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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Cracks in Edo PDP over petition NEWS

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•Oshiomhole hails decision

Chukwumerije, Isha get opponents •Kick-start campaign on Thursday

D’Tigers fall 73 - 79 to France Bolt turns attention to 200m

AND MORE ON Pages 23, 24, 41 & 42

www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 7, NO. 2210 TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

Gunmen kill 16 at Deeper Life Church during service Pastor among the dead in Kogi night attack Four killed in Borno Explosives fired at Sokoto police station

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T was like a scene from a war film. A crowd of worshippers in a church — perhaps praying, their eyes shut — and suddenly the eerie sounds of guns. Pandemonium. Blood, tears and anguish. But it was no movie. All was real last night in Okene, Kogi State where unknown gunmen stormed a church and opened fire on worshippers, killing no fewer than 16. Killed were worshippers of Deeper Life Bible Church opposite the Federal College of Education (FCE). Many were injured. “We are shocked. It is serious,” a Pastor told The Nation last night. The gunmen, who were said to be bearing sophisticated weapons, stormed the

•Nigeria’s Muizat Ajoke Odumosu (left) winning her women’s 400m hurdles semifinals at the London 2012 Olympic Games...yesterday. She returned 54.40 secs PHOTO: AFP

AMCON picks advisers to sell banks By Ayodele Aminu, Group Business Editor

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church during the Bible Study, a Monday programme, at about 7p.m., shooting indiscriminately. The gunmen reportedly took the worshippers by surprise. They blocked all entrances into the church, preventing people from escaping as they fired indiscriminately at the worshippers. A source said 15 worshippers died on the spot; one died in the hospital. “As I am talking to you now, we have just counted 16 bodies. No fewer than nine others have been rushed to the Okene General Hospital Okene,” the source said. Among the dead was the local government area Pas-

HE Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has appointed two financial advisers – Citibank consortium – and Renaissance Capital consortium for the sale of the three bridged banks – wholly owned by the corporation, The Nation has learnt. The bridged banks - Keystone, Enterprise and Mainstreet – are the defunct BankPHB, Spring Bank and Afribank. They were among the banks rescued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Their shareholders had refused to allow new investors recapitalise them, culminating in their liquidation. The Citibank consortium is expected to evaluate the value of Mainstreet Bank and advise the corporation on the best way to maximise value in the sale of the lender. The Renaissance Capital Consortium is expected to do same for Keystone and Enterprise banks.

Continued on Page 4

Continued on Page 11

From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja and Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

Governors divided over state police From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

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OVERNORS seem set for a stormy meeting today in Abuja, with some states withdrawing their support for state police. Governors elected on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Progressive Grand Alliance and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South are insisting on state police – an idea initially backed by 34 of the 36 governors. Northern governors are backing out of the pact – to the amazement of their southern colleagues. But the southern governors have got support from Plateau State helmsman Jonah Jang, who is backing the idea. Of the 36 states, 18 are in favour of state police; 17 are against and one is non-committal. According to two of the governors, who

•State of Osun Governor Rauf Aregbesola cutting the tape to inaugurate some Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and vehicles bought for the state’s joint security outfit, Swift Action Squad, at the State House, Osogbo...yesterday. With him are Deputy Governor Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters Amos Adekunle, GOC 2 Mechanised Division, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Muhammed Abubakar; Commissioner of Police, Mrs Kalafite Adeyemi and others. Story on page 5

Continued on Page 4

•PROPERTY P13 •SPORT P23 •ABUJA REVIEW P25 •POLITICS P43


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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NEWS

Tough time a Will the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) have a better outing at the National Assembly this time around? Not really! Rebellious lawmakers will seriously test President Goodluck Jonathan’s resolve to push it through in its present form, reports Reuters

N •Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam and Commandant 35 Air Service Group,NAF Base Makurdi,Air Commodore A.A. Adegboye during the commandant’s visit to teh governor at Government House, Makurdi...yesterday

• From left: Erelu Abiola Dosumu, Amb. Dapo Fafunwa and Prof. Emeritus Tekena Tamuno at the brainstorming session on PHOTO: NAN the 1861 annexation of Lagos as a British Crown Colony in Lagos...yesterday.

IGERIA’S landmark energy bill could revive Africa’s biggest oil industry and improve President Goodluck Jonathan’s reputation, but rebellious lawmakers will seriously test his resolve to push it through in its present form. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would bring root and branch reform to an industry that produces 80 percent of government revenues but has been plagued by corruption and mismanagement for decades. The bill has been stuck in parliament for more than five years, casting a cloud of regulatory uncertainty over the sector and driving billions of dollars of investment away to rival oil producing nations. If the uncertainty is left unresolved, oil revenues could soon start falling. The wide-ranging bill would change working terms for oil majors like Shell and Exxon and partly privatise the national oil firm, but has been held up as government and oil firms argued over terms. Nigeria is among the world’s top

ten oil exporters and a key supplier to the United States, China and Europe because its light, sweet crude is ideal for making motor fuel. It is home to the world’s seventh-largest gas reserves and has more proven oil in the ground than the rest of sub-Saharan Africa combined. If Jonathan can pass the bill, it could help restore a presidency battered by an Islamist insurgency in the north, an abortive attempt to remove a popular fuel subsidy and a raft of corruption scandals, since he won an election last year. “As a president who came to power with a landmark reform agenda, the passage and implementation of the PIB will provide a key gauge of Jonathan’s performance in office,” said Roddy Barclay, West Africa analyst at Control Risks, a consultancy. “Having suffered numerous damaging public setbacks in recent months, making headway on this key piece of legislation would go some way to restoring his international standing.”

REBELLIOUS PARLIAMENT Jonathan’s explicit endorsement of

Why Clinton is visiting on Thursday, by Adefuye

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•From left: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr Taye Haruna, Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Mailafia and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati briefing State House Correspondents after a Presentation on the 2012 Budget Implimentation to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja ...yesterday

•From left: Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos , Prof. Oye Ibidapo - Obe, his wife Olusola, his younger brother, Prof. Akin Ibidapo-Obe, his wife Dolapo and Director-General, Bureau of Social Services, Osun State, Mr. Olufemi Ifaturoti, his wife Yomi at a party held by the former Vice-Chancellor in celebration of Akin Ibidapo-Obe's appointment as Professor PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA of Law, University of Lagos

IGERIA’S Ambassador to the United States, Prof. Ade Adefuye, yesterday in Abuja said United States Secretary of State Mrs. Hilary Clinton’s visit to the country is to discuss Nigeria-U. S. bilateral relations. He said the Nigeria–U.S Bi-National Commission had become a model for partnership with other countries. Adefuye, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria against the backdrop of U.S Secretary of State, Mrs. Hilary Clinton’s scheduled visit to Nigeria on August 9, said Canada, Germany and other countries were using the model to partner with Nigeria on developmental programmes. He said the BNC, established in 2010, had been “’very successful and it has been a model. “It is working well that Canada has conducted its agreement with us based on the U.S. model and the Germans are doing a similar one with us now,” he stated. NAN reports that the BNC covers four working areas, including Good Governance, Transparency and Integrity Working Group and the Niger Delta and Regional Security Cooperation Working Group. Others are the Energy and Investment Working Group and the Food Security and Agriculture Working Group. According to him, bilateral relations between both countries remain strong, contrary to rumours that it is on the decline. Adefuye noted that the four working groups of the BNC had achieved remarkable success since the inception of the commission. He said the U.S. Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden, had once described Nigeria as America’s anchor in Africa,

•Mrs. Clinton

The U.S. saw Nigeria as a strategic ally and that is why the U.S. is committed to ensuring that there is political stability in the wake of security challenges in Nigeria

owing to the cordial relations existing between both countries. The envoy said America placed much emphasis on Nigeria and saw Nigeria as a strategic ally and that “is why the U.S. is committed to ensuring that there is political stability in the wake of security challenges in Nigeria.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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NEWS

me ahead for Jonathan over PIB NNPC chief: petroleum industry to be deregulated

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HE Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andy Yakubu, yesterday said the downstream sector of the petroleum industry would be fully deregulated to attract investors. Yakubu spoke with reporters at the 36th annual conference and exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. The NNPC chief said: “There is no doubt that the deregulation of the industry is going to help investor because that will guarantee their investment. Deregulation of the downstream particularly as it affects kerosene and premium motor spirit (petrol) will be done, and as you are aware, other products are also being deregulated but petrol and kerosene are very critical to return on investment.” The NNPC chief said the PIB would be a game changer in the oil and gas sector, since one of the objectives of the PIB is to ensure government and private partnership in the business. He said the planned three Greenfield refineries to be built in Lagos, Kogi and Bayelsa States are on course. On United States’ decision not to take oil from Nigeria, Yakubu said the decision “is not driven by the fact that

the bill gives it a better chance of passing than previous versions, but his increasingly tense relationship with parliament means he is likely to have to concede ground or face embarrassing delays. Parliament returns from recess to debate the PIB in mid-September but several lawmakers have told Reuters that the PIB won’t get an easy ride and they intend on making major changes. “We will not be subjected to pressure to pass the PIB. It will not get a speedy passage but a thorough passage,” Zakari Mohammed, spokesman for the lower house, told Reuters.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi they don’t want to buy our oil, they have alternative as source of energy.” He said since the major demand growth would be coming from China, it would be a replacement for whatever shortfall Nigeria may have from U.S. Yakubu, who also represented the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke at the occasion, said despite challenges confronting the oil industry, government is committed to attaining reserves of 40 billion barrels and daily production capacity of 4 million barrels. He said daily production has hit 2.7 million barrels. He said deepwater and shallow province have the capacity to increase productivity to almost one million barrels per day in the next few years which will contribute to global supply of oil and gas. Yakubu said: “Critically, the Nigerian crude oil reserve is over 36 billion barrels and a current production capacity of about 2.5 billion per day, which has made Nigeria the highest supplier of crude oil in the region. “The increased exploitation of hydrocarbon shall provide the much needed increase in revenue, generate employment for our youth and further increase the growth of other sectors of the Nigerian economy.”

Jonathan’s team had made it clear they are expecting a swift passage of a draft he has signed off on. The president and his close ally Oil Minister Diezani AlisonMadueke will be given greater powers in the latest draft, which is likely to be a sticking point with many lawmakers who believe the executive arm of government is already too dominant. “We’ve seen the powers given to the oil minister in the PIB and there is no way we’re going to allow our heritage to be handed over to any

individual,” one member of the House of Representatives told Reuters, asking not to be named. Relations between parliament and Jonathan’s administration have soured this year, as rows flared up over the budget and several parliamentary probes into oil corruption. “We want this to pass, and it will, but not just the way the president and the oil minister want. No way,” the lawmaker said. There is however always the possibility lawmakers could improve transparency in the bill,

•Dr. Jonathan

• Alison-Madueke

which analysts say falls far short of what was hoped. Besides giving powers to the oil minister, Jonathan’s committee also added a clause that would allow the president to give oil licenses out at his own discretion, a backward step parliament is likely to reverse. “This unfavourable sentiment towards the president and oil minister may actually be positive towards giving Nigeria a reasonably acceptable PIB,” Clement Nwankwo, director at the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre in

Abuja, said. Nwankwo, who works closely with the national assembly, believes the PIB won’t pass for around 9 months. Whatever the bill ends up looking like, passing it would at least end the uncertainty which has prevented Nigeria from holding an oil licensing round for five years. It may also attract investment into natural gas, helping end chronic power shortages. That would provide the kind of legacy Jonathan indicated he wanted before winning last year’s vote.

A modern, wired university in Boko Haram’s backyard The American University of Nigeria provides a modern education right in the backyard of Boko Haram, Nigeria’s homegrown terrorist group. One clue: The campus claims 55 percent of all the Internet traffic in Nigeria.

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T’S tough to get an Internet connection in northern Nigeria. That’s why Google was surprised to see – on their user map, where they track the locations of people Googling around the world – a big bright dot of activity in the Nigerian city of Yola, right on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. Nigeria has 170 million people, the most populous country in Africa and 7th largest in the world. But Yola has fewer than 100,000 people, and is close to the home of the Boko Haram terrorist group. So when Google sent a team out to Nigeria last fall to figure out who was doing all that Googling, the California-based company was surprised to find a scene right out of an American college campus. In fact, they sort of did stumble on an American university – the American University of Nigeria (AUN). According to AUN’s president, American Margee Ensign, Google was pleasantly surprised to find the campus. “Google told us we were 55 percent of their traffic in the whole country,” Ensign says. Latitude News caught up with Ensign as she was traveling from California to Nigeria. During a brief layover in Belgium, Ensign talked about what it meant to be an “Americanstyle” university in a country associated in many people’s minds with spammers and Boko Haram. AUN is the youngest Americanstyle university abroad. The American University of Beirut was founded when Andrew Johnson was president in 1866. The American University in Bulgaria was founded in 1991, shortly after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. These schools, along with their counterparts in Rome, Cairo and the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, offer a liberal

•AUN students at the laboratory

arts education – easy to come by in the US, but not so in other parts of the world. AUN does not have an explicit connection with these other universities, although it has received critical support from American University in Washington DC. The Nigerian school, which opened its doors to students in

2005, was the brainchild of Nigeria’s former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who credits the Peace Corps for inspiring him to found the school. As a child, Abubakar was orphaned in a town near Yola, right around the time Nigeria gained independence from Britain. “(Abubakar) had American

Peace Corps teachers and British teachers,” Ensign says. “He has said to me and others the British teachers slapped his hands and said, ‘Repeat after me,’ and the Peace Corps teachers actually asked his opinion.” Ensign says Abubakar’s fortune “is coming to the university.” By Nigerian standards, the uni-

versity is a hub for technology and infrastructure. Ensign says the campus is home to the largest building in northern Nigeria, and is the country’s only university with electricity around the clock. Students get laptops and have wireless, another unusual feature at a Nigerian university. •Culled from www.csmonitor.com


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

NEWS

Gunmen kill 16 at Deeper Life Church during service Some recent attacks in Nigeria

Continued from Page 1

tor, according to a source who spoke in Lagos where news of the incident sent members into a shock. One of the injured is the Dean of Student Affairs of the FCE. The attack came two weeks after an account officer with FCE, Okene was abducted from his home and murdered. An attack on the Living Faith Church on Lagos Road in Okene was last month repelled by security operatives who stopped an explosiveladen vehicle parked by road side. Kogi Police spokesman Simon Ile, who confirmed the incident, said he was yet to get details of the incident. He declined to speak on the number of casualties. He said the command was awaiting reports from the divisional police officer in charge of the area. Ile said the police would go after the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice. The Commander of Army Headquarters Task Force, Lt Colonel Gabriel Olorunyomi, also confirmed the incident. He said: “Unknown gunmen invaded the Deeper Life Church this night (Monday) during a worship service and opened fire at the worshippers.” He said 15 people died instantly while the 16th person died in the hospital. The Military Joint Task Force cordoned off the area. It could not be immediately ascertained how many worshipers were in the church at the time of the attack. Gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram struck again in Sokoto State yesterday. They bombed a police station in Shagari Village about 70 kilometres to Sokoto, the state capital. Shagari is the home town of

4 Dec 2011: A soldier, a policeman and a civilian are killed in bomb and gun attacks on police buildings and two banks in Azare, Bauchi State. BH open fire at a wedding in Maiduguri, killing the groom and a guest. 7 Dec 2011: An explosion linked to BH kills eight in the Oriyapata district of Kaduna city. 13 Dec 2011: A bomb attack on a military checkpoint by BH and resulting shooting by soldiers in Maiduguri leaves 10 dead and 30 injured. 17 Dec 2011: A shootout between sect members and policemen following a raid on the hideout of a BH sect leader in the Darmanawa area of Kano State kills seven, including three police officers. Police arrest 14 BH suspects and seize large amount of arms and bombs. Three BH members die in an accidental explosion while assembling home-made bombs in a hideout on the outskirts of Maiduguri. 19 Dec 2011: One suspected BH member dies and two others wounded in an accidental explosion while assembling a home-made bomb in a hideout in Damaturu. 22 Dec 2011: BH bombs in parts of Maiduguri kill 20. Four policemen and a civilian are killed in gun and bomb attacks on a police building in Potiskum, Yobe State. Around 100 are killed following multiple bomb and shooting attacks by BH gunmen and ensuing gun battles with troops in the Pompomari outskirts of Damaturu. 25 Dec 2011: A Christmas Day BH bomb attack on Saint Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla town near Abuja kills 42 worshippers. Three secret police (SSS) Second Republic President Shehu Shagari. The police station that was attacked is a few metres away from his home. A police source said the attackers came on a motorbike and tossed dynamites at the police outpost while firing at the policemen on duty. Sokoto, the seat of the Caliphate, was attacked last week. Boko Haram, the violent Islamist sect, yesterday claimed responsibility for Sunday’s killing of six sol-

operatives and a BH bomber are killed in a suicide attack when the bomber rams his bomb-laden car into a military convoy at the gates of SSS headquarters in Damaturu. A policeman is killed in a botched BH bomb attack on a church in the Ray Field area of Jos, capital of Plateau State. 28 Dec 2011: A bombing and shooting attack by BH on a beer parlour in the town of Mubi, Adamawa State, wounds 15. 30 Dec 2011: Four Muslim worshippers are killed in a BH bomb and shooting attack targeting a military checkpoint in Maiduguri as worshippers leave a mosque after attending Friday prayers. 3 Jan 2012: BH gunmen attack a police station in the town of Birniwa in Jigawa State killing a teenage girl and wounding a police officer. 5 Jan 2012: Six worshippers are killed and 10 others wounded when BH gunmen attack a church in Gombe city. 6 Jan 2012: Eight worshippers are killed in a shooting attack on a church in Yola. BH gunmen shoot dead 17 Christian mourners in the town of Mubi in the northeastern state of Adamawa. The victims are friends and relations of one of five people killed in a BH attack on a hotel the previous day. 7 Jan 2012: Three Christian poker players are killed and seven others wounded by BH gunmen in the town of Biu. 9 Jan 2012: BH gunmen shoot dead a secret police operative along with his civilian friend as they leave a mosque in Biu, Borno State, 200km south of the state capital, Maiduguri. The president says BH has infiltrated the executive, parlia-

diers and two civilians in Damturu, the Yobe State capital. The group said it was responsible for other weekend attacks in the Northeast. Also on Sunday night, four people were killed in their homes by suspected Boko Haram members in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, as the Joint Task Force (JTF) alerted the public to an impending series of suicide bombings in the city. In an email statement attributed to a Boko Haram

mentary and judicial wings of government. 10 Jan 2012: A BH attack on a beer garden kills eight, including five policemen and a teenage girl, in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State. 11 Jan 2012: Four Christians killed by BH gunmen in Potiskum, Yobe State, when gunmen open fire on their car as they stop for fuel. The victims had been fleeing Maiduguri to their home town in eastern Nigeria. 13 Jan 2012: BH kills four and injures two others, including a policeman, in two separate attacks on pubs in Yola (Adawama State) and Gombe city in neighbouring Gombe State. 17 Jan 2012: Two soldiers and four BH gunmen are killed in an attack on a military checkpoint in Maiduguri, Borno State. Soldiers arrest six highprofile BH members in a raid on a sect hideout in the city. 18 Jan 2012: A key suspect in the 2011 Christmas Day bombing in Abuja, which killed more than 40 people, escapes police custody. 22 Jan 2012: Kano multiple bombing killing over 200 people 24 Jan 2012: Security personnel shot and killed one Uzairu Abba Abdullahi, 32, a BH Sect member, and his pregnant wife on Monday night during a gun fight with members of the Boko Haram in Hotoro quarters of Kano City. So far so bad, Boko Haram has successfully killed about 935 people including more than 250 people in Jan 2012 alone

(Wester Education is a sin) spokesman and obtained by The Associated Press yesterday, the group said “One of (their) fighters” caused an explosion Sunday in Damaturu. Police say six soldiers and two civilians were killed in the blast. The statement also claimed responsibility for two other attacks in two other northeast cities. It was not immediately clear which attacks it was referring to. The statement comes after an Internet video featuring

the sect’s leader was posted on YouTube on Saturday. Boko Haram is held responsible for more than 660 deaths this year alone according to an AP count. Apart from Sunday’s attack in Damaturu, the Emir of Fika was attacked on Friday in a suicide bid but he escaped. His orderly died A former Commissioner for the Environment in Borno State Alhaji Abdulkadir Kaasa, was shot dead in his home in Maiduguri on Sun-

day. Two of the victims of Sunday night killings in Maiduguri were residents of Lawan Bukar, where Alhaji Fannami Gubio, the original candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in the governorship election in 2011 was killed. Another victim was killed in the Railway Quarters, where the headquarters of the sect was located before the 2009 clampdown. It was there that its leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed by security operatives alongside dozens of his followers. One other person was killed at Gamboru Ward. The killing caused apprehension among residents of the town. Though there was no official confirmation at press time, a military source who spoke anonymously told reporters that the military had intensified efforts at getting the culprits. The JTF yesterday alerted the public to the plan of the sect to undertake massive snatching of vehicles in Maiduguri and environs which they will later use for suicide missions. The vehicles, according to the task force, would be laden with explosives and used to bomb strategic locations and cause breach of the peace in the town. The statement signed by the task force field operations officer, Col. Victor Ebhaleme reads: “The JTF wishes to alert members of the public of the desperate moves by Boko Haram terrorists to steal/ snatch vehicles for suicide bombings.” He urged those whose vehicles have been stolen to immediately report the theft to the nearest police station or to the JTF. He warned that anyone who failed to report and his vehicle is used as a courier of bombs would be treated as an accomplice of the sect.

Governors meet today as division over state police deepens Continued from Page 1

spoke in confidence with our correspondent, it is surprising that the Northern governors are backing out One of the governors said: “Ahead of our session in Abuja on Tuesday (today), we are still insisting on state police. So far, all the governors in the South, irrespective of parties, are standing by our position on the creation of state police. I can tell you that state police has the endorsement of ACN, APGA and PDP governors in the South. “What happened was that we all met and discussed extensively on state police. At the end of our meeting, 34 out of the 36 governors signed up for state police. Only Benue and Kebbi did not sign up. “Benue State , Governor Gab-

riel Suswam was not in the country when the matter came up and since he did not have the details of our meeting, he said he won’t rush at taking any decision. “We opted for state security because we were all worried about the state of insecurity in the country and how to address the drift. “It is also international best practices to reduce security to a manageable level that will benefit the citizenry. It is apparent that we cannot continue with a centralised police structure. “The amazing thing is how Northern governors, whose states are under security siege, would have to back out at the last minute. We are suspecting that they are under a different political influence.”

The source noted that in the 60s, security in the North was managed by the Native Authority Police. It is surprising that the region is withdrawing

from an initiative it had successfully pioneered,” he said, adding: “And state police idea is not different from a new security

initiative called ‘grassroots en- bangida.” gagement’, which was recentAnother governor from the ly suggested by ex-President South said: “I think by TuesOlusegun Obasanjo and ex- day, we will be able to deterMilitary President Ibrahim BaContinued on Page 59

WHO IS WHERE IN THE CONTROVERSY FOR •Plateau •Lagos •Ekiti •Ogun •Oyo •Edo •Rivers •Akwa Ibom •Cross River

•Imo •Abia •Enugu •Anambra •Ebonyi •Delta •Bayelsa •Ondo •Osun

AGAINST •Kaduna •Adamawa •Kano •Borno •Sokoto •Bauchi •Katsina •Jigawa •Kebbi •Niger •Zamfara •Kwara •Yobe •Kogi •Taraba •Nasarawa •Gombe

•President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Dame Patience and Trinidad and Tobago officials during his visit to the Carribean Island country...at the weekend.

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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7 , 2012

NEWS ‘Be good to less privileged’

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IGERIANS have been urged to provide succour to the less privileged. Founder/President, Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation Hajia Shehu Yar’Adua spokeat at an occasion to mark the International Youth day of Disabilities in Ogun State. Asabe Yar’Adua said: When I look around our society these days, I can only see a few that believe that those vulnerable persons in the country deserve to live and enjoy other privileges we all deserve as human beings. Many have lost their souls. They are pre-occupied with what they get from the system and not what they can do towards making Nigeria a better place for the weak and the strong; the young and the old or the poor and the comfortable. That is the pervasive sad story in our society today as people no longer think about serving humanity and appreciating their country for good things it has allowed them to achieve and what Nigeria has allowed them become. Many are into selfadulation and vainglory, vengeance mission, worshipping man as opposed to our Creator and fantasizing on the privilege of being in power, which is ephemeral in all ramifications.

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Fashola, Osoba, Ohuabunwa, Doyin Abiola, others celebrate Awoyinfa at 60

T seemed clear he could not have wished for more: the torrential encomiums from friends, colleagues and family members. But the excitement was all over the face of Mike Awoyinfa, publisher of Entertainment Express and former Managing Director of The Sun, who turned 60 on Sunday. Former Ogun State Governor Aremo Segun Osoba, who chaired the occasion, spoke of Awoyinfa in glowing terms. Osoba said: “Mike is a very passionate human angle reporter. He is very ruthless and daring and has no respect for stories. He and his twin brother can squeeze water out of stone, and it will still be very factual and true. Such is the man I know, of great in-

By Nneka Nwaneri

tellect and indeed, a man after my character.” Associate Publisher of Entertainment Express Dimgba Igwe, his “twin brother,” described Awoyinfa as a dedicated professional. He said: “We are democrats at heart and from his failure; you can see the biography of his success. Born in Takwa Ghana in 1952, he attended Kwame Nkrumah Secondary school. He was kicked out of Ghana in 1969. Mike writes short sentences and he’s impressionistic as he writes like he is singing. He was a pioneer staff of the Concord newspapers. He writes music and poetry, a style which he captures in his prose. He is very contemplative and shy. He grew up with a teacher while in Ghana and was always

locked up reading books. He is a loner and likes driving around. “If he isn’t familiar with you, he doesn’t communicate with you and that is why I spend a lot on phone bills, talking to him till midnight daily. I looked up to him when I got to Daily Times. I was his critic and that was how the professional relationship began. Mike has his head in the cloud and I have my feet on the ground. Such is the sort of relationship we have. He is the best headline caster in the world - very creative, memorable and fantastic. “I remember a day he fell and passed out while trying to take a picture of me in Paris just because he was trying to save his camera. He offered his life for the pic-

tures he took. That shows the extent to which he is committed to the profession. He always has a tape recorder and that is why his trousers always tear from the pocket. He is ever ready to interview anybody, even his son. “His greatest heroes were Dele Giwa and afterwards Sir Harold Devans- the old Editor of Sunday Times of London. That is the idea behind why we go into biographic writing. Those legends informed his enthusiasm. “We are friends because he is a very honest person and straight forward man. He is one you can entrust your life to and go to sleep. Though he is not a good speaker, all his talks are in his writing. I have great respect for him. Though he is a tough fighter, he is a peaceful man.”

U.S. to expand “American Corner ‘’ in Nigeria

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HE U.S. embassy in Nigeria is expanding its “American Corner’’ to cover the Southeast zone, Mrs Suzanne Miller, an Information Resource Officer in the mission, said yesterday in Abuja. Miller said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that American Corner would soon be established in Enugu, bringing the total number of such facilities to 11 across the nation. The America Corner provides information about the U.S. to Nigerians, organises annual summer reading programme for children. The facilities are in Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, Kano, Bauchi, Ibadan, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Port Harcourt and Jos. On the 2012 summer reading programme for children in Abuja, Miller said the aim was to promote the reading culture among pupils. She said that children, drawn from primary and nursery schools in the FCT, would undergo a three-week reading and comprehension programme as well as spelling exercises. “Reading is so important for the development of a child; reading skills can deteriorate if not practised regularly. So this way we encourage the children to read. “We launched the programme in Abuja a couple of years ago and each year it has grown; last year, we had about 80 children, this year we double that.

•From right: Chief Osoba and wife Derin, Awoyinfa and wife Bukky, Igwe, Tunji Bello, Oduani and Delta State Commissioner for Information Chike Ogeah cutting the birthday cake....on Sunday PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI

Awoyinfa’s former boss, Dr. Doyin Abiola, described him as a man of good character. She credited him with transforming the defunct Weekend Concord into the best selling paper. He said the late Concord publisher, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, was proud of Awoyinfa. She said: “I know Bashorun will be happy looking down on you. He was always proud of you.” Governor Babatunde Fashola, in a tribute,wished Awoyinfa many more years of literary excellence. Chief Tola Adeniyi said: “I was intrigued by the enthusiasm and passion in him. As the initiator of human interest journalism in Nigeria, he has blazed the trail.” Industrialist Mazi Ohuabunwa said Awoyinfa has given journalism his best. He said: “Journalists are underrated and underestimated in this country. They run the risk of the nation. Nonetheless, Mike combines the best of everything in the discharge of his duties. They have both ridden above the mark of professional journalism. They should be used as a case study, so that we know how to last and move like Siamese twins. Who says there can’t be true partnership?” Ovation publisher Dele Momodu said Awoyinfa deserved all the praises heaped on him. He said: “What can I say of a man who Evangelist Ebenezer Obey released a song for? He is a ‘chief’. Yes he is. If the President does not honour him, we have to honour our own. A successor without successors is a waste. These twins have produced good reporters, good editors, publishers and, by God’s grace, the next president of the country.”

Aregbesola inaugurates joint security outfit

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RIMINALS got a quit notice from State of the Living Spring yesterday. Governor Rauf Aregbesola inaugurated a joint security outfit codenamed: Swift Action Squad (SAS) in Osogbo, capital of the State of Osun. The squad’s personnel are drawn from the military, the police, the Nigerian Civil Defence and Security Corps (NSCDC) and others. Inaugurated were five units of Armoured Personnel

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Carriers (APS), 25 electronically equipped Toyota Hilux vans to boost security patrol as well as helmets and bullet proof jackets. Aregbesola described the inauguration of the SAS as a message to bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and other malfeasance to relocate from the state. In his remark entitled: “The security of our people is non-negotiable”, at the

Government House, Okefia, Osogbo, the governor said the primary duty of a responsible government as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution is the security and welfare of the people. He noted that the inauguration SAS is a signal that the state has become too hot for criminal activities. The governor promised that aerial surveillance hardware capacity would

soon be introduced to detect crimes with 20 minutes of their being committed anywhere in the state. Besides, he said a threedigit security number is in the pipeline to enhance distress calls from residents to a central security room. Aregbesola said the state is now a “no-go area” for criminals. According to him, the language of criminals has always been violence as they usually leave in their trail,

blood and sorrow. The government’s response is matching them with superior language of force. Lacing his argument with a quote from the famous statement of former American President George W. Bush, Aregbesola said “violent men must be restrained violently”. He said people could only go their legitimate businesses without fear, let or hindrance in peaceful and secured environment.

Jimoh Ibrahim suspends publication of Newswatch

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HE Chairman, Board of Directors of Newswatch, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, yesterday announced suspension of the magazine’s publication. Jimoh, in a statement, said he took the decision to repackage and refocus the magazine. The statement reads: “In my capacity as the Publisher of Newswatch magazine, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, I hereby suspend the publication of

•Magazine ‘due for corporate surgery’ Newswatch magazine from the newsstands with immediate effect. “This decision is already approved by 51% shareholders of the company – Global Media Mirror Limited. “The decision is taken to reposition the magazine and make it relevant to modern developments, and as such, the magazine is due for corporate surgery. “The remains of the maga-

zine will now operate from 159-161 Broad Street, Marina, Lagos to enable us overhaul and reconstruct the old office. “The new office is equipped with modern day technology (including computers and ipads) and standard furniture. But regrettably, it will not house incompetent staff. “Any staff that is not in agreement with the latest

development is directed to collect any outstanding salaries from the Accounts department immediately. “The National Mirror went through this similar template of rebirth from the old National Mirror to the new National Mirror, which is now competing favourably with its peers. “I commend the publishers of The News magazine for operating in a modern office

with new technology, while I also see the TELL magazine’s facelift and rebranding as unprecedented in the history of Nigerian journalism. “Newswatch cannot be an exception to modern changes and the old style must go once and for all. “I also thank the readers and customers, and I assure them that the magazine will return to the market as soon as the surgical operation is completed and the magazine is rebranded.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

NEWS Beer distributor abducted From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

A MAJOR beer distributor in Ilesa, Osun State, Mr. Idowu Obembe, has been kidnapped by four men. A family source said the 62-year-old businessman was driving a Toyota Camry 2010 model when the abductors trailed him from his beer depot on Ijebu-Ijesha Road to a sports club. The source added that Obembe was abducted about 11pm on Oke-Eso Street. It was learnt that a security guard at the victim’s beer depot branch at Oke-Eso was about opening the gate for him when his car was overtaken by a Golf Volkswagen car. The source said the businessman was bundled into another waiting car after the bandits shot several times into the air to scare passersby and motorists.

Osun engineers honour governor THE Osun State chapter of the Nigerian Society of Engineer (NSE) will today make Governor Rauf Aregbesola its patron. The investiture will hold at the Living Spring Hotel, Osogbo, the state capital. It will be attended by chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the Southwest. A former governorship aspirant in the state, Chief Gbenga Owolabi, will be the chief launcher of the maiden edition of the group’s bulletin. The event is expected to end the controversy by the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the governor’s engineering professionalism. Some opposition members have said the governor is not a qualified engineer.

RCCG ordains 7,000 deacons, deaconesses THE 60th convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) started yesterday with the ordination of 7,000 deacons and deaconesses. The convention is being held at the church headquarters at the Redemption camp, Kilometre 46, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with the theme: Come Up Higher. The General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, acknowledged the goodness of God on the mission. He said the convention was at the invitation of God to church members to behold Him, His power and His greatness. Adeboye said: “He is asking us to come up higher through the highway of holiness, increased faith, purity and enlarged vision unto glorious expectations.” The cleric assured that there was a place specially prepared for those who yielded to the invitation.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (middle); new Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Command, Corps Commander Nseobong Charles Akpabio (third left), with members of the corps when they visited the governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja...yesterday

Forum threatens legal action over Mimiko’s paternal origin dispute A N association of Yoruba indigenes in the 19 northern states and Abuja, the Yoruba Awareness Forum (YAF), has threatened to approach an Abuja High Court for an injunction to compel Governor Olusegun Mimiko to disclose his real paternal origin in Ondo town. It urged the governor to confirm or deny being an advocate of one governor per term in the state within 14 days. At the inauguration of a night market at Idanre town two weeks ago, Mimiko urged the residents not to vote for those he described as “aliens”. But the Deputy PresidentGeneral of the forum, Chief Babasola Familusi, said YAF was taking action because of the misconception in some quarters that Mimiko is pa-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ternally a descendant of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race. According to him, the public and some reputable Yoruba leaders have been deceived into believing that the governor is capable of protecting the interest of the Yoruba nation, like the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whereas the reverse is the case. The Oke–Igbo chief, who is also the President of the Yoruba Alliance for Aketi (YAA), said the forum has secured the signatures of some women and youths from Ondo town. He said these are people who felt aggrieved that Mimiko, whose father is alleged to be an Igbira from Ihima Okene in Kogi State, could

betray the hospitality of the Ekimogun people. The politician recalled that the governor brought in the Ohinoyi of Igbira land and the Atta of Okene, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, as the royal father of the day during his swearingin ceremony as Governor of Ondo State in 2009. Familusi described the act as a slap on the Ondo State people, who are determined to retrieve their mandate through ACN candidate,Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN). He described the frontline lawyer as being religiously committed to the actualisation of the Yoruba Agenda in the Nigerian polity. He noted that the “blood is thicker than water” syn-

drome in Mimiko as an Igbira-man paternally has made him to be consistently antagonistic to the Yoruba integration agenda. Familusi also faulted the decision of governor Mimiko to recontest when it is on audio and video tapes that he was an ardent advocate of “one governor per tenure” in the state. He advised the governor to emulate the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo who, despite the threat to his electoral fortune in 1979, told Nigerians that he would stop the importation of second-hand clothes, popularly called Okirika, into the country, if elected as President of Nigeria because of his belief that only the best was good for Nigerians. On the newly constituted

Osun conserves part of federal allocation, says Aregbesola

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HE Osun State Government has started a conservation fund by reserving a little percentage of the federal allocation accrued to the state for future exigency. Governor Rauf Aregbesola spoke at the Government House in Osogbo, when he broke his fast with reporters. He said his administration is applying a creative financing style to the management of the state economy. The governor said he called for a full audit of the state’s account when he assumed office in November 2010 to ascertain the state’s financial situation. Aregbesola said the government discovered that the

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

United Bank for Africa (UBA), which granted the state N18.3 billion under the Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration, had some funds to return to the state as interests on the loan. The governor explained that this is because of the way the loan was obtained and managed. He said after bringing up the matter with the bank, his administration recovered N27million interest, adding that the state is expecting more money as interest. Aregbesola said his administration is not owing anybody or organisation. According to him, what his administration did on assum-

ing office was to refinance the “suffocating and debilitating N18.3 billion loan I inherited from the reckless and financial illiterate Oyinlola PDP government with N25 billion credit line through the First Bank”. He added: “The UBA gave the N18.3 billion loan to Oyinlola’s government with zero month moratarium, 17 per cent interest rate and 36 months repayment schedule. I tried to stabilise the state economy, which I met in shambles, when First Bank gave us a credit line of N25 billion with 12 months moratarium, 13 per cent interest rate and 60 months repayment plan. It took the grace of God and our vision-

ary and intelligent planning to give our battered economy a good shape. “As at the time we came in, the finance profile of the state was N1.8 billion Federal Allocation and N300 million from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), making N2.1 billion monthly. So, we had to shop for financial institutions to help us out of the predicament. “What we have now is that the credit line with the approval of First Bank, in principle, is there for us to draw anytime we feel like, not that we have taken a kobo from it now. It stands as the second leg in a relay match for us to use when the first leg becomes too weak to take us further.”

Alleged witchcraft: Woman’s stepson dead

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LA Adewunmi, the man who was allegedly inflicted by his stepmother, Mrs Rebecca Adewunmi, with a strange ailment in Omuo-Ekiti, Ekiti State, is dead. Mrs. Grace Smith, daughter of Mrs. Adewumi, broke the news to The Nation in her Omu-Ekiti home. She said Ola died in his room in the town on July 25 and that his remains have been deposited at the State Teaching Hospital in Ado-

From Sulaiman Sallawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti, the state capital. Mrs Smith said: “Ola’s body was brought to the state hospital for autopsy. I gathered that the people wanted to bury the man but the police came for his body and took it to the state hospital.” The family of Mrs Adewumi has alleged that the monarch, Oba Noah Omonigbehin, was planning to appeal to the family to hands off the matter.

Mrs. Smith said the monarch has been appealing to members of the family not to allow the alleged murder of their mother to reach the court. She said: “I have been forced into hiding. Several people have been calling me to allow the issue to rest. They said since Ola has died, the two sides should come together for an amicable settlement. “One or two of them, who are notable individuals in the state, even said the monarch

is ready to do anything for me, if we are ready to cooperate. “I recall one of them saying since Ola has died, we should allow peace to reign because both sides in the matter have suffered losses. I had to go into hiding because I fear for my life, given the insistence that I should forgive and forget. “I want to appeal to the state government to save me and other members of my family. There are clear moves to twist the case in favour of my mother’s killers.”

campaign organisation for Mimiko’s re-election bid, Familusi advised Mr. Akin Adaramola and Clement Faboyede who are serving Commissioners in the State to resign within 24 hours from the state cabinet. This, he said, is to forestall the commencement of criminal proceedings against them, because their dual status is inimical to the resources of the state.

JUSUN suspends strike in Ekiti

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HE Ekiti State branch of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has suspended its strike. Its chairman, Mr Sunday Ibiyemi, has urged members to return to their duty posts and allow peace to reign. He referred to Governor Kayode Fayemi’s announcement on a television programme: Ask the Governor, on Saturday, where the governor said he could only pay N19,000 minimum wage. Ibiyemi pleaded with his colleagues to agree to the governor’s stand. He said: “Lets us resume at our various offices tomorrow and allow the judges do their jobs.” JUSUN’s spokesman Ebenezer Ogunlola, in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), said the union members had agreed to call off the strike. “The Judicial Service Commission of Ekiti State had come into the matter and promised to look into it. Therefore, we have been able to convince our members to go back to work,” he said. Ogunlola said the union rejected the N19,000 minimum wage but would prefer to be paid the former N15,000 minimum wage. He added: “The proposed N19,000 will only benefit 10 per cent of the workers from Grade Level One to Six, while those on other grade levels are left out. That is why we agreed that our salaries from May 2012 till date be prepared in line with the N15,000 minimum wage.” The state judicial workers started a sit-down strike over non-payment of their salaries since May.


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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NEWS

Boko Haram: Tell us all you know, Nzeribe tells Clark S ENATOR Arthur Nzeribe has broken his long silence, challenging Ijaw leader and elder statesman Chief Edwin Clark to tell Nigerians all he knows about the sponsors of the Boko Haram sect, instead of casting aspersions on some northern leaders. He berated President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to implement the National Judicial Council’s (NJC’s) recommendation to reinstate Justice Ayo Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal. Nzeribe said such “flagrant abuse of the law” by the President is being emulated by governors. Citing Imo State as an example, he said the governor has been ignoring court orders. Nzeribe described as “an effort in futility” the threat by the House of Representatives to impeach the President. He said the high-level of corruption in the system makes it impossible for any serious-minded legislature to implement the threat.

.Senator condemns Jonathan’s position on Salami .’Okorocha’s govt rudderless’ matter. The President once From Yomi Odunuga,

Abuja

Speaking with reporters at his home in Abuja on Sunday night, Nzeribe said he was concerned about the political developments in his home state, Imo. He said the state is not only groaning under a rudderless leadership “as evidenced in the activities of Governor Rochas Okorocha”, but may sink deeper, with the “cowardice” being exhibited by those who should ordinarily speak against the “democratic apathy”. Expressing fears that the state may degenerate into the Hobbesian jungle, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart urged lawmakers in Imo to work towards providing purposeful leadership. Nzeribe said: “I have been

very careful since Okorocha assumed office about saying anything about his administration. But things are getting worse by the day. It is a very dangerous situation we are having in Imo State and nobody is ready to bell the cat. “Must it take the order of the Attorney-General of the Federation for the 27 local government chairmen to be reinstated? Must the response from Imo State to the court order be that ‘since the Federal Government refused to reinstate Salami as ordered by the NJC, Imo State is at liberty not to obey court order? Why, for example, take such a position on the Salami saga?” On the Boko Haram insurgency, Nzeribe said: “I do not agree with the way the President is handling the

said the Boko Haram people have penetrated the government; why has he not made any arrest? We should know who they are beyond the President telling us that they are in his government.” On Clark’s statement that former Military Presidents Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari should openly condemn the sect, he said: “Clark has a platform to speak his mind. He has been the spokesman of the government for quite sometime now. Why is he throwing the balloon in the air for it to burst? He should tell us what he knows. “Clark did not go the whole hog. If he has fingered one or two persons, then we should know where he is going.” Speaking on the threat to impeach the President over

the poor implementation of the 2012 budget, Nzeribe said he doubts if the lawmakers understand what it takes to impeach the President. He said: “I doubt if they understand what they are doing. Nobody respects the average lawmaker anymore in Nigeria. With the kind of corruption in the system, I do not think the impeachment threat is real. “I do not think the House has the right to summon the President, but there is nothing wrong with the President going to them and saying. ‘I have come to brief you’. You cannot continue to threaten to impeach the President all the time.” Acknowledging that the PDP has not provided quality leadership at the federal, state and local government levels, the senator said the party is still grappling with the best way of managing the opposition. Nzeribe has confidence in the Bamanga Tukur-led National Executive to set the party on the right track.

Attack on NUEE office foiled

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HE National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has said it thwarted an attempt to attack its National Secretariat in Lagos by a supposed mail delivery man. According to a statement by the association’s General Secretary, Mr. Joe Ajaero, the suspect entered one of the offices “with devices capable of causing explosion” on August 3 at midday. The suspect, who is now in police custody at Adekunle Divisional Police Station, Yaba, reportedly walked into the union’s secretariat claiming to have a mail for the union executives. “On getting to our reception, he said he forgot the mail. Unknown to him that he was under surveillance, he made a call to an unknown person that he was already ‘there’ and came into one of the offices with devices capable of causing explosion,” the statement said. After the suspect was overpowered by security workers before he could “actualise his mission”, he was said to have discovered his mailman story and claimed to have been looking for the toilet.

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From Oseheye Okwuofu,

Ibadan NLESS the free fall in the price of crude at the international market stops, the Federal Government may not be able to pay its workers and implement greater percentage of the 2012 Budget, the Chairman of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Chief Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli warned yesterday. Alli urged Nigerians to watch out for more shocking revelations in the implementation of this year’s Appropriation Act notwithstanding the row between the executive arm and the National Assembly over the seemingly unimpressive level of the funding of the budget by the executive. Alli spoke to reporters shortly after he was turbanned as the Giwa Adeen of the Yemetu and environs by the muslim community. He was turbaned alongside the Dean, Faculty of Engineering, The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State Sabith Ariyo Olagoke. Olagoke was turbaned the Balogun Adeen. The Odu’a chief warned that the Federal Government may find it difficult to pay its workforce in the next six to eight months should the price of oil dropped by the estimated 30 dollars. Alli regretted that the falling crude price was already taking its toll on governance at states and across the 774 council areas because monthly subventions from the federation account are being delayed.

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Company, worker arraigned for ‘stealing’ From Precious Igbonwelundu,

Abuja T R A N S P O R T company, Peace Express Services Limited, has been arraigned before a Sabo Magistrate’s Court, Yaba, Lagos Mainland for complicity in the alleged stealing of Brazilian hair valued at N500,000. Also arraigned was an employee of the company, Ugwuonah Fidelis (29), who allegedly conspired with others to steal 1,000 units of the Brazilian hair kept in his custody. The defendants are on trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing. Prosecuting Inspector Philip Ugbodu said the defendants committed the offence on November 22, 2011, on the premises of Peace Transport International, Jibowu, Lagos, at about 9am. Ugbodu said the complainant, Onyinye Orji, brought a luggage containing the 1,000 pieces of Brazilian hair to the motor park and left them under Fidelis’ care to enable her bring in her other luggage, but her goods were missing when she returned. According to the prosecutor, some eyewitnesses said they saw Fidelis and two other men discussing where to take the missing luggage. He said Fidelis claimed he was not aware that the goods were kept in his care.

A •From left: Former Interim Head of Government Chief Ernest Shonekan; Ologun Apena of Lagos Chief Raufu Salami and

Ogboni Iduntafa of Lagos Chief Sulaiman Jinadu at the Brainstorming Session on the 1861 Annexation of Lagos as a British Crown Colony in Lagos...yesterday.

NUC lifts suspension on three varsities

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HE National Universities’ Commission (NUC) has lifted its suspension order on three universities that were suspended. This was contained in the NUC’s bulletin yesterday in Abuja. The universities are the Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji in Osun State; the Achiever’s University, Owo, Ondo State and Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra. It said the order was lifted the corrective measures taken by the universities to rectify the infractions that led to the suspension of their licences.

The statement said the NUC would soon send a team to conduct fresh forensic audit on the six private universities, whose licences were earlier suspended. The others are Madonna University, Okija; Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu and Lead City University, Ibadan. The statement said the auditing would cover all aspects of the universities’ operations. It said the NUC would continue to monitor the universities and ensure continuous compliance with its extant guidelines and regulations.

Soldiers must obey democratic tenets, says COAS HE Army has said it would ensure that the country’s democratic tenets are obeyed by soldiers. It promised to diligently carry out its roles as enshrined in the nation’s constitution. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, spoke at the graduation ceremony of the Nigeria Army College of Logistics (NACOL), Lagos. Ihejirika said the desire to comply with democratic tenets calls for total loyalty and respect to the civil

Falling oil price‘ll affect Fed Govt

By Hamed Shobiye,

Assistant Editor, Online authorities from all officers and men. The COAS, who was represented by the Commandant, Corps Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Maj. Gen. Nnaemeka Maduegbunam, said the army has continued to execute its constitutional duties effectively. He said this has endeared the force to Nigerians and foreigners alike.

Ihejirika said: “We must continue to guard this acknowledgement very jealously by working harder to improve on our present standard. Commanders at all levels must continue to provide the required leadership and ensure that soldiers are constantly being reminded and educated on what their roles are in the present dispensation. “It is my desire to transform the Nigerian Army into a force that is better able to meet contemporary challenges. To

this end, the force is being equipped and organised to cope with the present challenges of nation building in addition to the constitutional role of protecting the sovereignty of the nation.” Praising NACOL for the successes recorded since its inception, the army chief urged the college to broaden its scope. He said: “I am very glad to learn that NACOL regularly conducts seminars, workshops and lectures in

other Nigerian Army training institutions. This is very encouraging. “In view of the increasing participation of the army in internal security operations, I task the college to lay emphasis on the teaching of risk assessment as part of the military decision-making process and to also train inducting units on the United Nations’ logistics system and operational logistics.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

8

CITYBEATS Beggars protest traffic law

Scholars fault British claims EMINENT Nigerians have faulted historical claims that the role played by the late Oba Dosumu of Lagos on the annexation of Lagos was against the interest of the city, saying that Dosumu was heroic in his dealings with Britain. They also described the annexation as a commercial adventure, adding that it was not driven by personal interest as claimed by Britain. This was disclosed yesterday in Lagos at a forum convened by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, titled 11th Brainstorming Session On The 1861 annexation of Lagos: Matters Arising. Those at the event which attracted notable people from the academia, diplomatic core, legislature, traditional institution among others, were; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Senator Olorumimbe Momora, Ambassador George Obiozor, Erelu Abiola Dosomu, Mr. Sam Amuka, Dr. Walter Ofonagoro, Ambassador Robert Clark. Others were; Prof Rafiu Akindle, Prof Tekena Tamuno, Prof Margaret Vogts, Prof Bola Akinterinwa, Ambassador Dapo Fafowora, Prof Alaba Ogunsowo among others. In her remarks Ereulu Dosomu, regretted that Oba Dosomu role on the annexation of Lagos as a British colony, had been wrongly placed on the wrong side of history. According to her, "while it is tempting to want to join the argument on the different and sometimes distorted accounts on the role of Oba Dosomu in signing the treaty ceding Lagos to the United Kingdom, I simply would like to use this opportunity to welcome you to the celebrations which started a year ago, where experts, historians, actors and actresses are putting the records straight through intellectual discusses, workshops and a host of other interesting activities. "If there is any other massage I have today, it is the fact that the treaty of Lagos was about trade, it established a relationship Her Majesty, Queen Victoria's government and Lagos, which later expanded to Nigeria as a whole. The treaty of Lagos was about promotion of trade and investment and economic cooperation in general and not territorial takeovers, which my extensive research revealed."

Lagos new traffic law ‘commendable’

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

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T was a dramatic scene. Beggarsscores of them-took to the streets yesterday to protest their evacuation from the highway, courtesy of the new Lagos State Traffic Act. They stormed the House of Assembly, which passed the law, to protest, accusing it of depriving them their means of livelihood. Under the aegis of Hassan Jubril Disabled Organisation (HJDO), a non-governmental organisation, they said the government was wrong to have sent them away from the streets. Their President, Alhaji Jubril Hassan, said it was illegal and unconstitutional to deny the disabled, especially the beggars, their fundamental right to freedom of movement. He said: "We, the people with physical disabilities in Lagos State, adopt this medium to express our displeasure and unhappiness to-

wards the actions taken and the one yet to be taken by the Lagos State Government. First, our movement within Lagos metropolis has been restricted such that anyone caught roaming the road would be taken to Majidun Home, which is more like a prison to us. "In most cases, all our belongings have been seized and we were usually maltreated by the management of the Home, which acts without any concern for our conditions and disabilities. The condition of the Home is appalling and devastating and causes more harm to us. It has come to our notice that very soon anybody found giving us alms will be apprehended and imprisoned for two years." The beggars met an empty Assembly as it is on recess.

•The disabled protesters... yesterday

Dana crash: Smoke disturbs hearing

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HE Lagos State Coroner's inquest into the June 3 Dana Air crash was yesterday disturbed by an electrical fault, which caused smoke in the court room. Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe rose to allow a technical crew correct the fault. Before he rose, the Coroner requested the Accident Investigation

By Adebisi Onanuga

Bureau (AIB) to tender an extract of the technical log book of the ill fated aircraft. At the resumed hearing of the matter, Mr. Emmanuel Dilla said the technical log book of the aircraft was in the custody of the AIB. While being cross-examined by Mrs. Funmi Falana, Dilla told the

court that the technical log book contains daily records of the aircraft and the Deferred Detected List (DDL). Answering questions about the black box, Dilla said there were two black boxes, a Flight Recorder and a Copy Voice Recorder (CVR), in the aircraft. He said the Flight Recorder was not recovered owing to over heat-

PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

ing, but the CVR was. "The CVR had temperate burning but we were able to download the information needed for the investigation." Dilla said the captain made a distress call when the two engines failed. Asked if they investigated the oil supplied by MRS Oil to the aircraft, Dilla said they took samples from the tankers and other airlines that MRS Oil supplied fuel to.

Bank cashier arrested for alleged robbery

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CASHIER with a new generation bank and three others were yesterday paraded in Lagos for robbery. The command's spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said the cashier, specialised in giving robbers information on customers' transactions. He was arrested after being implicated by two robbery suspects, Adewale and Richard. Braide said on July 17, about 2pm, Adewale and Richard were arrested trying to rob a customer after withdrawing money from the bank. During interrogation at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the suspects confessed to several robberies. They also mentioned the names of their gang members, including

• From left: Adewale, Richard and Wumi (cashier) By Jude Isiguzo and Ebele Boniface

the cashier. Braide said: "Eventually on July 26, the bank staff was traced and

arrested by operatives of SARS at the Alausa, Ikeja branch of the bank. He was immediately identified by the two armed robbers earlier arrested and he confessed

to giving them information that enable them intercept and rob his bank's customers. One of the customers was robbed about $75,000 on Marina Road, Lagos Island."

Lagos gives NURTW 90 days to re-register vehicles

By Emanuel Oladesu

THE Coalition of Oodua Self Determination Group (COSEG) has praised Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola for signing the traffic Bill into law. It describes the law as "a welcome development." Speaking on phone with our correspondent from Saudi Arabia where he is performing the lesser hajj (Umrah), Secretary-General of the group Comrade Razaq OlokoOba said "Fashola is really fulfilling his electioneering promises that Lagos people would be made to live as human beings that deserve comfort." The law, according to the rights activist "as far as I am concerned is not to punish anybody but to sanitise the hitherto chaotic traffic situation in the state." According to him, what Fashola is doing is in conformity with the norm across the globe. He said: "I have traveled far and wide, and I have gone through the new law and discovered that it is in tandem with international standard."

By Oziegbe Okoeki and Miriam Ndikanwu

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AGOS State Government has given 90 days to commercial transport operators in the state to re-register their vehicle as part of measures to ensure safety and security of residents. Commissioner for Transportation Mr. Kayode Opeifa, gave the directive at a meeting attended by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Motor Cycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS) and All Nigerian Auto Bike Commercial Owners and workers Association (ANACOWA), held in the conference room of the ministry. He explained that a new data bank will be create by the government under the new law to identify the vehicle owner, driver and conductor, adding that Hackney Permit will be issued as one of the vehicular particulars that commercial bus operators must have.

By Oziegbe Okoeki

He said the new Hackney Permit will be pasted outside and inside the vehicle, for passengers to easily identify when the need arise. Speaking on the newly signed traffic law and the released white paper, the commissioner said the government recognised the need for operators to organise themselves into union, stressing that what is however not allowed, is for members to collect money from operators on the highway. "We recognise the right to organise yourself into union, whatever obligation in terms of due union members owe should be collected, but the way it is collected is what should not continue." He tasked the unions on the need to take full charge of the motor parks rather than convert bus stops into Motor Parks thereby constituting traffic

gridlock on the roads. He said the state need effective public transportation system, adding that the government will work with local governments in rebuilding the parks. On commercial motorcycle restriction, the commissioner urged the union leaders to direct members to comply with the law, adding that members can come together and operate commercial buses in areas where they are restricted in other for them to remain in business. Opeifa said the government has no intention to take anybody off their businesses, adding that the public demanded that they should be restricted from the 475 roads contained in the law. He urged them to take full charge of their members and ensure that they tap the opportunities that abound in other routes where they are allowed to operate. He added that a copy of the law

and the white paper will be presented to them to educate others. Responding, Lagos State Chairman (NURTW) Mr. Tajudeen Agbede, assured that members will comply with the law and however appealed for government to help them recover some of the parks that have been converted for other uses, so as to enable them stay off the road. MOALS Chairman Mr. Tijan Pekis, pleaded for an authorisation, to enable them compel members to comply with the new Road Traffic Law. He also pointed out that law enforcement agencies hinder members from carrying out discipline its members, adding: "in most cases, they say we are not the enforcement arm of the law, if we are given full government backing, you will find out that we would take charge and ensure members comply with the dictates of the law which is our aspiration," Pekis said.


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

9

CITYBEATS

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

Firm, worker arraigned for alleged theft

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TRANSPORT Company, Peace Express Services Limited, and its worker, Ugwuonah Fidelis, 29, have been arraigned before a Sabo Magistrate's Court in Yaba, Lagos, for allegedly stealing 'Brazilian Hair' valued N500, 000. They allegedly conspired with others to steal 1,000 pieces of hair, used by

By Precious Igbonwelundu

women as hair dressing accessory. The item was kept in their custody. The accused are standing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing. Prosecuting Inspector Philip Ugbodu told the court that the accused committed the offence on November 22,

last year, on the premises of Peace Transport International, Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos, about 9am. Ugbodu said the complainant, Onyinye Orji, had brought her load containing about 1,000 pieces of the hair to the motor park for transmission to Enugu. He said the complainant alleged that she kept the goods with Fidelis, who was seated

in the office and left to get her remaining luggage. "On her return, she was shocked to discover that her goods were missing," Ugbodu said. According to him, some witnesses claimed that they saw the accused discussing with two other men on where to take the load. Fidelis however, claimed that he was not aware that the goods were kept with him.

Govt trains council chiefs on emergency

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HE Lagos State Government and United Nations Children Education Funds (UNICEF) at have trained local government and local council development areas chairmen and Council Mangers, on how to tackle emergencies in their area. Special Duties Commissioner Dr Wale Ahmed said the training was geared to-

Driver jailed for traffic offence By Precious Igbonwelundu

A COMMERCIAL bus driver, Michael Aransiola, was yesterday sentenced to three months in prison for breaking traffic laws. The 22 year-old driver of a Volkswagen bus popularly called Danfo, with numberplate XX152JJJ, drove without licence on one-way from Fadeyi to Murtala Mohammed Way, Yaba, Lagos. He was arraigned before a Sabo Magistrate's Court for alleged dangerous driving; driving without licence; driving without certificate of road worthiness; driving without vehicle licence and driving without hackney permit. Prosecuting Inspector Rita Momoh told the court that the offences contravened Sections 28(1), 7(1), 32(1), 4(1), 103 and 32(1) of the Road Traffic Laws. The accused pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months imprisonment with an option of N25, 000 fine by Magistrate Olalekan AkaBashorun.

Man charged with rape THE Police yesterday arraigned before a Yaba Magistrate's Court, Felix Adedayo, 43, for allegedly raping a 17 year-old girl. Prosecuting Inspector Godwin Anyanwu told the court that the accused, a bus driver, who resides at Adisatu Close, Orile, beckoned on the victim, while she was hawking Agidi and pepper soup at Oyingbo Motor Park, on July 30, about 7:15pm. "The accused told the girl to give him a plate of the meal. As the girl put down the tray from her head, the accused asked her to draw closer to the of the bus, but she refused. "The girl started packing her items back into the tray, since she noticed what the accused was up to, but he quickly seized the helpless girl and forcefully defiled her," Anyanwu told the court. The prosecutor said the offence contravened Section 258 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011, but the accused pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Patrick Adekomaya granted the accused N100,000 bail with two sureties in the like sum. He adjourned the case till August 20.

By Miriam Ndikanwu

wards developing emergency response capacity at the grassroots. Ahmed reiterated government's commitment to disaster management, adding that those being trained would double as incident commanders and establish emergency committees in their councils.

The councils being the closest to the grassroots, he said, were expected to be equipped with people with the right capacity to enable them respond promptly to disasters before the state emergency management outfits arrive. UNICEF Deputy Coordinator on Emergency in Nigeria, Mr. Soji Adeniyi, said

emergency challenges were not peculiar to Lagos, adding that any city over 50 years goes through urban decay and needs to be regenerated. In carrying out regeneration, he said, it was necessary for government to consider the feelings of the property owners and provide alternatives commensurate to their loss.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

NEWS Igbo in Ogun back Amosun on taxes, levies From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

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GBO residents in Ogun State, under the aegis of Ohaneze NdiIgbo, have backed the Ibikunle Amosun administration in its effort to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through prompt payment of taxes and levies. The group said it would encourage others to do same to enable the government meet its obligations to the residents. The group’s state President-General, High Chief Austin Azuka Nkeze, addressed reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, after taking his oath of office. Nkeze, a Marketing specialist, noted that the Amosun administration needs Ohaneze to help it disseminate information on government’s programmes and policies to Igbo residents. He said the ethnic nationality expects the government to empower its members in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with credit facilities. Nkeze said his Igbo fellows would not only make judicious use of such facilities, if made available to them, but would also use them to boost the socio-economic fortunes of the state. The ethnic leader said the government would make more revenue through taxation and levies from Igbo businessmen and women in the state. He said: “Ohaneze NdiIgbo is not a political party but a socio-cultural organisation. There is no way we can sideline this government in power. We work with the government in power and the government needs our assistance in terms of taxation. How do you disseminate the information to a people like the Igbo? You need a body like Ohaneze. “We will pay tax; it is our civil responsibilities. Most of us have complied and we are going to ask others to comply. There is nothing bad in paying tax. Without tax, a government will not execute most of its responsibilities. But at the same time, we are asking that our members, who have to do with the Igbo community, should be empowered. The government knows that we are the commercial engine room of Ogun State.”

Akeredolu is registered voter in Owo, says Ondo ACN T HE Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has debunked a claim by the ruling Labour Party (LP) that its governorship candidate in the October 20 election, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), is not a registered voter in the state. The party noted that the claim is part of the LP propaganda to deceive the people and circumvent their wishes. A statement by its Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Agbede, said LP claimed to have sourced the “information” from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It said it would not have dignified this propaganda with a response, but the public could be misled into believing the falsehood. The statement reads: “ACN wishes to state une-

•Akeredolu’s voter’s card. From Damisi Ojo, Akure

quivocally that nothing can be farther from the truth than this idle talk targeted at arresting the rising profile and acceptability of Akeredolu. “It is laughable to insinu-

ate that the ACN standard bearer, a senior member of the Bar, would contemplate venturing into anything unconstitutional. “More ridiculous is the attempt to wrap their lies with some form of credence by claiming that INEC issued a

•From left: Acting President, Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria (IMCON), Mr. G J Farotade; Development Committee Chairman, Sir Tunji Tinuoye; and guest lecturer, Mr Samuel Osilama Ekenimoh, at the induction of members of the institute in Lagos.

‘Ogun SSA on IGR not involved in fraud’

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HE Ogun State Government yesterday said contrary to reports, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Taxation, Chief Olufemi Allen, was not involved in a fraud uncovered at the State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS). In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, the government said Allen “actually” blew the

whistle on those suspected to have been colluding with some companies to underestimate their taxes. The statement reads: “As a result of his role in uncovering the scam, which is believed to have gone undiscovered for years, the SSA to the governor, who is an experienced Chartered Accountant and Auditor, has been given the task to supervise the audit and headcount of various companies and

firms operating in the state in a new capacity as the Head of a Central Revenue Team (CRT). “The CRT was formed following the realisation that additional expertise is required in agencies other than OGIRS and it has been charged with the responsibility to re-invigorate revenue collection in key Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), including Education, Health, local government,

Stakeholders: Ex-NBA chief is right candidate for Ondo

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GROUP in the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), The Stakeholders, yesterday backed the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) as the party’s standard bearer in the October 20 governorship election. The group comprises ACN House of Assembly candidates for 2010 and 2011. A congratulatory message in Akure, the state capital, by its Coordinator-General and Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Adesanya (OkitipupaI) and Adeyitayo Ogunleye (Ifedore), described Akered-

statement to that effect.” The ACN noted that INEC, being an unbiased umpire, would not channel any public communication through the LP. It said the LP has failed to get the people’s support for its doomed agenda and has, therefore, resorted to selfhelp. The party said LP’s tactics include dishing out unfounded propaganda to salvage its rejected second term bid. ACN said: “For the avoidance of doubt, ACN wishes to assert that Akeredolu is a registered voter in his home town, Owo, and this is verifiable. “The ACN candidate, with intimidating credentials coupled with his credible pedigree, no doubt, is the candidate to beat in this election; hence all antics to pull him down at all cost.”

•Teams up with campaign group From Damisi Ojo, Akure

olu as the right candidate for the election. It promised to join the frontline lawyer’s campaign team and put machinery in motion for the party’s victory. The letter reads: “We are using this medium to express our total and unalloyed support for you as the candidate of our great party (ACN) in the coming election. As you embark on a rescue mission to salvage our dear Sunshine State and deliver our people from the

oppressed government of Labour Party (LP), we offer to partner you on this mission to bring it into fruition. “We’re ready to mobilise our supporters across party lines in our constituencies and we will also galvanise and enlist the support of the electorate in the 18 local governments to ensure you record a landslide victory in the election.” The group urged ACN members to shun rancour that might have arisen over the emergence of Akeredolu as ACN candidate.

It said: “We should work assiduously as a team and deliver the state back to the fold of progressive in the Southwest. “This is the right time to rescue our state from the hands of bad elements that currently form the government at Alagbaka Government House. “We must return to the path of a progressive government as laid down and handed to us by our highly revered former governors, the late Adekunle Ajasin and Adebayo Adefarati, by ensuring that ACN forms the next government on February 24, 2013.”

commerce and industries, Environment and advertisement and signage agency. “The reorganisation of the state revenue collection machinery is also expected to lead to a thorough overhaul of the OGIRS and may have accounted for the recent disengagement of some personnel.” On the allegation of fraud, believed to have been perpetrated by some senior workers of the service, the statement noted that “anti-fraud exercise is a routine part of the OGIRS operations”. The government added that when a company made the allegation on July 30, the service reported the matter to the security agencies for investigations. It said four persons were interrogated and detained for a few days. “They have since been released on bail, pending the conclusion of investigation. Also, in line with civil service regulation, the officers concerned have been suspended,” the statement added. The government said the ongoing investigation at OGIRS “is a demonstration of the state government’s zero tolerance for corruption” and has nothing to do with the ongoing reorganisation of the service.

Support for ex-OSOPADEC chief as Akeredolu’s deputy From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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LAJE indigenes in Lagos State have urged the leadership of Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to pick a former chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Chief Adewale Omojuwa, as the party’s deputy governorship candidate for the October 20 election. In a statement by their leaders, Prince Omowole Jide, Mr. Omoboye Ade and Ajimosun Ikajola, the indigenes, under the aegis of Ilaje Democratic Coalition (IDECO), urged ACN leadership to pick Omojuwa as Akeredolu’s running mate. The group noted that Omojuwa’s achievements when he was OSOPADEC chairman have become celebrated legacies. It described Omojuwa as a leader who would be accessible to the people, if he is considered for the position. The Stakeholders noted that for ACN to secure the votes in the Southern Senatorial District, somebody of Omojuwa’s political stature should be paired with the party’s standard bearer. The group advised ACN leaders to probe the political records of every aspirant for the deputy governorship slot. This, it said, would enable the party to pick somebody with good records for the position. The Stakeholders explained that Omojuwa used his position as OSOPADEC chairman to bring development and empower his people without discrimination. “Chief Omojuwa is a leader who will brighten the chances of ACN in the Southern Senatorial District. He has his tentacles spread across all the wards in the area,” the group said.

FRSC arrests 50 ‘traffic offenders’ From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

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HE Itori Unit Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Ogun State yesterday said it has impounded 50 vehicles from offenders for allegedly violating traffic regulations. The vehicles were seized during a special patrol on the Abeokuta-Lagos road. The Unit Commander, Fatai Bakare, told reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, that the owners of the vehicles were also arrested. He said one of the motorists would face a stiffer penalty for attempting to bribe the commission’s officers with N200. Bakare said: “Our main aim of the patrol is to reduce drastically and, if possible, phase out accidents and loss of human lives on our roads. We are going to give it our best to achieve our aim. “Lives are lost on a daily basis due to avoidable accidents, nonchalant attitude, carelessness and total disregard for traffic laws and regulations.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

For now, what we want to communicate here is that we are going to rigorously pursue any hindrance to power supply. And to ensure that we clean up the system, we have to make sure that we deliver more reliable power to the country. - Prof Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power

Naira gains on Shell, Exxon dollar sales

States get checklist on power projects

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From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

HE naira strengthened against the United States dollar on the interbank market yesterday, supported by dollar sales by energy companies - Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil - to some lenders. The local currency closed at N161.70 to the dollar on the interbank market, firmer than the N161.90 to the dollar it closed at last Friday. Traders said Shell sold about $100 million and ExxonMobil sold about $45 million to some lenders, boosting greenback liquidity in the market. “There was strong demand for the dollar, but for the inflows from the oil companies, the naira would have weakened today,” one dealer said. The Central Bank two weeks ago raised the cash reserve requirement for lenders in Africa’s second-biggest economy to 12 per cent from eight per cent and reduced net open foreign exchange positions to one percent from three per cent to support the naira. Traders say its impact has been limited because of high dollar demand. “We expect that the naira will depreciate again in the coming days because of the prevalent strong dollar demand in the market, unless there are more inflows from oil companies,”another dealer said.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

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• Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi tasting a sample at the launch/demonstration of Cassava Bread Initiative in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday. Applauding are Minister of Agriculture Akinwunmi Adesina (second right); Managing Director, UTC Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Foluso Olaniyan (left) and Chairman, Master Bakers, Ekiti State, Mr Bosun Oshaloni (right).

AMCON picks Citibank, RenCap as advisers for bridged banks’ sale • Continued from page 1

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ANAGING Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr Mustapha Chike-Obi, confirmed the appointment of the advisers to the paper yesterday. He said the advisers have a time frame of between three and six months to complete their assignments. Over 20 different bodies – banks and other investors had expressed interest in the bridged banks, while 11 financial advisers were selected by the corporation to ensure that only credible and professional institutions were appointed. The AMCON boss had earlier disclosed that, among the options open to the corporation, was to list the shares of the bridge banks

By Ayodele Aminu, Group Business Editor

on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). “One of the options available to AMCON is to take these institutions public, so that the Nigerian public can have a chance to invest in them. So, we want to look at all the options before we start thinking of who the ultimate investors would be. It is only on the basis of that advice and examination that we come to the best way of selling these banks. “In the expression of interest on these banks, I think over 20 different bodies – banks and other investors have expressed interest. We have not gotten to the stage when we can consider those expressions of interest yet. The process to get there requires: AMCON appointing

an adviser that will evaluate and determine the value of the banks, evaluate all the options available to AMCON,” he said few months ago. He, however, said AMCON was not in a rush to sell the bridged banks because certain procedures among, which include the valuation of the banks, are yet to be executed. The AMCON boss, nonetheless, had assured that the process for sale of the bridged banks would be very transparent. “We will make sure that there is a transparent process that every Nigerian will look at and say we have done fairly. We don’t want anybody to think that these banks were taken over and handed over to special interests. It must be a very trans-

parent process. “Secondly, AMCON must get the best returns on its investments. We are not a charity organisation; we want the best returns on investment. Thirdly, it must be done in the interest of the financial system. And that is where the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) comes in. We must make sure that whoever takes over these banks ultimately is fit and proper to run a bank. We must know where their money is coming from, and we must know that the management is going to be sound. So, those are the three things that we want to consider. So until we get there, we are not in the position to seriously look at any investor interest,” he said.

N300b external funds to Nigeria stolen, says ICPC

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THE Independent and Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has declared that the value of stolen funds from external institutions to Nigeria is over N300 billion since independence in 1960. ICPC Chief Legal Officer Mr Ebenezer Sogunle disclosed this yesterday at a workshop organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Abuja.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

He said the rising rate of corruption would continue to cause underdevelopment and create wider gaps between rich and poor in the country. According to him, the problem for which Nigeria was ranked number one in 2000 by Transparency International has given it a bad name, and that it is still continuing even though Nigeria ranked 40th most-corrupt country last year.

He said: “World Bank estimates that more than N300 billion has been diverted since 1960 till date. But that is from money expected to come from outside.” He pointed out that corruption is also being condoned in places of worship when religious leaders pray over “uncommon blessing” and “testimonies of miraculous financial gain” without proven legal sources. “Our religious leaders don’t tell them to go and seek resti-

tution as the Bible commands. We accept it, pray and life goes on,” he noted. He called for the establishment of desks to name and shame “gift givers” in public institutions as a means of clamping down on bureaucratic corruption. The Head of the Anti-corruption Unit, NPHCDA, Lydia Okoronkwo, said a review of the systems in the agency was to identify those aspects that could likely be compromised by corruption.

‘IITA’s cassava flour bread will save $252m’

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HE Oyo State Government yesterday said the country would save about $252 million yearly if it adopts the new innovation by the researchers at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The institute has produced bread with 40 per cent cassava flour which has similar qualities as 100 per cent wheat flour bread.

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

The innovation, the state government said, would help Nigeria save the amount yearly, and improve the livelihoods of cassava farmers in the country. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Bimbo Kolade, who stated this yesterday during a courtesy call on him by the IITA’s Deputy Director-General, Dr. Kenton Dashiell,

lauded the institute for the giant stride. “We would like to commend IITA for the inclusion of high quality cassava flour in bread. This is a great breakthrough,” he said, adding that the innovation would have a positive impact on the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers, and create wealth with a spin-off effect on job creation for youths.

Beyond the use of composite flour in baking, the courtesy visit identified areas of collaboration between IITA and the Oyo State Government. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Bimbo Kolade, had sought IITA’s help in promoting cassava, maize and yam, as the state embarks on a transformation program to make these crops catalysts of development.

HE Federal Government yesterday directed state governments with the capacity to complement the national power sector to exhibit reasonable diligence before committing their funds. Primary in the checklist is the certainty of gas supply to such power plant as well as ascertaining the primary point of evaluation of electricity when operational. The Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, dropped this hint when the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, visited him with some American investors and partners. In a statement, the Head of Media, Grenye Anosike, stated that Nnaji advised that the proposed 1,000MW Power Plant by the Ebonyi State government should be located at the nearest point of gas supply, as well as the national grid, and that operational licences from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the gas aggregator obtained as specified by law. He assured Elechi that the Federal Government would lend its support, “because the expected 1,000 megawatt would help boost national supply,“ adding that the Ministry of Power would allow experts to collaborate with the state and vet the team’s report study. The Minister noted that 1,000MW of power plant will need 300 million standard cubic feet (scuf) of gas yearly and that the supply of this quantity would require meticulous proactive plan and sustainability.

Why Aviation Minister is on road show, by aide By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

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MID criticism that has greeted her road show to China, the United States and Canada, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, said the trip is not frivolous, but part of the transformation agenda to turnaround the ailing aviation sector. Oduah, who spoke through her Special Assistant, Media, Joe Obi, said: “The investment road show is a key element of the Ministry’s Roadmap for the transformation of the country’s Air Transport Industry. The Roadmap was put in place and presented for approval by Mr President in November 2011, to set a clear agenda and offer strategic markers and guidelines for the steps to be taken. “As Nigerians are aware, the first phase of the transformation journey began with the on-going remodeling of the country’s airports, to raise the standards of comfort, safety, security and prestige for Nigerians and foreigners who use our airports.


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

12

BUSINESS NEWS

Farmers’group gets N5.6b loan from banks

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HE Agbekoya Farmers Association (AFA) has secured about N5.6 billion loan from Stanbic IBTC and Keystone banks. President of the association, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, disclosed this yesterday at the inauguration of the association’s Abuja Chapter. He said the loan is to secure infrastructure needs for the farmers, such as tractors, among others. He said: “This is the first time farmers association without any government’s support went to the bank to secure loan for farmers in Nigeria. “That’s why Agbekoya

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

farmers association stood up and spoke to the banks convincing them that we also know how to do business. So, we went to Stanbic IBTC and Keystone banks and we are able to get the N5.6b loan.” He explained that with more than 150 members, the association has repositioned itself to embark on agribusiness worth N8 billion in the next five years. Okikiola said the group has already started cultivation of 65, 000 hectares of land for cassava, maize, rice, yam, oil palm, cocoa and sorghum. He said the proposed

Agbekoya Farm Settlement will accommodate 5,000 hectares of land for various farm activities. “The Agbekoya Farm Settlement will accommodate 5,000 hectares of land for planting cassava, rice, oil palm, maize, 1.2 million chicken and 29 million tons of fish in the next planning season throughout the FCT,” he added. He appealed to the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Bala Mohammed, to support the association with arable land. In his remark, the Minister advised the association to further organise themselves into groups to have

access to farm supports. Mohammed, who was represented by the FCT Coordinator of Public Private Partnership (PPP), Alhaji Yahaya Hussein, said the FCT administration is ready to support farmers who engage in cassava, rice, maize, sorghum farming and aquaculture. AFA FCT Co-ordinator Moses Obisesan, said agriculture has the potential of addressing unemployment in the territory, stating that there are plans to partner the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Office as part of efforts to meet farmers need in the territory.

Fed Govt, Brazil partner on infrastructure

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HE Federal Govern ment is strengthening its investment pact with Brazil to fast-track the development of infrastructure, the Minister of Trade and Investment,Olusegun Aganga, has said. He stated this this during a meeting with a delegation from a major Brazilian conglomerate, Queiroz Galvao, in Abuja. He said some leading Brazilian companies had already indicated their willingness to invest in the Nigerian economy. He said: “Brazil is an influential member of the BRIC nations with a big appetite for investing in Africa, especially Nigeria. So, there is the need for us to strengthen our partnership with them to attract big investments into our country, especially in those areas where we have competitive and comparative advantage. “When you look at agriculture, Brazil has something similar, or even bigger than what we have. The same applies to mining and oil and gas sectors. But the difference between Brazil

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

and Nigeria is that they have managed to positively exploit their resources across the value chain by converting their raw materials into finished goods. That is the only strategy that any country, including Nigeria, can employ to move from being a poor nation to a rich one. “Another thing is that in Brazil, the appetite for investment in Africa, especially Nigeria, is very huge. They are currently looking for strategic countries, especially Nigeria, where they can invest. In terms of fund for investment, the Brazilian Bank BNDES is bigger than the World Bank. “Through their BNDES, they have been able to channel resources to their private companies to invest internationally. So, the Group that has met with us today is interested in investing in infrastructure – rail, road, refineries, airport, among other things. Another Group from Brazil, is coming to Nigeria next week to explore areas of investment,”he stressed

Conoil gets aviation fuel bowsers

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ITH its recent acqui sition of two new world-class bowsers, Conoil is set to strengthen its leadership position in the aviation subsector of the downstream industry through excellent service delivery to foreign and local airline operators in Nigeria. According to the company, the bowsers are meant to significantly improve fueling requirements of aeroplanes, on real-time basis, with a view to guaranteeing better operations and flight take-off time to the delight of air fliers. The bowsers, powered by MAN-diesel engines, come with the latest technology in Jet A1 delivery equipment, with safety and environmentally-friendly features. Nigeria ranks largest supplier of aviation fuel with depots in the country, Conoil’s acquisition of the bowsers has significantly increased its bowser fleet and the capacity to service its ever-growing clientele.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

According to industry experts, the bowsers are built in accordance with the latest Energy Institute (EI) and the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) standards. Conoil, a strategic partner of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is determined to increase its market share of the aviation fuel business from 30 per cent achieved last year, to 40 percent this year through increased sales volume. As part of efforts to deliver improved financial performance in line with its set business target, the company recently broke new grounds when it secured multi-million naira contracts to supply Jet A1 to Cargolux, a major player in global cargo industry based in Luxemburg, Singapore Cargo Airline, one of the biggest cargo airlines in the world, and seven fuel vendors from the US, Europe and United Arab Emirate.

Airtel partners CNBC, IRTEL Nigeria is Forbes partnering with

A

CNBC and Forbes to host this year’s All Africa Business Leaders’ Awards on August 9 at the Porsche Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event is a celebration of leaders, who are making a difference through innovation and inspiration in their industry sectors. The initiative also serves as a platform to discover business leaders that are creating a culture of entrepreneurship, developing best practices and carving out powerful and sustainable business models in the global economy. Speaking on Airtel’s sponsorship of the awards, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop, said the

company is passionate about creating solid platforms for the celebration of the very best of Nigerian and African talents and leaders. “As an employer of choice, Airtel Nigeria is interested in identifying opportunities that will discover and celebrate exceptional individuals. We are pleased to partner with CNBC and Forbes to honour the finest corporate leaders in Nigeria and Africa,” Swaroop said. The award encourages individuals to strive for sustained excellence and also promote their profiles in Nigeria, Africa and by extension around the world. Business leaders from diverse sectors are billed to attend the event.


13

PROPERTY

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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

* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate

email:- property@thenationonlineng.net

Should Abuja property owners pay tax? • Senators, stakeholders differ on proposed law

•On going Housing Estate project on Airport Road, Abuja

To develop infrastruture in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), some senators and developers are proposing that property owners, especially those in the highbrow Maitama and Asokoro be taxed. But yet the senators and developers do not see any need for such taxation because it may lead to a hike in rent. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports •CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

•Land reform: Fed Govt allays fear over ownership - PAGE 14

•Ogun begins massive repair of roads

- PAGE 52

•Group advocates uniformed

body for surveyors - PAGE 52


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

Should Abuja property owners pay tax? •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

T

HE quest to have a Federal Capital City with competitive infrastructure has put a strain on the finance of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), whose limited budgetary provisions remain a constraint. This has elicited calls from various quarters for alternative sources of funding for a city where infrastructure and services will be topnotch. The city is largely dependent on the government as a major source of funding. But to create a portfolio of funding, stakeholders including legislators from the National Assembly have tipped property taxation as a desirable and major alternative source of funding to keep the capital city running. As a city with clear cut-out districts and settlement classifications, the proponents of tax law have carved out the upper and middle class abodes of Asokoro, Central Area, Maitama, Wuse, Garki, Jabi, Wuye, Gudu, Durumi, Utako, Gwarinpa and Wuse II as areas to be taxed. Former National Secretary of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV) Mr Sam Ukpong said taxation remains a source of revenue for any government. He said it becomes progressive if what is taxed is the income a particular property generates and not capital value, which is retrogressive by all standards. Mr Ukpong said: “While property tax remains a genuine source of revenue to any government, it nevertheless becomes retrogressive if it becomes multiple where all levels and strata of the government come up with spurious taxes

• A housing project on Airport Road, Abuja

on the same property.” He stressed that it would affect real estate development and may create more problems for government as far as the quest to attract the private sector to housing development is concerned. This, he said, is in addition to the need to bridge the housing gap. National President, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Chief Olabode Afolayan, said the association was working towards checking what he called double taxation of its members. The REDAN President, who spoke through the spokesperson for

the association, Hajia Binta Ibrahi, disclosed that the association was deliberating on how to address multiple taxation to protect its members. A developer, Mr Chidi Ikoro, said the idea of property tax was not bad, especially as the government is targeting the upscale abode in Abuja. He noted that the rich is expected to pay more to enable the government provide the needed infrastructure the poor majority will benefit from as it is done all over the world. However, he cautioned the government on the need to put the revenue to good use by provid-

ing the needed infrastructure to encourage housing development by the private sector. Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, while supporting the need for property tax in the FCT, said the projected revenue for next year from the identified districts as tax would be in excess of N61 billion. He said his support stemmed from the need to have an alternative source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the FCT to ensure continuous and adequate provision and development of infrastructure.

He said: “Property tax is aimed at getting the wealthy people to contribute to the wellbeing of the masses; it is targeted at the high brow areas of Abuja. Let them pay because they can afford it; we will take from the rich to provide for the poor. “We will ensure the proceeds from property tax are not used to pay contractors constructing roads in Abuja as the proceeds would be effectively monitored.” Adeyemi added that the idea is to focus on development that would impact positively on the lives of the people in FCT. Senate President David Mark, said for the development of the FCT, property owners in Abuja must be taxed. But Senator Ben Ayade criticised the proposed tax, saying it would amount to imposing more burden on the “overburdened masses of Nigeria.’’ He suggested that alternative revenue sources should be explored to develop infrastructure rather than the proposed property tax. He said: “Any additional tax on the people is not right because the revenue generated cannot be properly accounted for. All over the world, the best way to improve on revenue is for you to diversify. The timing of the property tax is wrong too,’’ he said. For Senator Joshua Dariye, property tax would bring suffering to the people as they would eventually be forced to pay higher rents by the landlords. According to him, any additional tax is capable of serving as a disincentive as a lot of people are facing challenges even without property tax.

Land reform: Fed Govt allays fear over ownership

T

HE Federal Government has reiterated that its reform in the management and administration of land is not to revoke the existing Land Use Act but to make it workable. According to the government, the reform is not to usurp the powers of state governors and local government chairmen over land administration or deny individuals, communities or corporate bodies of the right to their lands. It also allayed fears that the reform would not lead to the revocation of existing land documents, such as Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). Chairman of the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform Prof. Peter Adeniyi made these disclosures while delivering a keynote address at a forum in Abuja. He regretted that only three per cent of the country’s land was registered. “It is important to let Nigerians know that the land reform is not meant to repeal the extant Land Use Act but what we want to do is to see how it can be made workable. “As it is now, there is not much that can be achieved from it; but by the time we are through with the assignment, we would have interacted with people

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

and communities across the country to actually know how to make our land economically viable, not only for land owners but also to government’s as well. “What happens to the unregistered 97 per cent land? Government needs to know for the economic benefit of the owners and government as well.” Adeniyi regretted that Nigeria seemed to be alone as it was ranked 180 out of 183 countries of the world that have taken up land registration. “Facts have shown that investments flow naturally and more to countries with land registration system while those without comprehensive land registration would have nothing to attract foreign investors with,” he added. He also disclosed that the committee had concluded plans to commence the registration programme in Kano and Ondo states as a pilot scheme. “5,000 parcels of land would be registered from two locations in each of states. We will take one in an urban area and the other from a rural area. We are going to adopt the systematic approach of land registration rather than the existing sporadic approach.”

•Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Adekunle Alonge and Alhaji Umaru Mutallab at the launch of Incar Plaza at Abuja.

Obtain approval before construction, says Lagos govt

T

HE public has again been advised to seek planning information with approved development plan before building to avoid contraventions. Lagos Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development Mr Olutoyin Ayinde, gave the advice during the monthly enforcement and

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

monitoring in Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of the state. He decried the attitude of people who build structures on major roads without due consideration and regard for the required set back or, where such set backs were available, are be-

ing used for economic activities, which creates traffic congestion and blockage of the drains. Ayinde warned that the government would not fold its hands while people disobeyed the laws of the state. He said henceforth aside the building owners, the professionals who handle such projects would also be penalised and re-

ported to their professional institutes for further sanctions. At the Progress Estate, Iba, the same scenario played out as he queried the establishment of the estate without any approved layout and development plans for the houses. He also discovered that some of the structures within the estate were built on drainage chan-

nels resulting in severe flooding whenever there is a downpour. Chairman of the Community Development Association Mr Olufemi Ajose, while soliciting government’s interventio, however, pleaded on behalf of the association and pledged the readiness of his members to abide and cooperate with the government to seek solution to the flooding.


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18

AVIATION

Experts differ on Obakpolor’s report

•Princess Oduah

•Demuren

S

OME experts have expressed divergent views on the report of the Group Captain John Obakpolor panel on aviation The panel conducted a technical and administrative review of the sector following the June 3 Dana plane crash in which 153 died. Babatunde Obadofin, an aeronautical engineer and Sam Obukelihor, an aviation consultant, differed on the panel’s position that laxity in regulation and unacceptable practices among operators were part of the sector’s problems. Obadofin faulted the position of the panel by blaming poor regulatory oversight as part of the reasons for the DANA Air, June 3 crash. He alleged that the panel did not do enough before pointing fingers. He said the panel should have been specific on which areas needed emergency. Obukelihor hailed the report for harping on improved training for Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), personnel, which he, however, said must be specific. He said: "That is a welcome development, anybody that is ask-

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

ing for training of aviation workers is calling for improved efficiency. “But, such training must be specific in terms of the fact that it will fill a vacuum in the sector. Such training must be based on needs, not a jamboree. As much as the training will address specific needs, it is a wonderful idea, it should be implemented. “The kind of training we have now, is the base for the aviation sector, the agencies have to take it further from here and spread it round more personnel." Obadofin said: " It is very unfortunte that the aviation industry has found itself in this kind of position. It is indeed very unfortunate that we are at this level. first, let us look back to where the level of safety in the industry was before we got to this level. Let us look at what we have achieved in the last couple of years,there was serious doubt about the ability of our regulatory authority to carry out its oversight functions. “As an industry expert, we

•Obakpolor

have to look at different areas in the Obakpolor Panel report, before we can make a fair assessment of the issues involved. We have to dissect the panel's report from different angles." “But, the committee should have looked beyond the DANA Air crash and examined other issus in the sector. “This is because a statutory body is already in place to find out the cause of the accident. This panel report has come to completely usurp the functions of that body. They have not done a completely comprehensive investigation, they have just looked at one area of maintenance practices.” “The committee ought to look at other areas, perhaps they did not have the time or understanding or competence to focus on maintenance practices. The committee said the government should declare a state of emergency in the sector. The panel should have advocated the state of emergeny in the areas I just mentioned. The panel should no create the impression that there is a state of emergency in safety management system."

Group seeks pay parity

N

ATIONAL secretary of the National Association of Aviation Professionals (NAPA) Comrade Abdulrasaq Siedu has canvassed the setting up of an aviation employers consultative association to resolve disparity in renumeration. Siedu spoke at a workshop organised in collaboration with the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) for representatives of management and branch trade union leaders in SangoOta, Ogun State. Siedu said it was imperative to bridge the gap in personnel renumeration, so that some workers are not shortchanged, because they were transfered from either the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) or the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to NAMA. He said: "This training is key for aviation industry personnel, because

it is needed for the growth and development of the industry. This is coming on the heels of absence of proper training in the sector, in terms of the relationship between workers and the management of aviation organisations. “This training will provide a platform for management to improve on employer and employee relationship, including the role of the supervisory ministry of aviation. On the transfer of some personnel from FAAN, and NCAA into NAMA, and the attendant disparity in salary, Siedu said:" This is a serious issue that may brew trouble in the sector, if it is not adequately addressed. Already, this development has created acrimony among workers in the agency. What labour is trying to do, is to meet the management of NAMA , which is responsible for looking at how this

•A cross-section of participants at the workshop

disparity will be harmonised.” If this disparity in salary is not addressed in good time, it could engender ill-feeling among a section of the personnel. The flip side of this is that the unity among the workers that is the objective of management may not be achieved. This could affect productivity, and the I am sure when the uinon leaders meet the management adjustment will be made to the people that are affected,”he said. We want government to put in place a process that will accelerate the coming together of the Board of Airline Representatives ( BAR), and the Airline Operators of Nigeria ( AON), to be registered as an employers' association for the aviation industry, such that issues bordering on workers wages are resolved at a common platform.

Making the airports attractive

B

EFORE the coming of Aviation Minister Princess Stella Odua, successive administrations paid lip service to the development of aviation infrastructure. Airports and Terminals had existed for almost 40 years without any upgrade in facilities, and as such they had become decayed. It is pertinent to note this simple analogy –an airport that has no functional toilet facilities is not one that should be in the business of flying. It was this dysfunctional and national embarrassment that prompted the minister to embark on infrastructural development. An instance of the aforementioned is the near life threatening case of power outages at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, which has relied heavily on generating plants because the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) does not always meet the airport’s power requirements. The ministry has finished conceptualising a lasting solution that will soon be implemented. Some of the Ministry’s traducers looking for straws to hold on to have gone to the Appropriation Act for validation; however they may wish to note that even the law makes exemptions in certain cases. The fact is the minister assumed office in July, last year, several months after the Appropriation Act 2011 had been passed. The National Assembly then appropriated part of the funds to the ministry in its Appropriation Act 2011 while the balance was in the existing Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) account which is with the ministry. To access the appropriated funds for these projects and utilise the BASA funds, the National Assembly is empowered to exercise control by giving or withholding approval. Another point to note is the minister’s courage to overcome bureaucratic in addressing dilapidating airport infrastructure. She achieved

this by applying the provision of the Procurement Act of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) under which the requirement for advertisement and bidding was waived to fast track the duration of conception to completion of the numerous aviation infrastructure. Even though the waivers were obtained, there can be no escaping due process as this is the only means of ensuring that all those involved abide by the tenets of probity and accountability. These include getting approvals from the National Assembly (because the projects came after the 2011 Appropriation Act), BPE, Ministry of Finance etc. These are statutory requirements that the ministry and contractors are obliged to comply with; as such this naturally delayed the timeline of the projects. The most embarrassing cause of delay in the execution is the distraction caused by the petitions and allegations over these projects. Instead of concentrating on the execution of the projects, the minister, permanent secretary, directors of the ministry, contractors and the agency heads have been tossed between several committees of the National Assembly and other government agencies to respond to the petitions. Work has consequently been delayed or stopped. It should be noted also that no one has complained about the quality of work being done at the airports, no one is unhappy with the fact that for the first time the projects are not concentrated in Lagos but are spread to Yola, Kano, Owerri, Benin, Kaduna etc. A mere whitewash cannot undo the dilapidation of ages, the ministry is ensuring that a thorough job is done. Stakeholders must insist that the rejuvenation of the sector is not derailed; if we aspire to greatness our airport terminals must be the best as we welcome the world to our shores. •Yakubu Dati writes from Abuja.

Power upgrade begins at MMA2

M

ANAGERS of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Lagos, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) has launched a multi-billion naira power enhancement project for the terminal. The first phase of the project, which will sustain alternate power supply to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) began yesterday and will last about 60 days. A statement issued by the company’s spokesman, Steve Omolale-Ajulo, said the completion of the first phase is expected to bring added advantage to the terminal. According to the statement, the first phase involves the upgrade of the capacity of two of the four-unit generators supplying power to the terminal, saying “BASL hopes that

all the relevant agencies and bodies will co-operate to ensure the success of this project. Said Omolale-Ajulo: “The project became necessary to ensure and guarantee continuous uninterrupted power supply, which is one of the best qualities MMA2 is known for since it began operation five years ago. It is also our desire that airline operation is undisturbed and airport concessionaires and users have a comfortable place to operate from. “Having been used to uninterrupted power supply in the last five years, we cannot offer users of MMA2 anything less. This project is one of the measures we have put in place to ensure that the terminal remains the flagship of airport terminals in Nigeria with the best of round-the-clock and well-maintained facilities.”

Options for Delta customers

C

USTOMERS requiring more flexibility when it comes to their travel plans are taking advantage of Delta Airline’s subsidiary, Delta Private Jets. Offering an expansive fleet of aircraft, with a network spanning over 5,000 North American airports, Delta Private Jets offers individuals and companies flexible, cost-effective travel solutions, with a range of aircraft and pricing options available to suit their needs. Delta Airlines is investing more than $3 billion in 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Delta Airlines operates scheduled service to the United States from six African cities in five countries: Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; Johannesburg,

South Africa; Monrovia, Liberia; and Dakar, Senegal. Delta Private Jets offers customers wishing to travel outside of regular scheduled services, access to charter aircraft from small jets accommodating eight people with a range of up to 2,000 miles, to larger jets for up to 14 people with a range of up to 5,000 miles. Customers wishing to book on Delta Private Jets can purchase a Delta Private Jets Card from between $50,000 to $200,000. This offers locked-in pricing for up to two years, with no fuel surcharges and taxes included. There are also no interchange fees for switching between aircraft types and multiple aircraft can be booked for use on the same day. Hourly and daily rates are determined by destination and aircraft size. Funds can also be used for commercial travel on Delta.


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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COMMENTARY EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

EDITORIALS

Badminton’s black eye

Underpaying FG •Once again, NEITI alleges that oil firms have shortchanged the country by $2.33bn

T

HE report from the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) that oil firms underpaid Nigeria by a whopping $2.33 billion deserves urgent attention by relevant authorities. To allow such a huge amount of our common patrimony unaccounted for is condemnable; so necessary steps should be taken to recover the money. It is also necessary that the officials responsible for such laxity be brought to justice for economic sabotage. Moreover, the foreign oil firms involved deserve to be sanctioned, to send a message to both local and international operators in the industry that Nigeria must be given her due in any transaction.Over the years, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries have proved incapable of protecting our national business interest, as they grovel at the feet of international foreign

‘While making efforts to recover what has been wrongly taken from the Federal Government, there is the need to have a very strong legal regime to guard against such possibilities in the future. The NNPC and its subsidiaries should be forced to obey Nigeria’s extant laws. Those who refuse should be relieved of their responsibility and punished, as no nation makes progress by allowing indiscriminate stealing from its common patrimony’

oil companies. Ranging from operational incapacity to collusion, our nation’s oil industry has remained a laggard among its contemporaries, and also one of the most opaque in the world. It is indeed most unfortunate that despite the creation of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and exploration subsidiaries of the corporation, to promote exploration and monitor and collate data of our nation’s exploration and exportation of oil resources, cases of corruption, ineptitude and underhand dealings continue to plague the industry. NEITI was established to checkmate these lapses, yet, our oil industry has scarcely made any progress. Just as the current report of underhand dealings has confirmed, the body has since its inauguration consistently reported that those exercising responsibility to protect our interests have also consistently failed the nation, or in the least, are incapable. The result is that despite NEITI’s findings over the years, Nigerians have continued to be shortchanged over the income that ordinarily should be earned from the industry. As government changes the management in the industry over the years, every new management throws up one high sounding reformation programme or another, while in reality no significant effort is made to change the way business is done in the industry. Part of the reason for the intractable corruption in the industry is that the country’s leaders treat the corporation as the main source of slush funds for all manner of expediency. Indeed, every Nigerian leader, whether military or civilian, sees the control of the oil industry as the main reason for being

in power. The result is that despite the propaganda about transparency as an agenda of any government, the reality is that the oil industry is completely excluded from such effort. Many government officials in the oil industry erroneously believe that the NNPC is bigger than any other government institution. Influential officials of the state who benefit from the corruption in the oil industry also support the opacity, as they do not want a look in as to how our common patrimony is shared. So, the NNPC remains the chief megalomania in Nigeria and it routinely regards its conduct as irreproachable. Shamefully, we have had many leaders of the corporation who refused to open their books for public scrutiny, and acted as if the constitutional requirement that all income of the federation must be paid into a federation account does not apply to them. Again, the corporation sees itself as an arm of the Federal Government, instead of a national corporation accountable to the federation. That perhaps is why, routinely, the corporation is rightly accused of deducting and spending money earned on behalf of the federation without any appropriation. While making efforts to recover what has been wrongly taken from the Federal Government, there is the need to have a very strong legal regime to guard against such possibilities in the future. The NNPC and its subsidiaries should be forced to obey Nigeria’s extant laws. Those who refuse should be relieved of their responsibility and punished, as no nation makes progress by allowing indiscriminate stealing from its common patrimony.

Needless expedition •Federal Government seeks to chase after the Mali Islamists while guns still boom at home

I

S it possible that the Federal Government would deploy that ageold subterfuge gun-boat diplomacy as a strategy to shore up its fastdwindling popularity at home? We ask this question because this is not the best of times for Nigeria to send her troops abroad to fight an utterly unprovoked war. But that is what government seems about to do as it mobilises Nigeria’s military to chase after the Malian Islamist rebels. This much we can glean from the statements emanating both from Aso Rock and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Early last week, Dr Reuben Abati, spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan had said that Nigeria is

‘Nigeria can ill-afford a foreign military operation now. As ECOWAS military chiefs were holding their covert meetings last week, Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorists were busy hitting sensitive targets in a suicidal war they have waged effectively with government for two years. Apart from missing killing two emirs narrowly, Boko Haram attacked the house of Vice President Namadi Sambo in Zaria, Kaduna’

committed to resolving the crisis in Mali. The same feelers are emanating from the foreign affairs ministry, from where it has been made known that Nigeria has a duty and a role to play in salvaging the situation in Mali, ostensibly to quell the activities of the Islamic fundamentalists who are unleashing mindless terror on the desert country and her people. There are also indications that both the political powers and the military hierarchies of the countries across the West Coast of Africa making up the sub-region are on the same page about intervening in Mali. The current chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and Ivorien president, Alassane Ouattara, speaking recently on the Mali situation, said that troops from ECOWAS States would soon be deployed to Mali. “It seems to me inevitable,” he was quoted to have said. Ouattara also confirmed that military chiefs have been meeting and there is a plan to establish an African peace-keeping force. There is no doubt that Nigeria would want to play the big brother role in this expedition. If only for pride’s sake, she would have the commanding role therefore, she would contribute the most number of men, and would naturally, pick the bulk of the bills. It cannot be overemphasised that the Federal Government must join this fray with ample clear-headedness. War with the Islamists will neither be quick nor easy. First, the north of Mali is a difficult desert terrain and the Islamists who are

majorly Tuaregs would not engage the ‘peace-keepers’ in a conventional warfare. With a combination of suicide attacks, ambush tactics and scorched earth maneouvres, this seemingly quick and simple intervention will go for years, turning into a punishing odyssey in which retreat would be an utter humiliation, especially for Nigeria. Nigeria can ill-afford a foreign military operation now. As ECOWAS military chiefs were holding their covert meetings last week, Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorists were busy hitting sensitive targets in a suicidal war they have waged effectively with government for two years. Apart from missing killing two emirs narrowly, Boko Haram attacked the house of Vice President Namadi Sambo in Zaria, Kaduna. Their attacks have been relentless and vicious across most parts of the north of Nigeria, warranting the government to deploy soldiers massively in what ought to be a police and security agents’ affair. The cost of prosecuting this ‘war’ at home has been enormous, causing huge gaps in the budget. The economy of the country and particularly that of the northern part of Nigeria has been comatose for nearly two years. All these have grave consequences. In other words, Nigeria has enough troubles of her own; there is absolutely no need to add to them. We say to President Goodluck Jonathan, be wise; let Mali pass.

T

HE decision to eject eight players for throwing matches is inconsistent with examples from other sports. Badminton, which stands with cricket as the most British of sports, conjures images of heiresses in lace playing on manor lawns that stretch to the horizon, or blond young gentlemen at Eton in blindingly white sweaters and shorts. Developed by the British aristocracy in India in the 19th century, it has traditionally been a gentleman’s — sorry, gentleperson’s — game. So when eight women players from three Asian countries did something not quite cricket at the London Olympics, it hit the cloistered organization that oversees the sport like a shuttlecock slam to the groin. The players threw their games in an effort to face lesstalented opponents in future rounds of the round-robin tournament, missing easy shots, hitting serves into the net and otherwise playing less like Olympians than kids with a backyard badminton set from Target. This didn’t just anger the crowd; it violated the precepts of sportsmanship that are supposed to guide not only badminton but all of Olympic competition. The response from the Badminton World Federation on Wednesday was to eject the eight players from the Games, generating sharp discussion and controversy. Was it the right move? Not in light of similar behavior in other Olympic sports, and not when one considers the increasing professionalization of the Games. Moreover, it seems an unduly harsh response given that none of the ejected athletes actually broke any rules; they simply made the rational decision to tank in one game in order to get a more favorable position in the medal round. Smart strategy isn’t the same as cheating. And yet … there is something comforting, even morally uplifting, in the idea that the old values of sportsmanship still matter. Or that the principle the International Olympic Committee refers to as “Olympism” carries some weight. The problem is, it isn’t particularly fair to enforce these values in badminton when the federations that control other Olympic sports aren’t doing the same. As The Times recently reported, very similar behavior by the Japanese women’s soccer team was met with shrugs. The players were told by their coach not to score in their game Tuesday against South Africa, because a loss or tie would give them a more winnable matchup in the next round. It’s impossible to know how often such strategizing occurs in sports such as soccer, basketball and volleyball that employ round-robin tournaments, but we suspect it has happened many times before (although games are seldom tossed as flagrantly as the ejected badminton players from China, South Korea and Indonesia tossed theirs). No matter what the sport, many would argue that gaming the system is just part of the game. Fans boo when baseball pitchers intentionally walk a powerful batter in order to face a less-reliable hitter, but most realize that this weighing of odds and player strengths is at the strategic heart of baseball. What’s more, it’s not too surprising that Olympic values have eroded when our perception of those values has shifted so radically over time. Created as a showcase for the amateur athlete from which professionals were banned, the Games now feature such pro superstars as Kobe Bryant and Serena Williams, and few fans seem bothered. For all that, though, there still is such a thing as Olympic values, as expressed in the IOC’s charter — which all nations participating in the Games are obliged to uphold. It includes the seven principles of Olympism, of which the first seems most germane: “Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.” Presumably, these principles don’t include playing like a scrub in order to improve your tournament position. There is an obvious technical way to solve this problem: redesign tournaments to remove any incentive for intentionally losing. The IOC could also help avoid confusion by more clearly defining what it means in Article 2 of its charter about ensuring that “the spirit of fair play prevails.” More clarity on such matters would make future punishments like the badminton ejections less surprising or unexpected. – Los Angeles Times

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

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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: After he broke the barrier of godfatherism and external influences to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal has led the House to tread the path of transparency and accountability to Nigerians. His dynamic leadership of the House has made the lower House to become a centre of reflection of the voices of the masses. The House, under his administration has defied the wrath of the godfathers; and has risked the axe of corruption-fattened cabals, so as to ensure better standard of living for Nigerians. It is evident that the House under the leadership of Aminu Tambuwal has overshadowed its counterpart- the Senate as the latter is not better than a toothless dog that can’t even bark. In recent times, the House of Representatives has always been at the forefront of getting to the roots of shady deals among public office holders and technocrats in the country. This makes one to wonder whether the country is operating a unicameral legislature, as the Senate has not been active enough to get the attention of the Nigerians they claim to be representing. Earlier in the year, when the removal of fuel subsidy culminated in crisis all over the country, members of the House of Representatives were on recess; the speaker then called an emergency meeting of the House in order to prevent further complication of the case. In addition, the House did not relent on ensuring transparency in the

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

Tambuwal’s leadership of the House investigation of the subsidy scandal. It was the patriotic act of the House that unveiled the dubious deals of some ‘untouchable’ evil geniuses in the country. Though, there were attempts to sabotage the subsidy report through calculated witch hunt of probe committee chairman, Farouk Lawan; yet, the House deserves commendation for allowing illumination of the darkened truths for

Nigerians to see. The zeal of the House to ensure accountability in governance can also be seen in the summoning of President Goodluck Jonathan few weeks ago to come and make known his stance on the high rate of insecurity in the country. This is sequel to the wanton loss of lives and properties that have ravaged the country in recent times as a result of the activities of the seem-

ingly intractable Boko Haram sect and the Jos unrest. This action of the House is arguably first of its kind in recent times. The current impeachment threat against the President on budget implementation attests to the fearlessness of the House. It also speaks volumes of the House unfriendly stance against corruption and mismanagement of funds in the country.

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• Simon Godwin University of Lagos.

National Assembly should consider creation of new states

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IR: Nigeria has 36 states and there are clamouring for additional states throughout the federation. Politically, it’s a welcome idea. The criterion for creating states now is to correct the wrongs done to some areas or old provinces in pre-independence Nigeria. For example, in the South-west, there were Egba, Ijebu, Ondo and Oyo provinces, while Oyo and Ondo has four states, Egba and Ijebu combined has one instead of four states while Lagos Colony became a state. In 1914 after the amalgamation of Nigeria, there were three strong regional governments plus a Federal Government. At the ad-

vent of military, state creation started with 12, six in the North and six in the south. Subsequent military government increased it to 19,27 and 36. The last creation of 36 states during the Abacha administration didn’t favour the Southwest for political reasons which are known to many Nigerians. Considering these facts, during the first creation, West/Midwest had three states while East had three states. Now, West/Midwest which was part of western region has eight states and Eastern Region has nine states. The Southeast people are agitating for more states or at least one state to make it 10,

as against eight in the old western region. The same question could be asked from government for creating states (19 north, 17 south). Sentiments apart and in-fairness in terms of land mass; these extra two states for the north could be justified. I recommend the creation of additional states based on equality of old provinces and political necessity. That is, North to have 22 states, West to have 10 states and East to have 10 states to be broken down as follows: South East – One plus existing nine states. South West – Two (Ijebu and up-

Drawing from the well of the past IR: As a people, our sense of history is too short-lived and small in supply. We hardly remember the past to gauge the present either out of deliberate negligence or through the sheer force of nature. The above premise is partly responsible for our organic failure as a nation. More so, it is the chief culprit that is responsible for recycling the same set of leaders whose pedigrees we know like we recite Psalm 23 yet we allow them. It is either they are brought back from obscurity or retirement to con-

All these were possible as a result of the purposeful leadership and the patriotic instinct of all members of the House. However, the Speaker and members of the House need the support of all Nigerians to ensure better performance of its functions which include getting rid of corruption and checking the excesses of other arms of government. It is necessary to encourage the members of the House so as to enable them to work better for the growth of the country, and to give them the necessary backing that will make them to comfortably cope with any external pressure that might impede the actualization of their plans.

tinue the havoc on our nation or through their offspring. I ask: can a goat give birth to a lamb? Impossible! Dr Doyin Okupe has just been appointed as Senior Special Assistant to the President on public affairs. Whatever that means. We all do remember too well who the medical doctor-turned- politician is and his role in the presidency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Does he deserve the recall? I leave judgments to the parliament of those who are conversant with the epoch of that dispensation.

Going through the published names of those named in the subsidy scam, one is disturbed to find the names of the children of prominent Nigerians. What is disturbing about this trend is that these patriarchs have benefited immensely from the fraud Nigeria is and they simply want their second generation to continue from wherever they may stop. Of course, from the calibre of the people indicted, one can be sure that the case is dead on arrival. So long as we continue to ignore the past in our epileptic quest for a

better nation, so long its ghost will continue to haunt us. Obama drew great lessons from the past especially from the presidency of Abram Lincoln. That is why he has been able to record some modest successes. Nigeria may not have been gifted with stellar leaders in the past but some good ones did exist. If we cannot draw any strength from the past, we can draw some invaluable lessons from its weaknesses so as know what to do. The leaders and the led have a role to play here. • Akinboyo Temidayo, Igbotako,Ondo State

per Ogun) plus existing eight states North – three existing 19 states Two in the Middle Belt and one in far north of Kaduna area or as the National Assembly may deem it fit. The restructuring of Nigeria should not stop at the creation of states but the geo-political zone, based on the new state creation should be included in the constitutional amendment. The National Assembly should state how the six zones shall be governed with the states under the zone as the zone will be under the Federal Government. The National Assembly should amend the Local Government law to place it under zones/states, preferably under states. Any state can create as many local governments as needed, once it is subjected to state legislature, approval and other due process as stated in the 1999 constitution as amended without National Assembly involvement. The excuse of economic viability of the new states to be created is not convincing enough. None of the existing states with the exception of three states throughout the federation is viable. • Olaitan Oshinuga, Agboyi Road, Ketu, Lagos.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

COMMENTS

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Shonekan at the head. HE Biblical prodigal son reNone for him, the sacredness turned with full contriteness, of a people’s vote. None for begging his father to consider him, a future Nigeria built on him as just a servant, since he had lost justice and fair play. All for the privilege of being called his father’s him was the rat-race of not beson. ing surpassed in glory by But the prodigal fathers of Nigerian MKO, another Egba kin, whose power politics have returned with nothsupreme sacrifice he never ing but empty cant, and even emptier Olakunle even for one second acknowlgrandstanding on Nigerian “unity”. lordbeek@yahoo.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola edged; even if he was prime Enter then, Olusegun Obasanjo, masbeneficiary of MKO’s martyrter of cant in Nigeria’s public space; and dom. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), But the grand and piquant without a doubt the most wayward irony: the same Obasanjo that wielder of executive power in Nigeria’s helped to sustain the electoral troubled political history. Both have date; and was likely to be defeated. The Sultan was prescient; criminality of June 12, and who the North picked as sop to returned as chief peace makers in the month of Ramadan! and the annulment show was probably his agenda. Yet between their wilful, reckless selves, they account for bury the ghost of June 12 by giving another “Yoruba man”the Another Omoruyi Tale of June 12 claimed a concert of north- presidency for eight years, is the same character to deal the the genesis of Nigeria’s present troubles! ern emirs were agitated at the outcome of June 12 and were North its bitter comeuppance, that the clueless Goodluck Generals Obasanjo and IBB are authors of a cynical appeal threatening not to accept the result, simply because the north- Jonathan insists is at the root of the Boko Haram insurrection! at “peace”(without justice) in the “spirit of Ramadan” – ern candidate lost; prompting the then British High Commispious but gratuitous cant that purports longsuffering NigeWhen it was time to tell the truth on the zoning question, sioner in Nigeria, Sir Christopher Macrae, to offer to mediate, Obasanjo, who always boasts his word is his bond, disavowed rians are fools. Then the old, time-worn nonsense: that since it was clear MKO’s win was beyond reproach. Nigeria’s unity is”non-negotiable”! zoning, despite that formula gifting him the presidency for Even Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, chair of the National Electoral two terms; and sensationally served the North the bitter pill Settled “unity” was the ignoble battle cry every reckless Commission (NEC) that conducted that epochal election, in military junta mouthed, especially the terrible breed of the of injustice it routinely forced down the throat of the rest of his book on June 12, pointedly accused David Mark, current the country, the June 12 criminality being only the latest! post-Yakubu Gowon years; of which Obasanjo and IBB were senate president but then a brigadier-general in the Nigerian proud and unfazed actors. But parallel to mouthing this The law of Karma at play? No doubt. But which is better: Army that IBB presided over, of threatening to personally shoot staying true to principle and good conscience or begging the cynical patriotism, they unleashed structural and sundry MKO, should MKO become president by virtue of that elec- question over “peace” when sure injustice would result in the injustices, violently and diametrically opposed to unity tion, despite its transparency. hinged on justice, equity and fair play. The cumulative reexact opposite? But all of these people were mere power rogues. The power sult is the current security meltdown. If IBB had stayed true to principle and good conscience, he barawothat annulled that election, so wilfully, so cynically and would not forever be haunted by the ghost of June 12; and Now, the proverbial chicken has come home to roost. so brazenly was IBB himself. Yet, the tragedy of tragedies is that both Obasanjo and IBB, would not cut the sorry picture of a phoney peacemaker, the Now, did he ever think he would one day become a helpless latest role he is acting with Obasanjo. classic poster boys of Nigerian leadership failure, in their peacenik, appealing for sterile peace – all through his years as political and biological winter years, could manage no betIf Obasanjo had stayed true to principle and good conscience, self-appointed “military president”, who was not only in gov- he would not have gained the fake glory of a second coming, ter wisdom than mealy-mouthed appeal at “peace”, backed ernment but also in power; and was, to boot, an expert in the which though he coveted, has greatly diminished him. He by an empty presumption of Nigerian “unity”being, willytheory and practice of violence, who reserved the right to un- would also not have shockingly disavowed the formula that nilly, a done deal. Some satanic deal! leash injustice as he pleased and heavens would not fall? It is propelled him to be elected president; and would therefore The current security meltdown had its roots in the brazen end times, indeed, for the Lugard debacle! annulment of the 12 June 1993 presidential election, which probably have averted the current security crisis, which not a And now, Obasanjo! Obasanjo, instead of balking at the June few believe Obasanjo’s shocking zoning volte-face triggered. Basorun Moshood Abiola (MKO), in Mallam Adamu 12injustice only hee-hawed; and in his usual empty grandstand- It is on this same crisis he now grandstands as happy peaceCiroma’s words, won “fair and square.” And who annulled ing, only helped to midwife what Alhaji Lateef Jakande back maker! that election but the Ramadan peacenik, IBB? then dubbed “interim nonsense”; with the pathetic Ernest A Nigerian cynical quip holds: all of us are rogues; but But beyond personal failings, the most unpardonable of whoever is caught is the barawo. So, sure, there were many Obasanjo and IBB latest grandstanding over “peace” is the power rogues, a good number if not most of them of north“However the Nigerian question is reroguish claim that Nigeria’s unity is beyond question. This is ern extraction, behind the June 12 annulment. an empty claim, which attempts to paper over serious strucsolved, Obasanjo and IBB cannot be part Prof. Omo Omoruyi, director-general of IBB-era Centre tural deficiencies that have made the 1914 creation of Lord for Democratic Studies (CDS) and an insider probably privy Lugard such a hellish reality. of the solution. They are too much part to many of the happenings then, revealed in his The Tale of However the Nigerian question is resolved, Obasanjo and of the problems to be useful to anyone. June 12, how a deposed Sultan of Sokoto made an impasIBB cannot be part of the solution. They are too much part of sioned plea to IBB to either postpone the June 12 election or the problem to be useful to anyone. Problem is: they won’t Problem is: they would keep mum beannul the result. The reason? Because in Bashir Omar Tofa, keep mum because they crave infernal relevance! fore they crave infernal relevance!” MKO’s presidential opponent, the North had a weak candi-

epublican ipples

Return of the prodigals

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T is no coincidence that no one, save few in government, talks anymore about the so-called vision 20-2020. The managers of the economy, who only a few years back had seemed sure-footed in the height of the roaring commodity prices, appears now less assured about the prospects of the Eldorado they had sang with barely eight years to the target destination. Rather than own up to their folly and myopia, they are back to same old game of bickering over inanities. This time, the subject is the implementation of Budget 2012. So much for the reductionist farce – the irritating econometrics of Budget 2012 implementation in which a nation on perpetual regression is forced to undertake lessons in Economics 101. That was meant to be the substitute therapy for the meltdown in governance across the board. Have your pick: the House score of 34 percent, the Senate version of 21 percent or the more disagreeable arithmetic by the executive put at 56 or 41 percent! Welcome to the war between the executive and the National Assembly of the federal republic. The issue, no doubt, deserves attention. The National Assembly thinks the Executive is not doing enough to implement the budget. They do have a point. After all, thirtysomething percent performance may seem much in a devalued environment, it remains an unquestionable ‘F’ universally. Time again for the House to exploit the well-known angst of Nigerians at the mess that the federal Government has made of the budget and governance in more than 12 years of PDP rule. Does it matter that the lawmakers are no less culpable in the abdication of their oversight roles? It is of course what the executive passes as defence of its poor record of budget implementation that is more intriguing. The position of finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is that it is still early in the day to judge the budget that only came into operation in April. She may be right; unfortunately, someone should have reminded her that the budget in question has barely five months left to run its course! How about the outlandish self-score of 56 percent which she awarded her team? That was self-delusion at its best. As for her vicious tackle on the lawmakers on the issue of constituency projects – a mere 10 percent of the capital component which she would have the world to believe has rendered the budget inoperable –you call it blackmail, I say, it serves the lawmakers right! The claims and counter-claims obviously need to be seen in the context of the game of hide and seek between different players in the federal executive and also between the two arms of the government. The lawmakers (who by the way, are no less sinning of the pair), may have acted fast by casting the first proverbial stone, not out of altruism but out of its own enlightened self-interest. I need to explain. Now, we know the dangers of not imple-

Policy Sanya Oni sanyaoni@yahoo.co.uk 08051101841

Much ado about Budget 2012 menting the budget. The economy is not only the worse for it, the modest targets set out is made unrealisable. The failure to implement means that vital infrastructures such as roads and other critical infrastructures would not be attended to in a timely manner. Worse is that the economy, already in throes of asphyxiation, courtesy of the meltdown in the credit markets, would suffer further constriction. With government spending on hold, the prospects of job-creation becomes even more elusive. The National Assembly, for reasons best known to it, continues to ignore the salient point which is that the issue has never been what gets spent but the value delivered for what is claimed to have been spent! On the surface, the interests of the lawmakers would seem legitimate. For the executive branch, which could rightly claim to own the budget, it seems even more so. So what is the matter between them? The issues are a world apart from what is served in the public square. Their differences, apart from reflecting the petty squabbles within the government and between different arms of government, boils down to why the country has never really moved from the spot: the love of the lucre. Talking about divisions in government, there is the club of the executive council members, the club that meets routinely on Wednesday’s to farm out contracts. Then there is the powerful Economic Management Team (EMT) – the all-knowing club headed by minister Okonjo-Iweala – the powerhouse behind the policies. Although a subset of the former, the EMT not only calls the shots but is credited with what is now described as the lull in governance. A legacy of the Jonathan school of management is the subordination of the larger body to the smaller. This obviously has implications for the smooth conduct of government business. Now, I do not claim to know the degree to which the rage of

the former group is responsible for the budget imbroglio and by extension the threat to impeach the President. The job is better reserved for the President’s adopted father, Elder Edwin Clark who already claims to have the list of ministers disloyal to his son. Suffice to say however that in the environment of contractocracy which government has become, the alliance of the lawmakers and the ministers would seem a natural one to forge. The ministers after all control the contract; the lawmakers the oversight. Between them is the lucre to be made. The relationship, perfect, made in heaven, ensures that the ministers continue to act the lamb while the lawmakers play the megaphone. You think that the scenario is overly simplistic? Does anyone picture the long abandoned bridge in Kaura Namoda or the failed Federal Highway at Enugu’s Ninth Mile suddenly receiving attention because some angry lawmakers threatened to sack the President? We have till September to find out what they lawmakers mean by 100 percent implementation of the budget. So, what makes it our business that they parties are drawing daggers? What’s wrong with the lawmakers getting the executive to clear the entire till by August end if only to be seen to implement the budget? Of course, while they are tearing themselves apart, we will never be able to ask the pertinent questions. The question of decade-long economic growth that failed to lift anyone from poverty. The paradox of growth without jobs. The bumper oil earnings that flew away. The billions of petro-dollars stashed off-shore rather than being used to fix our ailing infrastructures. The missed opportunity to truly deepen the economy. The corruption currently ravaging our lives. Isn’t it our lot to be seen tending to ringworm while a more malignant leprosy festers?

‘While they are tearing themselves apart, we will never be able to ask the pertinent questions. The question of decade-long economic growth that failed to lift anyone from poverty. The paradox of growth without jobs. The bumper oil earnings that flew away. The billions of petro-dollars stashed off-shore rather than being used to fix our ailing infrastructures. The missed opportunity to truly deepen the economy. The corruption currently ravaging our lives’


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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COMMENTS

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ITH continuing insecurity in the country, the call for each state to be empowered constitutionally to have its own police force to combat crime and allied activities within its borders is growing louder by the day just as opposition to the idea is also growing daily. And as the National Assembly prepares for yet another amendment to the 1999 constitution, no other issue, apart from revenue allocation/derivation has divided Nigerians down the middle more than that of state police. Apart from the North and South geographical divide, that has placed the north firmly in opposition to state police and the south strongly in support, the issue has also assumed a religious dimension with the south (comprising of both Christians and Muslims in probably equal proportion) seemingly insisting that if the mainly Muslim north was allowed to have Islamic law (Shari a) in those northern states that wanted it, the south as a whole or any state in the south that wanted its own police force should be allowed by the constitution. The issue of state police was subject of this column last week and readers have been reacting to the points raised and as usual it has been a mixture of ayes and nays. But while the ayes seem to be getting louder, the opposition deserves to be heard in silence as well so that at the end of the day any decision reached on the issue would be accepted by all. The National Assembly should listen to everybody and every shade of opinion on the issue without denying any section of the country the right to be heard, but at the end of the day, the decision to allow or disallow state police should be taken in the overall best interest of Nigeria. Penultimate week, the twin fuel tanker explosions in Rivers state that killed so many people as they were trying to scoop fuel from one of the tankers involved was subject of this column and readers have been making their views known on the issue and have not stopped since. Expectedly they were bitter, with some blaming the government. One reader was unsparing in his condemnation of the growing gap between the poor and the affluent in our society. This column is yielding space to you the readers this week to air your views on the two issues.

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EDICAL men know too well that if many people (through education) were less free in their choice of the types of food they eat, of the beverage they drink, of the clothing they wear, and of the houses they live in, the health of the community would be more than 100 times improved.” - Awo, 1947 “We intend to raise the standard of health care delivery in our state and use education, also, as vaccine against ill health.” - Amosun, 2011 The recent article in major Nigerian newspapers, “Free Education in Ogun: An Evaluation”, was received by so many readers with effusions of gratitude to the governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. For instance, AdeleyeYahaya, writing via lateefyahaya74@gmail.com, said, “I read the piece on the above subject and I must confess, it really touched me and I was almost moved to tears as I happened to be one of the beneficiaries of the free education system in Ogun State, and particularly the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the programme. I was then in my primary school but will never forget the celebration in a hurry as the entire schools in my local government were joyous...” Kudos to the amiable governor of Ogun State for restoring the glory of education in the state.” The second cardinal programme of the Senator Amosun-led administration is Efficient Health Care Delivery, which has a component part of free health services for pregnant women, children under the age of five and the elderly above 70. But the start-off point for the all-important Efficient Health Care Delivery programme and its component part of free services for the three groups is renovation of all the health care centres and other moribund health facilities spread across the state. How do you provide quality health care service to patients in a derelict hospital, without water and electricity? The Central Drug Store at Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, for instance, was in a state of decay while health care workers at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) were on strike, with the medical, surgical and children’s wards’ buildings “dangerously dilapidated” (to quote the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka) at the time of the inauguration of

State police! Let’s have it everywhere State police cannot do what the vigilance groups composed of locals are doing in terms of effective security in their areas without salary. Please there should be vigilance groups in every community in Nigeria. But remember God is our security. EPHESIANS 6, 12-18 Joseph Goyit Deeper Life Bible Church, Myet, Kanke LGA, Plateau State, 07082561706

Remove economic oppression and… The piece thinks state police will do a lot of good. The truth is that criminals have a say in the leading capitalist world, what can a peripheral capitalist Nigeria do about crime? The way out is to eliminate economic oppression which is a thwart to the duty of state police. Amos Ejimonye, Kaduna, 07085284103

Police Commissioners should answer to Govs For me what is really important is that the police, whether state or federal should take orders from the Chief Security Officers of the states they have been posted to. However during elections the police should be made independent of all the three tiers of government for obvious reasons. Anonymous, 07042325266

‘I am in support’ You spoke my mind ALL THE WAY in your Column today, especially the last paragraph!

It is the position I raised whilst discussing with some friends. I think we can even go further by DEFINING FEDERAL AND STATE OFFENCES so that jurisdictions are clearly demarcated. It is embarrassing that the ONLY objection being canvassed against the creation of State Police is that a Governor will use it against his Political Opponents! Haba, what of the larger issue of Crime Prevention and Crime Control; Security of Lives and Property; and general Orderliness in the society-which are in the interest of the majority? At least I still remember that, at one time we had Native Authority (NA) Police in western Nigeria. Please help keep up the pressure until the RIGHT THING is done. Left to the North we would not have even secured our independence! Let us have a true Federal System of government. The on-going Review is IT. Thanks. Anonymous, 08034726625

What value for human lives Blame govt/parents I appreciate what you wrote about life value, but what is the value of living when government and people in this country do not appreciate what value is enriched in education which is the only way out of poverty. Parents prefer to send children on hawking than paying school fees. Okuwobi O.A, Prof., 08028059350

Poverty a disease You don’t know why they scoop oil? I’ve heard this statement so many times I begin to wonder whether you people are living in this nation. We now have what I call if I live I die, if I die I die. You don’t know the kind

Health care revolution in Ogun By Soyombo Opeyemi the current administration. The achievements so far are too numerous to mention. However, it suffices to say that 47 primary health care centres spread across all the local councils in the state have been rehabilitated, equipped and provided with a generator and borehole. Another set of 50 have been targeted for the next phase. There is now industrial calm in the health sector as arrears of salaries owed by the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel have substantially been cleared by the current government, even as more qualified medical personnel are being employed to ensure that all the 236 wards in the state have capable hands. The health care renaissance in Ogun has been the responsibility of all, because, as the maxim goes, health is wealth hence the active involvement of the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, in the sensitization of the public on healthy living and in creating a state-wide awareness on epidemic prone diseases such as cholera and Lassa fever. She’s equally been in the forefront of campaign on school-based deworming exercise, immunization of children against child-killer diseases like Malaria and Cancer Screening/ Awareness, among others. Thirty-five HIV/AIDS counselling/testing centres and 31 Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) sites have been created across the state to take care of people living with HIV/AIDS, including free drugs for people living with the disease. The restoration of sanity to the Ogun health sector has been challenging but an extremely rewarding exercise. The state is now receiving a major support from local and international donor agencies and collaboration with corporate and non-governmental organisations is generating positive momentum in the sector. For instance, the collaboration between the state government and Rotary Club International led to the donation of 500 artificial limbs and setting up of an artificial limb service

centre while the partnership between the government, Rotary Club International and Indo Eye Care Foundation assisted in offering free eye surgical operation to residents. Beside the agreement with MTN Foundation on Mobile Clinic, the governor recently signed a multi-million dollar five-year deal with a major Nigerian Corporation (SHELL) to revitalise primary health care delivery, especially among the rural population. And Ogun State will now be able to benefit from the maternal and child health initiatives of the agencies of the United Nations. The free health policy, which is a subset of the second cardinal programme of the government -Efficient Health Care Delivery -, has three interconnected stages: (a) rehabilitation of heath care centres with provision of modern facilities and adequate medical personnel that are motivated with enviable conditions of service; (b) introduction of Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), where every individual contributes a token (premium) to access qualitative (and by implication) affordable health services; (c) and from the template of CBHIS, the dream of Governor Amosun is fulfilled, as government takes over the payment of premium for the three categories of citizens to enjoy free health services - the pregnant women, Under-five children and the elderly above 70. The health policy of the administration is therefore running according to plan, in spite of the challenges inherited. One must commend the systematic and scientific approach of Senator Amosun towards health care revival in Ogun State. With the political will he has provided, there is no doubt that the forward-looking Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) will ensure the community is a part owner of health care delivery, hence will save the laudable free health policy of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led government from vagaries of politics especially after his service to the state.

of poverty Nigerians are facing? You wake up in the morning and cry because you don’t have anything to eat or friends to run to because you are alike. You want to beg but nobody is giving anymore. You live in a kiosk in a food market. You can’t go there in the day to have a nap. You have just a shirt and short on a Fire in Soweto shoes. Yet in all these you see children of people like you entering eatery, spending as if it is just a paper. You go to them for alms and they run away thinking you are a mad man. I have looked at some people and asked whether I was looking at mad men or some animals in semblance of man. Look there are poverty that can make any man put his hand in a transformer. Please read 2Kings 7:1-10. Poverty will not be your lot IJN Anonymous; 08057594444

GEJ act now In reaction to your write up, “What value for human lives?” It is a shame to the President that the people of the Niger delta should die such a shameful death. An Igbo adage says that a son whose father is in heaven does not go to hell, but Jonathan’s case is the opposite. Somebody should please tell him to act quickly before it is too late. Jabrata Okponku, PH; 08034008838.

‘The National Assembly should listen to everybody and every shade of opinion on the issue without denying any section of the country the right to be heard, but at the end of the day, the decision to allow or disallow state police should be taken in the overall best interest of Nigeria’ It is apposite at this juncture to make some pleasant remarks on the free education and free health services provided by the Awolowo-led government of the old Western Region. Let’s hear Chief Awolowo himself in an address titled, Innovations and Progress in Former Western Nigeria, which he delivered at the Oyo State House of Assembly in January 1980. “When the decision was taken in 1952 to introduce free universal education and free health services for children up to the age of 18 in the Western Region, it became necessary in order to finance the schemes immediately to impose an education and health levy of 10 shillings per male adult taxpayer throughout the region and also per female adult taxpayer in Ijebu Province only.” Whereas the government of Senator Amosun has not imposed any particular levy per se, it has nonetheless enjoined all adults in the state to pay their tax enthusiastically as our parents did in the old Western Region, since they can also see how their money is being spent on education, health, road construction, security, employment, etc. They should also actively participate in the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), whose background work has now attained a climax, so that the success recorded during the days of the Western Region can even be surpassed in our time. • Soyombo is Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Ogun State.

‘There is now industrial calm in the health sector as arrears of salaries owed by the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel have substantially been cleared by the current government, even as more qualified medical personnel are being employed to ensure that all the 236 wards in the state have capable hands’


LONDON Calling with Ade Ojeikere & John Ebhota


INSIDE

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

Tough life for hawkers

Page 25

Website: http://www.thenationonlineng.com

At the mercy of cab robbers

- Page 26

‘Homosexuals need HIV preventive services’ - Page 27

Palace without king - Page 40

“S

TOP pushing me! Stop pushing me!” Alice was shouting as she sat roughly wedged between the door frame and a female co-passenger. Apparently struggling to free her hips and regain composure, her designer handbag, packed like a 15 kg of straw, began to slip away slowly from her aching right hand which was her last form of support. “Can’t you see that there is no more space in here? Please you have to shift because I am finding

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

it difficult to breathe with your oversized bag crushing my feet,” the middle seat-mate retorted with sufficient insolence. “I don’t want anybody to quarrel in this car,” the driver pleaded as the Volkswagen Golf heaved, jerked and spurted sluggishly away from the bus stop. “Give me your bag if that is the cause of the trouble,” the driver demanded. “You can have it any time you want to stop.”

T

But the girl kept pushing and shoving her. Five people including the driver were already in the car before Alice joined the unpainted Abuja taxi popularly referred to as kabukabu. It was supposedly en-route Area 1 from Wuse Market. On getting to UTC in Area 10, she got off the overloaded vehicle, collected her bag and paid the fare without suspecting any foul play. Rather she was relieved to be free from the temporary discomfiture. “Where is my money? Where is

my money,” she cried on getting home with shock and disbelief flooding her. She was about to pay her landlord when she became conscious that the N250, 000 withdrawal she made earlier in the day for her rent was no more in her bag. At this point the scales fell from her eyes. She was the last passenger who took the last chance! Welcome to the world of ‘One Chance’ robbers in Abuja. •Continued from Page 26


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ABUJA REVIEW

Tough life for hawkers

The nightmare of every hawker in the Federal Capital Territory is the group they popularly refer to as the ‘task force’ (that is the Abuja Environmental Protection Board)

W

HETHER you live in that part of Abuja characterised by sleek cars, well-mowed lawns, tarred roads and duplexes or on those streets with muddy roads, pot holes, and sand-stained houses, we have all benefitted from the illegal but somewhat important activities of street hawkers. In a typical scenario especially in the Federal Capital Territory, these hawkers walk the streets, silently displaying their wares on a tray well positioned on the head, a wheel barrow or on moving bicycles. We find the noisemakers among them stationed in the traffic or in front of the market, and we are often forced to listen to the frequent cries of pure water, pure water, or aunty, banana here. When they sense a refusal on your own part, they frustrate you with pokes or they intensify the marketing. The questions that need to be answered are: Do these seemingly energised people face challenges while on their daily parades, and do we actually need them around? Every day of the week, hawkers are stationed at different parts of the city. When the scorching sun decides to pour down its rays on the earth, •Continued from Page 25 Mrs. Illesanmi Olasunkanmi, a civil servant, was not only robbed but tossed out of a moving vehicle by the same gang. These creeping vampires increasingly stalk and prey on helpless residents of Abuja heedless of the huge resources both past and present authorities of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) claimed to have expended in the purchase of patrol vans, communication gadgets and allowances for security agencies to kill the Gorgon Medusa. The continuous bulldozing of shanties within the city and the sleek security patrol cars noticeable all over the metropolis have not brought much respite. Their acts and woes seem to escalate by the day. Those apprehended willy-nilly find their way back to the streets through the instrumentality of phony bails often granted by the courts or the security agencies. Why do people continue to fall victim? Do the one-chance tricksters possess talisman with which they bewitch their target? A divisional police officer who spoke to our correspondent in confidence blamed it on “carelessness” and the tendency of an average Nigerian to “hurry”. “If a white man wants to attend an event billed to commence 6pm, he will start preparing by 4pm but a Nigerian who is attending the same even will leave his house by 5.45pm. Because he is already late he will board the next available taxi to his detriment,” he said. “Again most Nigerians are not security conscious. How do you explain a situation where over 100 persons died from fire outbreak while scooping fuel from a fallen tanker in Port Harcourt but when another tanker spilled its fuel in Kogi many people still went there to scoop fuel,” he added. “How many people can boast of having one police number on their handset of the many we reel out on radio and television on a daily basis?” he queried. “We have consistently warned passengers not to patronise unpainted taxis but if you go to the roads now that is what you will see them doing.” Although he argued that the trend of one-chance has subsided drastically, the Officer in Charge of the FCT Special Anti-Robbery

•Young, hard-working hawkers in the FCT From Halima Olajumoke Sogbesan

they are there at their stations using one hand to support their wares and the other to clean off beads of sweat. On other days when the skies cry, they protect their wares with polythene bags and their clothes with raincoats. In traffic, we occasionally see them as they chase after drivers for payment of goods

already purchased. Sometimes we fight and argue over the change owed to us or the inflated prices of their goods. The products that we are often graced to bargain with these hawkers are the popular pure water, different fruits (bananas, groundnut, oranges, sugarcane, and coconuts), gala, boiled corn, newspapers, yoghurt, biscuits, sweets, and chewing gum, among

many others. While we benefit from the mini stores they present to us right in front of our houses or in traffic, we totally overlook their plight and the troubles they face as they embark on their daily businesses. The nightmare of every hawker in the Federal Capital Territory is the group they popularly refer to

At the mercy of Abuja taxi robbers Squad (SARS), Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Ben Igwe said criminal elements target Abuja because “they believe the national cake is being baked here and they said want to come and take their share.” He blamed “over-anxious” commuters who often fail to properly assess vehicles and their occupants before boarding. He said the “one chance” often claimed to be left in such vehicles is a trap to attract their game. He noted that the passenger is consistently pushed by the fellow seat mate to disorient them before being pillaged. He further outlined their tricks and the various types of gangs in the business. Igwe said: “There is the popular one-chance. Their modus operandi is that they always go to bus stops where people are queuing to board vehicles. They move mostly with unpainted taxis. Some of them have now resorted to using painted taxis but the inscription on these vehicles cannot be found in Federal Capital Territory Administration register. “Most of the car plate numbers are fake. So before they come to the bus stop there will be about five persons already in the vehicle, three will sit at the back and they are always with a lady who will dress well. “There are five people already in the vehicle. They will come to the bus stop and it is only one

chance because they like to carry two passengers in front. It is that one chance remaining that people call One Chance. Because people are anxious, they enter vehicles to work passengers will rush the vehicles. “Instead of the passenger to allow the driver and the people in the car to say where they are going before they enter, he is anxious to get in quickly. “They always operate early in the morning when people are going to work and the evening when people have closing from work and they cannot carry somebody that is not having a bag. The passenger must have a bag whether woman or man. So once you enter in the front that is the only one chance that is remaining. “Immediately you enter, the five of them are members. The person you joined in the front will be pushing you towards the door so that you will be very, very uncomfortable and if you are carrying a bag, the driver will ask you to give it to him to keep. “If it is a big box they will ask you to put it in the boot, saying Vehicle Inspection Officers, Police or Federal Road Safety Corps men are on road-check. The discomfort resulting from the pushing towards the door will force you to drop your bag or hand it to the driver so that you will feel a little comfortable. “Immediately you drop the bag the person who has been pushing

you will shift the bag towards the back. The other people at the back will quickly use a biro to pierce the zip and open it. They will search it quickly and remove all your valuables including money and then zip the bag. When you get to where you are going and drop you will check what you have and see that the things are no longer there. You will accuse people innocently maybe in your house or office because you boarded the car last and you were the first person to get out. “If you are suspecting the occupants of the car and hold the bag too tightly, when they perceive that you have money and don’t want to drop the bag, the person sitting with you will forcefully remove your bag, open the door and push you out.” The SARS boss explained further: “If you are carrying a big bag there is another group that will ask you to put it in the booth. You will not know that the people at the back of the car are members. “There is this hand rest on the back seat. You will not know that that place is open to the booth. So once you enter the passenger seat in front of the car, they will turn back open the seat to the back and use either a biro or small screwdriver to open the zip on the bag. “They will remove all the valuables in the bag and put them

They will allow you to enter the car-owner’s seat and if you are carrying a travelling bag or briefcase you will put it by your side. Along the line, the driver will shake the vehicle and say ‘ah what is happening to my motor?’ as if the car has developed a fault

as the ‘task force’ (that is the Abuja Environmental Protection Board). As the hawkers struggle to profit from selling their goods, they are on the lookout for the officials of the board. The unlucky ones who get caught could have their wares seized or even get arrested. Ms. Agnes Joseph, a groundnut seller our correspondent met on the •Continued on Page 27

on the floor of the vehicle. When you get to where you are going you will go to the booth and carry your bag without knowing that all your things have been removed. These are the two major groups. “There is a group that is no longer around. They used to operate around the airport axis. They called themselves ‘Catch-On-Air’. What do they do? They normally target passengers looking for airport taxis. It is only the driver you will see but another member is hiding in the booth. “They will allow you to enter the car-owner’s seat and if you are carrying a travelling bag or briefcase you will put it by your side. Along the line, the driver will shake the vehicle and say ‘ah what is happening to my motor?’ as if the car has developed a fault. “Immediately that happens, he will begin to turn the car off the road then you will see somebody come out from the position of the back seat hand-rest and put a rope on your neck. As he begins to strangulate you can only shake but not shout. They will remove everything in your bag. If you survive it good! That is the way they have been operating but those group are no longer around. We gave them a hot chase.” He lamented that the erroneous belief that Abuja is a land flowing with milk and honey account for the swarm of criminals who daily break into the city. He also insisted that Abuja is now safer to live and do business due to the efforts of government and the war being waged by his men to rid the city of these lions among sheep. Igwe said: “We are no longer getting much report of ‘One Chance’ robbery incidents but when we started the war it was a heavy war because they were everywhere. “Abuja is where everybody wants to come in to stay. Everybody believes there is a national cake in Abuja that they should take their share. Armed robbers want to take their share; car snatchers want to take their share, kidnappers want to take their share, house burglars want to take their share, one chance people want to take their share, even 419 people want to take their share, open and close want to take their share.”


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ABUJA REVIEW

S

HOULD homosexuals be given HIV preventive services? Yes. Why? Men who sleep with fellow men form a critical percentage of HIV cases. If you help them to avoid getting infected, you help to reduce the spread of the scourge. That is the message HEARTland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights is passing across. The organisation has advocated the need for homosexuals, especially the MSM (men who have sex with men) to benefit from HIV prevention services across the country. Representative of the international organisation, Mr. Ochonye Bartholomew made the call during a Meet-the-Media workshop organi sed by CCHANGE in partnership with fhi360 in Abuja. Bartholomew stated that the MSM group occupies about 17.3 percent of the nation’s HIV prevalence population, stressing that if the group is targeted, the country may have a reduction in its HIV prevalence rate. He said: “If you look at the total HIV prevalent in Nigeria, it is 4.1 but the prevalent among this population MSM is 17.13 percent, which contribute to overall coverage of the country. “Access to HIV prevention services is a public issue and should be carried out passionately irrespective of sex or discrimination based on individual gender orientation and health status. Why I added health status is that there are services that might be discriminated against, even by health workers.” He noted that equal share of resources to the MSM group will ensure meaningful progress to HIV reduction in the country. “There are evidences that have shown that prevalence is very high among this population. If we reduce the prevalence among this population, we are most likely to reduce the national prevalence. There is a bridge between that population and the general population,” he said. The Programme Coordinator,

From Olugbenga Adanikin

Fhi360 C-change project, Desmond Azoko said, objective of the workshop was to create a forum for media practitioners and HIV AIDs programme implementers to eliminate existing communication gaps that have prevented effective reportage of HIV /AIDS prevention in the country. He expressed optimism on better working relationship between the media and programme implementers for the benefit of the public. The Project Manager, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Agency for the Control of Aids (FACA), Dr. Uche Okoro said media campaign is imperative to reducing HIV prevalence in the country. He disclosed that the FCT, as at 2008 has the highest HIV/ AIDS prevalen ce in the country, stressing that about 2,000 hotspots for female sex workers has also been discovered in the territory. He added that the agency is currently conducting a survey within the rural and urban center of the territory, to determine the percentage of its prevalence and how best to control it. He said the research is in three stages and has gotten to its final stage “As at 2010 anti-natal survey, HIV/AIDS prevalence in FCT was at 8.6 per cent but in 2008 it was 9.9, so it is declining but now, the prevalence itself has shown that HIV is no more a dead sentence and the people tested positive are

•They need help

‘Homosexuals need HIV preventive services’ living their normal lives because the drugs are there. We are not looking at the prevalence which must fall but our focus is that let there be no new infections,” Okoro said. Speaking on the MSM, Okoro

Equal share of resources to the MSM group will ensure meaningful progress to HIV reduction in the country

said there is need for concentration on the group considering their large input to new infections. He said: “If we are talking of how to reduce HIV/AIDS infection, those target groups are very important for us because they constitute one percent of the population and over 40 per cent of new infections, so if we really want to work on new infections, we must get those people on board. “No matter what we try to do, we must appreciate the fact that they are here, they are in our community and the only way we can do that is to reach out to them so that we can empower them and the new infection can reduce to the greatest minimum” He added that public and security operatives has been helpful in

terms of information disclosure and security. Okoro praised the FCT administration and partnering agencies for their efforts towards reducing HIV prevalence in the territory. In terms of achievement, he said a lot of people now have access to anti-HIV drugs, stressing that about 6,000 people are in their facilities accessing various treatments; over 21 comprehensive ART centres, over 80 centers where you can know your status in FCT and over 60 training sites The training served as a veritable platform for both stakeholders to address their communication gap and further chart new course to ending the HIV scourge.

Tough life for hawkers •Continued from Page 26 streets of Garki spoke with scepticism written all over her face. Parading the streets of Garki daily wih about N3000 worth of groundnuts from Maraba, Ms. Agnes confirmed that the ‘task force’ was a major problem. She said: “I hawk groundnuts here in Garki from about 10 O’clock every morning till my tray of groundnut finishes. The only problem I have is the fear of the task force people. Though I have never been a victim of their activities, I have heard stories.” Five secondary school students who double as hawkers, namely Peace Samuel, Mary Sunday, Mercy Clement, Justina Samuel and Theresa Peters also relayed their experiences to our correspondent. Stationed outside the Garki Model Market, the girls complained that their sale of bananas and groundnuts is often frustrated by the appearance of the ‘task force’ and also by vehicle owners who drive off without paying for goods bought. “Once the traffic in front of the market clears, some drivers that have bought bananas from us drive off without paying”, Peace said, “it has happened on many occasions.” They get their wares from Zuba and on good days, when business thrives, they go to Zuba to get more. They suggested that their business

will be more convenient if they get affordable spaces inside the market. On an average day, they make as much as N5000 or N4000. At the City Plaza in Garki, Femi Solomon, a newspaper vendor, told Abuja Review that he leaves Lugbe, his residential area, as early as 6:00am, makes it to Area 1 to get newspapers and then starts hawking around 9am or 10am. He hawks from this time till he chooses, and earns N50 for every newspaper he sells. Solomon said that on most days, he makes about N1000. But it was not all a rosy story for Femi. He complained that many would-be buyers zoom off in their vehicles without paying. Femi is of the opinion that things will be better for him when he gets to sell dailies from a newsstand. However, not all consumers agree to eradicating hawkers from our roads. Mr. Mayowa Soshina feels that hawkers should be allowed to hawk their wares because of the problematic economy and the high cost outlay required to pay rental fees for shops. He added that their presence on the roads makes purchasing easier especially for items such as pure water. Hawkers are needed on our roads to make purchases more convenient and to spice up travel

•They face too many odds in the FCT. However, regulation is needed to ensure we do not fall victim to sellers of counterfeit products, armed robbers or people with horrible intentions. Therefore, it would be better if easily affordable stalls are made available

at every bus stop or major streets to ensure the comfort of travellers. In the words of Mr, Soshina, “we do not want a situation where bus drivers have to park their buses for a long walk into the market to purchase a sachet of pure water”. Another problem that hawking

poses is an obvious pollution of the environment. To deal with this, members of the board could be stationed at various places to ensure proper disposal of waste by buyers and sellers. Halima is an intern with The NATION, Abuja


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ABUJA REVIEW

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NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, Afrigrowth Foundation, has inaugurated a library project and also donated other educational materials to Local Education Authority Primary School in Mpape area of the FCT. The organisation, in collaboration with Greatsource Investment, donated books, furniture for the library, school

Foundation renovates library From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

bags for students and some foodstuff. Speaking during the commissioning, Afrigrowth president and founder, Mrs. Dayo Keshi, noted that children from

We feel we can come to their aid by addressing some of the challenges they are facing by contributing a token through donation of books, telling them stories from different parts of the world in order to experience what is obtainable in those places without necessarily visiting them

unreserved area such as Mpape have lots of academic issues which the provision of library would help resolve.The students and the like would immensely benefit from the facility. “We feel we can come to their aid by addressing some of the challenges they are facing by contributing a token through donation of books, telling them stories from different parts of the world in order to experience what is obtainable in those places without necessarily visiting them,” she said. She urged parents, teachers and the students to improve on their reading culture, blaming the falling standard of reading culture on the parents who do not pay attention to the development of their children’s reading habits. She advised that reading books should be given to children as assignment and incentives in order to encourage them to bring back the reading culture.

Keshi also promised that the group will ensure that the library and the books are put to good use and maintained properly. The Head of Education and Social Development, Bwari Area Council, Mr. Joseph Agho, who represented the Chairman of the council, while thanking the donor, urged the students to improve their reading culture by making good use of the facility donated to them. He added that the council is working towards having a well equipped library in all schools to improve the council’s educational system. The Head Teacher of the school, Mr. Christopher Bature, lamented the little learning materials at the school with such a large population. He said: “We have 2,417 pupils in the school with between 105 and 110 in each class to be taught by two teachers. We want more classrooms and teachers so that we can have less number of pupils in a class for our teachers to be able to cope and

•Books impact knowledge properly.” The major highlight of the event included a drama presentation by the pupils entitled: Library: Use me and you will never forget me.

F

ORMER Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji SarafaTunji Isola has said Nigeria’s diversity should be its strength. Isola was speaking in Abuja at the graduation ceremony of Kingsville College where his two daughters, Olatayo and Olaide, were among the graduates. The ex-minister, who was the chairman of the seventh graduation ceremony, was decked in a white agbada and sokoto and a matching blue cap, with his wife, Alhaja Saliat Why expressing his joy, he said “what business could be more than this. My two daughters are graduating today and carting home different prizes.” He admonished the graduating students to take advantage of the Nigerian diversity for development. He said the social, cultural, ecological and religious diversities from the constituent regions of Nigeria are sources of advantage that the citizenry could exploit. The ex-minister cited examples of the United States of America , Indonesia, Switzerland and India as countries, whose strengths are anchored on their diversities. Isola told the students that he had a dream that Nigeria would emerge from its present state to be the pride of the black race, urging them to take the gauntlet to turn their diversity into strength and ultimate joy. Asked by journalists to state the rationale behind sending children abroad for studies despite the excellent performances the Kingsville students recorded in their external examinations, the former minister explained that there is nothing wrong sending with it provided we would tap from the benefits of globalisation. He cited instances of exPresident Bill Clinton of the United States who sent his only daughter to Cambridge University in England despite the presence of Havard and other first class universities in US. He said: “For those who can afford, there is no problem seeking to educate your children `anywhere you want in the world. You find a situation where ex-President Bill Clinton of the United States sent his only daughter to Cambridge University in England, even though there is the Havard University and so many other first class universities in US. “But he did not bother; it is a

•Isola, his wife and daughters

‘Nigeria should leverage on its diversity’ From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

world of globalisation. Sending a child to any school abroad is not a question of whether we have good and competent schools around; it depends on so many other factors.” The former minister, however, called for a public-private partnership in line with global trends to put the nation’s education sector in a better perspective. He added, “Let me be honest with you; sometimes we take certain things for granted. In US today, the best schools are not public schools. The best schools are what they call KIPP Schools which are run on Public Private Partnership and Trustees. “Those are the best schools in US. You have communities coming together because they live in that community and they therefore have a duty to make sure that they put up good schools for their children. In their

system, people don’t travel more than four/five Kilometres to go to school. “Many of the universities there follow the same trend. What I am happy about is that we now have private universities in Nigeria that are imparting knowledge and giving education that is comparable with what exists

abroad. “The best education being provided abroad is from schools of this nature. The KIPP structure will take some time in Nigeria. But university staff schools run within a University are usually first class institutions. Professors are all in that school and they take the best.”

I am happy that we now have private universities in Nigeria that are imparting knowledge and giving education that is comparable with what exists abroad. The best education being provided abroad is from schools of this nature

According to him, the high fees charged by private institutions were not too much because “Nothing good goes cheap.” He added that although the issue of updating regulations was necessary, implementation should be taken seriously. His words: “For sometime, emphasis has been on government firming up legislations to regulate these educational institutions and all other sectors. When I got to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the last regulation was in 1964. I initiated one and passed it to the Ministry of Justice. I don’t know what happened to it now. It just means that some of these regulations that were put in place really need to be updated.” He also suggested the updating of some of the regulations which have been put in place for long, adding that when updated, the legislations should be implemented without delay.


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‘ E-mail:- law@thenationonlineng.net

That is absolutely correct.The Civil Procedures Rules are ineffective and help to deny citizens access to justice, as parties who want to unduly delay cases take advantage of same. What rules, for instance, govern adjournment of cases? Interim and interlocutory applications are brought at random with a right of appeal on interlocutory issues and a consequential stay of proceedings in most cases. The system and rules, on this score, are in a shambles • SEE PAGE 36

• Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar

Reports just released by Amnesty International, CLEEN Foundation and Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) accuse the police of large-scale impunity and rights violations, resulting in loss of public confidence. For lawyers, there is nothing new about the reports; it is the same old story. Will the police image ever change? ADEBISI ONANUGA, JOSEPH JIBUEZE and PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU ask.

Are the police that bad? • Rights’ groups issue damning reports

Y

EAR after year, the Police seem unable to shed the toga of impunity. Tasked with protecting lives and property, the police have been accused of doing the reverse. Their reputation for scant regard for human rights remains intact. Three reports just published by international and local human rights organisations confirm that nothing

has changed about the police. Instead of improving, things are getting worse. The Amnesty International (AI) in its report on the state of human rights in Nigeria in the past year, blamed the police for hundreds of alleged unlawful killings, most of which remained uninvestigated. The police engaged in torture, forced confessions

out of suspects and disobeyed court orders, it alleged. The CLEEN Foundation, in a survey, claimed that police officers were among the first group of bribetaking public officials, adding that corruption was on the increase in the country.

•STORY ON PAGE 30

Inside: Obey laws, OAAN boss tells Kano- P.31 NBA chair urges lawyers to work for better society- P.33


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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LAW COVER CONT’D •Continued from Page 29

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), a survey which examined the public’s perception of the police, said 80 per cent of respondents believed that the police were inefficient and unable to protect them from violent crimes. According to Amnesty, police operations remained characterised by human rights violations. Hundreds of people were allegedly unlawfully killed, often before or during arrests on the streets. Others were tortured to death in police detention. Many of such unlawful killings may have constituted extrajudicial executions, it alleged. It claimed that the disappearance of many people from police custody, only a few police officers were held accountable, leaving relatives of those killed or who disappeared without justice. Police are wearing plain clothes or uniforms without identification, making it much harder for people to complain about individual officers. It said special task forces, including the Special Anti-Robbery Squads and SOS, committed a wide range of human rights violations. Early last year, the Bayelsa State Government set up Operation Famou Tangbe – “Kill and throw away” in the local language – to fight crime. Many officers linked to the operation, Amnesty alleged, unlawfully killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and detained people. Suspects in detention reportedly had no access to their lawyers or relatives. The report claimed: “On 22 February, Dietemepreye Ezonasa, a student aged 22, was arrested by Operation Famou Tangbe and taken to a police station. On 27 February, the police denied that he was in their custody. His whereabouts have since remained unknown. “On 11 May, Tochukwu Ozokwu, 25, was arrested by Operation Famou Tangbe. The next day the police told him to jump in a river or be shot. He could not swim and drowned. No investigation was carried out.” Amnesty alleged the police frequently disobeyed court orders. For instance, they refused to release Mallam Aliyu Tasheku, a suspected Boko Haram member, after a court granted him bail on March 28. He was finally released in July. The police, it claimed, failed to produce Chika Ibeku, who disappeared from police custody in April, 2009, more than a year after a court ordered that he be brought to court. The rights group said there were consistent reports of police routinely torturing suspects to extract information. Confessions extracted under torture were used as evidence in court, in violation of national and international laws. According to Amnesty, scores of people were rounded up by the police and security forces in relation to the violence in the North, but a few were successfully prosecuted or convicted. Previous commissions of inquiry into the Plateau State violence reportedly named suspected perpetrators, but no criminal investigation was started during the year. It said the criminal justice system remained under-resourced, blighted by corruption and generally distrusted. When investigations occurred, they were often cursory and not intelligence-led. The security forces often resorted to dragnet arrests instead of individual arrests based on reasonable suspicion. Suspects were regularly subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment in detention. The report said the police frequently arrested and detained children unlawfully, including those living on the streets and other vulnerable ones. Children continued to be detained with adults in police and prison cells. The country’s one functioning remand home remained overcrowded. The CLEEN Foundation, in its 2011 National Crime and Safety Survey report presented by its Head, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, said apart from the police, other public officials that take bribe were those serving in Immigration, Customs, Prison and Road

• Akintola (SAN)

• Owosile

• Ebeh

Are the police that bad? Safety. Chukwuma said: “Among public officials who demand for bribes, the police (70 per cent), Immigration (66 per cent), Customs (65 per cent), Prison officials (52 per cent) and Road Safety officials (51 per cent) were the highest.” Corruption and violent crimes have been on the increase in Nigeria in the last two years notwithstanding efforts by government and security agencies, the report said. The survey showed a steady rise in armed robbery from 11 percent last year to 17 percent in 2012, with robbery more prevalent in Edo, Anambra, and Ondo states. In a communiqué issued at the end of the Sixth Policing Executive Forum on Intelligence-Led Policing in Nigeria held in Abuja last week, the Foundation observed that lack of efficient performance evaluation methods in the policing system have contributed to lack of relevance of intelligence in crime prevention. It said there is the need to set out structures and processes that would provide strategic guidelines to gathering intelligence and also to meet up with the contemporary policing system. LEDAP’s National Coordinator, Mr Chino Obiagwu said despite 80 per cent of respondents expressing dissatisfaction with the police, almost twothirds said they respected the police in their communities despite their inefficiencies. The report entitled: Assessment Report Poll Survey on Death Penalty and Crime Management in Nigeria also indicated that the use of the death penalty for capital punishment has not deterred crime, with more Nigerians opposed to its use. Most respondents said they feared that innocent persons may be wrongly convicted and killed due to the defective justice system where the police extract confessions by force and forensic analysis are virtually non-existent. LEDAP said 51 per cent of respondents were opposed to the use of the death penalty. Only 42 per cent supported it, while seven per cent were unsure. Among young people under the age of 30, 59 per cent opposed the death penalty. “Majority of the people interviewed also believed that the justice system is unfair to the poor, as it is usually the poor and uneducated that are punished by the system while the rich people are protected and often get away with crime,” Obiagwu said. Lawyers urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar to ensure that allegations of police impunity do not remain a recurring annual decimal. Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) said: “Extra judicial killings in Nigeria are almost a daily occurrence. It is not only the police that are guilty, other security agencies too are. The only way to stem the tide is for the IGP to put in place a mechanism to constantly prosecute and convict every officer that is caught. “We will continuously have bad reports from international organisations

if the police do nothing to restore public trust and confidence. If care is not taken, in the nearest future, charge of human rights abuse will be instituted against the head of the police. “So, the IGP needs to show seriousness. It is not enough to arrest officers caught in the act and then nothing is heard about the case anymore, the public should constantly feel and see the police prosecuting security personnel who indulge in extra-judicial killings.” Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chairman, Ikorodu Branch Mr. Sahid Owosile said despite the persistence of police brutality, all hope is not lost. He said: “The new Inspector-General of Police has come out and one could see some of the changes he is bringing about, such as driving the police out of the roads. You can now traverse the country without seeing the police harassing you on the road. That is a good development. “On the human rights thing, it is unfortunate that we don’t have statistics, we don’t have records. If we have records, they would have seen that human rights violation has reduced drastically because if you sit down and write a petition to the IGP, I believe that there will be a response. Unlike what we had before when even if you write directly to the IGP, nothing would happen.” Owosile also does not think state police will be the answer. “It could be very dangerous in the hands of some governors. However, if you have the right to make law, you must have the right to enforce them. If we have a federal arrangement in our law making process, then the enforcement process must be federal in nature. “That is, a federal Police should enforce federal laws, state police to enforce state. We are still a developing country. The thing is about people. It is the calibre of people in government that would determine whether state police will work or not.” On his expectations from the police chief, he said: “The structural system in the police is so awkward that they do not have jurisdiction. If somebody has stolen your property in a local

government where there is a divisional police office, why must you go to state police? “The fact that you can go to the Inspector-General Police for simple stealing is a lot of distortion. It is only when you are not satisfied at the local level that you can move up. He should restructure his organisation in such a way that everything will have its own limitation. “It is not that when you have offended somebody who reports you to the local police, then the next thing you do is to go to the state. That is not good enough. He must re-structure his organisation. Then, he must have a monitoring unit, a proper monitoring unit where you can report if there are human rights violations and whathave-you. There must be an organisation or a system that can correct that.” A former NBA, Ikorodu Branch chairman, Mr. Anthony Ebeh, said: “I believe that what Amnesty International, CLEEN Foundation and LEDAP wrote is what they have written year in, year out. It is a recurring decimal. It is what they have said every time about the Nigerian Police. “And to my mind and in my humble opinion, they have not said anything which is far from the truth because the question of extra-judicial killings, violation of rights by the Nigerian Police are very very much with us and it is not going to abate anytime. The reason is simple. The Nigerian Police are completely alien to the people they were supposed to police. “That is one of the biggest challenges that we have. And so often when you pass by police formations, you hear shootings even inside police cells, inside their interrogation rooms and all that! Do you think they are hunting animals inside there? No! It is human beings that they are shooting. They are either wasting their lives or wasting their limbs. “Any way you look at it, it is extra-judicial. Nobody is supposed to suffer any injury, whether bodily, emotional or any other wise on account of an alleged crime without

the pronouncement of the court. So to that extent, the Amnesty International and others are very, very correct.” Ebeh want to see changes in how officers are deployed. “The Police are too alien to the people they are supposed to police. Now you imagine this scenerio. You are recruited in Lagos, you are trained in Ikeja, you are a Lagosian at best. May be after six months, after your training at Police College, Ikeja, you are transferred to Zamfara. You have never travelled up North since you were born. “Then you go to Zamfara, you report at the State Police Command and they assign you to one local government. In six months while you are still learning the tricks, you are transferred again to Kano. You get to Kano Central Police Command, and then you are transferred again to one small place.You begin to learn the ropes all over again and before three months when you begin to know the tricks, you are again transferred to Ilorin. Probably these transfers continue. The Nigerian Police will say I have 20 years of experience. I have worked in Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano. “But, in truth, they have no experience because he doesn’t know anybody in all these places he claimed to have worked. But if they knew the way other places appointed their Police, the London Metropolitan Police or New York City Police for instance, in USA you talk about the districts, they have their police. “What happens is this, you begin to know, to a large extent, the area of your jurisdiction and whenever there is a rogue, that is why it is not so difficult for them to apprehend the offender. Very easily, they can identify them. These are the kind of people within your jurisdiction that would have committed an offence, and when they go after them, not by way of arresting and torturing them, it is by looking at their life over the period that the alleged crime was committed before they take final action. “But in our own case, the policeman himself is lost; he doesn’t know anybody anywhere in the area he is supposed to police. So, what he simply does is to resort to brute force. So, unless we begin to embrace what some people are afraid of, the State Police, and create policemen who are recruited in Lagos, trained in Lagos and worked in Lagos all of their police life, those recruited in Ibadan to work in Ibadan all of their police life, we are not going to get there. “My advice to the Inspector-General of Police is that since everybody is afraid of State Police, even governors, he should reduce the postings of the police. When you send a man to police Lagos State, for God’s sake, leave him alone to police Lagos State so that he can begin to know Lagos. “In effect, we would achieve the effectiveness of State Police without necessarily creating a State Police. And beyond that, they should check and re-check and re-check the character of the people they are recruiting and have recruited into the police. It is very important,” he added.

• From left: General Secretary NBA, Olumuyiwa Akinboro, Otunba Dele Oye, SI Ameh (SAN) and former General Secretary NBA Ibrahim Eddy Mark at the last delegates conference and election of new officers for NBA held in Abuja


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

LAW AND ECONOMY

• Former President, West African Bar Association (WABA) Femi Falana (SAN) with Ghanaian President John Mahama when he visited Ghana over the death of President Atta Mills.

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Obey laws, OAAN boss tells Kano

RESIDENT, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Mr Charles Chijide, has called on the Kano State government to respect the Constitution and court injunctions while carrying out its duties. Chijide spoke in Lagos when the leadership of Lawyers In the Media forum (LIM) visited him. LIM, led by this Chairman, Mr Charles Odenigbo, was in his office to acquaint him with its programme and seek the collaboration of the association on the forthcoming Annual General Conference (AGC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) billed for Abuja from August 26. He said the partnership would benefit both associations because the theme of the the conference is Advertising regulation and control in Nigeria: Strenghtening Nigerian markets, issues, prospects and challenges. The OAAN chief expressed appreciation for the visit and praised LIM for its passion for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Chijide draw the attention of the association to the plight of Nigerians doing business in Kano, where according to him, “The state government rolled out bulldozers and destroyed billboards and structures belonging to Nigerians without recourse to the

By John Austin Unachukwu Legal Editor

laws of the land.” He said the state engaged foreign consultants who are bent on sending Nigerians out of business so that they can bring in their own people to take over the business. They destroyed the property and structures of Nigerians, ask them pay more money and then start the business afresh”. He noted that to shore up revenue for the Kano State government, its officials do not respect the constitution and injunctions from courts, adding that even if one obtained court injunctions against them, they would ask one, ‘’which courts?’’ “They don’t even obey our courts. Schedule 4 of the Nigerian Constitution guarantees our property rights as Nigerians; so, a situation where foreigners come here, desecrate our laws, our courts and collaborate with our leaders to destroy us is very unacceptable, he said.” Chijide added: “The state government is killing our business by the operations and attitudes of their consultants. This, invariably, raises the cost of production. They destroy Nigerians to bring in their people who are sponsored by

• Odenigbo (left) and Chijide

• Secretary OAAN, Emmanuel Ajufa (left) and Ladi Shole

banks and other financial institutions in their place. “We have to respect each other’s rights to property and dignity of human person. The plight of Nigerians in Kano especially our members is very pathetic.When you destroy our property and structures overnight, with utter disrespect to the laws of the country, this does not promote investment and economic growth at all. “There are structures that are over 40 years old and this is the lifetime savings of our members for the past 40 years. How can you destroy such structures and ask everybody to come and pay to the local governments and start afresh.” He pledged his readiness to partner with LIM to enhance massive information, education and enlightenminent of Nigerians on there about what is happening in the society.” Odenigbo assured him that LIM was prepared to partner with organisations that were ready to promote the rights of Nigerians, the tenets and ideals of democracy and the rule of law. He called on the Kano State government and its agents to respect our laws, especially now that the security in the country may not attract foreign investors into the country.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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LEGAL OPINION

NBA chair urges lawyers to work for better society C

HAIRMAN, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch, Mr Taiwo Taiwo, has urged lawyers to work for a better society. Taiwo spoke at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the branch in Lagos. He urged members to discuss issues that would benefit the society rather than those that would cause disaffection among them. He made this remark in response to the ill-feelings that arose during the composition of the delegates’ list for the just-concluded NBA Delegates conference and election in Abuja. He gave account of his stewardship in the branch in the past one year and expressed appreciation to the branch for the tremendous support he has enjoyed from eminent members of the branch since his election in July 2011.

By John Austin Unachukwu

He restated the challenges he had faced and the successes he had recorded during this one year as the branch chairman. Taiwo said:“There are many pressing issues that believe we must as a branch and lawyers start to think about, one of which is how not to end up being extinct as a professional body. How about the length of time it takes for cases to be decided? “How about the independence of the judiciary? How about the plight of the young lawyers? How about how lawyers are being shortchanged in the discharge of their duties? “How about those who are taking over the primary duties of lawyers, especially in the banks and in the land

registry? How about the plight of Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, who is yet to be reinstated? How about the sorry state of the security of our nation, which if care is not taken is tendering to taking us down the road of Sudan. Somalia or Rwanda” “How about calling into question our elected honourable members of states and National Houses of Assembly, who flaunt their ill-gotten wealth while the masses are suffering? How about the future of our children? “These are issues I will want us to ponder over as we go on holidays and try to proffer solutions in our own trained-minded ways. We are part of this society, albeit lawyers. We, like others, will feel the repercussion of anything that happens in our great country.”

• Taiwo (left) and Secretary, NBA Lagos, Alex Muoka

• Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), left and Pa Tunji Gomez at the meeting

• President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) Boma Ozobia and former Asst. Publicity Secretary, NBA, Gbolahan Gbadamosi.

LAW AND PUBLIC POWER

with gabriel AMALU email:gabrielamalu1@yahoo.com

Memo on Constitution review

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HERE is groundswell of opinion that the 1999 constitution needs fundamental amendments if the country is to survive and develop; more so as the first to third amendments looked after only narrow interests. With Nigeria fast deteriorating into anarchy, it should be obvious to the political actors, that there may soon be no country for the practice of political chicanery. Now, what the country urgently needs is a fundamental restructuring, to untangle our political economy for a meaningful progress; because the current constitution has too may booby traps and unless Nigeria is extricated from its strangleholds, the vultures may soon gather. To achieve that, the nation needs a constitution that drives development, not one that imperils it. In amending the constitution, first, there is the need to define citizenship, and what benefits and responsibilities come with that. Under this, we must agree as to the political, economic and social rights of every citizen, regardless or limited by residency, and provide guarantees or exclusions based on what is agreed. In the face of massive retreat to indigenity and desperate political exclusion, the fundamental dynamics of a nation state is threatened. The next is to determine the nature of citizens we want, patriots or turncoats. Our country has perhaps correctly, been credited with the harshest type of capitalism in the world. Currently there are no provisions for social security or safety nests, while life indignities are foisted on hapless citizens as national ethos. The amendments must therefore appropriate for the benefits of the citizens basic socio-economic rights, like free basic education, housing, and employment. The current provisions known as fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy are indeed fundamental to citizenship and humanity and must therefore substantially become secured rights protected by the constitution without equivocation. For instance what dignity lies for that jobless, homeless, uneducated and unemployable Nigeria, as currently but falsely guaranteed for in Section 34 of our present constitution. Next is the dispersal of power – economic and political. As things stand, power is over concentrated at the center, and unfortunately this was appropriated not by consensus, but by military fiat during the many years of military intervention. To make progress, the country must boldly seek a consensus on the decentralization of power. On the political front there is the need to create capable federating units that can appropriately negotiate, protect and preserve any constitutionally appropriated rights. That perhaps justifies the need for constitutional recognition of the six geo-political zones as the federating units, with the states as the third tier of government. If however the states are to remain the fulcrum of federating units, then there is need for equitable distribution of political power to the geo-political zones that make up the federation. Currently the south east which has lesser number of states and local governments than the other geo-political zones deserve the creation of a sixth state. To pretend that that demand is not genuine is to gloss over the historical inequities underpinning the creation of states by the military governments. Again if the present arrangements remain, then the current legislative provisions allowing hybrid local government administration will have to be redefined. We will either have the councils as the third tier government, or as in other federations operate it under the apron of states. Now the most important of the needed constitutional amendments is the dispersal of economic powers. There is the urgent need to whittle down the contents of the second schedule to the constitution, so that states can explore the resources in their domain. As things are, many states are poor despite their substantial endowments, and the result is the increasing extreme desperation by all the stakeholders to seek an increased portion of the available resources. There is also a disincentive to work for state’s prosperity, as the bureaucracies at the states concentrate on feeding from its share of the forcefully appropriated Niger Delta resources, instead of creating wealth at the local level. On their own part, the federal authority, with too much loose money, attract and dispense enormous resources and influence, and consequently has turned into the amphitheatre of corrupt enrichment and a thriving rent economy. To complement the dispersal of economic power, the coercive prerogative of the state to protect and enforce the rules of economic engagement, through policing needs decentralization. The controversy over state policing is uncalled for, if proper delineations and control measures are put in place. To complement this will be a decentralized judiciary. Exhaustive and independent judiciary to adjudicate the economic, social and political issues bordering the ordering of rights and duties within the states or zones would harm nobody or the federal judiciary. Instead the federal courts will continue to deal with matters of federal interests, leaving the sub national interests to the sub national courts. An interesting perspective to creating a functional country came penultimate Saturday from Prof Chidi Odinkalu, the Chair of Council, National Council on Human Rights at the installation of the Rotarian Victor Achuonu, and board of Rotary Club of Festac Town. The erudite Professor said: “Three processes are essential to the effective functioning of a country. These are: the process of legitimating public power (elections); the processes of quantifying the democratic coverage/composition of the country (census); and the process of estimating and distributing the commonwealth (public accounts, including revenues and appropriations).” He further said: “The rationales for these and relationships between them are obvious. Through the votes validly counted, government acquires its legitimacy to rule; through the census, it knows the number of people it needs to cater for and among whom the resources need to be distributed; and in the public accounts’ it knows what it needs to manage in the interest of these people …”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

NATIONAL BAR AT THE 8TH AELEX LAW FIRMOF ANNUAL LECTURE THE MUSON ONIKAN, LAGOS THE PARTICIPANTS DELEGATES CONFERENCE AND ELECTION OFFICERS OF THEAT NIGERIAN BAR CENTRE, ASSOCIATION (NBA) IN ABUJA

• From left: Justice Kayode Eso; Soji Awogbade and Prof Ali Mazrui

• Fubara Anga (left) and Chief Femi Olagbende

• Ms Annkio Briggs and Dr Ayo Teriba

•Justice C. Archibong (left) and Mrs Awuneba Ajumogobia

• Prof Alaba Ogunsanwo (left) and Jide Agbabiaka

• Ronke Fatuga; Kitoyi Ibave-Akinsan and AVM Olu Adekoya

• Prince Biodun Bakare (left) and Mrs Bose Fajemisin

• Prof Theophilus Ogunbiyi (left) and Odein Ajumogobia

• Pastor Tayo Kayode (left) and Emeka Nwogwu

• Cross section of participants

PHOTOS: DAYO ADEWUNMI


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

LAW & SOCIETY STATE OF THE FEDERATION LECTURE ORGANISED BY THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED LEGAL STUDIES IN ABUJA

• Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) and representative of Anambra State Governor and Commissioner for Education, Dr Uju Okeke.

• Former Minister of Information and Chairman of the occasion Prof Jerry Gana and guest lecturer Chief Edwin Clark

• Niger Delta Development Minister Elder Godswill Orubebe and Pernament Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources Dr Godknows Aligali

• Mr Daboibi Dagogo Orumadiki and his wife Data

• Director, Research NIALS, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye; Prof Obiora Okafor and Prof Paul Idornigie

• Air Commodore Shehu Othman (left) and Sir S.O. Majoroh

• Dr Okeke and Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN)

• From left: Air Commodore Ibrahim Shafiri; Commodore E.O. Enemor and Col. O. N. Taiwo

•Dr Valerie Azinge (left) and Nnaemaka Anika

• Cross section of participants.

PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

LAW & PERSONALITY Rights activist Ken Achufuna is the Co-ordinator of the United Kingdom-based group - Citizen Rights Lawyering (CRL), which campaigns for and protects citizens’ rights. In this interview with ERIC IKHILAE, Achufun speaks on justice administration and other laws; and suggests ways of promoting justice and rule of law.

Weak laws aid graft

H

OW would you measure the level of public confidence in the country’s legal system compared to what it was about 10 years ago? I would say that there is hardly any improvement. We even seem to be going backward. What do you think is responsible for this? It’s still the same basic problems. Court cases still last incredibly long. Congestion in courts is on a geometric increase. Corruption is very well part of the system; at least, so admitted the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). Criminal and civil procedural rules are archaic and are in need of reform. Citizens cannot access justice as most often, it is delayed and denied. What aspects of the country’s justice administration do you think require modifications to ensure effectiveness? We need to amend the laws - both Civil and Criminal. Existing laws are both archaic and anachronistic, and contravene citizen rights. The criminal code system, adopted in Lagos and the South, are in need of reform as they do not stipulate penalties in accordance with modernity nor are the list of offences prescribed exhaustive or in tune with present day Nigeria. No new laws are being passed to tackle growing crimes in the system. Even the new CJN recently admitted that there is no law to tackle issues of mass murder of citizens. Is there an offence known as terrorism in the country? Nothing is being done in this regard and many wonder why the legislative arm, both at the federal and state levels are not concerned with law making? The hierarchy of courts needs to be changed and more courts or divisions of courts created.

How, then, can one justify the continued retention of the Shari’a law system by some states in the northern part of the country? Of course, Shari’a Penal Codes violate basic citizen rights on several scores as these laws prescribe for certain penalties, which must be regarded as torture or degrading and inhuman punishment. It is also in conflict with the federal constitution which guarantees certain inalienable rights as they infringe on federal legislative prerogatives (example is in the field of evidence). This development also contradicts the principle that offences and their punishments must be founded on written law. To what extent is it true that delay in case management forms the major challenge of the court system? That is absolutely correct.The Civil Procedures Rules are ineffective and help to deny citizens access to justice, as parties who want to unduly delay cases take advantage of same. What rules, for instance, govern adjournment of cases? Interim and interlocutory applications are brought at random with a right of appeal on interlocutory issues and a consequential stay of proceedings in most cases. The system and rules, on this score, are in a shambles. There is also the insinuation that the nation’s judiciary is hobbled by the problem of corruption. Do you agree with this? I, unfortunately, agree. I accept that judicial officers should, like Caesar’s wife, be above board. I accept that justice is blind, as the image of justice is often portrayed as a blind woman, which implies fairness and impartiality. But the system is not helped by the derisory salaries and allow-

ances of these judicial officers. Even with increases in most states, these still amount to mere stipends. Importantly, they need to be independently funded and not go cap in hand to the executive. Which, among the Bench and the Bar, should take the bulk of the blame for delay in case management? I think both should be blamed. For the Bench, their derisory salaries are such that most judicial officers have other sources of livelihood. What happens if a judge is pursuing an important business and has an appointment that coincides with a court sitting? Which one is he likely to choose? For the Bar, the lack of proper rules of etiquette governing professional conduct and the ambiguity of civil procedural rules are to blame. Do you share the view that corruption thrives in the country because both the laws and the criminal justice system are weak? The laws are ineffective as there are always lacunaes a good attorney can exploit. There is also the absence of laws to govern certain criminal conduct. If there are no laws in some areas, what do you think is the result? Even agencies vested with investigation and prosecution of corruption are, unfortunately, by their enabling laws, not independent or free from bias. A reform is imperative to protect citizens’ rights. To what extent can a functional criminal justice system tame corruption in any society? A functional criminal justice system will reduce corruption. At least, cases will be properly investigated and speedily, but impartially dealt with. What aspects of the Constitution do you think require immediate amendments, which the National Assembly could include in its ongoing exercise? The Constitution guarantees immunity for certain public office

• From left: NBA President Joseph Daudu (SAN), President-elect Okey Wali (SAN) and former President, OCJ Okocha at the NBA Delegates’ Conference

holders. The Constitution does not say that they cannot be investigated for criminal conduct. If a public officer immune from criminal prosecution is suspected to have committed a criminal offence and subsequently investigated, what should happen to such a public officer? If such an officer is investigated, should the result of such an investigation be made public? If yes, and there is a cogent case against such an officer, should such a person step down or continue in office? The Constitution needs to specifically provide that they can be investigated for criminal conduct. That way, we would be making public office unattractive for never-do-wells. There is the argument that the problem of leadership in the country could be attributed to the country’s faulty Constitution. Do you agree? It’s not just the Constitution, but the laws churned out for the conduct of elections. Is the Electoral Commission independent? Who appoints or dismisses personnel of these bodies? Who appoints the head of the electoral commission? What law governs the registration of parties and who approves political parties? I would think that the head and personnel of this body are appointed by a partisan arm. The structure, as set up at present, cannot produce any different leadership. What is your take on the argument by the National Assembly that the creation of more states will hasten development? I agree with that view, but there may be no hastened development unless our laws are reformed. Our laws must be reformed to impact on machinery of parties to produce credible leadership. Except our laws are reformed, creation of new states would only increase present injustice in the system.

• Achufuna

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a resolution seeking the extension of the immunity clause privilege to other arms of government. Do you share this view? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I’m of the view that the immunity clause at present should be limited. Election disputes in the country take a to resolve. Do you see the possibility of adopting the various alternative dispute mechanisms in resolving election dispute as against litigation? The judicial system is ineffective. If you look at some states, some governors resumed office lately due to the long period it took for their election petitions to be resolved. Alternative dispute resolution methods, when developed, will be helpful. Overall, the system as it is presently, promotes injustice. Is justice delayed not justice denied?

•Cross-section of participants at NBA Delegates’ Conference

STATE OF THE FEDERATION LECTURE ORGANISED BY THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED LEGAL STUDIES IN ABUJA

• Eze David Okorie (left) and Institute Secretary, James Bathnna

• From left: Prof Clement J. Dakas (SAN), Uzezi Obeuwou and David Moughsha


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

LAW & SOCIETY

Overview of Freedom of Information Act and tangential provisions of Official Secrets Act

A

N illiterate/Disabled Applicant can make application for information through a Third Party. The Act also permits Oral Application. Where the Application is made orally to an Authorised Official of a government or Public Institution, the official has a duty to reduce the application into writing and provide a copy of the written application to the Applicant thereof. Time frame/procedure for granting or refusal of application Section 5 of the Act contains provisions on the Time Frame and Procedure for granting or refusing an application for Information. On receiving an application for a record or information, the Public Institution to which the application is made shall (Must), subject to the provisions of sections 6, 7 and 8 of the Act, within seven days of the application, make the information available to the Applicant. The provisions of the aforementioned Section 6, 7 and 8 of the Act which are treated in the next paragraph below, relates to Transfer of Application, Extension of Time for granting or refusing application and Denial of Application. However, under Section 7 of the Act the Institution may extend the time limit for granting or refusal of an application for a period not exceeding seven days for either of the following reasons viz: (a)If the application is for a large number of records and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the public institution. (b)Where consultations are necessary to comply with the application which consultations cannot be completed within the original time limit. It is pertinent to note that where the public institution is to take advantage of the provision for extension of time, it must give Notice of the Extension to the Applicant stating under which of the above circumstances warranted the extension. The Extension Notice by the Institution must also contain a rider statement, that the Applicant has a right to have reviewed by the court, the decision to extend the time limit. Statutory Fetters on Freedom of Information The FOI Act is a legal instrument that deserves applause over and again because it is one law, tool that is vitally needed in an evolving democracy like Nigeria particularly because of its useful application to other key indices of a

By Nojim Tairu

free society like press freedom, fundamental rights, free and fair election process, human right activities, labour movements etc. However, it is not yet uhuru, total freedom altogether. There are some fetters, exemptions, qualifications, limitations and outright checks on the Freedom of Information enshrined in the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. To the extent that these qualifications reduce the “free-ness” of access to Public information, to that extent they constitute veritable fetters to the freedom, and actually made the freedom not so free after all. The notable ones are treated in seriatim, anon: Government’s Power To Deny Access To Information: Without directly stating that the Government or a Public Institution has the power to deny access to information, the Act provides in S.8(1)-(2) that: “(1) where the government or public institution refuses to give access to a record or information provisions of this Acts that it relates to and that the Applicant has a right to challenge the decision refusing access and have it reviewed by a court. (2) Any notification of denial of any application for information or records shall set forth the names, designation and signatures, of each person responsible for the denial of such application”. Embedded in the above provisions are unmistakable power reserved in the Government or a Public Institution to refuse to grant access to public information. Though Section 8 of the Act stops short of expressly declaring the above obnoxious power; but it all the same stated it in reverse terms which becomes obvious by necessary implication upon a critical analysis of the elaborate Procedural Process provided for Refusal of Access and Notification of Denial. The Denial/Refusal Procedure, which is like a polite insult is not at all a comfort for the denial of such a very Fundamental Freedom. The only gratifying solace in the circumstance, is the latter part of the same Section 8(1) which expressly provides “that the applicant has a right to challenge the decision refusing access and have it reviewed by a court”. Even then, on a polemical basis, the provision is superfluous and

• Tairu

redundant. This is so because the Jural Correlative of Right is Duty. That being so, the jurisprudential equation of Right-Power-Duty automatically vests in the beneficiary of a Right (the Applicant in this context), a general right of action to extract by enforcement the Correlating Duty imposed on the Government/Public Institution, custodian of the information-the right of access to which resides in the citizen, the Applicant. So then, the above quoted statement in the provision is nothing but a high sounding restatement of what is already implied. Deferment of access by transfer Section 6(1) of the Act contains what can be termed Deferment of Access to information by way of Transfer of application for information by one Public Institution to another Public Institution. The curious provision of Section 6(1) of the FOI Act is to the effect that where an application for access to information is made to a Public Institution and the institution is of the view that another Public Institution has “a greater interest” in the information, then the first institution may transfer the application or the information itself to the second institution. It is obvious enough that the above would be a Ready-Made legitimate excuse in the hand of an unwilling, frightful or mischievous public officer. It would easily and readily be exploited to frustrate

and eventually deny access to public information. The Rule of Thumb contained in the provision that it is the prerogative of the same institution to which the application is made, to determine whether another institution has “a greater interest” in a piece of information and to transfer, actually adds to the oppressive implication of the law. Worse still, is the definition of “a greater interest” in S.6(3) a and b of the law. It says a public institution has “a greater interest” in information if the information was originally produced in or for the institution; or where the institution (i.e. public institution to which the application was made) was the first public institution to receive the information. The above definition merely introduces a distinction where there is no difference. The basic truth remains that both the one and another institution are both public institutions, custodian of information in respect of which they have a duty to grant access by virtue of Section 2(1) of the FOI Act in deference to the loudly announced Right of access to information which bears repetition here: “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act Law or Regulation, the right of any person to access or request information... which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution however described, is hereby established.” The Conscience Question is this: Is it honourable for Caesar to take with another hand what he has given with on hand? The latter provision in Section 6(1) of the law that the Transferring Institution shall give Written Notice of the Transfer to the applicant with a statement contained therein that the decision to transfer can be reviewed by a court-is most unnecessary even as it only adds insult to the injury. It merely directs the applicant to where to seek redress in court as though it were a consolation in the circumstance. Which it is not. This is because the Applicant already has, by way of larger, general right of action under section 36(1) of the 1999 constitution, the option of approaching the court to review any decision against his rights/obligation and which right predates even the FOI Act. So, of what profitable value is migraine to the head? None.

The courts are already congested with cases and delay in court process is a perplexing problem on its own. Indeed, that provision is a good example of Tokenism in legislation, which ought not to be. Extension of time for granting of application The Provision in the law on extension of time for granting an application for information has already been treated earlier in this piece. It only needs to be stated here that to the extent that the provision hinders the swift release of information, it constitute an entrustment on and indeed an abridgement of the citizen’s right to information. Exemption of international affairs and defence: Section 12(1) of the FOI Act provides that a public institution may deny an application for information where the disclosure may be injurious to the conduct of international affairs and the defence of the country. Traditionally and notionally, the above provision may be understandable given the sensitive, confidential nature of the information involved in the conduct of the International Affairs and Defence of a nation. However, the recent expose via the Wikileak affairs has greatly shattered the above traditional concept particularly in view of the high level of indiscretion, irresponsibility and frivolity the world was regaled within the conduct of their countries’ affairs by their so-called top-officials, diplomats, ministers, representatives, appointed and elected alike. The necessity of the traditional concept of secrecy and sublime mysticism attached to the conduct of every aspect of a country’s international affairs and defence is now highly debatable. The change question therefore is this: Whether it is not more likely that such affairs of a State would be conducted with greater sense of responsibility and honour if a country’s representative is conscious that all or at least some of his activities and dealings are not immuned or privileged from the prying eyes of the citizens-whom, by the way, the representative is supposed to be protecting their interest in the so-called international affairs or defence matter in question? • Tairu is a Lagos-based lawyer and Principal Partner in the firm of Nojim Tairu & Co • To be continued

• From left: Former NBA Port Harcourt branch Chairman, E. C. Aguma; Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike; S. Shode and Hon. A.S. Adeyemi.


38

THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

LEGAL OPINION

Immanent dualities?A socio-legal analysis of the character, attainments, and limitations of Gani Fawehinmi’s human rights praxis

I

T is in these three main ways ( that is, the integrated defense of various categories of rights; the treatment of his anti-corruption effort as an integral dimension of his human rights struggle; and the conceptual/practical erasure of the boundaries between the legal, political and social spheres of struggle) that Gani’s human rights praxis can be viewed as animated and shaped by a holistic and integrated methodology. A pro-poor approach To be pro-poor is to put the poor at the center of one’s thought and action (or praxis); to constantly ask oneself what the interest of the poor (howsoever defined) is in any situation; to listen attentively and genuinely to the voices of the poor; and to end up doing what appears to favor these subalterns.50 Given his constant complaints, many protests, and large number of law suits directed at advancing the interests of poor Nigerians, it is fair to conclude that an important featureof Gani’shuman rights praxis was its pro-poor orientation and approach; i.e.its centering of the needs and interests of poor Nigerians. A few examples will suffice to illustrate the point here. For example, Gani constantly complained about the lack of free or accessible education in Nigeria (a public good that is clearly needed more by the poor than the rich). He also railed constantly against the grand corruption that hobbles all-too-many of Nigeria’s public institutions,militates against the provision of public goods to ordinary Nigerians, and disproportionately affects the poor. And he frequently filed law suits seeking in one way or the other to advance the political or socio-economic status of ordinary (and usually poorer) Nigerians. III. Up on the Dizzying Heights: The attainments of GaniFawehinmi’sHuman Rights Praxis: By many informed accounts, public acclaim of Gani’s human rights praxis had, by the time of his death, climbed to quite dizzying heights. The evidence already canvassed in the introduction to this paper (especially in footnote 1) lends strong support to this conclusion. Nevertheless, it is remains important to understand in a more exact way the extent and profundity of Gani’s attainments in the human rights field in Nigeria and beyond. What, one may ask, accounts for the adulation he tended to receive from so many quarters –and from friend and foe alike? How did his work affect and impact human rights theory, norms and practice? What were its most innovative aspects and qualities?In the hope of shedding light on these related questions, the goal of this

By Obiora Chinedu Okafor

section of the paper isto offer a systematicanalysis of the available evidence regarding Gani’s accomplishments as a human rights defender, with a view to distilling what significant value-added, if any, his workdid contributeto human rights praxis in Nigeria, and even beyond. The emphasis here will be on the relatively more original and more cutting-edge aspects of his admittedly massive body of possible contributions to human rights in Nigeria. Due to space constraints, a detailed discussion of these cases will not be offered here. It will suffice for present purposes to discuss the relevant contributions in their broad outline. The quantity and quality of Gani’s human rights research, documentation and publication Easily, one of Gani’s most innovative, influential and lasting contributions to human rights praxis in Nigeria and beyond is his pioneering and enduring work in human rights research, documentation and publication. As was noted in section II of this paper, by the time of his death, Gani had authored over 12 well researched and written books, the vast majorityof them on human rights and intimately related topics. For example, he is the sole author of the following books and a number of others: •People’s Right to Free Education (1974), 91 pages •Nigerian Law of Habeas Corpus (1986), 457 pages •Nigerian Law of the Press under the Constitution and Criminal Law (1987), 574 pages •Nigerian Law of Libel and the Press (1987), 953 pages •Law of Contempt in Nigeria (1980) 292 pages •June 12 Crisis: The Illegality of Shonekan’s Government (1993), 151 pages •The Struggle for Genuine Democracy: What Hope for Democracy (1999), 146 pages •The Struggle for Genuine Democracy: State of the Nation and Dangers Ahead (1999), 455 pages.55 This level of scholarly productivity sits far atop the records of a great many law professors in Nigeria and beyond, whose very job it is to churn out such books and publications. Gani also produced over twelve (12) separate lines of law reports and digests, most of them useful to human rights praxis. Theyinclude the: •High Courts of Nigeria Law Reports (1985) 1431 pages •Digest of Supreme Court Cases, 10 Volumes (1986), 6606 pages •Nigerian Constitutional Law Reports, Volumes 1-6 (early 1980s), 4616 pages

•Nigerian Constitutional Law Reports, Volume 7 (2000), 226 pages •Criminal Law Reports (1989) 390 pages •Human Rights Law Reports of Africa, Volume I (1998) 753 pages •Human Rights Law Reports of Africa, Volume II (2000) 205 pages. This is quite apart from the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (NWLR) series for which he is most widely known at home and abroad.This innovative NWLR series has appeared virtually on a weekly basis (i.e. one copy or book per week), year in year out, since at least 1986. A review of thousands of individual law reports that constitute these NWLR series suggests that the wealth of human rights knowledge contained in this body of law reports and digests is, to say the least, immense.Recognizing the profundity of the legacy left by hisforesightedness, innovation and resilience in founding and producing the NWLR series, the Telegraph of London has more or less accurately observed that these reports “by opening up the proceedings of his [i.e. Gani’s] country’s courtrooms, form the basis of his legacy as a jurist.”60 That another informed observer has described the NWLR series as the “first leading Weekly Law Reports in Africa” virtually cements the validity of this point.61Put together and piled atop each other his body of publications are, both physically and metaphorically, nothing less than an impressive monument to Gani’s marked and highly influential contribution to human rights research, documentation, and publication in Nigeria, and beyond. The relaxation of strict locus standi rules and expansion of access to the courts in human rightsrelated cases Another signature contribution that Gani made to human rights praxis in Nigeria is his relentless, and in the end successful,litigation and political campaign/crusade to liberalise Nigeria’s then restrictive principles/rules regarding locus standi (i.e. standing to sue), especially in the context of constitutional and human rights-related litigation.62At the very least, since the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) in Adesanya v. The President and One Other,63 most Nigerian Courts have insisted that the breach of a public right, or constitutional or statutory provision, without any infringement of personal legal rights, does not confer standing to sue on an individual. As such, as Ogowewo has correctly noted, the effect was thateven “persons with a real interest in an issue of local or national importance will invariably be denied standing to sue; even if what is assailed involves obvious illegality [as in the

• From left: Chairman NBA Owo branch, Kola Olawoye; Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adebayo Ojo and Ranti Ajelete

Adesanya case].”65This rather unfortunate attitude of the vast majority of our courts to the issue of locus standi all-too-often created glaringcases of injustice, resulting in the insulation of all-too-many unconstitutional and/or anti-human rights governmental decisions and actions from challenges by public-spirited individuals or groups. Gani’sgolden touch here andvalue-added was that he left his indelible mark on nearly all of the most important cases in which the Courts relaxed Nigeria’s restrictive locus standi rules. This was so much so, that notable Nigerian human rights lawyer Femi Falanahas argued, not without much justification that “one of Gani’s posthumous rewards for his contributions to the legal system in Nigeria is the enactment of the [new much more liberal] Fundamental Procedure Rules 2009 [i.e. the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009],” under which public spirited persons can now file actions in the Nigerian courts challenging violations of the human rights of other citizens. 68 As important as these more liberal new Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules are, and as traceable to Gani’spioneering hard work as their enactment is, perhaps the more momentous contributions of Gani to the expansion of standing to sue in constitutional and human rights cases Nigeria are his marked impact on the relevant judicial decisions. Starting from his relatively unsuccessful argument, in the 1980s,in the Adesanyacase, for a broad and liberal interpretation of the relevant provisions of the 1979 Constitution that allows the Plaintiff sufficient locus standi; through his success in the 1990s, at the SCN,in Fawehinmi v. Akilu and Another, in getting that court to relax the then illiberal standing rules so as to permit the private prosecution of criminal offences (on the ground that we are all our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers); to the Court of Appeal’s agreement with Gani, in 2007,in Fawehinmi v. The President and Four others, that the rules regarding locus standi must be interpreted so liberally as to allow him standing to sue the federal government of Nigeria for paying higher dollar-denominated salaries to then Foreign and Finance Ministers of Nigeria(since he was “a political elite in Nigeria” and a “taxpayer” who “represents the conscience of the people”),Gani’s fecund and able socio-legal mind markedly affected the outcomes of the key judicial decisions in this area of human rights and public law,and helped to greatly expand access to the Nigerian courts in human rights-related litigation. Impact on struggles for the enjoyment of a broad range of civil and political rights Gani’s human rights praxis also exerted a marked influence on human rights praxis in the broad sub-area of civil and political rights.First, the understanding and practice of fair hearing in Nigeria was appreciably influenced by Gani’s work. In Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee v. Fawehinmi, he successfully challenged disciplinary proceedingsbefore the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee convened to try him for professional misconduct for describing himself in the advertisement for a book he wrote as a “famous, reputable, controversial Nigerian lawyer.” The SCN agreed with him that since the then AttorneyGeneral of the Federation acted as both the complainant and the chair of the proceedings, there was a real likelihood of bias against Gani, and the proceedings contra-

• The late Chief Fawehinmi

vened his right to a fair hearing. This decision led to important statutory reforms in the structure and nature of disciplinary proceedings against Nigerian lawyers.In Fawehinmi v. The State, Gani was charged with contempt of a Lagos High Court for alleging in papers he filed in court to support a motion that Ayorinde CJ (as he then was) was in the habit of assigning all the cases he filed against the then ruling federal military government to Justice Ayorinde’s own court, and thereafter dismissing such cases.72 Upon his conviction and imprisonment by Ayorinde, CJ for contempt of court, he appealed to the Court of Appeal which agreed with Gani that due process must be observed before a person charged with contempt of court can be convicted of that offence and suffer a deprivation of her/ his liberty through the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment. This case made an important contribution to the development of the law of fair hearing in contempt of court proceedings. In Garba v. University of Maiduguri, which is now a cause célèbre, Gani convinced the SCN that the failure ofa disciplinary panel to allow to allow a number of students who were disciplined and rusticated for leading violent protests an opportunity to cross-examine a key witness, and the fact that some members of that panel had been negatively affected by events that occurred during those protests, led to the violation of the rights of the affected students tofair hearing. Similarly important pronouncements were made as to the meaning of the fair hearing clause in Nigeria’s Constitution in other judicial matters in which Gani appeared as counsel, in each case as a result of his success at convincing the relevant courts to accept his own reading of the law. Another area of civil and political rights in which Gani’s impact was deeply and vastly felt was in the area of the entitlement of any Nigerian citizen to utilise the right of private prosecutionin defenceof the right to life of another person in Nigeria. In reaction to the letter-bombing murder of Dele Giwa during the era of military rule in Nigeria; the failure of the relevant authorities to prosecute those whom Gani felt were responsible for the unlawful deprivation of the right to life of that famed journalist, and the refusal in effect of these authorities to authorise him to launch a private prosecution against the alleged culprits (who were influential military officers at that time),Gani filed a series of cases in court, going up to the SCN, seeking an order of mandamus compelling the relevant officials to either prosecute the alleged persons or in the alternative authorize him to do so. • To be continued next week


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

39

ABUJA REVIEW NEWS

• From left: Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, Minister of State, Education, Nyeson Wike and Minister of State, Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada at Ministers Meeting at the State House in Abuja PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

• From left: Deputy Director, Training, Police Affairs Ministry, Dr Umar; AIG, Intelligence, Nigeria Police, Solomon Arase; Programme Officer, Macarthur Foundation, Godwin Odo; Executive Director CLEEN Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma and others at the sixth Executive Forum on Intelligence-led Policing in Nigeria in Abuja

• From left: Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman; FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed; Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina and Minister of State, Defence, Olusola Erelu Obada during the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House, Abuja

•New Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe (left) with Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati during a press briefing at the Presidential Villa in Abuja

• Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (left) presenting a bouquet to Francis Wasa at the memorial event for colleagues, staff and family members of victims of the Dana air crash. The event was held in Abuja

• • Corps Secretary, Godwin Omiko being decorated with his new rank as Corps Commander by the Corps Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, Osita Chidoka, assisted by Mrs. Marhina Eze

•The Proprietress, Unity High School, Mrs Olufemi Akanni and guests during the 11th graduation ceremony in Kubwa, Abuja

•Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu (left); Head, Corporate Affairs, SON, Mr. Mathias Bassey and Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Social Responsibility, Company Austria, Mr. Martin Neureiter, during the national workshop on ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social responsibility, organised by SON, in Abuja PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

ABUJA REVIEW

T

HIS past week, there seemed to be some evidence in the perception that the constitution leaves the President of Nigeria with a larger-than-life image. The absence of President Goodluck Jonathan was felt throughout the week as he visited Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. The Presidential Villa which used to be a beehive of activities was somewhat quiet. Vice President Namadi Sambo’s trip to Ghana on Thursday worsened the situation. The human traffic to the seat of power was reduced. Most of the offices were deserted by workers as there seemed to be nothing to do. Review of the budget kickstarted activities at the Presidential Villa with the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu and his Housing counterpart Ms. Ama Pepple appearing before the President and his deputy. Chukwu revealed that President Jonathan’s insistence on completion of ongoing projects was part of the reasons for the wrangling with the House of Representatives. The Minister said President Jonathan has shown that he would rather complete old projects instead of initiating new ones. He explained that the design of new projects take up to 14 weeks before the procurement and award of contract processes. The minister also said the National Assembly’s reduction of the ministry’s budget proposal on disease prevention, surveillance and control, which is a major mandate of the ministry, from N582m to only N78m has affected its response to disaster and emergency areas. Information Minister who spoke a day later on the issue, noted that the budgeting process is problematic as its implementation actually started three months ago after it became law in March. He, therefore, argued that “it is wrong to assume that more than six months have gone by without the 2012 budget being implemented. He stressed that the Presidency was working out its strategy on executing the budget which, according to him, “is our mandate”. He also assured that once procurement processes are concluded, many more projects will be awarded and results will be more visible. While knocks have continued to come the way of the presidency on the management of the economy, it said its efforts are being appreciated by investors who are willing to invest in the country. The endorsement came at a recent London Investment Conference, organised by Bank of Industry in collaboration with other stakeholders. The conference brought together a number of leading international investors who were looking for the opportunity to invest in Africa. Maku, who was quoting Minister

Palace without king From the Villa By Vincent Ikuomola of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, noted that the conference was a huge success for Nigeria as leading international investors showed interest in the country. “They believed that Nigeria’s economy is being run in a very very convincing way and that because of the management of the economy and the reforms this administration is introducing, most investors believe that Nigeria is a destination for any significant investment in subsahara Africa in decades to come. The Presidency on Tuesday renewed its readiness to complete the privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria

(PHCN) before the end of the year. Already, 79 companies have submitted bids for power generation and distribution. The breakdown shows 54 interest in distribution and 25 for generation. According to the Director General for Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) revised the timelines for various approvals that would be required for transactions in the PHCN. Ms Onagoruwa also stated that the council would meet on August 24, to announce the bidders that passed the technical evaluation for the generation companies. She also disclosed that the

Mass housing for FCT

S

UCCOUR is coming the way of residents of Abuja soon as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is to begin a mass housing project. According to the newly

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

inaugurated Board of the Abuja Property Development Company (APDC), the initiative was aimed at addressing housing deficits in the federal capital.

We know that Abuja is a growing city and the issue of accommodation is also a growing problem. What we have before us is to find solutions

Chairman of the board, Johnson Ameh, said it was not ignorant of the housing challenges facing the territory which was responsible for seeking and securing the minister’s support to embark on a new mass housing project. He said: “We have the assistance and the promises of the minister that he would assist us in any way that he can. So, we are looking at mass housing and at the moment. “We know that Abuja is a growing city and the issue of accommodation is also a growing problem. What we have before us is to find solutions, development of properties and as much as we

council would meet on September 11 to unfold the list of bidders that passed technical evaluation for the distribution companies while the financial bids opening for the generation companies will be on September 25 and that for the distribution companies will be on October, 8. The final for the commercial bids for distribution companies is scheduled for October 22. The Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, also briefed the Federal Executive Council (FEC) a day after the closure of submission of bids. He said the high number of bids surpassed the expectation of power ministry and this is a a clear indication that the policies of government are working. On the same day in far away Trinidad and Tobago, Jonathan promised improved power supply before the end of the year. The President also assured that the Air Services Agreement between it and Trinidad and Tobago, which covers direct flights between the two countries, will be honoured. The week also witnessed the unveiling of the new Senior Special Assistant to the president on Public Affiars, Dr. Doyin Okupe. The medical doctor was quick to debunk the news making the rounds that he was hired by the president as an attack dog. can; we know that the potentials are there; we just have to try as much as possible to clear the terrain, sit down and map out how far this company has come so far, where we are right now and where we want to be in the next two to three years,” he said. The chairman, however, said unlike in the past, the residents would be directly involved in the disposal of the housing units, adding: “With the project that is coming up,we are hoping to embark on a more serious awareness programme that the populace can know that such programme is coming up. “Forms are already being sold because the programme is targeted at those residing within Abuja and the entire public sector”.

“Somebody said Okupe has been hired as an attack dog; if President Jonathan hires a 60-year-old man as attack dog, then he is employing a weak attack dog. I am not an attack dog.” One fact he admitted to was that the opposition in Nigeria was a strong one, which must be engaged to deepen its understanding of government’s policies.

The Presidential Villa which used to be a beehive of activities was somewhat quiet as the country’s number one man was away on an official assignment. Vice President Namadi Sambo’s trip to Ghana worsened the situation

In the same vein, the Managing Director, APDC, Mr. Bashir Haiba, said the company has the human and material resources, as well as the commitment to provide lowcost, affordable housing units for residents of the territory. According to the MD, the board has provided the platform to partner other stakeholders in building, producing various types of houses to address the areas of the less-privileged. He said: “We are taking Abuja properties to great heights and creating value for the owners of the company, value for work within the economy in the area of affordable housing, low-cost housing and every type of house you can develop on commercial basis.”


OLYMPIC PHOTOS

•Ainslie GB celebrates his fourth Olympic gold

•Men's 400m Semi Final Race

42

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

•Okoye saved the best for last with a stunning final throw

•Perfect stomach? Jessica of GB trains several hours a day, six days a week

•Christine Ohuruogu of GB emerged in second place with a lung-busting finish

•Bolt posted this photograph on Twitter and Instagram early this morning. It shows him posing with three Swedish handball players in the Olympic Village •Jeter, USA athlete celebrates her success

•Athletes running in an event •Ryutaro Matsumoto of Japan (L) competes with Omid Haji Noroozi of Islamic Republic of Iran during their Men's Greco-Roman 60 kg Wrestling Semi Final on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 6, 2012 in London, England.

•Williams sisters in warm embrace

•Thousands wore the national green, black and gold colours of Jamaica as Bolt stormed to victory

•Yukiko Inui and Chisa Kobayashi from Japan compete during the women's duet synchronized swimming free routine at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012.


43

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

In a move that is seen as the most ambitious in his five-month-old leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has announced plans to reconcile all the warring factions in the party. In this report, AUGUSTINE AVWODE examines his chances.

Reconciliation: How far can Tukur go? N

ATIONAL Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Bamanga Tukur on Saturday announced his plans to breathe unity and oneness into the party through a process of national reconciliation. The party brims with factions in almost all the states where it is in control, or, in the least, harbour deep rooted disagreement among top members. Tukur announced, almost with glee and sizeable optimism, that “By the time we finish with the reconciliation, top party men such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel; and former BoT Chairman, Anthony Anenih; will be dining on one huge political table”. But this is one wish that is largely seen as mission impossible or likened to a desire to ride the tiger. The reconciliation plan, as revealed by Tukur, will take the form of a national tour to begin at the end of the Ramadan period. The plan, which has already been endorsed by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), would be made up of a team of nine from each zone with three members from the Board of Trustees (BoT), one from the National Working Committee and three from the High Powered Advisory Committee (HPAC) led by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, which Tukur inaugurated few months ago, and two others. In all, the reconciliation team would be made up of roughly 54 members. According to Tukur, the party would be guided by the report of the Alex Ekwueme Reconciliation Committee. It emphasised reconciliation with members who had left the party for one reason or another over the years and welcome them back with open arms. Today, nothing dramatic has happened to change the status quo. In many states, the big umbrella is in tatters as a result of internal wrangling.

Opposition to reconciliation Tukur’s first challenge would be the willingness of those already inside the umbrella to create room for those who left at some time because they were disgruntled. Recently, Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang openly expressed his opposition to the whole talk of reconciliation and return by old members who left the party. During on a visit to Tukur in Abuja, Jang urged him not to allow former members of the party who contested against the party in the last general election to return in the name of reconciliation. And, perhaps, for the sake of emphasis, Jang repeated it to the hearing of everybody back at home at an orientation workshop for newly elected members of the state executive of the party. Inside the conference hall of Treasure Inn Hotel, Jang declared: “Let me use this opportunity to repeat exactly what I told our party national chairman in Abuja recently; I said politicians who left the party and are interested in coming back should followed the due process by doing so through their ward party offices. “As for those who did not only left the party but contested against PDP, this group of politicians should not be welcomed back, they should be made to remain in the opposition party and render credible opposition that is required in a democracy. “I belief all of us cannot be in the ruling party some good politicians too has to be in the opposition to offer needed criticism.” Jang said.

This type of mind set by people who are already entrenched in the party is likely to make nonsense of all that Tukur plans to achieve.

Crisis stricken chapters Besides, there are some state chapters that would prove to be a tough kernel for Tukur to crack. Some of these states include Ogun, where the two factions, with one loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the other to former Governor Gbenga Daniel are bent on destroying each other. The crisis that hit the party in the state in the run-up to the primaries of the 2011 general election has defied all entreaties and measures to ensure that one steps down for the other. In fact, it is the crisis that led to the emergence of a new party, the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN). Unable to speak with one voice, the two parties crumbled like a pack of cards at the election. Curiously, as the national chairman was making his plans to resolve the crisis and reconcile the factions, it assumed a worsening dimension as a parallel executive emerged with former Ogun State Coordinator of Obasanjo/Atiku campaign organisation, Chief Oladipo Odunjirin, emerging as the new factional chairman of the party. This, however, is contrary to several court orders from both the Federal and state High Courts recognizing the Adebayo Dayo - led Executive Committee as the legitimate organ of PDP in the state. If nothing, it signposts a difficult time for the reconciliation team to be set up by Tukur. In Edo State, the intra-party crisis, which lingered for a very long time, is believed to have led to the woeful loss and crushing defeat suffered by the party in the July 14 governorship election. The PDP lost to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) by a wide margin of about 330,000 votes. For effect, three chieftains of the party, Chief Tony Anenih, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia and Chief Gabriel Igbinediaon never did anything together in the name of the party for a long time until only about two weeks to the election. Since their coming together was to win the election, which has fallen through anyway, it is hard to see why they would not go back to their different trenches to maintain their old positions with a view to controlling the party machinery in the state. This is the ice Tukur and his team must break to effect true reconciliation in Edo. These seemly intractable crises in the various state chapters have been blamed for the poor showing of the party in some states, even though many would not entirely agree with this. What many think will even pose more problem to Tukur is his burning desire to bring both Obasanjo and Anenih to the same table and re-enact the chummy relationship that existed between the duo from 2000 to 2006. The manner in which Anenih was shoved aside as the chairman of the party’s BoT in 2007 in what was described as a ‘palace coup’ has remained a sore thumb that has refused

• Tukur

to heal. Will Obasanjo and Anenih alleged not on talking terms backdown from their high posts? This is a sure nut that will test the political and diplomatic sagacity of the former Gongola State governor. But Tukur seems undeterred by the Herculean task he has set for himself. He maintained that the aim of the reconciliation was to drive his programme of reconciling all aggrieved members of the party in the country. As far he is concerned, “The PDP umbrella is large enough to accommodate every Nigerian and it is my intention as promised during the national chairmanship election last March that I will upon election, ensure that the party returns to its cohesive posture in line with the wishes of its founding fathers”. Analysts say the grand old man can make a lasting impact considering the way he weathered the storm that buffeted him in his quest for the position. It would be recalled that barely three days to the March 24, convention in Abuja, Tukur was roundly defeated at the party’s North East zonal congress in Bauchi. Dr. Musa Babayo emerged the preferred choice of leaders of the zone, including governors and senators. But in a never say never fashion, Tukur plotted his graph diligently and with the resolute support of President Goodluck Jonathan claimed the diadem to the chagrin of many. Again, many actually were looking forward to a big clash with another master of the game from Adamawa State, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Tukur said to a deliberate choice of Jonathan because of 2015 was quickly seen as a stumbling block to Atiku’s perceived ambition for 2015. Those who still believe in the zoning policy of the party, even though it was badly rubbished in the presidential primary that produced Jonathan as flag bearer for the party, reasoned that with Tukur coming from Adamawa, Atiku can no longer pursue his presidential ambition. Surprisingly, Tukur and Atiku have not clashed and the former number two citizen has made it clear that zoning no longer exists in the party and that whoever is qualified, and willing to contest should be fre to do just that come 2015. Again, as a demonstration of his political dexterity, no sooner than he settled down that he faced an acid test. His chief of staff, Habu

‘Besides, there are some state chapters that would prove to be a tough kernel for Tukur to crack. Some of these states include Ogun, where the two factions, with one loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the other to former Governor Gbenga Daniel are bent on destroying each other’

Fari, was involved in a personality clash with the Secretary of the Party, former governor of Osun State, Ogunsoye Oyinlola. The face-off virtually severed the party national Working Committee (NWC) right down to the bottom along two camps. At a time when many thought that things would get messier, Tukur fired Fari without bathing an eye lid and brought together his executive members to face the tasks he has set for himself. Speaking to The Nation yesterday, a chieftain of the party from Edo State and a member of South-South Elders Forum (SSEF) Chief Richard Lamai, said Tukur would succeed in the tall order he has set for himself. “I have no doubt in my mind that the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, will succeed in his reconciliation effort if he goes about it in a very transparent and, open minded manner and ensure that justice is done to all aggrieved persons in the party, especially, all those who have been undemocratically shortchanged”. He agreed that there has been ‘turbulence’ in the party because of the sheer size of the party. “There is turbulence in the party both at the state and national levels, because PDP being the largest party in Africa has all manner of strange bedfellows coming together. It is the way the internal contradiction in the party is handled that will ensure that the Chairman succeed with his reconciliation efforts. “Alhaji Tukur means well for the party and, therefore, all members of the party should join hands to ensure that the reconciliation efforts are successful in order to reposition the party for the challenges ahead”. He however warned that if the aim is short of ensuring internal democracy in the party, he should forget it as he would not succeed. “The aimed should be to bring internal democracy to the party. We have divisions and factions in the party because of lack of internal democracy. PDP has no choice but to set the standards for other parties to follow, the standard should be the enthronement of internal democracy and if that is the goal of the intended reconciliation then the chairman will surely succeed, otherwise forget it” he stated. Perhaps what may work more in favour of Tukur is not just the wealth of experience he has garnered over the years as an administrator and businessman but importantly being a founding member of the party. He has always been there from the G18 to G34 that later became the PDP. This certainly should help him a lot. But without doubt, Nigerians are watching and waiting to see how he steers the PDP boat out of the doldrums of internal crises and wrangling.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

45

HEALTH THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

Can HIV positive nursing mothers breastfeed? For HIV nursing mothers, here is good news. They can now breasfeed their babies, something that was medically inadvisable in the past. But for them to do so, they must take their drugs religiously or risk infecting their babies. In this report, OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA, who attended the just-concluded World AIDS Conference in Washington DC, examines ways HIV positive mothers can breastfeed without infecting their babies.

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AN women living with HIV breastfeed their babies? In the past, the answer was no, but thanks to medical advance they can now breastfeed their babies. The Director-General, National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA), Prof John Idoko, told The Nation at the recent World AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. that there is no longer anything to fear about HIV positive mothers breastfeeding infants. He said their treatment with antiretroviral (ART) drugs has reduced HIV transmission through pregnancy and delivery. But the effect of these agents when taken during breastfeeding is a newer field of study, he added. Idoko said: “Exclusive breastfeeding is much safer than mixed feeding (the supplementing breastfeeding with other foods), and should be encouraged even in settings where ART for either the mother or infant is not readily available. The research published regarding maternal treatment with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) during pregnancy and breastfeeding has all been non-randomised with relatively little statistical power, but suggests maternal HAART can drastically reduce the risk of transmission of HIV. “Infant prophylaxis has been intensively studied in several trials and has been shown to be as effective as maternal treatment with antiretrovirals, reducing the transmission rate after six weeks to as low as 1.2 per cent. “Research that is in progress will provide us with more answers about the relative contribution of maternal treatment and infant prophylaxis in preventing transmission and the results of such research may be expected as early as this year through 2013. “There is hope that perinatal HIV transmission may be greatly reduced in breastfeeding populations worldwide through a combination of behavioural interventions that encourage exclusive breastfeeding and pharmacologic interventions with antiretrovirals for mothers and/or their infants.” Also, Elizabeth Glasser Paediatric AIDS Foundation, at a briefing during the conference, said, until recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised HIVpositive nursing mothers to avoid breastfeeding if they were able to afford, prepare and store formula milk safely. But research has since emerged, particularly from South Africa that a combination of exclusive breastfeeding and the use of antiretroviral treatment can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to babies through

breastfeeding. A representative of the Foundation, R.J Simonds, said: “On November 30, 2009, WHO released new recommendations on infant feeding by HIV-positive mothers, based on this new evidence. For the first time, WHO is recommending that HIV-positive mothers or their infants take antiretroviral drugs throughout the breastfeeding and until the infant is 12 months old. This means that the child can benefit from breastfeeding with very little risk of becoming infected with HIV. “Prior research had shown that

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ETIRED workers have appealed to the Federal Government to create a ministry for the elderly to cater for their welfare. They made the appeal at the quarterly meeting and health check in Lagos organised by LUF Foundation and Healthy Living Communications (HLC). The foundation is an association of over 50, 000 retired workers of between 60 and 88 registered by the Federal Government in 2009. Its General Secretary, Mr Kelvin Lawrence, said most aged people met untimely death due to lack of adequate welfare. “As people who have supported social justice, retired workers, deserved better welfare than they are getting now.” Lawrence said the situation was such that workers could not embrace retirement with joy like their counterparts in other countries. “In other countries, workers embrace retirement with joy, but not in Nigeria. Few Nigerian workers are on pension and even those on pension are not paid when due. Retired Nigerian workers suffer social and economic hardship,” he said.

Science awards announced

•Prof. Idoko

‘It has been shown that when antiretrovirals are taken through the pregnancy and breastfeeding stages, there is a reduction in HIV infection rate by two per cent. But there must be 100 per cent adherence to taking the drugs correctly’

Retirees seek ministry

T •Breastfeeding: A must for babies.

exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of an infant’s life was associated with a three to four fold decreased risk of HIV transmission compared to infants, who were breastfed and also received other milks or foods. WHO recommended that mothers, regardless of their HIV status, practise exclusive breastfeeding – which means no other liquids or food, are given – in the first six months. After six months, the baby should start on complementary foods. Mothers who are not infected with HIV should breastfeed until the infant is two years or older.” Idoko said in low income countries, which includes Nigeria, WHO recommended: “It has been clearly shown that when antiretrovirals are taken through the pregnancy and breastfeeding stages, there is a

reduction in HIV infection rate of two per cent. But there must be 100 per cent adherence to taking the drugs correctly; otherwise there is a risk that the baby will become infected with HIV or resistant to the medication.There needs to be good support for mothers to help them adhere to an extended drug regimen as well as keeping to six months of exclusive breastfeeding. “In countries where it is not possible for HIV positive women to access a regular supply of antiretroviral drugs, it is recommended that in general, they follow the 2006 WHO recommendations. When ARVs are not available, the recommendations included in the 2006 HIV and Infant Feeding Update still provide useful guidance for mothers and health workers.”

HE United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has announced awards worth $60 million. In a statement, PEPFAR said it has potential for additional funding in three years, to support science research and the evaluation of programmes established under it. These evaluations, funded through partnership with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will contribute to HIV programmes and increase the impact of its investments in programmes worldwide. Data gathered will help partner countries to strengthen their efforts to prevent new HIV infections and save lives, it said. Implementation Science (IS) include various methods and studies, designed to guide policies and programme implementation to identify effective and efficient models for the scale-up of prevention, care and treatment programmes. These funding opportunities emerged from research priorities identified by the Office of the US Global AIDS Co-ordinator and recommended by the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board.

Women doctors seek breast milk bank HE Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) has advocated the creation of a breast milk bank where lactating mothers can donate screened breast milk to babies who lost their mothers at birth. Its National President, Dr Dumebi Owa, described as unfounded, the notion that giving breast milk to another person’s child is wrong. Speaking at a breasfeeding seminar organised by the association for nursing mothers at the Ebute Metta Healthcare Centre, she said: “Lactating mothers also need to be educated on the importance of having a breast milk

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By Wale Adepoju

bank as obtains in developed countries. “A mother giving out her breast milk to be used by a baby who needs it is helping to save that child’s life “The cultural myth in our society about giving your milk to a baby that is not yours not being ideal has to be broken,” she said. On the importance of breastmilk, she said increased breast feeding helps to reduce the rate of deaths among five-year-olds. Besides, breastfeeding helps not only to create a bond between mother and child, it also immunes

babies against diseases. Owa blamed some women who refused to breastfeed their babies for fear that their breasts would sag. “Researches have shown that pregnancy makes breasts sag. It is a natural phenomenon, but it is a price worth paying for having a healthy baby. “Women should not have a lackadaisical attitude towards something that would give their child life and protection from killer diseases,”she said. She also advocated the creation of creches in the workplace to enable the mother to adequately breast feed the baby.

Medical Officer, Ebute Metta Health Centre, Dr Temitayo Ishola, enjoined expectant mothers and nursing mothers to breastfeed and take care of the breasts. She added that the benefits of breastfeeding included the growth of heathy teeth by babies as well as increasing their Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Ishola, however, warned nursing mothers against breastfeeding their babies while they (the mothers) were asleep, adding that this could cause too much milk to get into the baby’s mouth, thereby causing tooth decay or suffocation.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

HEALTH

‘515,000 expectant mothers die in Nigeria yearly’

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O fewer than 515,000 expectant mothers die yearly in the country, Prof Kofoworola Odeyemi of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, has said. She spoke at a lecture entitled: "Save a Woman, Save a Nation" at the Second Yearly Scientific Conference of the Association of General Private Nursing Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPNP). Mrs Odeyemi deplored the high rate of maternal deaths, saying: "In a developing country like Nigeria, the risk of maternal death is one in 16. While in developed countries, it is one in 2,800. "Every minute one woman dies due to causes related to pregnancy, child birth and postnatal period. "That is 515,000 women, at a minimum, dying every year. About 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing world. The health statistics of maternal mortality shows a large disparity between developed and developing countries." In Ghana, she said they have less than half (210 in 100,000 expectant mothers) of our maternal death rate (545 in 100,000 pregnant women), adding that it is a shame that every time maternal mortality ratio is discussed, Nigeria is always mentioned. "There are also disparities in the rates between geopolitical zones; maternal death rate is lowest in the south and highest in the northwest due to poor antenatal care. Globally, maternal mortality is mostly concentrated in India, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo," she said. She noted that the common pregnancy complications are haemorrhage, sepsis, toxaemia, abortion, anaemia, malaria and cephalopelvic disproportion. She said: "The high death rate could have been averted since these complications are preventable." Prof Odeyemi also listed the ailments, which do not result in deaths, but could be debilitating to maternal health, as chronic anaemia, stress incontinence, vesicovaginal fistula, rectovaginal fistula, chronic pelvic pain, depression and exhaustion. She stressed the reproductive rights of women, saying: "Every woman has the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health, and the right to services and information. They should be able to decide freely and

By Wale Adepoju

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•From left: Acting Director, Nursing Services, Health Service Commission, Mrs Victoria Oloruntegbe; Prof Odeyemi; Sales Manager, Specialty Business Unit, Pfizer, Ikenna Ngonebu; Dr E. B. Akinrinmisi of Lagos State Ministry of Health; and Dr Olawale at the event. By Damilola Owoyele

responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children." She advised private nurses thus: "The onus falls on us as health workers to avail pregnant women information that would save their lives." She bemoaned the infrastructural and personnel deficiencies, such as unavailability of maternal health facility and inadequate manpower, that contribute to maternal death rate and apportioned blame to socio-cultural factors: teenage pregnancy that causes cephalopelvic disproportion; male-sex preference that compels women to continue to give birth irrespective of age; taboos that state aversion to surgery; and subscription to harmful traditional practices and spiritual churches for child delivery. She added: "Only 10 per cent of married women use the modern method of family planning; the average Nigerian woman wants six children." On the theme of the conference, Prof Odeyemi said she was happy the high maternal death rate was brought to the front burner by the Association of General Private Nursing Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPNP). "I am happy that by this conference, we have challenged ourselves.

We shouldn't let women die needlessly. When a woman dies, children lose their primary caregiver; countries forego her contributions to economic and social development. A woman's death is more than a personal tragedy. It represents an enormous loss to her family, community and nation." At the event, she unveiled the "Safe Motherhood" scheme initiated by the World Haelth Organisation (WHO), which she said would help reduce the high rate of maternal death by "ensuring that all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth." Safe Motherhood subsumes programmes, such as family planning, antenatal care, safe delivery, newborn care, postnatal care and post abortion care. Many participants were happy with the lecture. Mrs. Ayodele Iroko from the USAID said: "I appreciate Prof. Odeyemi for educating us. And I am glad that all the stakeholders of 'Save a Woman, Save a Nation' are here. One of USAID's objectives is to promote family planning to achieve Millennium Development Goals Five." President AGPNP, Dr T.J Olawale said nurses in private practice could provide effective service if given the right education. Victoria Oloruntegbe, the Acting Director of Nursing Services, Health

Service Commission, Lagos State, said: "The issue of maternal death is a priority in Lagos State. The state has provided world-standard maternal and child health centres that have brought smiles to people's faces. And as we have been saving women, we will save this nation." The Director of Nursing Services, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented the Minister of Health, Mojisola Okodugha, said: "Women are bedrock of the nation. We are already empowered because without us, men cannot come to this world. The country has put so many things in place to save a woman. The Midwifery Scheme is one of them. We want more hands to save a woman; therefore accreditation of more nursing schools is being looked into so that more nurses could be trained." Pfizer partnered AGPNP on conference. Its representative, Margaret Olele, stated the comopany’s commitment to maternal and child health. "Pfizer is still working with other NGOs to reduce maternal death rate in Nigeria. We have a rich portfolio in women's health and have medicines used in treatment of malaria in pregnant women. We are committed to supporting initiatives that will help the country attain the MDGs’ goals.”

NAFDAC trains health detectives for adverse drugs

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HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has trained marketing authorisation holders (MAHs) and other health care providers on detection and reporting of adverse drug reaction (ADR) to the appropriate agency. According to NAFDAC DirectorGeneral, Dr Paul Orhii, while some drugs are beneficial, others could cause adverse reactions, no matter how skilfully used. Orhii spoke at a workshop on pharmacovigilance/post marketing surveillance for marketing authorisation holders in the pharmaceutical industry in Lagos. He said the chances of occurrence of several adverse drug reactions can be reduced by sufficient knowledge of the condition under which they are most likely to occur. “The need for preventing ADRs underscores the essence of a pharmacovigilance system to monitor ADRs and other drug induced problems, which need to be effectively implemented. “Pharmacovigilance has become a global mainstay in clinical practice and Nigeria must very quickly build capacity across board to mainstream the attitude and practice of medicine safety monitoring. This fact is even more urgent in the pres-

Fed Govt urged to raise health vote

By Wale Adepoju

ence of counterfeit and substandard pharmaceutical products in our markets,” he added. Orhii said medicinal products pose safety challenge, no matter how good the qualities are, adding that NAFDAC established the National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC) in September 2004, to ensure drug manufacturers and other stakeholders conformed to international best practices in patient safety. “The centre is to ensure early detection of increase in frequency of previously known ADRs and interactions and other noxious drug induced problems. Detection of unknown ADRs, identification of

predisposing risk factors and possible mechanism underlying ADRs, assessment and communication of risk and benefit of drug in the market, promotion of rational and safe use of medicine and education and information of patients,” he said. Orhii said poor reporting of ADRs by MAHs was why the workshop was organised, adding that MAHs’ contributions to the national pharmacovigilance was only five per cent compared to the United States’ 99 per cent. This is despite the training of over 10, 000 health care workers across the country both in public and private health care delivery levels.“Some gaps still exist in the number of ADRs report sent to the

NPC,’’ he said. Head, National Pharmacovigilance Centre, Mrs Adeline Oaskwe, said the mandate of MAHs was to minimise the risk of the adverse event occurring and ensuring that regulatory authority has timely information that will enable it make evidence-based decision when it occurred. She said the idea of pharmacovigilance is new in developing countries including Nigeria, adding that it ensures detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of ADRs or any other drug-related problem such as drug abuse and misuse, medication errors, inefficacy and counterfeits.

Firm donates 20, 000 mosquito nets to Rotary

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ASF Chemical Company has donated 20,000 interceptor mosquito nets to Rotary International Nigeria to assist polio- endemic states curb malaria. According to its President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Jacques Delmoitiez, the interceptor is a unique and highperformance mosquito net. At the opening of the BASF West Africa Limited, Lagos office, Delmoitiez said the nets

have been evaluated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and recommended temporarily for use in malaria prevention and control. The interceptor net, he said, demonstrates a fusion of BASF’s expertise in textile development and insect control. “A polymer binder system is combined with an insecticide and applied directly to the fibres of the nets in a unique treatment process. A controlled release of the insecticide ensures long-term effec-

tiveness and the net delivers its protection even after 20 washes. The nets are odorless, soft to touch and pleasant to sleep under,” he said. Past District Governor, Rotary International Nigeria, Dolapo Lufadeju, said the nets would be distributed to 11 polio endemic states, in the North. “The nets will act as incentives as they take care of the issue of malaria and polio eradication,” Lufadeju said.

HE Federal Government has been enjoined to increase the budgetary allocation for the health sector to provide infrastructure and equipment needed to treat complex cases. The Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Helix Medical Assistance, Dr Ufoma Okotete, said the provision of facilities would drive the sector. At a training organised by her company and Apollo Hospital, India for doctors on complicated medical cases, Dr Okotete said public-private partnership (PPP) was necessary because the government could not do it alone. By ensuring there is PPP as seen in India and other developed countries, the sector could be transformed to provide critical care, she noted. The training was to impact medical experts with the information to handle complicated cases, such as chest pain, knee replacement surgery, and myocardial infarction, among others. ‘’The doctors are being trained on chest pain, acute myocardial infection in young adults, which is a rising trend worldwide, knee replacement surgery and others. After being overworked or old, you see people not being able to stand erect. Who says they can’t be straight or have an erect structure? Knee replacement surgery takes care of that,” she added. Nigeria, Dr Okotete said, has experts, but infrastructure and equipment are the bane, which is why we partner with the hospital from India. Dr Okotete said the country did not have the capability to attend to many people with medical conditions and diseases, such as brain aneurism that need brain and open heart surgeries. There is no hospital in the country that is undertaking open heart surgery as at today, she added. She said people should embrace preventive medicine. Wellness is important as lifestyle modification can prevent a lot of diseases. It even saves doctors from attending to minor cases when there are difficult ones unattended to. Dr Okotete said there was no hospital attending to complex spine problem in the country that would do micro-dissection surgeries. This is why there is a partnership in those areas with Apollo Hospital. She said: “If you bring our experts to the country, they cannot do the surgeries on their own. They need assistance, such as technical nursing assistance, among others. This is because medicine is not about the doctors alone. There other professionals that are important to the procedure. There is a need for combined workforce.”

NHIS seeks patronage

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HE National Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has urged Nigerians, especially the low income earner, to embrace its insurance plan. According to its Acting Executive Secretary, Dr Abdulrahman Sambo, with a premium of N15, 000, the scheme will cater for a subscriber who needs health care. At a media presentation of the health insurance advocacy drama entitled: Bridges, Sambo said a 13episode play to be viewed in the country on local and national television stations would ensure that Nigerians buy into the idea of saving for future health challenges. Health insurance, he noted, is one of the best ways of financing health care, adding that many countries had imbibed that culture.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

47

ENERGY THE NATION

E-mail:- energy@thenationonlineng.net

Fuel subsidy scam: Need to probe banks Since the subsidy probe that indicted some oil marketers for collecting unmerited subsidies started, the searchlight has not been beamed on the banks through which all the money passed, to examine their roles in the transactions,writes EMEKA UGWUANYI.

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HE reports of the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payment headed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhede, have continued to receive more punches from petroleum products marketers and operators, who insisted that the report was lopsided and bias. The marketers refuted the report and the contents, saying it is not a true reflection of their presentations before the panel. For instance, immediately the report hit public domain, the marketers indicted in different ways refuted claims credited to them. In a statement, Oando Plc’s Head, Corporate Communication, Meka Olowola, said the committee did not take steps in ensuring the fulfilment of its mandate, giving rise to misinformation and confusion in the industry. The committee, according to the company, should have verified all unclear areas by inviting the marketers to clarify issues before going to press. Oando said: “We state without equivocation that on the allegation of subsidies paid without auditor’s signature on shore tank receipt documents (10 transactions listed against

Oando) - Upon arrival of vessels, government agencies, including Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) auditors and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), verify quantity on board as well as shore tank volumes prior to the commencement of receipt. As such, it is virtually impossible for vessels to discharge without due sign offs by the authorities. We have documents duly witnessed by all government agencies, including PPPRA, DPR and independent inspectors for discharges including the stated transactions.” The Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, also called for a press conference to refute claims made against the company as well as many others. The fact remains that the marketers were aggrieved and some thought that the Federal Government, allegedly used the committee to rubbish some of the genuine marketers in the sector who had invested so much to fill the gap created by government’s ineptitude. Some of the marketers asserted that it was unfair of the government to paint all of them black not minding the heavy investments they have made in provision of infrastructure that have kept the economy running and provided em-

ployment to many Nigerians. Some of the marketers said the subsidy transactions passed through the banks and that sometimes what accrues to them as marketers are insignificant after paying different fees and interests. According to one of the marketers, who was indicted in the report : “We made presentations before the panel with the full complements of all the documentations of the transactions being questioned. Why should we be held responsible for a mother vessel that was not on the Llyods List?” The marketers, however, agreed that there is need to sanitise the sector to bring credibility to the operations and practices of the sector. They insisted that they are not averse to probes and investigations neither are they in support of unwholesome practices in the sector but objectivity and transparency should be the keywords in the investigations. A marketer whose company was named for further investigation in the report insisted that his company was not culpable for any offence. According to him, “The transaction, which my company was indicted was properly done. There are records of the arrival of the product, the storage and trucking. All the relevant government regulatory agencies wit-

nessed and certified the transaction. The money from that transaction was also paid to the appropriate quarters. All the records are there. There is nothing whatsoever that is shady about the transaction.” Some of the marketers also punctured the transparency of the report, insisting that companies which are known for short-circuiting the process were not named in the report, and wondered who is playing the devil’s advocate. Some marketers also wondered why the banks are left out of the investigation and scrutiny.They insisted that the banks are central players in the oil and gas business, and as matter of fact, should even bear the heat of the whole industry problems. Explaining the dynamics of the transactions and pivotal role of banks, a marketer said: “Everything about oil and gas transaction revolves around the banks. They fund these transactions and have a good knowledge of the set up. They release the funds, receive the funds, and even deduct all their principals and interests before whatever thing remains get to the marketing companies.” Making a case on why the banks should also be investigated, another

•Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke

marketer said there is no bank in this country that do not fund oil and gas transaction. He insisted that the banks have all the documents and information that could throw more light on the grey areas, noting that the banks have firm grip on the transactions because they do not want to lose their money. He, therefore, questioned why the banks are not talking or left out of the probe because “it is the banks that warehouse these funds. You cannot investigate the marketing companies and get the true picture without also investigating the banks. Most times, the marketing companies record losses in transactions because before the banks finish their deductions, there will be nothing left for the company.”

‘Disincentives hamper LPG market growth’

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EMBERS of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) have condemned undue disincentives in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or cooking gas sector.They identified these as serious impediment to the growth of its market and domestic consumption. They spoke at the Nigerian Gas Association’s first quarter business forum in Lagos. The Managing Director, Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy, who was the guest lecturer at the business forum in his paper entitled: Domestic cooking gas supply and utilisation in Nigeria: Challenges and opportunities, called on the government to formulate policies that would promote the use of cooking gas. He said the LPG sector needs financial support and the kind of distribution mechanism needed requires a lot of investment and all the Federal Government may have to do is intervene in the system by doing a policy guideline to drive the market process to bring in investment. He said the country needs a comprehensive policy for LPG growth. “Today, we have challenges starting from the distribution area, storage terminals to bottling plants and trucks, which are not sufficient in number and if they are available they are not up to standard,” he noted. He also said the bottling plants in Nigeria are small plants, and there is need to have large plants like any other country in the world

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

under the umbrella of large companies for them to control and monitor. He said that many retailers are not doing what they are suppose to do so the customers are made to pay high price. He said the Federal Government can save as much as $1.5 billion or N245 billion in foreign exchange every year if the majority of Nigerians that use household kerosene can switch over to using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as their preferred source of energy. He said the government would benefit immensely from such policies because Nigeria has large market for the commodity with high demand potential that are yet to be tapped. Stressing the need for Nigerians to drop kerosene usage for cooking gas, the NIPCO chief said that kerosene is imported and results in foreign exchange outflow while there is abundant LPG in the country, which can be tapped for decades to come but unfortunately the product is extremely underutilised. Venkatapathy said the government can deepen LPG consumption in-country through providing incentives that would encourage foreign and local investors to provide infrastructure in the LPG sector as well encourage consumers to have the product at affordable prices. He said: “The government should waive VAT on domestic LPG sources; remove all forms of duties and levies on LPG imported

•From left: Managing Director, Oando Gas & Power, Mr Bolaji Ogunsanya; President, Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Dr. Chima Ibeneche, Managing Director, Nigerian Gas Company, Saidu Mohammed, and Managing Director, Nigeria Independent Petroleum Company, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy, at the NGA’s 13th Annual General Meeting/Business forum in Lagos

kits, cylinders and accessories. All levies like land tax, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) levies, and other government taxes be waived for setting up LPG kits and bottling plants in the country.’’ He said Nigerians consume 11 million litres of kerosene daily, adding that out of the volume, eight million litres are consumed by underprivileged Nigerians. He said: “The rural poor need an additional income of N800 million per day to meet their kerosene consumption needs,’’ adding that Nigeria requires massive LPG growth programme, and to achieve this, the government needs to approve ca-

pable public and private companies with the capacity to produce. Venkatapathy said most of the challenges confronting LPG consumption in Nigeria include: the decline in the demand of the product; roadside LPG cylinder to cylinder transfer; and lack of specific regulations. The President, NGA, Dr. Chima Ibeneche, said: “There is still no reason we should charge VAT on domestically produced LPG while there is no VAT on imported LPG. It doesn’t make sense. It is only the government that can address this anomaly, which has had huge negative impact on the develop-

ment of the LPG industry. “As an association, we will continue to articulate these problems and will further articulate other relevant policy issues following plans to invite the government for dialogue in our forthcoming international conference. “NGA has come a long way in its quest to contribute to the development of the gas industry, and the obvious challenge facing the industry is to ensure greater penetration of gas into other parts of the domestic market and to sustain gas use in such a way that gas would visibly displace other fuels in the country.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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ENERGY

Pinnacle Oil to build N40b floating jetty in Lagos Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi

•Mbah

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N indigenous firm, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, has concluded arrangements to begin the construction of a Single Point Mooring (SPM) and Conventional Buoy Mooring (CBM) at the Lekki Free Zone located at Akodo, Lagos. The project, which are petroleum products reception and discharge facilities, is estimated to cost $250 million (N40 billion). SPM is a floating jetty just like jetties that are built at the sea shores where vessels anchor, but the difference is that it is located in the deep sea where the buoy is firmly secured into the sea bed so that ves-

sels can come and anchor and discharge products. The buoy has two hoses; one connects you to the vessel and the other connects you from the manifold of the buoy to the storage terminals. The Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Oil and Gas, Mr Peter Mbah, who spoke to our correspondent at the Lekki Free Zone investment forum and Eko Expo, said the company’s project at the zone consists of the development of an SPM and CBM facilities. These include 11-kilometre subsea and onshore pipeline network with capacity to handle up to 80 per cent of the total national refined petroleum products demand. He noted that on completion of the project approximately by end of next year, the issue of going to neighbouring countries with shuttle vessels to lighter products from mother vessels or other transshipment operations, which is the norm in the downstream sector, would be eliminated or drastically reduced. This would also stop need for shore side jetty construction. Mbah said: “The SPM and CBM

that Pinnacle Oil and Gas is constructing will actually be the future of refined petroleum products handling facility in the country. Until now you should notice we have not had much deficit in our distribution chain in oil and gas subsector. However, we have had serious issues with supply because we still rely on going to Lome, Cotonou and Ghana with our shuttle vessels to load products, so if you have a big vessel that has loaded from a refinery in Europe, you will be unable to bring it to our jetty because the drafts are very shallow. “What we are doing is to eliminate all those costs and ensure there will be no need to hire shuttle vessels to neighbouring countries to do your ship-to-ship (STS) operations. We will have a deep sea floating jetty that allows you take vessels of up to 155,000 metric tons dead weight (DWT). This means the entire vessel from Europe, Venezuela and China will come straight to the jetty and discharge and the importer would have eliminated the cost of STS, hiring of a shuttle vessel and the attendant demurrage that we witness in such operation.” On the choice of Lekki instead of

Apapa, he said: “We all know the inherent congestion being experienced in that axis. What we are doing at the free zone is beyond the SPM, we also have a master plan for the entire zone, so we don’t make a mistake of what we have in Apapa or Kirikiri axis. “The tank farm terminal, he said, is being designed such that you have the safety and the environment arcade in here, so there will be no issue of having your trucks parked on the way. We also made provision for a truck park that can take as much as 5000 trucks. So it is the future because we now have the opportunity to get right and do it well.” He also said because of the magnitude of project, it requires deep expertise and deep pocket. Besides the partnership that they have with some Chinese firms, which also are very much involved in the zone, they have the Free Zone Development Authority as one of their partners. They also have as technical partners, the China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC), which doubles as the project manager. He said CPTDC, however, will not be the people that

‘What we are doing is to eliminate all those costs and ensure there will be no need to hire shuttle vessels to neighbouring countries to do your ship-toship (STS) operations. We will have a deep sea floating jetty that allows you take vessels of up to 155,000 metric tons dead weight (DWT)’

will do the construction of the SPM. They are our technical partners providing expert consultancy services. “We have Blue Water as the company that will do the construction. The SPM and CBM will cost an estimated $250 million or approximately N40 billion. We have concluded arrangement for the finance and currently we are expecting the completion by December 2013. We have a clear roadmap and work programme and it is based on what we have done and the milestones we have achieved, and the outstanding work programme that we have assurance to say definitely that by end of 2013, this project will be completed.” On the challenges, Mbah said: “We had our initial challenges of obtaining the relevant and necessary regulatory approvals and licences. We will still go back to some of these regulatory authorities to apply for the final operating licence. The Federal and state governments have been very supportive and shown great interest in this project. As a nation, this project is also a game changer. The money that the government spends on operations in the downstream sector for the importation of petroleum products would be highly reduced if not eliminated. The staff strength of the company is over 200 but this project will enable us increase the workforce by over 1000 folds.”

NNPC, govt agencies to check crude theft EQUEL to the presidential directive that illegal crude oil bunkering be stopped, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed its determination to collaborate with other Federal Government agencies to bring to an end crude oil theft in the industry. The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, stated this when the Inter Agency Maritime Operation Committee paid him a courtesy call at the NNPC Towers, Abuja. In a statement, the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr Fidel I. Pepple, said Yakubu noted that NNPC takes part in the maritime business both locally and internationally. adding that it must rise up to the occasion along with other government agencies to confront and bring to book unscrupulous individuals that have deprived and depleted the nation’s economy as a result of their illegal maritime business. The NNPC chief said: “The maritime industry significantly impacts on our industry and we really do appreciate efforts of Mr. President to address particularly issues that border on crude oil theft. We are ready to support the various initiatives of the Federal Government so as to stem the embarrassing trend of illegal bunkering in the maritime industry. “We know the impact of bunkering and crude theft on our economy and our environment. These are vices that we must collectively stamp out of our nation. We cannot claim that we are helpless.” He decried the daily loss of several thousands of barrels of crude oil to illegal bunkering, saying that the blocking of this leakage would help improve the standard of living of Nigerians. The Chairman of the Inter Agency Maritime Operation Com-

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mittee, Rear Admiral E. O. Ogboh, said the committee was established a month ago to address the issue of illegal bunkering in the nation’s maritime waters. Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime, Mr Leke Oyewole, said the committee was set up to ensure adequate collaboration among all agencies of government in the nation’s maritime industry to maximise the potential in the industry. Members of the Inter-Agency Maritime Operation Committee are drawn from the NNPC, Nigerian Navy, Air Force, Customs, Police, State security Service and the Judiciary. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke had earlier this year, had a meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs as well as heads of other security agencies on the alarming increase in crude theft. At the meeting, which was held in Lagos, the minister said: “We have discussed the extent of impact of crude theft in terms of the economic loss and environmental impact to this nation, which is also tremendous and we have spoken very openly about the issues and what can be done about it. “One of the major outcomes is that an immediate task force, a very robust and aggressive one, would be set up with the representatives of all parties, the multinationals, NNPC, and the service chiefs are to begin to address the problem in a very robust and immediate manner. “We lose approximately 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily at this time. Of course to the nation, if you look at the international cost of a barrel, it is estimated at approximately $7 billion yearly. These are the issues the taskforce will be employing and be looking into with immediate action.”

•Arco Marine’s fast crew boat 3 during its inauguration in Lagos.

Owners of 11 distribution firms to emerge Oct. 23 •Oando, Vigeo Holdings in the race

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OLLOWING the announcement of the companies that bid for the different 11 distribution companies, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has assured that it would stick to the privatisation date set by the government. The BPE said the announcement of the preferred bidders for the generating companies is October 9, while October 23, this year is the date for the announcement of the preferred bidders for the distribution companies The BPE also gave the breakdown of consortia and companies that are seeking the acquisition of the 11 electricity distribution companies. Some of the companies submitted bids for more than one Distribution Company, especially the commercial viable ones, such as Ikeja, Eko, Benin, Ibadan and Abuja Electricity Distribution Companies. SEPCO-Pacific Energy Consortium and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO/NEDC) Consortium are Chinese and Korean firms

partnering Nigerian firms that are also jostling for the distribution companies. SEPCO manages the Olorunsogo Power Plant Phase 2 while KEPCO has reasonable stake in the Egbin Power Plant. According to a statement by the spokesman of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Chukwuma Nwokoh, the companies that are eyeing the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company include Rockson Engineering Limited; SEO International; Oando Consortium; Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited; Honeywell Energy Resources International Limited; Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Limited; West Power & Gas Limited; Vigeo Holdings, Gumco, African Finance Corporation (AFC) & CESC Consortium; Daniel Power Plant Company Nigeria Limited; and KEPCO/NEDC Consortium. For Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, the nine bidders include Oando Consortium; Inte-

grated Energy Distribution & Marketing Limited; NPD Consortium; SEPCO-Pacific Energy Consortium; West Power & Gas; Electric Utilities Nigeria Limited; KEPCO/NEDC Consortium; ENL Consortium Limited; and Honeywell Energy Resources International Limited. Bidders for Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc are Southern Electricity Distribution Company; Cable & Rods Company Nigeria Limited; Copper Belt Consortium; Rockson Engineering Company Limited; Rensmart Power Limited; Duncan Freeman Company/ Draytom Energy Limited; and Vigeo Power Consortium. Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc got bids from Skipper Nigeria Limited; NAHCO Power Consortium; KANN Consortium Utility Company Limited; Interstate Electrics Limited; and ENL Consortium Limited while the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc got bids from Rensmart Power Limited; Proglobal Power International Consortium;Interstate Electrics Limited; and Eastern Electric Nigeria Limited.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

ENERGY

Fashola seeks direct gas line for Lekki free zone T HE Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has appealed to the Federal Government to build a direct natural gas line to the Lekki Free Trade Zone for power plants that would supply electricity to the zone. Fashola made this appeal during his opening remarks at the Lekki Free Zone investment forum and Eko Expo. He highlighted the benefits of the zone to the economy of Lagos State, particularly the people of Akodo Lekki, which include making Nigeria the hub of oil and gas and industrial development in the West African sub-region. He noted that the essence of the Eko Expo is to provide a forum for commerce and industry to show their contributions to the growth and development of Lagos State and the prospect for evolving an export-oriented economy. The fo-

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

rum also seeks to promote the development of cottage, small and medium scale industries and promote the export of processed and manufactured goods as a catalyst for industrial growth, Others include promoting ‘made in Nigeria’ goods and to highlight prospects for private sector investment in Lagos State; promote the development and growth of engineering and technology based industries as a catalyst for industrial development; and to promote the development, adaptation and use of appropriate technology in Nigeria. The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Senapon Oworu, said the Expo has been repackaged as an effective promotional platform for the benefit of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and larger en-

terprises. She noted that the Lekki Free Zone, which according to her was primarily established to encourage manufacturing and non-oil exports, has provided over 5,000 jobs since 2007 with beneficiaries from the host communities. Mrs. Oworu said that there is plan in place to build 2 megwatts (MW) power plant for the zone, which would be increased to 6MW in the short term as more enterprises enter the zone. She, however, said there is another arrangement for the construction of 10-12MW in the next 12 months. She said: “The Lekki Free Zone occupies a land area of 16,500 hectares, and has been designed to be a multi-faceted economic development with attendant incentives to investors. It is being developed in four phases. The development of the first phase is being executed by

the state government in collaboration with a Chinese consortium. Other phases of the zone include a deep sea port while the proposed Lekki-Epe Airport is also nearby. “Currently, we have the one-stop office complex, which handles all enquiries and concerns relating to the activities in the zone. We have constructed over 12km of paved roads, 5.5km of earth road, three standard factories and one warehouse, three boreholes for water supply, over 150 solar powered street lights, 87 staff en-suite quarters apartments; agreement in place for 2MW solar power plant. “And arrangements are also underway for a 10-12MW plant within the next 12 months. Investors in the zone enjoy a number of preferential policies and incentives, such as 100 per cent tax holiday, one-stop approval for all permits that would enhance productivity and eliminate bottlenecks associated with business operations and invest-

ments.” She said that currently, 73 enterprises have signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) and 24 out of the number have signed investment agreements. On the power planned power plants, she said the execution might be through modular forms. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, while delivering the paper entitled: “Free zones as catalyst for economic growth,” said 40 investors have expressed interest to commit N1.1 trillion in the zone. He noted that the development of the zone is consistent with the Federal Government’s growth aspiration, adding that each direct job created at the zone would create two indirect jobs. Besides, the zone would address the current infrastructure inadequacies, he added. The minster encouraged local and foreign investors to buy into free trade zone vision.

Egbogah’s lecture holds in Sept

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•From left: Dr Amy Jadesimi, MD, LADOL; Tunde Adelana, Director (Monitoring & Evaluation), Nigerian Content Development &Monitoring Board (NCDMB); Ms Seun Adegunwa, Chevron Nigeria representative (Funiwa Gas Project); Chijioke Okorie, Manager, Project Monitoring, NCDMB; Gyebi Marshall; Manager NAPIMS (Gas Division); and Alfredo Leon, Construction Manager (Funiwa Gas Project), during a tour of LADOL base in Lagos.

HE Emerald Energy Institute for Energy Economics, Policy and Strategic Studies has announced the fourth Emmanuel Egbogah Legacy Lecture series, which will hold in the University of Port Harcourt on September 12. In a statement the Vice-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Emmanuel Egbogah Chair for Petroleum Engineering of the same university, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, said the international legacy lecture series was endowed in 2006 in honour of a great benefactor and friend of the university and, indeed, the unversity system, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, the former

Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters. Egbogah is an international energy adviser to companies and governments. He has served in Canada, United States of America, Libya, Malaysia and Nigeria. He is also a visiting professor to universities in Europe, Malaysia and Nigeria. The legacy lecture series attracts international speakers from USA, Canada, India and Nigeria. “This year’s lecture coincides with his 70th birthday. We his students and mentees therefore, wish to celebrate his life of selfless service and benevolence,’’ the statement added.

Breaking the challenges in power reform

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N an article in The Nation on July 17, this year entitled:Nnaji’s one year as Minister of Power, I identified breakdown in negotiation over severance and terminal benefits of the electricity workers between the government and the union leaders, ahead of the government’s planned privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s successor companies, as a challenge in the sector reform. That article was concluded in an optimistic note. I stated that it was hoped that reason would eventually prevail at the end of the day to allow for industrial peace and harmony. A day after this publication, the following day, members of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) barricaded the corporate headquarters of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to prevent the new managers of the company Manitoba Hydro International of Canada from assuming duties. The workers alleged that security forces have been unleashed on them and that TCN has been privatised and, consequently, handed over to Manitoba Hydro International to sack the company’s workforce without paying them their severance benefits. This fear has since been allayed by the Minister of Power Prof. Barth Nnaji, who said TCN is not being privatised. He said Manitoba Hydro would only manage the affairs of the TCN in accordance with the 2005 Electric Power Sector Reform Act, which states that TCN will not be privatised, but rather managed by a company with a requisite ex-

By Uche Aneke

perience and track record in this field. Manitoba Hydro International of Canada was on March 26, announced by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as the winner of the bid to manage the TCN after a rigorous competition with some other world-class electricity firms. The management contract between Manitoba International and BPE was signed on Monday, July 23. To shore up the confidence of TCN workers and further calm their frayed nerves, the Minister of Power engaged the leaders of the Union in a series of one-on- one discussions; the first of which held late on July 23, and later, in the early hours of Tuesday, July 24. The outcome of this discussion yielded positive results as the TCN workers were persuaded to participate in an interactive session with eight expatriate workers of Manitoba Hydro International on Thursday, July 26 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja. The interactive session was to chart the way forward and create better understanding and familiarity between the TCN workers and the Manitoba Hydro International. The workers were made to understand that TCN is grossly understaffed and that the Minister of Power has given approval to TCN Management to hire over 1,000 engineers, technologists and technicians. In his opening at the event, Nnaji assured the workers that their jobs are not threatened and that the staff whose roles would be taken over by the management contractor would act as deputies to their Manitoba Hydro International

counterparts. He urged them to see themselves as partners at work in development and management of transmission Infrastructure in the country. It is hoped that the same understanding exhibited by the TCN Staff would be followed by the electricity workers of the 17 other successor companies of PHCN, which are slated for full privatisation by December. Negotiations over severance and terminal benefits of workers of these successors companies got stalled after 14 months of eight rounds of negotiations with the labour unions of the successor companies. While the government offered to pay all accrued benefits of gratuity and pension under the Defined Benefit Scheme up to June 30, 2004, in addition to the 15 per cent contribution under the contributory pension scheme from July 1 to June 30. But the workers rejected this offer and insisted on being paid gratuity and pensions under the Defined Benefit Scheme, which is to be funded through the PHCN Superannuation Fund. This position by labour is not sustainable for obvious reasons. The first is: the said Superannuation Fund is only meant to take care of workers pension and gratuity up to June 30, 2004. The secondly is, the demand of the workers contravenes the extant laws of the land because the Pension Reform Act of 2004 requires active workers to comply with its provisions on pensions in the country with effect from July 1, 2004 by opening Retirement Savings Account (RSA) with Pension Fund Administrators of their choice. This legal requirement has not

been complied with by the electricity workers. Yet, they want their severance and terminal benefits to be computed and paid based on the old defined benefit scheme. The pertinent question to ask here is: on which laws are the workers basing their demands? Secondly, where do they expect the funds that will take care of their benefits sourced from? Meanwhile, the challenge before the government now is to raise N115 billion being the total package required to settle all outstanding terminal and severance benefits of workers from June 30, 2004 to June 30, 2012. However out of this, N60 billion is the immediate cash needed to start payment. Apart from tackling this financial challenge, the government is also confronted with the challenge of solving the issue of insufficient and misaligned gas supply, which is critical to the realisation of the country’s power demand. The total estimate of the country’s gas demand between now and 2020 is put at nine billion cubic feet but what is available now is less than one billion cubic feet of gas. To close up this gap, at least seven billion naira investment yearly from now to 2020 is required. The good news is that government has taken a number of steps to stimulate investment interest needed to attain the country’s gas demand for the power sector. One of such efforts is the recent Stakeholders’ Meeting on Power and Gas Financing at the Protea Hotel, Abuja in July 2012. It is also important to note that the Power Sector Road Map, which is progressively being pursued by the government hold its promises

in the sector. Recently the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was taken over by the Manitoba Hydro International. A total of 25 bidders met the July 2012 deadline set by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) for the submission of Technical and Financial proposals for the Privatisation of the Power Generation Companies. The bid submission date for the distribution Companies is July 31, while evaluation of the Technical bids will take place from August 1to 28, this year. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) will approve the results of the Technical evaluation by September 11. The deadlines for shortlisted generation company bidders to submit their Letters of Credit are September 18, 2012 and October 2. Added to these positive developments, government is monitoring the implementation of a number of MoUs which have been signed by the government and international investors in the Power Sector. Industry experts believe the terms of these MOUs are being followed. Similarly, key contractual agreements have been progressed namely Power Purchase and Gas Supply Agreement (PPAs and GSAs). Recently, the GSA for Egbin power was signed and four others will be completed soon. It is certain that once the Power Sector is fully privatised by December, Nigeria will reap from the gains in the competitive system of a privatised power sector. •Aneke writes fromAbuja and can be reached at Uche_aneke@yahoo.com or 08033481569


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

Ogun begins massive repair of roads

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HE Ogun State government has begun massive road construction and rehabilita-

tion. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Mr Kayode Ademolake, said round the clock works on roads, culverts and bridges had commenced. He said work is on-going to ensure the roads are motorable. The government as part of its one year anniversary had commissioned the six-lane 2.4 kilometre Ibara-Sokori-Totoro road, which also has unique bus stops and pedestrian bridges nearing completion. Ademolake said many roads that were left unattended to for decades and thus dilapidated, are receiving attention in fulfilment of Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s promise for extensive development of urban and rural areas of the state. He said a number of roads are receiving minor rehabilitation or major reconstruction work, adding that a number of new roads, bridges and culverts are springing up throughout the state. Ademolake stressed that the Amosun administration has not relaxed the zeal with which it kicked off the implementation of its five cardinal programme, of which urban renewal is key.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

He said the government believes that the provision of motorable roads is a vital ingredient for the success of its mission to rebuild the state. He listed the projects embarked upon in Abeokuta to include the Idiaba-Elite-Okelantoro, Kuto Garage, Ita Bayimbo roads, Amolaso and Ilugun bridges and the Onikolobo culvert. He also disclosed that reconstruction work on Itori road, leading to Ibese would soon begin. In Ijebu zone, the Permanent Secretary said rehabilitation works are on-going on the 4.5 kilometre Ago-Iwoye Township road, just as work is progressing on EsureMushin, Saka Ashiru, Fassy Yussuf roads. he said rehabilitation of the Ogbere-Sagamu-Benin Express road and the Imowo road, Ijebu Ode are not left out, adding that all existing roads in Ogun Waterside are being rehabilitated. In Ijebu-Igbo, the Orimolusi, Oke Agbo and Odomoro roads have been rehabilitated. Rehabilitated roads in Yewa zone include the completed junction between Joju and AbeokutaLagos Express road while OwodeAdo Odo and Atan-Agbara roads would soon commence.

Mobil, firm to complete 200 housing units in Akwa Ibom

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FIRM, Bunmi-Ad-Faluyi Construction Nigeria Limited in conjunction with Mobil Co-operative Society has concluded arrangements to complete a 200 housing units estate in Akwa Ibom State. The project, tagged “The five Star Estate”, is made up of 130 units of six-bedroom duplexes and 70 units of five-bedroom bungalows, to be along the Le-Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, in Uruan Local Government Area. Managing Director of Bunmi-AdFaluyi Construction Nigeria Limited, Bunmi Johnson, said the project, which is to be completed within 24 months would cost about N8.5 billion. Johnson said residents of the estate would live within the closest proximities to the five-star facilities within the business region and thus benefit from a unique lifestyle experience. He stated that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be entered into with the Le-Meridien Ibom Hotel and Gold Course to afford residents of the estate membership access to the hotel’s facilities under the terms of agreed

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

group discounts. His words: “About N8.5 billion is the amount to be expended on the project. Within 24 and 36 months, we should be able to complete it. We are doing 200 units. Presently, we have about 100 and 140 units at the different stages and we are working in parallel and not in series. “On the major financier, the project is a partnership between us and Mobil, so financiers are, we are bringing in Shelter Afrique as the main financier complemented with Mobil Cooperative Eket and Bunmi-Ad-Faluyi Construction Nigeria Limited. We are going to put finances together so as to ensure that the project is completed within speculated time. “On completion, the project is open to the public. It is going to be in ratio 50 to 50, that is 50 public and 50 Mobil members of staff. The state government has been assisting us a great deal, as we speak, the certificate of occupancy has gone to a level of approval by Governor Godswill Akpabio and we are hopeful that he will sign the certificate by the grace of God.”

Architects Fair excites exhibitors

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EADING building professionals and organisations are signing up for the 23rd edition of Archibuilt, the annual specialised exposition and workshop on the building, construction and infrastructural development sector organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA). Honorary General Secretary of the institute Abdullahi Shime Abubakar, revealed that booths and workshop seats are almost completely taken up while sponsorships are at advanced stages of conclusion. The exhibition brand is a programme of the NIA and the largest forum for the exposition and discourse on the environment, shelter, construction, building materials and technologies in Africa.

This year’s theme focuses on the viability and sustainability of Africa’s future cities with notable facilitators drawn from within and outside Nigeria. Abubakar noted that the workshop series is particularly important to all professionals in the built environment industry as the huge successes of the workshops in previous years led to the council of NIA recognising the workshop as a Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPDP) awarding platform to architects from 2011. Archibuilt 2012 will take place from August 22 at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja. An estimated 100,000 visitors are expected this year. The exhibition is expected to lead to a business boom for all discerning participants.

•Alufohai, Onaro and Eleh at the event

Group advocates uniformed body

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RESIDENT of the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) Mr Agele Alufohai, has joined other distinguished surveying practitioners to renew the call for a unified body for surveyors, through a merger of the country’s surveying bodies, in line with global practices. The call was made by Alufohai at an event held by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Nigerian Chapter, in honour of the President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Emeka Eleh at the Metropolitan Club , Lagos. Noting that the changing times calls for new strategies, the NIQS President emphasised the need for the various surveying institutes operating in the country to come together and form a dominant voice to advocate for the industry’s issues. The NIQS chief, who also reiterated the call for the implementation

for surveyors By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

of policy frameworks by the government, harped on the country’s infrastructure needs, asserting that the quantity and quality of infrastructure constituted the chief determinants of investment and growth rate in Nigeria. According to him, the poor infrastructure underscores the refusal of government officials to use the cost economics skills and knowledge of quantity surveyors and other professionals, to transparently enhance project cost management. He identified the Third Mainland Bridge as an example of the power of infrastructure, saying “Without the Third Mainland Bridge, the whole of Lekki and Ajah would not have been opened up. Victoria Island would have been much smaller.

“The Mainland would have been an unbearable place to live in. Just think of the wealth and jobs that have been created in these places.” Other industry professionals that called for the amalgamation of the surveying bodies include past presidents of Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Chief Hope Harriman and Mr Yinka Sonaike, among other notable Fellows of RICS. Chief Harriman advocated that the ideal in the surveying profession was to brand members of the NIESV and the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) as chartered surveyors, as practiced in other Commonwealth countries where the different surveying practitioners belonged to the RICS. Chief Harriman decried the polarisation of the profession into three surveying bodies, saying the industry wouldn’t stand a chance with the current fragmentation.

Firm denies causing environmental hazard

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QUARRY construction firm, Stoneworks Industries Limited in Akure,Ondo State has debunked the allegation that it was creating environmental hazard to the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) in the state. The company’s Managing Director, Mr Olufemi insisted that the company is not located near the institution and as such could not create any environmental hazard to the academic community. Some parents of students in the college, in a petition sent to the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayat Rufai and signed by Mr Sola Obayemi and Mr Bayo Ogundupe, said the activities of the quarry company, if not suspended, might result in a disaster. But, a statement signed by Oluwafemi, denied that the construction company is located near the school. He noted that quarrying activities is sited well in excess of 1.5kilometres from the closest building within the FGGC campus, stressing that the minimum distance limitation imposed by section 3 of the Mining Act is 50 metres. “Activities of Stonesworks Industries Limited is highly regulated by the supervisory ministryMinistry of Mines and Steel Development through mines inspectorate department and mines environmental compliance unit and other government agencies such as NESRA and state ministry of envi-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ronment. “The indictment on government agencies that they do not supervise us is far from the truth and all of the agencies listed have paid over 10 joint visits to proactively inspect, monitor or supervise our activities within the last 90 days alone in compliance with the provision of the law.” Oluwafemi alleged that the purported petition is emanating from a disagreement following an invitation by a mediator from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Akure to a stakeholders’ meeting along with other quarry operators within the vicinity sometime in March. He said:”The school took us on a tour of a couple of buildings with

‘The school took us on a tour of couple of buildings with apparent structural defects for which they claimed quarrying activities within the area were responsible for various degrees of cracks’

apparent structural defects for which they claimed quarrying activities within the area were responsible for various degrees of cracks. “The dilapidated building looked like it has been abandoned and locked up for many years and consistent with infrastructural challenges in most public schools across the country. “When the team probed how long the building structure has failed, the school representative confirmed it was over three years. It is important to note that Stoneworks Industries Limited commenced testing activities until October 2011 and could not have been responsible for a three-year old structural damage. “In spite of this, we agreed to contribute towards assisting the school renovate the building in question, until the school was misguided to increase the original BOQ submitted to the group by over 1,000 percent. “This led to a deadlock and we made our position clear that we were willing to as a matter of corporate social responsibility (even though we are a new business) support anything that will enhance education and learning. “We strongly believe we should not be bullied or coaxed into paying such an outrageous sum under the guise of damages done to the building years before our business came into existence, they stressed.”


53

THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

DISCOURSE Text of a paper delivered by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, FCIarb, during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG) on July 26, 2012, in the school’s auditorium

Challenges to governance in emerging democracies Prefatory remarks

B

Y a letter dated May 31, 2012, written and signed by the distinguished Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, I was ‘conscripted’ as a special Guest Lecturer to present this paper on the given topic “Challenges to Governance in Emerging Democracies” to mark the 50th Anniversary of this respected, admired, esteemed, revered, valued and universally acclaimed and applauded Faculty. It gives me great pleasure to have been considered worthy, not only to share in the joy of the celebration of the 50th Year Anniversary of our great alma mater which climaxes in today’s lecture, but also in having been considered suitable to deliver this Special Lecture. I have always said that the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos is the leading Faculty where law is taught and researched in Nigeria. The Faculty, since inception in 1962, has no doubt, grown in leaps and bounds and contributed enormously to the growth of the Legal Profession in particular and the development of our country in general. This is so because this Faculty has produced legal luminaries, jurists, accomplished and acclaimed academics, each of whom has undoubtedly become a shining symbol in the legal profession and whose accomplishments transcend the borders of this country. Before delving into the theme of the lecture, permit me to peep into the history of our dear University, the University of Lagos, (UNILAG). The University of Lagos was established by an Act of Parliament in April, 1962. To (re)state the obvious, section 1 of the Act states that: “There is hereby established a University to be known as the University of Lagos….” The idea of the University of Lagos was contained in the Report of the Ashby Commission on Post-School Certificate and Higher Education in Nigeria and the subsequent report of the Advisory Commission of the UNESCO for the establishment of the University presented to the Government in September, 1960. Its development was planned to take place in three phases. The first phase began in October 1962 with the establishment of the Faculty of Business and Social Studies, the Faculty of Law and a Medical School which was conceived at the outset as an autonomous unit of the University and linked with a Teaching Hospital (LUTH). The second phase began in October, 1964 with the establishment of the Faculty of Engineering, the Schools of African and Asian Studies, Humanities, Biological Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the College of Education, Continuing Education Centre (CEC), the Institute of Mass Communication and the Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Centre (CESAC). The third phase of the University’s development was interrupted somewhat by the University crisis of 1965 followed by the civil war of 1967-1970. In April, 1967, however, the Medical School officially became College of Medicine while the Faculty of Business and Social Studies was divided into the School of Administration and the School of Social Studies. By October 1971, the University comprised two Faculties: Engineering and Law, seven schools including that of Environmental Design; two Colleges: Medicine and Education; three Institutes, including those of Computer Sciences and Child Health, and two Centres: CEC and CESAC. In an attempt to maximize the utilization of available manpower, and further encourage interdisciplinary cooperation, a restructuring of the teaching units was undertaken between 1972 and 1975. By 1976 the Faculties of Arts, Business Administration, Environmental Design, Science and Social Sciences had emerged from the existing Schools in addition to the two Faculties (Engineering and Law) which remained unaffected by the general structural changes since their establishment. The College of Education had become a Faculty while the College of Medicine retained both its name and its autonomy. The Centre for Cultural Studies was created in 1973/75 and the Institute of Edu Since its establishment in 1962, the University has grown and developed remarkably. From a modest intake of 131 students for the entire University in 1962, student enrolment has increased and risen to about 26,000. The College of Medicine which was incorporated as part of the University of Lagos in 1967 as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal has also grown considerably. In October, 1962 the College admitted only 28 students and to date has produced over 6,000 graduates in disciplines of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, microbiology, physiotherapy, physiology and

pharmacology, among others. Unarguably, the University of Lagos was and remains the first University in Nigeria to be established by an Act of the Federal Parliament, to wit: the University of Lagos Act No. 1 of 1962, which unequivocally provides in its title thus: “An Act to constitute a University for Lagos, to make provision for sundry councils thereof, and to confer upon them certain duties and powers, and to provide for matters ancillary thereto or connected therewith.” Section 1(1) of the Act provides thus: “There shall be ..... a University to be known as the University of Lagos (in this Act referred to as ‘the University’) to provide courses of instruction and learning in the Faculties of Arts, Law, Medicine, Science, Education, Commerce and Business Administration, Engineering and any other faculties which may from time to time be approved under this Act.” There is no gainsaying the fact that the University has over the past 50 years attracted unquantifiable and immense positive attributes, values and even passions to itself. Put succinctly and without any fear of contradiction, it has become a universal brand, which commands respect, acceptability, ovation and commendation in every nook and cranny of the world, whether amongst past and present students, staff, stakeholders, fans, parents, academics of all shades and disciplines, politicians etc. In the words of Chief Lugard E. Aimiuwu, OON, a leading alumnus and a past President of the Alumni Association in his letter dated 2nd June, 2012 to President Goodluck Jonathan titled “Moving Nigeria forward from the mis-step of the UNILAG re-naming attempt,” “But UNILAG is fully, consciously and deliberately developed GLOBAL BRAND, with 50 years of continuous investment. It is a name developed with strategic vision, and for specific target market. The local and global market has accepted it as a distinctive platform for EXCELLENCE in EDUCATION ... A university is a university ... unless of course that university happens to be UNILAG, a BRAND that parents, teachers, students, other universities (both foreign and local), employers and the general public have tested, tried, accepted, TRUSTED, and patronized for over 50 years! A brand so well regarded that it consistently has been first choice amongst students, parents, teachers, employers ....” Although, I am not making any fuss on the attempted name change of our beloved University in this lecture, as the matter is now subjudice, considering the pendency of suit Nos. FHC/IKJ/CS/130/2012 and FHC/IKJ/CS/ 131/2012 respectively instituted by the students and Alumni Association at the Federal High Court, Ikeja and on which there is a subsisting order that all parties should protect and maintain the status quo ante bellum, however, we must not lose sight of the fact that as a result of our well groomed culture of decency and respect for the Rule of Law, we chose both the Rule of Law option, as well as dialoguing channel to redress the clear and patent wrong done to us and to our collective psyche, as well as pride by the attempt. We truly and genuinely have a goodly heritage and I believe that the Psalmist had us in mind, amongst others, when he enthused in Psalm 16:6 that “The lines are falling upon me in pleasant places: Yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Now to our own ‘constituency’, the Faculty of Law. The Faculty of Law is one of the foundation teaching units of the University. Teaching in the Faculty started in 1962, with an academic staff of five persons, which included the renowned Professors LCB Gower and Teslim Elias, the successive pioneering Deans. Academic activities commenced with twenty-six full-time students, who started a three-year LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) Degree Programme. Since its inception, the Faculty has been going through various but progressive stages of evolution, involving several changes in the curriculum and administrative structure. The Fac-

ulty is presently structured into four departments, which are the Departments of Commercial and Industrial Law, Jurisprudence and International Law, Private and Property Law and Public Law. These departments are staffed by 50 eminent scholars, under the leadership of 11 professors, all of whom are distinguished in their own rights. The Faculty boasts of the richest academic curriculum in the country today due to the vast and versatile experience and strength of its academic staff. Presently, the Faculty offers about 35 modules/subjects to its students at the undergraduate level. The Faculty’s Masters of Law (LLM) and Masters in International Law and Diplomacy (MILD) programmes have also become one of the most sought after academic qualifications in Nigeria today. I would not have done justice to this segment of the lecture without saying a few things about the Faculty’s continuing legacy. Law students of the University of Lagos have always been envied for having the first-hand advantage of being taught by those revered Professors and lecturers, some of whom include, Professors LCB Gower, Teslim Elias, A.A Adeogun, Adedokun Adeyemi, Akintunde Obilade, Jelili Omotola, O. Akanki, A.B. Kasumu, M.I Jegede, C.O Olawoye, M.A. Ojomo, Karibi-Whyte, Oluwole Agbede, G. A. Olawoyin, SAN and Abiola Ojo, to mention a few. These are some of the giants on whose shoulders the Faculty stands tall and sees far today. However, with apologies to John of Salisbury, our case is not one of ‘dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants,’ but of giants standing on the shoulders of giants. The emerging body of giants include our Professors Oyelowo Oyewo, Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, Yemi Osibajo, SAN, C.K Agomo, Peter Fogam, Ayodele Atsenuwa, Oluwole Smith, SAN, Akin Oyebode, Akin Ibidapo-Obe, and I. Bolodeoku. The Faculty’s legacy is not only a function of its academic staff, but also that of its many illustrious students that are churned out to excel on a yearly basis. The Faculty has the outstanding record of having produced a record number of over 50 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, judges of the appellate and high courts and several other accomplished legal practitioners and scholars. Niki Tobi and Pius Aderemi, both retired Justices of the Supreme Court are amongst the high flyers of the distinguished alumni of this Faculty. Bode Rhodes-Vivour, a serving Justice of the Supreme Court is also one of them. Be it noted that the two cases earlier mentioned in the challenge to the attempted change of name are being handled pro-bono by some alumni of this Faculty, including 14 Senior Advocates of Nigeria. There is no doubt that the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos has built and sustained a legacy of excellence. Notwithstanding the declining standard of education in Nigeria, the Faculty of Law has over the past 50 years succeeded in building and distinguishing a brand associated with qualitative legal education and research.

THE TOPIC In examining the key terms of this lecture, I will endeavour to use a liberal and simplistic, but practical, approach. Borrowing the words of Paul of Tarsus, the first-century theologian, I shall speak with ‘great plainness of speech.’ It is commonplace to hear most social pundits conclude that the problem of Nigeria is that of governance. Now, we are to examine here, what the challenges to governance are. In my own understanding therefore, we are here to talk about how the state or government can be transformed into an effective means of promoting good governance. Indeed, the very essence of governance and government is power. Power is the ability to influence and control circumstances. I will say that it is also the ability to create solutions; solutions to issues of crime, disease, economic instability, infrastructure and poverty amongst others. Therefore, the purpose of people all over the world yielding their sovereignty to governments is the mandate to solve their problems. While there are problems

There is no gainsaying the fact that the University has over the past 50 years attracted unquantifiable and immense positive attributes, values and even passions to itself. Put succinctly and without any fear of contradiction, it has become a universal brand, which commands respect, acceptability, ovation and commendation in every nook and cranny of the world, whether amongst past and present students, staff, stakeholders, fans, parents, academics of all shades and disciplines, politicians etc

• Chief Olanipekun

plaguing different parts of the world today, it appears that those parts of the world that have struggled to cope with solving their problems have been decorated with such prefixes as ‘underdeveloped,’ ‘developing,’ ‘third-world’, and ‘emerging’. Invariably, such nations have failed to overcome the challenges of governance. Empirical studies have shown that good governance is tied inextricably to development. My methodology for the topic is therefore within the context of problems and solutions. I will give an overview of the principles of governance, the challenges and way forward. I will seek your leave to accommodate my seeming ‘immodesty’, as I will make constant references to comments I have made elsewhere in the course of this lecture. This critical topic happens to be one that I have had cause to speak on severally, although I am so doing today from a fresh perspective. The topic, “Challenges to Governance in Emerging Democracies,” contains some key concepts, which we shall now turn our attention to.

Conceptual definitions of key terms Governance The word ‘governance’ is derived from the Greek verb [kubernáo] which means to steer and was used for the first time in a metaphorical sense by Plato. It then passed on to Latin and then on to many languages. The word ‘governance’ also derives from the word govern which has been defined by Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language, as follows: “To rule or control by right or authority, to control or influence morally or physically, direct.” The same Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language defines governance as the “exercise of authority; direction control; manner of system of government or regulation.” According to the United States Development Programme (UNDP), governance is the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions, through which citizens can articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences. In a recent World Bank Study, governance is defined as ‘the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised.’ This includes the processes by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced, and the capacity of the state to effectively formulate and implement policies. The term ‘governance’ can also be described as the process by which decisions are arrived at and implemented. Over the years, it has been used in several contexts such as ‘corporate governance’, ‘international governance, ‘security governance’, ‘political governance’ etc. For the purpose of analysis, governance can be seen in three broad senses – political governance, social governance and economic governance. Political governance is the means through which a society reaches consensus and implements regulations, laws and policies. Economic governance refers to the architecture for national and international economic activities, including processes to manage the production of goods and services. Social governance is the set of norms, values and beliefs that guide society’s decisions and behaviours. From the foregoing definitions and explanations of the term ‘governance’, it is clear why the term is often used interchangeably with other related terms such as ‘leadership,’ and ‘management.’ While many academics have, for obvious reasons, emphasised and written on the rather blurred distinction between these terms, it is my humble view that the terms connote invariably the same thing, which is the exercise of power and the control and utilisation of resources to attain development. • To be continued


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 6-8-12

Stock market opens with N33b loss

T

HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened this week on a downward trend as investors sought to lock in gains from previous three consecutive days of appreciation. The All-Share-Index fell by 104.50 points to close at 23,418.66 points, while market capitalisation shed N33 billion to close at N7.454 trillion. Market operators attributed yesterday’s downtrend to investors who were taking profit for the appreciation recorded in recent time. The decline in market position was particularly due to losses by few highly capi-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

talised stocks including Nigerian Breweries and FirstBank of Nigeria. A total of 40 equities recorded price changes with 21 appreciating, while 19 reduced in value. Leading the losers table was Air service with a price drop of N0.09 to close at N1.72 followed by Berger with price drop of N0.36 to close at N6.97. Also on the table were Mobil Oil, WAPIC, Ikeja Hotel, Total Nigeria, Custodian Insurance, Gold Insurance, Nigerian Breweries and Fist Bank with price drop of N5.75, N0.03, N0.05, N4.99, N0.05,

N0.02, N3.30 and N0.30. On the other side, Continental Insurance led the gainers list with N0.03 to close at N0.64, followed by International Breweries with price increase of N0.29 to close at N6.22. Also on the table were Eterna Oil and Gas, Smurfit, UTC, Fidson, Sterling Bank, NASCON, Honeywell Flour and UBN. Turnover of shares traded dropped by 9.3 per cent with an exchange of 188.038 million shares worth N1.758 billion in 3,662 deals. The financial service sector remained the toast of investors with 150.008 million shares worth N1.401 billion traded across 2,185 deals. Other actively traded sectors were the conglomerates, consumer goods, oil & gas, services and industrial goods with 14.461 million shares, 10.938 million shares, 4.527 million shares, 3.220 million shares and 2.567 million shares apiece

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 6-8-12


55

THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

MONEY LINK

Data security mitigates payment risks, says CBN

C

OMPLIANCE with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) has assisted operators to mitigate risks associated with the use of bank cards and payment channels. The Deputy Governor, Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Tunde Lemo disclosed this at a workshop on PCIDSS and Cash-less Nigeria, held in Lagos. He said one major concern noted by the CBN during the stakeholders’ engagement sessions on cashless Lagos was the fraud risk or the security of e-payments channels. “I am delighted to note that compliance with PCIDSS helps to mitigate

By Collins Nweze

risks associated with prevalent use of bank cards and payment channels,” he said, adding that banks have continued to roll out more innovative electronic payment platforms to meet customers’ expectations. He said currently, banks have deployed about 150,000 PoS terminals and before the end of the year, “if things go as planned, about 185,000 PoS terminals will have been deployed, he stated, assuring that the cash-less project is on course and the initial challenges are being sorted. The CBN had earlier indicated interest in acquiring a new fraud prevention sys-

lenges of any online payment system. Increasing fraud rates around the world has dampened the growth of electronic payment by exposing merchants to substantial losses and unnerving securityconscious customers,” he said. He explained that the fraud detection system will help detect potential fraud situations through the generation of online alerts as a result of transaction analyses. He said this would help the apex bank in the efficient documentation of potential fraud situations, as well as facilitate identification and capturing of fraudsters. The CBN has recorded over

tem payments system oversight and anti-fraud system, to tackle fraud in the electronic payment system. This, he explained, will assist the regulator in ensuring that customers’ transactions are secured while using e-payment tools. It said the new tools will distinguish fraudulent and legitimate transactions based on redefined checks in online payments, allowing only legitimate transactions to be processed. It explained that the adoption of the system will boost the cash-less initiative and help secure customers’ transactions against fraudulent activities. “Fraud has always been one of the biggest chal-

US accuses StanChart of money laundering

S

S T A N D A R D Chartered Plc banking unit violated United States anti-money laundering laws by scheming with Iran to hide more than $250 billion of transactions, and may lose its licence to operate in New York State, a state banking regulator has said. According to Reuters, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services, said Standard Chartered Bank reaped hundreds of millions of dollars of fees by scheming with Iran’s government despite US economic sanctions to hide roughly 60,000 transactions from 2001 to 2010.

Lawsky’s order quotes a senior Standard Chartered official in London who, upon being advised by a North American colleague that its Iran dealings could cause “catastrophic reputational damage,” reportedly replied: “Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.” Lawsky said the unit of the London-based bank was “apparently aided” by its consultant Deloitte & Touche LLP, which hid details from regulators, and despite being under supervision by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other regulators for

other compliance failures. The bank’s actions “left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity,” Lawsky said in an order made public. A Standard Chartered spokesman said the bank “is conducting a review of its historical US sanctions compliance and is discussing that review with US enforcement agencies and regulators. The group cannot predict when this review and these discussions will be completed or what the outcome will be.”

It was unclear whether other companies are being targeted in the probe. Lawsky said he is also investigating “apparently similar” schemes to conduct business with other countries subject to US sanctions, including Libya, Myanmar and Sudan. Deloitte, Lawsky and the New York Fed did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Iranian Embassy in Washington, D.C. was not immediately available for comment. A US Department of Justice spokeswoman declined to comment on whether that agency is conducting its own probe.

FGN BONDS 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

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 6-8-12 SYMBOL

CONTINSURE INTBREW ETERNA SMURFIT UTC FIDSON STERLNBANK NASCON HONYFLOUR UBN

O/PRICE

0.61 5.93 2.12 1.08 0.67 0.76 1.10 4.46 1.91 4.41

C/PRICE

0.64 6.22 2.22 1.13 0.70 0.79 1.14 4.60 1.96 4.50

O/PRICE 1.81 7.33 118.75 0.63 1.16 133.00 1.35 0.56 122.30 12.00

C/PRICE 1.72 6.97 113.00 0.60 1.11 128.01 1.30 0.54 119.00 11.70

last year. “Oceanic on a stand-alone basis is now profitable. We have put in some capital there, so it’s a much better capitalised business,” he said. According to him, the bank was sticking with a return on equity (ROE) target of between 20-25 per cent over the medium term. Return on equity - a measure of a bank’s profitability was 10.7 per cent in the first half. The lender which has operations across 32 out of Africa’s 54 countries was expecting to commence operations next month in Equatorial Guinea, then Mozambique and Angola next year before concluding a continent-wide expansion, Ekpe said. “We are pretty much at the end of our geographic expansion. West Africa remains where we really have long-standing presence. East and Southern Africa represents start up operations, we have not been there for more than 3-years,” he said.

CHANGE 0.09 0.36 5.75 0.03 0.05 4.99 0.05 0.02 3.30 0.30

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Dec ’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% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

CHANGE

0.03 0.29 0.10 0.05 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.14 0.05 0.09

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12

LOSERS AS AT 6-8-12

SYMBOL AIRSERVICE BERGER MOBIL WAPIC IKEJAHOTEL TOTAL CUSTODYINS GOLDINSURE NB FIRSTBANK

E

COBANK Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has said it will double Nigeria’s contribution to its group profit next year from around 20 per cent after integrating former rival Oceanic Bank, which it bought last year. ETI chief executive Arnold Ekpe told Reuters that Oceanic Bank had turned profitable after Ecobank acquired the lossmaking group in 2011 and spent around $80 million integrating it. Last week, Ecobank had reported a 6 per cent fall in firsthalf pretax profit to $126.3 million. Ekpe said the decline was mainly due to one-off integration costs and he expected a pickup in the second half. Nigeria contributed $25.4 million to the pretax profit in the first half. Ekpe said ETI now had the largest branch network in Africa with 1,200 branches, following the acquisition of Oceanic and Trust Bank in Ghana

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

Currency OBB Rate Call Rate

ETI to double Nigeria profit next year

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

•Lemo

DATA BANK

Tenor

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

90 per cent drop in card-related frauds after it migration from the magnetic stripe-based payment tokens to the Chip and Personal Identity Number (PIN)-compliant channels and tokens. The regulator has also instituted ATM Anti-fraud Committee, which was adjusted to become the e-Payment Fraud Forum, a group that ensures that anti-fraud mechanisms are kept abreast of new challenges for proactive responses.

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 123.15 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 107.40 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.74 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.09 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.95 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,724.31 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 8.95 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 7,936.33 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 123.01 107.29 0.72 1.09 0.93 1,723.08 8.51 1.33 1.80 7,727.45 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

56

NEWS RAMADAN

•Lagos Central Mosque General-Secretary Alhaji Muhammad Rajee-Adenowo flanked by Lagos State Muslim Council (LSMC) General-Secretary Alhaji Yusuf Giwa (right) and AnwarUl-Islam Society of Nigeria Assistant Secretary Alhaji Tajudeen Osho during Ramadan lecture organised by LSMC at NTA 10 premises, Tejuoso, Lagos

Lawmaker remembers the poor

A

CHIEFTAIN of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Katsina State Malam Gambo Musa, has distributed 100 bags of rice and sugar to the lessprivileged in his constituency as Ramadan gifts. Speaking when he distributed the items in Danmusa Local Government Area yesterday, Musa said the gesture was to enable the people to fast with ease in the ongoing Ramadan. The lawmaker, who is representing Batsari/Danmusa/ Safana Federal constituency in Katsina State, said the distribution of items is designed to make life meaningful to his constituents. Musa, the Chairman, Ethic and Privileges Committee of the House, recalled how he had distributed 102 motorcycles to CPC supporters and officials to enhance the activities of the party in the area. He appealed to the beneficiaries to use the food items judiciously and gave assurance that more assistance would be provided to the people of the area.

RAMADAN GUIDE WITH FEMI ABBAS e-mail: femabbas@yahoo.com Tel: 08122697498

Travelling in Ramadan

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N Islam, travelling is not just part of education. It is actually a form of education. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) realized this early in his prophet hood years and emphasised it. He said: “Seek knowledge even if you will have to travel to China “. At that time, the world map, as it is today, had not been crafted out. China was considered the farthest place from Arabia . It is in accentuation of the Prophets instruction that a renowned Arab poet came up with his famous poem which translates thus: “There is no permanent, resting place for a sensible, learned person. Therefore, move from city to city and adapt to any new environment in which you may find yourself. Travel and meet new contemporaries similar to those you may have parted with and left behind. Interact for human comfort and prosperity are only attainable with interaction…” The respect which Islam has for travellers is such that they are described as wayfarers in the Qur’an. And by virtue of their journey, Muslim travellers are not only permitted to reduce their four rakats of (Dhur, Asr and Ishai) to two each. They are also exempted from fast while on journey. Not only that, they are also listed as one of the groups qualified to receive Zakat; the proviso, however is that such a journey must be justifiable and legitimate. Judging by the proviso above it becomes understandable that a Muslim journey in Ramadan must be one of necessity and not of mere pleasure. As a month of worship, repentance, forgiveness, blessing, hope and fulfilment, Ramadan is supposed to cement families, friends and relations in a pleasurable atmosphere. And that cannot be achieved on a journey. Despite the Qur’anic injunction on wayfaring, a Muslim may choose to fast and complete his prayers while on journey. This is possible if the journey is comfortable and not rigorous. The rule is that if the journey is beyond 54 kilometres, a travelling Muslim may break his fast and shorten his Salat. But that rule was formulated at the time when donkeys and camels were the means of travelling. Today, when it is possible to travel from Lagos to Kano within one hour in a comfortable aircraft or from Ibadan to Lagos in a fully air conditioned car, within the same period, it will be rather unnecessarily indulging to break fast and reduce Salat especially when the traveller must make up for the fast broken after Ramadan. There is hardly any rule without exception. The modern exceptions to the rule of travelling in Ramadan have transcended those of the donkey age.

•From left: Chairman, Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Hon Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe; wife of Chairman Itire-Ikate LCDA Alhaja Ashabi Bamgbola and Vice-Chairman Alhaja Mulikat Ajala at Ramadan lecture in Surulere, Lagos.

Zakat Commission to lift one million indigent persons T HE Kano State Zakat and Endowment begun has commenced screening of one million indigent persons, who will receive N10, 000 each as Zakat in the state this year. The Director-General of the commission, Alhaji Sufiyanu Gwagwarwa, disclosed this in an interview with reporters in Kano yesterday. “The screening is in phases and we have so far completed the screening of the first and second batches of the beneficiaries totaling

2,000 persons. “The screening of the third batch of 1,000 persons, who comprised only orphans, has also commenced in earnest,” Gwagwarwa said. According to him, each beneficiary will collect N10, 000 after filling a form as part of effort to ensure accountability and transparency in the disbursement of the money. He said that all the mon-

ey to be disbursed were collected from wealthy individuals, including commissioners and other top government officials in the state. He said the commission had also planned to distribute grains to the needy, in addition to paying medical bills of sick persons, who could not afford to pay the bills. Gwagwarwa then called on the well-to-do individu-

als to ensure prompt payment of their Zakat to the commission as required by Islam to enable it disburse same to the needy. “This is necessary in order to assist the poor without necessarily allowing them to go out to beg people for alms.” He said the commission had recently carried out public enlightenment campaign where it sensitised wealthy individuals on the need to ensure prompt payment of the Zakat.

‘Govt implementing UNEP report on Ogoni’

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OVERNMENT said yesterday that it has started implementing the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the cleaning up of the environment of Ogoniland damaged by years of oil exploration. It blamed the slow implementation of the report on the January anti-fuel subsidy removal protest. The Minister for the Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, yesterday said the Federal Government was making efforts to ensure proper implementation of the report. Mrs Mailafia, who spoke to reporters after briefing President Goodluck Jonathan on the 2012 budget and the ministry’s programme for 2013, said: “We are making enormous efforts, I agree that the presentation was made last year, but you recall that just after the presentation of the

UNEP report, the country fell into some kind of unrest due to fuel subsidy issue. “For quite a number of weeks, all of us were not doing what we should have been doing at that time. But it is not true that government is not doing anything. “The UNEP report highlighted some immediate issues that needed to be addressed; finding potable or alternative supplies of drinking water, such as marking out the wells that were too polluted and doing other strategic framework activities that needed to be in place before the implementation. “With the support of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and through our agency, the National Oil Spill Remediation Agency we have carried out all those tasks. “A place where pollution has taken place for a very

long time requires a very formidable approach and we have been working on it through the petroleum ministry. I’m glad to inform you that everything is put in place and that we are just waiting for the execution. “I want to debunk the statement that nothing has been done. Perhaps you, on the other side, are waiting just to see us on the ground. If you go there, you will find that groups of people have been going, depending on the nature of what they have to do. “It is not a situation where you just take officers and equipment and drive into a system and say I am going to clean up. It is beyond sweeping. It is the whole task of trying to remediate a place that has been polluted for decades.” Mrs Mailafia urged Nigerians to safeguard their lives and environment by

adhering to environmental laws and guidelines issued by the government. On incessant flooding in the Southwest and other parts of country, the minister said it was due to global warming. She however stressed that the case of Nigeria is worsened by ignorance and outright refusal to comply with laid-down regulations. She said the President had directed the ministry to intensify publicity of flood warnings and alerts especially in this rainy season. On her presentation to the President, she said it focused mainly on the policy thrust of the ministry. “For more than two hours, the Ministry presented its policy thrust for budget 2013 and the priority for budget 2012 and as its the tradition, it was discussed and critiqued.

SNC not solution to Boko Haram, says Asari-Dokubo

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OUNDER and leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NFPVF), Alhaji Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo, yesterday blamed some northern forces of allegedly masterminding the insecurity in the nation. He renewed his earlier call for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), where two representatives of each region will form an interim government with Dr. Gooidluck Jonathan presiding. Dokubo spoke at a meeting with some Niger Delta youths in Abuja while analysing the state of the nation. Dokubo said the Niger Delta might be pushed to the

• ‘Buhari, IBB should not be isolated’ From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

wall. He said: “What will happen will be unimaginable. And I feel pained because I am a Muslim. The activist, who said former Heads of State Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida should not be isolated for the BokoHaram insurgence, added that a solution to the sect’s activities requires the collective efforts of northern leaders. He notd that the two leaders cannot do much to stop the

rising violence in the North. He warned that nothing harmful should happen to President Goodluck. “What are we saying? We can stay together and build a better enclave; a nation is not built by force. Nothing must happen to Jonathan.” Dokubo frowned at the call by the Boko Haram that Jonathan must either accept Islam or resign. He described it as an unIslamic approach, which Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not preach. He added: “The arrogance of Boko Haram is unIslamic. It is the North that needs

peace more than us. Everybody must impress it on them that they should sheath their swords and drop their arrogance.” He called for the setting up of neighborhood vigilance groups to protect mosques and churches. Decrying the destruction of property and killing of innocent people, Dokubo said: “We have to dissolve the government. Dr Goodluck Jonathan and two representatives of each region can form an interim government. If there is overwhelming decision that we should remain as one, then we will form a government based on fairness and equity.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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NEWS Cracks in PDP over election petition

Ijaw youths protest at Total’s Rivers office

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UNDREDS of protesters, who are members of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), yesterday disrupted activities of Total E and P (Exploration and Production) Nigeria in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The youths, who took over the main gate of the firm’s office, were protesting the alleged unfair treatment of six accident victims. The protesters, armed with

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

placards, did not allow workers to enter the premises. There was no commnet from the company on the protest. The Manager, External Communication, Charles Ebereonwu, said: “I am attending a conference in Lagos. I cannot comment at the moment, please.”

The police also declined to comment. The protesters’ spokesman, Emmanuel Bristol, said on June 15, the company’s convoy caused an accident on the Eastern Bypass. Bristol said six persons were injured. “Total abandoned the victims. One of them lost his job. “We are protesting to force Total to produce those in the convoy, so that they can be prosecuted.

“We also want to compel Total to take care of the victims,” he said. The firm’s management later invited the leaders of the protesters to a meeting. After the meeting, Bristol told reporters that Total’s Director of Administration, Peter Igbinovia, said the victims would be treated. He said the management said it was not aware of the accident.

Police kill three kidnap suspects in Port Harcourt

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FFICERS of the Rivers State Police Command yesterday killed three kidnap suspects in Port Harcourt, the state capital. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam said the three suspects were shot after they escaped arrest. Ugwuegbulam said: “At about 2pm, three kidnap suspects, namely Nzeribe, alias Nze, a former second in command to the late Abia State kingpin, Osisikankwu; Samuel, alias ND and Chima, allegedly involved in a series of crimes were apprehended. “They were allegedly involved in the murder of Ignatius Ajuru and his orderly; the murder of Hycinth Azu Nwangolo, a former

Kidnap suspect lynched From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

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RATE youths yesterday lynched a kidnap suspect in Okumagba Estate, Warri South Local Government of Delta State. An eyewitness said the unidentified gunman and two others riding a motorcycle trailed their victim but luck ran out on them when a youth spotted a gun in the hands of one of the suspected kidnappers. The Nation learnt that the youths attacked the gunman and another accomplice at the ever-busy Okumagba Esatae roundabout. The third suspect reportedly escaped. Attempts by the youths to hand the suspects to the police failed as a mob insisted on burning them. One of the suspects fled to the nearby Police B Divisional Headquarters. The last one was burnt by the irate mob. From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Deputy Director and Head of

Economic Service Department; the murder of the traditional ruler of Nihi-Etche, Ben Nwaogu; the kidnap of

five female corps members in Eberi-Omuma; the kidnap of 120-year-old Pa Nwosu; the kidnap of Hon. Kelechi in Eberi-Omuma; numerous bullion vans attacks and bank robberies on the AbaPort Harcourt Expressway. “The trio were arrested at Aluu Special Police checkpoint (in Port Harcourt), in yet another attempt to kidnap a man in Aluu, with their operational vehicle, a red Honda CRV. “While taking them to their hideout to recover the rest of their weapons, the suspects jumped out of the vehicle. “When it was impossible to rearrest them, they were shot and died on the way to hospital.”

Man arrested for allegedly killing baby

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TWENTY-FOUR year old man, Akpotegahare Osuna,hasbeenarrested by the police in Delta State for allegedly killing his stepdaughter’s eight-day old baby. The incident, which occurred in Okunu Community, Ethiope West Local Government, caused confusion in the community. The Nation learnt that Osuna

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

allegedly ripped open the infant’s intestines, removing vital organs. Police spokesman Charles Muka said: “Last Thursday, Mrs. Gladys Emafuru of Okunu village reported that while she was sleeping with her eight-day old baby girl, her step father, Osuna, walked

into her room and carried the little child into his apartment.” According to Muka, the bereaved mother said when she stepped into her step father’s apartment she discovered that her child had been murdered. Muka said the suspect allegedly confessed to the crime and would soon be charged to court. Two persons were killed,

following a fire in Omeliugboma, Oko, Oshimili South Local Government. Two others were injured. Muka, who confirmed the incident, said the remains of the victims had been deposited at the mortuary while those injured are receiving treatment. He said investigations into the incident had commenced.

•Oshiomhole hails decision From Osagie Otabor , Benin •Oshiomhole

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HERE appears to be a crack within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State on the petition filed at the Election Petition Tribunal, following the July 14 governorship election. The party’s Director of Publicity, Okharedia Ihimekpen, in a statement, said the party filed the petition to deepen democracy and the rule of law in the interest of the people. But the state Chairman, Dan Orbih, at a briefing, disassociated the party from the petition. Orbih said the party decided not to file any petition at the tribunal in the interest of the state. He said the party leadership was mindful of the consequences the state will run into with protracted litigation. His words: “The results of the election are not only ridiculous but also completely at variance with rational reasoning.

“It has now become a tradition that when PDP loses an election, the election is free and fair.” In a related development, Oshiomhole described the PDP’s decision not to challenge the election at the tribunal “as a step in the right direction”. He said the result of the election showed he got an overwhelming support across the 18 local governments. The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, urged “all men of goodwill to join hands with the government to move the state to the next level”. He said: “I look forward to more collaboration between my government, other parties and interests in the state. “I want to restate my full respect for the PDP leader, Chief Tony Anenih, whom I hold and will continue to hold in high esteem. “I also wish to assure the PDP candidate, Maj.-Gen Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), whom I regard as a friend, that my doors are open.”

Exco reshuffle in Bayelsa

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AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday announced a minor Executive Cabinet reshuffle. This followed the swearing-in of Mrs Didi Walson-Jack as the Commissioner for Science, Technology and Manpower Development.“I want to announce a slight reshuffling in cabinet. My good friend,Ambrose Alfred, who has been doing so much in the Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment, will now be in charge of Budget and Economic Planning, ” Dickson said in Yenagoa.Four special advisers were named. They are Ifieme Ikpakpai (Budget Matters); Seipulo Timipre (Treasury, Accounts and Revenue Matters); Tamuno Alazia (Chief Economic Adviser) and Koku Obiyai (Agricultural Development). The boards and commissions inaugurated are the State Independent Electoral Commission, with Ipigasin Izagara as chairman andLocal Government Service Commission with Talford Ongolo as chairman.

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers

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ello everybody and welcome. It is that time of the year again when we introduce new love and sex products for this summer and beyond. We have lots of new products that cover a variety of areas such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low feminine arousal/ lack of sexual enjoyment, sex education, sex positions, sex toy guide and much more. We will discuss as many new products as this space can accommodate and continue with more new products next week. Here they are: Supplements and Performance Aids for Men Max Intense Testosterone Booster: This unique libido enhancer is a stimulant-free supplement for men that increases sex drive, stamina and performance while building lean body mass. It is like nothing we have ever had before. So if you lack sexual desire in your life and want a more intense sexual urge, endurance and optimum performance, this is the supplement for you. Mojo Boost: Mojo Boost is a superb all natural performance drink for men who lack the stamina to have several rounds of intercourse. Mojo Boost ensures instant libido lift that gets the user firing away for hours of nonstop intercourse. It aids harder erections too. Glow in the Dark Penis Extension: This penis sleeve is very good for men with premature ejaculation problems. It is thick, textured and curved at the tip for female G spot stimulation. It is also reusable for months of intercourse and makes the penis bigger and one inch longer. Most of all, it glows in the dark. So if you have problems finding your way while making love in the dark, Glow in the Dark Penis Extension will guide you to the promised land. Lubricants and Arousal Gels for Women Couples Make Love Warming and Tingling Lubricant is a unique two in one lubricant for women and their men. The warming part for men provides mild arousal while the tingling part for women is an orgasm gel that also arouses. This product is also great for use with sex toys and is long lasting.

Swiss Navy Two in One Dispenser is a rare orgasm gel because it contains two different arousal formulas. One formula is mild while the other is wild. So depending on your mood, the user will decide which formula is most suitable for the occasion. Reaching orgasm and enjoying sex is so much easier for women with arousal gels. Educational and Feature Films for Men and Women Teachers and Babysitters are two high quality adult feature films shot in high definition and featuring Jesse Jane, the leading adult contract star of digital playground production studios. Jesse Jane’s films (such as Babysitters) have won awards overs the years. Feature films are particularly helpful for over worked and under sexed married couples who need help getting in the mood for love. Nina Hartley’s Guide to Female Ejaculation: Not only can all women reach orgasm but all women can ejaculate too. This form of orgasm is called a Squirting Orgasm and it is the deepest and most satisfying orgasm a woman can experience. Nina Hartley’s Guide to Female Ejaculation teaches women the steps and guide lines that will enable them experience squirting orgasms. Sex Toys For Women Inflatable Black Dildo: This is one of those rare sex toys for women that you can increase the thickness of the dildo by pumping it. The Inflatable Black Dildo is 7.5 inches long and saves women the cost of buying dildos of different sizes. Joe the Lawyer Dong is a new and realistic 7 inch dong with a suction base. It is soft and veined like a real penis and can be used alone or as part of a strap-on. And that’s it for today. We will be discussing more new products in the coming weeks. Men and women in need of these treatments/ novelties can call 08027901621 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can also order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

NEWS Igbo presidency realisable, says Etiaba From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

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ORMER Anambra State Governor Dame Virgy Etiaba yesterday said Igbo presidency is realisable. She urged Ndigbo to start preparing for the 2015 presidential election. Speaking with reporters at a function in Nnewi, Dame Etiaba said although the intention of President Goodluck Jonathan on the election is still unknown, Ndigbo should reposition themselves to produce the next President. She said: “If we unite and speak with one voice, we will actualise our dream of Igbo presidency in 2015.” On whether those calling for Igbo presidency are not trying to satisfy their selfish interest, the former governor said: “Being a president is not a joke. Many qualities would be assessed and a few people possess such qualities. It is not about money. When the time comes, many questions would be asked to judge the person’s credibility. “Many factors would be considered. Ndigbo have suffered greatly and you must agree with me that the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and the late Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu made a lot of sacrifices. So anybody that will step into that big shoe must be credible. Etiaba, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged Nigerians to pray for an end to the insecurity in the country.

Ebonyi goes tough on illegal parks

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HE Ebonyi State Government has set up a 25-man task force to impound vehicles loading at unauthorised places in Abakaliki, the state capital, as well as prosecute their owners. Commissioner for Environment Paul Okorie said the illegal loading points include Vanco Junction, Presco Junction, Union Bank Roundabout, Spera-N-Deo Junction and Government House Roundabout. Okorie said the new environmental bill, signed by Governor Martin Elechi in May, prohibits illegal parking and loading, as well as

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

roadside trading. He said there would not be sacred cows in the discharge of the task force’s assignment. On illegal structures marked for demolition, Okorie said the demolition, which was recently put on hold, would continue as soon as the Ministry of Land’s evaluation and verification exercise is concluded. “We want to carry out proper evaluation and verification to find out those that merit compensation,” he said.

•Officials of the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) inspecting a flooded area in Agwuagune, Abi Local Government Area…yesterday.

Bad roads worse than civil war, says Kalu F ORMER Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu has condemned the deplorable state of roads in the country. He said more lives are lost to road accidents caused by ill-maintained roads than the number of casualties recorded in war situations. In a statement, Kalu said: “Nigerian roads have become death traps. There is a thin difference between road users and suicide bombers. On a particular day, the number of compatriots lost to road accidents was higher than the number of casualties recorded at Abagana Sec-

tor during the Civil War. “On a daily basis, you hear of a truck crushing people in Asaba, luxury bus burning to ashes near Ore, fuel tanker setting houses ablaze in Ibadan or high profile deaths on the Kaduna-Abuja highway. These stories are real.” The former governor, who acknowledged the achievements of Works Minister Mike Onolememen on the Sagamu-Benin Expressway last Yuletide, regretted that things changed after the New Year. He said: “I do not know what goes on in the ministry. A new minister arrives, settles down to work and

things take a reverse order. If I had my way, no minister of Works should travel by air. “I respect Gen. Mamman Kontangora for that. When he served under General Ibrahim Babangida, there was no flight for him. I would even like to see President Goodluck Jonathan take a trip from Abuja to Lagos by road. What his eyes would behold would turn the visit to the Dana crash site to child’s play.” On the Asaba/Onitsha River Bridge, Kalu called for prayers to melt the heart of Nigerian leaders, who he said have continued to play politics with the lives of the

people. He said: “What you hear occasionally is repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge, which serves only those of us who live in Lagos. The lone Niger Bridge that links the East, West, North and South means nothing to the Federal Government. “Ask the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) what happens there every Christmas time. In 2011, I saw Sector Commander Omiyale leading the crew. If there was a Second Bridge, all the officers would have been on other routes monitoring vehicles and saving lives. Even in the traffic jam a young lady was crushed on December 30, yet, we are not at war.”

Anambra monarch still missing HE traditional ruler of Ukpo, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Robert Eze, is yet to be released eight days after he was abducted by gunmen. It was gathered that the monarch’s elder brother and oil magnate, Prince Arthur Eze, who had been receiving medical treatment abroad returned to Nigeria yesterday after over a month. Igwe Eze was kidnapped penultimate Sunday about 12 noon at his palace. Four gunmen were said to have taken the monarch away in a green Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

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•Abductors demand N100m From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

The victim’s family said the kidnappers are demanding N100 million ransom to be paid in dollars. Police spokesman Raphael Uzoigwe said: “We are still trying to establish contact with the kidnappers, but we assure the people that the monarch will come out untouched.” The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra council, yesterday condemned the abduction of traditional leaders in the state.

In a statement by its Chairman, Tochukwu Omelu, and Assistant Secretary Ifeoma Anumba, after the council’s congress in Awka, NUJ said the assault on royal fathers threatens the sanctity of the institution. The union said the act is an affront on Igbo culture and urged the police to tighten security. Two monarchs, Igwe Lawrence Oragwu of Adazi Nnukwu and Igwe Jerome Okolie of Ihembosi, who were abducted in May and August last year, are yet to be found.

Obi partners private sector on job creation

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NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has said his administration will continue to partner individuals and organisations on job creation. He spoke yesterday at Awka Etiti Town Hall during the graduation ceremony and handing over of cheques worth N20 million to the first batch of the Awka Etiti trainees of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Entrepreneur Development Centre. The Nation gathered that the scheme is one of the empowerment programmes of Akiota Works Ltd., in which 100 beneficiaries were trained free . The group, it was learnt, also provided a revolving interest-free loan repayable after two years. Obi said the programme is in line with the vision of his administration to empower people and eradicate poverty. He urged other privileged individuals to contribute to rebuilding the society and

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

strengthening the economy. Obi expressed satisfaction that more people are responding to his call for a collective effort in rebuilding the state. He said investment worth over N14.7 billion have been made in the state recently and Anambra will join the comity of oil producing states at the end of this month. The Chairman, Akiota Works Ltd., Mr. Okwui Emejulu, said the scheme is part of the company’s corporate responsibility to complement the efforts of the Obi administration. Chairman of the occasion and Chancellor, Anambra State University (ASU), Prof. Elochukwu Amaucheazi said the Obi administration has, through its integrated development approach, provided an enabling environment for private businesses to thrive.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

NEWS REJOINDER

The Senate at Asaba: What really transpired

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N the face of our national travails occasioned by the need to once again review the 1999 Constitution, it has become necessary to caution Nigerian journalists on the need to stop playing politics and give informed and responsible inputs on how best to address the issues. This call becomes necessary against the backdrop of an editorial published in “The Nation on Sunday” of August 5, 2012, on page 15, titled: “The Senate at Asaba- The legislative body failed to address the main issues of our nation.” Whoever among the respected members of the editorial board of “ The Nation,” that authored the said editorial was most unfair to the paper, as it gave an impression of a paper that is either not attuned with the current realities, as they concern the work of the Senate Committee on the Review of the Constitution (SCRC), or one that operates offshore. The editorial was not only presumptuous, and speculative, but failed to meet the simple test of a well researched and informed commentary, especially when the materials needed for such a commentary was readily available. The editorial set out to say that the SCRC, failed to “address the fundamental issue of restructuring the country…” but that rather “it decided to give palliatives such as conceding the creation of one state in the Southeast, institution of state police, affirming the immunity clause and holding up the seven –year single-term tenure for the executive position of the presidency and the governor, among others.” To start with, contrary to the position of the paper, the SCRC, has not concluded on any issue. If anything, the retreat was meant to only abreast the members of the committee of the issues arising from both the memoranda submitted and those from the last work of the committee during the 6th Senate. And this position was made clear by the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, while making his welcoming address at the Asaba retreat. Hear him: “I wish to reassure Nigerians that we will be open and true to them. We have no position on any issues except those taken by the Nigerian people through their inputs,

•Senate President Mark

whether through their memoranda, contributions at public hearings and their elected representatives at both the National and state Assemblies. We bear no allegiance to any, except that which we owe to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We have no interest to protect, except that of the generality of the Nigerian people and posterity. We will be driven by the force of superior argument and public will. What we owe our people is leadership, legislative due process, transparency, inclusivity and popular participation. We want to ensure that the generality of Nigerians own and drive the process to be able to take full responsibility of the eventual outcome.” It is also instructive to note here that the Asaba retreat only signaled the commencement of the review. By October, the committee will be embarking on public hearings across the six geopolitical zones and Abuja, to give Nigerians the opportunity to make further inputs. This is in addition to mobilising all the legislators to hold consultations and town hall meetings with their constituents, with a view to getting everyone involved in the process. How can a process that is yet to reach its embryo stage be deemed to have failed? This is rather presumptuous and speculative. Again, to say the retreat failed to address the “fundamental issue of restructuring the country,” shows that it is either the author was not in the country when the retreat held, or the author deliberately was interested in misleading the respected “The Nation on Sunday.” Interestingly, apart from the fact that the proceedings were broadcast live, as they were happening by both the AIT and Channels Television stations, the paper’s

Asaba Correspondent and one of its Assistant editors, covering the Senate, were not only at the retreat, but captured the proceedings in their respective reportage of the event, especially, the one published in “ The Nation” of July 25, 2012, at pages 43 and 44 entitled: “Senate and the Asaba declaration.” All the author needed to have done was to revisit the reports of these reporters. The retreat did not only look at the issue of restructuring, but a whole session was devoted to take a critical look at the issue of fiscal federalism. And before then, in Ekweremadu’s speech, while listing the 16 issues the committee had aggregated before the retreat, with the devolution of power, being listed as the number one item on the list, had said: “Devolution of powers – It is expressed that the legislative list in our constitution is skewed in favor of the Federal Government and needs to be revisited, to give our constitution a true Federal character.” Additionally, contrary to the claim of the author of the editorial, the idea of a sevenyear single tenure did not emanate from the committee. Although, the issue of the single tenure was part of the 16 listed issues to be looked at, it was one of the resource persons at the retreat- Prof. Isawa Elaigwu that suggested a fiveyear single tenure. The committee is yet to deliberate on the matter, let alone take a stand. At any rate, it is Nigerians, and not the committee that have a stand to take on the issues so far raised, including the ones that would come up after the zonal public hearings and town hall meetings. Although, there are several other inconsistencies in the said editorial, what we have raised are a few critical ones we feel strongly should be highlighted, so as to correct the misconceptions created by the editorial. We implore the paper and other Nigerian Journalists to feel free to contact the committee on any issue to seek clarifications, before jumping at conclusions. Pouring invectives at the committee and its members will not in any way serve the country any good. The task of restructuring the country should be the concern of every Nigerian, and it is a task that we must jointly accomplish.

Governors meet over state police Continued from Page 4

mine whether we still need the Nigeria Governors Forum or not. “Leaders should learn to stand by agreement or consensus on issues.” A governor from the North admitted that it was true that at the level of Nigeria Governors Forum, state police was accepted but some of the meetings were attended by Deputy Governors who did not fully understand the implications of such a security system. He said the Northern Governors Forum later weighed all options and discovered that the nation is not ripe for state police. “The fears of the Northern governors border on the fact that it may be used by any government in power to muzzle the opposition. Yet, the dy-

namics of politics in the North are completely different from the South. “Would there have been power shift in Kano , Zamfara and Nasarawa with state police? Even the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Babangida Aliyu, used the platform of ex-Governor AbdulKadir Kure to get to power in what appeared a difficult circumstance. If there was state police in place, the Governor of Niger State would not have been allowed to win the poll. “State police may breed more security problems in the North than addressing the insecurity in the region. We believe we are not ripe for it yet.” The Director of Press Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State , Mr. James Mannok, said: “Governor Jang has been an advocate of state police and he said he should be put on record at the Northern Gover-

nors Forum’s meeting. A source in Benue State said: “Governor Suswam is not opposed to state police but he is also not disposed to its immediate adoption at present because our democratic and political systems are always having teething problems. “He said there is tendency for a state police to be used against the opposition. “Also, funding is a major issue the governor has been considering. It is not a tea party to fund any police system when you talk of staffing, equipment and providing adequate security. “The governor might change his mind later when our democratic institutions are strengthened and our political culture is mature enough to accommodate it. If there are superior arguments in future and he is convinced, he might support state police.”


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NEWS Mark laments killing of soldiers, police in Damaturu •Commiserates with Army Chief, IGP

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From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

ENATE President David Mark yesterday lamented the killing of six soldiers and two police officers who were members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Damaturu, Yobe

State.2 Mark, in a statement by his media aide, Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja, described the death of the victims as shocking. Senator Mark, who said the action of the killers was “barbaric and inhuman”, added that the death of the victims was a painful loss as they died in active defence of their fatherland. He said: “They died in active defence of the people as well as their fatherland. They will not die in vain because their acts of valour shall be etched on the conscience of our nation.” He commiserated with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejerika and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar and urged them not to relent in their fight against the Boko Haram insurgency and other forms of terrorism in the country. Mark said the rank and file must keep their obligation to the nation. The Senate President reiterated his call on the leaders and members of the Boko Haram sect to accept the dialogue option offered by the Federal Government in order to stop the spate of killings in the country, particularly in the North.

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Police arrest killer of STF member

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HE Plateau State Police Command has arrested a suspect who allegedly killed a soldier attached to the Special Task Force (STF). The soldier was reportedly killed at his duty post at Fillin Ball area of Jos North Local Government. Commissioner of Police Emmanuel Ayeni, who was briefing reporters on the achievements of the com-

From Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

mand, said: “We are determined to find a solution to the insecurity in Plateau State. “We have redoubled our efforts to stem the wave of crime and ensure that peace is maintained. We are collaborating with other security agencies to curb violence and restore peace.” The soldier was killed in October last year and the po-

lice gave the name of the suspect, who has already been charged to court, as Abdullahi Abubakar. The arrest was said to have been effected through information and discreet investigation. The police commissioner said the command has in the last two months arrested armed robbers and recovered arms and ammunition. He said 109 suspects were arrest-

ed and items including Indian hemp, weapons and mobile telephones were recovered. He put the value of the property recovered during the period at about N11, 005, 000.00k. The command urged the public to cooperate with the police and other security agencies by volunteering information, being vigilant and reporting suspicious movements and objects.

Sokoto repositioned for mass food production

OVERNOR Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State said yesterday that the establishment of the College of Agriculture, Wurno and the Silame Rice Project handled by a Turkish firm was aimed at repositioning the state’s comparative status in mass food production. He described agriculture as a tool and driving force for the economic survival of a nation and to boost food production. “This project is not for the benefit of Sokoto State alone. It serves Zamfara and Kebbi

PUBLIC NOTICE OGUNDOKUN I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Opeyemi Ogundokun, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Opeyemi Olowoyo. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

states and even beyond,” Wamakko said. According to him, to ensure mass food production, Nigeria needs to ensure that men, money and materials are provided, without which there will be no success in any venture. The governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Alhaji Buhari Bello Dange, at the opening of the delegates’ preelection conference of the Agriculture and Allied Employees Union of Nigeria, Sokoto State chapter, said government has come out with a blueprint to ensure the harmonisation of the components for mass food production. “Our drive has coordinated the basic requirements with adequate provision of fertilisers, farming implements and soft loans for small, medium and large scale farmers in the state,” he added. He said Sokoto State would partner the union in its drive for the growth of agriculture.

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•From left: Secretary to Sokoto State Government, Alhaji Sahabi Gada, Gov. Aliyu Wamakko and Commissioner for Information, Malam Danladi Bako, at the inauguration of a new Outside Broadcasting Van for Rima Radio and eight official cars for the state’s media organisations in Sokoto ...yesterday.

K

Four suspected robbery gangs paraded

OGI State Police Command has paraded four gangs of armed robbery suspects. Police Commissioner Mohammed Musa Katsina at a press briefing said the suspects were arrested on different days. He said one of the suspects, Raimi Shaibu aka Ke-

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robberies. He said he has confessed to the crimes. Items recovered from the robbery suspects are: 19 locally-made bombs, 16 anti-tank locally-made bombs, seven units of power source, firing cable, four units of AK 47 rifles, one Mark 4 rifle and others.

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said yesterday that the administration welcomed the court pronouncement on the impending Mpape demolition and urged the affected persons to show understanding. He said while the FCTA will uphold the rule of law, it is gratifying that the court

has justified its mandate for such action thus far. The minister appealed to the residents to cooperate with the government as demolition is carried out in their interest since it is not intended to inflict hardship on them. He added that the sustained health and security of the populace are of paramount concern.

Senator Mohammed said besides safeguarding the Abuja master plan, demolitions are usually carried out for sanitary and security reasons. The minister said besides the over 500 shanties demolished at the Gwagwalada terminus, FCTA in the last one month has demolished 398 illegal structures.

Insecurity: Ahmed urges Nigerians to pray From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

LOST OF DOCUMENT

Signed: Barr. Yakubu Abdullahi For: MAHS RESOURCES AND PROPERTIES COMPANY LIMITED

nyi, is a popular cobbler at Okengwe in Okene Local Government Area. “In the day, he is a responsible cobbler, but at night he is a notorious armed robber. “He confessed to have killed Sergeant Yisa in Okene. He stole his rifle. The incident

occurred two years ago. When the heat was too much on him, he relocated to Agege in Lagos State. He later returned, participated in another robbery and was arrested by the command’s anti-robbery squad,” Katsina added. According to him, Shaibu was arrested on July 19 in connection with several bank

FCTA to demolish 10,288 structures EN thousand, two hundred and eightyeight structures are to be demolished by the Development Control Unit of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in Mpape area of Abuja. FCTA has intensified sensitisation and consultation with village chiefs and residents on the need for the exercise.

This is to inform the general public of the loss of the original Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in respect of Plot No. 45 Cadastral Zone C19, Sector Centre E, and Numbered 7E3UWIB79Z604DRIBBCU6U1 within Gwarimpa Housing Estate belonging to MAHS RESOURCES AND PROPERTIES COMPANY LIMITED. ALL efforts made to trace the document proved abortive. Please if found, contact the nearest Police Station. The general public, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) to take note.

From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

•Ahmed

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WARA State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed has urged Muslims performing this year’s lesser hajj (Umrah) in Saudi Arabia to pray for Nigeria to overcome insecurity and other challenges. He spoke yesterday in Ilorin in a message to the Muslim faithful on the eve of their de-

parture to Saudi Arabia. The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, noted that it was only in a peaceful atmosphere that the potential of Nigeria could be achieved, adding that “we need peace for the ultimate transformation of our dear country from a potentially great one to a pride of the black race anywhere in the world.” He enjoined Muslims and Nigerians to use the remaining period of the Ramadan to show the spirit of good neighbourliness and good practices in their individual and national lives. He said: “Nigerians should bear in mind that it was God’s design that we are of diverse religious and ethnic groups, which should be our point of strength rather than weak-

ness.” Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Alhaji Isiaka Gold has urged governor’s liaison officers (LOs) in the 16 local governments to alert government to security breaches and failed projects in their areas, for prompt action. He spoke at a one-day sensitisation programme organised for the LOs in Ilorin. Gold, who noted that the role of stakeholders in sustaining the prevailing peace and harmony in the state could not be overemphasised, identified proper monitoring and evaluation as one of the cardinal ways of ensuring cost effectiveness in the execution of government projects. The SSG described unemployment, socio-economic lopsidedness and poverty as the causes of insecurity. He enjoined the govern-

ment representatives (LOs) to ensure that good governance is felt at the local government level. He emphasised the need for the LOs to ensure that projects sited in their councils were well monitored and executed, adding that they should avail themselves of the project details for proper evaluation and quality report to the government. He said the programme was important as it would keep the participants abreast of contemporary challenges in the area of good governance. The Special Assistant to Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed on Intergovernmental (Local), Alhaji Aro Yahaya, said the sensitisation programme was necessitated by government’s huge investment in infrastructure and the need for quality service delivery.


THE NATION TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

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SPORT EXTRA LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES...LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES...

Obiekwe, running banker is the joker of London Olympics

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S Nigerians gather to watch the final of the men 100m at Caribbean House in Strafford directly opposite Nigeria House, the subject of discourse was Team Nigeria’s performances at the ongoing and what we need to do to avert such outing in future. Since it was a Sunday, the day the marathon was run, the media reported that Esther Obiekwe claimed she withdrew from the marathon event because of injury which continued to annoy many Nigerians at the Nigeria House. They argued that Obiekwe instead of apologising to Nigerians for embarrassing the government and people of Nigeria for her lies and acts of deception, still maintained that she withdrew from the event because she was injured. Obiekwe was reported on Sunday to have said “As the only amateur slated for this race, my sole aim is to depict the Olympic slogan which is to “inspire a generation’’. Given my times relative to the Olympic field, it is crucial I step to the starting line at peak fitness, so I represent my country with pride and honour. I now recognise I am unable to ensure this” But Obiekwe’s claim that she withdrew from an event she did not qualify for in the first place continue to baffle Nigerians, ‘’ How can you say you

•Obiekwe

withdrew from writing WAEC or NECO, when you still in SSS 1’’ said a renown professor of sports psychology. Checks by The Nation Newspapers reporters on the website of IOC and IAAF, the two bodies that govern athletics at the London

Olympics, revealed that Obiekwe was not even registered for the event by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) because she did not satisfy the entry standard. Obiekwe, personal best

of 3 hours 36 minutes did not meet the IOC and IAAF. The ‘A’ entry standard is 2 hours 37 minutes, while the B standard is 2 hours 43 minutes. Obiekwe who has competed in Dubai, Athens, Berlin and Boston and other local events, has not done enough to be considered an elite marathoner, she was not allowed to enter the Team Nigeria camp in Surrey, and the Olympic Games Village in London. At the Boston Marathon, she ran 3 hours, 44 minutes and 03 seconds to place 5272 position. Obiekwe’s claim that she was tapped by AFN as an exempt (non qualified) participant in the marathon is equally false. According to the IOC rule, any country that does not have any athlete that attained the qualifying standard in any event at the games is allowed to field only one athlete, so that the country is represented at the games, Nigeria has many athletes at the games in many sports, so the universality rule does not apply to us. Nigerians at the Nigeria House in London want the Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi to probe the subject and punish whoever connived with Obiekwe in AFN and even gave her a certificate of nomination, which she presented to her employer Diamond Bank. "I was nominated by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and I see this act alone as a winner for me and for us.”

Caribbean restaurant erupts in celebration as lighting strikes twice

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O OTHER place on Earth could boast more jubilation per square meter on Sunday than the Caribbean Restaurant at Strafford, East London, a few minutes from the Olympics Stadium. As 7.00 pm many Jamaicans fans, majority clad in yellow T-Shirts with Usian Bolt photographs had gathered at the restaurant opposite the Nigeria House. Nigerians including Athletics Federation of Nigeria President, Solomon Ogba, Professor Seun Omotayo, and others were eating and discussing Team Nigeria at Olympics. From 9.30 pm we moved to Caribbean restaurant to

witness the most important 10 seconds at the games."Usain Bolt to the world, Jamaica to the world," said young lady to us as we entered. Clad in a yellow Tshirt, her fingernails painted in the black, gold and green of the flag. With three giant screens relaying the action from the Olympics Stadium the crowd went into a frenzy as Jamaica's Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell came into view. The noise levels went off the scale as Usain Bolt appeared. The mood at the restaurant so pro-Jamaican that when athletes from other countries especially America were shown, there was prolonged

•Nigeria's Maryam Usman fails to lift in the women's +75kg group A clean and jerk weightlifting competition

boo and jeers. "I love it when somebody from my grandmother's country wipes out American dominance." Said a dreadlocks wearing Jamaican. As they left the blocks, the place erupted into cheers and screams as people jumped up and down. Horns were blown as Usain edged in front of the competition. As Bolt gave his trademark salute the restaurant erupted with deafening screams that seemed loud enough to rival the noise from the 80,000 people at Olympic Stadium. Spectators waved Jamaican flag. A young woman wearing a Jamaican-flag

necklace and tight dress said ‘I’ve come all the way from the US to be here. It's worth every penny. I’ve lost my voice, I was shouting so much, I'm going to stay up and celebrate all night. He means everything to us," As we drifted away from the screams, many of us agreed that Bolt had sealed his place, the sprinter feels the same way, he told the media after the race ‘’ You guys doubted me and I've shown the world that I am the greatest. Seven of the eight runners clocked times below 10 secs .It was one of the best races of all-time," said Bolt.

Policemen and Protesters can be friends

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IGHTS to protest against anything under the sun are part of human rights. In Nigeria where many things are wrong than right, protests to express feeling about wrongs are seen war and enmity against the state and the policemen and women, and sometimes Army units are sent out in their hundreds to crush the harmless protesters. In such situations, there had been accidental discharges and many had been killed by unknown soldiers. But in the United Kingdom, especially, the city of London, the venue of the ongoing London 2012 Olympics Games, protesters and policemen and women are friends. Yours truly witnessed one of the numerous protest presently going in London, but one I witnessed is not against many corporate bodies and the Olympic movement, but it was by the Kashmir people who are demanding freedom from India and Pakistan. While wishing Pakistan and India success at the Olympic Games, they called on the world to join them in appealing to Indian to give them Azadi (Freedom). Speaker after speaker made speeches saying things that could lead to severe beating in Nigeria, against Indian, Pakistan and even Great Britain, but the policemen just looked on. They did not stop them from speaking or try to disperse them with tear gas. The only thing they did was to ensure that they did not destroy any property or engage in any unruly behavior. I hope our policemen will learn a lesson or two from this.

Nigerians in Diaspora

LONDON no doubt is multi-cultural city, but apart from the British the people with the highest population, the Indians are probably the second largest group and Nigerians third. As one drive across the streets of London during, occupants of many houses display the flags of their countries as a mark of support. It is not uncommon to see the flags of host Britain and Brazil adorning many houses, Spain, South Africa, Argentina, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and even French countries like Cote d’ Ivore and others with population less than of Nigerians in London. Even places with high population of Nigerians Brixton, Peckham, Hackney, and North London areas like Edmonton, Dalston and others, you hardly see Nigerian flag. One could not but wonder why there is such disconnect between the Nigerian community in London and the Nigeria High Commission, is that the staff of the High Commission never made any attempt to mobilize Nigerians, or that they did and they failed, what really happened? How come we lost a great opportunity to sell our country to the world? Fine we have Nigeria House in Strafford, but in a city where millions are on the move every second, having thousands of houses would have been a good public relations. I hope someone is reading and will take action.

Nigerian media should borrow a leaf from NBC

NBC, the giant American broadcast medium is not prone to making errors. But they made a costly one at the ongoing London 2012 Olympic Games when it shows an advert showing a monkey doing gymnastics shortly after Gabby Douglas' gold medal victory. The controversy was sparked off was when sportscaster Bob Costas wrapped his analysis of her incredible routine during the all-around competition. Costas said: 'there are some African American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves: "Hey, I’d like to try that too." The broadcast then went to a commercial break, showing an advertisement featuring a monkey wearing a gymnastics uniform and performing a rings gymnastics event. The unintentional, but poorly-timed commercial was for Animal Practice, an upcoming NBC sitcom. Angry viewers lashed out at the network on social media platforms like Twitter, accusing them of racism.NBC Sports quickly apologized: 'Gabby Douglas' gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement. This spot promoting ’Animal Practice,’ which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended.' One hope the Nigeria media, especially leaders and public figures will learn a lesson from this apologize when wrong, even if the error was not intended, one also hope that Esther Obiekwe and sponsor will stop, think twice and apologize to Nigerians.


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TUESDAY,AUGUST 7, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

TODAY IN THE NATION

‘‘While they are tearing themselves apart, we will never be able to ask the pertinent questions. The question of decadelong economic growth that failed to lift anyone from poverty. The paradox of growth without jobs. ’ VOL. 7

NO.2,210

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

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VEN half a world away and without the benefit of the television pictures, I found reports of the demolition of Makoko, the shanty town on the edge of mainland Yaba, and the forcible dispersal of the thousands who called it home, heartrending. It called to mind the demolition, 22 years to the day, of Maroko, the sprawling community of the disconnected that stood out in its squalor as an affront to humanity, a silent but ever-present rebuke to a pernicious social order. Its very location on the water’s edge between Ikoyi and Victoria Island, conurbations boasting some of the best real estate in Nigeria, rendered Maroko all the more incongruous. That incongruity struck me forcibly one night, some three decades ago, around Christmas, as I drove along Queen’s (now Oyinkan Abayomi) Drive, Ikoyi, with its elegant homes lit brightly, decorated for the season, its residents most likely relaxing with soft music, sipping claret, snacking on grilled turkey and caviar, children taking piano lessons or playing with their latest toys — or so I imagined. Looking across the lagoon, you could see only specks of flickering light, the merest indication that there was some human habitation out there, for the most part sweating it out in crowded, ill-ventilated, mosquitoinfested dwellings criss-crossed by footpaths strewn with refuse, bereft of running water and having only the most rudimentary form of sanitation. For all practical purposes, Maroko was another country, where daily existence was a grind, a primal struggle. Contemplating the contrast, I would wonder how the residents of Ikoyi and Victoria Island could live in such splendour just across from the squalor of Maroko without feeling guilty and without feeling endangered. Colonel (as he then was} Raji Rasaki, military governor of Lagos, foreclosed such ruminations summarily on July 5, 1990. It had rained for the previous seven days. Water was everywhere that desultory day, and misery was writ large over the poorer sections of the metropolis. That was the day Rasaki sent in the bulldozers and the armed wrecking crews to flatten Maroko, claiming that it was to save the residents from the rains that were threatening to drown Lagos. The land would be redeveloped; those with genuine titles would get their plots back, and temporary accommodation would be provided for its displaced residents. That day, you could see from the television pictures human suffering on a biblical

RIPPLES WE’VE RETURNED N80B ABACHA LOOT, says Switzerland

...and I hope it hasn’t been RE-LOOTED?

OLATUNJI DARE

AT HOME ABROAD olatunji.dare@thenationonlineng.net

Maroko, Makoko and the decades between

•Fashola

scale. One resident said plaintively that, despite the rains, not even a chicken had drowned. In their privations, the residents had looked out for each other and mobilised to protect themselves and their scant possessions. Military president General Ibrahim Babangida could only ask Rasaki ever so facetiously,“Have you finished your quarrel with the people of Maroko?” That was the sum total of his intervention in the atrocity. An editorial prepared for The Guardian called “July 5, 1990, a day of infamy”, drew parallels between what Rasaki did to Maroko residents

and what the apartheid regime in South Africa routinely did to the black population, and called for Rasaki to be returned to the army barracks where he belonged. The draft was so watered down by the editor-in-chief, Lade Bonuola, that I decided, not for the first time, to enter it as my column, to be run just across the page from the editorial on the same day, with my Editorial Board colleagues Edwin Madunagu and Sully Abu signing on as co-authors. We felt vindicated when publisher Alex Ibru called the day the publication appeared to ask why we had run two editorials on the same subject in the same edition of the paper. Feigning ignorance, I replied we had run only one editorial, on the Maroko evacuations. “What of the one signed by you and your colleagues? Isn’t that also an editorial?” he asked, with quiet persistence. We had prepared it as The Guardian’s editorial, I told him, but the editor-in-chief had watered it down so much that we had felt compelled to enter in our names a position we could live with. “That should have been our editorial,” Ibru said. To return to Maroko: The place was sandfilled at the public expense and parceled out to the favoured and the well-connected. The evacuees were left to fend for themselves. Today, Maroko, re-named Victoria Island Extension to erase its ghastly history from memory, stands as one of the more opulent neighbourhoods in Nigeria, a monument to the dispossession of the disconnected for the benefit of the privileged.

HARDBALL

SANYA ONI

Now, fast-forward 22 years to the mainland, to another shanty town called Makoko that has entrenched itself on Ebute-Metta beachfront and well into the putrid waters of the lagoon. Like Maroko, it was an affront to human dignity. Smoke billowed non-stop from heaps of sawdust dotting the landscape, putting the health of residents and indeed the entire neighbourhood at risk. Rickety gangways took the place of roads, and the lagoon served as the community’s lavatory. Makoko was beyond rehabilitation, and had to go sooner or later, for the sake of its residents and the larger community. There is no reason at this time to presume that the plan is to rebuild the waterfront and parcel it out to the well-connected, as was the case in Maroko. On that point, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola deserves the benefit of any doubt. Sadly, in pursuing an unexceptionable goal, the authorities employed tactics resembling those used by Colonel Rasaki in the sacking of Maroko. Absent was the compassion that has been the hallmark of the Fashola administration, the solicitude for victims of an inequitable social order. The residents said they were given just one week to relocate, at the height of the rainy season. A prominent resident was shot to death by the police. No temporary shelter was provided. The displaced residents were simply left to their own devices. Even if they were squatters, does that condition strip them of the right to humane treatment? Yet, the immediate aftermath shows how far along the road to democracy Nigeria has travelled in the 22 years between Maroko and Makoko. The displaced residents of Makoko took their case right up to Alausa, the seat of the Lagos State Government, where Governor Fashola addressed them in person. If the displaced residents of Maroko had attempted that kind of march, they would have been dispersed by main force. The Human Rights Commission, under the dynamic leadership of Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, says it is prepared to inquire into whether agents of the Lagos State Government committed human rights violations in their Makoko expedition. If the Commission makes such a finding, it should not flinch from ordering restitution. As a Senior Advocate of Nigeria committed to the rule of law, Governor Fashola should comply with any such order. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Boko Haram needles a humourless presidency

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N early April, a few members of US President Barack Obama’s advanced security team were involved in a sex scandal during the American leader’s visit to Colombia. The scandal, which broke out in the picturesque beach resort city of Cartagena, greatly embarrassed Obama and led to a string of disciplinary measures involving about 12 secret service agents. But in late April, during the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner, Obama tried to make light of the Colombian incident. After making many rib-cracking jokes, and perhaps exhausted by a clearly long but enjoyable evening, he brought the house down with this memorable putdown: “I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew,” of course referring to the prostitution scandal that gripped the Secret Service. You had to be extremely melancholic not to get the joke. Nigerians would wish President Goodluck Jonathan were half as funny. Too incapable of being serious when seriousness was desired, and yet incapable of being lighthearted when lightheartedness was desired, the president has weighed down his presidency with a siege mentality of his government’s making. For instance, he can neither make fun of the Action Congress of Nigeria’s relentless press releases, even though that party offers plenty of room, nor

sally forth against the languid Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), which rides on the coattails of its leader. Instead of reading newspapers to acquaint himself with the perspectives of his worst critics, many of them columnists, he leaves the thankless job of redacting stale and, as he put it despondently during his last media chat, abusive opinions entirely to grumpy aides. He, therefore, cannot throw vulnerable critics off balance with wit. Worse for him, nearly all his aides and ministers are tarred with the same brush of absolute and unremitting gloominess. This is probably why in the past one year the President has been unable to grasp the fact that Boko Haram leaders loved to make him nervous. Jonathan has tried his best to get the violent sect to the negotiating table, especially after the government’s best military efforts had become, well, anticlimactic. But not only have the sect’s leaders shifted the goal post of peace terms repeatedly, as if baiting their quarry; they have also mocked the government’s futile and desperate struggles. Jonathan is too serious to appreciate the fact that Boko Haram leaders are simply needling him. In fact, believing the President to be too far gone in his humourlessness, the sect’s leaders have released another video message advising him to either resign or convert to Islam in order for peace to reign. Of course, even if he did,

there would be yet other conditions. As the sect expected, however, presidential aides reacted angrily. Must the sect tell the President to take a few concubines before he gets the drift? The situation facing his presidency may be dire, but it is perhaps time he sought out a few politically conscious humour merchants to requite Boko Haram the witty misery it deserves. Jonathan’s government may have written tragedies into our national life, and we may be fated to endure a few more years of blackening gloom, but let him at least get us laughing, and Boko Haram leaders fidgeting on hot coals and struggling to match the president’s brutal sarcasm. One of his predecessors, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was famous for his trademark ribaldry; but that is hardly appropriate now, at least not with the violent sect running rings round him. We want superior wit, one that can neutralise Boko Haram’s cruel jokes and also encourage us to believe, against all odds, that his anti-terror war is not quite as hopeless as his government has managed by its slothfulness to make it. Dame Patience, we must warn, should never lead this charge of the lighthearted brigade, in case she offers her cavalry. She is even more poker-faced than the president. If in doubt, ask Rotimi Amaechi or Seriake Dickson.

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