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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

WASSCE records 45 per cent pass

Oyo, Osun to reopen Ige’s murder case



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•WAEC: result better than last year’s

•Lam Adesina: killing political

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VOL. 7, NO. 1982 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011


Teenagers guilty of killing Nigerian boy in UK

F •The late Olumegbon

IVE teenagers have been convicted of stabbing a 15year-old boy to death when they ambushed him outside school in a gang feud. Zac Olumegbon, a member of the TN1 gang - ‘Trust No One’ was chased and then stabbed through the heart just yards from

his school gates in the revenge attack in South London in July, last year, Sky News reported yesterday. He was born to Nigerian parents. As Olumegbon, whose street name was ‘Little Zac’, walked into school at 8.45am, four members of the Guns and Shanks (GAS) gang, two then aged 15 and two aged 16,

leapt from a waiting car and stabbed him four times, twice in the chest and once each in the neck and buttocks. Teachers from Park Campus School in West Norwood raced to the scene but could not save him as the five escaped in a stolen Nissan Almera car. Mrs Olumegbon, Zac’s mother, yesterday said: “This is our lifetime sen-

tence. It feels like 15years I spent raising my son, and all the hopes and dream I had have been in vain. “I never thought I would burry any of my children let alone my baby boy”! The day before he was murdered, Continued on page 2

Subsidy: Labour accuses Okonjo-Iweala of lying ‘No date yet for subsidy removal’


ABOUR leaders have accused Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of lying over fuel subsidy. They said the coordinating minister of the economy was “joggling figures to reach false conclusions” in the subsidy debate. It was all at the President’s meeting with unionists at the Villa in Abuja Tuesday

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

night. President Goodluck Jonathan told the Labour delegation that the government subsidises a litre of petrol by N74. The President, who was quoted by Labour officials at the meeting as saying that “the actual cost of petrol supply is N139 per litre, admit-

Southwest gets PDP secretary



The construction of eight major roads, two bridges, healthcare for three million pregnant women, six railway projects, youth employment, mass transit, 19 irrigation projects, rural and urban water supply.

Out of the projected N1.134 trillion to be saved from the subsidy removal ... if the Federal Government alone were to spend the entire N1.134 trillion, it cannot execute even a fifth of the projects it had listed.

ted that all Nigerians benefit from fuel subsidy but claimed that the rich benefits more”. Petrol costs N65 per litre at

the pump. Nigerians, according to Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) figures, consume 33 million litres of

petrol per day. Labour’s statement on what transpired at the meeting, made public yesterday, was signed by Owei Lekemfa,

Acting General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and John Kolawole, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC). The meeting was attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and Petroleum Minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke. The Labour team was led by NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar and TUC President Peter Esele. The Labour leaders accused Dr. Okonjo-Iweala of presenting figures which were “joggled to reach false Continued on page 2


•Governors take Bayelsa crisis to NEC


HE National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has retained the party’s chairmanship in the Northeast as part of a new zoning formula. The Southwest is to produce the national secretary. The party may be in for a stormy National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting today as the governors elected on its platform are insisting on the inclusion of the Bayelsa State primary election on the agenda. The National Caucus endorsed the zoning formula Tuesday night. The party offices will now be shared at the National

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Convention in February as follows: National Chairman (Northeast); Deputy National Chairman (Southsouth); National Secretary (Southwest); National Treasurer (Northcentral); National Organising Secretary (Northwest); National Legal Adviser (Northcentral); and the National Publicity Secretary (Southeast). The House of Representatives Speaker was zoned to the Southwest, but the election of Aminu Tambuwal (Northwest) as Speaker upset the arrangement, leaving the Southwest without any post. Continued on page 2

•Members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) enforcement team at the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Abuja in a bid to recover N28billion tax, which the FCDA allegedly evaded ... yesterday PHOTO: NAN




NEWS Teenagers guilty of killing Nigerian boy in UK Continued from page 1

Zac had spoken at a conference on youth crime. Gang members Helder ‘Mad H’ Demorais, 17, Ricardo ‘Maggi’ Giddings, 17, Jamal ‘J-Kid’ Moore, 17, and Kyle ‘Clickz’ Kinghorn, who was 18 yesterday, were found guilty of murder and face life sentences. Shaquille Haughton, aged 16, burst into tears and put his head on a prison officer’s shoulder as he was cleared of murder, but convicted of manslaughter. All five defendants are from south London and will be sentenced on December 21. As the guilty verdicts were read out, there was crying from the public gallery. At the Old Bailey, Judge Giles Forrester lifted a ban on reporting the identities of the gang, who were aged 15-17 at the time of the attack. Describing the day of Zac’s murder, prosecutor Ed Brown QC said: “Before he was able to start his school day, he found himself hounded down and killed by these five defendants, armed as they were with at least two knives. “As he ran from them, he was separated from his school friends, chased, caught and stabbed to death. “Given the knives and the determination with which his attackers acted, once caught there was likely to be only one outcome - that he would receive really serious and plainly life threatening injuries, just as was intended, just as occurred.

“Another young schoolboy was also stabbed with a knife immediately outside the school. He was lucky, he survived and in the event did not suffer the fatal injuries like Zac.” The youths were armed with at least two knives and had deliberately been driven to the school to attack Zac, jurors heard, likely in a revenge for an attack on a GAS gang member. “It was a tragic and terrible waste of a young life.” The murder was the climax of a south London gang rivalry between TN1 from Tulse Hill and the GAS gang from the Angel Town Estate in Brixton. Two weeks earlier, in mid June, a GAS gang member had been stabbed by a TN1 gang rival when Zac was “present if not at the stabbing then certainly shortly beforehand”. Another young boy was injured in the confrontation but all the signs were that Zac was the ‘prime target’, said Mr Brown. He added: ‘The reality of the events that were to lead to Zac’s death is that it had its origin in the dreadful but certain fact of rivalry between young gangs. Zac’s mother described him as a loveable character who brought “so much laughter and light” to the family. His mother Shakira told the court of the pain of losing her youngest child. In a statement to the court, she said: “The scene that confronted me when I reached the school is indescribable.”

•The Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Segun Runsewe (left) presenting peace promotion items to Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, during his visit to the palace ... yesterday

PDP zones secretary to Southwest Continued from page 1

A source said: “What we did was to focus on the forthcoming National Convention in February and how to reposition the party to make it stronger for the challenges ahead. “We want to put in place a National Working Committee that will uphold the rule of law, ensure justice and fairness and enforce party discipline. “This is a tentative new zoning formula outlook which is subject to the ratification of the Board of Trustees and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party. “The party decided to retain the chairmanship in the North-

east to ensure a balance in power sharing formula. The zone has been talking of marginalisation in the scheme of things. “There were suggestions on dates for the convention but the NEC will take the final decision.” Asked about the choice of a new National Chairman, the source added: “That is left to our leaders and governors to decide among the aspirants. We know we will reach a consensus before the convention in February. “So far, the number of aspirants has risen to 11 in the light of the ratification of the new zoning formula. “The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali and

Ibrahim Birma are in the race. “Others are a former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Hassan Adamu, ex-Governor of the defunct Gongola State, Alhaji Bamanga Muhammed Tukur; ex-Minister of Petroleum, Prof. Jibril Aminu (Adamawa); exMinister of Commerce, Ambassador Idris Waziri; ex-Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Shettima Mustapha, a former National Chairman of the defunct Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), Alhaji Gambo Lawan (Borno); exGovernor Adamu Mu’azu (Bauchi) and Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe State).” The party is set for the NEC meeting today to ratify the

timetable for the convention, PDP governors are poised for a fresh battle. They are mounting pressure on the NWC to put the recently concluded Bayelsa State Primary Election in the agenda. “The governors are insisting that the party must get to the root of the crisis in Bayelsa since the NWC insisted that it acted on behalf of the NEC. “There is tension everywhere but the PDP leadership will find a way out.” A party source said: “We may not accede to the governors’ request because discussing the Bayelsa State primary election will be subjudice to the ongoing court process by Governor Timipre Sylva.”

Fuel subsidy: Labour accuses Okonjo-Iweala of lying Continued from page 1

conclusions”. Dr. Jonathan has repeatedly said subsidy withdrawal is necessary to safeguard Nigeria’s future. According to him, the country cannot continue to borrow to fund its budget yearly. He said the total deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry will open it up for foreign investments, which will lead to massive job creation and development. The government also did not provide for subsidy in next year’s budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly by the President. Although the Finance Minister said subsidy has not been removed, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director Austin Oniwon disagreed, saying since no cash is allocated to it in the budget, subsidy is gone. Labour insisted that the government should suspend the planned removal of fuel subsidy, despite the presentations by top government officials. It said: “The NLC and TUC expect that the Presidency will not remove fuel subsidy until it concludes the consultations with all stakeholders, including Labour. Also, Labour is of the firm opinion that given the high level of insecurity in the country, the hardship Nigerians are facing and the deepening poverty, the removal of fuel subsidy will be injurious to the citizens and the country.” The statement noted that the government “presented a

No date yet for take-off, says Maku


HE Federal Government yesterday said no definite date has been fixed for the removal of petroleum subsidy. This is in contrast to the position of Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Austin Oniwon that subsidy ends when next year’s budget goes into operation. Information Minister Labaran Maku said the government is still discussing with various stakeholders and no effective take off date for the removal of subsidy. Maku spoke yesterday at the end of yesterday’s weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the last for this year. With him was the Minister of State, Finance, Yerima Ngama. Said Maku: “No take-off date has been announced. The truth of the matter is our country is in a very difficult economic situation. To continue to run Nigeria with one third of the budget to subsidise one product is absolutely a path to a greater difficulty for the economy. We have continued to talk document, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE), under which it listed, among other projects, the construction or completion of eight major roads and two bridges, provision of healthcare for three million pregnant women, six railway projects, youth employment, mass transit, 19 irrigation projects, rural and urban water supply’.” Labour said its response to the planned palliative measures is that “out of the projected N1.134 trillion to be saved from the subsidy re-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

about this because every sector we opened up has produced results. “People, who are emotionally talking about it, are not actually addressing what we are saying. Let’s take the media; before now, it was only NTA, until government deregulated broadcasting in the country. Before now, you could not set up a private radio station in this country or a television station. When the government deregulated the sector, what do we have today? We have private television stations that are now competing with NTA and FRCN. If government decided to control broadcasting in the country, all of you would have been out of job. “I know we all feel emotional about subsidy. If you look at the movement of economy all over the world, unless we don’t want to develop this country and move forward. In broadcasting we have seen results. So also is the case in cement production, banking, aviation, and telecommunication,” the minister said. Maku argued that the increase in the nation’s domestic debt put at over N500

moval, the Local Government allocation is N202.23b, States N411.03b and the Federal Government N478.49b and concluded that even if the Federal Government alone were to spend the entire N1.134 trillion, it cannot execute even a fifth of the projects it had listed”. “It noted that the Presidency’s presentation was simply a repetition of the presentations made by the Babangida and Abacha regimes and the Obasanjo administration, and that none of those promises were kept.” Labour said it insisted that

billion, has made the removal of petroleum subsidy inevitable. He decried Nigeria’s inability to benefit from the sector after 33 years of investments in the oil and gas. Maku said Nigeria is the only country with our level of oil and gas resources that has failed to deregulate the sector and urged Nigerians to bear with the government over its decision to deregulate the sector. Ngama said Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director Austin Oniwon was merely pushing for the removal of subsidy with his comment that subsidy removal will take off when Budget 2012 implementation begins. He said the FEC decided on the approval of $8.804 million, as payment for the full subscription of 62,000 units of shares allotted to the Federal Government in the Africa Reinsurance Corporation. The council also approved the contract for a pipeline for the supply of gas to the Alaoji power plant and a N2,582,787,557.23 plus $8,216,198.44, equivalent to N3,815,217,323.00 billion plus five per cent VAT of N190,760,866.10.

“if non-oil producing nations can refine petroleum products, a big oil producing country like Nigeria has no excuse to be import-dependent. Labour said government has basic responsibilities to the populace and not make externally-driven proscriptions like the intern IMF did on SAP under the Babangida regime and that its opposition to fuel subsidy removal is driven by its belief that the people must come first on all policies”. Labour noted that the Presidency did not present facts on the impact of subsidy removal

on the populace, particularly the informal economy, where most Nigerians earn a living. Labour also pointed out that some of the statistics presented by the Minister of Finance were joggled to reach “false conclusions”. It quoted President Jonathan as rounding off the session with the explanation that inviting Labour was not to make it take a decision either in favour or against fuel subsidy removal, but to present the government’s position and encourage mutually beneficial discussions. The Labour officials added

that Dr. Jonathan invited Labour to present its counter statistics and analysis of the government’s documents for discussion on a future date. Labour accepted. On the New National Minimum Wage, the statement said while the government elaborated on how the savings from subsidy removal will be spent on social infrastructure, Labour said the government has shown consistently that it cannot be trusted, considering how agreements and promises have been reneged upon in recent years. Specifically, labour complained that the Federal Government, despite signing an agreement with it and issuing an enabling circular that the N18,000 minimum wage will be implemented for Federal Public Servants from August 2011, it has not begun the implementation. It added that the failure or refusal of the government to implement agreements is one of the reasons Nigerians do not trust it. Jonathan reportedly said he was shocked to find out two weeks ago that the new wage had not been implemented by the Federal Government. He blamed it on bureaucracy and said he had directed his ministers and officials to begin payment immediately.

CORRECTION In Dr. Olatunji Dare’s column on Tuesday, the sentence: “That day, Daniyan said, was the happiest of his life” should have read : “That day, Daniyan said, was one of the happiest of his life.”

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678





NEWS ‘Naval academy is legal’

Falana sues Fed Govt LAGOS lawyer Femi Falana has sued the Federal Government over its refusal to establish an Education Bank for deserving Nigerian undergraduates. In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Mr. Falana is seeking the following reliefs: A declaration that the failure or refusal of the Federal Government to establish the Nigerian Education Bank is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates Sections 1 and 4 of the Nigerian Education Bank Act (Cap N104) LFN 2004. An Order directing the Federal Government to establish the Nigerian Education Bank forthwith. In the affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by Solomon Kehinde, a lawyer in Falana & Falana’s Chambers, the plaintiff alleged that his demand for the establishment of the Bank has been ignored by President Goodluck Jonathan. Falana, who complains that he is regularly requested by indigent students for financial aid predicated his action on Section 7(1) of the Nigerian Education Bank Act which mandates the Bank to “provide loans to students to finance their education in institutions of higher education”.

Jimoh Ibrahim appointed envoy of Sao Tome THE Group Managing Director of the Global Fleet Group and Publisher of National Mirror Newspapers, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim has been appointed the Honorary Consul of Sao Tome and Principe in Nigeria. Ibrahim’s appointment followed a request to the Federal Government by the government of Sao Tome. The announcement was contained in a December 20 letter by the Nigerian Ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe, Ahmed Magaji, to Dr. Ibrahim. The letter reads: “Following a request to the Federal Government by the government of Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, indicating that country’s intention to appoint you as Honorary Consul of Sao Tome and Principe in Abuja, I am pleased to convey to you the approval of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the appointment. The Sao Tome government has already been informed accordingly. “I am confident that you will bring your best efforts to bear on your new role for the purpose of further enhancing the cordial relations existing between our two countries’’.

By Joseph Jibueze


•Glo Ambassadors – musician Ego Ogbaru (left), actor Mike Ezuruonye and actress Rita Dominic (right) presenting a cheque of N1 million to Mrs Abosede Omoniyi during the fifth Glo Register Sim and Win Promo in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

HE Merchant Navy Maritime Academy has denied reports that it is operating illegitimately. It said it is a legal entity. Its Director of Communication and Information, Commander S. A. Adelani, said in a statement that the academy is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Ministry of Education. It has the reference number: UPE/PSHE/68/255 and an approval number: OG/UBE/ OWS/009. He added that it offers courses in Nautical Science, Marine Engineering and Shipping Management. Adelani said the academy’s Commandant-General, Commodore Aderemi Olatinwo is a recognised Master Mariner and qualified Nigerian Merchant Navy Officer who was trained in Nigeria and Britain. According to him, the report that Olatinwo was arrested for running an illegal academy was false.

UK blacklists medical graduates from UNIPORT, UNIBEN, UNN, others F

RESH graduates from nine medical schools in Nigeria have been forbidden from seeking to obtain a licence to practise in the United Kingdom, the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom confirmed to The Nation yesterday. A source in the GMC, UK’s equivalent of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), said the affected universities are: Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, University of Benin, University of Jos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Port Harcourt, Ebonyi State University, Igbinedion University College of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The decision affects those who graduated after December 10, 2010. In the case of the University of Benin and the Igbinedion University College of Health Sciences, it only applies to those who graduated on or after April 1, 2010. Also, affected graduates cannot sit for the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB), the examination that enables nonUK medical graduates to undertake post graduate medical training in the country. A source in the GMC told The Nation on phone that the decision was taken following an advice from the MDCN. He said this meant the schools no longer met the primary medical qualification to practice in the UK. The Head of Registration of the MDCN, Dr. Victor Gbenro, told The Nation yesterday that it was true that

VCs of UNIPORT, Igbinedion varsity kick


HE Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Joseph Ajienka, has rejected the disqualification of the institution’s medical doctors from seeking licence to practise in the United Kingdom. Ajienka spoke through the university’s spokesman, Dr. Williams Wodi, who isalso a senior lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies. Ajienka said: “It is the prerogative of the UK agency to decide which qualifications to recognise in that country. ‘’University of Port Harcourt is not an extension of an amorphous rating agency in the UK or anywhere else. “We do not yet understand the parameters that informed the so-called disqualification of the targeted institutions in the UK. There is also an element of inferiority complex, in a situation where we split hairs of other people’s measure of merit in their country. “After all, Nigerians who studied Law in the UK are compelled to do two years in our Law Schools here (Nigeria). The reasons they gave are at best, self- promotional and thus unsustainable.

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt, Yusuf Aminu Idegu, Jos and Osagie Otabor, Benin

“We cannot continue to seek approval from UK authorities, before we run our system. Colonialism is over and done with in Nigeria.” But the University of Jos Registrar, Information and Publication, Steve Otowo said it was not aware of the development and would not comment. Also, Vice Chancellor of the Igbinedion University, Okada, Prof. Eghosa Osaghea described the decision as belated. Osaghea in a telephone interview said the accreditation of the institution’s College of Medicine has been restored by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). He noted that the error might have occurred when the MDCN pasted list of institutions that lost its accreditation on their websites. Prof Osaghea explained that there was no cause for alarm as the issues have been settled. Public Relations Officer of the Ambrose Alli Unversity, Ekpoma, Mr. Chris Adamaigbo told The Nation that the institution was not aware of such decision. The University of Benin spokesman Mr. Harris Osarenren could not be reached.

THE AFFECTED VARSITIES Ambrose Ali University •Ebonyi State University Igbinedion University College of Health Sciences Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Nnamdi Azikiwe University •University of Benin University of Jos •University of Nigeria Source: University of Port Harcourt By Olukorede Yishau, Assistant Editor (News)

the accreditation of the affected institutions were suspended, but added that what it meant was that the insti-

tutions could not admit fresh intakes. He said: “Event has, however overtaken that as the suspension has been lifted. So, it is left to the GMC to review their decision barring graduates of these med-

ical institutions from seeking to practice in the UK.” The GMC on its website noted that “The following medical schools are currently listed in the Avicenna Directory of medical schools but, at the present time, the GMC is not registering or issuing a licence to practise to graduates who hold primary medical qualifications obtained from those schools. Graduates from these schools are not permitted to make a booking for or to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test.

“Please note: If you are thinking of booking the PLAB test and are the holder of one of these primary medical qualifications, we strongly recommend that you contact the GMC before booking the test to ensure that your qualification is acceptable. Due to the complex nature of establishing whether a primary medical qualification meets our criteria such enquiries may take time to assess so please ensure you contact us well in advance of the closing date for the PLAB sitting you wish to attend.” The list Ambrose Ali University (this only applies to those who graduated after 10 December 2010) Ebonyi State University (this only applies to those who graduated after 10 December 2010) Igbinedion University College of Health Sciences (this applies only to those who graduated on or after 1 April 2010) Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) (this only applies to those who graduated after 10 December 2010) Nnamdi Azikiwe University (this only applies to those who graduated after 10 December 2010) University of Benin (this applies only to those who graduated on or after 1 April 2010) University of Jos (this only applies to those who graduated after 10 December 2010) University of Nigeria (this only applies to those who graduated after 10 December 2010) University of Port Harcourt (this only applies to those who graduated after 10 December 2010)

Court convicts American suspect for laundering N6.8 million


FEDERAL High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has convicted an American, Parker Damian George for laundering about N6.8million ($42,700). The court also ordered the accused to forfeit 40 per cent of the total sum found on him at the point of arrest. According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Finan-

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

cial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the suspect was charged and found guilty by Justice Mohammed Idris under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011. The Act stipulates that any person, who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to

the Customs Service pursuant to Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to forfeit not less that 25 per cent of the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument or to imprisonment of not less than two years. The statement said: “The charge against Parker George

reads in part: “That on or about November 30, 2011 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court failed to make a declaration of the $ 42,700 which you were transporting from Nigeria to the United States of America to the Nigerian Customs Service as required under Section 2(3) of the Money Laundering Act of

2011 and Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provision) Act Cap. F3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 2(5) of the Money Laundering Act of 2011. “Parker Damian George was arrested on November 29, 2011 during a secondary check at the boarding gate with $42,700 by

the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and was handed over to the EFCC for prosecution. “Consequent upon this, as a first offender without previous criminal record, the court ordered that Parker should forfeit 40 per cent of the total undeclared sum found on him at the point of arrest at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.”



NEWS Senate hailed for BPE probe report THE Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has commended the Senate for adopting its committee’s report on the probe of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate had earlier adopted the report of the Sen. Ahmed Lawan-led committee on sales of some national assets to private individuals from 2009 to date. National Chairman of IPAC Chief Osita Okereke commended the Senate for rising to the occasion of addressing fraudulent sales of government corporations. “I will give kudos to the present Senate for addressing this national issue which has failed to impact positively on Nigerians. “Although, it is its statutory responsibility to correct government policies which will produce adverse effect on the citizenry. “It is obvious that the process of sale of our national assets was done in a fraudulent manner and I am urging the Senate to put more pressure on the executive to implement this report without delay.’’ Also reacting, Alhaji Mohammed Shittu, National Chairman, Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN), said the adoption of the report and the step taken by the lawmakers would further convince Nigerians that democracy is at work. Shittu said the action of the lawmakers had shown that the current Senate was out to give Nigerians a purposeful legislation. ‘’I want all political parties to support this Senate to achieve in their good work and I want them to ensure that the executive arm of government implements those adopted recommendations,’’ he said.

BPE report: Beneficiaries of privatisation shift battle to court ‘Senate’s decision, exercise in futility’ •Mark


OME key aides of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and others who benefited from his privatisation programme are set for a showdown with the Federal Government over moves to reverse sales of some companies based on the Senate’s decision. They are insisting that contrary to the report of the Senate’s Ad Hoc Committee on Privatisation, most of the companies in question are about 67 per cent viable. The Senate had on Tuesday rolled back Obasanjo’s privatisation exercise by asking the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to revoke the sale of some companies. The Senate also asked the government to reprimand former Directors-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, including Mallam Nasir elRufai, Julius Balat, and Irene Chigbue. The Senate also recommended the removal of the present DG of the BPE, Mrs. Bolanle Onagoruwa. But there is a row over the call for the revocation of the sales of companies, such as Transcorp Hilton Hotel, NICON-Luxury Hotel, Volkswagen of Nigeria Limited, Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Delta Steel Company and Katsina Rolling Mill among others. The beneficiaries of the privatisation, especially members of Corporate Nigeria, have vowed to resist the moves to revoke the sale of these firms. A top source, who spoke in


HE Group Managing Director of the Global Fleet Group, Jimoh Ibrahim, has described the Senate’s resolution advising the Federal Government to revoke the sale of some private companies in Nigeria as an exercise in futility. Ibrahim said in Lagos that he did not buy the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja from the Senate, and that the Senate was not privy to the transaction with the Federal Government, adding that the Senate lacks the jurisdiction on such contractual matters. He said the Senate’s probe of the privatisation exercise by the Federal Government is unfortunate as the probe lacks fair hearing and is a violation of the 1999 Constitution. From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

confidence, said: “We know why they are doing this, the revocation will not stand and Jonathan should not attempt to do it. “We have met and we have decided to take our battle to the court against the Senate and the Federal Government. The Senate Ad Hoc Committee hid many facts from the upper chamber and the government. The privatised companies are more than 67 per cent viable. “Why will anyone want to sell companies that are doing well? The truth is that a new business class is interested in some of these companies for selfish reasons. “We will meet in court if the government makes any move to reverse the sale of these companies. That is why investors are scared of coming to Nigeria. “Look at the fact-sheet. Dividend paid by Transcorp Hilton to FGN since 2006 is N4, 144,618.59 while Eleme Petrochemical is N12, 894, 750.

45 per cent pass in WASSCE •Performance in Nov/Dec WASSCE improves


ORE than 40 per cent of the 404,863 candidates who wrote the 2011 November/ December West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), scored credit passes in five subjects, including English and mathematics. Head of the Nigerian National Office, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, who announced the results yesterday at the WAEC Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos, said 176,848 candidates, representing 45.62 per cent made the benchmark for admission into universities. He said the results are

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

better compared to last year’s where only 20.04 per cent of the 309,431 candidates that sat for the examination reached the same benchmark. This year’s results also showed that 60.86 per cent of the candidates made credit and above in mathematics, while 59.82 made same in English language. Only 43.06 per cent of the candidates recorded credit in English, while 48.88 per cent made it in mathematics last year.

The percentage of results withheld because of malpractice also dropped this year to 9.65 (39, 066) compared with 16.73 per cent (51,876) last year. Uwadiae attributed the better performance recorded this year to reforms in the education sector by various governments. He said: “WAEC is just a mirror, telling how candidates have performed in any given examination. The result may be said to be better because some states have begun to address issues in the sector, by providing needed infrastructure.”

‘Police Commissioners should report to governors’


HE Director-General of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, has suggested that Commissioners of Police should report to governors instead of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). Akinterinwa spoke yesterday at a dinner organised by the Victoria Island Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC).

“It makes little sense to suggest that governors are chief security officers of their states when the Commissioners of Police to the states owe allegiance to the IGP. “The inability of the police to deal squarely with the various national security threats is largely derived from this structural imbalance of allegiance in the police force,” said the NIIA

boss. Akinterinwa, who was guest speaker at the dinner, spoke on the topic: “The Police In An Inclement Environment”. According to him, the people would need to do what was necessary to have a police force they deserved and people should take police problems as part of their own problems and seek to solve them.

“On our part, we have filed an action on the matter. It’s only logical to follow the Supreme Court’s decision in Ojukwu vs Lagos State government on the doctrine of les bendis, as the Senate cannot coerce the president or the executive to do otherwise in a matter that is before the court of law. “To us, the Senate exercise is a waste of tax payers’ money, a voyage of discovery, and an exercise in futility.” Ibrahim added that the Senate’s decision is only advisory as it is not binding on the Executive.” He advised the presidency not to derail on the privatisation programme and commended the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) for a job well done.

“In 2005, NNPC undertook a “back-to-back” guarantee on gas supply to the core investor in ALSCON, which is Rusal. NNPC first guaranteed Shell, through the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) that it will be paid if it supplies gas to ALSCON. “The 2005 agreement was that ALSCON will get gas at 321/2 cents per standard cubic feet (scf) at the time it was going for between 65 cents and a dollar depending on the quantity. Presently, it goes for between $2.7 and $4 dollars in the international market. And the 2005 agreement says the price is fixed at 321/2 cents for 15 years. “The government continued to supply gas to ALSCON

until 2009 when Shell, through NGC, stopped and demanded unpaid subsidy of over N600 million.” On the plan to remove the DG of the BPE, another source said the woman has no power to take decisions unilaterally as the public is being made to believe. The source added: “The BPE did not illegally sell the Federal Government’s five per cent shares in Eleme Petrochemical Company Limited (EPCL), Port Harcourt, to Indorama for N4.375 billion. “The claim in its entirety is false, uninformed, mischievous and grossly misleading. “It must be noted that as

the Secretariat of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the BPE could not embark on the sale of any public enterprise without the approval of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the EPCL transaction cannot be different.” “It may be recalled that EPCL was about to embark on a multi-billion dollar expansion programme, and that the inherent threat of FGN’s five per cent shareholding being diluted as a result of recapitalisation, necessitated the decision by the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation to negotiate the price for the sale of the shares, on the understanding that the approval of the National Council on Privatisation would be obtained before closure of the transaction. “A further consideration for the proposed sale of the five per cent shareholding in the company was to initiate a process in which the Nigerian public can benefit from the phenomenal successes recorded by EPCL, as Indorama, the Core Investor also agreed that it would make available between 20 and 25% of EPCL shares via Initial Public Offering (IPO) within a period of five years from the effective date on which the Share Purchase Agreement for the five per cent would be signed.”



NEWS ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

N280 million Value of the two specially-built bullet proof Mercedez Benz cars the presidency budgeted for

9 Number of medical schools in Nigeria whose fresh graduates are barred from practising in the UK

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N58 billion The amount the EFCC accused former governor of Ogun State Gbenga Daniel of allegedly stealing

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Approximate number of people believed to have died in the UN House suicide attack in Abuja

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The year in numbers


The outgoing year is eventful. It is the year Nigeria held what many thought was a credible election. It is also the year the country witnessed unprecedented bombings. JOSEPH JIBUEZE highlights some of the major events of 2011

A year of tears, grief, suicide bombing, ...and cheery news January


ITH the general election approaching, the year began with great anticipation. Political permutations and activities dominated the headlines. Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan beat former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to emerge Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) unanimously adopted former anti-corruption czar Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as its running mate. Former National Security Adviser Alhaji Aliyu Gusau, who had campaigned vigorously, surprisingly withdrew from the race. At the primaries, 50 PDP senators lost their bid to seek re-election. The Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF) rejected Jonathan after a meeting. On January 10, President Jonathan signed the first and second amendments of the 1999 Constitution, including the revised election timetable. On January 29, foremost nationalist Pa Anthony Enahoro was buried in his family home in Uromi, Edo State. He died on December 15, 2010 at the age of 87.

February President Jonathan drew the ire of Southwest leaders. Speaking while flagging off his campaign in the region on February 8, he said: “The Southwest is too important to be left in the hands of rascals.” Several reactions followed, with calls on Jonathan to apologise. Ribadu, in one of his campaigns, said he was happy to be associated with the ‘rascals.’ The month also witnessed a flurry of political activities. Governorship candidates picked running mates and made campaign promises. For instance, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, who became Oyo governor on ACN platform, picked a former banker as running mate. They promised to create 20,000 jobs.

March Former PDP National Vice-Chairman (Southwest), Chief Olabode George, accused with others of misappropriation of funds while he served as chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) regained his freedom. Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Lagos State High Court jailed him for two years in 2009 Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said he was tricked into attending the reception organised to

celebrate George’s freedom. Condemnation trailed the elaborate reception. There were fears as several political rallies held in March turned deadly. A major news was an allegation that President Jonathan was under pressure to arrest ACN National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In the same month, there was an alleged plot to poison the President. A bomb blast rocked Suleja. The PDP sued President of the Court of Appeal Isa Ayo Salami over the removal of former Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni and his Osun counterpart, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. In Akwa Ibom State, there was tension over the alleged bid to stop ACN candidate John James Akpanudoedeghe from contesting the election. He was charged and remanded in custody in Abuja following a political clash. His party asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to resign.

April The general elections was held. Several PDP giants fell in the battle for the National Assembly. The ACN won in Lagos, Oyo and Ogun. Dr Jonathan was declared winner of the Presidential election. Before the elections, a touching picture of CPC candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari made front pages. He wept at his final presidential rally. Some analysts said he should have waited to be trounced before weeping.

May Buhari went to court to challenge Jonathan’s victory. A mob attacked the president’s convoy while on a state visit to Uganda. At last, President Jonathan signed the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill into Law on May 28.

June The Seventh Senate was inaugurated. David Mark retained his seat as Senate President. The election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives was not so smooth. The office was ‘zoned’ to the Southwest, but Mr Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, from Northwest, emerged as Speaker. PDP frowned at the development. As has become the tradition, June 12 was marked all over the country. Some states declared public holidays. There had been reports of bombings since the beginning of the year. But suicide bombing, which had not

crept into the Nigerian lexicon, debuted on June 16 when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the Police Headquatres in Abuja. The massive blast shook the building and left scores dead.

July Election Petition Tribunals, which had been struggling against deadline set by the Electoral Act, began delivering verdicts across the country. For instance, in Akwa Ibom, the ACN described the ruling as shocking. It was in June that President Jonathan proposed a one-term single tenure, which he later clarified as seven years at a stretch.

August Former House of Representatives Speaker and former All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) chairman Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke died at 76 on August 2. The trial of former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza al-Mustapha made headlines. He claimed that Yoruba leaders met with General Abdulsalami Abubakar on July 8, 2008 and were bribed to keep quiet over Chief Moshood Abiola’s death. Spectators who thronged the court to view the video of how money was shared to the leaders were disappointed. al-Mustapha later made a volte face, saying he had no proof. It was in the same month that former military President Ibrahim Babangida got an acidic birthday gift from former President Olusegun Obsanjo. He called him “a fool”. IBB retorted that Nigerians knew who the real fool was between them. After fighting the greatest battle of his career, Justice Salami was suspended. The National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended his retirement on August 19. Protests and condemnation trailed the suspension. Calls were made for his re-instatement. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on August 29, was sworn in as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) following the retirement of Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, whose tenure was dogged by controversy, on August 29. On August 26, a car bomb hit the United Nations (UN) Building in Abuja. Eighteen people were killed. The Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility.

October The EFCC arraigned former governors of Oyo (Adebayo Alao-Aka-

la), Ogun (Gbenga Daniel) and Nassarawa (Alli Akwe Doma) in their states for alleged N25 billion, N58 billion and N18 billion fraud. On October 12, ‘Underwear bomber’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to attempting to bomb a United States (U.S.) aircraft on Christmas Day in 2009. Two hundred and ninety passengers were aboard the plane. He will be sentenced on January 12 next year. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) warned that removing fuel subsidy would amount to a declaration of war on Nigerians. On October 12, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on suspicion of drug trafficking, arrested popular comedian Babatunde Omidina, popularly known as Baba Suwe, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

November On November 26, former Biafran leader, Ikemba Nnewi Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu died. Explosions rocked Maiduguri and

Damaturu, while 11 policemen and 79 others were killed in Yobe bombing. On November 23, President Jonathan sacked EFCC chairman Mrs Farida Waziri of her duties. No reason was given for her sack. Ibrahim Lamorde was named acting chairman. On November 22, Senator Ali Ndume was arraigned for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram, the dreaded Islamic sect troubling some parts of the North. On November 30, the Code of Conduct Tribunal dismissed allegation of operating foreign bank account while in office against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

December President Jonathan presents the 2011 Budget to the National Assembly for consideration, with N921.91billion allocated to security. The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) held anti-Boko Haram protest in Lagos as three members of the sect were killed on December 17 at a house in Maiduguri where they were said to be building explosive devises.



NEWS ○ ○ ○ ○

Two days ago President Goodluck Jonathan said the country’s oil reserve may dry up in another 35 years

35 years

100 The approximate number of people believed to have died in the August 26 Ibadan floods

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N15.5 billion The amount spent by the Federal Government in the fiscal year on immunisation programme

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N921.91 billion The amount the presidency requested to fight insecurity in the country

The current position of the country’s foreign reserve. This is almost half of what it was in 2008

$33 billion


TIMELINE March 3: Three people are killed and 21 injured by an explosive device thrown from a car during an election rally near Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. April 7: An explosion hits a polling booth at Unguwar Doki, Maiduguri, Borno State. More than 10 people injured. April 8: Bomb explosion at the National Independent Electoral Commission office in Suleja, kills 11. April 9: An explosion hits a polling booth in a neighbourhood of the Northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri during a parliamentary election. April 15: Youths riding on a motorcycle, throw a locally made bomb into the premises of the Maiduguri council office of the INEC.


• Left: A flooded Lagos street; above, rescuers at the scene of one of the several accidents recorded during the outgoing year; below, three prominent Nigerians who died during the year- Alex Ibru,n Emeka Ojukwu and Edwin Ume-Ezeoke; and right, rescuers at the UN House, Abuja after the suicide bomb attacks which shook the nation and made the international community take Boko Haram as a major threat to world peace.

April 16: A police station in the Lami Sula district of Maiduguri, which lies in the remote state of Borno near Nigeria’s borders with Chad, Cameroun and Niger Republic, is bombed. April 16: Bomb explosion occurs in two separate areas of Kaduna metropolis on the night of the presidential election in the state. April 21: Two suspected bombmakers die in a blast in Kaduna. April 25: Three bomb blasts rip through a hotel and a motor park in Maiduguri, killing at least two persons. May 29: Thirteen people are confirmed dead and 40 injured in a night blast at mammy market located in Shandawanka Barracks, Bauchi, the Bauchi State capital. May 29: Eight victims lose their legs after an explosion occurred at Zuba, a suburb of Kubwa in Abuja. May 31: Bomb explosion near bank on Baga Road in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The outgoing year recorded a number of fatal accidents, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU

The roads were famished A

FAMILY of five, last month, perished on the Tamburawa bridge on the Kano-Zaria road. Father, mother, two children and a brother went down with their dreams. Abubakar Adamu, 49, the driver of the ill-fated Mercedes Benz car was a resident of Badarawa in Kaduna. He was travelling to Kano from Kaduna, with his wife, Maryam, 28; his brother, Ibrahim Adamu, 47; and his two children, four-year-old Halima and one-yearold Muhammad Abubakar. They are all died. Thirty four people have died in accidents on the bridge, located at Kilometre 2 on the Kano -Zaria federal highway in the last six months. On October 30, an expectant moth-

er and 10 others died in a road crash in Imo State. A witness said a trailer rolled uncontrollably and fell on top of the 18-seater bus coming from Okigwe. The woman died when the vehicles were being broken with axes to rescue trapped passengers. Two days earlier, on October 28, four people were killed and another one injured in an accident on the Tegina-Kontagora road in Niger State. On October 23 in Anambra State an articulated vehicle crushed two people to death on the OnitshaAwka old road. The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m., close to Afor-Nkpor market on the outskirts of Onitsha. In the last three months, close to

200 people have died in road crashes. In November, an accident claimed 30 lives in Edo State. The victims included children, travelling for the celebration. It occurred on the BeninOkene-Abuja Express Road. Eyewitnesses said the accident, which occurred around Okpela, involved two commercial buses. The victims were reportedly trapped for several hours. It was a Herculean task removing them from the wrecked vehicles. On the same day, 16 people died in a road crash on the Okene-Auchi Road in Kogi State. Two Toyota Hiace buses, travelling in opposite directions with 30 passengers on board, had a head-on collision about 13km from Okene. Sunday Maku, Kogi State Sector

Commander of the FRSC said the victims included nine men, six women and a baby. He said 10 other passengers, including eight men and two women, sustained injuries. He attributed the cause of the accident to dangerous overtaking. Bodies of the deceased were deposited at the Okene General Hospital mortuary. On Wednesday, November 2, eight people died in a multiple accident on the Murtala- Muhammed Way in Benin City. The accident involved a commuter bus, marked XK 563 USL, a Volkswagen Jetta car with registration number, DG 744 BEN, a motorcycle and a tipper, which fell at the opposite side of the road. The lorry rammed into other vehicles.

June 16: Boko Haram carries out massive bomb attack on Force Headquarters (also known as Louis Edet House), Abuja, targeted at the Inspector-General of Police. Officials believe it is the first suicide bombing in Nigeria’s history. August 26: Boko Haram bombed the UN House, Abuja, killing over 20 people. November 4, 2011: At least 100 people were killed in a spate of coordinated gun and bomb attacks in the Nigerian city of Damaturu. Churches, mosques and police stations in Damaturu were attacked after earlier bomb blasts in Maiduguri. November 11: Explosion in Bauchi left five people injured. December, 7, 2011: An explosion in Kaduna killed at least seven people, including a three-yearold child. December 11, 2011: Three bomb blasts, targeting bars, rocked Jos, with one death and 10 reportedly injured.



NEWS DIG Dawodu’s family to media: wait for police probe By Jude Isiguzo


HE family of the late Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of Investigation (‘D’ Department) Force Headquarters in Abuja, Mr Ganiyu Dawodu, has urged the media to be cautious in reporting his death. It noted that certain reports might jeopardise police investigations. In a statement by Haruna Dawodu, the family said: “Sexing up the report of his death, as has been done by a section of the press, does not serve the interest of ongoing investigation by the Police; nor does it show the slightest regard for the family’s agonies. “For us, Dawodu was more than a public officer. He was a gentleman and a deeply committed family man, beyond a shadow of doubt. “What we know, as a fact, is that Dawodu died in Lagos while on an official assignment to represent the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim. “At this time of mourning, however, some reports are compounding the family’s grief by casting doubts and suspicions on the circumstances of Mr Dawodu’s death. Dawodu was a public officer and we understand the considerable interest in his death. “As the authorities continue their investigation, we are comforted by the memory of Dawodu’s outstanding life of service

Court orders Idris to conduct ENUE State High council poll


Court, sitting in Lokoja, has given the government 45 days to conduct local government election. Delivering judgment in a suit filed by the Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mallam Haddy Ametuo, and six others, the Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, held that the government should announce a date for the council poll within 45 days. The petitioner is challenging the alleged delay, refusal or neglect of the defendants the governor, the House of Assembly, the state electoral commission, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, the Local Government

From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

Service Commission and the ministry - to conduct elections into the councils. Justice Ajanah noted that one year and six months after the court had declared the Local Government Law 2008 on council chairmen’s tenure null and void, the state still refused to fix a date for the poll. He said: “It is surprising that more than one year and six months after the said decision and one month after the expiration of local government councils, the state government is only just presenting a bill to the House of Assembly.”

Fear grips Kogi residents at Yuletide By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor


OGI State is under the siege of armed robbers and bombers, fuelling fears that many indigenes may not return home for the Christmas and New Year festivals. The Nation learnt that in the past few days, fear has gripped the people following the invasion of some banks and police posts in Kabba, Ayetoro-Gbede and Ijumu, by armed robbers. Hoodlums have also been terrorising Yagba, Isanlu, Okenne and Egbe, where many people have been killed and property worth millions of naira stolen. Ten people have reportedly been killed in robbery attacks in Okenne, the heart of Ebiraland, early this week. Governor Ibrahim Idris reportedly jetted out of the country, handing over to his deputy, Philip Salawu, who has been at loggerheads with him over succession and power shift in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The police said the miscreants disturbing public peace would be apprehended to ensure a hitch-free Yuletide.

Niger proposes N90.4b budget


HE Niger State Government yesterday presented a budget proposal of N90.4 billion to the House of Assembly for the 2012 fiscal year. The budget was christened: Budget of Economic Regeneration, Poverty Reduction and Infrastructural Development. Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said N47.9 billion is proposed for capital expenditure and N42.4 billion for recurrent expenditure. He said the 75 per cent of the appropriation would be sourced from statutory allocation, including the Federation Account allocation, Value Added Tax (VAT), Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), capital grants, including bonds and grants, as well as the capital market.

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

The governor told the lawmakers that the bill would emphasise a friendly environment to boost agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. The budget, Aliyu added, was designed to rejuvenate the economy, create jobs and reduce poverty through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). According to him, the policy thrust of the 2012 budget is aimed at supporting the private sector to play a pivotal role in the development of the state’s economy. The governor said the priority areas of the budget include water supply, infrastructural development, health care delivery, education and agriculture.

•Senator Gbenga Ashafa (in glasses) with Mrs Bolanle Fatimo Ajani and Mr Wasiu Babatunde Olakunola during the ‘Pens Down’ ceremony of retired eight Lagos Stae permanent secretaries at the state secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday PHOTO:OMSEHIN MOSES

Jonathan urges public servants to sustain trust P R E S I D E N T Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said public office holders who lack total commitment to their duties betray the trust and confidence the nation reposes in them. He said there is need for more dedication to duty among public servants. The President spoke at the swearing-in of a new Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Anastasia Mabi DanielNwaobia, before the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Villa, Abuja. Dr Jonathan noted that given the challenges con-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

fronting the country, “…all of us, who have been afforded the opportunity to serve in high public offices, will be betraying the trust and the confidence of the people of this country if we serve with anything less than total commitment to doing the utmost for the good of our nation.” According to him, public officers “have a duty to serve with consuming diligence and unshakeable faith

in Nigeria so that in the end we will be able to look back with confidence that posterity will judge us as having served with honour, dignity, loyalty and courage”. The President assured civil servants of Federal Government’s readiness to provide the logistics and support for them to perform optimally. He urged them to live up to their responsibility to ensure that their actions are predicated on adherence to the high standard for service delivery with transpar-

ency, integrity and uncommon diligence. Dr Jonathan noted that Mrs Daniel-Nwaobia’s “elevation should be seen by others in the service as a challenge and a clear testimony to this administration’s commitment to ensuring just rewards for proven diligence, dedication and commitment to the highest ideal of service to our father land”. The President added: “This principle is anchored on the belief that our Transformation Agenda can only be effectively driven by the modern, robust, vibrant, efficient and proactive civil servant.”

SSS arrests couple over alleged kidnap, killing


HE Niger State Command of the State Security Service (SSS) has arrested a self-acclaimed evangelist, Okechukwu Ifedi, his wife, Juliet, as well as their suspected accomplice, Victor the Ibegbu, for alleged kidnap and killing of Kingsley Elekwachi, for allegedly having an affair with the woman. The State SSS Director Dr. Larry Obiagwu, yesterday paraded the suspects in Minna, the state capital. Elekwachi was a former National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member. The couple was also alleged to have kidnapped two other persons. Obiagwu said Juliet lured Elekwachi, a graduate of Architecture from the Federal

From Orintunsin, Minna

Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, after his national service in July, from Awomama in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State on October 9 to Minna. Both were said to be lovers during their national service. Elekwachi was said to be oblivious that Juliet was married before they met. He was unaware that Juliet was working in tandem with her husband and was being tricked to come to Minna. On arrival in Minna, he was reportedly picked up by the couple and taken to the Juliet’s home at Mobil Quarters in Tunga. There, his ordeal began. He was reportedly kept in chains and locked in a room for one week by the couple.

Obiagwu said the couple accused their victim of visiting a married woman in her matrimonial home, torturing him before forcing him to take nine tablets of Valium 5, a bottle of gin and three bottles of larger beer. Having sedated their victim, the couple allegedly dumped him in the night at Eastern bye-pass in Minna, where Elekwachi reportedly died. Unsatisfied with the death, the couple allegedly contacted his relations and demanded N1 million ransom from his family for him to be released. The unsuspecting family paid N500,000 in two installations of N200,000 and N300,000. But the family raised the alarm when Elekwachi did not return home after the ransom

had been paid. The family petitioned the SSS. Working on a tip-off, the SSS Director said the agency, on December 13, arrested the “evangelist” and his wife. Ibegbu was arrested the following day at a hideout in Kpagunku, a suburb of Minna. The arrest of the trio led to the rescue a 16-year-old, who gave her name as Jennifer. She was reportedly found in a rented room, where Ifedi kept her and his two and a halfyear-old daughter, allegedly kidnapped from his wife. Jennifer told reporters that she was brought from Lagos by the “evangelist’ under the pretext that he was going to facilitate her education abroad but dumped her in the hideout with the baby.

NIGCOMSAT-IR launch excites Senate committee chair T

HE Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, Prince Gil Nnaji, has described the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China as mutually-beneficial, strong and progressive. In a message to President Goodluck Jonathan, the senator noted that the recent successful launch of the NIGCOMSAT-1R in China attests to this. The lawmaker, representing Enugu East Senatorial District, said the understanding and acceptance of the

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Chinese government to build and launch the replacement satellite at no extra cost showed deep-rooted friendship based on mutual trust and shared vision existing between the countries. The previous satellite, which was launched in 2007, was reportedly removed from the air space and stored in a parking orbit by the Nigerian Satellite Communications Limited following

the detection of a threatening fault. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and its organs built and launched NIGCOMSAT-1R at no extra cost as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to its Nigerian customer. Nnaji solicited support for NIGCOMSAT to enable it launch another satellite, which would be launched soon in Nigeria by Nigerians and for Nigerians.

The seantor praised the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson-Olubusola, and the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT Limited, Timasaniyu Rufai-Ahmed, for their diligence. Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited was incorporated as a limited liability company in April 2006. It operates and manages the Nigerian Communications Satellites, the first geostationary communications satellite in the sub-Sahara Africa.




Oyo, Osun to reopen Ige murder case •Lam Adesina: killing was political


OVERNORS Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) yesterday said the case on the assassination of the late Chief Bola Ige (SAN) would soon be reopened. Ige was murdered in his bedroom at his Bodija home in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on December 23, 2001. He was the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The case was closed after a celebrated hearing, without tracking down his murderers. Speaking at a lecture marking the 10th memorial anniversary of Ige’s death at Premier Hotel, Ibadan, the governors said Ige’s killers must be punished. Delivering a lecture on “Political violence and assassinations: Implications for the future of democracy in Nigeria,” Aregbesola said tracking down the killers would defeat the notion that political leaders must sustain power through violence. Listing victims of unsolved killings in the country since the First Republic, he narrated his personal encounter with assassins. Aregbesola said politically motivated killings grew to the highest level during the eight-year tenure of Obasanjo, whom he accused of promoting political violence. He said: “Some of those behind the many unresolved assassinations are unfortunately major actors in the Fourth Republic. The dastardly act came with the unintended consequence of popularising the notion that violence and subterfuge are means of gaining political power. “Before today, several attempts were made on my life, but I survived by the grace of God. When assassinations happen, it is important to track down the killers and punish them to deter others. “If crimes are not punished, there will be anarchy. We cannot allow it to be thought that violence is the way of life. If it takes violence to gain power, it will take greater violence to sustain it.” Aregbesola said the causes of political violence in Nigeria are the quest for public offices and the spoils associated with them. He said some people were not comfortable with the stature of the late Ige as the symbol of Yoruba unity and the image of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Aregbesola said Ige’s killing caused disarray in Southwest politics, until former Governors Bola Tinubu (Lagos), Lam Adesina (Oyo) and Olusegun Osoba (Ogun) came to the rescue. He said: “By killing Bola Ige, they have created more radicals who carry the same spirit with Ige. They are unpretentious offsprings that brook no nonsense. “Whatever they like they can do. We are going to pursue the case. If they like, let them go and destroy the case files. We shall revive the case within the next 12 months. We shall get at them. That the case was closed within 10 years is appalling, since murder cases are never closed. Anyway, we shall reopen it.”

•From left: Koleoso; Ajimobi; Adesina; Aregbesola; and his deputy, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori...yesterday From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

Describing the late Ige as “a dear uncle,” Ajimobi said he was an intelligent and courageous man, who never compromised. He urged the late Ige’s children to seek solace in the fact that he lived well and the people still celebrate him 10 years after his death. He also said the murder case would be reopened. Adesina, who chaired the occasion, recalled the day Ige was killed. As the Governor of Oyo State at the time of the killing, Adesina said a call came from the then President, Obasanjo, shortly after he returned from the hospital where Ige was certified dead. According to him, Obasanjo uttered only two sentences on the phone. “Is that the Governor of Oyo State? I said ‘Yes sir.’ Is Bola Ige certified dead? I said ‘Yes sir.’ Then he didn’t say anything again. He just dropped the phone. The sorrow continued till today.” Adesina said Ige’s killing was politically motivated, arguing that it was the reason his killers were yet to be found. He said: “I may not know those who killed him, but God knows them and will repay them in their own coin. They did it to take the Southwest to the so-called mainstream, but I thank God that today, the zone is back in the hands of the progressives.” Adesina said Ige’s killing has led leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to take the decision that no one from the party would serve under any government controlled by the opposition. The late Ige’s Special Assistant, Dr. Olu Agunloye, said: “Bola Ige was a very good teacher; that is an aspect of him that many people do not know. He taught by example in all ways. “If you didn’t understand table manners, Bola Ige would teach you. If you didn’t understand protocol, Bola Ige would teach you. If you didn’t understand what it means to be loyal and steadfast, he would teach you. His legacies include his single-mindedness for the progress of Nigeria and sustainable development.” The lecture was attended by Prof. Funke Aboyade; Prof. Bolanle Awe; Chairman, Odu’a Group, Chief Sarafadeen Alli; Secretary to the Osun State Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; Chief Michael Koleoso; Venerable G. B. Daramola; Mr. Ayo Afolabi and Mr. Kunle Famoriyo. Others include Mrs. Folake Solanke (SAN); a renowned journalist, Mr. Felix Adenaike; Mr. Gboyega Famoodun; Chief Abiola Morakinyo; Mrs. Funso Adegbola and her husband, popular writer Odia Ofeimu. Commissioners and party chieftains from the Osun and Oyo states were also in attendance.

•From left: The late Ige’s son, Muyiwa; the son in law, Mr. Muyiwa Adegbola; and daughter, Mrs. Funso Adegbola...yesterday

•Adeoti and Alli...yesterday

•Mrs. Solanke (SAN) and Profesor Aboyade...yesterday





Ebonyi Speaker impeached


PEAKER of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly Ikechukwu Nwankwo has been impeached over alleged fraud, incompetence and abuse of office. It was gathered that the impeachment was carried out by 20 of the 24 members of the House. Chukwuma Nwazunku, representing Ebonyi Northeast, was unanimously elected as the new Speaker. The motion for the impeachment was moved by Obasi Odefa, representing Onicha East and seconded by Kingsley Ikoro, the Chief Whip and member representing Afikpo Northeast. Nwankwo is the first Speaker to be impeached in the state since the advent of democracy. Odefa said Nwankwo’s

•Another elected ‘We carried out the exercise in line with Section 92(2c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which gives us the power to remove any speaker at the point we feel it is necessary, provided we have twothird of the members in support’ From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

leadership style was detrimental to the progress of the House and that members were no longer com-

fortable with it. He said: “Lawmakers have the responsibility of defending the House’s integrity. “We carried out the exercise in line with Section 92(2c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended which gives us the power to remove any speaker at the point we feel it is necessary, provided we have two-third of the members in support,” he said. Odefa warned the former speaker not to threaten the peace of the House, stressing that if he disrupts the peace of the House, antigrant agencies will arrest him. According to him, the members’ recent meeting

with the governor is not connected with the impeachment. “The governor did not at any point know about the exercise, as the members did not even contemplate the action at the time of the meeting. The House unanimously dissolved all standing committees, suspended its Chief Accountant and directed him to stop all transactions on behalf of the House. Speaker Chukwuma Nwazunku thanked his colleagues for electing him, and promised to restore the integrity of the House through purposeful leadership. The deposed Speaker and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP, Ugoji Amaoti, could not be reached for comments.

Musdapher hails Amaechi


HIEF Justice of Nigeria Dahiru Musdapher and the Rivers State Judiciary have hailed Governor Rotimi Amaechi for his commitment to the judiciary. Chief Judge Iche Ndu and the CJN gave the commendation at the inauguration of the State Customary Court of Appeal Rules, the Rivers State Customary Courts Rules 2011 and a publication entitled: “Towards excellence in the dispensation of justice at the grassroots.” Musdapher, who was represented by Justice Mary Odili, pledged to promote justice not only in the state but throughout the country. “We shall partner with him (Amaechi) to ensure that what’s going on in Rivers State applies in every state so that our judiciary will be properly presented. “And what we have come here today for is in line with the reformation agenda which I, as Chief Justice of Nigeria, have put in place. Justice Ndu praised the governor for his compliance to the constitution and prompt release of funds to the courts. "Let me personally convey my gratitude and that of the judiciary to His Excellency for the release of funds to the Judiciary to enable it discharge its constitutional functions. "The governor has made history as one of the few governors who complies with the provisions of Section 121 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.

Court orders release of three From Adimike George, Onitsha


USTICE J. I Nweze of the Otucha High Court, Anambra State, has ordered the release of three members of the State Vigilance Services (AVS) who have been in detention since November 9. Justice Nweze directed that the latest order be served on the Attorney–General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHR) and the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim. The latest directive became necessary following the refusal of the police to grant bail to the three applicants who were arrested at Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government, despite the court’s earlier ruling of November 25. The detainees are Collins Mmaduabuchi, Mike Okonkwo and Austin Oforji. Ruling in an application brought under the fundamental rights enforcement procedure rules 2009, Justice Nweze ordered the respondents, including the IG, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 9 Umuahia, Commissioner of Police Anambra State, Emeka Offor and Raphael Nwike, to release the applicants on bail forthwith.

Obi, Nnaji for honours


HE people of Ihiala Local Government in Anambra State will on January 2 honour the Minister of Power, Prof Bart Nnaji and Governor Peter Obi. In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the member representing Ihiala Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Fort Dike, said the duo would be conferred with chieftaincy titles. He said: “This is the first time the people will honour non-indigenes. “Nnaji is from Enugu State, he has over the years displayed a remarkable interest in the progress of our place, which is the largest local government in Nigeria.” Dike said before Nnaji became minister, he had awarded scholarships, up to doctoral level, to indigenes of Ihiala in top universities in the world.





The fact is the longer the regulatory uncertainty of a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in equally uncertain form hovers over the industry, the greater the likehood that crucial investment is delayed. -Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources

Shell shuts Bonga to fix leakage

Naira falls as CBN closes forex window


By Emeka Ugwuanyi


HELL Nigeria Explora tion and Production Company (SNEPCo) said it has shut production from its deepwater asset, Bonga field, following oil leakage from the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. A statement by Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Tony Okonedo, said the oil leakage was noticed on Tuesday and to ensure safety, the facility was shut. Currently, the company is examining the vessel to determine the cause of the leakage after which it would be able to know when the vessel would come back on stream. Shell said: “The company can confirm it is responding to an oil leak at the 200,000 barrel-per-daycapacity Bonga deepwater facility, approximately 120 kilometres off the Nigeria coast. The leak occurred Tuesday December 20, during a routine operation to transfer crude oil from Bonga’s floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel to a waiting oil tanker. “An export line linking the FPSO to the tanker has been identified as the likely source, and has been closed and de-pressurised, halting the flow of oil. Early indications show that less than 40,000 barrels of oil have leaked in total. SNEPCo is in the process of safely shutting down production at the Bonga field as a precautionary measure.” Commenting on the incident, Shell Nigeria Country Chair, Mutiu Sunmonu, said: “We are sorry this leak has happened.As soon as we became aware of it, we stopped the flow of oil and mobilised our own resources, as well as industry expertise, to ensure its effects are minimised.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% 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 $33.01b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL


0.2958 206.9 242.1 156 1.9179 238 40.472

• From left: Chuka Onwuchekwa, Managing Director/CEO, Aquila Leasing Limited, presenting an award to Yisa Akindele, winner of the CEO’s Person of the Year and Chief Financial Officer, Aquila Leasing Limited in Lagos, while Chizor Malize, Managing Partner, Brandzone Consuting LLC, Brand Consultant to Aquila Group, looks on. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

NERC probes ‘exploitative’ metering


HE Nigerian Electric ity Regulatory Com mission (NERC) is investigating the allegation of exploitative metering by distribution companies. This is part of the terms of reference for the committee inaugurated yesterday in Abuja to look into the matter. NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, said: “The corruption of staff of utilities who exploit customers in many ways is the major challenge in the sector. This assertion needs to be verified and stopped,” adding, “in order to ensure transparency and openness in the process of addressing the root cause of this debilitating malaise, the Commission is initiating this fact finding mission with the active participation of some distinguished members of the population selected from all parts of the country.” He said the metering system has been described as faulty, complicated by the dishonesty of those who manage the process, acknowledging that customers have reported cases of being charged up to N100,000

• Fed Govt to sanction errant communities From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

for pre-paid electricity meters, which he said, “should not be.” He stressed that other reported complaints include estimated billing charges where arbitrary bills are given by utility staff without reading meters and poor unfriendly customer care service, among others. Amadi, who spoke at the inaugural ceremony, however added that this project would be solely “fact-finding and an exploratory mission and not a witch-hunting process.” He said: “It is envisaged that at the end of the three months allocated for this assignment, the committee would have gathered adequate data and information from memoranda and oral evidence to be received from the public, academia, operators and ordinary electricity customers on the issues affecting metering in the electricity supply industry.” He said the 14-man commit-

tee is expected to determine the extent of metering of customers in the industry, the factors which delay the procurement and installation of meters in accordance with rules and regulations in the industry and the deployment plans. Amadi also urged the panel to determine the practices of metering, suggest how NERC can ensure effective and quick metering, and correct the lapses and corrupt practices and customer care in the industry. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has vowed to byepass any community which disturbs the pace of work in its electrification programme. In a statement by the Head, Media and Public Relations, Greyne Anosike, the Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, warned that the realisation of the electric power mandate of the administration has a timeline and that the sacking of the sector’s contractors from sites by some communities is unacceptable to the govern-

ment. Responding to the Minister’s quest for station-by-station situation reports, the chief executives of the power generating stations, observed that one of their pressing challenges is community interference on site, with some of them sacking contracting firms and their workers thereby slowing down the pace of work. Nnaji, said it was in order to meet the timeline set for the conclusion of the Sector’s Reform that Government adequately compensated communities whose land would be affected by the project, but regretted that even after compensations had been made, some dissident groups turn back to ask for more and obstruct progress of work. “Government does not work that way,” he said, adding that such communities should henceforth be byepassed in the electrification programme if they did not put a stop to their intransigence.

NCAA summons oil marketers over adulterated fuel T

HE Nigerian Civil A v i a t i o n Authority (NCAA) yesterday summoned oil marketers to a meeting over alleged supply of adulterated kerosene to airlines instead of the approved Aviation Fuel otherwise called Jet-A1. This stemmed from allegations levelled against one of the oil marketers by the six major oil marketers associations in Nigeria and the Association of Petroleum Products Marketers. The major oil marketers hadprotested the alleged underhand dealings of one of the oil marketers, which they claimed endangers safety and the integrity of their business if not checked by the government.

The Director-General of NCAA, Dr Harold Demuren, who confirmed receiving the protest letter from the oil marketers,explained that the meeting was called to hear from both parties the authenticity of the allegation. He added that it was unbelievable that a marketer would be selling adulterated fuel to airlines. He said it was unbecoming when there were checks put in place to ensure that approved products were supplied to airlines. Specifically, the airlines accused one of the oil marketers of selling Dual Pur-

pose kerosene(DPK) to unsuspecting airlines as Aviation Fuel and that checks with Lloyd of London, which has the list of oil importers indicated that the oil marketer never bought or imported Aviation Fuel in the past one year. It also confirmed that what the oil marketer has been importing was the domestic kerosene being sold at N40.90 per litre, which it in turn sold to airlines as Aviation Fuel at N152 per litre. The bodies, therefore, called for an high-powered panel to verify their claims so as not to endanger the lives of air travellers due to the inherent danger the use

of domestic kerosene could cause. Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) spokesman, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur, said the allegation was unbelievable because there were technical checksput in place by airlines to ensure that they do not lift adulterated fuel or unapproved fuel for the safety of their aircraft. He called for the setting up of a presidential panel or a panel by the NCAA with AON representatives to look into the veracity of the allegation and if found to be true. He explained that the culprit should be prosecuted to serve as deterrent and if those that alleged were found to be spreading falsehood, then they should be sanctioned.

HE naira fell against the United States’ dol lar yesterday, to its weakest since October 10, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) closed its official foreign exchange window for the year, putting pressure interbank market dollar supplies. The naira, according to Reuters News,eased to n163.30 to the dollar on the interbank, its weakest in 10 weeks from N162.35 the previous day. “There is some demand in the market and the reality of the Central Bank closure of the official window for the year must have spurred some customers to buy dollars to edge against possible further depreciation in the coming days,” one dealer said. On the last bi-weekly forex auction for the year, the apex bank sold $200 million at N156.70 to the dollar, a sum and rate it had maintained since last month. Demand at the auction was slightly higher at $218.08 million. Traders said most forex end-users are of the view that the naira could depreciate further next year because of the recent shift in the CBN’s trading band for the naira from +/- 3 per cent around 150 to +/- 3 per cent around N155 to the dollar.

Investment in Africa’s renewable energy hits $3.6b From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


VER $3.6 billion has been invested in renewable energy in Africa, including Nigeria, with Egypt and Kenya taking centre stage. The Bank of Industry (BoI) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has unveiled plans to boost Nigeria’s investment portfolio in renewable energy through private sector participation. The Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Ms Evelyn Oputu who was represented by Mr Austin Jo-Madugu, General Manager, Operations, disclosed this during the First Renewable Energy Investment Forum in Abuja. She said renewable energy has a large potential for growth given the large gap between energy demand and supply and the enormous renewable energy options available to the country. She said: “There was the urgent need to make renewable energy sector private driven to harness the abundance of renewable energy source in the country. The alternative energy programme tagged, Access to Renewable Energy (AtRE), is organised to create a forum to interface investors with project developers in the renewable energy sector.”




FIRS arrests FCDA officials over unremitted N28b


HE Executive Secre tary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and other officials of the agency were yesterday picked by operatives of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for failing to remit N28 billion taxes to the FIRS. The FCDA has been withholding the remittances to the FIRS since 2006. Operatives of the FIRS stormed the office of the Executive Secretary, Adamu Ismaila, at Area 11 early yesterday with reporterss in tow. After failing to show proof that the money had been paid, he was whisked away to the Intelligence, Investigation and Enforcement Department of the FIRS at Wuse2. Ismaila appealed to the FIRS operatives to come back

From Nduka Chiejina, Asst. Editor

later today to get additional information but his plea fell on deaf ears. He told the FIRS operatives that he had “just assumed duty about three weeks ago, last week precisely and in fact, this letter (denies seeing the letter) I have not seen it, but my Director of Finance and Administration came with a copy of this letter and told me it’s about remittance of taxes to the FIRS. And she told me that they did reconciliation with your staff in her office and everything was okay but that the only thing was the remittance point and that she has presented this matter to the treasury for them to ensure that they make this remittance.”

Defending the action of the FCDA, Ismaila added that “the FCDA does not operate all our accounts, even our payments are made by the Treasury Department for our contracts and even our salary and tax deductions. We have a central account in

FCT, which is operated by the Treasury Department under the FCT minister’s office. In fact, all the MDAs, FCDA, secretariat, Water Board and the rest are all operated by the treasury.” Responding, the leader of the FIRS squad Mr Ajayi

Bamidele who is the Director, Large Taxes Department of the FIRS, reminded Ismaila that “this money is not your tax but money you deducted on behalf of FIRS, if it is something you are collecting on behalf of somebody just to give it over, then I do not see

any reason, this should not be done and this is something that has started since 2006 to date. All efforts we have made to recover this money has not worked, therefore, this is the only option we are left with.” Thereafter, Ismaila was whisked away.

Workers in cement sector earn N3.19b


ESPITE increased fo cus aimed at increas ing productivity, the cement manufacturing sector’s total payment to the workforce in form of salaries, wages and other benefits dropped significantly last year to about N3.19 billion, from N4.17 billion of the preceding year. The sector’s average monthly wage stood at about

• 631 lost jobs in 2010 From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

N80. 144million at the end of the year compared to the N83. 961million paid in 2009. According to the latest Socio-Economic Survey on Sectoral Wages and Emoluments obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics

(NBS), the sector’s average monthly wage is far lower than those of other manufacturing sectors, which rose from an average of about N173 billion in 2009 to N212.69 billion. The average monthly wage in the sector stood at about N58, 949million.

Similarly, the private professional services sectors, including the financial services industry’s, total rose to N167.4 billion, representing an increase of 26.2 per cent over the 2009 yearly wage bill which stood at N132.7 billion. The sector’s average monthly wage also rose significantly from about N32, 871million in 2009 to about N42, 228milion in 2010.

Mark to NACCIMA: revive ailing industries From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor


ENATE President, Senator David Mark yesterday charged the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) to initiate a blueprint for revitalising the country’s ailing industries. He said such initiative is the only way to revamp the nation’s economy. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Paul Mumeh, said Mark stated this when he hosted the National Executive Committee of NACCIMA in Abuja. He noted that all hands should be on deck to rescue the economy. Mark said that the economic trend in the country demanded that stakeholders should make necessary sacrifice to enable the country to come out of the woods. Mark underscored the need for collaborative efforts between public and the private sectors to formulate a common economic framework to salvage the economy. This, he said, has become necessary since the 2012 budget placed greater emphasis on Agriculture as a means to salvage the economy. The present administration’s reform and transformation agenda, Mark said, is critical “if we are to get out of the economic quagmire”. The President of NACCIMA, Dr. Herbert Ademola Ajayi said the organisation has forwarded a blueprint on how Nigeria could be salvaged from the clutches of harsh economy and insecurity to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Ajayi said that it is the hope of his organisation that the document would be implemented. He said that NACCIMA will continue to contribute to the economic development of country. He urged governments at all levels to create a conducive environment for industries to thrive.

















Promo proliferation • There is a deluge of consumer promotion this season but who is winning?


T is almost nauseating but there is no escaping it. If you do not hear it, you are bound to see it; if you miss seeing it, you cannot escape reading about it. The country is currently afire with consumer promotional adverts and the media is abuzz with them. Almost every business is doing it and none wants to be left out. From banks to telecoms companies and even the kiosk down the street, there is one bonanza or the other on offer. If the idea of a sales promotion is to increase sales and make more profits, are the stakes not too high and the

‘While we understand sales promotion as universally accepted method of revving up consumer purchase in down times and at festive seasons such as we are now in, we also advocate stringent monitoring and regulations in other to protect the consumer. Promotions must never be done at the expense of the unsuspecting consumer. It is not a ploy to swindle’

cost too astronomical to afford the companies any gains at the end of the day? The banks, telecommunication companies and manufacturers of fast moving consumer goods (fmcg) have however taken it one notch up, offering rewards in millions and billions of naira. One company seeks to outdo the other. If the one offers N1 billion naira, the other offers N10 billion. The crucial question however, is that, is anyone out there winning? Has anyone in your family won any of these boons? What about down your street or in your neighbourhood? The overriding notion is that nobody is really winning these bonanzas and that they are just smokescreens to make gullible consumers increase their patronage of those products and services. Though we hear about great winnings and read about them, many think that they are not real. One example often cited is the case of some winners of N10 million sounding withdrawn and unenthusiastic, not like someone who had just won a huge sum but like one bearing a huge psychological burden. Though our hunches may be wrong and Nigerians may indeed be winning millions of naira daily, the fact

remains that the proliferation of the bonanza is so pervasive, it has become obscene. It only suggests a situation of no control and regulation. The National Lottery Commission (NLC) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) are the bodies charged with the duties of overseeing these activities. But the NLC has been in the fight for accountability under Chief Peter Igho who has demonstrated that a good chunk of the money is devoted to good causes. There must be a limit to the goodies dangled in the face of the consumer to make him purchase, for instance. There must be verifiable evidence that the process is not steeped in fraud and deceit and that those being showcased as winners truly won. In fact, the CPC must get more involved in the process of balloting and selecting the winners to the point of certifying it. While we understand sales promotion as universally accepted method of revving up consumer purchase in down times and at festive seasons such as we are now in, we also advocate stringent monitoring and regulations in other to protect the consumer. Promotions must never be done at the expense of the unsuspecting consumer. It is not a ploy to swindle.

The Xmas bomb threat • Let us have a peaceful celebration this year


HE blight of ethno- religious violence hovering over Jos, Plateau State for over a decade seems not to be simmering down. The tensions that stem from decades of resentment between indigenous groups and settlers from that part of the country are defying official intervention. We consider it unfathomable that when concerted efforts geared towards stemming the ugly tide of violence in the country are on the front burner of national agenda, one anonymous Muslim group reportedly issued a letter of warning, signed by one Idris Musa stating: “We, the entire Muslims of Plateau State, will never give up until we have our rights, we will use your boys to destroy you. Nothing can stop us from bombing Jos before December 26, 2011.” This faceless group, in its cowardly act, should not be allowed to succeed. The criminal group is threatening to beam its klieg light of destruction during the coming festive period on, among other places in Jos, the Archbishop Court, ECWA Church, Civil Service Club, Living Faith Church, Saminaka Viewing Centre, Redeemed Christian Church of God and St. Mulumba Church. Others include Melody Guest House, ElKasim Guest House and Kowa Guest House. If these important places could all be attacked, we ask: what then is left of Jos, the capital of Plateau State? We call on concerned authorities not to handle this threat with levity. Recent experiences of conclusive

bombings that occurred in Abuja, Maiduguri, Yobe and Bauchi had shown official apathy to gathered intelligence reports or outright failure of intelligence as serious bane to curbing criminal activities against the state. The nation cannot afford such costly luxury at this point, whether in Jos or any other part of the country. No stone should be left unturned in quelling the unpatriotic onslaughts of all unscrupulous religious sects that are undermining the nation’s stability. In view of sustained bombings in Kaduna and Yobe states, among others, of recent, it is necessary that security agencies should quickly deploy all their arsenals so as to ensure that avoidable violent acts do not break out in Jos whether during or after the festive season. Early this month, three people reportedly died in an early morning attack by unknown persons in Jwol and Foron, both in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State. We recollect that on Christmas Eve last year, there were explosions in villages near Jos, with dozens of buildings set alight while not less than 70 people were injured. Not less than32 persons were reportedly killed. Previous violence between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups in the region led to many deaths. The same unsavoury incidents should not be repeated during this festive season. However, we recognise the existence of the Special Task Force (STF), known more as ‘Operation Safe Haven,’ sent to quell the intractable uprising in Jos. The STF has reportedly

placed its men on red alert following this latest threat of violence. Captain Charles Ekeoha, its media officer, has assured that this Christmas will be “… the freest and most peaceful the residents will celebrate in recent times.’’ We hope he would back this pronouncement with action. Jos and other parts of the country must be secured from the irritant criminals hiding under religious tent to inflict orgy of violence on the country before, during and even after the approaching Christmas festivities. Nigerians will not take excuses for any improper handling of the threat of bombing in Jos by the security agencies. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

The same unsavoury incidents should not be repeated during this festive season. However, we recognise the existence of the Special Task Force (STF), known more as ‘Operation Safe Haven,’ sent to quell the intractable uprising in Jos ... Captain Charles Ekeoha, its media officer, has assured that this Christmas will be “… the freest and most peaceful the residents will celebrate in recent times.’’ We hope he would back this pronouncement with action’

Death of a dictator


HE United States and its partners have long struggled to understand North Korea, where a cruel system of fear, repression and paranoia keeps the country largely impenetrable to outsiders. They will have to work harder than ever to pierce the curtain — and manage stability on the Korean Peninsula — after the abrupt death of Kim Jong-il, the North Korean dictator, and the ascension of his youngest son, Kim Jong-un. The elder Mr. Kim began planning for succession after suffering a stroke in 2008, but he seemed to have improved after that. Even China, North Korea’s main patron, expressed “shock” at his passing. The death on Saturday was officially attributed to a heart attack and announced some 48 hours after it occurred. Any transition in North Korea, which has the unnerving combination of a growing nuclear weapons arsenal and an erratic leadership, would be difficult. But little is known about the son, who is believed to be in his late 20s and was only tapped officially to take over for his father in September 2010. At that time, he was named a four-star general, although he lacked military experience. On Monday, the official news agency, the Korean Central News Agency, reported that soldiers and citizens were swearing allegiance to Kim Jong-un. This was hardly a surprise, and we have no idea if it’s true. It will take longer to know if the generals are fully behind him. Given North Korea’s penchant for belligerence, there are also legitimate concerns that the son could do something provocative — another nuclear test or an attack on South Korea — to prove his military bona fides internally or show the outside world that North Korea remains a militarized state and a force to be reckoned with. That would be extremely dangerous. The 17-year rule of Kim Jong-il, in which the leaders enjoyed cognac and other luxuries and wasted resources on nuclear weapons while the rest of the population faced starvation and repression, was a disgrace. This transition is a perilous moment that calls for close and thoughtful coordination among the United States and crucial allies. President Obama moved quickly to consult South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak, in telephone calls late Sunday and on Monday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met in Washington with the foreign minister of Japan, Koichiro Gemba. Similar efforts will be needed with China, which worries most about a flood of refugees if North Korea collapses and has the most clout of any country to warn the North against acting irresponsibly. Mr. Obama was right to reaffirm America’s commitment to stability on the Korean Peninsula and to South Korea’s security. But he also needs to make clear that his administration remains open to engaging North Korea. After several years of detachment, the two sides recently have discussed a long overdue American offer of food assistance (proper monitoring of deliveries is a must) and the North’s return to nuclear talks. We have no idea whether this is possible, but Kim Jong-il’s death does provide his successor with an opportunity to change course. The United States and its allies can signal clearly that they are willing to talk — even while continuing to implement strict sanctions. – Washington Post

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IR: Many who bought Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency based on his exaggerated ‘I had no shoe’ campaign mantra are now having a re-think and not just a re-think but also scrutinizing his ideology. It is now clear that the President sold a dummy to teeming Nigerian population when he portrayed himself as a disadvantaged child who shared similar background with a typical Nigerian child. During electioneering, he echoed the sentiment that he was seeking office in order to better the lot of the Nigerian child whose future has been consistently short-changed by the previous governments at least one of which he was a co-pilot. The change of heart within a very short period shows that no human is reliable and trustworthy. Had he told Nigerians during electioneering that if he got to the office, subsidy removal would his first agenda definitely he would have retired to his village by now. What many who believed in him did not know and perhaps now realise is that there is difference between Jonathan the ‘child without shoe’ and Jonathan the politician. To be honest, president Jonathan’s subsidy removal offers nothing different from Yar’Adua’s deregulation, save for the stylistic coinage employed. Besides, the present offer is flawed version which would require not just members of intelligentsia but also ‘theologenstia’ to defend if people must be persuaded to see the motive and likely benefits. For the president to remove the subsidy, everyone should be able to understand how the political class are paid, and every one of us should be able to look up the to-


Before luck runs out of our common good tal salary including allowances of the president and all other political appointees. This simple exercise will allow us to decide if we were on the same financial pedestal to afford the increase and bear the burden. At present, going by the government’s proposal, too many people within the political class are rewarded for impoverishing the majority than turning their fortunes around for better. It is a big mistake for the president to think he cannot deliver on his campaign promises without removing the subsidy. It is simply a political deceit typical of Nigerian politicians. Like the NBA chairman, Daudu questioned, how did the supposed subsidy leap from N300 bil-

lion during Obasanjo and Yar’Adua’s administrations to N1.3 trillion without a corresponding increase in the supply of fuel? Does the president truly have the facts and figures or is it simply a matter prepared document by the oil magnates who have manipulated the oil sector for decades? Does the president ever think of making the refineries work to their full capacity? How long would the country continue to import refined petroleum products? Does it make any sense to be exporting crude only to be importing refined products? What a country is he presiding over that does not take stock of what the citizens will go through in the name of subsidy removal? Two weeks ago, Chief Obasanjo

hinted the nation that what is now commonly referred to as Arab Spring may happen in Nigeria if care was not taken. President Jonathan should hearken to the proverbial song of his god-father and allow the will of the people to prevail. The mood of the nation suggests we are not prepared for further hardship in any shape or form. We are not ready to bear the burden of a selfish leader whose words are not his bond. We would not continue to suffer in silence and pretend as if all was well. No amount of political and religious lobbying would appease the people. The right thing must be done! In his famous “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King called on all Americans to ac-

Wither Local Government funds? IR: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its economic report for the third quarter of 2011 announced that the total receipts by the 774 Local Government councils from the federation and VAT pool accounts for the period of July, August and September was N493.77 billion. The question is, does this money actually reach the local government councils. The an-


swer is No. Media report indicated how allocations to LGAs’ were been highjacked by state governors, used for electoreeing campaigns, shared among traditional rulers, political God-fathers, members of state assemblies or out rightly diverted to non-exiting projects. The latest fad is state governors redistributing allocations to LG from the federation account and

give less than N20 million to each council to pay salaries, and take care of their overhead costs. In his memo to Nigerians tagged, Declare state of emergency in the third tier of government, Hon. Felix Akhabue, National President of Association of local government of Nigeria ALGON said, ‘A situation where allocations already made to the local governments by the Federation Allocation

SOS to FG from NDDC Postgraduate scholars IR: This is to inform Nigerians that most of NDDC postgraduate foreign scholars have been thrown out of schools in UK and other part of the world. The NDDC has refused to pay our tuition or leaving expenses and kept us to suffer. NDDC initially told us that they will offset all payment at most three weeks upon arrival but now the least have spent


tively but peacefully oppose laws that were morally wrong. King wrote: “There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all... One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly...I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.” In the spirit of Martin Luther’s letter, Nigerians should peacefully oppose the subsidy removal. Organised labour and union leaders should rally round an actively oppose the obnoxious, repressive and painful proposal. The National Assembly should for once take side with the people by using the instruments of law and provisions of the constitution to override the President on this particular issue. That is the course of wisdom. That is the way forward. • Tola Osunnuga, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State

four monthle while some have spent close to a year. Most of the scholars have been forced to defer their studentship after being evicted from from their halls of residence due to lack of payment of tuition and maintenance fee. We have contacted the Nigerian High Commission to help us back home but without any response. The NDDC has refused to pay

our tuition and living expenses and subjected us to continuos ridicle and embarrasment. I personally was thrown out of my apartment without even taking all my luggages. I have since put up with a Somali boy that I even felt unsafe with but I have no alternative. Over 100 of us are subjected to to different humiliation and ridicle as a result of this and what we keep

hearing from NDDC is unending next week. We would appreciate if you can bring our matter to the notice of the authorities so that we will not spend the coming year under bridges accross England and other countries. •Allen Udeh, University of London, England

Account Committee (FAAC) are subjected to redistribution by the state government is a clear breach of the constitution. The question is can the federal government police funds disbursed to the state governments from federation account? The answer is a clear NO. Then where does the state derive the legal and moral backing to do the same to local governments? Statutory allocations to each tier of government should be sacrosanct; it is only by being so that you can hold that tier of government responsible and accountable’. If we are to reposition our councils for effective service delivery to the people, eradicate poverty,provide infrastructure, the constitution should be amended to stop meddling with council finances by the states. •Jeff Nkwocha Warri Delta state




Farewell Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu


WANT to join millions of Nigerians who have been paying tribute to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu who died recently in England after a protracted illness. I was in the University of Ibadan during the crisis of 1966 and 1967 which ultimately led to the Nigerian Civil War when the Coup D’état of January 15, 1966 took place; young students including myself at the University of Ibadan welcomed it with tremendous enthusiasm. We were all fed up with the political drift and chaos in the country that started from the Action Group crisis of 1961-1962. The crisis itself has been dealt with in my book on Chief S.L. Akintola published in London in 1984 by Frank Cass. What is important to state was that the coup d’état of 1966 probably prevented a civil war in Western Nigeria, thus, avoiding a repeat of the fratricidal conflict that engulfed Yoruba land in the late 19th century. It was the coup that threw up people like Ojukwu and other military leaders as military politicians in Nigeria. It is not my intention to pass judgment on Ojukwu’s role in the declaration of the Republic of Biafra in 1967. What one can say is that anybody in his position would have done the same thing because the wounds inflicted on his people in the north were so severe that if he had not acceded to their request for secession, he would have been pushed aside and probably killed. The massacre of Igbos and other Southern Nigerians in the north did not take place in an historical void; there were remote and immediate causes for this mindless violence. The political and military leadership of the north and the west were eliminated by the coup plotters of January, 1966. Photographs of the Sardanna, Sir Ahmadu Bello with Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu putting his leg on his head were deliberately circulated in some parts of the north by the enemies of the country and further more external broadcasting services of some countries manipulated by enemies of Nigeria insinuated that Hausa people were being killed in the south, particularly in the South-East. All these contributed to the eruption of the violence against the Igbos and other southerners which unscrupulous people used to settle old scores. The end result was that the center could no longer hold the disparate people of Nigeria together without element of force. Attempts to paper over the cracks failed in meetings in Nigeria and in Aburi in Ghana. It appears the Federal Government headed by young Yakubu Gowon, who had become Head of State in spite of the considerable number of army officers who were senior to him, thus, breaching army tradition reneged on agreements in Aburi made to keep the country together after it became obvious that too much had been conceded by the federal delegation to the Igbos. It is interesting to note that the counter coup of July, 1966 led by northern army officers had also initially wanted to take the north out of the


HERE are no doubts anymore about President Goodluck Jonathan's intentions on fuel subsidy. For those of us still thinking that he would play by the rules in respect of the matter, it is now crystal clear that we are living in another world. The president has since decided on what he wanted to do and moved on, while we are still debating whether or not he has removed subsidy. Technically speaking, subsidy is gone, but the president cannot come out and say so because of the fear of the people’s unpredictable reactions. So, it pays him to continue to deceive us by speaking tongue in cheek. He says one thing when he means a different thing. By not including subsidy in his budget speech, Jonathan drew the battle line with Nigerians on the matter. The non-inclusion of subsidy in the 2012 budget was a deliberate act by the president, who for all intents and purposes knew what he was doing. Since there cannot be two budgets for any given period, it follows, therefore, that subsidy as we know it today will not be paid to those involved in fuel importation in 2012. What does this mean? Will the people derive any benefit from it or is it the beginning of their suffering? I ask

federation. So we had a situation in which both the north and the east at one time or the other wanted secession. It was this knowledge that made Chief Awolowo who had just been released from prison and who himself was a victim of political gang up of the East and the North to say that if the East was forced out of the federation by any act of omission or commission, the West would also secede. The acceptance in Aburi of a confederal structure for Nigeria was jettisoned on reaching Nigeria and this was the signal for the civil war in Nigeria that lasted from 1967-1970 in which well over one million people died on both sides either from direct military action, collateral damage, starvation and disease. The role of Ojukwu in his heroic defense of his people is well known and needs no further commentary. I met Ojukwu one on one in 1995 when he led a delegation campaigning for General Sanni Abacha abroad to Germany, where I was Ambassador and I interacted closely with him. I found him very friendly and correct in his behaviour to me. He came with his young wife, Bianca and my wife and I hosted him to lunch and dinner and I extended the usual diplomatic courtesies and protocol assistance to him. We even had coincidentally a Nigerian cultural display when he was visiting. While he was absolutely correct, his young wife, Bianca, was sometimes amusing to put it diplomatically because she pretended not to have seen ‘akara’ and ‘moimoi’ before and I was amused by the effort of the husband to explain how ‘akara’ and ‘moimoi’ are made. This is the lady being touted to represent the country abroad. I took the delegation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ojukwu was deadly effective in his propaganda work for Abacha. On explaining Abacha’s generosity of spirit to Abiola to the German government, especially in the incarceration and treatment of Chief M.K.O. Abiola in prison, Ojukwu said Abacha allowed “three of Abiola’s senior wives” to visit him in prison and the German diplomat exclaimed, “how many wives does he have?!” I was boiling with rage but I kept quiet as I was expected to do. In the cultural display in the evening, Ojukwu sat next to me. When a Yoruba student who was very good at using the talking drum came to perform a poetry recitation in German and Yoruba accompanied with drums, Ojukwu was so impressed and he turned to me and said he had always felt that there was no other culture in Nigeria worthy of note except Yoruba culture and that when one talked about Nigerian culture, it was essentially Yoruba culture. He then went into the discussion of his friendship with Wole Soyinka and how much he valued that friendship. From the above, it is obvious that Ojukwu’s relationship with the Yoruba people was rather ambiguous and ambivalent and unfortunately, this has characterized the political re-

lations between Yorubas and Igbos. Since 1941 quarrel over who was to succeed Kofo Abayomi in the legislative council of Nigeria, whether it was Ernest Ikoli, an Ijaw man that ironically most of the Yoruba leaders including Obafemi Awolowo supported, or Samuel Akinsanya, a Jide Yoruba who later beOsuntokun came the Odemo of Ishara, whom Azikiwe and the Igbo State Union supported, relations between the two people have not been amicable. For young readers of this column, there must be some confusion on how Azikiwe’s support for a Yoruba man and Awolowo’s support for an Ijaw man could create so much enmity between them that current young Yoruba and Igbo people see themselves if not as political enemies, certainly as competitors. The point was that Ernest Ikoli represented the old brigade that Azikiwe considered too conservative while they in turn saw Azikiwe as an upstart and a par venu. Azikiwe supported Samuel Akinsanya (later Odemo of Ishara) a radical Secretary General of Road Transport Workers Union against the rather genteel Ernest Ikoli. It is a long story suffice it to say that the crisis permanently divided the ranks of the nationalists then and even up till today. Chukwuemeka Ojukwu’s place in Nigeria’s history is settled because as he himself wrote, he was involved in the affairs of modern Nigeria. On his return from exile, he plunged himself into the chirpy waters of Nigerian politics to his own discomfiture and damage. His figure and presence, even without relating it to his politics was a permanent reminder of the unfinished constitutional structure and architecture of Nigeria. Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegu-Ojuku, ran the race of life as best as anyone can and it is hoped his memory will live forever in the hearts of his admirers.

‘Chukwuemeka Ojukwu’s place in Nigeria’s history is settled because as he himself wrote, he was involved in the affairs of modern Nigeria. On his return from exile, he plunged himself into the chirpy waters of Nigerian politics to his own discomfiture and damage’

The president vs the people these questions because, if we are to believe the president and the apostles of subsidy removal, in no time we will start enjoying. Is it as easy as that? I don't think so. The president is only speaking the way he is doing now in order to win public sympathy. What he does not know is that for too long, the people have trusted their leaders only to be disappointed when it matters most. The people are no longer ready to trust any leader because of their past experience. Even at that, does Jonathan look like a leader to be trusted? Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered in the affirmative. The confusion, even in government circles, is enough evidence that those close to the seat of power do not actually know all that is to be known about this touchy issue. It seems the president, who knows what he wants to do is not taking all his lieutenants into confidence. If not, they will not be singing discordant tunes on the matter. If the president knew that he was still consulting as the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, wants us to believe, why didn't he just say so in the budget speech instead of keeping silent

‘The people have said they don't believe in subsidy removal, but the president is insisting that they must swallow the bitter pill because it is the only way to repair our damaged economy. Who ruined the economy in the first place? Is it not the same set of people who are bent on removing this subsidy?’

on such an issue which is capable of heating up the polity. All the president needed to have done was to say ''on fuel subsidy, we are still consulting and as soon as we finish consultation, government will make its position known''. But this is Nigeria where our leaders are given all kinds of advice. I am sure some people would have advised him not to do that but to keep mum on the issue in order to see how the people will react. The reactions have shown that the people are strongly opposed to subsidy removal. But because our democracy is not “a government of the people by the people for the people,” their reactions may amount to nothing. The government always believes that it knows what the people want; so whatever policy it fashions it rams it down their throats whether or not they believe in the policy. The people have said they don't believe in subsidy removal, but the president is insisting that they must swallow the bitter pill because it is the only way to repair our damaged economy. Who ruined the economy in the first place? Is it not the same set of people who are bent on removing this subsidy? The only crime of the people, that is if one can call it that, is that they are poor and lack the political will to confront their oppressors.The only power we have, which is the vote, is also usually misused. If not that we misused that power, we won't be in the position we find ourselves today. We

thought we voted for a president who has our love at heart not knowing that we voted for someone who will sting us like a scorpion. The president has fired the first shot in the subsidy battle, so he should gird his loins for the crisis ahead. It is going to be a long drawn battle, the end of which none of us can predict. If the president can hurt the people where it pains them most, then he should be prepared to be paid back in kind. Does he have the capacity to absorb what may be thrown at him? Can he take as much as he can give? The people should not underestimate the president in this impending subsidy battle because he seems to be well prepared for whatever may happen. So, like him let the people be prepared, otherwise he will ride roughshod over us and get away with it. Hear him: ''The pains (of subsidy removal) will be temporary, after few weeks or few months, Nigerians will be better off, the economy will be repositioned. We must aggressively pursue agriculture, we must aggressively pursue industrialisation for jobs to be created in the economy''. Is that so, Mr President? The people are tired of such tales by the moonlight. Merry Xmas In 72 hours, it will be Christmas, a time in the past when families came together to celebrate and thank God. Many no longer do so now following the downturn in the economy. In recent times,

Lawal Ogienagbon

many have been celebrating Christmas in sorrow and hardship and it seems this year is not going to be different. But brethren, no matter the circumstance you find yourself this season, put a smile on your face and celebrate. Don't allow them to weigh you down with subsidy removal or the troubled economy to which they have no answer. Go out there and enjoy yourself on Sunday because whether or not they like it, our tomorrow shall be better. The golden reverend A few years ago when things were a bit rough for us then in the Daily Times, I came across a man of God. What struck me most about him is his humility. I survived that trying period by the grace of the Almighty God and the counselling of people like Reverend Biodun Okunade (JP), who turns 50 on Monday, December 26. I thank you for your support and prayers over the years. Happy birthday, reverend. SMS ONLY: 08056504763





T the lying in state of our publisher Alex Ibru, last Thursday in Rutam House where The Guardian took off in 1982, Lade Bonuola, leading a group of pioneer staff paid glowing tributes to a man who though not a newspaperman, ended up a genius in newspaper management. Nick Iduwe, the pioneer Controller of Press, Yaya Awosanya, pioneer Controller of Sales, Yemi Ogunbiyi first Director of Marketing, Tunde Thompson, the Guardian journalist jailed by Buhari for reporting the truth, all spoke. Beyond eulogizing the personal qualities of the publisher, they all claimed Alex Ibru loved them personally. But they spoke not only for themselves but all those who had worked closely with Mr. Alex Ibru. Everyone would attest to his love on a personal level. Precisely because he was fair minded, you often felt you were personally indebted to him. Those who had violent disagreement with him before departing the Rutam House have in their tributes attested to his personal love for them as individuals. At a period, he used to collectively refer to his Directors as his apostles who must carry on the good work. Even as some of them dropped dead one after another, the surviving ones had no reason to doubt Mr. Ibru’s special love and his promise that they could work at The Guardian until they start using their walking stick if they so desired. As pioneer Advertisement Manager, who rose to become a director and later Executive Consultant, Editorial and Advertising, I also acknowledge his personal love for me. At the beginning, my office was always the first port of call when the publisher resumed in the morning. At a point when Dr Stanley Macebuh, the pioneer Managing Director offered to promote me a controller, I turned it down because the publisher wanted me to remain the Advert Manager. Mr. Ibru was a very humble man. Ever selfeffacing, but was always present even in his absence, you don’t see him but you see evidence of his influence. He was anonymous in his usual simple white cotton Kaftan. He would even wait for you to pass on the stairs case. He was always saying ‘you people are the experts’. And he meant it. Even when he was to read a prepared speech, he would jokingly say to us, ‘well you people wrote it’. Dr Patrick Dele Cole, a close confidant of Mr. Ibru used to say a newspaper house is the home of intrigue. Alex Ibru perhaps


Y friend and “leader” clocks 50 today December 22. Comfortable with religious personalities (like Bishop Mathew Kukah and Rev. Father George Ehusani) as intimate friends and “sinners” like me, Fred Onoriode Ohwahwa is a true friend. And I have the endorsement of his wife, Tinu, to claim that I am his closest friend. Fred disagrees. In 2007, I attended a social event in Abuja organized by Fred’s employer. As part of the event, wives of staff were called out and asked questions like “your husband’s closest friend”, his “preferred colour” etc. On his closest friend, Tinu wrote “Chukwuma.” In the paper which Fred had answered the questions, he named “Austin Olomu.” Tinu’s false step is based on over 20 years of friendship. In spite of that reality check, I know I am high in the taxonomy of his friends. It is just like yesterday that our paths crossed. In 1991— when we were working for Clarkson Majomi’s The Mail newspapers. He was the deputy editor of the Sunday title and I was a senior reporter with the daily publication. But those not in the know may think it goes back, may be to our childhood days—given our intimacy. It is Olomu who is his childhood friend. It is said that deputies are hand bags. Fred was not different. He worked himself hard and others took the credit. His selfeffacing nature and the reluctance to complain about the rough treatment he was getting from his bosses endeared him to Patrick Akhidenor and I. And when he wedded, both of us galvanized our colleagues to contribute money to buy a gift for the couple. That effort entered me into his radar. And we started talking. And before our friendship could grow, we learnt he had left for Newswatch magazine. And the reason he left—the late payment (and later non-payment) of wages at The Mail and the constricting working conditions—also made me vote with my feet.

Alex Ibru, genius in newspaper management -1 because of his nature effectively managed intrigue at The Guardian and indeed exploited it for positive results. If you were bold enough to make allegation against a colleague, you must also have the courage to repeat your allegations before the colleague. If the publisher did not call you immediately to defend yourself, he would find a way of letting you know what your colleague thought of you. But in spite of this, there were endless intrigues to outwit each other in an effort to please the publisher. Macebuh’s exit with Ogunbiyi as that of Bonuola and Femi Kusa were products of high level intrigue. Let me amuse readers with two different incidents with colleagues in this regard. Kusa and I used to be very good friends until he became editor, following Bonuola’s elevation to the position of Editor-in- chief and Managing Director, but the desire to prove who was more productive and loyal to the publisher tore us apart. He had set up a supplement desk attached to his office as editor. Whenever a vacancy ad for instance, appeared on Monday as against Tuesday, he would fire a memo alleging sabotage from the advert department. I would fire back reminding him that media selection is a function of the client as you cannot just tamper with their media schedules. Of course Femi would fire back reminding me that he learnt that in his introductory class to Mass Communications in the University. For maximum effect, I would in turn fire back reminding him that I could not pretend to know how to edit his

paper better than him despite earning a Masters in Mass Communication and a Ph.D on the role of the press and divisive issues of Nigerian politics. While such exchanges went on, I suspected, it was Lade Bonuola, the new MD who probably felt uncomfortable. Mr. Alex Ibru who would not take side was enjoying everything. He was sure the quarrel would produce only one thing- more revenue for the organisation. On his way to the office every morning, he would branch at Kusa’s office as the new bride. I could imagine the publisher telling Kusa that “you are now in charge, the success of this paper depends on you.” On his way out in the evening, he would branch in my office, and after general discussion would ask with that ever present baby smile, “are you sure you can win a memo war against editorial people who ‘sabi’ a lot of grammar”? One evening 1989, on his way out of the premises, he branched as usual. But this time it was with good tidings. He informed me that he was going to make me a director in April 1990. When names of new directors were announced in April 1990, my name was conspicuously omitted. Shortly after that, he met me on the stairs and said, with his usual disarming smile ‘they said you had other interests, you will have to wait until next year’. I understood where it was coming from. It was not as much from my friend turned foe, Femi Kusa who became a Director that year, but more from the fact that I used my spare time to teach at the

Celebrating a genuine friend By Chukwuma Nwokoh When I arrived at The African Guardian magazine armed with a loving recommendation letter from my friend, Maxim Uzoatu, for the editor, Dapo Olorunyomi, I met Fred at the reception. Surprised, I asked what he was doing here and he informed that he rather opted for The African Guardian. And Dapo was exiting the magazine but he set in motion the process that led to my recruitment in the magazine. Of course, the unseen hands of Fred aided my recruitment. The reorganization of The Guardian stable, in the wake of opening of the publications by the Sani Abacha regime, led to our deployment to The Guardian on Sunday newspaper. And our intimacy grew. It was also aided by his health scare. It is 13 years that Fred’s shave with death made me become interested in one’s health. It was scary and I remember that when I went to see him in the hospital in Surulere, I became a wreck. But he was nursed back to health and we give thanks to the Lord and the medical teams that treated him at hospitals in Surulere and Palm Groove. In the sms intimating friends, relatives and associates of his ‘coming of age’, Fred said: “ For those who know me pretty well, you will agree with me that the Almighty God has been exceptionally kind to me, making me a survivor of the battles of life. We are going to have a Thanksgiving Mass at Catholic Church of Assumption, Asokoro, Abuja. There will be a reception at … same day.” Like a baby, Fred has been looking forward to December 22, 2011. Sometimes, I chuckle when we discuss the arrangements to celebrate the event. He

reminds me of my daughter who will pester you with requests in order to make sure her birthday is hitch-free. Why not, Fred. Today is your day, abeg do shakara! Let’s talk about Fred’s concern for humanity. It was on Fred’s watch as editor of The Guardian on Sunday that the staff in that title became intimate. Few staff knew where their colleagues lived. Colleagues will be getting married and the newsroom will be brimful. Nobody cared about the other. It was worse with those on Sunday titles as Saturday, which is production day, is host to most social events. …Until Fred came. He coerced and lured staff to attend social events of their colleagues. Not long, one of our colleagues was to wed. We worked to make sure that most of the pages had been okayed the previous day—what was left were largely the news pages. On the wedding day, we set for the venue of the church service and the reception from our homes. When the then editorial consultant, Andy Akporugo, came around at 3 pm and no one was in sight, the production staff around said he was incandescent with rage. And Fred got an earful the next Monday when he met Akporugo. But he was undeterred as it was repeated two other times before I left The Guardian. And that’s how the culture took root. I don’t know if the culture survived after he exited. When we relocated to Abuja, we thought we would be seeing often. For one year, we met only three times but spoke every other day. In December of 2005, we got talking and we realized what the telecommunication firms had done to us. And we have not been careless again in nursing the relationship.

University of Lagos without pay. The late Andy Akporugo, had told me I was the ‘weakest link’ long before the Board meeting. It was the turn of Yaya Awosanya and myself to carry our battle for supremacy to London. But at the emergency board meeting the publisher constituted in his Chealsey flat in London, the publisher told Awosanya, unarguably his closest ally, that from the monthly report of the Finance Director, advert input was ahead of circulation. At the end of the meeting, Andy Akporugo, the executive Consultant, Editorial called both of us aside. And in his usual caustic tongue laden with mischief, he said he had always wondered why both of us were forever engaged in bitter battle over who made more money for his brother. Besides those of us new loyalists fighting each other to please the publisher, he also had a group of fierce loyalists he had brought over from the Rutam Motors. Mr. Olu Oke was his Finance Director. He used to say that the day Olu Oke decides to leave, he would go back to London to recruit an accountant. There was the late Mr. Akutu, of Administration department; late Gabriel Juyitan who had, like Olu Oke joined Alex Ibru’s Rutam Motors on his arrival from London in 1970 in the Shipping department. We had late Augustine Orishani who worked with him for over 30 years. There was Mr. Alimi the transport manager who must have put in over 30 years before he died. Of course there was his late classmate, Mr. Fred Uku, a man the publisher was often proud to describe as one of the best in his class in Igbobi. There were also Chief Abereoje, and his cousin, Andy Akporugo.These were all fierce loyalists of the publisher.

‘Mr. Ibru was a very humble man. Ever selfeffacing, but was always present even in his absence, you don’t see him but you see evidence of his influence. He was anonymous in his usual simple white cotton Kaftan’ It is difficult to discuss Fred and not mention his kind heart. He is often concerned about people and their welfare. And very generous within the limit of his financial resources. Please do not think he is an Automated Teller Machine (ATM.) On an intellectual plane, we are soul mates. Whenever we travel overseas, the presents we give each other are books. We discuss all manner of topics. And he calls me an ‘extremist.’ Some of our favourite writers are Lance Morrow, Adebayo Williams, Godwin Sogolo, and Sonala Olumhense. Fred will just call to ask if I had read an essay or article in a publication. In the past 15 years, I have run into trouble twice and Fred has played a part in making sure I was largely unscathed. It is no wonder when I go home, my mother makes enquiries about three special friends who are my former bosses: Chris Aligbe, Fred Ohwahwa and Chigbo Anichebe. My friend, Fred, happy birthday. • Nwokoh, a former News Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, wrote from Abuja.

‘Mr. Ibru was a very humble man. Ever selfeffacing, but was always present even in his absence, you don’t see him but you see evidence of his influence. He was anonymous in his usual simple white cotton caftan. He would even wait for you to pass on the stairs case’









‘I am still young for Eagles’ B

ARELY twenty-four hours after Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi cast doubt over his eligibility, Warri Wolves defender, Ike Thankgod has debunked the insinuation that he was too old for an invitation into the country’s senior national team and has tasked the Big Boss to be mindful of his advisers, stressing that he needs to scrutinize their advice before acting on them. The former Heartland of Owerri player told NationSport in a no-holdsbarred interview that all that was credited to the Eagles’ boss couldn’t not have emanated from him when in actual fact Keshi had not met or seen him play before now. He challenged Keshi to give him a call up to the home-based Eagles currently sweating it out in Abuja for him to verify for himself if indeed he was too old, as he was allegded to have said in the papers. Highlighting that these unverified claims made by The Big Boss whom he has a lot of regard for was rather unfortunate, unsubstantiated and unverified. Thankgod further disclosed that besides his present club Warri Wolves, he had only featured for Sunshine Stars of Akure (2003/2004) and Heartland

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri of Owerri (2004-2009) after his secondary school education when he was then training with Arugo Babes FC of Owerri an amateur side. He further added that the insinuation by Keshi could have adverse effect on his career if he did not come to clear the air and let the public know that the people advising Keshi may make him take wrong decisions if he fails to validate the genuiness of their allegation . According to Thankgod , “ It is just because I have made a name in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) that made them to have the believe that I am too old. How old am I and how many clubs have I played for in the NPL? Most of the players that are currently invited to the home-based Super Eagles’ camp are even older than myself. Keshi ought not to have said anything like that, he should have made effort to verify first before coming out with such damning verdict credited to him. “I started playing in the NPL in 2003 with Sunshine Stars and it was barely

months after I finished secondary school education. Before then I was with Arugo Babes FC. I moved to Heartland FC from Akure in 2004 and I stayed there till 2009 from where I joined Warri Wolves after we played the final of the CAF Champions League.” “I was born on April 4, 1985 which makes me 26 years old now. It is because of my exploit in the NPL that makes them to think that I am too old. I demand a call up to Eagles’ camp to prove my true potential. I have not even seen Keshi one on one and he doesn’t even know me. The only time he would have seen me was when he came to watch the final of the Delta State FA Cup but I was not in even in action in that very match.” Thankgod said. The Imo State-born footballer said he was still making consultaions to know the next line of action to take but a visibly angry Thankgod explained that he was still in shock that Keshi could say all that was attributed to him.


Facilities upgrade to gulp N19.5bn A

BOUT $120 million would be required by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration to develop the required facilities for its bid to be the host city for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Abuja. This was part of the presentation made yesterday by the Secretary, Social Development Secretariat Department, Mrs. Blessing Onu, to the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Miss Olajumoke Akinjide. The presentation was made prior to the inauguration of a 21-member committee on the 2018 Youth Olympic Games Bid by the Minister of State. The committee is headed by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Federal


Nigeria retains 43rd spot •Still 4th in Africa


IGERIA is finishing the year 2011 in the 43rd spot, and still 4th in Africa on the log of the latest FIFA World Ranking released yesterday. The Nigerian senior national team, the Super Eagles has had to struggle for stability in the hope to return to its most favourable rating in the world, and Africa in particular in recent times, a development which pundits have said is responsible for the low rating. Having missed out of the African Cup of Nations slated for Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, with a spat of other failures in the year 2011, Nigeria will have to wait till next year to make better impart. Meanwhile, Spain finished on the log ahead of the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay The reigning world champions

By Innocent Amomoh remain first in the standings, ahead of European rivals the Netherlands and Germany Reigning European and world champions Spain have finished the calendar year top of the FIFA World Ranking as runners-up Netherlands and Germany in third were unable to close the gap to Vicente del Bosque’s men in the last month of 2011. There’s very little movement in the top 50 following the lack of international games in recent weeks, and Bosnia & Herzegovina are the only new faces inside the top 20 as they climb three places to 20th position. Wales have claimed the title of Best Mover of the Year as they finish 2011 in 48th position after collecting 300 points following impressive wins over Montenegro, Switzerland and Bulgaria in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

YSFON ‘ll sort out age cheats in Nigerian football –Gawuna


EWLY elected National President of Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria, YSFON, Dr. Nasiru Gawuna believes the federation that can solve the issue of age cheat in Nigerian football. The issue of age cheats has been seen as a stumbling block to football development in the country and Gawuna believes that with proper documentation of its age grade programmes, the federation will be able to get the right talents with their correct ages. He said: he believes it was high time for the country to go back to the grass roots where the raw talents abound. Gawuna told NationSport in Lagos that the federation which is known as the


By Akeem Lawal most successful grassroots sports development organisation that have produced several leading sportsmen and women for the country, will be repositioned for that objective. Speaking on his plans for the federation, the former Nasarawa Local Government Area Council chairman in Kano State, said he was determined to lead YSFON towards positive change. “We are going to have our constitution reviewed to make a sound and time bound constitution that will provide opportunity for everyone to make meaningful contributions to sports development. “We will decentralise the working structure of the organisation and give all zone autonomous power to operate. This will definitely bring us closer to the youths in all nooks and crannies of the country and also make our presence felt in all the local government areas of the country. “We will partner with all the relevant sports bodies in the country and work closely with them to ensure that our lost glory in sports is restored. We are going to knock on the doors of all relevant bodies and individuals that will help us to attain our desired goal of lifting YSFON and Nigeria’s sports in general to greater heights,” he said.

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja Capital Territory, Alhaji Nuhu Ahmed. Akinjide said the FCT Administration will work with the committee to enable it succeed because Nigeria needs to win the bid to show that we are emerging as a sporting nation. She emphasised that the bid is not only for Nigeria but for the continent as a whole. She also said the committee should not take the other African nations for granted but approach them early enough to be able to garner their support for the bid, adding that this was important to prevent any situation of any negative response.

According to the minister, Nigeria’s previous loss for the 2014 Olympic games to Scotland, should arm the country with the experience that would serve as asset to make a good bid for the Youth Olympics Games. She expressed satisfaction on the fact that the success of the bid would galvanise development of the federal capital territory especially as the committee contemplates the development of a new district which she maintained must carry along the locals in such places. The minister said that as much as the administration is desirous of accelerated development of the territory, especially the satellite towns, the committee must look at districts with comparable advantage for siting the venue for the game for deployment of infrastructure. Speaking at the 2018 Olympic Bid budget presentation, former National Sport Commission (NSC) chairman Sani Ndanusa said that the bidding process is a complex process and requires greater support by the administration which he noted was a city driven and would be attractive to public private partners. He said the programme would also show-case the nation to the world and 200 nations expected to participate in the games would explore the country for the nation’s economic good. “We are expecting about two hundred countries to participate in the youth Olympic games and offer the country and the FCT the opportunity to expose our country, our education, our culture, academics tourism and business, Director of Sports in the Social development Secretariat, Alhaji Muhammed Halim Musa who made the presentation on behalf other secretaries, explained that the N20 billion could be the cost of the whole project while about N10b will be needed for additional infrastructure where existing ones have been found. He also said that for facility upgrade, where they exist about, N2billion would be needed to complete them, while N5billion would be needed for logistics on the project.

NFF cautious to hold AGM Toure, Keita battle Ayew – Kano FA chairman


HE chairman, Kano state Football Association, Musa Rabiu believes the current Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board lacks the confidence to hold it’s 2011 Annual General Meeting slated for December 29 – 31 in Kaduna state. Rabiu disclosed this to brilafm, adding that the current board does not take wise counsel from knowledgeable stakeholders. He said: ‘’The technical committee of the NFF is a little bit afraid to hold that congress because there are many challenges from all over this country. I

By Olusoji Olukayode know they are afraid to hold that AGM. They don’t listen to the people who know how to move football forward in the country. Only few people are running the NFF. So that is the main problem in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Nigerian football recorded a low this term with the various national teams falling short of capturing their targets except the SuperSand Eagles that notched the COPA Lagos four nation tournament last Sunday, beating Brazil 9-4.


Don’t grant unverified interviews


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will not take kindly to coaches in its employ granting uncensored interviews to the media. The declaration comes on the heels of comments credited to assistant coaches of the Nigeria Under-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, Emeka Amadi and Emmanuel Amuneke in a national daily. Both men reportedly rejected the N350,000 (about $2,200) monthly salary from the NFF and the federation has now stated that the coaches must not grant indiscriminate


Planning, NFF’s bane By Olusoji Olukayode


ROSS RIVERS state football boss, Oswald Atueke believes the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board did not do too badly this year. Atueke stated this in an interview with brilafm, noting also the failure of the different national team managers in the outgoing year. He said: ‘’I will say, give them average because we are all human beings. We all know that managing people is a complex thing. Coaches who were employed to do the job didn’t do the job. He went on that Nigeria football federation lacks proper planning and says the issue need be resolved at the next AGM. ‘’Programming is my topmost agenda, whether we like it or not we don’t have programmes, but I think these are very technical issues that we should discuss at the Annual General Meeting on December 29,’’ he said.

interviews to the media. “They were never expected to speak to the media. If they had any issue, they should have spoken to the federation and not the media,” chairman of the NFF technical committee, Chris Green told The NFF chief also stated that the dissatisfaction of the coaches over the wages would not compel the federation to make any change in that regard. “It (the wages of coaches) is not something that we negotiate. Salaries of coaches are fixed and the coaches have the option to either accept or refuse it,” he said. Amuneke, a former African Footballer of the Year, racked up 27 caps for the Nigerian national team scoring 9 goals, while Emeka Amadi was part of the Nigeria Under-20 team at the 1989 World Youth Championships in Saudi Arabia.


•Ike Thankgod

“Yes he has called up some homebased players but it must be recognised that he will be away for a month and it will be just 12 days before the Rwanda game by the time he returns and that’s too short a time to prepare a team for such a game as the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

•Yaya Toure

Taiwo gets Allegri’s praise


UPER Eagles’ left-back, Taye Taiwo has received high praise from his manager at Italian champions AC Milan, Massimiliano Allegri. Taiwo started his second game in four days for the Rossoneri in their 2-0 win over Cagliari on Tuesday night at the Stadio Sant’Elia. The 26-year-old had earned rave reviews after his composed performance against Siena at the San Siro on December 17 and Allegri was quick to commend the former Lobi Stars’ man after another accomplished showing in the shirt of the champions. “He has improved a lot. He has some problems when he first came from Marseille and was not playing.


ORMER Nigeria international, Finidi George believes 2013 will be even more difficult for the Super Eagles ‘unless we begin to do things in the right way’. The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea following a disappointing 2-2 draw with Guinea’s Syli Stars in their final qualifying game for the tournament. With new coach, Stephen Keshi now saddled with the responsibility of steering the Super Eagles to a place at the 2013 Africa Cup of nations, Finidi has now moved to declare that failure lies on the horizon

“Also if he goes away for a month, who picks up his salary of N5 million for staying away from his duty post? Now let me put it straight that the NFF or its technical committee is yet to take any decision on this. “Every member of the committee has his view on the matter, which is personal. But we will wait till Keshi makes this formal and then we will discuss with him and if his reasons (to go for the job) are genuine then it is left for the body (the NFF) to decide,” Bassey told on Tuesday.

unless preparations begin in earnest. “The players and coaches have a big work ahead of them and they have to work really hard to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. “They will also have to work even harder if they are to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil because things are not looking rosy,” Finidi told Speaking further on the poor performances of the Nigeria senior national team in 2011, the Finidi said a lot would have to change for the fortunes of

“He also had injury problems too but he has now started to play at a very good level,” Allegri submitted. Taiwo has made just four starts in Serie A this season. The left-back is, however, confident his side can retain their Serie A crown this season. “We have a great team with great players like (Alexandre) Pato, (Clarence) Seedorf, nobody can beat us. “We just have to do what the manager (Allegri) tells us because he is the one that chooses who plays and does not. If we do that, we won’t have any problem,” he said. AC Milan currently sits atop Serie A with 34 points from 16 matches.


IGERIAN striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni scored his 10th goal of the season for his Barclays Premier League club, Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night, as opposing manager Owen Coyle says the goal was terrific. His effort, an exquisite chip on 67 minutes, was, however, not enough as the struggling Blackburn Rovers side lost 1-2 to Bolton Wanderers. The 29-year-old striker still has cause to remain upbeat as even the opposition manager; Owen Coyle of Bolton Wanderers recognised his performance on the night. “It was a terrific goal from Yak,”

the team to change in 2012. “I do hope we qualify for both tournaments but things will continue the way they are unless we begin to do things in the right way. “The way we go about (organising) football in this country is not right but I keep my fingers crossed and hope that we qualify for both tournaments,” Finidi said. The 40 year-old Finidi played for Calabar Rovers, Sharks, Ajax Amsterdam, Real Betis, Mallorca and Ipswich Town. He won 62 caps for the Nigeria national team between 1991 and 2002 scoring 6 goals.

Babangida debunks ‘NFF sack story’, thumbs up Maigari


ARABA FC Chairman and ex Nigeria international Tijani Babangida has debunked statement credited to him in a daily publication alleging that he told the Aminu Maigari-led Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF) board to resign. In a chat with, the 38-year-old says he was grossly misquoted by the publication, and wishes to set the record straight. ‘’I was asked that since the Nigeria Federation sacked all the coaches of the National teams.........What is next? Then, they must sack themselves as

Yakubu’s goal terrific, says Coyle


spat with Mali coach Alain Giresse. Yaya Toure won the English FA Cup with big-spending Manchester City and remains an integral part of the rampant Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire. The winner will be announced at the Awards Gala which will be held on Thursday, December 22. at the Banquet Hall, State House in Accra, Ghana.

AFCON: 2013 will be even tougher –Finidi

NFF waits on Keshi over ‘pundit’ job HE Sub-Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said Super Eagles’ head coach, Stephen Keshi is yet to notify it on his plan to work as a TV analyst for SuperSport at the 2012 Afcon. The issue has generated mixed reaction but spokesman of the NFF sub-technical committee, Paul Bassey told that Keshi has not officially mentioned it to the committee members. Bassey also disclosed that the matter was raised during a recent meeting of the federation’s sub-committee in Lagos but that no decision was taken. “Naturally I don’t like getting involved in controversies. But I must tell you that the coach hasn’t spoken about this to the committee. It is something that we (the members of the committee) have heard as news. I can’t say if there has been contact with the NFF secretariat on the matter on this because the last time we met in Lagos we didn’t get any official word on it though we talked on it. “Keshi may have signed a contract to do analysis job for your company (SuperSport) but this is coming at a time when we have a big game in February. Besides he will be away for a month and what happens to preparation for the game against Rwanda.


HE Confederation of African Football (CAF) has narrowed the nominees for the prestigious African Footballer of the Year to three players, namely Andre Ayew (Ghana), Seydou Keita (Mali) and Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire). This means that there will be a new winner on Thursday for Africa’s most prestigious individual accolade as none of these players have won it yet. Ayew must now be top favourite to win this award that has already been won by his father, Abedi Pele Ayew, after he won a similar honour instituted by BBC last week. Ayew is now the main stay of the Ghana Black Stars and has also established himself at top French club Olympique Marseille. Keita has been a part of the allconquering Barcelona, but his international appearances have been limited this outgoing year following a

Coyle told the media after the game. The ‘Yak’ has been in irrepressible form this season with impressive displays for the relegation threatened Blackburn Rovers. Aiyegbeni has hit an impressive 27 shots in 11 games for Rovers this term and is the sixth top scorer in the Premier League. Only Robin Van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Demba Ba (Newcastle United) and Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) have scored more goals than the Nigerian this season.

well? ‘’ Babangida added: ‘’Contrary to the misleading reports, Aminu Maigari has my full support. I told the publication you can not force any official of the glasshouse to resign or even more gravely sack them because they were elected by the people, and their tenure is yet to lapse. ‘’The members of the NFF are trying their best to move football forward in this country. Whatever the coaches and the players asked for was provided. ‘’Recall that at the last World Cup, England had a dismal tournament by their own high standards. But the fans and the Media never told the English FA to resign. Instead, the hammer fell on the players and the coaching staff.’’ Babangida believes the Aminu Maigari-led Board did the right thing by sacking the under-performing coaches because they always provided moral and financial support to the national teams. ‘’To whom much is given, much is expected. The Nigeria Federation always provided funds for training camps ahead of major tournaments. Unlike in the past, we never had problems of players holding the nation to ransom over unpaid allowances. So, I was misquoted, and I am thinking of the next step......,’’ the ex Ajax Amsterdam flying winger concluded.







Despite the existence of laws, exam malpractice persists. Why is this so? Stakeholders blame it on non-prosecution of culprits. KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE examines the challenges examination bodies face under the Examination Malpractice Act.


N the past, examination malpractice was limited to cheating in exam halls. Then, candidates copied from brilliant students or engaged in what is known as giraffing. All these have changed, giving way to more sophisticated style of cheating. These days, students carry textbooks into the exam hall. Some hire mercenaries to write the examination for them; others use their mobile phones to link up with their collaborators outside the hall, all in a desperate bid to pass at all cost. Yet, there are laws to curtail the malpractice. The laws appear not working despite their stringent provisions. Decree 20 of 1984 promulgated by the Gen. Muhammadu Buhari administration stipulated that those convicted should serve a 21year jail term. The Examination Malpractice Act 33 of 1999 has since replaced that decree. Under that law, offenders, on conviction, are liable to a fine of between N50,000 and N100,000 and a three-four-year jail term with or without option of fine. But, perpetrators are hardly ever punished, prompting stakeholders, who participated in an examination summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja last week, to seek a change. They acknowledged that the lack of interest by students apparently because of their dependence on malpractice, may account for poor performance in examinations. In a communiqué issued after the summit, the stakeholders said: “Government should ensure prompt prosecution of examination offenders in line with the provisions of the extant laws.” But such prosecution is not easy, according to the Registrar, National Examination Council (NECO) Prof Promise Okpala. He said the body has difficulties taking perpetrators of examination malpractice to court because of cultural beliefs and the limitations of the courts that can hear the cases. “Problems emanating from direct legal prosecution are enormous. We are not a culture that treats illegality the white man’s way. We have a culture of ‘go and beg him’, or ‘settle’, or ‘get elderly man to go with you and beg’ when people do wrong. If a candidate is caught, and you tell the person who witnessed it to testify, you will not see them in court. They would say they don’t want to be party to another man’s downfall. It is integrity that can stop malpractice in Nigeria, not laws,” he said. He said the police seem unaware of the law as they tend to release those arrested for examination malpractice. “Even when you meet the police, they will tell you that the law is a decree, forgetting that a decree becomes an Act under civillian administration. We only recently secured a conviction and we had to go the extra mile to get it,” he said. Okpala said the Malpractice Act needs to be amended so that state high courts can hear cases brought to them. “The Exam Malpractice Act forecloses the jurisdiction of courts that

•Candidates writing WASSCE in Enugu

Why Exam Malpractice Law is weak •Stakeholders: cheats are not prosecuted can hear malpractice cases. Only Federal High Courts can try the cases. We are agitating for state high courts or even magistrates courts to assume jurisdiction. We believe with the outcome of the examinations summit, something will be done about that,” he said. Massive fraud during examinations, at various levels, especially in public examinations, undermines the integrity of results paraded by many applicants. Also, many teachers complain that it is a disincentive to hard work as students fail to study when they know there are short cuts to getting good grades. Mr Bayo Peters, a teacher at Bright Stars Primary School, Lagos said exam malpractice has eroded the values and focus of students. “Students are so headstrong; they have low value for education. They have accepted the saying that education is not the ultimate to a successful life. They pay more at-

The Exam Malpractice Act forecloses the jurisdiction of courts that can hear malpractice cases. Only Federal High Courts can try the cases. We are agitating for state high courts or even magistrates courts to assume jurisdiction


tention to the western way of life, and they want short cut to everything in life,” he said. Teachers agreed that prosecution and even stiffer sanctions, like the loss of jobs by officials, could serve as a deterrent. They also advocated public prosecution and punishment meted out by examination bodies. Mrs O.O. Taiwo, Principal of Oduduwa Junior High School,

Surulere, Lagos said: “I think publicly blacklisting schools to a large extent will curb the extent of malpractice because what we had in the past is a situation where we knew the rules but we had not been applying them. We only hear of the rules but do not hear of the implementation. And unless we start doing something concrete that everybody will see, may be people will have a rethink and stop it. It is not

the students that leak the questions but officials in WAEC. So, at least, there are always two sides to a bargain, and we do not know what becomes of the officials. After all, officials from WAEC are involved. So, if they are going to start applying punitive measures on some schools, there should be no separate punishment. Let them start from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), do some internal cleansing and then send it to all that are involved.” Mrs Adenike Iweze, Principal of Baptist High School, Obanikoro, Lagos said malpractice has continued unabated because nobody has been prosecuted. “Examining bodies need to follow up on at least one or two persons so we see that the laws are working. They and the police need to act,” she said. Another principal (name withheld) agrees with her, saying: “They cannot really curb it until teachers who are involved are giv•Continued on Page 26





‘Our procedure for fighting malpractice is the best’

‘Now, our papers sleep only in the state capital. This enables us to put maximum security only in one place. We have come to shift our examination timetable from 9 to 10am, so that gives enough time for our papers to get to their destinations far from the state capital in good time’

Conducting public examinations in Nigeria is not easy. Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO) Prof Promise Okpala speaks to KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE on the council’s efforts to ensure the integrity of its examination.


HAT are the challenges facing NECO in the conduct of your examina-

tions? We need more utility vehicles – pick up van and trucks to distribute examination materials. The strategy we have adopted in the past four years is maximum daily distribution of sensitive materials. Prior to this concept, sensitive materials used to sleep in banks, police stations, even in traditional rulers compounds. Now, our papers sleep only in the state capital. This enables us to put maximum security only in one place. We have come to shift our examination timetable from 9 to 10am so that gives enough time for our papers to get their destinations far from the state capital in good time. From something like 5am, our vehicles begin to leave. Each sleeping point is a source of leakage. When we eliminated sleeping points, it drastically reduced the problem of leakages of sensitive materials. However, we need more healthy vehicles for daily distribution. We used up to 372 vehicles during the May/ June SSCE so you can imagine the level of logistics involved. We fall back for synergy to sister organisations like JAMB, National Population Commision, and INEC. But when we pool them together, they may not be more than 15 per cent of what we require. We are forced to hire private vehicles, and

those ones would give us their drivers. However, we face problems with traffic wardens and police because those hired vehicles have no immunity of government numbers and they are unmarked. We also need help in the ICT section. Scanners (used to mark multichoice scripts) are costly machines. A single scanner costs up to N13million. The bulk of scanners we acquired in 2000 are outdated. In fact, we are the only group using such scanners. Their spare parts are no longer available. Another problem is the issue of infrastructure. We have completed state offices in 12 states. In 24 of them, projects have been inaugurated but the pace of work is slow. States become sentimental to our results. When we get states to pay rents for our offices, they tell us we are your landlord and you say are involved in malpractice. If we operate in states, let us be independent. There is a difference in performance between the examinations conducted by WAEC and the ones conducted by NECO. Why is this so? We examine the same syllabus but our mode of operation is different. Our procedure in combating examination malpractice is the best you can get now. The daily distribution has made it impossible to get our papers before time.

We are using Civil Defence people in practically all centres. We are using lecturers as monitors. Everyone participating in the conduct of the exam in the downstream sector is a staff member of a secondary school. They behave as if we are examining them as well. They help the students. We decided to get people who are accountable to us as observers. They tell us whether people jump out of the window. The lecturers are assigned to 10 schools. Each lecturer is required to write three reports on each school. If we relax on malpractice, it is natural, our results will be beefed up. We know we are not particularly popular with teachers but we have to choose whether to dance to the gallery or do the proper thing. During the examination summit, there were complaints that the curriculum is too loaded and teachers are not able to cover the work in preparation for examinations. Ideally, if the task is unnecessarily increased, it will influence performance negatively. But is it unnecessarily increased? The children are not doing well so we must do everything to make them do well? The ‘O’ Level certificate is highly mobile. The ‘O’ Level syllabus over the years is fundamentally the same. We shouldn’t be in a hurry to tie performance with the syllabus. We should look inwards: ask what amount of time is spent on task.

•Prof Okpala

Our syllabus is comparable to that of other countries. Designing a syllabus is done putting into consideration the number of man hours needed to teach it. If they are not fitting in those man hours, the syllabus will not be covered. We should examine the syllabus once again and ask questions. But it must be comparable. Demand for transcripts by foreign countries has gone beyond just your results. They want to see typical question papers used, they now ask for the scheme of work. That is why we are saying that we are not in isolation. We should be cautious instead of going back. There is an examination malpractice Act, but penalties are not implemented. We are not a culture that treats il-

legality the white man’s way. We are a culture of ‘go and beg him’, or ‘go and settle’. We have succeeded in seeking judgment. We have also started warning schools that once we notice mass cheating, we withdraw our accreditation from that school for two years. Problems emanating from the direct legal prosecution are enormous. It is integrity that can stop malpractice. It is not laws. The Exam Malpractice Act has foreclosed the jurisdiction of courts. Only Federal High Courts can try the cases. We are agitating that why can’t state high courts or magistrate courts assume jurisdiction to try exam malpractice? We believe with the outcome of the examination summit, something will come out of it. Even the one we secured conviction, we had to go the extra mile to succeed.

Why Exam Malpractice Law is weak •Continued from Page 25

ing a real show down. Let them get scape goats, especially among teachers involved. If teachers are not involved students will not engage in malpractice. Let teachers caught be given the capital punishment. What I mean is, that, they should lose their jobs.” Apart from the Malpractice Act, examining bodies, such as WAEC, NECO, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and others have their rules for dealing with malpractices uncovered during their examinations. Penalties range from cancellation of results of candidates or centres, blacklisting of schools, and blacklisting of officials found colluding with candidates. Okpala said NECO withholds accreditation from schools caught in massive fraud, and cancels entire results of candidates, especially when impersonation is involved. “Withdrawal of accreditation is the maximum punishment for centres (schools) involved in examination malpractice. There is a lot of difference between cases involving students cheating and where a student is being helped. We see some scripts and we know it is beyond the student. “We know sensitive subjects and within the period they are taken, maximum monitoring is done. We have six or seven valuable subjects in respect to the Nigerian society. If you are caught as an impersonator in one subject, we seize all the results of that candidate,” he said. At the 52nd meeting of the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC), WAEC’s highest decision

making body on examination matters, on November 24 in Lagos, members expressed dismay at the number of candidates involved malpractice during the 2011 May/ June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). At the end, the result of 81,573 candidates were withheld. Acting Chairman of the committee Chief Adeniyi Falade, who is also the National President of the All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), announced the decision to cancel entire results, or, in some cases, subject results of guilty candidates; prevent schools involved in massive cheating from presenting candidates for a number of years, and also bar guilty officials from participating in the conduct of the Council’s examinations. The communiqué reads: “In the course of considering the various cases of malpractice, the Committee endorsed appropriate sanctions as prescribed by the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the examination in cases which it believed had been established beyond reasonable doubt, after diligent deliberations. It also directed that some schools which were indicted for mass cheating during the conduct of the May/June 2011 WASSCE, should be derecognised for a specified number of years in addition to any other sanction imposed by the Council. Furthermore, it directed that school officials and teachers, who were indicted for falling short of expectation or for involvement in the perpetration of malpractice be reported to the state ministries of education or the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja for disci-

plinary action. Members, as in previous meetings, strongly expressed dismay at the rife incidences of malpractice in examinations in Nigeria. “The Committee directed the Council to, henceforth, compile a ‘blacklist’ of supervisors and invigilators who are indicted for any misdemeanour, just as the Council does for Examiners, in order to ensure that such persons do not participate again in any Council-related assignment anywhere in the country.” These sanctions notwithstanding, candidates have not desisted from examination malpractices, making the Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, to call for stiffer punishment, such as blacklisting schools and candidates for up to five, 10 years. The WAEC Ghana did something similar and the Registrar to the Council, Mrs Mulikat Bello said WAEC International considers enforcing same in all member- countries. In Ghana, guilty candidates and their photographs were published in the newspapers, in addition to being barred from taking the examination for two years. However, she said the large number of candidates involved may make such difficult in Nigeria. “When it was done in Ghana, we planned to enforce it among member-countries. But Nigeria is a special case because of the huge number involved. However, we plan to do it,” she said. Head of WAEC Nigeria National Office, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, added that the Council may consider publishing the names of guilty schools, officials and candidates in the pa-

pers once funds are available. Throwing more light on the severity of sanctions by WAEC on errANT schools and officials, Mrs Sabitiyu Akinniranye, who just retired as Director, Personnel in Lagos State Education District II, said those found wanting are disgraced, even though not publicly. “After WAEC warns a school twice, it is axed the third time. That school will have its candidates sent to other centres. It will have to pay for their registration in such centres, and for the invigilation of the candidates. It is not just the shame and the inconvenience, it involves seri-

ous financial implications and personnel. WAEC normally publishes the names of such schools in their reports. “For officials, when they are reported, in Lagos State, the ministry sets up a panel to investigate and if they are found guilty, they are demoted, and the ministry may stop their promotion for a number of years afterwards. Nobody likes to be disgraced. These sanctions are carried out but the number involved is not large. There may be only two schools in Lagos state so punished,” she said. •Additional report by Sampson Unamka and Jane Chijioke

“Who says Nigeria is not a failed state? ... Like father, like son; like country, like youth!”




School owner seeks tax reduction


HE Proprietor of The Cardinal Nursery and Primary School, Idowu Egba, Lagos, Mrs Nkechi Ohakawa, has called on the government to help private schools by reducing their taxes. She was speaking at the school’s end-of-the year Christmas carol. She said the reduction of taxes is one of the ways in which government can help, because they have become a huge financial burden on the schools. She said the current economic hardship in the country was not helping matters. “The cost of materials is not static, and this affects the running of private schools. The

By Pascal Okezu

government also worsens the situation with the high cost of taxes. Teachers pay the school pays. For instance, we pay to the Ministry of Education, and still pay property tax,” she lamented. This, the proprietor noted, does not help private schools which also plays a significant role as a major player in grooming the future of the nation. Mrs Ohakawa also tasked parents on the need to monitor their wards and plan for their fees to avoid incidents of children being sent home for defaulting in the payment of fees. “The parents should learn

to plan for their children’s fees. Some parents leave their children in the school premises till 7pm and some go to work and come back really late, making it impossible to monitor their children’s school work, the teachers do all the work, and the parents do nothing”. The pupils entertained guests with Christmas songs, and a play on the birth of Jesus Christ. The Chairman of the occasion, John Obire, lauded the management for its performance. He also enjoined parents to be grateful for the gift of children, and so should consider it a privilege to see their children entertain them.

NGO to support indigent students


F Green and White Initiative Plus, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has its way, all indigent children in Nigeria will acquire qualitative education without depending on their impoverished parents. Ms Chinwe Osuagwu, coordinator of the NGO, said the organisation seeks to initiate development in rural areas by ensuring that the children there get proper education. She added that the NGO would also call the attention of authorities to the pathetic situation in those places for necessary actions. Speaking to reporters during an event tagged “What hope for Nigeria Education and Nigerian youths,” organised for the indigent and

By Olawale Ajetunmobi

the widows, Ms Osuagwu, who is a History and International Relations student at the Lagos State University (LASU), said the group would help youths who cannot afford basic things of life to be focused and achieve their dreams. She said: “We are out to change the orientation of the youth away from social vices such as armed robbery, advance fee fraud, gambling, Yahoo-Yahoo, and other vices that have tainted the image of our country among the comity of nations. We are out to tell world that Nigeria is a country with so many potentials. But we need to draw the attention of the government

and public-spirited individuals to the plight of the poor youths, who have energy and ability to achieve great things but who are being prevented by resources to act.” Ms Osuagwu, who was a counsellor and shepherd administration for four years at Project Alert on Violence Against Women, an NGO, said she is pained whenever she hears of students who cannot afford to buy “ordinary exercise book” despite its affordability. “It might be funny but I can say emphatically that it happens every day,” she said, adding: “My experience in my previous place of work shows there are many children encountering the problem.”

Ekiti College gets new Provost


•Miss Osuagwu (left) and other officials of the organisation with the students and widows at the event.

KITI State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi has appointed Prof Francisca Olusegun Aladejana as Provost, College of Education, IkereEkiti. She beat three others to get the job. The appointment is with immediate effect. A professor of Science Education, Mrs Aladejana was born in Ado-Ekiti on March 24, 1954. She had her elementary education at St Louis Catholic School, Ado-Ekiti from 1954- 1964 and St Louis Grammar School, Ikere –

Ekiti between 1965- 1969. She bagged her National Certificate of Education (NCE) from the Federal Advanced Teachers’ College, Okene in 1977 and later proceeded to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife, where she graduated with a First Class in Education Biology in 1985. She had her Master of Arts (Education) Science Foundation in 1989 and Ph.D in Botany in 2000. Mrs Aladejana started her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the

OAU in 1993 and became a professor in 2005. She also served in different capacities in the institution including Co-ordinator, Mathematics Integrated Unit, Institute of Education (1993-2003); Admission Officer, Faculty of Education (2000-2001); Vice-Dean, Faculty of Education (2008- March 2011). She was also Acting Provost, College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti from August 2011- till date. She is married to Prof A.I. Aladejana and blessed with three children.



EDUCATION EKSU FILE NUC okays facilities THE facilities of the EKSU College of Medicine have been described as satisfactory. The National Universities Commission (NUC) Resources Assessment Team led by Prof A.O. Soladoye, made the observation after the team’s assessment of the college. The team gave advice, which would be of help to the college to gain accreditation. Earlier, the team had visited the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Patrick Aina, in his office, where Soladoye declared that the assessment of the facilities was to determine the strength and weakness of the college and advise appropriately. Aina said the visit was his historic because members of the NUC team were the first official visitors he received since his assumption of office. Welcoming the team, Prof Aina stressed that the university’s College of Medicine was very important to the state government, stressing that the college would be given necessary support to become a world class college.

‘Alumni groups key to development’ ALUMNI associations are important stakeholders in the development of universities worldwide. The EKSU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Patrick Oladipo Aina, stated this while welcoming the Board of Trustees and some members of the EKSU Alumni Association in his office. Aina told the alumni members that he would need their support in his mission of making the university one of the best in Africa, a reality. He promised the board members that EKSU would host the next alumni convention, He also promised that the university would support the alumni association in constructing an edifice as its office. The alumni Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mr Wale Jegede, who briefed the VC on the contributions of the association, asked for the management. He pledged that the association would continue to play vital roles in the development of the university

UI trains 200 vehicle technicians


VER 200 members of the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) from Lagos and four other states converged recently at the University of Ibadan for an orientation on a certificate course on Automotive Technology. The three-month course was offered by UI’s Distance Learning Centre (DLC) in collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering Department and Mag Ben Technology, Lagos. Welcoming the students to the institution, the DLC Director, Prof Bayo Okunade, expressed the hope that all the automobile technicians would have acquired the best form of professional practice at the end of the three months drilling. The programme, Okunade said, was organised to broaden the mind of automobile technicians to reduce the problems facing vehicles in the country. He said: “We live in a knowledge-driven world influenced by technology. Most mechanics have run into troubles trying to guess problems with vehicles of

By Seun Olalude

modern days; hence we decided to broaden their horizon by introducing this programme called Automotive Technology. “The programme started with 30 students, the second batch had 100 people, and this is the third batch where we have over 200 students taking part in the current programme at the five study centres. Plans are underway to increase the study centres. The programme is fulfilling the mandate of the DLC to provide skills training and fill the gap in tertiary education,” he said. The representative of MAG BEN Technology, Gbenga Agbana, said the company was ready to support UI to give the best to her students in automobile technology. Some students in Lagos, Omu Aran, Ilorin, Abeokuta and Osogbo in attendance described their experiences in diverse ways but worthwhile. Mr Ambrose Adedeji who is the Chairman of NATA Abeokuta arm and also a student, commended the facilitators of the programme

•The mechanics during the training.

“The organisers of this programme have done very well and we want them to continue to fulfill our wishes to know more about modern vehicles,” he said. Mr Sunday Shorunke, his colleague from Abeokuta, wants the government to support the programme. His words: “The state and federal should governments should collaborate with the

institution to empower the mechanics with modern equipment which are capital intensive. If we have what we need within our reach, there would not be need for us to be traveling before solving auto problems.” Taiwo Yusuf from the Omu Aran Centre in Kwara State, said some people tried to dissuade him from enrolling in the programme because they

felt it was not relevant but he is a better technician. James Oladele Daniel singled out the lecturer’s simple approach in impacting the knowledge in them. He said: “I praised our lecturer’s intelligence for breaking down the lessons for us to comprehend. They came so low to our level in the way they communicate to us which makes the class interesting.”

•Mrs Oladunjoye

•Mrs Daodu

state. The Vice-Chairman, Surulere Local Government Council, Sulaiman Yusuf, who appreciated the effort of the state government, also highlighted some of the council’s projects for next year which include the provision of free

uniforms, sandals and textbooks for the pupils. Mrs P.M.O. Olafihan, Head Teacher of Adegoke Primary School, lamented the shortage of teachers, noting that the school would appreciate if the trend is reversed.

Lagos SUBEB inaugurates 12 classrooms


HE Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), with the support of the state government, has inaugurated a block of 12 classrooms, offices and toilet facilities for teachers at Adegoke Primary School, Surulere. Mrs Gbolahan K.Daodu, the Executive Chairman, SUBEB, said in 2009, the school was in a very bad shape and not conducive for learning. With the new development, Mrs Daodu hoped, its population, which stands at 645, will get to 1,500 before the second half of the next year. The Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner of Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, said the promise

By Chijioke Jane

of its administration in 2007 to provide security to life, health care, affordable accommodation and qualitative and accessible education in a conducive environment shall never be unfulfilled.” In accordance to the demands of his administration, Oladunjoye said the governor has allocated greater part of the state budget to education;with construction and rehabilitation of classroom given greater concern, with provision of furniture, textbooks and other instructional materials. Mrs Oladunjoye decried the then poor state of Adegoke Primary School, which led to reduction of its population.

She, however, expressed happiness that the school has been renovated. She assured parents, teachers and the society at large that their administration is committed to changing the education sector in the state. “The dilapidated structure in Adegoke Primary School then consisted of only six classrooms with a population that gradually reduced from 647 to 350. But today, we can boost of a 12 classroom block with adequate facilities, and furniture that will enhance the learning environment for our children.” The education commissioner urged all other corporate organisations and individuals to join hands in developing the public schools in the

Dream big, VC tells freshers •Crawford Varsity admits 250


RAWFORD University, Igbesa, Ogun State, has admitted 250 new students at its seventh matriculation. Though the school admitted 500 students, only half the number matriculated. In his address, the ViceChancellor Prof Samson A.

By Adegunle Olugbamila and Nneka Nwaneri

Ayanlaja, re-emphasised the institution’s commitment to changing the behaviour and attitude of the students by injecting skills in specified disciplines. Such skill, Ayanlaja added, will bring about righteous and corrupt free graduates who are adequately informed with the capability of kick starting industrial and technological development, and subsequently bringing about change in the Nigerian workforce. “Crawford is characetrised by personal warmth, hospitality, honesty of purpose and strict discipline. It is our desire to inculcate in these students passion for selfless service, self esteem, satisfaction

•The students taking the matriculation oath

to abhour corruption and imbibe righteousness.” Prof Ayanlaja further added that the quality of character and righteousness is what develops the nation, as character

backs up qualification. He advised the new intakes to be diligent, use time wisely and have integrity and be persistent in their pursuit of success. “Remember that a reader

become a leader. One who refuses to be learner becomes a cleaner in future. Opportunity lost may never be regained. Have a big dream, plan big and dare to attempt the impossible,” he charged them.


Freshers’ Night ignites Ilaro Poly

ABSU students for Ireland Law contest Page 34

Page 31



CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011



At the 19th convocation of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, the graduands spoke of their future plans. At the colourful ceremony, Governor Adams Oshiomhole promised the school a pedestrian bridge. ‘TOSIN AJUWON (HND II, Mass Communication) reports.

•The graduating students at the ceremony

Students preach self-employment D

ATELINE: December 10, 2011. The Sports Complex, Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State. It was the institution’s 19th convocation and, expectedly, there was a large crowd. The graduands, their parents, well-wishers and, others, including honorary degree recipients, came to share in the joy of the day. Governor Adams Oshiomhole, one of the recipients, was the cynosure of all eyes. He was there with other dignitaries, such as the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqqayatu Ahmed Rufai'i, former Chief Judge of Edo State Justice Constance Ayashe Momoh, Prof Abraham Inanoya Imogie and traditional rulers, among others. Beaming with smiles, the Rector, Dr Philipha Idogho, thanked the governor for identifying with the institution which, according to her, is making waves in technical vocation and capacity building. She said in the past three-and-a-half years, the institution has made significant progress, citing the 2011 webometrics ranking of universities and other tertiary institutions worldwide which listed it among the best 19 institutions from Nigeria and the only polytechnic in the category of universities since the ranking began in 2004. The polytechnic was also listed as one of the

eight in Africa designated by the Commonweath of Learning at a centre for flexible skills acquisition. Dr Idogho praised students, who made the institution proud in some graduands competitions, especially the Nigerian Model United Nations Summit (NIGMUNS), and the Federal Ministry of Education and the Speech Academy organised debate. The polytechnic came first in the debate. Dr Idogho charged the graduands to be committed and steadfast in whatever they do, urging them to put God first. The Rector said the polytechnic has distinguished itself in fabrication, taking the first prize at polytechnic expos and in the NUXART competition in Arts exhibitions where the institution has won the first and second prizes three consecutive times. She added that an “aggressive approach” to infrastructural development led to the development of modern second campus. The Staff Development Policy, Dr Idogho said, has since 2008, resulted in 98 workers pursuing higher degrees at home and abroad. She said: “This is a radical departure fromt he past when between inception of the institution in 1963 and 2007, the polytechnic had only four staff with the doctorate degree in its staff compliment.”

Prof Rufa’i described the polytechnic as one of the oldest institutions in the country, which has reinvented itself and become the most-competitive. “This is impressive and worthy of commendation. I congratulate the management of this vibrant institution for the positive direction along which it is being driven. I am aware of the rapid infrastructural development leading to the establishment of a second campus and the robust staff development scheme put in place by the present administration,” she said.

‘I urge ASUU and other staff unions of similar tertiary institutions to seek redress through dialogue and consultation with the government and their institutions in order to avoid unnecessary disruption of academic activities.’

Congratulating the graduands, the minister urged members of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to embrace dialogue with the government and call off the strike in the interest of the nation and students. “I urge ASUU and other staff unions of similar tertiary institutions to seek redress through dialogue and consultation with the government and their institutions in order to avoid unnecessary disruption of academic activities.” Oshiomhole thanked the management for repositioning the institution, particularly for “restoring balance and integrity” to the academic calendar. He described quality and sound education as the bedrock for positive development of any society and enjoined the graduands to be worthy ambassadors of the polytechnic and contribute meaningfully to the country’s development. He promised to look into demands for a pedestrian bridge that will link the South Ibie Road to the institution to prevent accidents. He said lawmakers representing the state in the National Assembly were working on the issue. No fewer than 6,535 students were awarded diplomas and certificates. Fifty graduated with •Continued on page 30

•Corps members clean up host-community PG 32•Tight security as LASU opens Benson Lecture Hall - PG 33




Pushing Out

Still on teenage fury N the past two weeks, I have decried the not-so-new rage of our secondary school pupils which seems to have become highly worrisome in recent years. Last week, I used a news report on the excesses of the Anglican High School in Adebayo, Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, as a case in point to the monsters we may be raising if parents and leaders at all levels do not bridle our penchant to get physical at the slightest provocation. I drew a correlation between the ever increasing security breaches, especially the ones amongst lawmakers who exchange fisticuffs, throw chairs and detonate bombs (through misdirected proxies) to settle scores and our secondary school (and even university) students’ penchant to physically assault all and any (including teachers and officials) they do not agree with. The same last Thursday, something quite unsettling happened in another secondary school in one of the Northeast states. It involved one of my correspondents who, as an NYSC member, is serving as a teacher in the school. I will not mention the school or even the name of the corps member. This is in deference to the principal who promptly called in the PTA (parents/teachers’ association), the NYSC, the police and even the emir of the town. I am happy that they have all given the matter the serious attention it deserves. Now to what happened. The corps member (teacher) had drawn the ire of two of his students (boys) when he seized a banned item from one of them. The second boy was peeved that the teacher repeatedly warned him about his undisciplined lifestyle and always urged him to take his academics more seriously. Thus, the two came together and hatched a plan


law allowed to run its course. But even as I write this, I have reservations about the good even that will do. This is considering our supposed reformation system – I am referring to the state of our prisons today. There is something called the juwith venile delinquency court and rehabilitation system (should the underaged offenders need to be put away), but I do not know if they exist in 08054503104 this country. I express that senti(SMS only) ment because one has heard and even read stories of 15, 17, 19-year• olds made to share cells with hard• ened adult criminals. At the end of their prison sentence (where they are evento deal with the meddlesome “corper”. So, sometime between midnight and the tually fully tried and convicted), these once wee hours of last Thursday, they crept to the teenage delinquents come out much worse corpers’ quarters and straight to this teacher’s than when they went in, no thanks to the door. Here, they doused the door with petrol influence of their hardened cell mates. Thus, while I am constrained to call on the (or kerosene, I’m not sure which), and equally poured some into the room from under the Ministry of the Interior to do something, and fast, concerning our reformatory system, I door. Then, they lit a match. The teacher was sleeping when the fire also call on the Ministry of Education, both started, but even he cannot say exactly how at the federal and state levels, to pay much he managed to escape through the same door more than a passing interest in the guidance that was then in flames. He is a Christian and and counseling unit of our primary and secall he has managed to tell me is: “Aunty it is ondary schools. Currently, many public primary schools God; it is just God Who spared my life!” I do not have that unit running. In the secondcannot agree less. The same God led to the discovery of the ary schools, just about half of them can be culprits who were not as smart as they imag- said to have it, and more often than not, it is ined. They were promptly arrested and like I just there. This unit, in my assessment, is as already mentioned, the police, NYSC, PTA important as having the subject teachers. I and emir of the town are all involved in the was in secondary school between the late 80s and the early 90s – in a public secondary case. We are talking about teenagers and the ex- school in Onitsha (Inland Girls) - and can tent they are willing to go to settles scores. I never forget the impact of our “guidance/ once heard a case where a group of four sec- counsellor”, Mrs. Okagbue, as we called her ondary school boys ganged up to rape their then. Her office was situated in a serene part of the school, and each class had a day with female classmate. These are not mere exhibitions of youthful her, every two weeks. On the day of a parexuberance; these are crimes and the perpe- ticular class, she saw students one at a time. trators should be so treated. If a 16-year-old This privacy helped greatly, especially for commits arson with intent to murder, he most of us who had trader parents and didn’t must be handed over to the police and the know how to truly communicate with them,

Ngozi Agbo

nor they us. I will admit that, perhaps due to a shortage of qualified staff, this service was restricted to the external exam classes (JSS III and SSS III), and expectedly, talks centered mostly if not entirely on career choices and subject preferences, but did it help! Every year, Education faculties churn our graduates in Guidance/Counselling as well as Educational Planning/Management, thus we cannot claim that there are no qualified hands. Yes, I know that the quality of these graduates and even their willingness to practice the little they have been taught might pose other challenges, all the same, we have to start from somewhere. The truth is that our teenagers are running amok and we need to rein them in! Sadly, the home is perhaps the root of the problem. Time was when indeed, parents and teachers were honest co-trainers, but that is no longer the case. In the private schools, even the ones where they pay hundreds of thousands each term, teachers can no longer write honest reports on the behaviour of students as some parents simply “will not take it”. In one elitist, highly competitive and about the most expensive school which publishes the names of its admitted JSS I students in select dailies, teachers have to “be careful” what they write in students’ files. I learnt this just last week from a parent who is a friend. The family is already making plans to withdraw their child. Then, in the public schools, there are no files when it comes to that important counseling unit. Parents whose children are here do not simply have the time or the “brains” to help their wards. We have a major problem – call it a ticking time bomb – in our hands. Again, I call for not just the overhauling of our counselling sections in school, I urge President Jonathan to get serious about his own announcement to reclaim the standard and values in our education sector. It is really an emergency. Ciao

Promise Etim is the head of Corps Members Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS), Anambra State. He studied Agricultural Engineering at the University of Uyo. He is observing his primary assignment at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) FM, Awka. JASPER DADA (his colleague) met him.

‘I regret not studying journalism’



HAT lured you to journalism and broadcasting? My passion for journalism and broadcasting started in my second year at the university, when my friend Monday Ini-obong and I analysed the ,FIFA 2006 World Cup with Mr. Tony Sav-

iour at NTA 12, Uyo. But you read Engineering. Won’t you practise your profession? It is the most quintessential profession in the world, but my passion for journalism has almost drawn my attention off it. Someday in the future, I will practice the profession. What are the challenges you face as a leader? There is no easy task in life as far as I am concerned. Leading people has not been easy but we have been able to meet up the demands of people, helping the needy and reaching out to the less privileged. Do you have any regret? Yes. Not studying Journalism or Mass Communication at the university is my biggest regret. What influenced your sport analysis? One man actually lured me to sports and football to be precise. His name is Jose Mourinho. I always marvel at his antics and tactics on and off the pitch. What is your future plan? With increased passion and flair for broadcasting, I am heading for a postgraduate programme in Mass Communication or Journalism after my service year. I am also looking forward to have stint at Brila 88.9 FM, Onitsha before the end of the year.

•Oshiomhole at the event

•From left: Dr. Idogho, Prof. Rufa’i, Justice Momoh and Dr. Margaret Aashikpelokhai, Registrar of the polytechnic, at the ceremony

Students preach self-employment •Continued from page 29

Distinction at the Higher National Diploma (HND) level; 68 had Distinction in National Diploma (OND). Some of the graduands described the occasion as colourful and glamorous, but advising the government to empower youths in order to address unemployment and reduce search for white-collar jobs. Lovely Amaka Agba, who graduated from Mass Communication, said she believed there is life after graduation for her. She advised her colleagues to fend for themselves rather than looking for white-collar jobs. “My dream is not just to be a graduate and sit down at home. I am a gogetter. Don’t sit down at home and

be idle. Don’t wait for one big company that will be posing you for a job that is not there; you can do something with your hands. Even the entrepreneurial education we offered in school can earn us a living instead of searching for white collar jobs that are not even there,” she posited. Another, graduand, Kester Okpuzor, from Mechanical Engineering Dpartment, said: “I have figured out something to do for myself instead of looking in to the labour market and searching for white-collar jobs. Every graduate, who has foresight, should be able to see what he/she can do because the jobs are even scarce to see. All the same, let government empower the youth to reduce unemployment in the coun-

try”. A parent, Mr Ikhariess Asemhokh, who was excited that his only daughter graduated, said: “I and my wife are the happiest parents on earth, today, because our daughter has graduated. It’s a thing of joy because it’s an achievement and she brought glory and honour and added another feather to the family. We pray that she gets a job at the shortest possible time so that she can bring some rewards to herself and the family.” The high points of the ceremony included the conferment of Honorary Fellowships of the Auchi Polytechnic on Oshiomhole and Justice Momoh, among other.

BIDAPOLY reopens after three months


HE management of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida has announced the reopening of the institution after three months of compulsory break. The students were sent home following riot over the disappearance of the manhood of a student allegedly caused by a female admission seeker, which resulted in vandalisation of the school property. In a release after Board of Studies meeting, in which recommenda-

From Bola-Ige Alabi BIDAPOLY

tions of the Special Committee on Student Crisis was considered, the management said continuation of the 2010/2011 academic session will take off on January 3, 2012 with ND1 and HND 1 students arriving on campus to begin the second semester exams which will start on January 11, 2012. The Registrar and Secretary to the Polytechnic Governing Council, Chief Bisi Adeyemi, disclosed that

all students have been directed to pay reparation fee of N10,000 into the polytechnic account before being eligible to sit for the exam. The post-semester examination for morning students have been rescheduled to take place between January 23 and 28 while the ND 1 and HND II students will take their turn between January 30 and February 10, 2012. This would bring the 15-month academic session, which was started in December 2010 to an end.




Freshers’ Night ignites Ilaro Poly After a lull in social activities, students of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, trooped out to dance at a musical show organised by the Students Union Government. OLAWALE AJETUNMOBI was there.

•The students in estatic mood during the show


IVEN its location on the map of Ogun State, the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro (FEPIL) is an institution with little attention. But, this is not to say the institution is not well-known, especially among young secondary school leavers and admission seekers, who prefer to acquire technical education. Happenings in the institution, particularly students’ events, are hardly reported. Except perhaps the unfortunate incident that happened sometime in 2009 when security operatives attached to the convoy of Olufunke, the wife of the former Governor Gbenga Daniel, shot some students. The security claimed that the students were sponsored to attack Mrs Daniel. The socio-economic activities in the sprawling town of Ilaro, an ancient city on the fringe of Ogun State, are animated by the influx of students. Last week, the institution came alive with social activities. After the matriculation for new students a fortnight ago, the Abayomi Erinle-led Student Union Govern-

•Some of the SUG officials with the artists

ment (SUG) hosted the freshers to a programme tagged: “Freshers’ swagger night.” The event featured many artists and choreographers. In groups, FEPIL students, who were mostly in ND 1 class, trooped into the Pavilion Ground, the venue of the show. Some of them were dressed in old Yoruba cultural attires to differentiate themselves from others. The security unit had a hectic time controlling students at the gate.

The students were thoroughly searched to ensure that lethal weapons were not brought into the venue. “We need to ensure the security of our students. We don’t want any external forces to destabilise our environment, which is why the security check at the gate is strict,” Erinle, the SUG president, who is a HND II Mechanical Engineering student, told CAMPUSLIFE. He said though the show was not the first of its kind, the “average Ilaro

poly student is believed to be a bookworm and we don’t want to create a situation where people would say socials in the school is dead, this is the reason we organised this show to ease off academic tension.” A popular Lagos-based Disc Jockey, DJ REAL, and Stormy Zino led the pack of other artistes invited from outside the campus. Several budding artistes and choreographers within the school were also given the chance to perform during the

programme. They included Skippo, Jaybee, Zico, Jasto and Marksmen among others. A student, MC Chicken, compered the programme. The roof of the Pavilion was almost brought down when the Marksmen, a choreography group, performed. The group leader, Franklin Ezenwiwe, ND II Electrical Engineering, told CAMPUSLIFE: “We started preparing for this show last week and reaction of students to our performance really surprised and encourage us because we believe we can still do better than we did.” After the school artistes’performancec, the show snowballed into a free-for-all as Stormy Zino took the podium to entertain the students. “The moment the artiste came on stage, I knew the real swagger was about to begin. So, I took my baby to a corner to dance,” Femi Aladeokun, a Management student, told CAMPUSLIFE. Another student, Michael Ayomide, said: “DJ REAL is the bomb. I really enjoyed the show and I can say I have enjoyed part of the money I paid as due into the purse of our SUG.” Oyelekan Ajayi, the SUG Social Director, said: “Weeks of serious planning have yielded a good result. From what students have told me so far, the show is a success and I must give kudos to the social committee members, who have worked seriously to ensure the success of the show.” Erinle said: “This is not the only programme we have for our students. We still have some educative programmes that will benefit the entire students. We just wanted to start with the social aspect during this time we are not writing any exam, so that the performance of students won’t be affected when exams come.” Some lecturers were at the event. Also, there were SUG executive including Emmanuel Uzoma, Vice President, Abiodun Solanke, General Secretary, Adenike Obadina, Assistant General Secretary, Micheal Coker, Treasurer, Ridwan Kewulere, Financial Secretary, Adenike Adebayo, Public Relation Officer, Oluwafemi Oderinde, Welfare Director and Wasiu Shobanke, Sport Director.

A month into the new session, the University of Jos (UNIJOS) has released the hostel allocation list. ESTHER MARK (400-Level Mass Communication) writes that many students complained about the process.

Accommodation woes persist in UNIJOS


T the University of Jos (UNIJOS), students are accustomed to the release of a list before any task. Admission, accommodation, scholarship, graduating students’, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) call up and expulsion lists are some that are common every year in the institution. When the current session began a few weeks ago, students thought the process of allocating accommodation in the school Halls of Residence would be done online. They didn’t know that the system was about to change and that they would wait for a month for the accommodation list to be released. The institution has three major hostels - Naraguta, Abuja and Village - in addition to the medical students’ hostel. Students believe that available bed spaces in all the halls, which are mainly reserved for final year, clinical, disabled and new students, would not go round to include all who indicated interest. The applicants waited for a month after resumption without the accommodation list being released. Many fresh students resorted to squatting with friends and relations outside campus. Others rented off-campus hostels at exorbitant fees. Last week, the much-awaited list was finally released by the manage-

ment. But there seems to be a problem. First, a handful of final year and new students could not find their names on the list. Some final year students, who got bed spaces, complained about the choice of accommodation. When news broke of the accommodation list release, students rushed to the central notice board at the main campus where it was displayed. About 15 minutes later, the list was no more. It had been torn during the rush hour by students desperate to know their fate. Many complained that the process should have been online, which they believe is devoid of stress. Others, probably those who got accommodation, said the manual registration remained the best because it accommodates late registration. Three days before the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), went on strike, another list was released. Students, whose names were on the list, said they could not proceed with the registration because of the strike. “Had the second list been released earlier, it would have given us an opportunity to sort things out before the strike,” a student said. At the time of filing this report, the committee in charge of hostel allocation was yet to release the payment

•Students checking their names in the allocation list

modality for the bed spaces . But some students believe the payment would be online just the way they paid their school fee. Others said it could be manual through the bursary department. In all, the list was an admixture of joy and misgivings to the students. Some students spoke to CAMPUSLIFE. Lengmi Joshua, 400-Level Mass Communication, said she was confused after the list was released. “I was confident that I would be allocated a room before the list came out. Where do I start from in view of my final year project? I am lost as to what to do. The school authorities should consider building more hostels to curb

the problem.” A 400-Level student of Sociology, who craved anonymity, described the allocation process as unfair. He said: “We thought the system would favour us since the process would be carefully sorted out. Little did we know that we are in for a shocker. I am left with no option than to buy from others.” Martins Emanuel, 100-Level student, said: “I have been squatting with a friend who resides off-campus. I have had to put up with his attitude because I felt it would be for a short time. Now, I am disappointed. Where do I get the money to get accommodation off campus? And with insecurity in the town,

I would have to cope with the challenges. All thanks to the hostel allocation committee.” However, Geraldine Yalwa, 400Level Mass Communication, was happy that she got a bed space. “This will help me to settle down and face my studies after one month of uncertainty,” she said. Efforts were made by to get the accommodation committee to speak on the issue, but none of officials spoke to our reporter. The students appealed to the management to build new hostels to solve the accommodation problem and put an end to the racketeering business which many students consider as exploitative.



CAMPUS LIFE Freshers told to target First Class From Kayode Odumboni UNILAG


•The corps members with pupils after the sensitisation

Group sensitises pupils on fake products


FFICIALS of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), in partnership with National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, have sensitised pupils of Ado Girls College, Awka, about fake and substandard products. Mr Emmanuel Humphrey, Consumer Education Officer, lectured the students, cautioning them to al-

From Jasper Dada NYSC Awka

ways check any product they buy because “the Nigerian markets are flooded with fake and substandard products.” He noted that many people were killed by adulterated products they bought from good stores, advising

the students to always watch out for NAFDAC number, batch number and manufacturing date before buying any product. He urged the students to report to CPC when they feel cheated. Highlight of the programme was the presentation of gifts to five students for their contribution to consumer protection in their school.

EW intakes of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have been urged to target First Class. The charge was given during the orientation and welcome service organised by UNILAG chapter of Christ Apostolic Church Youth Fellowship (CACYOF). The theme of the programme was: “It’s all within your grasp.” The guest speaker, Olufemi Fayose, encouraged the fresh not to be intimidated by stories that First Class is unachievable, stressing: “If First Class was something that cannot be attained, the university would not have designed it.” Fayose, who holds a First Class degree in Accountancy from UNILAG, said: “Keep your focus and be unwaveringly committed to your academics. I can assure you that first class is very much within your grasp.” Another speaker, Dapo Ogunoye, stressed the importance of time

Poly elects union leaders


HE Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY) Student Union Government (SUG) election has been held, with Oluwatosin Ogunkuade returned as president. The election, which would have held last session, was postponed by the management to make the poll free, fair and credible. Two groups, Liberation and Reformation, contested for the election with each having 13 contestants the 13 positions at the SUG. The election was described as the most peaceful in the history of the

management, encouraging the students to ensure their stay in the university yields good result. The fellowship coordinator, Jumoke Adekola, enjoined the students not to get lost in the multitude. “Don’t go with the flow; make sure the flow is going with you,” she said. Jumoke also enjoined the students not to be carried away by the social life. “UNILAG affords you almost everything at the tip of your fingers. It is then left for you to choose. I implore you to choose those values that bring life.” Omolara Alake, 100-Level Law, said the programme was inspiring. “I have learnt the practical ways through which I can prioritise things, and get the best results,” she said. The event featured performance of a poem titled Before I forget that my time is set. From Akinola Oluyi OFFA POLY

institution. Adewale Onipe, NDII Accountancy, said: “There is no record of violence, rigging and other irregularities. The best students in each department were the members of the electoral body and they really performed excellently.” Oluwatosin promised students that his administration would re-consider the admission policy, discourage the elongation of academic session, orgsnise conferences and seminars. Others are Jamiu Adebayo, Sport Director, Nurudeen Are, Social Director, Idowu Odebunmi, Welfare Director and Mohammed Jimoh, Vice president.

UNIZIK gets union leaders


•The corps members during the sanitisation exercise

Corps members clean up host-community


EMEBERS of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ogbia, Bayelsa State, have cleaned up at their places of primary assignment. Described the he last project of the year, the exercise kicked-off at the Ogbia (NYSC) zonal office. According to the Community Liaison Officer (CLO), Prince Chimele, the exercise was part of their Community Development Service (CDS). He said it was aimed at ensuring a

From Isaac Mensah YENEGOA

sustainable environment in their area of primary assignment and host community. He said environmental sustainability was a major aspect of development, adding that cleanliness is close to holiness. The corps members, who were dressed in their service uniforms, stormed the area with cutlasses, rakes and brooms. At about 11am,

the exercise was rounded-up following completion of various cleaning activities. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, one of the corps members, Akinyomi Omotoso, said: “We have tried our best to ensure the environment is clean. I believe there is always a room for improvement.” The Ogbia Zonal Inspector, Mr Emmanuel Uranta, who was around during the exercise, commended the efforts of the corps members, urging them to keep up the “good work.”

UNILORIN Student leaders’ reinstated


HIRTEEN days after suspension, three officers of the Students Union Government of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) have been reinstated by the union’s court. The officers were suspended by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). They are: Surajudeen Musa, President, Hammed Ayuba, General Secretary, and Nafiu Abdulkadir, Financial Secretary. At the SRC sitting on December 3, the officers were suspended indefinitely and directed to submit the property of the union in their custody to the office of the Dean of Student Affairs. But the officers sued the SRC, describing their sacking as unconstitutional.

From Michael Adebayo and Wale Bakare UNILORIN

The Chief Judge, Kazeem Illiasu, led other members of the court, Kazeem Azeez and Ramlat Sanni, to hear the matter. The court started the hearing on December 8. The counsel to the complainants (Surajudeen, Hammed and Toyin) was Habeeb Whyte while the defendant’s (members of SRC) lawyer was Lukman Saad. Delivering judgment, which lasted over an hour, Illiasu held that the officers’ suspension was in contravention of some sections of the SUG constitution. The court confiscated two

laptops given to the union leaders as gifts by the firm that was contracted to sell laptops to students at cheaper price. The judge held that the laptops should be sold and the money realised remitted into the SUG account. In addition, the affected officers were ordered to pay N5,000 each into the union account for using the laptop. Reacting, Surajudeen said: “Our suspension crippled union activities right from the day one of their unconstitutional action. UNILORIN students never made a mistake for electing us into the post. We commend the members of the judiciary who reversed the unconstitutional decision of the parliament.”

HE Vice-Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Prof Boniface Egboka, has inaugurated the newly-elected officials of the Student Union Government (SUG). After the swearing in, Egboka charged the student leaders to apply decorum in everything they do. He reminded the students that they were holding the offices in trust for others, advising them to offer selfless service to advance the cause of their colleagues. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” he said.

Student dead


STUDENT of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Aliyu Abdulkadir, is dead. A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Student Union Government (SUG ), reads in part: “We the executive members of the Student Union Gov-

From Uche Anichebe UNIZIK

The officials, who took the oath, were Victor Onuegbu, President; Chioma Okeke, Vice President; Obinna Agazie, Chief Judge among others. Victor, 300-Level Psychology, thanked students for their support and for the trust they reposed in him. He assured them of his comment to their welfare, and equally solicited for their support, saying leadership and followership should be all inclusive. From Yinka Olatunbosun IBBUL

ernment regret to announce the death of one of our 400-Level students from the Department of Sociology, Aliyu Abdulkadir, who died during the second semester break after a brief illness. He was, until his death, a senior comrade on campus who believed in the spirit of our struggle. We pray that Almighty Allah grant his parents the fortitude to bear the loss.”



CAMPUS LIFE Tight security as LASU opens Benson Lecture Hall


•The fresh students at the programme


HE Department of Home Economics and Food Science has held its first orientation at the conference centre, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). The head of the department, Dr K. Karim, urged the new students to focus on their studies and shun activities that may portend danger to their studentship. She told the students not to look down on the course, saying it has boundless opportunities that include food science, which could make the students specialise in

Orientation for freshers From Tayo Fagbohun UNILORIN

child development, food and nutrition, clothing and textiles and interior decoration. The resource person, Mr Samson Oyeyinka, urged the students to set their goals and manage their time wisely. He said he faced serious challenges before he became the

best graduating student when he was in the university. Some of the students spoke to CAMPUSLIFE. Ope Akinade, 100-Level Home Economics, said she planned changing to another department but the orientation has helped her to understand the opportunities in the field of food science.

tight security web was thrown round the Lagos State University (LASU) during the opening of Sobowale Benson Lecture Hall. Security was strenghened to prevent an attack on representatives of the Lagos State Government who attended the ceremony. The event, held at the Science premises, was attended by the Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga. Also at the event were Oba Salau Oyefusi, Ayangburen of Ikorodu, his wife, Muyibat Oyefusi; Oba Oriyomi Akeem, Oyebo of Egbin Kingdom; Oba Richard Abayomi, Olubeshi of Ibeshi Land; Chief Babatunde Benson (SAN), the donor of the lecture hall and his wife, Olabisi. In his address, LASU Vice-

From Adeyemi Onikoro LASU

Chancellor Prof John Obafunwa said people should stop thinking that government would provide everything they need. On infrastructure development in LASU, he said the government cannot do it alone but with the support of stakeholders and development partners. Obafunwa thanked Benson for his contribution and urged individuals and organisations to emulate the gesture of the donor. Responding Benson said he had fulfilled the promise he made a long time ago, saying everybody must stand up to support the government in its bid to deliver qualitative education to students. Fashola commended Benson for his gesture toward the development of education in the state.

•Members of Noble Leo Club, Lagos State University (LASU) when they donated bed spreads, pillow cases, waste baskets and other hospital materials to the diabetic ward of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos recently.

Students urged to emulate Elias •The new executives taking oath


HE Lagos State axis of the Joint Campus Committee (JCC), a body under the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has elected new officers at its convention. It was held at the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (Oceanography), Victoria Island, Lagos State. Speaking, the former chairman of Lagos JCC, Olarenwaju Ogundipe, said: “One major issue that the outgoing executive members combated was the problem of impersonation.” Before the election, Martin Abraham was elected convention chairman. Other members included Yusuf

Lagos JCC gets new leaders From Nurudeen Yusuf LASU

Kashetu and Emmanuel Emmagidon from Oceanography and YABATECH. Martin, however, appointed Saheed Olanrewaju from the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos as the convention clerk. After 15 minutes recess, the former leadership of JCC was dissolved. The aspirants were ushered in to speak on their manifestos one after the other. The election were keenly con-

tested Quam Adeyemi, HND II LASPOTECH, was returned unopposed as chairman; Yusuf Abbas from YABATECH is vice chairman. Others are Lukman Aminu, Director of Special Duties (LASU); Essien Akpanite, Financial Secretary, (OCEANOGRAHY); Soliu Azeez, Public Relation Officer (UNILAG); Akeem Salami, General Secretary, (FCE); Isa Ibrahim, Sport Director. The new executive members were sworn in last Saturday at the Engineering Lecture Theatre, LASPOTECH.

Student leaders meet in Ogun


O FEWER than 40 student leaders from some institutions in the Southwest attended the maiden African Liberty Students’ Organisation (ALSO) regional leadership retreat. They discussed the “Challenges and the way forward” in the promotion of classical liberal thoughts on their campuses. The retreat was held at Kings Palace Hotel, Abeokuta, Ogun State. In attendance were student leaders from University of Ibadan (UI), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos State University (LASU), Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Federal University of Agriculture,

From Akinola Akala ABEOKUTA

Abeokuta (UNAAB), Crescent University Abeokuta, Federal College of Education Abeokuta, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and Petroleum Technology Institute (PTI). Also is a pro-student movement in Africa. The retreat provided the student leaders an opportunity to deliberate on how to tackle the challenges they encounter, promote free markets, individual liberty and globalisation as well as other ideals on their campuses. Adedayo Thomas, publisher and director of Outreach of African Liberty, lectured the students on

strategies to promote liberty on the campuses. Participants were given books, such as the Morality of Capitalism published by Students for Liberty (SFL), a section of ALSO. The retreat ended with the resolve by the students to strengthen partnerships among themselves and leverage on what they learnt for effective promotion of liberty in the coming year. Gbemisola Osadua, a student of UI, said: “The leadership retreat was an eye-opener for me as it was able to trigger in me, the passion to secure Africa’s liberty. I am committed to promoting political and economic liberty in Africa.”


SENIOR law lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof A.O. Kasunmu, has urged Law students to emulate the late Justice Taslim Elias. Kasunmu spoke at the 20 th memorial dinner organised in honour of the late legal luminary by Taslim Elias Students’ Chamber, a Law students’ club in UNILAG. Kasunmu praised the students for organising the programme in honour of Elias. Emeritus Professor A. Adeyemi, one of the speakers, praised the lifestyle of the late judge, saying he got employed through Elias. Mr Ade Ipaye, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, hailed the late jurist for the impact he made in his life. At the event were Chief B.A Olaogun, a life bencher; Prof I.O. Smith, a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, and Dr Abiola Sanni. The late Taslim Elias was the first Dean of the UNILAG Faculty

From Tosin Adesile UNILAG

of Law and former Chief Justice of Nigeria. In another development, the UNILAG Dean of Students Affairs, Prof Kayode Amund, has advised students to take their destiny in their hands. He spoke at an interactive session organised by his office in conjunction with the school’s security department to address some security issues. According to Amund, requests coming from parents and members of staff in favour of any student will no longer be entertained. He said: “It is high time staff and parents stopped coming to lobby for their children or wards.” Student leaders from faculties, departments and halls of residence used the medium to state their grievances. Amund, who presided over the meeting, assured the students of management’s readiness to see to their welfare.




ABSU students for Ireland Law contest Two final year Law students of the Abia State University (ABSU) will represent Nigeria at an international Law students event in Dublin, Ireland next April. CHISOM OJUKWU (500Level Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri) reports.


HE seventh edition of the annual National Client Interviewing and Counselling Skills Competition organised by the Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) Nigeria ended on December 10, with Abia State University (ABSU) emerging as champions. A yearly event, the competition gives Law students an outlet to practise what they learnt in class. This year’s competition hosted by the Nigerian Law School, Enugu Campus, Agbani, featured 18 institutions. They included University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Olabisi Olabanjo University (OOU), University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), Imo State University (IMSU), Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Madonna University, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Ebonyi State University (EBSU) and Abia State University (ABSU). Each institution was represented by students and a coach. In his opening remarks, the President of NULAI, Prof Ernest Ojukwu, while charging the participants and observers to embrace the ethos of clinical legal education, said legal education has advanced from being theoretically based and non-participatory to being practice-oriented. He added that the principles of labour law and especially employer-employee relations, which was the focus of this year’s contest, would be brought to life by the case studies specially prepared for use in the competition. The modus operandi for the competition was such that the participating teams were presented with a trained “client” with a legal issue. The participants were judged on their ability to excel at client interaction, comprehension and breakdown of the case, analysis, and counselling of the “client”

based on their findings. The schools were drawn into three groups of six schools each for the preliminary rounds. At the end of the preliminaries, 12 schools were eliminated leaving UNIABUJA, Madonna University, EBSU, Nigerian law School Enugu, IMSU, ABSU, candidates for the semi-finals. In the semi-final round, the six competing schools were placed head to head in three pairs. UNIABUJA faced off with ABSU, Nigerian Law School Enugu slugged it out with IMSU while EBSU contended with Madonna University. Just before the results of the semi-finals were announced, Godwin Odo, the Project Officer, Africa, of MacArthur Foundation, the major sponsor of the competition, praised NULAI for its diligence and dedication to the course of improvement legal education in Nigeria. He advised the students to cherish the experience gained as it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which “most of us never had in our school days”. When the results were announced ABSU, Nigerian Law School and EBSU emerged as the finalist. The final showdown began while the spectators watched enraptured from their seats in the New Auditorium of the Nigerian Law School, Enugu. With the same format but a different and particularly challenging case problem, the three schools sweated through the 45 minutes allotted each of them. Unlike in the preliminary rounds where three judges assessed the teams, five judges manned the finals. Each judge was expected to score according to his personal assessment, one point to the best team, two points to the second best and three points to the third best. The points would then be added and the team with the

•Ikechukwu Uzoma (left) and Seth Azubuike

•ABSU gate

least points would emerge, in a satirical twist, as the winner. With a total of five points, ABSU beat Law School, which had 10 points and EBSU with 14 points to take the prize. Seth Azubuike and Ikechukwu Uzoma, both 500-Level students and ABSU representatives are the 2011 Champions of the competition. They are to represent Nigeria in the Louis M. Brown and

Forrest S. Mosten International Client Consultation Competition in Dublin, Ireland, next April. CAMPUSLIFE met them after the event. While Seth was challenged by the trained “clients” who, in his words, “were very evasive”, Ikechukwu admitted that the competition’s demand for a perfectly cohesive working arrangement among the legal partners was a challenge.

His words: “We had to stay on the same frequency, support each other, no contradictions. It was very tough.” They agreed that their emergence as champions “is a victory for ABSU, Abia State and the team of lecturers and students who worked with us throughout the days of preparation”. They promised to do Nigeria proud in the international event come April.

Students of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU), Lapai, Niger State, are virtually choking under high rent in off-campus residences. OLATUNBOSUN OLAYINKA (200-Level Chemistry) writes.


ITHOUT a conducive accommodation, no student can learn. However, accommodation in Lapai, Niger State, is a problem, especially for students. Lapai is one of the smallest local government areas in the state and it hosts the Ibrahim Babangida University (IBBU). Rents in Lapai range from N30,000 to N180,000. Investigation by CAMPUSLIFE shows that mud houses that have no bathroom and toilet are rented out for between N18,000 and N25,000; those with kitchen, bathroom and toilet go for between N25,000 and N35,000. Houses built with bricks, with separate toilet, kitchen and bathroom are given out for between N50,000 and N120,000 annually. These exorbitant prices are making students, who could not secure accommodation within the school, to groan in pain. Bida, another area in Niger State with more population than Lapai and which has a Federal Polytechnic, is less costly. Rents in Bida range between N8,000 and N15,000. One of the IBBU past student

•Hall A at IBBUL

IBB varsity students groan under high rent

union leaders, who craved anonymity, told CAMPULSIFE: “When we found out that there was accommodation problem in Lapai, we held a meeting with some of the landlords and pleaded with them on possible ways of resolving the issue. But some of them did not even show up for the

meeting. We later reported the issue to the Emir of Lapai, who promised to do everything possible to bring the situation under control. As you can see, the whole

thing is becoming embarrassing.” Students who live outside the institution are complaining that the prices are anti-students. Effort by CAMPUSLIFE to speak to the new Student Union Government (SUG) president, Abdulrahman Saba, were futile as he was said not to be in town as at

the time of filing this report. However, students spoke on the issue. Ibrahim Suleiman, a student, said he was surprised that a remote village like Lapai could make life difficult for students who sought accommodation outside the campus. “Despite the fact that Minna, the state capital, is an urban area, rent is at minimum rate compared to Lapai. I think the landlords are not fair to the students,” he said. Kola Alao wondered why a mud house without ventilation could cost N35,000. “This is very unfair, and I think the school management should liaise with the landlords before the situation gets out of control,” Kola said. Rihannat Ndanusa described the situation as outrageous, saying: “The landlords have compounded the problems of economic hardship we are facing in the country.” Students enjoined the government to rise up to the challenges facing students in Lapai. They demanded that the landlords should be called to order before the problems get out of hand.




Strike: Who cares between Fed Govt and ASUU?


E need not to be students to understand how students feel, especially if they are suddenly sent home indefinitely few days to graduation. This writer and his colleagues were elatedly counting days to final graduation when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) struck with strike that they described as total and indefinite. In fact, only a handful of Nigerian students would say something positive about ASUU. The lecturers’ union always claims to fight for the right of the students and the university system entirely. But no student can claim that he has felt the impact of ASUU and the ideals of its strike action. My first experience of ASUU strike was in 2009. I was in 200-Level then. The second semester had barely begun when ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike, which eventually lasted four months.

Anyway, it is no more news that virtually all the federal universities are deserted like a graveyard. The reason is obvious - the fight for increment in allocation for the education sector. Another thing the striking lecturers are fighting for is the increment in the retirement age of professors. Be that as it may, nobody knows which is, out of the points, the priority of ASUU. This piece is not trying to exonerate the government in the crisis. If anything, the government should take the large chunk of the blame for the state of our education. The presidency claimed to have numerous problems to tackle, thus telling the striking lecturers to go to hell. The question to be asked here is: which of the problems is the Federal Government dealing with? If education is in coma, nothing else would work in this country. What brings out the insecurity in Nigeria today may

not be unconnected to the rot in educational system. By not attending to the issues raised by the striking lecturers, the government seems to be inviting more problems to the polity already ripped apart by endless bombing, wanton killing and uncontrolled kidnapping of the aged and toddlers. Instead of addressing the issues, the federal government is courting another problem with its plan to remove subsidy on fuel, a move that may further compound the woes of students. With the way things are going now, it seems both government and ASUU are not ready for any form of compromise. With regards to the professors in ASUU, I think they should know better the government has not been serious with anything in this country. If ASUU actually cares about the future of Nigeria, they should know that the government does not know its pri-

ority and thus, may not respect the agreement reached on the controversial issues. The reason why we can easily believe that the issue is being treated with levity is basically not far-fetched. None of the people delaying our graduation has children in Nigerian universities. There was this challenge that both the academic union and government should publish the names of their children and the schools they attend. I think I buy that idea. But would they do so? It is obvious that both ASUU and the government do what they like because it hardly affected them. After all, the number of the months spent while on strike can never affect their take home pay. As for the government, they believe the only way to accomplish their education agenda is to always work ASUU to strike. But both of them should prove me wrong and reach a com-

Students are not mendicants

By Michael Adebayo

HAVE earlier decided to keep silent over this issue but I later realised that my action will not resolve anything and if the situation is not well addressed now,


posterity will definitely be harsh on me and many others who could speak out but choose to be silent. This message may be seen as a missile but I do not mind whose ox is gored, especially when the truth is to be told. Bursary has been one of the incentives by which state governments have been assisting its students across tertiary institutions in Nigeria. I could recall a lecturer telling me how he benefited from his state’s bursary scheme while he was in school. This shows that the bursary scheme had been in place long before this present crop of students ever dreamed of attending secondary school. But it is so disheartening to learn that most state governors have been playing politics with the scheme. The local government chairmen are

also culpable in turning the lofty idea upside down. I will give an instance of which I have first-hand information on. It happened in Ikole-Ekiti about three years ago, where some students were molested and apprehended at the local government secretariat by security operatives on the order of the chairman when some students gathered in a peaceful protest over the non-payment of their bursary allowances. It was regrettable that the ugly incident again reared its head two years after in an almost similar manner but under an entirely new dispensation. Does it mean that politicians are the same irrespective of their political platforms? A friend of mine, who is in his final year, told me the same tale I have heard from other students that the

Letter to new EKSU VC


EAR sir, Amidst cheers, the students of Ekiti State University (EKSU) join other well wishers to congratulate you on your appointment as the substantive ViceChancellor of the university. December 6, 2011 would forever linger in the heart of the students of our great institution. Sir, your appointment is seen as round peg in a round hole by the teeming students, whose affairs you are appointed to oversee. To say the students expect more from you is to restate the obvious. May your reign in EKSU be successful. Your past is experience, present is experiment, while your future is expectant. We know you are a caring father and you are ready to hear our voice even if it disgusts you. We hope your tenure will be peaceful. The students have extended their helping hand to lend your administration the support it needs to achieve success. They are ready to cooperate with you in maintaining law and order. However, we have five-point agenda that we want you to look into. The first is the academic cal-

Medical students win competition

From Modestus Diko OOU


T was all joy last week when Medicine students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Medicine won the Prof Ojuawo Medical Quiz Competition that was held on December 12, 2011 at University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). Six universities-Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ladoke Akintola University of

Technology (LAUTECH), University of Ibadan (UI), Usman Danfodio University (UDU), UNILORIN and OOU-participated in the contest. Early this year, OOU Medicine won the Prof Akinkugbe Medical quiz competition beating nine other universities, making the university come out as best twice in the same year.

promise, so that students can return to their normal academic activities. Moshood, 400-Level Mass Comm., BUK arship board, thereby portraying them as beggars for what rightfully belongs to them. To worsen the situation, some are made scapegoats. As most states do not have scholarship programmes for its students across Nigeria, I believe the bursary scheme should be enforced to reflect its original ideal, which is to alleviate the suffering of the students in terms of cost of living. A state cannot crave for development without making efforts to assist students, who are, of course, the leaders of tomorrow. If some states can pay as much as N40,000 per student, states paying N5,000 must never give any reason for not paying. Government should never apply politics to the issue of bursary so as not to lay a bad example for the future generations. Michael, 200-Level Computer Science, UNILORIN

Fate of second choice candidates

By Olanrewaju Awe

endar. Sir, we want our course duration not be altered by unnecessary crisis. In the past, a four years course in the institution always turned out to be five year even with some months in addition. Sir, we want your tenure to be different. The second item is we want a world-class university just as it was in the era of Prof Dipo Kolawole. We want more lecture theatres in addition to the ones on ground. The third, being the issue of school fees. There should be no increment. The fourth, we want electricity on campus at night. Also, the school library must be open 24 hours and the way the library workers treat students must change. Students believe if there is electricity on campus at night, it would make them prepare early for the exams. The last is we want you to unban the activities of the Students’ Union. It is only through the SUG megaphone that our voice can be heard. Thank you sir, for taking your time to read my letter. Yours sincerely, Olanrewaju, 100Level Political Science, EKSU

last time Osun State government paid bursary allowances to its students in University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) was in 2008 and it was only for students who had just graduated. Alarmed by the revelation, I cried within. The bursary scheme has been turned to a component of an insincere manifesto and a tool for deceiving students into voting politicians vying for office. In Nigeria, what can students buy with N5,000? Set up a business or what? Yet, small as the money is, it never come to the students as at when due. Whereas, the bursary forms part of the budget of most states but the means by which it is disbursed to the beneficiary remains a secret. Before they will make attempt to disburse the money, students would have written series of letters to schol-

By Moshood Isah

By Kingsley Amatanweze

HE Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the organiser of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), always provide spaces in the exam form for candidates to choose the first and second most preferred institutions. Candidates obediently fill the areas as required by the board. By so doing, it means they have two chances of gaining admission - either in the first institution of choice or in the second institution, or even the in both. This, in fact, is the hope of the prospective university students after writing the UTME. However, does choosing a second choice institution matter in the end? That is a question many candidates want answered to. Nowadays, many public universities frown at applicants that choose such institution as second choice. Some take it to be an insult, while others regard it as playing a second fiddle to the first university chosen by the candidate. Now


that universities have been left to conduct post-UTME to determine who is eligible to be offered admission, many candidates have been at the mercy of these secondchoice universities. They were never given an equal opportunity with the first choice candidates. When the second-choice candidates are invited for screening the managements of such institutions only do so to make money for the schools. The candidates would pay for post-UTME without being given admission even though many of them perform well in the exam. A glaring example was in the just concluded post-UTME exercise of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN. The university invited the first and second choice candidates to their screening exercise but then established a demarcation between the two groups of candidates. The first unfair treatment meted out to the second choice candidates was in the instruction for registration. The school instructed the second choice candidates to scan their passport and filled in other information. This was unlike the first choice candidates who were told to only put in their registration number and pin number, so that they could get the information of the candidate directly from JAMB data base. Does it mean that the details of the second choice candidates could not be found on the JAMB data base? When the online registration began it was only accessible for the first choice candidates for seven days. The second-choice flock had the chance to register with their scratch cards only about five days to the end of registra-

tion. On the days of the screening exercises, all the candidates came to the exam hall and waited to be checked in. The invigilators started by calling in candidates according to their scores. When the invigilators finished calling in students, it was observed that only the second choice candidates were left outside. They were treated with disdain by some invigilators, ordered around as though they were not invited for the exam. Later they would be taken into another hall without checking on them. This automatically created “we are not wanted here” impression in the minds of the candidates. This attitude towards the second choice candidates is normal in so many universities. Another example is Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), where the second choice candidates were not allowed to write the post-UTME, even after purchasing and filling the forms as instructed by the institution. The authority must look into this issue to check discrimination against the second choice candidates by many universities. If this victimisation of the second choice candidates should continue, then there would be no need for the second choice of institution space in the UTME form. The National Assembly on the other hand should say an emphatic no to this tradition by passing a bill that will make it compulsory for all the universities to giveg equal treatments and opportunities to the first and second choice candidates in their admissions. Kingsley, 300-Level Metallurgical Engineering, UNN




What to do with spare time


VERY student knows the routine…class, By Uche Ogbonna tests, exams and quizzes and then more class and more quizzes and then more term papers and research and what not. Usu08055061278 ally average students grumble about the stress how much you’re able to cover in your spare time. and the pressure and the short deadlines…but You will also be surprised at how much informawhat happens when the deadlines suddenly tion you are able to glean and store in your subcome to an end? conscious. This is what happens when the strike actions Spare times are also a good time to catch up on come. This is what happens when there is a domestic cleaning. So when next a holiday creeps public holiday that you somehow forgot. This up on you, make use of that time to catch up on the is what happens when there is some recess or cleaning and washing that you have endlessly the other. We suddenly discover that we have postponed. so much time in our hands and frankly we are Spare times are also moments to build relationusually ecstatic, but speaking frankly many of ships that have suffered due to our very busy and us misuse these moments of opportunity and tight student schedules. You can plan this and keep others actually get into serious trouble. T it mentally diarized such that the moment a spare his is why today we want to look at the submoment appears you know exactly who you need ject of spare time in our hands. to call and say hello to. It could be your parents or A spare time is a time with no real and profsiblings. Time flies in such a way that you may itable activity attached to it. Most times it sudalways give the excuse that you have been so busy. denly happens…like stumbling on an opporSo what happens when the lecture is cancelled and tunity. With a school calendar, all things beyou suddenly have one clear hour? Could you ing equal we know when we ought to be on take that time and make that call to your sister or break. With a holiday calendar we know that brother and just check up on them? at such and such a time a certain holiday would Spare times are also a good time to catch up on be upon us. Then there are those moments studies and address issues that you may have with when it suddenly falls on us for instance a lecparticular subjects. I have seen many students use turer misses his class and for the next hour or ‘free periods’ to get other class mates to help them two we are without much to do. brush up on areas that are a bit knotty. These What can we do when this happens? Most ‘solution classes’ can be organized at the snap of times (and this is true of virtually every young the fingers and while some are chatting away you and average student) the spare time is frittered are getting ‘value’ for spare time. away with ‘gistings’. Other times students just There are so many examples we can give, howwander about with no real direction. This can ever the bottom line is this. If you are careless with be a very funny sight to behold. Many people time on the campus you probably will continue to do this…take a few steps in one direction, then be wasteful of this very scarce resource after you suddenly change direction and walk another leave school. So, what we are saying is that you direction with the occasional hobnobbing and must ensure that you do not waste the special gifts backslapping, hailing and being hailed while of life known as spare times. Do not spend them the clock ticks away. recklessly all flopped for hours in front of the TV So what positive ways can I engage myself? or in front of mindless and meaningless web pages Well, I do know a few students who carry novand blogs. Convert some of these moments to els about with them. This is a very nice way to value and ensure that you are adding a little someentertain yourself and still improve on your thing to yourself at all times. diction and word use. Good novels stretch the At Fidelity Bank, time is treated like Money. mind and the language of those who engage in This is because proper use of time interprets to regular reading. You may not be an avid reader, Profit, either directly and immediately or rebut try this. You could also read motivational motely and later on, but inadvertently it does and (or) inspiring books from very good authors. yield profit. This is how success stories are There are very good and practical books on virtuwritten, so begin now to change your view as ally any subject with direct relevance to young regards your spare time. readers. There are books on Leadership, others Make them valuable and develop the key on Time Management, others on Relationships disciplines that allow you to mine something and still yet others on Money Management. out of nothing! Carry a book about and you will be amazed at

On and Off Campus

By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

•Member of the FUT MINNA Rotaract club with the children

Rotaract fetes destitute at yuletide


HE Rotaract club, Zone M, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akiko, (AAUA) chapter has put smiles on the faces of the downtrodden when it donated materials to them last week. The members of the club said they showed love to the children to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Olugbodi Olaoluwa, who led other students to the Daughters of Charity, a home for the destitute in the neighbouring Oka community, said the gesture was part of activities to celebrate the family of Rotary. He explained that serving mankind had always been the business of the club, which is “why we have gathered here this evening to celebrate this set of people and to give them hope of a better tomorrow”. Fighting back tears, one of the students, Oluwatosin Ifafesobi, said: “Whatever happens to us and whatever our situation, God knows and He has not forgotten us.” Damilola Ogunleye, a primary school pupil, who had been in the home for two years, expressed joy when she said: “I enjoy tonight and I want it to continue everyday.” Also Christianah Momoh and Mercy Boluwaji were also happy for the gist the club brought for them. On how the charity home came about the 60 women and girls in the home, Reverend Sister Angelina Amanfo, Coordinator of the home, explained: “Most of them were picked from the road and some of them were brought here by good Samaritans. After we pick them, we take them to the psychiatry before bringing them down here. A girl-child was brought here

•FUT MINNA chapter too From Faith Olaniran and Babatunde Alao AAUA

today but because of the challenges we are facing, we could not accept her. The major challenge we are facing is money to purchase food items. We serve them with our food because they no longer have food in their rooms.” Amanfo continued: “We feel happy seeing the young ones having the zeal to serve humanity through donation to the needy. I pray that God will not leave you unrecognised and He will provide for you too.” In similar vein, the Rotaract Club at Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA) took their end of the year family celebration to the Niger State Orphanage Home in Minna. Speaking on the club mission, the president of the club, Olaniyi Afolabi, a 400-Level student of Library and Information Technology, said: “The club decided to celebrate with the orphans not because we are jobless but to show love and identify with them.” Appreciating the gesture on behalf of the orphanage home, Mr Hassan Audu, said: “This is not the first time the club will be extending their love to these children. We are happy for all their efforts to make life worth living to the orphans. I pray that God will continually help, guide and provide for the club.”

Students groan as strike continues HE ongoing industrial action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has left a bitter taste in the mouths of students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU). A non-teaching staff in the department of Mass Communication, Mr G. Gbenga, told CAMPUSLIFE that every member of staff had been hit by the situation. He said just as the students were groaning over the strike, the staff of the university were not happy with it. He regretted the way education is being


From Muritala Omikunle OOU

handled by the Federal Government, saying it forecast bad future for university education in Nigeria. A student, Malik Soyingbe, said he was not happy with the way ASUU and the Federal Government had been handling the case. He said the students were always at the receiving end of the crisis. •The ViceChancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof John Obafunwa (left) congratulating Tawa Adegoke, a 100-Level Physical and Health Education student, who won a trophy and cash prize as one of the university’s contingent to the Lagos State InterTertiary games held recently. PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA




LASU will emerge from its crisis better, says Fashola

Zuma gets PhD award


HE Lagos State University (LASU) will emerge from its crisis a better institution, its visitor, Governor Babatunde Fashola, has said. Fashola said his administration will ensure that LASU offers quality education. He spoke at the inauguration of the Sobowale Benson Hall at the institution’s Faculty of Science. He said: “Our administration has not wavered from our commitment and mission to provide the citizens of Lagos State with quality education that is comparable to the best available anywhere. In this regard, we shall ensure that the Lagos State University remains true to the best ideals of its founding fathers. As you may be aware, the Lagos State University is the only state university that was ranked in Nigeria in the latest world university ranking, and it is our wish and determination that it remains and retains this earned global recognition.” Fashola, represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, described the new structure as ideal, promising to take LASU to the next level. He thanked the donor, Chief Babatunde Benson (SAN), for redeeming the pledge he made when he was conferred with an honorary doctorate by LASU in 2009. “Chief Benson has kept to his word that he would reciprocate the gesture of the Lagos State University that conferred on him the deserved honour of an LLD (Honoris Causa) in February 2009. By the provision of this hall, Chief Babatunde Benson has written his name in gold and has left an unforgettable legacy that the present and many generations of students that will pass through this portal of this institution will benefit from for many years to come.” As a former President of the Ni-

•Olukoga (right, cutting the tape). With him are the Ayangburen of Ikorodu Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi Oguntade, Chief Benson and his wife, Mrs Olabisi Adunola. By Adegunle Olugbamila

gerian Bar Association, and an illustrious son of Lagos, Fashola said Chief Benson’s decision to donate a hall was borne out of his desire and passion for education and excellence in his state of origin. LASU, Fashola said, believes in Public-Private Partnership, and therefore, open its hands to cooperation’s and participations of interested stakeholders and corporate organisation parents, philanthropists and well meaning individuals who intend to partners with the university.

Re-echoing Fashola, the ViceChancellor, Prof John Oladapo Obafunwa, told the gathering comprising students, traditional rulers from Ikorodu of the need to assist government in providing qualitative education in the state university. Obafunwa recalled the giant strides LASU has made to the development of the state in its nearly three decades of existence, thanking the university’s founding fathers, successive governments and, particularly, Fashola who, according to him, has rubberstamped certain costly projects, which will soon adorn the university landscape. “The university management will

leave no stone unturned in its bid to uplift the standard of the university in line with current aspiration and reformation of the state government. We wish to assure the governor that the management will continue to work tirelessly to justify the confidence reposed in us, to ensure LASU is the most preferred citadel of learning in Nigeria.” The donor recalled that LASU’s pioneer Vice-Chancellor,Prof Afolabi Olumide, had appointed him the university’s council with retainer fee of N50,000, which the legal luminary said he willingly returned to the university.

UNIJOS trains students to help alma mater


HE Executive Director, University of Jos (UNIJOS) Advancement Office, Prof Victor Dungga, has advised final year students to imbibe the culture of giving back to their alma mater to leave a lasting legacy for future generations. Dungga, who spoke at a consul-

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

tative forum, organised by his office for the students, said it is aimed at getting them to execute projects on campus. Represented by Serah Lwa, Dungga said the idea was to inculcate in the students the sense of giv-

ing as they execute projects with money from the alumni development levy collected from each student at the point of graduation. He described the initiative as beneficial because it brings the students to interact with one another and also exploit their leadership qualities.

inducted into a new culture and tradition. At Caleb University, we focus on creating the rounded personality, encapsulated in our motto: ‘For God and Humanity’. We offer our students a holistic curriculum of spiri-

MS. Fatima Ademoh, an AUN alumnus has renovated a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) (Yola South) office with two rooms. Fatima, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance, said the rooms had dilapidated, making coordination and monitoring of corps members’ files difficult, especially during rainy season. She said she embarked on the project “to contribute the little I can to my host-community.” On how she funded the project, she said 24 per cent came from friends and family of the fund at AUN, the other was self-financing. The project, which she started on November 11, was completed on December 1.

tual development, skills acquisition and academic training,” he said. He urged the students to participate in fellowship and recreational activities, while their academic pursuit must not suffer.

MEMBERS of AUNcommunity have been urged to see Christmas as a time to love and reconnect with one’s creator. Rev. Father Emmanuel Dominic of St. Theresa’s Cathedral, Yola, gave the charge at a Christmas carol in AUN, Yola. Speaking on the topic: The birth of my Saviour, the cleric said as Christmas is a yearly event, it is easily taken as a routine and so the spiritual value that goes along with it could easily be forgotten. He said many celebrate the season with different understanding. Some, he said, are positive while others are negative. “As everyone exchanges gifts during the period, Christmas has become a universal celebration. Friends send you gifts as do your families; wish you a wonderful celebration via different means including text messages. Is that all Christmas is all about?” he asked. He added that Christmas is all about love and sacrifice. The occasion had its nine lessons read by Jude Okwuibe, Dr. Hannah Mugambi, Vice President Byron Bullock, Babatunde Ogunleye-Johnson, Mr. Christopher Ihenacho, Sister Juliet Mbajwa, Mr Gabriel Onwu and Mr Louis Ochimana.

•A cross section of the matriculatants By Sampson Unamka

Alumnus renovates NYSC office

Cleric speaks on ’Xmas


from rustication to expulsion. On our part, we send examination results to the cell phones and e-mail boxes of parents/guardians. “Today’s matriculants are being

SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma hes been conferred with an honorary doctorate by the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State. The award is in recognition of his role and of his administration in the development of education in South Africa and humanity in general. AUN President, Dr. Margee Ensign, praised Zuma. She said:“The man we honour today has not had an easy life or an easy journey. His life has required bravery and dedication in the face of violence and suffering. It required self-sacrifice and perseverance; it required faith and in the end, his bravery, his perseverance and his faith was justified.” In his acceptance speech, Zuma said he was humbled by the gesture coming from “one of the reputable tertiary institutions in Nigeria.” “I am aware that the honour I am receiving is the highest that a university can bestow on an individual and I heartily thank you for that.”

Dungga appealed to the final year students to key into what is happening on the campus and be eager to use the opportunity given them to do something for the institution. Meanwhile, the Advancement Office has mobilised support from across the country for victims of the Jos crises.

Caleb Varsity VC calls for good conduct HE Vice-Chancellor of Caleb University, Imota, Ogun State, Prof Ayodeji Olukoju, has urged new students to be of good conduct. He gave the charge during their matriculation. Olukoju said the ceremony was a public declaration of acceptance of all the terms and obligations of studentship. “I charge you to obey lawful authorities at all times and conduct yourselves with decorum. You must conform to our dress code, which makes our students unique and easily identifiable,” he said. He assured the students of the management’s support in providing a conducive learning environment. “Our campus environment is ideal for learning and reflection, and our teaching and non-teaching staff are committed to assisting our students fulfil their God-given potentials. Tough sanctions against examination misconduct range




EDUCATION ACE FILE SUG lauds Management THE Students Union of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo has hailed the management for its support in the last one year. In a letter signed by the President, Mr Taofiq Sa’adu and General Secretary, Mr Oyapidan Olugbenga, the union said with the management’s support, it achived some of its target. The targets, it said, include waiver of late registration fees, provision of hostel accommodation for union officers, provision of a students union bus, funds and grants for the union week and reduction in tuition fee, teaching practice and accommodation fees.

Student gets wheel chair THE Provost, Prof Adeyemi Idowu, has presented a mobile wheel chair to a Geography student, Oseyemi Ojuolape. The wheel chair was presented to her to replace the old one she has been using since she was admitted.

Orientation for SIWES students IN preparation for this year’s Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), the College has completed a one-day orientation for the participating students. The Representative of Area Manager of Industrial Training Fund Mr. Yinka Fabayo led the team of resources persons - Mrs. Dipo Ojo SIWES Account Officer and Mr Oladipo Emmanuel, SIWES Officer, in the orientation.

SCHOLARSHIP APPROACHING DEADLINES New Call for Scholarships at the Erasmus Mundus Program 2012-2013 2012-2013 the European Union offers student scholarships to students of any nationality aiming to study at the Master on Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology Study Subject(s):Organisational and Personnel Psychology Course Level:Master’s Scholarship Provider: Erasmus Mundus Scholarship can be taken at: Aboard Eligibility: -University Undergraduate Degree in Psychology (ie bachelor of 3, 4 or 5 years) -Commitment in writing to full-time dedication for the two years of the programme and other commitments for students with EM grants and commitments for students without EM grants. -Fluency in English (level B1), using the common European Framework of reference for languages. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: New call of scholarships at the Erasmus Mundus for students/scholars aiming to study/teach at the Master on Work, Organization and Personnel Psychology (WOP‐P). Recently awarded by the Mediterranean Office for Youth and in its second round by the Erasmus Mundus program, WOP‐P master continues to be considered one of the best programs in its professional and academic area. Five universities are part of the educational consortium: Universitat de València (Spain), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), Université René Descartes Paris 5 (France), Alma Mater Studiorum‐Università di Bologna (Italy) and Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal). New partnerships have been developed with the Universidade de Brasília (Brazil) and University of Guelph (Canada). In the second round of the WOP‐P Program, some changes have been introduced such as the possibility to study the whole program in English and to develop exchange periods of study with the new American Universities in the partnership. How to Apply: By post Scholarship Application Deadline:- Scholarships for students from 15th November 2011 to 1st January 2012. Previous Scholarship | Next Scholarship BHP Billiton Scholarships 2012 at UCL School of Energy and Resources, Australia BHP Billiton Scholarships at UCL International Energy Policy Institute for Master and PhD Study Subject(s):Energy and Resources Course Level:Master and PhD Scholarship Provider: UCL (Australia) Scholarship can be taken at: Australia Eligibility: These scholarships are intended to support students pursuing postgraduate studies in energy and resources at either the UCL School of Energy

and Resources, Australia, or the UCL International Energy Policy Institute. Currently funding for these scholarships will be available for four years commencing with the 2012 academic year. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: Applicants for the MSc who meet the academic requirements for admission will also be ranked on other criteria including the submission of an essay. Every intake the essay topic will vary. For the February 2012 intake, the essay requires students to critically analyse the statement: “The concept of ‘peak oil’ has been devised to reflect scarcity associated with oil supplies. But surely the price of oil would be a more efficient indication of its scarcity. Discuss.” This essay should be no more than 500 words (including footnotes, but excluding references) and will be checked for plagiarism using Turnitin® Applicants who are shortlisted for the BHP Billiton Scholarships on the basis of their academic qualifications will be ranked according to the quality and originality of their essay. Applicants for PhD who meet the academic criteria for admission will also be ranked according to the proposed research project and the relevance to the School and International Energy Policy Institute (IEPI) research interests. In all cases an interview with the shortlisted candidate(s) will take place. How to Apply: Online Graduate Scholarship in Physical Education for Japanese and International students Enrolled in College, Japan 2012 Study Subject(s):Physical Education Course Level:Graduate Scholarship Provider: Yonex Sports Foundation Scholarship can be taken at: Japan Eligibility: (1) high school credential, enrolled in college or graduate students majoring in physical education, etc. (including international students) and students or to undertake sports, vibrant with a bright and prosperous through sports contribute to society, and how that other half. (2) Criteria 1. The major sports events, to have recognized the competence of both oneself and others. 2. It aims to promote sports for youth leaders. 3. That meets the above criteria for one or two foreign students. 4. Age of the student shall be under 30 years old at the time of application. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: The scholarship application form salary, School Principal or Dean of student recommendation letters, testimonials from leaders (free format) Please attach the applicant. 24 fiscal year 2000 (1 year from April 1, 2012), such as scholarship grant application guidelines are as follows. How to Apply: Post Scholarship Application Deadline: December 31, 2011

Business School chair counsels students


HE Chairman of Business School Netherlands Nigeria (BSN), Mr Ayodele Aderinwale, has stressed the need for students to exhibit positive values and actions that will position them for leadership responsibilities. Aderinwale gave the charge at a graduation dinner in Lagos, where he also expressed concern about the bad image given Nigerian managers by practitioners whom he said have little or no integrity He said:“The impact of changing yourself and your conduct can be immeasurable in the short, medium and long run. The argument in hushed discussions and tones has been that the Nigerian manager may be technically competent but is more often than not short in integrity,” he said. “Some of us may choose to abuse our positions. Some may choose to be less than ethical. Such conducts are a reflection of the private and personal choices of the individual; they have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of us.” He said the challenge in the education sector is gradually eroding all the efforts and investments of progressively inclined Nigerian leaders of the 60s and 70s. Also, the Chief Executive Officer of BSN, Mr Lere Baale, said it was in response to the need to raise Nigerian business leaders of integrity and professionalism that the institution was established five years ago. “The idea of bringing the school to Nigeria to provide business education for Nigerian managers at a particular level with an outlook

By Miriam Ndikanwu

that is totally different from what is obtainable especially in the business field,” Mr Baale said. He said the school was formed in collaboration with Business School Netherlands International, and is recognised by Dutch Validation Council, the official Dutch accreditation board. Mr Baale said the school has continued to excel in its unique philosophy of Action Learning in its provision of Executive MBA and short courses. “Action learning is considered a suitable method of study for the adult learner as each individual is encouraged to reflect and review, then evaluate the learning experience, which inevitably improves performance. “The difference between our Action Learning approach at BSN and other business schools is that we focus more on execution because it is the most difficult aspect of management,” he said. This year, 35 students graduated from the BSN’s Lagos and Abuja centres. Two students, Chikosolu ManuelUfford, a senior executive at WAPCO-Lafarge, and Chinyere Ugwuoke, an executive at Aso Savings and Loans, made overall Distinctions. Prizes were presented to deserving students and facilitators. Mrs Manuel-Ufford and Mrs Ugwuoke were presented with the awards for the overall best student; Mr Kelechi was awarded the Most Outstanding Student while Mr Akintunde Segun was recognised as the set Advisor with the highest number of graduates.

•Mr. Abimbola Shodipo, Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation & Revenue; Mary, Daniel, Marian, Governor Fashola, Ibukuoluwa, Mowalolaoluwa, Queendaline; Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Deputy Governor of Lagos State and Mr Babatunde Fowler, Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, at the event.

Tax essayists get reward


EN-year-old Ibukunoluwa Oladiran may have been the youngest and smallest of the contestants who made the finals of the fourth Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) Essay Competition, but she proved that being diminutive has nothing to do with intelligence. She comfortably lifted the first place trophy in the junior category presented by Governor Babatunde Fashola during the Fifth Stakeholders Tax Conference at the Havens, Ikeja, turning in a well-written essay on the topic: “Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved in Lagos State without an

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

effective Tax System”. Ibukunoluwa, in addition to writing a good essay, also successfully defended it during an oral presentation before a panel of judges at the LIRS Headquarters in Alausa. The JSS1 pupil of International School, University of Lagos, was among 13 finalists in the category, arguing to show how a good tax system and tax compliance by individuals and corporate organisations help the state meet needs of its citizens, and got N250,000 scholarship grant, a plaque and a laptop computer as reward.

She was followed by Mowalolaoluwa Onigbanjo of Topgrade Secondary School, Surulere in second position, and Queendaline Okolie of Iloro Junior Grammar School who both got N200,000 and N100,000 worth of scholarship grants and computers for their schools. In the senior category, it was Daniel Aniete Eneh of King Step International School that won the star prize of N250,000 worth of scholarship. Like Ibukunoluwa, he also impressed the judges during the oral defence of his essay on the topic: “Tax Compliance is key to Social and Economic Development.”




Five years after, school gets new building


OR more than five years, pupils of Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Primary School Gbeleve, Tombo ward in Logo Local Government Area of Benue state received lessons under trees. Reason: the roof of their classroom was blown off by wind and the building collapsed many years ago. And since then, successive administrations made no efforts to repair the structure. During the rain there is virtually no schooling in Gbeleve village, a remote community located at the bank of River Benue with a population of over 500 people in the Mbakorya, Mbaiywem district. But last week, the pupils’ fortune changed for good as a prominent son of the community, Joseph Tsavsar, popularly called Joe K donated a block of classrooms, furnished with dual desks and an office for the Head Teacher. It was a memorable event that brought the community in Mbaiywem District and, indeed,

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

the entire Tombo ward to witness the inauguration of the block of classroom by Governor Gabriel Suswam, represented by the Chairman, Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr David Tsevende. The excitement of the pupils and members of the community knew no bound as they lined up in their colourful uniforms on the narrow dusty road to welcome the special guest and other officials. The women, youths and other entertainers sang and danced to underscore the importance of the event. In his key note address, Suswam commended Tsavsar for constructing a new classroom block for the school. He said as part of his contribution, SUBEB would start a preschool and junior secondary school in the community from the next academic year, just as he promised that more schools in local government would be given face lift.

•Jeo K, the donor, with microphone with SUBEB Chairman David Tsevende (black cap) and Director Quality Assurance in SUBEB Mrs Tingir during the inauguration PHOTO UJA EMMANUEL

Speaking on the initiative, Tsavsar, also the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Projects, said the donation is his modest contribution to the educational development of community.

“Instead of giving you money, I have built a school where you will train your children to become future leaders and take up the development of this community to an-

Red Cross celebrates ‘Xmas


HE Oshodi-Isolo Education (OSIE) teachers’ detachment of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Oshodi-Isolo division, has held its Christmas party and song competition. It was a joyous ceremony for the teachers and their pupils. Their joy stemmed from the resuscitation of the humanitarian society, which at a point went comatose in public schools in Lagos State. It is being resuscitated courtesy Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration. Speaking at the event, Chapter Commandant, Adesubokan Ololade Oluseyi, said: “The organisation has almost died but thank God that the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has revived the society to its normal state. That is what we are celebrating today.” The event at Methodist Primary School, Oshodi, was also held in honour of the physically and mentally challenged children. An instructor, Mrs Aina Olufunke Adunni, who described the children

•Members of the Red Cross Society with some of the pupils

other level. It is better than cash because only few would have benefited but with this block of classrooms, I have already taught you how to catch fish,” he said.

By Sampson Unamka

as special, said the Red Cross needs more philanthropists and donors to be able to assist some special children. She cited the case of a child, who was blind but can now see owing to assistance of well-meaning individuals and organisations. She said the society decided to mingle both the regular as well as the physically-challenged pupils together in the singing so that the former can entertain the latter and vice versa in order to promote love at Christmas. Also at the event were some of the donors, which include: Mrs Babalola Modupeola Marketing Manager, Flour Mills Plc; Mr Kunle Adeyemi Chief Executive Officer Crystal Hospital Limited and Dr Olanrewaju, Managing Director Mother and Child Hospitals, who supported the children. Deaconess Adeola Olanrewaju, a matron, said the society needs additional aids, such as equipped first aid boxes and Red Cross uniforms for all members.

Special pupils display talents


T celebrated the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) to prove a point. And that is that there is a place for pupils with learning disabilities to blossom in society. Education Commissioner, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola (represented by Mrs Adenike Ogunlewe, wife of the Lagos State Head of Service) and other senior officials of the education ministry watched as pupils from special and inclusive schools entertained with dances, songs, choreography, fashion parade. Though their voices were not crystal clear, and their dance steps not perfect, the pupils were applauded for demonstrating that they are indeed teachable, despite their physical and intellectual challenges. The dignitaries were impressed by Oluwakemi Odukoya, a pupil of Lagos Model College, Agbowa, a blind pupil who read a piece with the assistance of Braille. Opeoluwa Oshinuga, a pupil of the National Orthopedic Special School, Igbobi, was another, who caught attention during the fashion parade and while giving the vote of thanks. Her confidence warmed the hearts

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

of many. Each of the schools present also displayed vocational crafts, paintings, tye and dye, wood work and house hold items produced by the pupils, from which the Commissioner and Mrs Ogunlewe made purchases. Speaking of their potential to be relevant to the society, Mrs Oladunjoye urged parents with their likes not to deny them education but enroll them in any of the special schools and inclusive units attached to primary and secondary schools across the state. “We have been telling people that even disability does not mean all hope is lost. Since I became commissioner, I have employed three physically-challenged teachers to teach in our schools. Let parents bring their children out. Even those without challenges cannot produce many of the things on display today. It shows that once the enabling environment is there, they can excel,” she said. Also speaking, Mrs Ogunlewe counselled those present to give their support to children with disabilities so they can excel.

•Pupils of Atunda-Olu School for the Physically and Mentally Challenged during the march past.

The event featured presentation of awards to individuals and groups that have supported special schools in various ways including Alhaja Olayinka Oke, who pays the sala-

ries of vocational teachers at AtundaOlu School for Physically and Mentally-Challenged Children, Surulere; Muslim Women in Business and other Vocations, which pro-

vided teaching aids and infrastructure at Model College Agbowa; Sterling Bank Plc, which painted classroom blocks for an inclusive unit in Oshodi, among others.




Lagos lawmaker donates school uniforms to pupils •Ex-Ondo lawmaker pays WASSCE fees


HE Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Ajibayo Adeyeye, has donated school uniforms to pupils of Agboyi Primary School in Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA). He gave the uniforms to the 360 pupils of the school in fulfilment of his campaign promise to the community while seeking re-election. Adeyeye, who represents Kosofe 2 constituency, said during the campaigns when he gave out writing materials to the pupils that he did not like their appearance. He promised to supply them school uniforms. He called on the rich to adopt schools, adding that the government cannot do it alone. He said: “All well-to-do people in the society must, as a matter of urgency, start adopting schools. We must appreciate that the government cannot do it alone. Some of us are more endowed than others and part of the way you can give back to the society is to try to bring up the children of the less-privileged like we have mainly in this community.”

By Oziegbe Okoeki and Damisi Ojo, Akure

Adeyeye also promised to do more for the pupils. Thanking Adeyeye, the Head Teacher of the school, Mrs. Hanson Agbeke-Ola, who said she thought the promise would not be fulfilled wished him well, saying the pupils, parents, teachers and the community are grateful for the gift. Similarly, a former member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, representing Akure South Constituency I, Hon Tayo Abidakun (Jaja) has paid the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) fees of 15 candidates in the constituency. The beneficiaries were among the over 600 students who participated in the Fifth Edition of Ore-Ofe Summer Lesson and excelled in the scholarship examination sponsored by the former lawmaker. The last edition, of the summer lesson, which lasted six weeks, held between August and September after which prizes were given to participants while exceptional students

were given free notebooks and text books. While presenting cash awards to the students from seven different schools in the constituency at the Aquinas College, Akure, Abidakun appealed to the students to repay the gesture by ensuring that they pass the examination next year. Abidakun who was in company of Education Secretary of the council, Femi Fatukasi and Special Assistant to Commissioner for Justice, Mr Olumide Ogunkua, said the scholarship scheme , w h i c h i s i n t h e memory of his late father, Chief Idowu Abidakun, was to contribute to educational advancement of the needy students. Some of the winners are Oginni Temitope, Federal G o v e r n m e n t A c a d e m y Suleja; Olumide Mololuwa Kehinde (Aquinas College, Akure, ACA); Oladele Ojo Adelola (ACA), Oladokun Emmanuel(ACA), Akintade Akinbolarin (ACA), Olaniyi Abiodun (ACA), Babalola Michael(ACA).

•Donkemezuo and Ola at the event

Firm showers gifts on Corps members


BOUT two weeks ago, many National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) nationwide attended the Fayrouz-sponsored Variety Night, the main feature of which was the Miss NYSC and Mr Macho competitions. At the Lagos NYSC camp in Iyana-Ipaja, Miss Ola Warikoru, a graduate of Finance and Investment Banking from the University of Reading, UK, won the pageant and got an HP Laptop for her efforts. First and second runners-up, Okafor Ezinne, a graduate of Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State and Awobote Terma Oluwabusayomi of the North American University, Cotonou,

Benin Republic carted away a giant Samsung Refrigerator and a DVD player. The Mr Macho contest was won by Ebierekiye Donkemezuo, who got a giant LCD Flat Screen TV. His first and second runners-up also won a giant generator and a fan. Mr Nigeria 2010, Kenneth Okafor, who was one of the judges, praised the contestants for their courage in participating in the contest. He said Nigerian youths should be encouraged by corporate organisations be constructively engaged, as done by Nigeria Breweries, makers of Fayrouz. ‘’We would have a better Nigeria if other corporate bodies could join

Nigerian Breweries in creating a conducive atmosphere for the young elements in the society to unwind, relax and engage in constructive activates,” he said. The beauty queen also thanked the sponsors for adding colour to the three-week orientation camp. Senior Brand Manager, Fayrouz and Climax, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mrs Nnenna Hemeson, assured that Fayrouz would continue to identify with the Nigerian youth across the country. “One major way to maintain a crime-free society is by engaging the youth in positive recreational activities as we witness at the Fayrouz corner at the NYSC camps across the country,’’ she said.

Ogun pupils battle Amosun Math contest


HE maiden edition of Senator Ibikunle Amosun Mathematics Challenge (SLAMAC 2012), an annual Mathematics competition for all Secondary Schools in the 20 local government areas of Ogun State is commenced Monday with the distribution of forms, posters, competition handbook and a

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

range of classroom resources to support teachers in preparing pupils. According to the statement issued by the project co-ordinator, Tunde Solarin the local government level of the competition, an initiative of

Hon. Samuel Solarin, Chief Whip of Ogun State House of Assembly, will hold January 25, while the zonal finals and grand finale comes up on February 5 and 12. Prizes to be won include laptop, computer set, books, trophy, medals and cash. Teachers will also receive cash prizes.



Unprofitable culture E need to unlearn some aspects of our culture that impedes progress. Last week, the Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Prof Promise Okpala rightly pointed out that our inability to punish wrong doing is a cultural defect that has impeded the fight against examination malpractice. When someone does wrong,



Belo-Osagie 08054503077 (SMS only)

then begs, usually those who witness the incident expect that he should be left off the hook – his begging having supposedly atoned for the wrong doing. Usually, in such cases, the wrongdoer becomes the underdog while the prosecutor or plaintiff is viewed as a villain. It is in exceptional cases, such as armed robbery, kidnapping, that Nigerians are interested in meting out instant judgment on criminals, regardless of what the law says. This response to wrong doing has affected our ability to enforce laws and instill discipline. For instance, in 2007, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili as Education Minister blacklisted more than 300 schools and 200 officials involved in examination malpractice. They were meant to serve the punishment for three years. However, the punishment was suspended forever after she left office the same year, so they did not even feel any inconvenience. As far as many were concerned, the former minister was too harsh. Prof Okpala spoke of the frustration of the examining body in prosecuting exam fraudsters because nobody would willingly testify against them. The ‘I don’t want to be responsible for someone’s downfall’ mentality stops people from giving the information that would enable the law to take its course. If we must progress in this country, we need to call a spade its name and be ready to live by the book. We need to start enforcing this in our school system. As participants at the examination summit that held in Abuja last week have noted, the Federal Government needs to make it easier to implement the Exam Malpractice Act by giving more courts jurisdiction to try malpractices cases. Also, those cases need to be made public so we actually know that people are spending three to four years in jail because they import ‘microchips’ into examination halls, impersonate, collude or commit any other act that compromises the integrity of our examination. Examining bodies usually sanction perpetrators. However, beyond the number of candidates caught cheating and the seizure of their results, we hear nothing more. Some of these candidates are supposed to be barred from retaking the examination for a period but I doubt if such ever happens. They need to happen. We also need to know the names of schools that are blacklisted. I learnt from a retired director in Lagos State that usually, very few schools are axed. I am sure fewer schools than deserve get this punishment. From our interactions with secondary school pupils, the issue of schools helping their candidates during public examinations is more rampant than appreciated. Pupils are assisted for the Junior School Certificate Examinations, which does not attract as much spotlight as the senior school examination. The relevant bodies should not be lenient with erring schools. They need to be disgraced. Officials should not be spared either. At several forums, the Head of Nigeria National Office of the West African Examinations Council, Dr Iyi Uwadiae has assured that any employee of the council found complicit in issues relating to leakages, collusion and other offences are not spared. They are dealt with accordingly, he assured. Sadly, members of the public do not get to find out about them. Many Nigerians assume, rightly or wrongly, that malpractice is made possible because WAEC officials themselves partake. We do not want the silence any longer. However, beyond sanctions, we need to help our school children appreciate learning and hard work to earn deserving scores. With such attitude, they are unlikely to prefer cheating.

From my Inbox Re: Activities of deceitful schools (Thursday, December 15) Glad to read about this. A lot of parents indulge their wards in this regard. They want success at all cost at the detriment of their wards’ future. Exam malpractice is the in-thing. Schools that discourage it are seriously penalised with bad report. Mrs N. Aluko-Olokun. Most schools, especially the privately-owned, are involved in this “school-assisted” results for which parents and the exam bodies are also accomplices. The actual success rate in the WASCE will be far below the 20-something per cent we hear from both WAEC & NECO if the nefarious activities of these schools are stopped. Parents want to send their children to schools where 100 per cent is recorded in external exams. Invigilators lobby to be posted to schools where they could make as much as their annual pay during an exam session; while exam bodies refuse to investigate results that do not tally with students’ performances in the years before the final (external) exams. Students with “nonassisted” six-credit results are being frustrated by “ssisted” students who parade ‘A’s and ‘B’s during tertiary school admission exercises as the WASSCE grades are used in computing overall points. Our situation is far worse than it appears. Believe me!











Adodo, others seek co-operation among stakeholders


RADITIONAL medicine practitioners and other stakeholders have identified disharmony as a major factor affecting growth of the practice. The Director, Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories, Rev Father Anselm Adodo, said this while announcing the take off of Pax Natural Medicine Hospital and Pharmacovigilance Centre in Ikeja, Lagos. He said Traditional Medicine would have been well established and even the passing of the Traditional Medicine Bill concluded but for the bickering, among the practitioners and stakeholders. “Nigerian herbal medicine practitioners project themselves more as businessmen and women whose sole aim is to sell their wares rather than as scientists, thinkers, researchers and humanists working for the promotion of the common good. Different herbal medicine outfits operate as isolated entities struggling for survival rather than as united organisations. “Nigerian herbal medicine practitioners and other stakeholders spend so much time and energy grumbling and blaming government about the non-passage of the Traditional Medicine Bill which will make traditional medicine legally recognised. I, however, suggest the accusers should examine themselves closely. I believe part of the reason herbal medicine has not made much progress in Nigeria is that practitioners are too selfish, self-centred and lacking in self confidence, and rarely speak the same language”, said Father Adodo. The Monk at the St. Benedict Monastery, Ewu, Edo State, added that the small progress being recorded in the practice is further stunted by what he described as, ‘blind, short term pursuit of profit’, which, “has not encouraged research and infrastructural investment. Secondly, herbal practitioners regard themselves as of inferior status, and so crave the endorsement of medical doctors to boost their image. The facts, however, are that those herbal practitioners do not need the endorsement of medical doctors to be recognised. “Medicine, whether herbal or synthetic, deals with facts. If it works, prove it. And if it is proven, it will be accepted, so long as it meets the basic requirements of hygiene and good manufacturing practice. If a drug works and is proven to be safe, a doctor will use it, for the primary duty of a doctor is to bring his patient back to health through any

•Veteran herbal medicine practitioner, Prof. Joseph Shodipo; Rev. Father Anselm Adodo, Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Board, Dr Bunmi Omosehindemi and former Special Consultant, Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID), Prof Joseph Okogun, during a briefing by Pax Herbals Clinic and Research Laboratories in Laagos.

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

acceptable means. “We, traditional medicine practitioners, are wasting our time if we think we can win the endorsement of orthodox medicine practitioners when we have not backed up our practice with appropriate research, science and technology. This is where the Nigerian Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other government agencies and independent researchers are expected to play an important role,” Adodo added. On the way forward, he said: “Need for seamless movement from research to innovation, a mutual trust and respect between the scientific researchers and the herbal manufacturers or practitioners, as well as physicians. This is because there is a disconnection between scientific, academic research carried out mostly by university scholars and traditional medicine producers. “The academic researchers carry out their research based on information provided by traditional healers and then patent their discovery and often get royalties for their work. Unlike the old man in the village with his repertoire of knowledge who 0also remains poor and

often die poor.” While commending the Federal Government on its effort to bring all traditional medicine practitioners under the Nigerian Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP), Adodo noted that from all indications, the idea has not been successful for obvious reasons. “In the first place, it is not wise to lump all practitioners of traditional medicine like religionists, visioners, ritualists, dream interpreters, metaphysicians and mystics under one umbrella. While the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises all the different practitioners as valid in their own right, it is good to recognise all the different practitioners as valid in their own right- recognising their distinctive identities,” he said. In the same vein, the Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, Dr Bunmi Omosehimdemi, said the practice would go some progressive miles if all states of the Federation would regulate the activities of the practitioners in their domain, by way of registering and licensing them as being done in Lagos. “This way, charlatans who do not have any business with restoring human health will be rooted out and the registered practitioners will also know their limitations and refer appropriately as being exemplified by traditional birth

attendants in Lagos State who understudy the system in Government hospitals as part of the requirements for registration. “Another area to ensure there is respect for the practice is to check frivolous claims by practitioners who resort to adverts and vehicular-marketing and end up ripping unsuspecting consumers, whose condition may worsen or even die.” The former Special Consultant, Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, (NIPRID), Prof Joseph Okogun, said finance is another major setback militating against the rapid development of discoveries by practitioners and if they are able to access fund and get the real assistants to package their discoveries, then the sky will be the starting point. “But when even some sound discoveries were made by NIPRID for sickle cess, and we had to depend on external foreign support to standardise it and eventually get it available for users, you can imagine what lone rangers will be going through. So I suggest practitioners should come together and get recognised so as to be able to obtain grants to help improve their discoveries and protect their patent right,” said Prof Akogun. Present at the event were the Veteran Practitioner, Prof Joe Shodipo, Dr Sunday Umobong and Dr Fadeyi.

Prickly heat: A quick overview


RICKLY heat or heat rash is generally a rash that is developed in various parts of the body secondary to excessive exposure to heat and humid weathers. It can also be developed as a reaction of your body to sudden drastic temperature changes. Prickly heat is mainly due to the sweat glands being blocked within our hair follicles and due to this sweat is trapped and as sweat is a major skin irritant rashes developed as a reaction to the trapped sweat. Prickly heat is characterized by pink or reddish tiny bumps which are often itchy. It is also more common with children and babies perhaps due to their immature sweat glands but adults can develop it as well.

Tips for avoiding prickly heat

Usually prickly heat is self limiting, meaning it will go away on its own after a few hours or

in some cases after a few days, depending on the severity of the condition and exposure to the allergens. Doctors in more severe cases can prescribe antiobiotics or steroids to counteract the effects but there are more natural remedies that can be used in order to combat prickly heat. In order to avoid heat rash, always wear loose clothing and if you can manage it, try not to stay in the heat too much and remove superfluous clothing. When taking showers or a bath, get the water as cool as you can stand and avoid skin to skin contact with others or even your own. If you must moisturized your skin try to moisturize with water based and light lotions and try not to use heavy creams especially in areas often affected by prickly heat. You should also keep

yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Natural remedies for prickly heat Now, just in case we are too late and you have already developed the rashes don’t scratch! If you do you can cause skin breakage and you might irritate it even further. If you can’t resist, try wearing oven mitts to help you avoid scratching. You can also take oatmeal baths, ideally twice a day. Aloe vera is also a natural soothing agent for the skin, applying pure aloe vera gel will also help soothe the irritated skin and it will also protect your skin from getting further irritated. Aside from oatmeal and aloe vera you can also make use of colloidal silver, green or tea tree, chamomile, witch hazel, olive leaf ex-

tracts and even ginko biloba or grapeseed extracts. These herbal remedies are easily available at your favorite natural skin care companies but you can also make some of your own. I will tackle how to make some of these remedies in later entries, stay tuned!

When to go to the doctor Of course, prickly heat as I said is a selflimiting disorder so it will generally go away on its own but in some cases where it doesn’t you should always choose to seek advice from your health care provider. If you have done all you can and the pain or irritation persists or if you believe that the source of the rash might be something else then it’s time to seek help. Always remember, when in doubt, have it checked out. •Culled from:




Re: Alex Uruenme Ibru, Publisher, The Guardian(2)


T takes courage to tell the truth, especially in times hostile to truth telling. Such times are times you stand apart from the crowd, seeing pictures many people are also seeing but haven’t the nerves to voice, and you, not given to feigning an exterior different from the inward process, say it as you see it. I have read many replies to my article of November 27 on Mr Alex Ibru’s demise, and would probably not have replied to them if they hadn’t been plain emotional outbursts which distorted the facts of events at The Guardian during my employment there. Afterall, everyone is free to experience and report events differently from everyone else. In doing so, however, reporters must remember to respect the tradition of journalism which gives maximum respect to facts. It would appear that many of the critics did not carefully study the message of the article before they jumped to the conclusion that it was derogatory of the image of Mr Alex Ibru and then proceeded to invent administrative, if not professional, misdeeds, to splash on my tenure either as Editor or Director of Publications/ Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. Two writers provided the inputs for this second article. They are Osaro Odewingie and Hugo Odiogor. Before I address their grievances, I’d like to first say they and the other writers did not disprove the material facts of my comments. Then, I would like to revisit the mission of the first article through its framework. The first Alex Ibru article was divided into four sections, namely: •Alex Ibru before The Guardian, •Alex Ibru the businessman at The Guardian, •Alex Ibru as Publisher of The Guardian, and •Alex Ibru the politician These were the areas from which I chose to examine my encounter with Alex Ibru. It is my literary privilege. People who encountered him in other spheres of his activities are free to look at his life from their own perspectives.

Osaro Odemwingies His criticisms of the article were: (1)The Guardian is Femi Kusa’s Sour Grape (2)A celebration of vengeance (3)A Litany of unfair treatment (4) A painting of Alex Ibru as a ruthless businessman (5)Jealousy or Bad loser bug. (6)what have I achieved in 13 years outside The Guardian

Sour Grape? Sour grape is what you desire but cannot obtain and then seek to devalue or destroy. I discussed Mr Ibru, not The Guardian. And I sought nothing from Mr Ibru or The Guardian beside my pay, however meagre. I was, in fact, too glad to go. I am a student of the Laws of Creation. One of these laws is the Law of the Cycle. Cycles open and close. When a cycle is closing and you do not swing with it, that is cooperate with it, it will most likely crush you. In this law, I always see the environment as host and its tenant as guest. They must vibrate in the same frequency to coexist peacefully and happily. The baby in the womb must quit when the womb begins to expel it, otherwise it would come to harm on account of their vibrations being disharmonious. By the same token, a ripened mango fruit must fall off the mother tree to begin its own life. Don’t we humans in the same token leave mother and father to found our own families? In what ways would the families we leave behind be sour grapes to us? Are our universities sour grapes to us after our graduation? Gaddafi didn’t know the cycle of his leadership was closing and he went with the process! A spiritually conscious person , such as fits Christ’s description of the Five Wise Virgin watchful with oil in their lamps (souls), knows when the hiss of the Darkness is at its zenith and, thankful to the Creator for the gift of this knowledge, goes his way in peace, gratelyful for new doors in Creation which automatically open for him. He knows he has gone through a class of the school of life which he dthat lives in the past , when we must live in the presnt. Sour grapes belong to the past. We must not use words loosely, like the uniformed.

Celebration of Vengeance? When did truth telling become an evil deed? The Guardian’s motto is CONSCIENCE, NURTURED BY TRUTH. Don’t we remember that The Guardian vehemently fought? Don’t we remember that The Guardian vehemently fought Muhammad Buhari/ Tunde Idiagbon’s Decree 4 which criminalised truth telling where the truth embarrassed public officials? Tunde Thomspson and Nduka Irabor were jailed by the government over what, in all material particular, were true. I was detained and providentially missed going to jail with them for not disclosing the source, who was one of the four pillars of the government. Certainly, Mr Alex Ibru would not wish that either he orThe Guardian be counted among truth hiders. Didn’t he always say The Guardian was bigger than every-one, including himself? If The Guardian would review Obafemi Awolowo’s life, after his demise, calling him a tribal politician, if the writers of The Guardian would say everything they honestly believed about Gaddaffi, for example, why all the noise over a picture of Alex Ibru different from many others? From inception, The Guardian challenged obnoxious traditions. Remember Simply MR. It aimed to be one of the best five English written newspapers worldwide. In that class, there’s no delimitation about what is said of the departed, provided the facts are correct. Remember The Guardian seeks to rise beyond cultural shackles!

Litany of unfair treatment? The function of the “ litany” was, incomprehensible. If you return to Alex the Businessman, the “litany” was simply to show that (a) I did not benefit from the system as many people thought, angry that, as a beneficiary, I was pressing that we work with and not work for Alex Ibru. Here’s one more litany to prove this point, Osaro… After my first year as editor and Alex Ibru was happy with the books, he offered that I live in company house at no cost. Previously, Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi lived in that house. I sought the opinion of Prince Tony Momoh, my editor at the Daily Times, and my mentor, and he said it was in order. But I lived there rent free for only three months. This wasn’t Alex’s making, to be sincere. I was later to learn that the executive directors (I was not one then) objected to

preferential treatment. I approached none of them or Mr Ibru. I mentioned it only in passing to someone close to him during the proscription, and Mr Ibru was surprised. But why did he not communicate his thoughts to the Executive Board?

What have I achieved after The Guardian? This is typically Alex Ibru. Until people like Nduka Irabor left and didn’t return, cap in hand, for his job, it was thought that The Guardian made everyone and no one could survive outside The Guardian. If achievement is measured in terms of bread and butter, I have plenty of it. But achievement is not bread and butter at the end of the day. Achievement is your understanding of, and conscious fulfillment of the purpose of existence, your role in the scheme of things on earth at this time and how, joyfully, you stand at your duty post, fulfilling. So, achievement is not junketing over world capitals, for example. Christ told the rich, young man desirous of achieving the purpose of his existence to give all his property away, because He saw the riches were blocking his perception and action. The young man couldn’t. He lost it. Our riches will not follow us to the next world, my dear. And no matter how much people sing our praises to high heavens when we’ve departed this plane, it is our real works, which are anchored in spiritual development that will determine where we go. We own nothing, not even our lives! Earthly treasure is for a purpose. What that is, we must personally discover to make possession not become a god.

Hugo Odiogor This otherwise gentle, soft-spoken man was one of the employees who would hardly look you straight in the eyes but, nevertheless, who fought Mr Ibru indirectly through the ‘’the most visible face of management,” as he put it, Femi Kusa, without realising it. His email woke me up one night, and, because of the respect I had for him, replied it before dawn. Obviously, he mixed more with the ethno-religious rumour mill which swelled its ranks with people who had any complaint against management, however illegitimate. Quickly, his grouse was that (I) Femi Kusa hated Igbo people (2) Femi Kusa favoured Yoruba’s and Cross Bearers, in appointments and promotions (3) Femi Kusa denied him re-absorption to The Guardian against directives of Lade Banuola, his boss. (4) Femi Kusa as Editor-in–Chief marginalised Emeka Izeze as editor.

The Igbo / Yoruba question There was no ethnic polarity until Mr Andy Akporugo joined the staff. If you recall, he was on the Foreign Desk in the newsroom, a misnomer to me because he was our boss in the Daily Times. Alex Ibru carved a niche for him later in the African Guardian, which later collapsed and Alex Ibru the businessman was going to dispense with him but for the intervention of Lade Bonuola. Mr Ibru rehabilitated Andy Akporugo as Executive Consultant in the Chairman’s office, a position the gentleman unofficially ballooned into an Owner’s Rep (representative) sort of office. Before long, there were talks of Yoruba dominance. If was easily forgotten that Alex Ibru invited Chief Segun Osoba to help him out at The Guardian and Chief Osoba called Bonuola who called me and other people at the Daily Times, (Jide Oluwajuyitan, advertising/ Yaya Awosanya, circulation/ Nick Iduwe, printing/ Abereoje, Electronics). Mr Ibru brought Olu Oke, an old faithful, from Rutam Motors. Though Dr Dele Cole, Dr Stanley Macebuh came when Chief Osoba couldn’t take the appointment. About three times, Mr Ibru asked Mr Oritshani, the admin manager, for a staff audit which showed each time the Igbo accounted for more than half of the newsroom while Yorubas and Urhobos and others accounted for the other half. These audits are in the records of the company. If I hated the Igbo, I would not have persuaded Mr Ibru to make Emeka Izeze my successor as editor against Kingsley Osadolor favoured by my bosses, Mr Ibru andAkporugo. The advice which swayed Mr Ibru was that Mr Izeze was next in line to me as editor of the Sunday and title while Mr Osadolor was next in line to Mr Izeze as deputy editor of the daily title. If the order was disrespected so soon after Dr Macebuh’s exit and the Igbo exodus to the Post Express where he went, Igbo faith in The Guardian would be shaken. Of course, it would be said again that Femi Kusa had pulled another one. Goddy Nnadi’s case was another cause of Igbo irritation. He worked with me during his national service. He was damned good. As good as Juliette Ukabiala, Wole Agunbiade, Niyi Obaremi and Ayogu Eze, who later because a Senator. When Nnadi finished

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national service, I employed him on the same grade as these other reporters who were about two years his senior in the company. But, about two years later, the Board decided to upgrade to correspondent grade all pioneer staff who’d spent at least five years. Goddy Nnadi hadn’t spent five years! I didn’t know about the plan, being not on the Board then. Oritshani compiled the list and the news was broken at the anniversary dinner. There was uproar. Much as I tried to explain what happened, no one listened and the rumour mill thickened The rumour mill didn’t remember the case of Doyin Mahmoud. He was our pioneer Chief Sub Editor from the Daily Times and originally next in line to me in the sucession plan. Emeka Izeze was not a pioneer of The Guardian. Mahmoud left on leave of absence for four years to become Chief Executive Officer of The Herald newspaper in his home state, Kwara. He overstayed the leave without any communication with the company, and returned a few years after during which, in the hierarchy, Emeka Izeze was positioned to succeed me. Doyin felt wronged that Izeze who came midstream superseded him. But what could I do? The management considered his service broken and restarted. If I wielded all the monstrous powers ascribed to me, wouldn’t Mahmoud have succeeded me? If I hated Igbos, I wouldn’t have saved the job of Chuks Okuwa, production editor. Alex Ibru asked me to sack him simply because Chris Okolie was not happy he worked with The Guardian. Okuwa left Okolie’s Newbreed in a manner not pleasing to Okolie and said certain uncomplimentary things about him. Okolie married Mabel Ibru and was on the Board of The Guardian. Rather than fire Okuwa, who did his job well, I organised some senior editors, including Pa Mac Alabi. Night Editor, and Razak Adedigba. We met Okolie at about midnight at his Ikoyi, Lagos, home. He was angry but softened when Papa offered to prostrate. Here were Yorubas led by me saving the job of an Igbo. Okolie agreed to let go only if a meeting was called at which Okuwa would apologise. The meeting was chaired by Nnameka of Lintas. When I told Alex Ibru what I did, he was happy. If I had done his bidding, the hand of Essau would not have been seen in the sacking. To break the imaginary Yoruba dominance, Akporugo tried to shunt aside Dr Tunji Dare who was employed by Dr Macbeth. In the industry, the tradition is for the daily title, Sunday title and Saturday title to have different editors. Honestly, I do not know why this was not the case with us at the outset. Lade Bonuola and I ran the three titles. It was killing to us and the reporters. Maybe cash was our problem. If they could do it, why not? But when the ethnic bug came, and it was time to have an editor for the Sunday title, Rufai Ibrahim was brought from the north. He left soon after, and was replaced by Amma Ogan, a quiet, easy going woman, professionally junior to me. The anomaly had to be redressed with a new structure in which the Deputy Editor of the Daily was superior to the Editor of the Sunday title, although as deputy editor he canot attend meetings with the managing director or partake of the privileges in that office. Later, the grandmasters saw to it that Amma Ogan was moved to deputy editorship of the daily title, Daily! Management by whims and caprices, if you like.

Religion Out of respect for Dr Macebuh, I rarely controverted him at meetings. But the day he gave expression to rumours that religion was becoming a prominent consideration in appointments and promotions, I did. He was beating about the bush. So, I straightened him out.At that time there were eight Cross Bearers in The Guardian … Lade Bonuola and Femi Kusa and Mike Asuguo in the editorial department and five others in other departments in a company of almost 500 workers. So, who was I employing and promoting in the editorial department. Dr Macebuh was speechless. Then, I said if there was proof of any other in the editorial department, I would resign my appointment in five minutes and the managing director should make such a pledge if he wished to. Hugo may not have been privy to this. If he had any difficulty with his job and he came to me. I would have discussed it with him as I always did. If there was employment freeze, what do I do? Akin Orebiyi , current electoral commissioner in Ondo State, and Rogba Okunlade freelanced for about six months in the supplements department before their appointments came through. Even then, I had to prove to management that they had generated their salaries for one year within three months. They are Yoruba! Hugo, Mr Bonuola, the managing director, could bring you to me for reabsorbtion into the company after your exit. But we had to follow the rules. I didn’t have or exercise those monstrous powers the rumour mill may have told you I exercised. I have to speak of the rumours mill. Anything not officially confirmed is speculation or rumour.Wasn’t that the training we gave you? The rules at The Guardian then, which I didn’t write, but inherited as editor, were that if you broke service, you had to wait at least five years to return, and, if you returned, it had to be ensured that you did not return on a salary higher than those of your peers who stuck it out with the company. If your peers had not moved beyond 4/4 should I have broken the rules for you? I referred all such cases, including Doyin Mahmoud’s to Admin for advice. And Mr Oritshani was known to be magisterial. We are all sometimes misinformed about events if we are not careful. I have written not to denigrate Alex Ibru’s memory but to explain certain events in my encounters with him. I have no time and space to report Mr Ibru’s feelings when I raised the Urhobo question with him, how he called Akporugo immediately and how he made it clear he didn’t send him on any errand. But the harm was done. Spiritually speaking, If Alex Ibru didn’t carry deep with him attributes that would make Andy Akporugo mislead him, would he have succumled to the ethionelipious forces. Christ told Lucifer: Get thee behind me. It is not my place to comment on the current editorial or administrative status of The Guardian or the business outlook which warranted frantic efforts to recall of the rejected old Guard. You probably know that Lade Bonuola and Nick Iduwe are back. Why, if not to help restore order? It is my prayer that an Akporugo, Cuban Cigar in one hand and a bottle of Cognac in the other, at 10 a.m, will no longer harass them, fanning ethnic emotions.

Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303




Private sector writes off 2012 budget T

HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has written off the 2012 budget, saying it did not meet the private sector’s expectation. It added that the budget’s proposition on tariff review poses risks for the economy and the citizens’ welfare. The risks, it said include worsening the poverty conditions of Nigerians as the price of the two major staple foods, rice and bread, will increase considerably; smuggling of the products, especially rice will increase; ports and maritime sector players will lose business to the ports of neighbouring countries; new incentives for corruption in Customs will be created, resulting in loss of revenue to government and serious social consequences arising, from the discontent by the poor. A statement signed by the Director General of the Chamber Mr Muda Yusuf, said the lowering of recurrent expenditure by 2.4 per cent fell short of expectations and is not significant enough. According to the Chamber: “The expectation of a major restructuring

•Laments allocation to recurrent expenditure, power, security Stories by Toba Agboola

of the budget turned out to be misplaced because it did not happen. The numbers did not show a significant paradigm shift. What was presented was only a marginal reduction in recurrent budget, which was reduced from 74.4 per cent to the 72 per cent of the total budget compared to 2011 budget, a mere 2.4 per cent reduction. This is not a significant reduction.” “In an economy that is in dire need of infrastructure investment, committing 72 per cent of the budget to recurrent spending would not promote the cause of economic transformation. And going by the record of budget implementation, performance of recurrent budget will be much more than that of capital. Therefore, the portion of the budget that would go to capital spending may even be less than the proposed 28 per cent. The allocation of N161.4 billion to the power sector, which is a paltry 3.4 per cent of the total expenditure, is inadequate. “This allocation contrasts with that

of security which is N921.9 billion or 19.4 per cent of the total expenditure. It is evident that the government is no longer inclined to invest in hard infrastructure in the power sector. This is a major shortcoming of the budget. The appalling state of the power sector is the biggest challenge facing the economy today. It is true that the power sector reform has heightened expectations of increased private investment in the sector, this should not mean a complete abdication of responsibility in the provision of power supply to the citizens. “There cannot be any transforma-

tion without a dramatic improvement in the power supply situation. While it may be impossible for the government to do this alone; it would also be impractical for the private sector to do it alone. Public investment has to complement private investment in the provision of this critical infrastructure. “There is a risk in leaving the fortunes of the power sector entirely to the optimism of private sector investment. We need to be cautious in our optimism. “It would be a major error of judgment to think that the experience of

the telecommunications sector would be readily replicated in the power sector. The risks, challenges and complexities of investment in these two sectors are considerably different.” “The rising cost of debt service is of grave concern. In the 2012 budget, N560 billion was earmarked for debt service. This is high when viewed against the backdrop of the other national priorities. “The opportunity cost of committing such huge sums to service debt is substantial. We agree with President Jonathan that there is a need to check the soaring debt profile of the country, especially the domestic debt.”

Over 60 SMEs get BoI/Dangote funds


ORE than 60 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have benefited from the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Dangote MSME funds. They were presented with cheques amounting to N2.5 billion. At BoI’s 10th anniversary lecture, the MD/CEO, Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms. Evelyn Oputu, said big companies and other able hands should encourage industrialists and fund SMEs as Dangote did. She said there is need for indigenous industries and other SMEs to utilise the country’s resources efficiently and also need more political will to help the manufacturing industry. “Give what you have to ensure that your neighbour has something to do. Don’t look at BoI as a bank that gives funds but as a bank working to change your welfare,” she said. The CEO, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said in the next five years, N7.5 billion will be put into SMEs’ empowerment. The DG, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Dr. Kandeh Yumkella while delivering the anniversary lecture entitled Transforming the Nigerian Economy: what role for industry and finance said Nigeria should push for structural change in all sectors using their raw materials efficiently and they need more skills for producing outstanding products.

“It is in Nigeria that more SMEs are created with less funds given to them to operate whereas the cost of doing business is very high and this must be reduced.” “Also, no country can be competitive in industrial activities if the level of energy generation is unreliable. The cost of energy in some industries in Nigeria is 30 per cent to that of operating cost. You must get more gas and also have access to energy so that these industries can survive.” Meanwhile, the Bank of Industry and Oyo State government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a one billion naira joint MSME development fund, which will be equally financed with N500 million each by the BoI and Oyo State government. The Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi said that his state is interested and committed in adding value to agriculture using three methods which are restoration, reformation and repositioning. “We also re-orientate our people, inform them so that they have skills through knowledge and earn a living.” “This we do by having worthwhile partnerships and pioneers of development, investing and selling intellectual capital and introducing commitment to contribute to the growth and development of the state,” Ajimobi said.

•L-R Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Mrs Bola Adesola, Managing Director, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and Mr Rufus Jegede, a consultant, during the presentation of a tax recognition award to SCB at the 5th Lagos State Taxation Stakeholders Conference.

Okorocha to industrialise Imo


HE Governor Rochas Okorocha administration in Imo State is set to bring in massive foreign investment. Chief Executive, Brightway Group of Companies, Mr Uche Edom, said in Owerri, the capital, that the state is wearing a new look. His words: “The impression is that Imo State has been trudging in hopelessness well accentuated by the crippling effects of corruption. “It is on record before now that corruption took over every facet and no assurance that the democracy would ever be seen in the state. But, things are changing for better now.” Edom said there is hope for the state , adding that the state under the leadership of Governor Okorocha is focusing more on the transformation agenda, which he said will be targeted towards the 27 local government areas of the state. “It is glaring for all to acknowledge the ongoing work in terms of infrastructure on ground cutting across board in form of rehabilitation of existing road, new road network, construction work for rural and urban mass development, amazing structure

of first class hospitals, construction of modern primary and secondary schools, to mention a few,” he said. He added that the progress of any state depend on the leadership. “ Today, God is happy with the state and that is why he has blessed us with Governor Okorocha. We are not surprised with this mind blowing revolution because the governor made it clear in his agenda and stressed it during his campaign that he was going to serve and rescue the state as his primary mission,” he said


•From left: Dr Yinka Akande, representing Chief Kola Jamodu, President Manufacturers Association of Ni-

geria (MAN) and Dr Joseph Odumodu, Director-General/Chief Executive Officer Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) at a seminar on SONCAP review of by SON at Ikeja , Lagos. PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA

Vehicle import rises by 45%


HERE was significant increase in importation of new vehicles this year, importers have revealed. The increase, which rose by 45 per cent between January and last month, was attributed to the credit flows recovered after the banking sector reforms implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). A report by Reuters said car sales are a proxy measure for private purchasing power, a leading economic indicator that is not formally available in Nigeria. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said port figures showed that new vehicle imports increased to 47,267 units in 11 months to November, from 32,634

units in the same period of last year, as bank credit started to trickle in. Figures collated by CBN also showed that bank credit to the private sector grew by 16 per cent at the end of October, compared with the same period a year ago, boosting demand for big-ticket purchases, including vehicles. Credit flows grew less than two per cent in 2010 as the banking sector crisis raged. Dealers said most consumers relied on bank financing to purchase vehicles and estimated that the pent-up demand meant sales could increase by 20 per cent as credit recovered. New car imports had jumped by 40 per cent in the first nine months of 2011 compared to the same period last

year, although importers had projected that sales were expected to slow due to rising interest rates and naira weakness. Statistics collated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) show that in October last year, new vehicle imports increased to 36,773 in the first nine months to September from 26,113 in the same period of last year, when credit dried up in the wake of a deep crisis that rocked the financial institutions. The apex bank has been tightening its benchmark interest rate to curb inflation and bolster the currency, which it tries to maintain within a band to save the economy from higher import prices.





e-Business END OF YEAR 2011 REVIEW ing N100 billion for Operating Expenditure (OPEX) and an Initial Public Offer national carrier status.

Boom amid dryness

Mobile payment take-off

For the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, 2011 has been eventful. In the outgoing year, the sector witnessed remarkable growth and novel developments in all facets. There was the Sim card registration; the creation of the Ministry of Communications Technology; the launch of the country’s replacement satellite and many more. ADLINE ATILI reports


HAT we have done with ICT

Stakeholders agree that the advent of ICT and the digital revolution has impacted almost every aspect of existence in this knowledge-based information age. This year witnessed a continued shift from voice to data and the increasing role of wireless that creates greater mobility for users. Today, the world of ICT is a booming business arena that not only creates new grounds but also new business opportunities. This boom has resulted in greater usage of ICT in Nigeria, increased communications services, online information gathering and research, e-learning, e-commerce, e-banking and other ICT services that are expanding access to the digital world and opportunities. While changing the way individuals live, interact, and work, ICT has also proven to be a key precondition for enhanced competitiveness and economic and societal modernisation, as well as an important instrument for bridging economic and social divides and reducing poverty.

Some notable events that shaped 2011 These notable events defined 2011 each in their own right and would undoubtedly set the tone for the course of happenings in the coming year.

Launch of communications satellite At exactly 5.40pm on Monday, Nigeria’s replacement communications satellite, the Nigcomsat-1R, was successfully launched into space in China. The satellite, promoted by Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), was launched on a Long March 3B (LM-3B) launch vehicle from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, South West China. The launch was conducted according to the NigComSat-1R contract signed by NIGCOMSAT Limited and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). The NigComSat-1R is a replacement for the Nigeria Communications Satellite 1 (NigComSat-1) that failed in orbit in 2008 due to anomaly in its south solar array. The project was carried out in collaboration with over 50 NIGCOMSAT engineers who spent more than two years in China. Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai described the launch as “mission fulfilled.” He said the satellite, covering Central, Western and Southern Africa, Central and Eastern part of Europe as well as some areas of Mid-Asia, will be used mainly for communications, broadcasting, distance learning, broadband, multimedia and navigation services. Speaking on the benefits of the satellite, Ahmed-Rufai said NigComSat-1R is expected to improve the relevant national infrastructure of Nigeria and benefit people within its coverage. “NigComSat-1R will promote the economic and technological development and social progress in neighbouring countries, especially the sub-Saharan African countries, and shall contribute substantially to the improvement of livelihood in the region,” he said. According to him, most of the bandwidths requirement particularly the ICT in-

dustry which is currently estimated at $500 million per annum justifies government’s investment in the satellite, to provide a domestic alternative, conserve foreign exchange and to enhance our National GDP. “The NIGCOMSAT is the foundation for building a knowledge economy. As a government, you use satellite communication to galvanise your people into action; to preach the agenda of self-determination. If you are able to do this, the developmental process will be very speedy. India has over 26 satellites, 10 of which are for communication and the others for remote sensing. The major objective is to be part of the information super-highway.”

Creation of Ministry of Communications Technology This year, in respons to calls for creation of a ministry of communications technology, President Goodluck Jonathan created the Ministry of Communications Technology to effectively harmonise and regulate the ICT sector. To stakeholders, this move will further reduce the duplication of duties and cost of running ICT by government. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Programos Software, an ICT solutions company, “The first structural move of this government which was welcome by many Nigerians this year has been the creation of the ICT Ministry with the appointment of former Country Director of Accenture Nigeria, Mrs Omobola Johnson by President Goodluck Jonathan as the Minister of Communications Technology.”

Addressing poor QoS According to the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, the quality of service of telecommunications services, especially wireless telecommunications networks, is deteriorating nationwide. The Nigerian Communications Communication (NCC) has kept the pressure on operators to ensure quality of service is paramount. The commission has also taken a number of steps to ensure delivery of quality service to telecom subscribers in the country. Juwah has assured that the Commission under him will tackle the issue. Already, a task force has been set up in the Commission to ensure improvement of QoS nationwide. Juwah said the Commission shall ensure that revised QoS regulation is gazetted and fully enforced. Speaking at an industry forum to celebrate GSM at 10, Juwah said: “Permit me to acknowledge that even as we celebrate, challenges persist in the industry. Quality of service is obviously the biggest of them all. What is primarily responsible for poor quality of service is congestion on the network. This explains why a major area of focus by my administration is vigorous compliance monitoring and enforcement of regulations and directives. For this reason we have strengthened the enforcement unit of the commission which has started to engage in some activities that do not make the operators happy. “We have a responsibility to make the Nigerian telecom consumers the centre of attention by the operators; the Nigerian

•Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson

telecom consumers should get the value for whatever money spent on any network. Aside from Key Performance Indicators that we have put in place to ensure that a certain threshold quality is maintained, we are also canvassing regulatory accounting on the part of the operators to ensure that they invest as per the number of subscribers on their network.”

SIM cards registration The NCC, in a bid to tackle telephoneaided crime in the country had proposed the registration of all Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards in the country and gave May 1, 2010 as the date the exercise would commence. The guidelines stipulated that operators would register all SIM cards bought after May 1, while the Commission would register existing subscribers. NCC begins collation of telecom subscribers’ data. In March this year, the commission flagged-off a six-month SIM registration exercise which ought to have ended in September this year but was extended to enable those who have not been registered to do so. According to the commission, in a statement signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Reuben Muoka, the commission began collation and harmonisation of all existing registered SIM cards from across the country, following the completion of the exercise in September. Mouka noted that for those subscribers who were not able to register before the expiration of the September deadline, a new window of opportunity was open for them to do so within the limited period of the harmonisation exercise; he, however, did not state the time frame for the collation and harmonisation. The NITEL debacle Noteworthy developments in Nigeria’s ICT sector also include failure by the Federal Government to find a buyer for Nigeria’s carrier, after several moves by buyers to acquire the ailing Telco. For more than five years, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has made unsuccessful attempts to sell NITEL and its GSM arm, MTEL, with bidders, falling behind payment deadline and extensions several times. Stakeholders have, however, proposed bail-out for the ailing operator. President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Mr Deolu Ogunbanjo proposed a bail-out to the tune of N400 billion for NITEL and MTEL. This, according to him, is to take care of NITEL/MTEL’s current liabilities of about N300 billion, leav-

Mobile money, experts say, holds the key to e-payment development in Nigeria, according to experts. According to a research by RNCOS, an Indian consultancy firm, the mobile market has tremendous growth potential given the fact that penetration rate was just around 50 per cent at the end of 2009. In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) policy of driving financial inclusion and promoting a ‘cash-less’ economy, the United Bank for Africa, (UBA) and Stanbic IBTC Bank have partnered giant Telco, Globacom to offer mobile payment (m-payment) services on the Glo network. MTN Nigeria has also teamed up with Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) and Fortis Mobile Money to launch a mobile payment and remittance service, expanding banking services beyond traditional bank branches. The partners have put an emphasis on the new service’s possibilities for financial inclusion, in addition to opening up wide ranging benefits and value added services to corporate, small and medium enterprises and individual users. Mobile payments and person-to-person money transfers are forecast to become some of the most used mobile applications in many countries in the next two to three years. Reports say mobile payments will become a foundation for person-to-machine and machine-to-machine connections by 2020.

Multi-Links comeback After a long legal tussle between Helios Investment Partners (HIP) and Telkom of South Africa over sale of Multi-Links to Visafone, HIP recently announced it has successfully acquired 100 per cent equity interest in Multi-Links from its previous shareholder, Telkom. The company specifically stated that Multi-Links is back in business to deliver voice and data services in 22 services areas around Nigeria. In May this year, an affiliate of HIP, Helios Towers Nigeria, a firm which builds and rents towers used by mobile operators, sued Telkom for $251 million, claiming the South African Telco did not fulfil its part of a 10-year lease agreement, after Telkom sold part of Multi-Links to Visafone Nigeria for $52 million. A High Court sitting in Lagos ruled that the disputed lease agreements were valid, blocking the sale of the company until the contract controversy was concluded by the two companies. In unexpected turn of events, Telkom sold the embattled Multi-Links to Helios for $10 million. Number portability As part of moves to implement Number Portability, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shortly after expiration of SIM cards registration deadline, announced the appointment of a consortium of three companies to implement the proposed Number Portability services in the country. Number Portability will allow phone users to move from one network to another without losing their original numbers. A consortium of Interconnect/Saab Grintek/Telecordia, was announced by the commission as the preferred vendor for the service after the technical, financial and demo presentations by the bidding vendors. Taking telecoms to the capital market The House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market was in the news last month when it demanded listing of major telecom companies on the stock exchange but the umbrella body of telecommunications companies in Nigeria, the Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) kicked against it stating such could hinder Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the country.



DECEMBER 22, 2011

e-Business Matters e-Rising Segun Oruame


UCH of Nigeria’s telecom achievement is hinged on its explosive mobile telephony growth crossing over 90 million subscriptions in only 10 years. It is a remarkable achievement in a country where telephone services had remained luxury items for well over four decades. But that is where the happy story ends. In 10 years, not much has happened in terms of backward integration to fully get the active participation of Nigerians in the much-touted ICT revolution beyond the status of being consumers. Thus, Nigeria remains at the periphery of real growth in terms of ICT development. Save for a miserable but admirable presence of some indigenous efforts, there are no factories producing main or auxiliary ICT products neither is there any serious policy effort designed to foster the growth of technology companies. This should worry any serious government. Nigeria needs to be truly active in the production line of the hardware and software that move the knowledge economy. Part of the tenets of ICT4D is that a nation is able to fully integrate ICT into its national development and have practicable, sustainable agenda to grow its economy and engage its people in the diverse opportunities that is inherent in ICT. Between 2001 and 2011when the so-called mobile revolution turned 10, part of government’s strategic plans for national development ought to have considered the high possibility of creating openings that will engage no less than five million young Nigerians in ICT factories designed to reduce the level of unemployment and up the country’s marginal presence in global ICT. But it appears government and its MDAs have never been able to find the link between the

Why Technology Ministry must focus on jobs creation

failure to harness the potential in ICT and the frightening statistics of huge unemployed Nigerians. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), unemployment rate in the first half of the year grew to 23.9 per cent, up from 21.1 per cent in 2010 and 19.7 per cent in 2009. More than 12 million Nigerians are officially jobless. The highest unemployment rates are in Yobe, 60.6 per cent; Zamfara, 42.6 per cent; and Niger, 39.4 per cent – areas not surprisingly prone to violent terrorist attacks to prove true the correlation between unemployment and crime. In the decade that the Nigerian telephone sector moved from less than 500,000 subscriptions to over 90 million, the Internet sub-sector as well as PC penetration rate also recorded phenomenal growth level. But all these growth have been practically driven by heavy importation and a strengthening of our consumer status. Job opportunity and capacity building have been largely restricted to sales and marketing at the lowest level of resource development. The greater and much sophisticated opportunities that a market as large and dynamic as Nigeria ought to have generated have been largely missed owing to absence of clear-cut policy to tie job creation and human resource development on more current nay, relevant skill-sets. So in 10 years, while we celebrate the presence of some 90 million phone subscribers, we mourn the loss of opportunities to have truly grown a market and an industry fostered on indigenous capacity. In a nut shell, more than 85 per cent of what drives the Nigerian ICT sector is foreign in terms of core skill content and service or product delivered in the market. What does this mean for

government? A sense of urgency to attack the twin evil of unemployment and the lack of focus in the ICT sector as it relates to solidly engaging Nigerians. Government must support individual entrepreneurial effort able to provide jobs for thousands of Nigerians. Local PC companies such as Zinox and Omatek need all the support to train thousands of Nigerians in the manufacture and assembly of technology hardware including computers and mobile devices; and by extension, provide the window for gainful employment for as much numbers within the factories. The agenda must be ‘real-growth’-focused. Hundreds of local software companies need direction, support and patronage to officially be partners of government at generating jobs and gainfully employing millions that are dangerously in the unemployment market. The more reason why the new thrust by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to provide a framework to grow the local software industry needs all the support it deserves. The local software industry holds high prospect to knock down the unemployment rate and bring in FOREX that could reduce the somewhat profligate dependency on crude oil export. High unemployment rate is a serious threat to national security. Government can take the bombs from hungry and misdirected youths and give them a hope, a job in a local phone or software factory. The Ministry of Communications Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology must wake up to the challenges that face them squarely. They require to think outside of the box to create a transformational agenda consisting of several

‘There is still so much eerie silence from a ministry upon which there is much expectation; and there appears to be a growing disconnect between the ministry and the stakeholders within the public and the private spaces’

pivotal components including the strategic planning and implementation of various convergent ‘projects’ for job creation, bandwidth delivery and backward integration in the production processes that bring ICT products to the Nigerian market, virtually all of which are imported for now. The mantra must be jobs first and then products and services. The ICT industry has high potential to provide jobs and create an entire new level of careers for millions of youths outside our secondary and tertiary institutions. The Ministry of Communications Technology particularly must create the collective “diligence needed to navigate the turbulent waters of a knowledge-based society and a global digital economy in search of the seemingly elusive prize of social and economic development.” It must engage all stakeholders constantly at meeting its set goals. It must shun the traditional circus-show at making policy statements that invariably bring no tangible value to the people. The ComTech ministry must get to work and must get to run. There is still so much eerie silence from a ministry upon which there is much expectation; and there appears to be a growing disconnect between the ministry and the stakeholders within the public and the private spaces. The ministry must address this before it reaches a point of distraction to achieving its agenda. In all, what is important now is for the ministry to identify areas within the sector where thousands of jobs can be created for unemployed Nigerians; and whose participation in the ICT chain is vital to moving the country truly forward. It is truly no party time for the administrators at these ministries. They must bring policy to bear to create jobs within the ICT sector and make bombing activities less attractive to otherwise jobless and frustrated young Nigerians. The time to act is now.

Varsity gets N150m ICT centre


EW Horizons Nigeria, a training firm, has inaugurated a state-of-the-art ICT and e-business certification resource centre at Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State. The centre, valued at $1 million (about N150 million) has a sitting capacity of 600. It boasts of six large computer laboratories with high-end systems, an international examination testing centre, conference rooms, administrative rooms, a server room, a business centre and eight conveniences. According to New Horizons, international courses to be handled at the centre include: Oracle SQL 11G, Cisco Technologies CCNA, Information Security, Microsoft Business packages, Comptia A+, EC-Council CRM, SCM, Project Management, Object-Oriented Programming using JAVA, VB.Net, Dreamweaver, Flash, among other certification courses. New Horizons Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tim Akano, said ICT skills acquisition is the only solution to pervasive graduate unemployment in Nigeria. He added that IT, besides being a veritable tool for combating unemployment, is recognized for its immense contribution to an economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He said: “The pervasive global economic meltdowns have led to collapse of many industries such that underemployment and unemployment of academically-qualified youths is now widespread. In Nigeria, this is explicitly demonstrated in form of various economic sector collapse in the banking, textile, insurance and manufacturing sectors. Against this reality is that 200,000 graduates are produced yearly, according to the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC). “Globally, Information Technology has become the fastest growing economic and industrial sector, contributing hugely to the GDP and GNP of developed economies of Europe, America and Asia. Many organisations today prefer graduates who are IT/e-Business related, such that irrespective of a graduate’s academic background, a good knowledge of IT/e-Business is a necessity.” He explained that the centre will equip students with internationally-recognised certification in IT/e-Business skills training, enhancing their employability and entrepreneurial opportunities at graduation. Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Timothy Olagbemiro, stressed that the institution’s

quest for excellence in academic pursuit prompted the collaboration with New Horizons. He maintained that for any institution to make positive impact in academics, ICT must be embraced. ICT, according to him, has taken the place of libraries and is a potentially useful tool both for managing education and for teaching. He said as part of the terms of the partnership, New Horizons will train and prepare Bowen University students for international certification programmes in Microsoft, CISCO, JAVA, among other ICT programmes. The acquisition of an international certificate in Information Technology would, no doubt enhance the market value of our students.

•Immediate past President of NCS Prof. Charles Uwadia (left) and Aladekomo at the event.

Society to create one million jobs


IGERIAN Computer Society (NCS) will create one million jobs in five years through the deployment of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems, its president, Mr Demola Aladekomo, has said. This would be achieved through professional ICT service delivery by engaging in strategic partnership with government agencies to set up standards in software, hardware and systems integration. Aladekomo, who spoke during his investiture as the 11th President of the society in Lagos, regretted that, despite the vast number of certified professionals in ICT services, “the industry is controlled by businessmen and not necessarily technocrats.” According to him, this has fundamentally affected revenue earnings from the sector, which are lost to capital flight annually. He said in most companies within the services sector, including banking and insurance, IT expenditure is third in the league of expenses after salaries and expenditure. Aladekomo noted that, on the average, a bank spends about $3 million annually on IT and related services. He lamented that there is little or no corresponding development of indigenous professionals to meet this demand locally. “We still operate a vendor mentality in Nigeria and the industry is controlled by businessmen and not necessarily technocrats. The result is that vast sums of money in foreign exchange are carted off to foreign countries by their representatives and vendors locally. In most companies, for example, banking and insurance, IT expenditure is third in

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the league of company expenses after salaries and expenditure. “On the average a bank will spend between $2million and $3million annually on IT and related services. Alas, there is very little or no corresponding development of a core of national professionals or indigenous world-class service companies to meet this demand locally,” he said. To address this challenge, Aladekomo assured that as part of its agenda for turning the ICT sector around, NCS will champion the establishment of incubation centres/knowledge parks where young

ICT professionals can go to sharpen their skills. He added that job fairs would be introduced to enable indigenous ICT professionals exhibit their works to international audience. He disclosed that an IT venture capital will be created by NCS for funding of Small and Medium ICT Enterprises. The NCS boss assured of appropriate and adequate legal framework to set in motion the desired standard of ICT products and services delivery in the country. “To this end, we will commission a group to study issues involved and make recommendations soonest,” Aladekomo said.

Sharp to boost investment in Nigeria


LECTRONICS giant Sharp plans to increase its investment across emerging markets, such as Nigeria, with a renewed focus on more than 80 countries in the Middle East, Africa and CIS regions. To support this new strategy with the best leadership talent, the company has appointed Mr Hiroshi Sasaoka the new Chairman, Sharp Middle East, Africa and CIS. Sasaoka brings with him extensive experience of spearheading expansions in the UK and Europe for Sharp Corporation, in addition to Middle East familiarity gained when he was in the sales division for Middle East and Africa region. In a statement by the company, Sasaoka states that will lead the operations from Sharp’s Middle

East headquarters in Jebel Ali, with Dubai acting as the gateway to Sharp’s business in the region. “The Middle East, Africa and CIS consumer electronics market has significant market potential with attractive growth rates and consumer appetite for world class products. Thirty per cent of the world’s population is expected to be in the living in this region by 2020. We believe this is an opportune time to expand and invest in the region with an increased product line up and a greater level of support. “2012 is our centenary, and after 100 years of innovations we wish to start a new chapter by embarking on our next phase of growth by demonstrating our commitment to such a vibrant region. We have built a very strong operation in the region and we are now planning for aggressive growth.”





• Akpabio

• Akpan

• Umana

• Ekere

Zoning divides Eket, Uyo districts Political offices in many states are rotated along zonal and ethnic lines. After 12 years of the Fourth Republic, the people of Eket and Oron are making a strong case for power rotation to the district. Uyo politicians have a different view. Akwa Ibom Correspondent KAZEEM IBRAHYM presents the views of a cross section of politicians.


BOUT six months after the 2011 general elections that returned Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State for second term, attention has shifted to the next governorship election. Manoeuvring, permutation and alignment are on. Where the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship ticket would be contested by two contending senatorial districts, (Uyo and Eket the Ikot-Ekpene district is looking forward to playing the kingmaker. The governor faces a new legal challenge following the Supreme Court verdict which upturned the decision of the Court of Appeal in Calabar. The court had earlier dismissed on technical grounds the petitions filed by the Action Congress Nigeria, (ACN) governorship candidate and running mate, Senator James Udoedehe and Chief Ime Umanah. The five-member panel of justices, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, had held that the petitions should not have been dismissed on mere technical ground pointing out that the pre-hearing notice can be done orally. He, however, ordered that the petitions should be heard on its merit. But PDP’s focus is the zoning of the governorship. While the ACN is it itching to reclaim its alleged stolen mandate from the PDPled government in the state, PDP is preoccupied with succession. They want the best man who has the experience and capacity to consolidate on the phenomenal and breathtaking achievements recorded by the Akpabio’s Administration. While the people of Eket Senatorial district are saying it is their turn to produce the next governor in 2015, some forces in Uyo especially, the Uyo Senatorial District Elders Council are insisting that the position has never been zoned to any senatorial district. Uyo elders also traced the history of the state right from the time of the Late Governor Akpan Isemin, saying the former governor contested against candidates from all the three senatorial districts. They noted that it was only after his emergence as governor that other positions were zoned to the three senatorial districts. Politicians from Eket Senatorial district, particularly, the International Coordinator of Akwa Ibom Peoples’ Forum (AKPF), Bishop Sam Akpan, who many believe is a strong contender for the 2015 governorship seat, disagree with that claim. Akpan, who is also the deputy state chairman of the PDP, told The Nation, that PDP is committed to zoning as a principle. He said no single individual can disrupt the arrangement. He said that the party would zone the

‘Former Governor Attah in 1999 and 2003, contested against candidates from the three senatorial districts. That there was no zoning for the governorship position was underscored by the fact that even within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), aspirants from the three senatorial districts were screened and cleared to contest the primaries’

‘Even the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan followed a process of zoning. PDP is committed to zoning and zoning is the principle and process of the PDP. From councillors, chairmen and of course governor will be zoned in Akwa Ibom State’

2015 governorship to the right senatorial district at the appropriate time. He noted that zoning is enshrined in the PDP constitution and such would be adhered to in appointing councillors, local government chairmen and of course the governor in 2015. Akpan’s claim, however, contradict the views of the Uyo Senatorial District Elders Council led by Otuekong Sunny Udoh, and 32 others, who many believed are secretly working to deliver Umana Umana, the Secretary to State Government, as the governor in 2015. A source in the SSG’s camp, who pleaded anonymity, said PDP has never relied on zoning in picking its candidate. This position allies with the view of the SSG supporters and Uyo elders. The elders, in a statement said: “Former Governor Attah in 1999 and 2003, contested against candidates from the three senatorial districts. That there was no zoning for the governorship position was underscored by the fact that even within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), aspirants from the three senatorial districts were screened and cleared to contest the primaries for the position of Governor in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. “The current Governor, His Excellency, Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio won both primaries in 2006 and 2011 on his merit – after having contested against aspirants from the three senatorial districts who were duly cleared by the PDP. Governor Akpabio won the two primaries deservedly and not because the position was zoned to Ikot Ekpene senatorial district. After the emergence of Chief Godswill Akpabio as Governor, the other positions – Deputy Governor, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Party Chairman etc. were zoned (in line with the practice in 1993, 1999 and 2003) to the three senatorial districts. “Against the above background, Council takes serious exception to the statements made by some anti democratic elements that the

Governorship position in Akwa Ibom State in 2015 will be exclusively zoned to a particular senatorial district.” But the state PDP deputy chairman dismissed the elders claim of the Uyo Senatorial District Elders Council with the wave of hands, saying the qualities of people that signed the contentious statement is of no importance, adding that such people carry no weight in the politics of the state. His words: “When you look at the quality of the people that signed the statement, you have not seen the speaker of the State House of Assembly who is a personality from Uyo Senatorial District, you have not seen the state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party who is also from that district and a Senator representing the district and even a former Governor Idongesit Nkanga’s signature was not on the document. “As far as I am concerned, nobody is speaking. Even the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan followed a process of zoning. PDP is committed to zoning and zoning is the principle and process of the PDP. From councillors, chairmen and of course governor will be zoned in Akwa Ibom State. If other parties are not adopting zoning, zoning is an enshrined principle in PDP constitution.” Even the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship aspirant in the last general elections, Larry Esin, an Oron man, shared the views as expressed by the Uyo elders. Esin, in a telephone interview with The Nation, says the idea of zoning usually deprives the people of quality leaders. Esin said: “Personally I have never believed in zoning as a means of identifying quality leadership. Everybody should come out to contest. The people of Akwa Ibom State should decided who they want. Zoning always deprive any country of a good leaders but if there has been an unwritten or gentleman agreement on the system of rotation of governorship position in Akwa Ibom State, I think the

system should be allowed to stay in the interest of equity and justice. “Zoning is more of a PDP arrangement. The fact is zoning cannot produce an Oron governor. What the people of Oron should do is to package a governorship candidate that would be accepted by all. They should also try and sell the candidate across the state, to the Annangs and the Ibibios rather than waiting for zoning of the governorship seat. “I left PDP for fundamental ideological reasons because I believe certain things should change but those things are still there. I do not believe PDP is the only party that can produce governor in Akwa Ibom State.” Also, a member representing Okobo State Constituency in the House of Assembly, Efefiong Antigha, said Oron people are warming up for the 2015 governorship. Antigha, who is also the Chairman House Committee on Information, said: “As a person, I will really wish Oron to come up but at the same time politicking has its own gimmicks. Atimes it goes with the winds, the sound of the winds will come and you know exactly where it is going to and then you know what to know. All I know is that Oron people are warming up and before 2015 you will see them on the field.” The Akwa Ibom Democratic Project (AKDP) in a briefing penultimate Friday reasoned that from the first democratic experiment of 1991 after the creation of Akwa Ibom State, no section had been barred from contesting the position governorship. The spokesman of the group, Alloysius Edet, said it would be politically and historically incorrect to suggest that other senatorial districts should not present a candidate for the 2015 governorship elections. His words: “For the 2015 election, no section or group of people should pontificate unreasonably, because there is an established tradition of electoral contest in Akwa Ibom State. If we, as a people, could not defer to a sitting governor the right to contest the election without a challenge, then it is extremely inappropriate for any group to arrogate the right to probate and reprobate. “Like the Elders of Uyo senatorial district rightly pointed out, there is no zoning of governorship position in Akwa Ibom State, and we support this position strongly. We appeal to our Royal Fathers, political elders, youths, women, distinguished senators, honourables and quasi politicians to please stop inciting one group against the other, stop creating tension in the land and stop over heating the polity.” Many observers believe that urgent steps are required by the PDP to address its zoning arrangement to prevent internal crisis that could to the breakdown of law and order in the state.





N EWS Nigeria renews ties with Malaysia on oil palm production


HE Federal Government has expressed readiness to re new its partnership with the Malaysian government in oil palm production. Minister of State of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijani made this known at the Malaysia-Africa Palm Oil Trade Fair & Investment Seminar 2011 (POTS), held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. The seminar with its theme: Maximising Africa’s Potential. Seizing New opportunities, was among other things meant to provide a window to discuss trends in the global oils and fats market and business opportunities. It was also to serve as a unique platform for the private sectors of

both countries to explore new potential uses of palm oil. The minister noted that in the midst of enormous potentials of the oil palm, Nigeria annually imports 300,000mt of vegetable oil, this, he said was unacceptable. He revealed that the Federal Government is making efforts under the oil palm transformation value chain action plan to enhance the yield of the grove. The minister affirmed that the oil palm transformation plan by 2015 would ensure that Nigeria ceased being a net importer of vegetable oil product and launch into the export market again. He opined that the country would get its place back in oil palm.

Unilever donates equipment to CSR partners •From left: Director-General, Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), John Isemede; National President, Dr. Herbert Ajayi; Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Choi Jong Hyun and Consul-General, Embassy of Republic of Korea in Nigeria, Mr. Pilcheen Park, during the envoy’s visit to NACCIMA. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

Nigeria makes N1.56tr from cocoa, other exports yearly


IGERIA generates $10 bil lion (N1.56 trillion) from the export of leather, cocoa and other commodities annually, Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr David Adulugba has said. He said the council will ensure the doubling of figure next year through unrelenting efforts aimed at diversifying the economy. Speaking to reporters after opening the N11 million data centre, Adulugba said other exportable products contributing immensely to the export revenues included cashew nuts, sesame seeds and soya beans, among others. According to him, the nation’s finished leather is doing well in the international market, which explains why it makes significant contributions to the export income. He said: “As I am speaking to you and according to the International

Stories by Toba Agboola

Trade Development Centre (ITDC) in Geneva, Nigeria’s exportation is generating $10 billion annually and this has positioned the country as one of the leading emerging economies in the world. “At NEPC, we are doubling our efforts to ensure that we double that figure by the end of this year.” However, the NEPC boss regretted that export activities were plagued by challenges affecting the sector. These, according to him, include failing infrastructure, paucity of funds to develop products, huge cost of production, multiple checkpoints and border harassments, and sea piracy, among others. He reiterated that the NEPC was committed to ensuring that the economy was diversified. “The oil economy is a mono-

based economy. Nigeria can do well without oil. The oil economy has not done well and except we make stringent efforts to diversify the economy by developing the non-oil sector, we may not compete well in the global economy,” he said. On the data centre, Adulugba explained that NEPC could not afford to be left behind in the digital revolution, adding that it was expedient for export processing to be digitalised. He noted that data collection, collation, storage and retrieval as a system must be embedded in NEPC operations, saying, “Though, it is coming rather too late, but we must join the global train and ensure we are not left behind. Quality and accurate service delivery is very germane to our business; therefore, going digital is not just imperative, but highly critical to attaining our goals.”

Leather manufacturers protest exclusion from EEG T

HE Leather and Allied Prod ucts Manufacturers Associa tion of Nigeria (LFPO) has protested its exclusion from the Export Expansion Grant (EEG). It claimed that over N300 billion had been disbursed to beneficiaries by the Federal Government since the programme began. In a protest letter to the National Assembly, signed by its team leader, Alhaji Mustapha Nabegu, it was worried by the exclusion of its members from the scheme, because of its impact on their operations. In the December 1 letter addressed to the National Assembly’s Committee on Trade and Investment, Nabegu affirmed that since the commencement of the grant, “over N300 billion has been doled out with no evidence of expansion whatsoever or a change in the so-called infrastructure.” Coincidentally, this was the same day the NEPC held a retreat on the EEG at the Royal Tropicana Hotel, Kano. LFPO executives stormed the venue to serve NEPC a copy of the protest letter. The letter reads in part: “Among the tanneries in Kano, a single company has pocketed over N35 billion in the last five years with

no apparent improvement in the tannery”. It added that the grant, ostensibly aimed at increasing the country’s manufacturing base, had produced negative results, as exporters of raw materials such as cotton, cocoa and scrap metal enjoyed the grant, just as the manufacturers. “As a result today, it is cheaper to buy Nigerian cotton in China than in Funtua, just as they buy Nigerian leather in Spain than in Kano,” it stated.” The letter added that due to the

billions of naira at stake, the beneficiaries were really in a state of price war over available exportable raw materials; whether hides or skins, cocoa, gum Arabic, sesame seed or scrap metal. It said: “This not only distorts the local production and economy, but results in the fact that other local stakeholders have been thrown out of business, leading to huge losses in employment together with the potential for youth unrest.” The association cited an example of shoe production, stressing that of the 30 mechanised factories that existed, 28 of them had been shut down.


NILEVER Nigeria PLC has donated 10 computers, laptop, a cheque of N500,000, equipment and products worth millions of naira to some medical and academic institutions as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme for the year. A primary school in Oregun, Olusosun Primary School was given 10 computers; a laptop and cheque of N500,000. Wave Crest College for Catering and Hospitality Management and Oregun Primary Health Centre went away with 50 chairs and a fridge. Speaking on behalf of the board of Unilever at the company’s CSR Day the Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Mr. Thabo Mabe, said all the company’s CSR and sustainability initiatives were aligned to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which have impacted positively on the

stakeholders in the areas of education, health among others. Representing Mabe, the Supply Chain Director,Unilever, Mr Ete Pinnick said the programmes cut across product delivery and pure community involvement. “Our brands have been reformulated to make them more enviromentally friendly and we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others,” he said. One of the CSR partners, the Registrar,Wave Crest College for Catering and Hospitality Management, Mrs Ifeoma Nwabachili, Praised Unilever for being good to its communities by empowering women and helping future leaders adding that the cheque of N500,000 will be used to pay fees of the less privileged in Wave Crest College.

NIPC generates N838b in three years


HE Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) said it generated about N837.93 billion between 2008 and 2010, its Executive Secretary, Mr Bello, has said. Bello said the commission was able to achieve this through granting pioneer incentives to the economy. He said this at the seventh National Conference on Investments in Abuja with the theme: Transforming the Nigerian economy to enhance growth and development through direct investment. Bello said the expected job creation from the new entrants into the economy is 83,769. He said the NIPC has produced a document on sectorspecific investment incentives policy framework which seeks to, among other things, make Nigeria competitive in attracting the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). He explained that some of the specific investments incentives include corporate tax holiday depending on the location, giving disadvantaged areas more

years in view of the sector and technology. He said: “Pioneer status has been reviewed (proposed) with the years of award ranging from five to 50 years. Automatic expatriate quota slots would be given to deserving investors based on quantum of investment, sector needs of the industry and job creation potential for Nigerian graduates. “Revision of Export Expansion Grant (EEG) for import substitution industrial investments with vital incentive to stimulate export oriented activities. Companies are to enjoy the incentives for a maximum period of five to 10 years.” He said the new incentive also introduced state enterprise status where enterprise with a minimum of $10 billion investment and operating for at least 10 years in Nigeria are to enjoy diplomatic privileges. Bello urged the states to set up Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) directly under the office of the governors to handle investment promotion and facilitation.

Minister laments neglect of cassava production


IGERIA will save at least N250 billion yearly if it focuses on cassava production , the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said. The minister also said the same amount is being spent on the importation of wheat flour annually. Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding

(MoU) with the Ekiti State government on cassava transformation in the state at the weekend, the minister lamented that Nigeria has slipped to zero per cent in the production and exportation of cocoa to the global community, even though it used to account for 27 per cent of cocoa production in the world. He said the Federal Government was planning to establish 60,000

hectares of palm plantation between 2011 and 2015 to reduce importation of oil palm worth N500 million and establish an oil palm marketing and trade corporation which would serve as a board for the oil palm sector. He assured that the Federal Government would partner with Ekiti State in developing its immense agricultural potentials, noting that the


state is rich in cocoa, oil palm, rice and cassava. Governor Kayode Fayemi said the MoU was in furtherance of his administration’s resolve to generate at least 50 per cent of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from the agricultural sector and make the state the food basket of the South west which it used to be in the 50s.




No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 100 50.00 100 50.00


No of Deals 7 2 4 13

Quotation(N) 0.60 22.00 7.87

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 323,707 194,224.20 2,856 62,832.00 80,000 619,100.00 406,563 876,156.20

Quotation(N) 5.00

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 207,154 1,027,759.49 207,154 1,027,759.49

Quotation(N) 0.50 1.29

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 257,000 128,500.00 285,456 365,074.73 542,456 493,574.73

Quotation(N) 4.66 2.11 1.73 4.28 1.47 9.32 14.07 8.00 4.31 1.03 2.50 0.53 0.57 12.30

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 4,129,784 19,242,589.49 36,382,747 76,427,238.68 999,934 1,703,770.99 4,595,622 18,355,692.08 7,532,202 10,927,975.75 11,535,462 106,617,479.45 21,213,484 297,484,041.28 252,152 2,050,078.94 1,566,232 6,736,890.39 1,607,850 1,635,834.02 43,811,777 107,310,210.40 4,288,292 2,172,262.00 285,751 158,199.77 4,746,149 57,652,152.73 142,947,438 708,474,415.97

Quotation(N) 230.00 5.70 100.00

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 189,619 45,463,346.40 1,658 8,986.36 1,782,077 178,425,840.02 1,973,354 223,898,172.78


No of Deals 25 25


No of Deals 7 15 22 BANKING


No of Deals 59 47 20 31 72 365 408 22 67 18 231 35 20 207 1,602 BREWERIES


No of Deals 57 1 149 207


No of Deals 26 10 19 38 93

Quotation(N) 12.50 4.16 105.50 45.00

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 370,414 4,555,084.18 250,000 1,037,250.00 51,135 5,607,406.40 264,390 11,913,825.50 935,939 23,113,566.08

Quotation(N) 8.50 15.63 8.59 5.11

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 89,651 751,688.48 6,480 100,750.50 232,699 1,998,884.41 500 2,430.00 329,330 2,853,753.39


No of Deals 17 8 12 1 38


No of Deals 1 12 1 14

Quotation(N) 0.50 2.05 3.45

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 20,000 10,000.00 284,900 577,760.00 3,750 12,300.00 308,650 600,060.00


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 9.31

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 4,200 41,034.00 4,200 41,034.00


No of Deals 8 1 1 45 27 36 26 29 173

Quotation(N) 1.45 6.43 5.89 27.00 5.52 0.56 29.10 27.01

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 210,608 316,074.82 20 122.20 20 112.00 2,449,255 66,124,719.41 862,922 4,763,329.44 891,600 487,044.00 141,107 4,196,639.58 87,581 2,371,134.86 4,643,113 78,259,176.31


No of Deals 10 2 12

Quotation(N) 32.96 8.28

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 38,683 1,274,333.50 33,100 274,066.00 71,783 1,548,399.50


No of Deals 18 24 74 58 43 7 13 54 1 292

Quotation(N) 51.49 10.52 4.72 4.50 62.50 2.31 4.17 445.66 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 88,964 4,506,818.79 358,561 3,818,126.50 1,214,770 5,663,392.38 4,788,958 21,533,802.00 75,949 4,789,892.48 53,054 123,424.20 420,356 1,708,929.00 250,219 106,875,454.03 308.50 617 7,251,448 149,020,147.88

Quotation(N) 0.70 0.83 22.90 1.90 1.13

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 40,808 27,341.36 2,059,000 1,716,080.00 13,745 314,169.95 90,900 172,003.40 50,000 56,500.00 2,254,453 2,286,094.71

Quotation(N) 6.78 1.97

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 50,000 339,000.00 1,101,429 2,169,815.13 1,151,429 2,508,815.13


No of Deals 3 24 10 10 1 48


No of Deals 1 19 20


No of Deals 4 11 15

Quotation(N) 6.85 5.14

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 27,921 193,121.03 87,867 448,255.54 115,788 641,376.57

Investors gain N94bn as equities sustain rally


OR the fourth consecu tive trading session, the Nigerian stock market continued on the uptrend as investors increased demand for low-priced stocks with potential for good cash payouts for the 2011 business year. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities increased by N94 billion to N6.456 trillion as against its opening value of N6.362 trillion, representing an increase of 1.48 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI), which tracks changes in prices of all quoted equities, rose from 20,122.80 points to 20,420.23 points, indicating an increase of 1.48 per cent; its biggest daily increase in recent days. With the gains yesterday, investors have earned N125 billion this week and pared down their year-to-date loss to 17.56 per cent from some 20 per cent at the beginning of the week. The bullish rally obviously gathered momentum with 34 advancers against 11 decliners. Gains recorded by some highly capitalised

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

stocks including Dangote Sugar, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank , Nestle Nigeria and Nigerian Breweries. Nestle Nigeria led the gainers with N21.20 to close at N445.66. Seven-Up Bottling Company followed with a gain of N2 to close at N51.49. Nigerian Breweries added N1.81 to close at N100. Ashaka Cement rose by 50 kobo to close at N12.50. Guaranty Trust Bank increased by 47 kobo to close at N14.07. Zenith Bank added 45 kobo to close at N12.30. First Bank of Nigeria improved by 44 kobo to N9.32. Presco gained 37 kobo to close at N7.87. Vitafoam Nigeria gained 24 kobo to close at N5.14 while Dangote Flour Mills rose by 22 kobo to close at N4.72 per share. However, Nigeria-German Chemicals topped the losers’ list with a drop of 45 kobo to close at N8.59. Capi-


No of Deals 1 1 INSURANCE

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 10,000 5,000.00 10,000 5,000.00

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.87 2.10 0.50 0.50 0.59 1.38 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.90 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.54

Quantity TradedValue 211,500 200,100 1,747,750 30,100 35,550,186 2,115,006 231,800 42,615,407 1,000 3,763,500 304,000 4,812,092 1,009,000 99,889 37,000 145,643 30,000 59,696 73,171,787 2,036 166,137,492

of Shares (N) 105,750.00 174,087.00 3,664,007.50 15,050.00 17,775,093.00 1,187,950.86 320,153.64 21,307,703.50 500.00 1,881,750.00 152,000.00 2,406,046.00 504,500.00 49,944.50 18,500.00 131,078.70 15,000.00 29,848.00 36,585,893.50 1,099.44 86,325,955.64

Quotation(N) 0.62

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 112,558 69,785.96 112,558 69,785.96

Quotation(N) 0.77

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 5,932,696 4,593,081.40 5,932,696 4,593,081.40

LEASING Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 6 6 MARITIME


No of Deals 54 54


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 100,000 50,000.00 100,000 50,000.00


No of Deals 4 1 5

Quotation(N) 0.98 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,863,800 1,682,524.00 200 100.00 1,864,000 1,682,624.00

Quotation(N) 1.74

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,587,700 2,726,490.63 1,587,700 2,726,490.63


No of Deals 36 36


No of Deals 1 3 11 9 11 12 148 8 203

Quotation(N) 0.50 60.67 31.64 2.98 13.54 133.91 21.10 198.00

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 40,000 20,000.00 2,582 148,826.48 56,314 1,777,357.24 376,000 1,120,480.00 21,933 283,724.97 27,882 3,740,065.97 1,406,160 29,547,008.39 7,481 1,417,397.10 1,938,352 38,054,860.15


No of Deals 1 3 4

Quotation(N) 2.95 3.30

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 2,000 5,620.00 70,320 236,107.20 72,320 241,727.20

Quotation(N) 12.16

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 143,870 1,766,563.26 143,870 1,766,563.26


No of Deals 12 12


No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 58,145 29,653.95 58,145 29,653.95



tal Hotel followed with a loss of 35 kobo to close at N6.78. SCOA Nigeria lost 29 kobo to close at N5.52. Eterna slipped by 15 kobo to N2.98 while Ikeja Hotel dropped by 10 kobo to close at N1.97 per share. Total turnover stood at 341.5 million shares valued at N1.34 billion in 3,032 deals. Insurance subsector rode on the back of a cross deal on Universal Insurance to lead activity chart with a turnover of 166.14 million shares valued at N86.33 million in 100 deals. Banking subsector followed with a turnover of 145.21 million shares worth N714.12 million in 1,637 deals. Universal Insurance had emerged as the most active stock, by turnover volume, with a deal for 73.2 million shares worth N36.6 million. United Bank for Africa placed second with a turnover of 43.81 million shares worth N107.3 million in 231 deals while Guinea Insurance ranked third with a turnover of 42.62 million shares worth N21.31 million in a cross deal.

Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals

No of Deals 31 31

Quotation(N) 10.00

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 396,831 3,965,679.11 396,831 3,965,679.11








HE Bank of Industry (BOI) has presented its decade scorecard showing a cumulative N165 billion loan extension to industrialists in the last 10 years. This comprises a total 1,435 loans and investments with considerable developmental impact. The Managing Director, Ms Evelyn Oputu, said the bank’s profit has grown by 2,322 per cent to N2.578 billion in 2010 from N105.36 million in 2001. Speaking during the bank’s 10 year Anniversary in Lagos, Oputu, said BoI has, despite the challenging environment, recorded appreciable strides

BoI grants N165b loans in 10 years By Collins Nweze

in pursuit of its mandate and its evolution into a strong, dynamic and flexible development finance institution (DFI) that proactively responds to the needs of entrepreneurs in Nigeria. “The bank’s average operational and financial performance confirms that enterprise profitability and development could be complementary,” she said, adding that over N2.37 billion

as expansion, diversification and modernization of ailing industries. The bank also at the occasion, signed N1 billion memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Oyo State government, for the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. “Our target is to provide financial assistance for the establishment of large, medium and small projects as well as expansion, diversification of existing enterprises,” she said. According to her, the bank has signed several MoUs with other state gov-

has been approved to various cooperative groups since 2008, comprising mainly of women and youths, while the cumulative direct and indirect jobs created exceeded one million as of December, 2010. Ms Oputu, explained that BoI was established in October 2001 with the mandate to provide financial assistance for the establishment of Small, medium and large enterprises as well

Distressed MFBs: NDIC will not pay state govts


By Akinola Ajibade

TATE governments that have their monies trapped in the 103 distressed microfinance banks would not get their funds now. The states include Lagos, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti, among several others. According to the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), such states need to exercise enough patience before they can recover their money. Speaking on the issue, the NDIC’s Director of Research, Dr. Ade Afolabi, said the Corporation has no intention of paying back the affected states governments now. He told The Nation in an interview, that the issue of settling the corporate debtors of the banks is currently not on the table of the financial undertaker. He said: “First of all, we want to

settle all the individual depositors of the closed microfinance banks, before we can think of paying the state governments. We have paid some of the insured depositors of the banks, and efforts are been made to settle the remaining depositors.” Asked when NDIC would effect the payment, he said, there’s no time frame. “No time frame has been set for payment of the states that have their money trapped in the troubled MFBs. “When we realised the assets of the failed banks, we would pay all the depositors first. Paying all the depositors depends on the volume of the assets we have recovered. It is after this, we can talk of paying any other creditors of the banks. We do not know how

long it would take to pay all the depositors since they keep coming up with requests, “he stated. He said he cannot say how much the states governments were being owed, until he checked records. Prior to this period, over 20 states governments have established microfinance schemes to develop entrepreneurship skills and further reduce poverty among their people. They earmarked money for the schemes, and subsequently keep it with the microfinance banks. The aim is to ensure safe keeping of the fund, and further earn some interests. However, many states have lost their money after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked their licenses for involving in financial misconducts, among other unwholesome practices.

Firm to employ 50,000 agents for mobile money


ORTIS Micro Finance Bank (MFB), working in partnership with the MTN is set to make life easy for Nigerians. The two companies have introduced “mobile money”. The service, according to the firm’s Managing Director, Henry Nwawuba, is designed for the existing customers that choose to conduct their financial transactions through their mobile phones in a convenient manner and those without a bank account, currently unbanked and or underserved.

Access Bank gets e-payment certification


CCESS Bank Plc has emerged as the first Nigerian and in deed only Bank in West Africa to obtain the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Certification, (PCIDSS). The bank, in response to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directives on Automated Teller Machine (ATM) operations and the need to combat card fraud, engaged the services of a renowned Qualified Security As-

sessor, Kuppauswamy PSG & Co. Chennai for implementation of its payment card data security project. Access Bank;s Chief Information Officer, Tunde Coker, said in a statement: “By subjecting the bank to this rigorous certification exercise, we seek to improve the security of our card payment process and platform, create the desired confidence in our customers by protecting them from loss of any form that may arise from

ments System Department, CBN, Gaius Emokpae, congratulated the bank, and encouraged it to keep its systems, platforms and processes continuously updated, secured and safe. He advised other payment service providers to emulate the bank in the interest of our National Payment System, (NPS) and the consumers as the sector strives to be the financial hub in Africa.

using our platforms or via our processes,” he said. He added that aside from being an evidence of the bank’s institutional commitment to responsible business practice that creates value for stakeholders, the certification is a demonstration of its support for regulatory strategy for promoting the payment system in the country. Acting Director, Banking and Pay-


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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


7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 2.00 1.40 424.46 8.88 4.44 7.50 4.90 4.29 4.50 1.23

C/PRICE 2.10 1.47 445.66 9,32 4.66 7.87 5.14 4.50 4.72 1.29

CHANGE 0.10 0.07 21.20 0.44 0.22 0.37 0.24 0.21 0.22 0.06


O/PRICE 5.81 9.04 7.13 2.07 1.45 3.13 0.87 0.91 0.94 1.18

C/PRICE 5.52 8.59 6.78 1.97 1.38 2.98 0.83 0.87 0.90 1.13


Offered ($) Demanded ($)

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

He said: “What we do is that we provide mobile financial services. Financial transactions can now be done in the easiest location within your community’. To benefit, he said, “all you need do is just open a mobile money account with the bank. “With the account opened, your mobile phone now works like your physical wallet. With it, you can access your cash on demand. With the account you can carry out all basic financial services, like payment for goods and services, transfer of money as well as so many other financial transactions,” he explained. On the issue where the phone gets lost and the safety of the money, Henry explained that just as it is with the ATM Cards, the cash in the mobile money account does not reside on the phones but in the bank account. What the phone does is to serve as an electronic device that links you with the cash in your account in a convenient and simple way. “The phone enables you to access your money in your bank account” he said.



OBB Rate Call Rate

By Uyoatta Eshiet




ernments to enhance the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. She said Small, medium and large enterprises, excluding cottage industries can be funded by the bank. There is also room for funding new or existing companies, seeking expansion, mordenisation or diversification as well as credit worthy promoters who will be required to prove their commitment to the project by contributing at least 25 per cent of the project cost, excluding land.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

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

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


CHANGE 0.29 0.45 0.35 0.10 0.07 0.15 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.05


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011











‘Religious intolerance threatens democracy’ NTOLERANCE among the nation’s major religious groups has been threatening Nigeria’s nascent democracy, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Vice-Chancellor Prof. Adetokunbo Sofoluwe has said. He spoke in Lagos at the 2011 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) workshop organised for youths from the 17 southern states by the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (CLTC). Sofoluwe said: “We must remember that some of the greatest dangers to our democracy and peaceful co-existence are shrouded in the perils of ethnicity and religious intolerance. “This evil threatens our very existence as one sover-


Police inefficiency is systemic problem, HE news making round says NIIA DG is largely derived from this that the Nigeria Police structural imbalance of alle-


By Paul Oluwakoya

eign and indivisible nation. The claim for superiority, bad attitude, emotional intolerance, forbidden of marital conjugation, fighting for God and religious intolerance are some of the principal reasons for religious intolerance in the country.” The Vice-Chancellor spoke on the theme: Religious Tolerance and Peaceful co-existence as panacea for National Development. He noted that if unemployment could be tackled, youth involvement in political and religious unrest would reduce. Represented by Dr. Ola Awoyinka of Faculty of Education, Sofoluwe urged youths “to shun all forms of

•Prof. Sofoluwe

ethnic and religious sentiments in all their endeavours so as not to endanger the nation’s democracy”. Speaking earlier, Mr. Michael Fawole, the Acting Director-General of CLTC, Mr Michael Fawole said the workshop was organised to discuss Nigerian youths and the march towards “value reorientation for national development”.

Trinidad and Tobago donates steel band to Nigeria


IGERIA’S bilateral relation with Trinidad and Tobago got a boost yesterday as the latter donated a complete set of steel band to the Federal Government. The musical instrument was presented by the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to Nigeria, Mr. Nyahuma Obika to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House. Delivering a message from President George Maxwell of Trinidad and Tobago, recalled his promise to donate the steel band in replacement of that used by the Nigerian Guard Brigade to entertain guests at the May 29, presidential inauguration. Maxwell, noted that cultural connection,

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

particularly musical tradition was the most fulfilling among many ties that bound his country and Nigeria. He said the steel band is a new innovation from his country accepted globally and urged the Nigerian government to adopt it. “It is our hope that the steel band will be adopted throughout Nigeria, particularly in the schools as one of your special instruments. “The versatility of this steel band is that it is the only approved musical instrument invented in the 20th century and is known in many parts of the world.”

Force is inefficiency and corrupt has been criticized and associated to systemic problem by the Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Prof Bola Akinterinwa. Prof Akinterinwa who spoke on the theme policing in an inclement environment: the case of Nigeria as a guest lecturer at the Exemplary Police Community Partnership award organised by the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) Victoria Island in conjunction with Nigeria Institute of International Affairs in Lagos. “I admit that the many alle-

By Amidu Arije and Tolulope Ogunkanmi gations levied against the policemen in Nigeria can be justified to an extent, as much as I recognised these points, it is still wrong to seek to address symptoms of diseases and leaving the main causes of the symptoms. Allegations against the policemen are a resultant of a systemic problem,” he said. The Director called for decentralization in the police force fro efficiency. “The inability of the police to deal square with the various threats national security

giance in the police force,” he stated. Saying “if we decentralize power we are likely to have greater efficiency in dealing with the hoodlums.” Prof Akinterinwa stated that the Nigerian community we not be complete without the police, hence they should be given adequate attention. “Nigeria cannot objectively expect patriotism and loyalty, dedication and efficiency, security and nation building, if the well-being and welfare, as well as that of other law enforcement agents are not taken seriously,” he said.

CAN youths seek end to violence in North HE National Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has urged security agencies to stop violence and insecurity in the North. Addressing Christian youth leaders from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday, at the end of a retreat, the group condemned the spate of violence and bombings in the North. It noted that the death of Boko Haram members at their bomb factories was a sign that God was answering the people’s prayers. In a communiqué by the group’s National President, Simon Dolly; Plateau State


From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos

Chairman, Bistu Johnson; and Chairman, Communiqué Committee, Samuel Nanle, the group said: “The rising wave of insecurity, occasioned by bombings and other forms of attacks by Muslim extremists, which are targeted at Christians and other innocent Nigerians in the North, is a threat to the unity and corporate co-existence of the country.” It maintained that the tolerance of Christians and other peace-loving Nigerians is a unifying factor for keeping the nation together. YOWICAN called for the

overhaul of the nation’s security apparatus and prosecution of identified perpetrators and sponsors of violence. Urging Christians and peace-loving Nigerians to sustain the prevailing peace and ensure the safety of life and property, the group called for the “review and implementation of the recommendations of the various commissioners of inquiry within the next six months”. It added: “Christians are tired of the continuous lip service to issues of national security and would be compelled to reconsider its docile posture when politics is introduced to sensitive issues of this nature.





NEWS 2013: ‘Ondo’s chance to join Southwest politics’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure

A SECOND Republic Senator, Olorunnimbe Farukanmi, yesterday flagged off his campaign for the 2013 governorship election in Ondo State. Farukanmi is aspiring to contest the election on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Speaking with reporters in Akure, the state capital, the former Independent National Electoral Commissioner for Ekiti, Ondo and Osun states urged the people to seize the opportunity of the 2013 election and align with Southwest politics. He said the impending election would enable the people to recreate the “purposeful government” initiated by Chief Adekunle Ajasin between 1979 and 1983. Farukanmi said: “Ondo State, like its counterpart in other sections of the Old Western State, should embrace ACN. It was formed in line with the political philosophy of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his able lieutenants.” He promised to improve the state if elected. Farukanmi said his experiences as a teacher, farmer, civil servant, foundation member of the Ondo House of Assembly, Second Republic Senator, public commentator and INEC commissioner have broadened his capacity to govern the state.


I formerly known and addressed as Hailo Ronke Sewande, now wish to be known and addressed as Ajani Ronke Sewande. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as ADELEYE LAMIDI BOLA, now wish to be known and addressed as ADELEYE OLUWADUNSIN ISREAL. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Balogun Fatima Adetutu, now wish to be known and addressed as Oyenuga Fatima Adetutu. All former documents remain valid. Lagos State Ministry, Alausa and general public take note.

UGBO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ugbo Faith Ifueko, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Timothy Faith Ifueko. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.



Robbers attack bank in Ekiti R

OBBERS yesterday invaded an old generation bank in Ikole Ekiti, stealing an undisclosed amount of money. It was learnt that the hoodlums entered Ikole through Itapaji and shot two policemen at a checkpoint. Sources said 10 robbers arrived at the bank at about 10am in a black Hummer vehicle. It was gathered that the

•Two policemen injured From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

criminals operated for nearly an hour. Schools and businesses hurriedly closed and residents scampered for safety. The robbers were said to have acted on the information that a large amount of money was moved to the bank on Tuesday.

The hoodlums escaped in two vehicles, it was learnt. One went through Itapaji road while the other took Ikole-Ifaki road. Banks and other corporate bodies in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, and neighbouring communities shut down for fear of being attacked. Police spokesman Mr.

Muhammed Jimoh confirmed the incident. He said: “Two policemen were shot and are now receiving treatment in the hospital. The command is on the trail of the hoodlums. We have reached out to other formations to assist in keeping track of the robbers.” The same bank was attacked by robbers in May and five persons were killed.

Lawyer sues Ondo Commissioner From Damisi Ojo, Akure

N Ikare-Akoko lawyer, Mr. Femi Emmanuel, yesterday decried the inability of magistrates in Ondo State to apply the newly revised laws of the state (2006) in the dispensation of justice. Emmanuel sued the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN). He urged an Akure High Court to compel the Ministry of Justice to supply the revised edition of the state’s law within seven days. The lawyer alleged that the Attorney-General failed to make copies of the new laws available at Magistrate Courts, though the laws have been effective since September. Emmanuel said magistrates usually claim ignorance of several sections of the new laws when lawyers cite them to back their cases in courts. He said this has resulted to an infringement of the right to fair hearing.


Lagos arraigns alleged wife killer By Joseph Jibueze


•The Lagos State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola (left), Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (middle) and Senator Oluremi Tinubu at the Musical Youth Fiesta organised by the Senator at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos...yesterday

Court stops police from arresting Tokyo


FEDERAL High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has declared the threat by the Commissioner of Police to arrest the Chairman of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola, a.k.a. Tokyo, for alleged murder as illegal and unconstitutional. The court also declared that on no account should Akinsola be arrested by the Police or its agents in connection with the bloody crisis at Iwo Road on June 4, 2011, without a court order to do so. Akinsola and a rival group leader, Alhaji Mukaila Lam-

‘It is my view that before a citizen can be declared wanted for an alleged offence, attempts must be made by the police to investigate the alibi, but unfortunately, this has not been followed. The above fact has made the action of the police unlawful’ From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

idi, a.k.a. Auxiliary, were declared wanted by the Police Commissioner following the Iwo Road mayhem, in which many people were killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed by persons suspected to be

NURTW members. Akinsola approached the court seeking three reliefs. They are: “a declaration that the continuous threat of arrest by the Police on the allegation of murder, arson and malicious damage, which was committed by other persons, is illegal and unconstitutional, as it of-

Lekki protest: Fashola orders probe


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday ordered a probe into the alleged killing of one person during Saturday’s protest against toll collection on the newly developed Lekki-Epe Road. The Executive Order was addressed to the AttorneyGeneral/ Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, and copied to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Yakub Alkali. The governor said: “My attention has been drawn to a publication and other reports alleging that a citizen was shot and killed by the police during last Satur-

By Miriam Ndikanwu

day’s protests at Lekki Toll Gate by citizens in expression of their constitutional rights to agitate their grievances. “While I recognise the right of the police to enforce the law, our democracy does not permit the excessive use of force or extra judicial killings. “I hereby order a thorough investigation to ascertain if anyone was actually killed during the protest, who were the witnesses to the alleged killing, if the victim was killed by police or any other person, the

identity of the victim, the identity of the doctor who certified the victim dead, if the victim has been buried, the location where he/she was buried, the identity of the person who issued the permit for the burial location of the corpse, if the victim has not been buried and by what authority any person purports to keep the victim’s body. “The investigation must commence as soon as possible and be concluded no later than Friday, December 30, 2011, by which time I expect to receive a full report of findings and detailed recommendations.”

fends his right to personal liberty and freedom of movement; an order restraining the 1st and 2nd respondents from arresting, detaining and threatening to arrest him; and an order restraining the respondents and their agents from further hunting, humiliating, harrassing, intimidating and unreasonably threatening to arrest him.” In the application, three issues were raised for determination. They are whether the applicant has the legal/fundamental rights to be protected by the court; whether the respondents have breached or are likely to breach the applicant’s rights; and whether the applicant is entitled to the reliefs sought. Justice Jonathan Shakarho said the 1st and 2nd respondents (the InspectorGeneral of Police and the Oyo Police Commissioner) failed to carry out their duty properly before declaring the applicant wanted. Justice Shakarho said: “It is my view that before a citizen can be declared wanted for an alleged offence, attempts must be made by the police to investigate the alibi, but unfortunately, this has not been followed. The above fact has made the action of the police unlawful.” Granting the three reliefs sought by the applicant, Justice Shakarho said the act of pursing the applicant about offends his right to personal liberty.

MAN, Mr. Akolade Arowolo, was yesterday arraigned at the High Court in Ikeja, Lagos, on a count charge of murdering his wife, Omozoje, a banker. The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, said Arowolo allegedly killed Omozoje on June 24 at No. 8, Akindele Street, Isolo, Lagos. Arowolo pleaded not guilty to the charge. Ogungbesan said: “Postmortem shows extensive injuries from a sharp knife, which could not have occurred through self injury. In view of the aforesaid, the office shall prosecute the defendant at the High Court.” Justice Lateefah Okunnu agreed with the DPP’s advice that Akolade has a case to answer and fixed January 13 and 17; February 7 and 20 for trial. The DPP said 15 witnesses would testify for the state. Arowolo’s counsel Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku asked that all documents related to the case in the prosecution’s possession be made available to him to enable him prepare his client’s defence. “I don’t want to be ambushed,” he said. The judge urged the DPP to “take all necessary steps” to ensure that justice is done without delay. Arowolo is in prison custody. On the day his wife was killed, it was learnt that some policemen flagged him down at Aye Bus stop, Isolo and quizzed him on why there were bloodstains on his clothes. He allegedly abandoned his car and attempted to escape on a motorcycle, but was arrested. The deceased was an-official of Skye Bank, Marina branch. The husband was said to be without a job at the time she died.



NEWS ‘We’ll generate 450MW by 2012’ From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri


HE Chief Executive Officer of the Ughelli Power Station, Delta State, Ademola Adeniyi, has said the station’s power generation capacity into the National Grid would hit 450 mega watts before the end of the first quarter of next year. He said with adequate funding and provision of modern spare parts for maintenance of the station’s equipment, the plant could generate 550 mega watts by the end of next year. Adeniyi spoke during a facility tour of the station by members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ughelli Correspondents Chapel. He said the station was one of the oldest and biggest in the country but it’s not being utilised to its full capacity.

Delta ACN chair preaches unity


HE Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Delta State, Adolor OkotieEboh, has called for peace among supporters. Okotie-Eboh made the appeal in a statement by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Frank Eghomien, after an emergency meeting of Elders and Stakeholders in Amukpe, Sapele Local Government. He said members of the party should put past mistakes behind them so as to

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

reposition the party for the challenges ahead. Okotie-Eboh said the ACN had mapped out strategies for adequate funding for the smooth running of the party. He said the leadership of the party had acquired a befitting Secretariat in Asaba after the tenancy of the former one “which was considered unsuitable and inadequate, expired in November.”

Groups laud Bayelsa on transparency From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa


IVIL Society groups under the aegis of the Bayelsa Non Governmental Forum (BANGOF) have lauded the Bayelsa State Government for allowing them participate in the making of the 2012 budget. The development, the groups noted, has shown the level of transparency being operated by the Governor Timipre Sylva-led administration. BANGOF has been in the forefront of budget advocacy in the sensitisation of stakeholders in the state “Today we are happy that through the implementation of this project, the space is gradually opening up for Civil Society engagement”, noted Dr. Otive Igbuzor, the Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development. According to him, members of BANCOF were invited to participate in the budget defence by the ministries, departments and agencies of the state for the 2012 budget.

Governors’ Forum hails states


OVERNORS have been commended for signing the Immunisation Leadership Challenge Award, an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The Director-General, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Asishana Okauru, said this means the governors would stimulate direct oversight and leadership in the final onslaught to end polio and strengthen routine immunisation. “This certainly would ensure that Nigeria interrupts

polio virus transmission by the end of next year.” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Foundation in collaboration with the NGF, had praised the commitment of the governors to end polio. “As governors push hard over the next year to achieve the 2012 deadline to end polio, I want to ensure their efforts are acknowledged and that the governors are simultaneously supported to tackle other problems they face in their states”, he said in a statement released by the Foundation.

HE Federal Ministry of Works is to spend N120 million next year for the “establishment of accounts for zonal/states offices. Also, N555.5 million will be spent on the computerisation of the ministry’s head office in Abuja Details of the budgetary allocations for computerisation of the Head Office include “accounts data base management software for epayment expenditure/other returns N49 million. Purchase of unspecified number of “equipment Xerox, Panasonic photocopiers, scanners and stabilisers at N40 million Maintenance of Internet/ intranet network facilities at the headquarters and its expansion to the new office building of the ministry N87.5 million as well as the development and hosting of interactive web portal for the ministry, at N15 million. The ministry will also spend N80 million on maximising systems network management administration

•N120m on transformation

IN FIGURE •Account database software N49m •Office equipment N40m •Maintenance of internet N87.5m •Maintenance of website N15m •Network mgt administration N 80m •Anti-virus software N65m •Firewall/mail tracking system N85m •Inventory control mgt N75m •Upgrade of database N18m •Laptops N9m •Upgrade of systems N9m •Computers, Printers N9m •Consultancy N7m From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

for its staff. In 2012, it plans to purchase and instal network anti - virus software for the headquarters building at N65


HE Senate yesterday praised itself, saying it has recorded “tremendous achievements” in the last six months.” Chairman, Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, told reporters in Abuja that it has been a “very eventful legislative period.” Enang said of the 106 Bills introduced, 14 were Executive Bills and the rest Member Bills. He added that 61 of the Bills were read for the first time, 16 a second time, 26 awaiting journal publications and six withdrawn for representation by the sponsors. Despite the short period, he said the Senate has passed one Bill. Apart from the confirmation of executive nominations, he said the Senate also passed 26 resolutions. Enang said: “The seventh Senate has recorded tremendous achievements since inauguration. “It has mediated between labour and the government over what could have resulted in industrial unrest. “Between June and now, 106 Bills have been intro-


HE golden jubilee of the Nawair-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Obantoko, Abeokuta, will be celebrated next month. In a statement by the Lagos State Chapter Coordinator Re-union 2012, Layi Olawale and Secretary Lekan Olukotun, activities marking the celebration in-


•Says 106 bills introduced so far From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

duced amongst which are 14 Executive Bills, while the rest are Member Bills. “Out of the figure, 61 have been read the first time; 16 a second time and referred to the relevant committees, 26 are awaiting Journal Publication while six have been withdrawn. “So far, one Bill has been passed: The same sex marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011 on November 29 amidst controversies and pressures from international communities. “Similarly, the Senate has passed 26 resolutions since June. “ A fall out of these resolutions is the Bureau on Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Fuel Subsidy probe. “The Senate has also, in the in this short period confirmed important executive nominations , the highlight is the confirmation of Hon. Justice Dahiru Mustapher as Chief Justice of the Federation.”

clude debate and quiz, career talk for students and anniversary lecture, launching of N250 million development project fund, award day and commissioning of projects. The event willbe attended by the Bursar of the University of Lagos, Lateef Odekunle amongst others.

NASFAT holds conference •Oshiomhole

imen Osunbor’s mandate. “For the records, Osunbor has no mandate neither does the PDP in Edo State as far as the 2007 governorship election is concerned because the people of the state can no longer trust them .”

million and pursue the “development and development of file/mail tracking management information system in the ministry at N85 million.” The development and de-

Senate scores self high in six months

School celebrates Golden Jubilee

‘Oshiomhole is not ungrateful’ DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s gratitude towards the late President Musa Yar’ Adua which has been misinterpreted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has been described as unbecoming of PDP critics. A statement by Elder Collins Sanni said: “It is because of Oshiomhole’s appreciative spirit that he showered praises on the late President and it is that spirit that is propelling him to transform the state. “These critics have not only politicised the good intentions of the governor towards the late President, they also stood logic on its head by insinuating that Oshiomhole stole Prof. Oserhe-

Works Ministry to spend N555m on computerisation T


ASRUL-LAHI-IL-FATIH Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) will hold a retreat this weekend. National Executive Council, Board of Trustee , Na tional Council of Elders, Mission Board, Branch Executive members and Zonal Chairmen are expected to attend. The retreat tagged: Strategic Retreat and Conference 2011, NASFAT: The next Level, according to a statement by Biyi Bamgbose, will review the association’s performance in the last 10 years. Also a paper titled, Nigeria in 2020 – Imperatives for Islamic Organisations would be presented at the event. The conference will hold at the Black Heritage and Cultural Centre, Abere, Osogbo, Osun State.

ployment of inventory control management information system in the ministry has been budgeted to cost N75 million while the “upgrade of the ministry’s data centre with servers, systems, accessories for networking will cost N18 million.” The purchase and installation of 40 hp laptops for directorate cadre staff and heads of units in the headquarters has been billed to cost the country N9 million at the rate of N225,000 per laptop in 2012. Upgrading of existing computer systems and accessories in the ministry will also cost N9 million while the “purchase and installation of 50 no hp computer systems,60 hp 2050d printers and 60 hp UPS in the new office building of the ministry will cost N9 million. Consultancy services on maximising digital inclusiveness potentials for chief executives i:e gl 07-14 and g/l 15-17 has been budgeted to cost N7 million.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT I Onasanya Afolabi Bisoye, male Nigeria citizen of 22, Magbo street Poka-Epe, Lagos State lost the original letter of allocation of BLK A House 4A, Oke-eletu housing estate Ikorodu. General public take note .

PUBLIC NOTICE National Union of 3-cycle Owners and Workers This is to notify the general public that the above named association has applied for registration with CAC AIMS AND OBJECTIVES To protect the interests of members, coordinate the members to be law-abiding and promote the security of the country. BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERS Pastor Sylva Nnoruka :Chairman Bro Daniel Okoro :treasurer Dandy Ezeanowai: Security Adviser PN Odikaesieme: Secretary Magnus Sylva :PRO Sunday Mbaezue: legal Adviser

PUBLIC NOTICE GOD’S HERITAGE CHURCH NOTICE is hereby given to the general public that the above mention church has applied with the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part ‘C’ of the companies and allied matters act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. APOSTLE CHRISTOPHER AKINRIMISI - PRESIDENT 2. KOLAWOLE BETIKU 3. OREOLUWA AKINRIMISI 4. OLUWATOSIN AKINNUOYE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To promote the Glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ worldwide. 2. Christian Education. 3. Welfare outreaches and Godly services. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Agunyi Ironsi Street Martama, PMB 198 Gaki Abuja within 28days of the publication. Signed:Apostle Christopher Akinrimisi (President)

PUBLIC NOTICE OTUNLA TAIYERO FOUNDATION The general public is hereby notified that the above-named foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Ambassador Timothy Ayodele Olu Otunla 2. Mr. Oladapo Otunla 3. Dr. Abosede Ifidon 4. Mr. Abiodun Kolawole AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) Equipping our youth to build and live in a knowledge society and modern state. 2) Developing critical thinking initiatives and civil responsibility. 3) Expanding self-knowledge and a positive self-identity. 4) Raising achievement levels in technology employability and life skills Any objection to the registration should be addressed to the Registrar – General Corporate Affairs Commission, 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, P.M.B. 198, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed:

Barrister O. A. Adebiyi O.A Adeniyi & Co. A165, Isokun Street, Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria.




Audu submits petition over Kogi governorship poll

Robbers kill business woman in Nasarawa 55-YEAR-OLD busi-


ness woman, Hajiya Mairo Usman, from Udege in Udege Development Area of Nasarawa State has been shot dead by a group of armed robbers operating between Udege and Agwada road. The woman was said to be in company of her colleagues on their way to a local market in Agwada when she was killed. The unsuspecting traders were said to be in a vehicle when the hoodlums opened fire on them from the bush. Hajiya Usman died instantly and others were said to have been injured. Six other persons were reportedly killed on the road between September and December, this year, in similar circumstances. It was learnt that the Agwada-Udege road and its environs have become unsafe for travellers because of

From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

frequent attacks by hoodlums. The Director of Personnel Management of Udege Development Area could not be reached for his reaction. Police spokesman, Cornelius Ocholi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), told The Nation that he was yet to be briefed on the incident. He promised to visit the area, urging the residents to always volunteer information to the police on suspicious movements of people. Ocholi noted that armed robbers are human beings living among law-abiding citizens. According to him, armed robbers in the state have devised a new method of ambushing vehicles and opening fire on their occupants from the bush.

Ex-Intelligence chief offers scholarships HE former Director


of Military Intelligence in the Ibrahim Babangida regime, Brig.Gen. Haliru Akilu has offered scholarships to 18 pupils in Kano State. Akilu, who is also the proprietor of Alhaji Akilu Comprehensive Islamic Secondary School, Madobi, Kano State, offered the scholarships at the Third Speech and Prize-Giving Day of the school. The former intelligence chief said the school offers scholarships every year to primary six pupils in his home town, Madobi. He promised to extend the scholarships to earlier beneficiaries who have been offered admissions in universities.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

Describing this gesture as part of the school’s efforts to support promising boys in the area, Akilu said one of the beneficiaries of the Secondary Education Scholarship Award, Yau Muktar, a 2011 product, has been given scholarship into one of the universities because of his performance in the last Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). According to him, the gesture will continue for a long time to come encourage brilliant pupils from poor homes to be educated.

•Group protests over result From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja



CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the December 3 election, Prince Abubakar Audu, yesterday submitted his petition to the newly constituted Governorship Election Petition Tribunal scheduled to begin sitting in Lokoja soon. Audu, led by his counsel, Mr. Kunle Adegoke, stormed the tribunal with his supporters. The ACN candidate and his supporters had to wait for over two hours, as the tribunal’s Secretary was said to have travelled to Abuja but was being expected back. The Clerk of the tribunal, Mrs. Bisi Bawanda, was reportedly directed to receive the petition pending the Secretary’s arrival. The former governor on the

platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) urged the tribunal to declare him winner of the election, having scored the majority of the total votes cast. He submitted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Capt Idris Wada, did not win the lawful majority votes, adding that he (Wada) should not have been declared winner. Audu alleged that election in some wards in 18 local government areas was marred by corrupt practices and irregularities. He alleged that the PDP candidate was not qualified to contest for the poll, as he is of “unsound mind”. One hundred and sixtyseven witnesses have been named in 21 local government areas. The tribunal is expected to begin sitting in January. A group, Kogi Transformation Initiative, yesterday said the December 3 governorship election in Kogi State did not reflect the wishes of the electorate.

Its spokesman, Idris Usamn, addressed reporters during a protest by hundreds of Kogi youths on the Lokoja-Abuja road. He described the poll as a departure from the wishes and aspirations of the people. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Captain Idris Wada, winner of the election. Last Friday, mothers and students protested on the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene highway, asking INEC to return the stolen mandate to the rightful owner. They said Prince Abubakar Audu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was the candidate the people voted for. The group described the December 3 governorship as a sham. The placard-carrying youths blocked the highway, causing a traffic gridlock on the busy road.

Usman said: “We are unhappy with the outcome of the recently held poll, which does not reflect the wishes of the people of the state. “We closely monitored the election, which was manipulated, to favour the ruling party.” He said the protesters had no particular candidate during the election, adding that the group’s mandate was to ensure a free, fair and transparent election. Usman said: “The electorate should have been allowed to freely decide who governs them, to enable those elected to be accountable to the people. Diverting their votes to someone else is wrong.” He said the group would not stay off the streets until the stolen mandate is restored to its right owner. Usman noted that democracy is about choice and and not imposition. Some of the inscriptions in the placards read: “December 3 was a fraud”; “We will defend our mandate”; “No to electoral rigging”; among others.

Bauchi proposes N132.547b for 2012


AUCHI State Governor Isa Yuguda yesterday presented a budget proposal of N132,547,202,809 to the House of Assembly for the 2012 fiscal year. Tagged: The Budget of Renewed Commitment, the proposal, according to the governor, would ensure that there is no uncompleted project at the end of his

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

tenure. He said there would be no new projects except the construction of the Bauchi Specialist Hospital and the ongoing international airport. Among the highlights of the budget proposal are the introduction of constituency projects granted to the lawmakers, the Youth,

Women, and Community Empowerment schemes. Yuguda said the government has earmarked N62,021,721,855 for Recurrent Expenditure and N70,525,954 for capital expenditure. The Recurrent Revenue Estimate is N76,336,345,414. This comprises an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)

of N7336,345,514 and Federal Statutory Allocation of N69,000,000,000. The Recurrent Expenditure Estimate is N62.021,721,855, with a Personnel Cost of N23,876,953,996. The Overhead Cost gets N26,047,726,509, and Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges will have N12,097,041,350.




Life sentences for Rwanda genocide planners


UNITED Nations war crimes court has given life sentences to two key organisers of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. The sentences were imposed on Matthieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera, two senior members of Rwanda’s former ruling party. They were convicted of genocide by the UNbacked International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In 1994 around 800,000

people - ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus - were killed in just 100 days. The ICTR ruled that Ngirumpatse and Karemera were part of a “joint criminal enterprise” to exterminate Tutsis. “The court unanimously condemns Ngirumpatse to life in jail,” said presiding Judge Dennis Byron, before pronouncing the same sentence for Karemera. Ngirumpatse was the chairman of Rwanda’s thenruling National Revolution-

ary Movement for Development (NRMD) party and Karemera was his deputy when the genocide took place. The indictment accused them of bearing “superior responsibility” for the genocide, the Reuters news agency reports. The ICTR ruled that Ngirumpatse approved the delivery of arms to the Interahamwe militia group at a hotel in the capital, Kigali, in April 1994, the AFP news agency reports.

“At that point in the genocide it could be assumed the weapons were going to be used to kill Tutsis,” the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling, according to AFP. “The court concludes that the rapes and the sexual crimes carried out on Tutsi girls and women by soldiers and militia, including the Interahamwe, are a natural and predictable consequence of the joint criminal enterprise seeking to destroy the Tutsi ethnic group.”

Rebels kill Senegalese soldiers


T least 12 people, including five Senegalese soldiers, have been killed after suspected rebels attacked an army base in the southern Casamance region. Five suspected rebels and two civilians died in the clashes, the army says. The BBC correspondent in Dakar says the recent upsurge in fighting has shocked people, as it follows a long period of calm.

The Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC) has been fighting for the region’s independence since 1982. A peace deal was signed with the largest rebel faction in 2004 and the level of violence had subsided. Once home to a thriving tourist industry, Casamance is separated from the capital, Dakar, by The Gambia. It is home to numerous ethnic groups, including many

Christians, while northern areas are dominated by three, largely Muslim communities. One soldiers was killed when suspected rebels attacked a military base in Diegoune district, 45km (30 miles) north-west of Ziguinchor, the region’s capital, near the Gambian border, at dawn on Tuesday, the army said. A vehicle carrying reinforcements was then attacked, leading to an “acci-

dent” in which a further four soldiers, including an officer, died, a statement said. The vehicle then crashed into a house, killing two civilians, it said. Unconfirmed reports say that nine soldiers were killed. Two weeks ago, five soldiers were taken hostage by suspected rebels - one of whom has since escaped. Analysts say the latest violence is linked to the elections due in February 2012.

Egypt’s runoff elections held after deadly clashes


GYPTIANS have been voting in a run-off for the second phase of parliamentary elections after days of violence. Nine of Egypt’s provinces are voting, mainly facing a choice between Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist candidates. Turnout is reportedly low. Thirteen people have been killed since Friday in clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital. Thousands of women took to the streets of Cairo on Tuesday to demonstrate against their treatment by troops. The Egyptian foreign minister has responded angrily to comments from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the “system-

atic degradation” of Egyptian women. Mohammed Amr said Egypt would not accept interference in its domestic affairs, and that the government was seeking “clarifications over any statements by any foreign official regarding internal Egyptian mat-

ters”. The streets around Tahrir Square in Cairo were quiet overnight for the first time since Friday Egyptians - and the international community - have been outraged by images showing a woman protester being beaten and dragged along the ground,

exposing her underwear. The ruling military council issued a statement on Tuesday expressing regret for the violations that had occurred. The council apologised to “the great women of Egypt” and said it was taking measures to punish those responsible.

Kenya planes attack Somali militant camp, 15 killed


T least 15 civilians have been killed in two air raids on an Islamist-controlled village in Somalia near the Kenyan border, witnesses told the BBC. Kenya’s military confirmed it had carried out two attacks by air on an al-Shabab camp in the area of Hosingow village, killing 17 militants. Recent grenade attacks over the border near Dadaab refugee camp were planned from Hosingow, the Kenyan army says. Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October in pursuit of al-Shabab.

It accused the al-Qaeda-linked group, which controls much of central and southern Somalia, of a spate of abductions from its territory - charges denied by the militants. Al-Shabab has said it views the presence of Kenyan troops in southern Somalia as an act of war. The attacks happened on Tuesday at 12:00 local time (09:00 GMT) and 15:30 (12:30 GMT), Kenya’s military spokesman Maj Emmanuel Chirchir said on his micro-blogging Twitter account.

Iraqi PM to Kurds: hand over Hashemi



RAQI Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has urged the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq to hand over fugitive Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi. An arrest warrant was issued for Iraq’s most senior Sunni Arab politician on

Monday on terrorism charges. MR Hashemi denies the charges and his entire political bloc is boycotting parliament and the cabinet. Tensions between Sunnis and the Shia Arab majority appear to be coming to a head, a BBC correspondent says. Mr Hashemi is currently in Irbil, under the protection of the Kurdistan regional government. The warrant was issued a day after US troops pulled out of Iraq. United States Vice-President Joe Biden has urged Iraqi leaders to work together to avert renewed sectarian strife.







VOL. 7, NO. 1,982

‘We are bound to worry when the Prime Minister of a so-called civilised world make it a duty to globalise pervasion and a debased state of mind as human rights. But this PM has never spoken about the rights of the wretched African person whose are resources are stolen and salted away in Britain for safe-keeping STEVE OSUJI ’



T is, once again, that time of the year when we remember those men – and women – who have played outstanding roles in the affairs of our dear country. For one reason or the other, such people may have been left out of the official roll of honours, but their actions – and inactions – remain stuck in our memory, like the nursery rhyme, “ Twinkle twinkle little star…” . Such people’s feats are usually drowned in the ocean of acrimonious politics and dissimulation that go for governance here. But, no notebook worthy of its name will fail to record their remarkable achievements. So, dear reader, join me to recognise these worthy individuals. Who else to take the lead other than the numero uno himself, President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, the Otuoke, Bayelsa boy who wore no shoes to school. By now, all those who doubt the existence of some ethereal hands in the affairs of men should be deeply troubled by the Jonathan phenomenon. Here is a man who joined politics as a novice, landed a deputy governor’s job, became a governor by default and got thrust onto the presidential seat by fate. Many there are who have spent a life time battling to get what Dr Jonathan got hurled onto his lap without breaking a sweat. Just when those layabouts who never see any good in any government are beginning to deride him for being slow and confused, he has boldly launched his roadmap to a prosperous Nigeria under which, hopefully, no child will go to school barefooted; there will be smooth roads, functional hospitals and abundant power supply – electricity and not mere megawatts - among other bounties. It is all under the Transformation Agenda which, to many a critic, is mere sloganeering. But, first, fuel subsidy will go and all these other good things shall be added unto us. Unionists are threatening to cause trouble, should fuel subsidy be taken off and petrol price goes up. Jonathan, they say, will need more than his legendary good luck to ride the coming storm. His Excellency is not fazed by the threats. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been no time to force a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate on Bayelsans. For his obstinacy, Jonathan deserves a gold medal. He is the Politician of the Year. Step forward former President Olusegun Obasanjo, soldier, politician, farmer and, most recently, newspaper columnist. The other day in Abeokuta, a few minutes drive away from his Presidential Library, he alerted us to the danger of youth unemployment, saying if we did nothing, a revolution was in the smithy. He was assailed by recriminations from various quarters. Some critics, who never really grasped the intricacies of his theory, asked: what did he do about unemployment when he was there? Was he not busy pursuing third term and hounding



Honours 2011

•Mrs Alison-Madueke

his political enemies? The intellectual exertion that went into the discovery of the symbiotic relationship between unemployment and revolution must have been remarkable and the General deserves a pat on the back. Some analysts have suggested Philosopher of the Year for Obasanjo. I concur. There should be no argument over the best security chief. Take a bow Inspector General Hafiz Ringim. When he was appointed into office, robbers were armed with pistols fabricated by ingenious local blacksmiths, village hunter guns, knives and cudgels. They stole their way into homes while residents slept in the dead of the night. Not so now. Robbers wield AK-47 assault rifles, dynamites and grenades. In broad daylight, they smash their way into banking halls, kill customers and uproot the vaults. Kidnappers are on the rampage. When they snatch a victim, they pronounce a ransom and warn the family not to seek police help. When the usually hefty ransom is paid, the captive is released – if he is lucky. The unlucky one gets killed, his body dumped by the roadside for his family to pick up. Boko Haram, the dreaded Islamic sect, struck


STREETS?...that has been HOME to most NIGERAINS

at the very heart of police operations and the symbol of its might, the Louis Edet House in Abuja, setting off a bomb that wreaked great damage. Ringim and his men insist they have been on top of it all, but those who obviously know nothing about the workings of a modern police force are accusing the IG of lacking the skills required to tackle the onslaught of criminals. Instead, said the critics, he has been ordering his men to storm newspaper houses and harass journalists whose only offence is doing their job. I wonder where these armchair critics were when Ringim ordered his man in Kogi, Commissioner Amanana Abakansanga, to bar some politicians in Osun from going to Abuja, the same way he stopped a delegation from Bayelsa from visiting the capital city – a novel move that has kept the place safe and sound ever since. The only worry is that the Abakansanga strategy is yet to work against robbers who have seized the state by the throat. Banks in Kogi West Senatorial District have been on forced holiday since Monday when robbers rained bullets on them, torching one. How this unique policing system was evolved, a source told me, will be unveiled in Ringim’s memoirs, which he is expected to start writing as soon as he leaves office in February. In other places where scientific feats are valued, by now the inventor of the cassava bread would have become a celebrity, signing autographs for excited shoppers in highbrow malls, explaining the ingredients of the loaf that has become a regular feature on the presidential breakfast table and leading discussions in intellectual circles on how he pulled it off. Not so here. The President and the Vice President merely took time off announcing the next round of multibillion naira contracts to show enthusiastic members of the cabinet how to grub the delicacy. That was all we saw on television: the President and his deputy, Namadi Sambo, breaking bread while ministers and aides clapped fe-



FTER concluding its probe of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Senate on Tuesday made wide-ranging recommendations to the federal government concerning many of the 122 enterprises privatised between 1999 and now. Though the lawmakers acknowledged that they could not compel the government to take action on the enterprises, they have done well to bring before the public all the unseemly and indefensible details of the privatisation programme. They have also asked for some of the key officials involved in the privatisation programme to be reprimanded and the sale of some of the companies to be rescinded. The government is at liberty to ignore the Senate, but there is no way it can hide the rot that attended the privatisation programme, the indiscipline of some of the key officials saddled with the job, and the indiscriminate government interferences that undermined the sale of many of the enterprises. Whether the Senate recommendations can be implemented, even if the government is willing, will depend on the advice the government receives from its legal team. However, the rot is so extensive that it would be horrifying if the government were to pretend to be uninterested in the revelations or incapacitated from taking remedial actions. The privatisation

verishly. No mention of the man behind the feat, which obviously may have contributed greatly in bringing down next year’s presidential food budget to a reasonable N1billion. Now, we are at peace; a truly Nigerian loaf – at last! Soon, we will have a Nigerian car and a Nigerian airplane and a Nigerian ship for our rich to go cruising. When we get there, dear reader, don’t forget the unknown man who started it all. The Inventor of the Year. When President Jonathan was about to announce his cabinet, there was so much fuss over her rumoured return. The battles were fought everywhere – in boardrooms, classrooms and restrooms. Newspapers were awash with public notices on why she should not be minister. There were numerous allegations and allegories; facts and fallacies. The Lady fought back valiantly, reminding us all of her achievements. It is debatable whether such a ferocious battle has ever been waged in a desperate bid to stop anyone, let alone a woman. No missile was spared. Despite all the mud, Mrs Diezani AlisonMadueke sits there comfortably today as the boss at the Oil ministry. She maintains her dignity – critics insist aloofness – as some cry themselves hoarse in the subsidy debate. Step forward ma, Minister of the Year. Until recently, he was just a former minister, remembered mainly for his struggle to restore the Abuja master plan. He knocked down many buildings, claiming that they were built without approval. Upon leaving office, he was recalled by the National Assembly to answer questions on some of his actions, including allegations that he allocated choice plots to his kids and wife. Then, el-Rufai thought of a new pastime: column writing. He got into trouble when he wrote that the National Security Adviser(NSA) was allocated N280 billion in this year’s budget. Besides, he wrote that the NSA, the Police and Defence will spend N865 billion. Security agents went after him, accusing him of attempting to incite Nigerians against the government by cooking up figures. There was uproar over el-Rufai’s arrest. Many said he should not have been arrested for exercising his right; others said he should have known that “facts are sacred” even as “comments are free”. Yet, others weighed in: must el-Rufai write a column to unload his bitterness against a system from which he gained immensely? For the rancorous nature of his column, el-Rufai has snatched away the Columnist of the Year trophy . All those who may have been left out of the list should take it easy; more recognitions are coming – in the spirit of this season. Merry Christmas! •Oladapo Fafowora returns in a fortnight •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

BPE and our national character flaw policy, like all other policies of government, was hardly subjected to debate. Somehow, the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, whose name continues to recur distressingly in all the awful things that afflicted the running of government in Nigeria, simply determined that the new wisdom all over the world was that the public sector could not efficiently run major public enterprises. The solution, he determined peremptorily, was to privatise them. It will also be recalled that between 1975 and1979, Obasanjo and his predecessor, Gen Murtala Mohammed, ran amok nationalising what they described as the commanding heights of the economy. In their opinion, that would guarantee development and stability. The policy was as farcical as the privatisation boondoggle the same Obasanjo was to embrace decades down the road. But whether nationalisation or privatisation, or, coming to the present, whether fuel subsidy or subsidy removal, the great flaw in the Nigerian character is the appalling lack of debate that culminates in a messianic, fiery and self-righteous zeal

with which Nigerian leaders handle public policy. Once they are sold on an idea, it becomes infallible, and those who debate it or dissent from it are labelled as irrational and unpatriotic. From the BPE probe, we have now seen how overbearing government behaviour impacted very negatively on our commonwealth. Some of the officials in charge of the BPE were said to have bypassed their supervising organ and sought approval from the president. There, sycophancy met with over-centralisation and imperiousness. Privatisation should have been thoroughly debated; fuel subsidy removal needs to be thoroughly debated; and indeed all public policies should come under rigorous debates and processes if we are serious about development and stability. Given the way past governments handled the privatisation programme and the manner Jonathan is going about the subsidy controversy, it may not be out of place to recommend intensive tutorials for our leaders on what government is all about. They don’t seem to understand it at all.

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The Nation December 22, 2011  

The Nation December 22, 2011