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Pupils’ massacre: Parents storm hospital for kids

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T was a moving scene. Some parents wailing on seeing the charred remains of their loved ones. Others were searching for their children, who may have died in the Boko Haram’s Tuesday attack on the hostels of the Federal Government College, Boni Yadi, Yobe State, in which 43 pupils were reportedly killed. A parent said yesterday that 29 died. There was outrage over the killings, with the United Nations (UN) and France leading the way. At the Gen. Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Damaturu, the state capital where the injured were taken, officials were busy attending to distraught parents searching for their

Mass burial for burnt bodies UN, France lead outrage over Suspects under interrogation Boko Haram’s attack on school The situation is so pathetic. Some of the parents were here earlier today in search of their missing children but could not find them. Maybe some of them are among those burnt beyond recognition. Nobody can tell for now.

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

wards. Only three of the 11 injured were being treated at the hospital. The others had been taken away by their parents. Parents/Teachers’ Association Chairman Mohammed Kati Machina, an engineer, recounted the grim, but un-

avoidable task of burying the dead. He said: “We buried two of the eight burnt students at Buni Yadi because they were so badly burnt. Ten bodies were brought to Damaturu, with six burnt beyond recognition.” Machina, who spoke with The Nation in Damaturu, said

29 pupils were killed. “We have an authentic report from the hospital and what we gathered is that only 29 students were killed. Twenty-one students were killed by gunshots while eight were burnt beyond recognition. Eleven of the students were injured and three have been admitted at the

Gen. Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Damaturu. Some of the injured students have been taken away by their parents.” “Two of the bodies were taken away to Gombe for burial by their parents,” he added. The PTA chairman urged the Federal Government to

provide security around schools, especially in Yobe and Borno states – two of the three states worst-hit by the Boko Haram insurgency. He sent his condolences to the families of the dead children. The school was just resuming from a mid-term break when the insurgents struck. A hospital source, who pleaded not to be named, said some parents came in search of their kids but could not find them. He said: “The situation is Continued on page 2

Ekiti hosts The Nation’s forum on MSMEs

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HAT role for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the battle against unemployment? This, among other critical development issues, will be tackled today and tomorrow in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital where the Southwest Regional Integration Forum on the promotion of MSMEs is taking place. The theme of the forum is: “MSMEs as solutions to unemployment and economic under-development.” The programme holds at the Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye Hall. It will feature a seminar on MSMEs, exhibition Continued on page 67

NEITI: NNPC yet to remit $22.8b

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From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

AWMAKERS were stunned yesterday to learn that $22.8 billion oil proceeds did not reflect in the books of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) made the disclosure at the Hon. Muraina Ajibolaheaded House of Representatives Joint Committees of Petroleum (Upstream), PeContinued on page 67

A MAR CH OF ANGER •A MARCH ANGER: Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) workers protesting retrenchment of workers and unpaid allowances at PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI Mokola, Ibadan ... yesterday.

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NEWS

•Sitting from left: Vice Principal, Academics, Coker Secondary School, Orile-Iganmu, Mr. Adekunle Adeniyi; Group Legal Counsel, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Adikamkwu Samuel; MD/CEO, UBA Foundation, Ijeoma Aso; Principal, Coker Senior Secondary School, Mrs. Omowo Omobosede; Principal, Coker Junior Secondary School, Mrs. Esther Babatunde; and Vice Principal, Administration, Coker Secondary School, Mr. Ikwegberurhie Orode, during the UBA Read Africa Session held at Coker Secondary School, Orile-Iganmu, Lagos ... yesterday.

Pupils massacre: Parents storm hospital for kids Continued from page 1

so pathetic. Some of the parents were here earlier today in search of their missing children but could not find them. Maybe some of them are among those burnt beyond recognition. Nobody can tell for now”. Machina said: “I am in contact with some of the parents who came from Borno and Gombe States to look for their kids. Though some of them cannot see or identify the bodies as those of their children, we are assuming that they could be the ones that are burnt beyond recognition”, Machina said. He added that the school principal had traveled to Abuja to seek the approval of the Minister of Education, to give a mass burial for the remaining six burnt pupils. The world was outraged yesterday over the killings.

UN, France kick The United Nations (UN) and France said they were shocked by the incident. Senate President David Mark House of Representatives the All progressives Congress (APC), governors and professional groups expressed dismay at the killings. UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon, in a statement issued on his behalf, “strongly condemns the brutal slaying yesterday of dozens of students at the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi in Yobe State, northeastern Nigeria, by unidentified gunmen”. “He extends his sincere

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How to end insurgency, by Shehu Sani

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HE President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, Comrade Shehu Sani, yesterday urged the Federal Government to consider other options to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency. He also urged the government to raise a Contact Committee and Islamic sects’ leaders’ dialogue committee. Sani, who is favoured by the sect as a mediator, made his position known in a statement last night in Abuja. He said the use of force might not help. The statement said: “Condemnation and shedding of tears is not enough. Proactive intervention and involvement is the only practical step to end the insurgency. “The state reserves the right to apply all its security apparatus to contain and extinguish the insurgency, but where it prolongs and becomes perilous to the lives of innocent Nigerians, other options should also be given attention.” condolences to the bereaved families and hopes that the perpetrators will be swiftly brought to justice. “The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the increasing frequency and brutality of attacks against educational institutions in the north of the country. He reiterates that no objective can justify such violence.” France strongly condemned the dawn attack, saying it has “the hallmark of Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist group that claims affiliation with Al-Qaeda”. A French statement said the attack on the high school stu-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Sani recommended the urgent raising of two committees, and the enlisting of Islamic scholars and organisations to persuade Boko Haram to stop fighting. The statement said: “The insurgency in the Northeast is a serious threat to our right to life, liberty and democracy. However, the situation is not hopeless, if the Federal Government will take the following important steps: “The Federal Government should set up two committees: (1) Contact Committee and (2) Islamic sects’ leaders’ dialogue committee. “The contact committee should comprise facilitators of the Dr. Datti Ahmed intervention and some selected members of the insurgent groups now in detention. “The Islamic sects committee should comprise the leaders of Darika sects, Izala sects, Shiite sects, Qadriyya sects, Tijjaniya sects,

dents was “revolting”. Many of the students were shot in their beds or had their throats slit by the attackers. Senate President David Mark, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Paul Mumeh in Abuja, lamented that the insurgents have no justification to kill students who neither offended them nor committed any crime, saying that “even in war situations, children and women are always spared”. He described the killings as an open declaration of war on Nigerians, which he said can-

said, pleading not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the investigations. “Besides the ongoing air and land counter-attacks from troops, the mopping up exercise in Buni Yadi was still in progress,” said the source, adding: “The town has also been cordoned off to fish out some insurgents who might have mingled with the people of the town.” The source confirmed that President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the Gen. Minimah to move to Borno-Yobe axis to coordinate operations against the insurgents. The source added: “There is going to be ‘Operation Merciless’ against the insurgents. The battle line is already

drawn because the President, who is also the Commanderin-Chief, has ordered the Service Chiefs to rout out the sect. “The Chief of Army Staff is expected to move to Maiduguri any moment from now to oversee the operation, which may involve a complete change of strategy.” Meanwhile an inquiry into the massacre of the 43 students by security agencies has begun. One of the clues being probed is the alleged collaboration between Boko Haram insurgents and some indigenes/residents of Buni Yadi. “Some locals are suspected to be informants of the insurgents. For instance, the Boko Haram members attacked the Federal Government College a

Mark laments

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Ahmadiyya sects. “The first committee’s mission is to initiate a genuine contact with the leadership of the insurgents and secure an immediate and credible ceasefire. “The second committee’s mission is to engage the insurgents from the Islamic perspective and set an agenda for an end to all forms of violence and restoration of peace in that part of the country.” Sani explained why he refused to serve on the Federal Government Dialogue Committee, which was headed by the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki He said: “My refusal to serve in the Federal Government dialogue committee is informed by the fact that the committee is lacking in contact and content and substance to achieve an end to the violence. “They wasted tax payers’ money by raising false hopes and broadcasting false and misleading ceasefires and contacts with the insurgents.”

not be justified. Mark said: “This open declaration of war on everybody, especially defenceless students, cannot be justified. This is inhuman; it is animalistic and barbaric. It is unthinkable that this is happening in Nigeria. “It is also curious that under an emergency rule when security operatives should be on red alert, this mayhem still persists. Honestly, this calls for soul searching and I believe the security authorities must rise to this challenge.” He sympathised with the government and people of Yobe State, especially the

families of the bereaved, saying that terrorism is not just a national but an international threat that calls for bravery on the part of every one to confront.

Tambuwal: fish out killers Tambuwal said the only way to condole with the families of the victims and Nigerians was by fishing out the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bringing them to justice. The Speaker, in a statement by his spokesman, Imam Continued on page 67

Military arrests suspects as probe begins

ARELY 24 hours after the killing of 43 students at the Federal Government College in Yobe State, the military has arrested some suspects, The Nation learnt yesterday. The suspects are undergoing interrogation in a designated centre, a source said. Also, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah to relocate to Borno-Yobe axis to supervise operations against the insurgents. Gen. Minimah may coordinate “Operation Merciless” against the insurgents. Besides, security agencies have launched a comprehensive probe into the killings, with their searchlight

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

beamed on alleged collaboration between the Boko Haram sect and some locals in Buni Yadi town where the incident occurred. The agencies are looking at the likely involvement of some politicians in the dastardly act. According to the source, the suspects are presently undergoing interrogation at a designated centre. He declined to state the number of suspects. “Normally in this kind of situation, we will need to isolate the suspects for grilling before we tell the public our findings. “After the first round of preliminary investigation, the relevant authorities would provide details for the public,” he

NBA: It’s dastardly

few hours after the patrol team shifted surveillance to the other parts of the town. “There are suspicions that some local informants might have told them that the patrol team had gone on routine surveillance to other parts of the town,” the source said. Responding to a question, the source added: “On a remote note, the security agencies are looking into the activities of some politicians because the attack occurred in a period when Governor Ibrahim Geidam flagged off a state tour to commission projects. “It is being suspected that some politicians would have collaborated with some insurgents to perpetrate these killings to halt the inspection of the projects,” he said.

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HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to step up the government’s effort to contain the activities of Boko Haram. NBA President Okey Wali (SAN), in a statement yesterday, described the Buni Yadi, Yobe State incident as a “dastardly act of gruesome mass murder of innocent children”, which “brings to the fore the increasing high level of insecurity in Nigeria”. The association condemned want it described as “this callous carnage”. “Our hearts and prayers are with the parents and families of the deceased and we pray the Almighty to grant them the fortitude to bear their irreparable losses. May the souls of the slain innocent children rest in perfect peace,” Wali said.

Sultan calls for special prayers

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HE Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Saad Abubakar, has urged Muslims to fervently pray for peace to reign in Nigeria. The Sultan advised Muslims nationwide to recite the AlQunut special supplication in all mosques across the country during the five obligatory daily prayers. He said the prayers were necessary to ward off further “human or natural catastrophe”. Sultan Abubakar condemned the killing of students in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, saying it was a senseless act perpetrated by criminals. “The barbaric and heinous attack is utterly condemnable in its totality,” the Sultan said. He recalled similar attacks in the past and called on the Federal Government to wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property of Nigerians, especially in the Northeast.

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THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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‘It’s time t

•Senate to Army Chief: relocate to Maiduguri •JNI to Fed Govt: wake up to your duties •Commission seeks relocation of Unity Schools •‘Peace Corps would have saved the children’ •PDP condemns killing of students

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (middle), United States Ambassador to Nigeria James Entwistle (left) and United States Consular General Jeffrey Hawkins during a visit to the governor in his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta office...yesterday.

•Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Osita Chidoka speaking at a news conference on the forthcoming FRSC 5th Annual Lecture Series in Abuja... yesterday. With him are Deputy Corps Marshal (Operations) Danjuma Garba (right),Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle Administration Boboye Oyeyemi second left) and Assistant Corps Marshal, Policy, Research and Statistics Kayode Olagunju. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•From left: Group Managing Director Gbenga Odujinrin; former Director Dr Benjamin Ishaku; pioneer Chairman ipNx Isaiah Mohammed; former Deputy Governor, Kaduna State, Mrs. Pamela Saduaki; Telnet Chairman Ejovi Aror at the tribute night for pioneer Telnet chairman Dr. Burian Carew in Lagos. PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL

•From left: Managing-director, Nestle Nigeria Plc Mr Dharnesh Gordon; Category Business Manager Mrs Adedoja Ekeruche and President, Nigeria School Sports Federation Malam Ibrahim Mohammed at a news conference on the Nestle Milo Secondary School Basketball Championship in Lagos...yesterday.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Eric Ikhilae, Abuja, Tony Akowe, Kaduna and Bukola Amusan, Abuja HERE was outrage yesterday confidence of safety to Nigerians are against the killing of students of utmost priority to it. in Yobe State by Boko Haram The Chief of Army Staff told the members. Human rights activists, committee that the military required lawmakers and lawyers flayed the funds to execute its responsibilities. attack in which 43 students died. Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, The Senate ordered Chief of Army in a statement, said the insurgents Staff Lt. General Kenneth Minimah had crossed the border of decency by to relocate his office to the 7th Divi- killing over 43 students in Yobe State. sion of the Nigerian Army in Ndoma-Egba noted that the killMaiduguri, the Borno State capital, to ings showed that Boko Haram tackle Boko Haram insurgents. planned to plunge Nigeria into a The Senate was moved to issue the “bleak and blank future”. directive, following Tuesday’s masHis words: “It is obvious that we sacre of 43 students of Federal Gov- are now dealing with a bunch of aniernment College, Buni Yadi, Yobe mals to whom human life is now toState. tally meaningless and worthless beThe upper chamber said that it was cause when you attack students, you alarmed by the apparent upsurge in are attacking the foundation of the the activities of the insurgents. country’s future.” The Chairman, Senate Committee The Peoples Democratic Party on Defence and Army, Senator (PDP) said it is grief-stricken. George Sekibo, read the resolutions The PDP, in a statement by its Naafter a budget defence session. tional Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa The resolution to order the army Metuh, described the attack and killchief to relocate to Maiduguri with ing of the harmless students as "monimmediate effect followed a point of strous and extremely shocking". order by a member of the committee, The party said: "The massacre of Senator Babafemi Ojudu. these harmless students cannot be Ojudu drew the lawmakers’ atten- justified under any guise. Indeed, the tion to the killing of 43 pupils in Yobe PDP is heart-broken and extremely and demanded that drastic action be devastated by this act of wickedness taken to halt the wanton killing of which can only be associated with the innocent people. devil. The point of order was sustained. "The PDP bleeds inside as we In the resolutions, the committee mourn the slaughtering of these condemned “the atrocity being un- promising young ones. Our hearts go leashed by the Boko Haram elements out to the parents and families of on innocent citizens, especially in the these innocent students. We share in Northeast part of the country”. their anguish, their pain and their The lawmakers said: “We regret despair and we earnestly pray that what happened yesterday, the killing those behind this act must not escape of innocent students in cold blood.” judgement for spilling the blood of The committee said that due to the the innocent. No man commits such gravity of the Yobe State incident, wickedness and gets away with it." “the Committee on Defence and The National Human Rights ComArmy has by this issued a directive mission (NHRC) has suggested a that the Chief of Army Staff take the temporal relocation of pupils of the following actions: eight Unity Schools in the three “Re-strategise on possible new troubled Northeastern states of ways of curbing these excesses, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to other mobilise all available military re- schools outside the region. sources and face the insurgents. The commission’s position is in“We heard of your planned relo- formed by incessant killings of school cation to Maiduguri; we hereby, as children in the states by the Boko the Committee overseeing your ac- Haram sect, particularly those on tivities, direct that your office relocate Tuesday at the Federal Government temporarily to the 7th Division in College, (FGC) Buni-Yadi. Maiduguri and that you take urgent In statement yesterday, NHRC and appropriate steps to quell the Chairman Chidi Odinkalu described situation.” the development as alarming and The committee also ordered that saddening. He urged both political “from today, all schools and health and religious leaders in the region institutions should be provided with region to speak up and take actions special security, as we do not want a to discourage violence in the area. repeat of these killings of our innoOdinkalu urged the government to cent citizens.”It asked President implement existing reports on how to Goodluck Jonathan to mobilise re- ensure peace in the region. sources for the Armed Forces to “face “There is no way to minimise the this national challenge, as this battle shock and tragedy of these events. must be won to sustain our nation’s The perpetrators clearly do not wish stability and unity as it is only in the Nigeria well. Words are not enough atmosphere of peace and tranquility to condemn them and their conduct. that development can be carried out”. “To the parents of the affected chilThe committee promised to take a dren, words are equally insufficient tour of the affected states when the comfort or condolence. This is every Senate resumes plenary. parent’s worst nightmare. CondoIt noted that because of the prevail- lences are also due to the Government ing situation, “the committee will re- and People of Yobe State and to the ceive your budget proposal without Federal Government. going through the lines as no one “Education a basic right guarangoes to the town square to dance teed in the Universal Declaration of when there is fire in his house”. Human Rights, the African Charter The committee said that taking on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and steps to quell insurgency and giving the Constitution of the Federal Re-

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me to curb Boko Haram’

•A building torched by Boko Haram in the Governemnt College. public of Nigeria. “These children were pursuing this right when they were killed. The pursuit of education cannot be cause for the mass murder of innocent children. “FGC Buni-Yadi is one of a network of 104 so-called Unity Schools, begun in 1966 by the Federal Government and accelerated in the 1970s to foster national unity in Nigeria through learning and enlightenment. “It truly hurts that children whom we sent to school as symbols of our unity as a country have become sacrificial offerings in some people’s project towards dis-unity. This must not be allowed. “Confronting this requires collective leadership at all levels. At a time like this, it is necessary for political leaders across parties to sink differences, reassure the country, and discover in adversity such as this the will to forge common purpose. “Sybolisms do matter. In memory of these children and all others lost in the ongoing situation in the northeast and as the institution of government closest to the people, our National Assembly should re-convene urgently in plenary. “The plans for the Centenary celebration must reflect the tragic backdrop of the country at this time. A suitable period of national mourning will not be out of place. In the interim, proposals for the transfer of children in the eight Unity Schools in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to other schools outside the region should be taken seriously. “Many official reports, including the Marshall Dike report (2009); Galtimari Report (2011); and Turaki Committee Report (2013) already contain far-reaching proposals for addressing the situation in N.E. Nigeria. “The Federal Government and the governments and people of the states in the Lake Chad area in Northeast. Nigeria deserve the support and ideas of all citizens, well-wishers and friends of Nigeria as they work to bring to an end to these atrocities,” Odinkalu said. The Muslim umbrella body in the North, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), yesterday urged the Federal government to wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property and take practical steps to end the wanton spilling of innocent blood in the Northeast. In a statement signed by the Secretary General of the organisation, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Muslim organization said that the unprec-

•Entrance to the college.

Falana: pay reparation to parents of Boko Haram victims

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AGOS lawyer Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has urged the Federal Government to pay reparation to the parents of the 43 students killed by Boko Haram in Yobe State for the “irreparable and avoidable loss of the precious lives of their children”. In a statement in Lagos yesterday, Falana also urged Nigerians to prevail on the government to provide 24hour surveillance and security in all schools in the crisis-torn areas of the country, adding that it does not appear that government was winning the war against terrorism. He commiserated with the parents of the slain stu-

edented havoc being unleashed against innocent citizens in the country is becoming too much to bear and expressed fear about the likely consequences that may befall the state, if it does not swiftly act, to bring an end to these repeated spill of blood. It wondered why the attacks is still going on in the area despite the state of emergency and numerous military check points, adding that it is hardly believable that such dastardly acts could still occur The JNI statement said: “As always, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) will not be deterred nor will it over look things as they unfold, especially over the repeated wicked acts of terror being unleashed on the Muslims, hence JNI received with shock and distress the senseless killings at Federal Government College (FGC) Buni Yadi, Yobe State, by criminals and what so ever is/are their motive, they will not succeed, in-sha-Allah. “The barbaric and heinous attack is utterly condemnable in its totality, considering the fact that just few days ago, Bama, Izge, Malari, all in Borno State witnessed similar attacks by the terrorists. However, we expect the Federal Government of Nigeria to wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property of Nigerians, especially in the North East and stop the diatribe. Human lives are sacred and must be treated so! “Also, as with previous similar cases, the sporadic gun shots that ensued after setting the school ablaze is very worrisome and alarming. Therefore, JNI calls for practical probe that must bring such acts to an end. “Despite the State of Emergency currently in place at Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States and the visible security check points at every nook and cranny of the states, it is hardly believable that such dastardly acts could still occur, thus JNI is seriously perturbed by such unabated repeated

By Adebisi Onanuga

dents, saying the Federal Government should be held liable for the attack on the students. Falana said: “Since the dreaded Boko Haram sect has been unleashing mayhem on schools to kill innocent students, I have repeatedly called on the authorities to provide adequate security in all schools in the Northeast zone.” He said it was painful “to say that the mindless killings will continue as long as the federal government continues to deceive itself to believe that the nation is winning the war on terror”.

acts. “It is pertinent to ask the following questions: According to sources, the army was withdrawn a day to the attack, why? What was the motive behind such heinous act? Why is it that

the Northeast borders have been left porous despite knowing fully the repercussion of such? Indeed there is much more than meets the eyes! “As the unprecedented havoc being unleashed against innocent citi-

zens is becoming too much to bear and we fear the consequences that may befall the state, if it does not swiftly act, to bring an end to these repeated spill of blood. “These repeated callous acts call for concerted introspection, as they again and again point to the fact that there is the urgent need for proactive and effective ways of addressing these precarious upheavals. Perpetrators MUST be fished out! “Finally, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, JNI calls on all Imams in their respective mosques to commence Al-Qunut (special supplication during human or natural catastrophy, observed during the five daily prayers for ease and relief) and the generality of Muslims are also implored to fervently pray for the restoration of peace and security in Nigeria bearing in mind that without Nigeria there will be no Nigerians.” To theNational Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh, his men would have stopped the mayhem. Akoh, who spoke in Abuja yesterday, stated that though the organisation do not were arms, their said the presence of his men in the school would have helped. He said: “Due to harassment to constant harassment we are having been facing in the Hands of the police, we have not been to send our personnel to these schools. The essence of the posting is monitoring of the movement of the students. We are not armed but by some degree, we can detect any irregular movement and quickly alert the security agencies to foster any terrorist attack. “It is in the light of this renewed attack on institution of learning that we are compelled to use this medium to urge the Federal Government and the security agencies to be more proactive and decisive in checkmating the problem of insecurity in the country.”

African American History Month

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Michelle Obama

ICHELLE Obama was born on January 17, 1964. She is an African American attorney, administrator, community advocate and wife of President Barack Obama. When people ask First Lady Michelle Obama to describe herself, she doesn’t hesitate to say that first and foremost, she is Malia and Sasha’s mom.But before she was a mother — or a wife, lawyer or public servant — she was Fraser and Marian Robinson’s daughter. The Robinsons lived in a brick bungalow on the South Side of Chicago. Fraser was a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department, and despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a young age, he hardly ever missed a day of work. Marian stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother Craig, skillfully managing a busy household filled with love, laughter, and important life lessons. A product of Chicago public schools, Mrs. Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met the man who would become the love of her life. After a few years, Mrs. Obama decided her true calling was working

with people to serve their communities and their neighbors. She served as assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares youth for public service. In 1996, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago with a vision of bringing campus and community together. As Associate Dean of Student Services, she developed the university’s first community service program, and under her leadership as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, volunteerism skyrocketed. Promoting Service and working with young people has remained a staple of her career and her interest. Continuing this effort now as First Lady, Mrs. Obama in 2010 launched Let’s Move!, a campaign to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, moms and dads in a nationwide effort to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity. Let’s Move! has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.Let’s Move! will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically

active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country. In 2011, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden together launched Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned, and to raise awareness of military families’ unique needs as pertains to employment, education and wellness. Joining Forces has been working hand in hand with American businesses that are committed to answering the President’s challenge to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans and military spouses by 2013. As First Lady, Mrs. Obama looks forward to continuing her work on the issues close to her heart — supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, promoting the arts and arts education, and fostering healthy eating and healthy living for children and families across the country. Michelle and Barack Obama have two daughters: Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11. Like their mother, the girls were born on the South Side of Chicago. Reference: Whitehouse.gov http:// www.whitehouse.gov/administration/ first-lady-michelle-obama


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Nigeria’s union non-negotiable, says Jonathan

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday insisted that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. Many Nigerians had kicked against the no-go area that precludes discussion on the unity of Nigeria during the National Conference. In a 20-minute broadcast on the Centenary celebration last night, Jonathan said the national dialogue should strengthen Nigeria’s union. He also promised that all will be done by his administration to eradicate terrorism in the country. Jonathan said: “Even as we remain resolute in our conviction that our union is non-negotiable, we must never be afraid to embrace dialogue and strengthen the basis of this most cherished union. A strong nation is not that which shies away from those difficult ques-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

tions of its existence, but that which confronts such questions, and together provides answers to them in a way that guarantees fairness, justice and equity for all stakeholders. “My call for the National Conference in this first year of our second century is to provide the platform to confront our challenges. I am confident that we shall rise from this conference with renewed courage and confidence to march through the next century and beyond, to overcome all obstacles on the path to the fulfillment of our globally acknowledged potential for greatness. Stressing that nation-building is not only for great leaders and the elite: “All Nigerians must be involved in this national endeavour. From the

•President speaks on Centenary celebration threads of our regional, ethnic and religious diversities we must continuously weave a vibrant collage of values that strengthen the Nigerian spirit. “The coming National Conference should not be about a few, privileged persons dictating the terms of debate but an opportunity for all Nigerians to take part in a comprehensive dialogue to further strengthen our union. He hoped that the conference will not result in parochial bargaining between competing regions, ethnic, religious and other interest groups but an objective dialogue for the way forward of Nigeria boost harmonious balance among the three tiers of government. Hailing the nations’s past leaders, he said: “Today, we

salute once again the great heroes of our nation – Herbert Macaulay, Ernest Ikoli, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alvan Ikoku, Chief Harold Dappa-Biriye, Dr. Michael Okpara, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Mallam Aminu Kano, Mokwugo Okoye and Chief Michael Imoudu among others. On terrorism he said: “ the security situation in some of our Northeastern states, sadly remains a major concern for us. Just yesterday, young students, full of hopes and dreams for a great future, were callously murdered as they slept in their college dormitories in Yobe State. I am deeply saddened by their deaths and that

of other Nigerians at the hands of terrorists. Our hearts go out to their parents and relatives, colleagues and school authorities. “We will continue to do everything possible to permanently eradicate the scourge of terrorism and insurgency from our country. We recognise that the root cause of militancy, terrorism and insurgency is not the strength of extremist ideas but corrupted values and ignorance. “That is why our counterterrorism strategy is not just about enforcing law and order as we have equipped our security forces to do. It also involves expanding economic opportunities, social inclusion, education and other measures that will help restore normalcy not

just in the short term, but permanently. “I want to reassure Nigerians that terrorism, strife and insecurity in any part of Nigeria are abhorrent and unacceptable to us. I urge leaders throughout Nigeria to ensure that ethnicity and religion are not allowed to become political issues. “I am proud and privileged to have been elected leader of Nigeria and I consider it my solemn responsibility to act in the best interest of the nation at all times. “Dear compatriots, in line with the thoughts of that great son of our continent, Nelson Mandela, let us not judge ourselves, and let not the world judge us by how many times we have stumbled, but by how strongly we have risen, every single time that we have faltered.” He stated.

Lagos councillors seek review of financial guidelines •Two-day workshop ends

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OCAL government councillors in Lagos State have criticised the provisions in the ‘Guidelines on Local Government Administration that confer excess powers on chairmen. The councillors also called for a review of the Administrative Financial Guidelines that make chairmen sole approving authority. They spoke at the second day of a workshop organised for officials of local governments by the Lagos State Gubernatorial Advisory Committee (GAC). The two-day workshop ended yesterday. A councillor from Mushin Local Government, Mr Atobatele, alleged that the chairman of the council decides on projects to be executed without the inputs of the councillors. Atobatele, who is a second term councillor said he represents the largest ward in the local government and lamented that none of the projects identified in his ward were executed. Similarly, Mr Adekola Azeez of Kosofe Local Government observed that chairmen are lording things over the councillors. They have rendered us redundant as we are not involved in decision making process, he said. He alleged that chairmen rely on Council Manager (Secretary) and Treasurer in the

By Leke Salaudeen

day to day running of the councils. He said the councillors that were elected by the same people that gave the chairmen the mandate are irrelevant in terms of taking decisions on developmental projects. He added that: “In distribution of resources, we councillors are short changed.” Senator Olorunimbe Mamora advised the councillors to sponsor a private bill on the review of Local Government Administration and Financial Guidelines through the Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government in the Assembly. The former Senate Minority Leader said to them: “don’t wait for anybody to do it for you.” A guest lecturer, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo stated the need for councillors to act in tandem with chairmen in running the council’s administration. He noted that the Constitution did not impose presidential system on local government. Local government, according to him, exercise power within a defined area and such power must be exercised by the representatives of the people who are either elected or selected. The Professor of Law at the University of Lagos, said one major reason why local governments are not doing well

•Senator Mamora (left); Chief Ajomale; Hon. Wale Oshun and Prof Williams... yesterday.

•Oshun...yesterday.

was pervasive corruption in the system. Others, he listed are poor budgetary preparation and auditing procedure. Oyewo said local government reform should centre on its institutionalisation as third tier and the reform should allow independent candidates to stand election. According to him, “Lagos State government is the leading light in good governance and service delivery in the country but the same cannot be said of the local gov-

•Oyewo...yesterday.

ernments. The Auditor- General, Mr M.Hassan, who spoke on: “Managing Public Funds”, said for councillors to succeed, they must avail themselves of the laws on Local Government. He advised them to account for every kobo spent while in office. Hassan reminded the councillors to play the games by the rule while collaborating with the state government and the private sector and even in

•Fagbohun...yesterday.

providing essential services for the people. The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Henry Ajomale urged the participants to make use of what they have gained from the workshop in discharging their duties. Ajomale, who is the Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the organisers will reflect the feelings and observations of the councillors in the report to be submitted to the governor.

PHOTOS: RAHMAN SANUSI

Replying a question on why the workshop was held separately for the council chairmen, the Chairman of the Gubernatorial Advisory Committee, Prof Adebayo Williams said the separation was due to administration and logistic convenience. Williams thanked the participants for attending the workshop and hoped that they have learnt new things about Local Government Administration.

Appeal Court orders ex-IGP Ehindero to face trial over alleged N557m fraud

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HE Court of Appeal, Abuja Division has directed the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to go ahead with the trial of a former Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero over alleged complicity in the misappropriation of about N557million belonging to the Nigerian Police Force Ehindero will face trial for alleged criminal act at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ICPC had arraigned Ehindero with a former Commissioner of Police in charge of budget, John Obaniyi before the Abuja

From: Yusuf Alli, Abuja

High Court for the alleged mismanagement of the said funds. The suspects, who pleaded not guilty to the six-count criminal charge that was preferred against them by the ICPC, were consequently admitted to bail. A statement by the anti-graft agency’s Resident Media Consultant Folu Olamiti, said no date has been fixed for the trial of the two suspects. The statement said: “The accused had filed notices of preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court as well as the leave granted the ICPC to file charges against

them. “They also prayed the court to quash the six-count charge preferred against them by ICPC. “In his ruling on the objection, the trial judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi dismissed the application and asked the accused to go ahead and face their trial. “Not satisfied, the accused approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the lower court on three grounds: •whether the Abuja High Court had jurisdiction to entertain the charge against him wherein the allegation against him is bordering on the reve-

nue of the Federation vis-a-vis the provision of Section 251 (1) (a) - (f) of the 1999 Constitution. •Whether there is a prima facie case linking him to the charge preferred against him by the prosecution, and •Whether in view of the constitutional powers of the Attorney General of the Federation AGF enshrined under Section 174(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) , Mr. Paul Bassi, or any other officers of the ICPC, could validly prosecute him without a fiat of the AGF. “In its ruling, the Court of Appeal resolved all three issues

raised by the Appellant in favour of the prosecution and consequently ordered that the matter be sent back to the Abuja High Court for expeditious hearing. “The Appeal Court also affirmed the decision of the High Court in Charge No. FCT/HC/ CR/92/2012 where the said High Court ruled that it had jurisdiction to hear the criminal complaint brought against the accused person. “No date has been fixed for the trial.” ICPC had claimed its investigations revealed that the accused diverted N300million of N557million that was donated

to the Nigerian Police Force, by the Bayelsa State Government when President Goodluck Jonathan was the governor. The N557million was donated to the Police Force for the procurement of arms, ammunition and riot control equipment. ICPC traced the diverted N300million to a fixed deposit account at Wema Bank Plc where it had already yielded an interest of N9.8 million. It was alleged that the accused placed another N200 million in a fixed deposit account at Intercontinental Bank Plc where it generated an interest of N6.5 million.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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NEWS

•Representative of the winner of the Governor of the Year Award, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello (middle); in a group photograph with the chairman of the occasion, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu (fourth left); the lawmaker representing Lagos West, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon (third left); interim Deputy Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Alhaji Abiodun Sunmonu (fifth right); interim Vice-Chairman of Lagos APC, Cardinal James Omolaja Odunbaku (sixth right); Chairman of Conference 57, Hon. Sulaimon Omoye Oris; the Publisher, Prince Emeka Obasi (third right) and other members of Conference 57, during the Business Hallmark’s presentation of Nigerians of the Year 2013 Awards to recipients at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos.

NAFDAC introduces harmful water-detecting technology

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HE National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has introduced onthe-spot-detecting-device, to curb water-born diseases. The effort, NAFDAC said, is projected to increase the safety of drinking water and end unapproved production of drinking water. Speaking at the launch of the Annual Monitoring of Water Quality Standard and Compliance for Water Manufacturing

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

Facilities in Abuja yesterday, the Director-General, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, said the measure became necessary given the growing public health concern about the proliferation of spurious packaged water in all the nooks and crannies of the nation’s cities and villages. He said: “It has become apparent that some of the ‘pure water’ are nothing but agents of water-borne diseases and are not

fit for human consumption.” The device, according to the consultant on the project and the Principal Consultant/Chief Executive Officer, Emani Global Network Ltd, Emmanuel Osiegbu, is a Mobile Laboratory Modern Equipment for on-site physico-chemical and microbiological Test Analysis/methodology. “It helps to check if the water being sold meets the safety standards and safe for drinking,” he added. Osiegbu said: “We are witnessing a paradigm shift in the

2015: INEC seeks EU support on voter education

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HE Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has solicited the assistance of the European Union (EU) in the education of voters and other stakeholders ahead of the 2015 elections. He said voter education is necessary for the poll’s success. The INEC boss, who spoke in Abuja during a meeting with the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Michel Arrion and his team, said the commission’s resources could not accommodate the huge funding requirements for effective civic and voter education programmes contemplated by it. He noted that as much as the commission would have loved to ensure proper voters’ and civic education, “our budgets are insufficient.” Jega asked for more training for the workforce, especially in the area of logistics. The training, he said, would go along in assisting the commission’s work. Speaking on the need for more funding for the activities of the commission, the INEC boss said: “I must express our appreciation by acknowledging the contribution to EU donor basket fund to support democracy, more specifically those that relate with our responsibility in the electoral commission. We would want to encourage you to support that process, which we have found very beneficial. “But obviously as we move towards the 2015 elections, outside of that basket fund, there is scope for additional cooperation in a number of areas, but to my mind, most especially in the area of voter education. I believe that whatever we can do to ensure that by 2015, we have a remarkably more enlightened voters, who could come out and discharge their civic duties and par-

approach and methodology of NAFDAC as a regulatory agency. Adopting a proactive approach in handling the water problem by implementing the Mobile Laboratory Modern Equipment for on-site physicochemical and Microbiological Test Analysis/Methodology. “It would ensure continuous monitoring of the water quality produced at the manufacturing facilities, employing on-site modern equipment to perform physico-chemical and microbiological test analysis.”

Parties faults election timetable

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From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja.

NTER Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has queried the 2015 general elections time- table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). IPAC also raised concern over the voters’ register being complied by the electoral body. IPAC Chairman Yunusa Tanko said parties are worried over the sequence, which he said, is a departure from the past. But INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega said there is no cause for alarm. The time-table has the blessing of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the United Peoples Party (UPP) and Labour Party (LP). Tanko spoke an INEC/political parties dialogue in Abuja. The forum was aimed at building consensus on electoral activities towards 2015 said: “political parties are worried about the sequence of the election which provide for a two face elections with the presidential and the National Assembly coming up first and the governorship and state assembly coming up next as against in the past which has a three face election with state assemblies, governorship, presidential and national assembly coming up in that sequence. This provided an opportunity for all political parties to have a chance of winning election in that process but with the present situation as the time table released you will agree with me that immediately the presidential election is concluded it will close doors for all other election to be free and fair for all concern.” Speaking on voter register, Tanko, who is also the national chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP) said the register must be updated in a manner that can build confidence between the electorate, INEC and the political parties. He stressed that “the electorates need to be sure they were registered to vote and their names should appear accordingly.” IPAC chairman also want political parties seals on the ballot papers as a mark of authority and confirmation of the authenticity of the ballot papers adding that it would create confidence within INEC and political parties in the case of litigation.

•Gets communication policy From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

ticipate in the electoral process and do the right thing to ensure that their votes are not wasted, will be welcome. “In this area, I know that development partners relate with civil society organisations to do this, but if there is a more structured way in which develop-

ment partners or the EU in particular can fund some of the dissemination exercise, whether it is for radio or television, we can develop packages and provide them and because it is very costly to do television and radio announcements, frankly our budget is insufficient to accommodate as much voter education as we would want to do or to see done.”

•Jega He acknowledged the benefits of series of capacity building workshops for workers, including BRIDGE to the work of the commission, but requested more specialised training for its logistics and operations workers, saying: “In the area of training, of course we have benefited a lot from BRIDGE training programmes and other workshops and training seminars through the DGD, but as I have mentioned before, more targeted training in the area of logistics and operations can help us, where we can bring our logistics and operations officials from all our offices in the states. “It can be structured; it can be at the zonal level or at the national level. That very targeted programme that can help improve efficiency in logistics deployment will be appreciated,” Jega said. He welcomed the idea of the proposed EU Pre-Election and Mid-Term Review Team due to be in Nigeria soon, recalling the benefits of previous EU Election Observation Mission report to the learning experience of the commission. Jega assured Amb. Arrion that INEC had gained valuable insights from the 2011 elections EU Election Observation Mission report, adding: “The report, we studied it and reviewed it. We did our best to implement many of the good recommendations that were contained in the report and we will be delighted to receive a team for what I understand is a Pre-Election or Mid-Term Review.

FEC meeting cancelled

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From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

HE weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting did not hold in Abuja yesterday. No official reason was given for the cancellation. Some ministers, who were not aware of the cancellation, turned up early for the meeting. Reporters also waited for the meeting to start before information filtered in that it had been cancelled.

Lagos warns residents against defecation, pollution

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By Oziegbe Okoeki

AGOS State government has warned residents to stop defecating in canals and drainages, saying such act constituted pollution and government would prosecute offenders. The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Environment, Dr. Taofeek Folami, who read the Riot Act after inspecting blighted spots and drainage channels in Ojo Local Government, said open defecation posed health hazard. He urged market leaders at the Ojo Alaba International Trade Market, where the habit is common, to provide toilets for traders. Folami said it was sad that the Alaba International Market drainage channel, recently cleared by the government, had been filled with refuse. According to him, government would not hesitate to shut the market.

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NRC to reopen Oshodi station next week

HE Lagos District of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said yesterday that it would re-open its Oshodi station in Lagos next month. The NRC Lagos District General Manager, Mr. Akin Osinowo, who spoke at a news conference in Lagos, said the re-opening of the station was part of the Mass Train Transit Services (MTTS) scheme of the NRC. He said the Lagos District was mobilising personnel and putting security measures in place to ensure a hitch-free operation. “Oshodi will be reopened in the next three to four week, before the end of March. “It should have been reopened about a month ago, but unfortunately, we had a setback. “This is because shortly after we had rehabilitated the station and ready to take off, it was burnt and a lot of damage was done by hoodlums. “It was vandalised, we had to start from scratch. “But as we speak, there are our members of staff in Oshodi, so we are just putting in place one or two safety mechanisms to make sure we don’t have the same problem.”

‘I gave up my father’s land to build skill acquisition centre’

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By Oziegbe Okoeki

AGOS State Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said yesterday that she forcefully took over one of her father’s land to build the Egbeda Skill Acquisition Centre, one of the 18 Lagos State skill acquisition centres spread across the metropolis. The deputy governor spoke at the inauguration of an ultramodern training kitchen at the Surulere Skill Acquisition Centre, off Western Avenue, Surulere, Lagos, put in place in collaboration with the Sahara Group. Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire, recounting the difficult journey, which led to the emergence of the skill acquisition centres, she said an encounter with hoodlums (area boys) in 2002 was enough to ginger her quest and passion for youth empowerment. She said she was attacked by eight armed thugs in one of the streets in Marina while she was returning from market. “I can’t explain how I escaped from them that day. They were eight and wanted my money and I was not ready to part with it. I had about N70, 000. It was divine intervention that a bullion van came and parked behind me. It immediately scared them away,” the deputy governor said.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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NEWS Akinrinade others for conference

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ORMER Chief of General Staff Gen. Alani Akinrinade is to lead the Osun State delegation to the National Conference. Other delegates are former House of Assembly Speaker Prof. Mojeed Alabi; former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Femi Akande; former Commissioner for Justice Chief Gbadegesin Adedeji; Director-General, Development Agenda for Western Nigerian Commission, Dipo Famakinwa and Mrs. Bola Ogunrinade. The Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, has sent their names to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim.

NBTE lifts ban on polytechnic From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

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HE National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has restored the accreditation of all programmes of the Crown Polytechnic, Odo in Ado-Ekiti. On August 2, 2013, NBTE withdrew the accreditation of the polytechnic’s courses, following the institutions refusal to close its satellite campuses as directed by the body. The restoration order was signed by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Adamu Kazaure. Kazaure said the accreditation was restored because the polytechnic had obeyed the NBTE’s directives. He said the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had been notified to allow the institution admit students for the 2014/2015 session.

‘Religious centres can’t treat cancer’

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HE wife of the Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has advised women against visiting herbalists and religious centres for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. She spoke at the Funmilayo Olayinka Cancer Diagnostic and Wellness Centre in Ado-Ekition, the state capital, during the distribution of 32,000 units of Breast Self-Examination kits to officials of the 16 local government areas. The project was jointly sponsored by the governor’s wife and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) to create awareness about breast cancer. Mrs. Fayemi emphasised the need for the self-examination of breasts by women for early detection of lumps and encouraged men to remind their wives to do so. There was practical demonstration of how to use the kit and how to improvise with soap and water where it is not available. Erelu Fayemi said breast cancer can be easily treated when detected and presented early at a standard health institution. She said: “If you observe a lump in your breast, please do not go to the nearest herbalist or worship centre for a solution and do not ignore it. Do not carry your Bible and say ‘it is not my portion.”

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (right); his Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun (second left); Senator Iyabo Anisulowo (left) with former Oyo and Ogun Military Administrator Gen. Oladayo Popoola (rtd.) and his wife, Bisi, at Gen. Popoola’s 70th birthday thanksgiving service at the Vinebranch Church in Mokola, Ibadan...yesterday.

I’m concerned about my successor, says Fashola

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AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has said he is concerned about who will succeed him. Fashola spoke yesterday during a meeting with State House Correspondents at the State House in Marina Lagos. He, however, assured Lagosians that whoever emerges the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) would do more than his administration. Fashola said: “I am not worried, but I am concerned about my successor. I hope, firstly, that the next person is a lot better than me. I hope he can do in four years what we did in eight years. That will be beneficial to all of us and by that time, I would have a gov-

•Governor slams FERMA for ‘laying claims’ to state projects By Oziegbe Okoeki

ernor, because I do not have one now. I am everybody’s governor. “We want somebody who can do these things in a shorter time and make all of the things we have done like child’s play. That is why I said I do not want to be the best governor of Lagos State. The best governor of Lagos is a futuristic idea; every governor should be better than the last one. My innermost interest in the next election is for who will best protect and advance the interest of the state.” Fashola alleged that the Federal Road Maintenance Agen-

cy (FERMA) in Lagos had been putting its signpost on completed state government projects and claiming that it executed them. Urging the public and the Federal Government not to be deceived by the agency’s “antics”, He said: “FERMA has been putting up signboards in places it did not green, deceiving its employer in Abuja that it was responsible for the landscaping of Ijora. It even put its signboard on our street lights on Herbert Macaulay Way, claiming that it was responsible for the project. The state government put up the street lights during the last sports

festival. “I have taken photographs of these and sent them to the Minister of Works. I told him that I hope the people they gave money to in Lagos are accounting for the money because all the street lights they said they did were done by the state government during the sports festival, when we put people in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Yaba. “This is the fraud that is going on now. The money released for the Subsidy Reinvestment-Programme (SUREP) is what they are carrying around, deceiving people that they are working in Lagos.

I have nothing against Ladoja, says Ajimobi

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YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said there is no misunderstanding between him and former Governor Rashidi Ladoja. Ajimobi said: “Ladoja, who is the Accord leader in the state, is not only my cousin, but a complete gentle man.” The governor explained this during a media chat held at the Government House in Agodi, Ibadan, on Monday night, which was aired live on the state broadcasting television station (BCOS). To buttress his claim that he had nothing against the former governor, he said he attended the wedding of Ladoja’s daughter in Lagos recently and sat beside the Accord leader at the event.

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday signed five bills into

law. They are the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill; Law Reform Commission Bill; Customary Court Bill; Arbitration Bill and Ekiti State College of Technical and Commercial Agriculture Bill. With the new laws, the House of Assembly has passed 64 bills into law. Fayemi said the Administration of Criminal Justice Law revises the old Criminal Codes, such that they would not only punish offenders but reform them. He said his administration

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Ajimobi blamed “political jobbers” and “sycophants” for the “seeming crisis” between them. He said: “All the things people said Ladoja did or say are not true. The people who have lost out are behind this. Thank God you have a job. They do not have jobs. What they do is to go to Ladoja begging to be this or that. They are political jobbers, but they will soon realise that what we are doing here is politics of development, not bitterness. The more they play all these pedestrian politics and we do not play it with them, the more they will move away from it. “The truth of the matter is

‘The truth of the matter is that Ladoja is interested in contesting the seat I occupy and I want to run for a second term, so but we shall meet at the election. In politics, even brothers disagree, especially when they are eyeing the same office’ that Ladoja is interested in contesting the seat I occupy

and I want to run for a second term, so but we shall meet at the election. In politics, even brothers disagree, especially when they are eyeing the same office.” The governor listed the achievements of his administration in the last 1,000 days in office and what he has in stock for the remaining 440 days. He said the Ibadan circular road was still in the pipeline, but the N55 billion bill presented by the contractor was unavailable for now, adding: “A good leader must prioritise. The circular road requires a lot of money and we do not have it now, so, we put it aside. But we are still looking for financiers to execute the project.”

Fayemi signs five bills into law worked with stakeholders to restructure and strengthen the administration of justice, hence the domestication of relevant federal laws to reflect realities of the local environment. Fayemi: “The theme of equality evokes the subsidiary idea of a leveller. It erases gender, race, creed, ethnicity, class and other social markers by which societies have typically discriminated among their members. The most apparent and practical expression of equality before the law is equal access to jus-

tice. This is the core of a truly democratic and progressive society.” On the Arbitration Law, which states that people should go to court as a last resort, the governor said it is hoped that the law would decongest the courts by expanding the scope for settlement outside it and open commercial opportunities for professional arbitrators. He said the State College of Technical and Commercial Agriculture Law was to establish a solid institution that would reclaim the state’s po-

sition in global agricultural practice. Fayemi said agriculture was the mainstay of the state’s economy, adding that the improvement of technical skills was a pre-requisite for modernised agriculture and ensuring food security. House of Assembly Speaker Dr. Adewale Omirin said the new laws were passed to make justice available to all citizens. He said the legislature will continue to support the executive to meet the people’s needs.

That is how they intend to win election here.” On the proposed Lekki International Airport, Fashola said preparatory work had been done. He said the concept design was completed and the state had bided internationally to get finance for the project. The governor said between five and seven international bidders had indicated interest in the project, adding that it would be private driven while the government would provide the “needed environment” for it. He said: “Some people build airports only for business purposes. They do not run it and that is why we have decay. We are looking for people who will build the airport and keep it running with modern facilities and concession the project, as the government cannot do it.” Fashola said the airport would enhance development at the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

Ogun begins immunisation By Adebisi Onanuga

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FOUR-day polio immunisation begins on Saturday in Ogun

State. The government urged parents to make children aged 0-5 years available for the house to house inmmunisation. Commissioner for Health Olaokun Soyinka made the appeal yesterday in a statement issued by the State Primary Health Care Development Board. Soyinka said immunisation will prevent children from contracting polio, which can cause paralysis, adding that that the government was determined to sustain the state’s zero status of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) as well as reduce child mortality. He said: “Ogun, as a gateway state to border towns, with the number of people moving in and out of the state, our children have to be immunised to protect then against poliomyelitis and other killer diseases.” The immunisation ends on Tuesday. Soyinka said the vaccines required and logistics were in place.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

NEWS

No plan to ban motorcycles, says Fayemi

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has

denied rumours that he plans to ban commercial motorcycles in the state, if re-elected. Fayemi said he only advised riders to obey traffic rules to avoid accidents. The governor spoke yesterday while hosting commercial motorcyclists, who converged at his office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. The motorcyclists said they were there to assure him of their votes at the June 21 governorship poll. The motorcyclists earlier went round major roads, doing stunts, to show their support for the governor. Fayemi said: “The rumour is being peddled by my detractors, who are trying to get undue favour from motorcyclists ahead of the election.” Reiterating his administration’s commitment to making life better for the masses, he thanked them for supporting him in “rescuing the state from the grip of political locusts since the beginning of the struggle in 2007”. He promised to provide

•Fayemi (right) addressing the motorcyclists...yesterday. From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

free helmets for the motorcyclists and give their association a bus. Chairman on the Com-

mercial Motorcyclists’ Association Adebo Olu-Martins, said they came to assure the governor of their support because “he has transformed the transport sector and

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ing similar charges at the Enugu and Imo states’ High Courts. Ajaegbu said the suspect committed the same crime in both states and relocated to Ondo when she was granted bail. Keyamo told the prosecution counsel to show the court evidence of the bench warrant against the first accused. Justice Sani adjourned ruling on the bail application. Ajaegbu told the court that he could not take the suspects back to Lagos until the court rules on the bail application. He said he brought them from Lagos and kept them in the custody of the Immigration Service. Ajaegbu requested that the suspect be remanded in prison custody and the court granted his request.

Olubolade backs consensus

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GOVERNORSHIP aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State and former Minister for Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), has backed the consensus option to pick the party’s flag bearer. The party’s aspirants are meeting with the PDP national leadership to adopt one of them as the consensus candidate. Former Governor Ayo Fayose, who is also an aspirant, insists on a primary election, but Olubolade said the PDP leadership has the final say. He said: “Those canvassing the consensus option have their point. If the party says it wants to go a particular way and someone thinks otherwise, it is better we ask such a person to toe the party line. “Personally, I subscribe to the idea of a consensus and I know it will work. The party is supreme. I am a disciplined person, so I subscribe myself to the decision of the party.” Olubolade said having been in the Federal Executive Council (SEC), he is “fully equipped” to govern Ekiti.

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

He said the PDP has what it takes to defeat the incumbent, adding: “It is the incumbent that should be afraid because we have what it takes to unseat him.” Olubolade warned the people against violence before, during and after the election. He said with his antecedents and credentials, it would be a disservice on his part not to contest the election. The former minister, who picked his nomination form on Wednesday, dismissed reports that he was being backed by the Bayelsa State government. According to him, his is open to support from any individual or group from any part of the country. Olubolade said: “If people are supporting me in Bayelsa State, maybe they have read about what I did when I was the military administrator of the state and decided to support me. If that is the case, they are welcome. I welcome the support of people from all parts of the country.”

We appreciate him for the construction of good roads because that is what is most important to us, since we use the roads. “My people support good

things and the governor’s work is visible across the state. There is no community that has not felt the administration’s impact.”

Ondo declares seven-day mourning for Speaker

‘Baby factory’: Court remands two suspects in prison

HE Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, has remanded two suspects, who are on trial for alleged involvement in the operation of a “baby factory” in Ilutitun, Okitipupa Local Government, Mrs. Happiness Ogundeji and Mrs. Abiodun Ogundeji, in prison custody. Justice Mohammed Ishaq Sani gave the order yesterday at the hearing. Mr. Festus Keyamo, who led the defence team, said he filed bail applications for his clients on February 23 and 24. Keyamo prayed for consolidation of the bail applications. Prosecution counsel Chedu Ajaegbu filed a counter–affidavit and gave reasons why the suspects should not be granted bail. He said the first accused is fac-

made our business easy by providing tarred roads across the state”. Olu-Martins said: “We thank the governor for saying he will not ban okada.

•Mark, Kwara Speaker mourn Adesina •Govt’s delegation visits Assembly, family From Damisi Ojo, Akure From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

•The late Adesina

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HE Ondo State House of Assembly has declared a seven-day mourning period for its Speaker, Mr. Samuel Adesina, who died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 53. Chairman of the House Committee on Information Oye Aladetan told reporters yesterday in Akure that the House would suspend legislative activities and administrative businesses during the period. Aladetan said the House had raised a committee to work with the late Adesina’s family to organise his funeral. He described Adesina’s death as “shocking” and “a great loss to the state”.

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Senate President David Mark commiserated with the government and people of Ondo State on Adesina’s death. In a condolence message to Governor Olusegun Mimiko and members of the Assembly, Mark described Adesina’s death as “a painful loss to the nation, particularly the legislature”. He noted the late Adesina’s contributions to the development of the legislature in Nigeria, adding that his death has created a vacuum that would be hard to fill. Mark urged the people of Ondo State, especially the bereaved family, to take solace in the fact that the late Adesina lived a short but accomplished life. He said: “The only way to imortalise him is to uphold his legacies of hard work, forthrightness and unshakable belief in the indivisibility of Nigeria.” Also yesterday, a delegation

of the state government, led by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Aderotimi Adelola, visited the Assembly to commiserate with members. Adelola described the late Adesina as a progressive legislator and a bridge builder between the legislative and the executive. He said: “We commiserate with his family and the management of the Assembly on this irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace.” Also on the delegation were Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Kola Ademujimi and Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperative Services Clement Faboyede. The Deputy Speaker, Dare Emiola, thanked them for the visit. He described the late Adesina as “a highly respected man who stood for justice and equity; a great leader and mentor”. Members of the delegation signed the condolence register and left for the late Adesi-

na’s Alagbaka home to sympathise with his family. Delegations from the State Assembly Commission, the Teaching Service Commission and other agencies also visited the lawmakers. Also yesterday, Kwara State House of Assembly Speaker Razak Atunwa commiserated with the people of Ondo State on Adesina’s death. In a statement, he described his late colleague as “a great parliamentarian, who contributed significantly to the strengthening of parliamentary democracy in Nigeria”. Atunwa urged Nigerians to immortalise the late Adesina by imbibing his virtues of “kind heartedness, humane disposition, tenacity of purpose and zeal to make democracy more meaningful to the people”. He urged the late Adesina’s family and the people of Ondo State to take solace in the fact that the deceased lived a life worthy of emulation and prayed to God to grant him eternal rest.

Some traders and passersby joined in the protest, which caused traffic gridlock in some parts of the city. The protesters said they were sacked in January because they complained that their employment had not been confirmed after many years. One of them said: “The offence upon which this mass sack is based is so ridiculous especially, since it is the responsibility of CRIN management to ensure that the confirmation of workers on probation does not exceed two years, unless an extension is approved by the Federal Civil Service Commission.” The embattled Director of the

institute, Prof. Malachy Akorada, said: “Please I am not in town now and I cannot react on the telephone, but by Friday, I will make available records to verify your facts.” The protesters alleged that during the industrial dispute, they were beaten, harassed and intimidated by hired thugs, adding that union leaders were queried and interrogated by security operatives. They urged trade unions, civil society organisations and the public to join the CDWR in the campaign for their unconditional reinstatement and the payment of their outstanding salary.

Sacked workers protest in Ibadan

HE labour unrest at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) in Ibadan, Oyo State, took a new dimension yesterday as the 95 sacked workers of the institute took to the streets, demanding their reinstatement. Singing solidarity songs, they called for the immediate removal of CRIN’s Board Chairman, Chief Francis Fadahunsi. The protesters, who stormed the office of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), described their sack as “victimization”. They were led by the state Coordinator of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), Comrade Bamigboye

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Abiodun and the Chairman of the Committee of Sacked Workers, Comrade Ajibola Yinka. The sacked workers carried placards with inscriptions such as: “We demand the removal of Chief Fadahunsi as CRIN board chairman”; “No to victimisation of our union leaders”; “Police, SSS, Civil Defence officers stationed in CRIN must be withdrawn now”; “No to victimisation of CRIN”; “No to Police occupation of CRIN”; “Sack of 95 CRIN workers is a clear case of victimisation” and “We demand the promotion of staff as at when due”, among others.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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CITYBEATS House-keeper A ‘steals’employer’s N2m jewellery A

28-year-old house-keeper, Grace Nwaru, was yesterday charged before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing her employer’s jewellery and N2.13 million. Nwaru, whose address was not given, is facing a charge of stealing. The prosecutor, Corporal Adebayo Oladele, said the accused committed the offence on January 29 at 11 a.m at Plot 212, Musa Yar’Adua Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. He said Nwaru stole an Indian passport, gold jewellery worth N2 million, 500 dollars (about N82, 500) and N50, 000 belonging to her employer, Mrs Manjusha Kapur, an Indian. The accused denied the charge. The Magistrate, Miss A. Tobi, granted her bail in the sum of N100, 000 with a surety in like sum and adjourned the case till March 4 for mention. (NAN)

Residents walk for ex-council chief OVER 5,000 residents of Oshodi/ Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos State will on Satuday participate in the jogging/walking planned to celebrate the 50th birthday of a former chairman of the council, Hon. Afeez Ipesa-Balogun. The exercise was fashioned after the monthly fitness exercise, “Jogging with the Mayor,”which was held during his two-term tenure. It will start by 6.30am at the Owoseni Primary School, Adeyemi Street, behind the Oshodi/Isolo Council Secretariat and will be chaired by the National Leader of the All Progressives Party (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Governor Babatunde Fashola and his Osun counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola are Special Guests of Honour.

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

GHANAIAN comedian and another foreigner, have been allegedly caught with cocaine by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). While the 54-year-old comedian, Musah Iddrisu, was allegedly arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu, Enugu State capital, with 1.500kilogrammes of heroin, the other suspect, Ihana Cedrick from Democratic Republic of Congo, was “caught” with 450 grammes of cocaine. The agency’s Head of Public Affairs, Mitchel Ofoyeju, said Iddrisu

Congolese, comedian caught with cocaine By Jude Isiguzo

a.k.a Charles Udunehi, who allegedly bought the drugs for 19,000 US dollars, was on his way out of the country when he was arrested. Cedrick, 24, Ofoyeju said, claimed to be a secondary school pupil in Tanzania. The NDLEA spokesman added: “The Ghanaian comedian ingested 450 grammes of cocaine on his way to Thailand, while the student from Congo DRC imported 1.500kg of

Court drops ‘fraud’ charge against Ojikutu

Iddrisu, said: “I got involved in drug trafficking because of my financial predicament. I bought the drugs in Ghana, ingested it and came to Enugu airport, thinking that the security would not be like those at other airports since it is new. I regret my action.” Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, praised his men for the arrests, adding that the suspects would soon be charged to court.

N1.36bn fraud: MTN employee gets bail

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By Precious Igbonwelundu

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HE Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police yesterday dropped a three-count fraud charge against former Lagos Deputy Governor, Sinatu Ojikutu. Ojikutu was dragged before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly defrauding one Cajetan Okekearu of N130 million in September 2011. She was said to have conspired with her son, Sampson Ojikutu, at large, to obtain the sum from Okekearu under the pretence of selling their plot of land at Lekki phase 1, Victoria Island Lagos. The complainant, according to the prosecution, had later discovered that their claim of ownership was false, because there was an already existing title to the land. The alleged offence contravened Sections 1(a)(iii) and 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2004, as well as Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Act, Laws

heroin into the country. We have also apprehended a Nigerian, John Obi Nwadilichukwu, who was to receive the student, collect the drug and pay him for smuggling the drug.” He said the drug was hidden inside a luggage and was detected during inward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian airline flight, adding that upon interrogation, Ihiana revealed that he was given the drug by a Nigerian woman at Nairobi for delivery to her husband in Enugu.

• Ojikutu of the Federation. But at the resumed trial yesterday, the prosecutor, Effiong Asuquo told the court of SFU’s intention to withdraw the charges against Ojikutu. Asuquo, while tendering an oral application, urged the court to dismiss the charges against the former deputy governor. Although the prosecution did not state the grounds for withdrawal of charges, it was gathered that the parties have resolved the issues. The trial judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, struck out the charge.

HE arraignment of two employees of a foremost network provider, MTN, Victor Akintunde and Gani Mustapha, who are alleged to have defrauded the company of N1.36 billion before a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, failed to hold yesterday. It was because the prosecutor, Emmanuel Johnson, again, failed to arraign Mutairu Babatunde alongside others as he was said to be at large. The trial judge, Justice Kudirat Jose, granted bail to the two MTN employees. The defendants, both staff of MTN Staff Cooperative Society, are facing a 17-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing obtaining, forgery and issuance of dud cheque, preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). EFCC’s counsel, Emmanuel Jackson, during arraignment had said the defendants committed the alleged offence in April 8, 2008. They are being tried alongside Babatunde and two compa-

‘... there’s no justification to continue to hold them in custody, while police are still searching for the third defendant ...’ By Adebisi Onanuga

nies Prima Vera Engineering and Construction Limited and Mabo Dredging Limited. Justice Jose said there was no justification to continue to hold them in custody, while police are still searching for the third defendant that is at large. He granted the MTN staff bail in the sum of N50million with two sureties. The judge ordered that the sureties must be civil servant of grade level 15 or above with three-year tax clearance. She adjourned the case till March 18 for trial.

NEWS (SHOWBIZ) I’ve been cleansed of stealing, says actress Yetunde Akilapa

Singer Praiz donates N10m to ailing kid

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By Victor Akande

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&B/Soul singer and one-time winner of Project Fame music reality show, Praise Adejo, a.k.a Praiz, may have won the heart of his fans further with a donation of N10 million to a child, Somaya Olayinka Dahli, who has a hole in the heart. The artiste said the money, which had since been given to the parents of the ailing child, is to cover bills for post-surgery treatments.

•Praiz solicits support to save baby Somaya from surgery After a successful heart opbenevolence in Praiz was eration last year, to close aroused. the hole in Somaya’s heart, “It was sad seeing Somaya doctors said she would need go through pain. She’s a little post-surgery treatment, girl who shouldn’t suffer like monitoring and care to keep that,” said Praiz, who reher alive - this is where the vealed that his widow’s mite

Rising singer, TC Peruzzi dazzles with new singles

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• TC Peruzzi

was from the sales of his single, Oshe, which was used mostly as Callertune. Praiz, an X3M Music act, was third place in the MTN Project Fame contest won by Iyanya in 2008.

AST-rising Nigerian singer, Tobechukwu Okoh a.k.a TC Peruzzi, has returned with a set of inspiring singles, Nagode and Dodorima, which he boasted will take the industry by storm. Peruzzi who is signed to Dellis Music Entertainment, said his songs will make waves because they contain messagedriven lyrics, an uncommon trait among young artistes of today. “Nagode is an appreciation to God for my deserved talent. It makes all music lovers to have

a glimpse of the life and journey of a typical artiste should be,” said Peruzzi. Dodorima, on the other hand, preaches love, and how the phenomenon thrives on the prowess of self-expression. In Dodorima, BadMan, as the singer is popularly called by fans and friends, painted a romantic image to drive home his message of love. Planned as a double pack, the artiste will also be releasing his debut video for Nagode. Directed by Mex, the music video, according to the singer,

will begin airing on popular music channels from March 7. Asked what ‘icing’ he is bringing to his music, the Delta Stateborn singer said he’s also got “a stage persona, which even the global entertainment industry cannot ignore.” He said entertainment flows in his family. “I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t singing or making music. Everyone in my family sings. It has always been about my music, writing songs, recording and producing,” said the artiste.

M B A T T L E D Nollywood actress, Yetunde Akilapa, who was allegedly caught with a bunch of keys, suspected as tools used in breaking into people’s homes, is said to have returned from a spiritual home, where she went for rehabilitation. The actress claimed that her ‘kleptomaniac’ habit was not natural, saying she needed spiritual cleansing to regain her normal life. Akilapa, who revealed she is back from the spiritual exercise, said she is ready to continue with acting. “I am not quitting again. God has finally shamed my critics and enemies. It’s true I have not been around for two weeks. I was going through marathon fast and prayers. First, I had to go to my hometown on my mother’s invitation. That was where I stayed for about two weeks for spiritual cleansing, and I thank God I have triumphed over my enemies. The devil has lost the battle. I am a conqueror forever,” she said. Yetunde, who said her ordeal was a spiritual attack, revealed that although she is a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), she had to attend other churches to get well again. “I am a member of Re-

By Dupe AyinlaOlasunkanmi

deemed Christian Church of God in Ikorodu, where I reside. But I only attend Christ Embassy Church, Agidingbi, Lagos, once in a while. My friend also introduced me to a Christ Apostolic Church in Ketu, Lagos, where I also attend deliverance services. I don’t discriminate , as long as it’s all for my benefit. Now, I am happy that the battle is over. As I speak to you, I am on a movie location with some of my colleagues. They are all happy that I am back. I pray that any weapon fashioned against me again shall never prosper,” she said.

•Akilapa


BUSINESS

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THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Facilitating trade, a devt imperative, by US envoy By Chikodi Okereocha

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HE United States of America (USA) Am bassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, has said facilitating trade among countries of the West African sub-region is not merely a development objective but a development imperative. Speaking yesterday at the Lagos Shaeraton Hotel, venue of this years’ edition of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/West Africa)sponsored Borderless 2014 Conference, he said the alliance has been at the vanguard of identifying barriers to trade among member countries of the sub-region, adding that the US government will continue to assist the sub-region at ensuring that trade among countries is encouraged. The third in the series, the annual conference themed ‘Borderless 2014: Enabling Growth’ was organised by the Borderless Alliance, in conjunction with the Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM). He said: “Facilitating trade is not merely a development objective, it is a development imperative. Since 2011, the Borderless Alliance has been the focal point for identifying barriers to trade and bringing together trade and investment professionals to work on common solutions. With freer trade comes increased economic growth and prosperity throughout the region. The US is here to lend our assistance to reach these goals. We do this because free trade is good for America, good for West Africa, and good for the global economy. Free trade provides jobs, increase commerce, promotes transparency and good governance, and stimulates productivity and innovation through competition.”

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $45b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

At the moment, there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

CBN commits N1.2tr to intervention schemes

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HE Central Bank of Ni geria (CBN) has so far committed about N1.169 trillion to various intervention schemes being promoted by the Federal Government. Speaking yesterday at an international conference on agricultural value-chain financing held in Lagos and sponsored by Union Bank, Acting CBN Governor Dr. Sarah Alade said the funds were committed by the CBN in collaboration with the Federal Government into key economic schemes for economic development. She listed the schemes as the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (N69 billion); Commercial Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (N200 billion); the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (N200 billion); Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme (N200 billion). Others are the SMEs Restruc-

• N3.1tr guarantees for SMEs By Collins Nweze

turing and Refinancing Scheme (N200 billion) and Power and Airlines Intervention Fund (N300 billion). Alade, who was represented by CBN Director of Research, Charles Mordi said schemes were meant to address the challenges confronting agriculture and agric business in the country. She said the Federal Government and CBN instituted the intervention programmes to enable key players in the economy have access to finance adding that access to credit remains important to agricultural value-chain. Speaking further, she said the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme was introduced in 1978 to encourage lending to the agric sector. Alade said the scheme has up to date, supported the sector by guarantying loans to over 800,000 beneficiaries.

She said the N200 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme was established in 2009, to finance large ticket agricultural enterprises along the value-chain at single digit interest rate. In its four years of existence, the scheme, she added, has helped increase capacity utilisation, from 35 to 85 per cent and also created 209 new jobs. On the Nigerian IncentiveBased Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), she said the project was instituted in 2010, to unlock financial resources for agricultural value-chain. The NIRSAL represents a shift from the traditional paradigm of credit delivery and encourages banks to lend to valuechain. Explaining further, she said the N200 billion Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme was intro-

duced to provide 80 per cent guarantee for credit guaranteed to the manufacturing sector to fast track their development. The scheme also caters for agricultural value-chain activities. She disclosed that as at December 8, 2013, a total of 65 projects valued N3.1 trillion were guaranteed. The next scheme instituted by the parties was the N200 billion Small and Medium Enterprises Restructuring and Refinancing Scheme which has also boosted the benefices’ contributions to the economy. Equally, the N300 Power and Airlines Intervention Fund (PAIF) were meant to facilitate intervention in the transport sector. It was meant provide long term financing that would stimulate private sector participation in the sector. Alade said that as at December 8, 2013, the total amount released for 45 projects stood at N232.7 billion comprising of 29 power projects com, N115.7 billion, and 16 airline projects worth N116.9 bil-

• Dr Alade

lion. She said the 29 power projects financed by PAIF have a combined generating capacity of 847.4 megawats of power.

CAC appoints Kolade, Akande, others award judges From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

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• From left: Executive Director, Investments, Hanspeter Ackerman; Orji, and Executive Director, Risk Management Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli, at the press briefing on Nigeria Sovereign Investment Progress Update held in Abuja...yesterday.

Toll for Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, says NSIA T HE Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is to partner with construction giants, Julius Berger, to toll the Second Niger Bridge when completed. The Managing Director/ CEO of NSIA, Uche Orji who stated this yesterday, said the authority will lead the financial partners in the consortium. He said: “(NSIA will be the) lead financial partner in the consortium with responsibility to invest our equity and attract other equity partners and raise debt for this project. We already have soft commitment from potential equity partners. “What we have signed is to play two roles- this includes the PPP (public private partnership) which includes the development, build, operate and transfer. So our roles first of all, is to commit development capital and we have already committed some through the negotiation process and we hired an expert to help us review the cost of the project which formed the ba-

• Equity funding from Julius Berger, SWF

From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor) Abuja

sis for validation. “The second role we are playing is that Julius Berger Plc is going to commit equity as well as we are going to be committed. So Julius Berger is going to use their financial services which is their investment company as well. So we are going to bring our own equity and Julius Berger bring their equity.“ He said capital structures guiding the investment were still being worked on and promised to make it public as soon as it is finalised. “The capital structure has not been finalised, when it is finalised, I will tell you how much we are going to commit, but we have an envelope that we have addressed and we have agreed on our commitments. “We will commit equity, Julius Berger will commit equity and

we get other equity partners and then we raise funds for the project,” he said, adding that this is how most of the PPP projects are done. According to him, NSIA is taking the role of lead equity partner to provide the core equity, while government will provide for what he described as “viability capital gap funding” that is essential to get PPP of this nature functional. Orji said the Second Niger Bridge, “will be the first federally tendered PPP project in Motorways in NIgeria,” adding that the negotiated construction cost will be bankable in the current structure. He said the PPP project is a culmination of 11 months of work- including negotiating with the contractors to ensure the project is bankable before commitment is made. “This is a first, but crucial step in the process and post-signing this

cooperation agreement, we are now negotiating the concession agreement and thereafter, we will announce a timetable for getting to financial close,” he said. Orji noted that between the NSIA’s equity, Julius Berger’s equity, soft commitment from other equity partners and government viability gap funding, he is confident that the flag-off of the Second Niger Bridge can commence next month. He said the authority is in negotiations with respect to the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway as other infrastructure investment, adding that it has been working on a bankable structure. The NSIA Orji said, has incorporated four subsidiaries to help it execute strategies for the infrastructure fund component of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). These subsidiaries are the NSIA Motoways Company Limited; NSIA Power Investment Company Limited; NSIA Healthcare Investment Company Ltd and the NSIA Real Estate Investment Company limited.

HE Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has instituted an annual corporate citizens award, with Dr. Christopher Kolade, Aliko Mohammed, Nike Akande others as panel of judges. The Chairman of the board, Otunba Funsho Lawal disclosed this at the first annual corporate citizen award in Abuja, stating that, nominees must have complied with the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 (cap c20, laws of the federation, 2004) and respective industry regulations to date. He said: “The nominees must also have performed creditably well in corporate social responsibility and productively impacted on the industry within which they operate. “Other criteria that would be considered by the panel are: quality of financial management, management of stakeholders relations, work place environment, corporate social responsibility, industry leadership, innovation, environmental performance.

NPDC confirms receipt of $6b from NNPC By Emeka Ugwuanyi

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HE Nigerian Petro leum Development Company Limited (NPDC), the exploration and production arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has confirmed it received $6 billion from the corporation contrary to reports that it denied such receipt. The Managing Director of NPDC, Mr. Victor Briggs, said in a statement that attention of the management of NPDC has been drawn to several publications alleging that NPDC denied receiving the sum of $6 billion from its parent company, NNPC being proceeds from NPDC’s oil and gas operations.


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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THE NATION

BUSINESS e-Business

e-mail: e-business@thenationonlineng.net

The telecoms world was shocked last week when a firm, Bitflux, beat the second national operator, Globacom, to clinch the 2.3gigahertz (GHz) spectrum licence. LUCAS AJANAKU writes on what lies ahead for the winner.

Between David and Goliath N

OBODY gave the firm a chance against Globacom, the second national carrier. So, a contest with it by Bitflux was considered a walkover. It did not turn out that way. It was at the auction of the 2.3 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja last week that Bitflux picked its licence at Globacom’s expense. The ball was set rolling when the Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Peter Igho, gave his opening remarks and the Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah read his welcome address. Just as the contest was about taking off, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications Technology, Dr Tunji Olaopa, representing Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, walked into the filled hall. The national anthem followed while the minister’s goodwill message was read. The bid began at 11 am with representatives of Globacom and Bitflux kept in separate rooms while their communication gadgets were taken from them to allow free, transparent, and fair contest. The Glo team was led by its Group Operating Officer, Mohammed Jameel, and with support from its Divisional Director, Ibrahim Fadipe, Aremu Olajide of the Legal Department and Boniface Ogbonaya of Business Development. Biflux team consisted of four directors. They are Biodun Omoniyi, Tokunbo Talabi, Tunji Gafaar and Julius Olatise.

Auction technology The auction was electronically-driven with software imported from the United Kingdom. Known as ‘ascending clock auction,’ Director, Spectrum Administration, NCC, Nwaulune Augustine said: “The software that was used to do the auction was got from a company called Policy Tracker in the United Kingdom (UK) but was run locally by NCC workers. So the entire process was run on a UK-based auction technology.”

Reserve price for the spectrum The reserve price $23 million plus 15 per cent of the sum shot the figure up to $264.5million. During the first round, none of the two bidders responded by way of going a little above the reserve price. Thus, the auction technology displayed tie breakers and moved automatically to the next stage, Announcing the winner, Juwah said the process went through two rounds. While the first round which had set $23million in addition to another 15 per cent which made total to stand at $26.450million had produced no winner, the machine immediately switched to “tie breakers’ indicating that neither of the two bidders was ready to go above what was put on offer. The second round saw Bitflux offering $23,251,000 while Globacom offered $23, 50,001.

Bitflux reacts When the Bitflux team rejoined the waiting audience after the contest and discovered they had won, with incredulity written boldly on their faces, they screamed, shaking hands and exchanging banters with members of the audience. Yes, they have a reason to celebrate. They have just locked horns with ‘The Bull,’the nickname for Michael Adenugu, Chairman of Globacom, and came out with their heads unbruised. Omoniyi captured this in his acceptance remarks. According to him, the big brother (a referance to Adenugu) has been magnanimous to let go. Omoniyi thanked the telco for the opportunity, adding that it would not have been possible if The Bull was not willing to let go. In his response, Talabi expressed gratitude to the NCC for organisisng a “suspense filled and tension-soaked yet, transparent bid process”. He thanked everyone for the support and prayers, adding that the firm will not disappoint Nigerians Analysts were also shocked by the outcome of the spectrum auction. “Initially, I saw Bitflux as a mismatch for Globacom, a telco that has virtually all the operating licences available on the stable of the NCC. Aside this fact, it is on record that since it started operation in the country, it has not gone cap in hand seeking for financial lifeline from

•From left: Talabi, Gafar, Ajayi and Omoniyi after being declared spectrum winners in Abuja ... last week.

PHOTO: LUCAS AJANAKU

any bank, both local and foreign yet it keeps awarding infrastructure upgrade contracts running into billions of dollars to ZTE and Huawei. “So, quite honestly, I did not give Bitflux any fighting chance in the contest which result has proved to be the metaphoric battle between David and Goliath. Today, David has defeated Goliath,” an industry analyst said, on condition of anonymity.

Glocbacom Jameel who had the microphone before Omoniyi said the national operator considered the spectrum price too high when compared with what was offered in the past, adding that it does not align with the telco’s business model. He however, commended the regulator for doing a clean job, promising to participate in future spectrum auction.

Hurdles to cross Bitflux has to pay $23,251 million (about N3.82 billion) in the next eight days (14 business days effective February 19 when it won the licence). The firm is also expected to pay another N155 million in 30 days for Unified Access Service Licence, which will allow it to operate as “wholesale wireless broadband services’ provider in the country. If the firm fails to meet the two payments on schedule, it automatically loses the licence to Globacom, which analysts say is already waiting in the wings to pick the licence at the slightest prompting. But Bitflux said it is prepared to meet the payment schedule. Asked if it was partnering with any lender, the firm was evasive in its response as it said the relationship it has with banks is a customer/bank relationship

Promises Omoniyi said making broadband services ubiquitous in

‘The spectrum licence will enable ordinary Nigerians to stay in their homes and get broadband services at affordable costs. It simply means that you will get broadband in your houses faster than you expected, so I believe in the next one year broadband will just be as ubiquitous as we have voice calls’

the country is part of the firm’s business plan. He said: “We intend to have national coverage and stay faithful to the condition of the spectrum and the NCC. The roll-out is going to be very aggressive and the whole essence of this is to make sure that broad band get very deep into the system and even to the lower people in the society. It is going to be available and the technology we are deploying is the latest technology, which we call long term evolution (LTE).” He said the dearth of infrastructure will not deter the firm’s roll-out strategy, which has been carefully worked out. “There is a roll-out plan, which we are going to follow into detail. We are going to comply with the roll-out plan of the commission. He said the spectrum licence will enable ordinary Nigerians to stay in their homes and get broadband services at affordable costs. “It simply means that you will get broadband in your houses faster than you expected, so I believe in the next one year broadband will just be as ubiquitous as we have voice calls. Additional benefit that would come to the user is that the technology being deployed now is a lot faster than the old, obsolete one. Secondly, the fact that the traffic is high means that as a wholesaler the customer will get it at his or her door step bigger and faster. “So, you will notice that it is also on your phone when you move around, also on your PC. Then you do not have to wait for long before connecting to the Internet. Electronic payment is also going to be fast while other things will ride on it,” he said. Johnson said the emergence of a wholesale wireless broadband service provider will accelerate broadband penetration in the country and spur economic growth, development and prosperity of the people of Nigeria. She said since a 10 per cent increase in broadband translates to 1.3 per cent growth in the national gross domestic product (GDP), the impact of cheap and ubiquitous broadband on national development could only be imagined. Mrs Johnson pledged to keep working hard to ensure that all the obstacles on the way of infrastructure rollout in the country are removed, adding that the fact that the telecoms industry is growing at 30 per cent is an indication that the prospects for returns on investment are enormous. President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Lanre Ajayi, said the success of the auction bore eloquent testimony to the fact that the spectrum auction of 2001 was not a fluke that was driven by personality but by institutions. He commended the NCC for making the country proud by conducting its affairs in a most transparent manner, urging other agencies to borrow a leaf from the regulator and be a good ambassador of the country among the comity of nations. Augustine said 28 firms expressed interest to participate in the auction while only two eventually made it to the final stage, adding that with the award of the licence, pervasive broadband deployment is expected in the country. Bitflux Communications is a consortium of VDT, Bitcom and Superflux. The company is run by young indigenous professionals who have made a mark in the industry and represent the hope of the ICT industry and Nigeria when the prospects of a well-managed broadband landscape is considered.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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e-Business explains support for NCC to issue more licences soon GloNigeria’s centenary G T

HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it will give licences to infrastructure providers it called InfraCos under its open access model of broadband deployment across the country. Its Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said a total of seven licences will be on offer for firms willing to take advantage of the regulator’s initiative to take broadband to all the nooks and crannies of the country. Ojobo, who spoke on the sideline in Abuja, said the seven InfraCos will be licenced to provide infrastructure in the six geo-political zones of the country while one will serve Lagos. According to him, based on the business plans of some of the firms that would be licenced, funding will be made available to them to serve as an incentive to roll-out and deploy services in rural areas where there might not be any attraction

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

to do so. The regulator said the proposed industry structure consists of players in layers one and two “InfraCos shall be licensed, geographically focused entities. InfraCos shall provide wholesale Layer 2 transmission services on a non discriminatory, open access, price regulated basis. InfraCos may also provide Layer 1 (dark fibre) services on commercial basis; “The InfraCos shall focus on the deployment of metropolitan and regional fibre and provide end-toend transmission services, to be available at points of access (PoAs), to access seekers. InfraCos may do this by leveraging existing inter-city fibre to deploy their services, purchase/lease transmission or long haul fibre capacity from other providers where available for the purpose of interconnection, as well as connect to in-

ternational bandwidth providers,” NCC explained. According to the regulator, the customers for InfraCos include wholesale wireless last mile operators; retail service providers (RSPs) that require wholesale bandwidth; independent operators/ wholesale operators who require to lease transmission services; and other access seekers such as vertically integrated operators. It added that the second layer is the wholesale wireless last mile provider (WWLMP). According to NCC, the WWLMP shall interconnect with the InfraCos at their Points of Access (PoA), thereby creating an integrated broadband service. “The last mile connectivity shall be deployed using a mixture of existing technologies, including wireless and fibre optic broadband. The available 2.3GHz spectrum license shall be auctioned to provide last mile wireless access on a wholesale basis,” he said.

•From left: Manager, Systems Engineering Sales, Cisco, Kunle Oloruntimehin; Head, Architectures and Enterprise, Emerging Markets, Mr. Den Sullivan; and Head, Unified Collaboration Architectural Play Team Africa, Mr. Bola Adegbonmire, at the firm’s Tech Radar Media Roundtable at its Lagos office.

Operators, subscribers differ over sanctions

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ELECOMS operators have disagreed with subscribers over the efficacy of sanctions as a tool for whipping them to order. While the operators insist that no amount of sanctions will improve service quality in the country where infrastructure deficit, insecurity, premeditated vandalism of base transmission stations (BTS), vandalism of optic fibre cables and other challenges remain, subscribers say sanctions should be imposed by way of compensation to the subscribers and not to the Federal Government. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) earlier in the week imposed fines totalling N647.5million on three service providers, Airtel, Globacom and MTN for failing to meet the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for quality of service in the month of January this year, a statement from the regulator has said.

Details of the sanction showed that Airtel Network Ltd, and MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, are to pay a fine of N185 million each while Globacom Ltd is to pay N277.5 million. In addition, each of the operators must pay the sanction amount on or before March 7 failing which each will be liable to pay N2.5million per day as long as the contravention persists. President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo said a society where there are no rules is the only society where there are no crimes. According to him, the operators and the regulator, the NCC willingly agreed to keep to a minimum set of service levels known as KPIs, adding that should there be any breach, sanctions should apply. He, however, said the NCC should stop compelling the opera-

tors to pay such fines into the coffers of the government, arguing that subscribers pay money to buy cards, which they rarely get value for as a result of call drops and other forms of poor quality services. Ogunbanjo, who spoke against the backdrop of the fines imposed on the operators, said the leadership of the NCC should borrow a leaf from what its predecessor did about eight years ago when it directed some of the service providers to give airtime to their customers. Speaking in Lagos, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo said since the operators do not operate in the blues but within the challenging environment, impediments to roll-out and insecurity of infrastructure must first be addressed before expecting service quality to improve.

Broadband engine of development, says minister

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INISTER of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has stressed the importance of broadband in fast-tracking the development of modern knowledgedriven economic development in the country. The minister, who spoke at the kick-off of the Broadband Awareness Campaign (BAC) in Lagos with the slogan: ‘Connect Nigeria, connected Nigerian’, said in the economy of countries where broadband has been well developed, citizens have witnessed a corresponding growth in the standard of living.

By Oluwaseyi Ala

According to her, broadband will increase business productivity, lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs, save lives, deliver the much needed skills in a developing nation, provide security, improve social engagement and enrich governance. Mrs Johnson said the BAC is the brainchild of the Broadband Council, which was established by President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the challenges of broadband internet access in the country. The Broadband Council, which is

chaired by the minister launched the campaign to communicate the transformational benefits of broadband to all Nigerians and to encourage its use and adoption. Stakeholders say the introduction of BAC is timely against the backdrop of the punitive cost of internet access, stressing that with the presence of four global system for mobile (GSM) communication service providers as well as broadband service providers like MainOne, Glo 1, SAT3 and the West African Cable System (WACS), it will work with the relevant stakeholders to address the situation.

LOBACOM has said its support for Nigeria’s centenary commemoration is consistent with its commitment to promoting the values that unite and sustain the country. A Foundation Partner and Platinum Sponsor of the centenary project, the telco said this as the activities commemorating the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria into one country in 1914, peak. Its Group Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mohamed Jameel, said: “Globacom is a wholly indigenous company that is committed to promoting unity, growth and development of Nigeria. We share the vision of the country to become one of the top 20 economies of the world by the year 2020, and we

believe that this is achievable only through unity, which is reinforced by celebrating the ties that hold the country together.” According to him, the centenary anniversary presents a unique opportunity for the country to celebrate the common values uniting the nation in spite of its rich cultural diversity. Some of these values, according to him, include diligence, integrity, resourcefulness, love, faith and hope for a brighter and greater future. “Our Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga is, particularly, passionate about Nigeria, and this passion has been a strong propelling force for executing the commitment we made to the organisers of the centenary project,” said Jameel.

Airtel bags Lagos tax award

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IRTEL Nigeria has bagged the Lagos State Government 2013 Tax Compliance

Award. The Executive Governor of Lagos, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) presented the award to its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya at the Seventh Annual Lagos State Taxation Stakeholders’ Conference at The Haven, Ikeja. Speaking shortly before the presentation of the awards, Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Babatunde Muyiwa Fowler commended the telco for demonstrating consistency in the promptness and adequacy of its remittances, a statement by the firm said. He said: “In recognition of your level of personal income tax compliance in the year 2012 and the consistency in the promptness and adequacy of your remittances which was demonstrated as an organisation during the year, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service is presenting this award to your

esteemed institution as one of the recipients (corporate category) of the Lagos State Government 2013 Tax Compliance Award”. Responding, Ogunsanya, represented at the event by the Director of Human Resources, Jibril Saba, said the award is in recognition of Airtel’s demonstrated belief in government’s policies and respect for corporate governance standards. He said: “As a pro-people company, we have demonstrated our willingness, readiness and capacity to support efforts of government towards better living conditions for the people. We believe that prompt, consistent and adequate payment of taxes is one way to do this. Indeed, we are proud of the achievements of the Fashola administration because it is in line with our goals of helping people live their dreams and write their own success stories.” Governor Fashola ascribed the successful implementation of some programmes of his administration to the state’s effective taxation system.

MainOne signs on UNILAG

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AINONE, said it has signed on the University of Lagos (UNILAG), to its high-speed internet bandwidth connectivity. The deal between the institutions ensures the university benefits from ubiquity of broadband access, and improves the quality of education in one of Nigeria’s foremost educational institutions via improved access to information communications technology (ICT), according to a statement. Speaking on the partnership, MainOne’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Folu Aderibigbe stressed that the connection of UNILAG to MainOne’s superior bandwidth is part of its plan to extend its internet services to the

education community. “Nigerian tertiary institutions need to be strengthened and empowered to ensure global competitiveness. MainOne sees the need to assist the educational system meet its learning and research objectives, and provide a platform for experience exchange and problem solving within educational and research institutions all over the world. This has formed the basis for the tertiary institutions we have connected in the country,” he said. Aderibigbe added that digital literacy is critical to the improvement of quality of life in today’s contemporary world and MainOne is committed to accelerating connectivity penetration across educational institutions in Nigeria.

Microsoft decries poor online safety behaviours

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N support of international Safer Internet Day (SID) and following the release of the latest results of the third yearly Microsoft Computing Safer Index (MCSI), Microsoft Corp. is asking consumers to “Do 1 Thing” to stay safer online and commit to doing so on a new, interactive website, the firm said in a statement. The new site allows Internet users around the world to share how they plan to avoid online risks, learn what other people are doing to help protect themselves, and receive instant tips to enhance their digital lifestyle. Speaking on the development, Chief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft, Jacqueline Beauchere, said: “The internet touches our lives

every day; we email to stay connected, share photos and videos, pay bills, and shop. Sometimes, though, the very experiences that we love about the Internet put us at risk. Anti-Piracy, Legal & Corporate Affairs lawyer for Microsoft, Middle East & Africa, Marius Haman said the risk is growing so fast in Africa, lamenting that the continent is fast becoming notorious. He said: “In Africa, this risk is growing fast. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to one of the world’s fastest growing internet populations, which means more and more people are accessing the internet for the first time, providing a large and unsuspecting base of targets to cybercriminals.”


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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INDUSTRY The Federal Government is planning to privatise the nation’s only commodity exchange, which has been inactive since inception. Asst. Editor Chikodi Okereocha writes that farmers can latch on the platform of a revitalised commodity exchange to cut post-harvest losses and increase earnings.

A breather for smallholder farmers

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MALLHOLDER farmers and other agrobased business operators in Nigeria, such as agro-commodity processors and merchants, will soon heave a sigh of relief. In line with the liberalisation and commercialisation of its controlling equity investment in state-owned enterprises to pave the way for private sector participation, the Federal Government plans to privatise the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX), formerly the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange (ASCE). By privatising the nation’s only commodity exchange, which has been inactive since 1998, the government, according to Vice President Namadi Sambo, who is also Chairman, National Council on Privatisation (NCP), hopes to attract private sector investment, innovations and management in the country’s commodity exchange operations. He explained that a privatised and revitalised commodity exchange would also enhance competition in the post-privatisation era and usher in a framework under which infrastructure like silos and warehousing facilities, modern trading platform and state-of-the-art information technology would be made available to farmers. It is also envisaged that a strong legal, regulatory and compliance framework, commodity grades and standards, among others, would push more possibilities into the hands of smallholder farmers. He said the role of commodity exchange is critical to the economic growth and development of any nation, as it serves as the ultimate platform for trading and marketing various agricultural produce and commodities. Citing China, United States, South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya, among others, which he said leaned on the workability of their respective commodity exchange platforms as catalyst for economic transformation, regional economic strength and reckoning, even in the time of global economic meltdown of the past years, the Vice President noted that revitalising the Nigeria Commodity Exchange would “enhance employment creation that will engage the country’s teeming youth population, boost economic growth through non-oil exports, and improve tax collection as a veritable source of revenue. It would also contribute meaningfully towards strengthening the nation’s foreign exchange reserves and the naira, and improve cross-border risk rating in foreign direct investments in the sector.” The NCP Chairman said revamping the commodity exchange could not have come at a better time than now when the giant strides of the Federal Government under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda has begun to yield noticeable results in the global commodity market where Nigeria is determined to be a net exporter of food and cash crops such as sesame seeds, cocoa, rice maize, sorghum, palm oil, gold, and bitumen, among others. He explained that apart from strengthening local production, it is the administration’s earnest aspiration to place Nigeria on the global economic score card as a nation that has internationalised its revamp mechanism and regional economic prowess through non-oil exports. Sambo spoke in Lagos at a recent Stakeholders’ Workshop for the Privatisation of NCX organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and other relevant government agencies. The workshop with the theme, Towards achieving best standards and practices in the Nigerian Commodity Exchange Market was aimed at providing a platform for key stakeholders to discuss critical success factors that would drive robust commodity exchange operations in Nigeria. Specifically, the workshop seeks to entrench best standards and practices in Nigeria’s commodity exchange operations. As Emmanuel Ijewere, a member of the Technical Committee of the NCP, explained, one of the issues that have been agitating the minds of policy makers is how to link up the poor farmer to a market. “If you create a situation where all parties meet you have more effective utilisation of your economic resources including those hard working farmers. But where you have pockets of people who do things in their own private way, the farmers are the most vulnerable. I am talking about the economy of inclusion. Right now the poor people in our society are not included in the economy. There is a huge market for farmers’ produce, but the farmers are so small that they have no access to it,” he told The Nation.

•Sambo

•Ijewere

That Nigeria is blessed with huge agricultural potentials makes the need for a virile commodity exchange critical

Ijewere argued that there is no better way of creating that link between those who have been excluded from the economic enterprise of Nigeria and those yearning for the products. “This commodity exchange will now force us to improve on those infrastructure like warehouses that will help reduce the losses suffered by the farmers, give information through the electronic wallet which means that each farmer will know what prices are in the market, he knows what prices that has been in the past two or three years, he knows where the demand is, he knows where to sell it. Through the electronic wallet he can do that so, we are trying to modernise these farmers, modernise the entire system and the entire value chain,” he explained. Ijewere noted that the commodity market originally created was being run by government, but in line with the new thinking that government has no business in business, it should be a private sector driven thing. “Today we are in the process of taking it from government through BPE and handing it over to the private sector and creating the environment for everybody to be inclusive in the economy of Nigeria,” he said, adding: “The biggest problem for banks is knowing where to put their money to ensure that it comes back to them. The banks want to be part of the real economy, but have no knowledge in the sense that they have no way of getting to the small farmer. So, we are creating an environment, a platform where banks and farmers can talk to each other.” The planned privatisation of the commodity exchange must be music in the ears of smallholder farmers most of who have had to contend with a multiplicity of challenges associated with production and marketing of their produce. The most daunting of these challenges is perhaps, the lack of proper storage facilities such as warehouses and silos. Without an efficient warehouse receipts system allowing smallholder farmers to deposit their agric produce in registered warehouses, farmers incur post harvest losses on account of damage to their harvests by pests and other crop diseases. This has adverse affect on the earnings of smallholder farmers thus, limiting their capacity to contribute to the realisation of the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda. The warehouses and silos would have served as storage facilities for farmers’ produce

• Dikki and commodities until they are sold through mutually beneficial contracts. That Nigeria is blessed with huge agricultural potentials makes the need for a virile commodity exchange critical. As Benjamin Dikki, the Director-General of BPE, pointed out, there is need to complement the giant strides that are being recorded in the agricultural sector by a functional commodity exchange in order to add value to the economic value chain. This, he said, would pave way for competitiveness and stability in pricing of agricultural produce and commodities, as information would be available to market participants on sustained basis through modern information technology infrastructure. He also said that vast liquidity potentials would be available to farmers as warehouse receipts become tradable and negotiable; the commodity exchange sector would be guided by the enactment into law of the Warehouse Receipt Bill and market rules to be introduced by an independent regulatory body to be set up, among others. Already, some companies, including Nigeria’s Heirs Holdings Limited, a Lagosbased investor with interests across Africa in banking, energy, real estate and agriculture, plans to acquire or set up a commodities exchange in the country. The Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, reportedly said he wants to acquire the state-owned Abujabased exchange when it is sold. If it’s unable to buy the exchange, Heirs Holdings would apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to set one up. The firm, through its African Exchange Holdings Limited unit, has stakes in Kigali, Rwandabased and Lagos-based National Association of Securities Dealers trading platform. In collaboration with the Nigerian Grain Reserve Agency and the Agriculture Ministry, Heirs Holdings in November, last year established an electronic warehousing system linking farmers and traders as part of the groundwork to set up a commodities exchange. “We have a number of both domestic and international players who are very interested,” Aruma Oteh, director-general of SEC, was quoted as saying. “They’d rather acquire the privatised exchange, so they’re trying to see how far the government is going with this initiative and if not they’re prepared to seek a registration for a new commodity exchange,” she added.

As part of the revitalisation of the exchange, the Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment in collaboration with other key stakeholders has initiated a pilot scheme of electronic warehouse receipt system (e-WRS) which, when it goes live, would facilitate seamless trading, bankability of the warehouse receipts and availability of liquidity, among others, among market players. For this, an executive bill, the Warehouse Receipt Bill, is in the second reading in the Senate. Senator Olugbenga Obadara, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, said since the Bill is in the second reading, which is the most critical, “there is high hopes of getting the bill acceptable not only to the members of the National Assembly, but to everybody.” Obadara, however, said the bill still has to go to the House of Representatives for concurrence and possibly public hearing, third reading and passage. “We will work in the best interest of Nigeria. We want to make sure we bring entrepreneurship to the doorstep of everybody. We want to consult widely, we want to involve the generality of Nigerians, we want to make sure that we have the enabling law that will guide this commodity exchange privatisation. What we are doing now is interfacing with stakeholders; this has to be driven by them. We will give the desired impetus at making sure the bill is well looked at, well harnessed, and well discussed in the best interest of the nation,” he said. However, the plan to privatise the commodity exchange may not come without opposition from some operators and stakeholders. For instance, Commodity Brokers’ Association of Nigeria (CBAN), views the privatisation process with some elements of suspicion and mistrust. “We have really been thinking, what is Federal Government’s plan? Why do they want to privatise it?,” Altine Shehu Kajiji, President, CBAN, asked, adding: “For us we think that the privatisation is not the issue, the issue is that there are so many things left undone and that is why the system has not been working.” Kajiji said the government should have first set up the exchange and get it working before selling it. “What is government selling when nothing is working. What is the aim of this privatisation? What does government aim to achieve? I think government needs to do certain things at least to set up a working exchange before it is sold,” he fumed. Since its establishment in 1998, as part of efforts at developing the capital market and with an initial primary objective of dealing in securities trading, ASCE, now NCX, has been bogged by some operational challenges. Dr. Vincent Akpotaire, Acting Director, National Facilities & Agricultural Resources, BPE, listed some of the challenges hampering the ability of the exchange to deliver on its mandate to include poor funding and stakeholders’ buyin, lack of enabling legal and regulatory framework, erosion of shareholders’ funds, poor sensitisation mechanism, and absence of trading platform/infrastructure, absence of WRS, and electronic warehouse receipt system (eWRS), among others. Akpotaire, however, pointed out that in spite of the numerous challenges, “the exchange could indeed, be the ‘beautiful bride’ through value addition to the agricultural value chain, enhancement of export of produce and commodities”. He said as part of the government’s commitment to strengthen the operations of the exchange, a Steering Committee was constituted to recommend the best options for revitalising its operation. Also, the BPE, as part of its normal reform and stakeholders engagement framework, has embarked on active liaison with various stakeholders on ways of revamping the operations of the exchange. Already, stakeholders and experts in agrobusiness see a silver lining on the horizon for farmers, as a private sector-driven commodity exchange would hopefully liberate farmers from poverty through exposure to reliable domestic and export markets. It will also serve as a veritable platform for farmers to mitigate the inherent risks in agricultural production and marketing. But the ability of farmers to leverage the opportunity, experts say, depends largely on their ability to participate through commodity associations or farmers’ associations who aggregate the hedging needs of several small-scale farmers and execute the trade on the exchange.


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THE NATION

BUSINESS LABOUR

IOCs’ divestment puts over 20,000 jobs at risk, says PENGASSAN

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BOUT 20,000 jobs in the oil and gas sector may be lost following divestments from upstream assets by major oil firms, the National Public Relations Officer (PRO), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Mr. Seyi Gambo has said. Gambo said since the IOCs, including Shell, Total and Chevron, began the exercise, many of its members have been laid off, adding that about 20,000 members of PENGASSAN stand the risk of losing their jobs. Shell, Total and Chevron are among the companies that have sold their stakes, worth about $6.5billion in shallow water assets in Nigeria. ConocoPhillips has equally divested its assets, which Oando Energy Resources has acquired while Shell is putting more

Stories by Toba Agboola

blocks for sale. On the nation’s refineries, Gambo said the Federal Government should be held responsible for their poor performances, saying government failed to supply them enough crude oil to refine to meet the country’s domestic demand. He said: “The refineries have the capacity to refine petroleum products needed in this country. We have also said that if you do not give us crude, how do we refine? It is not our work to get crude for the refineries; it is the work of the Federal Government because the crude has to go through pipelines and they are being vandalised every time. They are not secured. “When we did marine haulage to Warri – instead of going through the pipeline, we took vessels to convey

the crude. Before Turn Around Maintenance (TAM), Warri could do 70 per cent of its installed capacity if it has crude. Before TAM, Port Harcourt could do 65 per cent of its installed capacity. So, what we are saying is give us the crude and the refineries will work. If you do the TAM of the refineries, they will work better as long as there is crude. As the Minister of Petroleum Resources said abroad, there is a cartel – a cabal working for their interest and not the interest of Nigerians.” Gambo said the position of the union is that “if the privatisation will make the managers in the refineries get the money as at when due and not that the money will hang in Abuja for years, fine. We do not want a situation where they will

apply for money for TAM and it will take almost two years for it to come out. “But the question we are asking is: What kind of privatisation do you want? Is it the kind of privatisation where one person will buy everything? Refineries are national assets. So, we want the Federal Government to take the refineries to the stock exchange,” he said. The Federal Government, he said, should come out with a model that will work for the system, adding that what is working in other parts of the world may not work for the Nigerian system. “In fact, the Federal Government should come out with models. Yet, it is not a master-servant relationship. So, if you are there, you should tell Nigerians the models you have and

let them evaluate the models and find out the one that is workable. What is working in America may not work with us and what is working in China may not work with us because every country has its own peculiarity and unique way of doing things,” he noted. As for the refineries, he said, “we have the best engineers, but they are not getting the crude. Then, who should be held responsible? It is the government; it should get the crude for the refineries. It should stop the pipeline vandalisation and crude theft. Some people are making money, taking the crude away with vessels. It is not the fault of the workers that the refineries are not working. It is because we are not being given the crude. Until we are given the crude, we cannot refine,” he said.

NUPENG alleges drop in fuel loading

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HE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has said the last few days have witnessed significant drop in fuel loading at various depots in the country. It said petroleum products loading dropped by more than 95 per cent. Its members said they used to load more than 100 trucks daily, but now barely load 10 trucks at various depots. The union’s Southwest Zonal Chairman, Mr. Tokunbo Korodo attributed the development to scarcity of products at the depots and not any action by oil and gas workers. Korodo alleged that the scarcity

has forced some marketers to adjust their dispensing pumps in order to accommodate the extra efforts made and resources spent in getting products from the depots. He attributed the scarcity to the recent pipeline fire at Ijegun area of Lagos State and the non-availability of first quarter allocation to marketers, adding that the situation will soon return to normal. The scarcity, he said, is still being witnessed in some parts of the country, adding that many filling stations failed to dispense fuel to customers. He explained that the few stations that dispensed products had long queues, which rendered most of the roads in the areas impassable.

Govt targets 460,000 jobs

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HE Federal Government aims at creating about 460,000 jobs in the next four years through the Growth and Employment Project (GEM), the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga has said. Aganga, who spoke in Abuja at the inauguration of an eight-member steering committee for the GEM project, said the project is aimed at enhancing job creation and increasing non-oil growth in specific high-potential value chain sectors and would help to create 110,000 direct and 350,000 indirect jobs. The Committee is chaired by Aganga with members drawn from the Ministries of Finance, Information, Communications Technology, Culture and Tourism, Agriculture and Rural Development and the National Orientation Agency (NOA). Aganga said the committee is critical to enhancing inclusive economic growth through job creation and wealth generation. “The GEM project is very important to the Federal Government and the Nigerian economy. It is an employment project by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, supported by the World Bank and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). He said the World Bank is providing about $160 million loan facility, while the DFID is providing a grant of about $100 million. The project is aimed at job creation and increased non-oil growth in specific high potential value chain sectors. The project was conceptualised after the conduct of the

Growth Poll Studies in 2007. “The study identified key sectors with potential growth in the economy and with high potential to generate jobs. This is what the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan and the National Enterprise Development Programme, launched by President Goodluck Jonathan recently, seek to achieve.” Aganga added that his ministry, working with the World Bank and DFID, has identified eight key-sectors with potential for generating employment. He said the impact of the implementation of the GEM programme would be felt in no distant future. He said: “It is expected that the GEM programme, which will run from June 2013 to September 2018, will create a minimum of about 460,000 jobs, comprising 110,000 direct and 350,000 indirect jobs. There are eight priority sectors that we have identified based on their growth and employment potential, which are also areas of focus in our NIRP and NEDEP.“ They are: Information and Communications Technology; wholesale and retail; hospitality and tourism; meat and leather; construction and real estate; entertainment industry; agro processing, light manufacturing and entrepreneurial development.” Speaking during the event, the World Bank Sector Leader, Finance and Private Sector Development in Nigeria, Mr. Michael Wong said the bank was committed to the successful implementation of the project, adding that it would reach about 10,000 enterprises within the implementation period.

• Director-General, Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Joseph Isemede (right) presenting a book to the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Bature Masari at a press conference at NACCIMA office, Ikeja, Lagos.

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O ensure that administrative cost of managing Employees’ Compensation Scheme (ECS) does not fall short of International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s benchmark for Social Insurance Scheme, the Managing Director of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Alhaji Munir Abubakar has said the scheme would continue to address issues relating to workers’ insecurity, safety and anxiety. Abubakar said the primary objective of the scheme was the protection of citizens against problems associated with disruptions and changes in their income, which could expose them to poverty, suffering and indignity. The NSITF boss, while reviewing the on-going NSITF and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) safe workplace intervention project and an interactive session with participating employers on the implementation of the ECS in the country, said more employers are embracing the scheme as NSITF management continues to explore the option of moral suasion rather than sanction. He said: “As part of our efforts at ensuring accountability and transparency in the operation of the ECS, and ensuring that administrative cost of managing the ECS does not exceed the ILO’s benchmark for social insurance scheme, we inaugurated the Independent Investment Committee as provided by Sections 62 and 63 of the Employees’ Compensation Act (ECA 2010). The Committee, which is headed by NECA’s Director-General, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo has the duty of

ECS will address workers’ safety, securities, says NSITF boss carrying out investment surveys in the economy and draw up a list of safe investments. It will also initiate or carry out independent assessment of the investment activities of the Board. Abubakar, who emphasised regular investment in accident management infrastructure in companies with high susceptibility to workplace accident, said: “Action started with NSITF/ NECA’s programme of annual awards to employers would measure up to standard required in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and donation of OSH tools/equipment to others adjudged deficient in OSH standards.” According to him, the event afforded the management of the scheme an opportunity to update employers and other participants on the implementation of the ECS and future plans for the scheme Abubakar said: “While a number of employers in the public and private sectors of the economy registered, although, not all of them have fully complied. Appreciable progress has been made in claims and compensation payment. Virtually all commercial banks in Nigeria have been authorised to collect ECS contributions on behalf of NSITF, making it possible for employers not restricted to any bank across the Federation, while defaulting employers are regularly served with Demand Notices for payment of one

per cent of their total emoluments as provided in the Act, with effect from July 1, 2011 and they are complying now; some via additional legal letters.” Speaking on awareness drive, the NSITF’s boss stressed that on-going enlightenment campaigns via sensitisation programmes and seminars across the country in collaboration with employers’ and employees’ organisations with appropriate flyers, pamphlets and booklets on ECS have been printed for wide distribution to all stakeholders. According to him, the number of employers that had keyed into the scheme is continuously increasing by the day and over 500,000 workers have been covered by the scheme. Apart from other benefits and compensation paid, those earning benefit for life have started receiving it. On challenges affecting the smooth operation of the scheme, Abubakar said public awareness of the ECS is becoming known as the scheme’s features and benefits are not yet fully understood. “Underreporting of occupational accidents/diseases to pre-empt corporate negative image and/or evade full compliance with the provisions of the ECA, as well as the improper documentation with respect to claims affect guaranteeing the genuineness of medical health providers and practitioners,” he said.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

17

COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

Presidential chatter •Time is now to revamp the Presidential media chat if it must continue

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HE last Presidential media chat held Monday evening was everything but that elevated platform it was designed to be. The idea of the forum is for a panel of senior and seasoned journalists to take on the number one citizen in a live question-and-answer chat that would challenge the president and elicit vital information on current national issues. This live intervention programme which has become popular all over the world has become a tool by presidents and government leaders everywhere to make major pronouncements, correct misconceptions, address major national issues and even fly kites to their populace. Indeed, savvy leaders have deployed it to project themselves and even change the course of the history of countries. Such is the power and importance of a live presidential media chat. But in the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, the entire idea seems to have come a cropper. Jonathan no doubt, is not a television animal, he is not a gifted speaker and he is not quick with it. But practice ought to count for something even if it does not make some things perfect. Last Monday during the chat, not much seems to have changed with President Jonathan – well he may have grown a bit more comfortable and confident before the cameras, and that seems to be about all. Answers still lacked the depth, insight and perspectives that would be expected from one who bestrides the polity. The president’s voice all through the session rang flat and monotonous like a weak machine; lacking in the vigour and

conviction that are imbued by power, authority and superior information. Further, his handlers did him no favours by assembling a weak panel that never challenged him. None of such tricky questions that would make an interviewee agitated and shift in his seat. The questions came across too rehearsed and scripted to be impromptu. Follow-ups were rare. Did Nigerians get better informed and more enlightened in the face of a whirl of contentious issues in the public space today begging for some elucidation? Not quite. Two examples will suffice. One, on the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi suspension, here is what the president said: “Forget it, whether you like Jonathan or not, … the president has absolute power to suspend the CBN governor or anybody. Sanusi is still the governor of the CBN; he can come back tomorrow to continue his work… “If somebody says the CBN is a different country, it is not true. Can the CBN wake up today and change the colour of the naira without consulting the president?” But the point here is that the suspension is coming at a time when Sanusi is presumed to be a whistle-blower in an alleged financial indiscretion against the government. Why are the other government officials in the vortex of his allegations not suspended? The other example concerns his response to the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east state of Borno and the comment by the exasperated Governor Kashim Shettima to the effect that the terrorists were better equipped than the Nigerian Armed Forces. The president responded thus: “I don’t expect a governor

to make that kind of statement. If the governor of Borno State felt that the Nigerian Armed Forces are not useful, we can pull them out of the state for one month and see whether he will stay in that his Government House …” Surely this answer is starkly un-presidential to say the least, and comes lower than the offending comment in question. Yes, Governor Shettima may have spoken out of extreme frustration in the face of the unbridled mayhem being wreaked in his state, the president needed to have shown better understanding. Besides, the governor’s comment ought to move the president to take a closer look at the military operation in the north east; there is so much amiss, if he must be told. We urge that the presidential chat be vastly improved upon so that it would serve its purpose and not lapse into a mere chatter.

‘Did Nigerians get better informed and more enlightened in the face of a whirl of contentious issues in the public space today begging for some elucidation? Not quite. ... We urge that the presidential chat be vastly improved upon so that it would serve its purpose and not lapse into a mere chatter’

Phobia for used vehicles •Are we criminalising the poor?

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HE National Automotive Council’s (NAC) order to prohibit the issuance of number plates by Federal Road Safety Commission(FRSC) and vehicle licenses by states registration offices, for used vehicles(commonly referred to as Tokunbo), is potentially controversial. We loathe smuggling in whatever form because of its negative implications for the economy. However, we find this order quite laughable. Luqman Mamudu, NAC’s Director of Policy and Planning reportedly said that: “Smuggled vehicles will sooner or later become unattractive because those who buy them will certainly no longer be able to obtain plate numbers from Federal

‘By sheer common economic sense and the general knowledge about our porous borders, the new high custom duty and levy may force importers of these used vehicles to neighbouring Benin Republic where the custom duty is more affordable. The plan will have perverse implications for the job of freight forwarders, yielding, in the process, considerable revenue to a foreign country’

Road Safety Commission (FRSC) nor Vehicle License from various state vehicle registration offices ...” NAC’s position was in response to fears by Freight Forwarders Association of Nigeria that the new National Automotive Industry Development would not only promote smuggling but also lead to hike in prices of existing vehicles in Nigeria and the lay-off of its members. We believe that the country ought to have produced her first indigenous car. Thus, the haste with which the new policy was planned for introduction does not take into cognisance the fact that the existing feeble local automotive plants’ capacity, including the new additions, may fall short of demands. By sheer common economic sense and the general knowledge about our porous borders, the new high custom duty and levy may force importers of these used vehicles to neighbouring Benin Republic where the custom duty is more affordable. The plan will have perverse implications for the job of freight forwarders, yielding, in the process, considerable revenue to a foreign country. We believe that once a vehicle enters the nation’s territory, it is not the job of FRSC or any state licensing office to start determining whether it is smuggled or not by denying registration. The job is that of the Customs. We have no grudge against the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) but demand to know why the

Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) would not, ab initio, invest in Nigeria before requesting for protection of their business interests. The government has said that used vehicles imported into the country will be valued as new ones and depreciated by 10 per cent annually for cars and 20 per cent annually for commercial vehicles. The residual value will be subjected to 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy. Both new and used vehicles will also reportedly continue to flow into Nigeria in the form of Semi Knocked Down (SKD) and Completely Knocked Down (CKD) with the freight forwarders still saddled with clearing them at entry points because the favoured new local vehicle assemblers will still import these ‘broken vehicle parts’ produced from abroad. Yet, this new automotive initiative dubiously allows the new vehicle assemblers to import New Fully Built Units (FBUs) vehicles at concessionary import duty rates while common Nigerians are slammed with prohibitive custom duty/levy when importing such vehicles. The right thing is to officially create a level-playing ground pending when the plants would be ready to service prospective car buyers. To us, this initiative is another avenue for creating undue advantage and opportunity for a few select businessmen to get richer under the erroneous guise of creating jobs for impoverished Nigerians.

Locked Away in Immigration Jails

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OU can find examples of federal detainees held inexplicably for years without criminal charges or bond hearings much closer to home than Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In Southern Florida, five Sri Lankan men were held without bond for more than three years as they sought asylum, saying they had been promised leniency in return for aiding a federal investigation of the smuggling ring that brought them into the country illegally. As The Times reported recently, the average stay for an immigrant in federal custody is a month. In Springfield, Mass., a federal district judge in January ordered a bond hearing for a Jamaican immigrant and military veteran who had been held in Massachusetts jails, fighting deportation, for more than 15 months without ever receiving a bond hearing. The judge, Michael Ponsor, this month granted class-action status to all immigration detainees in Massachusetts who have been held without bond hearings for six months or more. Last April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in California, upheld a lower court’s order requiring the government to grant bond hearings to immigrants who have been held six months without such a hearing. The American Civil Liberties Union, which had brought that class-action lawsuit, said the decision would potentially allow thousands of people to get a day in court across the Ninth Circuit, where an estimated one-fourth of all immigration detainees are held each year. These rulings reflect the growing understanding — in the federal courts, if not at Immigration and Customs Enforcement — that the constitutional guarantee of due process demands that a detainee have a hearing within a “reasonable” time and that more than six months is not reasonable by any definition. The Obama administration, in expanding the surge of immigration enforcement begun under President George W. Bush, has detained and deported nearly two million people. The overwhelming majority are dealt with swiftly and summarily, without ever receiving a hearing before an immigration judge. Others who challenge their deportation, like the Sri Lankans, wait for years to get a resolution of their cases. Still others, lacking aggressive lawyers, languish forgotten in federal lockups across the country. Automatically granting bond hearings to immigration detainees, many of whom pose no threat, is the least the government can do. This does not mean their release is inevitable or even likely. And it doesn’t mean that dangerous criminals would be let loose on the streets. President Obama, who has repeatedly promised to do more to fix the broken immigration laws on his own if necessary, can ensure that the six-month rule is adopted in immigration courts nationwide. Beyond granting bond hearings, the government should use more humane and cost-effective alternatives to detention, like ankle bracelets and home monitoring. Locking people up indefinitely is not a path to a more rational immigration system. – New York Times

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THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

18

CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: The visible positive changes in Ogun State today are indicative of the mindset of Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his cabinet towards the people of the state and I have deemed it necessary to contribute my quota to her progress as a real son of the soil of the state studying out of the state. There is no gainsaying that all states of the federation see through the eyes of the federal government in the area of database for housing and population. But if the federal eye is blind, how can the states see? The population and housing census conducted by the National Population Commission was between the 21st and 27th March, 2006, followed by a Post-Enumeration Survey in June, 2006. Thanks to Freedom of Information Act, the details of the breakdown of provisional population total published in the federal government’s Extraordinary Gazette No. 24 volume 94 of May 15, 2009 as statutory instrument No. 23 of 2007 reveals that Oyo State final population total was 5,580,894. By this, the state’s population was double those of Ebonyi, Ekiti,

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Open letter to Gov. Ajimobi Gombe, Kwara, Taraba, and Yobe states; triple those of Bayelsa State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and almost triple Nasarawa’s by 9,079. The question is: Does it reflect the true total population of Oyo State as at 2006? If it does, then, where are the housing totals? If it does not matter

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then, every plan based on such a wrong population figure would be wrong. Then, one can say that the state government has been planning on housing at random all this while. But who is deceiving who? Politics of populations and housing has done and will continue to do Ni-

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• Gbemisola Olufemi, Student, Department of Demography and Social Statistics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Truth about the nation’s crises

IR: The first time I came to know that falsification of historical facts by those in power is responsible for the inability of the international community to know the truth and address it as such was when I met a South Sudanese in Leipzig, Germany, in 2009 or so. He said ordinary Sudanese people saw themselves as a people, north-

south, Arabs/Africans, and this reflected in the level at which they inter-marry. He was a mixed blood and he saw that the international community was subjected to a kind of invincible ignorance by what it is fed with by those in power. Look at what even South Sudanese people are doing to themselves, based on the leadership deficit we

Ways of improving Nigeria IR: Nigeria will be better if the leaders and the led change their attitudes, love one another, and turn to God for Him to heal our land. We all need to turn around and embrace righteousness for Nigeria to see better days. Prophetically, I want to assure Nigerians that we should not lose hope in the country, despite the socio-political and economic challenges, but we should always be in fervent prayers, repent of our sins, look unto God and have faith in Him for He will shower His blessings and favour on faithful believers. Our economic management team should adopt policies that

gerians no good if we fail to do the right things. Another question is: “What are these right things”? The right things will reveal the true current situation of education, health, agriculture and food security, housing, reproduction, people with disabilities, labour force, revenue, refugees, etc such that we can

truly proffer solutions to problems in the system and reliably project into the future. One of those right things for a wise state is to independently build a demographic database of population and housing of residents to reveal the foregoing. Oyo State needs to conduct an independent population and housing census. Your Excellency, my mind bubbles with answers to the questions of why, when, how, to conduct such a census.

have human face and embark on effective utilisation of the nation’s resources for the development of the country. The leaders and the led should shun selfish interests. Capitalism is returning Nigeria to the era of slavery and the solution is the abolition of greed and antagonistic competition in our economic system. The federal government should use its political will to tackle the seeming insurmountable power problems in the country to fast-track socio-economic and infrastructural development in our country. Ensuring better Nigeria and its continued unity is in our hands. Nigeria will be great if we do the right things by embracing

righteousness. We must be good people to God, listen to His words and those of the Holy Spirit. I want to plead that all of us should work seriously towards ensuring that Nigeria remains one united nation. This year, Nigeria will be 100 years; we just have to make it work, as there is power in number … as in China, India, USA and Indonesia. We cannot fold our hands and see our unity shattered. Let us all join hands to see Nigeria work. Also, we must all be concerned about the security of our nation that is being threatened. •Prophet Oladipupo Funmilade-Joel (Baba Sekunderin) Lagos, Nigeria

are talking about! I also came to know, through some other life experiences that many of those called “diplomats” are usually among the most easily compromised human beings. They rarely tell the truth as it is; they are rarely straightforward; they are made to feel fine by those in power. Yet, Jesus says thee shall know the truth, and the truth shall make thee whole. Luru and ashapa are too kinds of soup in Yoruba land. Whenever people want to lump issues together, to create confusion, the Yoruba will say, don’t mix-up luru with ashapa. That is what President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) and his supporters are doing - trying to lump the Boko Haram of the killed Muhammed Yusuf (2009) with the political Boko Haram that emerged in 2011 after GEJ was pronounced the winner of the presidential election, which should have gone to a northerner, if he didn’t truncate rotational presidency. Ghana is a peaceful society. But even in Ghana, I heard of chieftaincy crisis; then consider the weight of national presidency, to know the extent a people would go to protect or defend that interest. Some zones felt marginalised regarding Niger-

ia’s presidency, and rotational presidency was introduced by leaders who cared in 1999. Why truncate it? Throughout 2010 up to when GEJ became the elected President of Nigeria in May 2011, what Boko Haram uprising did Nigeria experience, to justify tracing the terrorism of his presidency to 2009? We had the Maitatsine uprisings in the 1980s with wanton destruction of lives and property, basically intra-Muslim. Did we ever use the term “terrorism” to describe any of the intermittent uprisings? Until the Boko Haram of Yusuf was provoked by some of his fellow Muslims in 2009, the group was in seclusion, as peaceful as monks. The seclusion was actually what some Muslims saw as satanic, whereas the group wanted a life away from the corruption which, in their view, Western literacy imported. You may agree with boko haram (book corruption) if you know the extent our oil wealth is stolen through paper-work fraud. But today’s Boko Haram is not Yusuf’s Boko Haram; the current one is out to fight political disorder. Nigeria must mend its cracked political wall. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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COMMENTS

Agenda before the Constitutional Conference -1

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HAVE said this before and I will say it again that it really doesn’t matter whether President Jonathan and his government are genuinely serious about the constitutional restructuring of Nigeria. But whatever end result comes out of the impending national conference would be on record as the decision freely agreed to by leaders of thought in Nigeria. I also personally believe that once the genie is released from the bottle it may be difficult to put it back. In other words, the conference may gather its own natural dynamics and it may be difficult to stop it from moving towards an unplanned end. It is an act of political sagacity for the APC to reluctantly allow participation officially by states under its control. This was the point Governor Kayode Fayemi was making during the announcement that the APC States will participate even though the APC as a political party is totally against the conference because it does not believe that those behind the conference are genuine and honest. Having said this, what should then be the national agenda before the conference? Politics is based on association with others to advance individual, group and national interests in that order. No country can be great if it tramples over individual and group rights of its citizens. A country based on coercion and force is built on shifting sand. We therefore need to design an architecture that will ensure the building of a solid house under whose roof we can all find shelter. This is why the issue of fundamental human rights must be the first grundnorm of whatever constitutional agreement arrived at, at this conference. We will need to spell out in a justiceable form the right to life, liberty, free political association, freedom from want, freedom of religion, and freedom from all kinds of persecution and freedom from all those things that are not in consonance with human rights and that are repugnant to good conscience. The Americans call this “the right to the pursuit of happiness”, under this rubric can be found rights to gainful employment and to education. All these rights must be guaranteed even though they may not be totally realisable. But the rights to freedom from persecution and arrest must be justiceable and the principle of Habeas Corpus must be adhered to as part of the judicial process. This would be at the individual level then we must move to the group level or nationality level. Within the state of Nigeria, we have linguistically distinct groups that number depending on whose definition between 250 and 350. Within this cluster of linguistic groups are to be found three large nations of the Yoruba, Hausa and the Igbo. These are nations on their own each numbering well over 30 million and inhabiting distinct territories and can survive on their own as independent countries. Other reasonably large nationalities that number over a million are the Kanuri, TIV, Ibibio, Izon (Ijaw), Fulani, Urhobo, Edo, Nupe, and the Igala. The remaining groups fall between a few hundred thousand and a million, or slightly more. Of all the groups mentioned, the Fulanis are in a unique situation

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HETHER President Goodluck Jonathan likes it or not, suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has become his baggage. If he had been a little more patient, things would not have been the way they are now. Sanusi has a few months left to complete his first five - year tenure, which ends in June and the man knows that there is no way he would have got a second term, at least not as long as Jonathan remains the president. Like a bolt out of the blue, he was suspended last Thursday for what the government described as financial recklessness. Now, I am not a Sanusi fan and readers of this column can attest to that. I have had occasions to join issues with him over the CBN donation to some Boko Haram victims in Kano, his home state, and some of his policies, which led to the crumbling of some big banks. But on this matter of his suspension, it seemed the president was not well advised. The president has for long wanted Sanusi out of the way and the last straw that broke the camel’s back was the suspended CBN governor’s letter to him on the missing oil money, which was purportedly leaked to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In

because they are not associated with any particular territory. In the last few years, the Fulanis have found their way into almost every state of the federation. But most of the other ethnic groups in Nigeria can be identified with certain territories. All Nigerians, whether large or small, must be protected on their own lands. Even though people have moved around to other peoples’ territories the owners of the land must be respected and recognised and in the interest of peace, there must be constitutional device to acknowledge people’s ownership of their lands. Nigeria is part of an old continent and the facile comparison of Nigeria with the United States when discussing movement of people to other people’s areas and giving examples that one can move from one state to another in the US, and contest elections is not appropriate to Nigeria. I have lived all my life in Ibadan and I have a home there and I am even a Chief of the Alaafin, yet I will consider it unreasonable for me to aspire to be Governor of Oyo state without trampling on the rights of the indigenes. Residence and indigeneship are totally separate things. Residence confers economic rights and right to vote but not rights to political office. If because I am resident in Ibadan I am entitled to hold office in Oyo state as well as in my state in Ekiti. I would be exploiting the people of Oyo. This same logic can be extended to Lagos, Plateau, Rivers, Anambra etc, this is an irritant which we must solve at this conference so that the bad blood now existing among Nigerians can be over come. There is no need talking about citizen’s rights over riding indigene rights. We have enough troubles in the country we don’t want to add to it. This does not mean that Nigerians will be hindered in buying land or establishing industry and residence anywhere in the country but we must concede the ownership of land to the original owners and that originality of ownership of that land must be constitutionally protected and land ownership goes with political rights to offices constitutionally assigned to states. No one should have the right to be constitutionally elected in two sates of the federation. At the level of the nation, we would need to agree to division and devolution of powers between the federating and constituent units in such a way as to protect individual and group rights. Our founding fathers in the constitution negotiated by the representatives of the people in 1959 agreed to a federal system of government. This was a system that guaranteed wide powers to the original three regions each of which had their own constitutions and anthems and even diplomatic representation abroad. At independence, the power of foreign representation was withdrawn from the regions and centralised in the federal government. That independence constitution must be the starting point at the forth coming conference. The federating units should not be this unwieldy thirty-six states. The federating unit should be based on six zones and as much as possible especially with the three nations in the coun-

try the boundaries of the zones must be coterminous with the group areas. In other words, all people speaking the same language must be under the same zonal government. The so-called Anioma people of present day Delta would have to merge with their Igbo compatriots while the Yorubas in Kwara and Kogi will have to merge with their Yoruba compatriots. And all the Hausa speaking states should Jide be in one zone stretch- Osuntokun ing from Sokoto, to Katsina, Kano, Kebbbi, Northern Kaduna, Jigawa, and parts of Bauchi. I will leave the cartographers to work out the details. All those who believe that sovereignty of all nationalities should be the basis of our political association will have to prove the viability of any political configuration they may seek to create within their own zones. As in any typical federation, foreign affairs, defence, finance, currency, policing of inter-state crime, the Supreme Court, immigration, aviation, shipping will lie within the federal jurisdiction. These enumerated powers would be constitutionally agreed upon by the majority of the delegates and powers not enumerated above will lie with the six zones. This will be regarded as residual powers in which the federal government will have no jurisdiction. For example, police, agriculture, local government, primary, secondary and tertiary education, judiciary, works and transport, railways, taxation, royalties on minerals, excise duties and VAT would lie with the zonal authorities. There would be areas of concurrent jurisdiction such as higher education, inter-state highways, railways and this will be so stated. •To be continued

‘Our founding fathers in the constitution negotiated by the representatives of the people in 1959 agreed to a federal system of government. This was a system that guaranteed wide powers to the original three regions each of which had their own constitutions and anthems and even diplomatic representation abroad’

Baggage for Jonathan his own letter to the president, Obasanjo quoted the Sanusi letter and asked Jonathan not to watch while corruption is being perpetrated under his nose. Jonathan did not find the matter funny and he promptly asked Sanusi to resign. Sanusi refused, insisting that he could only be removed by the president, with the backing of two-third of the Senate. The battle line was drawn. The president and his loyalists must have thought who is Sanusi to talk to the number one citizen like that. There should be a way to deal with him no doubt. Apparently after going through the books, they came up with what they thought was their trump card - suspension. By suspension, the president would not have sacked Sanusi in the real sense of it, he would only have rendered him incapacitated. But does the law approve of such a “disciplinary action” to borrow the president’s word? On the special Presidential Media Chat (PMC) held on Monday as part of activities to commemorate the centenary celebrations, he said as part of his oversight functions on federal executive bodies he could suspend the CBN gover-

‘Except the Constitution is amended to accommodate the CBN as a federal executive organ , there is no way it can be classified as such now in order to satisfy the whim of the president’

nor. The question is can CBN be referred to as a federal executive body when it is not so defined in the Constitution? The Constitution in Part 1 of the Third Schedule lists out the federal executive bodies as established by Section 153. They are : Code of Conduct Bureau, Council of State, Federal Character Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission, Federal Judicial Service Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission, National Defence Council, National Economic Council, National Judicial Council, National Population Commission, National Security Council, Nigeria Police Council, Police Service Commission and Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission. In law, these are the recognised federal executive organs and except the Constitution is amended to accommodate the CBN as one of them there is no way it can be classified as such now in order to satisfy the whim of the president. The thing is the CBN is a special creation and I believe it is a deliberate act to ensure its autonomy, not total independence, from the state as represented by the head of state. Globally, central banks are protected by their own laws, which shield them from undue interference by their countries’ leaders. Central banks are the economic livewires of their countries. They are not only the keeper of the treasury, but the treasury. So, they are insulated from the executive to avoid finan-

cial abuses. Although, the laws setting up these banks state that their governors or chairmen or chancellor or by whatever name so called shall be appointed by the head of state, they guarantee these bankers’ tenure by making their sack somewhat difficult for the appointor. o appointing authority has the sole power to sack a central bank chief without recourse to the legislature. This is why it is absurd that the president is saying that he can suspend Sanusi when the law setting up the CBN does not contemplate such an action. Call that an error of the law, may be. But it is more the error of those who drafted the CBN Act. There should have been a provision for the punishment of the governor, his deputies and directors for infractions, but the law is silent on that. Does that mean that the governor himself cannot discipline any of his deputies or the directors found wanting in the discharge of their duties? I do not think that is the intendment of the law. But where there is no such provision, can it be imported into the law? I understand the president’s dilemma over Sanusi. He wants to assert his authority as the person in charge, but in so doing, he should follow the law. No doubt, he has the power to hire and fire, but the CBN governor is not just any staff that can be fired at his whim without following strictly the provisions of the law. Yes, he has not sacked Sanusi. The hand-

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Lawal Ogienagbon lawal.ogienagbon@thenationonlineng.net SMS ONLY: 08099400204, 08112661612

writing is clear on the wall that Sanusi is not coming back to that job, with his replacement, Godwin Emefiele, standing in the wings to take over from him in June. Forget that, Emefiele will be cleared by the Senate, which has come out strongly on the side of Jonathan on his suspension of Sanusi. When will the Senate ever learn to stand for what is right? It is good that Sanusi is contemplating going to court to challenge his suspension. No matter how long the case takes, let him pursue it to its logical conclusion so that the judiciary can tell us whether or not the president can suspend the CBN governor. Such a pronouncement will go a long way in avoiding a recurrence in future. If only the court had decided the Justice Ayo Isa Salami case, perhaps, Sanusi may not have suffered the same fate as the former President of the Court of Appeal, who was suspended for almost two years before his retirement.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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ANUSI might be everything supporters of president Jonathan’s apparent vindictive action against his five years ally say he is- Proud, reckless and unrestrained; strutting around like a feudal lord and lacking in grace to resign from a government whose policies he disagreed with. But then, Sanusi at the end is a Nigerian. And it is for this reason I think his comparison with central bank governors of other nations where the governors of their apex banks will not openly castigate their Government can be very odious. What we have in some of those societies is enlightened leadership governed by laws and restrained by established institutions from witch hunting their best including whistle blowers. But here as Saro Wiwa reminded us in his satire about the pervasive corruption in our land, ‘Africa kills its sun’. Sanusi in spite of his objectionable style was while in office our nation’s pride wherever he went in the world. He was a recipient of two global awards: the global award for Central Bank Governor of the Year, as well as for Central Bank Governor of the Year for Africa. He was also listed by The TIME magazine in its TIMES 100 list of most influential people of 2011. As it is always the case in Africa where leaders have no regard for public opinion and where leaders openly boast of their absolute power to sacrifice the messenger, the focus of Sanusi’s crusade-unremitted 20 billion dollar oil revenue, has changed to how much he deployed as promotional outlays, spent on private guards, lunch for police men, legal and professional fees, intervention projects and other unarguably questionable donations. And with shocking finality, the AGF has put an end to the debate. ‘NNPC is required to pay into the Federation Account the ‘net revenue’ as opposed to the ‘gross revenue’. He is “of the respectful view that only the net revenue from the upstream petroleum operations of the NPDC should be paid into the federation account by the NNPC. This is more so as the federating units do not contribute to the funding of upstream petroleum operations of the NNPC and its subsidiary.” Government is therefore free to treat NNPC account as ATM as an opposition leader has observed. The hunter has become the hunted. And part of the rough tactics of a government unnerved by Sanusi initial 49.8 billion dollars gaffe, was dusting up the eight months old Financial Council Report and other investigating bodies, which according to government “indicate clearly that Mallam Sanusi Lamido

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Sanusi: Estranged ally of a resentful government Sanusi’s tenure has been characterized by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management and prudence”. Sanusi whose only curious ambition is to become the emir of Kano now has to fight for his integrity. The case of Sanusi who still insists ‘You can suspend an individual, but you cannot suspend the truth’ is akin to the proverbial man on the tiger’s back. For close to five years he has been an accessory to government assault on Nigerians through half truths, fraudulent theories and outright falsehood. Precisely because Sanusi has tried to provide credibility for government anti people policies, his reckless donation of huge sums of money to universities and victims of natural disasters which were outside his core area of banking was ignored just like his obnoxious mannerism. In the battle between the executive and the national assembly as to which arm was more corrupt, Sanusi was secretly hailed by the executive as he revealed to shocked Nigerians that the national assembly was gulping 25% of our annual budget while the later insisted there was much less to steal in its budget of N150b compared to an executive that presides over 50% of the nation’s budget. In his banking reforms, whatever was the motive behind the August 2009 Sanusi led Central Bank intervention in Afribank, Intercontinental Bank, Union Bank, Oceanic Bank and Finbank , the outcome was a tragedy for thousands of Nigerians who were rendered

INCE President Goodluck Jonathan announced the plan to convene a national dialogue in his last Independence Anniversary address, many Nigerians have been apprehensive about the likely outcome of the exercise that has been greeted with so much controversy due to leadership crisis and distrust. While receiving the 4,000-page report of the Senator Femi Okurounmu-led Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC), President Jonathan had promised that the conference would actually hold early this year. Most people were, however, taken aback when the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim announced modalities for the 492-delegate conference, which fuelled the people’s fears that its outcome might not really reflect the yearnings of Nigerians because of the disparity between the committee’s recommendations and the approved guidelines. The committee’s 38-item agenda had recommended that the conference should have no ‘no-go’ area; it is to be managed by 13-member secretariat under an Executive Secretary with two members from each geo-political zone; majority of delegates to be elected directly on the principles of universal adult suffrage; each senatorial zone is to send four elected delegates; each state government to nominate one delegate; the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to nominate one delegate; the President to nominate delegates for key interest groups; the nominated delegates not to exceed one-thirds of total number of delegates, and the conference to hold for at least three months and not more than six months. The committee also proposed that the conference should hold between February and July, 2014, while President should send a bill to the National Assembly for an enabling law, or alternatively, convene the conference via provisions of Section 5 of 1999 Constitution, while the emergence of delegates is to be based on any of four options. In the final template released, the Federal Government will now nominate 20 delegates of at least six women, while state governors and the FCT administration will nominate 109 delegates - three from each state and one from FCT. Bodies like the Nigeria Guild of Editors, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Nigerian Bar Association, the Judiciary, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Environmental Society, National Youth Council of Nigeria and National Association of Nigerian Students will nominate members. Also to have representatives are: National Council of Women Societies, Market Women Associations, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, the National Association of Women Journalists, the Academies of Science, Engineering, Education, Letters and Social Sciences, Civil Society Organisations, religious leaders, Nigerians in the Diaspora,

jobless and thousands more who lost their life savings and gratuities invested in shares of the affected banks. The major beneficiary of Sanusi ‘banking Tsunami’ turned out to be known PDP members and their friends. They reaped from the tragedy of helpless Nigerians by buying the banks after Sanusi’s injection of about 400 billion of public fund while ordinary investors with less than 200,000 shares were left with nothing. Until Sanusi unceremonious removal by government last week, he remained indifferent to the right of the public to know how much of the non performing loans were paid back by those who are closely associated with those in government. Sanusi was also solidly behind government fraudulent privatization of the downstream sector of the oil industry. After a near monopoly for diesel market had been created for a few government favourites, who in turn swiftly proceed to build the largest tank farm in the world, cost of diesel which should ordinarily be cheaper on account of being a mere byproduct of refined petroleum shot up to about N170 per litre. Sanusi and Okonjo Iweala justified government assault on Nigerians on the fraudulent thesis that it was only the middle class who use diesel- powered generators that would suffer from a government policy designed to impose hardship on Nigerians. As it has turned out, the carcasses of Michellin, Dunlop and others that collapsed partly because of energy crisis and the flooding of the nation with substandard goods by beneficiaries of government import licence and wavers policy attest to the monumental

fraud of such bogus claims. Another government falsehood Sanusi dressed in garment of truth was the claim that the economy would collapse if the fuel subsidy was not removed. As it has turned out, it was all a ruse to cover up the theft of about N1.7 trillion by some of PDP appointed fuel importers who fraudulently forged papers to claim millions without importing a pint of fuel. It is on record that Sanusi staked everything as an economist to support this fraud in spite of the insistence of world class economists like the late professor Samuel Aluko that there was nothing like fuel subsidy but government imposition of petroleum tax on helpless Nigerians. Aluko drew a parallel between cost of imported Guinness beer from Britain and home brewed Guinness of the same quantity and quality to dismiss government fraudulent claim openly canvassed by Sanusi, Okonjo Iweala and other government apologists. It is dangerous and suicidal when friends fight. Sanusi has been part of Jonathan government for five years and they know how to hurt each other. Having attacked Sanusi’s integrity, the government that has so much to hide has equally becomes very desperate. The government only on Monday directed Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) to audit the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is the same body whose report was said to be the basis of Sanusi’s suspension. This new probe is also coming shortly after an auditing by auditing giants, Coopers and Lybrand. Probing CBN whose 2013 audited account is ready afresh is far more important to government than NNPC whose account has not been audited for five years. And as to the ‘missing’ 20 billion dollars, as far as government is concerned, the AGF has provided an alibi. But these are clear signs of panic and desperation. Like my good friend Chief Mike Ozechome, one of the latest combative defenders of president Jonathan’s response to Sanusi irritation said on Monday, ‘he who comes to equity must come with clean hands’. I think that equally applies to a government considered as one of the most corrupt in our nation’s history.

‘Sanusi has been part of Jonathan government for five years and they know how to hurt each other. Having attacked Sanusi’s integrity, the government that has so much to hide has equally becomes very desperate’

Before the national confab begins By Adewale Kupoluyi political parties that have representation in the National Assembly and the People Living with Disabilities. The Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, political/cultural and ethnic groups, among others, will also have representatives at the confab. Other nominations include 37 elder statesmen - one per state and the FCT - by the president. These nominees will also include retired military officers, the police and the state security service from each of the nation’s six geopolitical zones. Other delegates will be traditional rulers (two per zone and one from the FCT), retired civil servants (one from each of the zones and the FCT), and the representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and Organised Private Sector. Certainly, the primary purpose of a National Conference is to address and find lasting solutions to the problems that have been plaguing Nigeria since 1914. These problems border on the quest for the attainment of economic, social, cultural, religious and political justice and equity. Nigerians have tended to live with so much suspicion that having a national collective aspiration seems more Herculean than ethnic and tribal affinity of the over 300 ethnic groups. The nation’s albatross has worsened with the failure of the constitutions, which had never been people-oriented, to redress the fundamental defects. No wonder, Sir Hugh Clifford, Governor-General of Nigeria between 1920 and 1931, once described the nation as a mere ”collection of independent native states separated from one another by great distances, by differences of history and traditions and by ethnological, racial, tribal, political, social and religious barriers.” This fragmentation has continued till date. Even on the conference, a lot of agitations from many quarters continue to trail representations on primordial lines and if these are not addressed, the expectations of the conference may be compromised. The way out is for the various interest groups that feel marginalised to team up to present a common cause. It should be realised that there is no way that the all the delegates can be representative enough to reflect all shades of opinions in a heterogeneous state like Nigeria. What should top the agenda at the conference are burning issues like the devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, local government autonomy, state police, and ensuring appropriate status for the FCT, institutional corruption and so on. To ensure trans-

parency and participation, the government should ensure that proceedings of the conference are transmitted live at every stage! On the outcome of the conference, Anyim had said that it would be by consensus but in the case where a consensus is not achieved, it would be by a 75 per cent majority after which, the conference is to advise the government on the legal framework, procedures and options for integrating its decisions and outcomes into the 1999 Constitution and other laws of the country. The onus lies on the government to ensure that the delegates discuss under an atmosphere that allows for genuine brainstorming and undue influence. And more importantly, the outcome should be subjected to a referendum, otherwise the whole exercise would amount to a jamboree, a waste of time and resources, as many pessimists believe, based on past experiences. Nigerians cannot forget so easily, President Jonathan’s pre-emptive stance that the report of the proposed conference would be submitted to the National Assembly for ratification. This ought not to be. We should never fail to recognise that the 1999 Constitution confers sovereignty on the people and, therefore, the best that could happen is for Nigerians to merely cede part of their sovereignty to the members of the National Assembly and not for the legislature to subsume the peoples’ authority. The duty of the Sovereign National Conference is to address and find solutions to the key problems afflicting the country. It is for this single reason of legitimacy that the people have unrepentantly called for a Sovereign National Conference. The late human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Gani Fawehinmi once said: “The primary concern of Nigeria since 1914 to date is to remove all obstacles which have prevented the country from establishing political justice, economic justice, social justice, cultural justice, religious justice and to construct a new constitutional frame-work in terms of the system of governmentstructurally, politically economically, socially, culturally and religiously”. This should be the thrust of the confab lest it becomes a missed opportunity. Anything short of this may be useless as many skeptics have been telling us. And who knows whether they will be vindicated at the end of the day or not? . Kupoluyi writes from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, vide,adewalekupoluyi@yahoo.co.uk.


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OST of the fundamental mistakes that are about to destroy Nigeria have been made by Nigerian rulers as a result of their wrong perceptions of Nigeria. If we can get rid of these wrong perceptions, wrong conceptions, wrong expectations, and wrong steps, we can save Nigeria – and we can make Nigeria a stable, harmonious and prosperous country. The most serious mistake is the belief that power (in particular, the power of the Federal Government), if used deftly, vigorously, or violently, enough, can subdue the various peoples of Nigeria and turn Nigeria into a malleable and easily directed country. It is a lie. But it is a lie that the rulers of Nigeria have generally held dear to their hearts and tried relentlessly to use since independence in 1960. The record of the use of that lie in the ruling of Nigeria is horrible. From day one after independence, it was obvious to all observers that the Balewa federal administration (formed by an alliance of Northern NPC leaders and Eastern-controlled NCNC leaders) was seriously incensed against the Western Region’s leadership and eager to destroy it. Why? Because the Western Region’s people and their leaders were so independentminded, so confident of their capabilities, and so achieving on their own. The federal assault, when it came in 1962, devastated the Western Region. But when the Yoruba majority of the Region arose and resisted, they quickly taught Nigeria a powerful lesson – namely, that it is foolish to underrate the toughness of any of the many nationalities of Nigeria. The Federal Government lost control, and some elements of the Nigerian army stepped in and destroyed what remained of

‘They do not want changes that can rob them of their leaders’ benefits – the benefits that they enjoy today. What they want is that the National Conference will mess around for some months and ultimately come away with nothing important’

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ECTION 14(3) of the 1999 Nigerian constitution says: “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies.” In full acknowledgement of the good intentions of the framers of the 1999 Constitution, as necessary to address the need for balancing the interests of the multiplicity of ethnicities in our country and the disparate levels of literacy and economic progression, I believe that with the increasing ethnicbased disturbances, continued balkanisation of the country by non-sustainable ethnicitydriven state creation, the acrimonious political discourse that is fuelled not by substance but ethnic or regional considerations, the citadel of incompetence and mediocrity that, for the most part, is the civil and public service today, given the related diminished standards, the time has come for re-consideration of the Federal Character requirements. The concept and practice of allocation of federal and state government positions, issues advocacy by zones or regions, political aspiration by zoning, undermine the principle of fair-play and unity that is, seemingly, the objectives of the requirement. Specifically, mediocrity, continued ethnic rivalry and balkanisation, gerrymandering of political aspirations, regional factionalism, a system that seeks to put geo-political affiliation ahead of performance and qualifications, a polity that is perpetually heated up, are all products of the “fair-play” arrangements of the Federal Character, quota and zoning mechanisms. Federal Character requirements may superficially convey the impression that there is a balancing of geo-political representation at the federal Ievel and ethnic or tribal at the state level, but viewed unemotionally, it is a practice that is deleterious to a nation that seeks to be among the first twenty economically developed countries by the year 2020.

Nigeria’s destructive steps the government. Meanwhile, in the homeland of the Ijaw people of the Delta, petroleum exploration and mining activities were destroying the people’s livelihood and wrecking their quality of life, all with no measurable concern from the rulers of Nigeria. The Ijaw were a minority nationality, and the Federal Government was therefore not inclined to countenance their experiences or their groans. But then, suddenly, to Nigeria’s surprise, a group of Ijaw youths, led by a youth who was essentially a school boy, arose to make the Ijaw voice heard in shattering terms. The war they started has continued for over five decades. In the face of the enormous powers of Nigeria, and countless military expeditions against their homeland, the Ijaw people are still there and still fighting. Major General Aguiyi Ironsi emerged from the first military coup as Nigeria’s first military dictator. He was sure that federal military power could solve all of Nigeria’s problems, no matter what the various peoples of Nigeria thought or desired. For a lot of Nigerians, the existing federalism was not pervasive enough. The minority peoples in the North and East wanted Regions of their own. Ironsi and his advisers, certain that the Federal Government was wiser,and that it had irresistible power to enforce its brand of wisdom, abrogated the Regions and imposed a direction towards a unitary government. His folly soon brought upon us the reward it deserved – unfortunately, taking the lives of millions of innocent citizens among us.The military dictators that followed after him, until 1999, and the so-called “elected” civilian dictators that took over from them since 1999, have taken the use of unrestrained and irresponsible power to hideous extremes. Their heritage is a general Nigerian leadership whose members appropriate all the fruits of our economic life to themselves alone, pushing the millions of the masses of Nigerians into the depths of barbaric poverty and deprivation, as well as into utter hopelessness, insecurity, and intractable conflicts. As things stand today, we do not really have a country left; all we have is a battered and in-

coherent entity hobbling painfully towards its demise. And yet, even as we watch our country dying and our people perishing, the few privileged politicians and their cronies who hold all the power and wealth that belong to us all in their hands, have continued to proclaim by their actions that the government (all governments, but particularly the Federal Government) commands all knowledge and all wisdom. The apical representative of them all, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (the President or dictator of Nigeria) exudes the know-all confidence of the position that he occupies, the position that encapsulates all the evils that Nigeria’s leaders and rulers have gradually concocted since independence. President Jonathan is from the Delta where brave young men have sacrificed their lives for decades in the fight against excessive federal presumptuousness and insensitivity. But, surrounded by all the limitless federal money and unrestrained federal power, he does not, obviously, feel the urgency for change. He has initiated a National Conference, but there is, manifestly, no sign that he seriously intends that the conference will produce serious outcomes. His dominant preoccupation is to win re-election next year, so as to be able to continue for four more years to swim in the status quo with its limitless money and its unrestrained power. Almost certainly, he will make sure that the National Conference does not create changes that can prevent his winning, orthat can rob him of his ruling in the status quo that he has enjoyed so much for over four years. Meanwhile, it does not matter what is happening to 170 million Nigerians out there. It is almost trite to say that Nigeria must learn to listen to its many peoples and its millions of citizens. But we who keep saying it must keep saying it. Nigeria can survive and thrive, but only if serious changes occur in the way Nigerian leaders and rulers perceive and conceive their country, as well as in their personal expectations, and if the horrendous mistakes of the past were eliminated. Nigerian leaders must listen to their people, must be less arrogant of power, and must

Gbogun gboro be less resentful of the voices of their people. It is not true that the political leaders know all and the people know nothing. Most Nigerians are screaming now for changes that will reduce the power and resources at the disposal of their Federal Government, and that will strengthen the agencies (the state governments and local governments) that are close to the lives of Nigeria’s common people. They are right in insisting that such changes as these will bring development closer to the people and revive their capability to bring some prosperity back into their lives. But, everywhere across Nigeria, the leaders who are preparing to go to the National Conference share the attitudes of the Federal Government. They do not want changes that can rob them of their leaders’ benefits – the benefits that they enjoy today. What they want is that the National Conference will mess around for some months and ultimately come away with nothing important. In short, though Nigerian leaders know the consequences of their wrong perceptions of their country, of their peoples, and of their common citizens, and though they know the consequences of their warped expectations and terrible distortions of their country’s life, they are resolved to keep those wrong perceptions, expectations and mistakes going. What all this portends for the future of Nigeria, Nigeria’s leaders and Nigerian citizens, is anybody’s guess.

The harm in federal character, zoning and regionalism By Azu Obiaya

How does an allocation of federal government positions ensure that we have the best and the brightest in those positions? What happens if a particular region lacks persons with the requisite skills, proficiency and expertise to fill its allocation? What about the subordinate personnel, from a different region, who has superior qualifications? How does such allocation foster the competition amongst the regions and states that is necessary to boost literacy and economic levels which, ultimately, should result in the production of personnel who are able to compete with their peers on a national level, or on international level against those countries such as Belgium, that have to be pushed out of the top 20 economies by Nigeria’s economic ascendency. Do we really want to continue to teach our children that you can study hard (or not) and then leave it to prayers, that when you seek to perform your civic duty, as a federal or state employee, that you have the luck of having geo-political zone balance in favour of your state of origin? If our mechanism for recruiting and promoting our current and future policy makers and implementers is already flawed, how can we expect the organs of government to function at a performance level that results in the delivery of the “benefits of democracy?” It is frightening when we realise that these individuals make and implement policies that impact all aspects of our daily lives. As Nigerians, we have never shied away from competition. It is this need to be the best that we can be that is manifested by the professional, academic and entrepreneurial excellence of our citizens in more organised societies. It is also this pursuit of oneupmanship that also fuels the chaos that is our daily lives. Alas, this chaos cannot be constructively channeled, because we are

depriving the brilliant performers of the opportunity to contribute to our nation’s socio-economic growth, thanks to Federal Character requirements. Contemporary times reflect a nation that has not learned from the horror of its 1966 civil war and is ever more divided along tribal, ethnic, regional and religious lines. As a nation, we are seeing more events of loss of life caused by tribal or ethnic affiliation. We are subjected to daily bombardment by the news media of political events, activities and shenanigans with underpinnings of tribal, zonal and regional affiliations. The run-up to the presidential election of 2010 was full of the strife associated with whether or not the presidential slot was zoned to the North and the reverberations of that period continues until now, with ramifications for the upcoming 2015 elections. Similarly, the various state-level political party structures are caught up in fights as to where succession has been zoned to or the number of times a particular tribe has assumed an office. Has the relatively recent instance of the deportation of economically disadvantaged Anambra citizens from Lagos or the eviction of non-indigene civil service workers from some South Eastern states (supposedly based on the challenge of meeting the minimum wage increase) indicated that we are anywhere close to the promotion of national unity that is specified in Section 14(3) of the constitution? I am a firm believer that the tapestry of the Nigerian nation is stronger and prettier because of the diversity of our people. Together, we are better than we are apart. However, we may never achieve the togetherness if we continue to institutionalize measures that divide us. The use of the Federal Character, zoning and quota mechanisms are artificial constructs that remove the fairness principle from how we live and work. These are hei-

nous mechanisms that put deserving people at a disadvantage to the detriment of our governance structure. In our constant cry for visionary leaders, we must acknowledge that we will never find those stellar leaders if we continue to utilise a quota system that gives precedent to tribal, state or zonal affiliation, instead of personal attributes of excellence. It is my hope that in the forthcoming national discussions, that there is a robust and consequent review of the Federal Character or any such requirements that do not truly foster unity, fairness, meritocracy and nationalism. The iconic American civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King said, in his “I have a Dream” speech (March on Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963), that he dreamt of a nation where his children “will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” Our aspiration as a nation should be similarly so, with judgment not on the basis of tribe, ethnicity, zone, but on character and the ability to contribute to nation building. • Azu Obiaya writes from Abuja onweazuka@gmail.com

‘In our constant cry for visionary leaders, we must acknowledge that we will never find those stellar leaders if we continue to utilise a quota system that gives precedent to tribal, state or zonal affiliation, instead of personal attributes of excellence’


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THE NATION

EDUCATION

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

The report of the Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities is creating ripples in the university system as it could not address the problems it was aimed at. The non-teaching staff are contesting some of its recommendations, especially the retrenchment of their members. The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), one of the three non-teaching staff unions in universities, has taken the battle further, with a 31-page research in which it punctures some of the recommendations of the Committee ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA reports.

• Members of SSANU-LASU at the sensitisation held at the university premises last week.

Needs Assessment Report: More trouble for varsities?

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T was aimed at solving some of the problems in the university system, but the Needs Assessment Report of Nigerian Public Universities has turned out to be expanding the trouble with the system. There is disenchantment in the university system over some of its recommendations, especially on the streamlining of non-teaching

staff. The non-teaching staff-Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), NonAcademic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) are contesting the report, which they believed, if fully implemented, will send many of their members

into the employment market. The unions - under the aegis of Joint Action Committee (JAC), believe plans by the committee to ease their members out of the system was pre-meditated ab initio. However, SSANU has further taken the battle to the intellectual realm. A 31-page research released by the union in the Southwest region,

INSIDE

LASU final year students begin exam amid anxiety -Page 27

College expels three students for ‘rape’, ‘manhandling’ -Page 28

• Supervising Minister Education, Nyesom Wike

of

claimed to have deflated 'some of the falsehood’ by the committee. It noted, for example, that the often bloated non-teaching staff is not largely responsible for poor financial state of public universities. Some public universities, The Nation garthered, are already smuggling the Needs Assessment Report into their system, a situation

CAMPUS LIFE

• Comrade Jimoh

that may provoke fresh crisis in universities. "There is high level of apathy, particularly with issues that affect the non-teaching staff in the university. It always appears as if it is the academic staff that can give answers to questions in the universities. But as far as SSANU is • Continued on Page 26

•A 10-page section on campus news, people etc

Family of four dies in road crash -Page 29


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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EDUCATION

Needs Assessment Report: More trouble for varsities? • Continued from Page 25

concerned, we are a union made up of professionals - accountants, medical doctors engineers, architects and others are represented, and can give valuable input,” said SSANU national vice president Comrade Alfred Jimoh during a sensitisation of some of its members on the Needs Assessment report at the Lagos State University, Ojo on Thursday last week. "If the government goes ahead to implement that personnel, welfare, and staffing aspect, forget whether the government is giving N200 billion to upgrade facilities in universities, it is us workers that are directly affected. We, the union, may not be able to influence our members at that point in time. They will want to resist any attempt by anybody to take away their livelihood,"Jimoh added. The ASUU strike of 2011-2012 forced the Federal Government to inaugurate the Needs Assessment Committee chaired by former executive secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof Mahmood Yakubu. The committee had as its major function to "objectively and robustly examine the critical human, material and infrastructural need-gaps within the public universities and come up with practicable solutions". It had four mandate. The report had noted, among

(b)

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE NEEDS REPORTS – Page 350 For Nigerian Universities to be effectively managed, unnecessary personnel cost incurred from over bloated non-teaching staff numbers need to be addressed. The limited budgetary allocation to universities must be developed frugally for optimal results. Consequently, it is recommended that Government should place an immediate embargo on the recruitment of non-teaching staff in all Nigerian universities for the next 5 years. Government should undertake a comprehensive general staff audit of all teaching and non-teaching staff in all universities. This audit exercise shall: (i) Determine whether all the staff on the university payroll are actually on the ground and in active service. (ii) Determine suitability of staff based on academic and other qualifications. (iii) Ascertain relevance and criticality of job functions. Having support staff to out-number the teaching staff is a complete misnomer in the university. This is partly because many universities failed to implement the out sourcing policy in line with the monetization circular of the Federal Government. It is therefore recommended that the out-sourcing policy should be enforced in all universities within a span of two years. Defaulting universities should be appropriately sanctioned. The National Universities Commission (NUC) needs to develop and implement the detailed guidelines for staff recruitment and necessary established positions for the university system. A University establishment that encourages the unnecessary recruitment of support staff (i.e. each Professor should have a Secretary) should be reviewed. There is a very urgent need to halt the very fast artificial growth of Registry and Bursary departments of Nigerian universities. To this effect, Government should direct all university Governing Councils to constitute a high-powered committee for the reorganization of these departments with a view to making them leaner, more professional and effective as upper and lower limits as established for the university system by the NUC. All the non establishment positions in the offices of Vice Chancellors of many universities shall be scrapped forthwith. The positions of special advisers, special assistants, a large retinue of bodyguards including police orderlies, special security consultants etc. that are creeping into the university system are no more than additional conduits of upsetting the balance of hierarchy and professionalism in the non-teaching cadre of the universities. Vice-Chancellors shall desist from making any official employment outside the existing establishment positions in the university. Failure to comply shall attract appropriate sanctions. No university shall invest staff development fund in training non-teaching staff for PhD programmes. Training for Masters’ programmes shall be strictly based on the university’s needs and professional callings of the affected staff. Non teaching staffs that are due for retirement should be allowed to retire and leave the University service. Government shall request the Governing Councils to direct the management of the universities to stop hiring non-teaching staff on casual, part-time or contract basis. other things, that universities incurred more expenditure in administration and routine functions than in academics. The report, which puts the total number of non-teaching staff in public universities at 77, 511 (comprising senior technical and junior administrative staff), asserted that the chunk of the workers are mostly in the Bursary, Registry and the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. The report further observed that lots of support staff employed by universities were not based on the institution's exclusive needs, adding that yet many univarsities still invest in such workers and even sponsor some of them up to

Masters or PhD. Further, the report lamented the lack of firm recruitment procedure for hiring most non-teaching staff as many of them with as low as school certificate can convert into the senior staff cadre. The committee urged the government to place an embargo on further recruitment of nonteaching staff and prune the staff list. It also recommended one administrative staff to 12 academic staff, one technical staff to 20 lecturers, as well as outsourcing or employing administrative staff on part time. In February 2012, JAC, submitted

Analysis of Budgetary Allocation to Three First Generation Federal Universities in 2010/2011 Academic Session Number of Teaching staff

Financial implication

Number of Non-Teaching staff

Financial implication

A.B.U. Zaria

1,966 (27%)

6,835,411,000 (52%)

5,405 (73%)

6,299,712,824 (48%)

U.N.N.

1,785 (25%)

6,866,278,660 (39%)

5,420 (75%)

10,869,319,919 (61%)

U.I.

1,249 (37%)

4,549,993,680 (60%)

2,122 (63%)

3,072,857,068 (40%)

Analysis of Budgetary Allocations to Three First Generation Federal Universities in 2011/2012 Session Number of Teaching staff

Financial implication

Number of Non-Teaching staff

Financial implication

A.B.U. Zaria

2,026 (29%)

7,063,510,740 (54%)

4,964 (71%)

5,780,620,249 (46%)

U.N.N

1,756 (30%)

6,760,015,907 (48%)

4,050 (70%)

7,466,402,837 (52%)

U.I.

1,300 (32%)

5,242,147,862 (62%)

2,737 (68%)

3,170,492,649 (38%)

a report drawing government's attention to certain sections of the report and asking same to dissociate itself from its recommendations.

SSANU Findings Composition of the committee The union claimed that the fact that no JAC member had representatives in the 11-member Needs Assessment committee leaves much to be desired. More worrisome, SSANU noted, is the fact that the then ASUU national president Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, was made a member of the committee. It recalled that JAC kicked against the exclusion of its members; yet the government went ahead with the committee.

Methodology The committee is lying that it stuck to the methodology it adopted, including interaction with university management; comparison with Nigeria national minimum standard and comparison with Intternational Best Practce (IBP), SSANU claimed. The union in its report delivered by SSANU branch Chairman Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Com. Abdussobur O. Salaam, also conducted its own investigation on IBP, noting that its results were not the same with that of Needs. In its research, SSANU cited the United Kingdom Higher Education Institution on staffing in the 2004/ 2005, and 2011/2012 academic sessions, noting that the nonteaching staff in the UK productively maintained a higher percentage. The union also cited other world-class universities in the US such as John Hopkins University, Stanford University,

Source: SSANU

Council boss urges students to embrace sports

T

HE Chairman, Ogoja Local Government Council in Cross River State, Mrs Rita Agbo Ayim, has urged students to take to sports, saying it will keep them away from vices capable of destroying their future, and improve their fitness. Speaking at the 20th yearly Inter-house Sport competition of Federal Science College, Ogoja, Mrs Ayim urged the competitors to see themselves as friends.

From Nicholas Klau, Calabar

The chairman, who spoke through the council secretary, Mr. James Aninege, hoped talents discovered at the end of the competition would be capable of stepping into the shoes of successful athletes that will represent the country internationally. Mrs Ayim promised the council's readiness to collaborate with the school to encourage the growth

and development of sport. The school’s Principal Mr A. Owolabi assured of the school's determination to work in line with the vision of the government to see that sporting and education are improved. "We all know that no school can claim to have trained a child in all ramifications without taking out time to focus on their psychomotor domains," she said.

• Mrs Ayim

University of Michigan, Harvard University, and University of Alberta in Canada whose nonteaching staff outnumbered the academic staff.

Staffing and staff development training SSANU though admits that JAC members may be more in universities, the bulk of universities resources serve the academic staff more. The senior staff further said the committee's findings that over 70 per cent of the non-teaching staff do not have first degree, does not hold water since not all jobs or professional calling require first degrees. SSANU contends that since the committee's report observes a shortfall in teaching staff, it should have recommended universities to look inward, especially among non-teaching staff with Masters or PhD in which they can redeploy in boosting their academic staff base rather than mandating universities not to further sponsor their members who wish to upgrade their credentials. According to the senior staff union, the genesis of the problem was the 2006 Federal Government renegotiation team led by Deacon Gamaliel Onosode. SSANU said JAC initially rejected the team because it comprised mostly ASUU and government representatives but later reconsidered it when two of their members were later included. However, SSANU said ASUU leveraged on its large membership of the team to tilt the outcome of the negotiation in their favour resulting in various allowances such as post graduate supervision allowance, and a N200 vote for assessment of readers and professors, a practice SSANU argued is strange in universities worldwide.

Governance in varsities/brain drain The Governing Council of Nigerian universities have two of its members-Bursar and Registrar; but SSANU maintained that since the duo are merely onlookers and are there to implement the decision of other members representing government and ASUU, decisions will often be skewed. The SSANU claimed that many academic staff who were not affected by the brain drain syndrome hardly concentrate on their professional callings accusing them of chasing appointments in their universities for pecuniary gains. "What do we say of a professor of Chemistry who is appointed to head the university's security apparatus? Or a professor of Linguistics assigned to man the university's transportation fleet" Or yet another professor of Engineering appointed as Director of Academic Planning? Or a professor of Agricultural mechanisation managing the university hotel? "What we see is a situation where our academics hustle for assignment outside their areas of competence for pecuniary gains. The hustling and scramble is done in the name of the committee system whereas, individuals whose training and employment in the university is to meet these needs are bullied aside. This is the reason our universities are one of the most politically charged environment in Nigeria. "If an audit is done today, the average academic staff would be discovered to own two jobs as cases of moonlighting are very rampant. Is this the essence of academic freedom?" SSANU queried. As things stand, unless the government wades in and tackle the problem, the Needs report may provoke more problems than solutions.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

Amosun advises school proprietors By Awe Yemisi

T

HE Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, has advised proprietors of private schools to continue to contribute to the development of education in the state and beyond. Amosun, who spoke during the opening of Thames Valley College, Ijagba, Ogun State, said collaboration between the government and private sector was necessary to improve the education sector. Represented by the state Commissioner for Education, John Olusegun Odubela, Amosun said the school boasts of infrastructure that would help in enhancing growth. He said the institution is one of the best in the state, in terms of its facilities and curriculum. Also, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Muyiwa Oladipo, said the shool chose a combination of American, British, and Nigerian curricular to provide the best services for the pupils. Oladipo, also a director of the school, said Thames would churn out graduates that would compete with their counterparts in Nigeria and outside the country. He listed the facilities to include wellequipped science laboratory, library, clinic, multi-purpose hall, and sporting equipment. The founder, Nurudeen Fagbenro assured that the school would provide quality education for pupils in the state and its environs. He said the institution would help in re-defining teaching and learning in the country. His words: "We believe every child has some unique attributes. Our teachers would identify the learning pattern of the student and leverage on that to improve them. The coming of the school is like a revolution in the sector and the country in particular.'' He commended people who contributed to the school, assuring them of good, quality, and enduring services.

• Chairman, Neander International School, Mrs Modupe Oguntade and her husband, Justice George Oguntade (rtd.) with pupils of Corona School, Victoria Island that emerged the first prize winner (athletics) at the school’s 2nd Arts Exhibition and Sports Competition in Lagos.

LASU final year students begin exam amid anxiety

S

TUDENTS and, especially those who ply their trade at the Lagos State University (LASU), have been locked out of the university premises since Monday. A huge crowd gathers daily at the entrance gate in Ojo; but are barred from gaining entrance as armed policemen manning two armoured tanks mounted at the university main gate, prevented people from entering. Staff of the university as well as 400-Level students, including those of banks located within LASU premises, were only allowed after the police screened them and ensured their ID cards were okay. Within the university premises, a few policemen also interrogated and frisked some suspected individuals though there was no report of any weapon being discovered on them. However, those who were worst hit were individuals that mostly operate call centres,

By Adegunle Olugbamila and Medinat Kanabe

business centres and food vendors within the university. Their pleas fell on deaf ears despite their repeated explanation to the security officials and police that they were not students but only ply their trade on campus. Last week, the university management released a bulletin mandating only final year students to commence their second semester examination beginning from Monday. Our reporter gathered that the information had irked many of the students who felt the management was using double standard as they could have allowed all of them to commence examination the same time. Sensing danger, the university management had invited the police to keep watch over the campus to forestall likely chaos. A 400-Level Law undergraduate, who iden-

• Excited students of Ilasan Primary School, Lekki, displaying some of the donations made by Meadow Hall under her School Adoption Programme.

Victoria Global University to honour Nigerians

T

O recognise and encourage excellence in Africa, Victoria Global University, Turks&Caicos (UK Overseas Territory) will confer honorary doctorate degrees and fellows on some distinguished Nigerians at the institution's international graduation which holds on Wednesday, March 5 at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Conference Centre, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos. A statement from the office of Director of the university in Africa, Prof Akin Ogunsakin said: "This well-deserved honour is to recognise extraordinary intellectuals, outstanding achievers in nation building, educational and professional advancement in Africa. The finest and most useful method to recognise their accomplishments and to formally bestow upon the worthy individuals

By Adegunle Olugbamila

the respect they deserve is by the conferral of the degree," he said. Those to be honoured include Managing Director/Chief executive Officer (CEO), UNIBAN Microfinace Bank Limited D A. T. Akinyemi; Assistant Director (Information Technology), JWT Nigeria Limited; Schneider Electric West Africa; Mr. Nathaniel Atansuyi, Mr. Ayo Adegboye, Vice-President ITB: and Chief Executive Officer, Littlebridge Nigeria Limited; Dr. Chijioke Nwaozuzu. Others are: Senior Lecturer, Emerald Institute of Energy Economics & Strategic Studies, University of PortHarcourt; Mr. Usman Jimada: Director, Public Affairs and Communication Federal Character Commission; Mr. Kurawa, Farouk A.: Director, Agric. Finance of USAID MARKETS II Project in Ni-

geria; Mr. Patrick Ofolu: President Afriquette Inc, Republic of Ireland; Hon. Collins Nweke: Municipal Legislator, Ostend City Council, Belgium; Dr. Bello Akingbade, Chairman/ CEO, Machine Warehouse Limited, Ibadan; Johncay Ihejieto: Pan African University, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria; Dr. Sunday Daniel Osaat: Faculty of Education, University of Port Harcourt; and Dr. Haruna M. Jumare (Maradin Zazzau): Bursar, Federal College of Education. “We, at the Victoria Global University, are dedicated to the propagation of knowledge and its correct application -- wisdom. As an organisation, we recognise that all people are part of a larger whole - Humankind. As individual members of the "family" we all have unique qualities, experiences and knowledge to impart unto others,” he said.

tified herself as Janet, told our reporter that her colleagues who wanted to either type or complete some assignments given them ahead of exam could not as most of those who operate business centres were locked outside the gate. "My friends and I have been going from one shop to another looking for where to type our assignments to no avail. Many of our customers, who have our materials in their system (computers) were not allowed into the campus. Some of us are so worried and we have agreed to appeal to some of our lecturers who had earlier insisted that our assignments must be submitted on the examination day." The students Union President-elect Comrade Nurudeen Yusuf told our reporter on phone that the entire campus had been militarised. He said: "I can tell you many of the final year students will not write their exams with peace of mind today (Monday). The entire compound is militarised. The police and our security are harassing everybody even the students they have invited to come and write exam. The entire environment is tense." Nevertheless, a source from the university Information Unit, who pleaded not to be mentioned, told our reporter that the premises was calm. The source said though the examination time had to be delayed on Monday to allow only final year students into the premises. "The exam time was delayed to allow only 400-Level students to come in and write exam; but everywhere is calm and the students are about to start," the source said on Monday. The university, it would be recalled, was shut about six weeks ago, following a chaos that greeted the management’ s refusal to open the university's registration portal ahead of their exam. In a related development, a civil society group, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) and Save LASU Campaign Movement, a body formed by LASU students, have called on all their colleagues to remain steadfast in the struggle to force the government to reverse the hike in school fees. The bodies also called on fresh students not to pay yet, but wait for the response of the state government. They also called on the full resumption of all students against the ongoing partial resumption that allows only the final year students, register and write exams. In a statement, ERC National Coordinator and National Secretary, Hassan Taiwo and Michael Ogundele said: "The fee hike is a death pill that threatens the very existence of the university itself. Today, LASU has the worst enrolment in Nigeria going by its declining student population. "From the status of a state university with one of the biggest student population, LASU has no fewer than 13,000 students. By the time the current 300 and final year students graduate, there may be no fewer than 6,000 students in the university. This is because no one wants to go to LASU again due to the outrageous fees."


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

28

CAMPUS LIFE

College expels three students for ‘rape’, ‘manhandling’ From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

• Dr Kegku

T

HE College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi Benue State, has expelled three students for allegedly raping a fellow student, (name withheld), manhandling a Divisional Police Officer and intimidating some students, a development which has led to the temporary closure of the institution to forestall further chaos.

U

NIVERSITY of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), has produced its first set of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Relations (PR). Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, Prof. Geraldine Ugwuonah, said the two academics- Josiah Akalazu Nkwocha and Benedict Ejikeme Odigbo, emerged after successfully defending their Ph.D theses. He congratulated the duo for going through the rigours of the programme under the able supervision of Prof. Justie Nnabuko.

The Sole Administrator of the college, Dr. Tyotom Keghku, said trouble started last Friday during the Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) exam, when two students intimidated and harassed their counterparts in the 100 Level. He said some IJMB Two students, who came to fetch water, asked those in IJMB One to give room to ‘your senior’ to fetch first, an order the latter resisted. This resulted into a scuffle. In the melee, Kegku said an IJMB Two student was hit on the head with a stick and was rushed to the hospital for medical attention. Irked by the development, the IJMB Two students reportedly mobilised their colleagues and disrupted the

queue. Sensing danger, Kegku said the management invited the police to restore law and order, adding that on sighting the police, some angry students threw stones some of which hit the Divisional Police Officer (DPO). He said the students also locked up the college officials in their offices, leading to delay of the IJMB exam slated for the morning of that day. He explained that some students, who were involved in the alleged rape of a female student during the crisis and other acts contrary to the college rules were expelled while others warned. Property damaged, investigation revealed, include physics and chemistry laboratories, Block A hostel, security block and the school bus.

Meanwhile, the management has closed the college with the approval of the Commissioner of Education, Dr. Elizabeth Ugoh. A statement by the Acting Registrar, Mr. Jijingi Agber, and made available to our correspondent, said the decision was to avoid a further break down of law and order. It directed students to vacate the campus immediately, while those writing exam should only come on the scheduled days and time. The Police Public Relations Officer, Benue State Police Command,DSP Daniel Ezeala, who confirmed the incident, added that no casualty was recorded. He said police have been deployed to restore peace and order on campus.

UNN celebrates first Ph.D. in PR By Chikodi Okereocha

According to Ugwuma, the university is celebrating the feat because it is the first in Nigeria and West Africa. Ugwuona, who announced this on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Batho Okolo, said the Masters and Doctorate degrees in PR are domiciled in the Department of Marketing. She praised Prof. Julius Onah, the late Prof. Ikechukwu Nwosu and Dr.

D. A. Nnolim for getting the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to endow a chair in PR in the university in 1992/93 academic session. The Ph.D programme only started in 2005/2006 academic session, she explained. "We are celebrating this milestone because it is the first since the programme started, and the first in any Nigerian university," she said. Also, the Head of Department, Marketing, Dr. Andrew Ehikwe and the

external examiner/Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka don, Prof. Anayo Nkandebe, have advocated a project to immortalise Nwosu who pioneered the PR programme in the UNN. Nwosu died in May 2011. “Let the university and NIPR organise an annual lecture in honour of Professor Ikechukwu Nwosu who contributed immensely to the growth of the Public Relations profession in Nigeria," they said.

•Prof Ogbuagu (fourth right) with Comrade Imagwe (fifth right) and others in a group photograph during the visit.

T

HE Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students Affairs, Comrade Jude Imagwe, has visited the Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Anambra State on a fact-finding mission. The institution's Provost Prof Josephat Ogbuagu, who received Imagwe, guided him during the tour of the college’s facilities at both the temporary and permanent sites. Ogbuagu's achievements have earned him another term. Imagwe was impressed with some of the facilities, including Emma Uguru Ultra-modern lecture hall, new lecture theatre, School of Sciences complex, the Virtual library, and the main library, among others. He praised the management's prudent use of resources, and enthroning harmony among staff and students and the host community. He advised the students to embrace dialogue for conflict resolutions, shun vices and not allow themselves to be tools in the hands of politicians. Imagwe highlighted the Federal Government’s strides in health, education, power, transportation, agricultural sectors, among others, noting that the president has demonstrated this through the formulation and implementation of the

President’s aide, NANS praise provost From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

right policies. The Chairman of the Students' Caretaker Committee Mr Charles Anya, pleaded with President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on the Ministry of Youth and Student Affairs to assist students of the college in constructing a befitting Students' Union secretariat with a vehicle for their operation. The highpoint of the event was the presentation of of an award of excellence by Mr Anya to the President. In a related development, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has conferred an award of excellence on Prof. Ogbuagu as the Southsouth/Southeast 'Outstanding Chief Executive of the Year.' The award was presented to the provost by the executive council NANS Zone B at a well -attended ceremony in the council chambers of the college. Ahead of the presentation, the leader of the delegation Comrade Chinonso Obasi, who praised Prof. Ogbuagu for his transformation of the institution, said NANS executive council paid unscheduled vis-

its to the college on several occasions, noting that the college stands out among its counterparts nationwide. He said Ogbuagu”s nomination was simply on merit and in recognition of his selfless service, especially in the education sector.

He also said the college has also been designated as the fastest growing tertiary institution in the Southsouth/ Southeast zone, attributing this to Ogbuagu's hardwork. Showing appreciation for the award, Ogbuagu promised the institution’s support to NANS.

ADOPOLY FILE

Rector harps on basic education RECTOR, of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado- Ekiti Mrs. Taiwo Akande, has canvassed a strong education foundation at the basic level. Stressing this at the inauguration of a new block of classrooms for the polytechnic staff school in Ado-Ekiti, Mrs. Akande, who described foundational education as pivotal to a sound post basic education, observed that qualitative education at the elementary level is a catalyst to a sound academic footing and therefore should not be toyed with. The Rector, while commending members of the building committee for a job well done, said the classrooms/office project which could have cost N23 million was executed through direct labour for N10.5million. The FPA Staff School, which she noted has one of the best sets of teachers in Ekiti State, promised to make it one of the best staff school in the federation. The Chairman, Staff School Project Building Committee, who is also the Deputy Rector Special Duties and Revenue Generation, Felix Ajibade, described members of the committee as trustworthy.

NASU in peaceful protest THE Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) members of the institution embarked on a non-violent protest/rally held penultimate week in the school premises. The protesters had carried placards with various inscriptions such as 'Ensure adequate funding of the Polytechnic Education' -'No to IPPIS', 'Involve NASU members in Needs assessment committee', - 'Constitute a committee to review the agreement of -2010 FGN/NASU re-negotiation for polytechnic sector,' among others. They made it clear that the messages were meant for the Federal Government, from which they expect prompt response. The Chairman of the union, Comrade Adekunle Adeniyi stressed that they did not have any problem with the management, but only needed the Rector to help them relay the messages to the government for necessary action. The Rector, who praised members for their maturity and comportment during the rally, promised to convey their message to the Ministry of Education soonest. She implored the union to be law-abiding and peaceful while agitating for their cause. It would be recalled that NASU members have been on a national strike for over three months to push home their demands.

• From left: Vice-Chancellor Tim Tally University, Langtang, Plateau State, Prof Bernard Matur Malau; ViceChancellor, Littoral University (Institut Littoral Des Etudes Proffesionnelles Superieures ILEPS) Porto-Novo Republic of Benin, Prof Ayeni Reuben Oyebode; MD Macpotec Nigerian Limited Segun Oyefeso and ILEPS Registrar Tunde Ayeni at the university's 2013/2014 matriculation at D'Agboku Porto Novo.


29

The frills and thrills of NUGA

Paddling their way to school Page 31

*CAMPUSES *NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS

Page 42

CAMPUS LIFE

THE NATION

0805-450-3104 email: campusbeat@yahoo.com THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.net

email:- campuslife@thenationonlineng.net

Four members of the Abdulkadir Wambai family of Lafia Municipal Local Government Area of Nasarawa State died last Monday in a road accident on the Akwanga-Lafia Expressway. Two of them were students of the Nasarawa State University in Keffi (NSUK). KAMALUDDEEN ABUBAKAR and MAKAMA SANI (200-Level Geography) report.

•The late Khadijat

•The late Usman

•The late Ahmad

•The late Isma’il

Family of four dies in road crash

F

OUR members of the Abdulkadir Wambai family of Lafia Municipal Local Government Area of Nasarawa State have died in a road accident. The victims are Mr Ahmad Abdulkadir Wambai, his wife Khadijat and two sons, Usman and Isma’il. They were on their way to Lafia when the vehicle in which they were travelling collided with a Bedford lorry. The late Usman and the late Khadijat were 200-Level students of the Nasarawa State University in Keffi (NSUK). They were in high spirits when they wrote their final paper last Monday. They were eager to go back home and spend the semester break with other members of the family. On the day they were to travel, the late Khadijat got a call from her husband, who informed her of his coming to Keffi with his daughter, who just got admitted into a predegree programme at the university. The husband, it was gathered, urged the late Khadijat and the late Usman to delay their trip and promised to take them back to Lafia in his car for their holiday. On their way to Lafia, their car broke down on the Akwanga-Lafia highway. After efforts to repair the vehicle failed, the

family parked it at a police station on the expressway and joined a commercial bus. A few minutes into the journey, the bus had a head-on collision with the lorry coming from the opposite direction. The bus summersaulted severally before bursting into flames. All the 13 passengers on board were burnt to death. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that a member of the family, Musa Abdulkadir Wambai, broke the sad news to other family members after he was informed by sympathisers on the scene. Musa, it was learnt, immediately called another member of the family, Mr Ahmad Sulaiman Wambai, who is a popular politician in Lafia. CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the deceased were identified through their identity cards found on the scene. “The sympathisers, who rushed to the scene, saw our family name on the victims’ identity cards. One of them called me to confirm if I am related to the accident victims. I put a call through to our elder brother, who informed me that somebody had called him too,” Musa explained. He added: “We arrived on the scene at about 12 midnight and met the vehicles still

burning with Ahmad’s half body by the side of the burning vehicles. The villagers told us that when the accident happened, Ahmad made efforts to jump out of the vehicle but his legs were trapped in the bus.” An eyewitness, who did not say his name, said: “We tried to rescue him from the raging flame but his legs were trapped in the vehicle; he shouted repeatedly: “La’ila ha illallahu Muhammadu rasulullahi, sallallahu alaihin wa’salam”, which means “there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”. The witness said the late Ahmad continued to recite the Quranic expression until he died. Musa told our correspondent that the victims were given mass burial the following day because none of them could be identified. The late Usman reportedly phoned a friend when his late father’s car developed fault on the expressway. Muhammad Usman, a close friend and course mate of the late Usman, said he received the news of his friend’s death with shock.

He said: “We were very close. I could have been on the bus with him because he wanted me to join his family in the car. Later I called him to say I could not travel because of other engagements. As they were moving, Usman still kept in touch. In short, he even called and informed me that their car had a problem and that they were boarding another bus to complete the journey. I was shocked to be informed that my friend is no more. I cannot imagine how my life would be without him. He was one person I knew, who could not hurt anybody. He was an upright and complete gentleman.” The late Khadijat’s course mate, who did not want her name in print, said the class would miss her because she was a friend to all. “She was down-to-earth and never fought with anybody. Even though she was elderly, she played with everyone without discriminating,” she said. The late Usman was a student of Geography Education; the late Khadijat was studying Islamic Religious Studies. Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) told CAMPUSLIFE that the accident occurred when the truck veered off its lane and moved to the other side of the expressway.

•Foetus found in hostel -P32•Students kill trapped antelope for meal-P41


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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CAMPUS LIFE The reconstruction of road and bridges leading to the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) is causing a problem for students, who now cruise on canoes to school. HALIMAH AKANBI (200-Level Law), IBRAHIM JATTO (400-Level Zoology) and SARAT ALABIDUN (200Level Applied Chemistry) report.

Paddling their way to school

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HEY were cut off from the campus by the flash flood of 2012, which washed away the bridges linking their university. For over 15 months, the section of the road leading to their campus and the stretch of the bridge that was washed away, prevented them from getting to their campus. This was their plight before the Sokoto State Government moved in to salvage the situation. The said intervention seemed to have added to the plight of students of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS). Transporting themselves to school since they resumed after the almost six months Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, has been tough. Although, there is an alternative route on the Ilella–Sokoto axis, it is considered a long journey because the road is about 12 kilometres from Dandima Bus Stop in Sokoto town. Besides, students complain that they spend hours on the road because of heavy traffic, a development that results in their getting to school late. Because of the traffic, the management cancelled some papers in the just-concluded first semester examination when off-campus students, who were going to write the examination, were stuck on the road for several hours. On many occasions, long queue at Dandima Bus Stop made many students going for lectures miss their classes. In the evening, the situation is the same when students are returning to town. The students alleged that there are no enough buses to take them to school. They now go to school through local ferry service. The bank of River Rima in Kwakwalawa Village, which is close to the university bridges, is

•Some students being ferried to the campus by a paddler

now a beehive of activities for students, who could not cope with road transport challenges. When CAMPUSLIFE visited the river bank last week, students were seen jumping aboard rickety canoes being used by the villagers without life jackets. They pay N20 as fare for the service. “Students have no other option than to go to school through the river,” Maryam Adamu, a 200-Level student, said, adding: “It is now challenging because the new route is a long distance to school and we spend hours at the bus stop waiting for buses, most especially in the morning.” Hours spent queuing at the bus stop prompted students to use the ferry service as the only alternative. Alison Ake-Reuben, a 300-Level student, said. “It has never been this tough since I was admitted into this school. Going and coming from school is a problem for many of us; we join a long queue for several hours and still miss lectures. I just hope the management will do something about it,” he said. On why some students prefer the water transportation, Abdullahi Mustapha, a final year student, said: ‘The ferry is a better alternative because it saves time and is faster.” Rhaila Salihu, a 200-Level student, uses the ferry to avoid the stress on the road. But the management seems to be against the ferry service. The Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Dr Ibrahim Magawatta said students using water transport were doing so at their own risk. In an interview with CAMPUSLIFE, Dr Magawatta said the management only

•Students at the shore of River Rima to board a canoe

recognised and approved the Ilella – Sokoto road “as the only route for anyone coming to the university”, pending the time the University Road would be completed. He said: “We cannot guarantee the safety of those students going through the water way. In fact, the university itself has two canoes, but refused to release them for students’ use because of safety. For us to allow for canoe transportation, we have to provide life jackets and other safety apparatus.”

On the issue of the insufficient buses to take students to school, the DSA said contrary to the claims that the school did not have enough buses, the university had released buses that could adequately transport students to the campus. Dr Magawatta accused the commercial drivers of compounding the transport challenge, saying the drivers inflated transport fare because of the long queue at the Dandima Bus Stop. A commercial driver, Abu Sanni,

who reacted to the Dean’s allegation, said: “There is nothing we can do about it. We have to ensure that our bus is filled before leaving the bus stop. The distance is far and it is only through this we can make our money.” The chairman of the university transport committee, Dr Sheikh Abubakar said the committee was working round the clock to ensure smooth transportation to and from the university. He said the school has taken delivery of new buses to improve the situation.

Students of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) in Ijagun, Ogun State, have held a candlelight procession to remember their colleague, Olatunji Fashina, a final year student of Social Work, who died in a car accident two years ago. TAIWO ADEBULU reports.

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TUDENTS of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) in Ijagun, Ogun State, have marked the second anniversary of the death of their colleague, Olatunji Fashina. They held a candlelight procession in his remembrance. The procession was organised by the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the institution. On Valentine’s Day, students abandoned their studies to remember the late Fashina, who they referred to as hero of “TASUED

Remembering a hero

STAYS”, a students’ movement opposing relegation of the institution from university to college. In 2012, the Ogun State Government, through its Commissioner for Education, announced plan to revert TASUED to College of Education and merged it with Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in AgoIwoye. Students and lecturers protested the move, citing that the

school was doing well as the first university of education in Nigeria. For several weeks, the campus boiled as police tear-gassed the students, who demonstrated against the government’s plan. The students also visited the Government House in Abeokuta to register their displeasure. On their way to Abeokuta, one of the vehicles in which the protesters

were travelling in lost control and veered off the road. Students in the ill-fated vehicle got injured. The late Fashina was said to have lost his right arm in the accident and bled profusely before he was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta. He, however, gave up the ghost after losing much blood. •Continued on page 44

•The late Olatunji


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CAMPUS LIFE

Pushing Out

The beautiful bride

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with

ITH an estimated population of 170 million with over 60 per cent consisting of youths, it is not surprising that politics has shifted in that direction and our hitherto politically docile youth population are beginning to understand that they need to get involved in the political process if their desire to change Nigeria can come to fruition. This is why they are the beautiful bride of politicians. They even sit in negotiation meetings like the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) did when their lecturers met with the Federal Government last month; such is their power now. Politicians are over each other to get their attention, especially in this technologically driven century. Last year, I attended the fifth edition of “The Bola Tinubu Colloquium” held as part of activities marking the 61st birthday of the former Lagos State Governor and a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC). At the event, five of Nigeria’s talented youth speakers spoke. Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, a civil rights and democracy activist; Femi Edun, an investment banker; Kolawole Oyeneyin, a business strategist; Myani Bukar, a lawyer and Olubankole Wellington, popularly known by his stage name Banky W, a rhythm and blues singer, all had advice for the youth. They spoke eloquently about the youths in Nigeria and the need for them to be engaged in the art of governance and national discourse. It was an opportunity to see that we have youths that are ready to take the bull by the horn and cause a change in this country. The theme of the colloquium “Beyond mergers: A national movement for change. A new generation speaks” was quite apt! Edun who took the podium first to address the audience made up of governors, ex-governors, senators, Members of the House of Representatives

Agbo Agbo 08116759750 (SMS only)

•aagboa@gmail.com

and State Houses of Assembly and other distinguished ladies and gentlemen, spoke eloquently on the growing gulf between the rich and poor and the growing poverty rate in the country and the need for equity, justice and fairness. Quoting statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics and other sources, and doing a comparative analysis of Nigeria and countries such as Brazil, which we were benchmarked with at independence, Edun stressed that we failed and proved the bookmakers who had placed their bet on us wrong. He called for a new era of change where the youths would play a role. In an emotion laden and passionate voice that actually moved the crowd, Oyeneyin, who spoke on the topic, “Beyond MergerResponsibility of Older generation to the younger generation” said most youths were angry with the country our leaders left for us. To him, the situation is like a time bomb waiting to explode – if nothing is done to address it. “We are a generation that have never witnessed a good Nigeria and I speak for myself and people within my age bracket. We have kept so much in our heart as young people and I think time has come for us to speak out,” he said. With a vibrant youth population, he said it is sad that the political structure in the country is built in such a way that the youth have been cut off from governance. But he noted that change would come if young people are brought on board, considering that they have the intellectual and human capacity to understand the time we are in. He charged the leaders to kill the mentality that youth are leaders of tomorrow. “Tomorrow is already here,” he stated. Bukar urged the youth to be interested in,

FUPRE principal officers’ ‘appointment in order’

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ANAGEMENT of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources in Effurun (FUPRE), Delta State, has urged the public to disregard what it described as “sponsored publication” against the institution by Coalition of Urhobo Youth Organisation (CUYO) in the media. The management said the youth organisation lacked university administration knowledge, saying the group’s malicious publication would not derail the institution’s progress. The school was reacting to a media report credited to CUYO, which called for dissolution of the university’s Governing Council over the appointment of principal officers. The management said it would not join issue with the group, but said its response to “unfounded reasons” for the dissolution of the Governing Council was for the purposes of setting the records straight. A statement by the Deputy ViceChancellor, Prof Olatunde Damisa, on Tuesday, said the group lacked knowledge of the procedure for the selection and appointment of principal officers. The statement reads: “Between May

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By Wale Ajetunmobi

and September 2013, the university advertised the positions of the ViceChancellor, Registrar, Bursar and Librarian, which are part of the mandate of the university as the first petroleum institution in Africa and fifth in the world. “After due screening and assessment of the applications received for all the positions, Prof John Ovwata EtuEfeotor was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the university. The candidates for the other positions did not meet the required criteria in line with the mandate of the university. “The statement by CUYO that the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the university’s Governing Council, Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange, is grooming someone to take over the positions is a distraction by disgruntled applicants, who perhaps failed to pass through the stringent requirements of the university at the interviews. It is obvious that the statement is a figment of the imagination of the group.” The management urged the public to disregard the publication and to support the progress and development of the institution.

Don wins science award

ORMER Head of Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Ibadan, (UI), Prof Sunday Ajayi has been honoured with the National Merit Award in Science. Prof Ajayi was among other recipients of the National Merit in Science by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.

From Hammed Hamzat

UI The award was in recognition of his immense contribution in the field of science, especially in the study of Wildlife and Fisheries Management. The Vice chancellor, Prof Isaac Adewole, congratulated the awardee, describing him as an ethical researcher, great intellectual, exemplary administrator, pacesetter and a pride of the university.

and involve in the task of nation building. On his part, Wellington encouraged youths to be involved in the political process, by first, registering to vote, and actually voting for the right candidates. It is either they do that or they sit back and let someone else “steal your voice.” Former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido, who was the chairman of the occasion, pointed out that the youth, by their share size have all it takes to form political movements and take their destiny in their hands. Tinubu, on his part, believed that the crux of the matter is credible and visionary leadership which the country lacks because “we have a leadership that is dividing us more and more every day.” He called for value reorientation among the leadership. “We must question ourselves in Nigeria. I disagree with my brother and friend Sanusi who says youths may form your own party. Politics is not economic policy where you can change a bank note. If only to merge, some people are already forging names, and trying to prevent the creation of APC (before the party was registered). You can imagine what you will go through.” One of the negative consequences of the long years of oppressive military rule has been to deny people the understanding that they have a right to participate in politics, not only as politicians but as the electorate. I believe that considering the size and complexity of Nigeria, civil society groups would have to seek ways to collaborate to achieve a massive and sustained voter education process across the country. To its credit, the civil society has cooperated reasonably in the past, especially in the Abacha era. More recently, civil society showed its capacity for collaboration during the fuel subsidy demonstrations. The biggest challenge for civil society however, lies in the weeks and months ahead as political campaigns begin towards 2015. However, I’m of the opinion that the biggest potential impact on 2015 rests with the youth. The statistics I mentioned earlier is a pointer to this and by itself it has so many positives if harnessed effectively. This is where youth groups such GenVoices which recently organised a live televised telethon across Nigeria give some hope.

Despite the limitations of poor education, limited job opportunities, the average youth is brimming with energy and optimism. This energy and optimism is bubbling over into creative enterprise which can be channelled for good into fighting for political change and good governance. It requires young men and women of unimpeachable character and vision to rise above the strongholds of bad leadership, poor education, poverty and deprivation and tap into the ingenuity of youth unimpaired by the procrastination and hand-wringing that has largely characterised the older Nigerian generation who desire change. Effective change in 2015 can only come about as the efforts of civil society are supplemented by larger numbers of progressive Nigerians, especially young Nigerians seeking political office driven by a passion to serve and push Nigeria towards her true destiny as the beacon of hope for the African continent. But this cannot come about if during political campaigns and deliberations, the role of the youth is relegated to emotional appeals for votes without active participation. As a result, they become more often than not, instruments of violence. Recent electoral conflicts that have plagued our country have seen high youth involvement, raising justifiable concerns. However, given the important role of the youth as the future leaders of the country, the need to empower and inculcate in them the act of good governance to ensure active non-violent participation is more urgent today than ever. Admittedly, youth understanding of electoral issues, awareness of planned programme of activities, and the importance of non-violent participation and subsequent implications of a peaceful and democratic political governance process on the present and future development of the youth is limited. Not only has this limitations lingered around the youth for years, but the continued absence of co-ordinated youthfocused educational programmes to sensitise them on the issues of political governance process and on non-violent participation leaves much to be desired. To deepen Nigeria’s democratic process and lay a solid foundation for tomorrow’s leaders in governance, the youth cannot be sidelined in the political process and nation building. There is no better time to begin than now.

Ahmed Lawal, a 400-Level student of Science Education, was sworn in last July as the president of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) in Kwara State. He shares his thoughts on leadership with TOYIN ALI (200-Level Law).

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‘Leadership is by wisdom’

HAT have you achieved since assuming office? We were sworn in last July and since then, we have embarked on many projects among which are the procurement of more campus shuttles to ease transportation challenge. We established a registered health foundation to raise fund for indigent students. We have also conceptualised an initiative called “starter pack”, which is a customised package for freshers. There are still more to come. You are said to be youngest Students’ Union president; are you surprised? This is quite inexplicable. But I would attribute this feat to God. People generally believe that to achieve certain things, you have to attain certain age. But this is African mentality. Leadership should not be by age; it is by wisdom. Elsewhere, there are many young people in power and they are performing excellently well. If such idea could be embraced in Nigeria, we would be better for it. How do you relate with the school management? I would say that the Prof Abdulganiyu Ambali-led management is a listening and supportive one. The union enjoys the support of the management, which enhances a healthy relationship between the management and the students. The Students’ Union leaders are carried along in decision that has to do with the welfare of students.

The Ipad initiative for freshers is yet to take off, what is the union doing about it? This has been a subject of controversy among the freshers, particularly the unusual hike in their school fees. The management has, through its policy drive, incorporated this project to enhance academic excellence. This was done by placing discount on these tablets’ price. It is pertinent to note that the hike in the freshers’ school fees has a direct link with the proposed Ipad initiative. On whether students would get the Ipad, I can assure you that the gadgets would be distributed very soon. How does the union seek to sustain the improved transport system on campus? It is no news again that queues have disappeared on the campus. This is the result of our administration’s move to ensure convenience for students on campus. We have procured more than 70 tricycles and mini buses to ease transportation problem. We are also aware that such initiative needs to be sustained. This is the reason for the little increment in transport fare within and outside the campus. What is the drive of your leadership? The zeal to champion the course of students’ welfarism is the wheel that drives me around. Remember this is an administrative calling where everything must be invested to achieve the best result. Though, there are many challenges one faces, but with the

burning spirit and available resources, one will get there. All thanks to my fellow students, who have afforded me this worthy opportunity to serve them, and the management for its unflinching support. What is your advice for students? We should all be good ambassadors of the university wherever we may find ourselves. We must not allow our extracurricular activities to override our primary assignment on campus. As we all know, the university awards degree to only those who are found worthy of learning and character.

•Ahmed


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CAMPUS LIFE Foetus found in hostel From Sam Ibok

•Prof Okolo (middle) displaying the award presented to him by Gbadebo (second right). With them are Deputy VC on Academics, Prof Odita Ogbu (left), Prof P.E Chigbu (second left) and a member of NANS.

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HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has conferred an award of excellence on the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Prof Bartho Okolo. The VC was named the Best Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria in infrastructure development. Presenting the award in the VC’s conference room, NANS president Yinka Gbadebo said the award was to recognise Prof Okolo’s strides in infrastructure development, and for providing an enabling learning atmosphere for students. “In as much as you have given students in UNN the best atmosphere to excel in their studies, and those dilapidated hostels and classrooms are being refurbished by your administration, provide the best library any Nigerian university ever has, we, on behalf of over

NANS honours VC From Inya-Agha Egwu

UNN 40 million Nigerian students, present this award to Prof Bartho Okolo as the best Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria in terms of infrastructure development,” Gbadebo said. The NANS president explained that the decision to honor Prof Okolo was unanimously taken by NANS senate based on the report submitted by the executive arm of NANS after its fact-finding visit to UNN in January. The students’ leader implored the VC not to allow distraction to derail his work, but to see the award as a catalyst that would propel him to work harder for the development of university.

While commending the VC for listening to voice of reason and lifted the ban placed on students’ unionism in the school, Gbadebo enjoined students to identify with NANS campaign against campus prostitution and cultism, maintaining that it was time to make campuses free of crime. Responding, Prof Okolo said he was overwhelmed by the honour. He remarked that his administration would do more to improve the standard of education in the university. “We don’t feel we have done enough, those of us who have seen the standard of education in other countries are pained by the level of education in Nigeria; we will continue to do our best to make it better,” he said.

The VC said his administration did not invent anything new but prioritised the features of quality assurance in education and tried to bring the university to the same level with its peers across the world. Prof. Okolo added that the secret behind the success of his administration was the passion to do the right thing regardless of the opinion of detractors. “We have not done anything to impress anybody, all we have done was out of our passion to do the right thing, we will continue to do what we are doing despite the persecution,” he said. On the NANS president’s entourage were members of the association in South-south and Southeast zones, including Chinonso Obasi, Andrew Ugwu and former NANS president Yinka Dada, among others.

Dean demands more staff

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HE Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, (FUTO), Prof Chigozie Asiabaka, has visited the School of Health Technology on a mid-term assessment. During the visit, the Dean of the faculty, Prof N. S. Dozie said: “Today’s visit to our school by the Vice-Chancellor is aimed at having a first-hand critical re-appraisal of our challenges for the successful implementation of developmental projects. The Vice-Chancellor’s mid-term assessment review is a sincere demonstration of his commitment to repositioning our great university to be one of the best in Nigeria.” Prof Dozie listed challenges facing the school as inadequate infrastructure, poor staffing, lack of graduate assistants, lack of Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) for some courses and buses for field trip. He said the school had achieved the sustenance of academic, administrative and community service assignments, staff promotion, launching of the Dean’s prize for the best graduating students, capacity building conferences, commissioning of the Departments of Optometry and Dental Technology

UNICAL BARELY two days after the Valentine’s Day party organised by the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), a human foetus, believed to be seven-month old, was found in a bathroom in Hall 8. Vice-President of the union, Mercy Mbakwu, told CAMPUSLIFE that she was surprised to see the foetus, saying it was wicked for anyone to do that. She promised that the union would identify the student responsible for the act. A student, who identified herself as Jenny, said the victim must have left the scene immediately, as she was not seen. Students rushed to the scene, taking photograph of the foetus. The hall chairman, Mercy Akeng, said a similar incident had occurred in the same hall last year and the culprit could not be identified. “This time, we will not let the person go free,’’ she said. While many students admitted the incident to be wicked, others said it was a precaution to avoid the problems associated with unwanted pregnancy. Other students who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE said it was a better way of avoiding giving birth to a bastard. The foetus was buried by the union and members of the Man O’ War attached to the hall.

Union donates waste bins to school From Sa’ad Aliyu

MAUTECH THE Students’ Union Government of the Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH) Yola, has donated no fewer than 100 waste bins to the Institution as part of its contribution towards improving the environmental sanitation and easier collection of waste on the campus. Presenting the container to the ViceChancellor, Prof Bashir Usman, president of the union, Al-amin Gabari, said the SUG deemed it necessary to supplement the efforts of the management in maintaining a healthy environment on the campus. The union also embarked on renovation of toilets facilities in the female halls. While inspecting the work, Prof Usman, who was accompanied by other principal officers of the institution, commended the leadership of the union, urging other associations to emulate the gesture by contributing to the growth and development of the university.

UNIMAID begins session amid security challenges From Taiwo Isola

UNIMAID

•Prof Asiabaka (second right) being accompanied out of the faculty by Prof Onwuagba (right), Prof Amadi (second left) and Prof Dozie (left) From Mohammed Sani

FUTO

buildings. Prof Dozie said: “It is pertinent to say that no other university in Africa, except a few in South Africa, offers degree programmes in Biomedical Technology, Dental Technology and Prosthesis and Orthopaedic Technology.”

“This has far reaching implications for FUTO in the production of specialised manpower for the sustainable development of the healthcare industry in Africa,” he added. Prof Asiabaka urged other principal officers to help the university raise Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). He also promised to employ first-class graduates in the school to

strengthen academics and research. Members of the visitation team included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Prof Benaiah Onwuagba; Registrar, Mr IshegNor Orje; Bursar, Mr Don Nwokecha; University, Associate Dean, Prof A. Nwoke, Head of Department of Public Health, Prof A. N. Amadi and other principal staff of the school.

ACADEMIC activities have begun at the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), following the completion of registration by new and returning students. The last Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike and attacks by unknown gunmen had led to the suspension of academic activities at the institution. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, Idris Onuche, 300-Level, commended the efforts of the management in ensuring security of lives of students. He said: “When the strike was suspended, we thought we would stay longer at home considering the fact that those who applied for admission to the university were yet to write the Post-UTME. But the university swung into action, released the admission list, conducted registrations and commenced lectures fully. This is really commendable.”


Newspaper of the Year

AN 8-PAGE PULLOUT ON SOUTHEAST STATES THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

Saving Anambra kids from snake bites •PAGE 36

Traders endorse Orji for Senate •PAGE 38

PAGE 33

Anambra community to build fire station •PAGE 40

The construction of the Second Niger Bridge has been on the cards for years. To politicians, it is more of a campaign tool than a development project. Successive administrations promised to build the bridge but never did. Last Saturday, President Goodluck Jonathan, who visited the Obi of Onitsha, Prof. Alfred Achebe, promised that construction of the bridge will be flagged off on March 17. EMEKA ODOGWU EMEKA reports

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LTHOUGH, his visit was not announced, by the time President Goodluck Jonathan arrived at the Palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Prof. Alfred Obi Achebe, a crowd had gathered to welcome him. On learning that he would visit the Obi Achebe on his way back to Abuja from Imo State where he attended a rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the people hurriedly prepared to be part of the reception. For the security agents, it was extra work controlling the crowd and heavy traffic, which is characteristic of Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre of Anambra State. With the aid of other security agents, Divisional Police Officers in Onitsha and its environs rose to battle the traffic gridlock. Mr Emeka Ugwu in charge of Okpoko Police Division, Benjamin Wordu the Onitsha Area Commander and Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Mr Hyginus Omeje and his men were everywhere to ensure ease of traffic. The Chairman of Onitsha North, Osita Egbuna and other agencies of the government were on ground to guarantee a hitch-free presidential visit. It turned out to be a rally of sorts as many prominent citizens of Anambra State came to receive the President. The state government officials, state and federal legislators, traditional rulers, the elders’ council, religious leaders, Presidents-General of community development organisations, local government chiefs and members of traders’ associations, among others gathered for the spontaneous reception. The President’s visit was rewarding to Anambra State, the Southeast geo-political zone and country. He announced government’s commitment to flag off of the construction of the Second Niger Bridge before March 17. He said he would be present at the groundbreaking ceremony before Governor Peter Obi leaves office, adding “Governor Obi has disturbed me much concerning the Second Niger Bridge.” Obi said the visit was unexpected but highly appreciated. He said: “I want to thank you for the encouraging and extremely helpful suggestions you gave me on our self-help palace project during your visit in November last year. You can see that the first phase of the project is nearing completion. I want to use this opportunity to invite you to Onitsha to perform the formal opening of the “new” pal-

•The Niger Bridge, Onitsha

Jonathan gives March date for Second Niger Bridge ace during our next annual Ofala festival in October. “The new Ime-Obi Onitsha presents a 21st Century concept of a palace for the people, not for the monarch alone. Thus, the palace already has an IT Centre and will also incorporate a library/archival/resource cen-

tre, a museum/art gallery, conference and meeting facilities and offices for our constituent groups, without diminishing or distorting the traditional roles and functions of the palace. “There are many more things to be grateful to your government for,

but let me single out the construction of Zik’s Mausoleum, which is now nearing completion after some 16 years of delays, dilly-dallying and cat-and-mouse games between successive governments at both state and federal levels. It will go down

in history that it was your administration that had the determination and zeal to finally give our beloved Right Hon Chief Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Owelle-Osowa of Onitsha a befitting resting place. •Continued on page 34


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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THE SOUTHEAST REPORT

Jonathan gives March date for Second Niger Bridge

•From left: President Jonathan, Governor Obi, Abia State Governor Theodore PHOTO: ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU Orji and Senator Ben Obi, during the visit.

•Continued from page 33

Mr. President, we cannot thank you enough for this gesture. “Your Excellency, the country is experiencing some social turmoil like armed insurgency by the Boko Haram in the Northeast, social imbalance among various segments of our society, general insecurity and corruption in public life. “In this regard, we urge you to remain focused on your transformation agenda, paying particular attention to national security, the 2015 general elections which must be peaceful, free and fair, and the issue of fuel subsidy which has become so contentious.” Continuing, the monarch said: “It takes courage and foresight to con-

vene the National Conference in the manner you did. No right thinking Nigerian would want a dismemberment of our dear country. There is urgent need to re-arrange the country to give sense of belonging to all the constituent groups, including the minorities. We pray that your government and the National Assembly will create the enabling environment for the success of the Dialogue.” On the Second Niger Bridge, the monarch said it will be of great economic value to the Southeast geopolitical zone in particular and the country in general, even as he added that the project will be a legacy for the administration of President Jonathan in the history of this country. We pray that you will give this very essential national project the

attention it deserves. Jonathan was overwhelmed by the turn up of dignitaries. He restated his promise to build the Second Niger Bridge, saying since the first Nigerian President Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe built the first Niger Bridge it will be a delight if the second Azikiwe builds the Second Niger Bridge. He assured work on the Second Niger Bridge would commence on the March 17 before Governor Obi leaves office. The President said the people of Anambra State are lucky to have Peter Obi as their Governor. He added that in an era some governors owe banks and are raising bonds, Governor Obi is not indebted to any financial institution despite his immense

achievements in the state. Governor Obi expressed gratitude to President Jonathan for his tremendous support for the state. Meanwhile, the Federal Government had announced it is mobilising about N300 billion from private investors under public-private-partnership for the construction and rehabilitation of three major roads in Nigeria. The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen reeled off the projects to include the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Second Niger Bridge and rehabilitation of the approach route of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road. Onolememen spoke when members of management and board of the Infrastructure Concession Regu-

Your Excellency, the country is experiencing some social turmoil like armed insurgency by the Boko Haram in the Northeast, social imbalance among various segments of our society, general insecurity and corruption in public life. In this regard, we urge you to pay particular attention to national security and the issue of fuel subsidy which has become so contentious latory Commission visited him in his office. He said: “Today we have successfully launched one of our projects and two others will be launched very shortly, perhaps in the first quarter of 2014. I’m talking about the LagosIbadan Expressway on which construction has commenced the Second Niger Bridge and the approach route of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport. “Among these three projects, we are bringing vast resources from the private sector to the tune of about N300 billion for these infrastructure development projects.”

Arochukwu death trap: Community seeks autonomy E NSUING from the glaring neglect of the Arochukwu-Ohafia Road, there are emerging facts that the people of the area have threatened to declare a republic independent of Abuja administration. The road, described as the worst in Nigeria, has been a subject of contention. They maintain that since the end of the civil war in 1970, nothing has been done to upgrade or rehabilitate the road. Latest information which is unknown to the people of the area is that the contract for the rehabilitation of the road has been allegedly terminated. The contract was said to have been awarded to an unknown contractor said to be a relation of President Goodluck Jonathan. It was alleged that the contractor had received an upfront fee of N4.8 billion for the execution of the project. The less-than-40-kilometre stretch of road was expected to be completed in June this year. But the contractor had not done up to two kilometres of the road two years after the contract was awarded. He had been using the period of rainy season as a subterfuge. In the circumstances therefore, the people of the area are asking that President Jonathan and the National Assembly should avail them the opportunity to take their destiny into their own hands. Hon. Jude Nwokoro, who was the immediate past Special Adviser to Governor Theodore Orji on Works was of the view that the demand of the professionals of the area that they be given a Re-

From Chris Oji, Enugu

publican status “for them to take their destiny into their hands may be credible.” According to him, if that would solve the problem, let it be. The road has remained neglected and unattended to since after the civil war. “I am not advocating the split of the country but if it is possible that the people of Arochukwu could address their problem regarding their road by giving them autonomy, I will not oppose it. This is because the people have suffered extremely because of that road,” Nwokoro said. The professionals of the area had, during a town hall meeting, given two options on how to end their plight. The first is to be granted an autonomous status independent of Abuja’s control while the second is to merge the area with Akwa Ibom State where the people are enjoying the benefits of democracy unhindered. They had, at a previous meeting, told President Jonathan and members of the National Assembly representing the area, Senator Uche Chukwumerije and Hon. Arua Arunsi to forget coming to the area for political campaigns until the road is fixed. At the latest meeting, they stopped short of declaring a no confidence vote on Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State who they

The professionals had, during a town hall meeting, given two options on how to end their plight. The first is to be granted an autonomous status independent of Abuja’s control while the second is to merge the area with Akwa Ibom State where the people are enjoying the benefits of democracy unhindered accused of being nonchalant to the suffering of the people of the area. They expressed their disbelief over the explanation advanced by the governor that he was prevented from rehabilitating the road by the Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja. “If this is true, the governor should come to Arochukwu and publicly tell us his own side of the story,” a prominent member of the Arochukwu professionals, Mazi Henry Ekelem Okoronkwo stated. Chief Onwuka Ukwa who is indigenous to Ohafia described the road as an example “of a trip to hell because there is nothing there that could be described as a road. It is an embarrassment for inhabitants of Arochukwu to be regarded as part of Nigerians.” Ukwa, who is a chieftain of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) said:

“The only way I can describe OhafiaArochukwu Road is that it is a trip to hell because there is nothing that gives it a semblance of a road. I have personally made trips to Arochukwu and swore that unless something is done, I will not visit Arochukwu again. “And it is a shame that inhabitants of Arochukwu will call themselves Nigerians. I am calling on the Vice-President Namadi Sambo to visit Arochukwu. “On his return, let him make a personal report to our dear President Goodluck Jonathan. That is the only way I can describe the experience of the people during a trip to Arochukwu. “Sambo should visit the area by road and not by air. And also depart Arochukwu by road to Ohafia.”


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•Ambassador Marshal and some of the recipients

Scholarships for indigent students H

OPE has come the way of 12 indigent but brilliant students through the benevolence of the African Indigenous Education Advancement Foundation (AIEAF), in collaboration with the Study without Borders (SWB). Their bleak future turned to optimism as they received letters of scholarships and cheques covering their tuition fees at an event held in Enugu. Tears of joy rolled down their cheeks when the group which also sponsors indigent students to universities abroad gave out the scholarships to them.

•Section of the road

Some of the beneficiaries are lawyers, doctors, engineers and journalists. Some have even naturalised in the various countries they went to study, though I advise against that. Once you graduate, come back to Nigeria and contribute to her development From Chris Oji, Enugu

In all, nine of the beneficiaries are undergraduates while three

were post-primary school students. One of the beneficiaries, Oni Opeyemi Motunrayo from Osun

State came from Lagos to complete her papers to travel to China. Opeyemi, who leaves for China this weekend, is to study Medicine. Reacting to the gesture, Opeyemi said: “I am happy. I have never seen something like this before. The scholarship has helped me to discover myself. When I was filling the forms, my parents thought it was one of the antics of fraudsters. They believed it was real when the admission letter, flight tickets and other necessary papers were handed to me.” Mrs. Agatha Anieze could not withhold the tears as she wept uncontrollably. Her daughter Cynthia Chinwenwa Anieze will, at last, get university education. Cynthia had spent two years at home. She could not pay for the fees despite passing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME JAMB). Her father, according to Mrs Anieze, had allegedly abandoned them to marry a Calabar woman. He refused to show interest in the education of Cynthia who is brilliant. Cynthia, a first year student of Mass Communication at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka smiled home with her cheque covering her tuition fees for the academic year. Mrs Anieze said: “What you saw me shedding were tears of Joy. I don’t know how to thank God. My daughter has been at home for two years. She is supposed to have been in the university studying as at last two years. She scored 276 points in her first attempt in JAMB, but she could not get the admission as her father refused to sponsor her. She went to Lagos to stay with my sister. It was there she learnt about this organisation. She sat for the aptitude test and passed. Here we are today with her full session tuition fees.” Other beneficiaries that received their cheques were Elochukwu Christian from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka

(UNN), Ezeah Harold Obinna from Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Chukwuemeka Godwin Okonkwo from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Esther Ogechi Nwachukwu from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Peace Nneoma Umejiburu from Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Others were Ibuodinma Joy Chigozie from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Peace Chiamaka Eze from Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Nweze Christian Chineme from UNN. Those in the secondary school category included Chukwuma Daniel Igwe, Ikechukwu Collins Nweke and Somtochukwu Kayode Ani. The cheques for the tuition fees ranged from N52, 000 to N124, 000, depending on the course the recipient is studying. The chairman of the organisation, Ambassador Prince Marshal advised the beneficiaries not to abuse the opportunity and ensure that they study hard to make the required grades. He disclosed that the target of the organisation for this year is 1,200 scholarships for the indigent and the brilliant students. He advised those who are not successful this time round not to despair as the next batch will be picked in two weeks’ time. He said he looks at the future of the organisation with great optimism. While explaining that the organisation’s activities were divine, he said it had given out more than 3,000 scholarships both in Nigeria and abroad, stating that “it is the first of its kind and will remain the first of such for a very long time.” He noted with delight that some of the beneficiaries of the scheme since its inception have graduated, adding that “some of the beneficiaries are lawyers, doctors, engineers and journalists. Some have even naturalised in the various countries they went to study, though I advise against that. Once you graduate, come home and contribute to the development of Nigeria.”


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Association petitions Speaker over alleged N6m fraud

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•Some of the pupils and their headmistress

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EMBERS of the banned Aba Tricycle Riders’ Integrated Welfare Association (ATRIWA) have petitioned the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Ude Okochukwu, against an Aba-based lawyer, Moses Ogbonna for allegedly embezzling their N6m. In a petition endorsed by six members of the association, including its chairman, Anthony Egwim and secretary, Kingsley Ogbonnaya, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, the group said it contracted the lawyer to register the association for them. They alleged that after the registration process, the lawyer refused to release neither the certificate of incorporation nor the seal of the association to them. Instead, he forced them to use his office for operation and issued his chamber’s receipt to intending members. They also alleged that when they persisted in their demand, the lawyer who they had paid for the services he rendered to them, he prepared a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) whereby the lawyer’s NGO (Easylife Initiative for Rural Youths) would have 60 per cent rights and ATRIWA 40 per cent for which they refused to sign. The defunct ATRIWA members said as a result of

•One of the brush cutters and other items at the event

Saving Anambra children from snake bites From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

school buildings, adding that the first time he visited the school he saw under-aged children cutting grasses with ordinary knives. This, he said, touched him, hence the promise. This, according to him, was to stop the children from being bitten by snakes in such a bushy environment. Ezeemo said: “I will not run away from my people simply because I did not win an election. I believe it was not God’s wish for me to win. So, whatever promise I made was not political.” The Headmistress of the school, Mrs Ezeohaka Felicia, thanked God for using Ezeemo to prevent the pupils from sufferings further. The Headmistress did not discuss in details anything about the school, but she praised Governor Peter Obi’s administration for rehabilitating schools in the state. However, our

From: Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

non-release of the certificate of incorporation to them, the association was unable to open an account with a bank, even as they said all the monies realised was paid into the lawyer’s personal account with a commercial bank on Eziukwu Road. In the petition, members of the association also accused Ogbonna of not only using distorted ATRIWA receipts to issue to members of his newly formed Tricycle Commuters Co-operative Union Limited (TRICOOP), but also forcefully occupied their office at No. 1, Industry Road, Aba. The petitioners therefore urged the Speaker to compel the lawyer to reimburse the said N6m to the association and to vacate their office without further delay. When contacted, Barrister Ogbonna accepted helping the association to process its incorporation, but he denied the allegation of fraud, challenging anyone who claims to have paid money into his account to provide evidence of such payment. According to Moses, the allegation does not have any substance as the petitioners cannot provide any tangible evidence to prove he defrauded them of N6 million as contained in the petition.

•From left: The headmistress, Mr. onyejeli, Mrs. Orji-Obasi receiving some items from Ezeemo

•One of the buildings in Government Primary School, Ajalli

HE governorship candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in the November 16 election in Anambra State, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo has donated brush cutters worth N1.2m to Government Primary School, Ajalli in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State in fulfilment of his campaign promises to the school. Tears of joy rolled down the cheeks of the pupils. They clapped and danced to the admiration of the audience. Their teachers equally expressed their appreciation to Mr Ezeemo. They were surprised that there were still good politicians who could still do something good for their people without any political undertone. Teachers and pupils were happy that the gesture would lessen their burden. While presenting the items to the school, Mr Ezeemo told the pupils and teachers that he was touched by the deplorable condition of the school environment and the dilapidation of the

•Lawyer: it’s not true

At times we stand up to learn and at times we study without our teachers writing on the blackboard for lack of chalks…Sir, this school has been neglected. We need people outside government to help us. The state government will announce on radio and television that students and teachers are now smiling, what they are doing is smiling and suffering. correspondent gathered that the school lacks much that could make teaching and learning easier. Apart from two new bungalows erected by the Education Trust Fund (ETF), other buildings in the school are in very bad condition. In addition to this, there are no chairs in the classrooms for the pu-

pils to sit on, even as the pupils receive their lessons under trees in the school premises. One of the pupils who spoke to our correspondent in confidence said: “At times we stand up to learn and at times we study without our teachers writing on the blackboard for lack of chalks.”

Another pupil said: “Sir, this school has been neglected. We need people outside government to help us. The state government will announce on radio and television that students and teachers are now smiling, what they are doing is smiling and suffering. “Those who are benefiting from

government’s largesse are secondary schools and not primary schools except those primary schools in towns but not the village schools.” However, Mrs. Alice Orji-Obasi, the President-General women wing in Ajalli community and the Chairman of Education Committee for Orumba South Local Government Area, praised Ezeemo for the gesture. She said Ezeemo did not win the governorship election last year because he was just new in Anambra politics, adding that every one regards him as a sincere and honest person and a man of his words. “With people like you in politics, Anambra State will not be what it used to be and that is what exactly the state needs, people like you” The Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ajalli Welfare Union (AWU), Mazi Paul-Mary Onyejeli said the scenario was as if God sent one of his angels to visit the community. He said Ezeemo had done a lot of things for both the young and aged in society, adding that nobody would rival his philanthropic ges-

ture in Anambra State. Onyejeli said Nigeria needs to develop like America or the United Kingdom to enlighten the people on how to identify who the cap fits for any position; otherwise our society would remain the same. A community leader in the area, Mrs. Agnes Okoro-Obasi commended the donor for the gesture which she said would prevent the children from being bitten by snakes in the school. She prayed God to guide and protect Ezeemo for remembering the village school which she said government had abandoned for many years. Ezeemo was received at the palace of the traditional ruler of the community Eze C.O. Nwosu by Prince Patrick Nwosu. While welcoming the donor to the palace, Chief Amara Nwosu, a retired Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), praised Ezeemo for what he did for the community. He prayed that God would guard and guide him to achieve his heart’s desires in life.

•The wife of Abia state governor, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji distributing some of the food suppliments to some of the traditional rulers at the flag-off of the Abia Health Fair in Umuahia.

•Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra state (middle) in a chat with Gov Theodore Orji of Abia state (left) and Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State During the Southern Leaders summit at Tinapa business & Leisure Resort Calabar.


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•Governor Orji addressing the traders in Umuahia

Traders endorse Orji for Senate

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RADERS in Abia State have endorsed the governor, Chief Theodore Orji, for the Senate seat of Abia Central Senatorial zone and urged other intending contestants in the state to shelve their ambition for another period. The traders, who came in their numbers to Government House in Umuahia and were received by the governor, said that the governor has done well and deserve to go to the Senate to represent the interest of the people of his area. Speaking during the endorsement, the president of Abia State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association [ASMATA], Christian Nwaubani, said that the record of

Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

the governor speaks volume and therefore deserves all the support he could get to get to the Senate. Nwaubani enumerated the achievements of the governor for the traders to include building of new markets and rehabilitation of the existing ones, adding that no one can forget the wonderful way he tackled the security challenges in the state. He thanked the governor for reducing taxes for traders in all markets from N6000 to N3600 per annum.

“This wonderful gesture from you will allow traders the opportunity do better and we assure you that we are going to pay all the approved taxes without any delay”. Receiving the traders, Governor Orji challenged them to invest in him and his party, the PDP, saying that from the much he has been able to do for the traders and the state that it shows that his party and him are their best bet to invest in. Orji, who was overwhelmed by the mammoth crowd, said that it is not easy for traders to appreciate anyone and, “For traders in the state to appreciate me and endorse me shows that I have done well and I assure you people of the state that I

will keep doing well till I leave office”. He said further : “What I am doing for traders in the state is what I would have done for my dear mother who was a big time trader, but unfortunately she is not alive for me to appreciate her. “Therefore what I am doing to both female and male traders in the state is what I should have done for her as they are now my mothers and fathers”. The governor said that he had built three new markets in the state capital to give the traders the opportunity to express themselves, stressing that two new markets are coming up in Aba, the commercial

city of the state. Orji used the occasion to charge the traders in Aba and its environs to ignore the rumour making the rounds that the state government wants to demolish markets in that city, saying that instead of demolishing that he is busy building more because of the commercial nature of the city. He said that the greatest legacy he will be leaving for residents of the state is security of life and property through stopping of kidnappings and other violent crimes in the state, saying “My intention is to combat crimes until it is totally wiped out from our state”.

Imo’s magnificent roundabouts, city gates O

WERRI, the Imo State capital in recent times, is undergoing massive reconstruction and renovation. It is currently wearing a new look with magnificent and unique roundabouts that have distinguished it as one of the most beautiful state capitals in the country. The Imo State capital, a rather small city with heavy population density has over five higher institutions with its attendant challenges. As a result of this, the available infrastructures were strained and gradually the city lost its spark, grandeur, beauty and allure due to years of reckless abandon by successive administrations. The few existing roads were dilapidated and vehicular and human movements within the capital city became a nightmare as a result of traffic gridlock. The situation was further worsened by the activities of touts and street traders who defied all established laws to carry out their illegal activities.

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

But today, a visitor to Owerri will confirm that the famous Eastern Heartland has fully bounced back and regained its lost glory, thanks to the Rochas Okorocha-led administration which immediately on assumption of office initiated the Rescue Mission Agenda. Now Imo State can boast of being one of the safest and cleanest capital cities. The dilapidated roads have been fixed and strategic new ones constructed to decongest traffic gridlock and ease movement and commerce in the city. Touting and street trading have also been stamped out and the abandoned green parks have received adequate attention and now add to the beauty and serenity of Owerri. But some unique features that have given the Imo State capital entire new •Wethedral Road Roundabout

•Continued on page 40


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Council marks 100 days T of development HE brief tenure of the Chairman of Onicha Local Government Area in Ebonyi State,Hon Chinyere Nwanioke,has brought unprecedented development to the council.She was inaugurated on November 1 last year alongside other chairmen. While some of the chairmen are still finding their feet, Nwanioke hit the ground with many projects that had never been witnessed since the creation of the council. Recently, she marked her first 100 days in office with the commissioning of some of the completed projects by the state governor, Martins Elechi. The governor’s visit came few days after a similar visit by the governor’s wife, Josephine, who also commissioned some projects. At a reception at the council headquarters in Isu, the governor represented by the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Prince Ugorji Amaoti, said the party would develop a template for elected public officials on the platform of the party, to ensure good governance to residents at the grassroots. Prince Amaoti, who expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the council chairman within three months, noted that she had made the party and residents of the council proud. “The projects embarked upon by the Chairman of Onicha Local Government Area, Mrs Chinyere Nwanioke, within her first 100 days in office cut across different sectors such as health, education, social welfare, security, roads, commerce and rural electrification. “I am proud that you have kept faith with the manifestos of our party by putting human, social, economic development in the front burner in your young administration”, he said. Prof Chigozie Ogbu, former Deputy Governor of the state and a native of the council, urged the chairman to continue rendering selfless service to the people. “My hope is that you will work hard and diligently to make your local government area a shining example to other local governments and to the nation”, he added. He said this shows the chairman was out to serve the people and not for self aggrandisement even as he thanked the people of the council for supporting the party. The event attracted people from all works of life and members of PDP from various wards and development centres that make up the council. The Chairman of the council, Hon Nwanoke, said the desire to improve the well-being of the people motivated her to embark on the projects and solicited continued support of the people. She said under education, she has renovated dilapidated classroom blocks at Enuagu Primary School, Onicha and Amagu Mgbom Primary School, paid bursary for 20 students at Nigerian Law School and constructed an ultra modern ICT Centre. In the health sector, the former Women Affairs Commissioner has reconstructed and rehabilitated the Isu Health Centre, carried out a mobile health clinic of 60 medical workers which treated thousands of residents of the council from December 19 to 23, 2013. In addition, she has organised rural health sensitisation rallies at Onicha East and Onicha West Constituency, flagged off by the governor’s wife during her visit with a focus on immunisation and MCCI promotion. In the power sector, she has procured 10 units of 33 KVA transformers, completed the extension

•Transformers procured for rural electrification

The projects embarked upon by the Chairman of Onicha Local Government Area, Mrs Chinyere Nwanioke, within her first 100 days in office cut across different sectors such as health, education, social welfare, security, roads, commerce and rural electrification of electricity from Nwafor Mbom to Uhuobia , re activated lines and settled bills which have culminated in regular power supply to communities in the area. Security has also received a boost with the re-constitution of the Onicha Local Government Area Vigilante. The new group received a week- long training on community policing. Members of the group were also given uniforms and provided with 16 motorcycles to enhance the operation of their ward supervisors. In the area of water and sanitation, the Nwanioke administration has sunk 10 boreholes in various communities in the area while 10 others are ongoing. Commerce has also received a boost in the area with the construction of three open market stalls at Nwankwo Ukawu market.She also

Confab: Group frowns at few slots for youths Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

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YOUTH group, Grand Visionary Youth Empowerment Movement (GVYEM), has frowned at the limited number of slot reserved for youths in the proposed national conference, even as they commended President Goodluck Jonathan for convening the conference. In a communiqué signed by its President Chukwuemeka Gabriel; secretary, Bibo Agbade and Legal Adviser, Samuel Uwaeme after its quarterly meeting in Aba, Abia State, the group frowned at the number of slots reserved for youths in the country, stating that youths as leaders of tomorrow were supposed to be given more slots at the conference. The communiqué read in part: “We commend President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to convene an allinclusive National Conference. But we express dissatisfaction with the list of conference delegates from youth organisations. “We believe it may be an oversight and that the Federal Government will have no difficulty in revisiting the issue and adding more slots for the teeming Nigerian youths who are leaders of tomorrow.” They scored the President high for his decision to bring Nigerians from different ethnic nationalities together to deliberate on how best the country could be governed and moved forward. The group also praised President Jonathan for signing the anti-gay bill into law despite pressures mounted by the Western world, stressing that homosexuality is un-Nigerian and therefore not part of her culture. “Our members across the country are solidly behind President Jonathan for signing the anti-gay bill into law despite Western pressure over gay rights and provoking criticism from the United States of America. Homosexuality is un-Nigerian and hence not part of our culture,” the group stated.

NAFDAC holds workshop for food vendors

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•Prince Amaoti commissioning the Isu health centre renovated by the Chinyere Nwanoke(1st left) admin

constructed an abattoir with slaughter slabs, water taps and borehole at both Nwankwo Ukawu and Oshiri markets. Other projects include grading of Ukawu-Oshiri road, Agbafor road, Umubo -Isuchara road, Ekeagu Amagu road, Four- corner Nkwegu road, Umuniko Oriegu road and opening of a virgin road through Eguenu to Obegu. “This is just a tip of the iceberg of the number of projects that we have for the people of the area. In the months and years ahead, we shall deliver even more people-oriented projects for the people,”She said She also thanked the governor and his wife for making it possible for her to emerge as chairman by insisting on the 30 percent affirmative action of the wife of the Presi-

dent is implemented in the state. The member representing Ohaozara, Onicha,Ivo Federal Constituency, Mr Linus Okorie and the Zonal Publicity Secretary of the PDP in South East, Mr Ali Odefa, applauded the council chairman for her development strides. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands and Survey, Mrs Ann Agomeze, the Chairman of PDP in the council, Chief Nweke Aniwnobasi and Mr Ogbuefi Ifeuwabundidi who spoke on behalf of the youth, pledged continued support to the administration. Indeed the performance of the council chairman has led to calls for more women to be given more elected offices especially now that the general elections are around the corner.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

HE Director-General of National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr. Paul Orhii has enlightened food vendors in Enugu on the importance of food safety. Dr Orhii spoke at a two-day workshop on National Food Safety workshop organised for all categories of food vendors ranging from primary producers, small and medium-scale food processors, state and local government and public inspectors, agricultural extension officers, state agricultural development programmes (ADP) officers, regulators, household food handlers and catering services providers, among others in Enugu. He stated that the agency has developed guidelines for food hygienic practices (NGFHP) which addresses the whole spectrum of national food chain, adding that the scientific concept of rational and systematic approach of identification, assessment and control of hazards during production, processing, manufacturing, preparation and use of food must be applied. He maintained that the aim of the workshop was primarily to ensure that food safety is integrated into the design of the process rather than the end product testing participants would be exposed to safe practice in primary food production and storage, traceability of food labelling and other guides on exportation of food products, consumers and household safe handling of food, extant regulatory control for safe food, financial transactions with NAFDAC, among others.


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Anambra community to build fire station

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IGERIA Immigration Office, Anambra State office, is to be located at Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area. President General of Agulu Peoples Union , Chief Paulinus Aniagboso who announced this in his address to the community, said the community donated three plots to them for their building. ‘’The survey plan of the land is ready and we have alread sent same to the state Immigration Headquarters at Awka. We are waiting for their reply. “We solicit for individuals that will help us erect some structures on the site because we need to secure this project in our town. ‘’Through the goodwill of Governor Peter Obi, we gave the state fire service three plots of land for the building of a fire service station project at Oye AguluUmuowelle village. The survey plan has been completed and we are waiting for work to start. The site of the proposed tire station is a hilly area with deposits of sands and stones. So we had an agreement with I.D.C Construction Company to dig a burrow pit and excavate the sands for their bridge construction. The I.U.C Company has paid the sum of N1.4 million into our account. This shows dire shrewdness, transparency and accountability of our administration’’. Aniagboso announced that the drainage at Okechinyere junction and Uhume village has been reconstructed with the assistance of the state government for easy flow of flood water. He revealed plans to erect a skill acquisition centre for their youths as a means to curb their propensity to criminal tendencies. Aniagboso said the hospital has been upgraded to a specialist unit attached to Anambra State University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka and that the construction work on new buildings have already begun.The contract is being handled by Vivid Construction Company. He said further: ‘’Governor Peter Obi and Mr. Leo Imoka’s made Agulu to be chosen as location for the construction of Agro Process-

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

ing and training centre for livestock feed production in Anambra State . This is a Federal Government project under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. We are very privileged that our town was chosen from-Anambra State for the siting of dye project. The FMARD has given us the size of the land required for the project. We have approved the land and final documentation and drawing of survey plan is in progress. They promised to start work on the site soonest’’. He further informed that a maternity ward will be constructed in Agulu by the state government under a UNICEF programme sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He said three plots of land were mapped out for the project. The survey plan has been handed over to them and work on the site will start soonest. The Agulu President General added that chairman of ASWAMA, Mrs. Njideka Oraedum, has been briefed on the benefits of including Agulu (Nwagu area in particu-

‘One of their major challenges is security but thanked Obi for donating three security vans for the community which he said has assisted ,’’our security men record success in their fight against crime. They have caught some armed robbers and kidnappers within Agulu and its boundaries. We are still making efforts to improve on our success’ lar) under the State Capital coverage area on daily sanitation. He said Obi had spent over N40 million in schools in Agulu. On fencing of Agulu Town Hall , he said ,’’ they have commenced work on the fencing of Agulu Town Hall . The fencing work included provisions for the new gates to be installed and a security house also be constructed. We are also installing protectors in windows and doors on both sides of the hall. Our

target, all things being equal, is to relocate the workers in the pencil house back to the Town Hall before the end of this year. Agulu community will have its website by March, barring any unforeseen circumstance. He said one of their major challenges is security but thanked Obi for donating three security vans for the community which he said has assisted ,’’our security men record success in their fight against crime.

They have caught some armed robbers and kidnappers within Agulu and its boundaries. We are still making efforts to improve on our success’’. He said: “Roads in Agulu including Nneogidi-Nise road is completed. Obeagu-Agulu Aguiyi road is completed. Obeagu/ Nkitaku-Ronasco road is equally completed.Work has finished on Madonna-UgwuUgolo road. Through our diplomatic efforts, the governor approved a spur to Nkwo Agulu which was not included before in the design of the road. Work is currently in progress. NwancbiObeledu road work is in progress. Contract for General Hospital road (passing through Nkitaku/Obe/ Amoji/ Odidama and Nneolia has been awarded and work has started. The construction of the Agulu lake bridge with two walkways is in top gear. The plan has provision for the installation of street lights on the bridge’’. ‘’Civil work is currently on course at the site and it is expected to be completed and handed over to the Anambra Stale Government by the contractor, a Chinese company, at the end of February 2014.”

Imo’s magnificent roundabouts, city gates •Continued from page 38 look and edge are the beautifullyconstructed roundabouts that have sprouted all over the metropolis. The most conspicuous ones are the Okigwe Roundabout, Control Roundabout, IMSU Roundabout, Fire Service Roundabout and Wethedral Roundabout. Other dazzling features are the street lights that illuminate the entire city at night making it impossible for one to believe that such a beautiful city exists in the Southeast states. The state government has also, through the Owerri City Development Authority (OCDA) recaptured and implemented the Master Plan of the capital city. In so doing, however, a lot of illegal and unauthorized structures were demolished resulting in temporary hardship and challenges. But, the pains had given way to gains and unimagined beauty that is cherished by residents of the capital city and visitors alike. Describing the beauty of the city, a resident, Mr. Ugo Okemiri, said Owerri is now entirely a new city. “Although I am not from Imo State, I have lived and worked in Owerri for the past 29 years and I can tell you today that in the last 12 years, no one

thought that the city could be what it is today.” He added further that, “when the state government was constructing the roundabouts and opening up the city, most people termed it a waste of time and resources but today everyone is happy to live in Owerri. The roundabouts and the city gates are quite beautiful and at night one cannot believe that you are in anywhere in Nigeria, its beauty is better imagined, especially at night.” Mr. Declan Uzoaru, a Lagos-based legal practitioner who was in Owerri during the last Yuletide with his family, had this to say: “You know having spent most of my life in Lagos, I have always seen Owerri my state capital as a glorified village but when I came home for the Christmas break with my family, I was dumbfounded by the beauty that greeted us immediately we drove into the city. “The whole streets were tarred, there were functional street lights everywhere and the roundabouts were sort of tourist sites. I drove my children round the city and it was just amazing. I returned to Lagos after the holiday with a promise to return soon to savour the beauty of my great state.” Miss Kelechi Ejerenwa, an undergraduate of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), commended the state government for the efforts

Okigwe Road Roundabout

to transform the city. “We are happy because we can now stay in Owerri and feel like we are in any great city anywhere in the world. And when we snap pictures especially at the roundabouts, people think we took the pictures abroad.” Apart from beautifying the capital city, efforts of the state government have also given a boost to commerce and tourism. Today, Owerri plays

host to over 70 per cent of local and international seminars in the Southeast and South-South states. However, the state government has been fiercely criticised by the opposition for constructing the roundabouts and parks in the capital city, which they insisted had worsened the traffic situation in the city. Chief Temple Onyejiuwa, a retired civil servant said: “What we expect

from this administration is far more than window dressing the state capital. We need industries and other infrastructures that will create employment and buoy the economy of the state. If the people are unemployed and hungry, how can they appreciate the beauty of the city? So, even though you build the streets with gold and the people are hungry, you have done nothing.”


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CAMPUS LIFE ‘Journalists must partner with institutions’ From Hameed Muritala

UNILORIN

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HE Head of Department (HOD) of Mass Communication at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Mr Mahmud Abdulraheem, has called for more collaboration between journalists and academic institutions. He said the partnership would be mutually beneficial. The HOD made the call when members of the Organising Committee of this year’s Press Week of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) paid him a visit. The journalists were led by union chairman, Mallam Abiodun Abdulkareem. Mahmud said partnership between NUJ and the academics was necessary because there was a need for both to come together and generate ideas, which would enhance professionalism among journalists and academics. “The collaboration will be a mutual benefit for both the academ-

•Mahmud (middle) with the NUJ members and some lecturers during the visit From Sa’ad Aliyu

MAUTECH

ics and NUJ, because when we begin to to witness such partnership, a lot of things would be introduced that will enhance the activities and performance of journalists,” he

said. He added: “From time to time, we will invite journalists to talks and share their experiences with our students. We believe that they are mentors to students of journalism.”

Mahmud, a former General Manager of Radio Kwara, disclosed that post-graduate programmes would soon commence in the department, which at present offers undergraduate programmes in Mass Communication only.

Students kill trapped antelope for meal

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OR some students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, relishing the tasty meat of Antelope, a rare delicacy popularly called Eran Igbe in Yoruba, was an experience they would never forget in a long while. Luck, as they seemed to believe, made the animal to stray into their hall of residence three days after the university authority asked them to vacate the halls to accommodate participating universities that came for just concluded 24th Nigeria University Games (NUGA), hosted by the university to mark the 50th anniversary of the school. Majority of the students had vacated their rooms for the visitors, but a few left in the Awolowo Hall hunted the animal that was trapped at the Self-Help Block while moving towards Block 5 of the hostel and killed it. Mutiu Oyatoye, a 400-Level Language Arts student, said the animal was sighted by a student around Self-Help Block moving towards

The visit, according to chairman of the NUJ Press Week Committee, Mr Alli Mohammad Robiu, was aimed at strengthening relationship between the union and the department and seek the advice and support of the HOD for the Week.

From Oluwafemi Ogunjobi and Jamiu Abdulazeez

OAU Block 5 of the hostel. The student quickly alerted his colleagues by shouting: “Won ti de o”, meaning “they have come”. On hearing this, students trooped out to chase the animal until it was caught. However, there were divergent suggestions on what to do with the animal. Some suggested that it should be taken to the University Zoological Garden, while others said it should be killed for meal. Yusuf Basit, a 300-Level Linguistics and African Languages student, told CAMPUSLIFE that he ran to the scene when he heard some noise from Awolowo Hall. “When I got there, I saw an antelope with a rope tied around its neck,” he said. The hostel’s porters were surprised at the sight of the animal, wondering how it could have made its way into the hall of residence. The animal was later slaughtered and shared among students.

•The strayed animal after it was trapped

•Students singing Aro (a dirge in comic form) with the antelope before killing it

Mass Comm welcomes freshers

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HE Mass Communication Students’ Association (MACSA) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has held an orientation for freshers. The event, which was held in the Faculty of Arts Lecture Hall, started with the induction of the new executive of the association. The oath of office was administered by Mr. N.C. Nnaji. The Head of Department, Dr Ray Udeajah, represented by Mr Anthony Ekwueme, welcomed the freshers and thanked staff and students of the department for making the event a success. He advised students to take their studies serious. “I invite you to find an area in • Mass communication that fascinates you and develop skills in that area; remember that the world is waiting for your services,” he stated. Mr Chidiebere Nwachukwu advised the students to avoid choosing wrong friends.

From Mary Umeoguaju and Nchetachi Chukwuajah

UNN Henry Ihuoma, MACSA president, thanked everyone for their support, saying that his administration was committed to fulfilling its campaign objectives. “Our goal as executives of this association is to create an academically and morally excellent MACSA that will have a good student- lecturer relationship,” he said. The outgoing president, Linus Ukoenang, pleaded with members to cooperate with the executives in order to achieve its goals. He advised the new executives to make their studies their priority. Some of the students who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE said they were happy to be admitted into the Department. Genevieve Aningo said she was happy because she had always wanted to study Mass communi-

•Freshers at the programme

cation in the university, adding that she saw the department as a big family that caters for its members. Daniel Nyoung Edem said the in-

duction was a wakeup call to work harder, adding that he had always nursed a passion for communication. “I know I am a gifted communi-

cator and I want to develop this talent, knowing that UNN would help me to actualise that dream,” he said. A reunion party was organised for the students.


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CAMPUS LIFE The 24th Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA) hosted by the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, ended last Saturday. OLUWAFEMI OGUNJOBI (400-Level Language Arts) reports.

The frills and thrills of NUGA

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PORTSMEN and women from 56 universities showcased their skills in the just-concluded Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA) hosted by the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State. Although, the sport fiesta ended last Saturday, its memories would linger on students’ minds. The sporting event, which was organised to commemorate OAU’s golden jubilee, featured 15 games. Elated by the outcome of the event, the Vice-Chancellor Prof Bamitale Omole, said: “I am happy this event happened in my time and was executed according to plan. With the level of participation and outcome, this may be the best NUGA ever. The success of OAU team shows that, not only have we excelled in the academic world, we have equally achieved a great feat in sport. OAU is the first university to host the game on the campus.” The Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Prof Bayo Amole, said the event was successful because strict measures were put in place to execute the plan. During the fiesta, the campus was a beehive of business activities. Traders were provided with a makeshift market to offer various services to the participants and guests. Hawkers also had a field day. One of the traders, who came from Babcock University, said NUGA was an event that attracted national attention. “I came all the way from Ogun State to sell bread here. I am aware that there are so many traders around for the event, but we felt the participants needed our products to excel in the game,” she said. When CAMPUSLIFE visited New Bukateria, sport representatives from different universities were seen in group discussing. Restaurants and bars, which were almost closed down as a result of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, had hectic time controlling movements of

•Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi, Prof Emmanuel Kucha (right), presenting the first prize trophy to the UNIPORT team coach

•A cultural troupe entertaining guests at the closing ceremony

customers in and out of the places. A few days before the event, OAU students were asked to vacate their Halls of Residence to accommodate the over 5,000 participants and guests. On arrival, the sportsmen were lodged in the school hostels.

The decision of the management did not go down well with the students. They expressed displeasure over the behaviour of the visitors, some of who were seen smoking and drinking alcohol in the hostel. The event was not without drama. Temidayo Akinyele, a final year English

student of OAU was attacked by an athlete from the University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT) over missing mobile phone. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that Temidayo was battered when he attempted to pick some personal effects in his room, which had been occupied by UNIPORT athletes. It was gathered that the phone got missing during the period Temidayo visited the hall. The student was accused of stealing the phone and he was dragged into the room by a group of UNIPORT students led by one Justice Onyekachi. Temidayo was injured in the ensuing melee. On another occasion, a student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) assaulted another OAU student, who was accused of taking his picture while bathing. The UNN student, it was learnt, also attacked the hall porter, who tried to settle the matter. It was not all sport. Participants were thrilled at musical shows organised by Diamond Bank and MTN Nigeria. The OAU Amphi theatre was filled to capacity as popular artistes, Whizkid, Banky W and Wande Coal buzzed the crowd with their songs. The closing ceremony was held at the Main Bowl of the university stadium, which also was the venue of the final match between the OAU team and their opponents from the University of Calabar (UNICAL). The match was tough for both sides, but the OAU carried the day after a lone goal scored by Olanrenwaju Ajibola at the 53rd minute of the match. After the final match, it was time for medal presentation. The OAU team came third on the medals table with 12 gold, nine silver and 15 bronze medals. The University of Lagos (UNILAG) was the first runner up with 13 gold, 10 silver and seven bronze medals. The UNIPORT led the table with 63 gold, 41 silver and 16 bronze medals. It was the fifth time the UNIPORT would come first in NUGA. Dr Ken Anigweje, UNIPORT’s head coach and outgoing NUGA president said early preparations made his team to be ahead of their counterparts from other institutions. The OAU head coach, Chike EgbunuOlimene, said the feat achieved by his team qualified the school for the West Africa University Games and World University Games.

Students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have criticised a member of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) for alleged indecent behaviour in public. PRINCESS-ANN OTUDOR reports.

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TUDENTS of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) were taken aback when a member of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) allegedly behaved indecently in public. Anthony Afufu, the Chief Press Secretary to the president of the union, was said to have behaved inappropriately in his principal’s presence. The incident occurred at 2:30pm in front of the Old Senate Chamber on the main campus penultimate Saturday. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that trouble started when Anthony, who was the Financial Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ), UNICAL chapter, was not invited to grace the swearing-in ceremony for the new executive of the writers’ union. It was learnt that Anthony was not also given a certificate of service by the outgoing NUCJ president, Emmanuel Ahanonu. In his speech, Emmanuel was said to have pointed out that the certificate would be given only to members, who discharged their duties diligently. He reportedly said anyone, who did not get a certificate of service did not serve the writers’ union. Anthony, who did not get a certificate, was said to have pounced on Emmanuel as he was coming out of the inauguration venue, tearing his suit. He also threatened to visit Ahanonu’s hostel to deal with him. Mr Emmanuel Emori, who represented the Dean of Students’ Affairs at the ceremony, expressed disappointment at the

Caught in the act development. He promised to “do something about it”. The SUG president, Bassey Eka, who was also at the venue, was said to have driven Anthony away in his car. Students criticised the SUG official for his action, saying Anthony’s behaviour was embarrassing and unbecoming of a students’ leader. Students, who spoke on the incident, did not mention their names. A female student said she was not surprised by the act. Emmanuel said he could not exchange blows with Anthony because he is not violent. He said: “It is a pity that people who are supposed to be role models do not know how to register their displeasure on issues.” Emmanuel said he would not fight back because he did not want to be expelled from school, adding: “I am aware of the Senate’s decision to expel any student who fights on campus.” Bassey said the incident was embarrassing. He said he had never seen Anthony displaying violent behaviour but said he would not support hooliganism of any form. On the allegation that Anthony had

•Anthony

•Emmanuel

graduated, Bassey said he confirmed the status of his Press Secretary at the Chemistry Department and was informed that Anthony had an extra year. Speaking to our correspondent on telephone, Anthony denied attacking Ahanonu first, saying the outgoing NUCJ president used abusive words on him and he reacted. He said: “I want to set the record straight. I did not attack Emmanuel Ahanonu; he was using abusive language on me when I asked for my certificate of service. Put yourself in my shoes, anybody could have launched an attack because of the

foul language. But I can tell you that the issue has been resolved and Ahanonu has promised to issue a certificate for me.” Stanley Uchegbu, a final year student of Accounting and member of NUCJ, cautioned members of the association against violence, stressing that the act could tarnish the image of the writers’ union. Meanwhile, CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the management has called both students to settle their differences. This was confirmed by Anthony, when our correspondent spoke to him.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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CAMPUS LIFE

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HAD decided not to meddle when open letters flies from all corners of the country. And I took the decision for two reasons. One, I do not want to get on the bandwagon and two; I subscribe that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is responsible for our national woes. My silence was broken by requests from the youths in my constituency, to whom I owe a sense of duty. I, therefore, do not want to contribute to the analysis of the content of letter, but to look at the implications of the revelations in the letters on the Nigerian state in the nearest future, and how it will affect the youths. Tomorrow’s leaders, who should rather be under responsible leadership and moral training, will most likely be handed the leadership of a failed state with no value reference frame to guide them. Rather than commence their leadership task to mobilise citizens for concerted national development, the Nigerian youths, when handed leadership, would probably expend valuable time and resources in the most tedious task of educating the citizens on wrong values being inherited from the present leaders. While our mates in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are gainfully engaging themselves in national devel-

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HEN members the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on strike last July, the union’s agitation was to revamp the declining education system; but the Federal Government seemed to have defiled the agreement made with the varsity teachers in 2009. Amid praises and blames, the university teachers remained adamant, which forced the government to sign another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) late last year. Unarguably, the nation’s education system is flawed and lacked direction. Needless to say that the sector needs adequate funding from the government, stakeholders, private enterprises and donor. Apart from funding, policy summersault has been the bane of the system. The social implication of this is the diminishing returns on our values, through illicit acts exhibited by the youths. Though, ASUU

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N the past, students’ unionism was sweet. Way back in the 1976 “Alli must go” riot, several students were killed in Amadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. Some were badly wounded, but did they merit the assault? They firmly stood against injustice which is the song now chanted by today’s union leaders who failed to make the supposed egalitarian society real. Then, unionism was at its peak and it has no contender other than its strong counterpart which was activism. I believe every union is created to fight for its member and the sole aim of stu-

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HE University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) chapter of the Christian Medical and Dental Association Students (CMDAS) has held a dinner for its graduating members. The programme, tagged: “The Light” was held last Saturday at the Multipurpose Hall of the All Saints Chapel on the institution’s Ugbowo Campus. Dr Stanley Okugbo of the Department of Surgery, UBTH, charged them not to allow the love for money override the ethics of the

Beyond Obasanjo’s open letter opment, we are spending time on molding our minds in dishonesty, destructive greed, tribalism, terrorism, hooliganism, etc. Before we can start to think of setting national development goals, we have to talk about personal values. A recent report by the World Bank says 11million youths will be jobless by 2024 in sub-Sahara Africa. That is four years after Vision 20:2020 would have been realised or failed. The content of the letters do not fail to inform us again that our leaders are morally bankrupt, treacherous and mischievous. And above all, they lord it over us foolishly. They have no remorse over their leadership style; they have no character to checkmate the damage being done on our future by the uncontrolled abuse of our rights. But, if the objective of the Obasanjo’s letter is to change the direction of the leadership and leadership orientation, the mess is worth it. I, therefore, want to address former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Every great nation has got leaders who have the will and wit to galvanise the human potentials in the direction of development and service. It has never been enough for leaders to execute projects and count

achievements. As Abraham Lincoln puts it: “Success is when you are there while prosperity is when you have left”. Chief Obasanjo has got the opportunity more than anybody else to provide progressive leadership for the younger generations and recruit leaders who would not have compelled him to write open letters whether appropriate or not. As a president for eight years, if he had done it right, we won’t be in this mess that needs his intervention. Leaders, who have similar opportunities, had utilised them not only to uplift the standard of living of their people, but to build leaders who won’t lower the standard. I am sure Chief Obasanjo understands this well because he established the African Leadership Forum (ALF) for the same objective. What worries me is why an ex-officio with an “operational objective” could be moving in opposite direction to his objective? ALF is a fluke if Senator Iyabo Obasanjo will represent what Baba detests in his letters and boldly ‘scolded’ her biological father as if she has the integrity to enlighten us. Charity is expected to begin from home. And if the leaders groomed

by ALF is what his ordained president, Goodluck Jonathan, represents, as painted in the general’s letter, then Baba has failed his fatherland. He has failed to provide the youths with the leadership template that will make him to retire in peace from politics and consequently retire from planet earth a celebrated hero. If the realisation of an urgent need to undo certain misdeeds is the driving force of the letter, I may to suggest to the youths that ours is not yet a hopeless situation. “Circumstances have changed people more than sermons have,” Winston Churchill famously noted. Perhaps, this same impression informed the progressives’ leaders visit to Ota farmer and the quest for ‘navigation’. The positivity or negativity of these impressions could only be judged by time, going by the records. In writing to charge the youths to effect change, I also crave Chief Obasanjo to follow up the open letter by restructuring the ALF, evolving pragmatic agro-business project that will strategically absorb growing unemployed youths into the mainstream agricultural sector.

Tackling rot in education system had a strong case, but the strike could not be said to be the main drive towards curbing malfunctioning and substandard outputs in our Ivory towers. Half-baked graduates are not produced in a day. The process starts with shamble and unsound educational backgrounds, many of which these students had during their primary and secondary school education. For instance, a student who passed Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) through the so-called special centre or miracle centre may find it hard to imbibe the spirit of hard work to pass examination in higher institution, since he previously cleared the examination hurdle with the help of “expo”. Students, who in their primary and secondary schools, had substandard teachers, will get poor

By Rilwan Balogun results if not personally tutored. Last December, the Edo State government sacked over 800 primary

school teachers, who could not fit into its education policy. One of them developed cold feet while trying to pronounce what was written on the board. Of course, this requires an urgent attention from concerned authorities. This is an inherited problem for university teachers because the foundations are poorly constructed for these students. Teachers in primary and secondary schools should be groomed and upgraded in order to fine-tune the system, hence, saving the university teachers from inherited problems. True to what history handed over to us, the students in the 60s, 70s and 80s had sound and qualitative education. Federal Government’s colleges were schools of pride, and the competition to be enrolled into the schools then were high. I mar-

Letter to all comrades By Elijah Falade dents union is activism. However, we do not need a prophet to tell us what we already know and to see the woes that are betiding student unionism at present. This is solely because unionism has deviated from its sole aim of activism to materialism. The times of the uncompromising and radical unionist are gone and unionism has become a

platform to gratify selfish interest. The patriotic ones have sold their birthright for stipends and the uprights have compromised their stand for peanuts. The reputation that was claimed by the earlier union heroes has been soiled; their white garments have been spotted with stains of sharp practices of materialists and egoists. Gone are the days when students hold elections without interference by politician, but all has changed at

Final year students hold dinner From Eddy Uwoghiren

UNIBEN

medical profession. He highlighted the challenges of medical practice in Nigeria and encouraged them to take up the responsibility of redeeming the nation’s health sector. “As Christian doctors and dentist, you are expected to make impact because your life is that of purpose. You would be privileged to meet

more people who wou;d come to the hospital for consultation than a typical religious leader. When patients come, don’t fail to attend to them with empathy. See patients as real human being and not mere cases or guinea pigs,” he said. He added that men like the late Nelson Mandela were those who contributed to their community. He charged them to be ambassadors of God wherever they aspire to prac-

present. Today, politicians influence students union to pursue their ambitions. No wonder, our students’ union leaders find it pretty difficult to criticise these “god-fathers” whenever they initiate anti-students policies, let alone frown at issues of national concern. All that the union leaders want to see happen is an abracadabra that will make them overnight millionaires from government purse. They have dropped activism and made materialism tice, stating that their training in medical school was well grounded to meet the 21st Century challenges of the profession. Highpoint of the dinner was the presentation of gifts to all the graduating students and leaders of the association. A representative of the doctor’s arm of the association later presented induction certificates to formally induct the students. He charged them not to shy away from caring for their patients. This was

By Habeeb Whyte These should be done before it’s too late. A Yoruba adage says: “The dead goes only back to its stead; the father of a child is always the owner of the child.” We do not have another fatherland to claim. The mistakes, ineptitude and (mis)-management of our leaders, take an irreversible toll on our future, and if we do not have another fatherland, our future must be secured by our action today. Habeeb is a student of Nigerian Law School, Abuja veled when I saw graduates of the then standard six speaking and writing flawless English, while some of our graduates cannot construct good sentences. In as much as the society itself is not standing at the bastion of meritocracy; where merit counts and the citizenry are fond of embroiling in shady acts; where students believe in cutting corners to attain excellence in all their endeavors, the society will continue to produce half-baked graduates because of their shackle backgrounds, which will birth poor international representation. I, therefore, write to lend my voice against all dreadful acts in this sane society; to cut across education and other sectors of the economy, so as to lay good educational foundation for the coming and yet unborn generation. Rilwan, 100-Level Mass Communication, ABU, Zaria

their watchword. Where are we headed? The only way to revive unionism is to embrace activism and reject materialism. Student unionism will be revived back to life if activism is seen as the principal tool and main objective of unionism. That way, unionism will take its pride of place. It is important to let all student unionists see activism as the sole aim of unionism right from inception and stop pursuing selfish ends. Elijah, 400-Level French Education, EKSU followed by games and thanksgiving service. Godspower Ogbebor of the School of Medicine said he was grateful to God for sustaining him. He thanked the association for their support and encouraged the younger colleagues to be studious and cling to God. In attendance were doctors from the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, executives of the association and members of the University of Benin Medical Students Association (UBEMSA).


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CAMPUS LIFE Student floats online forum

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300-Level student of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calabar(UNICAL), Nsikak Edet, has floated a community online for university students nationwide to learn, share and interact with one another on academic issues. Nsikak unveiled the website, www.smartscholaz.com, as a platform where students in different schools could converge to discuss issues that border on their academics, departments, faculties and universities. The website has user-friendly features that made it unique. It has customised profile page, students’ album, private messaging interface for users to conveniently create threads, initiate and share posts with multitude of users from different universities. It also offers text-based chat rooms for students to network. Nsikak said he designed the website because of the growing need for students to communicate

Varsity digitalises operations

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From Isaac Mensah

CALABAR

with one another on a platform. He said: “I conceived the idea in 2012 but I used the period of six month Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike to fully develop and build the website.” He added that the website in the meantime streamlines its users-base to students and alumni of universities only, but expressed hope to extend the service to students of polytechnics and colleges of education. A user, Joseph Udoh, a student of University of Uyo (UNIUYO), said: “The website is one among many. It is a preferred choice for research and project resource materials as well as to get informed about happenings on Nigeria campuses. May God bless the creator for this development.” David Pelu, another user and student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said:

•Nsikak

“Smartscholaz.com is a bold step and for the common good of students. We must take advantage of this innovation and bridge communication gap between ourselves and students elsewhere.”

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

HE Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA), Niger State, has taken a giant step by creating a virtual academic platform that allows students and staff to perform various tasks by means of communication enhancement software, Phinnx. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the institution adopted the Phinnx web system which was targeted at computerizing the research, collaborative and academic needs of all Nigerian academic institutions. A member of the technology firm said: “Features of the application included video conferencing on mobile phones, tablets and personal computers and illustrator which enable people wherever they may be to teach one another using their phone ,tablet and PC screen as notebooks. Illustrator allows people to easily create more complex and appealing symbols than is achievable in conventional whiteboards.”

UNIZIK elects union leaders

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TUDENTS of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) have gone to the polls to elect new executives of the Students’ Union Government (SUG). Ibe Chukwunonso, a student of Chemical Engineering, emerged president after polling a total of 193 votes to defeat Humphry Onyemsri who had 154. Others included Agulefo Queen, Vice-president; Onyebuchi Kelvin, Secretary General;

From Faith Olaniran

AAUA

He added: “Other features include course and assignment managers, messaging system, screen and code studio, which supports computer programming on mobile phones and tablets.” The software was developed by two students of the university. They are Olofu Mark, 400-Level Information Communication Technology and OguntadeTemitope who graduated from the Department of Mathematics and Computer. In a telephone conversation with CAMPUSLIFE, the duo explained that they had spent most of their time solving problems that centred on performance, scalability, reliability and ease of use. They explained that they understood the difficulties Nigerians face with internet speed, saying that the application was fast. They hoped to sell application to other institutions of learning. From Victor Oguaju

UNIZIK

Onumaguru Jane, Assistant Secretary General; Chisom Chinwuko, Treasurer; Chukwu Kelechi, Financial Secretary; Chukwu Clinton, Public Relations Officer and Divine Ezike, Director of Socials. The electoral process was managed by Prof Chris Ayamene,Head of Committee on Students’ Election and the Dean of Students Affairs. The inauguration ceremony took place penultimate Thursday at the Council Chambers. Ibe promised to promote the welfare of students, saying he would cooperate with the university management to deliver his campaign promises to the students.

UI, institute to enhance food security

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HE University of Ibadan (UI) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have expressed their commitment to food security in Nigeria. The agreement was reached during a meeting in the office of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Isaac Adewole. Prof Adewole said both institutions have a common goal of enhancing food security, adding that university is deeply committed to partnerships that would enhance food security. He promised to make funds available to ensure the success of the programme. The Director General of the Institute,

From Hammed Hamzat

UI Dr Nteranya Sanginga, said IITA would contribute in technical aspect while the University of Ibadan would support in the aspect of training, adding that the programme was intended for the youth. Sanginga said that the Institute’s goal was to organise a programme in agro business where youths would be exposed to the opportunities in the sector. “This will help to reduce youth unemployment in the country,” Dr Sanginga said.

Remembering a hero •Continued from page 30

Before he breathed his last, the late Olatunji was said to have shouted “TASUED” three times. To remember the deceased, students moved in a procession from the Students’ Union building to Ijagun Cemetery, where the late Olatunji was buried. They said prayers for the deceased and vowed not to abandon the struggle. The president of the SUG, Sunday Ekeyokpa, described late Olatunji as a strong and fearless activist. He said the deceased would be remembered for lending his voice when students were in despair. Ayodeji Allen, a 300-Level stu-

dent of Petroleum and Petrochemical Science, said the deceased was a gallant and brave comrade. “He was one of the students that fought against the plan to scrap and merge TASUED with OOU. He was one of the thousands of students that fought for the independence of our institution,” he said. In an elegy written in memory of the deceased, Khadijat Sulaimon, who was a close friend to the late Olatunji, wrote: “Many, the land has swallowed; but remembered not by all; dead they say you are; to me, you are immortal.” Until his death, the late Olatunji was a final year student in the Department of Social Work. He was also a student-activist and the former president of Rotaract Club in the institution.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

45

CAMPUS LIFE SCHOLARSHIPS

ACE FILE

Registry holds thanksgiving service THE Registry Division of the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) Ondo, has held its maiden thanksgiving service in the college. The event tagged: '' 1st Registry day of praise'' was held at the college’s Olusegun Obasanjo auditorium; it was attended by the Registrar, Mr. Felix Aderinboye, his deputy and other staff. Delivering his sermon, a cleric Pastor Johnson Falade admonished workers to put their trust in God in their quest for promotion. Pastor Falade stressed the importance of acknowledging God through praises, stating that it is one way, through which the relationship between God and human beings could become more cordial. He said: "In this first registry day of praise, what we are doing today, is to try to put Satan to shame. Satan was initially an agent of praise before he was cast out, so with this praise that we are offering to God today, we are very sure that Satan shall be made to remain under our feet forever."

New Bursar appointed THE Governing ACE has appointed Mr. Ganiyu Olaniyi Abdul as Bursar. Mr Abdul acted for three years before his appointment. A native of Upenmen-Owo in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Abdul attended Ondo State Polytechnic (now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic), Owo where he graduated with a HND in Accountancy with upper credit. He obtained a Diploma in Computer Studies and a Master degree in Business Administration at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. Abdul, a Chartered Accountant, started his career at the Owo Local Government in Ondo State in 1983 and rose through the ranks to become a Senior Accountant with the Ondo State Local Government Service Commission. He joined the services of the college on July 2, 2007. He became the Deputy Bursar and Acting Bursar of the college from June 2011 to December, last year.

APPROACHING DEADLINES NDDC Foreign Scholarship Programme As part of our Human Resource Development initiative, NDDC is embarking on Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship Scheme to equip Niger Deltans with relevant training and skills for effective participation in the local content programme of the current administration as well as compete globally in various professional fields. The Scheme is for suitably qualified applicants with relevant Bachelor's/Master's Degrees from recognized Universities in the following professional disciplines: •Engineering •Medicine (M.sc. Public Health Excluded)

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•Computer Science/Technology •Geology •Geosciences •Environmental Sciences •Agriculture Applicants must have gained Post Graduate admission into a recognized university abroad. Application Requirements •First Degree with minimum of 2nd Class Lower Division for those wishing to undertake a master's Degree programme and a good Master's Degree for PhD candidates from a recognized University. •Applicants must have gained Admission into a Post Graduate Programme in any of the listed disciplines in a foreign University. •Applicants who have already en-

rolled in overseas' universities are NOT eligible to apply. •Bond of good conduct from any of the following persons from the applicant's community/clan. •a. Member of National Assembly •b. Chairman of the LGA. •c. First class traditional ruler. •d. High Court Judge •Persons with evidence of cult membership or criminal record shall not be considered for the award. •Applicants must have completed the mandatory National Youth Service Mode of appliscation Application must be made On-line at the Commission's website: ( www.nddc.gov.ng) with the following attachments: •Recent passport photograph

•Local Government identification letter. •Post Graduate (PG) admission letter from Oversea Universities. •Relevant degrees from recognized Universities. •NYSC Discharge Certificate 1.Successfully completed applications will be assigned a registration number automatically. 2.Print the hard copy of the online generated acknowledgement for ease of reference. 3.All shortlisted applicants will be posted on NDDC website. 4.(www.nddc.gov.ng) 5.For Further Enquiries please contact : Director, Education Health and Social Services (NDDC) scholarship@nddc.gov.ng

‘Nigeria needs more varsities’

HE only way to reduce the number of Nigerians going outside the country, particularly Ghana, for further studies is to build more universities, Chuks Ochonodor, the Pro-Chancellor/ chairman, Governing Council, Novena University, Ogume in Delta State has said. Ochonodor, who spoke with The Nation in Lagos, said yearly, over one million candidates apply for admissions in Nigerian varsities, adding that more than half of this number are not offered admission. "Over the years, we have had new universities established, increasing in the number of applicants; but statistically, the existing universities are unable to provide slots for up to 15 per cent of the millions who want to study in Nigeria. Whether that is the case or not, where do we find opportunities? Are we going to say until such opportunities come to us to get admission after years of trials without having slots? "We have to look for an alternative. Maybe Nigerians have found Ghanaian universities to be good enough but the issue is first, the available opportunities in Nigeria are limited based onthe number of universities that we have. Don't also forget that for any university, be it a federal, state or private, we have quota. For standards to be maintained, government sets quotas so that even if universities are willing to admit all the students, they would still be limited by that quota. Will you allow your child to remain at home instead of seeking opportunities abroad? He continued: "Now there are also many problems in the education sector. The issue of strike that

By Medinat Kanabe

has lasted for so long either because government has not done what the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) wants going by what it tells us or the government feels it has done more than enough, but ASUU says no we want more. So, we have calendars being truncated every year and so you now see why parents would want their kids to study where academic calendar is not truncated," he said. For Nigerians, who believe private universities are expensive, Ochonodor feels otherwise. He said in Ghana, students pay between $5000 and $6000, but Nigerian universities charge less. "There could be a few persons that want to identify with a school that charge as much as N800, 000 and N900, 000. But the truth is that most Nigerian private universities are charging between N200, 000 and N300, 000 and that is not

enough to run an institution," he said. The former banker spoke on challenges that private universities face in Nigeria, identifying funding as key. "You do know that private universities do not get subventions of any sort from the government. In fact, it is funny. We produce manpower for the nation, but the government feels that it should only give grants to government institutions rather than private institutions. Even when you want to source for support from any foreign country, they will ask you: 'do you have any government support? You can see what we suffer. If, today, multinational corporations such as Shell and Chevron Mobil or Federal Government agencies want to donate, they target government institutions. As far as they are concerned, it's your private business but when you bring out those graduates, they are willing to employ them.

•Prof Ochonodor

"We have to go to borrow money from the capital market. Mind you, you can't get loans for less than 25 per cent. Okay now, where you are limited by the number of students you can admit. Where you are also facing the problem of recognition and acceptance, how are you going to get enough funding to cope, pay your staff, provide facilities, and solve problems?" he asked.

Pan Ocean Oil offers ABUAD students scholarship

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•Aare Babalola

EN students of the Afe Babalola University, AdoEkiti (ABUAD) have been offered scholarship worth N6 million under the Pan Ocean University Internship Programme. Under the programme, which will take place between June and December, this year, each of the 10 beneficiaries drawn from ABUAD’s Colleges of Law, Engineering, Sciences, and Social and Management Sciences, will receive a one-off N300,000 scholarship grant and N50,000 monthly allowance for the six months of the internship. The beneficiaries are: Sarah Itamunoala of the College of Law, Samson Nwabuonwo, Damilare Ogunmola, Clinton Akinseye and Oghene Odjighoro as well as Daniella Orovwiroro, all of the College of Engineering. Others are: Oluwafunmilayo Adegbola and Kesiena Eboh of the

College of Sciences, and Eghosa Arigbe and Catherine Adeyemi of the College of Social and Management Science. In a letter, Chief Executive Officer, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited, Dr. F.A. Fadeyi, said the beneficiaries’selection followed their success in the company’s qualifying assessment and interviews conducted as part of the selection. According to Fadeyi, the interns will be based in Lagos with periodic trips to the company's operational locations when necessary after going through a ‘detailed orientation’ to acquaint them with the company’s businesses. Besides, Fadeyi said each of the interns will undertake a project relevant to its business under the joint supervision of a Pan Ocean manager and an appointee of the university.

NIM seeks standards in schools

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• From left: CEO, Sustainable Conversations, Ini Onuk; Etisalat Director, Leadership and Organisation Development Mrs. Rabi Isma; renowned education strategist, Prof. Pai Obanya and Lagos State team leader, Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria Mr. Olabode Oyeneye, during a workshop, organised by Sustainable Conversationsin in Lagos.

HE President/Chairman of Council, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) Dr. Nelson Uwaga has urged the government to design a national curriculum from basic to tertiary level where students are taught ethical behaviour. He stressed the importance of the national curriculum which, according to him, should be be based on honesty, good work ethics, respect for others, display of national consciousness, accountability, equity, fair play, good time management and good neighbourliness, among others. Uwaga also said there is need to cultivate strong orientation in

By Ibrahim Adam

youths from the grassroots to find solution to the problems in the country. "The development of the country in all sectors has been badly affected by unethical practices, greed and unpleasant life styles, which have smeared the country's image internationally. This is also a source of worry for most Nigerians. "Change can only evolve through people of the right mindset, education and proper orientation to redirect events that would re-shape the country. By doing this, there is need to cultivate strong cultural and ethical orientation in the youths from the grass root," he added.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

46

EDUCATION

Fashola honours ‘Support-Our-School’ donors

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VER 186, including individuals, civil societies and corporate bodies have received Corporate Social Responsibility awards from the Lagos State government for supporting public schools in the state’s 'Support-Our-Schools initiative. The ceremony, which held at the Lagos State City Hall had over 1, 000 guests. Speaking at the event, which aimed at revamping state public schools education system, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye said the ongoing reforming can be achieved through active participation of individuals, civil society and corporate bodies. "They (NGOs)need to support one or more of the 1,650 public schools, including primary, secondary, and technical colleges through the provision of school facilities, enhancing of learning experience, sponsoring field trips, educational tours and exchange visits, human capacity development, provision of awards and incentives to recognise students and teachers who have done well," she added. Thanking the sponsors, Oladunjoye praised them for their immense sacrifice, noting that she

By Medinat Kanabe

was happy for those who have contributed to the programme. Governor Babatunde Fashola, promised teachers that have gone for their Masters and Ph.D. that they would get remuneration from the government once they can present their certificates. He said: "If you have acquired a degree to elevate your colleges of education certificates, bring it, we will give you not only value for it, but commensurate remuneration.Don't hide it because you didn't take study leave. The fact that you have improved yourself, you are entitled to it." Giving a presentation on: 'Learning outcome in public schools', the Special Adviser on Lagos Eko Project, Ms Ronke Azeez, said the new instructional materials made available by the government coupled with making sure pupils and teachers take active responsibility on what happens in their schools, have helped to improve their results from 18.41 per cent in 2009 to 41 per cent. She said the measures have made pupils become more confident leading to their victory in competitions. She said attendance has also improved and govern-

• From left: Group Managing Director, The Rose of Sharon, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija; Chairman, Committee on Education, Science and Technology, state House of Assembly, Abdulwahab Alawiye-King; Fashola and Mrs Oladunjoye at the breakfast meeting.

ment takes pride in their schools. "Teachers come together to support each other, collaborating to see how they can improve learning in schools; they are now very resourceful with better and efficient school management. Districts analyse their results in diagrams. We also benchmark with neighbouring states," she said. On his part, the Tutor-General/ Permanent Secretary Education District IV, Mr Ayobade Obajimi, who presented a report from dis-

Firm to assess 150,000 Kebbi pupils for learning disabilities

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FIRM, Education/Electronics Data Management Company, E2DMC, has signed a deal with the Kebbi State government to assess 150,000 secondary school pupils for learning difficulties. The exercise, which will be carried out using The Profiler, a tool for assessing literacy and numeracy learning capabilities, will enable the state design an intervention programme to address the peculiar learning needs of each pupil. Gabriel Swatzell of Microlink, the company partnering with E2DMC to localise and popularise the assessment tool in Nigeria told The Nation that The Profiler would help states, schools and parents to discover covert learning disabilities that could affect academic performance ahead of time and recommend the solutions to reverse poor performance. He said research has shown that 10 per cent of learners in an average classroom setting suffer from learning disabilities that are not so obvious which affect their performance. "Ten per cent of a classroom of students has learning disabilities so with the Profiler the students are identified and helped. The real Holy Grail for us is the mainstream government education because that is where the future of the country is. "To use the profiler, the students take an assessment test on a computer and once he submits, the tool generates a report so we know problems before they appear. The report doesn't just show problems but solutions. It gives teachers the tool set they need to care for the children," he said. Apart from Kebbi, Swatzell said the firm is speaking with the governments of Delta and Ekiti states for likely partnership and has got the endorsement of British Council for the project, which has received funding from the DFID. "We have signed an MOU with Kebbi State where we are going to assess 150,000 students. We are speaking with Delta and Ekiti States

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

as well. We have partnered with the British Council which has agreed to train teachers to use the tool," he said. Swatzell explained that 10 years of research have gone into localising the tool for use in Nigeria. He added that they have uploaded The Profiler software on tablets to address the challenges of ICT and internet connectivity in Nigeria. "For the past 10 years we have been putting this together. Top educational psychologists came up with the individualised test for the Nigerian child. We thought we could use computers in the schools to run the tests but we found many have problems of viruses or their technology being too old. What we did is to create a version of The Profiler on tablet PCs which we take the schools and use to administer the tests," he said. Swatzell advocated regular mathematics and English Language as-

‘For the past 10 years, we have been putting this together. Top educational psychologists came up with the individualised test for the Nigerian child’ sessments in school, like is done in the United States, United Kingdom, and others. Ahead of a scheduled pilot phase in 10 private schools in three months, Swatzell said the firm had used the Profiler to assess some pupils in Grange and Avicenna Schools in Ikeja and the Supreme Education Foundation (SEF), Magodo, among others.

tricts on 'Administration of Examination,' said there is a decentralisation of assessment procedures in public secondary school in Lagos. He said promotion is no longer what it used to be. "A child must get credit in at least five subjects, including Mathematics and English. He must have 90 per cent attendance, his parents must also attend meetings half of the time." Mr Obajimi said students resume early.

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ARDINAL Nursery and Primary School, Isheri-Olofin, Lagos has held its first biennial Inter-House Sport Competition at the Igando Community High School, Igando, Lagos. The Headteacher, Mr Kyei Samuel, described the competition as 'learning outside the class room'. He also appreciated parents' efforts towards the success of the event. "The aim of this event is what we call learning outside the classroom because not everything will be taught in the class. I promise that this competition will not divide The Cardinal but unite us," he said. The chairman of the event and Supervisor, Ramaniyah Oil and Gas, Apapa, Lagos, Mr Festus Oluseye, said the competition was good for children and youths. He described sport as a tonic that human beings cannot do without. He said: "Sport is something you

According to her, the ministry has decentralised their assessment system, noting that first term is very important because exams are done in February so students need to complete their scheme in first term so they can prepare for exams. Tutor General/Permanent Secretary Education District V, Mari Iji, who spoke on: 'Teachers competency framework' said the ministry has intensified the training of teachers.

School holds sports contest By Ibrahim Adam

cannot do without which is globally recognised and thank God it has helped our youths to the highest level." The Scout Boys led the march past with displays; they were followed by Blue, Green, White and Yellow houses. The contest also featured various sports such as relay race, high jump, football and fill in the basket. At the end, Blue House emerged the overall winner with nine gold, nine silver and five bronze medals; they were followed by Yellow House with seven gold, four silver and three bronze medals.

Pupil manufactures remote control car

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SENIOR secondary two pupil of Lizben Group of Schools Alagbado, Olamiyiwa Maleek, has manufactured a remote control car.

• Pupils of the Presbyterian Model School, Ikeja, Lagos during the school's Valentine’s Day celebration.

By Daniel Adeleye

The car was showcased during the school's exhibition at the school's premises. Maleek, who intends to become an aeronautic engineer, claimed he got the inspiration to construct a car from his playmates four years ago. He expressed his appreciation for his mother's words of encouragement, and urged other parents to emulate her. The Proprietor of the school, Pastor Reuben Ajayi, stressed the importance of science education in the development of the nation. He noted that a better education in science for children could mean better things for society by helping them develop into more responsible citizens who help to build on strong economy, contribute to healthier environment and bring about a brighter future for everyone. One of the conveners of the event, Mr. Innocent Madu while explaining the rationale behind the programme, described science as facilitators to free and open access to information to provide facts and evidences that can guide and shape policy to the betterment of society through technological improvements.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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EDUCATION ERASTUS IKHIDE, a journalist, highlights the efforts of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole in tackling basic education and the mounting opposition against a man bent on cleaning the Aegean's stable.

AOCOED FILE

Presidential committee visits A five-member Presidential Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Colleges of Education, has visited the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos to assess its facilities. Part of the committee’s brief was to determine the adequacy of facilities or otherwise in the college. After the visit, the team leader, Prof Saliu Yusuf Ingawa, of the University of Abuja, commended the management for its numerous facilities. Saliu, particularly, acknowledged facilities at the ICT Centre, built and equipped by the state government.

Sanitation today

•St John Boscos College, Ubiaja, one of the schools given a facelift by the Edo State government.

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TO maintain cleanliness in the institution, the college community has been urged to participate in the monthly environmental sanitation exercise, which will take place today between 8.00am and 10.00am.

Oshiomhole redirects education course in Edo

N the last five years of or so, Governor Adams of Oshiomhole of Edo State has taken measured steps to raise the standard of education in the troubled sector. Most recently, the sacking of 936 primary school teachers for age falsification and incompetence. Some of the affected teachers ought to have retired some 10 years ago at the maximum or five years ago at the minimum, but chose to stay back in the state’s service; thereby blocking their children’s and grandchildren’s employment into the state’s teaching service and stultifying the growth of educationin the state. There is, therefore, a lot to contend with if education givers like teachers at the formative stage are themselves embroiled in roughish conducts that spell doom for the future of education in Nigeria and the younger generation. The second is that of a female teacher early last year who demonstrated sheer illiteracy. The incident forced Oshiomhole’s administration to embark on the overhauling of the comatose education system that was left to decay and derailed. It is the second incident of a teacher who could not read a sentence that give away the other fraud of age falsification. The governor in 2012 had sent 41 zonal inspectors and chief inspectors of education and local government education officers packing over nonperformance and negligence of duty. The decision was the outcome of a thorough performance audit carried out by the governor. The crises coincided with the demotion of the Vice Principal of New Era College, Mr. S. E. Akhabue, from Grade Level 15 to Grade Level 14 for being a perpetual latecomer. The time-book of the teachers, which the governor went through showed that the vice principal sometimes got to the office as late as 9:55a.m. The punishment didn’t go down well with political opponents who exploited the sentiments of some misguided labour leaders who made spirited efforts to revert their punishment. Add to that was the teachers recruitment sagger embarked upon by the state in 2011, which was later discontinued due to massive moneyfor-employment scam by the officials of the State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB. Even though some of the teachers had worked for about two months, Oshiomhole’s paid

them off and asked them to reapply; this time with thorough scrutiny. The governor didn’t stop at that. He dissolved the board and sacked all the officials who were remotely involved in the racket. This has rein in - to some extent - the corruptive tendencies of SUBEB officials and others in the ministry of education. The lapses in the education inspectorate come to the open when the governor paid series of unscheduled visits to public schools across the state where he made mindboggling discoveries bordering on teachers absenteeism or dereliction of duty. Oshiomhole said: “It’s obvious from what I’ve seen today and from what you’ve told me that you’ve all breached your basic duties, which is to monitor schools and file basic reports, which among other things, should include reports on those present and absent so that government can take steps to assist those who want to work to remain and those who don’t want to work to go home. “Edo State Government has lost millions of naira of taxpayers’ money because of your failure to do your duties. “You are guilty of negligence of duty. I believe that most times, you don’t even come to work. We do not need this set of zonal inspectors of education, chief inspectors of education and local government education inspectors. “The days are gone when people don’t do their jobs. It’s shocking that you recognise that you are supposed to have written reports, yet you fail to do so. “I am happy that parents and guardians are returning their children to public schools as a result of the massive investment we have made in the education sector, yet, you who are to ensure that teachers work do not do so. Teachers, as it were, are the backbones of any nation because they are responsible for shaping and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow, if indeed such nation is ready to remedy and rescue the future from the present. They too have to be sufficiently equipped to undertake the task of knowing how and what to teach the pupils, coupled with moral value. They must be responsible to the pupils as much as the state must be responsible to them, with decent working condition, regular training and liveable wages, so that they

wouldn’t have any reason to be distracted from their core duties. But the people of Edo State and the country at large may not have be sufficiently taken aback on the parlous state of the nation’s educational system until the recent Oshiomholeprimary-teacher’s-drama.The incident offered the country a classic evidence of the collapse of the foundation of education in an astounding literacy drama. A female primary school teacher, who had taught for upward of 20-year was unable to read her age declaration affidavit. Even when the governor encouraged her by reading the text and asked her to repeat after him, she floundered. The drama lasted for a few minutes. That absurd drama watched by Nigerians on television which has now become the butt on the internet is not relative to the state alone. It is a national crisis, which demands decisive response. The springboard of this serio-comic was the massive discovery of teachers’ age falsification in which some of them claimed to have obtained their primary school certificates between the ages of eight and nine. “We found that of all our primary school teachers, only 1,287, representing nine per cent, out of 14,484 teachers, had proper and accurate records in our system,” says Oshiomhole. The incident which attracted wide commentary - including some critical editorials - is most shameful, to say the least. It is a serious indictment on the teachers and the supervisory organs of our primary education system. As this was shown across the country and beyond through prints, electronic and instant or social media, the country’s image of a civilised world tumbled. It sends the wrong signals that we are less likely to meet the 2030 UNESCO target for equitable and qualitative education. As demonstrated in the state, teachers’ credentials audit may have unfurled some of the worse cases, but what is most critical is how to redeem the system from its self-inflicted harm. An embarrassing and destructive issue such as this calls for a tough policy decision just as Oshiomhole is doing in the state. The good of the society, achieved through training of the mind – the essence of education – is in danger. The belief is that Oshiomhole has demonstrated the political will

‘I am happy that parents and guardians are returning their children to public schools as a result of the massive investment we have made in the education sector, yet, you who are to ensure that teachers work do not do so’

WICE inaugurated

• Gov Oshiomhole

needed to write majority of the wrongs in the state’s educational sector more than any other state in Nigeria; the same way he acted when he signed the death warrants of condemned criminals, becoming the first governor to do so since 1999. So many states across the country are yet to checkmate the profiteering syndicates that rule the employment of teachers by the officials and Personnel of State Schools Management Boards. One of the ways to ensure that we do not get to this embarrassing state where teachers can’t read even their own document in the future is to subject teachers recruitment and employment process to external body for scrutiny who may not have applicants affinity to the political party in power. There is no way we can separate the teachers employment racketeering and the attendant disgrace like the one we just witnessed in the state from politicians who are notorious for bending the rules for political patronage. What we are witnessing in the state and elsewhere in Nigeria is a clear departure from what we were used to in our early school years. The primary teachers’ scandal evokes the question of death of the Inspectorate Division in our education system. In the past, inspectors made unscheduled visits to schools to investigate teachers’ punctuality and performance in the classroom. We must necessarily return to the weekly or monthly monitoring of our public and private schools by tested and trusted inspectors who will not compromise the value and quality of the nation’s education no matter the financial inducement. The Oshiomhole-female-teacher’s tragic episode in Edo calls for ethical rearmament: a total overhaul through national education policies that will reinvent the wheels of inductive education, qualitative mentorship and practical teaching of the kids. The modest achievements Oshiomhole has made in the last fiveyear would remain a flash in the pan if there is no institutional sustainability. On a sad note, it would be particularly grim for Edo people at the end of Oshiomhole’s tenure if the loafers with artful background presently positioning themselves after him made it to Osadebe’s Avenue, the seat of power.

THE Executive Committee of the Women in Colleges of Education (WICE), AOCOED Chapter, was inaugurated on Monday. The new executives are: Mrs Egboh Fasilat Bolaji (president), Dr Olaleye Bolanle (vice), Mrs Adetutu Faith (general secretary), Dr. Oganah Beatrice C. (PRO), Mrs. Martina F. Daso (treasurer) and Mrs. Olu-Obafemi E. (editorin-chief). The committee will run the affairs of the association for four years.

Sports Council reorganised THE Provost, Mr Bashorun Olalekan Wasiu, has on behalf of the management, reconstituted the college sports council. The new council, which is expected to serve for two years, has Mr. Badejo Olayemi Aderanti, a chief lecturer, as Chairman. Other members are: Mr. Asikhia Toyin (coordinator), Mressrs. Isaiah Joshua A. Asogwa C. C, Dawodu Rasheed A,. Josu Abel,. Quadri K.M, Muhideen S.A.O., and Azeez F.A.J. (secretary) and the Students Union sports director.

Alumni to lay building foundation THE National Executive Council and Congress of the college and the alumni association are to erect a befitting alumni building for their association. They are holding a ground breaking on Thursday next week. The event will be chaired by Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former deputy governor of Lagos State and Ag. Chairman of the college Governing Council. Other dignitaries expected at the ceremony are: Mrs Yinka Oladunjoye, Commissioner for Education, Lagos State and Otunba Fatai Olukoga, Special Adviser on Education, Lagos State who are both special guests of honour ( Dr. Leke Pitan, former Commissioner for Health, Lagos State will be the chief ground breaker. Notable ex-students of the college also invited as ground breakers are: Prof. Olu Akeusola, Provost, MOCPED, Epe; Prof Fasan O. Clement, Director, Sport Council, LASU, Ojo; Hon. among others.Ogunyemi, Member, Lagos State House of Assembly; Hon Ibrahim Layode, Member, Lagos State House of Assembly; etc.


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POLITICS

Ajimobi: One thousand days of service delivery

Etsako, Edo North leaders endorse Ihonvbere for Senate

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In this piece, Oye Arulogun highlights the achievements of Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and contends that he deserves a second term.

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YO State possesses an unri valled history of intellectual, political, and socio-economic feats which lend credence to its sobriquet of “The Pace Setter”. Matter of factly, as Nigeria celebrates its centenary year as a nation, any documentation of any type and form, from whichever perspective, cannot be credible without ample space for Oyo State, the land of many firsts. Needless to say, such a pivotal entity in the evolution of the Nigerian nation deserves a visionary, missionary, dynamic and charismatic leadership, not only to retain and maintain its pace-setting status for leadership position in the Nigerian comity of states, but to affect positively the lives and psyche of the people. Sadly, leaders of the recent past fell short of this expectation running the state both into comatose and decadence paralysis. The major surgical operation required for the resuscitation of the state has been the occupation of Senator Abiola Ajimobi in his a thousand days in office, exceeding the expectations of the people of Oyo State, to the chagrin of die-hard critics. The worst of cynics and best of competitors are jawdropingly stunned by the quick and very visible recovery rate of the “patient” albeit refusing to appreciate Ajimobi’s unparalleled achievements. So, what is unique about him and his government in the last 1000 days? Perhaps the most outstanding is the new lease of peaceful life propelling socio-economic activities and a night life renaissance in the state, clearly, a departure from the reign of chaos and anarchy which hitherto engulfed the state. It could also be argued that Ajimobi government’s uniqueness is in the Oyo State House of Assembly where a delicate balance exists amongst parties yet no fracas, mace hijacking or breaking in the former “ House of Horror” which impeached a dour, colourless and unenchanting governor, despite an overwhelming majority of his party. It must have been leadership and sagacity that exist in Ajimobi. The uniqueness of his 1000 days could also be the civil servants who are reveling in an unprecedented cordial relationship with the Oyo State government which pays their salaries and allowances as at when due, including the luxury of the 13th month salary in full, for three consecutive years, plus free transportation to and fro work. Or the 12,211 teaching and non teaching staff in secondary schools and the 1,714 civil servants across cadres who have been promoted or the over 13,000 who have undergone training and capacity building both locally and internationally. Could it be the thousands of pensioners who are enjoying the payment of all arrears in addition to a 142 per cent increase in their pensions? So, what is unique about Ajimobi’s 1000 days? Without doubt, it may well be the Trade and Investment Community where street traders are being relocated to neighbourhood shopping complexes in which shops are allocated free of charge with the added incentive of interest free revolving grants as financial injections to their trade through the various associations. Or the owners of the new investments taking advantage of the new clime to pursue their interests,

birthing the largest Telecommunications Support Service Provider in Nigeria, the largest Day Old Chick Producer in West Africa, The Largest Bakery in West Africa, the Largest Soya Milk Producer in Nigeria to mention a few. It may be the Education Family who are ecstatic over the progressive rise of Oyo State in the WAEC exams from 34th in 2011, to 23rd in 2012 and 13th in 2013, the reduction of school fees by fifty percent in tertiary institutions, payment of WAEC fees, free transportation to and fro school for students, the establishment of the first-of-its-kind-in-Africa The Technical University Ibadan, in collaboration with The Technical University of Houston, Texas, payment of bursaries and scholarship awards to students of Oyo State origin in tertiary institutions and Law School to the tune of One Hundred Million Naira, reintroduction of running grants for schools, rehabilitation of over 1500 blocks of classrooms, provision of science laboratory equipment and furniture to both primary and secondary schools and the soon to arrive model schools. The uniqueness of Ajimobi may also be in residents nor non-residents of Oyo State who are users of the over 250 roads, one flyover, 12 bridges either rehabilitated or newly constructed, in an unprecedented massive infrastructural development highlighted by the dualization of all the major entry roads to major towns in the state. Could it be transit commuters who arrive to behold the new Oyo State, with its cleaner and beautified environment or those who now drive through Iwo Road Round About in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours unend? Are you imagining it is the close to a million people across the 33 local government areas of the state who have enjoyed free medical services in the Ajimobi Administration’s Free Medical Mission or the one thousand recently employed medical personnel (three hundred of whom are medical doctors), whose patients can reach the hospitals that are undergoing rehabilitation faster with the Ajumose Ambulances of both the bus and tricycle types? Save yourself the mental labour. Ask the operators in the hospitality industry whose books are recording higher figures or the inhabitants of Ibadan whose dry taps have become wet again with public water supply seventeen years after. Inquire from residents across the state that now commute in the subsidized Ajumose buses with the highest fee of fifty naira for a trip with a two hundred naira commercial value and they will tell you they are as happy as the farmers who derive tremendous benefits from the 320 tractors purchased for them by the Ajimobi administration. With all these in mind, who then is afraid of Ajimobi’s second term? They are well known and come in different shapes and sizes. They are the haters of the change in the governance landscape and the raising of the bar in service delivery to the people who want to take us down retrogression lane. They are the rumour specialists and maraboutconsulting conmen. Some have been tasteless and bland occupiers of the governor’s office but want to return to enjoy Ajimobi’s makeover of the

‘In a thousand days in office, Ajimobi has shifted the governance paradigm. It will never be the same in Oyo State’

•Sen. Ajimobi

rusty office with a new ambience, truly gubernatorial environment and tasteful outlook. No doubt, Ajimobi’s performance has opened the eyes of the people who now loath them for frittering away the resources of the state and running visionless governments. Others are silk-gowned geriatrics who thrive on boundary conflicts and possess the notoriety for numeric deceptions. Reputed for their parsimony, they now function as the arrowhead of a fruit of my loin campaign machinery lacking the restraint, wisdom and maturity typically associated with sound minds that have spent just two thirds of their number of years on earth. The pretenders also abound taking undue advantage of the political times to position as contenders. They acknowledge publicly that like a fish out of water, they cannot survive the terrain but hope to seize the momentum for future negotiations. Surprising elements are those who have benefitted from Ajimobi’s largesse and eaten on his table but now defecating on the dining chair. This group can at best be acknowledged as poster candidates. In their very own minds, they know they do not have a chance, not even their wives or children will vote for them but the emptiness of their diaries forces them to create a job schedule for themselves out of politics. The political equation in Oyo state has changed from analogue to digital, from monologue to dialogue, from individual to collective, from servitude to service, from no rules to set rules, no standards to high standards. In a thousand days in office, Ajimobi has shifted the governance paradigm. It will never be the same in Oyo State. •Arulogun, is Special Adviser on Public Affairs, to the governor.

EADERS of the All Progres sive Congress in Etsako Central and East local government areas of Edo State have endorsed the Secretary to Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, for the Senate in the next year’s election. They urged him to declare his interest in the Edo North senatorial seat. The leaders said: “We will send our very best to the Senate in 2015”. Also, the Ndigbo leaders in Edo North Senatorial District, who recently visited the SSG, assured him of their support. Etsako East APC leader Prince Malik Afegbua said in Okpella: “If somebody like this, with a long credential, come to tell you that it’s not governorship this time, but he wants to go to the Senate, what will you do with him? “This is the appointed day by God for him to come here. You can see the crowd here. It is because of the love they have for him. He is a very humble person. Here is a man that contested for the governorship of this state twice and you all know what happened. But, because of the good work the governor is doing, he decided to hang his garment of pride to come and work with the Comrade Governor as the SSG. “We have our leaders. We will not impose you on our people. We will consult and let you know our decision. But, I pray God will say yes to your ambition.” Ihonvbere said he decided to consult and attract the goodwill and solidarity of the people. He said: “I looked at Afenmai as people with very rich history, who have made countless contributions to the development of Nigeria and and state. If you look at the political balancing and the kind of representation we have now at the Senate, it’s not a true picture of the spirit, courage, vision and intelligence of the Afenmai person. “If I was convinced as a teacher, a pro-democracy activist and administrator, that the incumbent was performing at 30 per cent, I wouldn’t have run against him; there would be no need because there would be hope that he will get to 40 per cent and

•Prof Ihonvbere

50 per cent. “But, when I look at what it takes to be a Senator, when I look at what Afenmailand needs from the senator, I did not see it there. According to a market woman in Uzeba, the Senate is not a place for political idiocy, recklessness and perambulation. “I believe that somebody going to the Senate to represent Afenmai land must be thorough and intellectually sound. He must have capacity for research. He must have ability to understand issues, analyse issues and draw conclusion both medium and long terms”. The political scientist said that a senator must be able to anticipate political developments and articulate the interest of the Afenmai people. He said a senator must posses the attributes of a good politician. Ihonvbere added: “I believe a senator is not someone who seeks votes, gets there and forgets the people. If you forget the ladder that took you up or you set it on fire, you forget that you will come down one day; that is not the kind of person who should be your senator. “A senator is not a person who shows off once a year with sone bags of rice and say am your Senator, remember me. He has to be a consistent person and be persistent in his engagement with the people, communities, constituencies and leaders to demonstrate what he or she is doing there for the district.”

•From left: All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim Chairman, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area Alhaji Rasak Oloyede; Member of Lagos State House of Assembly Sultan Adeniji-Adele (Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1), Alado of Ado Kingdom Oba Lateef Adeyinka Ado, Lagos Central APC leader Prince Tajudeen Olusi (second left); Onilado of Ilado and Inagbe Kingdom, Oba Mobadenle Oyekan, and former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Abayomi Kiyomi, celebrating with the Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, on the occasion of his birthday, at the Local Government Secretariat, Festac Town, Lagos.


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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NEWS

BonluckBus begins operation

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ONLUCKBUS Nigeria Limited has unveiled new buses and coaches for Nigeria and Africa. The company, which started operation, is the sole regional sales and repair agents for the buses from Jiangxi Kama Business Bus Company Limited, China Its Regional Managing Director, Mr. Friday Yange said Bonluck products have passed Standards Organisation of Nigeria Products Assessment Conformity Programme (SONCAP); Australia ADR Certification; US DOT Certification and European Union (EU) ECE Certification. Bonluckbus is the first manufacturer of buses and coaches in China; exporting large quantities to developed countries, including the US and Australia with its intellectual property and Chinese

•Yenge flanked by Chief Executive Officer, Diesel Tech Workshops, Bongani Dube (left) and StanbicIBTC Bank Vehicle and Asset Finance Manager Olukorede Arowojolu at the event. By Tajudeen Adebanjo

national brand. Yange said: “Our products include 12 major series, covering all models of six-metre to 15-metre

high-end passenger vehicles for inter city transportation; urban passenger; road passenger; motor homes; special vehicles and commercial vehicles. In addition to marketing of compressed natu-

KIA to set up assembly plant

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ANA Motors Limited, the sole distributors of KIA Motors in Nigeria, has signed an agreement with KIA Motors Corporation (KMC) South Korea to set

up an assembly plant in Nigeria. This, according to Dana Motors, is in line with the nation’s Auto policy. The auto firm believed that the plant will only be possible with a well equipped world class facility. Dana Motors said, KMC will provide the technical knowhow for plant, machinery and assembly of the vehicles, restructuring its existing short term obligation to align with investment done in long term assets. The Auto policy forms part of the agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan and the National Enterprise Development programme. The auto giant said the Auto Policy, will accordingly fasttrack industrialisation, accelerate inclusive economic growth, transform Nigeria’s business environment, stopping the drain foreign reserves by importing and start production and assembly locally. Dana Management team led by Mr. Jacky Hathiramani (MD/CEO) and KMC official Mr. Homer Kim leading the

delegation of officials from South Korea were present at the ceremony to sign the document in the presence of Director of policy and planning Luqman Mamudu for the National Automotive Council (NAC) representing the DG. Mamudu hailed Dana Motors for taking a bold step to establish a Motor vehicle assembly plant which will create significant good quality employment and a wide range of technologically advanced manufacturing opportunities. Hathiramani in his response said that Dana Motors aims to set an example for others to follow, with state of the art systems, technology and logistics applied to the assembly plant. “Dana Motors aims to surpass customers expectations and with the growing population of KIA cars across the country. There is a need for support maintenance by upgrading facility and investing in people thereby creating jobs, increasing skills and ultimately producing cost effective vehicles and also to promote the development of the automobile sector and drive the components parts requirement of international standard at competitive prices,” Hathiramani said.

Toyota to sell Indonesian-made cars in Philippines

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OYOTA Motor will export a compact car made by Daihatsu Motor, Indonesia in the Philippines from this month. In a staement, the company said the car was the first to be certified as a low-cost green car by the Indonesian government and is eli-

gible for a tax break. A combined 41,500 units were sold last year. In the Philippines,Toyota will sell the 1-liter car as the Wigo, with the steering wheel set on the left. The car will sport the Toyota emblem, as opposed to the special emblem adorning the Indone-

sian model. Toyota will begin shipping the car to the Philippines and plans to start sales there at month end. The Wigo will be priced slightly higher than the roughly 1.1 million rupiah ($8,986) sticker price in Indonesia.

ral gas (CNG) luxury passenger and urban passenger vehicles, hybrid power passenger and urban passenger vehicles, using Zinc air fuel cell.” He said the company has an in-

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ITSUBISHI Motors will, by April, sell the Attrage compact sedan it started making last year in Thailand in other Southeast Asian countries. The company also plans to offer the car in the Middle East and Africa, the company sources said. The firm sets expanding sales in emerging countries as its most important business goal. To that end, Mitsubishi Motors is trying to broaden the scope of inexpensive compacts for sale in those markets. The Thai-built Attrage is the company’s second global strategic compact sedan, after the Mirage, which became a big hit in Thailand. Built on the same platform as the Mirage, the Attrage has 1.2-liter engine and offers fuel economy of 22km per liter, thanks to improved technology in the transmission and other areas. Since its debut in Thailand last July, about 16,000 units have been sold, with an affordable price of less than 1.5 million yen ($14,250) wowing Thai consumers. With strong demand expected among middle-income drivers in neighbouring countries, Mitsubishi Motors will ship the sedan to the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. To lower costs, production will be concentrated at the firm’s third Thai plant, which went on line last year.

ternational network of Auto manufacturers and dealers. He said: “This will enable us to source and import vehicles of all types and specifications upon customer’s request - should such vehicles are not readily available. Lead time for these imports range from as low as four weeks to three months depending on the vehicle. “We offer our corporate clients full services which include, full after-sales service support and repairs, one to two-year warranties depending on the vehicle, genuine spare parts, fleet branding and financial options.” Operations in Nigeria and Africa region, he said, will be for sales of buses and coaches. He promised that as market evolves, the company will continue to re-invent, re-align and diversify its business interest to remain competitive. The company in China covers a total area of 150,000¡3 with 30,000¡3 of workshop area and has a modern production system and assembly plant. With a production capacity of 5,000 units of buses and coaches annually, there is room for 10,000 units per year after expansion.

Mitsubishi to launch Thai-made Attrage Mitsubishi Motors will market the Attrage using existing dealership networks in the Philippines and Indonesia, and also the networks it has jointly developed with trading house Mitsubishi Corporatio. The company aims to sell a total of 39,000 Attrages in the year ending March 31, including sales in Thailand. The move is part of the firm’s efforts to grow sales in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and other emerging markets by 20 per cent in fiscal year. It plans to release the Attrage in North America as well. Under its medium-term plan starting in fiscal 2014, Mitsubishi Motors intends to focus business resources on selected areas. In terms of vehicle types, the company will try to enhance its lineup of fuel-efficient compacts and sport utility vehicles in hope of boosting brand recognition.

SAFE DRIVING

Better dimension to road accident prevention

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ITHOUT doubt, the rate of road crashes and fatalities is still very high in Nigeria despite all the laws and activities of the various governments and their agencies. There is, therefore, an urgent need to unbiasely look at the reasons and take proactive actions to arrest the growing monster. I hereby profer the following as workable approaches to stem the devastating tide. •That driver safety training should be more intensive than it used to be in Nigeria. This has become expedient because most of the drivers did not go through the conventional driving schools. •Re-training of all categories of drivers (including the drivers of own-vehicles) should be compulsory even if it is not as regular as expected. •The Federal and state governments and their traffic agencies should not be involved in the training and re-training

of drivers. Rather, they should concentrate on traffic law enforcement. I am not saying this out of any selfish motive. Events in Nigeria is justifying this approach every passing day. For example, I witnessed the training programme of a government agency for drivers. We were about 50 in the class. At the end of the training programme, the instructors (officers of the agency) gave all the trainees (drivers) their telephone numbers to call for help whenever we're arrested for any traffic offense by their fellow officers. This is the common practice among the officers of government traffic agency as an appreciation for participation in their training programmes. In actual fact, they have only succeeded in making the Trainees become fearless, ready to break traffic laws and ready to be disobedient to traffic officers because they already have the numbers of those that can prevent them from facing the full wrath of the law. I tried it and it worked. No wonder, the training

programmes by the government agencies have not been yielding the desired reduction in the rate of road accidents significantly. Rather than taking up the retraining of drivers because of the monetary gains, they should focus mainly on the training and empowerment of driving school instructors that will be charged with the responsibility of training and retraining drivers, enact and strictly enforce the traffic laws and regulations and properly handle traffic management for free flow of traffic and compliance. Let's face the facts. How easy is it for any government agency to arrest, prosecute or fine drivers of companies that are paying them heavily on regular basis for the retraining of the same drivers? The best practice, which is even in operation in the United Kingdom renown for Safety Standard, is the empowerment of driving schools by the government's Road Safety Agency (RSA), to handle the foundational training and re-training of all categories of drivers of public

and private sector rganisations. It is the duty of GRA and Traffic Management Agencies to set and enforce standards for the driving schools, set and enforce traffic laws and regulations for drivers. This promotes fairness and effectiveness in their operations. This particular suggestion may not go down well with the concerned government agencies in charge of road safety and traffic management at the Federal and state government levels because they don't want to forfeit the income being generated from this business of re-training drivers. I, however, challenge the stakeholders and other wellmeaning Nigerians to do more unbiased research and investigation on this very issue to properly understand the need for this suggestion, which I strongly believe will go a long way in drastically reducing road accidents and fatalities and enhance the standards of driving schools that will be properly positioned to comply with the set standards.

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

•The mindset (perception) of drivers on the use of roads should be properly addressed and adequately restructured to promote safety on the roads. •The focus of drivers training should be further diversified from driving skills to include the perceptual, cognitive, motivational and attitudinal factors, which can greatly exert on drivers behaviour, influence their judgment and decision-making.


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NATURAL HEALTH THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

Menopause can be telling on women, if this phase of life is not understood. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA writes on how to prepare for it.

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OWADAYS, more women seem to be reaching menopause quickly due to what some call a change in life style and diet. According to a traditional medicine practitioner, Dr Theophilus Lambo, it is high time women understood that there is a phase when a woman would attain menopause and she should be prepared for it, instead of being caught unawares. “It is to be noted that in the days of our mothers, women were able to experience menstruation and ovulation till late in life and with less health problems as prevalent today. They lived a healthy life and ate fresh fruits and vegetables,” Dr Lambo said. According to him, there were no microwaves or chemically preserved foods or many months of frozen foods in the days of our mothers. “It is advisable for modern women to cultivate habits of healthy living from what they eat, do away with drugs abuse alcohol and cigarette smoking,” he said. Lambo said: “We have often been asked about what caused Menopause and if it can be prevented or cured, but Menopause is not a disease or an ailment or infirmity. Every woman is born with a finite number of eggs, which are stored in the ovaries. The ovaries produce the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which regulate menstruation and ovulation. Menopause occurs when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops. “Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought about by any type of medical or surgical treatment. It is a stage at which a woman’s ovary ceases to produce Estrogen.” He continued: “It is often considered as normal when menopause occurs after the age of 40. To many, it is a normal part of aging process, even though most rural women with access to natural and fresh farm products enjoy menstruation and ovulation into their late 50s. Menopauses, which occur before the age of 40, regardless of the causes, is called ‘premature’ menopause. Causes may be as a result of surgery or damage to the ovaries.” Common symptoms of premature menopause, he said, are often similar to those experienced by women undergoing natural menopause. They may include irregular or missed menstrual periods; menstrual periods that are heavier or lighter than the usual ones and hot-flashes in temperature (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the upper body). These, according to Lambo, are signs that the ovaries are producing less estrogen. In addition to the above symptoms, he said some women may also experience vaginal dryness (the vaginal may also become thinner and less flexible); bladder irritability and worsening case of lack of bladder control (incontinences); emotional changes (irritability, mood swings, mild depression); dry skin, eyes or mouth; sleeplessness and low libido. Dr Lambo said: “If any woman under the age of 40 is experiencing any of the above symptoms provided such a woman has not undergone chemotherapy or cervical radiation, if the mother or sister of such a woman had experienced premature menopause, if the woman had unsuc-

‘Menopause is not a disease’

‘It is often considered as normal when menopause occurs after the age of 40. To many, it is a normal part of aging process, even though most rural women with access to natural and fresh farm products enjoy menstruation and ovulation into their late 50s. Menopauses, which occur before the age of 40, regardless of the causes, is called ‘premature’ menopause. Causes may be as a result of surgery or damage to the ovaries’ cessfully tried to become pregnant for more than a year and if she is suffering from autoimmune disorder such as hypothyroidism or lupus, it is important she sees her doctor for medical checkup. “There are at present, no accurate and reliable methods medically, to determine menopausal stages since the levels of estrogen vary from women to women. The only proven evidence is the loss of menstrual periods for a year or more, during when there will be loss of estrogen. Estrogen, hence, affects many parts of the body, including the blood vessels and the urinary system.” According to Lambo, loss of estrogen is believed to be the cause of many of the symptoms associated with menopause. “At menopause, the ovaries decrease their production of testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that drives sex. The loss of testosterone as a result of menopause can lead to changes in a woman’s sexual drive and functions,” he said. He continued: “Menopausal and postmenopausal women may complain that they are not easily aroused and may be less sensitive to touching and caressing; which can be as a result of decrease interest in sex. In addition, lower levels of estrogen can cause a decreased in blood supply to the vagina. This decrease blood flow can affect vagina lubrication, causing it to be too dry for comfortable intercourse.” According to another expert, Dr Segun Fahuwa (a.k.a Mister Guarantee), to get to natural menopausal stage, a woman needs to consume fresh vegetables and fresh fishes, which are rich in nutrients such as Boron, which increases testosterone and decreases calcium loss in bones; Fibre, which decreases the risk of cancer by decreasing estrogen levels in the blood and Folate that repairs the DNA while lowering breast cancer risks. Lack of Vanadium, experts say, can

•Dr Lambo

Attaining menopause gracefully

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IET: - There are some herbs and food which should be avoided such as high-soya diets, ginseng, because they interfere with the body’s ability to make estrogen and progesterone. Fruits with high concentration of citric acid such as lime oranges should be avoided as the peel is one of the ingredients we used to induce menstruation after it has seized for months. ·Chronic dieting can also affect the balance of essential nutrients, leading to dysfunction of the hormones, eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. It can lead to suppression of the hypothalamus and its regulation of the ovaries. · Tubal ligation, commonly known as ‘getting your tubes tied’. This is a form of birth-control method from which many women have suffered regrets. Many women when after some 10 years they decide to start child bearing, it is discovered that the fallopian tubes have become blocked or ‘crippled’ as they grow to assume their constricted position and hence can no longer function properly to transport eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. We have had to cope with many such cases where their fallopian tubes have shifted and not align to the opening of the ovaries. ·Viral infections that damage the ovary as prolonged ovarian cysts and syphilis can damage the ovaries and affect the development of fertile eggs. increase progesterone, but if it is in excess it can decrease progesterone; hence, it should be balanced. Vanadium is a trace element, which plays a vital role in blood sugar balance, cardiovascular functions, and bone and tooth formation Vitamins A and C help in hormones production, while Vitamin E helps in relieving hot flashes and protects the adrenals and ovaries from free radical damage. Zinc, which makes the sex hormones and the breast tissues to be healthy, also promotes ovaries and adrenal glands to function and maximise estrogen receptor. Dr Lambo said: “It will be advisable for anyone with problems of menopause, to see a doctor, who is in a better position to diagnose the problems and causes before attempting treatment. If a woman experiences seizure of menstrual cycles for three months without any sign of pregnancy, she

should consult an accredited physician or a doctor as self-medication may result in incalculable health damages. “We should always endeavour to follow the advice of the founding father of conventional modern medicine, Hippocrates, which is, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” According to Lambo, there are different stages of arriving at a natural menopause, which is the final stage. According to him, there are three stages of menopause, Premenopause, menopause and postmenopause.

The stages Premenopause typically begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. Premenopause lasts until menopause, when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of premenopause, the decrease in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women experience menopause

symptoms. The second stage, Lambo said, is the point when a woman’s menstrual period ceases for a year “At this stage, the ovaries would have stopped releasing eggs and producing most of their estrogen. The Final stage, which is postmenopause, are years after menopause. At this stage, health risks to older women increases due to the decrease in the supply in production of estrogen. During these stages, women generally undergo different discomforts or symptoms. “It is to be noted that menopausal women, who have more than one specific risk factors for coronary heart diseases (like high cholesterol), may be at much greater risks for heart disease than people with no risk factors,” Dr Lambo said. Loss of Libido, according to Lambo, can be due to other health factors and not lower estrogen level. “There are numerous other factors that may influence a woman’s interest in sexual activity during menopause and after, and these include ‘bladder control problem’; medications; health concerns; stress; depression; anxiety and sleep disturbances,” he said. They also happen, according to Lambo, in women with marital problems and those suffering from different kinds of abuses from their spouses. Dr Lambo said a simple understanding of how a woman’s body functions would better prepare her for the phases because, “the term ‘Estrogen’ is a female hormone that is produced in the ovaries. “The woman’s body has receptor sites for estrogen everywhere; in the brain, muscles, bones, bladder, gut, uterus, ovaries, vagina, breasts, eyes, heart, lungs and blood vessels, to name a few. “Estrogen has over 400 crucial functions in the body, which include regulation of the body temperature, prevention of loss of memory; helps prevent muscle damages and maintenance of muscles,” he said. Estrogen, he said, also “regulates body blood pressure, enhances the body energy, improves the mood and increases sexual interests. “It is when the body does not produce the estrogen again, nay, non release of eggs, and a vital sign of aging, when menstruation stops that menopause is arrived at. So it is a natural process in women. Natural Menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought about by any type of medical or surgical treatment. It is a stage at which a woman’s ovary seizes to produce Estrogen,” he said.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

NATURAL HEALTH

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Greater Celendine... Revisit an old, ignored herb

HESE days, I find my thoughts refreshed and sweetened whenever I return to the Starting Block Everyone had a starting block for everything he or she does. The 100 meters sprinters kneel on their marks, one knee slightly up, both feet on metal starting blocks from where, like released rockets, they spring up and away at the blast of a whistle or the sound of gunshot. There are herbs and herbal medicine practitioners such as Jethro Kloss, Dr. Robert Atkins and Maria Treben, I will ever remember as the starting blocks of this column in the 190s. Today, Maria Treben takes me back to GREATER CELENDINE. Regular readers of this column will readily recognise I hardly mention this herb. I have no explanation for that except that it hardly appealed to me whenever I encountered it in any literature. Even when my father developed glaucoma and cataract in the 1980s, and Maria Treben's HEALTH THROUGH GOD's PHARMACY kept suggesting it as a possible help, I preferred other herbs to it. I looked it up a few weeks ago while searching for something to add to Vitamin B Complex, Valerian root, Magnesium and Lion's Mane for nerve problems. The nervous system is central to many health questions. Asthma may be caused by nerves which con tract, or in spasms and would not relax. Constipation may result from nerves that are not relaxed. Tense nerves may also cause muscle pull pains, sleeplessness or sleep disorders, headaches and short attention spans which disturb the education of many children and make scatterbrains of many adults. Maria Treben, one of Austria's best known herbalists when she lived, began her eulogy of this herb with its other common names: swallow wont Roman Pl and felon wort. I wonder: does it help people with swallowing difficulties… which felons (health criminals) does it fight? The answers come sooner than I expect. Greater Celendine is not to be mistaken for Lesser Celendine. Both have yellow flows, and that is where their similarity ends. Greater Celendine has more branches and its leaves resemble those of the oak tree. One of the uses to which Maria Treben put Greater Celandine is in the treatment of leukemia, cancer of the blood, which also affects the bone marrow. She combined it with Stinging Nettle and Elder Shoots and suggested at least two litres of the tea made from them he sipped throughout the day. She said Greater Celendine would purify the blood and strengthen it. For people beset with "serious liver problems", Maria Treben would vouch for Greater Celendine as a "reliable" remedy because of its "blood and liver cleansing properties" while such problems may include serious types such as cirrhosis and jaundice. I would not hesitate to climb down the ladder to recommend it for digestive problems which may have origins in the inability of the liver to produce enough bile, or of blockage(s) in bile ducts inside the liver due, perhaps, to gall bladder stones. As she put it: "This medicinal herb can be used effectively for gall bladder, kidney and liver disorders. Prepared with 30g Greater Celendine with the root should be placed in half liter of white wine for one or two hours. It is a quick cure for Jaundice. It can also be recommended for hemorrhoids accompanied by a burning sensation in the anus, stinging pain and cramps while urinating as well as for buzzing in the ears. In these cases 2 - 3 cups of tea (which should be scalded but not boiled) should be sipped throughout the day". Whenever Maria Treben felt tired in the eyes, she would pick a leaf of Greater Celendine from the garden, wash it, crush it and rub the juice across her closed eyelids. And, almost immediately, she said, she experienced life return to those eyes. One of the cases she successfully treated with Greater Celendine was a growth the size of the little finger in the little finger in the lower lid of a farmer's wife. She wrote: "A few years ago, I was told of a farmer's wife who had a growth the size of a little finger tip on the lower eyelid. The eye specialist from whom she wanted a prescription for glasses did not like the look of it… she had this growth for seven to eight years without it causing her any pain… and obtained a biopsy. It was cancer. For the young woman, it was a terrible shock as you can well imagine. Since the family belonged to our circle of acquaintances, I was able to bring Celendine to her notice". It was February, a winter month when many plants die. But, luckily, Celendine is alive even during a winter. The farmer's wife dug up a Celendine Plant, obtained from it its orange - yellow juice which she dabbed on the growth five to six times everyday. "Since the growth was on the lower eye lid", reported Maria Treben, "I told her that it was harmless to the eye. I told her also to go to x-ray treatment once a month as the physician had ordered, although the rays do not remove cancer like growth, but, in fact, destroys still healthy skin and often also bones. Shortly before Christmas, I had the pleasure to hear that the growth had disappeared. When the woman came to see me, she hugged me at the door. The eye specialist whom she had seen before had asked her in astonishment what she had done.

To her answer 'I had the monthly x-ray treatment' he replied: 'if the x-ray treatment had removed the growth, it was a miracle'. Maria Treben recognized that we live in "environment polluted times". In this polluted environment, cases of skin cancer are growing "out of red and suddenly enlarging warts." She thought that "facial hair and increased growth of hair on arms and legs of women points to kidney disorders, which she believed would clear with Celendine therapy. "Celendine juice which is obtained with the juice extractor (the fresh juice will keep up to six months in the refrigerator) is dabbed on the affected places, it is allowed to penetrate for a few hours, then washed with a mild soap, and the somewhat dried out skin is treated with Calendula ointment, Camomile oil or St. John's wort oil. She advises, in addition, drinking three to four cups of stinging nettle tea throughout the day along with horsetail sitz baths to further stimulate the ailing kidneys. What excites me about Greater Celandine about 30 years after I first learned about it is its potential to improve vision. Whenever I see a person challenged with cataract or glaucoma or both, I remember my father, now of blessed memory, and wonder why this plant and horsetail did not arrest my attention at that time. Perhaps, as they say, there is a time for everything. Maria Treben says: "Cataract and spots on the cereal are caused to disappear gradually. The juice even helps in cases of bleeding or detached retina. A leaf of the celandine is washed and the stem of the leaf is rubbed between the thumb and the index finger. The juice thus won is brushed gently over the eyes closed eyes towards the corners. Although not rubbed into the eyes, they nevertheless benefit from it. This holds good for cataracts and defective vision and is prophylactic for healthy but strained eyes. I, myself, when working until late at night finishing my correspondence feel its beneficial

L

For people beset with "serious liver problems", Maria Treben would vouch for Greater Celendine as a "reliable" remedy because of its "blood and liver cleansing properties" while such problems may include serious types such as cirrhosis and jaundice. I would not hesitate to climb down the ladder to recommend it for digestive problems which may have origins in the inability of the liver to produce enough bile, or of blockage(s) in bile ducts inside the liver due, perhaps, to gall bladder stones. effect when overtired; I fetch a leaf of celandine from the garden and use it as described above. It is as of a mist is lifted from my eyes". The questions which this poses for us in Nigeria are many. Our botanists are of little help when it comes to giving us Nigerian names for the foreign names of medical plants. Gbile, a forester at the Moor Plantation, Ibadan, has tried his bit. The pharmacopeia of Western Nigeria may be helpful. But how many people have access to it? Maria Treben herself may have recognised there problems in some European countries, for she recommends that the homeopathic tincture of Greater Celendine may be used as she prescribed the leaf and fresh twice. She suggests 10 to 15 drops diluted in water and taken two to three times daily. In the absence of that, the dried leaf and stem should help. She tells the story of an Austrian sextion who no longer needed his eye glasses. There is another story of a man in Mainz, Germany, who, as a joke, sprinkled some celandine juice water on the eyes of his Alsatian dog while drinking the tea. As the story goes, this dog always sat by his feet whenever it sensed he was drinking the tea, begging, as it were, for it. From the foregoing, you're sure to win a bet, if you took one, that Greater Celendine herb has a prime place in my medicine cupboard. I believe that a herb which purifies the blood, strengthens the liver and the kidneys, helps to resolve gall bladder and other digestive conditions, including bleeding and painful piles, not to mention the eyes, is worth a prime location in the medicine cupboard.

Resolving painful, bleeding piles

AST week, I received the following pathetic text message from one of the readers of this column. It says: I am the University student who called you a couple of days ago concerning hemorrhoids or chronic pile. It started about five years ago. I noticed that whenever I defecated, blood always came with it and I always experienced pains to the extent that, I am always afraid of going out after using the toilet because the water and the blood that came out after stooling will embarrass me. My trousers would be stained, and I would not be able to sit comfortably. I went to a teaching hospital. A doctor confirmed it to me that I have haemorrhoid after a series of tests and X-ray. He recommends zits bath and eating of vegetable and taking paraffin. There has not been any significant change. These are my ordeals. I read a column in The Nation Newspaper where you talked about haemorrhoid treatment using ewe ehin olube . Please I need your assistance. REPLY: Please discontinue the use of paraffin. It is a petroleum derivative, an inorganic substance that will, ultimately, compromise the health of your body, which being organic, should be maintained, in health or disease states, with organic materials. Had I the time and the space, I would elaborate on the many problems it causes. You should be careful, also, about vegetables. Vegetables promote digestion because they are fiber-rich. Fiber moves the bowels. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Fiber may graze wounds like sandpaper, open them

up and worsen them. What helps in this case are demulcent, that is smoothing, herbs such as slippery elm. Treatment of this condition will involve the following therapy goals to • Stop the bleeding • Heal injuries • Improve digestive function • Prevent a relapse. BLEEDING: The following herbs supplements are suggested (a) Shepherd's purse (b) Bragg's Apple (c) Cider Vinegar (d) Yarrow (e) Cetendine (f) Horsetail or Silica HEALING: (a) Glutamic Acid or L-Glutamin (b) zinc (c) Wheat germ oil (d) Alkaline Vitamin c DIGESTION: Piles occur because digestion is poor and pressure mounts in the intestine which impacts on the anal veins, engorging them, bursting them or pushing them out as external piles. The preceding constipation encourages the overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria which must now be eliminated as the digestive organs are supported to work better. The diet must be changed. Avoid bread, milk, refined sugar, fried foods, and white flour foods, soft drinks, etc. For the stomach, try (a) Apple cider vinegar before meals. for the liver , try (a) celandine tea (b) mulk thustle (c) liver balance (d) cargueja (e) Maria Treben Bitters. For the pancreas, try (a) Digestive enzymes. For the intestine, try (a) pau d' Arco (b) parasite formula (c) slippery elm (d) colon cleanser (e) Apple cider vinegar (f) Probiotic (friendly bacteria) .

e-mail: femi.kusa@yahoo.com or olufemikusa@yahoo.com Tel: 08116759749, 08034004247, 07025077303


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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT

26-2-14

‘UBA still attractive buy opportunity’ •Nestle Nigeria declares N19b dividend •Equities slip on profit-taking

U

NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) still represents attractive investment opportunity for discerning investors, investment pundits have said. Nigerian and international investment analysts’ reports in recent period have placed “buy” recommendation on UBA, denoting significant upside potential within stated timeline. The reports premised the buy recommendation on the bank’s strong fundamentals, good growth prospects and current attractive valuations. In the latest report, Exotix, a London-based frontier market investment banking firm, Exotix noted that UBA remains one of the banks with the most liquid balance sheet and its profitability is likely to remain resilient in the face of tightening liquidity in the Nigerian financial system. Exotix’s recommendation followed similar as-

By Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

Earlier, United States of America (USA)-based JP Morgan had in its October 2013 analysis of Nigerian banks indicated that UBA has a 45 per cent upside potential over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, the board of Nestle Nigeria Plc yesterday announced that it has recommended distribution of N19 billion as final dividends for the 2013 business year. According to the breakdown, shareholders of the company as at April 25, 2014 will receive a dividend per share of N24. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Nestle Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2013 showed that turnover rose to N133 billion in 2013 as against N117 billion in 2012. Profits before and after tax stood at N26 billion and N22.2 billion compared with N25 billion and N21.1 billion respectively.

sessment by Vetiva Capital Management and JP Morgan. According to Exotix in its Africa Equity Research, UBA’s liquidity position is close to 60 per cent almost twice the regulatory minimum of 30 per cent and UBA’s net interest margins will not decline significantly even if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) increases the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) further. Exotix added that UBA, with a current capital adequacy ratio of 21.4 per cent, should be able to adopt the higher Basle II capital regulations without the need to raise more capital, reduce dividend payouts or cut growth targets. In similar report, Vetiva Capital earlier premised its recommendation on expectations that UBA will outperform the average performance of the bank’s under its watch list. DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-2-14


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

63

MONEYLINK

Foreign exchange reserves fall to $40.5b

N

IGERIA’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $40.5 billion as of February 25, marinating a steady decline in the last three months. The reserves had the previous day fell to $40.68 billion, down 13.8 percent year-on-year, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed. The reserves stood at $47.18 billion a year earlier and have fallen 6.5 per cent this year. Bloomberg said the CBN has been burning its reserves in a bid to defend its ailing naira, under pressure initially from foreign investors selling frontier assets and now from importers. The naira has lost 3.2 per cent this year. Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Limited, Bismark Rewane said in a report that the decline in

Stories by Collins Nweze

naira’s loose peg to the dollar, a policy which Sanusi had been a keen exponent of. He explained that before Sanusi’s suspension, the naira had been trading at around N163 to dollar but the announcement saw a spike to N169 to dollar, before trading on local currency and capital markets was suspended. When markets reopened on February 21st, the naira recovered to around N166 to dollar with the CBN selling dollars. “The CBN has long man-aged the naira within a target band against the dollar, as a hedge against inflation but also because senior policymakers have historically viewed a strong currency as a source of national pride. Currently this band is about three per cent either side of N155 to dollar,” he said.

gerian economy to exchange rates, the acting governor, Sarah Alade, has reiterated that she will pursue the monetary policy bias and stance of Sanusi, at what cost? However, in order to achieve a feat that is gradually becoming insurmountable, the CBN will have to hemorrhage its external reserves level. Nigeria’s external reserves, currently at $40.05 billion, have depleted 5.95 per cent year-to-date and 16.58 per cent compared to 2013’s peak of $48.86 billion,” he said. The naira currency has exhibited significant volatility on interbank markets since Sanusi’s suspension. This has prompted speculation as to the fate of the

reserves below the ‘very important $41 billion level’ is likely to trigger panic amongst jittery investors. This trend had started albeit slowly since December 2013. He said recent events at the CBN including the unorthodox removal of the Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi only helped to stoke the fire. He said news of Sanusi’s suspension was met with negative market sentiment and eroding investor confidence. The markets are yet to re-cover fully from the shock of the century. Also, the naira continues to trade around N163 to 166 to a dollar at the interbank market, trading at the upper band upon receipt of dollar sales from the CBN. “Given the high sensitivity of the Ni-

Ihejiahi advises bankers on integrity

B

ANKERS have been advised to always show commitment, dedication and integrity while carrying out their jobs. The advise came from the immediate past Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Reginald Ihejiahi. Speaking after a thanksgiving mass to mark his retirement, held at the Church of Assumption, Falomo, Lagos, Ihejiahi called on Nigerian bankers to always adhere to ethics so as to reach their full potentials. “Banking is like any other profession or any other undertaking. It requires you stay very focused if you want to succeed. It is a profession you must take as if it is a vocation. Banking is not a profession you will have and do so many things by the side,” he said. He also assured members of staff

and management of the bank of his continued support even outside the institution. Ihejiahi expressed confidence that under his successor, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank would sustain its growth trajectory. “In Fidelity Bank, we always remain part of the bank. The bank is in very good hands. I look forward to continue to support the bank and to be an advocate for everything that concerns the bank hereafter. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to be the CEO of the bank in the last 10 years. I am confident that the bank will grow bigger,” he added. Also speaking, the pioneer CEO of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nebolisa Arah commended Ihejiahi for contributions towards the growth of the financial institution. Arah said: “It gladdens me that 10 years after the tenure of Ihejiahi, Fidelity Bank has remained a great institution.” He said the new CEO of the

bank “must know that a legacy has been bequeathed to him and it is his responsibility to move in that direction.” Meanwhile, Ihejiahi was at the weekend honoured as the “Banker of the Year,” by The Sun newspapers. According to the media organisation, the former Fidelity Bank boss was chosen because of his effort in “lifting the financial institution from a small bank into a tier-one category and playing critical role in the power sector by funding three Independent Power Projects single-handed and participating in syndicating loan facilities for about eight others.” Speaking on Ihejiahi, Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim described him as an epitome of

FGN BONDS Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

hard work and excellence. He said the former Fidelity Bank boss showed a good leadership example during his tenure.

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

-2.11

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 400m 400m 400m

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8

2-5-14 2-3-14

245.6422

-2.57

400m

399.9m

155.7

1-29-14

209.2910

-1.51

Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD

147.6000

149.7100

150.7100

NGN GBP

239.4810

244.0123

NGN EUR

212.4997

207.9023

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

(S/N)

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

Bureau de Change 152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

Parallel Market

153.0000

C/PRICE

CHANGE

CCNN WAPIC MAYBAKER PRESCO GUINNESS OKOMUOIL REDSTAREX PORTPAINT UBCAP UBN

8.66 0.86 2.00 40.00 163.60 38.55 4.62 5.50 2.65 8.45

9.54 0.94 2.10 42.00 171.78 40.47 4.85 5.77 2.78 8.86

0.88 0.08 0.10 2.00 8.18 1.92 0.23 0.27 0.13 0.41

Feb. ’14

July ’11

Feb ’14

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

Standing Lending Rate

8.50%

8.50%

9.50%

4.50%

4.50%

5.50%

30.00%

30.00%

30.00%

Cash Return Rate

1.00%

2.00%

2.00%

Inflation Rate

7.8%

7.9%

8%

,,

Deposit Rate

,,

Liquidity Ratio

LOSERS AS AT 26-02-14

SYMBOL O/PRICE C/PRICE UACN 67.01 61.25 UNILEVER 45.60 43.32 CAP 49.00 46.55 FO 93.04 88.40 COSTAIN 1.65 1.57 OASISINS 0.62 0.59 NEIMETH 1.90 1.81 CILEASING 0.55 0.53 NESTLE 1,100.00 1,071.31 HONYFLOUR 3.82 3.73

CHANGE -5.76 -2.28 -2.45 -4.64 -0.08 -0.03 -0.09 -0.02 -28.69 -0.09

6-2-14 N13.07tr 40,766.16

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

DISCOUNT WINDOWx

O/PRICE

NSE CAP Index

(S/N)

GAINERS AS AT 26-02-14

SYMBOL

400m

Date

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

BANK (S/N)

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

I

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12

NIGERIA INTER OBB Rate Call Rate

NTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation ( IFC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will host the second International Sustainable Banking Forum on March 3 to 4 in Lagos. A statement by IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, said the event will serve as a platform to share international and local experience and best practices on sustainable banking while building partnerships to support sustainable banking in emerging markets. It also said the forum will bring together policymakers from governments, multilateral development banks, financial institutions, civil society organizations, and technical institutions, to share insights and ideas on sustainable banking. Adegbie-Quaynor, said, “The Forum will bring together representatives from the Nigerian financial sector with colleagues from all over the world. It is a great opportunity to promote principles within the industry that advance sustainable business growth and economic development.” Sustainable banking helps banks and financial institutions better understand the benefits and risks of environmental and social impacts of their investments and loans. It provides a framework for them to further integrate these considerations into their policies, operations and procedures. This creates environmental and social responsibility in the financial sector and adds long-term value for clients and other stakeholders he said.

DATA BANK

Tenor

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

•Ihejiahi

Sustainable banking forum coming

NIBOR Tenor

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012

7 Days

9.0417

30 Days

9.6667

Rate (Currency) Movement 6, Mar, 2012

Offer Price

Bid Price

AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 0.72 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 172.15 ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.10 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.17 CANARY GROWTH FUND 0.72 CANARY GROWTH FUND 0.72 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CORAL INCOME FUND 1,617.65 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 FBN HERITAGE FUND 115.83 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 INTERCONTINENTAL INTEGRITY FUND 1.05 KAKAWA GUARANTEED INCOME FUND 143.11 LEGACY FUND 0.78 NIGERIA INTER DEBIT FUND 1,856.44

0 171. 9 1. 1. 0. 0. 1. 1,613. 1,000.00 115. 100. 1. 1. 142. 0. 1,857.

• ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE OPEN BUY BACK

10.17% 11.46%

60 Days

11.2917

11.96%

150 Days

12.1250

12.54%

Bank P/Court

Previous

Current

04 July, 2012

07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


THE NATION THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

64

NEWS

Court declines Sanusi’s prayer

Kano Assembly slams Lamido’s suspension

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

J

USTICE Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja declined yesterday to grant an ex-parte application by suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Sanusi sought to reverse his suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan, pending the determination of an interlocutory motion he filed along with a suit he initiated, challenging the suspension. He had accompanied the exparte application with documents, including a letter dated February 19, 2014, addressed to the plaintiff by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, titled: “Suspension from office.” Shortly after Sanusi’s lawyer, Sam Kagbo, informed the court about the application, Mr. Justice Kolawole said he felt hesitant and constrained to grant the reliefs sought. He ordered that the respondents be put on notice. On the plaintiff’s apprehension that a delay would occasion harm to his interest, the judge noted that the court possesses the powers to declare the suspension unlawful and order his return to office, if at the end of trial, it finds that the suspension was wrong. He added that even where the tenure had lapsed, the court could order the defendants to pay the plaintiff such remunerations and allowances, if his remuneration and allowances were also suspended while his suspension lasted. The judge held that it was unsafe, at the current preliminary stage of the case, for the court to grant far-reaching interim orders which have all the attributes of a mandatory injunction without hearing from the defendants Mr. Justice Kolawole noted that when defendants have been duly served with the originating summons and motion on notice, he intends to inquire whether, in the light of the Third Alteration Act, No: 20 of the Constitution, the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to hear the case, irrespective of the questions for determination contained in the originating summons. He adjourned till March 12 for hearing. In a suit filed on Monday, Sanusi is urging the court to, among others, restrain the President and two others from giving effect to his purported suspension, pending the determination of his suit. Also to be restrained are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), sued with the President. Sanusi urged the court to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from obstructing, disturbing, stopping or preventing him in any manner, from performing the functions of his office and enjoying, in full, the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office of the governor of the CBN. He said the interlocutory application he filed with the suit was necessitated by issues raised in the suit. Sanusi added that he was of the view that delay could occasion irreparable, serious damage and mischief against him in the exercise of his statutory duties as the CBN governor.

T

HE Kano State House of Assembly yesterday condemned the suspension of the embattled Central Bank Governor, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The lawmakers described it as unconstitutional. The Deputy Speaker, Hamisu Ibrahim, and the Majority Leader, Kabiru Alasan Rurum, who spoke to reporters at the Assembly said: “We condemn in total-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ity the suspension of Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN Governor and that the suspension is not in line with the 1999 Constitution, as amended. “That the suspension is against the provisions of the CBN Act and we commend the stand taken by the House of Representatives and the Nigeria Labour Congress

(NLC) over the issue. “We call on the Senate to reject the suspension as it is unconstitutional. “That Sanusi deserves to be commended for transforming the banking and economic sector during within his tenure. “As representatives of the people, our stand reflects their wishes and aspirations and we are solidly behind this great son of

Kwara warns against illegal pasting of posters From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

I •Sanusi

Kano, who is the best CBN Governor ever.

LLEGAL mounting of billboards, banners and pasting of posters by political parties, corporate and religious bodies are now offences in Kwara State. The use of the flyover bridge panels in the Post Office area of Ilorin, the state capital, for pasting of banners will attract N6million per annum. Addressing reporters yesterday, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Kamaldeen Ajibade said the State Structure for Signage and Advertisement Agency (KWASSA) was signed into law in 2010 and amended last year. The law regulates outdoor structures for the display of signage and advertisement in the state. Ajibade said it is mandatory for any person or corporate body to register and obtain permit from the agency before erecting, constructing, enlarging or structurally modifying any outdoor

Echocho: no plan to defect From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

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Chairman, 50 th Anniversary Committee of Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church, Prof. Wale Omole, Managing Director, Berger paint, Clement Olowokande and Sir Mike Lawani during the Variety Night of Songs to commemorate the 50th Anniversary PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL of Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church, Ikeja.

12 die in Jigawa, Kano road accidents

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EN people died yesterday and 12 others injured in an accident involving two buses at Sada village, Kazaure Local Government Area of Jigawa State. It was gathered that the buses collided and six people, including a two-year-old boy, died instantly. The state commandant of

From Ahmed Rufa’I, Dutse and Kolade Adeyemi Kano

the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Malam Muhammad Gidado Fari, said his men took the victims to the Kazaure General Hospital. According to him, one of

the vehicles was coming from Daura and the other one from Kano. Fari attributed the accident to reckless driving. In Kano State, two women officers of the State Hisbah Commission died yesterday in an accident on Gada Biyu Road in Tudun Wada Local Government Area. The Federal Road Safety

Commission (FRSC) said 12 passengers were on board a Toyota Hiace bus, which belongs to the government. FRSC Sector Commander Garba Ibrahim said 10 passengers were injured and were taken to Tudun Wada General Hospital. The bodies have been deposited at the mortuary.

Southern Kaduna demands federal institution

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HE People of Southern Kaduna have asked the Federal Government to establish a federal institution in the area in honour of the late Senator Isaiah Balat, who died at the National Hospital, Abuja. The demand came at the funeral of the late Presidential Adviser. Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and the Senate President, Senator David Mark described the late Balat as a brother, colleague, confidant and a man, who believed in getting things done correctly. President of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union Dr. Ephraim Goje, who spoke on behalf of the Southern Kaduna people, said though Southern Kaduna had always been the cash cow of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it had no federal presence to show for it. “For the ruling party to truly honour our brother, who was one of its major financiers, it should convert the

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

Kaduna State University (KASU), Kafanchan Campus, into a Federal University of Technology and also ensure the creation of Gurara State, for the people of Southern Kaduna,”he said. Sambo said: “Balat was a brother, a colleague, and a confidant. He was a great mobiliser of people, an astute politician, a humanitarian, and a great asset to the PDP. “From a humble background, he converted challenges to his advantage and became an icon of his time. His death has created a huge vacuum which cannot be filled.” The Senate President, David Mark, asked Senator Solomon Ewuga to speak on behalf of the National Assembly. Balat Balat served as Senator representing Southern Kaduna, from 2003 to 2007. Ewuga said: “I am cold with grief standing here to speak on behalf of the National Assembly. I have

known Balat for quite some time, and I have visited this village several times to discuss with him . He was a hardworking and discipline man who believed in getting things done correctly. We shall all miss him”, he said. Former Minister of Information and leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Prof. Jerry Gana described the late Balat as a courageous politician. Kaduna State Governor Ramalan Yero assured the people that his government will complete the secondary school in the village, which the late Balat was building, adding that he would miss the invaluable advice he received from the late Balat. “He was one of the people that I always consulted on how to ensure everlasting peace and security in the state. The deceased’s son, Adam, said: “He taught us the value of hard work, honesty and faith. He should be remembered as simple decent man, who saw injustice and tried to correct it; who saw suffering

and brought succour.”

FORMER governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Jibrin Isah Echocho, said yesterday he has no plans to defect to any party. He asked his supporters not to seek revenge against anyone in the state. Echocho, who made the clarification in a statement in Abuja through his Media Adviser, Phrank Shaibu, said it was too early for anybody to make such a conjecture. The Supreme Court last Friday declared Governor Idris Wada as the validly nominated PDP candidate in the state. The verdict fuelled speculations that Echocho might join another party. The statement said: “The story of a planned defection of Jibrin Isah Echocho and his supporters is a figment of the demented imagination of persons, who are either threatened by the large following and support he enjoys and our political strength. “Echocho is embarrassed by the orchestrated attempt to calumniate on his hard earned integrity.”

Applicant in court for indecent assault on woman

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N applicant, Samuel Maina, appeared yesterday in an Upper Area Court at Karu, Abuja, for touching a woman’s breast and snatching her bag. Maina was charged with gross indecency and theft. Police Prosecutor Phillip Akugo told the court that Alice Ujah reported the accused and two others now at large to the Asokoro Police Station on Febuary 24. Akugo said the complainant said she boarded a taxi with the accused and two others from AYA to Kuruduma Village, where she resides. Akugo said:“ Ujah, who was the only woman in the taxi, in her statement, said the accused and one of his accomplice started to touch her breasts while the

other searched her bag.’’ He said they made away with her N34,000 and threatened to beat her, if she raised the alarm. The prosecutor said the driver, who was also an accomplice, drove Ujah to an unknown place and stripped her naked. Theft and gross indecency contravene Sections 286 and 285 of the Penal Code. If convicted, Maina faces eight years in prison or an option of fine or both. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Judge, Umar Kagarko, admitted the accused to N50,000 bail and one surety. Kagarko ordered that the surety must be a respected person ,who must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction. He adjourned the case till April 14.


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NEWS

Jonathan’s cousin: Family weighs options

Amaechi releases N1b to end doctors’ strike

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HE strike by medical doctors in Rivers State may end soon with the release of N1billion by Governor Rotimi Amaechi to address the rot in public health facilities across the state. Doctors in the state civil service on February 9 embarked on an indefinite strike to protest the various deficiencies in the public facilities. C om m i ssi oner f or Health Dr. Sampson Parker yesterday announced the release of the N1 billion as part payment of the backlog of the free-medical services. The government had abandoned servicing its debt on the Free- Medical programme. Parker blamed the situation on lack of funds, following the withholding of part of the state monthly revenue allocation by the Federal Government. He regretted the development but stressed that the government was doing everything to ensure that

• Fresh troops deployed in Otuoke, creeks

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HE atmosphere was gloomy yesterday at the house of Inengite Nitabai, the cousin of President Goodluck Jonathan, who was abducted on Sunday by 10 gunmen. Distraught family members and sympathisers sat in groups in the compound in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area, discussing the incident. The assailants, it was gathered, have not contacted the family three days after the abduction. This has created panic and heightened apprehension among family members. There are different conspiracy theorioes on the motive of the abductors. Some are considering assassination, others dismissed it and believed the gunmen carried out the act for ransom. “We are afraid for our father. Apart from the fact that he is old, his kidnappers have remained silent. Their silence is killing us. “This is the third day and we have not heard anything from them. We are waiting for their call,” a family member said. But another family member believes that the gunmen must have carried out the act for money, especially knowing the relationship between their victim and the President. One of Nitabai’s sons, Frank, said they were apprehensive. He said the family was seeking divine intervention. “We have arranged praying and fasting to seek the face of God. Every morning and evening, we gather to pray for his free-

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From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

dom. “We are pleading with the kidnappers to let our father go,” he said. A top security source said the development had rattled the Presidency, adding that Jonathan had ordered security operatives to find his adopted father. “More security operatives and intelligence officers have arrived in the state from Abuja. “The 2 Brigade has also deployed more soldiers. In fact, the whole place is flooded with security operatives,” he said. A visit to the state police command in Yenagoa showed that Nitabai’s relatives were having a meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Hilary Opara. It was learnt that the meeting was aimed at settling a land dispute between the victim and some of his relations. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) condemned the kidnap. A statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, consoled the President and the victim’s family. The Ijaw youth body vowed to work with security agencies to fish out the perpetrators. It said the development was an acid test to the antikidnapping law of the state and appealed to Governor Seriake Dickson to ensure that persons behind the incident were apprehended and prosecuted. “To this end, IYC has set up a three-man team to coordinate and collaborate with security agents to fish out the kidnappers.”

P •Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa (right) presenting a set of catering tools to one of the beneficiaries of Gbenga Ashafa Trust Endowment (GATE), Miss Risqot Olajire at the Senator’s constituency office, Ketu, Lagos...yesterday

Two filling stations shut

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HE Rivers State Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources shut yesterday two filling stations for allegedly hoarding fuel, adjusting their metres and selling fuel in jerry cans. The stations are Conoil at Amadi-Ama and Oando at Eleme Roundabout. The Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources,

Okey Amadi, said the ministry would shut down any station that hoards or fails to sell fuel to the public and those who sell above approved pump price. Amadi added that the government would ensure that filling stations with product sell to the public and advised motor-

and those who cannot be trained will be asked to quit the system. ” Oshiomhole called on teachers to reflect on the dismal performance of students in the last WAEC/ NECO examination. The President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), represented by the Deputy National President, Olu Abiola, praised the governor for his achievements in the education sector.

He, however, said the competency test has a professional flaw, adding that teaching is a service and not a product industry and competency test to an average worker is sustainable at the level of appointment. Abiola said he would report back to the NUT President on the outcome of the meeting before the union takes its final decision on the matter.

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

Edo teachers’ test holds in two weeks

HE competency test for teachers in public primary and secondary schools in Edo State will hold in two weeks. Governor Adams Oshiomhole announced this yesterday after a meeting with the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) at the Government House. At the meeting, as observers, were members of the Civil Societies Organisations and some monarchs. Oshiomhole said the government had held five meetings and postponed the proposed test twice. He said: “We have met over five times and I believe we have spent more than enough time on the issue. “This test is to be done in the next 14 days and it is left for the teachers to decide whether or not they want to do it. This assessment test will not be postponed more

than two weeks from now. It will not be changed and it will be the final. “Why I am allowing myself more time is to enable the committee we have put up to have enough time as regards the procedure or method they are going to adopt in the assessment. “The assessment will establish the teachers with the basic knowledge and those who don’t have and for those who have, appropriate training will be designed for them. “We cannot allow, even for a day, for bad teachers to poison the minds of our children. Everybody is looking for escape routes, but the poor who are trapped have no option. “The purpose of the assessment is to separate the quacks from the genuine ones, then we can embark on training and retraining. “Those who can be retrained will be retrained

Car stolen in church

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From Osagie Otabor, Benin

OBBERS have stolen an Opel saloon car belonging to a retired journalist, Wilfred Igunbor. The car was parked inside the premises of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church on Sapele Road, Benin City, Edo State, where Wilfred is a parishioner. Wilfred, who worked with the defunct Daily Times, was in church to attend the 7am mass. He said he has reported the theft to the police. Wilfred gave the car registration number as BEN 61 CU, Chasis Number: VOL00001711233074 and Engine Number: 185V25035043.

From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

all the issues raised were addressed within a short time. He appealed to his colleagues for understanding. Parker spoke at the doctors’ emergency executive meeting in Port Harcourt yesterday. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Okere Iragunuma, was also present. He expressed optimism that the strike would be called off after the doctors’ congress meeting today. He said the government and the Management Board have appealed to the resident doctors to suspend the strike. “The Commissioner of Health has assured us that the issue would be addressed. “Some of them have been addressed; the governor is said to have released N1 billion to address some of the issues.

‘I’m Baba Aladura’

RELATE Lazarus Anuba Onyeleonu has said he is the authentic Baba Aladura of the 84-year old Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim (Worldwide). A statement by the Secretary to the Holy Order, Dr Napo Emuchay, reads: “The Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim(Worldwide) as founded by St Moses Orimolade Tunolase in 1925 and registered on February 14, 1930 with its national headquarters at 9/11 Pearse Street, Surulere, Lagos has a subsisting Baba Aladura in the person of Elder Lazarus Anuba Onyeleonu (Moses Orimolade V111), who was installed as the Baba Aladura and Prelate of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim (Worldwide) on September 8, 2011. “The public is hereby duly informed to be mindful of the false and misleading publications by those persons parading themselves as members of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim to which they have no legitimate claim.”


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NEWS

Pa Orewole for burial

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HE remains of the late Pa Samuel Adeeko Orewole will be buried tomorrow at his residence in Iyin Ekiti. Pa Orewole died on January 3. He was 78. The deceased, a civil servant, retired as the Principal Assistant Registrar of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State more than a decade ago. Funeral rites began yesterday. There would be church service at the All Saint Anglican Church, Iyin Ekiti tomorrow. Interment followed immediately at his residence at Okoko Quartres.

•Lagos State Commissioner for Housing Mr. Bosun Jeje (third left) presenting the keys to the completed homes at the Ojokoro Housing Estate to the Executive Director, Lagos Mortgage Bank (LMB), Mr. Bayowa Foresythe (left) on behalf of the Homes Mortgage Board...yesterday. With them are Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing Jimoh Ajao (second left), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Tunji Odunlami (second right) and Senior Special Assistant to the PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES governor on Housing, Michael Akindele.

Nigerian stowaway dies under South African Airways plane at U.S .airport

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•The late Orewole

SUSPECTED stowaway was found frozen to death in the undercarriage of a South African Airline passenger jet at Dulles Airport in Washington, after the plane landed from Senegal. The man, identified only as Chris Dikeh, with a Nigerian Passport and in his mid-30s, is believed to have frozen in temperatures around -60°C. The deceased boarded the aircraft from Dakar, Senegal, his body was discovered Saturday in the wheel well of the plane parked at Dulles International Airport in Washington. Per Second News gathered from the Police that it was a South African Airways jet that

was parked now in a remote part of the airport. Grounds crews found the body on Saturday afternoon.” Airport authorities say the male body was recovered from the landing gear of the Airbus A340 belonging to South African Airways. The flight arrived in Dulles on Wednesday last week. In a release sent to Per Second News by officials of the South African Airways and signed by SAA spokesperson Mr Tlali Tlali,” (SAA) has initiated an internal investigation into the discovery of a human body on its aircraft in Washington DC, in the United States of America”.

“Once at the Dulles International Airport in Washington DC, it was discovered that there was a fault with the landing gear of the aircraft A340300 and the aircraft had to receive attention. It led to SAA dispatching its engineers and technicians to the US to identify the cause and to fix the fault on the aircraft”. “During the process of conducting tests on the aircraft, SAA engineers discovered a human body in the centre wheel well”. “SAA will offer its full coop-

eration to the US authorities and/or law enforcement agencies in an effort to ensure that a thorough investigation into this incident is carried out as expeditiously as possible”. “We regret any loss of human life and are deeply concerned about the suspicious circumstances surrounding this incident and for that reason we have initiated an SAA internal investigation into the whole matter”, Tlali concluded.. According to South African Airways, the plane initially departed from Johannesburg and

made one stop in Dakar, Senegal before arriving in the U.S. It’s still unclear when the body got into the wheel well of the plane. Meanwhile, Per Second news gathered that a Pathologist, who carried out a post-mortem examination on Dikeh, said he might have died hours after take-off as oxygen levels plummeted. Officials of the Department of Homeland Security have contacted the Embassy of Nigeria to confirm his citizenship status.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

trooping into the APC. Look at the just concluded registration exercise. It shows we have the love and support of the people to floor the PDP in 2015. “I supervise the registration in Ibadan and I can confidently tell you that we recorded close to 900,000 registration in Ibadan alone, and most Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Accord Party members also registered enmass.”

‘More PDP, AP members’ll defect to APC in Oyo’

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CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Oyo State, Alh Abass Oloko has confidently disclosed that more opposition party members from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Accord Party(AP) in the state will soon join APC ahead of the 2015 general elections. He spoke yesterday while addressing journalist in his office at Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Church programme

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E’s Alive Chapel (Glory Centre) is set to hold a special Sunday session tagged; Open Doors, a Family Monthly special. It will hold at Omila Road, off Saka Adisa Street, Opposite Anglican Saka Adisa Street, Abule Oshun, Lagos on Sunday at 8am. The host, Pastor Gideon Emmanuel, said this programme is set apart for total breakthrough. Pastor Don Woke is expected to minister.

He said APC is a coalition of the strongest parties, adding that the recent achievements by the APC governors has been responsible for the defections of the members of the opposition party to APC in Oyo State and the country at large. “APC is stronger now and the PDP is already jittery. Look at the rate at which people are

PPPRA to marketers: don’t sell PMS above N97 per litre

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From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

HE Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) yesterday warned marketers not to sell the Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS) above the official pump price of N97 per litre. According to a statement by its Executive Secretary Farouk Ahmed, marketers are already hoarding fuel in anticipation of price increase. The agency, he said, has neither raised the price of PMS, nor has any intention to do so. He noted that the “PPPRA hereby directs all marketers to release for sale the products in their tanks and depot and at the officially approved pump price. To ensure compliance, DPR and PPPRA will work to monitor the situation at retail outlets, and will not hesitate to shut down any station hoarding products or selling above the official pump price.” Advising Nigerians to shun panic buying, the PPPRA boss claimed that the agency has sufficient stock.

Police probe man’s death in Aba brothel

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MIDDLE-AGED man, identified as Mr. Ogadinma Chukwu, has reportedly died in Aba, Abia State while having sex with a prostitute (name unknown) in one of the popular brothels on St. Michael’s Road, Aba. The incident, it was learnt, forced people at the brothel to flee. The area was deserted, as traders and shop owners closed businesses to avoid arrest. Although there has not been any medical report on the cause of the death, people were of the opinion that the man could have died, following cardiac arrest or exhaustion, as he was

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

foaming. The Nation gathered that the prostitute, having noticed that her customer had slumped and died atop her, contacted her colleagues and the brothel workers, who dumped his body behind the brothel. It was learnt that officers from the Aba Central Police Station, in an effort to identify the deceased, recovered from him N20,000, a cheque book, ATM card and a Man ‘O’ War identity card bearing the name, Mr. Ogadinma Chukwu. The manager, Mr. Nnamdi,

was not around when our correspondent visited the brothel. The outgoing commander, Man ‘O’ War, Aba, Mr. Uche Egbuziem, identified Chukwu as a member of the proscribed Man ‘O’ War Association of Nigeria. He said the deceased and some members of the defunct group still used their old identity cards as a cover up. Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna could not be reached for comments, but a senior police officer said the body had been deposited in an undisclosed mortuary, pending autopsy to determine the cause of the death.


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FOREIGN NEWS 26 sentenced to death in Egypt over Suez ‘terror plot’

London soldier’s murderers jailed

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N Egyptian court has sentenced 26 people to death for founding a “terror group” with the aim of attacking ships using the Suez Canal. Judges said the men were also accused of manufacturing missiles and explosives, local media report. The defendants were tried in absentia, Reuters news agency says. The sentencing comes a day after the new Prime Minister designate, Ibrahim Mahlab, vowed he would “crush terrorism in all the corners of the country”. Mr Mahlab has been put in charge of forming a new government following Monday’s surprise resignation of interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi and his cabinet. Mr Beblawi was appointed in July 2013 after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in the wake of mass protests. Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of others detained in a crackdown by the security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement to which Mr Morsi belongs. Militants based in the Sinai peninsula have meanwhile stepped up attacks on government, police and the armed forces, killing hundreds. In Wednesday’s verdict, the court said the accused had harmed “national unity”, inciting violence against the army, police, and Christians.

Rival rallies confront one another

•Adebolajo

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ICHAEL Adebolajo has been given a whole-life term and Michael Adebowale has been jailed for a minimum of 45 years for murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby. Adebolajo, 29, and Adebowale, 22, drove into Fusilier Rigby with a car before hacking him to death in Woolwich, south-east London, in May last year. The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, said Adebolajo’s was one of those “rare cases” warranting a whole-life term. The pair were absent during sentencing after a scuffle in the dock. As Mr Justice Sweeney began to sentence the men they started shouting and scuffling with court security guards. They had to be forced to the ground and were removed from court. Sentencing the killers in their absence, the judge said they had

•Adebowale

been convicted on “overwhelming” evidence of the “barbaric” murder of Fusilier Rigby. Adebolajo was the leader of the “joint enterprise”, the judge said, but Adebowale played his part “enthusiastically”. Mr Justice Sweeney said the pair carried out the murder “in a way that would generate maximum media coverage”. “He had done absolutely nothing to deserve what you did to him”, the judge said. The pair created “a bloodbath”, he went on. “You both gloried in what you had done”, said the judge. “Your sickening and pitiful conduct was in stark contrast to the women at the scene who tended to Lee Rigby’s body and challenged what you had done.” Speaking outside court, DI Pete Sparks, police liaison officer for Fusilier Rigby’s family, read out a short statement on behalf of the family saying “no

•The late Rigby

other sentence would have been acceptable”. “We feel satisfied that justice has been served for Lee”, the statement said. Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said Adebolajo and Adebowale had “revelled in one of the most appalling terrorist murders I have seen”. “Not only was the attack brutal and calculated, it was also designed to advance extremist views”, she said. Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick said the sentences reflected the “true horror” of Fusilier Rigby’s murder. Earlier, Fusilier Rigby’s wife Rebecca said her young child would grow up and see images “no son should have to endure”. Her statement was one of those from Fusilier Rigby’s family, read out by prosecutor Ri-

chard Whittam QC. Mrs Rigby said she had accepted her husband’s life would be at risk when he was deployed to Afghanistan, but not when he was in the UK. She said: “When you wave someone off you accept that there is a chance you will never see them again. You do not expect to see this on the streets of the UK.” The court also heard part of a statement from the soldier’s stepfather, Ian Rigby. He said: “After all he’d been through in Afghanistan, all Lee was doing was walking through London. After seeing the television, you just can’t comprehend it.” Adebolajo and Adebowale faced whole-life jail terms after a Court of Appeal ruling last week upheld judges’ right to jail the most serious offenders in England and Wales for the rest of their lives.

RO-KIEV and pro-Moscow protesters have scuffled in Ukraine's Crimea region, as tensions increase following last week's ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych. One person died, probably from a heart attack, during the confrontation outside parliament in Simferopol. Only a police cordon separated the rallies - one pro-Russian, the other involving Crimean Tatars and people backing Ukraine's change of government. Meanwhile, Mr Yanukovych has been put on the international wanted list. The fugitive president is accused of being behind the deaths of more than 100 protesters at the hands of riot police.

Uganda miniskirt ban: Police stop protest march

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OLICE in Uganda have prevented women from marching through the streets of the capital, Kampala, in protest at new laws banning the wearing of miniskirts. Instead about 200 women, some dressed in short skirts, gathered outside the national theatre to voice their anger. There have been several incidents over the past week of women in short skirts being publicly harassed and assaulted. This follows the signing by the president of the antipornography bill, which bans “indecent” dressing.

NEWS Continued from page 1

troleum (Downstream) and Justice, investigating the allegation by a Swiss- based Non-Governmental and Advocacy organisation, Berne Declaration, that two Swiss oil trading companies - Vitol and Trafigura – in connivance with the NNPC, skimmed the country of about $6.8 billion in two years. In a 29-page presentation before the joint committee, NEITI Executive Secretary, Hajiya Shamsuna Ahmed, said: “These transactions, which sum up to $22.8 billion, are off balance sheet items (not disclosed in NNPC’s Audited Financial Statements). The implication is that there may be significant contingent liabilities to the Federation that are not being disclosed.” According to her, the funds are from the NNPC’s alternative funding/financing arrangements with its Joint Venture partners in form of third party financing from external financial markets and Modified Carry Arrangement (MCA), which are loans from existing JV partners (international oil companies). NEITI faulted the alternative funding transaction entered into by NNPC on behalf of the Federal Government and recommended that “there is, therefore, the need for transparent disclosure of all alternative funding arrangements in the audited financial statements (AFS) of NNPC. NEITI also said that $1.73 meant for Joint Venture cash calls had been diverted by NNPC. “Non cash call items totaling $1.73 billion were fi-

NEITI: NNPC yet to remit $22.8b nanced from the CBN/ NNPC JP Morgan Chase Cash Call Dollar Account. This reduced the amount available for funding JV operations with the attendant implications of NNPC seeking alternative funding arrangements to fund cash call shortfalls,” NEITI said. The organisation said the practice should be discouraged and that the NNPC should spend the money on what it is meant for. The revelation came as the extractive transparency organisation indicted the national oil corporation over the 2013 Berne Declaration report, alleging an $6.8bn fraud through connivance between the NNPC and some Swiss oil trading companies. According to NEITI, the allegation by the Swiss-based organisation “has substance”. Answering a question from a member of the committee, Hon. Sunday Karimi, Mrs Ahmed said: “We were not here yesterday (Tuesday), but someone said the GMD NNPC said the Berne Declaration document was baseless. But we think it has quite a lot of substance in it. “If it is taken for what it is, then what we need to do is bring greater transparency and better disclosures. Then it will be a useful process.” The position of the NEITI is in sharp contrast to that of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu who said on Tuesday that the claims of the Bernes Declaration “are baseless and without material substance”, requesting that the committee

members “set it aside in its entirety”. At Tuesday’s hearing, the NNPC said its selection of traders “has standard criteria, which evaluate buyers’ facilities, volume of transactions, turn-over and financial health of the companies.” It was, however, revealed during Tuesday’s proceedings that for the year 2011, 500,075,239.3 million litres were under supplied by four oil trading companies and Nigeria is losing about $8 billion every year through a swap agreement entered into by the NNPC. NEITI yesterday said it is of the opinion that the NNPC cannot manage its 445 barrels per day crude oil allocation. The NEITI boss recommended that “the 445,000 barrels per day allocation should be reviewed to the

actual refining capacity of the refineries” and that the Federal Government should consider privatisation of the refineries. She said the refineries are performing at far below their name plate capacities and that the operational and overhead costs are the same, irrespective of the volume of production. Kingsley Moghalu, Deputy Governor (Operation) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), answering a question from the committee, said the CBN would check its books to see if it can find any transaction relating to the $6.8 billion allegation. He said: “We take note of the Berne Declaration. We will look at our records and see if there’s anything relating to it and get back to the committee.”

Continued from page 2

Imam, said: “While attending prayers organised to mark the 89th birthday celebration of former President Shehu Shagari in Sokoto, my attention was drawn to the horrendous act of barbarity visited on innocent college students in Yobe State. “My first thoughts go to the families and friends of the kids brutally gunned down in an act of cowardice by people whose humanity must be called to question. “While we must all join hands to bring this insanity to an end, we must, however, bear in mind that we are running out of excuses in our responsibility to our citizens. “We in the House of Representatives feel the grief and pain of the families of the victims. In this their hour of need, we will stand with them hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. We assure them

Ekiti hosts The Nation’s forum on MSMEs Continued from page 1

of MSMEs products, Information Technology (IT) products, artisanship and locallymanufactured equipment by local entrepreneurs. This is the third edition of the programme, which is organised by Vintage Press Ltd., publishers of The Nation, in collaboration with CEEDEE Resources. A book: “Regional integration as strategy for national development”, a collation of speeches at earlier editions, would be presented to the public at the opening ceremony. The founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-

Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), will chair the opening ceremony. Special guests include Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo). Southwest governors are expected at the forum. The maiden edition was a legislative summit held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in February, 2012. The second edition was a grassroots business expo hosted by Osun State in Osogbo, last year. The Nation’s General Manager (Corporate Services), Mr. Soji Omotunde, in a statement, said the programme is

to promote regional integration and national development through the promotion of MSMEs. He said: “It is also aimed at attracting substantial Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) and addressing unemployment. It will provide an avenue to look beyond white collar jobs.” Omotunde said the forum would discuss MSMEs opportunities and products in the Southwest; provide a platform for inter-regional MSMEs opportunities and products; promote MSMEs as tools for economic development and guide youths on how to become entrepreneurs.

Parents storm hospital for kids that as brothers, we will continue to confront headlong, the threats of terror facing our nation, and we know we will come out stronger and victorious.”

Attack horrific, says APC The APC “unreservedly condemned the horrific attack”, in a statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. The party said the attacks, “which were extremely gory, even by the scorched-earth tactics of the terrorists, plumbs the depth of horror”. “What a sad day for Nigeria and indeed for all of humanity, when innocent school children were used as soft targets by a group of cowardly terrorists, who have shed their toga of humanity on the altar of a meaningless ideology. “We condole with the families of the victims as well as the government and people of Yobe State over this abominable crime. We urge the state and Federal Government to work together to ensure that schools in the state are adequately protected,’’ it said. The APC urged President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately visit the state to offer succour to the families of the victims and the state government, saying that is the least the Federal Government can do to help soothe the pains of those involved.


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SPORT EXTRA NSC, Keshi Mourn With Falode

Bolade Junior Grammar School Inter House Sport:

Red House emerges overall winner By Israel Odebiyi, Kudirat Oderinde, Sodipo Israel ED House has emerged as the overall winner of the annual Bolade Junior Grammar School interhouse sport which was held at the school’s playing ground on Tuesday. They garnered thirteen gold medals, three silver and three bronze medals while, Blue house was first runners-up with six gold, seven silver and ten bronze medals. Purple house clinched the third position with four gold, eight silver and two bronze medals. The school principal M.O. Adams, in her welcome address stated that this year’s edition was unique because the school introduced cultural displays in its programme. Adams said: “We also had a fashion parade, cultural dance drama by students of the school, Yoruba cultural display, while the Igbo cultural display also took the centre stage. This is a junior school, we need to motivate the students that is why we tagged the inter-house sport a festival.” The event also featured staff and old students race, as well as invitational relay race for invited schools. Meanwhile, before the commencement of sporting activities, a one minute silence was observed in memory of the late Adegboyega, a staff of the school who passed away before the inter-house sports.

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I

S •Chelsea were held to a draw by Galatasaray in Istanbul as a second-half equaliser from Aurelien Chedjou gave Roberto Mancini's men hope for the second leg. Fernando Torres was on hand to sweep home the opening goal

Galatasaray , Chelsea draw in Istanbul

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HELSEA are in pole position to reach the quarter-finals, after a 1-1 draw with Galatasaray in the round of 16 first leg at the Turk Telekom Arena. Fernando Torres netted his ninth Champions League goal for Chelsea, and his sixth in his last five starts, to give Jose Mourinho’s side the lead in the ninth minute. But Roberto Mancini’s side improved after the break, and deservedly equalised midway through the second half through an Aurelien Chedjou tap-in. Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera almost gifted the visitors an early goal when he miskicked a clearance straight to Willian, before redeeming himself instantly by blocking the Brazilian’s shot. Chelsea did get the early away goal, after nine minutes, following a mistake in midfield by former Arsenal defender

•As Real Madrid thrashed Schalke 6-1

Emmanuel Eboue. Andre Schurrle was able to slip the ball to Cesar Azpilicueta in the channel vacated by Eboue, and the Spaniard’s cut-back allowed compatriot Torres an easy tap-in. It was the first goal by a Premier League team in the Champions League knockout stages in 459 minutes of football. Galatasaray thought they had scored three minutes before halftime, when Burak Yilmaz ran on to a quick throw and beat Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech at his near post. However, Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo had blown up seconds earlier, as there were two balls on the pitch. Torres was denied a second of the night by Muslera in the 52nd minute, with the Uruguayan making a fine stop low to his left

at the near post. Torres’ opportunity came from another Galatasaray mistake, with Felipe Melo ceding possession 40 yards from goal and allowing Eden Hazard to thread a pass through. The Chelsea defence seemed discomfited by Sneijder’s setpieces, and the Dutchman’s corner brought about the Turkish’s side leveller on 65 minutes. Terry and Cech both expected the other to take responsibility for the clearance, and defender Chedjou was able to nip into the gap to net from three yards out. In the night’s other Champions League match, Real Madrid thrashed Schalke 6-1 in Gelsenkirchen. Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo all netted twice for los merengues, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scoring a late consolation for the Bundesliga side.

APC Governors to storm Lagos, as Tinubu receives wrestlers’ award

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OVERNORS of All Progressive Congress, APC, have been invited to grace the gala nite of Nigerian Pro Wrestling Federation where national Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, his wife Oluremi will be given awards on 9 March. Tinubu is expected to receive Governor Emeritus/Leadership award, his wife, Oluremi will be honoured with the Best Senator/ Good Governance award, while

Chairman of Lagos APC, Chief Ajomale will receive Peace Maker award. Some local government chairmen in Lagos State will also be given Inter-Continental Good Governance and Peace awards at the event scheduled for the Gymnasium of National Institute of Sports, NIS, inside National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. President of the professional wrestlers, Prince Hammed Olanrewaju Mohammed said that 11 governors

of the APC and two deputy governors of the party have been invited to join party faithful who will troop out in their numbers to honour Tinubu at the event which is being organised in conjunction with Current World Wrestling Federation. “Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State is the chairman of the occasion. He will be joined by his colleagues who are the special guests of honour of the day.

•Son’s burial for Monday

PORTS Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, has said he is thoroughly saddened by the death of Oloruntoba Falode, son of foremost female sportscaster and National Women’s team Coordinator, Aisha Falode. Also on Tuesday evening, Super Eagles boss, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi called from the United States to condole Falode on the death of her son, declaring that what was needed was the fortitude to bear the loss and even praise God. “There is nothing one can do about it but to say God gives and He takes but it could be very painful and unfortunate and we don’t pray it happens to any one of us, Madam Falode please take heart”, he said in a telephone conversation. In the Minister’s letter dated 18th February, Mallam Abdulahi, declared that the loss of Toba Falode was unfortunate, heartbreaking and

could not be imagined or contemplated by anyone else, adding that he shares the pain of the foremost female sports administrator. “I personally share in your pains and grief given that he was a boy that I met and was looking forward to building a good relationship with. This must be a painful loss indeed, but even as we mourn, I pray that the Almighty God grant you the uncommon strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss”, the Minister said in his letter to Falode. Meanwhile, burial arrangement for the late Oloruntoba, has been fixed for Monday, February 3 in Lagos, according to Aisha Falode. Church service will be held at Trinity House, Water Corporation Road, Off Ligali Ayorinde, Victoria Island in the city from 12 noon, while internment will follow at Vaults and Garden by FRCN, Ikoyi, Lagos.

EASTAPORT SCHOOLS SPORT FESTIVAL

Red House wins first place

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•Odegbami graces event

HE Yaba College of Technology Sports ground was agog with sporting activities of the Eastaport schools Gbagada, Lagos on Saturday. The students and staff had trooped out for the schools’ annual interhouse sport competition which was also graced by exinternational, Segun Odegbami. The Proprietor of the school, Adewale Osomo noted that the school had invited Odegbami due to his exploits playing the game of football: "We like to recognise our heroes, I'm so grateful to him for coming for the event. We had also invited the first Nigerian athlete to win a gold medal for the country, Chioma Ajunwa. Although she had been unavoidably absent," he said. Meanwhile, Red House has emerged the overall winner of this year's inter-house sports of the

By Oderinde Kudirat school. They won nineteen gold, nine silver and 10 bronze medals to displace Green House who had won two previous editions of the school's inter-house sports. According to the administrator of the school, Abiola Awote, Green House would have certainly got an all expense paid trip from the school to London if they won the competition for a record third time. Green House who initially had been placed first runners up with 9 gold, 14 silver and ten bronze medals had their medals cut short by the Proprietor of the school as a disciplinary measure. Blue House settled for seven gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze medals while Yellow House could only manage 6 gold, 9 silver and 11 bronze medals. The four houses had competed in about thirty different games.

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers

have been following your newspaper question and answer forum and it is really interesting and educating for people. At 28, I am still a virgin. I am happy about it and I treasure it. I am not in a relationship yet but I want to make love without losing my virginity. Is there anything to help or what can I do? Thank you – Jennifer Dear Jennifer, I can understand the dilemma you are faced with but you need to be honest with yourself. As an adult woman, you have sexual urges that need to be fulfilled. You cannot eat your cake and have it. It is either you become sexual or you remain a virgin. But you cannot have a sex life and still be a virgin. Of course there are other ways you can pleasure yourself through the use of sex toys like vibrators without actually having sex with another human being. But if what you want is sex with another adult while still remaining a virgin, that is not possible. The dictionary definition of a virgin is a man or woman who has not yet had sex. So you need to make a choice – Uche My problem is that I easily get wet before sex most times when I am kissing or romancing. I really feel bad about it – Elizabeth Elizabeth some women lubricate well when aroused. You don’t have to feel bad about it. If you experience full blown female ejaculation while still kissing, that is another matter entirely. Many women complain about vaginal dryness and the sexual pain it causes them during sex but you never have to worry about that and you also don’t have to bother spending money on lubricants. So it seems to me that you are the lucky one. If you get wet during an intimate affair, just clean up afterwards – Uche What drugs do I need for maximum sperm count (quality and quantity)? Also what do I need for penis enlargement that will be permanent? Please I need the best of available drugs for this. Are they herbal by nature? – Solomon

All the supplements we recommend to people are herbal because they are safer and can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. Secondly,to boost sperm quality, increase semen quantity and enlarge the penis, you will need three different supplements. My advice is to take two supplements and a sex toy for enlargement. Sometimes, drugs don’t interact very well when you are taking different types for different things. So for increase in sperm quality, look for Fertil Aid or Repro Aid Supplement. For increase in semen quantity, get Max Load or Explosion Supplement. And for your penis enlargement, get the Bull Fighter Penis Enlargement Pump – Uche Please I need a multi-purpose dildo Linda Linda you can get the Deluxe Ball Gag with Dildo. It can be strapped around your partners mouth during use or you can detach it and use it as a hands free dildo. Another option is the Garter Belt Strap –On. It can be used as a strap on around your partner’s waist or you can also detach it and use it as a dildo/vibrator –Uche Do you offer any kind of maintenance service for penis pumps? I have been using mine now for seven months and the rubber in front is tearing. I really like this pump. It has enlarged my organ more than I ever imagined and I don’t want to throw it away – Ibe Ibe if it is the pump sleeve that is torn, yes replacement sleeves are available– Uche I used the LS Male Desensitizing Cream for premature ejaculation. I like it. I didn’t expect it to work - Chris You are welcome. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 07086754515 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


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TODAY IN THE NATION

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27 2014 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

‘Sanusi has been part of Jonathan government for five years and they know how to hurt each other. Having attacked Sanusi’s integrity, the government that has so much to hide has equally becomes very desperate’ VOL.9 NO.2,772

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

•This is a review of the book 'Worthy of Character" by Prof Adeyemo Elebute presented at the Metropolitan Club, Lagos, on February 19

OPEN FORUM

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N Christmas Eve of 2013, I received a challenge to review this fantastic book and present my review in a matter of days. By great good luck, I was granted a reprieve that stretched the sentence by one whole month. So, I have no excuse to present too shoddy a job, today. The title of the book is ‘Worthy of Character and Learning’, a collection of some of the thoughts by Professor Adeyemo Elebute. Every position he has taken over the years on the issues raised in this book are as valid today in 2014 as when they were first articulated, whether thirty of forty years ago. Our nation, our personal situation and fortunes have also not changed in so many sectors of our lives, even today. This book deals with our societal problems of general collapse in areas of character development and learning disabilities. These are the twin pillars on which every society rests. The truth is that good behaviour is essential to knowledge transfer. Progress in any society rests firmly on character formation and proactive use of information. This presentation by Professor Elebute is wellcrafted and tidily produced. The chosen type-face is clean, clear and easily readable. The gems are the end notes, a treasure trove of useful information. It is a most impressive presentation. I make bold to suggest that there is little here that is new. We are simply revisiting our decades of frustrations, that, as individuals, we are not only marking time, but steadily moving backwards. I remember at the dawn of the 1960s, an advertisement at the Ijora Crossroads, proclaiming our presumption of ‘Technology Transfer’ to Nigeria by unselfish foreigners. Many of us wondered, even then, who was going to transfer their knowledge to us. But we had a leadership that believed the idea. Do we not still do, even today? In our frustration today, should we not honestly admit that we are rather looking at ‘Wild Men and Halted Unicorns’, not worthy in character? I have been led to believe that a people deserve their leadership. We Nigerians deserve our current leadership. We have been present on this planet, in this nation and we have lived through hard times. Where has it taken us? Many of us rightly flirted with the socialist idealism during

RIPPLES POLICE NEED NIGERIANS TO HELP FIGHT CRIMES–Ex-IGP

..the NIGERIANS they SLAUGHTER?

By GBOLAHAN ABISOGUN-ALO

Worthy of character and learning

Surely, as a nation, we have the hot ambition to grow; in Character and Knowledge. We have the innate ability to do as well as other peoples. We nurse the hope that one day we too will stand tall among the nations of the world, proud, honest, and progressive the cold war years. We believed it would spread the base of democracy and broaden the entry point to opportunities. Yet, we have gone all wrong. Why? Ab initio, did we not presume that ‘freedom’ which was all we asked for in the 1940s and 50s would be given to us on a platter of gold, and that in ‘giant strides’, we would overcome? The slogan then was “Give me first the political freedom and all else will follow’. Did any one of us imagine then a long-winding road to our emergence as a people worthy in character? And if we are deficient in character, how can our nation evolve in a positive direction? Let me give a very short list of some of our problems, why we are were we are today: Omoluabi 1.Invert snobbery by those who challenge the honest and grab power for themselves.

2.Most seek power merely to CHOP and drain us. 3.There is a ready choir of character assassins who pursue the honest relentlessly 4.The impunity syndrome of ‘what can you do to me, power plus position? 5.Everything else can be packaged under ‘corruption’. In practical terms, we must galvanise ourselves, mind and spirit, to rise and gain the Omoluabi plateau. The Omoluabi is the perfection of man presumably also recognised by other ethnic groups in our country. The idea was highlighted by Dr. J.A. Majasan in his 1967 Ph.D. where he described traditional Yoruba values nurtured from childhood folklores to the maturing norms of the apprenticeship systems- the flowering of the responsible man. I dare suggest that the Omoluabi

HARDBALL

I

T was the much fecund French critic, journalist and novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who long ago gave us the famous aphorism, “The more things change, the more they remain the same,” and it comes quite handy now in describing governments in Nigeria and their modus operandi. Those who have been around in the last three decades must watch most frustratingly as things remain almost exactly the same even as governments change all the time. In today’s parlance, it is said that only an unstable mind would do the same thing the same way all the time and expect a different result. But it seems our governments have perfected the art of doing the same thing the same way all the time and even doing it badly. Sometimes we wonder whether it is a deliberated ploy to wear us down. Let us consider the new-found penchant by President Goodluck Jonathan to go on a shuttle of visits to Nigeria’s traditional rulers. Recently, he stormed the South West of Nigeria, visiting three monarchs in a blitzkrieg tour that took him to the historic towns of Oyo, Ile-Ife and Badagry. Last Monday, he was in Owerri, Imo State, for a brisk political business but on his way out, he made a stop

JIDE OLUWAJUYITAN

straddles whatever gulf exists even between our culture and that of Western civilisation as in C.P. Snow’s ‘Two Cultures’. Character is the bull’s eye that promotes knowledge, proactive growth, and ultimate achievement of the ‘Proper man in Society’. Let us bestir ourselves with Bill Gates to ‘Business at the Speed of Thought’, that our time has come. Has the time of our idea not come? What a great opportunity for us to take a giant leap into the 21 st century on the wings of ‘Omoluabism’. As a full blooded Nigerian, I resort first of all to prayers. After all, our culture believes that one cannot pray too much. So, I invite us to begin with the following prayer in the last stanza of the anthem of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Abuja; ‘God of our fathers Grant from age to age All who here may serve Mentors and Learners This Nation’s lot to improve rusting our motto; Chorus Not daunted by hardship We forge ahead One and all To be a STAR. Dare we not charge with the Speed of Thought and leap forward on the wings of faith to reorder even some of our priorities? On the Youth Speak page of The Guardian of 23rd January, 2014 there was an article entitled ‘Nigeria; Demagogues and the Jingo of Patriotism’ by one of our children calling for a leadership that believes firmly that politics is for solving problems, and that has the tenacity to solve problems fearlessly. The young man pleaded we should start with the census fraud and get it right. Surely, as a nation, we have the hot ambition to grow; in Character and Knowledge. We have the innate ability to do as well as other peoples. We nurse the hope that one day we too will stand tall among the nations of the world, proud, honest, and progressive. We can do it. The good Lord loves us. •Mrs. Abisogun-Alo is the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Abuja. •Dapo Fafowora returns in a fortnight

•For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

The making of a royal rumpus at the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Acbebe, obviously as part of the current royalty rub-down. But about two decades ago, in those heady days of the military when this business of royal validation started, the hefty royals were ‘invited’ to Aso-rock by the dozen when things got a bit too heated up. After a closeddoor ‘meeting’ between the junta and the monarchs, they often would come out singing a different song to their subjects. One well-known traditional ruler is still remembered today for his dramatic summersaults after visiting Aso-Rock and driving away with a heavily stuffed booth; especially in those days of June 12, 1993 agitations. Today, the president shuttles the royal palaces and that has its peculiar lacuna. It is bound to open up age-old supremacy tussle that had been latent since the beginning of history. No king cherishes being subordinated to another no matter how wretched his kingdom might be. In Yorubaland, for instance, the president would not pay homage

to the Alafin, the Iku Baba Yeye without also calling on the Igbakeji Orisa the Ooni of Ife, regardless of the logistical calamity it might portend. And that he did recently, but where does that leave the metropolitan monarch of the ancient city of Ibadan whose doormouth was traversed to visit those ‘bigger’ kings? What have we done to the sensibilities of the old man and his subjects? What about the ‘big crown’ in Osogbo who has already raised a red flag stating that there are three monarchs of equal standing in Oyo State? And the Ijebu, the Egba, the Ijesha and so on, would the presidency send a ‘message’ to them through adjoining kingdoms? Same for Igboland, the President passed right in front of the palace of Ozuruigbo IV, Eze Emmanuel Njemanze, to pay homage to Agbogidi, the Obi of Onitsha as if the former was an opposition party stalwart. Before we come to the grief that is bound to be the outcome of this presidential peregrinations Hardball asks: to what purpose is all this?

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:08099365644, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

Feb 27, 2014  

February 27, 2014 publication of the Nation newspaper

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