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VOL. 7, NO. 1975 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Fuel subsidy still intact, says Okonjo-Iweala Policy likely to take off in April The President is consulting widely. He F ‘makes the final decision. He is talking to INANCE Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stepped in yesterday to calm frayed nerves, following reports that the government may have removed fuel subsidy. The co-ordinating Minister of the Economy said the subsidy, which the government said hit N1.3 trillion this year, was intact. “The President is consulting widely. He makes the final decision. He is talking to stakeholders all over the country and at the appropriate time he will make the decision,” Dr OkonjoIweala said in Abuja. The removal of oil subsidy, she said, “touches everyone and you must allow the process”. “The President is consulting extensively, meeting with youth
stakeholders all over the country and at the appropriate time he will make the decision. From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor
groups, labour, students, religious leaders all over the country. We are involved in those meetings. He has touched base with different segments of the country, but we will give him the respect to make the decision he wants to make,” the minister said, declining further comments on the issue. She was explaining the 2011 budget to reporters. According to Mrs Okonjo-
Iweala, the government borrowed N852 billion this year. It plans to reduce this to about N794 billion next year. “We will keep bringing it down,” she said. The minister spoke also on budget implementation, saying “given that short time, is at a reasonable pace”. Of the N1.14 trillion budgeted for capital expenditure this year, N830 billion has been released and “we have about 60 per cent execution of the N830 billion”, she said.
“Given the time frame, we believe implementation of the 2011 budget has not been unreasonable as, of this total released, we should have about 70 per cent execution by the end of this month.” On the financing of the 2012 budget deficit, Mrs. OkonjoIweala said the government has “a series of sources; the first is, we will make sure domestic debt is sustainable”. “We do not want to rack up Continued on page 4
•Dr Okonjo-Iweala ... yesterday
PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
Workers reject budget •Students: let subsidy be From Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu (Lagos), John Ofikhenua and Vincent Ikuomola, (Abuja)
ABOUR yesterday vowed to protest the 2012 budget proposal presented on Tuesday to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said its leadership will meet on Tuesday to plan its protest over the 2012 Appropriation. Secretary General of Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chief John Kolawole said the senior workers would tackle the Federal Government on its silence about fuel subsidy in the budget proposal. Kolawole said: “If government is determined to go ahead with the fuel subsidy withdrawal, labour is also determined to oppose government on the issue. The opposition can be in •Allocations to any form. What we Presidency, want is for governministries, ment to create ca-
others – Page 60
Continued on page 4
•LET’S GO SHOPPING: Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) cutting the ribbon to open the shopping mall at the Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja ... yesterday. With him are his Deputy Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (second left), Chief Executive Officer/Head, Actis Group, West Africa, Mrs. Ngozi Edozien (third left) Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mrs. Sola David-Borha (left), Director, Gruppo and Actis, Mr. Michael Chu’di Ejekam (right), the Deputy Managing Director, Paragon Holdings, Mr. Benson Tayo (third right) and another official of the company, Mr. Onasanya Olumuyiwa (second right). PHOTO: MOSES OMOSEHIN
•POLITICS P23 •SPORT P24 •EDUCATION P25 •N/HEALTH P44 •E-BUSINESS P47
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS BUDGET 2012
Why Jonathan didn’t announce fuel subsidy withdrawal •House may overrule Presidency on subsidy
ECURITY reports forced President Goodluck Jonathan from announcing the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy during his budget presentation on Tuesday. A top government official, who confided in our correspondent, said there were plans by 69 members of the National Assembly to humiliate the President at the session. The source said: “Based on security reports, the President decided to shelve a formal announcement of the withdrawal of fuel subsidy. “It was not a question of ambush but the presidency chose to avoid the issue during the presentation to avoid generating heated argument at the session. “We have reports that some members were mobilized to start shouting down the President once he announces the withdrawal of fuel subsidy. So, we designed a way out. “About 69 of some of these bad elements were mobilized to embarrass the President. And if that happened, the image of the nation will be rubbished before the international community. The boos and jeers will also overshadow the budget presentation. “To beat them to their game, the President was silent on it. It was a case of being proactive. “Do not forget that some members of the National Assembly had attempted to humiliate the President.” There were feelers that the House of Representatives may overrule the presidency on the withdrawal of fuel subsidy. The House is poised to restore fuel subsidy in the interest of the masses. But fresh facts emerged that security reports allegedly forced the President from announcing the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy during the presentation of the budget on Tuesday. Investigation by our correspondent however revealed that most members of the House were caught unawares by the ambush tactics adopted by the President. It was also learnt that many of the Representatives are angry that the President opted for Executive Fiat contrary to the advice given him by the National Assembly. Some caucuses in the House met on Tuesday night and early Wednesday on how to reverse the Executive Fiat during the consideration of the budget. A principal officer of the House, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have not heard the last word on this matter. We are poised to resist the Executive Fiat. “We will include the fuel subsidy in the 2012 Appropriation Bill in line with the desire of the majority of Nigerians. “We have taken a position to reject the removal of subsidy and we will not go back on that. It is going to be an interesting battle between the Executive and the Legislature. “Since the President has used Executive Fiat, we will also invoke our powers as enshrined in Sections 80, 81, 82, 83 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Do not forget that we are empowered to exercise control over public funds. Section 80(3 and 4) says: “No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other
Senator, Rep worried over N921.91b allocated to security From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu and Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja
ICE-CHAIRMAN of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, and Chairman of the House of Representatives Dakuku Peterside, yesterday expressed concern over the N921.91billion allocated for security in the 2012 budget proposal by President Goodluck Jonathan. Abatemi-Usman stressed the need to ensure improved budget implementation for 2012. The Senator representing Kogi Central on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noted in a statement by his media aide, Michael Jegede, in Abuja that poor budget implementation was responsible for the economic backwardness of the country. Abatemi-Usman : “The budget presented by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, where almost 25 per cent of the budget is dedicated to the security sector raises question on the surface. It is a bit worrisome. This is clearly against the trend of prior budgets. “Twenty five per cent of total budgetary sum going to just security! Well, we are not a rubber stamp assembly for the executive. We will carry and hold our duties and responsibilities sacred. Peterside said the President must convince Nigerians on the need to allocate such funds to security before the legislators would give it their support. He said: “The quantum of money voted for security raises concerns because Nigerians feel it is too high.” “Though we need to realize that issue of security concerns a combination of six or seven Ministries out together but we all know that security is a principal and primary role of government because we have high rate of unemployment, collapsed infrastructure and with no right governance regime in place, security has totally collapsed. “If security must be addressed, the President must address these critical issues and on addressed on a sustainable basis. Though the details of the proposed N931b are not known for now, but we need to act with caution.” From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja
than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Act of the National Assembly . “No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Fed-
eration, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.” “Section 83(1) says: “The National Assembly may by law make provisions for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund for the Federation and for authorizing the President, if satisfied that there has arisen and unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists, to make advances from the Fund to meet the need.”
Another top leader in the House said: “We can also jack up the budget benchmark to accommodate subsidy. The benchmark is based on $70 per barrel whereas the international price is $100 per barrel. “Just wait and see how we will handle the Executive. We are eager to start the debate before we go for recess on December 23. “We will certainly overrule the President on the withdrawal of subsidy.” A source in the presidency however said the President was wellguided by the law in withdrawing the subsidy. The source said: “The President weighed all options based on the law and the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. He relied on sections 16(1) and (2) of the constitution. “Before withdrawing the fuel subsidy, he also obtained legal advice. The option left for any aggrieved group or individual is to go to court. “The President took this decision in the interest of the nation. Section 16 (1) (b)(c) reads in part: “The state shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution –control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equal of status and opportunity; “The state shall direct its policy towards ensuring that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group.” “That the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group.”
• President Goodluck Jonathan being decorated with the Armed Forces Remembrance emblem by Miss Ruth Mamza, during the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja...yesterday. With them is the Minister of Defence, Dr. Haliru Mohammed.
• From left: Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Basorun Muyiwa Oladipo and Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona during the inauguration of the re-constituted Ogun State Council of Obas at Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta…yesterday
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS BUDGET 2012
Budget proposal grossly inadequate for health, says Perm. Sec
HE Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele has described the N282.77 billion proposed for the Health sector as grossly inadequate. Speaking in Abuja yesterday at a pre-launch press conference of the Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) to be inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan in Kogi State on Saturday, the permanent secretary said that what has been proposed in the budget cannot address the health needs of Nigerians by 100 per cent. According to her, what has been proposed for health in the 2012 Budget will only take care of advocacy for communicable and non-communicable diseases, strategic health planning and to improve other indices.
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
She said: “The 2012 health budget cannot cater for all Nigerians. It is virtually impossible for the budget to cater 100 per cent for all Nigerians. It is not possible to budget N282.77 billion for the whole nation. There is no where government can pay for the healthcare of every one. It is not possible and no nation does that. Government intends to intervene where there are cases of needs. “What the 2012 Budget aims to achieve is to allocate money to certain areas of needs, such as advocacy for communicable and non-communicable diseases, strategic health planning among others.”
Jonathan urged not to remove subsidy
P President seeks support for war veterans
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday pleaded with Nigerians to donate to the Armed Forces Emblem Appeal Fund. Jonathan spoke in Abuja during his decoration with the puppy memorabilia as the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion. The event was to flag off activities marking the yearly Armed Forces Remembrance Day coming up on January 15. The high point of the celebration comes up with wreath laying at the tomb of the unknown soldier,
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
which is led by the President, heads of the legislative and judicial arms of government, Minister of Defence and service chiefs. Jonathan urged Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to contribute to the welfare of those who survived the various wars and the veterans who may be incapable of coping with life following the peacekeeping efforts. He said the donation will act as a demonstration of appreciation of
the uncommon patriotism of members of the forces and their dedication to preserving the enduring peace, unity and stability of the nation. The President, who led other members of the Federal Executive Council, to observe a minute silence for the fallen heroes, directed top government officials to wear the emblem from now till the day of the celebrations. The Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru, spoke on the significance of the celebration.
Presidency yet to convince us on subsidy removal, says CAN
HE Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) said the federal government was yet to convince them on the controversial proposed removal of fuel subsidy, adding that if the reasons were not proven, they will not support it. The Vice-President of (CAN), Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Okoh spoke yesterday in Onitsha during the Annual convention of the Christ Holy Church. He said: “There is sense in removing fuel subsidy but
From Adimike George, Onitsha
what CAN has said is that we must be sure that the money made from the removal of the subsidy are utilised to the benefit of the people. The Federal Government must convince us that the financial management of the funds saved from the process is used to alleviate the sufferings of the masses.” He said the Federal Government should fashion out a way to allevi-
ate the suffering which will be caused by the removal of the subsidy. “What we want is that Federal Government must convince us beyond every reasonable doubt that the money made from the subsidy removal are properly channeled. Until that fact is given, we will not be specific because as leaders of the Christian community, our members would be part of the suffering and we will not allow them suffer in vain.”
‘Don’t inflict pains on Nigerians’
N Oyo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, Mr Adesoji Akanbi, has described the planned removal of subsidy on fuel as “an elusive solution to a national malady.” Akanbi spoke while delivering a lecture to mark the 2011 Week of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council. He spoke on the topic: “Fuel Subsidy Removal: Relief or Anguish for Nigerians?” Akanbi, who is also the Manag-
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
ing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Dynasty Airline, said the cost of exploring, producing and marketing a litre of petrol in Nigeria is N31.50K. He said Nigerians should have been buying a litre of petrol a little above that. He faulted the arguments advanced by the Federal Government, saying such steps in the past have failed to achieve the promises. Akanbi said President Jonathan
should tackle the few people that are milking Nigerians dry through the subsidy and not inflict more pains on Nigerians by removing subsidy. He advised Jonathan to rebuild the refineries and allow building of more so that the country can refine enough products for local use. The businessman insisted that the president did not promise subsidy removal during his electioneering campaign and wondered why he was coming up with it after he had been handed over the power to lead the country.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been advised to shelve his plans to remove fuel subsidy. Professor of Philosophy Akin Makinde of the Department of Philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, in a statement yesterday, said: “The downfall of a man is guaranteed if he fails to listen to the voice of reason and the voice of the people which is the voice of God.” Prof. Makinde said it was regrettable that the president was bent on removal of subsidy in spite of the opposition from more than 99 per cent of Nigerians, including a former Head of States and civil organisations. He listed those who have been advising the president against the removal of subsidy to include former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, former Petroleum Minister, Prof. Tam David-
By Adebisi Onanuga West, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Association of Nigerian Students (NAN). Clergymen and civil society organizations. “ It now looks as if there is an evil spirit urging President Jonathan on to pitch his camp against Nigerians who voted him into power in the first place” he said adding “supposing it is the case that either subsidy goes or Jonathan goes ?” “Under the circumstance, if President Jonathan still insists on going ahead with his personal wish as against the wishes of the people and commits a necessary mistake of removing fuel subsidy, then the necessary mistake is one that is inevitable for whatever consequences that follow his action,”he added.
‘Subsidy removal is economic liberation’
BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has appealed to Nigerians to support the President in his bid to pull the economy from the doldrums, which ultimately will be in the interest of the majority. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Communication Ben Onyechere, Orji said: “This President is undoubtedly massesoriented as he is willing to do anything to upgrade the living standard of the people. The governor said those opposing the policy will be isolated sooner than later because the
President has carried out a wholesome study of the circumstances and the mystery of subsidy and is undaunting in the resolve to liberate the sector. “The fuel subsidy removal is the major window for direct foreign investment in the economy which can effectively guarantee re-industrialisation of the economy that will in turn generate the much-needed employment for the teeming masses of this country, and there is no better time to do it than now, because leaving it will mean postponing the doomsday.”
‘ Govt has added to Nigerians’ woes’
IRST female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN),Chief Folake Solanke yesterday urged the Federal Government against adding to the woes of Nigerians by removing fuel subsidy. President Goodluck Jonathan had on Tuesday presented the 2012 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly without announcing any vote to the controversial fuel subsidy. Chief Solanke, who spoke at a Valedictory Court Session in honour of the late former Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Timothy Adebayo Ayorinde at the High Court, Ibadan, lamented: “Every concerned citizen of our beloved
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan country will readily admit that all is not well with our beloved country. Indeed, we are in a sea of troubles. Solanke listed ‘the deadly mix’ as she stressed that the confusion generated with the planned removal of oil subsidy would be added to lack of stable power supply, lack of portable water, insecurity, broken down infrastructure, near collapse of the education sector, no affordable health care, mass unemployment, poverty and corruption.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Workers reject budget Continued from page 1
•Chief Folake Solanke (SAN), condoling with Mrs Christianah Ayorinde, widow of former Oyo State Chief Judge Timothy Ayorinde, at a special court session in his honour in Ibadan ... yesterday. With them is Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN).
Students to Jonathan: let subsidy be
UESDAY’s meeting between the Federal Government delegation led by the President and the leadership of University students ended in deadlock. The students insisted that subsidy removal is anti-people. The students union leaders also gave the Federal Government one year to prove itself before it could count on their support. The students under the umbrella of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) said the problem in the oil sector is that of system failure. According to Ebiloma Abdulahi, a former NANS
president, who attended the meeting, the students told the President that there is a system failure and until that is corrected and other things put right, Nigerians should not be made to face the hardship that subsidy removal will bring on the people. The President reportedly explained that the future of Nigeria will depend on the difficult decisions taken today in growing the economy to create jobs and prosperity for young Nigerians. The President stated that presently the country runs an annual budget of 26% capital expenditure and 74% recurrent. President Jonathan explained
that if this continues, in two to three years, the economy will crash. Vice-President Namadi Sambo reportedly spoke on measures by government to reinvest proceeds that will accrue from deregulation in critical infrastructure and in welfare programmes for Nigerians. The President pledged to continue the dialogue with ASUU to resolve the ongoing dispute between the government and university teachers. The President and Vice-President were accompanied to the meeting by Ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
pacity to meet demand, and it has not done that because it prefers fuel importation to having functional refineries. That, to us, is unacceptable.” In a statement entitled: “The 2012 Budget: A Disaster Waiting to Happen”, on behalf of the NLC, Acting General Secretary of NLC Comrade Owei Lakemfa called on called on the National Assembly to support the electorate to reject the budget. The NLC said: “We call on all Nigerian workers and people to begin preparations for a general strike and mass protests. The people must be prepared in the next few weeks when the Jonathan administration begins to implement his anti-Nigerian policy. Nigerians should prepare to occupy the streets and public institutions to prevent them from being taken over by anti-patriotic forces. “The NLC leadership will be meeting on Tuesday December 20, 2011 to firm up strategies and give directive on the commencement of this protest and the resolve of workers and the Nigerian people to reclaim their country back.” Lakemfa urged the Federal Government to have a rethink by reviewing his budget proposal, or be ready to take on the Nigerian people. The congress described the removal of subsidy from the
budget as a declaration of war on Nigerians. It said: “In particular, the exclusion of fuel subsidy in the budget is not only tragic, but a declaration of war on the Nigerian people. Thus, the Nigerian people will have no choice but to confront this challenge.” It added that “no one should underestimate the general mass poverty, unemployment and discontent that have increased bottled-up anger in our polity.” The removal of fuel subsidy will provide the spark for mass protests such that even the increased security vote cannot buy enough arms to contain,” the NLC said. The congress said since the government has elected to punish the people through a budget that is poverty - inducing and will cause a lot of hardship, the Nigerians will have no alternative but to resist. On the N921.9billion proposal for security, the NLC said despite the country’s security challenges, it is curious that the Jonathan administration has allocated a massive lion share of the budget to security. According to the NLC, the major cause of the increasing wave of insecurity in Nigeria is lack of education and mass unemployment, which are direct consequences of the general collapse of public infrastructure, such as public electricity, roads, education, health etc.
The Acting General Secretary noted that security challenges are further compounded by lack of political will and abysmal ineptitude of security agencies. The NLC said “a critical perusal of the budget proposal shows clearly that the government has no intention to lead the country out of its socio- economic crisis. NLC said: “The budget, which is tagged: Budget of Fiscal Consolidation, Inclusive Growth and Job Creation, is actually an antipeoples budget designed purely in the service of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and their local lackeys who dictate to the Nigerian government. It is a disaster waiting to happen.” According to the congress, “this further attempt to impoverish workers and the Nigerian poor, is coming on the heels of increased tariff on electricity, the move to massively sack workers in the name of merging parastatals, the attempt to collect more taxes through the return of toll gates, the refusal to adequately fund education and refusal to pay minimum wage, which is an impeachable offence.” Students have also taken a stance against the planned removal of fuel subsidy. They made their position known to President Goodluck Jonathan at a meeting with students leaders on Tuesday in Abuja.
Fuel subsidy not yet removed, says Okonjo-Iweala Subsidy removal may take off in April
Continued from page 1
debts that we cannot pay. We will do some borrowing, but we want it to come down.” Another avenue that the government hopes to explore to finance the 2012 deficit is the privatisation proceeds. “We are looking at signature bonuses; these are the usual ways of financing the budget,” she said. When asked why so much money was voted for security in the 2012 budget, the minister replied: “When resources go into security, it does not mean we abandon other areas. The challenge we have in this country is to make sure that our security apparatuses have the resources they need to be able to respond and at the same time to go deeper into the issue and ensure the inclusiveness of the growth of our economy.” The N921.91 billion voted for security in 2012, she said, “is the budget of the security agencies that deal with security, defence, Police Service Commission and formations, National Security Adviser’s Office and the Ministry of Interior. That is why the budget is big because we have added them all together, but other areas have not been abandoned.” Budget 2012, Mrs OkonjoIweala said, is not only looking at the expenditure side of the budget and looking at a manageable fiscal deficit of 2.77% of GDP, “but we are also looking at the revenue side by taking measures to improve internally generated revenue collection; corporate tax collection and block leak-
HOULD President Goodluck Jonathan decide to withdraw fuel subsidy, it may not take off until April, The Nation learnt yesterday. Controversy and speculations have trailed the government’s omission of allocation to fuel subsidy in next year’s budget. Some Nigerians interpreted the omission as a subtle way of saying fuel subsidy is over. But a source in the petroleum industry told our correspondent that subsidy subsists, at least till the end of March, next year. According to the source, officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) met yesterday with oil marketers to allocate import permits for the fourth quarter of 2011 (October to December, 2011) to enable them (marketers) import fuel. The source added that reports that government has stopped subsidy heated up the system. There are long queues emerged at filling stations in Abuja and Lagos, which he attributed to panic buying. He said President Jonathan and his economic team are still engaging various stakeholders on the issue, adding that at the right time, the government will announce the subsidy removal. Oil marketers said pump prices reages within the system”. The government “will be auditing the parastatals that generate revenue one after the other. “They already have a letter to this effect.” On corporate tax collection, the minister said the government has about N170 billion outstanding “and we are negotiating with the various culprits who have questions or issues to get agreement on that amount of money being remitted to the budget as well”.
From Emeka Ugwuanyi and John Ofikhenua, Abuja
main the same because the government has not told them that it will not pay the differentials between the actual price and the regulated price, especially for premium motor spirit (petrol). The marketers attributed the late issuance of fourth quarter import allocation to the ongoing Senate Joint Committee Public Hearing on subsidy management and process, which has taking the attention of the management of PPPRA. Also yesterday, the PPPRA announced that it will no longer grant import permit to oil marketing companies without depots. Executive Secretary Reginald Stanley said in Abuja that only 42 companies have been granted permits to import fuel for the fourth quarter. His words: “It is imperative to draw your attention to the new operational issues as guidelines for Q4, 2011 supply. Allocation of import permit is henceforth based on performance and capability. Only oil marketing companies with depots are to be issued permits to import fuel. “We must bring some semblance of organisation in the way we do business
The government, she stressed, will focus on reducing waste and inefficiency within the system to cut down on recurrent expenditure. On the huge recurrent expenditure budgeted yearly, the minister noted that “there are different categories of recurrent expenditure; one is personnel, which takes up our budget in this country, its human being, its personnel, its people working in the civil service and that is by far and
downstream. We have Q4 supply programmes, which we have issued letters, letters and their arrival window for every month and thereafter, the international independent inspectors will superintend every cargo that is arriving on our shores. “We have also gone on to superintend a three-tier inspection system that recognises the arrival quantity of the vessel, discharge quantity, and truck out of those cargos, so that we can reconcile arrival quantity and the quantity that is trucked out”. The PPPRA boss warned marketers yet to deliver on the Q3 permits that sanctions will be imposed on them, including striking out their companies from the importing list, insisting that “such firms have no basis for remaining on the list”. While declining to be drawn on the commencement date of the oil subsidy removal, Stanley explained that when the programme is introduced, the agency would work hard to protect Nigerians and ensure that cartels are not formed to short-change the consumers. He assured that there is enough stock of fuel to last through the festive season, adding that the agency has pragmatic solutions to ensure that there is no scarcity during the period.
away where the money goes”. In the 2012 budget, the personnel cost for Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said, is 35 per cent, which is the larger part in that recurrent portion, whereas the overhead portion is just five per cent for MDAs. The government, she said, “will find ways and means in a rational manner by reducing waste and duplication.” “That is the natural place to start and trying to plug leak-
ages. Biometric exercise alone brings down cost without hurting anybody. Before we take any drastic action, we will also look at how to streamline agencies so that we don’t duplicate work. When we finish with these two, we can move to other measures, if needed.” “We don’t just look at retrenchment; we look at their quality of education, the training we give them and their skills to determine if we have the right kind of skills
in the civil service to lead us to the next century. So, we are looking at the quality issue in the civil service as well. It is not that easy to cut personnel cost because you are talking of cutting salaries for workers and their dependents.” Still on forecast deficit, Okonjo-Iweala maintained that the government does not expect the deficit to change, but rather expects it to remain at 2.77 per cent of GDP. “Given what is happening around the world, the kind of budget deficit we are proposing is reasonable in terms of fiscal consolidation.” The minister, however, denied that the 2012 budget is expansionary, arguing: “Yes, 2012 budget is slightly higher than 2011, but in real terms, it is not. This is really a tight budget; we are budgeting at a benchmark of $70, bringing it down from the $75 of 2011. This is a very tight budget for us. If you speak to CBN governor, he is one of the happiest persons in town because he agrees with this budget; unless you want us to cut the budget in real terms, which I don’t think any other country does.” As at the end of November 2011, the amount in the excess crude account “was $4.2 billion and we expect proceeds to accumulate in the excess crude account.” We have begun the implementation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), which is going to help us perform much of the function we are starting, that with the $1b and as we implement that, we will see how the Federal Government and states who are willing to put more resources there.”
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THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS FERMA needs N110b for roads
HE Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) yesterday said about N110 billion is required annually for the maintenance of the 34,120 federal roads across the country. The Managing Director of the Agency, Godwin Amuchi, spoke in Zaria, Kaduna State while presenting a paper, entitled: “The way forward for sustainable development in road transport technology” at the second international Conference on Transport Technology. Amuchi , who was represented by the Director of Planning and Engineering
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
Services, Mohammed Sulieman, regretted that only N25 billion is budgeted annually for road maintenance. He said although federal roads account for about 17.6 per cent of the road networks across the country, it carries about 70 per cent of freights and services of the socio-economic activities in the country. Amuchi added that it is necessary to protect these assets and investment for the future generations and economic development.
Navy hands over bunkering vessel, 25 suspects to the EFCC
•Soyinka, with Aliyu at the Governmnet House, Minna.
Six reasons the North is burning, by Aliyu
IGER State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) Dr. Babangida Aliyu has given an insight into the violence rocking the North. In an interview in the January 2012 edition of Africa Today, a magazine published in London, Aliyu blamed the crisis on injustice, youth unemployment, breakdown of the family system, neglect of the traditional institution, poor planning and the brainwashing of youths by those he described as mischievous Islamic clerics. He said:”You used to beg people to go to school, now you have gotten some that have gone to school and you have not been able to give them what they might think is their right. And then you have another group that has lost out either in the Western education or Islamic education. Then you have another competitive group that is mostly educated in Islamic education and they think they have more of the knowledge and there is one group that is only Western educated and lording it over the society, taking all the benefits and not really concerned about the larger society but selfishly being concerned with themselves and their immediate family. That was not the case before. The case before is con-
•Urges negotiation with Boko Haram By Olukorede Yishau Assistant Editor (News)
cern for the extended family and by that it goes to the larger community. But that seems to have broken down now. The people are becoming more nuclear without the commensurate feeling.” According to him, “If you were told 10, 20 years ago that a Nigerian could be bombing a place, you would say not in northern Nigeria. So, it means our planning and our level of intelligence information have not been useful. Our research and development should reflect the new thinking of how to marry these competing groups.” Apportioning part of the blame to misguided Islamic preachers, the governor said: “At times if you go to hear the kind of sermon they make, you will be wondering whether it is an Islamic sermon or it’s just a sermon of somebody who is annoyed with the society.” He faulted the promise of paradise which the hate preachers usually make to would-be suicide bombers, saying: “Any good Muslim will tell you that suicide is not part of Islam. In fact, we have it that if you commit
suicide you will not go into paradise no matter your reason. So, for anybody to say he is a suicide bomber because he is extending Islamic tenets is not true.” Aliyu said there is “an international dimension to the crisis.” We must not also run away from the international dimension of this crisis. Borno is a border state to Chad. We know what is happening in Sudan. We know what has happened in Libya. We know when Gaddafi was alive, the kind of relationship he was having with some of these neighbouring countries.” The governor urged negotiation with Boko Haram and other aggrieved parties, explaining, however, that “negotiation with these people does not have to be a formal government negotiation.” Using the example of Borno, where the Boko Haram’s violent campaign is fiercest, the governor said: “We have religious leaders in Borno, we have the traditional rulers. They could be empowered to go into negotiation with this people.” The governor regretted that the North has failed to take advantage of its dominance of political power in the country to develop itself.
Wike: why the girl-child must be educated
INISTER of State for Education Ezenwo Wike has said the sustenance of the gains in the promotion of girl-child education is necessary to enhance the development of the country. He spoke yesterday at the Federal Government Girl’s College, Bwari, Abuja, where he inaugurated the Wisdom Classroom Complex built by the school’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA). Wike, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said girl-child education is critical to national development. He said the Federal Government is committed to the education of all vulnerable groups. He said: “Already, the Fed-
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
eral Government, through the relevant agencies, has started the construction of schools for the girl-child in 16 states. This project will be continued in 2012 with the generous support that the Federal Ministry of Education is getting from President Goodluck Jonathan.” The minister commended the management of the Federal Government Girl’s College, Bwari for its emphasis on science and technical education. “I am impressed by the technical and vocational workshops of this college and the determined efforts to ensure that more girls learn these trades. The fact that enrolment for technical and vocational subjects among the
students of this school has increased is an encouraging development because it will lead to self reliance among the students after their studies”, the minister said. Wike expressed satisfaction that the PTA could build 12 classrooms, two staff rooms, borehole and lavatories for the school, pointing out that such gesture indicate commitment to the development of education on the part of the parents. He said teaching and nonteaching staff employed by the PTA would be screened for possible employment by the Federal Ministry of Education. The headteacher of the college, Mrs Maria Okwulehie said the school has benefited from the partnership between the management and the PTA.
The governor advised the North to shed the toga of conservatism because “you need to conserve what is conservative and you need to progress where you need to. You can’t continue to be conservative when the people need education, you need infrastructure to be able to take care of the people. Now if you cannot do that, then definitely there is nothing to conserve.”
HE Nigerian Naval Services (NNS Delta), yesterday handed over a seafaring vessel (MT ALLEGRA) and 25 suspects arrested for alleged illegal bunkering to the Port Harcourt office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The formal transfer was done at the Warri Naval Base by the Commander, Commodore Bum Stephen Kor. He said the vessel and crew members were arrested during patrol by one of its ships NNS Zara, at the Forcados entrance. He said: “It would be recalled that one of our ships,
By Shola O’Neil, P’Harcourt and Polycap Orosevwota, Warri
NNS Zara was on patrol and she arrested Marshal Tanker Allegra at Forcados entrance without notified papers or documents..” He said the vessel was handed over to EFCC following a letter informing the base that investigation has been completed on MT Allegra and that no prima facie case was established against the vessel. Capt. Powell Agbi, after an inspection tour round the ship, confirmed that nothing was missing.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
N37b loan scam: Bankole, Nafada ‘delaying trial’
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday accused former House Speaker Dimeji Bankole and his erstwhile deputy, Alhaji Usman Bayero Nafada of delaying trial. They are facing a 17-count charge of criminal breach of trust, dishonest use of House of Representatives bank account to obtain loan before Justice Suleiman Belgore of an Abuja High
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
Court. The duo, who were arraigned on June 13, were to enter defence yesterday; but hearing was stalled following request by their counsel, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) for time to file an application for a no-case-submission. Oyetibo told the court that he had just received the court’s record of proceedings
of the evidence led by the prosecution. Replying, the prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo said the plea for more time was an attempt to delay trial which the trial judge, had promised to conclude before the end of the year. According to him, the defence needed not to wait for the court’s proceedings before preparing for their defence. Before adjourning till Jan-
uary 16, Justice Belgore directed the defence team to file their written addresses on the no-case-submission and urged the prosecution to reply before the next sitting. The duo of Bankole and Nafada were arraigned on June 13, on a 17- count charge of criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and theft. The accused allegedly shared the loan to members without the consent and ap-
proval of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the extant Revised Financial Regulations of the Federal Government, 2009. The alleged offences are contrary to Sections 97(1), 286 and 311 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990, and punishable under Sections 287 and 315 of the same Penal Code Act.
Daniel loses dad
Judge’s absence stalls Akingbola’s trial
•Ogun mourns THE death has been announced of The Most Rev Abraham Adebola Daniel (JP), father of the former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. He died yesterday in Sagamu, Ogun State. Pa Daniel was 95. He was born January 16, 1916 to the family of Abamba Otesile of Makun, Sagamu. Pa Daniel started his missionary life as one of the main lieutenants of Primate J O Ositelu , and in his early days, several churches were built in various locations including Ibadan, cathedral in Benin City, Ifo, Idogo, Ijebu Igbo, Abeokuta, etc. He was also in Liberia where he became a close friend of President William Tubman and President William Tolbert while on evangelical mission in that country. He also toured several West African countries to propagate the gospel. Pa Daniel is survived by several children, grand children and great grand children among whom is Otunba Daniel. The funneral will be announced later, according to a statement by Daniel’s spokesmam Adegbenro Adebanjo. Ogun State government has expressed deep regrets over the death of Pa Daniel. In a statement signed by Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the government described the late Daniel as a foremost missionary who lived and died for the cause of the gospel. It also commiserated with Otunba Daniel and members of his family, urging them to take solace in the fact that Pa Daniel lived a good and fulfilled life. He prayed to God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss and grant the departed soul eternal rest.
•The late Pa Daniel
By Joseph Jibueze
•Executive Secretary, Lagos Anglican Schools Management Board, Ven. Oladele Thompson (left), Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Femi Ogunsanya, Rt. Revd. Adebayo Akinde, Bishop of Lagos Mainland and one of the proprietors, and Mrs. Teju Akindolire, a member of the Board after the thanksgiving service marking the 10th anniversary of the return of Lagos Anglican Schools, at the CMS Grammar, Bariga, Lagos...on Tuesday
Boko Haram: Jonathan set to overhaul security agencies
ARRING last minute change of mind, President Goodluck Jonathan will soon overhaul security agencies in the country to tackle the menace of Boko Haram. Some heads of a few agencies and top security officers might be affected. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the overhaul might be part of the pre-New Year security package by the President. It was gathered that the President is not happy that there is no synergy among some security agencies. It was also learnt that security reports made available to
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja
the President suggested that some security officers, in charge of sensitive commands, do not know their jobs. A highly-placed source, who spoke in confidence, said the President has made up his mind to wield the big stick to prove a point that he knows what he is doing. He said: “Very soon, there will be a security overhaul in some key agencies by the President. There will be a major shake-up. “The fact that Jonathan is keeping quiet does not mean
that he is weak. Can you be a sitting President and there will be security lapses and keep quiet? “Look at what happened between two security agencies when a Boko Haram leader escaped from custody. Do you think the President will be blind to such a lapse? “Even the latest explosion in Kaduna upset the President over a flimsy excuse by the police that it was as a result of gas cylinders. Whereas the security report available to the President was to the contrary. “I can assure you that on or before January the issue of Boko Haram will come to an
end.” Replying a question, the source added: “The details of the shake-up are being worked out but the President has made up his mind.” He also said that more influential Nigerians allegedly sponsoring the Boko Haram sect might be exposed, arrested and made to face trial. “If you hear the names of these sponsors, you will be shocked. It is so bad that some Nigerians do not mean well for this country. “Already a Senator is undergoing trial but we have more of such bigwigs bankrolling this sect.”
HE trial of a former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Dr Erastus Akingbola for alleged N47.1 billion theft was stalled yesterday due to Justice Habib Abiru’s absence. He was said to be at Abuja attending the Judges’ Conference. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Akingbola and General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited, Mr Bayo Dada with 22 counts of stealing the sum from Intercontinental Bank. The defendants and their lawyers – Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) and Mr Deji Sasegbon (SAN) were present in court yesterday, as well as EFCC counsel Mr Emmanuel Ukala (SAN). Also present was Intercontinental Bank’s Chief Inspector, Abdulraheem Jimoh, who has been testifying in the trial. He told the court that Akingbola made “irregular” payments amounting to N16.8 billion to companies in which he is a director. “Dr Erastus Akingbola is a director in the three companies and also a signatory to their accounts. His wife Anthonia is also a director and a signatory to the accounts of the three companies,” Jimoh had said. January 26 next year was agreed by parties for continuation of the trial.
EFCC tenders evidence against el-Rufai over ‘abuse of office’
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday tendered three documents as exhibits in the prosecution of the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and two others charged with alleged unlawful allocation of Abuja land. The antigraft commission accused the trio of delaying trial. With el-Rufai are former Director-General, Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) Mrs. Altine Jubrin, and former AGIS General- Manager, Mr. Ismail Iro. The Prosecution Witness 1, Mohammed Sani Alhassan, a former Executive Secretary in Engineering Department of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) told Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar that el-Rufai ignored his advice. Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Ade-
•He ignored my advice, says ex-FCDA boss From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
bayo Adelodun (SAN), AlHassan told the court that he advised him against diverting the plot of land allocated to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) other than the purpose for which it was allocated, “but the former Minister ignored my advice”. The documents which were presented before the court were: A letter written by Julius Berger Plc to the Engineering Department, FCDA, dated 26th January, 2007. The letter was a reminder that the plot of land in dispute at Asokoro- Abuja was earmarked for PHCN. The second document tendered was a letter written by the Engineering Department of FCDA, to Secretary, Planning Department,
FCDA, dated January, 2007. The third document was a memo written by Al-Hassan to Mallam el-Rufai, dated 6th February, 2007 advising him not to alter the master plan. The memo, which el-Rufai received on February 9, 2007 reiterated the concerns expressed by Julius Berger and was emphatic in its conclusion that in view of the undesirable consequences of altering the land use of this area, which definitely will be obvious in future, “Mr. Minister, may wish to consider reversing the approval granted to redesign the area and return the land use to status quo”. Under cross-examination, Al-Hassan agreed that the power to allocate and revoke land in the FCT is vested in the Minister. He conceded that he has not seen the document vest-
ing the PHCN with any title to Plot 1201, Asokoro. He admitted that the letter conveying the allocation to the PHCN in July 2003 had no specific date, which, he attributed to oversight. But the court was reminded that the time fell within the transition period when there was no substantive minister. Alhassan admitted that he did not have the power to allocate land, and was unable to show any approval by any minister allocating the plot to PHCN. The witness also agreed that all titles to land must be registered in compliance with the Land Registration Act, and cannot be left unused indefinitely. He confirmed that his daughter was allocated a plot within the now contentious Plot 1201, Asokoro after following due process
and that these procedures apply to all Nigerians who are entitled to land in Abuja, including the accused and their relations. He acknowledged that el Rufai definitely transformed Abuja. Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), counsel to el Rufai, also cross examined Alhassan, who agreed that the criteria approved by the Federal Executive Council for the allocation of land in Abuja include 20 per cent discretion for the Minister of the FCT. Olujimi told the court that the current Minister of the FCT has not complied with the subpoena to produce certified copies of some official documents. The case was adjourned till February 15, for the FCT Minister to comply and produce certified true copies of some memos written to el Rufai by Alhassan which, the defence intends to tender as exhibits.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS Why Nigerian varsities are not rated, by ABU VC
‘I’m not in a hurry to take over Kogi’ From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
ICE-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, yesterday explained why Nigerian universities are not rated among the best universities in the world. He said ABU has put in place modalities to address the situation. Mustapha also explained why the Medical Council of Nigeria withdrew the accreditation for the university’s MBBS programme, assuring that the institution would ensure that new medical students are admitted for the 2012/2013 academic session. Addressing reporters in his office, the Vice-Chancellor noted that Nigerian academics habitually publish their research works in local journals with very few in international publications. He said: “When people use the search engines, our people are not found. “You find that when we do research or write journal articles, we only publish in Kano, Ibadan, Zaria, among others. So, our people are not recognised outside because they don’t have internationally recognised journals and research articles. “We are taking steps to correct that here in ABU and ensure that we become one of the best universities in the world. We have all it takes to get there. We are taking steps to ensure that our lecturers publish their researches in international journals and we have also made it mandatory that their research topics must have relevance to the immediate society.”
‘Benue caretaker committee changes routine’ From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
HE Special Adviser to Benue State Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Solomon Wombo, has said the minor changes on the Caretaker Committee of some local governments is a routine exercise. Wombo spoke in Makurdi, the state capital, during the monthly meeting with Caretaker Committee chairmen. He said change is inevitable in any organisation that wishes to function effectively, urging the chairmen to redouble their efforts in revenue generation. Wombo said: “The only way you can complement the efforts of the state government is to explore opportunities in revenue generation as the third tier of government.” The Special Adviser hailed the council chiefs for improving security in their domains, advising them to sustain the effort. The Benue State Government recently sacked four caretaker committee chairmen of Gboko, Tarka, Agatu and Makurdi local government areas.
•From left: Arik Air, Abuja Station Manager, Mr. Mohammed Ubali; General Manager, Abuja, Mrs.Belema Park; Public Relations and Communications Manager, Lagos, Mr. Adebanji Ola; Arik Sales Manager, Abuja, Mrs. May Ayivor; Arik Abuja Marketing Manager, Itoro Uba; Arik Regional Manager, Northern Operations, Mr. Hamza Bukar; and Duty Manager, D. Lawal, at the inaugural Arik Air Abuja-London flight at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja...yesterday.
Scores feared dead in Borno explosion
CORES of people were feared dead yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, following an explosion at 8.58am at London Ciki. Musa Baba, a resident, said it was “a suicide attempt” on one of the Joint Task Force (JTF) outposts at Tashar Bala area of London
Ciki. He said: “We saw a man in a saloon car heading towards the JTF men guarding the area. Few minutes after he passed, we heard a devastating sound. I was told that other explosives that did not go off were found in the car.” He said the suspected suicide bomber died on the spot and shrapnel hit many other
people. “The blast was deafening... It was a massive blast that confused all of us living in the area,” Baba said. “Other JTF operatives soon mobilised to the scene and cordoned off everywhere. I saw some houses ablaze but I cannot tell you how they caught fire.” JTF spokesman Lt.-Col.
Hassan Mohammed said he would soon address reporters on the incident. A source at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), who spoke in confidence, said he saw some bodies being taken to the hospital’s mortuary. “The bodies were taken from the site of the blast,” the source said.
2013 budget to be ready by September 2012, says Fed Govt
Ekiti group to contractors: no longer business as usual
•Orders stock-taking of PTDF, ETF, others
HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday said next year’s budget and subsequent ones would be ready for submission by the end of September. It said this would enable the Federal Government implement the budget fully. The government yesterday ordered a stock-taking of statutory extra- ministerial bodies in the country, saying there has been a gap in monitoring the management of the funds. Besides, the government said the stock-taking would enable it establish the extent to which government agencies meet the needs for which they were established. The intervention agencies affected include the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Universal Basic Education Fund (UBEF), Education Trust Fund (ETF), Agric-Fund, Pe-
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
troleum Equalisation Fund (PEF). The FEC, presided over by President Jonathan approved the committee to synergise among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the new Science and Technology policy, which is in the offing. Minister for Information Labaran Maku, with his Communication Technology counterpart, Omobola Johnson, and that of Science and Technology, Prof. Etta Ewa, said the Council discussed the cycle of the country’s budget, which starts from March to December instead of January to December. Maku said: “Today, we discussed a lot of issues that border on national development. One of them is the cycle of our budget. As you know, yesterday (Tuesday), the President presented the
2012 Budget to the National Assembly, which received ovation from members of the House and other Nigerians. “The President, today, in view of past experiences, directed the Ministry of Finance and all MDAs to ensure that henceforth all our budgets are tabled before the National Assembly not later than the first week of October every year. “Indeed, the last week of September is the target for ensuring that all issues on Budget are concluded and are tabled before the National Assembly by the first week of October. “We are reviewing the financial year from March 1 to December 31. From next year, we will not be having the luxury of extending the budget period to March. “Because the budget year will begin to end by the end of September, the President has directed that at least by
the last week of September, our budget should be ready for presentation to the National Assembly, or by early October. The essence, he argued, is ‘to give the National Assembly enough time between the end of September and end of December to conclude deliberations on the budget so that early in January, MDAs would begin the implementation of their budgets.” He noted that the President emphasised full implementation of the budget from next year.
Kwara ACN, candidate seek probe of Appeal Court verdict
HE Appeal Court, sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday upheld the election of Dr Bukola Saraki of ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the senator representing Kwara Central. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, had approached the Appeal Court, challenging the verdict of the lower tribunal. But the ACN and Oloriegbe described the dismissal of their appeal as predetermined. The Appeal Court upheld Saraki’s election, barely 48 hours after both parties
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
adopted their briefs. Justice Tijani Abdullahi had reserved judgment till a later date to be communicated to the parties. ACN Chairman Kayode Olawepo said the judgment was incredible because of the evidence presented before the court. He alleged that the court showed its sinister motive in giving judgment on the matter without prior notification to the party as promised. Oloriegbe urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, and the
National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate the matter. He said: “Just this afternoon, I received a text message that judgment in our appeal is being read by Justice Tijani Abdullahi, the presiding judge at the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal. We were not notified by any means whatsoever that the judgment would be read today (yesterday). The background to the case is that the briefs were adopted on Monday, December 12. Justice Abdullahi had announced in the open court that judgment was reserved till a later date, which would be communi-
OGI State governorelect, Capt Idris Wada, yesterday told political jobbers that he is not in a hurry to take over the mantle of leadership from incumbent Governor Ibrahim Idris. He urged such politicians to stay away. Wada spoke at the Government House in Lokoja at a reception organised for him by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He regretted the mounting pressure on him by political office lobbyists, saying: “For the past few days now, there has been so much lobbying from party members for one position or the order. Please, Yomi and I, having gone through the rudiments of the last election, need to go for a rest. I, therefore, urge you to go and chill out. “We will make a wise decision in our appointments with the strict guidance of the state party leader, Governor Idris. After all, I am not yet the governor; I am not in haste to take over until the time stipulated by law.” The governor-elect said his administration would complement the achievements of the incumbent governor. He promised to carry along all sectors of the state, saying the state belongs to everyone.
cated to the parties. “We were, therefore, surprised to hear that the same judgment was read at about 1pm on Wednesday, December 14. The briefs adopted on Monday, just 48 hours before this verdict, included our response to the respondents’ briefs. We suspect that the decision to throw away our case had been taken well before our final submissions. This probably corroborates the comments of PDP supporters, who were in the court on Monday that we were just wasting our time and that the matter had been settled.”
ISTURBED by shoddy jobs in Ekiti State, contractors in the Fountain of Knowledge State yesterday were told that it would no longer be business as usual. Stakeholders, under the aegis of E-11, a group of Ekiti professionals, told the contractors that they have raised a team to monitor and ensure that contractors keep faith with the terms of their contracts. E-11 said the Project Monitory Committee has civil engineers, architects, accountants and World Bank consultants. In a statement by its chair, Mrs Femi Ajiniran, the group said the era of sitting on the fence while contractors rip of the people was over. The statement reads: “As the voice of the masses, the E-11 cannot sit in the sideline while the people are being cheated by unpatriotic contractors, who only care about themselves and their families. “It is when the people are not vigilant that the meagre resources of the state and the collective wealth of the people can be squandered by contractors. “E-11 warns that henceforth, it will be on ground at all times to monitor all projects in Ekiti, both federal and state projects, and will also be sending reports from time to time on the projects to the government and the benefitting communities.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Zoning crisis rocks PDP A
FRESH zoning crisis is rocking the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP). Two chieftains of the party from Enugu State, Onyinyechi Amalu and Nnaemeka Umeh, have urged a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, to nullify all actions taken by Dr. Haliru Mohammed while he was the party’s Acting National Chairman. The actions include his involvement in the compilation, collation, signing, and forwarding of names of the party’s candidates in the April 2011 general elections or any other polls to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The court will hear the
•Court to hear suit against Mohammed Feb 2 From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
suit on February 2, next year. The plaintiffs are aggrieved that Mohammed was acting at a time when the position of the National Chairman had been zoned to the Southeast and should have been occupied by a person from the zone. Citing the provision of Article 14:5 of the party’s constitution, they argued that Mohammed’s appointment as Acting National Chairman was illegal. The section reads: “Where a vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the party, the committee shall appoint a substitute from the zone
where the officer originated, pending the conduct of an election to fill the vacancy.” They argued that since Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, who is from the Southeast resigned as PDP National Chairman, the zone has no representative on the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee (NWC). The plaintiffs also want the court to declare the position of Acting National Chairman illegal, null and void, insisting that it does not exist in the party’s constitution (as amended). But the PDP has asked the court to throw out the suit
on the grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it. Counsel to the PDP and its National Legal Adviser Chief Olusola Oke argued that the issues raised are administrative actions of the party and are outside the court’s jurisdiction. Oke added that the plaintiffs lack the locus standi to institute the suit. Mohammed took over the party’s affairs on January 17, after Nwodo’s resignation, before his current appointment as Minister of Defence. As PDP Acting National Chairman, he discharged all the duties and functions of the National Chairman.
Muslim lawyers seek recognition of Sharia in South From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
HE Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has urged southern states to recognise the rights of Muslims to have their disputes adjudicated on the principles of Sharia as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution, especially in matters that relates to marriage, divorce and inheritance. The body also called for an end to the trial of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, demanding that the judicial process be accelerated. In a statement by its National President, Tajudeen Oladoja, at the end of the Fifth Annual General Conference of the association in Kaduna, MULAN said it would work with the National Assembly to abrogate all discriminatory provisions in the constitution of Nigeria that tends to strengthen the settler/indigene dichotomy that has precipitated many crises in various parts of the country. It urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in any state of the federation plagued by ethno-religious crisis. MULAN lamented the constant breach of the fundamental rights of Muslims across the country under the pretence of national security. It said it has become a routine exercise for security agencies to “arrest, detain harangue, intimidate and torture Muslims, especially those who wear long beards, in the name of curbing the Boko Haram menace” and called on the security agencies not to be partisan when discharging their duties. The body urged the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to license non-interest banking for interested Nigerians, irrespective of religious affiliations, and not be discouraged by critics of the idea. It accused state governments in the north of paying lip service to the formalisation of the Almajiri educational system, thereby increasing the level of illiteracy in the region. MULAN praised the National Assembly for criminalising same sex marriage and advised the government against removing fuel subsidy, stating that it would add to the hardship of the ordinary Nigerian.
Reps seek trial of offenders
•From left: Area Manager, Ecobank, Mrs. Dammy Oruwari; Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Adetokunbo Sofoluwe; wife of UNILAG Bursar, Mrs. Odekunle; UNILAG Bursar Lateef Odekunle; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC), UNILAG, Prof. Ajibola Bello; and Branch Manager, Ecobank, UNILAG branch, Mr. Tunji Jaiyeola; at the institution’s Staff Club during a reception organised by the bank for Odekunle on his appointment.
Senate confirms NCC board members
HE Senate yesterday confirmed four nonexecutive commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and four members of the Board of the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), which is under the NCC. The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of the report of the Gilbert Nnaji-led Senate Committee on Communications which screened the nominees. Some senators raised the issue of adherence to Federal Character in the nomi-
•Mark decries poor GSM service From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
nation. Nnaji said though the NCC Act did not mandate President Goodluck Jonathan to adhere to the Federal Character principle in the choice of the nominees, the President followed the principle. Senate President David Mark decried the “very
poor services” rendered by GSM service providers and urged the confirmed nominees to improve the sector. Mark said NCC should not shy away from regulating the activities of the operators and ensuring that Nigerians get the best of services. The USPF Board members are Mallam Isa Danburam, Mrs. Ngozi Nwankwo, Miss Oluwafunmilola Lamuye and Mrs. Charity Shekari.
The non-executive commissioners are Dr. Mike Onyia, (Southeast) Alhaji Yusufu Hamisu (Northwest), Mrs. Biodun Olujimi (Southwest) and Mr. Dominic Nwator (Southsouth).
Fed Govt votes N250b for NDDC
HE Federal Government has earmarked N249,544,270,000 for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC) in the 2012 budget proposal.
The 2011 Christmas Concert of The Apostolic Faith, Edo State District holds on Monday, 26th December at The Apostolic Faith premises, 40, ICE Road, off Wire Road, Benin City at 3.30pm prompt. The Choir and Orchestra will feature, among others, Colonel Bogey by Kenneth J. Alford, For Unto Us by G. F. Handel, and Hallelujah From Mount Olives by Beetthoven. Admission is FREE.
PUBLIC NOTICE MAIKANO I formerly known and addressed as MISS LARA YILA MAIKANO now wish to be known and addressed as MRS LARA CHIEDOZIE CHIKWENDU. All former documents remain valid.General public take note
•Jonathan sacks Nasarawa FCC Commissioner From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan, in a letter to the Senate yesterday, said the amount is 4.46 per cent more than the N240,580,000,000 voted for the commission this year. The proposed NDDC budget comprises personal expenditure, N9,487,690; recurrent expenditure, N7,037,210; capital expenditure, N877,090,000; and projects development expenditure, N232,144,280,000. Jonathan said the sources
of the revenue for the proposed budget include: revenue brought forward, N95, 435,770.00; Federal Government contribution, N46, 786,520.00; oil companies’ contribution and others, N109,000,000,000; and Internally Generated Revenue, N525,000,000,000. Also yesterday, Jonathan sought Senate’s approval to remove the Commissioner representing Nasarawa State in the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska. In a letter to the Senate, Jonathan accused Gwaska of “gross misconduct.”
It said: “Alhaji Gwaska has consistently refused to respect lawful directives; absented himself from duty without authorisation; unlawfully retained two official cars and some strategic files of the commission in his private custody; and has remained unwilling to subject himself to constituted authority, thus creating and unconducive atmosphere for the commission, which may encourage rancour in the system with its attendant negative effect on efficiency and service delivery.”
HE House of Representatives wants those that flout its directives prosecuted by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). According to the Representatives, persons and authorities have found ways of disregarding resolutions of the National Assembly by manipulating Sections 58 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). In view of the development, the House has resolved to alter the constitution to that effect. Deputy House Leader Leo Ogor led the debate for the second reading of a bill for an act to alter the provisions of Sections 89 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to prosecute any person or authority found wanting by the Senate or the House of Representatives. He said the House has been rendered ineffective, due to its inability to compel the prosecution of offenders after investigations backed with facts, adding that questions are being raised over the ineffectiveness of several investigations carried out by the National Assembly. On the need to reverse the
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
current perception of the House by the public through the alteration of the constitution, Ogor said the House is seen as a toothless bulldog. He said: “Investigations by the parliament usually reveal that one or two persons are found wanting. The aim here is to direct the Attorney-General by simple resolution to prosecute anybody found wanting, and it will also give state assemblies similar powers.” Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila said a gap was created in the provisions of Section 88 of the Constitution, which gave the parliament powers to investigate, but not influence prosecution. He said: “Section 58 says the National Assembly can only make laws through bills and not resolutions. The lacuna created by that section only enables us to make laws and expose corruption. “The proposed amendment will enable the parliament, after exposing corruption, to compel the Attorney-General to prosecute.” The bill went through the second reading without opposition, after it was put to voice vote by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.
Police promote 1,207 officers
HE Police Service Commission (PSC) has approved the promotion of 1,207 senior officers, following the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police. In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the commission’s spokesman, Ferdinand Ekpe, said a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Dayo Adeleke, had been elevated to the rank of Commissioner of Police (CP). He said three Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) Veronica Omofunma, Victor Onofiok and Oladejo Oyelowo, had also been promoted to Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs). Ekpe said 235 Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) had been made Superintendents of Police (SP) and 968 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) had become Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP). The promotions took effect yesterday. PSC Chairman Parry Osayande urged the newly promoted officers to work harder and promote the image of the force.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15 , 2011
Suntai rejects CBN’s N500b loan offer ARABA State Governor Danbaba Suntai has turned down a N500 billion loan offer from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The loan, CBN said, is divided into two parts: N300 billion for a power project and N200 billion for the construction of an airport. The governor’s decision reportedly surprised CBN officials. Suntai reportedly said he prefers to generate revenue internally and use the statutory allocations to the state rather than borrow. He said: “I have completed the Jalingo International Airport and would rather depend on sources (of funds) obtained from the Federation Account and internally generated revenue to service my remain-
Corps members safe in Borno, says Shettima
ORNO State Governor Kashim Shettima has assured National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members of their safety. The governor promised the government’s support for the Corps members, urging them to serve their fatherland without fear. Shettima spoke during a visit to the NYSC Orientation Camp in Wannune, Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State, where the Batch “C” Corps members are having their orientation. He said the worst security challenges were over in Borno State. “We are conscious of our duties and obligations to you. We are aware of your expectations from us. I want to assure you that the government and good people of Borno State are prepared to make you safe, happy and comfortable. We cannot compromise your safety. We have put in place adequate machinery to safeguard your interests. We want to partner with you and we expect you to be willing partners in our quest to reposition our dear state,” the governor said. According to him, the task of rebuilding the state is a collaborative effort, adding that Corps members are among the major stakeholders.
PUBLIC NOTICE I formerly known and addressed as Miss Egeonu Mary Chigozie, now wish to be known and address as Mrs. Ekwueme Mary Chigozie. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE NWADIKE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Chijinkem Regina Nwadike, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Chijinkem Regina Kalu Ijoma. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME This is to notify the general public that Chiaka Anthony is the same as John Anthony Onyebuchi, now wish to be known and addressed as John Anthony Onyebuchi. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. Abia State University and general public take note.
From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
ing projects. “I am sorry I reject all these offers.” The governor spoke after listening to CBN officials at the Taraba Currency Zonal Office, who visited him at the Government House in Jalingo. Suntai added: “I will not take loans which, when I leave office, would subject me to criticisms, for mortgaging the future of Taraba State and its people.” The governor said power development should be the concern of the private sector because the state government has no business engaging in
gigantic projects that take a long time to complete. The Controller of the CBN Currency Zonal Office in Jalingo, Alhaji Mohammed Sule, said the zonal office was able to achieve a lot in one year. He noted that the apex bank, among other things, received N6billion deposits from banks, which withdrew over N8billion within the period. Sule said: “A total of 753 loans requests for Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, valued at N216,330,000 and representing 89per cent of the target for 2010, were guaranteed in the state.” Other achievements recorded by the CBN in Taraba,
Two rapists jailed three years From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri
he said, included the employment of indigenes, payment of over N20million income tax by workers of the branch as well as the ongoing construction of the bank at its permanent. CBN urged the governor to facilitate the release of the Certificate of Occupancy for the new office.
MAIDUGURI High Court yesterday sentenced Mohammed Ali and Ba’ana Mele to three years imprisonment for defiling a 15-year-old girl of Kuburbulla Garu in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State. Justice Patum Ngadda said there was sufficient evidence that the accused committed the offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 97 of the Penal Code Law and Cap 102 Laws of Borno State, 1994. The judge said the prosecution presented six witnesses and 11 exhibits, including the girl’s underwear, which was stained with blood, and a medical certificate from Chibok Primary Health Centre, to prove that the two men forcefully slept with the girl. The prosecution said on April 8, last year, at about 7.30pm in Kuburbulla Gam Village of Chibok Local Government Area, the accused offered the girl a lift on their motorcycle and forcefully slept with her. The defence called three witnesses. Justice Ngadda said the court was lenient with the accused because they showed remorse. Besides, they are bread winners of their families. The term began yesterday.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS Clampdown on street traders excites Lagos motorists
AGOS State Government’s efforts to rid major highways of street traders and to ensure stress-free traffic within the metropolis are yielding the desired dividends, residents said yesterday. Motorists on Ojota, Third Mainland Bridge, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Kingsway Road,
Falomo, Ikeja and Maryland, among other highways classified as Zero Tolerant Zones, all praised government bold step and urged it sustain the tempo. Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, had at a news conference two
weeks ago unfolded government’s plan to rid the state of all forms of environmental abuses and degradation. He also said that the state had enough evidence at its disposal to show a collaboration between street traders, traffic flow and crime rate in the state. Some commuters yesterday hailed government’s determination to attain Zero Tolerance on the environment. They, however, urged the state to provide more stalls to accommodate those dislodged from the streets. An intra-city commercial bus driver, Mr. Taofeek Adebule, plying the Oshodi –Obalende route, praised the state for ridding the route of street traders.
Funeral rites for Ibru begins By Musa Odoshimokhe
•The late Ibru
HE funeral rites for the late Publisher of The Guardian newspaper, Alex Ibru began yesterday in Lagos with a Service of Songs at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. Ibru died on November 20 in Lagos after a brief illness. In his sermon, the Presiding
Minister, Bishop Adebola Ademowo of the Anglican Church, described the life of the late Mr. Ibru as a sermon in itself. The cleric said: “He is a rare gift that left his footprints visible in the sand of time. He is an embodiment of benediction to all men and he never allowed his riches get into his head. “He is a trailblazer. He gave the Anglican Church the Ibru Centre without any string attached,” he said. Urging the congregation to invest in the life beyond, Rev Ademowo advised the Federal Government to reconsider its stance on the removal of fuel subsidy. “Our leaders should work for equity and egalitarianism. The Federal Government should think twice about the removal of fuel subsidy be-
cause Nigerians are suffering.” Dignitaries at the service include: Lagos Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, her predecessor, Sarah Sosan; former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Alhaji Aliko Dangote; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogbobia; Chief Akintola Williams and Ambassador Olusegun Olusola among others. The rites of passage continues today with a lying-in-state at the Rutam House premises of The Guardian newspapers before his final interment at his Agbara-oto country home on Saturday.
National Mirror celebrates at one THE management of Global Media Mirror Limited, publishers of National Mirror titles, will today celebrate the paper’s first year anniversary with a lecture and gala dinner in Abuja. In a statement signed by the paper’s Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the anniversary lecture will be delivered by a legal luminary and a former Attorney General/ Minister of Justice of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide. His lecture is titled: Africa and the challenges of 21st Century. The lecture holds at 10am at the main conference hall of Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja. According to the statement, the main highlights of the anniversary lecture are Chief Akinjide’s paper; formal presentation of National Mirror to the public and the unveiling of the National Mirror Archival Disc, which contains the complete eedition of the paper for a whole year as well as other data on Nigeria and Who is Who in the country.
Ogun East PDP elders disown group THE Ogun East Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Elders Forum has denied the existence of a youth forum purportedly headed by one Olowoporoku Azeez. In a statement yesterday by the Vice-Chairman of the Elders Forum, Alhaji Agboola Alausa, the elders said the group only existed in the “wild imagination of some inconsistent characters”. He described the group “an amorphous organisation hurriedly created by some busy bodies who are not courageous enough to reveal their true identities just for the purpose of tendering a needless apology to a supposed leader of the party who has failed to live up to expectations.” Alausa challenged the “faceless group” to name how many people its principal has empowered in Ogun State, particularly Ogun East and his Ogun West Senatorial Districts, to have warranted the “unreserved apology”. He urged party members not to be distracted by the “divisive antics of desperate politicians who are clutching at every straw in sight to stay relevant.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
Govt to renew oil licences in Jan., says Minister
HE Federal Govern ment aims to com plete the renewal of shallow water oil licences for operators including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp. within six weeks. “In the next four to six weeks we will be finalising all issues of shallow water renewals,” Petroleum Minister Diezani AlisonMadueke said yesterday in Vienna, where she was attending the meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The Federal Government has been holding talks with overseas operators on oil blocks since 2009, when the permits expired.Exxon Mobil Corp., which retained the licences 67, 68 and 70 at that time, had those rights withdrawn in March, Lagos. The Federal Government, according to Bloomberg News, aims to pass a proposed law to regulate the country’s oil and gas industry by the first quarter, she said. “The hope is that by the end of the first quarter next year, the National Assembly will have moved that forward,”Alison-Madueke said. Certain areas of the proposed law, such as fiscal regimes,have been amended to be “more equitable” to producers, she said. Nigeria is the fifth-biggest source of US oil imports. At least 90 per cent of the country’s crude is pumped by Shell,Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Total SA and Eni SpA in joint ventures with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The group life fund has been released and underwriters have been paid. The truth of the matter was that the group life of this year was not concluded on time. -Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance
Presidency shortlists three to replace BPE DG T
HERE were strong in dications yesterday that the Presidency is set to implement the recommendations of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Privatisation on the sordid sales of some firms. But tension is building up in the Senate over the delay in considering the report of the probe of the privatisation and commercialisation of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). It was learnt that the government has short-listed three to replace the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mrs. Bola Onagoruwa. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that while Senate was probing the Bureau, there was pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene but he insisted that Nigerians have the right to know what went wrong in the BPE. Based on the outcome of the Senate’s probe, the government has decided to reposition the BPE in line with its Transformation Agenda, including the change of leadership at the agency. The Senate Committee,
• Tension in Senate over report From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
headed by Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (ANPP, Yobe North), which submitted its report to the Senate on November 22, this year had recommended, among other things, the revocation of most privatised government companies and the removal of Onagoruwa. Onagoruwa was found guilty of gross misconduct and incompetence, illegal and fraudulent sale of five per cent residual shares of the Federal Government in Eleme Petrochemical Company Limited (EPCL) Port Harcourt contrary to the BPE Act. Findings confirmed that based on the probe, 10 names were recommended to the Presidency as replacement for the DG. But out of the 10, three have been short-listed for consideration by the Presi-
dent. The three candidates are a former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Mrs. Ada Okwuonu; Hadiza Magunu; and Mr Bello Sidi. A reliable source in the presidency, who spoke in confidence, said: “The President is set to implement the report of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Privatisation and effect changes in the BPE. “Since the Senate has passed a resolution, the President has made up his mind to implement the decision of the Upper Chamber on the BPE. “There has been pressure on the President to intervene by halting the probe or ignoring the recommendations of the Senate. But the cabals holding forte in BPE have lost out. “Already, out of 10 names recommended, three candidates have been short-listed as having “good potential” to reshape the BPE. “The final choice of the new DG lies with the President
based on the advice of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).” The tension over the report may not be unconnected with the curious removal of the subject in the Order Paper yesterday. But Senate legislative calendar circulated by Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, showed that the Senate will vacate for Christmas and New Year break on Tuesday, December 20 and resume on January 9, 2012. Some Senators, who spoke to our correspondents on the development, wondered whether “some is amiss?” One of the Senators, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, noted that “keeping the report in abeyance” could lead to speculation. He said the zeal with which the Senate received the report should also have been used to approve or reject the recommendations of the committee. He said: “Some of us are actually worried. We are not insinuating any thing yet, but we should avoid a situation where some water could pass under the bridge.”
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 -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 FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL
0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472
HE naira strengthened against the United States dollar on the interbank market yesterday as about $216 million sold by three energy companies to some lenders provided support for the local currency. The naira currency closed at N162.20 to the dollar on the interbank market, up from N162.40 on Tuesday. Traders said though the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) failed to meet all demand at its bi-weekly auction yesterday, dollar sales by local unit of France Total, Agip and Royal Dutch Shell totalling about $216 million and direct sales by the regulator to some lenders helped provide needed support in the market. On the official window, the apex bank sold $200 milion at N156.70 to the dollar, same figure and rate at the previous auction on Monday. “The naira actually weakened to around N162.60 to the dollar intraday, but strengthened to N161.85 to the dollar after the inflows from the oil companies hit the market before closing at N162.20 due to strong demand,” one dealer said. Traders said demand remained strong in the market and could continue to keep the naira under pressure in the near term. “We have a lot of demand from customers that have huge volume and could not get their bids through the central bank auction. These customers are forced to resort to the interbank to enable them meet their obligations,” another dealer said.
Fidelity Bank concludes cash-lite campaign
NSE JSE NYSE LSE
Naira gains on oil firms forex sales
• From left: Ag. Director, Payments System Department, CBN, Mr G.I. Emokpae and Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr Tunde Lemo, reviewing documents at the stakeholders’ public sector enlightenment forum on end-to-end electronic payments, at the CBN main auditorium in Abuja ... yesterday.
Power generation drops by 1,080mw as Egbin shuts P OWER generation in the country dropped by 1,080 mega watts on Tuesday due to the shut down of the Egbin Thermal Station. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Egbin Power Station was shut on Tuesday around 3.50 p. m. The station contributes about 1,080 mega watts to the national grid. A senior official of the PHCN, who preferred anonymity, told NAN in Lagos yesterday that all the facili-
ties at the power station were shut. The source said the hydro component of the power station, called the “biminerasation plant” and, which had been poorly maintained over the years, caused the collapse of the entire station. He said the power station was shut when it could no longer generate power, adding that lack of spare parts was the major challenge fac-
ing the plant. “The failed hydro plant has been repaired several times and because the plant is obsolete, getting the spare parts has become a challenge. “We have been managing the plant for over 40 years. When it breaks down, it takes about five days for it to come up again,’’ the source said. He said the station often took time to come up when-
ever it was went down, noting that it would take up to Saturday before the station could work again. He said PHCN officials were in Abuja, working towards resuscitating the station. A correspondent of NAN, who visited the station, confirmed that the station had been shut and the workers seen idling around. The station is the biggest power-generating plant in the country with installed capacity to generate 1,320 mega watts.
IDELITY Bank Plc has concluded sessions with various stakeholders aimed at providing enlightenment on the ‘CashliteLagos’, a programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). ‘Cash-lite Lagos’ is an initiative of the CBN aimed at reducing cash being used in transactions in the country, starting with Lagos, which has the bulk of commercial transactions in the country. The purpose of the enlightenment campaigns, according to a statement, was to provide better understanding of what the initiative entails so as to make the transition to the new era smoother. According to the schedule of the CBN, the ‘Cash-lite Lagos’ begins next month. By this initiative, most transactions are expected to be conducted through ATM cards and Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals in shops and other outlets. To encourage this, CBN has placed a ceiling of N150,000 cash transactions per individual per day or N1million for companies.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
House summons Madueke, others over fuel scarcity M
INISTER of Petroleum,Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke is to face the House of Representatives over the re-emergence of long queues in the country. Similarly, helmsmen of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA) have been directed to explain why Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) (petrol) is scarcity in the country. But the Management of the
• NNPC flays panic buying, hoarding From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
NNPC yesterday cautioned against the growing incidence of panic buying and indiscriminate hoarding of petroleum products by some Nigerians in anticipation of the planned removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS) by the Federal Government.
While condemning the development, the lawmakers have urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, bring the situation under control. The resolution of the House followed a motion sponsored by Bashir Babale (PDP, Kano), under matters of urgent public importance, regretted that the scarcity was com-
ing few days to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, blamed the emerging fuel queues noticeable in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some cities in the country on the unfortunate rush by some marketers and consumers to mop-up enough products in anticipation of the envisaged take-off of the deregulation, which they believe will commence with Tuesday’s budget presentation by Mr President.
OPEC okays 30m barrel output limit
HE Organisation of Pe troleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has decided to increase its production ceiling to 30 million barrels a day, the first change in three years, moving the group’s target nearer to current output as it grapples with rising exports from post-war Libya. The new quota, according to Bloomberg News, is for all members of the OPEC, including Iraq and Libya, and compares with actual November production from those 12 nations of 30.37 million barrels a day, according to OPEC estimates.
2012 budget: OPS seeks transparency, full implementation
Firm to launch energy drink
HE Organised Private Sector (OPS) has called for full implementation and transparency in the 2012 budget. They said this is the only way Nigerians can feel its positive impact. In an interview with The Nation, members of the OPS said both the National Assembly and the Executives should work together and agree on the budget in order to ensure its full implementation. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said the proposed N560 billion on debt servicing, particularly domestic debt, is high, adding that this should be reviewed. The chamber also said the allocation for power is rather too low. The Director-General, LCCI, Muda Yusuf, said what this mean is that the government is depending on the private sector to solve the power problem. “The cost of domestic debt is very high; the cost paid on treasury bills and bonds is one of the highest in
By Toba Agboola
the world and the more we continue to borrow, the more we commit a lot of resources to debt servicing. In an economy where we have problems with education, railways and roads, to be spending N560 billion is not good enough. The National Assembly needs to bring this down,” he stated. “The improvement in funding for security is commendable; it means that the government has seen the need to deal with security problems by strengthening the security agencies. But the only way the government can deal with criminality in a fundamental and sustainable manner, is through job creation,” he argued. Yusuf also said: “It shows that the government is putting so much hope on the private sector to create power because it takes time for private investment to crystallise in that sector.” He said investing in power sector involves a lot of risks and may
not come as fast as we expect. So, the government still needs to do a lot more to inject more funds in that sector. Former Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said the huge vote for security and power is very logical because the two sectors are critical to growth and development. “The huge allocations are worth it and I hope that it will deliver the value, because if we are not secured, there will be no investment, social interaction, economic activities and development. “So, I think security should get significant vote. All of us have also agreed that if there is anything President Jonathan must accomplish, it is to create power sufficiency for our nation. The budget shows that the government is putting right emphasis in the right place.” To the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture(NACCIMA), the government should reduce the high cost
of governance. Its President, Dr Ademola Ajayi, said: “We are here to repeat once again that the present high cost of governance has been responsible for the lopsided pattern of expenditure, with recurrent expenditure taking about 70 per cent of total budget.” Speaking further, he said the OPS expectation about major restructuring of the budget has not been made. “If we have a situation where government is only reducing recurrent expenditure by only two per cent, I believe that has not gone far enough in bringing about the kind of restructuring that will deliver the kind of value we expect from the budget to Nigerians. “In the light of the very huge infrastructure deficit that we have, we expected that more resources should have been committed to capital spending. The 15 per cent increase in capital spending is a step forward, but the government can do better than that.’
INTRON, a United Statesbased beverage producer, is billed to introduce its range of products in Nigeria. The offering includes a range of beverages, which consist of tropically inspired flavors, such as energy drinks, green teas, iced teas and fruit drink juices. These products, the promoters’ said in a statement, are known for their great taste and flavors and they come in three flavors: cranberry, pineapple and original. “CINTRON energy drinks are made with premium all natural ingredients and contain no artificial colouring, or chemical preservatives, uses only natural juice flavors and natural mineral water,” the promoters’said, adding that the drinks are Halal certified and do not contain any ingredients derived from animals or pork. The statement said the products, which are being introduced under the slogan, ‘Drink it: Live it,’ and the CINTRON brand, are about lifestyle, energy and flavor, with a focus on upscale, trendy events, such as fashion and music.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
INDUSTRY END OF YEAR 2011 REVIEW
Non-oil sector booms in poor economy
EEG implementation committee met three times and approved claims to beneficiary companies in the country.
To the Organised Private Sector (OPS), the increase recorded in the non-oil sector in the last 12 months shows little or no significance in the economy, compared to last year. It scored the economy low in 2011.TOBA AGBOOLA reports.
HE National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA), Dr. Herbert Ajayi, said the business community has continued to grapple with the usual challenging operating environment and infrastructural constraints, particularly the perennial power and energy crisis. He noted that the critical areas requiring significant improvement include agricultural productivity and production. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said the OPS is concerned about increasing cost of operations arising largely from high energy and transportation cost. To the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the problem of access to credit and high cost of funds persisted in the economy. It said the challenge is more severe for the small and medium enterprises. Q1 growth Nigeria Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by about 6.64 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, with agriculture and trade sectors jointly accounting for over 58 per cent of the growth, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had shown. Report of the quarterly establishment survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the period, attributed the 0.72 per cent point decline from the 7.36 per cent recorded for the corresponding period last year to decrease in crude oil production, manufacturing and other key sectors. According to the report, real growth in agriculture in the first quarter of 2011 stood at 5.45 per cent, as against 5.43 per cent recorded in the corresponding period last year, with the sector’s contribution to the GDP for the quar-
ter declining to 35.29 per cent from 35.68 per cent for the same period in 2010. While the non-oil sector remained major driver of the economy, with growth in agriculture, wholesale/retail trade, telecommunications, hotel/restaurants, building and construction sectors, the oil sector output declined, as a result of the shut-in of production by some multinational oil companies for routine maintenance of facilities as well as repairs at oil terminals as a result of vandalism. Specifically, the non-oil sector accounted for 8.65 per cent growth in real terms in the first quarter, compared to about 8.13 per cent for the same period last year, while the oil sector contributed 16.82 per cent to real GDP in the first quarter of 2011, down from 18.36 per cent for last year. The positive performance of the agricultural sector was attributed to the early commencement of increased farming activities across the country as a result of the early rains”, in addition to the sector’s continued benefit from various interventions by governments, especially the agricultural credit schemes initiated by the country’s apex bank. Non-oil sector The non-oil sector recorded an increase of 8.82 per cent growth in real terms in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the 8.41 per cent recorded in the corresponding period in 2010. GDP second quarter report released by the NBS said the nonoil sector continued to be a major driver of the economy in the second quarter of 2011 when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2010. According to the statistics, the 0.41 percentage point increase in growth was largely driven by improved activities in the agriculture, telecommunications, wholesale/ retail trade, hotel/restaurants,
Imports rise by 7% in Q2
solid minerals and business/other services sectors. NBS said the sector recorded a growth rate of 11.48 per cent in the second quarter of 2011, indicating an increase of 0.08 percentage points above the 11.40 per cent growth achieved in the corresponding period of 2010. The increase in growth recorded in second quarter of 2011 was attributed to the increase in wholesale and retail trade activities following an increase in consumer demand. Informal trading activities also thrived in this sector and highly supported by the nation’s level of imports. Rise in cement price The price of cement at the beginning of the year, rose from N2,600 to N3,000 depending on which part of the country you are buying from or how close you are to production points. The effect of higher cement price has its impact on the quality of blocks and prices as well. The trend continue in the second quarter of the year Distributors’ greed, logistics, energy, high tax, multiple levies, supply gap and panic buying were identified as key factors responsible for the persistent high price of cement. As a result, President Goodluck Jonathan instructed cement manufacturers to ensure a downward movement of cement price. Expectedly , Jonathan’s ‘decree’ was a most welcome development to
•Goddie Ibru, President, LCCI
many Nigerians, even as many castigated the manufacturers for their penchant for profiteering and gross insensitivity to the hardship an average Nigerian is going through. Significantly, however, some Nigerians said the problem of high cement price could not simply be tackled by a presidential order, and that even if the price was substantially reduced within the 30-day period stipulated by the president, it would only be a short term relief that would not enjoy sustenance. After the directive, Dangote Group summoned its distributors to a parley where the issue of pricing of its products was the main issue. Besides, to the displeasure of some distributors and the delight of the public, the company did series of advertisements in the media, disclosing that cement at its Obajana and Gboko plants are sold at N1,500 per bag. N45b export grant The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) revealed that over N45 billion had been disbursed by the Federal Government in the second quarter of 2011 under the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme designed to induce performance of non oil exporters in the country. The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. David Adulugba, explained that during the year under review, the
The total value of Nigeria’s import in the second quarter of the year rose by seven per cent to N3.32 trillion compared with the N3.10 trillion it stood in the first quarter of the year. A report obtained from the NBS showed imports in the second quarter of the year were also 175.5 per cent higher than the N1.22 trillion recorded in the corresponding period in 2010. It also showed that total export during the period, out-performed import, even as it revealed that the total value of merchandise trade in the Q2 of 2011 stood at N6.89 trillion, compared with the N6.32 trillion realised in the first quarter of 2011. Inflation Inflationary pressure moderated slightly in the course of the second half of the year, but has since rebounded. It was 9.5 per cent in September but has gone up to 10.5 per cent in October. The OPS are concerned about increasing cost of operations arising largely from high energy and transportation cost. Meanwhile, they pointed out that the tight monetary policy stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has further worsened the situation. Subsidy removal During the year, the government announced the proposed the removal the fuel subsidy next year. In response, the Organised Private Sector (OPS) took a swipe at the government’s policies saying that rather than address the hydraheaded socio-economic problems the policies have worsened the hardship as poverty continues to rise. It also noted that the planned removal of subsidy on fuel will only worsen the already bad situation in which Nigerians find themselves. The OPS, which bared its mind on the state of the economy, is worried that government policies have not translated positively on the populace just as the high cost of doing business and harsh economic environment have led to the collapse of many businesses.
Standardisation: Fed Govt to empower SON,NAFDAC
HE Federal Government will check the influx of substandard goods into the country, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga has said. Aganga spoke in Lagos during the 2011 Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) award organised by Standards Organisation of Nigerian (SON). Aganga said the government was making efforts to strengthen its processes and various regulatory agencies such as the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Association for Food Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and other agencies to ensure more effectiveness in their efforts at combating substandard goods. He said the menace of substandard goods requires the relevant government agencies close collaboration with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to rid the country of the unwholesome products. Aganga said the various agencies should double their efforts to as-
sist the indigenous companies to achieve greater capacity utilisation and revive the nation’s ailing industries. “It is gratifying to note that the quality of some products manufactured in Nigeria today is the envy of the world, such that imported products are fraudulently labeled Made-in-Nigeria and shipped into the country. “Some good examples are our locally manufactured electric cables, textiles, among others, “he said. The Minister added that the challenge posed by importation of goods at relatively cheaper prices compared to locally made products. He added that it, however, denied the consumer value for their money and the local industries to compete favourably at the export market. He said the transformation agenda of the Federal Government is aimed at tackling critical areas of infrastructural development that will in no small measure reposition Nigeria ‘s manufacturing sector to better performance, improve
capacity utilisation, generate massive employment opportunities and generally improve the living conditions of the average Nigerian. According to him, government is committed to encouraging and promoting Small and Medium Scale industries through various programmes and projects being undertaken by many of its agencies. He noted that one of such programmes was the capacity development programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) being undertaken by SON in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat with active participation of relevant stakeholders in the nation. Aganga pointed out that the introduction of SON Conformity Assessment Program ( SONCAP) was to check imported goods, while the Mandatoy Conformity Assessment Program ( MANCAP) was created to the goods manuacture locally. These, according to him, are some of the measures approved by the Federal Government to protect local industries and ensure a level
playing field in market access and competitiveness. He commended the local industries whose products have been adjudged to have conformed consistently to the specifications in the relevant NIS for striving to comply with good manufacturing practices in spite of daunting infrstaructural challenges. ”I like to describe you as the pride of the nation for your doggedness, courage and commitment to the Nigeria project in flying the flag of high quality products. By so doing, you are promoting the growth of the economic ,” he said. Odumodu said the ceremony is part of the organisation’s efforts towards accelerating industrial development and promoting the quality of Made-in-Nigeria products. According to him, the process of certification is very vigorous and takes consistent monitoring and inspection of the various products to meet the requirements of the relevant NIS . He stated that products that pass
these assessments are, therefore, acceptable and can compete favourably at domestic and international markets. “SON is vindicated in this regard by the positive testimonies of the perfomance of certified Made-inNigeria products in the global market, particularly in the West Africa sub-region and the continent in general,” he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
INDUSTRY Venus unveils new range
•From left: Chief Executive Officer, Mabatpro Experiential Agency, Nana Milagrosa-Utomi, Haritonova and Bagshaw, during at the event.
Dangote’s N120b Ibeshe cement ready for production
ANGOTE Cement Plc’s six million tonnes a year Ibeshe Cement plant worth $800 million (N120 billion) will soon be inaugurated, its President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said. The plant has started production, which is expected to bring its total annual production of cement to 20 million metric tonnes. Speaking during a facility tour of the plant by Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, Dangote said the company has completed work at the plant. Dangote disclosed that not less than 7,000 jobs are on the way with the coming of the new plant. According to him, with the inauguration the country will end importation of cement, as total supply of cement into the market by the manufacturers would surpass the total demand of cement in the country. He said his investment in the economy is part of its import substitution strategy adopted by the organisation to gradually move away from outright importation to local manufacturing. Dangote stated that the Ibeshe plant was part of the expansion
•Targets 7, 000 jobs Stories byToba Agboola
drive of the group to ensure that by next year, the cement industry could produce for self-sufficiency and exportation. He explained that the plant is fully automated with constant online monitoring to guarantee high quality cement, noting that the company went for highest grade and the biggest equipment in the assembly of the plants. “We have raw materials on ground and all the processes are fully automated,” he said. According to him, the two-line plant was built with latest technology and has a 70-kilometre cable linking the production process from limestone crushing to the bagging of the finished products. He said: “We have the biggest raw mill in the world here in Ibese plant. In all our plants we ensure Nigerians are paired with their foreign counterparts in line with our deliberate policy of job creation for the locals.” He said the company has been involved in giving the staff qual-
ity training at home and abroad. “The next batch of our trainees are expected to travel very soon,” he added. Speaking at the end of the facility tour, Chairman of the Joint Host Communities Forum, Hezekiah Idowu said that what the communities could give back to show appreciation for the establishment of the Dangote Cement plant is to ensure a harmonious relationship exists between the host communities and the cement company. He stated that all groups, traditional rulers and the youths in the 14 host communities have met and agreed that they would do all within their power to see that the yet to be inaugurated cement plant operates in an atmosphere of peace. “I am happy the Ibese Cement plant will soon be inaugurated. “God will bless Dangote. We made several efforts to attract investors to Ibese. Come and see, we have resources here, no way, they won’t come. Not until we contacted Dangote, I can remember vividly when we took a letter to him in August 2001, inviting him to come and see what he could establish here,” he said.
ENUS, a premium cosmetic brand from the stable of PZ Cussons has introduced two new skin care product lines into the Nigerian market. It has also floated a television commercial and other marketing mantras to drive the brand, which has staged a come back. The introduction of new Venus SkinQuench light moisturising range and new Venus PerfectTone gentle toning range, according to a statement, is based on the outcome of scientific research on African skin and its unique climate. These products have been designed specifically to meet the needs of the African skin using unique technologies and natural ingredients. Explaining the uniqueness of the new addition, the Marketing Director of PZ Cussons Nigeria, Elena Haritonova said: “Our formulations are specifically designed to show you your skin at its absolute best thereby helping you discover the full potential you have. “They are especially made to work in harmony with your skin and care for it gently. The secret of our success is therefore in the careful selection of high quality component and ingredients for our products and their perfect balance in our formulations.”
Firm celebrates La Casera @10
LASSIC Beverages Nigeria Limited, makers of La Casera, one of the leading carbonated soft drinks in Nigeria ,has hosted its trade partners in Enugu. This was in continuation of the 10th anniversary of La Casera in Nigeria and the launch of the new‘Ice Feel’ bottle for the brand. The anniversary and regional launch of the new ‘Ice Feel’ bottle according to statement, was held on December 5, at Nike Lake Resort, Enugu with key distributors and dealers from Enugu, Ebonyi ,Taraba, Owerri and Markurdi. Addressing trade partners at the event, the Chief Operating Officer,
MAN with unique blend of multifunctional job experiences. He was previously a Director with Globacom Limited as well as Director, Brands and Communications, Etisalat Limited. He is highly respected as one of the masterminds of the masterclass that very successfully launched the Etisalat brand into Nigeria’s highly competitive telecommunications market in 2008. Prior to these appointments, Akande had direct manufacturing industry experience where he held senior management positions in multinational corporations, which include Coca-Cola Limited, Glaxosmithkline Plc, Unilever Plc and UACN Plc over a 25-year career. Mr. Akande is a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria[NIMN] and Chairman of its Brand Protection Committee; Member, Institute of
Classic Beverages Nigeria Limited (CBNL) Mr. Prahlad Gangadharan disclosed that the company’s decision to host its trade partners across the country is to ensure that the trade partners are part of the celebration of the brand. “ We are here in Port Harcourt today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of La Casera and there is no better way to celebrate this other than with you our esteemed trade partners because without your resilience and commitment, we will not be where we are today, we are indeed very proud to associate with you,” he said.
Cotton producers decry lack of incentive OTTON producers are blam from govt ing governments for the
continued decline in the industry. They said they have shown enough seriousness on increasing productivity but lack of incentive from government is affecting them. Speaking at a capacity building workshop organised by the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) for stakeholders in the North-Central, in Nasarawa State, various stakeholders lamented that the government was doing very little
to salvage the decades of crisis faced in the industry. Governor Umaru Tanko AlMakura, who declared the workshop open, said the need for the workshop is imperative in view of the importance of agriculture in nation building. He said his administration is committed to empowering farmers for growth and development.He was represented by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ahmed Tijjani Usman.
BoI, NOC partner to promote made-in-Nigeria products
MAN appoints new DG HE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria [MAN] has announced the appointment of Mr Olayinka Akande as Director General of the association. Akande is taking over as Director General of MAN from Mr. Jide Akerele Mike, who has retired from the service of the association. According to a statement from MAN, Akande is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University. He obtained post-graduate qualifications from the University of Lagos, the Institute of Marketing Management, South Africa and the Lagos Business School. He is a product of the prestigious International Management Seminar at Four Acres Unilever’s International Management Training Centre, UK. He has been honoured with many professional awards and recognition for seminar work over the years. Mr Akande is coming into the position of Director General of
On custom-made care, Haritonova said: “We believe that your whole body deserves custom-made care, therefore, we design products to do a specific job on a specific body part. So ,you have special products to care for your body and special products to care for your face. All working together as a total beauty care system.” For New Venus SkinQuench Moisturising range, Mrs. Mildred Bagshaw, Marketing Manager, Regional BrandsPZ Cussons said it uses the moisture release technology, a unique formula that adapts to the level of moisture in the skin and provides the exact amount of moisture it needs to be beautiful. “It also contains pure sea extracts which refresh and revive the skin.” Mrs Bagshaw, who also provided some insight into the makeup of New Venus PerfectTone gentle toning range said: “The new Venus PerfectTone line uses a new formula that contains pure concentrated green tea essence to gently even the skin tone and advanced sun-block technology with SPF 30 to fully protect the skin from harmful sun rays, giving the skin the perfect tone and radiance.” The new lines would be heavily promoted through above the line and below the line strategies, Haritonova said.
Directors[IOD]; Special Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps[FRSC]; and Executive Council Member of the Nigeria Society for the Blind[NSB]. He is a secondgeneration Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and Member of both the Rotary Club of Lagos [D9110] and Ikoyi Club 1938.
HE Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) have unveiled plans to promote made-in-Nigeria products during the London Olympics scheduled for next year. Speaking at BoI and NOC joint media briefing and the opening of the fifth enterprise exhibition in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer , BoI, Ms Evelyn Oputu said the bank was excited about the partnership. She described this move as a development-focused joint initiative for a more effective and positive projection of Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics games as the world’s most vibrant market. She said: “There could not have been a better platform than the capital of the United Kingdom for this endeavour in view of the historic ties between Nigeria and Great Britain, London’s proximity to Nigeria
and the city’s strategic location as the window of the world. “The London 2012 Olympics will see BoI, NOC and its other partners coming together for the first time in pursuit of a common goal, using sports as a platform to showcase Nigeria to the global market in a graphic, vivid and precise manner.” Oputu said BoI’s involvement in the games would be to project all the positive aspects of the country. Nigeria, she said, has so much positive parts and BoI will through this partnership help in promoting them. The joint initiative, according to the BoI boss, has three components that are being programmed for three locations that have been booked and secured in the UK. “One of them will take place in Surrey, which is the second highest contributor after the city of London to the UK Treasury.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
US’ immoral crusade • Nigeria should be left to legislate on same-sex marriage
HE diplomatic hysteria that heralded the passage of a law outlawing gay marriage-cumrelationships by the Senate is unwarranted. The hullabaloo from the developed countries, including the United States (US), Canada and Britain, among others, raises serious doubt about these countries’ respect for the sovereignty of other nations. The Senate had unanimously voted on November 29 outlawing public display of affection between gay and lesbian couples and had spelt out a 14-year jail term for any person involved in same sex marriage. It also prescribes a 10-year jail term for persons who abet or aid such unions as well as “any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs… or directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationships.”
‘What is good for the US and other western nations may be bad for Nigeria and as such, the US should not use the bait of aid or grant to induce the country to trade its indigenous value system for America’s that is alien and repulsive to local sense. We believe that universal human rights do not include immoral and pervasive sexual manifestations by human beings’
We would have thought that a sovereign nation is accountable to its citizens alone and could, without any external interference, make laws deemed to be in the interest of its citizenry. However, the outbursts from some countries, especially the US towards Nigeria over this law have, quite sadly, diminished this belief. The US has gone as far as announcing a $3m Global Equality Fund to support civil society organisations working for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons in Nigeria and other countries. President Barak Obama in a seven-section memorandum titled, ‘International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons LGBT directed American agencies to combat the criminalisation of the rights of LGBT persons globally. He ordered that the protection of the rights of LGBTs must be incorporated into the US diplomacy and foreign assistance. The US has gone too far in its newfound but curious love for LGBT persons. We can only hope that its latest onslaught is not targeted at only Nigeria, being the latest country to move against LGBT persons through domestic legislation. After all, it is a reality that not all the states in the US support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. So, what has the US done to checkmate or sanction its component states’ aversion for these perverts? Can the Obama administration deny
these LGBT aversion states in the US their entitlements? It would have made serious sense for the US to remove the log in its eyes before removing the speck in Nigeria and other countries’ eyes. We have not said that criminalising the socially nauseating acts of these social deviants is the best that should come out of the Senate. There are other numerous aspects of our national life that need urgent progressive legislations. The national legislature would have done well by creating time to outlaw removal of fuel subsidy or even to legislate for the compulsory provision of welfare packages (safety nets) for all Nigerians by the governments. Unfortunately, the lawmakers have chosen to legislate on this matter which, even though might not be so urgent but is in actual fact repulsive to the nation’s culture, tradition and value system in general. What is good for the US and other western nations may be bad for Nigeria and as such, the US should not use the bait of aid or grant to induce the country to trade its indigenous value system for America’s that is alien and repulsive to local sense. We believe that universal human rights do not include immoral and pervasive sexual manifestations by human beings. This underscores the current absurdity in the US immoral crusade that reflects no acceptable human/ decent reality.
Football failure • The failure to find inspiration even in the round leather game is a most unsavoury augury
S the New Year approaches, brandishing a long knife by the name, fuel subsidy removal, we dare not make any predictions as to what the future portends for Nigeria and her people. Everything seems to have come apart: from poor security situation to decrepit infrastructure and a burgeoning corrupt environment, everything seems bent on going wrong. Of all these however, the most damnable for the people is the failure of football this past few years. For the Nigerian, everything else could go wrong, (he never really had anything so good anyway) but not football. Unfortunately, football in Nigeria has literally gone to the dogs and thus declined to its lowest state in 25 years. We must not fail to warn that this is a dangerous, if not highly inflammatory situation. It is common knowledge that football is the opium of the people. It is the ultimate barbiturate that, if carefully applied as prescribed, could keep the people sedated for a very long time. For those who are addicted to treasury mopping, what better way to shut out the prying eyes of the people? Sad to say that the people in government charged with managing Nigeria’s football have not been able to muster the gumption to carry out an act that is clearly in the best interest of government. Just like every other venture, government shambled into football administration, held it down by the jugular until it is weak and prostrate. Again, just like in other spheres of life,
Nigeria really never excelled in football by any dint of planned programme of action towards a desired objective. No, we have run the gamut of hit-and-miss systems which has yielded us only marginal results through the years. Today, those results are no longer guaranteed as countries across the world get their acts right and consistently do things the proper and professional way. That is the reason for our current crisis. That is how come Nigeria, the ‘giant of Africa’ with over 150 million people and over 1,000 professional footballers in Europe alone, could not get a result in a CAF qualifier group that had Ethiopia, Madagascar and Guinea. Nigeria failed so shame-facedly and for the first time in 25 years could not participate in the continental football fiesta coming up in January. Nigeria also failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics Games. Indeed, it was a long list of woes as Nigeria was bundled out of one tournament after another, in male and female categories, at national and club levels. Now that we have come full circle (hopefully), what is to be done? First, government must extricate itself from football (and all sports) and create an environment for individuals and groups to take charge. The oldest football body in the world, the English FA (Football Association) has remained so after over 200 years. As the name implies, the FA is simply an association of private football club owners that has evolved over the years. It is the same with every other sporting
activity in organised countries. Even the world football governing body is known as FIFA. How come Nigeria has such an aberration called NFF (Nigeria Football Federation)? What this means is that government bureaucratic virus has crept into Nigeria’s football and sports and the entire environment is diseased. The argument of those who are benefitting from the muck is that only government can sustain the current level of funding. This is a smokescreen. Sponsorship from big multinationals for instance, can sustain the national league and have it return profits. Other sports will find funding if they are removed from crippling officialdom and are managed professionally. Football (and sports) is big business and unless we take it out of the grips of our governments, we will be grieving for long.
‘Nigeria really never excelled in football by any dint of planned programme of action towards a desired objective. No, we have run the gamut of hit-and-miss systems which has yielded us only marginal results through the years. Today, those results are no longer guaranteed as countries across the world get their acts right and consistently do things the proper and professional way’
Occupy’s second act
LAMING ports or shippers for the changes wrought by an increasingly global economy is sort of like fingering automakers for urban traffic congestion. From Portland to Long Beach on Monday, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who had been kicked out of encampments at parks and city centers picketed shipping companies instead, and tried unsuccessfully to shut down port traffic. That makes a certain kind of sense for a group that’s as incensed about corporate misdeeds as it is by failures in government policy, but we’re still not sure it’s aiming at the right targets. In some ways, going after shipping companies is a brilliant next step. At the Port of Long Beach, protesters picketed SSA Marine, a giant port operator partially owned by Goldman Sachs; at the Port of Hueneme, about 150 protesters targeted Del Monte Foods, which is owned by the leveraged buyout firm KKR. These shippers hit about half a dozen hot buttons common to Occupy protesters: They’re owned by big financial companies that contributed to the global economic meltdown, they’re a stand-in for all the woes brought by globalization, and they tend to have questionable environmental records (SSA is involved in plans to build a highly controversial coal-shipping terminal in Washington state) as well as labor practices. By hiring nonunion, independent contractors as truckers, SSA Marine has raised the ire of the Teamsters and other local activists. Yet at the same time, these companies make terrible scapegoats for our country’s economic ills. Although Goldman Sachs is assuredly guilty of past malfeasance, to target the companies it has financed is both unfair and strategically clueless. SSA Marine isn’t responsible for Goldman’s shenanigans involving mortgage-backed securities. Further, financing provided by the likes of Goldman keep businesses alive and the economy flowing; without it, joblessness would be worse than it is. Moreover, blocking projects meant to transport fossil fuels will do little or nothing to end their use; the only sensible way to solve our climate and pollution problems is to change government emissions policies. And by injecting itself into the port trucking issue, Occupy is stepping into a legal and political morass. The shipping industry didn’t get America into this economic mess, and there is little it could do to get us out. In times of rising joblessness, it’s common to blame foreign competition for the losses at home. But blaming ports or shippers for the changes wrought by an increasingly global economy is sort of like fingering automakers for urban traffic congestion. In its search for a new direction, Occupy Wall Street would probably do better to occupy the National Mall than San Pedro. • Los Angeles Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile
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THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
IR: It is interesting that the Abia State House of Assembly has joined the fray for the removal of the contentious fuel subsidy. The tendentious resolution in favour of the removal is sui generis in its insensitivity and callousness. For the Assembly to abandon the numerous challenges confronting its immediate environment, Abia State, and plunge into the vexed issue of fuel subsidy removal is at best disconcerting, especially when the National Assembly is trying its best to ensure that palliative measures were put in place to assuage the impact of the withdrawal on the hapless masses who are always at the receiving end of anti-people policies. Treading such combustible path needed greater caution because it has the potential of sending wrong signals to the constituents. It might interest the lawmakers to know that the contentious issue of subsidy removal is not new to Nigerians. Even the most ignorant Nigerian knows, at least, the effect of such action on their lives and wellbeing. The politics of subsidy
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Abia lawmakers and fuel subsidy removal is not only about the profiteers who through their collaboration with corrupt government officials have laid the country prostrate or the stymie that has sabotaged the establishment of functional refineries otherwise the National Assembly and labour union would have given their nod before now. The issue at stake now is the inability of previous administrations to convince Nigerians that the removal is in their interest. All through the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida to the time of President Obasanjo, Nigerians have seen several adjustments in the pump price of petroleum products without commensurate reflection on the standard of living. It was
only the regime of Sani Abacha that utilized the proceeds of the subsidy removal for concrete projects that marginally touched the masses via the Petroleum Trust Fund. That was the only time the dividend of subsidy removal was spread across board. This is the major reason Nigerians are wary this time around; a justified apprehension anchored on the insincerity of past administrations. It is worrisome that a few individuals and organizations would be milking the country dry at the expense of their countrymen. It is equally painful that Nigeria the sixth largest producer of oil cannot boast of a functional refinery but must depend on fuel importation
for its domestic needs. It is indeed uncomplimentary that our borders have remained porous, defying efforts at checking cross border trafficking of petroleum products. If the lawmakers’ understanding of the politics of fuel subsidy removal is limited to the failure of licensed refineries to become operational because of the continued importation of the product then they need to widen their vista and come to terms with why the issue has become controversial this time around. Everyone knows that the removal of subsidy would sure translate to more revenue for the federal government but the question now is what happened to revenue generated from previous ex-
Homosexuality, anathema to Africa
IR: One of the basic things I learnt as a student of elementary physics is the first law of static electricity which states that like charges repel, unlike charges attract. If the latter part of the time-tested law holds true all the time, it follows therefore, that since our society is a heterosexual one, homosexuals and lesbians are to be seen as outlaws...and if anyone is caught, such should be tried summarily within the ambit of the relevant laws. We owe the western world no apology in this case. This is our country with her own unique value system and orientation. Any individual fundamental right that is at loggerheads with the traditional and corporate rights of a society is no right at all and should be treated as such. Our society being an African society does not condone antithetical behaviour like lesbianism and homosexuality. Apart from being against the law
of natural order, it is against our cultural values and mores. All those agitating for the proscription of the anticipated law should bury their heads in shame and seek forgiveness from the good and benevolent Lord. Perhaps, with our so-called foreign partners wanting to withdraw their financial aids and support, they can kindly do that. On this position of anti-gay rights, majority of sane Nigerians stand while those in the minority may have their say. Gays do not have any right to practise their unnatural act and should not be encouraged to do that
in Nigeria. We have got enough social vices and moral bankruptcy to tackle head long. Adding homosexuality to the lot will further compound our moral woes and pave the way for our march to moral kamikaze. No matter what some free thinkers and fundamental human rights may say especially in collaboration with the strident criticisms coming from the imperialist forces of the western nations, we must not kowtow to them. Same sex marriage is out of this world and immoral. These foreign forces should leave us alone and tackle their own domestic
problems. The financial crisis in the Eurozone is enough headache for Prime Minister David Cameron and co. Barack Obama has a lot to do to fix the American economy. More so, that he is a potential candidate for the next presidential election. Ours is a sovereign nation and must be allowed to resolve our internal contradictions without destructive interference of the outside world. Lesbianism should not be globalised. Let it remain with the confines of those godless nations! • Akinboyo Temidayo, Igbotako, Ondo State
ercises in the past. What is the guarantee that this one would be different? There are fundamental issues that government need to address to convince Nigerians of its sincerity in providing palliatives to cushion the harsh realities which the exercise would exhume. Government must demonstrate in concrete terms that the wellbeing of its citizens is its concern. Before tampering with the subsidy this time around, government should address squarely the intractable problem of insecurity, the recurrent unemployment and joblessness and the embarrassing infrastructural decay. I will be stupefied if government confesses its helplessness in the face of a suffocating stranglehold of a few individuals, organizations and their allies on the nation’s lifeline. Is government admitting that it is powerless over its corrupt officials? Is it not an indictment on the part of government that it condones corruption which manifests in every sphere of national life? Is is true that government does not have the backbone to confront the hydra headed monster which has since become endemic? Why is the government taciturn over the allegation of over-bloated wage bill of the executive arm? Why should government not give serious consideration to fixing the refineries before contemplating the withdrawal of subsidy? Why should government be so indifferent to the glaring unemployment? If the government is incapable of making life better for its citizens what a huge disappointment to our collective expectation. The conclusion that can be drawn from the resolution of the Abia State House of Assembly is that if it was in its power to remove the subsidy it would have gone without recourse to the suffering masses. • Igbeaku Orji, Umuahia, Abia State
WAEC please release my result
IR: I wish to appeal to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to please release my result. I commend and support WAEC in their efforts to fight examination malpractice in Nigeria. But the council should
always consider some innocent students like me. My West African School Certificate examination May/June 2011 result (EXAM NO 4260912/ 050) is being withheld. Nobody has explained to us why the results are
being held and why they have refused to release the result. Now I can neither gain admission into any higher institution nor apply for jobs because I don’t have any result to show.
I am therefore appealing to WAEC to please release the result as soon as possible so that I can plan my future. • Ibrahim Kasimu, G. S. S. Okpena, Nasarawa LGA Nasarawa State
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Philosophical foundations of globalisation – 3
HE I.C.T revolution has had both positive and negative effects on African youth whose exposure to the internet is not always in their interest. But worse still is the fact that nascent African industrialization has been stopped in its tracks. Industries that were protected by high tariffs have become uncompetitive in the face of the flood of cheapest Asian goods. Privatisation of state owned industries and businesses and government withdrawal from economic development are ideas that have come from globalisation. Government has no business in business is the slogan of those who want private enterprise and investment as the vanguard of economic development. Opponents of state intervention in planned economic development have been silenced in the name of best global practice. But we know that China’s state capitalism has brought it to the enviable level of economic growth in the last decade. The quantum of available global investment is in any case not sufficient. Africa in particular has made a mistake of allowing itself to be persuaded from direct state participation in economic development. Even the NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development) predicated on billions of Foreign Direct Investment has not succeeded because the foreign component has not been forthcoming. Privatisation
‘The quantum of available global investment is in any case not sufficient. Africa in particular has made a mistake of allowing itself to be persuaded from direct state participation in economic development. Even the NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development) predicated on billions of Foreign Direct Investment has not succeeded because the foreign component has not been forthcoming’
T is a battle already won and lost; so it seems. But the debate rages on anyway because it is a volatile issue. As those involved in oil haulage are wont to write on the bodies of their trucks, it is ‘’highly inflammable”. When something is inflammable, it easily catches fire. This is the situation we are faced with over the planned removal of fuel subsidy. Or has it been removed as reported in some papers yesterday? No, I don’t think so. What President Goodluck Jonathan did by not making provision for subsidy in the 2012 budget is to let us know that he has made up his mind on the issue. But the President need be told that it is not as easy as that. We knew long ago that he has made up his mind on the matter. To assume that the President has removed subsidy because he did not insert it in his budget speech may not be entirely correct. It is not as easy as that and the President knows too well that he cannot act dictatorially like that in this matter. He is not running a oneman show but is at the head of a government which is anchored on the principle of the separation of powers. So, removing subsidy may not be that easy without first convincing other arms of government, especially the National Assembly and the people, on why it must be removed. For now, the National Assembly and their constituents, the people, are on the same page on this issue and that appears to be the President’s headache. All along, he was thinking that the National Assembly would take side with him. But for once, in a very long time, our lawmakers decided to be pro-peo-
and private sector led growth and development advocated by advocates of economic globalisation has not worked in Africa. African states that are accessories to the World Trade Organisation regime of free trade are finding that the dice is loaded against them because apart from raw commodities they have little to sell profitably and the price of most of their commodities are also dictated by western marketers. Africa also has to watch the activities of some Transnational corporations that are interested in land acquisition in Africa so that we do not on top of African poverty create a landless rural proletariat in the future. Perhaps the most serious problem globalisation has brought, is the consequence of a century of global pollution arising from western industrial processes. Global warming occasioning climate change is directly traceable to western mode of industrial production. Even though this problem is global in its effect, it affects Africa and the rest of the developing countries more because of their limited resources and technological backwardness. The result is that the least able and capable part of the world to provide mitigating measures for global pollution is the most exposed. Even though the world is seized with how to solve the problem globally but the urgency required is just not there because of domestic western and Asian preoccupation with growth and economic development. Since Africa and the rest of the developing world wants to develop and possibly catch up with the developed world, the continent subscribes to the “polluter pays principle” which though logical does not solve the problem of global pollution and its effects on the less developed world. Africa and the rest of the developing world are also contributing to this problem because of the nature of their agricultural production and also gas emission in the exploitation of their hydrocarbon resources. Even though Africa is a victim of globalisation, the process cannot be totally stopped; all that one can expect in the near future is that abatement measures will be found to mitigate the effect of global pollution so as to avoid its disastrous consequences particularly in Africa and the rest of the world. I have deliberately avoided discussing religious globalisation which is no doubt real. But certainty some aspects of Islam and Christianity especially the non-orthodox varieties of the two monotheistic religion belong in the realm
of globalisation. The Christian church since about the 15th century had global reach of the known world so also did Islam. But the Pentecostal mode of worship is the modern global face of Christianity and poses serious challenge to the orthodox Christian traditions of Catholicism and Protestantism. In the
same vein, militant Islam of the Jihadist Al-Qaeda credo poses some challenge to orthodox Islam and the clash of these new variants of the faiths is very real in the United States and in Africa for example. Some people actually see this tendency as a positive thing in the sense that action and reaction are equal and oppositely directed in almost a parody of the theory of deterrence as a way of guaranteeing religious peace. In conclusion, globalisation is a very complex issue and one commentator has described it as an elephant which a blind man finds difficult to describe depending on which part of the elephant he touches. Globalisation is several things at once and it is still a work in progress and we have not seen the end of it yet. What we know is that our lives are being transformed before our very eyes. Globalisation is a transformational process and it is not a destination.
‘I have deliberately avoided discussing religious globalisation which is no doubt real. But certainty some aspects of Islam and Christianity especially the nonorthodox varieties of the two monotheistic religion belong in the realm of globalisation’
If fuel subsidy must go ple and their position has unsettled the President who is desperately seeking support from anywhere to see through his dream of removing fuel subsidy.What is this subsidy all about? When it was introduced, it was meant to encourage marketers to support the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in importing fuel to meet domestic needs. We had to resort to importation because our refineries are not working. The refineries are just there producing nothing of value, while the nation spends billions in foreign exchange to refine the oil produced by us abroad and bring it back home as imported fuel. What is imported in that? Nothing but only the refining technology which we have but are not utilising. Jonathan is not talking about making the refineries work, which to me me, is the lasting solution to this problem. Will we be talking of subsidy or its removal, if the refineries are working? No, we won’t. But many in government do not want the refineries to work because that is where they are milking the nation. These are the people feeding fat on the subsidy, a well intentioned policy meant to ensure the availability of products to reduce the suffering of Nigerians. But it was hijacked by those who do not mean well for the nation and are now goading the President to remove it. The argument for the removal is that only a few people benefit from the subsidy. The government has consistently
‘The war drums are already sounding based on his purported removal of subsidy in the budget speech. I know that the President is bent on removing the subsidy, but I urge him to pause and weigh the cost. At what cost does he want to take this action? Is it at the expense of the lives of the people? If he takes a decision that leads to crisis and consequently the loss of lives will he be happy?’
pushed this line of argument without having the courage to expose these people and their companies. What the Senate did in respect of this a few weeks ago fell short of expectations. Is the Senate saying that those it purportedly exposed are not entitled to subsidy? If they are not, how did they get it? Who approved the payment of subsidy to them? Is it not said that it takes two to tango? If these companies did something wrong, what about their accomplices? Didn’t some people connive with them to collect the subsidy? What is the role of NNPC and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in all this? There is no way NNPC and PPPRA can be exonerated from this so-called subsidy scam. Before Jonathan removes subsidy, it will do him well to consider other views. Because he is the President does not mean that he is a repository of knowledge and wisdom. Nobody is. None of us has monopoly of wisdom. This is why he should not listen only to governors and others who are telling him that it is only the removal of subsidy or nothing that can get us out of the perennial fuel scarcity. The governors have their reason for arguing like that. Many of them are looking for free cash to meet certain exigencies . With money saved from subsidy, they are sure their share will be more than enough to take care of such matters. Isn’t it ironic that governors are in support of subsidy removal, which will bring more money into their purse, but are opposed to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), which will result in deductions from their monthly allocations? Whether the President likes it or not, he must weigh all sides of the argument before subsidy is removed. No matter how uncomfortable he may be with some positions, he cannot afford to shut his eyes to them because, at the end of the day, these views may become useful in handling this touchy issue. A sample of these views will
go a long way in assisting the President in whatever decision he takes on this matter. Former Head of State Gen Yakubu Gowon argued that subsidy should be removed with minimal pain to the people and canvassed an end to imported fuel. ‘’If all refineries in the country are working at normal capacity and importation of petroleum products is stopped, the price of fuel will stabilise and the suffering of the people will be reduced,’’ he said. To the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), ‘’subsidy removal is the same old song which Nigerians have been seriously subjected to since the late 1980s. Therefore, it must be rejected. The struggle to halt this anti-masses policy is not that of NLC alone, but the entire people of Nigeria.” Labour went on: “We do not know the existence of any subsidy. We challenge the government to prove their point. The government is only trying to hang the burden of the failure of governance and the NNPC as an institution on the already over-stretched Nigerians. There is no alternative to good governance.” Also warning against subsidy removal, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Matthew Kukah urged the government to allow the people have a say in the socio-economic development of the country, adding: “democracy is not all about infrastructure.” On the President’s alleged plan to remove subsidy by fiat, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin cautioned that to do so without the National Assembly’s approval will amount to an impeachable offence. “He cannot 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,” Lanlehin said.
PRAY that the President listens to these voices and not do anythig rash over this matter to avert unpleasant consequences. May this subsidy thing not breed
Lawal Ogienagbon email@example.com
crisis of monumental proportion. The war drums are already sounding based on his purported removal of subsidy in the budget speech. I know that the President is bent on removing the subsidy, but I urge him to pause and weigh the cost. At what cost does he want to take this action? Is it at the expense of the lives of the people? If he takes a decision that leads to crisis and consequently the loss of lives will he be happy? What point does he want to prove by taking the action? Is it to show that he is tough or what? No matter how tough a leader is he should always listen to his people. Leaders who failed to listen to their people ended up on the wrong side of history and of recent we have seen many of such leaders fall badly. Some were even killed. If the President goes ahead with subsidy removal, his action will be a recipe for disaster. Will he be able to cope with that crisis? He should remember that when such crisis begins, he alone will be faced with the arduous task of managing it. Many of those who are now advising him behind the scene will not be of help to him. They will quietly slip into hiding where they will tell those who care to listen that ‘’we told him not to do it but he didn’t listen He does not listen to advice’’. Mr President, may your case not be like that. But, as they say, heaven helps only those who help themselves. SMS ONLY: 08056504763
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
EMBERS of our police force are illeducated, Ill-trained, overworked and underpaid. These are men who hardly experience moment of rapture. Many of them often behave like sadists because of frustration. But it is not all gloom. They have something going for them- their unrestrained power, which includes power of life and death. Besides, the police are the personification of the state that has the monopoly of use of force to rein all of us in so that we don’t destroy ourselves because of greed. Besides the state, all of us need the police - the rich, the poor, the living and even the dead. I am not sure any other institution including the judiciary, the military or any other state apparatus of power can rival the police in the exercise of unrestrained power. And herein lies the tragedy. The group that wields such an enormous power including power of life and death attract the least attention from the state. Their physical appearance, their black uniform inside a hot tropical sun and their decaying barracks where up to 10 share a room, is a study in neglect. For instance while the state spends about half a million naira to train one medical doctor, (never mind 75% of them are not in Nigeria where their services are needed most), a lawyer or an engineer, and twice that amount to train a military officer that often fraudulent claim to be sacrificing his present for our future while pillaging the land, the police that have such overbearing influence on our lives hardly receive any meaningful training. Many of them have less than a year of training after secondary school certificate. Many more are secondary school drop outs. Yet these are the men the sate armed and entrusted with the safety of our lives and property I closely observed this uncontrolled exercise of power by the police, this penultimate Saturday at the various road block that dotted Sagamu –Ibadan stretch of the broken Lagos Ibadan expressway. Along with a colleague, I left Lagos at about 9.30am for an event in one of the Ekiti towns close to Ilesha. But from Ogere it was as if we were at war. There were police checks at every 10 or so kilometres. In between there were custom officers at different intervals adding more to the nightmare of frustrated motorists. We finally got to Ibadan at about 2pm. Still unable to cross the Iwo round about gridlock as at 3pm, we opted to turn back to Lagos. Coming back to Lagos, we encountered only three police check points. We watched the police at the end of each of the long crawling sea of cars do what they do best –shake hands with the commercial passenger bus drivers
HEN recently, on the occasion of his 53rd birthday, the outspoken Pastor of the Lagos-based megachurch, The Household of God, Rev Chris Okotie announced his official adoption of the sobriquet, The Prince of Nigeria, ordinary people on the street might have thought this was just another ecclesiastical title like Bishop or Apostle, but that is not the case. This is also not a chieftaincy title, but a new mission statement. Taken on the surface, the idea looks vague. After reading his interviews in the media, however, and some features on the subject, his motives for taking the title, and what Nigerians expect of him henceforth became apparent. Though, not known to be enamoured of titles, this enigmatic man of God certainly has something noble behind his latest vision. As a Christian clergyman, Rev Okotie may not find it difficult to explain the influence the spiritual has on the physical, even in a country of contending faiths. How the perennial crisis of bad leadership, corruption, pervasive criminality and other negatives are linked to some esoteric influences, is certainly worth hearing from the erudite Pastor-politician. Moreover, the spiritual superintendence he now assumes will provoke national debate, because unlike the Arab nations, which are predominantly Islamic; India, which is mainly Hindu, Nigeria is a multi-religious society. The Dalai Lama holds sway as the spiritual head of the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Tibet, in much the same way Ayatollah of Iran has both political and spiritual clout in Iran, but Rev Okotie’s Prince of Nigeria title which he took from his popular novel, The Last Outcast, is more of a prophetic spiritual appellation, than a political office. Perhaps, for Okotie’s views or admonitions to be valued nation-wide across religious, cultural or ideological divide, he must speak with an ecumenical voice, and deal with secular issues like a statesman, notwithstanding his own vested political interests. Nigeria needs someone to function in that role now, in the absence of a credible voice of the masses.
Jonathan and the decentralization of the police
while taking only a passing interest in other hapless motorists they wave off with absolute disdain. The last check point was at the OgunLagos boundary at Berger. The roll of vehicles snaked back to the long bridge. Crawling through the less than one kilometre stretch took us about 50 minutes. It has been claimed this is the daily experience of residents of Ibafo and the adjacent villages that work in Lagos. One major characteristic of all the checkpoints encountered was the total indifference of the police to the plight of motorists. But suffering and smiling Nigerian motorists have learnt it is suicidal to ask to be treated as human beings by our hard working under paid armed police men at the road check points. This inconveniences count for little when compared to the travails of other less fortunate Nigerians. Only last week while the president was selling his thesis of continued centralization of the police, the chairman of International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Emeka Umeagbalasi revealed that since 1999, about 54,000 Nigerians have died outside law. The body also added that in the last three years, about N53.48 billion had been lost by Nigerians to the police at the various check points spread across Nigeria with almost 60% of the said amount coming from the eastern part of Nigeria. Nigerians except President Jonathan seem to know the problem with our police. Besides lack of adequate training, inefficiency, indiscipline and corruption, over centralisation seems to be the greatest handicap against the effectiveness of the police force .The British colonial administration that started the Nigerian police in 1861 never planned a
centralized police force. Even after amalgamation, in 1914, the British colonial administration saw the wisdom of retaining the southern and northern police force as different entities. They were later regionalized and for the most part of the colonial period, most of the police activities were associated with native authorities. As a result of the problem associated with centralization, the regime of Ibrahim Babangida in 1986 reorganized the police force into seven area commands. 1n 1989, Babangida regime decided police officers should be posted to their native areas to facilitate police community relations. Tragically, in the closing hours of year 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan is saying a nation that has a regionalised police force in the 1950s during which time most of the police activities were associated with native authorities, is not ripe enough to have state police, whereas it has become obvious since 1999, that the federal government has not been able to provide adequate fund for the police. The little that was provided along with donations from public spirited Nigerians have often been mismanaged by politicians and police authorities. It was not too long ago that a serving Inspector General of Police was indicted by EFCC and the courts for misapplication of billions of naira earmarked for equipments for the police and the welfare of its members. Yet the president and his party insist governors as chief security officers of their states should not take their fate in their hands in spite of the pervading chaos and anarchy over the land. Boko Haram remains invincible
Thoughts on Okotie’s Prince of Nigeria By Okoro Maviz The Reverend, who was ordained into that office by Bishop George Amu of the Goodnews Bible Church, at an elaborate ceremony at Okotie’s Household of God Church, Lagos on June 26, told newsmen what the consecration was all about: “It is a spiritual reality for me, not a secular responsibility. My secular responsibility is wanting to be President; the ordination as Prince of Nigeria, is a spiritual responsibility ordained by God for Nigeria and the rest of nations”. How Okotie intends to discharge his new responsibility is unclear, as is the message he wants to preach to a polity which is still groping, unable to define its platform. Several months days after his election, President Goodluck Jonathan is yet to fully settle down. How he hopes to tackle Nigeria’s myriad of problems must have to be proven with decisive actions in the next of couple of months. If he has to copy some ideas from the opposition parties like the Action Congress, or his kinsman, Prince of Nigeria, Rev. Chris Okotie, so be it. Former Chinese strongman, Deng Xiao Ping once said, “It does not matter if the cat is black or white, if it catches mice”. Absolutely! How success comes doesn’t matter so long as it is credible. Rev Okotie says, the change we need now is that which must get us out of the failed state bracket. No patriotic Nigerian likes it when our beloved country is ranked alongside Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan, as the world’s poorest states in the Human Development Index. The rankings are not done unilaterally, but are based on facts and figures relating to development in education, health, child mortality, housing, access to potable water,
women empowerment etc. As the pastor, who himself is a political leader, (having contested for the Presidency on three occasions) has said, the change that could turn things around in Nigeria cannot be made through the ballot box alone. It is partly attitudinal. It must start with a profound evaluation of our value systems, consumption patterns, attitude to governance, acquisition pathologies, self esteem, cultural beliefs etc. In the view of the Prince of Nigeria, only God can wrought these changes. It can only be done spiritually, because that’s where everything starts. The National Orientation Agency cannot do it; even the charismatic churches, inspite of their power of mobilisation can’t impact this nation on the level of engendering a massive moral rearmament that divests corruption and other national ills from our national character. Therefore, Okotie’s message can be of relevance on two fronts, if it addresses the pervasive corruption that has impeded development in Nigeria on one hand, and on the other hand, stirs us into active purpose, such that wholesome economic recovery and national transformation in all spheres becomes the obsession of every Nigerian, even from nursery school stage. Change agents or political reformers in any culture stamp their authority as harbingers by articulating a relevant vision that defines a purpose for people in dire need of direction or strong leadership. That has been lacking in this country; in all our history, we cannot boast of such phenomenon. In our nation, where leadership has been
in parts of the north. Jos has not known peace for close to a decade. Last week, OOdua militant group demonstrated for over four hours in Lagos reportedly shooting into the air, Fashola as the chief security officer of his state waited in vain for help which never came from Abuja. If President Jonathan is apprehensive of possible abuse of state police by the constituent units, the initiative of Bola Tinubu former governor of Lagos and his successor, Raji Fashola, towards ensuring security of lives and properties in Lagos state in the last eight years ought to reassure him. To tackle security concerns in Lagos, the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) was set up by the state House of Assembly to ’to raise and coordinate the application of donations in cash and equipment from government, private organization and individuals to enhance the operational capacity of the police and other security agencies, which have suffered from years of federal neglect and underfunding’. The relative peace and security that today exists in the state is a product of that initiative. The state has effortlessly filled the gap left by the federal authorities. For instance while Lagos State’s share of federal government distributed patrol vehicles was a paltry 15, the Fashola administration provided 561 to the police and other security agencies in the state. That was not all. According to Fola Arthur Worrey, the fund executive secretary, the state also provided 124 High –Speed motor cycles, 350 protective rider kits, 30 armored personnel carriers, 1,850 ballistic helmets, 1,760 bulletproof vests, two helicopters, 455 walkietalkies, 654 base radios. The state also supplied a number of gun boats, 1000 AK-47 riffles with two millions rounds of ammunition There is no doubt the morale of the police as well as the task of fighting crime will be greatly enhanced if the above can be replicated in more of the states of the federation.
‘Coming back to Lagos, we encountered only three police check points. We watched the police at the end of each of the long crawling sea of cars do what they do best –shake hands with the commercial passenger bus drivers while taking only a passing interest in other hapless motorists they wave off with absolute disdain’ the major problem since independence, and corruption, a national stigma, our politicians ought to create a concerted programme of action to address our most complex problems as if we are in a war economy. Okotie got it right when he said we should not politicise solutions to our problems. He posits that all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, creed or religious inclination, face identical problems of marginalisation, poverty, hunger, high cost of living, insecurity, unemployment and oppression by thieving politicians, who have cornered the nation’s oil wealth. Pan Nigerian solutions, devoid of sectional colouration, are urgently needed to solve the age-long problems of under development, neglect and poverty. The reverend is under no illusion that mere pontification on these issues would amount to sweet noises that make no difference. This country is in need of a strong moral leadership. Okotie, without sounding patronising, fits the bill perfectly because, politically he remains untainted. Spiritually, he has been exemplary. He runs a model ministry. He has refused to eat the King’s meat, like the Biblical Daniel, whose integrity could not be impeached even on pain of death. The reverend is familiar with the turpsy turvy world of Nigerian politics, as much as he is with its religious sensitivity, well enough to know that there’s a wide gulf between prophesy and policy objectives that secular governments pursue. The end product of his new mission as Prince of Nigeria, is best summed by his words, taken from an interview with the African Statesman: “We are saying here that these politicians need to wake up from their slumber, it’s called somnambulism, sleep walking, they need to wake up from it to understand that the Nigeria of the 21st century is not the one that they envisaged or were able to conceptualise because the world has changed and we must change with it, if not, we become social miscasts; we become anachronistic. That is what is going on and that’s why Nigeria hasn’t made any progress in 12 years of PDP”. • Okoro writes from Port Harcourt.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
Thrills, frills and frays of 2011 The year started on a note of optimism. The clouds soon began to gather. Now over, how did the great political events go? Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU reviews the turbulent year.
OR almost 365 days now, the country has been in selfinflicted turmoil. The lopsided federal polity is tormented by its own undoing. Unable to resolve the contradiction of steering a plural, diverse and heterogeneous society like a pseudo-unitary formation by its residual class of egocentric, militarist-civilian clique of rulers bent on converting the vast territory into personal fiefdom, the power-loaded centre and beggarly component units wobble on in unmitigated constitutional disaster. The puzzle is the worth of the Nigerian citizenship. The most remarkable event of the year was the general election and installation of new government that has failed to show convincing signs of capacity to combat poverty, squalour, unemployment and insecurity ravaging the country. It has been a year of sporadic bombings, gross ineptitude on the part of the federal government and wasted expectation on the part the public. The orderly transfer of power underscores miniature political stability that has eluded the trembling amalgam of incompatible nations in an involuntary, uneasy and unsteady cohabitation. No doubt, elections reaffirmed the status of the fragile democratic nation-state, but without the prospects of restoring the spirit of nationhood in the foreseeable future.
Election petitions The electoral reforms of the administration, despite falling below expectation, and global standard, closed the integrity gap. Unlike the 2007 electoral terrorism, there were fewer litigations arising from this year’s exercise. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the electorate took the credit. However, the major disputation came from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), who prayed the tribunal in vain to quash the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan. The temple of justice disagreed, hipping in the bud the longstanding ambition of the former military ruler to bounce back to power, 27 years after he was ousted in a palace coup by the evil genius, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd). Other petitions arising governorship and federal and state parliamentary elections are being heard by tribunals, but devoid of the 2007 media glitz. The presidential election sparked off violence in the North and some spots in the Southsouth, where it was believed that CPC was edged out by the Presidency. Lives and property worth billions of Naira were lost. More painful was the tragedy that hit the serving corps members who acted as electoral officers in troubled spots. Their gruesome murder elicited mass condemnation by stakeholders who advocated the scrapping of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC). Following the riots and destruction, a panel headed by Sheik Lemu was set up by government to unravel the immediate and remote cause of the mayhem. Following the election, the process of power shift from the conservatives to progressives in the Southwest was complete. There was a change in tide. The polls also affected the composition of the National Assembly leadership. PDP Senator David Mark retained his seat as the Senate President. A new House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal replaced Hon. Dimeji Bankole, who failed at the elections in his Egba Constituency. ACN emerged as the leading opposition party in the country, leaning on its stronghold, the Southwest, where it now has five governors and enlarging its coast through the in-road it made into other regions. The outcome of the polls reflected largely the wishes of Nigerians. In Kano State, PDP truncated the ambition of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to hold on to power. In Nasarawa State, CPC displaced PDP, despite its power of incumbency. In Imo, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) sacked PDP from power. In Oyo and Ogun States, ACN triumphed over PDP. In Lagos, ACN still maintained its relevance.
• Fleets of vehicles destroyed by thugs during the pregovernorship primaries violence in Akwa Ibom State. Since 2007, Nigeria had adjusted to staggered elections. Thus, elections did not hold in Sokoto, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Cross River and Kogi in April. Kogi’s polls have been held, with ACN kissing the dust before PDP. Preparations for governorship elections in other states have started. The polls would hold next year. Local council elections should normally trail general elections. But except few states, including Lagos, state governments deliberately shy away from holding grassroots elections, despite the constitutional provision that democratically elected local governments are fully guaranteed. This has created doubt about the status of the council as the third tier in the federation. INEC moved swiftly to assess the 64 political parties after the April elections. For failing to field candidates for the 2011 general elections, its hammer fell on seven political parties. The INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, struck out their names from the commission’s register, in accordance with the provisions of the amended Electoral Act. The proscription, which elicited mixed reactions from Nigerians, reduced the number of the parties in the country from 63 to 56. Jega explained that the affected parties were de-registered because they have failed to satisfy the constitutional requirement of representation at the state and National Assembly. He said, henceforth, the proscribed parties are precluded from engaging in any electoral activities, including canvassing for seats in any electoral process.
Parties proscribed The proscribed parties are Democratic Alternative (DA) led by Abayomi Ferreira; National Action Council (NAC) led by Dr Olapade Agoro, National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP) led by Alhaji Umaru Maizabura and Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN) led by Mr Edreez Alabi.Others are Nigeria Peoples Congress (NPC) led by Ngozi Emioma, Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NUP) led Yusuf Mamman and National Unity Party (NUP) led by Chief Perry Opara. According to INEC, the de-registration is a continuous process, adding that more parties are likely to wind up, following the resolution of the litigations arising from the last general elections. Jega explained that, the parties had to go, pursuant to the provisions of Section 78 (70 (ii) of the amended Electoral Act, which stipulated the mode of operations by the parties. Opinion is divided on the proscription. Many hailed it. But
‘It has been a year of sporadic bombings, gross ineptitude on the part of the federal government and wasted expectation on the part the public. The orderly transfer of power underscores miniature political stability that has eluded the trembling amalgam of incompatible nations in an involuntary, uneasy and unsteady cohabitation. No doubt, elections reaffirmed the status of the fragile democratic nation-state, but without the prospects of restoring the spirit of nationhood in the foreseeable future’
• Jonathan others, including the NAC leader, Dr. Olapade Agoro, decried the de-registration, claiming that it was inconsistent with the verdict of the Supreme Court on registration and deregistration of political parties. He recalled that, in the case instituted by the legal luminary, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN, against INEC, the court ruled in favour of freedom of association. Agoro said: “We will return to the court to fight this injustice. It runs contrary to the law and constitution. It will not stand”. President Jonathan impressed many Nigerians with the caliber of people he appointed as ministers, although some of them were being recycled. Job creation is an uphill task. Infrastructure battle has been fought and lost. Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has been generating darkness more than electricity. Refineries are a dream. Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has dismissed the economic thrust of the administration as a fallacy. Budget has either under-performed or not properly implemented, making the appropriation a grand declaration of deceit. The summary of the political economy of Nigeria currently is not painlessness, but dubious implementation of policies and programmes. Informal debates on fuel subsidy and presentation of the next year’s budget have overtaken its proper evaluation.
Creation of states The National Assembly has been inundated with requests for the creation of more states. The struggles are coordinated by elite in their bid to secure more access to state resources. No geo-political zone is left out of the agitation, in spite of their lack of viability. In the Southwest, there are clamours for the creation of Ibadan, Ijebu and Lagoon States. The Southeast, which has five states, unlike other regions which have six each, is more vociferous. Last month, the President set up a committee on constitution review. It is headed by former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Belgore (rtd). Last month, two eminent politicians, Biafra leader and Ikemba Nnewi Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and former Industry Minister Silas Daniyan passed on.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NATION SPORT BADA’S DEMISE
We’ve lost our best athlete, administrator, says Amike
ORMER Nigerian sprinter, Henry Amike has described the death of colleague and Technical Director of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Sunday Bada as a great loss, saying he was Nigeria’s best ever athlete, and sports administrator. In a chat with NationSport in Lagos on Tuesday, the former Olympian said Sunday Bada was one athlete with a difference and one of the best Nigeria will ever produce. “Sunday Bada was one of a kind; in terms of medal haul Bada stood tall over other athletes. He won medals in all the championships he had attended. In the Olympic Games, World Championship, Althletic World Cup, Commonwealth Games, All African Games, African Championships, and countless medals at the national championships. So I consider him the greatest of our time,”
By Innocent Amomoh Amike said. Amike said further: What happened on Monday was most unfortunate. We don’t know what happened, he just left the Stadium at 7:00 pm and an hour later we were told that he was dead. He was not ill, he was very healthy. Apart from being a great athlete, he was a good administrator. “He had been the Technical Director of the AFN for six years, the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee for one year, and apart from that he has been with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for a long time. And as a professional officer (Chief Suprintendent of Police CSP), he has held several position as the Commander of the Seme Border; he was the DPO of Ikoyi Police Station, and presently the leader of a
Agbonlahor could escape fine
ston Villa forward, Gabriel Agbonlahor will sit out Sunday’s home date with Liverpool after picking up five yellow cards. Alex McLeish admits Aston Villa may bend their disciplinary rules for Gabriel Agbonlahor, with the forward due for a fine after picking up five cautions. Following his arrival in the Villa Park hot-seat over the summer, McLeish made
cutting down on unnecessary yellow cards a top priority. With suspensions likely to cost the club at important times, he made it clear that players would be punished if they stepped out of line. He is, however, preparing to relax that stance for Agbonlahor. The England international will sit out Sunday’s home date with Liverpool after picking up his fifth booking of the season at Bolton last time out. Under Villa Park rules he should be sanctioned, but McLeish may let him off the hook as his latest yellow was slightly unjust. “I think a booking was a bit harsh,” the Scot said after seeing Agbonlahor cautioned for a challenge on Trotters keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. “We have rules, but we’ll consider the offence. “Gabby scored a great goal at Everton and had a booking for taking his shirt off, so we have to try to eradicate these bookings. “It sounds extremely unfair to do that to a player who’s just scored.”
patrol team in Ikoyi. He was a honest gentleman, dedicated, friendly, and most importantly, he was a cheerful giver.” On what he feels the Federal Government should do to immortalise the departed hero, Amike said, Sunday Bada not someone who can be forgotten easily, adding that the government has expressed concern on receiving the news of his death, and that he was sure they will do something substantial to remember him. “The federal government mandated us to go to his house today at Ikorodu with the President of AFN, Evangelist Solomon Ogba, who came all the way from Delta State. We both went to Bada’s house today and discussed with the family. We are awaiting their decision and after that, the government will know what to do next,” he said. Amike, who is the president of Nigeria Olympian Association (NOA), said Bada was a man that was passionate about what he believed in, saying that the Kogi State born former athlete will be greatly missed by friends and family members.
A great athlete –Mark P
RESIDENT of the Senate, David Mark, has lamented the untimely death of a foremost athlete, Sunday Bada. Mark in a statement by his media aide, Kola Ologbondiyan described the late Bada as a very resourceful sports man and a great athlete who brought honour to Nigeria. In a condolence message to the government and people of Kogi State, the bereaved family and the sporting community, Senator Mark added that “the exit of Bada at this time when his services and technical knowledge were needed to rejuvenate our ailing sports, was devastating. “I earnestly share in this loss and I pray God Almighty to give you the
Wenger eyes new ‘Kanu’ from Nigeria
NGLISH Premier League club Arsenal hope they could discover another Nwankwo Kanu during their pre-season playing tour of Nigeria next month, officials said. Former Nigeria skipper Kanu was an inspired signing by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger from Italian club Inter Milan in 1999 after undergoing surgery for a heart defect. ‘Papilo’ went on to feature for ‘The Gunners’ till 2004 and won several major silverwares including two EPL Championship medals with the London club. Arsenal marketing chief, Angus Kinnear told MTNFootball.com that going by what he saw in Nigeria during a short visit, the EPL side could again strike it lucky by discovering another Kanu. “Arsene Wenger will be glad at what is obtainable here. He is a man who
does not consider passports but talents and I believe his coming next year would produce another Nwankwo Kanu,” a very impressed Kinnear said after he inspected facilities at the Abuja National Stadium and met with top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Organiser of the Arsenal pre-season tour of Nigeria, David Omegie, further informed MTNFootball.com that ‘The Gunners’ youth team will set the ball rolling when they visit Nigeria in February. “The plan is to have the Arsenal youth team come to Nigeria first to test run for the planned pre-season tour, they would play matches with some top Nigeria Premier League sides and the scouting department of the club would take that opportunity to comb for talents in the country,” revealed Omegie, chief executive of DanJan Sports who led the Arsenal delegation to Nigeria.
3SC places Alausa, Lawal, 17 others IGERIA Premier League side, on transfer Shooting Stars Sports Club
(3SC) of Ibadan have placed 19 of their old guard, which includes Kabiru Alausa and Shakiru Lawal on transfer ahead of the coming season. The former African Cup Winners’ Cup champions struggled to stay up last term and needed a late rally to retain their spot in the elite cadre last period. But going into the next season, the Ibadan giants have decided to part ways with some of the players that toiled in the troublesome season. Speaking with NationSport, club’s Administrative Secretary, Ademola Alabi, stated that the decision to put the 19 players on the sales shelf was not down to the general manager, Mutiu Adepoju alone as this was a club decision. Mutiu presently holds the club’s coaching mantle untill a new
By Olusoji Olukayode coach is named following breakdown of talks with former handler, Fatai Amoo and has been in control of their preparation for the next season. The players affected according to Alabi are: ‘’Shakiru Lawal, Kabiru Alausa, Lekan Gabriel, Omoyayi Saburi, Tope Orelope, Timothy Idogbe, Kareem Shuaibu, Festus Iyoma, Yinka Morenikeji, Wale Ladipo, Sunday Adeyemi, Afolabi Seun, Babatunde Yusuf, Daniel Adegbola, Akeem Olanihun, Yinka Akande, Obiozor Chinonso, Femi Ogunbade, Jubril Arapada.’’ Shooting Stars have seen their fortunes dwindle in the last decade going on relegation twice and falling short of setting foot on the continent for years.
Dike recounts WAFU experience
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja grace to bear this huge loss” Senator Mark noted that though
Bada departed so suddenly, he lived an eventful life and left his positive footprints in the sands of time. He stated that late Bada would be remembered for putting Nigeria’s name in the hall of fame.
Name Ilorin Stadium after Bada – Kalu
ARELY 48 hours after the demise of Nigeria’s legendary quarter-miler Sunday Bada,former Abia state governor Orji Uzor Kalu has made a passionate appeal to Kwara state governor AbdulFattah Ahmed to name the Ilorin stadium after the one -time world champion. Kalu said,”To weep is not enough.
Bada was a star and should receive Five-star treatment in death. For a start, I hereby appeal to Gov. Ahmed to name the Ilorin stadium after the late athlete.In Imo there is the Dan Anyiam stadium, the Teslim Balogun stadium stands in Lagos, while there is Muda Lawal stadium in Abeokuta.” The former governor also reminded the Federal Government and the Nigeria Police that Bada made the country proud not just as a runner ,but also a border patrol officer. “When Bada set an African record of 45.51secs. to win the men’s 400 metres title at the sixth World Indoor championships inside the Palais Omnisports Bercy,Paris in 1997,he dedicated his victory to God and country. IGP Hafiz Ringim should honour this great police officer,”Kalu added. He also regretted Bada’s inability to wear the Sydney 2000 400m Olympic gold medal many years after the IAAF stripped the US team of the pole position for using performance enhancing drugs. “Bada worked hard for gold in Sydney.He was rested in the first round with Jude Monye for Nduka Awazie and Fidelis Gadzama.After that, it was fire which engulfed the tracks in the final as dark horse Enefiok Udo-Obong ran the race of the millenium.But for drugs,Bada and his Boys would have grabbed gold.”,Kalu said.
Wigan/WBrom: Moses bags Man of the Match vote
ICTOR MOSES has been voted the vital Wigan Man of the Match for his performance in last weekends win at the Hawthorns against West Brom. Moses had an excellent game, scoring a scorching equaliser and then being upended in the box to win a penalty that was converted by Jordi Gomez, ultimately winning the game for the Latics. Overall Moses caused panic in the West Brom defence every time he was on the ball, a great performance and it was a great way for the Latics youngster to celebrate turning 21 on Monday. For the record the voting was: Victor Moses - 35% Jordi Gomez - 29% Ali Al-Habsi - 23%
OACH of Enugu Rangers, Alphonsus Dike has described his players participation at the 2011 WAFU Cup for clubs in Lome, as a worthwhile experience. The Coal-City lads ended their title campaign in third place (bronze) with a 13-12 penalties thriller against the Guinean side, Horoya in the losers’ final match. Rangers have since returned to base in Enugu. Dike told SuperSport.com that the WAFU tournament had mixed feelings for him and once again confirmed that minnows no longer exist in football. “I won’t say I was disappointed only that we didn’t win the Cup as planned. “In all, I think it was a worthwhile venture, if not for anything, the experience. “My players gave good account of themselves, but met teams especially the hosts, Dyto who did everything to win. “Saying that they are desperate is an understatement, because Dyto were simply and truly desperate. “In the final match against Gamtel, the Togolese side, Dyto played with some non-Dyto players and they won the encounter 2-1 on penalties after full and extra time score ended 1-1. “Apart from that, all the teams are strong and it showed in the tough penalties that decided the last day matches.
IGERIA born forward and junior sibling of Newcastle’s player Sola Ameobi, Sammy, is refusing to panic over Newcastle’s “small rough patch” and is confident they can keep flying high in the league. Alan Pardew’s men made a storming start to the season which left them sitting second in the top-flight table just over a month ago. However, injuries and suspensions, coupled with a tough run of fixtures, have seen the Magpies struggle in recent weeks and they are now without a win in four games following defeats at Norwich on Saturday. That dip in form has prompted inevitable questions over their staying power but 19-year-old forward Ameobi is adamant they can recover. He told Journal Live: “There is no need to start panicking or worrying because
Keshi invites Youth Corper
By Ejiro Femi-Babafemi public on Friday (tomorrow) ahead of Monday’s camping in Abuja. “You can call the player to find out more details,” our source said. A call was immediately initiated to the player for his comments. “I am really flattered by the invitation,” he told SportingLife. Asked what he intends to bring in? “Well l will simply to do my best and allow those in charge do the assessment,” explained Morah who has never played for any club in Nigeria. “That’s make it very competitive,” added the striker. Players and officials who have been barred from spending the XMAS holidays with their families by Keshi will be camped at Bolton White Apartments.
OACH of Sharks, John Obuh has declared winning the NPL title will be his main target in the 2011/2012 season. The Blue Angels left off the 2010/2011 season as fifth best of the 20-team elite league and which was good enough to earn them a WAFU Cup ticket. The Port-Harcourt based team were champions of the sub-regional club competition in 2010. Obuh told SuperSport.com that winning league title has always formed a core requirement handed down to coaches by their management at the start of every season. “Winning the league crown has always been the mandate every coach receives at the start of a new season. “I think it is a mandate one should pursue and I am determined to see it happen, to win league title in the coming season.
“We missed it the last time, although we were compensated with a WAFU ticket, we won’t settle for at anything short of the first spot this time around. “Management and players are solidly together for this target.” Obuh who coached Flying Eagles to the quarter-final at the last FIFA Under20 World Cup in Colombia informed SuperSport.com that he envisages mass exit of players from the team. “I am yet to meet with the commissioner to discuss on the players to drop or retain, but I don’t normally dispose players like that. “I like working with the players on ground may be add one or two players if the occasion demands for it. “I’m sure majority of the players will stay for the team campaign next season,” he said. The new NPL season is expected to start on January 7.
•Three awards for outstanding Olympians •Dike
we’re having a little spell. We’ve got massive talent in this squad and we’ll be able to stay up there. “We’ve had a little bit of a rough patch, that’s true. But which team in the league doesn’t have one? Even Manchester City have lost a game now. “To be where we are, we deserve it. We’ve got the talent to be seventh in the league and the injuries won’t affect us. “It’s a small rough patch but we’ll come through it. We’re sure of that.” The Magpies play host to Swansea at the weekend and Ameobi is in the frame to start ahead of the misfiring Gabriel Obertan. He added: “We’ll be able to bounce back against Swansea - there’s a huge amount of confidence in the squad that we’ll be able to do that. There’s no fear from us and confidence is still very high.”
Nwabili completes Hilal move IGERIAN international, Valentine Nwabili, has completed a move from former African champions, Enyimba to Al-Hilal, which is Sudan’s most successful side with 26 league titles. Nwabili, who made his international debut in 2010 signed a three-year deal with the Omdurmanbased outfit on Tuesday after passing his medicals three days ago. The Nigerian played a significant role as Enyimba reached the semifinals of the 2011 CAF Champions League. Enyimba recorded a road trip victory over Hilal after playing a draw in Aba
Obuh sets NPL title target
Olympians converge in Lagos for JK Randle
Ameobi: We’ll beat rough patch
HOME BASED EAGLES youth corper has been spotted by Super Eagles chief coach, Stephen Keshi in his rebuilding process. NationSport has gathered from a top source an invitation has been extended to 22-year old Stephen Morah, who incidentally is a namesake to the coach. He is a graduate of Industrial Chemistry from the University of Jos who is serving in Anambra state. “Stephen and I spotted him at the NYSC games over the weekend in Abuja representing Anambra state. He played against Adamawa state in the quarter final and was very excellent even though he did not score,” said the source. Morah will among the home based players whose names will be made
“It’s equally instructive to note that football in West Africa has grown, there are no minnows any more. “And it means you must be at your very best to win major tournaments anywhere in the world.” The former Golden Eaglets’ handler said they will now squarely face the rigour for the start of the new season. “This is the time to plan ahead. “ It is very sad we ended the year without any silverware, but we have to face the future with more optimism and pray that the incoming year and league season will be better,” he said.
during the group stage. Hilal already have a rich history of Nigerian players and Nwabili now joins compatriot, Yusuf Mohammed, at the club fondly called ‘Blue Wave.’ The defender expressed satisfaction with his transfer to the famous side. “I’m delighted to be with Al-Hilal. It’s a good move to a big side with a rich history not only in Sudan, but also on the African continent. “Hilal is a team that always play in the group stage of Africa’s biggest club competition, the CAF Champions League. I’m here to contribute my quota and make history,” Nwabili said to SuperSport.com on Wednesday. The Super Eagles’ full-back told SuperSport.com that he was pleasantly surprised at the airport reception from the fans. “I couldn’t believe what happened at the airport. We arrived at 2am and there were over 5,000 Hilal fans waiting to receive me. I was scared. The reception was something I’ve never experienced in my entire career,” Nwabili stated. The player’s agent, Jolly Okay Ogu described the transfer as a good move for the Nigerian international. “The club is happy to have Nwabili and believe he will boost their quest to win the CAF Champions League in 2012,” Ogu told SuperSport.com. Nwabili will have to wait till January for his debut as the league is currently on break.
ESPITE the loss of their member Sunday Bada, Olympians in Nigeria on Tuesday converged at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos to celebrate a great sportsman and administrator, Joseph Koshonila Randle of blessed memory. The dinner which is an annual event is in memory of the late Chief JK Randle, who it will be recalled passed on 55 years ago to the shock and grief of the nation, shortly after he led the maiden Nigerian Contingent of 10 athletes and four officials to the 1956 Olympics Games in Melbourne, Australia. Olympians from different parts of the country thronged the venue to as usual pay tribute to a great sports administrator and athlete, who died at an early age of 47 years. Representing the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo at the occasion, Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Tunde Popoola, described the event as a gathering meant to celebrate Nigeria’s past heroes in sports. According to him, the government is working to produce more heroes for the country, and so has expressed interest in ensuring that Nigeria puts up one of the best shows at the London 2012 Olympic Games. “The Federal Government has charged stakeholders in sports to do everything possible to ensure that Nigeria is well represented at the next Olympic Games. The government has made it clear the next Olympics is one they will want to be proud of as a result of the athletes’ performance,” he said.
By Innocent Amomoh In his view, Commissioner for Youth, Sports, and Social Development, Enitan Oshodi, who represented the governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) said that events of this magnitude should beyond bringing former Olympians together; should be used as an avenue to tap from their wealth of experience to develop sports from the grassroots. According to him, 2011 was a combination of all the mismanagement of the resources and athletes the country has, as he hopes that 2012 will be a lot better in terms of achievements sports wise. Three outstanding Olympians, Sam Igun, Smath Akraka of the 1960 Rome Olympic Games contingent, and Captain of the 1956 Nigerian Team to the Olympic Games in Melbourn, Australia, Kareem Babalola Olowu were all given awards for their outstanding performances in the different sports.
•Kareem Babalola Olowu
LAGOS TABLE TENNIS LEAGUE
Players jostle for 16 top spots
HE keen contest for places in the top 16 grand finale of the Lagos table tennis league will hold today at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Rowe Park in Yaba. The eight-week tournament will peak tomorrow with the top 16 players vying for the jackpot of the championship. The week seven taking place today will serve as the final chance for players to secure places in the grand finale. According to the technical coordinator of the competition, John Peters, some players have already booked their spots in the available slots for the top 16. “The league has been very competitive in the last six weeks with each week producing different winners and this has shown that all players have the potential to become champions. We are happy that the league has really brought out the best in the players which became obvious during the just concluded Asoju Oba Cup with most of the top players being edged out by upcoming ones,” Peters said. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) umpire revealed that
By Innocent Amomoh players like Kazeem Makanjuola, Ayo Omotara, Kazeem Adeniyi, Ganiyu Ashimiyu and Jide Ogidiolu for the men’s event, while Fatimo Bello, Tolu Durosimi-Etti, and Bose Odusanya have berthed in the last 16. Peters, however, lauded the state government for initiating the league, saying, “This would surely help the players and aid the growth of the game in Lagos and Nigeria in general.” For the men’s event, the fight for the title will be highly competitive with Ashimiyu and Adeniyi indicating their readiness to claim the overall title. In the men’s event, no single player has claimed the title twice, while in the women’s event, the duo of Bello and Durosimi-Etti have won the title twice with the grand finale promises to be exciting. To add glamour to the grand finale tomorrow, fans that will grace the competition will have opportunity to win fantastic prizes at the occasion.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Whenever the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) goes on strike, state universities join. But when the strike ends, the state universities begin another strike to get their owner-governments to implement the agreement reached during the ASUU general strike. Stakeholders are wondering if state universities benefit from ASUU strike, report KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE, ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA, CHRIS OJI, PASCAL OKEZU and SAMPSON UNAMKA
•Southeast members of ASUU protesting in Enugu
‘So, if, in the end, any state government refuses to honour the agreements, what such state university need do is to get back to the national body which will in turn take it up with them (government)’
‘ASUU should understand that state universities are always at the receiving end of these strike, and judging from the way state universities are increasing their tuition fees, there is bound to be another internal crises’
- ASUU (LASU)
The other side of ASUU strike •Should state varsities be part of it?
HE ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike has thrown up a debate on the propriety of state universities joining the action. The debate arose because of the likelihood of those universities going on their own strike after the ASUU general strike. All federal and state universities belong to ASUU but in the ongoing strike, the union is negotiating solely with the Federal Government. What that means is that any agreement reached may only be binding between the Federal Government and its institutions. Those raising questions over state universities involvement in the ongoing strike may have a point. In the past, many state universities re-
sumed their own strikes immediately after many any ASUU general strike. Will that be the case this time around? The prayer of many students is that it will not be. This is why they are not enthusiastic about the ongoing strike. They are afraid of the fallout which may affect them adversely. In the Southeast, the five state-owned universities, namely: Anambra State Universtiy, Uli, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Abia State University, Uturu, Imo State University, Owerri and Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT), •Continued on Page 26
•NINE VARSITIES MAKE AFRICA’S TOP RESEARCH LIST - PAGE 28 •EBONYI SUSPENDS FOUR INSPECTORS OVER ALLEGED BRIBERY - PAGE 39
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
‘Govt is politicising ASUU strike’ Prof Ajisegiri Emmanuel is the Zonal Co-ordinator of ASUU, Ibadan Zone, which comprises Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Lagos State University (LASU), University of Ibadan ( UI), University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU). In this Interview with ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA at the ASUU-LASU secretariat last Friday, Ajisegiri justified the inclusion of state universities in the ongoing strike.
ODAY (Friday) makes it the sixth day ASUU commenced the strike. Do you see an end to it soon? I’m not a pessimist, but going by
the antecedent of this government, I don’t see this happening very soon. This is because it has always been that there will be the face of politicking by the government, and that
is what they are doing now; talking to each other on the pages of newspapers and then when they see that they cannot win, they begin to ask questions. Then go into
•National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) Joint Campus Committee, Lagos State, Axis protesting the hike in school fees in Lagos State institutions, at the Lagos State House, Alausa Ikeja ... on Monday
PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
serious talk. If you recollect, there was a kind of meeting when the Minister of Education was saying they cannot do anything about the strikes because the Governing Councils of federal universities have been dissolved as if the people that set up the committee are not the same people that dissolved the council. And to me, its nauseating when you begin to play politics with the education system of a nation. But some Nigerians are saying it’s high time both state and federal universities negotiated separately… (Cuts) If you are talking about interest, let me say this strike has nothing to do with salaries. What we are saying is: The state of the university system is deplorable, get it back on track.” How would react to the minister of education’s pronouncement last week that the end to the strike was soon? Maybe she (minister) has the information that we don’t have. The minister of education is the one representing Federal Government in the education sector. So, if she said that, I can only keep my fingers crossed. There are things that are supposed to be done, she knows and when those things are done, then, we might just be looking for a solution soon, according to her. Do you think state universities, such as LASU should be part of this strike considering that LASU had, in the past, been embroiled in se-
ries of strikes for more than two years? LASU is under my zone and I know what is going on. First, when you are talking about LASU, it is also part of the university system. As a matter of fact, it should be at the forefront of ASUU agitations because when you talk of oppression and repression, LASU appears to be one of the victims among state universities.Now, the latest you are talking about has to do with increment of school fees from N25,000 to N350,000, but it does not make sense and all you are saying is that the poor masses cannot attend universities again. But the government has justified the increase, saying parents have to bear part of it if LASU must attain a world-class status. (Cuts) It is unfortunate because Gov. Babatunde Raji Fashola with due respect was a product of public •Continued on Page 27
The other side of ASUU strike •Continued from Page 25
started another strike in July that lasted until December, last year. Having lost so much time, students are beginning to question the rationale of the state universities joining in general strikes, when after issues are resolved, the federalowned institutions resume, and their state counterparts return to the trenches. Joe Robinson, a Law student in Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU), said the national ASUU should understand the plight of students in state universities. “The national leadership of ASUU should understand that state universities are always at the receiving end of these strikes, and judging from the way state universities are increasing their tuition fees, there is bound to be another internal crisis within the affected state universities, further setting their academic calendar back,” he said. Despite the strike, academic activities are still going on at ESUT. When The Nation visited the institution, lecturers claimed they had not been officially informed about the ASUU strike, a development that made them to regard media reports as rumours. Some lecturers insisted that they were not aware of the ASUU directive, saying they could only down tools when informed by their leaders. “ I’m not aware of the directive; nobody has informed us. So, I will continue to regard what I read in the newspapers as rumours. I don’t act on rumours, when the ASUU chapter here informs us, we will join the industrial action,” a lecturer said. Students were busy with their degree and semester exams in their classrooms. Others were engaged in other academic activities. The students are not sympathetic to the strike. Most of them are ea-
ger to end their stay in the school. Recalling their harrowing experience during the last strike that saw them idle for almost one year, an engineering student, Ejikeme Ogbodo, prayed that the ASUU ESUT does not join the strike. Comrade Shofowora Adeleke, president of the Political Science students Association at the Lagos State University, Ojo (LASU), also feels that state universities should not join the strike. His words: “The state universities do not benefit anything from joining the strike. So, they should opt out. When an agreement is reached between the national union of ASUU and the Federal Government, the contents should be applicable to both the federal and state universities. When that is not achievable, the state universities have no business joining the national strike.” However, Chairman, ASUU-LASU, Dr Wumi Oluwatoki, told The Nation that if anything, LASU despite its internal squabbles should be at the forefront of the struggle for university liberation. Oluwatoki recalled how dearth of facilities and faculty staff in the university led to the axing of nine programmes and one faculty (Faculty of Law) by the National Universities Commission (NUC) last year. He said gone were the days when the victory of any struggle by ASUU is only enjoyed by federal universities alone, leaving their state counterparts to begin fresh agitations with their governments. “ASUU has always been a compact and unbreakable body from time; and you can see that all universities at both the federal and state levels have fully complied with this strike. “Remember, the incorporation or ownership of ASUU is not with any state or federal university, but with the national body. So, if, in the end, any state government refuses to
honour the agreements, what such state university needs do is to get back to the national body, which will in turn take it up with them (government), Oluwatoki said. The ongoing strike is over the implementation of the 2009 agreement between ASUU and government. Students, pressure groups, parents, and public officers fault what they call the government’s lackadaisical response to the implementation of the agreement, which seeks greater funding of universities, better remuneration and condition of service, university autonomy, academic freedom, amendment of the law establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and the extension of retirement age of professors from 65 to 70, among others. It took the union years of strikes and continuous dialogue culminating in a national strike that lasted from June 22 to October 9, 2009 before the government gave in and signed the agreement. While the remuneration aspect of the agreement came into effect almost immediately, others, especially the 70-year retirement age have yet to be implemented. The union, led by Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, has, in the past two years been calling on the government to honour the bargain to no avail. After a meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on May 18, ASUU warned of the crisis ahead should the government fail to heed its demands. “ASUU NEC wishes to alert the country to the fact that two years after the commencement of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, government has failed, refused and neglected to enact laws that will give effect to certain major areas of the agreement that need legislation for
their implementation and enforcement. Of particular concern is the 70 years retirement age for lecturers in the professional cadre. “This is insincerity on the part of government. The National Assembly refused to pass the bill, though it does not cost money to do so. It only requires the lawmakers to amend the laws. We are asking you, the media and Nigerians to appeal to the government to implement the agreement,” he said. The academics finally ran out of patience in September and embarked on a one-week warning strike that lasted till October 3. This was followed by two months of grace during which the government pleaded for patience. However, when nothing was
forthcoming, the union began a strike last week. Reactions have been trailing the strike, with many blaming the government for failing to act when it should have done so. The Senate Committee on Education, on December 7, summoned the Education Minister, Prof Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa’i to explain what has been hindering the implementation of the agreement. She explained that nine of the 19 items on the agreement had been implemented with two items, arrears of academic allowances, and the 70-year retirement age (crucial to the current struggle) outstanding. On the retirement age, she said the bill was before the National Assembly.
“Yes ... after the semi-final, the FINAL!”
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
EDUCATION FUTA FILE Honour for workers
Borno spends N4b on projects in two years T HE Borno State Universal Basic Education Board (BOSUBEB) it spent N4billion between 2008 and 2010 on educational projects and other services to enhance the standard of education in the state. Chairman of the Board, Prof Tijjani Abba Ali, who disclosed this in Maiduguri at a meeting with Education Secretaries from the 27 local government council areas, said the board will establish libraries and laboratories in primary and junior secondary schools in the state. Ali said the move to establish
the libraries was to inculcate reading habits in pupils in order for them to spend their leisure time studying. He said only few schools will be selected as part of the pilot scheme before it is expanded. Ali said the state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, is committed to transforming the education system and appealed to the education secretaries to go the extra mile to ensure its success. He also said funds would be
made available to enable to community-based schools to execute projects of their choice. He said funds for such projects has been released to all states except Borno and regretted the inability of some education secretaries to provide up-to-date data of schools under their purview as required before the funds are released. Ali further said the board is working with t h e N a t i o n a l Teachers Institute (NTI) through its capacity building scheme to train qualified teachers.
Students mark NGO week By Jane Chijioke
TUDENTS of the Poise’ Graduate Finishing School, Lagos last Friday visited or-
phans at the Nigerian Red Cross Society Motherless Babies Home in Yaba, Lagos. It was part of activities to mark the NGO week of the school, which specialises in the personality development and impression management. Six of the students, who called their project ‘Each one reach one’ distributed writing materials and other valuables as a way of contributing to their personal development. One of them Mr Babajide Aloba, the group’s Project Manager, said the aim of the initiative was to reach out to the less-privileged members of the society. “Our mission was to impact positively in the lives of the less privileged children, assist them in their academics and also start up computer training with them on daily basis as a way of giving hope to the less-privileged,” he said. The President of the group, called Hope Foundation, Priscilla Dikko also said the orphans have potential. “The children are great future leaders who deserve the very best of life and education. They are all potential dignitaries in the society who are mentally, educationally and otherwise fit to rule their the Head Co-ordinator of Nigerian Red Cross Society Motherless Babies inMrs Obanife, her remarks, said: “I am grateful to Poise Nigeria for recognising the need to identify with the less-privileged.”
Students win scholarship
•From left: Honoree and Rector, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), Ondo State, Prof Igbekele Adibefun; Guest Speaker and Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof Femi Mimiko, Ondo State; Education Commissioner, Mr Remi Olatubora ( who represented Governor Olusegun Mimiko); and Chairman, Governing Board of the polytechnic, Dr Laoye Adegoke, at a public lecture organised in honour of Prof. Adibefun, by the Centre for Professional Initiatives and Practice at the polytechnic.
Ilaro Poly gets anti-corruption unit
HE Chairman, Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit of National Board for Technical
Education (ACTU-NBTE), Alhaji Jauro Jibrin, has inaugurated the group at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro. The event took place as part of the ACTU-NBTE’s Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation (CME) visit to Federal Government-owned polytechnics in the Northcentral and Southwest geo-political zones. The visit was at the instance of the
By Adegunle Olugbamila
NBTE Executive Secretary, Dr. Mas’udu Kazaure, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education, Economic and Financial Crimes Commissioners (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Earlier, The NBTE boss had advocated a strong ACTU in polytechnics at a consultative meeting in Kaduna in July in
their drive for partnership in the war against corruption. While inaugurating the unit, Jibrin enumerated some of the duties of ACTU as enshrined in the operational guidelines, which include public enlightenment/education, preliminary investigation and system review. He appealed to the Management of the polytechnic to provide the Unit with an office, equipment, budgetary sub-head and to pay allowances to members as provided in its operational guidelines.
‘Govt is politicising ASUU strike’ •Continued from Page 26
universities. If what he is doing now is what they did then, I wonder where he would have been now. If the government is saying parents should bear some of the responsibility, remember that LASU has no accommodation, students feed and buy books and transport at their own cost. Government is not giving the 15 per cent input that is expected and now you want to tell me that N350,000 is justifiable. It is the children of street hawkers, messengers and clerks and all that that you want their parents to pay this fee. To me, the fee is not justifiable, or is the money government wants to collect now that will make LASU a world class university. Every government has a responsibility of educating its people because education is a social service.
ABOUT 100 members of staff and retired officers of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) have been recognised for their contributions to the development of the university. Speaking at the Excellence and Productivity Award Night, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adebisi Balogun, thanked the recipients for their exemplary dedication to duties, which he said have assisted the institution in its quest to be the best University of Technology in the world. Balogun, who described the ceremony as special, being the last he would attend as the ViceChancellor, reiterated that the occasion was to motivate the outstanding members of staff and encourage others to work hard, assuring that there will always be rewards for hard work. One of the awardees, Prof Adegboyega Ademosun, who spoke on behalf of others, thanked the Management of the school for the recognition and honour done them.
Some other aspects ASUU is agitating for bother on the provision of infrastructure, university autonomy and 70 years retirement age, among other demands. How far can ASUU go? First, the university derives its name from universality;that is to say what is practised in certain part of the world cannot be different in Nigeria. What we are saying is that it is not right for governments to be involved in the way they are being involved, it’s just that it must
stop. There is no alternative to academic freedom and autonomy because without them you cannot practise or have the university culture the way you supposed to have it. Overall, I’m afraid, when you have influenced your teaching process, you have influenced the society either negatively or positively. That is why ASUU stands and still standing against the involvement of government and their influence on the university system. Let’s talk about infrastructure. It’s
‘No Nigerian university is among the first 6, 000 in the world and not 1,000. The facilities are so poor that you cannot class them as what is needed in an ideal university’
a pity no Nigeria university ranks among the first 1000 universities worldwide… (Cuts) No Nigerian university is among the first 6, 000 in the world and not 1,000. The facilities are so poor that you cannot class them as what is needed in an ideal university. As teachers, we had the privileges to be in and out of this country. We have also had the opportunity of going to the university in this same country in a better era, and this is not what we went through. In a situation where you see about 50 students fighting over one microscope in a laboratory and yet you still want these people to pay their quota to the development of the system after graduation. What you give him is a seed and no seed can produce a better quality in terms of food than the quality of the seed that you planted.
FIVE FUTA students among 50 who went through industrial training at the APM Terminals, have won scholarship awards for this year. The beneficiaries who received N60,000 or N100,000 are Moses Koledoye, Sijunola Mopelola, Orokhe Joseph, Aremo Tosin Emmanuel, all Electrical/Electronics Engineering students, and Adedayo Adekoya, an Agricultural Engineering student. Presenting the awards to the students, the General Manager, Human Resources of APM Terminals, Mrs. Teni Araba, said the scholarship was instituted as part of her company’s public sector responsibility programme, which seeks active community involvement in the area of its operations to groom youths for the challenges of manning the nation’s industrial sector. Mrs. Araba commended the students not only for their academic excellence, but for also conducting themselves well throughout the exercise.
VC admonishes freshers THE FUTA Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adebisi Balogun, has advised newly admitted students of the university to face their studies and shun all acts capable of jeopardising their academic pursuits. Balogun gave the advice while addressing the students at the 28th Matriculation of the university. The don warned the students against cultism and other vices, adding that many students with bright future have been killed as a result of their involvement in cultism and other evil organisations. He said the students were lucky to be counted worthy of studying in the institution ranked as the best University of Technology in Nigeria, as only 3,000 students were admitted out of the total 29,572 candidates, who made FUTA their first and second choices. The vice-chancellor reminded the students of their parents’ expectations and urged them to sit tight. He reiterated that the matriculating students should pay their parents back with good grades and moral uprightness.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
EDUCATION EKSU FILE Union leaders meet VC THE Unions in the Ekiti State University (EKSU) have pledged to support the new Vice-Chancellor, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina, who resumed on Monday last week. They made the pledge at an interactive session with the Vice-Chancellor, at the Senate Chamber last Tuesday. Dr Ayan Adeleke, Mr I.K. Falade, Mr J.I. Asaolu and Mr Tope Akanmu, the leaders of the EKSU chapters of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAATS) and the NonAcademic Staff Union (NASU), urged the new Vice-Chancellor to be opened to them and take the welfare of the workers and provision of facilities as priorities. Responding, Aina said he was in the university to build bridges and add value. He promised to run an open and inclusive administration, stressing: “Accountability will be my watchword.”
VC seeks relevant researches RESEARCHES in EKSU will be structured to make them relevant to the society, Vice-Chancellor, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina, has said. Speaking during an interaction with Deans and the Provost of the College of Medicine, the Professor of Soil Science, said the time had come for the university to carry out research in areas, such as criminology, electricity supply and food security. He noted that such researches would help solve several challenges facing the society and bring the university to limelight. He announced his intention to initiate a five-year strategic plan for the university. On the College of Medicine, Aina promised to provide adequate facilities. The Chairman, Committee of Deans, Prof Olugbenga Aribisala, briefed the Vice-Chancellor about all the faculties in the university while the Provost. College of Medicine, Prof, G.J.F. Esan, said the College of Medicine would need concrete promises and enhanced funding to make it one of the best in the country.
Nine varsities make Africa’s top research list
INE Nigerian universities are among the 62 institutions in Africa recognised for their research. However, no state-owned or private university is among the institutions ranked by SCimago Institutions Ranking (SIR), World Reports. They are: University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Lagos and University of Benin. Others are the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Ahmadu
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
Bello University, Zaria; University College Hospital, Ibadan; Federal University of Technology, Akure and the Federal University of Agriculture,Abeokuta (UNAAB). The ranking was the outcome of an exercise conducted at the SCimago Laboratory, Spain, released on its website www. scimagoir.com. South Africa led other African nations with 20 of its institutions listed, followed
by Nigeria with nine and Tunisia with eight. The release, which is the third edition of the SCimago Institutions Rankings (SIR), is one of the most comprehensive research ranking of worldwide universities with over 3,042 institutions from all over the world grouped into five institutional sectors. The ranking was based on six selected indicators seeking to reveal the main aspects of research size, performance, impact and internalisation at worldwide research institutions.
The SIR World Reports include institutions whose number of scholars published in reputable international journal, exceed certain thresholds and are cited in Elsevier-Scopus database. The report, according to the FUNAAB’s Co-ordinator of Webometrics, Dr. O. Folorunso, is expected to form part of the criteria to be used in the January 2012 World Webometrics Ranking of Universities which attracts 10% of the total scores. The FUNAAB Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oluwafemi
Olaiya Balogun, in a statement, expressed his delight at the development with a further assurance that the university, which placed ninth in Nigeria, and 56th on the list, would not relent in its pursuit of global excellence. Balogun congratulated the university community, particularly the academics, for the feat, imploring them to ensure they publish in reputable international journals to adequately showcase the quality of the university’s research output.
Female students win scholarships
NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation, AjesolaSolarin Majekodunmi Foundation (ASMAF),has awarded scholarships to three female undergraduates from three public universities. The awardees are: Agnes Usulor, a student of Law at the University of Ibadan; Isah Muniretu, of the Dentistry Deaprtment at the University of Benin and Zainab Yerima, an Accountancy undergraduate of Gombe State University. Founder of ASMAF, Ajesola Majekodunmi, a retired professor of ophthalmology, said the scholarships are aimed at helping brilliant but indigent female students studying professional courses. As a beneficiary of government scholarships, Prof Majekodunmi said she was moved to start the group to give back to society. “I have benefitted from the government, having had scholarship on merit for un-
By Pascal Okezu
dergraduate and post graduate trainings. Therefore, I decided to give something back to the society,” she said. She explained that the three student, picked from among over 70 applicants from the six geo-political zones of the country, were the second set of beneficiaries since the scholarship began two years ago. Apart from the scholarships, Prof Majekodunmi said the recipients would also be sent for leadership training during long holidays and attached to mentors to guide them in their chosen fields. Also, a member of its Board of Trustees Dr. Nadu Denloye, said the scholarships worth N150,000 yearly, would cover tuition, accommodation and feeding, among others. Presenting the cheques to the recipients, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, represented by Mrs. Felicia
• From left: Prof Majekodunmi, Mrs Adepoju and Prof Olatunji-Bello at the event
Adepoju, explained how illiteracy affects poverty, saying that financially handicapped women are more susceptible to abuse. She, therefore, called for the prioritizsng of education of the girl-child by private individuals and government. The Chairman of the event, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said the setting up of the founda-
tion goes a long way to show how far women have evolved from being consigned only to domestic chores, to becoming important players in different professions and fields of endeavour. She called on well-meaning Nigerians to support the government in empowering women, like ASMAF has done. She said: “Train a girl-child as a doctor, and then we will
have a better healthcare system, Train a girl-child as customs officer then you can combat smuggling.” In his presentation entitled: Education and women empowerment, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Prof. Mumuni Rafindadi, highlighted challenges facing the Nigerian woman. He, however, added that more women can be empowered if well-trained.
this season,” she said. At a similar event organised by the Education District II at the SUBEB Hall, Maryland Schools Complex, the TG/PS of the district, Mrs Ajibike Ogunsanwo, capped the excitementpacked event with prayers for the safety of the pupils during the holidays. There were songs by different choral groups from secondary schools in Somolu, Kosofe and Ikorodu local government areas while the Bible readings
were taken by Iniodu Jones Akpakpan, who won in this year’s Spelling Bee Competition and Bukola Ogungbayo, winner of the Lagos State School Traffic Safety Advocacy essay competition, among others. The presence of Mrs Afoyebi Josephine (Director- Personnel Matters), Mr Eseborde John (Deputy Director, Co Cur, Science and Technology) and also desk officers Mrs Oluyoung Olufunke and Mrs Hassan Olufunke added colour to the day.
Lagos ministry holds ‘Xmas carol By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Sampson Unamka
HE Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Lagos was agog last Friday as the Lagos State Ministry of Education celebrated a festival of Christmas carols and nine lessons. Colourfully-attired pupils from each of the six education districts presented beautiful renditions of both foreign and local Christmas carols and choreographies during the two-hour service presided over by the Chaplain, Rev J.O.
•Pupils from Education District V presenting African Carols
Tanimonu. Their presentations were interspersed with Bible readings (nine lessons) taken by top officials in the Education ministry including Tutor Generals/Permanent Secretaries (TG/PS) of the districts, representatives of the Deputy Governor and the wife of the Lagos State Governor. In the sermon delivered by Rev Tanimonu, the congregation was admonished to consider the yuletide season as a time to celebrate God’s power and show love.
“Christmas is a celebration of the wonder and power of God. We are celebrating the intervention of God on earth. God has brought peace into your life in this season that you may enjoy peace,” he said. In an interview, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo, urged the pupils to share with others during the season. “We should show love to our neighbours, friends and the less-privileged during
LASU moves against Student Union
41 hit first class at UNIZIK Page 34
*CAMPUSES *NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS
CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: firstname.lastname@example.org THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
For students, the ongoing ASUU strike is a mixed bag. Some are happy about it; others are not. But why will any student rejoice over a strike which will delay his graduation? DAYO IBITOYE (500-Level Chemical Engineering, ABU), CHISOM OJUKWU (500-Level Chemical Engineering), KAYODE ODUMBONI (200-Level English, UNILAG), COMFORT OGON (200-Level Political Science, UNICAL), ESTHER MARK (400-Level Mass Communication, UNIJOS) and MODESTUS DIKO (300-Level Microbiology, OOU)proffer answers.
•PHOTO: ESTHER MARK
•Students discussing after ASUU declared an indefinite strike last week
Students differ over ASUU strike
T was 9:15 am Monday about two weeks ago at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The students were already seated at 9am for a test. Though news had filtered in early that the much-anticipated industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had begun, the students still came for the test. Suddenly, the class representative, went to fetch the lecturer, mounted the lectern in front of the class, saying: “Hello class, we have just received the good news that all universities are on strike and the lecturer won’t be coming again to conduct the test.” In response, many students punched the air bemoaning their fate, others howled in joy. For students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), the strike came when they are on a four-month compulsory holiday. They are expected to resume next month, but they are not sure if the strike would have been called off before then. “Strike again? I must say that I am tired of staying at home; sleeping without achieving anything. I can’t wait to be called a graduate. I can’t wait to get my first degree certificate and leave their strike for them,” said Rajunor Ejon,
•’It’s a good thing to happen’ •’No, it’s not; we will suffer’ 300-Level student of Public Administration at UNICAL. Many students complained of the slow pace of academic activities even before the ASUU strike. “For students in my school, the strike compounds the problems because we could have done our exams just before the strike but for the fact that my school is slow, naturally. It is more painful,” said Kola Adewoyin, a student in one of the universities in the Southwest of Nigeria. Like their UNICAL counterparts, students of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) are also not so lucky. They recently resumed after the institution was closed down becuase of bombings by the Islamic Sect, Boko Haram (Western education is evil). But barely two weeks after their resumption, ASUU struck with its two
weeks warning strike. Now that the union has embarked on an indefinite strike, the students hope that the contentious issues will be quickly resolved by the Federal Government. The ASUU strike is a two-sided coin for students. Some are lamenting the strike, saying it will delay their graduation and prevent them from writing exams. Others welcome the strike describing it as an advantage to ease off stress and further prepare for impending exams. An apparently delighted Powei German, a 200Level student of English at the (UNILAG) said: “If only you can feel what I feel now, you will know how happy I am. I actually need the strike because of the heavy workload I have. I have no fewer than 20 text books to study this semester alone. I would say the strike is, actually, CGPAstrengthening. I will have more time to read up
and re-strategise before the coming semester exams.” Powei added: “I only hope the strike does not take too long; at most, one month.” But majority of those, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE condemned the strike and urged the government to “immediately dialogue with the striking lecturers so as not to jeopardise the future of education in Nigeria.” Felix Adesuyan, 300-Level Computer and Electronics Engineering, Lagos State University (LASU), said: “How can I be happy that ASUU is on strike again? There is no good news in that. I should have resumed for a fresh academic session by now, but this strike wouldn’t allow me to.” Kehinde John, 400-Level Mass Communication, University of Jos (UNIJOS), said: “When the government signed the agreement, it raised everybody’s hope. Two years after, we are still witnessing another strike that has crippled learning in our higher institution. It is not just fair at all.” ‘’I laughed in ‘Latin’ when I heard about •Continued on page 31
•Poly floats radio station •Rector warns wrongdoers - PG 33
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Like fathers, Pushing Out like sons
EADING through some readers’ reactions to last Thursday’s “rage of secondary school boys” in AdoEkiti, the Ekiti State capital, and surmised that we are getting “there” – somewhere as a people. For those who may not have read, exactly a week ago, students of the Anglican High School, Adebayo Area, Ado Ekiti went on a rampage, protesting their failure in a Unified Mock Examination for Senior Secondary School, SSS 2 students going to SSS 3. They held their principal, Mr. Joel Akinola, hostage for about one hour. The Ekiti State Government started recently to conduct the mock WASCE. The students were reportedly angered by the announcement of their repeat of the SS2 class towards the end of the first term of their SS3 class, thereby seeing it as a demotion. The protest which was initially peaceful, took a new turn when anti-riot policemen used tear-gas to disperse the students. During the protest, they paralysed commercial activities in the area for about three hours and smashed the windscreen of a police Hilux Van The students attacked the teachers and the police officers to the extent that the policemen had to seek refuge in the bush before they arrested 11 out of the protesting students. The protest was said to have started at about 8.30am, after the principal announced what appeared as mass failure of the students in the unified mock examination during the day’s morning assembly. The state Ministry of Education, it was gathered, had directed that those who per-
ceiving-people kind of leaders we have wallowed under these past 12 years”. What happened in Ado-Ekiti is by no means peculiar to the Anglican High School boys. A few years back, worse fates befell a female teacher and her principal who came to reswith cue her from her secondary school students in Gombe State. She was murdered and the man beaten while his car was vandalized. The lady, a 08054503104 Christian, was accused of desecrat(SMS only) ing the Quran because she flung, throw the window, a bunch of books •email@example.com the students refused to remove as an •firstname.lastname@example.org examination was going on. Unknown to her, among the books was formed poorly in the examinations conthe Quran. The principal, a Muslim, commitducted when the students were in SS2 should ted the sin of trying to reason with the teennot be registered for the external examinaagers on the woman’s behalf. tions since the state government would pay There have been other reported – and often for the examinations. unreported – cases of secondary students’ inIt was also gathered that the directive came creasing intolerance of constituted authority. from the ministry after the schools had conDown the ages, it is no secret that teenagers cluded promotions and registered the stuare about the most rebellious group when it dents for the external examination. comes to authority, but never before have Just the same day, while lamenting on the they taken to such primitive measures to show lackluster performance of President it. Goodluck Jonathan in the education sector When all they see on television is lawmak(especially in the light of the ongoing Acaers exchanging physical blows and throwdemic Staff Union of Universities – ASUU ing chairs over purely selfish and often strike), I had concluded that there is a growshameful sharing of money and power, why ing culture of presumptuousness and selfwould these young ones not go the same centeredness in the land. route to advance their own interests, as they In what some have termed harsh and pesdeem fit? simistic, I had written: “… on our roads, ofJust like touts at the motor parks or thugs fices, classrooms, streets and homes every that have become regular features of our day, we are a bunch of selfish, presumptuelections, these teenagers did not stop at abous and arrogant people who seem to derive ducting their principal, they also attacked pleasure by inflicting much pain and inconarmed policemen. According to the Divivenience on others. Oh, our utter lack of consional Police Officer of Oke Ila division, Mr. sideration for others is galling! Our tendency Segun Atanda, his men who responded to to make promises we have no plans of keepdistress calls were stoned and the windscreen ing is legendary…. Indeed as it has been said of their patrol van smashed. He added that that a people deserves the leadership it gets, they had to use tear gas when the “situation we do seem to well deserve the people-de-
At home, his name rings a bell in the circle of medical students as an astute politician and leader. Abroad, Dr Laz Ude Eze brings his leadership skills to bear, getting elected to lead an association of post-graduate students at the University of Kentucky. OLAWALE AJETUNMOBI profiles the achievements of the former CAMPUSLIFE reporter from the University of Ibadan (UI).
•Dr Laz (third left) with other UKSPHA officials after their inauguration
CAMPUSLIFE reporter leads students in America H ISTORY was made last week at the College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, United States. A Nigerian and former CAMPUSLIFE reporter, Laz Ude Eze, a medical doctor from Okposi, Ebonyi State was elected as the president of Students’ Public Health Association (UKSPHA). The association is an affiliate of the American Public Health Association (APHA). With this development, Dr Laz has become the first foreign student to occupy the position and he stands a chance of writing his name on the wall of honour of the college. The association he leads is made up of postgraduate students (master’s and doctorate), who are admitted into various departments of Public Health in the university. In the same association, another Nigerian-born United States citizen, Miss Chioma Okafor, is Vice President. Chioma studied Psychology in the University of West Georgia, where she was the founding president of African Students’ Association. She is from Anambra State. Dr Laz, a graduate of the University of Ibadan was one of the pioneer campus writers for CAMPUSLIFE, started his postgraduate programme three
months ago. In Ibadan, he graduated with an award of the most versatile graduating medical doctor in 2008 having being an active Students’ Union leader and official of the Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA). As if born to lead, Laz became the Public Relations Officer of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki during his house job. He authored a book on practical pathology and founded a non-governmental organisation on health development. Asked how he would succeed in a foreign land, Laz said: “I will bring my wealth of experience to bear in the execution of this office. I know that the terrain is different but I believe it is still human that I am leading whether you are white or black, or whether we are in Nigeria or America. Founded in 1865, the University of Kentucky is the largest educational institution in the Commonwealth of Kentucky State and located in Lexington, a city ranked by Forbes as the fifth best place for business and careers. The UKSPHA works with the Kentucky Pub-
lic Health Association and the College of Public Health to promote professional development of the students and community services in the host city. By implication, the president of the association is a member of the College of Public Health delegation that will participate in all official public health meetings and conferences in the United States. Asked how he became the leader of UKSPHA, Laz said: “I was pleasantly surprised by my nomination and subsequent election but I am pleased that I made history on the day a church in eastern Kentucky voted to ban inter-racial marriage.” Laz defeated an American girl to clinch the position. Laz told CAMPUSLIFE: “Our administration would consolidate on the gains of the past and open a new vista for greater accomplishments for the association. We shall focus on promoting the academic welfare and professional development of our colleagues as well as enhance community services and volunteerism in the university campus and the city of Lexington. We hope to strengthen existing partnerships and establish new ones within and outside the United States with the aim of increasing the participation of our members in global public health issues.”
became more than they had thought of the students”. Meanwhile, as far as the students were concerned, they ought not to have failed. And even if they did, they ought to be promoted anyway. A repeat was “out of the question”. In the version of the incident reported by the Guardian, it seemed that before Dr Kayode Fayemi became governor, automatic promotion was the norm. But that would not work anymore as according to the state Commissioner for Education, Dr Eniola Ajayi, the unified promotion examination was “the yardstick used in promoting the SS2 students…, we had set a standard that all students must make three credits and three passes before they can be promoted and out of the credits, English and Mathematics must be included”. This is not what the misdirected youths want; they prefer to do the next May/June WASCE and then continue with subsequent attempts until they make the required number of credits to make university admission. Better still, as I learnt, some of them already have plans on how to “work” invigilators and WAEC officials to ensure they pass. Besides, they still have NECO to do, which for some reason they regard as “easier” to work around. Much the same reaction we would see from politicians who would be disqualified from running from office or teachers who would be forced to take a promotional examination. And we see these all the time, from virtually all the states. So, we know from where our children are learning their unruliness. But like I’ve always warned on this column, we must not only work on ourselves, we must insist on their doing things right, for the consequences would be worse than awful if they have their way. This is why Dr. Ajayi must be encouraged to ensure that the rule as already stated is allowed to run its course. Ciao
‘I always contest twice for same post’ Eilojie Omobude, a 600-Level Medicine student, is the President, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Medical Students’ Association (IFUMSA). He won the highest seat in the Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NiMSA). He told SAMSON ADEMOLA (400 level, Biology Education OAU) his magic for winning.
AN you share your campus politics experience with us? I have a saying, “service is the rent you pay for a living”. My ability to gather and make things happen triggers me to wanting to exercise it. That has been my driving force. Almost all the positions I assumed in life, I had to contest twice. I contested twice to win my seat as the President, Obafemi Awolowo University Medical Students’ Association (IFUMSA). I lost the post at the first try but won the second year. The same applies to NiMSA presidential seat. Your story is like that of the famous American President, Abraham Lincoln. But don’t you think the sce-
nario paints power greed? I will say my story is different from that of Abraham Lincoln. For me, I contest same seat twice before winning. So, it is peculiar to Omobude alone. A friend once told me he won’t cast his vote for me in future if that is my first outing. People have various reasons for contesting leadership seats. Some for curriculum vitae, while others for experience or to impact lives. How did you feel those times you lost your first contests? I must confess, each time I lsot an election, it bothered me. But unlike what politicians in this part of the world do, I pick my phone to call the winner of the polls to congratulate them and to tell them I can work with them. I worked with the erstwhile NiMSA President before his demise. What keeps me going is my passion to serve humanity and to effect changes. What achievements have you made in office as the incumbent President of IFUMSA? We have achieved several firsts, which includes IFUMSA Health Awareness, rallies, health talks, and best-ever annual package kit. Anytime I re-contested a lost seat, I looked at the reality on ground and banked on that to win next time. How do you combine your academic pursuit with your leadership roles? It has been God because I am not the best student in my class. I also don’t play with my books. Academic is not something my parents take lightly but I don’t study when my peers do.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
LASU moves against Student Union •Tuition fee row deepens It prides itself as the “most vibrant student union in subSahara Africa”. But, a fortnight ago, the Lagos State University (LASU) Student Union was suspended indefinitely by the school management. AKINOLA ALAKA writes that the suspension may not be unconnected with recent students’ protests against the hike in tuition fees.
HE Lagos State University (LASU) enjoyed relative stability after intermittent interruptions occasioned by disagreements between the management and members of the local Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). After the resolution of the ASUU-management feuds the National Universities Commission (NUC)deaccredited some of the institution’s courses leading to other crisis. These crises led to the setting up of a committee which made some far-reaching recomendations in its report. Of all the recommendations of the committee headed by Justice Olaseinde Silva (rtd) and accepted by the Lagos State government, Section 4.0.3 paragraph (vii) riled students. It reads in part: “In view of the enormous financial commitment required to run a university vis-á-vis other competing demands in the public sector, (the Lagos State) government accepts the recommendation of the panel and directs the Governing Council and other authorities of the university to effect the following....” Under the new fee regime, students admitted into the Faculty of Arts/ Education will pay N193,750 per session, up from N25,000. Medicine N348,750 as against the previous N62,500. Law, N248,750; Engineering, N298,750; Sciences, N258,750; Social/ Management Sciences, N223,750; Communication/Transport, N238,750. Old students are exempted from the new fees. When the news broke, the Students Union Government (SUG), led by its President and 400-Level Political Science student, Akeem Durojaiye, started a campaign to stop implementation of the fees.
At a press conference on October 10, he said: “We are conscious of the fact that today’s action is tomorrow’s history, and any attempt on our own part not to resist this odious development is comparable to leaving an indelible mark of regret in the memories of yet to be students of the university who are our younger ones.” The student-leaders kept up their resistance with congresses, demonstrations and press releases. At a protest on October 27, the students carried placards with inscriptions: “We are students not investors”; “LASU for sale”; “LASU should not be for profit, but a means of nation building”; “Education is a right and not privilege”; “No change, No increment”. They went to the House of Assembly on the invitation of the lawmakers. Also invited were the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; Special Adviser to the Governor on Education Otunba Fatayi Olukoga; and the Acting ViceChancellor, Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello. After deliberations, the House set up a committee comprising two members each from the SUG, the House, the Ministry of Education, LASU management and the Committee of Parents. It was to submit its report on November 10. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, Durojaiye said the union has lost confidence in the committee. “We believe what the management and the government are doing now are unfair. There is a committee on this issue and we, the Student Union, do not have confidence in them anymore. We are supposed to come out with a report since November 10, but we don’t
know what is happening,” he lamented. On November 14, the students met with the new Vice Chancellor, Prof John Obafunwa. Others in attendance were the Registrar, Lateef Animashaun; Prof Olatunji-Bello; former Secretary, NUC, Prof Peter Okebukola, and all staff unions. The meeting agreed that disrupted exams would be written. CAMPUSLIFE also learnt that management agreed to put the new academic session on hold until an acceptable agreement on the new fees regime is negotiated. But the following week, SUG leaders arrived to see their building (the Arcade) under new locked. Reacting, the students locked the Administrative Block 1 with their own key. A campus marshal was injured on the head when he tried to stop the students. Unknown to the student-leaders, at an emergency Senate meeting the previous day the SUG had been suspended. The Senate also resolved that new students
•David •Continued from page 29
Students differ over ASUU strike
•LASU Students’Union building
this latest strike. It is not new to somebody like me. ASUU is always on strike. From one strike to another; and it never achieves anything in the end. For us students, we have mastered the art of taking nonsense. I am saying it is time for us to rise and defend our rights,” said Kenechukwu Ogwueleka, 400-Level Petroleum Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). Hope Effiong, an English student at Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), said: “The school calendar would be distorted and students will have to bear undue pressures later on. Moreover, according to an old saying: An idle hand is the devil’s workshop. Everybody knows how restless students can be when they are idle. This goes beyond our universities now, the society is involved too. Therefore, the strike is an illwind that will blow nobody no good.” Abdullahi Shittu, 400-Level Philosophy, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), said:
“The strike is not going down well with students because we all are tired of sleeping at home doing nothing other than becoming miscreants. I have been in this school for over five years now because of ASUU strike. It is a wake-up call for the government to save the education sector before it crumbles.” “Seeing how this issue has played out over the months, I seriously doubt that the Federal Government has kept its side of the bargain. This government is always quick to call the students the pillars, bedrock and hope of Nigeria. But we have embarked on another strike which will keep us at home for Godknows-how-long, yet it shows no concern. I don’t really blame them; their own children enjoy quality education in choice schools abroad. So, why should they be bothered about us?” queried Mathias Ndorokeme, 400Level Soil Science Technology, FUTO. Taiwo Otenaike, 200-Level Civil Engineering, UNILAG, said: “The strike is okay because I am enjoying it. I have a lot of notes to copy, which I am taking my time to do now.
should begin their registration and payment of the fees immediately. Deadline for the registration and payment was November 30. The police were later brought in by the management. Armoured tanks were at the university’s main gate and other entrances with the heavy presence of armed security personnel from the Mobile Police (MOPOL), Anti-Terrorist Squad and the Rapid Response Service (RRS). Some students claimed they were rough handled by the security men. Reacting to the suspension, Shittu-Sadiq Daniels, the General Secretary of the union, said: “The Lagos State University Students’ Union remains ‘unbannable’ and ‘unproscribeable’ as long as the university still has fully matriculated undergraduate students. This is because we are not only about leadership; we are about all matriculated undergraduate students.” The properties of the union, it was learnt, have been impounded.
It is just that we may have to write a lot of tests once we resume.” While calling for divine intervention, Mercy Amadi, 400-Level Nursing Science UNIJOS, said: “We must put our future into God’s hands through prayers since the blame is on both parties and what we will be left with is accusation and counter-accusation. Corroborating Mercy, Temidayo Awodeyin, 300-Level Economics, OOU, said: “I pray for God to intervene on our behalf so the Federal Government will answer the striking lecturers because we are the one suffering the whole thing.” The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has appealed to the government and ASUU to resolve the issues in the nation’s interest. In s statement by its national president Dauda Mohammed, NANS said: “We appreciate the fact that several aspects of the ASUU/ FG agreement are in the interest of the education system. It is thereby important for both parties to consider the negative effects of the continuous closure of our universities on students who are at the receiving end.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE Students praise govt over road
•Some of the graduands during the convocation
HE Polytechnic Ibadan (IBADAN POLY) has graduated 6,512 students for the 2009/2010 academic session. According to the acting Rector of the institution, Mr Fidelis Adeniran, faculty of Business and Communication Studies, had the highest number of graduands with 1,727 students. He said faculty of Science had 996, Financial Management Studies, 982; Engineering, 893 and Environmental Studies, 267. Adeniran, while congratulating the graduands, charged them to go to the world and be good ambassadors of their Alma Mater. He said: “I urge you
HE 2011 Christmas Carol, organised by the Advisory Committee on Christian Religious Affairs (ACRRA) in conjunction with the Joint Christian Campus Fellowship (JCCM), of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY), was held last week. The carol is an annual programme set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, where different Christmas songs, plays, speeches and other related activities are rendered. The event was held at the Adesoye Hall in the mini campus of the institution. Starting with the popular Christmas hymn, O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem,
Poly convocates 6,512 From Jeremiah Oke POLY IBADAN
to be good ambassadors of the polytechnic, the certificate you are receiving today should make you proud of years of training and remember that there is no inferiority in you except that which you allow.” The chairman of the Governing Council, Prof Oladapo Afolabi, said plans were in top gear to make the polytechnic a degree-awarding insti-
tution to correct the discrimination between university and polytechnic graduates. Some of the graduating students who spoke to our correspondent express happiness. Olayiwola Abiodun, a graduate of Mass Communication, said he was very happy because many were called but “I was among the few that were chosen.” Olusola Falade, in the same department, said it was rough at the start, but “I am very happy to be part of the convocation.”
Poly holds Christmas carol From Akinola Oluyi OFFA POLY
the JCCM choir, led by Pastor Idowu, thrilled the congregation with cultural displays just as they presented their anthem in different languages. Also, students from the staff school of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, were invited to render two hymns with flute. The deputy Rector Pastor A. Ayeni, welcomed the participants. He highlighted the agenda of the school in 2012 and prayed for peace and stability in the school. A lecturer in the depart-
ment of Social Science and Humanity, Mr Yemi Adewoye, explained why Christians should utilise this period to make peace and revive national security. He said: “This time we are experiencing security challenges, individuals and religious bodies should come together as one and allow peace to reign, so that this Yuletide will have a great impact in our, both.” Speaking, the president of JCCM, Samuel Woleoke, said Christmas always changes lives, describing the event as a blissful.
TUDENTS and motorists that ply the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFAPOLY), have cause to be happy. The road linking the mini campus of the institution and the host community has been reconstructed. The road has been abandoned for about three years, during which students and other commuters faced hardship to move to and from the school. Respite came to the students when, some months ago, top government officials, including two members of Kwara State House of Assembly,and the chairman, Offa Local Government, Saheed Popoola and officials of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), visited the road which result to immediate commencement of rehabilitation work on the road. A newspaper vendor, Mr Lateef
From Akinola Oluyi OFFA POLY
Isiaka, explained how the poor condition of the road affected his business, especially when the road was half-completed. He said: “When the road was bad, dust would cover the place and chased away my customer but now, as you can see, everything has come to normal.” A cyclist, who is also the secretary of the Mini Campus Okada Riders Association, Mr Peter Aderibigbe, commended the effort of Offa Local Government officials and FERMA for fixing the road. Tosin Ojo, ND II Mass Communication, said: “Then, if long vehicle or tipper was on the road, the car following it would not see the front because of the dust. But everything has come to normal. We appreciate the effort of FERMA and government.”
Students warned against ‘extreme’ unionism
HE National Association of Cross River State Students (NACRISS) has concluded a one-day seminar with a call on students in tertiary institutions to venture their youthful energies to the development of the nation instead of resorting to “extreme unionism.” A Calabar-based media consultant, Dr Okpo Ojah, made the call while speaking on the topic Students’ crisis, challenges and management at the College of Health Technology (COHTECH), Calabar. Dr Ojah said students should sow the seeds of intellectualism as well as embrace “the time-honoured” ethics of hard work, endurance and respect for human lives and property. He lamented the alarming incident of
From Isaac Mensah COHTECH
student riots in higher institutions in recent times, enjoining parents to take more responsibility of their children’s upbringing He further advised students to shun extreme unionism, which he said was a poison to academic excellence. On his part, the president of the association, Emmanuel Ubi, called for mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence between students and management of institutions. At the event were representatives of the Vice-Chancellor, Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) and Cross River State Commissioner of Police, students and parents.
Association, fellowship welcome freshers
•Participants at the programme
Students mark AIDS Day with free HIV test
S part of activities marking the World AIDS Day 2011, which is celebrated across the world on December 1, the Society of Petroleum Engineering Students (SPE) at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), has organised a seminar tagged: World AIDS Day–PTI intervention. The event started with an interactive session with the participants on ABC’s of HIV/AIDS prevention, in which “A” stands for Abstinence, “B” for Be faithful and “C” for the use of Condoms. The venue of the event came alive as students aired their opinions on the ABC formula. While many students were of the opinion that abstinence from sex and faithfulness to ones partner was the best way to prevent the life-threatening virus, others argued that the use of condoms is the best for the youths. A Mathematics lecturer, Pastor C.C. Nwamara, advised the students to prevent pre-marital sex in order not to fall victim of the virus. He stated
From Akindotun Akintomide PTI
that condoms were made for married couples for birth control. The guest speaker at the event, Dr S. E. Oru, a medical practitioner from the PTI clinic, gave insight into how the virus could be contacted and the various stages of the virus. Dr Oru said the virus originated from Florida in the US through the act of homosexuality. Oru said unprotected sex accounts for 95 per cent of all the means by which the virus could be contacted. The highlights included a short drama presentation, music entertainment, comedy and free HIV test for students. The drama involved the battle between the immune system, good health, HIV virus and other diseases such as gonorrhea, staphylococcus and the likes. The HIV virus eventually won the battle and gave room for other diseases to destroy the immune system which in turn af-
fected good health. The drama was applauded by the participants, who watched with rapt attention amidst excitement. Many of the students were scared of undergoing the HIV test. One of the students who pleaded anonymity spoke to CAMPUS LIFE after he has been tested negative, he said: “I am overwhelmed with joy, because I could not believe I can still be HIV negative despite all the unprotected sex I had engaged in since 2004.” He also expressed gratitude to SPE for organising the event which he described as remarkable. Mr. Terry Ogedengbe, HIV/AIDS counsellor, confirmed to CAMPUS LIFE that 63 students were tested, but their HIV status could not be revealed to third party because of stigmatisation. The SPE president, Akpan Oto-bong, said: “I thank God that the event was a success after intensive weeks of planning. He said next year’s event would be better.
ASS Communication Students Association (MCSA) and Communicators for Christ fellowship (CFC) both of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, organised events to welcome the new students into the department. The President of the students association, Jide Adejumo said the orientation became necessary as the ‘freshmen’ are vulnerable to mistakes. He urged the students to face their studies and remain focused in life. The department online editor, Miss Adetutu Wande-Kayode, advised the students to track down their academic performances by learning how to calculate their grades, this she said would help them in knowing when to work harder. The Communicators for Christ
From Juliana Edet UNILAG
fellowship also held its orientation for freshers. The head of department represented by Pastor Tayo Popola, charged the new students to remain focused and committed to their studies. He advised them to shun indecent dressing and all vices that are obnoxious. President of the fellowship, a 400-Level student of the department, Pastor Moses Hyunsode, said the fellowship would be readily available to help students in need of spiritual and academic assistance. The guest speaker, Pastor Tayo Alofun who spoke on Dwelling in His Presence said the students must learn to trust in God who rewards spiritual steadfastness and faithfulness.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE Rector warns wrongdoers
•The editorial crew of the Connex magazine
Students launch magazine
TUDENTS from different departments at Benson Idahosa University have floated a magazine, Connex, which was released officially into the university community last week. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that before it was released, some copies of the paper had been sold at the Church of God Mission (CGMi) convention held at its headquarters in Faith Arena, Benin City. The magazine is being sold for N500.
From Joyce Marcus BENSON IDAHOSA
When CAMPUSLIFE met the Editor of the magazine, Emmanuel Omakha, a 400-Level student of Accounting, he said: “It is sold for that price because its quality cannot be compromised.” According to him, the vision of the magazine was to educate, entertain and enlighten young minds. Emmanuel said the segment of the Connex included tele-
HE Rector of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Prof Igbekele Ajibefun, has vowed to expose wrongdoers in the system so that the institution can move forward. The Rector stated this at a public lecture organised in his honour by the Centre for Professional Initiatives and Practice, (CENPIP) last Friday. Prof Ajibefun said: “If we go in the wrong way, when we are corrected, let us take it like that. I will always support the right thing and I will expose people that are doing the wrong thing, so that all of us will continue to do the right thing and this institution can move forward.” He said since his appointment by Governor Olusegun Mimiko was by merit, he would always do everything on merit. He praised members of staff who identified with his goals and supporting his vision.
From Richard Ilesanmi RUGIPO
He also called for peaceful resolution of conflict in the institution. He said: “Crisis will never bring development. If you say you want to close down the institution, let us close it down and at the end of the day, all of us will lose. The generation unborn will also suffer from this. But when we work together, it is then we can develop. Confrontation will not solve any problem, but peaceful resolution of any matter will go a long way to ensure that we have sustainable peace here.” Speaking on the occasion, the Ondo State Commissioner for Education, Chief Remi Olatubora, who represented the governor, said the governor was happy with the Rector and the government would appropriate more funds to the school in the 2012 budget.
vision series, fashion, game and showbiz. Gbemisola Ekundayo, a 400-Level Mass Communication and a member of the editorial crew, disclosed that the television programme of Connex was aimed at reshaping the minds of youths in Nigeria. Reacting to the publication, a 100Level Microbiology student said the magazine was too fashionconscious. •From left: A safety expert, Dr. Mohie Bakinson; Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs Dominga Odebunmi and Legal Adviser to the Commission, Mrs Sanusi, during the safety training organised for graduates last weekend
T •Baba Eleja-Dindin (middle) with other village chiefs addressing the students during the visit
Students visit host community
HE 200-Level students of the faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), last Friday, visited Ile Apa village, one of the the host communities that is about 30 minutes from the institution. They went for an extension work which was a requirement in one of their courses, AXR 201 titled “Introduction to General Sociology”. The purpose of the visit, according to the lecturer of the course, was to enable the students to know the origin of the village and how members of the village relate with people, their socio-cultural beliefs and political influence. The village was located in a remote area and there is no vehicle that plies the route. The students, who were exhausted having walked a long distance, met with the villagers to ask questions and to know about the origin of the villagers.
From Olushola Aremu UNILORIN
The students tried hard to locate the palace of the village head known as Alangua . When they eventually got to the palace, the students were disappointed by development that the King, Oba Saliu Alangua, whom they came to see, was not available for undisclosed reasons. However, they met with Alhaji Baba Eleja-Dindin, the regent in Alangua palace. Eleja-Dindin said that the villagers are descent of Baruba people in Kwara State and their habitation in the village predated the establishment of UNILORIN. He said there was Ikunrun River, from where the villagers get their drinking water. The students were told that the Mogaji family in village was the one taking the position of king since the exist-
ence of Ile Apa. “It means that the Mogaji family was the first family to migrate and establish the village. The village was formerly called “Igi Apa” which later change to Ile-Apa due to the conversion of people serving the Igi Apa as their traditional belief to Islamic religion,” Eleja-Dindin said. He said there was no political influence because there were no opposing forces except the Mogaji family and their socio-cultural beliefs were the same with Ilorin people. He expressed that the villagers’ love for hot pap in the morning and at night, pounded yam with bush meat. Students, who had not been to the village, were happy to meet with the villagers and the Adele of Alangua. Some students said the villagers were very generous. They left after prayer with Eleja-Dindin.
Varsity inaugurates students’ leaders
HE Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Students Union Government (SUG) has inaugurated its officials for the 2011/2012 session. The new officials were sworn in by the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, who was represented by his deputy on Administration, Prof Idris Isah Funtua. The ceremony took place at the senate chamber in the university Senate building. The Dean of Students Affairs, Dr I. Isyaku in his opening
From Moses Kawaat ABU
remark, urged the SRC members to “direct their energies to issues that directly affect their colleagues rather than waste their energies on trivial issues”. He also charged the students to shun all immoral and anti-social vices. The SUG president, Yahaya Ciroma, in his speech thanked the VC and Student of the institution for their support. He also promised to work
with other officials to improve the welfare of students during his tenure. Other officials include Usman Mohammed, Vice President, Ibrahim Amidu, Secretary General, Aisha Abdulsalam, Assistant Secretary General, Salihu Musa, Financial Secretary, Barakat Ali, Treasurer, Abdullahi Abubakar, Auditor, Isah Nuhu, Public Relation Officer, Abduljelil Serki, Director of Social, and Abdulrahama Kombo, Welfare Secretary.
Fellowship organises freshers picnic
HE Baptist Students Fellowship, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) chapter, has organised a freshers’ picnic programme, which took place at UNILORIN Zoological Garden. During the programme, freshers were orientated on the activities in the school and its environs. The fresher of the year, a female student, who was the first student to join the fellowship, expressed
Poly floats radio station
HE much-awaited radio station built by the management of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi has been officially inaugurated. According to the management, the station was meant to enhance effective flow of information dissemination within and outside the campus. The station with the Frequency Modulation 94.1FM was inaugurated by the Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Philipa Idogho, last week with top officials of the institution in attendance. She charged the workers of the radio station to be committed, advising
From Ifeoluwa Onifade UNILORIN
her excitement over what she learned in the picnic. The programmes featured at the event were quiz competition, career talk, games, drama and dance competitions. The event came to climax when the fresh students were conducted round the zoological garden to see the animals. From ‘Tosin Ajuwon and Frank Ikpefan AUCHI POLY
them not to throw ethics of journalism into a daylight shame. Dr Idogho praised the effort of the Dean of School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mr Francis Chete, and head of Mass Communication department, Mr Abraham Obaze, for ensuring that the interest of school are propagated. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the radio station has a clear signal that reaches some northern states such as Kebbi and Kogi. Other areas include Benin, Asaba, Akoko, Ekpeshi, Igarra, Okpella, and Okene. A caller from Kogi, Cynthia Ijeoma, confirmed the clear signal of the station, praising the management of the institution for the job well done.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
41 hit first class at UNIZIK At the convocation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, 41 of the graduating students made First Class. EMEKA ATTAH (one of the graduating students from Political Science) reports.
EVERAL activities heralded the convocation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK). There were cultural displays, calisthenics, lectures and inauguration of projects. The institution capped the activities with the award of degrees in various categories to graduating students at an elaborate ceremony attended by people from all walks of life. Driven by a vision of excellence, UNIZIK, penultimate week, produced 41 students with First Class degree; 1209 of the 10,041 graduands made Second Class (Upper Division) honours. There were two sets of graduands — 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 sessions The Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Boniface Egboka, was all smiles as the convocation also marked the first time the B.Pharm degree was being awarded to graduates of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In his welcome address, the VC said the university was proud and encouraged with its humble efforts at producing high level manpower for the much-needed national development and the economy. The varsity graduated 10,041 students, which included those with in degree, Master’s, doctorate and sandwich programmes. He congratulated the graduands for their success and charged them to be good ambassadors of the university anywhere they find themselves in the future. “Do not allow anybody to get across your ways; have a clear vision and definite mission of what you want to achieve in life and go for it. Try to be courageous, original, innovative and creative,” Egboka said. He also charged them to exhibit the skills they acquired in school by creating jobs for
others. Earlier, the Visitor to the university and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, praised the management for using the internally-generated fund to develop the institution. Represented by the Minister of Education, Prof Ruquayatu Rufa’i, the President described education as the bedrock of national development. Prof Rufai urged the university to continue to adhere to the regulation of the Federal Government, especially in admitting the quota given to it by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The best graduating student, Miss Gladys Umeagudosi, who read Applied Microbiology and Brewing, thanked the VC and his team for providing an enabling environment for students, which made it possible for her to be the best among the graduands. She urged her colleagues to remain steadfast and not to forget their alma mater and to keep the flag flying. Some of the graduates and students spoke to CAMPUS LIFE. Grace Chimaroke, who graduated from the Department of Political Science, said the day was like a miracle for her. “I feel like I am dreaming. After all the years of burning the midnight candle, we can now show our certificates to the world”. For Orji Martins, 400-Level Psychology, the convocation was a time to learn and get focused to come out in flying colours. “I have learned a lot within the few days of this convocation. It has shown me that there is dignity in labour and reward for hard work. It is a wake-up call for those of us still in the school to buckle up so as to shine during our own convocation,” he said.
•Vice-Chancellor Prof Egboka and wife Ifeoma with Gladys (second right), the overall best graduating student
•The procession of the school principal officers to the convocation ground
Three members of the executive council of the Students Union, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), have been suspended indefinitely. WALE BAKARE (200-Level Zoology) and MICHAEL ADEBAYO (200-Level Computer Science) report.
•The Students Representative Council members during their sitting
ATURDAY, December 3, was another sitting day for the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). But, by the end of proceedings, the hammer had fallen on three principal officers of the Student Union Government (SUG). Those affected were the President, Surajudeen Musa; the General Secretary, Hammed Ayuba; and the Financial Secretary, Toyin Abdulqudir Nafiu. The Speaker, Hon Abbas Adeniyi, declared the suspension at 4.23pm after a chorus of “Yes!” by members to the motion of suspension moved and adopted. The affected officers were ordered to submit every property in their custody to the Office of the Dean, Students’Affairs before 12pm the following Monday. That weekend’s sitting,
•UNILORIN Students Union building
Parliament suspends union leaders CAMPUSLIFE gathered, was designated for various committees to report on the duties given to them. Throwing the floor open was the Press Committee chairman, Rasheed Awonuga Rasheed. He was followed by the Sports Committee chaired by Michael Are. Then came the Transport Committee, led by Segun Somiyiwa. He informed the House that the committee noticed that some forms where sold to the minibus (Korope) drivers at N1,000 and that N35,000 was accumulated but not reflected in the Student Union’s account. The forms were sold by the President and the General Secretary without the consent of other executive officers. Ahmad Tahir Daramola, leading
the Inquiry Committee, equally raised suspicions over the contract between the executive officers and a firm that was selling laptops to students at a “supposedly subsidized” rate. He added: “The General Secretary, Hammed, and the Financial Secretary, Abdul-Kadir, could not defend themselves. We investigated further and compared with the price laptops are sold outside the campus to what is obtained here, and we realised that our students were exploited.” The Financial Committee delivered the last report. Its chairman, Muhammed Lawal, worked members into a frenzy when he said that N408,000 was in the union’s account
with N23,000 interest paid. He accused the President of collecting money without remitting it into the account. In his defence, Surajudeen, said he gave the forms to the drivers free of charge to have their records in case of emergency. “Some money we collected, N63,500, was used to purchase four tyres and the maintenance of the SUG001 bus.” Afterwards, a member, Femi Akinsanya, moved a motion for the indefinite suspension of the President, the General Secretary and the Financial Secretary. He supported his move with Article XIV, Subsection 4, of the Student Union Constitution. He was seconded by Hon Tahir. When a vote was taken, there was
an overwhelming support from members. Thus, the Speaker announced: “Since the majority of the House is in support of the motion, the President, Musa Surajudeen, General Secretary, Hammed Ayuba and Financial Secretary, Nafiu Toyin Abdulqudir are suspended indefinitely.” The suspension was not for the executive officers alone. Some members of the House were dismissed. They are Olalekan Agboola and Onyebuchi Eke, both from Agriculture, AbdulQudus Shittu and Gerald Olaifa from Engineering. The suspensions are coming less than 40 days to the West African University Games (WAUG) being hosted by the university
THE NATION THURSDAY DECEMBER 15, 2011
‘Because I am involved’
By Chisom Ojukwu email@example.com
GREW up in a family where equality is a virtue. My sister, older than I by a year, always came first in my household politics. She got the first bicycle, the first cell phone, she was taken on the first trip to Lagos by air! She even got the first pair of soccer boots my dad ever bought. As a kid growing up, this was disturbing because when I played with my friends or listened to older people talk, or just looked around me. I saw that a man came first in every-
HE burning issue that has been on the radar in Nigeria is no other but the controversial petroleum subsidy removal. The media has been awash with the decision of the Federal Government backed by the state governments to deregulate the downstream sector of petroleum industry. Various agencies, individuals, organisations and even the National Assembly have made a case against the removal of the fuel subsidy but the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, being goaded by his economy drivers, led by Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has refused to back down. The presidency has argued unconvincingly that subsidy removal will put more money at its disposal to fund infrastructure. It also argued, howbeit childishly, that if fuel subsidy is not removed, Nigeria would be importing fuel from Ghana and Cameroon in the next 15 years. If feeler from the presidency is anything to go by, the subsidy on fuel might go this January. Currently, Nigeria imports virtually
thing, especially if he was the first son. Dad made me understand that the big sister was not just a girl but also the first child. That was my first lesson in equality. But, for my parents’ firm belief and advocacy of equality at home, I might have grown up undermining the women folk, or worse, resenting my lovely sister. Thanks to them, I stand proud, today, as a respecter and ardent admirer of women. I stand as a firm believer in fairness to all, equality and justice. Fairness, equality and justice are the same values for which the late Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu stood for throughout his life time. On many occasions, I have been asked about my relationship with the Ikemba Nnewi. Some may ask, “How is your uncle doing?”, “Is your grandfather still in a coma?”, or “Why don’t you grow a beard like your grandee?” In response, I would smile and say “He is very healthy”. It would have been easy to grow a beard and claim to be the son or nephew of Dim Ojukwu. But doing so would have meant denying my own iden-
tity. Ojukwu was born into affluence but he did not hang onto his father’s wealth like many of us would have done. He accumulated his fortunes through hard work and spent his money wisely. To him, money was a rod or a staff that made the journey of life easier for whoever wielded it. Ojukwu loved people, especially those recognised by the society as underprivileged. Some say he only loved the Igbo people but they forget that he quit his position as Assistant District Officer at the Eastern Region to join the Nigerian army, a decision that jolted his father. Smart, the Oxford graduate could have been anything but he chose to join the army as a cadet, which made him one of the first graduates to ever do so at the time. A proverb in Igbo says if a dog is spat on and beaten in the market place, he knows only one place to go for comfort – home. Before Ojukwu’s very eyes, the Igbo people suffered all manner of abuse, which contradicted his core values. Igbos had been beaten in the market place,
so Ojukwu planned to take them home (Biafra) for succor. In my eyes, the civil war served the purpose for which it was fought. The right of Igbo people had been trampled on. Their wives and children shockingly abused. There was a desperate need for Igbo man to be respected again. The civil war served that purpose. Ojukwu helped Igbo people to fight for their right in the Nigerian nation. The destiny of Igbo man was put in his hands at the end of the war. While Ojukwu lived, the Igbos were his children but now he is gone, they must grow. They must accept the fate and do well with it because so far, it has not looked very good. Comrade Ralph Uwazuruike, leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in his speech marking the announcement of Ojukwu’s death made certain demands from the federal government. He demanded the implementation of the ‘no victor, no vanquished’ policy initiated by Gen. Yakubu Gowon in 1970. I had to consult my calendar again to count
Chisom, 400-Level Chemical Engineering, FUTO
Before fuel subsidy finally goes
By Philip Okorodudu firstname.lastname@example.org
everything under the sun, the chief being petroleum which we have abundantly at home. Nigeria currently imports fuel from a nation like Singapore, a country that does not produce a drop of crude oil. One may be forced to ask: How is this possible? Simple. They have functional refineries to refine our crude oil and export the refined products back to us at exorbitant prices. Indeed, it is just a matter of time before Nigeria starts importing fuel from Niger, who can now boost of a refinery that can produce 30,000 barrels per day when it needs only 10,000 barrels per day. In 2009, the Yar’adua-Goodluck administration removed the subsidy on diesel. Given the fact that diesel consumption is high due principally to the non-availability of electric power, what happened to the huge amount that has been saved from the subsidy removal? Has the removal of the subsidy
improved the living condition of the Nigerian populace? What and what can the government point to and say they have been able to achieve occasioned by the subsidy removal on diesel? Sometimes last week, our dearest president lamented the growing unemployment situation in the country, saying it could lead to some social unrest in the near future. One then wonders if kidnapping and other unwholesome activities are not as a result of unemployment. Analysis of unemployment data shows that about 10 million Nigerians were unemployed in 2009. The 2011 survey based on the definition of unemployment rate is 23.9 pe rcent compared to 21.1 per cent in 2010 and 19.7 per cent in 2009. The implication of the above statistics means that something is wrong with the economic growth of the country. As an undergraduate, I am really worried by this fact. Those arguing in favour of subsidy
removal have said that the proceeds would be used to provide infrastructure and create job opportunities for the teeming youths. But how true is this statement given the fact that poverty reduction programme designed by most government in sub-Sahara Africa never goes beyond the official lunch of the policy document? To me, the western countries are behind the resolve to remove the subsidy on petroleum. Ironically, these are the countries that have subsidized various items for the benefit of their citizens. Statistics show that almost 40 percent of European Union’s budget is spent to offset the subsidy of different types of agricultural and fisheries products annually. The United States alone spends nearly $1 Billion on different types of agricultural subsidies. What this means, in essence, is that countries choose sectors that are critical to their economy to subsidise. The Chinese subsidize their cur-
To my former Rector
By Adenike Ashogbon email@example.com IS tenure has come and gone. It seemed like yesterday, when the former Rector of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Mr.Ayodeji Iginla, resumed office. He was born on August 19, 1955 into the family of the late Mr Olufemi Gbadamosi Iginla, of Ita Faji, Lagos Island, and Mrs Silifatu Aduni Iginla (nee Baruwa) of the Baruwa Soso family, Isale Agoro, Epe Local Government. Ayodeji Iginla is a teacher, author, administrator and public analyst. He has several publications to his credit. My first encounter with him was at the Engineering lecture theatre at the Ikorodu campus of LASPOTECH. I was the only National Diploma among the Student Union Government executive
how many years had passed since then before I began to wonder what Uwazuruike had been waiting for all this time. Any honest Igbo man knows that, among the three major tribes in Nigeria, Igbos are the most divided. The death of Eze Gburugburu is not a call for Igbo to deliver ultimatums or threats. Ojukwu might have led the Biafran war but at heart, he was first and foremost Nigerian. As many are aware, he spoke Yoruba and Hausa very fluently. He believed in unity, equality, fairness to all and justice. The threat by MASSOB to unleash the fury of ‘our boys’ now that Ojukwu is no longer here to calm them demeans the legend of the man and what he represented. Ojukwu did not dissipate his time, energy, money and life for another counterfoil of Boko Haram. His death calls for Igbo man to become involved in Nigerian project. A call for patriotism. The state burial, monuments, foundations, threnodies and elegies aside, this is the only way to truly honor him. Anything less would only send him on a spinning roll in his grave after he is buried. Ka o diba, Ikemba Nnewi.
members. He looked at me and said: “You look like Mrs Ero Philips...is she your mum?” And everyone burst into laughter as we echoed “no sir”. There and then, I told myself that I must know who this man really is. He was and he is still known as Baba Ewe (father of children) due to his opened and immeasurable love for the students. Irrespective of the fact that this great man was the Rector, he listened to all, not minding their race, age, level and intimacy. His educational background is intimidating as he has made landmark achievement in various state capitals in the country. He attended Children’s Home School, Ibadan, for his primary education (19611965); Christ’s High School (the secondary school off-shoot of Children’s Home School), also in Ibadan (1966-1970) where he came out in Division One in his West African School Certificate Examination. Thereafter, he proceeded to Remo Secondary School, Sagamu, in 1971, for his Higher School Certificate (HSC). He passed the examination in 1972, and worked for nine months (January to September 1973) as a clerk in the pay office of the Federal Ministry of Finance at Mosaic House, Tinubu, Lagos.
Iginla gained admission into the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos to read Chemistry in September 1973; he graduated in the Second Class Upper Division in June 1976. In 1975, he was awarded the national bursary of the Federal Government for being the best student in the faculty of Science. Between August 1976 and July 1977, he served his fatherland in the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) in Sokoto State. He joined the services of the LASPOTECH, then known as Lagos State College of Science and Technology, in December 1977 as an Assistant Lecturer. He was granted study leave by the College to go for his Masters’ degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the then University of Ife, Ile-Ife, in September 1980. He was awarded the degree in November 1984. He returned to the service of the Polytechnic in February 1983, where he rose to the post of Chief lecturer in Chemistry in October 1998. Iginla has held various positions of responsibility in the Polytechnic, among which are Pre-National Diploma Programme Coordinator, 1986-1987; head of Department, Drug and Chemical Technology, 19901991; head of Department, Science Laboratory Technology 1995-1997; acting Director, School of Technology, 1996; Member, 7th Governing
Council, LASPOTEC, 1993; Member 8th Governing Council, LASPOECH, 1995-1999, Chairman, Governing Board, School of Part-Time Studies (Annexes) April 2003- March 2004; Director, Students’ Affairs, January 1998 – March 2004, Member, 10th Governing Council, LASPOTECH, August 2006 and still I can say categorically he is not stopping at that as he has a broad knowledge in Information Communication technology. He was until his appointment as Rector, the Director, School of PartTime Studies (Annexes) of the Polytechnic. He has been a member of the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (formerly Society of Public Analysts of Nigeria) from 1987 to date. Some write for eye service but I write and praise those that deserve praise. I am a writer that has so much confidence in my pen. I might not be that vast but what I know, I know how to do it at it best. I call Iginla my dad, not because I want to flatter him but because he is truly a dad. Though, he is no longer the Rector of LASPOTECH, I know and I can say confidently that he has affected lives positively and his impacts can never be forgotten. I will forever acknowledge you, sir. Adenike, recently finished from Mass Comm., LASPOTECH
rency and the Americans, agriculture. Should we not also be allowed to subsidise what is critical to our economy? In Nigeria where corruption is extremely high, the standard of education falling, health care dwindling, and youth crime a regular phenomenon, are these not enough evidence that the economy of the country has collapsed as against the president make-believe opinion that fuel subsidy would save the country from collapsing? One thing I know is that the future of Nigeria and indeed the generations yet unborn is inextricably linked to the decision made by the president today. Late President Murtala Mohammed is today remembered for his giant strides in fighting corruption. What would our dearest president want to be remembered for? Philip, 400-Level Elect/Elect and Computer Engineering, DELSU
Nigeria will be great again
By Taiwo Isola firstname.lastname@example.org
HE biggest problem we have in Nigeria is that the people are so pre-occupied with the problems of today that we cannot see the big picture of what the country could be tomorrow. Every young man going to the university is dreaming of the day he will graduate from school and get a government job. Our leaders are busy eating their own portion of the ‘national cake’ that they •Continued on page36
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Protests rock varsity over strike
S Campus entreprenuership: Where great stories begin
Y and large every wise student is economically aware. Walk up to anyone…strike or no strike, most students of higher learning simply will not be put down with the idea that they are made for anything less than the top. Looking around the campuses we see a gradual metamorphosis. Time there was when students only concentrated on their books and did nothing else. Today the Campus is gradually becoming the breeding ground of millionaires. Young men and women are studying and yet birthing dreams. The Campus today is swirling with answers to the success question. You may just see them as light footed airheaded fashion buffs, but believe me when I say that many of them have huge ideas and are beginning to profit from them. Can we speak lightly of the young men of the Universities who have taken the campus by storm whipping up amazing chicken and turkey meals garnished with salad trimmings or chips? Right there on the Campus, having a long queue of hungry students all eager to dig into the hot meal probably now squirted with loads of ketchup? And yes to get that you pay a minimum of a thousand naira if not more. I don’t know how many hot plates these young entrepreneurs sell in a day but I do know that I see quite a heap of chicken and turkey steadily disappear daily! What about the young ladies who are always on the move travelling and picking up clothes , jewelry and hair accessories and making these indispensable products readily available to their colleagues and peers for a nice and pricey sum? These hard working entrepreneurs go everywhere and anywhere to get a good bargain and in between all this juggle their books just to stay afloat and still smile to the bank. And the young guys in far flung universities who design and run small hang out spots. Decent places where other young men like they can hang out, watch a match and get some refreshment? All at a fee of course, or do we forget those who have successfully run beauty parlors and barbing salons? Many are they that have purchased and deployed the popular tricycles in various parts of the nation and are into many more things that in effect create for them while still students, multiple streams of income. It is easy to mentally push these bold and brave young men and women aside and speak of the negatives of the things they do. After all, you may believe strongly that they cannot achieve success in both and therefore one must give for the other….grades for ‘cheddah’ or ‘cheddah’ for
On and Off Campus
By Uche Ogbonna email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 08055061278
grades (slang for money). However do not dismiss them in a rush. It takes courage to get into the trenches of the Campus environment, craft an idea, nurture it, birth it and then design ways to sell it in such a manner that someone would be willing to exchange ‘cheddah’ for it. And mind you, many have pulled it off without resorting to cheating and without failing any exam. Rather they have learned the same way great men have learned. They have paid the price and you can too. I believe very strongly that part of the purpose of the school environment is to fan up the flame of entrepreneurship that lies in us. I believe that the young men and women who have bravely traversed the campuses and built a form of business or honest stream of income for themselves while pursuing their studies need to be extolled. I believe that these men and women should become mentors of a new generation of brave and aspiring youth who are willing to step up to the plate and take the bull by the horn and make a difference. Rarely will you see them complain and grumble, rather they think continuously of what problem they can solve for the rest of us: Problems so unique that we are willing to pay a good and fair sum to make it go away. They are the warriors of our new age. They are not afraid to use technology to aid their progress, they research, they understudy others, and even when they fail as sometimes they will, they rise up again, like the cat with nine lives they refuse to die! The campus crawls with them. This piece is designed to acknowledge them. We see them; we await their announcement on a larger playing field, for this is the stuff that legends are made of. Think of all the success stories you see around us, the men and women we admire and ‘google’ up how much they are worth…these men started possibly like this. In the trenches of the Campus battle field. They did well in their studies but also graduated with more than just a degree. You too can plough that field. Rise up…take up the challenge. Think, create, become! UCHE OGBONNA MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS GROUP FIDELITY BANK PLC email@example.com
By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
TUDENTS of University of Maiduguri (UNIMAD) have protested the ongoing strike embarked on by the Academic Staff union of Universities (ASUU). The students complained that they were not given the opportunity to study after they resumed back on campus. They called on the local chapter of ASUU to back out of the strike. It would be recalled that the school was closed down because of the activities of the Boko Haram sect some four months ago. However, the students were asked to resume for their first semester exams after which they went for a week break. Two days after resumption, ASUU went on a warning strike and the UNIMAID chapter of the union joined the strike. A source told CAMPUSLIFE that the management of university resolved to meet with ASUU to decide whether UNIMAID would join the strike or not. “However, during the university senate meeting before the indefinite strike, it was rumoured, by a group of students that the university is making plans to embark on the strike . This particular group of students, rushed to the hostels and started chanting solidarity songs calling on their colleagues to join in the demonstration and fight against the strike,” the source said. A final year student of Biological Sciences, who pleaded anonymity, said he was in his room when he heard the chants of solidarity songs. “I came
From Taiwo Isola UNIMAID
out and saw students chanting ‘no strike, no strike’, some carrying placards. I entered my room, put on my trousers and joined in the demonstration.” The students marched to notable places in the school, calling on their colleagues to join the demonstration. They said the strike was to the detriment of their career. The students blocked the entrances into the institution. When the news of the demonstration got the authority, the management immediately announced that the institution had backed out of the strike. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. M M Daura, addressed the demonstrating students, confirming that the school had backed out. The shout of victory rented the air and the students dropped the tree branches they were holding. They signaled other students positioned at the university to return to their hostels. A graduating student who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “It is good that we fight against the strike. The strike might not be too bad for other universities but certainly not for UNIMAID. We are at loss here and the academic calendar of the school has been seriously distorted. We were supposed to graduate this December but now, we are not even sure when we will graduate. This is why we fought against the strike.”
•The Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof Ishaq Oloyede (in white hat), with members of UNILORIN alumni association and the university scholars after the graduation lecture series held at the school’s auditorium.
Association holds orientation for teenagers
HE federation of Colleges Ex-students’ Christian Association (FECA), University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) Chapter has launched an outreach programme for secondary school students in Maiduguri as part of activities to change the mentality of the northern youths. While launching the programme at the lawn tennis court of the University, the North-East regional coordinator of the association, Timothy Oni, said the essence of the orientation tagged “New Nigeria” is to ignite a passion in the hearts of the youth for the creation of a new nation devoid of corruption and insecurity. The team later proceeded to Ruby Springfield
From Taiwo Isola UNIMAID
College where they were received by the Principal members of staff. Timothy Oni, who spoke to the secondary school students at the assembly ground, enlightened them on their role in the rebirth of a new nation. He furthered encouraged them to reposition themselves and act as a positive catalyst in the development of the nation. The team donated cleaning materials to the college as part of her contribution to the college. While applauding the programme, the principal expressed his delight and promised that the college will make good use of the materials.
Law students’ Society holds week
HE Law Student’s Society (LSS), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has held its LSS week. The week, which began on a Wednesday, kicked off with a legal march in the school. Other events were traditional night and cooking competition. The traditional night witnessed students in various native attire. The cooking competition further enhanced the return of the students back to their culture as native dishes were prepared by the contestants. Adeojo Ebenezer emerged as the winner for the cooking competition with his Eba and Efo riro. There was also a display of cultural song on that day.
From Adebayo Caleb UNIJOS
On Friday, a talent show was held at the faculty basement, where students were invited to showcase their talents, a marathon race was also heldas part of the week. The dinner took place on Saturday and was held at the Arabian tent-house. Students appeared in various dinner clothes the event was spiced up by MC Simbal and Q-Blark. Awards were presented to students whereas certificates of excellence were given the committee members. The party went on till the next morning.
Nigeria will be great again •Continued from page35
have lost sight of the gift and endowment of this nation. The youths also suppress their potentials and abilities and focus on what they can get from the government. Thank God we are still together as a nation but if we are to be sincere with ourselves, we can conclude that at 51, Nigeria is a golden failure. So, who is to be blamed? Nigerians are very good at pointing the accusing finger at their leaders. We easily blame our leaders for our failure but I want the reality to dawn on us that the so-called leaders were part of us before they assume power. It means there were once in the followership vanguard. So, the real problem started when they were followers and not when they became leaders.
It’s high time we assumed full responsibility for our future. If our leaders have failed us, must we also fail the upcoming generation? Let us join hands together and take responsibility for the birth of a new Nigeria. This life is too short to wake up with regrets. Let us stop complaining and begin to utilise our potentials and abilities. Let us develop our sense of creativity and think of being a solution to the problems of Nigeria. This is because we cannot fold our arms and substitute our great future to the present circumstances of Nigeria. Let us take active participation in the development of this nation. We cannot wait again for the government to do everything for us. We must take our future into our hands. Nigeria will be great again! Taiwo, 100-Level Human Anatomy, UNIMAID
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Ajimobi seeks end to discrimination against poly graduates O YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has called for the protection of polytechnic education. He also canvassed an end to discrimination against its products in the labour market. The governor made the call at the 27th convocation and 40th anniversary of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, held at the institution at the weekend. About 6,512 were awarded National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) at the ceremony. He decried a situation where polytechnic graduates, who play an important role in nation building, are discriminated against during recruitment and promotion. “The polytechnic education is important to the development of
By Bisi Oladele and Seun Olalude
our country. It must be protected from discrimination and elimination. Adequate infrastructure and personnel should be given to the polytechnic education in order to discharge its roles effectively,” he said. He further said the education sector of the country is facing challenges, which need to be tackled. His words: “The education sector of this country among many others is undergoing challenges which we all know but as a state we are committed to the reformation of the sector in order to be a model to other states in terms of
infrastructure, manpower, moral which we have started by placing right people in the herm of affair.” Ajimobi commended the lecturers of the institution for producing ambassadors for the nation. The governor also called on individuals, organisations and alumni bodies to support the government by providing solid education for all. In his speech, the Acting Rector of the polytechnic, Mr Adebisi Adeniran, lamented paucity of funds to prosecute capital projects in the institution. He said: “The institution requires the support of the government in the provision of teaching equipments and materials to meet the accreditation conditions. No money
had been released as capital grants to the institution since the past two years. A large share of our capital grant is spent on teaching equipment to prepare for accreditation visit ahead of the time. We will appreciate if the capital grant due to us is released before the end of the year in order to prepare for accreditation exercise.” The Chairman, Board of Governing Council, Prof Oladapo Afolabi, urged the graduates to aim high. “Don’t stop your academic pursuit at diploma but aim high. Be in the group of those who make the institution known by what they do. Let the works of your hand publicize this institution positively,” he counselled. Graduates with distinction and upper credit were rewarded for the performance.
Niger teachers get N100m loan From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
EACHERS in Niger State have benefited from a loan of over N100 million from the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) through its social security and co-operative scheme known as “End well scheme”. Disclosing this in Minna, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the scheme, Hajiya Dije Jibrin Bala, during training for members of the 25 local government co-operative societies of the union in the state, said the scheme has ameliorated the needs of its members. According to Bala, the loans were given out as building materials, business centre equipment, motor cycles, grinding, shelling, and block molding machines, among others. She, however, promised that the scheme would soon follow up with loans from the scheme’s Micro Finance bank. To increase the finacial base of the union, Bala said the scheme would establish a model primary school in Chanchaga, Minna, stressing that with the school, the union will be able to add value to would education and provide jobs for the unemployed. The chairman then appealed to the Niger State government and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to patronise the union’s Teachers’Micro finance bank. She called on the staff of the department of co-operatives to monitor the union’s local government Teachers’ Multipurpose Cooperatives ensure compliance with co-operative guidelines. Declaring the workshop open, the state Governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, commended the union and the ‘Endwell scheme’. He particulaly praised the management team of the scheme, describing them as role model.
HE 340 students, who took the oath of allegiance at the Ifo College of Management and Technology, Ifo, Ogun State, have been advised to aspire to be job creators, rather than job seekers, in line with the institution’s vision. They were also advised to see their admission as a rare privilege, and be good ambassadors of the school. Addressing the students admitted into various courses in the schools of Management and Engineering, the Rector, Mr Bola Dawodu, told the students to avail themselves of the courses approved by the National Business & Technical Examination Board (NABTEB). Speaking through the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Wale
FUNAAB FILE Accreditation team visits THE team for the Institutional Accreditation from the National Universities Commission (NUC) has visited the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) to assess its facilities and manpower ahead of rankings. Team Leader and former ViceChancellor of the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Prof Ilochi Okafor, said the team would ascertain areas of intervention by the Federal Government to improve higher education standards. Okafor, at a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olufemi Olaiya Balogun, before the commencement of the exercise, said accreditation is in the best interest of not only the university, but the education system. “This exercise should be an opportunity to make case for infusion of more funds into the university system and the nation’s education sector at large. Let us have what the university needs to enhance positive international ranking. These are what we need and a good reason for why we are here,” he said. Balogun said the institution had already done everything possible to justify its present rating, while vigorously pushing ahead for the sustenance of excellence.
Students fly Nigeria’s flag
•Chairman, Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and wife (middle) with Vice-Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Prof Cyprian Onyeji (left) and Chancellor, Alhaji Hassan Adamu, at the 14th Convocation of ESUT, where Chukwuma was conferred with a Honorary Degree in Business Administration...at the weekend. PHOTO: OBI CLETUS
Pan-African Paralegal College makes debut
O fewer than 2,000 students are to be admitted at the first Pan-African College of Paralegal Studies, which kicks off in Abuja, in January next year. A statement by its Public Relation Officer, Joy Okoduwa, stated the school aims at developing paralegal studies into a major course of study that will meet the various needs of organisations, such as law firms and the judiciary. Rector of the College, Olajide Olakanmi, a lawyer, said the Judi-
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
ciary, para-military and law enforcement agencies have suffered from lack of paralegal staff in the execution of their duties. “Performances of most paramilitary agencies such as the Police, Civil Defence, State Security Service (SSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), National Agency for Food, and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Customs and Nigerian
Immigration Service, reveal the dearth of the experience they have in Law while executing their duties. “The situation in our courts is more pathetic as judges are made to undertake elementary quasi-legal administration, which is expected to be handled by paralegal staff,” he said. Graduates of the school will help to fast-track the legal process for timely results as support staff in chambers of judges and lawyers.
College admits 340 By Adegunle Olugbamila
Olaleye, last Saturday, Dawodu said the college, established via Private-Public Partnership (PPP) six years ago, has grown with three external centres in Akure, Ondo State, Abule-Egba in Lagos and Abeokuta, Ogun State. He said courses, such as Computer Engineering (software Option), and Computer Engineering (Hardware Option), have been accredited by NABTEB, while Economics, Electrical Electronics, Networking, and Multimedia Technology, Banking and Finance, among others, have partial accreditation. Among several achievements, Dawodu said the school, has further opened up the Ifo community
offering admission to many of its inhabitants and has graduated over 100 students, some of who are either gainfully employed or working on their own. He said: “Today, we have a total of 340 students representing Batch A that have secured admission. We offer admission each semester. So, every semester, we have new intakes of students. The Batch B students will resume in January. By the end of January, the Batch A would have gone on their SIWES and by the time they are back, we will now merge the two batches together.” Dawodu, however, identified erratic power supply as well as lack of accommodation for its teeming students as two key challenges facing the institution till date.
“From inception, this institution was established as a Public Private partnership. So, we expect some funding from the government through the ministry of Education, but up till date, we have not received anything. However, we are not losing hope. Second, there is inconsistent power supply, so we run thus place on generation 24 hours. Finally, our students still live off campus but we are trying to secure a befitting place for them to stay because we don’t want them to be influenced by some bad elements whether from other schools or within the community,” he said . To accommodate its students, the institution also inaugurated an ultra-modern multimedia lecture theatre same day.
TWO of the four selected candidates from Africa at the just concluded Inaugural Students Congress hosted by the World Materials Summit were graduate students of FUNAAB. The summit, which took place at the Keck Centre of the National Academic and L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, Washington, United States, was an event for graduate students and post-doctoral scholars in fields related to energy, environmental science, medicine, engineering and policy. The two were the only ones from the same institution among the 50 participants at the event. A FUNAAB representative, Dr Janet Bamgbose, described them as the hope of future generation.
Don advocates proper lifestyle THE Dean, Students Affairs, FUNAAB, Prof Samuel Oluwalana, has said the only way to defeat HIV/AIDS is to live a proper lifestyle. Delivering his opening address at a lecture organised by the Youth Future Savers Initiative (YFSI) and the Students Union of FUNAAB to commemorate the World AIDS Day, he cautioned that people should avoid excessive consumption of junk foods. Rather, they should eat vegetables and fruits to strengthen human immune system. Speaking on the theme: Getting to zero: A campus free of new HIV infection, the guest lecturer and an alumnus, Mr Akintayo Akinpelu, listed ways to avoid HIV/AIDS infection as appropriate blood transfusion, sterilisation of sharp instruments before usage, and the use of condom for safe sex. Akinpelu called on the public to stop discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS in their communities.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
EDUCATION ACE FILE Final admission list online ADEYEMI College of Education, Ondo has released the final list of admission for 2011/2012 on the Internet. In a statement, the institution said the results should be checked online. Candidates are expected to purchase a Result Checker Scratch Card from a named bank, print-out the admission notification and present the document for screening at the appropriate time.
College approves PTA projects THE management of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, has approved the request of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of its Demonstration Nursery and Primary School to finance some projects in the school.
GCI alumni to honour NRC boss GOVERNMENT College, Ibadan Old Boys’ Association, Abuja branch, will honour the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Adeseyi Sijuwade, today. The association said the honour was informed by Sijuwade’s achievements in the ongoing efforts to resuscitate the rail system. Its Secretary, Demola Majasan, said the association has monitored with satisfaction, the positive developments in the NRC since Sijuwade, an engineer, assumed office.
SCHOLARSHIP APPROACHING DEADLINES 2012 The Hindu-Hitachi Scholarships, Japan Hitachi Ltd., Japan and THE HINDU invites applications for Scholarships for Technical Training in JAPAN 2012 Study Subject(s): Industrial, Transportation and Urban Development Systems ,Information and Telecommunication Systems, Power Systems Course Level:Technical Training Scholarship Provider: Hitachi Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, THE HINDU Scholarship can be taken at: Japan Eligibility: -Candidates who must be Indian Citizens, should not have completed 30 years of age on 31-03-2012 and should be in possession of the minimum Degree of B.E., or B.Sc. (Engg.) or its equivalent from any recognized University. - Parents or Guardians of selected candidates shall guarantee their good conduct and shall undertake to pay for their repatriation should their conduct be found unsatisfactory by Hitachi Ltd., or any public authority in Japan or in case the selected candidates desire to discontinue their studies in Japan for any reason whatsoever during the period of their scholarship -The Scholarships are tenable in Japan for principally six months commencing about July 2011. Trainees may have general training in one of the following product fields of Hitachi Ltd., (Hitachi) for Example (1) Industrial Systems (2) Transportation Systems (3) Power Systems (4) Information and Telecimmunication Systems being subject to the convenience of each of Hitachi’s establishments. During the training, there will be special emphasis on environment-related and energy-saving technologies. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: In association with Hitachi Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, THE HINDU invites applications for scholarships for technical training in JAPAN. The number of scholarships will be three. Trainees shall be during their training, under the supervision and direction of Hitachi, which has full discretion on scope, mode, duration and place of establishment of their training. Training will not be available in the R&D activities of Hitachi. They will be subject to the rules and regulations and the discipline of the establishment to which they are posted How to Apply: Post Scholarship Application Deadline: December 31 2011 PhD Scholarship in Arabidopsis Molecular Biology at University of Copenhagen, Denmark 2012 Doctoral scholarship in Arabidopsis Molecular Biology in Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 2012 Study Subject(s):Arabidopsis Molecular Biology Course Level:PhD Scholarship Provider: University of Copenhagen Scholarship can be taken at: Denmark Eligibility: The fellowship is open to both Danish and international applicants. We expect that applicants have obtained an MSc degree in biology or biochem-
istry, a good grasp of theoretical concepts, and some expertise in laboratory techniques used in Arabidopsis molecular biology. Fluency in English is a requirement. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: The plant molecular biology group aims to recruit a highly qualified PhD candidate to conduct research and training in the field of plant innate immunity. The initial objective is to provide an inventory of Arabidopsis AUTOPHAGY GENE (ATG) expression constructs, and to screen them for their ability to induce autophagy. With this information we will select ATG genes to be used to increase plant resistance to a spectrum of pathogens and tolerance to abiotic stresses including drought and salt.An assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the applications. The final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the supervisor Morten Petersen and Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the evaluation committee. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrollment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science, University of Copenhagen. How to Apply: By Email and by post Scholarship Application Deadline: 18-11-2011 Scholarship for International Students at Northwestern Health Sciences University, USA Northwestern Health Sciences University announce Scholarship for international students who are citizens of a country other than the United States of America Study Subject(s):Courses offered by Northwestern Health Sciences University Course Level:Any Scholarship Provider: Northwestern Health Sciences University, USA Scholarship can be taken at: USA Eligibility: Citizen (or equivalent) of a country other than the United States of America • NOT eligible for U.S. federal loans • Trimester level (must be enrolled for winter term as Chiropractic T1-T10, AOM T1-T9, Massage Therapy T1T3 or Evening Massage Therapy T1-T4) • Making satisfactory academic progress Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: International Scholarship application forms are made available to all international students who are citizens of a country other than the United States of America and who do not qualify for U.S. federal loans. FOR CANADIAN STUDENTS: Students should submit a scholarship application since Canadian Reciprocity may not be offered in 20112012. NOTE: All Canadian students who apply may not be awarded as a limited budget is available for the International Scholarship each term. Canadian students are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified applicants. How to Apply: By post Scholarship Application Deadline: November 30, 2011
Foundations to tackle low enrolment with N8m •Establish learning centres
•Mrs Oladunjoye with the pupils in their class
Commissioner pays suprise visit to school
T was a normal school day at the Omole Senior Grammar School, Omole, Lagos, penultimate week until teachers and pupils received an August visitor who came in unannounced. The Education Commissioner, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, in company of officials of the Inspectorate Unit of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, paid a surprise visit to the school and sat with some pupils receiving lessons. Mrs Oladunjoye praised the teachers for their hard work, saying she was impressed by the active participation of the pupils during her evaluation. She advised teachers to continue
to put in their best to teach pupils, especially in Mathematics and English. She said their performance in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) would be the measuring tool of their hard work. Addressing the pupils, she advised them to shun cultism and truancy, and not indulge in hard drugs and other psychotropic substances. In his address, Principal of the school, Mr. M.K.O. Fagbuaro
thanked the Commissioner for her visit and promised that all hands would be on deck to ensure that the next SSCE results would be better than the past. At an interactive meeting with the teachers, a representative of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the school Mr Agunbiade commended the Commissioner for her advice and patience. He appreciated the way she addressed pupils and promised on behalf of the teachers to ensure success in the coming examination. The Commissioner acknowledged the challenges of the government, but promised to look into the demands of the school.
HE Yakubu Gowon Foundation (YGF) is partnering with the T. Y. Danjuma Foundation to establish community learning centres in some local government areas. The Danjuma Foundation will provide N8 million for the take-off of the project. They said the aim is to improve basic education and vocational skills training for school-aged children across the nation. The initiative has taken off at Mikang Local Government Area of Plateau State where a stakeholders’ meeting was held at its headquarters in Tunkus to sensitise the community on the need to key into the project. Addressing the Chief and other community leaders, the Executive Officer of YGF, Mr Dan Tenshak, said the scheme is targeted at the girlchild, who is likely to miss out on formal education either because the parents could not afford it or because of early marriage. He said Mikang was chosen because of low level of school enrolment, especially of the girl-child and the enthusiasm shown by the Chairman of the Local Government, Mr Daniel Kungmi. His words: “The idea of the community learning centres is to empower the girl child in not only basic learning, but to teach some vocational skills, such as tailoring, cook-
From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos
ery, knitting and so on so that apart from the basic learning, the recipient will have some vocational skills. “A study we carried out indicated that boy-to-girl school enrolment in Mikang is three to one. The project is also meant to move the recipients to the next level of educational career. For instance, if she stopped in JS 1, she would be able to move from there even up to the university.” Tenshak added that at the end of the vocational training, the recipients would be given basic equipment to start off their trade. To encourage pupils to participate, Tenshak said the Foundation has provided 800 school sandals and urged the people to encourage their children to register. In his address, Kungmi said the local government has recruited 150 teachers for the scheme and provided a building for the take-off, while pledging to erect a permanent structure. He added that the local government would pay its counterpart funds upfront to allay the fears of the people and ensure the sustainability of the project, while challenging members of the community to key embrace the initiative. Mikang’s traditional ruler, LongTehl, Donald Puntel II, pledged the co-operation of the community and assured of the traditional council and community leaders support.
‘The idea of the community learning centres is to empower the girl child in not only basic learning, but to teach some vocational skills’
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Ebonyi suspends four inspectors over alleged bribery
HE Ebonyi State Commissioner for Education, Prince Chibueze Agbo, has suspended indefinitely four education inspectors alleged to have collected illegal fees from proprietors of substandard private schools. The schools had been penciled down for closure. Those suspended include Zonal Inspector of Education, Ebonyi South, Mr Eje Nduka; Area Inspector of Education, Onicha Local Government Area, Aneke Benedict; his Ivo Local Government Area counterpart, Mr Anyigor Thomas and
From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
the Head of Department, Secondary Education Department, Headquarters, Mr Eze Nwachukwu. Briefing reporters, Agbo said the ministry discovered from petitions it received from the public that some of the illegal schools were okayed by corrupt ministry workers. He said: “We have realised that some of these illegal or substandard schools came into existence with the aid of some dubious min-
istry staff, otherwise what is the rational for giving approval to some schools when it is glaring that they have not met the extant qualifications clearly set down by the ministry of Education? Something is wrong some where and we must stop this. “If the petitions before me against some staff of the ministry are true, it is then possible that we shall soon identify the bad eggs among us and appropriately discipline them”. Agbo said the suspension of the civil servants was in line with the
state’s policy not to condone bribery, corruption and other illegality, pointing out that the ministry is determined to sanitise the education sector in the state. “You don’t need to give us money. If anybody is demanding money, you should report such person to us and you should know that to demand money is an offence and to give is equally an offence too. So, all those who collected and gave bribes are in trouble and we have to investigate and find out their true position,” he said. He said a disciplinary committee headed by a Director, Chief
Ogbonnaya Onwa, has been put in place and assured the petitioners that the investigation would be unbiased. Agbo stated further that the Ministry has started the closure of all identified illegal schools. He, however, assured that the government is determined to encourage private partnership in education, noting that there are plans to give financial and other aids to private schools immediately the substandard ones are kicked out and the data of qualified schools is made available.
Fed Govt to rehabilitate Unity Schools
•Mrs Nike Marinho presents an award to Mrs Stella Azike, Ag Vice-Principal (Academics), Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos.
39 female students get scholarships
HE Anofi & Grace Guobadia Foundation (AGGF) has awarded scholarships to 39 female students. Since its inception in 2006, it has awarded scholarships to 176 indigent but brilliant female students in secondary and tertiary institutions in the country. The Foundation Chairman, Chief Anofi Guobadia, who spoke during the presentation of this year’s awards at the Metropolitan Club in Victoria Island, Lagos, said the new awardees were joining 44 already on the group’s list to share about N5 million in tuition fees. The awardees were drawn from eight institutions including the University of Benin, University of Port Harcourt, Ahmadu Bello University, Obafemi Awolowo Univer-
sity and Queen’s College, Lagos. The Nigeria Society of the Blind is also a beneficiary. Only a few of the recipients could make it to the ceremony because of on-going examinations in most schools. They were, nevertheless, represented by the various officials of the institutions. Addressing the gathering comprising awardees, school officials, donors, families and friends, Chief Guobadia acknowledged the contributions of donors that are helping the Foundation to realise its aims. Organisations, such as A.G. Leventis Foundation, Access Bank and Chellarams Foundation joined other donors this year. One of the donors, Ambassador Aduke Alakija, who chaired the
occasion, prayed for a bright future for the girls. “It is the hope of the Foundation that these young girls, both past and present (awardees), will become positive forces in our nation’s future and join the ever-growing number of women who are increasingly becoming a major presence in all aspects of our society,” she said.
HE Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesome Wike, has said the Federal Government will rehabilitate all unity schools in the country. Wike told reporters in Kano that the government resolved to embark on the project because of the dilapidation of facilities in the schools. “There is the urgent need for the government to embark on the rehabilitation of infrastructure in unity schools across the country in order to regain their past glory. The schools have produced so many patriotic Nigerians and we shouldn’t allow the legacies to rot,” he said. The Minister, who was accompanied by the Chairman, House Committee on Education, Dr. Farouk Lawan, on an inspection of the Federal College (FGC), Kano, said the Ministry will embark on the rehabilitation of the schools in phases. He said: “We would carry out the rehabilitation in phases as from next year. We intend to repair some schools this year, then continue with the other schools in subsequent years. I assure you that at the end of our four years’ tenure, we would have solved over 80 per cent of the problems, but all the schools would not be taken at the same time.” He commended the Acting Principal of the College, Mrs Elizabeth Asabe, for ensuring that the infrastructure in the school are prop-
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
erly taken care of. “Honestly speaking, I was not here before, but for all I have seen here, I think, they have some maintenance culture and I want them to continue with it. Luckily, I am here with the Chairman of the Committee on Education; so that it is not only a matter for the executive arm of government to solve, but the National Assembly should also see what we are talking about. We are going to put our heads together to see what we can do to improve the education sector in the country,” he added. Lawan promised to tackle the problem of insufficient teachers and hostels in unity schools, particularly the FGC, Kano. “We will sit down with the executives to work towards ensuring that enough teachers are made available in the school. The insufficient hostels in the school also need to be addressed and this is so because this is a school that is sited in a very populous state like Kano. “To do that, the facilities need to be upgraded and expanded and I can assure you that together with the executive and the legislature, we will be very passionate about improvement in our unity schools and we are going to sit down to look at the 2012 budget to see what provisions can be made so that FGC Kano becomes one of the centres of excellence,” he added.
NGO graduates artisans
INE hundred and seventy four artisans who graduated after a year’s training sponsored by the Empowerment for the Less-Privileged (ELP), a non-government outfit, have received their certificates. They passed out in various vocations, such as desktop publishing, catering, computer engineering, hair dressing, metalwork, barbing, soap making, tye and dye, tailoring and bead and hat making. According to the Patron, Dr Mike Okonkwo, the Foundation was established nine years ago, to give hope to the less-privileged across the nation, raise scholarships, offer free vocational training, while also empowering them to set up their businesses through small and medium enterprises (SMEs) funding
By Akinyemi Oluwayemisi
and soft loans. Okonkwo, who is the Presiding Bishop, The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) said:“We established vocation centres in Agege, Ajah, Badagry, Lagos Island and Mushin because there are lot of unemployed in these areas. That’s why the people need to be empowered. We believe if the youth find an avenue to develop themselves, there will be a gradual growth in the economy. Because the more jobs we create, the more the opportunity we offer them to earn a stable income and thus put an end to social miscreants.” He said the foundation has awarded scholarships to 51 indigent undergraduates in various Nigerian
•Bishop Okonkwo presenting a prize to one of the graduates
institutions nationwide. Also speaking at the event, Chairperson of the occasion and wife of the former Governor of Cross River State Mrs. Onari Duke, commended the foundation for a job well done.
She advised the graduates to utilise what they had learnt. “You have acquired entrepreneurial skills that would enable you to be self-employed and not job seekers. It is the talent your creator has
you given as a currency to do business in life. Make sure you all make use of it. You have chosen for yourself what will make you a millionaire tomorrow if only you can make use of your time wisely,” she said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Activities of deceitful schools
HE National Examinations Committee (NEC), the highest decision-making body of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) said more than Kofoworola 81,000 candidates were involved in examination malpractices during the 2011 May/June West African Senior School Certificate Kofosagie@yahoo.com Examinations (WASSCE). 08054503077 (SMS only) The NEC was appalled by the large number of cases and the involvement of schools, teachers and ministry officials in perpetrating examination malpractice, and announced during its meeting at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba last month that the guilty parties would be punished. Schools will be blacklisted; candidates, in addition to having their results seized, will be barred for one or two years from retaking the examination; and officials will be stopped from participating in WAEC examinations and reported to their supervising authorities. The NEC also mentioned the possibility of publishing the names of blacklisted candidates – like was done by WAEC Ghana recently, and I sincerely look forward to that happening. I don’t know whether it will ever happen but if it does, it will be interesting to discover the names of schools and officials that will feature. Will such a move check malpractice? It should – except if our schools and officials have developed the thick skins some of our politicians have to shame (because we know in government circles, politicians who are exposed for stealing and other wrong doings somehow find their way back into positions of authority). As I said, I do hope that WAEC will publish the list, online, if not in the dailies, because I was shocked to my bones when I got inside information from a former pupil of one of the most popular elite private schools in Lagos State that they are taught during external examinations. Years back, I met a teacher at the school’s 20th anniversary. He had just joined from another school, which I found named among the top 50 schools based on aggregates of 50 candidates in the WASSCE in 2006. When I told him of the news, he scoffed at it, and said, “I know what they do”. But he assured me that the elite private school in question condoned no such nonsense. That was why when I learnt of the true happenings in that school, which has many branches in Lagos and prides itself for providing top class education at a cost that creates craters in parents’ bank accounts, I was truly mortified. The pupil, who I know to be naturally intelligent, told me that at during the last NECO Junior School Certificate Examination (JSCE) they wrote, many times, they got help from invigilators and supervisors. The teenager spoke specifically of the Mathematics paper, how a man went from desk to desk giving them the objective answers. The same thing happened for the Yoruba paper. The teenager also recounted a particular incident during the Technical Drawing paper where candidates had to produce drawings thus: “When one boy was delaying after we had all finished, the invigilator asked who the best TD student in the class was. We all pointed at another boy. Immediately, she gave the second boy the slow coach’s paper to draw for him. When he protested, saying, ‘But Ma, that is cheating’, the woman slapped him and forced him to do it.” I stared, wide-eyed in surprise, with my mouth agape while listening to the pupil, who made good grades in the said examination. Of course, the school was happy to boast about the results that did not allow its candidates to test their level of preparedness. If at that level, where the certificate does not count for so much, schools can go such lengths to cheat for their candidates, we can then imagine what happens at the SSCE level. Unfortunately, institutionally-organised malpractice does not just happen at the SSCE level, but even during Cambridge O and A Level examinations written by these so-called big schools. Unfortunately, parents support these activities. They patronise such dubious schools and pay teachers to cheat on their wards’ behalf. But they do their children no good because they do not actually learn what they ought to. It is also a disincentive for hard work and innovation. When pupils know they can be taught during examinations, they lose interest in studying. So, parents should be wary when schools boast of the exploits of their pupils in examinations. It is simply not enough. Good schools should normally record good performance in examinations. But parents should also be interested in how pupils of such schools perform in competitions, where it is more difficult to cheat. They should consider the quality of the competition, its organisers, the calibre of schools involved, and their performance. That way, they can get a fair idea of how grounded the school is.
•GOC, 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen K.T.J. Minimah, decorating Colonel Yakubu Momoh, Commandant, Command Day Secondary School, Oshodi, Lagos, with his new rank. With them is Mrs Iyabode Momoh
Lagos graduates 59 auto diagnosticians
HE Lagos State Technical and Vocational Board (LASTVEB) has graduated its second batch of auto mechanics trained in Automotive Technology. Participants hailed the programme. The training implemented in conjunction with Automedics Ltd, exposed the 59 participants to diagnosing faults in hybrid cars built with the latest technology, their repairs, and how to successfully manage their businesses. At the graduation at the Lagos State Education Resource Centre, Ojodu, penultimate Thursday, they received certificates of practice – in three categories – Excellence in Auto Diagnosis, Competence in Auto-Diagnosis, and Working Knowledge in Auto-Diagnosis depending on their performance in the final assessment examination they took. Executive Secretary, LASTVEB and a former Rector of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Mr Olawumi Gasper,said through the programme, the board has increased the skills of artisans, whose contribution to the economy of Lagos State cannot be undermined. He added that the programme has gained such popularity that the board cannot admit professionals seeking to register for the next
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
phase. “The training has no doubt exposed the 59 trainees to auto-diagnosis. They will, therefore, be capable of meeting the challenges of having been duly certified by LASTVEB to practice as Auto-Diagnosticians having been exposed to global practices in auto-trade in Lagos State. “LASVEB is, no doubt, meeting up with its mandate to train and retrain the large pool of artisans in the informal sector who constitute over 60 per cent of our tax payers in modern practices in the automotive industry. There is no doubt that such an industry-college partnership has evolved to developing the competencies and employment skills of Lagos youths and practicing auto-technicians,” he said. Spokesman for Automedics Ltd, Mr Gbola Oba, said the best among the lot would benefit from exchange programmes with foreign colleges. “Some of you at a point may be beneficiaries of a student exchange programme between Automedic and Longbeach City College, California. Some of our officials will travel in January to sign the con-
tractual agreement. The best students will benefit,” he said. Oba lauded the progressive attitude of LASTVEB Executive Secretary and his team for initiating programmes that enhance productivity. He said through the board, the government has established a resource centre for the repair of automobiles built anywhere in the world. Oba also announced that the graduates would get substantial discount from Automedics to rent diagnostic scanners to ply their trade. Giving her remarks, Education Commissioner, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, said she was impressed with the activities of the board in enhancing technical and vocational education training, which she said would get plenty of attention during her tenure. The best graduate of the programme, Col Olatunji Akanbi (rtd), said the training has given him a second career to undertake during his retirement. “I want to say the course was very impressive. We were introduced to all components of modern cars. We learnt many things both theoretical and practical. The knowledge we have acquired here will not remain in the classroom,” he said.
Revive reading culture, lawmaker urges
HERE is need to revive the reading culture to develop the country, Deputy Whip of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rotimi Abiru, has said. Abiru, who pointed out that parents and guardians, must educate their children and wards on the importance of reading, added that unless the knowledge base of kids is built, efforts to transform the nation would not yield results. The lawmaker, at an interactive session with House Correspondents in Lagos, said pupils these days derive much pleasure from listening to music than reading books. According to him, for our nation to develop, we must as a matter of urgency revive and start to promote our reading culture right from our homes, up to the primary, secondary schools and higher institution of learning. “If you listen to most of the music that some of our youths are listening to these days, you will agree with me that some of the songs are
By Oziegbe Okoeki
capable of corrupting their minds and corruption starts from the mind. “A lot needs to be done in our music industry because most of the songs they release into our market daily are not pleasant to the ears. So, if nothing is done to address this issue, it will cause a major disaster to our nation. These youths who are listening to some of these songs are
the future of this great nation, so we must find a way of bringing back that reading culture as an alternative to all these obscene songs,” said Abiru. He, however, called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly, to as a matter of urgency, sanitise the music industry to ensure that proper songs that will educate the minds of the youths are released into the market.
‘If you listen to most of the music that some of our youths are listening to these days, you will agree with me that some of the songs are capable of corrupting their minds and corruption starts from the mind’
From my Inbox Re: Investing in Brain Gain (Thursday, December 8) Hello Madam, I quite agree with your article this morning. I hope government will do some about it to turn the brain drain into brain gain. If I have the website for the US programme, I will apply for my son who has five A1, three B2 and one B3 in the 2011 WASSCE. We are still trusting God for admission into OAU. Keep up the good work. Kayode Babs As always, very good Edutalk; written in a breezy but frank manner. Keep it on. Prof Ngozi Osarenren.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
How scalar energy can enhance one’s health
n our stress-driven Lagos,” said Mr. Nathaniel Okezie, “each day for me, has been a pain-ridden experience. I run a cat fish business, which puts me under lots of demand pressure. At the end of each day, I often feel fagged out and weak to help myself. To lift up my body, the next day becomes a big task for me. Then, a friend introduced me to the ‘Scalar Energy Bio Disc2’, and since then, my health has taken a turnaround for the better. Now, I am always feeling totally energised and renewed,” he told The Nation. Ms. Olaide Ajibola, 43, a banker with one of the first generation banks, has been suffering arthritis for about two years. She wakes up each day with painful fingers and knee joints. She told The Nation that she has visited several doctors within the last two years without getting any form of relief. Eventually, she was introduced to a new “thing” as she called it, named: ‘Scalar Energy Bio Disc2’. “From the minute it was sprayed on my left knee and I started using this energy disc, all the pains I have been having over the years vanished. I am ready to promote this health innovation to any length,” she boasts. With lots of Nigerians suffering one health problem or the other, ‘Scalar Energy Bio Disc2’, will assure them of lasting relief, said Mr. Israel Adediran, 47, a naturopath in partnership with Hong Kong-based Qnet Inter-
By Joke Kujenya
national. The product is the innovation of Dr. Ian Lyons, a former British Surgeon, after he used the concept to treat his son who was down with blood cancer many years ago. The son is now completely healed and back to full health. He then went ahead to develop it into nano-technology products called Bio Disc2. He has also used it to alleviate the suffering of many others from several ailments. “In our days, preventive medicine is more beneficial than curative medicine,” added Adediran. “Since I went into health-enhancement through Bio Disc, I can tell you that so much has changed for me.” He told the story of his daughter born prematurely at six months with neo-natal jaundice that affected her speech and hearing. “After she was born, it was a very difficult period for my family. But a friend, Angela Fadil, a Singaporean, whom we do business together told me about Bio Disc2. At first, I was reluctant. But after she persuaded me and we applied it on my daughter, and I saw how she got fully recovered with her speech and hearing now restored; I decided to go and learn more about it. And I can tell you that any Nigerian suffering any form of ailment needs Bio Disc2 help. Adediran said: “‘Scalar Energy Bio Disc2’
is good for the acceleration of the general well-being. It also good for the relief of headaches, migraine, gout, i.e. build-up of uric acid crystals in body joints, bad blood circulation, stroke, cancer, diabetes, water retention and indigestion, among others. The natural energy-boosting concept is meant for the restructuring of food items that human’s consumable so they could live quality and durable lives. “For instance, to restructure your
190 traditional birth attendants get training in Lagos
AGOS State government has trained 190 traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in modern health care techniques. The Registrar, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board (LSTMB), Dr Bodunrin Oluwa, disclosed this at a send off for the attendants. According to him, the training will last six weeks. The training, Oluwa said, would be in the five divisions of the state, saying it is the statutory responsibility of the board to train them. He said past administrations in the state have been providing an enabling environment for cordial relationship with orthodox
medical practitioners. Oluwa said the training is to further enlighten the attendants on the knitty- gritty in child bearing as well as challenges faced in a modern world regarding mother and child motality. He said: “The loss of any child or mother during delivery or due to unnecessary carelessness will not be taking lightly by the state government” Oluwa said the effort of the state in ensuring that the board moves forward was demonstrated through the providing of a Toyota Hiace bus to the board for proper monitoring of activities and also to enable the board to fish out quacks in the State. Also, at the Press and Public Relations Officer of the Board, Mrs Aderoju Bakare Lawal,
said the birth attendants needed knowledge of medical practices and referral system in the hospitals in case of emergencies,“ it is only when they are within the hospital environment that they could be exposed to modem medical facilities that are essential to child care.” She, however, enjoined them not to misuse the opportunity offered them. She implored them to be studious during the training. The state government since the inception of the traditional medicine board in has been urging for a positive co-exisrence among traditional traditional medicine practitioners and their counterparts in the orthodox medicine towards the reduction of motality rate and promotion of state mother hood in the state.
consumables to promote your health with Bio Disc2, all a person needs to do is to put a little quantity of salt on a plain paper, and then, a little on the Bio Disc2. After about 15seconds, the salt on the Bio Disc2 gets energised and less sharp than the regular salt we all have been used to. The person will discover that the salt placed on the Bio Disc2 restructures it into its original state. The result is that, the energized salt directly combats the damaging effect of high blood pressure which could lead to stroke. It is the same thing for refined sugar too because it would help to prevent diabetes and every other disorder caused by blockades in the human body. “Now, when you get the Scalar Energy Bio Disc and you install the Energy Shell into your water system or containers, the process restructures the whole water in your house back to the Spring Water quality. The effect is that it would bind the fluorine and chlorine in the water so that after you consume it, it makes you pass out the wastes with ease. “To get the best from the product therefore, you will place your soft drink on Bio Disc2 for about three to five minutes. By the time you drink it, you will discover that the sugar, preservative, and the phosphoric acid, that is, the gas, content is locked, making it completely harmless to your health.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Bell: Herbal medicines to watch in 2012 (5) B
ELL Prostate Ezee Flow Tea was my introduction to this stable of about 80 proprietary products from Canada. Mr Dotun Akintoye, the Bestman of my wedding 29 years ago, is ever so generous to let me know he’s made a new find. He popped a packet of this tea in my hand, asking: “Have you seen this?”. I hadn’t. As the story went, one of our acquaintances who’d had prostate enlargement problems for years got well on this tea. Another who had problems for similar challenge learned that the first was up on his feet. He asked him for the tea, took it and, again, it worked. Mr Akintoye and I often enjoyed a lager or two together, and I always warned him beer was a possible cause of prostatitis or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BFH). He, too, took the tea and said it worked for him, reducing the nightly visits to the bathroom. From then on, the story began to spread until Mr Akorah got involved and echoed the story. This tea, along with a few others, began to trickle in afterwards until Dr Theo Anucha, BPharm, Ph.D., who had worked in Canada with Bell Lifestyle products accepted a long-standing invitation from Nick Jerk, president of the company, to officially market all the products in Nigeria under licence. And, now, Bell products are here in full force. Ezee flow tea Twelve herbs are assembled here. They are Chamoonile, Cinnamon; Cranberry, Damiana, Willow Flower, Ginseng, Lavender Flower, Lemon, Red peony, Saw Palmetto, Stinging Nettle and Water plantain. They all support prostate health in one way or the other. Saw Palmetto, in particular, was the beautiful bride of the 1980s. Many studies suggest it is more effective in the long run than Proscar, the pharmaceutical remedy for improving urine flow and curbing urine retention when the prostate enlarges. Its rich stock of zinc and essential fatty acids are thought to be its secrets. Nettle is mentioned regularly, too, and eulogised for freeing urine flow, an achievement most probably due to its silica content. Thus column suggests always that essential fatty acids, that is the Omega oils, and zinc in particular be included in the nature of the prostate gland. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory. About 80 per cent in a man’s body is reported to be in the prostate gland. The prostate makes secretions which help form viable semen. Frequent ejaculations by women-liking men deplete the prostate’s reservoir of zinc. When zinc is scarce in the prostate, an enzyme in the gland named 5-Alpha Reductase, stimulates the prostate to enlarge. It would appear that zinc reduces the stimulation. Thus, to have no problem with one’s prostate gland in this respect, it is either that the sexual appetite would have to be curbed or the diet would be supplemented with zinc on a daily.
Joint Relief This product is an offshoot of the studies of Dr William Lane, which culminated in two controversial books, Sharks Don’t Get Cancer and Sharks Still Doesn’t Get Cancer. The latter is Dr Lane’s reply to citation of his first book. Sharks get cancer, he acknowledges in the second book, but only at so insignificant rates in comparison with occurrence in other animal species, and thus warrant the book’s title. For his sometimes malevolent critics, the baby is better thrown out with the bath water. But for Dr Lane, no. He went on to prove that Shark’s cartilage is anti-angiogenetic. Angiogenesis is the process by which cancer cells steal nutrients from healthy cells, polluting and inducting them to also become cancerous. By inhibiting this process, Shark’s cartilage is described as an anti-cancer agent. American doctors, researchers and media branded Dr Lane a quack. So, he had to go to Cuba, where he obtained the consent of Fidel Castro to try out his Shark cartilage in terminally ill cancer patients. The experiment, followed by American television, perhaps with a view to nailing Dr Lane, produced starting results which shot up demand for shark’s cartilage worldwide. Shark cartilage is an alkaline-forming substance and, therefore, counteracts acidosis, which is the foundation of many conditions of disease. In the Bell stable, shark cartilage is a star product. But how is this brand superior to other brands and to even Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which, traditionally, are prescribed for arthritis and other joint ailments. The Bell group provides an answer to this question in the product literature.
Bell Pepper Cream This is taking us back to cayenne, the tropical African pepper, which has been found to heal ulcers, promote blood circulation and sleep, than the blood, help the heart and block pain transmission in the nerves apart from stopping bleeding. The Bell group has formulated cayenne cream into a roll-on product, which can be applied on painful arthritic sites. It brings short-term pain relief and should be applied lightly. The first time I tried it on my knee front, a pain I was developing there disappeared within 10 minutes and I was able to bang joint again as if nothing had happened. But I made the mistake of massaging the cream deep in with my hand. For many days, my eyes felt peppery any time I ran the hand over them. My uncle, who is 97, declined to use it because his nurse overapplied the cream. In hospital, he was critically ill with pains all over. I gently massaged a film of the cream into the painful areas of the body. He felt so much better he could sit up by himself afterwards. But, at home, it was as if he was on fire for many days, and asked that the cream be taken away.
and blockage of circulation leading to elevated blood pressure, strokes, heart disease and heart attack (3) uterine fibroids and other gynaecological problems and (4) keloids.
NE of the major complaints of women these days is “toilet disease”. Their panties are regularly soiled. Many of them never get a second date if they wet the bed linen during sex. Some have lived with this problem for years. In some cases, the problem has progressed to urinary frequency and urinary incontinence. In urinary frequency, they feel the urge to urinate very often as on a cool day when perspiration is little or as if they are diabetic. Their body is about 70 per cent water, and they need to maintain this level by drinking between eight and 10 glasses of water (not beverages) every day. But they are afraid to lest they be embarrassed while shopping, at meetings or while travelling. And this worsens their situation, because germs in the bladder are most likely behind the problem and must be flushed out regularly in the urine to prevent proliferation.The worse concern is urinary incontinence in which the muscle at the neck of the bladder, like a stopper, becomes too weak to keep urine in the bladder. Thus, urine leaks into the brief and literally runs like a tap before it can be naturally discharged in a toilet. The next time you smell urine and a woman is standing by, she may have been hit by the problem. The Bell bladder control tea for women is made from eight medicinal plants, some of them used for cleaning up the urinary system. They are Cranbery, Golden Rod, MarshMallow Root, Nestle, Parsley, Rosehips, Uva Ursi, Willow herb and natural citrus flavour. For more effect, some women take the tea along with the capsules of another product, BLADDER & YEAST INFECTION, which men can also take. This other product combines D-Mannose, Pumpkin seed, Urva Ursi, Buchu leaf, Hydrangea and Gilden seal. One lesson people who suffer from yeast infections learn is that the trouble is fed and aggravated by sugar consumption. They need to avoid table sugar, sugar in soft drinks, milk (lactose), bread etc. Adults cannot effectively digest lactose, milk sugar, which then becomes food not only for candida and other fungi, but for all microorganisms in the bowels, blood and cells.
Nattokinese This product is in the news. On November 17, this column featured NEPRINOL, a systemic enzyme complex made of Nattokinese, Serrapeptase, Bromelain and Pappain, among other enzymes. It became popular after it eliminated pain and cleared vision in some guinea pig experiments. Bell markets Nattokinese for the prevention of strokes and heart attack. Nattokinese is a blood thinner and dissolves excess fibrin which, in the absence of plasmin, its natural liqudator, cause many disturbances in the body. Some of these are (1) collapse of the collagen matrix of the eyes’ drainage, leading to glaucoma (2) thickening the blood
‘One lesson people who suffer from yeast infections learn is that the troubles is fed and aggravated by sugar consumption. They need to avoid table sugar, sugar in soft drinks, milk (lactose), bread etc. Adults cannot effectively digest lactose, milk sugar, which then becomes food not only for candida and other fungi, but for all microorganisms in the bowels, blood and cells’
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
HEN some men ask their women for sex, the woman not given to so much of thus carnal in dulgence retort: Is it food? Yet there are women from whom their men flee. But for how long can a man abandon his own bed? His woman may even blame him afterwards for unpalatable consequences of his being a cold fish while she is a flaming Juliet. Whether we like it or not, the urge for sex is a natural instrnct, which like food, air, rest and exercise, the body requires to be healthy. One qualification for it which I find to be high guidance in these matters is that it should happen between only a man and woman who have spiritual congruence or correspondence and are, in this regard, driving towards the spending of their earth life together. In this case, sex between them becomes the physical crown of an inward process driving towards maternal expression. Once this foundation is set, a man must play his role and a woman, hers. But sometimes, hormonal imbalances block our responses, make us frigid or sexually weaker or dead. Bell made Erosil for men and Erosgn for women, with a view to helping them make up sexually. Erozil has been renamed LIBIGEN in Nigeria because some other product had been named Eroxil before its arrival from Canada. Libigen and Erosgn for women are not instant crackers which keep the man up on his feet for hours, and the woman restless. They built up the sexual apparati gradually. Each comes with 30 tablets, taken one a day, of an ingredient mix of Amines, Spermine and Spermidine (both found in radishes, cucumbers, oats and human cells). Amines and tissue growth and regeneration.
Intestinal cleansing & weight control
When my niece, Mrs Folake Ogunje told me she wanted to get rid of her abdominal bulge, this was the remedy I suggested. Today, I call her “sweet 17.” The bulge is gone. The only side effect is that she is embarrassed when people think she is a young girl and ask what happened?” as if she been ill. This product is made from pancreatic enzymes (which promote digestion with the intestines), Bromelan, Okra, Turkish Rhubarb, Coleus Forskolii, Prickly Cactus, Java tea, Marshmallow root and Rosemary. This formular may be complemented with constipation relief tea and Colon cleansing tea.
Sleep &Relax Tea I experimented with this tea when my favourite weapon against insomnia, valerian root and Blue Vervain disappeared from the market sort of sleep and relax tea comes with valerian root in the company of some well-known sleep inducers and enhancers. In the package are Chamomile flowers, Spearmint leaves, Citronella herb, Passion flower herb, Orange Flowers, Lenden Flowers and Valenan Root. Two other supplements, Stop Snoring Spray and Snoring and Sleep Apnea, Eze go well with Sleep & Relax Tea. I have no experience with the Snoring Spray. The Sleep Apnea tea is worth trying by people who seem to want to choke and die in their sleep. In this environment where anything which happens to anyone is ascribed to the enemy’s handiwork, Sleep Apnea is not accepted as caused by an infection in the air passage, which causes awful inflammation. During sleep, the air passage in the throat tends to close up, the body lies heavy like a log of metal, and the victim, observing death sensations, is woken only by strong personal will, the movement of a limb, noise or some other helpful factor. I do not remember how I was able to overcome this experience. There are many testimonials in the product leaflet which endorse the product. There are more plant medicines from Bell Lifestyle Products Inc. that I would like to mention, but space would not permit. Visible in the market now are Blood sugar Imbalance ( for diabetes) Migraid (migraine), HDL Cholesterol Management, Echinacea Immune Support, Allergy Relief, Heart Support (Garlic Combo, Acid Reflux and indigestion tea (for heartburn, bekching, pain etc) HRT Menopause Gombo (for Menopausal women), Nursing Mother’s Tea (to improve milk production and enrich it), Super IQ Brain Function, Bone Density Recovery (for Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, broken bones, spondylosis etc), Excessively Acidic stomach and Alkaline Balance, Stress Release, Decongestant Tea (for anus, chest and lung congestion), Virux viral infections (for colds and other viral infections), Bronchitis Tea, Supreme Immune Booster (especially useful in Cancer therapy, in particular during Chemotherapy) Bell Co-Q10, 20-20 Vision Day and Night, Help for Skin Disorders (Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis) and stem cell activator, among others. Stem cell activator is helpful at all times. Stem cells are produced in the bone marrow. From these, they migrate to any part of the body, through blood circulation, where cells are sick, damaged or dead and need replacement. Stem cells offer themselves in this regard. Next year promises to be an interesting one for the plant medicine market in Nigeria, with the increasing presence of foreign propnetary products stimulating the emergence of Nigeria’s own plant medicines package to international standards, as we shall soon see.
Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
e-Business The rise and rise of text messaging The world’s first social media of communication, the text messaging service, has been in existence for 19 years now. Over the years, many people have come to rely on it to communicate with friends and loved ones. Since 2001 when it was adopted in Nigeria following the introduction of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) services, it has revolutionised communication, work and networking, along with fostering a different vocabulary. ADLINE ATILI writes on how 160 characters have transformed our communication pattern
INETEEN years ago today, no Nigerian owned a GSM phone, so Short Messaging Service(SMS)/text messaging was relatively unknown. That was around the period when we had to use landline phones and all its attendant problems. The subscriber base then was less than 400,000. Text messaging has however, come a long way since the first text message was sent in December 1992, by a 22-year old test engineer for British technology company, Sema Group, Neil Papworth, on the Vodafone network in the United Kingdom. Vodafone is the world’s largest mobile telecommunications company by revenues and the world’s second-largest by subscribers. The text message was sent by Papworth, using a personal computer to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone Network who received it on an Orbitel 901 mobile phone. The message read: “Merry Christmas,” and other than the lack of a punctuation mark, there isn’t much for linguists to complain about. Today, that same message can be written as, ‘omg!!! Mrry xmas!’ Or what would life be without OMG, LOL, L8r, HBD, LLNP, HNM, and IJN? While some may finger text messages for causing the demise of verbal communication, for many, the humble text is a quick route out of an unwanted chat. An Airtel subscriber, Mary, said, as a student, texting has played a large part in her life. To her, though she tries not to text too much, she likes to text if she does not have time or enough airtime for a phone call. She said: “Using text saves me some cash. Instead of going by voice, I just use text. If you call, the conversation can go on for long and it costs more. “With texting, you can just say: ‘I’ll be in the library at eight’ and you’re done. If it is to the same network, you may not have to pay if it’s free on-net.” How text messaging boosts operators’ revenue Since the first text message, SMS technology has come a long way to dominate the current mobile messaging scene. In 2010, SMS texts generated $114.6 billion in revenues worldwide, but many believe it’s just the beginning. Today, text messaging is one of the most widely used mobile services. Over 74 per cent of all mobile phone users worldwide, employ it. Since the beginning of this year, text messaging has generated $585 billion for operators
•1992-The first text message was sent. The message was “Merry Christmas” • 1993-Nokia made the first mobile phone which allowed customers to send text messages to each other •1999-First year that text messages could be sent between different operators • 2010-Mellissa Thompson, a 27-year old British woman smashed the Guinness World Record for the fastest text message ever. 25.94 seconds to type 160-character phrase on a Samsung Galaxy S • 2011-More than eight trillion text messages are expected to be sent globally this year •2011-The common text message acronym, lol (Laugh Out Loud) was added to the Oxford Dictionary • 2011-Text messaging has generated $585billion for operators worldwide, and is expected to generate more than $1trillion over the next seven years •Text messaging: A timeline of how 160 characters have changed the way we communicate
worldwide and is expected to generate more than $1 trillion over the next seven years. Experts estimate that mobile networks will earn $726 billion from SMS text messaging over the next five years. Last year, the estimated volume of text messages/SMS sent was 6.1 trillion or 192,000 SMSs per second. Since 2006, SMS’ worth has been netted at around $81 billion. So while smartphone applications like the BlackBerry Messenger starts to make up larger slices of the text messaging field, SMS is not giving up its mobile messaging throne anytime soon. Though text messaging is 19, the technology behind the SMS text is 27-years old, having first been developed in the Franco-German GSM Corporation in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert.
Why is text messaging limited to 160 characters? Friedhelm Hillebrand, a communications researcher, conducted an experiment in 1985. He sat with his typewriter and started typing random words and questions on a sheet of paper. He counted the number of letters, punctuation marks and spaces for each line and realised that the number of characters were in and around 160. That became Hillebrand’s magic number, and he somehow convinced the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) co-workers that 160 characters were more than sufficient for SMS. Text messaging as marketing campaign tool In today’s modern marketing world, SMS has become an avenue many businesses find great use for; especially with the popularity of promos, campaigns and bulk messaging which allows businesses and individuals send text messages at reduced price. It is now commonplace for operators to ask subscribers to participate in promos by sending some words to ‘short codes,’ which are five to six
digits phone numbers used for text message marketing campaigns.
Weak points Despite being very successful, however, SMS services still face challenges globally. Security and vulnerability have been one of the major issues of SMS. It has been used severally as a lethal weapon of threat and intimidation by criminally-minded individuals, prompting the Nigerian telecom industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to issue a directive to all telecom subscribers and network operators to get SIM cards registered. The 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations of Nigeria were regrettably marred by bombings at the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, last year. The explosions left a good number of people dead with several others severely injured. Vehicles were not spared in the blasts as a number of them were destroyed. About nine people were said to be arrested in connection with the bombings. When their mobile phones were said to be screened, some incriminating text messages were found, which pointed the finger at some individuals behind the bombings. Only recently, Reuters reported how SMS text messages revealed how Nigerian politicians sponsor members of radical Islamic sects responsible for dozens of shootings and bombings across the country. The report stated that Nigeria’s intelligence agency, the SSS, revealed in a press briefing how politicians pay extremists to send threatening text messages to judges and rival politicians. One other thing is its unreliability, especially when the service is used for emergency purposes. Several reported cases have shown that around one per cent to five per cent of text messages are lost in the network system, never to be received by the recipient.
But despite all these, SMS/text message has always been the most preferred mode of communication especially in emerging markets. Experts say its being cheap has been the main reason for its popularity. Critics of the technology contend that it is destroying the brain cells of our youths, and some adults too. Adeolu Adeyinka, a telecom subscriber, detests the ‘texting’ system, especially the adopted texting language. He told The Nation: “I can only laugh at people who sit and text non-stop. When I see teenagers texting like mad, it doesn’t bother me so much but when grown men and women do it, I just wonder. “The worst part is when you are having intelligent conversation with someone on the Internet and they only write in ‘texting format.’ It’s annoying and much as I accept text messages from my kids, I’ve warned them I won’t respond to messages with those texting words and phrases. “I don’t like trying to decipher what those dumb words mean. I mean, it’s gradually destroying our youths. “The other day, a friend of mine who happens to be a WAEC official told of how candidates have been so wrapped up in the texting language that they do not know how to write a single sentence in an essay without chipping in those dumb words two to three times. “It’s really pathetic. I think the youths should be able to draw the line between sending text messages and writing an examination that can make or mar your future.”
Threats Many are wondering whether the SMS is in danger of becoming a communication relic with email messaging from phones such as BlackBerry or Apple’s Imessage taking over. Also, the world today not only relies on text messaging or SMS, but also makes use of micro blogging sites like Twitter, Facebook and other social sites to share information and communicate with people. Time will, however, tell.
THE NATION THURSDAY,
DECEMBER 15, 2011
Improving quality of service through Sovereign Wealth Fund
Matters e-Rising Segun Oruame firstname.lastname@example.org
HE Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) quarterly summary of telecommunications subscribers from June 2010 to March 2011 show that Nigeria has a teledensity of 64.70 per cent and total connected lines (GSM and CDMA only) of 115,140,681 (and still counting). However, network congestion has continually been the bane of poor quality of service (QoS) levels in mobile telecommunications services in Nigeria, Africa’s largest telecommunications market. This article seeks to propose an innovative way of applying the Infrastructure Fund created by the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Authority Act 2011 to fund projects, expande mobile network capacity by building additional base stations. This investment decision would not only be consistent with the statutory objective of assisting the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria that will attract and support foreign investment, economic diversification and growth, but would have the resultant effect of improving the QoS levels currently experienced in mobile telecommunications service in Nigeria. On the 27th of May, 2011, the President signed into law, the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Au-
By Chukwuyere E. Izuogu, LL.M (Hannover) thority Bill. The act establishes the Nigerian Investment Authority which is statutorily charged inter alia, with the mandate to enhance the development of Nigerian infrastructure by establishing the Nigerian Infrastructure Fund. The Nigerian Infrastructure Fund is part of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Fund and is primarily set up to support through investment predicated financial returns, the development of basic, essential and efficient critical infrastructure in Nigeria (such as mobile telecommunications networks) in order to stimulate the growth and diversification of the Nigerian economy and create jobs for Nigerians. This article proposes that part of the Infrastructure Fund should be applied to funding projects expanding mobile networks by building additional base stations only in geographic areas where QoS parameters such as network coverage, service accessibility and service retainability are perceived by mobile telecommunications users to be low. The proposed structure would involve the grant of long term (say 25 years) soft loan to cover at least 70 per cent of the cost of building these base stations to the project company or the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
set up by mobile telecommunications service providers in Nigeria. The sole purpose of the SPV would be to build-own-operate (BOO) these additional base stations throughout its lifecycle. In line with this arrangement, the SPV would also be required to enter into a long term infrastructure service agreement with the existing mobile telecommunications service providers (both GSM and CDMA service providers). This contractual arrangement is similar to an Offtake Contract or Power Purchase Agreement (used for a project producing electricity) which assures; on one hand, the GSM and CDMA service providers (the purchasers) that these mobile networks will always be available and on the other hand, that the SPV will have a ready market to lease out the base stations on a long term basis at a preagreed price. As this is a type of public sector funding, arguments against this approach would contend that it lacks the strict discipline of due diligence inherent in private sector financing. Typical due diligence undertaken where a private sector lender is involved usually entails the careful evaluation of all the risks involved in the project and their proper allocation to parties other than the SPV. This practice is derived from the principle that risks should be allocated to the party best able to manage it; however, the argument sup-
porting this investment approach contends that the Infrastructure Fund would provide a form of low-cost public sector finance for mobile network expansion that retains the benefit of private sector management and control (since the SPV is constituted by both the GSM and CDMA service providers), this is beside the fact that long term investment like this would also improve upon the return for the Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority (as the major investor), taking advantage of the fact that debt is actually cheaper than equity. The major point argued is that why not have the project benefit from the best of both worlds by having the public sector provide the project with debt, in partnership with equity stakes to be held by the private sector investors in the SPV. Improving the QoS of mobile telecommunications services by investing in the construction of additional base stations is likely to have an effect on deciding potential locations of foreign direct investments as the nature of an economy’s overall infrastructure plays a key role in its ability to respond to changes in demand and prices or to take advantage of other resources. In terms of economic growth, additional investment in telecommunications infrastructure would see an improvement in our Gross National Product and the production of higher value added services
and products driven by the secondary or tertiary telecommunications market. As the economy grows and telecommunications services improve, there is likely to be a correlating increase in investments by foreign companies (such as Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson, etc) dealing in modern communications technologies. No doubt it goes without saying that telecommunications services drive the development of new businesses, as evidenced by the enormous growth throughout the world in recent years of mobile and Internet-based business models. In return, the growth of these business activities would drive demand for telecommunications services, thus forming a virtuous circle. Increasingly as businesses, especially private businesses develop in Nigeria, the need to address and develop the market for advanced telecommunications services will also arise. One consequence is a strong support to the development and transition of the economy as a whole which is given impetus by the rationale for investing with the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund. Izuogu is an attorney with Streamsowers & Köhn, the Netherlands, where he renders transactional and regulatory advice to clients in the telecommunications sector. •To contact him: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
QoS: NCC to get additional spectrum allocation
HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced plans to meet the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for more spectrum allocation to boost telecommunications services next year. The commission noted that there is at present, little or no spectrum in the country for quality telecommunications services, adding that the spectrum being used for broadcasting in the country is huge. The commission stressed that it has become imperative for the country to define these spectra by digitalising television programming so that more spectra would be freed and become available for quality telecommunications services. Executive Commissioner at the NCC, Dr Bashir Gwandu, who said this, observed that unavailability of spectrum has been a major challenge, not only in Nigeria but in other African countries. He stressed that the reason for this was because of the heavy reliance on wireless communications. He added that non-availability of vital infrastructure including fibre and copper among others, have hindered quality telecommunications service offering in the country and other parts of Africa . He said: “Unvailability of spectrum has been a major challenge for African countries including Nigeria. This is so because we rely heavily on wireless communications, coupled with the fact that, the needed infrastructure including fibre, copper are not fully available. Though we can say, we have some in Nigeria; the transmission channel has been a major challenge.” Gwandu said Africa has not got the digital divi-
Stories by Adline Atili
dend as canvassed by ITU. He said this could be achieved if more spectra are available for telecommunications services. He said unavailability of digital dividend to free up the congested networks was responsible for poor telecommunications services in Nigeria. He said: “In Nigeria , we have huge population and this is affecting our networks. They are congested and the expansion is not there yet. You can only address network congestion by increasing capacity and you can only increase capacity when you have more spectra.” He advised operators to increase capacity to boost their networks based on the limited spectrum allocation and improve the capacity on the spectrum unit, either by upgrading to improved technologies such as High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Long Term Evolution (LTE), among others. The NCC commissioner added that operators should boost network capacity by increasing their Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and also by colocation, in order to save operators expenses and enhance service offering. He said at present, the commission does not have more spectra to offer operators but will go to ITU next year for more spectrum allocation. “I can tell you that at present, we don’t have more spectra to give at NCC. “The spectrum we have as you know is the 2.3GHz and we are trying to auction its last slot. Then we have 2.6GHz, which we have not really licenced for international mobile telecommunications services.
VConnect introduces interactive service
OCAL search engine and information service provider, VConnect Global Services, has introduced a new interactive service on the Web portal, Post Your Requirement. General Manager of the company, Mr Deepankar Rustagi said the service is aimed at enabling convenient and faster connection between consumers and suppliers through the Web portal by helping consumers get good bargain and right suppliers for goods and services. Rustagi explained that the service allows consumers opportunity to source for suppliers, compare prices and make final selection within the comfort of the home or office by simply posting the required goods and services on the
Website, www.vconnect.com. He said: “Post Your Requirement enables users get quotation for goods and services required from different suppliers who are already registered on the Web portal by simply posting the requirement on the Website. “VConnect then forwards it to relevant suppliers who get back to the user with various quotations, thereby providing an opportunity to choose the best. All the user needs to do is to log on to www.vconnect.com, go to the ‘post your requirement’ page, enter whatever goods or services one needs, for instance: customised T-shirt, and leave their contact details, all for free. VConnect contacts the relevant suppliers and the user gets feedback in no time.”
•A winner in the Glo N1billion SIM registration promo, Adebayo Moses (middle), receiving his N1 million cheque from Glo ambassadors, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha (left) and Funke Akindele (right) at a presentation ceremony in Lagos.
Nigcomsat-1R will boost Global Competitive Index, says Ahmed-Rufai
ANAGING Director of NIGCOMSAT Limited, the company promoting the NigComSat-
1R satellite, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, has said launch of the satellite will boost Nigeria’s Global Competitive Index (GDI) ranking as well as enhance telecommunications, broadcasting and broadband Internet provisioning in the country. In a few days, Nigeria will rewrite history when it returns to space with the launch of its communications satellite, the NigComSat1R in Xichang, China. NigComSat-1R is a replacement satellite of NigComSat-1 which was deorbited in November 2008 due to solar array problem. Ahmed-Rufai said to achieve objectives, NIGCOMSAT has over 200 trained engineers and a well-established ground control station at Abuja, Nigeria and a backup station at Kashi, China for the spacecraft tracking and control, payloads management and technology customisations and domestication. He said: “Our strategic plan is centred on using our assets, the staff, the satellite and complementary ground infrastructure as an
extraordinary vehicle to drive the national ICT revolution in pursuit of self-reliance and domestication of secured satellite bandwidth and telecommunications services for defence, security, telecommunications and broadcasting.” He called on stakeholders to collaborate with the company to “in complementing existing terrestrial infrastructure to promote universal access to high-speed broadband services, enhance ICT usage and increase ICT Development Index (IDI) of Nigerians. This will ultimately diversify monolithic national revenue, create jobs, and improve security and socioeconomic development of Nigeria.” He said when launched, the company, as a commercial satellite operator will offer wide ranging ICT services and applications locally and under the satellite’s footprints. “Services and applications the satellite will offer will include but not limited to telecommunications services in the form of Corporate Networks (Virtual Private Networks), VSAT networks, urban-rural telephony, mobile and paging services, inter-carrier services and satellite to satellite services,” he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
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THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS Obi presents N82.5b budget
Appeal Court ruling outrageous, says Senator •Heads for Supreme Court
•Education leads with over N10b
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor
NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday presented a budget of N82.5billion to the House of Assembly for next year. The budget tagged, “People’s Budget of Integrated Development”, represents an increase of 23.24 per cent over that of this year. Capital Expenditure is N46.829 billion and Recurrent Expenditure N35.671 billion. Education got the highest with N10.990 billion. It was followed by Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) programmes and projects across selected sub sector with N5.124billion Obi said the budget was premised on a 11-point policy thrusts. He said the projected revenue earning are N48billion which he broke down as: Internally Generated Revenue
•Obi presenting the budget to Mrs. Nwebili...yesterday From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
(IGR) N12 billion representing 25 percent; N36 billion representing 75 percent to come from the Federation Account.
Speaker Chinwe Nwebili said the House would not delay the passage of the budget. She said: "The budget defence would begin immediately.
The Chairman, House Committee on Finance And Appropriation, Nikky Ugochukwu, assured the governor that the committee would ensure that the budget is passed by January.
Onitsha traders give to orphanages
MASSOB names factory after Ojukwu
HE Movement for the Actualisation of the
Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday inagurated a bag manufacturing company in Onitsha, Anambra State and named after the late Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. The factory, according to the National Director of Information of MASSOB, Uchenna Madu, will also serve as a skill acquisition centre to train and empower its members. Madu said more skill acquisition centres would be built in other places in the Southeast to positively engage the youths. His words: “MASSOB is a non-violent movement, so we must continue to empower our members to ensure that the struggle continued without resort to crime.
From Adimike George, Onitsha
“Today, we are witnessing some of our measures to ensure that our youths are taught to be self-reliant and contribute meaningfully to the Biafran struggle. “We want Ndigbo to come home and be part of this struggle as their safety and their investments cannot be guaranteed in the North.” The Onitsha Region IV Administrator, Arinze Igbani, said the scheme is to ensure that all MASSOB members are actively engaged in one craft or the other to reduce crime and youth restiveness. He said the measure would further empower MASSOB members to sustain the agitation for the realisation of the Biafran state. Igbani said the multi-million naira factory is dedicat-
ed to the late Ojukwu, while the product will bear his name. “We want to prove to the world that the republic of Biafra, when finally realised, will not grapple with unemployment and poverty because Ndigbo are enterprising and today this factory will continue to train our people in bag and shoe making.” He said the bags would be called Ojukwu bags, adding that it will also bear ‘Made in Biafra’ signs.
HAIRMAN Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu yesterday described the Court of Appeal ruling which nullified her nomination as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the April Senatorial election in Abia Central as “outrageous and bizarre.” The lawmaker also raised the alarm over the delay in releasing the judgment to her lawyers to prepare her appeal at the Supreme Court. She claimed that the delay “smacks of some sinister motive.” The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday reversed the earlier ruling of the Federal High Court affirming Nwaogu’s nomination to represent Abia Central in the Senate. The High Court held that Osisioma Ngwa, the Local Government in contention, is in Abia Central Senatorial district. But the Court of Appeal held that Osisioma Ngwa Local Government is not part of Abia Central . The court invalidated Nwaogu’s nomination. She has been representing the local government since 2007 when she was first elected into the Senate. Reacting to the judgment, she told reporters that “the ruling beats every sane imagination,” saying it was not only “outrageous but also bizarre.” She noted that historical and political records showed clearly that all her predecessors had Osisioma Ngwa as part of their constituency.
•The late Ojukwu
RADERS at the drug section of the bridgehead market in Onitsha, Anambra State yesterday donated food items and cash to destitute and orphanages. The traders, under the aegis of the Onitsha Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers Union (OPPMDU), donated the items to over 150 orphanages and destitute homes in the Southeast. The traders’ Chairman, Emeka Ezeanyika, said the gesture is an annual event introduced to touch the
From Adimike George, Onitsha
lives of the less privileged in the society. Gifts donated are 1,000 bags of rice, 20,000 tubers of yam, 13,000 cartons of toilet soaps and detergents, 20,000 rolls of toilet paper and N1 million. According to the market boss, the fund which was estimated at about N4million was sourced through goodwill donations by the traders.
Imo Assembly to probe missing N10.5b
HE Imo State House of Assembly has inaugurated a nine-man committee to investigate the missing N10.5 billion contract fund between May 2007 and May 2011. The fund was allegedly misappropriated between 2007 and 2011 through un-
From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri existing contracts. The committee Chairman and Deputy Speaker, Ikechukwu Amuka, promised that the committee would perform its assignment diligently. Other members are: Celes-
tine Ngobiwu ; Mike Ndubuaku; Sam-daddy Anyanwu ; Mrs. Adaku Ihuoma ; Emeka Nwofor ; Ngozi Osuigwe ; Kingsley Dimaku and Chino Obioha. According to Amuka, those invited to appear before the committee are: Commissioner for Finance (2007
and 2011); the state’s Accountant General (2007 and 2011); the Auditor General (2007 and 2011); Commissioner for Finance, the Accountant General; the Auditor General; Special Adviser to the Governor on Project Monitoring and the Economic Adviser to the Governor.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS Four suspected kidnappers held in Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
FOUR suspected members of the gang that kidnapped the President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chief Adedoyin Popoola, last Thursday, have been apprehended. Popoola, who is also Managing Director of Poplat Petroleum Ltd., was abducted in Ife, Osun State. He was rescued yesterday by the police and men of the State Security Service (SSS). The suspects were arrested in a forest at Garage Olode while trying to pick up the N30,000,000 ransom. It was learnt that the security agents tracked the suspects, using Bluetooth and other information technology devices. The hoodlums were said to have engaged the security operatives in a gun duel for about 20 minutes. A family source said the N30,000,000 ransom was not complete when the police recovered the money. Commissioner of Police Solomon Olusegun confirmed the arrests.
Tokyo denies link with planned violence From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
CHAIRMAN of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State Alhaji Abdullateef Akinsola, a.k.a. Tokyo, yesterday dissociated himself and his group from an announcement by the police that members of the banned union are planning to disrupt the peace in the state. Commissioner of Police Moses Onireti, on Monday, said he was aware of a plot by members of the banned union to cause chaos. In a statement in Ibadan, the state capital, Tokyo, said he is ready to work with the Police to apprehend those behind the plot. He urged Onireti “not to be drawn into the dirty partisan politics of the state, but to maintain neutrality in the discharge of his duties.” Tokyo said: “CP Onireti is known to be a good Christian and a God-fearing officer. He should pursue criminals and stop linking my good name to negative activities in the state. “For clarity, the CP should be well informed that I am totally innocent of all the malicious allegations levied against me by his predecessor and stop re-echoing such ill-motivated innuendoes against my person.” Tokyo urged his supporters to shun violence and partner security operatives to bring criminals to book.
•From left: Director-General, Office of Economic Development and Partnership, Charles Akinola; Nigerian High Commissioner to Zambia Amb. Folake Marcus-Bello; Osun StateGovernor Rauf Aregbesola; former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda; Director General, Osun Bureau of Social Services, Femi Faturoti; and Osun Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security Wale Adedoyin; during their visit to Kaunda in Lusaka...on Tuesday
Fashola inaugurates $100m Ikeja City Mall AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday inaugurated the multi-million dollar Ikeja City Mall. He said the investment was a clear indication of the increasing diversification of the state’s economy. The $100 million Ikeja City Mall was put together by Actis, a leading private equity investor, in partnership with Paragon Holdings, RMB Investments and Advisory, and the government. Fashola said: “Every time you see a mall opening; it is a positive sign for that economy. It speaks of an increasing demand for outlet spaces for small business like eateries, salons, grocery shops, mobile phones and IT outlets, stores, jewellers and ice cream, popcorn and entertainment outlets, which are the things we will see in this mall of 94 outlets.” He said the location of the mall at Ikeja was meant to reduce traffic on the Island
By Miriam Ndikanwu and Janice Nkoli
and re-energise the Ikeja Central Business District and its environs. Fashola said over 1000 persons were employed during the construction of the mall and was optimistic that new jobs would be created as the mall commences full operation. Actis Director, Real Estate, Michael Chu’di Ejekam
said the mall would service about 3,900,000 persons who transact business on a daily basis in Ikeja, as well as over 1,000,000 households. Ejekam said the mall, which took 21 months to complete, has a car park space for about 250 cars. He said the mall is the second large investment by Actis in Nigeria and third in West Africa. The first is The Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki.
Executive Director of Paragon Holdings Mr. Afolabi Toyo said: “Ikeja City Mall represents the successful cooperation of a local land owner, such as Paragon, with deep understanding of the local marketplace and an international firm investor, such as Actis, with its track record and financial capability.” Shoprite, Silverbird Cinemas, KFC, Mr. Price, Twice
Ogun police command foil bank robbery HE Police in Ogun State yesterday foiled an attempt by some hoodlums to rob a bank in Ota. The incident occurred at about 4:20am. The robbers had earlier robbed commuters on the road. They were trying to break into the bank, when the police challenged them, leading to a gun battle. It was gathered that the hoodlums, who were injured, abandoned their vehi-
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
cle and escaped. Police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi urged the hospitals and the public to report anyone seen with bullet wounds to the authorities. Adejobi said: “The command wishes to alert the public that at Ota our men engaged some hoodlums, who attempted to rob a bank in the early hours of today (yes-
terday) in a fierce gun battle, which forced the robbers to flee and abandon their operation vehicle, an OPEL SINTRA marked LP 35 EKY, riddled with bullets and blood stains. “The hoodlums were seriously injured, so the command urges the public, particularly medical practitioners, to be on the look out for anyone with such injuries and inform the police for investigation.”
Appeal Court dismisses PDP’s case against Ikuforiji HE Court of Appeal in Lagos has dismissed the appeal challenging the election of House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) by Mrs. Olajumoke Sawyer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Yesterday, Justice K. B Akaahs held that there was undue delay in the prosecution of the appeal, adding that the appellant failed to file her
By Eric Ikhilae
brief of arguments within the time provided by the rules guiding election matters. The court held that the excuse given by the appellant’s counsel, Mr. Deji Fasusi, for the lateness was unacceptable. The court also awarded a cost of N25,000 against the appellant. The Lagos Legislative Election Petition Tribunal had dismissed Sawyer’s petition, in
which she prayed for the nullification of Ikuforiji’s election. Sawyer and the PDP alleged that information deposed to by Ikuforiji in Form C F001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contained falsehood. But the tribunal upheld Ikuforiji’s preliminary objection on the grounds that issues relating to falsification of doc-
uments was a pre-election matter which was outside its jurisdiction.
30 LP leaders join Ondo ACN HIRTY leaders of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State yesterday dumped the party and joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). They are from Apoi and Arogbo in Ese-Odo Local Government Area. The defectors are Prince Mesarawon Karinatei, Tweke Mathew, Ofuegu Partei, Adeyemi Happy, Adakuro Hossana and Kebieri Layemoh; all from Arogbo Ward 1. Others are Chief Amehin
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
Kingsley, Fielelfia Jacob, Benson Sannio, Mrs. Dorcas Fieleifa, Miyensintei Omomo, Abraham Okunrinmeta and Clerk Atelemob; from Arogbo Ward II. The rest are Uguoji Uporomah, Akinlami Oluwasanmi, Ajayi Odunayo, Omolayo Egbeyiwa, Ayo Onilu, Lob Younky, Anthony Charles, Mrs. Iji Florence, Abiodun A. I, George Olorunfemi, Mrs. Funmilayo Olorunfemi,
Weke Olatayo, Safety Gbamila and Fegha Ajamas. The defectors said LP has lost focus and is no longer habitable for any progressive politician. They said the LP government is a contraption meant to service the interest of a few persons, adding that it is the reason “men of good character like Mr. Saka Lawal have left the party.” In a statement, they said: “Look at what the government is doing, it concentrates its
few projects on the road side where the people can see them, so as to give the impression that all is well; whereas every other part of the state has been neglected. “With the amount of money the present administration met in the treasury, we are supposed to have had a medium scale industry that can accommodate 1000 workers. Instead, the LP government is putting asphalt on motorable roads and leaving those that need urgent attention.”
as Nice, Nike, Aldo, Lifemate, Pier Cardin, Diva, Complete Interiors and Time Keepers, among others, have opened outlet at the mall.
Ondo donates five APCs to Police From Damisi Ojo, Akure
HE Ondo State Government yesterday presented five Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to the police command. Governor Olusegun Mimiko said the APCs would help the police curb the rising cases of robbery. Mimiko sympathised with banks, residents and victims of recent robberies, warning criminals to stay away from the state. He said: “With the acquisition of these five APCs and the assurance given by the security agencies, especially the police, the government is now in a better position to guarantee a secured environment for you to conduct your businesses.” The governor said the recently established Joint Security Patrol, a team comprising all the security agencies, is one of the initiatives aimed at strengthening security. He said: “While we look ahead for improved and effective response to our security challenges, we will continue to partner various security agencies, because if there is no synergy among all stakeholders in security management, there won’t be success.” The Command had been operating with one APC, which was acquired during the administration of former President Shehu Shagari, 28 years ago. The Inspector-General of Police, who was represented by the Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Zone IX, Osogbo, Mr. Johnson Uzuegbunam, thanked Mimiko. The state government had earlier donated 97 vehicles, 10 High-Velocity Power Motor Bikes, 500 Bulletproof Vests and High Grade Communication equipment to security agencies.
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS Suspected ritualists invade hospital in Edo USPECTED ritualists
yesterday morning invaded the Labour Room at the maternity ward of the state-owned General Hospital in Benin, the Edo State capital. They broke in through the window of the ward causing the women to scamper for safety with their babies. It was learnt that the windows had no steel protectors. A nurse at the maternity ward, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attack took place at about 1am. The nurse said no baby was stolen. A husband to one of the victims, Bernard Isokponpa, said his wife lost two phones and some money. He said he could not confirm whether they were ritualists or robbers as his wife
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
ran out with their baby boy. “Why would there be no security at the hospital? What if they had taken my baby? My wife called me at about 1:30am that armed robbers broke into the labour room. She said she ran upstairs with the baby,” he said. The hospital Secretary, Isaac Asien, said the attackers were pick-pockets and not ritualists or robbers. He said some wards at the hospital had been robbed before and added that the hospital management had employed the services of a private security firm to boost security at the hospital. Asien denied reports that some bodies were stolen or missing at the mortuary.
PDP insensitive, says Rivers ACN •Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle) inaugurating the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP’s) Secretariat in AdoEkiti... yesterday. With him are Head of Service, Mr. Bunmi Famosaya (left) and NUP Chairman Chief Israel Ayeni
40 feared dead as boat capsizes in Rivers
ORTY persons are suspected to have died at Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, in Obio/Akpor Local Government of Rivers State, when their wooden boat capsized. The incident occured around 9:30 pm on Tuesday on Mgboudohia water. The boat was travelling from Eagle Island. Ten passengers, including a two-year-old baby, were rescued. Divers are still combing the river for bodies of the victims. Relatives have besieged the Rumuolumeni jetty, the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) and other hospitals in Port Harcourt for information about the passengers. The Rumuolumeni River passes through the back of the premises of the Italian oil giant, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to Iwofe, Port Harcourt. The Community Development Committee (CDC)
•10 rescued •10 bodies found From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
Chairman of Rumuolumeni, Chima Amadi, said: “Because of the bad roads, boats are the means of transportation in the area and have been in existence since time immemorial. “There were over 40 passengers in the small boat. Rush caused the accident. “The system is not properly organised. We have arranged for divers to rescue the victims.” Amadi urged Governor Rotimi Amaechi to build roads in Rumuolumeni for the people to stop depending on boats for transportation, considering the area’s economic factor. The Information Officer of NNS Pathfinder, Lt-Cmmd Bassey Ayi, said a naval team with a gunboat has been sent to the scene of the accident. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam said: “There
was a fatal boat mishap on December 13 at about 2130hrs at Mgboudohia water. “A passenger wooden boat travelling from Eagle Island capsized. “Combined rescue teams of Marine Police, Rumuolumeni Police Division, Swift Operation Squad (SOS), led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations and the Navy also joined in the efforts. “Ten persons were rescued, including a two-year-old baby. “One person has been confirmed dead. The body was deposited at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) mortuary. Rescue operation and further investigations going on.” A Corps member, Mrs. Neebari Samuel-Bema, was said to be on the boat. “Her husband, Kpegele Samuel-Bema, yesterday said
•Youths hold governor hostage From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba
Expenditure is N213.6 billion. A breakdown showed that the state intends to raise N51.4 billion through Internally Generated Revenue while N170 billion would be gener-
ated through statutory federal allocation. Similarly, the state would raise N9.9 billion through Value Added Tax (VAT) and N151.9 billion through capital receipts. The governor, who chris-
IG orders probe of ex-CPP candidate Onokpite’s death
NSPECTOR General of Police Hafiz Ringim has directed the Commissioner of Police in Delta State, Mamman Tsafe, to probe the death of former governorship candidate of the Citizens Peoples Party (CPP), Ogbe Onokpite. Onokpite was killed in controversial circumstances in a hotel in Udu Local Government last month. Tsafe had at a briefing accused the deceased of gunrunning.
•Family kicks From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba
In a statement yesterday, counsel to the Onokpite family, Festus Keyamo described Tsafe’s claim as “strange”. Keyamo criticised the police commissioner for calling a press conference where he said the deceased was allegedly killed in a cross-fire. He urged the IG to investigate Tsafe’s role in the “cold
blooded murder of Ogbe Onokpite”. The lawyer said a protest letter demanding the investigation and the removal of Tsafe and reassigning the case to another team from the Force Headquarters,Abuja for proper investigation has been written. His words: “We are calling on the IG to re-assign the case to another team in the Force Headquarters, Abuja. We have written a protest letter to the IG on this issue.”
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
ACN noted that when a government, like the one run by the PDP, fails in carrying out its primary functions of security and guaranteeing the welfare of the citizens, the system had collapsed. It said: “We condemn the appearance of long queues at filling stations, due to apprehension caused by the proposed removal of fuel subsidy from January, the rising spate of kidnapping and armed robbery, besides random killings as a mark of a confused and failed government.”
Support for Oshiomhole • Mrs Samuel-Bema they got married three months ago. A survivor, Samuel Amaechi (27), said God was merciful to him because he could not swim. Ten bodies have been recovered. Six of them were recovered by divers, shortly after the accident, the remaining were recovered yesterday morning. The Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the Southsouth, Umesi Emenike, said 10 of the passengers have been rescued.
Uduaghan presents N383.4b budget ELTA State Governor E m m a n u e l Uduaghan yesterday presented a budget proposal of N383.4 billion. The figure is higher than last year’s budget of N361.9 billion with about N21 billion. Recurrent Expenditure is N168.8 billion while Capital
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led-government in Nigeria as ineffective and insensitive to the suffering of the people. The party, through its Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, yesterday condemned the desperation of the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy. It also described the strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as the height of government’s insensitivity.
tened the proposal, “Budget of Sustainable Development”, said the major objective was to deepen the administration’s sustainable initiative of reducing poverty and unemployment. He said the budget was predicated on result-oriented strategies, adding that “government is moving away from the usual budget practices of mere allocation of figures to a practical, structured, and robust approach that can sustain development. “This budget, therefore, is crafted to address the problems that have confronted us over the years.” Some youths yesterday protested at the Assembly shortly after Uduaghan presented the budget. They accused Uduaghan of appointing only women as commissioners, special advisers and special assistants and urged him to consider some of them for appointment.
HE Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria in Edo State, Solomon Idiogbe, has “pledged utmost support and loyalty to the Adams Oshiomhole-led administration”. He said Oshiomhole “stands in the forefront of the vanguard of development, peace and unity in this administration and for Edo people.” Idiogbe spoke when he visited the Secretary to Edo State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekemhe, at the Government House.
He said the council is the authoritative voice of youths as embedded in the youth policy of the Federal Government. He said: “We are aware of government’s stand and determination to alleviate poverty and provide jobs for youths. “We are also aware of the government designed policies and programmes toward empowering our youths as evident in the youth entrepreneur skill training where over 35 youths benefited and were given starter packs and some financial incentives by our parent ministry.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
NEWS SCHEDULE PART C - RECURRENT (NON-DEBT) EXPENDITURE HEAD MINISTRY/DEPARMENT/AGENCY =N= 1 Presidency 2 Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation 3 Youth Development 4 Police Affairs 5 Police Formation and Commands 6 Women Affairs 7 Agriculture & Rural Development 8 Water Resources 9 Auditor-General for the Federation 10 Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission 11 Defence/MOD/Army/Air Force/Navy 12 Education 13 Federal Capital Territory Administration 14 Foreign Affairs 15 Finance 16 Health 17 Trade And Investment 18 Information 19 Communication Technology 20 Interior 21 Office of the Head of Service of the Federation 22 Justice 23 Labour and Productivity 24 Power 25 Science and Technology 26 Transport 27 Petroleum Resources 28 Works 29 Lands & Housing 30 Mines & Steel Development 31 Aviation 32 National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission 33 Environment 34 Tourism, Culture & National Orientation 35 National Planning Commission 36 National Sports Commission 37 Office of the National Security Adviser 38 Niger-delta 39 Special Duties 40 Fiscal Responsibility Commission 41 Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission SUB-TOTAL: EXECUTIVE
2012 BUDGET PROPOSAL 27,795,512,439 47,041,647,019 71,275,840,142 3,609,283,677 298,817,945,778 1,784,514,997 33,974,838,949 8,603,097,541 2,686,607,486 4,019,694,570 291,683,357,932 345,091,448,178 -------------------42,786,472,959 10,897,725,756 225,760,885,287 11,318,601,587 19,979,001,492 10,565,107,489 149,732,986,945 7,708,316,253 21,730,185,048 8,349,260,886 3,116,536,317 20,985,660,859 7,825,494,233 51,324,227,840 31,599,815,244 6,254,247,128 11,976,718,249 6,326,422,775 709,472,660 13,689,594,307 18,270,535,847 5,992,342,104 8,469,938,969 59,637,849,878 2,723,482,821 364,926,303 592,058,480 1,064,770,849 1,896,136,427,270
2012 BUDGET PROPOSAL PART C - RECURRENT (NON-DEBT) EXPENDITURE CONT’D. HEAD MINISTRY/DEPARMENT/AGENCY FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BODIES =N= 42 National Population Commission 7,490,254,611 43 Code of Conduct Bureau 1,513,828,368 44 Code of Conduct Tribunal 406,333,999 45 Public Complaints Commission 2,637,831,585 46 Revenue Mobilisation Allocation & Fiscal Commission 2,262,984,302 47 Federal Civil Service Commission 1,364,426,518 48 Police Service Commission 870,077,782 49 Federal Character Commission 2,286,127,345 747,949,987 50 National Human Rights Commission SUB-TOTAL: FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BODIES 19,579,814,497 SERVICE-WIDE VOTES AND PENSIONS EXPENDITURE ITEMS PENSIONS AND GRATUITIES TOTAL ALLOCATION: OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE (CIVILIAN PENSION) Pensions Gratuities Pension running cost including verification exercise in 2012 Reimbursement to States MILITARY PENSIONS AND GRATUITIES (DMP) Military Pension Returnees from Contributory Scheme Death Benefits Admin. Charges/Yearly Verification Exercise Pension Running Cost CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION AND PRISONS PENSION OFFICE Pensions Pension Running Cost UNIVERSITIES’ PENSIONS INCLUDING ARREARS Pensions PARASTATALS’ PENSION AND RAILWAY PENSIONS Pensions PRE-1996 NIGERIA RAILWAY CORPORATION PENSION Pensions Pension Running Cost DEPARTMENT OF STATE SECURITY Pensions (Including Arrears) NIGERIA INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Pensions/Dependants Benefits TOTAL: PENSIONS AND GRATUITIES SERVICE-WIDE VOTES Arrears of PAYG Pension Increases in Pension Rates IPPIS (OAGF) Payment of Outstanding Death Benefits to Civil Servants Payment into the redemption fund (5% of total personnel cost) Arrears of Police Death Benefits (2004 - 2010) Arrears of Armed Forces Death Benefits (2004 - 2010) Group Life Insurance for all MDAS Group Life Insurance for the Nigeria Police Group Life Insurance for Armed Forces Administration and Monitoring of (OHCSF) Group Life Public Service Wage Adjustment For MDAS (Including Arrears of Promotion and Salary Increases) Operations - Internal for the Armed Forces Judgement Debts Contribution to International Org. including WAEC International External Financial Obligations Margin for Increases in Costs Contingency
17,000,000,000 14,249,000,000 2,300,000,000 201,000,000 250,000,000 60,110,491,688 47,739,513,564 7,419,510,617 4,001,334,098 550,133,409 400,000,000 8,640,000,000 8,600,000,000 40,000,000 13,000,000,000 13,000,000,000 30,000,000,000 30,000,000,000 1,707,141,550 1,667,141,550 40,000,000 7,698,013,136 7,698,013,136 3,540,711,704 3,540,711,704 141,696,358,078 12,217,915,818 15,100,000,000 900,000,000 900,000,000 66,657,938,400 4,050,000,000 1,350,000,000 4,512,936,122 2,900,363,878 1,997,184,735 36,000,000 68,000,000,000 17,107,616,635 14,000,000,000 8,100,000,000 12,600,000,000 7,000,000,000 16,400,000,000
Public Service Reforms (Including Payment of Severance Benefits of Civil Servants) Bio-Metric Verification of Parastatals’ Pensioners Multi Year Tariff Order Phase I: Programme and Project Portfolio Management for Pilot MDAS Muslim/Christian Pilgrimages Recurrent Adjustment 2012 Election - Logistics Support Employees Compensation Act - Employees’ Compensation Fund Entitlements of Former Presidents/Heads of State and Vice-Presidents/Chiefs of General Staff Insurance of Sensitive Assets (Data Centres) VGF Running Costs PRESIDENTIAL AMNESTY PROGRAMME Stipends & Feeding Allowance Reintegration of Niger-Delta ex-militants Operations Cost of the Programme Reintegration of Transformed Niger-Delta ex-militants (2010 Arrears) TOTAL SERVICE WIDE VOTES TOTAL CRF CHARGES TOTAL RECURRENT (NON-DEBT) SCHEDULE
9,000,000,000 450,000,000 50,000,000,000 720,000,000 1,800,000,000 9,000,000,000 4,500,000,000 3,600,000,000 3,185,100,000 4,050,000,000 90,000,000 74,176,411,902 48,281,229,902 924,900,000 20,796,462,000 4,173,820,000 414,401,467,490 556,097,825,568 2,471,814,067,335 2012 BUDGET PROPOSAL
PART D - CAPITAL EXPENDITURE HEAD MINISTRY/DEPARMENT/AGENCY 1 Presidency 2 Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) 3 Youth Development 4 Police Affairs 5 Police Formation and Commands 6 Women Affairs 7 Agriculture & Rural Development 8 Water Resources 9 Auditor-general for the Federation 10 Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission 11 Defence/MOD/Army/Air Force/Navy 12 Education 13 Federal Capital Territory Administration 14 Foreign Affairs 15 Finance 16 Health 17 Trade and Investment 18 Information 19 Communication Technology 20 Interior 21 Office of the Head of Service of the Federation 22 Justice 23 Labour and Productivity 24 Power 25 Science and Technology 26 Transport 27 Petroleum Resources 28 Works 29 Lands & Housing 30 Mines & Steel Development 31 Aviation 32 National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission 33 Environment 34 Tourism, Culture & National Orientation 35 National Planning Commission 36 National Sports Commission 37 Office of the National Security Adviser 38 Niger-Delta 39 Special Duties 40 Fiscal Responsibility Commission 41 Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission SUB-TOTAL: EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE PART D - CAPITAL EXPENDITURE CONT’D. HEAD MINISTRY/DEPARMENT/AGENCY FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BODIES 42 National Population Commission 43 Code of Conduct Bureau 44 Code of Conduct Tribunal 45 Public Complaints Commission 46 Revenue Mobilisation Allocation & Fiscal Commission 47 Federal Civil Service Commission 48 Police Service Commission 49 Federal Character Commission 50 National Human Rights Commission SUB-TOTAL: FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BODIES CAPITAL SUPPLEMENTATION TOTAL ALLOCATION: Adjustment To Capital Costs Viability Gap Fund - PPP National Job Creation Scheme Counterpart Funding/UNIDO Quick Wins - Completion of 2008 & 2009 Projects Conditional Grants and Social Safety Nets (MDGS) Support to UNDP Millenium Campaign Programme Nigeria in Africa/African Parlimentarian Programme Millenium Development Goals Monitoring and Evaluation (OSSAP) Consultancy, Survey and Short-term studies Communications and Advocacy (MDGS) Reports on 2011 MDGS Special Interventon Payment to Local Contractors’ Debt Police Reforms Fund (Share of FGN) Bank of Industry - MOFI Share of Bank Recapitalisation for 2009 & 2010 Nigerian Export - Import Bank - Share of Equity National Economic Recovery Fund Sinking Fund for Infrastructural Development PHCN Privatisation Maritime Security (PICOMSS) NELMCO Bulk Trader TOTAL - CAPITAL SUPPLEMENTATION TOTAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AGGREGATE EXPENDITURE
=N= 15,800,000,000 23,550,000,000 4,800,000,000 2,500,000,000 9,039,772,647 2,400,000,000 45,009,990,000 30,400,000,000 600,000,000 200,000,000 34,670,826,450 55,056,589,805 45,571,633,782 7,399,998,000 2,500,000,000 57,010,886,138 2,200,000,000 4,100,000,000 7,740,000,000 7,600,000,000 5,060,106,702 600,000,000 2,502,706,000 70,300,000,000 9,851,608,365 47,000,000,000 8,340,684,300 149,200,000,002 20,240,000,152 2,999,880,099 42,900,707,612 300,000,000 6,404,342,340 3,250,000,000 1,500,000,000 1,400,000,000 64,625,912,035 57,000,000,000 100,000,000 100,000,000 100,000,000 851,925,644,428 2012 BUDGET PROPOSAL =N= 2,099,590,000 1,100,000,000 100,000,000 600,000,000 600,000,000 400,000,000 1,600,000,000 100,000,000 100,000,000 6,699,590,000
12,750,000,000 10,000,000,000 10,000,000,000 10,000,000,000 5,000,000,000 45,450,000,000 500,000,000 3,000,000,000 1,000,000,000 1,000,000,000 100,000,000,000 12,282,877,490 15,000,000,000 2,000,000,000 2,000,000,000 1,000,000,000 101,169,540,000 87,000,000,000 4,000,000,000 18,000,000,000 20,000,000,000 461,152,417,490 1,319,777,651,919 4,749,100,821,170
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
Elumelu seeks overhaul of African Union
HAIRMAN, Heirs Hold ings, Tony Elumelu, has advocated overhaul of the African Union (AU). Elumelu made this call at the Convergence Africa conference in Nairobi, Kenya. He said that the AU should focus more on establishing conditions that would allow for the Pan-African growth of entrepre-
By Ayodele Aminu, Group Business Editor
neurs and their businesses. This he said would allow the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy. Elumelu, the former Group
Managing Director of United Bank for Africa Plc, said : “African political leadership must be aligned with the entrepreneurial aspirations of the generality of Africans. “It may be time for African leaders to reshape the AU to become
more economically focused and to create social wealth.” He said there was need to address the challenges that young African entrepreneurs currently face when starting businesses. These challenges he said, exceed those that similar entrepreneurs face in other parts of the world. The top-flight banker, however, reiterated his commitment to help address these challenges and asked other successful African business leaders to lend their support as well. Elumelu used the platform to propagate his message of Africapitalism, an economic philosophy that embodies the African private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create economic pros-
Banks set for ‘Cash-lite’ transactions with new LL the banks in Nigeria have in reversing such errors. The account scheme enced expressed their readiness to other issues resolved is abuse of the
commence the cashless transactions regime, called “operations cash-lite”, following the full implementation of the Nigerian Uniform Bank Account Number Standard (NUBAN) scheme. Competent sources within the banks said the new number regime has enabled banks deal with challenges associated with the old non-uniform structure of account numbers, thereby empower the financial institutions for seamless migration to the cash-lite transaction era. The new cash-lite policy is billed to commence in Lagos state, the federal capital territory, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Aba in the first instance, with a go-live date of January 1, 2012 in Lagos. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the scheme will be extended to other parts of the country at a date to be determined by the Bankers’ Committee.
By Collins Nweze
“The challenges that were traceable to the non-uniform account structure are being surmounted under the new scheme, such as the challenges posed to the Automated Clearing House (ACH). Banks are now ready to promote various forms of electronic payments including cash-lite transactions due to commence in the country next year,” a top manager with one of the new generation banks said. “The initial challenges to the NUBAN were increasing cost of clearing, occasioned by the dragging down of the pace of transactions, but as of today those issues are being resolved. The new number scheme has addressed various complaints ranging from payments into wrong accounts resulting from wrongly quoted account numbers by customers and the difficulty and lateness experi-
clearing system including delays in presenting customer’s instructions in the clearing house; delayed application of inward items by some banks, and late return of unapplied inward items,” he said. According to the banker, by removing those challenges, the e-clearing house system of the banks is being made increasingly efficient to take up the mass cash-lite transactions regime billed to follow the new electronic payment system. The Federal Government had on January 1, 2009 directed its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to replace all forms of cheque payments with electronic payments. Consequently, rather than issue cheques to settle their obligations, all payments by MDAs were made through direct transfers to beneficiaries’ accounts.
Stanbic/ IBTC, Actis provide $100m shopping mall
TANBIC/IBTC Plc, Actis West Africa Limited, and Paragon Holdings have successfully influenced the completion of $100 million shopping mall in Ikeja, Lagos. Known as Ikeja Shopping Mall, the mall was financed by 50 per cent debt obligations. Out of the $100million, Stanbic/IBTC Plc financed the project to the tune of $48.6million. Speaking during the official inaugurated of the mall, the Managing Director, Actis West Africa Limited, Ms Ngozi Edozien, said the conception and the subsequent building of the mall was borne out of the need to encourage economic growth. She said: “ This is what we can do to help our country encourage government/ private sector partnership initiatives. What we are excited about is the bringing of capital to
University honours ex-Unity Bank CEO tional merit and character as symbolised in his banking career that stands him out, not only as a core professional but a role model in the industry. Bello had repositioned defunct Habib Bank, Intercity Bank, Nigeria Agricultural and Cooperative Bank and Unity Bank to enviable height. Reacting to the award, Head of Media and External Communication, Unity Bank Plc, Sani Mohammed Zaria, stated that the award is
HE former Group Managing Director of Unity Bank, Falalu Bello, would be conferred with Doctor of Science (Dsc) Banking and Finance by Lead City University Ibadan tomorrow. The award according to a statement, is in recognition of his excellence in professional practice and for being a role model to students and academic community. The award is also for his excep-
a celebration of excellence and a reward of commitment and hard work. He said Bello, who also the Chairman of Mainstreet Bank, will remain a source of inspiration to the banking industry. According to him, the consolidation in the banking industry that resulted in the formation of Unity Bank brought out the best in Bello when he presided over the formation of the bank.
FGN BONDS Amount N
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
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 14-12-11 SYMBOL IBTC FIDSON GTASSURE UNILEVER WAPCO STERLNBANK GLAXOSMITH GOLDINSURE CUTIX GUARANTY
O/PRICE 6.94 0.95 1.44 26.09 42.84 0.97 22.47 0.54 1.78 13.71
C/PRICE 7.28 0.99 1.50 27.00 44.15 0.99 22.90 0.55 1.80 13.86
CHANGE 0.34 0.04 0.06 0.91 1.31 0.02 0.43 0.01 0.02 0.15
LOSER AS AT 14-12-11 SYMBOL JBERGER OANDO DIAMONDBNK DANGSUGAR ETERNAOIL LONGMAN HONYFLOUR UBA BAGCO JOSBREW
O/PRICE 34.69 24.30 2.41 4.24 3.46 3.26 2.68 2.28 1.69 2.15
C/PRICE 32.96 23.09 2.29 4.03 3.29 3.10 2.55 2.17 1.61 2.05
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
build the mall, and further foster economic activities in the country.” She said the mall is the largest in Nigeria, adding that it would go a long way in bringing the desire growth the country required. Also, the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, who inaugurated the shopping mall, said the development would increase the employment market soon. Fashola said the mall exposes the fallacy that the Lagos economy is losing businesses. He said such thoughts show the inability of people to appreciate and critically analyse increasing diversification of the Lagos economy to empower service providers and small medium enterprises.”
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
OBB Rate Call Rate
By Akinola Ajibade
perity and social wealth. “Nobody is going to develop Africa except us,” he said. He urged African entrepreneurs and business leaders to take steps that would grow their businesses across the continent. Heirs Holdings is an investment firm committed to the economic transformation of Africa. The Convergence Africa conference sponsored by Legatum™ and Omidyar Network™is a platform that brings together the entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and business people who will accelerate Africa’s growth. It featured Richard Branson, the Founder of the Virgin Group, who was the second keynote speaker, and other speakers who have championed the cause of entrepreneurship on the continent.
EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)
NSE CAP Index
NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’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%
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
ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED
CHANGE 1.73 1.21 0.12 0.21 0.17 0.16 0.13 0.11 0.08 0.10
• STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
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%
OPEN BUY BACK Previous
04 July, 2011
07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
FOREIGN NEWS Rwanda genocide: Bagosora’s life sentence reduced
Obama speech at Fort Bragg marks end of Iraq war
NITED States President Barack Obama has marked the end of the Iraq war with a speech at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, telling troops, “welcome home!” He paid tribute to the soldiers who served in the conflict - both those who died and veterans who returned home after long tours of duty. More than 200 soldiers based at Fort Bragg died over the course of the nearly nine-year war. The final US soldiers are expected to leave Iraq within days. The last combat troops departed in August 2010. “Tomorrow the colours of the United States Forces Iraq, the colours you fought under, will be formally cased in a ceremony in Baghdad,” Mr Obama said. “Then they’ll begin their journey across an ocean back home.” This was a war that Barack Obama never wanted, and
now he’s brought it to a close. As a senator, he had called the conflict “dumb”. But as commander in chief, he has paid tribute to the sacrifices of the military. In Fort Bragg, he told the troops their fighting and dying had not been in vain. It had led to what he said was this moment of success. They were leaving behind a country that was not perfect but Iraq was now stable, led by its own people. There was no Mission Accomplished banner like the one unfurled by his predecessor, President George W Bush, in May 2003, before the insurgency got under way. But this was almost a victory lap, if only because Mr Obama had promised as a presidential candidate that he would bring all the troops home, and now he has. His critics, however, say the withdrawal is premature and will endanger Iraq’s very fragile democracy.
MAN who was seen as a key organiser of the Rwandan genocide has had his sentence reduced from life to 35 years. Theoneste Bagosora was a senior figure in Rwanda’s ministry of defence at the time of the massacres. In 1994 around 800,000
“As your commander in chief and on behalf of a grateful nation, I’m proud to finally say these two words - welcome home, welcome home, welcome home,” he said, as troops gathered in an airplane hanger at Fort Bragg cheered. Mr Obama said the US military was leaving Iraq with “heads held high”, and thanked military families for sharing in the troops’ sacrifice. Nearly 1.5 million Americans served in Iraq, with 30,000 wounded and nearly 4,500 dead, Mr Obama said, but “those numbers don’t tell the whole story of Iraq”.
Ugandan minister resigns over radio theft claim
TOP Ugandan government minister has resigned after her radio station was accused of stealing equipment from the stateowned broadcaster. Kabakumba Masiko said to “err is human”, but denied that a radio transmitter and mast were stolen. Earlier this month, police reportedly seized the equipment, which Ms Masiko said had been borrowed temporarily.
President Yoweri Museveni’s government has been hit by a series of allegations of corruption and abuse of power. In October, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and two other officials resigned after being charged with abuse of office and financial loss over the 2007 Commonwealth summit in Uganda, in which scams allegedly cost the government some $150m (£95m). Mr Kutesa has pleaded not
guilty to the charges. Ms Masiko, the minister of presidency, resigned after coming under intense pressure at a meeting of the cabinet and members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, Uganda’s state-run New Vision newspaper reports. In her resignation letter, Ms Masiko, who served as information minister until May, said she was always “mindful that she should not let down the trust” of the president.
Presidency to spend N43.6b next year
HE Presidency is to spend N43. 593billion next year if the N4.749trillion budget is passed as presented by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday. N27.795billion of this sum is for recurrent expenditure. N15.8billion is voted for capital expenditure. The office of the Secretary to the Government will spend N70.59billion broken
down into N47.054billion for recurrent and N23.55billion for capital expenditure. The Federal Capital Territory is allocated capital expenditure of N45.571billion. Education gets N400.2billion made up of N345.09billion for recurrent expenditure and N55.1billion for capital expenditure. Works is given N180.8billion made up of N31.6billion for
recurrent expenditure and N149.26billion for capital expenditure. Power is allocated N73.5billion comprising N3.2billion for recurrent expenditure and N70.3billion for capital expenditure, while N59billion is projected for Niger Delta comprising N2billion for recurrent expenditure and N57billion for capital expenditure.
people - mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group - were killed in just 100 days. The UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) convicted Bagosora of genocide and crimes against humanity three years ago.
He was arrested 15 years ago in Cameroon and his trial at the Rwanda tribunal in the Tanzanian city of Arusha began in 2002. Appeal judges in Arusha cleared him of some of the charges he faced, including ordering killings at roadblocks in the capital, Kigali.
WHO SAID WHAT
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘Every time you see a mall opening; it is a positive sign for that economy. It speaks of an increasing demand or outlet space for small businesses, which are the things we will see in this mall of 94 outlets.’ BABATUNDE FASHOLA
VOL. 7, NO. 1,975
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
IRST, they said it could not happen here. Then, they started warning about it. Now, they are making a song and dance about it. President Goodluck Jonathan, on the hustings in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, said if we did nothing, youth unemployment would spark a revolution that would consume us all. As if that was the cue he needed, former President Olusegun Obasanjo also warned that a revolution was inevitable, if we failed to find jobs for our large army of the unemployed. Sirs, with due respect, your apocalyptic warnings are a bit too late. Many of us knew a long time ago that we were marching on to our own “Arab Spring”, not because we have not played our part, but we have a leadership deficit that has crippled all other things. Thanks to a nation of prayer warriors, our dear Nigeria still stands, bloodied and bludgeoned by the very people who vowed to care for her. But, the picture is trepiditious. Security tops the projected government spending for next year, with N921.91billion. This is understandable. Fisticuffs, cutlasses and axes have suddenly become obsolete as means of settling squabbles. Even lawmakers no longer throw chairs. Bombs have taken over. The Boko Haram (western education is a sin) sect has found in the bomb a very useful lethal tool to settle scores with the government. Innocent citizens bear the brunt of a war they neither planned nor started. Hundreds are dead, even as Boko Haram keeps threatening to unleash more attacks. Now, security experts will begin to race down to Nigeria to partake in the contracts bazaar that will be the fallout of this huge allocation. Hurling cash at the problem is no answer. The solution lies in good governance and its corollary of equity and justice. Not bravado. Not force. An old, scary sight returned to Lagos last week. Members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) marched in the city to the other. Guns boomed. Residents fled. OPC chief Frederick Fasehun said it was all a move to warn Boko Haram not to carry its bombing campaign to the Southwest. That was a needless move, which could, ironically, provoke the very action it was meant to prevent. Boko Haram has never listed the Southwest as a target. Why the swashbuckling? The other day in Kogi State, some youths who claimed to be former Niger Delta militants were barred by the police from going to Abuja to protest their exclusion from the amnesty that has turned ex-renegades into the envy of all, with some attending overseas training and others becoming big-time contractors. Unfortunately for these latecomers, the President has shut the amnesty door. Who will pacify these youths? Don’t we owe them a duty to get them off the creeks forever? Will they keep quiet, after being this muzzled? As the police got busy stopping the youths, robbers descended on their men, killing four
A peep into 2012
in one fell swoop. There was panic in town. Who will remind Inspector General Hafiz Ringim and his man in Kogi, Commissioner Amanana Abakansanga, that there is more to policing than curtailing citizens’ right to movement? The police did not show up the other day when robbers lined innocent passengers up right on the road and allowed trucks to run over them, an incident that has diminished our claim to humanity. Shame. And, talking about robbers. Ogun State banks went on a forced holiday to draw attention to incessant raids by gunmen. Ibadan banks were also closing down, often without any announcement. In an attack on a bank in Akure, the Ondo State capital, some customers were killed. Men of the underworld no longer operate in the night; they strike at will in broad daylight, bearing sophisticated guns and dynamites to blow up bullet-proof doors and huge hammers to smash their way into bank vaults. The police seem helpless. States do not have the power to control the police, yet they buy them expensive Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), which in some cases – such as in the Kogi incident when the robbers fired at the tyres, immobilising the equipment – have proven to be ineffective. Amid the security challenges, the govern-
RIPPLES YAR’ADUA’S ILLNESS ECLIPSED OUR ACHIEVEMENTS –Jonathan
Yar’Adua’s achievements include FUEL PRICE DECREASE, he never REMOVED SUBSIDY
Beer brewers have not spoken of new prices. More and more Nigerians will be able to hit the bottle, maintain a façade of conviviality and drown their pains – temporarily – in the bottle. Is it for nothing we are rated the happiest on earth?
ment keeps threatening to make life more miserable for the citizenry, after which, it says, we will all ride away from Egypt into our Canaan and the eldorado we crave. Dr Jonathan dodged the phrase “fuel subsidy” as he presented the budget to the National Assembly on Tuesday, but he spoke of liberalisation of the downstream sector of the oil industry to attract more investments and create jobs. The euphemism is clear. Subsidy is gone. Petrol price will rise. The effects are clear: a spiral impact on the prices of goods and services. But workers have vowed to resist the removal of fuel subsidy. How? Strikes and strikes. Welcome to our Winter of Discontent The government says there will be palliatives, including funding mass transit schemes, youth empowerment and infrastructure. Haven’t we been voting money for these – and more? What is new? A group of eminent citizens will monitor how the cash that will come from fuel subsidy removal will be spent, the government has said. Isn’t this not a bare admission of the lack of trust we have been talking about? What will the National Assembly, which has an oversight role, be doing? Aren’t our lawmakers – many of them – collaborators in what is seen as an elaborate
HARDBALL •Continued from yesterday
GNORE the absurd list of ‘cushions’ the government has drawn up. Let us instead not miss the critical point that the government has absolutely no safety net ready yet. They hope to work on the safety nets when they begin to reap the windfall from the subsidy removal. Worse, the safety nets are not projects expected to bear fruits in weeks or months. Could any sensible economist or political scientist consider this appalling act of putting the cart before the horse governance? More ridiculously, Governor Obi says the states and local governments are to prepare their own programmes in order to enhance the effectiveness of the project for the benefits of Nigerians. In other words, while the federal government has concocted its own makeshift safety nets on paper, the other tiers of government are yet to even put pen to paper. Yet the subsidy removal is slated for early next year. If this is not irresponsible governance, the concept has lost its meaning. But a much worse lie nestles among the government’s indeterminate thoughts and plans. Obi said a board of reputable Nigerians
Governors, NEC and fuel subsidy (2) would be constituted to manage the ‘freed funds,’ and it would function independent of government. Who will constitute that board or sack it if it doesn’t work according to plans by and for the ruling party? Could the board in reality and practicably be outside the control of the ruling party and the National Assembly, especially in view of the provisions of the constitution? It is not only the subsidy removal plan that is hasty and untidy, even the plan to spend the so-called freed funds is bewilderingly untidier. The government has chosen to walk into a blind alley blindfolded, and it appears set to take with it a malleable National Assembly whose resolve to oppose the wild gambit is weakening daily. Nigerians, however, have a responsibility to restrain the two adventurous arms of government in power. Babangida once gambled with our destiny, and we are
programme to dupe the public and make the poor subsidise the rich? Will any eminent Nigerian accept to carry the can for what may turn out another exhibition of incompetence and insincerity? Toll gates are set to return. The question many are asking is: on which roads? The reasonable thing to do is fix the roads first and build new ones before talking about tolling. Apparently, some smart guys are already waiting to take up the tolling and the government is eager to surrender the roads it has failed to save from collapse. The effects of having toll gates are so obvious; needless to restate them. Also to rise are electricity bills. There have been so much noise about improvement in power generation, which is said to have hit 4,000 megawatts. I sneer. But many homes and factories are left without supply. Who are we deceiving? The thought of a rise in charges gives the impression that the government has deliberately set out to punish Nigerians for its inefficiency and the corruption of its officials, which it has been unable to stop. Will the public take it? I doubt it. Whenever Nigeria gets onto the sports scene, the excitement grips the entire land. An average Nigerian shows his patriotism when the national soccer team plays. He leaves all other things for a match and forgets the harsh vicissitudes of fortune to which he has been plunged by cruel government policies and inaction. Unfortunately in the new year, our soccer team will be on holidays, having failed to qualify for any major competition, including the African Cup of Nations, which we will be missing for the first time in 25 years. University teachers are on strike, asking the government to keep an agreement it signed in 2009. Students are home, playing away their time. The rich have been sending their wards to the neighbouring countries. What will happen to the army of illiterates we are building? On the international scene, a row seems to be coming, following the Senate’s anti-same sex stance. America says it is watching the development. Canada says it is not at peace with it. They see the whole thing as a matter of rights and privileges. Here, homosexuality is offensive to our sensibilities and against our culture. The Federal Government seems set to dare these foreign powers on this. The outcome? Loss of some free cash, perhaps and withdrawal of support in some diplomatic ventures. But must the West poke its nose into everything? It won’t be all gloom, no bloom. No. Beer brewers have not spoken of new prices. More and more Nigerians will be able to hit the bottle, maintain a façade of conviviality and drown their pains – temporarily – in the bottle. Is it for nothing we are rated the happiest on earth? The year of Transformation is on the way; Christmas is here. Let’s toast to a great Christmas! •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above witnesses to the damage his policies did to our economy and body politic. It is certainly not right to watch idly as another set of cocksure policymakers gamble with our manifest destiny a second time in one generation. Attempting to be clever by half, Jonathan in his budget speech of Tuesday appeared to be silent on the subsidy controversy. In reality, however, by not making provisions for the so-called subsidy, he all but indicated that there would be no subsidy in 2012. In effect, the president has removed subsidy and presented the legislature with a fait accompli. Nothing about subsidy is in the budget, so what are the lawmakers to discuss. This was the executive fiat this newspaper reported a few weeks ago. Jonathan has now bitten the bullet; it remains for Nigerians who elected him into office to determine whether that was what they elected him to do. The effects of the subsidy removal will be slow in coming, but assuredly, they will come with devastating consequences. We wait to see whether this is a mild gambit or a mad gambit. •Concluded
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