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VOL. 7, NO. 1973 TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2011



Senate queries NNPC over crude allocation

S •NNPC GMD Oniwon

ENATORS yesterday asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to explain how the 445,000 barrels of crude oil allocated to it daily are managed. The Senate adhoc committee probing the management

From Onyedi Ojiabor, and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

of fuel subsidy issued the verbal query yesterday at its resumed sitting in Abuja. Chairman of the Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream, Appropriations and Finance,

Senator Magnus Abe asked the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Mr. Austin Oniwon, to confirm that the corporation receives 445,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Oniwon replied in the affirmative. A member of the commit-

tee, Senator Hayatu Gwarzo, asked Oniwon to give a breakdown of how the 445,000 barrels are allocated. Oniwon said 170,000 barrels are refined locally in Warri (80,000 barrels) and Port Harcourt refineries 90,000 barrels per day.

He added that 60,000 barrels are refined in Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR) – (Simple Oil Refinery in Vridi), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and 90,000 barrels are daily swapped by the Continued on page 2

Sambo, governors: fuel subsidy removal certain Professionals to manage cash


From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan’s push for the removal of oil subsidy got a major backing yesterday. The National Economic Council (NEC), at its meeting in Abuja, approved the proposal, which it said is inevitable. The NEC comprises the Vice President, who chairs it, governors and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor. Its statutory responsibility is listed in the third schedule (Part III) of the constitution, which states: “The National Economic Council (NEC) shall have power to advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation and in particular on measures necessary for the co-ordination of the economic planning efforts or economic programmes of the various governments of the federation.” After a six-hour meeting, NEC said if Nigeria must avoid a collapse of its economy, as experienced in Greece, fuel subsidy must go. It said the consequence of the removal would be little, compared to keeping the subsidy. Though NEC agreed that subsidy removal would cause some pain, it said it will be temporary. Speaking to reporters after yesterday’s meeting, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi said NEC supported subsidy removal because “it is a case of inevitability, considering the level of present debt portfolio of the Federal Government, and the continuous financing of it”. With Obi at the briefing were Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Minister of Power Barth Nnaji and National Planning counterpart Shamusideen Usman. Obi warned of the “grave” consequence of not removing the subsidy. He said: “Like the President said, either Continued on page 2

•Senator Ndume ... yesterday


Boko Haram: Senator to stay with SSS


ENATOR Mohammed Ali Ndume was arraigned yesterday on a four-count charge before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of an Abuja Federal High Court. Ndume is accused of hoarding information on planned terror attacks and providing logistics to convicted Boko Haram spokesman, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (alias Usman AI- Zawahiri).

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

He is also charged with allegedly giving telephone numbers of certain public officers to Boko Haram for the purpose of communicating terrorist messages. The alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 3(b), 4(1) (a) and 7(1) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011.

Ndume, a Senator representing Borno South, pleaded not guilty to the charge after it was read to him. Clad in a white Babariga with a white cap to match, the senator smiled occasionally as his plea was being taken. Plea taking over, the prosecution counsel, Mrs. Olufemi Omotunde, applied for a hearing date to enable the prosecu-

tion adduce evidence to the charge. Omotunde, who is the Director of Public Prosecution at the Federal Ministry of Justice, said the prosecution will call eight witnesses to prove the charge against Ndume. She said witnesses’ statements and extract of relevant text mesContinued on page 2





Senate queries NNPC over crude allocation Continued from page 1

•Pupils and teachers of epitome Islamic Nursery and Primary School, Mararaba, Abuja displaying their awards and prizes at the Hijrah Awareness Week of Coalition of Muslim Organisations ... yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

NNPC with Trafigura, an oil company based in Britain. The remaining 65,000 barrels of crude are sold by the NNPC daily. A check on the website of SIR shows its total installed production capacity per day is 60,000 barrels, an indication that it only refines Nigeria’s crude. It was also discovered that NNPC realises $6.5m (N1, 007,500,000) daily from the sale of 65,000 barrels of crude oil at $100 per barrels using current exchange rate of N155 to the Dollar and an

average price of $100 per barrel. Apparently not satisfied with the explanation of the GMD and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Reginald Elija, who also appeared before the committee, the senators said would appear before them on another day to clear the grey areas. Some of the grey areas include the inability of the NNPC GMD to supply data on how many litres of fuel is derived from one barrel of

crude oil when it is refined, the lopsided deregulation of kerosene and diesel, and the lack of data on how Nigeria stands to benefit or lose from the daily swapping of 90,000 barrels of crude oil with Trafigura. Although the NNPC boss denied that crude is diverted to private companies from its 445,000 daily allocation, the senators were not persuaded. Besides, the NNPC did not list the countries from where Nigeria imports petroleum products, especially in Africa.

Sambo, governors: fuel subsidy removal certain Continued from page 1

way, there will be grave consequences and one is less, if we take it. There is no place such decision has been taken that people do not feel a temporary pain. “Everybody will work together to see that this is achievable, but there is a safety net, which has been outlined.” On the public outcry against subsidy removal, Obi said: “What is happening is a case of Nigerians not trusting the government and it is a case of making a mistake because you can’t use the process of yesterday. “Those who think of yesterday and today will miss tomorrow. Because people think there was so much waste yesterday, how are we sure that if this one happens it will be utilised properly? “But there is a firm promise. It is documented and it is

for all of us to hold on to it. If we do it, yes, there might be temporary problems but the gains far outweigh the consequences, if we don’t do it. “Like it is happening today in Europe, Greece would have taken a decision years back and so any other country, but now they are where they are and everybody is now facing a harder situation than if they had taken a decision years back. “We have all taken a collective decision to support the proposed removal of subsidy on the downstream sector by Mr. President next year. “In respect of this, the Federal Government has produced a comprehensive document which spells out clearly how the reinvestment funds from next year’s deregulation will be channelled towards creating social safety nets and critical infrastructural projects to help the poor cushion the ef-

fect. “The focus will be on reducing infant and maternal mortality by funding public work programmes/youth unemployment and urban mass transport scheme, which is being worked out with the Labour Congress. Building high profile infrastructural projects as roads and rails, water resources, power and refinery (with the private sector).” Obi went on: “States and local governments are to prepare their own programmes in order to enhance the effectiveness of the project for the benefits of Nigerians.” Obi said the other tiers of government “will be collaborating with the Federal Government, in line with the framework for the implementation of the programme. A board of reputable professionals from various sectors will be established for effective management of the freed

funds for the benefit of the people. “The board which will function independent of government control, will ensure transparency and proper application of the funds. States will embark on necessary actions in areas of advocacy to sensitise Nigerians on the expected benefits from deregulation,” he said. The governor also listed free entry and exit for investors, promotion of competition and ensuring adequate supply of products as some the key benefits of the subsidy removal. On security, the Anambra State governor said NEC was briefed by the National Security Adviser (NSA) “on the security challenges in the country and sought the cooperation of governors in working closely with the federal authorities in order to meet the security challenges and ensure the security of

lives and property of every Nigerian”. On power, he said: “Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has been directed to issue operational licences to states that intend to either generate or distribute power, provided they meet the required conditions.” Obi described this as part of the ongoing reform in the power sector. He said NEC constituted a committee, led by Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke, on the matter. Other members of the committee are Mimiko, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam and Governors Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna) and Kashim Shettima (Borno) and himself. States have also been assigned roles in power distribution and generation. States will now be allowed to own some equity in the distribu-

•VP Sambo

tion company. Obi said: “The Federal Government’s policy is to encourage states to participate in the power reforms in order to enhance power supply in the country.” He said some categories of customers are to be subsidised. This, he stressed “is for those who can afford it, to pay the appropriate tariff, while the very low users will be subsidised”.

Boko Haram: Senator to stay in SSS custody, says court Security chiefs to meet on challenges

Continued from page 1

sages had been attached as proof of evidence. Efforts by Ndume’s counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), to move a bail application filed on behalf of Ndume since December 5, was resisted by the prosecution. Mrs Omotunde argued that it was premature to move the bail application, which, she said, was filed before the case was assigned to a judge. But Tarfa submitted that the prosecution had already filed a counter-affidavit to the bail application, making the protest unnecessary. Mrs Omotunde, who insisted on having five days to prepare the written address, said: “My lord, we were served prematurely because the court was not seized of the matter as at that time. We have not filed our written address.” Intervening, Justice Kolawole said “I’m disposed to granting them opportunity to file a written address. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.” Tarfa replied: “My lord, we have filed the application since December 5. The accused has been in their custody since November 21. Ordinarily, they (prosecution) ought to reply to the motion within two days.” Justice Kolawole, who reduced the five days requested by the prosecution to three


MEETING of former security chiefs is billed for Abuja today in furtherance of the search for solution to the nation’s security challenge. National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Owoye Azazi will meet with his predecessors at the behest of the Federal Government, it was gathered yesterday. Expected at the meeting are Alhaji Ismaila Gwarzo, Alhaji M.D. Yusuf, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammed and Gen. Aliyu Gusau, the immediate past NSA. Watchers of the security situation in the country have blamed the failure of days directed that the written address against the bail application must be filed within 72 hours. He gave the defence counsel 24 hours to reply before adjourning till December 16 for hearing of the bail application. The Judge, who observed that the defence counsel did not protest against Ndume’s continuous detention in the SSS custody, however, pointed out that he will review the situation at the next sitting. He said: “Once an accused is duly charged before the court of competent jurisdiction, the only proper place for him to be remanded is prison, which is the only facility where people standing trial are to be reminded.” Consequently, he ordered that the accused person should remain in the custody

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

intelligence for the bombings rocking many parts of the North. On Saturday, Gen. Gusau as guest speaker at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua memorial lecture, called for the adoption of the right strategies to curtail the security challenges. The former security chief who expressed optimism that terrorism can be defeated, also pointed out that the country needs a multi-dimensional strategy to address it. Gusau advocated a sound security

of the SSS and must be allowed reasonable access to his lawyer. Ndume had earlier been arraigned with Konduga over a two-count charge of criminal breach of trust, criminal intimidation criminal and anonymous calls. The charges were terminated by Chief Magistrate Oyewumi Oyebola, following the withdrawal of the First Information Report (FIR) by the State Security Service (SSS). The prosecution counsel, Cliff Osagie, told the court that a fresh charge had been filed against Ndume. He should not be tried in two courts over same allegations, he said. Owing to the development, the ruling on Ndume’s bail application scheduled for the day was arrested.

strategy and investment in the requisite security infrastructure, adding that such strategy will determine how the government employs the various elements of power to make the country secure. Gen. Gusau will be expected to throw more light on his security strategy at today’s talks. Senate President David Mark at the peace meeting organised by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in Kaduna last week, publicly declared that the inability of Northern leaders, politicians and former security chiefs to publicly condemn Boko Haram is puzzling.

The new charges against Ndume are: •”That you, Mohammed Ali Ndume (m) on or about the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja, being in possession of the mobile phone number of Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (alias Usman AI- Zawahiri), a terrorist spokesman of the Boko Haram sect which you know to be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of the said Ali Umar Konduga, did fail to disclose same information to a law officer as soon as reasonably practicable and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 7( 1) of the same Act. •”That you, Mohammed Ali Ndume (m) on or about

the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja, having received information from Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, a terrorist spokesman of the Boko Haram sect regarding planned attacks on judges of the Borno State Election Tribunal and the National Assembly, which you know to be of material assistance in securing the prosecution of members of the said Boko Haram Sect for an offence under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 did fail to disclose same information to a law enforcement officer as soon as reasonably practicable and you thereby committed and offence contrary to section 7(1)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and punishable under Section 7(1) of the same Act. •”That you, Senator

Mohammed Ali Ndume (rn) on or about the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja, being the operator of MTN GSM telephone number 08035998045, did provide logistics to wit: telephone numbers of certain public officers including the Hon. AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, to Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (alias Usman Al-Zawahiri), a terrorist spokesman of the Boko Haram sect, for the activity of sending terrorist text messages to them, which you know is connected with an act of terrorism and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and punishable under Section 3 of the same Act. •”That you, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (m) on or about the 4th day of October, 2011 somewhere between Maiduguri and Abuja did knowingly render support for an act of terrorism by supplying the telephone numbers of certain public officers, including the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation, to Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (alias Usman AI-Zawahiri), a terrorist spokesman of the Boko Haram sect, for the purpose of communicating terrorist messages to the said public officers and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and punishable under Section 4 of the same Act.”

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•Fashola (middle) with doctors who visited him... yesterday

Fashola regrets doctors’ strike LAGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday said he never wished to witness doctors’ strike again. He spoke when he received the members of the executive of the Medical Guild. Fashola added that whenever there is a problem, it is better for all parties to sit down and discuss it, adding that any life lost during any strike could never be regained. The governor, who also spoke on the call for a retreat and health summit for medical personnel, said the Health Commissioner would work out the modalities for a health summit. He added that some of the issues to be looked into at the summit when convened are the number of patients that a particular doctor attends to on a single day. “I am mindful of them and it is because some of the fundamentals of your profession have not been complied with, such as the referral system as a basic instance. The healthcare system starts with the Primary Health system and the referral system and we hope we will get your support and understanding to reduce the work load without necessarily compromising the quality of care that is available”. “If we make headway in that field, it will help us to see how we can improve the quality of care. The quality of treatment has gone up. The people now have increased confidence in going to government hospitals but we are treating and not caring enough”. "The proposed health summit will also provide an opportunity on how the Nigerian Medical Association can help to make democracy meaningful because the content of democracy is what is important and not the idea alone.”

Insecurity is alarming, says Shinkafi


ORMER National Security Organisation (NSO) Director and Internal Affairs Minister Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi yesterday described the security situation as alarming. He advised President Goodluck Jonathan to restore order. He spoke with reporters in Lagos . Shinkafi said: “There is insecurity of life. The polity gets provoked and the people took to protests and the protests took the kind of dimension of violence that we witness. Every time there is a breakdown of law and order, it is threat to life and danger to society.” The former minister disagreed that the violence rocking the North has ethnic connotation. He said the people are protesting the activities and decisions of state and federal governments. He added: “A lot of the violence is not of deep grass-

•Advises Jonathan to restore order By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

roots origin. When government decides on something and people reacted and then, it took that form and the system tries to use its coercive forces, and then, people reacted. The leadership should realise that, nowadays, people are capable of reacting and causing instability, which can affect development, investment and peace. Wholesomeness and transparency in governance are of utmost importance. “Somebody in authority invariably takes a decision, which generates pent-up anger. That is the way I see it and unless we see it that way, we will just be beating about the bush. Unless you realise the original, fundamental cause of these things, which

is bad governance, we will never get to the bottom of it”. The former minister said violence can never be an answer to violence, urging the people behind the insecurity to embrace dialogue with government. He said: “Even the Vietnam war did not stop on the battle field. It came to the negotiating table. Serious and devastating wars in modern history did not stop on the battle field.” Shinkaki urged the media to promote peace and harmony by sensitising the stakeholders to the negative impact of violence. He lamented that the Africa has been militarised by years of wars and strife, adding that riffles find their ways into the hands of citizens. He added: “The civil war

ended and the Biafran Army just disintegrated. There was no formal surrender of arms. There was no formal handover of war activities. The thing just disintegrated. Now, we are going back to 1970s. Come to Liberia and Libya. The entire Libyan army has just disintegrated. A lot of these things are common in West Africa. How can you be surprised about the prevalence of sophisticated weapons in any nation south of Libya, like Nigeria, Chad or Niger? I understand that in Somalia today, you can buy AK-47 like a packet of cigarette. What are you talking about?” Shinkafi warned against a hasty and total removal of fuel subsidy, emphasising that only a gradual decrement in subsidy is tenable to alleviate its pains on the ordinary man

and consequential effects on the economy. The former Alliance for Democracy/All Peoples Party (AD/APP) vice presidential candidate said the answer to incessant strikes by university teachers is the establishment of more private universities. Shinkafi also reflected on constitution review, saying that “what the constitution requires is not review, but re-doing. He called for the re-adoption of the 1979 Constitution as a guide, maintaining that it was one of the best constitutions in the world. He added: “There was a conference in Canada in the 70s for the review of constitutions worldwide and the 1979 Nigerian Constitution received a high mark. We can go back to it. We need to restructure the Presidency so that it will not remain a regimented military way of handling a federation”.

‘Industrial zones to enjoy better electricity’


INISTER of Trade and Investment Mr. Olusegun Aganga yesterday said industrial zones would soon enjoy better electricity supply. He spoke at an event marking the African Industrialisation Day, with the theme, ‘Tackling Energy Poverty in Africa to increase productivity and economic development’ in Abuja. Aganga said the key element in industrial development is sustainable energy, which is a prerequisite for growing industrial enterprise and building capacity in trade and other related sectors. He said: “The African Industrialisation Day is a special day set aside by the Conference of African Ministers of Industry, under the aegis of the African Union Commission, to focus on country specific strategies to

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

stimulate Industrial development and draw attention to challenges in the Industrial sector. “The need to fast-track provision of electricity to industrial zones had become necessary, given the strategic role the manufacturing sector would play in the economic transformation of Nigeria. The provision of adequate power supply to industrial zones was aimed at increasing the capacity utilization of local industries, employment creation and wealth generation in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda.” He added: “Discussions in the world today are centred on green energy, green economy and access to sustainable energy. De-

spite the fact that manufacturing accounts for only about 4.2 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, it contributes about 14 per cent of our non-oil (taxes) revenue. This shows how important manufacturing is to the economic transformation of our country. “Our economy will grow faster, and our hard working businesses will thrive when we finally solve the problems of the power sector. We are, therefore, currently fast-tracking power sector reforms to improve the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country. “The Ministry of Trade and Investment is already working in collaboration with the Ministry of Power to provide adequate electricity to industrial zones in order to reduce their cost of production, increase their

capacity utilization, create jobs and generate wealth in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. “The ministry had developed an industrial revolution strategy based on the areas where Nigeria had comparative and competitive advantage as part of efforts to develop the nation’s industrial sector. “My ministry has developed an Industrial revolution strategy as encapsulated in our economic transformation agenda. We have identified four key sectors in which we have comparative and competitive advantage as a nation and which have great potential to attract investors. Aganga pointed that the Industrial Development Centres have been reactivated and modernized in strategic areas of the coun-


try for potential investors to drive SME programmes. In recognition of the vital role which research, technology and innovation play as major drivers of productivity, we have developed sector specific programmes that will link our research centres with our universities as part of our renewed efforts to increase productivity and boost the capacity utilization of our local industries.



NEWS Soldiers at National Assembly From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

SCORES of soldiers took over strategic locations in and around the National Assembly yesterday. According to sources, their presence at the complex was informed by the need to secure the area in preparation for today’s presentation of the 2012 budget by President Goodluck Jonathan. The soldiers are believed to be from the Guards Brigade in Abuja. The detachment of soldiers started arriving at the complex around 3pm. The National Assembly was virtually declared a no go area as most people including lawmakers, workers, and visitors found it difficult to access the complex. At the main gate of the Assembly, apart from the normal security network of Police and State Security Service (SSS) operatives, armed soldiers were observed frisking those going in. Nobody was spared as the fierce-looking soldiers commanded those going to the Assembly to open their car trunk for thorough search. The stop-and-search approach adopted by the soldiers did not go down well with many of those going to the Assembly.

ANPP to govt: honour pact with ASUU From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja THE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday urged the Federal Government to honour its agreement with the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The party expressed worry over the effect of the strike on students and their parents, saying that government should honour the agreement without further delay. ANPP National Chairman Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu spoke in Abuja when he inaugurated members of Caretaker Committee of the party in Sokoto State, under the chairmanship of Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq. Onu said ANPP was not happy that the nation’s universities have been closed due to the failure of the government to respect the agreement it reached with ASUU in 2009. He said: “We in the ANPP are not happy that our universities are closed down. This is very disturbing to us. The Federal Government ought to have respected its agreement with ASUU. Why enter into an agreement if you know that you can’t honour it?” Onu regretted that no Nigerian university is on the list of a recent report of the world’s best universities. The former governor of the old Imo State lamented that students gain admission into Nigerian universities without knowing when they would graduate due to the incessant strikes by their lecturers.


EFCC staff to face integrity test

CONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) officials will soon be subjected to integrity tests every six months, it was learnt yesterday. The Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, said his number one priority is to cleanse the commission of bad eggs. He will set up an Internal Affairs Department that will monitor lifestyles of its staff. Lamorde spoke while receiving the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, Mr. Victor Lar, and members of the committee. He assured the committee that there will be no more media trial of suspects. He said: “About the credibility rating of the commission that has gone down, we are happy that you have observed that there are serious integrity issues in the commission. “The number one priority of my administration is to cleanse the commission from within so that people will continue to have confidence in it. “We want to set up an Internal Affairs Department that will be solely responsible for monitoring the activities of staff, their lifestyle and ways of life. “We want to subject staff, including myself, to polygraphic test every six months and any person who fails the test will be sent out.” On the complaint of the committee against arrest of suspects and media frenzy which usually accompanies the exercise, Lamorde said: “I can assure you that with my leadership, such (media frenzy of suspects) is a thing of the past.

DFID’s £5m for anti-corruption battle


HE National Programme Manager of the Department for International Development (DFID), Dr. Bob Arnot, yesterday said the agency will spend £5million in the next four years on anti-corruption programme in Nigeria. Arnot, in an address at the opening of a workshop on the Development of a Corruption Prevention Strategy in Abuja, said it is better to prevent corruption than to deal with it. The programme was organised in collaboration with Justice for All (J4A) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). He said: “In terms of our programme, we are going to spend £5million in the next four years. The overall budget is between £30milion and £40million. “We have had extremely good cooperation with anti-corruption agencies. But we want to assist EFCC, ICPC, and the Code of Conduct Bureau, other sister agencies to enable Nigeria stop corruption, rather than dealing with after effects. “We are determined to make these anti-corruption agencies effective and much stronger. Even in the UK, we haven’t solved the problem of corruption entirely but it is a global problem that people have to deal with. “We are also working with the Nigeria Police From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

“Every law enforcement agent knows that the arrest of a subject of investigation should be the last part. Unfortunately, maybe, there are issues around that (arrest); we are going to address that.” Regarding the few number of corrupt suspects that have been convicted, the Acting EFCC chairman said the commission cannot be blamed for the slow pace of trial. Lamorde added: “It is true that the number of convictions may look small but there are a number of reasons why we cannot predict the

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Force on the development of community policing.” The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mrs. Ifueko Okauru, said the service is working in partnership with EFCC and ICPC to ensure a transparent tax and revenue system for the nation. She said: “We are working on the computerisation of the tax system to reduce corruption; there is no more hidden place for tax defaulters. “We are determined to forge partnership with the EFCC and ICPC to share information on how to check the corrupt in the society.” Mrs Okauru, who was represented by a Director of FIRS called Abdullahi, said: “All Nigerians working will have tax identification number; businesses would be taxed; and all accounts would be taxed. “We have obtained funding autonomy and recruited over 2,000 from banks, telecommunication firms, EFCC and the Code of Conduct Bureau to check tax fraud.” The Secretary of ICPC, Mr. Elvis Ogfala, said the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to zero tolerance to corruption.

number of convictions because of a number of variables. “For instance, a former governor was charged to court in 2007 but we are still at the plea stage because he went to the Supreme Court based on preliminary objection. We have done one time at the apex court with this individual. We are right now for the second time at the Supreme Court. “One thing that is very consoling is the promise by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who will want all corruption cases to be concluded within six months. “I know that the modality of how that will be done is be-

ing worked out. “We are also mapping out strategies to give our in-house lawyers more training and improve our operatives. All cases will be taken to court based on the quality of investigation.” Earlier, Lar asked the EFCC to stop media trial of suspects. He also urged the anti-graft commission to address what he called its dwindling image. Lar said: “You were here when the EFCC started; you became acting chairman; you left and you are back as acting chairman. I believe that you are a doyen of EFCC. You saw how it performed and


how it nosedived. God has given you the opportunity to see how you can correct things or right the wrong. “Arrest of suspects should be the last action of the agency. It should come after thorough investigation. What your commission is doing is that you try people on the pages of newspapers in the name of arrest. When the man goes home or he is discharged of all allegations, you don’t tell the press. You therefore leave innocent suspects with stigma and psychological trauma. “The enthusiasm that accompanied EFCC has waned. We hope you will improve your investigation. From your records, we also observed that you received over 2,000 petitions, over 1,000 cases taken to court and you secured 68 convictions. It is because your legal team does not work diligently.” Lar repeatedly demanded for a breakdown of EFCC budget for 2011. He said: “We want to see the budget because we have questions to ask. Arising from inspection of your projects, we will ask more questions.”

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (middle) with the state’s contingent to this year’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo State...yesterday. With him is Rev Demola Moradeyo, member Christian Pilgrims Board.

Nigerian wins West Africa climate change competition


HE United States Department of State has announced the West and Central Africa winners of the Apps4Africa programme. The first place was won by a Nigeria, Mr. Victor Ekwueme, who submitted a web-based application known as Hospital Manager. The competition is part of the U.S. Department of State’s engagement with African part-

ners to address local climate change challenges through the development of web-based and mobile applications. Hospital Manager will help hospitals in Nigeria, identify patterns in patient visits. Second place went to the EcoFund-Forum, a web-based application from Senegal that helps communities share successful strategies for adapting to local impacts of climate

change. The third prize winner was Farmerline, a mobile and web-based app that will help farmers in rural Ghana obtain the information they need to increase yields in the face of changes in the growing season and climate variability. Winners will receive cash prizes. Private partners, including TED and Indigo Trust, are contributing follow-on support.

The winning applications were announced at the U.S. Center at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Durban. The announcement was part of an event highlighting country-driven solutions to climate change adaptation in Africa. The United States is working with partners to bring together practitioners, policy-makers, and

African technology innovators to address climate change challenges through programmes such as the global Adaptation Partnership and Apps4Africa. The East Africa Apps4Africa contest concludes December 20 and winners will be announced in January. The Southern Africa competition runs from February 1 through March 31, 2012, with winners announced in April.



NEWS Kukah warns against subsidy removal CATHOLIC Bishop Matthew Kukah has cautioned against removal of fuel subsidy. He urged the government to face the problem of insecurity., especially the Boko Haram menace. Kukah spoke at the weekend in a sermon in Abuja at the 2011 Christmas carol jointly organized by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) AND THE Voice of Nigeria (VON). It was held at the National Christian Centre. The Bishop of Sokoto said: “Democracy is not about infrastructure. If democracy is measured by infrastructures then South Africa should have continued under apartheid because most of the infrastructures in South Africa were put in place during the apartheid regime in that country. “So also in Germany, If democracy were about infrastructure, the Germans should apologise to Hitler because Hilter developed Germany.” He said good governance goes beyond infrastructures, any system of government that denies its citizens a say is causing trouble for the nation. The citizens must be allowed to have a say in the social economic development of that nation.

Aliyu: removal of subsidy’ll free govt from bondage


HAIRMAN of Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Niger State Babangida Aliyu has said the removal of subsidy on petroleum products will free the government from financial bondage. He said states would get more money to execute projects. The governor spoke yesterday at a one-day National Roundtable for Good Governance with the theme: “Deregulation in an Emerging Economy.’ He said the Federal Government should initiate a relief package for the poor, if the fuel subsidy is eventually removed. Aliyu, who noted that the poor would be mostly affected by the oil subsidyn removal, posited that it would eliminate the government’s overbearing influences and control in running businesses. He said: “With the removal of oil subsidy, the states will

Nigeria not yet broke, says CBN Governor


ENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi yesterday declared that Nigeria is not

broke. Sanusi spoke at the 10th edition of The Initiative National Roundtable for Good Governance with the theme: “Deregulation in an Emerging Economy” in Abuja. The CBN governor, who was represented by his Director of Research, Mr. Charles Mordi, said: “Nigeria is not yet broke and we don’t want to be broke. That is why we say that we should not waste our resources. We should manage our resources well.” On deregulation, he said Nigerians have seen what deregulation could achieve with the From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

get more money, apart from the palliatives that will come from the removal of oil subsidy as states will get as much as N8 billion. “This will, in turn, free gov-


deregulation of the telecommunications sector. He said the country must be bold enough to take the right decision, insisting that “unless the right decision is taken it will get to a point when the government can no longer provide the basic needs of the country.” The fact of the matter, he said, is that in many parts of the country Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is sold far above the stipulated pump price. “The question Nigerians should ask is who takes the balance?” he said.

ernment from the bondage of continuous financing of extensive projects which are best suited for private investment by encouraging efficiency and effectiveness in resource utilisation, reducing government borrowing while raising revenue and promoting healthy

competition.” Aliyu went on: “Considering the deplorable non-functional state of some government companies and industries, deregulating them will save government the burden of continually financing these projects that are best suitable

JAMB should shun critics, says House Committee chair


HE Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Education, Farouk Lawan, yesterday urged the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to shun critics. Praising JAMB, Lawan

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

said: “I must hail the management and staff of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), for various innovations that have impacted positively in the discharge of

5,000 kids for Tinubu’s musical fiesta IVE thousand youths are expected at this year’s “Musical Youth Fiesta” in Lagos on December 21 at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island. The festival is initiated by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central), who explained that it would afford children and youths between seven and 21 years, opportunities to showcase their talents in music and graphic designs. The event will be televised live on Television Continental (TVC) and Lagos Television. It will also be aired by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Lagos, at 7.30 pm. The wife of the former Lagos State Governor and founder of New Era Foundation told reporters in Lagos that the winning theme song would attract N1 million and the logo would attract N250,000, adding that the announcement would

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor, Abuja

for private investment.” “Government has over 400 agencies that are not fully functional because we do not need more than 100 agencies as some are even duplicated in their functions. This roundtable is expected to provide the necessary platform that will help the Nigerian economy fully prepare for and embrace the new direction. “With the current trend in global economy, Nigeria must learn to catch up with the rest of the world or risk being left behind. For instance, with well over 3,557 kilometres of rail track network across the country, the Nigerian rail is in a parlous condition and requires prompt injection of huge capital, far beyond what the public funding can offer. “If you look at all the reforms carried out on Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, they all failed, creating room for deregulation of the sector.”

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

be made at the venue. She said the ceremony is to reward and appreciate good music and talented youths. With the senator were former Lagos State Commissioner for Establishment and Training Jide Sanwoolu, his Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs counterpart, Rotimi Agunsoye, former AgboyiKetu council chairman Otunba Yetunde Arobieke, New Era Executive Director Yemi Osilaja and Lagos Radio Director-General Mrs. Tinu Aina-Badejo. Mrs Tinubu said: “This event is for all children and youths from all churches to come together and display their God-given talent, in the area of music and graphic de-

signs. It is a youth-driven and youth-oriented programme where they would have the opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated by one another”. Mrs. Tinubu said Eko Hotel was chosen as the venue because of its uniqueness and conducive atmosphere. She added: “The event will hold between 12noon and 3pm. In the past eight weeks, we have sent out flyers and run jingles both on radio and television stations inviting entries from children and youths aged between seven and 21 for the theme song and logo design by youth choirs and individuals. Since then, a team of experts in music and other professionals have been listening and comparing all the entries. We expect the participating youths to be accompanied by their shepherds”.

•Senator Tinubu (holding a microphone), Agusoye (right) and Sanwoolu...yesterday

its mandate of making its matriculation examinations sacrosanct, credible and with integrity.” Speaking when he led the committee on a visit to JAMB, Lawan challenged the board to further reduce the six-day time for release of results. On Post-UTME, Lawan said the development could be addressed only if JAMB makes its examination

speak for itself. According to a statement issued by JAMB spokesman Timothy Oyedeji Ojerinde, Lawan decried the exploitative tendencies occasioned by the introduction of the post-UTME, saying that if not well handled, it could negatively impact on the quest of the Federal Government for expansive access to tertiary education.

“We need to encourage private institutions to create more places for our children.” “We also need to strengthen our regulatory capacities to ensure that standards are not compromised.” JAMB Registrar, Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde, said no appreciable changes have been seen in the attitudes of tertiary institutions as lateness is the order of the day.



NEWS IBB Varsity votes N850m for oil exploration From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


EOLOGICAL and geochemical survey into oil and gas prospects in the Bida Basin will cost the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, N850 million, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Ibrahim Kolo has said. Addressing reporters yesterday in Minna, the state capital, to flag off the geological and geochemical research into hydrocarbon prospect in the basin, Kolo said the research team would map out specific areas where oil and gas can be accessed. The survey team is expected to determine the quantity and viability of the reserve. The university’s move is coming on the heels of a governorship committee set up by Governor Babangida Aliyu, last month, to examine the viability of hydrocarbon prospect in the basin. Kolo is a member of the committee. The nine-man research team is led by Prof Nuhu Obaje.

Army seeks partnership with media on security

Illness took shine off Yar’Adua’s achievements, says Jonathan •‘Ex-President championed bank reforms, PIB others’


HE illness and eventual death of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua took the shine off his administration’s success within its short period, President Goodluck Jonathan has said. Dr Jonathan was the VicePresident in the late Yar’Adua administration. The President said some achievements recorded by the administration had been reduced to mere footnotes. Jonathan spoke when the former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the late Yar’Adua, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, presented him a copy of his book: Power, Politics and Death, at the State House, Abuja. The book is to be made public today. The President decried a situation where Yar’Adua’s death became the issue rather than records of his achievements. Dr Jonathan said his former principal’s death should have been treated better, noting that every human being would die one day. The President praised Adeniyi for documenting the

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

events of the last administration. The book is Adeniyi’s account of what transpired, especially behind the scene, during the Yar’Adua/ Jonathan presidency. Dr Jonathan described the book as attractive and capable of compelling critical minds to read, urging Adeniyi to do more. Jonathan said: “I believe this book will attract a lot of interests. I believe journalists will want to read it quickly. It makes me to remember the accounts of the Civil War. The first account that came out was My Command by Olusegun Obasanjo. The second came from Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu - Because I was Involved - an account from his own perspective. “I know that when people read this book, maybe some of the key actors will also come out with their accounts because they were involved.” Adeniyi told the President that he wrote the book because the narrative of Yar’Adua’s administration

•Dr Jonathan receiving a copy of the book from Adeniyi... yesterday

had been reduced to his illness and death. He said: “I believe that there is more to the Yar’Adua presidency, of which you (Jonathan) were an integral part, than his illness and death. “There were a couple of things that were done and I feel I should document them. Even the narrative on his illness and death because of the politics involved, I don’t believe the accounts have been accurate. I decided to put the

record straight as somebody who witnessed some of the drama.” Adeniyi said some of the achievements recorded by the Yar’Adua/Jonathan administration include reforms in the banking sector, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and peace in the Niger Delta, through the amnesty programme. He brought a copy of the book to the President ahead of today’s public presentation “as a mark of honour”.

Appeal Court upholds Saraki’s election HE Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, has upheld the election of Senator Bukola Saraki as the senator representing Kwara Central at the National Assembly. In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed the appeal brought before it by Hajia Bilikisu Gambari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for lack of merit. Justice Tijani Abdullahi said the appellant failed to prove her case beyond reasonable doubt, adding that she could not provide any credible evidence to substante her claims. The judge added that the little evidence Hajia Gambari provided was by her counsel, saying it was “watery” and “incredible”. The court said the National Assembly Election Tribunal was right in its verdict that Saraki was duly elected. It, therefore, upheld the judgment of the lower tribunal. Saraki promised to bring dividends of democracy to the people of Kwara Central.


By Hamed Shobiye, Assistant Editor, Online

THE Nigerian Army has urged media professionals to partner it on national security. The Director of Army Public Relations, Maj.Gen. Raphael Isa, spoke at the end of a three-day workshop for Army Public Relations Officers. The workshop, organised by the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information was themed: Combating Security Challenges Through Promotion and Sustenance of MilitaryMedia Relations. Isa urged the media to ensure the security of the country. He said: “It, therefore, goes without saying that the security and national development pillars become our daily focus and concern. We have tackled security headlong but with discordant reactions from a part of the media and the society. “Coming from the recently held Chief of Army Staff’s conference in Benin, there is no doubt that the focus of the Nigerian Army today is exploring and keying into the current transformation agenda of Mr. President. “The COAS vision is to transform the Nigerian Army into a force that is better equipped to meet contemporary challenges “Please continue to partner the Nigerian Army on matters of national security for the benefit of our great nation,” he told journalists present at the forum.

•Some of the children during a rehearsal

Dangote hailed for sponsoring Children’s Festival


HE Cross River State Government has praised Dangote Group of Industries for sponsoring this year’s Calabar Children’s Festival. The festival, which is part of the ongoing Calabar Festival, will hold on December 26. Executive Secretary of the state’s Carnival Commission Mrs Elenda Osima-Dokubo

By Olamilekan Andu

praised the company for sponsoring the children’s festival as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The Dangote Group is providing the costume for the children and officials as well as the refreshment for participants. About 10,000 children will participate in the festival.

Mrs Osima-Dokubo described Dangote Group as a worthy partner in helping children to discover their talents and skills. The Group Head, Corporate Communication of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said the group was passionate about the success of the festival, adding that this was why it deployed everything for its success.

‘Fuel subsidy central to approval of 2012 budget’


AWMAKERS will not shift their stand on fuel subsidy removal, a Representative said yesterday. Abiodun Muniru, representing Oshodi-Isolo Federal Constituency II, spoke at the first re-union lecture and awards of the alumni association of Usmanu Danfodiyo

By Miriam Ndikanwu

University, Sokoto. He represented the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, as the special guest of honour. The lawmaker said the budget would only receive favourable response from the

lawmakers if it represents the greater interest of the people rather than the government’s. Muniru said it would no longer be business as usual for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as lawmakers want to ensure that Nigerians feel the impact of the funds allocated to each of the MDAs.

He said: “Even though we have not done it officially, from the mood of the House, the members are vehemently against the removal of fuel subsidy. “Then, if you look at our legislative agenda, the issue of oversight function will now be thoroughly adhered to. We will look at the

budget performance for last year, two years and three years ago, and see how the government spent the monies. We will ensure that MDAs come around and defend every kobo spent. Gone are the days of people budgeting billions of naira and Nigerians would not see and feel the impact.”



NEWS SSS arrests six for alleged DDC machines theft By Jude Isiguzo and Joseph Jibueze


HE State Security Services (SSS) in Lagos yesterday paraded six men, who allegedly stole Direct Data Capture Machines (DDCMs), Hard Disc Drives (HDDs) and computer batteries from the central store of (INEC). The items were reported stolen on October 25. Director, Department of State Services, Achu Olayi said the suspects are part of a syndicate that steals and trade in stolen items. One of the suspects, Rafiu Osunware, an official of INEC in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, allegedly stole DDC machines and HDDs, selling them to Bayo Akomolafe, a trader in Computer Village, Ikeja, for N3,000 per unit. Akomolafe reportedly admitted sourcing the DDC machines and HDDs from Osunware and selling them. The other suspects are Busayo Anyankola, Okoro Chukwu, Chukwuwike Onwurah and Ugwaka Emeka. Ayankola, a mobile phone repairer and computer accessories seller, was caught with five DDC machines and 250 GB internal HDDs. Chukwu, also a trader at Computer Village, was said to have confessed to purchasing N30,000 worth of 250 GB HDDs belonging to INEC. Onwurah of the same market was arrested for selling four INEC HDDs to Busayo and Ayankola, while Emeka was nabbed for selling a HDD to Ayankola. Olayi said the suspects would soon be charged to court.

ASUU to Fed Govt: honour 2009 Agreement

Lagos Speaker pledges to submit self for trial


AGOS State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji has said he would submit himself for trial over charges of fraud levelled against him and one of his aides by the Economic and FinancialCrimes Commission (EFCC). He faulted the order for his arrest made last Friday by Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos. Ikuforiji said he is convinced that the court was misled by the EFCC into issuing a bench warrant on him and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi. The Speaker’s position is contained in three applications filed on his behalf yesterday by some lawyers. The applications include a notice of appeal challenging the order of arrest and two directed at the Federal High Court, seeking among others, the voiding of the arrest order. Ikuforiji is also praying

By Eric Ikhilae

the court to restrain officials of the EFCC from detaining him and for an order granting him bail. Justice Tsoho had last Friday, upon an application by EFCC’s lawyer, Godwin Obla, ordered the arrest of Ikuforiji and Atoyebi for their alleged failure to appear in court to answer to a charge filed against them by the EFCC. Ikuforiji said he was never issued any summons in respect of the charge. He denied being served with either the earlier 39-count charge or the 20-count amended charge on which the EFCC planned to arraign them last Friday. Ikuforiji said he was neither evading arrest nor trial, but fears persecution by the EFCC, whose recent action suggests that it has deemed him guilty even before the hearing.

In two of the Speaker’s applications, he took the following undertaking :”The accused person, who is the current Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, will subject himself to the jurisdiction of this court where he is certain that he would be granted a fair hearing. “The accused person has provided necessary undertaking to ensure his attendance during trial as required by law.” One was signed by the Acting Clerk of the Lagos House, G. O. Abiru, and the other was signed by the Speaker. Both letters, dated December 9, contained assurance that the Speaker would make himself available for trial. Part of the Speaker’s letter reads: “I am the accused person in the above mentioned case. I hereby undertake to attend court in defence of the above mentioned charge proffered against me.


“I also hereby undertake not to breach the terms the court might impose in relation to bail.” In the notice of appeal, the Speaker argued that the lower court’s judge erred when he issued the order for their arrest and adjourned till January. He argued that the adjournment of the case to January after their arrest had been ordered implied that they would be arrested and kept in custody for 30 days, even though they had not been convicted.

Military owes PHCN N3.3b From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


HE Chief Executive Director of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Abdulganiyu Umar, yesterday said the Nigerian Armed Forces are owing his firm, which is one of the successor companies of the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), N3.3 billion. He said of the N5 billion debt owed the AEDC, N3.3 billion is owed by the armed forces. Umar spoke while making a presentation to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Power, who were at the company’s office in Abuja on an oversight function. The AEDC is one of the 11 successor Distribution Companies (DISCOs) from the unbundled PHCN. The firm covers Nasarawa, Kogi, and Niger and the Federal Capital Territory. A breakdown of the debt profile showed the next highly indebted public institutions to be state governments in the three states. They are owing N750 million, while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is owing N173 million. Umar said the State House is owing N70 million and the National Assembly is owing N123 million. He said the Police is owing N137 million; federal ministries, N171.2 million; State Security Services (SSS), N10.1 million; and local governments, N16 million.

•Wike (right), Cobham (middle) and Cross River State Commissioner for Education Prof. Offiong Offiong...yesterday

Wike advocates Fed Govt, states’ partnership


INISTER of State for Education Nyesom Wike yesterday said the federal and state governments must partner to improve the standard of education. Wike spoke in Calabar at the second Cross River State Education Summit. He said although the constitution has delineated responsibilities to the three tiers of government concerning education, the Federal Government has resolved to strengthen its partnership with states to improve the sector. Wike said: “The Federal Ministry of Education will continue to pursue and implement the right policies and programmes, necessary to effectively address identified problems currently affecting the education sector at all levels.”

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

He said the Federal Government would always work towards enhancing access to quality education for citizens. Wike said: “I am here to encourage and create the necessary synergy between the Federal Ministry of Education and the people and government of Cross River State to move education forward in practical terms.” He urged stakeholders to work with the government to consolidate on the gains recorded in the sector. Governor Liyel Imoke, represented by his deputy, Efiok Cobham, said the Summit was convened to tackle challenges facing education in the state.

THE striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the implementation of the 2009 Agreement in order to preserve the future of the country’s teeming undergraduates. ASUU President Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie spoke with reporters on the phone. The union, on December 5, embarked on an indefinite strike, following the failure of the government to implement the agreement. The union is asking for an overhaul of the university system, better funding and extension of the retirement age for professors from 65 to 70, among others. Awuzie said it was painful that persistent strikes have continually disrupted the academic calendar. He explained that the union embarked on the strike because all other avenues explored, including dialogue, failed. Awuzie said: “We have been pleading with the Federal Government to implement this agreement in a way that it would not affect or disrupt our academic calendar. “But the government seems uncommitted to it and things have kept on deteriorating in the system, with a lot of best brains leaving the country for better teaching and learning environment. “This time around, we would fight until we see concrete evidence that they are ready to fund and run our universities the way it is done in other parts of the world. “We also feel bad that the government pushed us into embarking on this strike, in spite the efforts we made to avert it. “What we want people to understand is that strike is not a tea party. “We do not just wake up and declare strikes. “Before we do this, we must have given it serious thought and if it becomes inevitable, we are left with no other option than to act.”

Don’t remove subsidy by fiat, Senator urges Jonathan


HE senator representing Oyo South District, Olufemi Lanlehin, has warned President Goodluck Jonathan against using executive powers to remove fuel subsidy. Lanlehin warned that removing subsidy without the approval of the National Assembly is an impeachable offence. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lawmaker spoke with reporters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the weekend. He said members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are against the fuel

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

subsidy removal. Lanlehin said: “I don’t see how the President will use executive powers to remove fuel subsidy without the approval of the National Assembly. He can’t do that; he can only appeal. At the end of the day, it is the National Assembly that will determine whether oil subsidy stays or not.” “Any attempt by the President to dishonour, discard or ignore the will of the people as emasculated in the budget is wrong. It is an impeacha-

ble offence. “As it is now, they are still battling to explain how they got over N1 trillion extra budget. That means they have not been following the Appropriation Act.” Expressing dismay at the inability of the President to follow constitutional provisions, Lanlehin lamented that the President spent more money than was appropriated in the 2011 Budget. He said: “The Senate raised an issue on the fact that the President has spent much more than the figure contained in the Appropriation

Act. On a monthly basis, N20 billion was earmarked for oil subsidy, which translates to N240 billion yearly. “But by the end of September, the President had spent over N1.25 trillion. This means that before the end of the year, he had spent over N1 trillion more than the budget amount. “How did he come about this? Who gave him the authority to spend that kind of amount? There was no supplementary bill through the National Assembly to look for money or to use some virement to spend such mon-

ey. “The Senate has raised three committees to look into oil subsidy and determine whether there is a need to continue with it or not. “They will also determine if there is really a subsidy in the oil industry or not and if oil is truly imported at the cost we are being told. “When we know all these, we will determine how much we are really spending on oil subsidy. Is it up to the budgeted N20 billion per month or is lesser. Then, the Senate will determine the appropriateness of oil subsidy.”



NEWS Customs generates N10b From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

THE Osun/Oyo Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has generated over N10 billion this year. The Comptroller, Mr. Mundu Mohammed, spoke with reporters yesterday. He said the command generated N66million from revenue collected on used vehicles and made 131 seizures during the period. Displaying some drugs that were impounded by the command, Mohammed said the drugs were hidden among smuggled textile materials. The drugs were not certified by the National Agency for Food, Drug Law Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The owner of the drugs, Ebuke Onyeachi, said he bought the goods in Kano.

UK experts for Nigeria LEADMODE Resource Centre, a representative of leading United Kingdom universities in Nigeria, is to bring two experts to Nigeria, to talk about enhancing professional and organisational practice through advanced learning. Dr. Clare Rigg from the Institute of Technology, Tralee, Ireland and Dr. Simon Warren from the University of Sheffield, England, will participate in a two-day programme on December 14 in Abuja and December 16 in Lagos. Riggs will be talking on the key ideas and principles of action learning, with examples of its application in leadership development, problem-solving and organisational changes. Warren will focus on methodological coherence by utilising a research tool aimed at establishing the interconnections between research questions, theory mode of enquiry and knowledge production.

Lagos facility managers get ultimatum By Miriam Ndikanwu

THE Lagos State Government has issued a threemonth ultimatum to facility managers handling its rural water projects to put modalities in place for constant water supply or have their contracts revoked. Commissioner for Rural Development Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi gave the ultimatum yesterday, while inspecting Sekungba MicroWater Scheme in Ikorodu. Ojelabi urged them to be alive to their responsibilities of maintaining, monitoring and providing clean and potable water as contained in their contract. He said the Ministry would no longer pay retention fees to any contractor who fails to deliver the services promptly. The commissioner urged local governments and local council development areas to assist the State Government in monitoring the projects.

Hoodlums raze INEC office in Ekiti T

HE office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Odooro Road in Ikole-Ekiti, Ekiti State, was yesterday set on fire by unidentified hoodlums. It was learnt that many of the commission’s workers, including top management staff, were at a seminar in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, when the incident occurred. The arsonists reportedly arrived at the commission’s office at about 10am and requested for some documents. It was learnt that they threatened to kill the security guard. The hoodlums went to the store and threw an explosive into it, it was gathered.

•The burnt INEC office...yesterday From Sulaiman Salawdeen, Ado-Ekiti

This resulted in a fire that razed the whole building.

INEC spokesman Mr. Taiwo Gbadegesin said no one died in the incident. Resident Electoral Commission (REC) Alhaji Hussein Pai said he is not sure

yet whether it was a bomb blast or a fire. Police spokesman Mohammed Jimoh said explosive experts have been deployed to find out what

Oyo PDP leaders disagree on reconciliation meeting T

HERE was confusion yesterday at the Ibadan/Ibarapa Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Stakeholders meeting convened by the former Minister of Power, Elder Wole Oyelese, to fashion out ways to reconcile aggrieved members. Shortly before the meeting, the Secretary of the Ibadan/Ibarapa PDP Stakeholders, Mr. Lukeman Agboluaje, sent text messages to members to boycott the meeting, saying those behind the meeting were out to divide the party.

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

The text message, a copy of which was forwarded to The Nation yesterday, described the meeting as “illegitimate and fraudulent.” The meeting, which was held at the Premiere Hotel in Ibadan, was attended by Oyelese; Senator Lekan Balogun; Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi; Senator Kamorudeen Adedibu; Mr.

Dare Adeleke; former Minister for Sports Taoheed Adedoja; and Professor Soji Adejumo; amongst others. Those absent were former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala; his former deputy, Taofeek Arapaja; Chief Yekini Adeojo; and former Senate Majority Leader Teslim Folarin. Balogun, who hurriedly left the meeting, said the reconciliation process is going on well and he has

high hopes for the PDP in the state. Minority Leader of the House of Assembly Rafiu Olatunji said the reconciliation moves would fail, if former Governor Rasheed Ladoja is not carried along. Olatunji said Ladoja is a formidable force in the state’s politics, considering his number of followers. The lawmaker urged Ladoja to return to PDP.

Another LP chairman emerges in Ondo


LAWYER, Mr. Olumide Ogidan, yesterday emerged chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State. The party’s pioneer chairman, Dr. Olaiya Oni, resigned a few months ago. Ogidan emerged chairman at a congress held at the Ondo State Cultural Centre in Akure, the state capital. The congress was attended by LP delegates from across the state. The motion to nominate him was moved by the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Remi Olatubora, and seconded by Ben Orimoloye, Dejo Adeleye and Mrs. Folake Sarumi. There was no dissenting voice on the choice of Ogidan as the party’s chairman. Other officers of the party retained their positions. Deputy Governor Ali Olanusi urged party members to unite and support Ogidan. The congress was presided over by LP National Chairman Dan Nwayanwu

•Faction chairman: it’s invalid From Damisi Ojo, Akure

and witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other LP national officers. Nwayanwu said the exercise is in line with Article 24 of the party’s Constitution. However, Ogidan’s elec-

tion has been challenged in a suit filed by the factional chairman of the party, Mr. Kunle Odidi, at the Federal High Court, Akure. Odidi, a former state lawmaker, said he was elected as the party’s chairman on November 24 at a congress held at Helena Hotel in Ijapo, Akure. He urged the court to de-

termine whether or not by virtue of Articles 7, 10, (1), (11), 13; (4) (A) (111) of the LP’s Constitution, he was validly elected as the party’s chairman. Odidi described Ogidan’s election as “invalid,” stressing that a suit was filed on December 9 at the Federal High Court, Akure, to stop yesterday’s congress. No date has been fixed for hearing of the pending suit.

Three-storey building collapses in Lagos


MAN was yesterday trapped for several hours under the rubbles of a three-storey building belonging to The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) at no. 7, Afolabi Ground, Obayan Street, Akoka, Lagos. The building, which was being renovated, collapsed around 3pm. The trapped man waved his hand continuously, seeking help. Officials of the State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), men of the Fire Service and the Police rushed to the scene some minutes after the building collapsed. Three people were rescued. The victims, including a carpenter iden-

really happened. He said the security man attached to the razed INEC office is assisting the police with their investigation.

Ekiti workers to get end of year bonus From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti


IVIL servants in Ekiti State are to receive 20 per cent of their basic salaries as end of year bonus. They are also to get their salaries latest by December 18, as directed by Governor Kayode Fayemi. Head of Service Olubunmi Famosaya spoke with reporters yesterday during a press briefing marking the beginning of this year’s Civil Service Week. Famosaya said the government would reduce the tax approved for civil servants by the State Joint Tax Board. On the N18,000 minimum wage, he said the state has approved payment to workers on grade levels 1 – 6 and that of workers on higher levels would come soon. Famosaya urged civil servants to participate in the activities of the week, which include a talk by Professor Pat Utomi.

By Titilayo Banjoko

tified as Baba Dada, were working on the building when it caved in. The Nation gathered that the building was recently vacated by the church to give room for reconstruction. LASEMA’s Director-General Dr. Oke Osanyintolu said the team rescued two victims shortly after it got to the scene, but it took some time before the third victim was rescued. He said the victims had been taken to the hospital. Police spokesman Jinadu Samuel also confirmed the incident.

•Dr. Fayemi



NEWS Trailer crashes into five shops in Jos •Gas cylinders stored among shops From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos


TRAILER laden with goods in Jos, the Plateau State capital, has destroyed five shops and a bedroom in Dadin Kowa area of the city. The vehicle, with registration number (Abuja) XR816ABJ, reportedly lost control and crossed to the other side of the road before crashing into the shops and the bedroom. It was learnt that another shop near those destroyed had over 120 refilled gas cylinders. The residents noted that had the trailer entered the cylinder shop, there might have been multiple explosions in the area. One of the shop owners, Esther Mathew said: “If the accident had affected the gas cylinder shops, the pressure would have caused the explosions of the cylinders and would have caused a major disaster to residents.” Another resident, Hanatu Musa said: “The accident caused serious damage to property. The human casualties would have been high. But we thank God for his mercy.” Besides the shops, a car parked in the compound and household items were also destroyed. The residents were in church when the accident occurred. The accident occurred a day after last Saturday’s bomb blasts at television viewing centers on Bauchi Ring Road in Jos North Local Government Area of the state. Four people died and about 25 others injured.

•Former Chief Justice of the Federation, Muhammadu Uwais (left); Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu (right); and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health, Godwin Ndudi Elumelu, at the National Roundtable for Good Governance organised by “The Initiatives “ in Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Nigeria’s corruption rate worrisome, says NBA president HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Joseph Daudu has said the spate of corruption in Nigeria has become worrisome. He noted that unless the menace is tackled by the government, it would thwart the nation’s efforts at political and economical advancement. Addressing reporters in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, after delivering a lecture


From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

entitled: Nigeria: A Nation in Democracy or Civil Rule? to mark the third annual public lecture of the retired judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Bola Babalakin, the NBA president urged the political class to ensure that corrupt leaders are not allowed to escape justice, irrespective of their status in the society. Dauda advised political

office holders to be upright, noting that to achieve a smooth and quick dispensation of justice, governments should ensure that credible, experienced and versatile judges are in charge of courts. He blamed the slow pace of justice on the inability of law enforcement agencies to carry out credible investigations and defend them appropriately. The NBA president noted

that a responsible police force should assist in curbing terrorism and corruption, if adequately equipped and remain dedicated to duty. Daudu posited that democracy rests on truth, honour, sincerity and a corruptionfree society. He added: “Makeshift political arrangements usually give rise to anti–democratic arrangements and institutions.”

NANS demands review of LASU fee increment


CORES of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) members yesterday protested at the office of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), demanding a reversal in the recent increment of Lagos State University (LASU) fees. Led by the Chairman of its Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Lagos axis, Aibana Adeyemi, the students condemned the action of LASU


By Miriam Ndikanwu

authorities, which asked students to pay N250,000 per session. They described the new fee regime as an attempt by the government to deprive indigent students of benefiting from tertiary education. Adeyemi, who addressed reporters, said the union would pursue the struggle through consultations, consolidation and confrontation.

He warned that if the governor refused to yield to its demands, the students might resort to confrontation. In a leaflet made available to reporters, NANS enumerated its demands, including the reinstatement of LASU Students’ Union Government (SUG), opening of Adeniran College of Education and improvement on the infrastructure on campuses. He said: “Enough is enough. There is no way Ni-

gerian students will allow this injustice to continue. The government has demonstrated that it wants to deny the people the right to education.” Adeyemi said the students would not rest until the government yields to their demands, adding that it would hold a news conference tomorrow at the Lagos Council secretariat of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, on the matter.

Kaduna seeks improved performance in ADUNA State Govof nursery, primary WAEC/NECO exams posed ernor Patrick and post primary, to assist

Yakowa has said his administration would reform the educational system to address the poor performance of pupils in the examinations of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). The governor spoke at the 19th annual general meeting of the Zaria Educational Development Association (ZEDA). He said the government has put in motion steps to improve education. Yakowa said a bill for the establishment of a Quality Assurance Agency to replace the Inspectorate Unit in the Ministry of Education is receiving the attention of the House of Assembly. The governor said he has

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

directed the ministry and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to ensure “a judicious utilisation of UBE/State Intervention Funds to improve learning among pupils/students; adequate monitoring, supervision and support in the teaching and learning in our schools as well as the involvement of all education associations, organisations, parents’/teachers’ associations (PTAs) and communities in the activities of all schools”. Praising ZEDA for its contribution to the development of education in the state, the governor said: “I am glad to note the contri-

‘Education, as we all know, is a huge human endeavour that is capital-intensive. It requires the support of all stakeholders’ butions of ZEDA in its various programmes of educational activities in Kaduna State in particular and the nation in general. “Your roles in promoting awareness, interaction, guidance, counselling, generating support, especially financial and the establishment of an educational centre, com-

in the production of candidates to enter higher educational institutions are very commendable. “This underscores the significance of our collective responsibility in the provision of education. Education, as we all know, is a huge human endeavour that is capital-intensive. It requires the support of all stakeholders. Government is, therefore, desirous of all stakeholders to complement its efforts in providing educational services to our people. “It, therefore, follows that no amount of support from individuals, groups or associations could be seen as too small or too great in assisting government to improve the quality of education in Kaduna State in particular and the nation in general.”

Lawmaker to complete Bauchi HE lawmaker repre- NUJ secretariat


senting Bauchi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Ibrahim Aliyu Gebi, yesterday said he would complete the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The lawmaker said: “Journalists in the state are poorly equipped and motivated. So, my token gift of few computers was to encourage them in my little way.” Gebi had in October donated 15 units of computers to the state NUJ. He noted that journalists’ duty is to reach out, even to the remotest areas, “to in-

form our people”. The lawmaker said it is good for reporters to have a befitting secretariat where their activities could be properly coordinated. Gebi said he was surprised to hear that the NUJ secretariat began in April, 2008, has not been completed. He assured that plans would be made to complete the building by February, next year. The NUJ secretariat project, awarded by the Isa Yuguda administration, was to be completed in four months.

Wamakko donates to robbery victims From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

OKOTO State Governor Aliyu Wamakko yesterday donated cash, bags of rice and assorted grains to three victims of last Thursday’s robbery attack at Gatawa in Isa Local Government Area. The robbers killed Abubakar Malami, 45, with six children. Malami, who hailed from Luggar Tsara village in Dange Shuni Local Government Area was said to be a labourer. It was learnt that he had just returned from Gatawa on a business when the robbers attacked him. Two other victims, Abubakar Muhammad and Ahmed Suleiman, who were injured, are receiving treatment at the Specialist Hospital, Sokoto. Wamakko, who was represented at the visit to the two surviving victims at the state Specialist Hospital by his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Kabiru Ahmed, expressed sadness over the incident. He prayed against a future recurrence. Ahmed said: “We are here to see and sympathise with you over the ugly incident. It is part of our policies to identify with our people in joy, grief or pains.”


Suswan urged to defend certificate


ORMER Benue State governor, Senator George Akume has urged his successor, Gabriel Suswam, to clear the air on the allegation of certificate forgery against him instead of talking ill of others on the pages of newspapers. Reacting to a story credited to Suswam in a daily on December 11, Akume said the widely publicised statement would not be taken for granted. In a statement yesterday by his Special Assistant on Constituency and Media, Becky Orpin, the senator noted that Suswam apparently has a skeleton in his cupboard. The statement reads: “He should have cleared the air on the certificate forgery story when had the opportunity to do so during an in-

By Wale Adepoju

terview with a reporter. But he didn’t. “The desperate attempt by Suswam to stop the courts from enquiring into the avalanche of petitions and cases against him, including the certificate forgery allegation, clearly shows that there is something wrong with him. It will be recalled that a year ago, a renowned magazine, The Power Steering went to town with a publication backed up with evidence that Suswam’s school certificate was forged. Thereafter, Terver Kakih, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), dragged Suswam before the Federal High Court on the same issue of certificate forgery.”



NEWS Akpabio bemoans ceding of Bakassi

Police intensify survelliance

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

THE police in Akwa Ibom State have intensified surveillance to track down criminal suspects ahead of the festive season. Police patrol vehicles have started patrolling the streets of Uyo, the state capital. Speaking at a workshop organised for officers in the command, Commissioner of Police Solomon Arase said the command would ensure that the public enjoys a crime-free festive period. The workshop, tagged: Contemporary Policing and Crime Challenges in Akwa Ibom State, is to improve the operational efficiency of officers in the command. He stated that the command would continue to enhance the intellectual profile of police officers through purpose-built human capacity training and development programmes.

NDDC to partner agencies The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is committed to partnering development agencies to fast track growth in the region, its Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh, has said. Oboh spoke at the Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agricultureorganised International Trade Fair. He said the desire is in line with the regional development master plan, which stresses positive partnership with governments and other stakeholders as key to the development of the region.

INEC officials arraigned over N2m ‘bribe’ From Osagie Otabor, Benin

THREE officials of the Independent National Electoral Officials (INEC), including its Head of Operations in Edo State, were yesterday arraigned before a Federal High Court in Benin City for allegedly collecting N2million bribe from Ted Edward Iseghoghi. Chinedu Nwankwo (46), Henry Anozie (38) and Obiorah Enebeli (32) were arraigned on a three-count charge. Nwankwo was not present in court as the police said he was in the hospital while Iseghoghi is said to be at large. They were alleged to have falsified ballot papers and named in the petition filed by Charity Amanyanevbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Amanyanevbo is challenging the election of Isaac Osahon of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ovia Federal Constituency. The accused pleaded not guilty. Justice Adamu Hobon granted them bail in the sum of N800million and two sureties who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. Justice Hobon adjourned the case till March 15.


From left: Editor of The Guardian, Debo Adesina, the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdul Ganiyu Adekunle and President, Pioneer Movement, Iseyin, Razak Asaju, at a lecture, Dividend Of Democracy in the Pacesetter State: The Fate of Oke-Ogun, delivered by Adesina at the City Hall, Iseyin, Oyo State… at the weekend

Court reserves ruling in Sylva’s tussle with PDP T

HE Court of Appeal, Abuja, yesterday, reserved judgment indefinitely in an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The party is challenging the order of an Abuja Federal High Court which warned it against holding the November 19 Bayelsa governorship primary won by Henry Seriake Dickson. The order followed a suit by Governor Timipre Sylva, who is challenging his disqualification from the primary. The five-man panel, chaired by Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, said a date would be communicated to counsel after parties adopt their briefs. Adopting his brief of argument, PDP’s counsel Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) argued that Sylva should have filed the action before a State High Court because the reliefs sought are against the PDP and not the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He contended that Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act (2010) which the plaintiff relied on to bring the action may have conferred on him a right of action, but did not confer jurisdiction on the Federal High Court. Oyetibo argued that dispute arising from the nomination of the party’s flag bearer in Bayelsa State

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja would best be resolved at the State High Court. “None of the claims filed at the lower court falls within the jurisdiction of that court and it ought not to have entertained it as there was no substantive jurisdiction,” Oyetibo added. INEC’s counsel F.F Egele, who supported Oyetibo, said the Federal High Court ought not to have made the order warning the party because it lacked the jurisdiction to do so. “The point we are making is that the pre-primary election threat made by the Federal High Court before adjourning the matter to three days after the action the suit intended to stop amounts to an affront to Section 87(10) of the amended Electoral Act 2010. “This section withdrew the power of the court to make orders of interim injunction. In making the order, the court breached our right to be heard and does not show that the judge was an impartial arbiter.” Egele urged the court to uphold PDP’s appeal and

remit the case back to another judge in Bayelsa High Court for adjudication. But Sylva’s counsel Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) asked the court to discountenance the argument. According to him, the jurisdiction of the court was obvious following the court processes. He said the reliefs sought by his clients are against the INEC and the PDP. Fagbemi wondered why the appellant who did not make an issue of jurisdiction at the trial court would make one now at the appellate court. Since both INEC and the PDP have their headquarters in Abuja, Fagbemi submitted that the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to hear the case. He contended that Section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act which bars courts from stopping the primaries is unconstitutional because it violates Section 6(6)( C) of the constitution. He submitted that the constitution is superior to any other statute, noting that, while the National Assembly could add to the powers of the court, it could not take away the powers conferred on the courts by the constitution.

He urged the court to dismiss the appeal and remit the case to the high court. On insinuation of bias by INEC, Fagbemi said Justice Gabriel Kolawole issued a warning in line with exhortation of the Supreme Court in several decisions such as in Ojukwu vs Governor of Lagos and Inakoju Vs Adeleke, where they held that all parties must stay action once a matter is in court. He argued that the ruling was a reminder of the principle which protects the rest (subject matter) and the authority of a court to do justice to a matter and forecloses parties from resorting to self help. Justice Kolawole had warned the PDP against proceeding with the November 19 primary. He warned that he might nullify any step taken by the PDP in defiance of his order once the defendants are served the order and the originating summons. Justice Kolawole gave the defendants 72 hours to show cause why all the reliefs sought by Sylva should not be granted and adjourned till November 22 for hearing. The defendants are the PDP, its Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, and INEC. But the party went ahead with the primary.

Ex-soldiers to Fed Govt: pay our pension


X-SERVICEMEN, under the auspices of the National Association of Military Pensioners (NAMP), yesterday threatened to blow up oil installations in the Niger Delta as their pensions can no longer sustain them. They, therefore, urged the Federal Government to implement the 53 per cent salary increment it approved for them. But the Acting National President of NAMP, Felix Ugokpolor, who spoke with reporters during the 10th Pensioners Day in Abuja, appealed to his colleagues to give the Federal Government a chance to resolve the matter.

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Ugokpolor warned government not to neglect the soldiers who fought for the sovereignty of the country. He said his members also are planning to boycott the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration on January 15. The NAMP President urged President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the situation before the celebration as boycotting it may not mean well for the country. He said: “Our members are aggrieved because their take home pay can no longer sustain them.

“They are also saying they would boycott the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration. “The 53 per cent increment approved recently by the President is yet to be implemented, our colleagues are not happy with the present

administration and something must be done fast to avert the situation, though on our part as leaders of the union we are appealing to our members to give government a chance to resolve the matter”.

Couple burnt in Enugu From Chris Oji, Enugu


N expectant mother and her husband were burnt to death in a mysterious fire at the weekend in Ajorogwu Community in Udenu Local Government of Enugu State. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. A source said the fire started early in the morning and the couple were burnt before neighbours could help them. Their remains have been deposited at the morgue. Commissioner of Police Danazumi Job Doma said the police were working to unravel the cause.

KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday expressed regrets on the ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon. He said the people were still bitter over the experience. The governor spoke when a delegation from the United Nations on International Boundary Matters, led by Mrs. Rosa Marie, visited him. His words: “The Bakassi Peninsula saga will remain a bitter pill for the people of Akwa Ibom because 80 per cent of our indigenes lived in Bakassi. “Due to the saga caused by the boundary crisis between Cross River and Cameroun, most our people died as a result of poverty. I hope all the agencies present here today have realised their mistakes. ‘’The returnees from Bakassi who are my people and most of them who are not from this state are well taken care of by the state. “We have singlehandedly put in funds for their welfare. At every point in time, we must be our brother’s keeper by trying to help one another.”


Four robbery suspects killed in Rivers From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt


OUR robbery suspects have been killed by the police in Oyigbo, headquarters of Oyigbo Local Government of Rivers State. Members of the gang had been terrorising residents of Oyigbo and its environs. They were operating in an uncompleted building, off Umusoya-Agboncha Road. Following a tip-off, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and teams of policemen cordoned off the building. A gunbattle ensued. The suspects, including their suspected kingpin, Chukwuebuka Okorie of Umuozu Umuapu Isiala Ngwa in Abia State, were killed. He was said to be an associate of the late Osisikankwu. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the hoodlums were identified by their victims, including a prison wardress, who was kidnapped on November 7 and released two days later. Four locally made pistols, four live and many expended cartridges, three iron cutters, eight knives, a pair of fake military camouflage trousers and cap and a Prisons Service beret were recovered.





The PIB ought to be published in national dailies or posted on the internet so that stakeholders could see what had become of the draft bill and be able to make recommendations on the final document before it is passed. -Babatunde Ogun, President PENGASSAN

Food inflation may rise by 10%

‘OPEC to remain quota-less cartel’

By Daniel Essiet


HE Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to update its obsolete individual oil output quotas when it meets tomorrow, OPEC delegates said, deferring the thorny subject to 2012 or later. The group, according to Bloomberg News, last changed its group limit in December 2008, setting quotas for 11 members except Iraq to collectively pump no more than 24.84 million bpd as part of a record supply cut as recession hits demand and prices. It never revised the agreement, even though from mid-2009 many members started to raise output as prices and demand recovered. When OPEC at its last meeting in June failed to reach a decision, officials said the 2008 target was no longer valid. While OPEC delegates say ministers may discuss at next week’s meeting a new output ceiling closer to actual production including Iraq of around 30 million bpd - new individual quotas are unlikely to be part of any deal. “I don’t think they’ll go for individual targets on this occasion,” said Bill FarrenPrice, oil consultant at Petroleum Policy Intelligence. “There’s an unwillingness from some producers like Algeria and Iran to acknowledge their production capacity has slipped since the last agreement was reached three years ago.” Oil reserves and production capacity are among the factors OPEC, source of more than a third of the world’s oil and holder of 81 per cent of its proven crude reserves, has used to set quotas among its members in the past. The lack of a realistic OPEC target has not mattered in 2011 because Saudi Arabia and others have boosted supply to plug the gap left by Libya. But if 2012 sees a sharp economic slowdown that prompts OPEC to lower output, the lack of a production target or quotas may be damaging for the group.

DATA STREAM 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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion 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 CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL



0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472


• From left: PR Manager, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr Tope Ashiwaju; Indomie Fau club Co-ordinator, Faith Joshua and Area Marketing Manager, Indomie, Mr Timothy Ibhahe, at the Indomie Fau Club Christmas Party, at Apapa Amuzement Park Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

NNPC owes Fed Govt N842b, says NEITI C ONTRARY to the Ni gerian National Pe t r o l e u m Corporation’s(NNPC) claim of non-indebtedness, the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) yesterday insisted that the corporation is owing the Federal Government N842billion. The Executive Secretary, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, yesterday explained that besides the N450billion that the National Assembly is investigating, the corporation is also owing another N588billion. According to her, NNPC has already started paying the debt. Her words: ”NNPC did not deny the figures. The GMD was specifically saying that NEITI reports are 2008, their own report are more current up to 2010 and that since then, they have made some payments. He did not

• To begin 2009 oil, solid minerals audit in Jan. From John Ofikhenua, Akwanga

see any place he categorically said it is wrong. “The GMD is a NEITI board member and in all things we do, he is involved. We consult with NNPC and all entities covered are made to make comments and sign off on the figures before they published. “The figure we reported was N842 billion as at December 2008, included in this, is N389 million which is under the commercial credit period that the Federal Government normally pays to the NNPC, but as at the end December 2008 it

was not paid because in it was still running. “So the N450b that the Assembly was investigating is also included in that amount and beside the N450b there are sums that come up to N588b that NNPC is still owing to the federation. NNPC has confirmed that it has re-negotiated the N450b and it has started paying by instalment.” Mrs Ahmed spoke at the She spoke at a workshop for media practitioners and professional associations at Akwangwa, Nasarawa State. The theme of the workshop is: Extractive sector revenue transparency in Nigeria: The Media and professional as-

sociations’ engagement. She pointed out that report on the volume of crude oil exported from the country in previous audits is incorrect and unreliable because of the disparity between the information obtained from the Federal Government and the oil firms. “NEITI audit report has information on crude oil export in Nigeria. But the report has also emphasised that the report on the volume of crude export is not reliable, it is not correct. We have information from the companies that is grossly different from the government side,” said Ahmed. Besides, she disclosed that NEITI has arranged to commence the 2009-2011 oil and gas industry as well as the solid minerals audit in January next year. Mrs. Ahmad added that the procurement process for the audit contract is on-going.

IMF MD Lagarde visits Nigeria, Niger next week


NTERNATIONAL Mon etary Fund (IMF) Manag ing Director Christine Lagarde will visit Nigeria and Niger from December 18 –22, 2011, on her first trip to Africa since her appointment earlier this year. Ms. Lagarde will hear from policymakers, the African private sector, and civil society about the challenges facing African countries and underline the IMF’s commitment to further reinforce the it’s partnership with Sub-Saharan Africa In Nigeria, a statement

By Ayodele Aminu, Group Business Editor

from the Fund, said the IMF boss will hold meetings in Abuja with the leadership of the country, including President Goodluck Jonathan and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister Ngozi OkonjoIweala. She will take part in a round-table discussion in Lagos on Africa’s Future: Responding to today’s global economic challenges, alongside the private sector, academia,

civil society organisations and research institutes. In Niger, Ms. Lagarde will meet with President Mahamadou Issoufou and take part in a cabinet meeting focused on “The Challenges of economic development in Niger”. She will also address the National Assembly, and meet with representatives of the financial institutions and the private sector.. “I am very much looking forward to my first visit to Africa as Managing Director of the IMF. Africa is a vital part of the IMF’s membership

and listening to the voices of the region, and strengthening our partnership, is one of my key objectives,” Ms. Lagarde said ahead of her trip. “African economies have made significant progress over the last few years. ‘’However, the world economy is in a critical phase, and in these difficult times, we have to make sure we all work together to tackle the challenges facing all IMF member countries, in Africa and around the globe,” she said.

Naira weakens on high dollar demand


HE naira weakened against the United states’ dollar on the interbank market yesterday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) failed to meet all foreign exchange demand at its official auction. The local currency, according to Reuters News, closed at N162.25 to the dollar

on the interbank, weaker than the N161.90 to the dollar on Friday. “There is a lot of demand in the market, though we ordinarily should be seen declining demand for the dollar as companies and other end-users wind down for the year. This is not so,” one dealer said. On the official window, the

CBN sold $200 million at N156.70 to the dollar, short of the $248.62 million demanded. The regulator sold $200 million at N156.70 to the dollar last Wednesday. “The naira actually appreciated towards the end of last week because of direct dollar sales by the central bank to some banks but we are not expecting any

intervention in the market until middle week, so the naira could weaken further,” another dealer said. Traders said the banking watchdog may close the official window for the year after Wednesday’s auction, but the regulator could continue to sell dollars directly to banks to clear arrears of demand to help support market stability.

OOD inflation may rise to 10 per cent, helped by limited growth, higher unemployment and increasing poverty resulting in lower domestic resources targeted at development. Speaking with The Nation, Project Director for Africa Region of the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C: AVA) Project, Dr. Kola A d e b a y o , s a i d Nigeria may experience on average, five per cent points higher food price inflation . While there is rainfall across the country, there is supply constraints due to difficulty in accessing markets through impassable roads and this has kept food prices up. He said food prices would remain high, partly due to expected increase in fuel prices with the impending removal of subsidy. While transport costs are on the rise, Adebayo said there will not be improvement in food supply items. According to him , food price increases are linked to energy price increases. Higher energy prices feed into the cost of food production through higher fertiliser prices, the cost of irrigation, and other farm inputs. Adebayo explained that energy price impact through increases in the costs of crop transportation to destination markets, which leads to larger price variations and increase costs for the farmers.

NIPC seeks extension of small scale project From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja


HE Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Invest ment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mustafa Bello, has called on the Federal Government to extend the duration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) World Bankpartnered project. Bello made the call during the MSME Project Close-Out Workshop in Abuja, adding that the project has contributed positively to the nation’s economic growth and should be expanded to the 36 states of the federation. His words: “Against the backdrop of the tremendous achievements of the project and to ensure the sustainability of the recorded gains that I urge the federal government to, as a matter or urgency, extend the lifespan of the MSME project and expand the project to all 36 states of the federation. “This is in line with the transformation agenda of the federal government as it has the capacity to grow the economy, create jobs and create wealth.”



BUSINESS NEWS Airport GM blames luggage delay on firms


HE inability of passengers to get their luggage on time at the Murtala Mohammed Airport,2 Ikeja Lagos, has been attributed to manpower shortage on the part of the handling companies operating at the airport. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, the Deputy General Manager, Public Affairs, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Mr Victor Chiji Arisa, explained that the two handling firms, Skyway Aviation Handling Company SAHCOL and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company NAHCO are short staffed and could not provide the required manpower at the evacuation site. He said the authority has discovered that luggage handlers load cargo meant for other airports into Lagos-bound flights making it difficult to be sorted out. “We also observe that the handlers also sometimes load bigger luggage that are not suppose to pass through here that are supposed to go to cargo, which also help to wear down the conveyor belt. There are certain amount of kilos that are not supposed to come in here, sometimes people bring in motor spare parts. Some of them with sharp edges and they destroy the belt. “Again, we have observed that the loaders are not enough. This has been the problem and we pointed it out. We are going to take it up with the handling companies. So that they will send enough manpower, loaders to handle that,” said Arisa. While explaining that though that the conveyor belts were old, he assured that new belts would soon be purchased to replace them. He said the airport still has the capacity to handle more airlines, adding that Nigeria has the market.

World Bank grants Fed Govt $5m for 2016 census A

HEAD of the National Popu lation Census scheduled for 2016, the World Bank has granted $5million to the National Population Commission (NPC) as part of the funds for the training of staff and other logistics. The agreement for the grant was signed on June 16 between the Federal Government and the World Bank. The quest for the support was initiated in May 2009 through the presentation of a five-year strategy document seeking support from the global bank for capacity building programme to strengthen the commission’s capacity to meet the challenges of timeliness in data production. The Director-General of the NPC, Mr Jamim Dora-Zubema, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the capacity building workshop on project management for the staff of the commission under the Statistics for Results Facility-Catalytic Fund programme supported by the World Bank.

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

Zubema said: “The initial plan was a request for a support programme that spans a period of five years to cover all the activities for the planned period (20092014). However, following series of meetings with the World Bank in furtherance of the consideration of our submission, the (World) Bank finally approved a $5milion grant over a three-year period under the SRC-CF No.TF099783. “I am pleased to inform you that by 2014, we will be better prepared, with enhanced human and technical capacity not only for carrying out the routine duties but also with better human resource and technical disposition to effectively handle the task of census taking in 2016.” The NPC helmsman also disclosed that the grant would terminate on February 28, 2014, in

accordance with the agreement signed on June 16, 2011 between the Federal Government and the World Bank. The commission, he said, had since October already started accessing the grant with the training of 148 cartographers for three weeks while 20 census personnel have undergone refresher workshop in demographic techniques and data analysis at the Obafemi Awolowo University , Ile-Ife to be followed by an in-house training of another 100 staff in two selected venues. He said: “Activities outlined in the approved support document have been prioritised. Worthy of note also is the distribution of some of the activities designed with the focal states of Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Kaduna, Niger and Ondo where the Bank has other projects.

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

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. 2. 3. 4.

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor



1. Arik 2. Aero

Arik resumes Abuja-London route IX weeks after it suspended its Abuja-London Heathrow route operations, following the alleged ploy by the British authorities to push it out of the lucrative route , Arik Air yesterday resumed operations to the delight of passengers. The airline had in October 28, this year suspended its operations on the route when it was denied slot into the London-Heathrow Airport. Abuja, Regional Manager, Northern Operations, Arik Air, Mr Hamza Bukar, said the resumption of the airlines’operation on the route was a victory for Nigerians, who protested the injustice meted out to the airline. He stated that the reduction of its frequencies to three was not just injustice to the airline, but to Nigerians in general, adding that the airline was determined to deliver quality services on the route. He said: “ You can see the excitement written all over our faces. We are excited because we have fulfilled the yawning of Nigerians. For the first time Nigerians were untied in fighting for their right because this is not just Arik’s right. It is the right of Nigerians. BASA is Nigerians’right and there was unity. ‘’So, to this effect, this is just the climax of it. So, whatever you witness today is the climax of what has happened. What Nigerians have been yearning for. We have just produced a kind of service Nigerians have been yearning. There is nothing more to say.”

Flight Schedule

From left: Mr Aderemi Atanda, Executive Director, SystemSpecs and Mr Sam Okojere, CBN Assistant Director/ Project Assurance Manager PSV 2020, at a public sector enlightenment forum on end-to-end electronic payments at the Emarald Royal Hill Hotel in Gombe.

Ibadan PHCN generates N19b


HE Ibadan Electricity Distri bution Company (IBEDC) has made N19 billion. Its Chief Executive Officer, Bolaji Oyesiku, disclosed this while briefing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Power during their visit to the company. The company distributes electricity to Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ekiti states with some extended services to three others. Oyesiku, who sought more support from the Federal Government in its drive to improve services and revenue, appealed to members of

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan and John Ofikhenua, Abuja

the committee to bear in mind the challenges facing the company while considering the 2012 budget. He assured the staff of security of their jobs when investors eventually take over the power distribution companies, saying their services would still be needed by the incoming team. The committee Chairman, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale, said the National Assembly would consider amending the enabling law

guiding the generation and distribution of electricityto allow state governments and other investors to participate in the sector. The legislator, who led other members of the committee to the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) on oversight functions, stated that the proposal, when considered by the National Assembly, would give legal teeth to participation of individuals and corporate organisations in the provision of electricity in the country.

Law to protect telecoms equipment coming


ITH the deadline to meet the analogue-to-digital broadcast transmission target less than four years away, the House of Representatives Committee on Communications and MTN Nigeria have stressed the need for greater collaboration between the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), and the National Frequency Management Board (NFMB) for the effective spectrum planning and allocation. According to them, the collaboration will ensure the release of more spectrums to free up digital dividends that will enable operators not only to improve telecom-

By Adline Atili

munications services, but also deepen service penetration in the country. Digital Dividend is the amount of spectrum that will be freed up in the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial TV. It is located between 200 MHz and 1GHz. The digital dividend band is attractive because it offers good in-building coverage in urban areas and low cost coverage in rural areas. At a press conference after a tour of MTN Network Management Centre in Lagos, the 12-man House Committee members, led by Acting Chairman, Hon. Usman Bawa, after expressing satisfac-

tion about MTN’s facilities at the Ojota switch centre, said achieving digital dividend requires greater collaboration between NCC and NBC, to facilitate more spectrum usage in the country and improve quality of service delivery. Bawa stressed the need for operators in the telecoms sector to improve their service offerings through network upgrade and investments across the country to mitigate the increasing poor quality of service in the country, adding that oversight checks on telecoms services would not be limited to the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) providers alone.

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


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

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

08.00 18.00

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









How to make private refineries viable The government intends to raise daily production and reserves by encouraging new operations of private refineries. The goal is to export refined oil with greater value-added and to stop importation of refined products. But there are challenges, DANIEL ESSIET reports


HE current refining capac ity of the country is being augmented with imports largely from refineries in Venezuela, the Caribbean and Europe. For the past few years, the refineries have been reeling under financial and operational challenges that have made it extremely difficult for them to discharge their responsibilities to the satisfaction of Nigerians. The challenges result in perennial shortage of petroleum products. To address this, the government granted licences to 18 private refineries . After more than four years, most of the refineries are yet to take off. They cite problems, such as funding to build basic infrastructure, administered fuel price, non-availability of appropriate technology, logistics among others.

Regulators’ perspective The Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Austin Oniwon, has said running private refineries in the country was not feasible. Oniwon, who spoke with reporters after he delivered a paper as the guest speaker at the pre-convocation ceremony of the Ahmadu Bello University, said the cost and loss implication in running a private refinery could be so enormous for a businessman to survive. The NNPC boss, therefore, urged those Nigerians calling for the establishment of private refinery before the removal of oil subsidy to have a rethink. He said it was only the government that could withstand the financial rigour and loss in venturing into refining of crude oil. He assured that the company was making effort to explore and drill oil in the Chad and other basins in the country, expressing the optimism that with modern technology in place, the exercise would be fruitful in no distant time. While noting that only the government can bear the loss in the industry, Oniwon pointed out that nobody would want to buy crude oil at the international market and earn below the price for the product without profit. Oniwon said: “One of the biggest barriers to any private businessman that is doing investment is if he cannot recover his cost and make profit. Business people survive from the profit they make. A situation whereby you control a price of petroleum products to a point that is below the cost of manufacturing the product, only the government can really invest in such sector because it is only government that bears the loss. Anybody you tell to go and pay for crude oil at international price and earn below the international price for the product he is going to bring, will not do it. “That is why private refinery licences are stalled. But once we have the courage to deregulate the sector, you will be surprised. The upstream was deregulated. In fact, nobody ever regulated the upstream and you can see how many people are there. The telecoms was deregulated, you see how many

people are paying there. But watchers said the refining industry has dominated by the NAPE and don't share enough of it.

Experts’ perspective Mining consultant, Prof. Zacheaus Opafunso, said oil shortages will not be eased if the industry lacks competition and all the core resources are highly monopolised in the hands of NNPC. Opafunso said liberalisation of the domestic crude oil market and competition from independent refineries will improve fuel supply. He said the government has a responsibility to promote and encourage sustainable oil and gas development and practices that benefit all Nigerians. Elsewhere, he noted that private oil refineries have remained a vital component of oil industry and a significant driver for the economy. He cited Reliance Group, which is running of one of the world’s biggest refineries (one million b/d capacity) in India that accounts for one-third of the refining capacity in the country. The expert said private refineries are usually disposed to increasing production and refining capacities. According to him, liberalising private petroleum refining in a market with sufficient demand and potential for growth mean well for the domestic downstream sector. He said what the nation needs is an independent federal agency that regulates several private refineries to promote safety and security, environmental protection and efficient infrastructure and markets in the public interest . Opafunso said investors are wary of putting their money in a business where the price of products is still being determined by the government. The fear of the investors, according to him, is that with the industry yet to be fully deregulated, they might not be able to recoup their investments as quickly as possible, especially considering the fact that the business is capital intensive. The investors are also wary of the safety of the refineries and their investments, which is why they are insisting that the host communities for the refineries, local and state governments must have shares in the refineries to be set up. The investors are also accusing the Federal Government of creating a hostile business environment in the country. Of grave concern to the foreign investors is the perceived penchant of government for changing the rules in the middle of the game. Consequently, the foreign investors have reportedly demanded guarantees from the government that their investments would be well-protected through stable policies and creation of an enabling environment for them to operate. On funding required for energy investment, he said there will large-scale penetration of private players in the energy sector once they are guaranteed the enabling environment. He said private investors are attracted by market-based returns,

and the future policies will have to ensure fair returns to increase private sector investments. He called on the government provide a winwin arrangement that will enable private petroleum refineries to be run efficiently. The President, Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), an affiliate of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), Prof Adeola Adenikinju, said the problems facing the refining sector has had negative impact on the crude-oil and refined-products market. He said no effort has been made to add refining capacity in line with the surging domestic demand for fuels. He said the government need to go ahead with its refining projects to meet its surging domestic demand for refined products and to reduce dependence on imports. Refinery and upgrade problems at times caused pro-rationing of fuel supply, which further tightens the situation and raise prices. For consumers in far North, supplies remained tight providing fundamental support for new refineries. Much of the rapid rise in fuel prices can be attributed to market response to tight supply . The general outlook for fuel prices remains uncertain given poor supply across the country. In some areas of the country, petrol is sold for N180. Petrol prices increased in some states because of high costs of transportation. For watchers, the government needs to pay special attention to ongoing geopolitical threats to supply, at times producing significant price swings. Anticipated and actual capacity constraints on major pipelines contributed to the widening differential. New refiners are going to face new challenges with tightening global standards for fuel quality; increased taxation and regulation of carbon dioxide emissions; and competition from biofuels and natural gas liquids (NGLs) . Refiners with large investments on technologies to give cleaner fuels are expected to gain greater global market share and good refinery margins. The major oil companies

• Mrs Alison-Madueke

have a unique position when they own the oil for their refineries. They can sell their end products cheaper and also increase their market shares. The independent refineries without crude supplies with longterm and discounted contracts may well go out of business.

New refinery Meanwhile, a private refinery owned by Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Ltd (NDPR), a subsidiary of Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, has begun operation in Rivers State. The firm has also been granted a Licence to Operate (LTO) by the Federal Government. Built at Ahaoda East Local Government Area of Rivers State, the refinery, which was completed in December 2010, has been undergoing test-runs, while the operating licence was being awaited. Fabrication had started in January 2010 by Chemex Incorporated of Texas, California in the United States. The operating licence gives the NDPR full authority to operate its mini-diesel refinery, referred to as “Topping Plant” at the company’s Ogbele Oil Field in old Oil Mining Lease (OML) 54, located in the state. The NDPR’s operating licence, which was signed by the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs.

Diezani Alison-Madueke, was the first of its kind to be granted to an independent, publicly-owned Nigerian company. The Chief Executive Officer of Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, Dr. ‘Layi Adetona, said the refinery, which had an initial capacity of 1,000 barrels of crude per day, now produces 120,000 litres of diesel per day, using crude oil from the company's Ogbele Flow station. Adetona said with the operating licence, the refinery, which was installed to initially promote selfsufficiency in the company's operations, would now contribute to Nigeria's energy production by selling surplus diesel to independent fuel marketers for local consumption. “Several years ago, we had the problem of cost. We saw a situation where we were spending so much money to buy diesel for our operations and we thought there has to be a process whereby we can cut that cost by building a small refinery. “Now, with the deregulation of the market, it suddenly became attractive that it is not just having capacity to produce what we can consume, but a little bit more. The plant that we have happens to satisfy that technical specification. So, we have not just achieved self-dependence. We also have excess capacity to commercialise the additional output that we have,” he said. He stated that it was cheaper to refine petroleum products locally than to import from abroad, adding that the operating licence allows the company to operate the refinery and commercialise its products. “We have 100 per cent full dependence on ourselves to supply diesel for all our operations and we still have excess capacity to sell the balance of what we produce. We produce about 120,000 litres of diesel daily and our daily consumption is less than one quarter of this figure. In effect, we can sell at least, three truck loads of diesel from our plant every day,” he added.

• From left: Vice-President, Human Resource, Africa Region, Shell Exploration, Mr. Osagie Okunbor; Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adeshida; new President, National Association of Petroleum Explorationists, (NAPE) Mr Mayowa Afe and his predecessor Mr Jide Ojo during the 29th yearly International Conference and Exhibition Award Night of the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists at Eko Hotels in Lagos



ENERGY Mining society drums support for international confab


• From left: General Manager, Monitoring, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, Mr Chijioke Okorie; General Manager, Planning, Research and Strategy, Mr Wole Akinyosoye and GM, Projects & Operations, Mr Etim Ukut, at the close out report presentation by consultants engaged for Sensitisation Workshops on Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010, at the NCDMB Headquarters in Yenagoa.

PHCN assets: Reps mull anti-vandalism bill


ORRIED by the persistent vandalism of facilities of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the House of Representatives is mooting the idea of re-introducing Decree 20 of 1984 by considering the passing of the anti-vandalism bill, which recommends stiff penalties for vandals and energy thieves, into law. The Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale, dropped this hint in Lagos while on an inspection visit to the Eko and Ikeja Distribution zones of the PHCN. Ikhariale noted that the anti-vandalism bill has become necessary in view of the incessant reports of energy losses due to vandalism and theft of PHCN cables and transformers. He noted that the House is work-

ing on the bill that seeks to fasttrack the process that would lead to its eventual passage. “The entire House is working assiduously towards passing the anti-vandalism bill into law. The committee, for instance has been working tooth and nail to ensure that the bill encapsulates all that is required in it. We have been doing a thorough job so that the bill can successfully scale through the first, second and third readings for its final passage into law,” he said. Ikariale also spoke on the significance of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO), stating that this tariff regime is expected to serve as a financial relief for the consumers and the investors by the time the system stabilises. “We must realise the fact that the MYTO is in the interest of all. It would end up being a favourable

initiative by the time everything stabilises. It was the same with the telecom sector when it was first deregulated. One would remember that acquiring a line at that time was actually the exclusive preserve of the rich. But look at what is happening now, almost everybody can afford to get more than just a line. The tariff may be too burdensome now but by the time the market becomes more competitive the price would eventually come down no doubt,” he said. On the privatisation of PHCN assets, he advised the government to ensure that the process is done wholesale as that is the only way the exercise can be result oriented. He said: “I want to advise that the privatisation of these companies by the government must be wholesale. What this means is that the level of privatising generation arm should

commensurate that of distribution and transmission. This is because if there is more interest in generation than in distribution or transmission it would be difficult to achieve the purpose for deregulating in the first place. In order words, no matter what amount of power that is generated it would be impossible to get it to the consumers through distribution and transmission. It is the same the other way round. If the level of privatisation of the distribution and transmission arms does not take into consideration the generation effort it would be difficult to get power eventually to the people. “So, I think the government must ensure that as investors are showing increased interest in generation, there is a corresponding interest in distribution and transmission at the same time.”

Egbin power station contributes 35% to national grid


HE Egbin Power station con tributes the highest kilowatt of power to the national grid. This was made known by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mike Uzoigwe, who said the station supplies 35 per cent of the total power generated to the national grid. He said the five thermal units (turbines) operational at the station has the capacity to contribute about 1080MW, which is one third or 35 per cent of the total generation at 4050MW. He added that by the time the sixth unit becomes operational the amount would have increased. “The thermal station is phenomenal in many respects particularly in terms of contribution to the grid. For instance, four of the five units in operation have the capacity to deliver 220MW each while the fifth produces 200MW - all together making 1080MW. And by the time the sixth unit comes on stream in

September 2012 it would be possible to increase the total installed capacity to 1320MW,” he said. Noting that the Olorunsogun and Papalanto power stations contribute less than 30 per cent of Egbin’s contribution to the grid, he wondered why the government had not deemed it fit to assist the station in improving on its accomplishment. Acknowledging funding as the major constraint to maintaining infrastructure at the station, Uzoigwe urged the government to provide more funds to enable the station carry out all mandatory overhaul of its facilities. ‘We need fund to be able to execute many projects at the station. We need to do for instance the retooling of our plant controls on time to avert any eventuality. Most of these facilities do require servicing after working for many years. There are certain components of the tur-

bines that must be completely changed if the turbines must continue to work effectively and efficiently. So, we expect that the government would come to our aid by providing us with more funds so that we can accomplish most of these projects, he said. Doing this, according to him, would make the current generation level at the station to be maintained and sustained for the country to witness more and better stability of power. He said out of the N3.8billion applied for in 2011 by the company, N1.6billion was approved while N900million had been released so far, a situation which had made the company financially incapacitated to achieve targets. On the proposed privatisation of the company, he said as long as he supports any policy by the government towards achieving stable and reliable power supply, he believes

• Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji

the government must ensure it addresses the concerns and worries of workers affected if the policy is to have a human face.

Don canvasses varsity-industry partnership


UTGOING Professor of Elec trical and Electronics Engi neering at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Christopher C. Okoro, has called for partnership between universities and the industrial sector. He said this would engender the much-needed growth of the economy. He spoke at a send-off for him and three of his colleagues at UNILAG’s Senior Staff Club last Friday. The others were Prof C. O. Awosope, Dr. P. B. Osofisan and the departmental secretary, Mrs Roseline Osunrinade. Okoro, an authority on power control and systems, said while the universities should do their research, the industries should assist with grants, do follow-ups and monitor the funds and the outcome of the research. He said universities are supposed to be known as centre of re-

By Joseph Eshanokpe

search excellence. He urged its administrators to be interested in what its academics are doing. Reminiscing, Okoro, alumnus of the university, who spent the statutory 35 years in service, rose from a Graduate Assistant (lecturer) to the pinnacle of his career. Okoro, who was a Commissioner for Education in Imo State, praised UNILAG for giving him the opportunity to make it in life. He disclosed, for example, that he got the sponsorship for his postgraduate studies abroad through the university. He listed the hosting of the first international conference on power systems by the department some years ago as some of his achievements, saying this opened the department to the other outside world. “It is clear that we can do more than we can at the moment if we partner

with others,” he added. “Our labs are hardly being used by the students. I want the university to look into this and put them into good use. Undergraduates and postgraduates should be encouraged to use their hands. W are a developing country. We must cultivate the habit of using our hands,” noting that he could not supervise many doctoral theses as he would have loved because he was always in the laboratory working. The Head of UNILAG’s Department of Electrical and Electronics, Prof. Ike Mowete, praised the retirees, saying their vacuum was difficult to fill. He said most young graduates prefer jobs outside teaching and that this was affecting the profession. ‘’But the interesting thing is that the university offered the retirees contract employment to continue to teach and do what the young ones in the system are un-

able to do,” he said. He said they would continue to supervise the Phd students, adding that the arrangement was helping the system. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ajibola Bello, who described Awosope and Okoro as his contemporaries in the faculty, praised the retirees, saying they were dedicated and among the best in the university. “They left a legacy of reproducing themselves, that is professors to take over from them. They have been proficient in academics. They were able to prove themselves in engineering and in other areas. Indeed, they are fantastic,” he added. Chairman of the occasion, Prof Frank Okafor, also praised the retirees, saying: “Electrical and electronics engineering Department is a difficult place to work in. If you work there, you must put in extra effort. The retirees did that.”

HE Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) is seeking support for its forthcoming Annual International Conference and Exhibition tagged NMGS EKO 2012. In a statement issued by the Vice Chairman of the society, Daniel Aboh, the body said it is expecting indigenous companies and multinationals in oil, gas, construction, manufacturing and mining industries to actively support the conference by sponsoring major events. The confab is billed for March 18 to 23, 2012 in Lagos. The statement called on all state governments, corporate organisations and institutions to take up positions at the exhibition stands to showcase their rich mineral resources, technological innovations and expertise to the world at this important occasion. It urged individuals to do everything possible to persuade their companies, institutions, organisations and government departments to exhibit their services, products, geosciences technologies and innovations so as to make the confab one of the best attended with international participation. It added that technical papers and abstracts are welcomed for presentation at the conference.

‘N3.4 tr oil subsidy in wrong hands’ By Uyoatta Eshiet


ORMER Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, has declared that about N3.4 trillion went into the wrong hands from the oil subsidy. He noted that the beneficiaries of the subsidy were not the masses. The former minister, who spoke with The Nation during the inauguration of the executive council of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria held at conference centre of the Nigerian Shippers Council, explained that if the subsidy is removed, it would enable the government to provide good roads and create employment for the youths. As a means of solving the problem, Ihenacho stressed the need for the country to develop its bunker industry. He added that the country need expert seamen for its international trade. Meanwhile, an official of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) who did not want his name mentioned, has said that the country was losing $1 billion to oil theft monthly. The official, who made the revelation at the inauguration, alleged that the officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), collude with thieves to steal the oil siphoned into the barges.

Iran to boost oil output by 45,000 barrels per day


RAN, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, plans to raise daily crude output by 45,000 barrels a day next year, Press TV reported, citing Mehdi Fakour, Managing Director of the Iranian Central Oil Fields Co. The increase would occur once the Sarvestan, Saadatabad and Khesht oil fields in southern Iran come on stream in March, Fakour said, according to the state-run news channel. Khesht has proven crude reserves of more than 1 billion barrels, and the other two fields together hold more than 1.4 billion barrels, the report said. Iran pumped an average of 3.56 million barrels of crude a day in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.




Oil trudges on as PIB stalls new investments 2011 was an eventful year for the oil and gas sector, writes DANIEL ESSIET


S the Nigerian economy continues to grow – peak ing at 7.72 per cent in the second quarter of 2011 and projected to hit 7.98 per cent by the end of this year energy demands have equally continued to rise. The demands stemmed from increase in economic activity, population and the epileptic nature of power in the country that has required industries and homes to generate their energy needs. This has helped the sector to witness active performance. International companies also made efforts to acquire stakes in oil and gas blocks, form joint ventures and source natural gas to meet rising fuel demand. They consider Nigeria’s good source of hydrocarbon potential and new gas discoveries. It is a good year for the oil majors as profit margins was aided by high oil prices. Demand for oil was comparatively robust. On the balance, the government’s energy plan placed emphasis on natural gas. This followed the government‘s commitment to use gas as part of a broader emphasis on renewable sources of energy and economic growth. The year saw little closures on account of militant attacks but new investments were stalled owing to nonpassage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

PIB stalls operations Major upstream development projects in Nigeria accruing to billions of naira have been stalled as a result of lingering delay in the passage of the PIB. The situation has become a growing concern as most service providers who incidentally are responsible for oil industry workforce have confirmed the lull in contract awards owing to refusal of International Oil Companies, IOC, from investing in upstream development projects in the country. The IOC, on their part, has continually stated that they cannot afford to invest without a clear fiscal and regulatory terms to work with. That, according to them, can only be made available if the PIB is passed. Some oil service providers said the situation is threatening to wipe out the gains recorded so far in the implementation of the Nigerian content policy as most of the firms have started massive lay-off of staff due to long period of redundancy. They also argued that the situation may have put the key targets and objectives of the Nigerian Content law on reverse course. Managing Director of DeltaAfrik, an indigenous Engineering Company, Akin Odumakinde, while speaking on the evolution of local content policies among African governments, noted that the delay

in the passage of the PIB has stalled key development projects expected to yield significant patronage for the local firms. He emphasised that local firms providing services in the oil industry have been constrained to lay off over 80 per cent of their staff to cut overhead costs and keep afloat in a period of acute business lull. Odumakinde said following long period of inactivity, the petroleum industry has remained stagnant in the past five years when the crisis about the contents of the bill raged. Besides, the development of Shells operated Bonga Southwest field and Total operated Egina field - two key deepwater projects have been stalled due to disputes over the PIB. Reports that the PIB, which prescribed a comprehensive fiscal overhaul of the Nigerian petroleum laws, has been the subject of heated debate in the industry since its introduction to the National Assembly last five years. The disputes have led to innumerable reviews and interventions in the law, resulting in protracted delays that have become difficult resolve given the new composition of the National Assembly.

Shell oil block sale Two local firms - First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) owned by Afren and Neconde Energy - a consortium including Nigerian firms Nestoil, Aries and VP Global and Poland’s Kulczk Oil Ventures have completed the purchase of 45 per cent stakes in two onshore oil blocks, previously owned by Shell, Total and Eni . First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) bought a 45 per cent stake in OML 26 owned jointly by Shell, Total and Eni, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said. The block has target production of 50,000 barrels of oil per day by 2015. The corporation also said the foreign oil majors sold 45 per cent of OML 42 to Neconde Energy. These blocks are among several ones put up for sale this year by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), a joint venture between Shell (30 per cent), Total (10 per cent), Eni (5 per cent) and NNPC (55 per cent). NNPC is transferring its stake in the former SPDC blocks to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the exploration and production arm. NPDC and FHN will jointly operate production from OML 26.

Blocking leakages The government and the oil sector are struggling to find a compromise deal that could PIB from collapse. Several measures were

• A refinery

taken to block revenue leakages in the oil and gas sector. One of such was audit of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Directive was given to the NNPC to submit its budget to the National Assembly, in line with the provision of the Constitution and the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Shell accepts spills Shell Nigeria also accepted liability for oil spills at Bodo in Ogoniland following a class action suit in London. Proceedings against Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria began in the high court on April 6, 2011. Shell Nigeria accepted responsibility for the 2008 double rupture of the Bodo-Bonny trans-Niger pipeline that pumps 120,000 barrels of oil a day though the community. The crude oil that gushed unchecked from the two Bodo spills, which occurred within months of each other, in 2008 has clearly devastated the 20 sq km network of creeks and inlets on which Bodo and as many as 30 other smaller settlements depend for food, water and fuel. To boost power supply, the Federal Government signed two gas supply agreements with Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and other stakeholders. The deals were signed by the Petroleum Resources Minister Deziani Alison-Madueke and representatives of oil and gas operators Shell, Chevron, Agip, Total

and Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN).

Investment Plan The Federal Government unveiled a massive $130 billion investment plan for sustainable growth and development in the oil and gas sector within the next five years. Also, plans are in top gear for the construction of additional 2,000km of oil and gas pipelines across the country. Mrs. Alison-Madueke said the five-year investment plan was designed to promote rapid inflow of foreign investments into the Nigerian oil and gas industry as well as develop in-country capacity. She said part of the money would be used for the gas utilisation projects, which include the construction of world class petrochemical plant at Koko in Delta State, fertiliser manufacturing plants and three Greenfield refineries in Lagos, Bayelsa and Kogi States. The minister listed some of the areas that required foreign investment intervention to include Engineering design and related services, petroleum engineering services, fabrication and construction, pipe mills and equipment leasing. others include civil works, logistics and haulage, financial services, as well as in the areas of hospitality services for construction workers. The minister stated that the 2,000km pipeline would trans-

port gas to the thermal power generation plants to ensure availability of adequate gas for stable electricity supply. She added that numerous contractual agreements would soon be signed in this regard. The minster stated that the government was committed more than ever before to end gas flares, stressing that the focus on gas projects was part of the government's concerted effort to stop flaring of associated gas. Mrs Alison-Madueke said the government's plan to increase domestic gas consumption from the current one billion cubic feet per day to five billion cubic feet within the next five as provided for in the massive gas infrastructure development projects. Investments in oil and gas exploration before the end of the year is also expected to reach $45 billion (N67 trillion) according to the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE). NAPE President, Mr Jide Ojo, stated that investment would be about $35 billion (N5.25 trillion) higher than that of 2010, adding that the industry was able to recover from the economic depression of 2009. He said: “The projected increase in spending will provide opportunities for sustainable growth in the oil and gas sector. “It will also lead to increase in the gas base supply as well as investment in infrastructure that will facilitate increase in the domestic consumption.”

‘Local content holds promise for oil, gas growth’


HE Local Content Act is aimed at ensuring that Nige ria gains as much benefit from the oil business as foreign oil companies do. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, Chairman Lagos Deep offshore Logistic (LADOL) Base, Mr Ladi Jadesimi, said the policy will ensure that the exploitation of oil and minerals provide long-term benefits to Nigerians , through creating jobs and growth in industries. Jadesimi said the oil and gas sector is filled with foreign operators, who merely hand out the

By Uyoatta Eshiet

short end of the stick to Nigerians. According to him, with the advent of the Local Content Act which was subsequently backed by the establishment of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the stage is set for more Nigerians to take advantage of the rare opportunity to enhance their participation in the industry. The LADOL boss pointed out that although it may not yet be all cheers for now, but noted that

the extent to which off-shore contracts are done in Nigeria would depend largely on the presence of logistic bases like LADOL, saying the company provides base for fabricating off-shore oil and gas equipment. Jadesimi maintained that the economy will not grow until she starts to play substantive roles in the oil and gas business. He pointed out that Foreign Direct Investment will never grow the industry because the transnational investor is only interested in maximising profit

hence he would rather carry out his fabrications abroad with the attendant huge profit. “In that circumstance, the jobs, the taxes and much of his expenses will be done abroad. That has been the circumstances of Nigeria over the years and the government had depended sorely on the sale of the oil which is a small part of the business.” He maintained that with the advent of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Ernest Nwapa-led organisation has given the coun-

try a clean break from the past as the Board has insisted that a specific quantum of the oil and gas contracts in the country must be done in the country. He noted that Nigeria is already gaining from the policy measures of NCDMB in terms of growing of high skilled human capacity in fabrication engineering, pointing out that LADOL base has achieved a lot for the country since it commenced operation, particularly in the areas of refurbishing of Oil Rigs using Nigerians.







Confab of fear •ACF confirms that for it, the fear of Boko Haram is the beginning of wisdom


HE Peace and Unity Conference organised by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), an organisation of pre-eminent northerners has come and gone. The meeting, attended by VicePresident Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, and General Yakubu Gowon, chairman of the occasion and former military head of state, among others, would be remembered more for the ambivalence of its attendees than for its lofty mission of seeking ways of attaining peace and unity across the country. The meeting was convened to address the increasing wave of insecurity in the north, and to come up with panacea to it as well as prevent its spread to other parts of the country. But an agitating dimension was added when there occurred serious bomb explosion in Kaduna, the host state of the conference, a day after, killing some people. We are aware that the greatest threat to the north today, and perhaps national stability, is the Boko Haram, an insurgent Islamic sect that has been wreaking havoc in parts of the northern region. The sect could have masterminded the Kaduna blast even though it has not, like it did in the past, come out publicly to claim responsibility. Curiously too, prominent attendees/ speakers at the conference took turn to speak but appallingly refrained from alluding to nor mention the name, Boko Haram. Senate President David Mark realised the conspiracy of silence on Boko Haram when he wondered: “Are we afraid to openly condemn Boko Haram, either for political reasons or out of fear

of possible attack by the sect?” The attendees of the conference acted in a cowardly manner, quite contrary to Gowon’s remark to them to be fearless and blunt in their contributions during the opening ceremony. This conduct by the northern leaders underscored insinuations in the public domain that northern leaders maintain a disgusting silence because prominent northern politicians and public officers are financiers of the sect. For instance, a former minister was said to have twice bailed Yusuf, Boko Haram’s late leader when he was arrested by the police. Also, the recently jailed spokesman of the group reportedly named a senator, Ali Ndume, who is currently standing trial, and Ali Modu Sheriff, former Borno State Governor as alleged backers of the sect. The group, which appears to be growing in complexity reportedly admitted links with the terrorist al-Qaeda group that bombed the US on September 11, 2001. Its own activities too have been replete with bombing of churches, homes and high profile public buildings, including the Police and the United Nations (UN) headquarters, both in Abuja, among others. We have come to realise that the problem of insecurity in the north is beyond what an Arewa conference can effectively resolve. There is the belief that President Goodluck Jonathan is not doing enough to reach out to the north, despite his much touted pan-Nigerian mandate. The President is the leader of the entire country and the north is part of the sovereign entity called Nigeria. He

should be decisive on this issue. Not necessarily through the use of force, he must earnestly embrace the carrot approach so as to give the north a sense of belonging, in order to assuage their obvious feeling of angst against his person and his government. On their part, northern leaders should assist the government to rein-in the restive youths by forcefully condemning their activities and using traditional and religious institutions to educate the sect on the danger its activities pose to the nation. We consider the two-day conference by Arewa as a waste of time since northern leaders have now publicly shown their fear for Boko Haram that is threatening the corporate existence of the country. The northern elites are suspects in the avoidable destruction and killings being perpetrated by the sect. Indeed, Alhaji Ibrahim Gujungu, Chairman of the Arewa Youth Forum succinctly captured the Arewa conference as no more than another opportunity for elite re-union aimed at renewing political linkages. We concur.

‘We consider the two-day conference by Arewa as a waste of time since northern leaders have now publicly shown their fear for Boko Haram ... The northern elites are suspects in the avoidable destruction and killings being perpetrated by the sect’

Twice bitten •Varsity teachers embark on yet another avoidable strike T is said that those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. The Goodluck Jonathan administration unwittingly demonstrated the truth of this saying with the declaration of a total and indefinite strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which commenced on December 4. The strike comes as a last resort to get the Federal Government to honour the 2009 Federal Government of Nigeria/ Academic Staff Union of Universities agreement. Prior to this latest action, ASUU had declared a warning strike in September and had given a two-month grace period to facilitate the government’s efforts to meet the terms of the agreement. In addition, the union had repeatedly called on the Federal Government negotiating team to make known any difficulties that might be hindering it. Unfortunately, the government failed to act with the sense of responsibility that


‘Nigeria simply cannot afford another prolonged ASUU strike. The social, economic and political consequences are too terrible to be contemplated. Government must move to ensure that the major sticking-points of the agreement are resolved without delay ... For its part, ASUU should be open to new initiatives and avoid actions which could lead to the further denigration of the institution it says it is seeking to strengthen’

the situation demanded. Chief Emeka Wogu and Professor Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufai, the ministers of labour and education, respectively, were consistently unable to assuage the legitimate concerns of ASUU, and pretended not to be aware of the union’s increasing alarm at the way things were going. In a further demonstration of bad faith, the Federal Government’s negotiating team was dissolved without recourse to its counterparts in ASUU. To further compound matters, the councils of federal universities were also dissolved, making it impossible for those institutions to make any input into the ongoing negotiations. The consequences have been immediate in their impact. All across the nation, federal and state-owned universities have halted operations. Teaching, examinations, seminars and statutory meetings have been halted. The registration of new students in several institutions has come to an abrupt end. Thousands of students who should be fruitfully engaged in academic activity are now left to their own devices, with all the attendant social and economic consequences. As usual, government has moved to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted. Senator Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Federal Government, has convened a meeting of both sides. However, it has not made much progress, thanks to Rufai’s insistence that there was no agreement in 2009, triggering a walk-out by ASUU. It is a surprise that an administration headed by a former university lecturer can be so unresponsive to the legitimate demands of major stakeholders in the

nation’s tertiary education sub-sector. If government had misgivings about any aspect of the 2009 agreement, why did it not inform the union, or utilise the good offices of the National Assembly? Why did it ignore repeated warnings by ASUU, only to call for renewed negotiations after the zero-hour weapon of total strike was activated? A government that has expended enormous amounts of energy on its desire to withdraw contentious fuel subsidy does not seem to understand that the crisis in tertiary education is just as significant for the future of the country. No Nigerian university is ranked among the world’s top one thousand. Countries like the United Kingdom, the United States and neighbouring Ghana have become major destinations for Nigerian students. There is a significant disconnect between the quality of university graduates being produced and the requirements of the nation’s economy. Nigeria simply cannot afford another prolonged ASUU strike. The social, economic and political consequences are too terrible to be contemplated. Government must move to ensure that the major sticking-points of the agreement are resolved without delay. It must honestly declare whatever obstacles or difficulties it is facing, be they legal or economic. The National Assembly should participate more actively in ensuring that negations are satisfactorily concluded, instead of attempting to remedy the situation after the damage has been done. For its part, ASUU should be open to new initiatives and avoid actions which could lead to the further denigration of the institution it says it is seeking to strengthen.

Smartphones, dumb drivers


ITH smartphone ownership proliferating, a total ban on cellphone use by drivers is needed, for the safety of everyone on the road. Can you safely talk on a cellphone — or for that matter, check your email or scroll through Google Maps — while driving? Well, of course you can. But those other folks with their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road are a public menace. Unfortunately, that sums up the attitude of many American motorists, who widely acknowledge using their phones while behind the wheel but insist they’re safe drivers. Meanwhile, the number of people worried about the other guy is soaring. When the state Office of Traffic Safety asked California drivers to name the biggest safety problem on the road, nearly 40% listed drivers who use cellphones. That’s a big jump from last year, when the top worry was aggressive drivers and speeders, and only 18.3% were concerned about cellphones. So what changed? Probably the explosion of smartphones, which aren’t so much phones as portable computers — and which, like a computer, require both eyes and often both hands, meaning that, in our view, drivers should never operate them. But they do. More than 1 in 4 Americans who download applications to their smartphones admit to using those apps while driving, according to a survey by Nationwide Mutual Insurance. And the number of people with smartphones is growing fast. U.S. sales of smartphones are expected to hit 95 million in 2011, and 43% of mobile phone owners have smartphones; soon it will be a majority. Motorists have good reason to worry about this. Studies show that people talking on their cellphones are four times more likely to be in an accident than other drivers, and their level of impairment is comparable to people with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%, the legal limit. And that research was done back when cellphones were used only for making calls. Now that they’re used for posting on Facebook or playing Angry Birds, we suspect the dangers are much greater. Lawmakers haven’t caught up. Thirty states ban cellphone use by novice drivers, but none do so for all drivers. California has a law that tries to limit the problem but aims at the wrong target. Here, it’s forbidden to text while driving or to hold a cellphone to one’s ear, but drivers over 18 can still talk using a hands-free device; moreover, it’s still technically legal to use a smartphone app while behind the wheel. This is both outdated and ineffective. There is no evidence that using hands-free devices reduces cellphone-related accidents, which happen because drivers are distracted by their conversations, not because they’re using one hand to hold a phone. A total cellphone ban would avoid the problem of legislating for yesterday’s technology, and reduce the number of accidents. Meanwhile, if you value your life and the lives of others, don’t dial and drive. –Los Angeles Times

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IR: Nigerian football is in disarray. For the first time since 1986, Nigeria has failed to qualify for the African Nations Cup finals. As if this is not enough, two of the country’s Olympic soccer teams, the Under 23 and the Super Falcons, have also failed to make it through the qualifiers to next year’s London Olympic Games. The Super Eagles had much earlier suffered first-round elimination at South Africa 2010. The dismal and disappointing results posted by the Nigerian teams in recent times is a clear testimonial of a failing soccer-governing body in the country. The argument has been gained ground that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is to blame for the current woes in the country’s football. Top NFF officials had been variously accused of imposing players on national team coaches to play matches. Analysts have also indicted the


FIFA’s non-interference and Nigerian football Federation of International Football Associations, FIFA, as contributing to the almost stalemated state of soccer development in Nigeria. They cited FIFA’s rule of non-interference which offers protection to local associations from government interference, even where such associations have performed badly. While FIFA has good intentions for enunciating this policy in the direct running of football, it would seem that this administrative policy has become a license in itself for impunity, administrative maladroitness, corruption, self-aggrandizement and

diversion of funds by football managers in Nigeria. In the last decade alone, FIFA has provided grants amounting to N375 million to the Nigerian soccer authorities to develop the game, through grassroots football competitions and academicals to identify and groom budding talents. Lamentably, these funds end up in the deep pockets of the NFF officials and make them richer to the detriment of the game. Quite pertinent too is the case of the over N900million the Federal Government appropriated for the

NFF to prosecute the Super Eagles World Cup campaign in South Africa last year. The Presidency was particularly infuriated by the fact that out of the purported 220-man Federal Government delegation that went to South Africa 2010, only 47 were approved by government - this number includes team officials, government representatives and the Super Eagles players. The rest 173 were personal friends and relations of NFF officials, who also benefited from estacodes amounting to $800,000. Instead of erecting structures to raise the future Maradonas and Peles with

Time to develop Nigeria’s other oil


IR: When the rest of the world think of Nigeria, what they readily think is the Black Gold that dominates the Nigerian economy. But if the Nigerian government and business leaders play their cards right, Nigeria will be known for another oil: palm oil. To unlock Nigeria’s full potential, and move it beyond its reliance on petroleum exports, it is imperative that the country launch an agricultural revolution. A linchpin of any Nigerian agriculture boom will be palm oil. The cooking oil and food additive is a nutritious and calorie-rich staple product. It also grows well in Nigerian soil and benefits from its long growing seasons and lush climate. Indeed, Nigeria, once boasted a proud palm oil industry that was able to meet the country’s domestic demand. But today, after years of stagnation and over reliance on oil and gas, Nigeria is now a net importer of vegetable oils. This has proven costly to the country and its consumers. Rural communities have lost out on an opportunity to rise out of poverty and achieve food security. How can Nigeria reverse this lamentable state of affairs? Every modern agricultural revolution consists of two key ingredients – capital investment and state-of-the-art technology. Over the last few years, the Nigerian government has pur-

sued important legal reforms with an eye toward making the country a more attractive place to invest and decreasing its reliance on the oil and gas sector. It’s time for those reforms to bear fruit. Fortunately there is a good model for Nigeria to follow. Several countries in tropical Asia, including Malaysia and Indonesia, reformed their laws with an eye toward modernizing their agriculture sectors. The reforms attracted huge sums of investment capital, from China, Australia, and elsewhere. Flush with capital, Malaysian and Indonesian farmers and entrepreneurs

procured world-class technology to develop their banana, cocoa, and palm oil sectors, among others. Today they are growing fast and are now net exporters of palm oil. Nigeria can do something similar. Global investors are increasingly interested in developing the African palm oil industry. Every day, representatives of capital-rich companies and governments descend on Lagos, Accra, Monrovia, and other West African capitals to scout for opportunities. To meet the challenges of the future head on, Nigerian policymakers should set two goals for the country.

The first is to produce enough vegetable oil to satisfy the country’s growing domestic demand. The second is to grow the sector, so Nigeria becomes a net exporter of palm oil. Nigeria has been stuck for years, burdened with a resource curse in the form of an over-reliance on its huge petroleum industry. By modernizing its agricultural sector, Nigeria will enter an era of resource blessings – feeding its people and its neighbors and ensuring a brighter economic future. • Thompson Ayodele, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, Lagos

the funds at its disposal, what the NFF has been doing is to hire and fire coaches to make huge capital for themselves. Samson Siasia is one of the latest victims of this hire and sack syndrome in Nigerian football administration. In sacking Siasia, the NFF seems to have forgotten so soon how he groomed stars like John Mikel Obi, Taye Taiwo to international limelight at Holland 2005 and at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in which Nigeria won the silver medal respectively on both occasions. They have also forgotten so soon how Siasia ended the Argentines’ unbeaten record against Nigeria at the senior level when the Siasia-tutored Eagles routed the Argies 4-1 at the National Stadium in Abuja. The NFF also lost sight of the fact that Coach Samson Siasia took over at a time interim coach, Austin Eguavoen had led the Super Eagles to a humiliating defeat from the Syli Stars of Guinea in Conakry. With the chain of failures steadily rolled out by virtually all the national teams, which had been blamed on poor soccer administration, sacking Siasia is clearly kilometers off the solution to the problem at hand. For as much government remains the key and sole financier of football programmes in Nigeria as well as the nation’s participation in major international competitions, the issue of non-interference is out of sync with reason and reality in the Nigerian context. In this consideration, if government is to totally keep off from running football in Nigeria,then it must divest from the huge investments it has been making without getting the desired results. Dennis Alemu

PDP chairmanship cap fits Abba Aji


IR: I first came in contact with this fine gentleman when he was a member of the fifth Senate and took a vested interest in his person when he was elected the Minority Whip of the Upper House. He was vocal in not only securing the support of ANPP and PDP senators for his bills and motions, he served as a valuable bridge between the senators of the majority and minority parties. When he declined to contest election in 2007, Sen. Abba Aji went on to serve as Adviser on National Assembly Matters to late President Musa Yar’Adua and to President Goodluck

Jonathan until last June. I had another chance to watch this gentle man when I joined the Friends of Democracy for Goodluck Jonathan and became a member of the media committee. As the chairman of Friends of Democracy, I found AbbaAji to be a resolute and strong believer in the unity of our great country. He conducted the meeting with great skills and spoke eloquently and inspiringly. Through Friends of Democracy, he helped build a lot of support for the candidature of President Jonathan and his eventual election. He has been Executive Secretary, Borno State Health Management

Board in the 1980s; Permanent Secretary, Borno State Civil Service and Managing Director of NSITF in the 1990s. Until June, he was the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters. It is also noteworthy that he was the chairman of the 2008 North Central PDP Zonal Congress, and a Member of the PDP National Caucus. The PDP today is in search of an arbitrator, and of an interface that can pull the party together and reconcile its members. One who will not only make PDP win elections, but also win the hearts of the Nigerians. In my humble opinion, that person is Sen.

Abba Aji. The PDP may the greatest party in Africa, but can we in all honesty compare it with the ANC in South Africa? The chairman we need today is a transformational one who is acceptable to the six geo political zones of our country, a firm and decisive person, a person with strong character, a goal getter, a reformer, one that abhors corruption and one who believes in the transformation programme of our President. That cap fits Sen. Abba Aji. • Sir Kenny Okolugbo Nsukka, Anambra State.





Y the time Nigerians get done with digesting the import of the list of the beneficiaries of fuel import bazaar made public by the Senate penultimate week, they should be well on the way to figuring why the scam of all times has endured. If it seems any revelation, one is struck both by the nature of the bewildering supply side economics in which the costs of subsidy payments have over time outstripped the cost of the products, and the free-for-all bazaar that fuel import has become. It seems like aeons that the journey to deregulate the downstream began with its promise of boosting domestic fuel supplies through the removal of extant rigidities that have stymied prospects of new investments. A decade of pains with nothing as gains later, we are apparently back at that same valley of confusion in which a laissez faire regime of unbridled fuel importation is being repackaged, recycled and sold as liberalisation. One lesson from the past decade must be our leaders’ capacity to fiddle with figures to arrive at predetermined positions on any public issue. The other– in addition to the legendary bad faith of the leadership – is the astounding lack of intelligence revealed in the cooking up of figures that simply fail to add up. Can anyone imagine what the criminal abdication is costing the nation at this time? Of course, by dressing up the figures of the fuel subsidy racket, the government may have intended to shock and awe Nigerians into accepting the inevitable regime of fuel price hikes; it is however looking more and more like the effort is doomed to backfire tragically. The main lesson for me in the subsidy brouhaha is how the whole concept of deregulation has been so badly distorted by the federal government to the extent of being barely recognisable, not to talk of being a sellable proposition.

‘It is just as well that the bewildering figures have become the main drivers in the subsidy removal sales pitch. Just as the figures have since constituted the perfect alibi for the do-nothing federal government to harangue us with, it serves the additional purpose of diverting attention from the main issue at stake – which is how to boost the indigenous refining capacity’ T a time that ailments like malaria and poliomyelitis no longer pose any real danger to citizens of many countries around the world, including some developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, it is regrettable that Nigeria, the self-acclaimed giant of Africa, is still battling with these diseases which experts say are not so difficult to eradicate. Again, it is quite disturbing that Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, jointly account for at least 30 percent of all deaths from malaria worldwide. The disclosure which emerged during discussions on malaria at the 63rd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly last year is indeed embarrassing. Even though malaria is widely acclaimed as the disease of the tropics, the percentage of fatalities attributed to the ailment in Nigeria in comparison with the rest of the world is unacceptably high. And unless the root causes of the high number are addressed, the concession of one third of the $3 billion new funding pledged by leaders of Western countries and notable philanthropists for the fight against malaria to Nigeria and DR Congo by the UN would only amount to wasted money. But there is hope that the country may soon witness a drastic reduction in morbidity and mortality rates attributable to malaria due to concerted efforts by the Federal Government to fight the scourge with the accelerated implementation of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the long-term Global Action Plan to unify the actions of the malaria community. The list of donors to the cause of eradicating malaria is quite impressive and Nigeria is fully prepared to take advantage of the generosity of the donors. It could not have been otherwise because policymakers in the country are keenly aware of the direct contribution of malaria to poverty, losses in productivity and reduced school attendance. The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria pledged $1.6 billion while the World Bank pledged $1.1 billion.Other pledges include $168.7 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $2 million from the United Nations Foundation. An additional $83 million is expected from Britain while the United States approved $5 billion over five years as intervention funds. The UN, on its part, has set 2015 as the year that it expects deaths from malaria to have become a thing of the past. But if the current state of infrastructure and hygienic practices in Nigeria do not undergo drastic changes, the UN target date may just be another unrealistic target. As one of the two countries regarded as problem spots in the fight against malaria, Nigeria would stand a better chance of meeting this target date if governments, especially at the local government level, commit to this date. It will require superhuman efforts to completely eradicate malaria in the country within the next seven years. Yet malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. According to available statistics, malaria kills the highest number of Nigerians annually. Even the highly dreaded HIV/AIDS pandemic is in a distant position. It is estimated that in Nige-


Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

The fuel import bazaar Where are we 10 years down the line? In the first place, we have had all the time to figure out whether the socalled subsidy-removal comes anywhere close the cureall pill as proclaimed. If the lesson of the deregulation of the Automotive Gas Oil seems any instructive, it is that the tentative steps taken to remove subsidy on the product has failed to do the magic. Arguably, the steps may have steadied the supply situation, it is a far cry from the promises of new investments expected to drive down prices in the long run. Not only have the expected gains turned to a mirage, the citizens have now discovered, perhaps late in the day, that what the government called liberalisation was actually abdication to a powerful cartel of fuel importers. Ask the manufacturers of their daily experiences on AGO supply; whereas tank farm owners could claim to have their depots brimming full with products since there are tons and tons of money to be made under the unbridled, unregulated regime of imports, AGO prices, contrary to predictions, have remained where they were: at the rooftops! It is just as well that the bewildering figures have become the main drivers in the subsidy removal sales pitch. Just as the figures have since constituted the perfect alibi for the do-nothing federal government to harangue us with, it serves the additional purpose of diverting attention from the main issue at stake – which is how to boost the indigenous refining capacity. It is precisely that development that has left us with the pathology of numbernumbness which unfortunately threatens not just to stifle the scrutiny of the figures themselves but every other initiatives in the sector. The Senate inquest may have helped put the transparently opaque and irredeemably corrupt Nigerian

National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its pricefixing, subsidy-disbursing cousin, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on the spot. Just as their roles are central to the fuel subsidy conundrum, the revelations from the Senate on their activities, as touching the mismanagement of the downstream sector seems to have produced its unintended consequence. Apart from helping to firm up Nigerians’ resolve not to accede to government’s wish, it has hardly helped the image of the government as one desirous of confronting the cartel holding the downstream sector by the jugular. As it is, there can be no mistaking the quest by Nigerians for a more transparent and accountable oil corporation, or even their desire for the regime of true liberalisation. However, it is the option of transferring the burden of subsidising the rot in the fuel distribution chain to the ordinary citizen for the gains of a few that Nigerians find abhorrent. The apparent confusion in the quarters of the government and its friends in high places about the steps to take to arrive at the liberalisation terminus would appear to me as contrived, to serve one end only: to perpetuate the current corruption-infested fuel supply and distribution chain. This obviously explains why the government is ever so reluctant to take on the powerful forces holding the industry down. It also explains why it prefers the easy way of subsidy removal. Now to the matter of the N1.5 trillion fuel subsidy. President Goodluck Jonathan has made a song of the economy running the risk of collapse should the government fail to address the issue of the humongous fuel subsidy payouts. I have also heard the President speak on how he intends to channel the savings to be made from the subsidy to pro-poor projects. There have equally been talks about bringing back something similar to the Petroleum Task Force to administer the subsidy savings. All of these, no doubt merely underlie the fixation with the so-called subsidy money. None of these, I daresay, touch on the substantive matter of how to wean the downstream sector of its unwholesome dependence on imported refined fuel. Missing also are details on how the government intends to fix the refineries, bring its much hyped Greenfield refineries into completion; same applies to its plans (if any) to dislodge the cartel behind the racket, and finally, a programme to usher in the long-expected regime of deregulation. While these issues may not matter to the Jonathan administration at this time, it seems to me that the lack of attention to them is what renders the current proposition on the subsidy, fatal.

‘MAPS’ to malaria-free Nigeria By John Ajayi ria nearly 300,000 fatalities in children under the age of five are recorded every year. In addition, 11 per cent of maternal mortality cases are reported annually. The effort of the Federal Ministry of Health to eradicate the malaria scourge through the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and its Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partners is commendable. The ministry has been working tirelessly to improve the health of the populace and reduce the malaria burden. As part of the RBM partnership initiative, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has over the past four years also progressively increased its funding in support of the objectives of the NMCP. Under the US-funded President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), there are plans to work with partners to reduce by half the burden of malaria in 70 percent of the at-risk populations in sub-Saharan Africa (approximately 450 million residents), thereby eliminating malaria as a major public health concern and promoting development throughout Africa. PMI works closely with national malaria control programmes and coordinates its activities with national and international partners, including the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the World Health Organization; the World Bank; Malaria No More; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; nongovernmental organizations, including faith-based and community groups; and the private sector. The Malaria Action Programme for States Project (MAPS) is a USAID-funded integrated malaria project that enjoys PMI support. Nigeria is in its first year as a PMI focus country. Through the MAPS project, FHI 360—in partnership with Health Partners International, Grid Consulting, and the Malaria Consortium—aims to scale up usage and coverage of life-saving malaria interventions in seven states in Nigeria. With support from PMI and its partners, malaria control interventions are being implemented and vital commodities are being distributed to vulnerable populations. It is also worth noting that USAID has funded malaria activities in Nigeria over the past decade, including $18 million in 2010 alone in support of malaria prevention and treatment activities. To date, over 1.3 million ITNs have been purchased and distributed; ownership of ITNs was dramatically increased in Cross River and Kano States; and prepackaged, socially marketed Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACT) treatments for children under five were developed and distributed in 18 states. The task may appear daunting but the immense benefits of a malaria-free Nigeria should spur leaders at all levels into working towards its achievement. It is basic that only a healthy

and disciplined workforce can lift a nation from the morass of underdevelopment to the status of a developed country. The full extent of the debilitating impact of malaria on the productivity of the average Nigerian worker may not yet be known but managers in the country’s public and private sectors know what absenteeism as a result of malaria attacks on their employees cost them annually in terms of productivity. What is being taken for granted in Nigeria was recognised long ago in advanced economies of the world where mosquitoes which spread the vector have been completely eradicated. Given the parlous state of Nigeria’s health, education and energy sectors, the pessimism currently being expressed over the feasibility of attaining the goals of the Vision 2020 agenda which aims to catapult the country among the 20 leading economies of the world by 2020 is logical. Certainly, without a healthy and productive workforce, the country has no hope of achieving the lofty targets of Vision 2020. The case for concerted efforts towards eradicating the scourge of malaria in the country is therefore pressing. A visit to any government hospital or private clinic would reveal the depth of the problem because, at any point in time, the vast majority of patients usually suffer from malaria attacks. Nigeria can slash malaria rates considerably by expanding access to impregnable bed nets. The successes achieved by Ethiopia and Rwanda have renewed the hope that malaria can be dramatically reduced in Africa and, in some areas, eliminated entirely. Nevertheless, if the conditions which favour the survival of mosquitoes can be completely eradicated, the devastating consequences of malaria on human health and economic development can be curtailed or even eliminated. Blocked drainages, stagnant water and generally dirty environment of blighted areas provide the ideal environment for the breeding of mosquitoes. This is why urban renewal measures in Nigerian cities should be given priority. The task of eliminating malaria in the country may be a tough one but it is achievable. Nigerians should be encouraged to clean up their environment more often healthy nation is indeed a wealthy one. • Ajayi is a Lagos based journalist and publisher

‘The task may appear daunting but the immense benefits of a malaria-free Nigeria should spur leaders at all levels into working towards its achievement’





AVE you heard the news? No, I am not talking about Obasanjo’s ranting against the opposition criticism of the Kogi election and his self-serving sermon on democracy, or that audacious, albeit dangerous blockage of the Lokoja-Abuja road by some elements from the Niger Delta claiming to be former militants. It is not the stupid takeover of Ikorodu road in Lagos last Thursday by an armed Yoruba ethnic militia purportedly to protest insecurity in the country either. I know you are probably thinking about the sacking of banks in Ogun, Oyo and some parts of Osun states by armed robbers. You are free and right to be concerned about all these topical national issues including the ongoing ASUU strike and President Goodluck Jonathan’s suicidal move to increase pump price of fuel in the new year (against genuine wide spread opposition),under the guise of removing subsidy on petroleum products , which(removal) though I support, but not at the expense of the common man. Wake up. I am not talking about local news. You must have heard that in the so called God’s own country it is now legal to have sex with, wait for it, a horse. Yes, a horse. The United States of America has just approved this insane act. Lest we forget, all manner of sexual acts is permissible in the US and other so called developed countries under the guise of liberalism and freedom. Surprisingly, polygamy is not one of them. Can you imagine that? You can have sex with a fellow man if you are a man or a woman with another woman. Nothing spoil as we use to say here. Over there having sex with a dog is nothing new, but you can’t marry more than one wife because it is viewed as not only unchristianlike, but also immoral. Selective and warped interpretation of Christian values if you ask me. Does Christianity approve of homosexuality let alone bestiality? Now that America has taken sexual -liberalism to the extreme, I think it is about time that we shine our eyes and pay more attention to the criticism of the Nigerian Senate recent decision to criminalize same sex mar-

Oh my god, he’s gay! riage in the country, by the US and Britain. If they succeed in pressurizing the Federal Government to ignore this wise counsel from the National Assembly (the House of representatives is equally on the verge of passing a similar bill)then only God knows how long it would take before our society goes to the devil. I am sure America would one day approve of incest or marriage between man and animal. Theirs is an elastic society where anything goes under the guise of protecting human rights. This is where I have a problem with the Democratic Party in the US, the Republicans I am sure would never go down this route, not with the evangelicals and the neocons at the soul of the party. At times like this I wish the Republicans are in the White House. But some misguided Nigerians are rather happy at the turn of event in the homosexuality debate in Nigeria especially the unsolicited campaign against the senate decision by the western world. A large majority however are happy at the bold decision taken by the Senate and awaiting the House of Representatives to concur. They equally expect the president to quickly accent the bill once it gets to his table from the National Assembly. But I am sure the battle will not stop there as the judiciary is likely to be called upon to take a position on the law. This would be interesting as Nigerians would want to see that judge that would rule against our culture and tradition and follow the Whiteman’s madness called homosexuality.

One of such happy Nigerian today is a certain faceless person with the phone number 0703 507 8881 who sent in a text in response to this column last week titled Same-sex madness. He wrote: I had expected you to react to yesterday’s text (I didn’t receive any from him). However, to understand what same sex attraction is one must first find the reason why a sane man would want to lie with a fellow man. Just as there are a thousand and one traits that characterize us as men, other than the simple fact that we are sexually attracted to females, equally there are one thousand and one characteristics of a homosexual, and sexual attraction to his kind is just one of those traits. Assuming we could tame their sexual lives, what about other traits? Now read these statistics: a recent survey in Belgium and Istanbul indicates that four out of every ten men is gay with a slight increase in women. All identical twins also share the same sexuality i.e. if one of a twin is gay, the other one is also. More than 50% of male babies who are next in birth to females (whether they were born miscarried or aborted) are gay. Homosexual tendencies have also been reported in animals. It was the Europeans who first regarded same sex attraction as a mental disorder in the 6th century. Towards the end of the 9th century, they also wrongly diagnosed it as a psychological problem. But before the early part of the 11th century, they came to the conclusion same sex attraction is as real as heterosexual attraction1 Just as left handedness is as real as the conventional right handedness. But before then, thousands of homosexuals

have been stigmatized, ostracized and even hanged for their sexual orientation. See how far into the distant past you are still living? In the 21st century, calling same sex attraction satanic or craze places you about 900 years backward!!! And people like you are not supposed to be writing for public consumption. At my age (24), I hold an LL.B (Unical), PGD in clinical psychology, two Masters Degree in animal sexuality, all from western universities. Currently on research in Nigeria on this same issue! It might interest you to know, check this and compare who is more insane than you, for they were all gays; Alexander de Great, James Buchanan (4th American president), Rudolf Gugliemi ( who is he?), Queen Victoria 11, Michael Jackson, Elton John etc. There are millions who are closeted even in countries like the US and UK. On a serious note, as more and more people are becoming aware of their rights, the issue of same sex marriage will continue to enjoy the front burner, until they are celebrated. I think this person needs help. How I wish he could deploy his knowledge to other more beneficial areas or reverse his research to finding out why there are people engaged in homosexuality and how they can be helped to become normal human beings. There is no prize in guessing his sexual orientation. Oh my god, he’s gay! I promise to serve you the diet from other correct Nigerians on this same-sex issue next week.

‘I think this person needs help. How I wish he could deploy his knowledge to other more beneficial areas or reverse his research to finding out why there are people engaged in homosexuality and how they can be helped to become normal human beings’



HEN recently, some senators swept into the floor of the Upper House, on a tidal wave of showbiz razzmatazz, others arrayed in sharp suits, and some in perfectly designed natives and flowing Agbada smiling, to debate on the propriety or otherwise of such issues as the same sex marriage, homosexuality and lesbianism, those who had thought the law-makers were there to amuse themselves and waste the time of millions of Nigerians who glued to their television receiver to listen to the debate, were obviously disappointed at the close of deliberations. For seasons on end, the issue of same sex relationship has continued to play-out against fundamental human and peoples’ rights. While the Nigerian constitution guarantees the right of citizens to practice and associate on what they believe in, the lawmakers were unequivocal about what African moral beliefs abhors and so did not just condemn the clamour, but advanced a law outlawing such issues. Indeed, the speed in which the lawmakers discarded the matter more than anything else, pointed to the increasingly changing times in the Upper House. A few years ago, our lawmakers some of whom have carved for themselves palaces and spectacular fountains that were in stark contrast to the crippling drought and poverty being suffered by the Nigerian people, would have enjoyed a raucous laughter and talked in front of cameras like the Biblical King Nebuchadnezzar, who pampered himself with sweet wine while everything around him drifted to the cliff. But not anymore. We have, in recent times, witnessed robust debates at the floor of the Senate. We have seen instances where in the face of mounting pressure from colleagues some senators have stood their grounds and fought for the people as opposed to personal interests. We have seen a few deservedly distinguished senators like the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character, Smart Adeyemi, his counterpart in Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ayogu Eze; the then minority leader Deputy Chairman of the , Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Uche Chukwumerije and the former gover-

A new dawn at the Senate By Abdulkadir Bolakale nor of Kwara State and Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Bukola Saraki, among others, whose ostensibly high-principled stance and, who, driven by the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of the people whose trust they enjoy, ensure that some otherwise ‘sacred’ issues are discussed in the floor of the senate. From the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) aimed at tackling corruption, to the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) report; from issues on poverty alleviation to fuel subsidy, and the shock discovery of the importation of Germans and Chinese, particularly, the case of an Indian, who works as a messenger in a hospital in his homeland, to handle construction works, which Nigerians could competently handle! Senator Chukwumerije, a former minister and three-time senator, for instance, dared the powers-that-be, when he insistently cajoled his colleagues and stood his grounds against dissenting views that such thing as Official Secrets Act and trade secrets, which provided cover for corrupt public office holders while they siphoned money were no longer useful. He is also remembered as one of the few senators who vehemently opposed the third term agenda of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Following in his footsteps, the FOI lead sponsor, Senator Ndoma-Egba, in liaison with Senators Adeyemi, Eze, Mamora, among others, combatively put up a spirited defence, chronicling its long history, and the multiple fractures it had received for eight years to rub in their argument until the bill was passed into law, though with some modifications. Only recently when the issue of the BPE report came up in the floor of the senate, Senator Adeyemi, bent on upending the old order, stressed the need to implement the recommendations in the report, which blamed the failure of the agency on Obasanjo, to the letters. Adeyemi, who urged his colleagues to punish the former president, warned of dire consequences of sweeping the report under the carpet.

Commendable as it were, these may however, pale into insignificance when compared with the recent shock discovery by Senator Bukola Saraki of how some high-heeled faceless individuals have been fleecing the nation of billions of naira under the cover of fuel subsidy. The former governor, who dissected the financial records to the awe of his colleagues observed that although N240 billion was budgeted for the entire year for subsidy, so far as at end of August, N931 billion has already been spent, resulting in a variance of N771 billion or 700 percent above this year’s budget. He went on to say that with the foregoing, by the end of the year, the nation would have spent N1.2 trillion as against the N240 billion. The senator, who expressed disappointment over the management of the fuel subsidy fund, describing the processes, audit and value for money as everything but transparent, warned that except urgent steps were taken, the entire budget of 2011 may be affected and hopes of Nigerians of better days ahead, dashed. Sufficiently alarmed, he explained that in the first three months of the year, both the NNPC and the independent marketers did not exceed N62 billion, but suddenly ratchetted up expenditures of between N159 billion and N186 billion. Interestingly, this was not the first time the former governor credited with the introduction of what is today known as Due Process while serving as Special Assistant on Budget to former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is showing zero tolerance for corruption. Similar to Due Process, he established the Price Intelligence Unit (PIU), which greatly regulated government pricing policy in Kwara State as governor. Today, perhaps, those who at the time had dismissed the initiative as ‘over-rated’ know better as the measures have become the life-wire upon which the state has steadily remained afloat against all odds. With close to N40 billion saved for the state during his eight years administration through the PIU to augment federal allocation every month, Bukola has proved himself a perfect example of a visionary leader and manager of resources.

Described by friends and associates as an incorruptible and meticulous strategist, Saraki had also acquitted himself in the area of job creation and human capital development. The former governor not only dreamed big, but worked assiduously to ensure that all his templates for a self-sustaining Kwara State were enthroned. Nudged on by the desire to bequeath a highly skilled and competent work force, as well as create employment opportunities for the youths, Senator Bukola established the Aviation College, the Stock Exchange and the Kwara State University, committing funds running into several billions of naira. His unfading footprints are also seen in the Cargo Terminal, which he established and which has since been positively rubbing off on the Shonga Farm Project. Little wonder, therefore, that distinguished Senator Saraki and the army of emerging prefects in the Upper House, are bent on upending the old order through robust debates and a high sense of responsibility, so Nigerians long denied of better life can begin a march to a new world where public office holders are accountable and the instrumentality of government business devoid of corruption. It is, indeed, a new dawn. • Bolakale writes from Ilorin.

‘Interestingly, this was not the first time the former governor credited with the introduction of what is today known as Due Process while serving as Special Assistant on Budget to former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is showing zero tolerance for corruption’

Hodgson sticks Kalu Uche’s Club Xamax with Osaze near bankruptcy Pg. 24

Pg. 41

Nation Tuesday, December 13, 2011

•John Obuh







Joel Obi Sambawa attributes football woes to NSC, NFF rift okay to F return

• Joel Obi


OEL Obi suffered muscular problems against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League last week. He missed the last round of matches in Italy's Serie A against Fiorentin as a result. According to reports from the Italian media, the former NEPA of Lagos midfielder is now back to full fitness, and will be available for selection in games against Genoa and Cesena. There is speculation that Obi could land in Genoa in the winter transfer window as makeweight in the deal to bring Genoa's Kucka to the San Siro.

ORMER Minister of Sports Samaila Sambawa has blamed the constant rift between the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the various woes that have befallen Nigerian football in recent times. Speaking in Abuja, Samabawa, who saw to the emergence of the immediate past administration of the NFF, said: "the downward trend in Nigerian football will continue until such a time when the NSC will come to its responsibility and disengage from the continual rift with the football federation. The NSC is working one side, and the NFF is working the other side. There would not be any development in the game if they continue in that way. “For us to move forward, there should be a total synergy between the bodies, and they would be able to map out the strategies to move our football to the next level". The former Minister did not spear his successors, saying their inability to implement earlier policies have contributed to the failure in various sporting events the country


Peter Ijeh inks one year deal with GAIS


XPERIENCED Nigeria-born striker, Peter Ijeh has left Swedish side, Syrianska, who narrowly escaped relegation last term. The former Julius Berger man has signed a one year deal with GAIS. ''Both I and Alexander Axén are convinced that Peter with his routine will add a lot to the team. We do not think we can find a better solution for relatively small money we have to move with and that is what it is about in this case. ''A large part of the contract with Peter is also linked to what he performs on the pitch,'' says GAIS sports director Mats Persson to the official website. GAIS is Ijeh's fourth club in Sweden after spells with Malmo, IFK Göteborg and Syrianska.


Heartland Queens to defend title in Zambia


EFENDING champions of the female event of the Africa Cup for Club Champions Competition, Heartland Queens top the list of five Nigerian clubs taking part in the 2011 ACCC in Lusaka, Zambia. Heartland picked the trophy in Ghana last year and would attempt to reclaim it again in the tournament which flicked off Saturday and would come to an end this Saturday. Aside from Heartland Queens, the 2011 winner of IEI National League, Bayelsa Queens and runners-up, Plateau Queens would also be flying Nigeria’s flag. In the male event, Yobe Warriors, winner of the male event of the 2011 IEI National League and runnersup, Niger Flickers would vie for honours. Sharkia of Egypt are the defending men's champions with 19 titles to their credit, while Heartland Queens of Nigeria are the women's defending champions with five crowns to their credit.

participated in. He said: "lack of continuity is another undoing of our sporting sector. Take for instance, when I was in office, I got the approval of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo for us to have six centers of the National Institute for Sports with its headquarters in Abuja. We entered into agreement with the Australian government on this, and approval for funding for it was gotten till 2015. The Abuja center was due for commissioning one month before I left office. Till date, nothing has been done on that. “You can see very well the technical input of our coaches in various competitions we took part in, that shows that something is wrong somewhere. The solution to all these problems is not setting up of committees, it is for the ministers to go back to their drawers and dust the various policies that are there, and then move ahead. They should discontinue this issue of setting up various committees, it causes more harm than good.”

Taiwo laments: I am suffering in AC Milan

C MILAN defender, Taye Taiwo has voiced his frustration with lack of regular first team action at the Serie

• Taiwo

NFF sacks John Obu

From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja

A champions in the 2011-12 campaign. The Nigeria international joined Milan from Olympique de Marseille on a free transfer during the summer, but has so far failed to make an impact at his new club. "I am suffering every day because I don't get to play football. I joined this club in order to play, but I have made only six appearances so far," Taiwo was quoted as saying by L'Equipe. "I don't understand how things work in Italy. Sometimes I even have to watch from the stands, but I really need to play in order to show what I can do. It looks like [coach Massimiliano] Allegri doesn't have faith in me. It's not like me to just sit back and do nothing in a situation like this,” he said. The 26-year-old full-back has featured four times for the Rossoneri in the Champions League but has only made two appearances in Serie A. He has a contract with Milan until the summer of 2014.


HE NFF has finally sacked former Flying Eagles Coach, John Obuh, asking him to reapply if he is interested in the job. According to the NFF Technical Committee Chairman, Christopher Green, the contract of the coach has expired, and the

Yak wins Eurosport award

body to continue its participation in the Axpo Super League after the winter

Keshi: local lads must earn their stripes


TEPHEN Keshi wants to pick 10 domestic players to join his Super Eagles A squad, but says that will only happen if they earn it. The Super Eagles coach is expected to name a squad of 30 domestic players this week for a training camp in Abuja this month. But he insists there will be no free passes. He said: "The local league is the foundation of our football and we want to get about 10 players from the league into the Super Eagles. "But they have to prove that they can get there on merit. We are not just going to include them in the team because we want home-based players. "Our target is to get 10 but if we find that only two are good enough, then we will take just that two and leave the rest.” In saying that however, he reiterated his belief in the ability of players from the domestic league, saying: "I don’t believe there is any position we have a problem in the team that we cannot find a home-

based player to solve it. I think what they need is guidance and somebody to believe in them and they will excel, if they work hard."

• Keshi

the game. We want to set up a good developmental programme, and any coach we would engage in the national teams would be tailored towards that.” The former Sharks FC scribe confirmed that same is applicable to the technical crew of the Super Falcons, saying that all the Coaches have good opportunities of having their jobs back if they are able to surpass others that would also apply.


LACKBURN Rovers forward, Yakubu Aiyegbeni has won highly influential readers' poll to find the Premier League Goal of the Week. The former Julius Berger ace scored four times in Blackburn's win against Swansea City last weekend but it was his classy first that took 39 per cent of the total vote. Argentine international, Sergio Aguero came second when finishing through a crowd of Manchester City players’ against Norwich, while Sunderland's Kieran Richardson was third, thanks to his rocking volley against Wolves. Poll results: 1. Yakubu (Aiyegbeni) 39% 2. Sergio Aguero 33% 3. Kieran Richardson 14% 4. Adam Johnson 8% 5. Leroy Lita 6%

Kalu Uche’s club Xamax near bankruptcy • Owe Almeria 1m Euros D ARK cloud surrounds Kalu Uche’s future at Neuchâtel Xamax his Swiss premier division club side. Neuchâtel Xamax’s account is in the red and the side must give financial guarantees to the League

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja

position thereby declared vacant. Green said: "To be frank with you, the contract of the coaches have expired, and the positions are now vacant. They are at liberty to re-apply, and we would now assess them with others. “What we are after now is not performance based on competitions, but we are now interested in the development of

break. The wages of the players, it’s been reported, have not been paid for November. Kalu transferred to Neuchâtel Xamax in the summer, following Almeria's relegation to Spain's second tier. Xamax have failed to pay the player’s fee to the Spanish side and the club are tired of the endless wait, threatening to take the case to football's governing body, FIFA. ''We sold Uche for $ 1.025 million Euros (approximately N225 million),” the team’s Communications Director , Andalusian Juanjo Moreno told the Express Impartial . He went further: “This amount, which should have come to the club on August 18, has never been paid and the UD Almeria is prepared to go to court. "At first we wanted to avoid creating problems. We have repeatedly tried to get in touch with Neuchatel Xamax, but the club does not respond. Our legal department had therefore decided to report the matter to FIFA. In parallel, we will contact a lawyer in Switzerland to go to court. " Kalu Uche, after a difficult start to the season has scored six goals in his last six games for fifth on the table Xamax. He is attracting interest from a horde of clubs in the winter transfer window.

Arsenal to storm Nigeria


NGLISH Premier League club, Arsenal are to embark on a playing tour of Nigeria next summer, has exclusively gathered. Arsenal are expected to parade their top stars like skipper Robin van Persie, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott and Cote d’Ivoire’s Gervinho against a number of top selected Nigerian clubs between July and August 2012. “Arsenal will tour Nigeria ahead of the 2012/2013 season and will play against selected Nigerian clubs,” FIFA match agent, David Omigie of Dajan Sports told Omigie revealed that he will be leading the delegation to Nigeria: “I am therefore leading a delegation that will include Arsenal Football Club’s Head of Marketing. We are in Nigeria to conduct a pre-tour visit.

“During the visit, we will hold talks with top officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to ensure that Nigeria benefits from the visit of the Gunners.” Omigie further told that the advance party for the tour will arrive Abuja on Monday for what will be the London club’s first visit to the country. Three years ago, Omigie’s company brought two other English clubs, Manchester United and Portsmouth. Manchester United took on Portsmouth before Pompey then played against popular Nigeria Premier League (NPL) side, Kano Pillars. The EPL is hugely popular in football-mad Nigeria with millions of fans following the championship on both terrestrial and satellite television week in, week out. Only recently, a proposed Kano State Academy sought a technical partnership with another EPL outfit, Sunderland. Arsenal have over the years proved to be one of the most popular clubs in Nigeria probably due in part to the past exploits of one of Nigeria’s most decorated football stars, Nwankwo Kanu. The former Nigeria World Cup skipper featured for ‘The Gunners’ between 1999 and 2004, winning several major pieces of silverware including two EPL winners’ medals with the London club. Another Nigerian, Chuks Aneke is now on the books of the London outfit.

Hodgson sticks with Osaze


EST BROM boss, Roy Hodgson looks set to stick with striker, Peter Odemwingie despite the Nigerian’s misfiring return from injury. Last season’s leading scorer suffered a disappointing day in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Wigan after being recalled to partner summer signing, Shane Long in attack. But Hodgson gave his backing to the pairing and offered words of encouragement to Odemwingie, despite a flat display on his first start since being sidelined by a knee problem. He said: “It’s understandable. He’s been out for quite a while. It was good he could play for 75 minutes because I still think he is a dangerous player. We had a lot of the ball and he had a lot of the ball. “It didn’t fall for him on this occasion but it’s good for him that he was in there where it matters. It’s good to see him receiving the ball in areas where he is going to be under pressure. We know he is a quality player and, over the rest of the season, if I can get him up there playing with Shane Long on a regular basis I’m pretty sure we’ll be dangerous. We’ll see how that partnership develops.” Hodgson refused to criticise Hawthorns fans who booed his decision to replace Youssouf Mulumbu with Graham Dorrans in the second half instead of substituting Odemwingie. The head coach said: “Mulumbu is a

popular player, so the crowd are as they are. That’s how they’re encouraged to be now. If they are watching their team at home and losing, then they are encouraged to boo. “We had high hopes for this season and at the moment we haven’t got ourselves going in terms of points to satisfy those high hopes. We have to accept that, until we get ourselves near enough to the middle of the table, there will be boos if we don’t win matches at home.” Hodgson declined to comment on a late penalty appeal that saw Graham Dorrans booked for diving, when replays suggested he might have been fouled by David Jones. The Baggies boss said: “I’m under strict instructions from my wife to leave out talking about penalties. I’m too honest in those situations and it’s very galling to have to keep talking about those things.”

• Osaze

Wigan close to Moses’ deal—Martinez


IGAN manager, Roberto Martinez has revealed the club are near to agreeing a new deal with forward Victor Moses. The versatile 21-year-old has played every minute of the Latics’ Premier League campaign so far, and scored his first goal this season in Saturday’s 2-1 away victory at West Brom, while winning the penalty for Jordi Gomez to slot home. It had been understood that talks had not progressed in recent weeks, despite discussions having started earlier this year, yet Martinez has now

revealed the club are set to seal a new contract with the former Crystal Palace man. "We are very close to agreeing a new contract with Victor. He's got the talent to be whatever he wants," Martinez told Sky Sports. The Spaniard also raised concerns about a potential rib injury to Paraguayan defender, Antolin Alcaraz. He said: "It is a little bit worrying. He is going to have a scan. His ribs, he can feel them when he is breathing, and the doctor had to apply some treatment. We fear that is a fracture."


Nigeria’s Taekwondo team on training tour of Korea

I • Kalu Uche

N a bid to book a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Nigeria taekwondo team yesterday embarked on a four weeks training tour of South Korea preparatory to the 2012 African Taekwondo Qualification Tournament. The team led by Beijing 2008 bronze medalist, Chika Chukwumerije also has quarterfinalist at the Beijing Olympics, Issa Muhammad Adam and Joy Ekhator, while the physiotherapist is Dayo Olukunle. Addressing Journalists before their departure, the secretary of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Chinedu Ezeala-Ogundare said the team is poised to pick the four slots in Egypt come 2012, adding that the training became necessary to ensure adequate preparation for the qualifiers slated for Cairo from January 11 to 12. “The team should have been four athletes but we are awaiting the final decision of the technical committee to submit the name of the last athlete, which is going to be a female. As the final entry will end tomorrow (today), I believe the name will be made available to me before tomorrow so that we can start planning on how to send the athlete also to join the team in Korea. Also, two coaches have been penciled down to join the team but the final decision on the one we will choose rests with the technical committee as well,” she said. Speaking further: “We were expecting the Korean coach to arrive here last week but we decided to send the athletes to meet him in Korea because we feel the atmosphere at home will not be too conducive for them to train.

By Innocent Amomoh Especially the distraction and this is why we had to send them to Korea, so that they can concentrate and focus during the training. Korea has facilities for the game and we believe this will help the team to be in top shape for the qualifiers.” She expressed confidence in the team, saying, “I believe we can build on our performance in Maputo to clinch the four slots because the athletes are capable and with the training in Korea they well surely do the country proud in Egypt.”

Chukwumerije, Adam and Ekhator won bronze medals in Maputo and the team has been touted to make the country proud in London 2012. Aside the support from the National Sports Commission (NSC) the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation assisted the team in the branding and promotion of the contingent for the tour. For the Egypt qualifiers, each country is expected to present four athletes made up of two males and two females for the qualifiers with finalists in each weight category qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.


Copa Lagos raises the bar


HE Green Eagles, Brazil, England and South Africa build up an amazing showdown to light the way of Beach Soccer development in the continent Besides the matches, the event will feature parties with international and local Djs, fashion shows and many other surprises. The Beach Soccer Clinics to youth, and the Clean the Beach and Skin Cancer Awareness programmes by The Beach Soccer Foundation make the event deserving of the support by the United Nations Lagos (NIGERIA). The world body put out a statement on the event thus: – The fast growing Lagos is ready to harbour one of the most flashing spectacles worldwide. With the Copa Lagos taking place by its shores next December (16th to 18th), the Nigerian capital becomes the globe’s hotspot of the

amusingly dynamic and spectacular Beach Soccer, and welcomes such a top-flight event to happen for the first time in the country. The Eko Atlantic City, in Victoria Island, will witness the full-throttle action of the most spectacular version of “The Beautiful Game”. So to make it happen, four top teams will bring onto the sand all the skill and high pace that comes with Beach Soccer. Together with hosts and African traditional powerhouse Nigeria, the fathers of the sport and four-times FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup winners Brazil will lead a dramatic fight also featuring European icons England and South Africa, another of the most beach-soccer supportive countries in the African panorama. This first Beach Soccer International event ever gets to Nigeria as the sport has already acquired a prominent place in sports global showcase



Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Website:-

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


For the informal sector, all hope of owning a house is not lost. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has launched the ‘FMBN Informal Sector Co-operative Housing Scheme’. The new product is tailored towards integrating the informal sector into the National Housing Fund Scheme. It also promises to give majority of economically disadvantaged Nigerians, who constitute the sector, an opportunity to have decent and affordable housing, writes OKWY IROEGBU

•Goshen Estate, Lekki, Lagos

Want a home? Go co-operative •CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

•Developers lose N10b to demolition, says leader

- PAGE 26

•Ondo denies owing contractor •‘Private sector should be involved in housing’ - PAGE 40

- PAGE 40




Developers lose N10b to demolition, says leader


EMBERS of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) lost N10billion to the demolition on Airport Road, Abuja by the Federal Capital City Development Control Agency (FCCDA). READAN’s President, Chief Chief Olabode Afolayan, said its members lost 172 housing units at N25 million per unit. He, however, said the differences with the FCCDA would soon be resolved. Afolanyan told The Nation that said hope was not lost as REDAN has started the harmonisation of its position with the government. He assured members that no future demolition would be carried out on their sites. The exercise, he said, was informed by allegedly lack of adherence to land use and approval documentation from the relevant approving authority and illegal building on buffer zones. The action, Afolayan said, pitched the agency against REDAN with some members threatening legal action while the body petitioned the National Assembly on the demolition. He said after a closed door meeting, resolutions, which include possibilities of both parties working harmoniously to advance better development within the Federal

By Okwy Iroegbu and Franca Ochigbo

Capital Territory (FCT), were reached and the constitution of a Joint Task Force comprising both parties’representatives would be set up to carryout periodic inspection of on-going estate projects. The REDAN president agreed that some distortions may have been accommodated by his members, adding: “We have agreed to work together to correct a lot of mistakes. And when we say correction, it might require stopping of building project or even minimal demolition if the building does not meet the land use in the new design that is being prepared to harmonise the affected Lugbe districts. “We have agreed to work with the Urban and Regional Planning Department of the FCTA, which is redesigning the layout to jointly appraise the entire thing and we are doing that with all urgency it requires. The problem as identified is a lot on the part of the developers and some on the part of government, he confessed. Responding, FCTA Director of Development Control, Mr Yahaya Yusuf, expressed readiness of the agency to work with REDAN in ensuring sanity in the FCT. With specific reference to

•Luxury flats at Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos

Lugbe. He urged developers, especially those trying to put up new estates, to wait for the new layout being prepared by the Urban Regional Planning Department (URPD) before commencing even fencing work. He assured that many of the upcoming properties have been captured in the new design. “When we are talking about

Lugbe, you have to separate the developed part of Lugbe from the newer areas where properties are also trying to come up and we have said because of the on-going redesign by the Urban and Regional Planning department to integrate Lugbe into the city. There might be need for people to wait as the design will likely be ready in two months.”

He said the agency is not unmindful of the fact that developers may be unduly pressured for time due to the gestation period of the loans they took for the housing development. He welcomed the dialogue between the two parties, noting that a lot more would be achieved in real estate development in the FCT.

Want a home? Go co-operative •Continued from Page 25


T is one sector dear to the government’s heart. So, it has continually been evolving policies aimed at integrating the informal sector into the mainstream of the economy to enhance their contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Statistics show that the sector constitutes 85 per cent of the country’s 50 million work force with a total GDP contribution as high 60 per cent. At the launch of ‘FMBN informal sector co-operative housing scheme’ in Lagos, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Gimba Ya’ukumo, said the sector comprises low-income earners who are struggling to earn their daily living. They include artisans, road side mechanics, market traders and farmers. He said: “Basically, these are individuals who do not wear suits, ties or polished shoes, but, nonetheless, contribute immensely to the national economy.” He said the product will operate under the National Housing Fund Scheme. On qualification to access the fund, Ya’ukumo said membership of a cooperative society that is duly accredited by FMBN and contributions to the NHF Scheme will qualify individuals to purchase highly subsidised houses through affordable mortgages loans that are conveniently repayable from the proceeds of their daily livelihood. In a paper, The coop loan scheme, Executive Director, Loans Productions/Securities Issuance and Market Development, FMBN, Mr Bola Ogunsola, said the institution has been operating the National Housing Fund Scheme, a pool of funds secured from 2.5 per cent of the basic salary of Nigerian workers earning the minimum wage, who are 18 years and above. He said though the fund has recorded some success, it has, unfor-

tunately, not catered for the informal sector operators in loan approvals and disbursement. The reason, he said, is informal sector operators cannot meet the conditions, which include steady, guaranteed and relatively high incomes. Ogunsola said though the informal sector operates in an unregulated and competitive market, the features have combined to make them pose a high credit risk for the finance industry, hence their relegation to the bottom of the table in the mortgage stakes. However, co-operative societies on the other hand, according to him, have been able to mobilise savings frommembers and embark on projects for their mutual benefit. The idea for the launch, he said, is to exploit the synergy between the informal sector workers and cooperative societies to provide affordable housing for the common man. On the features of co-operative loan, Ogunshola said: “An individual co-operator shall enjoy the housing loan at six per cent interest rate per annum repayable over a maximum period of 25 years; cooperators shall make a down payment of 15 per cent of the approved selling price/value of improvement as their personal stake in the loan. Others are the evidence of monthly contribution in excess of N450 shall be accounted for in favour of the member as part of his personal stake contribution at the time of loan application. On the benefits of the Co-operative National Housing Fund, the FMBN Executive Director said members would have access to the

National Housing Fund as applicable to contributors in the formal sector. All members will have an ecollection card (similar to an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card to view and access the record of their monthly contributions. Furthermore, he said in the event that a member does not take the loan facility by age 60, all contributions to the scheme shall be paid to the existing contributor plus two per cent interest per annum on all contributions made in addition to the accessing of loan after six months on monthly contribution and evidence of 15 per cent personal stake. He also revealed that a participant in the Co-op Loan Scheme is entitled to certain concessions, which are not available under the existing loan windows. The concessions, according to him, are a fixed minimum monthly contribution of N450 per contributor with monthly remittance by members in excess if N450 monthly contribution to the scheme accounted for as part of the 15 per cent personal stake to buy or renovate a house at the time is taken. While security for the Co-op loan is the title of the estate land, the bank finances 90 per cent of the infrastructure component of the loan instead of the 70 per cent being financed under the existing loan window. In his submission, Managing Director of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Mr Trevor Gemade, underscored the place of co-operatives in housing delivery models to a more people. He said the model

serves as a hedge against abandoned properties as it is a pool of fund from people with same objective. However, he said it comes with its own challenge, especially for the informal sector who, though with huge housing need, have no sustainable income. He said: “Co-operatives remain a good break-through in affordable housing derivables, the formal sector has identifiable regular income, but the informal sector though in need of accommodation needs is devoid of sustainable income.” President, Association of Co-operatives in Lagos State, Alhaji Olarenwaju Oki, called for appropriate legislation and an enabling environment to see to the implementation and sustainability of the new housing product. He called on the government to work on ensuring speedy allocation of land titles and the provision of infrastructure to enable his over 12,000 members to own their homes in places of their choice. A representative of National Building Research Institute (NIBRI), Mr Hafizu Wale, revealed that the institute has developed technologies that are capable of reducing housing construction cost by 25 per cent and tasked the co-operatives to take advantage of it to deliver cheaper houses for their members. He said: “We have developed technologies that are 25 per cent cheaper than conventional houses where we proved that a three–bedroom house can be built with N3millon. The technology we have is resource based; it is available where you are.

‘We have developed technologies that are 25 per cent cheaper than conventional houses where we proved that a three–bedroom house can be built with N3millon. The technology we have is resource based; it is available where you are. We are in the forefront of promoting the kernel of social housing, which is money, technology and organisation’

We are in the forefront of promoting the kernel of social housing, which is money, technology and organisation.” For Brig.-Gen Tunde Reis, who spoke on the occasion on the State of the informal sector housing in Nigeria, the informal sector accounts for 80 per cent of the co-operatives. He observed that housing is key to the transformation of the economy and the core of national development as no nation’s measures its development from information technology and oil reserve. Reis regretted that housing accounts for abysmal 0.8 per cent of the nation’s GDP and called for standard designs for co-operatives to save cost. He also called for the pre-qualification of development agents to guide the process to give the people their desired quality. Stressing the need to bridge the affordability gap, he called on the government to deploy the National Housing Fund (NHF), deposit as seed capital to attract investors into the housing sector, noting that the trillions of naira said to have been warehoused by FMBN to bridge the 16 million housing stock, will pale to insignificance in tackling the housing challenge if investors are not attracted into the sector. Earlier, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, called on state governments to key into the Federal Government programmes on housing by making land free and providing needed infrastructure for developers. The member recalled how she intervened when the Rivers State government insisted that FHA must pay N600million for a land allocated to it for 16 years. She said the intervention led to the state government consenting to making it her equity contribution to the planned Federal Government’s housing programme in the state. Pepple said the government is tinkering with various housing models and technologies and is working on adopting the one best suited for the country.




The failed bid to try former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has raised questions over the propriety of the provision barring serving governors to operate foreign accounts. If a governor has children abroad, how would he take care of their upkeep if he does not maintain a foreign account? ERIC IKHILAE and JOSEPH JIBUEZE sought the views of lawyers.

Has this law become outdated •Lawyers disagree over ban on operation of foreign accounts by public officers


NTIL the Tinubu case, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) was virtually in slumber. Nothing seemed to be going on there until the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the investigative arm of the tribunal filed charges against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The offence: operating foreign accounts while in office. Established under the Third Schedule of the Constitution, the CCB is to ensure compliance with and enforcement of the Code of Conduct for public officers as enshrined in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. CCT, established under Paragraph 15(1) of part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution, is empowered to try offences committed under the Code of Conduct. The CCT operations are guided by the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Chapter 56, Laws of the Federation (LFN) 1990. The powers of CCB include to: •receive declarations by public officers

made under paragraph 12 of Part I of the Fifth Schedule to this Constitution; • examine the declarations in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct or any law; • retain custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe; • ensure compliance with and, where appropriate, enforce the provisions of the Code of Conduct of any law relating thereto; • receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law in relation thereto, investigate the complaint and, where appropriate, refer such matters to the Code of Conduct Tribunal; • appoint, promote, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over the staff of the Codes of Conduct Bureau in accordance with the provisions of an Act of the National Assembly enacted in that behalf; and • carry out such other functions as may be


conferred upon it by the National Assembly. The 1999 Constitution further provided for a comprehensive Code of Conduct for Public Officers to be administered and enforced by the Bureau. It particularly states: “The President, Vice President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Ministers of the Government of the Federation and Commissioners of the Government of the States, Members of the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly of the States and such other public officers or persons, as the National Assembly may by law prescribe, shall not maintain or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria.” As noble as the intention of establishing these bodies may be, they have, over the years, been subjected to abuse and manipulation, with government functionaries deliberately hampering their operations. Instances abound in the past where senior public officers openly flouted the provisions of the code which they swore to uphold.

While the code prohibits the President, Vice-President and some other categories of public officers from receiving gifts and donations from individuals or corporations executing government contracts, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar were known to have received received donations during their campaign for second term. These donations violated Paragraph 7(b) of the code. Some years ago, the CCB claimed that more than six months after they assumed office, 29 Senators and 48 members of the House of Representatives had not declared their assets. Their action negates Section 52 of the Constitution that requires every Senator Representative to declare his assets before taking his seat. In February 2003, former President Obasanjo allegedly received over N2 billion in cash and other material donations (including an aircraft) from individuals and corporations that had business dealings with •See page 29

•ECOWAS Court to hear individuals’ cases - P.30 • Govt set to review anti-corruption laws - P.31




Amendment is invalid where initial notice of appeal is held as incompetent IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (Lagos Judicial Division) On Friday, July 15, 2011 Suit No: CA/L/490/2006 BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS KUMAI BAYANGAKAAHS ....... Justice, Court of Appeal IA’AFARU MIKAILU ....... Justice, Court of Appeal ISAIAH OLUFEMI AKEJU ....... Justice, Court of Appeal BETWEEN NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATIO




•Continued from last three weeks


WOULD just in passing wish to state that the said document was purported to have originated from Corporate Affairs Commission. By its very nature, it is expected to be a public document within section 109 of the Evidence Act and being a photocopy as depicted by paragraph 3 of the said further affidavit, exhibiting same, it is a secondary evidence and which ought to have been certified as provided under section 97(2)(C) of the same Act. Be that as it may it is sufficient to state that there is no iota of evidence in the matter at hand as sought by the learned senior counsel for the appellant that the signatory to the notice of appeal comes within the provisions of the case of Ogundele V Agiri, which is not an exception to the case of Okafor v. Nweke. In the same vein and with the case at hand having been inflicted with similar virus as it was in Okafor v. Nweke, it is not to be treated differently. In other words, both the original notice of appeal filed May 4, 2006 as well as the amended notice of appeal predicated thereon are both incompetent. The processes which brought the appeal, that is to say the Notice of Appeal and also the subsequent amended Notice of Appeal are incompetent. Consequently the purported appeal itself is also incompetent. Where the originating process, to wit the Notice of Appeal is null and void for want of competence, no valid appeal can hang thereon. I had earlier made reference to the principle enunciated in the case of Macfoy v. A.C. Ltd. (1962) AC 150 at 160 wherein putting something on nothing would result in total collapse. In other words and in the result of the to-

tality of the submission by the learned Senior Counsel Mr. Sowemimo, the purported notice of Appeal signed by Messrs SEYI SOWEMIMO & Co is fundamentally defective. The consequential effect is that there is no appeal in the matter at hand with same being incompetent and accordingly struck out. With costs following events, I award the sum of N50, 000 to the respondents against

the appellants. The purported notices of appeal filed May 4, 2006 as well as the amended notice filed March 18, 2008 are therefore both struck out with N150, 000.00 costs. ADZIRA GANA MSHELIA, J.C.A.: I have read in draft the judgment just delivered by my learned brother Ogunbiyi, J.C.A. I agree that the appeal is incompetent and should be struck out. The jurisdiction of this court can not only be activated by a competent originating process and a notice of appeal signed by the appellant in person nor a legal practitioner on his behalf cannot constitute such competent notice of appeal. This defect cannot be cured by any subsequent amendment to the so called notice of appeal. The only option open to the appellant is to recommence the process of appeal. I also strike out this appeal for incompetence and abide by the order made as to costs in the lead judgment. JOHN INYANG OKORO, J.C.A.: I read in advance the illuminating judgment of my learned brother, Ogunbiyi, JCA just delivered and I agree that both the Notices of appeal filed on May 4, 2005 and March 18, 2008 be struck out. The Apex Court, having given a clear and unambiguous interpretation of section 2(1) and 24 of the Legal practitioners Act in the recent case of Okafor v Nweke (2007) 10 NWLR (pt 104) 521, also cited in the lead judgment, there is no doubt again as to who is a Legal Practitioner and who is not. Thus, a Legal practitioner is no other than a person entitled in accordance with Section 2(1) of

the Legal Practitioners Act, to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor, either generally or for the purposes of any particular office proceedings, and whose name is on the roll of Legal practitioners. As far as I can remember, only natural persons have to date been enrolled to practice law in Nigeria. No artificial person has yet qualified as a legal practitioner in this country and as such, no such name appears on the roll of Legal Practitioners. Thus, the Notice of Appeal filed on May 4, 2006, signed by “Messrs Seyi Sowemimo & co” purported to be signed by a Legal Practitioner is incurably defective. An amended version of the said Notice of appeal filed on March 18, 2008 is also infected by an incurable virus as you cannot amend an incompetent process. Accordingly, both the original Notice of appeal filed on 4/5/05 and the amended version filed on 18/3/08 are hereby declared incompetent and are hereby struck out. The appeal predicated on the said incompetent Notice has inevitably crashed. It is also struck out. I agree that the Respondents are entitled to costs which I also assess at N50, 000. Appearances Mr Oluseyi Sowemimo (SAN) with Miss Aishatu Idrisu and Miss Olatoro Adegun For the Appelants Mr Babatunde Koku (SAN) with Miss Tomilola Taiwo For the Respondents •Concluded

•From left: Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN); Prof John Godwin Hopwood and his wife, Guilian, Babajide Ogundipe and Sola-Ephraim Oluwanuga, at the Gala Nite and induction of new members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria at City Hall, Lagos.

Businessman sues WAEC for alleged trespass


BUSINESSMAN, Kayode Euzebio, has sued the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and three others at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, over a parcel of land on Plot 6, Southern Industrial Estate, Agidingbi, Ikeja. He is seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from trespassing on the land. He is, besides, urging the court to declare that he is entitled to the statutory right of occupancy over it. The claimant urged the court to stop the Lagos State government from either granting statutorily consent under the Land Use Act to WAEC (International) or Maxi Market for the purported alienation of his four plots of land. He asked the court to hold that he did not appoint either directly or an agent to sell the said land to WAEC International, hence there was no sale or transfer of possession of the disputed land to the second defendant. Joined as defendants in the suit are Maxi Market Limited, the Lagos Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and the state’s Registrar of Titles, Lagos. At the last hearing, counsel to the claimant, Mr Babtunde Oshilaja, urged the court to invoke its disciplinary jurisdiction and re-

By Joseph Jibueze

strain the defendants from taking any action on the disputed land pending hearing and final determination of the suit. Counsel to the first and second defendants, Taiwo Ajala, told the court that his client had been on the land for many years before the suit was instituted, adding that there was no need for the court to invoke any disciplinary action. Ruling, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo urged the parties to ensure that all necessary processes are filed. She adjourned the suit till January 16, 2012 for hearing of all pending applications. The claimant added that in 2005, after the death of Chief Omoniran and the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy dated April 22, 2004 by the governor of Lagos State to Max Market Limited, the company reconfirmed his equitable interest by executing Deed of Assignment to be submitted to the governor for statutory consent. He stated that by a letter dated November 20, 2006, his former lawyer Adegoke Folorunso Esq., wrote a letter to the Managing Director of Max Market, stating that after a joint sale by the claimant and the Com-

pany, payment in respect of his four plots of land should be made in his name and paid directly to him by the buyer of the entire six acres of land. The claimant added that there was no negotiation, agreement, sale, alienation or assignment in writing by him on his four plots of land to WAEC (International) nor did he appoint any person whatsoever in any capacity to carry out negotiation, agreement, sale alienation or assignment of the four plot of land on his behalf with the WAEC. The claimant added that the first and second defendants without his consent and against his interest wrongfully, illegally and unlawfully entered, occupied and have commenced preparation for buildings and construction works on the disputed land. The claimant stated that unless restrained by court order, the defendants would continue to violate his right/interest in the four plots of land adding that he had suffered deprivation and will continue to suffer irreparable damages which are not monetary in nature. But, the first and second defendants in their counter affidavit dated November 2, 2011 stated that the land in dispute had been subject matter in suit ID/171/2006 and that judg-

ment was entered on February 2009 pursuant to the terms of settlement dated November 27, 2008 between the claimant and Maxi Market Limited. The defendants maintained that prior to the execution of the said terms of settlement, the claimant and the first defendant allegedly agreed that the interest of the claimant be reduced to monetary value and that the claimant be paid for the value of the said land. They stated that contrary to the position of the claimant, by the tenor of the judgment of February 4, 2009, the interest of the claimant in the land (if any) had been reduced to proceeds of sale and that the claimant was no longer in a position to lay claim to the said 4 plots of land or any portion of the said land. Specifically, the first defendant added that it appointed its agent, Dr. Olulana to negotiate with the claimant on the value of said land and after serious negotiation the parties allegedly agreed to the conclusive payment of the sum of N25 million which was paid to the claimant as the final settlement of his claim of land. They contended that the filing of the suit by the claimant after he had collected N25 million was an afterthought hence not appropriate.




Has this law become outdated •Continued from page 27

the government, in contravention of paragraph 6(2) of the Code of Conduct contained in Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution. Also contravened was Section 221 of the Constitution, which provides: “No association, other than a political party, shall canvass for votes for any candidate at any election or contribute to the funds of any political party or to the election expenses of any candidate at an election.” Some of the donations further violated Section 38(2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990, which prohibits a registered company from directly or indirectly making a donation or gift of property or funds to a political party or for any political purpose. All these were infractions of the code to which the CCB allegedly turned a blind eye, fueling comments that it and CCT were, like other anti-corruption agencies, meant as instruments to persecute perceived enemies of the government. When Tinubu’s trial began, speculations were rife that the government was witchhunting him because he is perceived as the leading opposition figure. Many analysts wondered why Tinubu was being prosecuted several years after leaving office for an offence that cannot stand the test of time. Moreover, the tribunal has no record of major convictions in cases relating to breaches of the code. In May last year, following a nolle prosequi (notice of discontinuance) filed by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the CCT discontinued the case against former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. The CCB had charged Ribadu with alleged failure to declare his assets before assuming office. The case brought against the former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye also did not yield conviction. Dariye was in 2004 arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London for money laundering. A charge was filed against him in Nigeria before the CCT, alleging that he had concealed a foreign account. An Abuja Federal High Court later declared the trial unconstitutional for violating the Immunity Clause. Last November 30, the tribunal dismissed the case against Tinubu. Lawyers were divided on the legality or otherwise of governors maintaining foreign accounts. While some said the provisions criminalising it should be scrapped, others say the problem lies in its strict enforcement. Asked if the law should be scrapped, Dr Joseph Nwobike (SAN) said: “Yes. They should be scrapped. The provisions are now antiquated and anachronistic. How do you criminalise the maintenance of foreign accounts simpliciter? “Whatever objectives those provisions were intended to achieve cannot be seen, felt and imagined today.” A Lagos lawyer, Mr Jonathan Iyieke, said: “The law as provided in our Constitution is clear and in my opinion it should be applicable in a situation where there is clear offence by offenders. “But we much encourage our lawyers acting for the state to present their cases in accordance with the provisions of the law. It appears the provisions are sometimes not complied with in order to create a loophole where offenders can be freed. “However, it does not call for scrapping of the law. A provision creating appeal may be needful.” A constitutional lawyer, Mr Theophilus Akanwa said it is unfortunate that the CCB

•CCB Chairman, Sam Saba

• CCT Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar

•Attorney-General of the Mohammed Adoke (SAN)




has not been able to convict any public figure on grounds of having a foreign account despite the huge sums of money spent in running the bureau. “I am of the view that the body should be scrapped or overhauled for effective service delivery. If the law forbids governors from maintaining foreign accounts, then it is possible that its framers did not foresee the possibility of children/relatives of governors schooling abroad or owning business there. “If an average citizen can maintain a foreign account and own businesses anywhere in the world, I don’t seen anything wrong in a governor maintaining one. What happens to his foreign investments before he became a governor? However, I think the provision needs to be taken a second look at and, pos-

sibly, amended,” Akanwa said. Mr. Yakubu Danjuma said he had always been bothered as to how the government could ensure strict adherence to such provision in the nation’s law book. “I have always believed it is impossible for us to achieve what the makers of the law intended in today’s world. The world is now a global village and businesses and people in deferent parts of the globe interact and transact businesses. “Equally, the growth in technological advancement has made it difficult for us to achieve the goal intended by those who made the law. I do not see the need to retain such laws that are not enforceable in today’s world,” he said. Mr. Nwokedi Samuel said the political

‘The President, Vice-President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Ministers of the Government of the Federation and Commissioners of the Government of the States, Members of the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly of the States and such other public officers or persons, as the National Assembly may by law prescribe, shall not maintain or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria’


space has been so polluted that it has become difficult for the current crop of leaders to seek to maintain discipline by insisting that all public officers must abide buy the Code of Conduct for public officers. “All these politicians have dubious characters. By the provision of the Constitution, the President appoints the head of the CCB and other key officers of the agency. “Although such officers are expected by virtue of the provision of the Third Schedule of the Constitution entitled to security of tenure, they are still under the control of the politicians who can easily direct that such bodies act otherwise. “More still need to be done. The political pace should first be cleansed before we can insist on strict adherence to whatever constitutes Code of Conduct for public officers,” he said. Mr. Olaoluwa Olugbede said there is need for the country to still retain such provisions because they serve as checks on the excesses of public officers. “Much as I agree that the CCB has not been able to record major convictions on this ground. That did not take away from the relevance of the law. Such provisions are still relevant. “They strike fears in the minds of these people in public offices who can hardly differentiate between state’s property and their personal ones. “We only need to strengthen the various institutions and enhance their capacity to function well. Whether we like it or not, we need such provisions to guide our conducts in office,” he said.




with gabriel AMALU

Jonathan and his presidential shoes

From left: Justice Ramos, Justice Akande and Justice Donli during the visit.

ECOWAS Court to hear individual human rights cases directly

OR a person who grew up not having shoes to wear, President Goodluck Jonathan surely needs tutorials to wear presidential shoes. That famous line during the presidential campaign that Mr President had no shoes growing up surely resonates beyond a mere foot wear. Probably, the President was talking of his simplicity and inexperience as to the enormous responsibility fate then trusted his way. A shoe was probably a metaphor. This is likely to be true for, HE Community Court of the case and the orders being indeed, the presidential shoes seem too large for Dr. Jonathan’s learnBy Joseph Jibueze Justice of the Economic sought by the plaintiff. ing gaits. Communities of West Afri- forcement as part of its advisory jurisJustice Donli said judges’ vaAll over, there is a constellation of emergencies and Mr. President is diction. cancies are allocated to membercan State (CCJ-ECOWAS) has said yet unable to fit into any of the sizes. The stakes are, indeed, high. CCJ-ECOWAS has heard 114 cases. It states on rotation basis. States Under his watch the ancient spirits troubling the Federal Republic of citizens of member-states whose rights have been violated by their has 45 pending, and has delivered 14 are expected to advertise the Nigeria are gathered like ravenous vultures and Mr President’s vision governments can personally bring judgments and 39 very important rul- position so that qualified per- is getting blurred. At times like this, a man should become introspecings since it was established 10 years sons can apply. Minimum re- tive and consult his chi (personal god) for answers. His Excellency has action free. This followed the enactment of the ago, said its Chief Registrar, Mr Tony quirement is 20 years in active asked Nigerians to be patient so he can gather his transformative vilegal practice. Supplementary Protocol (A/SP.1/ Anene-Maidoh. sion, but first he has to exhibit ruggedness in his visioning. The court is composed of seven indeThe court has no divisions, 01/05), an amendment of the old One big shoe is the political economy. Mr President must wake up to pendent judges who are expected to be but can move from its 10 Dar Es the reality that in Nigeria, economy and politics are like siamese twins. protocol (A/P1/7/91). The old protocol provided that persons of high moral character, ap- Salaam Crescent, off Aminu Indeed even in advanced economies, their interdependence is there only countries could represent their pointed by the authority of Heads of Kano Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja and that is why I wish our school’s curricula from post primary level State and government from nationals office to hear cases somewhere should have political economy as a course. On the world scene, the citizens in the court. The court’s Vice-President, Justice of member-states for a four-year non- else close to a litigant who has WTO, UNCTAD, IMF, World Bank, Regionalised economies and the lack of means to travel. The rest are political instruments designed by Western powers to further Benfeito Ramos, said its decisions renewable tenure. Its mandate is to ensure the obser- court has no criminal jurisdic- their economic interests, which in turn also advances their political are not subject to appeal, except in the cases of application for revi- vance of law and of the principles of tion. interests. A web of political economy, you may call it. equity and human rights within Lawyers appearing in the sion. It should have been the same here, if our politicians understand the He spoke when he led other of- ECOWAS community. It is the princi- court wear their country’s dress symbiotic nature of the twosome, and mitigate their serial abuses. code of practice. ficers of the court on a sensitisation pal legal organ of the community. Take Mr. President and other political leaders on the so called fuel Among others, the court has jurisdic“We want people to know subsidy. The swan song is that unless the fuel subsidy is removed the visit to the Chief Judge of Lagos, tion to entertain cases of violation of that there is a court for citizens economy will be finished, and that the removal will benefit mostly the State, Justice Inumidun Akande Dean of the court, Justice Hansine human rights in the member-states, where they can access if their interest of the common man. Assuming Mr. President is right; has he rights are violated. We cover played the right politics? What sacrifices has he and the political leadDonli said litigants no longer need and to act as arbitrator. Access to the court is open to all other areas of damages,” Donli ership he represents offered in the bargain – nothing; not even to exhaust local remedies before approaching the court, but can go member states, council of ministers said. tokenistic deprivation.They are rather aloof feasting, and patronisingly Justice Akande urged the court pretending that it is all for the ordinary folks. directly at any time to seek an en- and the commission for actions brought for failure by member-states to engage in more public enforcement of their rights. The President must learn to balance his gaits by putting more weight “If a citizen is aggrieved against to fulfill their obligations, and for the lightenment and makes its law on the economy side of the political economy. He must realise that it is his country, how will the country determination of the legality of an ac- reports available to courts. akin to executive almajirism for the political leadership to be exerting She added: “I believe the court so much energy on sharing of resources instead of creating more wealth represent him? So, we had to tion in relation to any community text. It is also open to ECOWAS instituwould, one way or the other, as the solution to our economic crisis. Why would the President not amend the Protocol in 2009. “Before then, a case came before tions, individuals and corporate bod- strengthen the unity among stretch his executive powers to encourage states to create more wealth, us by a Nigerian against Nigeria. ies for any act of rights violations; na- ECOWAS states.” as we await a restructured federation? Why should the Tinapa project Justice Akande apologised for in Cross River State for instance be strangulating under bureaucracy We held that we could not proceed tional courts or parties to a case when they request that the ECOWAS court the absence of other judges durwith the case. We struck it out bewhile Nigerians troop to Dubai? I am convinced that Mr. President can cause he did not have access to our interprets, on preliminary grounds, the ing the visit saying they were use the executive fiat he is threatening to use to force fuel subsidy meaning of any legal instrument of the all trying to meet the targets set through, to allow states explore their idling economic potentials; just court. In time, we saw the lacuna for them by the National Judi- like the plan, I hope it is so, to allow states to generate electricity and “The country cannot be the defen- community. Cases are filed before the court cial Council (NJC). dant and also represent the plainuse it. through written applications ad“The fear of NJC is the begintiff,” Donli said. Another big shoe is national security. Apart from visiting scenes of dressed to the registry indicating ning of wisdom because of the bombings, and allegedly approving contracts to buy smart cameras, According to her, the court’s decisions are enforced through the applicant’s name, the party against returns of cases they have to Mr President has not inspired confidence in dealing with this nightoffice of the Attorney-General of whom the proceedings are being insti- make. Judges too are queried, mare. In his rhetoric and exercise of his executive powers he needs to the Federation, and it monitors en- tuted, a brief statement of the facts of so, we’re very, very careful, ” inspire confidence. Mr President could copy America and create a new he further said. Ministry for Homeland Security or in the least turn around the ministry of defence and put in an expert as Minister to co-ordinate national security. He could insist that Nigerians are briefed every week on credible and verifiable efforts his administration is making to tackle the scary bombings and other security challenges. As he grapples with national security and corruption he must make Nigerians realise that when in the past we played politics (that word again) with our national census and other attempts at creating a national identity data base, we were creating the enabling environment for a criminalised environment without any record of the criminal elements. He must urgently reinvent the police authority, as the current one with no capacity to gather or use biometrics data is of no use in fighting sophisticated criminals, not to talk of terrorism. Our President must also purge himself of the unfounded prognosis that while we wish to be among the 20 biggest economies in 2020, we are too backward to have state police; with a corrupt and archaic federal force as his alternative. The one oversized shoe Mr President must work hard to put out of use is politics of Religion. Each time I see our President hedged between His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Christian Association of Nigeria’s leader, I have the sneaky feeling that the President is like a polygamist who in addition to his acquisition inherited two older senior wives from his father. While he can learn to handle his wives, he is ever faltering as he defers to his beloved, but always quarrelling inheritance. My prayer is that His Excellency would be able to convince his aged inheritance to allow the more vibrant and productive wives to be the face of the family. Remembering that a fight will cause their wrappers to go off and their nakedness could spin Armageddon. Dear reader, this is to wish you and everyone out there a merry •Unity Bar: From left: National Pu Emeka Obegolu, his wife Adobi; Okey Wali (SAN), Chairman, NBA Abuja; Afam Christmas and happy New Year in advance, as we hope to rest this Osigwe, Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike; Chairman ABUCIMA, Otunba Dele Oye; Legal Adviser, column until the second week in January 2012. I also wish His Excellency, Mr President excellent abilities in the New Year. Victor Nwugo and former Gen Secretary, NBA, Ibrahim M.






Adoke promises review of anti-corruption laws T

HE Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has said his ministry will soon effect a comprehensive review of all anti-corruption laws in the country. This, he said, was intended to achieve enhanced effectiveness in their application, allow improved coordination among existing anti-corruption agencies and ensure they operate in line with international best practices. He spoke at an event organised by the Inter Agency Task Team as part of activities marking this year’s Anti-corruption Day at the Shehu Yar ‘Adua Centre, Abuja. A statement by Wilson Uwujaren of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stated that Adoke expressed delight over the theme of this year’s celebrations “Act against Corruption Today,”- saying it is apt, as it urges people to go beyond the talk and move to action. He also called on governments, anti corruption agencies, civil society organisations and religious leaders to take concerted action against corruption. EFCC’s Acting Executive Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde said there would be no more sacred cows in the fight against economic crimes and corruption. “The Commission shall brook no more compromises no matter how veiled. Nigerians must develop the culture of allowing the process of law to take its course. The cancerous effect of corruption has neither ethnic, religion nor cultural affiliation. “Those whose other profession is to plead

•Adoke (SAN) and Lamorde... at the event By Eric Ikhilae

the cause of suspects other than in the courts must come to the full realization that such opportunities are not available.” He said the EFCC under his watch, will be “vigorous and uncompromising” in the en-

forcement of existing laws within its jurisdiction. Lamorde also stressed the need to beam more searchlight on the private sector since, according to him, “grand corruption cases particularly those involving Politically Ex-

posed Persons (PEPs) has strong private sector connection and support. The Inter Agency Task Team, which comprises of 21 government agencies, is the coordinating platform of various government agencies with anti corruption and accountability mandates in Nigeria.

PAC chieftain alleges plot to arrest him over suit Govt: he’s an alarmist against Akpabio


ROGRESSIVE Action Congress (PAC) governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State in the April election, Mr Steve Ibanga, has alleged that the state government is plotting to arrest and detain him over his suit challenging Governor Godswill Akpabio’s election. He said the government is against him because he is in court over the unlawful exclusion of his party’s logo on the ballot papers in the election. According to him, after several unsuccessful attempts have been made to settle the case out of court, an attempt is now being made to paint him black.

Ibanga said a publication that he was involved in a multi-million naira alleged fraud in a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) project for which he could be arrested was false. He said he has rather petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the state MDGs project for which the state government released N1.6billion. According to him, neither he nor his company applied for any contract in such project, adding that the alleged plot to arrest him is connected with the petition he sent to EFCC. Ibanga, in a statement, said the cause of law

should be allowed to run its full cause, adding that his supporters should be confident that he has the facts to prove his innocence. But the Akwa State government denied any plot to arrest Ibanga. Commissioner for Information, Mr Aniekan Umana, said Ibanga was an alarmist. “There is no plot to arrest anyone, but if he has a case to answer, that is a matter for due process. The state government has nothing to do with anybody personally. “Even if he went to tribunal, what was the outcome? He was not even a contender in the election, so he’s not an issue at all. He is just an alarmist. “But if he has questions to answer on any issue relating to a transaction with the state government, then he should not be worried.


He should be bold enough to provide answers if he is asked. But he is just creating unnecessary alarm.”

Stakeholders appraise Lagos new criminal law


TAKEHOLDERS in the Lagos State judiciary have appraised the new criminal law to make its enforcement effec-

tive. At an event held in Alausa, judges of the state High Court, Magistrates, Nigerian Bar Association officials, public prosecutors, officers of the Nigerian Police Force and other stakeholders discussed and exchange ideas on how to make it work. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said it was expedient to hold the forum as it would help ensure better understanding of the law for effective implementation. He noted that the new criminal law is to promote an orderly society, and to foster collective obligation and duty towards the preservation and protection of lives and property. Ipaye explained that Lagos State, being a mega city, is widely exposed to criminal activities. Therefore, there is need for the government to put in place laws which will enhance protection of lives and property. He stated that the law seeks to deal with conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflict or threatens substantial harm to individuals or public interests among other purposes. He, therefore, called on all Lagosians to join hands with the government to put an end to criminal activities in the state. Ipaye explained that the government has not only shown leadership in passing the law but in the review of its content that would help with better interpretation and implementation. “This is a new law and whenever we have a new law, all the stakeholders need to come together to discuss it. The people involved in the administration of that law need to come

By Miriam Ndikanwu

together, look at the new provision, consider the implication and project how it will be put into practice.” In his remark, the state Chief Judge, Justice Inumidu Akande, said there was need for criminal law in the country to undergo reform in other to be in tune with the present challenges in the society. Justice Akande, represented by Justice Ayo Philips said: “The challenge of maintaining law and order and punishing acts which offends society’s standards is one that con-

fronted human society from times immemorial. “A modern criminal law must respond to the need of the society by prohibiting conducts which threatens the corporate existence of society. “ The life and property of the individual must also be adequately protected by criminal law. It must also respond adequately to advances in technology which has tremendously exposed human lives and property

to threats and harm hitherto unknown.” She charged participant to use their deliberation to give meaning and content to the state criminal law. “ The task of carefully selecting conducts deserving to be criminalised is one that every legislator has to confront. “The task is, however, continuous and as society evolves, it is expected that the society’s level of tolerance of certain conduct may increase, although this may also operate in the reverse.”

•From left: Representative of Dangote Group, Isa Tata Yusuf; J. A. Agaba and former Minister of External Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) at the public presentation of the book: Practical Approach to Criminal Litigation in Nigeria by Agaba at the REIZ Continental Hotel, Central Business District, Abuja




CJN decorates 54 as NIALS holds second convocation •Don makes case for traditional intellectual rights


T was another feather to the cap of 54 men and women during the second convocation of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS). The occasion took place at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba campus. The graduation combined three academic sessions – 2008 to 2010. Thirty-eight persons were awarded Master of Law in Legislative Drafting, while 16 were awarded Post-graduate Diploma in the same course. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who is the Chairman of the Governing Council of the institute, decorated the graduates. On admission to the degrees, the graduands moved the tassel of their caps from the right to the left. Justice Musdapher urged them to stick to ethics of the legal profession and to be its worthy ambassadors. He would also love to see neater process in law making. According to him, if the President has given his assent to a bill, it should no longer read ‘a bill’ but an Act. He said it should also be clear what the next step is once a bill has been assented. Director-General of NIALS, Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN), said the society expects much from the graduands. “To whom much is given, much is expected. The society expects so much from each and every one of you. Apart from the specialised drafting skills you have acquired, the society expects you to champion the course of legislative advocacy in this country. “The legal profession also expects you to assist in deploying your knowledge in ensuring that bills drafted for lawmaking are such that will make interpretation of the statute a pleasurable experience for the Bench and Bar.” On the eve of the convocation last Wednesday, Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji of the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada, delivered a stimulating convocation lecture. It was entitled: Bio-cultural knowledge and the challenges of intellectual property rights (IPRs) regimes for African development. Mgbeoji bemoaned the fact that bio-cultural knowledge has been banished to the peripheries of neglect and treated as if devoid of value. According to him, bio-cultural knowledge means tradition-based literary, artistic or scientific works, inventions, scientific discoveries, undisclosed information and all other tradition-based innovations and creations on the use or management of biological materials which result from intellectual activity. He said there was a misconception that biocultural knowledge is a mere discovery of ‘natural phenomena’ waiting for the fortunate discoverer. “The fact that bio-cultural knowledge is natural does not necessarily mean that there is an absence of human intellectual input,” Mgbeoji said. He decried what he called biopiracy, the unauthorised commercial use or appropriation of biological resources and/or associated traditional knowledge without compensation or acknowledgement of the source of the knowledge. Mgbeoji said there is a touch of racism to the devaluation of traditional knowledge. “The short answer is that knowledge is a form of intellectual expression within cultural frameworks. “In so far as African cultures were deemed primitive by the colonial order, expressions of intellectual capacities within African cultural frameworks were deemed inherently inferior and unworthy of legal protection by IPRs regimes. “For good measure, Nigerian IPRs regimes, and, indeed, all IPRs systems operating in African states are continuities of the colonial order. “For example, the Nigerian Trademarks and Patents Office was established in 1901 through the Trademarks Ordinance even before the amalgamation of the North and South Protectorates by Lord Lugard in 1914. “There were amendments to the Ordinance in 1910 and 1914, all modelled after the laws and preference of imperial Britain. African engagement with the global IPRs regime was on the basis of colonial fiat,” Mgbeoji said. The traditional herbalist, he said, was dismissed by the ‘white man.’ Institutions of traditional medicine and its “credentialing mecha-

By Joseph Jibueze

nisms” was a primary target of attack, as all forms of medicinal knowledge and practices were treated as ‘primitive and backward.’ He said native healers were cast as illegitimate and branded as devilish despite their deep knowledge of herbs and healing methods. “For centuries therefore, traditional knowledge frameworks and its credentialing mechanisms were denied legitimacy, scholarly recognition and legal protection. “Having displaced African epistemic frameworks, the colonialists presented Western epistemology and cultural expressions as universal and absolute,” Mgbeoji said. He added: “The colonial structure and process of the IPRs process in Nigeria is alive and well.” Mgbeoji said Nigeria’s IPRs laws hardly reflect its industrial needs and cultural attributes, making them tools for ‘colonial capture’ and the reduction of its bio-culture and markets as objects of exploitation. According to him, for nearly 100 years, the branch of law known as intellectual property rights has been treated by Nigerian universities as an after-thought, an appendage to other disciplines of law. The nation’s lawyers and administrators, he said, are not up to speed with the best practices and cutting edge developments in the world of IPRs. “The administration of IPRs in Nigeria is a disgrace. Our courts and judges are no better. No Nigerian case law on IPRs has been important or seminal enough to command the scholarly attention or judicial notice of foreign courts in Africa or elsewhere,” he said. The Nigerian Patent Office, he said, merely engages in the mechanical stamping and sealing of foreign applications without regards to the issue of whether the application for patent is meritorious. According to him, there is the absence of substantive examination in the processes leading to the grant of patents. Besides, he said there is no single patent examiner in Nigeria; no record, and the manner in which intellectual property laws are applied are a disgrace. Mgbeoji said judges need expertise in IPRs; there is need to protect folklore; there should regulation of access to bio-cultural knowledge and to give it legal backing; policies must not be designed ‘to impress Geneva’; while real civil society presence is needed in matters pertaining to IPRs governance. “We need a clear national industrial policy which should give pride of place to our wealth of bio-cultural knowledge,” Mgbeoji said. Former Federal High Court Chief Judge, Justice Roselyn Ukeje, who chaired the event, rose in defence of judges, saying she delivered judgments in intellectual property cases while on the bench. “I’ll send him (Mgbeoji) reports of intellectual property cases I have handled,” she said, adding: “The lecture is pushing me back to books.” The retired judge vowed to draw the Federal High Court’s attention to the need to do more in that area of law. Prof Clement Dakas of NIALS disagreed with Mgbeoji in some aspects. “We must not blame colonialism for all our plights,” he said, adding: “We need a self-audit” regarding unverified claims. Prof Azinge told reporters that IPRs is a relatively virgin area in law and science. “Mgbeoji is developing the area. So, it is a very wonderful achievement for a Nigerian and for a lawyer and we’re very proud of him. “The submissions he made are ones that will continue to raise issues and that scholars will continue to interrogate, and I believe that there will be so many more engagements arising from the discourse. “The lecture coincided with the presentation of our maiden journal of Intellectual Property, which is adjudged to be of world-class standard. We’re also making a move to build a faculty and a reservoir of resource for propagating and promoting Intellectual Property Rights in this country. “We hope that we can draw from where he stopped, and continue the enquiry and make sure that the issues are those that we can address and ensure they come to realisation and implementation by the government or other agencies that are con-

•Justice Beatrice Oke-Lawal of the Lagos State High Court representing the Chief Judge; Prof Azinge and Justice Ukeje (rtd)

•Prof Mgbeoji

•Prof Lanre Fagbohun

•Prof Obiora Okafor, Prof Dakas and former NIALS Librarian Chief Theophilus Dada

•Edosa Jessica Ebuwa, Olasupo Olaibi, Dr Fracisca Nlerum, Emmanuel Anyaegbunam and Dr Adebisi Arewa PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA

cerned. “And if they are things that will require tinkering with the legal framework, we’ll be in a position to advise appropriately and make necessary submissions in that regard so that in the fullness of time, we’ll bring the issue of intellectual property rights at par with what obtains in other parts of the world without necessarily mortgaging the position of Nigeria, which he has clearly articulated.

“Since Mgbeoji is developing this area, he needs all the support of the African people. Let’s put it clearly: Nobody can put us down. We have come a long way as a people, and even if we go down history or memory lane, people will always say acivilisation started in Africa. “How come that suddenly we are no longer given that pride of place or respect that we deserve? So, it is something that all of us should join hands and propagate and promote.”




•From left: Justice Amina Augie (JCA); NBA President, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) and First Vice-President, NBA, Blessing Ukiri

•From right: General Secretary, NBA, Olumuyiwa Akinboro; former 3rd Vice-President NBA, Barth Aniche-Okoye and former General Secretary, NBA, Ibrahim Eddy Mark

•From left: Col. Bello Fadile (Rtd); Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Umar Dahiru and Anthony Muogbo (SAN)

•From left: Yusuf Ali (SAN) and Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN)

•Dr. Ena Okhomu (left) and former Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero.

•From left: Okey Wali (SAN), Iniabasi Udobong and Augustin Aleghe (SAN).

•From right: Dr. Yusuf Dankofa and Muritala Aminu, Galadima of Adamawa.

•Wale Fapohunda (left) and Anozie Obi

•From left: 1st Asst. Secretary NBA, Steve Abba; National Treasurer, NBA, Olufunmilayo Oluyede and Asst. National Publicity Secrectary, Afam Obi

•From left: 2nd Vice President NBA, O.J. Erhabor; 1st Vice President, Akaraiwe Ikeazor; former 1st Vice President, D.D. Azura; 3rd Vice President, NBA, Dr. Ogugua Ikpeze Blessing Ukiri and Barth Aniche-Okoye PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU




•From left: Chief Judge, FCT High Court, Justice Lawal Gumi; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and President of the institute, Dr P. K. Njoku

•Former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) and his wife, Justice Mojisola

•Registrar of the institute, Agada John Elachi (left) and Justice Moses Bello

•From left: Justice O. O. Goodluck; former Deputy Governor, Anambra State, Mrs Stella Odife and Paul Harris Agbole

•Chairman, FIDA Abuja, Mrs Iyabo Ogunseye and Chairman, NBA Abuja, Mazi Afam Osigwe

• Jolies Okolo(left) and Annie Okwuosa

•From left: Umoru Kolade, Sister M. Chukwuka Okpala-Anaechedo (DDL) and Elachi Agada

•From left: Olaniyan Olanipekun, Hilda Anyasi and Ernest Bademus

•A cross section of inductees





•Chairman NBA Okitipupa Amuwa Benson and Tayo Ogungbemi

•From left: Bola Ogunmola Kuewumi and Mr Kayode Ogunmola

•Loumide Kuewumi and his wife Ronke

•Justice Adeniyi Kuewumi and his wife, Abike

•Mr Sakiru Buraimo and his wife Tewo

•Former Governor of Ondo State Olusegun Agagu (right) and his wife Olufunke

•Ibitayo Adegbayemi and Augustus Akeroye

•Mrs Morenike Oyinlola Okele and Olubanji Omosehin Ojih

•Mr Adekunle Kuewumi (right) and his wife Ibiyemi

•Mrs Olanireti Kuewumi (widow) and Dr Oluwole Olakunle




With ekpoita / 08022664898




1.Farm House (4)

1.Magistrate (4)

3. Squalid District (4) 7. Insect (3) 8. Sailor (3) 9. Gave Food (3) 11. Acid Salt (7) 13. Recede (3) 15. Sphere (3) 17. Fuss (4) 18. Intense (4) 19. Discard (4)

2.Decay (3) 4. Allow (3) 5. Horse (4) 6. Shake (7) 9. Enemy (3) 10. Wipe (3) 12. Still Water (4) 14. Blinder (4) 16. Gathering (3) 17. Ruins (3)

SCRAMBLEWORD Unscramble the word below to reveal an 11-letter word that has to do with motivation.

RAINTIOSPIN WORD MATCH Match the words in Box A with those in Box B to form whole words. An example is BASKETBALL

SHOWbitZz THE ROOMMATE This lurid claptrap avoids graphic sex or overly graphic violence, thus holding onto its PG-13 rating (a rating that grows more untrustworthy and meaningless by the week), yet it is emphatically not for middle-schoolers. In fact, “The Roommate” approaches soft-core porn in the way it hyper-sexualizes and dumbs down 18-yearolds. It also links mental illness with sexual identity, which is equally unenlightened. Talented designer-toMinka Kelly be Sara (Minka Kelly of TV’s “Friday Night Lights”) likes her new college roommate Rebecca (Leighton Meester of TV’s “Gossip Girl”) at first. Then Rebecca gradually exhibits jealousy, possessiveness, and a sexual obsession with Sara. She also hits and cuts herself and threatens Sara’s friends. The tabloid-ish tale culminates in strong violence.

JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER Justin Bieber’s fans 8 and older will love this backstage peek at his life. The 3-D “documentary”/ marketing video traces Bieber’s start as a talented toddler, crooning and playing drums on home videos, to his YouTube breakthrough, to the big 2010 North American tour that culminated in a sold-out Madison Square Garden concert. It portrays the Canadian-bred pop idol as a squeaky-clean, super-nice kid who wants desperately to be a star Ludacris without losing what’s left of his childhood. The most interesting section occurs when Bieber gets inflamed vocal cords just before the New York concert, all because he spent too much time yelling with his buds back home in Ontario. Bieber’s mentor, Usher, makes cameo appearances, along with Miley Cyrus, Jaden Smith, Boys II Men, Ludacris and others.

POETRY SIMPLY WEIRD Ecstasy of Living I remember the days when my mind used to be overrun with emotions and thoughts of all things good and the worst; as time went by,



with each new day, and with a brand new life to look forward to,


my mind emptied itself in a flash, just like that; with a cup of coffee in hand, i sit back and think about the yesteryears, smiling at the change that has taken over me and the life that i have been blessed with now; strolling down the memory lane, unafraid of the future, blinded by the ecstasy of living eventually, with eyes wide open, i’ve come to understand, that

One day, a woman asked her son to call her husband to ask him what he wanted her to cook for dinner. After the sixth time the boy complained to his mother that a female voice was what he heard everytime he called and the lady would not let him speak to his dad. By the time the man got home that evening, his wife was fuming seriously. She was so angry that she met him at his car and grabbed his shirt right there in the front yard. “How dare you cheat on me?” she shouted, attracting the neighbors instantly. “How could you? After all we have been through?” The confused man stared at her - he could not fathom why she was so mad at him. The neighbors tried to calm her down but she refused, and when someone asked for evidence, she recounted the phone call episode and called on Junior to repeat everything the lady on the phone said. “The number you are calling is not reachable at the moment. Please try again later,” Junior said.

Words & Origin hullabaloo

some things, including life, change for the better - Praveen

Riddles Awake at Night You can see me awake at night, I am so dark I can be out of sight, Some are scared of me when I come around, I make a little squeaky sound. What am I?

\heh-leh-beh-LU\ (noun) - Ruckus, clamor, fuss, uproar. “There was such a hullabaloo in the department store when they announced women’s bathing suits half off, three people had to be sent to the infirmary.” The word is a reduction of the rhyme reduplication “halloo-baloo,” which comes from an alteration of “hallo,” an ancestor of “hello” and an alteration of obsolete holla “Stop! Wait!” “Holla” may come from Old French “Hola!” based on ho “Hey!” + la “there,” the latter from Latin illac “that way.” Its development was probably influenced by earlier hurly-burly “strife, turmoil,” an ancient reduction of “hurling and burling.”

Pep We are either progressing or retrograding all the while; there is no such thing TalkTalkthis life. - James Freeman Clarke

as remaining stationary in





In recent times, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-controlled Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti and Osun states have remained committed to evolving fresh strategies to create various jobs, thus giving governance its ideal meaning. Assistant Editor DADA ALADELOKUN examines the exemplary trend.

Ideal governance: ACN refreshes Southwest B

EFORE it eventually rescued the Southwest from the claws of illgovernance after a sustained progressive tussle, the ears of even the deaf were alive to the pledge of ideal governance being made then by the change-hungry leadership of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). But not a few cynics laughed it off, replying it: Tell it to the marines! Of course, they could be pardoned. Reason: Already hooked on the erroneously belief that all politicians are the same, it never occurred to them that the in-coming “saviours” were imbued with the sublime ideas needed to do the positively unusual. Therefore, when the ACN standard bearers in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Ekiti vowed to make a lasting difference, especially by dealing with unemployment with an approach never before imagined, their opponents, notably in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), deemed it another empty boast. Today, it is a well-acknowledged reality that the states are succeeding in their unique efforts to tame the monster of joblessness among other programmes that have established an enduring break from the past. Now, job creation is the most popular singsong across the region. Of course, when the Governor Babatunde Fashola-led administration in Lagos flagged off the state’s anti-unemployment drive, not many saw it as a potential failure because he took the baton from ACN national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu whose administration as two-term governor of the state is still being regarded as a template of people-oriented governance. Several thousands of people have secured gainful jobs through the state’s ‘Rice for Job Scheme, the AgricYes Scheme and indeed, the Lagos Ignite Enterprise Programme, which has continued to provide reliable opportunities for employment. The programmes, to Fashola, were aimed at complementing the state government’s direct employment programme. He had explained that the Rice for Job Scheme which started with 165 farmers, aged between 25 and 55, and which has grown the cultivation of rice in Lagos from 10 to 170 hectares of farmlands in 2010 in addition to the creation of a value chain of over 3,000 people already employed under the scheme. According to him, the Agric YES programme targets 1,000 farmers at the pilot stage while the first batch of 100 farmers have completed a six months intensive course which now gives them access to working capital and one hectare of land each to start out as young farmers while others are still in training. “Our Lagos IGNITE programme has employed the first 507 graduates with a possibility of further expansion in other areas,” he said, adding that the state government is also keeping the younger generation in focus. Thus, yearly, it employs no fewer than 5,000 students on vacation jobs for eight weeks during the long holidays. Call it revolution against hunger, you are damn right! It is the same cheery story for Osun State government which, like Lagos, has new teaching jobs for 8,554 personnel into the primary and secondary schools in the state.

• Fashola

• Aregbesola

• Ajimobi

‘Now, as the ACN’s uncommon approach to employment generation and by extension, ideal governance in the South-west states gains ground, other “servants” outside the region may have to draw a cue fro the change apostles to build the much-sought new nation of Nigerians’ collective dream’ • Fayemi

The deputy governor of the state, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori exuded a sense of accomplishment while declaring open a five-day orientation workshop for the newly recruited Osun State Teaching Corps in Osogbo, the state capital. Amid rousing applause, she hinted that 5,400 of the teaching corps were taken from the Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES) volunteers, while the remaining 3,154 were taken from the former Oyin Corps and Parents Teachers Association (PTA). Besides, it was a groundswell of praises when, recently, the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola-led administration employed 20,000 youths. Behaving true to type in the progressive family, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State recently drew a cue from the Osun Example, thus keeping 20,000 youths out of the saturated unemployment market. It was while inaugurating the state’s Youth Empowerment Scheme tagged, YESO. The governor, while speaking during the inauguration at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, lamented the frightening rate of unemployment in the country and urged the beneficiaries to be agents of change. Eminent natives of the state, traditional rulers, top government officials and other stakeholders who witnessed the

• Amosun

event openly acknowledged the fact that better times are here for real. Pointing out that the menace of unemployment critically affects the youth, Ajimobi warned that unemployment poses great danger, not only to the Nigerian nation, but to the peace of this country at large. He therefore admonished: “If we don’t engage the youth, they will engage us.” He spoke further: “For some administrations, gathering a few hundreds of pepper-grinding machines and bicycles to the army of unemployed youths was the appropriate response to this menace. But experiences have shown that these efforts eventually entered into the vortex of hopelessness as they soon became enmeshed in political patronage. “Indeed, such efforts soon became a hub of corruption, leaving the recipients of this governmental intervention worse than they were before.” Ask Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, he would beat his chest to tell you that he has put the state on the highway of progressive governance. And his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, confirmed it to The Nation last Thursday. “We have since left the ‘service lane,’ but we are being tactical in our approach. Of course, we are doing new things in the lives of Ekiti peo-

ple,” he hinted. Confirming that the state was on course with what he called Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), Oyebode disclosed that the state government had give jobs to 5,000 graduates of higher institutions while 2,500 non-graduates were already being trained on various vocations. He said that the government has embarked on entrepreneurship training through which beneficiaries were granted loans through Bank of Industry. “The loans vary, depending on what the beneficiary ventures into. Some embraced feed mill, soap making and block making among others,” he added. Also, Oyebode disclosed that the state had begun the establishment of one Life Academy in each senatorial district: “We have started with three. Technical Colleges are being converted to better life-supporting institutions for more qualitative livelihood. Ultimately, all the districts will benefit from the programme.” Just a few days back, Governor Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun presented employment letters to some hitherto idle hands in the state. Precisely, it was on November 21. And it involved the first batch of successful applicants who got the jobs under the Ogun State Rapid Employ-

ment Scheme. Totaling 3,664, the candidates who passed the interview tests conducted on November 3 and 4 at the June 12 Cultural Centre and Moshood Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, collected their letters excitedly. For Amosun who presided over the ceremony, it was commendation galore. In a statement, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, explained that the beneficiaries included 1,123 skilled workers and 2,532 other cadres, ”Applicants who did not belong to the first batch should await the release of more names while those whose names were short-listed but did not participate in the interview sessions held on November 3 and 4 will be given a second chance in a fresh interview session that will be held very shortly. It is a continual process because the government is committed to fighting unemployment to a standstill,” a government source told The Nation. It added that “The Rapid Employment Programme is in fulfillment of Amosun’s campaign promise that his administration would employ 10,000 people in the first instance. Though under Labour Party, Ondo State government has also tried its hands on attacking joblessness among the people of the state. Upon inauguration, the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko flagged off a N50 million loan scheme tagged Special Market Women Improvement Loan Empowerment Scheme (SMILES). It was distributed to 200 groups of market women. Attracting only nine per cent interest rate, it was without any collateral. It was learnt that 700 women benefited across the three senatorial districts in the first phase of its ‘Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Programme.’ On youth development, the government, in the first phase of its programme, reportedly put 1,000 youths to work aside from direct employment. About N4 billion, it was learnt, was also targeted to directly finance the micro-credit poverty-attack programme that would easily deliver soft credit facilities to the people over a four year period. To that end, at a point, the government commenced the digital registration of residents in the state under the residency card project in the state known as Kaadi Igbe-Ayo Scheme. The card, it was said, would enable the holder to easily access available opportunities while on the other hand, assist government to plan and provide adequately for residents in the state. Judging from the political whirlwind of total liberation spreading across the region, pundits are already of the view that ACN will certainly win the state into its kitty in the 2013 governorship election. And if that happens, it goes without saying that the people of the state will join others in the region to have a good laugh at long last. Now, as the ACN’s uncommon approach to employment generation and by extension, ideal governance in the South-west states gains ground, other “servants” outside the region may have to draw a cue fro the change apostles to build the much-sought new nation of Nigerians’ collective dream.



POLITICS Former House of Representatives member Dr Jayeola Ajatta is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Action Congress of nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State. He spoke with Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU on his blue print for the state.

‘Why power will shift in Ondo next year’


HY are you aspiring to become governor at 72 years of age? Would the job not be too rigorous for you? I believe that age is not a barrier for anybody who wants to serve. I have told people that productivity is in my body. I’m healthy and I know that I can cope with the challenges that come with the office of a governor. I thank God that I am healthy. I can say that in the last 12 years, I have not been on a hospital bed on admission. I know I have the strength. I know that I can cope with the challenges of governing Ondo State. I spent the last eight years in the National Assembly. I have also worked outside the National Assembly. So, by the grace of God, I know I have the strength to cope. You spent eight years in the National Assembly. Yet you are still striving to become the governor of a state. What is the reason behind this? It is service. I have always been serving. I have been serving in my home town.I have been serving people since I was employed in a company. I have also been serving people since I went into politics. So, it is evident that I love to serve. I was in National Assembly. The projects I brought into my constituency are there for everybody to see. So, after leaving the National Assembly, I still believe that I am still capable of serving in Ondo State. So, I love to serve and that is why I’m running for the governorship of Ondo State. Are you not threatened by the power of incumbency wielded by Governor Olusegun Mimiko? I have the stamina. It is evident by what is happening now in Ondo State that people want change. Before Iroko came to power people were no longer happy with then governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, and so they were looking for an alternative. He (Mimiko) was a minister and being a minister gave him the opportunity to participate meaningfully at the 2007 election. And because they didn’t want Agagu any longer, the people did not even look at the person they were voting for. They voted for him massively and people informed me that they spent their own monies to ensure that he got to that position. So, it wasn’t that he had all the money. But having got there, he has disappointed a lot of people. He made a lot of promises that he does not fulfil. Therefore, people are not happy at the moment with him. People say they are hungry. People say they worked for him but let them down and so they are looking for a better party. And they have seen a better party, which is ACN and if you see the way people are trooping into ACN in the state now, you

• Ajatta

will know that it is not a joke. Whether it is me or somebody else that emerges, what is important is that ACN will form the next government in Ondo State. In the election that was held in 2007, people voted for Mimiko because they wanted a change and because he promised them a lot of things. Now people are disenchanted because of failed promises. I do not think he had the power to win the election and at the same time went to court and win. But ACN through Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, our leader, supported him. When the case was taken to court, we had to ensure that we got people from outside the state to ensure that the right counsel were used. After winning the case, we would have thought that he would work with ACN. But that was the time he felt that he could go independently and therefore, he abandoned ACN. We believe that what he has done is not right and people are unhappy with him. That is the reason people now feel that if he refused to go to ACN, they will come to ACN. That was why the chairman of Labour Party in Ondo State, Dr. Olaiya Oni, resigned and joined ACN. Now, more people who were very important in Labour Party are coming to ACN and they are working for ACN. People are so mobilised. Mimiko has not impressed them aand people believe that they cannot continue to follow him. That is why I believe that irrespective of the power of money and power of in-

‘If you look at what is happening in the government of Ondo State at the moment, you will see that there are commissioners who cannot authorise the execution of a project of about N500,000. This is not supposed to be the case. If you give somebody a job, you have to give him the authority to do the job well’

cumbency ACN will win. What are your blueprints for the state? The first one is to look at the issue of unemployment. A number of the people of Ondo State who had graduated from universities are unemployed. So, I will want to start from there because people are hungry. Some families had sent their children to schools and after they came back from the school, there are no jobs for them. That is why tackling unemployment will be my first priority, to see how we can accommodate these unemployed people. It is possible to do so because ACN government in Osun State has been able to create jobs for Osun people – 10,000 people were employed in the state. Ondo State is blessed with a lot of opportunities. There, we have (Ondo State Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission) OSOMPADEC because we are an oil producing state. We have land where we have the possibility of producing cement. We have companies there that are collapsing like the Oluwa Glass Company (OGC). So, we are going to work on these. I also have plans to improve education in Ondo State. Also, our people have been practising agriculture with cutlass and hoes for many years. It is time we provided them with mechanised agricultural implements. People have been working in Ondo State without getting salaries. Look at the last Salah festival. In Ondo State, workers did the festival without earning salaries. Up till now, I’m not sure if they have got their salaries. Also, we have bitumen there. What we can get from this bitumen is enough for Ondo State. It is even enough for Nigeria just as we have oil now which is the mainstay of Nigeria. Bitumen can also become the mainstay of Nigeria when we start exploring it. Also, the (Internally Generated Revenue) IGR that we get in Ondo State is a lot. How are we spending the money? And what we get from the Federal Government as federal allocation is also a lot. I’ll ensure that we have good budgets for all these programmes that I talk about and I will ensure that the budgets are run accordingly. It will not be that we have a budget and money will be spent anyhow. If you look at what is happening in the government of Ondo State at the moment, you will see that there are commissioners who cannot authorise the execution of a project of about N500,000. This is not supposed to be the case. If you give somebody a job, you have to give him the authority to do the job well. If you appoint somebody as a commissioner and he has to come to you, putting his hand before you, bowing down for you, it is wrong.

‘Why Nigeria remains underdeveloped’ Banji Alabi, convener of Ondo State Eminent Group, formed to promote growth and development of the Sunshine State and beyond spoke with Assistant Editor DADA ALADELOKUN. He laments the stagnation in the country and talks about Southwest integration. Southwest development agenda

Problem with Nigerian constitution


One of the problems with Nigeria is the constitution. There is a portion of the constitution, for instance, that makes it mandatory that the money accruing from our resources must be paid into the Federation Account. I don’t agree with that. During the First Republic, the North and South developed at their own paces because there was resource control. That provides incentive for people to look inwards and develop their areas, but the current arrangement provides for laziness, because no matter what you do, money will come at the end of the month. So, people tend to be lazy and fail to look inward and develop their resources. Today, the problem of Boko Haram is due to the absence of resource control. If the political, traditional and religious leaders in Borno State know that no money will come at the end of the month, they will work hard to surmount their challenges. If today there is resource control, their leadership will stop paying lip service which they are currently paying to Boko Haram because they will need to woo investors to their area, but because of the current arrangement which supports laziness, the crisis is continuing. In my opinion, the first amendment to be proposed to that constitution is that the resources of the respective areas should be managed by the people. For example, 80 per cent of the VAT generated in Lagos is spent outside Lagos. It is ridiculous. It is not done. It is not good.

EMOCRACY is about progress. Our people have been suffering for a long time; so, I’m for any means through which we can bring develop-ment, employment and develop our infrastructure. Any programme aimed at developing Ondo, to bring prosperity to the people, is welcome. Ondo State is very blessed. We have bitumen, oil, cocoa, glass, palm oil. Anybody that can help us develop all these resources, to provide employment for our youths, is my ideal person. This is why the agenda is welcome. Awo’s policies and Southwest Oh yes, Awo’s policies are still relevant in the South-west. Awolowo had a blueprint for education, infrastructural development and even medical. They are still relevant. Instead of wasting time, money on what to do, let them dust Papa Awolowo’s blueprint and implement. Awo had blueprint for cocoa plantation, kolanut, palm kernel etc. He had a blueprint for virtually everything. Nigeria, at independence, embraced federalism. The country was grouped into regions. Each region operated independently without undue interference from the top. This system provided dynamism in economic development. Each region identified its area of strength; for example, cocoa production in the southwest with which Awolowo developed the Southwest and established a government that was second to none in Africa. Then the Kano groundnut pyramid was developed in the North. The regions, under our founding fathers, experienced massive infrastructural development and an enviable macro and micro-economic policies. Federalism, as practised in Nigeria today, is a total departure from what true federalism represents. In countries where true federalism obtains, as in the United States of America, for example, the Federal Government in Washington has no business with what Texas State does with its oil. Oil is explored by Texans and the proceeds used to develop their state. Same goes in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Why should Nigeria not be different, why?

Concern over Ondo State In my opinion, we are all Yoruba; whether you are under Labour Party or you are under Peoples Democratic Party, we are all talking about development. And as I said earlier, our people have suffered so much. Our people have been betrayed and disappointed. I almost cried recently when I saw one of our ogas, a university graduate. I saw him in uniform and asked him: “What are you doing here?” And he replied: “I am a security man.” The guy is from Ondo State, a university graduate earning N35,000 per month for doing security job. Such a person should be working,

• Alabi

may be in our refineries. So, anything the governors can do to bring democracy dividends to our people, whether as Labour Party, ACN or PDP, as the convener of the Ondo State Eminent Group, I am challenging all our governorship aspirants to bring out their manifestoes on what they want to do for us. We want people who will take us to the Promised Land. We wouldn’t be deceived by anybody laying claim to Baba Awolowo’s anointing any more. We are not going to be sentimental about it. Any political party that can convince us about its preparedness to take us to the next level is the party we are going to vote for. Ondo State should be like Dubai, and remember Dubai is what it is today because of good leadership. There is no democracy in Dubai, but its people are doing very well. Why can’t we be like Dubai?

Mimiko’s administration Governor Mimiko has tried his best, but as I said earlier, the atmosphere in Nigeria today doesn’t have incentives to propel him to do more than what he is doing. All the same, he must move forward. We want somebody who can exploit our bitumen, do our marble and our sea ports, and develop our kolanut. Kolanut is a major ingredient in the making of Coca Cola. We have palm oil. The only thing that is sustaining Malaysia is palm oil; why can’t we develop palm oil. We don’t want a politician again as governor; we want a technocrat. We want somebody who knows his onions, who can deliver.

• From left: Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, South African President Jacob Zuma and Vice President Namadi Sambo at the yearly General Shehu Yar’Adua Memorial Lecture held in Abuja recently.






Local Content Act can transform economy, says surveyor


HE President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mr Agele Alufohai, has called on the Federal Government to implement the Nigerian Local Content Act. He said the law, if implemented, is a catalyst for transforming the economy. Alufohai made the suggestion at a symposium organised by the institute in Abuja. He spoke on The Nigerian Content Law: Optimising opportunities for the professional quantity surveyors. The NIQS chief said the Act will

By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor

help develop the capacity of Nigerians beyond the oil and gas industry and impact on other sectors, such as housing. He pointed out that the housing sector will, particularly, benefit from the law because an increase in the number of economically empowered Nigerians would result to an increase in the demand for housing units. Alufohai also called for the removal of legal and policy impediments affecting access to housing

in the country. He urged the government to back up the existing legislation aimed at developing the housing sector with action. “Legislation must be backed by concrete actions on the side of the government and current and aspirant oil and gas sector contractor. We need to adapt and appropriately fund our education policies so that we can acquire the skills required to deliver,” he said.

In her keynote speech at the event, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. AmaI Pepple, acknowledged that there were still challenges hindering access to housing by Nigerians. She highlighted such constraints as the Land Use Act, mobilising financing for mortgages and the excessive taxes charged by government on land and property, which she explained were hindrances to closing country’s

housing gap. She assured that the key reforms of the ministry, which include the new National Housing Policy, would eradicate the barriers to investment, which quantity surveyors and other professionals have for long complained about. Pepple also reiterated the government’s preparedness to tackle all obstacles to the nation’s effort to address its housing deficit, estimated 16 million units.

Ondo denies owing contractor


HE Ondo State government has debunked claims that it is owing the contractor handling the renovation of Akure Township Stadium. The contractor, who has fixed the artificial turf, it was gathered, stopped work a few weeks ago, alleging that the government was owing his firm. The state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, had fixed January next year for the inauguration of the renovated stadium. Speaking with reporters in Akure, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Alhaji Olanipekun Yekini, said the government had fulfilled its part of the deal, accusing the contractor of causing unnecessary delay in the transformation of the stadium. He noted that the contractor is on site, but working at a snail speed, which he said would not be accepted by the government. Yekini said: “We are targeting January for the opening and I still believe it is feasible. The government had already put in place all machinery that would allow the new stadium to begin sporting activities by next year. “The new Nigeria Premier League season begins by early next year and we are tired of using a neighbouring stadium. We want our fans to enjoy the good display of skills by our players. We are second in this year’s league and which had never happened in the history of the state.” He commended the state gover-

From: From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

nor for supporting the transformation programmes the ministry has for sports development in the state. According to him, “When this administration came on board in 2009, our team were in Kada 2009 where they came 16th on the medal table, but things changed when we were at Port Harcourt, the team came fourth at the medal table. “At present, the state has two clubs that will be featuring at the Nigeria Premier league. Our rising star just gained promotion to the top league. The female team is doing well in their league; our handball team is the second best in the world while our volleyball team is the best in Africa. “We got these records following the support of Governor Mimiko and staff in the ministry. We don’t give room for hand picking selection of players; we do not play politics with our sports team. The era in which a commissioner will seat in his office and write names of players that would feature in the league is gone. “The ministry also went to the grassroots to develop and discovered talents.We just had a sensitisation programme with over 200 secondary school coaches in the state and on the new techniques and rules of sports,” he stated. He, however, urged the people to support the government.

‘Private sector should be involved in housing’


OSEHILL Estate developers in partnership with three mortgage institutions have embarked on the development of quality, affordable houses. The Chairman of Rosehill Estate, Olatokunbo Dosumu, said the private sector should be involved in mass housing projects instead of leaving everything for the government. In an interview with The Nation in Abuja, Dosunmu said when the property is completed, it would ease the masses’ housing problem, especially in the Federal Capital Territory. He said: “The company has secured funds for the project and is working with three primary mortgage institutions. They are National Housing Fund (NHF) ,Resource Saving and Loans and Intercontinental Fin Homes and still searching for more mortgage institutions. “Prices cannot be too low because Rosehill is paying N50 million for one government service. We all know that aluminum is no longer produced in Nigeria, even with that we will ensure that it is well affordable. “One of the major challenges of private developers is the

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

N2.4trillion pension fund that is not invested in the real estate business. If these funds were invested, it would have been re-circled to bring returns and investment. He added that those who will enjoy the bargain are the first buyers of the houses.

•A construction site in Ondo

Kwara, old students disagree over land


HE Ilorin Teachers College (ITC) Old Students Associa tion(1980 set) and the Kwara State government have differed over the former’s plan to acquire some parcel of land belonging to the college. The college now known as Sheikh Abdulkadir College, is located in Adewole Estate, Ilorin, the state capital. Uncomfortable by the state Bureau of Lands’plan to acquire the land for residentialpurpose, some concerned old students wrote the House of Assembly to intervene. The letter reads: “We write to lodge our protest to the House on the proposed acquisition of ITC (Sheikh AbdulKadir) by the Bureau of Lands. This development, if not stopped, will not only jeopardise the interest of well-meaning people to the educational development of the state, but retard the spate of development. “The association (old students)

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

over a couple of weeks has made frantic efforts to stop the act but the agency concerned has been adamant by embarking on various steps to actualise its plan. If this plan is not stop, the football, volley ball, hockey ball pitches would go into extinction. “Government should not allow the bureau to intrude into any educational institution on the excuse of providing residential quarters to the generality of the populace, more especially on our alma mater. The bureau should open up a virgin land for development. “We, therefore, urge this honourable House to wade into the matter immediately before the plan is implemented. We shall build the state together and contribute to the success of the party, and we are not embarking on act that will destroy our joint venture. We sincerely believe the legislators will protect

the school from encroachment.” But the Director-General, Bureau of Lands, Tope Daramola, accused the petitioners of not been truthful “ by saying we are acquiring their football, volleyball and hockey ball pitches.” “Where we are acquiring is over 10 hectares of jungle infested with reptiles, hoodlums who use the place as hideout. What the government intends to do there is what we call urban renewal, rejuvenation and modernisation, which will no way affect the educational and recreational facilities in the school. The huge jungle will be converted to economic and social use. “No responsible government will convert a football pitch to residential usage. The building and the so-called quarters have become dilapidated and the government has a responsibility to ensure the protection of life and property,” he added.

Kogi, Nasarawa communities cry out over abandoned bridge


NDIGENES of two communities in Kogi and Nasarawa states have appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the crisis that led to the stoppage of work on the Bagana/Guto bridge. The new two-kilometre bridge, when completed, is expected to link Guto in Nasarawa State with Bagana community in neighbouring Kogi State. Addressing reporters at the abandoned bridge, the traditional ruler of the Guto, Chief Ahmed Guto, said the project is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project between the Federal Government, Kogi/Nasarawa state governments and a Chinese company, Digital Toll, at a ratio of 20/20/60. According to Guto, while the Federal

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

Government and the two state governments have paid part of their counterpart funding, the people of the two affected communities are in the dark if the Chinese firm has made any financial commitment to the project, saying that this may have led to the dearth of funds that culminated in the stoppage of work by the construction company, Nairda Construction Company. He berated the Chinese firm that was concessioned to handle the project for not meeting their own part of the bargain despite efforts by the two communities to give it a conducive working environment. “Digital Toll is a Chinese company. They came to me and said I should build

them a four-bedroom flat for their workers and I did to make them comfortable, but since then, they have not come back here,” he lamented. On his part, the Onu of Bagana in Kogi State, Chief Ali Haruna, said the people of the communities are disappointed with the pace of work and stressed that the project, which was supposed to be completed within two years, has not gone far three years after the project commenced. He expressed reservations with the role of the elected politicians from the area, who he said, have not shown any commitment towards the early completion of the abandoned bridge and appealed to the Federal Government to assist.

“Even if it means taking this project away from the Chinese, the Federal Government should do something because since they got the concession, they have not committed any fund into it apart from the initial part-payment made by the Federal Government, Kogi and Nasarawa state governments”. However, the Engineer in charge of the project, Igor Zavodtchik, who spoke on behalf of Nairda Construction company, said the two kilometre bridge and the 30-kilometre road, valued at N27 billion were abandoned by the company when they ran out of funds about a year ago. He said company has remained at the site hoping that it would get more funds to complete the project.





‘How HIV/ AIDS treatment can be improved’


S the world winning the war against HIV/ AIDS? The anwser is neither yes nor no. The government believes it is winning, but some people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) believe the fight has just begun. One thing is, however, certain, it appears the government still has a lot to do to reduce the scourge’s prevalence. The Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, said at the International Symposium on New Prevention Technology for HIV/ AIDS by the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) and the United States Department of Defence in Abuja that so far 6.1 million Nigerians have died of the disease. Onyebuchi, represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr Mansur Kabir, said orphans left by parents whose deaths were caused by HIV/ AIDS were over two million. He, however, said the prevalence is reducing. “The prevalence dropped from five per cent in 2003 to 4.4 per cent in 2005 and rose again to 4.6 per cent in 2008. The 2010 national prevalence figure is 4.4 per cent. The current national prevalence figure concedes regional variations ranging from 2.1 per cent in Northwest to 7.5 per cent in Northcentral zone.” Speaking on this year’s World AIDS Day (WAD) celebration, a PLWHA, Mr Fredrick Adegboye, described WAD as a failure, because of scarcity of funds to sensitise the society on the importance of the day. Adegboye scored the Federal and state governments low for holding one event in Abuja on AIDS Day and with none in the states. Had there been enough awareness on the disease, he argued, it would have helped to bring its prevalence down drastically.

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha andWale Adepoju

Adegboye alleged that the Network of People Living with AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWAN) merely selected few of its members to dine with some government officials, an event he described as a failure. But, there are few Nigerians who say good treatment and hope have kept them alive, thus removing the initial fears that no one survives the disease. One of them is Mrs Abosede Oladayo. Mrs Oladayo has been living with HIV for over 15 years. She had been intimidated, stigmatised and condemned, yet she remained firm, to stay alive. She said choosing to be strong when many in such precarious situation were complaining of neglect, was her strategy. She said: "I was able to stick with my anti-retroviral drugs. I also visit the clinic regularly to have tests carried out to know the state of my health." This, she said, were some of the reasons behind her success story. According to her, quite a lot of people living with HIV and AIDS don't adhere to their treatment regimen. They don’t come out until their disease is full blown and they die afterwards, she added. Mrs Oladayo, who is the Southwest Coordinator for Treatment Action Movement of Nigeria, said many people living with the disease die due to lack of information. She, however, called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to increase awareness on the disease. She said the diseases can be reduced drastically if health workers are trained and those who had been trained be-

fore retrained on the new HIV and AIDS management. She urged the government to decentralise the treatment of the disease. "HIV treatment should be brought to the primary health care centres (PHC),” she added. The disease, she said, could be wiped out with more sensitisation involving everybody. The Executive Director, Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA), Rolake Odetoyinbo said: “If PLWHA including mothers access treatment and stick to it, they may not come down with AIDS nor transmit the virus to others, likewise mothers to their babies.” According to her, with appropriate treatment, no new case of HIV transmission will be recorded through sex, or a positive person coming down with AIDS. She spoke at Unilever’s staff interactive session to mark this year’s World AIDS Day. Also, positive mothers, who religiously keep to the treatment have been proven not to transmit the virus to their babies with a success rate of 98 per cent. Odetoyinbo, who traced the history of HIV in Nigeria to 1986, said: “Studies have shown that people living with the HIV virus with limited significant viral load have 96 per cent success rate of not coming down with AIDS and transmitting to others.” “When you treat people with HIV, you are also protecting others without the virus,” she added. Odetoyinbo said appropriate treatment reduces viral load of a positive person to an insignificant level, making it, almost impossible to transmit the virus to uninfected person through sex. Also, the infected persons

• Chukwu

will not come down with AIDS. However, current global realities are that 34 million people are living with HIV and AIDS. A total of 2.7 million new HIV infections recorded last year among which 390, 000 children were infected. Still in 2010, records show that 1.8 million people died of HIV and AIDS-related deaths.Unfortunately, the economy was not also spared as statistics available showed that the world spent US$ 8.9 billion on HIV and AIDS. She called for reduction of sexual transmission of HIV by half, especially among young people, men who have sex with men and in sex workers, elimination of vertical transmission of HIV, reduction of AIDS-related maternal mortality reduced and prevention of new HIV infections among people who use drugs.

‘340 African labs are WHO certified’


• From left: Technical Service Manager, Emzor, Dan Onyenakorom, Dr Okoli and Executive Director, General Duties, Emzor, Uzoma Ezeoke at the briefing.

Experts urged to return home


IGERIAN experts in the Diaspora have been urged to return home to strengthen the health care delivery system. According to the Group Managing Director, Emzor Pharmaceutical Limited, Dr Stella Okoli, the country has many experts across the world that are doing well. Okoli told reporters in Lagos, that she and others had been in contact with the House of Representatives to lobby Nigerians in Diaspora to return. “I use to tell them whenever I go abroad that they should come back home to contribute their quota to development,” she added. She said the government cannot do it alone, hence the need for public-private partnership (PPP). “The global economic melt-down is making the western world to recolonise us again. So, our people should come back to develop the country,” she added. Okoli, who also resided abroad before she returned to start her

By Wale Adepoju

firm, said emphasis was placed on training and retraining of staff, who she described as the company’s prized assets. “When their welltrained, you will be surprised at what they can give. We have some of the best hands in the industry. I didn’t have to do much of the job. They do, but I supervise,” she added. Okoli assured of her company’s readiness to continue to improve product quality for absolute wellness for the people. On the World Health Organisation (WHO) certification, she said, the company would soon achieve the pre-qualification of the international body, stressing that its officials had already seen the plant design. “It is our desire to be a global brand. And we are striving to achieve that,” she added. She said touching lives was the resolve of the company, adding that to achieve that, it started with production of affordable and quality drugs. “We are producing in our plants

at Aswani and Isolo and would soon get the WHO plant. We will continue to produce new products, go into other areas and consolidate on existing products,” she said. On the growth of industry, she said, it was stifled during the Military Administration’s Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), adding that many pharmaceutical companies went under and some diversified. “We are having regular dialogue with the government by telling them what to do to make the industry better,” she said. Okoli urged the country to emulate India who has turned its economy around into a manufacturing one, thereby providing technology and jobs for its people. “When I visited India, 20 years ago, there was nothing, such as WHO certification, but the government supported the industry. It gave the manufacturers lot of incentives where necessary. They even closed their borders. They were nationalistic and the result is there to show for it,” she said.

HE Head, Human Virology, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Dr Rosemary Audu, has said only 340 laboratories are okayed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). At the presentation of a research project entitled: Establishing an external quality assessment programme in Nigeria, Dr Audu said of the WHO certified labs, 92 per cent are from South Africa. She said laboratory services are a vital component in the diagnosis and treatment of persons infected with malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases. “The laboratory infrastructure and test quality for all types of clinical laboratories remained weak in most African countries. “The accreditation scheme served to award laboratories complying with the ISO 1589 standards from one to five stars. Through this method, laboratories would gradually receive credit for improvement and attain accreditation,” she said. Audu said concerted efforts were required to train indigenous laboratory attendantson quality management system. She said the second phase of the study on HIV and tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis showed that

By Wale Adepoju

there was consistent improvement in performance for each of the rounds when some form of training was provided but it was not sustained in the last round. “The major issue with HIV diagnosis was the non-use of the national testing algorithm, even though there was a decline from 83 per cent in the first round to 47 per cent at the end of the fourth round. The approved algorithm, according to the researchers, is serial testing involving the use of determine, unigold and stat - pak. “Challenges observed with TB results showed a high level (20 per cent) of false negative results. There were also eight per cent of reported false positive results which had unduly exposed individuals to drugs that are toxic to their systems. Meanwhile patients who require anti-TB drugs are sometimes not privileged to access it due to stock out,” she said. Audu said there was the need to increase the accuracy of malaria diagnosis by training and retraining of laboratory technicians to make them better-equipped and skilled to generate accurate results that would help increase the health indices of man.

‘Challenges observed with TB results showed a high level (20 per cent) of false negative results. There were also eight per cent of reported false positive results which had unduly exposed individuals to drugs that are toxic to their systems’



HEALTH Dr. Babatunde Ipaye was a Technical Advisor to the National Malaria Control Programme seconded by UK-DFID-funded SuNMap project. In this interview with Assistant Editor DADA ALADELOKUN, he decries the ‘paltry’ N200million the Federal Government is committing yearly to fight malaria in the 774 local government areas.

‘Govt’s yearly anti-malaria budget inadequate’


S an expert, how real do you consider the danger posed by malaria in Nigeria, Africa and, indeed, throughout the world? Malaria is real and it is a part of us. Some people consider it and everybody considers it to be so but the danger is so real because we grew up in it and the name is so familiar unlike any other disease like tuberculosis and others. That is why we don’t take it with kid gloves. Malaria kills an average of about 250, 000 children yearly in Nigeria and it kills more than HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis put together. And it also kills a lot of pregnant women. In fact, 11 per cent of death in pregnant women is recorded yearly resulting from malaria fever and its consequences. And if you go to our hospitals you will see a great number of children suffering from what we call cerebral malaria, parasite entering the brain and it kills. It kills faster than any other killer disease. What are the core challenges of combating malaria in tropical African countries, such as Nigeria? I think the major challenge of malaria control is that we have serious inability to control the defector ranging from the inability of the defector to breathe, to multiply and once you have the defector and the parasites, they continue to transmit the disease. The second is the lack of political will of governments in Nigeria and across Africa who are not committing enough resources to fighting the scourge it deserves. But the governments don’t commit enough

resources to fighting malaria and other things we need to do to combat the scourge. How is the level of funding the war on the scourge? Also, what is the minimum funding requirement if the disease must be attacked to reduce its impact to the barest minimum? In the last two years, I have worked to support malaria control in Nigeria and the kind of commitment that we see is nothing to write home about. I have given you an example of two years and if you require a population of about 157 million and you will need a minimum of about N20 billion to combat malaria in Nigeria in a year and the Federal Government is committing a paltry sum of N200 million which can’t control malaria in 774 local governments we have in the country. It is just nothing to write home about. And I can tell you that in the 2011 Appropriation budget the entire budget of the Federal Government to fighting malaria is just about N600 million; it is not even enough to distribute mosquito-treated nets to under-five children in one state, let alone 36 states of the federation. So, the control we have to date is not totally dependent and the total sums that are being received from our donors are less than seven percent of our requirements. Do we have capacity to actually deal with the scourge in view of the amalgam of challenges, such as corruption, ignorance, poverty and unemployment in Nigeria? Capacity, yes, I will tell you that

Health Tourism With Dr Dheeraj Bojwani e-mail:

Prostate cure in India

T • Ipaye

in Nigeria, we have human capacity everywhere. Today, many of us that work in the public health care arena are abound everywhere - doctors, pharmacists, neurologists and others that do work in other African countries. As I speak, Nigeria is sitting on the board of Global fund and supporting Nigeria and the entire world to Affordable Medicine Facility Malaria (AMFM), Nigeria has its citizen as a senior director on the board, likewise other Nigerians working with World Health Organisation (WHO) to control malaria, working with international donor agencies all over the world, as country directors, technical advisors, supporting control in other places. However, there is nothing anybody can achieve when you mention corruption, even when your capacity is polluted with corruption, lack of political will, resources not properly utilised.

HE prostate, a walnutsized gland within the male reproductive system, is located just beneath the bladder. The prostate is normally known as the “central” part of the male reproduction system because of its location at the center of the genitals area. The main purpose of the prostate is in reproduction. It is responsible for storing semen, which is a fluid that contains reproductive cells. The semen has sperm that is carried to the female during ejaculation. This process can lead to the female becoming impregnated. The prostate also controls urine flow. The muscles around the prostate go through a contraction to allow urine to flow out of the penis. Prostate conditions The most common conditions affecting the prostate are: · Prostatitis: Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate, usually due to an infection, which will likely need antibiotic treatment. Prostatitis most commonly affects men in their 302s and 402s, but can also affect men of an older age. About 40 per cent of men will suffer from some sort of prostatitis at some time in their life. The four different types of prostatitis are; • Acute bacterial prostatitis • Chronic bacterial prostatitis • Chronic prostatitis/CPPS (Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome) • A s y m p t o m a t i c inflammatory prostatitis

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

•From left: Chairman, Bridge Clinic, Dr Richardson Ajayi; Managing Director, Pathcare, Dr Pamela Ajayi, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr Jide Idris and President, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN),Dr Anthony Omolola at the yearly dinner/award night of AGPMPN in Lagos.

Fed Govt spends N130b yearly on malaria


HE Federal Government has said it spends N130 billion yearly on malaria control. This amount covers prevention, diagnoses and treatment of the disease. Also, the United States said it has earmarked about $80 million to fight the scourge in the six states over a five-year period. He listed them as Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Cross River, Oyo, Zamfara and Benue. At the launch of the Malaria Action Programme for the States MAPS in Abuja, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria,Mr Terrence McCulley, assured of continued partnership with Nigeria in remediating the effect of lead poisoning in some parts of Zamfara State.

From Augustine Ehikioya and Bukola Amusan, Abuja

He said the programme is designed to support the National Malaria Control Strategic Plan through initiatives aimed at increasing the quality, access and uptake of specific malaria control interventions. While he noted that malaria affects school attendance and productivity, the diplomat added that “the incidence has continued to exert enormous strain on the finances of African countries even as one African child dies of malaria every three seconds.” However, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Mohammad AliPate, who noted that the malaria scourge costs Africa about $12 bil-

lion, added that Nigeria alone loses billions of naira to the plague. According to Dr Pate, no fewer than 42,500,938 Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets have been distributed in 26 states representing 67 per cent of its target. ‘’The impact of malaria is enormous as Nigeria loses about N132 billion to prevention, diagnoses and treatment. ‘’This is apart from the loss of man hours by the nation’s labour force. In Nigeria, over 90 per cent of our population are at risk and malaria is still the leading cause of death in Nigeria, contributing to 30 per cent of childhood mortality and 11 per cent of maternal mortality. ‘’We lose about 30 children every hour from malaria-related illnesses,” Pate said.

BPH is a gradual enlargement of the prostate as men age; it often causes urinary problems but is not due to cancer. This is the most common problem that affects the prostate. The older a male gets the more prone he is to BPH. It’s less common in men before the age of 40. However, about 50 per cent of men in their sixties and as much as 90 per cent of men in their eighties and nineties will suffer from BPH symptoms.

Prostate cancer

It is a malignancy which can be life-threatening, particularly if it spreads beyond the prostate. This type of prostate disease involves a tumor forming somewhere on the prostate gland. Detecting prostate cancer early is very important. It’s a slow-growing type of cancer but can be fatal if not treated. Different diseases that affect prostate shows up in men aged 60 and above. Prostate cancer is the most serious prostate disease, which is the main cause of cancer death among men. Prostate enlargement is another problem. The reasons

for prostate conditions are varied – long hours of restless work at office, lack of physical exercise, not including food items with detoxification powers (like turmeric flavored food items) and taking food that leads to accumulation of bodily wastes. The safe method is taking preventive measures earlier in life. Lead an active life without going to any extreme lifestyles. Prostate conditions include the eight symptoms listed below: • Urinary hesitancy • Weak urination • Urinary blockage • Urinary urgency • Urinary leakage • Urinary dribbling • Frequent urination • Night urination • Blood in urination Prostate tests and examination Many tests can be done to determine if someone is suffering from prostate disease: • DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) • Urinalysis • Urine Flow Rate • PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) • Cystoscopy Prostate laser surgery Laser surgery is a medical procedure that uses laser light to remove diseased tissues or treat bleeding blood vessels. One of the major developments in medicine of the 20th century, laser technology allowed surgeons to perform delicate surgery without the use of a scalpel for the first time. This opened up a wealth of new possibilities for surgery on sensitive areas of the body, most notably the advent of laser prostate surgery. As laser technology advanced to become more accurate and power-efficient, laser surgery became increasingly commonplace for bloodless procedures. Prostate laser surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to treat urinary symptoms. During prostate laser surgery, a laser is used to remove prostate tissue that blocks urine flow. There are several types of lasers and laser surgery used in prostate laser surgery. All lasers work the same way, using concentrated light to generate precise and intense heat. The type of prostate laser surgery your doctor will use depends on several factors, including the size and location of your prostate enlargement, the type of laser equipment available, and your doctor’s training. Prostate laser surgery has several potential advantages over other treatments for various prostate conditions. The advantages generally include: • Lower risk of bleeding. • Shorter or no hospital stay • Quick recovery • Less need for a catheter • More immediate results Types of laser surgery There are several types of procedures surgeons can perform, depending on the patient’s signs and symptoms, as well as the patient’s overall medical condition.

Dr. Bojwani is the Chief Executive of Forerunners Healthcare Consultants Pvt Ltd, India’s Pioneer Medical tourism organisation. Local contact: 07042394040, 07090830097, 08191462542, 07037065779, 08023051420






We’ve transformed transport, says Lagos govt T HE Lagos State Government says it has changed the face of transportation system in the state. It listed its achievements in the sector to include the introduction of high capacity buses, electronic device named ‘Auto Inspector’ being used by Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) and the establishment of the Drivers Institute. Another feat, it said, is that it has taken highway safety awareness to pupils of secondary and primary schools. While delivering a keynote address at the Conference of Directors /Chief Road Traffic Officers Of Southwest at Event Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, the state Deputy Governor, Mrs Orelope–Adefulire, who noted that transportation plays a key role in the economy of any nation, said

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

the state government would continue to implement policies that would improve the sector. She told the gathering that the state’s VIOs had moved from the conventional way of checking vehicle particulars, to performing their duties through the use of an electronic device named ‘Auto Inspector.’ “With the use of Auto-Inspector, the VIOs can stop vehicles on the road and immediately determine the name of the owner of the vehicle, the registration number, the date the vehicle was registered, colour and make. It also immediately discovers the vehicle particulars, which such vehicle possesses and the authenticity of the vehicle particulars - either genuine, fake or expired.

“It will interest you to know that the VIOs with the use of Auto – Inspectors - have impounded about 27, 500 vehicles for either invalid or expired vehicle particulars since the device was launched. Such impounded vehicle can only be released when it has satisfactorily obtained its valid vehicle particulars. This electronic device has, indeed, made the operations of the VIOs to be stress free and also ensure that the VIOs are more effective and efficient,” she said. The Deputy Governor stated that the state has taken a bold step in restructuring the old taxi operation system, to make it more comfortable and accessible. Commuters, she said, now have the choice to either boarding the high capacity buses, modern taxis or

the mini buses. The guest speaker, Dr Muiz Banire, described the event as apt going by various agitations on plate numbers; traffic management; menace of okada riders among others. Dr Banire,the former Commissioner for Transportation, took the gathering through the laws guiding traffic management in the country. He wondered why there are clashes over traffic management when the constitution is explicit on the duties of each tier of government. He called on the VIOs to intensify efforts at enlightening motorists on the need to ensure that their vehicles are road-worthy at all times. Earlier in his welcome address, Commissioner for Transportation,

Comrade Kayode Opeifa, praised the VIOs for sanitising the road and promoting safety of commuters. Opeifa urged them to continue to exhibit good conduct, professionalism, be polite to members of the public and also enforce traffic laws without being aggressive. Your office, he reminded the officers, is not created for generating revenue. Rather, it is established to ensure that motorists duly comply with the existing law and order. “Therefore, you should ensure that motorists obtain genuine and required vehicular particulars and also ensure that the office has a data base which will be used to monitor the level of compliance and that of violation,” he added.

‘Road accidents not caused by witches’


HE Corps Marshall/Chief Executive, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Mr Osita Chidoka, has called on Nigerians not to attribute the incessant road accidents to witches. Chidoka spoke at the joint safety awareness rally it organized with the Nigerian Breweries Plc at Ojota Motor Park, Lagos. At the event with the theme, ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’, crash helmets were distributed free to the commercial motorcyclists. The FRSC boss blamed frequent cases of road crashes on the failure of cart pushers, motorcycle riders, pedestrians and vehicle owners to use the road within the requirements for safer road use. “Alcohol-related road crashes, he said, remains a major global issue which has taken the front burner over the years Represented by the Corps Public Enlightenment Officer Nseobong

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

Akpabio, Chidoka lamented the increasing rate of road crashes resulting from motorcycle operators, saying the trend posed serious challenges to the corps and other stakeholders that desired safety roads. “For those of us in Lagos, it is sad to recall that a ward has been dedicated by the management of Igbobi Hospital to motorcycle-related crashes, which often result to trauma cases,” he said. He disclosed that FRSC has invested massively on process, people and technology through the installation of 345 V-Sat technologies to improve communication among its staff nationwide. FRSC Lagos State Sector Commander Jonas Agwu Agwu called on stakeholders to support the move to rid motor parks of the sale of alcohol. Agwu said the majority of recent road crashes are attributed to

•Akpabio assisting Okada rider to fix a helmet while Nkem (right) watches keenly. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

drivers who were drunk, hence the need to nip it in the bud. He solicited the support of the media and other stakeholders in putting up a bill that would outlaw the sale of alcohol in the parks. “We need the support and co-

operation of other stakeholders, especially the media and union leadership, in seeing to its legislation,” he said. Vivian Nkem, who represented the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Breweries, Nicolaas Vervelde, said the company was

committed to the commission’s campaign for zero tolerance to road crashes during the ‘’Ember months”. “Preservation of the lives of our people, Vervelde said, is paramount and very dear to us despite the negative effects of the campaign on our production.”

Lagos erects safety billboards designed by pupils


AGOS State Government last week erected six road safety advocacy billboards on major roads in the state. The message and illustrative pictures of the billboards were designed by pupils, who emerged winners in the edition of “Be road friendly competition.” The competition was organised as part of the Lagos State School Traffic Safety Advocacy Programme. Speaking at Rainbow Bus stop on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway where one of the billboards was unveiled, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport Education, Dr Mariam Masha, said about 6,000 school children entered for the competition this year. Masha said 18 of the children, shortlisted for the final round of the competition, were requested to express their deep knowledge of road safety values and policies of the state government through creative drawing. She described the results as amazing as the children came up with impressive diagrams and with great messages. She said that the project started in 2009 with the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, inaugurating it primarily to make the children to be safety conscious. Six pupils, who emerged victorious, won a trip to the United Kingdom to study the traffic safety system. The billboard showed a middle-age man attempting to cross the road at the foot of a pedestrian bridge; a school boy grabbed the man by his clothe and insisted that he must use the bridge.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

Masha said: “When we started this programme, many were asking the rationale for involving pupils in a road safety advocacy programme since they do not drive. We told them the children also use the road and they have the right to protect themselves and educate others.” Principal of Eva Adelaja Junior Secondary School, Lagos Dr Adedayo Adelaja described the project as a good initiative by the government. Dr Adelaja lamented that many lives have been lost out of carelessness. The students, she said, had on regular basis been enlightened on the danger of crossing the road where there is overhead bridge. “Motorists must respect people crossing the Zebra lines to reduce avoidable accidents on the road,” she said. One of the victorious pupils, Miss Temiwunmi Akinmuleya from Queens College, Yaba, described the trip to United Kingdom as a life time opportunity. Transportation in UK, she said, is far developed compared to Nigeria. She urged the Federal Government to learn from the UK transport system. The Commercial Manager, ABC Transport Plc, Mr Tom Uduak, commended the state government for the initiative and urged other state governments to emulate the gesture aimed at inculcating safety culture in young people. ABC Transport is one of the corporate sponsors of the programme. Uduak stressed that the company was proud to be associated with it.

•From left Dr Masha; Mr Uduak; Miss Akinmuleya and others. Behind them is the winner's billboard at the competition PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE




Govt urged to set up manpower board


HE Federal Government has been urged to set up an Aviation Manpower Development Board (AMDB). It is to address the growing challenge of dearth of skilled and efficient personnel. Chief Executive Officer, Belujane Konzult, and former General Manager, Public Affairs, of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Mr Chris Aligbe, made the call in Asaba, Delta State. Speaking at the delegates’ conference of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) on the topic” Human capital development and succession planning in the aviation sector, prospects and challenges, Aligbe said the government should replicate the Petroleum Tech-

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

nology Development Fund (PTDF) by establishing AMDB to meet up with manpower requirement of the industry. He stated that the absence of a well articulated policy on aviation manpower and lack of funding for manpower development are impediments to human capital development adding that there should be a body to cater for the manpower need of the industry. “Establishing a manpower development board is the right way to go, unless they do it we won’t get anywhere in the aviation industry. There must be a body that has to take a global look on the manpower requirement

in the industry, plan for manpower development, have a data base, do a research and know which way to go to. If you leave it to individual organisations it won’t work.” Aligbe noted that though the industry has a training college for pilots and engineers in Zaira, it lacked the manpower resource to train people in other essential areas required by the sector pointing out that the college may not be able to churn out the manpower requirement of the aviation sector due to the huge sum involved in training pilots. Commenting on how to transform the industry, Aligbe explained that if the airport system must work well, the government must

take further steps to embrace full concessioning of major airports including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, even as he said Lagos deserves at least a major international and domestic terminal, which is required to cope with the expected traffic. He said: “ We need a legal policy framework that could cater for the development of airports, airlines and ground handling companies, which will provide a road map for the development of the aviation industry. At the moment there is no such specific policy in the aviation industry which will help the industry have good airports and airlines.”

ATSSSAN calls for unity MEMBERS of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) have been urged to unite to fight the social ills in the aviation sector for the emancipation of workers from the tutu leg of injustice. Speaking after being sworn in for the second term of four years as the ATSSSAN President, Comrade Benjamin Okewu, called on chairmen of all branches of ATSSSAN to work for the over all enhancement of workers welfare. According to Okewu, it will be difficult for any association to grow or fight for the well being of its members where acrimony and rancor was the order of the day and enjoined everyone to desist from anti-association activities in the interest of the people. He declared that union’s agitation for a comprehensive road map and plan for the development of the aviation sector will not stop until the road map was made to reflect the various tangible expectations of stakeholders. He urged the government to learn from the unpopular decision of liquidation of the Nigeria Airways to be harnessed into the aviation road map. The ATSSSAN boss called on the government to conclude the process for the final payment of all outstanding indebtedness to Nigeria Airways workers immediately to put an end to incessant deaths. According to Okewu: “ATSSSAN will not stop calling for the review and cancellation of various concession agreements that are skewed in favour of the concessionaires to the detriment of the organisation, workers and Nigerian people”

Arik begins Lagos-Luanda direct flights ARIK Air is to begin scheduled flights from Lagos to the Angolan capital, Luanda, becoming the first and only Nigerian carrier to operate scheduled flights between the two cities. The first flight is to be launched today and will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The outbound flight will depart Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos every Tuesday at 7:00am (local time), arrive in Luanda at 10:10am (local time) with the inbound flight leaving Luanda at 11:50am and arriving back to Lagos at 2:55pm. Every Saturday, the outbound flight departs Lagos at 2:00am and arrives in Luanda 5:05am. The inbound flight leaves Luanda at 7:00am and arrives in Lagos at 10:05am. Passengers on Arik’s international routes from London (UK), Dakar (Senegal), Accra (Ghana) and Cotonou (Benin) can connect onwards to Luanda with convenient connections in both directions.

Bristow partners parent firm

•Executive Chairman, Arik Air, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide (left) receiving a card from the Managing Director, Mr Chris Ndulue at a dinner party in his honour held at Zen Garden, Chinese Restaurant, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Air traffic communicators charge minister on road map


INISTER of Aviation, Mrs Stella O d u a h Ogiemwonyi has been urged develop a road map to provide direction and long lasting effect in the sector for enhanced development. President of the National Air Traffic Communicators Association of Nigeria Comrade Philip Aderosoye, gave this charge in an interview with aviation correspondents in Lagos. “There must be a road map that will be of long lasting effect that will develop this industry and the min-

ister should look at the parastatals on how to get energetic and patriotic men that will man them and make the ministry more professional. Aderosoye said remodeling of the airports was long over due but regretted that past ministers have failed to follow the master plan on ground to expand on the original plan of the Murtala Mohammed Airport. While urging that the aviation minister should be given the chance in her transformation bid, the labour leader criticised the construction of airports by

various state governments describing it as madness, politically motivated and unreasonable. “It is too political, stupid and does not bring development. It is supposed to be a source of revenue to any government, the money the state governments are using to maintain these unviable airports ought to have been diverted for development that will benefit the people.” Comrade Aderosoye called for the enhancement of security across the airports calling for the recruitment of aviation security personnel to beef up the man

power and the provision of adequate operational vehicles stressing that available gadgets for monitoring were only limited to Abuja and Lagos. On the new leadership in the Nigeiran Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Aderosoye said there was hope in the new management describing the managing director as an insider and an experienced engineer in the system.” Infact we are enjoying peace optimally in NAMA and if this peace is sustained, it will lead to enhanced productivity.”

Firm to establish ICT training centre


N Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firm, Koenig Solutions, based in New Delhi, India is planning to establish a training centre in Nigeria. It will provide certification training for personnel of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Koenig Solutions Limited, Mr Rohit Aggarwal told journalists that with the establishment of the centre, training of students in ICT would be easier and cheaper. Aggarwal said that the company is one of the leading training centres in In-

dia, stressing that many Nigerian companies such as financial institutions, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NACA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ministry of Defence are some of the public organisations and private owned companies that

have patronised its services over the years. He emphasised that the centre has over 150 certified trainers in various fields from different vendors as their trainers including Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco as some of the world’s leading vendors who partner with the company.

BRISTOW Helicopters Nigeria Limited (BHNL) has entered into a new formal Technical Services Agreement (TSA) with its shareholder and world leading providers of helicopter services, the Bristow Group. Signing the agreement at the board meeting of BHNL held recently in Lagos on behalf of the Bristow Group, Mr Richard Burman, Senior Vice-President (Operations), Bristow Group stated that the detailed agreement, covering the provision of world-leading aviation and technical support to the local company, shows the long-term commitment of the Bristow Group to Nigeria. On his part, Chief Ademola Edu, Chairman, Board of Directors, BHNL who signed on behalf of Bristow Helicopters (Nig) Limited, said the signing of the agreement was a major milestone in the 54 years history of the Bristow Group in Nigeria and was an important step towards adapting the local operating company in meeting the aims and requirements of the Nigeria Oil & Gas Industry Local Content Act.



BUSSINES Managing Director of Quacem Limited, Ekarika Ekarika, in this by interview was reporters, speaks on why the Federal Government ought to ensure zero customs duty on heavy machineries and low interest rate on capital for the cement industry to thrive. KAZEEM IBRAHYM, was there. Excerpts:

How cement firms can survive, by Ekarika


HAT is the success story of Quacem? Quacem started from humble beginnings. It was a conglomeration of a few private individuals with foresights and the state government’s parastatal called Akwa Ibom Property and Investment Company (APICO). The group got together and decided to set up a bagging plant in Ikot Abasi. Luckily for us, because of the devotion and concentration of the partners and the support of the government, the begging plant took off two years ago and we have been able to bring down the price of cement in this locality. Immediately the begging plant started, we have developed new distributors and the economic activities in UtaEwa have stepped up. We have direct employment for the people of the community. We have people selling diesels to the trailers. Infact the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has opened a floating jetty to help those who bring in the cement where the ship is anchored. Talking about pricing, how far has your company been able to adhere to the directive from President Goodluck Jonathan that prices of cement should be brought down to at least N1,000? The President has a good plan for the country. The cement producers also have a good plan but good intentions cannot on their own make such an objective to be realized. These good intentions have to be followed up by concrete steps. The Federal Government has tried from issuing licences from time to time. They also give support to some of the cement industries. For instance, here in Akwa Ibom, the state government is trying. Infact, the roads to the factory cost the state government about N1.8billion. As the state government construct the roads to the factory, it helps other factories around the area. Apart from building roads, the state government also make sure there was constant electricity in that community. That was because they knew Quacem was starting up there. Really, it was a good support from the government. The federal government on its own is trying but the key issue that is outstanding are two. Loans to heavy industries have to be at a very low interest rate because these industries take years before they come up and heavy investment are being injected into the business for a period of several years. Most industrial loans in developed countries are in the region of below five per cent. For example, in countries like China, Japan and South Korea, when they started some of the interest to industries were one per cent. This is the only way the business can thrive. No matter how rich an industrialist is, he still needs loan to survive. So if the interest rate is too high, there is no way such an industrialist will be able to survive. This is why several cement companies are having issues and the federal government has tried in forming what it called the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) which has taken several cement bagging companies and cement industries into its umbrella to try to see how they can push it. How much is the price of a bag of Quacem’s Cement in the open market? Right now Quacem is selling cement at one of the lowest prices in this area. We are selling to our major distributors between N25,000 and N26,000 per tonne, about 20 bags make up one tonne. That amount to between N750,000 and N780,000 per trailer of 600 bags. Actually we don’t directly determine the price. A bag of Quacem cement is selling now at about N1,700 but if you look at

N750,000 per trailer that means a bag of Quacem cement ought to go for about a N1,250. So the mark-up is between the distributors and the retailers not the people producing. What is your unique selling point? I am asking this question because we know there are some sharp practices by manufacturers. Some of the manufacturers sometimes defraud unsuspecting customers in terms of begging of products, is Quacem not involved in such act? No cement producers whether a begging plants or manufacturer companies will want to be involved in those practices because the companies are big. For instance in Quacem Cement, the Board of Directors are made up of credible people. The issue is some of the big distributors that some of these companies use sometimes they buy in bulks and we cannot control them but we monitor them. Sometimes some of the distributors sell to fraudulent retailers and the retailers will now download the cement. They will buy stolen bags or fake bags in the market and then bag it anyhow they prefer. None of the manufacturers would want to go into such sharp practices. So what punishment do you give to any of your distributors or retailers found in such dastardly act? When we discover that any distributor is being slack for allowing himself to be used, we in Quacem, we cut off such a distributor because it is spoiling the name of the company and the market for the consumers. Is Quacem 100 per cent government ownership? Quacem is just 10 per cent government. But the support of government both federal and state is ineffitable. The federal government support comes in terms of giving licences annually for the importation of cement. Also they try to bring down the cost of inputs i.e making sure that main machineries are subjected to low duties but it is five per cent currently. What we want the federal government to do is that some of these cement machineries together with petroleum refineries machineries that are of the critical industries, duties on them should be zero because these are industries with huge investment. So if someone is bringing in billions of naira to invest in such an industry, the federal government should allow the installation of machineries to be done and after such person can now be taxed when he starts making profit. Also there should be tax holiday of about three or four years because starting these industries takes time. So, if you have a tax holiday and zero duty on importation, it will of course assist most of these industries. That should be the federal government’s contribution for the cement industry. Then the state government duty is to make sure that wherever cement industry is located, they build roads, water plants and so on so that the manufacturer will not have to engage in the construction of those things. You now divert your resources to other areas like the generation of electricity. The fact that power (electricity) is not available is a major issue. Sometimes the manufacturers spend whole lots of money in generating electricity. The manufacturing arm of Quacem cement is using 12 megawatt of electricity. Our new plant in Akamkpa, Cross River state, we will be using 12 megawatt of electricity. Even in Calabar, I am not sure they have


up to 12 megawatt. The power and duty rate issue are very important. The federal government should address these two issues. For example, the interest rate issue is something the federal government can do immediately. There should be zero customs duty for heavy machineries. If that is done, it will bring down the prices of cement. But right now, the reason the price of cement has not come down is because it is impossible to bring down the price when the country don’t manufacture enough of it. The people that are importing have increased duties. Duties used to be 10 per cent, it was increased to 20 per cent. All the people manufacturing begging now are the people who have backward integration project. Therefore, the duties should remain at 10 per cent or it should be reduced to five per cent. You will agree with me that Quacem is a new company. How do you think your product can compete favourably with others that have been in the market for so long? I agree with you that Quacem is new and I agree with you that the issue of being able to compete is important but right now we have a short fall in cement supply nationally. We don’t produce enough cement. That accounts for the price differential between the cost of cement abroad and the cost of cement in Nigeria. Cement abroad (FOB Cement) sometimes is as low as 70 dollars per tonne. When you calculate that, you will discover that cement should be like N400 here in Nigeria. The cost of shipping increases the price of cement in Nigeria because we are not able to meet the demand with our domestic production. The ability to meet the demand would take between five to 10 years because of the slow gestation period of this industry but I think we would achieve it. There is another worry, a research expert once said Nigeria has what it takes to produce cement internally without relying on importation. What can we do to achieve this fit? That analysis is correct. The issue in cement production is this. For example, in Quacem when we come into the field, we acquire a quarry

‘Our main challenge is getting roads and power into the plant. Those two things, we may have to do it by our self’

and get mining licence. Cement is not an industry you can enter with N100million, you cannot even enter it with N1billion even the bagging face. A set of three shipment of cement we bring in at a time cost aboutN1.8billion. Cement industry is not a small business. So how many people or banks can come in at that level? It is the duties of the federal government to identify the people that have already come into the industry and ask them the problems they are facing. For instance, there should be zero duty on importation of cement and zero duty on importation of machineries. If the federal government do this now, they may not be able to give the critical support of power (electricity). If they cannot give power they should give zero duty rates. If they give zero duty rates, the multiplier effect is important because the manufacturer will now be using the gain from zero duty and put into electricity and others infrastructures. The fact is that the raw materials are here in the country. The analysis is correct but the federal government and the state government must give some sort of supports because there is no country that has industrialised without serious support from the government. What is unique about Quacem cement from others cement products in the market? In Quacem we make sure that when arranging the bagging, we make sure that we adjust the quantity to the exact amount. Right now we are importing the product and bagging. We make sure that our manufacturers abroad (Hebei Henghu Cement Compnay, China and Investa Holdings Limited) meet certain quality criteria before we even enter into the agreement. Because of that, most of the distributors within this area will first go for Quacem cement. It is only in the absence of Quacem they will demand for another product. So what is the market spread of the product? Since the site is at Ikot Abasi, we have spread up to Eket, Uyo and other areas in Akwa Ibom state. We have not gone beyond those areas because our capacity is low but when we finish our plant at Akamkpa at the end of next year, we will be able to really expand. You talk of expansion, what is your expansion plan like? At the end of next year, we are starting with 600 tonnes per annum. That is the capacity of the production plant we are installing. But after that, we

would be doubling the capacity every two years up to 2.4million tonnes. From what you have said, will you go beyond Akwa Ibom State? Definitely, since the plant itself is in Cross River State, the limestone quarry we have is in Cross River. What we intend to do is to have clinical operation in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Port Harcourt because the same vessel that brings the goods to Ikot Abasi can take it to Port Harcourt. If we are producing in Port Harcourt, we will sell at a better price than those that are bringing in for bagging. What have been your challenges so far? Our main challenge is getting roads and power into the plant. Those two things, we may have to do it by our self. We may have to discuss with Cross River state government in terms of partnership so that we offset the cost of those two items. But we cannot wait and say until Cross River state government build a road to our quarry. We have to do it by ourselves. On a national level, we have been pressing the federal government to assist cement manufacturers. On the state level, we want to make sure we press Akwa Ibom state government to assist the only indigenous manufacturing group that they have. The challenge is mainly going outside the cement to cater for power and infrastructure such as roads. In the next 15 years, what should we expect from Quacem cement in terms of growth? In the next five years, we would have achieved our objectives of producing up to 2.4million tonnes a year and then we would steady at that because by that time the Nigerian cement market we get to matured level where the demand and supply gap would not be too much and then all the manufacturers of the products will now be competing on quality. In terms of employment, is Quacem adhering to the Local Content Policy of the federal government? We are adhering to the local content policy of the federal government in terms of employment. Out technical partners are Chinese. So what we have done is that they bring in only staffs which we cannot get in Nigeria. Right now, 80 per cent of our staffs are local but the Chinese people are the experts in the technical areas. So they have upper hand in the technical field. The technical area is manned by the Chinese people. You talked about backward Integration, how is your company handling that? The backward integration basically is the Akamkpa plant in Cross River. We took mining licence since 2008. The federal government has said that everybody must integrate backward. For us in Quacem, we have started the backward integration even before the federal government started emphasising it. I agreed with the federal government because if we don’t embark on backward integration, we would still be importing the product we have in this country. Our partners Hebei Henghu Cement Company, China and Investa Holdings Limited, have been in business for the past 50 years. Right now they are producing about 3.5million tonnes in China and they know what they are doing. By December next year, our manufacturing plant in Akamkpa will be up and doing. In the nutshell, backward integration is only possible with government’s support. Luckily, the federal government has been supportive but the support is not enough. That is why we still have the gap between demand and supply. In order to narrow the gap, the government needs to be more aggressive in its support to the cement industry.



MARITIME ISAN cautioned against pirates


•From left: Senator Tinubu, Senator Kure, and Managing Director, NPA, Omar Suleiman during the visit. PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA

HE Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) has been warned against increasing cases of pirates attacks on the nation’s waters. The Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, gave the warning while speaking with The Nation in Lagos last week. He warned against a situation where pirates would charter vessels belonging to their members for their nefarious activities The NIMASA boss said, which pirates now use high technological skills also go as far as chartering vessels belonging to genuine and unsuspecting indigenous shipping companies and use them to rob other vessels.

He, however, regretted that the indigenous ship owners in their desperate bid to make money fuel the activities of these pirates even without unknowingly. He cited a case in which one of the pirates came to the office of one of the indigenous companies and chartered one of their vessels. He said NIMASA would not want to stop the indigenous ship owners from doing their businesses. He noted that it would not watch the indigenous ship owners’ fuel piracy attacks, arguing that they must ensure that the identity of those chartering their vessels must be established and documented. He warned ship owners to stop throwing caution to the wind in preference for money no matter where it comes from. He said they should note that the law is not respecter of anyone.

Bane of acquiring new vessels

Senate committee raises A alarm over oil tanks T

HE Senate Committee on Maritime Transport has frowned at the siting of petroleum products tank farms within the ports. It said the damage an accident from one of the facilities, could cause the country would be incalculable if the Federal Government fails to take precautionary steps. It, however, lauded the Federal Government’s efforts in repositioning the seaports to become a hub in West and Central Africa. Speaking after a tour of ports’ facilities in the Southwest by the committee, its Chairman, Senator Zaynab Kure, said the government needs to adopt measures to avert problems over the tank farms’ siting at the Lagos ports. She said the panel noted the clamour by stakeholders for the passage of the Ports and Harbour Bill to ensure that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) assumes the role of the technical regulator of the seaports. Senator Kure said: “One of the major complaints by stakeholders during our visit is that there is no regulator and that was why many things are going wrong, especially the alleged arbitrary charges by the terminal operators. We will ensure that all necessary bills that will bring our ports to perform efficiently like their peers abroad, will be given accelerated treatment by the committee. To ensure that the waterways are free from wrecks and navigable all year round, Senator Kure said the committee would try to get the NPA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

(NIMASA) to combine their efforts on wrecks’ removal. She said the committee members were taken aback when during their trip to the East and West Moles, they noticed that there are still some wrecks in the water ways. NPA defended itself that the removal of wrecks in waterways does not fall under its purview, but that of NIMASA’s. “To that end, when we get back to Abuja, we shall sit down and see how we can get the two agencies to synergise to ensure all wrecks are removed to make our waters navigable year round,” Senator Kure said. NPA’s Managing Director Alhaji Omar Suleiman told the panel that while NPA is responsible for removing wrecks on the channels, NIMASA has the statutory authority of removing wrecks on the waterways. Senator Kure said: “We will equally take a careful look at the terminal operators to isolate those that complied fully with the Concession Agreement they entered into with the government, with regards to upgrading the port facilities at their terminals, because during our visit, we noticed that some terminals are in poor shape, while some have done fairly well. We shall invoke our legislative energy to ensure compliance,” she assured. Senator Kure, who was with Senators Oluremi Tinubu, Joshua Dariye and Kabiru Gaya, said the committee would make recommendations

to the Federal Government in repositioning the ports for growth and development. She added that the committee would initiate a motion on the floor on the port operators, adding that the lawmakers would bring their power to bear on the efforts by ensuring that necessary legislations the industry needs are given attention. She lauded the reported commitment of the Akwa Ibon State Government to partner with the NPA to ensure that the Ibaka Deep sea port is realised in time. She said her committee would visit Akwa Ibom and the Eastern ports to enable them to make informed decisions in the 2012 budget that would help realise the various ports projects During the official tour, the lawmakers lauded an investment of over $110 million at the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base, located at the LADOL Free Zone (LFZ), in Apapa Lagos, saying the venture was good for economic growth. According to Kure, “this base is the first of its kind in Africa, and it is a thing of pride that some Nigerians took the risk to make this a reality such that vessels that would have needed to go far into Europe for maintenance can be accommodated here. “What this tells us is that, it’s not only government that can bring development into Nigeria because this facility has showed that private people, and especially Nigerians can as well complement the government’s efforts by doing things such as this,” she said.

NPA to revitalise Koko port


HE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Akwa Ibom is studying the best way channels leading to Koko port in Delta State can be utilised, its Managing Director, Alhaji Omar Suleiman. He said NPA is collaborating with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other investors to turn Koko port around. The NPA boss disclosed this at the marking of three years of incident free construction of the Escravos Gas to Liquid (EGTL) project and the revitalisation of the Warri Port by Chevron/NNPC joint venture at Warri. Suleiman assured that the Gas revolution being pioneered by the EGTL project would pave way for the flow of Foreign Direct Invest-

ment (FDI), which would surely unlock the potentials, and opportunities in Delta Ports. He assured that the authority is committed to making Nigerian Ports the hub and preferred destination for cargoes for West and Central Africa sub–region by providing the required infrastructure in a safe, secure and customer-friendly environment for operations. Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, said the dredging of the Escravos channel leading to Warri Port has been included in the 2012 fiscal year budget, when completed, he said it would provide the needed support of attracting merchant ships into the Delta Port According to the minister, in spite of the fear expressed by skeptics who

closed their businesses, NNPC/ CHEVRON with other stakeholders remained faithful and have provided jobs for thousands through this project. He hoped that the EGTL project would provide the long awaited solution of reducing gas flaring in the Delta region. Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, while expressing his gratitude to all that contributed to the success of the EGTL project, noted that peaceful negotiations, with host communities created the ideal atmosphere for the take off of the project. He stressed the town hall discussions and the setting up of water way security committees, which comprised the youth in the riverine areas have worked.

CQUISITION of old vessels by local ship owners, and the phasing out of single hull vessels by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have been identified as one of the reasons Nigerians have not benefited from the Cabotage Act. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, a stakeholder in the maritime sector, Mr Segun Adekunle, said that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) should be held responsible for the influx of old vessels in the nation’s territorial waters. “If you allow ship owners to bring old vessels into the country and you register them as cabotage vessels, then you must be ready to give them jobs,; forget about IMO laws and the other laws because you have collected money from the owners for registration.” Adekunle, therefore, called on the NIMASA to ensure that indigenous ship owners are given jobs by the oil companies since they were registered by NIMASA under the Act. Also, a maritime lawyer, Mr Festus Olayinka also identified financial involvement at the point of applying for waiver un-

der the Cabotage Act as one of the reason behind the circumvention of the gains of the Act; Olayinka alleged that waivers are granted “before approval because those who apply for waivers are made to pay while their applications are still being processed. “The Act stipulates that 100 per cent rating, 60 per cent of officers for Nigerians and 40 per cent for foreigners. But the foreigners come in with a waiver clause that the country does not have qualified hands to man the industry. “Also, if you want a waiver to be granted, you apply to NIMASA and your file would be taken to Abuja for ministerial approval. Before the approval comes from Abuja, you must have paid money to NIMASA. After collecting my money, it is as good as saying that you have granted me the waiver because it would be difficult for you to return my money because by the time the file leaves for Abuja, the job would have done,” Olayinka said. He said that the influx of old vessels in Nigerian territorial waters was due to illegal bunkering that was once flourishing in the country.

‘Involve stakeholders in Cabotage Act’


HE Nigerian Cabotage Act, which was enacted to boost indigenous shipping capacity, is yet to yield the muchawaitedgains, because of the non-involvement of stakeholders in the granting of waivers by the Federal Ministry of Transportation. A maritime lawyer, Mr Tosin Oloyede, said in Lagos that Nigerians would have been reaping immensely since the introduction of the Cabotage Act if not for the failure of government officials to involve local ship owners. Oloyede said though Nigerians contributed to the Act, they have since been sidelined in its

implementation, particularly the granting of waivers. “Under the Act, where there is no Nigerian to do the job, an expatriate is assigned on the ground that a Nigerian would be attached to him to understudy him. But it is ironical that when these ships come to the country and a waiver is granted, there is no Nigerian attached to the expatriates. The fees that come from the waivers do not go into the coffers of NIMASA and that is why the agency can not be blamed for it,” he said. He said NIMASA is not the custodian of the waiver but an agency under the Ministry of Transportation.

Correction IMMEDIATE past president of the Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) Mrs Margaret Orakwusi is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MORBOD Fisheries Limited and not ORC Fisheries Limited as we reported last Monday on the CEO pages. The error is regretted. – Editor



MARITIME Maritime Watch

Smugglers on the prowl A

S the Yuletide draws near, the smuggling of contraband into the country along Seme border is rising, The Nation has learnt. Investigation revealed that the smugglers have intensified their operations despite efforts to stop them. The Nation saw over 12 vehicles laden with prohibited items, such as rice, used clothes, frozen chicken and vegetable oil at Agbara Bus Stop trying to manoeuvre their way through the Customs’check point after the Agbara bridge popularly called (Koto Orun) death trap. The drivers were at alert as their gangs were seen negotiating with some people believed to be security officials in mufti or close to the top of the Agbara bridge. For over 10 minutes, the bridge was inaccessible to motorists coming from Badagry as smugglers and trailer drivers blocked the road. At the end of the bridge were the Customs and police checkpoints. There were about six Customs officers checking incoming vehicles; the police had about four. Another four vehicles laden with smuggled goods were seen in front of the Federal Government College, Ijanikin. Where the vehicles were stationed was not far from where Customs officials from the Federal Op-

‘Nigeria is Africa’s maritime future’ Stories by Uyoatta Eshiet

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

eration Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ were keeping vigil with their vehicle. Three of the vehicles were later seen off loading rice and vegetable oil at Alaba Rago market. A senior Customs officer said smuggling is affecting their revenue targets, adding that the service is doing everything possible to combat the menace. He said officers and men of the service have seized textiles, furniture, vegetable oil, used cars, and other items in the last few weeks, but the smugglers, he said, appear be more desperate. Confirming the desperation of the smugglers, the controller of Federal Operations Unit, Victor Dimka, told reporters that seizures were made within the last two week on the OyoOgun axis and at Ijanikin, on the Lagos Badagry Expressway. He said the first set of seizures was made on November 4 around Igangan in Oyo State when a Volkswagen LT 35 bus with registration number MQ 768 KJA was intercepted by eagle-eye customs patrol men. According to him, upon inspection, the bus was discovered to be loaded 170 bundles of expensive textile ma-


terials, worth N91.8 million. “The occupants of the said vehicle, on sighting Customs officials, jumped out and ran into the bush,” he said. Disclosing the command’s exploits further, Dimka said a few days later, on Eruwa-Abeokuta- Saki axis, a Ford Transit bus with registration number XU 893RBC was intercepted with 109 bags of Indian hemp worth N98.1 million. “The CGC has directed that we shouldn’t allow anyone to take advantage of the end-of-year festivities to bring in any contraband or smuggle any dutiable items into the country, and we are equal to the task. Any smuggler who dares the capability Federal Operations Unit will always regret it,” he warned. Dimka confirmed that the seized items are already lost to the government. He advised smugglers to desist or be ready to face the consequences of their actions.

THE President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, has described Nigeria as the future destination for African maritime. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, the ANALCA chief said Nigeria has possibilities for economic opportunities in the maritime industry. The opportunities in the maritime industry, he said, included Ship building and repairs, human capacity development, ship breaking and recycle facilities amongst others. Shittu advised investors who had converged on Abuja from various Commonwealth countries across the world to explore available windows based on public- private, private-private and government to government partnership. While noting that Nigeria accounts for over 65 per cent of the total maritime trade traffic in volume and value within the West and Central African sub-region, Shittu said President Jonathan’s administration is also committed to transforming Nigeria into a regional maritime centre and hub for maritime services events. Shittu, however, stressed the need to increase the participation of indigenous players in the maritime industry to boost the economy. He urged the Federal Government to invest in the maritime industry to generate employment for jobless youths.

$57b container ships booked to 2015 WHILE Nigerian shippers are still crying for lack of ships to enable them to participate appropriately in the domestic maritime trade because of lack of money, ocean carriers and charter ship-owners have placed orders worth $57 billion for new container vessels over the next four years, with about half of the value of orders made as the industry emerged from a slump in 2009, said Alphaliner. The carriers’ and shipowners’ ordering spree of $27 billion for new container vessels prior to the collapse of Lehman Bros added to $30 billion of contracts already in the pipeline, the container market analyst said. Of the orders for new ships through 2015, ocean carriers account for $35 billion and charter owners $22 billion. “The carriers’ first action after emerging from the worst recession in container shipping history ever, was to order even more capacity,” Alphaliner said. “New orders were placed in an already oversupplied market.” The capital commitment on new vessels by 19 of the largest ocean carriers exceeds $33 billion. MOL and NYK are the only top 20 carriers without outstanding new vessel commitments on their own account. But the Japanese lines have signed charter deals for 13,000 to 14,000 20-foot equivalent container units newbuildings with their alliance partners in order not be left out of the expected capacity growth.

Tin Can Customs nets N160b

•Godswill (left) presenting a plaque to Folarin during a visit to Government House, Uyo

Akwa Ibom to boost maritime


OVERNOR Godswill Akpabio is set to unlock the maritime potential of Akwa Ibom State to accelerate the country’s economic development. He has promised to construct a railroad linking Uyo with Port Harcourt as part of the plans to unleash the potential. Speaking at the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council Maritime (NPCC) Summit in Uyo, Akpabio said it was important to link all states, economic zones and mining areas with railways for easy movement of goods and people. He added that it was essential to update the railway system in the country and go for faster and more modern trains. Akpabio listed the maritime potential of the state to include Ibaka Seaport with one of the longest coastlines in the world and one of the deepest water depths in the country and rich shrimps, lobsters and other crustaceans. “The Ibaka Seaport would not require perennial dredging because it has a depth of 13-15 metres. It also has

the added advantage of proximity and centrality to deep offshore operations and the West Africa Region Joint Development Zone including Sao Tome, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Gabon. Added to this is the security and peaceful nature of the community and the availability of ample undeveloped land,’’ the governor said. He informed the Council of the intention of the state government to build an Industrial City to be known as Ibom Industrial City, on the area the seaport is located. According to him, “the Ibom Industrial City would be an industrial mix of oil and gas-based support services, dockyard and watercraft repair facilities, fertiliser plant, oil refinery, gasto-liquid projects,petrochemical industries, power plant and the Ibaka Seaport and it promises to be a selfsustaining industrial city with schools, hospitals, shopping malls, hotels, among others.” He expressed the hope that when fully operational, the industrial city would employ 100,000 people, increase the export base of the nation,

strengthen the country’s position in the oil and gas map of the world,open the state as one the gateways to the world in the Gulf of Guinea. Akpabio, who hinted that the state government has issued a Certificate of Occupancy for more than 5580 Sq. metres of land to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the Federal Government’s acceptance to develop the seaport. The Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, who was represented by the Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Omar Suleiman, thanked the Akwa Ibom Government for taking the responsibility of projecting the potential of the state outside the petroleum resources, saying that the infrastructure facilities of the state would assist in the take-off of the Ibaka Deep Seaport. Earlier, the Chairman of Nigerian Ports Consultative Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin, lauded the Akwa Ibom State Governor for taking the initiative in hosting the meeting and pledged to assist maritime sector of the state.

THE Tin Can Island Ports Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) said it made about N160 billion at the Tin Can Island Port between January and October, this year. The spokesperson of the Customs Command, Mr Chris Osunkwo, said the total revenue target of the Command for the year is N180 billion. He said the Command is well on its way of surpassing the target before the end of the year. Osunkwo also stated that the Command’s monthly target was N15 billion, but that the Command was making an average collection of about N17 billion monthly. On what made the feat possible, Osunkwo said many things contributed. He stated some of them as: motivation of the officers, leadership style of the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, putting sustainable welfare package in place for the Service as well as galvanising the efforts of the Officers and men of the Command has jointly made the achievement possible both for the Tin Can Island Command and for the Service nationwide. Osunkwo confessed that for now they are well taken care of and this has rubbed off positively as they have the zeal to go the extra mile in their revenue drive efforts and plugging every loophole through which the government used to lose revenue. This has paid-off, resulting in the service surpassing its yearly budgeted revenue collecting target within 10 months.

CP visits NAGAFF, tasks agents THE new Commissioner of Port Police Command, Mr Charles Abutu, has called for the co-operation of licenced customs agents in ensuring that security is placed high at the nation’s seaports. He assured all of the readiness of the Force to combat crime at the nation’s ports under his watch. Abutu stated this last Thursday when he paid a familiarisation visit to the national headquarters of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) at Apapa, Lagos. The commissioner said the security of the nation’s seaport is the responsibility of users and not that of the police alone. Abutu urged members of the association to be law-abiding as they carry out their duties in the ports.He assured all that it was no longer going to be business as usual as the Police is set to put an end to all those who come to loiter around the ports without any genuine business to transact. Responding, the National President, Mr Eugene Nweke, while thanking him for the visit, assured the CP of his association’s cooperation.










Unic Insurance loses N1.1b


•NSE opens on cautious note


No of Deals 3 12 15

Quotation(N) 23.58 7.65

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,460 77,538.60 13,600 104,312.00 17,060 181,850.60

Quotation(N) 2.08 5.08

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,000 4,240.00 162,776 808,921.16 164,776 813,161.16

Quotation(N) 0.50 1.34

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 22,000 11,000.00 84,115 113,754.11 106,115 124,754.11

Quotation(N) 4.48 2.47 1.81 4.11 1.28 8.38 13.61 6.61 4.14 0.97 2.30 0.50 0.56 11.52

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,813,264 12,292,758.27 7,020,226 17,543,315.76 187,948 342,133.42 27,103,765 108,448,019.78 3,161,217 4,046,357.76 13,133,375 110,890,221.71 4,870,478 66,269,754.07 1,386,176 9,028,349.71 3,609,719 14,911,832.86 1,522,500 1,520,271.80 73,044,204 168,043,019.09 1,439,250 719,845.00 722,608 405,720.48 88,595,701 1,019,295,679.40 228,610,431 1,533,757,279.11

Quotation(N) 218.00 94.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 245,252 53,572,295.52 2,212,181 208,187,187.42 2,457,433 261,759,482.94


No of Deals 2 22 24


No of Deals 3 17 20 BANKING


No of Deals 106 39 14 33 50 517 370 62 106 24 169 15 15 259 1,779 BREWERIES


No of Deals 91 168 259


No of Deals 52 24 47 21 144

Quotation(N) 12.55 4.56 105.10 40.80

Quantity Traded Value 2,941,059 762,366 102,357 126,636 3,932,418

of Shares (N) 36,528,869.19 3,501,955.06 10,824,216.50 5,165,040.70 56,020,081.45

Quotation(N) 8.10 15.63 0.53

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 51,754 399,066.34 35,293 531,841.80 18,000 9,200.00 105,047 940,108.14


No of Deals 6 14 4 24


No of Deals 3 1 15 19

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.76 2.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 250,000 125,000.00 250,563 190,427.88 355,000 712,602.00 855,563 1,028,029.88


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 2.94

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,599 4,477.20 1,599 4,477.20

Quotation(N) 29.00 0.55 29.60 26.01

Quantity Traded Value 252,615 1,595,478 326,283 492,425 2,666,801

of Shares (N) 7,338,161.18 858,234.34 9,639,652.08 12,948,101.69 30,784,149.29

Quotation(N) 36.51 0.50

Quantity Traded Value 28,422 5,000,000 5,028,422

of Shares (N) 1,015,580.00 2,500,000.00 3,515,580.00


NIC Insurance Plc has lost about N1.1 billion in the past 18 months as its income dropped for three consecutive periods. Audited reports and accounts of the firm for the years ended December 31, 2010, and first-half report for 2011, showed a major relapse in its performance, with net losses impacting on the equity funds of the company. The 2010 full-year report indicated that gross premium dropped by 37.6 per cent to N1.71 billion in 2010 as against N2.74 billion in 2009. The company posted a loss after tax of N1.02 billion in 2010 compared with N538.8 million in 2009. The equity base of the company consequently dwindled from N3.83 billion in 2009 to N2.80 billion in 2010. The company also carried the downtrend into the first quarter of this year, with gross premium dropping to N82.90 million as against N235.6 million in the comparable period of 2010. Loss after tax stood at N40.04 million compared with profit before tax of N65.36 million in the first quarter of 2010. By the first half, gross premium stood at of N1.06 billion, compared with N1.50 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2010. Loss before tax stood at N102.65 million as against N60.24 million posted in the corresponding period of 2010. The company’s equity funds thus declined from

No of Deals 54 23 54 75 206 CONSTRUCTION


No of Deals 19 2 21


No of Deals 4 4

Quotation(N) 1.78

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 16,500 28,335.00 16,500 28,335.00


No of Deals 5 46 58 75 38 7 22 96 4 3 354

Quotation(N) 48.00 11.00 5.10 4.46 62.50 2.57 4.07 400.66 0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,397 246,116.71 659,132 7,254,437.71 320,322 1,635,300.91 643,515 2,868,244.20 97,952 6,126,071.06 321,152 826,280.64 268,468 1,089,438.32 575,934 230,746,342.50 51,350 25,675.00 3,854 1,927.00 2,947,076 250,819,834.05

Quotation(N) 0.99 23.65 1.81 9.05 1.18

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 445,209 441,839.09 22,972 516,255.84 118,325 215,070.00 33,083 284,513.80 2,000 2,260.00 621,589 1,459,938.73


No of Deals 12 6 15 1 1 35

HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 2.39

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 18,200 41,496.00 18,200 41,496.00


No of Deals 12 12

Quotation(N) 4.78

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 135,700 620,410.00 135,700 620,410.00


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

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


Quotation(N) 0.51 0.99 2.20 0.53 1.50 0.50 0.50 0.54

Quantity Traded Value 1,616,803 16,559 1,143,700 2,561,000 2,056,245 31,300 14,000 820,000

of Shares (N) 834,676.00 15,893.41 2,317,635.00 1,357,330.00 3,084,883.50 15,650.00 7,000.00 442,800.00

N2.805 billion with which it opened the year to N2.77 billion by the end of first half. Although Unic and several other insurance firms were stagnant at their nominal values, the NSE Insurance Index rode on the back of gain by Custodian and Allied Insurance to 147.57 points yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The index had opened at 146.65 points. Gains by some highly capitalised companies propped up the overall market position as aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted companies added N2 billion to close at N6.257 trillion, as against opening value of N6.255 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI) inched up from 19,785.03 points to 19,791.00 points. Though there were 20 decliners against 16 advancers, gains by high-cap stocks such as Guinness Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank tilted the overall market position to positive. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised companies, inched up from 881.59 points to 881.95 points, while the NSE Banking Index improved from 255.33 points to 257.57 points. However, the NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped to 235.92 points as against opening

index of 236.37 points. The NSE Food and Beverages Index also followed the downtrend at 552.17 points compared with opening index of 553.06 points. Guinness Nigeria led the advancers with a gain of N2 to close at N218 per share. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria followed with a gain of 67 kobo to close at N40.80. Nestle Nigeria added 66 kobo to close at N400.66. Stanbic IBTC Bank gained 31 kobo to close at N6.61. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated rallied 27 kobo to close at N10. Custodian and Allied Insurance added 10 kobo to close at N2.20, while Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank added two kobo and one kobo apiece to close at N11.52 and N13.61 respectively. On the downside, Nigerian Breweries topped the losers’ list with a drop of 195 kobo to close at N94. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria lost 24 kobo to close at N4.56. UAC of Nigeria dropped by 20 kobo to N29.60. Learn Africa declined by 18 kobo to N3.43 while Oando lost 17 kobo to close at N24.68 per share. Total turnover stood at 262.94 million shares worth N2.21 billion in 3,440 deals. Banking subsector accounted for 230.17 million shares valued at N1.55 billion through 1,837 deals. Insurance subsector staged a distant second with 8.43 million shares valued at N8.16 million in 86 deals.



By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire


1 3 1 5 1 1 1 1 86

0.50 0.50 0.50 1.00 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

45,000 30,970 1,000 9,114 1,000 1,071 7,280 70,000 8,425,042

22,500.00 15,485.00 500.00 9,139.00 500.00 535.50 3,640.00 35,000.00 8,163,167.41

Quotation(N) 0.69

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,378,778 1,682,743.33 2,378,778 1,682,743.33


No of Deals 60 60


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 8,000 4,000.00 8,000 4,000.00

Quotation(N) 1.63

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,266,493 2,039,657.63 1,266,493 2,039,657.63


No of Deals 55 55


No of Deals 1 4 13 11 16 24 163 9 241

Quotation(N) 0.50 63.86 33.25 3.46 14.25 133.95 24.68 198.00

Quantity Traded Value 2,000 4,700 19,726 70,429 23,852 7,535 1,268,507 20,879 1,417,628

of Shares (N) 1,000.00 285,149.00 648,165.56 232,007.51 323,001.08 1,020,038.50 31,495,444.56 3,933,039.90 37,937,846.11


No of Deals 3 3 2 8

Quotation(N) 2.20 3.43 3.60

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,436 21,925.60 152,100 521,703.00 6,800 24,800.00 169,336 568,428.60

Quotation(N) 12.16

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 12,000 142,030.00 12,000 142,030.00


No of Deals 8 8


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 100.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 200 20,000.00 200 20,000.00


No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 13,000 6,500.00 13,000 6,500.00


No of Deals 58 58

Quotation(N) 10.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,559,777 15,569,395.89 1,559,777 15,569,395.89







‘NSE’s 2010 results justify SEC’s intervention’


HE performance of the Nige rian Stock Exchange in the im mediate past business year has justified the timely intervention of the Securities & Exchange Commission in the leadership of the Exchange. Lagos-based market analyst and investment advisor, Mr. Abiodun Hakeem, said the regulatory intervention, which effected leadership change in the NSE IN 2010 halted the descent of the NSE into a failing company. According to him, the audited report for 2010 showed appreciable improvements in the management and operations of the NSE. The result also proved that SEC’s intervention was timely and correct as the declining performance of the Exchange has immediately transformed to surplus. “Judging by the improved financial position of the Exchange, stronger enforcement regime, commitment to stimulating performance in the fixed income market, ongoing efforts on demutualisation, efforts at getting multinational corporations in oil and gas as well as telecommunications to list on the Exchange among others, the interim administration actually acquitted itself quite creditably,” Hakeem said. Annual report and accounts of NSE for 2010 showed that the bourse moved from a loss position of N2 billion in 2009 to a profit of N357 million in 2010. Hakeem noted that SEC led the process that produced the improved NSE results through its reform and regulatory oversight on the Exchange pointing out that SEC’s representatives on the board of NSE have been providing required support for the Exchange. It will be recalled that on August 4, 2010, SEC, in a regulatory move intervened in the management of the Exchange. On August 5, SEC re-

By Taofik Salako

moved Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke as Director General of the Exchange. SEC also directed Alhaji Aliko Dangote to cease acting as president of the Council of the Exchange in compliance with a court order nullifying his election as president; pending the outcome of ongoing litigation. Consequently, SEC established an interim administration for the Exchange by appointing Mr.

Mr. Ikazoboh should overlap with Mr Onyema for one month to enable a proper handover, following which Mr Ikazoboh ceased to be the interim administrator of the Exchange. SEC had further directed that the Exchange should admit to membership of the Council six professionals as an interim measure in the public interest in order to strengthen the Council and support the new management team. Hakeem noted that the enduring

Emmanuel Ikazoboh and Mallam Ballama Manu as interim administrator and interim head of Council respectively. Among the mandates of the SEC to the interim administration was the appointment of a new executive management for the Exchange which was accomplished on April 4, 2011, following a rigorous selection process which saw the emergence of Mr. Oscar Onyema as the new chief executive officer. SEC had directed that

Exports, oil drive account balances to $8.14b, says CBN


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has linked the rise in current account surplus to $8.14 billion in the second quarter of 2011 from $4.73 billion in the previous quarter, to increased exports and high global oil prices. “The movement in the current account position in the second quarter 2011, indicates a significant improvement in the balance of trade position at $12.51 billion compared

vious quarter. It was better than the $1.50 billion figure a year ago. “The observed decrease in the inflows of FDI and portfolio investment may be linked to the Euro debt crisis which has continued to adversely affect major international financial centres, and hence financial flows to emerging and developing countries,” the report noted. The DES report, said Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves however remain low at $31.88 billion as at

By Collins Nweze

with $8.75 billion in Q1, 2011 and $6.51 billion in second quarter of 2010 respectively,” the regulator said in a report on Development in the External Sector (DES) for the second quarter 2011 published on its website. However, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to the country declined in the period to $1.52 billion from $1.88 billion in the pre-


IGERIA has topped the list of seven countries in the region, which loses an estimated sum of $73 billion (about N11.6 trillion) annually through laundering of illicit money, Inter-Government Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), has said. GIABA, an arm of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is charged with the responsibility of fighting money laundering and its related offences through extensive research and formulation of policies on such issues. The body organises training programmes for financial and legal experts to fight money laundering. It also liases with the relevant financial regulatory

in the region. It cited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), as one of the agencies that has tackled corrupt practices in Nigeria. Giving a breakdown, the report stated that the countries lost about $43 billion and $20 billion via tax evasion and corruption respectively, and $2 billion and $612 million via drug trafficking and private sector fraud respectively, while another $280 million was lost through human trafficking and related crimes. Speaking on the issue, the GIABA Director-General, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, said money laundering and terrorism financing across the region has resulted

By Akinola Ajibade

bodies on the issue. According to its 2010 report, money laundering is endemic in the ECOWAS region as evident by the illegal transfer of funds across the borders. It said offences such as child trafficking, drug trafficking, purchase of properties with illegally acquired wealth, illegal operation of foreign accounts and looting of government treasury, among others constitute predictable offences that made up money laundering. The report showed that efforts made by countries to deal with money laundering issues have yielded little results, adding that the various anti-graft agencies are struggling to check the menace

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


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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 6.30 1.22 2.10 4.30 0.53 1.58 9.73 4.05 40.13 216.00

C/PRICE 6.61 1.28 2.20 4.48 0.55 1.63 10.00 4.14 40.80 218.00

CHANGE 0.31 0.06 0.10 0.18 0.02 0.05 0.27 0.09 0.67 2.00


O/PRICE 4.80 0.80 3.61 2.70 1.90 0.72 0.56 0.58 1.00 2.05

C/PRICE 4.56 0.76 3.43 2.57 1.81 0.69 0.54 0.56 0.97 2.00


Offered ($) Demanded ($)


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

in the wastage of public funds. Shehu said the region is battling to rid itself of corrupt practices, insisting that the issue has become a challenge to various governments. He said there was need to sensitise a large segment of the population on the effects of money laundering and terrorism financing. Shehu said the agency is not responsible for the arrest or trial of people that engage in money laundering, adding that its primary obligation is to document necessary statistics or data on cases involving money laundering and terrorist financing in each of the countries.



OBB Rate Call Rate

the end of second quarter from $33.21 billion in the previous quarter. Its trade balance improved in the second quarter following significant expansion in merchandise exports, in comparison with the developments observed in first quarter of 2011 and second quarter of 2010. Nigeria’s merchandise exports rose to $25,426.68 million in the second quarter 2011.

Nigeria tops money laundering chart



consequence of the global financial and sovereign wealth crisis in Europe has compounded the recovery of Nigerian stock market expressing optimism that the market would bounce back in the medium to long term. “Recovery can only happen in the medium and long terms after the reforms being undertaken by the SEC Nigeria and the NSE would have taken firm root and hopefully complemented by a lift of the pall on the world,” Hakeem said.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’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%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.85 98.43 0.76 1.04 0.88 1,642.73 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,351.90 193.00

9.08 1.00 118.69 97.65 0.73 1.04 0.87 1,635.25 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08


CHANGE 0.24 0.04 0.18 0.13 0.09 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.05


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 Court acquits man accused of ‘fraud’ By Abolanle Adewunmi

A LAGOS High Court sitting in Ikeja has freed Johnson Igwe who was charged with fraud. Igwe was arraigned for allegedly defrauding Chinedu John of N909,800 in October 2009 at Marina, Lagos. The police said he obtained goods from John under false pretence. Igwe had asked John to supply him with clothes for sale. John sent 354 shirts to the defendant in July 2009 at N700 per piece. This amounted to N247,800. John said he supplied Igwe additional 1,958 pieces of shirts at N750 totalling N1,468,500. He explained that the defendant paid his brother N647,000. In March 2010, he paid additional N110,000. He stated that the balance of the additional supply was not paid. John accused Igwe of defrauding him. Justice Olabisi Akinlade discharged and acquitted Igwe.

Elechi decries delay in resolving boundary dispute


OVERNOR Marthin Elechi of Ebonyi State has accused his Cross River State counterpart of delaying the resolution of the boundary dispute in Izzi/ Yala, Abakaliki/ Obubra,Ikwo/Obubra and IKwo/Abi. Elechi said the kidnap of World Bank consultants working on erosion and flood control site in Ikwo Local Government of the state by Cross River youths is capable of sparking off

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

fresh hostility in the border communities. Elechi spoke yesterday at the Government House in Abakaliki when officials of the National Boundary Commission on Ethnographic Study of Border Communities of Ebonyi and Cross River states visited him. The governor decried the militant disposition of

Cross River youths, saying they are frustrating efforts aimed at resolving the boundary dispute between the two states. Elechi noted that although the men kidnapped by the youths have been released, the equipment of the World Bank Consultants have not been released. “The Cross River State seems not to be forthcoming in settling the issues at the grey areas in Izzi/Yala, Abakaliki/Obubra, Ikwo/Obubra

and Ikwo/Abi sectors. It sometimes exhibit acts capable of sparking off fresh hostilities, like the recent arrest of the World Bank consultants working on erosion and flood control in Ikwo Local Government by Adadama Youths of Cross River State and the beating up of two men by Ukelle people of Cross River State,” he said. He said despite several meetings scheduled by the National Boundary Commission of the Joint Meeting of

21 vehicles for Anambra scheme From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


OVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State has commissioned 21 new Toyota buses for the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) Mass Transit Scheme. The event took place at Governor’s Lodge yesterday Obi challenged other government agencies to emulate the scheme and work towards becoming self-reliant. He said government would continue to assist relevant agencies to widen their scope of operations and explore fresh windows that would improve their revenue generation and financial profile. He enjoined those who leased the ANIDS vehicles to pay up as necessary measures would be taken to recover the vehicles and the debts. Chairman of the scheme Benjamin Uba hailed the state government for the gesture.

15 escape death as bus somersaults on Lagos bridge By Jude Isiguzo

FIFTEEN people yesterday narrowly escaped death when a loaded commercial somersaulted on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos. An eyewitness said the bus was returning from the island to the mainland when it lost control and somersaulted several times. It stopped in the middle of the road. The eyewitness said he was in another vehicle behind the commercial bus. It was learnt that the railings on the edges of the bridge stopped the vehicle from falling into the lagoon. The eyewitness said the driver was speeding. It was gathered that when the passengers were eventually evacuated by sympathisers, most of them were injured. But none of them died. The driver was reportedly nowhere near the bus. Officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASMA) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) could not be reached to confirm the accident.

Community honours ruler THE Enugwu – Ukwu community in Damaturu, Yobe State, will bestow its Life Achievement Award on the traditional ruler of the town ,Igwe Ralph Ekpeh. The award, which is presented every three years, is in recognition of the Igwe’s contributions to the economic development of the town. The Secretary of the community, Okwuchukwu Uche, said the industries and scholarship schemes the Igwe established in the town have assisted the less privileged and reduced unemployment.

Officials of both states over the years, the border problem still lingers. The governor urged the commission not to rest on its oars as it prepares to demarcate the boundary of Ebonyi and Cross River States. Director of Research and Policy Affairs Olali Opuene said the Ethnographic study would provide a preliminary clue of the boundary areas, adding that the affected communities would be visited.

ASUP threatens to shut down poly •The scene of the accident...yesterday

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Drama as court rules over jurisdiction in Anambra


HERE was a mild drama yesterday as a High Court in Anambra State ruled that it has jurisdiction to entertain the case brought before it by the sacked chairman of Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) Prof. Titus Ezeh. The state government sacked the electoral body’s chief following an alleged indictment of ffraud by a panel set up by the state government in June.

•Adoption of addresses January 16 From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Ezeh challenged his sack at the court without prior notice or defence. But the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Emmanuel Chukwuma, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter, adding that the petitioner did not serve a pre-action notice on the House of Assem-

bly. However, when the matter came up for ruling yesterday after last week’s legal fire works by lead counsel to the plaintiff Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN) and the Attorney-General, Justice Hope Ozoh ruled that he would hear the case. “Any action against the House of Assembly remains firm and this court has the jurisdiction to entertain the

matter,” he said. The plaintiff described the matter as a constitutional one. Chukwuma said there was nothing special about the matter. Ibegbu said the matter was special because the state government is holding the Anambra people hostage for not conducting council poll. He queried Prof. Ezeh’s sack. Justice Ozoh fixed January 16 for adoption of final addresses.

Traders protest closure of shops in Onitsha market


OME traders have protested the closure of a section of the Bridgehead Market in Onitsha, Anambra State, by the factional union executives. The traders from the Tools and Allied section of the market described the closure at the weekend as illegal and provocative. They condemned their continued intimidation by the union extremists and accused the police of supporting the factional group. One of the affected traders, Chief Cletus Onah, accused the police of using the factional leadership to force the traders to pay illegal levies even when the matter is pending

From Adimike George, Onitsha

in court. Onah, who also accused the faction of fomenting crisis, alleged that they were acting the script of “mischievous politicians”. He added that the partisan involvement of the police in the matter has compromised genuine efforts to resolve the matter. Onah alleged that the current leadership was imposed on the traders by powerful elements in the government who saw the market as a viable tool for electoral purposes. “We never held an election,

the last democratically elected union executives were forced out by these elements to have absolute control of the market and today we are suffering it as they have taken the law into their hands,” he said. The source maintained that the union crisis is before the court, adding that several injunctions have been issued by a Federal High Court to the former in the leadership of the market. According to him, the factional leaders have been flouting the Court directives. The last elected chairman of the union, Peter Okala, insisted that his executive remains the legitimate leader-

ship, adding that until the court determines the suit, they would continue to resist attempts by the impostors to stampede them out of the market. “We have been law abiding, but the recent development that saw the closure of shops and business places belonging to our members to spite us is condemnable. Millions of naira had been lost in the process, the atmosphere in the market now is near breaking point but we have prevailed on the traders and entire market community to take the path of peace because we are sure that justice will prevail at last,” he said.


HE Academic Staff Union of Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, has threatened to shut down the institution if any member of the outgone Governing Council is reappointed. This was made known by the Chairman of ASUP Ezeibe Anderson. According to him, the Union received the announcement of the dissolution of the Governing Council by the Federal Government “with a sense of relief and appreciation”. “The union equally resolved to suspend all academic activities in the polytechnic with immediate effect, if any member of the outgone Council is reappointed and shall sustain such action until the appointment is reversed,” he said.

Church holds retreat THE Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Agege, Lagos, will hold three- day retreat from Wednesday through Friday at Ori-Oke Itusile (Mount of Deliverance) at Igbusi Village, Iyana Ilogbo, Ogun State. The theme of the retreat is: “Mighty hand of God”. It will feature healing, deliverance and salvation. Leader of the church, Apostle S.O. Ewulo will minister at the event.






Truck crushes four in Osogbo


HERE was pandemonium in Osogbo on Sunday when a truck crushed a motorcyclist and three passengers to death. The Head of Operations, Osun Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Michael Olapade, said the accident occurred in front of the Osun State Trade Fair Complex, on Osogbo-Iwo Road. According to Olapade, the commercial motorcyclist was

conveying three passengers from Ara in Egbedore Local Government Area to Osogbo when the incident occurred . “The Mercedes tipper truck, blue in colour, without any registration number, was going to Iwo road. Suddenly, the driver lost control when it ran into potholes and collided with the motorcycle with registration number Osun QY 312 ARR,” he said. He said the rider and its three passengers died on the

spot, adding that two of the deceased, Fasasi Akeem and Adeniji Wasiu were pupils of Baptist Grammar School, Osogbo. The sector Commander said the bodies of the deceased had been deposited at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, for autopsy. He advised all motorists to be conscious and alert to avoid accidents.

There is disconnect between PDP, govt, ORMER Minister of says Maduekwe Transport Chief Ojo


Maduekwe yesterday bemoaned what he described as a “disconnect” between the government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP has been in control at the centre since the return to democratic rule in 1999. The former National Secretary of the PDP spoke in Abuja during his screening for an ambassadorial job by the Senate. He noted that since the PDP has produced the government of the day, it must be more involved in governance. “The party must have a position in health, education and other issues,” he said. Maduekwe also urged Ni-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

gerian foreign embassies to be prudent in the management of resources made available to them. He said that Nigeria is not a rich country but it is potentially rich, given its population, size and the fact that the country solely relies on oil. He added that corruption must also be addressed if Nigeria must develop. Also, former Nigeria Ambassador to Libya, Senator Lawal Guba advised the Federal Government and security agencies to keep an eye on the nation’s borders to avoid

the free flow of Libyan arms into the country.He explained that although Nigeria does not share direct borders with Libya, but arms could find their way to Niger Republic and since that country share borders with Nigeria, it was possible for these arms to enter Nigeria. He told the Committee on Foreign Affairs that Libyan youths receive some form of training on how to handle fire-arms from secondary school and with the crisis,arms were freely distributed to them. He noted that without proper government in place in Libya, arms may find their way to other African countries.

Nigeria’s negative image worries Mark


ENATE President David Mark yesterday expressed worry over Nigeria’s negative image in the international community despite the country’s huge contributions to the development of other nations. He spoke in Kano at the opening of a two-day yearly conference/annual general meeting of National Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). Mark noted that though the country is facing management problems, it has enriched many countries with its rich human and natural resources. Represented by his Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Alhaji Mustapha Makama, the Senate President said the theme of the conference, Rep-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

utation as a Catalyst for National Renaissance, was in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, which aims at redeeming the country’s image. Reiterating the commitment of the Senate to partner the NIPR in building the country’s reputation, Mark urged Nigerians to contribute their quota to rebrand the country. He added that national reputation derives from individual contributions. The guest speaker, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule, urged Nigerians to team up in the quest to develop Nigeria.


NAMA denies allegation of N13billion HE Nigerian Airspace fraud on TRACON project Management Agency


(NAMA) yesterday denied allegation of N13billion fraud in the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria(TRACON) project. NAMA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Supo Atobatele, explained that the N13 billion allegedly spent on the project is a misrepresentation. He said: “The TRACON project was awarded to Messrs Thales SA of France on April 7,2003 at 66,500,870 Euros. He also explained that the 700,000 Euros claimed to have been specially provided for as maintenance charges of some of the components in the Support Services Agreement is ridiculous and unfounded as it was not covered in the clause in the contract.The scope of work included the provision of modern Air Traffic Management Systems. The initial project duration was 36 months and the cov-

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

erage areas are nine sites out of which four sites in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt would provide Approach and Area Radar services. The remaining five sites in Maiduguri, Ilorin, Numan, Talata-Mafara and Obubra are en-route stations. “The TRACON Project was multi-tasking in view of the several deliverables of the project which includes but not limited to the provision of co-located Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR) and Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR), EUROCAT C Air Traffic Management System, Voice Communication and Control Switch (VCCS), Emergency VHF, Voice Recording System, Fibre Optics, VSAT network and other ancillaries like UPS, Power systems, AMF etc. “It is important to note that though Thales as the

lead contractor was responsible for the system design and project coordination, the TRACON project itself was implemented by a consortium of global and market leaders in Air Traffic Management (ATM) technology. The Radar and Eurocat Air Traffic Management systems came from Thales Air Systems of France, Voice Switches from Thales and Frequentis AG of Austria, VHF Radios from Park Air Systems of UK, Fibre Optics from SAGEM of France, VSAT equipment from ND SatCom of Germany, Power systems, back-ups and other ancillaries. ‘It is pertinent to note that the execution of the co-located PSR/MSSR is a project on its own in some countries and Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world that had embarked on a project of this nature with several deliverables at once.



Foreign NEWS Saudi Arabian woman executed for ‘sorcery’ SAUDI authorities have executed a woman convicted of practicing magic and sorcery. The Saudi Interior Ministry says in a statement the execution took place yesterday, but gave no details on the woman’s crime. The London-based alHayat daily, however, quoted Abdullah al-Mohsen, chief of the religious police who arrested the woman, as saying she had tricked people into thinking she could treat illnesses, charging them $779 per session. The paper said a female investigator followed up, and the woman was arrested in April 2009, and later convicted in a Saudi court. It did not give the woman’s name, but said she was in her 60s. The execution brings the total to 76 this year in Saudi Arabia, according to an Associated Press count. At least three have been women. Her case wasn’t the first death penalty for practicing witchcraft. The kingdom follows a strict version of Islamic law that bans sorcery. Though dozens of people are arrested each year for practicing magic, the last known execution before 2011 was of an Egyptian pharmacist convicted in 2007. Sorcery in Saudi Arabia also made headlines when Lebanese TV psychic Ali Sibat was arrested by Saudi religious police in May 2008 when he made a religious pilgrimage in the country. He sentenced to execution by beheading in Nov. 2009 for similar charges, but reports say he has yet to be executed.

PUBLIC NOTICE This is to inform the public that the family of Ayorinde Faseru had apply for the street naming at Ayorinde Faseru Estate along Ilesa-Ife road in Ilesa East Local Government. Any objection to this application should be forwarded to the Chairman, Street Naming Committee Ilesa East Local Government within 21 days from this publication. MANGEMENT.

PUBLIC NOTICE NWANNA I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Onyinyechi Rosemary Nwanna, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Onyinyechi Rosemary Onyekwere. All former document remain valid. NYSC and general public should take note. ADEWOYE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Adewoye, Abosede Mayowa, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adeleke Abosede Mayowa. All former document remain valid. Osun State University and general public should take note.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (second right); new Korean Ambassador Jong-Hyun Choi (middle); Korean Consul-General Pilcheen Park (right); Lagos State Commissioner forCommerce and Industry Mrs Sola Oworu, and Embassy Counsellor Chae Gyo Jeong, during the ambassador’s visit to the governor in Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO:OMOSEHIN MOSES

Russia billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov to challenge Putin R USSIAN billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has said he will challenge Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in next March’s presidential election. Mr Prokhorov said it was “the most serious decision” of his life. Saturday saw Russia’s biggest demonstration in years by protesters calling for fresh parliamentary polls over alleged voting fraud. Mr Putin’s party, United Russia, barely scraped a majority in the elections held earlier this month. “I have made the most serious decision of my life. I am running for president,” Mr Prokhorov said at a news conference.

cellent English, he communicates easily with both Russians and non-Russians. But he has an Achilles heel that is a major shortcoming in today’s Russian politics. He is an oligarch. For many ordinary Russians the oligarchs are the people who stole their raw materials, and in the case of Mikhail Prokhorov that includes vast amounts of gold as well as nickel. So although he is undoubtedly a charismatic man, and a very good organiser, he may not be able to generate sufficient support from the grassroots. Earlier this year, the met-

Cameron defends EU veto decision POULTRY MANAGER REQUIRED

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PUBLIC NOTICE DIVINE ROCK MINISTRY This is to inform the general public that the above named Church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990. The Trustees are: 1. Pastor Light Ifeanyi Munonye Chairman 2. Mrs. Angela Light Munonye Secretary 3. Mr. Ugochukwu M. Munonye 4. Barr. Victor A. Ozoemenam 5. Mrs. Favour James 6. Ibim Dawari AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To propagate the word of God. 2. To train people on the word of God. 3. To conduct deliverance, healing, breakthrough and salvation. 4. To care for the less privilege. 5. To engage in any other charitable activities. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Victor A. Ozoemenam, Esq. V.A OZOEMENAM & CO 7 Igboukwu Street, D/Line Port Harcourt 08034381273.

Mr Prokhorov said he would not build his presidential campaign on criticism of Mr Putin. “Criticism must make up no more than 10%… I would like to focus on the things I would do,” he said. Mikhail Prokhorov is one of the new generation of Russians who are comfortable with their place in the postCold War world. Just 46 years old, he made his fortune in Russia’s “crazy 90s” by buying Norilsk Nickel, and then selling it just before the global economic crash. Genuinely charming, over two metres tall, and with ex-

als billionaire and owner of the US NBA New Jersey Nets basketball team made a short-lived effort to challenge the United Russia party in this month’s parliamentary elections. He later resigned from his own party, the Right Cause party, following an internal power struggle that he blamed on the Kremlin. He then accused Kremlin strategist Vladislav Surkov of being linked to the party’s split and said he would push for Mr Surkov’s dismissal. Yesterday, he said: “I have found a more sophisticated way [to dismiss Surkov], I think I should just become his boss,” Mr Prokhorov said.

RITISH Prime Minister David Cameron has said he “genuinely looked to reach an agreement” at the EU summit but vetoed treaty change because it was not in the national interest. Mr Cameron told Members of Parliament he negotiated in “good faith” and his demands were “modest, reasonable and relevant”. The prime minister said he used the veto as he did not secure “sufficient safeguards” on financial regulation. His pro-European Deputy


PM Nick Clegg, decided not to take his usual place alongside the PM in the Commons. Labour leader Ed Miliband questioned why Mr Clegg was not in the Commons, saying the PM could “not even persuade” his deputy of the merits of his actions. The statement began with Labour MPs shouting “where’s Clegg” - and later during the statement Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries accused the Lib Dem leader of “cowardice” while a succession of Labour MPs asked the PM if he knew where Mr

Clegg was. After the Commons statement Mr Clegg told reporters that everyone knew he and prime minister disagreed on the outcome of the summit: “I would have been a distraction if I was there.” He added: “Being isolated as one is potentially bad for jobs, bad for growth, bad for the livelihoods of millions of people in this country, but the coalition government is here to stay.” Nick Clegg: “Being isolated as one is potentially bad... but the coalition government is here to stay.”

‘Al-Qaeda jail break’ in Yemeni city of Aden


WELVE al-Qaeda militants have broken out of a prison in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, officials have said. The militants, and two others, escaped through a six metre tunnel dug from the yard at the city’s central prison. The escapees were in the process of being tried for bank robbery or were charged with assassinations of security officers, the Yemeni officials said. In June, al-Qaeda fighters raided the central jail in the southern city Mukalla, freeing dozens of prisoners. Yemen’s army has been fighting heavy gun battles with al-Qaeda militants in different parts of Yemen. The country is experiencing unrest and political crisis on several fronts insurgency in the north, a separatist movement in the south, nationwide protests calling for reform and free elections, and gun battles between different factions in the capital Sanaa. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has governed for 32 years, agreed last month to hand his powers to his deputy and quit within 90 days.

Jammeh seeks ‘billion-year’ rule HE Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has told the BBC that he will rule for “one billion years”, if God wills. He said critics who accused him of winning last month’s elections through intimidation and fraud could “go to hell”. The West African regional body Ecowas said the electorate had been “cowed by repression”. Mr Jammeh, who took power in a coup in 1994, was re-elected with 72% of the figures, official figures


show. The 46 year old said he did not fear a fate similar to Egypt’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak or killed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. “My fate is in the hands of almighty Allah,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme. “I will deliver to the Gambian people and if I have to rule this country for one billion years, I will, if Allah says so.” The November poll was the fourth since Mr Jammeh

overthrew The Gambia’s first post-independence leader Dawda Jawara aged just 29. I will not bow down before anybody, except the almighty Allah and if they [human rights groups] don’t like that they can go to hell” Opposition candidates Ousainou Darboe and Hamat Bah took 17% and 11% respectively. Mr Darboe called the results “bogus, fraudulent and preposterous”. The Economic Community of West African States


(Ecowas) refused to send observers, saying the polls would not be free and fair because voters and the opposition had been “cowed by repression and intimidation”.




Arsenal FC delegation visits NFF A

delegation of English Premier League side, Arsenal Football Club on Monday paid a courtesy visit to the Secretariat of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), commending the huge following that the Club commands in Nigeria – which could be the largest in any other country in the world apart from England. NFF’s Acting General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu received the Arsenal delegation and informed them that football is an intense passion in Nigeria which some commentators even elevate to a religion at times. Amadu said: “I heartily welcome you to our great football country, a nation of 167 million passionate football fans who come together and iden-

• Commends ‘huge following’ in Nigeria tify with themselves much better when the issue on the table is the round-leather game. “Two years ago, Manchester United FC and Portsmouth FC delegations were pleasantly surprised at the reception they got from ordinary Nigerian ball fans in this country.” While observing that indeed, apart from Europe and North America, and some parts of Asia, Arsenal’s most passionate supportership must be within Nigeria, Amadu urged the English club to be ready to provide advice to the Nigeria Premier League and technical support to some Nigerian Clubs. “This visit, I want to observe, will definitely provide a strong

platform for a much better relationship between the English Premier League (EPL) and the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). Incidentally, the NPL is just returning firmly to its feet after protracted crises and will welcome tips and suggestions on how to re-position powerfully for the upcoming season. “It is also important that I mention that some of our football Clubs, particularly those in the Premier League, would welcome some form of technical partnership with Arsenal Football Club”, said Amadu. Responding, Arsenal’s Marketing Director, Angus Kinnear said the delegation was overwhelmed by the support for the Club within Nigeria



Ikpeba, Okocha lead ex-Eagles to Accra

ORMER African Footballer of the year, Victor Ikpeba and ex -Super Eagles Captain, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha will be leading a generation of old Super Eagles’ players to the next GLO- CAF Awards ceremony coming up on 22nd December in Accra, Ghana. Victor Ikpeba, a former player of Monaco FC, popularly known as ‘Prince of Monaco’ played for the France-based team for many years before moving over to Borrussia Dortmund FC in Germany. He won the African Footballer of the year Award in 1997. Okocha on the other hand distinguished himself with Einthract Frankfurt FC of Germany, Fernabache of Turkey, Paris St Germain of France and Bolton Wanderers of England. He has been nominated for Legends Award along with ExMoroccan International Mustapha Hadji. Top artists have been lined up to entertain at the 2011 GLOCAF Awards. Top on the list is singing sensation and Glo Ambassador in Benin Republic, Zeynab who will thrill the audience with her unique style. Others include Kwabena Kwabena, a Ghana based hi-life musician and Efya, a new sensation in Ghana music, whose latest single ‘Little Things’ is rul-

ing the airwaves. Some music enthusiasts have described her as a new voice on the Africa soul music scene. Efya who is the newest ambassador of Glo in Ghana calls her kind of music ‘Afro-neo soul’. Others are as Gloria Bosman

and Loyiso Bala, both from South Africa. Also expected to thrill the audience is an Acrobatic Tumbling group known as Troop Agile from Kenya.

and was of the opinion that outside England, Arsenal’s biggest fan base could be Nigeria. “We are pleasantly surprised at all that we have seen. Ours is a Club with strong values and strong tradition, with over 20 nationalities involved, and we have a Manager who values talent. We also believe in building strength rather than buying”, stated Kinnear. Other members of the Arsenal delegation included Paul Johnson, First Team Travel and Equipment Manager, Shehu Dikko, former NFF Secretary General Ambassador Fanny Amun, Member of House of Representatives Hon. Razak Bello-Osagie, David Omigie, John Okusi and Kelvin Ideha. NFF President, Aminu Maigari was represented by Executive Committee member, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya Kwande, and there were also Directors of Technical and Competitions, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme and Dr Sanusi Mohammed respectively. Also there were two ex-internationals, Siji Lagunju and Rafiu Yusuf, who presently work in the NFF Technical Department, as well as Nigeria’s FIFA Security Officer, ACP Gideon Akinsola.


Court fixes February 9 for ruling


USTICE Donatus Okoronwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for the eighth time in the last one year, fixed 9th February, 2012 for ruling in the case between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and four erstwhile chiefs of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Sani Abdullahi Lulu, Amanze Uchegbulam, Taiwo Ogunjobi and Bolaji Ojo-Oba. The presiding judge took the decision after hearing an adapted motion of preliminary objections filed by defendants on Monday. Prosecuting counsel, Titus Ashaolu (SAN), had demanded to be served on motions of preliminary objection by the four accused persons. But the judge overruled him, stressing that he was sighted in the court the day the motions were filed. He advised the prosecuting counsel to do his work diligently and avoid any attempt that could drag the case on and frustrate a

From Patrick Ngwaogu speedy passage of law. “If you send someone to court to represent you in a case, you should be able to ask him or her about what transpired in court. Even when you have retired as a lawyer, you still ask questions to know what transpired in court. You were sighted in court when the motions were filed. So, you can’t say you want to be served the motions again,” Justice Okoronwa said. The court therefore took down the motions’ filed dates by the four accused persons and fixed 9th February 2012 for ruling on the case. The accused had through

their lawyers, filed a motion challenging their trial by the EFCC. They argued that the anti-graft agency has no power under football-related laws to institute any criminal action against them. The former NFF officials are under prosecution for booking a substandard hotel during the World Cup in South Africa. They were also accused of wasting N99m in the procurement of two sub-standard buses for the Eagles as well as sponsoring state FA chairmen, friends, associates, political support groups and family members to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

World-class pools charm swimmers in P/Harcourt • NSF counts blessings


HE African Junior Swimming Championship which recently ended in Port Harcourt, Rivers State will remain a reference point on the continent, as participants were fascinated by the standard of facilities at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex. President of the Nigeria Swimming Federation (NSF), Babatunde Fatai-Williams, who described the facilities as world class, said Nigeria scored a major point with the impressive organisation of the championship and the facilities on parade. The Myrtha pools which served as the competition pools, according to him, blew the mind of most swimmers who confessed that the facilities brought out the best in them. “They were dazed by the swimming pools. Apparently they were not expecting such in Nigeria, but they could not hide their amazement. The South Africans, Namibians and others were so excited about the facilities and were sending electronic messages to their friends back home to share their excitement. The Myrtha pools which were constructed by Vast International Company, he said also attracted the attention of the Africa Swimming Confederation officials. “The president of the African Swimming Federation, Mr. Mustapha Larfaoui, was quite impressed with what he saw and commended Nigeria for

By Julius Okorie building such a world-class facility.” An elated Managing Director of Vast International Company, Mr. Obiora Okoye said impressive comments about the Myrtha pools did not come as a surprise, adding that the pools are synonymous with World Swimming Federation approved competitions. “We can understand their excitement because they are used to the Myrtha swimming pools. The swimming pools for the 2012 London Olympics are Myatha. The last World Swimming Championship held in Beijing as well as the 2008 Olympic Games was in Myrtha pools. We represent the best in the world,” he enthused Speaking further on the 2011 African Junior Swimming Champions, NSF President FataiWillliams said the Federation plans to build on the success of the continental championship. “We are very grateful to the Rivers State government for their support. Every aspect of the organisation was perfect. The participants could not have wished for anything less. But for the federation, it is part of our rebuilding process. Before 2009, there was nothing on ground. We are stepping up our developmental programmes. Our focus is underage competitions. We must have regular competitions. We did not win here, but our children have seen what swimming is all about in world-class pools. It is an eyeopener for Nigerian swimmers,” he assured.

• Swimmers in action during the 500m women’s butterfly finals in the Vast International Company Limited-installed Olympic pool at the just-ended African Junior Swimming Championship in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.







‘A country full of potholes which sells the Highway Code but has not erected one single ‘Highway Code Pothole Warning Sign’ in a country of two million lethal potholes is a country waiting to fail’ VOL. 7




ONTEMPLATING the circumstances leading to the recent dismissal of Mrs Farida Waziri as chair of the EFCC, I was again reminded of the old Mafia rule: Those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know. There has been no let-up by those who claim to know why she was dismissed. According to some among them, Mrs Waziri was dismissed for a long list of transgressions. She had not discharged her remit effectively, witness her poor handling of the Ibori case, her tardiness in prosecuting high-profile suspects, and the slovenly manner in which the few prosecutions brought were conducted. She had been cozy, far too cozy, they said, with some suspects, one of whom had given a gleaming, state-of-the art limousine as a present. She had grown so wealthy and so self-assured that she had bought a car for an official in the President’s office without the slightest regard to consequences. Why would she do a thing like that unless her intent was to compromise the Presidency official in question? No less a global personality than U.S. Secretary of State. Hilary Clinton, they continued, had pronounced Mrs Waziri ineffectual, and even before then, donor agencies had stopped assisting the EFCC, persuaded that, with her in the saddle, the fight against official corruption was already lost. Waziri should not even have been appointed to the post, yet others chimed in. She had retired from the Police Force as a substantive commissioner, not as an assistant inspector-general,the qualification stipulated for the position. In effect, she had misrepresented her qualifications, and you know,as she surely must know, the consequences of that kind of thing. She had even gone so far as to declare, that the authorities lacked the commitment and the will to wage a war on corruption. Nor has she been the pillar of discretion that a person in her position is expected to be. A secret document reflecting adversely on some high officials of state had somehow entered the public domain, and the leakage had been traced to her office, if not her person. She had stepped remorselessly on many powerful toes, in short. I would have thought that stepping on powerful toes should earn her a commendation rather than a defenestration. If the EFCC as an agency or its chief executive cannot step on powerful toes, if they can only go after minor players in the corruption sweepstakes, how can they tackle the problem at its root? But those who claim to know the ways of the bureaucracy tell me that this was an unforgivable transgression, and that it is a wonder that she got off so lightly, most likely because of the Jonathan Administration’s abiding commitment to the rule of law. Other than dismissing her by radio, what



The EFCC‘s revolving door

•Mrs. Waziri

would they have done to her anyway? They couldn’t do a reprise of the Kuru Treatment to which her predecessor, Nuhu Ribadu, had been subjected. They could not dispatch her on retirement, since they had in fact recalled her from retirement and pressed her into service. Nor could they reduce her rank. Never underestimate a system that feels beleaguered or betrayed, they rejoin — those who hold that Waziri did not rise to her remit and fully deserved what she got. Another group among those who are talking and should therefore be presumed not to know, going b y the mafia rule, holds just as tenaciously that Farida Waziri was dismissed from the EFCC because she was doing her job well — almost too well , in fact. Against all expectations, she went after the untouchable James Ibori and hauled him before the courts. If the proceedings were a sham through and through, blame a complaisant, compromised judiciary, not the EFCC boss.

RIPPLES Amaechi to criminals: WE’LL GET YOU

Which CRIMINALS?...the ones with AGBADA or GUNS?

Other than dismissing her by radio, what would they have done to her anyway? They couldn’t do a reprise of the Kuru Treatment to which her predecessor, Nuhu Ribadu, had been subjected. They could not dispatch her on retirement, since they had in fact recalled her from retirement and pressed her into service. Nor could they reduce her rank.

She had five former state governors arrested in one fell swoop and moved to prosecute them on a trainload of corruption charges. She bagged the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, the fourth most powerful official of the realm. She recovered hundreds of billions of Naira in stolen public assets. And when she was not getting enough support, she courageously raised doubts about the government’s commitment to the war on corruption. By stepping on so many privileged toes, she had demonstrated the independence of mind the job requires. So that, instead of dismissing her, the government should have honoured her with an award. After all, far less deserving persons received national awards the other day. The medallions and certificates of attestation may have gone missing at the investiture all right, but that does not diminish the distinction. It is all so confusing. How can the same



HRISTMAS season is upon us again. However, the much more sublime season of talk appears to be here also, even threatening to upstage the period before the yuletide. First to indulge the talk frenzy was the president himself, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, when he discoursed upon the topic of revolution provoked by unmet expectations of unemployed and poorly educated youths. That revolutionary talk drew thunderous rebuke from a cynical populace which felt that rather than talk, the president ought to have acted, for the power to avert anarchy lies with him. But the president probably warned of revolution in order to drive home his alarmist argument that the economy of the country needed drastic makeover to prevent total and aggravated collapse. In any case, talk he did, not minding whether it matched his actions. Next to talk was the inimitable Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president, and installer of two presidents, one late and the other on the throne. The former

Season of talk president, who loves to hear himself speak, publicly warned of an Arab Springtype of revolt if the rate of unemployment was left unchecked. He was echoing Jonathan. Comparing the Nigerian economic distress with the ailing economies of North African countries that have had forced and, in some instances, violent change of leadership, Obasanjo painted a frightening scenario of the possibilities that could follow government’s inability to provide jobs for its teeming population. Few expected the talk of revolution from the two leaders. Now, seized by the same voluble spirit, a former Inspector General of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero, has offered what he believed was sound reason to explain police failure to prevent or combat crime. According to newspaper reports, Ehindero suggested during the 2 nd NBA President’s


reasons be adduced to support the claim, on the one hand, that Waziri was incurably remiss and deserved to be sacked, and on the other, that she executed her brief only too well, and should have been retained and honoured? Nor is the confusion relieved by the fact that the case is often made by the same people, usually reporters on their own steam or as proxies, in the same medium and in the same article or story. The reasons claimed for Mrs Waziri’s dismissal call to mind what they did to Ribadu – the sponsored attacks, the orchestrated leaks, and the perjured testimonies. Nor does the confusion end there. The very official, Ibrahim Lamorde, who held the fort at the EFCC until Waziri replaced Ribadu has now been propelled through the revolving door at the agency to replace Waziri in an acting capacity. No sooner had Waziri taken office than Lamorde was sent packing, on the ground that he had been Ribadu’s confederate in engaging in selective prosecution and violating with impunity the human rights of suspects. The very people who helped run Ibrahim Lamorde out of town are now singing his praises as a crackerjack crime buster, the best thing that ever happened to the anticorruption fight in Nigeria, a thoroughbred professional whom foreign governments are falling over each other to hire. No person is better placed, they are saying, to inject new vigour into the EFCC. I hope Lamorde is not carried away by the fulsome endorsement. He should entertain no illusions that he will be treated any differently from Mrs Waziri if he tries to assert himself. To return to Mrs Waziri: About the only thing those who claim to know why she was sacked did not point to was her wardrobe. While she was in office, some of her detractors were fond of saying that she was so flamboyant in dress and so freighted with gold jewellery that she might easily be mistaken for a reveller in tinseled glamour rather than a professional dedicated to the unglamorous business of rounding up corrupt official ad bringing them to justice. In any context, such comments are always sexist. They are always condescending. And they are always insulting. For more than three years, she held what is arguably the most dangerous public office in Nigeria, executed her remit to the best of her ability, and left without being mired in scandal. That should be Farida Waziri’s consolation. Meanwhile, those who know why she was dismissed are not talking. Despite all the bluster, those talking don’t know why she was dismissed. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above Roundtable on Human Rights in Abuja that the police could not combat crime or, in particular, tackle Boko Haram, because their intelligence arm was excised in 1976 and reconstituted into an independent outfit. Nothing was given to the police in replacement. The former police boss did not say why that excised intelligence arm, which is now called the State Security Services (SSS), also finds it difficult to deal with the Boko Haram crisis. Former and present government officials are speaking out, whether it makes sense or not. Talk, it is said, is cheap. There will be more glib talk in the coming weeks, especially as we move closer to the removal of the so-called fuel subsidy, and as government officials posture dangerously as soothsayers and experts. Some more talk will also come from the president himself, and graver talk possibly from Obasanjo if and when the subsidy issue becomes an unmanageable crisis. This will be a season of talk, not of action; of illusion, not of reality.

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 13, 2011  

The Nation December 13, 2011

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