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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

Fani-Kayode attacks Obasanjo

Aregbesola denies cancer rumour


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•Governor speaks from Saudi Arabia

•Ex-Minister backs Babangida

VOL. 7, NO. 1860 MONDAY, AUGUST 22, 2011

NBA advises Jonathan to ignore NJC on Salami




•Lawyers to boycott SANs ceremony From Bisi Olaniyi and John Austin Unachukwu, Port Harcourt


AWYERS yesterday took a stand on the crisis of integrity rocking the judiciary. The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) resolved to boycott the activities of the National Judicial Council (NJC) over its handling of the feud between outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Aloysius KatsinaAlu and Court of Appeal President Isa Ayo Salami. It urged its members to stay away from NJC’s activities. The NBA also advised President Goodluck Jonathan to hands off the matter by declining to act on the recommendation of the NJC to fire Justice Salami. The umbrella body of lawyers also directed its members to boycott Friday’s swearing in of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). Those to receive the honour are also expected to stay away or be sanctioned. The National Executive Committee (NEC)

•Acting chief for Court of Appeal P10

Continued on page 2

•Tens of thousands of Libyans celebrate what the rebels claim to be the first uprising in Tripoli against the Gaddafi’s regime at Freedom Square in Benghazi ... last night. PHOTO: REUTERS •Al-Saif

Gaddafi ... the end Rebels seize Tripoli as 41-year old regime crumbles Sons Mohammed, Al-Saif captured in village Gaddafi likely to go on exile in Angola or Zimbabwe

T •Col. Gaddafi

HE fate of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was hanging in the balance this morning, as rebel forces seized the capital, Tripoli. Gaddafi, who has ruled the North African country for 41 years, was expected to be flown out of the city, following reports that two South African planes were in standby at the airport. South African President

Jacob Zuma has been at the forefront of negotiations to resolve the uprising in Libya, but Gaddafi resisted the peace moves. There was jubilation as the rebel forces stormed Tripoli, at first facing no obstacle and later encountering some resistance from Gaddafi troops as they approached the Green Square – the seat of power. Some of Gaddafi’s guards were said to have dropped

their arms. The headquarters of the Presidential Guard was deserted. Earlier reports said Gaddafi’s sons, Mohammed and Al-Saif had been captured. They were arrested at a tourist village in Western Tripoli. Gaddafi made a broadcast from an unknown destination, urging Tripoli residents to rise against the rebels. Britain last night called on

Gaddafi to stand down to save his people from further suffering. As television pictures showed euphoric rebel fighters sweeping into Tripoli, Downing Street said it was clear that the “end is near” for the Libyan leader. “It is clear from the scenes we are witnessing in Tripoli that the end is near for Gaddafi,” the No 10 statement said.

“He has committed appalling crimes against the people of Libya and he must go now to avoid any further suffering for his own people.” Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told a press conference in Tripoli: “NATO has intensified its attacks on and around Tripoli, giving imContinued on page 2





Gaddafi ... the end Continued from page 1

•From Left: Chairman of Dominion Farms Mr Calvin Burgess, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Taraba Governor Danbaba Suntai, Kenya-based rice farmer Diah and others in Jalingo ... at the weekend. Story on page 9.

mediate and direct support for the rebels’ forces to advance into a peaceful capital of this great nation and the death toll is beyond imagination.” He said 1,300 people had been killed in the city in the previous 11 hours, with 5,000 injured. “The hospitals cannot cope with such a death toll,” he added. The spokesman described Tripoli as a peaceful city that had been turned into a “hell fire” because of NATO’s actions. There appeared to be little resistance as a rebel convoy advanced through the western outskirts of the capital towards the city centre. Sky News television pic-

tures showed jubilant residents pouring onto the streets to celebrate and greet the rebel fighters. There were reports that Gaddafi’s presidential guards had laid down their arms and surrendered to the advancing rebels. The United States urged the Transitional Council to start planning for a post-Gaddafi era. NATO, which led the attacks that saw the end of the regime, said it was ready to work with the Transitional Council. Gaddafi released a second audio tape, saying he would not leave Tripoli. He said those supporting the rebels “will remain slaves of imperialists”. He also appealed for “Save Tripoli”.

Fani-Kayode to Obasanjo: you should be grateful to Babangida


HERE seems to be no end to the bitter row between former leaders Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. Former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode, joined the fray yesterday. He said it was a grave mistake for ex-President Obasanjo to have insulted ex-Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. He said rather than insulting Babangida, Obasanjo ought to be eternally grateful to the former Military President. Fani-Kayode, who was a Minister in the Obasanjo administration, issued a statement in Abuja, saying: “I have the honour and privilege of knowing both of these elder statesmen and I have tremen-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

dous affection for them both. I served in President Obasanjo’s government and I gave him my all. He, in turn, gave me the opportunity to serve my country and for that I am eternally grateful to him. However, we must put sentiment aside when looking at this issue. “Whilst I do not subscribe to the view or accept the notion that the Obasanjo administration was a failure and that it did not achieve anything, I do believe that Obasanjo made a grave mistake and indeed inflicted a deep spiritual wound on himself by insulting General Ibrahim Babangida in the way that he did. “Calling Babangida a fool at 70 does not help matters and

frankly it befuddles and beclouds the issues. Obasanjo should have responded to the issues raised by Babangida with far more restraint and he should not have insulted him.” Fani-Kayode said it was not out of place for Babangida to have fired back at Obasanjo the way he did. He added: “I am not in the least bit surprised that Babangida responded to those insults in the way that he did. You do not call me a fool at 70 the day after my birthday and expect me to keep quiet and smile, no matter what or who you think you are and no matter what may have provoked you. “Those that are around Baba today should have told him

that. He left himself wide open for a solid counterpunch and a devastating right hook there. I have said it before and I will say it again, you cannot repay good with evil and get away with it for long. The Bible says “He who repays good with evil, evil will never leave his household”. “Let me give you two reasons why I am referring to this scripture in this context. The first reason is because President Obasanjo would never have become military Head of State in 1976 had it not been for the fact that Col. Babangida (as he then was) courageously and singlehandedly disarmed Lt.-Col. Dimka and foiled his coup attempt after the latter and his group had successfully assas-

sinated the then Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed. “Had that coup been successful, Obasanjo would have been shot by Dimka as well and he would never have gone on to succeed Murtala Mohammed. Had it not been for Babangida’s unflinching loyalty to the government of the day and his decision to follow General T.Y. Danjuma’s orders to the letter and courageously confront Dimka at the radio station, disarmed him and crushed the coup, Obasanjo would not have been in a position to do all those wonderful things that he mentioned that he did when he was military Head of State between 1976 and 1979 because he would have been shot. That is the first reason

that he should be grateful to Babangida. For the second reason, let us fast forward by 20 years from 1979 to 1999. “Again, President Obasanjo has to be eternally grateful to General Babangida because had it not been for the latter he would not have been released from jail, pardoned, rehabilitated, funded and installed as President in 1999. “This is an incontrovertible fact. Obasanjo went on from there to become one of the greatest Presidents in our history and his record of performance between 1999 and 2007, in my view, is first class and second to none. The records are there for all to see and the facts speak for themselves. Continued on page 10

Lawyers advise Jonathan to ignore NJC on Salami Continued from page 1

of the NBA took the decision yesterday. It adopted wholly the address of its president Joseph Daudu (SAN). Daudu read a communiqué of the meting, which is a prelude to the Annual Bar Conference holding in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, from today. It is the 51st NBA annual conference. The NBA expressed displeasure over the attitude of the NJC members. It said they took the illegal and unconstitutional decision of suspending Justice Salami, after he had filed suits challenging its recommendations in the dispute between him and Justice Katsina-Alu. Daudu said: “Nowhere in Section 158 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows the NJC to proceed with the action it took, regardless of the pendency of court proceedings. “The aforementioned section is not an ouster clause to the powers of the court to intervene and correct any perceived error made by the NJC, which has provided a cause of action to the injured party. “Section 6(1) of the 1999 Constitution explicitly provides that the judicial powers of the federation shall be vested in the courts. “If the framers of the constitution had wanted to exclude courts from interfering

Why Jonathan should ignore NJC’s recommendations, by Falana


AGOS lawyer Femi Falana has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to disregard the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), which has asked him to retire Court of Appeal President Isa Ayo Salami. He said: *by virtue of Section 292(1) of the Constitution, the President of the Court of Appeal can only be removed from office by the President, acting on an address supported by two-thirds of the Senate. Apart from recommending to the President the removal of the President of the Court of Appeal, the NJC lacks the power to remove him through suspension from office. By suspending Justice Salami from office, the NJC acted ultra vires; *Under Section 238 of the Constitution, if the office of the President of the Court of Appeal becomes vacant, the President of Nigeria “shall appoint the most senior Justice of the Court of Appeal to perform those functions”, pending the appointment of the President of the Court. By directing the most senior Justice of the Court of Appeal to in the process of the NJC, it would have been expressly said in Section 158 of the said constitution. “NBA will not sit idle and watch the legal profession ridiculed and brought into disrepute in the public domain. “NBA will withdraw its members from the NJC, pending when appropriate amendments to the constitution will be made inter alia; increasing NBA membership from five to 10.”

take over the functions of the office of the President of the Court of Appeal, the National Judicial Council has usurped the powers of the President of Nigeria; *Having publicly acknowledged through an advertorial that it had been served with the originating process in the case filed by Justice Salami at the Federal High Court challenging the legal validity of the request of the NJC that he should apologise for allegedly lying on oath, the purported suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal from office is illegal and contemptuous. Before now the NJC had always suspended deliberations on any matter that was pending in court so as not to present the Court with a fait accompli. With respect to the petition alleging misconduct against Justice Thomas Naron, the NJC stated that it could not deal with the complaint because the petition filed by Mr Rauf Aregbesola against the election of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in Osun State was pending at the Court of Appeal at the material time. Even under a military dictatorship, the Supreme Court held in the Governor of

The NBA called for the restructuring of the NJC membership and functions in such a way as to make the body functional and less prone to dictatorship and abuse of power. The lawyers said the decision of the CJN to fix the SANs’ inauguration on the closing ceremony of NBA’s annual conference was an affront and disrespect to the Bar. Daudu said in February he notified the CJN of the NBA conference and was aware

Lagos State v. Emeka Ojukwu (1986) 2 NWLR (PT 18) 621 that once a law court is seized of a matter, parties should maintain the status quo so as not to render the proceedings before the Court nugatory. Having taken the law into its hands, the President should not endorse the malicious actions of the NJC; *By withdrawing the security of the President of the Court of Appeal when the President of Nigeria had not acted on the recommendation that Justice Salami be removed from office, the NJC has treated the office of the President of Nigeria with total disdain, which should not be condoned by President Jonathan. The InspectorGeneral of Police deserves commendation for restoring the security of the President of the Court of Appeal illegally withdrawn on the orders of the NJC. In view of the pending suit before the Federal High Court, coupled with the lack of respect for the office of the President of Nigeria, I urge President Jonathan to discountenance the illegal recommendation of the NJC that Justice Salami be retired as the President of the Court of Appeal.

that September 19 had earlier been fixed as the date for the inauguration of the new SANs. NBA insisted that the September date was an appropriate date, as it is traditional to swear in new SANs at the opening of new year. It added: “NEC, hence, decided that the Bar shall boycott the ceremony and all her members have been advised to stay away, including those to be conferred with the rank of SAN.

“It was resolved that any legal practitioner that attends the ceremony will not be referred to by members of the NBA with any rank he possesses. “Similarly, if the person is in any NBA body, such as the Body of Benchers, he would lose all privileges and be stripped of membership of any committee or body that the NBA participates in.” The NBA urged Justice Katsina-Alu to shift the inauguration of the SANs to Sep-

tember 19, as earlier fixed. President Jonathan will today at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, declare the NBA conference open. Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka is expected to be the keynote speaker at an event to be attended by no fewer than 10,000 lawyers and other stakeholders. Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Mr. Suleiman Abba, said the command and other security agencies would ensure adequate protection of lives and property. He lauded Governor Rotimi Amaechi for his administration’s support. --The NBA President said: “This conference comes at a time when the legal profession is reeling from a serious crisis of confidence precipitated not by or within the Bar, but by our alter-ego, the Bench. We do not among us need to define who members of the Bench are, suffice to say that they are entrusted with the sacred duty of adjudicating disputes between person’s inter-se and between government and other persons with a view to determining their civil rights and obligations. This hallowed function carries with it onerous obligations requiring of the occupants of such high office certain sterling qualities. The public expects of members of the bench total commitment to the cause of justice. Continued on page 10

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‘Suspension was targetted at frustrating CPC petition’ T HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday said the suspension of the Court of Appeal President Isa Ayo Salami by the National Judicial Council (NJC), was a calculated attempt to frustrate its (CPC) presidential petition. The party, in a statement said: “What is unquestionably discernible in this entire saga is that it was not Justice Salami that is the target but the CPC Presidential Petition which his court is adjudicating on! The hush-hush manner in which this spectacle of the In fra dig is being executed gives the impression that a timeline is being strictly adhered to.” It asked why the NJC is not allowing the normal constitutional provision of making recommendation to the President to prevail? : “Why did the NJC refuse to be served the summons in the suit filed against it by Justice Salami? Why did the NJC choose to still discuss a matter that is already pending in a High Court? Why did NJC suspend Justice Salami, thereby effectively removing him from his office contrary to the provision of the Constitution? According to the statement

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin: “The next hearing in the Motion for Judgment filed by CPC is August 29. Is NJC trying to work to ensure that a more malleable judicial officer is in the saddle before that date? This lends credence to the widely held notion that this decision was taken with a purpose to frustrate the CPC Presidential petition and render it time-barred. “Without any scintilla of doubt, the greatest tragedy that can befall the Nigerian nation is when the Judiciary, as the bastion in the defence of the rights of the oppressed, becomes noxiously compromised and made prostrate. The party went on: “The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is horrified by the meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) of Thursday, 18th August, 2011, wherein Justice Isa Ayo Salami, President Court of Appeal (PCA) was suspended and ordered to hand over to the

‘Without any scintilla of doubt, the greatest tragedy that can befall the Nigerian nation is when the Judiciary, as the bastion in the defence of the rights of the oppressed, becomes noxiously compromised and made prostrate’

next in seniority. In a manner reminiscent of a witless regurgitation of prepared script, the NJC carried out a hatchet job that careful watchers had anticipated for quite a while. It is still mind-boggling that the same NJC that admitted the intervention

of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, in the Sokoto governorship petition appeal suit, which was clearly outside his judicial powers; went ahead to pronounce a ‘guilty as charged’ sentence on Justice Salami for daring to challenge the impunity of his boss. In a 23-member body where the CJN accounts for the appointment of 20 members (including himself), it is hardly conceivable that the same body can ever apprehend the CJN for any malfeasance! “Indeed the preponderant view within the polity is that this ignoble decision has opened a new vista in Nigeria ’s season of anomie. The 3rd Schedule I (21b) of the Constitution states that the NJC shall: “Recommend to the President the removal from office of the Judicial Officers specified in Sub Paragraph (a) of this Paragraph and to exercise disciplinary control over such officers. “ “Thereafter, Rule of Law gives way to the Ruse of Law; anarchy and unimaginable disequilibrium subsist. As a party, we still believe that the Nigerian nation can be saved from this web of orchestrated, selfish and needless crisis of confidence on the judicial arm of Government.”

It’s hatchet job, says ACN


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday accused the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) of carrying out a hatchet job by suspending Court of Appeal (PCA), President Justice Ayo Salami. The party, in a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said having had more time to study the NJC’s decision, it was left with no choice but to conclude that the NJC embarked on a hatchet job. It said the conclusion was reinforced by three key issues: evasion of service, smuggling of the issue into the agenda of the last NJC meeting and the fact that the council simply overreached itself, and wondered why a body established to be the custodian of the rule of law and judicial tenets would ignore the fundamentals of the rule of law in arriving at the decision to suspend Justice Salami. ACN described as specious, the NJC’s argument that it evaded being served the court summons by Justice Salami’s lawyers because the

By Nneka Nwaneri

documents were not signed and dated, saying the NJC should know that it is for the court, not the council, to determine which writ is effective or not. ‘’To us as a party, the most egregious of the faux pas committed by the NJC in the Justice Salami’s case is the evasion of service. This is the height of lawlessness and judicial rascality. Can an individual do that and escape punishment? Can any member of the NJC pretend not to know that Salami has gone to court over this issue?. ‘’By thumbing its nose at the fundamentals of the rule of law, the NJC has only succeeded in selfdestructing. Hitherto, the council was regarded by many as a body comprising men and women of honour and integrity. Now the NJC has demystified itself and, in the process, achieved the collateral damage of dragging its name in the mud,’’ the party said. It also said the fact that the issue was not on the agenda of the NJC

meeting at which Justice Salami was suspended - only for it to be smuggled into the agenda by those hell bent on getting at Salami - was the clearest indication that the council was carrying out a hatchet job. ACN said the NJC finally showed its true hand by even acting beyond its powers to suspend Justice Salami. ‘’NJC, more than any other body, ought to know that in accordance with Section 292 of the 1999 Constitution, the President of the Court of Appeal is among the judicial officers who can only be removed by the President, acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate. ‘’Therefore, by suspending Justice Salami and asking him to hand over to the next most senior officer, the NJC has not only violated the Constitution it acted ultra vires by usurping the functions of the President and the Senate, both at once!’’ the party said. It wondered what informed the desperation of the NJC to such an extent that it was ready and willing

•Justice Salami

to trample on the rule of law, denigrate the judiciary and turn Nigeria into a laughing stock in the comity of nations.

Lawyer asks Jonathan to ignore NJC By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

CTIVIST-lawyer Morakinyo Ogele has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore the call by the National Judicial Council (NJC) for the retirement of the Court of Appeal (PCA) President, Justice Ayo Salami, even as he sought immediate dissolution of the Council. The NJC had, on Thursday, announced the suspension of Justice Ayo Salami for refusing to apologise to the Council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, after a panel of the Council found him to have lied against the CJN. The council had further recommended to President Jonathan, the retirement of Justice Salami. Speaking with The Nation yesterday, Ogele said: “The decision of the NJC presents this country to the whole world as a lawless country where the rule of law has been jettisoned. It is highly disappointing and embarrassing that such a decision came from those who are supposed to be the ones that will garnish the rule of law with all decency. We are again witnessing another blatant breach of the rule of law by our jurists.” Describing the NJC’s decision as not only unconstitutional but a breach of natural justice at the highest degree, the lawyer said it ran foul of the two pillars of rule of law, adding: “The NJC is the accuser, the prosecutor and the judge in the matter. Justice Salami has not been given a fair trial.” Explaining the position, Ogele said: “The Auta Panel has no power to try anybody over a criminal matter. Again, this matter was pending before a competent court of law when our jurists came out with the magical decision. There is no way the outcome of the NJC’s stand could be sustained within the tenets of rule of law and so, the whole decision is null and void.” The most ridiculous aspect of the matter, according to him, is that the NJC set up a panel that initially exonerated Justice Salami and thus, the Council felt disappointed; hence, it raised the Auta Panel to nail the respected Justice.


Ekiti NBA to Jonathan: shun Council From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti

KITI State Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Owoseeni Ajayi , has said it will be wrong for President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Appeal Court President, Justice Isa Salami, on the recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC). Owoseeni, who was Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state said it would be prejudicial and make nonsense of the powers of the Court, for the President to act on such recommendation of the NJC when Salami has already challenged his forceful removal in a court of competent jurisdiction. Owoseeni spoke at the weekend in a telephone interaction with reporters in Ado Ekiti on the heels of the lingering crisis in the judiciary. The NBA chair f advised President Jonathan to disregard the NJC’s recommendation, so that the powers of the court and its sanctity can be protected in the interest of justice..


•Pupils of the Lagos State Junior Model College Aja, being conducted round the Lagos Island Independent Power Project, Marina Lagos, by the Project Engineer, Tajudeen Sikiru, as part of the on-going Energy Awareness Programme for Public Schools in the the weekend




Aregbesola denies cancer rumour

‘There won’t be arbitrary contract revocation’


•Governor says he’s hale, hearty


OVERNOR Aregbesola is in Saudi Arabia where he is performing the Lesser hajj (Umrah) and will return at the end of the programme.” The above were the words of the Director of Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, who joined issues with an Ogun-based newspaper on the alleged ill-health of Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola. Okanlawon said the report was not only far from the truth, but an irresponsible move to create confusion in the society. He accused the newspaper of acting the script of some mischief makers whose stock-in-trade is to dish out falsehood just to score cheap political points. The newspaper had alleged that the governor was down with cancer. But Okanlawon quoted his boss as saying: “I am hale and hearty.” Describing the report published by the newspaper as “complete falsehood,” Okanlawon, declared that Aregbesola had never hidden his state of health. He said: “He made it public after the general elections in May this year that he needed medical rest and proceeded to observe the rest for two weeks abroad. He returned to the state to energetically re-

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

sume his functions of office. “He has been in company of family, aides, friends and members of the public who can attest to his convivial mien and glowing spirit. It is, therefore, most uncharitable to allege that he has cancer. “The hallmark of responsible journalism is to follow the truth and report facts, not fiction. It is generally accepted in all cultures as evil to bear a false tale on the state of another man’s health. It amounts to playing God. It is a most egregious invasion of privacy in the devilish attempt to create confusion in the minds of the public. “This latest attempt by the Nigerian Compass to bear evil report on the state of the governor’s health is part of the orchestrated campaign by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), using a discredited section of the media. Reporting on health matter is not and has never been a subject of speculation. This must be factbacked with an incontrovertible medical report, even if obtained from confidential sources.” According to the director, immediately the governor announced his medical rest trip abroad, the ‘PDP and its media’ began speculating that he collapsed and had to be rushed abroad, saying the report turned out to be false.

‘Nigeria vulnerable to food crisis’ NIGERIA is vulnerable to food crisis like any other country in the world, Dr Kanayo Nwanze, the President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the UN, has warned. Nwanze gave the warning on Sunday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). “Nigeria is one of the five countries that is vulnerable to food crisis like any other country in the world. “The reason for this is very simple. If you end up importing over 50 per cent of what you consume to a country, then you are subject to international vagaries of prices, weather and what have you and with climate change. “You see, if a country is highly dependant on food imports, there is no way it can assure the means of feeding its people. “Because, even if you have the money and there is severe crisis like drought, they will want to feed the population first,” he said. The IFAD president explained that the drought that ravaged some parts of Russia last year made the government to ban wheat exports. He also recalled that the flood that submerged large areas of Pakistan last year, affected rice production in that country.

•Aregbesola (middle), House of Representatives member representing Osogbo/Olorunda/ Orolu/Irepodun, Lasun Yusuf (left) and Senator Mudashiru Hussain at the Haram Makkah Mosque, Saudi Arabia performing lesser hajj ...yesterday

He also said the detractors attempted to make an issue of the state cabinet but were ‘profoundly shamed’ when the list of commissioners and advisers came out and turned out to be the best the state ever assembled. His words:”They have also been going about, evidently out of idleness, to

rubbish the creation of 20,000 jobs through the OYES, but the scheme turns out to be a phenomenal success. “Given that the PDP has earned notoriety for being a nest of killers, the party’s death wish on Governor Aregbesola is a Freudian slip and true to type of their apt description by Prof. Wole Soyinka. Governor Aregbe-

sola is undaunted by the campaign of calumny against his high flying and well-acclaimed administration. “He is totally dedicated to the cause of his people, in or out of town. The report of ill-health is no doubt the handiwork of mischief makers and should be shunned in its entirety.”

ANPP: deregistration of parties undemocratic


HE National Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday described the deregistration of seven political parties as undemocratic. Onu said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) went too far. He said: “It is our view that political parties should exist at the pleasure of the electorate who have the ultimate decision as to whether parties should exist or not by popular votes during elections.” The ANPP boss urged the National Assembly to amend the sections of the Electoral Act which empower INEC to deregister political parties.

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

The statement reads: “Our great political party views as undemocratic, the recent decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to de-register seven political parties. “It is important to point out that the leaders and members of these parties that have been deregistered can at a future date form new political parties. The question therefore becomes: what then have we gained? “Our great party is worried that by its action, INEC has fatally injured the inalienable right of the Nige-

rian people to free choice in the political process. “Political parties are living organisms. Their life and death can only be determined by the source of their existence: the people. Accordingly, by the action of INEC in this regard, it has removed the Nigerian people from the sacred responsibility of exercising its sovereign control in a multi-party democracy. “Pursuant to the foregoing, we call on the National Assembly to initiate immediate steps to amend the relevant sections of the Electoral Act from where INEC derived its powers to deregister political parties. “Our great Party strongly


believes that at this stage of our development as a nation, efforts should be made to ensure that we deepen the base and broaden the reach of our multiparty democracy in order to guarantee free choice, consolidate the power of the vote and strengthen the sanctity of the electorate as the inviolable residence of popular sovereignty.”

Baraje vows to fight injustice, indiscipline in PDP


HE Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje yesterday promised to fight indiscipline and lack of due process within the party. Baraje, in a statement in Abuja, said unless these obstacles are eliminated, the PDP would not be able to realise its goal of becoming Nigeria’s flagship political organization. He added that he would want his tenure to be “evaluated and assessed by his commitment to the preservation of justice and adherence to due process and rule of law”, arguing that it is the “only way

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

discipline can be genuinely enforced in the party.” According to the PDP boss, the National Working Committee (NWC) which he currently leads inherited a party that was “highly indisciplined and devastated by lack of internal democracy.” He said efforts made to restore due process and rule of law had yielded considerable results. Baraje said: “What we need to achieve now is to ensure that people are treated in accordance with

laid-down regulations of the party and grievances are treated in accordance with the party’s constitution so that people will have confidence in the party and its leadership instead of rushing to the courts whenever they have even the slightest issues. “We have been experiencing irregular incidents in the party in the recent past. There have also been irregular solutions with unpalatable outcomes for members thereby creating a situation of agitation, displeasure and discontentment. When people are bottled up for a long time, they resort to gross violation

of law and due process. “This is why you see our members take the law into their hands by going to court without necessarily following the due process stipulated by our constitution. I want to assure our members that that era is gone. “The party is supreme. A party that takes a decision today that appears as if it is against you, it is in the interest of the oneness of the party. If you don’t win an election today and the party says you did not win, let whoever wins go. You will win tomorrow.”

HE provisions of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Act do not allow Public Private Partnership agreements to be arbitrarily revoked by government, Director-General of the Commission, Mansur Ahmed, has said. Ahmed told newsmen in Abuja yesterday that it is not unusual for individuals and institutions to seek government’s intervention where concessionaires for government infrastructure deliver below expectation. He said:”It is important, however, to know that every concession contract contains provisions for addressing poor or non-performance by either party. Dispute resolution clauses are usually provided and are available to either party where the conditions arise. Termination, in line with the provisions of the contract rather than revocation, is usually the last resort.” Reacting to alleged threat by the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Ada Oduah, to revoke PPP contracts in the aviation sector, Ahmed said: “The position of the honourable minister is that the aviation ministry and its agencies would study all PPP contracts that are failing in order for them to invoke the relevant provisions of the contracts, either to re-negotiate or bring such contracts to an end in compliance with the terms and conditions of the respective contracts.” According to him, while contract revocation suggests arbitrariness, termination is usually as provided in the terms of the contract. He noted that the ICRC was intervening in the crises between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and its concessionaires, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited and Maevis Limited. “We have had a series of meetings with the parties. We are also making considerable progress in resolving the issues. Our efforts are guided by the relevant laws, provisions of the concession contracts signed by the parties, public interest and the projects’ objectives.”

Jonathan assures Guinea Bissau of support


RESIDENT Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has assured President Bacai Sanha of Guinea Bissau that Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), will support efforts towards the implementation of the body’s pledge to assist the socio-political rehabilitation of the country. President Jonathan spoke at the weekend while hosting Mr. Adelino Mano Queta, Minister of Foreign Relations, International Cooperation and Communities of Guinea Bissau, who brought a special message to the State House Abuja. He stated: “during our forthcoming meeting in September, we will discuss the issue and with the help of our international partners, assist your country”.




Gunmen attack Osun ACN chieftain’s convoy


UNMEN, suspected to be armed robbers, yesterday attacked a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State, Senator Adebayo Salami. He narrowly escaped death when the hoodlums ambushed his convoy and opened fire on his cars on Osogbo-Iwo road. It was gathered that Salami was going to represent Governor Rauf Aregbesola as the guest of honour at a

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Ramadan lecture organised by the Arabic and Islamic Propagation Centre, Iwo, when he was attacked. An eyewitness said at 10.30am, the senator’s two cars ran into the armed robbers, suspected to be Fulani, at a spot near Songbe village, about 30 kilometers from Osogbo, the state capital. The senator and members of his entourage were

unhurt though the cars were riddled with bullets. The eyewitness said about 20 young Fulani were among members of the armed gang that attacked Salami, who represented Osun Central Senatorial District between 1999 and 2003 at the National Assembly. It was also gathered that the driver of the black Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle (SUV), with registration number (Lagos) TX 494 AAA, in which Salami was travelling

with the accompanying car had to make a U-turn and drive with the reverse gear from the scene of the robbery. About 60 bullets were said to have been shot at the cars. The senator was said to have reported the matter at a police station in Awo, the headquarters of Egbedore Local Government Area. When some policemen from the police station drove to the scene, the

hoodlums were said to have fled. The hoodlums were said to have machete a motorist, leaving him in a pool of blood. Police Commissioner Sololom Olusegun said he was yet to be briefed on the matter. He promised that investigation would begin into the matter when it is documented, saying the hoodlums would be apprehended.

Aliyu seeks scrap of pre-ND From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu has called for the scrapping of pre-National Diploma (ND) programmes by polytechnics. He described such programmes as a fertile ground for laziness and sundry academic under-practices. Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting of the Niger State Polytechnic, Zungeru, the governor noted that scrapping the programme would make secondary school pupils work harder to gain admission into tertiary institutions, rather than rely on pre-ND programmes. Aliyu noted that the programmes had been abused. He said: “I strongly believe that non-availability of the preND programmes would serve to challenge youths into working hard to obtain the necessary grades and be eligible to study for National Diploma programmes.” The governor was at the polytechnic as part of his administration’s move to reposition it. Arguing that the pre-HD programmes lacked the recognition of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Aliyu said holders of such certificates would face discrimination in the labour market. He expressed the fear that employers of labour might not be freely disposed to engaging those with such certificates. The governor noted that preND programmes had gone out of place because of official considerations. According to him, even the state government no longer recognised the programmes because of availability of more qualified applicants. He also frowned at the shortage of accommodation at the institution. Aliyu said it was bad that out of 4,000 students, only about 1,000 had accommodation in the school.


Lagos ACN: 2,600 aspirants for screening By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

LAGOS State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) will begin the final screening of councillorship aspirants on Wednesday at the preexisting 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs). A five-man committee set up by the State Executive Committee (SEC) of the party, led by Otunba Oladele Ajomale, will vet the aspirants’ nomination forms and certificates. The aspirants would also respond to questions arising from their membership, experiences, academic qualifications, conducts and contributions to ACN at the grassroots. After the three-day screening, the chairmen of the panels would submit their reports to the state leadership for ratification.

Kogi governorship: ‘I’m in the race’

•Mr. Gilbert Odior, Coordination Manager, Joint Operating Agreement, Mobil Producing Nigeria presenting a trophy to winners of the Primary School Project category, Idehen Deborah and Iheayen Iria of Edo State at this year’s STAN/Mobil National Science Quiz Competition.

Fed Govt to build N100m museum in Kano


HE Federal Government will build a N100 million international exhibition museum in Kano, Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has said. Duke spoke yesterday in Kano when he visited Governor Musa Kwankwaso at the Government House. The minister urged the state government to allocate two hectares of land for the take-off of the project this year. He said: “The size and quality of the museum we intend to build in Kano, being our first investment here, will be in the neighbourhood of N100 million.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

This will depend on how we progress with the project so that we can make subsequent provisions in our next budget. “The proposed museum will be as unique as Kano itself. Kano has an enviable place in the cultural heritage of Nigeria, and for us to bring in a museum of this nature into the four walls of the great city of Kano, we would bring global best practices to bear on the project so that the museum would have enviable facilities for the appreciation of the citizens and foreigners alike.” The minister noted that

the need for another museum, besides the Gidan Makama Museum in Kano, is because of lack of space for expansion. He added that the proposed museum would complement the existing one. Duke said there were plans to ensure that the Kano walls are documented in the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNESCO) list of world heritage sites. The minister expressed worry over illegal encroachment on the walls by excavators who extract the laterite for personal use. He appealed to the government to rebuild the famous Kofar Na’isa Gate, which was demolished in March, last

year, saying the ministry would soon embark on the preservation, maintenance and protection of the national monuments in Kano. Kwankwaso said his administration was working on how to improve the tourism potential of the state. The governor promised to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation and allocate a plot of land for the establishment of the museum. He said his government would use the tourism sector to create jobs and boost revenue generation.

A PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Kogi State, Alhaji Jibrin Isah Echocho, has denied reports that he has withdrawn from the race. Echocho, a former director of the defunct Afribank Plc, emerged the PDP candidate before the tenure of Governor Ibrahim Idris was elongated through a court judgment. In a statement by his media consultant, Mr Phrank Shuaibu, Echocho said it was untrue that he had withdrawn from the race.

Okonjo-Iweala, others for Southeast summit From Chris Oji, Enugu

MINISTER of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and renowned economist, Prof Anya O. Anya, are among eminent Nigerians who will make presentations at the Southeast Economic Summit early next month. A statement in Enugu by the secretary of the summit, Mr Amaechi Agboeze, said nearly all of the resource persons have confirmed their participation. It said the Executive Director of Addis Ababa, Ethiopiabased United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (NEPAD Division), Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie, will also deliver a paper at the summit.

Adebayo, Rasaki, Utomi, Dangote mourn Aikhomu


KITI State former Governor Niyi Adebayo; former Lagos State Military Administrator, Brig.Gen. Raji Rasaki; popular economist, Prof Pat Utomi; and President, Dangote Group of Indutries, Alhjai Aliko Dangote are among eminent Nigerians mourning former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, who died last Wednesday. They were at the Apapa home of the late Aikhomu yesterday to condole with the

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

family and Nigerians. They described him as a loyal Nigerian leader and a disciplinarian. Adebayo said the late Aikhomu was like an uncle to him, describing him as a very noble person. “He was a proper gentleman and a man of integrity; he was a man of objectivity; he was truthful and honest. Nigeria will definitely miss him,” Adebayo said. The former governor urged

the children of the deceased to emulate their father. In the condolence register, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, wrote: “Adieu to Nigeria’s illustrious son and a dutiful patriot.” Rasaki said Aikhomu was a good manager of men and resources. “We must remember him for his loyalty to the cause of this nation; we must remember him for his professional ethics and as a good disciplinarian. He was a very

pleasant man and a father to all of us who worked with him as professional soldiers,” he said. Rasaki prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Wakilin Adamawa, Amb. Hassan Adamu said the deceased work tirelessly for the unity of Nigerians. He said: “We lost a friend who has helped to build democracy. He lived well and served this country well. He has friends across the country and tribes. Certainly, Nigeria

will miss his counsel and experience. He was a gentleman. He deserves a national burial. He had been a good family man, a religious man who preached tolerance among religions and ethnic groups. He left a legacy for the unity of the Nigeria.” Adamu urged the family to remain united and Nigerian leaders to emulate the virtues of the late Naval chief. Dangote described the late Aikhomu as a gentleman

and a loyal Nigerian. He said: “I met him when he was Chief of Naval Staff. He was a fine officer. It is really a great loss, not only to the family but also to the nation. He died at 72, which is not really too old. Obviously, it was his time to leave. We will miss his elderly advice and experience. “We have come to realise, through his death, that nobody will live forever and that the legacy is a good thing we should strive to leave behind,” he said.



NEWS Ekiti magistrates at war with judiciary From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti


AGISTRATES in Ekiti State under the aegis of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN), has embarked on an indefinite strike to compel the state judiciary to effect 35 per cent increase in their salaries and other emoluments. In a letter of agitation addressed to the Acting Chief Judge and state chairman of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in Ado Ekiti at the weekend, the magistrates alleged that the implementation of an earlier salary increase of 27.5 per cent approved for all judiciary workers by the state government was not extended to the them. They noted that consequent upon this, the Acting Chief Judge advised them to approach government for negotiations on their demand which was eventually approved through a circular of May 13, 2011. They contended that, despite the approval, the JSC still refused to implement the approved 27.5 per cent. The magistrates lamented that the legal officers in the state ministry, who were encouraged to agitate for salary increase by the success of the magistrates eventually got an approval of 62.5 per cent which they have been enjoying. The magistrates have insisted that they would not settle for anything less than the 62.5 per cent approval awarded legal officers arising from an enabling law which establishes parity between legal officers and magistrates. The letter reads: “In view of this, we hereby ask the authority of Ekiti State Judiciary to urgently implement in favour of the magistrates, an increment that is based on the harmonisation law which put the increment of salary of legal officers at 62.5 per cent. “The implication of this is that magistrates are now asking for 62.5 per cent increase less 27.5 per cent which was implemented last year. The magistrates in Ekiti are therefore through this medium asking for an increment of 35 per cent in the interest of justice. When The Nation met the Chief Registrar of Ekiti State Judiciary, Mr. Abiodun Adesodun, in his office, he admitted there was a little hitch between the magistrates and the judiciary which had already been resolved. “It is an internal problem and is being resolved internally. There is no problem in the state judiciary”, Adesodun said.

Presidency considers new wage policy to save states I NDICATIONS emerged yesterday that the presidency is considering a new policy which will make minimum wage a concurrent matter to save insolvent states. With the development, a constitutional respite is coming for some states that cannot pay the new minimum wage of N18,000. The new policy is part of the proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution by the government. Besides, Local Government Allocations from the Federation Account will now be on First Line charge and will be disbursed directly to the 774 Local Governments like the case with the Judiciary But the government has ruled out the possibility of introducing State Police.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

According to findings, these amendments are some of the issues that the presidency will soon put in the public domain for debate by Nigerians. It was gathered that difficulty by many states in paying the new minimum wage of N18,000 has made the government to remove wage matter from the Exclusive List. Of the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory , only about eight states are considered financially strong enough to pay the new wage structure. The states are Rivers, Akwa

Ibom, Lagos , Kano , Delta, Kaduna , Ogun At present, Section 34 of Part 1, Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) places the wage system on the Exclusive List. The section says the following shall be on the Exclusive List: “ Labour, including trade unions, industrial relations; conditions, safety and welfare of labour; industrial disputes; prescribing a national minimum wage for the Federation or any part thereof; and industrial arbitration.” A top government source, who spoke in confidence, said: “There will be no more uniform wage

system for the country. This is part of the proposed new amendments to the 1999 Constitution in line with our transformation agenda. “Putting the wage issue will enable us to face the reality because states are not equally endowed. In a Federal nation like ours, the wage ought not to be imposed on states. “Once the wage is on the concurrent list, Labour will now go and sit down with states to negotiate on minimum wage affordable by each state. “At the end of the day, the Labour may be able to secure N40,000 minimum wage in some states like Rivers and Akwa Ibom than poor states like Yobe, Zamfara and Osun. “We have the support of the governors on this proposal. We also think that it will reduce high rate of industrial unrest in some states.”

Lagos to budget more funds for education, health


AGOS State Government has projected an increase in the year 2012 budgetary allocation for its health and education sectors just as it has cut down expenses on governance. The move, according to the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, is to fasttrack the state’s infrastructural renewal drive as well as sustain the implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage. Akabuaze, who addressed stakeholders at the Budget Consultative Forum held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, said the government has a plan to reorder sectoral allocations in this year’s fiscal budget, while acknowledging that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has hit N21.8 billion monthly. He listed the affected sectors as; general public service, economic affairs, environmental protection, housing and community amenities, recreation, culture and religion and social protection. The breakdown covers:

By Miriam Ndikanwu

general public service which took 26.8 per cent will be cut down to 24.17 per cent; economic affairs dropped from 31.59 per cent to 31 per cent; while environmental protection was cut from 8.16 per cent to 8.10 per cent. Other sectors are: housing and community amenities from 5.45 per cent to 5 per cent; recreation, culture and religion from 1.52 per cent to 1.36 per cent; while social protection was cut from 1.36 per cent to 0.90 per cent. However, social sectors including health and education will receive more money in next year’s appropriation as the government is set to increase their allocation from 8.40 per cent to 8.79 per cent and 13.08 per cent to 13.43 per cent respectively. Akabueze described the increase as a clear manifestation of the areas the government intends to prioritise saying that despite the drop from 31.59 to 31 per cent, the economic affairs sector is going to receive the largest share due to its infrastructural development components.”

Chieftain urges support for Ondo ACN

• Ilupeju (Lagos) Station Officer, Mr Odekunle Murtala being decorated as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Area E, Mr. Noah Adesoyin...

Gunmen kill two in Kaduna


UNMEN yesterday attacked a southern Kaduna village, Fadiya Bakut in Zangon Kataf Local Government and killed a security guard attached to the home of the village head and a five yearold-boy. The village head, Andrew Kazah Allahmagani told reporters that other victims of the incident were receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital. He said the attackers arrived the village at 12.30 am.


A former member of the House of Representatives, Jonathan Asake said he arrived the scene of the incident at about 7am. He said the House of the District Head was ridden with bullet shells, while about 20 unspent ammunition were collected from the scene. He said: “The invaders who came as early as 12:30am today shot dead some pigs. A lad of seven was caught by the bullet

while fleeing with his mother. The vigilance groups were overpowered and they ran into the bush. “But they soon summoned courage and returned to chase the fleeing invaders. It was then brought to their attention, that a man with blood stained clothes was sighted within the vicinity by dawn. A quick search uncovered the suspect. He was on the verge of being lynched

when the Police came to his rescue. He is now at the Zonkwa Police station.” Police Spokesman Mallam Aminu Lawa said the District head of Fadia, Mr. Andrew Kazzah, was the target. Lawan said a suspect has been arrested. “It was a case of homicide. And we have arrested one person. It is true that a security guard was killed. And a small boy was also killed. The target looked like the Chief of the place. It is not an attack on the village.”

Six feared dead as cholera hits Ibadan

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) House of Assembly candidate for Ose constituency in Ondo State, Mr. Tunji Osati yesterday canvassed support for the victory of the party in the next general elections. He said ACN is the only people-oriented party. Speaking to reporters in Akure, Osati hailed the recent resignation of Dr. Olaiya Oni as state Chairman of Labour Party (LP). He said: “The resignation did not come as a surprise to us, but has actually vindicated the reason why many of us left LP for ACN. “The LP’s administration has its negative trait, its top government officials are running secret government, they have been encouraging what is called “Cow boy” politics. “Imposition was being done with impunity during primaries, while promises made were not fulfilled and the real grassroot leaders were neglected.”

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna


ALPABLE fear has gripped residents of Ibadan over reports that six people have died of cholera in parts of the city within two days. At a clinic in an undisclosed area of Ibadan North West Local Government four people were confirmed dead by the authorities while an unspecified number of patients were said to be on admission. The Director of Environmental Services in the coun-

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

cil, Mr. Olalekan Olatunbosun, who confirmed the incident at the weekend, identified Ayeye community as the worse hit by the outbreak. Other areas affected are: Opo-Yeosa, Idi Ikan, Alawo, Abebi and Ekotedo communities. Olatunbosun said: “Three adults and a child have been reported dead.

Speaking on the development, the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Wasiu Olatubosun, said he has directed the health and environment management units of the council to begin a week intensive assessment and intervention in the affected areas to determine the cause and extent of the outbreak. The assessment, which started at Ayeye, he said, would cover the six affect-

ed communities. The Director of Environmental Services said lack of toilet facilities in most of the houses in the affected communities was the likely cause of the outbreak. He said: “When our men went round, we found out that most of the houses do not have toilets and waste bins. Their water sources must have been polluted because they dumped faeces carelessly all around their houses.”




Govt, owners disagree on demolition of derelict buildings


HE Lagos State Government yesterday debunked accusations made by owners of decrepit structures that the authorities had not given them the goahead to demolish the structures. A house marked for demolition at No. 1, Shagbemi Street, Lagos Island, collapsed on Saturday. The owner of another building marked for demolition on No. 53B, Oroyinyin Street, Mrs. Bibiana Arayomi, said owners marked structures could not act, owing to their inability to secure demolition permit from the government. Mrs. Arayomi spoke to reporters as she watched a government team demolish her property, a three-storey building . She said: “When we noticed structural defects on the building two years ago, we evicted all the tenants, but we could not demolish the building because we could not get the necessary documents from the government. “This is a family property and we are concerned about protecting the lives of others too. It is not just because of the money, but the fact that we want to follow due process in doing things. “This building has been without tenant for two years because we wanted to pull it down on our own and protect our family heritage. “Immediately we learnt about the collapse of the other building on Saturday, we could no longer wait for the government. We decided to act fast, so that we do not lose our land. It is a heritage from our family and we will do everything to secure it. “We had mobilised men to carry out the demolition before the government team arrived. All the same, the government has better equipment and it is in the interest of the public for the building to come down to avoid further disaster.” Another resident, Mr. Folorunsho Alli, said the time has come for government to take the demolition of decrepit buildings seriously. He said: “It is not only two buildings that are affected. We have such buildings all

PDP laments loss of Lagos From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

LMOST four months after the April general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is still lamenting its failure to seize Lagos State from the Action


Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The party is however pleased that it regained Kano State from the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) after eight years. Acting PDP National Chairman Kawo Baraje spoke in Kano at the weekend, during a dinner organised for journalists in the state. Baraje said the party’s target before the April polls was to capture Lagos and Kano states. He said: “I told President Goodluck Jonathan before the elections that as for Kano State, he could go to sleep, because a popular candidate in the person of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was on ground. “So we visited Lagos State 13 times and we still lost. What I am trying to say is that Kano is now a PDP state because of Kwankwaso.” Describing Kwankwaso as “the most outstanding PDP Governor in the new dispensation,” Baraje said: “I have toured four states and in some, the executive councils are yet to be constituted, while some just held their inaugural council meetings. “Here in Kano, the governor has not only constituted the executive council, but has held over ten council meetings and has even started some projects.”

Ajimobi seeks religious tolerance


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has urged religious groups to be tolerant of one another. Ajimobi spoke at the annual Ramadan lecture of the Nasril-Lahi-L-Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT). He cautioned religious leaders against inciting sermons that can heat up the polity. Ajimobi praised NASFAT for its doctrine of religious harmony and peaceful coexistence, urging other religious bodies to emulate it. He said his administration would give a level playing ground to all people, irrespective of their religious affiliations.

over Lagos Island and across the metropolis. The moment people know it is no longer business as usual, everyone will sit up. “Government should eject occupants of such buildings, seal them up and ensure that the owners or developers demolish such structures. “Citizens should also learn to alert the authorities when they see developers using fake or substandard materials. It is the duty of citizens to report such to the Town Planning authorities. It is only when government has the necessary information that it can act.” General Manager, Lagos

State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Osanyintolu, who led the response team, said four persons were injured in the collapse. Osanyintolu said: “We earmarked the collapsed building for demolition and sensitised people to vacate the place, but it is pathetic that despite the warning, some people stubbornly refused to comply.” On the demolition of other defective buildings, he said: “Right now, government has to commence full enforcement since the people have refused to partner with us. Our interest is safety first.”

Commissioner for Physical Planning Mr. Toyin Ayinde debunked claims by owners of derelict structures that they are awaiting government approval. Ayinde said: “All they need do is apply for demolition permit. It’s up to them how they go about it under the watchful eyes of the government. “If, however, the government does the demolition, the cost is recovered from the property owner. “Nobody who has genuinely requested to demolish a defective structure has been refused. The applicant only has to present his/her proof of ownership of the structure.”


Delivering a lecture on terrorism, Sheikh Luqman Mukhtar Isale-Koto blamed politicians for the spread of terrorist acts in the country. Mukhtar attributed the causes to the hypocrisy of leaders, pointing to the Federal and State governments’ reluctance to implement the N18,000 minimum wage as one of such. He said: “A hungry man is an angry man. If a hungry man does not get something to eat on time and becomes angry, anything can set in including terrorism.” Mukhtar urged the political class to address poverty, saying this would restore peace.

3000 students get N130m OSOPADEC bursary

•The building that was demolished by the government…yesterday By Miriam Ndikanwu

From Oseheye Okwuofu,


BOUT 3,000 students of Ilaje and Ese Odo local governments origin will benefit from the Scholarship/Bursary Scheme of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC). OSOPADEC Chairman Prince Debo Ajimuda disclosed this at the weekend in Akure, the state capital, during a radio programme on Adaba FM. Ajimuda said the commission will pay over N130 million to the beneficiaries. He said: “To fulfill its promise to give education the deserved priority atten-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

tion, the state government had, within two and a half years, reviewed the amount paid to students three times from N12,000 to N25,000. Each student will now go home with N40,000. “The scheme is devoid of any form of discrimination; the commission gives out scholarship/bursary to all qualified students, no matter the level of study. “Students from about 52 tertiary institutions are benefiting from this edition and we have post-graduate and Law School students among them.”

Minimum Wage: Aregbesola suspicious of labour leaders


S the Osun State workers’ strike hits the 10th day, Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday said he is suspicious of labour leaders’ refusal to reason with the government. Speaking through his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said during the ousted administration of ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, workers agreed to the deferment of the full implementation of the minimum wage. He said he couldn’t understand why the same labour leaders have remained adamant over a similar proposal. Aregbesola said: “Oyinlola’s administration,

•Workers: we didn’t agree with Oyinlola From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

just as we are proposing to workers now, had proposed to fully implement the minimum wagefor levels 1 to 6, with an agreement that it would be applied to other levels a year later, when the finances of the state might have improved. “We stumbled on the agreement between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in 2007, when the minimum wage was raised to N9,500.

“Rather than apply the new wage to levels 1 to 6 as agreed during Oyinlola’s administration, the current administration has fully applied the N18,000 minimum wage to levels 1 to 7. “In addition, the government has agreed to pay N6,000 to those on levels 8 to 10; N5,000 to those on levels 12 to 14 and N4,000 to those on levels 15 to 17. “Those who signed the agreement with the Oyinlola-led administration are: the then Head of Service, who is also the current HOS, Elder Segun Akinwusi; Comrade Akin Olatunji (Chairman, Coun-

cil 1); Comrade Samson Bamidele (Secretary, Council 1); Comrade M.B Owolabi (Chairman, Council 111); Comrade M.O Oyeyemi (Secretary, Council 111); Comrade Saka Adesiyan (Chairman, National Union of Teachers (NUT)); Comrade Wale Oyeniyi (Secretary, NUT); Comrade K.O Tinubu (President, National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE)); Comrade A.J Oguntimehin (Secretary, NULGE); Comrade Bayo Adejumo (Chairman, JNC); Comrade Samson Bamidele (Secretary, JNC) and Mr. F.T Omisakin (Coordinating Director).

“Those who were active in the signing of the agreement in 2007 with the Oyinlola government are still occupying various seats at the negotiating tables in the current face off with the Aregbesola administration. “Some of them are Adesiyan, NLC Chairman; Adejumo of the JNC; Olatunji of the TUC; Oyeniyi, NUT Chairman and others.” Adesiyan said workers never had such an agreement with any previous government and challenged the government to publish the agreement.

He said: “What we are asking the government to revert to is the relativity wage structure, which we agreed to late last year with the previous government, if the incumbent governor cannot implement the new wage. “When the new government first came, we thought it would be too early to start asking for the relativity structure, so that they would not think we were being sponsored against the government.” Commissioner for Information and Strategy Sunday Akere and religious leaders, led by Sheikh Mustapha Ajisafe and Reverend Hassani A., appealed to workers to end the strike and negotiate with the government.




Alleged sharp practices uncovered Pupil seeks N100m compensation A T in AAU

HE Edo State Government has released a White Paper on the findings and recommendations of the Visitation Panel it set up last year to look into the affairs of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma. The panel was headed by Prof. Thomas Audu. In the White Paper, the government said it has uncovered unwholesome practices, including contractsplitting, wasteful expenditure, inaccurate data and other sharp practices at the institution. The White Paper directed the Accountant-General and Auditor-General to, within 30 days, reconcile the accounts of the university to confirm the funds to the university from June 2004 to June 2009. The Visitation Panel indicted the varsity management of wasteful spending. According to the panel,

•State releases White Paper

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

“AAU Management was not prudent in its expenditure. For example, over 38 per cent of funds meant for Accreditation Programmes were expended on beautification projects. “AAU management was also wasteful in its use of Internally-Generated Revenue for financing capital projects. “Some contracts were deliberately split to make them fall within the minor works committee approval limit of N700,000. Contracts were varied without due process, the bursary data was confusing.” The panel recommended that the university should bridge the gap between its

income and expenditure. It maintained that “the huge deficit of N233,300, 620.32 is unhealthy” and asked the Bursar to, within 21 days, “explain the origin of N1,158, 391,497.00 representing the difference between the amounts recorded by the external auditors and those reported as actual in the Budget Book.” The government directed the Vice-Chancellor, Prof D.O Aigbomian, to “explain his clear violation of due process within 30 days of the release of the White Paper”. The institution’s management was directed in the White Paper to investigate claims by a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Prof M.I Isokun on the exist-

ence of AAU fake degree certificates. The panel directed the school authorities to liaise with the Ministry of Justice to update the obsolete laws governing the school. It said it found it difficult to confirm and ascertain the actual students’ population, especially that of part-time students. The panel said it found it difficult to know how the part-time programme was managed. It said it discovered that “there was no management committee running parttime programme and no sharing formula for revenue derived from the programme.” Other members of the Visitation Panel were Mr S.I Ekhator, Prof J.B.O Aregbeyan, Prof (Mrs) O Okojie, Mr. V.E Agbonrofo, Dr A Momoh and Princess E Inneh, who served as Secretary.

PRIMARY four pupil of Okhoro Primary School in Benin, Miss Blessing Okaeben, who was blinded in her right eye after allegedly being beaten by her teacher, is seeking N100million as compensation from the Edo State Government. Miss Okaeben, in an August 18 letter to Governor Adams Oshiomhole through her lawyers, said she was flogged by her teacher, identified as Aunty Mercy, after she failed an arithmetic class work. She alleged that her teacher used a bunch of broom to hit her on the head, face and eyes. Miss Okaeben said the teacher took her to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, where a broken broom stick was extracted from her right eye. The 10-year-old pupil said she could barely see through

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

her left eye and that her school work, play and life have been hampered. She noted in the letter that medical experts have advised that the strain on the left eye could lead to permanent damage, thereby causing blindness to both eyes. She is demanding N20million as cost of travel and medical treatment abroad and N80 million for damages. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development Mrs. Inimidun Idehen confirmed receipt of the letter and condemned the teacher’s action. Mrs. Idehen said the incident would be investigated. “It is not by beating a child you correct the child.” On the compensation, she said the teacher would be invited for questioning to know what actually happened.

CPC’s petition dismissed


HE National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has dismissed the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and its candidate for the Akwa Ibom West Senatorial District (Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District), Dr. Anny Asikpo. Asikpo is challenging the return of Senator Aloysius Etuk as the senator representing the district during the April 9 National Assembly election.

Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

Other respondents are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Justice Ali Garba ruled that the petition was deemed to have been abandoned as neither of the parties have applied or validly applied for the issuance of Form 007 as demanded by Paragraph 18(1) of the 1st Schedule more than seven days after pleadings were deemed closed.

‘Imoke won’t drop deputy’


•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (right); Obi of Ute-Okpu, Obi Chukwuka Solomon I and Sam Obi at the 12th Ika Ka Mma Annual Lecture, held at Ote-Okpu… at the weekend.

Delta tribunal gives INEC ultimatum to produce voter register T

HE Election Petition Tribunal in Delta State has issued a three-day ultimatum to the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to produce the electronic voter register used in the April 26 governorship election. The tribunal Chairman, Justice Abisoye Ayo, gave this order, following partial compliance of an initial order by the tribunal for joint inspection of materials. The tribunal had, on May 13 and May 24, ordered INEC to produce electoral materials to all parties. At the resumed pre-hearing session, Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) counsel Nichols

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

Ichekor complained about “partial compliance” by INEC (third respondent). Ichekor said INEC failed to produce the electronic voter register during the joint inspection exercise. He also said INEC failed to produce forms EC17, EC 25B, EC40A,, EC 40C, EC40D and EC40F in respect of the six local government areas challenged by the petitioner. The local governments are Warri South, Warri South West, Warri North, Ethiope West, Burutu and Bomadi.

Ichekor submitted that several days were lost due following disruptions occasioned by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (first respondent) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (second respondent). But Uduaghan’s counsel Victor Grant contradicted Ichekor’s claims. He said the joint inspection was carried out successfully. Grant said the disruptions were as a result of the petitioner’s claim to alter INEC’s joint inspection. He said the petitioner insisted on inspecting only the six local governments it was

challenging. INEC’s counsel Onyinye Anumonye said INEC complied with the request of the petitioner, despite the subsisting roster for joint inspection. He said INEC complied with the orders of the tribunal for joint inspection, arguing that data in the electronic voters register was deposited at INEC headquarters in Abuja. He said the state INEC commission do not have access to the documents due to their sensitive nature. But Justice Ayo objected, insisting that INEC must comply with tribunal orders.

Grandma allegedly tortures granddaughter to death


GRANDMOTHER, names withheld, has allegedly tortured her 16-year old granddaughter, Vera Oyemwen Efe, to death. The late Efe, whose father is a publisher of a local tabloid, was said to be in SSS 2 at Idia College in Benin, Edo State. Sources said the incident occurred the grandmother asked

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

one of her neighbors, Adewale Karinu, to help her discipline her granddaughter, who threatened to leave her home after she (Vera) was beaten up for attending a party. Her father, Efe Stewart, said he was told Karinu tied his daughter’s leg, neck and hands

after hitting her on the chest. He said her mother had three children for him before their marriage crashed and that the children were spending the holiday with their grandmother. Stewart said his late daughter was abandoned after being tied and that it was a neighbor, Emmanuel, who called her (Vera’s) mother to inform

her that her daughter was being tied up. He said he met his daughter’s lifeless body at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and that a doctor told him she died from strangulation. He said the matter had been reported at the Okhoro Police Station and that the grandmother has since fled.

HE Cross River State Government has denied reports that Governor Liyel Imoke intends dropping Deputy Governor Effiok Cobham as his running mate in the governorship election next April. The Commissioner for Information, Patrick Ugbe, in a statement in Calabar, said: “We wish to state that there is no iota of truth in the said story or rumours. “The governor has maintained consistently that he has enjoyed a very cordial working relationship with his deputy and has never doubted his ability to work with him towards the total transformation

From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

of Cross River State. “We wish to reiterate that the duo of Liyel Imoke and Effiok Cobham still enjoy the warmest and most cordial relationship among governors and their deputies in the country. ‘We seize this opportunity to discountenance any rumour in this direction as it is baseless, unfounded and parochial, targeted at destroying the good vision of the Imoke-led administration and causing disaffection and division within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family in the state.”

Manhunt for Akwa Ibom police killers


HE Akwa Ibom State Police Command yesterday said it had launched a manhunt for the hoodlums, who killed two mobile policemen attached to the House of Assembly Complex. The two policemen, whose identities had not been revealed, were killed by robbers on Friday. Sources said five robbers came in a grey Toyota Camry to the Assembly complex. The hoodlums were said to have trailed a man to the gate of the complex. The man was said to be going to Zenith Bank in the Assembly complex to deposit some money. As the man stopped for security checks, the robbers opened fire, thereby killing two policemen but the man escaped. The command denied reports of a bullion van robbery. A newspaper, not The Nation, had on Saturday said there was a bullion van robbery in the state.

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

The report said robbers trailed a bullion van, whose driver, in a bid to escape attack, tried to pull into the House of Assembly complex. It said a mobile policeman at the gate of the complex was trying to check the van; the robbers arrived and killed him instantly. Police spokesman Onyeka Orji said the attack at the Assembly complex was not a bullion van robbery. Orji said the command lost two officers in a gun battle with the armed robbers. The spokesman said robbers did not attack any bullion van at the gate of the complex but intercepted a vehicle at the gate when policemen were trying to check the content of the vehicle before entering the complex. According to him, the robbers shot at the vehicle from behind, thereby leading to an exchange of fire between policemen and the robbers. The police spokesman added that in the process, two policemen were killed.



NEWS US firm acquires 30,000 hectares in Taraba

Six killed in Plateau attack •Jang calls for withdrawal of soldiers from Jos

•To invest $40m to grow rice


UNITED States firm, Dominion Farms, has acquired 30,000 hectares of swampy land in Gassol Local Government of Taraba State for commercial rice farming. The land, which has been lying fallow for decades, belongs to the Federal Government. It was a property of the Upper Benue River Basins Development Authority (UBRBDA), an agricultural scheme established by former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his first tenure as military Head of State. Chairman of Dominion Farms Mr. Calvin Burgess inspected the land at the weekend. Burgess said the firm would invest an initial $40 million. He was accompanied by Obasanjo, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Ayo Adeshina, Governor Danbaba Suntai, some Kenya-based rice farmers, and other dignitaries. Burgess described the land as fertile, with “key advantages like wetness of land and access roads.’’ He said Dominion Farms grows rice in Kenya, but he noted the in Taraba looks more endowed and attractive. The company chief said

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

his firm might begin plowing by December. He said the company would establish an airstrip in the area for easy linkage. Obasanjo regretted that the programme was abandoned immediately he left office. He said: “When I was the military Head of State, I established 11 River Basins, including UBRBDA, to acquire lands for mass cultivation of food and cash crops but the vision failed as soon as I left office.” Adeshina pledged to facilitate the release of relevant documents on the land. Suntai promised to build a 10-kilometre road in the area to link up the WukariYola road. He said: “The Taraba State government will provide Dominion Farms with silos for storage.” Caretaker Chairman of Gassol Alh. Ibrahim Liman urged the firm to employ the indigenes to work on the farm project. He solicited the cooperation of the community. The monarch of Gassol, Idi Chiroma, said “the rice project by Dominion Farms would be a blessing to the people of Gassol and Taraba state.”



IX persons have been killed as Kwi and Jol villages of Riyom Local Government of Plateau State came under attack around 3 am yesterday. With yesterday’s attack, the number of people killed in similar attacks in the last one week has risen to 20. Disturbed by the spate of renewed killings in the state despite the peace efforts of government, Governor Jonah Jang has called for the withdrawal of soldiers from the state. Jang said: “The Nigerian Armed Forces were being unnecessary “over-dragged into politics.” The governor was speaking at the retreat for top government functionaries at the Obudu Cattle Ranch, Cross Rivers State.

“The involvement of the military in the internal affairs of this country in the name of security is high and by implication we are over dragging the military into politics, they would be forced to eat “the forbidden fruit.” Women and youths in the state have been calling for the withdrawal of soldiers following the alleged failure of soldiers to prevent attacks on innocent citizens. Jang said: “I am convinced that the armed forces are being polluted with this religious crisis in the country.” ‘’Before now, the military personnel used to stay in the barracks, but today the Armed Forces have started taking sides in religious crisis and if they are not called to order, it will be dangerous for the country. Jang said owing to the situation in Jos, soldiers have abandoned their primary duty posts and instead, ‘’es-

‘The involvement of the military in the internal affairs of this country in the name of security is high and by implication we are over dragging the military into politics, they would be forced to eat “the forbidden fruit’

cort Fulani to the bush in search of cows.”

The governor said “there are deliberate attempts to discredit the state’s Security outfit, Operation Rainbow, by the military from taking off.” He said “the military is saying that the Operation Rainbow cannot cope with the security challenges so that instead of disengaging from the streets, they plan to continue. “I used to be against the establishment of State Police, but with the current situation, there are many dynamics into state security which has made me canvass for the creation of one. “It is not that Mr. President has wrongly used the state security apparatus”, but that, the call was “necessary considering the Plateau State example.” The five-day retreat was tagged, “Peace and Security: Emerging Trends in Security Challenges: Role of Government and Citizenry” and “Transparency and Accountability:

‘Aikhomu lived a fulfilled life’


OVERNOR Jonah Jang of Plateau State has described the late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu as a statesman who lived a fulfilled life serving God and his fatherland. In a condolence message signed by his Director of Press, James Mannok, Jang said: “With the death of

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos, former Chief of General Staff Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Nigeria has lost one of its stabilising forces. “The late Aikhomu was a gentleman officer, who also distinguished himself in his chosen career in the Navy and a source of inspiration to

younger officers. “His counsel will be missed by the nation. I am personally pained, having enjoyed a good working relationship with him as a military governor then. The governor prayed that the family and nation would be consoled by the fact that he lived a fulfilled life and died a statesman.




‘Obasanjo should be grateful to Babangida’


Continued on page 2

•President, Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote consoling Augustus Aikhomu’s widow Rebecca when he visited the Apapa, Lagos home of the deceased...yesterday

•Former Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku...yesterday PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID

“Yet the truth is that Babangida must take some credit for that too because he was instrumental in making him President in 1999. When I was in government we had our differences with Babangida from time to time, but he always responded to us with restraint, dignity, calm and self-respect, regardless of our provocation and our moves against him and his boys. Most important of all he stood solidly by those boys. “The man is a strategist and he appreciated the fact that patience is a powerful weapon. For that he won my respect. For me, this whole matter goes to the very character and leadership abilities of these two men. “The truth is that the loyalty and support that an individual gives to any leader must be reciprocated and any leader worth his salt knows this. A leader that takes his followers for granted and takes pleasure in the destruction, humiliation, travails, shame and political persecution of his own loyalists is not a real leader but something else. “On the other hand, the leader that stands by his loyalists through thick and thin and that reciprocates the commitment, love, support, compassion and loyalty that he receives from them is a true leader.

Lawyers advise Jonathan to ignore NJC on Salami Continued on page 2

“No less commitment is required from members of the bar that present cases for all suitors that go before the bench for Justice. In this regard, lawyers are regarded as ministers (not serfs or plebeians) in the temple of justice. They are equal partners in the constitutional quest to provide justice to the people. Consequently, it is expected that both the Bar and Bench will at all times, particularly in the course of their service to justice, protect and uphold the Rule of law, respect and observe due process, exhibit great learning and independence at all stages in the discharge of this sacred function and generally inspire confidence in the administration of Justice. “The result, if the foregoing are scrupulously observed and applied is that the society will be peaceful, secure, progressive and blessed. Such society whose judges offer justice to her people prospers in all ramification be it economic, so-

cial or political. The converse is the case for a society with a warped, unreliable and or unpredictable system of justice or which possess a fine system but whose operators are corrupt or unreliable. Either way, the society is worse off for it,” he added. “Nigeria operates a system of justice that should ordinarily provide for her people undiluted justice but a good system does not on its own guarantee justice. Its operators must be truthful, honest, sincere, and Spartan in living, they must also be God fearing and exhibit a disdain for any corruptive factor. It follows therefore that at all times those who administer justice must be a shining example for others as it relates to the observance and strict application of the due process of and the rule of law. It is the beginning of the end for a society whose judges exhibit selective preference for the Rule of law, choosing to apply it when it suits them and ad nauseum, rejecting it when their own personal interest is in issue.

“The duty of the Bar is no different; it is expected to be knowledgeable, fearless, and truthful. Above all, her members are expected to show total respect for the laws of the land and defend same at any cost. The Bar fails in her duties to the society and the cause of justice where it condones tyranny from any arm of government. Most detestable is judicial tyranny because its effect emasculates the people. It is against this background that I wish to report on certain pressing recent events that have rocked the sanctity of our fledgling democracy. On the face-off between Justice Kastina-Alu and Justice Salami, he said: “It is essential to commence this report by providing some background information about the NJC. About three weeks ago, in the middle of proceedings of the CJN/PCA face-off, legal practitioners were required to rescue themselves. The coincidence was inauspicious. From that point the Council continued unabated with the process that has led us to the sad state of affairs

that now exists. “The plaintiff is Justice Salami and the 11 defendants are principally the NJC and 11 other members of Council excluding of course the representatives of the Bar. The cause of action arises from the disciplinary proceedings in the nature of the report of two committees set up by the NJC leading to the meeting of the 18th of August 2011 wherein the PCA’s retirement was purportedly recommended to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was also suspended forthwith from the performance of his constitutional and judicial functions. “From undisputed facts available to us, NJC was aware of the pendency of the above law suit. This is clear from the press statement signed by its secretary and published in many national dailies between August 18 and 20, 2011. I have it on irrefutable authority that the NJC decided to proceed with their action in the face of pending court proceedings. ‘Since the said papers were not signed by any judge to show that it

had been properly filed; that no court or date of return was stated on the process; parties that were NJC members were not served and for that reason section 158 of the Constitution applies and that NJC is therefore not subject to the direction of any authority or any person’. “The question is whether this provision allows the NJC to proceed with the action, regardless of the pendency of court proceedings. Is the court here an ‘authority’ or a ‘person’? The relevance of this poser is that if answered in the affirmative then that provision acts as an ouster clause to court intervention to the actions or inaction of the NJC. I will like to say straightaway that Section 158 is not an ouster clause to the powers of the court to intervene and correct any perceived error made by the NJC which has provided a cause of action to the injured party. “Clearly subjudice when the NJC proceeded with its actions on August 18. The judicial reversal of the NJC’s unfortunate and worrisome

actions is a matter to be left for the law courts to deal with as they deem fit. It is a matter of great regret and shame that a judicial organisation of the calibre of the NJC can ride roughshod over the processes of a court of law. The implication for Nigerian judicial process is catastrophic. If not remedied, we are witnessing the slide into anarchy and lawlessness which history will record as having been fired up by the judiciary. (a part of the legal profession) We shall not sit idly by and watch our profession ridiculed and brought into disrepute in the public domain. “I am further recommending to NEC to advise the President having regard to the uncontroverted fact that a suit was pending when the NJC brazenly took their decision, to decline to proceed further with the matter and to advise NJC to revert to status quo ante. The position of the recommender is subject to the approval or otherwise of the confirming authority.”

Acting President for Court of Appeal

•Dr. Jonathan


HE President met at the weekend with his strategists and advisers to weigh options on the crisis of confidence rocking the judiciary, The Nation learnt yesterday. Last night, he appointed Justice Dalhatu Adamu to perform the functions of the office of the President of the Court of Appeal pending when all issues relating to the office are resolved.

The statement by Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said: “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is in receipt of a correspondence dated 18th August, 2011, from the National Judicial Council (NJC), recommending the compulsory retirement of Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami, OFR, for misconduct in accordance with the provisions of Section 292 (1) (a) (i) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, and Rule 1 (1) of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Consequently, President Jonathan, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 238 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, has approved the acting appointment of Hon. Justice Dalhatu Adamu to perform the functions of the office of the President of the Court of Appeal pending when all issues relating to the office of the President of

the Court of Appeal are resolved. Justice Adamu is of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal. He was recently transferred from the Ilorin Division. According to sources, there are four options being considered by the President. They are to: *assert the independence of the Judiciary by not interfering; *allow time for the matter to go the way it came and see whether the NJC can reverse itself, considering the public outcry over the matter; *defer to the decision of the Federal High Court in line with the Rule of Law Policy – before taking a final action on NJC’s recommendations; and *take a decision which will not further aggravate the situation. “The President is believed to have been given many documents, including Constitutional clauses, the three reports of the NJC on the crisis, the status of liti-

gation by Justice Salami and others covering the matter. “A major issue which cropped up at the session was the need for the President to adopt a cautious approach to the matter because he cannot exercise a fiat in view of the Part I, Paragraph I, Section 21(b) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 292(1)( a)(i) “While some suggested to the President to allow the matter to go the way it has come, Jonathan himself claimed that since the Judiciary is an independent arm, he will not want to dabble in its matter, until there is a clear picture where he has to invoke his constitutional powers to take a final decision,” one source said, adding: “Some of those at the meeting said the Presidency should not rule out the possibility of the NJC reversing itself, coming up with a different option out of the stalemate. “But, above all, many are of the opinion that the deci-

sion of the President might be subjudice to the ongoing court process filed by Justice Salami. “So, there are indications that the President may defer to the court to sort out the feud.” The President is empowered to determine Justice Salami’s fate – in line with the process outlined by the Part I, Paragraph I, Section 21(b) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 292(1)( a)(i) Part I, Paragraph I, Section 21(b) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution states: “For the avoidance of doubt, the said Third Schedule, Part I, Paragraph I, Section 21(b) of the Constitution provides that the NJC shall have power to recommend to the President the removal from office of (the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Justices of the Supreme Court, the President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, and the Chief Judge and Judges of the Federal High Court) and to exercise

disciplinary control over such officers.” Section 292(1)( a)(i) states: “A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement, except in the following circumstances (a) in the case of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President (of Nigeria), acting on an address supported by twothirds majority of the Senate, praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.”





Fed Govt to build new gas pipeline at Olorunsogo plant The Federal Government is to build a new pipeline to facilitate gas supply to the Olorunsogo power station in Ogun State. Minister for Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, said at the end of a two-day tour of some power plants in the Southwest, that the pipeline would assist the station to realise its full capacity of 335 megawatts before the end of the year. Olorunsogo plant, with an installed capacity of 335 megawatts, currently generates less than 100 megawatts due to inadequate gas supply and spare parts. “We are quite disappointed at the power plant at Olorunsosgo because out of eight units, only two are struggling to work. “What is expected to get some of the units working effectively is quite little compared to what has been put in place in terms of structures,” he said. Nnaji according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) also assured workers that the ministry would work with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in finding a lasting solution to gas supply at the Olorunsogo station. He said efforts were underway to get gas supplied to the station through the Escravos gas pipeline in Lagos. Nnaji also reassured that the privatisation of the power station would not lead to the sack of workers, as more workers would even be needed by new investors. The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said that the tour was to identify problems faced in power generation and distribution to enable the government to deliver 5,000 megawatts before the end of the year.


Reps to probe oil sector • We’re not witch-hunting anybody, says Deputy Minority leader


HE leadership of the House of Representa tives may have concluded plans to investigate alleged sharp practices in the oil and gas sector. A reliable source in the House said yesterday that Speaker Aminu Tambuwal would likely constitute an ad-hoc committee to conduct the investigation immediately he returns to the country from the lesser Haji. The source noted that the decision to probe the sector may not be unconnected with a statement by Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke on the existence of a cartel in the sector when she appeared before the House. The House is also said to be worried over petitions and complaints by Nigerians alleging ineptitude and sharp practices in the sector.

Assistant Editor

According to the source, the probe will also cover alleged under disclosure of total production output of crude and over bloated budgetary framework in the petroleum industry. Our correspondent gathered that Tambuwal, who left for lesser Haji, may announce the setting up of the ad hoc committee as soon as he is back and that the committee may be asked to start sitting even when the House is still on recess to underscore the urgency of the investigation. Also, a statement by Deputy Minority leader of the House, Hon. Suleiman Abdurraham Kawu, may have confirmed the move by the House to probe the sector. Kawu noted in the state-

ment made available to our correspondent that “the leadership of the House is prepared to clean up the mess in the petroleum industry” . He added that “part of the cleaning up exercise is to unravel the mystery in the sector and get to known the cartel operating in the sector”. Kawu stated that arising from intense consultation and unanimity of majority of members of the House and pursuant to the constitutional powers vested on the parliament as enshrined in section 88 (1) (a) (b) sub-sections 1 and 11 consonance with the request of major stakeholders in the industry, has made it imperative for the House to take a cursory look into the way and manner the industry is run. He said: “We also have numerous documents attached in the petitions on all trans-

actions, the companies involved and individuals accused of different degrees of breaches of laid down rules and procedures, fraud, connivances and bribery in the oil sector”. “It, therefore, behoves on us, as the elected representatives of our people and in furtherance of good governance and transparency in our public institutions to do something, so as to engender an envisaged positive goals that satisfies the yearning andexpectations of our people.” “I want to state unequivocally that such performance and institutional governance evaluation of the ministry and all its parastatals is not, and will not be for the purpose of witch hunting any targeted individual or a group of persons within the purview of such inquiry.”

FCTA okays N40b for contractors From: Bukola Amusan, Abuja


HE Federal Capital Territory Administra tion (FCTA), has approved N40 billion to settle debts owed contractors whose total bills have climbed to N64 billion. The FCTA has assured contractors handling various projects in Abuja of prompt payment of outstanding debts. Payment of such funds will, however, depend on the certificates of projects completed as specified under the Public Procurement Act. Director of Treasury in the FCT Administration, Ibrahim Bomai, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Abuja over the weekend, said a total of N40 billion has already been approved for the payment to contractors. He said the amount approved for settlement of part of the debts was generated from statutory allocation, internally generated revenue (IGR) and loans from the Debt Management Office (DMO), adding that the administration is currently taking steps that would enable it to pay the remaining balance to give contractors the needed confidence to complete on-going projects within the stipulated period. On alleged delays in payment by some contractors, Bomai explained that all due procedures are usually followed by the administration to arrive at final settlement of debts for contracts executed. He said to ensure transparency in the system, the administration has set up a cash flow management committee which evaluates the processes of executed contracts and determine payments based on available funds. The selection of contractors due for payment, he said, is also done by this committee.

Manufacturers set to crash cement price By Toba Agboola

MARKET CAPITALISATIONS -N7.3 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -10.2% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -8% Foreign Reserve -$34.7bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 213 £ 241.00 $ 150.7 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 240.3 RIYAL 39.3

From: Onyedi Ojiabor,

• Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi (left), in a warm handshake with Mr. Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Bank Limited, when the new bank boss paid the governor a courtesy visit at the weekend

COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$109.7/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound


Money laudering is a serious crime that affect the economy as a whole, impeding the social, economic, political and cultural development of societies worldwide. -Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM

• Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga


HERE are indications that the price of a bag of cement, currently selling for between N2,700 and N3,000, may fall before the end of this week. Investigation by The Nation revealed that the Federal Government has renewed the

import license of the major cement manufacturers. This is to allow them clear some ship loads of cement seized at the ports. A source at the Nigerian Customs, told The Nation that the certificates which have limited life spans, have since expired and could not be renewed immediately because of recent changes in the leadership of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, (now renamed Ministry of Trade and Investment). The source said because the certificates have expired, the Nigerian Customs could not approve the clearance of the stock of cement, now lying at the ports, that was not covered by import approvals. It said a meeting on renewal of

import licence was held at the weekend, between government and market players, where it was agreed that a renewal that would last up to December 2011, would be given by government to local cement manufacturers, who already have government endorsement to deal with the gap in supply. Such renewals would continue until the country produces enough cement locally for home consumption, it was learnt. President, Cement Manufactures of Nigeria (CMAN), Joseph Makoju, said the price increase in the last two weeks was for a short time, adding that the price would crash any moment. Also confirming the report, the Managing Director, Dangote Cement, Knut

Ulvmoen, said there is a temporary stop in offloading at the ports due to the expiration of import certificates. He said this is the major reason for the scarcity. He said alreadym some certificates have been renewed and offloading has started. He added that the price is expected to fall before the end of this week. “Already, yesterday, cement came back to the market because some of the certificates have been renewed and offloading has started. We have enough ships to get enough cement into the market up to the time our Ibese plant will start operation. So, everything is been taken care of,” he said. Secretary of CMAN, James Salako, said the increase in the price of the

LPFO from N40 to N68 per litre is a major problem. He said the distributors of cement took advantage of this to increase the price, knowing full well that manufacturers would not cope with the price differential for a long period. He said one of the major manufacturers has stopped production for Turn-Around Maintenance of its plant, adding that this resulted in a decrease in supply. “These are the reasons for the hike,” he said . Salako said distributors were now hoarding the product in anticipation of an increase in price by the manufacturers. He said manufacturers have not increased the factory price in spite of the increase in the price of the oil.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

CPC warns against contaminated goods


From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


HE Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has warned consumers against the impending shipment of contaminated radioactive goods from some Asian countries in the form of support or assistance. In a statement by the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the agency, Abiodun Obimuyiwa, the Council said its alert is directed at faith-based institutions, such as the Red Cross, non-governmental organisations and Charity Homes, which could be beneficiaries of aids from external bodies, to always ascertain the quality of such material support from technically equipped government agencies. It said: “Nigerians should generally be conscious of all material support from external bodies at this time as contaminated aid can also be channelled through other routes. Though government is taking proactive steps to prevent such shipment from entering the shores of the country, Nigerians are, however, cautioned to be more alert.” The contaminated radioactive goods, the statement explained, include items, such as vehicles, rice and vegetables. Meanwhile, the Council said it has communicated the information to relevant organisations, especially those that regularly receive aid for their operations.

Odu’a chief pledges improved services From: Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


HE Group Managing Direc tor (GMD) of Odu’a Invest ment Company Limited, Mr Adebayo Jimoh, has assured the people of the Odu’a states that whatever decisions that are taken by the management team are to improve on the legacy left behind by the founding fathers of the conglomerate for the sake of the incoming generation. He gave the pledge while hosting the new management team of the Nigerian Wire and Cable Plc (NWC), at the headquarters of the group in Dugbe, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Jimoh said decisions taken by the management and the board of directors are geared towards achieving results that the founding fathers would be proud of. He maintained that whoever finds himself or herself in the group should be able to give the best. According to him, one of these decisions was the coming on board of the new management team at the NWC headed by a Kenyan, Mr Gordon Anampiu, who he said is bringing in a wealth of experience from East African Cable Limited. He said: “In Odu’a Group, we care about people and standards, not the DNA of those at the helms of affairs. The most important thing is the result such that the companies under the conglomerate would rank among the best not only in the country, but all over the world.” The group managing director, who described the NWC as a child of circumstance, stated that the new team would get the necessary support of the conglomerate, most especially in the drive to get its products to the market. He challenged the team to produce good products that will give the firm a good image, which has been battered for some years, noting that with the past experience of Anampiu in the cable industry, this should not be difficult to achieve. Anampiu said he and his team are pleased to have the Odu’a group as a major shareholder and that the support he received so shows that it is desirous of seeing the company bounce back.

• Managing Director/CEO, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Gimba Ya’u Kumo, presenting copies of six Bills on Housing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, in Abuja.

World Bank forecasts doubledigit growth for Nigeria


HE World Bank has predicted that the Nigerian economy will grow at a double digit rate this year and beyond with the country’s new focus on investment. The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Onno Ruhl, stated this during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja. Nigeria had recorded a Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) growth of 10.3 per cent, 10.6 per cent, 5.4 per cent, 6.2 per cent, 7 per cent, six per cent, seven per cent and 7.4 per cent in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The country’s economy is also expected to grow by 7.8 per cent this year. Ruhl said: “In spite of the lull in economic growth triggered by the global economic crisis, the Nigerian economy had the potential to grow at a double digit rate. “With the creation of a new ministry to take charge of trade and investment, the country is on the right track towards achieving its objective of becoming one of the 20 leading economies by 2020. “The ongoing global economic

From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

crisis essentially means that not many economies are growing fast. But the economy is still growing fast.We all know that the investment climate in Nigeria can be significantly improved by improvement in infrastructure and access to credit thereby making it possible for more people in Nigeria to do business. “Economic growth in Nigeria is expected to be faster this year, which will allow the country the real, good opportunity to realise its objective of catching up with other economies of the world in line with its Vision 20:2020 programme. “The growth potential in Nigeria is very high. Already, the country is growing at seven per cent. And with the creation of the new ministry for investment, the country achieves double-digit growth rate. We are going to support the Ministry of Trade and Investment with that agenda.” Speaking during the visit, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, commended the World Bank for its assistance to Ni-

geria. He pledged that the ministry would partner with the institution in its drive towards increasing the country’s inflow of Foreign Direct Investment, job creation and wealth generation. “The World Bank has been supportive of the reform programmes of the current administration, especially in the power sector. We want to capitalise on having power by having Independent Power Producers work with us and having the bulk traders in between. We would not have been able to do this without the partial risk guarantee from the World Bank. “However, there are other areas where we need to work together with the World Bank to increase the per Capita Income of the average Nigerian and positively impact the lives of the common people. This is critical in our resolve to tackle the problem of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria. “The Ministry of Trade and Investment is ready to work together with the World Bank to achieve this objective. We are working out the modalities to unveil a new plan for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises for the next four years.

OPS seeks speedy restructuring of nationalised banks T

HE Organised Private Sector (OPS) has called for the re structuring of the re-capitalised banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The OPS also called on the CBN to factor the interest of shareholders of the three nationalised banks into any decision that would be taken on the affected banks. The National President of National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr Ademola Ajayi, said he endorsed the recent nationalisation of the three banks by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). He urged the management of the banks to ensure that the institutions regain their past glory so that stakeholders, customers, depositors and even financial regulators can have renewed confidence in them. On the proposed Islamic banking, he said, the idea should not be unilaterally opposed as being canvassed by some people due to its religious inclination. “ The idea should not be unilaterally opposed as being canvassed by some concerned persons due to its religious inclination, which is what some people are frowning at in a secular country like Nigeria.

• Hails inclusion of Dangote in Economic Team By Toba Agboola

“We should critically examine the objectives of the bank and identify areas of its operation that would offer benefit to our economy, especially from the angle of promoting competitiveness in the banking sector and offering financing alternatives and choice to the business community,” he said. Ajayi said the body is against the increase in the pump price of industrial fuel by the Federal Government. “ We have received reports that the Federal Government has commenced action on the implementation of the pump price of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO). We are not opposed to the deregulation policy. However, we are concerned about the timing when businesses are struggling to survive using their power generating sets.” Also, members of OPS have lauded the inclusion of members

of the sector in the nation’s economic team. Responding to the naming of the president of Dangote Group Alhaji Aliko Dangote and President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Chief Kola Jamodu as members of the nation’s economic team, President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), Dele Oye, noted that it was one on the most strategic steps to be taken by President Goodluck Jonathan to stabilise an ailing economy. The ABUCCIMA boss stressed that it was wrong to constitute an economic team that will propound policies which will regulate business in an economy without including actors in that economy, who actually pilot their businesses relying on those policies. “It is a very wise move by the president to include the likes of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Kola Jamodu and others in the economic team.

LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana

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

08.00 18.00

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



ISSUES The cabotage law is supposed to promote indigenous shipowners’participation in the movement of petroleum and other products. But, the dream behind the effort remains far-fetched because foreign ship operators are still dominating the business. UYOATTA ESHIET reports.

Forces against cabotage law

• A cargo ship.


EFORE the law, the maritime world was dominated by foreigners.They determined what went on in the industry, especially in the lucrative trade of oil and shipping. The indigenous entrepreneurs felt threatened by their foreign counterparts and persistently urged the government to act before they were run out of business. Government heard their plaintive cry when the National Assembly passed the Cabotage Bill, which was assented to without delay by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

But the coming of the law seems not to hav e addressed the fear of indigenous ship owners. Reason: the Cabotage law which is expected to signal the rebirth of the country as a building regional maritime power has not achieved much in that regard. The domestic coastal sector is still facing challenges, especially increasing operational costs which have forced some indigenous commercial shipping operators to scale down operations. The failure of the cabotage regime to offer succour in the form of preferential treatment as obtained in other maritime countries has not helped matters.

Subsequently, there are economic implications for the domestic economy since it affects, among others, the profitability and viability of local operators. The essence of cabotage is to improve the national economy through enhanced indigenous participation. The concern of stakeholders is that foreign vessels still operate under various covers on coastal routes that should be serviced by indigenous ship owners. The Secretary, Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Captain Dada Olaniyi Labinjo, blamed the government for

not protecting indigenous licensed or flagged ships as provided by the cabotage law. He said in some other economies, governments give exclusivity to local shipping companies servicing coastal ports and acting as feeder services into the main ports from where ships can carry the goods or commodities involved. He said opening up the coastal trade to foreign competition has resulted in stalling the growth of the domestic shipping busi• Continued on page 14




Forces against cabotage law

helping.Any official of state, who is not ready to work with the President and build capacity for Nigerians to grow should be sacked as they are rather enemies of the nation,” he said. Former nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president, Mr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), an advocate of cabotage law, described the shipping sector as a failure since 1980. He blamed the government for not paying attention to the maritime sector. Agbakoba said shipping is a very vibrant and crucial part of the economy. “We have about 5,000 foreign vessels on Nigerian waters doing businesses that Nigerians can do, he lamented.

• Continued from page 13

ness. The government, he stressed, needs to support indigenous shippers with shipping space and businesses. He said supporting indigenous shippers is vital, considering the capital intensive nature of the business, adding that domestic shippers rely on the volume of cargoes to commercially justify the costs they incur in bringing commodities from the major seaports to the smaller ones. Labinjo said enacting the law is not unusual, arguing that it is what every country that wants to protect its domestic maritime trade, resorts to, especially when it does not have the competitive edge in international trade, but wants to develop it through the domestic flank.

N7tr maritime industry Agbakoba wants the Federal Government to fashion out a comprehensive shipping policy to promote the maritime industry. He said the maritime industry is a N7 trillion industry that needs to be protected by the government to boost the economy and generate employment for millions of Nigerians. He said Nigeria could be number one on maritime in Africa if good policies are put in place and implemented by the government.

Lack of cargo security

The ISAN secretary said the major problem of indigenous shippers is “lack of cargo security,” because they are denied contracts. “The law is there, but those to implement it are the problem,” he said, adding, “enforcement has been lacking in so many ways. “The success of cabotage is predicated on the security of cargo for the ship. In America, you cannot get involved in carrying cargo if you are not an American registered vessel because the law will not allow you and the people involved cannot allow you, but in Nigeria, foreign vessels are having a fieldday doing the work that our law has reserved for Nigerians.” Labinjo said for any government official to deny any Nigerian vessel the opportunity of carrying Nigerian cargoes, as they are doing now under the pretext of capacity or standard of ship, is a misnomer, insisting that such does not happen in other advanced countries. He said officials who do not key into the policy should not be allowed to retain his job. He said the cabotage regime is not working because there is no cargo security. He added that there is no assurance that if indigenous ship owners bring in a new vessel, there will be work for them. He said the government should not allow this to continue. He said cargo security simply means: “Reserve your cargo for your vessels”. Any minister or head of government agency who works against this policy of government aimed at empowering the citizens should be sacked, he said. On lack of capacity, he said, no one buys new ships and waits for cargo.What happens is, you are assured of the cargo first, then you approach the bank, raise the funds and the vessel comes.No government official should use the issue of old ship or capacity to derail the cabotage implementation any longer. He said anyone who says the Nigerian flag is substandard should be sacked.

UNCTAD report Labinjo revealed that in 2008, the United Nations Congress on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said Nigeria recorded $115 billion from import and export earnings and in 2009, realised $215 billion . Nigeria earned nothing because the ships involved in the transactions are all foreign carriers. He noted that if the country made at least 10 per cent from this and multiplies the revenue by the exchange rate, it would amount to over N2 trillion. How can the government ignore the industry that can contribute so much? On what the government should do apart from ensuring that they secure cargo security for Nigerian ships, Labinjo, who is the Secretary of the bod, said the government has to intervene by establishing a Maritime bank just as it has done for the sectors, such as industry, agriculture, housing and others. The maritime sector, according to him, is the next highest contributor to the GDP of the country after oil. The sector, he said, needs direct intervention. He called on the government to expedite action on the establishment of the maritime bank. He further disclosed that there are over 600

Ministry of shipping

•Minister of Transport Idris Umar

• Labinjo

To put the maritime sector in its rightful place and attract local and foreign investors, Agbakoba called on the government to establish a Ministry of Shipping. He said in most developed countries, such as America and Britain, there exist a Ministry of Shipping charged with the responsibility of implementing maritime policies. He said agencies such as NIMASA should be transformed to an executive regulator status to enable themto carry out their oversight functions outside the bureaucracy of the ministry supervising them. He said he was not happy that the Minister of Transport is vested with the power to give waivers on issues that basically have to do with NIMASA and called for the review of the Cabotage Act and the law that established the agency. The management of NIMASA, Agbakoba said, should be empowered to carry out its regulatory functions without interference from the Ministry of Transport.

Unprofessional shipbrokers Chairman, Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeri, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, said part of the problems of cabotage has to do with the activities of unprofessional shipbrokers. He said members of the association are losing millions of naira daily due to the activities of these persons on the coastal waters, even as he blamed some members of the association for aiding the unwholesome practice.

NIMASA • Agbakoba

•Isaac Jolapamo

vessels doing business off-shore Nigeria. Of this number, those belonging to Nigeria are barely 60. He said in the United States, the American cabotage law is called ‘the Bill of Right’. This, according to him, means,” if there is any citizen who can do it, don’t give it to a foreigner”. He said: “The governments of America, India, Singapore, Indonesia and others do

not condemn their vessels on account of age or capacity, but rather do all that is possible to make it grow. They don’t destroy as the Nigerian officials often do. “The government has recognised that Nigerians do not have the competitive edge to carry out international trade and so reserved the coastal section for Nigerians, but the officials and agency of state are not

‘The success of cabotage is predicated on

the security of cargo for the ship. In America, you cannot get involved in carrying cargo if you are not an American registered vessel because the law will not allow you and the people involved cannot allow you but in Nigeria, foreign vessels are having a field-day doing the work that our law has reserved for Nigerians’

Stake holders said NIMASA has failed in its responsibilities as none of the above objectives have been met by the agency. The agency said it has taken steps aimed at achieving the set objectives. It said at the inception stage of this law, the proponents knew that it was not going to be an easy task both for the implementing agency and the indigenous operators. There was no tonnage capacity to immediately take over from the foreign counterparts, the manpower requirement was not adequate and the infrastructural facilities were far below optimum. The agency has put structures for the implementation and enforcement of the law in place; special cabotage vessels have been established to help track and monitor all vessels engaging in domestic shipping trade to ensure compliance with the cabotage requirements. To help in the acquisition of vessels, the agency has developed modalities for the collection of Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF), which the agency has been putting together, among several other development programmes.

Way forward

According to ISAN, for the cabotage regime not to be a failure, the government must ensure that there is cargo security for Nigerian- owned, built and managed ships as it is done in other countries. This and other positive steps will help in the realisation of the objectives of the regime in the country and set it on the path of real development.













NEITI’s alarm

T took too long, but President Obama has finally and unequivocally called for the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to step down and end his murderous war against the Syrian people. In another belated but welcome move, Mr. Obama also ordered a stiff new array of sanctions, including freezing all Syrian government assets in the United States and banning American citizens and corporations from doing business with the Syrian government. Washington has limited economic and diplomatic leverage with Damascus. But if there ever was a time to use it, it is surely now. In a fresh show of desperate cruelty, Mr. Assad this week ordered Syrian naval warships to fire on civilians in the port city of Latakia. That came on top of bloody army assaults on many other centres of opposition. The United Nations estimates that at least 2,000 Syrians have been killed in the uprising since mid-March. A report by the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights cited summary executions and gross violations of human rights that “may amount to crimes against humanity.” In an effort to bring coordinated pressure, leaders of Germany, France, Britain and the European Union also called on Mr. Assad to depart, and Europe announced that it would be imposing new sanctions. These should include a ban on imports of Syrian oil. That would have minimal effect on world oil prices but a big one on Damascus. Turkey and neighbouring Arab countries should also tighten the screws. Any fantasies that Mr. Assad is a guarantor of Syrian stability or could lead a peaceful transition have been rightly jettisoned. His killing spree has become too much even for the absolute rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to stomach. They, along with the somewhat more enlightened Kuwaiti government, withdrew their ambassadors. Such gestures are welcome but not enough. These and other Arab governments should impose sanctions. Syria’s most influential neighbour is Turkey, with $2.5 billion in annual trade. Once an Assad ally, then a would-be mediator, Turkey now declares that it, too, is out of patience. It could make a decisive difference if it followed that overdue judgment with its own economic sanctions. A version of this editorial appeared in print on August 19, 2011, on page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Truth About Syria: For the horrors to end, Bashar al-Assad and his cronies must go. – New York Times

Truth about Syria


•National Assembly should take another look at PIB before passing it into law


S it possible for truly elected representatives of Nigerians to be working against the interest of Nigeria? This is the question that must be answered with the alarm raised by the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), that Nigeria will lose about $3 billion petroleum revenue yearly if the National Assembly passes the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before it. NEITI has come out boldly to accuse the House of Representatives of reducing, through legislation, government’s share of oil revenue below internationally competitive rates. According to it, this will definitely result in rapid attrition of government’s petroleum revenue for the next five years. Under the current rates, government’s shares of revenues are: Production Shar-

‘If the proposal before the National Assembly sails through, the extractive industry watchdog puts the nation’s annual loss at ‘about $3 billion.’ We wonder what the interest of these representatives (including the Senate) will be in passing a Bill that is designed to reduce government’s revenue from petroleum operations for the next five years, through questionable fiscal provisions’

ing Contract (PSC) - 48 per cent; Joint Venture (JV) - 82 per cent. However, the House of Representatives’ proposal, according to NEITI, gives the government a maximum of 45 per cent of revenue for PSC and 60 per cent for JV, even when the existing oil revenue sharing stands at 48 per cent and 82 per cent, respectively. We also know that the reported current revenue flow to Nigeria from royalty, profit and oil is $9 billion. Nevertheless, the PIB revenue proposal as presented by the Federal Government during a public hearing in 2009 was $9.3 billion; whilst the then Senate shamelessly put same at $5.8 billion. The lawmakers’ proposal seems more confusing because even the international rates of government’s share of oil revenue remain at a minimum of 56 per cent and a maximum 90 per cent. If the proposal before the National Assembly sails through, the extractive industry watchdog puts the nation’s annual loss at ‘about $3 billion.’ We wonder what the interest of these representatives (including the Senate) will be in passing a Bill that is designed to reduce government’s revenue from petroleum operations for the next five years, through questionable fiscal provisions. Something urgent has to be done to correct this incongruous legislative fiscal anomaly in view of the fact that the nation runs a mono-product (oil) economy.

We consider the steps of the National Assembly, if really true, too dangerous to an already ailing economy like ours. The PIB passage has over time generated intense controversy among stakeholders and the country as a whole. It is gradually becoming an albatross on the neck of the now more pertinent oil sector restructuring agenda. What we think is mostly causing this procrastination is lack of sincerity on the part of involved parties, including the lawmakers, otherwise, why is it difficult for the National Assembly to make laws that will promote the interest of the nation in this regard? Till now, it is difficult for the public to have a good grasp of the real contents of the PIB. Everything is currently shrouded in secrecy as several versions of the bill are in circulation. Things cannot continue this way. We call on NEITI to avail the lawmakers with details of facts and figures at its disposal. It is only if such attempt is rebuffed that it will become apparent that some people are truly out to sabotage the nation’s interest in her oil revenue generation drive. The PIB, when eventually passed into law, must adequately take care of the corporate oil interests of Nigeria, especially those of the communities bearing the oil. Otherwise, the entire effort and resources put into its making would have been wasted.

Unremitted pension funds •This is a serious crime which the EFCC has to take interest in F indeed, 2,616 firms defaulted in the prompt remittance of their stipulated pension dues, as alleged by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), then there are sufficient reasons for the would-be-pensioners to be agitated. It is a pointer to the need for more attention to salient institutional and administrative issues. As a matter of fact, there is the urgent need now, more than ever before, for the leadership of our public institutions to imbibe the tenets of the basic ethos upon which public institutions are built. The defaulting firms did not default for one month or two only; the phenomenon seems to have become more and more regular. The pertinent question to ask therefore is; within this period, what happened to the oversight functions of PenCom? Furthermore, from the facts given by the commission, 12,914 suspected defaulting private sector companies were contacted, with many of them responding with proof of compliance, having remitted the said pension dues. This makes whatever claim to an efficient record-keeping system by the commission questionable. The glaring problem here is that PenCom could not, based on the facts available to it, ascertain which company has paid and for which period. This shortcoming could lead to institutional paralysis if left unchecked. In short, pension’s oversight function is shoddy, and way below the expectation of an average pensioner who entrusted his/her future wellbeing into the hands of the Pension Funds Administra-


tors (PFAs), perhaps for obvious reasons. As things stand, the social capital and trust which the public repose in the pension regulatory body is being eroded. The way pensioners are still being treated speaks volume about the totality of our ways of life, and the inadequacy of the social insurance mechanism. The challenges and issues raised by PenCom’s Director–General, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, are quite frightening; not only are the firms involved too large for comfort (thus, creating the impression of a rampant spread of the scandal), the unimpressive response of the defaulting firms and their Pension Fund Managers calls rather for a sober reflection. We know that ‘change’ for some people could be very unattractive initially; obviously many people have got used to the old order and they want it to continue, but they have no choice when the matter is a matter of law, as in this case. We should not condone, for whatever reason, a deliberate and flagrant disobedience of the laws of the land. In the same vein, obstinacy as being noticed on the part of some PFAs with regards to funds remittance, perhaps with the intent to defraud, should be dealt with seriously. PenCom has to get cracking. Making loud noise in the media after the ‘dark deed’ has been done is like medicine after death. The body should not waste time to sanction any employer that defaults in remittances. It is its duty to ensure compliance and it should not hesitate to wield the big stick whenever the need arises. As a matter of fact, an issue

such as this should attract the attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Sometimes monies not remitted are dubiously lodged in some interest-yielding account(s) for some felons masquerading as fund managers. The idea of raised paid-up capital for the PFAs looks good on paper. However, we call for caution lest the re-capitalisation scheme go the way of the banking sector’s - inconclusive, investor-repelling and ever controversial. Most Nigerians had hoped that with the signing of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) into law in June 2004 by President Olusegun Obasanjo, to replace the old pension administration regime (which had become a nightmare to pensioners), the era of untold suffering by pensioners was over. PenCom’s revelations have shown they are mistaken. And that is dangerous.

‘We should not condone, for whatever reason, a deliberate and flagrant disobedience of the laws of the land. In the same vein, obstinacy as being noticed on the part of some PFAs with regards to funds remittance, perhaps with the intent to defraud, should be dealt with seriously’

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IR: Where is Nigeria heading to if at 51, the fundamental, basic questions of statehood are still not resolved? Does it not mean that Nigeria’s past heroes who put down their lives for the unity of this nation did so in vain? Does their labour for the attainment of political independence for Nigeria and keeping the country together as one worth it? Is Nigeria at 51 not a tumultuous gathering of strange ethnic bedfellows? Is it the dream of Nigeria’s pre-independence nationalists that the country should still be grappling with unstable electricity, poor infrastructure, debilitating poverty, pervasive insecurity and unbridled corruption among the political class after 51 years of independence? Where is indeed Nigeria heading to? Should all sane and right-thinking citizens of this country be happy that at 51 and with the stupendous oil wealth at her disposal, Nigeria can’t cater for her citizens’ welfare? Is Nigeria’s call on her citizens in the National Anthem a call for service or disservice to the nation? Does serving this nation with love, strength and faith means being clinically detached to the plight of the ordinary citizen? What does it really imply to serve the fatherland in Nigeria? Is “thy labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain” still relevant in the emerging political terrain when their labour is already in vain? Did those heroes labour that Nigeria should continue to wander aimlessly in a political wilderness for decades on end? Did Nigeria’s heroes who fought for independence did so, so that the resources of the



Issues about the Nigerian project country could be subjected to an anachronistic pillaging by opportunistic public office holders? At 51, is Nigeria really an enigma or a state or both? At 51, is Nigeria really celebrating independence or her unrivalled history of national corruption, political astigmatism and developmental backwardness? What has the law-abiding common man in this country benefited from being a citizen of Nigeria, besides impoverishment, lack of basic amenities, economic hardship and political scapegoatism? What positive legacy had Nigeria’s political elite bequeathed on the na-


tion with the bountiful opportunities at their disposal in 51 years of independence? Would it not be more profitable if Nigeria is recolonized this time by the United States or better still, sold off in a privatization deal, with appropriate pricing and negotiation? Can a country be this rich and yet poverty stares majority of its citizens in the face who live under wretched and terribly reduced conditions? Is it not justifiable to argue that the poverty level in Nigeria can engineer thinking that the country is a poor country? But can anyone classify Nigeria as a poor country

if it can comfortably pay a senator more than what the United States, France and Germany pay their presidents? Why would Nigeria’s quest for infrastructural breakthrough not be an illusion if the country spends as much as 60 percent of the National Budget on recurrent items, chief among which is the famed salaries and allowances of legislators? Does leadership style of Nigeria’s leaders in any way suggests they were elected by the people or that they exercise power on the people’s behalf? Can peace, unity and freedom abide in a nation which re-

The FG/Boko Haram proposed dialogue

IR: Now that President Goodluck Jonathan has been blackmailed into opening negotiation with the Boko Haram sect, what will he be discussing with them? In every negotiation, there has to be room for give and take. For instance, when the federal government granted amnesty to the Niger Delta militants asking them to lay down their arms and come to the negotiation table, the militants had demands which they vehemently pushed for. These include a

reversal of the level of underdevelopment in their geo-political zone which the whole nation seems to agree is grossly under-developed among others. The demands still fall within the powers of the federal government except, probably, resource control which requires the amendment of the nation’s constitution to be effected. Thus most of the requests were granted while the militants were educated on why the others cannot

be immediately granted. This explains the relative peace we now have in the erstwhile volatile region. Now, check out the list of demands of the Boko Haram sect as has been made public through various media; dissolution of present system of government and establishment of Islamic based government, enforcement of the Sharia legal system in every part of the federation, total stoppage of western education and introduction of

Edo 2012: Why Oshiomhole/Odubu must return


IR: Failed politicians in Edo State are already jostling for the top job in Edo State, desperate to become the Governor and Deputy Governor come 2012. Their desperation for power will surely fail because Edo people know they have seen the ‘messiah’ in the ticket of Oshiomhole/Odubu. The Oshiomhole/Odubu second term ticket is a reality that will have no rival as there is no vacancy for the positions of the Governor and Deputy Governor in Edo State come 2012 election. The second term of Adams Oshiomohole and Pius Odubu is a reality and not negotiable. The Binis should not be deceived by the propaganda of “Ovbie Esese Rese” (real Bini person) coming up again to contest the positions of Governor and Deputy Governor in Edo State

wards organized crime and criminality in high places? Are the electorate slaves to the elected leaders in this country? Do the people of Nigeria have a right to demand accountability and openness in how their country is governed? Is it a sacrosanct fact that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government derives its just and legitimate powers? Is it also true that the primary purpose of government in Nigeria is the security and welfare of the people? These numerous questions are not raised because I have lost hope on the Nigerian Project. This piece is intended primarily to awaken the consciousness of those in the saddle of governance to recognize the desperate need to reverse the on-going degeneration of the Nigerian society in all ramifications conceivable. • Dennis Alemu, Yenagoa

come 2012. The Binis witnessed the administrations of Bini sons and daughters termed “Ivbie Esese Rese” a few years past which was characterized by retrogressive phenomenon, deplorable roads, dilapidated structures in schools and hospitals, streets trading, dirty markets, stinky environment littered with refuse and human waste, traffic congestion and above all, general indiscipline. The Binis saw an era of corruption and misappropriation of funds in the highest magnitude. Our money was siphoned to other parts of the world for selfish interest while our people were wallowing in abject poverty. A huge sum of our money was literally thrown into Ikpoba River to be washed away; some were kept on top of Mountain Kilimanjaro to be

washed down the drains. We saw an era of fruit juice factory that never produced any soft drink; cement factory that never produced even a bag of cement, street light without bulbs, roads filled with stones; hospitals without drugs, name it, all in shamble and disarray. We witnessed an era of schools without teachers. Salaries were not paid for months. Pensioners were not paid as and when due. Many died in numbers. Civil servants suffered non-payment of their salaries in time. There was civil unrest, strike and indiscipline, but ‘Ebo-de’ (nothing will happen) was the order of the day. The Binis prayed to God for a ‘messiah’ and God answered their prayers. The ‘messiah’ has come. Do we now blame God for answering our prayers? No, not at all!

Bini people can now enjoy good roads with functional street lights. Good school buildings, equipped and staffed, hospitals with drugs, clean and beautiful environment, easy and comfortable transportation with new buses, youth employment, salaries paid as at when due, pensioners are now happy and can live longer. We want to conclude by saying that the Binis should not allow any individual or group of people to trick them with the slogan of “Ovbie Sese Rese” again. Tell them to wait. After the second tenure of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Dr. Pius Odubu 2012 — 2016, they can come out for election. Let the Binis shine their eyes now or never. • John Ogbebor is based in Benin City, Edo state.

quranic education in our schools, arrest and bringing to book of those policemen involved in the extra judicial killing of Ahmed USAF and other Boko Haram leaders among other religious based demands. Apart from the bringing to justice of the suspected killer policemen which is already ongoing, which other demand of the sect does the federal government reasonably believe it can meet? If and when the religiously biased demands are met, will the federal government put in place measures to pacify Nigerians of other faiths and beliefs and make them see reasons why they should accept the terms of Boko Haram, ‘for the sake of peace?’ Does the federal government believe it can talk Boko Haram into abandoning its course and embrace peace while getting nothing in return? In fact, how do we identify the real leaders of the sect to ensure we will not just be discussing with impostors? The issues raised above need to be thoroughly examined before talks with Boko Haram can come up. That is assuming that the sect will honour the federal government’s invitation and not feel insulted that a government which it does not recognise and seek to dissolve has the effrontery of inviting it for a dialogue. • Odedeyi Adekunle Olugbenga, Matogun Road, Agbado Oke-Aro, Ogun state.




IBB vs Obj: Fading glories


T 70, the expectation was that life should be celebrated as another glorious landmark in the journey of life. Moreso, for somebody once the number one citizen of a nation like Nigeria, it ought not to be moody affairs were all to be well. Former military president General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) turned 70 last week and most Nigerians were not in any way excited to wish him well. Except for the organised interviews he granted some journalists, the media was virtually empty of unprompted eulogies. Rather, the masses were made to laugh at the caustic altercation between him and his co-failed leader, General Olusegun Aremu Okikiolu Obasanjo (Obj). Incidentally, the two of them combined held Nigeria captive as dictatorial helmsmen under the title guise of ‘President’ for almost 20 years out of the country’s 50 years of flag independence. Both of them swam in money but left the masses in penury. Since they know each other very well, innocent observers would merely be having fun as they accuse each other of tenure failure. IBB re-installed Obj as President against the wish of the people, hoping he would get a similar pay back. He was disappointed. And it was this frustration that must have made him to spill out the well-known reality that Obj spent a whopping $16 billion on power only to give the nation darker darkness. Of course, Obj too was not unaware of the $6 billion (when money still had value) excess oil income which IBB has failed to account for. Spurred by Mohammed Haruna’s column at the back page of THE NATION of Wednesday August 27, I’m hereby reverting to what I wrote 19 years ago as prologue in a special publication on IBB’s 7th year anniversary in office in African Concord magazine edition of August 31, 1992, titled: ‘Time for StockTaking.’ I’ll quote verbatim, perhaps the two ageing cargo combatants would pick anything from it: “All truly great men in history are men of vision. But by the same token, they don’t just stop at their visions. Otherwise, they’ll not transcend the popular street corner star gazers. Men become great when they actualise their positive vision for the betterment of society. The crisis of leadership today is not a Third World phenomenon only. It is worldwide. The crisis is accentuated by the mediocrity or irresponsibility on many of those in power. The high seats are largely occupied by those who hold and wield power without ever assuming the status of leaders, talk less of


becoming great leaders. In times and places, actors have emerged, played their rehearsed part and quit the stage. And that would be all. No lasting impressions. Yet, some would come, shake the stage so vigorously that the reverberations linger, either for the loud ovations or for the long boos. According to McGregor Burns in his award-winning book, Leadership, “to take the lead is to act in terms of certain values and purposes; leaders assume initiatives and organise support on the structure of wants, needs expectations and demands that lie beneath value and purpose.” Social psychologists have identified some uses of power and why human beings crave for it. In as much as there are those who use power to amass personal acquisitions and material fancies, there are also those who use it to seek novelty and excitement. Yet, others long for power because it enables them display acquired skill, knowledge and capacities for the adventurous purpose of extending the control of their environment. Still, there are those in the world of Machiavelli or Hobbes or Nietzche who seize power merely to demonstrate the extent of their ability to make others do their biddings – a fulfilment of personal, rather than societal or general desires. It is often the case to want to emphasize the dramatic, visible and conflict-ridden activities of the leader – especially those that speak sharply of the psychological and social deprivations and disturbances. To the media, this is what makes good copy. And to the marginalised in want of comforter, it sure makes great reading. In a moment of such exuberance, the tendency is to truncate understanding of the essence of leadership. For the purpose of the underdeveloped nation like ours, a great leadership must be one which leads to social change – meaningful social change in in the sense of the transformation to a concrete degree in attitudes, norms, institutions and behaviours that structure our daily lives. The changes cannot just be new cultural patterns and institutional arrangements and new psychological dispositions, but positive changes in material conditions in the explicit, felt existence, the flesh and fabric of people’s lives, attitudes, behaviours and institutions. So, has anything really changed in the last seven years? The General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s administration defies simplistic categorization. If any government in Nigeria has touched the lives of everybody in a remarkable way, it is Babangida’s. There is no middleroad. No fence-sitters. You must care, because you are touched. For the numbers who became stupendously rich due to any (or combined) of the government policies since 27 August 1985, it has been an era of the messiah. And for more numbers who have found themselves further nailed to pauperisation, the last seven years have meant an unmitigated curse. While you’ll want to put the hard-to-ignore era down as goodfor-nothing, you are tempted by an inner injunction urging you to tarry awhile and allow history to do its job. Perhaps a well-intentioned programme of today might spell greater disaster tomorrow. Perhaps too, a seemingly treacherous policy

of today might well be the cornerstone of tomorrow’s glory. Just perhaps. It is in this sense that it becomes impossible, at least for now, to do adequate justice to the performance – or otherwise – of the Babangida regime in one volume, no matter the paginations of a publication. It must be recognised that such assessments and judgements must be a continuous effort for years, and even generations to come.” Fellow countrymen and women, the above was my humble understanding exactly 19 years ago. Before he was forced out of power a year later, greater ruins were done to the polity and national ego by IBB’s annulment of Chief MKO Abiola’s popular mandate as President in the June 23 elections. He crawled out of office with head tucked between his thighs. His disgrace at the last PDP presidential primaries and desertion by his supposed loyalists when he turned 70 last week must have shown him that he is already at the ebb of his glory. Obj’s departure from office after unbroken eight-year tenure was no more glorious, especially with the crash of his third term manoeuvring. His fight-to-finish stance with his Vice Atiku Abubakar ended finishing both of them politically to the extent that a former president of the nation cannot boast of winning his ward election. His boys are now debasing him for killing privatisation, the heart of his economic management. The truth of life is that it is not where or what one is now that matters. What concerns the Creator more is how and where the created ends the race of life. Crown winners are only those who end gloriously. Still being alive is an opportunity by grace to repent and amend a meaningless life of arrogance, pride and self-justification.

To Okonjo-Iweala, Aganga That Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala could relinquish her post as World Bank Managing Director to take back the ministership of the nation’s Finance Ministry from where Obj unceremoniously sidelined her years ago is a mark of patriotism. To add to her value, President Goodluck Jonathan announced that her terms of acceptance are the same as those who lobbied head and neck to become minister: emoluments would be in naira and not in dollars as was believed was the case under Obj. Same story for Mr. Olusegun Aganga, now the Minister of Trade and Investment, his real area of competence when he was soaring with a reputable international investment company. Okonjo-Iweala’s opening statement on assumption of duty is most reassuring. She set for herself and the ministry staff a three-point agenda of “efficiency, effectiveness and delivery.” Aganga too has assured of his target of creating millions of jobs. Being my classmate in Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti, I know he has the capacity to perform his talk. My counsel to these two is that as long as they refuse to join the crowd in government to do the usual evil, then the nation will experience a difference and the positive impact of true patriotism.

Trade, Investment and the Customs Service

FTER the overwhelming endorsement that President Goodluck Jonathan got at the pools earlier this year, many Nigerians expected him to hit the ground running. But for a couple of reasons, that didn’t happen with military immediacy. First, there was the matter of the legislature which went on a break immediately after inauguration. Thus the president couldn’t get his ministerial nominees confirmed. But even when the legislators returned, the ministerial list came in batches and not in one bulk package. However, when the ministries were announced and portfolios allocated, Nigerians were generally satisfied and understood that the president was indeed working, sharpening his tools of execution – the ministries, departments and agencies. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the creation of the Ministry of Trade and Investment, as well as the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. In creating these two ministries, President Jonathan made a statement concerning the direction of his new government. Out of the Ministry of Science and Technology, a sharply-focused Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry was carved out, with an obvious mandate of putting Nigeria on the global ICT map and in line with the rest of the world. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry which had been more dead than alive for over a decade, gave way for a new Ministry of Trade and Investment. The essence is in the name, as we Africans say. Investments produce commodities which are then traded (with jobs created in the process). Underlining government’s seriousness concerning this Ministry of Trade and Investment, the President found it necessary to deploy Olusegun Aganga, former Minister of Finance, as its pioneer minister. The president was spot-on in his choice of Aganga to set the tone for this new ministry which has been described as the very heartbeat of the economy – encompassing investments in both the financial and real sectors as well as trade. Aganga’s one year at the ministry of finance gave eloquent testimony of what difference a knowledgeable and determined mind can make in the shortest of times. Within the year, his drive saw the establishment of the landmark Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). He also successfully floated Nigeria’s maiden Eurobond, which was twice oversubscribed in the face of significant challenges. Aganga also created access to low-cost funds by the real sector through various intervention funds.

By Ikechi Chikwendu Indeed, the depth of his interaction with the real sector and his interventions on their behalf could be said to have prepared the grounds for his current office. At his maiden interaction with the organized private sector (OPS) in the last week of July, the OPS expressed a revival of their spirits. For one, they were happy that a more focused ministry has been created; and on the second count, that this man that significantly helped turn around their misfortunes last year, had been chosen to pioneer the ministry. However, they had some concerns which they laid out before him. One is the propensity for government to change policies very often which affects them badly, wrecking their investment cycles. The other concern that they expressed was that Aganga’s lofty plans for the ministry may come to naught, if he doesn’t have a handle on the Customs and Excise Department. Without a doubt, these industry moguls know what they were saying. They have operated in the Nigerian business environment for decades and know what works and what doesn’t work. Over the decades, the Customs have not been the darling of the productive sector of the economy. Manufacturers have always complained about the Customs hindering their shipments of machinery and raw materials while turning a blind eye to the smuggling of contraband and subsidized imports. These are the twin poles of their cat and mouse relationship. It may be unrealistic to expect the Customs, a regulatory agency, to be the darling of operators. But in this instance, it wasn’t a question of running down the regulator, but a quest for the best regulatory environment. Whether the Customs remains in the Ministry of Finance where it currently is, or the Ministry of Interior where it once was, or indeed, the new Ministry of trade and investment, importers, including manufacturers, must pay their duties. The concern of the manufacturers is getting this regulator positioned in a place where it can serve their best interests (which aren’t different from the best interests of the economy). Basically, the customs plays three principal roles. It is a tool for revenue mobilization for government, collecting import and excise duties. It has the trade facilitation role, in which case it is used as a regulatory agency to moderate trade between the nation and the rest of the world to achieve goals set by the government in that regard. Lastly, it has a security function. In this role, it prevents the entry of whatever commodity the government does not want imported into the country at any time (including unauthorized weapons) . Over the years, the Customs has played these three key roles, with one of them taking pre-eminent position over others, de-

pending on the priority of the government at any point in time. This priority of the government has also been crucial in determining the ministry to which Customs reports. At a point during military rule, emphasis was placed on the role of the Customs as a security agency. The service was thus placed under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Earlier, the highlight was on the service’s role as a trade facilitator and economic development agency. By Decree No. 7 of 1970, Customs had representations of the ministries of Economic Development and Reconstruction as well as Trade and Industries on its board. Since 1992, the role of the Customs as a revenue agency for the government has been in the fore, and it has been under the Ministry of Finance. As the Federal Government shifts focus to investment and trade as tools of economic development, there is a need to arm the new ministry for the execution of its mandate. The industry chieftains were right that the control of the Customs service by the new ministry is key to the achievement of its mandate. At the current stage of our national development, capital goods required for investment are mostly imported. Some raw materials and spares needed for the running of industrial establishments are also imported. These imports all have to come through the nation’s ports – sea, air and land - where the Customs is the leading agency. These ports, particularly the seaports, have been great sources of worry to those who have had to pass through them. The matter has been so bad that for decades, many importers chose to use the seaports of neighbouring countries. The effectiveness of investment and trade as tools of development depend so much on the Customs. It can facilitate or scuttle initiatives by this new ministry to a great extent. The essence of the former Ministries of Economic Development and Reconstruction as well as Trade and Industries, are all found in the new Ministry of Trade and Investment. The Gowon government, immediately after the civil war, was in a hurry to develop the economy of the nation and saw reason to put this vital agency in the hands of those to whom it handed the prime responsibility. President Jonathan who is equally in a hurry to develop the economy before bowing out in 2015 should give this issue a rethink. He made the right moves in creating the Ministry of Trade and Investment. His choice of Aganga to pioneer the ministry is perfect. But if the Customs remains out of the control of the ministry, the progress will be slow and painful, even with Aganga. • Chikwendu is a Lagos-based freelance journalist.





AILED STATE” is a term popularized by Bill Clinton following the coinage in 1993 in an essay in Foreign Policy by two American political scientists to describe countries whose governments do not enjoy legitimacy or control over all their territories, and do not provide the people with security, and do not fulfil primary obligations to the people and the international community. In fact, foreign governments and institutions distance themselves from such regimes as much as possible. Somalia, Taliban’s Afghanistan and Laurent Gbabo’s Cote d’Ivoire are excellent examples. As already adumbrated, the term is used mostly in international relations to refer to countries, rather than their component parts. But in his broadcast on August 27, 2006, to mark the 14th anniversary of Anambra State, Governor Peter Obi curiously called Anambra “a failed state”. Neighbouring Delta State was, when this broadcast was made, engulfed by debilitating security problems, including the IjawItsekiri fratricide. But Emmanuel Uduaghan or former governor, James Ibori would not describe his state in lurid terms. Bayelsa and Rivers states were almost being overrun by militants, separatists, oil thieves armed with fearsome paraphernalia, etc. But the governors did everything within their means not to give the world the impression that their states were no massive jungles. So, why did the Anambra governor gravely de-market his state by likening it to Somalia? Governor Obi wanted to legitimize his government by delegitimizing all his predecessors, a common political malaise in Africa. Anambra still pays a heavy price for this mindset. I took a group of Indian businessmen to the state five years ago to build a factory, and introduced them to the governor at a party which he organized for Dora Akunyili when the NAFDAC chief executive received an honourable mention in Time magazine for her war against drug fakers. The governor displayed a great interest, which was quite encouraging. But when he made the broadcast and they picked it up from the Internet, the businessmen began to look elsewhere. Their factory has since gone into production at Agbara, Ogun State. How has Anambra fared on Obi’s watch? As you are reading this article, no state government-owned health facility has opened in

How Peter Obi rules Anambra State By C. Don Adinuba the last eight months because doctors, pharmacists, nurses, laboratory scientists and other health workers have been on strike over pay. My own people in Ihiala Local Government Area are a bit lucky; they go daily to health centres and hospitals in neighbouring Imo State for immunization and general medicare. For four months until the second week of July, 2011, no courts in Anambra State sat. Why? The workers were on strike over pay. Anambra enjoys the distinction of being the only state in the whole federation where the people, including those in Government House, have not enjoyed pipe-borne water for at least five years. Employees of the state water corporation have not received salaries in at least as many years. The situation in my home state tries men’s souls, to paraphrase the Great Zik of Africa. The situation challenges the conscience of the media, civil society and all those who can say no to sacrilege. A couple of weeks ago when I wrote a well circulated article calling attention to the abysmal state of roads in Ihiala, the fourth largest town in the state, and complained of the unjustifiable relocation of the state’s university from a place which represents Africa’s technological ingenuity as demonstrated the Nigerian civil war of 1967-70. In reaction to my brief essay in question, countless articles, frenetically written, were sent to the print media and the Internet under all manner of names. The state radio and television were mobilized to attack my person. As though to add a comic touch, Aloy Egwuatu, an otherwise fantastic gentleman who was two years ago given the sinecure position of Commissioner for Science and Technology after the people of Ihiala, the largest Local Government Area in the state, complained bitterly that not even a personal assistant or part time director of a government agency came from their place, went on air to announce that my townspeople had dissociated themselves from the publication. Inter-

estingly, the commissioner cannot, in this rainy season, move in his official Peugeot 406 car from his house to mine, a distance of five kilometres, because of the embarrassing roads. A little comparison here may be telling enough. I wrote two articles in 2007 in the national media calling attention of the Bola Tinubu government in Lagos State to the absence of basic infrastructure in most parts of the Lekki Peninsula. Tinubu had gifted propaganda storm troopers led by Information Commissioner Dele Alake, but he did not ask them to turn the heat on me or to remind me that I am not a Lagos indigene. He rather asked PW, the competent Irish construction firm, to reconstruct and expand the road for a whopping 2.8billion naira. As Babatunde Fashola was preparing to take over from Tinubu as governor, I ran into him at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and complained about the poor state of the road leading to my estate. Fashola dispatched a team of engineers and surveyors to my house within days. I now have a first class road, complete with excellent drains. Hence, Unity Estate residents did not feel the devastation of the July 7, 2011, rainfall like the rest of the peninsula. Can anyone imagine how the Obi government would react to a Yoruba resident in Anambra State audacious enough to criticize the government for not extending considerable infrastructure to his place? Obi made all his fortune in Yorubaland, yet he does not tire of asking Anambra people to reject Ngige and his supporters in the Action Congress of Nigeria because, as he claims, the ACN is a Yoruba party, unlike his All Nigeria Progressives Grand Alliance which he unabashedly calls the Igbo party. The ACN may well be a Yoruba party, but you can never hear that from the lips of Tinubu or Fashola. Why does the Obi group mouth APGA’s Igboness from the rooftops? Does the tiger

need to proclaim its tigritude, as Wole Soyinka once said about negritude philosophy? Can APGA grow in leaps and bounds by alienating non-Igbo Nigerians from it? No wonder, ACN has been waxing stronger across the nation, but not APGA. There is a determined effort at what Okey Ndibe, the famous writer and columnist, calls systematic ‘North Koreanisation’ of Anambra State. The government wants to turn the people into robots, that is, elements grossly incapable of independent thought and action, as they rely thoughtlessly and wholly on government relentless and energetic propaganda, the type well bereft of verisimilitude. Take the state’s electronic media coverage of the senatorial contest between erstwhile governor Chris Ngige and former Information Minister Dora Akunyili. To this day, neither the Anambra radio nor television has announced the election result, which was conducted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. When I asked some editors why they did not consider the result newsworthy, despite their sustained scurrilous attacks against Ngige and the canonization of Akunyili prior to the vote, they replied, “Do you want us to lose our jobs?” Need I say anything about the plight of Anambra Broadcasting Service employees who have retired in the last few years? How did the home state of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chinua Achebe, Chike Obi, Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, Pius Okigbo, K.O.Dike, Ukpabi Asika, Olaudah Equiano, Mokwugo Okoye, Nwafor Orizu, etc, come to the present state? Governor Obi himself would ask rhetorically, “Is the fault with us? Or is it in our star?” • Adinuba is head of Discovery Public Affairs Consulting.

‘Tinubu had gifted propaganda storm troopers led by Information Commissioner Dele Alake, but he did not ask them to turn the heat on me or to remind me that I am not a Lagos indigene’



UR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched. While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labours but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors. These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places. Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent. If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot. To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these rev-

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich By Warren Buffett enues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends. I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation. Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income. In 1992, the top 400 had aggregate taxable income of $16.9 billion and paid federal taxes of 29.2 percent on that sum. In 2008, the aggregate income of the highest 400 had soared to

$90.9 billion — a staggering $227.4 million on average — but the rate paid had fallen to 21.5 percent. The taxes I refer to here include only federal income tax, but you can be sure that any payroll tax for the 400 was inconsequential compared to income. In fact, 88 of the 400 in 2008 reported no wages at all, though every one of them reported capital gains. Some of my brethren may shun work but they all like to invest. (I can relate to that.) I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering. Twelve members of Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our country’s finances. They’ve been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion. It’s vital, however, that they achieve far more than that. Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country’s fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness. That feeling can create its own reality. Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America

can’t fulfil. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get. But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate. My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice. Warren E. Buffett is the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway. – The New York

‘Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends’


Pg. 24

NFF delays release

Clubs scramble for F/Eagles

Pg. 41

Nation PAGE 23

Monday, August 22, 2011

• Gabriel Silva (C) of Brazil celebrates with his teammates after the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 final match between Brazil and Portugal

Oscar’s hat-trickwinsBrazil Under-20World Cup


hat-trick from Oscar lifted Brazil to a 3-2 extra-time triumph over Portugal in the final of the Under-20 World Cup. After opening the scoring in the fifth minute on Saturday, Oscar struck a second half equaliser that sent the match to extra-time after full-time saw the teams deadlocked at 2-2. Then he got the winner in the 111th minute, lobbing a ball from the right that arched over Portuguese keeper Mika and gave Brazil a fifth Under20 World Cup title after their runner-up finish two years ago. Although Brazil started the favorites over a Portuguese team seeking a third Under-20 crown, the

match was tightly contested throughout. Oscar broke through in the fifth with a free- kick into the corner that caught Mika napping. It was the first goal surrendered by Portugal in the tournament. Nelson Oliveira set up Portugal's equaliser with a cross that Alex fired home in the ninth.

And Oliveira put Portugal ahead in the 59th, breaking free on the right and running past a defender to beat Brazil keeper Gabriel with a sharply angled shot. Brazil's equaliser came in the 78th minute when Mika blocked a shot by Dudu, only for Oscar to turn and slot the ball home.

The result avenged the result of the 1991 final, when Portugal beat Brazil on penalties. Earlier Saturday, Mexico beat France 3-1 in the third-place playoff. Ulises Davila, Jorge Enriquez and Edson Rivera scored for Mexico after Alexandre Lacazette put France ahead in the eighth minute.








Nigerian judokas task NSC on training tours

NFF delays release

•As they arrive Paris for World Championship •Sets high hope for AAG


HE Captain of the Nigerian Judokas Chukwuemeka Oyemachi has decried the inability of the National Sports Commission (NSC) to ensure that the country’s Judokas go on training tours before embarking on the 2011 World Judo Championships holding in Paris, France. The Nigerian Judokas who left the shores of the country on Saturday evening for the World Judo Championships however believed that they could still make an impact at the 28th edition of the championships having being called to the All Africa Games for seven weeks. In a chat with the Nationsports before the team’s departure, Oyemachi said: “Although Nigeria loves fire brigade approach, to every competition, but I must say that combatant sports also need training

tours, to improve on their skills. Unfortunately, they feel it is only footballers that need to go for friendly games, why not us? The local based Judokas don’t have any exposure to the sports they have to help us to build a strong team. It will be beneficial to the country if they introduce judokas to different competitions within and outside the country. However Oyemachi has expressed confidence in the Judokas ability to excel at the All Africa Games slated for Mozambique in September as he said: “At the All Africa Games, we going to make it, in Maputo, I will fight with the last strength I have, I don’t want to talk much, Nigerians should just pray for us, so that we will give them best. I won’t boast of medals, now, I believe in actions.”

Why I dumped Spain for Nigeria –Judo Captain CAPTAIN of the Nigerian Judokas team, Chukwuemeka Oyemachi has pledged his unflinching loyalty to the country as he takes on his opponent at the ongoing World Judo Championships just as he sated his reasons for choosing Nigeria ahead of Spain at the championships. He said: “I left Spain because I wanted to come back to my country, I was told to abandon Nigeria if I wanted to fight for Spain and I said no, because I love Nigeria I decided to come back home.” Oyemachi who has spent five years in Spain is also of the opinion that the country’s contingent to the world tournament will not be fazed by the array of stars that will paraded at the championship. “I don’t think there is going to be any

By Stella Bamawo pressure on us because we are happy representing them, we are ready to make our country proud. I worked hard in Spain, I did not go to Spain to joke , I have been training and tapping from them because they are more xposed than us in Nigeria. Meanwhile, this will be the 5th time the World Judo Championships have been held in Paris, and they will see the best French and international competitors compete against each other during 6 days of tough combat. Although Japan, the country of origin of judo, is one of the clear favorites to win medals at these World Championships, France is also a serious contender, as are the United States, Greece, South Korea and Brazil.

Kick-boxers hope to be included in AAG •As they depart for Germany for World Championship.


RESIDENT of the Nigeria Kick boxing Federation, Mike Eneduwa has expressed bitterness at the non inclusion of kick boxing in the All Africa Games slated September in Mozambique but however hopes that the sport will be included in the nearest future. However Eneduwa believes that their is compensation for Nigerian kick boxers as they are eligible to participate at the world championships and also Africa Kickboxing Championships. In an interview with the Nationsports on Saturday, Eneduwa stated: “kick boxing will not be in the All Africa Games, people did not want us to play the politics, it is a shame any way, we are not the only one crying, there are other sports not included in the All Africa Games, but we still have the world and African championship which is also fantastic, they are big tournaments, there are more tournaments to compensate for the All Africa Games.” Meanwhile NINE male and two female kick boxers have left for Germany aboard

By Stella Bamawo Lufthansa airlines for the kickboxing world championships holding in Karusruche, Germany from August 21 to 28. The Nigerian kick boxers for the championship are Awoleye Olakunle, Lawrence Chukwudi, Akeem Sadiku, Ejike Vincent, Lawrence Chukwudi, Kinsley Kolawole, Ugochinyere Anafulu, Efezemo Patani andOhiem Ocholi. The only two female kick boxers that will be representing the country are Caroline Joseph and Flora Okegbugwu. Eneduwa is of high hopes as he said: “Our world expectations are high, the lads have trained very hard, they have been committed to the sports, this is a chance for them, to test their skills. Let’s get there and see what will happen, because you know it is a combat sport, the expectations will be decided at the ring. The criteria for selection was their performance at the National Sports Festival. And their performance in camp as well , so they have been quite impressive. They will put their best.”

FIFA clears Nigeria’s Onwuachi to quit IGERIA’s Benjamin Onwuachi Greek club is keen to get his career back


on track now that FIFA has cleared him to quit Greek club Kavala. Onwuachi, who joined Kavala in August 2009 on a four year contract, has spent a frustrating last three months in Greece. He asked football’s world governing body to cancel his contract with the club after they failed to pay his salary for two consecutive months.


HE absence of Super Eagles’ Head Coach Samson Siasia at the last meeting held by the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has delayed the official release of the 30man Super Eagles list that would prosecute the double edge matches involving the Super Eagles in the first week of September. The Super Eagles are expected to take on the Madagascar National team in an all important Africa Nations Cup in Antananarivo on September 4, while engaging the Argentine National

By Stella Bamawo

He now says he has clearance from FIFA. The club also reneged on a US$ 145,000 bonus promised to Onwuachi, so Kavala are thought to have violated their contractual agreement with the player. Continue reading the main story “I’m glad FIFA allowed justice to reign, I’ve got several options available so we’ll see the next step.”


From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja team in what is termed as a revenge match in Dhaka, Bangladesh three days later. The Technical Committee had expected Coach Samson Siasia to be available on Friday to throw more light on the team list he submitted to the Committee, but he was unavoidably absent, which made the committee to defer the release of the list till this week. However, NationSport scooped that the coach may have finally decided to unleash


Officials plan to disrupt election –Igbokwe


HE Torch light of Nigeria Football and Leader of the Credible (Football) Election Group in Nigeria, Barrister Iyke Igbokwe has raised an alarm over plans by some top officials of the National Sports Commission -NSC (not including the Hon. Minister)in collaboration with some NPL officials to truncate and disrupt the forth coming NPL Chairmanship and Chairman of Club Chairmen Re-run Elections by using some security agencies to arrest and destabilize the sole candidate of the Rerun, Chairman of Bayelsa United F.C, Chief Victor Baribote so as to cause another crisis in the Nigeria Premier League. Barrister Igbokwe who is the Executive Secretary of the South-East Football Stakeholders Conference raised the alarm in a press statement issued from Abuja recently. “Yes, we have uncovered real plans by some Top officials of the Sports Ministry working in collusion with some fifth columnists from the NPL to illegally recruit the service of a security agency to arrest Chief Baribote on some trumped up charges to prevent him from assuming Office as the clear sole Candidate of the NPL following the disqualification and sacking of Davidson Owumi by the Prof. Ibidapo Obe Arbitration Tribunal and the Federal

High Court.” “It is a very interesting scenario that we are watching very closely and keenly because we must stop non-sense in this country”. “What is the interest of the NSC in the NPL who is controlled by the NFF as an affiliate?” “Why does the DG, NSC, Dr. Patrick Ekeji not like the face of Chief Baribote, a man who is a member of the Elite Group of Club Chairmen who has won the Premier league Title in 2008?” “ The plans to stop Chief Baribote at all costs started with their insistence that Owumi must remain the NPL Chairman despite a court order to the contrary”. “When that did not work and the NFF duly removed Owumi, they resorted to Akin Akinbobola who voluntarily withdrew from the first Election was therefore not qualified to contest the Rerun. ‘’And when it dawned on them that Akinbobola was not eligible to contest the Re-run, they tried to use the Chairman of the NPL Electoral Committee, Mr. Tony Rafua to force an unqualified Akinbobola into the race”. “Now that it has become very clear that their plan B of introducing Akinbobola won’t work, they are planning to recruit a Security Agency to harass Chief Baribote”. Barrister Igbokwe warned that Nigerians would resist any attempt by the Clandestine Group to disrupt the forthcoming Re-run NPL Election

because Nigeria’s foremost Football league, NPL must have a Board Chairman this time around and nothing can stop that, Igbokwe fumed.

the duo of Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses on the two rampaging countries. This we were told was after all documentation on their change of nationality was tidied up. Both players had played for England at junior level in past. Other players that are most likely going to make the list are goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama, Dele Aiyenugba, Chigozie Agbim. The defenders would be led by skipper Joseph Yobo, Efe Ambrose, Gege Toriola, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Danny Shittu, Echejiele Elderson, Peter Suswan, Dele Adeleye. The midfielders will include, Mikel Obi, Joel Obi, Isaac Promise, Uche Kalu, Fengor Ogunde, Eneji Otekpa. The attackers are Solomon Okoronkwo, Emmanuel Emenike, Uche Ikechukwu, Osazee Odemwingie, Victor Anichebe, Ahmed Musa, Brown Ideye, and Odion Ighalo. The team is expected to be reduced to 22 players before they travel to Madagascar on 3rd September.


From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano “We were made to understand that the ministry of Information, Youth, Sports and Culture is nursing the idea of appointing directors in various departments like audits, technical, administration and general services and finance, marketing and sponsorship, with the present General Manager as the leader of the management team, and at the same time, appoint a board and a chairman for the club. This is contradictory, if they are talking about saving cost.” He noted that for instance, a club like Kano Pillars that has a strong technical adviser, may be at conflict with whoever is appointed as technical director by the government just as he believes that the board with its chairman would have some challenges in tackling issues affecting the club. The Kano-born football administrator further said that it is unimaginable to see a government that is talking of prudence, trying to overshoot its expenditures in the running of the club. Hotoro appealed to Kwankwaso not to let the dream of the club being one of the best not only in Nigeria but also in Africa crumble due to personal interest, urging him to take a clue from his predecessor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, who appointed seasoned technocrats, academicians and sports administrators who were not politicians to run the club.


EVERAL Flying Eagles stars are set to swell the ranks of overseas-based Nigerian pros following an encouraging showing at Colombia 2011. The African champions reached the last eight of the FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia in fine style with players like Ahmed Musa, Edafe Egbedi and goalkeeper Dami Paul catching the eye. can exclusively reveal now that at least nine of these players will cash in on their performances in South America. It will only be a matter of time before winger Ahmed Musa dumps modest Dutch club VVV Venlo for a bigger club in a bigger league in Europe. And this has been fast tracked by his stirring displays in Colombia that were crowned with three goals and a consideration for tournament MVP. A top source informed that several Italian clubs have enquired about the jet-heeled star, but Venlo are “playing hard ball and asking for a king’s ransom” before they would let go the ex-Kano Pillars ace. Another shining star from Colombia 2011, Dami Paul, has already impressed Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia.

The Nasarawa United shot stopper let in only three goals at the U-20 World Cup and he is now due for trails in South Africa. Before the African Youth Championship in South Africa, which Nigeria won for a record sixth time, he was also due for trials in France. Hard working defensive midfielder Philemon Daniel is equally close to a dream switch from Nigeria Premier League (NPL) side Kwara United to the Dutch club FC Twente. The Kaduna-born showed how big an engine he has even while playing on the high altitude of Colombia with his tireless running so much so that he has interested Twente, who were runners-up in the Dutch Eredivisie last season. Fellow midfielders Ramon Azeez and Abduljaleel Ajagun are equally expected to jet out to Europe soon. Relegated Spanish La Liga outfit Almeria have stepped up their appeal against the refusal of a work permit for Azeez by despatching an official to Nigeria last week to the Spanish embassy. They have also transferred 20,000 Euros into the account of the player to further show their commitment to have the star midfielder from Futurepro Soccer Academy. “Almeria are not taking any chances because several bigger Spanish clubs like Valencia now want them to sell

Azeez to them,” Futurepro Academy director, Olalekan Adekunle, told Dolphin midfield star Ajagun is also on the radar of French club AJ Auxerre as well as several Spanish clubs. Enugu Rangers striker Uche Nwofor, who netted a brace in a group game against Croatia in Colombia, has already signed a pre-contract with VVV Venlo, but it is left to be seen if he may now not dump the club for the highest bidder. Other players who have tickled the fancy of European clubs are striker Olanrewaju Kayode (Lyon, Dynamo Kiev), defender Ganiu Ogungbe (several Spanish clubs) and Edafe Egbedi (strong French interest along with that of some Spanish sides). Flying Eagles stars on the move Dami Paul – Trials in South Africa Ganiu Ogungbe – Several Spanish clubs Abduljaleel Ajagun - Auxerre, Spanish clubs Ramon Azeez – Almeria fighting off bigger clubs Philemon Daniel – FC Twente Uche Nwofor – VVV Venlo may lose him Ahmed Musa – Serious interest from Italy Edafe Egbedi – Strong French interest Olanrewaju Kayode – Lyon, Dynamo Kiev


HE Organising and Disciplinary committee of the nation’s soccer governing body, (NFF) has declared that it did not slam any ban on Imo FA and it’s chairman, Chief Amanze Uchegbulam. A member of the committee who made the clarification over the weekend said the committee only banned Owerri based amateur league side, Imo United FC. The committee member who didn’t want his name in print since he had no official mandate to speak on the matter said the committee’s decisions after it’s meeting of August 12 is available for public consumption. “We issued a release after our meeting. And what we stated was that Imo United has been banned for two years alongside it’s officials. There was no where in the release we stated that we banned Imo FA and Chief Amanze Uchegbulam. All the noise being made about Imo FA and Uchegbulam being banned is coming to us as a surprise. It is the handiwork of mischief makers.” He stressed that the O and D in the first place has no powers to ban a state FA which is an affiliate of NFF, as that power can only be exercised by the NFF congress. “As a committee, we can only deal with an erring club. We don’t have the power to ban a state FA and the committee is made up of people who know the rules of the game.” The committee member stressed that the NFF will this week make further clarifications on the decisions of the committee, especially as it affects Imo FA.

Samsung hail F/Eagles over FIFA Fair Play Award


OR conducting themselves with dignity and earning the FIFA Fair Play Award of the just ended FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia, Samsung Electronics West Africa has commended the Flying Eagles which ended the championship as Africa’s best side. The team, currently African champions, were announced yesterday as the FIFA Fair Play Award winners as the Brazilian side lifted the trophy for the fifth time in the championship’s history. According to the world’s football governing body, the Flying Eagles, who finished the second highest scorers with 15 goals in five matches, were the fairest team at Colombia 2011 by some distance. Reacting to the positive development, Samsung, the Official Electronics of the Nigerian national teams, said that the conduct of the Nigerian representatives is worth emulating. “As much as we would have been delighted had the Flying Eagles won the championship, we commend the team’s spirit of fair play and recommend it to all our national teams, particularly at this time when indiscipline is becoming a big issue among sportsmen and women,” Idy Enang, Managing Director, Samsung Nigeria, said. “The Flying Eagles of the Class of 2011

Don't kill Pillars, football administrator urges Kwankwaso HE chances of Kano Pillars Football Club maintaining its top position in the Nigerian soccer scene is hanging in the balance following plans by the State government to appoint politicians as board members and directors for the club. The fear that the Kano Pillars may lose its focus is being nursed by an astute football administrator and staunch supporter of the club, Hassan Isiaku Hotoro, while speaking to sport writers in Kano. According to him, what Kano Pillars need now is sufficient funding and effective supervision of the club. Hotoro urged the State government to jettison the proposed appointments of four Directors and board members so as to keep the club on top of the nation’s premier league. The sports analyst is of the view that appointing directors for the club with a General Manager to constitute the management team, and at the same time appointing other members into the board for the club, was economically unwise. He explained that the proposed directors and other board members, who are likely to be politicians, will see the club as a cash cow for their personal benefit, which he said would be detrimental to the general interest of the club.

Clubs scramble for F/Eagles

We didn’t ban Imo FA, Uchegbulam –NFF

are indeed true ambassadors of Nigeria and we at Samsung are proud to be identified with the team at this time in the history of our nation’s football.” Upon returning to the country last week from Colombia 2011 where they recorded four wins and became the only African side in the last eight, the Flying Eagles were hosted to a rousing reception by Samsung in Abuja. On that occasion, Donald Etim, Head of Corporate Marketing, Samsung Electronics West Africa, described the players as great ambassadors of the country given that they gave a good account of themselves while the championship lasted.

“We feel inspired by your performance and we are very proud of you. Though you did not come back with the trophy, but you came back with your heads high,” Etim said. He maintained that the country is laden with great talents and assured all of Samsung's readiness to continue to partner with the Nigeria Football Federation in discovering the talents and nurturung them to stardom. Samsung, a global electronics brand, recently signed a partnership deal with the NFF in the capacity of the official electronics of the Nigerian national football teams.

Six coaches shortlisted for U-17


HE Nigeria Football Federation has shortlisted six coaches for interview for the technical crew of the National U-17 team (Golden Eaglets). The coaches are to be interviewed on Tuesday at the secretariat of the football house. According to our source at the Glasshouse Secretariat of the NFF, the Coaches were sent personal text messages by the General Secretary (Technical) Emmanuel Ikpeme. The coaches were advised to attend the

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja interview with all their relevant credentials to for verification. Among those invited are Manu Garba, Emmanuel Amuneke, Nduka Ugbade, Oladunni Oyekale, and Fancy Ewulu. But the surprise omission from the list of invited candidates is former home based Coach Erasmus Onuh Olota whom many had tipped to land the job, because of his track record at the grassroots.

International stadium experts in Nigeria for Copa Lagos


•Ali Alzubaidi (c) and Maan Khodary (l) vies for the ball with Nigeria's Ahmed Musa during the FIFA Under-20 World Cup football match at Hernan Ramirez in Colombia

N anticipation of the Copa Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament slated

for December 2011, the stadium construction company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Gulf Arena, arrived in Lagos on Sunday to visit the site where the first ever International Beach Soccer event in Nigeria will take place. The Designated Venue is the Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tour 2011 official venue (Eko Atlantic, off Bar Beach, V.I Lagos). The international experts visiting are Mr. Westbrook Barry Steven (English) and Mr. Islam Saqib (Indian), while the delegation will be lead by Kinetic Sports’ CEO, Mr. Samson Adamu. Copa Lagos team are teaming up with the Gulf Arena, in order to provide the best there is to offer when it comes to beach soccer. Kinetic Sports C.E.O Samson Adamu reveals that:“ Copa Lagos will work with a group of experts, who will design a state-of-the-art venue, built from scratch and manage

the event in terms of infrastructure, sound, light and audio-visual.” “We will be supplying all key stakeholders with an outstanding environment, which will satisfy all requirements, ensuring that the players, fans and guests can compete and enjoy at an international standards' stadium.” The tournament is already enjoying

the sponsorship of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc which has agreed to a one year partnership with Kinetic Sports and Beach Soccer Worldwide, organizers of Copa Lagos, making the bank the exclusive sponsor in the banking category (Official Bank) of this first ever Beach Soccer international tournament in the country.






• A building designed by computer.

Building design goes digital More architects are deploying computer in designing buildings for their clients. The idea, a departure from the past, makes architects go for software that can improve their productivity.The software vary in size, capacity and value, writes AKINOLA AJIBADE.


OR many architects, thorough, neat, faster, and good jobs are the requirements for winning more clients, and advance in the profession. And like other professionals, architects are using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to improve their jobs. The manual method, which they were taught in school in the past, is said to be stressful and time-consuming. The vogue is that architects taking details of their works through either laptop or desktop computers. Architects now view landscapes, plot sketches, spot mistakes, and draw diagrams by deploying certain

softwares. The use of softwares help to bring out the beauty of their jobs, attract patronage and make more money. The software include Autocad, Chief Architect, Arch Cad, Google set up, and STAAD, which means Structural Analysis and Design. Besides, there are other software that are not common in Nigeria. In many architectural firms, a good knowledge of information and technology and academic qualifications are the basic requirements for getting employed. A don, Prof Olumide Olusanya, described Autocad software as user friendly. Olusanya, who teaches architecture at the University

of Lagos (UNILAG), said the software is useful for many architects. He said the older generation of architects can now do a lot of things with the software. He said such people can now draw and design a building with the aid of ICT tools such as laptops and desktop computers. He said the softwares have helped in improving the productivity of architects considerably, in terms of drafting and editing of building designs. He said the editing of building designs takes different processes. While architects graduate from one process to another in the course of editing a building designs.

Giving an insight into the processes, Olusanya said when an architect edits the design for the first floor of a building, he would have less problem in editing the design for the second floor. Similarly, the President, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Mr. Olatunji Bolu, said the software have helped in improving the skills of architects. He said architects have so many software to choose from to enhance the quality of their works. Bolu said architects must have a good • Continued on page 26




Building design goes digital •Continued from page 25

knowledge of Chi Square, before they use computer to edit and design buildings. Chi Square is a statistical formular used in measuring the skewness or variations of data. It helps architects in getting accurate dimension or size of the building they are designing. He urged architects to start from the scratch when designing a building, adding that basic knowledge of the job is needed to excel. “I always tell people that computer methods of operation is faster than the manual, hence the need for people to get used to those softwares.” There are many applications or tools that aid the jobs of architects.” he said. Bolu said the softwares aid the flow of communication between architects, and their consultants, adding that the two parties don’t usually get stalked when they have some dealings. He said this is evident by the sending of mails, among other information items to help their activities. He said the applications aid teleconferencing, and forge a strong

relationship between architects and their numerous stakeholders. A graduate of the School of Technology, Ilesa, Osun State, Mr. Agunbiade Kayode, said architecture has gone beyond scrolling something on a paper and passing it as a design. Kayode said electronic knowledge of designing a building is required to succeed in the business. He said different softwares have been introduced to aid the jobs of architects. He said the software called Auto card 2D and 3D helps in producing building outlays for customers. He said Autocad 3D shows how a building looks like after completion. Kayode said a professional, who knows how to draw manually, only needs to install the software in his computer, make some lines( horizontal and vertical lines), plot graphs, do some cuttings and paste. He said the person can, thereafter, apply his professional knowledge to hasten the job. He said a three-bedroom flat would only take two hours to design electronically, while it would take two weeks to do the job manually. He said Chief Architecture soft-

• Bolu

• Kayode

ware performs similar functions as Autocad, adding that the former is used to determine various components of a building. He said: “The software called Chief Architecture is useful when one is designing a floor pan. That is when one is trying to determine the size of a building, the dimension of the sitting rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and the partition walls. The software is not too common, unlike Autocad. Some of the softwares are pirated, resulting in their lower

prices. For instance, a pirated or fake Autocad is sold for N250, while the original goes for N30,000. To reduce piracy, the company that produces Autocad has made it impossible for people to buy it though stores. Now, one can only demand for the software on-line. Auto card is the most common software in the country”. According to Kayode, the Chief Architecture software is used for structural detailing/design.

Structural detailing deals with the frameworks of a building, while frameworks has components or elements that support a building. Pillars, beams, slabs, among others, are the components that support a building. “Anytime you are showing the structural details of a building, you are showing the position of the components that support the building. Those components are pillars, beams, iron rods, among others. When these components are not well positioned or located in a building, they can cause what is best known as structural defects or failures in architectural profession. This means all the components that support a building are lacking. “This can lead to the collapse of the building in future,” he added. He said the software is used to determine the position or location of the pillars, slabs, iron rods and the things that support a building. He said the software helps architects place these components in the right place. It is evident that the face of architectural practice has changed from old to the new; manual to electronic, and ordinary to extraordinary. In fact, the train for the evolution of modern architecture has taken off, with practitioners trying to get on board. While many architects have shown the eagerness to improve their skills via electronic means, others are complacent. But the question is: When will all architects adopt electronic methods of operations?


Ekunno replaces Ohuabunwa as Neimeth CEO


• Mr Ekunno

FFECTIVE from September 1, 2011, Mr Emmanuel Ekunno, will be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Neimeth International Plc, a position formerly occupied by Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa since 1993 when the company was called Pfizer West Africa.

The Board of Neimeth approved the voluntary retirement of Mazi Ohuabunwa, the President/Chief Executive Officer of the drug manufacturer company – Neimeth International Plc with effect from August 31, 2011. Ekunno joined Pfizer Products Plc in 1981 and has risen

through several Management positions in Sales and Marketing to reach his current position as the Executive Vice President responsible for the pharmaceutical business. He graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo Univer-

sity) with an honour’s degree in Pharmacy and he is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School. Ekunnu is expected to build on the foundation of the outgoing helmsman and to take the company to the next level of improved performance.



NEW year is fast approaching and you need a new impetus for the ever-elusive job. The article is a help for developing a master strategy. Just as you need different traps for catching mustangs, bears, and fish, you will need various strategies for hunting for an engineer opening, a psychologist assistant position, or a nurse internship. There are, however, a few steps that are the same, no matter which forest you are hunting in. Let’s start with those. 1. Just as in any other kind of hunt, the first thing you need to do when starting a job hunt is to decide what exactly it is that you are trying to catch. It is very important to have a good idea for the kind of job you want. It will be your foundation for the whole job search process - start to finish. Here are a few questions to help you figure out what you will be hunting for: • Am I happy in my current career field? • What kind of activities do I enjoy doing the most in my daily life? What do I strongly dislike?

Job hunt: The master plan By Olu Oyeniran

• What do I imagine my day to be like three years from now? • Do I enjoy working in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere or corporate environment? • What do I want my job responsibilities to be with my next employer? A good idea might be to take a few career assessment tests. Such as Myers-Briggs (MBTI) personality indicator, Career Quiz on 2. When you know what kind of prey... khm... job you will be hunting for, it’s time to prepare your “equipment”. You will need a few key items to succeed in capturing your perfect job: • A resume that makes you look better than the competition • A cover letter that captures the recruiter’s attention and makes them want to know more about you • References from your colleagues and/or school professors

• A valid email address and a phone number where you will actually pick up the phone • A network of people (!!!) who could potentially help you in your endeavors • and a decent looking set of clothes to wear at the interviews 3. After you prepare your “traps”, you need to decide, where you will be hunting and what will be the best way to use your equipment to get that job. There are a few strategies that could be used simultaneously or sequentially during the hunt: • Networking - applying for jobs through the people you know, getting references, using professional networks such as and • Posting your resume and cover letter on job search sites such as,,, and others • Contacting employers directly by sending letter to human resources, calling, or walking in to drop off your resume

• Using staffing agencies and recruiters to help you in your pursuit • Submitting your resume to potential employers through job search sites. 4. After you decided on the hunt strategy and actually went out to the woods... khm... job sites, you will get closer to your “prey” the potential employers will start getting back to you by phone and email. You will go through phone screens, preliminary interviews, and full on evaluation processes. It is very important to show your best during this stage. Interviews is where you figure out whether or not the job will be right for you and where the employer figures out whether you will be right for the job. 5. And finally - you catch that deer - you get an offer of employment letter. You think this is where it ends?.. Nope! This is where my favorite part begins.

The negotiation game. A lot of people are so psyched that they got their mustang, that they forget to feed it, tame it, and build it a nice stall. In the job search terms - people forget to make sure they actually like the whole benefit package. It is not over when you get an offer! You need to compromise on the terms so that both you, and the employer are happy! This is where the negotiation game begins. After you have negotiated the desired benefit and salary package, start date, and stock options - sign the offer. Congratulations! You are now happily employed. PS: A job hunting group has been created on my facebook page ( This article is based on an original one by Maria Kuznetsova ( Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates. Website: E-mail: Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).


ADVICE Party chief counsels aspirants Lagos

CAPACITY NGO empowers women

Ndigbo install king







Page 27


Ogun to create jobs through agric



HE government of Ogun State has reiterated its resolve to use agriculture as a veritable vehicle to revolutionise the economy of the state and create jobs for the people. This is apart from the ongoing recruitment exercise geared towards giving jobs to 10,000 indigenes of the state. Governor Ibikunle Amosun aims to achieve this within his first 100 days in office as promised during the electioneering campaign. The governor stated this in his office in Abeokuta while receiving the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms Evelyn Oputu, the bank’s management team and some investors. He said the state is ready to go back to the basics in order to push it

By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

forward. His words: “Before the advent of oil, Nigeria’s economy was vibrant and strong; remember those groundnut pyramids, palm oil, rubber, cotton and cocoa revolution. Our founding fathers did a lot with agriculture and commerce. “For us in Ogun State, we are going to the basics. We are gifted in the state and we should be able to take advantage of our abundant resources in Ogun State. We know the importance of commerce and we are prepared to industrialise our state using agriculture.” Amosun explained that his administration will fully take advantage of the proximity of the state to Lagos,

adding that the favourable encvironment and political support needed by genuine investors will be provided. Oputu stated that the intending investors were in the state to tap into its economic potentials and add value to agriculture. She said that the present administration led by Senator Amosun has demonstrated its desire to rebuild and reposition the state. “Our emphasis is always on the small- and medium-scale industries with a focus to create wealth among the people and make meaningful impact towards the development of our society. We are in Ogun State because there is land mass waiting to be tapped into,” she said.


NE of its trainees is now a millionaire, with about 200 people working for him. Another, a woman who specialised in local fabrics, has taught 100 others the trade. Yet another who is a sculptor has, this year alone, groomed two girls and a boy in the business. The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Ondo State has thinned down the population of the unemployed in the state and helped to empower many who were once dependent on others. The state directorate’s poverty eradication efforts have started yielding fruits as beneficiaries are becoming employers of labour, said Mr Olaitan Olayinka, its coordinator. He showcased the activities of the NDE in the state capital, Akure. He said a N6 million garri-processing factory is nearing completion at Ikaram Akoko in Ondo North Senatorial District. He added that similar factories will also be located in the central and southern parts of the state. The NDE, he said, is encouraging people to embrace large-scale garri production to boost food supply in the state. At Ikare Akoko, Alleluyah Jesu Seun Furniture Centre, the NDE coordinator also showcased several projects executed by trainees of the directorate. Journalists, who travelled with Olayinka, visited the Agriculture Training Farm at Mariwo and Igbelowowa Farm Settlement in Ilara Mokin, Ifedore Local Government Council of the state. While the Mariwo farm which covers three hectares of land is the initiative of the NDE, Igbelowowa was started by Mr Fajemilehin, one of the beneficiaries of the micro-credit finance programme of the directorate. Fajemilehin started in 1989 with the sum of N80, 000. Also, Queensely Palace of Fashion in the Leo area of Akure, one of the beneficiaries of loan facility of NDE in 2004, has trained over 50 youths in fashion designing and wedding gown making. The proprietress of Glory Fashion Centre, Madam Dolapo Oni said the centre which took off in 2007 with the assistance of NDE, has trained over 20 youths. At Isinkan, Akure was Mr Sola of Man Bake Foods, one of the first set of

•Mr Olayinka and local fabric makers in Akure

Women, youths savour new jobs Ondo NDE trainee becomes millionaire From Damisi Ojo, Akure

beneficiaries of NDE who could boast of baking over 12 assorted breads through the assistance of N50, 000 loan he received in 1989 The Women Empowerment Branch (WEB) which specialises in local fabrics Adire and Kampala making, has trained

over 100 women under the supervision of Olori Bolanle Farotade in the Oba Adesida Road, Akure. The Special Public Works Department (SPWD) of the NDE also presented Mr Adeloye Johnson who specialises in sculpture and ceramics. This year, he has trained two girls and a boy in the trade. Eni Olorunda, a 1988/89 welding trainee

under the Skill Acquisition Programme (SAP), who has been operating a steel construction firm, is now a young billionaire with over 200 workers. Other areas visited by the journalists included, BB Generator workshop at Onyarugbulem Market, Akure where Mr Babalola Adesola was busy supervising his trainees.



Council gets three centres for free medicare T

Lagos to demolish 500 shanties


•Governor Fashola

AGOS State Government has issued notice to residents living in over 500 clusters of shanties on the Ilaje Lagoon, in Bariga Local Government Area of Lagos State, to vacate the area as it plans to demolish the shanties. The state Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru, who addressed the over 2000 affected residents , shortly after issuing the notice, said it was imperative for the government to demolish the structure as the area constitute serious environmental nuisance and security threat to citizens in the state. Oniru explained that government could no longer fold its hands and allow the situation to degenerate, adding that the shanties which are quiet visible from the

US group gives free medical services


HE achievements of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State have continued to receive commendations across the globe. The latest came from Nigerians in the Diaspora under the aegis of African Business. Owners Forum International (ABOFI) in the United States that began a free medical service programme for the residents recently. Speaking during the flagg-off of the programme tagged: Medical Mission of Mercy, the governor appreciated the efforts of the medical personnel to add value to the lives of their people. According to him, the health sector is an important aspect that needs concerted effort from all and sundry to develop, adding that government alone cannot adequately fund the sector which is why,he said, his administration has been partnering with interested private sectors to improve the healthcare system. His words: “ We are here today witnessing the demonstration of love being shown by our people in Diaspora under the aegis of ABOFI who have recognised our efforts and decided to contribute to the development of our system. This programme would go a long way in alleviating the health problems of our people” While appreciating the pharmaceutical

Ondo companies such as Drugfield, Ranbaxy, Generix Global Investment Limited, Tripple ACE and De-Zubik for their contribution in the programme, Mimiko briefly outlined his administration’s achievements in the sector. He told the gathering that in 2009 when his administration came on board, the health care delivery system was at its lowest ebb as the state health indices were the worst in the South West region of the country. This was why,he said, the administration took some far reaching measures such as, the save motherhood programme otherwise known as ABIYE, construction of the Mother and Child Hospital as a referral centre in Akure and construction of more than 80 basic health centres in different communities in the state. Other health improvement programmes he mentioned include, the festival of surgery, eye camp,free medical services for children below the age of five,the trauma centre, and general renovation of all dilapidating health facilities across the state as well as procurement and distribution of drugs and medical equipments.

Lagos By Miriam Ndikanwu

Third Mainland Bridge constitute an eyesore to foreign investors and visitors coming to the state for the first time. According to him, “We have come here to warn you to leave this place; we would not come back here to warn again. The bridge you see there is an international link bridge, and we do not like the eyesore these shanties are creating here, we do not want them near the bridge anymore. The entire area has been bastardised with shanties in the water and we would remove them if you refuse to move”. He revealed that the state had earlier issued warning to the dwellers to leave the area, saying that their continuous stay on the lagoon, posed security as well as environmental threat to the state. “We are here because of the ongoing security problem that we have in our state today. If you look around, you would see law enforcement officers, they are here to help and enable us clear the eyesore you are looking at behind me. “Those shanties on top of that water bear no street address for anybody, so the state government is here to warn them to move from the water body because we are coming to clear all the shanties on the water bodies, be it on the water and along the water front, the state government is here to make sure that people don’t live like this anymore”

•Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (right) on a visit to the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Onno Ruhl (middle).With them is Prof. Foluso Okunmodewa of the World Bank .



HE Oyo State Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, has appealed to the Federal Government to reimburse the state for the expenditure it incurred in rehabilitating federal roads in the state. Ajimobi made the appeal in Abuja during a visit to the Minister of Works, Mr Mike

Oyo Onolememen. He also called for the rehabilitation of all federal roads in the state. The governor noted that there was urgent need for the completion of the road network in the country. “We solicit the support of the Ministry on the issues of outstanding debts. The state has rehabilitated 11 federal roads and has the sum of N18.7 billion as reimbursement by the ministry. “ We had express approval of the FG and all projects are 90 percent completed. For a state like Oyo which has no oil and has a low revenue allocation, coupled with the labour problem of minimum wage, we feel that outstanding bills should be cleared”, the Governor stated. He appealed to the minister to hasten action


Lagos By Tajudeen Adebanjo

He said his interest in education had made him shift attention to the adults and youth alike who for one reason or the other, had missed opportunity to read and write at the early age. This, he noted, would provide them the second chance of formal learning. The council chief enjoined the graduates of tertiary institutions in the area to step out and enroll for vocational training to support their educational qualification. In his remark, the supervisor of the project, Mr Taofik Shonola, thanked the chairman for the opportunity given to the centre to train the learners on soap making, event decoration, catering, fashion designing, bead making and tie and dye.

•, Hon Adebogun presenting a gift to the best learner in Tie and Dye department during the ceremony

•From left: Director, Fish Technology, Nigeria Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research, Mr. Gbola Akande, (left); Executive Director/CEO of the Institution, Prof Olajide Ayinla and Director of Administration of the institute, Mr Ivor Takor at the open bidding of rehabilitation of jetty and establishment of Fishing and Incubation Centre in Lagos PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

Council chief tasks electorate


HE forthcoming local government election, especially in Lagos State, will convince anyone that the Action Party of Nigeria (ACN) has no rival among other parties in the state, the chairman of Apapa Local Government, Mr. Ayodeji Joseph, has said. The council chief, who spoke with Newsextra on the preparedness of the party ahead of the poll, maintained that members of the party who had participated in governance at any level had succeeded in convincing the people that they are committed to their welfare. “In our party, we don’t need to lose sleep over doing well in the coming election or any other because our party has been able to give a good account of itself with exemplary performances. If there is any other political party in Lagos State for instance, it will be the one to panic; we have the people behind us day or night,” he said. When asked to expatiate, Joseph said: “Even the blind and the deaf are quite aware of the legacy of all-round service that former Lagos State governor and our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu lay while in the saddle. It did not end there; he passed the baton to the current action governor who is being celebrated across Nigeria and the whole world. “With the records of both great leaders

HREE health centres in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State have been chosen for the implementation of the state free health services. They are at Oye, Ilupeju and Isan. This was disclosed by the caretaker chairman , Mr Adewale Adekoya, during his sensitisation visits to some wards in the council. Adekoya urged expectant mothers, infants up to five years of age, the physically challenged as well as elders from the age of 65 to visit the centres for treatment as all logistics for the take-off have been concluded. The chairman also inspected the market project completed at Isan Ekiti during the visits and informed the people that it would soon be commissioned for use. At Ayegbaju Ward, the council chief revealed his plan to grade the roads in the area and sink a borehole to provide potable water for the people.

Oyo seeks reimbursement for rehabilitated roads

Council trains 250 in vocational skills VER 250 adults last week graduated from various vocational and literary skills training instituted by the Imota Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. The event was witnessed by the council top functionaries, traditional chiefs, community leaders, friends and well wishers of the graduands. The council chairman, Prince Ibikunle Adebogun, expressed satisfaction at the impressive performances of both the instructors and learners in the programme Adebogun urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of their training and even make efforts to improve on the knowledge and be self reliant. “I am very proud that our council was a pacesetter in this and other related programmes to alleviate poverty among our people,” he said.


Lagos By Dada Aladelokun

and what they have prompted local councils to achieve under their administrations, it will be idiotic to expect the people who have been enjoying the progressive administrations to withhold their allegiance to them and the party because they want development to continue. Look at the spate of overall development that has happened to our state in the last 12 years; it is unprecedented, especially on the infrastructural front.” J o s e p h t h e r e f o r e expressed the confidence that Lagos people and those in other ACNcontrolled states in the country would never be allowed to be bought over to retrogressive parties with m o n e y , materials or e m p t y persuasions and promises. •Ayodeji

on the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as the route was unsafe and dangerous. He said the Ibadan-Ilorin road was also bad. Ajimobi noted that the current transformation agenda would only be realised through relevant infrastructural development such as road rehabilitating. He disclosed that the state’s “Reform, Transformation and Reposition policy’’ should be adopted for national development. The governor also decried the poor state of the Abuja –Lokoja road, the major link road to major parts of the country. Replying, the minister praised the Oyo State government for its support.He promised to ensure that all outstanding debts were cleared. He said the ministry was ready to work with any government, committed to national development.

Fed Govt to improve girl-child education

HE Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to improving girlchild education in the country. Delivering a keynote address at the 11th Girls Child Education National Steering Committee Meeting in Abuja last week, Minister of State for Education, Mr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Education would work with all stakeholders to scale up programmes geared towards improving girls’ education. Wike said that the ministry is at present addressing the drop-out syndrome of boys and girls from schools through the rehabilitation of schools and advocacy visits to states to sensitise planners and ensure adequate community participation, especially by women. According to him: “The Federal Ministry of Education recognises the critical role of girlchild education and has made it a top priority, hence the scale up of Girls’ Education interventions to all states of the federation”. In a statement signed by the Special Assistant, Media to the minister, Simon Nwakaudu, Wike noted that the interventions in girls’ education are designed to address the Millennium Development Goals, (MDGS), Two and Three and assist Nigeria in attaining its Universal Basic Education goals by 2015. The minister, who is also the chairman of the National Steering Committee, appealed to states to reciprocate the gesture of development partners by also committing resources to address both girls and gender education issues. He praised the British Department for International Development, DFID and

Vehicle owners warned THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of vehicles parked at Owode Ajegunle Division Police Station to remove them or forfeit same through auction. They are: 1. Scrap BMW saloon car 2. 1 Scrap-ford Bus – XC 810 BER

Abuja From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

UNICEF for their funding initiatives and technical support towards enhancing girlchild education. Earlier, Director of Basic and Secondary Education at the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. M.I. Ozumba stated that the meeting was convened to discuss modalities for improving on the gains attained in the enhancement of girl-child education in the country.


He also informed the people that the skills acquisition centre built in the town would be completed and equipped before the end of the month to empower the youths and the women. He promised to tar some township roads in in the council to facilitate movement of goods and services. He recalled that 60 indigent students from thecouncil had been sponsored at five per ward to enroll for the November 2011 GCE examinations and assured the

•Governor Fayemi

people of his council’s determination to serve them creditably.

Residents seek help


ESIDENTS of Destiny and Sona Brewery Estates in Ijoko area of Ogun State have called on the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun to come to their aid and provide the area with basic infrastructural needs, which are lacking in the estates. In a save our soul letter to the governor, the residents congratulated Governor Amosun on his victory at the April governorship polls, describing the victory as a well deserved one and overwhelming. However, the residents in the letter signed by Samuel Adetunji and Johnson Otefisan, Chairman and Secretary of the Landlord Association, complained that the area has not in any way felt the impact of the government. According to the letter “Your Excellency, we are using this medium to appeal to you to come to our assistance because we have become a neglected and forgotten people. We lack good roads, hospitals, schools, potable water, and even markets. “To access all these things, we always travel far places and most times if we need to go to a hospital, it’s always a nightmare because we

Ogun By Oziegbe Okoeki

have heard cases where some of our pregnant women had delivered on the road, while going to the hospital. “Apart from this, some of us that have cars find it difficult to go out with our cars because once it is dark, everywhere is dark and we find it hard drive on the roads. And to buy food stuffs, we travel long distance to get them because there are no markets close to us. “Some of our children whose parents cannot afford private schools are just at home doing nothing because there are no public schools around for them to attend. We are appealing to you to assist in these regards. We desire development in every aspect of our lives and we will be glad if our letter is looked into. “We pray that your reign will bring progress to Ogun State and impact positively on the citizenry,” the letter read.

Marketers warn against impersonation


ARKET men and women in Lagos Island have paid a solidarity visit to the council chairman, Prince Wasiu Eshinlokun. The marketers described as impersonation anybody claiming to be head of marketers in the council. Head of Committee of Market Men and Women, Lagos Island Alhaja Raliat Agbeke, expressed the marketers’ confidence in Prince Eshinlokun as the council chief. “We want to state clearly that marketers in Lagos Island are solidly behind the council chairman. We warn anybody parading herself as the market leader to desist from impersonation. If such fellow has any issue with the council chief, that should be sorted out without dragging the market men and women into it,” Alhaja Agbeke said. She vowed to drag anybody that wants to soil the integrity of the marketers to court. The Babaloja General, Chief Tajudeen Onimole also said the marketers are in support of the councilchairman for his sterling achievements in

Lagos By Tajudeen Adebanjo

office. Prince Eshinlokun, he said, has been adopted by the marketers two months ago for another term in office. “He has done so many things for the people of the council that warrant our support for continuity. We pray God to assist him finish the good work he has commenced,” he said. Prince Eshinlokun expressed surprise that some people he described as ‘disgruntled elements’ could go to the extent of blackmailing his administration on the pages of the newspaper. He described the reports as untrue, noting that there is noting like Epetedo market in Lagos Island. Epetedo, he said, is a name of an area which is not under his council.


commission promises better life THE Delta State Local Government Service Commission under the leadership of Chief P.N.K. Okwuofu has promised a better welfare package for council workers. The new executive council inaugurated by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was confronted with backlog of promotion, salary arrears, unbonded statutory allowances, among others. The chairman promised to tackle every problem but warned workers against truancy. Okwuofu, who introduced a gradual payment to offset unpaid staff allowances, instructed the local council executive to set aside some amount for claims and pay same alongside affected staff salaries to avoid financial crisis. She also promised to train and re-train workers at all levels as the state government has provided enough fund for it.

• Eshinlokun flanked by Alhaja Adebayo and Chief Onimole




A testament of good governance


HEN British Minister David Cameron visited Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, along with some political and business leaders, he observed that a strong and accountable government is possible in Nigeria and Africa. Although there are obstacles on the way, the visitor pointed out that the hope of transformation was not dim, stressing that the achievements of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola aptly pointed to a path which African leaders should tread. Cameron’s appraisal was premised on his casual observation during his brief visit to Nigeria for a bilateral talk with President Goodluck Jonathan. Prior to the meeting, the Prime Minister delivered a lecture at the Pan-Africa University, which focused on ‘Aid, Trade and Democracy in Nigeria’. While the meeting lasted, insecurity loomed large in the northern Nigeria, where members of the Boko Haram sect were on the prowl. Nigeria “is waiting to happen,” said Cameron, who hinged his optimism on Fashola’s example. The envisaged change and development cannot be automatic. Governance is a collective enterprise involving the government and governed. Therefore, Cameron also spoke on the huge responsibilities of citizens to make their governments accountable. His contention was that, if there is a rational leadership in Nigeria, it would rob off on the continent. Cameron offered a face-value appraisal, but the facts and figures tendered by him cannot be ignored. He said Fashola “has shown what strong and accountable governance can achieve”. He cited the ongoing Eko Atlantic City Project and aptly referred how Fashola had transformed Balogun Market. The Prime Minister encouraged African leaders to confront their respective intrastate challenges, adopting the Fashola

On a short visit to Nigeria, British Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged the achievements of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, which other administrators should emulate, reports EMMANUEL OLADESU approach. He acknowledged that there “are challenges in Africa’s politics. But it is up to all of us to live up to this moment of promise, and overcome these doubts. African leaders must serve their people”. In Cameron’s language, to people like Fashola, President Goodluck Jonathan, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, his Ghanaian counterpart, President John AttaMills, falls the task of leading the charge in creating strong governance. “They must insist on the effective, meritocratic and transparent public institutions which enable people to flourish. In Nigeria, these building blocks are putting

in place…from a lively and open media and an active civil society to the recent elections which were widely regarded as the most free and fair in the country’s history. For much of this year, the eyes of the world have been to the north with the momentous events of the Arab Spring. This can be Africa’s moment,” the prime minister said. But Cameron did not leave the African people out of governance issues. He wanted them to wake up from their slumber. He also wanted them to make significant inputs that all the states on the continent to realise what the prime minister described as effective, meritocratic and transparent

African people can hold their government to account. They can insist on a bigger say in how their country is run. They can stand up and say, in this generation their children should be vaccinated and go to school. And they can demand more participation in the economy–or simply a job

. Activities marking the installment of the new king

Ndigbo install king in Ondo


From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

HE Igbo community in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State now has a new ruler. He is Gregory Iloehika. The new Eze Ndi Igbo in the council succeeded Eze Emma Nwobodo whose reign lasted several years. Speaking on the colourful occasion, the former Eze Ndi Igbo, Nwobodo, urged the new

leader to sustain the unity among Ndigbo in the state. He noted that during his tenure he enjoyed the full cooperation of the people that enabled him to run his administration peacefully. Nwobodo also urged the people to

Iloehika also hailed the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, for not neglecting the Igbo community in the state, saying that his people are benefitting from the “Caring Heart” programmes of the Labour Party (LP) administration

cooperate with his successor in order for the community to achieve rapid transformation. In his address, the new Eze Ndi Igbo, Iloehika commended his predecessor, saying that his reign brought joy to the Igbo community in the state. Iloehika also hailed the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko for not neglecting the Igbo community in the state, saying that his people are benefiting from the “Caring Heart” programmes of the Labour Party (LP) administration. He said the Igbo community in Akure is in support of the ongoing rehabilitation of the state capital. He assured his Igbo constituency that he would continue to fight for their interest and maintain cooperation among the members.

public institutions that can enable the people grow. He wanted them to put their leaders on their toes. This explained why he said the future of Africa “is for its people to determine. The most important task falls to the African people. The responsibility is for you to stand up and hold your governments to account. Across Africa, we can already see the powerful things that happen when the African people rise up and decide to shape their own future. From tackling election abuse in Zimbabwe to the political violence in Kenya, it is not just about donors. It is about you. What you do. “African people can hold their government to account. They can insist on a bigger say in how their country is run. They can stand up and say, in this generation their children should be vaccinated and go to school. And they can demand more participation in the economy–or simply a job. These are the demands that the people have made in such countries as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. “These are the demands that have propelled the Arab Spring. These are the demands, which supported by a revolution in trade and enterprise mean Africa can seize its own moment of opportunity. At stake is quite simply the chance to change millions of lives across the continent. The future of Africa is yours. But you have to seize it. Look here in Nigeria at the elections for President Goodluck Jonathan. “Look at Ghana, flourishing since it moved from military leadership to democracy with 14 per cent growth this year. Look at Cote D’Ivoire too. When President Laurent Gbagbo tried to overturn an election result, ordinary Ivoiriens, Africa and the international community at large refused to allow him to make Cote D’Ivoire his own personal fiefdom. Look at the National Transitional Council in Libya who believes in democracy and a country free from tribalism and extremism”. But whether the people of Africa have capacity to play the roles Cameron call to remains an issue. It was also why the prime minister said Britain had started making sure that any complaint about the activities of British citizens and British companies “are investigated. So, I say to the trade sceptics that we have to do trade right. But if we do, trade has the power to transform lives in African like nothing before it. I am calling on Europe” to follow the suit as a step to ensure better transparent transaction. “When we find corruption robbing the people of their rights, we need to act fast. We want to disclose the payments our companies make to Nigerian government so that you can hold the government to account for the money it received,” he said. Therefore, pledged collaboration in fighting graft. He promised to help institute better accountable and transparent institutions Nigeria needs to achieve her potentials. But Jonathan said the trans- Atlantic visit of the British Prime Minister amid tight schedules further proved that Africa “will play a critical role in the future of the planet”. He acknowledged that so much “has happened in this decade. Our current reality vividly demonstrates that our prosperity or adversity on one side of Africa is answerable to consequences of prosperity and adversity on the other end”.



ACN chieftain counsels council aspirants


CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain and former chairman of Olorunda Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, Hon Abraham Olatunji Ogabi, has called on those aspiring to be candidates for various positions at the forthcoming party primaries of the party to exercise patience, avoid any act of violence, exhibit the fear of God and be ready to accept in good faith whoever emerges as the candidate as decided by the party. “Our party ACN is not known for violence. We are principled and democratic, so, I will advise those angling for nomination at our forthcoming primaries not only in the entire Badagry Division but the entire local governments and LCDAs in the state to play maturity. We as party leaders have been asking the aspirants to meet and decide among themselves who should go before primaries so as to avoid violence. “In Olorunda LCDA that I know very well, we have about 21 aspirants vying to be the chairmanship candidate. We have also been

By Adegunle Olugbamila

calling on other party leaders to advise and convince some (aspirants) to step down for the others as there will definitely be other positions that will be used to compensate aspirants that conceded to their colleagues. We believe our party stands a better chance of winning the local government elections. We want to minimise as much violence as possible by having a reasonable number of aspirants at the primaries.” Speaking with our reporter at Badagry, the ACN chieftain also praised the party leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he described as a ‘master strategist’. He also hailed the former governor’s foresight in nominating Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, noting that the performance of the latter has helped in realising the Mega City dream of the cosmopolitan state. He recalled that in his time as governor Tinubu created the existing local governments, noting that the latter has tremendously helped in further developing

We believe our party stands a better chance of winning the local government elections. We want to minimise as much violence as possible by having a reasonable number of aspirants at the primaries

the state. “I must commend the foresight of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I was still the chairman of Olorunda LCDA, when he (Tinubu) endorsed Fashola as the governor. Many were skeptical then but Asiwaju has seen something in Fashola and the result is what we are seeing in Lagos State today. “Can you believe some people in Osun, Oyo and Ogun, Edo states voted for ACN because of Fashola’s performance? Today, ACN is not a regional but a national party at least going by some pockets of political positions which we have also won outside the Southwest states where ACN currently has overwhelming control.” He however called on the state to pay more attention to the deplorable state of roads in Olorunda LCDA. He said the council itself is ready to open up adjoining roads only if serious construction work could be undertaken on the roads. “I want to appeal to the state to pay more attention to us in the area of road construction. Look at the Aradagun to Iworo-Ajido; the road is so terrible, and that is the headquarters of the local government. Also from Oko-Afo to Ilogbo and Okota, that is another headache. The road is so bad that for months since the rain started, prominent people could not leave their homes with their vehicle; and these are the two places where we have two first-class obas. We want the state government to do proper construction and not patching of these major roads for us. If the state can do this, then we on our part can open up the adjoining roads,” Ogabi pleaded. He also recalled some of his achievements as the pioneer chairman of Olorunda LCDA. He said: “In 2004 and as the first executive

Jonathan urged to ensure stable power OOD Governance Initiative (GGI), a n o n - g o v e r n m e n t a l organisation(NGO), has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that unstable power supply would be a thing of the past before the end of his tenure. Its President, Mr Festus Mbisiogu noted that the power problem has dealt seriously


By Jude Isiguzo

with the economic development of the country. He said it is almost impossible to convince any foreigner to invest in the country because of the non-availability of electricity. Mbisiogu said his NGO was founded

based on his passion and belief that things can be done right and that Nigeria, which is blessed with natural resources should be able to allow its citizens to enjoy stable power. “When you travel out of the country and see the level of development going on in countries that are not as abundantly

•The youths

Ondo youths seek inclusion in governance


VER 1,000 youths under the aegis of Action Youths Movement (AYM) in Ondo State have asked to be included in the decision-making process of the state. The youths who spoke at a lecture in Akure, the state capital, said their inclusion in governance will help curb unemployment in the state. They were mainly leaders of student unions in various tertiary institutions in the state and Ekiti. They said youths are crucial and their future should not be trifled with. Their guest lecturer, Mr. Akinola Awodeyi Akinsehinwa said young people constitute the most active segment of a nation’s manpower, adding that they make up 50 to 60 per cent of the population of any nation, comprising

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

workers, the unemployed and students aged between 15 and 35 years. He added that they play a major role in economy of any nation, stressing that only a nation who involve youths in its decisionmaking can survive. “There is no question about their capabilities,” Akinsehinwa said. “The youth are as a matter of fact responsible for the changes in government and leadership all over the world… in such countries as Egypt, Ivory Coast, Libya, among others.” He said there is need for government to understand how to get the best out of the youth, and not stall their development.

The guest lecturer, a chieftain of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), urged the state government to engage youths in order to reduce crime in the society. President of the group, Comrade Dada Alawale said the youths have a vital role to play in developing the nation. He explained that the group’s major aim is to bring the state youths together in order to benefit from all tiers of government.

• Ogabi chairman of Olorunda, the place we used as secretariat today had no building then. I saw it as a challenge because I wanted to work for my people. I mobilised everybody across all political parties making them realise this is our constituency, and we must develop it; and that was how we were able to put up some structures. Today, to God be the glory, the building and other numerous achievements are there as living testimonies. All these happened because I operated an open door policy. I understand grassroots politics is about accommodating yourself and being visible among your people. Even though our allocation was withheld by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, through Asiwaju’s encouragement, most of us achieved because he made us believe whatever a man does lives after him.” blessed as Nigeria and when you compare the resources at our disposal here, you will see that Nigeria has no reason to lag behind in terms of development,” he said. “Our basic objective is advocating true corporate governance and workable development strategies in major sectors of the economy particularly on power and infrastructural development. Our group will strive to rely on research to draw roadmaps on matters of urgent national importance as they relate to the general welfare of Nigerians at all times.” He explained that the group hopes to achieve these by mobilisation, sensitisation and enlightenment of Nigerians on key and strategic policies and economic issues. It will also carry out regular research and updates on matters of national interest relative to international best practices, as well as monitoring and evaluating problems and prospects of every government policy and economic agenda in view of finding workable solutions and strategies to move forward. As regards what Nigerians suffer as a result of this problem, he said: “Everyday industries and other manufacturing concerns are collapsing; unemployment rate is rising as investors are not willing to come and do business because of lack of sustainable power. Sadly, an average Nigerian home spends more than the N18,000 minimum wage a month to power its generator so as to have power. Much of the economic underdevelopment in the country today is because of lack of power. This is a trend all patriotic Nigerians must not allow to continue.” Mbisiogu urged Jonathan to make steady and sustainable power his one point agenda, adding that if steady power is the only thing he achieves in his administration, he would have written his name on the sands of time.





•The front view of the clinic


ETTING them off the streets was a huge problem. Now, they are not even thinking of going back. As destitute, they constituted nuisance on Lagos roads, until the Babatunde Fashola administration forcefully moved them off the roads. Some were sent back to their states of origin. Those from Lagos State were moved to the Rehabilitation and Training Centre (RTC), Owutu, near Ikorodu. The centre got a clinic, courtesy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently. Declaring open the facility before it was handed over to Fashola’s Special Adviser on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru, CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said the project was identified by the project identification exercise carried out by the Technical Committee of the Alms Management Fund, comprising the Human Resources and Procurement and Support Services Departments of the bank. He said: “After due consultations with the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, the Technical Committee considered and approved the construction of a befitting clinic for the inmates of the Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Owutu,

For the destitute, a clinic from CBN By Miriam Ndikanwu, Staff Reporter

Ikorodu, Lagos. “The design of this clinic and the choice of the contractor, DBM Ltd, were done by the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, for ease of supervision. “The contract for the construction of this clinic project was awarded by the Board of Trustees (BoT) on Alms Funds Management on August 28, 2006 to Messrs DBM Limited at an initial cost of N7, 003,143.” Sanusi, represented by Mr Femi Fabanwo, Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, added: “Following a request by the Ministry for additional works (landscaping, furniture, clinic equipment,

Media exhibition in Lagos MEDIA and communication giants world wide will converge on Lagos next month for the first International Media, Marketing, Communications and Professional Services Exhibition tagged M-MEX Africa. The three-day event, which begins on September 28, will showcase leading media, marketing, communication and other professional services across the world. Participants will exhibit their best products and innovations at the event with the theme: Globalisation and challenges of media and marketing industries in Africa, it will take place at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. The exhibition is being powered by Focalpoint Communications Limited, an events and ideas company with the support of other stakeholders. According to Mr Stephen Ojula, the Executive Secretary of the organising committee, the exhibition will provide a platform for the media, marketing, communications, advertising, content/music production and other professional services sub sector to gather, exhibit and promote their brands, products and innovation.

drugs among others) the BoT granted an additional N2, 387,528.74, thus, bringing the total contract sum to N9, 390,671.74.” CBN Director, Human Resources Department, Mojekwu Chizoba, in her address said the staff alms funds was conceptualised as a means of encouraging workers to contribute their quota in assisting the less privileged. “Customers and, indeed, visitors to the bank are also encouraged to drop alms in the boxes located at vantage points in the bank/ outstations for the realisation of this noble ideal, since the government alone cannot cater for the needs of its citizens.” She acknowledged the commitment of the workers to the laudable objective, noting that they had through the alms fund built a clinic

Widows’ plight worries NACOMYO

at Yangoji Leprosarium, Kwali, Abuja. She said the clinic was the second successfully executed project, adding that two projects, the Al-ansar Orphanage Home building and the hostel building at St. Mary’s Orphanage, Gwagwalada are on-going in Abuja. “Also, contract for the construction of a Multi-purpose Hall at the Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, was awarded last month under the Alms Fund Projects as well,” she added. “We, therefore, wish to use this project, to encourage other organisations and the public to embark on similar projects/activities that will impact positively on the lives of the less-privileged in the society.” Receiving the keys to the clinic, Badru said the facility would go a long way in assisting the centre in achieving its goals of providing qualitative health care services to the inmates. “This centre was established many years ago, and it has continued to live up to expectations despite the enormous challenges of providing shelter, care and support for the mentally challenged and it serves as a tem-


LCCI seeks enhanced dispute plan

PRESIDENT of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Femi Deru has asked the government to set up a dispute resolution mechanism to THE National Council of Muslim Youth Oraddress tax implementation. ganisation (NACOMYO) has urged its memDeru spoke when the Special Adviser to Governor bers to care more for widows. The group, at an Babatunde Fashola on Taxation, Mr Bola Shodipo, enlightenment campaign, said widows need visited the chamber. love to get over the trauma of losing their He explained that a dispute resolution mechanism husbands. that is fair, independent and business-like would The group also spoke on fibroid, a silent assist professionals in doing their job effectively and killer among women, at its annual seminar improve the government tax implementation. held at the Lagos State House of Assembly. Deru said there was urgent need for the governThe Lagos State Amirah of the group, ment to put this structure in place, saying this would Dhikratullah Matesun-Oshodi, urged women inspire confidence of tax payers. to prepare for any eventuality.



CITY BEATS NGO holds summit AKE Poverty History (MPH) Nigeria, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), will soon host the first State of Entrepreneurship Address (SEA), during its Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Its Director, Mr Joseph Peter, said the week is an yearly global event which countries host to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and entrepreneurship among youths. He said host organisations and partners organise activities, such as conferences, competitions and training to inspire, connect, engage, inform, mentor, strengthen and build the capacity of next generation entrepreneurs. He said: “GEW 2011 promises to be bigger in Lagos from November 16 to 19. It will bring over 3,500 participants and 200 companies from various industries and 100 high profiled successful entrepreneurs through a range of local and global activities designed to help them explore the potentials of self -starters and innovators.”


JCI calls for responsive leadership

232 youths receive computer training


O fewer than 232 youths from Ikorodu I constituency have graduated from a free computer training sponsored by their representative at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Sanai Agunbiade. Addressing the graduates, Agunbiade described the programme as incentive to make them struggle harder, adding: “This programme may be something that will turn your life around for the better because with this, you can become whatever you want to become in life.” Agunbiade said he would ensure that the graduates the third batch to be trained by him do not waste what they have gained. Thanking God for the scheme, Agunbiade said he enrolled the batch when he was seeking re-election and many had thought he would abandon the programme mid-way because nobody in the constituency had been given a return ticket in the past. “But God said otherwise and today, we are graduating the students,” he said. The lawmaker gave computer sets to the eight best students. Those included in the diploma category include: Ezeoke Christiana, Idowu Okikiola, and

By Oziegbe Okoeki

Bamidele Olamilekan. In the certificate course category are: Quadri Orimolade, Adetilo Oluwaseyitan and Aliu Nobilat. Other recipients include the most disciplined student, Mrs. Usman Latifat; and best in maintenance and repairs department, Mustapha Olushola. a total 635 youths, have passed through the programme since Agunbiade started it. While thanking the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for giving him the chance to return to the Assembly, Agunbiade promised: “As long as I continue to enjoy the trust and confidence of my party, I will continue to plough back to the society because it is a privilege to represent them and I will also extend this privilege to some youths in the society. That is my own way of contributing to intellectual empowerment. "We need to give the youths incentives to encourage them and that is what we are doing. We need to encourage the youth. there are so many distractions in the society these days and, of course, we know the economic situation, most of the

•A cross section of the graduates

youths do not have parents sourcing for them, most of them source for themselves.” Telling the graduates the importance of what they had acquired, chairman of the occasion, former Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Ayodele Elesho, said: “Even if you have Phd and you are not computer liter-

in the Diploma class, Christiana, promised to use the knowledge she acquired to impact on the society.” The second best in the certificate course, Oluwaseyitan, commended Agunbiade for the gesture. “He is the first lawmaker to do this for his people and for him to have initiated this programme I am saying thank you,” he said.

For the destitute, a clinic from CBN

Junior Chamber International (JCI), Ikeja, has identified the absence of value-adding leadership at the grasroots, as the reason behind the inefficiency of the third tier of government. Participants at the 14th edition of Quality Leadership Value seminar organised by the group which held, at the Best Western Hotel, Lagos, said the grassroots would continue to draw blank until more purposeful leaders are elected. The event, which brought together no fewer than 100 youths from around Lagos, also had in attendance the Commisioner For Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hazat, and representatives of civil society groups. The youths were exposed to series of entrepreneurship, leadership and mentorship skills.

•A cross section of CBN staff and other ministry officials at the ceremony


IGERIANS must raise the red flag against corruptionand irresponsible leadership, a cleric, Revd Moses Iloh, has said. Iloh, of the Soul Ministries International, spoke at a briefing organised by his church at Yaba. He said the nation’s ship is “dangerously adrift “ and the twin-cancer of fraud and corruption is fast eroding its fortunes. The cleric said Nigeria must be saved from the hands of politicians who

•Continued from page 32

‘Let’s rise against corruption’


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ate you are still not complete and you are nowhere; with your knowledge in computer you can go places, you can turn yourself into an employer of labour provided you can organise yourself. You should look beyond today,” he said. While appreciating Agunbaide for the programme, the best graduate

By Niyi Adeniran

have perfected the art of deception and have been taking the country for a ride in the name of development. He said: “Nigerians are itching for action and direction, but have been disappointed by leaders who have been more “pocket conscious, rather than being people-centred.” He challenged the Jonathan administration to

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toe the path of justice, equity and prudent management of the affairs of the country if he truly wants people to queue behind his transformational agenda. Iloh, who said time was running out for the country, added that the people are left with only two choices, “to obtain justice and fairness from the government or to forcefully take it,” adding that the second option might not be pleasant.

He said: “Nigerians know that the predominating religion in Nigeria today is corruption and fraud, in this religion there is no discrimination whatsoever. It knows no tribe, sex, colour, creed and no political party. It’s unifying factor in stealing, killing and destruction. The fight against it must also be without discrimination.” He said Nigerians have always demanded open trial for all corrupt officials.

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porary shelter for destitute/ beggars found on the streets of Lagos. “The centre has a population of 1,200, which is always on the increase due to the sustained rescue exercise of beggars/ destitute from the streets of Lagos. This is with the aim of transferring them back to their states of origin to be reconciled with their families since many of them have no means of livelihood and migrated to Lagos for the purpose of begging which is against the law,” he said. Commending CBN for the gesture, he called on other well-meaning individuals, corporate organisations and non-government organisations to also give back to the society through partnership with the state government to assist the less- privileged. Badru, however, implored members of the public to desist from giving alms on the streets, as this encouraged begging which exposed beggars to danger not in tune with the government’s zero tolerance for begging and destitution,” he said.

767 or email: 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.




Group sensitises on plight of the blind


HE Nigerian Society for the Blind (NSB), at its sixth yearly Whilte Cane Day, has canvassed that more care be extended to the blind. Making the plea, the group’s chairperson Mrs Biola Agbaje, said, the time has come for the people to change their perception of the blind. She said: “With a little more care, blind people can cater for themselves.” Mrs Agbaje, who identified lack of adequate funding as the major challenge of the Blind Vocational Training centre, called on individuals and corporate organisations to come to the aid of the centre. She said the centre that has been in existence since 1955, has made tremendous impact in the life of the blind citizens. She said the White Cane Day is being held annually to make people conscious of the plight of the blind, such as making them aware of their daily needs and helping them in whatever capacity they can, to make them lead a meaningful life. The highpoint of the event was a charity walk by students of the centre. Vice-Chairman of the centre’s management, Asiwaju Fola Osibo,

By Ajose Sehindemi

said the centre provides a two-year vocational training programme that enables blind adults and adolescents acquire skills in handicraft, braille reading and writing, typewriting, telephone switchboard operation, dictaphone typing, tie-and-dye, computer, among others. He said the aim of the society is to assist in promoting the general well-being of the blind and to rehabilitate and integrate them into the community, while the objectives are to establish and maintain a vocational training centre that is involved in research into the prevention of blindness and enrichment of the lives of the blind persons. Osibo called on people to donate their cornea, which can be used in restoring the sight of some of the blind people, as is being done in developed countries such as the United Kingdom and United States. Osibo said some of their students had their sights restored after appropriate corrective surgery had been done. He said more of such surgeries can be done if people donate the cornea of their dead relatives, as lack of it is preventing more progress.


KILL acquisition is an area in which the Lagos State Government has invested so much to tackle youth unemployment. The 17 skill acquisition centres in the state have produced about 19,000 graduates in hairdressing, hat and bead making, tailoring, catering, venue decoration and carpentry, among others. Besides the skill centres, the government also offers holiday jobs to 5,000 undergraduates and secondary school leavers during the long holidays. Under the skill Acquisition Scheme, the Lagos State Government has unveiled 500 youths who successfully passed a two-week training on phone repairs, including Nokia, Samsung, LG and other leading brands. In 2007, the government launched its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training for youths on computer assembly, software installation, web design, GSM maintenance and repairs. At the ceremony at the Adeyemo

500 get GSM training By Miriam Ndikanwu

Bero Auditorium, State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Adebiyi Mabadeje, said youths dependence on white collar jobs has done a lot of damage to the present generation of youths and widened the poverty net. “Empowering young people through acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, therefore, will definitely lead to employment generation and wealth creation. So, for me, this is the right way to go.” The training, he said, was another demonstration of the commitment of the Babatunde Fashola-led administration towards youth empowerment and job creation, adding that over the years, the government has evolved different vocational and occupational programmes for eradicating poverty, reducing unemployment and im-

proving the standard of living. "Job creation and youth empowerment are key components of the state's 10-point agenda. It is for this reason that our youths are not only trained, but are enabled with the necessary skills that can make them employers of labour and self dependent with working tools to set up their own businesses,” Mabadeje added. Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire urged the beneficiaries to see the training as a skill for securing their future and making them relevant in the society. “What you have learnt is priceless. You don't have to start big; big businesses today started with little capital but are now multinationals. So, you can start small with the grant the state will give you. Do a small flier or poster, start somewhere and repair phones and you will be amazed at what you can make out of it.

Aspirant promises to speed up development in Imota


N Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) stalwart contesting for the position of Chairman in Imota Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Olusesan Jimmy Awosanya, has said there are lots of reforms to be carried out in Imota if the LCDA is to achieve its full potentials. According to him, the LCDA has not really bettered the lives of the people and that is why he has decided to run for the position of chairman, explaining that having lived abroad for some years, he's optimistic that the development that is obtainable abroad can be achieved in Imota. Awosanya said Governor Babatunde Fashola has shown that every locality can be developed. He began his political journey in 1998, with Network '98 and worked with former Chairman of Ikorodu, Muyiwa Adesanya, as a personal assistant and wants to contribute his quota to the development of the LCDA. "I have travelled far and

Stories by Oziegbe Okoeki

wide and I intend to replicate all the good things I've seen abroad. I have been in the United Kingdom and was a member of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Diaspora. Each time I come home I keep abreast of what is happening with the party and the struggle to emancipate Nigeria. But what motivated me is the fact that Imota is not enjoying the dividends of democracy and I intend to change all this and bring a positive change," he said. Awosanya promises to improve the quality of health care, education, information technology and infrastructure in Imota, adding that working with everyone in Imota will be key to his success as chairman. "By the grace of God, I will be able to achieve my goal by carrying the people in the community, party leaders, chiefs and obas along," he stated.

‘Why I am the best candidate’


CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairmanship aspirant in the forthcoming Lagos State local government election, Olusesan Oduenyingbo, has described himself the candidate to beat in Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area (LCDA). According to him, the people of Ikorodu North believe he has the right credentials to lead them. Oduenyingbo said he has helped the party mobilise people thus giving the party a strong grassroots base in his LCDA. Promising to deliver the dividends of democracy to his people, Oduenyingbo said his humanitarian gestures have earned him the people’s commendation, saying he would ensure continuity and positive changes in the LCDA. He said: “I believe I have the right qualification and experience to lead my people. I have the requisite experience to do this job and I know that my people will support me to

•Sesan continue the good works.” “I believe the key to achieving success is to be sincere and transparent. I hope to deliver all that I have promised because I owe it to my people and can be held responsible if I don't.” Having travelled far and wide, he said he could bring in experts who will help educate the people in areas where they need to be educated.

• R-L: Mabadeje, Hamzat, Mrs. Tokunbo Jeje and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Fausat Masha, presenting a certificate to a graduate

‘We have transformed Ikeja’


HE leadership of Ikeja Local Government is excited by its achievements in office in the last 33 months. Giving account of his stewardship, the council Chairman, Wale Odunlami, said he has impacted on the lives of people. He said: “This administration attaches so much importance to drainage and road construction to create access and linkage in and around the local area with the objective of reducing traffic on major state roads for economic benefits. “So far in the life of this administration, we have constructed 17 drains, 12 culverts and 15 roads. The areas where drains were constructed include Independence, Olu Koleosho, Modupe, Nurudeen, Olawale Adegboya, Makinde, Olu Akerele, Ladipo Kasumu/Adeleke, Egba, Oshin, Isale Awori and Morenikeji. "The box culverts were done at Oyeti/Ayemojuba, Jogunosimi, Ojelabi/Irepodun, Iyala, Nurudeen, Morenikeji and Alhaji Shodeke while some of the aforementioned areas enjoyed road construction, others include Johnson, Ajakaye, Oyetubo, Alhaji Kofoworola, Mojidi, Seidu Ajibowu and Soji Adepegba. These projects were implemented in line with the standard set by the state government thus quality assured.” Odunlami said the council’s intervention in education was in line with the programmes of his party to provide free and qualitative edu-

By Jude Isiguzo

cation to all children of school age. “Our quest to provide conducive learning atmosphere to our future leaders to create a competition with their counterparts in private schools made us construct and renovate nine schools. They include a block of six classrooms at Agidingbi and Shogunle Primary schools.” “Most of those schools were in a state of decay as at the time we took over. There were no chairs and desks for pupils to use, the classrooms blocks were in a sorry state but now we have made significant efforts to ensuring that our children have a befitting place to learn,” he said. Aside from provision of conducive learning environment, the

•Odunlami council chief added that the pupils were supported with incentives on competitive outings and socials such as participation in Spelling Bee Competition, Children day celebrations among others.

Lagos raises panel on flooding


HE Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has inaugurated a 10-man committee on environmental issues.The membership cuts across various ministries and parastatals. It will tackle flooding, salt water inculsion and ground water contamination. Inaugurating the committee, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Tijani Taofiq, enjoined its members to work with other stakeholders to create a database that will produce the hydrological model for solving critical environmental challenges.

By Yinka Aderibigbe

He noted that the inability to manage the country’s resources, rising infrastructural development dearth of information on physical and chemical constituent on the ubiquitous water bodies, underlying seabed and the network of the underground water system has created environmental problems. With the inauguration of the committee, he said a new vista in finding solution to salt water incursion and ground water contamination, among other identified environmental challenges, has been opened.



QUOTE OF THE WEEK “We will begin the enforcement of the law against street trading in all nooks and crannies of the city. We will begin with hawkers. We have already directed our full attention to the Third Mainland Bridge. What goes on there is an aberation.”


Chairman Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, Bayo Sulaiman on onslaught against hawkers on Lagos roads.

Community gets free medical check-up By Wale Adepoju


HE people of Gbara, a small community in EtiOsa Local Government Area of Lagos State, have been screened for high blood pressure (HBP) and excess sugar. They also received free food items, such as mosquito nets and drugs to ward off malaria. It was at the biennial health programme organised by God's Appointed Place (GAP) Ministry. with the theme: “Living healthy: staying above the weather.” The people also enjoyed free consultation from the medical experts. According to the community, Chief Mudashiru Lawal, health care should be a shared responsibility that must not be left to the government alone. Lawal thanked the church for instituting such a programme to help the poor and sick. He said: “Although the state government provided the community with a primary health care (PHC) centre, people should still avail themselves of the opportunity to know their health status. It is the first time this programme will take place.” GAP's Senior Pastor, Godspower Onuoha, said the event is necessary to support the government to provide care for the sick and the poor. He urged individuals, corporate bodies and non-governmental organisations to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Onuoha said the essence of life is to help the downtrodden, sick, rejected and dejected in the society. "The church is not so rich but it has a passion to help the lessprivileged in the society," he added. An health expert, Dr Nelson Akuma, said through the programme, people suffering from hypertension, diabetes and malaria were advised on how to manage their ailments. Those with severe conditions were referred to a bigger medical facility for better treatment, he said. Akuma said medical check-up is necessary because people who are not healthy cannot engage in any profitable activity, adding that the sick weakens productivity which consequently leads to poverty.

•The mosquito nets being distributed by the group

60 students for agric summer school


PE, the acquatic community in Lagos, will next week host 60 secondary school students from the six educational districts in the state at an agricultural summer school. The three-week event is aimed at giving practical hands-on training to beneficiaries who must demonstrate interest in the subject at an all-expense paid camp to be solely sponsored by the government. The initiative, which is expected to be complemented by an Executive Agric Programme, targeted at the working class and prospective retirees, is part of efforts to enhance participation in agriculture and open up the sector, especially to the youths. These are some of the measures to be introduced by the government in its bid to ensure food sufficiency and feed its teeming population. The school will target students, who are on holidays to encourage them to be involved in agriculture. The programme will offer weekend programmes and training for interested workers willing to become farmers. The Commissioner for Agricul-

By Yinka Aderibigbe

ture and Cooperatives Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made these known last Tuesday, after concluding a five-day tour of the Ministry's formations across the state. He said though only 16 per cent of the state's land mass is arable, more hands need to be involved in agricultural production in order to guarantee food supply to the 18 million population in the state. He said: "With only 16 per cent of lands in Lagos arable, it might seem to be impracticable to feed a population of 18 million people, but we are determined to introduce our farmers, especially the young ones to climate smart technologies that might add value to agricultural yields in the state." According to Lawal, the government would also introduce the farmers' market, where farmers would be encouraged to bring their farm produce and be involved in the actual sales of their farm produce. He assured of the readiness of the government to continue to provide enabling environment for

farmers in the state. He said part of the efforts aimed at ensuring this is the attention put at opening the rural areas and facilitating farmers' access to the market. "In this respect, the government has constructed more than 100 kilometres of rural roads across the state, while plans are also in the offing to take-off with four farm estates to cater for the over 300,000 farmer-families in the state. "There is the Iketiroyen Fish Farm Estate in Epe, the Erikorodo Poultry Farm Estate in Ikorodu, Crop Farm Estate at Agbowa, and Vegetable Estate in Iyafin, in Badagry axis of the state," Lawal said. He said all these initiatives are aimed at "helping farmers become more productive and increase investment in areas where they have comparative advantage and enhance their link to the market." Speaking on his findings on the five-day tour, Lawal disclosed that lack of access to good roads, epileptic electricity supply, inadequate water and quality input,

SUBEB enlightens workers on new pension scheme


OLLOWING the adoption of the contributory pension system in Lagos State, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has sensitised workers on its merits and possibilities. SUBEB’s Executive Chairman, Mrs. Gbolahan Khadijat Daodu, said the large turnout of workers at the event, was a sign that they were willing to learn. She said: “Let me at this juncture inform you that Lagos State has shown determination in as-

By Mfon Bassey

sisting its workforce as 350 bond certificates were presented by the deputy governor to dedicated staff who retired under the new scheme." She added that more than 180 retired teachers benefited. The event, which was divided into different segments, straightened out different problematic issues, such as ‘Annuity,’ ‘Withdrawal programme,’ ‘Post-retirement income earning,’ pre and

post retirement financial planning, Your Retirement Savings Account (R.S.A) and You, and so on, with each segment handled by facilitators representing the various Pension Fund Administrators (PFA's) in attendance. Representing the Director General of the Lagos State Pensions Commission, Mrs. Smart, the Assistant Director of the Technical Department, assured the workers that nothing would hinder them from reaping the benefits of their pensions at the appointed time.

She said: "The essence of working is to have comfort at the end of your working life. The time to work is now and you can rest assured that the future is bright." The Assistant Director of Pension for SUBEB, Mr. Fagbamila, said the event was a huge success. He said: "Though there is fear induced by the economy and problems with the financial sector, from the presentations from the PFA's I can assure you that the future for our pensioners or retirees is very bright."


climate change, insecurity, and poor credit assistance are a common factor militating against good yields at the farms. He said the government has taken inventory of its findings and he is better informed on the challenges ahead to equip him with the requisite solutions. He expressed the determination of the government to actualising the establishment of a bio-gas plant using the huge waste generated by some of its initiatives in the sector in the past. Lawal said the government will continue to collaborate with multilateral agencies, especially FADAMA and other agencies. He said the ministry would continue to work at taking agriculture to the next level where the knowledge and skill of the farmers would be scaled up using modern technologies and innovations in the sector.








Our greatest fear is that we learnt the VC will soon leave office, and when that happens, who will now pay us our money because the new VC might say he is not aware of the dealings since he was not holding forte at the time


S the four-year tenure of the ViceChancellor, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, expires in October, the professor of Islamic Studies may yet have an outstanding business to settle – not with his subordinates or employers – but some developers who alleged that he owes them nearly N100 million, and demanding the payment before he leaves office. The developers, 10 in number, are also calling on the Presidency to look into the matter, claiming they have suffered untold hardship in the hands of the university. The spokespersons for the group, Messrs Gbadegeshin Atiba, Shamusideen Agbaje and Franklin Osezue visited the corporate Headquarters of The Nation Newspapers to state their case. In 2005, the developers won a contract from the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Each of them was to construct one block of three floors of 96 rooms of students’ hostels at UNILORIN. At the time, the ministry was charged to develop hostels in all the federal universities, of which the institution is one. Accordingly, the ministry directed the developers to the Urban Development Bank Plc, Abuja, where they were to obtain loan; and having met all conditions as laid down by the bank before loan must be approved, they moved to site in January 2006, with their tools in fulfillment of one of the conditions by the bank before mobilisation fee would be paid. The developers however met with a brick wall when the loan promised them was not forthcoming, forcing them to abandon the site in frustration pending the time the bank would respond. Mr Atiba, who led the team, said that was when they got the first shocker: “After leaving the site, information reached us that some of our materials (at the site) have been sold off. We asked “by whom?” they said: ‘by the VC.’ The VC did not inform us. We got the information through our suppliers who continuously visited the site to know whether we were back on site or not. All the materials we had at the site were of high quality because the Urban Development Bank Plc came all the way from Abuja to inspect and ascertain that the materials we were to use were to their specifications.” According to them, some of the items include: nine-inch special concrete blocks, iron rods, among others, were approximately alued at approximately N22, 048, 000. The developers said they visited Prof Oloyede who, according to them, admitted the sale of the said items but at undervalued prices. “For instance, the VC said he sold each block for N50 but the worth of the quality of that block at the time was between N180 and N200,” Atiba said. The developers thereafter moved their case

•Prof Oloyede

•One of the sites with a new structure by another developer

Developers tackle UNILORIN VC By Adegunle Olugbamila

to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) via a petition dated January 15, 2010. In the petition, they accused Prof Oloyede of ‘tampering’ and ‘meddling’ with building items valued at N22, 048, 000.00. In June last year, the EFCC team visited the site to take stock of outstanding materials on the site and invited all the parties involved to state their stories. At another meeting in Abuja which the developers said held on January 11, Oloyede was said to have admitted to EFCC officials that he sold some of the items for N9.5 million, which he promised to pay within two weeks. The EFCC PRO Mr Femi Babafemi, who spoke to our reporter on the phone, however acknowledged the petition, but declined further comments. “The matter is still under investigation,” he said. “We discovered that the VC went back to the site and sold all the remaining items. We reported back to the EFCC after the two weeks, but the VC did not show up. Since then, we have been frequenting EFCC office in Abuja, to no avail,” said Agbaje. “Our greatest fear is that we learnt the VC will soon leave office, and when that happens, who will now pay us our money because the new VC might say he is not aware of the dealings since he was not holding forte at the time,” they said Prof Oloyede also visited The Nation with four of his aides including the university’s Director of Protocol, Dr Mahfouz Adedimeji.

Oloyede said the university though signed agreement with the developers to complete the project within 12 months, but they reneged on the agreement which lapsed after 12 months. “They are developers. They came with a letter from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in 2004. As far as we are concerned, we signed agreement with anybody who wants to develop the hostel either through government or nongovernmental agencies. I wasn’t the VC at that time. The project, according to the agreement, was to be completed in 12 months, but up till 2008, these people were nowhere to be found. I will even show you evidence from courts by some of their suppliers who claimed they could not locate them.” The site which, Oloyede claimed was in front of the girls hostel, and later became a hideout for criminals, prompted the university to write to the developers to come and clear their abandoned items. He said about two of the developers responded via a letter, citing financial constraints for the delay, and pleading for more time. As against the developers’ claim of N200 considered the value of each of the 9-inch blocks, Oloyede said the university put the value of each block at the cost the government awarded the contract to the developers from the Bill of Quantity (which Oloyede put at between N90 and N110), and then sold the blocks to some other interested developers embarking on various projects in the university. Oloyede added: “We wanted to know who had what so we can document (the items)

properly. We were not in charge of their site. The truth is that most of them had nothing other than few planks, blocks, and few blockmaking machines on the site, no more to the best of our knowledge. Oloyede also explained why he backpedalled after his earlier promise to pay the developers the initial N9.5 million at the EFCC office. ‘I wanted to pay them (developers),” he said, “ but when I got back to Ilorin, our lawyer advised that, one, ‘you don’t even know who are the owners of each of these companies. They must come out and say I’m the owner of so so company and sign. Second, some of the suppliers to the developers have taken the case to court, and should the court decide that this person is not the owner of what, what do you do? We had to write back to the EFCC, saying we are willing to give them the money but let all of them come to the campus in daylight and identify what belongs to whom.” However, the developers again, denied receiving any letter. “We didn’t receive any letter, Atiba protested. “ Maybe it was some other developers since the university also uses many private developers. “See, it was the university that went to Ministry of Education and Ministry of Urban and Regional Development requesting for hostels. Instead of writing to us, they (UNILORIN) should have gotten back to these ministries and told them the developers they (the ministries) sent to them had abandoned sit All we are interested in is the Federal Government’ intervention on this issue.”

NGO empowers women


Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Global Women in Management (GWIM), is training women in programmes designed to strengthen their managerial and leadership abilities. About 300 women managers have been trained by the group since 2005 through scholarship. Through the training, women are given the the opportunity to build and improve their leadership skills as managers. Some of the beneficiaries of the programme now run their businesses such as Mrs Itoro Ndobo Enag with Mercy Drops Organisation, Wawah Padmoore managing Onne Women Development Foundation, both located in Nigeria . According to the General Manager, Deep

By Osas Robert

Water Venture Projects, Tolu Ewherido, “GWIN has trained over 300 non-profit managers. The scholarship cover all workshop-related costs like tuition, airfare and accommodation”. GWIM is not into this charity empowerment programme alone but is mainly sponsored by ExxonMobil Foundation and Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) since 2005. As part of the economic booster, Women Economy Opportunity Initiative has invested $47 million in women advancement programmess in developing countries. GWIN is an nternational organisation reaching over 93 countries world wide via CEDPA and ExxonMobil. They are driven

About 300 women managers have been trained by the group since 2005 through scholarship. Through the training, women are given the the opportunity to build and improve their leadership skills as managers

• From left: Manager, Public and Governmental Affairs, ExxonMobil, Susan Essiet; General Manager Deep Water Venture Project, Tolu Ewherido and Executive Director, Development Support Institute, Jaacqueline Odialu at the event with the belief that investing in women advancement and thus eradicating poverty in developing countries. Women make up half of the world’s population and yet earn only 10 percent of

the world’s income.Their untapped potential is immeasurable. This is why NGOs like ExxonMobil and CEDPA have joined forces with GWIM to train women in managerial skills.




‘Nigerians’ living standards won’t rise in next five months’ Many Nigerians live below the poverty line, despite their being hardworking. What can be done to better their lot within the shortest possible time? It’s a long term project, says DirectorGeneral, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Prof. Akpan Hogan Ekpo, in this interview with DANIEL ESSIET. • Ekpo


HAT is your view on prudential regulations in the banking industry? Financial regulatory reform is crucial because the banking and financial sector remains the hub of economic growth and development. The business of holding and trading in money as economic agents is different from trading in tomatoes, hence the prudential regulations are crucial. Most of the regulatory agencies must ensure that financial institutions follow set guidelines; operators are always ahead, therefore, the regulators cannot afford to be slow. Are you satisfied with economic perfor-

mance in the sub-region? I am not completely satisfied. In Nigeria and other economies in the sub-region, economic performance is marginal. Yes, the economies are averaging a growth rate of about seven per cent, but it is a jobless growth. It is not generating employment. Unemployment, particularly among youths, is very serious and it’s a time bomb. Inflation is above single digit; the deficit/gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is worrisome; most of the economies have deficit current account/GDP ratio. This twin deficits syndrome portends an unhealthy domestic and external economic situation, which if not reversed could affect

regional economic integration. The existence of fiscal dominance is affecting the adoption of robust monetary policy. If the deteriorating social conditions are added to the sluggish economic performance, it is clear that Nigeria and other economies in the sub-region are not faring well. Do we have financial safety nets? There are no known financial safety nets. However, most central banks, like that of Nigeria, may not allow banks to fail. If you are referring to safety nets for individuals during an economic downturn, there are none. Do you dialogue with finance ministers and central bank governors within the sub

region? Sometimes, I do have dialogue with central bank governors on the state and progress of the institution I work for, that is WAIFEM. It is owned by English-speaking central banks in the sub-region. What has the meeting with finance ministers and central bank governors achieved in terms of regulation and dealing with international organisations, such as IMF and the World Bank ? They have tried their best to some extent. They approach multilateral institutions with one voice; regarding regulation, through the • Continued on page 40



THE CEO • Continued from page 39

College of Supervisors, they ensure proper cross-border banking supervision; build appropriate capacity and skills within the region; attempt to harmonise trade and other regulations such as the common export tariff, among other protocols. What is delaying the implementation of the monetary union? Progress is being made; each country is trying its best to meet the primary criteria for setting up a monetary union. It must be approached systematically, while learning from the mistakes of others. The European Union is a case in point and the recent crises in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy provide useful experiences and call for thorough planning towards a monetary union. If a single monetary policy is going to be established in the future, how will it address inflation? You know that each country will still retain fiscal authority but will allow the West African Central Bank to implement the monetary policy. How both policies are coordinated and implemented will determine the inflationary trend in the region. There appears to be a challenge of deepening financial integration, cross-border banking, especially at the retail level. Is this a result of regulatory and supervisory framework? I do not agree that the region has failed. There is a well-thought framework through the College of Supervisors on cross-border banking; deepening financial integration is a continuous process. These are the longrun objectives which the union desires to achieve. For example, the issue of fiscal deficit as a challenge and the members are addressing it. Building of strong and dynamic economies in the sub-region with committed leadership and good governance is a prerequisite. Looking at Nigeria’s economy, are you impressed with current exit strategies and plans for macroeconomic co-ordination and fiscal prudence management? As I said earlier, the economy is performing marginally; within the sub-region, Nigeria is the largest economy; thus happenings in the country will have impact on other countries. Most Nigerian states are larger than some of the economies in the sub-region therefore Nigeria is a major player and stakeholder. I do not know about exit strategies. But the core economic ministries must manage the economy according to rules as stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Public Procurement Act, Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and the Development Plans within the context of the Vision 20:2020. There must be at least fiscal coordination among the three levels of government; moving otherwise will affect macroeconomic stability. The absence of a dependable financial surveillance system, including an early warning system as crisis prevention measure, is worrisome. What is your take on what the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank are doing to police the system? This is not completely correct. The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), for example, have templates for detecting crisis and also for providing early warning signals. How these are being applied is another matter. Talk about fuel subsidies? I recently published an article in a national magazine arguing that fuel subsidy should not be removed for now. If nothing else, it will result in structural inflation. In addition, we need more information to address fuel subsidy removal. Are you impressed with the scope of financial services and the progress of SME financing? I am not impressed with SME financing. It is more talk and show than action. SME entrepreneurs need to be empowered as a matter of urgency. SMEs remain drivers of growth. Is the financial industry capacity building integrated into country-owned development priorities? This has been done to a large extent. The Vision 20:20 provides and discusses how this would be implemented through the financial sector strategy. What has your institute achieved in terms of capacity development within the sub-region? Within the last 13 years, more than 12,500 middle/senior/executive level staff of central banks, ministries of finance and planning have benefited from our capacity development programme in macroeconomic management, debt and financial sector man-

‘Nigerians’ living standards won’t rise in next five months’

• Ekpo

‘The living standards of Nigerians cannot improve in the next five months giving the high discomfort index (rate of inflation plus rate of unemployment). Concretely, if you consider the deterioration in the provision of social services, such as water, electricity and health facilities, more people will enter the poverty bracket’

• Ekpo agement within the sub-region. How can the institute and other manpower development institutions strengthen engagement with Southsouth co-operation and aid to fragile member-states? WAIFEM is partnering with agencies to provide training to post-conflict and fragile member-states. We train in vital areas of macroeconomic and financial management

such as economic modelling for policy, risk, corporate governance, debt sustainability, pubic finance management, trade policy and negotiations, banking supervision, monetary laundering etc. In addition, we try to be proactive in capacity building so that policymakers are not surprised by current and predicted economic occurrences. The economy faces higher inflation, lower

growth and rising unemployment. Do you see living standards rising in the next five months? Recent data show that the economy is experiencing a growth rate of about seven per cent, rate of inflation seemed to have reduced to 10.5 per cent while unemployment remains quite high about 21 per cent officially. In my view these figures have to be interpreted with caution. The growth rate of seven per cent is a jobless one – it is not generating employment so where is the growth coming from? The slight decline in the rate of inflation is also worrisome given the spending spree of the last elections, the amount of liquidity with the three levels of government, the fiscal deficit profile of all levels of government and the exchange rate of the local currency to the United States dollar. Except for the growth rate, other indicators indicate a situation known as stag inflation, rising rate of unemployment and double digit rate of inflation. The living standards of Nigerians cannot improve in the next five months giving the high discomfort index (rate of inflation plus rate of unemployment). Concretely, if you consider the deterioration in the provision of social services such as water, electricity and health facilities, more people will enter the poverty bracket. There have been tensions in the financial market due to concerns about the ability of banks to raise their capital base. What would you suggest? I think the Central Bank of Nigeria should manage the situation the way it has been doing so that no bank goes under. I will like to suggest that not all matters relating to the financial sector particularly as regards routine circulars should be in the public domain. Banking is a very delicate industry and should be treated as such. When the press exaggerates happenings in the financial sector, it could result in a rundown on banks. Financial sector activities rely heavily on trust and confidence; once these attributes are shaky then the adverse implications on the economy can only be imagined. Yes, the Central Bank should conduct, if it is not already doing so, stress tests on banks in order to better regulate them. The results of such tests need not be in the public domain given the nature of our economy. At times, we over-stretch the matter of transparency; we cannot copy everything from advanced economies – these economies have robust shock absorbers and social safety nets to counter crisis in the short and medium terms. What is the future of the economy? The future of the Nigerian economy rests on diversifying it from crude petroleum export. There exists a huge potential in agriculture as well as small-scale enterprises. The leadership and policymakers must take the matter of diversifying the economy seriously rather than pay lip service. In providing the enabling environment, it is crucial that the provision of constant electricity be made paramount; no economy grows or develops by using generators. For now, we have a generator driven economy and until it is reversed, economic development will elude us. Once adequate infrastructure are provided, all sectors of the economy will contribute to employment generating growth. Could you tell us more about these growth sectors? The future of the economy lies in government creating the enabling environment, providing robust strategies and programmes for the industrial and agricultural sectors to grow. The manufacturing sector must produce for export; right now the manufacturing sector contributes about four per cent to GDP; this must grow to at least 25 per cent if the country is to make progress.

‘It is crucial that the provision of constant electricity be made paramount; no economy grows or develops by using generators. For now, we have a generator driven economy and until it is reversed, economic development will elude us’



Monday, August 22, 2011


Bale – Spurs will target De Gea

Aguero: I'm not the new Diego Maradona

•De Gea in action


Djokovic to meet Murray in Southern Open final

Get you cheque book out Arsene, Graham tells Wenger







Investor’s Worth

A billionaire investment banker


R Atedo Peterside is arguably the wealthiest investment banker in Nigeria.With a publicly declared portfolio of some N3 billion, he earned over N100 million as cash dividends for the 2010 business year on investments in three of the six quoted companies where he had to statutorily declare his shareholdings. Peterside is one of the few professionals whose wealth are founded on certainty and surefootedness of their knowledge. His insights, proactive understanding of market situations and almost emotionless judgment; as demonstrated in the acquisition-like voluntary merger of IBTC with Stanbic Bank, have made Peterside the master of the capital market. For several years, Peterside was the face of investment banking industry. From the formation and operations of the hugely successful Investment Banking and Trust Company (IBTC) Limited to capital market reforms, Peterside played, and still plays, important roles in the evolution of the modern capital market. As founder and chief executive of IBTC, he structured and executed many landmark transactions, which won him and the bank local and international recognitions. Several years after relinquishing executive position, Peterside’s footprints remain indelible as Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, continues to win honours as the leading investment banker. In spite of recent aggressive


expansion into the retail and consumer banking segment, corporate and investment banking remains the mainstay of Stanbic IBTC Bank, accounting for more than 75 per cent of the bank’s operations. Away from executive functions, Peterside has become the Nigerian corporate governance icon. As chairman of the Committee on Corporate Governance of Public Companies set up by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), he was instrumental to emergence of Nigeria’s first Code of Best Practices for Public Companies in Nigeria in 2003. He now serves as one of the most influential persons who are expected to practically shape and demonstrate corporate best practices in the country. Peterside not only chairs the boards of Stanbic IBTC Bank and Cadbury Nigeria Plc, he also sits on the boards of other quoted companies including Unilever Nigeria, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries and Presco Plc. But beyond the knowledge that he impacts on the corporate sector, Peterside has continued to demonstrate his belief and mastery of portfolio management. At a time many Nigerian shareholders failed to pick up their rights, Peterside took a major position in Cadbury Nigeria Plc and this has paid off immensely. He now holds the single largest shareholding among the directors of the company. With 0.50 per cent equity stake, only



four other shareholders are within the range of Peterside’ shareholding out of the 76,680 shareholders of Cadbury Nigeria. Peterside has undoubtedly built a nest egg in Stanbic IBTC, although his 1.2 direct equity stake is not the largest individual shareholding. With cash dividends of N174 million in the past two years, his declared direct equities in the bank are valued at about N2 billion. He also holds the single largest shareholding among the directors of Unilever Nigeria Plc, a blue chip that has sustained three-digit dividend payouts in recent years. Besides sitting on the board of Presco, Peterside is one of the four known major Nigerian shareholders in Presco Plc, which has nearly 10,000 shareholders. The spread of his portfolio from banking to manufacturing to agriculture is a practical demonstration of the many lessons he had taught on the potency of well-structured diversification in portfolio management.

Ask a Broker

TOCK split simply re fers to the division of the nominal value of a company’s share to create more shares. For instance, a company with one million ordinary shares of N1 each may decide to undertake a stock split to break into the popular nominal value of 50 kobo per share common on the Nigerian stock market. This will result into two million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. Many limited liability companies undertake stock splits

What is stock split? in the process of going publiclisting their shares on the Exchange, to tactically lock-in values for founding shareholders. However, investors must be wary as bogus stock splits, as seen in the bubbling rush period of initial public offerings and private placements between 2005 and 2007, may undermine long-term returns to new shareholders. An already quoted company on the Exchange may also un-

dertake stock split to increase the number of outstanding shares available for trading and thus increase liquidity. Companies, such as Nestle Nigeria, Total Nigeria, Mobil Oil Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria and Dangote Cement, which currently trade between N100 and N400 per share, may decide to undertake stock splits to increase number of shares, which theoretically bring down their share prices within the popular trading range.

Ways and Means

What to consider before opening bank account


ORMAL banking relation ship starts with the open ing of an account; irrespective of the type of account. Either savings or current accounts, investment-linked or transactional accounts, a potential account holder needs to consider some key points that may be crucial to optimal account management as well as security of his account. The first consideration is the fundamental strengths of the financial institution.These measures include compliance with statutory operating requirements issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), profitability of its banking operations as evidenced by the profit and loss accounts and its institutional financial strength as indicated by the balance sheet. Banks are required to display key extracts of their audited report and accounts in the banking hall and in the absence of a displayed copy; one may request to see the key financials of the bank.

Ascertaining the fundamentals of the financial institution is important because the depositor also stands to lose from the sudden collapse of the bank. Although the financial services authorities guarantee all deposits in the event of any untoward development in any bank, the intervening period between the intervention and resolution of the issue may weaken the depositor’s financial position or create an outright insolvency problem. A potential account holder also needs to consider the board and management of the bank. The composition of the board in terms of diversity of skills, experience and influence as well as integrity of members of board would determine the quality of their oversight functions. Also, the quality of management in terms of professional knowledge and cumulative experience will drive the financial performance of the bank, which is crucial to the security of the

Historical and projective analyses

deposit or investment. Many sudden unexplained resignations from the board or management are often early warnings of serious organisational crisis. Ownership and structures determine the resilience of any financial institution, especially in the event of sudden regulatory changes, such as the knee-jerk increase of banks’minimum capital base from N2 billion to N25 billion or macroeconomic changes, such as sharp decline in public sector funds. Besides, the potential account holder must consider the suitability of the bank to his needs. This encompasses the niche banking segment, products and services and general customer orientation. A top-tier bank with main focus on corporate and high networth individual clients may not adequately cater for the banking needs of retail depositors, although the exigencies of the operating environment may necessitate offering retail banking products.

HE main responsibility of an investment manager is to ensure consistent returns on investment irrespective of the market conditions. With this, an investment manager is assumed to possess the magical wand and psychic mirror to manage the present and foresee the future. While individual investors may be excused for investment failures, portfolio fund managers are often confronted with “you-supposed-to-know”attitudes from clients and the public, who hold the tenuous theory of infallibility of investment managers; no matter the market situations. But in reality, investment managers, like other operators in the securities market, only control few variables as several extraneous sometime unforeseen variables mediate in the interplay of market forces. As such, the objective of portfolio management is majorly to minimise inherent risks in the process of maximising return. The investment manager basically seeks to achieve this objective by engaging in wide analysis to determine firstly, the type of securities to be chosen and secondly, the proportion of investment to be made in each security. Security or investment analysis, which from a perspective is categorised into fundamental analysis and technical analysis, is a major tool in effective portfolio management; although other tools such as portfolio selection and mix are also crucial determinants of the overall return. From the statistical content perspective, investment analysis is broadly categorised into two: historical and projective analyses. Historical analysis explores the past fundamental and technical performances of an investment as a measurement of reliability and future return. Projective analysis on the other hand outlines possible future performance of an investment against the background of historical analysis, current and future macro and micro economic developments. The thematic frame of projective analysis, otherwise called forecasting, is the estimation of current and future variables to determine possible return within a period. Since historical analysis deals with realised return, return already earned, and as much does not translate into new earnings, projective analysis occupies a pri-

By Taofik Salako

mary place in proactive investment management because of its propensity to create new good returns. The primary motive of investment, it should be recalled, is to earn extra income on the principal amount invested through dividends and capital appreciation. Projective analysis brings investors closer to realisation of their main objectives. Besides the platform offered by historical analysis, projective analysis uses a step-by-step funnel approach to determine variables that will impact, positively or negatively, on future dividends and share prices, starting from isolation and estimation of relevant macro-economic variables to industry variables and then narrowed down to the company. This approach, otherwise referred to as economic-industry-company (EIC) or “top down” approach, enables an investment analyst to have a full view of risks and opportunities inherent in an investment decision and simultaneously reduces risk and enhances realisation of return. Several studies have confirmed the importance of macro factors in dividends flow and price changes. These make analysts to pay more attention to forces operating in the overall economy as well as in the different segment of the economy. To assume that companies operate in vacuum, without mediation of external forces, is a naïve error that many analysts have learnt to avoid. Experts underscore the importance of macro economic factors with the arguments that the course of national economic development influences corporate profits, investor attitudes and expectations and share prices. For instance, an outlook of economic recession can lead to lower profits, which can trigger investor pessimism and lower share prices. Projecting possible consequences of fiscal and monetary policies on the overall economic trend can lead to good positioning in stocks that will lead the new swell of growths on the stock market. Fiscal policies and the direction of government incomes and expenditures are major factors in economic analysis, especially in public sector-dominated economy like Nigeria’s. Security analyst should be able to determine the effects

of government activities on socio-economic variables that can impact on investments. For instance, recent reforms have led to many macro factors that have been found to be influencing the overall direction of the economy and the stock market. The pension reform for example has created a huge pool of funds that have been playing catalytic role in the growth on the stock market. Security analyst can track changes in wages, pension, taxes, male/female population and other demographic factors to project the possible direction of the overall economy and the impacts on investments. As the government moves to implement new minimum wage, proactive investment analysis will take into consideration the possible impact of such increase on disposable income, investment decisions and other variables. Also, the capital domestication or local content policy of the federal government has created huge markets for discerning local manufacturers and service providers. The local content policy and compulsory insurance have created huge earnings opportunities for Nigerian insurance companies. Proactive analysis will take into consideration the impact of enforcement of such policies on the companies. Besides, monetary policies play crucial roles in the direction of overall economy. A school of thought believes that changes in the money supply trigger chain of reactions that influence the economic outlook. Although not universally acceptable,monetarist theory of economics simply states that fluctuation in the rate of growth of the money supply are of utmost importance in determining gross national product (GNP), corporate profits, interest rates and stock prices. Monetarists believe that monetary changes lead stock price changes. For instance, projective analysis will take into consideration significant changes in the monetary management such as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s inflation target approach and guided exchange rate management. A shrewd combination of historical and projective analyses however makes for more reliable and dependable investment decision.

‘As the government moves to implement new minimum wage, proactive investment analysis will take into consideration the possible impact of such increase on disposable income, investment decisions and other variables’










Bulls dominate market


EARISH returns were halted at the Exchange last week as market activities ended the week in a bullish stand. The bearish returns take a temporary reversal due to the slight improvement in prices of some banking stocks. Overall market performance determinants, i.e. the Market Capitalisation, All share Index and the braIndex rose by 0.23 per cent, 0.27 per cent and 0.56 per cent as against a decrease of 5.70 per cent, 5.66 per cent and 6.29 per cent recorded a fortnight ago. The statistics showed a reversal in the stock market performance, the recent rise is backed on the slight increase in the share price of banking stocks. Investors in the banking industry had exchanged 0.68 billion units worth N5.27 billion in 10,933 deals as against 0.48 billion units valued at N3.71 billion in 9,035 deals a fortnight ago. The sector maintained 53.96 percent of the total activities at the Exchange last week, this pointed out that the banking stocks were actively traded at the exchange compared to 67.04 per cent the penultimate week, returns on banking volume is 2.73 per cent and the value of money spent on banking stocks remain strong as it stood at 54.27 per cent. The Insurance sector occupied the first runner-up with 106.91 million units worth N 60.15 million in 448 deals. On average evaluation, the Insurance sub-sector accounted for approximately 7.93 per cent of the total activity and 0.61 per cent of the total funds invested at the Exchange during the week under review. Shares of Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Firstbank Plc were the toast of investors as they were actively traded in terms of volume and total investment. The worth of activities last week fell noticeably and its sustainability requires asymmetric information for investors to regain their lost confidence. In the current week, the volume of transaction reads at N 9.71 billion with the volume of transaction of 1.26 billion shares as against the trading of 1.26 billion shares worth N 9.84 billion a fortnight ago. In terms of transactional volume, the Conglomerates sub-sector’s performance represented an improvement of about 2.47 per cent last week. The total weekly value of stocks in this sub-sector stood at N0.21 billion. The Market capitalisation, which measures the share price movement increased from N 7.28 trillion a fortnight ago to N 7.30 trillion last week. The All Share Index also rose to 22,828.33 from 22,775.55, representing a 0.23 per cent drop on weekly assessment. Apparently, the braIndex® also fell by 0.56 per cent. All the three market indicators increased last week showing that overall activities in terms of volume and fund invested may increase noticeably. The positive returns on both benchmarks were less than one index point and attributable to the recent increase in share prices of some banking stocks. On a year-to-date basis, both benchmarks - the NSE All-Share Index and the braIndex® - showed losses of 6.42 per cent and 7.17 per cent. Stock Market Sectoral Performance Investors in the shares of Access Bank Plc exchanged 182.00 million units in 838 deals worth N 1.11 billion. The average number of deals remained well over 167 deals per day during the week. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc was second with 112.81 million shares worth N 1.47 billion. In the Insurance sub-sector, Goldlink Insurance Plc led with 61.41 million shares worth N30.70 mil-

Table 1: A Five-Day Moving Average Data of the Market Indices Change(%)

Market Capitalisation (%)


Average Weekly Depth




Year To Date (YTD)




Month To Date (MTD) Week To Date(WTD)

(3.01) 0.27

(3.05) 0.26

(3.56) 0.56


Market Cap(trillion Naira)

All-Share Index


As of closing on August 18, 2011




Source: NSE & bra Limited Table 2: Stock Market Summary Statistics for the week ending August 18, 2011. Period Market Capitalisation (Trillion) 11/08/2011 7.16 12/08/2011 7.28 15/08/2011 7.21 16/08/2011 7.29 17/08/2011 7.29 18/08/2011 7.30 Source: NSE & Bra Limited

All-Share Index (Base Points) 22,390.45 22,775.55 22,559.07 22,792.06 22,811.39 22,828.33

braIndex® (Base Points) 14.28 14.62 14.79 14.86 14.82 14.86

Table 3: Statistics on Weekly Sectoral Contribution Sectors Banking Conglomerates Food, Beverages and Tobacco Petroleum Marketing Insurance Source: bra Limited

% of Total Trading Net Worth 54.27% 2.19% 4.49% 9.13% 0.61%

Trading Net Worth(in Naira Millions ) 5,272.57 213.47 436.30 883.17 60.15

Figure 1a: The All Share Index and braIndex® Performance at a Glance

Source: BRA Computation

Source: BRA Computation

lion. The sectoral volume amounted to almost 60.15 million units and constituted over 7.93 per cent of the sector’s trading volume. Companies Appraisal Access Bank Plc is the most active company in the Banking sub-sector with 182 million units, followed by the Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc been the first runner up closed the week at N1.47 billion in 2,811 deals. Among the most active companies in the Insurance sub-sector were Goldlink Insurance Plc, N.E.M. Insurance Co. (Nig) Plc, Aiico Insurance Plc, Continental ReInsurance Plc and Niger Insurance Plc. In the

ConglomeratesIndustry Transnational Corporation Plc claimed to be the most active companies in the sector. The Petroleum Markeing industry was also active in terms of the market value. Oando Plc, Eternal Oil and Gas Plc, Conoil Plc and Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc were some of the most active stocks in the sub-sector. Last week, shareholders of Oando Plc, West African Portland Cement Company Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and Zenith Bank Plc saw the value of their investments earning profit less than two per cent while investors in

Guinness Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, ETI Plc and Ashaka Cement Plc made greater than two per cent loss daily. Points to note: The weekly stock market analysis reports the current position of the outlook of the stock of the companies listed on the Exchange and the aggregate market.The NSE closed the 33rd trading week on a bearish note. The movement supports our statement last week as we suggested strides towards a bullish stand. Historical analysis of trading volume shows that in the new week, the Banking, Insurance and Food, Beverages and Tobacco

stocks are likely to continue to be the toast of investors. Disclaimer This report has been prepared for information purposes only and for private use. Whilst reasonable care had been taken in its production, bra Limited does not guarantee the correctness of its contents nor does the company accept liability for any loss arising from a reliance on its contents. Kindly note that our suggested recommendations and other tactical actions are based on bra Limited best estimates which are guided by generally available information and our Proprietary Tools. This is not an invitation or a solicitation to deal in any stocks and we do not guarantee the future outcome of such recommendation.



CAPITAL MARKET Bond and Money Market Review


ROM the beginning of the week to the end, prices of most long term instruments remain the major driving force of the overall market performance. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bond Index began the week at 1,513.73 and closed at 1,512.08 points, dropping by 165 basis points in support of a rise of 72 basis points a fortnight ago. It ended the week at 1,512.08 points. Average index stayed at 1,513.90 points, compared to 1,513.97 points the previous week. The 30-day, 60-day and 180-day indices dropped by 0.16 per cent, 0.07 per cent and 0.05 per cent to 6.23 per cent, 6.57 per cent and 8.55 per cent. The volume of market transaction decreased from N1.837 trillion to N1.836 trillion, while the index on the other side close at 1,512.08 points, as it started the week with 1,513.31 points. Market capitalisation closed with N 1.836 trillion to end last week transaction as against N 1.837 trillion observed in the penultimate week, the daily changes in the index decreased slightly to close the weekly observation. The index movement shows that there is a trivial drop in the market performance though the changes on daily examination was a slight decline been arrived at as a result of price decrease experienced on long term instruments, these instruments are the major drivers of the market performance last week, though fortnight ago, the prices of traded bonds increase trivially. Among 15 traded bonds, most of the traded bonds have their price decreased throughout the last week trading activities. In line with the short term instruments which witnessed price stumbled. The top price losser was the 20year bond, 15 per cent FGN Nov. 2028, which depreciated by 135 basis points to close at 122.12. However, the 10-year bond, 10.70 per cent FGN March 2018 which also decline by 98 basis points to end the week at 96.63. Figure 1 illustrates the year-todate change in the bra FGN bond Index. The bra FGN bond index is a market value weighted index and is designed to measure the performance of the Nigerian investment-grade fixed income market. Although the index remained flat during most of January and February as seen, it recorded a sharp drop in March as investor outlook turned negative in the bond market in anticipation of elections. The FGN index recorded its biggest decline (108 points) in March losing roughly seven per cent of its value. We observe the stabilisation of the declining trend in April and a gradual recovery in May and June. The month of July follows this recovery trend with index values reaching their March levels. The index increased by 2.2 per cent in July reaching 1518 points on July 19 and closing at 1517 on July 30 Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold foreign exchange worth $250 million to authorised dealers at the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) window as against $400 million a fortnight ago. The dealers had demanded $313.59 million before the auction while the actual amount offered stood at $250 million. The over-the-counter bond market notched up by 2.59 per cent last week, yielding N160.43 billion with a turnover of 197.8 million units in 1,301 deals. The amount compared favourably with the N157.84 billion invested on 192.8 million units in 1,296 deals a

Bond market segment returns deepens by 0.08% Table 4: Key Statistics of Market’s Stock Performance as of August 18, 2011 S/N

Company Name

Share Price Gain (‘N)

% of Shares’ Gain by Investors


Oando Plc








Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc








Zenith Bank Plc






Guinness Nigeria Plc


Nigerian Breweries Plc








Ashaka Cement Plc







Source: NSE and bra Limited Indicator Turnover Value Deals FGN Bond Index Market Capitalization Index Weekly Returns (%) Index Year-to-Date Returns (%) 1-Month Returns (%) 3-Month Returns (%) 12-Month Returns (%)

CurrentWeek 197.8 million N160.43 billion 1,301 1,512.08 N1.836 trillion 1.68 5.15 0.72 5.31 18.64

PreviousWeek 192.8 million N157.84 billion 1,296 1,513.31 N1.837 trillion 1.70 5.25 0.69 5.28 18.60

% Change 2.59 1.64 (0.08) (0.05) (1.17) (1.90) 4.34 0.56 0.21

Source: BRA Figure 1: FGN Bond Index

Source: FMDA

Figure 2: Nigerian T-bill Primary Market Auctions

Primary Market Auction

Source: Financial Markets Dealers Association fortnight ago. The activity was boosted by the 20-year bond, due in July 2030 with 10 per cent coupon rate. It traded 41.95 million units valued at N31.30 billion in 316 deals. This was followed by the threeyear bond, 5.5 per cent FGN Feb. 2013 which traded 33.55 million units valued at N30.04 billion in 281 deals. Sixteen of the available 34 FGN bonds were traded during the week, compared with 12 the previous week. In the NTB Primary Market,

there were only two issues of NTBs with maturities ranging from three to six months. The total subscriptions for these two issues were well above the 89 billion offered. The true yield on these NTBs ranged from 6.91per cent on the three-month issue to 8.1 per cent on the six-month issue. These yields are down from previous month’s auctions where the yield on the three-month NTB in the primary market ranged from 7.9 per cent to 8.8 per cent and the true yield on the six-month NTB was between 9.69 per cent- 9.73 per cent.

There were eight issues of NTBs in June worth N340 billion. In July this figure was significantly down at N89 billion. The yield on the 1 year NTBs had ranged from 9.89 per cent to 10.37 pert cent in June. Nigerian Yield Curves In terms of long term bonds, there were three issues of NT Bonds with maturity dates ranging from three to 10 years for a total amount of N70billion. In June there were only two issues of FGN bonds for the same total amount.

The yield on the three-year FGN bond was 10.25 per cent compared to 11.69 per cent in the auction a month ago. The yield on the threeyear issue was also lower than in June at 10.71per cent (12.75per cent for the same maturity in June.) The drop in the NTB and NT Bond rates suggest an increase in investor appetite for these instruments given the unattractive nature of alternative investments. Figure 3 shows the volume of the NTB and FGN Auctions in the Primary Market.








The 2011 Infiniti EX is equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, which replaces last year’s five-speed. Dual-zone climate control and 18-inch wheels are standard on both trim levels. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO, relying on agency reports, writes that option packages, including the technology package which now adds a blind-spot warning system, have been modified and combined.

• Infinity EX

New Infinity offers sport luxury A

S luxury crossovers go, the 2011 Infiniti EX (formerly the EX35) inhabits a small niche. It wants to prove that it is really a sport sedan underneath its elevated perch and rear cargo hold. And it makes a good case. The EX’s wheelbase is just two inches longer and its ride height one inch taller than the Infiniti G37 sedan that underpins it. The EX still carries the 3.5-litre V6 left over from the previous G35, but it finally gets the seven-speed automatic transmission offered across the rest of the Infiniti line. The EX also gets a new exterior look, with 18-inch wheels standard on both trim levels. All models also get dualzone climate control, previously only available on the higher trim level. Inside its cabin, the EX offers a fine sport-luxury environment with leather upholstery and high-quality touch points, as well as numerous standard and optional high-tech features, including Infiniti’s innovative Around-View Monitor camera system, which uses four cameras to present a 360-degree composite view of the car while parking. While the 2011 Infiniti EX might be one of the more nimble crossovers in the segment, it is not the most versatile. Its backseat isn’t suited to long hauls and its cargo area doesn’t offer much more space than a large trunk. If it’s room you need for passengers and cargo, the Audi Q5, the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and the Volvo XC60 are worthy alternatives. The BMW X3 is also worth a look, as it is similarly sporty as well as being roomier inside. But if you like sport-sedan dy-

namics, small wagon utility and driving slightly above the fray, the EX is an endearing oddity in this evolving segment. Body styles The car is a five-passenger crossover luxury wagon available in base and Journey trim levels. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, automatic headlamps, foglights, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, heated outside mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column with leather-wrapped wheel, eightway driver and four-way passenger power seats (heated on AWD models), leather upholstery, two-tone cabin treatments, a rearview camera and a sixspeaker stereo with a single-CD player, satellite radio and a USB jack. The EX journey adds a sunroof, poweradjustable steering column, heated front seats, wood interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and an in-dash six-CD changer. Notable options are limited to the journey. The premium package includes an 11-speaker Bose audio system with single-CD player and 9GB of digital music storage, a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, Bluetooth streaming audio, a multi-camera parking system, front and rear parking sensors and an air purifier. The deluxe touring package includes 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlamps, driver memory functions, an eight-way power passenger seat, a power-folding backseat and upgraded interior trim. The technology package of-

fers lane-departure warning and prevention systems, adaptive cruise control, intelligent brake assist with forward collision warning and a blind-spot warning system. Powertrains and performance The EX is available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The engine is a 3.5-litre V6 that produces 297 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a new seven-speed automatic with manual shift control. In performance testing, a rear-drive EX with the previous five-speed automatic hustled from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds; this year’s EX will likely be a tenth or two quicker still. Fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined for both rearwheel and all-wheel-drive models. Safety Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The optional Technology package adds Forward Collision Warning (which uses the adaptive cruise control radar system to alert the driver of an impending collision), Intelligent Brake Assist (which automatically engages the brakes when the driver ignores FCW) and the lane-departure warning system (which alerts the driver when the car starts to veer into another lane). In performance brake testing, the EX stopped from 60 mph in 118 feet, a very

good result for this class. Interior design and special features The EX has one of the most inviting interiors in its class. Both trim levels offer highquality leather, with aluminium (base) or maple (journey) interior trim complementing the soft lines and pleasing contours. The front seats are supportive and the driving position is excellent, more so with the journey’s power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The controls for the climate, stereo and optional navigation systems are some of the most intuitive to use, as is the standard iPod interface. The backseat is less impressive, as its limited legroom becomes confining on long trips. The cargo area is also somewhat shallow; at 18.6 cubic feet, the space behind the rear seatbacks is only marginally greater than the trunk space in many sedans. Even with those seatbacks folded down, there is less capacity than in competing crossovers. Driving impressions The Infiniti EX is a treat to drive, even if you do not like sport-utility vehicles. That is because the EX is really more of a sport sedan with a tall ride height. Based on the Infiniti G35 platform, the EX strikes a nearideal balance between ride quality and handling. Even with 18-inch wheels it feels comfortable over broken pavement, yet sharp and responsive in tight corners. The V6 pulls hard from almost any speed, and the brakes are strong and easy to modulate. Those who opt for the EX instead of the G series sedan will not likely miss the G’s slightly better overall dynamics.




Fed Govt praises Ogun on roads T

HE Federal Ministry of Works has praised the Ogun State government for its investments in road construction and intervention on failed portions of the federal roads in its domains. Members of the Presidential Audit Team, led by the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Ejike Egbemena, stated this during a courtesy visit to the governor in Abeokuta. The team praised the state government for its work at Sango-Ota, which has since eased the traffic gridlock on the Ogun State end of the Lagos/

Abeokuta Expressway and its reconstruction of the completely dilapidated portion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at Mowe, opposite the Redeemed Christian Church of God Camp. The team said the effort of the state government on these two federal roads had ameliorated the untold hardship being experienced by commuters. Members of the Presidential Audit Team were, on an assessment tour of the federal roads in Ogun State, with a view to encouraging co-operation on the rehabilitation of the roads.

• Amosun

“We are impressed with what we have seen,” remarked the head of the delegation, “and we are happy to inform the governor that the Federal Gov-

Over 300,000 commercial motorcyclists operate in Lagos


AGOS State has 300,000 registered commercial motorcyclists (okada) but a large percentage still need to perfect their riding capability. There are underage and illiterates that are also not sound in handling any motorcycle, but they have been issued with the Rider’s card. Some cannot even express themselves in either English or any of the local languages, yet, they have bought Rider’s card. The revelation was made by Chairman, Motorcycle Operators Associa-

tion of Lagos State (MOALS), Mr Tijani Pekis in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Pekis noted that the government, security agencies and okada unions would have to work together to reduce the incidence of road accidents involving motorcycles. According to him, though motorcycle operators have unions at unit, local government and state levels, it is still difficult to stop an illiterate and inexperienced rider from operating. He explained that

though the state government recognised two motorcycle operators’ associations, there were many mushroom ones springing up illegally and worsening the situation. Pekis lamented that the uncoordinated acquisition of Rider’s card has always frustrated the unions to identify commercial motorcyclists. He appealed to the security agencies to enforce the laws guiding the operations of commercial motorcyclists, including wearing of crash helmets and not carrying more than a passenger.

ernment has awarded the contract for the construction of Lagos/Ota highway, which is to start in two weeks’ time. We are scrapping and putting up a new road with emphasis on drainages to ensure durability of the road.” The team also said palliative work had been approved for the Ikorodu/ Sagamu road and urged the state government to partner with the Federal Government to ensure that funds invested on the roads were protected. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun said: “The people are not interested in which road is federal and state. Road is one of the most important social amenities. The Abeokuta/Ibadan road is not good. A lot of lives are lost on the road daily. The Ikorodu/Sagamu road is a big shame; petrol tankers had to embark on strike because of the terrible state of

the road. This does not augur well for the economic well-being of the country.” The governor reiterated the need for Nigerians to develop the culture of maintenance. “Once you do not maintain a road, it collapses. If you go abroad, roads stand for up to 30 or 40 years but here they collapse within three years.” Amosun urged the Federal Government to always award construction contracts to firms that “have the competence, capacity and capital” to carry out such a project. “You don’t do try and error with roads that are of strategic importance to the national economy. They must be awarded to companies that are tested and have track records,” he said. He hailed the Federal Government for the visit and requested for prompt reimbursement of funds expended by Ogun State

on federal roads. Egbemena commended the quality of work done even on roads where the state government used direct labour approach and called for partnership between the states and Federal Government to ensure that commercial activities that lead to encroachment of the right of way and result in blockage of drainages were curtailed. He re-emphasised the commitment of the Federal Government to provide a good road network in Nigeria. It will be recalled that a few weeks ago in the print and electronic media, many Nigerians expressed profound gratitude to the new administration in Ogun State for its intervention on the two major federal highways in its territory -Lagos/ Abeokuta Expressway and Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.

Toyota Yaris is UK’s most stolen car


OYOTA is more famous for topping reliability surveys than desirability ones, but the Yaris is seemingly irresistible to thieves. Toyota's supermini has topped the table of the UK's most stolen cars, so says insurance comparison website Between 2004 and 2011, one in every 244 Yaris

models insured through was stolen. By contrast, the Ford Ka was the least stolen car using the same measure - not a single one taken. According to car-thiefturned-security-expert Michael Fraser, “A Ford Kia is not very likely to be stolen as thieves will view them as cheap, with no power and no street

credibility among thieves.” The Toyota Yaris, on the other hand, has more street credibility than a Porsche 911; the Porsche sits fourth in the list of most stolen cars, with one in every 417 registered. Mr Fraser added: “The cars that are much more likely to be targeted are the Jaguar XJ, Mercedes C Class, and the Range Rover Sport. “These are sought after by car thieves as they are very fast, powerful, hold the road well and are built well. Protection on these vehicles will be high, so it is about getting hold of the keys.”

Snake found in engine during MOT BRITISH mechanic, Wayue Hunt got the shock of his life during a routine inspection - he lifted the bonnet of a customer’s car and found a five-foot long boa constrictor nestling underneath. The five-inch thick snake was curled up in a space in the engine bay of a blue MINI Cooper. The car was about to undergo an MOT test at Carringtons of Oxford, United Kingdom. Mechanic Wayne Hunt, said: “We immediately called the RSPCA to collect the snake, since it did not belong to the customer and we had no idea who owned it. “We also wanted to make sure we did not harm the reptile in removing it, as we are more used to working on brakes than snakes!” According to the RSPCA, the snake looked thinner than a normal sized boa constrictor, which suggests it had been nestled under the bonnet for a while.









Fayemi holds Iftar for Imams, others


KITI State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi last week had Iftar (Break fast) with eminent Islamic personalities in the state at Governor’s Lodge in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Fayemi, thanked the congregation led by the Grand Imam of Ekiti State Alhaji Suleiman Akinbami, and other Muslim leaders including the State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Olayinka Balogun. He said Ramadan is a special month which the Muslims look forward to make big requests from God. He prayed that God might grant legitimate requests of everyone and make amends in their lives and businesses. In a brief sermon before the Iftar, an Ekiti State University (EKSU) don, Dr Sikiru Eniola

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti

and Sheik Keulere gave exhortations on Islam and Human Relations. Sheik Kuelere, who hailed the Fayemi for appointing Muslims to prominent positions in the State Executive Council and other political positions in the state, prayed that the Almighty Allah grant the State Governor all the desires of his heart. Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Mojeed Jamiu, who moderated the programme, noted that the governor chose the period of the Holy Month to gather Muslims not just to appreciate them as part of the community but to express support for them in the religious obligation of Ramadan.

Assist the less privileged, Muslims urges


OLITICAL leaders have been charged to assist the less privileged during the Ramadan as a mark of appreciation to Allah. Speaking during an interactive session in Lagos, Alhaji Ibrahim Alao –Megida said that was the only way to give the masses a sense of belonging. Megida, who is the co-ordinator, Mainland Independent Group (MIG) distributed rice, provision, bread and some gallons of kerosene to the Muslim community in the Mainland. He affirmed that he was prodded by the spirit of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola who were known for identifying with the less priviledged before and during the Ramadan.

•Amir (President) Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State presenting a gift to the former Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Nurudeen Alao (second left) at the UNILAG Mosque. With them are MSSN Secretary, AbdulHakeem Odeduntan and Saheed Salman (left)

Muslims urged to show interest in politics, governance


EPUTY Chief Whip of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Hon Rotimi Abiru has urged Muslims to develop more interest in who leads them. He gave the advice at the Feeding, Fasting and Faithful Ramadan lecture he organised for his constituents at Igbehin Adun Primary School, Pedro, Bariga, Lagos. Abiru urged Muslims to always cast their votes for credible candidates. A lecture entitled Nation building and Islamic perspective was delivered by the Chief Imam of Lagos State House of Assembly Central Mosque,

By Oziegbe Okoeki

Alhaji Abdul Lateef Abdul Hakeem. AbdulLateef enjoined all Muslims to show interest in politics and governance and not shy away from it just because it is generally believed that politics is a dirty game. “You must come out and take part in politics so that together we can clean the dirt that is supposedly in the game of politics”, Abdul Hakeem said. Stating his reason for organising the lecture which has become an annual event since he became a member of the Lagos Assembly, Abiru said “the pro-

gramme is to bring Muslims together to seek Almighty Allah’s blessing because the month of Ramadan is a month of blessings when we pray for forgiveness and be our brother’s keeper. “It is also serving a dual purpose this time around. We just finished election, it is another opportunity to say a big thank you to my constituents that deemed it fit to give me a second ticket to represent them and also to let people know we have to be our brother’s keeper and do things to seek the favour of Allah”, Abiru said. Commending Abiru for the

yearly programme, Chairman of Bariga LCDA, Hon Sulaimon Akeem said apart from his legislative duties, Abiru has made it his responsibility to ensure that people are brought closer to God and has also “used this programme every year in sensitising and bringing us to our responsibility of nation building”, Akeem said. A member of the Lagos Assembly, Hon. Yishau Gbolahan (Eti Osa 11) said “the lecture is illuminating and it is good because it will remind us of our responsibility to serve which some of us tend to forget once we get into power”.






CD: it’s impunity


IGHT groups,the Campaign for Democracy (CD), yesterday condemned the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ayo Salami by the National Judicial Council (NJC). In a statement signed by its President Dr. Joe OkeiOdumakin, the group accused the NJC of encouraging Nigerians to lose confidence the judicial system. CD said: “It is totally shocking and bewildering that the council will conduct itself in the most lawless manner the NJC has gone about the suspension of Justice Salami. “It was the saddest day for the rule of law and justice administration in Nigeria when the NJC refused to accept court summons from Justice Salami’s lawyer and went ahead to take “disciplinary” action on a matter that is already before the court. “The message the NJC is sending to Nigerians is to lose confidence in the judicial system if the President of the Court of Appeal cannot be protected by the court. “In the plainest language what the NJC has done is to resort to self-help to achieve some pernicious agenda which can only bring anarchy to justice administration in Nigeria. “It is time for all democracy loving Nigerians to stand up in defence of the rule of law by opposing this violation of the rule of law by the NJC. “This is not about Justice Salami but about the essence of the foundation of justice in our country and halting the mindless drift into lawlessness by the shenanigans of the few men of impunity abusing their position to make us look like inhabitants of the jungle. “We hope the President (Goodluck Jonathan), on whose behalf it is being insinuated these men are acting to stall the judicial challenge to his victory before Justice Salami led court, will act wisely and distance himself from this odious plot. “We equally call on the Senate without whose stamp this NJC coup cannot be successful to act in good discretion by withholding support for this shameless move by the NJC. “In the end, we the people of Nigeria would have succeeded in safeguarding our freedom from impunity by collectively rising against this crude assault on Justice.

CNPP advises President not to retire PCA


HE Conference of the Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to retire the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami. Its Chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said Jonathan should resist the temptation of getting involved following the allegation of corruption and abuse of office levelled against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Kastina- Alu and Salami. Musa said Jonathan should not ignore the rumours over the issue. According to a statement, CNPP chair condemned the handling of the matter by the Natural Judicial Council (NJC). He urged Jonathan to abide by Section 292 of the 1999 Constitution, which provides that ‘a judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement, except in the following circumstances: “{a} in the case of Chief Justice of Nigeria, the President

From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

of the Court of Appeal…………, by the President acting on an address supported by two-third majority of the Senate, praying he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct’.” The CNPP chief warned that authorising the retirement or dismissal of Justice Salami, without a recourse to Section 292 and the matter in court will regrettably portray him as partisan, undemocratic and aviolator of the rule of law. The statement reads: “Permit us to crave your indulgence to resist the temptation of descending into the arena in the dark clouds hanging on the top echelon of the judiciary; following the allegation of corruption and abuse of office levelled against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.”

‘Election guidelines ‘ll bring good leaders’


S preparations for primaries into councils hot up, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Chairman, Demola Doherty, has expressed confidence in Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) guidelines. He said the guidelines would lead to the emergence of good leaders that would subsequently deliver dividends of democracy to the grassroots. Doherty, who is gunning for a second term ticket on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), spoke at the weekend. He said the party’s primaries would consolidate the party’s fortune in the state.

By Yinka Aderibigbe

He dismissed the allegation of non performance levelled against him by the Elder’s Assembly. Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Yomi Adedo, Doherty said he has lived up to the expectations of the residents. He said the group did not represent the interest of the residents and stakeholders of the local government . He said: “A few weeks ago, we held a stakeholders meeting with them as part of our Town Hall meeting with the grassroots.”

•House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal (right), former Senate President Chief Joseph Wayas and Deputy House Speaker Emeka Ihedioha during an advocacy visit by the (Albino Foundation) to the House leadership

IBB, OBJ face-off unfortunate, says Okogie •Madaki admonishes IBB, Obasanjo to shun exchange of words


HE Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Okogie, yesterday described as unfortunate the verbal war between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former military President Ibrahim Babangida. In a statement by Director, Social Communications, Catholic Secratariat of Nigeria, Very Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Osu in Abuja, Okogie said such public outburst by the two former leaders are uncomplimentary and demeaning; capable of heating up an already charged polity. “I was quite shocking to read on the pages of newspapers the rather unruly comments credited to each of the men. It is quite unfortunate and scandalous that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Ibrahim

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja and Kelvin OsaOkunbor, Lagos

Babangida(retired) have decided to wash their dirty linen in the public. “It is even more disheartening to know that such drama is happening in the wake of the 70th birthday of IBB. Ordinarily, one expects IBB to use the occasion to thank God for seeing him thus far and to make peace with Him. “I was, therefore, surprised when he was quoted as throwing aspersions on ExPresident Obasanjo, who equally responded by allegedly calling him a fool at 70. “This is rather unfortunate and is tantamount to setting bad precedents.” According to Cardinal Okogie, the two former leaders, as elder statesmen, are

expected to be men of honour who should be giving useful advice that would help to move the nation forward and not bringing each other so low as to fighting themselves on the pages of newspapers. “We all know the part each of them played when they were in the position of authority. We also know the role they have been playing since they left power as politicians. “They have been meeting and interacting all these while. So, I wonder why they have chosen this period to pounce on each other. “Whatever is their difference, abusing each other through the media is not the best way to go about it. What examples are they setting for the young ones?,” Cardinal Okojie said.

Killer policeman dismissed T

HE police sergeant who killed 26 year- oldOnyeka Agupudo in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government of Anambra State, has been dismissed. He will be arraigned in court today for murder. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Criminal From Investigation Department (CID), Mike Okoli, spoke with The Nation yesterday. The police sergeant shot dead the young man at a checkpoint over an alleged N20 bribe. Agulu youths reportedly

destroyed Agulu Police Station over the incident. He was tried by the stste police command and dismissed from the Force. The family of the deceased, the state police command and the member representing Anaocha I in the State Assembly, Ebele Ejiofor, had dismissed the allegation that N150million compensation was being demanded by the Agupudos. The lawmaker called for justice, saying: “If there should be anything, we have to wait until after the funer-

al. But I do not think anything is being demanded from the police as being speculated, we are only interested in getting justice.” The 74- year- old father of the deceased, Robert Agupudo, said he was not aware of any demand for compensation. He said the family was still in shock over Onyeka’s death. Police spokesman ASP Emeka Chukwuemeka said the command was not aware of the compensation demand. He confirmed that the police sergeant had been dismissed from the Force.

NLC crisis: Affiliates call for Odah’s reinstatement


IGHT unions affiliated to Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have endorsed the decision of the embattled General- Secretary of the NLC John Odah to seek legal redress for his reinstatement. The group, which met in Abuja last week, said its decision to support Odah to seek judicial interpretation of his removal is aimed at the reversal of the action taken by the leadership of the congress. A communiqué issued at the end of the parley reads: “The group, following the refusal of the NLC leadership to give John Odah, GeneralSecretary of the NLC a fair hearing, hereby call on Odah to seek a fair hearing in the

By Dupe Olaoye-Oshikolu

judiciary to resolve the subsisting contradictions surrounding his sack.” The group said the payment of the minimum wage should be extended to the private sectorg. “We call on workers to support all legitimate struggles towards the fair, just and equitable implementation of the new minimum wage, and also call on state governors to obey the laws” they added. While commending the Senate for conducting a public hearing that revealed underhand dealings in the sale of government establishments, the group urged the law making body to probe other establishments.

“The group commended the Senate for unravelling the rot in the sale of Federal Government companies by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), especially as it concerns the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ASCON) and Liquefied Natural Gas Company. We ask that the Senate should further beam its searchlight on Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria, ANAMCO Limited, Volkswagen of Nigeria and Steyr Nigeria limited.” The communiqué was signed by Success Leke( National Union of Hotel and Personal Services Workers (NUHPSW)), Ogbolu Michael ( Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN),among others.

Also, a former Military Governor of Katsina State, Col. John Madaki (rtd), yesterday urged Gen. Babangida and Obasanjo to exercise caution in their exchange of words over their tenure in office. He said such brickbats is not in the overall interest of peace and unity of the nation. Speaking with reporters at Terminal Two, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Madaki said he was deeply disturbed by such brickbats from “two gentlemen who have devoted the best years of their lives to the service of Nigeria.” “I beg them in the name of God to sheathe their swords. It is not unusual to disagree but the polemical words coming from our two former leaders are capable of heating up the polity to a boiling point. “Both of them fought the Civil War to preserve Nigeria. They should be the last to want to inflame the country at this time of our history.” Describing Obasanjo and Babangida as “two of Nigeria great living statesmen”, col. Madaki said “Nigeria still cherishes and looks up to their wise counsel and high moral leadership as former heads of state”.

American varsity honour Nigerians


NIVERSITY of Berkely, Michigan, United States of America, will on Friday confer honorary doctorate degree (Honouris Causa) on some prominent Nigerians as part of its recognition and encouragement of excellence. A statement by the university Director of International Affairs, Dr Donald Lynch, said the honour is also meant to recognise extraordinary intellectuals, outstanding achievers in nation building, education and professional advancement in Africa. “The finest and most useful method to recognise their accomplishments and to formally bestow upon the worthy individuals the respect they deserve is by the conferral of the degree,” Lynch said. The honorees are Eleme of Eleme, Rivers State, Chief Emele Emere Appolus Chu; Dr Friday Akpan; Justice of the High Court, Ilorin, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi; Dr Theodore Ekechi; Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu; Mallam Ramalan Yahuza and Foluso Olusanya.




Banks’ lending to private sector hits N9.9t

US economy: Citigroup predicts lower growth


ANKS’ lending to the privatesector advanced to N9.9 tril lion ($64.4 billion) last month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. Also, money supply to the economy climbed 13 per cent to N12.3 billion, up from 12 per cent in June, it added. The increase in lending derived from the intervention of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), set up last year to buy the bad debts of banks to prevent a collapse in the industry. Banks received bonds for their debts that are being discounted for cash to enable them resume lending. The injected funds into the banking system, aided the “rise in money supply and the marginal growth in credit,” Bismark Rewane, analyst


HE United States economy may expand less than previously forecast in 2011 and 2012 because of potential “political paralysis” and fiscal tightening steps, Citigroup stated in a report. The brokerage firm cut its 2011 gross domestic product growth forecast to 1.6 per cent from 1.7 per cent and lowered its 2012 Gross Domestic Product growth estimate to 2.1 per cent from 2.7 per cent, Steven Wieting and Shawn Snyder, analysts at Citigroup said. Bloomberg said the bank also trimmed its estimates for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s earnings-per-share this year to $97 from $98, and to $101 from $105 next year. The positioning of the economy and pace of recovery so far, “do not suggest a new cyclical recession, rather an inability to mount a full recovery. We see corporate profits growing at a quite low single-digit pace in coming years even with the assumption of continued economic expansion, the bank said. Citigroup’s analysts, said they are concerned about a possible failure of parties to agree on reducing the deficit. “Both tax increases and spending cuts larger than we assumed would be automatically triggered in the absence of bipartisan agreement,” the analysts wrote. “In the absence of action, very sharp tightening steps would occur in 2013 and would be felt in financial market expectations through 2012.”

(CIBN), Chike-Obi, said AMCON has successfully acquired the bulk of the non-performing loans in the banking industry, adding that any bank that refuses to lend henceforth, can no longer use non-performing loans as an excuse. “Our job is lastly done; AMCON has successfully acquired the bulk of the non-performing loans in the banking industry, so when the banks refuse to lend henceforth, they can no longer use non-performing loans as an excuse,” he said. He said foreign banks operating in the country survived the CBN and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (NDIC) stress test because they adhered to strong risk management processes, a trait, he advised, local banks should emulate while lending..

Stories by Collins Nweze

and chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Company, told Bloomberg. He said, credit growth remains weak as banks continue to avoid risk while rebuilding their balance sheets. The Managing Director/CEO of AMCON Mustafa Chike-Obi, recently advised banks to go into full scale lending. The AMCON boss said the acquisition of 9, 000 nonperforming loans, estimated at 30 to 40 per cent of the total asset in the banking industry, should ginger the banks into giving out fresh loans. Speaking during the conferment of Fellowships on bankers by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria

Interbank rates fall on budget inflows


HE interbank rates dropped to 8.0 per cent on average last week from 10.41 per cent the week before, after a large portion of July’s budgetary allocations to government agencies hit the financial system, traders said. Africa’s top crude exporter distributes revenues from oil sales and taxes among its three levels of government each month, part of which goes into the banking system and helps lenders fund their operations. Nigeria distributed about N616 billion ($4 billion) from Federal accounts to its three tiers of government on August. 12, and a portion of the funds came into the banking system on Thursday, helping to buoy liquidity thereby lowering the cost of borrowing among lenders. Bloomberg reported that the secured Open Buy Back (OBB) fell to 7.25 per cent from 10 per cent last week, indicating a 150 basis points below the Central Bank’s benchmark rate, and 50 per-

centage points above the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate. Overnight placement dropped to 8.0 per cent from 10.50 per cent, while call money closed lower at 8.75 per cent against 10.75 per cent last week. “The market opened with a cash balance of about N468 billion on Friday, higher than about N195.9 billion due to the large budgetary inflows, boosting liquidity in the system,” one dealer said. The cost of borrowing could inch up slightly next week as the Central Bank has announced plans to conduct open market operations (OMO) and sell treasury bills as part of moves to reduce liquidity, dealers said. “We expect rates to inch up slightly or stay flat next week because of the planned issuance of treasury bills at the secondary market by the Central Bank on Monday,” another dealer said. “But expected cash inflows from personnel costs and wages could counter the cash outflow next week and ensure that the

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($)

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 26.60 0.67 1.38 1.61 11.15 1.02 0.52 14.00 83.99 0.78

C/PRICE 27.90 0.70 1.44 1.68 11.60 1.06 0.54 14.47 86.50 0.80

CHANGE 1.30 0.03 0.06 0.07 0.45 0.04 0.02 0.47 2.51 0.02


O/PRICE 14.44 4.50 11.56 1.24 4.86 1.45 0.98 9.90 0.54 1.71

his appointment as Executive Director, he worked at various times in different capacities, including Group Head, Corporate Services, as well as General Counsel and Company Secretary. He had the responsibility of directly driving the strategy and growth initiatives of ValuCard. He had worked with Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and FSB International Bank Plc (now Fidelity Bank Plc) and served on the Board of ValuCard as Alternate Director. Apochi is an alumnus of the University of Jos, Lagos Business School and Bank Card Business School, Cambridge. He has several academic honors and awards, including the University Prize for Best Graduating Student. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992 after his subsequent qualification as a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He is also a Chartered Mediator and Conciliator.


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

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

ValuCard gets new CEO



OBB Rate Call Rate

“The banks that were managed exclusively by foreigners, Citi Bank, Standard Charter Bank, Stanbic IBTC, none of them had a crisis. All the banks that had crisis were managed by Nigerians,” he inferred.


HE Board of ValuCard Nigeria Plc has appointed Agada Apochi as Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer and Bisi Onasanya, Group Managing Director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), Bisi Onasanya, as Chairman. Onasanya, who takes over from Philips Oduoza, Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa, will lead the company to new heights through his wealth of experience. Apochi is the company’s fourth chief exexcutive and the first through internal succession since inception. He was until the appointment, was ValuCard’s Executive Director. ValuCard said in a statement that the decision on both appointments was taken at the company’s 72nd Board meeting which held on Friday, last week. His appointment resulted from rigorous internal and external search. He took over from. Kyari Bukar, the first indigenous CEO of ValuCard who resigned after a successful career with the company to take up responsibility as CEO in another organisation. Apochi joined the services of ValuCard Nigeria Plc in 2005. Prior to



•CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido

C/PRICE 13.72 4.28 11.00 1.18 4.65 1.39 0.94 9.50 0.52 1.65

CHANGE 0.72 0.22 0.56 0.06 0.21 0.06 0.04 0.40 0.02 0.06

Amount Sold ($)

Exchange Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57










Bureau de Change 152.0000




(S/N) Parallel Market






16-08-11 N7.291tr 22,792.06

17-08-11 N7.297tr 22,811.39

% Change +0.08% +0.08%





February ’11

July ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 10.2%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.62 112.11 0.81 1.01 0.97 1,620.90 9.61 1.39 1.87 8,827.74 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.16 111.16 0.78 1.01 0.97 1,618.90 9.14 1.33 1.80 8,557.73 191.08


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 04 MAR, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 24, MAY, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 MAR, 2011

07, MAR, 2011











No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,000 500.00 1,000 500.00


No of Deals 1 10 11

Quotation(N) 0.50 7.48

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 19,980 9,990.00 90,173 674,600.94 110,153 684,590.94

Quotation(N) 2.23 7.01

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 59,260 125,631.20 248,870 1,769,363.24 308,130 1,894,994.44

Quotation(N) 1.42

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 544,536 781,139.12 544,536 781,139.12

Quotation(N) 6.00 4.28 2.90 5.95 2.05 11.00 0.50 12.98 9.50 0.70 1.15 6.00 1.39 4.65 2.09 0.61 0.80 13.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 45,534,924 275,559,532.55 1,216,979 5,257,335.89 2,049,588 6,083,946.84 20,805,785 126,649,931.16 48,182,395 96,661,647.84 30,113,334 340,877,879.99 60,000,000 30,000,000.00 35,944,253 472,409,955.41 509,802 4,839,597.82 77,400 54,180.00 33,614,481 38,656,653.15 19,988,237 118,721,715.35 13,544,392 18,936,502.44 48,583,060 228,830,071.25 953,440 1,992,689.60 1,727,534 1,044,080.40 284,283 225,012.37 16,994,734 222,528,960.92 380,124,621 1,989,329,692.98

Quotation(N) 213.00 6.15 86.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,794,071 385,225,198.91 366,210 2,174,407.20 1,415,212 122,212,831.37 3,575,493 509,612,437.48

Quotation(N) 19.58 7.50 116.94 45.50

Quantity Traded Value 206,227 609,800 233,790 251,844 1,301,661

Quotation(N) 9.80 27.90 1.38

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 74,200 704,112.49 254,817 7,003,858.87 424 559.68 329,441 7,708,531.04


No of Deals 5 35 40


No of Deals 25 25 BANKING


No of Deals 145 30 27 45 90 487 15 619 22 9 14 96 66 219 27 27 12 249 2,199 BREWERIES


No of Deals 72 27 137 236 BUILDING MATERIALS


No of Deals 42 16 26 36 120

of Shares (N) 4,002,160.47 4,591,500.00 27,227,861.97 11,339,953.21 47,161,475.65


No of Deals 20 34 1 55


No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 2.65

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 18,766 49,729.90 18,766 49,729.90

Quotation(N) 40.00 0.84 39.02 28.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,100,492 44,491,004.75 4,018,553 3,230,381.88 122,139 4,804,938.39 223,945 6,220,042.46 5,465,129 58,746,367.48

Quotation(N) 2.66 55.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 39,500 105,070.00 156,393 8,679,811.50 500 250.00 196,393 8,785,131.50


No of Deals 93 62 35 54 244 CONSTRUCTION


No of Deals 2 9 1 12

Premier Breweries’ offer: SEC affirms shareholders’ rights


No of Deals 4 4

Quotation(N) 1.99

DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 19-08-11 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,000 19,000.00 10,000 19,000.00


No of Deals 18 35 16 67 55 7 26 29 42 3 1 1 300

Quotation(N) 45.00 16.80 13.72 11.60 85.50 4.63 4.44 41.00 400.00 22.61 0.50 0.60

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 28,049 1,323,754.80 269,228 4,562,517.10 1,007,800 13,827,016.00 5,270,110 61,347,941.17 2,060,993 176,235,574.50 65,659 289,129.60 478,334 2,132,572.46 62,638 2,464,517.43 40,639 16,293,048.25 2,780 59,719.24 7,200 3,600.00 3,000 1,740.00 9,296,430 278,541,130.55

Quotation(N) 0.98 1.65 26.90 4.00 1.47

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,980 3,900.40 317,000 533,268.16 89,421 2,387,704.05 11,700 44,460.00 4,000 5,880.00 426,101 2,975,212.61

Quotation(N) 8.00 4.32

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,000 16,000.00 200 822.00 2,200 16,822.00


No of Deals 1 15 19 4 2 41

N1.00 per share, on the basis of seven new shares for every one share previously held by its shareholders as at July 31, 2010. However, a group of investors who bought into the just concluded rights issue, petitioned capital market regulators alleging unprofessional conducts and attempts to deny them of their duly concluded transactions. The resolution of the controversywill enable Premier Breweries to take over the net proceeds of the issue, which it plans to use to reactivate its operations and start production, upgrade existing storage facilities and provide efficient working capital. Meanwhile, turnover on the NSE increased to 1.75 billion shares worth N12.96 billion in 22,746 deals last week as against 1.70 billion shares valued at N12.126 billion traded in 22,153 deals in previous week. Banking subsector remained the most active sector with 1.05 billion shares worth N6.97 billion in 12,843 deals. Volume in the banking subsector was largely driven by activity in the shares of Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa and First Bank of Nigeria Plc. Trading in the shares of the four banks accounted for 562.48 million shares, representing 53.76 per cent and 32.04 per cent of the subsector’s turnover and total volume traded during the week respectively. Insurance subsector followed on the activity chart with a turnover of 247.42 million shares valued at N238.08

C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

7 7

No of Deals 1 2 3

No of Deals 69 69

No of Deals 1 25 26

No of Deals 18 18

Quotation(N) 0.50 6.02

No of Deals 20 4 15 16 30 1 1 5 20 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 121

Quotation(N) 0.52

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,133,383 590,267.16 1,133,383 590,267.16

Quotation(N) 0.70 1.01 2.66 0.50 1.18 0.50 0.54 0.50 0.54 0.50 0.50 1.68 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,262,748 881,788.60 191,000 192,910.00 289,080 767,262.80 2,403,800 1,201,910.00 18,831,780 22,243,500.40 1,000 500.00 3,260,000 1,760,400.00 32,800 16,400.00 1,791,008 959,796.04 7,815 3,907.50 1,000 500.00 50,000 84,000.00 1,000 500.00 500 250.00 4,000 2,000.00 1,000 500.00 28,128,531 28,116,125.34


Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N)

LEASING Company Name

No of Deals

Quotation(N) 1.06

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,888,597 2,957,796.52 2,888,597 2,957,796.52

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.51

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 500 255.00 500 255.00


No of Deals 1 1 3 5

Quotation(N) 1.44 0.50 0.52

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 100,000 144,000.00 1,000 500.00 231,000 120,120.00 332,000 264,620.00


No of Deals 1 1 2

Quotation(N) 2.02 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,000 2,020.00 2,000 1,000.00 3,000 3,020.00


No of Deals 38 38

Quotation(N) 2.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 907,004 1,824,520.13 907,004 1,824,520.13

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,000 500.00 365,743 2,200,823.58 366,743 2,201,323.58


1,173,010.00 1,173,010.00



1,247,500 1,247,500

MEDIA Company Name AFROMEDIA PLC Sector Totals





million in 640 deals. Trading on Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc accounted for 57.6 per cent of the Insurance subsector. The overall market situation however remained bearish as the All Share Index (ASI) depreciated by 51.53 points or 0.22 per cent to close at 22,724.02 points while aggregate market capitalisation of equities dropped to N7.27 trillion. All other value-based indices were on the downside, except the measure for the insurance sector which trended upward. The NSE- 30 Index depreciated by 6.22 points or 0.60 per cent to close at 1,008.80. The NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 3.67 points or 2.49 per cent to close at 151.21 while the NSE Food and Beverage Index depreciated by 6.22 points or 0.78 per cent to close at 784.89. The NSE Banking Index dropped 1.03 points or 0.27 per cent to close at 320.76 while the NSE Oil and Gas Index slipped by 0.45 points or 0.13 per cent to close at 261.02. Thirty two stocks each were on the gainers and the losers’ table, but the preponderance of highly capitalised stocks on the downside tipped the overall balance to the negative. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc led the gainers with N3.53 to close at N55.50 per share, while UACN Property Development Co. Plc followed with a gain of N1.55 to close at N19.75 per share. Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc led the losers with N7.80 to close at N148.70 per share. Guinness Nigeria Plc followed with a loss of N7.00 to close at N213 per share.



By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

HE controversy sur rounding the recent rights issue by Premier Breweries Plc was resolved over the weekend as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) affirmed the rights of shareholders to the pre-allotted shares. SEC has consequently directed that the registrar to the issue and all other parties accept all applications from qualified shareholders and give such applications first right of refusal before considering any other interested investors. Head of Media, SEC, Lanre Oloyi, however said SEC did not establish any form of malpractice in the allotment process as the discrepancies that led to the dispute arose from the delay in submission of applications by some agents. “You know there is a time frame given to the agents to submit for their clients. The scenario was that those forms were submitted same day, but just a difference of some hours; this is something that can be allowed to pass. The commission has also gone ahead to instruct the registrar to accommodate those who had shown interest before considering others who later indicated ,” Oloyi said. The issuing house to the offer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, confirmed receipt of SEC’s resolution on the issue, which was also in line with earlier directive by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Premier Breweries, had recently floated a rights issue of 867.68 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at


No of Deals 15 20 2 6 23 259 16 341

Quotation(N) 63.86 32.73 4.94 17.41 148.70 30.20 203.32

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 16,523 1,013,673.92 38,233 1,309,908.24 2,600 12,265.00 5,134 84,916.36 21,190 2,994,425.90 1,933,844 58,398,220.89 14,794 2,947,389.90 2,032,318 66,760,800.21


No of Deals 10 10

Quotation(N) 4.09

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 98,017 399,477.88 98,017 399,477.88

Quotation(N) 19.75

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 6,125 117,218.00 6,125 117,218.00


No of Deals 7 7


No of Deals 8 8

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 490,000 245,000.00 490,000 245,000.00


No of Deals 29 29

Quotation(N) 14.47

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,685,000 37,463,414.00 2,685,000 37,463,414.00








• Obasanjo

• Buhari

• Babangida

• Danjuma

For 29 out of 50 years, the Nigerian nation was seized by the jugular by military dictators. For another eight years, one of their clan ruled as a civilian, but demonstrated that democratic ethos was strange to the practice he imbibed in service. Last week, as Generals Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida engaged in war of words, it became clear that in those years, the military service had lost much of what it is known to stand for to its incursion to the political territory. Group Political Editor BOLADE OMONIJO takes a look at what has become of the military tradition and evaluates the contributions of the legion officers who have invaded the political scene.

Military men in Nigerian politics: Pain or gain?


O one who is not familiar with the scene would realise that the plat form not belong to them. They have taken over and redefined the character of the environment. They are military men, retired officers. But now, they are chieftains on the political scene. They started the incursion in their tens, now they are probably in their hundreds. They have taken charge at the federal and state levels. They control the political parties and dictate the tunes to the governments. They have introduced the command structure, the essence of the military to replace the democratic political ethos that define the character of civil rule. The names are very familiar. Money to lubricate the political machine and buy the souls of politicians is in short supply. Many adopt the Machiavellian approach in ensuring that the end justifies the means. At the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999, the military who were in power dictated the pace. They took all the decisions. When it was time to come up with a successor, they bandied together to install one of them-Olusegun Obasanjo. The contest was, strictly speaking between two political parties- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Peoples Party (APP). The military clan opted for Olusegun Obasanjo who they felt more comfortable working with and funded and ensured that Olu Falae of the APP did not go near the presidential dais. Obasanjo was made President. The retired Generals thought he was in a better position to protect the interest of the military; that he would act like a patriot and weld the country together and, above all, that their individual business interest would be well protected. Eight years later, it was obvious that the situation had changed. For the 2007 presidential election, at least seven retired generals were in the race. In the PDP where Obasanjo was the incumbent, Ebitu Ukiwe, a former Chief of General Staff under the Buhari administration; Mike Akhigbe, the last Chief of General Staff (under the

Abdulsalami administration); Aliyu Gusau, a retired Lt-Gen, former Chief of Army Staff; Mamman Kontagora, a former Minister of Works and only military Sole Administrator of a university and Buba Marwa, ex-Military Administrator of Lagos sought to replace the retiring generals at the presidential primary. Earlier Ibrahim Babangida, a former military Head of State had tried to scare all other off, but when it became obvious that Obasanjo had decided to pull all stops in support of Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua whose major credential was that he was the younger brother of Shehu Yar’Adua who had served under him as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters between 1976 and 1979, IBB backed down just before the contest. The contesting generals were outwitted, outflanked, outfoxed by Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded in handing the ticket to his man, Yar’Adua. It was, in a way, a battle of Generals on both sides. The Yar’Adua card was played by a General who had the advantage of incumbency. Others were out of government, out of power and could not match Obasanjo’s influence. The Owu-born General won the battle. But the war had to continue some other time. In the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), another former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari was the flag bearer. After four years in power, the civilian to whom Obasanjo handed over power in

1979, was shoved aside in a military coup de’tat. The beneficiary of the coup was a Major General-Buhari. He had served as a Military Administrator and Petroleum Minister under Obasanjo. But, at the poll, in 2003, both men engaged in electoral battle. Obasanjo won. In 2007, it was time for electoral confrontation again; this time, between Obasanjo’s civilian nominee or representative, and Buhari. The PDP and ANPP were the major political parties, along with Action Congress (AC). Again, Obasanjo had his way. The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was a narrow platform. It, at best, had roots in the five states in the Southeast. Its flag bearer was another retired military officer, Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu. He led the Biafra secession bid through a 30-month civil war and was, before then military governor of the Eastern Region. As it was in the PDP, so it was at the presidential election. Obasanjo, relying heavily on incumbency power, had his way. The other generals lost. But, it was not the end of the story. The ceasefire could only last four years. The other Generals calculated that, by 2011, the influence of President Obasanjo would have waned considerably, and that the civilians, as rambunctious as ever, would fail to defend the title at the poll. In April, Buhari was back at the poll as candidate of newly formed Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); Obasanjo backed

‘The contesting generals were outwitted, outflanked, outfoxed by Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded in handing the ticket to his man, Yar’Adua. It was, in a way, a battle of Generals on both sides. The Yar’Adua card was played by a General who had the advantage of incumbency. Others were out of government, out of power and could not match Obasanjo’s influence. The Owu-born General won the battle. But the war had to continue some other time’

lucky incumbent Goodluck Jonathan and IBB attempted to snack the ticket from the Obasanjo tendency. Again, Obasanjo and Jonathan, his ward, won. So, three former Heads of State, Obasanjo, Buhari and IBB are fully involved in the political field at the highest level. Two former Chiefs of General Staff, Navy Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and Admiral Mike Akhigbe are also playing the political card. Another, Augustus Aikhomu, a retired Navy Admiral who passed on last Wednesday, was once Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ANPP. Other Generals on the pitch include David Mark who has been a member of the Senate since 1999. He has been elected twice as Senate President and is thus a powerful number-three citizen of Nigeria. He had served as minister and governor under the Babangida administration. He is a respected member of the elite club of retired military officers, a close confidant of both Generals Obasanjo and Babangida. Other Generals who have played major roles in the current political dispensation include Theophilus Danjuma who was a powerful Chief of Army Staff in the Murtala Mohammed-Obasanjo dispensation and later served as pioneer Defence Minister of the Fourth Republic, Ike Nwachukwu, A.B. Mamman, Jonah Jang, Murtala Nyako, Mohammed Magoro, Jerry Useni, David Jemibewon, Joseph Akaagerger, Samuel Ogbemudia, Adetunji Olurin, Tunde Ogbeha, Dan Suleiman and John Shagaya. Others include Tanko Ayuba, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Theophilus Bamigboye, National Security Advisers Sarki Mukhtar and Azazi Owoeye, Colonels J.D. Dungs, Ahmadu Ali and Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade. Many others occupy less visible but equally powerful positions at different levels of government. Why have they been so powerful? How did they succeed in easily displacing the civilian arm of the political class? Having • Continued on page 59




Military men in Nigerian politics: Pain or gain?

Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba, journalist and scholar of repute, is worried over the slow pace of development in his home state, Kogi; hence, his readiness to rescue the state from further stagnation. This, he hopes to achieve by contesting the next governorship election in the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this piece, he explains his mission to the Kogi State Government House.

• Continued from page 58

Re-inventing Kogi State, by Onukaba


LMOST all available socioeconomic indices on Kogi State point to a troubling steady slide in the quality of life for the majority of the over three million people living in this potentially rich but regrettably poor state. Critical infrastructure and public utilities are not in the best conditions. We need to build good roads and bridges to link up our towns and villages. We need to reposition agriculture and small and medium scale enterprises to provide jobs for our young men and women. We need to expand educational opportunities and create a wholesome environment for learning. We need to provide quality health care services in every part of the state. We need to give our people decent and affordable housing. We need to renew our urban centres and provide stable independent electricity supply as well as water and good sanitation to our long suffering people. The purpose of government at all levels is to provide these basic necessities to enable everyone to live a fulfilled life. Kogi State has the resources, both human and material, to meet these needs. What has been lacking is the political will to take some tough decisions that will lead to fiscal responsibility, financial discipline, elimination of waste and corruption. Indeed, it can be said without any equivocation that good governance has remained a critical challenge in Kogi State in the past 12 years of representative government. Al-

though successive governments have done their best within the limits of available resources and of their individual capability, the state remains largely under-developed with numerous untapped resources. The challenges we face today are many and complex. Governance must go beyond just being able to pay salaries or build a few roads, schools and houses here and there. We need a leadership that can think strategically, a leadership that can envision a great future for the state and begin now to lay its foundation. How can we grow our internally generated revenue to a level that it can take care of all our recurrent expenditure while the ever fluctuating monthly federal allocations are applied only to capital projects? How can we reposition Kogi State to become one of the best 10 states in the country in terms of human capacity development, the quality of education and health care services, security of lives and property, efficiency and effectiveness of its public service, the quality of infrastructure and the prosperity of its people? These are the challenges we face. Therefore, we need a dynamic, visionary, disciplined, accountable and transparent leader to lead the state in the next few years. I am that leader. I have the passion, the qualification, the experience, the courage and the vision to take our dear state to enviable heights. This is why I have decided to offer myself as a candidate for the Office of

• Onukaba

Governor of Kogi State in the December 3rd, 2011 governorship election. The administration I hope to lead will create thousands of jobs and generate wealth for our people by repositioning agriculture and small and medium scale enterprises as drivers of growth and prosperity. It will invest heavily in education and human capacity development by expanding existing facilities, creating a decent environment for learning and improving the quality of teaching. It will reconstruct our dilapidated roads and bridges, revamp the health care system to become more efficient and responsive to the needs of our people, improve electricity supply by partnering with investors to build a small coal-based power plant, work closely with the federal government to complete the Ajaokuta Steel Company, and provide potable drinking water to our towns and villages. We hope to fund these programmes and projects through a more resourceful, innovative and vigorous internal revenue generation drive as well as by becoming more prudent and transparent in the use of public funds. As someone who genuinely loves Kogi State and cares a lot about its future, I hope to do everything humanly possible to make it a better place for ourselves and for our children.

• Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, in a handshake with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adebayo Mutalubi Ojo, during the swearing in of new commissioners last weekend. Middle is the Permanent Secretary, Service Matters, Mr. M. B. Busari.

held “juicy” appointments through military seizure of state power, they had been so connected and financially empowered that the civilians could not match them in the money guzzling game that politics has been turned into. Second, the instruments of state had been used to weaken the civilians who were banned and unbanned at will, and were made to join military designed political parties that lacked souls. Third, the military officers were trained in tactics and strategies; they had imbibed the esprit de corps principle, had trained together and understood themselves. The civilians were divided. This spirit has now been put to test. The spoils of office has obviously now affected the military tradition. The military officers sought to infect the polity with military convention, but have now bitten the same bug with the civilians. Last week, two Generals used words like ballistic missiles. Babangida fired the first shot. He said Obasanjo, who has managed to stay ahead of the Minnaborn General by the additional quality of having been elected President in 1999, failed in his assigned duties as the elected Nigerian leader between 1999 and 2007. Obasanjo fired back. He decided to give an unusual kind of birthday gift to gap-toothed Babangida who turned 70 last Wednesday as he called the former Military President a fool at 70. That was enough to incense Babangida, an Artillery officer when he was in service. Obviously with IBB’s permission, his spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, said Obasanjo erred gravely in calling his boss a fool. He suggested that Obasanjo had shown that he is “the greatest fool of the century.” It was unprecedented. Two Generals chose to dance naked in the market square. They exposed themselves to ridicule and took their colleagues by surprise. The battle is on, even though the combatants have gone on tactical retreat, each planning what weapon to use in totally taking out the “enemy” in what ordinarily would have been a heavy debate had it not been allowed to degenerate to cheap and shameful abuse. To many who have commented on the development, it is an indication of the level to which the military as an institution has decayed over the years. The military is generally seen as one institution that is founded on discipline and the hierarchy is so respected that officers, in or out of service, are expected to keep their respects. The junior officer is expected to pay compliments to his senior and obey orders as they are belched out, irrespective of whatever reservation he may have. However, military incursion into the political terrain has taken its toll on discipline, patriotism and spirit de corps in the Nigerian military. The current face-off between IBB and Obasanjo may be a manifestation of the deformed seed planted in the military by years of the institution going beyond its constitutionally stipulated roles.

‘The military officers... had imbibed the esprit de corps principle, had trained together and understood themselves. The civilians were divided. This spirit has now been put to test. The spoils of office has obviously now affected the military tradition. The military officers sought to infect the polity with military convention, but have now bitten the same bug with the civilians’ While being pulled out as Chief of Army Staff in 1993, Salihu Ibrahim, a retired Lt. General lamented that the Army he joined was close knit and united; decent and respectable. He said, sadly, he was handing over an Army of “anything goes”. It was an insider’s account of the sorry state of things in the military. In Adamawa State, Nyako and Marwa are at his other’s throat in the quest for the 2012 governorship mandate. Nyako, the incumbent governor of the state is seeking mandate renewal on the platform of the PDP, while Marwa has crossed over to CPC. Attempts by other retired officers to get Marwa step down his ambition has so far failed. The military is respected all over the world as the gentlemen officers have been highly trained and made to imbibe the virtue of patriotism. Like other institutions in Nigeria, the military has fallen. The judiciary is fighting a battle of redefinition, the civil service has been berated many times as failing the test and the Police are better known for epitomising corruption. The military that claimed to have intervened on the political scene in 1966 to stem the rot in the polity is now seen to have promoted it. As IBB and Obasanjo demonstrated in their exchange of abuses last week, the country could have done better if patriots had been in charge in those years that the military or military men in civilian garbs took charge of the polity. Can the country still be redeemed? There is now an urgent need for nationalists and patriots to galvanise the citizenry for the urgent battle to reclaim Nigeria from men who have now conceded that they failed the country.

• Mark




Libya endgame begins as fighting engulfs Tripoli


N another day of dramatic advances, opposition fighters pushed forward from the Western town of Zawiya along the coastal highway to Tripoli. They were last night a short car ride away from the capital. From the frontline in the

•Gaddafi’s son captured village of Maya, the chimneys of Tripoli’s power station was seen shimmering in the distance. The regime’s last moments were being played out in an

attractive green landscape of orange groves, olive trees and seaside restaurants. The Lybian leader, Col. Muhammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif was captured by the

ambitious rebels. Gaddafi’s troops were still fighting, directing mortars and sniper fire at the rebels, sometimes with deadly accuracy and last night the embattled dictator called for “all the patriots of Libya” to help defend the capital. “They are becoming weak. They are very frightened,” Ahmad Gaid said of the government troops, who yesterday retreated to and then further beyond the “27 Bridge” – 27 kilometres from the centre of Tripoli. Gaid, a 25-year-old fighter, had taken temporary shelter together with a medical staff in a roadside house. Up ahead was an enemy sniper. Bullets whined past. A rebel pickup truck responded with 12.5 anti-aircraft artillery: an unmistakable, thunderous boom-boom-boom-boom. The fighters had sent in their one tank, which promptly broke down. “There was something wrong with its chamber,” Mohamad, a 25year-old Libyan-American volunteer, said calmly. Rebel vehicles streamed to and from the battle. Some fighters were in a hypnotic daze. One staggered in and recounted how his vehicle veered off the road after its tyre was shot at. A bullet hit one of his comrades in the face. “What happened to him?” he inquired. “He died,” Mohamad replied. Mohamad said he was hoping to rescue his US-educated father and brother, both rounded up by the regime and now in jail in Tripoli.

CHANGE OF NAME SOYINKA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Soyinka Efungbade Adesewa now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oyekola Efungbade Adesewa. All documents remain valid. General public take note.

The rebels may lack heavy weaponry, but they have one supreme advantage: allied airpower. On the road from Zawiya to Maya an air strike had flattened a Turkish restaurant used by Gaddafi’s troops as a command point. The building was a skeletal ruin, the restaurant’s sandbagged entrance blown out. Nearby, opposition militiamen were combing through a dense forest of cypresses. Behind them was the town of Zawiya, definitively seized by the rebels on Saturday following a week-long battle, and now a ruined mess. Two plastic mannequins lay surreally in one street; most of the buildings in the central square have been destroyed. The city was peaceful yesterday. The drama of Libya’s sixmonth revolution has now shifted to further along the coast; the final act awaits. The anti-Gaddafi fighters were pushing towards the capital from three directions – West, South, and East. On the southern road to Tripoli, volunteers from the Tripoli brigade were on Monday massing near the government-held town of Aziziya, 40 kilometres South of Tripoli. They were camped out at a primary school awaiting orders. Up ahead, Non-Allied Treaty Organisation (NATO) jets were pounding the sites from where Gaddafi’s troops had been imprudently launching Grad missiles. “We will win this war,” Mohamad, a 24-year-old law student, declared. Why? “Because we believe in God. God and then NATO,” he replied. His faith wasn’t misplaced: every few minutes there was a loud percussive, earth-shaking rumble, as NATO jets pulverised the way ahead. After each strike the fighters resting up in the shade broke into chants of “Allu Akhbar”. “Morale is very high. The rebels are controlling most of Tripoli,” he added. On Saturday evening, a Libyan opposition TV channel claimed that Gaddafi and two of his sons had fled the country. It offered no proof, and the regime flatly denied that the Libyan leader had fled. But the claim triggered a pre-planned and well-coordinated uprising in several parts of the capital, as well as celebrations in rebel-held Benghazi, Misrata, and Zintan, the opposition stronghold in Libya’s western mountains. According to Issam Mohmed Shebani, “there is now


fierce fighting raging inside the capital between Gaddafi’s soldiers and locals. The Eastern suburbs of Tajura, Fashlum, and Souk al-Jouma had risen up against Gaddafi”, he said. The pro-government West of the city was “pretty quiet”. Fighting was also taking place in the central Mansura district. Shebani, the son of a prominent Libyan exile, said at least 133 civilians had been killed so far, citing opposition sources. Other fighters preparing to launch the final assault on Tripoli said Gaddafi’s desperate soldiers were now firing mortars into residential areas. Nabil Nassar said he had spoken to his family bunkered down in Tripoli. “There is non-stop fighting since dawn. Most families have got some weapons. They are also managing to get ammunition. But government troops are firing on them from the top of the mobile network tower,” he said. Nassar added that he lived in Britain and had a Master of Arts (MA) degree in diplomatic relations. He left London two months ago to join the anti-Gaddafi war, he said, having tired of political tactics. “I got bored of taking part in protests,” he said. According to his relatives, opposition areas inside Tripoli had set up committees to protect residential areas, and were also manning their own checkpoints. Behind the frontline, there was mood of triumph and certainty that victory and the overthrow of Libya’s hated dictator was close. Families driving past checkpoints hooted and waved Vsigns; rebels responded by cracking off celebratory shots. On a roadside skip, someone had hung a stuffed effigy of Gaddafi. They had used a lot of white wool to improvise the leader’s unruly hairdo. A petrol station had reopened, prompting long queues; a stall had set up business selling seasonal coriander and fennel. And what of Gaddafi himself? The fighters made clear yesterday what would happen to him when – and if – they got hold of him. “We will kill him very slowly,” somebody said.

South Sudan clashes leave T least 500 people 500 dead have been killed in


ethnic clashes in the eastern state of Jonglei, according to the South Sudanese authorities. A senior official told the BBC hundreds of people had been wounded and more than 200 abducted, mainly children. The clashes took place on Thursday when members of the Murle group are said to have attacked the majority Lou Nuer, stealing nearly 40,000 cattle. Jonglei is one of the newly-independent country’s least safe areas.

The fighting took place, according to several sources including the state governor, when young Murle men attacked several locations inhabited by the Lou Nuer in and around the town of Pieri. Much of the town has apparently been burnt down. The Murle were apparently seeking revenge for a recent attack by the Lou Nuer. The state’s minister for law enforcement, Gabriel Duot Lam, also said an estimated 38,000 cows had been stolen by the Murle.





SPORT EXTRA youth championship Mikel’s family still in dark Armykicks off in Enugu over missing bread winner T

•As Gov. Jang appeals to abductors


HE anxiety of the families and friends of the abducted father of Mikel Obi seemed to be lasting beyond expectations members of the family are still left in the dark over the whereabouts of their bread winner. The family had denied the claim that the abductors had opened discussion with the

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos family on the amount of ransom to be paid to secure the release of the transporter. The Plateau State Police Command has not made public the preliminary report on their investigations.

“Let’s Play” excites Ikpeba, Rufai •As Supersport partners Lagos on youth development


X-INTERNATIONAL Victor Ikpeba and Peter Rufai has said that the future of Nigerian football rests on the ability to develop budding talents from the grass root and inspire them to greater heights. Speaking to the media at the Campus Square mini Stadium during the flagging off of the programme “Let’s Play” an initiative of Lagos State Football Association, supported by SuperSport, Ikpeba said beyond encouraging the children to follow their passion in the area of sports, programmes of this magnitude will go a long way to secure the future of Nigerian sports. “I am most delighted to be associated with initiatives like this. But I am most honoured to be selected as one of the ambassadors of the project. The children should be encouraged to participate in sports which are capable of making them great in the future. The future of Nigerian football must be built and the time is now,” he said. Corroborating Ikpeba’s view, Peter Rufai, former Super Eagles goalkeeper in his active days said programmes like this is an indication of the success ahead of the country in the area of sports. He said: “The children must be trained to embrace developmental programmes that will encourage them to be educated and pursue their dreams in sports. Through games like this, the children will be taught the importance

By Innocent Amomoh of discipline to achieving their dreams in life.” Meanwhile, the Director of Enterprises, Super sports, Graham Abrahams has said that with the “Let’s Play” Supersport is partnering Lagos to build stars for the feature in sports. “We desire to help the Nigerian child aspire to a great future. What is important is to form partnership for a project like this using Lagos as pilot to showcase the importance of the programme. We are starting with football but it will definitely involve all other sports as it progresses,” he said. Responding, however, to the gesture, the Lagos Football Association Chairman, Seyi Akinwunmi said his board has resolved to change the way people think about football, adding that for the country to succeed in the round leather game, focus on the future is paramount. He said for any country that misses it from the grass root, getting the next generation of stars in sports will be difficult. “The children are yearning for people who will give them the opportunity to express themselves especially in sports. But to do this we must start imbibing in them the right culture that will see them through future challenges,” he said. Over a hundred children participated in the developmental programme at the Campus Square pitch on yesterday.


Nigeria pips Madagascar 112-81


IGERIA Sunday night finish top of group-A without dropping a game with a 11281 last group game victory over Madagascar to set up Tuesday Eight Round Final date against Chad who has been confined to the bottom of group-B. Nigeria opened the exciting game with a 25-19 points first quarter win it settle for an even score with the host of 30 points apiece to take a 55-49 points lead into the half-time. D’Tigers as the Nigeria senior national team is known, took a step further winning the third and fourth quarters by 20-13 and 37-19

By Akeem Lawal points respectively to end the game at 112-81 points to lead the group with Mali placing second, while Mozambique finished third. Nigeria’s Derrick Obasohan led the floor with 21 points and 2 rebounds, point guard Michael Umeh netted 19 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals, centre Olumide Oyedeji had a double double of 17 points, 13 rebounds and one blockshot, Ime Udoka added 10 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals with Solomon Tat contributing 10 points and 2 rebounds.

But Governor Jonah Jang has expressed shock over the sad news of the kidnap of Mr Micheal Obi and appealed to the abductors to release the business-man without further delay. In a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Pam Ayuba, Jang said: “The news of Obi’s Kidnap came to me as a shock at a time ‘Redemption 2 Administration’ is making frantic effort to make Jos, the state capital a businessfriendly environment to investors. According to him, “even though Jang and Redemption 2 train team are away in Obudu Cattle Mountain Resort in the last five days on retreat, Jang had been in touch with the developments in the state and had received briefs

from security chiefs in the state on efforts they are making to ensure the missing Obi Snr returns home safely to join his immediate family. He added that Jang as a Chelsea fan, is proud of Mikel Obi who is currently doing great exploits at Chelsea Foot ball Club in far-away United Kingdom, saying all Nigerians should be proud of what the great player is doing to bring honour to Plateau state and Nigeria as a country. Jang urged all citizens of the state to be security conscious in view of the recent ugly happenings in Jos and its environs, promising that his government will do everything humanly possible to make the Tin City and all parts of the state safe for all to carry out their legitimate businesses.

HE Dragon U- 15 f o o t b a l l championship sponsored by the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu kicked off in Enugu at the weekend. The championship is a way of keeping the young boys busy during the ongoing long holiday. Declaring the two-week youth football championship open, the General Officer Commanding GOC, 82 Division, Major General Sarkin Yaki Bello, explained that the competition was organized for U- 15 boys drawn from Enugu metropolis and its environs. The Championship is aimed at strengthening the cherished civil – military relationship which is an integral part of democratic soldering. Represented by the commander, 54 signals of the Division, Colonel Peter Ikechi Ibeawuchi, and the

From Chris Oji, Enugu

GOC, said the youth round leather competition, would also serve as a forum for talent hunt as well as development of young talented players within Enugu city and environs. According to the GOC, besides, the idea was equally borne out of his burning desire to uplift grass root football and cement the military relationship with the host community, adding that “I want to implore the organizers to use this competition to develop new talent for our national teams. “For the competitors, for you to win you must be disciplined, cooperative and work hard with your team members. Please note that the Nigerian Army is an institution that is known for high discipline, therefore, we will not entertain any form of cheating, “cautioned the GOC.





‘Nigerians should attach little seriousness to what they are saying. They are both rogues; untouchable rogues. Can anybody bring them to book? I doubt. May be a masses revolt can, like the Egyptian revolution.’

VOL. 6, NO. 1,860




who should have retired but wanted to die in office. That is the sort of courage needed to pursue not just justice but also revenue. He also spoke of minerals like stone and kaolin, and he had begun conversation with some top business magnates. With rocks all over, Ekiti is stone country, and I quipped that the state was “stoned.” That afternoon, he received as guest, an eminent Nigerian and Ekiti indigene, Professor Funmi Olopade, from the University of Chicago, but she is a member of America’s National Cancer Advisory Board. The simple but graceful woman visited to enlist her support for the governor’s work on health care, and he decided to take her to the general hospital to see the changes already going on at the place. Olopade was impressed, especially with the mother and child aspects of the hospital. The governor was to announce later that he would set up a breast

cancer centre, a project in which Professor Olopade will certainly play an important role. The next day we headed out of Ado Ekiti to Ikogosi, where hot water met cold. Before that, we had attended the first memorial lecture for the slain Dr. Daramola, the gubernatorial candidate. Some pivotal roads that had suffered neglect had come to smoothness. One of them was the Ilawe-Ado Road which we took on our way to Ikogosi. He was stunned at what he saw on the way to Ikogosi. Some of the indigenes I spoke to raved about Ifaki-Iworoko-Ado Ekiti Road and Afao- Ado-Ekiti Road. “So this man had gone far with this work,” Fayemi said, blaming himself for not signing for more money for the contractor who is actually from the state. He promised to mobilise the man further once he returned to his desk. We reached Ikogosi, and I saw Dr. Fayemi with boyish sparkle in his eyes. “I have been to Obudu Ranch, and other such places in this country. Each time I do, it occurs to me that we have something better here,” he said, relishing the opportunity to prove the point. Ikogosi’s value was brought to us by one Reverend McGee and it has been a tourist mecca until years ago when this gem fell to ruin. The transformation is on. Chalets, rooms, hostels are sprouting up all over the place. Also a swimming pool, theatre, restaurants, walks in rhythm with the hue and hum of the forests. The first phase is expected to be completed for October commissioning. Walking through it reminded me of my walks in some of the prized places in Colorado mountains, even though those lacked the amenity of warm springs and the idyll of Ikogosi. Not long from there is Arinta Falls. We took a long hike up the woods until the sound of water violated the arboreal peace with its peculiar symphony, harmony segueing harmony. We all, the governor, his staff and men working at Ikogosi were transfixed at this marvel of water rushing from the rocks, clean, heady, riotous and challenging the human genius to snatch joy and commerce from its impetuosity. The governor said he was going to turn this into a sort of alter ego to Ikogosi. One will sell the other. His education policy, based on the Education Summit he convened, has already begun to fructify with the merger of the University of Science and Technology, University of Education and the University of Ado Ekiti, a good step that saves money and synergises resources for quality. This will chug along with free education in full throttle at lower levels. Is he still an idealist? Yes. Is he tempered by reality? “My wife tells me to be patient,” he says. I think I am beginning to understand what he means by ending poverty.



•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above


OBJ, IBB bite more than they can chew

T was our first dialogue after he mounted his seat as governor. It was the Monday after. The reverie and revelry were over, and he placed a call to me. I recall the laconic potency of the chat. It was notable for the thought not expressed, the sigh suppressed, the rage sublimated, the joys and relief not transmitted. For all its tentative bonhomie, the conversation haunts me with the words: “I have no choice. We have to end poverty in the state.” Those words followed me like a halo as I entered his office in Ado Ekiti recently. Dr. Kayode Fayemi sat on his chair, his donnish glasses hung on his nose as a smile preceded a handshake with me. “Welcome to our football field,” he announced half-sarcastically, half gravely. He was referring to his commodious office built by the megalomaniac Ayo Fayose, the governor who preceded Segun Oni, the fellow with the phony Awo cap who will not again harass our sense of political propriety with the imitative folly of his fashion sense. He belongs in the class of the bejeweled illiterate, Alao Akala, Oyinlola (peacock without beauty) and a list of others, including the never-do-well and eternal turncoat Ebenezer Babatope who writes a retrograde column for a retrograde newspaper. They are now artifacts of history. Fayemi was obviously embarrassed by the outsized office, no wonder he announced earlier his intention to convert the five-story hulk of a building into a hotel. And we made a few guesses as to how many suites his own office alone would multiply into. Five was the conjecture of our architectural innocence. Yet while in his office, I was looking at many Fayemis, the way I had looked at the man when he waited as an outlier to the office he truly won, when impostor Oni basked impishly as governor. I saw Fayemi the reader and contemplator. I saw Fayemi the writer. I saw Fayemi the community organiser, the activist, the human rights votary, the intellectual and Fayemi the politician. If you have followed his career, or read his autobiography, Out of the Shadows, then you would understand the kaleidoscope of the man. He is a person with many personas. So when he spoke to me about eliminating poverty, I had always wondered who was speaking. Was it the activist with the declaiming rage and contempt for a decrepit system, the idealist-intellectual with the slow and romantic contemplation, or the politician with crafty manoeuvres? I was there to see how he governed, how far he had settled in as governor. After the jokes about the crude extravagance of Fayose’s real estate legacy, we spoke on the thousands of youths he had given jobs. “I have just signed the papers for their salaries,” he said with his near guttural voice.


IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009 (D.A.M.E) •Columnist of the Year 2009 (NMMA)

Fayemi versus poverty


His mind went to agriculture. He wants to go through the value chain, he said, his eyes lighting up. The youths would be engaged in farming and they will go the whole hog. Not just farmers but also silos, not just silos but also processing factories, not just those but also marketing. The revenue potential, he noted, was great. He was already at work with the blueprint and secured a guarantee of support from the Central Bank. He is not unaware of forests, and the potential of that revenue as one of the best in this clime. All of this was not possible without money. He has made progress in this regard. He has raised the internally generated revenue from about N109 million to N300 million. More than double. “We only blocked some loopholes,” he said, there was still a lot of work to do in that regard, and he looks to increase the IGR to about N500 million by year end and a billion next year. Recently, he evaporated some workers with false certificates and


...another APRIL FOOL for WORKERS?

IGERIANS are split over whether a truce should be declared in the unending verbal and increasingly acrimonious battle between Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, two former heads of state. While some say it is healthy for the country for those who ran the country like a secret society to publicly disagree in the hope that some secrets would be exposed, others more sentimental than anything else think the fight between two retired generals disgraces the country and embarrasses the military establishment that produced them. Babangida had on Tuesday last week, the eve of his 70th birthday, made a veiled but unmistakeable acidic remark on Obasanjo’s competence as a president. He felt that for all the gargantuan resources available to Obasanjo he ought to have done better than he did as president for eight years. A day after Babangida’s unsparing comment was made, Obasanjo replied with relish, calling Babangida a fool at 70. This

‘He is a person with many personas. So when he spoke to me about eliminating poverty, I had always wondered who was speaking. Was it the activist with the declaiming rage and contempt for a decrepit system... or the politician with crafty manoeuvres?’

was red rag to a bull. The next day, Babangida’s response to Obasanjo’s punishing riposte was also published through a statement released by his spokesman, Mr kassim Afegbua, probably one of the most disagreeable and irreverent critic and spokesman ever. In the release, Afegbua, on behalf of Babangida, repeatedly and trenchantly hit Obasanjo below the belt, describing the former elected president as a reprobate who is unqualified to assess his betters. Afegbua’s press statement immediately raised the spectre of a verbal war set to become much worse than many people feared. Though Obasanjo seldom engages in brickbats, preferring to limit himself to one damaging and memorable response, and Babangida himself rarely descends to the gutter, affecting to be a polished and even debonair leader, Nigerians think we have a full-blown and dirty verbal war in our hands. This is probably why some commentators are calling for truce. It is not clear why

Nigerians think two bored retired generals, both smarting under certain unstated frustrations, should not exhale through highly public disagreement using the facility of time-tested invectives. Afegbua, as cantankerous as ever, has promised Obasanjo an eye for an eye if the Otta-based general so much as whisper another quaint one-liner. He told the press on Saturday that he and his principal in Minna were tired of accommodating Obasanjo’s excesses. Except Obasanjo can find a bulldog as bold and carefree like Afegbua, he is likely to hold his piece. Indeed, if Obasanjo shuts up, as many suspect he will, for he often knows when he is beaten, Babangida and Afegbua will have to bottle their rage. It would have been much nicer if both combatants civilly reveal through their verbal quarrels some of the best kept secrets of government that have haunted this country for a long time. Let them fight on. It’s not the country’s reputation that is in tatters anyway; it’s theirs.

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The Nation August 22, 2011  

The Nation August 22, 2011