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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Banks to back power projects

JTF arrests Itsekiri chief

Global launch of ARISE NEWS

•Tension in Warri

•TV firm makes its debut

NEWS Page 56

BUSINESS Page 40

•CBN, others strategise

NEWS Page 2

www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 8, NO. 2390 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

•CHEERS •CHEERS:: Eagles celebrating with Sunday Mba after scoring the winning goal in the 2 -1 trouncing of Cote D’ Ivoire in the AFCON quarter final match in South Africa...yesterday

How we caged Drogba, others, by Super Eagles

PHOTO: AFP

— PA GE 62 PAGE

$67b row turns dirty Jonathan’s, Obasanjo’s men quarrel over reserves Ex-president eats at Villa

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ORE missiles were hurled at the weekend by the associates of former-President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan’s aides, who have been bickering over the running of the government. A former Education Minister and one-time Vice President (Africa) at the World Bank, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, ignited the fire. She alleged at the convocation lecture she delivered at the University of Nigeria,

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Nsukka (UNN) that the administration of the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr. Jonathan frittered away $67 billion in foreign reserves and Excess Crude Account (ECA) left behind by Obasanjo. Former ministers Nasir elRufai and Femi Fani-Kayode joined the fray in defence of Mrs. Ezekwesili, who came under attack from Information Minister Labaran Maku and presidential aide Dr. Doyin Okupe.

Maku asked Mrs. Ezekwesili to account for the over N40 billion voted for education when she was in charge between 2006 and 2007. Obasanjo has been unrelenting in his criticism of the Jonathan administration, especially its handling of the Boko Haram crisis. Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati, in an article entitled “Hypocrisy of yesterday’s men”, published in major newspapers yesterday, took on Mrs. Ezekwesili and other Continued on page 2

•INSIDE: BUSINESS 2013 P 29-40


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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

NEWS $67b reserves: Fani-Kayode faults Presidency

10 die in Nasarawa communal attack

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From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

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FORMER Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has faulted the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, for allegedly trying to run down ministers who served in the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said the attack on ex-ministers is one of the signs of weak governments. He insisted that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan should account for how it spent the controversial $67billion inherited from ex-President Obasanjo. Fani-Kayode, who issued a statement in Abuja , accused Abati of peddling malicious lies. The Minister was reacting to an article written by Abati titled ‘The Hypocrisy of Yesterday’s Men’’ published in some Nigerian dailies. The ex-Minister said: “Abati “sought to ridicule and demean those of us that served President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government and that are not very impressed with the performance of his boss.” “The essay written by Abati was nothing but the usual smear campaign and a crude attempt to intimidate, which has been the hallmark of this Government whenever they are faced with even the mildest form of criticism. “The fact that we asked President Goodluck Jonathan to account for the $67 billion that he squandered from our foreign reserves has clearly upset him. “We dared to ask about the money and so, we were singled out and targeted for a tongue-lashing and a long lecture from the Presidency. Yet we remain undeterred. “This is how weak governments that have nothing to offer and something to hide always behave. They come after their perceived enemies with full force and they are petty and over-sensitive. He said it was wrong of Abati to conclude that he shut down Port-Harcourt International Airport for two years as the nation’s Minister of Aviation. “Abati said “When one of

•President Goodluck Jonathan (right) with former President, Olusegun Obasanjo (holding the microphone) and (from left), Madam Eunice Jonathan, mother of the president, Mr. Femi Otedola, Managing Director Forte Oil and others during the Sunday Service at the Aso Villa chapel State House, Abuja…yesterday

$67b: Jonathan’s, Obasanjo’s aides’ battle rages on Continued from page 1

ministers in the Obasanjo cabinet. He also attacked Obasanjo for failing to deliver in the power sector. “They managed to leave the country in darkness, with less than 2,000 MW; abandoned Independent Power Projects, mismanaged power stations… a better conceived power sector road map is running apace, and the administration is determined to make it better,” Abati wrote. But yesterday, Mrs. Ezekwesili and elRufai took to the twitter to fire back at the presidential spokesman. Fani-Kayode, in a statement, also attacked Abati and defended himself against the allegation of failure as the Aviation minister, who shut down the Port Harcourt Airport which the Jonathan government has now refurbished. Mrs. Ezekwesili twitted yesterday: “Those of you that are hungry to smear me better find other jobs to do. “This woman has never hungered for them was in charge of this same estate called Nigeria, he shut down the Port Harcourt airport and other airports for close to two years under the guise of renovation...,” “Abati indulged in with a response other than to say that he

ignoble wealth.” In another twit, she wrote: “Comprehension is the act or action of grasping with the intellect. Again, where is the accountability for the use of our resources?” She twitted: “Lying that my husband - a pastor of Redeemed - owns a church is like saying Father (Matthew) Kukah owns his Catholic (church) parish” el-Rufai twitted: “The fools of today don’t recall that social media and broadband became prevalent in Nigeria after 2007 due to efforts of the men of yesterday.” Former House of Representatives member Dino Melaye, who has taken up opposition role against the government through his non-governmental organisation, also twitted yesterday. “Writing articles about me, el-Rufai and others without our names is an act of cowardice, fear and respect.” But a twist to the quarrel came with Obasanjo’s surprise appearance at the Presidential Villa yesterday. The former-President, who has been a thorn in the flesh of the government, wor-

told a shameless and pernicious lie when he wrote that as Minister of Aviation, I ‘shut down Port Harcourt Airport for two years’ and ‘allowed grass to grow all over it.’ “This is false. It is a classic

shipped together with President Jonathan at the Aso Rock Chapel. Abati twitted yesterday: “Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluk Jonathan worshipped together today at the Aso Rock Villa Chapel; and had lunch.” Obasanjo was accompanied to the Villa by two of his children and a businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola. The service was also attended by President Jonathan’s wife, Patience, his mother, Madam Eunice and other dignitaries. Obasanjo, according to sources, gave a very short notice before turning up for the service. He read the second lesson and led a prayer session. The former President was also said to have visited the Children’s Church with President Jonathan at the end of the service. He prayed for the children. Obasanjo thereafter followed President Jonathan to his official residence where they had lunch. Details of their discussion were not known.

case of disinformation coming from a man that is obviously suffering from a very low self-esteem. “It is clear that Abati, who is a journalist, has forgotten the most important tenet of his profession which is that ‘facts

CLASH between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Nasarawa State at the weekend led to the death of 10 persons, allegedly killed by the Fulani invaders. No fewer than 15 people were also injured when the over 50 herdsmen, attacked two communities - at Iga and Rutu - in Nasarawa Eggon and Doma Local Governmemt areas. The perpetrators of the act reportedly left after killing the people. An eyewitness said: “Nobody was aware of the attack on Saturday. Some of us were under the tree and suddenly we heard some people screaming, shouting, calling for help. By then, the entire community was in commotion. Everybody ran for cover”. The attackers were armed with guns and knives with which they attacked their victims, it was gathered. Their spokesman of Nasarawa Police, Micheal Ada, said he was not aware of the killings. “It has not been reported to us,” he said. “.

Global launch of ARISE NEWS

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are sacred and opinion is cheap.’ “Ordinarily, one would have ignored his bitter rant, but it is important that I set the record straight for the sake of posterity,” Fani-Kayode de-

FTER two days of test broadcasting, a 24hour international TV news operation set to rival existing giants in the global market will ‘soft launch’ tomorrow, February 4, 2013, broadcasting from its main News Centres in London, New York, Johannesburg and Lagos. ARISE NEWS, will have a strong African footprint and serve underserved communities in the USA and other parts of the world , supported by a further eight bureaux around the globe stretching from Beijing to Rio de Janeiro. A sister channel, ARISE 360, which will be entertainmentsbased with fashion, music sport and pay per view films, will start broadcasting toward the end of this year. The ‘arrival’ of the network was announced by company executives in London and New York. Chairman and Editor in Chief of ARISE NEWS and

Continued on page 59

Continued on page 59

Constitution amendment: NLC warns against subverting people’s will

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HE Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday urged the House of Representatives to make public the report of the public sessions held in various constituencies on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution. It said it fears there are moves to truncate the will of Nigerians articulated during the public hearings. NLC President, Abdulwahed Omar, said in a statement: “We therefore demand that the House make the report of the Peoples’ Public Sessions held nationwide public immediately.” It said the signal coming from the National Assembly, particularly the House, on the Constitution review is “quite disturbing.” NLC recalled that a public session was to hold on January 31, but was abruptly postponed after members of the public had waited for about two hours for it to commence. The workers’ body said the lawmakers should not let

By Joseph Jibueze

themselves be intimidated by selfish powerful politicians and forced to go against the people. The NLC said: “While we hope that the National Assembly is not yielding to pressure from some quarters, particularly the Governors Forum which has been widely reported to be against some popular proposals on critical sections of the Constitution that most Nigerians advocated should be included in the new constitution, we reiterate our position that the new Constitution provides for full local government autonomy as expected in a federation.” It said the Local Governments are closer to the people and it is only when they are fully independent that Nigerians can enjoy the benefits of democracy. According to the NLC, rather than continue to tie the local governments to the whims and caprices of state

governments, the Constitution should ensure funds meant for the councils go directly to them. Besides, all funds and other resources generated by the local governments should be managed by the councils themselves and not the state governments, NLC said. This, it added, is one way to deepen democracy in Nigeria and ensure a working federal system that will benefit the Nigerian people. The statement added: “The Nigerian people were also united that labour and industrial relations matters must remain in the exclusive list as it is in the 1999 constitution and must not be tampered with as it is in the interest of industrial peace and the principles of tripartism which promotes transparency, fairness, and result oriented collective bargaining. “We warn, that the National Assembly should not allow itself to be used to impose tenure elongation for any po-

litical office, including the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Office of Governor etc. “Nigerians have consistently opposed this since it was fraudulently introduced to public discourse and legislative attention during the Obasanjo administration. We remain opposed to it and will resist any attempt to smuggle it into the report because Nigerians have consistently been opposed to it. “We took interest in the proceedings of the People’s Public Sessions because we believed the leadership of the House which promised the Nigerian people that our shared views and presentations would not be supplanted with views and interests of a few politicians who wish that the resources and political direction of the country remain their exclusive preserve. “The National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives should not allow itself to be held hostage

by any political group or interest to mutilate the views and collective interests of the Nigerian people in the final report of the sessions held nationwide on the constitution amendment. “The National Assembly should know that their commitment is to the Nigerian people as a whole and not the self interests of a few people or groups. “This attitude of subjugating our collective interests has not been helpful in the delivery of good governance and anyone advocating for the sustenance of retrogressive and anti people provisions in the constitution must be regarded and treated as an enemy of the Nigerian people. “The leadership of the House should be firm in its determination to promote democratic ideals and good governance, which the seventh House of Representatives have been able to demonstrate so far.”

•Omar

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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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NEWS WAR IN MALI

‘Intervention’ll reduce security challenges in Nigeria’ •Vice President Namadi Sambo cutting the tape to inaugurate the 3.5-kilometre Maduganari township road in Maiduguri ... on Saturday.

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi assisted by his wife Florence (right) and a nurse to immunise a child against polio at the opening of this year’s immunisation programme at the Ibadan Northeast Local Government Secretariat ... at the weekend.

•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (right), with representative of Brecco Construction Company, Nadir (middle) and the State Commissioner for Works, Callistus Ilozue during the inspection of the on-going Amansea-Ebenebe- Awba Afemilli, Ugbenu- Ugbene road project ... yesterday.

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HE involvement of the Federal Government in the intervention mission in Mali will checkmate Boko Haram activities in Nigeria, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam said yesterday. Relying on security reports, the governor alleged most members of the sect were trained in Northern Mali. he noted the intervention will assist in the destruction of Boko Haram’s major camps. Suswam, who spoke in a chat with reporters in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to tighten security at the nation’s borders to prevent sect members and Malian terrorists from sneaking into the country. He said: “What President Goodluck Jonathan has done is highly commendable. Based on information from security agencies, most members of the Boko Haram sect were trained in Northern Mali and they were creating a lot of problems for our country. “When the President decided that Nigeria will be one of the countries that will intervene in Mali. I think it is a welcome development. “The National Assembly too did not hesitate. We are hopeful that in the next few months, the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria will reduce. “This is because the base where they were being trained is being destabilised. So, they will no longer have people who will train Boko Haram operatives. “But beyond sending troops to Mali, Nigeria must take steps to ensure the borders are well protected. If our borders remain as porous as they are, then we are going to have problems as some of them will sneak into Nigeria and begin to train people here.” Suswam recalled how hard the sect attempted to gain access to Benue State but for the vigilance of security agencies. He added: “The Boko Haram kingpin that was traced to Benue was because of the watchful eyes of security operatives in the state. “The security personnel were un-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

able to arrest the Boko Haram members, but as it is, we have heaved a sigh of relief, because, according to security reports, they had actually started recruiting people. “Unfortunately, when I raised the alarm that they were threatening to attack me, the Nigerian media just moved on me. The media accused me that I was being an alarmist. “Since they traced this major operative to Benue, nobody has written to apologise to me that I was speaking from the position of information available to me. “If those terrorists could have the audacity to attack the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Adio Bayero, then the media could have tried to find out why I had publicly alerted the nation. “Nobody asked me and they went on to write editorials and all kinds of comments against me. And, since they tracked the man there, no newspaper has made a major story because they had already branded me an alarmist and all sorts of names. So, Nigerians should be more careful when issues of security are concerned.”

But beyond sending troops to Mali, Nigeria must take steps to ensure the borders are well protected. If our borders remain as porous as they are, then we are going to have problems as some of them will sneak into Nigeria and begin to train people here.

’ Biden in France to discuss Mali, Syria

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•From left: Commercial Director, Promasidor Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Onyekachi Onubogu, Assistant Director, Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission (Lagos Team), Mr. Obi Iregbu, Promasidor Brand Ambassador, Don Jazzy and the company’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Keith Richards, at a media briefing on the forthcoming promotion on PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI Loya Milk, at the Westown Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

NITED States (U.S.) Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Paris, France yesterday for talks with President Francois Hollande on issues that will include France's military intervention in Mali, the Syria conflict, and Iran's alleged bid to build a nuclear bomb. Biden, who made no comment to reporters as he arrived, was to have lunch with Hollande today before leaving for talks in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Biden arrived in Paris from the Munich Security Conference in Germany, where he warned Iran that opportunities for diplomacy to resolve the issue of its nuclear programme were limited. Biden said on Saturday the U.S. applauded France's intervention

against Islamists in Mali. He said that dealing with extremists in North Africa and parts of the Middle East now required “a more integrated strategy” and using the “full range of the tools at our disposal”. Biden said: “That's why the United States applauds and stands with France and other partners in Mali, and why we are providing intelligence support, transportation for the French and African troops and refuelling capability for French aircraft. “The fight against AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) may be far from America's borders, but it is fundamentally in America's interest.” The Munich Security Conference is an annual three-day gathering of hundreds of high-ranking officials, ministers and top military brass in southern Germany.


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NEWS WAR IN MALI

•French troops patroling the streets of Gao...yesterday.

French warplanes bombard Islamists’ camps

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FTER French President François Hollande's visited Mali on Saturday, French military planes yesterday carried out major air strikes on rebel camps in far-North, the French army said yesterday. The bombardment took place near Kidal and in Tessalit region, both near the Algerian border. The air strikes targeted “logistical depots and training centres” run by armed Islamist groups in the border area, French Army spokesperson Thierry Burkhard said in Paris. President Hollande ended his visit to the troubled West African nation on Saturday with a speech in the capital, Bamako. He said that French troops will stay “as long as it takes” to restore Northern Mali to control by the government. Thirty aircraft, including refuelling and reconnaissance planes, were involved in the operation, he said. French troops took control of Kidal airport six days ago without the Malian army after breakaway Islamists and Tuareg separatists kicked out hardliners committed to continue fighting them. The militias are believed to have taken refuge in the region, notably in the Ifoghas mountains, which were the birthplace of the Tuareg separatist campaign for the National Movement Liberation of Azawad (MNLA. The seven French hostages held captive by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its allies are probably in the region, Paris believes. The captors threatened to kill the hostages if French combat troops set foot on Malian soil.

•French troops on patrol in Gao ... yesterday.

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•Tuareg soldiers on patrol on the streets of Gao...yesterday

PHOTOS: AFP

RITISH Prime Minister David Cameron's decision of sending troops to support the French effort in Mali against terrorists got the backing of ex-premier Tony Blair yesterday. Blair said West's fight against alQaeda could last for a generation. The former prime minister said Britain was right to send troops to support the French effort in the fight against a terrorist attempt to overthrow Mali's government. Cameron faced difficult decisions to fight terrorism, Blair said, but warned the cost of standing aside would be far greater. Britain at least had to try to “shape” events in the Middleeast, Blair was quoted by the British Broadcasting Corporation as saying. Blair said: “My point is very simple though: if you don't intervene and let it happen, it is also going to be long, difficult and messy, and possibly a lot worse. It's a very difficult decision. “We are certainly talking about a generation. I think a better way to look at it is like the fight the west

Blair: Fight against al-Qaeda could last a generation had over a long period of time with revolutionary communism," he said. “It will happen in many different theatres, it will happen in many different ways but the truth is that you have no option but to confront it, to try over time to defeat it.” In Syria there was already a danger the more extreme elements of the opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime would take over. Blair said: “I think we should acknowledge how difficult these decisions are. Sometimes in politics, you come across a decision which

the choice is very binary, you go this way or that way and whichever way you go, the choice is very messy. “If we engage with this, not just militarily but over a long period of time, in trying to help these countries, it is going to be very, very hard but I think personally the choice of disengaging is going to be even greater. “We always want in the West, quite naturally, to go in and go out, and think there is a clean result. It's not going to happen like that. We now know that. It is going to be long and difficult and messy.”

‘I think we should acknowledge how difficult these decisions are. Sometimes in politics, you come across a decision which the choice is very binary, you go this way or that way and whichever way you go, the choice is very messy.’

US commander says Nigeria capable of fighting terrorism

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NITED States military chief Gen. Carter Ham has described Nigeria as a country with capacity to fight the war against terrorism. Gen Ham, who is the Commander of the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM), spoke at the weekend with a delegation of the Nigerian me on a visit to AFRICOM Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. He was reacting to a specific request by the Federal Government from the U.S. military to locate some of the Boko Haram leaders. Ham said: “Nigeria has great capability to fight terrorism, but what Nigeria asked for, are some equipment.

“The U.S. can help the Nigerian military to better understand how we use intelligence information from various sources and how to put them together in a coherent manner for the government to make right choices as to what action to undertake.” According to the commander, information comes from a wide range of sources like the media, human resources and technical sources. He said that in Nigeria, like in the U.S., multiple organisations had responsibilities to analyse and process the pieces of information collected. Ham said one of the things the U.S. learnt

over the past years in Iraq and Afghanistan was how to fuse all that information in a coherent manner so that a serious decision could be taken and direction given to the various entities of government. He said: “Nigeria asked us for some help in that process and that is being undertaken now.” The AFRICOM chief also explained that the command was in partnership with Nigeria in other areas of military cooperation including maritime security of the Gulf, which is important to both countries. Pointing out that Nigeria's leading role on security in the Gulf of Guinea was appreci-

ated, Ham said: “For air force, our responsibilities and engagement in Nigeria are principally focused on finding ways to improve the operational capability in the Nigerian Air Force. “This is to enable more of Nigerian Air Force fleet to be operational and be able to support Nigerian aviation sector. “And if Nigeria can increase the availability and the operational readiness rate of its air fleet, it would help in the transportation of Nigerian battalions.” According to Ham, the command’s focus had been to help the army develop the capability required to deal with many challenges.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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NEWS Falana to Jonathan: accept Ezekwesili’s ‘timely challenge’ By Eric Ikhilae

AGOS lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has advised the Federal Government to accept the invitation of former Education Minister Mrs Oby Ezekwesili to a public debate. Mrs Ezekwesili had accused the Goodluck Jonathan administration of mismanaging the $67 billion left in the Federation Account by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, in which she served. She challenged the Federal Government to a debate when it denied her claim. Falana said the debate would afford Nigerians the opportunity to know how the nation’s funds were disbursed and if wrongly expended, who benefited. The rights activist claimed that a similar debate by exPresident Obasanjo and Jonathan over the Boko Haram insurgency has confirmed that the genocidal attack on the innocent people of Odi in Bayelsa State in November 1999 was a crime against humanity. Falana said such a debate would provide knowledge on the roles played by the dramatis personae and their imperialist collaborators. The senior advocate said the administration, being an offshoot of the Obasanjo, should be held liable for the nation’s woes. Falana said: “It is a shame that the Federal Government has rejected a golden opportunity to call off the bluff of the arrogant officials of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, who are trying to hoodwink Nigerians to accept that the Nigerian neo-colonial economy was better managed when they were in power. “Instead of running from pillar to post over the allegation made by the former minister, the Jonathan administration should have explained how the account was drawn down to service an unproductive bureaucracy and fund the thriving corruption industry since 2007. “Having done that, it should have proceeded to ask the Olusegun Obasanjo administration to account for the N26 trillion earned from oil and non-oil sectors from 1999 to 2007. “Specifically, Gen Obasanjo and his ministers should be asked to explain how they generated darkness with $16 billion, wasted over N1 trillion on fixing roads, refurbished hospitals that have collapsed, granted duty waivers worth N500 billion to a few importers, sold public enterprises worth trillions of Naira at give away prices to imaginary core investors, plundered and mismanaged the banks, which have recently been bailed out with about N3 trillion. “Was it not in 2002 that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) opened a secret account with J.P. Morgan Bank when Gen Olusegun Obasanjo was the Petroleum Minister and Chairman of the NNPC board? Is it not on record that the administration illegally withdrew N1.5 trillion from the NNPC account and distributed same to unnamed individuals and organisations? “Has the Supreme Court not recently set aside one of the companies sold by the administration without following due process? Has the Senate not asked the Jonathan administration to annul the highly corrupt privatisation exercise carried out by the regime? “Was it not Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Finance Minister, who asked Nigerians to celebrate the country’s exit from the external debt trap? “Did she not assure Nigerians that the payment of $12 billion to settle fraudulent external debts would free funds for poverty alleviation projects? “As the Finance Minister and Coordinator of the economy, has she not turned round to ask Nigerians to bear with the Jonathan administration for taking jumbo loans with dangerous conditionalities? “On six different occasions, the Obasanjo administration increased the prices of petroleum products to generate funds for education, health and job creation. Mrs Ezekwesili may wish to find out what happened to the hundreds of billions of Naira saved from such incessant fuel increases! “For goodness sake, let the Federal Government take up Mrs Ezekwesili’s timely and patriotic challenge. But the debate should not be limited to the withdrawal of $67 billion from the Federation Account. “It should be a debate on the reckless diversion of huge public funds and the gross mismanagement of the Nigerian economy since 1999.”

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‘Abuse of Sure-P violates Constitution’

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said the Federal Government’s abuse of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), set up in the wake of last year’s partial removal of fuel subsidy, amounts to a gross violation of the Nation’s constitution and constitutes an impeachable offence. In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled Federal Government is using part of the fund accruing to the programme to empower the party’s cronies ahead of the 2015 general elections, instead of using it for the benefit of Nigerians. It advised SURE-P’s Head, Dr. Christopher Kolade, a respectable citizen, known for his transparency and integrity, not to allow the skewed and partisan implementation of the programme by the Federal Government to tarnish his reputation.

ACN said: “Ordinarily, SURE-P seems laudable as it is aimed at the empowerment of the citizens through job creation and infrastructure development. But in reality, PDP has hijacked it to empower its members. “It has created State Implementation Committees (SICs) to handle the disbursement of SURE-P cash to party members as a strategy to arm it with a war chest ahead of the 2015 elections. “To worsen matters, PDP is denigrating the traditional institution by using traditional rulers in some states as the conduit to distribute SURE-P funds, ostensibly to empower Nigerians, but in reality to put money in the pockets of PDP supporters.” The party reminded the Federal Government that only the bodies created by law can disburse funds accruing to the Federation Account, and warned that since SIC is not recognised by the law, it is an illegal body and its operations violate the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It went on: “The money being spent on fuel subsidies was in the past taken out of the Federation Account. Hence, it is money that would have been divided among the three tiers of government in accordance with the revenue allocation formula. “But, by virtue of the SURE-P arrangement, the funds are now available for the Federal Government to share by approving contracts, programmes and activities in accordance with its whims and caprices. The PDP-controlled Federal Government has seen the accruing huge funds as the money, which may be spent with special favour for its cronies and party affiliates. “This is very dangerous for the polity as the funds are being used to empower PDP and its points-men to begin early preparations for the 2015 elections. It risks undulating the playing field ahead of the 2015 general elections, thus giving the ruling party an edge over others.” ACN warned that the abuse of SURE-P would create a

monument to corruption, since accountability and transparency are being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. It said: “The abuse of SUREP by the PDP-led Federal Government, which is now awash in free funds, may blow up in Nigeria’s face unless urgent steps are taken to ensure due process in its disbursement and transparency, especially concerning the origin and track records of those entrusted with this hard-earned money for the benefit of Nigerians. “We will like to remind the Federal Government that any kobo spent outside the ambit of the 2013 budget and without going through the regular government agencies and processes is illegal and fraudulent. It violates the constitution, which is clear on the question of public expenditure. Therefore, setting up a phoney structure for the disbursement and expenditure of public funds will have consequences for those involved,” the party said.

•From left: Chairman, Berger Paints Plc, Mr. Adekunle Olowokande; Chairman, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Chief Segun Osunkeye; Archbishop, Episcopal Province of Lagos, the Most Rev Adebayo Akande; and former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Wale Omole, during the reception in honour of Archbishop Akande in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

Empower Nigeria Show holds in Enugu

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HE ‘Empower Nigeria Road Show’, promoted and organised by the Anabel Leadership Academy (ALA) has begun in Enugu amidst pomp and ceremony. The event was hosted by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu Campus.It attracted over 1,534 young entrepreneurs, students, self-employed and job seekers, who besieged the venue in search of direction and hope for a better future. The President of Anabel Leadership Academy and Founder of ‘Empower Nigeria Conference Series and Road Show’, Mr. Nicholas Okoye, said the most important element for Nigeria to attain the status of an emerging

economic power in the global economy was for a clear and concise strategy on “Youth Empowerment” to be developed and implemented by the nation’s leadership. He said kidnapping in the Southeast, crimes and armed robbery in the Southwest, religious killings and Boko Haram insurgency in the North and militancy in the Niger Delta were results of the frustration of youths. “With the direction our leaders have been taking Nigeria, the emphasis on private jets by business leaders, political leaders and religious leaders have demonstrated that our leaders were disconnected from the problems in the streets of Nigeria,” he added.

starting their own business, but did not have any idea on what they could do or how they could get funding for their business. The ‘Empower Nigeria Road Show’ also pointed the young people to the over 35 Federal Governmentowned and operated funds set up to support training and empowerment of Nigerian youths so that they could access finance to support their chosen business idea. The event was supported by many high profile speakers, who gave personal accounts of their path to success and the challenges they faced as well as the strategies they would use to get ahead in life.

Sylva wants court to order INEC to declare him governor

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ORMER Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Yenegoa for an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him as governor of the state. He said he is seeking an order of the court to be declared governor of the state by virtue of his election as the valid governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in the state. In an originating summons

By Adebisi Onanuga

filed by his lawyer, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), the former governor is praying the court to direct INEC to declare him the winner of the last governorship election in the state. In the alternative, he wanted the court to order INEC to conduct a fresh poll, with him as the PDP’s candidate. The judge handling the matter, Justice C. E. Archibong, granted leave to Sylva to serve the court’s process on INEC out of jurisdiction in Abuja. In his summons, Sylva

wanted the court to determine among others, “whether having regard to the provisions of Section 178(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Supreme Court judgment in the consolidated appeals of Marwa Vs Nyako (2012) 5 NWLR, delivered on January 27, 2012, wherein the court held that the tenure of the plaintiff as the Governor of Bayelsa State had long expired since May 29, 2011, the governorship election in Balyesa State became due since April 29, 2011.”

The plaintiff also wanted the court to determine whether being the incumbent governor of the state as at April 29, 2011, whose name was submitted as a candidate of the PDP for the governorship election, he was the only valid candidate of the PDP for the governorship election conducted thereafter. He also wanted the court to consider that by virtue of Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2011 (as amended), a person whose name had been submitted as a candidate for the state governorship election can be

jettisoned other than by his death or withdrawal. In addition, Sylva prayed the court to find out whether INEC could legally regard any person other than himself, who had neither died nor withdrawn his candidature from the election, following the expiration of the tenure of office on April, 20, 2011. He prayed the court to declare him the governor of the state, being the only valid candidate of the party, if the questions above are in affirmative, and regarding the provisions of Section 221 of the 1999 Con-

•Sylva

stitution and the Supreme Court judgment per Amaechi v. INEC 2008, which held that it is only a party that canvasses votes and wins election. The matter has been fixed for February 14 for hearing.


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NEWS

Afe Babalola threatens Ogun PDP chair with N25b suit

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EGAL luminary Chief Afe Babalola has given the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State seven days to retract a “libellous advertorial”. In a letter by his counsel, Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN), to Ogun PDP Chairman Chief Adebayo Dayo, Babalola said should he fail to retract the statement and tender a public apology within seven days, he would sue him for N25 billion. He advised others concerned about the publication to complain to law enforcement agencies and secure the arrest and prosecution of the PDP chairman and his cohorts for infractions on Sections 125, 126, and 375 of the Criminal Code Act Cap c38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. In the advertorial, entitled: “Ogun PDP raises alarm over

By Adebisi Onanuga

plans to influence the Appeal Court”, Dayo reproduced the contents of a letter dated January 16, 2013. Adenipekun said the content of the letter was understood to mean that “Babalola conspired with some persons to influence the outcome of a pending judicial dispute in an attempt to pervert justice. He said his client takes exception to the publication and “considers the allegation false, unfounded, baseless and reckless”. “My client is amazed that you could fabricate such falsehood without regard to the consequences of your action”, Adenipekun added. He said Babalola is not in any manner affiliated with or connected to any dispute

among Ogun PDP members, neither is he a member of the PDP. Adenipekun said: “It is pertinent to refer you to the reaction of Obasanjo and Justice Amina Adamu Augie. Upon becoming aware of the allegations, Obasanjo issued a statement in which he denied your claims and described them as tissues of lies. “Justice Augie also denied the allegations. In open court, she described the allegations as a deliberate attempt to tarnish the reputation of the Justices handling the appeal. “Babalola has carved a niche for himself in law practice in Nigeria. In his actions and utterances, he is always guided by a need to maintain the highest professional standard in the administration of justice.” Adenipekun said it was in

Ekiti Varsity students give govt 21-day ultimatum From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

T •Chief Babalola

realisation of this that Babalola was appointed a member of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, the body saddled with the appointment of SANs. He said: “You will therefore agree that his reputation, which has been built over the years, should not be trifled with under any guise.”

Old students lament rot in education system

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GROUP of old students of Ibadan Grammar School (IGS) has lamented the “avoidable” ills in the education system, particularly secondary schools They said secondary schools are important in preparing youths for a “demanding future”. The old students met at the Sheraton Hotels on Saturday to prepare for the centenary celebration of their alma mater. IGS will turn 100 on March 31. The old students, many of who attended the school in the 1950s and ’60s, were nostalgic about their stay at the school.

By Damilola Owoyele

They compared it to today’s “poor learning”, which they said stems largely from lack of commitment by teachers, education boards and governments. Former Managing Director of Daily Times and ex-Director of The Guardian Mr. Patrick Cole complained about the quality of English taught in schools today. He said: “The grammar taught in tertiary institutions cannot be compared with the one I was taught in secondary school. Then, we excelled in ac-

ademics. The West African Examination Council (WAEC) wrote letters to congratulate IGS on our good performance in examinations.” The Nation columnist Prof. Akinjide Osuntokun shared a similar view on the “pervasive poor grammar” among secondary school pupils. Osuntokun, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, credited IGS for “pre-engineering him as a man and preparing him for life”. He said: “Ït is a shame that the plight of the school is horrible now.” The old students resolved

to arrest the rot in IGS and restore the school’s glory. To commemorate the 100th anniversary, the Old Students’ association will inaugurate a physics laboratory, sports hall, a fullyequipped Information and Communication Technology (ICT) center and a refurbished administrative block. One of the old students, Mr. Tunde Adeniji, said the problem is not improving the school, but tackling the general malaise in the society that impedes sustainable development.

Ibadan residents hail ‘kingpin’s’ arrest

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ESIDENTS of OmiAdio in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the weekend hailed the “arrest” of a 29-year-old suspect, Ganiyu Salawu (a.k.a Tombolo Genegene), by members of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC). They said Salawu had been “terrorising” them, adding that he had charms that made him invisible during operations. It was learnt that his alleged activities, such as robberies, burglaries and rapes, had left residents sleepless since late last year. After about two months of trying, the OPC, led by Comrade Muritala Adekola Ifawale (a.k.a E le won), nabbed the suspect during one of his operations and handed him over to the police at the Ibadan Divi-

‘The suspect has carried out about 50 operations in OmiAdio. It is a great joy for us that he has been arrested .We are thankful to God for giving the OPC members the grace to capture this man’ From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

sional Police Headquarters in Apata. Residents trooped out in large numbers to see the suspect, who confessed to all the operations he had carried out

Oyo hospitals get N200m drugs

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HE Oyo State Government has distributed drugs worth over N200 million to hospitals and primary health centres. Governor Abiola Ajimobi announced this at the kick off of the first round of the National Immunisation Plus Days’ (NIPDs) 2013 campaign at the headquarters of Ibadan North-East Local Government Area at the weekend. Ajimobi said essential drugs have been provided in hospitals and urged the sick to avail themselves of the opportunity. Re-affirming his administration’s commitment to improve the wellbeing of resi-

dents, he said his goal is to revamp the health sector through reforms, infrastructural renewal, personnel, training and service delivery. Ajimobi said: “Our resolve is for Oyo State to remain polio-free and protect our children against other vaccine-preventable diseases. Hence, government will continue to mobilise resources for effective, efficient and accessible immunisation services across the state. “This is a declaration that this administration is looking beyond the campaign strategy to strengthen the routine immunisation service and reduce child mortality.’’

in Omi-Adio and its environs in the last five months. OPC leader in Ido Local Government, popularly called Muri Omi, said he received a distress call and mobilised his men to the scene, where the suspect was callegedly operating. His words: “When I received the call, I was not around here, so I phoned two of my men, Abiodun Oyan and Kelesu Moshood. These boys stormed the scene immediately and I joined them later. On sighting us, the suspect used his metaphysical power to disappear, but I later saw him. “I told him his end had come and he started chanting incantations. He resisted us, but we overpowered him. He tried to run away, but we apprehended him.”

A resident, Mr. Sayo Adebisi, said: “The suspect has carried out about 50 operations in Omi-Adio. It is a great joy for us that he has been arrested .We are thankful to God for giving the OPC members the grace to capture this man.” Answering questions from OPC members, Salawu confessed that he was trained in Lagos. He said he left his gang in Lagos after a misunderstanding . The suspect said he fortified himself spiritually at a place in Abule-Egba to ensure the success of his operations. Salawu said most of the items stolen during his operations were sold in Lagos. He said his parents are in Kogi State, adding that he was introduced to robbery 15 years ago when he was just 14.

Building razed in Ondo From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

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ONE-STOREY building at Isale Aralepo in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State was razed at the weekend. Property worth millions of naira were lost in the fire. It was learnt that the fire, which started around 11pm, was caused by a candle. Sources said a tenant left a burning candle on a table and left for a vigil, leaving two of her children behind. Nothing was salvaged from the over 20 rooms in the building. It was gathered that the tenants phoned the State Fire Service, but the officials complained that their vehicle’s tank was bad. The Fire Service Zonal Commander in charge of Owo, Mr. Metowon Kayode,regretted the inability of his men to curb the fire, explaining that the water tank on their vehicle was bad. The owner of the building, Alhaji Gani Balogun urged the public and state government to come to his aid.

HE Federation of Ekiti State Students’ Union (FESSU) has given the state government a 21-day ultima-

tum to begin the erection of a modern State Library. They also demanded the payment of their 2012 bursary within the period. In a statement by its National President, Comrade Olalere Abajingin , FESSU threatened to “make the state ungovernable, if their demands are not met”. The students said the ultimatum would end on February 21, adding that “their decision was taken at the Union’s Congress on January 25.” They said absence of a modern library has partly aided the failure in public examinations in the state lately. The union condemned the condition of the state library, saying: “It is disappointing that Ekiti, a state widely respected as the Fountain of Knowledge, has no modern library to complement the efforts of students and researchers.” The students are demanding the building of a modern library with Internet facilities.

Catholic schools in Ekiti to fly national flag

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HE Catholic church in Ekiti State yesterday ordered its schools to hoist the national flag and recite the national anthem at the beginning of any school day, following the submission of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) . The church ordered its schools to replace worn-out flags. While hosting NOA Director-General Mr. Mike Omeri in his office yesterday, the Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese Rt. Rev. Dr. Felix Ajakaye said the church teaches respect for the national symbols as a way of promoting national identity. He said all Nigerians must uphold our national identity because we must first be Nigerians before we become Muslims, Christians, traditionalists and ethnic groups. Omeri said the agency has designed programmes that would promote respect for the national symbols, strengthen national cohesion and inspire national pride in the younger generation.

Fayemi tackles polio

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has urged nursing mothers to immunise their children against wild polio. He said although Ekiti has been rid of the disease, all hands must be on deck to maintain the status quo. The governor spoke at the kick off of the first round of the 2013 National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at the weekend. He said immunising children at the appropiate time would keep the disease away. Urging community and religious leaders to sensitise the people on the importance of immunisation, Fayemi said the administration would partner neighbouring states to kick polio out of Nigeria. The Permanent Secretary, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mrs. Folake Falore, hailed the administration’s effort to curb child and maternal mortality.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the general public of the loss of the original right of occupancy in respect of Plot 3158 Cadastral Zone F04, Mpape District, Abuja, belonging to the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). All efforts made to trace the said documents proved abortive. If found kindly report to the nearest police station.


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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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NEWS

Police officer ‘kills’ colleague in Ondo

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POLICE officer attached to Yaba Divisional Police Station in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Inspector Adelakun Lawal, was killed at the weekend. He was allegedly murdered by his colleague and friend, Mr. Kazeem Shehu, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) attached to Ajagba Divisional Police Station in Irele Local Government. It was learnt that the two friends were relaxing at a drinking parlour on Ejankole Street in Okerowo around 5pm when an argument broke out between them. Eyewitnesses said people tried in vain to broker peace between them, but Shehu brought out a pistol from his pocket and shot Lawal. They said Shehu tried to escape but he was apprehended. Lawal was rushed to the Ondo State Specialist Hospital in Ondo town in a police van and was certified dead by doctors. The victim was a police prosecutor at an Ondo Chief Magistrate’s Court. When The Nation visited the office of the Yaba Divisional Police Officer (DPO),

•Shehu covered in blood after his arrest...at the weekend. From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Mr. Adegoke Alani, he was said to have gone out. The Area Commander, Mr. Hamzat Ameyi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), was also said to have travelled out of town. A senior officer at the station, who did not want to

be named, described the incident as “unfortunate”. He said Lawal’s remains had been deposited at the morgue of the Ondo State Specialist Hospital in Ondo town. The report of the incident has been sent to the command headquarters in Akure, the state capital.

Aregbesola: agric is our biggest industry

SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said his administration will make agriculture the “most viable industry” in the state. He said his administration was working hard to make farmers agents of empowerment. Aregbesola spoke at the weekend during the “Osun Farmers’ Day With Ogbeni”. Inputs worth over N80 million were distributed to farmers at the event, which was held at the Bola Ige House, Government Secretariat, Osogbo. The governor said: “Because of the enormous agricultural potentials in the state, this administration came up with the Six-Point-IntegralAction Plan, with agriculture as the major plank. “Our agricultural policy is squarely focused on farmers, hence the theme of this interactive session: ‘Imagine the World Without Farmers’. We are convinced that increased agricultural productivity is a pre-condition for the emergence of industrial development, as well as the foundation stone for economic growth. “Hence, we initiated programmes that enable subsistence farmers multiply their production through expansion of their farming capacities, improve on the techniques of farming and package their goods for marketing in bigger markets, such as the ones in Lagos State.”

‘Hence, we initiated programmes that enable subsistence farmers multiply their production through expansion of their farming capacities, improve on the techniques of farming and package their goods for marketing in bigger markets, such as the ones in Lagos State’ From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Aregbesola said his administration has upgraded infrastructure in Iwo, Mokore, Ago-Owu, and Esa-Oke – four of the nine farm settlements in the state. He said 77.2km of access/ feeder roads were built. Aregbesola said the government assisted farmers through farmers’ cooperative groups. This includes helping 28 cooperative groups to plant maize on a 17km stretch, clearing over 150 acres of land, providing farmland and loans. The governor said N529 million loans were given to 260 cooperative groups in 2011 and 2012, an intervention he said generated 4,813 direct jobs and 2,600 indirect jobs.

He said 2,160. 75 metric tonnes of fertiliser; 10.242 metric tonnes of maize seeds; 2,723 litres of liquid herbicides; 89 tubes of insecticides; 24.16kg of fungicides; 884 units of minor equipment and 16,603 bundles of improved cassava cuttings were given to farmers at subsidised prices. Aregbesola said to curb post-harvest losses, a 500metric-tonne-capacity warehouse has been built in Osogbo and seven mini-warehouses in other parts of the state, which are complemented by on-farm storage facilities. He said one tonne-capacity cargo tricycles were distributed to seven Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O’YES) cadets for transporting farm produce, adding that more would be provided. Aregbesola said: “The unprecedented development that our administration has recorded so far in the agricultural sector has been made possible through the wellpackaged and well-received agricultural programme, Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (O’REAP). “The four major components of the programme are: Farm Estate Development, Farmers’ Cooperative Support, Agricultural Land Expansion and Large scale Agriculture.”


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CITYBEATS T

O step up the fight against fraud, the police will soon get a forensic laboratory. The laboratory will facilitate the investigation of cyber crime and Information Communication Technology (ICT) fraud, among others. The foundation for the N77 million laboratory was laid in Lagos at the weekend by Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Works ('C' Department), Emmanuel Kachi Udeoji, who represented the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar. The laboratory is being built by by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Police, in collaboration with the private sector and some individuals. The laboratory will be available to investigators handling high-profile local and international fraud cases. At the event, Abubakar promised to rehabilitate existing barracks nationwide, adding that the laboratory would cater for modern investigation that will boost police operation. He said lack of a modern and wellequipped laboratory was responsible for the failure to crack murder and high-profile fraud cases. Udeoji explained that most times, the Police patronise forensic laboratories abroad in a bid to unravel some high-profile crimes. The building, whose construction began immediately after the foundation, was named after former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie. The IGP said his management had resolved to breathe life into all police formations by upgrading the infrastructure there and improving the welfare of personnel. He expressed appreciation to the “Stakeholders Forum”, an umbrella body under which public-spirited Nigerians came together to build for the police. The forum comprises members of Diplomatic Corps and wealthy Nigerians. Abubakar hailed the forum for coming up with the idea of the construction of the laboratory. ` "It takes men of great character to put the idea of constructing the building with the calibre of officers and men who are running this unit and whose qualities we have all attested to; this cause will not be in vain," he said. Commissioner of Police in charge of SFU, Mr. Olatunde Ogunsakin, said the unit had contributed to the creation of special departments like economic governance, diplomatic fraud and human rights. These departments, he said, had yielded results in the fight against all forms of fraud. Ogunsakin said the laboratory was to enable the police meet up with

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

•Police DIG Udeoji (2nd left) laying the foundation of the structure. With him from fight: Ogunsakin, AIG Zone 2, Mamman Tsafe and Prof Adeyemi PHOTO: JUDE ISIGUZO

Why police can’t crack murder, fraud cases, by IG

By Jude Isiguzo

the demand of a well-equipped scientific investigation base. "The foundation laying of the Ibrahim Coomassie Building is an additional feather to the cap of SFU which currently has 35 offices. It will enable its officers to discharge their duties to combat fraud and related criminal offences. In order to meet up with international standards, this project has incorporated the establishment of a modern Forensic Investigation Laboratory. This, no doubt, is to

•Forensic Lab to facilitate investigations coming ensure the much-needed scientific analyses, especially now that the federal government is implementing the 100 per cent cash-less transaction policy.

Police foil bank robbery in lagos N attempt to rob the Odogunyan, Ikorodu, Lagos branch of a second generation bank by bandits was foiled by the police yesterday. The armed robbers allegedly stormed the bank's branch at 3am in two vehicles, which they parked some few poles away from the premises of the financial house. It was gathered that the bandits, who were over 10 in number, gained access into the bank's premises after shooting for close to 30 minutes and also succeeded in breaking the door leading to the three Automated

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By Jude Isiguzo

Teller Machines (ATM). But policemen from the Shagamu Road Division stormed the bank in two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and 20 patrol vehicles. They engaged the armed robbers. It was gathered that on sighting the police team, which was led by the Divisional Police Officer, Mr Bernard Odiagbonya, a Superintendent of Police (SP), the robbers, who were said to have been armed with sophisticated weapons, opened fire on them. The policemen, who were more in number, overpowered the

bandits, who fled the scene. "They bowed to the superior fire power of the policemen and fled, abandoning their housebreaking implements," sources at the command headquarters said. Two big iron cutters, two giant gas cylinders and a giant size spanner abandoned by the fleeing robbers, as well as several empty shells of cartridges, were recovered in and around the bank's premises. Lagos State Police Command's spokesperson Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), confirmed the incident. She said no arrest was made.

"This project will also usher in a modern structure that will accommodate facilities for Internal Personnel Training, Archive, Clinic, Modern Interrogation room as well as an admin-

istrative office," Ogunsakin said. Chairman of the Stakeholders Forum, Prof. Adedokun Adeyemi urged the police to ensure that equipment for the forensic investigation were procured before the completion of the project. Adeyemi, a professor of law and criminology at the University of Lagos, said non-availability of equipment was what worked against the reconstruction of the police forensic laboratory at Alagbon Close, which got burnt some years ago.

Woman gives birth to mysterious baby in Osun

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WOMAN on Saturday gave birth to a mysterious baby in Sekona community, near Ede via Osogbo, capital of Osun State. The new babywas born without a head at a mission centre. The police had a tough time controlling the crowd which besieged the centre to have a glimpse of the unusual baby. A section of the crowd initially suspected a foul play when they thought that the

head of the baby was severed for ritual purposes. The police took the baby to a government hospital in Ede. The crowd that followed the baby to the hospi tal was later educated that it was a case of deformity after the doctor at the hospital did a thorough investigation on the baby. Osun State police public relations officer, Folasade Odoro said the dead baby had since been returned to the mother for burial.


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08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

Police subdue suspected robbers in gun battle

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FTER a bloody encounter, four suspected robbers have fallen to the superior power of the police in Anambra State. The suspects had robbed a family in Oba-Ichi in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state and abducted a two-yearold boy. Luck ran out on the suspects when the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) led by James Nwafor stormed the house of one of them. In the ensuing gun battle, the suspects were wounded and taken to the hospital. The Nation gathered that the

•Abducted two-year-old rescued By Nwanosike Onu Awka

four-man gang stormed the residence of Philip Nweze, who had just returned from abroad and the robbers made away with foreign currencies. They also abducted Emmanuel Chidera, one of Nweze's twins. Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Emeka Chukwuemeka told The Nation that the command swung into action following a tip-off. Police officers, he said, stormed the house of one of the suspects at Oba-Ichi. He said a gun battle ensued

when the officers got to the house and the robbers were overpowered. The Nation also gathered that a female caregiver, employed by the gang to look after the boy, was arrested. A police officer said the robbers probably abducted the boy to demand ransom from his parents. The suspects, according Nweze, took with them about 10 phones, a laptop and other materials, some of which have been recovered by the police including a pistol used by the suspects.

CITYBEATS

Women charged with N50m jewellery theft A 55-year-old woman, Fatimo Ogunremi, has been arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate's Court for allegedly stealing N50 million worth of jewellery belonging to Adefunke Owonifari. Also charged is Ajulo Olayinka, 42. They were arraigned on a threecount-charge of conspiracy and fraud before Magistrate A .O. Komolafe. According to the prosecuting police Inspector Iranus Nnamonu, the defendants were alleged to have conspired to steal the jewellery items. The prosecutor said they fraudulently converted Owonifari's property to personal use. The defendants were said to have committed the offence on

Families own land in Epe, say Elders WHO owns the land in Epe, a Lagos suburb? The land is owned by families, says the chairman of Indigenous Epe Elders Council (IEEC), Chief Sabiu Gberefu. He was reacting to the claim of the town's monarch, Oba Kamarudeen Animashaun, that a certain land in Epe belonged to the community. "No parcel of land belongs to the community as far as I know. Here in Ijebu-Epe, it is individual families, and not communities, that own land," Gberefu, an octogenarian, told reporters in Epe. Gberefu mentioned some families that own land in Epe and challenged people to verify his claim. He said: "If any organisation wants a piece of land for its operation, we elders are ready to approach some families who own land to give out part of their land for the development, growth and progress of the town."

•Emmanuel with his father after his ordeal.

Community calls for improved security after regent's kidnap

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HE GOVERNMENT has been urged to strengthe n security in Akotogbo, a coastal community in Ondo State, owing to increasing activities of kidnappers. The appeal came following the kidnap of the Regent of the town, Chief Iwalewa Emoruwa. The Regent was kidnapped by some militants midnight on January 19, in his palace. He was found on January 26 near Ekenwa River in Edo State, through the efforts of the police and prominent indigenes of the town. The 65-year-old Regent, whose son is a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, is recuperating in an undisclosed hospital after his release by his ab•From left: Chief Emmanuel Ukpabi, GMD, Flour Mills Plc; Chairman, Apapa Local Government, Lagos State, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph and Vice Chairman, Flour Mills Plc, Mr. John G.Coumantros, during the commissioning... of a school rehabilitated by the company...recently.

By Jude Isiguzo

ductors. The community has called for the establishment of a naval base and a marine police station in Akotogbo to ensure security at Safarogbo/Arogbo/Ijuosun and Siloko in Edo State as well as Koko/Sapele/Warri in Delta State. In a statement by the Akotogbo Development Association, the community also called on Governor Olusegun Mimiko and the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, as well as the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Dele Ezeoba, to utilise the marine police and the naval base in the area

By Adebisi Onanuga

November 19, last year, about 2: 30pm at 14 Oluwafemi Street in Ilasa, a Lagos suburb. Nnamonu said the offence is punishable under Sections 409, 284 and 285 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011. The defendants pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Komolafe granted them N5 million bail each with two sureties in the like sum. The sureties, he said, must be resident in Lagos, gainfully employed. One of them must be a landlord. He said the sureties' addresses must be verified, adding that they must show evidence of tax payment for three years.

to keep the place secure The community blamed the upsurge of criminal activities in the area on the activities of various groups of militants, the cosmopolitan nature of the area and the inter-connectivity of the towns in the Niger Delta. In a release signed by the association's Public Relations Officer, Mr. John Igbekele, he said: "The Federal Government should ensure that all border towns on the Atlantic Ocean are properly policed. We should have marine police and naval patrol boats on the Siloko-Safalogbo, Arogbo/ Agadagba and Koko-Warri areas to ensure peace and security in the said communities."

By Emmanuel Oladesu

Some families mentioned by Gberefu as land owners are Jibulu, Oniga, Iposun, Odofin, Ikosan, Adeniposi, Alara/Logun and Ademowo/Asala, among others. He described as "unfair any attempt to encroach on land that have been legitimately acquired from certain families under the pretence that it belongs to the community." The monarch had been reported as saying that the land reportedly acquired by a company, Rivbond Nigeria Ltd, owned by an Epe High Chief, Balogun Lanre Razak, for an estate "belongs to the community." The ownership of the said land became contentious when the monarch was said to have recommended it for the construction of a Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) substation.

Commission to hire Lagos Assembly workers By Oziegbe Okoeki THE Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM) will employ civil servants deployed in the Assembly by the Civil Service Commission, LAHASCOM chairman, Wale Mogaji has said. The commission is empowered by the law establishing it to recruit workers for the Assembly and itself. During a visit to the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) on Wednesday, Mogaji said it was to obtain first-hand information about human resources management, in preparation for the takeoff of the Assembly's service commission. This, according to him, will enable the commission to have a policy frame work that can be of help in staff development. ''We have started the process of absorbing workers of the Assembly who were originally employed by the Civil Service. They will be our own staff and

their journey continues because there is no break in service. Our visit was targeted at getting first hand information on human resources management to enable us prepare a policy framework that would be beneficial for the development of the commission,'' Mogaji said. A member of the commission, Hon. Lanre Odesanya, said LAHASCOM was established to strengthen the legislature, adding that for the House to function effectively, it must be autonomous and selfaccounting. ''If the House is to perform effectively there must be autonomy and a self-accounting law. The service commission is very important and crucial to the development of the legislature,'' Odesanya said. Responding, LGSC chairman, Alhaji Moshood Ojikutu said the visit would foster good working relationship between both commissions.

Africa Magic Viewers’ Trophy on tour THE African tour of the inaugural Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCA) trophy has begun. It began with a visit to Accra, Ghana . The tour follwed the recent announcement of nominees for the AMVCA on January 28 at the Porsche Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The trophy was unveiled at an event which was attended by top Ghanaian stars, Majid

By Dupe Ayinla-Olasukanmi

Michel, Jackie Appiah, Joselyn Dumas and others. The train also moved to Nairobi on Wednesday, January 30 at a cocktail, where Kenyan nominees for the awards were hosted. Present at the event were Biola Alabi (MD M-Net Africa), Bitange Ndomo (PS Ministry of Information & Communication) and a host of others.


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NEWS Okorocha decries overdependence on oil •‘Agric key to economic growth’

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MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has warned against overdependence on oil as the major revenue earner. The governor said the economy would remain stagnant if it is not diversified. He called for a return to agriculture to ensure food security and a restoration of the economy towards accelerated growth. Okorocha spoke in Owerri, the state capital, when he delivered a lecture, entitled: Kobo Must Return, for Course 35 members of the Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna, who are on a course tour in the state. The governor noted that agriculture, before the exploration and boom in the oil sector, contributed about 75per

cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings. He urged Nigerians and governments at all levels to give agriculture a priority place to revive the economy and make it stronger and more viable. Okorocha posited that if it is given attention in the 774 local governments where the land and labour are available to produce agro-products, agriculture would guarantee employment and bring down the prices of food items in the country. He attributed Nigeria’s problem to bad leadership, adding: “There nothing wrong with the Head of State but there could be something wrong with the state of the head.”

NIMET boss predicts harmattan’s end

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HE Director-General of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom, has said the harmattan being experienced will subside next week. Anuforom, who spoke in an interview with reporters in Abuja at the weekend, said the harmattan would disappear in the next few days. He said the harmattan would not affect flights following the improved navigational aid installed in the country. He said the agency would conform with the stipulated international standards, adding that there is no Nigerian aviation or Nigerian meteorology in terms of standards. Anuforom said the two upper air stations would be installed to bring to seven, the operational upper air stations in the country to enhance accuracy.

Suswam warns ex-minister, others against despising governors

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ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam yesterday warned a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Jibril Aminu, and other statesmen against despising the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF). Addressing reporters in Abuja, Suswam said: "I would expect highly placed Nigerians, including a respected elder statesman like Senator Jibril Aminu, to be more cautious in making statements on a collective leadership representing the entirety of Nigeria. This is because the governors represent different states and those states make up what is Nigeria. "So, if you dismiss and dero-

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

gate them in a manner he did, it means you are reducing Nigeria to a position that people in other countries will not respect our leaders. It is not about the governors as individuals, because each governor is representing a component state that makes up Nigeria. "If you derogate either the governor or the President, you are invariably derogating the country. So, for leaders that were in positions of authority before, especially whose views are taken very seriously, they should be very cautious in their utterances. Federalism is dy-

namic and each governor is elected to represent the hopes, aspirations and fears of the people. Therefore, as federalism, there are issues that should be addressed. That is not correct. "Even in American democracy, which is over two centuries, there are issues they are still addressing; ours is just about 16 years and you expect that we can't raise issues of federalism. It is not correct. So, the issues raised by the Nigerian Governors' Forum are issues that affect their people, which they want addressed. When people have problems with their governors, instead of addressing them as such, they generalise them. So, Senator Aminu

•Suswam

should address the issue he has with his governor as a local issue in Adamawa State." The governor denied the allegation of a rift between him and the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi on 2015 poll.

Airtel’s 15% growth pushes revenue to 9.5%

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UOYED by its resounding success in its African operations, Bharti Airtel has announced a 9.5 per cent growth in its consolidated revenue for the third quarter (nine months) ended December 31. According to the telco, Africa revenues grew by 15 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y), supported by customer base growth of 21 per cent, voice traffic increase of 42 per cent and non-voice revenue growth of 85 per cent. Voice usage per customer has grown Y-o-Y by 15 per cent from 125

By Lucas Ajanaku

minutes to 144 minutes. Highlight of the report, which the telco said was released in accordance with the international financial reporting standard (IFRS), showed that while overall customer base stands at 262.3 million, across 20 countries where it has its footprints, total minutes on network peaked at 284.0 billion, up by 12.3 per cent Y-o-Y. The report also showed that consolidated total revenues was at 20,239 crore, up by 9.5 per cent Y-o-Y, just as mobile data revenues went up to 70 per cent in India, while it shot up to 80 per cent in Africa. Revenues in Q3 on a consolidated basis at 20,239 crore grew by 9.5 per cent over the corresponding period last year, led by strong growth of

70 per cent in mobile Internet in India, 29 per cent in digital TV, 20 per cent in ‘airtel business’ (B2B) and 15 per cent in Africa. The new activation processes and improved retention strategies in India have helped reduce monthly churn to 5.9 per cent from 8.5 per cent in the previous quarter. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) has improved to 185, a sequential Consolidated Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) margin is at 30.6 per cent. EBITDA is essentially net income with interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation added back to it, and can be used to analyse and compare profitability between companies and industries because it eliminates the effects of financing and accounting

decisions. The Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Limited, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, said though market conditions was challenging during the period under review, things are beginning to take shape. “Market conditions have been challenging in recent quarters due to pricing pressures and rising input costs, which have put pressure on the sector and consequently the margins. However, the worst seems to be getting over with corrections taking place in customer acquisition practices and the tariffs, which are driving quality of acquisitions and improving efficiencies. Moreover, on the data front, it is heartening to see strong growth quarter on quarter and across geographies,” he was quoted to have said in a statement.

Group mobilises Igbo for opposition mega party

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Southeast political action platform, the C21 Group, has said it will mobilise Igbo politicians for the ongoing alliance talks among major parties for the formation of a mega opposition party before the 2015 general elections. The president of the group, Sen. Annie Okonkwo, spoke of the move in a statement by his media spokesperson, Mr Collins Steve Ugwu. According to the statement, Okonkwo said: “The flourishing momentum of alliance discussions between the major parties to meet the yearnings of Nigeri-

From Chris Oji, Enugu

ans for a government that will truly govern in 2015 has a welcome window for the broad republican convictions that drive the Igbo nation’s political and economic pursuit. “The sensitivity of all Igbo committed democrats to actualise our dream for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction necessitates that every avenue for the articulation of this constitutional imperative must be explored creatively and pursued vigorously.” The politician said after over 13 years of the stifling political dominance of the Peoples Dem-

ocratic Party (PDP), which has only resulted in disasters, “it is time to compel the chicken to roost by the mighty will of the people through beautifully consummated alliances and coalitions”.

Dana Air victims get compensation

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NSURERS of Dana Air have begun the payment of compensation to the Iju-Ishaga, Lagos residents whose property were damaged when a Dana Air McDonnel Douglas 83 aircraft crashed into the area on June 3 last year. Dana Air’s Head of Corporate Communications, Tony Usidamen, confirmed the development in a telephone chat. He said: “We can confirm that the payment of compensation to the affected residents has begun. The process is still ongoing and our insurers are committed to ensuring that claimants are compensated.” The Dana Air spokesman declined to name the residents or amount paid. However, investigations showed that Pastor Daniel Omowunmi, the most vocal of the affected residents, was among those who have received compensation, an initial payment of $30,000. On why it took this long for compensation to be paid to the ground victims, Usidamen said: “To ensure that just and fair compensation is paid to the affected families, several processes have been followed by the law, and settlement reached by the parties concerned.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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83RD KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING On Wednesday 30th January, 2013 (18th Rabi’ul Awwal, 1434AH) Council Sitting was presided over by the Gov. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE during which 17 memoranda were submitted by 9 MDAs for deliberation. An expenditure of N14,829,357,880.00 was approved for the execution of 15 projects. Thus; 1.

MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES

Three (3) memoranda were submitted by this Ministry for deliberation by the Council as follows; a.

Presentation on the need for Kano State to participate in Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Program II (WSSSRP II):-

Kano State is one of the States collaborating with the European Union (E.U.), and the Federal Government to reform Water and Sanitation Sectors. The other focal States are Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Osun and Yobe). Contents of this memorandum confirmed that phase one of the program has been successfully completed in the period from June, 2007 to August, 2011 with remarkable achievements recorded in Kano State, which included the following; i. Development of water supply Master Plan (currently in use); ii. Development of Draft Water Bill (now before the State Assembly for passage into Law); iii. Supply of laboratory equipment to Kano State Water Board; iv. Provision of fifty seven (57) Solar powered and electricity generated Water Supply Systems; v. Provision of twelve (12) hand pumps; vi. Assistance to Kano State Water Board in Customer enumeration; and vii. Construction of Water and Sanitation facilities in 16 small Towns in 11 Local Government Councils. Presently, the second phase of WSSSRP (2013-2016) is due to commence in late January, 2013. Mainly, WSSSRP II will focus on Madobi and Takai Local Government Areas for a start, after which other Local Governments would also participate. Funding for WSSSRP II still remains thus; i. European Development Fund (EDF)/WSSSRP II=70% ii. State and participating LGCAs =25% iii. Benefitting Communities=5%

Council approved the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Health to undertake the stated project as it is in line with the laudable policies of the present administration. 3. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted four (4) memoranda on behalf of other MDAs for deliberation by the Council as follows; a. Presentation of Interim Report on the Rehabilitation of 50km Shelterbelts:The Ministry of Environment submitted a final report on the referred project through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government along with other related projects such Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso as the establishment of 40 hectares of two (2) Industrial Plantations and Seedling production. The report highlighted that KNAP made remarkable achievements in the discharge of its obligations with specific reference to the projects in question as summarized thus; i.

50km Shelterbelts were successfully rehabilitated at the cost of N15million with the aim of restoring their effective function. Seven (7) locations were covered, which include Bichi, Dawakin Tofa, Takai and Danbatta Local Governments.

ii.

20ha Gum Arabic and Zoha Boswella SPP plantations were successfully established at the cost of N10million. Both plants have tremendous economic value and potential in addition to their environmental benefits.

As such, the Ministry of Water Resources requested the Council to consider and approve the following; i. ii.

Grant permission for Kano State to participate in WSSSRP II. That the Ministry of Water Resources continues collaboration efforts with the European Union (EU), Federal Ministry of Water Resources and other Stakeholders in implementing WSSSRP II in Kano State.

iii. That Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of Kano State Government at the appropriate time. iv. The release of the approved N50,000,000.00 earmarked in the 2013 budget for the WSSSRP II as counterpart funding whenever required.

iii. Successfully produced 1,000,000 varieties of assorted tree seedlings for conventional needs and forestry plantation. The seedlings were produced at the cost of N9million and already utilized thus; 25.9% —used in rehabilitating 50km Shelterbelts in 4 Local Governments. 35.3%—used for social forestry planting. 27.9%—used in different planting models by NGOs, CBOs, Government organizations/Agencies and other Institutions. Council noted and appreciated the presentation. b.

Considering the priority position accorded to water supply by the present administration, Council approved the actualization of the WSSSRP II according to the details presented in as much as the program maintains its performance. b.

Request for Funds to facilitate the procurement of two (2) 800KVA Electricity Generators for Installation at Kusalla Water Treatment Plant:-

Contents of this memorandum substantiated to the Council that the existing two (2) electricity generators serving Kusalla Water Treatment Plant are both out of service and too old to respond to maintenance efforts. Supply of water to Karaye, Getso, Kusalla and surrounding areas was temporarily suspended for most of December, 2012. A serviceable electricity generator had to be borrowed from Kafin Chiri on 20th December, 2012 for use at Kusalla to resume partial water supply. The two existing electricity generators at Kusalla are practically beyond repairs/redemption. As such, the Ministry of Water Resources requested for the release of the sum of N58,401,000.00 to enable the replacement of the two obsolete electricity generators at Kusalla with two brand new 800KVA Perkins electricity generators so as to ensure effective performance of the treatment plant in supplying portable water to the area concerned. Council approved the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Water Resources to facilitate the stated purpose since the issue concerns one of the cardinal resolutions of the present administration. Supply and maintenance of water projects has been a preoccupation of the present administration since inception of its second tenure due to its significance on the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizenry. c.

Request for Funds to facilitate the supply of 4000 lengths of 600mm Ductile Iron Pipes and fittings for dualizing the Gezawa-Joda Water Pipeline:-

The Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted the referred request on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education. Specifically, 93 students were sponsored to pursue degree courses and each of them requires the sum of N1,163,000.00 for tuition fees and other charges. The total sum to be expended on the 93 students is N108,159,000.00. The amount was approved for the Ministry of Higher Education to enable the Scholarship Board caters for the stated purposes. Education is clearly among the laudable policies of the present administration. What the Government did since inception remains unsurpassed especially in the sponsorships of students to study overseas as exemplified with the 501 postgraduate students sponsored for different courses. Others are the 100 candidates sponsored to study piloting and the 100 selected to read medicine, etc. c.

2.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

Request for Funds to facilitate equipping/furnishing of the recently rehabilitated Gaya General Hospital:The Ministry of Health acknowledged and applauded the recent approval granted by the Council at its sitting on Wednesday 30th May, 2012 for the general rehabilitation/renovation of the existing structures at Gaya General Hospital to the tune of N97,503,624.66. The money was judiciously utilized to provide one brand new 100KVA Electricity Generator, one X-Ray machine/ Lead lining while the entire hospital wears a new befitting look as is observed with most public hospitals in the State since the inception of the present administration. Provision of medical equipment/furniture to create conducive atmosphere for effective and qualitative healthcare delivery to the teeming people of Gaya Local Government Areas and its surroundings is paramount. The Ministry of Health requested for the release of the sum of N33,804,292.48 to facilitate for the supply of medical equipment/furniture to the renovated Gaya General Hospital.

Request for Funds to enable payment of tuition fees for 100 Students studying piloting at the MIDEAST AVIATION ACADEMY (MAA) Jordan:-

Council already approved the sponsorship of 100 suitably qualified Kano State indigenous students to study piloting at the Mideast Aviation Academy, Jordan. As such, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested for approval of the release of the sum of 5,500,000 US Dollars (equivalent to N880,000,000.00) by the Council to enable the payment of tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses over the period of 18 months of the training of the 100 piloting students thus; Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of money to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the authorities at Mideast Aviation Academy, Jordan for the training of the 100 students. d.

Responding to Executive directive, the Ministry of Water Resources requested for the release of the sum of N1,240,205,511.97 to facilitate the dualization of the existing Joda-Gezawa pipeline in order to boost water supply to the towns and villages along Gezawa-Kano Road. Council noted, Considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,240,205,511.97 to the Ministry of Water Resources to undertake the stated project since it is congruent to the laudable policies of the present administration, which leaves no stone unturned with issues regarding water supply.

Request for Funds to Facilitate payment of annual tuition fees and other charges for the State sponsored students studying at Bells University, Ota, Ogun State:-

Request for funds to facilitate the execution of the 2nd phase of activities of the House numbering and Street naming exercise:-

Contents of this memorandum presented eight (8) Local Government Council areas at which the first phase of the exercise will begin. They include Kano Municipal, Dala, Nassarawa, Fagge, Tarauni, Gwale, Kumbotso and Ungogo. So, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested for the release of the sum of N356,874,563.34 by the Council to enable the House numbering/Street naming exercise to begin. The eight (8) selected Local Governments require the amount stated against their names below to carry out the exercise, thus; i. KMC -N14,931,734.67 ii. Dala -N65,866,073.34 iii. Nassarawa -N24,345,758.67 iv. Fagge -N17,350,497.00 v. Tarauni -N66,969,337.34 vi. Gwale -N35,506,329.34 vii. Kumbotso -N94,511,166.67 viii. Ungogo -N37,394,666.67 TOTAL -N356,874,563.34 Considering the significance of the project in providing access to information/data relevant for development planning, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N356,874,563.34 to the selected Local Governments to enable each of them carry out the exercise. 4.

OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE

Presentation of letter of appreciation and gratitude to the State Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso by the Kano State Public Joint Negotiation Council:-


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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 The leadership of Kano State Public Joint Negotiation Council cannot hide its appreciation and support to the State Government for the laudable projects being executed by Gov. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE. Commendations and gratitude were conveyed to the Government through the contents of this letter for the present government’s initiative on implementing various development projects/programs predicated on prudent and transparent management of resources. The Union struggles for the implementation of a new salary structure for the staff of the tertiary institutions denied to them leading to months of strikes by the immediate past regime which was resolved by this administration. Council noted and appreciated the presentation. 5. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport submitted five (5) memoranda for deliberation by the Council as follows; a.

Request for funds to facilitate the construction of a 6.67 kilometer highway on JakaraKwarin Gogau River:-

Rigorous professional engineering considerations informed the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to come up with various proposals aimed at covering the whole length of the Jakara River (i.e. from Aisami to Airport Road). This covers a distance of 6.67 km, which will be converted to motorable road for the benefit of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Highlights of the engineering details were presented by contents of this memorandum. So, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the award of contract in the sum of N8,700,602,557.50 to facilitate the long awaited project earmarked in order to address the recurrent floods, environmental pollution, refuge for criminals, breeding ground for mosquitoes, etc. problems associated with the river. Council noted, considered and approved the request for the award of the contract for the construction of a highway on the Jakara-Kwanar Gogau River at the sum of N8,700,602,557.50 b.

Request for Funds to enable the execution of Phase II renovation works and construction of additional service conveniences at the Deputy Governor’s Official Residence:-

The sum of N50,280,598.63 was requested for release by the Council to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of phase II renovation works and construction of additional Service conveniences at the Deputy Governor’s Official residence. Phase I was successfully completed. Council approved the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to facilitate the execution of the phase II of the referred project in order to ensure completion of the entire project. c.

Request for funds to facilitate the Registration and Reform of Motorcycle/Tricycles Operation in Kano State:-

Council was reminded of its directives to the Kano State Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) to collaborate with other stakeholders to immediately commence the registration of all owners of motorcycles/tricycles operating in the 44 Local Government Areas of the State for the enhancement of commuters’ safety and State security. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport notified the Council, through the contents of this memorandum, that the registration exercise has already commenced but with some problems being experienced, which made the registration Committee to request for the release of the aggregate sum of N10,530,310.00 to ensure effective execution of the exercise. The sum is to cover expenses on media sensitization, allowances to staff involved, production of forms and fuelling of vehicles. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N4,730,310.00 to cater for the purpose effectively. d.

Request for funds to facilitate the engagement of additional 878 youths as Road Traffic Assistants and adjustment of monthly allowances:-

The sum of N7,724,420.00 was approved for release by the Council, as requested by contents of this memorandum, to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to increase the operational manpower of Kano State Traffic Agency (KAROTA) from 622 to 1122 while their monthly allowances are to be based on their respective qualifications, thus; i. ii. iii.

Secondary Certificate holders OND/NCE holders BSC/HND holders

- N15,000.00 - N20,000.00 - N25,000.00

The gesture was to improve compliance to traffic rules and regulations, enforcement of laws that govern safe use of vehicles on roads, deterring and apprehending road traffic offenders, reducing incidents, dislodging illegal motor parks across the metropolis and decongesting roads/highways on market days at rural areas. e.

Request for funds to facilitate the continuation of enforcement of legislation on illegal Motor parks/Street decongestion in metropolitan Kano:-

Contents of this memorandum reminded the Council of its Executive Order on the banning of illegal motor parks operating in the State. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport directed KAROTA to implement the ban by using transport stakeholders forum, members (Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Police Force and Vigilante groups). Success was achieved in the last three (3) months but challenges still exist for which the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the extension of the operation for a period of three (3) months (January to March, 2013). This will cost N4,729,802.00 per month or N14,189,406.00 for 3 months. Considering the success achieved in the last three months, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N14,189,406.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable continuation of the stated operation for the next three (3) months.

The Fisheries Institute at Bagauda is among the 20 Skills acquisition and empowerment Institutions established by the present administration among the various endeavours embarked upon to solve the unemployment/unskilled problems of our teeming youths. So, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources submitted a proposal, through contents of this memorandum, on the preparation to commence training with 400 youths to be drawn from the 44 Local Governments in the State. The proposed commencement date is 25th February, 2013 and the training is planned to start with two (2) modules as follows; i. ii.

Importantly, necessary facilities/items need to be provided in order to enhance the successful take-off of the training program. The items are categorized, summarized and presented in contents of this memorandum. The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources proposed to the Council to approve the release of the sum of N64,851,930.00 to enable the provision of kitchen utensils, hostel furniture and other facilities such as generator set and vehicles. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to ensure the actualization of the institution’s objectives of training our teeming youths and other interested members of the public to become self-reliant. 8.

The Ministry of Finance notified the Council and general public of the progress of work on the three (3) cities largely funded by tripartite arrangement between Kano State Pension Fund Trustees, Kano State Investment and Property Company (KSIP) and Kano State Housing Corporation under a financial arrangement based on 60:40 percent profit sharing formula. This way, the financiers (Pension Fund Trustees) receives 60% of the profit whilst the promoters KSIP and Housing Corporation receive 40%. The commercial viability of the projects at Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Bandirawo cities is very clear necessitating the need for the State Government to supplement the efforts of the Pension Fund Trustees, which still indicated interest and willingness to make additional investment into the project. Council approved the release of the requested sum of N3billion as Treasury Loan to the promoters (KSIP and Housing Corporation) to be shared (N1.5billion each). The additional Fund indicated by the Pension Fund could then serve or provide a buffer deployable whenever the need arises. 9.

Road construction, repairs and renovation projects are among the cardinal resolutions of the present administration in order to enhance free flow of traffic especially within the metropolitan area of the State so as to boost the overall economic and social activities. Many such projects have reached substantial progress towards completion and only need the relocation, improvement and networking of major/subsidiary water pipe lines along the affected roads. The cost implications on the five (5) roads were presented as follows; SN Water Pipe relocation/replacement Costs (N) 1. Independence Road 11,714,955.65 2. Hadejia Road 30,547,575.00 3. Sharada-Madobi Road 65,809,007.20 4. Zaria Road 18,845,952.60 5. Sheikh Ja’afar Road 8,616,793.75 TOTAL 135,534,284.20 As such, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of the sum of N135,534,284.20 by the Council to enable the renovation/replacement of water pipes along the five (5) roads highlighted above. Council noted, considered and approved for the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning for the purpose. 7.

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Presentation of a proposal to commence training at the Fisheries Institute, Bagauda:-

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT

Request for funds for the procurement of chemicals and equipment for vector and mosquito control:The Ministry of Environment presented details on what transpired in the previous year (2012) regarding the vector and mosquito control exercise. Essentially, success was achieved, as highlighted by contents of this memorandum. So, the Ministry of Environment requested for the release of the sum of N174,000,000.00 by the Council to enable execution of the vector and mosquito control exercise for the year 2013. Nevertheless, Council was reminded of having approved the release of the sum of N120,000,000.00 in the year 2012, which facilitated the project in the year 2012. The expected upward difference is to come from the 8 eight metropolitan Local Government Council Areas concerned and the State Government. Thus; SOURCE i. STATE ii. (8) LGCAs TOTAL

TOTAL 30,000,000.00 144,000,000.00 174,000,000.00

Council is aware of the adage that says “prevention is better than cure”. Vector and Mosquito Control exercise is practiced as an endeavor to bring down the malaria fever attacks currently suffered by the populace. As such, the requested sum of N174million was approved for release to the Ministry of Environment to enable the procurement of chemicals and equipment for Vector and Mosquito Control exercise for the year 2013.

UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 83RD EXCO SITTING 1.

MONTHLY SANITATION EXERCISE

Council noted the successful conduct of the monthly sanitation exercise on Saturday 26th January, 2013 across the State. Furthermore, Government expressed its appreciation to the general public and the Emirate Council for their cooperation towards the success of the activity. 2.

SWEARING-IN OF THE NEW GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR THE KANO STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, WUDIL.

Council witnessed the swearing-in of the Governing Council of the Kano State University of Science & Technology, Wudil headed by Barrister A.B. Mahmoud. At the swearing-in the Governor stressed his resolve to support the University and education in general in the State. In the same vein, he called on the Governing Council to work towards the improvement of the institution to attain greater heights.

MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING

Request for funds to enable the payment of outstanding charges for the relocation/replacement of water pipes affected by the construction works on five (5) metropolitan roads:-

MINISTRY OF FINANCE

Request for funds as Treasury Loan to Kano State Housing Corporation and Kano State Investment and Property Company for the commercial housing project:-

3. 6.

Fish production and general farm management. Fish preservation, marketing and storage technology

SWEARING-IN OF THE EXECUTIVE MEMBERS OF KANO STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (KANSIEC)

Council noted the swearing-in of the new State Independent Electoral Commission headed by Dr. Sani Lawan. The members were implored to ensure free and fair election during the forthcoming Local Government elections. Furthermore, the Council called on all political groups and the general public to cooperate with the Commission for success of the exercise. 4.

PRESENTATION OF AWARD

Council noted the presentation of award to the Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso by the Joint Consultative Forum of the Kano State Tertiary Institutions over the laudable policies and programs initiated by the present administration towards improving the conditions of tertiary institutions and other educational institutions across the State. 5.

GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE TO 7 DECEASED VIGILANTE OFFICERS FAMILIES

Council condoled with the families of seven (7) vigilante officers who were shot dead as a result of a physical combat with armed robbers in the year 2012. Similarly, Council prayed for the soul of the late officers and donated the sum of N500,000.00 each to the families of the deceased and N250,000.00 to the members of the group that sustained various degrees of injuries during the unfortunate incident. for more information, you can log on to: www.kano.gov.ng/new SIGNED:

Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports & Culture


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COMMENTARY EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

Editorials

FG vs Ezekwesili • National Assembly should probe her allegation that government squandered $67bn

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ORMER Minister of Education and immediate past vice-president of the World Bank, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, and the Federal Government have been exchanging words over the former’s serious allegation that the Yar’Adua regime and the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan squandered $67billion left by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. Specifically, she alleged that $45billion in foreign reserves account and another $22billion in Excess Crude Account which were direct savings from increased earnings from oil handed over by Obasanjo in 2007 was squandered by Yar’Adua’s and Jonathan’s administrations. This, she claimed, had worsened poverty in the country. Jolted by Ezekwesili’s frightening revelation, the Federal Government fired back through its Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, who, rather than explain satisfactorily how the money was spent, challenged Ezekwesili to account for billions of naira allocated to her ministry when she was Minister of Education. Perhaps in order not to be left out, President Jonathan’s media aide on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, saw Ezekwesili not only as “grandstanding”, but also challenged her to state the source of her information to authenticate her claim. Noting that Ezekwesili had challenged the government to a debate on this issue, Dr Okupe, probably afraid of the consequence of such, said that Jonathan’s government “would not dignify her sweep-

ing statements by joining her for a national debate that she asked for”. Like Maku, Dr Okupe did not address the issues raised by Mrs. Ezekwesili. Rather, he went on sermonising about things and events that were absolutely irrelevant to providing satisfactory answers to Ezekwesili’s damaging allegation. For obvious reasons, Nigerians would ask why the Federal Government should wait for this long before it accused Ezekwesili of embezzlement of her ministry’s fund as education minister. Why accuse her of embezzlement now after she had boldly accused the government of misappropriation of $67bn? In fact, the government’s counter-accusation – a miserable afterthought - is a perfect self- indictment on the part of a government that has for so long allowed someone who had “squandered” public funds to walk the streets free since she left office as education minister in 2007. The fact that Maku and Dr Okupe never addressed Ezekwesili’s weighty allegation, but instead indulged in fighting back with irrelevances and subtle threats, is a hallmark of corruption, to say the least. It is noteworthy, however, that, as Nigerians tend to believe Ezekwesili’s allegation and disbelieve the Federal Government’s tissue of lies, the House of Representatives, through its committee on finance as well as appropriation, has put its weight behind Nigerians by initiating a probe into the allegation by Ezekwesili. It is very unlikely that she would be that bold to have accused the government of squandering the nation’s

resources without good reason, judging from her standing as former special adviser to the president on public procurement and former World Bank vice-president. She was in a position to know the status of the nation’s foreign reserves during Obasanjo’s administration and the time the foreign reserves were squandered. Truth is bitter and we do not expect the government to easily admit to Ezekwesili’s allegation. But the matter can be resolved through unbiased investigation, and certainly not by irrelevances and subtle threats by the Federal Government. The House of Representatives and the Senate should probe the matter and let Nigerians know the true state of affairs with regard to the foreign reserves and excess crude account.

‘Why accuse her of embezzlement now after she had boldly accused the government of misappropriation of $67bn? In fact, the government’s counteraccusation – a miserable afterthought - is a perfect self- indictment on the part of a government that has for so long allowed someone who had “squandered” public funds to walk the streets free since she left office as education minister in 2007’

Sheer blackmail •Allegation that states are lording it over the FG are untrue; in fact, it’s the other way round OME supporters of the President Goodluck Jonathan presidency have in recent times launched vitriolic attacks against the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) insinuating that the body is a threat to the constitution and the democratic process. For instance, the political adviser to the President, Ahmed Ali Gulak, has accused governors of turning their states to their personal fiefdoms. On his part, a leading chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from Adamawa State, Professor Jubril Aminu, also castigated the governors saying, “I have worked in many countries and have not seen anything like such a forum. The governors’ forum is what is used to oppress everybody, including the President”. Perhaps the most trenchant criti-

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‘Surely, no one can credibly question the right of governors or any other group for that matter to associate voluntarily in pursuit of their perceived common interests, at least within the law. Some of the criticisms of the governors amount to no more than sheer blackmail because of the insistence of the states that in a genuine federal system, they enjoy coordinate rather than subordinate status to the Federal Government’

cism of the forum has come from the prominent Ijaw and South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark. Describing the governors’ forum as “oppressive and dictatorial”, Clark accused the governors of “deliberately breaching with impunity the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the constitution of the PDP without any challenges. The Forum has now become a threat to the peace and stability of Nigeria. Most of the governors today are more dictatorial than the then military governors”. Most of these criticisms have clearly been spurred by the raging war of attrition within the PDP, where the governors are a powerful pressure group. This in itself is ironical since the majority of the governors being pilloried by partisans of the presidency belong to the same PDP that controls the Federal Government. We are, of course, unconcerned about the internal politics of the PDP. However, we find it difficult to fault the very incisive analysis of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on the role of the governors’ forum in our democratic setting and its stance on the practice of federalism in the country. According to the governor: “To the best of my knowledge, the Nigerian Governor’s Forum is not written into the constitution of this country. It is a voluntary body, funded voluntarily and meetings are attended voluntarily by its members. Its decisions are not binding on the country; its resolutions are shared with the press from time to time…I am not a member of the political party that is in the majority in the governor’s forum. It is only things that

we agree on that we push collectively”. Surely, no one can credibly question the right of governors or any other group for that matter to associate voluntarily in pursuit of their perceived common interests, at least within the law. Some of the criticisms of the governors amount to no more than sheer blackmail because of the insistence of the states that in a genuine federal system, they enjoy coordinate rather than subordinate status to the Federal Government. Governor Fayemi hit the nail on the head when he stressed, for instance, that the states are unconstitutionally kept in the dark as regards the exact amount that accrues to the Federation Account. In his words, “Section 162(2) of the constitution is very clear that every penny that comes into the coffers of the Nigerian state goes into one and one account only – the Federation Account. Not JP Morgan, not Citi bank. But over and over again, we run this federation as if it is a unitary state and our authoritarian military past is affecting us … Monies are collected by the NNPC, we do not know the amount, no governor in this country can tell you how much this country earns on a daily basis”. This is clearly an intolerable violation of the rule of law and the tenets of federalism. We urge the governors not to succumb to cheap blackmail. All pending cases against these constitutional infractions must be pursued to a logical conclusion.

Saving Egypt from anarchy

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HE MASS DEMONSTRATIONS and violence in Egypt during the past week may look a little like the revolution that erupted two years ago — but they are utterly different. The principal protagonists in the streets are mostly not common citizens seeking an end to dictatorship but gangs of hooligans, angry and restless youth, remnants of the former regime’s security forces and a brutal and corrupt police force that answers to no authority other than itself. As Egypt’s defense minister correctly put it Tuesday, at stake is not the overthrow of a regime but the collapse of the state into anarchy. Egypt’s Islamist government and its secular opposition, though polarized into warring camps in recent months, have a common interest in putting an end to the chaos before it consumes the country. The question is whether leaders on both sides can set aside the overreaching agendas and uncompromising tactics that have brought them to this emergency. President Mohamed Morsi, who won a tworound democratic election last year, has considerably more legitimacy and popular support than did former ruler Hosni Mubarak. But he and his Freedom and Justice Party, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, have helped create the crisis by adopting some of the former regime’s tactics. Mr. Morsi has smeared reasonable opponents as criminals, tried to intimidate the press and used autocratic methods to force through his agenda. The swelling unrest last month has its roots in the mass protests Mr. Morsi provoked last year by suspending the judiciary in order to complete a new constitution. Opposition leaders, who range from former followers of Mr. Mubarak or his nationalist predecessor, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to liberal democrats and Christians, also have much to answer for. Having lost two elections and a referendum to Islamic forces in the past year, many appear reluctant to play by democratic rules. Some have demanded political capitulation by Mr. Morsi as the price of accepting the government’s offer of dialogue; others openly seek the overthrow of the new regime. The weakness and intransigence of both sides have empowered anarchic forces such as the police, unreformed since the fall of the Mubarak regime, hooligans and unemployed young men, who in the past week have battled one another in Cairo and cities along the Suez Canal, killing scores. Meanwhile, the army, also outside the regime’s control, deliberates over whether to restore order, seize power for itself or remain on the sidelines. Fortunately, there were signs this week that the politicians were beginning to see the imperative of coming together. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei reversed his rejection of negotiations and called for a dialogue among his secular National Salvation Front, the Morsi government, Islamist parties outside the government and the military. On Thursday the front met with the Muslim Brotherhood and agreed to oppose violence. There is much more to discuss, including possible changes to the constitution and a law governing upcoming parliamentary elections. A new, national unity government is a worthy, if long-shot, goal. But above all, Egypt’s leaders must agree on restoring order. - Washington Post

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: Since inception, the Gulder Ultimate Search has been shot on nine different locations: Snake Island in Lagos played host to the first season while the second was shot on Obudu Hills, Cross River. Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in Benin hosted the third season while Shere Hills, Jos –played host to the fourth. Awgu Hills, Enugu – followed; then Omodo Forest, Osun State; next was Omo Forest, Ogun State, Ososo Mountains, Edo State and Usaka Valley, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State for the fifth, sixth, seventh, eight and ninth seasons respectively. No doubt, the nine locations which have hosted the show so far are exquisite and parade a touch of Nigerianness. None of them, however, parade the uniqueness of Ikogosi Warm and Cold Springs in Ekiti. It is a fact that there are several hot and warm springs all over the world; not one of these springs features a marriage of a warm and a cold spring. At Ikogosi, there is a fusion of a warm and a cold spring, meeting, but not blighted by each other’s features. Despite fusing at some point, the cold spring retains its coldness whilst the warm spring retains its feature also. This is one feature or attribute no spring in the world possesses. With this uniqueness, it is only perfect and fair that the Gulder Ultimate Search 10 be shot in Ikogosi Ekiti. Two or three years ago, the

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.net

Ikogosi should host next Gulder Ultimate Search Nigerian Breweries Plc and the Seyi Siwoku-led Jungle Film Works would have found enough reasons not to consider the spring owing to years of neglect that it suffered in the hands of successive administrations in the old Ondo and Ekiti states. The good news, however, is that there is now a newly im-

proved Warm and Cold Springs Resort in Ikogosi Ekiti courtesy of the Kayode Fayemi administration. The Ikogosi Warm and Cold Springs Resort is the new tourists’ destination in Africa and the world over. It boasts of newly built chalets, VIP villas, multi-purpose hall, amphitheatre, conference hall, ex-

Governors’ hypocrisy on LG autonomy IR: Let me start by referring to a newspaper report captioned, Reps, Govs’ rift deepens over Constitution review where the House Spokesman, Hon. Zakari Mohammed was quoted as saying that “This issue of Local Government autonomy as far as Nigeria is concerned is long over due, arising from our public sessions as true representatives of the people; our constituents do not agree with the current status where local government funds are being pilfered by governors at the expense of the people and chairmen who are seen as mere boys for the job. We would certainly not accept a situation

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where governors turned themselves into demi-gods in the name of Joint Account”. A cursory look at the House of Representative initiative to sound the opinion of the 360 federal constituencies on the amendment of the constitution indicate that Nigerians have come out in favour of political and fiscal autonomy to local government councils. There was also a general consensus that the so-called State/LG Joint account should be abolished while elected council officials will enjoy a minimum of 3-4 years tenure, that INEC take over the conduct of LG poll from state electoral com-

The bizarre face of justice

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IR: When honour and the law no longer stand on the same side of the line, how do we choose? Nigeria is like a Titanic heading towards an iceberg. The N750,000 fine against Mr. John Yakubu Yusuf who, in concert with other rogues orchestrated the looting of pensioners fund, is just one out of several bizarre sentences from our judges. How 176 criminal charges against an ex-governor were dismissed in less than two hours is still fresh in our memory. Today, the same convict while serving jail time in foreign land is still earning pension as ex-governor, an office he criminally captured, desecrated and looted. Good conscience and equity demand that a felon should not derive any benefit from his illegal activities and anything contrary is an anathema to the concept of an

ecutive suites, a 60-seater and a 30seater room for functions and meetings. Besides these, there is beautiful scenery made up of hills and valleys around the resort where the contestants could slug it out. Installed all over the resort are also closed-circuit television (CCTV)

cameras, plus a perimeter fence, to ensure security. The resort is managed by a South African firm with expertise on local content, an ingredient that has made the show the toast of viewers in Africa and beyond. The newly improved Ikogosi Warm and Cold Springs Resort is a blend of architectural wizardry and nature’s benevolence. Nigerian Breweries Plc and Jungle Film Works will be doing Nigeria and Nigerians and the show a great disservice if they ignore the resort, the only one of its kind in the world that nature has deemed fit to bestow on Ekiti and Nigeria. • ‘Dimeji Daniels Ado-Ekiti

ideal society. Those forecasting a brighter future for Nigeria are either hallucinating or not paying serious attention to the cancer that is spreading like wildfire. There is no country that can survive judicial recklessness and corruption and Nigeria will never be an exception. We have seen in other climes how the judiciary saves many states from collapsing by upholding the sacred principle of checks and balances as last bastion of hope for the masses. But, here in Nigeria, our judiciary is gradually converting the temple of justice to an institution of horror and oppression where only the devilish interests of felons are nurtured. When erstwhile U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the level of official corruption Nigeria is unbelievable, she was

stating the obvious as someone who is privy to classified information or is there anywhere in this world apart from Nigeria where someone could plead guilty for stealing N23biIlion and only gets option of fine of 750,000 naira? Where a governor looted a state for eight years, pleaded guilty and paid three million naira fine? Where some few citizens congregate like pride of lions feasting and racketing state resources with impunity? Where someone set-up fraudulent Ponzi schemes not unlike Bernard Madoff of America and only gets six months sentence in hospital? Where strange “Plea Bargaining” is wholly adopted as an instrument of law for felons to escape justice? Where is it done in this modern world? Where? John Yakubu Yusuf did not only loot Police pension funds in league

mission, e.t.c. However, we were taken aback to learn that our governors have chosen to swim against the tide of public opinion, vowing to frustrate the aspirations of the people by intimidating their state of assembly members against the wishes of Nigerians. The question is, why is it that our governors are becoming autocratic, dictatorial, greedy and hypocritical? Hypocritical in the sense that what they don’t want the federal government to do to them as a second tier government is what they want done to the third tier. It was Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi who highlighted the hypocritical pos-

with others rogues, they orchestrated and embezzled social security funds meant to secure the future of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, aunts. In some climes, Yusuf action can trigger nationwide social unrest because a man with licensed weapons will not watch his family starved to death or face uncertain future. He will surely resort to self help and in the end the society pays dearly for sabotaging the future of a man. Yes, no country is corruption free. But the level of audacity and tolerance for criminal activities in Nigeria is very alarming and incredible. With a judiciary that is ever ready to romance felons, it is only a matter time before this country implode. • Akinola M.A. Verona-Italy.

turing of the governors when he stated that “ when all the governors spoke with one voice for a change, I got worried. But it sounds schizophrenic that governors are consistent in loudly advocating that the powers and financial allocation to the centre should be reduced, that the Federal Government should get off their backs, and yet, at the same time, they are not prepared to sanction and recognize the autonomous status for the third tier of government”. Senator Ike Ekweremadu in a recent paper on “Repositioning the Local Government System for Sustainable Development through constitution Review” wrote: “In 2002, the state governments brought a suit against the Federal Government for deducing first line charges for Joint Venture investments in the oil sector, Nigerian and National Petroleum Corporation priority projects, National priority projects and external department services. While the Supreme Court judgement favoured the state governments, it appears that most states are guilty of the same act as the local government in many instance, have continued to suffer Fiscal emasculation in the hand of the state government”. We are therefore calling on the members of federal and state assemblies to guide against any unwholesome influence to undermine the wishes of Nigerians. Anything short of granting autonomy to local government councils will amount to betraying the popular expectations of the People. • Jeff Nkwocha Warri, Delta State


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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

COMMENTS

Issues in NTA-StarTimes agreement

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WAS elated and surprised recently when I read in the newspapers that StarTimes, the Chinese-owned and operated pay television company was launching DVB-T 2 decoders in the Nigerian market. Elated because I am aware that T2 decoder is the latest technology has to offer in that area; and surprised that the Chinese company had been selling something less to Nigerians before now. The decoders StarTimes’ was selling before now use the first generation Digital Video Broadcast Terrestrial technology, which has been phased out in a number of African countries like Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. These countries, in readiness for the digital migration deadline, have adopted Digital Video Broadcast Terrestrial (DVB-T2), the second generation decoders, as the standard for digital broadcasting. The sale of first generation decoders by StarTimes implies that subscribers may be faced with unpleasant consequences at the expiration of the digital migration deadline. Though an upgrade from DVB-T to DVB-T2 technology is a possibility, attempting to upgrade after the digi-

‘The NTA, as the public signal distributor, will have almost unlimited control over broadcasters, who will be dependent on it for frequencies. Any operator that shows signs of irritation with the arrangement may have to face grotesque consequences. The dice, as it is, is heavily loaded against other players in the industry’

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By Sunday Adigun tal switchover may cost subscribers more. DVB-T is not compliant with DVB-T2. This may necessitate a recall of the first generation decoders and a need by subscribers to buy new decoders not long after buying the ones they currently use. The authorities in Kenya and Uganda have banned the importation of DVB-T, the first generation decoders. In Uganda, the deadline for a halt to the use of DVB-T expired on 21 December 2012. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s ICT minister, was quoted as warning Ugandans against further purchase of DVB-T (T1) decoders. “Before, you purchase any decoder, inquire which technology it is. If it is DVB-T1, don’t buy or else you stand to lose as the decoder will expire at the end of the year. The adoption of DVB-T2 technology means that we must ban the importation and sale of the old technology (DVB-T1). It will affect many people but it is the right thing to do,” Rugunda told Uganda’s Daily Monitor last year. Last July, Kenya, also announced a ban on the importation of the analogue broadcast technology. As far back as 2008, Nigeria, according to Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa, NBC DirectorGeneral, had committed to the DVB-T2 technology. Yet, when StarTimes kicked off in the country in 2010, it treated the commitment with indifference by selling T-1 decoders. But why, despite the country’s commitment to T-2 since 2008, did the regulator allow StarTimes to sell first generation decoders to Nigerians? For some obscure reasons, the Joint Venture, JV, agreement between the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, and Star TV Network Limited has escaped the headlights of public scrutiny. This, inevitably, has granted a free rein to StarTV Network Limited, promoters of StarTimes, to provide Digital Terrestrial Television, DTT, in Nigeria. The JV agreement produced NTA/StarTV Net-

F you want to be rich, you must first build roads.” This is a time-honoured and well-known Chinese proverb which truism has been tested by nations that desire progress and development. China not only knows the truth of this aphorism but she believes and practices it conscientiously. Today, like most developed European countries and America, China’s emergence on the world stage as a giant economic nation is indubitable – very visible to deaf and audible to the blind. And what did Asian Leviathan do to climb the ladder like other great nations? What has been an essential element in this communist nation’s success story is nothing other than a colossal investment in road construction. That is the magic wand that opened the way to riches as the Chinese proverbs recommends. Interestingly, China did not put a stop to its riches within the four corners of its ancient Great Wall. It carried it beyond the shores of China, seeking much more riches this time on the African continent. With the benefit of its own fruitful and prosperous experiences, China has made heavy investments in Africa’s infrastructure. This is against the backdrop of the realization that infrastructure is the foundation for economic development and a sign to judge the level and potential of a country’s economic development. Conversely, deficient infrastructure poses an enormous obstacle on the path of a nation’s development, growth and progress. This exactly is what inhibits frustrates Africa’s economic development. The unfledged transportation system and bungling traffic conditions not only hamper quick and easy movement man and materials but also raise the cost of trade and domestic trade and hinder foreign investments to Africa. Since its foray into the continent, China has assisted Africa in building more than 2,000 kilometres of railways, 3,000 kilometres of road, more than 100 schools and 60 hospitals. China has also relieved them of more than 20 billion Yuan of debt. In a World Bank survey entitled: “Building Bridges: China’s Growing Role as Infrastructure Financier for Sub-Saharan Africa,” published in July 2008, it was reported that China had invested a lot of money and built a lot of bridges, railways and highways in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the natural conditions are extremely harsh, with a total investment jumping from less than $1 billion per year before 2004 to more than $7 billion U.S. dollar in 2006. It is instructive to know – albeit sadly too – these African leaders know and are well aware that these colossal Chinese investments will lay a solid foundation for the continent’s economic development in the future. What they did not want to say is: At what cost? After all, it is the English man that says ‘waste not want not.’ The Chinese may speak Mandarin as his official language: he is well acquainted with this English idiom. Has Nigeria any lesson to learn from this? The answer is resoundingly in the affirmative. As to the question whether she has learnt or is learning, the answer is, pitiably, negative. In November 2012, an assessment by Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) revealed that over 80% of Nigerian roads are in deplorable conditions, leading to rising wave of motor accident across the country. The survey also showed that another major reason for the ter-

work, in which the NTA has 30 per cent shareholding. This cost the Federal Government N750million, paid on behalf of the NTA to the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, in form of operating licence fee. The agreement started running on March 1, 2010, initially as a trial, before being fully launched on July 29, 2010, four months after. But there are issues which are festering because of public disinterest in scrutiny. Closely examined, the NTA is involved in something akin to a master-serf relationship. For one, the purpose of the agreement, according to the website of NTAStarTV Network Limited, is “to provide digital pay television services to Nigerians”. But this is contrary to what the Federal Government prescribed as mandate of the agreement. Specifically, the Federal Government mandated NTAStarTV Network Limited to assist the country in its bid to realise the aims of digital migration, the deadline of which is January 1, 2015. Though the agreement allows the parties involved to provide part pay-TV and part free-to-air services on their DTT platform, NTAStarTV Network only provides pay TV service. A clasping evidence of this is provided by the expiry of subscription. When subscription expires, viewers are immediately disconnected from the pay-TV platform as well as the free-to-air channels. This way, subscribers’ freedom to information is effectively abridged. Another issue is the promotion of unfair competition. The absence of a local legislation on competition has engendered an anti-competitive spirit. According to the terms of the JV agreement, the NTA is forbidden from entering into any relationship with another broadcaster, satellite or terrestrial, and was compelled to annul those entered into prior to the agreement. The NTA was thus a victim of its own agreement! On account of its relationship with such

broadcasters, it had a steady income stream from monies paid for the shared sites. The annulment of the relationship, naturally, turned off the income tap. The potential for further erosion of Nigeria’s interest is also contained in the Digital Migration Whitepaper, which many knowledgeable people in the industry say recommends that the government will licence a minimum of two or a maximum of three signal distributors when the transition analogue to digital terrestrial technology begins. The government has constituted a Digital Implementation Team, which is made up of industry experts and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors. On account of its 157 transmission sites across the country, the NTA has been recommended as the public broadcasting signal distributor. One of the team’s first steps may be the ratification of the NTA as the signal distributor. This will make NTA the custodian of all distribution frequencies in the country and operators will have no other option other than to go to the NBC for licensing and the NTA for their respective lashings of frequencies. Ordinarily, this does not appear inimical. But with the NTA/StarTimes combo in place, the implication may be that the responsibility for a matter as sensitive as broadcasting is effectively in the hands of a Chinese firm. NTA, for instance, is performing no technological role in relation to the Direct Terrestrial Television roll-out, having conceded this to StarTimes. Also, the NTA, as the public signal distributor, will have almost unlimited control over broadcasters, who will be dependent on it for frequencies. Any operator that shows signs of irritation with the arrangement may have to face grotesque consequences. The dice, as it is, is heavily loaded against other players in the industry. • Adigun, journalist and public affairs analyst, wrote from Abuja

Osun: Building an enduring legacy By Kunle Owolabi rible shapes of Nigerian roads is because the roads have outlived their usefulness, many of them constructed more than four decades ago. The report said inter alia: “Some roads were constructed many years ago and they have outlived their life span. Most roads are designed for 25 years but many roads are far older than that. Bad roads do cause accidents, so drivers must apply caution when driving on bad roads. However, you maintain what is good, not bad, and the deplorable condition of our roads is now beyond the scope of FERMA.” Yes, as the name suggests, the agency is not established to repair roads but to maintain them. Back to square one! The twin tragedy of bad road network and acute if not near total absence of power supply have remained intractable for the federal government. The nation’s economy is largely generator-driven and n nothing could be more nightmarish than travelling on Nigerian roads. Yet the nation is blessed with human and material resources. What a country (apology to the late human rights crusader, Beko Ransome-Kuti)! Despite this national despondency, a state chose to have a break with this traditional miscarriage of vision that has for long characterised the centre. The government in the State of Osun not only shares the Chinese vision and notion of the nexus between ‘road and riches,’ it is also walking the Chinese footpaths in building roads so as to pave way for riches and abundance of life for the people. What is this State of the Virtuous doing differently? And how? For a leader to be outstanding among his peers, he must have vision; he must be foresighted, practically peering into the womb of future and bringing it to bear on the immediate. This is what sets the State of Osun apart and makes its government an unusual one. For the past two years, the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola saw road construction as a condition precedent for growth, development and investment, both domestic and foreign. Those who were familiar with the terrain of the state then will today appreciate the colossal transformation of its social infrastructure, particularly road construction, rehabilitation and networking of both rural and urban areas. Before 2010 when he assumed office, the story about the state’s infrastructure was nothing to write home about. To put it mildly is to say that roads across the state had become death-traps. There were numerous abandoned road projects than completed ones. Some major gateway roads to the state signposted a state of affair where neither government nor governance was in existence. The atmosphere at that period was better exemplified by the Hobbesian state of nature, where, habitually, life is nasty, brutish and short. Today – two years on – the situation of the roads; intra and inter-

state, have changed considerably. Few can only be mentioned here. From Osogbo, the state capital to Ikirun, from Iree to IlaOrangun, Ilesa to Ile-Ife, Iwo to Ikire, Esa-Oke to Ijebu-jesha and Orile-Owu to Gbongan, road construction and rehabilitation are going on with specific deadline for the contractors handling the various projects. Osogbo alone has over 20 intra-city roads at various stages of construction and completions. And this is what goes on across the 31 local government areas. Few months ago, government signed a N17.8 billion contract for the dualisation of the 45 kilometres Osogbo-Ikirun- Kwara State Boundary Road. Though a federal road, which was constructed in the 70s, the expressway had become a minefield to road users. The dualisation was segmented into three phases of OsogboDagbolu (International Market) to Alamisi Market in Ikirun (9.52 kilometers); Osogbo (Old-garage) to Ikirun junction road (20.5 kilometers) and Ikirun-Ila-Odo- Kwara State Boundary road (16.5 kilometers). Besides, government awarded N3.3 billion contract for the construction and rehabilitation of selected roads in four communities, which included the Iwo-Ejigbo Road (35.20kilometres), EdeAra Ejigbo Road (30.7 kilometres), and Ejigbo-Aye-Oguro Road (Alaase village), which shares boundary with Oyo State. Also under construction or nearing completion include eight roads inherited from past administration totalling 144.29 kilometres, dualisation of Osogbo-Kwara boundary road totalling 43.37 kilometres and dualisation of Gbongan-Orile-OwuIjebu Igbo Road. Others under rehabilitation are 15 Ilesa township roads, 14 Ede township roads, 20 intercity roads totalling 319 kilometres, 13 intra-city roads totalling 79.46 kilometres and rehabilitation of select roads in six zones totalling 74.1 kilometres. The state introduced another innovation only peculiar to Osun. The governor flagged off a 218 km with minimum of 10-kilometre road per local government project on December 31, 2012 with a whopping sum of N16 billion. And by January 8, he paid N5.5 billion to major contractors handling the 218 kilometres in all the local government. Similar amount would be released to the contractors when the projects, which has maximum of nine-month completion period, are 40 percent completed. This kind of project is first of its kind in Nigeria no doubt! The state government had since 2010 been saving the Excess Crude funds of all the local governments in the state towards this 10-kilometre road per local government project to the tune of N10 billion, out of which N6 billion was drawn for the project. To be certain, the 281km roads are local government projects which is being supervised by the state government. • Owolabi is of the Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the governor of the State of Osun.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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COMMENTS

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T is not surprising that general reaction to the sudden declaration of cease fire by a faction of Boko Haram has been largely characterized by studied caution. This is not necessarily because such declarations in the past were observed in their breach. The tone for this doubt was at once, set by the leader of the group while announcing the purported temporary cessation of hostilities. Sheikh Abu Mohammed Abdulazeez Ibn Idris who claimed to be the zonal commander in charge of Borno north and south did not leave anyone in doubt that he was not speaking for the entire group even as he claimed to have the authority of their leader Abubakar Shekau. He had also admitted that there are factions in the sect and that some criminal elements may have been committing sundry crimes in their name. Idris did not help matters when he averred that the cease fire followed negotiations between his group and the Borno State government. The immediate deduction from all this is that the cease fire is limited to Borno State where Idris claims he holds sway. But Boko Haram is not all about Borno State neither is its activities limited to that state. Admittedly, Borno could pass for the headquarters of the sect being home to its late leader Mohammed Yusuf. It is also one state that has suffered immeasurable devastation from the orgy of violence that has trailed the activities of the sect. In a way therefore, Borno could be aptly tagged the unofficial capital of the sect. But it would amount to an over-simplification of issues to give the impression that Boko Haram is all about Borno State or once

‘At a time events in Mali are said to be having serious security implications for Nigeria, those entrusted with securing lives and property must not fall easy prey to the antics of some faceless persons waving questionable olive branch’

Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email: EmekaOmeihe@yahoo.com

Boko Haram’s olive branch there is cease fire in that state, the activities of the sect in the country will automatically come to a halt. Facts on the ground do not support such a hasty and very risky conclusion. Not even the record of those so far arrested by the JTF gives such a comfort of mind. Before now, we have been told of the arrest of some other sector commanders whose areas of command fall outside Borno State. Apart from Borno, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Niger and Plateau states have suffered seriously from the Boko Haram insurgency that has left in its trail the destruction of lives and property of inestimable value. Abuja the federal capital territory has also had its dose of the killings and suicide bombings. We also saw how the mastermind of the Christmas day bombing at St Theresa’s Catholic Church Madalla in Niger state was arrested and rearrested after his escape from police custody. The point here is that Boko Haram has so many commanders that it will be foolhardy for anybody to repose any modicum of confidence in an unsolicited cease fire announced by one of its commanders without hearing from their overall leader, Shekau. Mallam Shehu Sani who maintains close contact with the group equally underscored this point when he said he doubted the sincerity of the ceasefire. He had also said that the only cease fire he will recognise is the “one that will be announced by Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the group himself”. Sani also faulted the move arguing that the grouse of the sect is not with the Borno State government but the federal government and its security

agencies. If that is so, the choice of the Borno State government for such negotiations may have been borne out of the fact that Idris’ command post is limited to that state. This perhaps goes further to show the limited nature of the ceasefire agreement. It is also not known that the Borno State government had the confidence of the federal government in entering into such negotiations. Nobody has yet told us that. Neither is there anything in the reaction of the government and its agencies that point to that direction. Rather, caution and disbelief have been the official disposition of the presidency and the military to the offer. But then, if that faction is able to secure some ceasefire in Borno State alone, some progress would have been made. It would then mean as someone has pointed out, the Idris group maybe representing someone. The snag however, is in the three conditions the group gave under which the cease fire can be sustained. They want all their arrested members to be released, damaged mosques re-built and compensation paid to their members. So, even if we resolve the issue of credibility, there are bound to be serious hurdles on the way to sustaining the ceasefire in view of difficulty in implementing these conditions. The first problem is with the unconditional release of those arrested for sundry crimes while prosecuting the agenda of the sect. It is unlikely such a proposal will fly. There are also serious issues in the demand that mosques destroyed during the

period should be re-built by the federal government. Such a demand is bound to raise emotions in the face of the fact that churches also suffered immeasurable destruction in the hands of the sect. If there are people to demand that their places of worship should be re-built by the government, Christians should be the ones. It is the churches that have been at the mercy of the unprovoked attacks by the sect in prosecuting their self assigned role of Islamizing the country. It will therefore ruffle public sensibilities for the same group that took delight in killing Christians and destroying their places of worship to turn around and be demanding compensation for their members and places of worship. So they have now come to terms with the sacredness of places of worship and sanctity of human life? What these point to is that the so-called ease fire was ab initio destined for stillbirth. It was not meant to survive and cannot survive. There are so many difficulties on its way that no serious government will embark on the risk of giving serious thought to them. Yet, the Arewa Consultative Forum ACF and the Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar have urged the federal government to welcome the development and embrace constructive engagement. It is not that anyone is averse to dialogue. The federal government has said time without number it is disposed to it. What has remained foggy is how to go about it in the face of the secrecy that has shrouded the identity of its leaders. The faction is not asking for negotiations as it has done so with the Borno State government. It is clear on what it wants for there to be peace. But it appears they cannot go far until Shekau, the acclaimed leader of the sect has spoken. For now, the most we can take home is that a faction has spoken. And since there are known to be many factions including criminals hiding under their name, it will be too cheap to repose any confidence in the so called ceasefire. It could also be a ploy to deceive the security agencies as a prelude to unleashing lethal violence of unprecedented magnitude on our innocent people. At a time events in Mali are said to be having serious security implications for Nigeria, those entrusted with securing lives and property must not fall easy prey to the antics of some faceless persons waving questionable olive branch.

Witch-killing and Africans

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HERE is a growing incident of lynching and murder of suspected witches in different parts of Africa. This wave of witch hunting targets elderly people particularly women. In Nigeria, a court has rejected the bail application of three persons accused of killing a 70-year old woman, Mrs Rebecca Adewumi, for witchcraft. Mrs Adewumi was accused of being responsible for the sickness of a local evangelist. She was dragged to the palace of the monarch, where she was forced to drink local concoctions. The concoctions were given to her to make her confess or die within seven days. But after seven days she did not confess or die. Subsequently local thugs stormed her house. They dragged her under the rain and flogged her. According to a family member, her attackers scrapped her hair with broken bottles and used a big scissors to cut her fingers, then placed her on a tyre and set her ablaze. And in Benue state in Central Nigeria, a middle aged man, Vincent Igwe of Enyikpe Ulayi community in Ado local government area was mudered by his siblings for witchcraft. He was reportedly hacked to death by his brothers who accused him of being responsible for ‘unusual happenings and strange deaths in the family and

‘Poverty, misery, frustration, desperation and hopelessness have driven many Africans to look for scape goats or somebody to hold responsible or blame for the ills of the society. Many Africans consult and rely on spiritual healers and diviners, prophets, imams and pastors who often attribute social problems to malevolent magic and witchcraft’

By Leo Igwe community’. In Kenya, a 79 -year old man was killed for practicing witchcraft. Thomas Barawa was hacked to death by his attackers who stormed his house around midnight. Last summer, more than seven people including Barawa’s wife were murdered in Kilifi district for practicig witchcraft. In November, a 70-year old woman alleged to be a witch was battered to death by two men in Lesotho in Southern Africa. The woman was said to be mentally ill. She lost her mind and was roaming the streets when he encountered these two men who were returning from a bar. The two men pounced on her, after she allegedly waved a stick at them, and beat her to death. The waving of a stick was reportedly taken by her attackers to be a kind of muti- a practice which many people in Southern Africa associate with magic and witchcraft. And in Malawi, a 29 year old man, Wadson Zalimba is in police custody for killing the grandmother, Estere Minduwe for practicing witchcraft. According to the report, Minduwe often quarrelled with the grandchildren and they accused her of being a witch and of being responsible for the misery in their lives. On this fateful day, some quarrel ensued while Zalimba and his siblings were making mockery of their grandmother. Zalimba threw a big stone on the grandmother which landed on her head and caused a deep cut. She was later pronounced dead in a local hospital. Tracking cases of attack, torture, killing, lynching of people suspected to be witches across the region has become a daunting task. Most of the killings take place in rural poor communities and the victims are often vulnerable members of the population. So just a few of the cases are reported to the police or by the media. The cases that are reported are actually a tip of the iceberg of the savage treatment being meted out against suspected witches and wizard in the region. Poverty, misery, frustration, desperation and hope-

lessness have driven many Africans to look for scape goats or somebody to hold responsible or blame for the ills of the society. Many Africans consult and rely on spiritual healers and diviners, prophets, imams and pastors who often attribute social problems to malevolent magic and witchcraft. Witches are generally percieved to be enemies of the society. So suspicion of witchcraft evokes feelings of hatred, anger and vengance. People react violently towards anyone identified as a witch in a family or community. People believe a witch deserves no mercy or compassion. They believe a witch should be tortured and suffered to die as written in the christian scripture. Efforts by state authorities to combat this cultural scourge has so far proved ineffective. The reason is that sometimes authorities do not want to take action that would go against local tradition or offend the cultural sensibilities of the people. And in some countries like Cameroun, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe the law recognizes witchcraft as an offence. There is no evidence that witches exist outside human imagination or that witches cause death misery and accidents as most Africans believe. Unfortunately, people are traditionally brought up to associate evil acts and misfortune with the occult. This mentality is reinforced by the dogmas and doctrines of the dominant religions of Christianity and Islam. In many parts of Africa, diviners, magicians and soothsayers, pastors, imams and prophets exist, operate and market their paranormal wares. Churches, shrines and faith clinics proliferate. Their growing business of divination and exorcism has made it difficult to combat this mistaken belief and the suffering and death it is causing in the region. African governments and peoples must rise to the occasion and help define a new era in the history of the continent. Africans -in Africa and in Diaspora- must join hands and bring an end to the wave of witch hunting ravaging the region. Witch killing must stop. Witch killers must be stopped. Igwe writes from University of Bayreuth, Germany


Innocent Amomoh

REPORTING FROM

SOUTH AFRICA

NIGERIA SENDS Cote D’ Ivoire out Pg. 24

Taofeek Babalola Reporting from South Africa

Sport

Monday, February 04, 2013

PAGE 23

KESHI thanks Nigerians on victory

•Hails Mba, others •Calls for patience

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UPER EAGLES’ coach Stephen Keshi yesterday thanked Nigerians for their support for the team which beat Cote D’ Ivoire 2-1 in the quarter final game of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Keshi, addressing the media after the match, said but for the support and prayers of Nigerians back home, coupled with the tenacity of the players on the field of play, victory over the more experienced Ivorians would have been a mirage.

From Innocent Amomoh, South Africa

" I want to thank God for this victory. And I will also want to thank the millions of Nigerians who stood by us and those who also lost hope even before the game. I will also want to appreciate my players for the game. "It was not an easy game; we tried to speed up our performance and catch the Ivorians unawares. Players like Drogba, Yaya Toure, Zokora, and others were

curtailed," an excited Keshi said. Asked how he felt when the Ivorians equalised, Keshi said he was still confident that his players would rise up to the occasion. "When Cote D’ Ivoire equalised, I just told them to defend a bit and launch out again, and that was it; we scored another goal," he said, beaming with smiles. On the goal scored by Rangers International player Sunday Mba, Keshi simply said: "Yes I am happy that Mba

did not only score but had a good game. It is not about one player but the entire team. I don't know but maybe I will need to kiss him. I am happy that he has proved that when given a chance the home based can hold their own. It is a shame that in my country we are not patient enough". He said though nobody gave them a chance against the dreaded Ivorians, he was confident that he had the right players that could hold the Elephants.

Emenike hails team's fighting spirit

Pg. 24


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NATIONSPORT MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013

NATION SPORT

Innocent Amomoh

REPORTING FROM

SOUTH AFRICA Mba is Most Valuable Player •Omerou wins Samsung Fair Play From Innocent Amomoh, Rustenburg

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ANGERS International of Enugu midfielder, Sunday Mba was yesterday named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the quarter final match against Cote D Ivoire yesterday at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Mba scored the winner in the keenly contested match, which saw the Nigerians clinch a semi final ticket in Africa's most glamorous soccer competition. Defender Kenneth Omerou also clinched the Samsung Fair Play award.

Minister showers encomiums on Eagles

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HE Honorable Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has praised Nigeria’s Super Eagles for displaying unusual grit, determination and brilliance in the defeat of the Elephants of Cote’D Ivoire in the quarter-finals of the on-going Africa Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa. Abdullahi said the Super Eagles rose to the occasion and displayed the true Nigerian spirit of never giving up, adding that with the victory the team has shown that it is still a force to reckon with in

From Segun Ogunjimi, Rustenburg football in Africa. He urged the team to maintain the same standard and focus in their next match against the Eagles of Mali. “I have no doubt that with the level of play I saw today they have the capacity to get to the final of the tournament and even win the cup. I urge the team to remain focus and discipline. I congratulate the players and technical team for the excellent performance,” Abdullahi said.

How Eagles rate vs Cote D’Ivoire

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TNFootball.com rates the Super Eagles as they flew past Cote d’Ivoire to reach the semi-final of the 2013 AFCON on Sunday. 7 Vincent Enyeama He showed that he is Nigeria undisputed number one. He made several top saves especially the point blank shot from Yaya Toure. 8 Efe Ambrose He enjoyed a commanding display at right back. He did all the marking and also had the energy to join the attack where necessary. 7 Kenneth Omeruo Another great showing by the Chelsea loanee. He combined well with Oboabona in the heart of the back four. He marked out the great Drogba with such confidence and matuarity that it is unbelievable he has only played a handful of games for the full international team. 7 Godfrey Oboabona The Sunshine Stars captain has grown in confidence, he was always there to stop Drogba and he showed character for the full 90 minutes. 7 Elderson Echiejile Another decent shift by the Sporting Braga left back as he manned the left back well and still had the gas to join the attack. 7 Ogenyi Onazi He held his own against the likes of Yaya Toure and Chiek Tiote. He tackled well and timely throughout the game and was never intimidated. He showed class and understanding with his fellow midfielders. 8 Sunday Mba The unlikely man of the match. He was fantastic in the midfield and combined well with Mikel. He sprayed good passes and tackled well. His well-taken winner was classy goal and worth its weight in gold. 7 Mikel Obi He showed his worth in the middle of the pack by dictating the pace. He gave quality passes as well as defended well. He cancelled out Yaya Toure in the midfield. 7 Victor Moses He was great with his runs and skills, he got Nigeria’s first shot at goal in this game but many of his attacking initiatives were not put to good use. 6 Brown Ideye He was a big threat to the Ivorians with his power and hustling style and came close to getting on the scoreboard at least twice. 7 Emmanuel Emenike He has now scored three goals to move to the top of the scorers’ chart at the AFCON. He was a real and constant threat to Cote d'Ivoire. He then scored a fantastic goal after he earlier fluffed a good chance to put Nigeria ahead. He also won a lot of free kicks for Nigeria courtesy of his all-action style. Joseph Yobo: He came if for Victor Moses as Keshi made a defensive change. It was not enough time to rate the Eagles skipper.

Elated Oliseh tips Eagles for glory

AFTERMATH OF NIGERIA VICTORY AGAINST COTE D’IVOIRE

Okoku flies to South Africa As Obahiagbon, El Rufai commend players

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By Stella Bamawo

X-INTERNATIONAL, Paul Okoku has commended the Super Eagles’ smooth sail into the semi-final after beating Cote D'Ivoire 2-1 on Sunday. As a result of this victory, Okoku who played alongside Stephen Keshi in the national team in the 80s, has decided to take a break from his work in the United State of America to enable him watch the Eagles live in South Africa. Okoku told NationSport in a telephone chat from the United States that he intends flying to South Africa on Tuesday. Okoku said: “I was tensed. When we scored the second goal, I was hopeful but skeptical because after scoring we do lose focus in the defense. I am excited now, I am going to take an emergency break from my boss and arrange to fly to South Africa on Tuesday." Meanwhile, popular lexicologist and Chief of Staff to the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Patrick Obahiagbon had this to say on the Eagles victory on his twitter's handle :"The Elephants were scorched by the Eagles igniparous emanation." In the same vein, former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai said:"Alhamduliah. Nigeria has won through hard work and preparation, not just luck. i do not care, who takes credit if Nigeria shines... any day." The Super Eagles booked a spot in the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-1 victory, sending Ivory Coast crashing out of the competition in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, on Sunday.

•Praises Keshi for victory

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•’Sustain momentum’

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From Sanni Onogu, Abuja statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, in Abuja, promised that the National Assembly will do the needful to reward the Eagles. "Soccer remains the greatest ingredient for our unity," he noted. He also thanked Nigerians for their overwhelming support and prayers for the Eagles.

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GOAL in either half from Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba booked Nigeria a spot in the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-1 victory, sending Ivory Coast crashing out of the competition in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, on Sunday. After Cheick Tiote cancelled out the opener from Emenike, Mba regained the lead for the west Africans 12 minutes from time, before a late flourish from the tournament favourites, though it was not enough to unsettle Stephen Keshi's side, who held on for a famous victory. Keshi made only two changes to the Nigerian team that beat Ethiopia 2-0 in their last group C outing. Midfielder Fegor Ogude – suspended for picking up two yellow cards in the group stages

NIGERIA SENDS Cote D’ Ivoire out

– was replaced by Ogenyi Onazi, while striker Ikechukwu Uche made way for Aide Ideye. Meanwhile, the Ivorians welcomed back African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure and the rest of their stars, after giving them a break during their last group fixture. Coach Sabri Lamouchi made eight changes to the starting lineup that did duty in their 2-2 draw with Algeria last week. Having already qualified top of the group ahead of the Algeria clash, Lamouchi had fielded a weakened starting XI, with an eye on the knockout meeting with the Super Eagles, but named his strongest possible team for Sunday's game. The first real opportunity of the match fell to Nigeria's Victor Moses, who made a darting run

Uduaghan congratulates Warri Wolves’ players

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By Paul Oluwakoya

ASKING in the sweet victory of the Super Eagles over the elephant of Cote d’Ivoire in the Nation Cup third quarter final game played yesterday, elated ex Super Eagles ace Sunday Oliseh has ticked Nigeria for AFCON trophy. It is no news that the Super Eagles defeated Ivory Coast 21 to advance to the semi final of the Africa Cup of Nations but Olishe said if the Keshi led boys keep their momentum they will definitely progress to the final of the championship. Speaking as guest on the post match analysis on Supersport, Olishe described the goals from Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba in both halves of the highly publicized game as the two best in the tournament so far. “I also think good commendation should be given to the players for their fighting spirit and winning character, because nobody really give or believe them to scale through the scalp of the Cote d’voire. Nigeria enjoyed most of the ball possession in the first 25 minutes, and Emmanuel Emenike was set by Brown Ideye, but he fired wide over the bar. The final five minutes was full of pressure as the Ivoriens look for another equalizer, but Nigeria fought to hold on and ensured they advance to the semi final.” He was quick to compare the Eagles dodged performance to the 19994 Super eagles that won the lat Nations Cup trophy for Nigeria. “ He said “Though Sunday Mba was the Man of the Match but for me I think Moses was so brilliant because he was instrumental not only to the goals but to team’s overall performance.” The Super Eagles will next take on the Mali in a big West African duel Semi final encounter.

Mark praises Eagles ENATE President, David Mark, yesterday thanked the Super Eagles for their soul-lifting performance. Mark was overjoyed at the 2 - 1 victory of the Eagles against the Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire He said that the victory brought joy and smiles to the faces of Nigerians. He urged the victorious Eagles to sustain the momentum. The Senate President in a

HE sports-loving Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has on behalf of the good people of the State congratulated the present and past players of Warri Wolves who made it possible against all expectations to qualify the Super Eagles for the Semi Finals in the ongoing Nation’s Cup in South Africa. The players scored winning goal, Sunday Mba, Egweke Azubuike and goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim who are presently with the team and Nosa Igiebor and Fegor Ogude who are former players of the team. The Governor particularly praised the efforts of the home based players especially Sunday Mba and promised to reward them adequately when they eventually return home. According to the Media Officer of the Club, Moses Etu who spoke to journalists

NATION SPORT

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin in Warri after the epic match, the Chairman of the Sports Commission, Mr Pinnick Amaju broke the good news on the feat of the players and urged them to do their best to bring the trophy. “After the victory which has sent the highly rated Ivorians back home, Governor Uduaghan praised the effort of the present and past players of Warri Wolves especially Sunday Mba who scored the winning goal. He said the boys would be adequately rewarded for their heroic display and urged them to strive and win the Cup for the good people of Nigeria. The Chairman of the Sports Commission, Mr Pinnick Amaju who came with message equally praised the boys and said he was proud of them.”

in the 10th minute, before drilling a shot at goal, but Ivorian goalkeeper Boubacar Barry parried the effort, before the defence cleared the ball from danger . Nigeria got their first sniff at goal in the 27th minute, with Aide Ideye laying the ball off to Emenike deep inside the Elephants' half, but Emenike was unable to keep his shot down and blazed over Barry's goal. Nigeria kept up the pressure and were deservingly rewarded two minutes from the interval, as Moses continued to trouble the Ivorian defence and was brought down outside of the area. Emenike stepped up to take the resulting setpiece, unleashed a deadly long-range effort at goal and beating Barry, who was left stranded.

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•Oliseh

down. Shortly after, Toure was put through with a pinpoint pass that split the Nigerian defence, before the playmaker turned and rocketed a shot at Enyeama, who parried away and kept the scores locked at 1-1. The Super Eagles soaked up the pressure and stunned their opponents a second time when they snatched the lead through Mba, who was allowed space to run in the Ivory Coast half. The striker passed three Ivorians before getting his shot away, which took a nasty deflection and looped past Barry. With the lead back intact, Nigeria had to withstand a barrage of Ivorian attacks, as second half replacement Lacina Traore came close, but was thwarted by a resilient Nigeria defence.

West Brom fans want Odemwingie out

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Emenike hails team's fighting spirit

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UPER EAGLES’ forward Emmanuel Emenike has attributed the team’s 2-1 victory against the Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire in yesterday's quarter final game of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg to team's fighting spirit. The Nigeria highest goals scorer in the ongoing campaign with three goals, who admitted that the Eagles were nervous before the game, said he and his teammates resolved that the only way to beat the star studded Ivorian team was to play together as a team which he said worked for the team. "I am really happy because before the game everybody was nervous but we thank God that we won the game. we are really happy that we beat a team like Cote D'Ivoire," Emenike said.

From Taofeek Babalola, Rustenburg "I didn’t have any doubt that we would win before the game. It just difficult game to predict. Before the game we were all together and we spoke to each that we have to go there and fight and play together as a team. "I think we played more as a team today more than before, we were going forward together and coming back together and defended well together. I is a sweat victory that all of us will cherish for a long time." Speaking about the semi final clash against Mali, the Spartak Moscow of Russia forward said: "It is not going to be an easy game but by the special garce of God we will beat them and reach the final.”

•‘My best is yet to come’ •‘Mali game a must win’

Ivory Coast came out into the second period looking to find a way back into the clash and were gifted an early opportunity when Didier Drogba was fouled just outside the Nigerian box. Drogba delivered a neat ball toward the back post, finding an unmarked Tiote, who headed in past goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, levelling the scores early in the second half. The Ivorians found their rhythm – with the help of a boisterous crowd – and stamped their authority on the game, with Drogba, Tiote and Salomon Kalou threatening the Nigerian defence. Nigeria, meanwhile, had chances of their own, with Ideye heading a set-piece ball at Barry from close-range, but the Elephants' shot-stopper was equal to the task and made a good save low

ETER ODEMWINGIE wished his West Brom colleagues good luck as they took on Tottenham at The Hawthorns but there wasn't much positivity coming back his way. Spurs fans chanted 'he drives where he wants' in reference to the striker's decision to head down to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day to secure a move to Queens Park Rangers. West Brom fans brought a homemade

Reporting from South Africa

Enyeama: I never doubted God

Jonathan greets Super Eagles

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday congratulated the Super Eagles after they defeated the highly rated Elephants of Ivory Coast in a thrilling 94 minutes quarter final match at the ongoing Orange African Cup of Nations (AFCON). In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, posted on his Twitter handle, the President joined Nigerians in the victory. “President Jonathan joins all Nigerians in celebrating today’s victory by the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the statement read.

Taofeek Babalola

banner which read 'Odemwingie out', and a picture emerged on Saturday of a QPR shirt in the West Brom dressing room with his name on the back. The striker was omitted from the squad for the match against Spurs with Steve Clarke giving him some time to get his head straight before returning to training. Odemwingie blasted the club in an interview he gave to Sky Sports News on

Friday morning, but Albion confirmed that constructive talks had taken place since then. He tweeted: 'I bet Lukaku is over motivated today ! Good luck to the boys.' Odemwingie's mention of Romelu Lukaku refers to bad blood between the Belgian striker and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, who marginalised him when he was at Chelsea.

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UPER EAGLES’ goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama says I was sure Nigeria will overcome Ivory Coast to reach the semi-finals of the 2013 AFCON as he never doubted God. The Maccabi Tel Aviv guardian told NationSport that: “I was very confident despite the criticism that we’ll defeat tournament favourites Ivory Coast to qualify for the semifinal as I never doubted God, the almighty.” Asked how he felt after he put up a superb performance against the

From Rasaq Oboirien in Rustenburg Elephants, the former Enyimba goalkeeper, stated that: “My best is yet to come like you rightly said, as goalkeepers, mature with age. As we mature as from the age of 32 upwards. Don’t get me wrong am nearing it.” On the Eagles’ chances of upsetting the Keita-led Eagles of Mali in the semi-final in Durban, Enyeama stated that: “For now, we are not talking about the Malians as they are a good team, they knocked out host South Africa. More so they would want to prove a point against us after losing to us twice in this stage of the championship. “We are going to study their match tapes to know how they have triumphed since they began their campaign and from there we’ll see how it goes.” Asked why he could not keep a clean sheet against the Elephants, “The goal caught us unawares as the first player down to me in goal just looked at ourselves. However, this is football, where the unexpected happens.”


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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

BUSINESS

IN

2013

Where and how the battles will be fought in the business world - P. 29 News Briefing 60 disused aircraft may fetch N4.8b About N4.8 billion may be made from the 60 aircraft abandoned at eight airports in the country after their dismantling and conversion into aluminium, investigations reveal.

- Page 26

1,000 lose jobs in aluminium sector No fewer than 1,000 workers have lost their jobs in the aluminum sector of the economy. More will likely go as the sector continues to battle recession. Tower Aluminum Plc sacked 450 workers and First Aluminum Plc laid off 220 and shut down its operations.

- Page 27

Banks to fund power projects Banks have started collaboration to develop amenable financing framework that will serve as financial industry’s master template for lending and funding of the power sector.

- Page 40 DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.560 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation 11.9% Treasury Bills 7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending - 15.87% Savings rate 2% 91-day NTB 15% Time Deposit 5.49% MPR 12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b 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

THE CEO

‘Growth impossible without stable power’- P. 27

‘Nigeria loses 50% of its fuel to diversion’

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ESPITE its depend ence on imported fuel to meet local consumption, about 50 percent of Nigeria’s petroleum products are diverted by dishonest marketers and transporters to the neighbouring countries, it was learnt. Investigation by The Nation showed that the development had been responsible for the recurring shortage of petroleum products, especially premium motor spirit (petrol) and the resultant scarcity experienced. Scarcity of fuel, which lingered for very long time to-

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

wards the end of last year, particularly in Lagos and Abuja despite the efforts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), led to discovery of how the fuel meant for consumption in-country was diverted to the neighbouring countries. A top official of the NNPC said at the peak of the fuel scarcity last year, the corporation was concerned because there was no reason for the scarcity. The official said although it was attributed mainly to the vandalised Sys-

tem 2B pipeline at Arepo axis in the Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, which is a key distribution facility, the corporation knew well it was supposed to have sufficient reserves. It was for this reason that the corporation carried out an internal investigation and found out that the products were diverted. The official said the corporation, therefore, adopted a concept tagged ‘tracking.’ The initiative ensured that all petrol imports made were monitored very closely and tracked to the point of

Banking stocks may outperform other equities, say The analysts also said ANKING stocks have analysts there is possibility that full been tipped to outper-

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form other equities quoted at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), analysts at Cordros Capital have forecast. In a 2013 forecast released at the weekend, the firm also said emerging markets equities look attractive when compared with those of developed markets. The Cordos Capital forecast said a long-term view of emerging markets remains positive, especially with a growing middle class, pent-up consumer demand and young populations. The market, they said, is unmatched in their prospective return on investment. “We maintain our bullish stance on Nigerian equities, a view which has played out very well in 2012 amid an ongoing surge in the All Share Index. We believe that banks will continue to lead the way, with the consumer and construction industries poised for greater mark,” it said. The equities market made a sluggish start to 2012 following the bearish trend fuelled by profit warnings issued by United Bank for Africa, Diamond Bank and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) due to material write-downs on their nonperforming loans. However, the equities market performed well in 2012 with a total return of 35 per cent. Market performance, they said, was impacted by the sustained investors confidence, economic growth trend, stable naira, impressive corporate earnings, robust investment horizon, attractive valuation of equities, increased activity of foreign portfolio managers, regulatory interventions, and recovery in the banking sector. Besides, they said the big shifts in monetary policy is unlikely in the first half of 2013, adding that in response to the global economic cri-

• Shift in MPR unlikely in Q2 By Collins Nweze

sis, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pursued measures in 2009 and 2010 to promote growth and financial stability. However, in 2011 and 2012, the CBN tightened monetary policy to mop-up excess liquidity in the banking system and ward off inflationary pressures.The market pressures were stemming from high fiscal spending, the implementation of a new minimum wage and the injection of funds into the bank system through the purchase of nonperforming loans through bonds issued by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). According to the firm, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which was 6.25 per cent in September 2010, increased six times in 2011, to reach 12 per cent in December, 2011. The rate remained unchanged at 12 per cent in 2012. Similarly, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) was increased steadily from one per cent in March to eight per cent in December 2011. It said a combination of renewed optimism over the state of the global economy, apparent easing of tension in Eurozone crisis, and aversion of the United States’ “fiscal cliff” suggests that interest ratecuts may be held back until the latter part of 2013. ”Our expectation is further premised on the fact that inflation remains elevated. However, we believe once inflation falls to within target, monetary policy loosening could come to the fore, leading to a 100 basis points cut to 11 per cent. They also projected that increased interest in the equities market would be sustained towards end of first quarter as investors continue to position for the full year results ahead,” it added.

deregulation of downstream oil sector and signing into law the Petroleum industry Bill will impact the oil and gas sector, leading to capital raising.

consumption, which resulted in amazing revelation that about 50 per cent of the country’s PMS was diverted. The official said: “It might amaze you that about 50 percent of our fuel was diverted. You also might have observed that before Christmas and through the festive periods until now, there has not been a report of scarcity. It was no magic and we didn’t increase the volume of the imports we used to make in the past, yet retail outlets have been wet with products. It is the result of the tracking policy that we adopted. “In addition, the NNPC is still the sole importer of fuel as marketers have backed out since the beginning of last year. Don’t mind any marketer who tells you that he imports fuel. The truth is that NNPC imports and give them (marketers) to ensure even distribution. “Since we introduced the

tracking strategy, it has plugged most of the leakages and the corporation sustained its import volume, which has ensured uninterrupted supply of fuel for Nigerians.” Oil marketers had, after the aborted downstream sector deregulation in January, last year, which shot pump price of PMS from N65 a litre to N97, stopped further importation on the grounds that the Federal Government owed them over N200billion in arrears of unpaid subsidy refund. Although the government has begun to pay the debts gradually, it is done under tight control, which ensures that only genuine marketers are paid claims for refund of subsidy. Nigeria depends on imported fuel, which is complemented by unsubstantial percentage, refined in-country by the almost dysfunctional refineries.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

26

BUSINESS NEWS Naira weakens after oil-firm dollar sales wane

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

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

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

08.00 18.00

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

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• From left: Group Head, Liability Products/Bancassurance, Sterling Bank Plc, John Akingbade; Head Retail Loans, Kikelomo Kuponiyi; Chief Finance Officer, Abubakar Suleiman; Brand Management & Communications official, Peju Ibekwe; Head, Brand Management and Communications, Clement Agetu and Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser, Justina Lewa, at the clean-the-environment programme by the bank at Obalende, Lagos ... at the weekend.

60 disused aircraft may fetch N4.8b on conversion

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BOUT N4.8 billion may be made from the 60 aircraft abandoned at eight airports in the country after their dismantling and conversion into aluminium, investigations reveal. When converted into aluminium, each aircraft scrap would sell for a mere N800,000. The amount falls short of its value if the plane is repaired and returned into flight operations. But most of the parts in the airplane apart from the ban on their type in the Nigerian airspace, have also outlived their life cycle. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) last week started the dismantling of the abandoned aircraft at some major airports with the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja,

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport , Abuja and Benin Airport accounting for the highest number of abandoned aircraft. The Logistics Manager of one of the contracting firms, AAYU Industries Limited in Kebbi State, Wing Commander Bashir Haruna (rid), engaged to dismantle the aircraft, said each aircraft scrap would sell for about N800,000. He explained that with 13 aircraft alone at the domestic wing of the Lagos Airport, the firm could get as much as 150 tonnes of aluminium from the aircraft after sending the materials to a rolling mill for conversion into roofing sheets, sliding aluminium doors and windows.

He explained that though each aircraft in its serviceable state could cost as much as $40 million, it has to be sold for a mere N800,000 because it is now a scrap. He said after the dismantling, the firm would earn some money, which is part of the cost of engagement by FAAN. At the Lagos domestic airport, there are 13 of such aircraft and about 15 at Abuja and Benin airports. The General Manager, Corporate Communication, FAAN,Mr Yakubu Dati, said the company handling the dismantling was expected to finish its work in less than two weeks. He said after the completion of the contract in Lagos, another contractor would evacuate the abandoned aircraft in Abuja.

1,000 lose jobs in aluminium sector

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O fewer than 1,000 workers have lost their jobs in the aluminum sector of the economy. More will likely go as the sector continues to battle recession. Tower Aluminum Plc sacked 450 workers and First Aluminum Plc laid off 220 and shut down its operations. Other operators are believed to have followed similar pattern. The Group Managing Director, Tower Aluminum Plc, Chief Jinesh Dugad, said the gale of retrenchment has hit the sector, following its inability to produce optimally in the past few years. He added that the sector’s performance has been constrained by poor power supply and policies of the government. Dugad said: “As an interim measure to reduce loss, Tower Aluminum have laid off 450 workers in Decem-

By Akinola Ajibade and Segun Balogun

ber 2012, leaving behind 70 per cent of the company’s workforce of 1,570. One hundred and ten thousand people may be laid off soon. In addition, all suppliers and contractors will be affected with reduced volume of operation. Our hopes were dashed when a new Common External Tarrif(CET) was released in 2010, which reduced the import duty on extrusions to five per cent from 20 per cent.” He said First Aluminium did not only retrenched its 220 workers recently, but shut down its operations. According to him, the aluminium manufacturing industry is nearing extinction because many of its operators have closed shops. “The few existing aluminium com-

panies are producing below average. While some of them have stopped producing aluminium products, others survive by importing finished products. In the next few years, the industry will die if urgent steps are not taken to revive it.” he added. According to him, representations have been made at different fora to the government since 2008 for the review of CET, with little or no results. “We stepped up our representations to the government in 2012 through the Federal Ministries of Finance and Trade and Investment, including the Budget Office, the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), as well as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). However, the Minister of Trade and Investments, Dr Olusegun Aganga, has promised to discussed the issue with the stakeholders in Abuja, this February,” he said.

‘Heritage Oil did not acquire oil block’

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HE involvement of Heritage Oil Plc in the acquisition of oil mining lease (OML 30), one of the onshore assets divested by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), followed due process, Chairman, Shoreline Natural Resources, Mr Kola Kari, has said. There were alleged reports that the founder/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Oil Plc, Tony Buckingham, did not follow due process in the acquisition of the OML 30 oil block. But Karim dismissed all the reports, saying they were unverified as Heritage Oil didn’t acquire the block. He also said if Buckingham is what the reports said, he couldn’t have been sitting on a company quoted on the London and Toronto Stock Exchanges, which is also a

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

member of the FTSE 250 Index. He explained that Heritage Oil only holds equity shares in Shoreline Natural Resources, the preferred bidder for the divested OML 30. He advised that foreign investors be encouraged by writing verified news stories and not the ones that would discourage them, especially now that the government wants increased indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry. Conoil was initially announced as the preferred bidder for the asset having offered the highest bid, but it was gathered that the company backed out of the deal because it insisted on being the operator of the field, which was not part of the transaction because Shell only divested

45 per cent, which it held in oil block with Total and Agip. Fifty-five per cent remained with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In an interactive session with reporters in Lagos, Karim said: “Shoreline Natural Resources Limited, a special purpose private Nigerian company formed between a subsidiary of Heritage Oil and a local Nigerian partner, Shoreline Power Company Limited, which acquired a 45 per bcent participating interest in OML 30, with a 45 per cent interest in other assets under the joint operating agreement for $850 million. The remaining 55 per cent participating interest is held by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of NNPC.

HE naira fell after investors speculated that foreign-ex change sales by oil companies had ebbed. The currency weakened 0.1 percent to N157.36 per dollar in Lagos last Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The naira declined by 0.2 per cent last week. “The oil companies and multinationals were able to fill in the demand gap in previous sessions,” Jide Solanke, an Lagos-based analyst at First Securities Discount House Ltd., said on last Friday. “The interbank market has exhausted the money they got from outside the central bank, so it’s understandable that the rate should depreciate marginally.” Oil companies periodically sell dollars to lenders to meet local spending needs and are the secondbiggest source of foreign currency after the Abuja-based Central Bank’s twice- weekly auctions. The regulator sold $120 million at a foreign currency auction January 30, the lowest in three auctions. “The exchange has firmed up in a 156-158 range with marginal volatility, which is likely to persist as long as the oil price remains wellsupported and the global risk-on environment ensures continued capital inflows,” Samir Gadio, an emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said in an e-mailed reply to questions last Friday. “We saw some foreignexchange sales from oil companies in previous days and consistent offshore capital inflows.” The naira has gained from foreign-currency inflows to oil companies investing in the country’s hydrocarbons and portfolio funds, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor (CBN) Lamido Sanusi said after keeping the benchmark interest rate unchanged for the eighth time on January 21. The yields on the country’s 16.39 per cent domestic bonds due January 2022 were unchanged at 11.24 per cent in the secondary market on Thursday, according to data compiled on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website.

NACCIMA seeks interest-free loans By Toba Agboola

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HE Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has said if the Federal Government is sincere in assisting the Organised Private Sector (OPS) this year, it should avail interested businesses opportunities of interest-free banking facilities through appropriate lines of noninterest credit from the Islamic Development Bank and other funding windows. Speaking with The Nation, the President, NACCIMA, Dr Ademola Ajayi, said the factors militating against getting funds by business operators should be examined and fashioned out appropriate remedy to ease the problem by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He added that the government through the CBN should ensure that the planned agency banking policy becomes successful and ascertain the learning points before rolling out the policy. Ajayi said: “The government should intensify her support to businesses by fast-tracking a sort of special intervention policy fund to woo investors and entrepreneurs. “The enabling environment should also be laid for businesses to take advantage of the recent non-interest banking facility in the country.” To guarantee the growth of businesses as well as the economy, Ajayi advised that governments as well as the Chamber of Commerce should not stop working together, only by doing so will the transformation agenda be realised.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

27

THE CEO

• Owoeye

Many businesses have gone under because of irregular power supply.Those that are alive suffer from underutilisation. According to the Group Managing Director, Elephant Group, Mr Tunji Owoeye, stable power supply is central to economic stability. In this interview with DANIEL ESSIET, Owoeye argues that the economy will perform better in such an atmosphere.

‘Growth impossible without stable power’ N

IGERIANS have said raising the national debt limit is unhealthy for the economy. What do you think? If there is a genuine reason to raise the debt limit, we have to, and if it is to finance infrastructure, I think it is okay. But, if we are raising a debt instrument to finance deficit in budget, that would be criminal because a debt instrument should be for activities that will impact positively on the economy as done in other countries. Raising a debt instrument to finance infrastructure is okay. How can the government reverse the slow down of the economy? There are several things the government can do. The first is to confront insecurity because security is key to economic stability. Also, infrastructure have to be put in place. Economic growth is propelled by factors, such as infrastructure, good roads, transport system, power and the likes. They are necessary infrastructure that can propel growth. I really feel the government is not doing badly in trying to address these issues, but, it needs to fix the bureaucrats in the system to ensure that policies are actually followed up in terms of implementation. From electricity to transport infrastructure,the economy is being held back by limited capacities.The general wave of insecurity can lead to economic instability. The issues are of importance to the economy and its prospects for achieving a higher level of growth and delivering prosperity to the people. These are barriers to greater productivity and growth of the economy. Economies are integrated systems that can only function smoothly when certain conditions are present. Reinvigorating the economy will

require progress in some areas, including electricity generation, infrastructure, and trade policies. It is impossible to speed up economic growth without a fast-growing and fairly reliable electricity supply. Achieving rapid real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will require concerted efforts to increase the supply and reliability of electricity. The economy will perform better and faster in an environment characterised by rapid growth, buoyant internal demand, and improving infrastructure and governance. However, there are worrying signs in terms of security and the role of the government is critical. The nation’s development is being constrained by the legacy of chronic underinvestment over many years. Infrastructure has suffered from decades of neglect and underinvestment. The crippling negative effect of electricity generation capacity and transport infrastructure on the country’s economic competitiveness, is ob-

vious. The continued capacity of transport infrastructure is essential to maintain growth. But I feel the administration is doing something in these areas. Agribusiness is increasingly being viewed as a dynamic area to invest in. With tremendous shifts in food consumption, rising input costs, and food safety concerns, the changing landscape of agribusiness has become complex. How do you cope as an operator? Like businesses in all industries, agribusinesses battle for land, labour, capital, and finance. This has become more complex in response to the greater variety of goods and services transacted. Managing investments carefully is a critical capability, especially in a volatile and unpredictable economy where sudden changes in the competitive landscape and in regulatory definitions can dramatically impact supply and demand. Players in the sector grapple with

‘It is impossible to speed up economic growth without a fast-growing and fairly reliable electricity supply. Achieving rapid real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will require concerted efforts to increase the supply and reliability of electricity. The economy will perform better and faster in an environment characterised by rapid growth, buoyant internal demand, and improving infrastructure and governance’

rising input costs and intense margin pressure. All are vulnerable to climate change. Large scale international investments especially acquisition of agricultural land, continue to raise concern. Agribusiness is the same all over the world, but some of us that have been privileged to work in different countries have seen that agribusiness is practised in the same structure and if you look at the challenges of agribusiness and other businesses, you will find out that the challenges are similar. Other than the financing structure that is a bit different in agriculture, most of other challenges are similar to those seen in other businesses. In Nigeria for instance, across the value chain, we, the business people with long years of experience, have our own strategies of mitigating the challenges that we meet. The major problem we have as a company and a private sector is the difficulty to have long-term plan because of the environment we are in. Other than the inability to plan long-term, I do not think that what we have here is different from what is in other parts of the world. What about financing of the sector? The effort of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is commendable in ensuring that banks shore up their capital. If you look at some countries, they are still looking at increasing and shoring up their capital. The government has made it mandatory for local banks to increase their capital to a minimum of N25 billion. This was done some five years back with the mergers and acquisition that took place in the second phase of that fiscal review. It has •Continued on page 28


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

28

THE CEO

‘Growth impossible without stable power’ •Continued from page 27

been a plus for the economy and an advantage for the business environment. This means that businesses are able to access more facilities and support from the local banks, but this may also not be the best today because for agribusiness you need a long tenure. What the government has done in the area of agro input is giving guarantees to local banks to support agro input suppliers across the value chain. This is also an additional support and security to increasing agribusiness. Apart from the effect of the government’s effort and the local banks that have increased their capital, there are also international banks in Nigeria with vast experiences and capacity to give long tenured facilities to support agribusi-ness. So, if you look at the combination of all these developments, I think we are in a better position than we were some 10 years back, but what I know is that it can still be better. Is rice business fundamentally focused on large scale farmers? Generally, most rice farms are owned by small producers. Rice farming is still small. There are few commercial farmers. Agricultural finance is needed to create the supporting infrastructure for adoption of new technology, building major and minor irrigation projects, rural electrification, installation of fertiliser and pesticide plants.This is to help small farmers. At the last count, according to the Rice Millers Importers Association, we have about four commercial rice farmers in Nigeria. This is not sufficient. The incentives being packaged by the government, I think, should be attractive for commercial farmers. We need both the commercial farmers and the small farmers to meet the huge demand of the rice industry. What can you say about the sector’s preparations for natural disaster? The unfortunate incidence of flooding that ravaged most parts of the country last year in Nigeria also affected the value chain, especially the rice farmers. Their rice farms were washed away, but the good thing is that most of the farmers have mobilised back to the farm and the government had also introduced an incentive of giving them fertilisers through the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) fertiliser distribution. There have been ad-hoc responses to the flooding that we witnessed. Moving forward, what we are doing as an association and as an industry group, is to ensure that we move our farmers in the value chain, advising them to take farms in other states that are under-utilised to reduce their risk and avoid this kind of reoccurence in future. However, the policy of the government since the commencement of the administration, has been impressive. We have seen some seriousness in the policy as regards rice self-sufficiency. This is giving us some confidence in attracting and seeking for additional investment in the rice industry. We have several of our members who have taken up commercial farming-investing in rice processing mills and other investments but additional commitment of the government can only get better for the rice industry. Despite the persistent outcry of genuine rice millers, smugglers have continued with their illegal act, which cost the government huge sums of money in lost revenue. What is your experience? If you follow the trend in the industry in the last six months, the government has increased taxes and duties from 30 per cent to 50 per cent and from 50 per cent to 100 per cent levy on January 2013 with duty of 10 per cent summing up to 110 per cent. We support the initiative of the government because we know the purpose is to discourage importation to boost local production. But we should be mindful of the fact that as we increase our levies and taxes, it gives the smugglers more room to operat, especially through the corridors of Benin Republic whose economy is solely dependent on Nigeria’s economy. The only way to tackle smuggling is sincerity and willingness of the government to police the borders with stakeholders, such as the rice processors, and importers to give relevant information about routes that are porous, which they are supposed to man. I am sure that with the collaborative efforts of the agencies of the government, operators and stakeholders in the rice industry in Nigeria, we are sure to reduce smuggling. But I am not sure we can stop it permanently. We can reduce it to the point that it will not negatively impact on the investment of the local industry or on the budget and revenue of the government. I am sure with time, smugglers

• Owoeye

will know that Nigeria is not a country to toy with in this respect. For now, we salute the courage of the Controller-General of Customs and his men because in the last two months, they have made significant seizures of smuggled rice into the country. They are always pledging to assist us and they have promised to continue to assist us by policing our borders effectively to put a stop to these smuggled rice. Are there quality criteria for producers? We don’t have any. I do not want to speak in languages that Nigerians will not understand, but try to break it down as much as possible. The basic quality any consumer is looking out for in rice is the nourishment, colour and the long grain nature meaning that Nigerians are used to long grain rice. We are also used to rice that will not have many foreign particles, such as stones and in as much as we can fix all of these in the country, why import rice? In terms of quality and nourishment, the Nigerian rice is of high quality compared to imported rice but in terms of preparation and attraction, they are not as attractive as what we import. In Nigeria, we do not like to eat short grain rice, we want long grain rice and these things can be fixed with the kind of machines our members use for production. The environment and other things are being improved upon on daily because if you look at some of the machines, our members have imported and installed for production, they are the latest machines that are better than the old machines that give out the broken rice. The machines that we now use to remove the shaft to make the rice clean are all improved versions with better technology. I believe that as time goes by, we can only improve on the quality of the kind of rice we produce in Nigeria and in no distant future, we should be able to compete with other countries such as Thailand, Pakistan and the rest. We have to fix the border to stop the influx of poor quality rice. The agency responsible for ascertaining and confirming the quality of rice, must carry out

their operations vigorously in the land borders and unapproved routes, because when they get into our markets, they impact negatively on the health and safety of Nigerians and that is why we are saying that the government should take it much more seriously in ensuring that we do not have smuggled rice through the land borders. What about certification of rice processors for export? Let me take you through the statistics. Nigeria consumes in excess of five million metric tonnes of rice per annum much less than 50 per cent of what is produced locally. We are unable to meet our own demand not to talk of export. In terms of certification, there are laws and agencies that certify the quality of food production. We have the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards of Organisation of Nigeria (SON) with duties to ensure that once goods are produced, they conform with the standards and laws of the country and this has not changed. I am sure that these agencies have always been doing their duties. Most of the rice you see in Nigeria have very high nourishment level. I do not think we have problem of certification, the problem we have is that of packaging, quality of the grain of the rice and cleaning. If we can fix all of these, I see no reason why imported products should be patronised anymore in this country. What are the labour problems and working conditions in the rice industry? The same labour challenges we have in other industries. The problem of cultivation and production of rice is much peculiar because most of the youth do not believe that they can make a living through agriculture. This has to be corrected by creating infrastructure and we are encouraging our outgrowers to plant rice and most of our millers are buying from them at commercial prices. So, the moment they can see that there is a future for them, that their rice paddy will be bought by millers at competitive rate, I think it will be an encouragement and that

‘If we do not fix smuggling, there cannot be a rice development programme. Fixing smuggling is key to the right development plan of the government and also key to the rice self-sufficiency scheme of the government. I will tell you why. If we do not fix the problem of smuggling, people that have invested in the rice industry will not get their returns on investment’

is being pursued. Smuggling is getting worse by the day. What impact is it having on the industry? If we do not fix smuggling, there cannot be a rice development programme. Fixing smuggling is key to the right development plan of the government and also key to the rice self-sufficiency scheme of the government. I will tell you why. If we do not fix the problem of smuggling, people that have invested in the rice industry will not get their returns on investment. For imported rice especially, those that are being smuggled into the country. In Benin Republic, the government looks at the duty that Nigeria brings and tries to bring it below what we pay in Nigeria, they can bring it down to even less than 10 per cent to get some income. They make smugglers to pay next to nothing duty giving them an edge over producers here who will have to buy the paddy, employ labour and incur cost in processing and packaging of the rice. The costs are many and until we fix the issue of smuggling, we will not get any significant rice development in Nigeria. How many jobs can the rice food value chain create if smuggling is tackled? Directly, close to six million jobs and indirectly nine million jobs. When I say directly, in the value chain we have farmers, farmer cooperatives, millers and processors, marketers and importers and in the value chain, there are a lot of people across the country. The farmers sell their products to the buying agents and the agents sell to the processors and the processors to the distributors, so you see the chain and across this value chain, you have close to eight million people for employment. What about the impact of the ban on rice importation? In the last two years, there have been serious positive impact on consistent production and cultivation of rice because of the ban on rice import from land borders. Production of rice has increased since the ban. Before now, there was a factory whose capacity utilisation was about 25 per cen, but has risen to 35 per cent. It will continue to increase as long as we fix the issue of smuggling of rice perpetually. What is the response from the National Assembly? We met with the Senate Committee on Agriculture and we got the assurance of the Senate to support the fight to stop smuggling of rice into the country. We met not long ago, but are yet to see the impact of that meeting. We are seeing the impact through the Nigeria Custom Service and we want them to do more. They have stepped up security at the borders and also the waterways. Nigeria is a very big country and we have so many unapproved routes. Even from the North the Customs have to expand their networks to police smuggling and also partner stakeholders in the industry to provide vital information to curb this act. We expect them to do much more. We suggest that the Federal Government meet with that of Benin Republic and hint them about the negative effect of smuggling on our economy and the initiative of developing our products. If they do not cooperate, the government will have no choice than to shut our borders. Though this will be against the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) treaty, if they fail to respect the trade understanding, the government will have to take a step forward to enforce sanction and I think that will send the right signals to them that Nigeria means business. What of the Save our Soul (SOS) message to the President? As an association, we want him to ensure that the policies given out in the budget are meticulously carried out and there should be consistency. He should also make the environment safe and encourage stakeholders who have invested in the country. Pakistan and Thailand seem to have the largest share of the world rice trade. When will we get there? Thailand has been serious in the production of rice over the centuries. It is not about catching up with other countries, but being self sufficient and I think with the right collaborations with Rice Importers Millers, Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN) and other stakeholders in the industry and with commitment to creation of the right environment to operate, we should be able to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production in the next five years.


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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

BUSINESS IN 2013 AN EIGHT-PAGE SPECIAL PULLOUT

• Where and how the battles will be fought in the business world The projected growth of the economy is put at 6.6 per cent this year. Last year, agriculture, the largest contributor to the economy, made an average contribution of 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with average growth of 4.2 per cent. But the construction sector has been growing at a yearly rate of 12.5 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing sectors. Against this background, The Nation Business Section team, in this report, looks at some of the strategic sectors of the economy that are good investment outlets in the year.


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BUSINESS IN 2013

• Trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange

Deals that ’ll make stock market tick A

LL eyes are on the primary market this year as the continuing recov ery at the secondary market is expected to reactivate the largely dormant new issues market. From supplementary issues to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and from government-related issues to private issues, there appears to be a good scope for new issues. Besides, many intending business combinations mergers and acquisitions are expected to gather momentum and come on stream this year. Already, the mergers and acquisitions segment has opened the year with the scheduled acquisition of Niger Flour Mills by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc. Several companies that had undertaken private placements and IPOs but could not list their shares because of the downtrend at the market, are expected to begin planning for listings, given the substantial recovery in share prices so far. These will complement efforts by market authorities to woo new companies to float issues or list their shares on the secondary market. Market analysts said companies are optimistic that the positive sentiments from the secondary market recovery would impact on new equity issues. Several companies are overleveraged and in need of equity funds. New issues had been constrained by the meltdown at the capital market. Firms that had earlier indicated plans for supplementary equity issues and IPO but suspended the plans due to what they described as unfavourable situation at the

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

primary market are said to be considering issuing new shares. Two of the major deals expected in the market are the IPOs by Promasidor Nigeria Limited and Notore Chemical Industries Limited. They plan to use net proceeds of their IPOs to partly finance new factories. Notore plans to raise more than N160 billion. The net proceeds from the IPO will be used to finance a brand new fertiliser plant, with a conservative estimated cost of $1 billion. The plant was part of the company’s expansion programme, which aimed to build new capacity to support the its attainable capacity of the existing plant of 750,000 metric tonnes. Besides, other companies, such as Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), and RT Briscoe could jump-start their new issue plans. Already, CCNN has secured shareholders’ approval to raise N45 billion. The company having got approval to raise N15 billion each

through rights issue, public offer and a rightsbased secured convertible debenture issue. This implies that CCNN would be seeking to raise up to N30 billion from existing shareholders. New investors and existing shareholders will contribute N15 billion. A secured convertible debenture will give opportunity to debenture holders to choose to convert their holdings to ordinary shares at a later date. The Executive Director, Business Development, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, said the Exchange had been working to ensure that about-to-be listed companies come to the market. “Part of the issues of last year regarding listing is very simple; if as an issuer you have a value that you have adduced to your company and want to come and raise capital, but then the market is saying, I am pricing you at a different perspective lower than what you adduced to yourself. If the two don’t come to conference at some point, it’s not likely that you are going to see any listing because the owner of the company will say ‘if am pricing my company at

‘Two of the major deals expected in the market are the IPOs by Promasidor Nigeria Limited and Notore Chemical Industries Limited. They plan to use net proceeds of their IPOs to partly finance new factories’

N10 and market is saying N1, there is no way I will go to the market; rather, I will go and borrow from the banks because the market has undervalued my company.’ “But when the market begins to go up, that is when you begin to see issuers saying ‘yes the market is fairly valuing my company.’ So, at the point, when the market starts valuing the company at N6 or N7 and the issuer is thinking that is a fair valuation, that is when you are likely to see listings,” JaloWaziri said. He said the market went up last year by 34.45 per cent and because valuation in aggregate market pricing increased, there have been more enquiries this year than the previous. ‘We are seeing companies beginning to say okay, I was thinking of listing in London, but I think I will list in both London and Nigeria because am getting a better valuation. What am I saying in a nut shell is that you are likely to see more listing this year,” Jalo-Waziri said. Head, Investment Advisory and Research, Sterling Capital Markets, Mr Sewa Wusu, said the market is expected to experience another impressive performance this year. According to him, performances will be driven by a stronger macroeconomic environment as witnessed in 2012. That, he said, would help companies turn out good results, which would help their fundamentals. “Critical for growth is the issue of bond issuance, which some states have not seen the need to access the capital market for this opportunity. Abroad, most of their fundamental efforts so far is the bond market,” Wusu said.


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Bonds, cash-less to attract billions of investments

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HE commencement of cheque truncation scheme is expected to attract more foreign investors that are to provide sophisticated payment solutions, adopt fully integrated management systems and anti-fraud mechanisms. An Executive of Sybrin Limited, a software technology firm based in South Africa, Daniel Parreira, said investments worth billions of dollars will come into the country as banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continue to institute improved e-payment platforms in the country’s financial system. The agricultural sector, which attracted $8 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, is expected to double such inflow within the year. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Adesina Akinwunmi, said the need to unlock the potential in the agricultural sector and for banks to see agricultural financing as a serious business that can impact positively on their balance sheets, will be a potential game changer for the sector. He said the World Bank has invested $500 million and African Development Bank, $250 million. Bill Gates Foundation is working with the Federal Government in an advisory role on how to strengthen agricultural financing. Managing Director, Partnership Investment Company,Victor Ogiemwonyi, said majority of the foreign investors are targeting the Nigerian bond market where there is sovereign guarantee and improved returns compared with other developed countries. There has also been a strong portfolio inflow to the high yields on local-currency debt including 91-day Treasury bill which was about 15 per cent. Intra-African investment has also

• Sanusi

• Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

‘Majority of the foreign investors are targeting the Nigerian bond market where there is sovereign guarantee and improved returns compared with other developed countries. There has also been a strong portfolio inflow to the high yields on local-currency debt, including 91-day Treasury bill which was about 15 per cent’ By Collins Nweze

been a significant driver of growth, with Kenya, Nigeria and South Af-

rica among the top investors into the rest of the continent. Nigeria topped the list of countries expected to draw significant funds over the next five

years, with the report forecasting an average of $23 billion per year in FDI inflows and about 95,000 new jobs. Managing Director, Financial De-

N3.1tr budget for oil exploration, production

‘Total budget request for 2013 is $19.395 billion and government’s share will be $13.840 billion. The $19.395 billion is the government’s counterpart funding for the oil and gas projects this year. The balance will come from operators in the industry under the joint venture arrangement with the government through the NNPC’

D

ESPITE the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), huge investments are expected to be made in the oil and gas sector this year. Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production (E&P), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abiye Membere, told our correspondent that $19.395 billion out of which $13.840 would come from the government would be invested in oil exploration and production this year. He said: “Total budget request for 2013 is $19.395 billion and government’s share will be $13.840 billion. The $19.395 billion is the government’s counterpart funding for the oil and gas projects this year. The remaining will come from operators in the industry under the joint venture arrangement with the government through the NNPC.” As a result of non-passage of the PIB, there have been no new exploratory and development projects in the industry in the last five years. Most projects in the upstream sector are old and ongoing concerns at different development or production stages. These include the Erha North (Phase 2), a deepwater project owned by ExxonMobil, Agbami field, a deepwater project operated by Chevron, which is developing new wells and the Agip operated Oberan deepwater. Total also is working on procurement of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel valued at $4.1 billion to produce its deepwater Egina field located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130. The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Ernest Nwapa, said the board would meet with all the governors of oil producing states this month to partner on promotion of industri-

rivatives Company Limited, Bismark Rewane, said the country has been taking some positive steps to revive the power sector and reach a level that will channel more FDIs into the country. He said it will take between seven and eight years for the country to revive productive sector of the country and three to four years if the country is lucky. FDI inflows to Nigeria, South Africa and Angola are forecast to average $40.6 billion per year over the next five years.

• An oil platform By Emeka Ugwuanyi

alisation, indigenous skills, capability development and manufacturing of equipment for the industry by Nigerians. This, he said, is in line with the resolve of President Goodluck Jonathan’s industrialisation aspi-

ration and the commitment of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to see quantum growth in local content. He said: “In February, this year, we (the board) will visit all the governors of the oil and gas producing states to discuss on

how we will collaborate with them to stimulate local activities. We will partner with the state governments to promote indigenous skills and competences. The board wants to bring big manufacturing compa• Continued on page 37


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BUSINESS IN 2013

Network expansion to cost billions of naira T HE quest to improve quality of service will largely drive investments in the telecoms sector this year. Already, MTN Nigeria has indicated that it will plough $1.3 billion into network expansion this year. The Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Brett Goschen, who made this known, said the company would double the $1.3 billion it invested on network expansion last year. This implies that another $1.3 billion would be invested in expanding and upgrading the network this year. “We invested $1.3 billion in the network in 2012 alone. This covers the extensive network optimisation and swap out exercise, which we embarked on in June 2012, and which is now at an advanced stage. And by 2013, we hope to double the investment by putting in another $1.3 billion for infrastructure expansion,” Goshen said. He added that the new investment will significantly enhance the telco’s network capacity and provide much improved quality of service to its customers. Airtel Nigeria said it would continue to invest on building 3G BTS across the country to support the Federal Government’s plan to bridge the digital divide. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the telco, Rajan Swaroop, who made this known, promised to keep building more 3.75G BTS across the country, after achieving the 3,000 BTS milestone. Swaroop also said Airtel will keep investing in building fibre optic cables across the country. For Etisalat, the telco said it will invest at least $400 million on network expansion. Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Steven Evans, said the firm would have spent the fund on network expansion across the country by the end this year. Acording to him, this investment would have increased the telco’s investment in its network to $2.4 billion over the five years since it had been operating in the telecoms market. “We plan to increase our cell sites by an additional 1,000 in 2013,” Evans said.

By Lucas Ajanaku

With about 3,500 base stations in the country, the new 1,000 base stations should increase Etisalat’s sites to 4,500 this year. Capcom, the new owners of Starcomms, plans to inject cash and assets valued at $210 million to resuscitate MTS, Starcomms and Multilinks, all operators in the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) subsector. The three firms to operate as Starcomms. Chief Executive Officer designate, Starcomms, Mr Dem Elesho, who is also the Chief Executive Officer MultiLinks, said Capcom with the spectrum licence of MTS and the CDMA mobile telecoms business of MultiLinks with Starcomms, would give the new entity a new lease of life. According to him, the ailing telco will be made to attract more highly profitable data subscription in the short term through the launch of 4G mobile broadband or long term evolution (LTE) technology. He added that the availability of 20 MegaHertZ (MHZ) contiguous spectrum 1900MHz range, would allow the telco to do data very well. All the telcos are in accord that voice telephony has attained its zenith in the country. They are, therefore, looking at a new frontier and data to grow profitability. President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Lanre Ajayi, is optimistic that ongoing investment on infrastructure provision would dovetail to improved service quality. For Tim Kayode Akano, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons, this year would witness higher growth in the IT sector because there will be bigger competition among Internet service providers (ISPs) - as more people will join the train. According to him, there will be greater IT security threat as more businesses will get compromised, more companies will lose their data to online thieves. who will later sell it to competitors for profit. “Companies will need to improve on their IT-security architecture - if they are not go-

• NCC EVC/CEO Eugene-Juwah

‘Capcom, the new owners of Starcomms, plans to inject cash and assets valued at $210 million to resuscitate MTS, Starcomms and Multilinks, all operators in the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) subsector. The three firms to operate as Starcomms’ ing to learn from their bitter experience. Online theft of bank’s customers’ monies will increase as the usage of internet increases,” he said. According to him, the seven IT skills that will get people hired or promoted in the

year are software engineering, mobility, ITsecurity, virtulisation, data management, web development and project management. “Graduates, who want to get hired in 2013, • Continued on page 38

Boost for aviation H

UGE investments running into billions of naira are expected in the aviation sector this year. A Chinese consortium is billed to construct five international airport terminals in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja , Kano, and Enugu. The project, which will be privately driven, is packaged by the Ministry of Aviation under the airport remodelling project initiated in the aviation’s Transformation Agenda. The sector is also expecting significant investments from the $500 million credit facility secured from the Chinese government, the building of airport terminals, which will create jobs and accelerate the development of the industry. The credit facility is a fallout of the investment tour embarked upon by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, last year. The 11- man investment drive took the minister to China, Canada and the United States. Funds made from investments would also be used for remodelling of 11 airports, which will cost an average of about N500 million per terminal. Besides, the construction of agro /cargo airport terminals in Ilorin, Owerri, Asaba, and Makurdi are expected to attract billions of naira as investments. Other areas where big investments are expected are in the corporate /private and charter jets businesses.At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, the number of private and charter jet owners and operators is on the rise. With the number of registered operators rising to 50, more operators are expected to enrol in this arm of the aviation subsector this year as private hangar and maintenance facilities are already springing up to support the serv-

• Remodelled Kano Airport Terminal

‘The sector is also expecting significant investments from the $500 million credit facility secured from the Chinese government for the building of airport terminals, which will create jobs and accelerate the development of the industry. The credit facility is a fallout of the investment tour embarked upon by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, last year’ By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

ice. Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr George

Uriesi said: “It is our fastest growing segment and you will be amazed at the level of growth. It is for this reason that we will invest more this year in terminal infrastructure to match the level of service and pro-

vide an ambience of comfort for both the passengers and operators.” Notable players in this arm of the nonscheduled business include: AOS Helicopters, Caverton Helicopters, ExecutiveJets, Topbrass Aviation, Dominion Air, Kings Air, Southern Air and others. Sequel to increasing investment in this business this year, private hangars for the maintenance of private jets were inching towards consolidation. Aircraft acquisition by domestic airlines will also be big business for aviation in the year as some operators, including Chanchangi Airlines and Associated Aviation, will be investing in the purchase of air• Continued on page 37


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Private equity firms eye agric sector P

RIVATE equity firms are looking to invest in the agricultural sector of the economy – especially in input supplies, distribution, logistics, agro-processing, instead of venturing into the primary production swamp. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said some United States companies are keen on investing in the agricultural sector. He said the largest manufacturer of tractors, AGCO, would meet the country’s tractor needs by establishing two tractor assembly plants before moving to the manufacturing sector. The minister said a major US company, Cargill, has expressed interest in buying one of the large scale high quality cassava plants. He said another company was interested in investing in 25,000 hectares of rice in Sokoto, using Rima Irrigation Scheme. He said the World Bank would support the agricultural transformation agenda with $900 million, especially on four major crops: rice, cassava, sorghum and cocoa. Rice will also receive more attention with the securing of a soft loan of $105.2 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismark Rewane, said huge investment opportunities exist in commodity trading, processing, equipment and trade financing in the agricultural sector. He also expects that the government will continue to offer policy support to the agricultural sector in the year because it is the largest contributor to Nigeria’s economy, making an average contribution of 40 per cent to the Gross Deomstic Product (GDP) in 2012 with an average growth of 4.2 per cent, down from 5.64 per cent in 2011. There are also many more trade missions to the UK and US scheduled this year to promote agriculture. Singapore companies, such as Olam and Tolaram, will promote export trade. Olam is opening four cashew processing factories in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. This will bring Africa’s processing capacity to more than 125,000 trillion per year. Dufil Prima Foods, a Tolaram subsidiary, which opened a factory in Kaduna last year and produces 200,000 trillion of noodles, is

‘Huge investment opportunities exist in commodity trading, processing, equipment and trade financing in the agricultural sector’

• Minister of Agriculture, Akin Adesina By Daniel Essiet

also building a wheat mill in Port Harcourt. The Singaporean agribusiness is also opening a $60 million wheat mill in Ghana and a tomato processing plant in Nigeria, where it is processing cocoa. Its other projects include, cocoa processing in Côte d’Ivoire and a $1.7billion fertiliser plant in Gabon.

Tolaram’s SEZ in Nigeria is dependent on a final investment decision for a new port, which should be approved this year - allowing construction on the multipurpose zone to begin. Besides, Transcorp Agribusiness (Teragro Ltd) plant, in Benue State, has said it would continue to expand the orange and mango juice concentrate production facility. The

plant, which has an annual capacity of 26,500 metric tonnes, is located on one hectare of land in Makurdi Industrial Estate and has the capacity to produce orange, mango and pineapple fruit juice concentrates. Benue State produces over one million metric tonnes of citrus fruits per year, mostly produced by small and medium scale growers in the state. Also, South African consumer goods giant, Tiger Brands, which bought a 63.35 per cent stake in Dangote Flour Mills (DFM), is expected to grow its investment in the country. DFM is a market leader in both the flour and pasta market segment of the consumer food sector with strong branding, production and distribution capabilities. The deal is Tiger Brands’ third and largest investment in Nigeria, Africa’s secondlargest economy. Also, Agri-Vie, a major SubSaharan Africa private equity fund investing in food and agribusiness, could also make a presence in Nigeria this year. Herman Marais, Managing Partner of AgriVie, said the company is committed to partnering with companies of proven quality and growth potential. Agri-Vie is a private equity investment fund focused on agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa with a mission to generate an above average investment return, as well as demonstrable socio-economic development impacts through its equity investments. The fund’s vision is to be a catalyst for sustainable growth through investing in one of the foundation sectors of Africa’s economies. It seeks to realise this vision through deploying development capital and management know-how according to sound investment and business principles.

Rivers, Lagos mono-rails to drive transport

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HE Rivers State Government plans to spend 188 million euro on the construction of a mono-rail in Port Harcourt and has asked the Ministry of Niger Delta to assist the state. The mono-rail will ease the transportation difficulties encountered by residents due to the ban on commercial motorcyclists in Port Harcourt, the capital city. The Light Rail Transport (LRT) system, known as the Rivers Monorail, will open in two phases, but no estimated opening date has been announced. The Lagos State Government is also constructing a light rail system under a public-private partnership (PPP). The project, which was awarded for $1.5 billion to China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) in 2009, began with the simultaneous construction of the Red and Blue Lines with estimated traffic of 1.6 million commuters per day. The government has proposed seven lines in the network: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange. The Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) has developed a conceptual framework for rail mass transit system that will provide passenger rail services on

•Lagos rail project By Oluwakemi Dauda and Yinka Aderibigbe

the most heavily travelled corridors in Lagos. The first two lines being developed are the Red Line and the Blue Line. Both lines were developed on a PPP basis, with the Lagos State Government providing

the rail and station infrastructure. The private sector will be invited to operate the system under a 25year concession structure. Both projects are expected to ease the link Nigeria and neighbouring West African states, a major trade corridor as well as improve intra-city transportation, generate massive em-

ployment and impact significantly on businesses and make life more enjoyable for citizens. Speaking after an unscheduled inspection of the project, Governor Babatunde Fashola commended the contractor for keeping to the project’s deadline, and expressed the confidence that the blue line may eventu-

‘Already, the Southwest region seems to have blazed the trail in taking off with a project aimed at linking Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti by rail’

ally roll out before year end. Fashola said the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) introduced by his government four years ago is already commuting close to three million people daily, adding that when fully on stream, the light rail would cushion the transportation challenges confronting Lagosians. According to him, with a projected 1.6 million commuters per day, which is expected to grow as more lines come on stream, more Lagosians that need to be commuted • Continued on page 38


36

THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

BUSINESS IN 2013

Industrial investments hinged on govt’s policy I

NVESTMENTS in this sector will be determined by government’s policy. This, for instance, will decide whether cement manufacturers will invest in new plants or expand their plants. Few weeks back, there was crisis in the cement division. Cement manufactures said the continuous importation of the product into the country has high potential to cripple the industry. They said it has damaging multiplier effects on the economy in terms of the number of job loss and the decline in other economic activities that are dependent on the cement industry. Chairman, Cement Manufacturers of Nigeria, Mr Joseph Makoju, said most local cement plants have huge inventory of unsold cement and clinker, signifying the attainment of self-sufficiency. “We are very concerned about of our investments in Nigerian’s cement industry since the government has not shown enough commitment to protect our investments in the cement industry,” he said. Investigations reveal that for now, Ibeto Cement does not have plans of setting its own factory. Investments are expected through the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Recently, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Diamond Bank Plc and GroFin of South Africa partnered to float a $30million fund branded ASPIRE NIGERIA to serve as a catalyst for the growth and development of SMEs. All agreements establishing the fund under a Private Trust have been signed and this would pave the way for local and foreign investments in the SMEs. The fund - ASPIRE NIGERIA - is expected to enhance the operations of indigenous SMEs through the provision of much-needed business development assistance and appropriate finance. It will enable credible SME operators to access medium-term, competitively priced financing and business development assistance, ranging from N6 million to N125 million and would, hopefully, enable them to achieve their growth aspirations. The textile sector that has been down since 1985. This has resulting in unprecedented job, investments and revenue losses, caused by massive influx of cheap products into the country, changing consumer tastes and habits, and poor infrastructure. The industry is, however, expected to flourish this year – courtesy of the Bank of Industry’s (BoI) intervention fund. In 2009, the Federal Government introduced a N100 billion intervention fund to revitalise the CTG industry, which was domiciled with the BoI. Approval and disbursement of the fund started effectively same year with a to-

‘With the global production and demand for steel growing astronomically, juxtaposed with the steel industry, which is still in its infancy, investment opportunities abound in this sector’ By Toba Agboola

tal of N7.195 billion disbursed to three firms. By June 2012, a total of N41.1 billion had been disbursed to 56 successful applicants by the BoI. With the global production and demand for steel growing astronomically, juxtaposed with the steel industry, which is still in its infancy, investment opportunities abound in this sector. One of the stakeholders, Managing Director, Land Craft Nigeria Steel, Prakash Gupta, said the steel sector is still at its embryonic stage. He said: “In all the areas of the economy, steel is needed, infrastructure is needed, 1015 per cent is the developed area in Nigeria, so more steel is needed in the country. We must, therefore, improve the steel sector if we want to develop as a nation. Distribution, transmission and power plants under the NIPP projects require steel. It is unfortunate that with the state of the country’s steel in-

• Minister of Trade and Investment Mr Olusegun Aganga

dustry much of the steel required for these projects would be imported from abroad.” However, the $1.3 billion cold roll steel plant by Western Metal Products Limited (WEMPCO) along Magboro in Ogun State would bring in more funds and create more job opportunities in the country. The company is expected to produce at 700,000 metric tonnes of steel. The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Goddie Ibru, said for the manufacturing sector to be develop in the year, the Federal Government may need to implement policies that will stimulate the revival and growth of the real sector, to drive its development and transformation agenda.

According to him, business research survey conducted by the chamber for the year shows that apart from the hotel, telecoms/IT, oil and gas and the financial sector, business executives in the extractive, processing and trade sectors recorded dismail performance. The noodles market remains a vibrant one. The demand for the product has been projected to attain at least a yearly increase of about 4.8 per cent. Given its vibrancy, many manufacturers have expanded their production lines in readiness to compete for customers. Among the leading brands are Mimee, Golden Penny, • Contin ued on page 38

Construction holds the ace

N

IGERIA is one of the countries you can earn good returns in the real estate business in few years. Little wonder firms from Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Britain are scrambling to make a foray into this sector. With some of the Returns on Investments (RoI) close to 50 per cent in some areas, such as Lagos and Abuja, any investment in these locations will serve as an edge against inflation. Besides, with the emergence of modern cities and free trade zones in states, such as Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, Akwa Ibom etc., the real estate sector in Nigeria is in a boom. The economy being the second largest after South Africa economy, it is a safe haven for real estate investors all over the world. It is estimated that investments in the sector may hit a billion dollar mark this year. An analyst also confirmed this, saying that the construction sector is one lucrative area to invest in 2013. He said the focus on infrastructural development by states and the Federal Government, the demand for infrastructure in the country, adoption of privatisation as instrument of the government’s policy and improvements in regulations on how business is done in Nigeria, are the factors that make investments in the Nigerian infrastructure sector

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

worthwhile in 2013. The analyst noted that infrastructure sector accounts for 69 per cent of fixed capital formation, implying that almost 70 per cent of total net capital investment goes to the sector. Infrastructure, which contributes 2.5 per cent of the nation’s economic activities, has been growing at a yearly rate of 12.5 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing sectors. He said the sector is expected to grow by 17 per cent in 2012 boosted by substantial growth in infrastructure industry, and also driven by the continued growth in the oil and gas industry, hospitality and power sectors in 2013. A surveyor and Head of Practice Nelson Thorpe & Co, Mr Victor Alonge, said he is expecting a boom in residential properties. He said though there is a glut of some sort in upscale properties, the tide would, no doubt, change in favour. For investors seeking quick returns on their investments, he recommended high end office accommodation as a place to invest. On the best cities to invest, he recommended Abuja and Lagos. A developer and Chief Executive Officer, Realstar Investment Ltd, Mr Wilcox West, who is into me-

•A construction site in Abuja

‘Infrastructure sector accounts for 69 per cent of fixed capital formation, implying that almost 70 per cent of total net capital investment goes to the sector’

dium income properties, tipped Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja for middle income properties. He suggested Uyo and Calabar, the Akwa Ibom and Cross River State capitals. He said for a property to attract prospective buyers, the developer must to put a good infrastructure in place with appropriate pricing to have effective demand.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

37

BUSINESS IN 2013

• NAICOM building

NAICOM to pursue ‘No premium, no cover’ policy D

ESPITE the inability of the in surance industry to meet its set target of N1 trillion premium income projections last year, operators are optimistic that the entrenchment of some basic fundamentals last year will raise the tempo of activities this year. The industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), said the ‘no premium no cover’ policy would be implemented. “All insurance covers issued must be paid for in full as is the custom in other countries where insurance penetration and awareness is very high,” it said. The Commission also said it would pursue this policy vigorously as it has fixed various regimes of sanctions for defaulters, including insurance companies and brokers.

By Uyoatta Eshiet

NAICOM’s Commissioner, Fola Daniel, said the state of affairs where insurance covers were issued on credit has not only increased the credit risk of insurers, but has also introduced uncertainty in the market as to the capacity of many insurers to meet their obligations to insurance policyholders and other stakeholders. He said most insurance companies make huge provisions for outstanding premiums in their books yearly, adding that this affects their earnings and their ability to make profit, pay dividends to shareholders and attract investments to enable growth. He said: “This avoidable situation is unhealthy and dangerous to the industry and it is time to put a stop to it.”

Boost for aviation • Continued from page 34

craft to boost their operations. Investment in this area will cost billions of naira. Associated Aviation said last year that it would invest about $30 million this year to acquire four 60 seater regional Embraer jets to boost its operations. Another operator, Medview Airlines, will also be investing acquiring additional aircraft. Dana Air also said it would acquire two Boeing 737 aircraft to its fleet. Additional investments are also expected to be made in the purchase of 30 aircraft for domestic operations, through the aviation intervention fund managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The chunk of investment will come from the floating of a national carrier by private sector players, which is expected to cost billions of naira. The template for achieving this is being worked out by the Ministry of Aviation. The thirty aircraft, to be acquired with credit guarantee from the Federal Government, is another attempt to rejuvenate the domestic airlines sector. The measure is also expected to reduce operating costs for the airlines, since cost of maintenance will be minimal, the aircraft being new ones. The interest payment is a sin-

gle digit interest rate. These and other friendly conditions will make repayment of the loan easy and further assist the sector to remain competitive. Although operators are yet to key into the project, citing stringent measures set as conditionalities, part of which is corporate governance and transparency in their operations, experts contend that the steps being contemplated are in the overall public interest since there is ample demand for air transport requiring brand new airplanes Part of the operators grouse is that governmen has not sought their opinion to ascertain whether acquiring new airplanes is their major headache, or cash for operations. Also, the misapplication of previous intervention funds given to some airlines, that have stopped operations, is key in the new agenda of business for 2013. The implication of the new airplanes for the industry is its capacity to stimulate air safety, as Nigerians feel at home with new aircraft, than the old airplanes that dot the skies. It will give operators enough time to pay up the loans. It is against this background that some experts in the industry have urged operators to quickly key into this project, as it is a convenient platform for them to get new aircraft to boost their operations.

On where other businesses will be in the sector this year, the Commission’s spokesperson, Lucky Fiapa, said the Commission would speedy the implementation of the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) and the five compulsory insurance. He said: ”Even if only two out of the five compulsory insurance were fully implemented, the sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would have risen from the present level of less than 10 per cent to about 20 per

cent.” Apart from the compulsory insurance, the Commission said it would implement the micro insurance policies, which targets the larger population of people who reside in the villages; the artisans, market women, fishermen and others with policies meant for them. Takaful insurance, aimed at the Muslim Community would also be pursued, among others, Fiakpa said. On professional practices, the Chartered Insurance Institute of

Nigeria (CIIN) said it would withdraw its certificates from members who engage in unethical practices. Its President, Dr Wole Adetimehin, said the institute can withdraw its certificate from any holder, if it breaches the law, adding that another reason for such withdrawal may be unprofessional conduct. President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mrs Laide Osijo, said the brokers will work with NAICOM to

• Contin ued on page 38

N3.1tr budget for oil exploration, production • Continued from page 31

nies, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to the country. We want to set up industrial complexes or clusters in the oil producing states. Therefore, we want support from the state governments in the allocation of land and security for these complexes.” He said the board would bring Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) interested in manufacturing to the industrial complexes where the big OEMs will guide them in manufacturing some of the equipment and components used in the oil and gas industry to international and industry standards. Nwapa said the government decided to choose the approach because emphasis on compliance with contract awards to local companies is not achieving the expected objective of the Nigeria Content. He said the board observed that even when the contract is awarded to a local company and most of the equipment and components as well as skills used in the execution of the project are accessed offshore, in-country value creation deeply diminishes. Therefore, he said the board would deemphasise compliance on contract award as there is there is no dispute on the issue among stakeholders, and focus more on real value creation through the establishment of facilities and promotion of local capabilities for creation of services and materials. A stakeholder, who has held various challenging top positions in the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), and a mem-

ber of the Presidential Task Force on Power, Simeon Atakulu, said with adequate funding, Nigeria could generate 10,362 megawatts (MW) of electricity by the end of the year and can give Nigerians 7175mw by end of the year. The PHCN assets could generate 4239mw, the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), overseen by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), would generate 4147mw and the independent power plants (IPPs) would produce 1976mw. The IPPs include the Ibom Power, Omoku and Trans-Amadi in Rivers State, AES in Lagos, Geometric Power in Aba, Abia State, Afam 1&2 in Rivers, Dangote Power (Obajana) in Kogi State, Agip Power in Delta and Shell Power (Afam VI) in Rivers State. The automotive gas oil (AGO) popularly called diesel will continue to be an attractive business area in the oil and gas industry this year. In view of the poor and unstable power supply in the country, most of the companies in the manufacturing and fabrication sectors will depend on diesel to power their generators. Currently, about 15 million litres of diesel are consumed daily in the country. This consumption level could have been more but for the increasing hook-on to use of natural gas by manufacturing companies especially in Lagos where Gaslink and Falcon Petroleum have franchise to distribute gas to companies. For instance, last year there

were reports that the telecom firms in Nigeria including MTN, Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat, Starcomms, Visafone, MultiLinks, ZoomMobile and Mobitel powered their base transceiver stations with over 20,000 generators, which consume about 25 million litres of diesel monthly estimated at a cost of about N45.9 billion in 2012. The fact that the power supply situation has not improved significantly despite the power sector reform, which will result in privatisation of some of the generation and distribution assets, the diesel business will continue to be attractive as the manufacturing sector and the fabrication industry as well as a sizeable number of Nigerians will continue to depend on the product. The Manufactures Association of Nigeria (MAN) had said its members spend billions of naira yearly to power their generators. Although, Nigeria has four refineries that have the combined capacity to refine 445,000 barrels of crude daily, they work at very sub-optimal levels compelling the country to depend more on importation to meet local consumption. As a result of the dependence on importation, oil marketers from Nigeria import the product from European and Asian countries and lately from sub-regional neighbouring countries including Niger Republic and Togo, which account for the reason Nigerians are said to be paying more for diesel than other countries. As a deregulated product, a litre of diesel sells for between N150 and N160 depending on the area of purchase.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

38

BUSINESS IN 2013

•Protesting workers

Minimum wage’ll remain topical

T

HIS year may witness unending crisis in the labour movement because of the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage of N18,000 by some state governments. The interpretation of the National Minimum Wage law is causing disaffection in the states as nine of them are yet to pay the stipulated N18,000 new wage, more

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

than two years after it was signed into law. Should Anambra, Ebonyi, Plateau, Kwara, Kebbi, Niger, Osun, Enugu and Zamfara states fail to complete their negotiation with the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council and start the payment of the national minimum wage soon, they may incur

Industrial investments hinged on govt’s policy • Continued from page 36

Dangote noodle, Cherie, Honeywell ,Smoodles, Chiki, Tummy Tummy and Star. Consumers are catching in on its ease of preparation to make it a regular menu daily. Children and a large pool of the students’ population in tertiary institutions form the target market of the producers. The demand for noodles is so steady that many of the producers are taking measures to expand their plants to accommodate the expected demand. Developments in the cement manufacturing sector this year will be determined by the much expected government’s policy on the issue. Although the thrust of that policy remains a secret, the re-opening of Dangote Cement Company In Gboko, Benue State is an indication that the authority may be considering some palliatives to address theissues raised by cement manufacturers. The Minister of Trade and Invest-

ment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, had set up a fact finding mission to examine the issues raised in respect of the supply of cement to the market by importers. It is believed that part of that recommendation would form a subset of government’s awaited initiative aimed at resolving the cement brouhaha. It is believed that before the middle of the first quarter runs out, government’s policy to revamp the sector would be unveiled. The National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. Herbert Ademola Ajayi, said last year’s performance did not translate into any significant impact on the real sector of the economy and the citizens. He said this would continue this year unless the government provides a conducive environment for manufacturers.

NAICOM to pursue ‘No premium, no cover’ policy • Contin ued from page 37

ensure that the ‘no premium no cover” policy succeeds. Managing Director Riskguard-Africa Nigeria Limited, Yemi Soladoye, a insurance consultant, said for the industry to move forward this year, operators should seriously consider retail marketing. He said: “The future and the solidity of the operators can only come

from market expansion. ”The issue of unhealthy competition will be getting worst, until they look for better, cost effective and non-volatile distribution channel.” Soladoye said the insurance operators should go into partnerships with banks, retail channel and enter into strategic alliances with organisations such as Shoprite, Megaplaza and others as well as collaboration with cooperative societies and more.

Labour’s wrath. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said it will in a few weeks go the erring states to ascertain the state of things and take action. The Congress said it would protest in any state that refuses to implement the minimum wage this month. NLC’s Acting General Secretary, Comrade Chris Uyot, said NLC

would take record of the on-going issues around non-implementation of minimum wage and act accordingly. The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) also want the JPSNC to intensify effort in ensuring that states that are deliberately misinterpreting the Minimum Wage Act are brought to book.

Its Secretary-General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, said where the states governments implement the minimum wage for levels one to six, they are not adjusting the wage to balance the ratio. He added that negotiations are stalled in some states because the governments have refused to adjust the ratio between the minimum and maximum wages.

Network expansion to cost billions of naira • Continued from page 34

should achieve a combination of the above skills and those who have jobs and need promotion also need to acquire those skills,” he said. The massive infrastructure spend coming to the telecoms sector may however, not create onshore but jobs for foreign firms. Though Nigerians will be employed in capacities such as guards, suppliers of fuel to power the BTS and a host of other unskilled fields, positions required for skilled manpower will largely be occupied by foreign equipment vendors who get the contract for the job. According to the NCC, between 2001 and mid-2012, investment inflow into the nation’s telecoms industry increased from $500, 000 to over $25 billion, but telecoms sector analysts say that while the investment had been huge, a larger percentage of the money, which should have remained within the economy,

was being lost to capital flight, as most infrastructure contracts are awarded to foreign firms. These firms, they argue, repatriate the money realised in executing the projects to their respective countries. Juwah said the industry had grown tremendously from about 400, 000 subscriber number in 2001 to over 109 million active subscribers in October, 2012. He lamented that operators depended heavily on foreign network vendors, such as AlcatelLucent,Ericsson, Qualcoms, Cisco among others, for the provision of the critical mass of infrastructure from switches, routers, BTS controllers to base transceivers stations, which require state-of-the-art technologies. He decried a situation where an operator issues services contracts to a vendor and the vendor goes ahead to, in some cases, fully sub-contract the services contract to local companies for implementation raises some pertinent questions.

“It is important for local companies to have significant role in the provision of services and supply of materials to telecommunications industry if we must develop the telecoms industry in Nigeria on a sustainable basis over the long term, and provide more employment opportunities for Nigerians,” he said. But analysts argue that before the local content initiative could take a firm foothold in the telecoms industry, certain critical issues have to be addressed. These are the need to ascertain areas in the provision of services to the telecoms industry where local companies have the required competence to compete effectively; need to ascertain whether there are local companies that have the required organisational competence required for some services in the telecoms industry; and whether or not there are local companies with the economic capacity to deliver on such projects.

Rivers, Lagos mono-rails to drive transport • Continued from page 35

would have had their prayers answered. The Governor, who identified the 15 million population of the state as a blessing, added that with the rail mode of transportation, the state would have taken a first position among its 57 other colleagues to successfully put on stream all the three inter-modal forms of transportation, adding that Lagosians are in for a new transportation experience before September. With the repeal of the Nigerian Railway Act last year by the National Assembly, the way has been

cleared for other states outside Rivers and Lagos to invest in the rail sector. Already, the Southwest region seems to have blazed the trail in taking off with a project aimed at linking all the affected states – Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, and Ekiti-by rail. The project, which is expected to take-off by 2015, is aimed at promoting greater economic integration agenda of the region. One of the big businesses in the maritime industry is the move by the United States to partner with the Federal Government in expanding the nation’s maritime sec-

tor through jobs creation. US Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley, who dropped the hint while addressing the Nigerian contingents to the International Workboat Show, which held in New Orleans, Louisiana. He, however, warned that the government must stop corruption, to make the system work. He said America also has its eyes on the oil and gas sector, which is a huge capital intensive sector. Nigeria he said should and can create jobs for over 45 per cent of its population that are above the age of 15, from that the oil sector alone.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

39

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 1-02-13

NSE begins trade on retail bond

T

HE Nigerian Stock Ex change (NSE) on Friday made history as it opened a window for low net -worth investors to enjoy the benefit of investing in bonds. Also, it admitted on its Daily Official List the Lagos State’s N80 billion 14.50 per cent fixed rate bond series 1 bond due in 2019. Earlier, retail investors have been denied the opportunity of trading in bonds due to the huge sums required and absence of secondary trading platform.Only high net worth and institutional investors have been enjoying benefits of this sector. However, retail investor can now access the bonds market with a minimum of N10,000 and enjoy regular returns on investments among other benefits. Speaking on the take-off of the retail bond trading on the floor of the NSE, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Oscar Onyema, expressed satisfaction that the exchange has been able to activate a platform that will allow retail investors participant in fixed income securities market. According to him, on the first day of trading, there were 13 trades that involved 510,000 units of bonds worth N600,000. “Although it is a small be-

By Tonia Osundolire ginning but it has proved the concept that people can trade bond with small amount and investors can take position because it cuts across market makers and brokers-dealers on the floor. Today (last Friday) is the beginning and we expect bigger volume and value traded as we go along,” Onyema said. He explained that the NSE retail bonds trading platform would exist alongside the existing over the counter (OTC) market. “The retail bond trading is very complementary to the OTC market because the OTC market is very institutional and ticket prices are bigger. What we are doing (through the retail bond trading) is to really try to bring the retail participants into the fixed income market,” he said. Listing the benefit of the platform, the NSE chief said it would allow investors to diversify their portfolio and hence manage the risk of exposure into the market using well established channels. However, trading last week on the floor of the Exchanged recorded a total of 2.813 billion shares worth N22.188 billion in 33,123 deals as against a total of

2.612 billion shares valued at N19.152 billion that exchanged hands the previous week in 27,186 deals. The Financial Services sector was the most active during the week, contributing 79.64 per cent to the total equity turnover volume with 2.240 billion shares worth N14.761 billion exchanged hands by investors in 19,656 deals. Similarly, the Banking sub-sector of the Financial Services sector was the most active during the week; with 1.583 billion shares worth N12.581 billion traded in 13,629 deals. Volume in the Banking sub-sector was largely driven by activities in the shares of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc, Unity Bank Plc and UBA Plc. Trading in the shares of the three banks accounted for 844.849 million shares, representing 53.37 per cent, 37.71 per cent and 30.03 per cent of the turnover recorded by the sub-sector, sector and total turnover for the week. Also traded during the week were 234 units of NewGold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) valued at N595, 491 exchanged hands in five deals in contrast to a total of 196 units valued at N504,481 transacted the previous week in four deals. In addition, 610 units of FGN bonds valued at N76,432 were traded during the week in 14 deals. However, there were no transactions in the state/local government bonds and corporate bonds/debentures sectors.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 1-02-13


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

40

MONEY LINK

Banks mull funding strategy for power projects

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IGERIAN banks have started a collabora tion to develop amenable financing framework that would serve as financial industry’s master template for lending and funding of the power sector. The strategic funding plan is being developed under the auspices of the Bankers’ Committee with active participation of top management of banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other key stakeholders. The funding strategy is a linchpin in the Bankers’ Committee’s programme for the year, which largely focused on aligning the Nigerian banking system to provide adequate financing to meet the peculiarities of the power sector. Banks’ chief executives, Governor and top officials of the CBN and several experts had brainstormed extensively on the power sector at the recently concluded 4th annual retreat of the Bankers’ Committee. Sources in the know said the development of an industry-wide funding strategy was part of the outcomes of the discussions at the retreat. It was gathered that the funding strategy will provide the banking industry with a master agreement or template that would foster best practices, remove inconsistency, ease access to fund-

Stories by Collins Nweze

ing and encourage regulatoroperator understanding as banks move into the stillevolving power sector. A bank may adapt the funding strategy to suit its internal structure and terms, but the template would provide guidelines, structures, terms and concepts, among others for the industry. The CBN would sign on the banking industry funding strategy for power sector, which would give the template a quasi-regulatory status. Banks are also expected to consider input of key nonbank stakeholders such as the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

(NNPC), Ministry of Power, Energy Commission of Nigeria (Encon) and NBET among others in the overall draft of the funding strategy to give the plan a higher level of general acceptance beyond the banking industry. The funding strategy will enable banks to provide well-structured finances to support investments in gas transmission pipelines, upstream gas developments, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants, gas processing facilities, key infrastructure, port, real estate, pipe milling and fabrication yards and gas supply and gas transportation infrastructure among other. Besides, banks are required to reinforce their energy desk to build capacity for power

project financing while the Bankers’ Committee would continuously provide supports for advocacy and programmes that centre on the power sector transformation. Chairman, Economic Development and Sustainability of the Bankers’ Committee/Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Aigboje AigImoukhuede, said banks are aware that the growth, prosperity and national security of Nigeria depend on the success of the power sector transformation. According to him, the Bankers’ Committee would continue to collaborate with the government and other stakeholders to create and sustain enabling environ-

GTBank promotes alternative banking channels

G

UARANTY Trust Bank (GTBank) has established its mobile money product as a preferred option for discerning users of alternative banking channels in the country. In a statement, the bank said its mobile money service has succeeded because of its penetration strategy and partnership with major telecoms companies. “The GTBank Mobile Money service is a convenient, secure and affordable way of send-

ing money using a mobile phone. The service can be accessed by users of smart phones through the various app stores or by downloading the Mobile Money application which has been installed on the SIM card of all Etisalat subscribers irrespective of phone type,” it said. It said the product allows subscribers to send cash to recipients that do not have bank accounts, who then make withdrawals from any GTBank Automated Teller

Machines (ATMs) nationwide. However, the recipient needs mobile phone to experience the service. The Managing Director of GTBank, Mr Segun Agbaje, said: “Counting on GTBank’s robust banking platform and advancement in the telecoms industry, the mobile money initiative has gone a step further in bringing banking services closer to the population – especially the unbanked who are more likely to have a mobile phone than a bank account.”

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

SYMBOL

GAINERS AS AT 1-2-13 O/PRICE C/PRICE

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

CHANGE

AIRSERVICE TRANSCORP PRESTIGE WEMABANK DANGSURGAR CADBURY LEARNAFRCA MRS MANSARD

4.20 1.30 0.66 0.86 7.15 32.00 2.20 23.70 2.25

4.62 1.43 0.72 0.92 7.60 33.60 2.31 24.88 2.36

10.00 10.00 9.09 6.98 6.29 5.00 5.00 4.98 4.89

FO

16.73

17.54

4.84

O/PRICE 89.90 0.67 9.50 10.22 3.04 4.37 1.70 2.58 4.46 0.93

C/PRICE 80.91 0.61 9.00 9.71 2.89 4.63 1.62 2.46 4.26 0.89

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HE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has appointed Mr Olusoji Olumide Odukoya as its Acting Registrar/Chief Executive. In a statement, ICAN said the appointment follows the retirement of Mr Olutoyin Adeagbo Adepate on January 7, 2013. The appointment, which was approved by the Council of the Institute, took effect from January, 14, this year. Prior to his appointment, he was Deputy Registrar, Administration Services. Before his appointment, Mr. Odukoya had served in various capacities in the Institute. He joined ICAN as Director, Examinations on June 1, 2004 and assisted in the elimination of

manually generated examination dockets, posting of the examination results on the ICAN website, introduction of online registration for Professional Examination and review of the credit system. He was also Director, Financial Services. Before joining ICAN, Odukoya had worked in both the private and public sectors for over 21 years. He started his working career at the Federal Audit department (now Office of the Auditor- General of the Federation) from 1977 to 1987. He left as a Senior Auditor. Between then and when he joined ICAN, he had was Company Secretary/Accountant and later, Management Accountant in Odua Group of Companies from 1987 to 1991, among others.

CHANGE -10.00 -8.96 -5.26 -4.99 -4.93 -4.93 -4.71 -4.65 -4.43 -4.30

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW

MPR

R

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

Feb. ’11

July ’11

Dec ’11

6.50%

6.50%

12%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

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

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 1-02-13

SYMBOL FLOURMILL ROYALEX DANGFLOUR CCNN HONYFLOUR ETERNA JOHNHOLT MORISON VITAFOAM CONTINSURE

ICAN appoints acting registrar

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

Currency OBB Rate Call Rate

sectors was borne out of the deep appreciation of the critical importance of the sectors as catalysts for the growth and development of the economy.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido

DATA BANK

Tenor

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

ment for private sector funding of the required investments in the power sector. He noted the potential impact of stable and adequate power supply on the national economy pointing out inadequate power supply has been the bane of the underdevelopment and non-competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. He reiterated the commitments of banks to continuously explore ways of providing adequate and suitable finances to the three key sectors of power, agriculture and transportation adding that the Bankers’ Committee’s focus on these

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 137.41 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 142.61 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.80 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.13 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.96 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,786.50 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 13.74 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 10,591.01 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 137.01 142.02 0.78 1.13 0.95 1.785.11 13.07 1.33 1.80 10,291.46 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


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NEWS

Robbers attack PDP Southsouth chair

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HE Southsouth Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Steve Oru, at the weekend escaped death after an attack by armed bandits. Oru was shot and is receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. It was gathered that robbers laid ambush for travellers between Orhokpokpor-Agbarho and Uwiamughe-Agbarho on the East/West Road. The source said a yet-tobe identified woman was shot when she attempted to escape into the bush. Oru’s police orderly, simply identified as Ofor, was

‘Oru was shot in the back as he was trying to run into the bush. Many others were also injured as the robbers shot sporadically into the air’ From Polycarp Orosevwotu and Shola O’Neil, Warri

also killed when he attempted to engage the robbers in a gun battle.

The source said: “Oru was shot in the back as he was trying to run into the bush. “Many others were also injured as the robbers shot sporadically into the air. “As I speak with you, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is very concerned about Dr Oru’s condition. “He has directed that he should be transferred to another hospital. “The governor yesterday directed that the PDP ViceChairman be transferred from the Ughelli Central Hospital to the State Teaching Hospital at Oghara. “The governor again yes-

terday said he should be transferred to another hospital to enable him access better health care facilities.” In a related development, the police aide to former House member Ndidi Elumelu was killed on the Orhia-Abarka-Eku Road by suspected robbers. A source said Elumelu’s convoy was attacked by the robbers. A senior police officer attached to the State Police Command confirmed the two attacks. But police spokesman Famous Ajieh said Elumelu was not on the convoy during the attack.

CAN: el-Rufai spoiling for war HE Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday said the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir elRufai, wanted war over his comments on the tweeter page. CAN said el-Rufai has posted another response, which is insulting to the Christian faith. A statement issued in Abuja by the General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, said: “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has noted with seri-

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Edo, NTA to partner

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HE Edo State Government and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Benin Network Centre, are to partner on service delivery, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, has said. Ihonvbere said this known when NTA Zonal Director, Mrs. Pauline Igbanor, visited the Government House at the weekend in Benin City. The SSG said the government is happy and proud to be associated with NTA. He said:”As a Nigerian, I can confirm that the services of NTA has improved tremendously. It is indisputable that you have the widest coverage in Africa which is deplored to quality information dissemination, education, mobilisation, entertainment, and building of the country’s image. We need to commend NTA.

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

ous concern the unrepentant and unremorseful conduct of the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, in respect of the inflammatory and utterly disgraceful comment he made about the Christian faith and the person of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Despite our warning that he should stop such comments that carry chains of implications, last Thursday, a day after our reaction to his insulting comment, he re-tweeted as fol-

lows: ‘To those who see clearly, whose minds are not clouded by sheer religiosity, there is nothing insulting about the tweet’. “With this re-tweet, CAN believes that el-Rufai is set on a warpath with the millions of Christians in Nigeria. We must say that unlike others, Christians do not shed blood, take life, kill or maim others at the slightest provocation. Nevertheless, we warn el-Rufai not to take Christians for granted and to inform him that it is with great difficulty that we have had to restrain our youths

from taking the law into their hands; which by extension means bringing elRufai to justice on account of his incitement and insult against the Christian faith. We may not be able to guarantee this restraint next time he makes any other explosive statement that impugns on the Person of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is, again, warned to desist from playing this dangerous and deadly game of Russian Roulette. A word they say is enough for the wise.”

ICTP hails Nigeria on innovative tourist products

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HE International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) has sent a congratulatory message to Nigeria for introducing tourist visa cards to ease the burden of tourists carrying cash in the country and a biometric registration system for the tourism industry workers. This followed a meeting at a tourism trade fair, FITUR, between Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and Minister Alain St. Ange of the Seychelles. In a statement released in Madrid, Spain by the organisation, a co-founder of the internationally-acclaimed body, Mr. Ange, also lauded Nigeria for its efforts at curbing fraudulent tendencies in the industry. Ange, the Minister of Tourism and Culture in Seychelles, hailed the efforts at repositioning the tourism industry in Nigeria with international standards and best practices.

‘We in ICTP are pleased with these development and innovations in Nigeria. We believe the new products are good for tourism growth on the continent’ He said: “We in ICTP are pleased with these development and innovations in Nigeria. We believe the new products are good for tourism growth on the continent. “ICTP is encouraging other countries in Africa to do what Nigeria has done for the growth of tourism in their countries. “We encourage other countries in Africa to introduce these products to ease the movements of tourists, who

would not carry cash because people don’t carry cash across borders any longer.” On the introduction of biometric registration, the ICTP said it viewed the development as a right step at instilling confidence in tourists in line with global standard and best practices. It noted that the biometric registration would ensure that the CVs of hotel workers are available to all tourism establishments prior to the recruitment of new workers. “This will remain an internal confidential data base for the tourism industry. It is an innovative system and Africa will be watching how it develops as it will ensure hotels have the latest information on the tourism workforce. “We are pleased that Nigeria has taken this step. We hope other countries will do the same.”

JTF arrests Warri chief

A

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

WARRI businessman and spokesman of Ugborodo community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, Ayiri Emami, was yesterday arrested by the Joint Task Force (JTF). Emami was reportedly picked up by the JTF for allegedly instigating the shutdown of the strategic Chevron Gas Pipeline project in the area. The Nation gathered that Emami, who is the Akulagba of Warri, was picked up after his kinsmen shut down the facility over Chevron’s alleged refusal to provide electricity to the Itsekiri community. Emami, a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), confirmed his arrest in a telephone interview yesterday. He said: “It is true I was arrested by the JTF but I have just been released now.” JTF spokesman Lt. Col Onyeama Nwachukwu confirmed the report. He said Emami was released on the condition that he would assist in resolving the impasse and ensure that the facility is reopened by the protesters.

A

‘Shun protest against Kuku’

GROUP, Coalition for National Development, has advised youths in the Niger Delta to support the Federal Government’s amnesty programme. Its National Coordinator, Femi Osabinu, appealed to the youths to shun attempts by politicians to use them against the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Kingsley Kuku. In a statement, the group

urged youths to shun a proposed protest against Kuku as such move is the handiwork of selfish individuals. “Our attention has been drawn to an attempt by a group, Niger Delta Activists Forum, to stage a 500-man protest tagged: ‘Kuku must go’ for no reason. This must be discouraged without hesitation. “Our organisation condemns such act and urges youths to disregard such act.”

New archbishop for Calabar From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

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ISHOP of Uyo Diocese of the Catholic Church Bishop Joseph Ekuwem has been transferred to Calabar as Archbishop of the Calabar Archdiocese by the Papacy. He replaces Archbishop Joseph Ukpo, who retired having reached the retirement age of 75. Sources at the Calabar Archdiocese, who confirmed Ekuwem’s appointment yesterday, said the date for the installation of the new archbishop is yet to be announced.

Dickson gives N500m to pensioners

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AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson has presented a N500million cheque to pensioners. Presenting the cheque to the Head of Civil Service, Sir Frazer Okuoru, who is also the Chairman of the Pensions and Gratuity Verification Committee, Dickson urged the committee to ensure adequate and proper disbursement of the funds to genuine retirees. He said the release of the N500 million signals the first installment as the government intends to disburse in tranches to clear the arrears.

His words: “I urge the committee to painstakingly verify the names of all the supposed retirees and do it in such a way that only genuine and verified persons benefit. “I say so because we still have the problem of ghost workers, although we are trying to address it.” The governor said the problem predates his administration. He assured retirees and civil servants that the administration would not play politics with their welfare.

Corps member killed From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

A

NATIONAL Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member was at the weekend killed by suspected robbers in a bus on the Bomadi–Ohoror Road in Delta State. One of the passengers, Ogodogu Brass, said they ran into the robbers at Ode Bridge. Brass said after they escaped, they heard the corps member, identified as Akrigbe Akpesiri, who was sitting at the back groaning in pains. He said: “The corps member was shouting that he has been shot. “He bled all through and before he could be taken to a hospital, he died and the body was taken to a private mortuary in Ughelli.”

FOREIGN NEWS Memorial service for Brazil victims

Oprah Winfrey hit with lawsuit

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PRAH Winfrey’s OWN Network has been hit with a lawsuit by a former employee. Carolyn Hommel, who was hired as the senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at the network in 2010, filed a lawsuit today claiming that she was the victim of sexual discrimination. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Hommel claims that she was replaced when she took medical leave during her pregnancy.

Hommel says that her duties were slowly taken away from her and given to a temporary employee. When she returned to the office, Hommel was no longer allowed to attend meetings. Gossip Cop reports that Hommel was fired about a month after giving birth to her daughter. Hommel reapplied for a job at the company but the lawsuit claims that her boss, Michael Garner, gave a false

performance review to prevent her from getting another job at the OWN Network. The lawsuit claims that Garner’s review “made Hommel’s job duties and responsibilities appear less ‘senior’ and therefore not a candidate for the new vice president position.” Garner is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. It’s been a rough week for Oprah. In addition to getting hit with a lawsuit by a former employee, Oprah also in-

S •Ms Winfrey

jured herself while opening birthday presents earlier this week.

PECIAL services are being held in Brazil in memory of the 237 people who died in a nightclub fire in the city of Santa Maria a week ago. More than 4,000 people attended a service in Santa Maria itself on Saturday night, and a silent vigil was held in front of the nightclub, Kiss. Santa Maria’s mayor says he plans to turn the building into a memorial site. The death toll rose to 237 on Sunday after a 22-year-old man died of injuries sustained in the fire. More than 100 people remain in hospital. Medical kits have been flown in from the US to treat survivors who were exposed to the dangerous fumes. Two owners of the nightclub and two band members have been arrested. Special services were held in cities across Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, where Santa Maria is located. In Santa Maria itself, people dressed in white and placed flowers and posters in memory of those who had lost their lives.


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NEWS

Abuja residents petition Jonathan on planned demolition of N160b estate

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ESIDENTS of a mass housing estate in Abuja, under the auspices of Saraha ProForm Estate Residents Association, have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan on the planned demolition of the N160 billion estate. In the petition by Oluwasegunotta Ojo and Maureen Ibikwe, the Chairman and Secretary of the association, the residents on January 4, 2013, said they bought property at the estate between 2009 and 2012 through a man they identified simply as Alhaji Kabiru, the Chairman/CEO of Saraha Homes Limited. The residents said they had completed payment and taken

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

possession of their houses without hindrance from anybody until recently. The petition reads: “It would be important to inform you, sir, that at the commencement of our transactions with Saraha Homes Limited, we demanded to see the original allocation paper of the plot. We were shown a copy of the letter of offer issued in the name of Proform (West Africa) Limited. “We were also made to understand that there was a partnership agreement between Proform (West Africa) Limited and Saraha Homes Limited. A copy of the said partnership agreement was also shown to us by the Chairman/CEO of

Saraha Homes Limited. We were also shown a copy of a letter of authority investing power on the Chairman/CEO of Saraha Homes Limited to manage and superintend the estate.” The residents said searches conducted at the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) confirmed that the land was allocated in the name of Proform (West Africa) Limited, adding Sahara Homes issued them offer letters to possess their property. In the petition, which was also sent to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the National Assembly, the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector-General of Police, among

others, the residents also complained that on January 31, 2013, they discovered that about 60 armed soldiers with 50 armed policemen dressed in bullet-proof vests had besieged the estate, cordoned off the entrances and made sure nobody left or came into the estate. They urged the President to direct appropriate authorities of the FCDA, especially the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to resolve the matter in their favour to save them from the trauma they are undergoing in the hands of Winning Clause Limited and the Development Control Department of the FCTA.

ACN alleges plot to sack Offa council chief

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HE KWARA State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday alleged a fresh plot by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to sack the only ACN chairman, Prince Saheed Popoola, using the recent Offa/Erin-Ile crisis as a smokescreen. In a statement in Ilorin, the ACN Chairman Kayode Olawepo said the party “has it on good authority that the leadership of the Kwara State PDP has resolved to hide under the recent Offa/ Erin-Ile crisis to remove the only ACN chairman in Offa council by dissolving the council”. Olawepo accused the PDP of hiding under the crisis to achieve its long-standing aim of ridding Kwara of opposition by removing the only chairman elected on the platform of the ACN. The statement reads: “This is the latest evil plan of the desperate PDP after previous plots to remove the chairman have failed. “This latest plan is condemnable and reeks of hypocrisy and

cheap politics. It will fail! It is on record that the Offa Chairman has since four months ago, long before the outbreak of the recent violence, intimated the PDP-led state government of suspicion that some elements were planning to unleash violence on the two communities. He not only wrote to the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), he also attended a meeting convened in Ilorin to devise strategies to maintain peace. “We, therefore, see as mischievous and predetermined attempts to hide under this security challenge to dissolve the council and remove the chairman. If the state government, which equally had prior knowledge of the situation, could not forestall the outbreak of violence. Any attempt to blame the Offa chairman for the violence is cruel and suspicious. The PDP perhaps sees the crisis as the cheapest means of achieving the evil plot to rid Kwara of opposition by all means, however unfair and crooked.”

Kwara relaxes curfew on warring communities

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HE Kwara State Government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew it imposed on Offa and Erin-Ile communities following the clashes among the residents. The government said its action is to enable Muslims and Christians to observe their religion obligations. Alhaji Isiaka Gold, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), gave the directive in a

statement in IIorin, the state capital. The statement directed Muslims and Christians in both communities to use the relaxed period for Fridays and Sundays for religious purposes. Gold said the relaxation was as a result of satisfactory onthe-spot assessment of the situation in the two communities.

The statement said movement would be allowed between noon and 6pm on Fridays and between morning and 2pm on Sundays. It, however, said the 24-hour curfew would continue to operate on other days besides Fridays and Sundays. Also, Alhaji Najeem Yasin, the President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on Friday

urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to investigate the causes of the crisis. Yasin spoke at Offa after inspecting scenes of the crisis. He described the level of destruction and loss of lives in the two feuding communities as enormous. Yasin appealed to the communities to give peace a chance and adopt amicable means of settlement.

Kwankwaso inaugurates varsity’s board •Swears in members of state electoral body

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ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has inaugurated the reconstituted Governing Council of the state’s University of Science and Technology, Wudil. The council has Mr A. B. Mahmud as Chairman, with representatives from several interest groups, including the National Universities Commission (NUC). During a brief ceremony at the Council Chamber of the

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

Government House, Kano, Kwankwaso recalled that his administration established the university between 1999 and 2003. The governor said on his return to power in 2011, he discovered that it was comatose. He said the new council was put in place to work with the management of the university to make it live up its vision of being an outstand-

ing citadel of learning. The governor also presided over the swearing-in of the chairman and members of the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC), which is saddled with the conduct of local government election. The commission has Dr. Sani Lawan as Chairman with Isma’ila Idris Garba, Umar Liman, Zainab Usman Bichi and Abdulqadir Inusa Butalawa as members.

•Kwankwaso

Ilorin elders sue Kwara for sale of communal land

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HE face-off over the alleged sale of some ancestral lands in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, has taken a legal twist as some senior indigenes have filed a suit at the Ilorin High Court restraining the state government from transferring public ownership of such land to private businesses. The suit centres on the alleged sale or intention to sell what the claimants called the communal-owned Old Yidi Praying Ground, also called the Ilorin Amusement Park. The disputed land is home to the statue of the “Unknown Soldier”. The litigants are: Dr Ajibola Saliu Ajia, Dr. Saad Omoiya and Alhaji Saleh Duro Garba, all elder statesmen with deep family roots in Ilorin. They averred that the land has been used as Ilorin Muslim community’s praying ground since 1904. The plaintiffs explained that it was in 1977, during the regime of Brig. George Innih, the Military Governor of Kwara State, the Ilorin Eid (Yoruba: Yidi) praying ground was moved to the present praying ground at the Adinimonle (now Irewolede)

Area of Ilorin, following an increase in Muslim population. They said the old Eid (Yidi) was then converted to a publicowned Amusement Park, a project that was/is meant to serve the interests of the public. They said: “The land was never at any time acquired by any government but was part of the Ilorin community’s decisions and contributions to the Islamic religious rites, practices and festivals of the community and later for the beautification of the Ilorin town and to serve as tourism, recreational, relaxation and events centre for the people of Ilorin and the citizens of the state.” Besides the state government and some of its agents, also joined in the suit as defendants are: the alleged buyer of the land, Artee Industry Limited – owners of ‘Park and Shop’ – and Mrs Toyin Saraki, wife of former Governor Bukola Saraki, who the plaintiff accused of using her position as the then governor’s wife to facilitate the sale of the land to Artee. They claimed in a writ of summons filed before the court that 80 per cent of the proceeds from the sale went to Mrs Saraki.


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NEWS $67b: Jonathan’s, Obasanjo’s aides battle rages on Continued from page 2

clared. Fani- Kayode added: “Port Harcourt International Airport was closed on December 10, 2005, after the Sossolisso Air crash in which 100 people were killed. The crash affected the runway of the airport very badly and consequently, the then Minister of Aviation, Professor Babalola Borishade closed it. “I was redeployed from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to the Ministry of Aviation in November 2006. This was 11 months after the Sossolisso crash took place and that Port Harcourt Airport had been closed. “It is clear from the foregoing that I was not the one that shut down Port Harcourt Airport. When I took over at Aviation, my priority was to carry out all the necessary repairs at Port Harcourt Airport and to open it as quickly as possible. “I was saddened to discover that in the previous 11 months before I got there, nothing had been done and the contract to repair the runway had not even been awarded. “Consequently, within a month of my being appointed Minister of Aviation, we set to work and awarded the contract to Julius Berger at the cost of N3billion. 50 per cent of the

money was paid upfront and Julius Berger set to work immediately. The runway was fully completed and the airport in pristine condition before I left office on May 29, 2007, just six months after I awarded the contract. “However, despite this, the airport could not be opened before we left because the runway lighting system was still in the process of being installed. The Yar’Adua government went ahead and opened the airport a few months after we left office even though the runway lights had still not been installed. “The record shows that from the day that I was appointed Minister of Aviation and the time that our mandate ran out seven months later, my staff at the Ministry and Julius Berger, worked night and day on the runway project at Port Harcourt International Airport in order to ensure that we finished it in record time. “And this we managed to do. It was my project. I sourced the money for it, I paid for it, I forced the contractor to move fast on it and I finished it. The fact that the Yar’Adua administration did not complete the lighting system and open the airport for another few months after we left office, even though the runway was ready, is for

them to explain and not for me. “Even though nothing was done at that airport for 11 months before I got to Aviation, once I was appointed, we swung into action immediately. “I repeat that it was under my watch that work commenced, that it was rebuilt, that it was completed and that it was fully restored and after that, the airport was ready to be fully utilized. “Given these facts, how Abati can peddle the lie that I was the one that not only closed the airport, but that I also kept it shut for two years, did nothing there, caused it to remain idle and allowed grass to grow all over it honestly baffles me.” With what Abati wrote, he said he could not come to any other conclusion “rather than the fact that Reuben Abati is a liar.” He added: “And not only is he a liar, that he is also a malicious liar. I have known him for many, many years. I never knew that serial lying is one of the things that are his hobbies. “And the fact that he can lie whilst he is Spokesman to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, may also be a reflection of the kind of government that we have in this country.”

Reps to investigate bribe-for-jobs allegation

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HE allegations of bribefor-jobs in the Federal Civil Service is to be investigated by the House of Representatives, Chairman, House Committee on Public Service Matters, Andrew Uchendu (PDP/Rivers), has said. Uchendu told reporters at the weekend revealed that sequel to the resolution passed by the House in December 2012, its Joint Committee on Public Service Matters, Employment, Labour and Productivity, AntiCorruption, National Ethics and Values to investigate the issue, the Joint Committee has held meetings and decided to

Global launch of ARISE NEWS Continued from page 2

ARISE 360 is a leading African media entrepreneur, Nduka Obaigbena, owner and publisher of the global glossy style, fashion and culture magazine, ARISE, and the publisher of several other titles including one of Nigeria’s biggest and most influential daily newspapers, THISDAY. Mr Obaigbena said: ‘We will attract a global audience interested in emerging markets, developing countries and evolving politics. With headquarters and bureaux throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, we are ready to speak to our audience and give them a voice as well. ‘We are a new international network established to reflect the new world order not hardwired to the old and built to reflect the modern way news is consumed. Nowhere is this more important than in the emerging economies.’ Mr Obaigbena stressed: ‘There will be no state funding and no state agenda. Our coverage will be balanced, comprehensive and completely independent. ‘Our efforts will concentrate on robust journalism anchored on imperatives of the marketplace.’

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

invite memoranda from the MDAs and the Federal Civil Service Commission over the allegations. The lawmaker said the joint committee has requested the MDAs to send to it not only the recruitments between 2007 and 2012, but the processes leading to them as well. His words: “A number of Nigerians have written petitions complaining that they have been shortchanged in various recruitment exercises into the public service. “We want to take a second look at some of our key policies such as federal character, quota system and zoning because experience has shown that they have become indirect ways of enthroning mediocrity in the

polity. “We think that it is time for Nigeria to go back and enthrone meritocracy in the conduct of all our affairs, particularly in the civil service which is the engine room of governance.” Uchendu said the Federal Civil Service Commission is promoting mediocrity and incompetence through faulty recruitment system, adding that it is generally believed that the civil service had lost its pride and is a catalyst of poor service delivery and bad governance in the country. PUBLIC NOTICE CHANGE OF NAME This is to notify the general public that the village formally known and addressed as UMUAVURU-ANI VILLAGE now wish to be known and addressed as UMUEZE VILLAGE. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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SPORT EXTRA

How we caged Drogba, by Obaobona, Omerou S

UPER Eagles’ duo of Godfrey Obaobona and Kenneth Omerou have told NationSport how they combined to cage Didier Drogba from causing any damage in the AFCON 2013 quarter-final clash between Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The Sunshine Stars of Akure skipper in a chat conducted after the victory over the Elephants at the mixed zone of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, hinted that: “Like I told you in the oneon-one talk we had in our last Group C game against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia, I did categorically state that big names don’t play football. “With due respect to the former African Player of the Year, he is a fantastic player as he has achieved a lot with Chelsea. I was just composed, didn’t give him space and above all the dedication and team work in the defence against the Ivoirians was the reason for our success. So, I am happy that he didn’t score against us.” On what went through his mind when Tiote equalised, the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA) product

From Rasaq Oboirien in Rustenburg

said that:”I was a bit down as it was a cheap goal we conceded. I didn’t let it demoralise me but went on

pushing and at the end, Sunday Nba scored the winner for us.” For Samsung Fair play winner, Kenneth Omerou: “It was a good that is as good as wining the AFCON

trophy. “We knew they had good players, but we didn’t let that get into our head as we had to stick to the instruction of the coaches, which at the end it proved positive for us.”

I was nervous during the game – Yobo •Says he won’t retire now

S

UPER Eagles’ captain, Joseph Yobo has confessed that he was a little bit nervous during yesterday game against the Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire. "It was a kind of game I would have loved to play. In football you have to be recognised with this kind of game. I love to play a big game. I was just praying that

From Taofeek and Innocent Rustenburg we needed the match and thank God that victory came our way. We started very well and I was just praying that we zeal it up. We scored and they equalised and I was a little bit nervours. It was a great one not only for us but the whole country."

Obagol nets goal No 7

N

•Reuben Gabriel of Nigeria and Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast during the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations Quarterfinal football match

We won’t think of final now —Mikel From Taofeek Babalola, Rustenburg

S

UPER Eagles’ midfielder, John Obi Mikel has said that the team is focused on the semifinal game against Mali and not thinking about final at the moment. The Chelsea of England midfielder said the team won't allow yesterday’s quarter final victory over the Elephants of Cote D'Ivore get over them and will take the remaining games one after the other. He commended the team for a great achievement against Cote D'Ivoire. "It was a great game no doubt but we thank God that we won. It was not an easy game but we thank God the victory came our way. We are not thinking of final now, we still have semi final to be played. We have to take it as one game at a time, hopefully we will try and play well like we did today in the semi final against Mali. And if we manage to go through, we will be happy with ourselves. I think we have to play semi final first before we begin to think of final."

•Mikel

IGERIAN striker, Obafemi Martins scored his seventh goal of the season in Spain’s La Liga on Saturday. Martins’ effort on 87 minutes proved inadequate for his club, Levante UD as they went down 2-3 to RCD Espanyol at Estadio CornelláEl Prat. The Nigerian’s consolation for Los Granotes was well-taken as he slotted home into the top right hand corner after getting a pass from Jose Javier Barkero and finishing the move with a left-footed shot. The 28-year-old was impressive all night as he racked up four shots on target in the game. It was the most of any Levante player in the game. Martins, controversially left out of the Nigeria squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, has 37 caps for the national team. He has scored 18 goals for the Super Eagles since making his debut in 2004.

•Martins

Rising Stars players protest sale of club •Petitions Governor Mimiko

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HE planned bid of Ondo State Football Agency to sell the Nigeria National League slot of Rising Stars Football Club of Ondo-town, last week witnessed a turn around as the club players protest against the decision. The players we can authoritatively report shun last week training sessions and proceeded to the Ondo State Government Office, Alagbaka, Akure carrying placards protesting against the Chief Segun Adagunodoled OSFA and Ondo State Commissioner for Sports, Alhaji Yekini Olanipekun, decision to sell the club slot to Fountain FC of Ado-Ekiti. We gathered that discussion is at advanced stage between OSFA and the Ekiti State Ministry of Sports to acquire Rising Stars slot for Fountain FC and both party has reach compromise to sell the slot for #5million. We further gathered that Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, attended to the players and appeal to them that they should put their grieviance into writing, promising that he would treat their matter as a matter of urgency. "We have protested against the decision of OSFA to sell the club slot, what would be

our future if they sell the slot? Rising Stars is our hope to reach our climax. Moreso, selling it will mean we will be clubless," one of the aggrieved players said in a message. "I don't know why Rising Stars is subject of sale, Sunshine Stars players are earning #650, 000 as salary, while we earn just #25, 000, what is our sin? Whereas, we voted for the return of Mimiko, which Sunshine players never did, because they were at Egypt during the election." "We are indigenes of the state, meanwhile Chief Adagunodo is not an indigene, so he lose nothing by selling the team to foreigner like him." Most of the team last season players have been promoted to Sunshine stars, and we also learnt that last season 100 percent sign-on fee has not been paid. Bulk of the players recruited by the club technical crew led by Sunday Erelesusi, are indigenes of Ondo State mostly from the state own football academy, so as to curb the agency from investing too much in the team. It will be recalled that a fortnight ago, OSFA declared intention to put the club for sale acting on the instruction of the state government.


THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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WHO SAID WHAT

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

‘We must say that unlike others, Christians do not shed blood, take life, kill or maim others at the slightest provocation. Nevertheless, we warn el-Rufai not to take Christians for granted’

CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN)

VOL 8 NO 2,392

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

“W

HOSO neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead forever.” Euripides

We cannot avoid our past, and what fires our memories are incidents of childhood and adolescence. Those were the formative years when energies abounded and rippled with raw activities, minds were malleable, idealism gaped with errors. We had imagination without judgment and strength unseasoned with guile. It calls to mind the Chinese proverb, “when I was young I never had the ex perience; when I was old I never had the strength.” We recast the world in the miniatures of our daily dreams. The world was about the scent of the next meal, the classroom hectoring bully, and the football game yesterday when we scored or fluffed a penalty shot, or the coruscating Sunday suit. It was also the love of mother that haunted sometimes like rebuke and the overarching shadow of father that chastened like love. Home intertwined with school, but in the last analysis, we were men and women in the mould of what parents and teachers imparted. This article is paean to teachers, and it is inspired by a recent inquiry about Ekiti State education. I discovered that many of the teachers who have kicked against the teacher test launched by Governor Kayode Fayemi paid to have their wards in private schools. With their own pockets and parental powers, they have vetoed out the public school. It is a vote of no confidence in themselves. It is a surrender to institutional decay. It is a cynical rejection of progress for the collective but triumph for individual greed. It is the ultimate tribute to primitive capitalism in an ironic bulwark against talent. Above all, they gave a verdict of failure to themselves even without taking the tests. The tests came to public attention first in Kwara State when former Governor Bukola Saraki’s move exposed teachers who should have surrendered to tutorials from their students. Some students turned out to be better than their teachers, an absurdist echo of Fela’s teacher don’t teach me nonsense. Other states have done same, one of which is Yuguda’s Bauchi State. Teachers are important. So also are parents. Education researches identify two critical factors in education. One is parental background. The other one is teachers. The parent plays a critical role because parents spend more time in a child’s life, especially from age zero to eight, according to the findings of Sigmund Freud. The parents show example by way of either stressing the importance of reading, or value of success through schools. Parents can, by irony, also make children good at school. Some children have been

SAM OMATSEYE

IN TOUCH

intouchsam@yahoo.com 08054501081(sms only) •NMMA Columnist of the Year

Ode to teachers

•Dr Fayemi

drawn to education by the stark poverty of their parents or lack of finesse or sophistication by comparison to what they see around them. My father, Moses, always told his children that education was the only thing he owed them. He told me stories about how his power of sight diminished. It was, as he narrated, because his stepmothers denied him access to lamps and his father seemed impotent about that injustice. He hid in the kitchen when all had slept and read by the faint illuminations of expiring pieces of firewood. He was his own hero and his own prophet. As a hero, he triumphed with little resources. As a prophet, he saw that education provided his only escape out of the poverty that loomed ahead. He often related to vignettes from Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s autobiography, My Early Life, because it reminded him of his own struggles. Some parents have gone into debts to pay for their children’s schooling. No regrets about that. Governments do not have as much power to influence parental attitudes and pressures

as they have in schools. Other than give the tools, the suitable classrooms and all the necessary infrastructure, the focus is inevitably on teacher quality. Why have some Nigerian students, with apparently inferior tools and classroom conditions, gone ahead to best their fellow students in Europe and North America? Much credit must go to their teachers, beginning from their primary schools. If you had the kind of primary school teacher I had in Methodist School, Oke Ado, Ibadan, you won’t have problems with your tenses. Mrs. Sonoiki’s voice still rings in my ears today. Stern, thorough and a disciplinarian, Mrs. Sonoiki reeled out the tenses, what was acceptable and what was forbidden. And we understood the principle. In Government College, Ughelli, how can I forget the charismatic Principal Demas Akpore and how he taught poetry? His class was on Leopold Senghor’s poems that still dance in my head today. It was only once he taught my class and it seemed he taught me forever. Mr. Esareture and Mr. Adeyan brought history to life in the way they dramatised the lives and heroics of dead men. I can see Esareture even today as he summarised in a few sentences the history of Sierra-Leone. I see Adeyan dab across the blackboard gesticulating about the Niger Delta city states. These two men made me study history as my

Babatope at 70

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OR those of us who knew Ebenezer Babatope in his hey days as Ebino Topsy, we did not envisage that this is what he would be at 70. For me, it was not Ebino Topsy who turned 70 recently, it was Ebenezer Babatope. Ebino Topsy was the devoted Awoist, feisty with ideological clarity, planted on the left, unsparing in his barb at Awo’s opponents, a stout progressive. But it is an irony that Ebino Topsy was dumped by Ebenezer Babatope. To paraphrase Poet Wordsworth, the child is the father of the man. Babatope is the apostate, Ebino Topsy the faithful and son. Ebino Topsy could not be a PDP chieftain weeping publicly. Awo must also have wept in his grave over this show of capital apostasy. Happy birthday!

HARDBALL

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OME 11 days after Governors Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Gabriel Suswan of Benue and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers visited ailing Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State in London and swore he was in fine fettle, even pressing to return home, Akpabio has reportedly told the media on his arrival from London on Friday that this time the Enugu State governor would return in two weeks. The first time the three governors spoke to the press on the controversial subject, they only indicated that the governor was on his feet and had made a sensational recovery. Now, according to Akpabio, a timetable for Chime’s return has been set. Two weeks is a short time; it will soon pass. And in any case what is two weeks compared with the more than four months Chime has spent in hospital, away from the splendour of State House? When the Enugu State governor’s long absence first assumed controversial dimension, with some political interests in the state asking for the application of either the Doctrine of Necessity or some other constitutional imperatives to declare

major at Ife. My epiphany about literature was lit on a television screen by Professor Theo Vincent. In those days, he reviewed books every Sunday afternoon for about ten minutes. His covered a wide sweep from African to European to American books. It was from him I understood the whys and hows of literature. He provided me with the background to understand literature that was expanded by the classes I took at Ife under able teachers like Biodun Jeyifo, Tess Onwueme, Ropo Sekoni, Adebayo Williams and Chima Anyadike. We had a small television set then, only a little bigger than a transistor radio. But my father knew that all was to be quiet at home every Sunday for my ritual date with the bearded literary apparition on television. My insight into history was enriched by two men: Professor Femi Omosini and Professor B.O Oloruntimehin. Omosini, in his shirt and trouser, bearing no notes, taught European history as though he was dictating. We went to his class as to a concert. He was a model of the teacher who entertained rather than an entertainer who taught. Professor Oloruntimehin, more sombre, broke history down with gusto. It was as though he was solving riddles. Each sentence enlightened and his insights haunted us. Without these teachers I would not have met the enriching atmosphere of the Newswatch magazine of old under the trio of Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed. From Ray I learned how to bring imagination to journalism, generating stories and excavating perspectives. From Dan, I learned how to turn dreary sentences into journalistic beauty. From Yakubu, I learned how to pay attention to details. Governor Fayemi understands all these and that is why he sometimes echoes the point that his Christ School, Ado Ekiti, which stood shoulder high with the best in the country now lags behind because its teacher content has depleted. We learn every day, but when we first learn helps us unlearn a lot of distortion. My great journalistic hero today is Roger Rosenblatt, whose style and breadth I have taken after. But without the background of those who taught me, I don’t think I would have met Rosenblatt, or written this essay today.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Akpabio as Chime’s incongruous herald Chime incapacitated as a prelude to his replacement, his troubled aides swung into action to denounce what they described as uncharitable and amoral moves to unhorse the governor. The governor’s poor health was being malevolently politicised, they wailed. And just as the aides of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua employed subterfuge to throw curious citizens off the scent, Chime’s loyalists have also seized upon all the subterranean tactics they can find to both distract the governor’s opponents and denounce them for being so unfeeling. It was clear that to the aides, their principal’s health condition had become an emotional, not constitutional, thing. After observing the reactions of the three governors who purportedly visited Chime in London – whether in hospital or out of hospital, we do not know – and their curt replies to media inquiries, Hardball had on January 24 observed as follows: “It is

clear that neither Chime nor any of his three august visitors understood the issues involved, and indeed it is no surprise that most Nigerian governors are simply incapable of adapting to the governmental needs of the modern era. If Chime and his fanatical supporters had come clean on his health, regularly updated the public with news of the governor’s health condition, and not take the same electorate for granted, would there be speculations, let alone a wish for some hypothetical evil to befall him? The problem with Chime’s long absence is not whether the constitution had been breached or not; the problem is lack of good faith, disrespect for Enugu people, childish contrivances, and now additional verbal indiscretions from the visiting governors.” Now, quite unfortunately, Akpabio has seemed to magnify the lack of wisdom displayed by Enugu State officials in the management of their governor’s health crisis. It

must be reiterated that Enugu officials and Chime’s aides ought to have opened up on the governor’s health trips, give periodic updates, and if possible a timeline. A governor from another state is least qualified to fill that information gap. Indeed, it is incongruous and even insulting. Above all, it must scandalise us how governors, presidents and high state officials here treat their health crises with demeaning furtiveness. They all give the impression health problems are a metaphysical thing that must be hidden from prying eyes. Is this how barbarously low the country has sunk, or how backward it has become? After many months of lying unconscionably to the public, could Enugu officials finally and kindly issue an official press release on the governor’s health trip and date of return? And let us hope this time that the ‘fit as a fiddle’ governor will honour the timeline.

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The Nation February 04, 2013  

The Nation February 04, 2013