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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

News Amosun vows better security as banks shut down P9 Sport Yobo yearns to play in European Champions League P41 Business Shell sells oil blocks to Nestoil, others for $488m P11

VOL. 7, NO. 1962 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011



•ACN alleges thumb printing of ballot papers •Tinubu to voters: kick out PDP •AND MORE •Jonathan, Anenih, others meet as PDP panics

KOGI 2011



Maduekwe, Bianca Ojukwu, ‘ Arapaja, Farounbi, Kamson, 83 others make ambassadorial list F ORMER Foreign Affairs Minister Ojo Madueke is set for public service again. So also are former Aviation Minister Mrs. Fidelia Akuabata Njeze and widow of the late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Bianca. They are part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s nom-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

inees for ambassadorial jobs. Senate President David Mark read the list of 32 noncareer and 56 career ambassadorial nominees on the floor

of the Senate yesterday. Besides Madueke (Abia) and Njeze (Enugu), other nominees under the non-career ambassadorial list are: Hon. James Shuaibu Barke (Adamawa), Chief Asam Asam (Akwa Ibom), Okwudili Odi Nwosu, Dr. Francis

Chukwuemeka Okeke (Anambra), Mr. Eric Aworabhi (Bayelsa), Mr. Chive Kaave (Benue), Dauda Danladi (Borno), Mrs. Katharine Okon (Cross River), Mr. Nwofe Alexander and Mr. Mathias Okafor (Ebonyi). They are also Hon.

Mrs.Sifawu Inu-Umoru Momoh (Edo), Princess Victoria J.B. Onipede (Ekiti), Sen. Haruna Garba, (Gombe), Nonye B.Rajis-Okpara and Chief Eddy Onuoha (Imo). Adamu Babangida Ibrahim and Alhaji Tukur Mani (Katsina), Mr. Biodun Natheniel

Olorunfemi (Kogi), Mr. Olatokunboh Kamson (Lagos), Dr. Sam Jimba (Nasarawa), Cornelius O.Oluwateru and Col. Roland Omowa (rtd) (Ondo), Akinyemi Farounbi (Osun), Chief Taofik Arapaja (Oyo), Mrs. Matilda Kwashi (Plateau), Sen. Abdalah Wali

Continued on page 2

Ojukwu: Senate rejects clamour for state burial Fed Govt may immortalise ex-Biafran leader


From Onyedi Ojiabor, Abuja


VEN in death, he remains controversial. The late former Biafran leader, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, was the issue yesterday at the Senate where a battle to get him a state funeral failed. But, the former Eastern Region, where he was the first military governor, is to give him a befitting burial. The decision followed the adoption of a motion by Senator Andy Uba and 50 others, entitled “Death of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Ikemba Nnewi) 19332011”. Apparently to capture the mood of the day, many Southeast senators, including Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who usually wears a traditional white dress, were decked-out in black suits. The late Ojukwu was from Anambra State. The Senate resolved to observe a minute’s silence for the late Ojukwu. It also plans to send a delegation to commiserate with his family, the people and government of Anambra State. The upper chamber also resolved to urge the Federal Government to immortalise

•The late Ojukwu

Continued on page 2

•A cross-section of the 20,000 youths in the Youth Empowerment Scheme of Oyo State (YES-O), who were inaugurated at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan...yesterday. Governor Abiola Ajimobi (right) speaking at the ceremony STORY ON PAGE 8




NEWS 88 make ambassadorial list Continued from page 1

•The victim of a police stray bullet being carried in a wheel-barrow by protesters in Abuja...yesterday. Story on page 50 PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

(Sokoto), Senator Lawan Gana Guba (Yobe), Hon. Abubakar Shehu Bunu (Zamfara) and Hon. Mrs. Esther John Audu (FCT). Mrs. Ojukwu’s name appears under special category. The career nominees include Mr. G.O. Ehiobuche (Abia), Mr. T. Hamman Joda and Mrs. M.S. Gerenge-Sen (Adamawa), Mr. S.B. Bassey (Akwa Ibom), Mr. C.N. Okafor (Anambra), Mr.D.G. Bala and Mr. M.S. Yunusa (Bauchi), P.O. Ogidi-Oke (Bayelsa), Mr. M.Adoli and I.V. Ogah (Benue), Mr. E. Asuquo and Mr. B. E. Achibong (Cross River), Mr. F.N. Isoh and N.C. Onianwa (Delta), Mr. F. Awanbor and O.I. Iyamabo (Edo), Mr. L.A. Ayodele (Ekiti),C.N. Iroala (Enugu), Mr. D.L. Madugu (Gombe) and Mr. B.T Tekune. Imo has Mrs. C.E. Obi-Nnadozie. Jigawa has Mr. H. Ginsau and I.B. Rabiu. Kaduna has Mr. I.A.D. Nuhu and Mr. M.L. Suleiman.

Other career nominees are: Mr. I.Anwalu and A. Umar ( Kano ), Mr. A.A. Tijjani and Mr.S.S. Bala Katsina. Kebbi has Mr. H.S. Shuaibu, Kogi has Mr. F.A. Rotimi and Mr. B. A Musa. Kwara has Mr. A.R. Sallahdeen and A.A. Adepoju. Lagos has Mr. O.A. Lawal and O.A. Onafowokan. There are also, Mr. A.M. Adams (Nasarawa), Mr. Z.I. Gana (Niger), A.O. Fayomi and S.O. Onadipe (Ogun), Ondo has Mr. A.A. Ayoko, Osun has Mr. A.O.Obisakin and Mr. A.J. Adefidipe. Oyo has Mr. S.A.K. Oyateru. Plateau has Mr. Y.D. Gukas and C.K. Jackden, Rivers has Mr. H.O. Koko and Mr. G.T. Tenelaibe, Sokoto has Mr. Aliyu Sokoto, Taraba has Mr. A.A. Sulaiman. There are: Mr. M.L. Gana and Mr. Rabiu Dagari (Yobe) and Mr. M.M. Hassan (Zamfara). The gender slot nominee went to Mrs. Hadiza Mustapha from Adamawa. The list was not referred to any committee.

Okonjo-Iweala gets ultimatum on fuel subsidy report


HE Senate ad-hoc Committee probing the management of fuel subsidyfund yesterday asked Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to tender before it details of the audit report of fuel import in the last 11 months. The demand is coming even as the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI) faulted the management of the fuel subsidy fund. Chairman of the committee, Senator Magnus Abbe, gave the directive during its resumed public hearing at the National Assembly.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

Abe warned that should the minister fail to produce the required documents within seven days, the committee might be forced to issue a subpoena to that effect. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala told the committee that the quantum of fuel import is being recorded by auditors engaged by the Federal Government, but the panel insisted on access to the report to enable it carry out an inquest. She requested for time to tidy up the records. But the committee insisted she will be

given only seven days. The committee also took up issues with the difference between the amount voted for fuel subsidy for 2011 - about N245.9bn - and the N1.34bn so far spent. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala told the committee that the Ministry of Petroleum would be in a position to explain the difference. The Minister insisted that the removal of the fuel subsidy remains the best option in the circumstance. She noted that the poor masses would be the beneficiaries, if fuel subsidy is removed. She said: “We want the poor to benefit from the subsidy, but

as it is now, that is not the case. It is our neighbouring countries that now buy it at cheap price and sell at high price. We are subsidising for them. If we must subsidise, it has to get to the poor.” Also responding to a question on alleged plan by the Federal Government to remove subsidy on fertiliser, the minister said; “We are not removing fertiliser subsidy. We are only restructuring the way it works. We want a situation where the larger population of the people who should benefit actually get it and not a few people hijacking it.’’

Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Diezani AllisonMadueke promised that new refineries being planned by the government would be properly done. She noted that contractors who handled the old refineries were being engaged for the projects. NEITI handed down a damning verdict on the management of fuel subsidy. In a report presented to the committee by the management of NEITI led by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the body observed that ‘’under normal process, subsidy payments should be made from the Cen-

•Dr. Okonjo-Iweala

tral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF).

Ojukwu: Senate rejects clamour for state burial Continued from page 1

the late Ojukwu by naming a prominent establishment after him. The opposition of a state funeral was hinged on the argument that the late Ojukwu did not fall under the category of those who should be so honoured. Deputy Senate Leader Senator Abdul Ningi said the prayer should be rejected in order not to set a precedent that runs contrary to the laws. Chukwumerije agreed that the rule of law should be followed at all times. The Abia State-born Senator noted that besides his belief in the rule of law, he objected to a state funeral because the Constitution reserves it for former heads of state. Other Senators concurred and the prayer was defeated. The stage for the debate was set by Uba, who told the Senate that Ojukwu died on November 26. He traced the late Ojukwu’s

birth, his role in the Civil War and other milestones he recorded. Uba described the late Ojukwu as a versatile writer, a historian, an activist, a selfless, courageous, tenacious leader, an elder statesman in every sense of the word. Chukwumerije, a close ally of the late Ojukwu, took over from Uba when Mark yielded the floor to him. He noted that the late Ojukwu’s stature is diminished by taking the motion at the wee hours of the Senate Week. Chukwumerije said: “It would have been taken at the prime time of Wednesday. He lived in Nigeria in an era when Nigeria was peopled by Nigerians. But with time in the mid 60s, traumatic events took place in Nigeria : coups and counter coups, waves of genocidal massacres and ethnic cleansing. “And after the long night of violence and military rule, we found out that Nigeria has changed; that Nigeria has now

been peopled by non Nigerians, its territories are now peopled by tribes and ethnic nationalities. “Our foundational structures are being suspect. Now, what caused this metamorphosis, not just of Nigeria, but the subject of discussion today? What I can say in summary is simply this: the character of the Nigerian state, and that is the two aspects of it. Our neocolonial path to independence and the neocolonial constitution has a character and the character lays emphasis on coercive use of state power as a means of managing social grievances. “This character manifested itself then and it is still manifesting itself today: from genocidal massacres of the Igbo to the Udi massacres; to Katsina Allah massacres; to even what is happening in Borno today. “Ojukwu believed that justice and human rights are necessary for the existence of a nation. Ojukwu was the most reluctant actor in the call for secession.

He should be given a posthumous award of GCON and the eastern states should give him a state burial.” Senator Olufemi Lanlehin said the late Ojukwu’s life was worth celebrating because he left a legacy of service for Nigeria and Nigerians. Lanlehin, who represents Oyo South, noted that the late Ojukwu served in the army when it was not fashionable to serve in the army. He said the late Ojukwu believed in true federalism and insisted in the practice of same. Senator Ganiyu Solomon (Lagos) said the late Ojukwu took up the responsibility as a leader of his region when he did; when it was necessary to do so. “It was the only option at the time he could have taken; not many would agree, but we have different opinions. He was a great man,” he said. Senator Hope Uzodinma (Imo) described the late Ojukwu as a great man who led a struggle for justice. Senator Chris Ngige (Anam-

bra Central) said the late Ojukwu was a great man, who had a vision. Senator Smart Adeyemi noted that the late Ojukwu was destined to play a role in Nigeria’s history. He said: “He played that role to keep the nation together. Over the years, we have experienced even far worse situations than those that created the Civil War. We have remained together because of the memories of the bitter experiences of the Civil War. All great nations passed through a civil war.” Senastor Pius Ewherido (Delta) said the late Ojukwu had a rich background, “but he was humble to the extent that he became a recruit in the army”. “He was romantic. If you read his book (Because I was involved), you will see that Ojukwu was a romantic man.” Mark, who summed up the contributions, said: “We believe he was a great Nigerian. Unless you love Nigeria in those days, you will not join the army. To join the army at the

time he did was to defend the nation. “Only true patriots joined the army the time Ojukwu did. What keeps me gazing all the time is that Ojukwu led Biafra at the time to technological development; they developed their Amoured Personnel Carriers. Why have we not been able to draw from that? “We must admit that he had radical ideas; maybe he lived before his time. It is important that you cannot discuss Ojukwu without discussing Gowon, Hassan Katsina and others who lived in his time. “People like Chukwumerije may have learned a lot of things. They learnt his style of leadership. All those he led did not quite agree with him, but if they believe that he told them the truth, they will come along. “I believe that the history of this country will not be complete without bringing Ojukwu’s name in. I agree with Chukwumerije that all the south east states should get together to give him a befitting burial.”

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•President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo, with winners of the Nigeria National Merit Award. With them are (from left): Prof. Andrew Jonathan, Afigo Okpewho, Chairman Governing Board Nigeria National Merit Award, Oluwafeyisola Adekoke, Prof. Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa, Dr, Effing Emkudo Ibok and Prof Francis Idachaba at the Presidential Villa...yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN

Concerns over Jonathan’s failure to sign Tobacco Control Bill Six months after the National Tobacco Control Bill was passed into law by the National Assembly, President Goodluck Jonathan has not assented it to, leaving more Nigerians at the mercy of the harmful product, writes Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN


28-YEAR old graduate of Economics from Delta State, Dickson Dudu, was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) by some kind-hearted Nigerians after he slumped at the Ojuelegba bus stop. Dudu, an applicant, was in Lagos to attend an interview with a bank. His childhood friend disclosed that Dudu started smoking cigarette at the age of 15 when “we were in JSS 3”. He was very addicted to tobacco such that he can’t do without it unless he is asleep or in the lecture room. He has been having respiratory problems in the past three years and has been receiving treatment in the hospital. His relations withdrew him from LUTH and took him to a private specialist hospital in Ikeja. He was examined by the doctor whose report showed that Dudu has developed lung cancer. He died after two weeks in the hospital bed. An autopsy carried out by the hospital revealed that he died of a heart-related disease caused by his addiction to tobacco smoking. Mr John Inyang’s case is different. He never smoked all through his 32 years on earth. But Inyang is down with lung cancer, which he got from the environment where he lives. He lives with his two brothers who smoke at least a packet of cigarettes every day. He didn’t know that their smoking habit could be more harmful to him than the smokers. Such victims like Inyang are called passive smokers. According to medical experts, passive smokers are people living among smokers and exposed to smoke concentration in their environment. Unless Inyang gets proper treatment, he may be counted among the estimated 46,000 non-smokers who die yearly from heart disease and lung cancer. Tosin Adeyanju, an undergraduate student, has been on hospital bed for three months for tobaccorelated disease. She said cigarette smoking made her lose weight considerably. Before she was ad-

Sign Tobacco Control bill now, Mamora urges president Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, who sponsored the National Tobacco Control Bill, said the country has a lot to benefit from the signing of the bill.


HAT prompted you to sponsor the National Tobacco Control Bill in the Senate? It is out of concern for the welfare of Nigerians in general. I felt as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria then and a medical practitioner, I should take up the challenge. What was the bill out to achieve? Essentially to control tobacco smoking and the use of tobacco, to regulate the sale, manufacturing, advertising and promotion of tobacco in the country. It was passed in May, this year by the Senate and was concurred by the House of Representatives. It is now before Mr President for his signature. How do you feel now that the President has not assented to the Tobacco Control bill? Naturally, I don’t feel good about it. But I am hopeful that Mr President will invariably sign the bill, thereby making it become an Act of the National Assembly. Signing the bill into law has a global dimension because it will put Nigeria on a high pedestal in terms of being a member of the international body of the nations that has taken interest in the health of its citizenry. The bill has socio-economic importance apart from health implications. The President should


not only sign the bill but should also ensure that the provisions in the law are enforced.

It’s sad the Bill isn’t law yet, say environmentalists


HE Environmental Rights Action (ERA), yesterday said it was sad that the the National Tobacco Control Bill (NTCB) is yet to be signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan six months after the National Assembly passed it. Its Director, Corporate Accountability and Administration, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, said there is the likelihood the Bill may not have gotten to the President’s desk for signature. Oluwafemi, who spoke yesterday at a press briefing in Lagos, said President Jonathan would be mandated within 30 days to either sign the Bill into law or return it to the National Assembly with cogent reasons why it was rejected. He said the counting would start

from the day it got to his table. “When it is returned by the President, if that is the case, two-third majority of the National Assembly can veto it to become a law,” he added. He said the hopes of many Nigerians who had expected the President to sign the Bill before the United Nations high-level meeting in New York on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD), was dashed. “At that meeting, many heads of states and government made a commitment towards eradicating the risk factors of NCD, one of which is tobacco use,” he added. He said the government’s action showed it was not responsive to the health of the people, thereby lack-

ing commitment to them. “Our leaders failed to show the world that the country is ready and determined to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by providing the people with a safe and clean environment through comprehensive tobacco control legislation. “Nigeria has failed to set a leadership role for the rest of Africa by taking preventive measures on the tobacco epidemic. It did not complete the work on the NTCB sponsored by Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora,” Oluwafemi said. He urged the Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters to the President, Senator Joy Emordi and other legislators to expedite the process of the Bill and forward it to the President immediately.

mitted in the hospital, she ate less and smoked at least 10 sticks every day. According to Tosin, she preferred smoking to eating. Lan-

re Onigbongi, a medical doctor at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, said this is one of the myths associated with smoking.

Onigbogi said the others include perception that smokers appear calmer, sophisticated and successful. “The success factor is a myth

By Wale Adepoju

because very poor people constitute a high percentage of chronic smokers. The habit makes them poorer because of the money they spend on treating tobacco-related diseases”. According to him, tobacco smokers are not calm but are actually very uneasy until they take a few puffs at a cigarette. This is caused by the presence of nicotine in cigarettes. Mrs Grace Chukwuka, 45, has been married for 15 years without a child. She had experienced miscarriages on many occasions. Her husband had taken her to many hospitals in search of solution to her problem. Reports showed that Grace used to smoke cigarettes during pregnancy. This, according to the report, put her and the unborn baby at risk. The dangers of smoking during pregnancy, medical experts say, include premature birth, birth defects and infant deaths. Experts explained that smoking can cause problems with the placentathe source of the baby’s food and oxygen during pregnancy. For example, the placenta can separate from the womb too early, causing bleeding, which is dangerous to the mother and baby. Another deleterious effect of the tobacco industry in Nigeria is the issue of youth markets. Today, Nigeria is one of the largest markets for tobacco products in Africa. Statistics show that youths form over 40 per cent of the Nigerian population and 20 per cent of the youths smoke. According to a tobacco control activist, Dr Olusegun Owotomo, statistics show that about 93 million sticks of cigarettes produced yearly in Nigeria are consumed by smokers. He said between 150,000 and 300,000 children under 18 months get respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis from second-hand smoke. The harmful effects of tobacco led Senator Olorunimbe Mamora and ERA/FOEN to collaborate on a law to control the tobacco industry. The law was passed six months ago by the National Assembly, but has remained unsigned since then. Analysts are of the view that Nigerians are the worse for it. Mamora and Akinbode said the president must sign the bill or give reasons why he has not assented it. Addressing a news conference in Lagos yesterday, Akinbode said Nigeria has failed to set a leadership role for the rest of Africa. Will Jonathan heed the call or allow the industry operate almost unregulated? Time will tell.



NEWS Lagos begins toll on Lekki road Dec 18 By Simon Ebulu, Yinka Aderibigbe and Okwy Iroegbu

THE concessionaire of the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki Concession Company (LCC), has said tolling would begin on the road on December 18. The LCC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Opuiyo Oforiokuma, addressed reporters yesterday on the readiness of the company to begin toll on the road. He said the new date was based on an order from Governor Babatunde Fashola when he presented the 2012 Budget to the House of Assembly on November 12.

Jonathan raises National Merit Award’s value to N10m From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has increased the monetary value of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (NNMA) from N5million to N10million. The President spoke at the investiture of the awards for 2010 and 2011 on five eminent Nigerians. They were honoured for their achievements in Science, Engineering, Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences. The increment, according to the President, is backdated to 2010. Prof. Andrew Nok, a researcher and parasite biochemist; Prof Isidore Okpewho, a scholar of Comparative Literature and Prof. Ebiegberi Alagoa, a historian, writer and teacher, received the award last year. Prof. Francis Idachaba, an agricultural economist and researcher in policy advocacy for societal impact, and Dr. Effiong Etukudo, a creative scholar and developer of Micro/Nanno devices, got the award this year.

Ki-moon seeks affordable energy for Africa By Adeola OladeleFayehun, New York

THE United Nations Secretary-General Ban Kimoon has called for greater support to ensure that Africans have access to reliable, efficient and affordable energy for accelerated social and economic development. He spoke at this year’s Africa Industrialisation Day, which the General Assembly proclaimed in 1989 to mobilise the commitment of the international community for industrial development in Africa. “Ensuring access to reliable, efficient and affordable energy is a key element in advancing industrial development, creating decent jobs and increasing productive capacity, especially for small and medium enterprises and rural populations,” Ki-moon said.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); his wife, Sherifat (fourth right)t; Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (fifth left); Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (right); wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs Funso Amosu (fourth left); former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Sarah Sosan (third right); Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Najeem Salam (left) and others, at the cutting of anniversary cake of one year in office of Aregbesola, at the Government House, Osogbo, Osun State. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

Reps insist on sack of BPP DG, management T HE House of Representatives Committee on Bureau of Public Procurement (Due Process) has said the Director-General of the bureau, Emeka Eze, the directors and other management officials are illegally occupying their seats. The committee, headed by Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, is asking them to vacate their positions until the National Council for Public Procurement is constituted by President Goodluck Jonathan, in line with the Act that set up the bureau. At a meeting at the National Assembly with BPP management, the lawmakers restated their resolve to disband the bureau.

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

They said the committee might direct ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to disregard any directive or instruction from the BPP as presently constituted. According to the lawmakers, the BPP has been acting without checks and balances since it was established. “You are acting illegally. You shouldn’t be in charge. It should be the Minister of Finance who should be in charge as Chairman of the

Council. You are usurping powers that should be shared,” the committee told Eze. The lawmakers noted that the BPP has no legal foundation for its operations, because the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP), the regulatory body that should vet its operations, as stipulated in the Public Procurement Act, is not in place. A committee member, Patrick Ikhariale said: “All your directors here are acting on nothing as they should have been appointed by the

Council, which is yet to be formed. This amounts to criminal breach of trust. All your actions so far are open to litigation. The most dangerous part is that the Council is supposed to regulate you, now you have become an octopus.” But Eze said: “I don’t know if you should hold me responsible for an action not within my jurisdiction.” Okoya-Thomas said: “You are an illegality as presently constituted. Why should we allow BPP go away from this meeting still acting without the law? The extent of dissent against the BPP by MDAs in the last three months is much...”

Group urges EFCC to release detained Senator


GROUP, the Reclaim Nigeria Forum (RNF), has urged the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, to release Senator Bola Ola, for alleged unlawful detention. The group, which hailed the change of leadership at the EFCC, accused the commission of submitting to political manipulation. It alleged that Ola is being held over a case that has been decided in his favour about three years ago, to frustrate his political ambition. “The fact that Senator Bode

By Eric Ikhilae

Ola has been in detention for almost a week now in a matter where he had earlier emerged with judicial victory is worrisome. It is even more disturbing that they are planning to keep him there until sometime between January and February 19. “It stands logic on its head when a particular trial judge would want an accused in a case which charges are bailable to suggest that the accused be held for almost two months. Can’t the case be reassigned for mentioning? “For the avoidance of

doubt, the offence for which Senator Bode Ola is being harassed is that he owns a hospitality business that boosts tourism and provides services and employment. “We call on all well meaning Nigerians to join in the call to free Senator Bode Ola whom some believe is being persecuted and intimidated into giving up his legal battle to reclaim his Senate ticket which was wrongfully withdrawn from him,” the group said. The journey to Ola’s current predicament began about three years ago when operatives of the EFCC al-

•Bola Ola

legedly invaded the hotel premises, ransacked the cyber café and other businesses within the premises, arresting him and some others and carted away over 30 computers, including servers, belonging to the café.

Reps to Fed Govt: fuel subsidy removal is premature


HE House of Representatives has said the proposed removal of subsidy on petroleum products is premature. It adopted the recommendations of its Committee on the 2012-2015 Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), which President Goodluck Jonathan presented to the House. The lawmakers urged the President to look elsewhere to finance expected deficit in the budget rather than rely on savings from the proposed removal of fuel subsidy. They noted that it is healthier for the economy to peg the official exchange at N155 to $1 for the three years under review.

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

At the committee of the whole, presided over by the Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, yesterday, the lawmakers aligned with the requirement of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, to ensure a holistic alignment of the 2012-2015 MTFF and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and subsequent MTFFs presentations with the requirements of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 (FRA). John Enoh (PDP, Cross River) presented the report of the joint committee on Finance, Appropriation, Legis-

lative Budget and Research as well as the National Planning Commission and Economic Development. While reviewing Expenditure Framework under fiscal consolidation policy, the lawmakers opposed the position of the revised Fiscal Strategy Paper. The report’s recommendation that “The proposal on fuel subsidy removal as contained in the revised Fiscal Strategy paper is premature” was unanimously adopted. besides, the report advised the Federal Government that: “Sources other than relying on savings from proposed subsidy removal, as part of financing items for expected

deficit should be explored”. On the baseline assumption for macroeconomic indices, while the exchange rate was pegged at N155 to $1, the report urged the Federal Ministry of Finance that for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate, in subsequent submissions, should provide adequate clarification on the justification of the assumptions. The report urged the Federal Ministry of Finance to provide comprehensive information to the National Assembly before the submission of the 2012 Appropriation proposal, on the volume of capital projects to be funded through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Saraki, ANA chief, others advocate human development for national growth By Evelyn Osagie


ORMER Kwara State Governor, Senator Bukola = Saraki, President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Jerry Agada and some eminent Nigerian writers have advocated human capital development and a refocus of the nation’s policy direction to ensure viable socio-economic and effective political growth and reorientation. They spoke at the opening of the ongoing ANA’s 30th International Annual Convention in Abuja. With the theme, Homecoming: Africa Literature and Human Development, the forum noted that human development would lift the nation from underdevelopment and de-emphasise the income and economic development made from petroleum. Saraki, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, called for a re-orientation from national income and economic development to a people-centred philosophy of development. Represented by Prince Ayo Fagbemi, the senator said literature has played a pivotal role in Nigeria’s development. He recalled Chinua Achebe’s publication of Things Fall Apart in 1958 and the Nobel Prize for Literature which Wole Soyinka won in 1986. Saraki urged Nigerian writers to partner the government on development, saying: “Writers, as wordsmiths, are a corporate entity with a robust intellectual stamina. You must use the occasion of your 30 anniversary to foster a lasting and sustainable synergy between your lifelong held commitments and partnership with relevant stakeholders. You must be unreserved in your resolve to advance the rights of youths and citizens to qualitative education, literacy and information.” Agada urged the National Assembly to enact a law for the compulsory funding of literary festival in the country.




PDP jittery over likely outcome B

ARELY 24 hours to the Kogi governorship poll, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) is jittery over the likely outcome of the election. President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday night convened a meeting of warring PDP chieftains at the Presidential Villa to save his party from defeat. The meeting at the Villa followed security reports on alleged poor outing of the PDP at its grand finale rally in Lokoja on Monday. The meeting started at about 9pm and ended at 11.40pm. The atmosphere was moody as party leaders expressed fears that they might lose Kogi to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), it was learnt. At the session, according to sources, were Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Senate President David Mark; outgoing Governor Ibrahim Idris; PDP Governorship candidate Capt. Idris Wada; ex-PDP National Chairman Senator Ahmadu Ali; winner of the January primary Jibrin Isa Echocho; Senator Smart Adeyemi, all National Assembly members elected on the platform of the PDP from Kogi State and governorship aspirant, AVM Salihu Atawodi.

•Jonathan holds secret meeting with governor, others From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Also there were PDP running mate Mr. Yomi Awoniyi; a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih; Chief John Odawn; the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje; and all members of the National Working Committee (NWC). A source said: “The meeting was at the instance of Mr. President because of what he saw at the grand finale of the PDP for its governorship candidate on Monday. “All the party leaders were also jittery about revelations on the alleged health challenges of the party’s governorship candidate, Capt. Idris Wada based on records from the University College Hospital, Ibadan. “They had fears that even if Wada wins the poll, the final ticket may go to the ACN based on the health records. “But the preoccupation of the leaders was on how to win the election since the health matters have been laid before a Federal High

Court.” Another source said: “All the leaders were concerned about the inroad of the ACN. The ex-National Chairman of the PDP opened discussions by faulting the manner in which the party’s candidate, Echocho, who won the primaries in January was substituted by Governor Ibrahim Idris at the last minute. “Ali said the strategy was wrong and it has been posing a major threat to PDP’s victory.” Anenih also acknowledged that the ACN has a formidable structure because of the injustice which trailed the emergence of Wada. “In his usual frank manner, Anenih also faulted the governor but he gave a ray of hope that the situation is redeemable if all stakeholders could bury their hatchets. “The Senate President shocked everybody when he said the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria has been wishing that Idris Wada be made a candidate of the PDP because of his health records so that they could win the poll on a platter of gold.

“He said he had a strong suspicion that the ACN might make an issue of Wada’s health even if the PDP emerges victorious. “Senator Smart Adeyemi said the outgoing governor is the problem of the party in the state. “He said PDP members of the National Assembly from the state met the governor four times on the danger of substituting Echocho but he was adamant.” As a way out, one of the sources added: “The acting National Chairman pleaded with the leaders to prevail on Echocho to withdraw his suit against Wada to reduce any post-election challenge. “He also asked the President and other leaders to beg Echocho to work for the election of Wada on Saturday.” “But Echocho, who promised to remain a loyal party man and work for Wada, was non-committal on the withdrawal of the suit. He kept silent on the issue.” It was gathered that the President directed “all the stakeholders to close ranks and deploy their resources to work for Wada.”

NSCDC deploys 10,000 men From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja


HE Commandant General (CG) Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Dr. Ade Abolurin has ordered the deployment of 10,000 personnel to beef up security in Kogi State during the governorship election. The deployment of NSCDC personnel from neighboring states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to complement the efforts of the officers and men of Kogi State Command, according to Abolurin, is to guarantee effective security in the state. He urged the electorate to remain peaceful and law abiding to avert the repeat of tensions that marred the previous election. A statement signed by NSCDC spokesman, Emmanuel Okeh, said :“The unity and peace of the nation should be the most paramount thing to behold on by all peace loving citizens of the nation without compromise, by desisting from preaching violence that could bring about disunity of the country.“

No room for election riggers, says Jega From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja


HE Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, yesterday foreclosed allowing any room for riggers to operate. Speaking at a stakeholders meeting with representative of political parties at the INEC office in Lokoja, said the commission has put in everything in place to conduct a free, fair and credible election. The Kogi election, Jega assured, be conducted in a way that will be difficult for vote manipulators. He warned that any INEC official caught engaging in election malpractices would not be spared. The INEC chief commended the security agents for their preparation toward the election which he said will be used to asses the commission’s performance. He assured that preparations have been made to ensure all electoral materials get to their destination.

•ACN rally in Isanlu-Maputu, Kogi State, addressed yesterday by Tinubu, Akande, Audu

Tinubu to voters: Vote ACN tomorrow for your own good


ITH a call on the voters to cast their ballots for its governorship candidates Prince Abubakar Audu and his running mate, Mr Henry Ojuola, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), yesterday dropped the curtain on its campaign. The election holds tomorrow. ACN Leader Ahmed Bola Tinubu, National Chairman of the party Chief Bisi Akande and former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, now ACN chieftain Chief Audu Ogbe were yesterday in Conference State for the rally’s ground finale. A crowd of supporters attended the rally held at Isanlu, in Yagba East Local Government Area. Youths and women were ecstatic to have in their midst the ACN leaders. They specially sang the praises of

Partys alleges hijack of ballot papers by govt, PDP


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kogi State yesterday accused the government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of hijacking and thumbprinting ballot papers meant for 10 local governments in order to rig tomorrow’s election. Director-General of the Prince Abubakar Audu Campaign Organisation, Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the move is aimed at rigging the election in favour of PDP. Ibrahim, in a statement by Audu’s Media Officer, Sanni Onogu, alleged the government has already hijacked genuine ballot papers and sensitive election materials to rig the election at the Government House Lokoja. He said: “Information reaching us suggests that From Joseph Jibueze, Lokoja

Tinubu and said his presence would bring them victory as according to them, the former governor had al-

•Govt: Audu is desperate the Kogi State Government and the PDP have commandeered genuine ballot papers and other sensitive election materials meant to be distributed to 10 local government areas, especially the Kogi East Senatorial District where Prince Abubakar Audu is popular. The genuine ballot papers meant for the area has been hijacked and thumb printed at the Government House, Lokoja to rig the elections.” But the government denied the allegation, saying Audu was “rehearsing” his excuse for defeat. Director-General, Media and Strategy Bureau, Government House, Mr Faruk Adejoh-Audu, said: “Audu is already rehearsing his excuse for the defeat he is doomed to suffer on Saturday.”

ways defeated the Federal Government. Ojuola hails from Isanlu, headquarters of Yagba, the heart of the

Yoruba-speaking Okuns of Kogi. Audu’s campaign train arrived from Lokoja at about 12.30pm after over two-hour journey to meet Tinu-

bu and other ACN chieftains waiting. Before going to the rally venue, they paid homage to the community’s royal father, the Agbana of Isanlaland, Oba A. A. Ikuborije. Ikuborije gave Audu his blessings. “God will give you victory,” he prayed. Tinubu said he has known Audu since his days in the National Republican Convention (NRC), describing him as a reliable person. “Now the PDP does not deserve your votes. For power shift, this is the best chance for the Okuns to produce a governor after Audu’s four years. You must work for it on Saturday” Tinubu said. Audu said he would reinstate over 13,000 workers sacked by the PDP government create job opportunities. Audu also promised to ensure power shift to the West and Central.



NEWS 44 Nigerians died in Saudi Arabia, says NAHCON


•No one stranded, Fed Govt insists HE National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) yesterday confirmed that 44 pilgrims died in Saudi Arabia during Hajj. The National Commissioner, Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, Yusuf Ibrahim, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said: “I can confirm to you that the number of deaths of Nigerian pilgrims as at yesterday is 44.” Though, he was silent on the cause of the deaths and the bio-data of the deceased, he said the details would be unfolded after all the pilgrims have returned. On the December 15 deadline by the Saudi Arabian authorities for all pilgrims to return home, Ibrahim said NAHCON would beat the deadline by the “grace of Allah’’. “The deadline given by the Saudi Authority is December 15 and by December 7, the last batch of pilgrims will be at home Insha Allah,” he said. The Federal Government yesterday faulted


From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja Bureau Chief

media reports that some pilgrims were stranded, saying the return of pilgrims is progressing according to schedule. It also announced that, as at yesterday, over 80,000 had been brought back to the country. This comprised 70,239 regular and 10,000 international pilgrims. Scoring the pilgrimage better than last year’s, the government said there was no incident where pilgrims stayed up to 24 hours at the airport based on the concrete arrangements put in place by NAHCON officials. According to the Chairman of the Federal Government Committee on Aviation and NAHCON board member, Capt. Shehu Iyal, the committee successfully tackled the minor hitches that arose in the course of transporting the pilgrims home. He said: “Nobody is stranded, nobody will be stranded. The reason for making this assertion is because Nigeria has enough capacity to bring the pilgrims back home.

•Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke (middle); his wife, Obioma, Deputy Managing Director, UNICEM, Olivie Lenor and wife during a city walk to commemorate the day in Calabar.

Two suspects arrested for killing soldier By Titilayo Banjoko


HE police yesterday in Ikeja, Lagos, paraded two suspects, Samuel Soju and Abiodun Sosuge for allegedly killing Brig-Gen Umar Jabril Uwagbe (rtd). The suspects also beat up his wife, who is receiving treatment in the hospital. It was gathered that the suspects planned to rob the deceased, who reportedly had some foreign currency. On September 30, Soju and Sosuge, who worked for the late Uwagbe, came into the house and demanded for the money, which he handed over to them. As they were leaving, they allegedly killed the soldier and attacked his wife. The suspects were arrested a month later by homicide detectives in Kokola Village, Mowe, Ogun State. Sosuge said: “It was Samuel who brought up the idea of robbing our late boss. He said if we could gain access to his apartment, we can get lots of money and we could escape without being caught.” Police spokesman Samuel Jinadu said the suspects would be remanded in police custody. He said they would be charged with murder and attempeted murder.

•Pupils of Ikolaba High School in a rally to mark the day in Ibadan…yesterday

Canada condemns Nigeria over same sex marriage bill From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

ANADA yesterday criticised the Federal Government on the Senate bill banning same sex marriages. The Senate had on Tuesday passed a bill banning same-sex marriage and prescribed a 14-year jail term for offenders. It also prescribed a 10-year jail term for any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationship. In a statement by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and released by the Canadian High Commission, he said if the bill is passed, it would infringe on basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of some citizens. He urged Nigeria to take urgent steps to protect all citizens, irrespective of sexual orientation. If the bill is passed into law, Baird said Canada would continue to condemn Nigeria’s position on the matter at the Commonwealth and other international fora.


•Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi (left) and his wife/Chairperson of the State’s Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA), Bisi, distributing condoms and leaflets during the awareness campaign, in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday.

‘Subsidy removal will fuel hunger’


HE controversy surrounding the removal of fuel subsidy yesterday took a new dimension as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Actionaid Nigeria and other civil society groups condemned the proposed subsidy removal. They said it would con-

tribute to food shortage in the country. The groups restated that besides other shortcomings, the subsidy would affect the agricultural value chains. The convener of Actionaid, Tunde Aremu, spoke at a briefing yesterday in Abuja. He described the plan as a “vicious attack on the poor.”

•Wife of Rivers State Governor Mrs. Judith Amaechi talking to the Commissioner for Health Sampson Parker at Ngo, Andoin Local Government…yesterday

•United States Ambassador to Nigeria Terrance McCulley exchanging a Memorandum of Understanding on HIV/AIDS Partnership Framework Implementation Plan for 2001-2015 to the Secretary of the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim




Transparency International ranks Nigeria 143th on corruption index T

HE Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2011 has ranked Nigeria 143th of 183 countries. The index scores 183 countries and territories from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean) based on perceived levels of public sector corruption. It uses data from 17 surveys that look at factors, such as enforcement of anti-corruption laws, access to information and conflicts of interest. Two thirds of ranked countries score less than 5. Nigeria scored 2.4. Ghana is ranked 69, with a score of 3.9. South Africa is 64, with a score of 4.1. New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Singapore occupy the first five slots. The global watchdog, in a statement yesterday, said: “Corruption continues to plague too many countries around the world. It shows some governments failing to protect

By Olukorede Yishau, Assistant Editor (News)

citizens from corruption, be it abuse of public resources, bribery or secretive decision-making. It warned that protests around the world, often fuelled by corruption and economic instability, clearly show citizens feel their leaders and public institutions are neither transparent nor accountable enough. “This year we have seen corruption on protestors’ banners, be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. New Zealand ranks first, followed by Finland and Denmark. Somalia and North Korea (included in the index for the first time), are last. “2011 saw the movement for greater transparency

take on irresistible momentum, as citizens around the world demand accountability from their governments. High-scoring countries show that over time efforts to improve transparency can, if sustained, be successful and benefit their people,” said Transparency International Managing Director Cobus de Swardt. Most Arab Spring countries rank in the lower half of the index, scoring below 4. Before the Arab Spring, a Transparency International report on the region warned that nepotism, bribery and patronage were so deeply engrained in daily life that even existing anti-corruption laws had little impact. Eurozone countries suffering debt crises, partly because of public authorities’ failure to tackle the bribery and tax evasion that are key drivers of debt crisis, are among the lowest-scoring EU countries. The organisation explained how it arrived at

its results: “The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2011 is an aggregate indicator calculated using data from 17 sources provided by 13 reputable institutions. All sources measure the overall extent of corruption (frequency and/or size of bribes) in the public and political sectors, and all sources provide a ranking of countries, i.e. include an assessment of multiple countries. “The CPI 2011 brings together data from sources covering the past two years. For the CPI 2011, this includes surveys published between December 2009 and September 2011. The sources used in the CPI 2011 draw on the perceptions of both resident and nonresident experts and are a mixture of business surveys, assessments by commercial risk analysts and country experts from international institutions. “In the CPI 2011, the following nine sources provided data based on expert analysis: African Develop-

ment Bank, Asian Development Bank, Bertelsmann Foundation, Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, Global Insight, Political Risk Services, the World Bank and the World Justice Project. Four sources for the CPI 2011 reflect evaluations by resident business leaders of their own country: IMD, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, Transparency International’s Bribe Payers Survey and the World Economic Forum. “For CPI sources that are business surveys, and where multiple years of the same survey are available, data for the past two years is included. This applied to the IMD, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy and the World Economic Forum, where surveys from both 2010 and 2011 were included. For sources where scores were provided by experts (risk agencies/country analysts), only the most recent iteration of the assessment is included.”

Minister blames headteachers for decline in unity colleges


INISTER of State for Education Ezenwo Wike yesterday blamed principals for the decline of infrastructure and academic performance of unity colleges in the country. Wike spoke in Kano at the Annual General Meeting of the principals of the 104 unity colleges. He said despite the fact that the percentage pass in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE)is poor, the principals have not reversed the trend. Wike said: “For about a decade now, the aggregate credit pass in five subjects and above among pupils of unity colleges in WAEC and NECO examinations have stagnated around 30percent only, yet principals have carried on as if there is nothing to worry about. “This we can no longer allow to continue, espe-

•Kwankwaso and Wike...yesterday By Tajudeen Adebanjo

cially in today’s climate of heightened expectations.

We must do something about the quality of all principals in unity

schools, knowing that these schools can become centres of academic excel-

lence only when they are managed by people who are educational visionaries, knowledge experts and disciplinarians”, the minister stated. He said money would be made available next year for unity schools to develop their infrastructure. Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso lauded the Federal Government’s renewed interest in restoring academic excellence to unity colleges. Kwankwaso advised the principals to properly utilise the resources meant for capital projects in next year’s budget. House Committee Chairman on Education, Farouk Lawan, noted that principals were strategic in the plan to restore the unity colleges. The Annual General Meeting attracted principals from all the 104 unity colleges in Nigeria

Why Lagos opposed Roli George’s appointment, by ACN HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has explained why it opposed the nomination of Mrs. Roli George as the Lagos State representative in the National Population Commission (NPC). Mrs George is the wife of Bode George, former Southwest Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The ACN said its opposition was informed by the need to adhere to the constitutional stipulations on such nominations, rather than on the basis of ethnicity or party affiliation. In a statement in Abuja


yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the clarification became necessary following the distortion of facts being peddled by ill-informed commentators to trivialise the issue. The party said the constitution states that such appointments must first be discussed at the National Council of State meeting, in case governors have any objection. “When the President brought the issue to the National Council of State meeting, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola objected, saying he

should be allowed to have an input into the nomination of his state’s representative. “The governor was right in exercising his constitutional rights. “The President asked the governor to put his objection in writing, which he duly did and forwarded to Mr. President. “But, the President is yet to acknowledge or respond to Fashola’s objection. “While the President can use his discretion to overrule such objection, the responsibility of the office he holds and the weight of the issue at stake do not give him the latitude to

ignore the governor’s objection. “In any case, Jonathan is inconsistent. The same President, who handled a governor’s objection with levity, went ahead to delay the swearing in of the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) because of the objections he received on his nomination.” The party said if the views of governors on nominations and other issues concerning their states would count for nothing, the National Council of State could well

be scrapped. The ACN also said the attacks on the personalities of the three senators from Lagos, who opposed Mrs. George’s nomination, were misdirected. The party wondered why no one accused the three senators from Taraba State of playing ethnic or whatever card when they rejected a ministerial nominee from their state. ACN said Lagos State has proven time and again that its strength is in its cosmopolitan nature. “Lagos State or ACN cannot be accused of playing ethnic or partisan card,” the party said.

‘Bayelsa PDP crisis a time bomb’ By Tajudeen Adebanjo


HE Ethnic Minority and Indigenous Rights Organisation of Africa (EMIROAF) yesterday said the crisis over who flies the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship flag in Bayelsa State is a time bomb. The group, in a statement, urged restraint. The statement reads: “It is the wish of (EMIROAF) that the crisis be resolved immediately not to be seen as a mischievous design by the PDP hierarchy to prevent Governor Sylva from seeking a re-election, for reasons not known to the public, thereby turning the ethnic minority people against themselves. “The ethnic minority nationalities in Nigeria had suffered a lot of oppression and manipulation, as they had always been victims of national crisis, big or small, since independence. Now, that a leader of the ethnic minority clime is the Head of State of Nigeria, the opportunity should not be wasted in engaging in unprovoked crisis, which is unhelpful to the interest of the ethnic minority peoples. “It is puzzling as news report said that Governor Sylva had won the nomination last January to contest the April governorship election in Bayelsa State, backed by the central working committee before a court order ruled that the governorship election will not be due until early 2012. “It is difficult to understand what has happened between January 2011, and now to warrant the rejection of the same Timipre Sylva by the PDP central working committee.” Youth Movement for the Defence of Democracy (YMDD) also called for caution. In a statement by the Executive Director of the group, Comrade Olanrewaju Omotayo, the group said the people should be allowed to choose their leader.

‘Bad lifestyle fuels spread of HIV/AIDS’


CONSULTANT Psychiatrist, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr Abayomi Ojo, has said certain lifestyle choices, such as alcoholism and drug abuse, contribute to the widespread of HIV/ AIDS in the country. Ojo spoke yesterday at a health talk held at the Yaba Market on the theme “Getting to Zero: HIV/ AIDS and Alcohol and Drug Abuse”, organised by the hospital to commemorate the World AIDS Day. The psychiatrist said some individuals might also engage in immoral behaviour, such prostitution in order to obtain funds to procure hard drugs, many of which affected the immune system, making the individual more vulnerable to infection.



NEWS 15 party leaders dump Ondo LP From Damisi Ojo, Akure


IFTEEN leaders of the Labour Party (LP) in Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State yesterday dumped the party. They are the Arogbo of Irele Kingdom, Chief F.O Egbuwalo (Ward Three); the Ojomo of Irele Kingdom, Chief Orimoloye (Ward Three); Elder E.A Oladokun (Ward One); Elder Akinmulewo Kolawole (Ward One); and Oluwadanusi Julius (Ward Three). Others are Captain I.A Akinmade (Rtd.) (Ward Four); Iluyemi Olalekan (Ward Four); former House of Representatives candidate Comrade Bayo Adekanle (Ward One); Adenodi Adetokunbo (Ward Two); and Akinfosile Joshua (Ward Three). The rest are Adu Joseph (Ward Three); Duro Enoruwa (Ward Eight); Omoduyilemi Oluyede (Ward Three); Ajimosogbe Ilesanmi (Ward Four); and Oladujoye Festus (Ward One). They said their decision was in solidarity with the former Special Adviser to the Governor on Planning and Strategy, Mr. Saka Lawal, who resigned his membership from the LP on October 31. Lawal is from Ese/Afin Ward Nine, Akoko North West of Ondo North Senatorial District, while the 15 former LP chieftains are from Ondo South Senatorial District. They expressed their intention to join the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The former LP leaders said: “A review of ongoing events in our dear Ondo State viz the management of its vast resources by the LP administration shows that the electorate has lost confidence in the government. “Consequently, the migration of men of character as symbolised by our amiable visionary and resourceful leader, Lawal, has dictated the basis of our movement out of the LP to the side of the people. “We thank our supporters and the people of Ondo State for their patience and understanding.”

National Youth holds congress


HE Unity Congress of the Lagos State chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria will hold today at the council’s secretariat at 50, Akinwunmi Street, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos, by 9am. Chairman of the Congress Planning Committee Mr. Olukayode James and Secretary Bilqees Ayepoola said some warring youth groups have agreed to reconcile. A new executive will be elected at the congress to be sponsored by the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sport and Social Development.

Oyo employs 20,000 youths


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday inaugurated the state’s Youth Empowerment Scheme, employing 20,000. The scheme, YES-O, was launched at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan, the state capital. It was attended by eminent indigenes, traditional rulers, top government officials and other stakeholders. Ajimobi lamented the high rate of unemployment among youths. He said: “The statistics of unemployment in Nigeria is alarming. Out of Nigeria’s 150 million population, about 40 million are unemployed. Because 45 per cent

of Nigeria’s population is between the ages of 15 and 40 years, the implication is that unemployment critically affects youths. “Unemployment poses great danger to the peace of this country. If we don’t engage the youth, they will engage us. Unemployment leads to crime and can cause a revolt. “If those at the helm of affairs must continue to administer the country without disequilibrium, we must put an end to unemployment. “For some administrations, giving a few hundreds of pepper-grinding machines and bicycles to the army of unemployed youths

was the appropriate response to this menace. “But experience has shown that such efforts eventually became a hub of corruption, leaving the recipients worse than they were before government’s intervention. “Only a system that gives dignity and voice to the unemployed can successfully wipe away their tears. The YES-O scheme is projected to give the employed a sense of belonging, acting as a resource base for the state in other areas of need. “It would serve as an avenue for the provision of jobs and training of youths in cognitive and entrepreneurial skills, which would make them productive agents of

change. “This is our vision, and God help us, we will positively and phenomenally affect unemployment in Nigeria.” Ajimobi urged the beneficiaries to be of good conduct. “You are not only ambassadors of this administration, but are our Marines. “Like the Marines in America, you embody and typify all the good projections of this administration. “We expect that as our export to the rest of the world, you will be the agents of change our administration preaches about,” the governor said.

Ekiti needs more local govts, says Fayemi From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said there is need to create more local government areas. Fayemi said this would bring development closer to the people at the grassroots. He said he would work with the State and National Assemblies to facilitate the creation of new councils. Fayemi spoke at a meeting with the people of Ikole Local Government Area. The meeting was to find out what projects the people wanted included in next year’s budget. Responding to a request by the stakeholders for more local governments, Fayemi said he would ensure that another local government is created out of Ikole council, which is made up of 24 communities, before his tenure expires. He said: “We will work with our people in the parliament to put machinery in motion to realise this lofty aim. “A government committee will be set up to review the process of delineating the local government areas and we will consult our traditional rulers.”

Akure lawyer condemns high tuition fees

A •The Maternal and Child Care Centre in Ajeromi General Hospital, Ajegunle, built by the Lagos State Government. INSET: Governor Babatunde Fashola (left) inaugurating the Centre...yesterday. With him are House of Assembly Deputy Speaker Kolapo Taiwo (second left); Commissioner for Health Jide Idris (middle); Secretary to the State Government Mrs. Oluranti Adebule (right) and Ojora of Ijoraland Oba Abdul Fatai Aromire.

Traders at Oyo park to get wares •Falana petitions IGP over govt’s takeover of Trans Amusement Park


JECTED Trans Amusement Park traders should have access to their goods, Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi said yesterday. Ajimobi directed the ministries of Trade and Investment, and Justice to liaise with other authorities and allow the traders remove their wares from the premises. The government recovered the park last Friday on grounds that it was illegally concessioned to Ahmak Engineering Limited by the administration of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala. Owners of shops, a bank, a nite club and their workers and

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan and Eric Ikhilae

customers were walked out of the park by policemen. The park has remained shut since then, with policemen stationed there. Lagos activist lawyer Femi Falana has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Rigim, complaining about the role of policemen in the forceful takeover of the park. He urged the IGP to direct the Oyo State Police Commissioner to withdraw the policemen stationed in the park. Falana, counsel to Ahmak Engineering Limited, said the government’s action cannot be

justified. In the petition entitled: “Illegal invasion and closure of a business premises by the Oyo State Police Command”, Falana said: “From the information at our disposal, there is no court order authorising the disruption of the business of Ahmak Engineering by the Oyo State Government and the Police. “The Police Commissioner informed the management of Ahmak Engineering Limited that he was directed by the Oyo State Government to eject all persons from the park on the ground that it had terminated the concession. “After the illegal takeover of

the park, the government issued a statement to justify its action. It may interest you to know that the Oyo State Government is not a party to the Concession Agreement. To that extent, its action cannot be justified in the circumstances. “With regard to the fact that the Concession Agreement has not been terminated by Trans Wonderland Nigeria PLC, we urge you to use your good offices to prevail on the Oyo State Police Commissioner to withdraw the mobile policemen that are illegally occupying our client’s business premises.”

Senator, ex-Ondo LP chief laud ruling on Tinubu HE member representing Oyo South in the Senate, Olufemi Lanlehin, and the former Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State, Dr. Olaiya Oni, yesterday hailed the victory of former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Wednesday. The tribunal freed Tinubu of the three-count charge brought against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). Lanlehin described the


From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Damisi Ojo, Akure

judgment as an affirmation of the Rule of Law. He said: “The judgment portends a good omen for our judiciary, democracy and Nigeria. The fear that the judiciary might be corrupt and unreliable was, to a large extent, disproved by the delivery of this incisive and well articulated judgment. “The judgment addressed all issues raised and came to

a fair and just conclusion. It gladdens the heart to know that, gradually, the rule of law and adherence to due process, either in our electoral system or judicial system, is being strengthened. “The speed with which the judgment was delivered is also commendable, considering that some cases have been in the court for years.” Oni said the judgment is a victory for the Yoruba race and described Tinubu as “the last man standing.” The former Minister of Edu-

cation said: “Former President Olusegun Obasanjo swept away our progressivism in 2003 by capturing all the states in the Southwest except Lagos. It was Tinubu that stood against the tyranny, which today has brought us to the main stream Yoruba politics. “This victory will encourage Tinubu to continue fighting for the emancipation of Nigerians and an enduring democracy. He is a pragmatic leader with enviable track records.

N Akure activistlawyer, Morakinyo Ogele, has condemned the increment of school fees at the Adeyemi College of Education (ACOED) in Ondo State. In a letter to the provost of the school yesterday, Ogele urged the management to rescind its decision, stating that the jacked-up fee is to the detriment of students’ welfare. He said increasing fees now is oppressive, unprogressive and an act of terrorism against “poor students”. The lawyer said the increment was unacceptable and would be rejected by lawful and peaceful means. He lamented the increase of the former fee of N8, 000 by 200 per cent, adding that new and old students now pay N41, 000 and N18, 000. “The teaching practice fee rose from N2, 500 to N6, 000. Accommodation rose to N12, 000 from N4, 000,” Ogele said. The lawyer warned vicechancellors against commercialising education in Nigeria.

Mimiko, NTA DG for AES award today


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko and the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mallam Usman Magawata, will receive the AES Excellence Leadership Award today in Lagos. The President of the Governing Board of AES Excellence Club, Dr. Ausbeth Ajagu, said Mimiko and Magawata emerged winners of the 365 nominees.



NEWS Olurin: Peace has returned to Ogun PDP PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the last election in Ogun State, Gen Adetunji Olurin yesterday said peace has returned to the state chapter of the party. In a statement, Olurin said he has held meetings and consultations with stakeholders and aggrieved members. “By the agreement reached after the meetings and extensive consultations, all party members who either decamped or abandoned the party in the past but who now wish to return to the party, are expected to go to their various wards to reregister in accordance with the directive given by the national headquarters of the party in conformity with the provisions of the constitution of the party”, he said. He urged party leaders at the grassroots to embrace such members whenever they come forward to reregister and revalidate their membership of the party. But the Chairman of party in the state, Chief Dayo Soremi, condemned Olurin for attending the 2012 Budget presentation by Governor Ibikunle Amosun. Soremi said the development “came to the party as a rude shock.”

UK to support EFCC From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

THE British Government yesterday pledged greater cooperation and support for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC to enable it surmount current challenges in the anti-graft efforts in Nigeria. According to a statement by the agency’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Giles Lever made the pledge during a courtesy visit to EFCC’s Acting Executive Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde. The statement reads: “The envoy, while congratulating the new EFCC boss on his recent appointment, said his visit underscores the importance which the British government place on the work of the Commission.

Ojukwu’s wife grateful, thanks Nigerians WIDOW of late Chief EmekaOdumegwu-Ojukwu, Binaca, yesterday expressed gratitude to Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom (UK) for their support toward the family during the period of her husband’s hospitalisation. She expressed the gratitude while hosting a delegation from the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) led by its chairman, Mr Bimbo Folayan, on a condolence visit in London. Her words: “Your visits, love and support was very consistent throughout the period my husband was in the hospital; I thank you all for this.’’

Banks close in Ogun over security challenge


HE increasing wave of bank robberies in Ogun State and the attendant loss of lives and cash is taking a huge toll on banking in the Gateway State. Banks in Ijebu, Sagamu and Abeokuta yesterday shut their gates against customers. The closure, which the operators said will be indefinite, triggered a biting cash crunch and panic reactions. The Ogun State Banks’ Managers Committee (OSBMC), issued a communique after a meeting held at the Abeokuta branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN), saying banks would not re-open for operations in the three senatorial districts until there is an “assurance of safety of lives and cash”.

•Amosun, police re-assure on safety From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

All 35 members of the committee at the meeting told reporters that they had pleaded with Governor Ibikunle Amosun to provide Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), at least 10 Hilux vehicles as well as to urgently convene a security summit to address the incessant threats to banking. Another meeting has been scheduled for next Tuesday at the same venue to review the situation. The managers resolved to write a letter to CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) about the security challenges they have

been living with. A copy of the letter they said, will be forwarded to Amosun. They relived the recent experience of a bank, where a year’s profit was lost to robbers in one raid, stressing that they would not “budge” in their chosen cause, until their “demands are met”. According to the bankers, they had planned to assist the police in refurbishing and repairing their two malfunctioning APCs, but got bogged down by a N23 million bill needed to put them in shape. Amosun had earlier expressed concern about the security challenge, but pledged to arrest it. Amosun said: “Let me assure you that we as a government are more con-

cerned. I can tell you that we have taken delivery of one or two APCs and another 10 units are on the way. Ultimately, we plan to have about 30 units. But you know the huge investment required; that is why we are trying to see how we can partner with the people for assistance.” The governor, however, said the APCs alone would not do the magic, but that getting the people positively engaged through gainful employment would also go a long way in taking the youths away from crimes. Nkemdeme, in a telephone interview, said members of the public were merely reacting out of “speculations”, adding that the situ-

ation was under control. Nkemdeme said his Command has appealed to the bankers to reopen their shops, assuring that enough security personnel have been deployed to strategic locationsto forestall and counter any robbery attack. He said: “We are fully prepared to counter any robbery attack. The panic in town resulted from rumours and speculations of robbery attack. There is no truth in that. Nothing like that has happened; it is all speculations. “We have put measures on ground to prevent robberies and for security reasons, it is not advisable to disclose such on the pages of newspapers. And we have also appealed to the bankers to reopen to their customers.”







Shell sells oil blocks for $488m


OYAL Dutch Shell said, it has completed the sale of two Nigerian onshore oil blocks to a local consortia for a total of $488 million. Shell sold its 30 per cent stake in Nigerian onshore oil block OML 42 to local consortium Neconde Energy, which includes Nestoil Group, Aries E&P Company Limited, VP Global and Poland’s Kulczyk Oil Ventures, for $390 million. The Anglo-Dutch major confirmed the sale of its 30 per cent stake in block OML 26 to First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN), which is partowned by Afren, for $98 million. Afren and FHN announced the sale earlier on Thursday. First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN), which is partly owned by oil company Afren, confirmed the purchase of a 45 per cent stake in Nigerian oil block OML 26 for $147.5 million from Shell , Total and Eni. FHN, a Nigerian firm set up by Afren, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Guaranty Trust Bank, to purchase local energy assets, said OML 26 was producing 6,000 barrels of oil per day and this would increase to 40,000 bpd within four years. Afren owns 45 percent of FHN. FHN plans to operate the block with the producing arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which owns the other 55 per cent and wants more indigenous companies to own the oil in Africa’s most populous nation.

The purchase of one good bulb ensures that one uses it for a longer period unlike inferior or substandard ones. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON

DMO: Nigeria owes $40.032b N

IGERIA’s current to tal debt portfolio (both external and domestic debt), including Federal and State Governments, was $40.032 billion or N6.189 trillion as at September 30, 2011. The Federal Government owes $3.316 billion (or 58.87 per cent) out the $5.633 billion total external debt s portfolio, while various states in the Federation owe $2.317 billion (or 41.13 per cent). The remaining $34.399 is made up of domestic debts. The Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Abraham Nwankwo made these revelations in an interactive session with the House Committee on Aid, Loans and Debt Management at the National Assembly yesterday. Speaking before the Adeyinka Ajayi-heade House committee, Nwankwo said the DMO was established during the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and that it led to an appreciable drop of the external debt from over $35 billion (41.86 per cent) of GDP in 2004 to $3.55 billion (3.7 per cent) of GDP in 2006.

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

According to him, , Nwankwo disclosed that the agency issued the National Debt Management Plan (2008-2012) to ensure effective management of the country’s debt portfolio and guide against excessive and uncoordinated borrowing. He said: “DMO reintroduced the issuance of sovereign bonds in 2003 but started regular bond issuance in 2005 based on a programmed monthly issuance calendar” as well as 3year, 5-year, 7-year, 10-year and 20-year are being issued monthly. The DMO boss said his establishment also conduct Debt Sustainability analysis (DSA) as part of measures towards monitoring the dynamics of the country’s debt sustainability under changing internal and external scenarios. Nwankwo said that there was public outcry against the nation’s debt portfolio in the past but that “between 2004 and 2006 the implementation of the exit from Paris Club was completed such that Nigeria

was forgiven 60 per cent of the $30 billion foreign external debt, so that apart from $18 billion was written off while $12 billion was paid and so we completely exited.” He said: “It is important to note that there was a challenge and discussion as to it was not preferable for Nigeria to go ahead and use the $12 billion that was paid as at that time to pursue the development objectives. But when we looked closely into the implications of being a defaulting and bad debt nation, you will appreciate that it was a better option to pay-off the $12 billion and for us to be forgiven $18 billion. “Prominent issue in this regard was the fact that, because of our debt default situation, we are economically, commercially a barren country if not politically as well. And implication was that, our businessmen (private sector) were at disadvantage in terms of relationships, transactions, assess to capital within international capital market (economy). “Under that situation, Nigerian businessmen were asked to make 100 per cent cash payment before they

could secure goods from other countries either for capital goods or raw materials. Under normalcy, for a businessman to obtain certain concessions from their suppliers such that they need not make 100 percent cash payment before they take goods and services.” Nwankwo said because of the country’s high debt situation at the time, “facility was lost to Nigerian businessmen, which means production in Nigeria become uncompetitive, so our businessmen were at disadvantage. Of course this has relationship with total economic activity, to cost of production, growth of our private sector, to generation of employment, though it was important that that issue be dealt with, so that the private sector which is usually the engine of growth usually a major source of employment would found its feet. This was one of the most advantages of finding a way of exiting from the Paris Club debt.” He said of the $30 billion debt owed the Paris Club, $12 billion was paid and $18 billion written off.

RATES Inflation -10.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $32.820b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL


0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472


HE Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, David Adelugba, said if adequate attention is given to the sector it would overtake the oil sector in revenue generation. Adelugba, who spoke while receiving members of the House Committee on Trade and Investment, said the sector generated about $10 billion, going by foreign report on the export non-oil products in 2010, as against the $2 billion in formal data captured by the Central Bank of Nigeria. He said the non-oil export is not only growing, but the markets and products are diversifying, as Nigeria exports over 90 different products to about 103 countries across the globe “There is increasing inflow of foreign exchange into the economy as a result of improvement in the culture of formalized export by the Nigerian exporting community The House of Representatives has said it would push for the establishment of necessary structures for the enhancement of foreign earning and growth of the non-oil export sectors in the country.



-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

PHCN workers undergo biometrics verification

COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$115.3/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

Non-oil exports fetch $10b

• From left: Ms Genevieve Sangudi of the Carlyle group; a guest; Chief Kola Jamodu; past President Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria (HBSAN), Mrs Nike Akande and Prof. Herbert Orji at the black tie dinner and ball in Lagos.

Pension fund assets hit N2.4t, says D-G


ENSION fund contribution has grown to N2.4 trillion as at November, 2011, the Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mohammad Ahmad, has said. Ahmad, who disclosed this yesterday at a workshop organised by PenCom for journalists in Enugu, said 4.92 million Nigerians have registered for the scheme, adding that presently, about 40,794 retirees from the public and private sectors are collecting their monthly pensions either by programmed withdrawal or annuity. He stated that over N115.6

• 4.92m Nigeria registered From Collins Nweze, Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu and Chuks Udo Okonta, in Enugu

billion has been paid to retirees as lump sum at the point of retirement and that about N 1.284 billion is collected as monthly pension. “Pensioners have collected over N 115.6 billion as lump sum at the point of retirement and are collecting about N 1.284 billion as monthly pension. Additionally, assets worth N2.4 trillion have been accumulated as at November, 2011,” he said. Ahmad said the Commission has sustained its

regulatory and supervisory philosophy, which is riskbased and consultative, with particular emphasis on issuance of guidelines and regulations, surveillance of licensed operators, compliance and enforcement, supervision of investment of pension funds and maintenance of a databank on pension matters. Ahmad, said as part of the industry’s consolidation efforts, it has raised the capital requirements for Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) from N150 million to N1 billion effective June 2012, adding that it has intensified

its compliance mechanism by taking legal action against defaulting employers. Head Compliance and Enforcement PenCom, Mahammad Umar, said the commission has concluded plans to commence issuance of compliance certificates to organisations bidding for contracts with government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) from January 2012. He said the certificate would be renewable annually, adding that organisations requesting for compliance certificates must provide comprehensive evidence of compliance up to December 31.

HCN workers across the country have fi nally subjected themselves to biometrics verification. Mr Cdon Adinuba, Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Power, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, yesterday. The Minister of Power, Professor Berth Nnaji, in October, directed that PHCN workers who refused to subject themselves to the biometrics verification would not receive their salary from November. Adinuba, said the verification is on-going, adding that only those who complied with the directive would receive their November pay. “Verification exercise is ongoing in all the states. Jos PHCN workers have completed the exercise.Those who have completed theirs will receive their salary, while those who have not will not. But we hope that all will be completed soonest,’’ he said. Nnaji said there is the need to subject the workers to biometrics verification based on the agreement reached with the union to increase the workers’ salaries by 50 per cent. He said the exercise had commenced before the union stopped the process, adding that the verification would facilitate payment of three months areas of June, July and August which have accumulated to N9 billion.



BUSINESS NEWS Airtel invests $600m in network capacity, quality

Rating of SMEs ready next year, says DG


IRTEL Networks Limited, has in vested over $600million in the past one year to expand the capacity and enhance the robustness of its network. The company’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Mr. Deepak Srivastava, announced the investment during a visit by some telecoms journalists to Airtel’s newly inaugurated Green-Site in Lekki, Lagos, yesterday. At a brief parley after the media tour, Srivastava recalled that Airtel recently announced a landmark deal with Ericsson to upgrade 250 diesel powered stations in Nigeria to Green-sites, an initiative designed to enable the company harness solar energy to operate its base stations. According to the Chief Operating Officer, the Green-Sites will contribute to a considerable reduction of CO2 emissions and prevent network outages associated with inconsistent power supply. Srivastava regretted that non-availability of regular grid power supply to sites across the country is responsible for over 70 per cent of down time resulting in poor QoS, adding that the Green-Site would go a long way in addressing this critical challenge.

By Daniel Essiet


• From left: Head of Corporate Affairs Communication and Marketing, Lekki Concession Company Limited, Mr Charles Imevbore; Managing Director, Lekki Concession Company Limited, Mr Opuiyo Oforiokuma; Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Hon Aderemi Lateef Ibirogba and Director-General, Public Private Partnership Office, Lagos State, Ayo Gbeleyi, during the tour of alternative route and press conference …yesterday. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

World Bank votes N29.4b for rural transport T HE World Bank has un veiled plans to support Nigeria’s rural Access and mobility Project with N29, 450,000,000. The funds would be used to provide good transport system in rural area in a bid to fast-track easy mobility of agricultural produce. The World Bank Transport Specialist, Engr. Tunji Ahmed disclosed these yesterday at a workshop on Development of Rural Travel and Transport Programme (RTTP) implementation plan in Abuja. He added that the project would

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

be implemented in Six states, including, Adamawa, Niger, Enugu, Osun, Cross river, and Kaduna State. He said that the World Bank was collaborating with Nigeria in order to provide good roads so as to assist farmers to transport their goods. Ahmed, who disclosed that 448km of rural road had been

constructed in Kaduna state, expressed satisfaction on the ongoing project in the state. In his remark, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said that the growth of national economy depends to a large extent on stimulation of the rural economy and enhancement of the income and standard of living of the majority of the population. “The federal government is

determined to actualise these noble objectives of the National Rural Travel and Transport Policy because in a vast country like Nigeria where 80% of the population live and derive their subsistence on rural farming and other nonfarm income generating activities, socio-economic development and growth of the national economy depends to a very large extent on stimulation of the rural economy and enhancement of the income and standard of living of the majority of the population,” he said.

Only 10% Nigerians are employed annually, says NDE


TATISTICS have shown that the federal govern ment and few private sector employers can only absorb 10 per cent of about 138,000 graduates of universities and tertiary institutions annually. The Director General, NDE, Mallam Abubakar Mohommmed disclosed this during the anniversary lecture marking the Silver Jubilee of the NDE in Abuja. He said that the NDE seeks to re-orient youths from being job seekers to employers of labour. Mohommmed said: “This figure excludes products of our secondary school system who either were unable to secure admission into any institution of higher learning or may

From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

have dropped out of school system altogether. “The NDE has been addressing the challenges of unemployment in Nigeria despite the ever changing variables within the unemployment environment. “Through the instrument of vocational skill training, entrepreneurship business training, training in modern and profitable agricultural practices, provision of transient jobs, construction and maintenance of public infrastructure as well as numerous collaborative efforts with both public and private sector organization and NGOs.”

‘Nigeria, others to receive $350b in remittances’


EMITTANCE flows to developing countries including Nigeria are expected to total $351 billion this year. Worldwide remittances, including those to high-income countries, will also reach $406 billion for the current calendar year, according to a newly updated World Bank brief on global migration and remittances. The top recipients of officially recorded remittances, estimated for 2011, are India ($58 billion), China ($57 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), and the Philippines ($23 billion). Other large recipients include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, Egypt and Lebanon. While the economic slowdown is dampening employment prospects for migrant

By Akinola Ajibade

workers in some high-income countries, global remittances, nevertheless, are expected to stay on a growth path and, by 2014, are forecast to reach $515 billion. Of that, $441 billion will flow to developing countries, according to the latest issue of the Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, released today at the fifth meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Geneva. “Despite the global economic crisis that has impacted private capital flows, remittance flows to developing countries have remained resilient, posting an estimated growth of 8 percent in 2011,” said Hans Timmer, Director of the Bank’s Development Prospects Group.

COMPREHENSIVE database, rating mi cro, small and medium enterprises in the country will be ready by the first quarter of next year. The project is a collaborative effort between the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Muhammed Umar said the work will determine the number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) their contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment generation as well as to exports in a comprehensive rating database is expected to be ready by the first quarter of next year. Umar disclosed this at the SMEDAN Headquarters Abuja, while receiving a team from the Deutcshe Gesellschaft fur I n t e r n a t i o n a l e Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German organisation working on a private-sector development programme named Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria (SEDIN), who presented him with an enterprise survey report in three selected states of Nigeria. He challenged other agencies of government to forge partnerships with SMEDAN to fast track the development of the SME subsector to rid the country of unemployment and poverty, saying that the challenge to achieving the objectives of Vision 20:2020 did not lie in the number of agencies of government mandated to ensure its success, but in their commitment and willingness to forge a common front and complement one another in carrying out their various mandates. ”No matter how excellent government’s policies are”, he enthused, “success cannot be achieved if relevant stakeholders do not come together to make it work. This is why SMEDAN welcomes collaborations with other agencies that share our passion to achieve positive change in transforming our economy to a more vibrant one”.

Reps to probe private refinery licences From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja


ISTURBED by the anxiety generated by the proposed removal of subsidy on petroleum products, the House of Representatives has expressed its disappointment with the state of licenses issued by the Federal Government for the establishment of private refineries in the country. Consequently, the lawmakers have directed its committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to conduct and investigating into the issuance as well as delays in completion of construction and commencement of refining crude oil in the country.






Vol 3 No. 153

When it comes to the highly profitable and fast growing international premium beer segment of the Nigerian market, Heineken has no competitor. Indeed, if the brand had decided just to focus on managing its distribution chain, its position would remain unshakable. However, just like an athlete who wins the 100 metres finals in the Olympics decides to take a victory lap of honour to savour his victory, most analysts see the innovative introduction of Heineken Magnum as nothing but a victory lap. WALE ALABI writes.

Heineken Magnum: Unveiling a premium brand T

HE resolve to further strengthen Heineken’s leadership position in the Nigerian market by the Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) was marked with the unveiling of Heineken Magnum to consumers and other stakeholders in the central, eastern and southern regions of Nigeria. This new product is part of a brand proposition designed to ensure that Heineken remains connected to the classy and upwardly mobile consumers. The events, which held on separate dates at Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt, Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu and Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, attracted many people. The southern region, made up of Port Harcourt, Owerri, Aba and Uyo, was represented at the launch of Magnum, which was colourful with high expectations and enthusiasm from the guests. Hubert Eze, NB Plc Sales Director, took the consumers through the innovative processes and journey, which led to the new product attributing the outstanding mileage to the support the company enjoys from its customers and distributors. “Heineken Magnum is an innovation that has never been seen in this market before. “It is the one and only beer in Nigeria that ‘pops.’ I hereby present this unique innovation to you, Magnum will be suitable for the forthcoming celebrations of Christmas and New Year,” he said. The reason for this gathering is because Port Harcourt is significant to Nigerian Breweries distribution chain.” The coal city unveiling, which held at the prestigious Nike Lake Resort, Enugu witnessed distributors and consumers from Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States. Mr Eze also took them through the process of the brand berthing there. The new product was launched using hip-hop dancers that exhibited the versatility and creativity of the company in their dance steps. NB guaranteed its distributors and consumers of the continuous production of high quality drinks that meet international standards. In Abuja unveiling, which held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Eze said: “For the first time Nigerian Breweries is bringing something new that hasn’t been seen in the country. The Heineken Magnum is a 150cl of Heineken premium lager beer in a uniquely designed proprietary bottle with a cork. This makes it the only beer that ‘pops’ in the world, this innovation allows Nigerians to share a beer for the first time and can be used for all celebrations.” Jacqueline Van Faassen, Senior Brand Manger, Heineken added that Magnum contains the same high quality premium Heineken beer and should be served in ice in a Heineken ice bucket and served with Heineken “prestige” glasses to give that super premium impression and perfect serve. The mother of all the unveiling took place on Friday, November 11, this year. Heineken Magnum and two other new products were unveiled in Lagos in a colourful event tagged, The Hat Trick. Indeed, the unveiling of Heineken Magnum, appropriately dubbed “the only beer that pops”was the climax of the entertainment. Heneiken Magnum comes in the shape of a classic champagne bottle complete with cork and cage seal. Nigeria’s pop sensation, Tuface Idibia and MI (Mr Incredible) thrilled guests. Jacco Van der Linden, Marketing Director NB, said: “Heineken Magnum, which comes in 150cl non-returnable unique and innovative bottle, allows consumers in Nigeria to share a beer for the first time. Since 2003, Heineken has been the No. 1 international premium lager, in the highly profitable and fast growing international premium segment within the Nigerian market.” He added that Magnum contains the same high quality premium Heineken beer and should be served in a special bucket filled with ice and with a special Heineken glass to give that super premium satisfaction. Already, the excellent product

•From left: Mr Hubert Eze, Sales Director; Mr Opeyemi Oluwalusi, Regional Business Manager, Enugu; Mr Tony Agenmonmen, Marketing Manager, Alcoholic drinks, Nigerian Breweries Plc, at the unveiling of Heineken Magnum in Enugu.

packaging of Magnum is an instant hit and has been eliciting excitement from consumers. Seun Ajayi, a Lagos-based event executive, said the packaging of the Heineken Magnum “is way out of this clime and the taste is still the same, which is a great plus for NB. No doubt, Magnum can be offered events , such as birthdays, parties and weddings. The only challenge to me may be availability, which gladly Nigerian Breweries assured at the launch in Lagos that would not be an issue. The bottom-line is that NB has hit the bulls’ eye.” Jide Sobajo, banker applauded the trendy champagne-like packaging which is unique alongside the same premium taste of Heineken. Ayoade Adegbite, an oil and gas executive, says the Heineken Magnum is a nice and classy innovation that caught his attention instantly. “I believe without doubt that this will be an instant hit with upwardly mobile Nigerians; even those who are aspirational and have not ‘got there yet’ can still make do with Magnum.” Jide Owolabi, an IT consultant, said:“Heineken Magnum with its unique packaging is an excellent case study of how to woo customers; even those who do not drink have told me they love the packaging which I believe is a big plus for Nigerian Breweries. Magnum is really the perfect beer to celebrate with.” Ayo Adeyinka, a banker, also applauded the Magnum as “very innovative and challenging to other lager beer brands. I hope they will not run other beer drinks out of the market?” Moses Peter, an Insurance broker, was also “caught off guard by the attractive bottle.” Akinwande Yemi, a wine dealer equally applauded the bottle as “a great concept, this is the first beer ever coming up with a champagne feel. I love it.” Deji Ige, an engineer, on the other hand, said: “Well, to be honest, I have not physically seen it yet, but I have seen the newspaper ad of the drink. It looks to me like a champagne although it states that it is a beer. From the ad I saw on paper, it looks really attractive and the bottle is big. I feel it would be something I would want to have a taste of when I lay my hands on it.” Apart from producing quality products, NB is also a socially responsible corporate organisation with a good track record of corporate social initiatives in identified and stra-

‘Indeed the unveiling of Heineken Magnum, appropriately dubbed “the only beer that pops” was the climax of the highly entertaining. Heneiken Magnum comes in the shape of a classic champagne bottle complete with cork and cage seal’

tegic areas. The brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility is driven by a vision to always “Win with Nigeria”. Over the years, it has been very active in supporting national development aspirations in line with its commitment to “Winning with Nigeria”. The brand has continued to identify and respond to major challenges confronting Nigeria through its huge corporate social investments, especially in the areas of education, the environment, water, youth empowerment, talent development and sports, among others. The brand in 1994 established an Education Trust Fund with a take-off grant of N100 million to take more active part in the funding of educational and research activities in institutions of higher learning – all in an effort to provide and encourage academic excellence in the country. This is in addition to its secondary and university scholarship programmes for children of its employees.Nigerian Breweries Plc is the foremost sponsor of sports in the country with its tentacles covering football, athletics, tennis, cycling, chess, golf, squash, dart, sailing and “Ayo”, a traditional sport, among others. The aim is to develop sportsmen and women to participate in national and international sports, and boost the sports profile of the country.The company is also involved in the development of leadership, musical and movie talents, through various programmes. Some of these activities are captured in the company’s Social and Environmental Report. As a result of these track records, NB Plc has won several awards as a mark of its good performance in various spheres. The brand has won the prestigious Nigerian Stock Exchange President’s Merit award for several years. For three consecutive years (2001, 2002 and 2003), it has won the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Quoted Company of the year award. It has also won the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) awards for its various products. Also, for four years (1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005), the firm won Gold in the keenly contested Africa Beer Award organised by Heineken for its operating companies in Africa and the Middle East. In 2002, Nigerian Breweries Plc won the Heineken Business Challenge Award (also known as the Heineken World Cup), a major competition organised for all Heineken operating companies in the world. In 2003, the company was declared Excise Trader of the Year, an award given by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for a company’s contribution to government’s treasury. Last year, Nigerian Breweries won the prestigious Pearl award for Sectoral Leadership in the Brewery Sector. In the same year, Star, Nigeria’s favourite lager and Maltina, the nation’s No 1 malt drink, were awarded prizes for their innovative Television Commercials at the Lagos Advertising Ideas Festival organised by the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN). These are in addition to several awards from philanthropic organisations, clubs, institutions and government agencies.




LG Electronics is Global Innovator of the Year


G Electronics has been named the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovator of the year. It is being recognised for its achievements as one of the world’s most innovative companies. Thomson Reuters is a leading provider of intellectual property solutions and information. It analyses patent data and related metrics in a proprietary methodology to identify the most influential organisations globally. The Top Global Innovators evaluates performance in three areas: companies that invent on a significant scale, work on developments that are acknowledged as innovative by others around the world, and whose inventions are globally protected due

to their importance. In recognition of this award, the Managing Director, LG Electronics, West Africa Operations, Mr Jaeyoung Lee, said: ‘’We are pleased to be named among the top 100 innovators for 2011. Being named in this category by a reputable organisation, such as Thomson Reuters is not a small achievement. This, we believe, is coming on the heels of our brand promise and philosophy of making available innovative products that meet and suits the needs of our esteemed consumers.” Speaking further, Lee said this has given his firm a renewed commitment of not only producing products with cutting edge technology, but also ensuring that consumers are given

the best value for their money. “Innovation is a means of growth and prosperity for companies seeking to overcome sluggish economies and achieve competitive advantages,” said David Brown, the President of the IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters. “We salute the Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovator companies and their leaders for the innovative spirit they foster and their commitment to protecting intellectual assets.” LG was named by Jeffries & Co., a global securities and investment banking group, the world leader in LTE patents. This was based on its analysis of 1,400 LTE patents that the investment bank categorised as “essential.”

MTN, Coca-Cola set for ‘Hope TN and Coca-Cola NiGreat Walk’ geria, major sponsors of the annual ‘Hope Walk’


are collaborating with Hope Worldwide Nigeria to mobilise 10,000 volunteer participants for this year’s ‘Hope Work’ slated for Saturday, December 3. The theme of this year’s Walk is ‘Support a child, build a great nation’. The 10-kilometre Hope Walk, which first held in 1998 as a walk for sport in Lagos, now holds as a national event spanning other major cities of Nigeria including PortHarcourt, Calabar, Owerri, Sokoto, Ilorin, Ibadan, Benin, Okene, Gombe will start from Maryland Comprehensive High School, Ikeja to Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Speaking at a press conference to announce the date and logistic arrangements for this year’s Hope Walk, the Chief Executive Officer of Hope Worldwide Nigeria Mr. Olaoshebikan Clement said that arrangements are concluded to insure

that this year’s Hope Walk is hitch free and turns out to be a huge success like the previous ones. He said that, security has been put in place to scan the stretch of Ikorodu road and that experts have been involved to ensure free flow of traffic and guard against accident. According to him, the goal of the Hope Walk held annually for the past ten years is to sensitize Nigerians generally and the policy makers particularly to the plight of the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC). “We also want to mobilize Nigerians to this work to raise funds towards meeting the educational, health, nutritional and psychosocial needs of these children. “The walk itself is not for fund raising - but it is the platform we use to raise awareness that draws the attention of prospective sponsors including corporate bodies and individuals, policy makers and the general public.”

Branding must create value, says expert


HE Chief Executive Officer of USP Brand Management, Muyiwa Kayode, has said for a campaign to be termed as a branding effort, it must possess a value creating vision as well as be people-oriented. He disclosed this in Lagos at a prelaunch media chat of his forthcoming work, The Seven Dimensions of Branding, a book on brand building from the African perspective. He said the book was inspired due to the dearth of branding books written from the African angle and to

•From left: Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe; Managing Director, LG Electronics, West Africa Operations, Mr Jeayoung Lee and a scholarship awardee, a 500 level Engineering student, Samuel Obinna Ekwo, at the launch of LG Electronics Scholarship Scheme in UNILAG.


Firm empowers eCommerce merchants in Africa

LOBAL Switch (G-switch) hana’s leading independent inter-bank electronic payment processing firm, powered by Clydestone, is partnering with Cardinal Commerce Corporation to integrate its technologies on its switch, and empower merchants in Africa to accept 3-D Secure authentication services. With this partnership, G-switch would deploy G-secure by leveraging on Cardinal’Authentication Platform, which enables financial institutions to authenticate customers for eCommerce transactions using Verified-byVisa, MasterCard SecureCode or secure access for online banking applications. According to a statement by

Clydestone’s Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Jacquaye, G-secure will enable authentication for proprietary cards of G-switch member banks. “G-secure will offer merchants the ability to accept payments on their websites by leveraging on Cardinal’s Centinel technology, a unique patented platform that allows several thousands of eCommerce merchants worldwide to accept a variety of authenticated payments, secure transactions, and alternative payment brands on Gswitch,” he said. Clydestone also would offer services via Centinel to several international airlines operating in Africa, as well as enable any bank, retailers,

hospitality outlet, government entity and or mobile service provider. The firm said online merchants can also capitalise on the convenience, security, and consumer growth this new technology will provide. Jacquaye said the G-secure platform is “up and running” and that the company is signing banks and merchants onto it. Services available on the Internet merchant platform include a hosted checkout page, payment authorisation and settlement, recurring payments, 3-D Secure payment authentication, tokenisation. Additional features of the service include consolidated reporting and merchant administration user interface

Lowe Lintas wins LAIF grand prix


OWE Lintas has won the Grand Prix award at the Lagos Advertising & Ideas Festival (LAIF) Awards. The agency won the highly coveted award, which is the overall best advertisement in the country for each year, with the groundbreaking STAR 50 th

Independence Anniversary television commercial aptly entitled: ‘Sunrise to Sunset’. The STAR commercial was also the Gold Winner in the Drinks & Beverages Category at the LAIF Awards. “In STAR Sunrise to Sunset, we follow the journey to accessing our

national pride through our hero, the STAR deliveryman and his truck. “It is a very contemporary take on those iconic and historic events that are vintage Nigeria; an aweinspiring recreation of the country’s glorious past and present, replete with euphoria and national pride, said the firm.“

correct the misconception about branding and advertising. Kayode added that branding is about creating value, which is value proposition, a key component of the branding process. “And it actually holds the key to most of our problems,” he said, adding, “Branding begins with vision. If you want to create vision, your vision must create value. As a president, I may say that I do not want beggars on the street, and that is the vision and we begin to take steps towards it.”

WAMCO introduces new peak


ORMOST milk producers FrieslandCampina WAMCO has returned from the drawing board with a product that is spiced with the right nutrients beneficial to its numerous customers. Speaking on the extra fortified Peak, its Managing Director, Mr Bob Statescamp said: “It gives you extra endurance and alertness. For this, we take into account the recommended intakes for individuals, what we call the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI). “Take, for example, the new additions of Folic Acid and Vitamin B 12. Next to all other nutrients, these are highly beneficial to our consumers”. He explained the need for folic acid saying: “It is an important nutrient in many processes in the body. Folic acid is a B vitamin that the body needs to make new cells. This also applies to red blood cells. In the body, not much folic acid is stored. To stay healthy, you often need fresh foliate in your diet, and this has been introduced in it. According to the Nigeria Food Consumption and Nutrition Survey 2001–2003, the availability of several foods in Nigeria is insecure. Even food consumption surveys in Europe, like in the Netherlands (2003), have revealed that people in average are not getting the recommended daily amount of folic acid. “To make red blood cells, folic acid is necessary. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and other tissues in the body. “For muscles, this means good

•Statescamp By Janice Nkoli Ifeme

blood circulation and function of the muscle tissue. It helps to repair damaged tissues in the body. Blood transports all the necessary nutrients to the muscles for optimal growth and repair. So folic acid supports muscles performance. It also protects the heart and help blood circulate well, thus supporting a good body performance”. On Vitamin B12, he said: “Cow milk can be regarded as a very good source of Vitamin B12. It plays a special role in mental performance. However, its effect is enhanced in co-administration with folic acid”. He noted that the enhancement was to increase its nutritional relevance extra benefits through the addition of ingredients to further strengthen its brand positioning: stronger bodies and sharper minds.

‘To make red blood cells, folic acid is necessary. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and other tissues in the body’



La Casera at 10


N the past few weeks, Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited, one of the leading players in the carbonated soft drink sector of the market and the first company to produce soft drink in PET bottles in the country, has rolled out the drums to mark the 10th Anniversary of its brand - La Casera. Over the years, La Casera has built a strong brand equity through various consumer engagements and support programmes. Its flagship brand La Casera Apple flavor has built and maintained a position as one of the leading brands among consumer soft drink choices, experiencing strong demand and visibility. La Casera is available in Apple, Cream Soda, Classic Cocktail and Spanish Pear flavours. Since its inception, Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited has built an effective business relationship with its trade partners by helping them to make profit whilst also rewarding their efforts. Recently at the Dealer’s Conference, the firm rewarded over 214 dealers with 65 cars, including overseas trips, while others won prizes, such as laptops, computers, and motorcycles. As part of the anniversary, a new logo and world class ‘Ice Feel’ bottle were unveiled at a launch with the company’s stakeholders including key distributors, dealers, top government officials, notable public figures and consumers in attendance. The event held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos last week. The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited, Mr Prahlad Gangadharan, said: “With the new Ice Feel bottle La Casera has once again blazed the trail and recorded another remarkable milestone in the CSD sector in Nigeria having pioneered the PET bottle in 2001”. “We have rebranded La Casera with the introduction of the new ‘Ice Feel’ bottle as part of the 10th anniversary as a way to say thank you to our numerous consumers and give them something new to cheer about,” he said. Prahlad also noted that the launch is very symbolic as it coincides with the 10th Anniversary of the brand. He added that series of thrilling activities have been lined up for the celebration. On the success of the brand, Prahlad stated that the brand has grown to become an iconic brand. He expressed the company’s appreciation to relevant stakeholders including, CBNL Employees, Trade partners as well as the consumers. Also speaking at the launch, the General Manager, Marketing, CBTI Mr Dave van Rensburg, explained that the new ‘Ice Feel’ bottle for La Casera was developed after intensive research and consumers feedback, which revealed that the old bottle was losing its appeal among consumers and a need for change in packaging for the brand.

Rensburg described the new ‘Ice Feel’ bottle as a revolutionary innovation which will further reinstate La Casera’s leadership position and increase brand equity in the carbonated soft drink market in Nigeria. The special guest of honour at the launch event, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Mrs. Olusola Oworu congratulated Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited on the new bottle for La Casera. She commended it for locating their business in Lagos and reiterated the government’s commitment to the growth of industries in Lagos State Mrs. Owuru restated the commitment of the Governor Babatunde Fashola-led administration in Lagos to ensure that investors in the state are provided with an enabling business environment to operate. She cited the expansion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway as one of such projects that will bring relief to investors and make it easy for export to other West African countries. The brand ambassador and reigning Miss La Casera, Miss Nwando Ebeledike, was also at the event and endorsed the new ‘Ice Feel’ bottle, describing it as a trendy and consumer friendly bottle. As part of its goals to connect with its consumers and add value to the environment in which it operates, the company has been in the frontline of supporting beauty pageants in Nigeria since 2007, by crowning their brand ambassador known as Miss La Casera. It also utilises the platform as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle to reach out to the less privileged and the needy in the society. Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited has been partnering with the Silverbird Group to promote the Most Beautiful Girl beauty pageant in Nigeria (MBGN). This fascinating deal involves a cash prize and lots of other benefits from the company. The reigning brand ambassador and Miss La Casera, Miss Ebeledike, crowned in June, is a graduate of the London Business School. The firm has also won some awards including the African Directing Marketing Award as the finest soft drink manufacturer in 2007, MAN Award as first runner-up for the “Best Kept Industrial Premises in Lagos”October 2011, second to Nigeria Breweries and the NIS and SON product certification in 2008 & 2010.

‘With the new Ice Feel bottle La Casera has once again blazed the trail and recorded another remarkable milestone in the CSD sector in Nigeria having pioneered the PET bottle in 2001’

Wish list


HAT is your wish? What would you really want to accomplish? What is that thing that has been on your wish list for a long, long time? Is it to attend Harvard or Cambridge to study leadership and governance? Pay a courtesy visit to the Queen of England? Have a dinner with President Barak Obama? Sing a duet with Tuface? If none of these meet your wish, let’s examine the wish list of a friend. In a leatherbound diary, she has a list of the things she would like to do within ten years. Mind you, she did not call this list a goal. It is a wish list. In other words, all the things listed in her diary do not have to come true. If she could actualise some, it would be a big break. Otherwise, she would have accomplished her mission of stretching her imaginations to the hilt. Ok, this is without her permission, though. But she would not mind. Who knows, this might encourage her to go and conquer the world. Anyway, a wish is a longing, and only a fraction of the world’s population realises their wishes. One does not, at this juncture, implies that our friend would or could not fulfill her wish. It is just that… This is our friend’s wish list. It may inspire you to make your make your own wish list. Our friend wants to set the world record by being the oldest woman to run and win as a bobsledder in the winter Olympics (on ice!). That is a wish. This is a fact: she has never lived anywhere that it snowed. She used to be a sprinter. She is not getting younger. She has not practiced for years. However, to compete in the bobsled you must participate in the 30 metres, 60 metres, 100 metres, five consecutive hops, vertical jump, and shot put toss. This is her resolve: Under her wish list, she wrote this word: “I would rather find a way or make one”. Do not scoff at her aspiration. It is a wish, after all. And a wish is a dream. It is not a reality. You do not have to realise your wish, do you? Before you muster an answer, let’s look at what another friend wished for. This nerd was one of the first set of users to carry around the first-generation iPod, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. Since then, he has upgraded to a 2007 model boasting a 160-gigabyte hard drive that can hold 5,231 songs, 141 videos, and 228 podcasts. That is not enough for him. So he reasoned that since Apple is prepared to lower the sales of what its “pocket products,” Apple’s energy is going to be devoted to the iPod touch, the most advanced and versatile version of the iPod.He therefore predicted that one of the first casualties of Apple’s emphasis will be the hard drive-based iPod classic. His reason?

•From left: Executive Head, Network Services, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Mr Vernon Van Rooyen; Executive Head, Legal & Regulatory Services, Mrs. Nkechi Newton-Denila; Managing Director, Mr Guy Clarke, and Executive Head, Sales & Marketing, Mr Zakari Usman, at the company’s press conference in Lagos.

Flash memory is cheaper. It consumes less power. It resists abuse better than hard drives. As such, the future is high-capacity iPods that would most likely be based on flash. Besides, you can also expect a more advanced version of the iPod touch. The next iPod touch will come with 64GB of flash memory. It is a wish. According to him, since the iPod runs virtually on the same applications that the iPhone does, then the iPod touch will take on more hardware features to accommodate applications. Aside from music and video, it’s now already marketed as a handheld gaming machine, a communications device, and a handheld Web device. In a limited way, it can even be used for navigation.Over time, the iPod touch will do even more. Consider its appeal if Apple were to add a microphone that lets you make calls on Skype (eBAY) or other Internet-calling services, without the need for the awkward headset that’s required for such calls now. You could talk on it as if it were an iPhone, and the microphone would put in double duty for simple audio recordings like meetings, lectures, and voice memos. As a wish, he wants the iPod touch to have a camera, too. Is there any reason why that camera can’t be better than the one in the iPhone? The answer is no. Why? The latest iPhone 3GS has a 3-megapixel camera sensor, while the latest phones from Nokia have an 8-megapixel sensor. So, Apple could split the difference and give the touch a 5- or 6-megapixel sensor, giving it the ability to take really gorgeous pictures. And if the iPod touch has a camera, then it should support video. All that added memory leaves plenty of room for clips, and the Wi-Fi connection makes it easy to send them directly to YouTube and other video-sharing sites. And while Apple has resisted adding memory-card slots to its handhelds in the past, now that the Mac has a slot for SD memory cards, is there any reason the iPod touch (and for that matter a future model of the phone) can’t have a slot for Mini-SD cards for added storage capacity?As part of his wish, he would also want Apple’s lineup that can help him get from one place to another. Then, why not add a GPS chipset, and let the iPod touch becomes a full-fledged personal navigation device? The touch’s limited navigation features currently only work when Wi-Fi is present. This is fine when you’re in a city, but no help when you’re on the road. With excellent personal navigation devices from Garmin and TomTom, why consider navigation a premium, iPhone-only feature?However, Apple answers that question, what’s clear is that traditional versions of the device are a thing of the past—and future iterations will have a long and vibrant future. Ah, ah, it is a wish. It is just a wish. What is your own wish?

‘Anyway, a wish is a longing, and only a fraction of the world’s population realises their wishes ... As a wish, he wants the iPod touch to have a camera, too. Is there any reason that camera can’t be better than the one in the iPhone? The answer is no. Why?’

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Human Relations Executive - Owolabi Afolabi *Operations Executive - Isiaka Hassan *Creative - Oluwaseyi Sulaimon*Front Office Executive - Blessing Nkeanya * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Drumbeat Media and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. Corporate Suite: 20 Akinremi Street, off Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, , e-mail: © All rights reserved.







Failed ambush • The triumph of Tinubu over the CCB exposed the prosecutors as not pursuing the common good E identify with the age-long aphorism that a house built on foundation of quick sands will fall like a pack of cards. This cliché remains germane in today’s Nigeria as the political snare robed in the garment of legalism against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State, by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), fell like a pack of cards that it was, exposing in the process, the hideous ulterior motive of the masterminds of the entire episode. Owing to Tinubu’s soaring profile as a leading national opposition figure in the country, the consensus in the court of public opinion was that the irascible Mohammed Adoke, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, acting the script of his paymasters, goaded the CCB to go


‘The Tinubu trial at the CCT exposes the lack of respect of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration for the rule of law. The current system has gone overboard by acting without remorse and outside the purview of legal stipulations. We thought that a matter must only be pursued by the state on its merit and in the overall national interest’

after the national leader of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). In September when the matter came up for hearing before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja, Tinubu was charged for sundry offences, including mainly, the operation of 10 dormant foreign accounts while in office as Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007.The three-man tribunal, through a ruling delivered by its chairman, Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar at its third sitting, dismissed the charges for flagrant abuse of court processes. The tribunal agreed with the contention that the CCB was wrong for not inviting Tinubu before arraigning him before the tribunal, an act that infracted on Section 3 of the CCB and Tribunal Act which provides: “where the person concerned makes a written admission of such breach or non-compliance, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary”. Such invitation ought to be the mandatory condition precedent before any complaint can be referred by the CCB to the tribunal. The CCB and its promoters, in their haste to achieve their malicious goal of getting Tinubu convicted at all cost failed to comply with the letters and spirit of this provision. Curiously too, the same CCB exhibited double standards when it invited People’s Democratic Party (PDP) former governors accused of similar offences. The CCB could not establish a prima facie case against Tinubu since no evidence of proof or affidavit was attached or is-

sued to the court. The charges were defectively and shoddily presented. The Tinubu trial at the CCT exposes the lack of respect of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration for the rule of law. The current system has gone overboard by acting without remorse and outside the purview of legal stipulations. We thought that a matter must only be pursued by the state on its merit and in the overall national interest. Unfortunately, this was not the situation in the case under focus, as other interests that are obviously parochial were being served in the way and manner the case was pursued by Adoke, injuring the image of the country in the process. We salute the opposition for standing by Tinubu throughout this illconceived case. The progressives by their admirable fraternity in this case have opened a new judicial frontier that any unjust onslaught against any of their members will not stand the test of legal scrutiny. We commend the tribunal members for being audacious enough to deliver an intrepid ruling. The nation’s democracy needs more of such ruling to survive the malicious vents of reactionary forces who, from time to time, might attempt to use the courts to settle political scores. We restate that the Tinubu trial is not a legal and reasonable one but a political trial that was not pursued for any common good.

Kogi polls • Efforts must be done to make the polls free and fair


RDINARILY, people should not lose sleep simply because an election is approaching. But that is in normal climes where there are structures that work. Elections are like war in Nigeria, and for obvious reasons. Perhaps this was the reason why the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had to assure that tomorrow’s governorship election in Kogi State would be rigging-free. The commission said it has blocked all loopholes that might be exploited by any of the stakeholders who might want to abuse the process. As a matter of fact, INEC’s director of public affairs, Mr Emmanuel Umenger, had to take time to explain measures so far taken by the commission to ensure free and credible election; measures that in many other

‘Not even the last general elections in the country could compare with that historic poll annulled by the Babangida regime, but we still celebrated them all the same because of their relative credibility. We need to consolidate on this and one way to do that is to ensure that the outcome of tomorrow’s election reflects the wishes of the people of Kogi State’

places would be taken for granted. He spoke about the use of constituentspecific ballot box with ballot papers distributed according to constituencies thus, making it impossible for people to take ballot papers from one constituency to the other. “They are coded and coloured in such a way that once you look at them, you would know that this ballot paper belongs to this constituency or that constituency. I think we have 21 local government areas in the state. “Within each of the local governments, ballot papers are taken to individual polling stations and on the eve of the election, sharing of ballot papers will be done in the presence of the political parties”, he said. He reeled out a number of other reassuring measures which normally should be enough to put our minds at rest that the elections would be free and fair. Indeed, INEC, on its part, at least on the surface appears set to conduct the polls, given the preparations it claimed to have made. Yet, no one can bet his or her life on it that these measures in themselves are enough to ensure hitch-free election tomorrow. For instance, we cannot vouch for the neutrality of the state police command in this matter. The command has become particularly notorious for its eagerness to do the bidding of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). We recall the recent arrests of some members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) from Osun State who were travelling

to Abuja for an event, by men of the state police command. The criticisms had hardly died down when the officers and men of the command meted a similar treatment to some supporters of Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State who were also travelling to Abuja. The ACN is the formidable challenger that the ruling party in the state has to contend with in tomorrow’s election. Given this penchant of the state police command for intolerance of perceived opposition, either to the president or the ruling party, it will be interesting to see how policemen in the state would handle security matters tomorrow, having already given themselves out as unreliable and biased. All said, we need to remind all parties that tomorrow’s election is crucial to the development of the democratic process in the country. For too long, we have groped in electoral darkness until the June 12, 1993 election won by Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Abiola. Not even the last general elections in the country could compare with that historic poll annulled by the Babangida regime, but we still celebrated them all the same because of their relative credibility. We need to consolidate on this and one way to do that is to ensure that the outcome of tomorrow’s election reflects the wishes of the people of Kogi State. All eyes are on us and we cannot afford to let them down.

Will Egypt’s generals respect the power of the vote?


GYPT’S FIRST PARLIAMENTARY election since last winter’s revolution has gotten off to a promising start. Despite 10 days of turmoil in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, long and peaceful lines of voters appeared Monday and Tuesday in the capital and six other provinces — the first places to vote in a complex electoral process that will stretch across two dozen days between now and March. There were few reports of violence, and initial estimates suggested that turnout would far exceed that of the previous, rigged elections during the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak. The full results of the vote won’t be known for some time, although well-organized Islamic parties, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, are widely expected to finish first. In the short term, the biggest winner will be Egypt’s ruling military council, which by staging an orderly and relatively free election in Cairo may have defused a new popular rebellion. Huge crowds that gathered in Tahrir Square last week and clashed bloodily with police and troops largely disappeared when the polls opened. Facing charges both at home and abroad that it was subverting a promised transition to democracy, the generals can now claim that the process is back on course. That claim could still prove deceptive. In addition to the more than 20 days of voting still to be managed, a successful election will require the military council to respect its results — which it has not yet committed to doing. The generals last week named a new prime minister — a 78-year-old veteran of the Mubarak regime — and have not yet agreed that the elected parliament will form its own cabinet. They are also attempting to reverse a constitutional amendment, ratified by a popular vote just eight months ago, that gave the new parliament authority to select the members of a constitution-writing committee. Their aim, council chief Gen. Mohammed Hussein Tantawi baldly stated in a news conference Sunday, is to ensure that the military’s power remains unchallenged in the new political order, even after the promised handover of authority to an elected president in June. A continuation of this week’s large and peaceful turnout in the next rounds of elections could check the military’s ambitions, by providing a popular mandate for the new parliament that is too strong to be ignored. The most likely result would be a coalition government of Islamic and secular forces, as has developed in Tunisia. But Gen. Tantawi and his council should also be getting a clear message from the Obama administration and Congress, which provide the Egyptian army with a large part of its funding. After resisting congressional efforts to condition that aid and responding weakly to the killing of dozens of protesters in Tahrir Square, the White House called last week for “the full transfer of power to a civilian government soon as possible.” An insistence on that formula will give Egypt its best chance at restoring stability and serve both the strategic interests and the values of the United States. – Washington Post

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IR: Rivers State is falling into a serious environmental chaos, even though the residents are calm and peace loving. Port Harcourt is not the entire Rivers State. Much work may be going on in the state capital; other parts of Rivers State are yet to feel the dividends of the government. It is not about ripping up and relaying kilometers of roads, but on sustainability. Our state needs healing! The government has only resorted to lionize every little change it says it made, while we cannot see anything. Governance should go beyond building roads, clinics, supply buses and what not, for the umpteenth time, without sustaining them.


Amaechi; it is the end that matters Roads are supposed to last a long time. But what we have in Rivers State are roads that get spoilt as soon as they are built. Did Governor Peter Odili not build roads and bridges? Wasn’t it Odili that built the Eastern Bypass? Did he not build a new Government House and BMS Hospital? Did he not start off Omoku Power Plant?

Did he not reactivate rail transport in Rivers State? If, with all these his administration was still seen as a corrupt, I don’t see what Amaechi has done to deserve anything beyond cautious optimism at this stage. The fact is, Nigerian leaders start well, but derail along the line. They see the beginning as what matters most, but to us it is the end

that matters. We are cautiously hopeful Amaechi will continue to work, but from our periscope, nothing more. It should revitalize its lost integrity and focus. Amaechi should sieve out weak-minded individuals who have caused a great deal of the mess in his government. He should learn from the Western

as empty as the empty shell of a land snail. How long we they continue to deceive us? The clinics in the rural areas do not have first aid equipment in this 21st century. Why do we have a government then? The Mother and Child Hospital is a good project. But then, how does it benefit the poor rural populace who live in areas that are not motorable; how will they get to Akure, the state capital? Our government is using our commonwealth to build market stalls in the remotest of all places that do not even have any commercial product to sell. Thanks to the ruggedness of our people, they have refused to use those stalls built with huge amount of money. Another testament of monumental waste. The people are tired of stalls. They need good hospitals, schools for

their kids to go, good roads to link them to the cities where they can sell their products and enjoy urban life. Qualified graduates cannot get jobs to do. It is as bad as this. The battle to salvage the state from the present plundering has begun.There is no point crying in the comfort of our homes. We all have to troop out and participate in the on-going political alignment and re-alignment of forces towards putting in place a decent and responsive government in 2013. It is not a one-man battle. All lovers of democracy must roll up their sleeves and come forward to rescue the state. Nothing is too big to save this our beloved sunshine state, where the sun of good governance has eluded us for sometime.

Ondo needs good governance


IR: Another election is fast approaching in Ondo State and all is not well at the moment. Enough of arm-chair criticism. It is time for action. The state is suffering from malaise of gross mismanagement of both material and human resources under the present political leadership whose moniker is inefficiency. The current government led by Dr Olusegun Mimiko, is hell-bent on seeking a second term so as to continue with his unprecedented under-performance. The indicators are there for any discernible individual and impartial political commentator to see that the man has not lived up to expectation. Not even the propaganda of his media strategists and sycophantic hagiographers will persuade the people of Ondo State to gift him a second term. Education that used to be our pride has been confined to a limbo. Our students no longer do well in national competitions and examinations because their schools have no functional libraries and well-equipped laboratories. The statistics are public documents for anybody to see. A visit to some of these public schools is enough reason to reject the incumbent. Teachers are not well-paid with little or no motivation to work. Yet, the government expects them to perform miracles! What is the place of a mega school when the existing schools are comatose and ramshackle? The mega school

project, ambitious as it may be, is an ill-timed project, white elephant meant to benefit his cronies. Only God knows the amount the project would have gulped now. The two universities are all what a standard university is not supposed to be. I pity those who go there to study sciences and engineering! Deserving students cannot even get decent bursary and scholarship to assist them in their educational pursuit. Once the education of the youths is atrophied, how will the state progress? Hospitals that are existing apart from lacking basic medical facilities, are under-staffed. At least, I can testify to this with the state of the so-called General Hospital in Igbotako, my hometown that has taken the state government three years to build. Apart from its gigantic perimeter fence, the inside is

• Akinboyo Temidayo Akure, Ondo State

world he travels a lot to, that roads and bridges and other infrastructures experiencing heavy traffic tend to show wear and tear after the first couple of weeks. But they are typically repaired after the first winter. Experts say that well built roads can last about 25 years or more. Is this true in Rivers State? Amaechi should start now to revisit all the projects he said that his administration had embarked on. The demolished and rebuilt drainage systems, clinics, schools and roads should be revisited. His tenure will soon end. He should know that those who today are benefitting from him are people that never believed he would be governor when it mattered most. Can they also be ready to defend him if the time comes? No one is perfect, though some think they are infallible. It is only those who love him that will tell him the truth. Someday, the truth of today will prevail. The case of a governor in the South-south should serve as an enough reminder. He should not leave a state that is falling apart to another administration. A solid project is not known by how many millions that were used in building them, but how solid it is. Millions of dollars of the people’s money should stop going to waste without any sign of relief in sight. Let whatever would be done, be done right. We need leaders who will lead us fine and not leaders who preach with the voice of Men of God, even when they display some obvious failings. • Odimegwu Onwumere Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Lagos ACN lauds Code of Conduct Tribunal IR: The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria applauds the Code of Conduct Tribunal for dismissing the charges brought up against the National Leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. By the ruling, the tribunal has demonstrated that justice is still obtainable even in an atmosphere of petty politics and funny contrivances. We are gladdened that the Code of Conduct Tribunal has dispensed justice without fear or favour in


this frivolous case, meant to slow down the desire to do away with the misrule of the PDP. We see this as a reinvigoration of that desire and state that nothing will stop our great party from its determination to replace the PDP, which has led the rapid degradation of governance in a well endowed country as Nigeria . By dismissing this frivolous case, nurtured and cooked in the chambers of vindictive and petty politics, the Code of Conduct Tribunal has shown a desire not to be em-

ployed as a hatchet to prosecute the selfish partisan battles of the PDP; we are happy that the tribunal is showing that signal at a crucial stage of our national life when the nation longs for a fresh air from 13 years of unmitigated misrule. We salute the courage of the members of the tribunal and we state that by this ruling, the tribunal has shown the way on an impartial approach to issues. We congratulate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his latest victory, which is just one out of the

strings of victories that he has recorded against those that hold Nigeria by the jugular. We salute his raw courage and audacity to lead the time honoured quest to rescue Nigeria from the hands of rapacious political predators that want to keep Nigeria hostage till eternity. We want him to see this as just the beginning of the battle for the soul of Nigeria , as we pledge our unalloyed support to him. • Joe Igbokwe. Lagos





Reality Bites T

Olatunji Ololade

HE Nigerian nation like the doornail is half-dead from the top. There is a patience of the wild that holds motionless for endless hours the motorist at the police checkpoint, the kidnapper in his lair, the assassin in his ambuscade and the public officer in his perch – this patience belongs primarily to the predator while it hunts its prey. Oftentimes, it manifests in uncontrollable spasms that have seen us bury our best and elevate our worst in abject negation of the cycle of the universe and morality. But who needs morals in a nation where fair is foul and foul remains fair? A great majority of Nigerians of commonplace roots live through each day without ever contemplating or criticizing their living conditions. They find themselves born into dehumanizing squalor or somewhat indecent circumstances and they accept such sordidness as their fate – thus they exhibit no conscious effort to better their lot beyond what their immediate circumstances dictate. Almost as impulsively as the beasts of the wild, they seek the satisfaction of the needs of the moment, without much forethought and consideration that by sufficient endeavor, they just might improve

their living conditions. However, a certain percentage – constituted by men and women of higher status among the nation’s working class – guided by personal ambition, consciously strive in thought and will to attain more privileged status that remains the exclusive preserve of more fortunate members of the society; but very few among these are concerned enough to secure for all, the advantages which they seek for themselves. This explains the number of self-centred and treacherous human rights activists, women’s rights activists, journalists and columnists parading our streets. Very few men are indeed capable of that kind of love that drives martyrs to persistently rebel against glaring social evils in the interest of less fortunate members of the society. But there exists a few however, that are truly bothered by the impoverishment of their fellow citizens occupying the lower rung of the societal ladder regardless of any risk or discomfort it might attract to them personally. These few, driven by compassion tirelessly seek, first in thought and then in action, for some way of escape; some new system of society by which life may become richer, more joyful and devoid of avertable

‘It is no surprise however that the Nigerian working class has persistently proved a dismal failure. And the reasons are hardly far-fetched: Nigerians have a problem with differentiating between appropriate and inappropriate political behavior


HAVE children of my own and I do not believe that they are entitled to anything better than you are entitled to. As long as I remain the governor of Lagos State, I will give you as much as I give my own children” -Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) addressing Lagos youths at a recent forum. One particular group of Lagosians that the Lagos State government is so passionate about is the youth. Having become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) at a relatively young age, the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fasola (SAN), is a believer in the capacity of the Nigerian youth to become the cornerstone of the nation’s quest for greatness. Hence, he has been using his mandate as the chief executive of the state largely to provide direction and give hope to the youth. One of his earliest actions as governor was the empowerment of the youth in the state which he did by providing vacation jobs to 2570 students on vacation in various ministries, parastatals and agencies of the state with a monthly stipend of N10,000 each. It is in furtherance of the effort to empower the youth, who are regarded as the hope and the future of every nation, that the Lagos State government has decided to institute yet another project which will offer young people with relevant skills that will help them start and successfully manage their businesses, or enhance their professionalism so that they can contribute productively to the organizations where they work. The problem of unemployment is not unique to Nigeria; it is a global problem, and being part of a global village, we cannot but share in the burden of the world. The implication of this is that the youth should not feel sorry for themselves by thinking that things are bad because they are Nigerians. It is with a view to driving this reality home that the Lagos State government established the Lagos Youth Stakeholders Forum. The main objective of the forum is to change the orientation of the youth by repositioning to face present day realities. The first edition of the forum was held in 2010 in collaboration with Afterschool Graduate Development Center, a social enterprise that seeks to achieve

End of the working class heroes (4) evils that mars the present. But surprisingly, such men oftentimes, fail to curry the support of the very victims of the injustices they wish to remedy. More unfortunate sections of the Nigerian population are hopelessly ignorant, apathetic from excess of toil and disillusionment, apprehensive through the imminent danger of instantaneous chastisement by the holders of power, and morally defective owing to the loss of selfrespect resulting from their degradation. To excite among such classes any conscious, deliberate effort in pursuit of general improvement of the status quo proves basically a hopeless task, as antecedents of such efforts have proven. Thus despite our claims to modernity, higher education, sophistication and relative rise in the standard of comfort among wage-earners in the country, the Nigerian society or working class to be precise, have failed woefully to achieve better living conditions and a better society even in the throes of rising demand for more radical intervention and reconstruction of the social order. It is no surprise however that the Nigerian working class has persistently proved a dismal failure. And the reasons are hardly far-fetched: Nigerians have a problem with differentiating between appropriate and inappropriate political behavior. That is why the nation’s democratic experiment like any other system of governance practicable by us was doomed from the start. What exactly has democracy offered? A 4-1-9 progressive plan that booms circumspectly like it had been doctored as part of a cold-war era propagandist scheme? But despite our self-righteousness and persistent cynicism with the current order, we really cannot explore a more worthy alternative than what we have now. The average Nigerian can’t bear to be led by a truly

honest, visionary and accountable leadership. That explains why we opted for the incumbent leadership. It’s the way we are programmed to live. I’d say we possess an overwhelming and oft-convincing inclination to self-destruct, thus our lack of a coherent and defensible political ideology essential to the evolution of a progressive leadership and state. The average Nigerian is no more electable than the leadership he endures yet he loves to speak truth to power even as he functions simultaneously to smother his own voice in the riotous gabble of his exultation of the same ruling class whose end he claims to pursue. No matter who is elected, the demographic and economic realities of Nigeria will persist, and there is a very limited range of politicallyviable solutions for dealing with them. No man; be he a distinguished columnist, lawyer, soldier, or public officer in any office can command the tides of history. The few that appear to have done so–the Napoleon’s, Caesar’s, Hitler’s–were really nothing more than the most capable at making it appear that they command the tides, when in fact they were simply skimming along with them. Thus the need for the Nigerian working class to consciously evolve in thought and will in pursuit of a more balanced social order. Such conscious evolution could only be achieved by a re-orientation in scholarship and purification of thought and action. The foundations of scholarship and knowledge must tirelessly reconstructed to guarantee more progressive responses to internal problems of social advance — problems of work and wages, of families and homes, of morals and the true value of life; and all these and other inevitable problems of civilization must be resolvable largely by an

Lagos and youth empowerment By Lateef Ibirogba national rebirth and social change in Nigeria. It featured formal presentation of the “Lagos State Ignite Enterprise and Employability project” to the public. The programme succeeded in getting 495 graduates converted to education line and gainfully employed as teachers in the state. The second edition of the forum was equally hosted by the state government with a challenge to trainees of the state’s employability project to make creativity, positive attitude and passion their watchwords for success. The event, which took place at the Haven Event Centre in Ikeja G.R.A, had in attendance hundreds of youth trainees. At the event, Governor Fashola tasked trainees of the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) to be original and have a clear understanding of the business they intend to delve into. The Governor used the occasion to appraise the success of the first edition and tasked participants of the second edition to go a step higher by being more creative, determined and focused so that they can actually contribute something positive to re-building our society, since the future of the country depends more on how best the youths of today could be well utilized to build a solid foundation for it. He assured attendees of a brighter and rewarding future through the AGDC and urged them to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the programs, as this will make them more useful to themselves and the society. To Fashola, the youths, as the driving force for the country’s future economy, should think more of how to be better equipped to be more employable and, in fact, become employers of labour in no distant time. It is the firm belief of the state government that it is only those who try hard that can make a head way in the present global economy. This explains why the focus of the second youth forum was on passion and creativity. Such

creativity could readily seen even in the area of entertainment where youths with creative instincts are exploring diverse opportunities to make ends meet. Consequently, it is the plan of the state government, working with the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre, to provide a platform that will ignite a passion in the youths in the state. One of the harsh realities of the Nigerian society is that there are more applicants than available jobs at any point in time. In a recent recruitment exercise, conducted by a Lagos based Multinational Corporation, over 120,000 applicants from across the country wrote the aptitude test meant to provide jobs for only 15. Expectations of an accelerated national development and economic growth may not be feasible if our youths continue to look up to government and other organizations for nonexisting white collar jobs. Recent figures from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveal that between 2003 and 2004 when Nigeria recorded impressive double –digit GDP growth rates 10.3% and 10.6% respectively, unemployment rates were still as high as 14.8% and 13.4% respectively. The transition from school to work for young people is a complex process. Lots of students graduate from higher institutions with academic qualifications but not necessarily the occupational skills to fit into or succeed in the workplace. Consequently, many employers do not really trust ability of the Nigerian graduates to deliver. It is in order to address this dangerous trend that the Lagos State Government, in collaboration with After Graduate Development Centre, came up with the Employability and Enterprise Project for Lagos State Youth. The driving force of the project is to ensure that young graduates are not dumped in the murky water of unemployment as a result of inadequate employability skills. Employability skills are set of skills that are

average member of the working class by reason of his exposure and constitution. This informs a greater need for study and thought and an appeal to the rich experience of past and current mistakes in the journey towards the avoidance and reduction to the barest minimum of future foibles. The answer to Nigeria’s widening income and social gap – which has so far manifested in preventable crises and persistent state of insecurity – is to found a an educational process geared to steer successfully the commonplace trains of thought away from the dilettante and the fool stereotype. It’s about time poor, struggling members of the nation’s working class learned to scorn the maxim that holds that if their stomachs be full, it matters little about their brains; the paths to stable peace and security winds between honest toil and dignified manhood. That proverbial better society that we seek calls for the guidance of skilled thinkers, the loving, reverent comradeship between the low income earners and ambitious middle class emancipated by training and culture. Such human elements would no doubt be conscious of the fact that not even the sustenance of oil subsidy, higher wages and a fairer economic system could protect its members from the usual handicaps and monstrosity constituted by the incumbent and predatory ruling class. Hence they would be able to understand that such social enterprise and gesture towards change must be mooted and achieved by the working class itself in further substantiation of the working class’ capacities to assimilate the culture and common sense of modern civilization, and to pass it on, to some extent at least, to posterity. To be continued… For SMS only 08038551123

relevant for maximum efficiency and effective performance in the workplace. These skills are essential for everyone in the labour market to possess as a way of enhancing possibility for employment in addition to ensuring optimal delivery on the job. The market usually places values and seeks people who are self motivated. It is this core value that the Lagos Employability and Enterprise Project for Lagos State Youth has been inculcating in the youth in the last two years. The plan is to bring on board youth who will not only be employable but will actually move on to become employers of labour. The dividends of this scheme are already coming on board through the state government successful conversion of youths with science related backgrounds to teaching. This was done after the youths underwent effective training to acquire teaching skills under the Lagos Employability and Enterprise Project with a dual objective. One, the state’s public secondary schools are in short supply of science teachers with education background. Two, the young graduates with science background are in need of jobs in an economy that is creating fewer jobs. The interesting thing, is that the state government is able to provide the young graduate with the required teaching skills while the young graduates in return are able to help fill the void in the public secondary schools. Alexis de Tocqueville, in his immortal classic Democracy in America (1835), insists that building the people is more necessary than creating wealth, for the value of the latter is tied to the existence of the earlier. As it is often said, great minds think alike, there is definitely no doubt Governor Fashola was having Tocqueville in mind when he declared recently at a public function that “if this investment matures (the investment in the youth), Lagos will be a better place because we believe clearly, without doubt, that the greatest resource this country has is not oil but its people.” • Ibirogba is the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State.



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent, soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only unanimity of the graveyard.’—— Robert H. Jackson (18921954) US Supreme Court


HERE is Mohammed Bello Adoke today? Wherever the Minister for Justice and Attorney General of the Federation might be, he must be brooding over the acquittal of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over his phantom allegation through the pliable Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) that he (Tinubu) allegedly operated foreign accounts as former Lagos state Governor from 1999 to 2007. The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) through the mid-week ruling read by the chairman of its 3-man panel, Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar made some remarkable statements that should give hope to the persecuted in the country that all hope is afterall not lost yet. That the nation still have judges that can still hold their heads high against the unjust tidal waves of the powerful. The tribunal agreed with the contention that the CCB was wrong for not inviting Tinubu before arraigning him before the Tribunal, an act that ran contrary to the intent of Section 3 of the CCB and Tribunal Act to wit: “where the person concerned makes a written admission of such breach or non-compliance, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary”. This provision ought to be condition precedent before referral could be legally recognised by the CCT. The panel chairman further observed that the prosecution could not prove that they duly invited Tinubu to either deny or admit in writing the allegations against him. The Adoke motley crowd in the CCB must have, out of haste to unleash their tyrannical fangs against Tinubu, forgotten to perfect their mischievous acts. Their flanks were left open and unprotected because their motive was not pure. The act of cowardice of Adoke and his toothless rotweillers in CCB received horrid judicial notice when the tribunal observed: “How on earth can it be said that a prima facie case has been made when there is no proof of evidence before this tribunal. In fact, the learned Senior Advocate for the complainant (CCB) is not brave enough to say that there is a new affidavit and the summary of evidence


HUNDER and lightning remain still The rein has snapped with which the lion is tethered Odenigbo of Ngwoland has gone home Ikemba of Nnewi has transited Dikedioranma lie in an awkward state now Ezeigbo Gburugburu enwoooooo! (ululation) What would you have us do now that you are gone? Who will speak for us? Who will roar like a lion against our oppressors? Enwoooooooo! Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Enwoooooo… The above is a rough translation of Governor Peter Obi’s touching eulogy to late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu thoughtfully rendered in Igbo. It was a tribute as well as the official announcement that Okeosisi had fallen. Yes, a great lion has roared his last and naturally, an outpouring of elegies would follow, most of it false and fantastical. Ojukwu who for many decades had the tag of ‘warlord’ and ‘rebel’ hung around his neck by his compatriots had in death, , brought out the farce that is Nigeria and which the demised himself tried to educate us about all his life. In this two-part piece, I reproduce hereunder, excerpts of the introduction to Ojukwu’s book, Because I am Involved. I think this write up of his best represents the essential Ojukwu, what he preached to Nigerians and his thoughts about his fatherland. In the second part, I will give my humble opinion about his philosophy, his numerous flaws, his impact on Ndigbo and why he has been

‘These calls, on the other hand, reflect a very deepseated belief on my own part, that the ability of the north to assume the impossibility of an east-west understanding on any issue of national importance had distorted, and continued to distort, the delicate balance of the Nigerian federation’

Adoke, CCB and flight of honour


attached. How on earth do we expect the accused/applicant to be tried on this defective charge? The fact that it was this tribunal that initially ordered the accused/applicant person to appear before it, pursuant to the initial charge, cannot constitute the recipe on which the tribunal should proceed to hear the case without proof of evidence.’’ Furthermore, it declared: “I take final liberty to take a look at the amended charge itself. I say emphatically

that there is no sufficient basis to proceed against the accused/applicant. The amended charges claim that the applicant engaged himself in the operation of several foreign bank accounts. “The new charge did not say that the accused/applicant operated foreign accounts by trustees or by proxy.” “It is the law that the argument of counsel, no matter how beautiful, cannot constitute evidence. Argument of counsel, however presented cannot replace evidence not pleaded….In the circumstance, no prima facie case has been made against the accused…The non-filing of an affidavit pursuant to the amended charge shows that there is no basis to believe that the accused/applicant actually misinformed the Code of Conduct Bureau about his financial dealings. On the above mentioned basis, the Tribunal justifiably refused to raise an issue suo muto for the CCB whose chairman did not carry its other commissioners along in the unholy war orchestrated against Tinubu in tandem with Adoke at the background. This matter is not about Tinubu but about avoidable self inflicting systemic shortcomings where those in power erroneously believe that they can manipulate the system just to get at their perceived enemies. This act reminds me again of the words of Justice Chukwudifu Oputa in a paper titled: The Judiciary and Administration of


SMS O8055001684

OJUKWU: from Biafra to Boko Haram (1) involved deeply from Biafra to Boko Baram. The excerpts: Unto the breach dear friends: I began to put this work together purely as a compilation, a record of the more important of my public utterances since my return to Nigeria from a thirteen year exile spent in the Cote d’Ivoire. As the work progressed, it became clear that this work has to assume the garb of a compendium, that is to say, that this compilation had perforce become a book ‘containing the substance of a larger one.’ It is in this light that I present this work – a work burdened with its dual character of my on-going dialogue with my fellow countrymen – a dialogue of the deaf, demanding a great deal of shouting, a great deal of gesticulation and a great deal of repetition; a dialogue which despite all efforts, still ends in a misunderstanding – a most frustrating dialogue. In Nigeria, it has become quite a ritual to preface every commentary on my public utterances, with … ‘Ojukwu’s new song.’ The facts remains, this cliché notwithstanding, that what I say today, I have been saying since Nigeria’s Independence in 1960. My language may have changed but the substance has not changed because of the persistence of the problem, the persistence of the need, and the possibility of not having been heard. As the independence of Nigeria was being ushered in, I began to urge for a conscious diffusion of ethnicity as the true beginning of nationbuilding. Throughout the Nigerian-Biafra war, I urged true unity as an alternative to war and suggested a confederal structure only

as a means of holding on to an elusive union and the requisite unity of purpose. Prior to independence I had supported the call for national integration – indeed my enlistment into the Nigerian Army had been partially because the army remained, at the time, the only respectable pan-Nigerian service available to a Nigerian patriot. I had attended the Nigerian independent celebrations dressed as a high-born young man from the northern part of Nigeria… Thus, when today I call for a new understanding between the east and the west and between the north and the south, the call is not new. When I call for true unity in the country, the call is not evidence of a new Ojukwu strategy. These calls, on the other hand, reflect a very deep-seated belief on my own part, that the ability of the north to assume the impossibility of an east-west understanding on any issue of national importance had distorted, and continued to distort, the delicate balance of the Nigerian federation. The delicate see-saw of Nigeria’s political interaction cannot take place when the sheer weight of one participant ensures, at any given time, that one end of the bar remains firmly rooted to the ground. When I call for unity, it is not a stratagem, nor a renunciation of my past role. Rather, it is an affirmation of my long-held belief… In putting together this book, I have deliberately opted for the disapproval of my critics rather than sacrifice the balance of the composition of my own consistency. I believe that, for as long as the problems persist and

Justice-Critical Assessment and Recommendation presented at the NBA workshop in Jos on August 27, 1986 to wit: ‘For one thing, no one can be in power forever and those in power may, when out of power, need a strong, fearless and impartial judiciary to vindicate their human rights or their civil rights.’ Adoke and his pay masters must be admonished to zip from this wise admonition. Definitely, he and his pay masters would not forever remain in power. With the way they have been trying to ruin the judicial institution, is their any hope that they will have anything to rely on when out of power to redress any encroachment on their rights. One day in the nearest future, himself and others still hiding their faces will be forced to swallow the bitter pills being thrown into the mouths of fellow countrymen and women. The battle against reactionary forces in Abuja’s seat of power cannot end with the acquittal of Tinubu. It should be a sustained crusade to be championed by all true lovers of democracy that are averse to the rule of beasts. Afterall, Martin Luther King Jr, the late American activist once said: ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends’ All professed friends of progressive politics and other reasonable men and women wherever they are must realise as pontificated by Oscar Wilde that ‘on an occasion like this, it becomes more than a duty to speak one’s mind; it becomes a pleasure.’ Except we collectively speak out, no one can predict whose turn it will be next time. The grand conspiracy against Tinubu indeed crumbled because of its defective and shoddy foundation that cannot withstand the rigorous arsenals of truth. The final warning to Adoke and his backers in CCB and anywhere in Abuja or Hill-Top in Abeokuta can be found in the words of Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954) of the US Supreme court where he aphorised that: ‘Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent, soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only unanimity of the graveyard.’ This attorney –general is failing and will eventually fail in his proxy endeavour to inflict unanimity of the graveyard on the country. Not even the despotic Sani Abacha was able to achieve this infamous feat before he died in power as military tyrant. for so long as I can be permitted to repeat it, in the forlorn hope that one day my beloved compatriots may be inclined to listen and, perchance, understand (and in understanding say goodbye to our ostrich posture which leaves us with our brains firmly buried in the sand and unconscious of the fact that all we have to show for our being is our not too attractive posteriors), whenever I speak out and I have been criticized, it has been more because I have violated a code of silence to which all Nigerians seem to abide… Because we love the unreal and hate the truth, we appear incapable of holding a meaningful dialogue. Our verbal interactions wear the garb of a sophisticated ritual – a play on manners and politeness. Our intentions never seem to be the resolution of issues, rather whenever discussions appear to be on the threshold of discovering a basic Nigerian truth, it becomes the duty of every Nigerian to intervene in order to halt the discussion: the British intervened to halt the constitutional conferences of the late 1950s and sold us the notion of federalism; Gowon halted and dismissed the adhoc constitutional conference; Obasanjo halted the debates of the 1978 Constituent Assembly and Babangida halted the 1989 debate on the Sharia. Since Nigerians took their own destiny into their own hands, every national intercourse has borne the sterile aspect of a coitus interruptus – a primitive method but very effective in preventing the birth of a new nation. My personal experience with the Nigerian authorities since my return from exile is ample evidence of this fear of truth and rejection of meaningful dialogue to create a better understanding and resolve issues that have become obstacles to our national progress. Despite the fact that popular Nigerian rhetoric aspires to and urges national unity there is a very strong rejection of a pan-Nigerian viewpoint on any issue. It is this that creates the inescapable impression that Nigeria remains in essence an amorphous mass of individuals busy pretending to be a people. If we were a people, we must accept that there are certain elements, postures and positions which our choice imposes on us as individuals and on us as a group in our mutual interactions. Of these elements, the most important is our mutual acceptance of one another’s full citizenship of Nigeria and the paramountcy of the status of the Nigerian citizen.


Yobo yearns to play Chukwu talks down Dream Team V chance Champions League

Pg. 41

Nation Friday, December 2, 2011

•Dream Team V training in Morocco






If we like our coach, we’ll die for him –Keshi



OACH of the Super Eagles’, Steven Keshi, was at the Eagles Park in Ikeja recently after featuring at the MTN Football Hub. Over lunch, he made some far reaching pronouncements about developing Nigeria’s football and the need for overwhelming support for the national team. Excerpts: How to develop Nigeria’s football To develop the system, the Under-17 team should be taken as development stage for the league and it should not be about going to win. So what do we do? We need to go back to high school and start nurturing these kids at 13 and 14 years. Let them just learn the tactical and letter they can start thinking of winning. Tell me, those kids that played Under-17 (FIFA Under-17 World Cup), how many are playing Under-20, and from under 20, how many are playing in Under-23? We need to develop our football in the Under-17 stage. Then the Under-20 is where you inculcate the winning attitude; but in Under-17 you develop the skills. In developed countries, you have ‘Feeders’. But here you have a 25 year old and you call him a feeder. Players Commitment The attitude problem does not begin with the players. The attitude begins with

the officials. It is from the head. If the head does not move, the players will not move an inch. In my team I make it clear “if you must stay here, there is a rule of law you must respect. The relationship is about sharing respect and letting the players know that they are important. We players play for our coach. If we like our coach, we will die for our coach. If we don’t there is a problem. And perhaps that is where the attitude problem comes from. And again the training session must be something they enjoy; it must be fun. And there are a lot of things that the leadership needs to put in place. The players look upon the leaders. So there is a place for coaching but there is a lot of psychology and mental education involved as well for the team to take the tournaments serious. In Mali, the players don’t even see eye to eye. And the journalists came to us and asked “how do you do it? Our players don’t like each other. They can’t even go to each other’s room to chat.” But when we started talking; inviting everybody to talk; and we asked ‘how do we move this team forward?’ There must be respect and communication. And when they saw that we were serious with what we were doing, they started responding and the journalists were amazed. You know, when you hit a kid with one hand, you have to draw him close with the other hand. The Journalists also cause a lot of problems in Nigerian football. The journalist wants to use the coach to cause a problem with the player. In Mali, if a player doesn’t want to play, the journalist will pressurize him rather than put pressure on the coach. Here, the media is not sincere. If a player is not doing well, the media should let the people know instead of publishing: “Keshi are you going to sanction him or not?”


Amaechi calls for youth development FRICAN Sporting in sports Competitions were largely


conceived to suit the psyche of the African nation states torn apart from ethnic and tribal parochialisms reinforced by inherited colonial mentalities.., But Sporting events such as this championship, afford a veritable platform to reinforce and even consolidate on such values which the youth could inculcate from these competitions, sportsmanship and camaraderie. Remote distances not withstanding, we must galvanize our potentials to develop sports to provide better opportunities for our youths in Africa and in diaspora". Those were the words of the Executive governor of Rivers state, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi while delivering his speech at the opening ceremony of the 2011 African Junior swimming Championship taking place at the Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium in Port Harcourt. The governor whose passion for sports led to the construction of the Adokiye Amiesimaka sports complex which is rated to be one of the best in the world when completed went further to note that keen competition, sportsmanship and comradeship at

From Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt games such as the swimming championship are the fuel on which our African youths can run the long distances,reiterating that, "we must galvanize these potentials and develop our sports in order to provide the right opportunities for our people' as 'African sporting competitions has remained beacons and reminders of our common destiny'. He also made it known that sports has occupied a top priority since the inception of his administration because it is considered a veritable instrument for youth development. he therefore called on the various sports federations, corporate organisations and schools to utilize the facilities at the sports complex to discover new talents as well as enhance those that would represent the continent in regional and international sporting competitions. He also ensured that the state has taken adequate security measures to ensure safety of lives and property during the competition.


Chukwu talks down Dream Team V chances


ORMER Super Eagles’ coach, Christian Chukwu has expressed grave doubt over the ability of Dream Team V to defeat Algeria in Friday's pool A last day match in Marrakech. After two losses to hosts, Morocco and Senegal at the ongoing CAF Under-23 championship in Morocco, the nation's flag bearers will takce a last shot at the London 2012 Olympic



we have that is shown the game the better the future of golf in the country especially for the PGAN in the long run.” Olagbenro noted that their support is like a seed sown into the future. The David Mark Foundation operates from Oturkpo in Benue state where youth who are interested in the game of golf are tutored free of charge and some exceptional athletes among them enjoys scholarship, including additional benefit to be entered for national andinternational events. Liadi Jaiyeola, PGAN’s Director of Finance said that the donation came at

Dream Team to play for national pride today N

IGERIA’s national U-23 side, the Dream Team V, have settled into their Palmeraie Golf Palace, camp, Marrakech. The Team arrived Mararakech on Wednesday evening alongside, Algeria; its opponent in Friday’s last group game. Players of the Dream Team were seen in groups discussing their chance of the making the semi-finals following the defeat to Senegal in Tangier.


AINZ 05 forward Anthony Ujah has told that the Olympic Eagles' could still fulfill their dreams of playing in the London 2012 games. The Eguavoen-tutored side lost their opening two games, against Morocco and Senegal and qualification for the semi-finals is no longer in their hands but Ujah is counting on divine help. ''In football there is always hope, so long as nothing is decided yet. We have to keep on hoping as always but make no mistake about it, I know we are in a difficult position. But miracles do happen in football. It's not over until it's over,'' Ujah said. The strikers have failed Austin Eguavoen in Morocco. In more than three hours of football, they have managed only one goal,

Danny's Uchechi’s 49th minute strike against Senegal after a defensive error. ''I can not say anything special to change the mentality of the team. I believe they have heard from the coaches and team officials. But as a player like them, I can only advise them to absorb the pressure and play with ease and calmness in front of goal,'' Ujah added. Ujah did not make the starting lineup against Bayern Munich last weekend even after scoring two goals against Stuttgart in the penultimate round of matches. He said: ''I was not disappointed that the coach did not select me. As a professional, you must respect the decision of your coaches and be ready to help the team when your attention is needed, be it from the start or not. The coach is very delighted with the character I've shown despite not


IGERIAN international defender Taye Taiwo has kicked against going out on loan from AC Milan till season’s end after he failed to impress at the Italian champions. The 26-year-old left back joined Milan as a free agent last summer, but he has yet to shine at the San Siro in the two games he played thus far and has now been placed on transfer by the Italian giants. has since gathered that in the most likely event that

starting. I've always said I am in Germany to learn. ''We won the game and that's what matters most. We are six strikers in the team, so, it's difficult to play every game. We all need to be happy to stay united.'' Mainz failed to release Ujah for the Morocco tourney because it fell outside the FIFA window for international matches.


almost at no cost to the body. He said: “All we had to do was to source for funds. Some of our trustees, who believe and have been canvassing for some measure of give back that we are now launching in. We had no need to dip hand into our account” “Again, giving such amount of support to a foundation from Oturkpo cannot be too much because that is arguably one golf course that has produced an average of two championships for the PGAN annually. I believe we have sown the right seed for the future of the game.”

Milan do not get a buyer for him in the winter transfer window, they would be forced to cut their losses and send him out on loan. “The arrangement is for Milan to pay half of his hefty salary while the other club he will go on loan to pay the other half,” a top source informed But Taiwo, who has been locked in close consultation with his family, has stuck to his guns that he wishes to stay and fight for his place at Milan. Taiwo earns a king’s ransom of 335,000 Euros (about 67 million Naira) a month and is not prepared to take a massive pay cut. This could well explain why he has insisted on staying put at Milan to fight for a first-team place, even though he does not figure in the plans of coach Massimiliano Allegri now or even in the foreseeable future. Allegri, it has been reported, has been disappointed that the former Olympique Marseille star does not take risks on the pitch, and off the pitch he has also struggled to fully integrate into the squad.

HMED Musa is a top transfer target for PSV Eindhoven in January, informs Eindhoven Dagblad . The Nigeria wonder-kid could be a direct replacement for the Belgium international, Dries Mertens, who is attracting interest from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

PSV Eindhoven sporting director, Marcel Brands is an admirer of the ex Kano Pillar, and he is surprised at Musa's development since he arrived Holland. Brands said: ''Musa is a great talent and I hope we can sign him.'' VVV Venlo have told interested clubs to be ready to part with ten million euros for the striker.

Ike Uche eyes Villarreal return


CCORDING to market rumors circulated by Ideal Newspaper Spain, Ikechukwu Uche, who is on loan at Granada, could return to his parent club Villarreal in January. Uche arrived Villarreal for a transfer fee of two million euros but was sent out on loan by the Spanish side to enable him play with continuity. He has shown extreme professionalism while at Granada. The striker's seven goals in 10 appearances for Nigeria has not gone unnoticed by Villarreal .Their main man in attack, Giuseppe Rossi injured his ACL against Real Madrid. Rossi is

recuperating from a serious knee surgery , so remains unavailable for selection. Uche could be drafted as replacement for the Italy international forward. Meanwhile, the vice president of Granada, Juan Carlos Cordero met this past weekend with Patrick Bastianelli, the agent of Olympic National Team striker Odion Ighalo. Bastianelli wants his client to be more involved in games. It was reported in the past that Ighalo could leave Granada in the winter market. Things have changed as the club told his agent that he remains in their plans.


UPER EAGLES’ captain, Joseph Yobo says he wants to remain a Fenerbahce player at the end of the 2011-2012 season.Yobo has spent the last two seasons on loan from Everton. ''I wanted to play in the Champions League this season with Fenerbahce but they did not get to feature. It is my number one goal for next year. My family and I have an excellent life in Turkey, '' Yobo was quoted as saying by Fanatik. Yobo's ambition of playing Champions League football next season could materialise as Fenerbahce tops the Super Lig with 25 points from 12 games.

Copa Lagos: BSWW to organise Clean the Beach Campaign, Clinic


Several clubs including German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are reportedly keen to have the Nigeria defender.

COPA LAGOS continues to press forward to bring new initiatives to Lagos, Nigeria. Alongside with Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWWW), Copa Lagos is plainly aware of their social responsibility and the world that surrounds the game. Therefore, they are officially extending their commitment way beyond the sand pitch, by partnering with the Beach Soccer Foundation, BSWW main instrument to make a difference through three main concerns namely: Environment protection through awareness, and recycling, Children/ youth development through the sport and Skin cancer awareness. During the event days, the Kinetic Sports will organise in partnership with the Beach Soccer Foundation a Cleaning the Beach Campaign and a Beach Soccer Clinic. The Cleaning Beach campaign is a concept developed by Beach Soccer World Wide with the aim of raising

awareness to the need to protect the environment and especially the beach. Kinetic Sports plans to use Copa Lagos to encourage Nigerians to take care of their beaches, maintain their beauty and protect its environment. The Beach Cleaning campaign will take place at the Eko Atlantic beach and will be attended by a host of stars, including, the Brazilian, Nigerian, English and South African teams, as well as Beach Soccer World Wide and Copa Lagos officials, with the volunteers and the cheerleaders for the event. On top of this, Kinetic Sports is also arranging a Beach Soccer Clinic, with the aim of educating children about Beach Soccer, the importance of practicing sports for health, the significance to work as team and to have fun. The lucky children will also be shown by some of the teams stars, how to execute difficult, technical skills such as the scissor kick and many more.


•As media accreditation begins ranging from airtime to all expenses paid trip to the awards ceremony. The Confederation of African Football, recently released the list of top ten players shortlisted for the African Player of The Year award and this has inspired subscribers, who have been sending sms, predicting their preferred winners. Media accreditations for 2011 GLO - CAF Awards has begun in earnest. About one hundred pressmen are expected from different parts of the world to cover the annual GLO - CAF Awards, an annual event that celebrates the best of African football, footballers, coaches and administrators, who have distinguished themselves in the game either on the continent or abroad. The accreditation exercise, which is coordinated from CAF headquarters in Cairo opens on 26th November and closes 5th December, 2011. The GLO-CAF Awards is a media event and like it has been in past editions, top journalists and media houses worldwide are expected to grace the award ceremony.

risk losing out of a semi final spot should they lose 2-0 to Senegal and Algeria beat Nigeria by alone goal. Nigeria, however, would make the last four if they beat Algeria by at least two unreplied goals while Senegal lose to Morocco by alone goal. Both matches would be played simultaneously at 19hr GMT 8pm Nigeria time in Tangier and Marrakech.

PSV targets Ahmed Musa Yobo yearns to play A Champions League


Oshiomhole Golf Cup tees off

Glo Launches CAF Awards promo ELECOMMUNICATION giant, Globacom has launched a new promo ahead of 2011 GLO-CAF awards scheduled to hold in Accra on 22nd December, 2011. The sms promo tagged “predict and win” will afford Glo subscribers the opportunity to win fantastic prices. Subscribers are expected to predict winners in different categories of the GLO-CAF awards and the lucky ones will be rewarded with prizes,

“You will see a different team on Friday. We may have an outside chance of qualification but we will fight for the pride of our country, play with our blood and leave the rest to fate” stated Coach Austin Eguavoen. Group A, remains mathematically open as all four countries, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal and Nigeria stand a chance to make the last four of the championship. Despite having six points, Morocco

Taiwo rebuffs Milan's loan move

Ujah dreaming London 2012 Games

PGAN donates N5m to David Mark Foundation HE Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN) has announced the donation of N5million naira to a foundation set up by the senate president, David Mark to develop golf at the grassroots. Announcing the development in Lagos, Femi Olagbenro, the body’s Director of Operation said the donation was necessitated because of thepurpose that the foundation has been set up to serve. “Theirs is a unique foundation and perhaps the first in the country to support golf development. And that perfectly is in tandem with our vision. The more youths

Games ticket by aiming for a convincing win over the North Africans. Chukwu asked that aside the mathematical permutations going on in the land at the moment could coach Austin Eguaveon's wards raise the bar against the Algerians. "It's very sad we have got to the stage of permutation, however, we must win against Algeria and wait for the outcome of the encounter between Morocco and Senegal. "I still believe we have a chance but the question remains can we beat the Algerians. "The way we played against Morocco and Senegal showed that we don't have a chance of qualification. "Let me not act like a die-hard pessimist, let me believe that we'll win convincingly hoping that Morocco will whip Senegal." The former Green Eagles’ captain said the loss to Senegal was unacceptable. "Nobody saw it coming that we'll find ourselves in this messy situation, it's simply unpleasant. I can stomach our defeat to Morocco being the hosts and crowd behind them but I never believe we would lose to Senegal. I still doubt whether they can win against Algeria," he said. Nigeria lies bottom of pool A but could surprise a second finish with at least two unreplied goals against Algeria and Senegal caving in to Morocco with the same goal margin.


•Ike Uche (c) celebrates with teammate after scoring a goal

BOUT 300 golfers from across the country, will coverage on Benin Golf Club when they tee-off in Oshiomhole Golf Cup in Edo state form December 2-3. With prizes in the region of N15million, a construction giant Setraco Contruction Company will providing the financial muscle. The event has something for everyone. All categories in the game will feature, including veteran golfers... these are golfers from age of 60 years. Words from the Edo Government House indicate that Governor Oshiomole is indeed passionate about this event. The Governor, it is said, agreed that he would personally perform the event's Teeing off ceremony billed for 9am Saturday. "We are honored doing this tournament for the people's Governor", Captain of the Benin Golf Club, Kingsley Ehi Okunbor stated. "The governor has always been there for the game of golf in the state. He supports fully. And when this opportunity cames from Setraco that we should honour him with his own Cup, we were thrilled. And to show that people are really with the Governor, we are having a field of over 300 golfers from across the country on our course. This is the first time this is happening". The Governor's Cup will not be about golf only. There is a scheduled Dinner and huge party on Friday while the closing the

next day will witness yet another party.

Adepoju in sensational return as 3SC GM


ORMER Nigeria international, Mutiu Adepoju has made a sensational return to NPL side, Shooting Stars as club manager after he was fired this week. On Tuesday, Adepoju was sacked as general manager of the struggling club in massive clearout to reposition the Ibadan outfit for the forthcoming season. “It’s a new dawn at the club. I’m happy to still be with Shooting Stars,” Adepoju told “What happened initially was kind of re-organisation which is good for the club. “I just pray that everything works out well for 3SC as we prepare for the new season.” Adepoju said his new designation is not any different from the administrative role he played for four years as general manager. “It almost the same thing but due to the restructuring that is why the new title,” he said Oyo State sports commissioner Dapo Lam Adeshina confirmed the reengagement of Adepoju but in a new role of club manager. New boards for Oyo State governmentowned 3SC and Crown FC are expected to be named soon after the disbandment of their management and technical staff this week.




Chime inaugurates ambulances

Father of three commits suicide

Community protests proposed handover of school

Enugu 7






Page 25



AMUEL Offodile completed his house in Amachalla Village near Awka, the Anambra State capital, early this year. He was excited. So were his wife and children. But, he had cause to cry in July. Reason: his new house sits near a compound being eaten up from two sides by erosion, a situation which compelled him to send his family away to his relations. In July, the erosion destroyed 13 homes and properties worth millions of naira in the village. Offodile expressed the fear that the encroachment may soon result in the crumbling of his own house. The gorge, which swallowed the houses and rendered the occupants homeless, measured about 300 metres deep and 300 metres wide. The lawmaker representing Awka South 1 Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Kenechukwu Chukwuemeka, who inspected the area, was speechless. He fought back tears while consoling wailing mothers, toddlers and youths whose homes and belongings were swept away by torrential rains. He called for calm and assured them that “something urgent is going to be done by the state government.” In a chat with Newsextra, Chukwuemeka said: “This is a terrible situation. From what I see, more than 12 more houses, schools, churches, farmlands, and cash crops would be swept away when the next rain comes. I don’t think it is still safe for these families whose houses have not fallen to continue to sleep inside them. We must resettle them as well as those who have lost their homes and belongings already.” After the Amachalla incident, 500 people were rendered homeless when about 50 houses caved in at Nanka in Orumba North Local Government Area. The President-General of the community, Chief Damian Okoye told Newsextra that “more than half a million people who are indigenous to this town have been displaced and it is threatening the entire existence of the town. The people now sleep with

•An erosion site in Anambra State, which has rendered many homeless and is threatening to cause more havoc

Southeast seeks help against erosion Over 500,000 rendered homeless Residents appeal for assistance From Nwanosike Onu, Awka, and Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia one eye open as a result of the ceaseless landslides. “The available farmlands have either been totally washed away or at the verge of being eaten up by monstrous gullies that have become a regular feature of the Nanka landscape.” There are over 1,000 erosion sites discovered in the state. Many lives have been lost and properties

worth billions of naira have been destroyed. Despite the palliative measures being adopted by Governor Peter Obi’s administration and intervention by the Federal Government and the World Bank, ecological problems are yet to abate. Residents in the state have continued to seek the intervention of donor agencies and non-governmental organisations to lift the state from its state of agony, pains and sufferings. Chairman, House of Representa-

tives’ Committee on Environment, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife described the state as erosion-prone and vowed to tackle the menace with her members. She said: “We have a lot of challenges not only in Anambra State but also nation-wide concerning erosion problems and we are going to tackle them head-on.” Commissioner for Environment Dr. Mike Egbebike said the worse hit areas are in Nanka, Agulu, Oko, •Continued on Page 26


Akwa Ibom trains 1,200 on intensive farming



KWA Ibom State government has completed a training programme for 1,200 people on what it called Integrated Farmers Scheme or IFS. Each of the participants in the programme went through two months intensive programme in agro-enterprise such as piggery, poultry, fisheries, plantain, and pineapple production. They were presented with certificates at the end of the exercise. Declaring the programme closed, Governor Godswill Akpabio urged the participants to make good use of the opportunity

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

given to them through the programme by becoming good ambassadors of transformative changes in the state. The governor who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Godwin Afangide, noted that the programme was government’s huge investment that would make the youth to be self-reliant and become employers of labour. Akpabio restated his administration’s determination to continue to prioritise the agricultural

sector in a bid to boost food production. The governor reasoned that apart from boosting the sector, his administration has created an infrastructural renaissance that would attract foreign investment into the state. Also, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Eno Akpan said during the training that emphasis was placed on processing in order to reduce waste and add value to products for more profit. Akpan appealed to chairmen of local government transition com-

mittees to provide lands for the participants to cultivate for massive food production in the state. He commended the governor for the release of N2b for the Women Agro-Entrepreneurial Development Programme (WAEDEP), even as he advised the participants to make farming their business. One of the beneficiaries of the scheme, Odudu Okure said the programme has changed his life positively while urging others to see the programme as an open door to successes.




Ijaw youths praise Jonathan over NDDC board


HE National Executive Council (NEC) of the Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) has hailed President Goodluck Jonathan over the reconstituted board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The group gave the commendation during its meeting held at its Presidential Liaison Office in Ughelli, Delta State. In a statement signed by the group’s National President Comrade Godspower Odenema and the National Secretary Comrade Moses Omo-lkirodah, the it expressed its confidence at the calibre of people selected by Mr. President to constitute the new NDDC board, saying that each member of the board has the educational qualification, professional training and vast experience. The group called on all members of

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

the reconstituted NDDC board to learn from the lessons of the past by not allowing personal aggrandizement and unnecessary power tussle to influence them while discharging their duties. The statement assured the incoming board that as peace-loving people, the Niger Delta Youth Movement would actively sustain the prevailing climate of peace in the Niger Delta region so that the purpose for which the commission was established would be achieved. In a related development, Former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, General Cletus Emein, former Governor of Niger State, Senator James Manager

and Pere Charles Ayemibotu, traditional ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom were among those who extolled the virtues of former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Pastor Power Aginighan who they described as a worthy son of Ijaw nation. At a civic reception held in his honour at the BB Hotel in Warri, the chairman of the ceremony Chief Kiagbodo Clark described Aginighan as one of the notable sons of the Ijaw extraction who have proved himself as a man of honour during the trying period and pressure on him to pay for contracts awarded without budgetary provisions. Clark said: “There are people who, after serving, would be haunted by anti-corruption agencies but the case of Aginighan was different. Today, we are holding a reception in his honour

for a meritorious service in the Niger Delta Development Commission and glorious retirement from career public service. “People like Pastor Power Aginighan who stood against embezzlement of funds of the interventionist agency could have been returned but the reverse was the case due to a campaign of calumny brought before Mr. President that he could be seen to be partial if he appoints Pastor Aginighan, an Ijaw man.” Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was represented by Commissioner for Works, Solomon Funkekeme said Aginighan’s service on the board of the NDDC has brought a good name to the Ijaw nation and Delta State in general. In their separate speeches, General Cletus Emein, Senator James Manager and Pere Charles Ayemibotu stated

•Dr. Christian Oboh, MD, NDDC that the Ijaw of Delta State are proud of Pastor Aginighan as their son over his good records in the NDDC.

Southeast seeks help against erosion •Continued from page 25 Ekwulobia, Ekwulumili, Nnewi, Ozubulu, Ihiala, Ukpor, Utuh, Azia, Orsumoghu, Uga, Achina, Umuchu and Akpo. Others include Ihembosi, Uli, Akpu, Ajali, Ezinifite, Mkpologwu, Ufuma, Umunze, Umuomaku, Aguluezechukwu, Igboukwu, Ichi, Osumenyi, Okija, Ideani, Obosi, Onitsha, Awka, Ogboji, Onee and Amesi. In 2009, the former Senator representing Anambra Central, Annie Okonkwo, played a key role in taking the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology on a one-day oversight visit to the state. During the visit, the committee, headed by Senator Grace Bent, saw the grave danger communities in the state are exposed to. They called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Anambra erosion sites. Okonkwo founded the Ecological Disaster Foundation (EDF). The foundation, according to him, was aimed at tackling erosion and erosion-related problems; including providing relief materials for victims of erosion and other ecological disasters. But nothing tangible has so far been done about the problem. Egbebike disclosed to Newsextra that: “We have started documenting them. Moreover, we have received information on about 400 sites from the traditional rulers and we have started their valuations. We have equally set up a policy that will guide us. We are documenting these sites using what we call Geographic Information System (GIS).


•An erosion site in Anambra State, which has rendered many homeless and threatening to claim more homes “Furthermore, we have formed erosion vanguards in communities. These vanguards are being trained to educate the people on how to recognise and avoid erosion. We are designing the erosion sites and carrying out non-structural measures.” Egbebike further said that the state has also reached out to the Federal Government, World Bank and non-governmental organisations for assistance. He said the Federal Government has spent about N3.7b out of the N11b earmarked for the Southeast region in Anambra State. The sites so far contracted by the Federal Government, according to him, are: Nanka, Sakamori/ Nwangene in Onitsha, Alor erosion site in Idemili South and Nkisi in Onitsha. The commissioner listed those already tackled by the Peter Obi administration as Umuchiana, Ebenebe, New Tarzan, Nnewi Ichi and Omagba. He said each year, the state government allocates about N1.5b for ecological problems, even as he added that of about N7.5b already provided for in the budgets, more than 50 per cent had been released. “We have equally carried out palliative measures on other sites, of which Nkpor-Nnobi-Ideani Road erosion is currently under-

taken by the Obi administration. The problems are huge in this state, but we have brought a lot of science into erosion problems in Anambra State by conducting social and environmental impact assessment which is a deviation from the old order,” he said. The World Bank is handling about six erosion sites in the state. These sites are Amachara in Awka, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Uruokpala in Abagana, Omagba in Onitsha, Madonna in Agulu and Igboukwu/ Umuona/Aguluzigbo Road. This ecological problem is not peculiar to Anambra State alone. Other states in the Southeast geopolitical zone have their fair share. For instance, records show that Abia State has over 1,000 erosion sites, with a considerable number having matured into actual gullies, while 200 are still at their various stages of development. Ijeoma Ukpabi, a student of the Abia State University, Uturu, told Newsextra that: “It is really a problem in this state. Just between Isiukwuato and Abia State University here in Uturu, there are over seven erosion sites. The road is disjointed at some points and the daredevils are cashing in on the problem created by the several gullies on this road to waylay other road users almost on daily basis.”

As at the time of this report, the university was on the verge of losing the block housing the school library, the schools of humanities and social sciences to gully erosion. “It is very sad that this is happening. It does not mean that the university authorities are not doing anything. They have tried so hard to check the spread of the gully but to no avail. They have spent so much money but look at where we are today,” Ukpabi lamented. Recently, the rail line between Umuahia and Aba was destroyed when gully erosion started eating up the land between Omoba and Aba main station. This has temporarily affected rail transportation in the eastern part of the country. A source in the Ministry of Envi-

ronment and Solid Minerals in Umuahia said the Federal Government is yet to release funds from the Ecological Funds Office to curtail the menace. The source told Newsextra in confidence that: “Abia is in real trouble and if nothing is done urgently, it would be disastrous. An erosion control expert, Chukwu Onyekwe, said poor road design by contractors in the area causes roads to collapse in the Southeast geo-political zone. Speaking with Newsextra at the site of erosion control project in Amaokwe Amiyi in Isiukwuato Local Government Area, Onyekwe said many designs do not take into consideration the drainage pattern necessary for the topography and durability of the roads.




Beauty queen in assault controversy


ISS Niger Delta, Tubo Oyinkuro is at loggerheads with the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, over alleged forceful ejection of a tenant, wilful damage of property worth N5m and loss of over N1m in cash. The beauty queen and her relations were alleged to have broken into the apartment of Phebean Educational Service that occupies one of her mother’s shops and ejected them. They were also said to have thrown the property of the organisation on to the road, even when the period of rent has not elapsed. They acted on alleged false order from the Rivers State Commissioner of Police. The shops are at No. 8, Agip Road, Mgbuoshimini Junction, Rumueme, near the main gate of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and the Rumueme Police Station in Port Harcourt. Abba described as false and reckless the allegation by the current Miss Niger Delta that he gave the order for the ejection and wilful damage of the tenant’s property. He said: “It is not true that I gave the ejection order. How can I give such senseless order? I do not give orders for ejection. “Only the court can give such order. Not even the governor of a state can give order that a tenant be ejected. Governor Rotimi Amaechi and officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command always place emphasis on the rule of law and due process.” Abba asked Miss Niger Delta to stop deceiving members of the public that he gave the ejection order, even as he advised her to rather


MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has reiterated the determination of his administration to partner with individuals and organisations seeking to alleviate the suffering of the less-privileged. He made this assertion when a humanitarian group, Obioma Relief Organisation, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Owerri. Governor Okorocha stated that

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

put her house in order and do the right things. The beauty queen was said to have gone to the shop in her official Hyundai Accent saloon car, with the inscription of “Her Majesty” as number plate and Miss Niger Delta Beauty Pageant boldly written on the sides of the vehicle. Tubo and her elder brother, Andy Oyinkuro, along with some of their relations, allegedly overpowered the salesgirl, Mrs. Rukayat Abass and broke the shop, littering the road with the photocopiers, stationery and other items. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Rumueme Police Station, Agip Road, Mr. Francis Usani, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who also confirmed the incident, described the action as illegal and unconstitutional, especially when the rent had not expired. The proprietor of Phebean Educational Service, Mr. Femi Ajiboye, expressed shock at the ugly development. He said he was more shocked by the fact that he was ejected without any notice to quit by the landlady, Mrs. Evelyn Eruienre who hails from Bayelsa State, and when his one-year rent had not expired. Ajiboye maintained that he lost property worth N5m and cash of over N1m to the invasion. The caretaker of the shops, Mr. Bodiziwari Michael, was helpless about the ejection at a time the rent was yet to expire and outstanding amount not paid before taking the law into their own hands.

•Some of the properties of Phebean Educational Service littering Agip Road, Mgbuoshimini Junction,

Rumueme, Port Harcourt, Rivers State after the alleged ejection Ajiboye said: “The one-year rent that I paid for which I was issued with a receipt will expire in August 2012. My wife and I stepped out of the shop, only for the salesgirl to call us that Miss Niger Delta and her elder brother (Andy), had started throwing our property on to the road. “The salesgirl was beaten and dragged out of the shop. She sustained some injuries in the process. Andy said the property was to be renovated, but the valuable items were thrown out without any notice to that effect given, let alone making a refund of the balance of the rent. It is really unfortunate. “The loss is enormous. I do not deserve to be treated so shabbily

by fellow Nigerians. We have not had any disagreement. I have contacted my lawyer. We will meet in court.” Andy was arrested and detained at the nearby Rumueme Police Station, before being released. The beauty queen was also interrogated by the district police officer, but not detained. The DPO of Rumueme Police Station also said the owner of the property ought to have given the tenant notice to quit for three months, then three weeks, followed by two weeks and later one week. Usani said if the tenant does not packed out at the expiration of the last one week of grace, the landlady would then go to court.

The removal of the tenant’s property will be handled by officials of the court and the items taken to the court’s premises for safe-keeping. Usani added that he had his reasons for releasing Andy and for not detaining Tubo. When the beauty queen was contacted on phone, her Personal Assistant, who declined to give her name, denied her boss’ involvement in what has been tagged a show of shame. When Andy was contacted on the phone for his reaction on the development, he said: “Who gave you my number? What is your business about the matter? How does it concern you?”

Imo welcomes partnership on poverty From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

the state government, in its desire to address the plight of the poor and the disadvantaged in the society, has established an agency known as the Imo Foundation which would also liaise

with all such groups. He added that the state government is also sensitive to the plight of the rural poor, hence it has launched its free education programme and would float a door-to-door free healthcare services to every Imo citizen. Governor Okorocha thanked

the Obioma Foundation for deeming it fit to care for the less-privileged in Imo State and promised to assist them in areas of logistics and transportation. Mr. Kenneth J. Williams, chairman, Obioma Relief Organisation of Canada, said that the idea of establishing a humanitarian organisation was hatched during his meeting with Rev. Fr.

Anthony Onyenagada in Ontario Canada in 2004. He said that the organisation with its Nigerian headquarters at Amaraku in Isiala Mbano Local Government has assisted 38 rural women in the form of soft loans in three communities of Nsu and Amaraku and Obowo. We promise to extend our services to other communities in the state as we target to empower over 50 rural women.

The organisation with its Nigerian headquarters at Amaraku in Isiala Mbano Local Government has assisted 38 rural women in the form of soft loans in three communities of Nsu and Amaraku and Obowo. We promise to extend our services to other communities in the state as we target to empower over 50 rural women

•From right: Chairman, Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area Hon Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe; Council Leader Hon Hallid Adewusi and Vice-Chairman Hon Ismail Bello during the inauguration of the legislative council at the secretariat, Aguda, Lagos





•Governor Imoke

Enugu to host tourism fiesta


HE Enugu State government is to host a culture and tourism fiesta from December 15 to December 22 to promote the culture of the state. Mr Chuks Ugwoke, the state’s Commissioner for Information, said in Enugu after the State Executive Council meeting that, the aim of the fiesta was to showcase to the outside world the culture of the state. According to him, the fiesta will involve activities such as symposium on Igbo Language, debates by schools in the state, children’s fun fare, masquerade fiesta, and cultural dance competitions. He said the competition would be between the local government areas in the state. The festival, he said, would be jointly sponsored by the state and local governments as well as the private sector. “The Enugu State Executive Council approved the hosting of Enugu State Cultural and Tourism fiesta beginning from December 15 to December 22, 2011. “It is a programme that is packaged to promote the culture and tourism of Enugu

Chime inaugurates 25 ambulances

Fadama III gives N324m to beneficiaries

ARMERS participating in the Fadama III programme in Cross River State have received N324 million since the beginning of the year, the State Coordinator, Mr Bassey Elemi, said. Elemi told journalists in Calabar that the amount covered asset acquisition, capacity building, and provision of high quality seeds, among others. He said that his office was currently working with 674 Fadama User Groups (FUGs) and that the number was not determined as more groups were still showing interest. “This figure keeps changing everyday as more groups have continued to register after completing their pre-registration requirements. ‘’

Enugu State to showcase it to the outside world. It will involve a lot of activities from symposium on Igbo Language to debates by schools in Enugu State. “There will also be children’s fun fare, masquerade fiesta, cultural dances, and competitions among the local government areas in Enugu State.’’ Ugwoke said that the executive council also approved the release of N250 million as counterpart funding to enable small and medium scale enterprises in the state to access loans. He said that easy access to funds would help to improve and sustain businesses. “This is the state’s counterpart contribution, the local government areas will contribute the same N250 million, while the Bank of Industry will provide a matching grant of N500 million to come up to N1 billion.’’ The state’s Commissioner for Culture and Tourism,Chief JoeMamel, accompanied Ugwoke to the briefing.


Cross River Elemi said that the scaling up became necessary in the current year because the programme was expected to wind down in 2012. He said the largest disbursement of N209.9 million was for asset acquisition because of its strategic importance for the success of the project. “We do not only provide the input support for cultivation but also provide high quality seeds combined with technology to ensure increased production per hectare,” he said. Elemi said N4.2million was disbursed for capacity building, while N49.2 million for small-scale community owned rural infrastructure. He also said that the programme spent N4.2 million on consultancyservices and another N20.4 million on input support. “We are scaling up our operations this year because we know that 2012 is a critical year for us. It is about the last year we have to disburse grants to communities,” he said. Elemi said that the project had also introduced Fadama User Equity Fund (FUEF), meant to encourage groups to save part of their income for future use. “It is one of the sustainability features of Fadama III, designed to ensure that the groups save at least 10 per cent of their earnings for the rainy day. “This will provide a source of fund for each group to draw fund from time to time to expand their businesses or fund other asset acquisitions in furtherance of their activities.”

•From left: Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Francis Udoikpong; the Deputy Governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere and Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Mansur Kabir, during the opening of the Year 2011 Annual Review Meeting of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, at EEMJM Hotel, Uyo.

Tricycle operators protest double taxation


RICYCLE Operators in Awka, Anambra State have protested against what they described as double taxation by the state government in their daily operations. The operators claimed that they were being forced to pay N200 each to the state and local governments daily, adding that the state’s Ministry of Environment had similarly, directed them to N50 daily to it. The Chairman of the operators, Mr Chukwunenye Okoye, told newsmen that the amount they were being made to pay was too much.



From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

•From left: Mr. Davies Ajayi, Facilities Manager; Capt. Luc Deruyver, GMD, Sifax Group; John Robert Jenkins, New MD, Ports and Cargo; Mustafa Mohammed, Terminal Manager, Ports and Cargo and Mike Owope, GM Admin. Ports and Cargo at the facility tour of the on-going renovation of Terminal "C" Tin-Can Island Ports, Apapa, Lagos

Okoye said that it was for that reason they decided to stage a peaceful demonstration to press home their grievances as well as to express concern over “the insensitivity of the state government toward the plight of the common man.“ The Divisional Police Officer in charge of ‘B’ Division in Awka, Mr Paul Dungu, intervened and told the protesting tricycle operators that their grievances would be channelled to the appropriate quarters for redress

By Eric Ikhilae

Anambra we have erected more than 15 new buildings. We have also rebuilt the Umueri General Hospital and Cottage Hospital, Umunze, among others. We are also building new general hospitals, such as the one at Anaku. In addition, we have renovated 15 General hospitals across the state. Recognising that government needs to partner with those organisations which have the interest of the people at heart, he said: “We are expanding our relationship with some agencies. Today, we have lots of hospital equipment, worth hundreds of millions of naira, under the Millennium Development Goals to be distributed to select government and mission hospitals in the state”. In her address, the state chairman of Millenium Development Goals (MDG’s) Implementation Committees and the state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Prof. Chinyere Okunna described the event as unique. “As you can see, the quality, quantity and variety of the equipment are indeed impressive, understandably therefore, a lot of money has been spent on acquiring them, totalling up to N135 million.


Cleric praises Akiolu

Obi boosts healthcare NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has provided medical equipment worth hundreds of millions of Naira to 105 health facilities in the state. He also gave N400 million to four hospitals in the state. The hospitals are Iyienu Hospital Ogidi, Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha, Our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala and St. Joseph’s Adazi. The amounts were shared thus: Iyienu (N120m), Borromeo (N100m), Our Lady of Lourdes Ihiala (N90m) and St. Joseph’s Adazi N90m. Out of the 105 health facilities, 55 are government’s, while 25 each belong to the Catholic and Anglican churches. Obi said: “At the inception of this government, Anambra State had a completely collapsed health sector. The situation was so bad that we did not even have a single accredited hospital or health institution. “Today, we have been able to get Onitsha General Hospital accredited, Ekwulobia and Amaku general hospitals will attain the same status within the life span of this government. Other health institutions, such as School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nkpor and School of Health Technology, Obosi have all regained accreditation. “We have equally built new hospitals as the Teaching Hospital at Amaku, Awka where

•From left: Director, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Mrs. Celine Oni; Chairman, Ogun State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Babajide Odubanjo and Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor on Taxation and Revenue, Chief Olufemi Allen, during an interactive section on residency rule of the personal income tax act, in Lagos PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

Lawmaker provides free eye treatment


ORE than 1500 indigenes of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State have benefitted from the free eye treatment provided by the member representing the constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Peter Akpatason. The project tagged: Heal the sick among Us, was carried out at the Igarra and Ibillo General Hospitals. Hon Akpatason, who declared the free medicare opened, said it was his first step in demonstrating commitment to the service of the people that he promised during campaigns. The lawmaker elected on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, noted that it was easier working with a healthy population than unhealthy one. He said: “I realised that a whole lot of people in the constituency do not have easy access to quality medical treatment. I want to work with a healthy population in the Akoko Edo Developmental Project. Many have died out of ignorance and several others walk about with death in their pockets. “Merely having access to free medical examination could avert deaths and health complication. It cost me a colossal amount, in the end, health is wealth. The people have to be alive and healthy for them to be able to benefit from developmental efforts. This is the first of a series of this outreach


Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin

programmes to the people. I desire to continuously attract dividends “, he added. The free medicare coordinator, Sumanu Uwa, said minor surgeries will be performed on the patients and that free medical glasses will also be given to those in need. Uwa explained that patients with ailments such as malaria, typhoid, hepatitis, hypertension, arthritis and anaemia will be treated while those with complicated cases will be referred to other hospitals for surgery. According to her: “This is the first phase of this project and it is the first time that this is happening since he became the member of the House of Representatives. We are expanding it to higher phases and it is going to be periodic. This one is actually tagged Operation save the ill among us, it is a four-day medical outreach but in two locations. We have a target population of 1,500 and this is to tell us what to expect in the second phase. “The lawmaker has been so concerned, so he decided to start with this and he equally promised to do more in the establishment of School of Mines and Technology in the constituency”

HE Chief Imam of Gbagura Abeokuta Central Mosque, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Alhaji Shehu Biobaku has praised Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos’ courageous disposition to issues at all time. The cleric, who spoke in Abeokuta during a special jumat service, marking the sixth anniversary of the coronation of the Alake of Egba Land, Oba Gbadebo Dosumu, described Oba Akiolu as a fearless leader who stands on the side of truth always. He recalled that his first encounter with Oba Akiolu was at a meeting held at the Abeokuta home of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said the Lagos Oba spoke truth to everyone at the meeting, including suggesting a truce in the rift between the former president and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Biobaku noted that Oba Akiolu had always made his position known on contentious issues, on which all his contemporaries had chosen to remain silent for fear of being molested or attacked by government agents. “Permit me to praise Oba Akiolu in his presence. He had on several occasions ventured to voice out his opinion where ordinary mortals were supposed to be seen and not heard, right inside the lion’s den,” he said. The cleric described Oba Akiolu and Oba Gbadebo as “two of a kind.” He noted that while Lagos was witnessing development during Oba Akiolu’s reign, Abeokuta was equally witnessing tremendous transformation during Oba Gbadebo’s time. Replying, Oba Akiolu said his perceived courageous attribute was what he imbibed from childhood and that he believes in defending the weak.

OVERNOR Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has inaugurated 25 ambulances for the state’s Emergency Medical Response Team to ensure sustainable healthcare delivery. In a message to the event in Enugu, Chime described the scheme as a significant step in the commitment of the government to revolutionise the health sector and ensure that health services got to the doorsteps of citizens. Represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi, Chime said that the scheme which was the first of its kind in the country, was meant for people, who might suddenly become critically ill or involved in any form of accident. According to him, the emergency response team is free of charge.He pointed out that it was “an advance life support“ for the people of the state. Chime said that his administration donated eight brand new ambulances, while each of the 17 local government areas donated one ambulance each to make up the 25 ambulances. “The ultimate aim of the government is to transform the team into a full- fledged agency backed by law,“ Chime said. He praised the state’s Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in the sector for making the scheme a reality, pledging the

Enugu commitment of the state government to sustain the scheme. In her address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Fidelia Akpa, described the scheme as well articulated, co-ordinated and specialised health package to attend to people, who fell sick either at home or in vehicles or elsewhere within the state. Akpa noted that the inauguration of the scheme marked the commencement of the service for the Enugu metropolis, adding that it would be extended to all the 17 local government areas in the state. She noted that the ministry was working in collaboration with scheme-friendly hospitals in the state to ensure that rescued patients were promptly attended to.

The commissioner added that the ministry would also collaborate with the police to provide security for the rescue teams because they would be exposed to all forms of danger in the course of their work. The Director of the scheme, Dr Austin Ikwueze, said that the scheme posed a challenge because of its uniqueness, adding that it was set up from the scratch without any precedent. He said that the team was motivated and inspired by the prompt response of the State Government to its proposal to set up the scheme and ensured its hitch-free take off. The Director said the scheme would run 24 hours daily, adding that they were poised to deliver the pre-hospital package of care to the people. He gave the team’s hotlines as 0805 025 2525, 0809 111 1162, and 0816 290 8860.

Chief Imam urges Jonathan to tackle insecurity By Tajudeen Adebanjo


HE Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Garuba Akinola Ibrahim has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to expedite action in addressing the menace of Boko Haram sect. Sheikh Ibrahim spoke during the Hijrah lecture organised by the Lagos Central Mosque at Lagos Island. The cleric lamented the state of insecurity in the country and the increasing number of lives lost as a result of the incessant bombings. He warned members of the sect to stop operating under the banner of religion, noting that Islam abhors killing of innocent souls. “You cannot claim to be an Islamic organisation where your actions are against the tenets of the religion,” he said. Also speaking, Baba Adinni of the Central Mosque, Sheikh Abdul Hafeez Abou, urged Nigerians to always eschew violence in demanding for their rights. Without peace, he said, there cannot be meaningful progress in the country. He urged government to do more in securing lives and properties of the citizen. Sheikh equally enjoined the masses to assist the government by reporting suspicious moves by anybody to the security agencies. He urged Muslims to emulate the Prophet in relating with other religious groups. The guest speaker, Alhaji Mujitaba Giwa, urged Nigerians to do away with evil acts. This, he said, is a way of embarking on hijrah. He warned the Federal Government to shelve the idea of removing subsidy from the petroleum.He said the move would further impoverish Nigerians. He wondered how a government that failed to empower its citizens would sing the song of subsidy removal.

• From left: Secretary of Odogbolu Community Development Council, Evan. Idowu Abudu; President, Odogbolu Community Development Council , Chief Sikiru Gbodimoni; Vice Chairman, Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area, Princes Sammy Bada Onokosi and Chairman of the Association Omooba Sam Ogundogba during a media briefing in Lagos on Odogbolu Day celebration. PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL.

Children elect parliamentarians in Lagos


HILDREN in Mushin Local Government have elected members of the children’s parliament. The children who must not be less than two years old must be in secondary school, very intelligent, fluent in English Language and school within that local government in the next three years. As a member of the children’s parliament, you ensure that the welfare of children within the local government is adequately protected. Before they were elected by their fellow students, the contestants reeled out their manifesto to their fellow students, explaining, how they intend to represent the students. At the inauguration of the children’s parliament, the Chairman of Mushin Local Government Hon. Olatunde Adepitan, charged the students to begin to exhibit good leadership qualities that would distinguish them from lazy people. “If you can be a reliable and responsible children parliamentarian, there is every tendency you grow up to become a responsible House member, whether at the local, state or Federal level.”

He appealed to the children to distinguish themselves,from the adult who goes to the House to argue. The children chose a Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader, Clerk of the House, Chief Whip, Deputy Chief Whip, and Minority Leader . They are to meet from time to time to debate the affairs of children in Mushin. The wife of the chairman,Mrs Oludayo Adepitan, urged the parliamentarians to be good ambassadors of Mushin at the state and Federal level. He advised the children to obey their parents, teachers, leaders and constituted authorities. The parliamentarians who consist of boys and girls are: Arum Fortune, Olanipekun John, Apeleyin Anuoluwapo, Alaneme Ekene, Orji Moses, Okolo Clement, Eze Ifunaya, Iwaluwa Fatimoh, Adebiyi Ayomide, Mmadu Godstine, Adeleke Alimoh, Yussuf Kabirat Taiwo, Adeleke Adedoyin and Popoola Aduragbemi. Those to present Mushin at the state level are Fasanya and Damilola.

Church rewards members


HE Fountain of Life Church is holding a programme, Act of Love, in which devoted workers of the fold would be compensated with household items, electronics and even cars which ordinarily they cannot afford.It is taking place on Sunday, December 4. Speaking on the programme at a press briefing, Pastor Ibukun Awosika said toward the end of every year, members need to be appreciated and encouraged through giving. She urged Christians to use this yuletide period as a season of giving and love because Jesus Christ came this purpose. Speaking further, she said the programme is divided into three phases – gathering the items to be distributed or purchased; the ticket phase which includes the purchase of

By Charity Williams

coupons/vouchers that will be used for the items. The vouchers are in the f ollowing categories N500, N1000, N2500, N5000, N7,500 and N10,000. The last phase is when participants use their vouchers to purchase various items of their choice. Commenting on the event, the host, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya said money realised from the project will be used to empower people to set up business ventures and train youths who will be self reliant so that criminal activities will be reduced. Pastor Odukoya called on the Federal Government and non-governmental organisation to create enabling environment for youths to excel in their God-given talents.

•From left:Mr Khamal Adelakun representing the Director, Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Wives of Odi-Olowo-Ojuwoye LCDA Chairmen Mrs Oluyemisi Yemi-Alli and Mushin Local Government, Mrs Oludayo Adepitan at the 5th Children Parliament






On November 23, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar, was installed the Sixth Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University(ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State. The event attracted the crème de la crème, among them, monarchs, politicians, industrialists and military officers. TONY AKOWE reports.

•From right: The Sultan, Governor Wamako, Alhaji Mutallab and GMD, NNPC, Austin Oniwon


STACCATO of gun shots heralded his arrival. As guests wondered who was coming, he walked in majestically, with a retinue of aides in his trail. With a white turban flowing down his dress, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar, was on hand to keep a date with history. He was travelling the road once traversed by his revered Saraduna of Sokoto, and pioneer chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello. Coincidentally, Sultan Abubakar was installed chancellor on November 23, the same day 48 years ago, that Bello, who founded ABU, assumed the chancellorship seat. The date is tagged the institution's founder's day. As guests filled into the Maman Kontagora Square, venue of the event, the Sultan's drummers and praise singers chanted his cognomen to the delight of all. For some time, ABU had been without a chancellor since the death of the Lamido of Adamawa, who last occupied the office. The Sultan's choice as chancellor is believed to be apt because he is respected and well connected. Welcoming guests, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdulallahi Mustapha described the installation as historic. He expressed confidence that the

The Sultan’s date with history Sultan would bring his experience to bear on the running of the institution. He argued that the monarch would ensure that the vision and mission of the institution are realised under a conducive atmosphere of teaching, learning and research. Mustapha said: “Already, the university is enjoying this privilege, judging from the stability it has enjoyed since your appointment.” He said ABU is, indeed, “fortunate to have a man endowed with humility, tolerance,

forthrightness and open mindedness, among others, at the helm of affairs”. To the Sultan, the university’s consent to the date for the installation was gratifying because it evoked a sense of history “which I believe expresses the administration’s ardent desire and determination not only to honour the indelible memory of its founder, but to re-establish this veritable institution on its proper foundations. May I further propose that the university look into the possibility of maintaining this date for its convocation, if only to underscore the need

to reconnect the university with the dream of its founding fathers.” According to him, beside the symbolism of the date, “we must also venture to state that ABU is, in itself, symbolic of our educational vision and development, especially here in the northern states. Ahmadu Bello was seen, at least, by its founding fathers as the culmination of years of toil and struggle to establish a robust educational system in the northern part of the country.” Quoting the late Sir Ahmadu Bello at his investiture as the first chancellor of the university in 1963, the Sultan said: “The creation of our university is symbolic of the momentous development that has taken place throughout Northern Nigeria and the federation as a whole… We live so close to this development that it is difficult sometimes to realise how great the achievement is. There must have been very few who… have believed it possible that there should be not only soon a university here in Zaria, but one with northern Nigerians among the senior members of its staff…” He said the rebuilding of the institution must begin by re-establishing the basic principles and recapturing the noble vision for which it was founded. Continued on page 30




The Sultan’s date with history Continued from page 29

•A cross section of traditional rulers at the event Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa (left) and Speaker, House of Representatives Hon Aminu Tambuwal

His words:“The founding fathers of this institution laboured hard to bequeath to us a veritable institution, which provided the sturdy foundations of our national development. We must not fail them. We must apply ourselves with all seriousness and sincerity to sustaining these institutions and put them in a shape that could be best useful to the future generation of Nigerians.” He decried corruption, poverty and unemployment, saying that, despite the unprecedented resources at the nation’s disposal, its development has failed to match its national wealth. He challenged all tiers of government, especially northern governors, to rise to the challenges facing the education sector and take urgent steps to address them. He said the ongoing reform in the education sector will not be complete without a progressive development in basic and secondary education. While arguing that corruption has emasculated the nation’s progress, with poverty and unemployment pushing the people to the brinks, fueling and confounding social conflicts, the Sultan said inter-communal crises have exerted a toil on human and social property, while persistent insecurity has generated panic and anxiety. Social and physical infrastructure are far from meeting the needs of the nation, while the country appears to be drifting, he added. While noting that many nations of the world have had to pass through similar trying times in the course of their growth, the Sultan said “at the core of all these is ignorance and moral decay.”

‘We must all join hands to fix our country as no one will do it for us and we have no other country but this one. I am confident that leaders at every level will appreciate the need to close ranks and work together as a national priority’

•Education Minister, Prof Ruqqayat Rufai

He implored universities to rise to the challenge. “Our leaders,” he said, “must provide these institutions the necessary resources and latitude to rise to the challenge.” He continued: “We must all join hands to fix our country as no one will do it for us and we have no other country but this one. I am confident that leaders at every level will appreciate the need to close ranks and work together as a national priority. Some two decades ago, however, all these began to change; these moral and academic standards eroded away, facilities and


•From left: Dr Yinka Sogbesan; Prof Ayoade Adesokan and Mrs Folu Adebowale, during the latter’s installation as President, Ikeja Golden Lions Club, Ikeja.

infrastructure enervated and naturally, the quality of products started to dwindle and the esteem of the university started to wane. We must ask the question, where did we start to derail and what exactly went wrong? Next year, this university will be celebrating its golden jubilee. We must use this opportunity to do a thorough introspection so that we get to the bottom of these problems, resolve these problems, return the university to course and reinvent its vision and mission so that it can play the role it was established to play… “My message is, therefore, a simple one. The largest university in subSaharan Africa must be transformed into the biggest university in Africa… We cannot build a first rate university without building a reasonable consensus on how to move the university forward. Our vision for this great institution must be a collective one where all major shareholders take responsibility for their actions and take pride in discharging their roles. Whenever we allow factionalism and primordial sentiments to dictate our attitudes and actions, we are telling the

whole world that we are not ready to discharge this historic responsibility. We cannot expect to establish the best university in Africa without embracing the ethos of excellence and hard work. We must value excellence and hard work and be willing to recognise and reward those who excel. Our processes and procedures must be transparent and fair enough to ensure equity and justice for all. “We must appreciate the fact that the cultivation of excellence is an expensive undertaking. Government should do its part a n d d i s c h a r g e t i m e l y a n d adequately its financial commitments to the university. We must acknowledge the basic fact that the reform of the tertiary education sector cannot be effective and complete without putting in place the progressive development required in the basic and Senior Secondary education sector. Our state governments, especially here in the northern states, must begin to realise the enormity of the challenges facing the education sector and take the urgent and necessary steps to address these challenges.”


• Former Miss Esther Olowoyeye and her beau, Mr Iranlowo during their traditional wedding in Lagos.



SOCIETY The Banquet Hall of the State House, Osogbo, Osun State, was filled with top bankers. It was at a dinner the Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, organised for them last weekend. The dinner was among several programmes to mark the first anniversary of the Aregbesola administration. ADESOJI ADENIYI reports.

The living spring of achievements T

HE hall had every trapping of celebration and the gathering, an unusual mixture of politicians and bankers, was ready to talk business, though in a relaxed setting. They were guests of Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who hosted them to a dinner to mark the first anniversary of his administration. How time flies; a year down the line? seemed to be the question on everybody’s mind. The politicians, in their characteristic form, were well decked in flowing Agbada of various materials, while the bankers were not disappointing in their well tailored suits and trendy neck ties. Virtually all the banks and other financial institutions were represented at the occasion that provided an opportunity for the governor to display his score card and enumerate achievements recorded in the last one year. Not only this, the gathering provided him the chance of making his projections for the remaining years of his tenure known to them. The top executives equally latched on the opportunity to interact with top government officials present. They included the state Deputy Governor, Chief Grace Titi LaoyeTomori; her counterpart from Lagos, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Speaker, House of Assembly, Hon Najeem Salam; his deputy, Hon Adegboye Akintunde; his counterpart form Lagos, Hon Kolawole Taiwo; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola; Commissioner for Finance, Dr Wale Bolorunduro; Commissioner for In-

formation and Strategy, Hon Sunday Akere; his Tourism counterpart, Mr Sikiru Ayedun, as well as the Special Duties Commissioner, Mr Ajibola Bashir. Also in attendance were the Commissioner for Environment, Prof. (Mrs) Olubukola Oyawoye; AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Hon Wale Afolabi; Special Adviser on Environment, Hon Bola Ilori and his counterpart on Agriculture, Mr Festus Agunbiade.Many of the bank executives, who spoke on the occasion, acknowledged the governor’s vision, action and passion for growing the economy of the state. They pledged their support for the governor and his administration. Among them was Ayo Abina of the Skye Bank, who suggested a smaller forum to talk and debate issues associated with the roles expected of financial institutions in the life of Aregbesola’s administration. He noted that there should be a legal framework for operation by the two parties-the state government and the banks. Akinleye Ogunleye of Diamond Bank disclosed that his bank was planning to open four branches in the state next year. He praised Ogbeni Aregbesola for’s visionary and exemplary leadership, saying core values of financial principles and discipline reflect in his administration. Another banker, Elias Akenzua of Zenith Bank, assured the governor that his bank as well as others would support his government because they are convinced about what he is doing.

Mrs Boyin Oladokun of Unity Bank said that for people to have confidence Aregbesola’s administration they should be adequately informed about government’s policies and programmes. She advised the governor to work more on internally generated revenue for the state. Responding, Aregbesola appealed to the bankers and other financial institutions to give his administration a chance by offering to finance capital projects and programmes aimed at improving the economy of the state. He ruled out the possibility of a tax regime that may create unnecessary burden on the people, adding, how he had been able to save N13 billion in the last one year. “I am here in Osun State to help eradicate poverty. If you are talking about naked poverty it is here in the State. We can not tax anybody here because we don’t want them to die. Tax who, people waiting to die? What we have been able to save was not through tax, but through blocking of leakages in the system. So you bankers have no choice than to support us deliver good governance to the people,” he said. He continued: “We need your support to help people out poverty. I am amused about uninformed comments of our immediate predecessors in office about the finances of the state. They are confused and can not comprehend what we are doing because they are not financially literate. We have the vision, passion and action. I am here to change the fate of a black man on earth through various progarmmes and projects in our unusual

•From left: Managing Director, WEMA Bank, Mr. Segun Oloketuyi; Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Salam; Deputy Governor, Mrs. Laoye-Tomori and Governor Aregbesola.

•Some top government functionaries

•Some top bank executives at the dinner

•A cross section of politicians

and unconventional governance.” The governor, who disclosed that his administration does not wait for federal allocations before paying workers, said that any state waiting for federal allocation to pay its workforce is doomed. He advised his counterparts in other states to look for ways other than federal allocation to run their administrations. He said: “The finance of Osun State left behind by my predecessor was bad. We met a suffocating loan of N18.3 billion for which Oyinlola secured and collected in an unprofessional manner. He planned to spend the loans, which he withdrew at one fell swoop with heavy repayment schedule, on frivolous capital projects, including six stadia across the state. But within a year in office, my government has changed the financial fortune of the state from N300 million to N600 million Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) and payment of the debt loan through the access of N25 million bond from the bank with the monthly servicing of less than N100million instead of N800 million used to service the former loan.” Earlier, the Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budgeting, Dr Bolorunduro, told the gathering of the administration’s resolve to raise the IGR to N1 billion in the 2012 fiscal year. He advised the banks to support the state government in its quest to make Osun an economic hub in the Southwest. Bolorunduro listed the achievements to include creation of 20,000 jobs for the youth within the first 100 days of the administration and sterling performance in managing the environment and many others.



SOCIETY Last Saturday,in Lagos, former Special Adviser in Public Affairs to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, rolled out the drums to celebrate his 50th birthday. Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunada Sijuwade led other dignitaries to the ceremony. NNEKA NWANERI and HAMEED YEKINI write.

Osuntokun at 50 S

IXTEEN years and two months ago, he stood in the same chapel, but for a different purpose. Then they were two: he and his wife. Last Saturday, when Akin and Ronke Osuntokun returned to the Chapel of Christ our Light, University of Lagos (UNILAG), they had increased to five. That was Osuntokun’s testimony when he stood before the audience to thank God for clocking 50. It was a well attended ceremony, with monarchs, politicians, opinion moulders and leaders in attendance. Osuntokun, a former presidential aide and Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and his family were the cynosure of all eyes as he spoke. In attendance was the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, who came in his custom-built white and black Rolls Royce. Other dignitaries were presidential candidates of the National Conscience Party and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bashorun Dele Momodu and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni; former National Deputy Chairman (Southwest), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George; Dr Wale Babalakin and former Health Secretary, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi. The service, organised by the Trinity House Church, attracted people from far and wide. Osuntokun’s wife, Ronke, wore pink Iro and Buba with a pink head gear to match. She was beside herself with joy as she took the first reading from Psalm 91. Her first daughter, Tunrayo, took the second reading from Psalm 128. On mounting the podium, Osuntokun, clad in a cream flowing Agbada, began by giving gratitude to God for making him see the day. He called on his children to stand beside him with their mother before he began to declare God’s work in his life. “That I am celebrating my birthday here today is by divine providence. Sixteen years and two months ago, I wedded in this very chapel and we have since grown in population. We were two then, now we are five; what better testimony is there. My son here inherits my appearance and traits: both good and bad. My family is my testimony. I thank God and I pray they also have their weddings like ours.” Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, who delivered the sermon from the Old Testament Book of Numbers 4: 21-23, congratulated Osuntokun on the significant milestone of attaining 50. “Ages 30-50 are years of service, understanding and productivity. From 50, things begin to change as you move to a level of maturity. At 50, you are still alive and surviving. Every living soul should praise the Lord, as the average lifespan in Nigeria is 47,” the cleric said. Quoting Psalm 136, he said: “You must thank the Lord. Thank God your parents met and their union gave you a chance to be alive. Thank God that even though, we are not quite where we are supposed to be, it could have been worse.” “Secondly, at 50, it is an opportunity to look. Look back and see where God has brought you from; look back and see the mistakes, the wrongs you have done and what you ought to do. Look around and see how God has protected you. Look forward as God told Abraham in Genesis 8, to look forward and see the greatest things He wants to do through you. “Thirdly, at 50, it is a great opportunity to ask for restoration. Leviticus 25 says you will hallow the ju-

From left: Osuntokun’s wife, Ronke; son Akin; the celebrator and his daughters, Tunrayo and Moyo

•Oba Sijuade

•Bashorun Momodu

•Dr Babalakin

bilee year. Verse 12 says ask for increase; ask for wisdom, adequate life long enough to do what God wants you to do, but not as too long so you don’t see what you aren’t supposed to see, as he gave an example of Methuselah of old. It is a great year to ask God for eternal life. “At 50, you must not miss it. Keep to the 10 Commandments. Sell all you have and give to the poor. By so doing, you store up treasures in heaven where moth or termites won’t eat them up. Live a simple life and begin to prepare for heaven.” He prayed that God give Osuntokun many more years in peace, wisdom, health and prosper-

ity. The Trinity House choir rendered a special song, while Mr Idowu Aderinto of the Gideon’s International made a Bible presentation to the celebrator. Guests later moved to Multipurpose Hall A, UNILAG for the reception. The expansive hall was tastefully decorated in shades of purple and orange. The chairs and table overlays were branded in the same colours. The celebrator moved around acknowledging cheers and exchanging pleasantries with guests as others posed for photographs with him. At the centre of the hall were two big

Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi (right) sand Prof Osuntokun

Ribadu (right) and Alapini

colourful cakes. Melodious Juju tunes wafted from the band stand. Osuntokun’s uncle, Prof Emeritus Jide Osuntokun, described his nephew as a jolly good fellow. “A very brilliant boy right from his childhood, and he inherited that from his father,” the Prof said. The celebrator’s wife, Ronke, said she was happy for the day. “He’s been a loving husband and a good father. I wish him many more years in happiness and good health.” Comedian Basiru Ali, popularly known as Bash, who compered the ceremony treated guests to hilarious jokes. Guests in attendance were former

• Pastor Ighodalo


governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni; a retired Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) Mr Tunji Alapini; the Asiwaju of Oke-Mesi, Osuntokun’s home town, Chief Henry Akande and Prince Dayo Adeleye, among others Osuntokun’s son, who shares name with him, spoke the mind of his siblings. “We are very proud of our father; our father is kind, respectful and responsible. He loves people generally irrespective of their ages,” he said. Oni, who brought words from former President Olusegun Obasanjo wished him many more years on earth.



SOCIETY Women from all walks of life, especially those in the managerial, business and political positions, converged on the Harbour Point for a three-day event to rub minds on how a woman can be a catalyst for change. RISIKAT RAMONI was there.

WIMBIZ celebrates 10th anniversary M

ANAGERS, directors, chief executive officers, lawyers, doctors, bankers, media practitioners, government executives and many more women of substance were in attendance at the Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event was the 10th anniversary of the women in management and business (WIMBIZ). The yearly conference, which took place between November 9 and 11, was to educate women on how to become a catalyst of change. After an educating meet that lasted two days, the women had an exciting night of fun where Omawunmi, Timi Dakolo, Mocheda and others performed. On the night of glamour, all the women and a few men in attendance were dressed in their best attires. They looked radiant in their evening dresses. While some were dressed in English wears, others simply wore native attires. One after the other, they stepped into the beautifully decorated hall, with one mind, to be catalysts for change and have fun. They threw off their guard and allowed nice tunes from the music supplied to flow into their veins. They sang, danced, ate and enjoyed themselves. It was, indeed, a night of fun. Some of them were the wife of Governor of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola and her Ekiti counterpart, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and Minister of Information Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson. There was also the Special Adviser to Ogun State Governor on Millennium Development Goals, Hafsat Abiola-Costello. Other dignitaries included the founding chairperson of Women’s Research and Documentation Centre, University of Ibadan, Prof Bolanle Awe; the Chief Executive Officer

of Sokoa Chair centre, Ibukun Awosika; the Managing Director of TerraKulture, Bolanle Austen-Peters; Country representative of Deutsche Bank, Mrs Adeola Azeez; as well as the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Bola Adesola. There were also Tara Fela Durotoye of House of Tara; Chairperson of Chevron Nigeria Women Network, Catherine Dosunmu and GIS Analyst, Total Nigeria, Chidinma Ndukwe. There were some others such as the group company secretary/legal adviser, Dangote Group, Chioma Madubuko; regional director of Barclays Wealth, Nimi Akinkugbe; African Programme Co-ordinator of Vital Voices, Eniola Mafe and Bunmi Oke of 141 worldwide Lisa of Ondo, High Chief Bayo Akinnola, was also there, while Adesuwa Onyenokwe of TW magazine; Funmi Olu-Adams and Chidi Aneni from Benin/Owerri River Basin Development Authority also graced the occasion. The former chairperson of WIMBIZ, Yewande Zaccheus, expressed delight at the turn of events. She was certain that WIMBIZ through the conference and dinner will make women to be the catalyst that elevates their profile in management and business. Speakers shared their experiences and insights into the sacrifices, challenges of being a catalyst. Awe, who was the chairperson of the occasion enjoined young and upcoming women to be persistent, courageous and determined in order to succeed in life. The professor noted that WIMBIZ has done and achieved quite a lot in the last 10 years. The new chairperson of WIMBIZ, Adeola Azeez, promised to help more women, especially the young, to reach a formidable height. The three-day event was educating, interesting and entertaining.

•From left: Prof Grace Alele-Williams, Dr Oby Ezekwesili and Prof Awe

• From left: Mrs Yewande Zaccheus, Mrs Adeola Azeez, Mrs Sha'awa Kashim and Mrs Ifeyinwa Ighodalo

•Mrs Abiola-Costello

•Dr Awosika

•Mrs Johnson


•Chioma Madubuko (left) and Mrs Funmi Roberts



SOCIETY The Chapel of Christ the Light, Ikeja, Lagos was the venue of the wedding between Bolatito Akerele and Tomiwa Folarin on Saturday,November 19 reports SHEHU BELLO.

Campus love blossoms W HEN Bolatito and Tomiwa Folarin were joined in holy wedlock last Saturday, the message they passed across to guests and friends was that they have just added a new chapter to their love story, which started on the campus at the University of Ado Ekiti (UNAD), Ekiti State. To them, their meeting then was destined and they were prepared to throw everything into the relationship to make it work. It, however, took the bride three years after her matriculation to consider having a serious relationship with the opposite sex. “I met Tomiwa when I was in 300 Level at UNAD and our relationship followed afterwards. I already promised that I would not date anybody in school because I promised myself to focus on my studies and I kept to it till 300 Level when God gave me my own guy. He is God fearing, kind and an open minded. One whom I have always dreamed of,” Bolatito said. The groom, Tomiwa, corroborated his wife and added that marriage is an institution that requires maturity. “I met her some three years ago at the University of Ado Ekiti (UNAD). She has been like a mother, lovely and pretty. As you can see, I cherish her so much. Marriage is an institution that you can’t compare with anything, because it shows a level of understanding,” he said. One of the officiating ministers, Reverend David Kolawole Veralls described marriage as a sacred institution, which Jesus honoured at the wedding of Canaan of Galilee. He charged the couple to always live on the words of the scripture. ‘’Jesus Christ was a guest at a wedding in Canaan of Galilee and He blessed this way of life. His spirit is with us now and he also

preached from the scripture that marriage is a gift of God. It’s a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh. The vow that you are about to take are being made in the name of God and I charge you both to alway live by His words,” he said The church’s presiding chaplain, Rev John Olusola Tanimonu declared that: “The vow that you are about to take are being made in the name of God and I charge you both as you will answer before God who is the judge of all and knows all secrets of our heart”. The priest then asked for the person who gave Bolatito out in marriage and Mr Akerele Williams stood up to answer with a smile on his face. The priest then joined the couple and ordered them to kiss each other to seal their union. The reception, which held immediately after the church service at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja was more of a purple affair as different attires in different shades of purple dominated the hall. The men were clad in flowing Agbada while the women radiated in their Iro and Buba. The bride’s mother, Mrs Ronke Akerele, who was all smiles, said she has longed for the day to come. She said she was happy to have witnessed it. She advised the couple to be open towards each other. “My daughter is a lovely girl, obedient and takes things very lightly. I observed tomiwa (her husband) and I found out that he is peace loving and hard working. I thank God that my daughter got the right man and I well also advise the new couple to be open to each other,” said. The groom’s mother, Mrs Janet Alabi, who was dressed in a beautiful Yoruba lace, was full of praise to God. She beamed with

•From left: Adisa Fagbenro; Evang Oluyole and Richard Kazeem

smiles and expressed her joy that her first son got the right girl. “My son is a loving boy, I so much love him because he is my first son and I am very happy that this day has come and I don’t regret taking Bolatito as my daughter in-law. My advice to them is that they should live in peace, so that their home can stand. They should love each other so that their children can learn from them,” she said. The bride’s father, Mr Wilson Akerele, was almost in tears as he spoke about his daughter. He said it was painful giving her out, but he acknowledged that it was the

right thing he had to do. “My daughter is a gentle, unassuming, hard working, honest and beautiful lady. She is just too good and giving her out to Tomiwa is very painful, but I think it is one of the things you have to do in life as a father. I thank God for making this occasion a possibility and I pray to God to grant them peaceful married life. I also advice them to make Jesus Christ the foundation of their marriage, because without Jesus Christ there will be crisis. I pray they should open up to each other and not hide anything from each other. By doing this their marriage can last,” he said.

Keeping a covenant with God All-day praise, singing and dancing marked the harvest of the Messiah Parish, Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Mushin, Lagos Mainland on Sunday, November 20. It was a day the church’s neighbourhood in Idi-Araba, Lagos, will live to remember. ADEJO DAVID writes.


•From left: Adisa Fagbenro; Evang Oluyole and Richard Kazeem

•From left: Prince Ayodele Adeyinka, Murphy Oluyemi and Tosin Matthew PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO

HEIR white flowing soutana stood them out. Everyone around the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Idi-Araba, knew that something was happening at the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Messiah Parish. It was the church’s 21 st Harvest and Thanksgiving Service. The congregation, with its invited guests, jostled for space as the church auditorium, which is under construction, was full. The service began with an opening prayer by Most Snr. Evang Joshua Obasanjo. He introduced leaders of the church and the harvest committee members. Brother Shina Agbetu undertook the sanctification and burning of incense to usher in the thanksgiving. Members their families and friends approach the altar dancing, singing in and praise to present their offering. The choir displaying their dexterity on musical instrument as they rendered melodious gospel songs. This year’s service was tagged: Harvest of supernatural discovery. It featured praying on water; perfumes; farm produce (fruits, tubers of yam etc) money offerings and praise and worship.

Delivering the sermon, the Most Superior Evangelist in-charge of Lagos Diocese, Senior Evangelist Victor Oluyole (aka voice of Africa) spoke on “Marriage with Christ.” He said those who labour on earth in the service of God will get their harvest reap in heaven. Evang Oluyole defined harvest as “The empirical value of every living organism,” taking his text from Romans 14:17 and Galatians 5:19. The Shepherd-in-charge, Snr. Evang Williams Femi Gbelegbola, thanked God for another wonderful harvest and thanksgiving service. “We give God the glory for his provision this year. Some of our strong members traveled abroad, but we thank God that we are increasing in number. We now have about 400 members, but the figure is not stable as I cannot give the exact number of members in the church,” he said. He added: “We tagged this year’s harvest and thanksgiving service the ‘supernatural discovery,’ because we started with nothing some years ago, but now we are strong and moving forward.”

‘We give God the glory for his provision this year. Some of our strong members travelled abroad, but we thank God that we are increasing in number. We now have about 400 members, but the figure is not stable as I cannot give the exact number of members in the church’




Agric Institute discovers new cassava flour



HE International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, has discovered a new cassava flour that can save Nigeria N623 billion yearly in foreign exchange (forex). IITA Director-General Dr Nteranya Sanginga said the flour would replace wheat in the production of bread. He made this known when he visited Governor Abiola Ajimobi. He spoke of the institute’s willingness to partner with the state in food production and security. Ajimobi praised IITA for its con-

•Nigeria to save N623b yearly in forex Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

tributions to food production and research development. He said the siting of the institute in Ibadan has uplisted the image of Oyo State throughout the continent and beyond. He said his administration would collaborate with the institute in seed multiplication to boost food and crop production. He promised that the contract for the

Ajibode Road, linking Orogun to IITA would be awarded before the end of the year. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accepted to be IITA‘s Goodwill Ambassador, in an effort to help fight hunger and poverty in Africa. Sanginga announced Obasanjo’s acceptance after a closed door meeting with the former President in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

As the IITA Goodwill Ambassador, Obasanjo would help in advocating policies that can advance research and bring to reality the long-awaited African Green Revolution. He would extend and amplify IITA’s work and mission and help focus the world’s attention on the work of IITA in sub-Saharan Africa. This work involves helping to raise 20 million Africans out of poverty and to redirect 25 million hectares of degraded lands for sustainable use in the next 10 years.

Oyo to identify genuine cassava farmers for help


HE Oyo State government plans to identify genuine cassava farmers before extending to them the assistance from the Federal Government’s Revitalisation Programme. The Chairman of the Cassava Growers Association (CGAN), Mr Muyideen Adekunle, said at Eleekara near Oyo Town that the identification is at the association’s instance. He said the association’s request was also to demonstrate its high level commitment to supporting the revitalisation initiative. Adekunle said CGAN would set up committees to liaise with state governments to identify genuine cassava farmers to benefit from the expected government assistance. He said the association’s group farms are in six locations in the state, adding that they are those belonging to individual members. The plantation at Koomu, Ogbomoso, Fasola and two at Iseyin are to be inspected by officials of Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme (OYSADEP). “We are ready to partner with the state government in ensuring that we meet its requirements and ensure that

the cassava revitalisation programme of the Federal Government becomes a reality in Oyo State,’’ he said. Adekunle said 44 local cassava groups are under CGAN. He pointed out that while Oyo had the highest number of cassava growers in the zone, it had not benefited much from government’s initiative to support cassava farmers. Adekunle urged members of the association to support the revitalisation programme. He said: “Let us show commitment so that government will take us seriously and help us as we plan to go further by adding value through processing.” An OYSADEP official invited to the meeting, Mr Simeon Adeniyi, assured the farmers of government’s support once the investigation was concluded. Adeniyi said the present administration in the state was sincere in its agricultural development programme. He, however, said the government would only give assistance to groups and not individual farmers. Some of the members, expressed their readiness to cooperate with OYSADEP officials on govern-ment’s plan for the verification exercise.

Piracy inimical to fishing, says group


HE Fisheries Society of Nigewria (FISON) is worried over pirate attacks on fishing vessels. The attacks, it said, pose danger to the industry. In an interview with The Nation, FISON National President Dr Abba Abdullah said some Nigerians are suffering devastating environmental, social and economic impacts from such activities. Abdullahi urged the government to address the activities of foreign vessels engaged in unregulated fishing on the nation’s coastline. Lack of enough policing has resulted in rampant fishing by foreign vessels, he said. According to him, the losses to the economy are huge, including depletion of fish stocks. Abdullah said more partnership and support from the Federal Government would help in sustaining the rapid growth in the sector. He said the fishing industry had been left in the hands of the private sector for too long. The sector, he said, had in its little way paved the way into the industry, adding that the government should assist it with amenities. “The government should address the high cost of feeds and lack of modern fishing inputs, lack of funds and piracy at sea, among others. “In any economy, for you to develop, you must have the right policy and have all the right gov-

•From left: Head, IITA Bioscience Centre, Dr Gedil Melaku; IITA Maize Breeder, Dr Abebe Menkir; West Africa Seed Alliance’s Representative in Nigeria, Lawrence Fajana and Project Leader, Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project, Dr Wilfred Mwangi, during a stakeholders’ workshop in Lagos.

Adamawa agric extension staff urged to educate farmers on HIV/AIDS


HE Adamawa State government is committed to transforming agriculture with the extension staff serving as the catalyst. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Louis Mandama, told newly recruited extension staff at a workshop in Yola that agriculture is the centrepiece of the state’s economic development. Mandama said: “You need to read a lot in your field and remain current with developments around the world to meet up with the new challenges.”

He also urged the extension staff to utilise their closeness to rural farmers to educate them on the dangers of HIV/AIDS to agricultural development and to be more practical in enlightening farmers on the government’s commercial agriculture programmes. Mandama further advised them to set up their own farms, adding that through practicalising what they taught the farmers, the message would be effectively disseminated. “You need to have a small farm in the community you operate,

so that you can translate what you are trying to teach the local farmer on how to increase his yield. “Once he sees the positive result, you will be his reliable partner and he will adopt the technology you gave him for keeps and there will be sustainability,” he said. He charged them not allow themselves to be distracted by the farmers’ social lives. “It is not your problem if somebody has many wives, or consumed ‘burukutu’, or he is a pagan. Just do your work as an extension staff.”

‘Review of subsidies ‘ll transform sector’ •Abdullah

ernment support,” Abdullah said. According to him, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has also initiated the Nigeria Aquaculture Development Plan (NADP) to be led by the private sector. He said the objectives of the plan was to boost production to meet local demand, assist in balancing trade in aquatic products, create employment opportunities through aquaculture practices. Abdullah said the plan would also help in creating access to profitable market locally and internationally. “FAO initiated this because; it noticed the role the private sector is playing in the development of aquaculture in Nigeria, the document has been completed and a committee has been set up and inaugurated,” Abdullah said. Abdullah said FISON had already started playing a strategic role in the development initiatives where it had been recognised as the principal stakeholder.


REVIEW of the Federal Government’s subsidies in the agricultural sector is vital to food security and income generation, the Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Dr Mohammed Santuraki, has said. Speaking at a retreat organised by BoA, Santuraki called for subsidies’ reform to ensure that they reach the beneficiaries. Apart from fertiliser subsidies, he cited interest rate subsidies. He observed that a situation where the

By Tonia Osundolire

government imposes a subsidised interest rate on the bank’s loans without the corresponding support, naturally erodes the capital available for the bank’s business operations. This, he noted, poses significant challenges to sustainability. He, however, reiterated the resolve of the management to review the bank’s operating model towards ensuring its sustainabi-lity, emphasising that “no organisation

is set up to make losses.” Santuraki said the bank has some inherent strengths, which could be leveraged to broaden and deepen its operations and impact. This includes the capacity to offer credit and savings services, and also non-funding support to agricultural and rural enterprises to promote financial inclusion. On the challenges facing the bank, he said BOA has suffered progressive decline in the last 20 years due to internal challenges and neglect of agricultural sector.

‘Employment opportunities abound in food tech’


HE National President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Dr John Onuora, has said employment opportunities abound in the food technology sector. At the end-of-the-year Assembly Meeting of the association in Abuja, Onuora said no food technologist should be unemployed, because of the high demand for indigeneous food, in and outside the country. “Food science and technology is a very practical course, and in Nige-

ria, there are thousands of food production that can be done in a better way, that will meet the needs of the consumers. He said: “Food scientists and technologists have a comparative advantage, because there are many food products that need improvement.” Onuora said any enterprising food technologist should take up “one food or the other and develop it to a standard that can be consumed in Nigeria and even for export”.

He admitted there might be challenges in doing that, stressing that it should not be an excuse for any food technologist to be idle. Director, Food and Industrial Biotechnology, National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, urged the association to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach in food production and safety. She said there was the need for stakeholders in food production to be conscious of hygiene and safety.




How Abia is attracting investors By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent


•Nneji (second left), Adetifa (second right), another director, Louis Orji (left) and a media consultant, Prince Diran Omotoso

Soya bean can curb obesity, others


LL hope is not lost for those who are obese, with the coming of natural soya bean milk into the country. Soya bean is a vegetable with essential minerals capable reducing cholesterol. Director, Golden Boy Oil and Cereal, Mr Samuel Adetifa, said soya bean is very high in calcium, but low in saturated fats, thus helping to build an healthy heart. Adetifa, who spoke at the launch of Golden Boy Soya Milk in Lagos, said the product is cholesterol free, high in soya protein and rich in iron content. He said soya beans milk is a new standard in health nutrition, adding that the product is made from non-gmo soya

By Wale Adepoju

bean. Non-Gmo soya beans are non-chemical soya beans because they were grown naturally. It is purely organic, making it 100 per cent natural seed, he added. Adetifa said sucrose from sugar cane and maltose are some of the ingredients used in the production of the product. “Due to our unique preparation using advanced food technology, the nutritional value of the soya beans is retained for a smooth, naturally delicious taste. It is full of protein, which helps several vital functions of the body,” he said. The company’s Managing Director, Mr Batholomew Nneji, said the product is manufactured in China, but

would soon be produced locally within the next two years. “It was due to the epileptic power supply in the country and the seemly high overhead costs that we decided to produce it outside the country,” he said. He said soya bean being the oldest vegetable around has been used in Eastern countries for thousands of years, adding that it is high time Nigerians took advantage of the product. He said market research showed there was no soya product packaged in a powdery form. The company, he said, has made it easier for consumers with its soya bean milk powder product in a sachet which is handy and readily available

for everybody. “The product is highly soluble as it dissolves easily whether in cold, hot or warm water. Soya bean is a good alternative for milk. It is good for everyone, especially for the children who are still growing,” he said. He said the product, unlike most products, is very creamy and lacks the repulsive smell, usually associated with soya bean products. “Bearing in mind that Africans have low tolerance to cholesterol, Golden Boy Soya Bean Milk Powder is a suitable option to cholesterol problems. The product is the best substitute for meat because it’s cholesterolfree and is highly affordable,” he said.

Agric vital to transformation agenda, says NISER From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja



HERE cannot be economic transformation without agricultural transformation, the DirectorGeneral, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Prof. Israel Taiwo, has said. At a workshop on agricultural commodity marketing and transformation in Nigeria, organised by NISER in Abuja, Taiwo said the sector

accounts for about two-fifths of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a larger share of employment than any other one. “The Nigerian economy has largely been driven by agriculture and crude oil. The agricultural sector has, in fact, driven the Nigerian economy far longer than any other sector. It is against this backdrop that one is tempted to argue that if the economic transformation agenda of the Federal Government is to be accomplished, successful agricultural transformation is a necessary condition”, he added. NISER, however, regretted that with the impressive con-

tribution of the agricultural sector to the economy, there is broad-based agreement that agriculture has been unable to realise its full potential. He listed the challenges in both upstream and downstream activities of the sector as inadequate mechanisation, irrigation and institutional arrangements for agricultural production, storage and marketing. “The issue of Agricultural Commodity Board has generated considerable interest and intense debate both in the public and private sectors since its inception in 1954. This is, particularly, so because of the abrupt manner in which the Boards were abolished in 1986. With the

benefit of hindsight, many observers and analysts are of the view that the Boards were scrapped in error. If, indeed, this was the case, the question is where do we go from here, given the institutional arrangements that have taken place since 1986. In other words, which frameworks for agricultural commodity marketing is most appropriate at this point in time. “We know we are yet to get it right because of the prevalence of a number of tell-tale farmers face. The heavy postharvest losses that character the agriculture sector and the observed decline in the quality of agricultural produce due to price and non price factors”.

Vegetable farmers earmark five hectares for farming


group of vegetable farmers, known as ‘Efolowowa’ in Osun State, has earmarked about five hectares of land for cropping during the dry season. The leader of the group, Mr Saliu Odeloye, said in Osogbo, the state capital, that the group decided to embark on large scale production of vegetables as a major source of income generation. “Our aim is to increase vegetable production for onward transportation to Lagos markets since the state government has given assurance of free rail transit.” NAN reports that Gover-

nor Rauf Aregbesola on November 4 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria Railway Corporation for the transportation of farm produce from the state to Lagos. Under the arrangement, the state government will be responsible for the rail charges on agricultural produce. Odeloye said the gesture would encourage vegetable farmers and other farmers in the state to engage in large scale production of vegetables “since there is assurance of market availability for our produce”. “The gesture will enable us

to benefit from the high profit associated with dry season vegetables in Lagos, unlike in the past when we hardly had market for the sizeable vegetables we produced during the dry season. “Transporting our vegetables to Lagos will go a long way in easing our financial burden and improve our standard of living.“ Odeloye explained that cultivating large scale vegetable farms during the dry season was stressful, but that arrangement for land clearing, bedding, planting and watering had been made to avoid delay. He appealed to the state

government to assist them with irrigation inputs to reduce the stress of watering, noting that in the past, farmers used to trek long distances in search of water for manual irrigation. Odeloye said this year’s dry season farming, which would start in December, would witness the cultivation of different types of vegetables in the state. He advised the youth and pensioners to invest in vegetable farming during the dry season for income generation and to complement government’s efforts at tackling food shortage.

BIA State is mainly an agricultural state. It is characterised by small and medium-sized farming and processing operations. Farmers and the processors of agricultural produce generate roughly a sizeable portion of its export earnings. The state is approaching self-sufficiency in green vegetables. The production of cassava, yam, oilseeds, rice, tubers, meat and fishery products have multiplied several times. There are fertile land for the production of cereals, olives, fruits, grapes, and vegetables. Harvests have traditionally yielded sizable surpluses for export. The early growing season allows the state to profit from fresh produce. Crops fluctuate greatly in size, however, depending upon the weather. Plantation agriculture is a very viable venture, especially in respect of the development of the oil-palm industry. There is revival of domestic agriculture. Production increases in farm products have supply-demand balances and even surpluses in good crop years. Agricultural inputs such as machinery, fertilizers, and technical assistance are available.The agricultural system is based on labour and physical inputs and the farm product marketing system is ruled by market mechanism. Great advances have been made as a result of the tremendous efforts to develop the rural economy, and to improve people’s lives. To make agriculture a top priority, the government is increasing input into agriculture, enhancing law enforcement and support the growth of the sector with positive measures. There are ongoing efforts to stabilise the rural economic system, the operational and distribution system. The government is working to readjust and optimise agricultural structure, promote the development of high-yield, high-quality and high-efficiency food production . Livestock activity is not as developed as other areas of agriculture. Beef production is low. Dairy production is inadequate. The state lies in a rain forest belt and has forest woods of economic value. There exist small sawmills that feeds the local furniture industry and a match factory. The government has given out micro-loans to women’s and men’s agricultural co-operatives to •Orji enable them to buy inputs such as improved seeds and tools, which they would not be able to afford otherwise. The use of micro-credit for inputs has promoted the use of improved seeds, allowing for a much higher yields, and, in the end, better food security. The government has given beneficiaries basic training in money management, along with the literacy and numeracy skills required to keep the books. To ensure success, the government works closely with private organisations as well as governmental agencies to harmonise work methods and schedules, technical itineraries, and the stocking and distribution of improved seeds. The government has undertaken soil conservation projects to improve agricultural production and raise the living standard of rural areas. It has initiated a programme to help cooperative farm system. Irrigation and flood-control projects have been undertaken. It is aimed essentially at improving food self sufficiency and alleviating hunger through food distribution. Aside from investing in agricultural infrastructure, the government supports agriculture through measures to stabilise prices and to ensure adequate food stocks for public distribution. Advisory services and market improvements have helped increase productivity considerably. Most farmers have reduced their post-harvest losses. Government is developing regional value chains for strategic agricultural commodities to enhance agricultural transformation and competitiveness. Over the last decade much incentive and encouragement has been granted to the agricultural sector to increase production and exports. Incentives for agricultural investment mean a contribution to the financing of the project in the form of subsidies, grants and either partial or total tax exemptions. Today, agriculture in Abia represents a mechanisms for progress and development in relation to employment. On the whole, the required level of investment for the development of marketing, storage and cold storage infrastructure is estimated to be huge.





Father of three commits suicide


ESIDENTS of NO. 6, Sikiru Rotimi Street, Ejigbo Lagos are yet to come to terms with the death of a businessman, simply called Joseph said to have hanged himself on November 15 , 2011. Before the apparent suicide, he had reportedly written three letters detailing different sets of instructions to his landlord, Pastor and wife. Neighbours who recounted details obtained from his wife, told Newsextra that he handed her the first letter after carefully sealing it in an envelope and ordered that she take the letter to the Zonal Pastor of ‘Mountain Of Fire and Miracles Ministries’ located adjacent to their home, where the family worships. Upon her return, she would find two other letters: one addressed to her and the other addressed to the land-

Mr Joseph told the world that if his instructions were not adhered to by all parties, including his wife and kids, the defaulter(s) would have to make do with seven times the afflictions he experienced before his unceremonious exit to the great beyond

Stories by Titilayo Banjoko

lord. She also found the lifeless body of her husband dangling from the roof. The deceased and his wife had three kids. In the letter addressed to his wife, he asked the eldest of his kids to look after his younger sisters while praying God watches over them. To his relatives, he said: “I am sorry for disappointing you.” From his Pastor, identified as Gbenga Agboola, he asked for forgiveness and told him to “keep up the good work.” In the letter addressed to his landlord, he apologised for “disturbing” his child’s forthcoming wedding billed to hold five days later, and instructed him to refund the balance of the rent (N175,000), he paid from January to September 2012, to his wife. To his friends and admirers, he craved for their understanding and forgiveness. Even the police was not left out in what was a litany of death wishes. He instructed the police authorities not to investigate or arrest anyone regarding the circumstances of his passing away. He also instructed that his remains be handed over to the Lagos State Government for burial, even though he hailed from the eastern part of the country. In his letters, he made it clear that he didn’t choose to take his life for financial reasons, but he had to end it all because several unseen forces had been working against his every move since his days as a child. The instructions in all the letters came with caveats: Mr Joseph told the world that if his instructions were not adhered to by all parties including his wife and kids, the defaulter(s) would have to make do with seven times the afflictions he experienced before his unceremonious exit to the great beyond. The remains of Mr Joseph, who was sever-

•The house where Joseph lived ally described as a successful businessman by sources who would not want to be named for security reasons, had been retrieved by the police at the time of filing this report. A pall of silence had also followed his demise as everyone close to the family, including the recipients of all three letters, refused to answer questions regarding his death. All attempts by Newsextra to seek the opinion

of all persons named in the letters, were unsuccessful. Pastor Agboola, who was the first recipient of the ‘letters from hell,’ however said: “Anyone who didn’t create life and took life has sinned against God and any sin against God leads to hell.” He refused to answer further questions on the matter.

Hotel guard, steward, nabbed for alleged theft

•The suspects


WO young men, Badru Azeez, 27, and Oluwafemi Odunola, 26, are now guests of the Oyo State Police Command for allegedly conspiring to snatch a motorcycle popularly called ‘Okada’ in local parlance, from an unsuspecting victim. Azeez , sources say, had had stints as a failed Fuji musician before seeking employment as a night guard in Oyo town in Oyo State. However, with a meagre salary of N10,000 per month earned keeping watch over a hotel at night, the urge to seek for other sources of income became too strong for Azeez to resist. It was at this point, according to confessional statements obtained from the suspect, that the idea of becoming a member of the underworld was born. “I moved into Oyo State in 2007 and because I couldn’t really cut it as a Fuji musician here, I had to look for another job as a night guard. I still practised my Fuji music during the day, though,” Azeez said. It was at the hotel he met Odunola, who joined the staff as a steward after completing his educa-


tion at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education in Oyo State, he further narrated. It was a partnership that immediately developed in the most sinister of ways, according to several sources. Azeez also told Newsextra that he had learned a lot from his late father who earned a living while on earth, as a herbalist. It was a learning curve that proved invaluable as he sought to broaden his sources of income. “We wanted to engage in money making rituals, even if it would require us donating our semen to do same. But when I took Odunola to another herbalist in another community, he advised us against it,” he said. According to several reports, once the idea of rituals for the purposes of making money appeared to have hit a brick wall, Azeez and Odunola drew up another plan— one that would require snatching ‘Okadas’ at gun point and selling the snatched motorcycle to willing buyers. Odunola agreed to getting the buyers once the bikes had been seized. It would take a whole month to deliberate and perfect the plan, according to the suspects. Since joining forces in July, the duo had concluded that the peanuts earned as ‘Night guard’ and ‘Steward’ respectively

would certainly prove insufficient in meeting their daily needs. And as they put flesh to their scheme of forcefully taking motordfcycles off unsuspecting owners, the agreement in principle appeared completely total. Now, virtually on the same page, Odunola and Azeez moved on the next item on the agenda: purchasing a gun. According to statements from the suspects made available by the police, they contributed the sum of N700 to purchase the gun from a member of the O'Odua Peoples’ Congress (OPC). As they put finishing touches to what would turn out to be their first and last operation on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, Azeez brought some charms for his friend to use. The charms were supposed to perform the dual role of keeping them from being caught while also acting as a totem of good luck. But for some reasons, according to Odunola, he never used them. Odunola hid in the bushes towards the border of nearly Ilora town as agreed. Azeez rode behind the biker and original owner of the motorbike whom he had joined from another location and bellowed on the biker to halt the ride once they had reached the vicinity where Odunola had couched in the bush. It was a script masterfully implemented. Azeez alighted from the bike as Odunola emerged from the bush. Once off the bike, Azeez grabbed the key from the ignition and took to his heels. As the bike operator sped after him calling for the keys,

It was Azeez who first suggested that we should get into money rituals. He took me to the herbalist asking him to prepare charms for us for that purpose, but the herbalist advised against it. A few days later, he suggested we start snatching ‘Okadas.’ I reluctantly agreed because my mum is currently hospitalised and I needed all the money I could get to look after her

he threw it to Odunola, who caught it midair, got on the ‘Okada’, brought the engine to life and drove away in a cloud of dust and smoke. The owner of the ‘Okada’ would immediately turn his gaze towards Odunola’s way, yelling. As he sped off, youths from the community who had heard the loud screams from the motorcycle operator, swooped on Odunola and started beating him mercilessly. He would have been killed had police men from the Digboluja Police Station not arrived at the scene as he clawed for his life. Odunola was immediately taken in by the police authorities while the man-hunt for his accomplice intensified. A day after the foiled operation, Odunola was made to communicate with his friend on the phone, alerting him of his plight. Azeez in no uncertain terms had wished his friend all the luck in the world, according to police authorities, and asked him to carry his cross. Persistent efforts by the police authorities eventually paid off as Azeez was tricked into making his way back from Lagos where he has ran to Oyo State where he was arrested and confessed to the crime. Odunola told the police: “It was Azeez who first suggested that we should get into money rituals. He took me to the herbalist asking him to prepare charms for us for that purpose, but the herbalist advised against it. A few days later, he suggested we start snatching ‘Okadas.’ I reluctantly agreed because my mum is currently hospitalised and I needed all the money I could get to look after her. Unfortunately for us, I was arrested on the first day of the operation. We chose that day because it was my day off from work. He brought some charms to me but I refused to use them because I was afraid….My slippers slipped off my legs during the operation……I could have been killed if the police had not arrived in the nick of time,” he said. Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Okanlawon who confirmed the development, has assured that the suspects would soon be arraigned in court.




Community youths protest court order


HE youth of Ibagwa-Nike community, in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State recently, took to the streets of the community and demonstrated against a pronouncement by an Enugu High Court restraining members of the community from using their Power of Attorney to perform their lawful duties. The demonstrating youths threatened to carry out a wider protest in the major streets of

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Enugu State and to petition the National Judicial Council (NJC) if the order against their community leaders is not reversed. The court was said to have delivered what the revolting youths called an obnoxious order restraining the leaders of the community’s from exercising the Power of Attorney over the control of resources in the community.

What we witnessed in the ruling for the order proves that there is no future for those who depend on justice in this country

Chairman of the Ibagwa-Nike Youth’s Association, Mr. Cornelius Ugwu Jnr, told Newsextra that it was the first time he saw a court ignoring facts before it to react on superiority of a legal counsel “because counsel to the plaintiffs did not sign any document relating to his motion.” One of the Ibagwa-Nike community leaders, Chief Joe Mbannamuchi, said that one of the oldest men in the suit who swore to an affidavit as the 1st applicant/plaintiff filed an affidavit of withdrawal, pleading before the court that he signed the power of attorney and that his name should be struck out from the suit, “but the court ignored his application for withdrawal and still granted an order on the basis of what he called fundamental human right that was not pleaded before him.” The General Secretary of the Ibagwa-Nike Town Union, Mr.

Jude Okwor, complained that one Bernard Ugwuokolo who swore an affidavit and pleaded for the “abominable injunction” which the court granted, was not a party to the suit as he was neither a plaintiff nor has any letter of authority to represent the plaintiffs despite the fact that one of the plaintiffs withdrew from the matter. “What we witnessed in the ruling for the order proves that there is no future for those who depend on justice in this country. It shows that the law can be bent to suit a personality,” lamented Okwor who wondered on whose interest the court gave the order since he had previously pronounced definite hearing on the matter during the preliminary objection filed by one of the counsels, Mr. C.C Ani. When contacted, the traditional ruler of Ibagwa-Nike community, His Royal Highness (HRH) Igwe

•Governor Chime

Emmanuel Ugwu, declined comment and referred our correspondent to the counsel for the defendants, Mr. Chuma Oguejiofor.

ALGON laments declining opportunities in local councils


ORRIED by the declining opportunities and avenues to improve on the internally-generated revenue of the 774 local government areas across the country, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) is set to tackle the matter to save the councils from collapse. Consequently, the group, in collaboration with Corporate Management Consult, is organising a forum where the leadership of the councils would meet with a view to exploring many options that would enable them to generate more revenue to execute developmental projects for the benefit of the masses. Speaking in Port Harcourt, the principal consultant of Corporate Management Consult, Mr. Clement Akanibo said there were many areas and avenues to generate revenue internally in all local governments but which were not known to the leadership of the councils. Akanibo decried the present practice in some local government areas where thugs are employed to generate revenue on the highway,

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

even as he said it was negative and counter-productive to the economy of those areas as there must be decorum in collecting internally-generated revenue. He also said there was the need for local governments to engage in public-private partnerships (PPP) with a view to beefing up their revenues, pointing out that “some councils do not know about information and communication technology, ICT. “The assemblage will provide opportunity for council officials to understand options and strategies available in dealing with challenges concerning internally-generated revenue in the face of dwindling federal allocations,” he said. In addition, the leadership of the grassroots would be taught on how to be abreast of the approved list of internally-generated revenue to make them understand that they are not supposed to dabble into areas that are outside the purview of local government administration.


PHCN accused of illegal billing


GHOTON community in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State has accused the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) of illegal

•Chairman, Hajj Mabrur ventures Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafi’I (left) presenting certificate to one of the new hujaaj, Alhaji Kayode Idris during a reception organised for the returned pilgrims from Saudi Arabia at TMC Dawah Centre, Lagos. With them is Toaheed Aremu

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri charges of N4000 for electricity bill for which receipts would not be issued. A leader and former Secretary of the community Mr. Andrew Agbi, who lamented the action of PHCN, said the community is perpetually in the darkness failure to pay N4, 000 per compound without a receipt to show that payments were made. He described the action as unfair. Agbi said the problem has been on for the past three weeks after having suffered for over two years without electricity. He further said: “While other sister communities like Omadino, Obodo in Warri South and Jeddo, Ugbokodo in Okpe were enjoying electricity, Ughoton community has been subjected to darkness by PHCN for not

complying with their request of N4, 000 per compound. We are ready to pay the money but what we are asking for is that they should issue us with receipts to show that we made some payments to them. We will be okay by that. What PHCN will collect from the community if each compound pays will amount to nothing short of millions of Naira. We are not bothered about that but they should issue us receipts to reflect the amount we will pay. They don’t want to oblige us.” He explained that “the refusal on the part of the PHCN to issue them with receipts brings to mind insincerity over what they are trying to do and we cannot continue to be darkness; it is aberration and we cannot keep quiet over the matter. Efforts to reach the manager of the Effurun PHCN for comments were not successful as he was said to have gone out on official duty.

While other sister communities like Omadino, Obodo in Warri South and Jeddo, Ugbokodo in Okpe were enjoying electricity, Ughoton community has been subjected to darkness by PHCN for not complying with their request of N4, 000 per compound



If the state government wants to give a school to missionary, it is supposed to come to the community to ask if the school was established by a missionary organisation or not

Community protests proposed handover of school


UNDREDS of people in Ovu community, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State blocked the major Warri/Asaba Road to protest Delta State government’s plan to hand over Ovu Grammar School to the missionaries. The protesters bore green leaves. They were of the opinion that the state government should not hand over the school built by the community to the missionaries. In a press statement signed by the eldest man of the community (Okaorho), represented by Chief Richard Ofogba, the Prime Minister (Otota), Chief Moses Akpoyovwaire and the Secretary of the Council, Chief Peter Kosoko Utuoyor on behalf of Ovu Council of Chiefs and Elders which was made available to newsmen, the community opposed the decision of the state government to hand over the school which they said was built through communal efforts to the missionary. The statement which said that Ovu Grammar School is not in the categories of schools to be handed over to missionaries, explained that the school by name does not have the semblance of a missionary school and should not be handed over to missionary as it was built by the community. The statement further stated that Ovu Grammar School was founded in 1975 through the influence of Chief T. E. A. Salubi and Gen. David Ejoor (Rtd) and that the transfer of Rev. Father Cashman (a Whiteman) to the school as its first Principal and later Rev. Father Peter

•The protesters From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

Enyoghworoma was also influenced by the duo not at the instance of any missionary organisation. It also said that when there was an attempt to transfer the third Reverend Father to the school, the community insisted that the school was not a missionary school and one Mr. Jim Omovie was later transferred to the school as the third principal of

the school, even as it added that since then, the school had not had Reverend Fathers as principals. The statement said: “If the state government wants to give a school to missionary, it is supposed to come to the community to ask if the school was established by a missionary organisation or not. But for an individual to have unilaterally decided to give what belong to the community to missionary shows that such a person is on his or her own.

“Ovu Grammar School was built by the community and if the state government wants to hand over school to missionary it should build schools for them.” One of the women leaders, Mrs. Christy Emos said they were embarking on the protest because they cannot allow what they and their fathers suffered for to be taken away from them. She said giving the school to missionary is as good as asking their children to sit at home or rather asking

Ovu community not to be part of government or not to enjoy government’s free education. She urged the state government to reverse its decision. When contacted on phone, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education Prof. Patrick Muoboghare said that the name of Ovu Grammar School came to the office as missionary school and since then, there has not been any counter-statement to prove that the school is a community school.

Okigwe pledges support for Okorocha From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri



HE Imo North Senatorial District (Okigwe Zone) comprising Okigwe, Onuimo, Isiala Mbano, Ehime Mbano, Obowo and Ihite/Uboma local government areas has vowed to back governor Rochas Okorocha for a second term if he desires to take a second slot at the Imo State Douglas House Owerri in 2015. At a solidarity reception ac-

corded the governor by the Odinma Okigwe Union (OOU), a socio-cultural organisation, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Ben Uwajimogu said that apart from the late Chief Sam Mbakwe, no administration in the state had accorded the zone a sense of belonging as currently done by the Rochas Okorocha-led administration. Uwajimogu, who hails from Ihite/Uboma Local Government Area noted that the zone which was neglected by successive regimes has, of recent, began to witness rapid transformation especially on roads rehabilitation and construction, installation of electricity, reactivation of moribund water projects and distressed industries. In his address, the SecretaryGeneral of the union Prof Ezeadi .O. Ezeadi while corroborating the views of Uwajimogu, explained that the ceremony was meant to appreciate Governor

Okorocha for keeping faith in appointing “our sons and daughters into your government despite the fact that Okigwe zone did not give you their solid support during the last governorship election.” He enumerated the beneficiaries to include the Acting ViceChancellor of Imo State University Prof. B.E.B Nwoke, the

Speaker of the State House of Assembly Chief. Ben Umuajimogu, the Commissioners for Lands, Finance, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) (media), the General Manager of the State Environmental Transformation Committee (ENTRACO) and the chairman of the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB).

The ceremony was meant to appreciate Governor Okorocha for keeping faith in appointing “our sons and daughters into your government despite the fact that Okigwe zone did not give you their solid support during the last governorship election

Ezeadi, however, pleaded with the governor to do something urgently on the Umuokpara–Ogii– Ezinachi Road, Ezelu-Ndiawa Road, Ugiri–Ogbor-Amaimo Road, Aba Branch–Umunumo– Agbaja–Nzerem Road, Isinweke– Onitcha-Uboma Road as well as the Sam Mbakwe Road in Obowo Local Government Area. Responding, Governor Okorocha pledged to remedy the years of neglect of the zone, even as he assured that his rescue mission package would be extended to all zones. Governor Okorocha, who was conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Owelle Ndi Okigwe by the Okigwe zonal council of traditional rulers said that he would radically eliminate all odds inhibiting the development of the zone, adding that a new ultra modern hotel and market would soon be constructed in the area. He pleaded with the people to shun all acts inimical to the implementation of government polices and programmes such as kidnapping and armed robbery.










N every crowd of horizontal men there is always one vertical man who deserves honour not much because of his vertical position but because of the significant difference which that position makes to the crowd” History and man are like Siamese twins or a pair of scissors. The one cannot do without the other. History makes man just as man makes history. And the reciprocal baton continues to change hands between them as long as they remain in existence. Five years ago, in Nigeria, an innocent human crescent lay hidden in the firmament of the orbit waiting to be sighted before jigging Nigerian Muslim Ummah into a united folk. That crescent is the towering personality generally known today as the SULTAN. The gentleman’s name did not ring any bell in Nigeria before he was named and crowned ‘THE SULTAN OF SOKOTO’ in November 2006. Thus, the emergence of Brigadier General Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar as the successor to the exalted throne of the great Sokoto Empire without any controversy came as a surprise to many Nigerians. At 50 years of age then, many people believed that he was one of the youngest men to become the Sultan in many years. But he disagreed with such suggestion and recalled that his own father, Sultan Abubakar Siddiq III who died in 1988 ascended the throne at the age of 37. With a sound military background combined with a diplomatic and modern travelling exposure, this Sultan has been perceived since coming into office as a millennial royal Captain divinely designated to pilot the affairs of Islam and the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria. Philosophers who assert that every new century has a way of producing a great leader may be right after all. The example of His Eminence, Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III is a manifest attestation to that assertion. Ever since he assumed the exalted royal office about five years ago, this great man has convincingly exemplified all the qualities of genuine leadership. Every statement he has made socially, religiously or politically and every action he has taken officially or personally has proved to be a school from which all well-meaning people have learnt one lesson or another. The symbiotic relationship of history and man was reconfirmed in Zaria, penultimate Wednesday, (November 23, 2011), where a galaxy of well-meaning men and women from all walks of life assembled to say “we are here to witness”. That was the day His Eminence was installed as the CHANCELLOR OF AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA. The occasion was just one of many laurels accruing to him since he assumed office. An American President, Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), once described a leader as “a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do and like it”. By his activities and functions so far, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has proved Truman right by demonstrating to Nigerian Muslim Ummah that the time has come for the reformation of the Sultanate. When he assumed office five years ago, he hinted that the Sultanate would be put on the internet to enable all educated Muslims have access to their leader. And in this age of computer, can anyone lay claim to any serious knowledge without adequate access to the internet? That is why he decided to start the reformation of the Sultanate through the instrumentality of the internet. And as an exemplary leader, he demonstrates his leadership prowess by possessing mastering fingers on the computer. In Islam, education is the first law. That was why the very first revelation to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ordained education thus: “Read in the name of Allah who created; He created man from clots of congealed blood; Read! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One, Who taught man by the pen; He taught him what man did not know…”Q. 96:1-4. To further emphasize the compelling need for education in Islam, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said “knowledge is a lost treasure. Muslims should look for it and pick it wherever they could find 08051101861

Sultan at five

• The Sultan it”. Without education there can be no information. And without information there can be no progress. That is why the Sultan started his reformation of the Sultanate from the premise of education. It is only with education that most problems in this world can be solved without much ado. The Sultan also believes that education without social harmony is like a virtue without value and that there can be no harmony in a society where people are overwhelmed by ignorance and penury as is the case with Nigeria. Thus, he has consistently focused on both. At his installation as the Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University two weeks ago, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, told the crowd that the current socioeconomic indices in Nigeria were a clear indication that the country had begun to drift. He lamented that in spite of the nation’s unprecedented resources, development had failed to match the national wealth. In his words: “Corruption has emasculated our progress even as poverty and unemployment have pushed citizens to the brinks, fuelling and confounding social conflicts and intercommunal crisis has extracted heavy toll in both human lives and property”. He went further that: “Persistent insecurity has generated panic and anxiety; our

social and physical infrastructures are far from meeting the needs of the nation; the country appears to be adrift and at the core of all these is moral decay engendered by ignorance and greed.” He also noted that the reform of the tertiary education sector could not be effective without putting in place, the progressive developments required in the basic and senior secondary education sectors insisting that “our state governments, especially those of the North, must begin to realise the enormity of the challenges facing the education sector and take urgent and necessary steps to address these challenges.” He lauded the founding fathers of the ABU, especially, the late Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and urged the authorities of the school to continue to abide by the cardinal principles on which the institution was founded. That is the renascent Sultan for you, a man who is at the topmost echelon of the tree of comfort but feels so much concerned about the condition of the peasants who are deliberately consigned to the weeding of the shrubs at the bottom of that tree. He has never relented in his advocacy for good governance and denunciation of corruption and religious intolerance. When he was invited in January 2010 as a Special Guest of Honour to a religious seminar organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) with the theme: ‘Knowing Your Muslim Neighbour’, Sultan Abubakar delivered an historic speech that reverberated meaningfully across the entire world. And in May, same year, he also invited the leadership of CAN to a special conference of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) held in Kaduna. The theme of that conference was: ‘Islam in the Eyes of the Christians’. He is the first Nigerian first class Monarch ever to engage in such an interfaith affair at the national level and his speech on that occasion was also electrifying. Please read an excerpt from that speech as presented below:”....we initiated, as we had done for the JNI, a thorough review of the activities of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs [NSCIA] and an extensive reform of its structures. It is our firm belief that these reforms are not only desirable but necessary, to reposition the Council to play its strategic role as the apex Islamic

‘That is Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III a leader who knows the problems of his followers and associate with them in solving those problems. Through his humble interaction with all Muslims in Nigeria irrespective of tribal or geographical boundaries, he has become the first Sultan to create a strong feeling of a united Ummah under a competent and kind leadership. And by speaking out incessantly against policies which seem to deliberately impoverish ordinary Nigerians irrespective of religions’

body in the country and to respond, effectively and meaningfully, to the challenges facing the Muslim Ummah in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. We have had extensive consultations over the last one year and have received very useful inputs on the reform agenda from all the constituent bodies of the Council. Our strategic objectives in this exercise had been and shall remain: firstly, the promotion of Muslim Unity and Solidarity, to accord the Ummah the ability to speak with one voice and to act and work together for the advancement of Islam Secondly, the development of Education and Economic Enterprise, to enable the Muslim Ummah play an active role in the socio-economic life of Nigeria. Thirdly, the promotion of peace and religious harmony both within the Muslim Communities and between the adherents of Islam and Christianity Fourthly, the establishment of effective linkage with Government, at local, state and federal levels, to safeguard the interest of the Ummah and to build consensus on those vital issues that bind us together as a nation.... It is therefore our hope that as we bring this reform process to its logical conclusion, we will receive the support and patronage of the entire Muslim Ummah as well as the co-operation of all stakeholders including State Governments and indeed the Government of the Federation”. “....the task of overcoming Nigeria’s problems calls for sacrifice, dialogue and understanding; and all national stakeholders must overcome the myopia of greed and self-centredness to move this great nation forward and safeguard its strategic interests....we must begin to look into the future with hope and confidence and to ensure, first and foremost, that we shore up the foundations of our political system. The National Assembly, and indeed all tiers of Government, should not relent in their current efforts at Electoral Reform and in ensuring that Nigerians have a genuine electoral process that guarantees free and fair elections. Unless and until we do that our nation will continue to be haunted by the unholy alliance between fraudulent elections and illegitimate electoral outcomes, the consequences of which we all know too well. We must break away from this vicious circle and confer on Nigerians the power and indeed the ability to decide, freely and willingly, who leads them at all levels of governance. “....there is also the urgent need for us to re-evaluate our conception of leadership as a nation.... needless to add, that there is no way we can make genuine progress as a nation when a significant number of our populace wallow in abject poverty unable to secure the requisite means for their sustenance and to cater for the health and educational needs of their families. Democracy must build a humane society capable of looking after the legitimate needs of its citizenry. For it to be truly successful, it must be able to bring real progress for all sectors of our diverse society. “Finally we must all work hard to limit the influence of wealth in our society and to support those values that promote social responsibility, excellence and hard work”. That is Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III a leader who knows the problems of his followers and associate with them in solving those problems. Through his humble interaction with all Muslims in Nigeria irrespective of tribal or geographical boundaries, he has become the first Sultan to create a strong feeling of a united Ummah under a competent and kind leadership. And by speaking out incessantly against policies which seem to deliberately impoverish ordinary Nigerians irrespective of religions, this Sultan has brought a rare hope to Nigeria and the Muslims are the luckiest for it. Such a leadership deserves allegiance, loyalty and regular prayer from the Ummah. ‘The Message’ hereby joins millions of other Nigerians in saying CONGRATULATIONS to His Eminence on his fifth anniversary on the throne and his investiture as the Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Long live with Allah’s continuous guidance.



WITH TEARS, A PASSIONATE PRAYER TO GOD ON BEHALF OF BAYELSA PEOPLE lmighty God, I must thank you for sparing my life till now. In the last few weeks, those who hate me for my guts had planned to take my life but you have shut their eyes. The other day, I was close to them in Abuja, very close that I could eavesdrop as they plotted my downfall. I heard them have a good laugh, that they are friends of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria and that no matter what they do, even if they import all the policemen and soldiers to Bayelsa State to terrorise us that are supporting Timi, that nothing will happen. They are boasting in what they can see physically. But I boast in you. The president is supposed to be a president for all of us, but if he has chosen to take sides, only thou knowest. If he has decided to close his eyes to the atrocities that these people who call themselves his friends, I am talking of those old and new members of the Green Movement Confraternity, only thou knowest.


The Holy Book says what is revealed belongs to us mortals but the secrets things belong to you. I am sure you saw what they did in Baylesa State when they were in office. You saw what Dick the Son of man did when he was commissioner. They gave him money to buy law books, about N150 million. That money was supposed to also give the state ministry of justice a law library. It was our father Azikiwe that approved the money. This man refused to buy the books. He pocketed the money and till date, the law library is nowhere in existence. When Timi took over form Azikiwe, he was looking through the books and then discovered the fraud and wanted to ask questions, he went and blackmailed him before Azikiwe, that Timi wanted to probe his government. Because of that, Timi kept mute so that he would not offend his political father and brother. You also know this other man who is doing everything to make Dick the captain of the Creek Haven Boat. Because of his closeness to Azikiwe, he is carrying on a the Almighty. But I know that you are the only Almighty one. You know that if the man he is promoting becomes the captain of Boat Bayelsa, the boat will sink and the people will drown. I say this because of the antecedent of the person being sponsored and the man that is sponsoring him. It is not just because of his personae, but also because of the man who is misleading and trying to confuse Azikiwe into quietly endorsing Dick and making sure that even if the laws of the land are being turned upside down, he would still win. The PDP and The Presidency wants to impose him on us as the captain of our boat. But do you so hate Bayelsa that you will allow this to happen? We don’t want to suffocate. We don’t want to drown. We don’t trust this imposed captain and your people do not want him. These people say they want change, but I can tell you that if this is what they call change, then this boat will be doomed. Imagine the man they want to make deputy captain of the ship, a man who was in charge of the local governments. When he was doing the burial of his father, he compelled all the chairmen to empty their pockets and sponsor the burial. Everybody knows that he it was who was managing the deductions from local government allocation. He was the commander-in-thief of the local government system. He has amassed so much wealth from local government funds. You know him Almighty Father. Is this what the Creek Haven boat deserves? 2012 is by the corner, I pray thee, touch the heart of the PDP to have a rethink and allow the people to choose the captain of the boat on their own.

have so much respect for him. However, what I do not like is that he is pretending not to know about what is happening in this boat. We are dying and he is not even coughing. It looks like he is in support of what is going on. Sometimes I begin to wonder whether what is happening is ordinary. Or has he been charmed by these people who surround him? Only thou knowest. I know that you can still touch him to see reasons why there should be justice in the process of getting a new captain for our ship. Timi has not done badly. You know that he has carried so much loads since he took over. The load is not like the one you recommended in the Holy Book, which you said is very light. This one is a load of huge debts and liabilities. Timi has been suffering and smiling because he wanted peace. Your word says we may be persecuted but we are not forsaken, we may be cast down but we are never destroyed. Allow them to continue persecuting us, but please do not forsake us. I also pray, if Timi has offended Azikiwe, may you give him the heart to forgive. To err is human, to forgive is divine. Please give him the grace to know that even as president, he offends you in some ways and you still forgive him. Afterall, he promised to give us good governance and now he is talking of fuel subsidy. Adams the comrade who has always stood on the side of the people believe that fuel subsidy will suffocate the people. But he is insisting that he will remove fuel subsidy. Even as he is saying this, he has not powered all the refineries to work at full capacity. There is nothing close to steady power supply. All we are hearing is grammar everyday. The same kind of grammar we have heard over the years. He has not kept his election campaign promises, yet you are forgiving him.. May you please open his eyes to realize that your Holy Book says if our brother gives us a dirty slap on the right cheek, we should turn the left side for him to slap and not to retaliate. I pray for 2012. May we experience peace, an uncommon peace as we prepare for the election. Do not allow those power mongers to succeed in their evil plot. Hide me from their eyes everyday. I hear they are angry because I have been telling the truth. You hate a lying tongue that is why I am telling the truth. These are people that have contributed to the wreckage that we are seeing in our state today. They got money for projects and never executed them. Yet, they have the guts to call other people names. I pray you forgive them for they know not what they have been doing. Let there be peace in Bayelsa State. Enough of bloodshed. Give Azikiwe the wisdom of Solomon to know how to handle all those who go to him with selfish intentions and evil plot to hijack power in Bayelsa. May they never succeed. As I go out today, if they are plotting any evil against me or any other person who has refused to co-tow, who is angry for what they have caused our state and the pains they have inflicted on the people, may they never succeed. But I beg you, show them love, open their eyes to understand that what they are doing is sin against humanity. Above all, bless their families and use their wives and children to tell them the truth so that they can refrain from their evil deeds and turn to you. If all of us appreciate and turn to you alone, Bayelsa State shall truly become the glory of all lands. All these I ask believing that you have heard. I thank you my father. This is your son,

I pray this morning, that you should specially touch Azikiwe, that your son that you love so much. He is my younger brother but I

Chief Perekeme Richard Kpodoh





Dialogue will resolve fuel subsidy crisis, says Oshiomhole Edo State Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole has taken his score card to the electorate at a town hall parley. He also bares his mind on issues of national importance during a chat with journalists. Deputy News Editor BUNMI OGUNMODEDE was there.


S an activist in government, has anything changed in your perception about activism and governance? To be honest, if I had known what I now know, in terms of the scale of abuse, I would have fought even harder. The fact is that I now know that not a few are in government not for public purpose. And I am not singling out any particular political party; I am not singling out any level of government. It cuts across. There are too many people who seek public offices just for self help, and I am more conversant now. I have more information now about the level of waste in the system. I had suspected the level of waste, but it was only in the realm of suspicion, now I can confirm that there is a huge waste in government. And when I say government, I mean at levels. I interact now with high-ranking government officials both in the private and in the public and therefore, I am able to appreciate better the kind of orientation which explains the character of governance in many places. So you are saying you would do it all over again if there is the opportunity? There is nothing that I did then back in the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that I would not do. I would probably do the more. There are probably areas that I had ignored then that I now realize we have to focus more. To be honest, there is nobody that is going to deny the endless lamentations about the fact that we have huge potential, but our failure to translate them into concrete reality is the result of incompetence, abuse and corruption. And the more you know, the angrier you get. Right now, I believe I’m still an activist even in government. And I’m sure if you talk to some people, they will tell you. How do you draw a line between agitation and governance? I mean, not a few people tell me Adams, you know you’re now a governor. That is at official circles. But to me, nothing has changed, and I cannot change at my age. You change if you feel that you have a bad character. But I think Nigeria needs more activists. The country will not change by a miracle. It will change by well planned, concrete and coordinated efforts. So, there is nothing I did then that I would not do now. The belief out there is that every agitation means confrontation. Can any agitation achieve result without being confrontational? What I believe is that if you talk to people and they wouldn’t change, you have the right to engage them. And this engagement includes strike. I still believe in all those methods. When we had disagreement with our workers here and we couldn’t communicate; and they said they were going to protest and some people were trying to prevent them, I said they have the right to protest. In fact, at the gate to the Govern-

ment House, you’re lucky if you’ve not stepped on some women’s tomatoes while coming in. They come here to complain over all sorts of things. And they tell whoever attends to them ‘we want to see our governor’. Everybody else would talk to them but they would say no, we want to see the governor, and I would go and address them and they would all clap. I have not solved the problem, but they are happy they have talked to me. Why do you think they are doing so? I think Nigerians want to be listened to. They want to engage their leaders. That is one area that is missing in some places. My final word on this is this; let no one feel so comfortable to think he cannot spare the time to mobilise. We need to remind those of us in office, myself inclusive, that we are tenants in power. The real people in power are the electorate. And if you’re conscious of that, you will listen and moderate your style. What is your position on the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government? I’ve spoken on this for quite sometime. The problem has been there, there’s nothing new. I am part of the NLC, no matter what height I may attain, even as a governor, I’m still part of the NLC. And I will never depart from labour unionism. The NLC president is my president and when my president takes a decision, that decision is also binding on me as a member. But I’m also in government, and as a governor, my task is to assist the president, to be loyal to the president, even though I’m from what people may describe as opposition or let me say alternative party. Therefore, my responsibility is to assist the president to run the country efficiently and effectively. And if as his predecessors, he believes he needs to remove the subsidy in order to free resources to do other things. Again, it is not for me to violently disagree with him. So, I’m caught between two presidents and I’m loyal to both. My position therefore is that in this issue, it does not necessarily mean that one person is right and the other person is wrong; it is that there are policy choices to be settled and some prefer one to the other, not because one is more patriotic than the other. It’s just that they have different appreciation about the opportunity cost. So, I’m not going to add to President Goodluck Jonathan’s headache. I believe he has enough already. I think my best role in this particular matter of fuel subsidy is to get the two presidents that I have, to talk and to persuade both on the basis of facts and logic. And everybody must see that if we go this way, these are the benefits; if we go this way, these are the benefits, these are the costs. So, we do the cost and benefit analysis and if there is proper communication in any argument, in the end, some-

one will be persuaded. The president of the country could be persuaded or those of labour could be persuaded. So, my task is to get the parties to talk and that is my position, I do not think it is helpful to take any other position at this stage. What is the way out? But there are a lot of issues on this oil matter that I don’t think any of us can reduce our role to, I am for it or I am against it. None of those positions will suffice. At some official circles, I’ve argued that I don’t even believe those numbers and we needed to clean up the books, right from the time of Yar’Adua, because right now, diesel is already deregulated. All those mass transit buses including the ones we use in Edo State are run on diesel. All the companies, all the factories use diesel. All those generators that you use to produce your newspapers use diesel, and that has since been deregulated. In the manufacturing sector, the alternative power is diesel. And it is being deregulated. I am from the textile industry; the boiler uses the LPFO popularly called the black oil, which has already been deregulated. The black oil or diesel is what drives the business sector, the productive sector, not the PMS (also known as petrol). So, sometimes when I see some of the arguments, people say it will affect industries, but industries are already in trouble because somehow, by default or whatever, the diesel is already deregulated. They’re already buying at the market price and you know what the price of diesel is. Kerosene, on the other hand, as far as the ordinary man is concerned, is deregulated. Nobody gets it at N50 a litre. Some buy that little bottle (beer size) at N200. They pay so much for it. Therefore, this whole thing is about PMS, popularly called petrol. And that’s all. So, my concern is, are we really spending that amount of money just to subsidise the importation of petrol? What is our per capital consumption? I have asked those questions, I’ve not got answers. I think beyond yes or no, whichever way it is settled, if those issues are not resolved, the problems will still be there. What is the cost of taking this product from wherever we import it to Lagos? From Lagos waters into our ports, what is the cost? There other costs built in including demurrage. A ship that is still in Singapore is already incurring demurrage long before its arrival on the Nigerian waters; all of these have been built in. And I think the media need to deal with those issues. Beyond retain subsidy, don’t retain subsidy, if those issues remain, we have done no good to anyone, whether the government pays for it or you pay for it. In any case, there is no such thing as government money or public

• Oshiomhole

‘The NLC president is my president and when my president takes a decision, that decision is also binding on me as a member. But I’m also in government, and as a governor, my task is to assist the president, to be loyal to the president, even though I’m from what people may describe as opposition’ money, it’s a wrong word. It’s tax payers’ money. And we must be interested. We must ask those questions and get the answers. What is the cost of bringing this product from where it comes to Nigeria waters? When it gets to Nigeria waters, to the Ports, how much is involved to get it to the last end? Let’s see. This issue of demurrage, what are we paying per liter? I think because of the confusion, it’s so easy to say I’m opposed to, I’m in support of it, there are a lot of issues there that need to be addressed. But, if I were to recap your question, I have two presidents, and I am loyal to both of them. My business is to get both of them to talk. Both of them are patriotic, they mean well for Nigeria. It’s about what is the best way? And both sides have their merits and demerits. And when I look at the commentaries now, it seems more people are complaining more out of anger. I think there is a mixture of politics, emotion, mistrust and distrust. So, there’s heat now in the debate than light, and we need substantial light to understand what the issues are in order to arrive at what will be in the interest of this country. What is at stake is no joke, to be honest, either way it is resolved. It’s a serious issue. I want to be helpful to the two presidents in a way that Nigeria will benefit. But I can never take a position that is in conflict with that of the NLC. What would you say is the panacea to the Boko Haram insurgence that is currently threatening the security of this country? I do not have all the facts; so, I don’t have any comment. I really don’t know who is doing what. I don’t know what the demands are. I do not understand the issue. I only know from time to time

there is bomb blast and someone claims responsibility. Okay, what does he want us to do for him to stop doing it? Who are these people? I really don’t know. And if you do not know a problem and you only want to run your mouth, you may just be unhelpful. The opposition is of the view that you have not provided the people of Edo the dividends of democracy despite boosting the IGR from N300 million to N1.6 billion per month in the last three years. The opposition is not only crying because of the IGR, they’re crying because we’re working. And they’re crying for a good reason, because if we’re working where they didn’t work, it means they would be out of power in the foreseeable future. And their godfather may finally complete his story on the planet without being able to say the government of his home state is from his own party. And you know what Chief Anenih said when he clarified the statement once made by former President Gen Obasanjo. When Obasanjo said ‘this election is a do or die’, and many of you took him up. Anenih offered a clarification and he gave a specific example that can you imagine if for any reason the PDP loses the governorship of Edo to the opposition, that he, Anenih is dead. I hope you remember he said so. And they have since lost the governorship of Edo to another party, so, he’s already dead. So, if he’s dead, why should he not cry? Don’t you cry even for bad people when they die? They have to cry because they are dead. And that is why they’re crying and they’ll be crying for a long time to come.




NEPZA secures N23b investments in 10 years


FTER 10 years of operation, the Nigeria Export Process ing Zone (NEPZA) has attracted investment worth over N23.9 billion. Briefing the media the Managing Director of NEPZA, Dr Shina Agboluaje, said despite challenges, “from inception, the zone has attracted investment worth N21.891 billion and $1,363,808.00”. He said the zone, which has 34 functional companies out of the 120 registered, was built with over N3 billion “but today the value of the zone is N8 billion although we never received funds for maintenance from government”. Agboluaje said: “Looking at the journey so far, there are 34 manufacturing concerns, seven compa-

Stories by Toba Agboola

nies providing services, four enterprises trading in various line of business, five companies in the oil and gas are fully operational, others are at various stages of development, while seven companies are under construction. Direct employment of 2,727 and 5,373 indirect employments have been achieved bringing the total employment opportunities to 8,100”. However, despite the modest achievements by NEPZA, Agboluaje said the zone has been faced with challenges such as the ban on logging in Cross River State and the general movement of wood has led to the shutdown of five furniture making companies in the zone.

The affected companies are Golden Giant, Concurse, FineWood, Damandra and Union Forest and NEPZA boss has appealed to the state government to review the policy on wood movement so that at least imported woods can come into the zone for the companies to survive. He said after the annulment of election result in 1993, the first challenge the zone encountered was the negative image of Nigeria in the Western world, as a result of the campaign of calumny by the western media. Another challenge, according to him, “was the ban extended to the goods from the free trade zones including the CFTZ…as a result many

companies folded up and relocated as a result of their inability to export their products to the Nigeria market.” Major challenges affecting the zone now, Agboluaje said is the “shallowness of draft of the Calabar Channel couple with insufficient out bound cargo continue to deter shipping lines from coming to the port, overlapping of statutory responsibility of NEPZA and other government agencies, lack of understanding of the workings of the scheme and its operations by other government agencies that are organic to free zone operations, ban on logging of wood by the Cross River State government”. He, however, assured that with the

support of the public and investors generally, the zone will make it as “we are confident that the economic magic this scheme has achieved in turning the fortune of many economics around will also happen in our great country, Nigeria”. Today, he said the Federal Government has made declaration for 24 free trade zones and out of this, 10 are active, two running, eight at declaration level while four have not even moved to site. He called on the Federal Government to review the approval given to some zones and time limit should be given for them to start and under current minister, a review is underway on running or withdrawing zones.

ECOWAS countries urged to boost GDP


INISTER of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Chief Edem Duke has called on ECOWAS member countries to use the investment opportunities of about $500 billion in the exports of creative goods and services worldwide to boost its Gross Domestic Products (GDP). The Minister, who made the call in Abuja, noted that in most advanced countries, the creative industries are emerging as a strategic choice for re-invigorating economic growth, employment and social development, offering attractive jobs, particularly to the young people. “It must also be stated that some developing countries, especially the Asian tigers are reaping from the dynamics of the global creative industries. However, large majority of Af-

rican countries are yet to harness their creative capacities for development gains due to policy weakness and global systematic biases,” the minister said. He charged the ministers to articulate strategies that will transform the creative industries from instruments and activities of mere decoration and entertainment to a robust vessel of economic transformation and development which will impact positively on the GDP of the sub African continent. The ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender Dr. Adrienne Y. Diop, said the conference is programmed to move the region‘s culture sector forward by addressing urgent concerns and obstacles posed to the development of vibrant and flourishing cultural industries in the ECOWAS region.

Firm support wins award


NE of the leading hotel management firms in Ni geria, Hotel Support and Management Company Limited (HSMC) has, again, won the ‘Best Management Firm –Indigenous Brand’ in West Africa. The award and recognition was given to HSMC during the second Annual West Africa Tourism and Hospitality Awards (WATHA) held in Accra, Ghana. The event was attended by leaders and stakeholders drawn from various parts of the West African sub-region, and beyond. It would be recalled that Hotel Support also won the 2010 edition of the award. In the certificate presented to HMSC, the President of WATHA 2011, Mr Adedayo Adesugba, stated that the award was given to HMSC “as an acknowledgement of outstanding achievement in the best management firm –indigenous brand,” adding that the event was “a top service competition.” It would also be recalled that at the 2010 edition of the award, at La Palms Hotel, also in

Ghana, the organisers of WATHA said the awards are aimed at recognising and encouraging excellence in the West African tourism and hospitality industry. “WATHA Awards annually recognises and rewards real virtuosities and superior services in the region; encourages higher standards and applaud exceptional effort made by industry members; stimulates a fairly competitive spirit so as to galvanise industry members to reach higher levels of brilliance within the West African region; and motivates team work and greater cooperation amongst various segments in the industry; all, towards providing the end users with more valueadded service,” Adesugba had explained at the impressive 2010 edition. He further stated that Euro Global is always committed to ensuring the quality of life for every consumer as well as its trade partners, noting that no stone will be left unturned in the fulfilment of its promise of great values to Nigerian consumers.

From left: Co-ordinator of Sponsor a Child (an NGO), Mr Olatoun Williams and Corporate PR Manager, Procter and Gamble, Tomiwa Akande, presenting a donation to the proprietor of the Zamarr Institute, Mrs Ronke Katagun, at the inauguration of a learn and play centre donated to Bema Orphanage, Abuja.

•From left: First Deputy National President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar; National President, Dr. Herbert Ajayi; 2nd Deputy President, Chief Bassey Edem and exco member/Omu of Anioma, Obi Martha Dunkwu, at the just concluded NACCIMA National Conference on Transforming Nigeria Private Sector perspective in Lagos. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

Ministry inaugurates African women’s entrepreneurship programme


HE Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment has inaugurated the African Women Entrepreneurship programme (AWEP) for Nigerian women. The inauguration was done on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga by the Director of Trade in the Ministry, Mr David Adejuwon at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja. Inaugurating the AWEP programme, the Director stated that it was expected of Nigeria as a member of the African Growth and Opportu-

nity Act (AGOA) to inaugurate the National chapter of AWEP which was meant for credible entrepreneurs who are already engaged in productive activities, have people employed in their enterprises, addressing issue of poverty as well as contributing their quotas to the economic development of the country. He stated that the government has resolved to engage all women in the cities and villages to encourage them to produce good quality products and to harvest their contributions towards

economic growth and development in line with the transformation Agenda of Mr President. He said: “Nobody would be left out in the programme because the structure the Ministry would put in place will ensure that we have credible people at the national level that would drive the process. The states and local chapters would be inaugurated with the involvement of Governor of each state and local government chairmen with their wives.” Adejuwon pointed out that as

from 2012, the Federal Government intends to have good report about Nigeria performance in AGOA in terms of export on non oil products, noting that Nigerian women have products they can improve on and export massively to United States of America and other markets of the world. The Director urged women to work as a team to be able to harness all the available resources and to have access to financial resources required for all economic activities adding that the Ministry will leverage on their contributions and

suggestions on how to move the process forward. Earlier, the Managing Director, Wilbahi Investment, Mrs. Wilima Aguele, had urged women to brace up to the challenges ahead and work hard to take its rightful position in the economy of the nation adding that they were fired of poverty, fighting one another for crumbs and avoid discrimination among themselves in order to meet targets of exporting their products outside the country.






e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


‘Simplicity is key for me’ Agbani Darego, remember her? She hit the limelight in 2001 when she won the Miss World beauty pageant. She is the first African to achieve the feat. Since her first contract as the face of L’Oreal Cosmetics, the ebony beauty has remained at the top as a judge in the famous pageant. She is currently the Brand Ambassador for Arik Air. She did a similar job for Recare, a range of beauty products, before taking up the Arik offer. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes.


BIAGBANIDOKIBUBO Agbani Asenite Darego better known as Agbani Darego gave beauty pageantry a new meaning on the black continent when she became the first African to be crowned Miss World in 2001, since its take-off in 1951. Since then, Bonny, Rivers State-born beauty, who is 5ft 11ins and weighs nine stone, has embraced the catwalks of Paris, Milan and the rest of the world. She models outfits and beauty products by the best known designers around the world. She adores shopping in Topshop, London and her favourite designer is the Nigerian-born, but London-based, Adebayo

Jones. Barely two weeks ago, she stood tall in London, as a celebrity judge to officiate in the 2011 Miss World Beauty Pageant won by Miss Venezuela. Not long ago, she was named Brand Ambassador for Arik Air (A major African-International Airlines). Before then, she was working as Brand Ambassador of Recare, a range of beauty products With the £65,000 she won from Miss World, she bought some land in Nigeria, hoping to become a property developer. “I’m not going to be a model for the rest of my life. I want to be a successful businesswoman. I want to be good at everything”, she said. Darego’s father was a Customs officer and her mother an international rice trader who also owned a boutique where she sold the clothes she brought

back from her travels. She spent her childhood sitting in the boutique, scanning the pages of Vogue magazine. On her love for modelling, she said: “I’d wanted to be a model for as long as I could remember”. Her dream came true when she won the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant in 2001, after which she represented Nigeria in the Miss World contest in Johanesburg, South Africa later that year and won. Instantly, the young Darego became the most famous Nigerian celebrity. She was received on her return to Nigeria like a visiting Head of State. Many state receptions were held in her honour by the then First the lady, Late Mrs Stella Obasanjo,

and several governors. Her former governor, Dr Peter Odili, presented her with a brand new Peugeot 406. Talking about a shoot for American Vogue in the middle of a crowded Brixton market, she said: “I was wearing a beautiful red dress by Gaultier and people were crowding around me. Everyone seemed to know who I was.” The 28-year-old woman would rather not talk about marriage. She said: “It’s a private matter”. The former face of L’oreal Cosmetics has consistently maintained a beautiful skin. She understands the importance of using the right products for her skin and sticks to

it. On her beauty routine, she said: “I use a line of products from Shiseido called the Skincare. I start with cleansing foam, followed by the hydro balancing softener, the moisture recharge lotion and finally the sun protection cream. I also use the pore purifying warming scrub when I think I need it. A good blemish control always comes in handy. I also try to get a facial once or twice a month. “When it comes to make up, simplicity is key for me. I try to keep it natural by achieving that no make up look but I love smoky eyes and probably can’t do without my mascara, and a bronzer for that dewy yet natural glow. Nudes/pale pinks are my go to colour for lips”.





FRUIT hamper is the perfect gift for any occasion. It comprises fresh fruits that can be enjoyed by all. Save money this Christmas by creating your own fruit gift basket. The kind of fruits inside your hamper is a reflection your thoughts for the recipients. With beautiful packaging and the wholesome goodness of the fruits, a wide assortment can be combined. Each basket should contain fruits that complement one another in taste, nutrition and colour. It should have a theme to suit any occasion, such as Christmas, graduation, birthday, anniversary, housewarming or Valentines’ Day. You could send fruit gifts to wish someone good health, happiness and speedy recovery when they are ill. You could give such gifts to convey the message that you really care about someone. A nice and decorative fruit gift basket can bring a smile to the face. The fruit gift hamper could be used as a great public relations tool for a company. Sending such gifts to customers will help build better relations with them. It could also be given to employees during special occasions. There are varieties of fruit gift baskets. While some include a combination of fruit and dried good items, others might contain dry or canned foods such as tea, crackers and jam. A home-made fruit gift basket or hamper is fantastic because it can be of any size and filled with different kinds of fruits. Often these fruits hamper will be made to suit the dietary needs of the recipients such as diabetic, vegan, vegetarian, or gluten. Common fruits hamper items include apples, avocados, bananas, cheeses, grapes, lynches, mangoes,

Try fruity hamper this season Perhaps you have been giving out the normal hampers of beverages at Christmas or year end. Why not try hampers filled with fruits this time around. They do not have to be expensive or time consuming, writes TONIA’DIYAN. oranges, papayas, pineapples, strawberries. And sometimes maybe, dry canned or bottled goods, coffee, honey, liquor, nuts and wine. Fruits hampers are also packed with the freshest of seasonal traditional fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pawpaw and carrot. Buy fruits free of bruises and blemishes and add an exotic touch to your hampers selecting non traditional fruits such as pineapple, kiwi, mangoes, cherries and berries. Choose fruits according to colour and texture. The colour should be appealing and should match your theme. To arrange your fruit basket, fill an empty conventional woven basket with colourful shredded paper, and arrange the fruits on top, putting the bigger pieces on top or off to one side of the basket, displaying the smaller pieces of fruits around

it. Embellish your fruits gifts basket or hamper with bows, flowers, ribbon or other extras that make your packaging look nice. Giving your family and friends thoughtfully packed fruity juicy hampers bursting with yuletide fare is a great solution to your Christmas gifts list. A fruit basket is a practical gift whose recipient will appreciate. Fruits will remain fresh for a few days, so your loved ones can eat their way through your gift. He or she can also share the basket with the rest of the family, leading to even more people feeling happy. Many people do not consume fruits because they do not have the time to take care of their health. Your fruit gift could start a new habit for them. Seasonal fruits are sure to be well received all year round.

• Sharma fruit basket checks obesity

• Creamy fruit basket

• Cocktail fruit gift

• Evening rose basket


IFFERENT types of kitchen tools in the market. Most people abound use a set of cookery tools solely in the kitchen and another for outdoor cooking and grilling. Such tools are spoons, pots, fryers, sievers, spatula and knives. Ladle: When shopping for this, look for a large “bowl” that makes it easy to serve soups, also a bent handle at the top which will allow you to hook the ladle on the side of a pot without it falling. Metal spatula: An offset thin blade will allow you to get under delicate items like cookies and pancakes. A medium-length blade will prevent flipping up foods at an awkward angle. Chef’s knife: Go for an eight to nine inch blade with a thick bolster, the metal that extends from the handle

Shopping for kitchen tools Kitchen tools mainly used in the kitchen and a quality kitchen must have them to be complete. Here are tips from FUNMI AYODELE on choosing these tools. to the edge of the blade, acts as a finger guard while chopping and should feel comfortable in your hand so, when shopping for the chef’s knife you take this as your guideline. Grater: Choose one with a sturdy handle; a box-grater is the most versatile with six different grate options to shred, shave, dust and zest. Kitchen shears: When shopping for

kitchen shears, go for a sturdy pair with tapered, fine tips and roomy handles that will make you feel at ease when using it. Serrated bread knife: Go for a rigid blade of at least eight inches and an offset handle, which will let you slice through sandwiches without banging your knuckles on the cutting board. Can opener: A safe-cut or smooth

edge, model cuts around the outside of the can, rather than the lid, produces smooth edge and will never lower the lid into your food. Corkscrew: A standard waiter’s corkscrew will open both beer and wine and take up less space than a two-armed model so it is advisable to go for the standard corkscrew. Measuring cups: You will need at least one cup for measuring dry in-

• Kitchen set • Kitchen tools

gredients and another for wet ingredients. Measuring spoons: Oval models are more likely to fit into spice jars. Aim to find kitchen wares or cookery tools that are powerful and very effective when you grilling outside or inside the kitchen. Plastic items will not be powerful enough and will not resist the high temperatures that the outdoor grill could make. Search for kitchen tools that are fitted with more ranging handle than a regular kitchen utensil and manufactured of a great class metal similar to the stainless metal material. The preparation tool needs to be strong enough to help do outside broiling diversion but not so large that it will not be utilized within a kitchen.

• Knives




Why many go for microwaves

Shopping Right with FROM MY MAILBOX


HANKS for your comment and response to The Nation Shopping. Welcome to another first Friday of the month solely dedicated to publishing your comments. Special thanks to you because you always spur us to greater efforts. As always, we are poised to serve you more and give you every valuable pieces of information on our finger tips. Among other issues, last week’s piece on Buy Nothing Day came to many as a surprise. They said it is not possible in Nigeria. Well, it might not be popular over here but as a matter of fact, November 26, every year is marked as International Buy Nothing Day. Here are some of your comments as space would enable us. Please bear with us if your comment is not published in this edition. Thanks a million, Janice.


Hi Janice, Happy buy, nothing day. It’s all day-dreaming in Naija. Impossible! Okeke Maria, Teacher •Microwave oven

Since microwave was discovered in 1947, it has advanced in technology. It is now the toast of many families. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes.


F you are like Mrs Tolu Obafemi, a school proprietress, who likes her food hot always, then you might have adopted the microwave as your mobile kitchen mate. She has one in her office and another in her car when necessary. This is to enable her to eat something warm whenever she feels like. In 1947, Radarange, the first microwave oven in the world was built. It was almost 1.8 m (6ft) tall, weighed 340 kg (750lb) and cost about $5,000 each. By the late 70s, the technology had improved to the point where prices were falling rapidly. Often called electronic ovens in the 60s, the name microwave ovens later became standardised. These days, it is fondly referred to as simply microwaves. A basic microwave oven heats food quickly and efficiently, but does not brown or bake food the way a conventional ovens does. This makes it unsuitable for cooking certain foods, or to achieve certain effects It is generally used for time efficiency in both industrial applications such as restaurants and at home, rather than for cooking quality, although some modern recipes using microwave ovens rival recipes using traditional ovens and stoves. Professional chefs generally find microwave ovens to be of limited usefulness because browning, caramelisation, and other flavour-enhancing reactions cannot occur due to the temperature range. On the other hand, people who want fast cooking times can use microwave ovens to prepare food or to reheat stored food (including commercially available pre-cooked frozen dishes) in only a few minutes. Microwave can also be used to defrost items that will later be cooked by traditional methods, cutting the time it takes to defrost foods naturally. They are also useful for the ease in which they can perform some traditionally

• Microwave

cumbersome kitchen tasks, such as softening butter or melting chocolate. Benefits and safety features Commercial microwave ovens all use a timer in their standard operating mode; when the timer runs out, the oven turns itself off. Microwave ovens heat food without getting hot themselves. Taking a pot off a stove, with the exception of an induction cooktop,leaves a potentially dangerous heating element or trivet that will stay hot for some time. Likewise, when taking a casserole out of a conventional oven, one’s arms are exposed to the very hot walls of the oven. A microwave oven does not pose this problem. Food and cookware taken out of a microwave oven is rarely much hotter than 100 °C (212 °F). Cookware used in a microwave oven is often much cooler than the food because the cookware is transparent to microwaves; the microwaves heat the food directly and the cookware is indirectly heated by the food. Food and cookware from a conventional oven, on the other hand, are the same temperature as the rest of the oven; a typical cooking temperature is 180 °C (360 °F). That means conventional stoves and ovens can cause more serious burns. The lower temperature of cooking (the boiling point of water) is a significant safety benefit compared to baking in the oven or frying, because it eliminates the formation of tars and char, which are carcinogenic. Microwave radiation also penetrates deeper than direct heat, so that the food is heated by its own internal water content. In contrast, direct heat can fry the surface while the inside is still cold. Pre-heating the food in a microwave oven before putting it into the grill or pan reduces the time needed to heat up the food and reduces the formation of carcinogenic char.

Is it possible to buy nothing when what I earn daily is not enough to feed my family of six? We labour every day to get the money to buy our food. Anonymous. Dear Janice, thanks for enlightening us on this one. I never knew that there was any day reserved for no shopping. But I think it can only work in developed countries. Already, many people in Nigeria are suffering and forced ‘not to shop’ by inflation and hard times. Our own buy nothing happens normally, so we do not need to set apart a particular day for it. Thank you. James Onazodo, Kaduna. If buy nothing day is meant to create awareness on preserving the environment, I think it is a good idea. On the other hand, it also highlights all these things about consumerism, which has great consequences. People like to buy and buy and buy and, at the end of the day, they get sick and die of one useless ailment. Thank you, Janice, for these useful pieces of information. I want to advice that people should be careful of what they buy because it is what they buy with their money that end up killing them. Mr Udoh, Port Harcourt. That article on Buy Nothing Day caught my interest because I am angry with the situation of this country. The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. That is why they stage parties and display their wealth before the poor. The distribution of wealth in this country is too bad. The government and wellmeaning Nigerians should come to the aid of the poor masses, please. Bolaji Adeyemi, Jos. I am concerned in something you wrote concerning Buy Nothing Day and I quote: “As consumers, we need to question the products we buy and challenge the companies who produce them”. It is very important. Some people just manufacture any thing and bring it to consumers because they want to make money. I think these sellers should be appropriately cautioned on the kind of things they bring into the market. Disciplinary measures need to be taken against dealers of fake and substandard products. They should not even be allowed to bring those things into the market. A lot needs to be done to preserve the consumer. There is supposed to be refund of money for any unsatisfactory product. But I realise that once your money gets into the hands of these traders in all our major markets, it can never come out again. So consumers are not yet safe in this country. Mr Festus Ndukwe, Maiduguri. Janice, I cannot imagine a day I would do without buying something. It dawned on me after reading your article on Buy Nothing Day. I think with discipline, one can really spend a day or even more without buying something. Christmas is around the corner and everyone around me is talking about buying this and that. That great write up of yours is worth giving some attention. It was nice. Emmanuel Elechi, Enugu. A very good evening to you Janice. Hope you had a great weekend? I like your well researched and informative column and my observation, experience and view is that you are a combination of beauty and brain. KOK. Dear Janice, I commend you for your good presentation on shopping. The English is simple and concise and well arranged particularly that in The Nation of Friday November 18. It is also a must read for students of marketing, particularly those who want to develop branding process. Please keep it up. You are hard working. Mike Agbamu, Agbor, Delta State.

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992








Stock market drops N11bn as investors begin year-end rush


HE Nigerian stock market relapsed yesterday, losing N11 billion as investors increased volumes on both the demand and supply sides. However, the outlook remained stable. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark value index for the entire market, dropped marginally by 0.16 per cent, but turnover rose by 45.5 per cent. The decline was due to the preponderance of highly capitalised stocks among the losers as there was one gainer for every loser in a tight market situation. The ASI however, dropped below the 20,000 psychological defence line to 19,967.84 points from its opening index of 20,003.36 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities slipped from N6.295 trillion to N6.284 trillion, representing a loss of N11 billion or 0.18 per cent. The general market outlook was negative, as nearly all tracked indices closed on the negative. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised stocks, dropped from 891.16 points to 889.08 points. The NSE Food and Beverages Index slipped from 557.52 points to 555.19 points, reflecting the loss suffered by Dangote Sugar Refinery.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Also, the NSE Banking Index closed lower at 270.49 points as against its opening index of 273.68 points. NSE Oil and Gas Index inched downward to 244.92 points as against opening index of 245.15 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Insurance Index improved marginally from 145.83 points to 146.48 points. Stanbic IBTC Bank led the decliners with a loss of 38 kobo to close at N7.65. Dangote Sugar Refinery dropped by 22 kobo to close at N4.38. First City Monument Bank and First Bank of Nigeria lost 20 kobo each to close at N3.97 and N9 respectively. Learn Africa, formerly known as Longman Nigeria, lost 19 kobo to close at N3.80. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, dropped by 13 kobo to close at N4.96. Red Star Express lost 11 kobo to close at N2.18. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Zenith Bank and Forte Oil dropped 10 kobo each to close at N10.30, N11.50 and N15 respectively. On the positive side, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria topped the gainers with a gain of N1.21 to close at N25.44. Nigerian

Breweries added 92 kobo to close at N91.44. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria gained 50 kobo to close at N39. UAC of Nigeria rallied 45 kobo to close at N29.51. Guinness Nigeria added 40 kobo to close at N202.40. Vitafoam Nigeria gained 23 kobo to close at N5.03. Eterna rose by 16 kobo to close at N3.45. Ashaka Cement and Guaranty Trust Bank added 10 kobo each to close at N13.60 and N14.20 respectively. Total turnover stood at 438.92 million shares valued at N3.03 billion in 3,198 deals, indicating 45.5 per cent and 14.6 per cent growths on volume and value of transactions. Banking, topped the activity chart with a turnover of 332.69 million shares valued at N2.33 billion in 1,792 deals. Insurance subsector ranked second with a turnover of 49.33 million shares worth N27.04 million in 147 deals. Food products subsector occupied the third position with a turnover of 26.28 million shares valued at N118.74 million in 190 deals. On stock-by-stock, Zenith Bank was the most active with a turnover of 80.44 million shares. Diamond Bank followed with a turnover of 65.65 million shares, while Guaranty Trust Bank ranked third with a turnover of 54 million shares.





ETI secures $285m loan to buy Oceanic


COBANK Transnational (ETI) has obtained a $285 million loan from South Africa’s Nedbank to support its acquisition of rival Oceanic International Bank and consolidate its footprint on the continent. ETI said Nedbank will be able to convert the loan into 20 per cent equity in Ecobank in 24 to 36

months, which will deepen the strategic relationship between the two lenders. “By the terms of the alliance agreement, the two banks have begun to discuss the possibility of integrating more tightly in order to better exploit the obvious synergies in geography, customer base and cultural affinity,” ETI Chief Executive,

Sanusi didn’t buy N1b property, says CBN


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied reports alleging that its Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, bought a property in Abuja worth N1 billion to add to the aesthetic value of his new house. A statement from the CBN signed by its spokesman, Mohammed Abudulahi, said the said property belongs to CBN and not Sanusi. “Ordinarily, the Bank would not have bothered to respond to a matter personal to Mallam Sanusi Lamido, but for the fact that the property in question belongs to the CBN,” he said. He added that the property located at NO.8 (Plot 2704), Colorado Street, Maitama, is the official residence of the CBN Governor under construction. He said the contract for the building was awarded before assumption of office of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The decision to build the official residence, he explained, was hinged on the provisions of Section 34, Subsection (e) of the CBN Act 2007 as amended, which allows for the provision of official residence for the CBN Governor.

next year. The proposed merger will be effected through a Scheme of Merger pursuant to Part XII of the Investments and Securities Act (No. 29) of 2007 and when concluded, will result in Oceanic Bank being merged with Ecobank Nigeria, leaving Ecobank Nigeria as the surviving entity. The bank said that as a conse-

Arnold Ekpe said in a statement to Reuters. Ecobank, said the agreement also gives it the possibility of taking a stake in Nedbank, subject to regulatory approvals and other geographic considerations. ETI told Reuters last week it would complete merging the operations of its Nigerian unit with those of Oceanic Bank by the end of

Wema Bank completes banking application also encouraged to send feedback or EMA Bank has completed upgrade contact the bank for service support the migration of its core


By Collins Nweze

“The adjoining plot with two duplexes at No. 1, Missouri Street, Off Colorado Street, was bought by the bank to provide parking space as the original plot was congested. The owner of the adjoining plot has since been paid and the space is required to complete the development of the new building,” he said. Abdullahi said the two properties belong to the CBN, as the new official residence of the Governor. “Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has no personal house in Abuja and his current official residence is a rented property paid for by the Bank as temporary residence pending the completion of the Governor’s official quarters,” he said. He said the perpetrators of this act are only out to impugn the integrity of Mallam Sanusi. “Their action in circulating the address of the residence of the Governor through the media constitutes serious security threats to him and his family. In view of this, we shall make a formal report to the security agencies for necessary action,” he added.

banking application to Finacle 10, a global standard robust and secure banking platform. In an e-mail sent to its customers, the Bank announced a cut over date of Monday, December 05 2011 to commence operations on its new platform. Olayinka Oni, Divisional Head, Information Technology & Operations, said the migration will improve service delivery across all of

the Bank’s platforms and will boost the institution’s capacity to provide efficient electronic banking and in-branch services. He added that backed by other service initiatives, which the Bank is currently implementing, Wema bank customers will begin to experience a new dimension to excellent banking services. “Customers of Wema Bank are


and teaching requirements. “Public schools in Nigeria face severe challenges due to demands from a growing population and limitations in public funding. Governments and consumers are increasingly relying on the private sector to ease the burden on an overstretched public schooling system. Private schools such as Funtaj provide higher quality education, better student-teacher ratios, and boarding options increase access to education for students from underserved areas. Rachel Robbins, IFC Vice President and General Council, said, “Educa-

tion is critical to promoting growth and social mobility and we are committed to helping our clients provide quality services, especially in areas that lack access.” By investing in Funtaj, IFC is supporting indigenous private sector education, and will help meet the needs of Nigeria’s middle class consumers.” The new Funtaj School is estimated to cost $10 million, which will be financed by $2 million shareholder’s equity, the IFC loan of $5 million, and parallel loans from local banks of up to $3 million.



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



Offered ($) Demanded ($)



by calling 08039003700 or sending an e-mail to,” the email said. Established in 1945, Wema Bank is Nigeria’s most resilient and longest surviving indigenous bank. With a distinctive industry brand and focus on relationship banking and excellent service delivery, Wema Bank provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base.

IFC commits $5m to education

HE International Finance Corporation (IFC) is invest ing $5 million in Funtaj International School Limited to expand access to high quality private education to hundreds of students in the country Taju Ibrahim, founder and Chairman of Funtaj, said: “IFC’s financing has not just provided us with longterm capital, but its international experience and global leadership makes it the most ideal partner for Funtaj. Our long-term objective is to expand access to learning in Nigeria by creating a large network of schools to keep up with changing educational


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

quence of the proposed scheme of merger, it is expected that ETI’s shareholding in the enlarged Ecobank Nigeria will increase from its current 85 per cent to approximately 93 per cent, further reducing Ecobank Nigeria’s minimum free float to maintain listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80



Sold ($)

Rate (N)



















7.9-10% 10-11%




Start Offer



















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 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




24.23 1.02 3.29 4.80 1.14 0.88 0.90 0.52 0.55 29.06 38.50 4.25 1.72 90.52



25.44 1.07 3.45 5.03 1.18 0.90 0.92 0.53 0.56 29.51 39.00 4.30 1.74 91.44

1.21 0.05 0.16 0.23 0.04 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.45 0.50 0.05 0.02 0.92




2.29 4.17 4.60 3.99 8.03 1.34 1.15 0.53 1.97 0.58 0.65 5.09


2.18 3.97 4.38 3.80 7.65 1.28 1.10 0.51 1.90 0.56 0.63 4.96

C u r r e n t CUV Start


0.11 0.20 0.22 0.19 0.38 0.06 0.05 0.02 0.07 0.02 0.02 0.13



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






Offer Price

Bid Price




















(S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000




(S/N) Parallel Market





Feb. ’11

July ’11








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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

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





















NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%





04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011










NEWS Oshiomhole to present budget From Osagie Otabor, Benin

EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole will today present next year’s Appropriation Bill to the House of Assembly. This was made known in a letter by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuokheme, and read to the House during plenary. Speaker Uyi Igbe urged lawmakers to be available for the budget presentation, advising them to be punctual.

NGO gives women N2.170m

ACN’s, Akpabio’s case adjourned till Jan 19


USTICE Idongesit Ntem-Isua of an Uyo High Court yesterday adjourned till January 19 hearing in the case involving the deputy governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Akwa Ibom State, Ime Umanah, and Governor Godswill Akpabio. The judge had on Monday adjourned ruling in the matter till yesterday to determine whether or not under a trial-within-trial an accused, whose statement was contentious, should be cross-examined by prosecution counsel.

TWENTY women of Obinomba community in Delta State yesterday received N2. 17 million from a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Joan Agha Foundation (JAF). JAF President Mrs. Joan Billy Agha said the grant would help them expand their businesses. Her words: “Today, the foundation is here to make a difference in the lives of some of our women who will be given soft loans without interest, according to their needs to start a business or expand an existing one.” She said in line with the state’s micro-credit scheme on empowerment programmes, the foundation has planned to empower over 200 indigent persons with vocational skills and lend money to entrepreneurs to start their businesses.


AYELSA State Governor Timipre Sylva yesterday accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of approaching the Court of Appeal by fraudulent means. Sylva is challenging his disqualification as an aspirant from the party’s primary won by Henry Dickson. The respondents are the PDP, its Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Justice Gabriel Kolawole of an Abuja Federal High Court, who had warned the PDP against the primary, excused himself from the suit when he was informed that the party had filed an appeal to challenge the order. When the matter came up yesterday, Sylva’s counsel Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) decried the fraudulent invocation of the court’s jurisdiction, saying “whereas the appellant gave the impression the

PUBLIC NOTICE OMOLOLU MAKINDE FOUNDATION This is to inform the general public that the above-named Foundation has applied for registration to the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part ‘C’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. C20, LFN, 2004. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Chief Joseph Omololu Makinde 2. Chief Najeem Ishola Akinyemi 3. Chief Dele Ajayi


After hearing arguments from the prosecution counsel, led by the Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, Assam Assam (SAN) and Umanah’s counsel Samuel Ikpo, Justice NtemIsua held that Ikpo’s objection lacked merit. The judge ruled in favour of the prosecutor counsel that the first accused should be cross-examined. Ikpo said: “In a trialwithin-trial, if an objection is raised, the prosecutor is forbidden to cross-examine

the accused. “But if there is no objection, the prosecution can cross-examine the witness. “It is our humble submission that the prosecutor cannot cross-examine the witness because it is not the truth or the paucity of the statement that was the issue. “What we are looking at is whether the contentious statement was voluntarily made by the accused.” Cross-examining the first accused, Ikemesit Iyire, Assam tried to establish his relationship with the ACN deputy governorship candidate.

Iyire said: “My family sponsored me in school with the assistance of family friends. “Dr. Umanah assisted me while I was in the University of Port Harcourt. My father died before I entered the university. “When they arrested me, I was asked to write the statements under duress by officers of the State Security Services (SSS) and I complied. “They also asked me to backdate the statement and to write SSS Uyo. “I have known Dr. Umanah for a very long

Sylva accuses PDP of fraud

From John Ofikhenua, Warri

From Kazeem Ibrahym,

4. Mr. Dipo Olayoku 5. Chief Dayo Abatan 6. Isiaq Aderemi Bello

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To promote charitable, educational, voluntary and social projects for the use of the less privileged in the society. 2. To promote economic and social empowerment of the poor. 3. To engage in and carry out activities geared towards the enlightenment, development and restoration of the dignity of the down-trodden. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Chukwuemeka Eze, esq. Eze & Associates, (Legal Practitioners & Tax Consultants), 12, Kuditrat Abiola Way, Ikeja, Lagos.

PUBLIC NOTICE WORLD HARVEST MINISTRY Notice is hereby given to the general public that the above named ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part C of the companies and allied matter Act Cap. C20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. The Trustees Are 1 . Rev. Dr. John Ayegba Chairman 2 . Pastor Doyin Jibodun V. Chairman 3 . Pastor Vivian Ayegba Financial Secretary 4 . Pastor Samuel Daramola Secretary Gen. 5 . Pastor Regina Jagaba Publicity Secretary 6 . Deacon Barr. Sule J. Abdul Legal adviser 7 . Deaconess Elizabath Adegoke Treasurer 8 . Elder Michael Ayegba Member 9 . Deacon Alfred Ibizuegbe Member The Aims and Objectives Are: 1 . To preach and propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 . To plant/open Churches for the purpose of teaching Christian beliefs, values and virtues 3 . To organize programmes such as outreaches, crusades, conventions, conferences, missions etc. 4 . To publish, produce, sell, distribute and disseminate Christian Literature in book, CD or tape form. 5 . To engage in social, agricultural, educational and scientific activities beneficial to members of the ministry and the society at large. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Register General Corporate Affair Commission. Plot 420 Tigris Crescent off Aguiyi Ilonsi Street Maitama Abuja. Signed:Sule J. Abul Esq Sule J. Abdul & Co Solicitors and Advocates of the Supreme Court, No 30 Atiku Abubakar Road, Jimeta -Yola Adamawa State.

record of proceeding at the court was compiled by the court registry and transmitted by it, it was all a fraud. “The appellants gave the impressions that the record of proceeding at the court was compiled and transmitted by its (court’s) registry whereas their records showed it was a record compiled and transmitted by the appellants themselves. “And because they made it seem like it was record compiled and transmitted by the court, we had no choice than to concede. “What I am saying is that they got us all here fraudulently. It is by fraud we are here without first getting a stay,” Fagbemi said. Baraje‘s counsel Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) urged the court to grant an application, seeking a departure from the rules.

“That application was to cure the defect of the compiliation and transmission of the records instead of the court doing so.” Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa told Fagbemi that if he had an issue with the court records compiled by the appellants, he should file the necessary application for consideration. Before adjourning till December 12, Justice Bulkachuwa gave the appellant five days to file its brief, two days for the respondent (Sylva) to reply, and 24 hours for the appellant to reply on point of law. In the order on appeal, Justice Kolawole had warned the PDP from going ahead with the primary election. He granted the order following an exparte application filed by Sylva. The judge warned that he shall not hesitate to nullify any step taken by the PDP in defiance of his order once the defendants are served the order and the originating summons.


He gave the defendants 72 hours to show why all the reliefs sought by Sylva shall not be granted and adjourned till November 22. But the party still went ahead to conduct the primary. Sensing the consequence of their action, the respondents filed an application for stay of proceedings at the High Court giving an impression that the records of proceedings had been properly transmitted.

Residents flee Delta community over military presence


ZERE community in lsoko South Local Government of Delta State was yesterday deserted, following the deployment of soldiers in the area . Sources said three youths were allegedly killed by soldiers attached to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). “There was a protest after the killings and the palace of the ruler, Isaac Udogri 1, was razed. “Other houses razed were

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

the king’s guest house, his wife’s store and a house belonging to the Odiologbo, Ben Obegba,” they said. It was gathered that some residents had gone to the Shell flow station in the community to protest alleged neglect by the firm. But they were turned back at the gate. A row broke out. Three youths were allegedly killed. A source said following

Uduaghan seeks direct funds for local govts


•Court adjourns till Dec 12 From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

time as a family friend. “I met him when I was about to enter the University in 1999 to study Physics and Electronics.” The duo of Umanah and Iyire are standing trial for allegedly threatening Akpabio. According to the charge sheet, the offence is contrary to section 6 (1) (b), 6 (2), 10 (1) (C) and 10 (2) of the Akwa Ibom Internal Security and Enforcement Law of 2009.

the killings, residents accused the monarch of conniving with Shell. “They marched on his palace and set it ablaze. His guest house and wife’s provision store and a house belonging to Ben Obegba were also razed. “ The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Chris Sorgbara, declined comments. He said: “I can’t talk to you now because I don’t have any details yet and I am mobilising my men to Uzere now.”

ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has advocated a change in the disbursement of federal allocation. He said local governments should get their allocations directly instead of receiving them through state governments. Uduaghan spoke when the National President of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ibrahim Khaleel, visited him in Asaba. He said when local governments collect directly from the Federation Account, delays would be removed. He suggested that as Federal Government and states are receiving their allocations, local governments should be part of the exercise and receive theirs to prevent delays. Uduaghan said the burden of paying primary school teachers was too heavy for local governments and called on the Federal Government to either take over the salary of primary school teachers or increase local governments’ allocation.

Meeting for Dec 17


NIOMA Political Consultative Meeting is to hold in Asaba, the Delta State capital, on December 17. National Coordinator, Anioma National Council (ANC) Tonnie Oganah said the meeting was postponed because of the cancellation of the Southsouth Economic Summit. The venue, he added, is the Grand Hotel, Asaba. Time is 11 am.

NDDC boss warns contractors HE Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Chris Oboh, has said contractors who did shoddy projects will not be paid. He said high quality projects must be embarked upon, to ensure sustainability. Oboh said contractors with good projects, who were due for payment, would be paid. The MD spoke yesterday at the NDDC’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, shortly after the Acting Man-


From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

aging Director, Mrs. Osato Arenyeka, handed over to him. He said: “I need your commitment. The situation is not totally as bad as you think. Mr. President has given us a marching order. “Our children are overseas. Their fees have not been paid. I have just given approval that we must pay their fees by next week. “We are not for partying. We are here to execute

projects. All contractors who are due for payment will be paid. In the next few days, we are going to call them for a meeting. They should be prepared to go back to site. “Those who did good projects, we will pay them. Those whose projects are not good, we are not going to pay them, because we need sustainability. Government is spending money. We want to get full value. “I have also been briefed about our permanent site along the Eastern Bypass, Port Harcourt). That will be


a major priority, based on the availability of funds.” Mrs Arenyeka suggested decentralisation of the NDDC.



NEWS Ojukwu: Arinze writes Obi From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


•Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime (left), presenting next year’s budget to the State House of Assembly. With him is Speaker Eugene Odoh….yesterday PHOTO: OBI CLETUS

Enugu govt budgets N75b


OVERNOR Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has presented a budget proposal of N74,997,740,000 for the 2012 fiscal year to the House of Assembly. The budget, which is made up of N44,317,129,244 recurrent expenditure and N30,680,610,756 capital expenditure, exceeds the 2011 estimate of N66,626,333.655 by 11 per cent.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

It is to be financed through aggressive Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which is expected to yield N8 billion. Speaking at the presentation, Chime said his administration would be guided by its four-point Agenda and the needs of the rural communities as articulated under the Visit Every Community

(VEC) Initiative of his administration. “We shall, in specific terms, seek the completion of on-going projects, the diversification of the resource base of the state and the continued partnership with the private sector and other development partners in the development of the state. We will sustain the massive provision of socio- economic in-

frastructure and strengthen security of life and property,” Chime said. The government is expected to generate recurrent revenue of N60 billion, part of which will come from the projected share of Federal Revenue, estimated at N45 billion. According to Chime, N7 billion is targeted from Value Added Tax (VAT).

The Nation on-line readers reject subsidy removal


HE Nation on-line readers have rejected the FederalGovernment’s planned subsidy removal. A subsidy (also known as a subvention) is an assistance paid to a business or economic sector. Most subsidies are made by the government to producers or distributors in an industry to prevent the decline of that industry. Examples are subsidies to encourage the sale of exports; subsidies on some foods to keep down the cost of living, especially in urban areas; and subsidies to encourage the expansion of farm production and achieve self-reliance in

Fagbemi Ademola and Ajibola Elizabeth

food production. It can be regarded as a form of protectionism or trade barrier by making domestic goods and services artificially competitive against imports. Subsidies may distort markets, and can impose large economic costs. President Goodluck Jonathan had in October expressed the federal government’s readiness to phase out fuel subsidy next year. The President said in a 2012 to 2015 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) framework he sent to

the National Assembly that the move would reposition the nation’s economy. However, the move has drawn criticisms from different sections of the society, with many asking the Federal Government to rescind the decision. In all, 2, 766 on-line readers responded to the question: Should the Federal Government remove the fuel subsidy as planned? The readers were required to choose from four options, namely: (i) Yes, (ii) No, (iii) I don’t know and, (iv) I don’t care. While 499 readers or 18 per cent backed government’s decision on subsidy

Onitsha market shut as vigilance group kills trader


HERE was tension in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, following the death of a trader at the Ochanja main market. The situation resulted in the closure of the market to prevent the traders from taking the law into their hands. According to a source on Wednesday evening, a stray bullet from a member of the market vigilance group hit a trader. The member shot into the air in an attempt to scare off criminals. According to sources, the trader died on the spot. The victim, whose identity has not been ascertained, was taken to a hospital where he was confirmed dead. The leadership of the market closed the market to avoid a breakdown of law and order. But it was reopened after some hours, it wa leanrt. The chairman of the trad-

From Adimike George, Onitsha

ers’ union Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo said the situation had been brought under control.

He said the member of the vigilance group who did the shooting had been handed over to the police. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka declined comments on the incident.

Abia awards N3b road, housing contracts


HE Abia State Government has awarded N3.9billion road and housing contracts. The contracts include the construction of three hostels and one staff quarters at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp and Customary Court of Appeal complex. Commissioner for Information and Strategy Don Ubani spoke in Umuahia after the State Executive Council meet-

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

ing. He stated that the Council had approved the contracts. Ubani explained that the state government has set aside the fund for the execution of the contracts and urged the contractors to ensure a speedy completion of the projects. Ubani added that the state government has built electronic markets at Orie-Ohabiam and Ehere markets.

removal by voting “yes”, 2, 182 or 78.9 per cent rejected the move. Furthermore, 63 readers or 2.3 per cent voted “I don’t care”, while 22 or 0.79 per cent picked I don’t know.

REFECT Emeritus, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments at the Vatican City, Francis Cardinal Arinze, has said the late former Biafra warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu occupies a significant place in the history of Nigeria. In a letter to Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, Arinze said he would continue to pray for Ikemba Nnewi to have eternal rest. The letter reads: “With great sadness, I heard of the death of the Ikemba, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. This is an event of great magnitude for Igbo people and for all Nigerians. “I have known the Ikemba for the past 45 years and learned to appreciate him for his intelligence, firmness of principle, love for his people, high qualities of leadership and courage to face challenges. In the history of Nigeria, he occupies a significant place. “Please accept, on behalf of Anambra people and the entire Odumegwu-Ojukwu family, my heartfelt condolences, together with my promise of a continued remembrance of him at holy mass so that he will have eternal rest, “ hsaid. The Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Rev.Valerian Okeke yesterday described the late Ojukwu as a patriootic Nigerian. Okeke told reporters yesterday that the Ojukwu he knew was a great man, a great leader who loved the less privileged in the society. “He hated marginalisation, he hated anything that would look like cheating others and denied them their rights. He was a brave man who was not afraid to stand for the truth and justice. “Ojukwu was a patriotic Nigerian and a multi-talented Igboman. He was a true brother to his loved ones, we will miss him as one of those great ones that built Nigeria, we pray God to grant him eternal rest in his kingdom,” he said.

Group makes case for Oshiomhole


HE Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa yesterday stated that four chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), each from the three Senatorial Districts, were among those who lobbied Adams Oshiomhole not to contest the result of the April 14 governorship election in 2007. The group’s Director of Research and Strategy Messr Shegun Oshoname said contrary to Dan Obih’s claim, it did not take the governor three years before making the claim.

Oshoname said it was not the first time the governor would be making such claims. He regretted saying, “it is most unfortunate that these people have no sense of history”. The governor, according to Oshoname, had in a news conference in June 2008 in Benin City, named two former governors in the state, and two Peoples Democratic Party chieftains from Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial Districts as a lobbist delegation who secretly met him in his GRA.



NEWS Forum blames violence on wrong religious orientation


ECURRING violence in parts of the country result mostly from wrongful interpretation of religious doctrines by clerics and spiritual leaders, participants at an international conference in Abuja have said. They sought positive scientific knowledge and ideas to prevent the growing ignorance and superstition among Nigerians, saying this is responsible for frequent interreligious conflicts and violence. Stressing the importance of education for societal peace, the forum noted that it serves as a means of fostering understanding and cooperation for peaceful coexistence in any society. These were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day conference held in Abuja with the theme: Establishing a culture of coexistence and mutual understanding: Exploring the Fethullah Gulen’s thought and action. The conference, which witnessed 22 presentations, drew speakers from Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. It had over 1,250 registered participants from about 10 other African countries representing public and private organisations and religious institutions. It was organised by the Federal Ministry of Education, the National Universities Commission (NUC), six federal universities, in conjunction with UFUK Dialogue Foundation and the Fountain

By Eric Ikhilae

Magazine. The conference noted that religious precepts are not sources of conflicts within communities but that conflicts result from “incontextual interpretations of religious precepts, misunderstanding of religious doctrines and/or manipulation of religious principles”. Urging religious leaders to live above board, participants resolved that dialogue should be made an integral part of community process, especially in multi-cultural and multireligious societies. It recommended that the countries should work at ensuring greater access to educational opportunities by all segments of the society. “Religious thinking and positive sciences are two aspects of the same truth. It is essential to reach a harmonious understanding of the two. An education based on this principle of harmony of religion and science does not adopt proselytisation as a paradigm of teaching. Hence, popularisation of science is important in doing away with ignorance, superstition and obscurantism,” the forum said. Stressing the importance of the media in fostering mutual understanding in multicultural and multi-religious societies, participants recommended the organisation of conferences stimulating dialogue between cultures at all levels of government.

Fagunwa Memorial Lecture holds Dec 7


HE fifth Annual Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa Memorial lecture will hold at the Afe Babalola Auditorium of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, on December 7. This year’s lecture will be delivered by Prof. Labiyi Yai, a Permanent Representative of the Republic of Benin at the UNESCO, Paris, France. The lecture entitled: Tiwa N’Tiwon: Awon Ibatan Onkowee Fagunwa Kaakiri Agbaye (Ours

Firm, hospital partner on sickle cell clinical study

By Paul Oluwakoya

and Theirs: Fagunwa and his Co-travellers in Literature World-Wide), will look at the late author’s works in relevance to youths as a veritable tool for improving the usage and understanding of the language. The lecture is the brain child of D.O. Fagunwa Foundation, chaired by Mrs. Ibukunade Sijuwola, daughter of the late writer.

By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha


•House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tanbuwal(left) with Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade at the Northern Peace Conference in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO:NAN

EALTH Forever Product Limited, the manufacturer of a sorghum-based blood normaliser, Jobelyn, is conducting a study on the product for the management of sickle cell. The study, in collaboration with a Lagos-based tertiary hospital, is to ascertain the effectiveness of the product in managing the disorde. The researchers are seeking volunteers with sickle cell gene who must be 14 years and above. Interested participants are to report at the company’s head office at 11 Dipeolu Street, off Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos, on Mondays or Thursdays, or call Gboyega Oyesoro on 08052750537.

Stray bullet kills trader as drivers protest police extortion in Abuja


STRAY bullet from the gun of a policeman yesterday killed a trader in Wuse Market, Abuja. The trader was said to be pushing a wheel barrow during a protest by commercial drivers in the busy market when he met his fate. Scores of commercial drivers were protesting incessant extortion and harassment of their members by the police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The protest disrupted traffic and passenger movements from parts of the city. Some angry policemen, who wanted to disperse the protesters, reportedly shot into the air. A stray bullet from one of their guns was said to have hit the trader. He died instantly. The protesters carried placards with different inscriptions such as: We say no to ille-

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

gal arrest; The D.P.O must go, among others. Passengers were stranded as vehicles became scarce at the bus stop, which is melting pot of transportation in the FCT. Passengers had to trek long distances from the bus stop to get vehicles to their destinations. A driver, Nbawon Ithan, said: “The police came in their pick-up van and tore off our number plates and beat many of our members. “ Anywhere you park, they will arrest you and collect N5,000 or N10,000 for wrong parking. “The police attached to Wuse claimed that the Divisional Traffic Officer (DTO) asked them to make N6,000 returns everyday. So, to meet up the target,

that is why they are after us like this.” Nathaniel Ikechuckwu, the Auditor of the FCT Council of Self-Employed Commercial Drivers’ Association (SECDAA), Abuja, said: “Our drivers have been complaining about what the police have been doing to them. This morning (yesterday), the police started arresting them; they tore off their number plates and even shot one person. Our drivers are protesting because of the extortion.”

The Area Commander (Operations) of the Nigeria Police, FCT Command, Wilson Inalegwu said: “It is a minor disagreement between the traffic officials and the bus drivers. But we came in from the command headquarters. We stepped in and asked them to state their case and we will later talk about the issues at stake. They are talking about a place for them to park. They are just looking for small things to provoke them and express their anger. But we understand...”

19 dead in Benin-Ore accident


INETEEN persons have died in a motor accident on the BeninOre road when a diesel tanker collided with a commercial vehicle, killing all the passengers. The 18-seaters bus, belonging to Hope Express Transport Company, reportedly took off from Lagos and was heading to the Southeast when it collided with the tanker on a bridge. An eyewitness said bodies of the passengers and their property littered the road. It was gathered that out of 19 persons, 18, including the driver and the his conductor, died on the spot. The only survivor was taken to a hospital in Benin but died before he could get treatment. Some sympathisers blamed the accident on the breach of traffic regulations by motorists.

The tanker driver was said to have abandoned his lane and crossed the pavement, moving on a parallel line with the oncoming commercial bus. The bus driver’s attempt to avoid hitting the concrete bridge was said to have resulted in the collision. It was gathered that the police arrested the tanker driver for interrogation. The dead were taken to a hospital mortuary in Benin. In a related development, few kilometers away from the bridge, there was another fatal accident involving a trailer and a Mercedes Benz, which left property worth several thousands of Naira destroyed. Eye witnesses at the scene of the accident claimed that serious cases of injury were recorded as the Mercedes car was terribly damaged as a result of the collision.

Vet doctors get new president


R Abdul-Ganiy Enahoro, the Managing Director, GANROVET Animal Hospital, Warri, Delta State, has been elected the President of Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association at its 48th annual general meeting and congress held between November 21 and November 25 in Ilorin, Kwara State. He polled 355 votes to defeat his opponent, Dr Tarfarki of Nigeria Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Jos, Plateau State, who polled 47 votes. Enahoro contested the presidency of the association in 2009 in Akwa Ibom and lost by eight votes to Dr Charles Ibe, the out-gone president. Prof S.S. Baba of the Virus Research Laboratory Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri, Borno State, congratulated Enahoro, saying he looks forward to a fruitful tenure under him.






South African court rejects Zuma’s prosecutor


SOUTH African court has ruled that President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of Menzi Simelane as the country’s chief prosecutor is invalid. The court said there were unresolved questions about his integrity, as he had once given “untruthful” evidence. The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) had brought the case, arguing that Mr Simelane was an “acolyte” of Mr Zuma. Mr Simelane would have protected “powerful” people from prosecution, it said. Mr Zuma has previously denied these accusations, saying Mr Simelane was indeed a “fit and proper” person to hold such a job. He also argued that the judgement was

for the president, rather than a court, to make. Supreme Court of Appeals Judge Mahomed Navsa said the appointment of Mr Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) was unconstitutional. “I accept that the president must have a multitude of daily duties and is a very busy man,” he is quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. “However, when he is dealing with an office as important as that of the NDPP, which is integral to the rule of law and to our success as a democracy, then time should be taken to get it right.” DA leader Helen Zille said the ruling was a victory for democracy.

Gambian woman to be new ICC chief prosecutor


GAMBIAN woman Fatou Bensouda is set to be named the new International Criminal Court chief prosecutor, diplomats say. The 50-year-old lawyer from The Gambia serves as the deputy to Luis MorenoOcampo, whose term ends next year. She previously worked as a legal adviser at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania. The ICC’s cases are currently all in Africa, and some of the continent’s leaders have accused it of only pursuing Africans. A successor to Luis Moreno-Ocampo will be formally elected by the Assembly of States Parties - the body representing the 119 countries that support the tribunal - at its annual meeting in New York on 12 December.

However, the president of the ASP, Liechtenstein’s UN ambassador Christian Wenaweser, says she is now the only candidate. It had been agreed that Mr Ocampo’s successor should be an African and the only other candidate, Tanzania’s Mohamed Chande Othman, is said to have withdrawn. “I will recommend to the [12 December] meeting that, based on my consultations, we go forward with a single candidate, Fatou Bensouda,” Mr Wenaweser told Reuters news agency by telephone. The ICC, based in The Hague, is the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal and began operating in 2002. Fatou Bensouda told the AFP news agency that she was working for the victims of Africa. “That’s where I get my inspiration and my pride,” she said.

Zimbabwe’s PM Tsvangirai cancels marriage


IMBABWE Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says his relationship with Locadia Karimatsenga has been ‘irretrievably damaged’ by his rivals. After a ritual ceremony in which $36,000 (£23,000) and 10 cows were reportedly hand-

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public that Certificate of Occupancy belonging to Mr. Ogunbawo gbolahan Olusegun with No. 50/50/ 1988m, dated 15/10/1988 no. Dcb/3752/72, located at 8/10, Emmanuel Ikubolaje Street, Anibaba Ikorodu, Lagos is missing all effort to trace it proves abortive. If found please return to the nearest police station or address above.

LOSS DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public that certificates of occupancy belonging to Mr. Mrs. Abayomi Banjo of No.5, Irewo Road, IjebuOde with C of Os no. 0032607 and 0032608 registered with Ogun Land Registry is misplaced. If found please call 08074002697.

ed to the bride’s family, it looked like a rare moment of joy amid the grind of death and despair in Zimbabwe. Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost his wife a in car crash in 2009, had found new love with local businesswoman Locadia Karimatsenga and, just for once, politics could be forgotten. It was not to be. The romance has been killed by gossip, heartbreak and conspiracy theories just 12 days after the traditional paying of lobola, or bride price, in cash and cattle made a happy ending seem inevitable. Tsvangirai, 59, announced on Thursday that his relationship with Karimatsenga had been “irretrievably damaged” after it was “hijacked” by political opponents. He said “marriage is now inconceivable” with the 39year-old, a commodity trader and sister of an MP in president Robert Mugabe’s ZanuPF party, which is locked in a bitter power struggle with Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Tsvangirai’s wife of 31 years, Susan, was killed in a road accident soon after he became prime minister. He was travelling in the same vehicle and, despite widespread speculation, insists it was an accident.

She said Mr Zuma had made several controversial appointments recently - including that of chief justice. “The purpose is to put a Zuma acolyte in every one of those key institutions which should be independent and the purpose of that is to ensure that those institutions, far from keeping powerful people accountable in the interest of the people, protect those powerful individuals,” Ms Zille said. The court ruled that Mr Simelane was unfit for office because he had given “misleading and untruthful evidence” when testifying to investigators looking into former chief prosecutor, Vusi Pikoli.

African countries to Amnesty: arrest George Bush From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


HE Amnesty International yesterday urged the governments of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to arrest former United States President George W. Bush, during his expected visit to the region between December 1 and 5, for crimes under international law. According to a statement issued by Matt Pollard, Senior Legal Adviser of Amnesty International, he said there is enough evidence in the public domain, from US authorities and from George W. Bush himself, for Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to investigate his alleged involvement in and responsibility for torture, and to secure his presence during the investigation. He said: “All countries to which George W. Bush travels have an obligation to bring him to justice for his role in torture.”

Strauss-Khan admits sex life cost him French Presidency


HE former head of the International Monetary Fund claimed yesterday that his bid to become President of France was lost because of his ‘uninhibited’ but otherwise ‘legal’ sex life. Speaking for the first time about the two attempted rape allegations which effectively ended his career, Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that having casual oral sex with a New York hotel maid was something he regretted deeply. The 62-year-old admits that his ‘flesh is weak’, but insists he has never paid for sex with any of the young women he regularly met at orgies across the world. Happily married: StraussKahn lives in Paris with his third wife, Anne Sinclair (pictured), who has stuck with him throughout the recent scandals ‘Nothing would have happened if I hadn’t had this consensual, but stupid relationship with Nafissatou Diallo,’ said Strauss-Kahn, referring to the 32-year-old who claimed to have been attacked. ‘That day, I opened the door to all the other affairs.’



e-Business Matters e-Rising Segun Oruame


ET us consider other scenarios elsewhere on the continent. In South Africa, the Digital Dzonga is the advisory council established by the Department of Communications (DoC), dedicated to making the migration from an analogue broadcasting platform to a digital one as smooth and easy as possible for all South Africans, in line with government’s broadcasting digital migration policy. The official Website of the Digital Dzonga is http:// There is a whole lot of information on the entire spectrum of digital migration that the citizens can access. The information has formed the basis of reporting the key issues to the citizens by the media in South Africa and also helping to galvanise the citizens for the transition by 2015. The Digital Dzonga has helped to create a platform with which the South African media has been able to adequately inform the citizens on the entire process of digital migration including what it will cost an average family to migrate and what government is doing to subsidise the cost of migration for indigent citizens in order to ensure

that citizens remain connected to the information pipe. As a Nigeria journalist and media practitioner, I have had to depend heavily on this Website and other related sites to understand the issues at stake as they concern digital migration. In nearby Ghana, you have a less sophisticated but no less engaging approach to informing all stakeholders on the digital migration process. Here you have an approach where various stakeholders continuously organise sensitisation workshops in partnership with the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the National Digital Broadcasting Migration Technical Committee (NDBMTC) to provide the basis upon which the media will consistently inform the general public of the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting under the 2006 Geneva Agreement. Ghana has set 2013 as its own deadline to complete a nation-wide migration. Let us stress the point, the ability of the media to perform its primary duty of informing the public adequately enough on the digital migration process is dependent upon how much the media itself has been educated and informed on the issues.

Engaging media in digital migration (2) In Ghana and South Africa, there have been consistent and deliberate moves by the key stakeholders within government to ensure the media knows what it should know so that it can enlighten the people. We cannot say the same synergy of understanding exists between stakeholders such as the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the PAC (if the body is still active) and the media. So what then will the media report? How informed is the media to enlighten the citizens in the same manner government and its agencies have helped the media to galvanise the citizens on the switch-over in South Africa? That citizens and potential consumers of the digital broadcast service are not asking questions concerning a host of issues centred on the switch-over should make us to be worried. It means citizens are still outside the radar of the entire migration process. In South Africa and even in Ghana, people want to know what are Set Top Boxes (STB) that receive the digital signal (which TV sets cannot read) and converts it to an analogue signal for the TV set. People want to know if they will need to buy new television sets to receive digital signal. The authorities are already informing

them through the media that they do not need to. “All current analogue television sets will be able to receive digital signal. They also do not need a High Definition (HD) TV, LCD TV or Plasma TV to receive digital signals. No television on the market will be able to receive the digital TV channels without the STB. A TV that is ‘digitally ready’ or ‘HD ready’ does not mean that it can receive the digital TV broadcasting without an STB. We can see an organised effort to properly inform the citizens and to ensure that they do not end up as pawns to product manufacturers. More than two years ago, veteran broadcast manager and former Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ben Egbuna complained that: “Broadcasters in the country are not mobilised or galvanised for the digital project, little wonder many are ignorant even of the 2012 date and have not begun to address the ‘what,’ ‘how,’ ‘where’ and ‘who’ of the transition process.” Egbuna laid the blame on government’s poor understanding of the crucial role the media can play in getting all stakeholders informed whether as service providers or consumers. That complaint is still valid today. But it is time to put things in order. Perhaps, this workshop will ginger a new sense of direction to

get everyone involved. The stakeholders for the digital migration process are as numerous as they are critical. They include the PAC, the NBC, the NCC, the National Frequency Management Council (bodies set up to oversee all the potential players in the migration; broadcasters ( those to migrate their services onto digital); signal distributors ¯(as recommended by the PAC) those responsible for rolling out the digital network infrastructure on behalf of broadcasters —in South Africa you have Sentech and Orbicom; government ministries who are responsible for developing the policy for broadcasting digital migration; manufacturers who are responsible for the manufacturing of the STB and to ensure that the boxes are compliant with the standards set and do actually work; retailers ¯making the STBs available for purchase by the public and to provide accurate information to consumers so that they can make the right choices when purchasing STBs; consumers who are responsible for ensuring that they have the information they need to make informed choices and to ensure that they get the necessary STBs timeously before the analogue signal is switched off and the media whose duty it is to galvanise all the other stakeholders through information diffusion on the digital migration issue. It is truly time to engage the media to inform the citizens on the digital migration process.

‘How Nigeria can play in world economy’


robust software policy is central to Nigeria’s participation in the new global economy, DirectorGeneral of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof Cleopas Angaye has said. Speaking in Lagos at the stakeholders’ workshop on review of the draft national software policy, Angaye noted that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has been globally accepted as the major tool for sustainable socioeconomic development in the global economy. He added that software development is the driver of this powerful tool. According to him, the software industry is of utmost importance to future competitiveness for economies across the globe, especially with its halo effect in creating related business opportunities. He said there was the need to develop a robust software policy in the country, with appropriate implementation strategies to implement it. Angaye disclosed that a study of the economic impact of the software industry in Southeast Asian countries showed a conser-

Stories by Adline Atili vative multiplying economic effect of about 1.7 for upstream and downstream industries. Angaye added that the study showed that end-user industries also benefit enormously from reduced cost, increased productivity and increased business opportunities. He stressed that countries which have formulated robust software policies with appropriate implementation strategies are reaping the benefits that come with such laudable initiative. “As far back as 1986, India formulated a computer software policy in recognition of the fact that the software industry would be one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy; provide high-quality employment for young people and significant revenue for the country through export of software. “The value of software exported from that country is about $20billion a year. In 2007 alone, India’s software services industry employed about two million people and contributed about 4.8 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Today, India exports software and services to nearly 95 countries around the world.”

•Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown (left) and Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria at the MTN-sponsored Rivers State Investment Forum in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

The NITDA boss while commending ICT growth and Internet penetration in Nigeria, which has led to considerable investment in software both in the public and private sectors, regretted that the investments have been mostly on imported software. “A recent disclosure by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion

(NOTAP) shows that Nigeria loses about $1billion annually to software importation, whereas the Nigerian software industry is potentially worth $6billion and can surpass the contributions from the oil industry especially as software is not capitalintensive. “Additionally, the Internet has created a level playing-field for software developers around the

world. Proximity and flexibility will therefore favour our indigenous developers for local, regional and international markets. “Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop appropriate policy to guide ‘Software Nigeria’ in order to diversify our economy from a mono economy mainly based on oil and explore the knowledge economy that can provide alternative source of revenue for the country,” he submitted.

Nigeria’s telecom subscribers to hit 152 million in 2016


IGERIA will continue to be Africa’s biggest mobile market by subscriptions, with a forecast of 152.09 million subscriber base by 2016, according to a research by Informa Telecoms and Media, a provider of business intelligence and strategic services to telecom markets. The report said Africa has become the second most connected region in the world in terms of mobile subscription count, up from fourth place last year. It added that there were over 616 million mobile subscriptions in Africa at the end of September, which means that

the mobile market on the continent is second only to Asia-Pacific in terms of numbers. Africa’s mobile-subscription count overtook that of Western Europe during the second quarter of 2011 and then overtook the Americas in the third quarter of 2011. At the end of 2010, less than a year ago, Africa was the fourth largest regional mobile market by subscriptions, coming after Asia-Pacific, Western Europe and the Americas. “The combination in Africa of a still relatively immature telecom market with factors including population growth,

strong competition among providers and the increasing affordability of mobile devices, explains Africa’s move up the regional mobile-market rankings as well as its strong growth forecast. “Africa’s mobile market is heading towards a major landmark: the number of mobile subscriptions on the continent will cross the one billion mark in 2016, according to our latest forecast,” Head of Mobile Research for the Middle East and Africa at Informa Telecoms and Media, Matthew Reed,

said. Africa will retain its position as the second biggest regional mobile market by subscriptions, according to Informa’s forecasts for the coming five years. However, there is a strong trend for Africa mobile subscribers to have multiple SIM cards and consequently the number of unique users of mobile services on the continent is smaller than the number of subscriptions. The number of unique users in Africa at end-2016 is forecasted to be 572.35 million. While Nigeria will be Africa’s

biggest mobile market by subscriptions at end-2016, Egypt will hold on to its position as Africa’s second-biggest mobile market, with a forecasted 118.03 million subscriptions at end-2016. South Africa, the continent’s third largest mobile market, will have 80.56 million mobile subscriptions at end-2016. According to the report, Africa is forecast to have a mobile penetration rate of 86.92 per cent at end2016, still lower than in other regions. Reed stressed that as the African market matures, the retention of existing customers will become increasingly important.






Moroccan coach offers Eguavoen Algeria warning M

OROCCO Under-23 coach, Pim Verbeek has handed down a strong warning to his Nigerian counterpart, Augustine Eguavoen ahead of the crunch Olympic qualifying game between the Dream Team V and Algeria.

Verbeek masterminded a 10 success over the Algerians on match day two but insists that the victory recorded by his Moroccan team was anything but straightforward. “They (the Algerian team) are very good. They don’t make many mistakes and you have to be at your best to score

against them,” Verbeek explained. The Dutch trainer who was in charge of the Australia team at the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa also single out four strikers of the Algeria side, Sid Ahmed Aouedj, Mokhtar, Belkhiter, Amine Touahri and Moham-


25 schools to Jostle for honours


WENTY-FIVE schools from the Six Education Districts in Lagos State have been confirmed for the annual Adeyemi Karunwi Secondary Schools Table Tennis Championship. The tournament, which is being organised by the Office of Sports, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development and Adeyemi Karunwi Trust Foundation, players are expected to compete for honours in seven events. According to the organisers, the tournament is part of the efforts by the Adeyemi Karunwi Trust Foundation to develop the skills of the students in the game as well as to discover new talents. Also, the selected players from the competition will be nurtured and trained by top coaches in the State after the tournament scheduled to serve off on 12th December 2011.

By Innocent Amomoh The awards to be won by the participants include, Most Well Behaved School, Most Valuable Player (MVP) for boys and girls events with cash rewards and trophies to be

doled out by the organisers. Events to be competed for are team, singles, doubles and mixed doubles with four schools drawn from each District and one independent school to be part of the competition.

med Chalali who captains the side. “They are four dangerous attackers and they caused us a lot of problems in our game against them. “They also have very good organization in the defence and you have to work hard to break them down. Nigeria will have to be at their best to score against them,” he said. Morocco needs a point to guarantee leadership of Group A while one of Algeria, Senegal and Nigeria can also progress to the semi finals. Nigeria will face Algeria in Marakesh while Morocco take on Senegal in Tangier. Both games kick off simultaneously on December 2.


South Africa begins medal sweep


OUTH AFRICA has started with medal sweep at the on going Africa Juniorswimming championship going on in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. As at the time of this report, South Africa had swept six out of the eight gold medals awarded for eight events. Zimbabwe trails behind with two gold medals in 50breaststroke and 100metres backstroke events. Other countries that have

From Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt registered their names on the medals table include Algeria, Morrocco and Botswana. Also, Josh Walters of South Africa broke a record on 100metres backstroke male event. In a brief chat with NationSport Channel Johnston of South Africa,16 year old 100meters gold medalist in Butterfly event expresses excitement.

"I feel great! This is my first international tournament outside South Africa. Winning gold makes me feel excitement!"When asked how she did it, Channel said: "I just train very hard and listen to my music". Asked if she knew she was going to win gold, "I was hopeful", she said. Nigeria the host nation is yet to win any medals in the championship.


Gifts galore at fundraising night


REPARATIONS towards the 2012 Niger Delta International Polo tournament coming up from the 7th to 14th of January continued last weekend as a fund raising dinner night held for the event attracted gifts showers. The dinner/gala nite which attracted big shots from within and outside the Garden City was aimed at raising funds that would enable the management put the place in order before the events;which includes the construction of modern stables for the horses and a pavilion. Well meaning Nigerians who took to the stage donated Heartily towards the actualization of all the highlighted challenges facing the club. Ranging from cash donations to material donations to enable the building of modern stables, construction of the new pavilion, grooms quarters,donating of modern polo equipment for the games and even to the materials needed for the construction works. Those present at the gala nite were also made to understand that work had kicked off at the pavilion and also that the twenty room groom quarters was already under construction - courtesy of the donors at the event. Describing the event at the gala nite, one of the top classed citizens that graced the occasion, Prince Tonye Princewill

From Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt of Princewill Political Associates, PPA said the Port Harcourt Polo club is a hallmark within the area. "This is a club which is like a hall mark in the Niger Delta. Its almost like an institution within the environment. This Polo club is among the top one hundred in the world and one of the four best recognised in Nigeria and in fact, its one of the Polo clubs that all polo players in the country will like to come to. This is perfectly a Hallmark and we have come here to support them". Various awards were also given to individuals and corporate bodies including the Rivers state government for continued support. Present at the gala nite was the Rivers state governor who was represented by the state commissioner for Social Welfare, Joe Poroma. Other personalities included His excellency, Alfred Spiff Diette, the first executive governor of Rivers state, Chief Francis Oboro, President, Nigeria Polo Federation, Comrade Peter Usele, TUC President, High Chief O. B Lulu Briggs, Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam who was the Chairman of the occasion amongst others. Companies in attendance included Crushed Rock, Aero contractors, Pacific Silverline and a host of others.




N a democracy, social justice requires genuine shared sacrifice and shared sacrifice is genuine when there is a fair distribution of the benefits and burdens of social life among the members of a society. For benefits, we may identify the freedoms (of association, movement, religion, etc) that social life assures and affords, access to resources (including natural, educational, technological) that belong to society, and the incomes that productive efforts collectively generate for the society. These are all aspects of the benefits that an individual can expect from membership of any society, including nations. On the other hand, the burdens of social life include, among others, securing the land and its people against external attack and internal disturbance, procuring the means of acceptable social life, including constructing roads linking towns and villages, water, light, and, through taxation, contributing resources that make the provision of these goods possible. Totaling the sum of benefits in one column and the burdens in a second, the livability of a society can be determined. Where total burdens outweigh total benefits for all, it stands to reason that such a society needs a fundamental reorganisation to avoid a total collapse occasioned by individuals checking out in droves. If it can be helped, no one desires a hellish existence. It turns out, however, that in reality, the balance of benefits relative to burdens is not always negative for every member even where there is a greater total burden overall. This is because, for various reasons, some members appropriate to themselves a greater share of benefits, even when there is an overall benefits-deficit. For this to be the case, however, others must willingly or unwillingly bear a greater share of the burden, making a disproportionate amount of sacrifice for the livability of social life. History is full of accounts of heroic sacrifices by individuals for the survival of their societies and the prosperity of members. In our corner of the world, we are familiar with legendary figures such as Moremi Ajasoro of Ile Ife whose legacy still inspires. It remains true however, that a heavier burden of sacrifice is not always borne voluntarily due to the force of the circumstance in which people find themselves. While some only bear societal burdens and share little or none of the benefits, others enjoy all the benefits with little or no share in the burdens of social life. This is an undeniable fact of contemporary social life whether at the village level or at the national level. Indeed it is so real that many may wonder why we should bother stating the obvious. In spite of its obviousness, however, it is important to remind ourselves as often as


Shared sacrifice

Can political leaders share with these battleweary folks the amount and nature of sacrifices that they themselves have made for the nation? Is it in the do-or-die battle they wage to fraudulently get selected into political office? •Map of Nigeria

necessary that it is not a natural state. It is unnatural because no one cherishes being forced to be at the receiving end of social life. No one wants to be imposed upon. Many will gladly volunteer to go in harms way in defense of a social cause they believe in. Hundreds of young and old Nigerians have laid down their lives for the causes they believe in. Such, it should be pointed out, have always included the cause of justice and fairness. On account of their perception that an injustice was being perpetrated, they moved against it with protests and rallies and were mowed down by agents of the state. This shows that naturally, human beings resent an imposition of a disproportionate burden of social life. Even if a declaration of the unnaturalness of such a state is open to debate, we can make a normative claim about its indefensibility from a moral point of view. For a state of affairs in which a greater share of the burden of social life is involuntarily assumed by some, while others with no significant moral difference


Foul...HUNGER is the NO ONE KILLER in Nigeria

NO. 1962


TOMORROW IN THE NATION ‘At the time the economy is biting with the venom of a viper and eligible bachelors are avoiding marital life like a leper because of the responsibilities that come with it, encouraging conjugal bliss between people of the same sex is the greatest disservice anyone would do both to the institution of marriage and our social and cultural values.’ VINCENT AKANMODE

enjoy a greater share of the benefits, depicts a gross unfairness in the distribution of social benefits and burdens. It cannot be morally justified. Consider the following scenario which, though fictitious, no doubt is a mirror reflection of the social reality of contemporary Nigeria. Two young men completed identical courses of study at the same Nigerian university five years ago. In virtue of the circumstance of his birth into a well-connected political family (in itself a chance situation since no one chooses his or her grandparents), this young man didn’t have to worry about gainful employment. He made effort however and joined a ruling political party, and having been selected by a godfather, as it goes in this nation, was also selected by INEC. He became a member of the National Assembly. With no visible work effort, no history of productivity, no value-added to the nation’s future, he became an instant millionaire. Meanwhile, the second young man, also due to circumstance of birth, a pure natural lot-



N October, the Jonathan government had asked for the virement (the transfer of funds from one use to another) of about N98 billion. That request was anathema to the House of Representatives, which angrily denounced it and gave the impression hell would freeze over before it was considered. Well, hell hasn’t frozen, nor is it in danger of freezing one little Celsius, but the Reps have with the same determination it rebuffed the request finally granted the Jonathan government its wish. This is coming not a “fraudulent few months to the end of the fiscal year,” as the Reps said in October, but a few weeks to the end of the 2011 budget year. It was ungraciously suggested that the Reps took a bribe of about N2 billion to achieve its courageous volte-face, but this allegation has been denied by the leadership of the lower chamber. While Hardball is for now uninterested in the truthfulness or falsity of the allegation, it finds it truly remarkable that our Reps hurried the exercise with inordinate, though not unprecedented, speed. On the same day report of the virement approval was published, the Reps were also swearing in another published report that they would stand by the public, which voted them into office, on the fuel subsidy matter. The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, was

tery of life which shouldn’t affect his prospects in life, found no job and without any social network of family or friends in high places, he roamed the streets for five years. He eventually decided to help himself; joined a gang of armed robbers and found easy targets not in the rank of his one-time classmate controlling millions of national patrimony with no visible efforts, but in the ranks of people of his own background who work hard for their pittance but with no share of the security attaches that his classmate has. How unfair can social life be! Assume that, without having any idea of the kind of family he was going to be born into, or the kind of position he was going to hold in their future society, each of our young men was requested to make a choice of the kind of society they would prefer to live in, and the kind of distributive system they would prefer, it stands to reason to expect that each of them would most rationally prefer either an egalitarian system or one that makes provisions for the basic needs of everyone. Since he cannot know that he would be born into a privileged family or into a deprived one, neither of them would choose the kind of society they eventually ended up in. Students of philosophy might recognise the device of choice in a position of ignorance as John Rawls’s. Of course, the choice of egalitarianism or social provision for the basic needs of everyone is an inference from human natural aspirations. The message of statesmen and politicians almost always, especially in times of religious festivals, is for Nigerians to make sacrifices for the development of the country. The message is not misplaced. It is their responsibility to motivate citizens to be better human beings. But it could be unfair. In view of what the overwhelming majority of our people have been going through in the last twelve years since the return of civil rule, can our political leaders honestly look deprived Nigerians in the eyes and seriously ask them to make more sacrifices for the nation? Can political leaders share with these battle-weary folks the amount and nature of sacrifices that they themselves have made for the nation? Is it in the do-or-die battle they wage to fraudulently get selected into political office? Is it in the manner that they have put themselves ahead of the nation in matters from security access to remuneration, considering the fact that a Nigerian Senator makes more money than the President of the United States? And what more sacrifices are people who have been badly beaten and bruised by their uncaring leaders supposed to make? Democracy calls for shared sacrifice. Ours must live up to its expectation. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

House of Representatives’ resoluteness quoted as asking the public to have confidence and faith in the Reps that the legislature would not budge on the issue. He told the media that the president would have to present details of the subsidy economics to the legislature and convince its members that there was indeed subsidy and that it should be removed. He said many other noble things about the legislature and how it must stand by the electorate in these testy times. If we are to stand by the Reps’ stirring words and noble stand on subsidy, we would be tempted to think the last word has been heard on the controversial issue. But the Reps, and indeed the whole National Assembly, have a history of making lofty statements on great and controversial issues without the least interest in keeping them when they encounter sufficient opposition. In fact, if we are to consider the history of the legislature since 1999 when this Republic began, we would remember the many occasions when the resolve of the National Assembly withered badly in the face of presidential harassments and/or inducements. On such occasions, we had seen the legislature yield supinely after swearing brave,

frightening oaths against the federal government on issues requiring them to stand courageously with the electorate and audaciously for the truth. How, then, can we tell whether, on the issue of subsidy over which the Reps have again sworn oaths, they would not somewhere down the corner make another of their inexplicable volte-faces? Given what we know of their resoluteness and the mettle it is made of, could we convince ourselves that the Reps would stand as a bulwark against economic oppression? There is no cat’s chance in hell that they would. The president has gone to rearm himself after making a hash of his first presentation to the National Assembly on the subsidy issue. He will return, firing on all cylinders figuratively and literally. He will, like Commander Oliver Perry said in 1813 at the Battle of Lake Erie, meet the enemy in the legislature and they will be his. When that prophesy is fulfilled, when the cock must have crowed twice, let us all remember that resoluteness is not the forte of the Reps, and that denying us thrice in the face of a few hours of presidential cajolery is all in a day’s work.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation December 02, 2011  

The Nation December 02, 2011

The Nation December 02, 2011  

The Nation December 02, 2011