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Newspaper of the Year

CBN: we have varsities’ N200b •ASUU goes spiritual


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News Ladoja/Akala pact collapses Sports Ambrose seeks Barca victory Business Senate backs govt’s auto policy

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VOL. 8, NO. 2694 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2013




FAMIL Y AFF AIR: From left: Mandela’s daughters Zindzi, Zenani and Makaziwe Mandela, ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela and widow Graca Machel (right)...yesterday. FAMILY AFFAIR:

Thousands defy rain to pay tributes to Mandela


NITED States President Barack Obama led world tributes yesterday to Nelson Mandela, hailing him as “a giant of history” at a rain-soaked memorial attended by tens of thousands of South Africans united in proud, noisy celebration.

Obama was one of close to 100 world leaders at the event in Soweto’s World Cup stadium, where songs of praise and revolution, many harking back to the apartheid era that Mandela helped condemn to history, echoed down from the dancing crowds in the stands. “It is hard to eulogise any

man ... how much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation towards justice,” Obama said, after being introduced to wild cheers. “He was not a bust made of marble, he was a man of flesh and blood,” Obama said of the prisoner-turned-president whose life story earned

uncommon universal respect. The four-hour event began at midday (1000 GMT) with a stirring rendition of the national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa), led by a mass choir and picked up with enthusiasm by the rest of the stadium. Some 80,000 had been expected, but the venue was

two-thirds full as the ceremony got underway under a curtain of rain that had been falling since the early morning. Despite the profound sense of national sorrow triggered by Mandela’s death last Thursday, the mood was upbeat, with people determined to celebrate the memContinued on page 4

INSIDE •Jonathan’s shocking prognosis •What world leaders said •Madiba’s inspiration in jail •Obama’s speech •Photographs PAGES 2,3,4&62

$49.8b ‘missing’ oil money: Governors insist on probe Sambo postpones NEC meeting


ICE-PRESIDENT Namadi Sambo shifted yesterday the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting fixed for tomorrow. But governors are planning a meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) for tomorrow to demand answers to the nine posers they have raised on the state of the economy. Consultations were on yesterday on the need for a emergency session of the NGF in Abuja. The governors are likely to hold a briefing in Abuja after the NGF session. They were determined to

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

find out at the NEC session how about $49.8billion oil sales proceeds was not remitted to the Federation Account between January 2012 and July 2013. The governors may insist on a probe, it was learnt. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi raised the alarm over the “missing” fund in a memo to President Goodluck Jonathan. The postponement of the meeting was contained in a notice titled “Cancellation of 9th (53rd) NEC meeting” from the secretariat in the Office of the Vice-President. It reads: “Please, I am direct-

ed by the Vice-President and Chairman of the Council to inform Your Excellency that the NEC meeting scheduled for Thursday, 12th December 2013 has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. “A new date will be communicated to you.” No reason was given for the postponement. A source said the shift followed security reports on the likelihood of the governors creating a scene on the nine posers they raised for the Presidency to address. A governor, who pleaded not to be named, said: “We have got a notice on the postponement of the NEC meeting Continued on page 4

Fayemi presents N103.8b budget •Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi delivering the 2014 Appropriation Budget speech on the floor of the House of Assembly in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday. •STORY ON PAGE 9





Mandela: News Analysis


OTHING reveals the essential President Goodluck Jonathan as when he extemporises. The speeches may turn out not to be inspiring or even informative, nor sometimes offer his audience any philosophical guide or lessons. However, they always reveal his mind, which is often inscrutably disengaged; his ideas, if they can be so described; his scope, using the most conservative measurements; and his limitations and worldview. •From left: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former US Secretary of state Last Sunday, at the Aso Villa Chapel, Henry Kissinger arriving at the memorial service together Dr Jonathan once again gave the country stellar performance from his rich repository of innocent, youthful outbursts. The occasion was hardly appropriate, seeing that it was a memorial service in honour of Nelson Mandela, but his conclusion was unmistakeable, even as it was highly controversial and deeply wounding. The speech was largely extempore, but it came from jottings. Had it been a prepared speech, it would probably have been weeded of its many blatant flaws, baits and unreflective provocations. His simple thesis was that given the nature of Nigerian politicians, a nature he gratuitously bestowed upon other African leaders somewhere along his speech, Nigeria could never produce someone as great as Mandela. It is not clear why he thought and spoke so negatively, and especially on that sombre occasion when it was more useful to draw upon the nuanced lessons of Mr Mandela’s life and to gently prod his wary audience into emulating the life of the departed icon. The relief, however, though this is not an excuse, must be that at least it was not a prepared speech that benefited from the •Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (left) chatting with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the FNB Stadium...yesterday. introspection and research expected of the leader of 170 million people. It was clear that the Jonathan speech reflected something much more insidious than the topic of Mandela’s example which it pretended to address. Dr Jonathan’s Aso Villa speech betrayed the anger and frustrations he has endured in the past few years. Indeed, there are few occasions since he assumed the presidency when he has not ventilated his bitter reservations about his critics, most of whom he believes are unfair and wicked. Not too long ago, he even concluded that he was probably the most vilified president in the whole world. That of course was an exaggeration, but this has not deterred him from responding furiously to every criticism with characteristic lack of presidential dignity. Nothing will mollify the rage and disgust Dr Jonathan feels for his critics. And though he cleverly used pronouns such as ‘we’ and ‘us’ as the •FW de Klerk, who was awarded the Nobel Prize along with Mandela for his role in ending apartheid, arriving with his wife subject of his discourse, it is clear he Elita...yesterday. did not and could not have meant himself. He was referring strictly to others – his enemies, opponents and critics. If proof is required, all you need do is read his speech closely, and you will discover that he referred to himself only in those places where he talked of leaders who were criticised in the early years of their reign, but canonised as their reforms began to yield fruits. Dr Jonathan’s literary sleight must, therefore, be deemphasised in order to have a proper understanding of the bitterness that caused his speech to misfire badly last Sunday. During the memorial service in honour of Mr Mandela, the president established the foundation for his drastic conclusion in the following words: “In fact, if you listen to those •Former president Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived separately but were seen leaving of us who are politicians, from all together with their daughter Chelsea (third right) and aide Huma Abedin (front)...yesterday.

•The late Mandela By Adekunle Ade-Adeleye

political parties, the way we talk; some of us speak as if Nigeria is their personal bedrooms that they have control over. Read the papers, listen to the radio and television and the social media and see how politicians talk; we intimidate, we threaten, show force in our communication. This definitely is not the virtue of great men. They are certainly the vices of tiny men.” Apart from the brutal inappropriateness of that kind of talk at a memorial service, the president seems undisguisedly and a little shamelessly flustered. He is bothered that his critics are relentless and aggressive. His was, therefore, a plaintive, hopeless cry for relief. Yet, his arguments showed more pointedly that the label he sought to slam on his traducers in fact depicts his style and that of his aides such as the effusive Doyin Okupe, the cynical and hyperbolic Ahmed Gulak who thinks the ruling party owned Nigerians, and the scaremongering Nyesom Wike who personifies the immoderation that assails presidential corridors. Much more than any of his critics, Dr Jonathan has spoken with much thunder and meanness like someone who sees Nigeria as his bedroom, and has trampled on the freedoms and liberties of his countrymen with such ferocity that few would dispute a description of him as a monarch. Finally, to cap a bad speech, the president then deadpans: “Sometimes when I listen to politicians, the ones older than me, my contemporaries and some even the younger ones, I come to the painful conclusion that it would be probably easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a politician to be truly great.” It is hard to explain his pains. Clearly, the president does not have an understanding of what great leadership is all about, whether as it relates to its metaphysical properties, or the discipline, sacrifices, charisma, intuition, and the often unfathomable intellect that constitute its rubric. Unable to understand these properties, Dr Jonathan simply chose the wrong moment and wrong place to trivialise the topic and to make sweeping and pejorative judgement about his country’s fallibilities. Even discounting the many howlers in his speech, such as when he used ‘pressurised’ for pressured, and his appalling misunderstanding and misconception of China’s developmental trajectory, the speech was still a very bad attempt at justifying his




Jonathan’s shocking prognosis ‘

Apart from the brutal inappropriateness of that kind of talk at a memorial service, the president seems undisguisedly and a little shamelessly flustered. He is bothered that his critics are relentless and aggressive. His was, therefore, a plaintive, hopeless cry for relief

• President Barack Obama greeting Graca Marchel, the widow of former President Nelson Mandela during a memorial service in honour of the late president... yesterday.

cynicism of fellow politicians and pessimism of Nigeria’s self-belief. All his Sunday speech showed was not why Nigeria could not produce its own Mandela, but how unable he is in adequately grasping the concept of leadership. The closest he came to understanding the idea was when he spoke glowingly about Mr Mandela’s

fine attributes, the icon’s great skill in uniting peoples, forgiven his enemies and exhibiting humility. He then added the contradistinctive observation of bad leaders who sought vengeance and practised repression. It was almost as if the president forgot what he has been doing in Rivers State.

If Nigeria has not produced its own Mandelas, it is not because Dr Jonathan’s critics and fellow politicians talk as if Nigeria is their bedroom, an obvious barb directed at the top politicians of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but because only South Africa could have produced a Mandela, just as only the US could

have produced a Lincoln, China a Mao Zedong, Soviet Union its Lenin and Stalin, etc. If Nigeria has a surfeit of what Dr Jonathan describes with cruel mockery as ‘tiny men’ it is because he himself, not to talk of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and others before him, had failed to seize the moment. And they failed to seize the moment

because they lacked the philosophical depth to judge the moment. It is noteworthy that by his analysis Dr Jonathan writes himself off. No one will dispute his self-reproof. But Dr Jonathan’s pessimism must not fool us into thinking Nigeria does not have the objective conditions for producing great leaders. Great leaders can be produced in Nigeria, and will be produced when the contradictions and circumstances are ripe. Imagine, for instance, if the departing military rulers had not foisted the misfit Chief Obasanjo on Nigeria in 1999, and if he in turn had not foisted the lethargic Umaru Yar’Adua on the country in 2007? It is indeed a deep and disturbing irony that Chief Obasanjo missed the selfreproof in his televised tribute to Mr Mandela, whom he praised for turning down his (Obasanjo’s) suggestion to go for a second term, an indication both of the nobility and self-abnegation of Mr Mandela and the ignobility and self-aggrandisement of Chief Obasanjo. By all means let Dr Jonathan continue to give us his extemporaneous speeches, perhaps armed only with highlights of his discourse. For then, in spite of his often disapproving style and content, it would open a window into his ingenuous mind, assuring us that a few more years of Dr Jonathan would be both a costly misadventure for the country and a destiny deferred or altogether destroyed.

What world leaders said about the late ex-President Madiba’s inspiration in jail U N secretary-general Ban Ki-moon: “South Africa has lost a hero, we have lost a father and the world has lost a beloved friend and mentor. “Nelson Mandela was more than one of the greatest leaders of our time, he was one of our greatest teachers. “He taught by example, he sacrificed so much and was willing to give up everything for freedom, equality and justice. His compassion stands out most.” South Africa president Jacob Zuma: “Today Madiba is no more. He leaves behind a nation that loves him dearly. He leaves a continent that is truly proud to call him an African. “United in our diversity we will continue to build a nation free of poverty, hunger, homelessness and inequality.” Family member General Thanduxolo Mandela: “To him, life was all about service to others. He mingled with kings, queens and presidents... At the core, he was a man of the people.”

Invictus, a poem by William Ernest Henley, was a source of inspiration to the late Nelson Mandela while he was jailed by the Apartheid regime

Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

Cuban President Raul Castro: “Let us pay tribute to Nelson Mandela: The ultimate symbol of dignity and unwavering dedication to the revolutionary struggle, to freedom and justice, a prophet of unity, peace and reconciliation. “As Mandela’s life teaches us, only the concerted effort of all nations will empower

humanity to respond to the enormous challenges that today threatens its very existence.” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff: “He also was a source of inspiration for similar struggles in Brazil and across South America. His fight reached way beyond his nation’s border and inspired young men and

women to fight for independence and social justice.” Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao: “Mr. Mandela was the pride of the African people. He has dedicated his entire life to the development and progress of the African continent.” Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “His life was just an extraordinary journey, from beginning to end, with such an effect, both on his own country, and on the rest of the world. We may not see his like again.” Mr Ramaphosa “We wish to applaud the people of South Africa for the dignified manner in which they have honoured and remembered the memory of Nelson Mandela since he passed away. We applaud you and thank you for it.” Andrew Mlangeni, a former prisoner on Robben Island with Mr Mandela: “Madiba is looking down on us. There is no doubt he is smiling and he watches his beloved country, men and women, unite to celebrate his life and legacy.”

•The handshake between Obama and Fidel Castro's brother Raul came during a ceremony that focused on Mandela's legacy of reconciliation

•Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who paid tribute to Mandela in the Commons, with his wife Sarah and former U.S. President George W. Bush.



NEWS $49.8b ‘missing’ oil money: Governors insist on probe Continued from page 1

•Bishop David Oyedepo ministering during the opening of Shiloh 2013 (Exceeding Grace) at the 50,000-capacity Faith Tabernacle, Otta, Ogun State...last night PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

APC to Jonathan: don’t spend nation’s resources on PDP states


HE All Progressive Congress (APC) yesterday sent a warning message to President Goodluck Jonathan. He shouldn’t spend the nation’s resources on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states. Besides, the party reconciled its members from Adamawa State, according to its Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande who spoke to reporters in Abuja after the peace meeting. Akande said: “The reconciliatory talk is not for Adamawa State alone. We are doing reconciliatory talks for all the states of the party, where the PDP governors joined APC so that the new people coming to APC will be receptive to the members of our party. And that is exactly what we are doing with Adamawa State this afternoon. There was no query, no crisis, we just want them

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

to know their roles and how to receive them.” Akande said the APC has no cause to lose its sleep over the governors’ talks with anybody, stressing that Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko put it to Mr. president that he was at the Villa to notify him (Jonathan) of his defection to APC. “You need to know the calibre of governors that have joined the APC. It is a pain in the neck for the PDP but it is a pleasure for the APC.” Former Presidential candidate Nuhu Ribadu said the case of Adamawa was not different from other states. The former EFCC boss urged political observers to appreciate that heavyweight politicians are joining the party and that the tendency of having some teething difficulties to tackle in order to have a strong foundation

does not mean insurmountable problem. Ribadu said: “In Adamawa, we are working hard under the leadership of the APC to have a better understanding, to try to take off the little challenges. And the meeting of today is in furtherance of that. And we thank God that were came out big in the understanding that indeed the future is big, new and fresh and it can accommodate all of us.” The party also vowed to pursue the court action against the federal government on the adoption of a budget benchmark which the APC described as illegal. On the pandemonium over the 2014 budget benchmark, Ribadu said to the APC, as an opposition party, any issue of benchmark is unconstitutional and illegal. Ribadu said as a party that has a strategic interest and a stake in the affairs of the

country, “we are saying the way the federal government is pursuing it is not just illegal but very unfair.” Akande said: “Benchmark should never be discussed. It should never be enacted into any law. It should never be part of the budget. Benchmark is unconstitutional. The constitution says that all funds coming in should be paid into the common pool and should be shared according to the laid down regulations. So to bring benchmark is to promote corruption.” On corruption, Ribadu gave the President a wake up call, advising him to heed the advice of House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal. The speaker on Monday chided the President for waging a weak war against corruption. Ribadu said :”My own and what I will want to add is to Continued on page 60

due to unexplained unforeseen circumstances. We know that the shift was based on fears by the Presidency because certain matters on the state of the economy are now in the public domain. “The revelation on the alleged diversion of $49.8billion from the sale of oil has caused more tension among the governors. For the CBN Governor to have confirmed that only 24 per cent of the revenue from oil proceeds was remitted into the Federation Account is scandalous. “The issue at stake is beyond party leanings. We are all disturbed by this disclosure from the CBN Governor in a memo to the President.” Another governor said: “Sambo was being “tactical” in shifting the meeting because President Goodluck Jonathan is away in South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s burial and he will not want the NEC meeting to degenerate to an embarrassing level for the government in the absence of the President. “They are trying to device means of managing the situation in a manner that there would be a soft-landing bend for the Federal Government. We are however wiser than that,” he added. The governors plan to meet on these nine issues and come up with a position on the state

of the economy. Another source said: “They can postpone NEC meeting; they cannot stop us from talking on how the economy is being run. Why will the Federal Government present 2014 Budget without consulting NEC? Why will NNPC not remit $49.8bilion oil proceeds and the government is keeping quiet? “In 1980, we were talking of missing N2billion but now it is $49.8billion that cannot be traced. Someone needs to talk to the governors if we are truly practising Federalism.” The posers raised are: •Was $50billion oil money not remitted to the Federation Account? Where is the money? •Is Nigeria broke or not; •Why was the NEC consulted before the 2014 budget was presented to the National Assembly; •How much has Nigeria earned from its oil sales in 2013 and what percentage of the budget is funded by these receipts? •Is it really true that $5b is missing from Excess Crude Account •How much oil does the country produce per day? •Clarification that the benchmark price for oil in the 2013 budget is $79? •Is it a fact that crude oil was sold at prices that hovered around $110 throughout the year?

ASUU: How we tried to avert strike


HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that not less than 50 letters were written between 2011 and 2012 to the Presidency to avert the ongoing strike. ASUU President Nasir Fagge, who was represented by Prof. Olorunyomi Oju, stated this at the 2013 World Human Rights Day celebration yesterday in Osogbo. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the occasion, which was organised by the Osun Civil Societies Coalition, was attended by representatives of government and human rights groups. He said in spite of the efforts made by the union to resolve the issue of the 2009 agreement between it and the Federal Gov-

ernment, there was no response to its letters. He decried the allocation of 8.9 per cent of the country’s budget to education as against 31 per cent Ghana commits to the same sector. The ASUU leader called for more attention to be given to education to address the myriad of challenges in the sector, especially the decay in education infrastructure. Fage, who lamented that the union had been on strike for the past five months in order to reposition education, noted that “education is a human right and not a privilege”. He said education remained the right of every child and should not be delayed for any reason.

Thousands defy rain to pay tributes to Mandela Continued from page 1

ory of one of the 20th century’s towering political figures. “His long walk is over, he can finally rest,” African National Congress (ANC) Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa said in an opening address. On several occasions, Ramaphosa felt forced to admonish boisterous sections of the crowd for chanting during the speeches. In his tribute, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that Mandela had managed to unite people in death, much as he had in life. “Look around this stage ... we see leaders representing many points of view ... all here, all united,” he said. Before taking to the stage, Obama shook hands with Raul Castro, leader of longtime Cold War rival Cuba. The handshake was seen by millions watching the memorial being broadcast live around the world, and comes as Obama tries to make good on his vow to reach out even

Senate stands still for anti-apartheid icon


ENATORS took turns yesterday to eulogise former South African President Nelson Mandela. The upper chamber devoted the entire session to praise the foremost anti-apartheid crusader who died on December 5. Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba raised a motion, which was co-sponsored by 107 other senators. The motion was titled “Demise of Nelson Mandela”. Senate President David Mark, who summarised contributions of majority of the lawmakers, said the greatest of all the tributes, the sum total of Mandela’s attributes, is “forgiveness.” Mark said: “It (forgiveness) is an attribute that is difficult for human beings to acquire. Some seek power only to go and deal with those who offended them but that will not give you the spirit to unite the people.

to the most implacable of US foes. Crowds had begun gathering at the Soweto stadium before daybreak and, as the gates opened, they swarmed inside the venue where Mandela made his last major public appearance at the 2010

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

“Some white people sold their property and other belongings and ran away when Nelson Mandela became the President of South Africa but today they are regretting it. “Mandela believed in a course and he was prepared to die for the course he believed in. Mandela did not waver. Leaders should not waver because it is the leader that will generate the followership. Once a leader is honest and fair, there will be followership. “It is important that the western world that classified him as a terrorist and a communist are today falling over him. It shows that those who say crucify him, crucify him may tomorrow say hosanna, hosanna. “There may never be another Mandela,

World Cup final. Wrapped in the South African flag or yellow-green coloured shawls printed with the slogan “Mandela Forever”, they danced and sang — oblivious to the constant drizzle. “He’s God given, he’s God

but we have a lot of lessons to draw from this great son of Africa. “There may never be another Mandela, but we can be small Mandela in our communities, villages and our homes. Ndoma-Egba said the Senate received with shock the news of Mandela’s death on December 5 at 95. He noted that Nelson Mandela was born on 18th July, 1918 to the Thembu royal family and attended the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. Mandela rose to prominence in the ANC’s 1952 Defiance Campaign where he was appointed superintendent of the organisation’s Transvaal chapter. He presid-

taken. We will never stop to cherish him,” said Shahim Ismail, who took a day off from the sports academy he runs in Johannesburg to attend the event. “This is once in your life. This is history,” said Noma Kova, 36. “I didn’t want to

Continued on page 60

watch this on TV.” Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, received a huge ovation as she took her seat on the main stage constructed at one end of the pitch. News of Mandela’s death at his home in Johannesburg resContinued on page 60


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APC hails Tambuwal’s stand against corruption


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday hailed House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal for his “patriotism and dedication to the nation” and picking holes in the Goodluck Jonathan administration fight against corruption. The party described the Federal Government’s anticorruption battle as “tepid”. In a statement in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said Tambuwal exhibited a leadership trait “that is rare in these parts by shunning partisanship to say that the President’s body language does not indicate that he has the political will to fight corruption in the country.” The party added: “Tambuwal and President

By Olamilekan Andu

Jonathan belong to the same political party, but this did not deter the Speaker from rising above crass partisanship when the issue involved borders on national interest. This is the stuff of good leadership. “Tambuwal has shown that he is indeed the Speaker of the House of Representatives and that the country is his constituency, unlike President Jonathan, who has transformed himself to a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a sectional leader by viewing serious issues of national importance from the prism of partisanship and sectionalism.” The party hoped that other Nigerians would emulate the Speaker. APC said it was delighted

to be in the same company with the Speaker over the criticism of President Jonathan’s nonchalant stand on corruption, which has eaten deeper into the national fabric under the present administration. It said: “We have raised the same issues raised by the Speaker several times in our regular intervention, but the administration has dismissed our concerns on the altar of partisanship. “However, now that no less a personality than the country’s No.4 citizen and a top member of the PDP is the one raising the issue, and coming against the background of Nigeria’s slide in the 2013 rankings by the global anti-corruption body, Transparency International, we hope the administration will realise that it

has only been paying a lipservice to the anti-graft battle, and perhaps make amends.” APC noted that Tambuwal was right in talking about the President’s body language, which is a reflection of the deceptive actions he (President Jonathan) has taken time and again over serious issues of corruption, including the monumental fuel subsidy scam, the pension scam, the fraud involving the excess crude account, the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) scandal and Oduahgate, the controversy on the N255 million bulletproof cars. It said: “These are slam dunk corruption cases that should have been handed over to the anti-corruption agencies for summary disposal. Instead, the President

- thinking Nigerians will merely scream and forget after some time - engages in his usual distracting method of setting up committees, the report of which he will then put away to gather dust ...until another corruption case rears its ugly head. “Nigerians are not stupid and they understand clearly that the President is shielding corrupt people, as long as they are willing and able to contribute, from their illgotten funds, to his (President’s) campaign slush funds. Now that a person of the calibre of the Speaker of the House of Representatives has added his voice to this burning issue, the die is cast for Mr. President: he can either move to redeem the image of his administration or continue to swim in the ocean of corruption.”

Senate endorses new auto policy From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


HE Senate Committee on Trade and Investment yesterday tacitly endorsed the new Federal Government policy aimed at transforming the automotive industry. The committee met industry stakeholders at the National Assembly to aggregate the opinions of automotive industry players on the controversial reform policy. The committee’s Chairman Esther Nenadi Usman said the views expressed by stakeholders showed that everybody agreed with the new policy. Usman said her committee would ensure that the policy was implemented without imposing further burden on Nigerians. The senator said it was obvious, from the summation of presentations before the committee that “everyone agrees that the automotive policy was welcomed and the implementation accepted.” Usman added: “Everyone accepts that the policy would ensure that cars are manufactured and assembled in the country. But what everyone is saying is that all known sharp practices by operators before the date of implementation should be discouraged.” The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, allayed the fears of stakeholders. The minister assured that government would be fair to everyone in the implementation of the policy. He said: “It is normal to have teething problems, but the policy has addressed all the issues raised.” The minister explained that as part of government’s effort to ensure fairness, operators would be part of the monitoring committee to be set up. The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), however, requested the extension of the February 2014 implementation take off date for the new policy. It said this would enable operators in the industry to adjust.

Soyinka urges journalists to fight corruption By Seun Akioye


OBEL Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has urged the media to remain steadfast in the fight against corruption. The literary icon spoke in Lagos at the Eighth Wole Soyinka Investigative Journalists Awards at NECA House, Alausa, Ikeja. He said: “You should never be exhausted because corruption fights back, impunity fights back. So, never be exhausted.” Also, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi said the survival of democracy depends on the ability of journalists to hold leaders accountable as the conscience of the nation. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Ibim Senamitari, said: “If democracy must succeed, the media must play a critical role. The media must follow the money, ask critical questions, take seriously its role as the watchdog.” The event, organised by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), was attended by Mr Dele Olojede, publisher of the defunct NEXT Newspapers; his wife, Amma Ogan; The Nation columnist and WSCIJ Chairman, Prof Ropo Sekoni and Mr Robert Fitzpatrick, who represented Andrew Pocock, the British High commissioner in Nigeria.

‘How to check medical tourism’ From Jide Orintunsin,

•Vice Chairman, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Nigeria branch, Mrs Doyin Rhodes Vivour (left); Mrs Bola Belgore, her husband and Chairman of CIArb, Dele Belgore (SAN); chairman of the occasion, Justice George Oguntade; Mrs and Prof John Godwin and former CIArb Chairman, Mrs Olufunke Adekoya, at the institute’s 12th annual members’ Gala Nite and induction at the City Hall, Lagos.

‘Southwest hasn’t endorsed anyone for NBA poll’


ENIOR lawyers in the Southwest have denied endorsing any candidate for next year’s Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) elections. A meeting of Egbe Amofin, a group of Yoruba lawyers, allegedly attended by representatives of 20 branches of the NBA on December 9 in Akure, Ondo State, reportedly endorsed Dele Adesina (SAN) for president. The NBA presidency has been zoned to be Southwest in line with the tradition of the professional body. But a statement by its Secretary, Ranti Ajeleti, insisted that the group had not picked a candidate. It denied an alleged removal of Egbe Amofin’s leadership and the constitution of an interim committee. Two other aspirants, Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), rejected the alleged endorsement. But Adesina described Ajeleti’s statement as illegal, saying he was no longer the forum’s secretary. Ajeleti said :”Ordinarily, we would not have reacted to such sheer mischief but we do not want the public to be deceived or misled because a lie told appears as the truth,

By Precious Igbonwelundu

hence, this rejoinder to set the records straight. “Let it be noted that Egbe Amofin did not summon any meeting. Rather, it was in the fancy of some desperate persons to call a meeting of Dele Adesina apologists, masquarading as Egbe Amofin, which was unaccepted to the majority of members. “Of the 28 branches that constitute the Southwest forum of the NBA, only seven chairmen attended the meeting, contrary to the bogus claim of the unrecognised conveners of the meeting. “It is logic upside down for such a far-reaching decision to be taken at a meeting where only one of three aspirants contesting for the presidency of the NBA from the zone was in attendance; two thirds of branch chairmen and secretaries were absent and majority of the members stayed away. “The composition of those who attended the meeting revealed the sponsors and their premeditated plan. The meeting was held in Akure where the chairman of NBA Akure branch and executive members were not in attendance. This shows the

lack of welcome, even by the host community. “One would consider this a huge joke carried too far with the purported sacking of the leadership of Egbe Amofin by persons who were aliens from the NBA at the time Egbe Amofin was started by those they now claim to have sacked, seeking to replace them with their yes men.” The statement also accused a senior lawyer of sponsoring the meeting to sack the leadership of Egbe Amofin. Ajeleti added: “It is strange that names of the attendees of the Akure sectional Egbe Amofin’s meeting were not given. Or, could some of them be ashamed of their dishonourable actions? “Members of Egbe Amofin are advised to disregard the outcome of the illegal Akure meeting and wait patiently for a notice of the meeting of the authentic Egbe Amofin to be convened soon by the recognised leadership.” Reacting to the purported endorsement, Adekoya said it carried no weight. She described it as an unfortunate and meant to ridicule the Egbe and should be deprecated by all rightthinking lawyers of Yoruba extraction. “Why the hurry to endorse when the campaign season

has not commenced? Why not agitate for the screening to be concluded? “To me, it betrays a lack of respect for the electorate and an unveiled attempt to push them in a particular direction,” Adekoya said. Akintola told The Nation that no candidate had been endorsed. He said those who met knew how and why they did so. Akintola said: “If anyone thinks he can have a sectional meeting, all we can do is wish him good luck. “In Oyo State, my base, the four branches did not attend the Akure meeting; only one branch attended from Osun. Of the four branches in Ogun, only Abeokuta attended. From Lagos, only Lagos and Ikorodu branches were there. “Even the Ikorodu branch has petitioned the Egbe, distancing itself from the action of the chairman. In Ondo, Akure and Owo branches did not attend the meeting. “The only state fully represented at the meeting was Ekiti. Of the five SANs who attended, four are from Ekiti State. “Then, in a zone that has over 50 life-benchers, just two were at the meeting. And with over 150 SANs, only five attended...”



ORMER military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has urged the Federal Government to provide basic medical infrastructure to reduce medical tourism among the nation’s elite. He also said massive infrastructural provision would check the drift of our doctors abroad and entice the estimated 30,000 Nigerian doctors outside to return home. Babangida spoke yesterday in Minna, Niger State, when he hosted the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), led by its National President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele. He decried the impact of overseas medical treatment on the economy, saying: “The only way is for the government to provide adequate infrastructure at our various levels of healthcare delivery.” The former military leader noted that the number of people seeking overseas treatment should not be taken as a “write-off” for the nation’s doctors.’’ Dr. Enabulele, who spoke through the NMA’s first national vice-president, Dr. Bukar Garma, said the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the association was in Minna for a week-long annual meeting. He said the NMA would provide free services to rural people, adding that such service had been rendered in Lagos, Nasarawa and Sokoto states. Enabulele said the association was reaching out to residents of Kuta, Zungeru and Kateregi in Niger State.




I met decayed aviation sector, says Oduah

NELSON MANDELA (1918-2013)

Mandela is embodiment of humanity

•Senate faults minister’s report on crashed airline


HE senator representing Anambra Central, Chris Ngige, has said the late South African President Nelson Mandela was an embodiment of humanity and a moving spirit for a people’s unwavering struggle to freedom. The senator also said the late anti-Apartheid hero was a tower of knowledge deployed to public good, and an abode of forthrightness. In a statement yesterday, Ngige said: “The demise of Nelson Mandela has come to me, my family, my constituents in Anambra Central Senatorial District and the long-suffering people of Anambra State as a shock, true to human feelings. “He was the elder statesman of the world, former South African President, a embodiment of humanity, a harbinger of courage, a moving spirit for a people’s unwavering struggle to freedom, a tower of knowledge deployed to public good and an abode of forthrightness. “Africa needs these qualities. Nigeria has a gap for them and Anambra State badly needs them now, more than ever before. “The Madiba himself encapsulated these qualities in one paragraph when he declared in 1954 that captured these words: ‘I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’ “I do not mourn Mandela’s death; I celebrate his qualities, acknowledge the inspiration I have derived from his life and commend these sterling attributes of his for my people, particularly in Anambra State, who deserve all the good leadership they can get, away from the distraction they can avoid. “May his spirit guide Anambra State. “Adieu Madiba.”

FRSC postpones lecture for Mandela


HE Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) has postponed its fifth annual lecture in honour of the late South African President Nelson Mandela. The lecture was to hold today at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers in Abuja. A statement by the Corps Public Education Officer, Jonas Agwu, said the postponement was informed by the engagement of some key stakeholders in the proposed lecture, with the theme: Safer Roads: A 21st Century Development Challenge, in the burial plans of the African statesman. This year’s edition of the annual lecture was to be delivered by Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama. It focuses on developmen-

By Adeyinka Aderibigbe

tal challenges confronting safer roads in Africa. The lecture was among measures to stimulate public discourse and action on the developmental challenges towards realising set goals for safer roads in African. Agu said other events lined up for the annual lecture included the command performance of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s play, titled: The Trial of Brother Jero, in honour of the Ghanaian President. “In view of this development, the Federal Road Safety Corps regrets any inconveniences this postponement might have caused its invited guests and stakeholders even as a new date will be announced in due course,” the statement said.

Mark opposes phone-tapping From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


ENATE President David Mark yesterday said it is wrong for security agents to tap phone conversations of citizens in the name of national security. Mark spoke in Abuja when he opened a public hearing on the Interception of Communication Bill and the Electronic Transactions Bill, organised by the joint Senate Committee on Communications, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and National Security and Intelligence. The Senate President noted that freedom of speech and privacy are the bedrocks on which democracy is built. He stressed that if public opinion was against any bill, it would not scale through because the nation was practising a participatory democracy where the opinions of the people counted. Mark said: “The Bill is not just important but a delicate one. It is not an ordinary bill; it is not a bill we can just grab with both hands as an acceptable bill. “What this bill is saying is that they (security agencies) can monitor your phone conversation. Who knows what it is going to be used for? “The bill is trying to say that if they suspect that I am a terrorist, then they can begin to monitor my phone, because the emphasis for pushing this bill is because of terrorism. But that is not the only thing that people get phone calls for. “Millions of citizens make geniuine phone calls that have nothing to do with national security. So, on that basis, on the excuse for national security, people should not go and tap on telephone lines and listen to conversation. Then, you are breaching the fundamentals on which democracy is set up. “That is, freedom of speech and basic freedom to privacy, because if I phone anybody to discuss things that are purely personal, then you begin to listen to it, just because you think it can be a possible security risk, it is unacceptable.”

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja



VIATION Minister Ms Stella Oduah yesterday painted a sordid account of the aviation sector before she assumed office. It was also learnt that the pilot who flew the ill-fated Associated Airline aircraft, which crashed in Lagos, was 64 years old. Oduah, who briefed the Senate Committee on Aviation on security and safety in the aviation sector and the cause of Associated Airline’s crash, said the sector was “completely dilapidated, very unmanned and very unprofessionally managed”. She said a tour of Nigerian airports revealed that 154 projects were abandoned while the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos, was left to rot for 38 years. Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi faulted the report on the airline’s crash, which Oduah presented yesterday. Ningi said the committee would need further details to

enable it write and present an acceptable report to the Senate. Oduah said: “The safety and security civil equipment installations were mostly in obsolete condition. Most of them were unserviceable and in some cases they were unavailable. Also, we met completely decayed infrastructure at all the airports; the dilapidated nature was just horrible. One of them is the fire fighting base, just to give one example. “The fire fighting base we have is so sad that fire fighters would not even want to stay there. Not just that bad, the equipment and the facilities they require to work with just doesn’t exist. “We went round all the airport facilities. The airport services were so bad. The air conditioners were not working; some air conditioners were older than some of our workers. The toilets were horrible. The elevators (lifts) were in such a dilapidated and unserviceable state. We found out that some of the security screening equipment were 12 years old; others were completely obsolete that the screen could not even show anything.” She added: “I met very dangerous working conditions.

We also found very poor working conditions for air traffic controllers. In fact, when we went to Port Harcourt and Kano, we found it difficult to climb up because it was too dark and too scary. “The lifts were not working and, of the average six floors to climb, this is something they have to do minimum of 10 times a day. It was very unhealthy and not conducive enough to work. “We found several abandoned control towers all over the country. Indeed, the number of abandoned projects we inherited was 154. The runways were without lights; they were with potholes. The runways were worse than most rural roads in Nigeria. The worst part was the milling that we have - the place where training is supposed to have been done, that is Zaria. “Zaria was in such a horrible condition. You wonder if products of such facilities could have the sense of safety, coming from where they are coming from, to really man the industry the way they should. “It was a frightening tour when we visited Zaria. Then, coming to the agencies: we found massive leakage of agency revenue. In fact, almost 70 per cent of their revenues were all collectable, were uni-

Okonjo-Iweala, two others sued over ‘forced’ retirement


HE Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has been sued with two others for alleged unlawful termination of the employment of a civil servant who allegedly published a story about the minister. The applicant, Yushau Shuaibu, until his compulsory retirement on June 26, was the Chief Information Officer (SGL 14) at the Federal Ministry of Information. In the suit filed before the National Industrial Court, Abuja, the applicant faulted the process leading to his forced retirement. Sued with the minister are: the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) and the Federal Ministry of Informa-


From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

tion. The plaintiff, in a statement of claim, said he was called sometime in April by the minister, demanding apologies and a retraction over one of his writings published by Premium Times, titled: Still on Okonjo-Iweala over Controversial Appointments. Shuaibu said he would rely on same at the trial of the case. The plaintiff said he refused to apologise to the minister because he had written similar articles on President Goodluck Jonathan and other past leaders when they were in government, especially President Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Nasir Elrufai, Femi Fani-Kayode,

among others. Shuaibu averred that many rejoinders and commentaries were published in reaction to the write-up concerning the minister. According to him, he had even written articles praising the minister on the same issues. The plaintiff argued that despite not contravening any known law of the civil service, Okonjo-Iweala allegedly influenced his forceful retirement. Shuaibu is praying the court to, among others, grant an order directing the FCSC to reinstate him to the civil service and his post as the Chief Information Officer in his former ministry without any loss on seniority, salaries, position and other emolu-

dentified. “Worst still, there were no policies or procedures because all were manualdriven. In fact, the worst nightmare you will have is if you have to reconcile a particular transaction, you will not find any source document to do so. We were also able to notice huge lopsided concessions of the agencies, particularly the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).” The Commissioner of the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB) Captain Usman Murktar said it would take up to a year for the final report of the crash to be out. Usman said the preliminary investigation showed that human factors caused the crash. He said: “The probable cause of the Associated Airline crash is still unknown. Each accident is unique. We have released the preliminary report. We found that one of the engines was not producing enough. The target we have is about 12 months.” But there was no question to Oduah on the controversial N255 million bulletproof cars. The Chairman of the Committee, Hope Uzodinma said the public hearing was meant to unravel the state of safety and security of the nations’s aviation sector and the cause of frequent air mishaps in the last two years.

•Mrs Okonjo-Iweala

ments. He is also praying for an order directing the FCSC and the Ministry of Information to compute and pay him all his salaries, allowances and other emoluments due to him from July 2013 up to the date of judgment, including interest at the prevailing commercial banks’ rates on the sum arrived at. The plaintiff is also other reliefs.

Falana seeks new approach to rights issues

AGOS lawyer Mr Femi Falana (SAN) has called for new approach to tackle human rights issues in the country. In a statement yesterday in Lagos to mark the Human Rights Day, the frontline lawyer said: “Since most African countries obtained flag independence over 50 years ago the rate of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, ignorance and diseases has been on the ascendancy. The situation in countries that are endowed with natural resources is nothing to write home about as official corruption, capital flight and currency devaluation have worsened the crisis of under-

By Olamilekan Andu

development. “Instead of mobilising the people of Africa for development, the civilian and military wings of the political class have handed over the economy of most countries to Western development agencies, particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. “Notwithstanding that the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) prescribed for most African countries led to retrenchment of workers and withdrawal of subsidies from social services public assets were sold to the comprador bourgeoisie in the name of privatisation. While the mem-

bers of the ruling class have engaged in economic sabotage to ward off poverty the masses of people have been left in the lurch. In Nigeria, socio-economic rights have been deliberately been made non-justiciable in the Constitution. “Consequently, the government cannot be dragged to court for its failure to provide adequate funds for education, health, housing, transportation and employment. However, some laws have been made towards the realisation of the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy outlined in

Chapter II of the Constitution. It has been held by the Supreme Court that such laws are enforceable by our courts. It is on record that our municipal courts and the Community Court of Justice (ECOWAS Court) have begun to enforce the socio-economic rights of Nigerians in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. “As Nigeria joins the rest of civilised humanity today to celebrate the Human Rights Day I am compelled to call on the National Human Rights





CBN: we’ve varsities’ N200b cash


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has written to the Accountant-General of the Federation, confirming the execution of the N200 billion in the Revitalisation of Universities Infrastructure Account. The confirmation was conveyed through a memo to the Accountant General, dated December 10. A copy of the memo, signed by CBN’s Deputy Governor (Operations), Tunde Lemo, was circulated by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe yesterday. Lemo’s memo said: “I write to confirm the execution of the following mandates by the Central Bank of Nigeria for funding of the above mentioned accounts. “I wish to further confirm that the available balance in the aforementioned account is N200, 000, 000, 000 (Two Hundred Billion Naira only).” Okupe, who addressed reporters yesterday, said with the execution of the mandates, the strike has lost its legitimacy. The spokesman maintained that President Goodluck Jonathan is fully committed to the implementation of the agreements reached with ASUU

•ASUU’s strike illegitimate, says Presidency

Union goes spiritual


HE Academic Staff Union of Universi ties (ASUU) yesterday declared a threeday fasting and prayer to seek divine intervention in its protracted dispute with the Federal Government. The decision was taken at the union’s congress held at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan. The congress, which was presided over by the Chairman, Dr Olusegun Ajiboye, stressed the need for God to visit the Federal Government to do the needful and document the resolutions of the meeting with the President Goodluck Jonathan. The congress listed three prayer points- the need for God to touch the heart of the Federal Government to be committed towards funding public education and develop the nation; that God should protect ASUU leadership as they travel and for the purpose of the strike to be actualised. From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

leadership. He added that a Needs Assessment Implementation Committee, which has ASUU representatives on board, would be inaugurated today to fast track the utilisation of the released funds and tackle infrastructural deficiency in the university system. The President’s aide said: “Government has

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Ajiboye said the union do not need newspaper confirmation from the President that N200billion had been deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria. He said it was impossible for anybody who has not opened an account with a bank to request a balance. Ajiboye accused the Federal Government of keeping the students at home. The Chairman hinted that the union has the machinery to suspend the strike within 24 hours once the grey areas in the resolutions have been sorted out. He said: “Our position is that it will be foolish to return to classes without anything to show for five months of strike. Why is the Federal Government afraid of documenting the resolutions it reached with the union. We are still expecting the response from the President.”

received a number of representations from eminent Nigerians and stakeholders on the need to temper justice with mercy regarding the ultimatum issued to the striking lecturers. “Government appreciates the fact that some universities have either resumed academic activities or announced resumption dates in line with the directives earlier issued by the Committee of Pro Chancellors. “Now that evidence

has been provided as to the availability of N200 billion for immediate disbursement to universities, we expect that ASUU will call off this strike so that normalcy will fully return to our campuses. “Government does not intend to victimise anyone who participates in a legitimate strike action.” Okupe assured ASUU on its three other demands, saying the government has no reason to reject the conditions.

Saraki to Usman: I didn’t film meeting From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja



ENATOR Bukola Saraki yesterday denied filming the meeting he had with Senator Esther Nenadi Usman. Saraki, who represents Kwara Central, said Usman painted him as a man who

could not be trusted by claiming that he videotaped their discussion. Usman, who represents Kaduna South, had in her contribution during the confirmation of Prof. Shuaibu Oba Abdulraheem as chairman of Federal Character Commission, said as members of the committee which screened Oba she went with Senator James Manager to seek Saraki’s support for Abdulraheem’s confirmation.

Saraki was one of the two senators from Kwara State, who opposed the confirmation. But Usman asked her colleagues to go ahead and confirm the nomination of Abdulraheem as FCC boss. Usman noted that she was surprised to discover that immediately after the meeting with Saraki, the film of their discussion went viral in Kwara State. She noted that Saraki boasted that if he was not important why were people coming to beg him to support the confirmation. But Saraki, who raised a Point of Order yesterday

over the issue, denied ever filming the discussion he had with Usman and Manager. The lawmaker said Usman gave the impression he is a man who could not be trusted. He prayed the Senate to ask Usman to withdraw the statement or to refer the matter to the Ethics and Privileges Committee for further investigation. Senate President David Mark said he did not want to take what Saraki said further. Mark said he would meet the two senators on a later date.

Centre seeks protection of journalists’ rights


HE International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, has urged governments and media stakeholders to protect and respect the rights of journalists. In a statement yesterday by its Director, Lanre Arogundade, the centre said the theme for this year’s Human Rights Day was: 20 Years: Working for Your Rights. The statement said the theme emphasised the future of people’s rights and identified the challenges ahead. The IPC noted that though the 1999 Constitution has provisions for the protection of the right to freedom of expression of journalists and the media, the provisions could not be said to be sufficient, especially if the media were to effectively perform their functions to

build and consolidate on the country’s democratic experience. It urged the government and media groups to have measures for the protection of journalists from abuse and safeguard them from attacks in their duties.

“Though the constitution provides some rights for the media, these rights, as provided for in Section 22 of the Constitution, cannot be legally enforced where journalists are obstructed in the process of performing their duties because the whole of

Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution, where Section 22 is located, is non-justiciable. A journalist whose right has been violated can, therefore, not seek protection of the court, as located in the present 1999 C o n s t i t u t i o n , ” Arogundade said.

Oil benchmark: Senate, Reps meeting deadlocked


The conference committee meeting between the Senate and the House of Representatives to agree on appropriate oil benchmark for the 2014 budget ended in a stalemate yesterday. The meeting held behind closed doors was attended by members of the Senate Finance Committee and their House of Representatives counterparts.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The Senate fixed the benchmark at $76.50 per barrel, the House fixed its at $79 per barrel. Members of the committee kept sealed lips when they emerged from the over three hour meeting. Members of the House had, before the meeting, vowed not to shift

ground on the benchmark. A member of the committee said no decision was reached by the two sides. Findings showed that the meeting was adjourned till 10am today. President Goodluck Jonathan had asked the two chambers to harmonise their differences on oil benchmark to enable him to present the 2014 budget


I formerly known and addressed as Miss. Okeke Anthonia Eberechukwu, now wish to be known as Mrs. Kanu Anthonia Eberechukwu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Uzuakpunwa Udochi Norah, now wish to be known as Nwachukwu Udochi Norah. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.



OLADEPO I formerly known and addressed as Miss. Oladepo Olaitan Sofiyat , now wish to be known as Mrs. Taiwo Olaitan Sofiyat. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Deborah Dein Dagogo, now wish to be known as Deborah Dein Enoch. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.




•From left: Okorocha and Aregbesola addressing a crowd at the rally…yesterday.

2014: Okorocha, Ogbeh, el-Rufai, Osoba, Fani-Kayode warn PDP against rigging


HE National Mobilisation Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday stormed Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to rally support for the party. Many chieftains of the party, including Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha; former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Chief Audu Ogbeh; former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba and former Minister of Aviation Chief Femi FaniKayode spoke at the rally. The Osogbo City Stadium, venue of the rally, was filled with APC members and supporters. Some of the Speakers, who spoke in turns, addressed the issue of future elections. The party chieftains warned PDP against manipulating next year's governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states,

•APC mobilisation committee storms Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

saying what was done in the last Anambra State governorship poll should not be repeated. Ogbeh said the progressives had never been allowed to rule "this nation", adding that the APC was set to take over power at the centre to better the lot of Nigerians. Okorocha said Nigerians should not only vote, but ensure that their votes count in installing the right government. He urged Osun people to support Governor Rauf Aregbesola and enable him consolidate on the numerous achievements of his administration. Fani-Kayode warned the PDP led-Federal Government against rigging the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. He said: "The rigging style

used during the last Anambra State governorship election would not be allowed in Osun and Ekiti states next year. When the Federal Government did it in Yorubaland in 1964 and 1966, the government at the centre fell. The same scenario was repeated in Ondo in 1983 during the time of the late Chiefs Adekunle Ajasin and Akin Omoboriowo and the Federal Government fell as well. "In 1993, the election of the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola was annulled with the connivance of the military and the government at the centre fell. So this time around, the progressives' decision to come together to form a formidable party is not just a tea party. We warn that rigging should not be repeated in Yorubaland to foist unpopular governments on the people." Osoba said he was im-

pressed with the development in the state and hailed Aregbesola's commitment to rapid growth. Aregbesola thanked the people for their support to his administration and pledged to always protect their interests. He said: "For seven-and-ahalf years, you (the people of Osun State) were subjected to humiliation, but in the three years of our administration, we have tried to restore the people's dignity in many ways with our programmes and policies. "So no amount of threat by the opposition party in the state can intimidate us. With God on our side, no rigging in 2014 in the Osun governorship election will succeed. Our party, APC, will take over power in 2015 in Nigeria. So whoever is yet to register should do so when the voter registration begins."

Lagos begins end of 2013 countdown


AGOS residents have expressed excitement at the end-of-year countdown of the state government. They spoke at the Bar Beach on Victoria Island last Saturday during the Lagos Seafood Festival, which was part of the count down activities. Residents said they are looking forward to more exciting activities for the countdown. Speaking on the countdown, the Managing Director of the State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), George Noah, urged residents to take advantage of various events lined-up to keep the Bar Beach alive. Noah said: "Children had a very exciting time here last year that many did not feel like going back home. This year too, we have made provisions for the children's corner, where they will enjoy themselves to the fullest. So we welcome schools, parents and children to the world of fun at the Lagos Countdown 2013." A financial analyst, Mr.

By Jude Isiguzo

Michael Abiodun, said he anticipated lots of fun, adding: "The Seafood Festival has set the right tone for the Lagos Countdown 2013."

Mrs. Felicia Adegoke recalled television clips of last year's "breath-taking" fireworks display, saying she and her family would not miss the event this year. She said: "I did not have

time to take my kids to the Countdown Village (Bar Beach) last year. We only watched the fireworks on television. But this year, I will surely take them there to have fun."

RCCG Congress: FRSC deploys men to ease traffic


HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has deployed its officers, as well as patrol and towing vehicles, to manage traffic during the Annual Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). The congress, which began on Monday and will end on Saturday, is holding at the Redemption Camp at Km.46 of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone 2, Ademola Lawal, told reporters yesterday that the commission had mapped out plans to ensure free-flow of traffic around the camp during the programme. Lawal, whose zone comprises Lagos and Ogun,

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

said about 100 officers, including Special Marshals, and six patrol teams had been

deployed, to ensure freeflow of traffic. He urged motorists to obey traffic laws, warning that offenders would be penalised.

Awo Centre holds lecture By Wale Ajetunmobi


HE Awolowo Centre for Philosophy, Ideology and Good Governance will hold a public lecture tomorrow to round off activities marking Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola's third anniversary in office. The lecture, themed: Aregbesola's Strategic Human Development, will hold at Leisure Spring Hotel on Iwo Road, Osogbo at 1pm. The guest lecturer and Interim Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, will speak on: Setting new standard in public governance through revolutionary visioning. Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Prof. Wale Omole will chair the occasion. Aregbesola and Osun House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salaam are expected at the lecture.




Tinubu, wife, others get awards By Tajudeen Adebanjo


ATIONAL Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; his wife, Senator Oluremi and wife of the Lagos State governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, were among persons honoured yesterday for their roles in developing the nation. The Excellence Award, courtesy of Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area (LCDA), was part of activities marking the council's 10th anniversary. Tinubu was honoured for creating the council, among 37 others, in 2003. Presenting the award to him, the council boss, Hakeem Bamgbola, said the various developmental projects witnessed in the last decade would not have been possible, if not for Tinubu's foresight and doggedness. Bamgbola said: "Despite stiff opposition by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, our leader stood firm on the decision that we are

Aspirant seeks scrapping of party primaries for incumbents


GOVERNORSHIP aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, has urged political parties to amend their constitutions to allow incumbent president and governors contest second term elections without being subjected to primary elections. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, Adeyeye said subjecting them to primaries was an indirect way of passing a vote-ofno-confidence in them. He said: “I urge the PDP, in particular, to urgently amend our constitution to allow the incumbent president and governors, who want to go for a second term to do so without spending the time and resources expected to be expended on state matters on campaigning.” The aspirant said it was time for Nigeria to practice the Presidential System as it is being practiced in the United States (U.S.), where incumbent president and governors were allowed to concentrate on the executions of their party’s programmes and policies, rather than spending valuable time and resources on party primary. Adeyeye said: ‘’When you ask your president and governors to go for primaries before standing for second term elections, you are exposing their weaknesses to their opponents and these could be exploited later to defeat them in the real election, as it happened some years back in the U.S.”

•Senator Tinubu (middle) receiving a plaque from Chief Tayo Adenekan (left). With them are Col. Rafiu Ajala (second left); Bamgbola and his wife, Alhaja PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO Ashabi.... yesterday.

all enjoying the benefits of today. We cannot appreciate you more. You are a visionary leader per excellence, whose action has continued to bring about unprecedented develop-

ment to the teeming Lagos populace." Lagos State House of Assembly Chief Whip Dr. Rasak Balogun, who received the award on behalf of Tinubu, thanked the council

for the honour. Balogun said Tinubu did not disappoint Lagosians when the crisis over the creation of new councils was hot, but stood by the people's

decision and never wavered. Senator Tinubu and Mrs. Fashola were honoured for their support to the council. Balogun, who presented the awards to them, said both

women contributed to his success in office. The event featured the distribution of empowerment materials to the people and cutting of the anniversary cake.

Fayemi presents N103.8b budget to Assembly


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday presented a N103,882 billion 2014 Appropriation Bill, tagged: “Budget of Stability and Growth”, to the House of Assembly. Of the figure, N52,776,226 billion (52 per cent) was allotted to capital expenditure and N50,106,166 billion (48 per cent) to recurrent expenditure. Infrastructure got N17.2 billion; Administration, N9.8 billion; Social Services, N2.4 bil-


•Governor laments shortfalls in Federal Allocations From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

lion and the Economic Sector, N25 billion. Fayemi said the bill, when passed, shall be applied to complete ongoing projects, accelerate empowerment of rural communities and improve the economy. He described the budget as participatory, saying it reflects

the needs of communities, which were collated during his recent tour of the state. Fayemi said: “The implementation of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 budget estimates were encouraging. In 2011, we recorded 73 per cent performance, and last year, 89 per cent. Performance of the 2013 budget stands at 64 per cent and this is due to shortfalls in Federal Allocations to

the state.” He said next year’s budget would be financed through “Federal Allocations, Value Added Tax (VAT), external grants, loans and bonds, ecological funds and other sundry sources”. Fayemi urged government offices saddled with the responsibility of generating revenue to increase their efforts, so that the state would

PDP has lost focus, says ex-Governor Ladoja

ORMER Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja yesterday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lost focus. Speaking with reporters in Ibadan, the state capital, on a variety of issues in the country, Ladoja said the PDP has abandoned its founding objectives and is now “peopled with mostly politicians, who are opposed to the principles of democracy”. On the crisis in the party and past crises, including the

•Why my pact with Alao-Akala isn’t working’ From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

one that led to his impeachment in 2006, the Accord leader said they were the reasons he could not consider returning to the PDP for now. Ladoja cited the recent Anambra State election as a window through which one could assess the party. He said owing to many problems, the PDP could not conduct a primary poll to produce a candi-

date until a week before the election. In Ladoja’s view, PDP National Chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur means well for the party, but the undemocratic elements in the PDP majority are frustrating his efforts to put the party back on the right track. He said: “Tukur came in to correct these ills, but I think he is seeing more than he expected. It is difficult. May be

God will be kind to us one day, such that we can have democrats in the majority in the party, because whatever they do largely affects the country.” He likened his impeachment in 2006 to the current travails of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, stressing that governance must have stopped in the state since the beginning of the crisis as Amaechi would be battling to save his political career. The former governor said the recent partnership be-

Fashola inaugurates 16 roads in Mushin


be able to meet the people’s needs. The Speaker, Adewale Omirin, said: “As we receive this budget proposal, I remind my colleagues of our statutory role as a watchdog on the budget implementation process. As we yearn to make the development of our state our watchword, we shall not lose sight of our oversight functions to ensure accountability, openness and probity in the implementation of the 2014 Budget.”

HE Lagos State government has urged residents to stop burying their dead in residential areas, saying this constitutes a serious challenge to road construction. Governor Babatunde Fashola spoke yesterday during the inauguration of 16 roads in Mushin Local Government Area. He said the government had to relocate some bodies before fixing the roads. The governor urged residents to stop trading on roads and shun activities that constitute nuisance on roads, saying: “As I deliver these projects today, I want you to see them as your own because they were executed with your taxes. You

•’Stop burying bodies in residential areas’ By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

should protect them and make sure they are not converted to open markets, car wash or other things that could undermine their purpose. You should ensure that nobody cuts the roads for any reason. They are your roads, so avoid things that can destroy them.” Fashola said over 200 roads have been fixed in Lagos this year, adding that the government raised N87 billion bond to rehabilitate more roads and other infrastructure He urged residents to be law abiding, peaceful and tolerant, adding: “The blood that flows through our veins has no eth-

nic colour.” The roads include Akanro/ Ishaga, Badejo Kalesanwo, Ronke, Akinlawon, Ajana, Sadiku, Paul Okuntola, Eniola, Apesin, Kelani, Oyewuwo, Folarin, Oke Onijo, Olanibi/ Ojekunle and Akinyemi streets. Fashola said the contract for the construction of the Mushin/Isolo, Post Office, Bishop, Olateju, Matuwo and Olaniyi roads had been awarded. Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said: “I implore residents, road users, the corporate community and Community Development Associations


(CDAs) to assume ownership of these facilities and ensure that all forms of abuse, including cutting across or along the roads, are prevented, since provisions have been made for service ducts to accommodate underground services. I urge residents to clear the drains regularly to prolong the lifespan of the roads.”

tween him and his successor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, is not working because the latter is not willing to join the Accord. He said the joint committee set up by the two groups could not work because AlaoAkala did not show any sign that he would soon abandon the PDP. Ladoja said: “Alao-Akala approached me if we could work together. We did not even talk or think about what happened in the past. Yesterday is gone. We can only learn lessons from it to plan for tomorrow. All I want is to work for the benefit of Oyo State. We set up a committee, but personal interests changed many things. Bayo is not ready to get out of PDP. Our party does not have any privileges to offer. I think he does not want to leave PDP because of the privileges he enjoys there. As far as I am concerned, our doors are open “We want to work with Alao-Akala, but we cannot fold our arms and keep watching. PDP has factions and we cannot concentrate on only one while other factions are moving, and the Alao-Akala group is not showing enough commitment. We know what we want. Our door is open at all times for whoever wants to work with us or join us.”




Reps question ministry’s N2.6b warehoused in CBN, FCMB


HE House of Representatives has questioned the Ministry of Environment over a N2.6 billion domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a commercial bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), while contractors that have done over 60 percent of their jobs were yet to be paid. The Lower House which spoke through the Hon. Uche Ekwunife-led House of Representatives Committee on Environment also called for a comprehensive overhaul of the Ministry to enthrone tranparency. Things got heated up during an oversight of the committee to the Ministry when

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

a member of the Committee, Hon. Pat Asadu said he was ready to shed his immunity and personally drag the ministry to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption. According to Asadu there has been complaints and written protests and allegations that money has to be paid by contractors before their letters of contract were signed. He said: “The lack of transparency and level of corruption in this ministry is a shame. The money you collect from contractors ensures that projects don’t get kicked

off.I am going to mention names that can be prosecuted. The companies that you select that are doing deals with you are (also) talking to me.” The lawmaker alleged that of the constituency jobs worth N40 million, N9.1 million was collected from some contractors before the commencement of work, adding that exposing, uprooting and prosecuting corruption in the ministry is the way forward. “I will bring contractors who paid money and they

will state whom they paid to,” he threatened. But the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Haruna Taiye, who represented the minister debunked the allegation against the ministry. According to him, any contractor that has such claims should bring it to the fore. “I will like to meet one or two contractors who has this allegation. I am ready to discipline anyone that is doing that,” he said. Taiye said of the N4.1 bil-

lion released so far to the ministry, “over N2. 6 billion is awaiting payment and this we will collect by tomorrow.” He said this was exclusive of the N 1 billion in Special Duties Ministry. But the committee members wanted to know if the N2.6 billion was idle funds or money from over budgeting. They queried the wisdom of domiciling such a huge amount in the CBN and the FCMB a few weeks to the end of the year.

The permanent secretary however shocked the committee members when he said in the next three weeks, the money in the account would be empty. Members were aghast and asked him how he intended to make such a huge amount of money disappear in such a short time. He responded that he has more than enough outstanding payments to gulp the said amount.

SON urges collaboration on consumables


HE Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Dr Joseph Odumodu has lamented the lack of partnership among stakeholders in the food processing industry. He called on the relevant agencies to collaborate for the growth of the industry. Odumodu stated this in Abuja at the event marking the food safety day by SON in conjunction with CODEX @ 50 anniversary. It had as theme ‘Safe good food for everyone’. He lamented the slow progress made by the country in food safety because the agencies were always working at cross-purposes. He said: “The process is slow-

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

ing down because the organisation responsible seems to be working at different rate and different direction. “I do not think we are making sufficient effort to invest in food safety issues because we have markers that shows that people are living more dangerously today than before. “I am disappointed that there is no reliable data making it possible for the country to monitor trends and make extrapolation. It will be good to embrace national policy which will of cause define the national direction in terms of total quality.”

• From left: Corporate Affairs Manager, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Ngozi Ngene; Group Managing Director, Graham Clark and General Manager, Corporate Communication,Dangote Group, Sunday Esan during a parley with journalists in Lagos...yesterday.




wapTV wins TV Channel of the Year award

Jennifer Aniston makes Forbes’ ‘Most overpaid actors’ list


NE of Forbes’ derogatory ratings has caught up with American actress, Jennifer Aniston, portraying the thespian and a few others as having earned more money than the value of entertainment they gave their fans in 2013. The actress, who is loved by Americans and regarded as one of the top celebs, is being demeaned by Forbes in terms of her box office fame. The value-rating company described her performances as rusty, landing her on their “Most Overpaid Actors” list of 2013. Forbes named the 10 “Most Overpaid Actors” by looking at the last three movies each actor or actress starred in over the last three years up until June 1, 2013. His or her average return on investment was calculated with pay, movie budgets and expenses data. Adam Sandler topped the list, with box office bombs like Jack & Jill and That’s My Boy. He can command northward of $15 million per flick, but delivers only $3.40 for every $1 paid. Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon landed at No. 3 on the list, returning $3.90 for every $1 paid. Aniston came in at No. 8 with a $10.60 return for every $1 paid. Forbes also noted that she is having more box office success with supporting roles than leading ones recently. The 44-year-old star, according to Hollywood Reporter, can make $5 million per comedy. And Aniston does have some certifiable hits under her belt to back it up, including We’re the Mill-

W •Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston in Bounty Hunter By Victor Akande

ers, Marly & Me and Just Go With It. “Jennifer Aniston is the most peculiar of A-list celebrities. She’s a movie star with no star power,” The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon wrote in August. “Few female celebrities are as recognisable-or on as many magazine covers as Aniston. But when it comes to selling tickets at the box office, Aniston, for all her apparent popularity, seems remarkably unpopular,” Fallon submitted. Forbes’ rating notwithstanding, the actress is planning big for her 45th birthday due for February, 2014. She said despite having an awkward phase in her 30s, now is the best time in her life, which she intends celebrating during her coming birthday. The actress got married to Brad Pitt in 2000 at the age of 31, and they divorced five years after. She is noted to be going out with Justin Theroux. Undaunted by Forbes’ report, Aniston is looking forward to the sequel of one of her loved

•Myke Aremu

Chevelle Franklyn, Mike Aremu excite at Calabar Festival By Victor Akande


AMAICAN-BORN ace gospel music icon, Chevelle Franklyn, was apparently excited by the popularity of her songs during her performance at the ongoing Calabar Festival. The crowd chorused every hit track, as she entertained them at one of the festival’s segments tagged ‘Voices of Paradise’, which held at the Millennium Park, Calabar. Franklyn, who emerged on the gospel music scene as one of the most outstanding Ministers of Music of the 21st Century, performed alongside wonderful dancers that moved the wave of praise to every corner of the arena. The spectacular performance by this multiple award-winning psalmist of international repute, proved to the crowd her worth as a songwriter/producer and vocal-capacity singer. The visiting musician was not alone at the elevated show. The event also featured sensational Nigerian gospel musician and renowned saxophonist, Mike Aremu, doing what he knows best. Aremu, who is noted for his Jazz gospel music style, gave a sterling performance that was greeted with excitement. The programme also featured a choral competition by church congregations in Calabar and other choral groups who sang and danced to the popular mantra that ‘Christ is the reason for the season.’ Other gospel artistes, who ministered in songs, were Marvelous Odiete and C’Mion.

movies, Horrible Bosses. “My life is so fantastic. I’m so happy. There are a lot of exciting things that I’m excited about doing. We are about to do a sequel to Horrible Bosses, which is such a fun character for me. And I think I’m going to try at some point next year to direct a full-length feature, which I’m extremely excited about. I’m just so happy and I’m grateful for my fans. I just hope I keep doing work that they love,” she stated.

APTV, a newly licensed cable channel, has been awarded the ‘TV channel of the Year’. The feat, which got the members of staff and management of the company jubilating Sunday night, was the second award the company has got in the last one month. Owned by popular TV drama entrepreneur, Chief Wale Adenuga, the award was bestowed on the company by the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Award (NBMA) at a star-studded show at NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos. Only last month, the parent company, Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP), was awarded the ‘Top Business Partner’ by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) at the 2013 edition of the NTA Business Dinner/Award Night.

By Victor Akande

According to the organizers, WAP was recognized for the huge patronage coming from programmes such as Superstory and ThisLife as well as wapTV cable channel. Receiving the new laurel, an elated Wole Adenuga, Managing Director of the station, said the award is the beginning of better things to come: “This award is dedicated to the entire wapTV team, all our content providers, esteemed advertisers and, of course, millions of viewers across Africa who tune in daily and interact with wapTV via phone calls and the social media. We assure you all that we are just getting started and the best is yet to come,” he said. He noted that since it began transmission on October 1, 2012, “wapTV has been


enjoying massive viewership due to the channel’s strategic programming, which is made up of top-rated TV dramas, home videos, comedies, music, children’s programmes, lifestyle shows, groundbreaking skits, as well as a unique breakfast show, Kookoorookoo, which receives interactions from viewers all over Africa.”





CBN mulls satellite deployment to boost financial inclusion


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday unveiled plans to explore ways of investing in satellite-powered technologies to boost financial inclusion in the grassroots. CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi made this known at a forum titled, Meeting on Promoting global financial Inclusion: Overcoming key barriers through public-private collaboration in Abuja. According to him, the apex bank will identify some of the companies involved in the ICT industry to facilitate the deployment of satellite technologies to the 774 local government areas in the country to promote the use of electronic channels and cards for transactions. Sanusi said the deployment of point of sales (PoS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), cards and other products and services were improving. He said: “The second phase of the biometric

•Launches biometric project Feb 14 From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor), Abuja

project would be launched on February 14, 2014 to enhance the integrity of customer identification in the financial services industry.” He said: “The least expensive ways of deploying products would be to rely on technology and low level of internet penetration is a big problem. Excessive reliance on the telephone companies also has it is problems because in this country, the telcos make a lot of money from SMS and voice and the incentive to invest in greater bandwidth is limited unless they can see the actual commercial value of investing in that. “So we have to figure out how to go about it. One of the things

we are thinking of is to use a satellite company and just drop internet across the country. If we can get internet access to say each of the 774 local government areas, we will achieve a lot. If you solve that problem in all the local government areas, it goes to create a hot spot and in there you can have internet cafés. You can have your mobile banking, you can have PoS and therefore you address that problem.” The CBN governor said the long-term desire of the CBN, the banks and their partners with regard to financial inclusion was to make the country a model in financial inclusion efficiency globally. According to him, the problems of customer identification, low internet penetration and absence of the required infrastructure were major challenges hampering the financial inclusion drive but he assured that the CBN remains committed to scaling the hurdles in order to bring the ex-

• Sanusi

cluded rural poor into the financial net. The CBN governor urged the Federal Government to address some of the key challenges facing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in order to reduce the cost of funds. He argued that it would be unfair to continue to blame the banks for not lending to SMEs in a harsh operating environment in which banks conduct their businesses.

HREE years after its in troduction, the Nige rian Insurers Association (NIA) has uploaded about 1.65 million vehicle insurance policies to the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID), the industry’s database. The association which is the imbrella body of insurers in the country also announced that it has concluded plans to kick-off the second module in marine business by first quarter of next year. Director-General, NIA, Mr. Sunday Thomas disclosed this at a seminar organised by the association in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State yesterday. He said fake marine and motor insurance policies that are in circulation in the country will soon be eliminated with the success of the NIID. According to him, the association is collaborating with security agencies such as the vehicle inspection officer (VIO), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the police to ensure the successful implementation of the project in all parts of the country. He said the project will eradicate fake insurances and minimise instances of fraudulent claims, provide real time in-

NIA uploads 1.65m policies to NIID By OmobolaTolu-Kusimo

formation that will address issues raised by all stakeholders, the insuring public, market players, law enforcement agents and regulators. He said: “It will also serve as source of historical data for analysis and benchmarking, thereby providing qualitative analysis of industry performance. “The initiative will enhance transparency and accountability to stakeholders thereby restoring confidence in the insuring public. It will also create the basis for scientific management of operations in the industry and enable the tracking of transactions in the industry.” Head, NIID, Mrs Bola Omole who presented a paper on insurance database said though the uploaded policies is far below what is expected, as there are 11.5 million vehicles in the country, the NIID project which took-off in 2011 with 300,000 policies, has helped to improve the profitability of underwriters.

NCAA, foreign experts audit Dana Air


HE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has started full scale operational audit of Dana Airline, its DirectorGeneral (DG), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu said yesterday in Lagos. According to him, the exercise which will last for five days is being carried out by a team of NCAA Inspectors and expatriates. The NCAA team is drawn from the Flight Safety Group (FSG) comprising Airworthiness Inspectors, Flight Opera-

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

tions Inspectors, Ground Operations, Cabin Safety Inspectors, among others. Added to them are two expatriates that are experts in the field of Airworthiness Inspection and Flight Operations. The DG said this is the beginning of a phased audit of all airlines operating in the country. He said: “We have put in place this wholesale programme to ensure that all airlines operating in our airspace are safe and secure.

Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce honours BA


RITISH Airways has been honoured by the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) in recognition of its service provision in the aviation industry. It was also honoured for its promotion of exclusive bilateral business and investments between Nigeria and Britain. The recognition came at the yearly Presidential Dinner and Awards in Lagos. Presenting an award to the airline, President of the Chamber, Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, said British Airways has played

significant role in fostering bilateral relations, business and investment between Nigeria and Britain which is in line with some of the core objectives of the Chamber. He said: “The role British Airways has continued to play in encouraging and fostering business and economic activities between Nigeria and Britain cannot be overemphasised. It dates back to the formation of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce and the role played by the then Chairman of British Caledonian, Sir Adam Thompson.”

Student wins in Big Corolla Give away promo


DELTA State based student, Ikechukwu Blessing Emeka has emerged the winner of a brand new Toyota Corolla Salon car in the second week running of ‘The Big Toyota Corolla Giveaway Promo’. The winner, who hails from Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state, was presented with the keys of the 2013 Toyota Corolla salon car by Head of Sales, Superior Games Limited, Mr. Taiwo Oyekunle, at Oshodi during a town storming roadshow on the Ikorodu road to Oshodi, Lagos. Amazed at the reality of being presented with the car key, Ikechukwu said he knew about

the promo through a woman who had received the SMS alert in her phone inbox. “Out of curiosity, I checked the inbox and read the message and I was interested to play. Then I tried it. That was how I started playing,”he said. Speaking further, he said he had only played within a week when he received a call to announce that he had won. “I didn’t believe initially and my friends and family purported that it was a fluke and that I should be careful. The reality dawned on me and my family members when I received the flight ticket to come over to Lagos to pick up my prize,” he said.





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Cahill: Chelsea has to stop mistakes


•Van Persie

Barca plots £38m move for sensational Robin van Persie M

AN UNITED star Robin van Persie has become a surprise transfer target for Spanish champions Barcelona. New Spanish reports claim the Nou Camp would have to stump up a whopping £38m bid to start negotiations with the Old Trafford side. Rumours of Van Persie's

Flamini calls for ‘focus’ ahead of busy schedule


RSENAL midfielder, Mathieu Flamini, has warned that the Premier League leaders cannot afford to lose focus as they face up to a run of fixtures which will test just how far they have come this season. Arsenal missed the chance to take full advantage of slipups by Premier League title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City when they were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Flamini, who came on as a second-half substitute against Everton, feels Arsenal must focus on delivering another run of consistent displays as they look to maintain their five-point cushion at the top of the league heading into a hectic set of games. “It is a great feeling (to be five points clear), but the championship is long and we still have a lot of teams to play,” said the combative 29year-old Frenchman, who rejoined Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer after being released by AC Milan.


happiness at the club have been fuelled by recent comments from former Liverpool star Mark Lawrenson, who claimed the striker had told the club he wanted to leave. Lawro told an Irish radio station: “There are all sorts of rumours coming out of the training ground at the moment. "One or two of the press boys that I know that cover Manchester United are even

saying that the big whisper is Van Persie might have asked for a transfer on Tuesday” Van Persie famously made a £22million switch from Arsenal to Manchester United in the summer of 2012 and played a pivotal role in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final title triumph, scoring 26 top-flight goals. Barca manager Gerardo Martino is thought to have pointed out the need to partner Lionel Messi and

Neymar with a new striking partner after David Villa was sold to Atletico Madrid last summer. United manager David Moyes rejected claims the recent claims however claiming the rumours of the forward's unhappiness were ridiculous. "That is absolute nonsense," said Moyes. "I don't know what harder or tougher word I could say but that's as good as I've got."

Pardew warns of ´dangerous´ Newcastle N EWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew warned rivals his side are "dangerous" opposition following their surprise victory at Manchester United. Pardew saw his charges secure Newcastle's first win at Old Trafford since 1972 thanks to Yohan Cabaye's second-half strike on Saturday. That win followed impressive top-flight victories over Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League, as well as a creditable 2-2 draw with Liverpool. And Pardew believes the flexibility of his squad makes them a match for any side in the top flight. Speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle, he said: "It's the top teams we have done well against this year. Tottenham, Chelsea and now Manchester

United. "This team were asked to play a very different way and they answered that. "We can change our tactics and win. We can feel confident to do that. And that makes us dangerous." Newcastle's victory was even more impressive in the context of a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Swansea City on Wednesday. Despite that setback, Pardew says the squad were confident of taking the points at Old Trafford, adding that the loss in Wales provided a lesson in ball retention. He added: "Swansea gave us a kick up the bottom in terms of how to keep possession and how to have control.

"We let control go in the week. We made it clear we went there (Old Trafford) to play and to try to win. "We never even contemplated a draw. There was a real feeling in that dressing room we could win. We were outstanding. We defended very, very well and made it very difficult."


Roberto Martinez hails on-loan duo


OBERTO Martinez has admitted his delight as to how well his Everton

side - and Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku in particular have progressed this season. Having won at Old Trafford for the first time in 21 years in midweek, Everton garnered more plaudits with another impressive display in the 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Sunday. Martinez told Sky Sports News: “I’m surpised that he’s doing it so quickly, that is the truth. “He has adapted to the physicality of the league. I think it was important for us to bring some young blood into the squad and have a good blend with the senior players. I think

that is really important. “It allows the younger players to produce and Gerard had adapted so quickly. He has been working so hard to try and help the team and he brings something different. He has raw talent and we need that I still think the best of Gerard is still to some. “He has strong belief in his own ability and we just want him to continue to deliver until the end of the season. Obviously the fans play a huge role in helping the player to settle and feel that they can express themselves on the football pitch.” Lukaku, who has scored 10 times this season since leaving

parent club Chelsea, is another player who has helped the club enjoy such a promising start. “There is a relationship with Chelsea that is fantastic,” said Martinez. “They invested good money to recruit him from Anderlecht a few seasons ago and Romelu has a massive role and all we want is him to have terrific memories of his time at Everton. “There is a path that we are using to try and develop the player. He is working extremely hard to help the team and develop his career until the end if the season and then we will reassess how he has grown and discuss the situation with Chelsea.”

HELSEA centre-back Gary Cahill called on the side to tighten up away from home in the wake of their 3-2 setback at Stoke City. The Stamford Bridge outfit were looking to maintain the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday, but succumbed to a third league loss on their travels this season thanks to Oussama Assaidi's 90thminute winner. That defeat followed another away fixture in which Chelsea shipped three goals, although ultimately the London side were successful in a 4-3 triumph at Sunderland on Wednesday. But England international Cahill concedes the team must do more to eradicate errors or risk losing pace in the race for the title. "We've kept clean sheets this season, but in the last two games we've let too many goals in," he said. "That's unlike us and it's down to individual mistakes. "We talked about it after Sunderland and there were unfortunate incidents in the set-pieces, where we've had a look at it. "Maybe it's just a bit of bad luck, but obviously away from home, we've got to keep it tight. I feel we've done that most of the season, but this result was poor for us. "It's massively disappointing because it's so tight at the minute that you've got to keep chalking up

results. "A game, which we felt we could have got points from, we've lost, which is very disappointing." Cahill particularly lamented Stoke's opening goal in the contest at the Britannia Stadium, when goalkeeper Petr Cech failed to deal with a Marko Arnautovic corner allowing Peter Crouch to apply a closerange finish. He added: "We thought big Pete was going to come, he didn't. I should have been tighter, all these little things. "Of course, you can tidy up on mistakes, but they're not major, major mistakes. They are just little bits and bobs which have happened in games this season and which I'm sure won't be happening in future." The loss to Mark Hughes' side means Chelsea sit in third place, five points behind Arsenal.


Campbell, Montano arrested


LACKBURN striker DJ Campbell and Oldham midfielder Cristian Montano were among six people arrested following new spot-fixing allegations in football. The National Crime Agency is examining evidence provided by the Sun on Sunday, who filmed former Portsmouth defender Sam Sodje claiming he received £70,000 for getting himself sent off in a League One fixture last season. Campbell, Montano and Sodje have been released on bail along with Sodje's brothers Akpo - who plays for Tranmere - and Steve, who is a businessman. The sixth man arrested, Tranmere defender Ian Goodison, remains in custody. Campbell incurred a yellow card in the Championship clash against Ipswich last week - an incident which is believed to be at the centre of police enquiries. Montano was filmed claiming that he agreed to get himself booked in return for cash, although he failed to incur a yellow card in the fixture against Wolves in October. A Blackburn statement read: "Following reports in the national media, Blackburn Rovers can confirm that striker DJ Campbell has been arrested. The club will be making no further comment on what is now an ongoing legal matter." Speaking at a press conference, Oldham boss Lee Johnson confirmed Montano was being questioned and had been suspended without pay.

Lee also revealed he had rewritten his match programme notes for Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Chesterfield to reflect the mood at the club. He said: "There's no place for any kind of match fixing. It's too beautiful a game for that. "We've got to stamp it out. We have to remove people from the game that could ruin it." The Professional Footballers' Association said: "These allegations, if proven, unfortunately demonstrate the real issue football faces in terms of corruption and highlights the necessity of the work carried out by the PFA and other stakeholders in the game in educating players of these risks. "We take the issue of integrity very seriously and will continue in our efforts to eradicate this evil from our game." Betting expert Scott Ferguson told Sky Sports News that players at the lower end of the professional game can prove easy prey for corrupt bookmakers.





Robben: The best from every continent Arjen Robben has certainly been on his game in recent months, consistently proving himself to be one of the standout players in FC Bayern Munchen's stellar squad. He was decisive in leading the German record-breaking champions to the UEFA Champions League title in May, setting up one goal and scoring the winner that ultimately secured the team's place at the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013. This season, the 29-year-old winger has improved even further under new coach Pep Guardiola and is now scoring regularly - a fact not unconnected to the Dutchman having been free of major injuries for some time now. The fans were certainly keen to see an in-form Arjen Robben at the Club World Cup, and the player himself was full of anticipation during a recent interview with “It’ll definitely be a great experience and I’m looking forward to it. There’s another title up for grabs and we all want to win it.” However, it became clear on Thursday that the knee injury Robben sustained in the DFB Cup match against FC Augsburg on Wednesday was worse than originally suspected. The injury will put the 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up out of action for several weeks and preclude his involvement at Morocco 2013. Before this setback, spoke with him about the significance of the tournament and the Netherlands’ chances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. tionally? I’ve definitely noticed that. It has a lot to do with our successes last season but also those of previous years, when you look at our performances. The whole club has made such great strides in recent years, so it’s normal to expect people to take notice. Has the image of the club also changed during that time? I noticed it a little in Holland too. Ten years ago, Bayern were not nearly such a popular club, but since Van Gaal’s era and the period after that, things changed completely and we have a lot of fans there now. How important is it to fin-

ish the year on a high at the Club World Cup before the winter break? It’s definitely important, but if it doesn’t work out, we’ll carry on again after the break.

There’ll be a lot to play for then.From March and April the next round of trophies will start to be handed out and we want to be there for that.

By netting in the Champions League final you settled a score in that particular fixture. Will you settle another old score in the Brazil 2014 Final? You can’t compare the two, but if things work out, maybe I can retire (laughs). So much has to happen first for Holland to reach the Final. Who are your favourites for the World Cup? For me, it’s still Brazil, Germany and Spain, and there are a few other dangerous teams. And the Netherlands? I don’t think so, but I’m positive. At home, everyone wants to hear that we’ll go there and become world champions, but we’ve got to

be realistic. There are some teams that are better than us right now, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s positive for us, as we can spend the next few months until the World Cup improving, taking small steps and then we’ll see what happens. Who are your favourites to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or? All of the 23 nominees thoroughly deserve to be on that list. It’s also great for Bayern that we have six players nomimated; that reflects our achievements last season. In my opinion, lots of players have earned the right to win the award. For us, we won the most important title last season. To win an individual prize like this is a special honour and a huge compliment. I’m already very proud just to be among the 23 players, as it’s a great list full of great players. Ronaldo and Messi are two guys in a class of their own, but which of them will win, I don’t know.

Our success last year was a great advertisement for the team, but this would definitely be a bonus. We really want to show what we’re capable of there, and that can only be a positive thing for the club and all its players.


OW big a role would Jupp Heynckes have played in the title if you win? We won the Champions League with Jupp Heynckes, so because of that it would be his title too. What is the appeal of this tournament? It’s a contest between the best teams from every continent – from all over the world. Even if football in Europe is perhaps on a different level, it’s still a great tournament to play in. It’s also a global advertisement for football. It brings different playing cultures together and that’s great. Do you remember any previous Club World Cup matches, such as those played by Feyenoord or Ajax? I think Ajax won the Champions League once and then beat a Brazilian team in the Club World Cup. I was still a kid then, but it was very special because a Dutch team was playing in the tournament. I was about ten years old, and the idea of being a world champion was massive to me at that age. Is the tournament also important as a global advertisement for FC Bayern? Yes, of course. Our success last year was a great advertisement for the team, but this would definitely be a bonus. We really want to show what we’re capable of there, and that can only be a positive thing for the club and all its players. FC Bayern has become a global brand, much more so now than a couple of years ago. Have you noticed an increase in interest interna-





Mandela’s long walk is not yet over

Oil crisis (3)


•It is time to redefine the status and operations of a corporation that manages the nation’s cash cow

T is 36 years since the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was established. Apparently concerned that the processes involved in prospecting, extracting and sale of oil, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy were fully controlled by foreign firms and experts, the Federal Military Government established the NNPC, following the merger of the erstwhile Nigerian National Oil Corporation and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Power. Today, the status of the resulting organisation is unknown. Is the NNPC a rent collection company, a corporation or a mere record keeper for the sector? In none of these roles is it efficient, transparent or effective. Its inefficiency has robbed the nation of billions of dollars in oil revenue over the years. The accounting system is opaque, deliberately so to prevent the public from asking the necessary questions, and the structure clumsy. This must change as we move into a new year and set to mark the second anniversary of the Great Uprising of January 2012. Incidentally, the group managing director of the corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, had said last month that the corporation was complying fully with provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and would do all required within the law to furnish the public with details of its operations when necessary. He said: “Long before the Freedom of Information Act came into force, the NNPC has been maintaining an open door policy which sees it volunteering information to its various publics through press releases,

advertorials and presentations at different forums, including hearings at the National Assembly… “We have since internalised the contents of that report and as a corporation; we are ready to ensure that our actions and processes live up to public scrutiny. Under my watch as GMD, I intend to abide by this principle.” The facts, as we see them, do not support the GMD’s contention. Neither the state governors nor former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, would agree. At a recent retreat of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Ribadu said of the NNPC, “Today, the NNPC is a producer, an importer, a marketer and a regulator paying to the Federal Government what it likes at any time and treating the states and local governments in Nigeria as if they have no stake in the establishment.” The governors have been shouting that the Federal Government just gets the corporation to pay into the Federation Account what it feels. It is accountable only to the Federal Government. On many occasions, the finance commissioners from all the states have rejected what the Federal Government chose to offer them as their shares of the federally collected revenue. A forensic audit of the Federation Account by KPMG in 2011 showed, for example, a gross mismanagement of the oil subsidy account. This is still generating ripples. The National Assembly that ought to keep an eye on the corporation has done no more than being a toothless bulldog. At a public hearing, the House

of Representatives held that the corporation sold crude oil worth $20.9 billion, but remitted only $7 billion. It did not go beyond the disclosure. Similarly, the Senate reported after public hearing that the corporation could not account for N500 billion that ought to have gone to fund the SURE-P operations. The starting point in cleaning up activities at the NNPC is to redefine its structure. What is its relationship with the supervising ministry? As Mallam Ribadu pointed out, the states and local government areas ought to be brought into the control. This means straightening the board to accommodate this suggestion. Fifty-seven years after oil was discovered at Oloibiri, Nigeria cannot continue to run a prime organisation like the NNPC as coal corporations were run in Europe in the nineteenth century.

‘The accounting system is opaque, deliberately so to prevent the public from asking the necessary questions, and the structure clumsy. This must change as we move into a new year and set to mark the second anniversary of the Great Uprising of January 2012’

Caught napping •Boko Haram attack on Borno military base undermined the gains of state of emergency


RONICALLY, the eruption of grandscale terrorist violence in Borno State, so soon after the presidency in November extended emergency rule by another six months, was a devastating blow against the military, the very organisation with the responsibility of quelling the insurgency. It is disturbing that the attack could be an ominous sign of what to expect during the new round of emergency, for if the Boko Haram militants could so audaciously and successfully target military locations, then the already terrorised civilian population could be in for worse times. It is a measure of the turbulence, which also disrupted activities at the Maiduguri International Airport, that the state government imposed a 24-hour curfew, compounding the emergency. Equally reveal-

‘The possible reasons for this latest expression of bestiality by Boko Haram, perhaps suggesting, rather strangely, that the group’s narrow-minded rejection of Western education and unrealistic campaign for Islamisation of the country were not enough to prompt the mindless mayhem. Doubtless, seeking other justification for the violence is to forget inexcusably that the group has been responsible for thousands of deaths since it emerged in 2009 to promote unyielding fundamentalism’

ing of the urgent situation is the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan held an unscheduled crisis-management meeting with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa. However, it is important to stress that while such a security meeting may be useful, the situation gravely requires more of effective action than talk. Just what the Islamist fighters did, through a pre-dawn offensive, to reinforce the climate of fear, not only in Borno, but also in Adamawa and Yobe states, which are equally under emergency rule initially imposed in May, was authoritatively depicted by the Defence Headquarters. According to a statement by its spokesman, Brig-Gen Chris Olukolade, “Military locations, such as Nigerian Air Force Base and some Nigerian Army locations in Maiduguri, were targeted during the attack. Three decommissioned military aircraft as well as two helicopters were incapacitated in the course of the attack. Two Air Force personnel were also wounded while 24 insurgents died during the exchange of gunfire.” However, it is noteworthy that eye-witness accounts by residents painted a broader picture of the destruction, saying that the attack was carried out by hundreds of heavily armed militants who destroyed buildings at the base of 79 Composite Group of the Air Force and at the 33rd Artillery regiment barracks of the Army, and that shops and petrol stations were also razed while women and children screamed in horror. It is instructive that a local government official who survived the onslaught said, “Frankly speaking, if the insurgents had wanted, they could have killed all of us…because they came in large numbers …some with explosives, some

with rocket-propelled grenades and some with AK-47 rifles.” Intriguingly, there are speculations as to the possible reasons for this latest expression of bestiality by Boko Haram, perhaps suggesting, rather strangely, that the group’s narrow-minded rejection of Western education and unrealistic campaign for Islamisation of the country were not enough to prompt the mindless mayhem. Doubtless, seeking other justification for the violence is to forget inexcusably that the group has been responsible for thousands of deaths since it emerged in 2009 to promote unyielding fundamentalism. It is said that the factors behind these fresh acts of terrorism allegedly include the recent military capture of a key commander of the group and the need to fight back in the context of continual air raids by the military to dislodge the rebels. Thinking about the immediate causes of the recent aggression is of little consequence. The basic fact is that this is a group devoted to destruction; and it must be stopped. Certainly, it is worrying that, once again, the episode reflects a failure of intelligence, which cannot be downplayed. It is difficult to imagine the penetration of such securityrelated areas without wondering how the military was caught napping. If emergency rule is to achieve the desired result, the role of effective intelligence is key. Apparently, given the fact that the group remains wellarmed, it stands to reason that it must have powerful backers, and central to intelligence is the uncovering of the sources of its weapons. Additionally, one-in-a-while surprise attacks like the last one, designed to achieve maximum impact, may just suggest that the group is re-strategising. It must not be allowed to succeed.

•South Africa needs a more just society to ensure his legacy


INCE the end of apartheid and the first free elections in 1994, South Africa has sought to balance democracy with the reality of one-party rule by the African National Congress. It has not been an easy combination. Cosseted by massive majorities, the grandees of the ANC have appropriated for themselves unjustified powers and privileges. Yet the nation has held together, an achievement largely due to the remarkable legacy of one man: Nelson Mandela. The death of South Africa’s first democratically elected president at the age of 95 is a moment of immense significance for his country and for the world. In an era of human-scale politicians, Mandela was incontrovertibly a giant, a figure who takes his place alongside the outstanding leaders of the 20th century. He was indispensable to South Africa’s transformation from apartheid to majority rule. He set an enduring example to humanity by emerging from prison after 27 years without bitterness or vengefulness. As a result, over the past two decades South Africa has travelled the path of reconciliation, not of bloodshed. Mandela’s gift to South Africa was not simply to negotiate the peaceful handover of power and to initiate the racial reconciliation that followed. His hand also guided the development of South Africa’s robust constitution, its democratic institutions and its functioning judiciary. He strived for a liberal economic policy that balanced the need for radical redistribution of wealth with the demands of economic growth. Today, however, Mandela’s legacy is not secure. South Africa faces many challenges. Its education system is failing, poverty and unemployment are rife and the mining sector – the traditional bedrock of the economy – has been hobbled by industrial unrest. In particular, a great question hangs over the ANC. Any analysis of South Africa’s post-apartheid story must recognise the scale of the challenge that its leaders faced. Yet responsibility for many of the country’s failures must also be laid at the party’s door. South Africa’s dominant political force was at the heart of the constitutional settlement that Mandela forged. Because of its role in the apartheid struggle, the ANC enjoyed enormous political legitimacy and goodwill. But throughout the past 20 years, it has remained frozen in aspic, halfway between the liberation movement it once was and the functioning political party it needs to become. By basking in Mandela’s aura, it has spared itself the need to complete the transition. As a result, the ANC is today a byword for weak leadership and cronyism. Encompassing newly enriched tycoons, liberals, racial nationalists, populists and union bosses, it struggles to present itself as a national movement. Its capacity for decisive action is crippled. Mandela’s achievement was, against great odds, to give South Africa’s racially divided society a sense of purpose, pride and unity. But his successors have failed to take this further and address the deep-seated injustices left by minority rule. The commanding heights of the economy remain dominated by the white elite. The policy of black empowerment has been cosmetic, gifting riches to a small, politically well connected group. Shockingly, South Africa is today a more unequal society in terms of income distribution than it was under apartheid. Mandela’s greatest achievement – the racial harmony the nation currently enjoys – is at risk. Intolerance has started to seep into public and private discourse. The antiwhite rantings of Julius Malema, the former ANC youth leader, are just one example of this. Mandela’s death now brings a period of mourning, one that will hopefully bring South Africans together. But his death must also usher in a period of reflection. South Africans will want to look back on the achievements of the post-apartheid era and the nation’s extraordinary capacity to accommodate diversity and foster reconciliation. But they must also look ahead to what remains undone. They must restructure the economy, radically overhaul the education system, reform land ownership and enforce a policy of redistribution that pays much more attention to the poor. The ANC alone looks increasingly unable to deliver this. The hope must be that a new political force emerges that can hold government to account and ensure politicians represent the interests of ordinary citizens. That may well require a new generation of leaders who are better able to draw inspiration from Mandela’s extraordinary story. –Financial Times

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IR: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Edo State has cashed in on a law enforcement situation which relates to a widow in the new Benin axis of the city to haul underserved diatribes on Governor Adams Oshiomhole. For months running, Edo State government had, through all known media gone out to inform citizens, particularly petty traders not to display their wares on the roads and the walk ways. It wasn’t even a case of ignorance of the law. Even in civilised climes, ignorance of the law is not an excuse to breach the law.The matter was even made worse when even War Against Indiscipline and Neighbourhood




PDP’s Greek gift Watch officials engaged to enforce government order on the ban on display of wares on the road and walkways abdicated their responsibility, necessitating in the Governor having to take the bull by the horns. If developed societies were left to run on the fringes of charity,

pity and compromise, no country of the world would have been developed. Displaying wares on the roads, apart from exposing such items to unhygienic conditions, exposes the traders to greater danger as a fastmoving vehicle could ram into

them and lead to more unpleasant situations. Edo PDP and those who toe their line of argument should not shy away from this truth. It is therefore of the essence to make Edo people understand why the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is making a mountain out of a mole

ASUU should resist FG’s threat

IR: It is heart-rending that President Jonathan’s regime has thrown all caution to the winds in its unabated offensive against the mass of working people in the latest round of attacks on democratic rights. The most bizarre is the ultimatum issued to the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to resume on or before December 9.It would be recalled that ASUU has embarked on indefinite strike to press home the demands for the full implementation of the 2009 Agreement reached with the Federal Government on improved funding of the universities to enhance better learning and working conditions in the universities. The Jonathan regime has equally demonstrated its deep disregard for democratic rights by deploying the officers of the Nigerian Police in an aberrant militarization of the campuses. To this has been added the cash-and-carry mobilization of rotten renegades in the students’ movement to undermine the struggle of the university lecturers.

It would be necessary to attempt to remedy the grave ignorance of the Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, who possibly need to be reminded of the fundamentals of labour laws in Nigeria. It is trite law that the legal right of ASUU as a trade union to strike on the conditions of service of its members has statutory flavour. Therefore a mass sack threat amount to a legal nullity. The Federal Government is in breach of the principle of


collective bargaining. While the members of ASUU need to be commended, they must remain steadfast as their struggle is genuine and pro-labour/students. However, the struggle has exceeded ASUU alone as the Jonathan regime has had the day with its rough-shod on democratic rights which have seen a wave of repression of peaceful assemblies and exercise of freedom of association. What is urgently needed is a

concerted mass mobilization strategy involving all genuine prolabour organizations in the workers’ and students’ movement as well as the trade unions to embark on a series of street protests and demonstrations to resist the planned mass retrenchment of university lecturers, militarization of university campuses and attacks on democratic rights. • Ayo’ Ademiluyi Agege, Lagos

sioner of Higher Education and Director Students, Ethics and Value, Hajiya Rekiya Jibrin Ali for their selfish personal interest. Out of Mr Kasim’s desperation to show to the whole state that he is in charge of the students’ structure, he chose to constitute an illegal caretaker committee to run the activities of association for the next one year. My piece of advice is that the Nasarawa State government should as a matter of emergency

call Muhammed Kasim to order before he dents the good image of Nasarawa State. The government should provide the necessary information to all the aggrieved contestants, demand for a thorough and independent electoral committee, not caretaker committee to conduct a fresh election into the various offices with immediate effect. I want to use this platform to draw your attention to the recent crisis in the National Youth Council of Nigeria where the former

hill. Politicising the governor’s encounter with the widow by offering her N250,000, therefore is incomprehensible and condemnable. It smacks of holding on to any available straw to escape drowning. To say the least, they are wicked, garrulous, weird, and satanic to have included such an encounter of the widow in their political calculations. If Edo PDP was as caring and loving as they want unsuspecting members of the public to begin to believe, they should start with restitution. All they looted from Edo people in over 10 locust years they governed the state should be returned to citizens. That is when Edo people would begin to take them seriously. But if they cannot, Edo citizens should see their politics with the widow as a flash in the pan. Look at what is happening at the federal level today-the Oduagate, massive corruption in the oil and gas sector, unending ASUU strike as a result of broken promises. That is why Edo people should not be carried away with PDP’s Greek Gift to the widow. It is a gift with all potentials to purge the receiver. • Dan Owegie Benin City

Open letter to Governor Almakura

IR: As a patriotic citizen of Nasarawa State who desires progress and development for the state, I deem it necessary to write you this open letter. On Friday September 6, we woke up to the sad and shocking news from Nasarawa Broadcasting Service in Lafia that the national body of Nasarawa students – the Nasarawa State Students Association (NASSA), had been dissolved by Kasim Muhammed Kasim (Special Adviser on Students Matters), Nasarawa State Commis-

Minister of Youth Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkari unilaterally selected some youth leaders in Makurdi, Benue State without election and the knowledge of President Goodluck Jonathan and the youth leaders later turned against the President which led to the sack of the minister. I am afraid the same thing might happen in Nasarawa State under your watch. • Comrade Ibrahim Kabiru Dallah, Lafia,




World, you have lost your leader. Mandela: Robben Island Prisoner 46664, RIP.


Tony Marinho

ORLD, you have lost your leader. Nelson Mandela, Madiba, Rolihlahla aka troublemaker, 18-71918 to 5-12-2013, 95, laugh, dance, smile all the while, RIP=Robben

Mandela-Rhodes Foundation successes at higher learning, every school in Africa and the world should have local ‘Mandela Prizes’ for the most Mandela-like student in each class, set, and an Annual Mandela Award. That way we may raise 200 million Mandelalets a year worldwide, just one in each school. The Mandela guidelines would include Love your enemy, Constructive engagement, sports/ games for unity, inclusive government, exemplary honesty in office, quitting when the ovation is loudest. He led, with many others who suffered and have died, and won a war against a distinctly evil system of government apartheid. But apartheid is easily recognisable as evil because it is black and white, or colour based. There are many ‘apartheids’ which escape the media microscope because they are not colour but creed, domestic, gender, ethnic, age, work or wealth related. Mandela may have lived and left a legacy that ‘could’ change the world but ‘will’ it change the world? The answer is in your hands as president, politician, parliament, people, police. Mandela has shown the world how to walk the walk on the Long Road To Freedom. Now it is your turn to continue the journey. Are you up for it or in your case did Mandela waste the example of his life, sacrifice, 27 years in Robben Island breaking rocks and his upright leadership, modesty, honesty, dress code and smile? He has gone to rest. We loved the easy way he dressed. His struggle against apartheid was our life guide. He was always on our side. And all the while there has been that generation smile. Rolihlahla aka troublemaker, we have a saying in Nigeria –trouble de sleep, yanga come wake am. In death you have raised more questions and sent several billion people soul searching for more than just the funeral arrangements. Madiba, legacies, yours and ours, are exposed on the table of life by your death. RIP Permit me to donate the rest of this column to excerpts from my work The Laterite Road related to relevant segments to our late revered Man-dela, Great Man, Good Man, Ginormous Man whose shadow has fallen comfortingly across the peoples of many of the world’s nations. On The laterite road Mandela took his long walk to imprisonment

Island Prisoner and Rest In Peace. Who does not know ‘That Name’? Yet Mandela is not a product of commercial advertisement for products for sale. Indeed Mandela has never been on sale or commercialised at the cost of billions like the ‘big brands’. But perhaps he has been on sale since the ‘Troublemaker’ days. The Mandela Price was unusual, not personal gain or 10 houses in different world capitals and billions in foreign bank dungeons. The Mandela Price has always been Freedomfor himself, his people black, his people white, his people South Africans, his people Africans, his people citizens of the world. World, you have lost your greatest most outstanding selfless leader. In our youth the memorable ones were Lumumba, JFKennedy, MLKing Jr, Che Guevara –the Tshirt silhouette icon- but they were sectional heroes, cut down in their struggle, loved or hated depending on your socialist or capitalist leanings. Mandela has been different. They could not, or dared not, cut him down. Mandela has been the closest thing we have had to a world leader, not country leader, we have had. In another age, Mandela could have so easily been the President of Africa or the President of the United Nations, meeting intergalactic legions. The people of the world and particularly the poor are the poorer for the lack of next generation Mandelas. Ever child-loving and humble, Mandela even lent his name to a Hand Washing and Toilet Use Campaign. How many Nigerian and African headmasters and principals and priests and Imams did what we saw their counterparts doing worldwide by teaching ‘Mandela-ism’ to their students and congregations? Following the T was Daniel J. Boorstin, an American Historian who in 1914, said: “Some are born great, some have greatness trust upon them and some hire public inclination in him. The young relations officers.” It is apparent Mandela was expelled from the Fort that Nelson Mandela was born Hare University after joining a stugreat. He was born into a royal lin- dent protest. He later completed his eage and at a point he lived in a royal degree at the University of South household. But by far, it was the Africa, which he followed up with a environment where he was born Law degree from Wits University. that eventually catapulted him to the He fled the Eastern Cape for pinnacle of greatness. He didn’t Johannesburg after Jongintaba need the services of any PR firm to Dalindyebo, his uncle and the leader make him great. All he needed and of the Tembu people, tried to lure which he had in abundance were him into a pre-arranged marriage. He secured a job as a night watchinestimable values which are very rare in ordinary mortals. These val- man at a mine in the city. This, probues include pragmatism, resilience, ably, was one of the best jobs a black perseverance, determination, boy like the young Mandela could strong will and character, tenacity get in a country reeling under the of purpose, sacrifice and a forgiv- heavy yoke and seething vortex of apartheid at that time. He later ing spirit, among others. From the script of his life which moved in to hibernate with Walter runs like an award-winning Holly- Sisulu, his close friend, and Sisulu’s wood movie, Mandela was always mother in Orlando, Soweto. This mindful that his leadership role in was where he met Evelyn Mase, his the liberation of South Africa from first wife, who was a nurse and apartheid might not have been pos- Sisulu’s cousin. Evelyn was the sible if he had not been imprisoned. breadwinner of the family and she This is further reinforced by supported Mandela while he studRolihlahla, his name at birth, which ied Law at Wits University where in his native Xhosa language sim- he became further involved in poliply means ”pulling the branch of tics. They had four children together the tree”. Colloquially, it also means and divorced in 1958. Mandela rose rapidly in the ranks “troublemaker”. His English name, Nelson, was given to him by a mis- of the youth wing of the African sionary schoolteacher who got star- National Congress, ANC. He was tled when he called the young versatile and cerebral. He later Mandela one day at school and formed and became the commander asked for his name. The teacher in chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the must have encountered some pains armed wing of the party which was pronouncing his African name. forced to go underground by the Hence he resorted to naming him repressive white minority governNelson, a name that stuck to him ment. He was not only the first comtill death last Thursday at the age of mander-in-chief of the armed wing, but was also, in conjunction 95 years. After this name transfiguration, with Oliver Tambo, co-founder of his life as a youth in elementary the country’s first black law school, though not properly docu- firm, Mandela & Tambo, which mented, had shown some rebellious largely rose up to the defence of


Each prayer, working day and worrisome night Terminating in nightly dreams of death, Maturing into longevity granting him, Near immortality and immunity And 27 year Robben Island solitary sanctuary And finally a long walk to freedom. Paradoxically prison healthy living Found him his oppressors, outliving. The universities of hard knocks Mark tombstones for ‘trouble’ makers And risk takers. Maula, Luzira, Babati, Kamiti, Beitbridge, Robben Island, Kirikiri, Gula, African gulags, imprisoning isles For tears, torture, Terror and termination Of innocent and guilty On the laterite road On the laterite road See Chaka Zulu’s heel, Lumumba’s sandal, Mandela’s footprint, Slaves’ enchained toes. Look upwards, The shape of the clouds Our own cloud Rushmore. Use your mind’s eyes, See Mandela, Lumumba, See Sankara, Schweitzer, Look Tutu in the face. The laterite road Led to Robben Island Prisoner RIP, but alive, Number 46664. So few returned Parting the offshore sea With their wisdom wand Traversing sand and rock To walk the last steps Bridging the divide Between slavery chains Clinking around necks and ankles Linking Nubian mountain climbs To apartheid treks. ‘No blanks. Whites only’ Obviously a ‘blank’ is not a white, On the laterite road Africa’s vine, a vascular system, Cardiac, pulsating, Connecting Cape to Horn, Alexanderia to Djibuti, Maghreb to Madagascar, Senegal’s Gory Gorée Isle to South Africa’s Robben Prison Island Rabat to Timbuktu, Lagos to Takoradi Bulaweyo to Soweto. World, you have lost your leader.

The litmus test of greatness

‘The metamorphosis and trajectory of Mandela’s life is surely a lesson for those who lead or those who aspire to lead wherever they may be’

people who were affected by apartheid laws. Mandela sneaked out of South Africa in 1962 ostensibly to garner support for the armed struggle. During this period, he received guerrilla training in Morocco and Ethiopia. He later returned to the country and had to move around incognito because his activities were becoming not only embarrassing to the apartheid government, but also a threat to its existence. One thing led to another and he was eventually arrested by security agents. The circumstances surrounding his arrest at a police roadblock outside of Howick, near Durban, remain unclear but it is believed that an American CIA agent tipped off the police about his movements. He was arraigned for trial. At the end of the trial, he was convicted of sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government. For this, he was sentenced to five years in prison. A year later, when the apartheid authorities discovered a safe house in Johannesburg linking Mandela to the sabotage campaign, he was brought out of prison again to stand yet another trial for the more serious charge of sabotage, which carried the death penalty. Mandela, along with eight others, were spared the gallows, but sentenced to life imprisonment, out of which he served 27 years. During his time in prison, Mandela was restricted to a 2m x 2.5m cell, with nothing but a bedroll on the floor and a bucket for sanitation in it. He was consigned to hard labour in a lime quarry for much of that time and was, at first, only allowed one visitor and one letter every six months. He spent 18 of his 27 years of incarceration on Robben Island. The light in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell was illuminated 24 hours a day. The apartheid government offered to release him on no less than six occasions but he rejected them each time. On one such

occasion, Mandela released a statement saying: “I cherish my own freedom dearly, but I care even more for your freedom ... What freedom am I being offered while the organization of the people [the ANC] remains banned?” Mandela wrote a memoir during the 70s and the copies were wrapped in plastic containers and buried in a vegetable garden, which he kept while at prison. His thinking was that Mac Maharaj, a fellow prisoner, who was due for release at that time, would be able to smuggle the memoir out. But the containers were discovered when prison authorities began the building of a wall through the garden. They were livid. As punishment, Mandela’s study privileges were revoked. Mararaj eventually smuggled out the transcripts at a later date. In fact, Maharaj was so creative that Mandela made him the Minister for Transportation when he became South Africa’s President in 1994 partly because of how effective he was in ‘transporting’ the documents out of prison. The ANC was labelled a terrorist organization by the apartheid government and was recognized as such by several countries, including the United States and Britain. It was only in 2008 that the United States finally removed Mandela and other ANC members from its terror list. The United Nations honoured him by declaring July 18, his birthday, Nelson Mandela International Day. This was the first time the UN dedicated a particular day to a person. Hundreds of awards and honours were bestowed on him in his lifetime. In an interview less than a year after he stepped down as the country’s first black president, Mandela shared his reflection of how prison changed him. He said that reading the biographies of great leaders who had been able to overcome their shortcomings and rise to do great things had inspired him. He said it also helped him to realise that

Dele Agekameh in every seemingly ordinary person lay the potential of greatness. “I have been surprised a great deal sometimes when I see somebody who looks less than ordinary, but when you talk to the person and (he opens his mouth, he is something) completely different,” he said. Mandela said that he had learned that when you had the moral high ground, it was better to sit down, talk to people and persuade them of the correctness of your cause. “If you have an objective in life, then you want to concentrate on that and not engage in infighting with your enemies. You want to create an atmosphere where you can move everybody toward the goal you have set for yourself,” he said. From the handwritings on the wall, it could be correctly argued that the passing on of this great son of Africa has further exposed the entire continent to the vulnerability of imperialist manipulation. And this time, not through apartheid but through economic emasculation and slavery. The metamorphosis and trajectory of Mandela’s life is surely a lesson for those who lead or those who aspire to lead wherever they may be. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



COMMENTS ‘If I enter a bus and discover soon after that it has a bad engine and so cannot go the distance, it behoves on me to disembark to save my neck and obviate collateral damage, regardless of who the driver of the car is. We must all commend the defectors. However, could they be relied on to stand firm, if firmness was likely to be unpopular? The question is relevant because there is no knowing to what they may be led by circumstance. From Adegoke O O, Ikhin, Edo State’


For Olatunji Dare Sir, If I enter a bus and discover soon after that it has a bad engine and so cannot go the distance, it behoves on me to disembark to save my neck and obviate collateral damage, regardless of who the driver of the car is. We must all commend the defectors. However, could they be relied on to stand firm, if firmness was likely to be unpopular? The question is relevant because there is no knowing to what they may be led by circumstance. From Adegoke O O, Ikhin, Edo State. Their coming together was not for internal struggle but to confront a common foe which is PDP and together with its corrupt political regime. With time Nigerians would understand if Jonathan is threatened with an impeachment. From Akin Malaolu Prof, your ‘’New turn in Nigerian politics’’ was good as usual. However, your ‘one long sentence’ paragraphs can be confusing or too cumbersome to comprehend by your less privileged fan’s club members. From Temitope Vincent, Akure. The rabid disdain that the core northerner has for the minority southerner in power is becoming evident with the unguarded utterances of their political elites who, in the past had enjoyed the total loyalty of the southerner when the former was in power. The comments of Junaid Mohammed is an echo of what Mohammadu Buhari said before the 2011 elections. The Bible says that those that seek our blood to drink, shall of their blood drink like sweet wine. Those who seek to eat our flesh, shall eat their own flesh like bread. This country is not the exclusive monopoly of a single ethnic nationality. It belongs to us all. Goodluck Jonathan has as much right as any other person to aspire to the highest political office in the land. An incumbent president cannot be harassed to give up his right. Not even by Junaid Mohammed. Our leaders, whether from the North or South, should show circumspection in their utterances. This is the least they owe this country. Anonymous The issue of Kwara State politics cannot be over emphasized. I have two questions: One; will Belgore place himself under Bukola? Two; will Bukola recognize Belgore and other party members before him at all? As for me, there is no change in the state politics because Bukola dumped PDP for selfish reasons simply because he was not given the presidential ticket in 2011. I pray Allah deliver Kwara State. From Bayo, Federal Poly,Offa. Every Nigerian should be commending the two leaders in APC in the persons of Buhari and Tinubu for the courage and bold steps they have taken in making sure Nigerians are free from the hands of this present evil leaders. The duo should put personal intrest behind them

so that this movement can be sustained. From Hamza Ozi Momoh Apapa Lagos Junaid’s comments can’t be compared to previous comments by Asari Dokubo on the same issue.The doctor’s comments seem petty compared to Alhaji Dokubo’s. Besides his comments seem to have the tactit support of the government of the day. Above all these political machinations and shadow boxing, please fellow Nigerians, leadership is from God and a people get the leadership they deserve. Thank you. A. B. Suleiman, Abuja. Re-New turn in Nigerian Politics. The manner it is, Implosion and Defection should be the norm for a standardized society, to achieve justice, fairness and discipline! The Defectors, Tukur and Co. were both guilty of indiscipline and poor crisis management respectively! While the defectors wanted to dictate who should be the party chairman, Tukur wanted power at all costs, hence was mindless of the resolution. Surprisingly, the APC did not mind the influx of the defectors whom inter alia, were regarded as non-progressives. That points to one thing that, in Nigeria, selfish interest rather than cleansing the society in the interest of the masses is uppermost in minds of both the self acclaimed progressives and the conservatives. Let us keep watching Nigeria. To me, nothing spectacular that will grow Nigeria had happened. From Lanre Oseni. Dare, when we talk about ideology, all political parties in Nigeria have none than looting the treasury for their self-satisfaction. It does not matter how many are glued together under whatever name, the objective is the same. Your effort at pegging inefficiency on PDP alone in “New turn in Nigerian politics” is untenable because it runs counter to the position in polity. The lobby by APC to absorb PDP dissident members proves the likeness in their ideological thrust. Your expectation that the influx of PDP members into APC would bring transformation is rather ambitious. In fact APC has been infested with a killing virus by the simple absorption of PDP dissidents. Dare, when in Nigeria has any coalition worked? Was it at independence or thereafter? And which axis has always lost out than South-west? APC is a marriage of unstable convenience and may be consumed by its self-made inconviniences. From Lai Ashadele. I wish you could feel the pains and frustration of true Igbo sons and daughters of Anambra State going by that daylight robbery called governorship election in the state.The raw truth is that APGA is a party of ethnic warlords, who have been deceiving the people of the South-east that it is their party, whereas they are using it to feather their political and economic nest to the detriment of the people of the region. Whosoever that convinced INEC to rig the election for APGA is criminally creative and many steps ahead of the people, who had wanted to use that opportunity to bury that branch of the PDP that has brought so much agony to the people. From Ifeanyi O. Abuja. For Segun Gbadegesin Re: “A more urgent summit.” I do not think we are going to get together, after

all, to discuss the political and economic problems affecting us because the President who mooted the idea of this meeting having originally rejected the clamour has no time now for national issues. The euphoria has died down. What is in the mind of the President and his party right now, is how to rescue the party from total collapse. The defection of the G-5 governors to the opposition party was a big blow to them. They are planning to cause problems for these governors in their respective states. This is a big challenge for the administration than a summit needed only to buy time and cause delay in the 2015 general election. I will advise that we get prepared to be part of the summit when the time comes, as it will be suicidal politically for the Southwest not to participate in the summit that will move the nation forward, as a wide range of economic and political issues are begging for attention. Ww must meet urgently to discuss, profer solutions to rescue the nation from disintergration.From Prince Adewumi Agunloye. You said it all.What is there to add other than to agree with you that a panNigerian national dialogue/conference which is not preceeded by internal dialogue/deep reflection or introspection within the diverse nationalities or subnational groups that make up Nigeria or a pan-Nigeria dialogue/conference which does not incorporate such will have limited chance of success. Another matter is that of the Centenary celebrations. Have you noticed how this has already been mishandled? This is a rare opportunity to mobilize and galvanize Nigerians to nation-hood, but the masses, grassroots are not involved. No grassroots,masses involvement or mobilization. It has been reduced to an Abuja affair. Anonymous. Dear Segun, this is in response to your write up in today’s The Nation. Let me say here that the article is a very briliant one, and the contents are very explicit enough as you have driven home the points as if you are speaking the minds of Nigerians (non gulible ones of course). Let us all wait and see what the outcome of the game plan will be. More grease to your elbow. From Ibrahim Adejare. For Tunji Adegboyega Dear Tunji, your article on Dr Junaid Mohammed is good. I agree with you that the Niger Delta deserves two terms like any other zone. But I wonder if Dr Jonathan is ‘technically’ qualified to deliver the second term for them. Remember that by the end of this current tern in May, 2015, he will have served for five years as president. Since the constitution does not permit any one to serve for more than eight years in aggregate, his election for another term will give him a total of nine years – which is unconstitutional. Ipso facto, it would not be right for INEC to clear Dr Jonathan for another term, which will keep him in office for longer than the eight allowed eight years. In that case, it is only sensible for his party to find another candidate from the Niger Delta to contest for them in place of the incapacitated Jonathan. One other issue, please check

• Junaid Mohammed

again, Jonathan is not the first graduate president . Please note that all graduates of NDA are equivalent university graduates. Only Aguiyi-Ironsi was not an NDA graduate among former military heads of state. Nevertheless, Jonathan’s own predecessor, Yar’Adua was a graduate. In any case, as much as a university degree is indicative of a person’s intellectual capacity, remember that the most famous wartime British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill only had a primary school leaving certificate. From Musa Dauda, 5, Kobi Street, Bauchi. Mohammed ought to have been arraigned for inciting statement … Northern moslems want the presidency now, for about 40 years, moslems ruled Nigeria. Can you attribute the underdevelopment in the north to Jonathan? About 95 per cent of street beggars in Nigeria are northerners. Our four refineries fell into disuse, just as our national assets like PHCN, NITEL, Nigeria Airways, NNSL, etc, became moribund under northern leaders. Mohammed tagged Joe ‘nincompoop’ i.e. a stupid person, a fool? A president? Haba! What does the north want? Power to allocate oil blocks that God has not given them? From Austin. Mr Adegboyega, I am still reading your piece titled “No, Junaid Mohammed, no!”and I sincerely feel like vomiting. Dr Junaid Mohammed has just called for bloodshed if his party loses like General Buhari did when he lost the last presidential electionand you caress that position? GEJ elected by majority of Nigerians who may not necessarily be living in your neighbourhood. Stop being parochial and narrow-minded From Emma Dike. Does it mean Junaid Mohammed has not learnt any lesson for the past two to three years now? I see him as a very weak person for saying if Jonathan runs there will be blood on the streets. A strategist does not make noise, he sits down and watch and strategise on how to strike and succeed. Everybody knows that Jonathan is a failure, but we should not capitalize on that to call for bloodshed because it will add more injury to the system. From Hamza Ozi, Apapa, Lagos. Present woes. Today in Nigeria, corruption has gotten hold of the government and it is obvious Nigerians are praying for his exit for his weak grip on Nigeria sooner than later. From Akin Malaolu. Your comment today (Sunday) was another masterpiece. Fourteen years out of 60 and we are like this.. Two more years, Nigeria is finished. Thank you for the good work. From Festus. Tunji, I read your interesting and fascinating article in The Nation. Please continue to enlighten Nigerians on the need to dislodge the PDP on the basis of ideology, not sentiment. Thanks. From Alhassan, Jos.






Lagos creates health agency to fight quackery C

AN you beat this? A doctor was caught instructing his nurses on how to treat malaria in his absence. At another clinic, there was no case file of a patient who had undergone surgery the previous day, for appendicitis. When health monitoring officials got there, they were shocked to find out that the patient was neither on drip nor under any medical observation. The auxiliary nurses on duty were busy doing other things. These are few examples of unprofessional practices and medical negligence in Lagos State. Can Lagos stamp out quackery in medical practice? The answer may not be “Yes”, but the state has set up the Health Ministry, Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA),to tackle the menace. At a sensitisation meeting with stakeholders, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, reeled the complaints and cases his ministry has received and how it is handling same. He said: "It is no longer business as usual, but business as unusual for all players in the healthcare

Stories by Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha

delivery sector in the state to ensure ethics and standard in the medical profession are maintained. One death is too many. That is why we are restrategising to serve patients better, be in private or public hospitals. No sacred cows. If there are few functional facilities in the state that would guarantee life, the citizenry will be better for it, than a plethora of facilities, with astounding death rates. Patients and their relations should be happy with services rendered in facilities, rather than lose life or discharged worse than when they came in." On what the government has done to ensure sanity in medical practice, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health Dr. Yewande Adeshina said HEFAMAA was the only regulatory agency to accredit locations where quality healthcare services are rendered, be it preventive or curative. "The HEFAMAA stakeholders' meeting is meant to be an eye opener to see how many health

providers are in darkness as to what the roles of HEFAMAA are and how grey issues concerning its activities can be addressed. The first stakeholders' meeting which took place four months ago was very encouraging as it opened up windows, doors and avenues of interaction between HEFAMAA and all her clients on how to move the health sector forward," she stated. Dr Adeshina said the clarification on registration of health facility was necessary against backdrop of the need to dispel the misconception about those empowered by law to register health facilities. She said: "The health facility monitoring and accreditation agency (HEFAMAA) was established in March 2006 by the Health Sector Reform Law of 2006. It took over the activities of the private hospital registration authority which has been in existence since 1983. The Agency performs it regulatory functions to ensure that the minimum set standard by law are maintained thereby securing the safety of lives of the citizenry".

HEFAMAA, she said was charged with registration of clinics, hospitals, maternity homes, convalescent homes, laboratories, diagnostic centres and mortuaries. Dr Adesina said plans were afoot to set up e-HEFAMMA the electronic version of HEFAMAA that would enable health providers register, pay and make changes online without having to come to HEFAMAA office at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa every time they need to make any adjustment in their paper works. She said: “The agency is not established to witchhunt anybody, but to regulate the activities of providers to meet up with the minimum set standards by law to ensure healthy citizenry." HEFAMAA Chairman, Dr. Tayo Bello expressed displeasure at clients’ treatment by some health care providers, saying the time has come when health providers should pay special attention and emphasis on improving attitude towards clients. "We have incidence where pa-

How doctors can help medical students grow


•President, SOGON, Lagos Sector, Dr Oluwarotimi Akinola presenting Dr. Ajayi his award.

tients complained of un-courteous attendance at both private and public health facilities. There is the case of a private facility that refused to attend to a stabbed security guard who was bleeding profusely until a deposit was paid, this trend is worrisome and HEFAMMA frowns at this". Bello said there were cases where a facility was registered as a clinic and the operator opened another branch without the knowledge of HEFAMAA and was operating a full-fledged hospital and maternity centre, stressing that the aesthetic look of some facilities speaks volume in terms of dirtiness and very awkward arrangements. "It is unfortunate that barely four months after we had the first stakeholders meeting when we rubbed minds as to how we can move the health industry in the State forward, some health facilities and operators have not changed for the better as evident in worst scenario of events recorded in their facilities," the Chairman said.

LDER doctors have been advised to help medical students to realise their

dreams. Receiving an award from the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (SOGON), Chief Executive Officer, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr Abayomi Ajayi said: “We need to give them a sense of calling- a sense of purpose. Money is one very important, and very natural reason to pursue the profession; let’s not denigrate that, in light of the fact that our culture holds up for hero worship for so many who are wealthy, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Beyonce, LeBron James and others, we need not be ashamed that we work hard, and do hard and often dangerous things, and are rewarded. “I speak from experience, when I say that faith may often be the only source of strength in this profession. We must use our wisdom and experience to smooth the paths for aspiring physicians, otherwise we harm the future generations who will lack new cures, new drugs, new procedures and fresh faces of compassion. And we may, inadvertently, harm our own descendants, who might find themselves

•From left: Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA) Official, Dr Oladipupo Fisher; Secretary, Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), Dr Adebukola S. Adebayo; Co-ordinator, NAB HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) project, Ejiro Sharon Okotie and Olufunke Osindele of Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) at a Roundtable on “Equalise it: The Visually impaired and HIV/AIDS intervention,” organised by JAAIDS. PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA

suffering with no one to intervene.” To his contemporaries, Dr Abayomi said: “Three things are important- Leaving your comfort zone; Synergy for better growth and Stewardship. No doubt, we are good at what we do, but medicine and the world is changing. Learning new skills is imperative both in medicine and outside medicine. “The area of endoscopy is the new trend in the world, learn it. I look forward to the first robot in Nigeria. We have been trained to be one man army but the world has moved on. Very little can anyone achieve alone hence you need people’s skills. “Dale Carnegie said for a profession to be successful, you need 20 per cent professional skills and 80 per cent people’s skills. In other words, you need to make other people work for you. “We need to work together. If one takes a look at Lagos, every major street is littered with clinics, most of them not viable. Why can’t doctors join forces to open big hospitals instead of everyone wanting to be the MD? The world is a global village so one man can’t survive without synergy today. Institutions must work together, that way, the idea of Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) should work out very well for all like banks and others. “According to the 36th U.S President, Lyndon B. Johnson (19081973); there are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” He said: “On the last nugget, I will say, Stewardship means being good managers of the resources that we have earned and that life has given us. As good stewards, we know that when we choose to spend our time or money there are always opportunities foregone. We consider our choices and we use our resources in keeping with our values and life mission. “Stewardship means that we weigh not only our own needs and desires but those of other people and future generations. We realise that none of us is a self-made person and that part of what we own is wealth that flows from others through us,” he said. The National President, SOGON, Dr Fred Achem, said the recipient was chosen for the award because, “of his contributions and achievements in his preferred field of specialisation- assisted reproductive health (ARH).”




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‘We can create a university that is self-sufficient’

•Aare Babalola


Yuguda is Obasayero of Oyo Empire – Page 27

‘Botswana, Botswana, so good I call you twice’ – Page 38



The Midweek Magazine


‘We can create a university that is self-sufficient’

•A building in the university

The growth of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti founded four years ago, has been described as a ‘miracle plus magic’. Its founder and legal icon, Aare Afe Babalola, spoke on what encouraged him to establish the university. OZOLUA UHAKHEME and KUNLE AKINRINADE report.


OR about an hour, the Board of Trustees’ (BOT), meeting of the Afe Babalola University, AdoEkiti was ‘disrupted’ last Saturday. The meeting that was chaired by the legal icon and founder of the university, Aare Afe Babalola was put on hold to receive 26 journalists led by Prof Raph Akinfeleye (chairman, Panel of Assessors) who were on tour of the university as part of events leading to this year’s grand presentation ceremony of Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) held at Ado-Ekiti. Despite the interruption, Aare Babalola, who described the media as his friend, shared his views on how a university can be run without undue dependence on government grants. He said his experiences at the University of Lagos as pro-chancellor encouraged him a great deal to establish his university that would change the world at Ado Ekiti. He said that as pro-chancellor of UNILAG, he encouraged participatory leadership that is also by example, adding that he donated his allowances to the university while he was there. He noted that today, the University of Lagos is better off in terms of revenue generation unlike other universities. “My experiences as pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos are what encouraged me to establish the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) that would change the world. In fact, from my experiences at UNILAG, we can create a university that is self-sufficient. And that is what I have done here at ABUAD. I brought a lot of my clients to help in the development of UNILAG infrastructure and it helped in boosting the internally generated revenue of the varsity with, which the school was able to pay salaries without waiting for government grants,” he said. He said one of such strategies he adopted at ABUAD was the establishment of the university farm to serve as regular source of food for the students. “In the case of ABUAD, the school farm alone boasts of 85 fish ponds with about 5000 fishes each while my personal farm, which I have since donated to the university, has about 500 fish ponds with 5000 fishes each. We have bakery, we grow and process moringa olifera, a herbal drug, we grow pawpaw, mango, among other crops,” he said. He disclosed that ABUAD, which is designed as a world-

•Aare Babalola and wife,Yeye Aare Modupe

LIFE changing university, is being acknowledged by world agencies such as United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as one of the prestigious private universities in Africa capable of providing a solid contribution to educational growth. UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General in Abuja, Lalla Aicha Ben Barka in a letter dated November 14, 2013 urged ABUAD to explore collaboration with UNESCO on issues related to education, particularly on flagship programme 2 on Strengthening education systems for sustainable development in Africa: improving equity, quality and relevance. Barka described ABUAD as one of the prestigious private

universities in Arica that would provide a solid contribution to education, on these issues in collaboration with UNESCO. “We would also explore the possibility to publicise UNESCOABUAD initiatives on our website, portraying the university as one of the shining beacons of excellence in its endeavour to be one of the best universities in Africa and the world,” he said. Aare Babalola however urged media practitioners to give prominence to people who have contributed immensely to humanity and do away with giving prominence to stories about the activities of violent groups. Continuing, he said: “Although, the notice of your visit was rather short, but the media is my friend. There is a story of a British parliamentarian that insulted everyone, including the Queen of England. When he was asked who he feared most, he said the media because published messages travel far beyond where you can get to”.



The Midweek Magazine Yuguda is Obasayero of Oyo Empire



HATEVER yardstick one uses to assess Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, the conclusion is that he is a man whose consistency in anything he does produces remarkable results. While many achieve greatness through inheritance, Yuguda’s achievements in life are a product of sound vision, hard-work, dedication, and above all, the fear of God. In appreciation of these sterling qualities, Bauchi State was literarily grounded last Saturday, as the cross-section of residents and indigenes stormed the ancient town of Oyo to witness the historic conferment of a chieftaincy title on the governor by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi. Yuguda was installed as Obasayero of Oyo Empire. His four wives were also installed with chieftaincy titles as well. The chieftaincy title covers not only all Yoruba speaking States in the country, but extends to other countries such as Benin Republic, which form part of the old Oyo Empire. Among eminent personalities that attended the event were the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, his wife, Florence, former Governor of the State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, Speaker, State House of Assembly, Alhaja Monsurat Sunmonu, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Akin Olujinmi, as well as traditional rulers from Oyo and Osun States. The Sultan of Sokoto, Emirs of Kano, Lafia, and Katsina were ably represented at the occasion. The Alaafin said that the Obasayero (the upholder of the world) of Oyo Empire is number seven on the principal list of traditional chieftaincy titles in Oyo Empire, noting that it is a very significant title. At page 61 in the classical book-The History of The Yoruba written by Reverend Samuel Johnson, first published in 1911, the roles of Obasayero was further enunciated. He added that the last holder of the title was the Late Chief Babashola Rhodes SAN, an eminent Lagos lawyer, adding that the last chieftaincy title he conferred was in 2008, when Aare Afe Babalola was conferred with Aare Bamofin of Yoruba land, which buttresses the fact that Alaafin rarely confers chieftaincy titles and whenever he does, it is only to somebody that justifiably merits the position. The paramount ruler observed that with all certainty, Governor Isa Yuguda is a complete re-incarnation of his forebear, the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. “Like Balewa that was also popularly known as ‘Balewa the good’ and the man with the golden voice coupled with his performances that were outstandingly brilliant to the extent that the British press described him as disarmingly patient and reasonable. The striking resemblance with the late Prime Minister gives me every confidence to believe that Mallam Isa Yuguda will continue to ascend higher heights and live to old age insha Allah,” he said. Continuing, he added: “Yuguda is today being admitted into the pantheon of Yoruba political mystery on personal merit and recognition of what he represents as the Executive Governor of Bauchi State in Northern Nigeria. The historical linkages between Yorubaland and Hausa/Fulani land are multi-dimensional and inter-penetrating. Bauchi especially, occupies a special place in the sense that a good number of Yoruba people have made it their home. Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Prime Minister of Nigeria better known also as the Right Honourable Gentleman and whose political mantle, has fallen on Alhaji Isa Yuguda, re-defined relationship between Bauchi and Yorubaland. “His personal physician and confidant was Dr. Moses Olukoye Majekodunmi, and his trusted friend and confidant was Sir. Adetokunbo Ademola, the son of Oba Ademola, the Alake of Egbaland who mentored me. I lived with him in the Royal Palace at Ake, Abeokuta at a tender age and was also with him on exile to Osogbo, after the Egba Women Riot of 1948. What we are doing today is a confirmation of our kindred spirit and age-old diplomatic relationship between us.’’

•Speaker, Oyo House of Assembly, Alhaja Monsurat Sunmonu, Gov. Ajimobi, Alaafin Gov. Yuguda and one of his wives Abiodun

•Some Yoruba Obas, including the Alaafin pointing their staff of office at the new Obasayero of Oyo empire.. From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

CULTURE Describing the conferment of traditional chieftaincy title on Yuguda as a reflection of a beautiful handshake across the Niger, Alaafin noted that it is his pleasure on behalf of the people of Oyo Empire ‘to honour a truly self-made man, a patriot, a tireless and hardworking man, a statesman, a courageous and dedicated man, a philanthropic accomplished at home and abroad, a caring and kind leader known for his candour and high intellect, with the prestigious title of Obasayero of Oyo Empire and his amiable and adorable wives as Hajiya Aisha Yuguda (Yeyeloyin Obasayero), Hajiya Mariam Yuguda (Yeyeniwura Obasayero), Hajiya Abiodun Hauwa Yuguda (Yeye Obasayero), and Hajiya Nafisat Yuguda (Yeyedunni Obasayero) .’’ Responding, Yuguda said that as a government ‘we are of the view that Nigeria must continue to survive as a united, sovereign, indivisible nation living in peace and economic prosperity. As a practical demonstration of this stand, our government has abolished contract appointment

for Nigerians from other states. All Nigerians irrespective of their states of origin are now given permanent appointment in Bauchi State. Furthermore, we have offered political appointments ranging from Personal Assistants to Advisers to fifty Nigerians from other states across the country.’ While appreciating the roles of traditional rulers not only as custodians of culture and tradition, but also in the maintenance of law and order especially at the grassroots, Yuguda hinted that the state government has been providing traditional rulers in the state the necessary support to perform their duties effectively. He said government has created additional districts and village areas to ensure effective coverage of the State by traditional administration. “As a holder of your (Alaafin) traditional title, I want to assure you of my unalloyed loyalty and cooperation. I would always strive to give you constructive and honest advice whenever the need arises. May God continues to give your Imperial Majesty good health, more wisdom and long life on the throne of your fore-fathers to continue to lead your people with sense of justice, fairness and courage,’’ he assured.

Rejuvenation: Kafaru’s rescue mission


ORRIED by the seeming fading of the Yoruba culture, one of Nigeria’s modern artists, Kafaru Abiodun is directing his research efforts at restoring the lost values of Yoruba culture. At the Yusuf Grillo Art Gallery, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Kafaru is holding a solo art exhibition entitled ‘Rejuvenation of Yoruba Artistic Ontology, to re-awaken the interest in Yoruba artistic culture. The exhibition is to reconstruct and restore lost artistic Yoruba culture through the ages into modern mediated forms. It is featuring paintings that portray the aesthetic values of Yoruba culture. Kafaru who has always been influenced by the Yoruba culture finds it disturbing to see the rich artistic values of the Yoruba culture fading away. This evoked the studio work created in his research that consist of paintings and drawings inspired by symbols, signs, patterns and motifs of the Yoruba art forms. This has been his intellectual and artistic concern in the last two years at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom. This allured him to dig deep into the worldview and cosmology of the Yoruba artistic ontology and its ongoing rejuvenation. The artist who has created mixed media paintings from major Yoruba art forms said ‘my aim is to explore traditional Yoruba art forms effectively in contemporary context.’ Kafaru said of his goal: “This kind

By Tosin Ogungbo

VISUAL ART of research is commendable and is obligatory to all art lovers to enable us preserve and produce a legacy that is enduring for future generations”. As an artist of both impressive and expressive tendencies, his works have been characterised by undetailed representation of their subject matter, which he makes use of the light effects on objects to achieve spontaneity. He has a penchant for managing restless movements of multiple strokes, yet as multiple as these strokes are, they are usually organised such that their colours and forms are synchronized into a luminous whole. He has always successfully projected his immediate environment and culture and messages, this exhibition is not an exception. Dr. Kunle Adeyemi, a lecturer at the School of Art and Design, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos described the programme as an exhibition with a difference because of its philosophical inclusion and cultural rejuvenating motive. Ibikunle who gave the introductory speech went on charging artists to fill into the academia and try making new findings because “there is always something new to learn as tastes changes, new technologies appear and more importantly visual arts dynamism”, he said.

•One of Kafaru’s paintings



The Midweek Magazine


‘How I became the Oba of Yorubaland in Rivers State’

Obadare Mausoleum: Unique tourists’ haven


After spending 20 years in Rivers State, Obey Makanju Akin, was crowned as His Royal Highness, the Eze Emene of Ekpeye Kingdom in Rivers State, writes TAIWO ABIODUN.


RESSED in royal regalia, he swings his royal staff, adjusts his cap with beads dangling on his neck and on his wrists. Obey Makanju Akin waves his fly whisk to respond to greetings. He is happy and did not hide it. He is proud to have achieved, for he left home without beads, but returned home with one of the most honourable titles, the Eze Emene Yoruba in Ekpeye Kingdom in far away in Rivers State that has over 50 communities under it. Today, he is referred to as His Royal Highness in Rivers State as he dines and wines with first class monarchs in the state. According to Akin, this is one honour he never expected in his life. “To become a king in Rivers State is not easy .I never thought of becoming a chief not to talk of a King. It was based on merit. You must have been living in the community for years with good record before you are conferred any title not to talk of a king,” he said. The 44-year-old Yoruba king, who is from a royal family in Owo, Ondo State, said he had spent 20 years in Ekpeye Community before he was conferred the title. On how he became the king of the Yorubas, he said: “I have lived in Ekpeye Kingdom in Rivers State since 1993. I attended University of Port Harcourt where I studied Sociology, graduating in 2004. I am a business tycoon and had been involved in the development of the community and lots of philanthropic works. For example, I assist the needy by paying school fees of some children; cater for the sick, among others. Based on this I was given the title.” According to Akin, the search for new Eze Emene started when the former one died in 2011 due to old age.”The former one was a retired Military officer and had been there since 60s before he died.The community prayed, consulted clergymen, consulted oracles and divination before I was invited, later a letter was sent to me that I had been conferred the title by the Logbo Ekpeye In Council in conjunction with Ekpeye Council of Traditional Rulers and chiefs , the letter was signed by His Majesty Eze Robinson .O.Robinson the Eze Ekpeye Logbo of Ekpeye Land.” The new Yoruba king, HRH Eze Ekpeye, said he plans to promote and foster unity among the Yoruba and the Rivers indigenes in the state. This place will be great by God’s grace. I am planning to build our palace; I will contact the Olowo of

• Eze Emene Owo, Ooni Of Ife, Osemawe of Ondo, Olubadan of Ibadan who will give me moral support and advice on how to do all these things. We are going to have a Yoruba museum that will make us proud while this place will be a tourist center.” On why he is called Mungo Park, he said: “It is the Yoruba community members who started calling me many names, some called me MKO, and some said I am Mungo Park; but I told them that Mungo Park discovered River Niger but I thank God I am appreciated. They said I have milk of kindness in me and some said I have contributed immensely to the development of Yorubas in the area. The Yoruba communities, who are in their thousands here, are progressing; they are not dubious as they maintain their integrity anywhere they go.” On the roles of his new position , he said: “I am an Ambassador of Yorubas here. I make sure no one flouts the rules and laws, we put so many things in order in order to live peacefully and in harmonious community. According to Akin Bori, there are about five kingdoms in the area, but we have about 77 villages ruled by His Majesty Robinson and Robinson, who is the Eze Ekpeye Logbo. “I ascended the throne last month, to be precise , October 17, when a letter was given to me.The Eze Ekpeye is like the Ooni Of Ife in Yoruba Kingdom. But we, the Yoruba speaking community, are great people and great tribe there. They don’t discriminate as we also fight for their cause. I was among those who welcomed the late Gani Fawehinmi when he came to fight for the Ogoni, and Ken Saro Wiwa. I am an activist too. I fought for Saro Wiwa’s release. I fought for the Environmental pollution. I am ready to die for the Rivers community, and I thank God that we are appreciated .And the struggle continues .I don’t know the difference between Igala, Hausa, Beriberi, Igbo for I believe we are all one, so we need to fight for emancipation of everybody. I love Adaka Boro and Saro Wiwa and I celebrate the two every year!”

Mbanefo slams oil firms over Oloibiriiri

HE multi-million naira mausoleum at Ileki-Ijesa, Osun State constructed by Osun State government as burial ground for the late Prophet Timothy Oluwole Obadare will soon become a research centre on the life and works of the late renowned televanglist. First son of the late leader of World Soul Winning Evangelistic Ministry (WOSEM), Pastor Paul Obadare said that the mausoleum would house an exhibition hall, audiovisual room and a library that will display most of Obadare’s books, CDs and other personal effects. He noted that the centre would be opened to missionaries where Christian books, journals and other publications would be kept. He disclosed that the ministry is also working on plans to establish a university at the camp ground situated along Ilesha- Akure Express road. He said the mausoleum was designed from different architectures of top monuments from across the globe that will give a befitting image and rest place for the late evangelist. “In fact, this is a home for Baba. The project means a lot to the church and Baba in particular because we believe that other spiritual leaders will join in the home-coming as many leaders don’t get closer home enough. Until his death in March, Baba was always home while celebrating Xmas or the convention,” Pastor Obadare said. He disclosed that the mausoleum, which would soon be opened to the public, would be at the centre of the church primary goal of educating its followers, especially those in the grassroots. “For now, the church is primarily concerned with educating its followers who are mainly grassroots,” he added. Asked of his preparedness to lead the church, he responded philosophically, saying: ‘Just pray for me.’ Pastor Obadare, who studied in •Pastor Obadare United Kingdom and United States with multiple postgraduate degrees in theology and counselling, is spiritually ready to steer the affairs of the ministry to greater height. Since its completion, the mausoleum has become a Mecca of a sort for many Christians who visit the centre for prayers to God. The late Prophet Obadare died on March 21, and was buried in August, this year. The Osun State government gave the family of the late evangelist N35million to facilitate the burial ceremony as well as the construction of the mausoleum.

Celebration of African beauty



HE Director–General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Mrs. Sally Uwechue– Mbanefo, has slammed oil and gas companies in Nigeria for their gross neglect and abuse of Oloibiri - the first community where oil was struck in Nigeria, as observed from her recent domestic tourism asset authentication visit to Yenagoa, Bayesla State. Mrs. Mbanefo who was a special guest at the public presentation of Memories of the Niger Delta Slave Routes, a book published by Centre for Promotion of Peace , Tourism , Arts and Culture (CEPTAC) in association with River State Ministry of Culture and Tourism at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, said: “This major beneficiaries of the largesse of tourism activities have deliberately or otherwise refused to contribute to the development of tourism in Nigeria.” She noted that it is sad that none of the oil majors, which make and declare billions of dollars profits every year in Nigeria has thought it right to consider the enhancement of Oloibiri into a befitting site where tourists and historians will love to visit. “It is a crime on the part of the oil companies against Nigeria and the tourism sector to have forsaken and abandoned the very source, origin and beginning of their lucrative business. I felt very bad at the parlous state of Oloibiri with its weather beaten old hand rig, which is supposed to be kept, preserved and conserved for this generation and generations yet unborn. The oil companies have been unfair to the tourism sector which daily facilitates, lubricates and ensure that they are in business by keeping the major types of transportation busy through patronages and servicing,” she added. She wondered ‘how will the oil majors continue to make big profit every year if the tourism sector decides to shut down activities or slow down in its fast tempo of posturing? How will the oil companies make good business if many people stay at their areas of domicile without patronising those units which consume oil for operation? Can‘t we all appreciate the import of tourism as a symbiotic appendage to oil sector? Can we see how prices drop whenever there is crisis or chaos on the global scene? She said time has come for the oil companies to make a

• Mrs Uwechue-Mbanefo

ADVOCACY bold statement in the tourism sector by enhancing the status of Oloibiri where the first oil was struck in Yenagoa. Mrs. Mbanefo assured the stakeholders at the forum that the NTDC has re-positioned itself properly to address the inequalities and maladjustment that have been inflicting the sector. “We have determined this time around at ensuring the enlisting and engaging of all necessary hands on deck at making domestic tourism thrive, grow and blossom for the benefits of Nigeria. The oil companies will not be excluded.” Mrs Mbanefo, who was among those honoured by CEPTAC, was described by Chief Mike Amachree, President of CEPTAC as ‘an epitome of humility and a lady who within a few months in the saddle has been able to rescue the private tourism sector from the abyss of relegation, which her predecessor had consigned us.’ Chief Amachree said: “Within these few months, this lady has demonstrated her robust sense of understanding of the sector and showed that tourism development is not about making the whole noise on the pages of newspapers, but building the sector through the domestic angle with the stakeholders being carried along.”

By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)

By Udemma Chukwuma

OSEPH Olatunji Ogunlowo’s name may not ring any bell within Lagos exhibition circuit. But his art works are collec tors’ items, especially among foreign diplomats. His wood works which are both functional and decorative are creatively embellished with iconic images that depict everyday life of the people and the natural environment. Last week, his first solo art exhibition, Re-Awakening, held at the National Museum Onikan, Lagos showcased wood pieces, which capture people in celebration mood and animals ranging from giraffe, hippopotamus, elephants and tortoise. Other works include bust of female figure, storage boxes, mirror flower frames, bead brass centre table, lion, and masks of deferent sizes among others. “My focus in the exhibition is to re-awake the beauty of African pride (woodcarving), develop functional wood work to an enviable level where everybody in the country will appreciate art, most especially the elites. To that extent, get more young people involved thereby reducing the level of unemployment in our society,” Ogunlowo said. He noted that many Africans have myopic mind set toward art thus believing that artists who use wood as a medium, do nothing but carve woods. “They fail to see the meaning behind the artist’s works. This is why westerners utilise the opportunities in art profession more than Africans who have it as our inheritance. Thanks to some collectors who traveled abroad and saw the value of our wood works and had change of mind to patronise us,” he said. The finishing and intricate design of his works are unique with overflowing curves, threads, lines and grooves that highlight the beauty of the three-dimensional pieces. The texture of the wood further makes the works more attractive to viewers. One of the works rendered in ebony wood, a portrait of a woman titled: Ebony Queen is an example of such work every viewer is tempted to look many times over. When asked if there was any philosophy behind the piece, the artist said the piece represents the true beauty of an African woman. “I called this work Ebony Queen because artists create works from imagination. I created this piece with king ebony wood because African beauties are black, and I didn’t want to carve just an image that is why I made it a portrait,” he said. Another piece which could not be ignored is a tall piece, measuring about 103inchs, titled: Celebration of Iyemoja. It’s a celebration of the virtuous woman, especially in Yoruba land. “The Yoruba believe in Iyemoja because they see her as a caring mother, which her children can run to and seek children, favour, wealth and other things from her when the need occurs.”



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


E-mail:- Stories by Taofik Salako

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

NSE queries 53 stockbrokers over dealing status


HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has commenced the process to determine the propriety of dealing licence of 53 stockbroking firms, a development that may lead to withdrawal of operating licence of erring stockbroking firms. A query by the management of the NSE to the 53 stockbroking firms obtained by The Nation indicated that the stockbroking firms have up till December 19, 2013 to show reasons the NSE should not commence final disciplinary proceedings against them for failure to regularise their operating status and other sundry outstanding regulatory issues. The query was signed by Head, Broker Dealer Regulation, NSE, Mr Olufemi Shobanjo. A source in the know of disciplinary process of the NSE

•May withdraw operating licence of firms Stories by Taofik Salako

indicated that the Exchange may withdraw the operating licence of some of the stockbroking firms, which failed to provide tangible reasons to show liquidity, continuous operations and compliance with extant rules on dealing member firms. The Nation’s check showed that most of the queried firms had in September been suspended for failure to comply with extant operating rule that requires all stockbroking firms to establish compliance department and appoint accredited compliance officers. The suspension by the NSE implies that they will not be allow to trade at the stock market or act in any issue relating to the capital market, especially as it relates to regu-

latory approval of the NSE. The latest query on regularisation of operating status also referred to “all outstanding regulatory issues”, indicating a build-up of the case against the stockbroking firms. The queried dealing member firms included Mainstreet Bank Securities Limited, Standard Chartered Securities Limited and First Atlantic Securities Limited, three brokerage firms owned by banks. Other were AAA Securities Limited, Alliance Capital Management Company Limited, Al-pina Investment & Trust Company Limited, BBL Asset Management Limited, BFCL Asset & Securities Limited, BIC Securities Limited, CEB Securities Limited, Colvia Securities Limited,

Consolidated Investment Limited, Dakal Services Limited, Decanon Investment Limited, Empire Securities Limited, Enabell Capital & Investment Limited, Epic Investment Trust Limited, Equator Stockbrokers Limited, First Equity Securities Limited, First Express Limited, Folu Securities Limited, Genesis Securities & Investment Limited, Ideal Securities Limited, Indemnity Finance Limited, Integrated & Allied Securities Limited, KFF Worldwide Solutions Limited, Kingdom Securities Limited, Lion Stockbrokers Limited, LMB Stockbrokers Limited, Maninvest Asset Management Plc, Mayfield Investment Limited, Metropolitan Trust Nigeria Limited, Midland Capital Markets Limited, Midlands In-

vestment & Trust Limited and ML Securities Limited. Others included Monument Securities & Finance Limited, MultiTrust Securities Limited, Omas Investment & Trust Company Limited, Peninsula Asset Management & Investment Company Limited, Platinum Capital Limited, Professional Stockbrokers Limited, Prudential Securities Limited, Regency Financing Limited, RIV Trust Securities Limited, Riverside Trust Limited, Securities Trading & Investment Company Limited, Sikon Securities and Investment Trust Limited, Trans Lux Services Limited, Transglobe Investment & Finance Company Limited, Tropics Securities Limited, Truebond Capital & Asset Management Limited, WT Securities Limited and Zuma Securities Limited.

Labour shortage threatens $50b LNG plans


•From left: Managing Diretor EJL Vitamins Ltd Mr Ejike Okafor; Chairman of occasion Leye Popoola presenting International Trip & Cash award to Erick Okafor Uba during the EJL’s awards to its best customers in Lagos ... at the weekend. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI


Total Treasury Bills sales hit N750b

REASURY bills (T-Bills) subscribers committed a total of N750.98 billion to the instrument as at the second quarter which ended in September, a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. It said bills of various maturities, ranging from 55 to 227 days, were used for liquidity management. According to the report, the total T-Bills subscription stood at N1.5 trillion, compared with N2.7 trillion and N4.2 trillion allotted and subscribed to in the preceding quarter. It said the bid rates ranged from 11.50 to 14 per cent, while the stop rates ranged from 12 to 13.20 per cent, compared with 11.500 to 13.299 per cent

Women to get 40% of banks’ top positions - P 30

By Collins Nweze

in the preceding quarter. Matured bills worth N1.5 trillion were repaid during the period, resulting in a net injection of N778.40 billion. It also said the total volume of currency in circulation within the economy rose by 3.4 per cent to N1.47 trillion at the end of third quarter, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. In a report obtained by The Nation the apex bank said the increase is in contrast to the decline of 5.5 and 1.1 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter and corresponding period of 2012, respectively. It said the development, relative to the preceding quarter was attributed, largely, to the

3.5 per cent increase in currency outside the banks. It explained that the value of Commercial Paper (CP) held by the banks rose by 94.1 per cent to N29.1 billion by September, compared with N15 billion at the end of the preceding quarter. The development was due to the increase in holding of CP by the banks during the review period adding that the CP constituted 0.44 per cent of the total value of money market assets outstanding, compared with 0.23 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter. “The value of BAs held by DMBs increased by 53.2 per cent to N24.5 billion at the end of the review quarter, compared with the increase of 58.1 per cent at the end of the pre-

Govt needs $350b to fix infrastructure

- P30

SAVE ON news 9 - Investors page and pics - BUSINESS pull-out - Wednesday December 11, 2013

ceding quarter. The development reflected increase in investments in BAs by the banks. Consequently, BAs accounted for 0.37 per cent of the total value of money market assets outstanding at the end of the review quarter, computed with 0.24 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter,” it said. According to the report, the primary market segment, treasury bills of 91-, 182- and 364-day tenors, amounting to N739.37 billion, N1.8 trillion and N739.37 billion, were offered, subscribed to and allotted, in the third quarter of the year, compared with the respective sums of N1 trillion , N1.7 trillion and N1 trillion in the preceding quarter.

NERGY companies trying to raise almost $50 billion for Canada’s first network of natural gas export terminals will face an even more basic challenge: finding the workers to build them. Housing complexes boasting an indoor golf driving range, a two-storey gymnasium and a private movie theater are among perks companies are mulling to lure tradesmen to Canada’s remote, snow-swept West Coast and mitigate wage inflation that could blow up project budgets. Labour shortages in the country already have pushed wages for some oil and gas workers as much as 60 percent higher than their counterparts in the United States, according to U.S. and Canadian labour data. “The lack of skilled workers is a major component for the reason why you’re often behind schedule and over budget,” said Geoff Hill, partner and oil and gas leader at financial advisers Deloitte Canada in Calgary. A dearth of labor for oil sands and mining will be “exacerbated” by a new wave of construction to enable gas exports, he said. Chevron Corp. (CVX) will need as many as 5,500 workers to build a pipeline across Canada’s western mountains and a plant on the country’s frosty Pacific Coast for shipping gas to Asia, according to company estimates.

Investors Protection Fund may begin operations in 2014 - P32






Women to get 40% of banks’ top positions


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that 40 per cent and 30 per cent of top management and board position in banks be reserved for women from the end of next year. CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said at a women empowerment conference in Lagos that banks had keyed into the supervisory bank’s plan of getting more women into these position. “Most of the banks have done so well. I have seen them going to look for women to put on their boards. There are now more female in the senior levels than ever before, even as the market is also asking for gender-balanced boards,” he said. Banks now, he said, were getting incentives from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, among others when they put more women on their boards. “The banks that promote these principles get funds from Development Finance Institutions as incentives to promote

• CBN: many financial, risk officers unqualified Stories by Collins Nweze

gender equality in the banks,” he said. CBN, he said, had taken action to break the glass ceiling that continues to block female talents from reaching the top by issuing a circular that by 2014, 40 per cent of banks’ top management and 30 per cent of Board directors should be women. He said as much as the banks and CBN wanted these targets to be achieved, merit and competence would never be sacrificed. “I am a very strong believer in diversity, be it gender, ethnic or religious, but I believe it can never be achieved by sacrificing merit and competence. We want women, but we need qualified women. If we want to fill a position in the bank and you are a woman, if you have the right qualifications, we will support you, if you don’t, then you

have to go and get it,” he said. Sanusi also explained that just like in every part of the country, there are qualified people to fill any kind of position. It also follows for companies to also have qualified women to fill any kind of position. “If you say I want a woman with these qualifications to come, people should look at their structure and get the right persons to fill the positions. And if you don’t have enough qualified women, banks can go to other banks to get qualified women to fill the positions. And that is actually how this is going to work,” he said. He regretted that in most banks, key control functions were still being occupied by people without the requisite qualifications and competence. In some banks, he said, only about 50 per cent of their chief financial officers, chief risk officers were

qualified, based on CBN criteria. The banks, he said, were not being asked to sack the less qualified staff, but to train and retrain them. “We have not asked banks to sack anyone. We advised banks to train and retrain them to ensure they reduce the level of non-compliance,” he said. Sanusi said women, who constitute half of the world’s human capital, were one of its most underutilised resources. Studies have shown that if better use were made of the world’s female human capital, economic growth will increase and the number of people living in poverty will decrease. He said 70 per cent of the world’s 1.3 billion people living on less than $1 a day are women and girls adding that in Africa, although the economic growth has witnessed an average of five per cent Gross Domestic Product expansion since

2010, there are more than twice as many extremely poor people living in sub-Sahara Africa. Globally, he said, women made up less than 30 per cent of the total labour force in some countries, and they are often concentrated in the low-productivity and lowpaid agricultural sector. He said despite the impressive growth rate being experienced in Nigeria, women who constitute 49 per cent of the population make up only 21 per cent of the non-agricultural paid labour force. “But for Nigeria to continue on this high growth rate sustainably, skilled women should be deployed to drive productivity improvement by breaking the barriers and creating conditions to unlock the full potential of women. Similarly, women’s representation in management positions is remarkably low-known as the “glass ceiling” phenomenon. At corporate level, the number of skilled women reduces quickly as you move up the corporate hierarchy,” he said.

Leasing to boost project financing, economy


•Sanusi; Founder, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), Amina Oyagbola (second left); Ruff N Tumble boss Nike Ogunlesi (third left) and activist lawyer Ayo Obe (right) at the event.

Govt needs $350b to fix infrastructure, says Rewane T HE Federal Government requires $350 billion to fix infrastructure, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited Bismarck Rewane, has said. According to FDC’s Economic Report, Nigeria’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio stands at 35 per cent. The figure, the report said, had renewed the argument of optimal debt level. Rewane said for Nigeria that has an infrastructure deficit of $360 billion, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), a 40 per cent debt cap is insufficient in getting the job done. “An overhaul of the infrastructure gap would cost approximately $350 billion for an economy with an estimated GDP of $282 billion and an annual GDP growth rate of approximately 6.8 per cent,” he said. The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, he said, set a 40 per cent ceiling for Nigeria’s public debt to GDP, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised the threshold to 56 per cent this year.

Rewane argued that the establishment of a debt ceiling is arbitrary at best, since there are many variables that should determine optimal debt level that are not included in determining the ceiling. He pointed out that two crucial and often missed points, are the causation of increase in debt/GDP ratio and the use of debt raised. “Since the economic well-being of a country should be seen through the prism of a sound business entity, there ought to be a distinction between “bad debt run up” and “good debt build up,” he said. In addition, the old practice of using the debt/GDP ratio as a measure of the health of an economy is questionable. It is a tool designed for advanced countries and not developing economies. He advised that instead of focusing on the rate of increase in debt to GDP ratio in Nigeria, what should be of utmost concern is the

direction of the naira. Since most of the recent debt issuance is foreign currency denominated, depreciation of the naira would prove costly, and if sustained, threat of default becomes imminent therefore jeopardising Nigeria’s strong BB-rating. South Africa gross debt, he said, would balloon to 48 per cent of GDP in the year through March 2017 from an estimated 43 per cent last year. He said South Africa’s debt levels compares with 80 per cent in Hungary, 59 per cent in Brazil and 36 per cent in Mexico. “The increase in debt levels is not a problem if you compare South Africa with some other countries,” Johann Els, an economist at Old Mutual Investment Group of South Africa, said adding: “The fact that the deficit is getting smaller means we are putting a damper on the growth in debt.” South Africa’s reliance on foreign investors to finance the budget deficit has increased in recent months, adding to the nation’s economic risks, according to the Treasury.

EASING is a financing alternative for projects and businesses that would create wealth for the economy, Executive Secretary, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) Andrew Efurhiewe has said. In a communiqué issued after this year’s leasing conference in Lagos, he said globally, leasing had been used to facilitate the sale of vendors’ goods, enhance lessors’ profits and grant lessees the access to productive assets. He said the lessor, vendor and lessee need to collaborate for them to achieve set objectives. “There exists a communication gap between the lessor and vendor which must be adequately bridged to produce a more robust leasing environment. ‘’The potential of leasing is high considering the low lease penetration in Nigeria in comparison with other countries. There is need to regulate the activities of vendors in order to check the unscrupulous acts of some vendors which are detrimental to the growth of the leasing industry,” he said.

Efurhiewe said professionals should facilitate accurate valuation of leased assets and create a strong secondary market for used assets. He said improved synergy between lessors and vendors will create growth and employment for the economy. He said ELAN would liaise with vendors and other stakeholders to create an efficient leasing industry that will continue to build wealth for the economy. He said the body will continue its proactive initiative by bringing to the membership fold reputable vendors and work towards setting standards for their dealings with lessors. ‘’Lessors should know their vendors very well and ensure they understand their products to enable them educate the final users of the assets – the lessees. Vendors should support efforts of ELAN such as the pursuit of the leasing law, aimed at improving the regulatory framework for the leasing industry that will invariably create more businesses for vendors,” he advised.

Forex traders seek standard regulator


OREIGN Exchange (FOREX) traders have decried the absence of a regulator which can curb the scamming of traders by unauthorised brokers who hoard funds. The traders lamented the way some brokers keep traders funds with impunity. They said brokers must ensure that traders were adequately protected. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kards Nigeria Limited/ FXPULP, Mr Kunle Adeyeri, said forex trading could work as an effective panacea to unemployment crisis in Nigeria. Adeyeri, whose company was one of the exhibitors, said this is the best time for people to engage in the trade and reap proceeds. The Chief Executive Officer of Naira4Gold, Mr Ifeanyi Uche, who at the expo addressed the evolution of online currency trading in Nigeria, said protection and regulation should not only cover brokers collecting the

By Ajose Sehindemi

money, but traders also. He said traders can come together as a body to protect their interest with proper organisation to yield good results. Uche said the problems of Forex trading in Nigeria includes the focus on the use of mathematical indicator which often fail to analyse market moves, the focus on making profits and taking profitable tables, and most lack interest in developing themselves to become successful traders among others. He recommended that traders should study the market deeply and identify the prevailing trend. Uche urged brokers to adjust their policies to ensure fair play for everyone adding that brokers should not only encourage policies which favour them but also traders. He said the qualities expected of traders are discipline, consistency, confidence, courage cum patience.




Sustainable living: The new face of banking The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) are asking banks to look beyond profit and return on investment (RoI) in funding projects to sustainable banking practice. The proposal, which emphasises sustainability of the environment and corporate social responsibility (CSR), was the thrust of a workshop hosted by NDIC in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, report SIMEON EBULU and COLLINS NWEZE.


HOULD a bank lend money to a company that pollutes the environment or a borrower that funds terrorist activities? Should a bank base its lending plans on return on investment and profitability only, without recourse to the nature of business the borrower does? These and many more were the issues in focus in the forum that was designed to address the new phase of banking, tagged Sustainable Banking. But financial sector’s key regulators: the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) want banks to shift focus from profitability alone and consider also other issues around sustainability, before lending. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), through its UNEP Financial Initiative on the Environment and Sustainable Development at the Earth Summit in 1992, placed it as pertinent concern for financial systems across the world. It said sustainable banking in Nigeria, therefore, is focused on energising the influence of the banking sector (being financier of economic and social activities) towards transforming the longer term interest of environmental preservation and societal balancing into key parameters for allocation of capital. It was, therefore, not surprising that the CBN and commercial banks are working out a framework that would restrict lending to companies that adopt and implement environmentally friendly policies. By this, International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other firms that engage in activities that cuase pollution of the ecosystem will be denied loans, going forward. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said if the oil companies that degrade the environment and their cohorts in other sectors are starved of funds from both local and international banks, they will have no choice than to comply. He spoke during the Nigeria Sustainable Finance Week conference tagged: “Moving frontiers in sustainable finance”, which was meant to attract funding to agriculture, assist in global carbon trading and protect the environment from degradation. For him, there is urgent need for a policy ensuring that people do not carry on their businesses in environmentally unfriendly manner and get away with it. He said the agenda would be presented to the Bankers’ Committee to agree on the way it can be realised. The reason is that as an industry, banks cannot continue to take savings and deposits from Nigerians and then, lend to companies that are destroying the environment. “Why must Nigeria bring multinational oil companies to destroy our environment? How do we feel about it? They can get the funds and still use it in a responsible manner. I want to see more banks coming to identify with issues of sustainability and protection of the environment,” he said. He said banks should not just look at profitability of lending decisions, but should also consider contributions of the borrower to the environment. Sanusi, however, admitted that such might be an uphill task in a highly competitive banking sector ‘where dog eats dog’. “How can banks do that when they are competing for accounts? Banks should stop looking at size of balance sheet but on how to build sustainable finance,” he said. For him, competition in the sector has drastically risen, compared with what was obtainable in the 80s. He therefore admitted that the policy may be stalled by banks not wanting to lose businesses to competitors that care less about the environment, where a borrower has not adhered to set standards.

Loan process

The CBN boss explained that for firms to secure loans from banks, they have to meet certain standards that are applicable in other parts of the world like Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, among others. “Our

• Suspected oil thieves being paraded

environment has been taken for granted for too long. Look at what has happened to the Niger Delta. Imagine that people in the Niger Delta cannot put a net in the river and catch fish to eat and that is a fisherman who is not an employee of the oil company. So, he has to find money to buy imported fish. So, we are saying that even though these things may look simple, they are actually the foundation to the insecurity that we have in the country,” he said.

NDIC’s role

Also, the NDIC has called on banks and other financial institutions to improve their commitment to addressing environmental and social impacts of their services. The corporation made this known in a statement at the conference. It said more lenders have realised that ignoring social and environmental issues could increase their exposure to credit, compliance and reputational risks. It said to advance sustainability, banks must seek improved performance and results on ground in affected communities and environments. It explained that sustainable banking is a value system, which ensures that a bank’s commercial activities do not only benefit its staff and shareholders, but also its customers and wider economy. It said financing of the energy sector which is usually the villain on matters of environmental degradation across the world is a trite example. This sector is perhaps the most capital intensive sector and depends on the financial system to mobilise funds for its highly capital intensive operations. It said until recently the industry had not given much attention to sustainability beyond ticking off environmental impact assessment on checklist for credit risk assess-

ment for evaluation of loan applications, other jurisdictions have for decades been engraving sustainability ethos in their financial system. It said since the 1980s, banks in the United States had been held (under CERCLA- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) for the negative impact the businesses they financed had on the environment and some of them became bankrupt thereafter.

Banks’ funding of oil projects

Eight banks, which include Ecobank, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank,GT Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Standard Chartered Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank, provided funding for local contractors operating in the nation’s oil and gas sector. The banks signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Total Upstream Nigeria Limited and eight leading banks in the country, on a $7.5 billion Nigerian Contractors’ Initiative, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The programme was put together by Total to manage its value chain, including suppliers and distributors. The essence is to empower local contractors to play more active role in the oil sector through sustainable funding. Managing Director/Chief Executive, Total, Mr. Guy Maurice, said the key objective of the MoU and launch of the fund, is to bridge the funding gap for the company’s local contractors which includes vendors and suppliers. He noted that the initiative provides for sustainable funding relationship between the selected banks and Total’s indigenous contractors, adding that the programme is

‘Why must Nigeria bring multinational oil companies to destroy our environment? How do we feel about it? They can get the funds and still use it in a responsible manner. I want to see more banks coming to identify with sustainability and protection of the environment’

in line with the local content laws. The Total boss lauded the eight banks for scaling through the rigorous selection process, expressing confidence that, the initiative will enhance local contractors’ participation in the company’s entire value chain business.

CBN takes case to judges

Sanusi, while speaking at the Banking and Allied Matters conference for Judges on the theme: ‘Sustainable banking practice in Nigeria: The journey so far and the way forward’, explained that global environmental impact of businesses, which are largely financed by the banking industry suggests that the sector has not given adequate attention to environmental impact of their funding activities. He said the tendency to view banking as an environment friendly business is commonplace as it seemed, on the surface, not to be harming the environment and society directly. “However, the banking sector has been profiting from financing of environmentally unfriendly sectors. Financing of the energy sector which is usually the villain on matters of environmental degradation across the world is a trite example. This sector is perhaps the most capital intensive sector and depends on the financial system to mobilise funds for its highly capital intensive operations,” he said.

Template for violators

The CBN has also developed a reporting template for banks in filling their reports on loans to firms whose operations have negative impact on the environment. This is in line with the Sustainable Banking Practice being promoted by the banking watchdog. The CBN said sustainable banking is aimed at minimising or mitigating the negative impacts of financial institutions’ operations on the environment and local communities in which they operate especially on agric, power and the oil and gas sectors. According to the regulator, for the successful implementation of the principles, the institutions would be required to develop a management approach that balances the environments and social (E&S) risks identified with the opportunities to be exploited through their business activities.




•From left: Head, Listing Sales and Retention, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mrs Taba Peterside; Chairman, Omatek Plc, Dr. Timothy Farinre; Executive Director, Business Development, NSE, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri and Group Managing Director, Omatek Plc, Florence Seriki, during the presentation of the highlights of the company’s operations to the investing public at NSE.

Investors Protection Fund may begin operations in 2014


HE Investors Protection Fund (IPF) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) may begin effective operations in 2014 as the board of trustees of the fund meets to work out the final details of operational strategies and rules. An impeccable source in the know of the impending meeting of the board of trustees told The Nation that the trustees would meet before the end of this year to conclude all arrangements for effective operations. According to the source, the fund is in the process of rounding off its rules and processes for compensation of investors. The source said the board of trustees had taken its time to ensure it laid a good operational framework for the fund before it starts assessment and compensation for claims on relevant losses. Part XIV of the Investment and Securities Act 2007 requires the Exchange to establish and maintain an investors protection fund to compensate investors with genuine claims of pecuniary loss against dealing member firms resulting from insolvency, bankruptcy or negligence of a dealing member firm of a securities exchange or capital trade points; and defalcation committed by a dealing member firm or any of its directors, officers, employees or representatives in relation to securities, money or any property entrusted to, or received by the dealing member firm in its course of business as a capital market operator. The NSE had last year inaugurated a nine-man Board of Trustees under the chairmanship of Mr Gamaliel Onosode. Other members of the board included Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema; Misan Kofi-Senaya, managing director of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), Mr. Kyari Bukar, Chairman, Ibadan Zonal Shareholders Association (IBZA), Chief Sola Abodurin; Fubara Anga, Edosa Kennedy Aigbekaen, Sam Onukwe and Umaru Modibo. The Board of IPF had prepared a new set of draft rules governing the operation and effective management of the fund on June 11, 2013. These rules were made available to stakeholders on June 14, this year to undergo stakeholders’ review up till June 21. Head, Public Relations, NSE, Mr. Dante Martins, had confirmed that the Exchange received comments from stakeholders and had made necessary amendments to the rules. Under the draft rules, IPF is empowered to take over the assets of insolvent or erring dealing members of the Exchange. According to the rules, where the

Stories by Taofik Salako

IPF finds an investor’s claim to be genuine and makes compensation on that basis, the board of the IPF shall have the right to recover such amount from the concerned stockbroking firm, even from the sale of the assets of such dealing member firm. The board of IPF upon the payment to any investor shall be subrogated to all rights of the investor against the dealing member concerned to the extent of such payment; and such subrogation shall include the right on the part of the board to recover an equivalent amount from the dealing member or from the proceeds of the sale of the assets of such dealing member. Such recovery from the dealing member firm or sale of the asset of the firm shall be paid into the fund. The draft empowers the board of IPF to have at anytime a written policy on the maximum compensation payable to an investor who has suffered a loss. The board can review this maximum compensation limit from time to time according to prevailing circumstances at the market. The draft indicates that an investor whose claim is within the maxi-


mum limit may be paid the full amount of the loss, after deduction of any amount or value of all monies or other benefits received or receivable by the investor from a source other than the Fund in reduction of the loss. Besides, where the board is satisfied that in principle compensation is payable but considers that immediate payment in full would not be prudent having regard to other applications for compensation, or to any uncertainty as to the amount of the investor’s overall net claim, the draft empowers the board to pay an appropriate lesser sum in final settlement or to make a payment on account. It stated that the board may also determine to make a payment on account or to pay a lesser sum where the investor has any prospect of recovery in respect of the claim from any third party or through an application for compensation to any other person or authority. “The board may determine to reduce the compensation which would otherwise be payable to an investor in circumstances where it is satisfied that the investor is partly to blame for the loss which he has suffered,” the draft stated.

Compensation would be paid subject to conclusive decision of the board on the basis of evidence that the investor has a claim against a dealing member, duly applied for settlement of its claim from the dealing member; the dealing member was unable or likely to be unable to satisfy the claim within a reasonable period and the investor then, duly applied for compensation from the Fund. According to the draft, an application for compensation may be rejected if it is not promptly made and in any event within the periods stipulated in the ISA or where the investor is responsible for, or has directly or indirectly profited from, events relating to the dealing member firm’s business which gave rise to the firm’s financial difficulties. The draft empowers the board to make payment of compensation based on the claim submitted to the NSE and verified by the NSE or claim submitted to the board of IPF and verified by it, according to relevant sections of the ISA. In the event of multiple claims, person who claims in a double capacity for himself and as the per-

sonal representative of a deceased investor will be treated in respect of the representative claim as if he were the deceased investor without prejudice to his own personal claim. Also, where a person claims for himself and as a trustee, he will be treated in respect of the latter claim as a different person. But where two or more persons in partnership have a joint beneficial claim, the claim will be treated as the claim of the partnership; otherwise each of them would be taken to have equal shares in the claim unless the contrary is proved to the satisfaction of the board. According to the rules, where an agent has a claim for one or more principals, the principal or principals are to be treated as having the claim, to the exclusion of the agent. To build up the IPF, the draft rules stipulate that all penalties and fines paid by erring stockbrokers for contravening capital market rules, regulations and market practices shall be paid into the IPF in addition to established contributions from stockbrokers. The board of IPF is also empowered to invest the funds with a view to grow the capital base of the IPF.

Why insurance stocks are still down, by Sulaiman

NSURANCE stocks have continued to underperform the average return in the overtly bullish stock market due to the industry’s poor run of results and continued negative investor’s sentiments to the industry. In a review of the macroeconomic environment and insurance industry, Chairman, Cornerstone Insurance, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman, said while the recovery at the stock market had seen substantial increase in the banking side of the financial services industry, the insurance sector has continued to underperform because of poor earnings and negative investor’s perception. He blamed the poor performance of the industry partly on the large number of small and commercially unviable companies. According to him, consolidation is not only desirable but inevitable to actualiSe the potential of the insurance industry. Smarting from a failed business combination bid, Sulaiman said Cornerstone Insurance will continue to explore opportunities to combine with suitable partners that share its values and bring distinct positive synergies to its business. In a report prepared for shareholders of Cornerstone Insurance, Sulaiman however noted the up-

side of the insurance sector. “The renewed focus on agriculture, level of investment in the power sector and growth in the wholesale and retail sectors will have significant implication for insurance and risk management services in the years ahead,” Sulaiman said. He noted that the reinvigoration of the Insurance Act provision on collection of premium before commencement of cover was a most significant intervention that will impact on the performance of the industry. Out of 29 insurance stocks quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), 20 insurers have stagnated at around their nominal value of 50 kobo. This underlined the level of depreciation in the sector. Given their historic pricing trends in January 2008, the extent of the recession in the Nigerian insurance sector loomed larger than the global economic and financial crises. In the early 2008, nearly all insurance stocks were trading in three digits, in multiples of their nominal values and considerably in competitive prices with other related stocks. Prestige Assurance and Wapic Insurance-two sectoral leaders by share prices, opened February 2008 with four-digit values

at N11.40 and N10.60 respectively. Today, Prestige Assurance is stuck at 56 kobo per share while Wapic Insurance opens today at 89 kobo. Other insurance companies relate the same story. Aiico Insurance opened February 2008 at N3.43, Continental Reinsurance set out at N5.15, Cornerstone Insurance was N6.19, Crusader Insurance traded at N7.85, Custodian and Allied Insurance was N6.50, Great Nigeria Insurance opened at N3.80, Guinea Insurance’s price on board was N4.30, Lasaco Assurance was valued at N4.88, International Energy Insurance opened at N5.94 while Law Union and Rock Insurance was traded at N6.10. Other market considerations then included Linkage Assurance, N4.80; Mutual Benefits Assurance, N4.96; NEM Insurance, 4.35; Niger Insurance, N8.70; Oasis Insurance, N4.63; Royal Exchange Assurance of Nigeria, N5.43, Sovereign Trust Insurance, N4.56 while Unic Insurance opened February 2008 at N5.51 per share. But contrary to the largely diversify and generally upward pricing trend in early 2008, insurance stocks closed with almost a generic depressive outlook. Insurance stocks that closed at their nominal value of 50 kobo yesterday included African Alliance Insurance, Equity

Assurance, Great Nigerian Insurance, Guinea Insurance, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance, Investment & Allied Assurance, Mutual Benefits Assurance, Niger Insurance, Oasis Insurance, Regency Alliance Insurance, Sovereign Trust Insurance, Standard Trust Assurance, Standard Alliance Insurance, Unic Insurance, Unity Kapital Assurance and Universal Insurance Company.Many others were around their nominal values, less than 100 kobo.

• Sulaiman





Mutual funds’ net assets hit N146b

HE net value of registered mutual funds in Nigeria stands at N146 billion, according to the latest filings by collective investment schemes. Latest report on assets of mutual funds collated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed that total net asset value of mutual funds sustained modest gain to close at N145.76 billion by November 22, 2013, the current available data. The report indicated an increase of about N58.5 billion or 67 per cent on the net assets of mutual funds over a 16-month period, underlining a progressive trend that had seen mutual funds recovering with

Stories by Taofik Salako

the bullish trend at the stock market. Previously reports had put net assets of mutual funds at N117.5 billion by July 26, 2013. Mutual funds’ net assets had stood at N87.27 billion on July 27, 2012. Mutual funds, otherwise known as collective investment schemes, are joint investment vehicles through which investors can pool funds and invest in chosen basket of securities with a view to optimize returns and reduce risks. Net asset value is determined by subtracting total liabilities of a fund from its total assets. The net asset

New core investor increases appetites for Union Dicon Salt


NION Dicon Salt Plc’s market consideration has sustained a steady increase, following the emergence of a new core investor and management for the company. Official trading and pricing data provided by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that Union Dicon Salt’s share price had risen to a high of N6.83 per share, three weeks after formal announcement of the consummation of an investment and management deal involving Union Dicon Salt and CBO Capital. Union Dicon Salt’s share price had risen by more than 21 per cent from its previously stagnant low of N4.22 to open two weeks ago N5.12. It opened trading at a high of N6.83 per share. NSE’s weekly report indicated that Union Dicon Salt recorded the fourth highest gain, in percentage terms, at the stock market two weeks ago with an increase of 15.58 per cent. Union Dicon Salt led the gainers last week with share price increase of 33.40 per cent to close at N6.83 per share. The uptrend came on the heels of the emergence of CBO Capital Partners as new core investor in Union Dicon Salt. CBO Capital Partners had acquired significant equity stake in Union Dicon Salt to become a new core minority shareholder in the salt producing company. In a deal valuing the company at N8.40 billion, CBO Capital Partners acquired 41 million ordinary shares of UDS and also simultaneously acquired an option to purchase additional 240 million ordinary shares for a consideration of N3.36 billion. Besides, CBO Capital, a Lagosbased investment and project development firm, was given a management contract to turnaround UDS. The emergence of CBO Capital as a strategic investor and the management contract are expected to stimulate the recovery of the ailing salt company. The parties to the deals indicated that the turnaround programme for the company is being finalised with the current management of the company and implementation will commence in the first Quarter of 2014. The company had stated recently that it was concluding on a variety of strategic options for a 2014 capital expenditure requirement of N4 billion, which would be announced soon. “We are glad to have CBO on board, to rejuvenate this great company, and we shall soon announce a strategy that will involve investment of billions of Naira over the next 24 months,” Managing Director, Union Dicon Salt, Colonel Henry Mgbemena (Rtd) said. Founding partner, CBO Capital, Bex Nwawudu, said CBO Capital was very conscious of the exceptional history of Union Dicon Salt and it would build on this to take the company to greater heights. According to him, the acquisition of equity stake in UDS was part of

CBO Capital’s investment philosophy that focuses on dedicated development of Nigeria. “We are grateful to the board and management of Union Dicon Salt Plc for their outstanding professionalism during negotiations and we are proud to become shareholders of this illustrious company,” Nwawudu, who has been designated as new executive director in Union Dicon Salt, said. Union Dicon Salt, currently chaired by General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd) was established in 1984 and was for a considerable period, it was the largest producer of salt in Nigeria. It has two factories, in Lagos and Port Harcourt, with a total installed production capacity of 700,000 metric tons per year. Apart from the production of the iodized salt edible salt and the processing of crude salt for wholesale, Union Dicon Salt Plc also manufactured industrial salt for detergent manufacture, animal feeds, leather tanning, and for oil wells and other drilling related operations.


value can further be divided by the total number of units of the fund to determine the unit price. A mutual fund is usually categorized by the class of assets that forms the primary focus of its investments. Thus, there are equity funds, money market funds, bond funds, real estate funds, ethical funds and balanced funds among others. According to the report, equitybased funds remain the largest and most populous investment schemes with 18 funds that accounted for N45.99 billion, about 31.6 per cent of the total net asset value of mutual funds. Real estate funds also sustained

its second position with net assets of N43.01 billion; 29.5 per cent of total net assets of mutual funds. Money market funds, which invest mainly in money market instruments such as treasury bills, remained the third largest investment segment with net value of N25.22 billion. Bonds funds, with nine mutual funds, had net value of N11.48 billion. Further breakdown showed that investors’ values in balanced fundsmutual funds that seek to invest in a balanced mixture of equity and, debt instruments; totaled N10.14 billion while the four ethical funds accounted for N7.13 billion. Umbrella funds, which are run entirely

by Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, pooled N2.49 billion while the only Exchange Traded Fund (ETC) accounted for N294.15 million. UPDC Reit remained the largest mutual fund with net asset of N26.97 billion. Stanbic Money Market Fund was the second largest fund with net asset value of N18.95 billion. Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund doubled as the third largest mutual fund and the largest equity fund. About five per cent of investors in the capital market engage in mutual funds, a paltry fraction that underlines the tendency of most retail investors to invest in the market directly.

•From left: Head, MSME Propositions, Diamond Bank, Chima Nnadozie; Head, SME, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Akintunde Oyebode; Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Center, Pan Atlantic University, Nneka Okekearu; and SME Analyst, Heritage Bank, Adeoye Emmanuel at a forum to commemorate the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Lagos.

‘Global economy will grow faster in 2014’

ORLD economic growth will pick up next year, paced by improvements in the United States of America (USA) and the euro area, Mohamed ElErian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Company has said. The Newport Beach, Californiabased asset manager said the world economy is likely to expand 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent in 2014, up from 2.3 per cent this year. US growth will accelerate to 2.25 per cent to 2.75 per cent from 1.8 per cent. “The US economy is healing,” ElErian said in an interview. “Household balance sheets are in a better place.” El-Erian, whose firm has $1.97 trillion in assets under management, said it’s virtually certain the Federal Reserve will begin moderating its asset purchases by the end of March, with a 50-50 chance of a move next week. He said the Fed is likely to couple any tapering announcement with a cut in the interest rate it pays on banks’excess reserves and a strengthened commitment to keep monetary policy easy for an extended period. The euro region’s economy will expand by 0.25 pe cent to 0.75 percent in 2014, after contracting 0.4 per cent this year, he said in a news report by Bloomberg. The Pimco executive said he was heartened by the broad-based improvement in the US job market last month. Payrolls increased by 203,000, while the unemployment rate fell to seven per cent from 7.3 per cent in October, the Labour Department reported on December 6.

The employment-to-population rate also rose while hourly earnings increased. “The breadth of improvement was notable,” El-Erian said. The Fed’s “hyperactive” monetary policy has given the US economy time to mend after its deepest recession since the Great Depression, according to El-Erian. The Fed is buying $85 billion of bonds per month. It has also promised to keep its target for the federal funds rate near zero at least as long as unemployment remains above 6.5 per cent and forecast inflation is not above 2.5 per cent. “You’re looking at a transition where the Fed will remain engaged but will alter its policy mix,” by gradually reducing its bond buying while strengthening its forward guidance on shortterm interest rates, he said. He said he expects the Fed to cut the 0.25 per cent rate it pays commercial banks on excess reserves as part of that transition. While such a move would not have a “dramatic impact,” it would underscore the Fed’s commitment to keeping rates low, he said. Banks’ reserves have mushroomed as the Fed purchased securities from them in its bid to lower long-term interest rates. Banks currently have more than $2 trillion in extra cash at the Fed, according to data from the central bank. Even as the economy improves next year, it won’t achieve “escape velocity,” according to El-Erian. The big missing ingredient is

stepped-up capital spending by companies. “We have yet to see business investment really pick up,” he said. “Companies still prefer to use their excess cash for financial engineering” such as buying back shares or boosting dividends. Also, Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs strategists expected economic growth in developed economies to accelerate next year and urged investors to buy U stocks, partly on the likelihood that central banks’ monetary policies will remain accommodative. The gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the United States and the United Kingdom will exceed expectations, the strategists said, and US stocks look attractive since the Federal Reserve will likely keep short-term interest rates low. A key trade in 2014 will be to invest in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index while betting against the Australian dollar, said Noah Weisberger, head of the macro equity team within Goldman Sachs’ Global Markets Group. He cited the Fed’s stance of keeping policy rates low through “forward guidance” as a reason to buy US stocks. The strategists also touted stocks within the US, Japanese and European banking sectors. The S&P 500 has hit record highs this year and surged nearly 27 per cent. The Fed’s $85 billion in monthly purchases of Treasuries and agency mortgages have kept bond yields low, leading investors to seek higher income in stocks. Forward guidance refers to the language the Fed uses to tell mar-

kets how long it will keep shortterm rates near zero. The central bank has kept the key federal funds rate near zero since late 2008 to help the economy recover from recession and has promised to keep it there for a while longer, probably until 2015. Risks remain that economic growth could lag their optimistic forecast, the strategists said. Also, if investors in general begin to expect higher economic growth, bonds could sell off and result in volatility for stocks, they added. The continued easing of risks stemming from the euro zone will be a positive influence on economic growth in developed economies next year, said Francesco Garzarelli, co-head of the global macro and markets research team. He added that inflation will remain “relatively low.” While touting stocks broadly, the strategists recommended betting against commodities such as copper, iron ore and gold. Copper and iron ore prices will suffer from supply growth, said senior metals analyst Max Layton. Investors should buy Chinese stocks while “shorting” or betting against copper prices, said Kamakshya Trivedi, executive director within the global macro and markets group. Trivedi said that a stable China might be “good enough” next year. Analysts have warned this year of an end to the “supercycle” of strong commodity performance over the past decade in response to a potential unwinding of the Fed’s bond-buying program, along with fragility in the US and European economic recoveries.




BUSINESS AVIATION Why airlines fail in Nigeria, by operator

•Capt. Patrick Therrien (left) being received by Chief Executive Officer, Jed Air, Capt. Nogie Meggison; Pilot, Gregory Vipond and Alex Clark on their arrival with Dash 8-300 Turboprop Aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Minister decries foreign airlines harsh treatment of passengers


INISTER of Culture & Tourism Mr. Edem Duke has called on Emirates Airlines to ensure that travellers are well treated while on board their aircraft because they are the main reason why the airline is in business. He said reports of shabby treatment of by foreign carriers is becoming unacceptable because customers deserve some level of dignity in the way they are handled by providers of air transport services. Speaking at the Oriental Hotel in Lekki during the launch of Emirates Holiday package last week, Duke disclosed that Nigerians are the most travelled in the world. He said Nigerian passengers are unique passengers because they do not only travel for leisure, they also spend a lot money in the course of their travel. “This is why Nigerians are rated as the fourth largest spenders in the world. Nigerians spend big when they travel but that is just what we are. So as Emirates Holidays, you must understand them if you really want to please them,” he said.

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

Duke urged Emirates Airlines not only to showcase or sell the destinations of other countries to Nigeria, but also sell Nigeria as a destination to other foreigners. He said the government was poised to improve the tourism sector of the economy, adding that such could only be achieved if the firm worked with the government in making such dreams come through. Emirates Holidays develops exotic packages for Nigerian travelling to Dubai and other destinations. It also develops packages for Nigerians outside the country to come into Nigeria. “So Emirates Holidays and Tour Brokers International (TBI) should create products that will make them comfortable,” he said. Vice President, Business Support, Emirates Airlines, Mr. Fabio Prestijacopo, noted that the firm was working in conjunction with Tour Brokers International (TBI) as its local partner in Nigeria to sell the best holiday packages to Nigeria to travel all across the world.

He further pointed out that the main drive behind the holiday packages during to showcase the forthcoming Dubai shopping festival that is comes in January and February 2014 . According to him, the Emirates Holidays packages range from $1,245 to $2,880 for Nigerian passengers as the period would afford them the opportunity to enjoy their holidays. He said: “Emirates Holidays is committed towards giving our esteem Nigerian customers the kind of service and products that they expect when they travel on Emirates Airlines. “When it comes to booking holidays and making those everlasting memories when they travel, we are most willing to offer such experience to them. “Emirates Airlines is expanding and it is one of the reason why we operate Emirates Holidays to add to the value the airline is offering. We will ensure that we give them the product that they demand for and we treat them with dignity and create a lasting impression in their heart,” he added.

Lagos airport city construction to start soon


ONSTRUCTION of the ‘airport city’ otherwise known as ‘Aerotropolis ‘ is expected to begin in the next few weeks at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. The airport city is part of efforts to expand the MMIA. The deal is being done with the Chinese government to deliver five new international airport terminals in the country. The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr George Uriesi, told The Nation that a timeline for commencement of the project would be set after the Yuletide. He said: ”We will start construction on the aerotroplois project in Lagos next year, but we will set the timing during the end of year.” He said an alternative power supply for the Airport had been

completed with the installation of new power cables, which would address the challenge of epileptic power supply at the terminals. ”We have started testing the source of alternative power supply around the airport. We are testing the system, with new cables system to make power supply reliable around the airport. “From this week, we will be working on alternative power supply around the airport. We are fixing the facilities and I can assure that at last, the challenge of epileptic power supply will now be a thing of the past at the Lagos Airport. We have fixed the power system,”he said, adding that the old power system had been disabled. He said the authority has taken steps to block revenue leakages with its take over of the access toll gate at the Airport, a development

”We are just simply becoming a normal airport, collecting our revenue better as we have never done before. “We are trying to make a clean break from the past where there was leakage in revenue . We are learning how to fetch water with a bucket and not a basket, as was in the practice in the past. “Now we are not giving room for any form of revenue leakage, we have begin to tighten every loose end, we are becoming a more viable and sustainable organisation,” he said. On the parlous state of some facilities at the airport, he said: ”We are getting increasingly concerned on some issues about the state of our airport facilities. We are not happy over some gaps that have been noticed around the airport, it is as a result of on going reconstruction.”

AN airline operator, Captain Abdulsalami Mohammed has attributed the high mortality rate of domestic airlines in Nigeria to lack of proper planning by operators. Mohammed, who is the Managing Director of Discovery Air, explained that many people venture into airline business without adequate preparation. Such ill-preparation about the business, he said, has contributed significantly to the collapse of many airlines. He said: “The short life span of most airlines could be attributed to lack of proper planning as well as the harsh and non-conducive business environment which makes it difficult for operators to access long term credit facilities. “It is only when you have a well thought out plan of what is required to run the business that you could hit the ground running and remain in business. “Many people just dabble into the business without adequate preparation. This accounts for the high rate of failure of many airlines.” Specifically, he noted that unlike in Europe and America, where there are finance companies that are willing to lease aeroplanes to operators, Nigeria is seen as a high risk country and operators are therefore forced to pay upfront making them to grapple with limited resources. He said the firm will commence operations with three modern aircraft and progressively grow its fleet to service its expansion plans that is based on due diligence of the market. He said: “We have in the last one year taken time to study the successes of global legacy airlines and have adopted strategies to suit Nigerian operations.” Mohammed said the airline was set up about a year ago to provide travellers good customer service and fill the gap of shortage of commercial aircraft in the country.

NAMA gets report on Niger Delta air traffic THE Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has received the report on the communication navigation surveillance and air traffic management ( CNS/ATM) assessment on low level flight operations for helicopters in the Niger Delta region. The report, according to its Managing Director, Nnamdi Udoh is an evidence that the proposed deployment of multilateration surveillance system in the Niger Delta by the Federal Government was on course. As part of its implementation, the agency early this year inaugurated NAV Sar Consulting of Canada to prepare a report for assisting NAMA in making decisions on the scope of control of low-level flight operations in the region. Udoh said the report was based on the information provided by NAMA, its advisers representatives and selected third parties. “The estimates, assumptions and findings underlying the recommendations,” according to the firm, “are inherently subject to significant economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies.” “The report is meant for the information of senior management and key stakeholders of NAMA and its representatives. The preparation of the report and the analysis is at the request of NAMA in line with IATA’s agreement for consulting services between NAMA and NAV STAR Consulting,” he said. The Managing Director of the agency, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, while receiving the report from the Director of Operations, John Oyegiri,said the technical input from the consulting firm would be scrutinised before launching into the next phase of the project which is the implementation billed for next year. Describing the report on the operation of Helicopters in that region as essential for the successful take off of the new surveillance system, noted that the step taken by the agency was in line with global practices before embarking on this safety critical project like the case in reference.

Airline offers five per cent discount A NEW entrant into the market, Africa World Airlines, has promised to pay travel agencies five per cent commission for the sale of its tickets. This is coming a time the regional carrier started two daily return flights from Accra to Lagos. With this development, Africa World Airlines becomes one of the 24 international airlines operating into the country. Its Head, Commercial, Ridwane Adamou, who at a meeting with travel agents in Lagos, said the airline promised to pay the commission said it was aimed at encouraging agencies to sell it tickets amid the stiff competition in the industry. He added that it is in line with the airline’s strategy of gradual, but steady expansion into West Africa that it chose the country as its first destination of choice. He said: “We are introducing our very comfortable flight services to the market, which is based on the promise of safety, on-time schedule and comfy cabin configuration.” Adamou said the airline would operate 14 weekly flights from Kotoka International Airport, Ghana to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA),Lagos with modern aircraft which average age is four years. He added that Accra/Lagos flight would be serviced with Embraer 145, with 50 passenger economy seats. The airline, which has three aircraft started flight operations last year from Ghana.






$300m bio-fuel refinery coming soon


LANS are underway to establish a bio-fuel refinery worth $300million in Nigeria, the Special Adviser on Private Sector to President Goodluck Jonathan, Prof Chris Boyejo, has said. Boyejo, in a statement made available to The Nation, said a Russian firm ‘’OOO Bio- Resurs and some Nigerian oil companies, are partnering on the deal. He said: “The scheme is designed to commence immediately with the building of a 30,000 ton bio-diesel installation plant. This will be preceded with the planting of the cash crops that would be used for the production. Research has shown that bio-fuel is environmentallyfriendly and the viscosity makes engine run longer and faster. ‘’Bio-fuel is the in-thing in Europe, America and Asia and the

•From left: Systems Certification Manager, Bureau Veritas, Mrs Adenike Akinbote, presenting ISO 9001:2008 Certificate for Quality to the Managing Director, Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company Plc, Mr. Alfred Okoigun (right), in Lagos. With them (middle) is Managing Director, Arco Pipeline Solutions, Pius Ajahbu.

‘Local oil firms’ll account for 30% production’

Anxiety mounts over increase I in fixed electricity charge


EARS over possible increase in monthly electricity fixed charges have gripped consumers as 2014 draws near. Though the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has prevailed on the power companies not to hike tariffs until power improves, the fears have persisted. A top official of one of the distribution firms, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the companies are making efforts to revisit the issue. The sources said it has become imperative for the distribution companies (DISCOs) to increase the fixed charges and other tariffs. He said fixed charges have been increased over a period of time, arguing that the issue is not new. The sources said: ‘’ Under the MultiYear Tariff Order (MYTO) fixed monthly charge has increased from N75 per month in 2011 to N500 in 2012 and N750/metred customers in 2013. The fixed charge would definitely increase to N1,000 to enable the companies generate more rev-

By Stories by Akinola Ajibade

enues for operation. We are planning to meet NERC on the issue early next year. We hope to get favourable response from the Commission.’’ A lawyer, Mrs Ponle Olurotimi, said the fear about the increase in fixed charge heightened following a meeting the power firms had with NERC. She said tarriff is high, adding that people are paying for the energy they do not consume. She said it is illogical for the power firms to increase tarriffs in the face of incessant power failure. ‘’From previous events, it is obvious that fixed charge would increase next year. That would further compound the woes of the consumers. Consumers can only be compensated for any short, or longterm increase in tarriffs when there is regular power supply. Once the GENCOs and DISCOs have been able to improve power supply, there would be little or no resistance to

increases in fixed charge for metered consumers monthly,‘’ she added. The Managing Director, Addax Photomania Nigeria Limited, Dauda Adesiyan said any attmept to increase tarriffs would further improverish Nigerians, stressing that consumers are groaning under heavy bills. He urged the government not to add to their problems. The Secretary, NERC, Ada Ozomenan, said fixed charge is N750, adding that consumers are expected to pay whether they use the light or not. She said the charge is fixed and in line with the regulatory directives, adding that there is nothing anybody can do to stop it. On the agitation of Power Holding Comapny of Nigeria’s (PHCN) successor companies for increased fixed charge, among other tariffs, she said the Commission has met with the chief executives of the companies and told them that it would be suicide if they should increase the tarriffs.

Refinery privatisation: Senate urged to amend bill T O ensure that Nigerians are favoured when the four refineries are privatised next year, experts have called for a modification of the bill on investments in the industry. Part 1 Section 3 of a Senate Bill 176 ensures that 50 per cent refining capacity should be domiciled in the country. The bill further states: ‘’Nigerian personnel shall constitute a minimum of 75 per cent of the investing company in the petroleum industry in accordance with the law.” The President, International Association of Economics Energy (IAEE), Prof Adeola Akinnisiju, said a modification of the bill was necessary in view of the proposed privatisation of Warri, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt refineries. He said Nigerians would have enough stakes when the refineries are privatised. ‘’I am okay by the content of the bill because it’s talking about local content initiatives,” he said. He, however, argued that no ground would be lost if the bill is modified. When this happens, refin-

ery capacity and petroleum activities are going to be above 75 per cent as contained in the bill. This implies that more Nigerians are going to have controlling shareholdings in the refineries. ‘’At present, we depend on importation of petroleum products into the country. By modifying the bill and subsequently privatising the refineries, it means there would be increase in local participation in the industry. This, on condition that, a transparent process is adopted by the Bureau of Public Enterprises,’’ he added. According to him, the power sector reforms have set the tone of what to expect in the petroleum industry. The reforms, he said, have resulted in the sale and subsequent ownership of assets of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by Nigerians. ‘’We should expect a situation whereby the refineries would be own 100 per cent, once the National

Assembly is able to amend the bill. Like what happened in the power sector where Nigerian companies acquired the PHCN’s assets, the same thing is expected when the refineries are privatised,’’ he added. Also, the Chairman, Petroleum and Gas Workers Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(PENGASSAN), Mr Folorunso Ogini said, amendment of the bill is good and capable of encouraging local initiatives. He said Nigerians would leverage on the bill to ask for more stakes when the privatisation process starts. He cautioned the government on the issue, noting that efforts to sell the government enterprises failed in the past. “What happened to the British Airways? What happened to the Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (NITEL) NICON Insurance and other publicly-owned enterprises that the government intended to sell? They are dead because the government failed to follow due process. So, the issue of refineries must be handled with caution to achieve success, ’’ he said.

plant is Euro-certified. The invention has been well tested in some European, American and Asian countries. The bio-plant will produce: diesel, petrol, aviation fuel and kerosene. The total cost of the project is cheaper and the technology is safer, stronger and set to beat any other in the whole world.” Boyejo said the partners were yet to disclose the area where the project will be cited in Nigeria. He said the first part of signing of agreement between the partners have taken place, while the final signing will take place in Krasnodar, Russia. “It is expected that this project will aid the process of diversifying the economy and aid the Federal Government transformation agenda. It is expected that full work will commence at the site to be named in January 2014,” he added.

NDIGENOUS oil companies will account for over 30 per cent of oil and gas production in Nigeria in the next five years, the Chief Executive officer, Atlantic Energy Company Limited, Kola Aluko, has said. Aluko, in a paper titled: Onshore Niger Delta- A changing landscape, delivered at the African Oil Week Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, said the local companies have the capacity to execute 30 per cent of the businesses in the industry. He said: ‘’There are hundreds of underdeveloped discoveries onshore Nigeria, and with the recent divestments of onshore assets by International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria, this would increase the opportunities and access of Nigerian indigenous oil and gas companies to eight billion barrels of crude oil and 46 trillion cubic feet of natural Gas Gross Reserves. “Nigerian companies, like Atlantic Energy, have pushed for increased local participation in the upstream sector. As recent as


five-years ago, six to seven international oil companies were producing over 97 percent of Nigeria’s oil and gas, now Nigerian companies are producing close to 10 per cent, and I believe we can have 30 per cent ofNigeria’s oil and gas production being produced by Nigerian companies within five years. The time is now for companies like Atlantic Energy and other indigenous companies to step up to the plate.” Aluko said ageing infrastructure is one of the problems facing the sector, adding that it has affected the growth of the operators. He said the company has formed a strategic alliance with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)through which it has provided funding, technical and project management assistance to (NPDC). He said the firm has invested over $500 million in the project, adding that the initiative has helped in strengthening the alliance with NPDC. He added that NPDC and its Joint Venture partners produce 60,000 barrel of crude oil per day.

Firm begins innovation contest

CHNEIDER Electric has launched a new edition of its Go Green in the City Challenge. The competition, which has run for three years, is aimed at supporting energy management for more sustainable cities through innovation. It is open to students in tertiary institutions. With Go Green in the City, Schneider Electric said it is bringing together and sharing its extensive knowledge on sustainable energy with students, who are future engineers and managers of energy. Using innovative case studies, the group is showing the students that the world is at a critical stage where all must look for effective and innovative ways of reducing energy consumption, for both economic and environmental reasons. Entry for the fourth edition opened on November 15, 2013 and will end in February 15. Those eligible are business and engineering bachelor degree students from second year and above, master students as well as MBA students from all over the world. Each contestant must belong to a two member team; one of the

members must be female. Mrs. Anne Ezeh, Communication Manager, Schneider Electric Nigeria, said: “This competition embodies Schneider Electric’s desire to raise the younger generation’s awareness of the challenges facing the energy sector. Schneider Electric also wants to encourage interaction between the students and its employees. To achieve this, each of the chosen teams is assigned a Schneider Electric employee as their mentor, who works with them during the various selection stages. By doing this, the company wants to prepare student who are passionate about energy issues for their forthcoming working lives and make them more employable. “By insisting on selecting teams with at least one woman, the Go Green in the City competition is keen to incorporate a woman’s perspective and approach in the Group’s environmentally-friendly initiatives.” The firm portance of gender equality through its diversity policy, because this is the best way to develop the values and skills needed to meet the economic and social challenges of the 21st century.





The revamping manufacturing sector

HE manufacturing sector has be gun to experience statistical growth. It is an important point to make, in spite of the cynicism towards statistical expression of performances of economic indicators in Nigeria. But part of the economic transformation that is taking place in the country is that public and private sector institutions are now producing analytics for better understanding of what is going on in the economy. More systematic approaches to data-gathering are helping to provide reliable information which guide economic and investment decisions, in line with the trend in the advanced and emerging markets, where regional, national and sectoral data are crucial in understanding the state of the economies and the performance of their industries. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the performance of the manufacturing sector has been strengthening. The sector grew by 8.41 per cent in Q1 2013. It was a performance that even bettered the impressive growth of 7.70 per cent in the last quarter of 2012. This upswing in the performance of one of the sectors that hold the ace for Nigeria’s economic transformation was corroborated by researchers at FBN Capital, one of the leading investment banking and financial advisory groups in Nigeria. FBN Capital’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has maintained a reading above 50 points since the “headline reading” of 59.6 per cent at its launch in April, this year. The PMI methodology indicates 50 points as flat performance; a reading above it is growth, while lower reading indicates contraction. Although far from glory days, the manufacturing sector constitutes 10 per cent of our GDP. This is significant for a frontier market, and at this stage of Nigeria’s development. The sector accounts for about 12 per cent of employment in the formal sector. In spite of the decline in the sector a few years ago, the consumer goods sub sector has always been vibrate. After decades of domination by multinational food and beverage franchises, recent growth in manufacturing has seen strong contribution by indigenous manufacturers, who have come into fortune because of the policy support under the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, and the fillip provided by his predecessors.

A manufacturing hub Nigeria has been a sort of manufacturing hub for West Africa for decades. A huge percentage of the trade in manufactured products that linked the sub region is informal. Pharmaceutical products and other consumer manufactured goods had fuelled Nigerian exports to Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia and a swath of Francophone West African countries, until China took aim at the sub region to dump inferior quality items from the 1990s. But Nigeria is set to regain its status as the central nervous system for manufacturing and distribution on the West coast of Africa, for a number of reasons. Unlike in the 1970’s through to the last decade, China now cares much more than economic growth that is achieved through foul trade practices such as dumping. Now the second-largest world economy – one that aims to be more influential in global diplomacy – China has begun to reform its industrial practices, and is aiming to shift from manufacturing of inferior quality products to leveraging hi-tech. Moreover, China is transitioning from a low-wage economy as domestic consumption has been identified to be a major support for economic growth for the country, moving forward. The status of Nigeria in manufacturing in West Africa can hardly be challenged. A domestic consumer base of over 170 million people ensures that local demands are strong and supportive of investment in manufacturing. This is particularly so as a result of the growing middle class in Nigeria that is boosting consumption. Thus, it is reasonable,

By Roberts Orya

that foreign investors in the region look at setting up in Nigeria and then export excess capacity to other countries in the region. A reverse strategy is a nonstarter. While infrastructural support for trade of manufactured goods in the country has been inadequate (but improving), more serious logistical, non-tariff barriers will thwart any effort to serve Nigeria’s needs from a manufacturing base elsewhere in West Africa. Not surprisingly therefore, some of the manufacturing companies that moved out of Nigeria a few years ago are returning. A number of reforms are reshaping the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. The NBS has more recently attributed the growth in the sector to implementation of the power sector reforms. The full effect of the reforms is a promise than what we currently experience. It is, therefore, expected that the era of more stable gridelectricity power supply, which Nigeria now has on the horizon, would ensure that products manufactured in Nigeria move towards price-competitiveness. It will also drive other efficiency factors. As I had mentioned, this Administration has pressed on with addressing infrastructural deficiencies. As a first step in the rail transportation, some of the old rail lines have been revamped and are now operational. This and some proposals for new tracks will support establishment of an agricultural corridor to connect agricultural produce to agro-processing industries. A number of policy supports, including fiscal incentives and establishment of free trade zones, have underlined government’s efforts to lift the manufacturing sector. General Electric is one of the global manufacturers that have taken advantage of this in recent times. Its $1 billion investment in a service and manufacturing facility in Calabar, the Cross River State capital adds to the high profile non-oil foreign direct investment in the country. Of bigger scale is the $9 billion investment of Dangote Group in petroleum refining, petrochemical and fertiliser plant in the Olokola Free Trade Zone. Small and scale Enterprises (SME) manufacturing is not overlooked. Part of the credit goes to the strong advocacy of the very vibrant trade association for the sector: Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). Its leadership has been persistent in calling for more favourable fiscal environment and removal of barriers to the growth of the sector. Where MAN has been helpless (although not altogether without assistance), is the area of high interest rate charged by the commercial banks. A number of financing initiatives including an SME fund sponsored by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have been addressed to the special funding needs of manufacturers of smaller scale. That we have need of more

• Orya

low-cost finance solution is well acknowledged by policymakers, although macroeconomic goals that impact interests rates are much more difficult to achieve at the current level of success with diversification of the economy.

NEXIM Bank in the solution mix The Nigerian Export-Import Bank has been working closely with some manufacturers in Nigeria since we formulated our “MASS Agenda.” We thought that the manufacturing, agro-processing, solid minerals and services sectors were very important frontiers of job-rich growth that the country needed to give welfarist meaning to the impressive GDP growth Nigeria has experienced since much of the last decade. Specifically, since 2010, NEXIM Bank has been assisting some manufacturers to retool. We have funded complete overhaul of facilities for some manufacturer clients. Manufacturing evolves with technology. Therefore, our interventions usually assist manufacturers to adopt new technology in the form of new equipment and machinery. As a development finance institution (DFI), NEXIM Bank’s facilities, including for manufacturers, are priced below the exorbitant market rate of the commercial banks. For a number of our loan beneficiaries, our facilities have been critical to their ability to take advantage of opportunities that require them to expand their capacity, or acquire more cost-efficient facilities to improve the quality of their products. In either scenario, jobs are on the line. We look to create and sustain jobs in the manufacturing sector. We hope to scale up our impacts. By 2015, NEXIM Bank aims to provide about N42 billion in short and long-term financing to the manufacturing sector. This will represent about six per cent of

‘Manufacturing is one of the sectors that will contribute to the long-term economic growth in Nigeria. When we factor in the value chain, we see even brighter economic prospects’


‘By 2015, NEXIM Bank aims to provide about N42 billion in short and long-term financing to the manufacturing sector. This will represent about six per cent of total funding needs of the sector. With this, we hope to directly mediate about four per cent of total production value in manufacturing, and create and support over 70,000 jobs. Our specific view of the sector is to identify key areas of growth dynamics’ total funding needs of the sector. With this, we hope to directly mediate about four per cent of total production value in manufacturing, and create and support over 70,000 jobs. Our specific view of the sector is to identify key areas of growth dynamics. As a result of local consumption capacity and local sourcing of raw materials, Nexim Bank will focus significant parts of its intervention on these subsectors: food and beverage, wood products, domestic and industrial plastic/rubber products, steel and alloy products. An up-to-date view of the sector is not that it is comatose; it is revamping. The growth potentials in the manufacturing sector are huge. Manufacturing is one of the sectors that will contribute to the long-term economic growth in Nigeria. When we factor in the value chain, we see even brighter economic prospects. NEXIM Bank will continue to innovate on how to support, in particular, exportmanufacturers in fulfilment of its mandate. We are taking another major step in this direction with our buyer credit facility, which is in the offing and will be launched by 2015. •Orya is Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank)

EU spends 677m euro on projects

HE European Union (EU) budget for projects in the country for the last five years would have hit the 677million euro mark, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, has said. Arrion, who also spoke about the security challenges in the country, noted that projects embarked on were done in concert with the Nigerian authorities under the European Development Fund (EDF) which is funded by the General Budget of the EU. The EU projects, tagged National Indicative Programme for Nigeria for the 10th EDF (2008-1013) targets three main sectors of intervention - Economic Governance, Political Governance and Democracy and Social Governance.

From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

Besides, Arrion also said EU and Nigerian officials met in Brussels to decide on programming priorities for 2014 to 2020 under the EDF. He said the financial envelope for the 10th EDF is 677 million euro, which must be fully committed for projects by the end of the year. However, implementation of projects may continue for several years beyond 2013. On insecurity in the country, the Ambassador said: “EU appreciates the security challenges facing Nigeria, and is working with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to contribute to strengthen the capac-

ity of Nigerian securityagencies to deal with the insurgency in parts of the north and other security challenges the country is grappling with. “We are active in peace and security; it is a new area for us. We recognise the importance of security and we are active in the field. We try to better understand the regional aspect of insecurity in Nigeria. We have recently elaborated an issue strategy for the panel so in times of strategic orientation, in term of strategic objective, yes we are fully engage in security issues. We have directed our support to the NSA or support to community, NGO or civil societies who are working on the country’s issue. We are also trying to create a European defense policy.”



The Midweek Magazine


•Cross section of journalists and organisers at the event

To address trafficking in persons (TIP), the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Person and other Related Matters (NATIP) brainstormed with journalists from across the country in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

Pressing against trafficking



RAFFICKING in persons (TIP) has been described as “a brutish and uncivilised crime that should not happen” by advocates at a media roundtable in Benue State capital, Makurdi. Hundreds of years after the abolition of slavery, the menace has metamorphosed into diverse forms with TIP being the most threatening of all, it was said. According to advocates, TIP has since become an underthe-radar crime that is constantly plaguing the world. Millions of people are still being trafficked yearly and since has become the second most lucrative market across the world, according to the co-founder of PRAJWALA, an Indian-based foundation involved in rescuing and sheltering victims of trafficking, Dr Sunitha Krishnan. Nigeria is not immune to the menace. In fact, Nigeria is rated as being a recruitment, transit and destination country, it was learnt. Hence, Dr Krishnan, along with other advocates, therefore, called for collective efforts in curbing the


crime. They made the call at a Media Roundtable TIP and the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM), which was organised by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Person and other Related Matters (NATIP). The two-day event was funded by the European Union (EU). According to UNODC, since the traffickers belong to a large ring across the globe, it would require a collective network of involving government, civil societies, the community at large and the media to curb the trend. As part of the moves to combat the scourge, it is constantly identifying and joining forces with groups that bear the same mandate, while campaigning against it. The media roundtable is one. It drew attention on the negative impact of twin-headed menace (TIP and SOM), the modus operandi of traffickers and the plights of victims. Nigerians were warned to beware of sites on the Internet that are involved in prostitution and trafficking of persons. There is a thin line between TIP and SOM, according to UNODC Smuggling of Migrants and Training Officer, Mrs Aminat Abdulrahman. While stating that TIP involves coercion, SOM is done with consent of the person involved, she, however, noted that both are exploitative. Aside external trafficking, she drew attention to internal sort, involving the trafficking of children as house-helps. She called on Nigerians to kick against the trend, saying it does lots of physical and psychologically damage to the victims. Mrs Abdulrahman said: “We should not only shout about

Eyo Festival for UNESCO’s list

FTER a heated debate, the Lagos State’s Eyo Masquerade Festival has been referred at the 8 th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Baku Azerbaijan. It was nominated by Nigeria to be inscribed on the Representative List of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. According to a report by the subsidiary body on its work in 2013 and examination of nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the nomination satisfied four, but did not satisfy one, out of the five criteria for inscription, adding that it described no concrete safeguarding measures at the community or State level to ensure the viability of the element, particularly in the wake of inscription. However, the body was convinced that the Eyo nomination satisfied criteria one and two, for its inscription on the Representative List, because rooted in the social and cultural fabric of Lagos and passed on from generation to generation, the masquerade festival is an event expressing profound spiritual beliefs that integrates all members of the community; and that the inscription of the Eyo masquerade on the Representative List could promote dialogue between Eyo communities and others, as well as foster cultural appreciation and mutual respect.

According to the report, the nomination satisfied criteria 4 and 5, in that, Eyo groups and custodians of the festival participated in the nomination process, represented by the traditional Prime Minister of Lagos, Head of the Adamu Orisha in Council, as well as the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture and the Oba of Lagos, who gave their free, prior and informed consent; and that Eyo masquerade festival is included in the National Inventory of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage, maintained and regularly updated by the National Committee on Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage for Nigeria. Reacting to the decision of the Committee, Mr. Augustus Ajibola, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, who is in charge of the UNESCO Desk in the Ministry, said though the referral was devastating, it was a learning process, and that the nomination will be repackaged by Nigeria for further necessary action. He noted that, on the other hand, it was good the decision did not come the previous day, when the nomination was to have been discussed, being that it was his birth day and such an unfavourable decision on his birth day would have been a very bitter birth day gift. The Eyo masquerade festival of Lagos is celebrated in honour of the deity Adamu Orisha, regarded as the conduit through which departed souls may enter the spirit

external trafficking but also the internal one, which is very high in Nigeria. TIP and SOM often occur in tandem. However, both involve taking advantage of vulnerabilities of persons to obtain profit. While they are both risky and potentially life threatening, the impact for victims of TIP are usually more overriding and the harm more difficult and complex to reverse or remedy.” The biggest challenge in the fight against the TIP and SOM, the Project Manager, UNODC, Mmunbi Njau said, is the society – their attitude, perception and discrimination against victims. This, she observed, is where the media comes into play. In fact, the role of media in the fight cannot be overemphasised. According to her, it is a major partner in its I am Priceless campaign that advocates against human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. She urged journalists to bring the “act of bestiality” to public consciousness, while holding governments and international bodies accountable. “The media has incredible power, use it for awareness, to influence opinion and create change,” she urged. NAPTIP Head Media and Communication, Mr Arinze Orakwue said the organisation has intensified measures of addressing the menace, saying anyone caught in the crime would not go unpunished. He, however, lamented that in spite of its efforts at creating awareness on the scam on illegal migration, Nigerians are constantly falling for it due to poverty, greed, civil unrest, among others. “Time has come for us to say no to trafficking…they are our children. NAPTIP is fully committed to the prevention of all forms of human degradation and exploitation through the co-ordinated use of the nation’s crime prevention and law enforcement resources. “

world and it is considered an important rite of passage and is usually held to mark the burial rites of a prominent chief. It is opened by a notable public figure carrying a white pigeon in the hand, just as Eyo costumed dancers then parade through the city, attired in flowing white gowns that symbolize purity and represent the spirits of the dead; and all the dancers carry a staff for magic prayers and wear a large, decorated, fully veiled straw hat whose colour and design indicate the extended family compound to which they belong. The festival brings the community together, integrates all strata of society and pays obeisance to the ruling Oba (king) of Lagos; and all adults belonging to Eyo households can be bearers of the masquerade and each compound or group is dutybound to transfer and improve the intricate designs of staff, straw hat and clothing. The poetry recited during the festival is also particular to each compound or group and is handed down through the generations (both orally and in written form), with modifications and improvisations. By this referral, which was at the instance of the Committee, Nigeria has an opportunity to represent the nomination file in 2014, after providing the necessary information to meet criteria No. 3; an outright decision not to inscribe would have meant waiting for four years before a representation of such nomination.

‘Great to be back home’ By Chinasa Ekekwe


IFTEEN years after leaving the shores of the country, US-based Nigerian contemporary artist, Victor Ekpuk, in collaboration with Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) and Olu Amoda, is currently utilising Amoda’s Waterside Studio space to create works that are inspired by the experiences of his residency in Nigeria. According to a statement by the coordinators, Ekpuk’s art began as an exploration of nsibidi “traditional” graphics and writing systems in Nigeria from which he has developed a style of mark making; that is, the interplay of art and writing. His art works embraces a wider spectrum of meaning that is rooted in African and global contemporary art discourses. Ekpuk has had numerous exhibitions and residencies in Africa, Europe, and the United States. His works are in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, the Newark Museum, and the World Bank, among others. He is currently the first visual artist in resident at OYASAF for a period of one year. According to Ekpuk “this 60 days is the longest I have spent in Nigeria since I left about 15 years ago. Having the opportunity to spend this much time in Nigeria, has afforded me the time to be inspired again by the Nigerian environment, especially Lagos. Great to be back home, where it all started,” he said.



The Midweek Magazine ‘Botswana, Botswana, so good I call you twice’



HE aircraft taxied down to the terminal. As it did, it became clear that this is not a land where greenery has found favour. On alighting from the aircraft and walking close to the terminal building, the first impression was: “a small but beautiful airport.” That Sunday, there were no other planes on the runway, giving the impression that this is not a busy airport. The glass fibre with which the walls of the terminal building were built shone like a million diamonds. Setting foot into the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana did not change the first impression. The floor shone as though they were made only the day before. The toilet was small but sparkling. There were very few Immigration officials around further confirming that this is not a busy airport. The points at which visitors were stamped in were only four. Two of the airport officials were even sleeping on their desk when there was no work to do. But the first impression about Botswana was almost marred when officials struggled through the process of issuing some visitors, including me, visas at the point of entry. It took us close to two hours to get this done. But the worst part was that even when we did, there was no electric means of printing our receipts so that we could get refund from the organisers of the conference we came for. We were told the system was down and asked to come for them the following day. We left for the car park and only then did it make sense to us that Botswana was indeed in summer. The sun was hot and scorching. It bit our skins and we were almost sweating like goats about to be slaughtered. We made our way to an hotel in the heart of town, took a lunch of chicken, apple, sandwitch, wafer chocolate and drinks and began the journey to Palapye, the home of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology, where we would be for the next four days for a conference on science, technology and enterpreneurship. It was a journey I was not prepared to make. I had assumed we would pass the night in Gaborone. I passed the night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya and barely slept. The four-hour trip by air to Gaborone was practically spent by me sleeping and wasting two hours at the airport further zapped me. So, it was a bad news being told we had to go to Palapye immediately. And Palapye was not small journey from Gaborone. It took all of three hours. The good thing, however, was that none of the three hours was spent on traffic gridlock; no time was wasted avoiding potholes. There was no single pothole or manhole to avoid on the 270km road. It was smooth sailing all the way. The smoothness of the way covered up for the bad air-conditioning system in the bus that took us. Fresh breeze blew from the environment on the way to Palapye. Not a few found time to sleep but curiousity kept me awake. I wanted to see as much as possible of the countryside on the way to Palapye. It opened my mind to the fact that agriculture is not friendly with Botswana’s soil. The country experiences little rain. No wonder almost every prayer is ended with a call on God

•Office of the President of Botswana By Olukorede Yishau

TRAVELOGUE to send down the rain. Unlike other places where farms dot the way, there are just reluctant greenery and trees— sparse enough to see in between them. There are no thick forest. A lot of the people are into livestock farming. An official of BIUST said the country has more cattle than human beings, joking that if the country were truly democratic, cattle should emerge president. On the right side of the road to Palapye are rail lines, which had no one selling on or close to them as we see in Lagos. Aside Gaborone, the country’s other big city is Francistown, which is five hours by road from the federal capital. Perhaps its most important town is Jwaneng, the home to the richest diamond mine in the world. It is approximately 160km from the capital. The mine was opened in 1982 and the mine is the richest piece of real estate in the world. It produces 12 million carats of diamonds per year, where the country gets more than half of it revenue— though the industry is the second largest employer of labour. Though not up to Lagos in population, with just two million people, Botswana has some land mass. Far above Lagos. So, its people do not live in compacted environment. They have free, fresh air to breathe, no wonder their life expectancy is far better than our own. Their road network is good to the extent that they can drive to Zimbabwe and South Africa. Homes, offices and other structures in Gaborone, Palapye and other parts of this country do not have high walls. Many do not even have fences. Those who have make sure they are short enough for outsiders to see what is going on inside. Many use wire mesh to make their fences. Some use irons, with spaces in between the welding work, which are short enough for a toddler to jump over. In Botswana, there is hardly failure of electricity. Thanks to its coal-fired power plant. Water sometimes goes off, which made our host advise that we store water. Though there were table water on sale, practically all the water supplied to Botswana home are good enough for drinking, with no fear of contracting pipe-borne diseases. The streets are well-planned, with streetlights, walkways made of interlocking stones and medians glittering with well-cut stones. The drainages in the cities and towns are mostly


covered and many even serve as the walkways. The bumps are made with interlocking stones in a creative manner that force a driver to have no choice but to wait. Drivers and motorists obey traffic lights in the same manner they obey the words of the Anglican, Catholic and other priests who call the shots in the many churches that dot the Botswana landscape. It was one of the poorest countries in Africa when it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, with a GDP per capita of about US$70. The country has since transformed itself, becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with a GDP per capita of about $14,000 and a high gross national income, possibly the fourth-largest in Africa. This gives the country a modest standard of living. The country has the second highest Human Development Index in Sub-Saharan African. Its currency Pula is stronger than South African rand. Twelve dollars give 100 Pula. Of course, the naira trails far behind. Yet, Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country. It is flat. Up to 70 per cent of its land mass is covered by the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. It also shares a not clearly defined border with Zambia to the north near a place called Kazungula. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Its citizens refer to themselves as Batswana. The singular is Motswana. So, don’t call them Botswanians. They won’t answer you. It used to be known as the British protectorate

of Bechuanaland. It adopted its current name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on September 30, 1966. It has held uninterrupted democratic elections since independence. Its 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and to independence. Seretse Khama, a nationalist, was elected the first President, going on to be re-elected twice.His Vice-President, Quett Masire, was elected in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire retired from office in 1998 and was succeeded by Festus Mogae, who was elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2004. The presidency passed in 2008 to Ian Khama, the son of the first President, who was Mogae’s VicePresident since resigning his position in 1998. He was Commander of the Botswana Defence Force. All its leaders have been produced by the Botswana Democratic Party. According to Transparency International, Botswana is the least corrupt country in Africa. Its people are honest. I lost 240 Pula and it was brought back to me by the woman who saw it the following day. A Nigerian from the U.S. was shortpaid by a bank and was called to come and pick the shortfall. So, will it be safe to say everything works in Botswana? Certainly not. Or how does one explain the fact that Immigration men could not print receipts for money already paid? How does one explain the fact that Botswana had the highest life expectancy until HIV/AIDS began to reduce it in the late 1980s? One in six Batswana has HIV, giving the country the second highest infection rate in the world after Swaziland. That perhaps explains why hotels place Bible and condoms side by side in the rooms. Rising expenditure on healthcare services has led to budget deficit. There is no doubt that the country has used its diamond wealth to better the lot of its people. It has not shield away from attracting the best brains, including Nigerians to help out. Its Botswana International University of Science and Technology in Palapye, is headed by a Nigerian, Prof. Hilary Inyang, who President Goodluck Jonathan will on December 5, honour with the Nigerian Merit Award. There are other Nigerians heading one department or the other in the university. Many are also in other organisations in the country. For the country, what matters is the bottomline.

Actress stages scriptwriting master class ·


•Dr Agboluaje (third left), Miss Douglas (sitting) in a group photograph with participants.

HE daughter of the former Minister of Youths, Sports and Culture, Bikiya Graham Douglas, has staged a professional scriptwriting masterclass with Dr Oladipo Agboluaje as the facilitator. Agboluaje is a renowned London-based talented and versatile writer. The course designed for journalists, copywriters and screenwriters is Bikiya’s effort to close widening knowledge in Nigeria’s theatre and creative story-telling industry. It is to help participants utilise their skills in the rewriting stage of script development. Oladipo Agboluaje is a member of the African Theatre Association (ATTN), The Writers Guild of Great Britain, Royal African Society, Bloomberg Tricycle Writers Group, English PEN, the Talawa Writers Group and the Femce (pan European network of theatrepy makers. A participant, Ebi Pre-Bai said: “The course encouraged me to engage critically with my work at the rewriting phase, in order to develop my scripts to their maximum dramatic potential.” Bikiya Graham – Douglas is an actress, singer and producer who is also the Operating Officer of BEETA Universal Arts Foundation (BUAF) The two-week course included script analysis, principle of dramatic storytelling, structure, time and space management, characterisation, subtext, scene construction, distinction between script rewriting/redrafting and editing and developing scripts to their maximum dramatic potential.



The Midweek Magazine Championing the cause of African women




Title: Author: Reviewer:

In Speaking for Myself Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi Kunle Ajibade


ET me begin with Chinweizu, the non-conformist pan- African intellectual who wrote The West and the Rest of Us, a lucid, penetrating and fierce critique of the imperial conquest and enslavement of Africa. In October 1990, Chinweizu published Anatomy of Female Power,a book he described as amasculinist dissection of matriarchy. Echoing Esther Vilar’s The Manipulated Man, he argues with passion and wit in this book that men may rule the world, but women rule the men who rule the world. According to him: ‘’There are five conditions which enable women to get what they want from men: women’s control of the womb; women’s control of the kitchen; women’s control of the cradle; the psychological immaturity of men relative to women; and man’s tendency to be deranged by his own excited penis.” Chinweizu, not surprisingly, dedicates Anatomy of Female Powerto the countless number of women who have slipped in and out of his life especially those who attempted to marry him! He calls on men of the world to unite and refuse to accept the claim that men are natural oppressors of women. Chinweizu’sbook, I must admit, is seductive. But the moment you ask yourself the question: Is there really no oppression to liberate women from? And if your answer is a resounding yes, his argument then becomes not just provocative but reductionist. In Speaking for Myself BisiAdeleye-Fayemi indicts such reductionist patriarchal notions and ideas.The five hundred-page-book is a generous collection of many essays, academic papers, lectures, speeches, opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines, poems, reviews and tributes that she wrote between 1987 and 2012. All the pieces tell a coherent story of three decades of dedication to the cause of women, a mission in which she has found true meaning and contentment. We have here extended ruminations of a giver of light. With depth and clarity of thought she combines personal anecdotes and layers of data to offer a lively and rigorous defence of the concerns and needs of women, particularly women in Africa. Substantially, her contention is that a society where liberty, equality and fraternity do not have a prime of place is very dangerous to live in.We are told that, apart from the love and encouragement of his father in her early years, the University of Ife was where the seeds of her intellectual engagements with feminism were planted and nurtured. This is where she earned her first and second degrees in History and International Relations. This was where she read Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch for the first time. Greer’s book was given to her by Dr. Femi Taiwo, now a professor at Cornell University in America. The Female Eunuch was a source of inspiration. As she grew rapidly in thought she wrote a joint paper with Dr. Taiwo for a conference organised by Professor Bolanle Awe’s Women’s Research and Documentation Centre at the University of Ibadan in 1987. That paper remains relevant to women’s studies. The mentor and the mentee argue in the paper that: “There is no future for women’s studies in Nigeria unless it is premised on some plausible, coherent, and adequate theory (or theories) of women’s oppression which, while remaining faithful to the universalist dimensions of theory construction, will be alert to the specificity of the Nigerian situation and its diverse manifestations and reorient itself accordingly.” They propose that women studies be taught in our Universities. More crucially, they observe that “we should not permit ourselves to think that the emancipation of women can be done outside the context of the general emancipation of humankind’’. Ten years of working at Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) further strengthened her theoretical capacity and resolve. That she designed the African Women’s Leadership Institute (AWLI), a training centre for young African women; that she helped to establish the African Feminist Forum which serves as a rallying point for African feminist scholars; that she, along with activists like Sarah Mukasa, built and nurtured the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF); that

the Ekiti Development Foundation came into being and, in a short time, inspired a legislation against rape, are all a result ofreflections and game –changing experiences. As an African feminist she bounces herself in this book against all Eurocentric white feminists and the local conservative women organisations peopled by those she describes as home fronters and gender activists as opposed to feminist activists. It is a clear ideological position she is not afraid to take. She argues robustly that all identities that locate women in spaces that make them vulnerable are not acceptable. She questions histories and heroics which refuse to honour women who excelled or who were just difficult to understand or categorise. In essay after essay, she calls for a dismantling of regional and global structures of social injustices which reduce women to second class citizens, which make their labour unremunerated and which make them permanent objects of validation by men. The increased impoverishment of the African continent, Adeleye-Fayemi argues, inevitably brings about the disempowerment of women, or to use her much beloved phrase, brings about “the feminisation of poverty”. She proves convincingly that, due to biological, social and economic reasons, women in Africa suffer more from the consequences of inadequate healthcare, conflicts and wars. How come, she asks, that women do not have the right to transfer citizenship to another national? “If you are a full citizen of a country, you should have the power to legally transfer citizenship. If the constitution says that you cannot, then your status as a full citizen is questionable”. To claim and sustain political space for women is essential. But access to mainstream decision-making and political power for African women is very difficult. If political terrain is tough for men, it is tougher for women. She observes that “The outrageous costs of running for office, the logistics of coordinating an effective campaign, the fluidity of politicians’ meeting hours, fear of violence, the need for a political godfather – these are factors that serve to exclude women from making a decision to serve their countries”. Even when women survive all these hurdles, what about the difficulty of working in an environment that is so hostile to the empowerment and equality of women? To her, this should not lead to indifference. The situation demands courage, it demands that serious women should be identified, put forward and supported. This will involve cultivating leadership among

young women.She encourages feminist activists to work with men and seek them out as allies. But she quickly enters a caveat: carrying men along must not include employing them to run women’s organisations, speaking on behalf of women, counselling women who are suffering from abuse. She suspects that men will not give up easily the powers and privileges which patriarchy confers on them. In an attempt to solve the problem of women subjugation, however, feminist activists should not end up instigating their sons to form a men’s movement for equality. The negative representations of women in literature, drama, films, music, advert copies and other forms of communication have always given BisiAdeleye-Fayemi a lot of concern. In this book, she interrogates the forms and contents of Shina Peters’ ‘Shinamania’, Jimoh Aliu’s Arelu, Isola Ogunsola Iyawo Alalubosa and shows how women are trivialised or dubiously elevated when they should just be celebrated or condemned as human beings if they truly deserve it. She praises ‘Warrior Marks’, Alice Walker’s documentary on genital mutilation, not only for the veracity of her story line and the power of photography but also because the documentary could serve as an effective weapon for all those who value human dignity. You will recall that the African Women Development Fund sponsored a well-attended conference in Lagos three years ago toexamine the dynamics of women’s representations in Nollywood films. Professor Abena Busia, Dr. Bunmi Oyinsan and Joke Silva were among the resource persons. She suggests that one way of projecting the positive image of African women, of putting an end to what she calls ‘’the effective silencing of African Women’s voices and experiences” is for all gifted feminist activists to rise to the challenge of writing their own stories. According to her, “We have to scale up our contributions to the rich debates on feminist theory and practice worldwide”. For her, it is only when all voices have been heard can feminismbe described as truly global. If all the articles she wrote occasionally for newspapers, radio, magazines, journals and television are in this book it is essentially to demonstrate that she has always added her own voice to those of others who fight for comfortable space for women through their writings. As you read them, and possibly disagree with some of her positions, you will not miss the tender honesty of her writings, their unfailing sense of justice andthe weight of their wisdom.She makes a strong case for courage, solidarity and accountability. She also talks about the necessity of memory in our national lives. Her argument is that if we don’t forget the bad ones among us, we are most likely not going to forget the good ones. She remembers the living and the dead from whom she has learnt a lot. She salutes Mrs Ronke Okusanya and other great women in Ekiti for the dignity in their exemplary lives. She appreciates the likes of Bene Madunagu, Tawakkul Karman, Ellen Johnson-SirLeaf, Laymah Gbowee, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aisa Imam, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Joyce Banda. By paying glowing tributes to her father, Mr Emmanuel Adeleye, who just left his house one day and has not been found, dead or alive, since then; by paying tribute to Dr.Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, Funmi Olayinka, mama Dorcas Fayemi, Flora Nwapa, Funmilayo RansomeKuti, Sally Mugabe, Wangari Maathai, Kudirat Abiola, May Ellen Ezikiel, Brenda Fassie, Yetunde Obafemi, Annie Mubanga and a host of others who have spent their lives keeping faith with women, caring for the underdogs, working for the common good, raising wonderful families and building institutions, she calls our attention to some of the virtues that will make our country and the world grow and endure.


Writers bid Iyayi farewell


By Evelyn Osagie

RITERS across the globe bade farewell to former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), late Prof Festus Iyayi, who was laid to rest in his hometown, Ugbegun, last week. A literary feast was held in his hometown in honour of the late writer. The late Iyayi, who died last month in a road accident near Lokoja, Kogi State, would be remembered for his work in intellectual activism, in the course of which he met his death, according to writers. They called for the protection of the lives of writers. In a statement signed by the Secretary General, Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), Prof AtukweiOkai, said PAWA and Africa has been robbed of an illustrious sonby the death of Iyayi. On a visit to his family in Benin by a delegation led by Okai, PAWA praised his unflinching commitment and selfless devotion to the cause of African writers, especially for his enormous contribution as the Programmes Development Advisor to PAWA. The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), in a statement signed by ANA President, Prof RemiRaji,commiserated with the family the late writer, saying it is still “in a state of absolute shock” by his untimely death on November 12. In addition to his numerous publications as a scholar, his four major novels – Violence, The Contract, Heroes, and Awaiting Court Martial – will continue to be relevant in the cultural and intellectual landscape of Nigerian literature as remarkable fictional perceptions of our social realities, according to Raji. He condemned boisterousness of some office holders, particularlyon the road, saying the consequence is what befell the late writer. It noted that the Lokoja-Abuja road, which poor condition has long been decried, also claimed the life of multi-talented poet and dancer, IfyOmalicha, in March 2012. “In this time of great loss, the association would like to categorically excoriate the recklessness of those in the service of public officials in Nigeria as well as the embarrassing underdevelopment of infrastructure in the country. “The untimely death of Festus Iyayi, professor and novelist, was caused by the recklessness of officials in the employ of the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, in an ungodly hurry to obscure ends. This state of affair, where we lose the best and the brightest as well as those with unfathomable potential, is absolutely condemnable.” According to Raji, late Iyayi was a lifelong member of ANA, a founding and influential member of the Edo state chapter of the Association, adding that he will be “greatly missed”. “We join the family of late Professor Festus Iyayi, the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the intellectual community at the University of Benin, particularly, in this period of mourning and will be participating in the burial ceremonies of the acclaimed author as will be announced by the family. Rest in Peace, Festus Iyayi,”Raji said. Meanwhile,as part of its recommendation to the United Nations UPR, PEN International has urged that for concrete steps be taken toend threats against writers and journalists who are exercising their right to freedom of expression, adding that federal and state security forces and officials involved in infringing fundamental rights of writers and journalists guaranteed by the Constitution be brought to book.

•Mr.KunleAjibade, Executive editor of TheNEWS magazine, read this review at the Fountain Hotel in Ado Ekiti on 11 October 2013 at the public presentation of Speaking for Myself

‘As an African feminist she bounces herself in this book against all Eurocentric white feminists and the local conservative women organisations peopled by those she describes as home fronters and gender activists as opposed to feminist activists’

•The late Iyayi



The Midweek Magazine



Dancing on the street

Yoruba descendants honour Alaafin


From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

ATIONAL Association of Yoruba Descendants in South Africa has appointed the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, as its grand patron. Some months ago, the association also conferred an award of The Most Cultural and Prestigious African Monarch on the paramount ruler. In a statement by the association’s spokesperson, Dr.Olsola Agbeniyi said the associations’ members owe their origin as a people and descendants to Oduduwa. It stated that there is ardent need to promote their cultural identity, and more than ever before think of sustaining their culture, especially language, and ass well passing them to generations yet unborn. The association also commended the Alaafin for opening Nigeria and Africa, as a continent to the world in a way that has never done in the past, adding that through this effort, the world has come to realise that Africa is no longer a dark continent. ‘’The paramount ruler’s untiring efforts towards promotion of our culture and sressing need for Africans to re-write their history themselves and begin systematic documentation of what they have in the name of cultural property deserve to be applauded and supported by every right thinking African.’’ One of the objectives of the association, according to the statement is to have a Yoruba house and school in Pretoria. Daughter of the paramount ruler, Princess Folasade Arewa Adeyemi represented his father at the inauguration of the association’s new executive committee held in Johannesburg.

Voyage Retour berths in Lagos


HE Photography Department of the Museum Folkwang, Essen Germany in collaboration with the Goethe- Institut, Lagos, hosted a photograph exhibition at the Federal Government Press, Broad Street, Lagos Island. The show tagged: Voyage Retour was the first of its kind to be staged by the Museum Folkwang in West Africa. It featured an array of photographs drawn from the Folkwang’s photography archive of both African and European photographers which were J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Rolf Gillhausen, Robert Lebeck, Malick Sidibe, Germaine Krull, and Wolfgang Weber. The exhibition tour, which focused on the perspectival shifts and exchanges that took place between Africa and Europe as manifested in pictorial medium from 1920’s up until the period of decolonization and the transition to independence in Africa is accessible to a wider audience both in Germany and in Africa. The images are a valuable historical testament from the first half of the twentieth and represent a permanent record of scenes from the colonial period. Also on display are hitherto unseen artworks which made the exhibition unique. Spurred on by its view of photography as a highly political medium, the exhibition Voyage Retour focused to create a dynamic space from which new

By Tosin Ogungbo

discussion can emerge on the variety of approaches and perspective pertaining to the long period of Afro-European relations which had its origins in the colonial experience. The curatorial assistant, Anne-Lena Michel said in the catalogue for the show that Voyage Retour juxtaposes positions covering the period from the 1920s to the early 1970s, providing a context for interaction between works from public and private archives, state-sponsored, organization and project with an artistic, propagandistic, journalistic and educational motivation-regardless of whether they have migrated to a museum collections or not (as yet)’. The exhibition, which ended over the weekend with a colloquium entitled Crossing Archives at the Goethe-Institut Lagos, featured an international panel which discussed overarching questions relating to the perspective, function and the significance of photographic archives for the society and artistic practice. “I would be delighted if the exhibition were to encourage further reflection on more historical developments in Africa and prompt a more prestigious examination of the dynamics currently at work on the African continent,” Dorothee JannetzkeWenzel, German Ambassador to Nigeria said.

Okwui Enwezor appointed Director of Venice Biennale


IGERIA’S renowned curator, art critic and writer, Okwui Enwezor has been appointed Director of Venice Biennale

2015. Enwezor, who has been the Director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany since 2011, was artistic director of many international art biennales across the globe. They include the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in South Africa (19961998), of documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (19982002), the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla in Spain (2005-2007), the 7th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (2008) and of the Triennal d’Art Contemporain of Paris at the Palais de Tokyo (2012). Enwezor’s wide-ranging practice spans the world of international exhibitions, museums, academia, and publishing. In 1994 he founded “NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art” published by Duke University Press. He is the author of numerous essays and books, among others: Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art (2008). President of Venice Biennale, Mr. Paolo Baratta said in a statement that “we have closed an extraordinary research-exhibition, which was brought to term with great success by Massimiliano Gioni, and had the record in the number of visitors and particularly of young visitors.’ “This success demonstrates the ever-widening range of people who directly enjoy the cultural and the emotional experience that la Biennale can provide. We now turn, for the next edition, to a person who has a great many ex-



periences to his name, with an ample history of activities and studies in a wide range of topics concerning art. Enwezor has investigated, in particular, the complex phenomenon of globalisation in relation to local roots. His personal experience is a decisive starting point for the geographic range of his analysis, for the temporal depth of recent developments in the art world, and for the variegated richness of the present,” he added. On his part, Enwezor said: “No event or exhibition of contemporary art has continuously existed at the confluence of so many historical changes across the fields of art, politics, technology, and economics, like la Biennale di Venezia. La Biennale is the ideal place to explore all these dialectical fields of reference, and the institution of la Biennale itself will be a source of inspiration in planning the Exhibition.”

Artist’s Muse at Didi Museum

ATELY, I had to deal with questions about my works which people think it lacks African culture. I studied abroad and it will be pretentious to say that I was not influenced by the western culture”. This is Lakin Ogunbanwo’s view at a medi parley in Lagos on his second solo exhibition titled Muse, which opened at Didi Museum,Lagos. The two-part exhibition will run till February 19th, 2014 at the Wheatbaker Hotel,Lagos. Muse is a beautifully curated collection of portraits, which gives people an insight into the mind of the artist and his visual interpretations of his subjects. It is a juxtaposition between highly stylisted

imagery and a subtle raw,moody imagery. The exhibition captures beauty, or one’s idea of it. Lakin plays with the perception of glamour associated with models by capturing moments that give a glimpse into the models’ real lives. According to him, ‘I started shooting fashion pictures in 2011 and these subjects are people that I have worked with closely all these years’. Inspired by the yearning to use photography as a medium to foster discussion on the subject of our sexuality,creed, or gender, Lakin uses Muse to explore notions of visualisation and impressions, using three ‘muses’ to create this extraordinary body of work.




Commissioner urges doctors on O health care delivery GUN State Health Commissioner Dr Olaokun Soyinka has enjoined health care professionals to provide efficient services to their patients. Speaking at workshop for Chief Medical Directors (CMD), Soyinka urged them to offer prompt services to their patients. The workshop, he said, was in response to the 2014 budget's major focus on refurbishment of state and general hospitals, recruitment of more health personnel and increase in the provision of medical equipment in the interest of healthcare profes-

sionals. He said the workshop became necessary to prepare the CMDs for appropriate, efficient, qualitative and concise healthcare service delivery adding that attitudinal change of the healthcare professionals is also essential. Soyinka said: "It is an exercise to prepare us for rapid change in the health sector and within one year, anyone that goes into our hospitals will observe a major

By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha

positive change. "One major output expected from the participants is to speed up patient's appointment process and take care of their patients as well as interact properly with them in order to instill in them confidence.” Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Dr. Rotimi Ogungbe said it was the duty

of health personel to assert ownership of the initiative to serve the people, urging them to keep abreast of events and maintain clean environment. "It is our concept, and we accept full responsibility for driving it to a successful end, the people will gain from quality service delivery he said. Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Board, Mrs.

Modupe Olurin, said there was need for the evaluation of the situations in the hospitals and proffer a road map of the destination of the hospitals in the months ahead necessitated the workshop. The Chief Medical Director, State Hospital, Abeokuta, Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, said the workshop will go a long way in impacting positively on the health services of the state. "At the end of the day, we are supposed to chart a course as the head of hospitals and catch the vision of the government," Soyinka said.

Cleft lip and other defects •Continued from last week

Dr Samuel Awosolu 08108155239 (SMS Only); email-


•Registrar/CEO, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Prof Anthony Emeribe (standing third from left) with Team leaders/Staff of International Laboratory, Branch of Centres for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, during a study tour to improve medical laboratory services in Nigeria.

MTN Foundation supports disabled


TN Foundation has assisted some disabled people with aids and appliances as part of its disability support project (DSP). At the ceremony, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Allevation, Mrs Risikat Akinyode. The materials include wheelchairs, tricycles, crutches, guide canes, hearing aids, braille machines, samsung galaxy talking phones, among others. It was the fourth phase of the ceremony. The items were shared across the 36 states. The initiative is based on the belief that by accepting and empowering the dis-

By Oluoma Omeihe

abled citizens, their life would be greatly improve. The foundation started in 2009 and has made a positive difference in the lives of over 15,000 Nigerians. MTN partnered with Independent Living Programme (ILP) for people with disabilities and the supplier of the appliances research and developmentCentre (MAARDEC) to realise the vision. Beneficiaries included pupils from secondary schools such as Queens College, Yaba, Lagos, which had a total number of 17 blind pupils who went home with four braille Machines and a talking phone each. Other schools include the Lagos State Model College, Bethesda Home for the Blind.

According to the Executive Director Independent Living Project (ILP), Mrs Folake Grace Idowu, a disabled, "We hope to fight for disabled in Nigeria till they take their rightful positions in the society and we promise not to leave any of them behind". MTN implemented the first phase of the project between 2009 and 2011 in partnership with ILP and ensured it gave its beneficiaries aids and appliances that will be useful to them. The phase four, which is starting in Lagos will move across 13 states are Lagos, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Oyo, Sokoto, Taraba and Abuja. The fifth and sixth editions will wrap up the programme.

‘Exercise can ensure long life’


AILY exercise has been recommended for people to attain full fitness and live long. According to Chief Fitness Instructor, Fit Health and Beauty Centre, Mrs Jane Amuta, getting fit will make people feel better and ensure longevity. Mrs Amuta, who spoke at the launch of Fit Centre in Lagos, said people can exercise when it is made very interesting for them in a conducive environment. Having regular physical activities, she said, would stop obesity, especially in women. She said the obesity rate in Nigeria and across the world was very high. People, she said, should exercise despite their busy schedules because it takes off the

By Wale Adepoju

stress which can kill them. It helps to rebuild them and supplies energy to face the day to day challenges that they meet at work, she added. "It is also good for mothers who stay at home to take care of the kids and the running around for the family," she added. Mrs Amuta said exercise improves people's mood and every other thing, it is not just about reducing people's size or enhance their looks but about being alive, well and alert. "This is because the more physical activities people get the more mentally alert they become," she said. People, she said, are getting more aware of the benefits of exercise but we only need to en-

couragement to engage in daily work-out. "People are so busy that they can't exercise in the morning, so after work they can use the gym. Many people think they are alive but you can not be alive unless you are active. "People need to get the recommended physical activities to be sure they are fit, if people's activities are measured on the speedometer one can see that they have not done enough to be fit but by the time they meet physical fitness instructors they will see that it is better when they are monitored," she said. Mrs Amuta said fitness should be a life-time experience. The opening of the facility, she said was borne out of passion help people stay healthy through fitness.

'Alcohol intake can cause heart failure'


CONSULTANT Cardiologist, Dr Gbolade Lasisi has said heavy intake of alcohol can cause heart failure. He spoke at the second Health lecture series of the Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital in Lagos, with the theme: “Your lifestyle and heart attack-solution”. Dr Lasisi urged Nigerians to lead a good lifestyle. He said: "The factors responsible for heart attack are age, sex and family history and hypertension. Other factors are heavy alcoholic consumption hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, smoking and obesity. People should also watch out for heart failure,

By Amidu Arije

abnormal breathing among others as the complications of heart attack. "The complications of heart attack are abnormal heart breath, heart failure, sudden cardiac death for these factors to be prevented people are advised to engage in regular exercise, have low cholesterol diet, weight reduction adequate blood pressure control, stop smoking and control your sugar level.” The Medical Director of Ifako Ijaiye General Hospital, Dr Ibironke Sodeinde, urged residents of the local government to be health cautious and take good care of themselves.

Hospital needs infrastructure


ENERAL hospital, Lagos is overstretched and needs expansion, its Medical Director, Dr Hamid Balogun, has said. According to him, the quality of care and the Lagos State health policy have endeared patients to the facility. He spoke at a briefing on the hospital’s 120th anniversary in Lagos. He said despite these problems, the hospital was able to carve a nitche for itself in health care delivery, especially in patient care and service delivery. He, however, identified infrastructure, inadequate personnel and equipment as some of the bane of hospital. He said equipment and infrastructural problems were making delivery of qualitative health care to the populace a big challenge, especially with emergence of new diseases such as

By Wale Adepoju

HIV/AIDS. He identified the population explosion in the state, which is about 18 million as another challenge. “Our facilities are now stretched to the maximum to meet the dream of our Lagos Mega City,” he said. He said health care should not be left to the government alone, adding that stakeholders and private investors should come into medicare to improve it. Balogun charged private organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support the government that has made health care one of its top priorities. He said hospital attendance in the last three years is 300,000 patients per annum. This, he said is a high figure for any General Hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa.

HE reason for this defect in cleft affected individual is the defective development of the muscles of the oral cavity. This is initially overcome with the development of specially designed repples that elongate forwards. The posterior part of the oral cavity. The orifice of the feeding teats are also larger to cope with the reduced negative pressure and increase the flow. Simpler methods include use of droppers like the eye dropper apparatus, plastic syringes. The drawback here is the child will tend to swallow a lot more air therefore feeding is not done in the recumbent position Ear problems tend to increase viz infections of the middle – ear. The association is the anatomy of the palate and functions of the palatal muscle especially the posterior part – sift palate. There may other associated ano,alities with cleft lip, palate or other clefts of the orofacial region. The probability of associated anomaly in children with higher than in those without cleft. Congenital defects such as club foot, neurological disturbances may occur in addition to clefs in the orofacial region. These muscles of the palate have connections with the middle ear apparatus, their absence in clefts result in the middle ear essentially becoming a closed space and no drainage mechanisms hence infection of the inner/middle ear. Speech problems (the consonant variety – p, b, t, d, k and g most commonly). The consonant sounds are essential for development of vocabulary much language activity is restricted, sometimes omitted. The structures of the tongue, lips lower jaws and soft palate all work in sync to produce speech. The soft palate acts as a value hence if not developed or with defect, there will be speech problems. Parents who have children with cleft can receive help through some assistance from dedicated NGO’s like the smile train most teaching and specialist hospitals. The affected individual is first screened treated begins early to deal with all defects as it may arise. See you next week...

The structures of the tongue, lips lower jaws and soft palate all work in sync to produce speech. The soft palate acts as a value hence if not developed or with defect, there will be speech problems.



NEWS •Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle) with members of E-11, a pressure group and their spouses after a breakfast meeting with the governor at the Governor’s Lodge, AdoEkiti.

•Ekiti State Deputy Governor Prof Modupe Adelabu with members of the Executive of the Foundation of Hope International, Ado-Ekiti when they visited Prof Adelabu.

• Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Aloma Mukhtar flanked by the representative of the Minister of Justice, Prof Deji Adekunle (left) and Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN), at the third convocation and conferment of higher degrees and award of postgraduate diploma on NIALS’ students at the Univesity of Lagos. PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID

•Deputy President, Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs Christianah Bassey (right) inaugurating a creche and nursery school at AN Barrack, Yaba, Lagos. With her are General Officer Commanding, 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Gen. Obi Umahi and his wife Chinyere.

•Senator Gbenga Ashafa (middle) displaying his award for contributing towards housing development by Media Option Communication Limited at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. With him are Senators Marafa Kabir Garba (left); Smart Adeyemi; Ganiyu Solomon and Bukar Abba Ibrahim. •L-R: Chairman Lift International UK, Mr Brain Mayne; CEO, Ventures Support Ltd, Mrs Yinka Reis and President, First World Communication Ltd (rtd) Brig-Gen Pmo Reis, at the Goal Mapping workshop by Brain Mayne’s and Ventures support Ltd held at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos... last weekend. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

•Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (middle); Commissioner for Water Front Infrastructure, Prince Adesegun Oniru (left); Akinsiku of Lagos, Chief Adebola Dosunmu and Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Gbolahan Lawal, at the SeaPHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN. food Festival in Lagos... at the weekend.

•Chief Executive Officer, Optima Sports Management International (OSMI), Mr Rotimi Pedro (middle) addressing a news conference on the OSMI’s exclusive free-to-air rights for 2014 World Cup and other FIFA events in Lagos. With him are CEO, Mediacraft Associates, Mr John Ehiguese (left) and Executive Consultant OSMI, Mr Adeoye Roluga.

•Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale presenting the council’s plaque to Convener, Feast of Esther, Pastor Folu Adeboye at the 2013 pre-Feast of Esther at the Golden Tulip, Festac Town, Lagos... last weekend.





A chapter has closed in the history of Africa, following the demise of the late Dr. Nelson Mandela, the former South African President. But have the African leaders learned any lesson from his life and times, particularly his attitude to power, public service orientation and vision of development? Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the tragedy of power and leadership in the ‘dark continent’ and its consequences on the far-flung nations, which had made ‘Mandela years’ an exception.

How many Mandelas can Africa produce? A

FRICA has produced great political leaders. But the dark side of these statesmen is their addiction to power. That ‘sit tight syndrome’, according to critics, is the bane of leadership in the continent. However, Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was an exception to the rule. For him, the lesson of power was instructive. Acknowledging its transient nature, the great man’s stint in the highest office as the President of South Africa was short-lived. After serving meritoriously for five years, he rejected the constitutional second term offer, thereby leaving when the ovation was loudest.

He supervised the voluntary liquidation of military power, thereby emerging as the first military Head of State to relinquish power to civilians. At home, he became a critical moral voice, whipping his successors into line, delivering lectures on good governance and chastising the military rulers, who were reluctant to permit democracy to thrive. Besides, the retired general played a role in international community. He was dispatched to troubled spots across the globe to solve problems of civil military relations. Obasanjo also became the curator of democratic projects in Africa. World leaders hailed him as a man of integrity and credibility.

Wasted expectation

Indomitable record In office, Mandela refrained from personalising power. He had inherited a divided country. Therefore, be set out as the pathfinder as the first non-racial President of South Africa. Apart from uniting the polarised polity, he set in motion the reconciliation process. In the twilight of life, primitive accumulation, the virtue of contemporary African leaders, was not his goal. Throughout his entire productive years, he had been behind bars. Yet, he did not perceive his position as an opportunity to recover lost grounds. Rejecting all temptations to loom large and convert the country into a fiefdom, he voluntarily stepped down to allow younger elements in the epic struggles to build on his foundation of transformation and renewal. Reflecting on the life of the freedom fighter, former Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, pointed out that, by bowing out of office honourably, Mandela trailed slightly behind former Senegalese leader, Leopold Senghor. But Senghor only left office, after almost two decades in power. Before his demise last week, Mandela had become a world hero. In Africa, every July 18 is now being celebrated as the ‘Mandela Day’, marking his contributions to the cause of world freedom and democratic development. But there are some puzzles: why are African leaders failing to exhibit the Mandela trait? Why is a great example not coming from Nigeria, the most populous country in the continent? Why is the Afriaca and the world not ascribing significance to the birthday of other former African Heads of State, allowing them to pass like any other day?

Tragedy of leadership No African statesman has been honoured by humanity like Mandela. World leaders believe that the antiapartheid crusader made the difference where many despots failed before they were swept away by the wind of democratic change. As independence days broke one after the other in Africa, the nationalist politicians who inherited power from the colonial masters showed a lot of promise. However, after few years in office, they grew wings. From JeanBedel Bokassa of Central African Republic to Charles Taylor of Liberia, the indigenous leadership inflicted much tragedy on the distressed countries. Their leaders became life Presidents, thereby denying the people the right to reject and change their un-

• The late Dr Mandela and his former wife, Winnie (right), shortly after he was released from the prison.

wanted leadership. As the soldiers displaced civilian authorities, African countries were caged. The military rulers performed worse than their civilian counterparts. Many of them left behind legacies of horror. Bukassa of Central African Republic, for example, indulged in extravagant life styles. His flamboyance was at the expense of his country. Instead of using the country’s wealth to fuel its development, he wasted them on private accumulation. Omar Bongo ruled Gabon from independence, until few years ago. His country is rich. But, the people were made poor by a single individual who monopolised state resources. Former President Gynasingbe Eyadema of Togo and Kamuzu Banda of Malawi adopted the same style. During their reign, there was political stability. But, it was not accompanied by economic progress. In Zaire, former President Mobutu Sese Seko converted his country into a personal estate. He also decreed the death of the opposition. Many critics lost their lives when the Head of State became the state. Field marshal Idi Amin ruled Uganda with the iron hand. He wrecked havoc on the treasury, brushing aside all fiscal measures that could stem economic decay . By the time soldiers like him were instigated by outside forces to get rid of him, Uganda was on its knee. Liberia suffered the same fate under the late Samuel Doe. Key figures, who opposed his misrule, were murdered. His cruelty provoked war in Liberia fought by rebel forces from all corners. Doe was succeeded by another

despot, Taylor, who further inflicted pain on the citizens. Today, he is in jail for crime against humanity. Since 1980, when Zimbabwe achieved independence, President President Robert Mugabe has been in the saddle. Today, he is the lord of manor. When many of these countries were struggling under the tyranny of dictators, Mandela was in prison. When he left the prison, none of the despots was a role model to him. A leader of the dominant African National Congress (ANC), Mandela had been convicted on charges of sabotage and crimes at a time some of them came into office. For the 27 years that he spent in jail, many tense stories of their wanton corruption increased his agony behind bars. When he was released on February 11, 1990, he still met some of them as Presidents of their countries. More worrisome to him was that their countries were still on the same spot he left them 27 years ago. His country, South Africa, was battling with colour segregation. Mandela quickly supported reconciliation and negotiation. He consequently led his country’s transition to multi-racial democracy. On April 27, 1994, Mandela was elected in a representative democratic election. But, he only spent one successful term. His mission was accomplished when he laid the foundation for a durable democracy in South Africa. Mandela left office without blemish. He moved on to play greater roles in the resolution of conflicts across the globe. Today, he has 250 awards to his credit. The greatest is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded him in 1993.

Nigeria’s bad example Nigeria has not lived to expectation, especially in the continental search for an inspiring leadership. Historians believe that a statesman who had the opportunity to make a greater impact is Obasanjo. But, unlike Mandela, after serving two terms as the civilian President, he bowed out, leaving the stage, amid the third term controversy. It is a self-inflicted wound for a continental leader and veteran aspirant for the post of the United Nations Secretary-General. Is Obasanjo a great leader or an impostor who craved for greatness without trying to fulfill its full requirements? The history of Nigeria is incomplete without the soldier-turned politician. At critical moments, fate had thrown him up for intervention in national affairs. Obasanjo’s commitment to national unity is undisputed. The gallant soldier, had, along with other patriotic soldiers, saved Nigeria from disintegration during the civil war. As the General Officer Commanding Third Marine Commando, he brought rebels to their knees. Power is alluring. Thus, Obasanjo and other senior military officers started to canvasse for increased political role under the Gowon Administration. Then, except Akinwale Way, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, no other combat soldier was a member of the Federal Executive Council. The agitation for political power heralded the pressure on Gowon, who made Muritala Mohammed the Minister of Communications and Obasanjo the Minister of Works. In 1979, Obasanjo made history again.

‘In the twilight of life, primitive accumulation, the virtue of contemporary African leaders, was not his goal. Throughout his entire productive years, he had been behind bars. Yet, he did not perceive his position as an opportunity to recover lost grounds. Rejecting all temptations to loom large and convert the country into a fiefdom, he voluntarily stepped down to allow younger elements in the epic struggles to build on his foundation of transformation and renewal’

When he returned to the State House in 1999, many felt he answered the patriotic call to a higher service ; the same task he had performed 20 years earlier. His first term was tedious, but he was about laying a good foundation. When he was re-elected in 2003, Obasanjo became the longest serving Nigerian leader; first as military Head of State for three years and later, as the civilian ruler for eight years. However, he had lost the steam by 2007 when he handed over power to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. The major sin of Obasanjo was the flawed general election.When he left the stage in 1979, the ovation was loud. Expectations were high when he made a dramatic return in 1999. However, in 2003 when he resumed a more stable retirement, his record mocked his antecedent. In 1979, Obasanjo presided over a relatively free and fair election. Why then, did he fail to achieve the same feat in 2003 and 2007? To many critics, by implementing the three-year transition programme faithfully, Nigeria joined the league of democratic nations. Many commentators adduced reasons for the success of 1979 and failure of 2003 and 2007. They reasoned that the 1979 setting contrasted with the 2003 and 2007 settings. A critic, Kunle Ajibade, pointed out that, while Obasanjo was a neutral person, as it were, in 1979, he had become too partisan in 2007. Besides, Ajibade said that “the quality of participation and participants in 1979 influenced the quality of the electoral process.

Missed opportunities In the past, Obasanjo hit many statesmen with his sword, when he scrutinised the crop of Nigerian leaders, who failed in their bid to rule the country. Today, these leaders are celebrated by Nigerians more than him. Many have argued that, if these leaders had become Presidents, Nigeria would have been a better place. In his book, ‘Not My Will’, Obasanjo had mocked the late Obafemi Awolowo for failing to realise his ambition to become the President. He said the same coveted seat landed on his palm without struggle. But, Awo’s achievements as the Premier of Western Region have remained the benchmark. Also, he dismissed Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe as a towering leader, who fell from the position of pre-eminence nationally, only to carry on with life in his old age as a tribal chieftaincy holder, the Owelle of Onitsha. •Continued on page 44




Retrace your steps, Fasanmi urges Bamidele


ECOND Republic Senator Ayo Fasanmi yesterday lamented the crack in the Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC), warning the House of Representatives member, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, to retrace his steps to the party. Bamidele, who represents Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency in the House, recently defected to the Labour Party (LP), where he hopes to contest for the governorship next year. He was one of the leaders of the party in the state before his defection. Fasanmi, who reflected on history, advised the federal legislator to ponder on the fate of prominent politicians, who left their political families for other camps, based on temporary political challenges. He also advised him to learn from the political career of the famous Ekiti son, the late Chief Akinwole Omoboriowo, who deserted his leader, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in a bid to dislodge former Ondo State Governor Adekunle Ajasin from power. Fasanmi recalled that Omoboriowo, despite his popularity, never bounced back into reckoning after he left the proscribed Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). The elder statesman said that past experience should instruct ambitious young men and women to think deeply and peep into the future before taking far-reaching decisions that have implications for their political future, their political groups, and the welfare of the state they hope to govern. Fasanmi, who spoke with our correspondent on phone, said: “The defection of Bamidele from the APC is most unfortunate. It is an unfortunate incident. He is a boy I know very well. Well, he is a man now. I first saw him in 1994, when I was a member of the Constitutional Conference Commission set up by the late military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. I have followed his career since then. “I am disappointed. This is an unfortunate situation. As an elder statesman, I will advice Fayemi (Governor Kayode) not to be diverted. The APC is on a sound footing. Fayemi is doing well as the governor of Ekiti State. The APC is on course in Ekiti”. Fasanmi recalled that the parting of ways between Awolowo and Omoboriowo was painful to many Ekiti patriots, who equally loved the former deputy governor. He said that history is merely repeating itself as Bamidele will be seen to be parting ways with his leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He added: “There were Awolowo and Akintola. There were Ajasin and

Omoboriowo. Now, there are Fayemi and Bamidele. But this should not be so in Yorubaland. We should learn from the past”. The veteran politician noted that Bamidele’s career in the progressive fold under the Tinubu’s tutelage has been impressive, adding that he had climbed the ladders of leadership and fame as a key functionary of government in Lagos State. He said that it is risky for a promising politician like Bamidele to desert the party he had jointly nurtured with compatriots and seek refuge in another, where some people may perceive him as a stranger. Recalling Awo’s advice to his disciples, he said: “It is better to discuss and disagree in your party and fight for your interest there, but if it appears that you can’t have your way, you should jettison your personal interest and subscribe to the collective interest, where accommodation would be found for your interest. In the progressive camp, where service to the people is the watchword, you cannot be a loser”. Fasanmi, who described the LP chieftain as a competent and vibrant person, warned that a progressive politician may lose relevance outside his original political family. He added: “The question people are asking is: what does Bamidele want? I understand that he has served as a party officer, special adviser, commissioner for two terms. Now, he is in the House of Representatives. He who the god will destroy will first make mad. This should not happen to Bamidele. That is why I want him to retrace his steps. His grievances can still be addressed within the progressives family. I like him so much. So, I want him to learn from history”.

• Fasanmi

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayesa State, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, spoke with MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE on the activities of the administration and challenges of governance.

‘Bayelsa is on course’ H

OW has it been managing the governor’s image? I think it has been an experience to work in the government at this level and it’s still stretching. Every day comes with different issues, small or big. We keep learning the peculiar intricacies of how government works and the communication management. Having said that, I think actually, the starting point is to commend our governor for assembling a crack team, very competent and professional. You’ll realize that the governor has the gift of spotting talents and using them to deliver the best results. This is not limited to the media. If you look closely, you’ll find a similar situation in the choice of people in other departments and agencies of government. Again, the governor is media savvy. He understands the workings of the media and the important role the media could play in any government. I think he laid a good foundation by first getting the right people and giving them the right support. I think we have to reckon with his intellectual disposition too and his curiosity to know himself without waiting to be briefed. The media team knows too well that they have both an intellectual and a strategist as a boss. And so, it is expected that working with him, you have to be at your best all the time. Does he find time to check what the newspapers are saying? Here is a governor who wakes up as early as 3 am every day to read all the newspapers online and the social media sites. So, tell me who are you, as a media aide working with him without striving to keep pace with him. More importantly is also the good deeds of the government. In spite of all these, however, I should let you know that information management in any government is usually hectic for obvious reasons. There is so much cynicism and distrust for the government. If you look at it critically, may be, the people may have a point here, which is a function of their past experiences. If a government promised A,B,C and failed to deliver on them, then, there’s a problem; there is the tendency for the people to believe successive governments may do same. So, it takes time and demonstrated integrity to overcome this as an issue we have had to contend with. As media aides to Governor Dickson, we

• Iworiso-Markson

are always on our toes. As I noted earlier, it is particularly difficult when you have to manage our kind of public here. We have a very virile public that is always probing every move and decision of the government. Too often, they can be goaded by some desperate and mischievous politicians. Do you have to constantly explain to the public government action? These politicians often take the advantage of their gullibility to sell lies and steer up needless rumours mostly against the government of the day. That’s our experience here.That’s why you hear of terrible rumours making the rounds in Bayelsa. But I’m happy to tell you that we are winning the war against rumour mongering. Thanks to Governor Dickson for the measures he has put in place to address the rumour malaise. The Bayelsa Information Management Committee set up by the governor is doing a fantastic job in this regard. Still, integrity in government is key here; doing what you promised you will do. I would like to refer you to the governor’s inaugural speech, when he said he will not play politics with security and development. Although that speech generally inspired hope, yet, others felt it was the usual sweet talk by politicians. You see, they never knew that Governor Dickson is not someone you can describe as your conventional politician. He meant what he says and, if you now relate what he said in that inaugural speech with what’s on the ground in the state today, you can appreciate the fact that the governor has matched words with action. Security has been effectively restored the various sectors of the state economy are on course.

The first thing you must understand is that Governor Dickson is not frivolous about governance and indeed, any issues for that matter. If you have followed him and his restoration government, you will see a pattern, a consistency that has defined the administration. The governor doesn’t like doing things half-heartedly. If anything is being done, it has gone through a thorough process and planning and decision taken which will be followed to a logical end. How far has the administration delivered on its restoration agenda ? The ‘Restoration Agenda’ is a vision and I can confidently tell you the implementation is progressing steadily. The vision is to lay a solid foundation for rapid socio-economic development of Bayelsa State. I think we should commend Governor Dickson for keeping his words on security, which was basic to any proper and effective implementation of the whole agenda. Now, everybody takes security for granted ,compared to the situation we met on the ground. It is a remarkable achievement. After securing the state, then, other things have since followed; tackling the challenge of diversifying the economy of the state, whereby we can have major alternatives to oil and gas.The attention now is on tourism and agriculture without neglecting other areas in need of attention. Basic to the realization of dthe iversification is the provision of infrastructure like good roads, power, rail lines, airport and such other infrastructure that can help the cause of the government’s economic focus. In this regard, a lot has been done by the Restoration government. Already, a rail line is being constructed to link Yenagoa to Brass and to Agge, where we have a deep seaport. The establishment of the Bayelsa Development Investment Corporation (BIDC) is also of particular great importance which will help the state government to maximize its economic potentials in the future. For those who can see the implication of this economic enabler, the future is really great for Bayelsa State economically and of course it is in the best interest of the people. This is expected to arrest youth unemployment... There will be many good jobs in due course, good pay and enhanced living standard as government actualises the combined efforts in the diversification of the state economy.

Can African leaders emulate Mandela? •Continued from page 43

His assessment of Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim, a First Republic Parliamentarian and Minister of Health from Borno, smacked of emasculation. To him, Ibrahim, the rich businessmen, was an unserious politician bidding for power. Throughout his life, Aminu Kano had championed the cause of the repressed and deprived masses. Obasanjo simply dismissed him as a figure renowned for carrying placards, adding that he could even protest against himself. Former President Shehu Shagari also fell under his hammer. He described him as a slow and dull President, who was not in effective control. Obasanjo described Mohammadu Buhari and the late Tunde Idiagbon, his juniors in the Army, as autocratic military rulers, who held the nation in its jugular. Apart from flaying former Military President Ibrahim Babangida for detaining Buhari and Idiagbon after toppling them, he also criticised his economic policies. On the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP),

Obasanjo disagreed with Babangida on the implementation process, saying that adjustment must have human face, human heart and milk of human kindness. When Babangida tinkered with the transition timetable, Obasanjo rallied prominent Nigerians to protest the elongation of military rule. He was one of the leaders who suggested the Interim National Government headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan. He said, the option was regrettable but understandable. The suggestion nailed the coffin of the “June 12”. Of course, Obasanjo said the winner of the historic presidential poll, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, was not the messiah. The late Gen. Sani Abacha sacked the interim contraception that was set up by Babangida. He also imprisoned Obasanjo after he was roped in a phantom coup. He was saved by divine intervention.

Between Mandela and Obasanjo From grass, Obasanjo rose to grace.

He had a second chance. He emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in 1998. When he became the civilian president, Nigerians had high hopes. His commonwealth leaders welcomed him back to power with optimism. Their confidence was intact. Former United States President Jimmy Carter hailed his re-emergence. He said, judging by his leadership qualities, he would justify the trust of a model of transparency and a leader committed to higher ideals. It was a wasted expectation. The previous achievements were not repeated. Obasanjo could not fight the infrastructure battle adequately. He left behind a prostrate nation, agonizing over lack of electricity, good roads, good hospitals and good schools. In 2003, there were complaints about electoral malpractices. It was a child play to what happened in 2007. The leader of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr Joei Okei-Odumakin, alluded to a large scale electoral fraud unrivalled in Nigeria history. He said the malpractices had created a hollow in the leader’s record of transparency

outside power. Many also doubted his commitment to the sanctity of the ballot box. Up came the third term project, which was knocked out by credible politicians and the media. As the election drew nearer, there was confusion. Court orders were disobeyed by the leader. The anti-graft body, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was misused to witch hunt perceived political enemies. Council allocations in some states were seized, thereby aborting grassroots development. Obasanjo ran a large administration. The cabinet size was huge. According to critics, it was largely unproductive. The dividends of democracy were scanty. When the former President now exposed the ballot box to a virulent attack, all hopes were totally lost. Democracy thrives on periodic elections as a means of choice, rejection, endorsement and change of leadership. This right reinforces the strength of the voting public and it is a predictor of democratic survival. The former President had shocked the anxious nation that the contest would be a do-or-die affair. Hell was let loose on

•The late Mandela

poll day. It was akin to war. Domestic and foreign monitors said it was the worst in the history of the country.Three years after, the cases were still in court. The victories allotted to Obasanjo’s favoured candidates were later upturned by the judiciary after he vacated the exalted seat. Before he left, it was impossible to right the wrongs.



POLITICS In this piece, Odunayo Ogunmola writes on the soaring popularity of Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi at the grassroots, based on his administration’s achievements across the 16 councils.

Fayemi: Expanding scope of participatory governance


T has become a tradition for the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to embark on a tour of all communities in the state November of every year holding village square and town hall meetings with the people in the grassroots. The governor holds this annual interface with the people asking for their inputs into the budget of the subsequent year as budget estimates are presented to the parliaments by chief executives at federal and state levels between the months of November and December. In other places, it is the governments in power that dictate what they want to implement for the people who have little or no say on what are their most pressing needs. This, on many occasions, has become counterproductive with many projects forced down the throats of the people many of which are not in tune with their wishes. The budget of Ekiti State is unique in the whole federation in that the state government does not determine the projects to be executed in the budget but the people themselves who lay bare their minds on what they want to be included in state fiscal estimate. In ensuring that a truly people’s budget is presented to the House of Assembly and duly passed into law, each village, town and city in Ekiti State is asked to present three most needed projects for consideration for each fiscal year. The three projects are then included in the budget for execution based on the resources available to the state government. This process ensures that all the 130 communities in the state will get at least one project to be executed through the instrumentality of the state budget to be presented by the governor to the state legislators. As a result of the budget tours of the past, most of the communities have all the three projects they requested for executed, many have two projects executed while few get one project executed. The tour afforded Mr. Governor an opportunity to assess what he had been able to do for each community in the state and also present his report card on governance and policies that

From left: Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi; Olomuo of Omuo-Ekiti, Oba Noah Omonigbeyin; and his wife, Olori Oluwayemisi, during the Towns, Villages and Communities meeting, in Omuo-Ekiti.

affect the lives of the ordinary people in the grassroots. Governor Fayemi’s budget tour of Ekiti communities embarked upon between November 3rd and 29th threw up many startling revelations which bordered on essence of running a people-oriented and accountable administration. This writer who was on the governor’s entourage to the communities visited discovered the level of appreciation the people showed to the governor for counting them important in asking for their inputs into the budget. Apart from this, the people also expressed their gratitude to the governor for giving them the projects they want which had been completed through the implementation of the previous budgets in the state. It was a moving and emotional sight to behold the aged people who are beneficiaries of monthly stipends of N5,000 each under the Fayemi Administration’s Social Security Scheme singing, dancing and praising the governor to high heavens. Many of them breached protocol by

coming directly to the high table where the governor sat praying profusely for him for taking care of them, saving them from old age poverty and elongating their lives in the process. A beneficiary in Ipao, a far-flung community in Ikole Local Government Area, confessed that many of the beneficiaries would have died if they have not been benefiting from the scheme as the money is enough for them to buy food, medicine and meet other basic needs. Traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, women, youths, students and other stakeholders paid glowing tributes to Governor Fayemi for touching their lives in the areas of road construction, renovation of schools and hospitals, distribution of laptops to students and teachers, financial empowerment for communitybased projects and execution of other projects. The people of the grassroots also appreciated the Ekiti governor for rural electrification, construction of drainages and culverts, channelization of flood-prone areas, new palaces for monarchs, civic centres, town

halls, examination halls in schools, markets, viewing centres, among other life-changing projects. The governor also used the tour to assess their level of work on projects being executed by communities with special grants given to them to carry out self-help projects. Apart from the projects commissioned during the administration’s third anniversary, the governor also commissioned new projects in 85 out of the 129 communities visited during the budget tour. During the first edition of the tour which was conducted in 2011, the governor’s visit was done on local government basis in which he met the representatives of communities who presented their requests at the headquarters of each council area. Since 2012, the governor decided not to restrict his visit to the local government headquarters but to personally go to all communities and receive their requests for incorporation into next year’s budget. One common factor in Governor Fayemi’s village square and town hall meetings on the 2014 Budget was

the people’s desire and readiness to reward him with their votes in next year’s election. Apparently excited by what the governor has done through the budgets of previous years which had yielded projects that are physically verifiable, the people urged the governor to continue in office because they have never had it so good. Although the governor told the people during the tour that the visit was not political in nature but to interact with them on budget saying he would come back to ask for votes when the time for campaign comes. No doubt, this year’s budget tour of communities has increased Governor Fayemi’s popularity contrary to what his political opponents may want the world to believe. Many of their traditional rulers and community leaders who are appreciative of what the Governor Fayemi has done for them turned the tour to prayer sessions for the state’s number citizen who has not lost touch with the grassroots. Apart from turning the state capital, Ado-Ekiti to a modern city that is comparable to any other state capital in Nigeria, Governor Fayemi’s magic is also being felt in all parts of the state. With other ongoing projects due for completion before election is held middle of next year, Governor Fayemi has endeared himself to the people of Ekiti who are eagerly waiting to pay him back with votes. When campaign begins, Governor Fayemi has unprecedented achievements to showcase to justify the mandate given to him by the people while his opponents will only make promises to the electorate. Everybody knows that there is a difference between a candidate that has performed excellently and others who have not been tested in the serious business of governance. Definitely, he is in a pole position to enter into history books as the first governor in Ekiti State to secure a second term in office judging by the enormous impact of his administration in all the nooks and crannies of the state. • Ogunmola is a media aide to the governor

House of Representatives member Hon. Dakuku Peterside spoke with VICTOR OLUWASEGUN and DELE ANOFI on the defection of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other issues.

‘Amaechi on rescue mission in APC’

• Peterside


ECENTLY Governor Rotimi Amaechi defected to All Progressive Congress (APC). What in your reaction? You need to understand the issues to understand, if the move is justified or not. There are two strands of the issue. The first has to do with the direction the country is going and the second is the interest and aspiration of Rivers people within the context of Nigeria. In recent times, there is anxiety in the country about the insecurity, rising wave of corruption, impunity and retarded growth, generally, and many patriots are concerned. All these concerns are linked to the quality of leadership of the country and the political party that plays the role of a facilitator, like in other democracies. Unfortunately, it appears the lead-

ership of the country is not sensitive enough to the need to urgently tackle these issues and the party that is in power at the centre, by its conduct and lack of internal democracy in all facets, is aggravating the matter. The party, in this case, the PDP, does not respect its rules, does not accommodate divergent opinions and it has made no effort to harness the collective ideas and energies of its members. The result is what we are seeing today. The second strand of the crisis is the corporate interest of Rivers State, which is under serious threat. How is the interest of Rivers State under threat and how does that justify the defection of Governor Amaechi to another party? Politics, as you know, is a means of allocating resources. Parties are vehicles through which politics is played to optimise the benefit for the people. Parties to a reasonable extent determine outcomes in a political process. The scenario is this; PDP as a political party superintends over the expropriation of Rivers common wealth, I mean our resources, deny us even the least benefit for our modest contributions and does nothing to advance our development in anyway. Only a man who is pursuing his own selfish interest will remain

in such a platform, to the detriment of the people you are on oath to serve. Can anybody point to one federal project of worth going on in Rivers State under the present administration? Even, the blind can see that there is a calculated attempt to undermine the interest of Rivers State. No principled leader who has the interest of the people at heart will stomach that at the alter of regional sentiments. Is the denial of Rivers State development benefits the reason why the governor moved to another party? Yes, among many other reasons. You see, people have different reasons and different incentives for being in politics. Some are in politics to make as much personal wealth as possible through the instrumentality of power. Others want to serve the people and transform their socio-economic status and yet, others to cause confusion and derive joy from the confusion. These different reasons determine the choices we make. By now, it is obvious to the least discerning that the likes of Governor Amaechi are in power and politics for the higher interest of the people. This compelling interest will not allow him fold his hands and allow the wealth of Rivers

people be expropriated under his watch, their rights and entitlements trampled upon and the people treated as if they do not matter. If Governor Amaechi has kept quiet, history would have been most unkind to him. For standing up for Rivers people and their collective aspiration, history will celebrate him. Is there no better way of going about it than this present approach? There are always many ways to pursue a course, but that does not change the fact that there is an injury or that there is an attempt to compromise the interest of Rivers State or that the PDP has been most unfair to Rivers State. Nobody is addressing the root or causative factors of the crisis. Rather, we are concerned with the ceremonials. Nobody has said that the PDP has served the interest of Rivers State or that the government at the centre has been fair to Rivers State. Even, those who appear superficially to be supporting the Government at the centre all the time say to me – this Government has been most unfair to Rivers State. I have heard this consistently and it is nauseating how unprincipled our politicians can be. The picture we have is that heavy weight politicians in Rivers State are

not with him because of the perception that he is pursuing his own ambition? This is a deliberate attempt to disinform the populace. I am sure that propaganda is being spread by some selfish politicians that have lost touch with the reality in Rivers State I can beat my chest and say that the majority of principled politicians in Rivers State, who means well for the state, are with Governor Amaechi because they know he is fighting for the interest of Rivers State. It is unfortunate that in this clime, politics is an enterprise that is not governed by principles but by opportunistic selfish tendency. In many cases, opportunistic men thrive at the expense of the general good, but the people are now wiser. They know the difference between “stomach infrastructure politicians” and those who genuinely want to change society for good. Very often, the intelligence, determination and courage of our people are underrated. Rivers people are solidly behind Governor Amaechi. One way of measuring the support base is the number of elected officials with the governor and his capacity for resilience. Another will be the result of the forthcoming elections after the whole noise.






DICON, firm partner on Made-inNigeria armoured vehicles


N indigenous defence and security hardware manufacturing firm Proforce Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) for the production of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs). Its Managing Director Ade Ogundeyin made this known while welcoming the Ogun State Police Commissioner, Mr Ikemfuna Okoye, who led a team of senior Police officers on a familiarisation tour of the plant. The plant, Ogundeyin said, has built and delivered armoured marine security boats for the Lagos State Government for use by the rejuvenated Lagos Waterways Authority. According to him, officials from

•Cash-in-transit (bullion) van built by Proforce Stories by Tajudeen Adebanjo

the Presidency, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, governors and top military officers were impressed by the level of the technology and the quality of their products during courtesy call. Ogundeyin said vehicles from the plant are as good as others as elsewhere He informed Okoye-led team

that his company’s products ar being sold in France, saying that the company has been approached to build armoured vehicles for export to a neighbouring francophone country. “Nigerians are great people, and what we do here is enough evidence that if encouraged, Nigerians can achieve great things to earn

Ikorodu expansion project half completed


HE ongoing expansion of Ikorodu road in Lagos is 45 per cent completed, Mr Olufemi Fajombo, Project Manager Mile 12 - Ikorodu axis of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has said. He told some motoring correspondents that the agency would meet the next year deadline for the completion of the project. “If we could achieve much during the raining season, you can imagine how far we will go in dry season,” Fajombo said. The N30 billion World Bank and France Development Agency’s project of the road is part of LAMATA plans to extend BRT service from Mile 12 to Ikorodu town. It covers about 13.5kilometres and is designed to be a medianrunning (middle) BRT with bilateral bus station configurations linked to pedestrian bridges for access. The project on completion next year would extend the BRT network to 36km from Ikorodu to CMS.

Fajombo lamented the rate at which residents in the area negate the state building plan. He said there ought to be 22.5 metres gap between the road and buildings. According to him, people also indiscriminately build on canal, thereby disallowing free flow of water. “Now, we are looking at a way to channel water to the canal behind some of the houses without demolishing those buildings. Aside this, we have taken into cognizance the flooding around the area especially when water is release from Ogun Dam. The road has been raised up to one kilometer, which will pave way for the water to be channelled into the lagoon without inconveniencing the residents,” Fajombo said. LAMATA Assistant Project Manager for Ikorodu BRT, Abidemi Atobatele, said the new road structure has pipes for water corporation, telecoms and power underneath so as to discourage digging of the road by the opera-

tors in the future. Atobatele said the project is for about eight lanes. Fajombo said new bridges are being erected at strategic areas while the old ones have been excavated. “The road will have no less than seven bridges while the one at Majidun will be the biggest due to the level of the water. The steel bridges have been removed and taken to the ministries probably for archival material,” he said. He commended the quality of the job being done on the road, dismissing the insinuations that the company (CCECC) handling the project will not deliver quality work. “As part of ensuring the quality of the job, our financiers - World Bank and France Development Agency have been sending people here for inspection and they have seen that the project is tailored towards world standard. Several African countries of lately Ghana and Uganda have been here to learn how BRT project is being run, so we cannot afford to do a shoddy job,” he said.

the country a lot of respect in the international community. There may be a few bad eggs, but generally, Nigerians are hard-working people, and investments like this need to be encouraged’, Ogundeyin remarked. He hailed the National Automotive Council (NAC) for lending support to the plant, adding that


NFINITY Tyres Limited has started a promo to reward loyal customers. Tagged, Value drive promo, the firm said, the firm’s Managing Director Mr Arshi Chadha, said motorists looking out for the promo. He said the tyre and battery marketer has opened new outlet Calabar in addition to the existing nine outlets. Chadha said the firm has raised the bar in delivering services for its customers. He said: “One of its offering is the auto solutions package. This involves the supply and maintenance of superior equipment for auto garage business owners and other interested franchisees. Equipment includes tyre changers, wheel balancers, wheel alignment kit, hydraulic lifts, A/ C Gas changers, nitro fillers and others. “Another innovative offering is the Turbo Wheel Wash. This is the first of its kind in Nigeria. This machine washes automobile wheels with high pressure and rotation, leaving the rims shin-

through the council’s efforts, locally based auto plants like Proforce, would be paying zero duty on completely knocked down parts. He assured that production activities at the plant are based on the global industry standards, using only internationally certified ballistic materials of: CEN level B6/ NIJ Level 111, CEN level B7/ NIJ IV, Stagnag III. According to the Managing Director, all raw materials for armouring vehicles, such as the body (ballistic steel that protects the sides, roof and under-bodies), and windows (ballistic glass) are supplied and fully certified for quality by the world leading suppliers of armoured vehicle components. The materials are resistant to commercial threats, from assault rifles and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). All the vehicles have special run-flat tyres that can endure several kilometers. Apart from designing and manufacturing armoured vehicles suitable for the military, police, and law enforcement agencies, Proforce, which is the only vehicle armouring firm in West Africa, also builds armoured luxury vehicles for VIPs and corporate organisations, in addition to making cash-in-transit vans for banks, armoured boats for marine security complete with after-sales and maintenance services to all clients that own armoured mobility products.

Infinity holds promo ing and the tyres looking as good as new. “One more item on the service offering is the Battery Health Check kit. Customers can now check the health of their batteries and electrical systems to ascertain the electrical demands of their automobiles against the power generated by their batteries and their alternators, all these at Infinity Tyres Limited,” he explained. Chadha added that the company is concerned primarily with the prosperity of their customers. He urged motorists to engage scheduled maintenance of their auto and wished them the best of the season and more rewarding times in the coming year.



S I am fond of saying, driving is a complex activity which involves the gathering, interpretation and execution of information from multiple sources (front, back, right side and left side) to enhance effective and safe vehicle control. Of all the professions, driving is the most complex in that it involves the use of several body organs simultaneously (brain, hands, legs, eyes, ears, and noise). By my own personal rating, drivers are the most important persons or workers that should be well taken care of by every employer because an error committed by them often lead to loss of irreparable lives and valuable properties compared to the errors committed by other professionals. It is, however, dishearthing

Employers’ inhumanity to drivers that in Nigeria, drivers are being subjected to various forms of inhuman treatments that are unheard of in other parts of the world, particularly in the developed countries and some developing countries. Most drivers are being used as slaves by their principals (boss). He is the one that will wash the car (s) in the morning in the house of his boss, drive him or her during the office hours, return to the house of his boss to wash clothes, clean the compound or do other menial jobs in his Principal’s house before going home late in the night to prepare for the next day assignments. Whenever a driver drives his principal out of town, either on official or private trip, the prin-

cipal will lodge in a comfortable room while the driver that stressed himself through the journey will be made to fold himself and sleep inside the car at the mercy of the hungry mosquitoes thereby signaling to chronic fatigue syndrome malaria fever which are part of the causes of safety hazards on the road. In the area of remuneration, the salaries of most drivers are nothing to write home about, considering their relevance in any workplace. This has pushed many drivers to take up extra hustling such as okada riding and kabukabu work after office hours which is risky for driving job. When it comes to training and re-training, drivers are the less-considered. Only very few organisations and

employers appreciate the need to re-train their drivers and this is not being done as frequently as it ought to be. Unless we want to deceive ourselves, drivers need more regular training than the other staff (including the management staff) of any private and public organisation. The vehicle technology, the health of drivers, the road and the driving environment are dynamic, changing frequently thus necessitating a more frequent re-training of the drivers to update them to effectively meet the safety and security challenges in every part of Nigeria. I hereby use this forum to once again appeal to all the employers of drivers in the public and private sectors to treat their drivers right at all times so that they

Jide Owatunmise Registrar / Chief Executive, Professional Driving and Safety Academy

can be equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to cope and excel. They should also be motivated to put in their best for the safety and security of their principals and employers. Life has no duplicate.




Ports service providers left old NPA partners Kano chamber scanners, Customs chief alleges T


VER 14,000 Customs officers have been trained to take over the scanning jobs of the former service providers at the ports, The Nation has learnt. It was gathered that most of the scanners that were handed over to the Customs by the three suspended service providers are obsolete. It was learnt that the Customs is planning to import 50 brand new high powered scanners to ensure success and efficiency in container scanning by its officers under the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) at the ports. Addressing reporters at the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ in Ikeja, Lagos, the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi, said: “In the last seven years, the service providers were only able to provide 21 scanners. “During the transition process, we hired a consultant to help us ascertain the condition of these scanners, we also went to the manufacturers again to verify the status of these scanners, we discovered that the scanners are actually obsolete as at today. They are not scanners that will deliver the vision of the Comptroller-General, but we still have to take over what we met on ground,” he said. Contacted, the SGS spokesman, Mr Lanre Badmus, denied the story. He said the mobile and the fixed scanners they left at the ports are new and working well. Abdullahi said of the 21 scanners inherited from the Cotecna, SGS, and Global Scan Systems, only few are working.

• It’s not true Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda

While lamenting that those functional are not working well, he assured importers and clearing agents that new ones would soon be provided by the Customs. To ensure efficiency in containers scanning under PAAR, the Customs has expressed its readiness to import 50 modern scanners that will be deployed in the ports nationwide. The scanners, Dikko said, would be imported over the next five years to complement the inherited scanners that would be repaired. He criticised the service providers for always trying to trivialise the efforts and capacity of the Customs officers in handling the DI scheme. According to him, at the end of every contract, while lobbying for contract extensions, the service providers always lied Federal Government that Customs was not ready to take over the job. Dikko however, said that as part of the efforts and strategy to make Customs independent; the service had trained more than 14, 000 officers in readiness for the takeover. He said out of the trained numbers, 350 young, ICT-savvy officers were deployed in issuing the PAAR, while additional 300 officers were deployed in the handling of the scanning machines. “But these service providers have been in and around us for over 30 years, and at the end of every contract, they come out with state-

ments that Customs are not ready,” he regretted. “You are very much aware this is a long battle fought and we must succeed. It is a fight from top to bottom and I want to thank Mr. President and also the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy for being behind us to take over.” The visibly elated ComptrollerGeneral, who commended the officers for generating all-time high revenue in August, urged them to be of good behaviour, even as he admonished them to be up and doing in order to surpass their target. “You are very much aware that our funding is hinged on the collection of the seven per cent. The more revenue we collect, the more revenue we have. We are hanging on intervention fund and it is not forthcoming, but if we work hard, I can assure you that the seven percent will be ok for us and the one per cent the service providers are collecting will also come to us,” he said. Dikko assured that with the taking over of the DI scheme and the use of PAAR, the one per cent revenue on import, which was hitherto collected by service providers, will accrue to the Federal Government. While allaying the fears of importers and clearing agents on PAAR, he said the service would embark on classroom teachings and further sensitisation of freight forwarders, importers and the trading community on PAAR. Dikko said the PAAR campaign would also get to the Eastern zone where it would be hosted by the Governor of Anambra State, as well as those in the Northern Zone.

HE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is partnering the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA) for the promotion of trade and investments in Kano and the North. KACCIMA is the promoter of the famous Kano International Trade Fair. Speaking during the just-concluded 34 th edition of Kano International Trade Fair and Kano Commerce and Investment Week, the Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, who was represented by the General Manager Marine and Operations Mallam Mohammed Bulangu, said NPA would attend the fair to showcase its services to the business community in Kano.

He urged importers to patronise the seaports to boost the economy. The President of KACCIMA Alhaji Farouk Rabiu Dansuleka commended the NPA boss for supporting a venture that seeks to unite the business community in the North. He said the importance of the Authority to the business community in the North cannot be over emphasised, urging exporters and importers in the North to patronise NPA. He urged the NPA to consider the reopening of its Kano office. Dansuleka disclosed that the chamber was working towards the take-off of the dry port in Kano and called for the NPA’s support.

‘Make Onitsha port viable’


HE Anambra Shippers Association has called on the Federal Government to gazette the Onitsha River Port as an international cargo destination. President of the association, Mr Emmanuel Akpaka, told reporters in Onitsha, that this would make the river port viable. He said the initiative would also expand the frontiers of Onitsha that was located on the River Niger basin, as an international business hub. He said: “We want the port to be gazetted, for it to become a destination for cargo from anywhere in the world, whether China, Japan, Malaysia, America, or Britain, so that our business brothers and sisters

could ship their cargoes and goods direct from the foreign ports into Onitsha port. “This can be done through a system of trans-loading tens of containers or some thousands of volumes of goods into badges to Onitsha direct and the importer receives his or her consignments in Onitsha.” Akpaka commended the Federal Government for completing the port in time, as well as installing state-of-the-art facilities in it. “We believe that all international businessmen and women have a stake in the positive well-being of the Onitsha port and we would also take it as our own,’’ he added

CRFFN seeks regional body


HE Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Sir Mike Jukwe has called for the creation of one body that will regulate freight forwarding business in the West African sub-region. When created, the body, he said, would address the challenges confronting the profession in the region. Speaking at the Ghana’s Institute of Freight Forwarding (GIFF), Jukwe sought partnership and exchange of ideas with GIFF on ways to improve the freight forwarding business in

the region. The CRFFN Registrar noted that the problems and challenges of Freight Forwarding business are similar in every member-state of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), saying that a common approach to these challenges would ease the burden members. He commended the programmes of GIFF, congratulating the organisation on its recent election as Vice President of the Federation of International Freight Forwarding Organisations (FIATA).

Lawyers canvass use of arbitration • Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke (left) presenting a publication of his ministry to National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Alhaji Badaru Abubakar during Abubakar’s visit to the minister in Abuja.

Amosun to support freight forwarders


GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has praised the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), for developing the maritime industry. Speaking when a delegation of NAGAFF visited him at the state secretariat in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, Amosun said he was delighted at the presentation by the delegation on the benefits of the Olokola Free Trade Zone, adding that he would support the body. He said the presentation showed the depth of NAGAFF’s knowledge about the industry and the seriousness of its members in the

moving the industry forward. He assured investors that his government would encourage the development of all mode of transportation to boost the business of supply chain, and thanked NAGAFF for opening new frontiers in the discourse about the Olokola FTZ, which opens to deep sea water. In his presentation, the National President of NAGAFF, Chief Eugene Nweke told the governor that NAGAFF chose Ogun State as the host of its Annual General Meeting to shift the world’s attention to the economic benefits of the Olokola FTZ, which is complemented by spe-

cialised Ogun Rail Industrial FTZ and the Ogun Guandong FTZ. To harness the potential of the FTZ, Chief Nweke advised the Ogun State Government to pursue the acquisition of a certificate of status and recognition as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) from the Nigeria Customs Service by incorporating and using a subsidiary of the Olokola FTZ to pursue large scale importation using the FTZ to warehouse such import. Governor Amosun delivered the keynote address, while Prof Iyiola Oni of the University of Lagos was the guest lecturer.


RITIME lawyers have said the use of arbitration in settling maritime disputes will boost the country’s development plan. At a seminar titled: Effects of resolving maritime dispute through arbitration, organised by maritime traders in Lagos, a lawyer, Mr Deji Agbaje, said arbitration attracts foreign direct investment and sustains a high level of private sector-led investments. He noted that arbitration is a cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism, which has contributed to just and timely settlement of disputes in several sectors of the economy. He added that arbitration is needed for the smooth-running of the industry being a coastal state where the sector contributes a considerable percentage

to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). His words: “Most maritime arbitrations involving Nigeria parties were conducted in London in the past, however with the combined effect of the Arbitration Act as well as arbitral institutes, facilities and associations in Nigeria, disputes arising out of maritime transactions are settled within the country. This has contributed immensely to the growth of the economy. “There is an increase of trained arbitrators, experts and support staff in Nigeria. The advent of these professional arbitrators has shortened the time frame of arbitral proceedings and contributed to providing a more effective means of dispute resolution.”











New Dangote Sugar Refinery chief unveils growth plan


ANGOTE Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc would implement an integrated sugar production master plan that will over the course of the years consolidate the company’s leadership in the Nigerian sugar industry and create significant benefits for all stakeholders in the company. Speaking at his maiden media parley yesterday in Lagos, the new group managing director of Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc, Mr Graham Clark, outlined that his targets will be to build on the existing potential of DSR and the enormous potential of Nigeria to deliver a world-class company that will not only make competitive returns to investors but impact positively on Nigeria, the host communities and the sugar industry. According to him, a lot of work has gone into the production of the Dangote Sugar Master Plan, which will see the company consolidating its existing leadership position as largest sugar refiner in Nigeria into becoming a full-fledged integrated sugar production company with its own sugar plantations and processing facilities. “Nigeria has fantastic potential for sugar production in Nigeria and Dangote Sugar Refinery will lead the way. There is going to be lot of exciting news in the next few years. We see our

By Taofik Salako

sugar development story effectively moving from now through a period of five to 10 years when we will develop new sugar plantations, new sugar factories across the country. We will embrace Nigerian farmers to join us in the production of our raw material, which is sugar cane. We will stimulate considerable economic activities in the rural communities. Employment is a major objective of the Dangote Group and we see ourselves employing many people,” Clark said. He added that DSR’s target is a minimum of 1.5 million tonnes of sugar just as the growth plan will include production of such by-products such as ethanol and fibre, which can be used to generate electricity for rural electrification of host communities to DSR and beyond. According to him, apart from putting the recently acquired Savannah Sugar Company in Adamawa State to full production, the company plans to develop other sugar plantations and processing facilities across the country. Clark reiterated his admiration for Nigeria’s weather and natural resources that allow it to be able to produce many

food products, pointing out that the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan will positively benefit the economy. He said while the immediate concerns of his management would be to consolidate DSR’s leadership position in the domestic sugar market and fully explore the potential of integrated sugar production, there is possibility that DSR can follow the successful model of Dangote Cement Plc, which has gone from being the largest cement producer in Nigeria to establishing cement plants in several African countries. He said he would also focus on skill transfer and development of Nigerian human capital that can help in the development of the sugar industry. “By the end of my tenure, we will leave a world-class company in the safe hands of Nigerians who can continue to grow it into the future,” Clark assured. Clark, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia, has three decades experience in the African sugar industry and was the managing director of Illovo Sugar Limited, Africa’s biggest sugar producer, with operations in six African countries, before joining DSR recently. Third-quarter report for the period ended September 30, 2013 showed that DSR’s net profit after tax jumped to N11.3 billion in 2013 as against N8.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2012.

FBN Heritage Fund pays dividend


BN Heritage Fund, a mutual fund managed by FBN Capital Asset Management, yesterday paid its first dividend to unit-holders with a promise to continue to grow their investments. FBN Heritage Fund, which offers investors superior medium-to-long term earnings by investing in a diversified portfolio of equities, bonds and Treasury Bills was created in April 2008.

By Sampson Unamka

The mutual fund paid a dividend per unit of N10 for the year ended March 31, 2013. FBN Capital Asset Management is a subsidiary of FBN Capital Ltd, the investment banking and asset management subsidiary of FBN Holding Plc. Managing director, FBN Capital Asset Management, Mr. Michael Oyebola, as-

sured investors in the fund of consistent and strong growth. According to him, by the period ended October 31, 2013, FBN Capital Asset Management has successfully turned around the ¦ 5.3 billion FBN Heritage Fund returning 28 per cent in 2012 and 15 per cent year-to-date return in 2013. “Our strong positive returns are a result of our strategic positioning in the fund throughout the year and our ability to accurately anticipate and respond quickly to changes in debt and equity markets,” Oyebola said. He recommended the fund to investors seeking to build wealth through a single diversified portfolio and with goals of long-term capital growth and competitive returns.





Bankers’ Committee seeks 7% growth in agric sector lending T HE Bankers’ Committee is targeting a loan growth of seven per cent to the agricultural sector by 2015, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said. The committee is an association of Managing Directors of Deposit Money Bank’s (DMB’s), top officials of the CBN and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NDIC). The group meets bi-monthly to discuss the state of banking sector and the economy. Credit to the agricultural sector rose from 1.6 per cent in 2009 to 3.7 per cent this year. A statement from the committee said the current figure indicates an increase of 85 per cent over the 1.6 per cent growth of the sector’s share of banks’ credit four years ago. Sanusi, who chairs the committee, said the group also expects credits to the sector to rise to five per cent next year. He assured stakeholders in the sector to partner in promoting an efficient and stable economy for the coun-

Stories by Collins Nweze

try. He said part of the 2014 action plan of the committee would be to deliver price stability, financial stability, financial inclusion and economic growth. He also explained that the committee has revalidated its goals to include the modernisation of the payment system; shared services and infrastructure for the financial industry to reduce cost; increased funding of small and medium enterprises; agriculture; power and telecommunication sectors. Data obtained recently from the Bankers Committee showed that between July and November last year, the country’s lenders issued over N6 billion in credit guarantees to farmers. The average loan guaranteed was N397 million, with a range of N4 million to N1.5 billion and average duration of 285 days. “It is anticipated that

the Nigeria Incentive – based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), collaboration between banks and counter-parties will push loans under guarantee in excess of N25 billion before the end of this year,” the CBN said. It said the increase has been linked to the N200 billion agriculture credit scheme and N600 billion NIRSAL fund. It said the NIRSAL guarantees up to 75 per cent of bank loans to the sector. Sources within the banks said the regulator plans to spend an estimated $500 million to create further incentives for the banks to sustain the flow of agric credit. The NIRSAL initiative, which is brainchild of the CBN, the Bankers’ Committee and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD), seeks to create incentives

FirstOnline upgraded to enhance digital payment F IRSTONLINE, an internet banking product developed by First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been upgraded to enable customers achieve efficient digital payment plans. Speaking yesterday at a media interactive session announcing the New FirstOnline, the bank’s Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said the lender upgraded the product to optimise its customers’ internet banking experience by making accessibility to banking services delivery swift and efficient in real time regardless of customers’ location. “This all-inclusive new ‘FirstOnline’ internet banking plat-

form is aimed at revolutionisig banking services delivery by giving the customers access to banking services without necessarily having to leave the comfort of their homes or offices,” she said. Ani-Mumuney, who was represented by the bank’s Head, Media & External Relations, Babatunde Lasaki said the product has been redesigned to meet the needs of millions of the bank’s loyal customers and potential customers across the world. She said it provides an uninterrupted and private access to customers’ accounts

with the safe and convenient service delivery. Also, the bank’s Head of Technology and Services, Akin Fanimokun, said the new product was designed in recognition of customers’ invaluable contributions and loyalty to the lender. Fanimokun, who equally was represented by the bank’s Head, e-business, Chuma Ezirim said the product not only outclasses competition locally, but offers unique security interface that protects customers’ transactions.


and catalyse processes to encourage the growth of formal credit, direct and indirect, for the agriculture value chain, as a mechanism for driving wealth creation among participants. According to the apex bank, NIRSAL is also expected to be a catalyst for innovative risk management strategies, long-term financing for agribusiness and significant job creation by new entrepreneurs. “The mandate of NIRSAL is to act as the custodian of all credit guarantee schemes, interest draw back schemes, and commercialisation initiatives related to an integrated value chain approach to agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria,” the CBN added. Under NIRSAL, there are five pillars to be addressed by an estimated $500

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

Financial co-operatives get lender of last resort


ATIONAL Co-operative Financing Agency of Nigeria Limited (CFA National) has emerged the regulator and lender of last resort to financial co-operatives in the country. In a statement, President/Chairman, Board of Directors, CFA National, Adebola Orolugbagbe, said the role is coming on the heels of its change of name to CFA National from the National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions of Nigeria Limited (NACCUN). He said with the transformation, CFA National will be to all financial co-operatives, what the CBN is to commercial and microfinance banks. According to him, all relevant documents concerning the change, including the new bye-laws would be forwarded to the office of the Federal Director of Co-operatives in due course for endorsement. This he said,


Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80


INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m



Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 10-12-13 2013-12-09

UNIONDICON 6.83 WAPCO 106.00 MANSARD 2.29 STERLNBNK 2.19 NB 161.14 CADBURY 62.00 DANGCEM 195.03 AIICO 0.82 WAPIC 0.98 INTBREW 23.62


%CHANGE 10.10 4.72 4.37 4.11 3.64 2.71 2.55 2.44 2.04 1.61

LOSERS AS AT 10-12-13






1.13 91.80 4.20 1.24 2.70 0.63 4.41 3.61 0.65 1.35

Year Start Offer

Current Before

Current After

1.03 85.08 3.97 1.18 2.57 0.60 4.20 3.44 0.62 1.29


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

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


















July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

%CHANGE -8.85 -7.32 -5.48 -4.84 -4.81 -4.76 -4.76 -4.71 -4.62 -4.44

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12





NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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


CUV Start %


7.52 111.00 2.39 2.28 167.00 63.68 200.00 0.84 1.00 24.00

Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

followed a strategic meeting by the general assembly of the association recently held in Abuja to ratify and adopt the draft Bye Laws. He said the name change came after a special meeting of the group held in South Africa at the 14th Savings and Credit Co-operative Association (SACCA) Congress organised annually by the African Confederation of Co-operative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA). He further said Nigeria has been given the go-ahead to host the 15th SACCA Congress to be held in Abuja from October 27 to 31, 2014. The SACCA Congress, he disclosed, is an avenue for all financial co-operatives in Africa to meet, network, share ideas as it provides a forum for capacity building summit that enriches members’ and operators knowledge about the business of financial co-operatives in Nigeria.


MANAGED FUNDS Current Market 5495.33 N552.20

million that will be invested by the CBN, according to the programme document.



Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00



19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90

23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64

% Change -




Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




N NEWS EWS 10 APGA members feared dead in road accident

•Onitire of Itire, Oba Lateef Dauda, cutting the tape to inaugurate the 16 roads built by the Lagos State government in Mushin Local Government... yesterday. With him are Governor Babatunde Fashola (second right); Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and a member of the House of Assembly, Mrs. Funmi Tejuoso.

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri


EN people were yesterday feared dead in an accident, which occurred at Enyiogugu on the Owerri/Umuahia Road in Imo State. The victims were said to be members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who were going for a rally in Owerri. According to an eyewitness, a Mercedes Benz lorry, whose driver was speeding, lost control and rammed into an L300 bus, which was conveying the APGA supporters. The state Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Yusuf Salami, who confirmed the accident, said only one person died on the spot, while 13 others survived with serious injuries. He warned motorists against over speeding and dangerous driving during the Yuletide.


How ‘baby factory’ operators induce premature delivery From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

Robbers kill two policemen in Abia


WO police officers, Kingsley Etuk of Central Police Station and Jimmy Johnson of Eziama Police Division, Aba in Abia State have been killed by gunmen. The assailants stole over N800,000 belonging to an Aba pools agent, Abatex Pools Ltd. It was learnt that the incident occurred at the weekend near Ohiya on the AbaUmuahia axis of the Enugu-

•Steal over N800,000 From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

Port Harcourt Expressway. Sources could not confirm a shootout between the gunmen and the police, but a resident said he saw the victims in a pool of blood, while the driver and a passenger were unhurt. The source said one of the occupants in the vehicle said the robbers stole about

N800, 000 and that the gunmen were workers of Abatex Pools Ltd going to Umuahia to distribute coupon materials. It was gathered that the robbers also stole the police officers’ rifles. Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna confirmed the incident. He said two Abatex Pools Ltd workers were in deten-

tion and that a manhunt had begun for the gunmen. A similar attack was launched on the owner of Abatex Pools Ltd some years ago near Ohanze Secondary School in Obingwa Local Government. About N450,000 was snatched and five persons killed. This story was supposed to have been published in yesterday’s edition, but it was not, due to a technical mix up.

Activists decry rise in rape of minors, women battery A coalition of human rights group yesterday described as worrisome and dehumanising, the increasing trend of rape of minors in the land. The groups, which noted the daily reported cases of sexual assault of toddlers and children, described the trend as a national past time for many men. At a news conference the mark the International Human Rights Day, the coalition also decried the surge in child and wife battery, just as it blamed the society, law enforcement and adjudicating agencies for not living up to their roles in protecting women. At the event held at the Environmental Rights Agency (ERA) in Lagos were President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Odumakin; ERA’s focal person, Betty Abah; Executive Director, Media Concern Initiative-for Women and Children (MediaCon), Dr. Princess OlufemiKayode; Director, Spaces for Change, Victoria Ogaeri and

By Precious Igbonwelundu

Secretary, Triumphant Foundation for Widows and Orphans, Pastor Patrick Tinka. The coalition said that various heinous crimes were on the rise because of lack of convictions of perpetrators and the silence of victims. They condemned a video which recently surfaced on the social media were two women were grossly dehumanised in Ejigbo, Lagos, for allegedly stealing pepper in the market. The video, which showed how blended pepper and broken bottles were being inserted in the women’s private parts while they were severely beaten by some men, according to the coalition, showed “we have sunk to the deepest depth of depravity and inhumanity.” The groups pledge to match on Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), to demand justice for the victims, since 10 months after the incident occurred, the perpetrators

are yet to be brought to book. “There is no other thing to do now than bow our head in international shame. There is no other time than now to call ourselves to instant saniity. If all these men go unchallenged, unpunished, if these beasts continue to parade our human spaces perpetually unapprehended, then we should question the humanity of those who watch, cheer or record these horrible scenes,” they said. In her remark, Odumakin said Nigeria’s human right situation is worrisome, noting that a lot of persons who have no business being in prison were there. She said people must begin to see victims of sexual abuse or violence as their relations and fight for them in order to stop the menace, just as she called on the National Assembly to remove bottlenecks that hinder succesful convictions of rapists. Odumakin who was close to tears as she watched the vid-

NEMA seeks inclusion of disaster management in schools curricula


O improve disaster management and minimise casualties, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday said it was making efforts to have disaster management as part of the curriculum of primary and secondary schools. NEMA’s Director General Muhammad Sidi spoke in Lagos at a retreat for House of Representatives Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Committee members. He said the agency has accorded disaster management education a priority by jointly collaborating with six tertiary institutions spread across the country to offer courses at Masters degree levels.

By Precious Igbonwelundu

He said there was the need to strengthen disaster management policies for enhanced effectiveness, said legislative support to NEMA would enable the agency achieve its set mandates in relation to economic development and improvement of people’s welfare. On the agency’s preparedness in combating flood disaster, Sidi said though the predictions of high magnitude flood did not come to pass, NEMA was better prepared than last year. Sidi said lack of functional institutional arrangement at state and local government levels to manage disasters were

part of the challenges faced by the agency. Chairman of the Committe, Ifedayo Abegunde, lauded NEMA for providing the members with requisite capacity building on disaster management in line with global trend. He called for regular training or workshop for committee members in line with current realities especially on how to minimise the incessant cases of disaster related incidences. Acknowledging the enormous responsibilities of NEMA against its inadequate budgetary allocation, Abegunde said there is an urgent need for prompt response capacity of NEMA to reduce losses associated with disaster issues.

eo of the two women, maintained that “whether dead or alive, I promise those women must get justice. We shall ensure that they get justice, and we shall hold the LCDA chairman and police accountable for not apprehending these beasts since February. “Our leaders are milking us dry and nothing has been done to them, yet, the vulnerable people are being baptised with jungle justice and very inhuman treatment for allegedly stealing pepper. “Enough is enough. We will match to Ejigbo and we will speak for those women,” Odumakin said. To Olufemi-Kayode, Nigeria was in denial a decade ago of the existence of child sexual abuse. She said MediaCon has since the inception of Crisis Response Centre in 2005, managed over 3000 cases and received over 10,000 calls across the world.


ORE details emerged yesterday on how the trafficking of babies, also known as ‘baby factory’, is operated in the Southeast. It was revealed how the operators source the teenagers, who they keep in captivity; how the babies are sold and their powerful contacts. In an exclusive interview with The Nation, the Imo State Commissioner of Police Muhammad Musa Katsina said the operators, who keep the teenagers at various levels of pregnancy, often induce premature delivery anytime buyers need newborn babies. He said: “The moment their big customers demand newborn babies, especially ritual killers, they will induce one of the expectant girls to deliver after drugging her. The babies are thereafter wrapped in a paper pack and sold. Recently, we traced one of such babies to a shrine where it may have been used for human sacrifice. “The rate at which the infamous trade is growing is alarming. A situation where you lure minors into the illegal business to be making babies for you, which you sell, is terrible. There was a pathetic case when a girl, who was not ready to deliver, was forced to do so because a buyer was waiting. We should fight this menace. “When we arrested Dr. James Ezuma, one of the most notorious operators, some powerful individuals mounted pressure on me not to parade him. This shows how deeply entrenched this trade has become.”

Enugu budgets N93.28b From Chris Oji, Enugu


NUGU State government has made a draft budget proposal of N93.28 billion for next year. This is higher than the 2013 budget of N83.77billion by N9.51 billion, representing 11 per cent increase. Presenting the budget proposal yesterday to the House of Assembly, Governor Sullivan Chime said it was made up of N39.34 billion as Recurrent Expenditure, which is 42 per cent of the budget, while N53.94 billion was for Capital Expenditure, representing 58 per cent. He said government expects a Recurrent Revenue of N57. 49 billion.

Kidnappers abduct banker, businessman


ESIDENTS of Aba in Abia State were thrown into panic yesterday, following the kidnap of a bank manager and a businessman. Sources said gunmen on Monday night in Aba abducted Mr. Akwara Stanley, a

Oyo hails Med-View Airline on pilgrims’ safety


HE Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Muslim Wing, has lauded MedView Airline for providing the necessary comfortability to the state’s pilgrims who flew with the airline to Mecca for this year’s hajj. The chairman of the board, Alhaji Taofeeq Akeugbagold, in a statement yesterday said that the airline safely transported over 1,277 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and back to Nigeria. He said the first and second batches of the pilgrims, who were airlifted in Lagos enjoyed their flight and were transported safely too. He said the airline had made adequate arrangement for a successful hajj operation, adding that

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

its personnel had been stationed at the airports in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia for the operation. “Our take off was smooth. Withing six days, our pilgrims were in Mecca. None of them complained about our operations. We used a bigger aircraft to convey them. The pilgrims were taken to Medina straight. On arrival, male and female pilgrims were given Ihram. The females were given Hijab. “For the first time in the history of holy pilgrimage in Nigeria, six days after Arafat, the pilgrims were already at home. As far as we are concerned this Airline is the best Alhaji Munirudeen Bankole really helped,” the statement said.

manager in one of the commercial banks and Mr. Oliver Obiora, a businessman, as they were returning home. The Nation learnt that Stanley, whose office is located at Owerrinta in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government, was reportedly kidnapped from his Camry car, near Binez Hotels, Aba, about 8:20pm after closing from work. The sources said the second victim, Obiora, a resident of 25, Bible College Road, was abducted from his vehicle at gunpoint by another group of armed men around 10pm at Umuchichi village when returning from the Aba Sports Club. While it was not yet clear if the banker’s family have established contact with the kidnappers, a source close to the businessman said the abductors, after confirming to Obiora’s wife that they were in custody of her husband, switched off the man’s phone. Commissioner of Police Usman Tilli Abubakar confirmed the kidnapping of the bank manager, but said he was not aware of the abduction of the businessman.




Ahmed: our defection was against PDP’s impunity


WARA State G o v e r n o r Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday said the defection of five new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) governors to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not a fight against President Jonathan, but against the PDP. He said PDP had lost “all traits of democratic ethos; a party that pursues personal rather than collective aspirations.” Governor Ahmed spoke in Ilorin on a radio programme, Focal Point. The governor said the PDP “refused to be reinvigorated, reformed and rehabilitated, as the culture of impunity had taken toll on the party and likeminds became disenchanted with developments in the party.” According to him, he and

Yero: I prefer to go slow, steady


‘Merger’ll boost development’

group, Kwara Coalition for Positive Change (KCPC), yesterday said the merger of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) in Kwara State will enhance the state’s development. A statement by KCPC leaders, Idera Jimoh, Mohammed Sha’aba Patigi and Lamidi Okiki Sanni, welcomed “all members of the nPDP under the leadership of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Senator Bukola Saraki and their supporters to APC. “We pray that the togetherness will not only consolidate the APC in Kwara State but will further enhance the development of the state. “We also appreciate the APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the governors of Adamawa, Kano, Rivers and Sokoto states have

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin and Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

for coming home to appraise the political situation of the merging parties. “His explanation had diffused all dissenting speculations that were intended to cause disaffection among willing and committed members of the APC.” An aide of former Gombe State Governor Danjuma Goje has said the merger would create a deviation from “the current situation where only one party has continued to dominate the polity through monopoly.” Dauda Simon said the defection will make the country a two-party state and help create a comfortable free environment synonymous with healthy democratic system.”

found the APC as an enabling platform to advance the cause of their people and other Nigerians. Ahmed, however, gave

an assurance that they remained open to collaborating with the Presidency on matters that could advance the development of the

country. The governor congratulated The Nation on its winning the Newspaper of the Year award at the Nigeria Media Merit Awards (NMMA) in Ekiti State. Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, described the award as an endorsement of The Nation’s robust editorial policy and professional excellence. The governor said The Nation, since its establishment, had not only remained steadfast in its commitment to the ideal of balance reportage but parades a crop of columnists, whose opinions and analysis have continued to define the nation’s political and economic landscape. He urged the paper not to rest on its oars.


ADUNA State Governor Mukhtar Yero yesterday reacted to criticisms on the slow pace of the administration, saying it was to ensure meaningful development. “I prefer to go slow and steady, instead of rushing and crashing,” Yero said in Kaduna at a Town Hall meeting. The governor said as a leader, he needed time to “study the situation of things, know the needs of the people and assess available resources before embarking on any project.” “It is always important to go slow and steady and make progress, instead of rushing and at the end of the day crashing. “So I prefer to be slow, steady, observe and get meaningful contributions,” he said. He assured the people that the administration would not disappoint, as it was committed to ensuring meaningful development in all parts of the state. “I will like to assure you that we are studying the situation, and Kaduna State is not a state that you will rush, there are so many challenges that we need to look at critically, understand and move forward. “The most important is how to add value and that is the changes we are looking at to add value.”

Niger presents N98.8b budget From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


IGER State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu yesterday presented N98.8 billion budget to the House of Assembly. He said he was in support of the House of Representatives $79 per barrel benchmark for next year’s budget. According to Aliyu, the budget is made up of Statutory Allocation N69,699,539,654.00, Value Added Tax (VAT) N9,220,585,968.00, Internally Generated Revenue N6,315,890,060.00, Capital Receipts N11,000,000,000.00 and SURE-P N2,616,327,854.00 He said the total estimated Recurrent Expenditure for the stands at N47, 290,280,591.00, representing 47.8 per cent and the projected Capital Expenditure is N51, 493,090,525.00 representing 52.16 per cent. Aliyu said recurrent expenditure coonsists of Personnel cost N 27,646,353,835, Overheads N12,048,690,920.00 and Consolidated revenue charges N7,595,235,836.00.

•Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Yero (left), Deputy Governor Nuhu Bajoga (right) and Minister of Information Labaran Maku at a Town Hall meeting in Kaduna...yesterday.

Ruling house to sue deposed Kwara monarch


HE Olugbense Ruling House in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State has threatened to sue for alleged contempt the deposed Olofa of Offa, Mohammed Mufutau Gbadamosi. A court had, in July, declared Gbadamosi’s selection and installation illegal. Olugbense and Anilelerin are the two ruling houses in the town. Following the judgment, the Anilelerin ruling house filed a stay of execution and restraining order on the judgment. The deposed monarch is also challenging the court’s decision at the Supreme Court. A letter to Gbadamosi’s

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

counsel Rafiu Lawal-Rabana (SAN) and signed by a counsel in the legal team of the Olugbense ruling house, Toyin Oladipo, claimed that the deposed monarch still parades himself as the Olofa of Offa. The letter reads: “I write to you as a member of the legal team of the appellants, for myself and on behalf of the team to bring to your attention the complaint of our clients, about the (mis) conduct of your client (fifth respondent), who has continued to violate the judgment of the Court of Appeal by parading himself as the Olofa of Offa. “Our clients complained to us that in the last Ileya

festival, Gbadamosi paraded himself as the Olofa when he went to yidi ground. As if that was not enough, he has continued to be mentioned on radio as the Olofa of Offa to his knowledge. “On December 5, he rode into Offa in a convoy with the insignia and plate of Olofa of Offa displayed on his vehicles with sirenblowing pilot cars to the chagrin of our clients and to the utter surprise and display of people in Offa and its environs. “To crown it all, he still lives in and operates from the palace of Olofa, which is the official quarters of the holder of the stool of Olofa. “We are bringing it to your attention in order that

you may use your position as a senior member of the bar to impress it on your client to respect the court judgment and stop acting as if he is above the law. “We hope that after this letter, no further act of disregard and disrespect of the judgment will be done by your client but if he unfortunately continues, we shall start contempt proceedings against him. “We are constrained to observe that your client is not lying low, he is not soberly pursuing his appeal. Instead, he is grandstanding and posing as if he is above the law; and as if he has the power to annul the judgment of the Court of Appeal.”

House holds valedictory session for Lar From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

•The late Solomon Lar


HE House of Representatives held a valedictory session for the late Solomon Lar yesterday. Lar, who died in the United States of America in October, was a member of

the House in the First Republic. The late politician was eulogised during the session, which was attended by ex-Information Minister Prof Jerry Gana, former principal officers of the National Assembly; Ghali Umar Na’abba, Ken Nnamani, Ibrahim Mantu, and former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye. Also in attendance were the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Barnabas Gemade as well as the

widow, Merry, among others. Na’abba spoke on behalf of the former principal officers in the National Assembly. Gemade and Senator Victor Lar also spoke of the late PDP pioneer chairman in glowing tributes. The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, described the late politician, as an emancipator, who loved and preached peace. Tambuwal said the leadership of the National Assembly, in conjunction with the Gana-led burial planning committee, decided to dedicate the day to honour

Lar because he left legacies of excellence. “He was a pioneer, a leader, who decided which path his followers should follow. He left a legacy of excellence as a governor. He abolished daily pay and contract employment and he believed that leaders lived to serve the people. “He was not in politics for self aggrandisement. The best way to ensure the legacy he left behind is to remember the things he stood for.” Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha described the late Lar as an elder statesman and emancipator of the oppressed.

Al-Makura to punish defaulters From Jonny Danjuma, Lafia

NASARAWA State government yesterday announced that it will centralise the payment of salaries to civil servants. Governor Tanko AlMakura spoke in Lafia at the swearing in of three permanent secretaries. He said the state would carry out biometric verification and would not relent until loopholes in the system were blocked. “Government will deal with those sabotaging and shortchanging it through corrupt means,” he said.

Firms partner on tree planting BENDE Export-Import Limited, a local firm says it has entered into a strategic alliance with Bende Belcarbon Belgium and GSC Bende Belcarbon france to promote tree planting among producers and exporters of charcoal. The latest initiative to boost non oil export was disclosed in Lagos by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bende Export-Import Limited, Mr.Benjamin Kalu, at an interactive session with reporters. Kalu explained that the partnership between the three organizations was aimed at encouraging tree planting, recycling saw dust and coconut shell all aimed at growing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution of the non-oil sector to the economy.

Ekiti, agency collaborate on road taxes EKITI State Government and the Mobile Advert Agency of Nigeria (MOAN) have jointly launched the 2014 Encrypted Consolidated Road Taxes. A statement by the Lead Consultant on the road taxes, who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer of MOAN, Otunba Mike Eboziegbe, said while launching the products in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, companies and members of the public carrying out commercial activities with their vehicles were advised to obtain all the required taxes and the necessary documents. The Chairman, Ekiti State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Ishola Akingbade, told the people that items that fall under the Encrypted Consolidated Road Taxes include mobile advert, consolidated emblem, waste bin, gaseous emission control, and others. He appealed to members of the public to pay these taxes in order to shore up the Internally Generated Revenue of the state. The Director-General of the state Signage and Advertisement Agency, Mr. Adewole Ajakaiye, advised all motorists and companies operating in the state to obtain their documents through the state revenue officials to avoid paying penalties for late payment.




Ibori: Counsel says judge lacks jurisdiction to terminate case


T the resumed hearing of former Delta State Governor James Ibori’s confiscation case, Ibori’s defence counsel challenged the judge’s powers in terminating the case midway and ordering a retrial. QC Krolic told the judge “your honour has no jurisdiction to terminate the previous proceedings” in the way that it was done. At the preliminary hearing, both the judge and the prosecution appeared to suggest that Ibori’s earlier confiscation hearing, which was abruptly made inconclusive on October 7, had been based on a ‘Life Style Offence’. QC Krolic corrected both the judge and the prosecution, stating that “the life style offence only applied to the 2002 Act and that Ibori’s confiscation proceedings were gov-

erned by the 1988 Act to which life style did not apply”. Neither the judge nor the crown prosecution was able to respond to Mr. Krolic’s points. The case has been adjourned till Tuesday. Judge Anthony Pitts had adjourned the confiscation hearing for retrial, having accepted the Crown Prosecution’s submission that “there is no sufficient evidence to proceed with the confiscation hearing”. Judge Anthony Pitts rather than rule on the submissions of the two parties after three weeks of legal arguments from the prosecution and defence counsels in October, decided to send the confiscation hearing to retrial for the prosecution counsel to provide more evidence and witnesses in order to give his ruling on the confiscation hearing.

The defence argued against this, saying it was akin to shifting the goal posts mid game just to favour a certain side in a football match. In another related case, the Jury sitting at Southwark Crown Court today found Elias Preko guilty of the two counts charge of money laundering, which was sent to retrial by Judge Anthony Pitts. Although this news found its way into many Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday, none could report that the same Mr. Preko was cleared of three counts charge of money laundering and forgery by a Jury in his first trial in 2012. But the same Judge Pitts sent the case for a retrial just as he did with the Ibori confiscation case. And now that the man, who was found innocent before, was found guilty at the retrial,



Judge Pitts has accepted the verdict and did not talk about retrial again. Instead, he was sentenced to four years imprisonment over the same charges, but which were sent to retrial by the judge –after a jury had declared him innocent in the earlier trial in the same court. Elias Preko, a former Gold Goldman Sachs banker, had been accused of helping Ibori create offshore accounts and trust funds.

Fashola offers 3,311 LASTMA, KAI officials permanent employment

Oyedepo opens Shiloh

HE first Vice-President and Senior Pastor of Living Faith Church, aka Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Abioye, has said the annual Shiloh is not a church programme but a divine mandate and guidance God gave his son. The cleric said this was why it kept flourishing and attracting people since its inception in 1999. According to him, the attendance to Shiloh has not dropped because it is a clear direction God gave his servant. Bishop Abioye spoke last night during the opening session of Shiloh. The General Overseer of Living Faith Church Pastor David Oyedepo declared it open. This year’s Shiloh has the theme: Exceeding Grace. Bishop Abioye said the church was flourishing because it listened to God. “It is in doing what God commands that makes a man a commander and in being led by Him that makes a man a leader,” he said. The cleric said the theme for this year was about all-round sufficiency, adding that nothing else

By Adeyinka Aderibigbe


Oyo to revamp tertiary institutions


•Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio with members of his family cutting his 51st birthday cake in Uyo

Protesters block refinery over UNEP report


HOUSANDS of Ogoni protesters yesterday blocked the entrance of the Port Harcourt Refinery and Eleme Petrochemical Company. They protested the inability of the Federal Government to honour the 90-day ultimatum issued for the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report, which expired three weeks ago. The protesters, under the aegis of the Ogoni Solidarity Forum (OSF) and the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), said the protest and blockage of the Port Harcourt Refinery and Eleme Petrochemical Company would continue until the UNEP report was implemented. The protest caused traffic jam on the Refinery Road and Eleme axis of Port Harcourt, forcing workers of the Port Harcourt Refinery and Eleme Petrochemical Company out of work. The Project Officer of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Comrade Fyneface Dumnamene, who led the protest, said it will continue tomorrow until the Federal Government responds.

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

He said: “The youth will sleep at the entrance of both companies tonight. We are not afraid of anybody. Our environment and the lives of Ogoni people are better than the money the Federal Government is making at the Port Harcourt Refinery and Eleme Petrochemical Company. “By tomorrow there will be no road for anybody to pass because the protest will be extended to other companies in Ogoni land, including the fertiliser company. So they should get ready.” The leader of Ogoni Solidarity Forum (OSF) Comrade Celestine Akporbari said there was an ultimatum by the Ogoni to the companies operating in the area, which expired three weeks ago, yet the Federal Government failed to listen to their plight. Said he: “We gave the Federal Government 90 days ultimatum to implement the UNEP report, but up till now nothing has happened. What they are seeing today is just a tip of the iceberg. We are ready for a shutdown until the Federal Government considers the UNEP report as not only important, but also the right of the Ogoni.”

Rivers compulsory savings hit N50b

HE compulsory N1 billion savings, initiated by the Governor Chibuike Amaechi administration in Rivers State, has generated over N50 billion. Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, who spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday, reiterated the commitment of the governor to better the lot of Rivers people. Peterside said the monthly savings were meant for the

in the scriptures could be as sufficient as God’s grace. Bishop Abioye said: “There is nothing else any man has that he does not want more. Not money, houses, cars, position and other worldly things can a man have that he would not want more, but the grace of God. “Grace means perfect strength made in weakness.” Quoting 2Corinthians 12:19, the cleric explained that human beings know it is grace when it is unexplainable and undeniable from the Creator. He urged all to articulate their expectation of dominion during the event. The auditorium was filled to capacity with delegates from across the world. There were 44 nations represented. Amongst countries were Belgium, France, Germany, Mexico, Philipiness, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. Also present were the European head of Living Faith Churches Pastor David Oyedepo (jnr) and Pastor Isaac Oyedepo from Johannesburg in South Africa.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


T last they had cause to smile. For over 10 years, officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) pressurised the state government to streamline their employment and confirm them as public servants. Yesterday, Governor Babatunde Fashola gave them a befitting Christmas gift. He offered the 3,311 ad-hoc officers permanent employment in the state public service. They are now free to proudly carry the epithet of civil servants. With the employment, Fashola said the government would no longer tolerate extortion and indiscipline by men of both agencies. He said anyone caught would be dismissed. The governor also unveiled plans to set up the Lagos State Law Enforcement Institute to regulate the activities of LASTMA and KAI, as well as train their officials. Speaking at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, Fashola gave three Special Traffic Mayors; Mr. Anthony Edewor, Mr. Salisu Adamu and Mr. Salisu Audu employment offers for making input to traffic control. Explaining the rationale of the reforms, which he said had been on-going in the last two years Governor Fashola notede that the reform was tailored to redevelop and furnish all the 30 offices of LASTMA and KAI, adding that the officials “work in very difficult condition.”

By Nneka Nwaneri

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

rainy day and would be utilised by the coming generations. Said he: “Rivers State has a mini-Sovereign Wealth Fund. We have saved more than N50 billion in that account for the future of the state and generations yet unborn. As you know, it is a compulsory savings meant for the future of the state.”

The commissioner said Rivers State government was not against the controversial Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) or the idea of a commonwealth fund, but the funds should be sourced outside the Federation Account. He said it was wrong for the states to contribute in creating the SWF, while the Federal Government enjoyed the privilege of appointing members of the board, who would oversee the fund.

Funeral for headmistress

The late Mrs Asoya


HE death has occurred of Ezinne Bridget Obiageli Asoya, aka MISS, a

retired headmistress and school administrator. Bridget Asoya will be committed to mother earth on December 20 after a funeral mass at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Okpanam, in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. She is survived by her husband, Benedict, children and grandchildren.

HE Oyo State government will continue to improve state-owned tertiary institutions, Commissioner for Education Prof. Solomon Olaniyonu said yesterday. He spoke during a tour of state-owned tertiary institutions, including the Ogbomoso main campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), jointly owned by Oyo and Osun states; Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igboora; as well as the Oyo and Lanlate campuses of the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education. Olaniyonu said the tour was to assess the facilities on ground, identify the institutions’ challenges and address them. He said the government would continue to provide infrastructure and adequately staff tertiary institutions. The commissioner urged the schools to support the government in improving the education sector.

Rivers commissioner defects

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt


OVERNOR Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi’s support base in Rivers State suffered a loss yesterday following the defection of the Commissioner for Urban Development, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A few weeks ago, Amaechi, whose executive council (exco) was made up of PDP members, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). This by extension meant that his exco members moved with him to the new party. The governor said his reason for defecting to APC was in the interest of Rivers people, who had not benefited from the President Goodluck Jonathan government. But Danagogo sprang a surprise yesterday when he organised a rally at Abonema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state and said he was still in PDP. The reason for Danagogo’s defection was unknown at press time, but one of his aides, who pleaded anonymity, said, “yes, yes, he has left APC”. He declined further questions.



CITYBEATS 'Jonathan, end ASUU strike now' LAWMA truck kills worker T A

CITYBEATS LINE: 08078425391

HE Prelate and Moderator of the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Prof. Emele Mba Uka has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to do all within his constitutional authority to see that students in the tertiary institutions return to school immediately. He condemned the lingering strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which was occasioned by government's refusal to honour its 2009 agreement with the body. The cleric who addressed reporters in Calabar, Cross River State, said that whatever it would cost the government to resolve the present impasse in the university system would be a worthy investment in securing the future of the nation.

He stated that no responsible government anywhere in the world would allow students who are the future leaders of the nation to remain idle for over five months for no cause of theirs. "The more they remain at home," he said, "the more they become the devil's workshop. The situation could cause incalculable damage to the future of the nation in terms of the incidence of crime and social vices... "Besides," the Prelate continued, "the quality of education in Nigeria is very low because of lack of infrastructure and equipment, poor motivation of teachers and poor remuneration. It is time the government took concrete steps to reverse this ugly trend in order to restore confidence in the Nigerian education system."

Normalcy back in market


ORMALCY is finally back in the popular Aguiyi-Ironsi Market, Mushin, Lagos as the traders that were forced out during a recent leadership tussle are back in their trade. They have praised government efforts at restoring peace in the market. One of them, Mr Okechukwu Imoh said he lost fortunes during the tussle. The Chairman, Mushin Local Government, Hon Olatunde Adepitan, said he

visited the market to know if the traders were happy with the peace measures taken. He said the interim government in place would manage the market for six months, take the enumeration of traders and shops, clean the market, secure the facilities, restore peace and mutual trust, involve all stakeholders in the affairs of the market and organise peaceful election where all the traders will freely choose their leaders for a period allowed by the constitution.

Firm disowns fake clippers


LUE Diamond Freights, a freight company based in Guangzhou, China, has denied giving authorisation letter to any company for the production of fake WHAL clippers. The development followed a raid on Yongkang Wonderful Electrical Appliance Company based in Yongkang City, China, by agents of Economic Inspection Brigade of the Yongkang Administration for Commerce and Industry, the Jinghua Municipal Administration for Commerce and Industry and Officials of the Yongkang Public Security Bureau. During the raid, 10,000 fake WAHL clippers were allegedly seized from the company, including "a fraudulent authorisation letter signed by

a Festus U. Mbisiogu of Blue Diamond Freight LLC (Blue Diamond)." In a statement, Blue Diamond Freights' Chief Executive Officer, Mr Festus Mbisiogu, said: "I did not give any authorisation letter to Yongkang Wonderful Electrical Appliance Company or used the Seal of Blue Diamond Freights for the production of WHAL. I also do not remember, officially or unofficially, freighting any WHAL Products from China or any part of the world to Nigeria." Meanwhile, Yongkang Wonderful Electrical Appliance Company, China has debunked reports that a letter bearing the name of Mr, Festus Mbisiogu and Blue Diamond Freights was allegedly seized from them.

Lawson goes home


SON of the first female councilor in Nigeria, Prince John Boevi Lawson, has passed away. Lawson, who died in Lagos on November 11, was 80. Born in Ibadan on October 30, 1933, his father, the late Bishop Hailing Lawson, was a missionary, while his mother, the late Mrs. Henrietta Olaitan Lawson (nee Macaulay) was a politician. She was elected to the then Lagos Town Council. She was the grand-daughter of the late Revd Thomas Babington Macaulay, founder and first principal of the CMS Grammar School, Lagos, the oldest secondary school in Nigeria. Her maternal grandmother, Abigail Macaulay, was the daughter of the late Rt. Revd Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the acclaimed first African Bishop of the Church of England, and the first to translate the Bible into Yoruba. Lawson attended Baptist Academy, Lagos, and worked for the defunct Lagos City Council, Amex and J. Allen, before enlisting in the Nige-

TRUCK belonging to the Lagos Waste Management Authourity (LAWMA) yesterday killed one of its workers on duty. It was gathered that the man was in one of the trucks operated by a Private Sector Participation (PSP) operator. The accident occurred about 7am, causing the PSP truck to overturn, killing the LAWMA worker instantly. But three other occupants of the ill-fated truck escaped unhurt. Eyewitnesses said the accident occurred at the Car Wash bus stop, Egbeda/Idimu Road, Lagos, adding that it was caused by commercial bus drivers who stopped to pick passengers along the road at unauthorised bus stops. It was gathered that as soon as the truck overturned, the deceased, identified as Idowu, was caught under, with part of his body, from his chest, cut into halves and buried under the truck. The accident was said to have occurred as its driver tried to avoid ramming into two commercial buses, filled with passengers. The Nation learnt that the commercial drivers were said to be struggling to overtake each other at the bus stop, to pick passengers. The accident caused a gridlock, which spilled over to Iyana-Ipaja, Isheri, Igando, and Iyana-Oba among others. Commuters were forced to alight from the buses and take to trekking to their vari-

By Jude Isiguzo

ous destinations. Operatives of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), the police and LAWMA stormed the scene to clear the remains of the deceased and the truck. Two cranes were later brought to move the truck off the deceased's body. Some of the LAWMA officials who knew the deceased broke down in tears at the sight of his remains. One of them, Mrs AminuOdukoya, a field supervisor, said Idowu was one of the officials collecting refuse from residents whenever the PSP

truck stopped at refuse points. She said she was pained that nobody was able to identify the buses that caused the accidents. Apparently, both buses took off immediately the accident occurred. They had stopped to pick bags of refuse and were about driving off when the accident occurred. Another LAWMA official, Mr Olakunle Agenjo, said: "This Car Wash is not a bus stop. This accident happened at about 7am. The PSP truck had stopped to pick refuse and was about to drive away when the accident happened. A commercial bus came and parked in its front, picking

•The truck ... yesterday

SSS smashes dividend warrants' syndicate


NAMBRA State Command of the State Security Service (SSS) has arrested four persons who allegedly specialise in diverting and cashing dividend warrants of unsuspecting shareholders in the country. Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Prof Ifedayo Olawale Oladipo, Rev Uma Ukpai, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Oando Plc are among their victims. The suspects are: Cletus Chris Ohaegbulem (aka Chris Ohams); Emmanuel

• Chukwumerije, Ukpai, Oando Plc, others among victims Mbakwe, Yahaya Anifowoshe and Mojeed Babatunde. They were arrested in Lagos, Asaba in Delta State and Umuahia in Abia State. Also apprehended by SSS is Chukwunonso Emeghalu (30), from Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State for allegedly duping some people under the guise to helping them to secure DSS jobs. Parading the suspects yesterday, the state Director of

SSS, Mr. Alex Okeiyi warned the public to be wary of fraudsters claiming to be agents of any organisation or working for the SSS either in the state or elsewhere. He said the four suspects specialised in stealing dividend warrants of unsuspecting shareholders from NIPOST, Falomo, Lagos and cashing them in banks. Okeiyi said Ohaegbulem (43), who hails from Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State had been

CDHR protests 'anti-people' laws


• Lawson

rian Army where he served in the corps of military police. He left the Army in 1979, worked for the defunct Lagos State Waste Disposal Board (now LAWMA) as Vehicle Inspection Officer, and retired in 1993. A Christian wake will hold at his residence, 4, Adedoja Street, Mushin, Lagos tomorrow at 6pm. He will be buried at Atan Cemetery, Yaba, Lagos, on Friday after a funeral service at African Church Cathedral, Salem, Freeman Street, Ebute-Meta, Lagos, at 10am.

passengers; another one parked at the back of the truck, also picking passengers. "Suddenly, as the truck was about to continue its journey, the commercial bus at the back drove fast and attempted to overtake the one at the front. But the one at the front would not allow it. In the confusion, the truck would have run into them, and it would have led to the death of so many people, which was why the driver attempted to steer the truck over the culvert. The truck overturned and our man turned with it and he was killed."

EMBERS of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday as part of the celebration of human rights day, challenging what it called anti-people laws emanating from the House. Speaking on behalf of the group, its Lagos State chairman, Comrade Buna Isak said those at the helm of affairs in the country should desist from dishing out anti-people policies to forestall possible revolution which may occur if government remain adamant. Isak said: "December 10 is set aside as the commemoration of human rights day, the truth remains that in Nigeria, we still have a long way to freedom. People are not contented with what is happening. There are indiscriminate arrests by officers of the Lagos State government security

•Ikuforiji By Oziegbe Okoeki

outfits, they include LASTMA, KAI, Task Force, the police among others and people are being subjected to unnecessary pains and hardship at different points in the state." He urged the Speaker,

Adeyemi Ikuforiji to urgently intervene to save innocent people that are being detained especially at the Task Force office, saying: "I am very sure if Mr. Speaker makes just an appearance at theses offices, those people will get their freedom." Some of their placards read among others: 'Lagos Assembly, stop making laws that are anti-people, and 'Ban Tokunbo, ban democracy' etc. Ikuforiji responded: "I want to reassure you that the House is yours, members are there to represent your interests and needs. Whatever we do is done as a result of the power you repose in us. I also believe as you have said that power belongs to the people." He said he would set up a team of his colleagues to visit the Taskforce office to ascertain if there are truly innocent people detained, adding that after getting the report, he would do the needful.

a notorious fraudster with multiple identities which he used in opening fictitious bank accounts to hit at unsuspecting victims before he was arrested in Asaba. He said a total of 194 dividend warrants belonging to unsuspecting shareholders were recovered from him, including that of Rev Ukpai. Ohaegbulem confessed to have connived with the manager of Okaiuga Micro Finance Bank in Umuahia, Orji Ukanwoke, now at large, and his Operations Manager, Emmanuel Mbakwe to cash the dividend warrants through a spurious company, Access Enterprises Limited he opened to perpetrate the act. He also confessed to have swindled "uncountable number of victims" through bogus contracts in Ebonyi State Government House, Abakaliki, posing as a top official of the government. Anifowoshe (45), a trader on Lagos Island, was said to be the suppler of the warrants to Ohaegbulem. He said he was approached by a man, Chisom in 2012, to source dividend warrants for him, which according to him, prompted him to approach Mosheed Babatunde, a NIPOST worker in Falomo, to source the items and compensations were handsomely paid to him. Okeiyi said the suspects would be handed over to the relevant agency for further investigation and necessary action.




Time for North to decide President is gone, says Maku in Kaduna


INISTER of Information Labaran Maku told the North yesterday in Kaduna that the region could no longer decide who becomes Nigeria’s President. He said President Goodluck Jonathan is not responsible for the under development of the region and that in the spirit of democracy, the Presidency will continue to rotate across the country’s geo-political zones. Maku spoke at a town hall meeting in the North’s political capital. He said rather than blame President Jonathan for the North’s under development, northerners should be grateful for his efforts in providing infrastructure. He lamented what he called a deliberate denial and an agenda of deceit by northerners and politicians who want to undermine the

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

government’s developmental efforts. Maku said: “There has been a denial, a deliberate denial that President Goodluck Jonathan is not developing the North and there has been an agenda of deceit which is carried out mainly by people and some politicians in some part of the North who want to deny the imprint of this administration. “The truth is that never in this country have we seen a government that is impacting significantly on the development of the North as President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and I want to challenge anyone to a debate on this and I will back it up with facts. “We have been to a number of northern states and now, we are in Kaduna the

capital of the old northern region and in all the places we have gone, the evidence is very clear that since 2007, the Yar’Adua/Jonathan presidency has impacted so much on the development of the North.” The Minister told those who are suggesting that the next president should come from the North to forget the idea, saying: “For those who say that the leaders of Nigeria must come from the North, let me say that Nigeria has changed and the story is different. “Today, the story is different; the presidency can go to any part of the country whether we like it or not. The earlier we recognised this, the better for our development, so that whoever is there can build us into his agenda. “The time when one part

decides where the leader comes is history. It will no longer happen because Nigeria has changed. In the past, we used to say the North would decide where the leader would come from and we did that for almost 40 years and the rest of the country continuously followed because they believed in one Nigeria. Today, power is moving around because democracy is like that.” The minister said the dredging of the River Niger was conceived by the Tafawa Balewa, but abandoned by successive northern governments, until the Yar’Adua/Jonathan government, pointing out that the dredging was completed by the Jonathan. “Right now, that dredging has been completed by this government and ships are currently using the Baro port

to transport things to the North. It was this government that made it possible. There are many other projects being carried out in the North. “The Ajaokuta Steel company was conceived by President Shagari and in three years, 83 per cent of the project was completed. When he was overthrown, the company was abandoned. The last time I visited the place, I wept for what I saw. That company is located in the North and the leaders who abandoned it are northerners. “The first fast rail track in the country is located here in Kaduna, the capital of the North and is expected to be completed by December 2014. That project was started by President Jonathan. He did not take it to Bayelsa. It is a rail track in Lagos or linking Warri to Benin or

Port Harcourt to Calabar. It is here in the North. “The Police University started by the President is located in Kano and not in Bayelsa. There is an investment of about N11 billion by the Central Bank at the Nigeria Defence Academy also located here in the Kaduna”. The minister noted that in the past, there was an alliance between the North and the Southsouth and a collaboration in the political development of the country, adding that today, there is a deliberate denial of the past and the present. He added that Jonathan has invested huge amount of money on the search for oil in the north more than any other government in the country, adding that it is the belief of the President that if there is oil in Chad and Niger, there can be oil in the North.

APC to Jonathan: don’t spend nation’s resources on PDP states Continued from page 4

From left: Head, E-Business First Bank Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Chuma Ezirim; Head, Payments & Services, Mrs. Eloho Ogude & Head, Media & External Relations, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki at the Media Parley for the bank’s newly upgraded internet banking platform, FirstOnline. The event took place at the FirstBank’s Head office in Marina, Lagos.

talk to President Jonathan directly and say please listen: when people talk, especially serious people, people, who are in strategic positions in our country, when the tell you something, take it and improve yourself. “The message of the speaker to Mr. President is wake up, what you have been doing is not going well especially with the fight against corruption. And all that he (speaker) said are nothing new. “They are all what we as Nigerians are aware of and we see it and we live with it daily. I want to appeal to the President that as our leader, the President of 160 million Nigerians, Nigerians are telling him the reality and the truth, especially when it comes to the fight against corruption, let him listen to Tambuwal.

“What he said is the truth. What he said is what Nigerians believe. What he said is the fundamental thing that today all of us are worried and concerned. It is a matter of telling you so that you correct yourself.” Reacting to plans by the Federal Government to disburse $32billion to 16 PDP governors, Akande said: “If they illegally manipulate the national treasury; it is easy for the federal government to spend its money the way it wants, but it will be illegal for them, it will be unconstitutional for them to take the money from the national purse. “There is the national purse and there is the federal government’s purse. If they take the money from the federal government’s purse we won’t bother; they can do that. But if they take the money from the common purse, there will be trouble.”

Thousands defy rain to pay tributes to Mandela Continued from page 4

onated around the world, triggering a wave of loving admiration from political and religious leaders, some of whom agree on little else. In a nod to Mandela’s extraordinary global reach, popularity and influence, the Indian, Brazilian and Namibian presidents, as well as Castro and the vice president of China all delivered eulogies. Obama took a swipe at authoritarian leaders who spoke of embracing Mandela’s legacy without acting upon it. “There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people,” he said, The memorial event was part of an extended state funeral that will culminate in Mandela’s burial on Sunday in the rural village of Qunu where he spent his early childhood. South African President Jacob Zuma, who was roundly booed by sections of the crowd in a reflection of growing public dissatisfaction with the current generation of ANC leaders, hailed Mandela as “fearless freedom fighter”.

Senate stands still for anti-apartheid icon Continued from page 4

ed over the 1955 Congress of the people. Ndoma-Egba said that working as a lawyer, Mandela was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and in 1962 was convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, sentenced to life imprisonment and ended up spending 27 years in prison before his release. Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist whose dogged determination helped end apartheid in South Africa and the first to be elected in a fully representative democratic election and indeed the first black South African to hold the office of President, a position he held from 1994 to 1999 before he voluntarily decided not to re-contest, Ndoma-Egba said. He said that Mandela also served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997 and, internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. Mandela, the senator said, invited sev-

“In his honour, we commit ourselves to continue building a nation based on democratic values, of human dignity and democracy,” Zuma said. Although Mandela had been critically ill for months, the announcement of his death was a body blow for this

eral other political parties to join the cabinet when he was in government and also set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. His administration introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Mandela’s government, he said, focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Ndoma-Egba said that it was obvious that Mandela’s sterling qualities endeared him to his people as “he is held in deep respect within South Africa. He gained international acclaim for his activism, which earned him over 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna.” He urged the Senate to note that Mandela’s message of reconciliation and not vengeance is a great source of inspiration to the world. “After his release from prison, he said:

recently reborn nation. He had been out of public life for more than a decade, but South Africans looked to his unassailable moral authority as a comforting constant in a time of uncertain social and economic change. Ahead of the burial in

“As I walked out of the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” This quote remains a reference point in the lessons of forgiveness for generations to come” Ndoma-Egba said. He said that Mandela declined to run for a second term, an uncommon feat, given the disposition of most African leaders. “Mandela became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Senate, he said, should resolve to observe one minute silence in Mandela’s honour and condole with the South African parliament. The two prayers were unanimously adopted. Other senators who paid tributes included Abdul Ningi, Nkechi Nwaogu, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Gbenga Kaka, Wilson Ake, Abubakar Bagudu, Andy Uba, Ita Enang, Ayogu Eze, Helen Esuene, Emmanuel Bwacha, Magnus Abe, Sola Adeyeye, and Uche Chukwumerije.

Qunu, Mandela’s body will lie in state for three days from Wednesday in the amphitheatre of the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he was sworn in as president in 1994. Each morning, his coffin will be borne through the streets of the capital in a fu-

neral cortege. British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were among the leaders attending the memorial ceremony. “We were told it was appro-


priate to wear a black tie,” Cameron said after arriving at the stadium in Soweto. “But when you come and you hear this great noise and this great atmosphere of celebration, it is clear that people here in South Africa want to, yes, say goodbye to this great man, yes commemorate what he did, but also celebrate his life and celebrate his legacy,” he said. Singer-activist Bono and South African actress Charlize Theron were among the celebrity mourners.






•U2 singer Bono and South African actress Charlize Theron talking in the crowd at the memorial for the late former President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg...yesterday. PHOTO: AP

‘His struggle, your struggle’ Text of United States President Barack Obama’s speech at the memorial for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa...yesterday.


HANK you. Thank you so much. Thank you. To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of states and government, past and present; distinguished guests - it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life like no other. To the people of South Africa -- people of every race and walk of life -- the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and your hope found expression in his life. And your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy It is hard to eulogize any man -- to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person -- their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone's soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world. Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement -- a movement that at its start had little prospect for success. Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War. Emerging from prison, without the force of arms, he would -- like Abraham Lincoln -- hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. And like America's Founding Fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations -- a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term. Given the sweep of his life, the scope of his accomplishments, the adoration that he so

rightly earned, it's tempting I think to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. Instead, Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. "I am not a saint," he said, "unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying." It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection -because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried -- that we loved him so. He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood -- a son and a husband, a father and a friend. And that's why we learned so much from him, and that's why we can learn from him still. For nothing he achieved was inevitable. In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, and persistence and faith. He tells us what is possible not just in the pages of history books, but in our own lives as well Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, "a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness" from his father. And we know he shared with millions of black and colored South Africans the anger born of, "a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people," he said. But like other early giants of the ANC -- the Sisulus and Tambos -- Madiba disciplined his anger and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand up for their God-given dignity. Moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price. "I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I've cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in

harmony and [with] equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." Mandela taught us the power of action, but he also taught us the power of ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those who you agree with, but also those who you don't agree with. He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper's bullet. He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and his passion, but also because of his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. And he learned the language and the customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depend upon his. Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough. No matter how right, they must be chiseled into law and institutions. He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history. On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of unconditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that "prisoners cannot enter into contracts." But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. And because he was not only a leader of a movement but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy, true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African. And finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa -- Ubuntu -- a word that captures Mandela's greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.




Eagles to camp in Rio Janeiro


IGERIA’S Senior National team, Super Eagles will camp in Rio Janeiro for their


From Andrew Abah and Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja

final preparation for the 2014 FIFA World cup holding in the South American country. According to a source in the Football Federation, the Head Coach Stephen Keshi has inspected the camp site located along the beach side of the BrazilIan capital city. The source refused to mentioned the site name for now, he said "I want to tell you that the Coach had to take some time off to inspect the various camp sites in Brazil, and I want to inform you that he has identified one, and we would communicate this to FIFA accordingly. The venue will be very good for the boys, for a total concentration for the

task ahead". The source maintained that the NFF would not renege in its decision to give the Coach free hand to choose his training camp for the team. Meanwhile, NationSport gathered that the Head Coach arrived Nigeria on Monday night and is expected to hit the Abuja camp of his home based team on Friday. The home based team are currently in camp in preparation for the CHAN Nations cup slated for South Africa next month. 30 players are currently in camp in Abuja in preparation for the tournament. Coach Stephen Keshi has also ruled out any foreign camping or friendly match for the team, saying that they would play matches with club sides based here at home.


City’s comeback not enough for top spot


ANCHESTER City missed out on securing top spot in their Champions League group, despite coming from 2-0 down to beat holders Bayern Munich 3-2 at the Allianz Arena. Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze put Bayern 2-0 up after 12 minutes as the home side dominated the early exchanges.

However, City halved the deficit when David Silva struck in the 28th minute following a good City move. Aleksandar Kolarov then converted a penalty in the

59th minute, and just three minutes later City were celebrating taking the lead when James Milner superbly curled a right-footed shot beyond Manuel Neuer.


Man United 1 - 0 Shakhtar Donetsk Real Sociedad 0 - 1 Leverkusen FC København 0 - 2 Real Madrid Galatasaray vs Juventus (Aband.) Benfica 2 - 1 PSG Olympiakos 3 - 1 Anderlecht Bayern Munich 2 - 3 Manchester City Viktoria Plzen 2 - 1 CSKA Moscow

•James Milner wheels away after putting City 3-2 ahead in Munich having been 2-0 down


Team Ogun triumphs in Basketball, Boxing


EAM Ogun Basketball Team defeated Team Ebony 39-32 in the first round and had a Walkover on Team Benue in the second round at the ongoing National Youth Games. Equally in Badminton, Akinsola Simeon of Team Ogun beat Cross – River 2 - 0 in boy’s single in the first round, and beat Team Taraba 2 - 0 in the second round, and beat Kebbi 2 - 0 to

qualify for the quarter final with Team FCT. In the Squash game, Team Ogun equally started on a good note when Abel shedrack defeated team Kaduna 3 - 0 and Samuel Kehinde also defeated Team Niger 3 - 1 to qualify for quarter finals in the male category. Hakeem Gafari of Team Ogun in a Boxing bout defeated Igwe promise of Ebonyi State by 3 -2

decision of the Judges are moved to the next round while Makinde Dayo in the female category lost 3 - 0 to Chuckwu Roseline of team Ondo by the decision of the Judges. Rasheed Aremu qualified for semi – final. Forty Three (43) athletes participate in wrestling, Basketball, Athletics, Badminton, Table Tennis, Boxing others are squash and Taekwondo.

Fashola declares FIIRO EKO 2013 Games open


HE 14th Research Institute Games Association of Nigeria (RIGAN) games festival FIIRO EKO 2013 slated for 6th15th December, 2013 was officially opened by the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fasola (SAN) on Tuesday at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Center Oshodi, Lagos. The Governor, who was represented at the opening ceremony by the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State ministry of sports, Abiola Awonuga declared the FIIRO EKO 2013 games festival officially opened and commended the organisers including the Armed Forces for a

By Bowale Odukale job well done in making the games festival a reality and been first of its kind to be hosted by Lagos State. Also commending the organisers RIGAN President Eddie Okolo stated that the aim of RIGAN games, to bring together; Research and Development Institutes through sporting activities, provide recreation, interaction, to achieve sound mind and physical fitness for attaining the goals and lastly to expose hidden talents for possible national assignment in the field of sports. Host organiser, CEO Federal Institute of Industrial

Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Gloria Elemo expressed her joy to host the games festival and thanked all distinguished guests including the Lagos State Government for their support towards the games festival and charged the government to support research institutes in the country. Tuesday’s football Match, began with a kick off by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of science and Technology Rabi Jimeta where Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) defeated Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria Benin City, (PRIN) by four goals to one.



‘The metamorphosis and trajectory of Mandela’s life is surely a lesson for those who lead or those who aspire to lead wherever they may be’ DELE AGEKAMEH

VOL.8 NO.2,694



HE name his father gave him at birth, he said in his engaging and inspiring 1995 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, was Rolihlahla. In Xhosa, his native language, he said, the word literally meant “pulling the branch of a tree” but its colloquial meaning more accurately was “trouble maker”. “I do not believe,” he said of this name in the opening paragraphs of his book, “that names are destiny or that my father somehow divined my future, but in later years friends and relatives would ascribe to my birth name storms I have both caused and weathered.” Names may not be destiny and his father may not have divined his future by naming him Rolihlahla at birth, but Nelson Mandela, aka Madiba, who died at 95 last Thursday, December 5, could not have been given a more apt but, at the same time, a more self-contradictory nickname; in the eyes of those who invented and perpetrated apartheid as one of the world’s most obnoxious and heinous ideologies, the man was probably their worst nightmare but in the eyes of the rest of the world he was certainly one of its greatest TROUBLESHOOTERS of all time. For, all his adult life he fought more than most leaders in the world and paid a higher price – for the dignity and humanity of all men regardless of colour, creed, nationality or gender. Mandela, at any rate, seemed an unlikely trouble maker growing up in Mveso countryside in Qunu district of the Transkei where he was born on July 8, 1918. “All I wanted as a child of 9 (the year he lost his royal father and had to move out of the village),” he said in his book, “was to be a champion stick fighter.” However, the indignities he suffered and which he saw all around him growing up under the system of apartheid, simply because he was black, left him with no choice but to forget the “luxury” of his literal stick fighting and champion the much more difficult fight against not just racism but any form of discrimination. As the world testified to yesterday when over a hundred dignitaries, celebrities and world leaders, including American President Barack Obama and our own, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and thousands of ordinary folks gathered at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, in defiance of heavy rains, to pay him their last respect, the man proved himself the greatest champion of the fight against apartheid. And he did so not with modern day “fighting stick”, or the gun, if you will, but primarily through eschewing bigotry, hatred and reverse racism. The walk to freedom for all races in South Africa was indeed a long one and, of course, it began long before Mandela was born. In its most popular modern day manifestation as the African National Congress, however, the walk to freedom for all in his country begun in 1912, six years before he was born. Its key objective when it was founded on January 12 that year was the creation of a united, non-racial, nonsexist and democratic South African society. Soon enough the younger elements in the organisation led by Anton Lembede, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and himself, among others, felt the organisation was not militant and mass-oriented enough and consequently in 1944 they formed its Youth League.

People and Politics By MOHAMMED H ARUNA

Madiba’s legacy

•The late Mandela Four years after that, apartheid, which until then was only de facto government policy became official, following the defeat of the ruling Unity Party of mostly British whites by the National Party of the Boer settlers widely known as Afrikaans. Predictably, the NP proceeded post-haste to enact all manner of obnoxious and racist laws which restricted the movements of blacks who formed nearly 80% of the population, of Indians (3%) and of so-called Coloured, i.e. those of mixed races, (8%) and also restricted where they could live, work, play and worship and do whatever. These obnoxious laws climaxed in the Bantustan policy in1959, a policy which gave whites who constituted fewer than 10% of South Africa’s population nearly 90% of the land! Predictably, the ANC rejected these laws and organised peaceful protests against them. The racist government responded with both force and the law. In 1956, it charged Mandela, along with 155 other members – 105 Africans, 21 Indians, 23 whites and seven Coloured – with treason. The trial proper began three years later and lasted for about two years. Meantime, the government imposed a ban on the movement and public speaking of several of the organisation’s leaders, including, of course, Mandela. On March 21 1961, two days before the court was to deliver its verdict on the treason trial, a massacre by the South African police took place in Sharpeville, a small township 56 kilometres south of Johannesburg, the country’s commercial capital, in which 69 unarmed Africans were killed, many of them shot in the back as they fled from the scene of the demonstration they had gathered for. Government then declared a state of emergency and subsequently banned the ANC. The whole world was horrified by the massacre. On its part, the ANC now felt obliged to

drop its peaceful resistance. It formed an armed wing, the Umkhonto we Sizwe (the Spear of the Nation), with Mandela as its first leader and Chris Hani as its commander, and took up arms in 1961. Not even the dismissal by the courts of the case against the defendants following a week’s delay occasioned by the Sharpeville massacre could persuade Mandela and his fellow comrades that the racists had become open to reason. The ANC knew their acquittal was only a temporary relief. Soon enough it was proved right when 19 of its leaders, including Mandela, were detained and subsequently charged for sabotage and attempt to overthrow the government in what became known as the Rivonia Trial between 1963 and 1964. The majority of them were convicted and sentenced to live at the end of the trial. Mandela served 27 years of his sentence, the first 18 of them in solitary confinement on the forbidding Roben Island, off the South African coast, before he was released on February 11, 1990. That release was perhaps the most symbolic moment in the long fight against apartheid. It is hard, if not impossible, to articulate that moment more graphically and more coherently than President Bill Clinton did in his 2004 autobiography, My Life. On that day, he said, he “witnessed the ultimate testimonial in human endurance.” He, his wife, Hillary, and their daughter, Chelsea, whom they had pulled out of bed especially for that moment, he said, watched Mandela on television “take the last step of his long walk to freedom.” Mandela, Clinton said, “had endured and triumphed, to end apartheid, liberate his own mind and heart from hatred and inspire the world.” In Mandela’s own words, he walked out of his prison that day with bitterness and malice to none. “The oppressor and the oppressed alike,” he said in his book, “are robbed of their humanity. When I walked out of the prison that was my mission, to liberate the oppressor and the oppressed both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that this is not the case. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.” Mandela’s legacy, however, was not only of the need to love even thy enemy. He also left a legacy of knowing when to let go of power as the first black president of South Africa



RITING about Nelson Mandela in the heat of this moment is like praying to God: there is a million and one thing unsaid yet everything has been said. It is infinitude - that state of endless magnitude; a greatness that is of infinite nature. Everything about Mandela is a story, an anecdote or a positive lesson that humanity must do well to learn. Hardball was thus stuck finding a fresh entrée in the Mandela repertoire. What more is there to be said? Everything has been said yet so much remained unsaid about this unusual bird flying out of Africa. As I pounded my gray matter an old adage came to me. The living in mourning the dead, mourns but his self. And yet another saying that your very life is your funeral; that is the way you live your life is a foretaste of the kind of funeral you will ‘enjoy’. Put more plainly, in living you are drawing up your burial progamme. As the world stand as one eulogising Mandela in cities and towns, churches and mosques it is not the fact of his death that stirs the human community but

The Mandela oxymoron his life. Dear reader, you must have noticed the oxymoronic tendencies of this piece, the emerging contradictory words and phrases so far deployed. For instance, “your life is your funeral” and “the living mourns but his self.” But the Mandela oxymoron is of deeper import. How about black Africa, the dungeon of the modern world; a world of strive, poverty, hunger and ugliness sprouting an exquisitely beautiful flower named Mandela? And as we say in Africa, “the greenest sukuma wiki grows in the rubbishest dump” (Kenyan) and “from the blackest pot comes the whitest pap” (Nigerian/Yoruba). And as we relish our repertoire of Mandelainspired oxymoron, how about the seeming endless streaming of eulogies by leaders from across the world, especially African leaders? Let us take just three here and see if could detect any hint oxymoronic contradictions in

them. Robert Mugabe, the 89-year- old President of Zimbabwe is a contemporary of Mandela’s. While Mandela did one term as president of South Africa and turned down another term of five years when he was 76, Mugabe is on his seventh term as president and he does not seem ready to go yet. In his tribute, he described Mandela as the great African icon of liberation… a humble and compassionate leader. Say, when Mugabe transits someday, would the world hail him as a great African leader, humble and compassionate even though he stayed on the throne for almost eternity? Here in Nigeria, former President Olusegun Obasanjo narrated how he had asked Mandela why he would not do a second term and how the great man had retorted: How many 80-year-olds do you see still ruling a country? This was shortly before Obasanjo returned to office as president.

when he promised in 1994 to serve for only one tem and kept his word. He also left behind a legacy of living a simple life, in and out of power, which shunned primitive accumulation of wealth. You can hardly say the same of many leaders, in and out of power today, who have been falling over themselves in singing praises for the man. When his friend and comrade in the struggle against apartheid, Oliver Tambo, died in April 1993, he had this to say of Tambo: “In Plato’s allegory of the metals, the philosopher classifies men into groups of gold, silver and lead. Oliver was pure gold.” Borrowing from his tribute to his friend, it would be an understatement to say Mandela was Platinum, with a capital P.



AST week’s column on what I said was the persecution of Governor Sule Lamido by President Goodluck Jonathan received a 1,200-word rejoinder from EFCC, a couple of emails one of which I will publish next week, God willing, for the power of its logic, and 38 texts, mostly critical of my piece. I have since forwarded the EFCC reaction to the editors of this newspaper for publication for my lack of space. Below are a few of the texts. Sir, How much did Lamido pay you to publish this back-page foolishness you call an article? You deftly and deliberately ignored the real issue: did Lamido’s sons steal? +2348096571185 Sir, Are you saying Lamido’s sons were not caught in the act or that they should be left off the hook simply because their father is a performing governor? Be objective for once. +2348033553191 Sir, Governor Lamido was/is my man on performance. However, I won’t support indiscipline, corruption and law-breaking by any family member or governor. Journalists, cleanse our society. +2347064181043 Only irredeemable fools and born cowards call the prosecution of politicians who use their children as conduit pipe to siphon public funds persecution. I urge Mr. President to fight corruption without fear and favour. +2348076823815 Sir, Instead of condemning Lamido for the ‘alleged’ looting of d state treasury through his children, you would rather be contented comparing who loots more than the other in the country. And, of course, in your own brand of patriotism a Nigerian governor or leader who performs better than his predecessor in office should be free to help himself with the state money. Very unfortunate. +2348037921541 •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above But what did Obasanjo do after serving for two terms of eight years? He was desperate to go for a third term having forgotten Mandela’s homily so soon. He corrupted the system in his bid to suborn the constitution and he set the polity almost on a spin. Though Obasanjo cumulatively ruled Nigeria for 13 years did he win the hearts of his people? Did he achieve world acclaim? How does he compare to Mandela who did just five years? Lastly, we take President Goodluck Jonathan’s epic tribute to Mandela in which he said “Nigeria politicians were tiny men” compared to Mandela. Let us hear Jonathan: “Read newspapers, listen to radio and television or go to the social media and see how politicians talk. Some of us even think we are gods. We intimidate, we threaten, we show hate in our communication. These are definitely not the virtues of great men. They are shockingly the vices of tiny men.” Leaders like Jonathan (according to him,) cannot be great like Mandela because they are “tiny men.” This must be our classic, screaming Mandelan oxymoron.

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The Nation Dec 11, 2013  
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