percent in 2011 and 2012 and 6.56 percent in the first quarter of this year, the prospects for Nigeria are huge, in the immediate and near term,” he said. NESG Chairman Mr Foluso Philips said the summit would not only focus on the agricultural sector, but also address how the sector would be improved upon. Former NESG Chairman, Dr. Frank Nweke said Nigeria has a great opportunity to improve its earnings and create jobs through agriculture. “With unemployment rates as

high as 23.9 per cent as at 2011 and a high food import bill of approximately $8 billion in 2012, our country has opportunity to reduce unemployment through investment in the agricultural sector and conserve valuable foreign exchange,” he said. He disclosed that the summit would include a presidential dialogue with President Goodluck Jonathan and other African presidents, eminent local and global private sector leaders, captains of the agribusiness industry and several Pan-African economic institutions.

Fed Govt mulls 30-year infrastructure plan

T

HE Minister of National Planning Dr Shamsudeen Usman has said his government is working on a 30-year infrastructure master plan that will integrate key sectors of the economy. He spoke at the World Press Conference on the forthcoming 19 th Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Lagos. “We are drawing out a 30-year infrastructure plan that is in draft now and we are going round the six geopolitical zones to see how we can integrate sectors to work better together,” he said. He said there had been chal-

lenges in infrastructure. He noted in the past, Nigeria adopted a gas master plan, a road master plan, but that some of them failed because of integration, especially with Information Technology now. He said the agricultural sector has the largest potential to diversify the economy, create jobs, secure food supply, lower inflation and expand foreign exchange earnings for the country. The sector contributed an average of 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2011 and last year. “With an average GDP growth rate of

DATA BANK

FGN BONDS Tenor

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

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

NIDF NESF

OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 26-07-13

SYMBOL FLOURMILL ACADEMY NAHCO JOSBREW VONO ETERNA UNITYBNK IKEJAHOTEL CUSTODYINS GLAXOSMITH

O/PRICE 76.29 1.74 6.15 1.67 0.74 2.52 0.50 0.80 1.50 65.00

C/PRICE 83.90 1.91 6.74 1.83 0.81 2.75 0.54 0.86 1.57 68.00

CHANGE 7.61 0.17 0.59 0.16 0.07 0.23 0.04 0.06 0.07 3.00

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) 149.7450 (S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000

1.40 0.85 4.28 1.43 0.88 1.08 17.80 1.08 0.75 11.70

1.26 0.77 3.88 1.30 0.81 1.00 16.70 1.04 0.73 11.40

DISCOUNT WINDOW

0.14 0.08 0.40 0.13 0.07 0.08 1.10 0.04 0.02 0.30

Feb. ’11

July ’11

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%

July ’12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

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

Movement

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

NSE CAP Index

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 12-07-13

NEIMETH IPWA AIRSERVICE DNMEYER THOMASWY TRANSEXPR UAC-PROP WEMABANK NEM NASCON

HE Global Chief Executive of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Mrs Helen Brand has said the organisation will collaborate with PwC Nigeria on key initiatives such as capacity building in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), being adopted in Nigeria. Mrs Brand, who is on a visit to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria as part of a week-long event, said both ACCA and PwC are partnering to address the capacity deficit in the country's accounting industry and to improve the quality of corporate reporting. "Both ACCA and PwC share common professional values, global presence, ethics and governance," she said. "This perhaps explains the desire to collaborate on key initiatives such as capacity building in IFRS which are being adopted in Nigeria. Both firms plan to jointly organise a series of events on IFRS for SMEs in collaboration with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)." Responding on behalf of PwC Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele, a member of the ACCA Global Governing Council and Partner in charge of Tax and Corporate Advisory Services at PwC Nigeria, said an effective and full adoption of IFRS in Nigeria would increase investment inflow into the country; adding that it was vital that both global firms partner on creating the much needed capacity building in that regard. "In addition to removing some of the subjectivity from financial reporting, IFRS provides more consistent platform for recognition, measurement and disclosure of transactions and events in financial statements, leading to greater transparency," he said. "This in turn, will lead to increased investment in Nigeria,” he added.

ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY • ARM AGGRESSIVE

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 140.65 157.46 0.80 1.16 1.18 100.00 1,000.00 1,808.48 14.73 1.39 1.87 11.386.29

9.08 1.00 140.16 155.73 0.78 1.16 1.16 100.00 1,000.00 1,794.68 14.01 1.33 1.80 11,045.54

• 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 MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

32

International Business

UK economic growth revised up to 0.7%

E

CONOMIC growth in the UK during the second quarter of the year has been revised up to 0.7 per cent by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The initial estimate, released in July, suggested gross domestic product (GDP) - the UK’s economic output - had risen by 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter. The ONS said the revision reflected small upward adjustments to the estimated output of several industries. The data also showed that export demand played a major role in driving growth. Compared with a year ago, GDP in the three months to June was 1.5 per cent higher. The latest revision adds to evidence that the UK economic recovery may

finally be gaining momentum after almost four years of stagnation since the 2008-09 recession ended. The 0.7 per cent rate matches the pace recorded during the third quarter of 2012, when the economy was buoyed by the London Olympics, which was itself the fastest growth rate since 2010. The British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC’s) Business Correspondent Ben Thompson: “This is a sign that the recovery is balanced” However, the ONS cautioned that the current rate of economic growth was still well below the rate experienced during previous recoveries from recessions since 1945 - during which the economy has typically enjoyed a short burst of growth as it caught up with its pre-recession

level. The revised data confirmed that all four major sectors of the economy services, industry, agriculture and construction - had expanded during the three months to June. However, only the service sector has grown steadily since the 2008-09 recession ended, while the UK’s manufacturing sector had previously continued to contract. The latest index of service sector activity, also published by the ONS on Friday, showed output in the sector was 2.8% higher in June than a year earlier, led by financial services, and hotels and restaurants. The latest ONS release showed that exports played a bigger role than expected in boosting growth. Exports rose 3.6% from the previous

three months, helped by the weak pound and a bottoming-out of the eurozone economy, while imports increased 2.5 per cent, meaning that the country’s deficit would have narrowed. “The expenditure breakdown was positive news,” said Philip Rush, economist at investment bank Nomura. “Consumption obviously fairly important to the recovery there but... the recovery in the second quarter wasn’t as reliant on consumption as we’d feared.”Most economists agree that for the recovery to be sustained, the UK economy needs to rebalance away from the consumer spending that helped drive the boom in the last decade, with greater reliance on industry, investment and exports. Balanced growth is seen as the holy grail by the government and the Bank

of England. That means exports and investment playing a bigger part with less dependence on debt fuelled consumer spending which pushes up imports. These figures suggest that while there is some way to go, a rebalancing trend is clearly discernible. On the expenditure side of the economy, investment in plant and machinery and the net contribution from exports (once import growth is deducted) were just as important as household spending. The growth numbers from manufacturing and construction (which has been such a drag on the economy in recent years) were revised up from the first GDP estimate. But UK output is still more than thre per cent below the peak of activity in early 2008 before the recession. And some economists argue that a true recovery will not be underway until the previous peak is passed.

Brazil central bank votes $60b to prop up currency

B

RAZIL'S central bank has announced a $60billion plan to prop up the value of the national currency. It comes as the Brazilian real nears a five-year low against the US dollar. The real and other emerging market currencies have fallen steadily over the last three months on speculation of higher US interest rates. The central bank said it would spend $500million a day on Mondays to Thursdays and $1billion on Fridays buying reais in the currency markets. The Monday-to-Thursday interventions will target currency swap markets - financial derivatives used by companies and investors to hedge their currency exposure while on Fridays, the central bank will buy the national currency directly in return for US dollars. The interventions will run up until December.

•Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

M

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire

ICROSOFT Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is to retire from the technology giant within the next 12 months. Shares in Microsoft, criticised for their slow response to the booming market for mobile devices, leapt nine per cent on the news. Mr Ballmer, who last month unveiled a restructuring to address the criticism, said in a statement: "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. "We need a CEO who will be here

N

longer term for this new direction." The world's biggest software company has created a special committee to find a replacement. This committee includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Mr Ballmer, 57, succeeded Mr Gates in 2000. The two men met in 1973 while studying at Harvard University, and Mr Ballmer joined the company in 1980. Microsoft emerged as the undisputed leader in the technology sector, and became the world's largest company by market value. Filling the shoes of one of the gi-

ants of the computing industry was never going to be easy - so you could say Steve Ballmer has done well to stay at the top for so long and leave Microsoft at a time of his choosing. But the man crowned chief executive by Bill Gates in 2000 has never quite persuaded investors or the technology community that he has a compelling vision for the software company's future. Microsoft has continued to make huge sums from Windows and Office - but it has looked flat-footed in addressing the new world of mobile computing.

Rivals like Google and Apple have surged ahead - both in terms of innovation and market value. Steve Ballmer has been an energetic and combative leader - as I found in rather a testy encounter last October when I questioned his record on innovation. But in the last few years he has lost many of the executives who might have been seen as potential successors. Now Microsoft's investors will be hoping their company can find someone who can inspire its engineers to conquer new markets.

a second, using computers to take advantage of tiny price discrepancies between the different stock exchanges. "We're deeply disappointed with what happened yesterday. We aspire for perfection. We want to get to 100 per cent up-time," he said, while conceding that he could not promise that there would never be a problem. The chief executive said there was

a need for more "defensive driving" - by which he meant that the exchange needed to be able to react better to the behaviour of other financial market participants. "We have 13 different exchanges, we have hundreds of market participants, we are all interconnected in a number of fundamental ways." The Nasdaq is the second-largest stock exchange in the US, and the

world's largest electronic stock market. It is dominated by major tech stocks such as Nasdaq said that trades executed between 12:14:03 and 12:23:31 would stand. But trades between 12:23:31 and the resumption of trading would not stand, it said. The US Securities and Exchange Commission said it wants to meet with Nasdaq following the outage.

Nasdaq chief blames three-hour halt on outsiders

ASDAQ boss Robert Greifeld has alluded to outside parties to explain a three-hour trading freeze on Thursday. "We have to be aware that the other person will not always act in the proper way," he told news channel CNBC, admitting that the stock exchange's systems needed to be more robust. The chief executive said the suspension prevented computerised professional traders getting an unfair information advantage over other investors. Many professional traders have data fed directly into their computers from the stock exchange, while other investors rely on a "consolidated feed" that combines data from all 13 of the US stock exchanges. Mr Greifeld said technical glitch affected the consolidated feed, meaning professional traders might receive sensitive trade data earlier than others. He specifically mentioned highfrequency traders - financial firms that buy and sell thousands of times

G

German budget surplus jumps in first half

ERMAN man works on a production line Germany's export success has helped to keep people employed and boost government income Official figures show Germany's budget surplus rose to 0.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of the year, boosted by higher tax income. The government pulled in 321.4bn euros in taxes, 3.8 per cent more than a year ago thanks to its steady employment rate. The German Federal Statistical Office, Destatis, said the

surplus was 8.5billion euro (£7.3billion; $11.3billion) in the period between January and June. The figure was higher than the surplus for the same period a year ago. For the whole of last year, Germany's budget surplus was 0.2 per cent of GDP. Budget surpluses are rare among European countries. Many have deficits of more than three per cent of GDP, despite an European Union limit of that level. In a statement, Destatis said: "The budgets of central government, state

governments, local government and social security funds benefited from a generally good employment situation and a stable economic development in the first half of the year compared with other European countries." The agency also confirmed a preliminary estimate of German GDP of 0.7 per cent growth in the second quarter, giving a yearly growth rate of 0.9 per cent. It said this was partly thanks to "weather-related catch-up effects following the unusually long and cold winter.”

"This shows the firm determination of monetary authorities to keep the exchange rate from slipping further," said Andre Perfeito, chief economist at Gradual Investments in Sao Paulo. It is the first time the central bank has pre-announced daily interventions in this way since 2002 - a time when markets were speculating over a possible Brazilian debt default, following the financial collapse of neighbouring Argentina and with the imminent election of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The weaker currency is raising the cost of imports, which in turn increases the cost of living for Brazilians and raises concern that inflation could get out of control. It's a response to something that hasn't even happened yet. Currencies across the emerging markets have been under the cosh because the US Federal Reserve is rolling up its sleeves and getting ready to… well, to stop doing something. The Fed will at some stage reduce the $85billion a month it's pumping into the markets. Already the mere expectation is reducing the flow of cheap money to emerging economies and it will have far-reaching effects on their international trade and financial markets. Indonesia has also announced new measures - tax changes to stimulate exports and reduce imports. The responses will vary from country to country, but the impending changes at the US Fed are now the big challenge for many emerging economies. And, bizarrely you might think, it's all because the US economy is gradually getting stronger and has less need of the Fed's strong medicine. It could also put pressure on any Brazilians who have taken on large debts, particularly if the debts are denominated in foreign currency. Brazil and India have been at the brunt of the recent change in market sentiment, with the real down 16% against the dollar since May. Both countries benefited from inflows of foreign money over recent years as investors and speculators have been able to borrow cheaply in the dollar. That process now appears to be unwinding, as the long-term cost of borrowing rises on speculation that the US Federal Reserve is preparing to curtail its monetary stimulus programme, perhaps as soon as next month. Another victim of the loss of market confidence in emerging markets has been Indonesia, whose currency, the rupiah, has fallen to a four-year low. Indonesia's finance minister has announced measures to return the country to a trade surplus, including the lifting of restrictions on mineral exports and the imposition of taxes on imports of luxury cars and branded products.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

33

Africa Business

T

SABMiller ramps up brewing in Africa

O ensure it is able to harness the ongoing strong demand in Africa, SABMiller has announced two major investments in the region. In Uganda, subsidiary Nile Breweries has opened a new brewery in Mbarara in the western region of the country. The new facility, which is Nile Breweries' second brewery in the country, involved an investment of $90 million (R918million) and doubles the company's brewing capacity to 3.6 million hectolitres a year. Further south in Zambia, the group announced that it was investing $24million in building a "hi-tech opaque brewery" in Lusaka. The new 2.1 million hectolitre

S

tently strong growth regions. In financial 2013 it reported a 20 percent increase in earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (Ebita) on a 6 percent increase in lager volumes. The region also achieved a significant advance in profitability with the Ebita margin increasing to 21.7 per cent from 20.2 per cent. A trading statement issued by SABMiller last month revealed the continued strength of the African business and its importance to the group's performance. In the quarter to June volumes increased by eight per cent and revenue was up by 10 percent in Africa. For the group as a whole, volumes were down 1 percent. At the time, Alan Clark, the group chief executive, noted that the quar-

terly figures were adversely affected by unseasonably cold and wet conditions in many of the group's northern hemisphere markets, adding: "This was offset by continued growth in our Latin America and Africa divisions." On the opening of the new facility, SABMiller Africa managing director Mark Bowman said: "The growth potential in Uganda, particularly western Uganda, is significant and the new brewery in Mbarara will allow us to realise the opportunity. Building a second brewery in Uganda is part of our strategy to invest in new capacity across Africa so that we are in a strong position to capitalise on the continent's long-term beer market growth over the coming decades."

Its biggest constraint may be money as its exploration spending will hit a record $3.5 billion this year and its total capital expenditure has grown by 40 percent to $19 billion

since 2010. It is spending so much on investments that its cash flow does not cover the outlays and needs to raise money, such as from asset sales, to cover dividends.

Statoil to bet on Angola, Russian shale

TATOIL (STL.OL), one of the most successful oil explorers in recent years, sees offshore Angola and Russian shale as the industry's next big plays and considers United States shale oil overhyped, its exploration chief Tim Dodson said. The firm, which has expanded from its traditional North Sea base to all continents over the past decade, also expects to spend heavily on exploring in Brazil, Tanzania and the Arctic Barents Sea, possibly maintaining its record-high exploration budget, Dodson told Reuters in an interview. Statoil, already a top offshore producer, needs new discoveries as it aims to lift production by a quarter to more than 2.5 million barrels a day this decade, and diversify its portfolio, still dominated by North Sea assets. "I am very excited about (the Russian) shale opportunity," Dodson said. "There is a huge, huge upside if it works," he said, referring to the firm's preliminary deal with Russia's Rosneft (ROSN.MM) in June to explore for shale in the Samara region in western Siberia's VolgaUral basin. Russia's shale oil potential is still not fully mapped but the Bazhenov formation in Siberia is already considered one of the largest, and ExxonMobil (XOM.N) teamed up with Rosneft this year to begin drilling. Dodson said Norwegian statecontrolled Statoil hoped to finalize its own deal with Rosneft this year and could drill one or two wells in Siberia as soon as 2014 to test the region's potential.

A

brewery, which will be built at the same site where the old Lusaka brewery is situated, will involve a complete overhaul of the old plant that was built in the early 1960s. The construction is expected to be completed by the end of June next year. In Uganda, Nile Breweries' single brewery, which is located on the Nile River in Jinja, underwent a $29m expansion in 2009 to double its brewing capacity to 1.8 million hectolitres. That brewery is already near to operating at full capacity. The new brewery in Mbarara is intended to ensure an uninterrupted supply of Nile Breweries' products to the market. Africa excluding South Africa has been one of SABMiller's consis-

In a statement, the group said clear beer volumes in Uganda had been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 11 per cent for the past six years. "Growth is expected to continue at this level for the foreseeable future, driven by gross domestic product growth, a rapidly growing population, and currently low per capita consumption." The new brewery also offers opportunities for farmers to supply raw materials such as sorghum, barley, maize and sugar to Nile Breweries. An estimated 20 000plus farmers are already supplying these materials to the company. SABMiller said Nile Breweries procured about 20 000 tons a year locally, more than 60 percent of its brewing requirements, and it planned to raise this to 40 000 tons by 2017.

"It looks very, very much like the Bakken (in the United States) from a geological point of view in that you have limestone that can be fracked," said Dodson, a Briton who joined Statoil in 1985 and rose through the ranks. "The geology is absolutely fantastic and the scale of it is just enormous ... the Bakken looks minute compared to it." The Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana has become in recent years the prime producer of shale oil in the world as its good geology, built-up infrastructure and supportive regulatory framework aided the ramp up. Statoil holds around 330,000 acres in the Bakken. Dodson said the firm already had the acreage to increase U.S. onshore production to 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2020 from 167,000 barrels a day last year, and it was mostly looking to optimize its assets. But the Bakken is unique and other North American formations contain mostly gas, a much less valuable commodity, reducing the continent's attractiveness. "As a company, we question a little bit all the hype around shale oil. How big can it really be? Of course, it is significant ... But it is really only the Bakken (and) you don't hear anything else than the Bakken from an oil perspective," he said. Statoil revamped its exploration strategy at the start of 2011, boosting spending, taking more risk, and putting Dodson in charge of a division that was struggling, even on its home turf. The gamble paid off. The firm's reserve replacement ratio,

• Statoil office

which indicates how much oil it finds in comparison with its production, jumped to 117 per cent in 2011 and 110 percent in 2012 from 73 per cent in 2009 and 87 percent in 2010. That puts it well ahead of Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSa.L) 85 per cent ratio and BP's (BP.L) 77 per cent last year, and on par with Chevron's (CVX.N) 112 per cent. "Where are our peers? They are in very different places," Dodson said. "If you look at all the statistics, there are three companies that really stand out in the last two, three years: ourselves, ENI (ENI.MI) and Anadarko (APC.N)," he said, referring to their geographic expansion and exploration success.

American firm may sell subsidiary

PACHE Corp of Egypt faces a difficult choice in Egypt: whether to sell its substantial oil and natural gas operations or wait out the recent bloodshed. The Texas-based energy company has said it is assessing the value of its Egyptian interests, which account for roughly a fifth of its global oil and gas production and 27 percent of its revenue last year. While production has not been affected so far by the violence, Apache's shares have fallen 5 percent since July 3, when former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi was overthrown. Many analysts believe the turmoil contributed to the dip. "The sooner they get the hell out of there, the better," Oppenheimer & Co analyst Fadel Gheit said. "Investors have plenty of risk in the stock market. They don't want civil war risk in their portfolios, too." But selling now would likely mean accepting a price undercut by political uncertainty. At the end of 2012, about 7 percent of Apache's oil and natural gas assets were in

Egypt, worth roughly $854.1 million. Analysts said it was hard to put a current value on the operations because of the turmoil. "Apache is not going to resort to a fire sale," said Gheit, "But it's a longterm challenge if they decide to stay and operate there." The quandary is not unique to Apache. More than 250 U.S. companies, ranging from Dow Chemical Co to Citigroup Inc , operate in Egypt, where the army-backed government has instituted a month-long state of emergency. Apache and other Western companies are now weighing whether the risks of operating in Egypt outweigh the rewards. Last week, General Motors, Electrolux and BASF temporarily closed facilities in Egypt, citing the unstable security situation. BG Group and BP pulled out non-essential expatriate staff last month. Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at the policy-focused Baker Institute in Houston, saw less risk in the short term for companies working in Egypt than later on, when the re-

verberations from the government crackdown are felt. "The longer-term risks are a whole segment of the population being cut out of the political roadmap. That's something that will play out over years," he said, citing Algeria's bloody civil war in the 1990s as a worrying precedent. "I hope Egypt won't go down that route, but you can see the danger." Apache, which bought BP's oilfield stake in the western Egyptian desert for $650 million in 2010, has more than $1.3 billion in insurance policies covering its Egyptian operations in the event the government confiscates its assets, cancels contracts or nationalizes the oil industry. "We're watching the situation closely," Apache spokesman Patrick Cassidy said. The Texas-based company's 9.7 million acres in Egypt, of which it so far has only developed 18 percent, promise "considerable exploration and development opportunities," according to securities regulatory filings.

Kenya, China sign $5b deal BARCLAYS Bank Kenya has signed a $13 million financing deal with a unit of British oil explorer Marriot Drilling for a rig for work in Kenya, which has attracted attention after oil discoveries last year. According to Reuters, East Africa has become a hotbed of exploration after oil discoveries in Kenya and Uganda and huge gas finds in Tanzania and Mozambique. Kenya is in the process of determining the commercial viability of its oil resources. The bank, controlled by Barclays Plc, said the financing deal would span five years. In the past, firms exploring in Kenya have said their work had been constrained by a shortage of drilling rigs. Britain's Tullow Oil and its partner Africa Oil have struck oil in the north western tip of the country.

Drink responsibly, Museveni urges PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has urged alcohol drinkers in Uganda to drink responsibly to avoid the negative impacts of alcohol on health and the wallet. "I do not drink beer but I am here to promote it for my drunkards," Museveni told a gathering in Mbarara, Western Uganda while officiating the opening of Nile Breweries Uganda Limited's new brewery plant. Reuters reports that he urged drinkers to associate with alcohol that is industrially produced and safe. He said having a new beer plant was a plus to the country in terms of taxes, new job opportunities and market for raw materials like maize, sorghum, cassava among others. "I am going to organise my farmers to grow these crops," he said. "I thank the investors for coming to Uganda," he added. "I have asked them to think about diversifying their investments." He said government has done its part of ensuring there is good macroeconomic framework, peace which is boosting investments in the country "so you (famers) should do your part". With the commissioning of NBL's Mbarara plant, the company's production capacity now stands at 2.4million hectoliters, making it one of the largest beer brewers in Uganda, East Africa's third largest economy. The Company's Managing Director Nick Jenkinson said their expansion to Mbarara which was partly attributed to the presence of good quality enough water from River Rwizi, which would support the plant among other factors, will create more jobs and increase on taxes paid to government. He said the new brewery employs 190 people directly and 32, 000 indirectly. The company's tax contribution has jumped to over Shs 185billion in the year from Shs 40billion in 2004.


34

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26 , 2013

EQUITIES WATCH

Email: taofad2000@yahoo.co.uk

The acquisition of 972-megawatts Ughelli power plant last week by Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc turned investors’ attention to the loud, low-priced stock. Transcorp was the most active stock but the dithering on its share price underscored underlying fears about the conglomerate. Capital Market Editor TAOFIK SALAKO reports

T

Will power plant recharge Transcorp?

TRANSNATIONAL Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc emerged the most active stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week, contributing about 11.45 per cent of aggregate turnover during the week. Transcorp recorded a turnover of 127.63 million shares valued at N163.51 million in 697 deals, about 98.5 per cent of total turnover volume of 129.62 million shares worth N223.10 million traded in 961 deals in the conglomerates sector. Total turnover stood at 1.12 billion shares valued at N12.94 billion in 24,489 deals. As news made the round that Transcorp, alongside other bidders, had completed the acquisition of unbundled power plants, investors rushed shares of Transcorp, the only quoted company and publicly available window to participate in the privatisation of the power sector. Transcorp, through its subsidiary, Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited (TUPL), last Wednesday completed acquisition of Ughelli power plant with the payment of $225 million to complete the $300 million bid price for the power plant. Transcorp had earlier made initial payment of $75 million, being required 25 per cent initial payment by bid winner. On Thursday, Transcorp was the most active stock and recorded more than 27 per cent of its weekly turnover volume as investors staked N45.29 million on 34.87 million shares in 215 deals. The scramble also nudged the share price by 8.13 per cent to N1.33, a significant increase when compared with stock market’s average return of -0.60 per cent on Thursday. In the second trading session after the formal announcement and the last trading day for the week, Transcorp sustained as the most active stock but with less transactions and at lower value. It recorded a turnover of 27.04 million shares valued at N34.86 million in 164 deals. Most investors appeared unwilling to place a premium on the stock, forcing the share price to drop by 2.26 per cent to N1.30, the same value it had started the week. Against the average weekly decline of 1.11 per cent for the stock market, Transcorp’s flat performance might appear considerable. However, for a conglomerate that had just closed a much-sought after power sector deal, it belies the significance of the transaction.

Power in the group

Transcorp is the anchor company in the Transcorp consortium, which included companies such as Wood Rock; Symbion Power LLC, USA; Medea Development; PSL Engineering and Control and Thomassen Services and Contracting Company. With installed capacity of 972 megawatts, current generating capacity of 300 megawatts and potential output of 1070 megawatts, the Ugheli power plant thickens the basket of the conglomerate’s businesses in strategic

sectors including Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja; Transcorp Hotels, Calabar; Teragro Commodities Limited and Transcorp Energy Limited, operator of OPL 281. Power, upstream oil, hospitality and agriculture; the combination of businesses and sectors appear to make for a robust outlook, given the synergies in these fastest growing and dominant sectors of the Nigerian economy. Often cited in relation to the boom in the telecommunications sector, most analysts perceive the power firms as cash cows that would not only generate power but significant returns for investors. The monopolistic nature of the system and centrality of the success of the privatisation to government’s transformation agenda confer enormous advantages on the power companies. But such enthusiasm is not reflecting on the market consideration of the conglomerate at the stock market, the best indicator to gauge public perception. This is more evident given that Transcorp holds the distinction as the only publicly quoted company with a pie of the power sector.

Long road to redemption

Transcorp appears to still wriggle in the lurking ghosts of previous failed promises and dashed hopes. For most non-insider investors in Transcorp, it has been a long waiting for any form of return or recuperationcash dividend, bonus share or capital appreciation. Incorporated in 2004, Transcorp was touted as the next frontier of African investment and Nigeria’s investment vehicle in the global economy. Its vision was to become the largest and most successful Africabased conglomerate while the mission was to drive Africa’s integration into the global economy by becoming a Nigerian-based multi-national conglomerate with between $5 billion and $10 billion annual revenue and market capitalisation of between $30 billion and $60 billion within five to seven years. As a conglomerate, Transcorp’s interests span agriculture, energy, real estate, hospitality and trade and commerce. All these were woven around enticing returns to shareholders. Nearly a decade after it raised several billions of Naira from investors with a promise to be the pride of shareholders, Transcorp is still yet to find neither the fundamental stability nor the technical appreciation to deliver any commensurate return. After a railroaded application and waiver that exempted Transcorp from the required minimum operational years and audited accounts, the conglomerate was listed in November 2006. The share price leapt from a low of N6 per share to close the year at a high of N9.71. However, realities soon set in. Transcorp closed 2007 at N3.14 per share, seven kobo above its lowest market consideration of N3.07 during the period. Thus, rather than the high hopes of a global multinational return, Transcorp returned full-year

loss of 67.7 per cent to shareholders in its first full year on the stock market. By the time the entire capital market caught the cold from global financial and economic crises and domestic assets bubble in 2008, Transcorp had stripped to nominal value. In 2010, the conglomerate spiraled from a high of 57 kobo to close at a low of 50 kobo. In 2011, Transcorp traded within a range of a high of N1.82 and a low of 50 kobo and subsequently closed at 57 kobo per share. It however made an impressive return of 84.2 per cent to close 2012 at N1.05 per share. At opening price of N1.30 today, Transcorp carries a year-to-date return of 23.8 per cent, some six percentage points below market’s average return of 30.27 per cent.

In search of stable fundamentals

Transcorp recovery is also related to changes in the fundamentals of the company. Transcorp had posted a loss of N9.1 billion within the eight-month period ended December 2006. In 2007, loss after tax stood at N8.93 billion while investors contended with net loss of N6.70 billion in 2008. It broke the cycle in 2009 with a net profit of N1.2 billion. Latest audited report of Transcorp for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed that net profit after tax slumped by 56.8 per cent from N5.86 billion in 2011 to N2.53 billion in 2012. The decline depressed earnings per share from 7.74 kobo to 4.38 kobo. The report showed a top-down negative performance with marginal decline in sales magnified down the line by external and internal costs. Turnover dropped slightly from N13.90 billion to N13.24 billion. Gross profit slipped from N10.44 billion to N9.77 billion while operating profit dropped from N4.59 billion to N3.76 billion. Substantial increase in interest income moderated equally significant increase in interest expense, mitigating the adverse impact of the conglomerate’s huge debt exposure. Finance income jumped from N276.67 million to N1.04 billion while finance cost rose from N261.32 million to N860.25 million. With these, profit before tax dropped from N4.61 billion in 2011 to N3.95 billion in 2012. Half-year report for the period ended June 30, 2013 however showed strong potential for improved performance. Turnover stood at N7.85 billion while profits before and after tax closed the period at N3.61 billion and N2.48 billion respectively. Earnings per share thus stood at 5.53 kobo. This represents earnings yield of 4.25 per cent against the current market price. This highlights possible fundamental return outlook for the company.

Deepening the growth

Besides the acquisition of the Ugheli power plant, Transcorp has recently undertaken several strategic initiatives to enable stable growth. Transcorp recently concluded a rights issue of 12.91 billion ordinary shares of 50

kobo each at N1 per share. The net proceeds of the rights issue estimated at N12.52 billion was scheduled mainly to refinance the loan taken to acquire the Ughelli power plant. About 79 per cent of the net proceeds amounting to N9.84 billion would be used to refinance Ughelli Power. The conglomerate would use N1.63 billion, 13 per cent of net proceeds, for exploration and development of its oil block, Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 281. The balance of N1.05 billion, representing eight per cent of net proceeds, would be used to develop new hotels Port Harcourt and Lagos; in order to boost the conglomerate’s hospitality business in the South-South and South-West of Nigeria. Transcorp is also pushing for growth on other frontiers. It had revised the terms of partnership in its Oil Processing License 281 (OPL 281) in Nigeria. The revised terms were said to be as a result of a change of control in Transcorp as the conglomerate sought to fully take responsibility for the operation of the block in its bid to become a leading Nigerian indigenous oil and gas upstream company with production. Speaking on prospects of the conglomerate, Chairman, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc Mr Tony Elumelu said conglomerate’s power business would create long-term social and economic values for all stakeholders. According to him, the conglomerate would leverage on the successful acquisition to consolidate its growth strategy in Nigeria’s power sector. “We can now embark fully on our strategy to contribute to the development of Nigeria’s power sector, whilst creating long term economic and social value for our stakeholders and the greater community. We fully expect our engagement on this world-class project to improve the living standards of all Nigerians as well as impact positively on our country’s GDP,” Elumelu said. The management of the conglomerate also shared this optimism.President, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc Mr Obinna Ufudo said TUPL has extensive worldwide power sector experience in Africa, Europe and the Middle East which underscores its unquestionable capacity to effectively manage the plant profitably in line with international standards. According to him, the conglomerate plans to increase the power generation of the plant from 300 megawatts to more than 1070 megawatts over the next five years. Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited (TUPL) Adeoye Fadeyibi added that the company plans to deliver on capacity targets and sustain the momentum using highly efficient people and resources to achieve operational excellence. But beyond the immediate optimism and back-slapping of the new acquisition, Transcorp requires tangible and demonstrable returns to win investors’ confidence and bring the intrinsic values in its several businesses to bear on its share price.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

35

MONEY MARKET REPORT

Interbank rate falls over N320b T-Bills’ refund

T

HE interbank rate last week fell by 570 basis points to 13 per cent. This was caused by improved market liquidity from treasury bills (T-Bills) and bonds repayments worth N320 billion. The rate had risen following Central Bank of Nigeria's hike of Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) on public sector deposit from per 12 per cent to 50 per cent. The policy had quarantined banks’N520 billion with the CBN, which constitutes about 38 per cent of estimated N2.6 trillion public sector deposits in the system. The fall in call/overnight and seven-day money market rates, which stood at 13 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively, supports the development. The three-month Nigeria Interbank Offered Rate (NIBOR) also traded on 14.58 per cent. The interbank secured lending (Open Buy Back) equally fell by 521 basis points to 12.6 per cent for commercial banks and 13.4 per cent for discount houses. The rate decline also impacted negatively on the naira, as it weakened 0.3 per cent against the dollar in the Inter-bank and has lost 3.6 per cent of its value year-to-date. The naira closed the week at N161.75 to a dollar. In addition to strong dollar demand, investors' growing concerns on short term outlook continue to adversely affect the performance of the naira. Currency Analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Olakunle Ezun, said though the naira remains under pressure due to structural imbalance between dollar supply and demand, the CBN's liquidity management efforts and robust foreign exchange reserves of $46.9 billion will continue to support the currency. Money laundering compliance THE 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 Anti-Money 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 non-compliant staff. He said 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.

NDIC seeks help for women The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) called for improved roles for women in the workplace. NDIC Chief Executive Officer Umaru Ibrahim disclosed this at the corporation's first management parley with its female staff. The interaction which has as theme: "It is Possible," was held at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja. Ibrahim said contemporary organisations and governments across the world are beginning to situate the importance of women in the achievement of their set objectives. He said that the era of seeing women as homemakers was fast giving way globally to the appreciation of their contributions and top positions being occupied by them in critical sectors of the economy both locally and internationally. He acknowledged the critical roles of its female staff in the achievement of NDIC's objective as a risk minimiser with broad mandate of deposit guarantee, bank supervision distress resolution and bank liquidation.

D-8

THE 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 the group. They said Sanusi, who received an award from the group, has ensured that

Nigeria’s debt profile (%)

• Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

•Source: FBN Capital By Collins Nweze

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 economic opportunities, which is the objective of the cooperation among the Central Banks. At the ceremony were 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 CBN, Mr. Moses Tule, among others.

Pension STANBIC IBTC Pension Managers, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings deployed an innovative mobile office to serve its existing and prospective customers. At the launch of the Stanbic IBTC Pension mobile office in Lagos, the firm said the move is in line with its commitment to ensure that clients experience excellent and convenient service at all times. The mobile office sited on a bus, has been deployed in Lagos and will be subsequently deployed in other cities, and will enhance access to customers. Head of Service, Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, represented by Executive Director, Technical, Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga performed the unveiling ceremony. Chief Executive Officer Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Dr. Demola Sogunle said the growing visibility will demystify the pensions subject and encourage more Nigerians to subscribe to the contributory pension scheme, thereby enhancing financial inclusion. "We believe that this initiative which speaks of convenience and accessibility is one of our key steps towards building a legacy of exceptional service delivery where the customer is the focal point of all our activities. This initiative will bring pension service to the doorsteps of our customers and prospective customers alike," he said. MasterCard THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) moderated cashless banking initiative will be boosted by planned issuance of 13 million

cards by MasterCard, for the nation's e-payment market. Ann Cairns, President of international markets for MasterCard told Bloomberg that the firm is working with Nigerian government on the issuance of the cards, which will also act as identity documents. Already, MasterCard, the second-biggest United States payments network, has distributed 10 million South African debit cards that replace cash for social grant recipients as it boosts market share across Africa's fastest-growing economies. The company is also expanding in Angola and Mozambique and working with local partners such as Kenya's Equity Bank Limited for growth, she said. MasterCard is counting on the continent's expansion and rising levels of wealth to help it distribute financial products to the more than 200 million people in Africa still without access to banking services, according to McKinsey & Co.

Bank to bank report Wema Bank Plc, which recently raised N40 billion ($247.4 million) for expansion across the country, said it is seeking an additional $200 million over the next two years to fund its loan book. "The sum of $100 million is planned to be raised in the first quarter of next year and the balance by 2015, when we would have improved on our return on equity. We're looking at several options including bond, loan and debenture for funds," Chief Financial Officer Tunde Mabawonku said. Wema Bank, which operates mainly in western Nigeria and the capital, Abuja, plans to seek regulatory approval for a national banking licence this year allowing it to operate in Nigeria's six regions, he said. The lender plans to open an additional 20 branches in Africa's second biggest economy to increase the number to 149, Mabawonku said. 'Our loan book is planned to increase by 20 per cent this year and 60 per cent in 2014,'' he said. Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited Bisi Onasanya reiterated the lender's commitment to promoting youth empowerment and building capacity for Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Fellows and emerging leaders. Speaking at the NLI Forum in Lagos, he said the initiative was meant to bridge the knowledge gap between NLI Fellows and the young associates of the Future Leaders

‘The call/overnight and seven-day money market rates were at 13 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively while the three-month Nigeria Interbank Offered Rate (NIBOR) traded on 14.58 per cent’

programme. He said the forum is also meant to buttress a core focus area of FirstBank's corporate responsibility programme, namely, youth empowerment. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc released its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, this year, 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 last year. The lender also reported a 2013 half-year Profit After Tax (PAT) of N49.01 billion as against N45.55 billion reported in June, last year. Gross earnings stood at N124.20 billion, an increase of N10.68 billion from the N113.53 billion reported in the corresponding period last year. 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. The appointment of Citigroup and Vetiva Capital Management Limited as financial advisers in the sale of Enterprise Bank Limited will be beneficial to all stakeholders, Managing Director, Enterprise Bank Limited, Ahmed Kuru, has said. The financial advisers were appointed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Speaking in Lagos, Kuru, said he was happy leaving behind a better Enterprise Bank and a happier workforce. He added that he was convinced that customers will have the best deal at the conclusion of the process. "I am convinced our customers expect the best deal at the end of the day. So their expectation should be high," he said. Commenting further on the appointment of financial and legal advisers for the sale by AMCON on August 5, 2013, Kuru said: "in line with the plan of AMCON, this is obviously the last lap of the entire process”. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has partnered with Samsung Electronics West Africa, to develop a 'Bank of The Future' prototype. The project is aimed at providing superior experience in financial services to both existing and potential customers of the bank. In a statement, the bank said the initiative called 'UnionBank' is a prototype ebranch that would completely re-design the banking hall as it is today, transforming it into a 100 per cent self-service, electronic branch. The 'Bank of The Future' initiative fits into the bank's strategy to retain existing customers and attract new ones, especially the young and technologically savvy. It is being test-run at the bank's Silverbird Galleria branch, Victoria Island, Lagos. At the unveiling of the initiative, Group Managing Director of Union Bank Mr Emeka Emuwa re-affirmed that the focus of the lender was to serve its teeming customers well, and added that it would seek to leverage on the Samsung technology platforms to deliver consistent and reliable service to its customers.


36

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26 , 2013

DUE DILIGENCE

DN Meyer: Not yet a ‘breakeven’ By Taofik Salako

Financing structure

•MD, DN Meyer, Adeola Omosebi

D

N Meyer Plc is still in the red, with earnings falling below expectations and weakening balance sheet highlighting new challenges to the recovery process. With marginal single-digit growth in sales and substantial increase in cost of sales, DN Meyer has been unable to muster the headroom to consolidate its appreciable midline cost management and for the first time in several years, make a modicum of return to shareholders. Latest audited earnings reports showed the limitation imposed by sluggish top-line, which could compound the threats of continuing decline in equity funds and increase in gearing ratio. Audited report and accounts of DN Meyer for the year ended December 31, 2012 indicated that while sales rose by 9.1 per cent, a larger increase of 12 per cent in cost of sales undermined the top-line profit margin. The company fell on internal cost management, holding down total operating expenses to 4.4 per cent growth and reducing interest expenses by 5.8 per cent. It ended with a net loss of N27 million and 4.3 decline in net assets, a significant improvement on net loss of N54 million in the previous year. but to loss-weary shareholders, it may be another disappointment for a company that had became the most speculative and fastest growing, in terms of share price, at the stock market; in expectation of its final turnaround. The balance sheet structure of the chemical and paints company also showed warning signals with about 13 percentage points increase in financial leverage, negative working capital and lower liquidity.

DN Meyer’s group total assets dropped by 5.4 per cent from N2.73 billion in 2011 to N2.58 billion in 2012. This underlined declines in both current and non-current assets. Current assets had dropped by about 11 per cent from N696 million to N621 million. Longterm assets slipped from N2.03 billion to N1.96 billion. Meanwhile, total liabilities also dropped by 5.8 per cent, largely due to decrease in trade creditors and long-term liabilities. Total liabilities stood at N1.93 billion in 2012 as against N2.05 billion in 2011. Current liabilities had dropped from N859 million to N802 million while non-current liabilities had declined to N1.13 billion as against N1.19 billion in previous year. While the paid up shares capital remained unchanged at N162.5 million-325 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, shareholders’ funds dropped from N679 million to N650 million. With 40 per cent increase in short-term bank loans, the debt-toequity ratio rose to 39.5 per cent in 2012 compared with 26.9 per cent in 2011. The proportion of equity funds to total assets, however, inched up to 25.2 per cent in 2012 as against 24.9 per cent in 2011. Current liabilities/total assets ratio almost remained flat at 31 per cent, the same scenario for longterm liabilities.

Efficiency

The company struck a commendable balance in the management of its high cost of sales and modest operating expenses. Although there were no available data to track per unit productivity and efficiency, there was an indication of improvement. Total costs of business-excluding interest expenses, in relation to sales inched downward to 98.5 per cent in 2012 as against 98.7 per cent in 2011. However, a cost range of almost 99 per cent is considerably high in relations to the turnover.

Profitability

DN Meyer witnessed improvements in its actual and underlying profitability. Although it remains in the negative, the quantum and degree of loss-making reduced considerably during the period.

These, expectedly, reduced the built-in losses for shareholders. Group turnover rose by 9.1 per cent from N1.36 billion to N1.49 billion. Cost of sales outpaced sales with increase of 11.8 per cent to N922 million in 2012 as against N825 million recorded in 2011. Consequently, gross profit increased slightly by 5.1 per cent from N538 million to N566 million. Total operating expenses stood at N543 million, 4.4 per cent above N521 million recorded in previous year. Non-core business incomes boosted the midline with an increase of 159 per cent from N25 million to N64 million. This, and 5.8 reduction in interest expenses from N123 million to N116 million, moderated the negative bottom-line, reducing pre-tax loss from N80 million to N29 million. After tax gains, net loss reduced from N54 million to N27 million. While it was unable to declare any dividend, just as in the previous three years, shareholders recorded intrinsic loss per share of 8.0 kobo, albeit a better position than 17 kobo recorded in 2011. Net assets per share also declined by 4.3 per cent from N2.09 to N2. The underlying fundamentals of the company remained negative, though considerably better than the previous year. while gross profit margin dropped from 39.5 per cent to 38 per cent, pre-tax profit margin improved from -5.9 per cent to -1.9 per cent. Return on total assets stood at -1.1 per cent in 2012 as against -2.9 per cent in 2011‘ while return on equity was better at -4.1 per cent compared with -8.0 per cent.

porate governance. The timeliness of its earnings report however falls short of the generally acceptable standards.

Analyst’s opinion

The performance of DN Meyer shows the need for the company to increase the momentum of its restructuring. While it had significantly benefitted from soft loans from government’s fiscal supports, DN Meyer has yet to show the expected quantum leap. The company is far away from its turnover and profit before tax targets of N25 billion and N3.75 billion by 2016. While it must be acknowledged that difficult operating environment, characterised by high cost of business, dumping of substandard and fake products, poor power supply and financial constraint, undermine corporate growth, DN Meyer needs to further look inward to reduce expenses and jumpstart sales. The time appears to be appropriate now for the planned recapitalisation of the company with a view to creating a more solid balance sheet that could support future growth. Slow sales and increasing gearing ratio are surely wrong mix for corporate growth.

Liquidity

The liquidity position of the company worsened considerably in 2012 with negative working capital and lower coverage for possible immediate liabilities. Current ratio, which broadly indicates ability of the company to meet emerging financing needs by relating current assets to relative liabilities, dropped from belowstandard position of 0.81 times in 2011 to 0.77 times in 2012. The proportion of negative working capital to total sales stood at -12.2 per cent in 2012 as against 12 per cent in 2011. Debtors/creditors ratio stood at 22.2 per cent in 2012 as against 9.5 per cent in 2011.

Fiscal Year Ended December 31 Nmillion

2012 12 months

% change

2011 12 months

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

1,487 1,487 922 566 543 64 116 -29 -27 -8 0 0 200

9.1 9.1 11.8 5.1 4.4 158.6 -5.8 -64.1 -50.2 -52.9 0.0 0.0 -4.3

1,363 1,363 825 538 521 25 123 -80 -54 -17 0 0 209

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

cades and was an iconic brand in its industry. Before its incorporation in 1960, it had operated for two decades. It converted to public limited liability and listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1979. In 1994, the then Dunlop Nigeria acquired majority equity stake of 68 per cent in the company and thus changed its name from Hagemeyer Nigerian Plc to DN Meyer Plc. In 2003, DN Meyer acquired the flooring and adhesives business of Dunlop Nigeria, thus extending its business operations from manufacturing and marketing of paints to adhesives and floor tiles. Since then, it ran through series of acquisitions, mirroring the chequered history of its parent company. DN Meyer is owned by some 8,000 shareholders.Recent shareholding analysis showed that three shareholders held the largest stakes-Citiprops Limited held the largest 30 per cent equity stake, Bosworth Limited held 10.95 per cent while Mr Osa Osunde held 9.26 per cent. The board and management of the company remain stable. Sir Remi Omotoso still chairs the board while Mr Adeola Omosebi is the Managing Director. DN Meyer largely complies with code of cor-

1,799 1,960 118 621 2,581

-3.1 -3.6 91.3 -10.7 -5.4

1,856 2,033 62 696 2,729

533 257 802 1,129 1,931

-18.4 40.3 -6.6 -5.2 -5.8

653 183 859 1,191 2,050

162.5 650

0.0 -4.2

162.5 679

2008

2009

2010

2011

Governance and structures One of the legacy companies, DN Meyer has history of more than seven de-

Fiscal Year Ended December 31

2012 %

2011 %

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

25.2 43.7 31.1 39.5

24.9 43.6 31.5 26.9

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

38.0 -1.9 -1.1 -4.1 0.00

39.5 -5.9 -2.9 -8.0 0.00

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

NA NA 98.5

NA NA 98.7

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

0.77 -12.2 22.2

0.81 -12.0 9.5

2012


37

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

ISSUES Over 65 per cent of the imports into West Africa are consumed in Nigeria. Investigation shows that less than 30 per cent of these imports come in through the seaports, raising questions on why goods destined for the country are diverted to neighbouring countries. Stakeholders blame terminal operators and shipping companies for the problem, which they link to imposition of arbitrary charge. OLUWAKEMI DAUDA reports.

• Cargo ship

Are port charges high? Importers: yes; Shippers: no

T

ERMINAL operators and shipping firms operating at the ports are making a kill through what many described as unethical business practice. They milk importers through rates disguised as demurrage and storage charges. The affected importers and clearing agents are seeking the government’s intervention to address the problem. Stakeholders told The Nation that the exorbitant charges have led to diversion of cargoes coming to the country to the neighbouring Republic of Benin and Togo. The development, they said, also encourage massive smuggling across the borders. Among the contentious issues raised are the length of time it takes to clear goods at the ports, the man-hour lost, or time

required to position containers for Customs examination. The Managing Director, Bolas Shipping Limited Mr Yemi Ibikunle decried the number of days it takes terminal operators

to position containers for Customs examination and called on the government to address the challenge. The issue, he said, was strong enough to require the Presidency’s intervention.He ap-

Despite obvious limitations, the Federal Government must strive to infuse competition and transparency in the management of national resources so that optimal value would be earned for the maximum benefits of our people; ensuring that some strategic institutions such as the Customs are operational and efficient

pealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to solve the problem. He urged the government to take urgent action to achieve the 48-hour cargo clearance policy. Importers, he said, could not continue to be at the mercy of terminal operators. “Despite obvious limitations, the Federal Government must strive to infuse competition and transparency in the management of national resources so that optimal value would be earned for the maximum benefits of Nigerians. Ensuring that strategic institutions like the Customs are operational and efficient, is therefore, very essential for the government,” he said. Factors working against the ports There are several factors working against the ports. They include the cumbersome process of goods delivery, congestion and imposition of arbitrary charges on imported goods, among others. Most of the goods such as rice, frozen foods, fruits, sweet, milk, cigarretes and Continued on page 38


38

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

ISSUES

Are port charges high? Importers: yes; Shippers: no Continued from page 37

other items, such as used vehicles and furniture, are routed through the jungles around Seme and Idi-Iroko borders . An importer and maritime lawyer, Rotimi Salako, said shipping lines, terminal operators and off-dock terminals, have jacked up their prices, while demurrage on containers have tripled far beyond what was charged before the concession. He said for a 20-foot container, shipping companies charge N5,000 for document release, container cleaning N3,000, shipping line charges N28,000, telex release N5,000, amendment charges, N15,000, as well as five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) of the total charge. He listed other charges to include N580 for the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) as Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) levy and demurrage on containers that were not returned on time, adding that terminal operators collect N3, 500 delivery charges, N25, 000 terminal handling charges, N400 vehicle entry permit, N2, 500 to position containers for examination, and N1, 500 storage, or rent charge for the first three days and N3, 500 after 24 days. For the off-dock terminal, according to him, they collect N20,000 as transfer charge, N2,000 as release and documentation, N5,000 as royalty to terminal operators, N2,500 to position containers for customs examination, N3,500 as labour charges for examination, including N1,250 as terminal delivery charge and N400 for vehicle entry permit. Before the concessioning, the importers said the charges were N1, 204 as wharf age and N1, 294 for documentation and release, terminal delivery order including vehicle entry permit, stressing that importers also pay five per cent VAT of the total charges. The NPA also charges N375 as demurrage after three days grace period and N750 for 40-foot, no matter the number of days. Apart from the charges, which importers pay to the shipping lines, terminal operators and bonded terminal operators, they also pay to the Customs seven per cent port levy, five per cent Value Added Tax, Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate, 0.5 per cent ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, 20 per cent rice levy and 10 per cent duty, including 10 per cent textile levy as well as 30 per cent surety and other levies. Nigeria’s port tariff highest The country operates one of the highest port tariff structure in the West and Central African sub-region and most of which are imposed by the terminal operators, shipping companies, government and its agencies at the ports. Investigation revealed that the cost of shipping and clearing of cargoes at the nation's seaports is 10 times higher than any other port within the West African sub-region. For example, apart from the statutory charges such as the Import Duty, Fees, Common External Tariff Levy and the Value Added Tax, which are paid into the Federation Account of the government, importers are also made to pay a myriads of charges under different sub-heads, which include the seven per cent Port Levy, 0.5 per cent Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which is also paid in other jurisdictions within the community, one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, which is the Free On Board value of imports, from which the service providers under the Destination Inspection Scheme are paid and the Rice levy. Others include, the Cigarette Levy, National Automotive Council Levy, Port Development Levy, Sugar Levy, Port Surcharge and sundry charges paid to the gov-

•Minister of Transport Idris Umar

•Managing Director NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi

•Executive Secretary Shippers’ Council Hassan Bello

ernment before the imported consignment would be allowed to leave the port. In addition to these, government agencies that take part in cargo inspection such as the Customs, NPA, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, among others impose one levy or the other.

have to use smaller ships to take their cargo from these two seaports if measures were not taken to address these inadequacies now," he warned. According to him, importers and clearing agents have over the years cried out to no avail and many of them have resigned to fate while many others have decided to bring in their consignments through neighbouring African seaports. The National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANALCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu said the greatest challenges facing maritime transport are multiple taxation and unnecessary charges by terminal operators, shipping companies and service providers which are not commensurate with the services rendered by them. Importers and clearing agents, the ANLCA chief said, pay huge amount at different points in the ports before their goods are cleared. The shipping companies, Shittu said, also force agents and importers to pay deposit for containers loaded by trucks. He alleged that in most cases the terminal operators look for excuses so that the money would not be refunded after the agents have returned the containers. Shittu said: ''Normally, the tax on imported goods is five per cent, but an importer would be wasting his time to think that is the only tax to be paid. There are several other government charges that make the tax to go up to as high as 15 per cent. For example, after paying the five per cent, you will still have to pay a subcharge, which is seven per cent; this is called development charge. “The service provider put in place to ensure that proper documentations are made to meet some certain standards, are paid one per cent. ''The increase in the money for clearing goods in the ports will continue to escalate as long as terminal operators are charging whatever they want, and as long as the security agents are there to extort money. If your goods are put on a wooden panel for off-loading or up-holding, plank guarantors will tell you that that particular goods abroad was not registered. So, the owner should pay a particular amount in their office or find something for ‘the boys’."

nate arbitrariness and ensure parity with other ports, particularly those of neighbouring countries. Speaking on behalf of other importers in Lagos last week, the Managing Director, Sea Investment Mr Richard Ogoegbunam said port tariff must be competitive and be commensurate with services rendered by the terminal operators. To reduce the cost of doing business in the ports, he said the Shippers' Council had abolished service charges, bank charge, commission on turnover and concessionaires service charge. Ogoegbunam praised the council for abolishing port administrative and sorting charges. He said the council had been implementing the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) project on Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis to bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers. He said the ICDs would also assist in decongesting the seaports and make them more user-friendly. He criticised Customs bureaucracy at the ports, saying the bureaucracy they imposed by Customs on containers and Roll on/Roll off (RORO) vessels by customs procedures were a challenge to ports operations.

Double taxation Findings also show that before an imported vehicle or container is allowed to exit the gate of any Lagos ports, for instance, importers or their clearing agents pay between N10,000 and N40,000 to security officials. These charges, stakeholders said, have made the seaports unattractive and uncompetitive for business in the sub-region. The President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Mr Eugene Nweke, said whatever the government generates through the Cigarette Levy, National Automotive Council Levy, Port Development Levy, Sugar Levy, Port Surcharge that it loses more as a result of cargo diversion.He decried the payment of VAT on imported goods, adding that it is double taxation. He argued that most of these imported goods are subjected to another round of VAT collection at the final sales point, noting that this is double taxation. "The government should determine at what point an importer or freight forwarder should pay VAT on a consignment so that he goes ahead and pays and obtains an official receipt, which he would use for the entire clearing process for the consignment," he said. President of Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (CMDLCA), Mr Lucky Amiwero and other stakeholders, said the multiple tariffs collected by government agencies have become an albatross in the Federal Government's drive to make Nigeria the maritime hub in the West Africa sub-region. He warned that the country might lose substantial volume of West African cargo traffic, which she controls, a development that will portend danger for her economy. "The government is aware that Ghana and Cote'd Ivoire are building millennium port facilities that would berth mega ships of over 10, 000 TEUs of cargo capacity. “Very soon, Nigerian importers may

Parity with other ports Importers said the review would elimi-

The cost of shipping and clearing of cargoes at the seaports is 10 times higher than any other port in the West African sub-region. For example, apart from the statutory charges such as the Import Duty, Fees, Common External Tariff Levy and the Value Added Tax, which are paid into the Federation Account, importers are also made to pay myriads of charges under various sub-heads.

Shippers' Council to probe ‘exploitation’ TheNigeria Shippers' Council (NSC) has pledged to investigate complaints of alleged exploitation against ports terminal operators by clearing agents, importers and other stakeholders. Established in 1978, NSC is empowered with protecting the interest of shippers. According to NSC, complaints against private terminal operators increased from 63 in 2011 to 117 last year. A senior NSC official who spoke on condition of anonymity said most of the complaints were on excessive storage and demurrage charges by terminal operators and shipping lines. Other complaints, according to the official, include refund of container deposit, "slow and lacklustre handling of claims, including deliberate attempt to unjustly limit liability by shipping agents and terminal operators despite acceptability of the liability." The source, while admitting that the Council lacks the power to sanction, urged aggrieved the public "to come forward with relevant evidence while making their complaints". Speaking at a forum, an official of the Council, Mrs. Celine Amaka Ifeore, blamed terminal operators, shipping firms and other service providers for the high charges and the delay in the clearing. According to the NSC, there were six charges at the port before the concession, adding that under the new arrangement, they have increased 20. Lamenting the increase in creased charges collected by the operators, Ifeore identified storage/rent fee as the most exploitative. "The Minister of Transport in 2002 approved N4,000 as progressive storage charge, but the terminal operators arbitrary increased it to N8,000 and then N12,000 without approval from government," she added.


39

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

LABOUR

ITF needs N112b for training facilities’ upgrade

T

HE Industrial Training Fund (ITF) needs $740million (N112billion) to upgrade its facilities and build new training centres nationwide, its DirectorGeneral, Prof Longmas Wapmuk, has said. Wapmuk, who spoke when members of the National Assembly House Committee on Industry visited ITF’s Industrial Skills Training Centre, Ikeja said the figure was an estimate by a technical partner in Brazil. He said Fund was seeking the cooperation of SENAI (Servico National de Aprendizagem Industrial), a similar institution in Brazil, adding that ITF was looking forward to receiving experts from Brazil in a fortnight. He said SENAI was expected to help Nigeria achieve a similar feat it recorded in Brazil and should give the organisation the exact amount to complete the work after its assessment of ITF’s facilities. Wapmuk said ITF was spreading its tentacles to the states because this would help to combat youth unrest by engaging

Stories by Toba Agboola

them. He said: “In October, last year, we commenced the training of 1,000 youths in each state. The pilot scheme started in Plateau State and Abuja. By the end of the year, we want to make sure that participants of this three- month training cut across all the local governments in the federation.’’ The ITF boss said the institution had not fallen short of its national expectations of training and developing high level skilled manpower in select occupational areas considered to be of priority as well as empower youths through skills acquisition programme aimed at job creation and entrepreneurship development. The Chairman of the House Committee on Industry, Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo, commended the organisation for its achievement despite some of its obsolete facilties. He promised the House’s support in facilitating the passage of its budget for the upgrade.

“The emphasis should be on training and our burden is how to make more youths employable, we know there is need to upgrade, as ITF needs to do more to change the face of unemployment in our country,” he said. He said ITF should be a cradle of industrial revolution, urging the management its ITF to intensify efforts at bridging the gap of unemployment in the country, adding that it has become a problem for the government. He said: “Politics and oil have made our leaders to become lazy. Emphasis should be shifted to youth empowerment as such would help to combat the present restiveness plaguing the country. “There is also need for ITF to publicise its activities so that the youths would know there is such empowerment programme for them, because it would be effort in futility after upgrade and there is nobody to train.” He also urged ITF to seek collaboration with multinationals such as Samsung, LG, Elizade Motors and NCC for both technical and material support.

•From left: Newstalk’s reporter, Orla Barry; Director-General ILO, Guy Ryder; Director, Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development, Yetnebersh Nigusie and Minister for Trade and Development , Ireland Joe Costello at the ILO Forum for women and youth development in Ireland.

T

NDIC chief seeks support for women

HE Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim has called on Nigerians to support women as they strive to take up high level corporate responsibilities. He spoke at the parley with the theme: ‘It is possible’in Abuja. He said many organisations and governments are beginning to situate the importance of women in the achievement of set objectives, adding that the era of perceiving women as home-makers was gone. Acknowledging the roles of NDIC’s female staff in the achievement of the corporation’s objectives, he reiterated that the forum was organised to sensitise the female staff on the key attributes needed for career growth in the corporation. He stressed the role of women in the nation building, involvement of women in commu-

T

nity service, poverty alleviation and how to understand the importance of work-life balance by female staff. He said gender diversity in management is aimed at enhancing sound corporate governance, good corporate social responsibility to boost sustainable banking and financial inclusion. He said: “In keeping with NDIC’s core values of professionalism, transparency, team work as well as respect and fairness, the Corporation has always upheld gender equity, inclusion and equal opportunities in all areas of its operation. “In line with this commitment, the Corporation had achieved 70:30 ratio between male and female staff in recent recruitment exercises conducted between 2010 and 2013.’’ He also said it was a deliberate policy to achieve the affirmative action threshold of 35 per cent.

He expressed the delight that the corporation had articulated robust code of conduct and culture handbooks to forestall unwholesome practices against its female staff and urged them to acquaint themselves with the document to seek redress through appropriate channel when any career-inhibiting practices are observed. He urged them to sharpen their skills and exhibit high sense of commitment and diligence which are traditional qualities of women. Executive Director, Corporate Services, NDIC Mrs Omolola Abiola-Edewor said it was instructive that many contemporary organisations were beginning to appreciate the role of women in the workplace. In a statement from NDIC’s Head, Communication and Public Affairs, NDIC Hadi Birch said during the event, speakers presented three papers on topics on gender diversity and women empowerment .

elections at a time when many Nigerians have died on our dilapidated roads and as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, ocean surges and floods. “The Congress and other Nigerians are certainly tired of all the drama and laxity in governance which we consider disgraceful, unhealthy distraction, and a ploy from some quarters to continually deny Nigerians good governance and dividends of our hard-earned democracy.” Recently, it was reported that it would take the North over 20 years to recover the farmlands and livestock it lost to floods .

“Unfortunately, our leaders are apparently oblivious of the boldly-written handwriting on the wall. We wonder what the fate of the economy would be in the next few years if this unpalatable trend continues. And what about the adverse effects of the flight of multinational companies and mass importation of foreign goods and services?”TUC said. It warned that if the prediction of the meterology agency that floods may affect about 90 local government areas this year is taken serious by the government, it would not augur well for the nation.

TUC to govt: prepare for flood HE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged the government to put

modalities in place to check the impending flood predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency(NIMET). In a statement its President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Secretry-General Comrade Musa Lawal, said: ‘’It beats the imagination of the Congress that our politicians are busy quarreling, engaging in fisticuffs and casting aspersions on themselves in both electronic and print media just because of 2015

Enhance safety of migrant workers, ILO chief urges

T

HE Director-General, International Labour Oganisation (ILO) Guy Ryder has called member-states to step up their efforts to provide pre-departure information and training, regulate and monitor the enforcement of fair recruitment practices. He spoke while presenting a keynote address on youth migration and development at an event to International Youth Day He urged governments to ensure that their young migrants have access to adequate protection as part of the practical steps to be taken to enhance the safety of all migrant workers in the world He said: “Practical steps can be taken to enhance the safety of migrant workers and respect for their rights and dignity. “Countries of origin can step up their efforts to provide pre-departure information and training, regulate and monitor the enforcement of fair recruitment practices and ensure that their young migrants have access to adequate protection” According to the ILO boss, each year, many young women and men migrate in search of decent work and better living conditions. “This is a reality of our globalised economy. Differentiated demographic and income trends are adding to migratory dynamics and on the present course, the pressures will become even stronger”, he said. “It is on record that young migrants make up 27 million of the overall 214 million international migrants, but being the most mobile social group, young people constitute the bulk of annual migration movements. They largely move from one developing country to another, with South-toNorth migration representing only a third of total international migration”, he said. “Today we acknowledge the positive contribution that millions of committed, talented and energetic young migrants make to development and the wellbeing of entire families and communities. When youth migration takes place in conditions of freedom, dignity, equity and security, it can boost economic and social development both of countries of origin and destination”, he said. “Unfortunately, many young migrants are easy prey and frequently get trapped in exploitative and abusive jobs, including forced labour. And too often, they, like other migrants become scapegoats for the shortcomings of economic and social systems,”he added. Ryder, who emphasised that the United Nations General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development taking place in October, this year, is an important opportunity to advance towards a framework which can uphold the rights and interests of young migrant workers, however, said: “Let us never lose sight of the young women and men at the heart of the migration process.” “We must assume the collective responsibility of ensuring their safety and protection. Let us join forces to maximise the development benefits of youth labour migration while striving for balanced development that broadens the options for all,”he added.

Workers’ forum holds Thursday

T

HE Joint Negotiating Council will hold its first Southwest meeting in Lagos on Thursday, August 29. Its Lagos Chairman, Comrade Obafemi Oyenubi said the meeting with the theme: “Integration of Public servants, is aimed at harmonising and fostering the relationship among southwest states in fighting for its members. He said the three-day meeting will be attended by the chairman of Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti states. They are expected to arrive Lagos on August 28. Business session will be on the following day while the departure has been slated for Friday. The contingent is also expected to visit some Lagos State government top officials to further familiarise themselves with the state and talk on welfare of public servants in the southwest. The Lagos State Head of Service is expected to declare the meeting open at Bero auditorium at Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.


40

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

EMPOWERMENT CLINIC with

Using your original or adapted Plan A for success

GOKE ILESANMI

D

R. Heidi Grant Halvorson, an Associate Director for the Motivation Science Centre at the Columbia University Business School says to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be able to recognise an opportunity when you see one. In the same vein, you need to have plans if you really want to succeed. Having alternative plans is very critical to success in all areas of life. Therefore, to achieve success in time, individuals and organisations need to have Plan B in addition to Plan A. Basically, Plan A is the first plan you want to use to achieve your goal, while Plan B is the second or alternative plan you want to switch over to if Plan A fails or does not help you achieve the desired results. For instance, if your Plan A is paid employment, your Plan B may be selfemployment or entrepreneurship. Implementing your Plan B of self-employment Even though some employees are foresighted enough to have Plans A and B, it is always very difficult

for such few foresighted employees to implement their Plan B of selfemployment or entrepreneurship. This is largely due to fear of what may happen to them in the event of quitting their paid employment. Some employees even overstay on their paid employment all in the name of gathering endless business management experience. It is a known fact that there are three basic ways to leave a paid job. These are professionally referred to as three R’s. That is, it is either you Resign, Retire or you are Retrenched. Apart from these three, there is another form of disengagement that is between voluntary resignation and retrenchment. This is called “forced resignation”. This happens when somebody is told to resign to avoid being disgraced with retrenchment. To be able to successfully implement your Plan B, you do not need to wait for “forced resignation” or retrenchment. You also do not need to wait for the retirement time when all the energy you need to run your own business must have been exhausted. So you need to “retire” young.

Addition

It is also noteworthy that you do not need to wait till you have voluntarily resigned to start implementing your self-employment or entrepreneurship Plan B. It is safer to start gradually when you are still in your paid employment to avoid unnecessary financial pressure. If you want to use your hobby (e.g., comedy, acting or singing) for selfemployment, start when you are still in paid employment and establish yourself before quitting paid em-

ployment finally. If you are already married, carry your spouse along in your plan. If you are a married man, ensure that you have also adequately equipped your wife by setting up a (small) business for her before quitting.

Effectiveness of Plan A

Even though it is always stressed that flexibility is critical to successful execution of one’s plan, and Plan B is therefore repeatedly echoed as a powerful alternative means of achieving tremendous success, Plan A is very paradoxically critical to success. As opposed to the general notion that you need to double your planning by having Plans A and B, and even rely on Plan B for enduring success, there are times that you need to rely on Plan A alone to be able to succeed. Let me clarify the paradox. An employee with a vision normally has Plans A and B. His or her Plan A may be paid employment while Plan B may be self-employment or entrepreneurship. The moment he or she starts his or her business or self-employment later, the initial Plan B, that is, self-employment or entrepreneurship now becomes his or her adapted Plan A while the former Plan A, that is, paid employment now becomes his or her adapted Plan B.

Related development

Also, if somebody is very passionate about self-employment or entrepreneurship right from school, and immediately he or she graduates, he or she starts his or her own business, it means his or her Plan A

is self-employment or entrepreneurship, while Plan B is paid employment. If your initial or original Plan A is self-employment or entrepreneurship right from school, you can have a mentor who can put you through so that you make up for business management experience that you should otherwise have gained from paid employment. To achieve success in a situation whereby you resign to start your own business or when you start your business immediately after graduation from school, you need to stick to your Plan A and discard Plan B, which is paid employment. If not, your Plan A, that is, self-employment or entrepreneurship may never work because of the confidence that you have the alternative plan of paid employment to switch over to.

Experts’ reinforcement

In the words of Ken Gaub, a great motivational speaker, “Early in our planning process,... flexibility is fine, but as we get closer to our goals, it becomes necessary to commit. The time comes when we must get rid of Plan B, or Plan A never will work.” Jeff Haden, a ghost writer who has ghostwritten books for some of the smartest leaders, says successful people are able to succeed because “they don’t have back-up plans”. Haden expatiates that back-up plans can help you sleep easier at night and create an easy way out when times get tough. He adds that you will work a lot harder and a lot longer if your primary plan simply has to work because there is no other option. Total commitment -without a safety net - will spur you to work

‘Also, if somebody is very passionate about self-employment or entrepreneurship right from school, and immediately he or she graduates, he or she starts his or her own business, it means his or her Plan A is self-employment or entrepreneurship, while Plan B is paid employment’

harder than you ever imagined possible, stresses Haden. Similarly, William Matthews, a motivational speaker says the first law of success is concentration, bending all the energies to one point, and going directly to that point without looking to the right or left. John Mason, a renowned motivational speaker reinforces this assertion by saying the most successful people have always been those of concentration who have struck their blows in one place until they have accomplished their goals. “They are of one specific idea, one steady aim, a single and concentrated purpose,” Mason expatiates.

Diversification

It is should stressed at this juncture that sticking to your Plan A does not mean diversification is not allowed. Diversification simply refers to the act of increasing your range of goods or services. It also refers to changing something to get variety or putting money in difference types of investment. Diversification is important because the real path to abundant wealth and financial freedom is through self-employment. In self-employment, you can create enduring wealth through diversification which leads to multiple streams of income. For instance, if you have a school, nothing stops you from diversifying into related business areas like book-selling and printing of different items for your school and other people, schools, organisations, etc.

Parting shot

Even though Plans A and B are necessary to achieve success in life, when it gets to a stage where your Plan A becomes self-employment or entrepreneurship, you need to remain focused and determined on your road to success. Till we meet on Wednesday.

WORKPLACE MATTERS

M

Boosting your job opportunities with good CV

ANY graduates are roaming the streets in search of jobs without success just because they do not know how to package their curriculum vitae (CV) in the right way and convince prospective employers. It is even disheartening that we are quick to blame innocent people like old mothers and fathers, etc., for joblessness of job-seekers, when in actual sense, badly-packaged CVs are the cause in most cases. The fact that our school curriculum is not reviewed to accommodate topics on job-search strategies and entrepreneurship to reflect the realities of the 21 century globalisation does not help matters. That is why I want us to revisit the issue of packaging a good CV, especially that numerous job-seekers keep bombarding me with questions regarding how to write a masterpiece of CV. Real definition A CV has a persuasive motive. Indeed, it is an advertisement. A great CV does not just tell a prospective employer what you have done but presents you in the best light. It convinces the prospective employer that you have what it takes to be successful in the new position. Nicholas Lore, an international career management expert says it is a mistake to think of your CV as a history of your past, as a personal statement or as some sort of self-expression. Surely, most of the content of any CV is focused on the job history.

By Goke Ilesanmi

But, endeavour to write with the intention to create interest, to persuade the prospective employer to call you. If you write with that goal, your final product will be very different from when you are writing to inform or catalogue your job history. Wrong impression Most people write their CV anyhow. If you realise that a great CV can be your gateway to getting your dream job, you will definitely develop real interest in creating an enviable masterpiece, rather than the despicable ones most people compose. Research shows that only one interview is granted for every 200 CVs received by a prospective employer, and that each CV is quickly scanned, rather than read. A period of between ten and twenty seconds is all the time you have to persuade a prospective employer to read further. The implication of this is that the decision to interview a candidate is usually based on an overall first impression that his or her CV is able to create. Addition Therefore, the top half of the first page of your CV will either make or mar your chances. By the time a prospective employer has read the first few lines, you may or may not arouse his or her interest. This is why it is said that your CV is an advertisement. Ensure that it has the same result as a well-

written advert: to get the reader to respond. To write a CV that is effective, you need to learn the strategy of writing a powerful, but subtle advertising copy. Note that the best-advertised product is often bought more than the best product. If you have a masterpiece of a CV, you will always get a better response from prospective employers than people with better credentials but without a good CV. However, do not make false claims on your CV just for the sake of getting invited for an interview. Integrity is very important. Your focus You should focus on the prospective employers’ needs not yours. Usually, the person who makes the hiring decision is also the person who is responsible for the bottom-line productivity of the project or group you hope to join. This is a person who cares deeply about how well the job will be done. Therefore, you need to write your CV in such a way that will appeal directly to him or her. Ask yourself questions such as What would make someone the best candidate? What does the employer really want? Reinforcement If you are in search of a job in a field you have enough knowledge of, think of what would make someone a superior candidate. If you are not sure, you can ask other people who work for

the same company or in the same field. You can even call the prospective employer and ask him or her what he or she wants because if you are not addressing his or her real needs, he or she will not respond to your CV. Putting yourself in the position of the person doing the hiring is the first and most important step in writing a CV that markets you rather than describes your history. Every step in producing a finished document should be part of your overall intention to convey to the prospective employer that you are a truly-exceptional candidate. Exercise Therefore, be clear on what the employer is looking for and what you have to offer before you begin your CV. Write your answers to the first question What would make someone the perfect candidate? on a sheet of paper, one answer per page. Prioritise the sheets of paper, based on which qualities or abilities you think would be most important to the person doing the hiring. Then, starting with the top priority page, fill the rest of that page, or as much of it as you can, with brainstorming about why you are the person who best fulfils the employer’s needs. Write down everything you have ever done that demonstrates that you fit perfectly with what is wanted and needed by the prospective employer. The whole idea is to organise your thinking such that you will be able to see some new connec-

tions between what you have done and what the employer is looking for. You need not confine yourself to work-related accomplishments. Therefore, base your composition on your entire life accomplishments. The essence of this is to cover all the talents you bring to the market place. If you are making a career change or are a young person and new to the job market, you are going to be especially creative in getting across what makes you stand out. One important part of the planning process is to decide which CV format fits your needs best. Do not automatically assume that a traditional format will work best for you. Analysis There are three types of CVs, and these are chronological, functional and combined chronological functional. The most effective one is the combined chronological functional CV that takes care of the combined deficiencies of chronological and functional CVs. Till we meet on Wednesday. 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


42

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

43

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has registered two more political parties. Assistant Editor AUGUSTINE AVWODE examines the implications of their emergence for the polity.

PDM, ID: Can they fly? T

HOSE who had looked forward to the possibility of two mega parties slugging it out in the 2015 general election must now reconsider their opinions. With the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Independent Nation Electoral Commission (INEC), analysts and commentators had raised the hope of a likely emergence of two dominant parties, as it was in the days of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC). But with the registration by INEC of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), a political party believed to have been sponsored by close political associates of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, that may not be for now. Besides, INEC also registered another party, the Independent Democrats (ID). Their registration was made public in a statement signed by the Secretary to the commission, Augusta Chinwe Ogakeu.

Two-party system not feasible Speaking with The Nation in a telephone interview Professor of Political Science and former Information and Culture Minister, Sam Oyovbaire said the sociology of the Nigeria political process was not considered by those who envisaged a two-party situation following the emergence of APC, which they claim would square up with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) “First there has been an unnecessary hype and exaggeration of the possibility of two major parties. We have failed to take into consideration what I call the sociology of the Nigerian political process in the sense of the fragmentation of interest and the ethnicisation or regionalization of the overall landscape. Oyovbaire argued that the registration of the PDM, may not significantly alter the political equation in the country. He claimed that with the de-registration of some fringe parties, one would have thought that they would move and join the PDP or the APC, which already had visible image and structure, but that was not the case. “I was thinking that with the deregistration of some of the old parties, they will find themselves in either the PDP or APC. But that has not happened because a large number of what you call the political parties have their real certificates in the pockets of people. You notice that once there is a quarrel in one of the bigger parties, people just go and buy the certificate, just for the purpose of contesting election. So, I can tell you that it is too early to talk of a two major or mega parties in the country. Though it is the ideal, nothing dramatic has happened in the sociology of the political landscape of the country that would throw up such a development”.

PDP in turmoil With the registration of the PDM, the two leading parties must watch itheir back. Unlike the ID, the PDM struck an instant chord in the minds of Nigerians. Described as a “fairly strong movement that cuts across the country”, Oyovbaire attributed the seemingly huge image of the party to the late Gen Shehu Yar’Adua. He said the PDM could have emerged as a party if it had not joined the G34, to form the PDP. “It was curious that it did not really emerge as a party in those days because it was a very strong political movement, which was built around the late Gen. Yar’Adua. Now that it has becme a party, it will send all kinds of signals to the national process. The arrowheads are from the PDP. It is true that Atiku Abubakar has denied being a member, but it is not a bad thing for the polity”, he said. The registration of the PDM did not come as a surprise to followers of political developments in the country. It happened against the backdrop of a complain of marginali-sation by Atiku in the scheme of things in PDP. Early last week, Atiku cried out that he was being denied his dues in the party. He cited the ommission of his name from the list of Adamawa State delegates to the planned August 31 mini- convention of the party as one of the many cases of marginalisation he has suffered. But when the news of the registration was, he insisted that he was still a member of the PDP. He however, added that while he remains in the PDP, there was nothing he could do to stop his associates from forming a new party, if that was their wish. According to him, the “freedom of association as enshrined in the constitution is the beauty of democracy and that he wouldn’t dissuade any of his followers from seeking a platform to promote their programmes.” The statement signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, Abubakar’s media aide read in part: “Following press enquiries on the reported registration of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) as a political party, the former Vice President said he would always welcome the expansion of the political space to accommodate all shades of opinions or political hue. Garba Shehu, like Oyovbaire, acknowleged the role the late Gen Yar’Adua played in enthroning the PDM and the political exploits it made in those days. “The PDM which was founded by late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, provided the impetus for his impressive performance across the country during the September 1992 Presidential primaries, which were later cancelled by the military regime. The late Yar’Adua came close to becoming President, thanks to the formidable PDM structure,” the statement said. Nine PDP governors were also

•Tukur

•Akande

• Bashir

alleged to be sympathetic to the new political party. Some governors of the party, particularly, from the North, have been going round the country visiting and consulting with former Heads of State and other stakeholders on the way forward for the party. At a point Governor Nyako issued an ominous warning to the PDP that if care was not taken, it would die, and they will help to bury it. Nyako who spoke through his Director of Press and Publications, Sajoh Ahmed, said: “We have held consultations with former the Head of State and former BoT chairman of the PDP, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on the need for him and other major stakeholders to save the party from dying.

“We will continue to make our efforts to save the party. But if our efforts do not work, we have no alternative than to fold our arms, and see PDP die and help in burying it.” Oyovbaire warned that the PDP must immediately retool itself, following the emergence PDM, otherwise, it will face serious challenges. According to him, there is the need for the party to learn how it operates from top to bottom. The signals coming from the different wards of the party across the country are not good enough. “The PDP need to learn some lessons now following the registration of the PDM. And the lessons must be from top to bottom. If we use the ward as the bottom, the kind of signals coming from the ward’s level of the party across the country is not good enough. So, the emergence of the PDM should provide a lesson for the PDP to retool itself. It should not be a party for the smart guys or people with money. We need candidates with integrity, who the people can believe and have trust in; individuals that the electorate can believe in. If you follow what is happening across the nation in the party where primary elections are held or to be held, you will believe that the party has serious need of retooling. If that is not done, it should be ready to face real challenges which would come from the party that is coming out of it,” he said. For the APC, the former minister said it must go beyond being a platform for election only to being a serious political party. “As for the APC, the emergence of the PDM should make it think seriously about how to be a political party that transcends just being a platform for the purposes of contesting elections and getting power. It has the spread but it must be able to prove that it is not a platform for people to come and contest elections only but a serious party”, Oyovbaire said. But another political scientist and public affairs analysts, Mallam Moyo Jaji dismissed the PDM as a force that could upset the APC. He sees the PDM as a group that will, at the end of the day, dissolve into the APC and Atiku leading the pack to the APC. “What I see is a party that is not strong enough to make any appreciable impact on its own. I see it joining the APC. That will change the more visible two-legged arrangement of Buhari-Tinubu to a BuharTinubu – Atiku. Such a tripod arrangement will sweep any other party out of the way in 2015. “Since 1998 till now, a lot of things have happened and so much changes have taken place. The PDM of 1998 which installed Atiku Abubakar as vice president is not the PDM of today. So, let nobody deceive you, the party is not going to overtake either of APC or PDP. Many of the bigwigs that were in the PDM in those days are well established today in other parties and they won’t give up their comfort zone to start building another tower in the twilight of their political careers”, Jaji argued.

2015 may be like 2011 But the development is being interpreted to be a disservice to the electorate in the run up to 2015. Analysts say there may be no clear cut choice for the electorate who are largely illiterate. Many people expect a situation where the election that will produce the president of the country will afford the people with simple clear choice of either two or

What I see is a party that is not strong enough to make any appreciable impact on its own. I see it joining the APC, that will change the more visible two-legged arrangement of Buhari-Tinubu to a Buhar- Tinubu – Atiku. Such a tripod arrangement will sweep any other party out of the way in 2015. Since 1998 till now, a lot of things have happened and so much changes have taken place. The PDM of 1998 which installed Atiku Abubakar as vice president is not the PDM of today. at the most three. Just now, the United Progressives Party (UPP) has made it clear that it would give its presidential ticket to the Southeast. National Chairman of the UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie has severally maintained that the party’s presidential ticket has been reserved for the region. In like manner, observers say the PDM, if it decides to go solo, will likely give the ticket to a northerner. A chieftain of the PDP from the Southsouth zone informed The Nation on condition of anonymity that the PDM was registered solely to checkmate the second term ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan by northern element. “From all indications, the emergence of PDM is for a singular purpose and that is to stop President Goodluck Jonathan. Though he has not told anybody that he would contest in 2015, many people have concluded that he will surely run and that he is only bidding his time. Of course, they know he will get the ticket if he chooses to run. So, they realised that they cannot make it in the PDP, they have gone to create another platform to realize that. “There are some people from the North who do not want to see him run. Take for instance, the interim National Chairman of the new party, Bashir Ibrahim Yusuf, he is not just a former political adviser to Atiku Abubakar, he is the Secretary of the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF).” Yusuf said the formation of the party was give Nigerians more choices and provide a paradigm shift from the existing structure. “We formed the party because we are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in the country. We believe that the existing political parties do not offer voters and Nigerians as a whole enough choices and do not advance their interests and we believe and have seen that all the existing political parties are united in upholding the current order and the status quo and we believe that since we have been on this path for these many years without any progress, that there is need for a paradigm shift.” Nigerians will decide the fate of the old and new parties in 2015.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

44

POLITICS PERSPECTIVE The Independent National Electoral Commssion (INEC) has uncovered 100,000 fictitious names in the voter’s register for the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State. In this piece, Doyin Odebowale examines what the development portends for the electoral process.

Electoral sanctity and integrity of voters’ register

A

T last, after countless cases have been hotly contested and decisions wrought, after stupendous resources in terms of human and material have been expended by litigants, lawyers and judges at various election tribunals, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, on forensic arguments as encapsulated in oral testimonies of witnesses, documents, written addresses, briefs of argument, since the commencement of this democratic experiment in 1999, the electoral umpire, INEC, has finally admitted, through its Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, that a fundamentum in the electoral process, without which no credible election can be conducted, the Voters’ Registers in all the states, especially the one around which the forthcoming elections in Anambra State will be organised, has been heavily compromised. INEC, according to him, has discovered over 100,000 fictitious names in the Voters’ Register to be used for that election. Many Nigerians may be unconscious in regard to the full import of this admission by the INEC Chair. It is instructive to note that for the first time, the electoral body, through its chairman, has admitted that conducting a credible election remains a great challenge in the country. He has equally extinguished, effectively, any misplaced aspiration geared towards the emergence of the popular choice of the people with a further admission of the illegal injection of over 100,000 names into the Voters’ Register just a few months to the Governorship election in Anambra State. This news should be of serious concern to Nigerians. If the integrity of the Voters’ Register has been compromised to such an extent, the outcome of the forthcoming election is already known. What remains to be discovered are the names of the major beneficiary of the electoral heist. It is surprising that major politicians in the state have not protested till date. A disturbing pattern is being established gradually. The last gubernatorial election organised by INEC in Ondo State in October, 2012 is still a subject of litigation at the apex court in the country on the same ground of illegal injection of almost 200,000 names into the Voters’ Register. INEC, in its processes filed as a Respondent in the Ondo State Governorship petitions by the candidates of the defunct ACN, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN and PDP, Chief Olusola Oke, at the Election Petition Tribunal, unequivocally, admitted that over 100,000 names were injected but claimed that these clearly fraudulent tampering with the register was done legally. It should be noted that INEC adduced no evidence in support of his averments in support of the injected names. No rebuttal came from it on the positive charge of fraud made by the petitioners. The Tribunal, unfortunately, held that the established fact of these illegal injections, did not affect the outcome of the result substantially to have warranted its invalidation of the Voters’ Register and the election conducted with it. Section 148 of the Electoral Act forbids any inquisition by a court of law in regard to who any voter cast his or her ballot for at an election. The raison d etre behind this legislation is the protection of the sanctity of the electorate’s choice. Therefore, the statute protects all eligible voters with respect to their choice in an election. Consequently, Nigerians may never know the beneficiaries of these illegalities and the extent to which they were favoured by an ostensibly biased umpire. They, however, know, by the admission of INEC, that over 100,000 illegal names were included in the register and going by the contention of the petitioners that almost 200,000 names were injected, the results would have been altered, fundamentally. In the same vein, the declared winner of the election in Ondo State would have come third if the 100,000 illegal votes, as admitted by INEC, are withdrawn. The tragic import of this scientific electoral robbery finds expression in the emasculation of the electorate in the whole process of representative democracy. Impostors and charlatans who owe their “victories” to persons and groups other than the people will emerge as their leaders. And since there is a disconnect between them and the people, ab initio, asking them to be accountable becomes unrealistic. We are currently faced with another unfolding tragic-comedy in Anambra State. The INEC Chairman’s pronouncement that the register has been heavily compromised through this brazen

• Jega

act of criminality bears with it a nagging foreboding on the imminence of an untoward occurrence in that state. Its witnesses at the Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal admitted the injection of over 100,000 new names when there was no registration of voters shortly before the election. It also admitted that, in contravention of the Electoral Act, Section 19, which mandates INEC to publish the names of eligible voters for public scrutiny at least five days before the election, it failed to do so. The lower Tribunal’s decision that this would not have affected the outcome of the election substantially has been criticised by the Court of Appeal which also held that INEC erred in not publishing the list before election, as required by statute, but proceeded, curiously, to affirm the decision of the lower tribunal taking refuge in the ostensible impregnable fortress of substantial compliance. The ease with which the Voters’ Registers are manipulated by unscrupulous officials of INEC to satisfy the highest bidder is alarming. Nigerians ought to be genuinely concerned when the head of an institution saddled with the responsibility of conducting elections to reflect the wishes of the electorate admits publicly that his organisation gets itself enmeshed in all manner of shady deals aimed at subverting popular will. He then explained this grave occurrence away by reassuring Nigerians that some electoral offenders would soon be arraigned in court on the charge of multiple registration. He has, however, been eloquently silent on the identities of those found culpable for the illegal injections in Anambra State, assuming without conceding, that the transparent dishonesty in Ondo State Governorship election was legal. In a period of pervasive apathy of the electorate, a situation engendered by bad governance over the years, which candidate will defeat a contestant who is lucky enough to have a hundred thousand votes ahead of others before ballot? The infusion of almost 200,000 names into the Voters’ Register in Ondo State made nonsense of the claims by INEC that it conducted a credible election. It confirms that the candidate declared as the winner of the election lacks legitimacy until the doubt is cleared. The fact that the declared winner was allotted about 41% of the total votes cast underscores the enormity of the fraudulent activities of certain individuals within INEC. He could not have won without the illegal injection. An announcement by Prof Jega that perma-

‘A disturbing pattern is being established gradually. The last gubernatorial election organised by INEC in Ondo State in October, 2012 is still a subject of litigation at the apex court in the country on the same ground of illegal injection of almost 200,000 names into the Voters’ Register’

nent voters’ cards will be issued by December 2013 to persons whose names are captured in the heavily tainted register is disquieting. This is putting a final stamp of approbation on fraud. Rigging would have been perfected even before any election takes place. The perpetrators of fraud will wield tremendous influence as they will become the de facto king makers, killers and makers of political careers. Any aspiring politician must be subservient to them. The role of the electorate as the crucial decider of the political fate of politicians would have been annulled. In vain will be the efforts of contestants to sell their programmes to the populace. The best candidate will never win. Of greater worry should be the decision of the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal to hold that the last gubernatorial election conducted in Ondo State was in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act. The lower tribunal trod a very dangerous path when it held that the issue of the voters’ register is a pre-election matter and ought to have been challenged in the regular court. The Court of Appeal disagreed with it and even went further to hold that the electoral umpire, INEC, erred by failing to publish the list of eligible voters for public scrutiny as required by statute. It, however, proceeded, curiously though, to uphold the grandiose fraud on the ground that it did not affect the outcome substantially and that the petitioners failed to determine how the injected names affected them adversely. It would appear that the burden of proof which rests squarely on INEC to discharge has been shifted to the petitioners who were short changed by sharp practices. All eyes are now on the Supreme Court for the final determination of the matter. The pronouncement of the apex court on the propriety or otherwise of conducting an election with a compromised register is eagerly awaited. The duty imposed on INEC by statute to publish the names of eligible voters, I submit with respect, can never be waived. The general conduct of this electoral body has been that of utter disgrace. It has been prosecuting the defence of electoral malfeasance with unimaginable vigour. It acts as a contestant in the election and not the unbiased umpire which is expected of it. The petitions of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN and Chief Olusola Oke against the declaration of Dr Olusegun Mimiko as the elected governor of Ondo State will serve as a test case in our quest for a free and fair electoral process. It will go a long way to determine whether we are deeply concerned with the protection of the sanctity of the process. The people of Anambra State are in for another “Ondo treatment”. It is surprising that the politicians in the state led by the ventriloquist governor, Peter Obi, have been chasing shadows. None of them has reacted to the revelation by Prof Jega. They will soon discover that they have been swindled by INEC and those who suborned its officials. I also believe that this scenario will be replicated in virtually all the states where elections will be held soon. The credibility of any election can only be guaranteed when the process is devoid of any manipulation. The Voters’ Register is the basis of a transparent election. No one should expect any credible process when all manner of characters, fictitious names, under age voters, symbols, among other devious ways through which politicians, with the active connivance of INEC, rig elections with impunity and the judiciary seems acquiescent to the fraud. The electoral body has metamorphosed since the country’s independence through the Second Republic to the charade organised by Babangida which culminated in the annulment of the June 12 presidential election in 1993, down to the current democratic experiment which commenced in 1999. A common strand runs through the trajectory of its existence. Each time the activities of this body gave provenance to crises which eventually truncated the government, transformation which usually followed was limited to a change in name but not its questionable attitudes. The current acronym is laughable. The body is anything but independent. The Supreme Court will deepen the current democratic experience by protecting the sanctity of the ballot. A compromised Voters’ Register cannot form the basis upon which a credible election should be conducted. Dr Doyin Odebowale is a lecturer at the Department of Classics, University of Ibadan.

‘Power should shift to Ekiti South’ By Musa Odoshimokhe

F

ORMER Group Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc and governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2014 election in Ekiti State, Mr Adebisi Omoyeni, has said that former governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, and the Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, are not in the race for the PDP gubernatorial ticket. Omoyeni, who spoke in Lagos, said he has never considered the duo as posing stumbling block to his clinching the PDP ticket. “I have said it elsewhere before now, that both Caleb Olubolade and Ayodele Fayose are not in the race. Any party that picks a candidate from the South has won the election by 50 per cent in Ekiti State because people are ready; they know it is their time. And you know that we, the Ekiti people, don’t compromise. We don’t allow cheating and things must be properly done. There is an agreement in place and that agreement must be followed to the letter,” he said. Omoyeni said that it took him about two years to agree to the challenge to seek election “because I’m a very busy person with work to occupy my time 24 hours of the day,”. He added that his acceptance to run for in the next election was part of his service to the people of Ekiti State. “I am going there as service to my people. But, if we start talking of consensus, that means there must be criteria put in place. It is similar to going for an interview where specific criteria are used to assess every candidate, such as capacity, capability and integrity and I know I can scale through every one of them. “Also, another thing you have to realise is that, even in the South, Ikere is one local government and it is both Ikere and Ado-Ekiti by the strength of their votes being the largest towns in Ekiti, that decide who becomes a governor. I’m from Ikere and my mother is from Ado and I have been a good child, not just to both local governments, but to the whole of Ekiti,” he said. Omoyeni said that, with what God has done through him, when he didn’t have any ambition, he believes that “the coast is clear; it is divinely arranged, it is beyond me.” Asked if he can still work with Fayose, whom he had previously served as deputy, Omoyeni said that, of all the aspirants, he is the only one that is not controversial. “I’m the only one that relates with everybody because a leader must be a leader and not to be seen teaming up with A to fight B and even, when they fight, you should be able to reconcile them,” he said.

• Omoyeni


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

45


46

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

47


48

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

49


50

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

51


52

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

53

NEWS

Police arrest 1,000 fake voters in Anambra

T

HE police in Anambra State yesterday arrested over 1,000 nonindigenes, who were participating in the voter revalidation at Igbariam, Anambra East Local Government Area. Policemen from Otuocha zone swooped on them, impounding vehicles, including three luxury buses owned by GUO and the Young Shall Grow. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka said the Otuocha zone has not filed in any report but police sources said the Commissioner of Police, Bala Nassarawa, has been briefed as well as the Director of the State Security Service (SSS). It was gathered that the “voters” were brought in from Jos, Plateau State, Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country.

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

The suspects confessed they were brought in by supporters of an aspirant, who promised them N5,000 once they were registered. A trader from Jos, Bonaventure Ofiaeli, said although he is from Ozubulu, he came to register at Igbariam in Anambra East. He said: “I didn’t know anybody in the bus but my friend. Others can answer for themselves. Some came from Lagos and others from Nnewi but I and many of these people came from Jos. “We came because they told us that this aspirant would sponsor our trip home to get our voter card. When we arrived, the bus dropped us at Igbariam, opposite the Igwe’s palace. I don’t know the name of the Igwe.

“I have not voted before that was why I came. I can only speak for myself and my friend. “We arrived on Friday and there were too many people trying to register. The queue was too long and we could not make it so I told my friend that we had to go before we were arrested. “I didn’t know that it was going to turn out this way because there were so many people. We were over 500 people this morning struggling to register. Resident Officer 1 and 2 at the Ofala polling unit 013, Ward 5 Igbariam, Olawale Alausa from Lagos State and Bassey Joseph from Akwa Ibom State corroborated the suspect’s story. Alausa said: “All these problems developed yesterday. Our job is to explain to

them the implication of multiple registration but the crowd that turned up was something else. “There were a lot of people but we didn’t know where they came from because that was not part of our brief. “It was only when we were arrested and I came out that I saw these luxury buses and mini buses.” Chairman of Anambra East Local Government Chinedu Obidigwe, who invited the police, said the youths of Igbariam informed him that there were lots of strange faces in their community. He said: “I drove to the scene to get first-hand information. On interrogating the drivers and the people, they confessed they were brought from different parts of the country by an aspirant. They said even their cards were collected

Two robbery suspects killed in Enugu

T

HE police in Enugu State yesterday killed two robbery suspects, who were allegedly terrorising residents of Uwani and its environs. A statement by police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said operatives intercepted the suspects in a cab on Amigbo lane opposite the College of Immaculate Conception gate, Uwani. As the operatives tried to stop the cab, the suspects shot at the operatives, who returned fire. Two of them were injured and arrested; one escaped with an injury.

•Car robbery gang held in Aba From Chris Oji, Enugu and Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

“The suspects were rushed to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku Ozalla, where they were confirmed dead. Recovered from them were a double barrel gun cut-to size, three locally-made pistols, three live cartridges and two expended cartridges. The police have arrested a suspect, Kingsley Anukwocha, for alleged impersonation. The suspect was caught on Zik Avenue near the Uwani

police station during a routine stop-and-search. Amaraizu said the suspect presented a Nigeria Prisons Service identity card, which was suspected to be fake. Anukwocha reportedly confessed that he was not a prison officer and added that the identity card was used to beat security checks. In Aba, Abia State, a gang of four, which allegedly specialises in car robbery, has been arrested. A woman-member of the gang was killed when the

group engaged the police in a gun battle; other members escaped with injuries. The woman, it was gathered, worked at 3arrow Hotel, Okpu Umuobo, Osisioma Local Government Area. A Toyota Camry with registration number, Lagos KSF 657 AR, which was alleged to have been snatched from the owner in Warri, Delta State, was recovered. It was gathered that the police were able to recover the car with the aid of a tracking device. A resident of Eziama praised the police for their gallantry.

from them after registration. “I am calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop all these illegal voting and registration, because what happened here is happening in all parts of the state. But nobody is talking. “ A driver of GUO Luxury bus, Ikechukwu Odi, said his company directed him to Igbariam to drop the people. Another driver, Osita Nzeako, said his company sent him on charter from Jos and that was all he knew. Three suspects- David Okonkwo an indigene of Obowo in Imo State, Jerome Onwudiwe from Eziowelle, Idemili South and Joseph Oyudo from Nibo, Awka South Local Governmentsaid they were brought from Jos to be registered sponsored by the aspirant.

Nigerian gets Mandela award From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

T

HE Anambra State commander of the Anti-Robbery Squad (ARS), James Nwafor, has been nominated for two awards in Johannesburg, South Africa. The best crime fighter in West Africa award was instituted by Crime Watch Africa and the Nelson Mandela award by Africa Update. Nwafor said the nominations were by the grace of God. He thanked the Commissioner of Police, Bala Nasarawa, the Inspector General of Police and the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of zone 9, Umuahia, for all their support. “These awards will motivate me to do more, they will never deter me.”

1,000 pray for governorship election

O

NE thousand youths from the 21 local government areas in Anambra State yesterday held a prayer session for the November 16 governorship election. The youths, who were undergoing a three-day training workshop, prayed for a better successor for Governor Peter Obi. The Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Mobilisation, Nduka Alor, prayed for peace during the election. Alor said each of the youths would get a minimum of N100,000 to

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

N500,000 as an initial takeoff grant on submission of their business plan and feasibility study to his office. Alor said: “Over 1,000 youths attended the programme, but 300 will be empowered in the first batch. “This time, we shall monitor it 70 per cent to ensure that nobody diverts the money. “The amount we will released to each of them will depend on the feasibility study but you know that in small scale business, N100,000N200,000 is ‘big money’.”

Imo lawmakers relocate to Ojukwu Centre •To resume tomorrow

M

•Abia State Governor Theodore Orji (second left); Speaker of the House of Assembly Udeh Okochukwu (left), Orji’s wife, Mercy (middle), wife of the deputy governor Nene Ananaba and Ezeogo Anagha Ezikpe at an interdenominational service/ thanksgiving at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church, Umuahia, to celebrate the state’s 22nd anniversary.

Senator derides North’s clamour for power

A

PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Senator Chris Ukpabi, has chided Northern leaders for agitating for power shift, saying the clamour is laughable. He said the “born-to-rule” slogan of the North was outdated, urging the northern agitators to moderate their

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

agitation. Ukpabi said: “It is a laughing matter. They are merely playing out a script, which had been handed over to them by one of their leaders. That is the script they are playing out. “On October 12, 1960, that leader said this nation called

Kowa gets candidate in Anambra From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

K

OWA party has nominated its candidate for the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State. Dennis Oguguo was elected in the primaries held at the J-Jumac hotels, Awka. The National Chairman, Umaru Mustapha and the State Chairman, Isaac Onunka said the party must succeed Governor Peter Obi. They said: “What we are witnessing here today with this crowd shows that our great party has what it takes to succeed Governor Peter Obi on March 17, next year. “Kowa party is not a tribal party and we are not like other parties which thrive on crisis. What will happen during the November 16 election will be a surprise to some doubting Thomases.”

Nigeria is their private property bequeathed to them by their great-grandfather, Usman Danfodio, and they will resist any change in power.” The PDP elder from Abia State said the zone, which has ruled Nigeria for 38 years, has insisted on power shift, thereby conveying the impression that power is its sole birthright. Ukpabi said democracy can only survive in the coun-

try, if power rotates among the six geo-political zones. Urging the Northern leaders to reflect properly on their agitations, he said there is no president who would not like a second term. Ukpabi said the purported agreement between the President and some governors lacked merit, adding that the gang-up against the President would fail.

EMBERS of the Imo State House of Assembly will tomorrow resume their duties at the Ojukwu Centre after they were sacked from the Assembly complex as a result of a leaking roof. The lawmakers have been on recess in the last three months. It was gathered that the resumption was not unconnected to criticisms by opposition parties, which accused the lawmakers of abandoning their duties. They were accused of hobnobbing with the Executive, “instead of providing the needed checks and balances to curtail the excesses of the Executive“. A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who pleaded for anonymity, said the lawmakers, through their conduct, “have betrayed their constituencies “. He said: “How can a House of Assembly be shut down for

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

three months over a leaking roof? The Legislature has fused with the Executive and this is worrisome and a huge threat to good governance.” But the Special Assistant to the Speaker on Media, Samuelson Iwuoha, insisted that the lawmakers vacated the complex to allow for extensive renovation of the edifice, adding that their absence did not affect governance. He said: “The complex was built by Sam Mbakwe when he was governor and ever since it has not been renovated or upgraded. But Governor Rochas Okorocha and the leadership of the Assembly decided to give it a facelift. “Even though the lawmakers are on the same page with the governor, that does not make them rubber stamps as insinuated by the opposition, they are working harmoniously in the overall interest of the state.”


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2013

54

FOREIGN NEWS

Fifth suspect in Mumbai gang rape arrested

P

OLICE yesterday arrested the last of five men wanted in the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai, and said charges would be filed soon in a case that has incensed the public and fueled debate over whether women can be safe in India. The victim, a 22-year-old Indian woman, said she was anxious to return to work after Thursday night’s assault, in which five men repeatedly raped her while her male colleague was beaten and tied up in an abandoned textile mill in the country’s financial capital. “Rape is not the end of life,” the woman told the Times of India. A statement from Jaslok Hospital, where she has been since the attack, said

her condition was being monitored but that she was “much better” and was being visited by family. Indian law forbids identifying rape victims by name. Police arrested the fifth suspect Sunday in New Delhi, the capital, after rounding up the other four in Mumbai. “We will file a comprehensive charge sheet soon,” said Mumbai’s police commissioner, Satyapal Singh, assuring that police had the evidence to prosecute the suspects, including the victim’s testimony and medical samples taken at the hospital after the assault. It is rare for rape victims to visit police or a hospital immediately after an attack in India, where an entrenched culture of tolerance for sexual

violence has led to many cases going unreported. Women are often pressed by social pressure or police to stay quiet about sexual assault, experts say, and those who do report cases are often subjected to public ridicule or social stigma. People across India were shocked and shamed in December, however, by the brutal gang rape in New Delhi of a 23-year-old student who died two weeks later from her injuries. Pledging to crack down, the federal government created fast-track courts for rape cases, doubled prison terms for rape, and criminalized voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women. Under intense pressure, police have acted quickly to

hunt down the five suspects in the Mumbai case. Home Minister R. R. Patil visited investigators at a Mumbai police station Saturday night, and the government has urged the harshest punishment for those found guilty. The five suspects - including two picked up overnight and two arrested earlier - are likely to face prosecution under a strict new law that sets the maximum prison term for rape at 20 years. Police said the suspects targeted the photojournalist as she and the male colleague were taking pictures on a magazine assignment in a Mumbai neighborhood where luxury malls and condominiums stand alongside sprawling slums and abandoned mills.

Congo troops, UN forces fight rebels

C

ONGOLESE soldiers and rebel forces suffered heavy casualties Sunday as they fought for a fifth day near the city of Goma in the country’s volatile east, a doctor near the front line said. Dr. Isaac Warwanamisa told The Associated Press he had seen 82 dead since early Sunday, 23 of whom were government soldiers, the highest death toll reported since hostilities broke out last week. Medical services were struggling to cope with the scale of the casualties among

government troops and the M23 fighters who launched their rebellion last year, Warwanamiza said. “I’m overwhelmed by what I’ve seen: bodies blown apart, arms and feet here and there,” he said, speaking by phone from a hospital north of Goma. Three U.N. peacekeepers were wounded Saturday in the fighting, though no injuries were immediately reported by the U.N. peacekeeping mission Sunday. A U.N. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not author-

ized to speak to journalists, said that two M23 “colonels” had been killed since Wednesday, while the Congolese military had not lost any senior officers. The front line is only 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of Goma. M23 rebels briefly overtook the city late last year, and Congolese and U.N. troops have been battling to dislodge rebels from heights overlooking the city since Wednesday. Observers estimate that Congolese forces have advanced less than a mile (about 2 kilometers) since

Wednesday and have yet to achieve their immediate objective — cutting off M23 from a border crossing where the rebel group is believed to get supplies from neighboring Rwanda. An army chaplain at the military hospital in Goma confirmed that Congolese troops had suffered heavy casualties Sunday. Chaplain Lea Masika said 59 wounded had been brought into the hospital since Sunday morning, bringing the total of wounded there to 720. The bodies of three Congolese officers had been buried, he said.

Egypt reopens border with Gaza N Egyptian official says the country’s border crossing with Gaza, which was closed after a deadly attack on policemen this week, has reopened. Another official says Egyptian troops killed four militants who attacked a military checkpoint in Sinai near the border with Gaza on Saturday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. He gave no details. Attacks in the Sinai Peninsula have increased since a military coup ousted Egypt’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last month. The Rafah border crossing was closed after militants ambushed and killed 25 policemen Monday in one of the deadliest attacks in Sinai recently. Gen. Sami Metwali says the crossing will be open only for four hours every day because security concerns remain high in Sinai.

A

Egypt courts hear cases against Mubarak, Islamists

E

GYPTIAN courts yesterday heard separate court cases against former President Hosni Mubarak and top leaders of his archrival, the Muslim Brotherhood, both over allegations of killing protesters in separate instances. Egyptian media portrayed the prosecution of longtime foes as “trials of the two regimes,” an attempt to show that both Islamists and secular-leaning Mubarak authoritarian regimes are alike after a July 3 military coup toppled President Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood member. Weeks of mass rallies by Muslim Brotherhood supporters over Morsi’s ouster have weakened over the past days as security forces have detained many Brotherhood leaders. The military-backed government has responded by relaxing curfew hours, trying to signal a return to normalcy across the country.

“We have crossed the swamps and muddy pools, and now we are on the safe side,” Ahmed el-Musalamani, a spokesman for interimpresident’s spokesman, said Sunday. He added: “We have overcome the tough phase.” At a heavily-fortified courtroom in eastern Cairo, Mubarak looked relaxed in dark sunglasses and white clothes as he appeared for his first court appearance since he was released from prison last week and transferred to a military hospital. The 85-year-old ex-president sat in a chair next to his two sons who are being tried in a separate corruptionrelated case. Mubarak has been in detention since April 2011. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to stop the killing of some 900 protesters in the 18-day 2011 uprising, but his sentence was overturned on appeal.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

55

FOREIGN

MLK: The dream lives on

S

IDNEY Hook, in his treatise on The Eventful Man and the Event-Making Man, reminds us of the necessity of differentiating between ‘the hero of historical action and the hero of thought’. Translation. While some men are doers others are congenially inspirational, as catalysts in bringing out the best of good deeds from their fellow men. And some are naturally imbued with a combination of both attributes. The poignancy of historicism coupled with the eclectic imperative of pragmatism; make change imperative in nascent societies. It could be subtle. It could be violent. But change as we learned over history is the only permanent phenomenon of collective human existence. American evolution is a blessing in this combo and when idealism meets headlong with forces of reactions, time as one of the founding fathers of its constitutionalism, Thomas Paine, once asserted, makes more convert than reason. What has time done to heal the

wounds of racism, bigotry and injustice in the American socio-political and economic kaleidoscope? Only time can tell. The Reverend gentleman, Civil Rights Activist, Dr. Martin Luther King II, within the larger realm of American civil rights movement, remained an iconoclastic and practical thingificating knock on America’s larger moral consciousness. This week, as America and indeed the whole world celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where ‘I have A Dream’; one of the greatest speeches of our time was delivered by Dr. King, we cherish the thought, the essence and do remember the gains of this great struggle for the emancipation and liberation and the struggle for the dignity of man from oppression. The March therefore week is worth celebrating and as a matter of historic necessity, uplifting and adumbrating. The significance of this anniversary can also be savoured and understood within a global mindset that set peoples and races apart. From the aborigines of

Avenue as the most powerful man on planet earth. How time changes. Also, it is noteworthy that when Dr. King, was making his case for egalitarianism and freedom, and liberty 50 years back this week, he started off with a due deference to a white man, former President Abraham Lincoln, widely noted for signing the Emancipation Declaration that officially freed black slaves in the United States of America. After garnering over 250,000 people on the mall in Washington back in 1963, the next question will be what has the black community in America done both individually and collectively to accentuate the gains of that historic event. What level of black-on-black criminal activities do we still inflict on our

self even after our so-called assertive demand for and recognition in the arena of liberation and freedom? In other words, and as the late Reggae maestro Bob Marley crooned, “now that we found love, what are we going to do with it?” Economically, it might not yet be complete eureka, but a lot of gains have been made by the black community. And one is not deluding itself by the election of a black one in the White House. One can definitely gloat about this accomplishment as a giant leap in the integration of a once politically isolationist society. But transforming the commonwealth in the level of equality in a society where the black community is less than a fifth of the population is still a tall order, not to talk of the bungling incapability of some members of the black community to uplift themselves from the chasm of neglect and privation. Hey, the dream lives on and it is left to the black community to continue to ask questions and assert itself in the overall quest for socioeconomic development and equal access to opportunities in the American society. In the meantime, the DREAM LIVES ON.

valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair

a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Global Focus DAYO FAKUADE, Foreign Editor sms 08134230367

daborgu@gmail.com Australia, to the black peoples and Negroes of America itself and the segregationist apartheid regime of erstwhile South Africa, these issues hang upon and are predicated upon the varieties of racism, social injustice and lack of equality for all peoples of the same divide, in the same clime. After all, it was politically correct for, President George Walker Herbert Bush, the 41st to publicly denigrate, albeit subtly, then the Democratic Party Presidential primary candidate in America, Reverend Jesse Jackson back in the eighties in Chicago, to wait his time as America was not ready then for a black president. Time again, as noted make more converts than reason, and it is 2013 and a black man of African extraction occupies 1600 Pennsylvania

‘I have a dream’ •This week marks the 50th anniversary of the famed speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr in August 1963

I

AM happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed

•August 28, 1963...The march on Washington Mall

spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The

marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

56

NEWS

Osogbo agog for Aregbesola, APC

The curtain has been drawn on this year’s Osun Osogbo festival, but the memories will surely linger on. Not a few will easily forget a scene, which showed the people’s love not only for the goddess but also their governor, writes EVELYN OSAGIE.

I

T was that time of the year when the town was alive with activities marking the cultural reunion with its ancestors and its goddess: Osun Olomo yoyo .The votary maid, the Arugba, had long passed and the people had wished away their sorrow and pains. People (indigenes and visitors) shuttled between the Ataoja’s palace and the Osun Grove, kegs in hand. Some engaged themselves in diverse cultural and business activities. Others watched the spectacles across the streets from corners, the frontage of their homes, balconies and rooftops. At a point, a jolly pandemonium broke out. And the swarm of activities seemed to came to a halt. People stood still, stretching their necks to have a better view as chains of vehicles rode by. Mothers strapped their babies tightly on their backs as if ready for a marathon race. Some gave orders to their young ones or sales persons to man their wares as if they were embarking on a long journey. Others untied their scarfs and retied them on their waists like one ready for combat. Even the men and youth were drawn in by the spectacle. And as the chains of vehicles rode by, they followed them with their eyes and all sorts of comments of uncertainty in Yoruba. Some said: “It is not true.” Others said: “Thought they said he would not come.” Some, others asked: “Is he really the one?” But it was the children that saw him first. And then, they screamed Oranmiyan! Some like doubting Thomases, pressed against one another to have a better view. Some ran up the rooftops and balconies. And when they were convinced, then, came the shouts: Oranmiyan! Gomino wa (our governor)! Symbol! Aregbe! APC! Change! As they shouted, they waved two fingers in the air. And there he was, seated inside a white air-conditioned Coastal bus with members of his Executive Council (Exco). His exco members were dressed

• Osogbo residents hailing Aregbesola.

in blue-background adire material and caps to match. But the man of the moment, Governor of the state of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola was decked in white agbada, Yoruba traditional dress and black and white cap to match. As his people screamed, he raised two fingers in the air. The action appeared to warm up their hearts; then came the chorus Oranmiyan! Symbol! Aregbe! APC! Change! And this time, it was with more agility. Nobody heard what he said as he raised his two fingers; none cared. And they did not also care that their shouts were not synchronised. As he passed by, the people screamed the more Oranmiyan! Symbol! Aregbe! APC! Change! Mothers joined other women to raise their scarfs in one hand and two fingers on the other and scream Oranmiyan! Symbol! Aregbe! APC! Change! This continued till he got to the grove. Children ran alongside the vehicles, not minding that they were being pushed aside by adults. It was time to hail their hero, Oranmiyan, who is giving them a new lease of life and showing them what it means to truly enjoy the dividends of democracy. Many of the kids had never dreamt of owning an Ipad, but what appeared as a wishful dream is now brought to life by the administration through its Opom Imo project. And as the town re-established their commitments to their goddess, they prayed for the progress of the state and their governor. Tourists watched in awe. And if the spectacle outside the Osun Grove was captivating, nothing prepared them for that which was to come in-

•From left: Aregbesola, his deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Moshood Adeoti and Oba Olanipekun. PHOTOS: EVELYN OSAGIE

side the grove, packed with tourists and Osun faithful from across the globe. He was received with a thunderous cry of Oranmiyan! Symbol! Aregbe! APC! Change! Moved by the people’s reception, the governor said: “Mo ki yin o. (I greet you all.)” A tourist said: “One can see why the people are so moved by the man. The man is deeply connected with his people.” And as if listening to the tourist’s comment, Aregbesola sang: “Oduani mi (I am of a descendant of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race).” And the people responded: “To kan to kan! (With all of our hearts).” After the national anthem, the state’s anthem. After that, the governor said: “Osun lo supa! (Osun stands out)” “Osun le tete (Osun stands out).” To the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh

Olanipekun (Larooye II), he said: “Ki Ade pelóri, kibatapel’ese,” (which is the usual obeisance to kings in the Southwest). While congratulating the Ataoja and the people for keeping alive the agelong tradition, the governor restated his commitment to the promotion of culture and tourism, adding: “The state government is equally unreservedly committed to heightening the economic aspects of these social affairs.” While urging the people not to relent in their appreciation and value of their culture and tradition, Aregbesola noted that culture and religion should not be used as a tool of oppression and division. Aregbesola said: “We seek to harness the prosperity of cultural tourism for sustainable development. With development in tourism, we want to massively boost private and public revenue generation in arts and craft, tours guide, transportation services, hospitality

services,and entertainment venues like amusement parks and theatres. This development will result in increase in revenue generation, which will, in turn, significantly improve the standard of living of our people…We will not rest on our oars in ensuring that the ancient cities in the state are made suitable for habitation and investment.” Oba Olanipekun praised the government for investing in “the infrastructural renewal and investments geared towards increasing the revenue of the state and the lives of the people”. He said: “Osogbo, for years, has laid prostrate, desolate, in sheer abandonment, a wild expanse of uninhabited wasteland, long forsaken by the people and the leaders; today, the city is wearing a new look, with the on-going roads construction all over the city, which is the furtherance of the very existence of our state government under the leadership of Ogbeni Aregbesola… It is pertinent to mention and appreciate the good work embarked upon by this administration among which are resuscitating of the old airstrip into a runway of 2.4 kilometres at Ido Osun, construction of roads leading to the grove, stadium theatre-like permanent pavilion, and encouraging the full participation of guests outside the state through the provision of free rail transportation from Lagos through Abeokuta to Ibadan and back to Lagos and so on.” The governor was seen off the grove with shouts of Oranmiyan! Symbol! Aregbe! APC! Change! And the parties continued in bars, and homes across the ancient the town.

Aganga: How Nigeria can be among global top ten

F

OR the economy to be number one in Africa, among the top ten globally, there is need to create an agency for industrial development, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga has said. The minister said the Federal Government would soon release the Nigeria Industrial Revolution.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

He spoke yesterday during a visit to Bio-Organics Nutrients Systems Limited, Lagos. Aganga said: “One of the reasons we have suffered as a country for decades is that we do not have one agency to sponsor industrial development. And yet we want to

industrialise. You have for investment, export promotion and none for industrial development. So, it was completely wrong. There is an institution to drive this. That is what we are doing; that is the plan we have. We have started it, we are incorporating them already and we will implement them. “There is no way we are to di-

versify our economy without focusing on industrialisation. No country has managed through that. The country cannot rely on the export of raw materials if we don’t have the industrial services sector. So, this plan focuses on strategic areas to drive great revenue, where Nigeria can be number one in Africa and top ten globally.”

Why we must help the poor, by House leader EADER of the House of Representatives Mrs. Mulika Akande-Adeola (Ogbomoso North/South/

L

Orire Constituency) has said the indigents deserve the compassion of the rich. She spoke at a ceremony where she empowered her constituents with cash and gifts worth N50 million. Mrs. Akande-Adeola said: “I have a passion for helping the less privilege

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

and I have consistently assisted individuals from my constituency. I have secured employment for over 58 people, paid the school fees of several students as well as the hospital bills of indigent people. “I have sponsored 150 people to the Cocoa Research Institute, Ibadan, for training and at the end of their training,

they were each given N100,000 each. I have established a foundation called the Jokodolu Foundation to cater for widows and students. Some months back, 500 people received free eye tests and glasses.” The gifts include five Mistubuishi saloon cars, 30 sewing machines, 35 motor-cycles, 30 freezers, 30 grinding machines, 30 barbing kits, 50 power-gen-

erating sets and 18 hair dryers. Also, N12.2 million was distributed to 102 indigenous associations, N1.5 million bursary to 150 students, N600,000 to 60 widows and N400,000 to 40 aged men. The gifts were distributed yesterday at the Ogbomoso Recreation Club in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, to mark the 6th anniversary of the empowerment office.

•The late Mrs. Okeke

Funeral for Madam Okeke

T

HE funeral programmes for Madam Comfort Uju Okeke, who died on May 7, begin with a Christian wake-keep in her compound, Ubaha-Umuagi, in Ihioma Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State today. This will be followed by a church service and interment in her compound tomorrow. On Wednesday and September 1, there will be an outing/thanksgiving service and entertainment of guests. She was 117.


THE NATION MONDAY AUGUST 26, 2013

57

NEWS

Offa rerun: APC candidate urges Jonathan to caution Kwara A

HEAD of the August 31 election in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, the chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Saheed Popoola, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on the state government to allow integrity, transparency and honesty guide its actions before, during and after the election. He also appealed to the President to ensure that the will of “Offa people is not trampled upon”. Popoola added: “The people of Offa Local Government have decided to take their destiny in their own hands. Any group, which toys with their direction, will be doing so at its own peril. They have sworn to guide their mandate jealously and warned enemies of progress not to slide the community into an avoidable anarchy. “But we appeal to Your Excellency to save our people the agony of being killed or maimed by thugs. Indeed,

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

these thugs are on the rampage in Offa, threatening people to stay indoors or risk their lives! “We are appealing to you to intervene and caution those who are bent on throwing the blanket of insecurity around the council area from changing the goalpost when the match is yet to begin. We believe in your fatherly intervention to quickly nip the looming crisis in the bud. “It is also our prayer that the result of the election be counted and declared at Offa Local Government Area and the winner openly declared. We reject any attempt to want to take the result elsewhere in a bid to tinker with the result of the election, as was the practice before you intervened in 2011. “We equally seek the powerful presence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, lo-

cal and foreign election observers and other credible Nigerians to forestall rigging and other electoral malpractices. “We also demand that before and during the re-scheduled election, on August 31, impartial security agents be placed across the town to provide watertight security and allow the electorate to discharge their franchise without let, hindrance and any molestation whatsoever. “We appeal that INEC officials be on the ground to supervise the election, as provided for in the Constitution, so that the state Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) will not tilt the balance in favour of any political party. “Your Excellency, above are the appeals of the people of Offa, who genuinely nurse the fear of being robbed of their franchise. We trust, once again, in your judgment not to allow anybody or po-

litical party, no matter how highly placed, to create needless political crisis which outcome no mortal can predict. “Mr. President, we acknowledge your good judgment, non-partisanship and apt intervention in the January 2011 Offa Local Government election by ensuring that tight security was supplied and seeing to it through the agents of the state, which we understood were deployed at your prompting, that our people’s votes counted. “The people of Offa remain indebted to your good office for intervening when they called for impartial intervention in the face of political intimidation. That you instructed the agents of the state to ensure impartiality, even when the odds were against your own party (wo)men, is enough reason to salute that statesmanship and courage.”

Sultan a bridge-builder, say North’s governors T

HE Northern States’ Governors’ Forum (NSGF) has described the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, as a bridge-builder who has consistently worked for peace, unity and tolerance among the diverse ethnic and religious interests across the country. The monarch clocked 57 at the weekend. In a tribute, the Chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said the Sultan’s years on the throne brought progress to the Caliphate and other parts of the country.

Church celebrates 25th anniversary

S

T. Peter’s Anglican Church, Abule-Egba, Lagos, will clock 25 on August 28. The Church, which is the Abule-Egba Archdeaconry headquarters of the Diocese of Lagos West (Anglican Communion), was established on August 28, 1988. A statement by the spokesperson for the 25th Anniversary Planning Committee, Mr Ayodeji Ajayi, said the weeklong ceremony on the church premises at 2, Anglican Church Street, off Pipeline, off Ekoro Road, Abule-Egba, Lagos, will begin today with the Women’s Prayer at 6pm. A Bible Disposition will hold on Tuesday at 6pm while Special Prayers will hold on August 28 at 6pm.

•Kalu hails monarch at 57

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

A statement yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mallam Danladi Ndayebo, quoted Aliyu as saying the Sultan is a bridge-builder, who has united many people across the country. “The forum notes that since Dr Sa’ad mounted the saddle as Sultan and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), the problem of violence - whether sectarian or

otherwise - has become a rare occurrence in the Caliphate and even beyond, thanks to the fatherly role of the Sultan,” the statement said. Also, former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, has hailed the Sultan on his 57th birthday. Kalu described Sa’ad as a rare monarch and a bridgebuilder. In a congratulatory message by his Special Adviser, Oyekunle Oyewumi, the former governor said: “I cel-

ebrate with the revered monarch on his birthday. “It is my prayer that God Almighty will continue to give him sound health, wisdom and guidance in the service to the nation and humanity while wishing him more accomplishments in life.”

Kogi NANS alleges threat to members’ lives

T

HE Kogi State branch of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has alleged threats to the lives of its members following the association’s vote-of-noconfidence in Governor Idris Wada’s education policy. NANS, last week, passed a vote-of-no-confidence in the governor’s management of the education sector. A statement yesterday in Lokoja, the state capital, by the National Welfare Director/Kogi State Coordinator of NANS, Miss Blessing Alaofin, said: “Ever since we passed a

•Govt: Allegations ridiculous vote-of-no-confidence in Captain Wada, the members of our Education Assessment Team, headed by the PRO, have been threatened by agents of the government for condemning the governor for not doing so much in the area of education in the state... “Our lives are now in danger for voicing what we believed was wrong. We ...plead with the public to come to our aid as several attempts have been made to arrest some of the team’s members in Lokoja at the

weekend...” But the government yesterday described the allegations as ridiculous and mischievous. Through his Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, Jacob Edi, the governor said his administration had not had any misunderstanding with students. “That is why the government appointed a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Students Affairs. This appointment is deliberately to cater for the welfare of the students,” Edi said.

Kano Muslims protest detention of Morsi

O

VER 1,000 Muslims yesterday protested the ouster and deten-

Kano to spend N2.7b on 300 medical students From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

T

•Sultan Abubakar

HE Kano State government will spend N2.7 billion to sponsor 300 indigenous students to read Medicine, Pharmacy and health care-related courses at various universities abroad, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso has said. At a ceremony yesterday for the beneficiaries at the Government House, the governor explained that the students would be trained to bridge the manpower requirement in the health care sector. Kwankwaso said the project was part of his administration’s aggressive Internal Revenue Generation (IRG) and pruning of recurrent expenditures. The 300 medical students will be trained in India, Egypt, Uganda, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

•Morsi From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

tion of the former Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi. The Egyptian leader was ousted in the July 3 coup d’etat. The protest, which was organised by the Alliance of Muslim Organisations and Civil Rights Groups in the North, was held at the Kofa

Mata Mosque in Kano city. The protesters called for Morsi’s release and his reinstatement. The placard-carrying demonstrators said they were joining the league of countries which believe in fairness and have respect for democratic ideals. They condemned the ongoing killings and other atrocities in Egypt. The group described as provocative the continued arrest, detention and torture of Egyptians, including the Spiritual head Ikhwan, Dr Muhammad Badi’e; his deputy, Dr Khairat As-shatir; the Chairman and Secretary of Al-Wasat Party, top Morsi’s advisers and respected Ulama.


58

THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26 , 2013

NEWS How banks evade billions payable to govt, by Reps Continued from page 4

Committee. “Even more embarrassing are the inconsistencies and huge variances in some data provided in different pages of documents submitted, thus leaving the committee to conclude that many banks blatantly engage in the creative accounting technique of

inflating their operating costs to reduce their exposure to taxes. “Furthermore, some banks have also created exemption rules for themselves in total disregard for the provisions of extant tax laws, particularly violations of the stamp duty, withholding tax and VAT acts. “Some chief executives deliberately refused to sign the templates, obviously evading presentation of the documents under oath, in line with legislative procedure. Similarly, key information and data were omitted. “Such data include details of staff PAYE and utilities with tax implications, etc. There are also

many cases of late remittances or outright failure to remit money collected on behalf of government. “Generally, returns made so far by the banks are incomplete, as the order of presentation was contrary to the guidelines provided in the template. Clearly, this is aimed at misleading the committee. “Documentary evidence requested was also provided in a haphazard manner.” According to the committee Chairman, of the 21 banks under scrutiny, only six have supplied information requested, though with certain queries to answer. On the other hand, he said against banks’ tradition of attention to details, 15 banks suddenly found it convenient to provide poor and incomplete documentation. “It is obvious that over the years, government has lost billions of naira in fraudulent and underhand dealings corruptly designed by some banks to

evade tax. “This is in addition to being massively and callously shortchanged by banks saddled with the responsibility of collecting and remitting taxes,” he noted. The committee chairman said it should be of concern to Nigerians that the government continues the yearly ritual of domestic borrowing to balance its budget deficit while the deposit banks continue to manipulate the situation to the detriment of the private and real sectors. His words: “This domestic borrowing has become a bazaar for many banks, which provide such funds at outrageous interest rates and care less about the implication to the private and real sector, both of which continue to struggle to get the crumbs at a very high cost. “Domestic borrowing by government has denied the private sector access to affordable funds to grow their businesses and in the process generate employment and create wealth. “Yet again, some reprobate

banks are involved in the criminal act of converting the huge funds in dormant accounts into profits, even with known and accessible next of kin. “Why should they not pay their taxes in full and remit in full and promptly what they collect on behalf of government?”. Jibrin said at the end of the investigation, the committee intends to examine various extant tax laws, introduce new clauses or make amendments where necessary to strengthen the country’s tax system and block leakages. “Chief executives of such Banks must sign the templates and complete their outstanding checklists within 48 hours to set the stage for the last round of engagement between the Committee and the banks,” he said, adding: Between September 23 and 27, the chief executive o fficers of the banks must appear in person to defend their templates in a technical session before the committee.”

Anambra: PDP may decide Uba’s, Nwoye’s fate Wed

F

ACED with the emergence of two governorship candidates in Anambra State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may decide on its flag bearer on Wednesday. The two candidates are Senator Andy Uba and a former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Tony Nwoye. There were indications that the PDP leadership had summoned the two candidates to its National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Wednesday. The Nwoye camp confirmed the invitation of their candidate whom they said might be presented with the PDP flag at the meeting. The Wednesday session might be attended by Governors Ibrahim Shema (Katsina State) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) and Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, who were detailed to monitor the primaries by the party leadership. A chieftain of PDP, Dr. Umar Ardo yesterday said the conduct of the PDP primaries in Anambra State would prove the efficacy or otherwise of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC). The NWC might take a position Wednesday on the candi-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

dates. A highly-placed source said: “I am aware that the party leadership has invited the candidates and those sent to monitor the primaries. “I think the party will also receive official reports from Governors Shema and Dankwambo and Ndoma-Egba, who were assigned to monitor the primaries. “There won’t be any difficulty in determining the winner of the primaries because the party knows the State Executive Council it has recognised. “The party also has the list of 326 delegates expected to vote at the primaries. The winner of the primaries where the delegates voted might be recognised by the party. “And if the delegates went separate ways, the party will look at the issue dispassionately and take a position.” A source in Nwoye’s camp said: “I am aware the NWC has invited our candidate to Abuja on Wednesday. “We believe Nwoye’s mandate is intact because Uba never contested any primaries. The NWCapproved delegates-elected Nwoye. “PDP members should wait till Wednesday for our party’s decision.”

Ardo, who issued a statement in Abuja, said: “The conduct of the PDP’s governorship primaries in Anambra State will prove Jega’s efficacy. “Based on INEC’s report submitted to the PDP’s National Chairman, Anambra state has no valid and legitimate PDP EXCOs, from the wards to state levels. “The present governorship primaries of the party therefore cannot be accepted as valid and legitimate without INEC clearing the legal status of the party in the state. I do not know whether INEC was there to monitor the primaries, but if INEC was there without this clearance, then it casts a serious doubt on Prof Attahiru Jega’s efficacy as INEC Chairman. “The reason is that Anambra State falls within the list of states INEC submitted to PDP declaring their EXCOs as illegal, and ordered the party to go back and conduct fresh congresses from the wards, LGAs to state levels. “To the best of my knowledge the PDP did not comply with this directive as contained in INEC’s report. How then can INEC monitor such an illegal activity of the party in the state? “Unless INEC comes up with clear evidence that its report on Anambra state, as on Katsina, Ji-

gawa, Taraba, Sokoto, Lagos, Plateau, Nassarawa and Yobe, has been complied with, or Court Order on INEC, then clearly if the commission accepts any PDP’s nominee from Anambra State for the November governorship election, or allows any of the affected states to participate in the August 31 convention of the PDP, is a clear proof that Prof. Jega has no understanding whatsoever of what he is doing there in INEC.”

Fragile Suntai returns Continued from page 4

“And with the way I saw him, he is alright,’’ Shamulu, a former board member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said. A human Rights group, the Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People (CDRP) said ailing Suntai should declare his state of health. The National Co-ordinator of the group, Comrade Saka Waheed, at a news conference in Osogbo yesterday said “The illegality of Suntai’s politics of

absence is synonymous with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which we experienced during the last days of the Late President Umar Yar’Adua. “The trend of events in Taraba State in the past few months have been of tremendous concern to all progressive elements in Taraba and Nigeria. Since the unfortunate plane crash involving Suntai, the executive has been a toy in the hands of a cabal, which believes that the fate of the State and its residents must be theirs in fee simple to determine as they wish.”

A man struggling to be himself Continued from page 4

vented from talking with reporters both in Abuja and in Jalingo? And why was the reception so short as though someone was trying to hide something? His aides claim he is fit and that he was tired yesterday as a result of a jet lag and needed to rest. Former Minister of Information Prof Jerry Gana, who was at the Abuja Airport yesterday to receive him, said he was happy Suntai was back. But, is he really back? The late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua also had cause to be away for so long. He was brought in the middle of the night and sneaked into the Presidential Villa and was never seen by the public. His then deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, continued as

acting president. Taraba has been under Acting Governor Garba Umar since October last year. The Suntai who returned from Staten Island, United States yesterday, does not look ready to displace Umar. So, there may be a governor and an acting governor at the Government House, Jalingo for some time to come. It may cause friction, especially coming not long after the acting governor sacked the Secretary to the State Government and some commissioners appointed by Suntai for allegedly mismanaging the N400 million grant the Federal Government gave to the state to mitigate the effect of the floods, which ravaged the state last year. The questions will not stop and answers will be demanded.

APGA divided as Obi picks Obiano

T

HERE is a big split in the Anambra All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), as Governor Peter Obi opts for former Executive Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr. William Obiano as his preferred governorship candidate. The party will hold its primary election today at the Women Development Centre in Awka. The governorship election in the state will hold on November 16. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend held two parallel congresses, which produced Senator Andy Uba and Mr Tony Nwoye. The All progressives Congress (APC) has fixed

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

its primary for September 2, although the party has declared Senator Chris Ngige as its consensus candidate. Mr Godwin Ezeemo has, however, kicked against the decision. It was learnt that Obi held a caucus meeting on Wednesday night at the Government Lodge, Amawbia till early Thursday, where he allegedly told members of the executive of his preference for Obiano. The decision reportedly did not go down well with some of the members, who wore long faces. Some of the members were said to have told the governor

that with Obiano, considered to be a political neophyte, APGA might not make a headway in a race with the like of Ngige in the race. Besides, they considered former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Chukwuma Soludo as the only person in APGA, who could give APC and the PDP a serious fight. Former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, was also seen as an outsider. However, Soludo remains disqualified as the court in Abuja where he ran to for succour after his shock disqualification declined to entertain his case.


59

MOTORING THE NATION

MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.net

The Volkswagen Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos has unveiled three new cars - VW CC, Jetta and Polo in a renewed bid to raise the profile of the Volkswagen brand in Nigeria, writes TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

•Volkswagen CC

Volkswagen unveils VWeCC, others HE Volkswagen CC has been largely unchanged since its emergence as a 2009 model. But for this year, it has adopted new style that brings it in line with its more modern upscale siblings. Still a replica of the original concept of ‘four-door coupe,’ the Volkswagen CC combines the dramatic styling of a coupe with the practicality of a sedan. Like the Mercedes Benz CLS that sparked the emerging segment, the CC sits five, providing easier access to the rear seats than a normal coupe. For the latest model year, Volkswagen updated the CC with more standard equipment as well as revised exterior styling. Although the CC shares basic features with outgoing version of the Passat sedan, the latest version has been enlarged, de-contented with dreadful luxury to appeal to young and upwardly mobile executives. The car was unveiled to reporters in Lagos. The CC’s connection to the old Passat is most visible in its sophisticated cabin, soft-touch materials, fit and finish excellence and overall intuitive design with flowing and polished exterior. Volkswagen Centre Lagos head

T

of sales and marketing Manish Daryanani, boasted that the CC’s exterior will win over most buyers, adding that the overall look is one of simple elegance, with details like a relatively low, sloping roofline and sleek lights contributing to the attractive, expensiveseeming mien. He added that styling changes for the latest model year include a simpler, more conservative grille and headlamp design that brings the look more in line with Volkswagen’s mainstream Passat and Jetta offerings. “The front and rear fascias were also worked over, while Bi-Xenon headlights with VW’s Adaptive Front Lighting System and LED tail lamps are now standard equipment,” he said. However, the standard engine for the CC is smooth and torquey 1.8 litre Turbo FSI four cylinder engine that delivers 160bhp at 5100 rpm and 207 pound-feet of torque starting from 1800 rpm. Also available with standard sixspeed manual or an optional dualclutch automatic that VW dubs the DSG is the motor that helps the CC hit 120kmph from a stop in a touch over seven seconds. Experts rate fuel economy in the

•Interior of the car

new CC at 21/32 mpg while the manual and automatic-equipped cars carry a 22/31 mpg rating. Experts rate fuel economy in the new CC at 21/32 mpg while the manual and automatic-equipped cars carry a 22/31 mpg rating. The CC can also be found in other trim levels: 2.0T Sport, 2.0T Sport Plus, 2.0T R-Line, Lux, Lux VR6 and VR6 4Motion Executive. The entry-level Sport trim comes well equipped with leatherette convincing (faux leather) upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a touchscreen-activated

eight-speaker sound system with an iPod input jack. Other features are cruise control, power-adjustable driver’s seat, metallic-look matte chrome interior trim, 17-inch “Verme” alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel and automatic lights and windshield wipers. This trim comes equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo four along with a choice of transmissions all other trims (except the 2.0T R-Line) come with the automatic gearbox only. The CC 1.8-litre Turbo FSI four cyl-

inder engines adds 18-inch “Mallory” wheels with all-season 235/40 tyres and a navigation system. The top-end CC is the VR6 4Motion Executive, which adds the V6 engine and all-wheel drive, a Park Distance Control system with front and rear proximity sensors, a 600-watt Dynaudio premium audio system and leather seating. All CC models come equipped with a bevy of safety features including dual front, side and side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

60

SPORT EXTRA

Cardiff shocks Manchester City 3-2 T WO goals from Fraizer Campbell handed Cardiff City a shock 3-2 victory over Manchester City as the English Premier League newcomers celebrated a memorable win in their first top flight match at home in 51 years. Edin Dzeko had given the visitors the lead on 52 minutes, but Aron

Gunnarsson levelled for the Premier League newcomers eight minutes later when following up a Joe Hart block. Despite struggling to get the ball, Cardiff went ahead in the 79th minute when Hart failed to clear a corner, allowing Campbell to nod the ball home and he repeated the feat from another corner seven

minutes later. Alvaro Negredo pulled one back for Manchester City in injury time, but despite a couple of half-chances were unable to snatch a point at the death. At White Hart Lane, a second Roberto Soldado penalty in as many weeks was enough to give Spurs a 1-0 win over Swansea City. Spurs grabbed all three

points after Andros Townsend went down under the challenge of Jonjo Shelvey on 58 minutes to give away the spot kick. The result puts Spurs on maximum points after two matches, despite the absence of Gareth Bale, who was believed to have arrived in Spain on Saturday to finalise his world record transfer fee move to Real Madrid.

AFTERMATH OF VICTORY OVER WARRI WOLVES

Shettima gives El-kanemi players N100,000 each

I

N what appeared an evidence of return of peace to Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima made a surprise appearance at the Stadium on Saturday to cheer El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club of Borno State. He splashed N100, 000 each on the players of Elkanemi Warriors who defeated visiting Warri Wolves by three goals to nothing (3-0) in a Premier League encounter played in Maiduguri. A statement by the Special Adviser on Communications to the governor, Alhaji Isa Gusau, said: “El-Kanemi

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja Warriors, owned and funded by the Borno State Government suffered relegation for nine years before Governor Shettima, last year, injected funds used in changing and motivating the team’s management with new players signed which led to the team’s qualification to take part in the current season of the Nigerian Premier League. The team is currently 3rd on the premier league table, a positioned reached for the first time.

”Motivated by Shettima’s presence and full stadium capacity spectators, the revived Elkanemi Warriors, showed clear superiority over the visiting Warri Wolves by dominating both halves of the encounter. ”Rafel Joseph netted the first goal, five minutes into the first half at the El-Kanemi Sports Centre in Maiduguri. Ebube Opoku increased the tally at the 18th minutes and Yawale Musa made it three in the 20th minute, making all goals scored at the first half. ”Elated Governor Kashim Shettima shook hands with

•Technical partner of Bet9ja Dave Grodan, CEO Bet9ja, Ayo Ojuroye, Chairman Remo Stars of Remo Kunle Soname during the unveiling of Bet9ja as partner to Remo Stars in Lagos

70 basketball players storm US for Ugboaja I can assure you O fewer than seventy summer Camp opportunity. that none of them will think young Nigerian

N

basketball players would be travelling to the United States of America for this year’s Ejike Ugboaja Summer Camp. Speaking with sports journalists in Abuja at the weekend, the former D’Tigers player, and sponsor of the initiative, Ejike Ugboaja said the aim of the Summer Camp is to provide opportunities for talented young basketball players who are looking to play the game in the United States, as well as get scholarships for study. He disclosed further that making it as a basketball player is very hard when one does not have an enabling platform to succeed in the profession and so he came up with the idea seven years ago to help as much young as possible. “The aim of this initiative is to provide opportunities to young talented Nigerians who want to combine education with basketball in the United States. “We are also complementing the effort of

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja government in reaching out to the over 70 million youths in the country who are jobless and ‘dangerous’. These ones would go for trials and hopefully get scholarships to further their education in the United States. That is the sole objective of this initiative” Ejike said. Ugboaja also allayed fears on the possibility of the players absconding in the United States of America after the Summer Camp. “This is the 7th edition of the US Summer Camp and we have never recorded anything of the sort. The youths you see here have been carefully selected from over 400 of them that applied and I can tell you that these are the serious ones who want to better their lives as professional basketball players. “They have seen what playing the game for my country (Nigeria) and club have done for me and they are very serious to take this

of running away but we have, and will keep a close eye on them to make sure they are successful” he said. The contingent will travel for the United States of America this week Wednesday having successfully secured their visas as the Summer Camp begins Thursday, August 29th, 2013.

the visiting Warri Wolves and addressed El-Kanemi Warriors players after the final whistle. “The Governor announced a special match winning bonus of N100, 000 to each of the players as against N30, 000 paid to each player for wining matches at home and N40, 000 for away win beside other allowances. “The normal match bonus has since been released to the team’s official to cover the entire season. Governor Shettima also promised to pay the outstanding 50 percent sign on fees of all the players and officials this week.” The statement quoted the governor as saying: “I am highly elated by your performance, we are proud of you; I want to congratulate you for the victory. I want to announce a token donation of N100, 000 each to every member of the team as a special match bonus for winning today’s match. “I want to inform you also that the state government will pay the 50 balance of your sign on fees by next Monday God willing. Nothing will make us happy like you winning the Premier League so that you can put smiles on the faces of millions of Borno people who have been facing challenges. “We thank Allah that the worst is over now, peace will return in its fullest Insha Allah and we will celebrate together as a family.” El-Kanemi Warriors Chief Coach Zakari Baraje described Shettima as a rare sports Ambassador and a pillar of El-kanemi Warriors. He said Shettima completely transformed the team with his uncommon passion which he consistently displayed by funding the team to sign new players, promptly releasing allowances and match bonuses upfront and regularly interacting with the team’s officials to know their problems and motivate them before and after every match.

NPFL: Dolphins defeat Rangers 2-0 •As Harp excites PH fans

F

OOTBALL fans in the Garden City were thrilled on Sunday when Harp Premium Lager gave them a spectacular experience at the star match between Dolphin FC and Enugu Rangers. Harp, official sponsor of the two opposing teams in addition to three others in the NPFL used this opportunity to bring fun and entertainment to the match between these two epic teams. Entry to the stadium was free for all fans as the gates were thrown open courtesy of the number one beer for friendship. The Harp Arena within the stadium grounds was a special treat for fans, highlights included penalty shoot-out and ball juggling competitions, beer sampling as well as a raffle draw that saw lucky consumers walking away with prizes such as blackberries, generators and

freezers. Marketing Manager, Harp Lager, Paul Asemota, said the beer saw an opportunity to connect with and also reward fans and consumers. “This reflects our commitment to enhance the experience of football fans across the country. Harp, the number one beer for friendship, is associated with vibrancy, fun and boldness; we definitely promise the fans more fun as they continue to support the Local League”. Harp also made the game especially memorable for five fans who won a special experience in a Facebook contest, as they got a chance to meet and interact with some of the players. The keenly contested encounter saw Dolphins FC edge out Enugu Rangers FC by two goals to nothing.

Cargolux Squash tourney ends amidst hope for future

T

HE 9th edition of the Annual Cargolux Merchant Express Squash Tournament which began last Monday at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, ended at the weekend, featuring gripping encounters and producing major upsets in the history of the tournament. Tunji Agbeleye of Unilag Senior Staff Club emerged champion in the Club Players Men category, beating Funmi Bamkole of Lagos Country Club 11/4, 11/9, 11/8 in an energy sapping final marked by excellent display of skills. Agbeleye cruised to the final by defeating Haniel Hadison of Lagos Country Club, while Bamkole got to the final courtesy of his victory over Billy Joseph of Police College in equally tight semi-final games. Tunde Ajagbe trounced Gbenga Adeyi 11/9, 11/9, 11/7 in another highly physical final that trilled the crowded Squash Section of the club to win the Classic category which is meant for National Seeded players. Ajagbe, who is currently ranked number 3 in Nigeria and 302 in the world, beat Sadiq Taiwo to qualify for the final, while Adeyi, ranked number in Nigeria, defeated Jude Odeh in their semi-final encounter. Sodi Pepple of Ikoyi Club clinched the prize for the Veteran category, meant for players who are fifty years and above. He beat Mike Nwabuzor also of Ikoyi Club 8/11, 9/11, 11/6, 11/6, 11/5. In the other categories, Kirnan Simon of Plateau State won the Under 16 Girls, while Adebayo Kehinde of Ondo State emerged winner for the Under 19 Girls. The Under 16 Boys category produced

Abel Shadrack of Ogun State as champion and Abubakar Adamu of Niger State won the Under 19 Boys category. Funmi Bamkole was declared winner for the Closed category which is meant for only players of the host club. Taiwo Sanni and Taye Ige were first and second runners-up respectively. Adamu Erena, President of the Nigeria Squash Racket Federation (NSRF), who led other executives of the federation to watch all the games for the last two days of the tournament, commended the sponsor of the tournament for providing a platform for players, particularly the junior players who are the future of the game, to showcase their skills. “I am overwhelmed with what I saw here. Cargolux has done very well and this is commendable. With corporate sponsors like this, my advice then goes to the players to continue to exhibit high sense of discipline as no sponsor will support players who are not disciplined,” Erena said, assuring that the federation would be part of the next edition of the tournament in a bigger way than this year. Capt. Sina Akinfenwa, Managing Director of Merchant Express Cargo Airlines, expressed satisfaction at the quality of the games played and the turnout of players. He explained that the enthusiasm shown by participants who converge annually to be part of the tournament would spur his organization to continue to improve on the tournament’s achievements and expand participation.

AKPOBORIE TO MIKEL

Quit Chelsea to be Africa’s best

E

X-NIGERIAN star Jonathan Akpoborie has said Mikel Obi has to quit Chelsea if he is to be Africa’s best player for 2013. Mikel was outstanding at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as Nigeria won a third continental diadem and he also shone at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil in June. He equally contributed to Chelsea winning the UEFA Europa League, a season after they won a historic UEFA Champions League trophy.

But former VfB Stuttgart and Wolfsburg forward Akpoborie said he believes all those exploits won’t be enough to earn the Chelsea midfielder the CAF African Player of 2013, if he is not playing regularly at his English Premier League club before the end of the year. “Mikel is a sure candidate for the Africa Player of the Year 2013 going by what he did at the Nations Cup and Confederations Cup for Nigeria. He also did well for Chelsea as they won the Europa League, but

all those efforts will be in vain if he doesn’t get to play regularly for his club,” Akpoborie told MTNFootball.com “He needs to leave Chelsea now for him to get chance to win the award. The handwriting is on the wall that he is not (Chelsea manager Jose) Mourinho’s first choice. “In my own opinion, Mikel should now go to Napoli.” This summer, Napoli, Anzhi and Turkish giants Galatasaray have expressed interest in the player, who has yet to feature for Chelsea in the EPL thus far.

•Mikel


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

61

SPORT EXTRA BATTLE OF OLD TRAFFORD

United ready for Chelsea challenge

M

ANCHESTER UNITED manager David Moyes will take charge of his first home Barclays Premier League fixture at Old Trafford against Chelsea on Monday. Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor saw his side post an excellent 4-1 win on the opening day of the season at Swansea City last weekend, with Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck scoring doubles for the champions. But they are likely to face a sterner test against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who started their campaign with consecutive home wins against Hull City and Aston Villa. Since being confirmed as United manager, Moyes has had to wait more than 100 days for his first competitive fixture in front of the club’s supporters “There have been a lot of things I have been looking forward to – like taking the team on tour and leading them out at Wembley,” Moyes said. “But to do it at Old Trafford for the first game against

Chelsea is a thrill for me, it really is.” With both sides set to challenge for the Barclays Premier League title, the fixture will have plenty riding on it, with neither camp willing to concede early ground to their rivals. Wayne Rooney could make his first start under Moyes after recovering from injury. “Wayne’s got a good chance of playing,” Moyes said. “He has [a] good chance of starting [also].” Brazilian defender Rafael Da Silva (hamstring) is a certainty to miss, as is Darren Fletcher (illness) and Nick Powell (leg) for United. Ashley Young (ankle), Nani (groin) and Javier Hernandez (hamstring) are unlikely to feature. Chelsea has not lost in their last 10 Barclays Premier League fixtures, a run that included a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in May. While Manchester United’s home Barclays Premier League record is outstanding - they have won 51 of their last 59 home matches,

losing just five – two of those defeats came against Chelsea. The two sides played each other five times last term, with Chelsea knocking their rivals out of both the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. Mourinho’s only concern is David Luiz, who is a doubt to feature due to a hamstring injury. Manchester United (from): Amos, De Gea, Lindegaard, Buttner, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Ferdinand, Jones, M Keane, Smalling, Varela, Vidic, Anderson, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs, Januzaj, Kagawa, Nani, Valencia, Young, Bebe, Hernandez, Henriquez, W Keane, Macheda, Rooney, Van Persie, Welbeck, Zaha. Chelsea (from): Blackman, Cech, Hilario, Schwarzer, Ake, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Cahill, Cole, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, De Bruyne, Essien, Hazard, Lampard, Mata, McEachran, Mikel, Moses, Oscar, Ramires, Van Ginkel, Ba, Lukaku, Schurrle, Torres.

NSC to give Okagbare, others quarterly grants •Plans attractive programmes for Nigerian sports

T

HE Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye has disclosed that the Commission has mapped out strategies to woo Nigerian athletes wherever they are in the United States of America, Europe and other parts of the to come and participate in the development of sports in the country. Elegbeleye who was in London on August 17th, 2013 for the Africa’s Diasporans through sport seminar where he gave an inspiring lecture on Nigerians sports and the enabling environment put in place by the National Sports Commission for Nigerian athletes in Diaspora to come back home and help in the growth of sports in Nigeria said the trip will soon start

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja yielding positive dividends. “Recently the National Sports Commission decided to change the trend as regards the way we package our sports programmes and has introduced a welfare package that will be attractive to our athletes wherever they are anywhere in the world and at home too. “We are sincerely working very hard to ensure that we have a solid structure on ground and make our system workable and also make our athletes happier which I believe will start yielding positive results as from next year’s Commonwealth Games but our main target is the 2016 Olympics In Brazil”, the DG of the NSC disclosed in Abuja at the weekend.

•Okagbare

The former legislator also revealed that star athletes like Blessing Okagbare, Ajoke Odumosun and the rest who did Nigeria proud by winning medals and sailing through to the final of their various event will henceforth enjoy quarterly grants to support them in their training programmes but added that they have to merit it before such funds could be paid into their accounts. PREMIER LEAGUE RESULT Cardiff 3 - 2 Man City Tottenham 1 - 0 Swansea

•Tyson

I’m dying of alcohol, drugs, says Tyson

F

ORMER boxing champion Mike Tyson fought back tears as he confessed he had been “lying to everybody” about his sobriety as he opened up about his alcoholism battle at a press conference on Friday (23Aug13). The boxing icon told Espn’s Friday Night Fights he has been struggling with substance abuse, but admitted he hopes he is finally on the road to recovery. He told reporters, “I’m a bad guy sometimes. I did a lot of

bad things, and I want to be forgiven. So in order for me to be forgiven, I hope they can forgive me. I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now. I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die. I’m on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic.” Tyson then became emotional as he announced, “I haven’t drank or took drugs (sic) in six days, and for me that’s a miracle. I’ve been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I’m not. This is my sixth day. I’m never gonna use

again.” The 47 year old was the most famous boxer on the planet by the late 1980s when he became undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, but his achievements were overshadowed by his addictions, his abusive marriage to actress Robin Givens and his rape conviction in the 1990s. He previously credited his appearances in The Hangover comedy franchise with helping him turn his life around and kick his personal demons.


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

62 USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the general public may easily Contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking to kindly Call KAROTA through the following number – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.

112TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING On Monday 19th August, 2013 Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE assured the citizenry in the State and the entire world that all the initiated laudable projects under his popularly mandated second tenure will be completed within its duration. This declaration was made at the tree planting ceremony held at newly established Bandirawo City, which is amongst the exemplary achievements of the present administration. The declaration includes all the gigantic transformation projects implemented in fulfillment of campaign and inauguration promises, delivered by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa, FNSE regarding a cross section of vital sectors, which include Education, Health, Water Supply, Agriculture, Environmental Sanitation, Housing, Infrastructure, etc. Unsurpassed projects have been tangibly initiated in each sector of which only examples can be cited in this medium – viz; i. Education Sector related projects; • The establishment of the Northwest University, Kano, and the construction of a permanent site. • Conversion of various unused/underused public buildings and facilities for use as Schools and other viable activities such as the Governor’s College and First Lady Girls Secondary School, etc. • Construction of more/repairs of Classrooms at both Primary and Secondary Schools. • Continuation with free feeding and provision of School uniforms for new intakes into Primary Schools. • Provision of Classroom/Teachers’ furniture and other consumables. • Continuation with the sponsorship of Kano State Indigenous Students for various relevant courses both at home and abroad, etc. Presently hundreds of students were sponsored for higher degrees, piloting course, pharmacy, and medicine. ii. Health Sector related projects • Continuation with the renovation works of health centers across the State. • Continuation with supply of medical consumables/ drugs. • Continuation and completion of health related institutions such as College of Nursing Madobi, Post Midwifery School Gezawa, School of Health Technology Bebeji, etc. • Continuation with the training of Medical Doctors/ Surgeons on bond etc. iii. Water Supply Sector related projects • Continuation with the laying of water supply pipelines to urban Kano and other regional water supply schemes. • Continuation with regular supply of alum and other chemicals required for water treatment. • Maintenance of regular electricity supply at the various water treatment plants in the face of incessant power outages experienced from PHCN etc. iv. Agricultural Sector related projects • Continuation with prompt supply of agricultural inputs especially fertilizer. • Continuation with agricultural production skill acquisition training such as animal traction, poultry production, fishery, horticulture etc. v. Environmental Sanitation Sector related projects • Continuation with the monthly executed environmental sanitation exercise. • Continuation with procurement of plants/equipment/ vehicles and facilities required for use in the evacuation of refuse. • Continued proper maintenance of the facilities made available for the proper and regular evacuation of heaps of refuse across the metropolis. • Maintenance of existing shelter belts and the establishment of new ones etc. vi. Housing Sector related projects • The popular sale of GP Houses to their occupants will be seen to proper completion. • The establishment/construction of various categories of commercial housing units at Bandirawo, Amana and Kwankwasiyya Cities will be seen to its proper completion. • Creation of completely new layouts will be carried out continuously. • The street naming and numbering exercises will be carried out to completion etc. vii. Infrastructure Sector related projects • All important revalidated road construction projects will be completed. • All the newly implemented road construction projects will be executed to completion especially the 5KM road projects sited across the 44 LGCAs in the State and the expansion of Zaria, Hadejia, Gwarzo and Maiduguri roads. • The flyover construction project(s) will be completed. • The covering/road provision on the Jakara/Gogau Rivers will be executed to completion. • Continuation with provision/installation/repairs/ reactivation of street and traffic control lights.

Continuation with laying garden interlock tiles along pedestrian walkways. • Continuation with routine maintenance works on metropolitan roads by Kano Road Management Agency (KARMA) and Kano Urban Planning Development Authority (KNUPDA) etc. Likewise, all empowerment programs implemented, such as Lafia Jari will be continued as new ones will be established pending completion of this positively eventful second tenure of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. So, in continuation with the laudable performance of the present administration, the Kano State Executive Council held its one hundred and twelfth (112th) sitting today Wednesday 21st August, 2013 (14th Shawwal, 1434 AH) presided over by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Twenty three (23) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from eight (8) MDAs. Twenty (20) of them were approved for execution with an expenditure of Six Hundred and Forty-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Five Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Naira, Fifty Kobo (N648,265,589.50) covering seventeen (17) projects. Thus: 1. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT The Ministry of Environment submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation. Council considered and approved both for execution as follows: a. Presentation of Request for Funds to Address the Problems of Gully Erosion and Control Flood at Sarbe Village in Minjibir LGCA:The menacing dual problems of gully erosion and serious flood disturb residents/the community at Sarbe Village in Minjibir LGCA. These problems continuously threaten and pose danger to lives and properties of the people there, as reported by the State Ministry of Environment, through contents of this memorandum. A technical team sent to appraise the situation assessed the two problems and presented appropriate design and Bill of Quantities to the tune of N18,716,525.13, which was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Environment to address the two (2) problems. Considering the Community oriented nature of the problems, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N18,716,525.13 to the Ministry of Environment to enable the execution of the project that addresses the two (2) problems at Sarbe Village in Minjibir LGCA. b. Request for Funds to Enable the Commencement of Avenue/Roadsides Tree Planting at Bandirawo City:Bandirawo City is amongst the three (3) such cities established by this administration. Befitting infrastructures are being put in place in all the three (3) newly established cities/settlements, which include Kwankwasiyya, Bandirawo and Amana Cities. As such, the Ministry of Environment deemed it timely to commence planting of avenue/roadsides trees at Bandirawo City taking advantage of the abundant rainfall. The sum of N14,381,540.00 was requested for release by Council to the Ministry of Environment for the tree planting exercise to be executed at Bandirawo City, Council noted, considered and approved release of the sum of N10 million to the Ministry of Environment to enable the commencement of the avenue and roadsides tree planting exercise according to the details presented for consideration. This will further enhance the aesthetic value of Bandirawo City to international standards. 2. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE The three (3) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Office of the Head of Civil Service were approved for execution. Thus: a. Presentation of Report on the 3rd Retreat for Political Office Holders, Top Government Functionaries and Directors in the State and Request for Consent to Issue Relevant Publications to MDAs and Participants on the Outcome of the Retreat:People may recall that some months ago, the Office of the Head of Service staged a retreat for Political Office Holders, Top Government Functionaries and Directors in the State in Abuja with the theme “Civil Service, Good Governance and Sustainable Development: The Kano State Experience.” This submission presented a brief on the success of the retreat and the way forward. Six (6) observations were highlighted along with eight (8) recommendations proffered for consideration by Council for which consent and approval were sought for the issuance, from the Office of the Head of Civil Service, of relevant publications to all MDAs/ participants on the outcome of the Retreat. The presentation was appreciatively acknowledged as Council granted consent/approval to the Office of Head of Civil Service to issue out/distribute all relevant publications to MDAs/participants. b. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of the 2nd Batch (2013) Bereaved Family Allowances in Favor of 106 Deceased Civil Servants:Council approved the release of the sum of N5,730,000.00 for the payment of 2nd Batch (2013) payment of Statutory

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso Entitlements to 106 bereaved families of 106 deceased Civil Servants. The successful disbursement of the approved and released sum of N5,658,000.00 for the first (1st) batch of the 2013 bereaved family allowances was reported through the contents of this memorandum. Council noted, considered and commiserated with the 106 bereaved families of 106 deceased Civil Servants and unanimously prayed for the mercy of Almighty Allah and the granting of Jannatil – fir – Dausi to all of them. Amen. c. Presentation of Request for Funds for the Settlement of Seven (7) Months (January to July, 2013) Allowances for the Staff of the Newly Established Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) in Kano State:The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources submitted a memorandum on the issue mentioned above for deliberation by Council during its sitting of Wednesday 14th August, 2013. Council appraised the contents thereof and directed the Head of Civil Service to carefully reappraise the memorandum. The assignment was comprehensively executed yielding the following observations, that: • The CADP is a tripartite arrangement between the Federal Government, the World Bank and Kano State Government. • The Project aims at facilitating growth in small as well as medium commercial farming activities through strengthening production, aiding access to relevant technology/infrastructure and market potentials, among others. • That the project’s Staff comprises of seconded Civil Servants and those directly employed under the project. As such, the Committee recommended to Council to consider and approve the following: i. Restructuring the project for effective performance by pruning down the number of Staff from 38 to 30. ii. Settlement of outstanding allowances to the Staff for seven months (January – July, 2013) to the tune of N18,783,265.54. iii. Civil Servants serving under KNARDA should be deployed to the project instead of seconding Staff from elsewhere. Relevance of the request prompted Council to approve release of the sum of N18,783,265.54 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to enable the payment of the referred allowances as well as executing of prayers (ii and iii) above. 3. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Five (5) of the seven (7) memoranda submitted by this Ministry were approved for execution by Council as follows: a. Presentation of Report on the Reinstatement of NARTO at Kwanar Dawakin Kudu Motor Park:The Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport politely reminded Council, through contents of this memorandum that, the Kwanar Dawakin Kudu Motor Park was allocated for operation and solely reserved for NARTO and RTEAN. Nevertheless, RTEAN instituted a legal action against NARTO and secured an interim injunction against the operation of NARTO at the said motor park. Reportedly, Council was informed that, the Court has dismissed the petition by RTEAN and vacated the injunction against NARTO in a judgment delivered at the Kano High Court on 4th July, 2013. Details were presented for consideration by Council. So based on the judgment delivered by the High Court, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport directed KAROTA to commence the process of reinstating NARTO operations at Kwanar Dawakin Kudu Motor Park, Council was informed. The presentation was acknowledged favorably as Council upheld/approved the stated decision. b. Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Access Road Network at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso:The request cited above submitted by the Management of Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso was endorsed as relevant by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, which presented the case for consideration by Council. Essentially, the College requires provision/construction of access road network to the various units/sections in the School as a vitally required infrastructure for which the sum of N199,134,986.33 was requested for release by


THE NATION MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013 Council. Details were presented for consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N199,134,986.33 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the construction of access road network at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso. c. Request for Funds to Enable Purchase and Installation of 500KVA Electricity Generator with 20KVA Back Up System at KANGIS Office Complex:Complying with Executive directives, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport submitted the request cited above intended to provide necessary infrastructure at the recently constructed Office Complex/Edifice for the required operations of the established Kano Geographic Information System (KANGIS). The request was for Council to consider and approve release of the sum of N41,425,845.30 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the procurement and installation of 500KVA electricity generating set with 20KVA back up at the newly constructed KANGIS Office Complex to ensure smooth conduct of operations at the facility as envisaged. Council considered the request relevant as approval was granted as requested. d. Presentation of Report on the Review of Rates/Charges on Documents Issued by Road Traffic Department and Request for the Allocation of Eleven (11) Units of Toyota Hilux Pick Ups for Use by the Road Traffic Department:The Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport politely reminded Council of its directive issued to his Ministry via Council Extract number SSCA/CA/EX/4/I/1537 of 5th August, 2013 to consult with the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) to appraise the existing rates chargeable on the documents issued by the Road Traffic Department. The assignment was judiciously carried out in appraising the existing rates approved by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) of August 2006. New rates were presented for consideration and approval by Council in recognition of present realities along with the following two (2) prayers. • Council to consider and approve implementation of the proposed new rates under relevant codes of the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR). • Council to consider and approve purchase and allocation of eleven (11) units of Toyota Hilux Pick Ups to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for use by the Road Traffic Department to enhance traffic control, management and revenue generation drive. Council noted, considered and approved as follows: i. Implementation of the new rates was approved. ii. Release of the sum of N13,900,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to enable the processing of procurement and allocation of two (2) units of Toyota Hilux Pick Ups for use by the Road Traffic Department at the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. e. Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Circular Ring Drainage at Tudun Wazirchi to Kwanar Diso in Kano Municipal/Gwale LGCAs:The popular “Kwankwasiyya Drainage Program” is a singular gesture aimed at providing decent and healthy environment for the citizenry in the State covertly referred to as the “Lungu Drainage Scheme.” As such, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport identified the drainage cited above to be 650M in length and filled up/blocked with dirt/debris forcing storm water to spillover and flow on to the road and eventually into people’s houses. Relevant Engineers visited the area and reported that the scope of works required was estimated to the tune of N33,823,490.76, which was requested for release by Council to enable execution of the highly required project. The project was considered relevant to the policy of the present administration as approval was granted by Council. 4. MINISTRY OF RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT The two (2) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Rural and Community Development were approved for execution as follows; a. Presentation of Accomplishment Report in Respect of the 2012 Kano State Constituency Projects (Rural Water Supply):The contents of this memorandum amply reminded Council of its approval granted for the implementation of the 2012 Constituency Projects in the State of which provision of potable water supply is among. Such projects comprised construction/drilling of Solar – Powered and hand pump boreholes by RUWASA under the Ministry of Rural and Community Development. Details on the projects executed by RUWASA for the 2012 Constituency Projects on Potable Water Supply were presented for consideration by Council. In summary, 483 hand pump boreholes, 13 motorized boreholes, 4 Solar – Powered boreholes as well as reactivation of various categories of boreholes were successfully completed. Likewise, renovation/reactivation/reticulation of water supply pipelines were executed in some areas. Reportedly, the sum of N469,571,529.00 was expended in the execution of the 2012 potable water supply projects by RUWASA, Council was informed by contents of this memorandum. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation and welcomed the impressive performance of RUWASA in ameliorating the hitherto experienced hardships regarding water supply in the affected areas. b. Request for Funds to Enable Procurement of Building Materials for Distribution to Development Associations in Kano State:The Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Rural and Community Development reminded Council of its approval granted to him to conduct a tour to all Development Associations/Self Help Groups across the 44 LGCAs in the State. This was based upon the significance of such groups as veritable tools/channels for political and economic integration in the development process of Kano State. Contentedly, the tour was reported as successfully

63 conducted and the opportunity was wisely utilized in presenting an articulated picture aimed at propelling Government’s Policies to the self help groups. Importantly, details on observations during the tour were presented to Council for consideration as heralded by the outcome of a stakeholders meeting held with the Committee members of the self-help groups chaired by the Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Rural and Community Development. The meeting concurred on the need to provide the identified Local Government based Development Associations with building materials such as shovels, diggers, timber, roofing sheets, ceiling, doors, windows, etc. as an intervention measure proposed to actualize Government’s commitment to the work performed by the Central Working Committee on Ramadan Breakfast. Details were presented for consideration by Council along with the request for the release of the sum of N10,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to actualize the purpose of the procurement and distribution of the stated building materials to 44 self-help groups across the 44 LGCAs. Approval was granted as requested. 5. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted seven (7) memoranda on behalf of some MDAs for deliberation by Council. Five (5) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of the Graduation Ceremony for 430 Youths Trained on Plumbing Skills Under the Kwankwaso Youth Empowerment Scheme (KWAYES) in Partnership with the National Industrial Skill Development Programme (NISDP):The Special Adviser Community Reorientation Council (CRC) submitted a request for release of funds, through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, by Council to the tune of N26,718,000.00 to cater for the graduation ceremony of 430 Youths trained on plumbing skills cited above. The money was projected to be expended as follows: i. Procurement of plumbing tools/equipment for distribution to the trainees N22,288,000.00. ii. Disbursement of N10,000.00 to each of the 430 trainees to enable them rent workshops, etc. N4,430,000.00 Total = N26,718,000.00. Considering the relevance of the request with the empowerment policy of the present administration, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N26,718,000.00 to the Office of the Special Adviser State CRC to enable the successful conduct of the ceremony. b. Request for Funds to Pursue Some Publicity Programs Toward Enhancing Revenue Generation:The State Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of the sum of N12,489,748.00 to enable the placement of publicity programs toward enhancing revenue generation efforts. Four (4) media organizations are to be involved which include NTA Kano, Rahama Radio, Radio Kano and the Leadership Newspaper. Details were presented to Council for consideration. Relevance of the request to the revenue generation drive of the present administration prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N10,363,498.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable the placement of the stated publicity programs geared toward enhancing revenue generation according to the details presented. c. Request for Funds for the Procurement and Allocation of Three (3) Vehicles in Favor of the State Auditor General and Routine Field Operations:The Statutory provisions on the issue/request cited above prompted Council to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N10,700,705.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to process purchase and allocation of one (1) unit each of KIA RIO EX MT 2013 Model and Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Ups to the Office of the State Auditor General. d. Presentation of Request for Funds to Address the Issue of 16 Kano State Indigenous Students Sponsored for Studies at Al – Madina International University but Relocated/ Transferred to other Accredited Public Schools in Malaysia and China:The issue referred above has been successfully resolved and the transfer fully processed. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of $277,599.78 (equivalent to N44,415,964.80) + N6,705,372.00 = N51,121,336.80. The money will be expended as follows: i. Tuition fees, accommodation and other charges $277,599.78 (equivalent to N44,415,964.80). ii. Visa processing and air fare charges in respect of 16 + 5 Students N6,705,372.00. Total N51,121,336.80 Council noted, considered and approved release of the requested aggregate sum of N51,121,336.80 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the State Scholarship Board to facilitate the objective stated above so as to actualize the envisaged purpose of the State Government in sponsoring the students for studies abroad. e. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Outstanding Tuition and Accommodation Fees in Respect of 10 Postgraduate Students Among the 501 Sponsored for Studies Abroad (Malaysia):The popular 501 Postgraduate Kano State Indigenous Students Sponsorship Programs/Scheme has been executed to its envisaged conclusion except some few pending issues based on which the Kano State Scholarship Board submitted a request, through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, for the release of the aggregate sum of $62,321.00 to facilitate payment of balance for Tuition and accommodation fees in respect of ten (10) out of the 501 Postgraduate Students sponsored for studies at the University of Technology Malaysia. The money will be expended as follows: i. Tuition and accommodation fees for seven (7) Students initially sponsored $53,816.00 ii. Tuition and accommodation for three (3) Students who joined them later $8,505.00 Total = $62,321.00 (equivalent to N9,971,360.00).

Considering relevance of the request Council approved the release of the requested sum of $62,321.00 (equivalent to N9,971,360.00) to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Kano State Scholarship Board for the purpose stated in view of its relevance to the laudable policy of empowerment/skill acquisition/education of the present administration. 6. MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, INTERNAL AFFAIRS, YOUTHS, SPORTS AND CULTURE The reappraised requested sum of N167,144,991.04 was approved for release by Council to the Kano Pillars Football Club to cater for its requirements pending completion of the 2012/2013 Premier League Season in two (2) months. The approval was granted based on the contents of a report from an Executive Council Committee. 7. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Presentation of Request for Funds to Refurbish the Mortuary Complex at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital to Accommodate the Newly Procured Chilling Units/Coolers:The Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Health reminded Council, through contents of this memorandum, of its approval granted for the release of the sum of N95,665,179.38 during the sitting held on Wednesday 27th March, 2013 for the replacement (purchase and installation) of existing/old mortuary chilling units at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital with five (5) new mortuary cold room (six bodies drawers) (2480 x 2040 x 2260) and five (5) semihemetric refrigeration. The memorandum informed Government that items have been shifted for transportation to arrive Kano by next week. So as the Ministry of Health awaits arrival of the ordered items a proposal for the refurbishing/renovation of the entire mortuary complex was forwarded to Council for consideration along with the financial implications of the project to the tune of N8,731,585.60, which was requested for release by Council to enable the execution of the project. The request was approved. 8. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Provision for the Omission Made on the Procurement of Post Training Packages for the 2nd Batch of Trainees at Kano Fisheries Institute, Bagauda:Four hundred (400) Trainees successfully graduated as the 2nd batch trained at the Fisheries Institute, Bagauda. The list of items supplied to participants as post training packages were distributed to them with the cost of two (2) water tanks omitted. N12, 000,000.00 was approved for the procurement of 800 tanks for distribution to the trainees. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 112TH EXCO SITTING 1. PRESENTATION OF AWARDS TO GOVERNOR ENGR. RABI’U MUSA KWANKWASO, FNSE Council delightfully witnessed the presentation of a merit award to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE in Abuja by the Federal Government by the National Productivity Council on the efforts of the Government to bring sanity to land allocation, utilization, town beautification and the multiple projects that are being executed in the State. Similarly, Council appreciatively witnessed presentation of an award to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE by the National Council of Women Societies as the Best Governor on Women Empowerment in the Country. Further, Council witnessed yet another distinguished award presented to Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE by the Central Bank of Nigeria as the best Governor on Women, Youths Empowerment and the establishment of Microfinance Bank across the 44 Local Government Areas in the State. 2. TREE PLANTATION AT THE THREE NEWLY CREATED CITIES (KWANKWASIYYA, AMANA AND BANDIRAWO CITIES) Council acknowledged the Official Commissioning of the Tree Planting at the newly established Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Bandirawo Cities by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE to upgrade the aesthetic value of the Cities, etc. 3. GOVERNMENT SUPPORT TO SPORTS DEMONSTRATED ON KANO PILLARS AND OTHERS Council acknowledged and appreciated with gratitude the overall achievements of Kano Pillars Football Club, Kwankwasiyya Academicals, Government College Kano (former KTC), etc. who participated at National and International tournaments. Accordingly, the State Government honored the patriotic and successful Kano Pillars FC players with 28Nos. Kia Picanto, N500,000.00 to 10 players and N750,000.00 to Officials of the Club. Similarly, the sum of N150,000.00 was given to each player of Kwankwasiyya Academicals and KTC players while their officials were given the sum of N100,000.00 each as State Government’s kind gesture to motivate them for improved performance. 4. 300 INDIGENOUS MEDICAL SPONSORED FOR STUDY ABROAD

STUDENTS

Council observed the official send off of the 300 Kano State Indigenous science based students screened and selected to Study Medicine in Foreign Universities and urged them to be hard working and good ambassadors of the State and the Nation at large. Notably, majority of the students sponsored are female which is in tandem with Government’s usual support to education and youth’s empowerment scheme in the State.

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports & Culture, Kano State


WHO SAID WHAT

MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

‘Nigerians should not believe that Shekau has been killed until the JTF or government or the dialogue committee presents Shekau’s body before Nigerians. We should not misinform ourselves’ VOL 8 NO 2,589

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

W

HEN an idea is planted and it grows, it does not necessarily generate joy. Since my days in the University of Ife, now known as the Obafemi Awolowo university, I had always contemplated our prosperity with fear. In the early 1980’s I began to understand the fragility of oil. It gave us the Lagos high rises, erected our phallic flyovers, emboldened a civil war, but embossed on our psyche a suicidal hubris. Oil did not only glisten, it served as our insurance against inferiority complex. It gave General Gowon the vanity to proclaim that Nigeria’s problem was how to spend its huge tranche of oil cash. General Murtala Muhammed meant Nigeria when he announced that Africa had come of age. For him, Nigeria that was the part of Africa had become the whole of Africa. Oil meant other things had to shrink. The pyramidal swagger of our groundnut did not, however, shrink. It disappeared. The palm oil produce, rubber, cocoa, and other examples of salutary pride, shrank. So did methodical approach to governance. So did morality, so did conscience. So did our obeisance to the dignity of democracy. We became a prodigal nation beholden to the spell of having, in spite of the threat that having could impose on us the wretchedness of having nothing. That was the motif of the conference held last week by the Nigerian Guild of Editors. The theme, Nigeria Beyond Oil, revived my fear. It gave me the sort of sensation Caribbean author George Lamming referred to when he said, “something startles where I thought I was safest.” In spite of the fact that we had always spoken of a post-oil Armageddon for our economy, we have not articulated it in a language as succinct and penetrating. That was why I wrote that when an idea is planted, it does not necessarily generate joy. Nigeria Beyond Oil draws from the concept of Delta Beyond Oil as initiated by the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. But what does it mean? Many have spoken of it as though it is a call to the hoe, to return to our arched backs and humus soil. That accounted for why speaker after speaker at the NGE conference reified agriculture as though once everyone turned into a harbinger of food, our problems would recede into memory.

SAM OMATSEYE

IN TOUCH

intouchsam@yahoo.com 08054501081(sms only) •NMMA Columnist of the Year

Nigeria beyond oil

•Uduaghan

We forget that food is wealth just as health is wealth just as the infrastructure and education of a people is wealth. Secretary to the Government of the Federation Pius Anyim set an important tone by showing to those who did not know that while oil is on its way out as the world’s supreme fluid, it is suffering a fall in value because of the many countries, especially in Africa, that are discovering it in huge quantities. The United States, in its everready impulse to disrupt technology, had come up with shale oil and gas. But it took the voice of Governor Uduaghan to articulate it as an integrated

RIPPLES NIGERIA’S PROBLEM IS TEMPORARY – Cleric

..Let’s pray it doesn’t become PERMANENT TEMPORARY

‘But we cannot do anything without shedding the prodigal son syndrome. It abhors extravagance and the absence of discipline. It does not accept the irresponsibility of a minister who spends, because she can sign the cheques, the sum of N2 billion jacketing around the world in private jets’ idea. So, when he is constructing a road between Asaba and Ughelli, or providing scholarship to PHD levels to all indigenes with first class anywhere in the world, when he valorises healthcare for the vulnerable, young and old, it is because all of them have to work together to give us what economist John Kenneth Galbraith calls the affluent society. When did Germany discover oil? Never. What country holds the EU’s economic jugular? Germany. Those with oil act as though they don’t have them. Example? New Zealand. Such countries and even parts of countries like Alaska, put away the oil

HARDBALL

T

HERE is a wacky Igbo saying that if a man undertakes to single-handedly devour a snake (out of greed of course), the slithering serpent would simply regenerate and live in his tummy happily ever after to the greedy man’s eternal discomfort. This seems to apply to our legislators’ ‘gerrymandering’ with our treasury. Remember Hardball had stated on this space that it would not let up on this issue until our compatriots in the National Assembly come to terms with us on what they truly earn. And it isn’t only Hardball who is aggrieved seemingly. Since after the damning survey by The Economist of London, which ranked our lawmakers as the highest paid in the world many Nigerians have expressed their bitterness at NASS’ obduracy in the face of unspeakable rapacity. They are worried that the members have elected to live in denial of a situation most of us know as a matter of fact. Last week, the crusade (that is what it has become) got a boost from no mean a personage than Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili who weighed in that NASS members have spent N1 trillion in 8 years. “Since 2005, the National Assembly members have been allocated N1 trillion,” she said noting that “82 per cent of Nigeria’s budgetary cost goes for recurrent expenditure.” She also suggested that: “Things will improve through part-time legislation. It will reduce the number of people who will go into the National Assembly.

SHEHU SANI

money aside so that the lean cow cannot swallow the large one. Nigeria Beyond Oil, like Delta Beyond Oil, does not vitiate the power of the farm. It actually elevates. It tells us to use it to grow food, but it is not to grow food alone, but know the value in the context of other things we do. Renewable energy comes in many manifestations. It comes from corn, comes as wind energy, as solar power, etc. But we cannot do anything without shedding the prodigal son syndrome. It abhors extravagance and the absence of discipline. It does not accept the irresponsibility of a minister who spends, because she can sign the cheques, the sum of N2 billion jacketing around the world in private jets. It is part of the Gowon legacy that our problem is how to spend the money. When Gowon said it, we were still a poor nation, if we are poorer today. The rich are richer than the former rich though. In the early 1970’s, the Mideast crisis shot up oil prices and our current accounts fattened like the Biblical cow. Nigeria became flush with money but we did not flush out poverty. The peacock class acquired a new vanity of squander-mania. We learned that a federal minister who did not care for champagne unless it cost N1 million at that time, and we applauded. Just as a president took it upon himself to visit countries all over the world as a sign of diplomatic finesse and bonhomie, or when clothes evoked subaltern smallness unless they were called wonyosi. The prodigal son had become us, and before our eyes, education standards fell, groundnut pyramid flattened, the naira plummeted from its pride to four to a Naira. Today, it is about 160, but we all know we are holding the money at that point artificially with oil money. Now that oil price is on its way down, we shall progressively have little power to prop the Naira. Its crash will have consequences that will make Nigeria so nervous that our devotion to God would make the evangelical fever of today look like the righteousness of the Pharisees. The Russian poet, Nekrasov, once described his country as “wretched and abundant.” He probably had Nigeria in mind with its huge oil reserve, agricultural plenty with produce rotting daily, with copper, gold, coal, etc. Yet the agriculture minister with bow tie keeps talking a big game with little evidence while we have a huge reserve of poverty.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Ezekwesili versus our lawmakers You must have means of livelihood so that you won’t have to depend on public funds,” she surmised. Of course, the NASS would not hear anything of a part-time tenure and they had promptly shut down the idea in the budget amendment debate but that will be a matter for another day. Now we must dam the river of waste flowing through the legislature. Mrs. Ezekwesili is no attention-seeking rabble-rouser; she was a minister twice in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration and former World Bank vice-president for Africa. She spoke at a public lecture and she has a reputation for being rigorous and factsdriven. Senate Majority Leader Victor NdomaEbga has described Ezekwesili’s statement as “blackmail” while Victor Ogene, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs provided more obfuscation than clarification. But the facts of the matter are public and inviolable; a tally of the budgetary allocation to NASS since 2005 amounts to a little over N1 trillion just as Ezekwesili had pointed out. The lawmakers have also tried some finger-pointing by comparing themselves to the executive arm of government; they talk about the fleet of Presiden-

tial jets and excessive overhead and we say that we know and we agree but neither the executive nor the legislature is allowed to run loose and licentious over our national treasury. Besides, NASS has a bounden and statutory duty to keep a keen eye over our national treasury and do all that is within its powers to see that it is not violated. We do not need The Economist to tell us that we are being utterly profligate with our resources and that our current expenditure profile is not sustainable. Indeed, we do not need experts to prove to us that there is a direct relationship between the unbridled wastefulness, especially in the executive and legislative arms of government and the incipient social upheavals and grinding poverty in the land today. There is no running away from it that the NASS has no choice but to surgically purge itself of the serpent that has curled up in its tummy. It must start on a clean slate. This is the only way it can earn the moral authority to check the recklessness that goes on in the executive. In as much as Hardball loathes to sound apocalyptic, if the NASS would not take the initiative to make amends, the people would have no choice than to force the change someday soon.

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


Aug 26, 2013