NWC members shun Tukur NEWS
•No more meeting with chair
Newspaper of the Year
News Gays, lesbians to get 14 years P7 Sports NFA asks Keshi for W/Cup list P23 Business Semenitari is Unity Bank’s MD P5
•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
VOL. 9, NO. 2727 MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Gusau gives conditions to accept minister’s job
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan may have enlisted Senate President David Mark to prevail on a former National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Aliyu Gusau to join his cabinet. Gen. Gusau, who has thrice turned down the offer to join Jonathan’s cabinet, is said to have given some conditions for return-
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
ing to the Federal Executive Council. A former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, may replace Senator Isaiah Balat whose nomination by Vice-President Namadi Sambo has generated a controversy. The battle for Niger State’s slot is intense, leading to a
meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Babangida Aliyu at the Presidential Villa. Some stakeholders and Presidency officials are in favour of ex-Governor Abdulkadir Kure, but the governor is in support of another nominee . One of the dropped ministers, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi from Niger State, is trying to
stage a comeback after her sack because of the rebellion of the G-7 governors. Her logic is that since Aliyu has reconciled with the President, she should be brought back to the cabinet. The Nation learnt that when attempts by the President to convince Gen. Gusau to return to the cabinet failed, he sought Mark’s assistance. Continued on page 60
•HOODLUMS ATTACK BORNO GOVERNOR P59 •PRESIDENT CAUTIONS THE ELDERLY P5
Shot senator flown to UK Police shoot Magnus Abe Baby, man feared dead Police: we used ‘minimum’ force From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
OCTORS were battling all yesterday to save Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, who was shot at a rally in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. He was flown to London, United Kingdom, last night after the doctors stabilised him. The rally by the Save Rivers Movement (SRM), a non-governmental organisation with affiliation to Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and the All Progressives Congress (APC), was smashed by policemen, who stormed the venue in Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and vans. The college of Arts and Science, Rumuola, was turned into a scene of madness. The police shot tear gas canisters at SRM supporters. Abe, 49, was shot twice by policemen with rubber bullets in his chest and leg, on the orders of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, leading to internal bleeding. A baby and a man were feared dead in the confusion. The shots knocked Abe, a former Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), off his feet. He was in severe shock. Worshippers in churches in the neighbourhood and residents battled to breathe as the teargas assaulted their nostrils. Sounds of gunshots filled the air. The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha, was injured. Abe was rushed to Krisany Medical Services, a private hospital in Port Harcourt, where he was stabilized before being flown to Britain for treatment. Okocha said the police were informed of the rally in an official letter. Abe, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Continued on page 4
•Senator Abe being moved from the Kelsey Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt to the airiport en route London...yesterday MORE PICTURES ON PAGE 4
Mbu, who is...an officer of the law turned the biggest violator... is the Alternate Inspector General who takes orders only from a conniving Presidency —APC
If we used live bullets, you know the implication. If a live bullet hits your hand, it will shatter the hand and if it hits the neck, the person is gone —Mbu
•SPORTS P23 •CEO P27 •INSURANCE P34 •TRANSPORTATION P35 •POLITICS P45
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Fed Govt u •43, 375 PHCN workers have been paid' •Oando powers 130 industries in Lagos
T • From left:Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan , Delta State Chairman Nigeria Legion, Major Daniel Amereh and Senator Ifeanyi Okowa at the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Inter-Denominational Thanksgivinig Service at Victory Baptist Church, Asaba...yesterday.
• From left: Commander, 435 Base Services Group, Nigerian Airforce Base, Air Cdr. Sunday Wukangha; representative of the Goc, 81 Div. Brig.-Gen. Ebenezer Oyefolu and Commander, 9 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Ohifeme Ejemai during the interdenominational service to commemorate the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Lagos ...yesterday.
• Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Chief Bassey Dan-Abia (second left); Akwa Ibom State representative on the board Etim Enyang (third left), Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. ToyeAbosade (left) inspecting the 600-metre Ibeno Bridge in Akwa Ibom State.
•Representatives of Oyo State Governor's wife, Mrs. Titi Adeware (left) and Mrs. Sandra Kolade (second left)receiving books donation for Educate A Rural’s Child (ERC) from HEBN Publishers Plc Chairman, Mr Ayo Ojeniyi in Ibadan...yesterday. With them is HEBN Managing Director Mrs. Olawepo Sogo. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI.
HE Federal Government is not happy with the managers of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Manitoba. The company was engaged to train and pass on skills to Nigerians in the next three years. Speaking with The Nation in Abuja at the weekend, Minister of Power Prof Chinedu Nebo said Manitoba has failed to transfer knowledge and skills to Nigerians in the TCN. He said: "Well, there is no problem actually with Manitoba and the Federal Government. It is just that we are not so pleased at the pace of work of Manitoba. Manitoba is supposed to take over the Transmission Company of Nigeria as managers and then pass on their skills to Nigerians who are there. "So, we have counterparts that should be trained and we really don't see that happening. And we have seen so many system collapses in the past year that we felt that they needed to be made to do more work than they are already doing. "There is no quarrels other than government expects Manitoba to do more than it is already doing now. We want to get value for our money and whenever we are not getting value for our money, we will complain and that is exactly what we are doing now." Nebo added: "If somebody tells you that he can train you to be a middleweight champion and he will do it in six months, and then at the end of the day by the third month, you are noticing that you are not making any progress, it is better for you to start crying in time. So that is what we are doing now. We want value for our money. So we want Manitoba to do a lot more than Manitoba is doing now." President Goodluck Jonathan, he said, will today flag off the government's solar energy programme for rural areas in the country not connected to the national grid in the next ten years. Nebo said two communities, Durumi and Shafe, in the Federal Capital Territory is now powered by solar energy as a pilot project to attract the private sector to tap the opportunities available in exploiting solar energy in the country. He said: "Frankly, what we did is pilot demonstration because not just government, we are working on the legal framework. We will invite the private sector too. We have done it to show people that it is possible without being connected to the national grid to have 24/7 power supply in a remote community that might not see national grid for the next ten years. "We have proved it. It is possible. Mr. President has already approved that it be done in every senatorial district in the country. It is during the second pilot that the state governments, local governments and private individuals who want to do it and make money will come in. "So, we are just showing that there is a big boom for the future of solar energy in Nigeria and that rural communities, agrarian communities, local manufacturers, small and medium enterprises in the rural areas, they can all benefit and be fully powered whether or not they are connected to the national grid. We want to open the door to the private sector because they will move faster. They have more money."
•PHCN workers: BPE says close to 44,000 of them have been paid severance package. PHOTO: NAN.
From Yomi Odunuga and Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) yesterday said it had settled the gratuity and pension of 43, 375 former workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The Head, Public Communications, Mr Chigbo Anichebe, said, in a statement, that the beneficiaries were among 47,913 workers presented to the government at the beginning of the privatisation process. Anichebe said it became imperative for the bureau to make the clarification because of a recent allegation by the National Union of Electricity Employees that 25, 000 former PHCN staff had yet to be paid. "To effect the payment of the 43, 375 staff, the bureau has remitted N361,024,432,338.48 to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation. "That brings the payment made with regards to the validated staff to 94.79 per cent of the workforce. Validation of another 2,382 has been concluded and payments are in process. ``This brings the total number of staff verified to 45, 757 or 95.5 per cent of the purported staff strength of PHCN. "Furthermore, the committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, is still working tirelessly to validate the remaining 4.5 per cent of the workforce. "These are purported staff that the committee has so far not been able to obtain documents to validate their claims to being staff of PHCN. ``The union is very much aware of this. `` Does the union want government to pay ghost workers?" he asked. Anichebe said that the remaining 4.5 per cent who had yet to be paid had issues of irregular staff identities, duplication in staff numbers and names. He said some had issues, such as the lack of or irregular Retirement Savings Account (RSA) pin and account numbers. "In some cases, the beneficiaries failed to sign or thumb-print their benefit statements or inserted wrong passport photographs. ``There were also a few cases of corrupted biometric data or pictures. "Most of these have been addressed by fresh biometric captures as was done for Enugu Disco. Some staff also failed to supply the new NUBAN account numbers. "All these, the leadership of labour
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
unhappy with TCN manager Manitoba
We have counterparts that should be trained and we really don't see that happening. And we have seen so many system collapses in the past year that we felt that they needed to be made to do more work than they are already doing are aware of, since they are members of the Presidential Committee on the Resolution of PHCN Labour Issues," he said. Anichebe called on stakeholders to be patient, stressing that such issues were normal in any exercise involving such huge numbers but that they were being resolved. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Oando Gas and Power, Mr Bolaji
Osunsanya, has said about 130 industrial customers had been connected to its gas pipeline grid for their electricity needs. Osunsanya disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He also said the company had embarked on the expansion of its gas pipeline in Lagos to ensure steady supply of ``clean, safe and environ-
ment-friendly gas fuels''. The target, he said, was to keep the industries running profitably. The CEO disclosed that 14 new customers would be hooked to the company's gas grid, once the expansion of the Ijora to Marina pipeline was completed. According to him, the new pipeline will serve other areas including Apogbon, Marina and Lagos Island.
``The enumerated customers on the new project will be about 14 customers but is not about the number but the quantum of gas in use. ``We are targeting about 10 megawatts on Marina and also some potential customers within Ijora axis. ``We are excited about the size of purchase of gas by customers and not the number of customers connected to the segment,'' he told NAN.
Osunsanya said that cost efficiency and environmental friendliness were some of the reasons why many companies opted to use gas for their operations. The CEO said the project, which started in 1999, had recorded tremendous patronage by companies in Lagos, adding that the services would be extended to other parts of the country and West Africa.
U.S.: Boko Haram uprising could spread
N alarming United States (U.S.) travel advisory warns that the Boko Haram uprising could expand out of the North and counsels against travel to 16 states, saying Americans have suffered violent crimes from kidnappings and rape to home invasions. The advisory says nine foreign nationals including Americans died last year in kidnappings in southwest Nigeria, three of them killed by their captors during military-led rescue raids. The advisory posted at the U.S. State Department website and dated Jan. 8 tells citizens to expect little help from law enforcers known for harassing and shaking down foreigners and Nigerians at checkpoints. It says U.S. missionaries in northern Nigeria have received “night letters” — covertly distributed specific written threats to their safety. Pointing to possible targets of extremists, it says U.S. citizens should be particularly vigilant around government security facilities; churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds gather such as hotels, clubs, beer parlours, restaurants, markets and shopping malls; and all other areas frequented
by expatriates and foreign travelers. The North has more Muslims than Christians, which continues despite an 8-month-long state of emergency that deployed thousands of troops to three states covering one-sixth of the country. “Late 2013 saw an increase in Boko Haram attacks and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria,” the travel advisory says. “Boko Haram is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes.” It warns “U.S. citizens should be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country.” Boko Haram already operates in neighboring Chad, from which it kidnapped a French priest who was released earlier this month, and militants from Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been reported fighting alongside Boko Haram in Nigeria, raising fears the rebellion could also spread beyond Nigeria’s borders. The United States advises against all but essential travel to all 13 northern and centralnorthern Nigerian states as well as central
Plateau state, for years the site of deadly ethnicreligious clashes, and the oil-rich southwestern states of Delta and Bayelsa, on the Gulf of Guinea where piracy is on the rise and militancy by activists demanding a bigger share of oil riches from a government embroiled in numerous corruption scandals. Kidnappings of foreigners and attacks against Nigerian police forces in the Niger Delta region and in Lagos State, home to the commercial capital Lagos city, continue to be a danger, it says. “Criminals or militants have abducted foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, from offshore and land-based oil facilities, residential compounds, and public roadways.” It adds that international companies and local authorities assert that the number of kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria is underreported. And home invasions “remain a serious threat,” with armed robbers getting into even heavily guarded compounds. “Violent crimes occur throughout the country,” the advisory says. “U.S. citizen visitors and residents have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglaries, armed robberies, •Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau carjackings, rapes, kidnappings, and extortion.”
100 Nigerian prisoners languish in Morocco
IGERIA’S Ambassador to Morocco Abdallah Wali yesterday said no fewer than 100 Nigerians were languishing in Moroccan Prisons. Wali spoke with reporters in Sokoto. He said most of them were being held for offences relating to illegal migration, drugs and petty crimes. Wali said: “There is no existing protocol between Nigeria and Morocco regarding repatriation of Nigerian prisoners or Moroccan prisoners to their respective countries. What we do is that the embassy frequently visits Nigerian prisoners in various prisons
spread across the country.” He said during such visits, the embassy officials listened to the prisoners and collated their requests for onward transmission to the authorities. “So that they get attention, whether it is medical, sometimes even on the food they eat.Sometimes they also need access to some things that are not provided in the prisons,” Wali said. According to the Ambassador, sometimes, the King of Morocco pardons prisoners, including Nigerians. He also said there were currently about 100 Nigerians legally resident in the North African country.
“But we have a couple of thousands of Nigerians illegally resident too inside Morocco,” he said. Wali said the mission was partnering with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to stem the tide of illegal migration of Nigerians to Morocco. He said that the mission had conducted some series of workshops to sensitise Nigerians to that “especially Nigerians who come from areas that are prone to visiting Morocco illegally. “The whole idea of visiting Morocco illegally is because of its proximity to Europe.
“It takes only 15 kilometres to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Spain,” he said. Wali expressed regret that many Nigerians were often stranded in Morocco, as such, became illegal migrants. He stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja had tried to sensitise Nigerians against illegal migration through the Moroccan route. “This is because of the risk involved in travelling, the risk involved in staying as illegal residents in Morocco and the risk involved in crossing over to Europe.
“So, we hope that with time the number will continue to decline,” Wali said. The Envoy noted that Nigeria was a robust nation and one of the emerging economies in the world. He also maintained that Nigeria would be one of the leading emerging economies in the world, in the coming years. Wali advised Nigerians to remain at home to become local entrepreneurs and develop the nation. He also commended the Federal Government for taking plausible measures to shore up the funding of the nation’s missions abroad.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13 , 2014
Shot senator flown to UK Continued from page 1
Committee on Petroleum (Downstream); Okocha; former Caretaker Chairman of Obio/ Akpor Local Government Council, Chikordi Dike and some Amaechi associates were tear gassed. The policemen were deployed as early as 4:30 am at the venue. It was to be the inauguration of the Obio/Akpor council chapter of the SRM. The launch was fixed for 1 pm. Amaechi was to attend. The policemen fired teargas canisters to disperse people arranging the venue and turned the canopies, plastic chairs and stage upside down. The rally was relocated to the Civic Centre at Rumuigbo on Ikwerre Road. Policemen stormed the new venue, scattering the white plastic chairs and forcing passersby to raise their hands. To show their displeasure over the action of the policemen, youths in Rumuigbo made bonfires on Ikwerre Road. Obi Wali Road Junction was littered with broken bottles, stones and other missiles. The Supervising Minister of
Police reign of impunity must stop, says APC
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) urged yesterday President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently stop the worsening reign of impunity in Rivers State. It alleged that such acts were being carried out under the President’s watch “by those who are obviously acting to impress him and the First Lady”. In a statement in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the call became imperative, following “the irresponsible act of brigandage by the police, which stopped a peaceful and lawful rally billed for the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state yesterday by the Save Rivers Movement (SRM), an organisation campaigning against the impunity of the PDP-controlled Federal Government Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, an indigene of Rumueprikom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, was accused by the chief of staff of being behind the police’s “show of shame”. But, the minister, who spoke through one of his allies, Emeka Woke, on the telephone, denied it all. Woke, the Director-General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and a two-term Chairman of Emohua council, described the accusation as baseless, frivolous and senseless.
against the government and people of Rivers State”. ‘’The police went to the venue of the rally, pulled down the erected canopies and fired tear gas at everyone around there and even into nearby homes, with the result that five children are now feared to have died from suffocation due to this shameful Gestapo-style action of the police, who are being funded by taxpayers to protect the lives and property of the same citizens they are now brutalising and killing. ‘’Not only that, they injured the Chief of Staff to Governor Chibuike Amaechi and fired a supposed rubber bullet, at point blank range, at Senator Magnus Abe, who is now gravely injured. The Senator is believed to have been deliberately targeted for attack by the police.
Woke said: “I would have been surprised if they did not accuse Mr. Nyesom Wike. The accusation is baseless, frivolous and senseless. “We are witnessing a collapse of governance and Amaechi’s display of impunity in Rivers State. The governor is no longer respecting law and order. The police action is in order, to prevent the breakdown of law and order, since police did not give permit for the rally.” The state government, through the Commissioner for Informa-
Abe: Akume, Saraki, Peterside, Fani-Kayode kick
HERE was a huge outcry yesterday over shooting of Senator Magnus Abe by the police in Rivers State. Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator George Akume, House of Representatives member Dakuku Peterside and former Minister of Aviation Femi FaniKayode, among others, fired broadside at the police. Saraki, in a statement by his media aide, Bamikole Omishore, said: “What has happened could be likened to the dark days in the country’s political evolution.” He cautioned political gladiators against plunging the nation into another political war theatre as such an attempt will be resisted by the people. He asked: “When has it become an offence to hold a peaceful political rally or gathering even when the Police authorities were duly informed of same? Saraki described the incident as “one of many which the Federal Government has failed, refused and or neglected to take a decisive and concrete action to deal with and as such, it encourages criminal impunity in our society”. “With 2015 election activities around the corner, the government through its security apparatus should ensure that Nigerians could freely move, operate and live their normal lives without being coarced or intimidated.” Saraki urged the Federal Government, particularly the police, to bring the culprit to book and stop police excesses.
•Senator Abe on the way to the airport...yesterday
•Senator Abe being moved into the ambulance...yesterday
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin, Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt and Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
The Senator added that the progressives remained resolute and undaunted even in the face of political threat, because Nigeria is bigger than an individual and that freedom of association, freedom of movement and the protection of lives of the citizenry must be assured at all cost. Anything short of this, is not acceptable”. The former governor urged Federal lawmakers to speak out. “We owe this country a responsibility and a duty as we resume our legislative duties in the next few days,” he said, adding: “We all have a role to play, irrespective of our political affiliations or belief. We must collectively rise above board and reject a situation where law enforcement personnel would commit such a heinous crime and no reaction or comment has been made by the police authorities. Needless to remind us all that it is Senator Magnus Abe today, it could be any one of us tomorrow. Therefore, we all need to speak out now and condemn this act in its entirety.” The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, said the police in Rivers State had taken impunity to new heights and that all men of goodwill must rise to defend constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of association and freedom of movement. Peterside condemned the dis-
persing of an All Progressives Congress (APC) rally in Obio/ Akpor council area of Rivers State. He said the shooting of innocent citizens and use of tear gas on APC members, who gathered for legitimate party activities, was bad. The Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) said the Police in Rivers State is now the law and thus shows no regard for the law of the land and rights of citizens . He said: “ Mbu has lost every sense of civility and decency and it is now obvious he has learnt nothing from history . Commissioner of Police Mbu has shown by his action that the PDP-controlled Federal Government has zero tolerance for opposition and liberty of Nigerians to make their own choices. “Impunity is an integral part of governance for PDP and those at the apex of governance in the nation see nothing wrong with it as it serves their narrow political interest.” He called on all lovers of freedom to defend democracy as Rivers State is only a testing ground for those who want democracy destroyed at all cost. Fani-Kayode said: “The attack on Senator Magnus Abe and other members of the APC in Port Harcourt by agents of Nigeria’s security forces is disheartening and exceptionally dangerous. Just a couple of days ago, Governor Kwankwaso’s father was attacked and some of his people killed in Kano by unknown gunmen.
‘’We understand that the exceptional brutal clampdown on the planned rally by the police, who seem to have now surpassed even their own act of brutality against the people of the state, was aimed at impressing the First Lady, believed to be due in Port Harcourt on the same day (Sunday),’’ it said. The APC said a Commissioner of Police in any state will not be so bold as to be waging a war against an elected governor and his aides/supporters, if he is not empowered to do so by higher authorities. It said “everyone knows that the impenitent Rivers Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu believes he is now the de facto Governor of Rivers because he has the support of the Presidency to exhibit impudence”.
tion and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, declared that Amaechi, not Abe, was Mbu’s target. To the All Progressives Congress (APC), the shooting of Abe and the disruption of SRM’s inauguration were a declaration of war. The Rivers Coordinator of SRM, Igo Aguma, who is a former member of the House of Representatives, insisted that the group would save Rivers people from impunity. The group of medical person-
Continued on page 58
nel at the Krisany Medical Services, headed by Dr. Mackay Anyanwu, who attended to Abe, noted that the senator suffered from severe blood shock and haemorrhage. Anyanwu said: “The patient (Abe) was brought in a state of shock, as evidenced by low blood pressure. He was restless and he could not communicate or reason coherently. “As a first aid, we treated him for traumatic shock, because the implication of his state was that there was severe blood trauma
“Such wickedness, intolerance and evil is rarely seen. Let those that believe that they can silence the voices of the opposition with threats of violence and death be rest assured of one thing- we cannot be intimidated and neither can we be silenced. First we heard about snipers being trained and lists of opposition figures being drawn up for assassination. “Now policemen are openly attacking the same innocent Nigerians and opposition figures that they are being paid to protect. This government has lost its mind and its bearing. The President is leading Nigeria on the road to hell and on the path to Kigali. The madness, the attacks, the killings, the insults, the persecution, the wickedness, the impunity and the intimidation must stop forthwith or else the consequences will be grave for the continued unity of our country. Once again, I ask where was Major Hamza Al Mustapha on the day that Obasanjo released his letter to the press? Once Continued on page 58
Continued on page 58
Rivers APC, PDP disagree
and the amount of layers affected could not be detected immediately. This can only be done through the haemorrhoid tests. “We have administered oxygen treatment on him for resuscitation and primary medication, but we also detected severe internal bleeding and high level haemorrhaging in him. Another bad news is that we also detected that the affected side is showing severe swelling, which led me to the conclusion that he must have been hit by a high calibre weapon and my fears were confirmed, when I was told that he was shot with a rubber bullet.” Rivers state police commissioner Mbu insisted that no live bullet was used. “If we used live bullets, you know the implication. “If a live bullet hits your hand, it will shatter the hand and if it hits the neck, the person is gone.” In an interview aired on Channel Television last night, he said anybody that wants to organise a rally must obtain permission. “It is not time for political rallies. If groups are going to meet for empowerment, we approve and provide security,” he said. He said yesterday’s rally was not authorised by him and so it had to be disrupted. “I asked policemen to subdue and take over
HE Rivers chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) disagreed sharply over yesterday’s shooting in Port Harcourt. The APC, through its Interim State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, noted that it was shocked and shattered by the news of the unwarranted shooting of Abe and disruption of the inauguration of the SRM. The APC said: “We could not understand why policemen, paid with taxpayers’ money, could turn their guns against the people, including prominent citizens, who are well known to them – thus ruling out the possibility of a mistake in the said shooting.” The party condemned what it described as “premeditated murder of our children” and “attempted murder of two prominent and innocent citizens by the police which seem happy to transform into an army of occupation, instead of discharging its constitutional role of safeguarding lives and property. “This is a declaration of war on Rivers State and its people,” it said. The party said it was holding Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu responsible for the casualties. “We have shouted ourselves hoarse that Mbu is on a mission to cause mayhem and insecurity in Rivers State, but sadly, the powers that brought him to Rivers State for this mission, not only continued to sustain him, but also continued to empower him in his acts of impunity in Rivers State,” the party said,
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
adding: “This man (Mbu) had on various occasions abused, insulted and vilified our elected State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, claiming that he (Mbu) is the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State and not the Governor, as stipulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” The opposition party also stated that the Rivers police commissioner had on many occasions given police cover to the members of the GDI while denying the same services to other political groups in the state, including SRM. The APC also demanded the immediate release of a former member of the House of Representatives, Ike Chinwo, who was arrested by the police after yesterday’s mayhem. The Rivers PDP described as laughable, the allegations levelled against some leaders of the party, especially the Supervising Minister of Education Nyesom Wike. The PDP, through Pastor Jerry Needam, the Special AdvisContinued on page 58
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THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Jonathan cautions elderly politicians
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday cautioned the nation’s elderly politicians to guard their utterances to ensure they always promote peace and unity. Dr Jonathan spoke in Abuja at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day service at the National Christian Centre. Although Jonathan did not name the politicians, but he said senior citizens of 70 and 80 years, who knew that the unity of Nigeria was more important than any individual’s interest, encouraged youths to hate and carry arms to kill others. The President said his ambition for a re-election should not lead to bloodshed. He advised those defecting to do so well or and those staying to remain steadfast. Jonathan said: “We are also to emulate them. Those who have paid the supreme sacrifice to keep our nation together; those of us who are
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
alive, especially leaders today, should think of what we can do to honour them. This is to know that whatever we say, whatever song we sing, it should be a song that will bring honour to them and peace to this country. “Sometimes, I get worried when I listen to provocative statements that come from very senior citizens; people who ordinarily you perceive as very senior citizens. They are people who are probably 70 or 80 years, who have seen it all, who ordinarily should know the unity of this country is more important than the interest any individual. “Sometimes, they preach hate and even encourage young people to carry arms and kill one another.” On his ambition, Jonathan said: “I have always said it that any ambition I have at any time is not worth the
blood of any Nigerian. I will never ever expect a Nigerian to spill a drop of his blood because Goodluck Jonathan must fulfil his ambition. “...So, on an occasion when we are remembering those who have kept this country one for us to be celebrating our centenary, we should admonish ourselves. To the key actors today, we should preach peace; we should preach unity. “If all of us collectively talk about the unity and peace of this country, then all our economic and security problems will be resolved and the country will move in the direction we want it to.” On the Remembrance Day, he said: “Today’s occasion, as we all know, is a service to remember our Armed Forces. The concluding programme is on Wednesday, January 15. This programme was launched on December 16 (last year). From the day it was launched, there have been a
lot of commitments as people have donated various sums of money. Even after that launch, I’ve seen so many people wearing the tags... “The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a unique occasion, but this year’s programme is even more unique because on January 1, this year, Nigeria made 100 years as a nation. It’s not easy to get there. There were lots of challenges. For us to have reached 100 years, some people paid dearly for it; some people worked for it. “The first group of people we can remember, who worked and paid dearly for it were in the Armed Forces. You know the challenges they faced during the Civil War. But for them, we wouldn’t have celebrated the centenary. The Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria in Abuja, Archbishop Job Oche, advised politicians to stop threatening the nation ahead
of the 2015 elections. He said: “May I advise all politicians here to give us peace of mind. People have started to fear how 2015 will look like. If you need our votes, don’t threaten us. Begin to preach peace. That will make us to come out and vote.” Dignitaries at the service included Senate President David Mark; House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha; Jonathan’s mother, Madam Eunice and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Tony Anenih. Others were: the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of States for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, ministers and other top government officials. Widows, widowers and children and relatives of the departed Armed Forces personnel also attended the service.
•President Jonathan (middle) with, from left: Oloye Akinjide, Chief Anenih, Mark, Ihedioha, Madam Eunice Jonathan and Anyim during the interdenominational church service for the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN
Gbajabiamila: National Assembly won’t aid Sanusi’s sack
HE National Assembly will not aid President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to sack Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, House of Representatives Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila has said. The lawmaker advised the President to sack Minister of Aviation Ms Stella Oduah before calling for Sanusi’s resignation. Expressing surprise at the concerns generated by Dr
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
Jonathan’s demand, the lawmaker recalled that the National Assembly was scorned when it was fighting for CBN’s autonomy. The lawmaker, in a statement yesterday by his Research Assistant, Wasiu Olanrewaju-Smart, said the President does not possess the power to sack the CBN governor. It reads: “In the light of the wide speculation about the
telephone conversation between the President and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, urging the (BCN) governor to resign before his resignation in June, 2014, House Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila said the President has the right to make such demand but does not possess the power. “Mr President has the right to ask the CBN governor to resign; same way Nigerians have the right to ask him or anyone to resign. However and unfortunately, he does not have the powers. Having
a right is one thing, having the power is another. “Many have asked Mr President to resign but they lack the powers to compel him. “If those advising the President cannot think, at least they can read. The laws of the land are written in English and in black and white. “By asking that the President seek the approval of two-thirds of the Senate, the law essentially seeks to enforce the doctrine of checks and balances and avoid the
CNPP urges Jonathan to probe NNPC over ‘missing’ $10.8b
HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday decried the “unprofessional creative accounting method” of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the $10.8 billion “missing” oil revenue fund. The umbrella body of the nation’s opposition urged President Goodluck Jonathan to set up an independent enquiry to investigate the “blatant scam in the NNPC creative accounting, for the $8.49 billion could have been used to build two
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
mega refineries and stop fuel products importation”. A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, said: “We regret that each time the pervasive leakage of funds and monumental corruption in the corporation comes under public scrutiny, the NNPC recklessly adopts the unprofessional creative accounting method. “We recall how painfully and grudgingly Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido
Sanusi, wrote our dear President and raised the issue of the missing $49.8 billion from crude oil sales from January 2012 to July 2013. “A fire-brigade reconciliation approach among the relevant agencies - the NNPC, the CBN, and Ministry of Finance - ensued after several days. The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, concluded that ‘According to NNPC’s records, ...$67.12 billion comprised the revenues which directly accrued to the NNPC (for the Federation Account) of $14 billion and additional rev-
enues lifted by the NNPC on behalf of other parties. “...’$10.8 billion (N1.6 trillion) shortfall of domestic crude oil receipts due to Federation Account was not remitted’. “...The creative accounting went thus: $8.49 billion, unpaid fuel subsidy claims; $1.22 billion, pipeline management; $0.72 billion, crude oil losses and $.7 billion, cost of holding reserve stock. “We disagree with the socalled fuel subsidy payment of $8.49 billion by the NNPC...”
abuse of powers of a capricious and arbitrary President while also guaranteeing the autonomy of the CBN.” The lawmaker noted that the apex bank deserved its autonomy. Gbajabiamila decried the President’s derogatory treatment of an earlier request by Nigerians and the National Assembly when they urged him to purge his cabinet of corrupt officials.
Eight killed in Borno Boko Haram attacks, says lawmaker
USPECTED Boko Haram members y e s terday killed eight people in an attack on Sabon Gari village in Hambagda Jaji Ward of Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. The attack occurred barely four days after gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members burnt a church and the country home of a House of Representatives member, Peter Biye, in Gwoza town. Several residents were said to have sustained gunshot injuries in the attack. Biye told reporters in Maiduguri, that the sect had burnt over 200 churches in the state since it launched its attacks in the local government. The lawmaker said only eight churches were available to worshippers. On January 8, eight gunmen stormed the lawmaker’s village - a Christian-dominated community - at 8pm and carried away over 70 domestic animals and set the buildings ablaze. The gunmen also burnt a consignment of sorghum, which was meant for distribution to the peopl e t o r ed u c e t hei r hardship. The attackers also burnt 30,000 pieces of exercise books, 30,000 packets of bi r o, sew i ng m a c hi nes, water pumping machines, 30,000 packets of chalk, among others. The cost of the items was estimated at over N38 million. Biye, the only Christian House of Representatives member from Borno State, regretted that since he was elected, there had been a series/daily attacks targeted at the Christian communities in Gwoza, Chibok and Damboa local government areas. He said this had forced him to almost stop visiting his people, including his family, in the last two years. Biye said though nobody died in the attack on his house but the attitude of security agencies on the matter was “nonchalant”. The lawmaker recalled that prior to last week’s attack on his home by the insurgents, he had alerted/intimated security agencies.
CBN approves Semenitari’s appointment as Unity Bank’s CEO
HE Central Bank of Ni geria (CBN) has ap proved the appointment of Mr. Henry James Semenitari as the new managing director/CEO of Unity Bank Plc. The approval was contained in a letter to the bank on January 9. Rislanudeen Muhammad had been the acting managing director since Ado Yakubu Wanka resigned in August, last year. Semenitari has banking experience in Operations, Internal Control, Commercial and Retail Banking, Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking (Energy), among
others, acquired in his over 22-year career at First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, ACB International Bank and Continental Trust Bank.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
NEWS ‘252 died in road mishaps’ From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
THE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said 252 deaths were recorded during the Yuletide. It said 244 died in the 2012 celebration. FRSC Corps Marshal Osita Chidoka, in a report presented at the weekend in Abuja, said 461 crashes were recorded, with 1,438 injured between December 19 and New Year’s Day. He said: “Our operational activities witnessed improved flow of traffic on the 23 corridors of the highway through effective route lining, reduced response time to road crashes through seamless communication network. “We achieved prompt removal of obstructions and reduced travelling time for Nigerians.” Chidoka said the FRSC, last year, rescued the highest number of victims alive since its history, despite increased motorisation across the country. He said the high number of rescued victims validated the FRSC’s strategy of deploying ambulances on the highway, code-named Zebra.
Pope Francis appoints 19 cardinals POPE Francis has appointed 19 cardinals, including church men from Haiti and Burkina Faso, reflecting his commitment to the poor. Cardinals, who wear red hats and robes, are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church. Sixteen of them are under 80, making them eligible to enter a conclave to elect the Pope’s successor. The new cardinals will be installed at a ceremony, known as a consistory, on February 22. Some of the new cardinals are well-known figures, who would have been almost automatic choices - not least the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin. But others from more remote corners of the Catholic world are much less familiar. Pope Francis admires priests who, in his words, “smell of their flock.” The 19 are: Pietro Parolin (Italy),Lorenzo Baldisseri (Italy), Gerhard Ludwig Muller (Germany), Beniamino Stella (Italy), Vincent Nichols (Britain), Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano (Nicaragua), Gérald Cyprien Lacroix (Canada), JeanPierre Kutwa (Ivory Coast), Orani João Tempesta (Brazil), Gualtiero Bassetti (Italy), Mario Aurelio Poli (Argentina), Andrew Yeom Soo Jung (South Korea), Ricardo Ezzati Andrello (Chile), Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo (Burkina Faso), Orlando B. Quevedo (Philippines), Chibly Langlois (Haiti), Loris Francesco Capovilla (Italy), Fernando Sebastián Aguilar (Spain), Kelvin Edward Felix (St Lucia).
•Mrs Omowunmi Akande (fourth left) cutting her 70 th birthday cake with her husband and Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande (third left). With them are, from left: Chief Olu Adegboro, Senator Ajayi Borofface, Olufemi Fakeye, Mr Idowu Ajanaku and Ifedayo Abegunde, at the birthday celebration in Ila Orangun, Osun State...at the weekend. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
Reps: Okonjo-Iweala vindicated us
HE House of Representatives Committee on Finance has said the admittance by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the committee’s 50 questions on the economy constituted an examination has vindicated the committee. The committee said the minister’s admittance fell in line with its decision to discontinue with the December 19 interactive session, where she claimed to be fit enough to respond to the questions. Dr Okonjo-Iweala reportedly said the 50 questions constituted an examination to which she re-
From Victor Olwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
quired time. The minister was, however, advised to expedite action on the questions since examinations have duration. The House, last week, said it would not debate this year’s budget revenue framework until the minister sent her response. The finance committee yesterday expressed surprise that the minister was requesting for time to respond to the queries, considering the drama that followed her resolve to continue with the session. The minister, on Decem-
ber 19, insisted that her precarious health would not allow her to discontinue the interactive session with the committee. In a statement by the committee’s clerk, Farouk Dawaki, the lawmakers emphasised that the nation’s economy should concern every Nigerian. The committee argued that Dr Okonjo-Iweala was deliberately attempting to disparage the committee. “We view this as a welcome development, as it denotes a vindication of the decision we took when she appeared on December 19, 2013. The committee knew that she would need time to
answer the questions. “This was the minister who walked into the meeting with the committee and drew everyone’s sympathy the moment she feebly announced that she was not feeling well. “Isn’t it curious then that when she was not feeling well, the minister was prepared to address 50 questions in a session that was to last just about two hours; now that she is fully fit, hale and hearty, she is saying she would need more time? Nigerians would have expected her, in her present re-invigorated state of health, to tell them she would tackle the questions in 30 minutes!
‘Why I petitioned Right’s Commission’
FORMER Lagos State Police Commissioner Abubakar Tsav has explained why he petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over alleged extrajudicial killings in Gboko, Benue State. He said his action was informed by the unwillingness of the police authorities in Benue State to act on the matter. Tsav accused the Benue State Police Command of aiding criminals to perpetrate extra-judicial killings. The former police chief accused Benue State Police Commissioner A. Adams of being either too weak to con-
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
front criminals in the state or was patronising them. These were among the former police chief’s submissions at the NHRC in Abuja last Thursday. Tsav, in the petition dated December 10, accused the police in the state of killing innocent citizens and encouraging impunity in Gboko. He alleged that the police Anti-Robbery Squad in Gboko and some unnamed individuals murdered Terna Manger, Terwase Terkura and Tersoo Peter Aper. The former police chief also accused the Benue State
police command of dragging its feet in apprehending those behind the killings and bringing them to justice. He said: “The police in Gboko are either inefficient, cowards or are hands-ingloves with criminals, who parade themselves as politicians. “The practice in most police stations now is that once a person is arrested and released on bail, the case is forgotten, unlike during our days when we followed each case to its logical conclusion. “A situation where policemen go out to kill people at the insinuation of criminals, like hunters kill wild animals in the bush, is condemnable.”
Tsav noted that a similar case of extra-judicial killing involving the late head of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf, pushed the group’s members into violent killings. The former police commissioner urged the NHRC to investigate his claims and ensure that those behind the killings were brought to justice to prevent a replay of the Boko Haram case in the state. The petitioner said he was surprised that his telephone conversations and text messages to the police commissioner were relayed to some criminals in Gboko, against whom he had complained to the police chief.
IPMAN denies planning national strike By Emeka Ugwuanyi
THE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has denied reports about its members’ plan to begin a nationwide strike. In a statement yesterday in Lagos by its National Secretary, Mike Osatuyi, the union said its secretariat learnt that of the rumour about the alleged plan to go on strike. IPMAN’s National President Alhaji Abdulkadri Aminu said: “We, the national body of the union are not planning to embark on any strike, because we don’t have any issues with the government. I appeal to Nigerians and all independent marketers to go about their normal business and avoid creating panic buying in the society.” Aminu said the national body was aware that its Mosinmi chapter had issues with the Ogun State Government on the bad road between Shagamu and Mosinmi depot. According to him, the members have been advised to be patient, pending the time the national body would conclude its discussion with the government on the matter. “I understand the havoc the road is causing my members in Mosinmi, but I do not think a strike should be the lasting solution,” Aminu said.
Dangote Cement to complete five African plants
ANGOTE Cement will complete five of its plants in five Africa countries before the end of this year, it has been learnt. The completion of the plants is part of the group’s
expansion programme to make cement available to most parts of the continent. The group’s President/ Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the plants would add about 13.5 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA). The plants are in Zambia, with 1.5 MMTPA; Tanzania, 1.5 MMTPA; South-Africa 3 MMTPA; Republic of Congo, 1.5 MMTPA; and Gabon 1.5 MMTPA. In Nigeria, Dangote Cement is working on the third and fourth production lines to the existing six MMTPA in Ibese, Ogun State. The plant’s capacity is being expanded to
produce 12 MMTPA. The Obajana plant in Kogi State will add three MMTPA before the end of the year. Addressing a group of African businessmen at the weekend, Dangote said the group’s core business focus was to provide local, valueadded products and services to meet the needs of the populace through the construction and operation of large scale manufacturing facilities across Africa. Dangote said the group was building local manufacturing to create jobs, prevent capital flight and provide quality products. He explained that Obajana
was the largest cement plant in sub-Sahara Africa, with 10.25 MMTPA and an additional three MMTPA before end of the year. Dangote said the group would continue to lead other investors to ensure that Nigeria became an industrial giant nation with self-sufficiency in production rather than becoming a leader in importation. He said: “This, indeed, shows that Africa is gradually taking its destiny in its own hands, rather than waiting for investors from outside Africa. Investment in the real sector is the only way that our continent can achieve accelerated growth and development.
“The developmental challenges of Africa are quite tremendous. According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, in June 2010, Africa requires $46 billion yearly to meet infrastructural needs. It is obvious that African governments alone cannot hope to meet this demand due to the various competing needs in other aspects of the economy. “We are motivated to create an African success story because we believe that entrepreneurship, especially our own home-grown African entrepreneurship, holds the key to the future economic growth of the continent.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Jonathan signs Same Sex Marriage E Prohibition Bill into law I
N spite of protests from some countries, President Goodluck Jonathan has signed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2013, into law. The assent to the bill was devoid of fanfare to reduce the diplomatic tension it may likely attract. Some foreign embassies were shocked by the development and this led to curious enquiries from the Federal Government. Despite the enquiries, the Federal Government said there is no going back. With the signing of the bill, gay couples in Nigeria risk a 14-year jail term, if they do not retrace their steps and renounce such marriages. Anyone who operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations directly or indirectly risks 10-year imprisonment. Those who officiate, witness, abet or aid the solemnisation of a same sex marriage will get a 10-year jail term. Investigations by our correspondent showed that the President assented to the Act on January 7, 2014. The assent note, obtained by our correspondent yesterday, reads: “I certify that this bill has been carefully compared by me with the decision
•Gays, lesbians risk 14-year jail term
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
reached by the National Assembly and found by me to be the true and correct decision of the Houses and is in accordance with the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act, Cap. A2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. I assent.” A reliable source said: “The President has signed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill into law. This has foreclosed any pressure on President Jonathan not to assent to the bill. We received enquiries from some foreign embassies on why the bill was signed into law and told them our cultural values do not tolerate same sex marriage. “Also, we made it clear that since most Nigerians were not opposed to the bill, the parliament acted in line with the wish of the majority. We are in a democratic setting and the President has no choice but to bow to the wish of the people. These embassies were shocked but there is no going back. We hope they will also abide by the de-
cision of Nigerians.” The Act reads: “A marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex: (a) is prohibited in Nigeria; and (b) shall not be recognised as entitled to the benefits of a valid marriage. “A marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex by virtue of a certificate issued by a foreign country is void in Nigeria and any benefit accruing therefrom by virtue of the certificate shall not be enforced by any court of law. “A marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex shall not be sole nixed in a church, mosque or any other place of worship in Nigeria. No certificate issued to persons of same sex in a marriage or civil union shall be valid in Nigeria. Only a marriage contracted between a man and a woman shall be recognised as valid in Nigeria. The registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, their sustenance, processions and meetings is prohibited. The public show of same sex amo-
rous relationship directly or indirectly is prohibited. “A person who enters into a same sex marriage contract or civil union commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment. A person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations directly or indirectly, or makes public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment. “A person or group of persons who administer, witness, abet or aid the solemnisation of a same sex marriage or civil union, or supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment. “The High Court of a state or of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shall have jurisdiction to entertain matters arising from the breach of the provisions of this Act.”
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has urged clerics to pray for peace as the governorship election approaches. He spoke yesterday at the Christ Apostolic Church, Ogba Alaafia, Ijigbo in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, where a thanksgiving service was organised for the 2013 Jerusalem pilgrims from Ekiti. Also at the service was Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu. The governor said the peace witnessed in the state showed that God was answering the people’s prayers for peace and progress, urging them to intensify their prayers. Fayemi told the people to conduct themselves with decorum and go about their busi-
HE representative of the Olubadan in the disputed community between Ibadan in Oyo State and Abeokuta in Ogun State, Chief Yekini Ayodele, has called for the establishment of a police post at Bakatari, the boundary between the states, to forestall bloodshed. Ayodele, who is the Baale (community head) of Bakatari, said police presence would prevent trouble makers from setting the town ablaze as is being threatened.
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
ATHOLIC Bishop of Ekiti Diocese Felix Femi Ajakaye has said this year’s governorship election in Ekiti and Osun states will be a test of Nigerians’ readiness for “transparent elections”. He said elections can only reflect the people’s wishes, if politicians are ready to accept the truth. Bishop Ajakaye spoke at the weekend in Oye-Ekiti at the funeral of Princess Mary Adegun, mother of the former Chief Medical Director of the State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Dr. Patrick Adegun. He said the election would be hitch-free, if Nigerians seek the face of God and turn a new leaf. The cleric urged Nigerians to pray ceaselessly, adding that peace making and conflict resolution are the responsibilities of every individual. He said God had not forsaken Nigeria as is believed by some citizens, urging Nigerians to learn to forgive one another and live together in peace. Bishop Ajakaye urged the people to stop attaching too much importance to worldly things, which he described as ephemeral, at the expense of God’s service. He said: “Such worldly pursuits are capable of drawing the nation’s progress backward and causing division among its people.” The cleric described death as a necessity all living beings must expect anytime, anywhere, adding: “The best way to prepare for it is by imbibing good character and a positive attitude to life.” Adegun described his mother as “an essential pillar of support, who propelled him to success”.
LP, PDP members join Ondo APC
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
OME members of the Labour Party (LP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties in Erusu-Akoko, Akoko Northwest Local Government Area of Ondo State, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend. The development was hinged on the foundation laying of a Bio-fuel Ethanol Plant at Ajowa-Akoko and a skill acquisition centre at Ikaram-Akoko by Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North District). Erusu-Akoko is the home town of Dr. Olu Agunloye, an LP chieftain. APC Acting Chairman in the local government Prince Bello, who received the new members, lamented the bad condition of the roads leading to the community. He urged the defectors to work hard for the party’s success in future elections, “so that the state can witness even development in the next dispensation”. The leader of the defectors, Prophet David Eniolorunfe, said Boroffice’s performance was responsible for his defection to APC. He said Boroffice had been showing exemplary qualities worthy of emulation, adding: “Boroffice is a true Asiwaju of Akoko, considering the various projects he has facilitated in the area.” Boroffice urged members not to be discouraged, but to be consistent and continue to bring more people into the party. He sensitised the people on the forthcoming elections into the legislative houses and the 2015 presidential election, urging them to work hard for the party’s victory.
nesses without fear of molestation, assuring them of security. Stressing that only God can elevate anyone, he urged politicians conduct their activities peacefully. At the service were House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin; the Head of Service (HOS), Bunmi Famosaya; and Chairman, Christian Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Chief Aaron Akomolafe, among others.
Olubadan seeks police post in border town
•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (third left); Special Adviser on Housing to the Governor, Hon. Jimoh Ajao (second left) and the Special Adviser on Project Implementation & Monitoring, Sulaiman Yusuf (left) during an inspection of the Igbogbo Housing Estate, Ikorodu, Lagos by the Governor with members of the Executive Council PHOTO:OMOSEHIN MOSES
Sincerity needed for credible polls, says cleric
Fayemi calls for prayers as election approaches
From Oseheye Okwuofu,Ibadan
Speaking with reporters in Ibadan at the weekend, Ayodele said the call for a police post was part of resolutions made at a meeting of both states. In a litigation that lasted for 10 years, a court ruled that Bakatari belonged to Ibadan. Tension heightened in the community recently when the Osile of Oke-Ona, Oba Adedapo Adewale Tejuoso, installed another Baale. To prevent a break down of law and order, Ayodele, who was installed by the Olubadan, urged Ido Local Government Chairman Prof. Joseph Olowofela, to build a police post in the community. He said: “Although I have gone to the appropriate quartres to challenge the illegality being perpetrated in the area, the lives of my people are precious to us. I do not want them to take the laws into their hands; that is why I am calling for the immediate implementation of what was agreed upon by Oyo and Ogun that a police post be established in the boundary to check trouble makers. “You can see the huge pillar that was erected by officials of the Federal Boundary Commission in the presence of the Surveyors-General of Oyo and Ogun states.”
Bola Ige Symposium postponed to Feb 3, 4
HE 12th Bola Ige Memorial Symposium earlier slated for Wednesday and Thursday, has been postponed to February 3 and 4. It was postponed because of the 75th Birthday Colloquium of the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, slated for Thursday at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. In a statement, the Chairman of the Symposium Organising Committee, Awa Bamiji, and the Chairman of the Publicity Committee, Yinka Agboola, said the symposium was postponed to enable members of the committees participate in the colloquium.
Ogun PDP youths protest non-inclusion in SURE-P
From Jeremiah Oke, Ijebu-Ode
OME aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youthsin Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State protested yesterday their “non-inclusion” in the Federal Government Subsidy Re-Investment Programme (SURE-P). The youths, who stormed the party’s secretariat, alleged that their leaders gave the opportunities to their friends and family members. They described the development as “wicked” and “inhuman”, saying they laboured for the party. One of the protesters, Yusuf Olaide, said: “We worked very hard for the party and stood by it solidly, but now that the SURE-P came, they did not involve us in the programme.” Wasiu Olalekan said their leaders’ attitude had defeated the objective of the SURE-P, which he said “is to empower youths, women and the physically challenged”.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
NEWS Student arraigned for ‘false accusation’
Fayemi: I won’t interfere with monarchs’ selection
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
•Olupole gets Staff of Office
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said his administration will not interfere in the selection of monarchs. Fayemi spoke on Saturday while presenting the Staff of Office to the Olupole of Ipole Iloro-Ekiti, Oba Babatola Oladele. He said his administration would always respect the will of the people and the laws guiding the selection of traditional rulers. Fayemi said the previous administration attempted to fill the vacancy left by the demise of the late Olupole, Oba Owoseni Bright, who passed away in 2004, but failed due to the politicisation of the process. He said the “unnecessary delay” could have been
•Fayemi (right) presenting the Staff of Office to Oba Oladele. With them are the monarch’s wives, Olori Grace (left) and Olori Margaret...on Saturday. From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
avoided, if the previous administration was sincere in the selection. The governor said: “Previous attempts by the last administration to fill the vacant seat of the Olupole after the
passing away of Oba Bright were characterised by political subterfuge, intimidation and total disregard for the custom and tradition of Ipole Iloro-Ekiti people. However, the people were resolute in their determination to follow due process in the selection of their new Oba.”
Congratulating Oba Oladele, Fayemi urged him to always protect the interests of his people and to be accommodating. He urged the monarch him to seek the cooperation of his people for the rapid development of the community, noting that the achievements of
Drivers’ clash: Committee takes over Ekiti RTEAN
HE National Executive of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has directed the leadership of its Ekiti State chapter, led by Mr. Rotimi Olanbiwonninu, to step aside for a Fact Finding Committee, following a clash between rival factions. The committee is led by Mr. Philip Nwaigbo (Imo). Members are Alhaji Lahan Yusuf, Secretary (Kwara); Alhaji Ayinde Rumokun (Lagos); Alhaji Rasak Durojaye (Ogun) and Mr. Adewale Ojo (Ondo). Nwaigbo told reporters that the national body directed the state exco to step aside
•Embattled chairman’s whereabouts unknown From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
for his committee to investigate the cause(s) of the clash. He said contrary to speculations, the state exco had not been sacked, adding that the union’s constitution does not allow such. Nwaigbo said: “We are in Ekiti on a national assignment. We want to complete it by January 19 and return to the national body with a report on our findings. “On December 24, 2013, a letter, titled ‘Vote of No Con-
fidence in the Chief Rotimi Joseph Olanbiwonninu Administration’, was forwarded to the national secretariat. “The National Executive Council (NEC), led by Alhaji Shehu Musa Isiwele, the Aigboje 1 of Uromi Kingdom, inaugurated a five-man Fact Finding Committee, headed by me, to investigate the letter. “We came on January 6 and informed the house in Ado-Ekiti of our mission. We have met with the rival factions twice and things have been settled. At our first meet-
ing with chapel chairmen, secretaries and treasurers, we told them the Olanbiwonninu administration had been set aside and not dissolved. This is to enable us do our investigations properly.” Olanbiwonninu’s whereabouts is unknown. A source said: “Olanbiwonninu has been arrested but no one knows by who and where he has been taken to. I heard he was arrested early today (yesterday) by men in mufti. I also learnt that some people went to the Police
APC chieftain urges members to HE Interim National register en masse Legal Adviser of the All
Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire, has urged members to participate in the registration of members scheduled for January 28. Speaking at an APC Empowerment Programme organised in his honour at Mushin Local Government Area, Banire said the party was determined to provide good governance in the country. He said: “We have always been first in all general elections. We do not only have to consolidate on that but would want to surpass our previous efforts. That is why I am encouraging you to come out en masse and be fully involved in
his administration would have been impossible without the people’s support. Oba Oladele thanked Fayemi for approving his nomination. He pledged to serve his people diligently and facilitate the community’s development.
By Musa Odoshimokhe
the exercise. This will foster unity and the spirit of team work now and in future elections.” Banire said the empowerment programme was one of the ways of demonstrating the party’s welfare agenda to the people. Urging the beneficiaries to be productive, he said: “The programme is to equip the people with the tools they can use to better their lots. I thank those who donated the items given to the beneficiaries.” He said APC was not biased in the composition of its
leadership and urged those using religious sentiments to cause disaffection among the party’s supporters to have a rethink. Banire said: “Religion is just a pedestrian talk. The APC is not religiously biased. The composition is subjected to analysis, which has not favoured any group. It is balanced when you look at it critically and I urge you to do your home work very well.” Lagos State Commissioner for Information Mr. Lateef Ibirogba said APC has credible and reliable hands that have made the party proud, adding
‘Ibadan indigenes have abandoned education for affluence’
that Banire is one of them. He said the large turnout of people for the programme was a testimony that Banire is a grassroots politician. “I can say with all emphasis that in the ministries where Banire worked, he left his mark with creativity,” Ibirogba added.
Church holds vigil for Osun, Aregbesola
VER 5,000 members of the Celestial Church of Christ in and outside Osun State held at the weekend prayer vigil for Osun State and Governor Rauf Aregbesola. The programme, aired live on the Lagos Television (LTV), Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) television, Ara FM, OSBC Radio, Odidere FM and Orisun FM, was held at the Nelson Mandela Park in Osogbo, the state capital. It began at 10pm. In attendance were Areg-
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
besola; his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Secretary to the State Government Moshood Adeoti; Interim State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adebiyi Adelowo; APC stalwarts; top government officials; leaders of the church and leaders of Aregbesola support groups, including the DirectorGeneral of De Raufs, Chief Amitolu Shittu. The church prayed for peace and unity in the state as well
as the safety and continuation of Aregbesola in office. Leaders of the church, including Cardinal James Odunbanku, the former chairman; the Head of Osogbo Province and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Osun State, Superior Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye, and Superior Evangelist Emmanuel Adewale, said the prayer was held in obedience to a divine instruction given at a programme held at the church’s International Headquartres in Imeko, Ogun State. Evang. Aladeseye, who de-
Headquartres in Ado-Ekiti to know if he was there, but the police denied knowledge of his arrest. “That may mean that the Force Headquartres or the State Security Service (SSS) effected the arrest, but I cannot confirm that. It is strange that the arrest is coming now that the situation has been brought under control.” Police spokesman Victor Olu-Babayemi said the command had nothing to do with the arrest. He said: “I am not aware of it. You are the one telling me now. The police will do its findings and get back to you.”
25-year-old student of the Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun, Victor Ogunrinde, has been arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court in Osogbo, the state capital, for allegedly raising a false alarm that his manhood was removed. It was learnt that a man, simply identified as Ismaila, who was travelling to Ilorin in Kwara State, got stranded in Ila-Orangun and approached Ogunrinde for financial assistance. Ogunrinde obliged, but after giving Ismaila some money, he raised the alarm that he had lost his manhood. This attracted the police and both men were taken to the IlaOrangun Police Station. A doctor was consulted and after examination, Ogunrinde’s manhood was found to be intact. The doctor’s report said Ogunrinde was suffering from a psychological problem that made him think his manhood was inactive. Ogunrinde insisted that his manhood was not active. Unpleased with the report, he petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Dorothy Gimba, urging her to order a thorough investigation of the matter. He was arraigned on a twocount charge of breach of public peace and false accusation. Ogunrinde pleaded “not guilty”. His counsel, Mr. Henry Odunayo, urged the court to grant his client bail. The Magistrate, Mohammed Lasisi, granted Ogunrinde N50,000 bail with one surety in like sum.
nied that Aregbesola or any member of his executive council sponsored the programme, said the governor did not know about the prayer until all arrangements had been concluded. Popular actors and gospel singers, including Saheed Balogun, Tope Alabi, Mega 99 and Boroboro were at the programme. The congregation prayed to God to thwart plans to cause trouble and perpetuate violence in Osun before, during and after the governorship poll.
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
ORMER Oyo State Head of Service Prof. Oladapo Afolabi has said Ibadan indigenes have abandoned intellectual pursuits for affluence and material accomplishments. Afolabi, who was the guest speaker at a lecture organised by the Oluyole Club of Lagos, spoke at the Kakanfo Inn in Ibadan, the state capital. In his lecture, titled: “Kindling the bubbling Ibadan”, the former university lecturer expressed dissatisfaction that the ancient city was fast losing its place as a pace setter and “the intellectual capital of Nigeria”. He said: “Many Ibadan youths today do not learn trades or undergo professional apprenticeship. They prefer to be touts at motor parks. The current stagnancy and inactiveness of Ibadan can be traced to the betrayal and jettisoning of the noble ideals on which the city was built. “There are so many primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Ibadan today but how many Ibadan indigenes are making waves in these institutions as workers and students? “It is unfortunate that Ibadan is fast losing its position as the intellectual capital of Nigeria, as the University of Ibadan (U.I.), The Polytechnic, Ibadan and other state-owned institutions are beginning to play second fiddles to other Nigerian universities, polytechnics and institutions. “Also, many Arabic schools and other vocational centres, which used to be the pride of the city, are gradually being deserted by pupils and scholars.” Afolabi was there was a beacon of hope in the state government’s plan to establish a Technical University in Ibadan. He said if the university is allowed to work as a unique Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as designed, it would educate residents and speed up the state’s industrialisation. Bursary awards were presented to 10 indigent university students of Ibadan origin. The President of the club, Prof. Adeniyi Osuntogun, said the lecture, which is part of the club’s annual party and awards presentation, was to reawaken stakeholders to work towards the actualisation of the dream Ibadan. Five past presidents and trustees of the club were conferred with honorary awards. They are Prof. R. Akinola; Alhaji A. Otiti; Mr. A. Oke; Chief J.O Amao and the late Chief Nathaniel Idowu.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
From Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse
N ex-police constable, identified as Ibrahim Safiyanu, has been re-arrested by the Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), following his escape from prison after he reportedly committed an undisclosed crime. A statement by the state Commandant, Muhammad Gidado, yesterday said the arrest followed an order by Amina Dahiru of the Chief Magistrate’s Court 2 in Dutse. Gidado said the suspect had been handed over to the court.
APC calls for peaceful polls
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Jigawa State has called for a peaceful conduct of Saturday’s local government election. The party called on the State Independent Electoral Commission (JISIEC) to make arrangements for a hitch-free election. Malam Muhammad Gabi, the secretary of the party’s Election Committee, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria
(NAN) in Hadejia. Gabi said it was imperative for parties and their candidates to avoid acts that could mar the election. “Politicians, electorate and other stakeholders should ensure the conduct of free and fair polls. “We believe in peace and the APC is set for a peaceful election,” Gabi said. He said the party had adopted effective campaign strategy to win the election.
Borno elevates two emirs
HE Borno State government yesterday announced the elevation of the Emir of Uba, Alhaji Ismaila Mamza and that of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrisa Timta, to a first-class status. A statement in Maiduguri by Kwapchi Pata, a senior special assistant to Governor Kashim Shettima, said the elevation had taken effect. “Governor Kashim Shettima has approved the elevation of the Emir of Uba in Askira-Uba Local Government Area, Ismaila Mamza and the Emir of Gwoza in Gwoza Local Government Area to a first-class status’’, the statement said. No reason was given for the elevation, but the statement reiterated that the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, remains the chairman of the Traditional Council.
APC, PDP supporters clash in Sokoto
UPPORTERS of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Sokoto State engaged in a free-for-all at Dandima area of Sokoto. The clash, which left many supporters from both sides injured, led to the razing of both parties’ mini offices. An eyewitness said the clash was brought under control by the combined intervention of soldiers and policemen. Another eyewitness, Malam Musa Mai Gwanjo, said the two offices were located adjacent to each other.
Kogi pays lecturers
OGI State government has released N4.5million to pay the three months’ promotion arrears owed lecturers and non-academic staff of the College of Education, Ankpa. Governor Idris Wada gave the directive at a meeting the management, Govern-
From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja
ing Council, academic and non-academic unions at the Government House, Lokoja. The governor promised to look into the indiscriminate taxation of workers and the implementation of their salary increment.
Nyako’s aide cautions Gulak
PECIAL Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters Ahmed Gulak has been urged to stop his campaign of calumny against Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako. A statement by the Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajor, said: “We wish to remind him that he is still living in the past when he spoke about winning election in Adamawa State.” The statement regretted that the political adviser had
By Musa Odoshimokhe
thrown caution to the wind and preferred to mislead the people about his record. “His reference to his election in the aborted Third Republic as Speaker of the House of Assembly only reenforces the fact that he is living in the past.” Sajor said the political adviser should be grateful to his benefactor, Nyako. He said the President should be wary of Gulak in view of his antecedents.
Akume cedes APC chairmanship
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
ENATE Minority Leader George Akume has been chosen to lead the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State. At the inauguration of the Interim Executive Council, Akume delegated his duty to Targema Takema as the chairman of the Interim Executive Council. The senator said his name is among the 1,000 earmarked for elimination because he was vocal about bad governance. He called on reporters to wake up to their responsibilities as the watch dog of the society. Those who attended the inauguration were Prof Daniel Saror, Gen. Indyar Garba, Nelson Alakpa, Chief Joseph Waku, Usman Abubarka(young Alhaji), David Iornem and Isaac Shaahu. Others were: Kpamor Orkar, Orker Jev, John Dyegh, Emmanuel Viashima, Jeo Abaagu, Becky Orpin and Philip Anza.
•Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang flanked by the Speaker of the House of Assembly Titus Alams and the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, at the induction of the new president of the Church of Christ In Nations in Jos…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Fire razes commissioner’s house
HERE was a fire at the private residence of the Benue State Commissioner for Land and Survey, John Tondo. An eyewitness, Chris Aernan, said an old transformer, which supplies electricity in the area, caught fire and spread to one of the buildings in the commissioner’s
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
compound at New GRA in Makurdi. Firefighters from the State Fire Service put out the fire, preventing it from spreading to the main building. Tondo said he was in the church when he got a phone
call that his house was burning. “Before I arrived, firemen had put out the fire but one of the buildings was razed. “I don’t suspect any foul play. It was an act of God. This has nothing to do with my political ambition. It was as a result of a problem
from public power source, which can happen to anybody. “The incident occurred as a result of a spark from the transformer that gutted the bushes around it. “I thank God that it did not affected the main building and nobody was hurt,” he said.
Recreation spots demolished in Abuja
HE Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Department of Development Control, yesterday demolished two recreation spots, FESCO Security Gardens and Deos Gardens in Imo Crescent, Area 1, Garki. Church services were in session at both places when the bulldozers arrived. Deos Gardens accommodated the Redeemed Christian Church of God, while FESCO Gardens accommodated the Illumination Gospel Assembly. AMMC Coordinator Rue-
‘The management of this garden should have notified us of the receipt of the demolition notice; we don’t know where to go from here,” he said’ ban Okoya said the spots were removed because they
engaged in illegal activities. “A lot of illegal activities go on here; they converted a green area into a church, a recreational garden and a residential area, all in one; this is unacceptable. Okoya said it was not abnormal for the Department of Development Control to carry out demolition of structures at the weekend. “Development Control works 24 hours and the fact that some people are holding church service should not prevent us from doing our work.”
Police storm church in search of suspect
HERE was commotion yesterday at Issah Amujegye in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State when policemen stormed a church in search of a suspect linked with the attack on the Emir of Jere, Dr. Sa’ad Usman. Worshippers scampered for safety when the policemen came in and disrupted the service. But the Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Adenaike, said his men did not disrupt the service. It was gathered that some angry worshippers seized
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
one of the policemen and handed him over to soldiers patrolling the Kaduna-Abuja road. The resident pastor, Rev. Ibrahim John Ejims, said: “Yesterday at around 9am, I was on the altar when suddenly, armed policemen stormed my church and disrupted our service. “They claimed they were looking for one of my member, in connection with an attack on an emir on January 3. “They scared the members, caused commotion and disrupted the service.
“Members fled because of the confusion, which followed. It is unfortunate that policemen can behave in this manner.” Ejims said he had reported the matter to his superiors at the District Church Council (DCC) level. But Adenaike said he was not aware that his men disrupted the service. The police chief said the suspect jumped out through the window. He said the police went after the suspect. “One of my men was seized by the worshippers; he has since been released.
He said AMMC was increasing its monitoring activities to ensure that such illegal structures, when demolished, are not rebuilt. An official of the Parks and Recreation Department of AMMC, Innocent Esiagu, said the demolished gardens did not have approved plans. “They are not befitting to the FCT and they constitute security risk to inhabitants. “Although the lands used are legal because they are green areas reserved for recreation, the structures are illegal because they lack the approval by the department. “They need to come to our office to obtain approval before they can construct parks,” he said. A deacon in one of the churches, William Ikpi, complained that the congregation was not notified of the demolition. “We came here to worship this morning only for bulldozers to start destroying our things. “The management of this garden should have notified us of the receipt of the demolition notice; we don’t know where to go from here,” he said
24-hour power supply coming, says minister
INISTER of Power Prof Chinedu Nebo yesterday said the Federal Government was targeting a 24-hour power supply. A statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kande Daniel, quoted the minister: “While the immediate goal of the Federal Government is for those getting 12 hours supply to get 14, and others with 14 to enjoy between 16 and 18, with major cities as Lagos and Abuja targeted for between 22 and 23 hours’ supply, the ultimate goal is for Nigerians
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
to get 24 hours’ daily supply.” Nebo, according to the statement, said the foundation had been laid by the government for increased generation and enhanced transmission and distribution. The minister assured Nigerians that the president’s desire would be met. Nebo said he was confident that Nigerians would witness improved supply despite the challenges. “Mr. President gave us a marching
order. He said he wants electricity to be taken to places not connected to the National Grid. Of course, before this administration nobody was talking about that. You had to just wait until there was National Grid before you had electricity. Now, the game has changed. “In fact, today, President Goodluck Jonathan is going to launch our Operation Light-up Rural Nigeria, which is 100 per cent solar-driven to communities not connected to the National Grid.”
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888
Youth gang kills man in Lagos
Man declared missing
A 23-year-old man, Sunday Olajubu, who is dark-complexioned and five-feet tall, has been declared missing. He hails from Okeagbo in Akoko area of Ondo State. His sister in-law, Mrs Abigail Olajubu, said Sunday who was on his way to Iyana Ipaja, a Lagos suburb, got missing around Kilometre 26, Badagry Expressway, Ijanikin, Lagos. She said he was last seen on August 11, last year. Mrs Olajubu said after they returned home from The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Camp on August 11, Sunday told her he wanted to go to Iyana Ipaja. According to her, she asked him to wait till the following day so he could be accompanied but he insisted on going. On noticing that he had gone out, the woman made to trace him to a bus stop - Km 26, Badagry Expressway, Ijanikin but to no avail. She said she rushed to 34, Bashorun Street, Iyana Ipaja to confirm if he got there, but was told he did not. The matter, she said, was reported to the police at Ijanikin, where she was advised to go their village in Ondo State. She did but Sunday was not sighted there. "I have been under intense pressure from the family and to compound matters for me, my husband is not around," the woman said. She urged the Lagos State Government, the Nigerian Police and Lagosians generally to assist her out of her predicament. She gave her contact telephone number as: 08139772727.
By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent
• Lagos Police Commissioner Umar Manko MIDDLE-aged man, Yakubu Davids, popularly known as 'Ologbo,' was on Friday night "murdered" by a notorious youth gang known as 'O Strong' of the popular 'Oju-ina base' in the Agarawu area of Lagos Island. He was allegedly killed for his audacity to attempt to stop the hoodlums' criminal activities in the area. Several people were also report-
edly injured and unspecified millions of naira and property were lost during reprisal attacks by the supporters of the deceased from the Obadina area. The youths, who were allegedly based in a Masquerades’ compound called 'Agbole-Oya' in the area, were said to have fought back, causing injury to so many innocent people. It was reliably gathered that the troublesome youths had in the last three weeks, attended a social gathering on the Island, where they allegedly threatened others with broken bottles. However, an elderly man known as 'Erebe' challenged them at the party and prevented them from disrupting the outing. The gang, whose members are aged between 13 and 17 years, reportedly threatened to eliminate Erebe for daring them. The boys, it was learnt, later went to carry out their threat at 'Oju-ina', but mistakenly stabbed his friend in the stomach. Sources said the attack was con-
demned by the community including the deceased who threatened to report them to the police for arrest and eventual prosecution. "This threat irked the 'O Strong' boys. They followed Ologbo from their house at Ajishomo Street to Oshodi bus-stop where he lived with his wife and children, and stabbed him to death. The incident occurred about 9pm on Friday. The news came to us at Ita-Alagbaa as a shock and on Saturday morning, his corpse was taken from the hospital for burial," a source revealed. The source added that it was while returning from the burial ground that the deceased's colleagues and other youths who heard the incident teamed up for the reprisal attacks in Agarawu area, leading to a bloody clash between them. Several people were injured, while others lost personal effects including money. According to the source, it was the quick intervention of the Police from Area 'A' Command and
Teenager dies in fire
TEENAGER was yesterday confirmed dead in an early morning fire which razed some shanties in Oworonshoki area in Lagos State. Sources said the elder sister of the victim was cooking when the fire broke out. It was gathered that she ran out of the burning shanty, abandoning the little baby whose mother was said to be away. Mr Rasaq Fadipe, the Director of Lagos State Fire and Safety Service, confirmed the incident in a chat with The Nation in Lagos. He said that his men were mobilised to 35, Oke-Orin Street, Oworonshoki, the scene of the incident, adding that when the fire-fighters arrived there, the teenager had already been burnt to death. “It was so unfortunate that we got a late call and by the time we got to the scene, the buildings in the compound, mainly wooden shanties, had been razed. A teenager was burnt to death in one of the razed buildings. We gathered that he was the only one at home as at the time of the incident as his parents were away. We are yet to know why he was trapped and killed in the fire, while the occupants of other shanties within the same compound escaped unhurt.”
By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent
Fadipe, who said the cause of the fire had yet to be ascertained, said that the victim’s corpse had been deposited at a hospital’s morgue. He advised residents to immediately notify emergency agencies in case of any fire incident. He also warned residents against self-help efforts in such an emergency situation, saying that they should rather notify appropriate authorities to avoid preventable losses. The General Secretary, Council of Oworonshoki Youth Forum, Kabiawu Babajide, urged the state government and corporate bodies to establish a fire station in the area due to the incidents of fire in the area and its large population. He said: “Millions of people live in Oworonshoki and many fire incidents occur almost every day. Despite this, we have no fire station. Whenever there is fire incident, we have to wait for a fire station from Ilupeju to respond. This is not adequate. We have written to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which has promised to oblige, but nothing has been done yet. Apart from the government, we have written many banks and other private companies to help us achieve this.”
Commissioner assures residents on roads By Temitayo Ayetoto
HE Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure has pledged to focus keenly on implementation and completion of all the projects it started last year. Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, who disclosed it to reporters during a parley, said the ministry this year, would continue to provide standard roads and ensure even development in all parts of Lagos. According to him, 83 out of the 285 road projects completed in 2013 include: Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge in Eti Osa Local Government area; Ibeshe Road in Ikorodu LG area; Alaba Cemetery Road, Salabiu Olanrewaju Road, Simbiat Abiola Road, Badejo Kalesanwo, and a host of others. He said the essence of the phasing is to avoid concentration of development in a particular locality, noting that contractors had begun work on Liasu Egbe Road Phase II; Awolowo Road, Phase II in Ikorodu and Ago Palace Way, Phase II. He explained that the challenges encountered in the
From left: MD/CEO Siama Technologies Limited, Mr Iyke Nwaneche; Taiwo Shobade, Head, Planning and Logistics, Talent Hunt Computer Competition, 2nd prize winner Rosemary Akpa and the Proprietress of Double Glory Nursery/Primary School, Ogudu, Lagos, Mrs Gloria Iloka, during the presentation of prizes to winners at the 2nd edition of the competition sponsored by Siama Technologies.
the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja that saved the situation. Some residents in the area vowed to relocate from the vicinity unless the police fish out the 'O Strong' boys who, they said, had been causing trouble in the area. About 10 of the 'O Strong' boys and six of another youth gang called 'Get Ready,' who were also between the ages 12 and 18 years reportedly caused mayhem on the Island during the last two Ramadan fast. They were said to have been arrested by the Police from Area 'A' Command and prosecuted, but were later released because of protests by their parents who claimed that they were wrongly accused. As at yesterday, police vehicles were seen in the area, ready to combat any unexpected attack, while the Community Development Associations (CDAs) in the area were helping the police on how to arrest the culprits.
course of the construction process were responsible for the delay in execution. The commissioner said: "One of the challenges in the rural local government area like Badagry, Ojo is that building roads there is more expensive because majority of the roads are waterlogged. Other challenges are court actions against the government, which create extensive delay in project completion." While clearing the air on the misconception that development is restricted to certain areas, the commissioner said no local government in the state is marginalised as road projects are in earnest in every local government. Hamzat said the network connectivity of an area to other major ones, traffic bearing load and ability to discharge water are some of the criteria taken into consideration when selecting areas for development. "In some areas like Somolu and Agege, we didn't start work early enough because we were focusing more on the canals. It doesn't make sense to build a road when you cannot actually discharge the water. There must be an upfront somewhere. We are not just building roads to move people and traffic; we are also building roads to move water because the life span of that road will be diminished if it cannot move water," he explained.
Man drowns in beach
yet-to-be-identified man was yesterday swept away by waves at the Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos, The Nation learnt. The incident, which occurred at about 4.30pm, according to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, may have been caused as a result of climate change. The victim, who was in company of other Muslim faithfuls of the Sallahu Ala Monla Nabiya, was said to have come to the beach for spiritual exercise. It was learnt that other fun seekers at the scream of the drowned man's friends had tried to rescue him to no avail. The incident, The Nation gathered, was the fifth in 12 days at the Bar Beach, as four other persons got drowned at the beach on January 1. NEMA's South West Coordinator and an environmentalist, Iyiola Akamde, said: "When ice formations
By Precious Igbonwelundu
in the Polar Regions of Canada, the USA and Europe melt and flow into the Atlantic Ocean, the effect is increase in the volume of water, which leadS to extensive ocean tide beyond the limit of the sea shore. "Such situation increases the Continental Shelvepart of the cumulative effects of Global warming. NEMA's South-West spokesman, Ibrahim Farinloye, said four others drowned on New Year day. He said: "An adult man in company with friends was washed away at Bar Beach today. The man and his friends stayed far from the usual area where other fun seekers converged. Suddenly one of them raised the alarm on the drowning man. "Immediately, the beach rescuers made frantic efforts at saving the man but they failed. This incident has brought the number of those that drowned at the Bar Beach to five in just 12 days.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888
'Police need Nigerians to fight crimes'
OVERNMENT'S strides at completely ridding the society of crimes may remain a pipedream unless Nigerians complement the efforts, Police Affairs Minister, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), has said. "Population increase in Nigeria is high and yet, we cannot continue to increase the number of police officers and men because the wage will be too high. But by giving quality training and provision of intelligent apparatus to the police, manpower reduction and confidence building are achievable to fight crime. However, the police need to partner with the community to assist in intelligence gathering." Explaining that President Goodluck Jonathan's support for the Nigeria Police has brought improvement to the Force, he said: "The reform programme of the Federal Government has enhanced professionalism of the police by providing logistics and equipment, training, capacity building, community policing and welfare. At the moment, the zonal Assistant InspectorsGeneral (AIGs) and Police Commissioners of various state commands are more accountable thanks the President's uncompromising stance on accountability. We
Ogun fuel marketers threaten strike
By Jeremiah Oke, Ijebu-ode
By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent
thank the populace for giving information to the police, but they must do more in this New Year so that the police can serve them better." The former Military Administrator of Bayelsa State added: "We now have reformed budgets targeted at making provisions for the police to boost professionalism. The regular budget is mainly managed by the Inspector General of Police and the Police Management Team for capital and recurrent expenditures of the police. In the last two years, a lot has been accomplished within the resources provided, particularly in the reform budget." He noted that when releases to the ministry was dwindling owing to illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, Jonathan directed the Vice President, who is the Chairman of the Interim Implementation Committee on Police Reform Programme, to find an alternative way of funding the reform programme. "This initiative brought about the needed solution to fund the programme," he said. Olubolade, who praised governors of the 36 states for supporting the initiative by contributing one per cent of their
• Some trucks recently procured by the police to fight crimes. Inset: Olubolade monthly allocation to the reform programme, further said: "Within 2013, Mr. President gave various approvals to fund vital projects and programmes of the police. It is through such approvals that the payment of acquired helicopters, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), utility vehicles, arms and ammunition, including training of helicopter pilots and Special Forces, were made. The President also approved the upgrading of the Police Academy, WUDIL, Kano to a degree-awarding institution. The Academy will now function like the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) of the military, where professional officers will graduate to take
charge of the rank and file of the police. The Police Staff College, Jos, got a face-lift. Police Colleges and Training Schools are now receiving attention". "A few months ago, the Commander-In-Chief constituted a Presidential Committee to reorganise the Nigeria Police Force as part of the transformation agenda of this administration. Another committee was set up for the establishment of a forensic and DNA facility for the Nigeria Police. I chaired the committee. The reports of these committees have been submitted for consideration. One important project is the National Security Public Communication System (NSPCS) which
Orelope-Adefulire inaugurates health centre
AGOS State Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire and Chairman of Mosan-Okunola Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon Abdur Rasheed Abiodun Mafe have the laid foundation for the upgrading of the Akinyele Primary Health Care Centre and the Akinyele Area Office at the Low Cost Housing Estate, Abesan, Lagos. The health centre, a project of the MosanOkunola LCDA, is to ensure improvement in residents’ health care. Orelope-Adefulire hailed the council boss for putting in place programmes that would not only complement but also enhance the health care delivery in the
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
state government. "I will call on other council chairmen in the state to emulate the Chairman of Mosan/Okunola LCDA and learn from him," she said. She reaffirmed Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola's administration's commitment to ensuring best health care delivery in the state. According to her, the constructions of various child maternal health centres in the state had contributed greatly in reducing maternal/child mortality. "I am happy to hear that 620 babies have been delivered at the Rauf Aregbesola Medical Centre, Okunola. Imagine what would have happened without that
medical centre located in the area," she said. Mafe said the Akinyele health centre was being upgraded to cater for the needs of residents of Abesan Housing Estate, as well as adjoining communities in the area. "We are happy at the success recorded at the Rauf Aregbesola Medical Centre at Okunola which today has led to 620 babies being delivered at the centre since its inception," the council boss said. The council boss said his administration was committed to improving health care delivery in the council area to complement the healthcare delivery programme of the Fasholaled administration in the state.
•Mrs Orelope-Adefulire (second right) congratulating Mafe on the foundation laying of Akinyele Primary Health Care Centre at Abesan Estate, Lagos. With them are Member, Lagos State House of Assembly Hon Bisi Yusuf and Princess Adenike Olusoga.
comprises video conferencing and surveillance equipment and the GOTA system used for communication. The NSPCS have cameras that are fitted in Lagos and Abuja at the moment and will also cover other states later. The project is now operational," he said. On the one per cent of state's monthly allocation, Olubolade further explained: "It is taking off this January to complement all the arrangements put in place to address inadequate funding of the police. Governors will now embrace the reform programme properly as the Chief Security Officers of their states. This will hopefully limit the clamour for State Police."
THE Ogun State Independent Petroleum Marketers (IPMA) has threatened to go on indefinite strike, if the Federal Government refuses to start the rehabilitation of Sagamu-Ikorodu Road before the end of January. The union embarked on a seven-day warning strike in the first week of December last year to protest the dilapidated state of the road. The state chairman of the union, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen said IPMA had lost many lives and billions of naira to the bad road. According to him, the less than 10-kilometre road was awarded to a construction company which abandoned its equipment on the road and refused to start work on it for the past few years. He said IPMA had written many letters to both the Federal Government through Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and Ogun State Government without any outcome. Tajudeen noted that the union does not believe in industrial action to protest its demand from the government, but since nothing is forthcoming, it decided to make its grievances pronounce through strike.
LASU unionist alleges threat to life
Management: 'Allegation untrue'
T is an unfolding drama. It began last Monday and the dramatis personae were: The Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof John Oladapo Obafunwa, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University (SSANU), LASU chapter. At the height of the friction, SSANU leader Comrade Oseni Saheed alleged that the university's management was after his life. On the fateful Monday, when both parties looked each other in the face, it took the intervention of some principal officers of the university to douse the growing tension. The Nation gathered that SSANU members had, as usual, gone around the school to picket the offices of some of their colleagues who were being compelled by the university management to work despite the union's threemonth-old strike over the institution's "No vacancy, no promotion" policy. It was alleged that when
‘He told me I had overstepped my bounds and he was going to use all his powers to deal with me. He also threatened to use the state powers against me. But as a union leader, I am only doing my legitimate duty’ By Adegunle Olugbamila
the picketing train got some key SSANU members in the Vice-Chancellor's office, Obafunwa walked up to Oseni and their conversation degenerated into pandemonium. "He (Obafunwa) told me I had overstepped my bounds and he was going to use all his powers to deal with me. He also threatened to use the state powers against me. But as a union leader, I am only doing my legitimate duty, and there is no reason the management should coerce us to work. ASUU was on strike for nearly six months and management never coerced any of their members to work until their resumption. "We have every reason to be on strike and the management must respect our decision. But for the vice-
chancellor to now resort to threats is worrisome. Those words he used were expensive and it's like my life is under threat," Oseni said. Oseni explained that SSANU is waiting for the resolution by a committee set up by Lagos State Government to look into the union's grievances before calling off its strike. But the head of the university's Information department, Dr Sola Fosudo, who said "nobody was threatening anybody," explained that there is no basis for SSANU's agitation as all their grievances had been addressed except the 'no vacancy, no promotion' measure. Fosudo told The Nation that the management urged their sister union the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) - not to go on strike and it complied but SSANU back-pedaled, noting: "Their (SSANU's) action is not civil at all…If SSANU is on strike, does it mean the whole system should be grounded? That is not civil. The height of it all is that recently they now go about raining curses on management each time they protest." On the 'no vacancy no promotion' measure, he said: "What I know is that the Council is working on the issue. Even the ProChancellor has called the unions to address them. The management is not resting and soon, there will be resolution that will be favourable to all."
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
NEWS (SHOWBIZ) Odudu Music Awards for January 25
Seyi Shay reveals New Year plans
OME Saturday, January 25, all roads will literally lead to Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where the 5th Odudu Music Awards will hold. It is an annual music awards ceremony that has continuously provided a platform, where deserving artistes are celebrated for their creativity. The event has witnessed increased participation by highly talented musicians who submit their works for evaluation by the Academy, which is made up of professionals in the industry. Some of the past ‘Artiste of the Year’ category winners have moved on to produce great songs that have national appeal. They include Burna Boy, Waconzy and Dantonio. According to Micheal Ogolo, “The 5th edition of Odudu Music Awards is a special event as it is open to all Nigerian musicians. It will witness performances from top Nigerian musicians. This edition is a mustattend event in the city of Port Harcourt. It was moved from December 7, 2013 to allow for the centenary celebrations of the city of Port
•Ogolo Mercy Michael
Harcourt last year.” Among the dignitaries that have graced the past editions are Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and his wife, Dame Judith Amaechi; members of the National Assembly and captains of industries.” Some of the past sponsors of the event are Rivers State government, Moni Pulo Nigeria Limited, Total E & P Nigeria Limited, Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Daily 10 Supermart, Hi-def Lighting, Fair Priest Sounds, Sambass Films, Magicbrush Studios, Amazing Treat, Silverbird Group, Radio Port Harcourt, Ray Power/AIT, Octopus Clan Nigeria Limited, Delsy Outdoors, Redkarpet Photography, Studio 24, Mediaworks and Jinibase Ltd, among others.
Jide Kosoko celebrates
RINCE Jide Kosoko, a veteran Nigerian actor, producer and director, on Sunday marked his 60th birthday, amidst pomp and circumstance.
For the respected thespian, who has featured in several TV dramas, home movies and stage plays, it was another occasion to thank God for His grace in his life, as he organised a special family prayer and dedication at his Command, Ipaja, Lagos home. The Nation, however, gathered that an elaborate birthday party will be held on March 30. A number of his colleagues, friends and family members were said to have attended the low-key event at his home on Sunday.
IKE other Nigerian artistes, wave-making RnB/pop singer, Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, popularly known as Seyi
Shay, has a bagful of plans that she wishes to pursue aggressively towards building
her brand this year. She disclosed, during a recent chat with The Nation that she would release her album before summer of this year.
Juju music is still relevant -Larry King
TJ Sax's rising profile Mercy Michael
AXOPHONE prodigy, Tegiri Emore, otherwise known as TJ Sax, may be setting the record as the youngest artiste to do a duet with R& B superstar, Tuface Idibia. For the 12-year-old, the proposed collabo will, no doubt, be a big boost to his fledging career. The young saxophonist is a protégé of renowned saxophonist, Yemi Adeosun, popular known as Yemi Sax. He began to manifest his ingenuity on the instrument at six. Ever since, his star has been on the rise. Over the years, he has been enjoying impressive patronage in both the corporate and political circles, as he has performed at a number of shows to wide acclaim. When he performed at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, in 2011, he held the First Lady and other top dignitaries spellbound. His other notable saxophone exploits includes a performance in New Jersey and Maryland, USA. Tuface Idibia had once invited the whiz kid for a surprise duet at an end-of-the-year gig hosted about two years ago by Sahara Energy. It was learnt that TJ Sax was one of the unsung attractions at the super exclusive Dubai wedding of Tuface Idibia and Annie Macaulay last year. A representative of TJ Sax disclosed that TJ Sax is excited over the duet with an A-list artiste such as Tuface Idibia. A member of TJ Sax’s camp said, “We can't confirm anything, but we are flattered to be associated with a big brand and mentor such as Tuface Idibia. Uncle Tuface is an artiste’s artiste and a musician’s musician and it is exciting to be associated with him.” TJ Sax had been introduced to the Nigerian community by Yemi Sax when he did the beautifully crafted medley of hit singles “Hola At Your Boy” by Wizkid, “Bibanke” by Asa and “Forever Young” by Jay-Z and Mr. Hudson.
By Babatunde Sulaiman
“At the moment, I am trying to line up the producers I want to work with and the collaborations I want on the album. “This year, I will also like to establish a personal business that has nothing to do with music. I will also like to team up with some other brands; maybe do some other endorsements,” she said. Apart from the foregoing, the beautiful singer, who launched her music career in Nigeria barely two years ago, also intends to go into charity work. In an exclusive chat with The Nation, the Irawo crooner and Etisalat ambassador said, “I will like to do more charity work on a public scale. Although I know that it is good to do charity work in private, it is even better to do so in public, so that you can be an example to other people. If you don’t tell people the good things you are doing, they won't be able to follow in your footsteps. So, I would love to do more charity work.” The fast-rising artiste also disclosed her efforts to build her brand. According to her, “We are looking closely at my image. By this, I mean my hair, my clothing, the kind of music I sing and the kind of publication we do. We are keeping the brand tight by making sure that everybody in the team has a role to play and he or she goes out and do it well.”
AVING observed the goings-on in the Juju music scene in Nigeria for a long time, Larry King, a respected Juju artiste, is leaving no stone unturned in order to register his presence in the minds of Juju music lovers. King, who recently relocated to Nigeria from his London base, said he decided to return home at this time in order to promote his brand of music as w el l a s g r ow hi s c l i ent base. But beyond this, the talented artiste stated that he would surpass the height that both King Sunny Ade and Commander Ebenezer Obey, two Juju music legends, had attained in the past years. When asked how he hopes to achieve this, he s a i d , “I r e s p e c t C o m mander Ebenezer Obey and KSA very much. I really admire them and I want to contribute my quota to Juju music, just like they have done, and even surpass them. And I'm sure I can do it because of the immense talent in me. “When my album, Joyful Noise, takes the market by storm, you will understand what I’m saying. It will set a new standard for Juju
By Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi
music, as I will introduce a legend who has been out of the circle for more than 30 years in a collaborative work.” In his view, Juju music, contrary to the insinuation in some quarters, has not lost its popularity. King, who believes that an artiste is not made except he or she is accepted by his or her people, said, “Juju music is not dying and it can never die. It is still very good and solid. It is also our culture and you can't take our culture away.” It will be recalled that he came home a few months ago to promote his forthcoming album titled: Joyful Noise. The album, according to him, will be released in a couple of weeks. His publicist, Emmanuel O g hened e, w a s a l so i n London recently, where he and King perfected the marketing and promotional strategies for the album release. Joyful Noise, according to the artiste, is already making waves in Europe and America. “So, it is only sensible to release it into the Nigerian market too,” he said.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS
EDITORIALS 2014: Agenda for Jonathan (1)
• Security agencies need to do a lot more to assure Nigerians of their safety
N recent times, the daunting task facing Nigeria is how to mitigate her daunting security challenges. All through year 2013 and the preceding years, the nation was plagued by horrendous aggression of inconceivable proportion, emanating predominantly from, but not exclusive to the attacks of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. The obviously inhuman security affront on the nation by members of the sect, kidnappers, armed robbers and people who engage in illegal oil bunkering seem to make inevitable in the New Year, a new official approach from the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Past efforts by government seemed to have been inadequate. President Jonathan must see this year as one in which the country’s security problems have to be solved. And the solution lies not in mere rhetoric but in embarking on actions that would bring about pragmatic results. At the moment, Nigerians are tired of the eerie air of insecurity, whether in the north east or in other parts of the country. Whatever laudable goals the government might have on paper is only attainable if there is peace in the nation. Secured domestic as well as external environments are critical tools for global investment drive. Nigeria’s government cannot pretend not to be aware of this indubitable fact. The nation was in the news mostly for the wrong reasons last year. The criminal terrorist activities of Boko Haram attracted widespread global attention. Boko Haram’s inhuman afflictions have,
without doubt, become externalised because of the sect’s linkage with the deadly Al’Qaeda sect. Therefore, President Jonathan must not only be thinking globally in terms of getting assistance overseas but more importantly, he should put all necessary security checks in place within. We believe that charity begins at home; the need for a complete overhaul of the nation’s intelligence network has become inevitable. The notorious sect succeeded in most of its attacks because of poor intelligence gathering network in the country. Moreover, we call on President Jonathan to quickly stop the misuse of the police institution across the federation to achieve selfish political ends. What we regard as classical example in this regard is the illegal use to which the police have been deployed in Rivers State, for instance. So far, the Federal Government has failed to convince Nigerians that their country is safe. The failure of government to guarantee security in the nation is a loud breach of one of the fundamental provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the responsibility of government to the citizenry. The constitution, in section 14(2b) provides: ‘The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.’ This onerous provision has not been complied with by the government, even when nearly onethird of last year’s Federal Government budget was devoted to defence and security. Today, only a handful of privi-
leged Nigerians essentially feel safe because the impact of the money is not felt by the generality of the people. This year, the government should work out a programme that would see that the nation’s intelligence personnel are retrained at intervals in foreign countries with desired expertise so as to equip them with contemporary intelligence gathering techniques for better results now and in the future. The police especially, and other security institutions need to be properly funded so that they could be better prepared for the task of securing the nation’s territory and the citizenry. All these are necessary in 2014 because, without peace and security, there can be no long-term development and without sustainable development, there can be no long-term security.
‘President Jonathan must see this year as one in which the country’s security problems have to be solved. And the solution lies not in mere rhetoric but in embarking on actions that would bring about pragmatic results. At the moment, Nigerians are tired of the eerie air of insecurity, whether in the north east or in other parts of the country’
•Why is the President stalling presentation of RMAFC’s recommendations?
HE delay in presenting recommendations of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to the President for transmission to the National Assembly has been blamed on the reluctance of President Goodluck Jonathan to fulfill this constitutional obligation. Since the inauguration of the Fourth Republic, there has been agitation for a wholesale review of the current formula which almost all stakeholders have described as inequitable. However, the formula that allocates more than half of the national wealth to the Federal Government has remained in operation since it was imposed in 1992 by the Babangida Administration. In view of the reality of military rule then, and in conformity with the central command structure of the armed forces, the Babangida government saw nothing wrong with reserving for itself such in-
‘It is difficult to understand why President Jonathan is reluctant to give effect to this section. Despite being informed that the RMAFC was ready to present him with its recommendations, the Presidency is said to be unwilling to grant it audience. This is unfortunate, especially as it has become a pattern with the Jonathan Presidency’
equitable portion of the national wealth. Babangida’s successor, the late General Sani Abacha, simply kept faith with the distribution formula. The same mindset informed the provisions in the 1999 Constitution. Section 162 (2) provides that: “The President, upon the receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account…” It is difficult to understand why President Jonathan is reluctant to give effect to this section. Despite being informed that the RMAFC was ready to present him with its recommendations, the Presidency is said to be unwilling to grant it audience. This is unfortunate, especially as it has become a pattern with the Jonathan Presidency. He has failed to rise up to the duty of containing the fire in Rivers State where the political institutions run the risk of subversion. He has adopted the hear-no-evil, do-nothing attitude. The Third Schedule Part 1 Paragraph 32 of the same Constitution recognises that the country is dynamic and suggests a review within five-year bounds. But, for more than 20 years, the commission has been reduced to merely fixing the remunerations of public officials. All efforts to effect changes in view of “current realities” since 2002 have been thwarted by the Presidency and the National Assembly. The only minor adjustment effected so far was in 2002 to bring the formula in conformity with the Supreme Court verdict on the resource control suit
filed by the Federal Government. The President came up with a Modification Order in May 2002, amended in July 2002, and January 2004, respectively. In place of the current formula, the governors have proposed a review of the powers and responsibilities of the federal and state governments. The Nigerian Governors Forum, in 2011, proposed that the Federal Government should have not more than 35%; states 42%; and local governments, 23%. This contrasts with the operating formula that distributes the national revenue thus: Federal Government 52.68%, while the states receive a share of 26.72% and local government areas receive 20.6%. We recommend that in the spirit of the on-going review of the constitution, the role of the RMAFC should be upgraded from advisory to executive. Recommendations from the commission need not go through the President to the National Assembly. Since the laws of the land accommodate Private Members’ Bills, there is no reason why the commission should not be permitted to direct its technical input to revenue sharing among the three tiers of government directly to the legislature. Besides, the five-year review band should be made mandatory. Even where the commission comes to the conclusion that the existing formula is adequate, it should make the submission in writing to both Houses of the National Assembly. We call on both the President and the lawmakers to wake up to their responsibilities and endorse an equitable revenue formula for the country.
Fitful progress in the antismoking wars
IFTY years ago last Saturday, on Jan. 11, 1964, a myth-shattering surgeon general’s report on smoking and health brushed aside years of obfuscation by tobacco companies and asserted, based on 7,000 scientific articles, that smoking caused lung cancer and was linked to other serious diseases. Those findings expanded as more data was gathered. Research since then has shown that tobacco can cause or exacerbate a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, multiple kinds of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma and diabetes, and can injure nonsmokers who breathe in the toxic fumes secondhand. The death toll from tobacco remains stubbornly high but can be driven down by using a range of new and proven tactics. By some measures, the 50-year campaign to rein in tobacco use has been an enormous success. The percentage of American adults who smoke dropped from 42 percent in 1965 to 18 percent in 2012. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week estimated that tobacco control measures adopted since 1964 have saved eight million Americans from premature death and extended their lives by an average of almost 20 years. Experts attribute the gains to vigorous campaigns to educate people about the dangers of smoking; increases in cigarette taxes; state and local laws that protect half the nation’s population from tobacco fumes in workplaces, bars and restaurants; restrictions on advertising; prohibition of sales to minors; and various prevention and cessation programs financed by states or private insurance. Despite these gains, nearly 44 million American adults still smoke, more than 440,000 Americans die every year from smoking, and eight million Americans live with at least one serious chronic disease from smoking. Medical costs connected to smoking are nearly $96 billion a year, with an additional $97 billion lost in productivity because of illness. On Wednesday, several health organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids called for a new national commitment to drive smoking among adults down to less than 10 percent over the next decade; protect all Americans from secondhand smoke within five years by having every state enact laws against smoking in all workplaces, bars and restaurants; and ultimately eliminate death and disease caused by tobacco. It won’t be easy. The tobacco industry spends more than $8 billion a year to market cigarettes and other tobacco products in this country, with much of its marketing slyly aimed at young people. The industry is also invading foreign markets, often in less developed countries, in an effort to make addicts of millions more customers to replace those in industrialized nations. Although smoking rates among adults around the globe have fallen sharply since 1980, the number of smokers has increased significantly along with population growth and will continue to increase as national incomes and populations rise. The United States government must help counter the tobacco industry’s efforts to spread its noxious products around the world. New York Times
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh
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THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: The plan by the the Abia State government to embark on the construction of a seaport and an airport in the state is not only a misplaced priority, it is a white elephant project that would turn out to be a big financial waste. There are very critical sectors in the state that demands the governor’s attention for development rather than these projects that would end up not contributing to the economic development of Abia at this time. One wonders why the haste to build an airport and a seaport now? With just 17 months left for the governor to complete his tenure, how does he hope to complete these projects? Should we remind the TA Orji administration that the airports at Owerri and Enugu do not presently witness more than two departure and arrival flights in a day? And, we all know that, it is mostly
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Abia airport and seaport, misplaced priorities the political class and few wealthy individuals who use these airports. So, it is not true when they say it is to advance the economic interest of the state and region that they are constructing these projects. In fact, it is also on record that few airlines ply this route because of low patronage of passengers. Of all the airports in the South-east and Southsouth, it is only the Port-Harcourt International Airport that appears very busy while others operate at low ebb.
The development of the economy anywhere would depend on how the infrastructures there are improved. Governor Orji would help boost the economy of the state, attract investors, the moment he decides to do the right things first. The few federal roads that connect to Aba, the commercial city of Abia, for instance, Port Harcourt – Aba – Umuahia, Ikot-Ekpene – Aba, Owerri – Aba roads are all in a state of disrepair. These roads deserve to be properly built and maintained
considering the heavy human and vehicular traffic they carry daily. Agreed, they are federal roads, but we stand to gain much from their repair and maintenance. More so, the governor is a good friend and loyalist to President Goodluck Jonathan hence, an agreement can be reached between him and the President on one hand and, the federal minister of works on another, on the refund of expenses to be incurred by the state government in putting the roads in order.
brazenly endeavor to ritualize the occasion when truth was manifested to believers to show the clarity of God. This is an act of vanity. A group of zealots cannot pretend to meet the biblical sanctity to come together to stage the spiritual phenomenon. One shouting all through the night to call down the Holy Spirit will cause sore throat and severe tiredness through the day, at best, a psychological release. God is not so far away that He cannot hear the divine mediation of a saint. God is in the forefront of your presence and your life will be an embodiment of miracles when you observe Him. Looking up to man to bring down the spiritual light from heaven is like believing in magic. God did not create man to understand His ways. Trusting your life in the hands of another to make your problems disappear is recklessness. One is inclined to believe that the punishment will be greater for the megalomaniacs who sell fantasy to the searching souls. An Igbo adage asks the question, a doctor that cures dysentery where does he put his buttocks. It is the flare of ambition that blinds some gifted people to
cross the boundary of glory. Magnificent light appears to those who sleeplessly seek the love of angels. It dawns before their eyes to light their hearts with joy. It is as simple as a rose to see the love of God. The glimmer of beauty like stars dotting the blue sky caresses the rough places. Nature can testify that the Holy Spirit is ever present whether you shout down from heaven or whisper from the deep-
est valley. It is a struggle to walk the barren desert. The sparkle of a falling spring is divine. The creator made both the desert and the spring to serve His purposes. Shine your eyes in the light of the sun and you will find peace in your journey. Bang not your head against a rock to find water. It is free! • Pius Okaneme, Umuoji, Anambra State.
say we did not need that much. That’s where I got disappointed. You are very aware of the rot in our nation, orchestrated by corruption which has seeds sown in all aspects of our lives as a people. Why then should we set the bar so low and demand just a year of rules and civility, when the potential for a lot more dwells within? As a nation, Nigerians have suffered untold hardship in our efforts to remain one. Lives have been lost in crisis; both political and ethnic, violence and impunity have become a way of life. Amenities to ensure the everyday life of
For the love of religious ecstasy
IR: Open your mouth and start giving God thanks. And like a clogged gutter that finds an outlet, the flood of words gush out. The congregation rapidly voices out their burdening intentions. The supplications flow without restriction like incantations from a subconscious medium. The cacophony of sound shakes the air. Bitterness and anger ruffle the wind. There is rapturous weeping, wailing and moaning. Like excited juveniles in a rock concert, worshippers surrender themselves in a spiritual jamboree. The deepness of the outpouring of hidden thoughts is explosive to understand. Words of castigation by believers rattling like a burning fire. The devil is a liar. My enemies will burn in hell fire. Holy Ghost fire must burn the hands holding down my progress. They furiously burst with fire the shackles of bondage. The projection of the demonic force seems circuitous. Worshippers are venting their condemnation of one another or relatives who they judged have wronged them. Shouting down the Holy Spirit like it is the day of Pentecost is the rave in many churches. Participants
We had thought that, first, Aba, the commercial nerve centre would attract the government’s massive investment to advance the state’s economic base, create employment, increase its capital earning and become less dependent on Abuja. Aba remains the only magic wand to transform Abia State economically. The airport and seaport construction that the government is considering now in the state will mean next to nothing when Aba is still very poorly developed. Major industrialists, manufacturers are shutting down and relocating their businesses for more conducive and friendly business environments. In the last couple of years, some fabric and shoe-making industries in Aba have relocated to Abuja and Lagos because of the harsh economic climate in Aba, thereby making Abia State lose revenue. Others with huge business interests in Abuja, Lagos and other cities have refused to relocate or locate a branch because of the disappointing economic climate there. The question for the governor and his men is – what is the economic attraction in the state right now to warrant a seaport or an airport? • Uzodinma Nwaogbe Abuja
Omatseye’s For love of Nigeria
IR: I read Sam Omatseye’s article with the above title published in The Nation of Monday January 6. I must say I enjoyed the article just as I have enjoyed so many others before this. I was however moved to write this time, because I was not impressed with the back and forth thoughts on the manner of sacrifice or nature of patriotism expected of our politicians to display. Sam talked about our politicians having to learn from the Mandela type of patriotism, and sacrifice their Winnie, but just when I expected him to build on that, he returned to
Nigerians is made easier, bearing in mind our huge resources, is without. I therefore say, Mr. Omatseye, that what our nation needs are true leaders, willing to make whatever sacrifice it will take to turn this nation on the right path. Leaders, who are willing to sacrifice their Winnie, make the vow of Jephtah or get their families butchered. This is the only type of patriotism and love for country that will see Nigeria turn a new leaf and ensure years of rules and civility. • Emmanuel Moses Port Harcourt
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
OES being the first to be born on New Year’s Day have any post-event value? Should it? Shouldn’t it? The customary publicity that attends the earliest births in a year suggests uniqueness worthy of celebration; but, interestingly, the social euphoria dies first. After historic minutes in the spotlight, the newsmaker becomes history. So the public may never again hear of those whose entrance provided titillation as a new year succeeded the old. The New Year’s Day 2014 babies across the country are unlikely to be comprehensively captured in the news, but even for those who enjoyed media focus, it would likely be a fleeting happening. It is noteworthy that the scale of significance attached to the arrivals unfailingly draws the high-profile symbols of power and influence, specifically, the wives of toplevel political leaders who perform the ceremony of glory perhaps on account of their own maternal status. So in the federal capital, Abuja, First Lady Patience Jonathan represented by the Director- General, National Council for Women Development, Ms Onyeka Onwenu, welcomed the first baby of the year, a boy born to Mr. and Mrs. Zubairu at 12.45 a.m. by Caesarean section, weighing 3.5kg at birth. The buzz at the Gwarimpa General Hospital, Abuja, was understandable as Baby Zubairu was joined by seven other boys and three girls born on January 1. “Babies are special gifts from God. I wish them God’s blessings, peace and tranquility. The children will grow in peace and will be great because children are special gifts from God,” said a philosophical Onwenu. It was twofold joy as the wife of Lagos State Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, congratulated Mr. and Mrs. Adediji whose twins were the babies of the year in the state. The twin girls arrived by a Caesarean at Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, and their 37-year-old mother, Folashade , expressed gratitude to God for “His
‘This is not necessarily an argument for entitlement. Rather, it simply suggests a creative approach to people-oriented governance, which would also benefit the image of the leaders. It cannot be enough to associate with these babies only at birth, if society considers the circumstances of their birth sufficiently special to merit exceptional celebration. Their survival as well as their progress should be of interest to society, beyond the thrill of the day’
HE singular and most frightening demographic fact of twentieth century Africa is the bulge in its youth component whose consequence constitutes a paradox of untold proportion. The youth is, without doubt, the most active proportion of any continent’s or state’s population whose unbounded energies constitute a threat if not channelled to productive endeavours. Africa’s youth population is leaping in geometrical proportions, yet there is no correlative employment into which to channel their humongous exuberances. Now, here is the tragedy: By 2030, it is expected that many African countries would find themselves within a demographic window of opportunity that would allow them to reap the benefits of what has been called the ‘demographic dividend’. This results from the transition of the youthful population of a country to working-age adults relative to children and the elderly. The middle group is usually reserved for the youths who, it is expected, will have fewer children and would thus provide enormous boost for a state’s economic profile. We have the example of the East Asian countries and their economic miracle as illustration of the immense possibility of a demographic bulge. Yet, that bulge portents a serious challenge to most African states. And we also have the example of the Middle Eastern states and the Arab Spring as illustration of the negative dimension of such a bulge. There are about 65% of Africa’s total population today that are under the age of 35; there is a further 35% that stands in the demographic gap between 15 and 35 years (this makes for about 200 million people between age 15 and 35); and the continent offloads at least about 10 million of this youthful population into the labour market either as unemployed or unemployable. These figures are expected to double by 2045. In Nigeria, close to 70% of the population, translating into about 80 million people, are within the youth age bracket. More than 38% of this figure is currently unemployed. And the figure keeps rising! We can therefore interject the question: What do the youths want? This question provokes the awareness of our collective insensitivity as well as the willingness and readiness to take institutional steps to correct the imbalance in policies that engage the youths in national and continental agenda. The question is equally a rebuke to the youths who have no inkling of their manifest destiny and thus have abandoned hope of ever receiving the baton of national influence that would enable them to claim tomorrow. I don’t mean this as a critique. And this is because, apart from taking the radical way of unmitigated violence, the youths seems to have been locked into a constitutional closure that deny them legitimate avenues for contributions. Thus, while we pay lip service to the rhetoric of the role of the youths in the vanguard of democratic governance as well as within the political economy of a state, the youths continue to represent all that is bad within our development profile: kidnapping, robbery, internet fraud, political thuggery and militancy. The index of negativity which we decry today is essentially a national and continental indictment of our lack of institutional
Baby, don’t cry wonderful gifts.” In Anambra State where 200 babies were reportedly born on January 1 at both private and public hospitals in the three senatorial zones, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Margaret Obi, was said to have visited 15 of them at different public hospitals and gave gifts and cash to the lucky parents. In a striking sense, it would appear that these celebrated births redefine William Shakespeare’s famous quote on greatness. The illustrious English playwright wrote in Twelfth Night, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” However, in the case of New Year’s Day babies, the Shakespearean categories evidently collapse, for the infants apparently are born great, achieve greatness and have greatness thrust upon them all at once by virtue of their arrival time, even if transiently. This pronounced ephemerality of grandeur is certainly food for thought. Who, for instance, remembers last year’s first babies, or those of yesteryear? Who remembers the millennium’s first babies? Beyond the tokenism of the moment, the reality is that little or nothing follows from the very figures who bask in the reflected glory of the babies’ birth, which leaves a sour taste in the mouth. As a public relations idea and exercise, for instance, what about a First Baby Birthday organised by the central and state governments yearly to fete these symbols of history? What is more, how pleasing it would be to have not only state agencies but also corporate entities take on the education or health care issues of this magical circle! It is enlightening that Baby Zubairu’s mother, Fatima, while responding to the government’s representative, said, “I am happy and grateful for this visit and by Allah’s grace, we shall give the child the best education we can afford and may God reward the First Lady for this kind gesture.”
It goes without saying that for a good number of the parents of these first babies, especially those born in public hospitals, raising them could be made easier by humanitarian intervention. When one considers the mindboggling figures that are linked with official corruption across the country, it is tragic that the powerful hardly spare a thought for the New Year babies beyond the ritual of hospital visits and superficial donations. This is not necessarily an argument for entitlement. Rather, it simply suggests a creative approach to peopleoriented governance, which would also benefit the image of the leaders. It cannot be enough to associate with these babies only at birth, if society considers the circumstances of their birth sufficiently special to merit exceptional celebration. Their survival as well as their progress should be of interest to society, beyond the thrill of the day. Perhaps it is pertinent to point out that Nigeria is ranked 2nd among the top 10 countries with the most first-day of life deaths, according to a 2013 State of the World’s Mothers Report. At least 89,700 (9 per cent) babies die on their first day of life every year in Nigeria, the report indicated. Entitled “Surviving the First Day”, it is the 14th in a series on the theme “Save the Children”, and compared first-day death rates for 186 countries. It found that in most countries, children are at greatest risk on the day they are born. In addition, Nigeria was 169th on the Mothers’ Index out of the 186 countries assessed in critical areas such as mother’s health, education and economic status, as well as key child indicators of health and nutrition. At the presentation of the report in Lagos last year, Country Manager, Save the Children International, Susan Grant, stressed the importance of helping babies survive not only the first day but also the first week and first month of life toward achieving the Millennium Development goal of reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015. She expressed concern that the report identified Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest numbers of maternal and newborn deaths, stating that each year 40,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, and over two million babies die in their first month of life. This depressing backdrop corroborates the thought that New Year’s Day babies deserve more than the cursory attention that comes with the glare of publicity. It is a romantic picture, no doubt, but that is the beauty of the human imagination, the possibility of beautifying not only humanity but also the world both materially and spiritually. The truth is that there will always be babies born on New Year’s Day, right from the beginning to the end, and they will continue to trigger superlative excitement, especially those who arrive first. There must be more concrete ways of promoting their special status, which would enhance the concept of man as an advanced creature.
What do youths want? By Tunji Olaopa foresight about the role of the youth as a demographic imperative in our nascent development. And, surprise of all surprise, this institutional deficit is even enshrined in constitutional provisions. It therefore becomes obvious that our inability to respect the youths as an inevitable component of national development derives ultimately from our lack of diligence about making the constitution an enabling document that would allow the youths several avenues for participating. For instance, the only reference to ‘youth’ in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution surfaced in the term ‘National Youth Service Corps decree’ mentioned in Part Three, 315 (5). And this is a critical indication of the substantive exclusions of the youths that the constitution perpetuates, especially with regard to certain significant posts in the polity. Chapter two—Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy—section17 (3f) states that ‘children, young persons and the age are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect.’ We are at a loss therefore to reconcile this constitutional contradiction. Yet, any meaningful onslaught against the danger of unleashing the negativity of youth unemployment, as the Arab Spring pointedly demonstrates, must be through an institutional reform. And there is no best place to begin than with a serious tinkering with the constitution. The constitution of any state represents the tangible document for promoting a political culture of a deep respect for the law contained in the legal document. Constitutionalism is premised on the notion that the government is tasked with the duty of making available provisions that would enable every segment of the state live meaningfully. And this can be achieved by engaging with the letter and spirit of the constitution. And in some instances, it becomes imperative to reinforce these constitutional contents with regional and continental initiatives and advocacies that energise what the national constitutions lack. In this case, I have my mind on the African Youth Charter, a definitive statement of intention, enriched by several other regional, continental and international programmes of actions and statutes, concerning the future roles and integration of the African youths in the mainstream development, democratic and political dynamics of their various African states. The evolution of what can be called a ‘new constitutionalism’, therefore, would be an abiding concern with strengthening, through the legal provisions of the constitution, a framework for integrating the youth constituent of the state into the governance processes that, in the final analysis, determine their future prospects. Studies have shown that there are two major factors that would be significant in determining Africa’s future economic growth, and especially with regards to whether or
not African states would be able to reap the demographic dividend. These factors are, first, a bulge in the number of working adults and, second, the evolution of institutional quality— strong rule of law, efficient civil service and stable socio-political environment by which the demographic bulge can be effectively utilised. We have already achieved the necessary demographic bulge; we have an army of willing youths whose patriotic zeal remains untapped. And, this constitutes further news: these young ones do not care to be restrained by the usual ethnocentric biases that we have allowed to slow our progress for so long. What is needed to move forward, therefore, is finding the right constitutional arrangement for engaging them. To achieve the objectives of youth participation and empowerment requires several policy decisions and institutional initiatives that look to the youths as a constitutional necessity. The following can serve as the starting point of such constitutional reform: The first initiative requires strengthening constitutional means for increasing the respect for the rule of law. When the law is respected, it generates multiplier effects which enhance other democratic practices that benefit the youths; Constitutional enactments that remove exclusionary clauses restricting the youths from elective offices, and recognise in them viable participants in the governance processes. This can begin by making specific provisions regarding the youths and their roles in national development; evaluation and review of youth participation strategies in national affairs (i.e. the imperative of having a youth chapter in all political parties with youths serving as executives); evolution of elaborate national empowerment schemes that focuses the energies and attention of the youth. Education serves a significant function in the attempt to orient the direction of the youth towards national development; and the existing National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) can be capacitated with constitutional muscle that replicates its organisational strength in the 36 states of the federation as a ready avenue for youth convergence and deployment for national affairs. Herbert Hoover, one time president of the United States remarked that ‘Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.’ In the final analysis, the youths and the constitution of a state represent the incomparable ingredient of progress if both can be made to synergise through a deep respect for the law of the land which recognises the youth. When all is said and done, the youths in Nigeria, and Africa, constitute our first and last hope. Beyond the demographic dividend, the youth is the future. • Dr Olaopa is Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth Development Abuja.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
DWIN Clark’s letter to Obasanjo following the latter’s derisive remarks on the Ijaw in his open letter to President Jonathan, again brings to the fore some of the paradoxical issues of our national existence. Expectedly, opinions have differed on the propriety of Clark’s letter especially at a time the tension generated by the altercation seems to be waning. Some people queried the locus of Clark as Obasanjo’s letter was explicitly addressed to Jonathan. In this school belongs a northern politician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed who contended that Clark has no locus standi in the matter. He would rather see Clark’s letter as part of the harm the Ijaw people are doing to the nation by appropriating Jonathan. But many others are of the view that Clark is within his rights to have taken up Obasanjo having worked closely with him. They contend that his intervention could avail the nation vital information to aid understanding of the motive behind Obasanjo’s contentious letter. To this school, Obasanjo also passed incendiary comments on the Ijaw nation. So any Ijaw man or woman is within his or her rights to respond to the unmitigated insults heaped on their ethnic nationality. In this school, we have such personalities as Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Tanko Yakassai and Olu Falae among others. What these eminent Nigerians are saying is that there are sufficient grounds in Obasanjo’s open letter to provoke Clark or any other Nigerian to join issues with him. This writer shares this view. Even then, Clark had in the initial paragraphs of his letter set out very clearly sections of Obasanjo’s letter that he considered offensive to his ethnic nationality. He said he was moved to write to
‘We must get out of this worn out stereotypical classifications that cast some sections of this country as incapable of producing national leaders or their culture and language as inferior to some others’
Emeka OMEIHE 08112662675 email: EmekaOmeihe@yahoo.com
Now, the Ijaw dimension refute some of the issues highlighted in Obasanjo’s letter especially about the Ijaw nation. He made references to what he called Obasanjo’s ‘characteristic hatred and use of sarcastic remarks about the Ijaw’. Citing aspects of Obasanjo’s letter which stated “For you to allow yourself to be possessed so to say to the exclusion of the rest of most of other Nigerians as an Ijaw man is a mistake that should never have been allowed to happen’, Clark had established sufficient grounds for his intervention. It is therefore very curious why the likes of Mohammed are still querying the propriety of Clark to respond to the insulting allegations against his ethnic group even as he remains the acclaimed national leader of that nationality. Even then, Clark has been on the national stage for quite sometime now and has worked very closely with Obasanjo. He has vital information on Obasanjo which he wanted to avail this nation so that we can better understand the character that Obasanjo is. And that much was evident in his letter. Anybody who fails to decipher the new insights he brought to the matter must be deceiving himself. That apart, he was able to fault Obasanjo’s claim that Jonathan has been appropriated by the Ijaw ethnic group. Displaying statistics of key appointees of the government alongside their ethnic origin, he succeeded in putting a lie to Obasanjo’s claims. The officers highlighted in his letter are those who by every consideration are seen as close confidants of the president. Figures shown negate the claim that the Ijaw have taken exclusive possession
CHIEVEMENTS may be viewed from diverse prism depending on the parameters employed and the benchmarks set. Success in one clime could therefore pass off as failure in another. But in all of human history and civilization, men that evolve ideas and visions that shape the future of their worlds beyond their generations have never gone down unnoticed and are proudly admitted into halls of fame. Delta Beyond Oil programme, which has conferred on the governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan the rare privilege of the architect and pioneer of a Nigeria beyond oil philosophy and initiative, is one such pragmatic initiative of a leader of modern Nigeria. Governor Uduaghan in 2013 made history by winning four coveted awards from leading newspapers in Nigeria. First, the Leadership newspapers named him their Governor of the Year for 2013. In the same breadth he emerged as The Sun, Vanguard, and Nigerian Pilot Man of the Year for 2013. The common denominator that earned the governor these awards was his novel programme of Delta Beyond Oil. The Sun in announcing the governor as winner of its 2013 Man of the Year declared: “Uduaghan got the winning votes for envisioning Nigeria beyond oil and taking practical steps about it in Delta State.” This was also shared by Leadership: “For his vision of a state beyond oil-a vision beyond time and politics-and for building bridges of peace across one of Nigeria’s most disparate communities, massively building and renewing infrastructure and placing the economy of Delta State on a solid footing, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan is the Leadership Governor of The Year 2013.” Vanguard in its profile on the governor also observed: “underlying the successes of the Uduaghan administration in Delta State is vision: looking beyond the present. It is that vision that is driving the administration’s passionate pursuit to position the state outside the perimeters of the shock from fluctuating oil revenue. The policy framed as Delta State beyond oil encapsulates the three cardinal philosophy that was the hallmark of the Uduaghan administration at inception…For his visionary steps in governance, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan is the choice of Vanguard Editors as the Man of the Year, 2013.” Nigerian Pilot newspapers on its part noted that the choice of Uduaghan as its Man of the Year was informed by the governor’s landmark achievements since assuming office in 2007. The newspaper informed that Uduaghan emerged after “critical appraisal of the performance of all 36 state governors in virtually all areas of assessment.” The Uduaghan administration came into office in 2007 with a clear cut vision that aimed at moving the state away
of the president. There is nothing of that sort. Rather, it was a statistic of the various ethnic groups playing various roles around the president. From whence therefore did Obasanjo arrive at his claim that Jonathan is being possessed by the Ijaw to the exclusion of the rest of other Nigerians? This is the question Obasanjo must answer otherwise he must hold himself accountable for fanning embers of ethnic discord unbefitting of the status he arrogates to himself. Obasanjo also made another very dangerous remark on the Ijaw which Clark failed to highlight in his letter. He had in the same letter said inter alia, Goodluck Jonathan by his acts of omission or commission may turn out the “first and last Nigerian President ever to come from the Ijaw tribe”. Nothing can be so disdainful of an ethnic group than this statement. That the Ijaw nation has not reacted to this overt insult on its people is indeed a very deplorable thing. Not with the obvious innuendoes and insults that are embedded in it. For one, the statement erroneously tends to hold the Ijaw nation responsible for whatever acts of omission or commission associated with the current regime of Jonathan. That is what Obasanjo wants to achieve ostensibly on behalf of Nigerians. But if one may ask, on whose behalf or authority is he making such a bogus claim? Nothing can be as incongruous and asinine as that unguarded conclusion. If stretched to its logical conclusion, it would amount to holding the Yoruba nation down for Obasanjo’s many
failings as the president of this country including his self-serving third term gambit in a democratic dispensation. It would also amount to denying the Hausa/Fulani another chance at the presidency because of the years of the locust denoted by their leadership of the commanding heights of this country. Why such a suggestion should be the case for the Ijaw nation exposes some of the inherent contradictions in this unity in diversity. Or is it part of the strategy to get the Ijaw people to be enemies among themselves by denying their people their rights within the federation for fear of being accused of favouring them? That is what has been termed in some circles as reversed discrimination or inverted tribalism. And it only crops up when certain sections of the country are holding key national offices as is evident in the instant case. Clark made references to this when he contended that during the regimes of Obasanjo and Yar’Adua, the Yoruba and Hausa languages respectively were the lingua franca in the presidency and nobody saw anything wrong with it. He is worried why the Ijaw nation should be marked out for selective blackmail if this country really belongs to all of us. In this, he has a large following. And when it is recalled that much of the resources of this country are tapped from the backyard of that nationality, the issue of equity begins to beg for urgent attention. Obasanjo did incalculable harm to the psyche of the Ijaw nation through his pejorative references and the Ijaw should not be expected to swallow that line, hook and sinker. By the account of the Committee of Patriots led by Prof. Ben Nwabueze, there are over 380 ethnic nationalities in this country. If the presidency is to rotate along this line, Obasanjo will be playing God to determine for these groups whether to allow the Ijaw nation take another shot at the presidency in the near future. It is a matter that is certainly beyond him. Beyond this, we must get out of this worn out stereotypical classifications that cast some sections of this country as incapable of producing national leaders or their culture and language as inferior to some others. It will be the height of deceit to classify Obasanjo and Yar’Adua for instance, as national leaders but Jonathan or another Igbo man who aspires to be president as an Ijaw or Igbo ethnic chieftain. It is all part of the competitive strategy to hold others down. Sadly, Obasanjo has become its chief purveyor.
Awards as testament to Delta Beyond Oil vision By Mazima Onothoja from an oil dependent economy. A critical analysis of the governor’s policy thrust from inception reveals the Delta Beyond Oil policy as being at the root of his three-point agenda of peace and security, human capital development and infrastructure development. The diligent implementation and prosecution of these programmes laid the foundation blocks upon which the superstructure for a state that that is not tied to the vagaries and fluctuations of oil revenue is being erected. Palpable sense of insecurity, militancy, piracy, armed robbery and other violent crimes confronted the administration when it came into office. Knowing that peace and security was the bedrock of development and investment, the governor quickly formulated a security architecture that comprised among other measures, equipping security agencies with modern communication and operational tools, joint police-military patrol teams, waterways security committee, advocating amnesty for militants. Today, the state apart from isolated criminal cases is one of the peaceful in the country. Credit also goes to the governor for the success story of the federal government’s amnesty programme, being the first to canvass that position. The governor has also put in place the infrastructure base that is helping to diversify the economy of the state. The successful delivery of the Asaba International Airport which has since begun commercial flights, the on-going extension of the run-way at Osubi Airport, the dualization of the Ughelli-Asaba Highway to connect Delta Ports to the Eastern markets at Onitsha, Nnewi and others, KokoUgbenu Road project to link the Koko Export Processing Zone are projects of great economic value, some of which have started to have multiplier effect on the state. The government’s free primary and secondary education, bursary and scholarship programmes are helping to build capacity and skills to drive a non oil dependent economy. The free medical schemes, namely: free maternal healthcare programme, free under-five programme, free rural health programme and standard health institutions are keeping the populace healthy. Already Delta State Micro-Credit Programme that won Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) awards for three consecutive years, 2009 to 2011
has not only reduced poverty but helped to produce entrepreneurs from small to medium scale. Some of the enterprises now earn foreign capitals, exporting their produce outside the country. According to the governor, ”The ultimate goal of Delta Beyond Oil is to provide employment for our teeming population. Specifically we are concentrating on agriculture, culture, tourism, solid minerals…” The youth empowerment through agriculture and farmers support and assistance programmes, the Delta-Obasanjo Farms at Ogwashi-Uku are practical steps the administration has taken in the area of agriculture. The Delta Leisure and Wildlife Resort at Oleri and Ogwashi-Uku and the Warri Industrial Park and other multi-billion dollar projects like the 16 billion gas city projects, fertilizer plant that are sited in the state due to the foresight and influence of the governor have the potentials to turn around the economy of the state. The Governor is finishing strong on his vision. Unequivocally, the awards of Man of the Year and Governor of the Year are well deserved in all respect. • Onothoja, an archivist lives in Warri, Delta State
‘The successful delivery of the Asaba International Airport which has since begun commercial flights, the on-going extension of the run-way at Osubi Airport, the dualization of the Ughelli-Asaba Highway to connect Delta Ports to the Eastern markets at Onitsha, Nnewi and others, Koko-Ugbenu Road project to link the Koko Export Processing Zone are projects of great economic value, some of which have started to have multiplier effect on the state’
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
BUSINESS THE NATION
We want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged thereby making it difficult for the plaque of substandard products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON
Jonathan vs Sanusi: Stakeholders urge caution - P. 32
‘Sanusi’s impending exit won’t affect key policies’ - P. 27
News Briefing Ikeja DISCO to customers: report extortion THE Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) has advised customers to report staff trying to extort money from them to buy pre-paid meters or repair faulty equipment. –Page 26
Investors stake N22b on equities INVESTORS staked more than N22 billion on quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as stocks fluctuated between profit-takers and bargainhunters. In what indicated the cautious mood of the market, the main index closed the week with a marginal gain of 0.07 per cent.
Private sector employers withhold N13b pension
O fewer than 335 em ployers in the private sector failed to remit N13.3 billion pension deducted from their workers’ salaries to their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in the second quarter of last year. Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, made this known in her report on the ‘Recovery of Outstanding Pension Contributions and Interest Penalty from Defaulting Employers’. She said the 70 Recovery Agents (RAs) appointed by the commission made the discovery.
By Omobola Tolu-Kusimo
According to her, PenCom further granted approval to the RAs to serve demand notices on 103 employers for outstanding pension contributions and interest penalty, which amounted to N7.28 billion. She said the cases of the remaining 232 were not accepted because of errors in the computations submitted by the RAs. She said: “The cases on the remaining 232 employers were rejected due to errors in the computations submitted by the RAs. The RAs had since been advised to make
corrections and resubmit the computations to the Commission. “Consequent upon the issuance of demand notices to erring employers whose liabilities were established by the RAs, some of the employers have remitted their outstanding pension contributions and interest penalties. “In addition, the RAs had recovered N140.89 million during the quarter under review, which cumulatively brought the total amount so far recovered to N335.84 million and an interest penalty of N31.04 million as at June 2013.” Mrs Anohu-Amazu said the
body intends to prosecute the employers that fail to remit the outstanding pensions and interest penalty. To recover all pension contributions being withheld by employers, PenCom appointed 172 RAs last year. Section 11.7 of the Pension Reform Act, 2004, states: “Any employer who fails to remit the contributions within the time prescribed in Subsection (5) (b) of this section shall in addition to making the remittance already due be liable to a penalty to be stipulated by the commission provided that the penalty shall not be less than two per cent of the total contribution that remains unpaid for
Three banks fail liquidity test THE liquidity stress test conducted on 23 banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the end of June showed that three lenders have problems. –Page 31
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil
-£61.67 trillion RATES
Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending Savings rate
91-day NTB Time Deposit
MPR Foreign Reserve
• Head of Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni Aji speaking at the opening of the retreat. With him are (from left): Chair, House Committee on Public Procurement, Mrs. Olajumoke Okoya-Thomas, Chairman, House Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Azubike Uzor and Mr.Ezeh.
Banks begin Basel Capital Adequacy computation
EPOSIT Money Banks (DMBs) are expected to start a parallel run of both Basel I and II minimum capital adequacy computation before the end of the month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. In a report posted on its website, the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, said the full adoption of Basel II Accords will be executed by June but preliminary works would start soon. The Basel Accord is a financial analysis principle expected to give banks’ financials better credibility. Martins explained in a circular to all banks and discount houses on the implementation of Basel Accords in the country, that both policies specify approaches for quantifying the risk weighted assets for credit risk, market risk and opera-
By Collins Nweze
tional risk for the purpose of determining regulatory capital. According to her, the computations are consistent with the requirements of Pillar I of Basel II, which is expected to ensure that banks have sufficient high quality capital to support their risk taking activities. The lenders are also expected to establish effective risk management systems commensurate with their level of operations. She said all banks and banking institutions are expected to adopt the basic approaches for the computation of capital requirements for credit risk, market risk and operational risk. “Within the first two years of the adoption of these approaches under Pillar I, it is hoped that an effective rating system would have de-
veloped in Nigeria. Banks and banking groups are projected to have gathered more reliable data and gained more experience that would prepare them to consider the adoption of more sophisticated approaches,” she said. The CBN chief said the adoption of the Standardised Approach for Operational Risk and other sophisticated approaches would, however, be subject to the approval of the CBN. “The guidance notes are applicable to all banks and banking groups licenced to operate in Nigeria and should be applied on a solo as well as a consolidated basis. The minimum capital requirement is retained at 10 per cent and 15 per cent for local and internationally active banks,” she said. She said in line with Basel II Pillar Two, banks are reminded of the importance of
comprehensive risk management policies and processes that effectively identify, measure, monitor and control their risk exposures in addition to having appropriate board and senior management oversight. “Henceforth, banks are required to carry out their Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) on an annual basis, as at December 31, and forward copies of the report to the CBN for review,” she said. Experts said the global knowledge and expertise in Basel principles reduces the risks of getting things wrong adding that the adoption of the model will further enhance transparency and facilitate the restoration of investors’ confidence in the on-going efforts to sanitise and rebuild the financial services sector.
each month or part of each month the default continues and the amount of the penalty shall be recoverable as a debt owing to the employees retirement savings account as the case may be.”
BPP saves N58b from contract review
HE Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) last year saved about N58 billion through its review of contracts for capital projects, its Director-General, Emeka Ezeh, has said. Ezeh, who spoke over the weekend at the yearly retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries in Lagos, said the savings arose from its successful review of 184 contracts across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government. He explained that under the Public Procurement Act, 2007 that set up BPP, Permanent Secretaries are the accounting officers of MDAs, and are therefore critical to the implementation of the on-going reform of the public procurement system, which has seen the Bureau take charge of the mobility of the procurement officer cadre of the Federal Civil Service. The BPP boss acknowledged the oversight role of the National Assembly, which he said, has kept the Bureau on its toes. He also appreciated the support from the Presidency, through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, in getting MDAs to comply with the Act in their procurement. At the retreat, which was declared open by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni Aji, participants reviewed the challenges associated with last year’s procurement; provide update on National Database of Federal Contractors and obtained commitments on the way forward; to provide overview of the procurement review software; review challenges associated with the procurement cadre and determine how best to accelerate Budget implementation and improve Budget performance in the year. The participants also included 41 Permanent Secretaries, the Accountant-General of the Federation, the AuditorGeneral of the Federation, Surveyor-General of the Federation and heads of other agencies. Aji said the success of many of the initiatives in service delivery would depend on the ability of the Permanent Secretaries to interpret government policies that will transform into programmes and projects that will improve the welfare of the people.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule
TCN threatens new engineers
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 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. 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. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 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. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
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
By Akinola Ajibade
• From left: General Manager, Oracle Experience, Mrs Betty Okonoboh; Managing Director/CEO, Mr Felix King Eiremiokhae; Creative Director, Ororo Ezemhbo and Chairman, Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN), Mr Goddie Ofose, during the presentation of BJAN Magazine and Best Effort in Innovative Experiential Marketing award to Oracle Experience in Lagos.
Ikeja DISCO to customers: report extortion
HE Ikeja Electricity Distribu tion Company (IKEDC) has advised customers to report staff trying to extort money from them to buy pre-paid meters or repair faulty equipment. The company’s Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Pekun Adeyanju, advised customers to report at any of the IKEDC’s 11 business units at Abule-Egba, Akowonjo, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Ikotun, Ipaja, Odogunyan, Ogba, Ojodu, Oshodi and Somolu. He said the firm supplies, repairs, and replaces its equipment. He said the management had since started customer education campaigns aimed at creating awareness on the efforts to improve service delivery and encourage customer involvement in ensuring the success of the power reform. He said: “It has come to our notice that some former PHCN members of staff have allegedly been extorting money from members of the public under the guise of re-
ceiving contributions towards the repairs of equipment in their localities and purchase of prepaid meters. For the avoidance of doubt, no former PHCN staff or IKEDC staff is authorised to make such demands. We urge the public to rebuff these impostors and report such cases to the nearest IKEDC office, firstname.lastname@example.org or send SMS to 08174598393 for prompt investigation and resolution.” The firm warned that it is a criminal offence for unathorised persons to tamper with any IKEDC facility or equipment, adding that defaulters will be prosecuted. The company, he said, had embarked on an upgrade of its customer-care centre at its 11 business units to accelerate complaint resolution and respond promptly to issues bordering on metering, estimated billing, shedding and vandalism,
among others. Adeyanju said IKEDC was partnering with relevant authorities to address vandalism of its equipment, but however, urged consumers to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities around equipment in their areas to the law enforcement agencies as well as IKEDC “It is imperative that people who ask for their rights should first be responsible to the society,” he added. IKEDC management has been holding inaugural town hall meetings across its various locations to establish a roadmap towards providing uninterrupted quality power supply to consumers. The company is also holding corporate social responsibility activities, which kicked off with free medical services in Ketu last December and free eye care treatment for residents of Ikorodu and Odogunyan this month with plans to hold in other areas.
How to manage digital switch over’s e-waste, IRECTOR-GENERAL, Na relevant sections of the by NBC chief pecially tional Broadcasting Com NTA and NBC Acts.
mission (NBC), Emeka Mba said the agency has taken steps to manage the massive electronic waste (e-waste) that follow the digital switch-over expected tp be effected by December 31, this year. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had set June 17, 2015 as deadline for all membercountries to effect the digital switch over (DSO). ITU is United Nations’ (UN’s) specialised agency for information communication technologies (ICTs). The DG, who spoke in Abuja said the agency, has started collaborating with officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Environmental Protection Agencies, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Police and other relevant government agencies to come out with a blue print on how the massive e-waste that will attend the DSO will be managed so that it does not compromise the people’s health, safety and environment. He said a dump site will soon be marked where e-wastes will be disposed off in a professional manner that it will not pose any danger to the lives of the people, adding that wastes are naturally expected in country with 26million television households. According to him, the NCS will be involved because the shipment of analogue television sets into the country will be outlawed soon while there will be a labeling system that will allow people to know which television sets will be compliant to DSO.
By Lucas Ajanaku
He said: “We are collaborating with other government agencies and Institutions, especially the Nigerian Customs Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Orientation Agency, the Nigeria Police, and others. The NCS is our key ally in this respect.” He said the agency is currently taking an inventory of all transmitters in the country to ascertain which ones will conform to DSO, adding that the Digiteam Nigeria has been working very hard to consolidate on the technical and other details of the transition in collaboration with the NBC. Mba said signal distributors that will come out of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) will soon be licensed while the passage of enabling laws will be imperative. To this end, he said NBC is already working with the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws, es-
“We are hopeful that the relevant laws will be amended by the first quarter of this year going by the commitment of members of the National Assembly,” he said, adding that massive publicity will be needed to drive the success of DSO. In this connection, he said the Commission is working very hard to roll out a ‘publicity programme targeting every stratum of our publics.’ “The Commission is concerned about the constant sharpening of skills of the industry players in line with the professional objectives of broadcasting, which is to demand a high-level specialisation and professionalism among broadcasters. The commission is convinced that training and retraining of broadcasters is very important, and we call on broadcasting stations and proprietors of such stations to invest more on the training of their personnel,” the DG said.
‘Ban on fish import ’ll save forex’
HE Federal Government’s partial ban on fish imports will save the country the huge foreign exchange (Forex) bill it incurs yearly on fish importation, a Professor of Fisheries in the Department of Fisheries, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Anetekhai Martins has said The government plans to reduce fish imports by 25 per cent per year, either via quotas, or by significantly
By Daniel Essiet
increasing duties on the commodity. The aim is to replace the imports with domestic production, especially aquaculture. Specifically, the plan calls for a phased ban on fish imports over four years, and the jerking up of import duty from 10 to 50 per cent or 100 per cent. It would also compel fish importers to have fish farms locally.
HE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) will deal with any of the newly recruited engineers whose performance falls below average, the Deputy Director, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Mr Kayode Amusan has warned. He told The Nation that the option of the big stick became inevitable when one considers the low contributions of some workers in the power sector. He said sanctions would help in instilling discipline in the workers, and make them productive. He said there is a dearth of engineers in the sector, adding that the issue made the government to commit huge resources for the training of the engineers. He said: “We would not tolerate acts that are not in conformity with productivity because a lot of money has been committed to the training of engineers, among other workers in the industry. We decided to inject fresh blood into the system, after a study shows that there is dearth of quality engineers in the sector. We want to bridge the gap between the old and the new generation of engineers to avoid a vacuum.’’ Amusan said one of the problems in the industry is ageing engineers, arguing that the issue has affected electricity distribution, generation and transmission. The transmission aspect, Amusan said, is important to the sector because its stands in between the two other componentsdistribution and generation. Also, the Assistant General Manager, Transmission Services, TCN, Mrs Biodun Afolabi said the company has reduced the probation period from two to one year to enable the workers to stay and contribute their quota to the sector. ‘’One year probation is a policy in the power sector. Before, the probation period was two years. But we decided to reduce it to one year to encourage the sector’s growth. One cannot rule out the possibility of having truants among the engineers that we are going to train soon.’’ She added.
‘Farmers seek improved seaport facilities’ By Daniel Essiet
HE National President, Fed eration of Agricultural Com modity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN), Dr Victor Inyama has urged operators to improve facilities at the seaports. He said the bulk of agricultural produce are exported through the ports. He said the ports lack sufficient capacity and infrastructure to handle the increasing quantities of agribulk exports. There are breakdowns of facilities during the peak periods, with queues of trucks building up outside the main ports’ gates, while vessels, too, struggle to find berths, he added. Also, spokesman for the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Robo Adhuze, called on the government to be serious about declining transportation infrastructure to avoid significant short- and long-term damage to the agric business sector. He said agro-industrialists have more reasons to lament, adding that the ports system and its logistics counterpart are letting them down. In parallel, significant efforts need to be made to finally build new railways and also to pave roads, to provide suitable connection between the production areas and the selected northeast ports, he said.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Govt’s failure to create jobs worries NLC F
OLLOWING a review of the 2014 Appropriation Bill delivered to the National Assembly on December 19, last year, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) is worried that the Federal Government said the budget will enhance job creation, claiming that there is nothing in the document suggesting such. The union insists there the proposal is not different from others before it. NLC’s President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, in his New Year’s message to workers, called on the government to put job creation at the centre of its activities, adding that it needs to deploy policies in promoting creation of jobs. His words: “Government spending on projects and programmes must be evaluated, in part, on the basis of how many jobs such projects and programmes will create in all sectors of the economy with high job elasticity of growth need to be identified with a view to initiating poli-
• Calls for quick passage of the PIB Stories by Toba Agboola
cies to promote growth in such sectors. “In this way, the malady of jobless growth, which has come to characterise the economy, can be moderated”. Omar called on the workers to be more mature, confident, optimistic and more aware of the deeper causes of the nation’s problems. He also called on the workers to be productive and peaceful in the year for industrial peace to prevail. The labour leader recalled that workers faced various challenges in 2013, including a high level of unemployment and job insecurity, despite the huge budget for employment generation by the government. ”For those looking for jobs and
those entering the labour market for the first time, particularly the youth, the daunting odds of finding a job continued to be a source of fear and panic during the year. “We implore the millions of Nigerians, who are still searching for work, especially in this 2014 to keep faith and hope alive. “We also insist that we commit ourselves to struggling harder, be more methodical and efficient in order for the NLC to continue its upward course, grow in number and activities, to continue to coordinate the solidarity among the international trade union movement and to continue to support and strengthen the class-oriented trade union forces this year,” Omar said.
The NLC chief also called on the Federal Government to ensure the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law after over five years of lying fallow at the National Assembly. According to him, the bill should be passed before the end of March, lamenting the continued use of the 44-year-old Petroleum Act, which he said has since remained the only legal instrument to regulate the oil and gas industry. ”We support the demand by the oil sector unions for the urgent passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), if possible in the first quarter of this year because it is unacceptable that the petroleum sector is still regulated by the old Petroleum Act of 1969. “The PIB with all the proposed inputs by all stakeholders will undoubtedly promote transparency and accountability and national benefits.
“Looking into the future, there is the need to recognise that the international market for Nigerian crude this year is likely to shrink as alternative sources come on stream because investment in gas development in the US and other countries are beginning to yield results,” he said.
‘Declare state of emergency in job sector’
USINESS Club, Ikeja (BCI) Lagos has called on the Federal Government to tackle unemployment. The group noted that one way of doing this is by declaring a state of emergency on job creation for the teeming unemployed youths in the country. The action, the group said, would help the nation’s human capital development index drive the economy BCI’s President, Mr Suleiman Tella, deplored the poor power supply in the country, noting that the development has severe impact on the manufacturing sector and Nigerians, and that many have lost their jobs as a result of this. He said: ”To nip the practice in the bud, the Federal Government should consider declaring state of emergency in the job sector”. “One of the ways to deal with this menace is to declare state of emergency in job creation. Without job for the angry youths, the police can do little in its fight against crime. “The time is ripe for the Federal Government to reconsider creation of state police. State police is needed now more than ever as it will help to stem the
tide of insecurity. Government should come up with more stringent penalties to punish individuals who engage in kidnapping, armed robbery, unprovoked murder and assassination as well as other heinous crimes against humanity so as to deter people from engaging in them.” He expressed disgust over the spate of insecurity in the country and disclosed that the development is caused by large scale youth unemployment in the land. While calling on power sector investors to meet the necessary supply target that would boost the potentials of manufacturers in the year, he expressed dissatisfaction with the dwindling power generation capacity and said it is far below the target set by the Federal Government. He said: “It is disheartening that despite the huge sum of money that has been sunk into revamping the ailing power sector, no significant improvement has been felt by Nigerians. “We pray that the power sector now in private hands will live up to expectation as poor power supply represents a major challenge to the real sector and informal sector of the economy.”
• From right: General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Comrade Joe Ajaero; President, Comrade Mansur Musa, and Head, Training &Industrial Relations, Comrade Dominic Igwebike, during a briefing in Lagos.
Employment’ll boost economic growth, says TUC
HE President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bala Kaigama, wants the Federal Government to review the 2014 Human Capital Development Policy, saying that sustainable development is impossible unless economic growth is combined with the creation of decent jobs. Kaigama, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, on the economy, argued that tackling the nation’s jobs’
NDE supports 630 in Kebbi, Ekiti
HE National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Kebbi State, said it trained and provided working tools for 530 people in the state in 2013. It also provided N20,000 each for 100 traders in Ekiti State to boost their businesses. The NDE Coordinator in Kebbi and Ekiti states, Alhaji Muhammad Zogirma and Mrs Adeola Shafaru, made this known. Zogirma, who spoke in BirninKebbi, noted that the training and support to the unemployed was aimed at reducing poverty. “We trained 50 persons on Rural Agricultural Development Scheme, 30 on Basic National
Open Apprenticeship Scheme, 100 on Micro-Enterprises Development, 50 vulnerable persons and 30 others on Re-settlement Scheme in 2013,” he said. Zogirma said the directorate would sustain the training to empower Nigerians to become entrepreneurs and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economy, stressing that more people would be trained this year with the aim of reducing unemployment. The NDE coordinator appealed to those who received trainings and loans last year to ensure repayment to enable others to benefit. He appealed to stakeholders, philanthropists, politicians and faith-
based organisations to support the fight against unemployment by collaborating with the NDE to create jobs. Mrs Shafaru in Ekiti said the initiative was aimed at eradicating poverty among traders as well as boosting their various trades. She said the beneficiaries were drawn from all the 16 local government areas of the state. She said each beneficiary was expected to provide two guarantors, adding that the loan would be refunded by the end of December, this year as the defaulters would be sanctioned. She urged the traders to spend the money judiciously.
crisis is not easy, adding that it will require bold national policies, private-sector dynamism and an enabling global framework. He said: “Sustainable and inclusive development in Nigeria will not be possible unless economic growth is combined with the creation of decent jobs.” To minimise the high rate of unemployment in the country, the labour leader estimated that over 10 million new jobs are needed in the labour market, besides those unemployed and are in the labour market. He noted that discussions on new employment generation agenda in the 2014 Budget represent a unique opportunity to put job creation in the centre of the new framework. “The three tiers of government: federal, state and local government, adopting a stand-alone goal on employment generation this year with clear and measurable indicators, would boost growth and employment opportunities, as well as shifting policy attention and public discourse from quantity to quality of growth, focusing on inclusiveness, generating decent jobs and reduc-
ing inequalities. “Also, promoting productive sectors through coherent economic and industrial policies as well as expanding social protection to reduce poverty and inequality and enable sustained and inclusive growth would boost decent jobs opportunities for Nigerians,” he added Kaigama emphasised the need to strengthen the voice of workers, so as to improve working conditions and ensure a fairer distribution of benefits in 2014, which will be an added value to decent job creations for Nigerians. “We are of the view that reforming the nation’s economic governance with a focus on supporting the weakest members of the international community will enhance the development gains from international trade,” he stressed. The TUC chief expressed worry about millions of young Nigerians that are unemployed. “We all already feel the consequences of jobs crisis in the country as the widespread unemployment diminishes trust in political leadership and government institutions, weakens social cohesion, widens inequality and fosters economic and social instability,” he added.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE CEO In a few months, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi will leave office. Will his exit affect banking policies? United Bank of Africa (UBA) Group Managing Director Mr Phillips Oduoza, in this interview with Capital Market Editor, TAOFIK SALAKO, does not think it will. The banking institution, he argues, is now so strong to withstand such a leadership change.
‘Sanusi’s impending exit won’t affect T key policies’
HERE were several regulatory changes in 2013, how did they affect banking ? Yes, 2013 was a very challenging year for financial services institutions globally but especially in Nigeria. It was the first year we witnessed regulatory induced reduction in income lines and also regulatory induced increase in some funding costs came into operation. First, the Commission on Transactions (COT), which used to be at N5 per mille maximum, was reduced to a maximum of N3 per mille. As you know, COT is a major component of the income lines of banks. The second was the N100 that was charged by banks for Automated Teller Machine (ATM) usage when a different bank’s customer uses another ATM. This was also eliminated. In fact, not only that it was eliminated, if you don’t have many ATMs you will end up, as a bank, bearing that cost, because the debits were not going to the customers but to the bank. Significant portion of our deposits comes from savings deposits especially for banks like us that have been around for a very long time. And then savings interest rates increased from a maximum of one percent to 3.6 per cent minimum and that was a substantial cost for us. Most of these regulatory induced costs happened in the second quarter of last year. By third quarter, another major one came in. The cash reserve ratio for public sector deposits, was increased from 12 per cent to 50 per cent, meaning that for every N100 that you generate from public sector you must sterilise 50 per cent of the amount or keep N50 at zero yield. That was a very big cost for banks and for UBA. How did we deal with this as a bank? The first is that our African operations came into play immediately. All these initiatives basically affected the Nigerian market and they did not apply to the various African countries where we operate. UBA operates in 18 African countries outside Nigeria, so we intensified our activities in these countries. The income losses that we suffered in Nigeria, we try to make from our 18 African countries where our subsidiaries operate. So, the first strategy was to increase revenue from the various African countries. Luckily for us, we had finished the first phase of our African
Profile Institutions attended
University of Lagos (UNILAG); Harvard Business School, USA.
B.Sc (Hons), First Class, Civil Engineering, University of Lagos; MBA, University of Lagos; AMP, Harvard Business School..
Executive Director, UBA; Executive Director, Diamond Bank; Deputy Managing Director, Reliance Bank..
Group Managing Director, UBA.
Over 27 years.
expansion by last year, and had entered the consolidation phase. Therefore, we deployed more resources; we made some changes at senior levels in the various African countries. We intensified activities in the area of remittances and intra-African trade and the noninterest income arriving from these activities were very substantial though not enough to completely cushion the impacts of all these changes in general. The second thing we did was to start ramping up on our electronic banking services. Electronic payment generates revenue for us arising from the card usage (point of sale usage) and other income associated with that. Card usage also reduced our costs as customers migrate transaction from the banking halls to electronic space. Serving customers using electronic banking, is just a fraction of what it actually cost you to serve the customers using the banking hall. So, increased electronic banking by our customers did two things for us, significant reduction in our operating cost and an increase in the income level. Our strategy number three was the strategic shift that we made from investment in government securities, in treasury bills, and related instruments, into quality asset creation. Our risk asset portfolio last year in-
creased significantly as you are going to see when we release our 2013 full year results. We are focusing basically on emerging sectors, like telecommunications, the power sector oil and gas upstream, agriculture. UBA is probably the biggest lender in the power sector under the new power sector reform and we are going to do more this year. Agriculture remains a very big area for UBA. Today, it actually has about 7 per cent of our portfolio compared to the industry target of 4 percent. These were some of the strategies we adopted to cushion the impact of the crunch that we experienced last year. Would you then say it is more profitable to run banks outside Nigeria? Not really, it is quite profitable but I cannot say that it is more profitable. Today, Nigeria has the second largest economy in Sub-Sahara Africa. So, the Nigerian market is very huge and with the almost concluded rebasing of the GDP, will even be bigger, overtaking South Africa as Africa’s biggest economy. So, Nigeria still commands about 75 per cent of the bank’s total revenue with other African countries contributing about 25 per cent. However, going forward, our African subsidiaries will continue to increase the proportion of their contribution with a target of achieving a 50/50 between Nigeria and other
African countries. One continuing debate is the high interest rates being charged by banks, why do we continue to have such roof-top rates? I also want a lower rate. But when you look at it, you find that banks are an integral part of the economy. The actual reason why interest rate is very high in Nigeria is because of infrastructure that are not there, the deposit rate may not be as high as you will think but the additional cost that go towards the generation of that deposit is very high. As we speak here, UBA has about four generators that run simultaneously. Each of them is 1,500 KVA. So this office alone is generating six megawatts. It’s a mini power station. Diesel consumption alone is extremely high. Each of the branches that UBA has is using has two generators. One is the main generator while the other is for standby. We have cards all over the world; we cannot afford to go down for one second. People are using our cards in Japan, South Africa and America. Therefore that infrastructure has to be there. If you go to our offices you will see a whole lot of security people that are in place. We have to pay for that. So all these are costs that if you have to remain in business you must bear. This is why interest rate is very high. The cost of taking care of the cash is also very high. If you go to the banking hall, you will see how the note counting machines break down every day. So you either replace them or get the people who repair them. You have tellers lined up. This why we are pushing cashless banking. As cashless banking takes firm root, you will find out that the cost of handling cash will go down significantly impacting positively on interest rates. If you compare the financials of the Nigerian banks with those of other emerging and frontier markets, the cost to income ratio of the Nigerian banks are in the 60s. Some extreme ones are in the 70s. All the other emerging markets like Turkey, like Malaysia and co, their cost income rations are in the 40s. So, if we are able to deal with all these cost elements, I can tell you that the interest rate can come down to single digit. What is your view on the power sector re• Continued on page 29
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
‘Sanusi’s impending exit won’t affect key policies’ • Continued from page 28
forms? We regard the power sector reforms as a revolution just like what we have experienced in the telecommunication sector. The overall impact on the economy is going to be very significant. It will have a multiplier effect on the economy. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are going to benefit significantly. I believe that, starting from this year2014, we are going to start reaping the full benefits of the privatisation of the power sector. The supports to the power sector from us as a bank reflect our commitments to long-term financing. We believe these will provide steady cash flow and income for the period of that funding. Some of loans have five years, and some others are seven years tenor, and so over that period, the bank will continue to enjoy that revenue especially with the opportunities in the downstream end of the sector. UBA’s market consideration is trailing its peers in spite of commendable fundamental performance, do you think the market is under-pricing your stock? The market has not bought completely into our growth story. In 2011 when we cleaned up our books, we declared a loss which was very strange in this environment. I remember in 2012, I went to the stock exchange, met with stockbrokers, financial journalists and other players in the market and I addressed them. I told them that this is what UBA is doing. We were going to clean up our books and it was fallout of the 2008 crisis. The offshore banks did that, HSBC and other reputable international banks did that? In Nigeria, we were not doing that and we said no, we operate in major financial centres, we operate in London, we are monitored by the Financial Regulatory Services Authority(FSA), we operate in the New York and we are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of Currencies, (OCC), we have a representative office in Paris. In addition to that, we operate in 19 other jurisdictions in Africa; therefore, we are not a Nigerian bank. Regulators in 22 countries are looking at us and
we must do what is right and what is called the best global practice. So, we are going to write off all the loans- the ones we sold to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the ones that appeared to be distressed, we are going to write them off and then take them once at a go. When we presented that, people asked us, why do you want to do this? They told us we could write it off over a period of time but we said no. We insisted we had to do that. We believed that once we clean our books, we would now start the path of renewal. Stakeholders on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were initially alarmed. So, some people started selling their shares and UBA shares dropped to a low of N1.65. But some analysts saw the wisdom our decision and they started buying gradually and the share price of UBA moved from N1.60 to what it is now, in the region of N10. In the subsequent first quarter, UBA made a profit, second quarter, we made a profit and everybody started picking their shares. In 2012, UBA had the most appreciation in its share price in the stock market among financial services institutions and we closed 2012 with a return to profit. In 2013, the share price sustained its upward momentum and by December 2013, UBA has also seen the significant appreciation in the stock market. I believe the same thing will repeat itself in 2014. I also believe analyst will see UBA from a new perspective in 2014. Analysts will recognise that the bank’s growth has been sustained. If anything at all, the balance sheet is getting stronger. The profit margin is showing a significant improvement over and above competitors. So, I believe that an upward review of the bank’s rating is going to take place. Our current pricing is based on people’s memory not on our performance and prospects. Investors also lost a lot of money during the financial crisis, so a lot of them have not come back to the market and may not come back to the market for some time. There is definitely going to be an upward movement in our share price because our current performance shows that we are a bank to invest
‘The actual reason interest rate is very high in Nigeria is because of infrastructure that are not there. The deposit rate may not be as high as you will think but the additional cost that go towards the generation of that deposit is very high’
in. Now, how is your balance sheet like? The balance sheet of the bank is very robust. At the beginning of 2013, our loan-deposit ratio was about 38 per cent and that was about the lowest in the industry. We had substantial portion of our investments in government securities, treasury bills, bonds and associated instruments. So what we did was to gradually move from investment in securities into asset creation. UBA is one of the banks that have significant headroom to create risk assets. So even in 2014, we are going to see further increase in the risk asset book of the bank. The good thing about our risk assets creation is that we have created very top quality loans. Because before we made that strategic shift, we had to realign our risk management framework. The non-performing loans, NPL, for UBA remain one of the lowest in Nigeria. The previous year, for Nigeria, it was under one per cent and for the group as a whole, it was under three per cent. And this is within central bank’s limit of five per cent. So, we have lots of headroom, we have top quality risk assets and if you recall sometime in the past, we cleaned up our balanced sheets, realigned our positions and came up with a very decent book. Nigeria will appoint a new Central Bank Governor soon, what are your expectations? I’m not sure who is going to emerge as the new CBN Governor but whoever emerges, I do not think we are going to see a reversal in the key policies. These policies are working very well. For example, Nigeria is the only country among the emerging markets that has not suffered major currency depreciation for a long time. The inflation rate has been brought down to single digits. I don’t see any easing of the monetary policy rate. The cash-less policy has been very good and I believe it is something that should be embraced by all. This year, the cashless policy is going to roll out in all the states of the nation. I also see some flexibility in interest rates. One of the reasons why I believe there won’t be any easing in the monetary policy is because we are going into the election year. The pre-election spending is inflationary in nature and you will not ease the monetary policy when there is so much liquidity in the system. If anything at all, I believe we might experience some further tightening of the monetary policy. It is possible that the cash reserve ratio is going to go up further, not only for the public sector deposit but for also the private sector deposits and I believe that the CBN will continue to use its reserves to defend the local currency. There has been so much emphasis in recent time about UBA’s Project Alpha, what is this initiative really about? Project Alpha is our focused strategy for industry leadership across Africa, and it is a multi-year programme. The key elements of the project include; focusing on low cost deposits which are non-public sector, focus on customer appreciation and rapidly growing our customer base. We are also focused on intra Africa-trade, using our platforms in Africa to drive trade across Africa. We are focused on the remittance business and we are also focused on creation of third party quality risk assets, and customer service delivery is another aspect of the project. What we have done is that, having laid the components of project Alpha, we are focusing the resources that are required in delivering on the project. UBA is probably the only bank in Nigeria that has an executive director that is in charge of customer service and human resources, I don’t think there is any other bank that has that. So,
‘I’m not sure, who is going to emerge as the new CBN Governor but whoever emerges, I do not think we are going to see a reversal in the key policies. These policies are working very well. For example, Nigeria is the only country among the emerging markets that has not suffered major currency depreciation for a long time. The inflation rate has been brought down to single digits. I don’t see any easing of the monetary policy rate. The cash-less policy has been very good and I believe it is something that should be embraced by all’ we believe that for us to deliver on project Alpha, we must have people that are well motivated and well equipped with human management skills. A particular aspect of this is talent management and that is why the bank is attracting very good people and we are using them to drive Project Alpha. The second is customer service; we have seen the need for the re-alignment of our customer service delivery. Since 2013 we have been able to achieve some key parameters and by this year-end, we will achieve more milestones. In the next three years, we should be through with all the major milestones as mapped out in Project Alpha. Do you plan to further expand within Africa? Thanks, that is a very good question. When we started the Africa expansion, we decided to have a phased programme. We have just concluded the first phase which was to cover the key strategic markets in Africa. The only exception is Angola which is supposed to be a part of that phase but which has not been actualised. We are still reviewing our interest and strategy for Angola. However, we can we can say that we have completed the first phase of the expansion. We are now in the consolidation stage, which means you are not going to see further expansion from us across Africa for now until whenever we enter into the second phase, which is still far in the future and I probably will not be the one that will drive that expansion. Is there any plan to raise new capital this year? We do not have a reason to raise capital. When we raised capital, we use it to expand our presence in Af-
rica and because we have completed that phase, there is no need for raising capital at this particular point in time. We will rather continue to consolidate our play in the various African countries and expect the revenue to come from these investments. Currently, we are expecting to crystallise the benefits from our investments in Africa. Your cost-to-income ratio appears quite high. What is responsible for this and how are you going to address this going forward? It is true that the cost-income-ratio is relatively high and I will explain why it looks so. The amount of money we have invested in Africa, if we were to bring that capital, put it in treasury bills, our performance today is going to be totally different. However, it is an investment in the future which is not pricing into our share price yet because investors are not looking long term. Fourteen of our African subsidiaries are making profit out of 18, apart from Nigeria. When all of them start operating at full steam starting from this year, the contribution will be totally different altogether. At the same time, we are writing off investments and amortising, and so we are bound to experience the current seemingly high cost-toincome ratio. We have recognised the expenses but the income will come in future. Already the cost-toincome ratio has been coming down. Don’t forget that in 2012, we closed with cost-to-income ratio of 78 per cent. First quarter of 2013, we came down to 65 per cent and in the second quarter, it had come down to 62 per cent and it has continued to reduce. Our ultimate objective is to come to 50s. It’s going to happen, very soon.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10-1-14
Investors stake N22b on equities •Nigeria’s first domestic ETF hits market
NVESTORS staked more than N22 billion on quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as stocks fluctuated between profit-takers and bargain-hunters. In what indicated the cautious mood of the market, the main index closed the week with a marginal gain of 0.07 per cent. The modest positive market position was due mainly to gains by cement companies, especially Dangote Cement, which in many instances was the rallying point for the market recovery. Most indices at the NSE indicated widespread declines in share prices. The All Share Index (ASI), the main index that tracks prices of all equities on the NSE, inched up from the week’s index-on-board of 41,450.48 points to close the week at 41,480.62 points. Average year-to-date return for 2014 thus increased slightly to 0.37 per cent. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also increased slightly from opening value of N13.265 tril-
deals; representing about 70 per cent of total turnover. The oil and gas sector rode lion to close the week at on the back of increased deN13.275 trillion. mand for Oando to place With the exception of cesecond on the activity chart, ment-driven NSE Industrial pooling 182.28 million Index, all sectoral indices shares worth N2.22 billion closed on the negative. The in 4,866 deals. Also, conNSE 30 Index, NSE Conglomerates sector rode on sumer Goods Index, NSE the back of Transnational Banking Index, NSE InsurCorporation of Nigeria ance Index, and the NSE (Transcorp) to occupy the Oil/Gas Index depreciated third position on the activduring the week by 0.56 per ity chart with 124.13 milcent, 0.49 per cent, 3.20 per lion shares worth N665.14 cent, 3.0 per cent and 3.08 million in 1,982 deals. per cent respectively. The The three most active NSE Industrial Goods Index stocks were FBN Holdings appreciated by 0.85 per cent, Plc, Transcorp and Unity driven largely by Dangote Bank Plc, which altogether Cement and Lafarge Ceaccounted for 407.95 milment Wapco Nigeria. The lion shares worth N3.23 bilNSE Lotus Islamic Index- an lion in 5,007 deals, repreIslamic law-based index senting 23.7 per cent of tothat groups some influential tal turnover volume. selected Shariah compliant Meanwhile, Nigeria’s first stocks, made the highest domestic Exchange Traded gain with an increase of 2.23 Fund (ETF) will open for per cent. public subscription today Total turnover stood at following the approval of 1.72 billion shares worth Securities and Exchange N22.44 billion in 29,600 Commission (SEC). deals. Financial services The ETF-Vetiva Griffin 30 sector remained the most acExchange Traded Fund (VG tive with a turnover of 1.2 30 ETF) is being promoted billion shares valued at by Vetiva Fund Managers N10.85 billion in 15,134 Limited, a Nigerian investment management firm. Vetiva is offering 100 million units of VG 30 ETF at par in this initial public offering (IPO). Application list for the IPO will open for 15 working days, up till January 31, 2014, in line with extant rule of SEC. DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10-1-14 Stories by Taofik Salako, Capital Market Editor
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
HE liquidity stress test conducted on 23 banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the end of June showed that three lenders have problems. The CBN Financial Stability Report released at the weekend was okayed by the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. It said the industry liquidity ratio declined to 16.7 and 13.3 per cent after the five-day and cumulative 30-day shocks were applied, from the preshock position of 67.8 per cent. The liquidity ratios of most banks were below the regulatory threshold of 30.0 per cent for the five-day and cumulative 30-day scenarios. Similarly, three banks recorded negative liquidity ratios, following the application of a cumulative 30-day shock. However, the overall banking industry was resilient to liquidity shocks, though a few banks were found to be vulnerable. According to the report, the pre-shock liquidity ratios for the banking industry, large, medium and small banks rose by 14.14, 19.47, 3.15 and 3.07 percentage points to 69.70, 70.22, 75.45 and 68.47 per cent, compared with that of end of December 2012. “The banking industry was resilient to credit risk as the impact of the most severe credit risk shock (200 per cent rise in non performing loans, NPLs) resulted in Capital Adequacy Ratios (CARs) of 11.99 per cent, which was 1.99 percentage points above the 10 per cent threshold,” it said. According to the report, the large and medium banks were less vulnerable to the most severe shock, as they
Three banks fail liquidity test Stories by Collins Nweze
maintained CARs of 13.58 and 11.35 per cent. However, the small banks’ CAR deteriorated to 2.39 from 18.33 per cent, requiring N96.03 billion to raise their CAR to 10 per cent. Under this scenario, 11 banks maintained CARs above 10 per cent, six banks had between five and 10 per cent, three banks had less than five per cent but greater than zero per cent and three others recorded negative CARs It said the banking industry and the three peer groupings showed significant levels of concentration risk as indicated by the level of capital deterioration. “If the credit facilities of the five biggest corporate obligors were to deteriorate from “doubtful” to “lost”, the CARs of the banking industry, large, me-
dium and small banks would decline from 18.69, 18.86, 18.25 and 18.33 per cent to 7.34 the banking industry resulted in the liquidity ratio falling to 33.48 per cent, though above the threshold of 30 per cent from 69.70 per cent,” it said. Also, large banks followed the same trajectory as their liquidity ratio deteriorated to 30.27 per cent from 70.22 per cent. “The medium and small banks showed more resilience as their liquidity ratios were 37.50 per cent for the medium and 45.37 per cent. Under this scenario, only five banks would be able to maintain CARs equal to or above 10 per cent, while the remaining 18 would record less than 10 per cent CAR,” it said.
It said liquidity risk was moderate as the impact of a 10 per cent general runs on for the small banks, from 75.45 and 68.47 per cent. However, all the categories remained above the 30 per cent benchmark. The banking industry and the three peered
African countries issue $8.1b bonds
ORTH and sub-Saharan Africa countries raised $8.1 billion bonds in the last one year, the largest ever amount of hard currency from international capital markets. A report by Financial Times (FT) said the bond issuance record set in 2010 has been broken by this year’s feat. Egypt and South Africa have issued the largest share of United States’ dollar bonds so far this year in Africa, with smaller contributions from Ghana, Nigeria and Rwanda. Moody’s, the credit rating agency, said the raised fund
is above the previous record of $7.2 billion set in 2010 for the whole year and far above the $1.2 billion they raised from bonds a decade ago. It said although the issuance has increased substantially, the size of the international bond market in Africa remains small. Moody’s put the total stock of government and corporate debt in hard currency at 3.7 per cent of the size of the African economy, compared to 11.3 per cent in Latin America and 5.1 per cent in Asia. The record issuance comes as the World Bank warned
that Africa’s economic outlook could suffer due to the impact of higher global interest rates arising from the “inevitable” tightening of monetary policy in developed countries. “The search for yields among investors has supported strong capital flows to developing countries in recent years, including subSaharan African countries,” the Washington-based body said in its semi-annual report on the continent, adding that a “disorderly increase in interest rates”represented an economic risk. African officials and some
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 10-1-14
SYMBOL OANDO COSTAIN ROYALEX LEARNAFRCA BETAGLAS CCNN REDSTAREX LIVESTOCK IPWA INFINITRY
O/PRICE 23.89 1.07 0.58 2.00 14.55 10.48 4.34 4.39 0.64 1.50
C/PRICE 26.33 1.17 0.63 2.10 15.27 10.99 4.55 4.60 0.67 1.57
CHANGE 0.04 0.08 3.38 0.09 0.02 0.05 0.04 2.99 0.22 0.05
CHANGE -0.06 -0.08 -0.03 -0.03 -0.05 -0.35 -0.02 -0.05 -0.01 -10.04
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
NGN USD 147.6000 NGN GBP 239.4810 NGN EUR 212.4997 NIGERIA INTER
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
BANK (S/N) 149.7450 (S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000
DISCOUNT WINDOWx Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Offer Price
AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 167.44 ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.09 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.17 CANARY GROWTH FUND 0.71 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CORAL INCOME FUND 1,611.15 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 FBN HERITAGE FUND 115.83 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 INTERCONTINENTAL INTEGRITY FUND 1.05 KAKAWA GUARANTEED INCOME FUND 143.11 LEGACY FUND 0.78 NIGERIA INTER DEBIT FUND 1,892.63
165.99 9.08 1.07 1.16 0.72 1.33 1,607.37 1,000.00 115.13 100.00 1.62 1.03 142.62 0.76 1,894.44
• ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE •
NSE CAP Index
LOSERS AS AT 10-1-14
SYMBOL O/PRICE C/PRICE NEM 0.87 0.81 PHARMDEKO 1.76 1.68 PRESTIGE 0.69 0.66 NSL TECH 0.69 0.66 TRANSEXPR 1.22 1.17 UBN 10.45 10.10 CILEASING 0.62 0.60 CUSTODYINS 2.41 2.36 JAPAULOIL 0.59 0.58 NESTLE 1,170.05 1,160.01
COBANK Nigeria has promoted over 400 staff. This is about 10 per cent of the workers. In a statement, the bank said the exercise was in line with its commitment to its policy of rewarding excellence and performance. The staff were selected through an appraisal. The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Jibril Aku, said the promotion was to keep the desired level of excellence to “maintain service quality standards, uphold customer satisfaction and enhance brand experience”. He said Ecobank maintains a high professional culture where exceptional performance, innovativeness and hard work are recognised and rewarded.
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
OBB Rate Call Rate
Ecobank promotes 400 staff
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
investors are worried that an increase in interest rates in countries such as the US would reduce the significant portfolio inflows that nations including Kenya and Nigeria have seen in their local securities markets. But Aurelien Mali, a senior analyst at Moody’s, told FT that the African region had shown considerable resilience to financial shocks. “We expect that investors’ interest for the region will be sustained given the strong macroeconomic growth outlook for Africa, which we estimate to average five to six per cent over the next five years,” he said.
first half of 2013 despite some challenges. In specific terms, the country recorded strong GDP growth, single digit inflation, exchange rate stability, capital market recovery and growth in external reserves. As well, it maintained a stable banking system. However, oil production was less than expected owing to supply disruptions. Also, the high proportion of foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) in the financial markets presented a potential risk in the event of sudden capital reversals,” he said.
banks were, therefore, resilient to the liquidity shock at the level indicated. Sanusi said in a statement that the efforts of the regulatory and fiscal authorities in addressing the challenges of the global economic and financial crises to achieve higher growth and employment were evident in the first half of last year. He said the projected weaker global demand, slower growth in key emerging markets and slow recovery of the Eurozone would require the monetary authorities to sustain the implementation of monetary and macro-prudential policies to achieve financial system stability. “The economy recorded some impressive macroeconomic achievements in the
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2012
Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
ISSUES The letter from the Central Bank Governor (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi alleging that $49.8 billion was not remitted by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federation Account raised dust last week. President Goodluck Jonathan’s advice that Sanusi should resign for allegedly leaking the document to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has met with varied reactions, with stakeholders calling for truce, reports COLLINS NWEZE.
Jonathan vs Sanusi: Stakeholders urge caution
NPRECEDENTED. That was the simple interpretation a senior banker gave to President Goodluck Jonathan’s advice to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to resign. Jonathan had accused Sanusi of leaking a letter on the supposed non-remittance of $49.8 billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federation Account to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. This formed part of the kernel of a scathing letter Obasanjo wrote to Jonathan. While denying the allegation, Sanusi was quoted to have rejected the President’s advice, arguing, quite rightly, that it would take the Senate’s two-thirds to sack him. Expectedly, the development has elicited varied reactions from across the divide. Many who spoke on the issue have called for caution on the part of the President in the interest of the economy. They said it was left for Sanusi to either take the advice or leave it, adding that the President lacks the power to kick him out. They referred to Section 11 Sub-section (2) (f) of the CBN Act of 2007, which
stipulates that the CBN Governor cannot be removed by mere pronouncement of a president. The section gave the conditions under which the Governor can be removed, such as the Governor being convicted by a court; where he is declared bankrupt, or by the President after securing the backing of two-thirds majority of the Senate. “A person shall not remain a Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Bank if he is removed by the President: Provided that the removal of the Governor shall be supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed.” Chukwuemeka Eze, Lead Counsel, Eze & Associates, said President Jonathan is aware that Sanusi cannot be removed by mere advice.
"The President cannot remove him and he knows. That is why he advised him to resign, and mind you, resignation is a voluntary act. The Governor can take the advice or decline. If the Governor says he is not leaving, there is no law that can remove him. Legally speaking, Sanusi's tenure is sealed till June 2.” Eze said the best bet is to allow him serve out his tenure because the heat that will be generated by a continued debate on the matter would be more injurious to the economy than forcing him to go. However, Eze said based on the sensitive nature of his position in the economy, Sanusi should have, firstly, written the NNPC to reconcile the figures. If the NNPC failed to
Based on the sensitive nature of his position in the economy, Sanusi should have firstly, written the NNPC to reconcile the figures. If the NNPC failed to give him the needed response, then, he could notify the President
give him the needed response, then, he could notify the President. Ekene Odum, Senior Lecturer, Labour Law at the Lagos State University (LASU), said the CBN Governor was appointed by the President, and this takes effect after the Senate confirmation. "The President cannot just wake up and say Sanusi should go. The President can suspend him. He can be disciplined, but can't be removed without the concur of the Senate," he said. He admitted that as the Chief Economist of the Federation, the leaked letter was a major embarrassment, adding that the Governor was too hasty to write the President. "Such writing has the capacity to cause confusion in both the local and international markets. Still, it would have made Sanusi a hero were the figures gotten totally right. But he made a statement only the brave could make," he said. He continued: "If it is confirmed that the President asked him to go, it will be an unfortunate scenario that could heat up the polity and economy. Remember that $49.8 billion is different from $10 billion. Still, • Continued on page 33
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Jonathan vs Sanusi: Stakeholders urge caution • Continued from page 32
$10 billion is a huge amount of money.” He said despite the stalemate, the President should allow him to do his job and not push him out of office, having performed creditably at the CBN. "It is human to err, but that should not take away his glory. Until he leaves, he still has the right to advise the President on economic matters, but whether such advice will be taken or not remains a different matter entirely. The President has technocrats that can advise him on economic matters, but to stampede or disgrace him out of office is not right," he explained. Odum insisted that it was only during the military era that a sitting CBN Governor could be forced out of office, adding that there has never been any such precedence in constitutional democracy. "During the military era, yes, he could be forced out. But in the era of constitutional democracy, it has never happened," he said. However, Dr. Austin Nweze, Senior Lecturer, Lagos Business School, said even though some people are lauding Sanusi for a job well done, he has caused a lot of problems for the economy, saying the President's order that he quits is in order and should be respected. He said Sanusi should have confirmed the right figures on NNPC remittances before writing the President, adding that such attribute is unbecoming of the Central Bank Governor, the fallout of which will be a minus for the economy. "It is definitely going to affect the economy negatively," he said. He said the Governor discouraged banks from taking business risks, which has affected the lenders' drive for businesses. "He is longoverdue. The President should have sacked him three years ago. There is urgent need to rectify the damages he has done to the economy. If he leaves now, he will be the first CBN Governor to be sacked. What the President has told him is that he does not have confidence in him," he said. Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, said the President may not have told Sanusi to resign. According to him, Sanusi's position remains strategic to the economy and if the President wanted to advise him to resign, it won't be on the pages of a newspaper. "I don't think that the government can say so. Until I am convinced, I won't comment on the matter. I doubt the authenticity of the letter. I need to observe before commenting," he said. Ademola Areago, a Constitutional lawyer based in Lagos, said if Sanusi must go, such act will lead to all kinds of signals. Firstly, such act will create feelings of political and economic instability in the country. "The CBN is banker to the Federal Government and the CBN Governor is also the Economic Adviser to the President. Now, if he bothers to give advice at all, what type will he be giving?," he asked. Sanusi has the key to the strong room and vault of the country and the way he leaves is important. "The whole world is watching because it has not happened in any country before. The way the information was handled was wrong. It raises the issue of confidence and investors both local and international are watching," he said. He argued that the fact that the President made his intention to remove him public is
enough damage to the economy. That, he said, means that he is working against the President's will. "This type of situation is unprecedented. He is not asking him to go because of inefficiency. For now, Sanusi is hanging on to the law. It will not be easy at all because the statement will be sending all sorts of signals," he said. Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, Monday Ubani, said the face-off portends great danger for the economy. He said Sanusi is in charge of the CBN’s vault and any altercation between him and the president is not healthy for the economy. Ubani said there is a breakdown of communication between President Jonathan and Sanusi, an indication that the apex bank’s helmsman may be frustrated about certain economic issues. "Sanusi does not want to be held accountable when something sinister happens to the economy. But President Jonathan must handle it with superior wisdom," he said. The NBA boss agreed with Eze that Sanusi has the right not to resign because his position is tenured and must be allowed to run out. "Even if it is $1 billion that was found to be missing, there should be a ceasefire. President Jonathan should swallow his pride and allow the man to exhaust his tenure," he said.
The genesis of the problem The crisis started when Sanusi wrote the president alleging that $49.8 billion oil remittance that was supposed to have been paid by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federation Account was missing. This letter, it was alleged, drew the ire of the President Jonathan who directed Sanusi to resign for allegedly leaking his letter on the "missing $49.8billion" to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo based on which the former president wrote a damning letter to him. The CBN governor allegedly denied any wrong doing, insisting that he would not be stampeded out of office. He insisted that it is only the Senate that could remove him and not a presidential fiat. It is believed that a statement by the CBN spokesman that the governor had told the workers that he would no longer proceed on a pre-retirement leave is a direct confirmation of Sanusi's preparedness to stand on the point he made when he allegedly spoke with the president on phone. Presidency officials could not be reached for comments at the time of going to press.
CBN reacts CBN spokesman Mr. Ugo Okoroafor has confirmed that Sanusi said he would no longer proceed on terminal leave at a "family
meeting" with the bank's staff. He spoke to reporters in Abuja on Sanusi's tenure after a news conference on the execution of the bank's Payment System Vision 2020 (PSV 2020) strategy.
Implications for economy The implication of Sanusi’s forced resignation, analysts say, would be quite negative. First, a lot of foreign management partners will lose confidence in the management of the economy while the independence of the institutions that are part of the Central Bank and participating in economic management will equally be negatively affected. According to the Managing Director, SP&S Consulting, Debo Adebayo, reducing the power and independence of the CBN would send a signal of retrogression at a time others central banks are moving towards greater autonomy to enable them handle intricate financial crises. He said a strong economy anywhere is tied to the effectiveness of the conduct of its monetary policy. "You see, the monetary policy is a serious business; it could be very, very terrible to have a country where the monetary policy direction is doubtful. When a government subjects the conduct of monetary policy to political influence, you are not going to have a strong economy," he explained. According to him, such development could hamper the effectiveness of monetary policy and the management of the macro-economic framework of the country. "The survival of the CBN is at the heart of the survival of the economy,”he warned.
Appointed in the midst of 2009 debt crisis, Sanusi, 51, fired the chief executives of eight lenders within four months of taking office after an audit found evidence of mismanagement and reckless lending. His push for stability in the currency has helped bring inflation down to below eight per cent. But Sanusi’s actions have never strayed from controversy. He never stopped antagonising lawmakers by criticising their spending and courting controversy for his outspoken views, most recently on China's role in Africa. In December 2010, lawmakers demanded his apology for saying a quarter of the government's spending on overheads went to parliament and that was damaging for the economy. He refused, saying his estimates were correct.
‘Sanusi has the key to the strong room and vault of the country and the way he leaves is important. The whole world is watching because it has not happened in any country before. The way the information was handled was wrong. It raises the issue of confidence and investors both local and international are watching’
Again, two years ago, lawmakers attempted to whittle down the bank's powers by proposing an amendment to CBN Act, hoping to strip him of his position as chairman of the bank's board. They also pushed to include more external members on the board and have the National Assembly approve the bank's budget. More recently, he criticised China's role in Africa, saying it contributed to the "deindustrialisation and underdevelopment" in the world's poorest continent. Africa must shake off its "romantic view of China" and see it as a competitor that's "capable of the same forms of exploitation as the west," Sanusi warned.
CBN's constitutional roles The CBN is empowered to maintain price stability and ensure a non-inflationary growth. It also has the responsibility to ensure a sound and stable financial system in addition to other developmental functions. These mandates and functions are peculiar to central banks across the world and no other institution plays such roles. These special responsibilities are enormous and have continued to pose increasing challenges to central banks largely because developments in the domestic and international economies create challenges in the financial systems and the art of central banking. Globalisation exemplified by economic and monetary unions has equally increased the challenges to central banking. Analysts insist that the effective discharge of these responsibilities requires that central banks be totally independent and shielded from political interferences.
According to Sanusi, whoever will be picked by President Jonathan to take over at the apex bank must be able to develop the market. "Central banking has changed. I think the market has developed. To be honest, if any Central Bank Governor misbehaves, the market punishes the economy immediately. So, the market is a major factor. Even as a governor, by the time your capital market crashes, and your currency goes down, you will know that it is either you restore stability, or you are out of the job. That's important," he said at a media conference held last month in Lagos. Analysts have tipped some of the CBN deputy governors among Sanusi's likely successor. Deputy Governor, Operations, Tunde Lemo; Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Sarah Alade; and Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Kingsley Moghalu have been mentioned. Also linked with the job are: Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustafa Chike-Obi; Managing Director, FirstBank of Nigeria, Bisi Onasanya and Managing Director, Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukuede and recently, Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga. Analysts insist the next governor will probably have a different outlook or perspective, but one thing that is sure, remains that the fallout of the altercations between the President Jonathan and Sanusi may have just begun.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
‘Foreign investors’ll change market’
HE entry of foreign investors into the industry will change the market space, Managing Director, Cusolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, Mr Eddie Efekhoha has said. Besides, the foreign investors are coming with capital, skill and knowledge, Efehkoha told The Nation in Lagos. He, however, pointed out that one of the challenges that the foreigners
Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo
may faced is rate cutting. He said it was regrettable that businesses were bought by some underwriting firms who cut rates to the detriment of the industry. He said: “It is unfortunate that some of us do not consider the high marketing cost involved in the business nor follow the rates approved by the regulator, the national Insurance
Commission (NAICOM). “Some of us are disciplined, but we have not been able to discipline ourselves as a market and that is why the regulator has stepped up to help us.” Efekhoha noted that before now, there was no self-discipline or ethics but most insurers now know that except we operate as professionals, there will be no way forward. The new entrants too will trigger more change.
“We have the opportunity to make it going by the country’s population if we get things right among ourselves. The poverty level too has to improve in order for us to achieve success in micro insurance. “Despite the commencement of the insurance industry database three years ago, the industry is still struggling to register less than two million out of 11.5 million vehicles in Nigeria,” he noted.
Global insured catastrophe loss hits $31b
ATURAL catastrophes caused global insured losses of about $31 billion last year, said a report released by Munich Reinsurance Company in its annual review. The reinsurer said storms and floods in Europe along with super typhoon Haiyan dominated the overall picture of natural catastrophes the year under review, but globally insured losses remained below average for the past ten years. According to the firm, weatherrelated catastrophes in Europe and destruction in the Philippines caused exceptionally high losses. It noted that the Philippines, Haiyan, which struck in November was one of the strongest cyclones in history resulting in over 6,000 fatalities. Overall losses resulting from natural catastrophes in 2013 were moderate at $125billion. Both figures are less than those seen in 2012 when insured losses reached $65billion and overall losses stood at $173billion, Munich re said. Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re Board Member responsible for global reinsurance business, said: “Several of the events of 2013 illustrated how well warnings and loss minimisation measures can restrict the impact of natural catastrophes. “In the case of the most recent winter storms in Europe, for example, the losses remained comparatively low. At the same time, events like those in the Philippines show the urgent need for more to be done in developing and emerging coun-
tries to protect people better. This includes stable buildings and protection facilities, and insurance programmes with state backing to provide those affected with financial assistance after a disaster. “The most expensive event for the insurance industry in 2013 was the hailstorms that hit regions in northern and southwestern Germany between July 27 and 28. It was the most costly hail event in the country’s history”. The firm said insurance losses from heavy hailstorms in July and August in Germany totalled $4.1billion, with an economic loss of $5.2billion. The hailstorms in late July alone accounted for $3.7billion of insured losses, with an economic loss of $4.8billion. Canada was also hit by severe natural catastrophes in 2013, mainly heavy rainfall of up to 190 litres per square metre, which fell in the province of Alberta. This lead to record flooding on the rivers flowing through the province’s capital of Calgary, which amounted to insured losses of $1.6billion and economic losses of $5.7billion, making it the costliest natural catastrophe in Canada ever, Munich Re said. By contrast, the North Atlantic hurricane season was very quiet, the reinsurer said. ‘No single storms, of hurricane strength reached the US mainland. Altogether, a total of 13 cyclones formed in the tropical North Atlantic, of which only two achieved hurricane force and those only in category one, the weakest rating for a hurricane.’
IEI settles N1.2b claims
NTERNATIONAL Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc paid N1.2billion claims to its policy holders in the 2013 financial year; this is an increase of 21.2 per cent from the N990 million paid the previous year. Managing Director, IEI, Mrs. Roseline Ekeng, who made this known in Lagos, said the company believes in prompt claims settlement She said the company’s core values are proficiency, integrity, innovation, dependability and friendliness and also demonstrates its capability and service reassurance. She said the claims paid are categorised into motor, fire, general accidents, marine cargo, marine hall, bond, oil and gas, industrial all risks, public liability and aviation. Ekeng said: “Transparency and reliability are the most enduring values to earn customers trust. Today’s business environment requires more open hands and doing what you say. The customers are wiser and more exposed today to global best practices, and no well
• From left: President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers(NCRIB), Mr Ayodapo Shoderu; IyalojaGeneral of Nigeria, Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo; Deputy President, NCRIB, Mr Kayode Okunoren and COUNCIL Member, NCRIB, Mrs Ekeoma Ezeibe, during a visit by NCRIB President to the Iyaloja in Lagos.
STI sets agenda to improve operations
O grow its finances, the management of Sovereign Trust Insurance (STI) Plc has reorganised its operations. Its Managing Director, Mr Wale Onaolapo made this known in Lagos. He said this became necessary to sustain high level performance, ensure staff optimisation, and promote exceptional customer relationship management. The development, he explained, came on the heels of the recently concluded management retreat/budget session of the underwriting firm. He said: “To effectively optimise operations in the new financial year, the performance of the company was brought under review while at the same time, x-raying
the challenges encountered in the course of the past year with a view to identifying opportunities in them as well as chart the way forward in 2014. “The company has approved the implementation of a new organisational chart for the operations of the company in 2014 in its continued effort to ensuring robust human resources. Under the new dispensation, all revenue generating units are to function under the marketing and business development division with supervision by the Divisional Head/General Manager, Ugochi Odemelam while Tolu Fasoranti will be responsible for operations as it relates to brokers’ business. “Tayo Ogundipe takes charge of the operations in the Ikeja Area
Office and as well supervise the affairs of all the other three area offices in Lagos; namely, Apapa, Surulere and Lagos Central. An Assistant General Manager, Emmanuel Anikibe will now head the Retail Business Department of the company. The eastern operations will now be coordinated by the Area Manager in Port Harcourt, Angela UcheOnochie, while Muyiwa Awodire, Head of Ibadan Area Office will monitor the activities of all the branch offices in the Western Region.” To further ensure the actualisation of the organisation’s operational goals, the management has also engaged a seasoned insurance marketer to handle the Northern Region.
Firm releases nominees’ list • Ekeng
meaning underwriter will hide under any guise. “IEI prides itself of having the most technical and experienced energy underwriting unit in Nigeria having identified energy insurance as yawning gap.” She added that the firm prepared itself to fill the gap, in addition to providing other general insurance businesses.
FIRM Inspenonline has released list of nominees for its Nigerian Insurance and Pension (Inspen) Award. In a statement, its Editor, Chuks Okonta, said the awards, which are in seven categories, will be contested by underwriting, broking firms and individuals who distinguished themselves last year. He said the nominees for the Insurance Man of the year category are, the Managing Director Mansard Insurance Plc, Mrs Yetunde Ilori; Managing Director Leadway
Assurance Limited, Mr Oye Hassan-Odukale; Managing Director Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mr Olawale Onaolapo and former President Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Dr. Wole Adetimehin. He also said the firms nominated for Insurance Company of the Year are include Mansard Insurance Plc; AIICO Insurance Plc; Leadway Assurance Limited; Custodian Group and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc. In the pension industry category,
firms nominated for Pension Fund Administrator of the year are Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers; AIICO Pension Managers; Leadway Pensure PFA Limited and PAL Pensions. He urged people to cast their votes for individuals and firms that have contributed immensely to the development of the industry and the nation through e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . The ceremony will take place in February, this year, he added.
MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
About N104 billion has been spent on the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) in the last four years, yet train services remain poor. With the Federal Government’s plan to make rail a strategic part of its mass transit initiative, Nigerians are praying that things will be better in 2014. ADEYINKA ADERIBIGBE reports.
•A train arriving at a terminus
Wanted, quality train service S
INCE he moved to Ijoko, in Ogun State two years ago, David Matthew, a job seeker, has been relying on train for his movement. For many living in Ijoko, Agbado Station, Iju Station, among others along the train route, the Nigeria Railway Corporation Mass Transit Shuttle Service (NRC-MTSS) is a cheap means of transportation, especially avoiding the chaotic traffic on Lagos roads. “By 5am, I must be at the train station at Ogba Iyo, the Nigeria Salt Company (NSC) area, in Ijoko, Ogun State, to get a seat in the train. “I never entered a train before I moved into this area, but now, it has become my surest way out of this sleepy village, because I spend only N150 to get to Ebute Meta,” he said. Because it is cheap, compared to a bus ride, commuters throng the station and before the train gets to Agbado Station, the 18-coach train usually deployed in the route by NRC is filled. Those who cannot get a seat either hang on the coaches or sit on the train’s rooftops. What the passengers gain in
terms of cost, they lose in comfort and safety as many fatal accidents go unreported on the route which is serviced by worn out coaches, refurbished by the corporation for intra-city shuttle. “As early as 6am, you would see people tightly packed inside the coaches like sardine. The train whether morning, afternoon or night, is not the best option for women who cherished their endowment, or corporately dressed
men going to work,” Matthew said. That the trains are moving at all, is a miracle by the Adeseyi Sijuwade-led NRC management. Since the shuttle started, it has not been able to attract the middle class who seem unimpressed with its service. It is patronised by artisans, traders, touts and the poor, who often hang on all available spaces and sit on cabin rooftops to avoid ticket charges. Sijuwade dismisses the middle class’ claim that the Corporation is inefficient, adding that statistics showed that over three million passengers used the train service between January and September last year. He added that the 3.2 million people who patronised the corporation’s services in the first nine months last year, were
slightly lower than that of the same period in 2012, which was 4. 155 million passengers. He hopes passenger traffic will be five million in 2014. Marketing the railways potentials at a Public-Private Participation (PPP) forum in Abuja in October last year, Sijuwade said: “We have been able to record about 3, 179, 778 passengers between January and September. Last year, we had 4, 155, 988 passengers. In 2011, we had 3,493,443.” With a population of 170 million, five million passengers in the next 12 months, experts say is a lean projection. But they agreed that coming from the corporation’s background, the figure looks ambitious, while not doubting its capacity to achieve or outstrip the target.
‘Sijuwade admits the corporation is over-working the available rolling fleet. At the PPP forum, he said the NRC ordered for the manufacturing of 11 air conditioned 68seater coaches, adding that six of them would be delivered last December, and the rest expected before April 2014. The snag is, the corporation has yet to take delivery, and the management is not forthcoming with reasons for the delay, 13 days into another year’
A source in NRC confirmed that the corporation serviced all its routes in the last four years with 29 locomotives, 250 wagons and 120 coaches, all in different stages of rot. Most of these rolling stocks, the source added, were refurbished and repaired by local engineers within the NRC, with no new stock added in the last decade. The source noted that about 550 wagons, 50 coaches and 55 locomotives are awaiting repairs, adding that when they come into use, they may affect the passenger response capacity. Had the corporation been operating maximally, it would have in its fleet, about 84 locomotives, 800 wagons, and 170 coaches. How this will translate into effectiveness with only the Western line working, and the Eastern line ensnared between politics and the general insecurity in some part of the North is better imagined. Sijuwade admits the corporation is over-working the available rolling fleet. At the PPP forum, he said the NRC ordered for the manufacturing of 11 air conditioned 68-seater coaches, adding that six of them would be delivered last December, and the rest expected before April 2014. The snag is, the corporation has yet to take delivery, and the management is not forthcoming with reasons for the delay, 13 days into another year. In a recent paper, an analyst, Mr Stephen Ojelana, said not much •Continued on page 36
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Man, 33, arraigned for impersonating LASTMA T
HE Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has arraigned Olufemi Obadeyi before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court for allegedly presenting himself as its official to extort motorists. Obadeyi, a 33-year-old graduate of Business Administration, was working with LASTMA before he was dismissed by the agency for misconduct in August 2006. He pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of impersonation and extortion. Magistrate Mrs. Dan Oni, ruled that he be remanded at the Kirikiri Prisons till January 16, when he will be sentenced. According to the prosecutor, Obadeyi, was arrested by a LASTMA patrol team on December 28, last year after a tip-off from motorists who reported illegal activities of someone parading himself as an officer and
Stories by Adeyinka Aderibigbe
extorting motorists at Ojuelegba in Lagos. The patrol team responded to the call and arrested Obadeyi as he was demanding money from motorists for not using seat belt. The accused was in LASTMA uniform with another person in mufti holding a walkie talkie negotiating for money when he was arrested. Obadeyi attempted to escape but was arrested; but his accomplice fled. Obadeyi, who admitted to be operating in LASTMA uniform with a fake name tag (Olufemi A.O), confessed to be involved in many of such illegal duties around Ojuelegba under
bridge. He said he did not hand over his identity card following his dismissal on the ground that it was lost. LASTMA General Manager Mr Babatunde Edu said it was disheartening that some unpatriotic Nigerians were exploiting others for their selfish interest. He said the agency would not rest until all bad eggs within its fold were arrested and brought to justice. His office, he said, was inundated with petitions/complaints of extortion from the public and praised residents for their forbearance, adding that the agency will continue to fight fraud and exploitation by its men. Edu urged motorists to be wary of officers demanding money from them, noting that the agency runs a cashless operation .
FRSC chief advocates safe driving
HE Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Chidi Nkwonta, has appealed to motorists to use the roads more responsibly this year. He said Nigerians as critical stakeholders in the Corps’ task of reducing accidents
and deaths on the roads, must realise that they have a role to play in making the roads safe. Speaking with The Nation in his office last Monday, Nkwonta said the corps achieved a 25 per cent reduction in crash and fatality figure last year, compared to 2012, adding that only 22 crashes and 16 deaths were recorded between December 15 and January 1, 2014. He said the highest figure of nine deaths was recorded in an accident along LekkiEpe Expressway, on December 22, and only five deaths were recorded along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway all through the yuletide period and two others occurred within the state. Describing last year’s ‘Zero Tolerance Against Accidents’ campaign as successful in the state, Nkwonta said this was made possible due to the road safety campaigns which began in September, and the early deployment of men and logistics along all the major roads entering the state by December 15. He said: “Last year witnessed a massive deployment of men and logistics. We established four help desks along the LagosIbadan Expressway and two help desks each along the Lekki-Epe and Mile 12Badagry Expressway. Besides moving all our men out, we also deployed all the
Wanted, quality train service •Continued from page 35
would be achieved with the tardiness in keeping to timelines and failure to ensure the construction of wider standard gauge upon which more modern coaches could run. Another expert, Mr Israel Akano, advocated tinkering with the Nigeria Railway Act 1955, which vested all powers concerning rail lines in the NRC. “The Presidency and the National Assembly should carry out fundamental amendment to that Act with the intention of expanding the space and permitting private sector players in the railway sub-sector of the transportation industry,” he said. The Minister for Transportation, Senator Idris Umar, confirmed that the government, in line with the advice of the National Council on Transportation, is carrying out far reaching reforms of the corporation, adding that more private players are being wooed into the railway sub-sector. Umar said the rehabilitated western rail line and the eastern rail line, as well as the modern standard gauge which would replace the existing narrow gauge are among infrastructure that would be concessioned to private operators on completion. Umar stated that for transparency and due diligence, the process would be embarked upon in partnership with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC). According to the Minister, concessioning arrangement is to ensure that the railways would continue to function optimally and sustainably without funding and meddlesomeness associated with public utilities being a cog. He said the path to remedy the poor condition, and improve efficiency and profitability of the railways is for the government to privatise the NRC.
Under the proposed privatisation plan, three separate concessions of 25–30 years would be granted to private companies to run railways in the western, central, and eastern parts of the country. The rail system has about 3,557 kilometres of 1,067mm (3ft 6in) narrow gauge tracks. There are two major rail lanes: one connects Lagos on the Bight of Benin to Nguru in Yobe State, known as the western lane; while the eastern lane begins from Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta and ends in Maiduguri, in Borno State, while the central lane appears untapped. Till date, the resuscitative measures of successive governments have not seen the light of day: none of the proposed new tracks have been completed, and the rehabilitation and refurbishing of tracks and coaches have almost always come short of expectations. The inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the railway have made it unable to serve as an effective means of transporting passengers and freight from the nation’s major commercial cities to the hinterland. A breakdown of the yearly budgetary allocations in the past four years since the government picked interest in reviving the sector, shows that in 2012, a total of N20.3 billion was approved for the NRC, out of which N16.3 billion was earmarked for capital expenditure. The sum was targeted at rehabilitating the Jebba-Kano, Port Harcourt-Makurdi-Kaduna, KuruMaidugiri and Zaria-Kaura-Namoda rail tracks, as well as to procure and rehabilitate rail wagons, coaches and tanker wagons. In 2011, N29.6 billion was budgeted for the construction and rehabilitation of most of the afore-mentioned rail tracks, out of which N5.5 billion was set aside for the construction of Ajaokuta-Warri rail line.
2,500 FRSC Special Marshals, and we also forged synergy with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which deployed their high end mobile clinic and other smaller ambulances on all entry and exit roads in the state, while LASTMA ensured the management of traffic within the state. “Besides the men, we deployed 450 vehicles and two tow trucks in the roads to arrest any distress. We deployed men even on foot in embarking on traffic calming efforts daily and these men were usually on the road before traffic built up, calming traffic and ensuring that there is free flow in and out of the state.” He, however, lamented that much of the successes were achieved without the cooperation of Lagos drivers, who he described as “lawless, undisciplined, unruly and intolerant, most of who often drive with impunity.” He said these attitudes cut across all categories of drivers whether commercial, corporate or private car owners, as everyone usually drive without regard to the traffic regulations. Nkwonta added that the greatest threats on the roads are coming from those he called “men in uniform,” and “political office holders,” who uses police escorts and
drive against traffic and uses mobile phone devices on the road with impunity. “These men,” according to him, “usually intimidate us on the road, knowing that we are unarmed, and would resist arrest. They could even attack our men with guns, horse whips and any other object.” The commander said the city will be a much better place, if public transportation is well organised. “If all road users abides with the traffic regulations, all of us would be able to move without the aggression and frustration that traffic snarl brings. Let anyone using the road have consideration for other road users. They should realise that the road have to be shared. “They should also realise that the law enforcement officers are not a distraction on the roads, but that they are there in their interest and should be humble enough to obey them as they dutifully manage the traffic, because the truth is if road safety doesn’t catch you, accident could and when this happens, it may be too late for you to make any amends. Prof. Wole Soyinka always says the road is patient, but never forgive. So, drivers should stop abusing the road. Let everyone resolve this new year to use the road properly and let us exercise patience with one another on the roads,” Nkwonta stated.
Available statistics also showed a total of N31 billion ($207 million) was approved on a special request in the supplementary Appropriation Bill of 2010 for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan rail lines. In 2009, N23.3 billion was budgeted for rail transport, out of which N20.7 billion was reserved for capital projects that included the rehabilitation of 120 coaches and wagons, rehabilitation of the AjaokutaWarri rail line, which was also catered for in 2011 budget. According to industry analysts, the rail transport has huge potential in a country with a population of 170 million. In the highly populated cities like Abuja and Lagos alone, the rail transport has the immense opportunities such as daily business of moving over one million passengers in each city within the inter and intra city transportation, generating huge revenues, decongesting road traffic as well as reducing road accidents. The system ferries 8,000 passengers within Lagos and Ogun states and another 4,000 between Lagos and Ilorin line. Unfortunately, like all things Nigerian, even the NRC has been unwittingly caught in the political web, which may gravely affect its effectiveness and deflate the eagerness and progress so far made by the current management of the corporation. The NRC became the first major casualty of the ongoing schism within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as NRC’s Chairman Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who was appointed in April, last year led a group of aggrieved members to quit the party. Though his position was not touched by the Presidency, Baraje, citing political differences, voluntarily resigned. Bureaucrats and other experts said this would impact negatively on the NRC as critical decisions that ought to end on the table of its chairman would have to compete for attention from the Minister for Transportation. “This might be responsible for the lull in the activities of the corporation,” an observer noted.
However, NRC’s Deputy Director Public Relations Mr. David Ndakotsu said the management is determined to carry on with the transformation initiatives of the present administration and make the railways the fulcrum of mass transportation in the country. In a statement issued after a management retreat held at Ada, in Osun State, the NRC, Ndakotsu said, came up with a strategic road map for 2014, and resolved among others to: “Achieve 30 per cent reduction in the journey time for the intercity train services, 10 per cent monthly reduction in the frequency and extent of train delays, 25 per cent monthly reduction on customer complaints, and not more than 10 minutes delay in scheduled departure time and 25 per cent monthly reduction in the number of accident. “The Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijuwade, said the corporation’s 2014 direction will be guided by the vision, mission and mandate of the corporation to provide a more efficient, reliable and safe rail transport service.” But how many passengers the corporation hopes to attract with a 30 per cent slash, which translates into about 50.4 hours travel time on its Lagos-Kano route (which takes 72 hours), among other sundry infractions even on its intracity routes by which the corporation intends only a 10 per cent monthly slash, is left to be seen. While the NRC battles with its problems of age-old neglect and tries the best way to wriggle out of them, the best option, according to experts, remains the liberalisation of the sector that would enable more participation by the private sector. Nothing short of competition could wake the NRC to the realities of the challenges ahead in providing for the needs of commuting Nigerians. Only then would Sijuwade’s statement that: “ The NRC as a strategic transport provider, must respond to the growing demand of its services by running regular and timely passenger trains with attractive ambience,” ring true.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
IHS Nigeria: Sinking to a new low I
HS Nigeria’s fundamental outlook worsened last year as significant declines in profitability and balance sheet position raised concerns about the mounting losses over the past three years. While it grew the topline commendably by 18.6 per cent, high operating costs and roof-top financial leverage substantially undermined the bottom-line and wiped off considerable equity capital. With net loss per share of N1.50 in 2013 as against 86 kobo in 2012 and decline in net assets per share from N1.69 in 2012 to 14 kobo in 2013, the latest audited report indicated a new low for investors who have not received any dividend since the telecommunication infrastructure company became a quoted company. Audited report and accounts of IHS Nigeria for the year ended April 30, 2013 showed a generally negative performance outlook, which was highlighted by declining liquidity and productive efficiency, lower margins and returns and precarious financing structure. However, the company witnessed a strong recovery in its top-line position with higher sales and improved top-line profit. Meanwhile, the unaudited first quarter report for the period ended July 31, 2013 showed a modest recovery. While the company operationally remained in loss position, tax write-back left a modest net profit of N135.68 million. The improvement also reflected in the net capital position, which increased to N1.12 billion.
Financing structure The financing position of the group worsened considerably in 2013 with less equity coverage and worrisome debt level. The proportion of debt to equity jumped to 2,839 per cent in 2013 as the group’s short-term loan ballooned to N17.1 billion. Also, while about 16 per cent of total assets were covered by equity funds in 2012, the proportion of equity funds to total assets dropped to a low of 1.1 per cent in 2013. Cur-
rent liabilities/total assets ratio worsened from 11.2 per cent to about 60 per cent while long-term liabilities/ total assets ratio declined from 73.2 per cent to 39.3 per cent. IHS Group’s total assets rose by 16 per cent from N47.46 billion to N55.18 billion. Current assets had dropped by 48.5 per cent from N16.34 billion to N8.41 billion while non-current assets had ridden on the back of 50 per cent increase in fixed assets to N46.77 billion in 2013 as against N31.11 billion in 2012. Total liabilities meanwhile grew by 36 per cent from N40.04 billion to NN54.58 billion. Current liabilities had skyrocketed by 520 per cent to N32.9 billion in 2013 as against N5.31 billion in 2012. While the paid up share capital remained unchanged at N2.2 billion, total equity fund dropped by 92 per cent from N7.41 billion in 2012 to N602 million in 2013.
Efficiency The telecommunicationinfrastructure group witnessed considerable decline in productivity and efficiency during the period. In spite of notable staff reduction, the top-heavy personnel cost increased while average pretax profit per head declined. The ratio of total costs of business-excluding interest expenses, in relation to sales worsened to 121.3 per cent in 2013 compared with 114.3 per cent recorded in 2012. Average number of staff in the group dropped from 1,056 persons in 2012 to 844 persons in 2013. Gross staff cost also dropped marginally from N1.31 billion to N1.25 billion, indicating average staff cost per employee of N1.48 million and N1.24 million for 2013 and 2012 respectively. However, average pre-tax profit per employee dwindled from –N.63 million in 2012 to –N8.90 million in 2013.
Both outward and underlying profit and loss items
showed a generally negative performance in 2013. Midline operating expenses and interest costs eroded modest top-line gain, pushing the group’s balance sheet to a more precarious position. For the fourth consecutive year, IHS Group suffered a major decline in profitability and built on a losing streak that had seen pre-tax loss rising from N1.84 billion in 2011 to N4.89 billion in 2012 and N7.51 billion in 2013. After taxes, net loss increased by 82 per cent from N3.62 billion in 2012 to N6.60 billion in 2013. Average pretax profit margin had worsened from -35 per cent in 2012 to -45.5 per cent in 2013, implying that while the group made a loss of N35 on every N100 unit of sales in 2012, this worsened to about N46 on similar unit in 2013. The bottom-line performance overshadowed appreciable improvement in turnover. Group turnover improved by 19 per cent from
Fiscal Year Ended April 30 Nmillion
2013 12 months
2012 12 months
Profit and Loss Statement Main Business Segment Total turnover Cost of sales Gross profit Operating expenses Interest and other incomes Finance expenses Pre-tax profit(loss) Post-tax profit (loss) Basic earnings per share(kobo) Gross dividend (Nm) Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net Assets per share (kobo)
16,504 16,504 11,242 5,262 8,785 225 4,217 -7,514 -6,600 -150 0 0 14
18.6 18.6 -2.0 114.6 98.0 -21.1 32.3 53.8 82.2 74.4 0.0 0.0 -91.7
13,920 13,920 11,469 2,452 4,436 285 3,187 -4,886 -3,623 -86 0 0 169
Balance Sheet Assets: Fixed assets Total long term assets Trade debtors Current assets Total assets Liabilities: Trade creditors Bank loans Current liabilities Long-term liabilities Total liabilities Equity Funds Share capital Total Equity Funds
ors/creditors ratio stood at 23.4 per cent in 2013 as against 367.4 per cent in 2012. Governance and structures IHS Nigeria Plc was incorporated as a private limited liability company on April 10, 2001. It converted to a public limited liability company on July 10, 2008 and was subsequently listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on January 27, 2009. The IHS Group included IHS Nigeria, the parent company; PCT Sudan and PCT South Sudan, where the group holds 51 per cent controlling equity stake in each company; and the wholly-owned IHS Mauritius. It had sold its equity stakes in its Ghana and Dubai operations in 2013. The principal operations of IHS involve provision of telecommunications infrastructure including collocation sites and telecom towers. The board and management of the company remained stable and firmly under the direction of the founding directors. Engr. Bashir El-Rufai still chairs the board of directors. Meanwhile, Issam Darwish, returned as the chief executive officer, replacing Rajiv Jaitly, who has left the board of the company. In terms of board composition, committees, statutory requirements and best practices, the company largely complied with extant laws and code of corporate governance.
Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor
41,554 46,771 2,955 8,410 55,181
49.5 50.3 -52.6 -48.5 16.3
27,796 31,112 6,228 16,344 47,456
12,621 17,090 32,904 21,674 54,578
644.6 0.0 519.8 -37.6 36.3
1,695 0 5,309 34,732 40,041
N13.92 billion in 2012 to N16.50 billion in 2013. With marginal decline in cost of sales from N11.47 billion to N11.24 billion, gross profit doubled from N2.45 billion to N5.26 billion. The improved top-line profitability also reflected in the gross margin, which increased from 18 per cent to 32 per cent. However, total operating expenses-including provisions for impairments, doubled from N4.44 billion to N8.79 billion. While noncore business incomes dropped by 21 per cent from N285 million in 2012 to N225 million in 2013, a 32 per cent increase in finance expenses from N3.19 billion to N4.22 billion further compounded the bottom-line. Investors’ returns were negative. Basic loss per share rose from 86 kobo to N1.50 while net assets per share declined from 169 kobo to 14 kobo. Return on equity worsened from -48.9 per cent to 1,096 per cent. Return on total assets also declined from -10.3 per cent to -13.6 per cent.
Analyst’s opinion •IHS Chief Executive Officer Issam Darwish
Liquidity The liquidity position of the group became worrisome last year with the least coverage for emerging liabilities against increasingly negative working capital. Current ratio, which broadly indicates ability of the company to meet emerging financing needs by relating current assets to relative liabilities, dropped to a low of 0.26 times as against 3.08 times in previous year. The proportion of working capital to total sales turned negative from 79 per cent in 2012 to -148 per cent in 2013. Debt-
Fiscal Year Ended April 30
1.1 39.3 59.6 2838.9
15.6 73.2 11.2 0.0
31.9 -45.5 -13.6 -1096.3 0.00
17.6 -35.1 -10.3 -48.9 0.00
Financing structure Equity funds/Total assets Long-term liabilities/Total assets Current liabilities/Total assets Debt/Equity ratio Profitability Gross profit margin Pre-tax profit margin Return on total assets Return on equity Dividend cover (times) Efficiency Pre-tax profit per employee (Nm) -8.90 Staff cost per employee (Nm) 1.48 Cost of sales, operating exp/Turnover 121.3
-4.63 1.24 114.3
Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors
0.26 -148.4 23.4
3.08 79.3 367.4
The performance of IHS Nigeria underlines the need for a more thorough review of its operational strategy, with clear focus on delivering value for shareholders. The latest report particularly raised concerns about the going concern status of the company, although both the auditors and the board did not qualify their opinion in this regard. IHS is virtually surviving on the grace of its creditors and another worse performance can effectively put the balance sheet in the red. It needs to justify the effective utilisation of recent investment. The unaudited first quarter performance for the threemonth period ended July 31, 2013 showed some level of optimism with sustained growth in sales and improved bottom-line. Group turnover for the period stood t N3.92 billion as against N3.88 billion in comparable period of 2012. Gross profit increased from N1.01 billion to N1.89 billion. Loss before tax also dropped from N937.18 million to N168.5 million. With tax write back of N304.2 million, net profit bounced back to M135.68 million in 2013 as against net loss of N556.4 million in corresponding period of 2012. IHS needs to consolidate this start. Besides, it needs to outline a working turnaround and growth plan to key stakeholders with key parameters that the board and management can be held accountable for. Overall, the decisiveness and sustainability of its turnaround plan will determine the future outlook of the telecom s-infrastructure group.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
China export growth slows, rosier 2014 expected
HINA’S export growth slowed more than expected in December due to a higher comparison base a year earlier and a clamp-down on speculative activities disguised as export deals, missing the official target on foreign trade. But the outlook for 2014 is expected to be brighter as global demand picks up, giving more wiggle room for Chinese leaders to push through reforms to balance the world’s secondlargest economy. “Exports weakened dramatically, but were close to the consensus. The data is positive for China and Asia sentiment as it alleviates concerns that China is slowing too sharply,”
said Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior economist and strategist for Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. Exports rose 4.3 per cent in December from a year earlier, the Customs Administration said on Friday, slowing from 12.7 per cent in November and compared to market expectations of 4.9 per cent. Imports rose 8.3 per cent, quickening from 5.3 per cent in November and overshooting the same rate expected by the market, raising optimism that domestic demand may remain firm despite signs that the world’s second-largest economy is losing steam. The December trade surplus fell 24.3 per cent from a year earlier to
$25.6-billion, missing the forecast of $31.2-billion. Exports to the United States rose three per cent in December from a year earlier, while sales to the European Union rose 3.9 per cent and those to Japan climbed 5.5 per cent, according to official figures. For 2013, exports rose 7.9 per cent and imports rose 7.3 per cent, producing a trade surplus of $259.8-billion, up 12.4 per cent from 2012. China’s combined exports and imports rose 7.6 per cent in 2013, below the official target of eight per cent. In 2012, China missed a 10 per cent annual growth target. The government does not set any target on exports.
Uncertain global demand, a stronger yuan currency and rising labour costs have taken their toll on Chinese exporters, but analysts believe sales could pick up modestly in 2014 due to improved demand from the United States and Europe. “China’s exporters are facing pressures from rising costs, including increasing labour costs and yuan currency appreciation,” customs spokesman Zheng Yuesheng told a news conference, adding that trade is entering a “stabilization and development stage” in 2014. “The strengthening recovering of developed economies will likely gradually lead the global economy out of the financial crisis, which will
Iran, Russia negotiating $1.5b oil-for-goods deal
RAN and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $1.5 billion a month that would let Iran lift oil exports substantially, in defiance of Western sanctions that helped force Tehran to agree a preliminary deal to end its nuclear program. Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations said final details were in discussion for a deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment
and goods. “Our desire is to sign the deal as soon as possible,” said a senior Iranian official, who declined to be named. “Our officials are discussing the matter with the Russians and hopefully it will be inked soon, regardless of whether we can reach a (nuclear) agreement in Geneva.” It is not clear whether the deal would be implemented before the nuclear agreement, outlined in Geneva in November between Iran and six world powers, is finalized.
Nor is it clear how Moscow will justify to other powers a barter deal that could jeopardize the nuclear negotiations by easing the economic pressure on Tehran. Russia is one of the countries involved in the nuclear talks but, unlike the United States and the European Union, has not imposed sanctions on Iran. Technical nuclear talks between Iran and the European Union started on Thursday. The November deal was designed to halt Iran’s nuclear
advances for six months to buy time for a final settlement by May. U.S. and European sanctions have cut Iran’s oil exports by more than half over the past 18 months to about one million barrels a day. Russia has no sanctions on Iran.
US firm reports rise in holiday sales
•Chinese garment workers putting finishing touches to fabric meant for export.
NITED States jeweler Tiffany & Co reported a six per cent jump in sales at stores open at least a year during the holiday shopping period, helped by strong demand in America. The company, famed for its blue boxes and its Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan, maintained its full-year profit forecast, in contrast to other large retailers that have slashed their outlooks due to steep discounts. Tiffany said net sales rose eight per cent in November and December, a period that can account for a third of yearly sales and almost half of profit. Lower-end peer Zale Corp reported a two per cent rise in comparable-store sales for the same period, driven by higher sales at its Zales Jewelers and Zales Outlet stores. Zale’s shares rose 17 per cent to $16.53, while Tiffany’s shares were slightly lower at $91.93 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Tiffany said sales in the Americas, which accounts for nearly half of total revenue, rose six per cent in the two months ended December 31.
U.S. job market sends mixed signals, Fed likely to stay cautious
HE United States unemployment rate plunged to 6.7 per cent in December, yet a separate survey showed employers added a disappointing 74,000 workers, a confusing signal that ensures the Federal Reserve will continue to proceed with caution. Wall Street analysts were expecting payrolls to increase by about 197,000; their consensus estimate for the unemployment rate was that it would remain unchanged at seven per cent. The increase in payrolls – a more accurate reading of the strength of the economy – was the weakest since January 2011. Minutes of the Fed’s December policy meeting show “most” of the central bank’s key officials favour winding up their monthly bondbuying program, albeit slowly. The Fed tapered purchases by $10billion (U.S.) to $75billion beginning this month, the first adjustment in 15 months. Officials acknowledged that joblessness remains too high, but expressed broad confidence that the outlook was as good as it’s been since the end of the recession. Investors will have to decide which is giving the more accurate reading of the economy’s health: the unemployment rate, which dropped to its lowest since 2008,
or the sudden reversal of a trend that saw employers add more than 200,000 jobs in three of the four previous months. It isn’t unusual for the non-farm payrolls survey to post big monthly declines, even in normal times. However, the unemployment rate is exaggerated by a flight
of people from the labour force: the participation rate fell to 62.8 per cent in December, the lowest since March 1978. Chances are the economy neither is as strong as the unemployment rate suggests, nor is it as weak as might be deduced by the slowing in the pace of payrolls improve-
ment. Capital Economics, a research firm, speculated that unseasonably harsh weather at the end of last year impacted hiring. November’s increase in payrolls was revised higher, raising questions about why employers suddenly would lose confidence in the economy only weeks later.
Weaker data reports take shine off U.K. government bond yields touched RITAIN’S economic recovery recovery their lowest level since December 19. got a “reality check” on Fri-
day when data showed weaker-than-expected manufacturing output, a sharp fall in the construction sector, and a slowdown in retail sales growth. Economists said growth in the fourth quarter might struggle to keep up the pace which has made Britain one of the fastest-growing economies among the world’s rich nations. Official data was not seen matching up with strong industry surveys. Output for both manufacturing and industrial production was flat monthly in November, and October’s increases were revised down, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists in a Reuters poll had
expected increases of 0.4 per cent for manufacturing and industrial output in November. The data was “something of a reality check for those getting a little carried away by the strength of the UK recovery,” said James Ashley, senior economist with RBC Capital Markets. HSBC’s Simon Wells said Friday’s data could reduce growth in the fourth quarter to 0.6 per cent from 0.8 per cent in the July-September period, unless there is a very strong performance from the dominant services sector. Bad weather in December could also weigh on gross domestic product, he said. Sterling fell and 10-year British
The ONS also said output in Britain’s construction sector shrank by four per cent in November from October, its sharpest fall since June 2012 and a setback for a sector which has been recovering from a long slump. “The recovery in the UK remains broadly on track – but today’s data are a reminder that we have not yet reached the sunlit uplands that would pave the way towards thoughts of policy tightening,” RBC’s Ashley told clients. The Bank of England has forecast economic growth of 0.9 per cent in the October-December period and Friday’s data could help underscore its message that it is in no rush to raise record-low interest rates.
improve the external environment of China’s exports,” said Zheng. China’s Commerce Ministry has pledged to maintain steady trade growth this year and further balance its trade structure by increasing imports of raw materials and energy products. “The biggest surprise is December imports. This suggests China’s domestic demand is continuing to improve,” said Sun Junwei, China economist at HSBC in Beijing. “We expect exports to show further recovery in 2014, but the magnitude would be small and at around 10 per cent. Imports could be supported by steady domestic demand and are likely to grow around 8 per cent this year.”
SNC-Lavalin gets $87m oil contract SNC-Lavalin Inc. has been awarded an $87-million oil consulting contract in Colombia by the country’s largest company. The Montreal-based engineering giant’s subsidiary Itansuca Proyectos de Ingenieria S.A.S. will provide management and consulting services over about two years from its offices in Bogota for Ecopetrol’s oil transportation and logistics projects. Ecopetrol is one of the world’s Top 50 oil companies and engages in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States. SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) has nearly 1,400 employees in Colombia and is one of the largest engineering suppliers to Ecopetrol. The company currently provides Ecopetrol with management consulting services for the development of Colombia’s crude oil distribution programme.
Alcoa to pay Bahrain $384m ALCOA Inc. and a joint venture it controls have agreed to pay $384 million to resolve charges of bribing officials of a Bahraini statecontrolled aluminum smelter, marking one of the largest U.S. anti-corruption settlements of its kind. Two deals, announced at the weekend, settle criminal and civil allegations that two of the joint venture’s subsidiaries bribed officials for years so they could supply raw materials to Aluminium Bahrain, or Alba. The Bahraini metal producer has links to the tiny Gulf kingdom’s royal family. Alcoa failed to maintain adequate internal controls to prevent or detect more than $110million in improper payments funnelled to Alba through a consultant between 1989 and 2009, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought civil charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Department of Justice brought criminal charges under the same law.
Greek industrial slump persists GREECE'S industrial slump deepened and unemployment ticked up to a record high, data showed on Thursday, highlighting the ravages of a six-year recession even as the debt-laden economy shows tentative signs of an economic recovery elsewhere. The jobless rate rose slightly to a record 27.8 per cent in October from 27.7 per cent in the previous month while industrial output contracted in November for a fifth consecutive month, by 6.1 percent. With more than one in four of the workforce unemployed, joblessness is a major headache for Greece's government as it scrambles to hit fiscal targets and carry out structural reforms demanded by its EU/IMF lenders.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
EMPOWERMENT CLINIC with
Coping effectively with lay-off trauma outplacement consulting firm in Jacksonville, Florida, United States says change is scary for everyone. A successful career changer is self-responsible, self motivated with good people skills. One must also be willing to embrace change.
ET me first say Happy New Year to you all. The year will be that of divine fortune, exceptional breakthrough, enduring peace and sound health for all of us. I want us to discuss this concept this week because it is a fact that being the beginning of the year, many people must have changed jobs now while many others must have also lost theirs. It is common for individuals to make career change about two or more times during their lifetime. At times, career change is not planned for and caused by downsizing, re-structuring, an illness, the economy, etc. At other times, it is due to a planned event such as one’s passion to engage in something that is (more) mentally interesting. Marsha Myers, a successful career changer and senior vice president of Lee Hecht Harrison, a global human-resource
Unemployment is undoubtedly a traumatic life-changing event that greatly leads to stress. Studies have also shown that even confident people generally need to take a step back and go through the grief process, in order to move ahead. Many times, people are unable to talk even with close friends or family members about their feelings of frustration. But opening up to people in a similar circumstance or those who have had the same type of experience helps to reduce or overcome the feeling of isolation. Blaming does not fix anything and if you are the kind of person that needs to feel sorry, set aside a small amount of time each day for it. Take time out to brood and then get back to the really important things in life. Eventually, the time for action will come and you will be ready to move ahead.
Recreation You need to recreate your career from the ashes of dejection. Know what you really want and need. Create your personal mission and vision statements. Make an inventory of your talents as well as a self-discovery journey and determine what you need to do to get there. Dr. Freda Turner, Management, Leader-
ship and IT expert with University of Phoenix advises that you should begin to build a personal action plan based on your values, skills and interest. Be realistic, if you need additional career planning, training or education, accept it. Take the challenge as this may be an opportunity to create a new life, the one you only thought about before.
Reality Whether your lay-off is temporary or permanent, it can still take a toll on you financially and emotionally and the best way to handle the stress that comes with a change like this is to realise the things you can and cannot change. You cannot change the fact that you have been laid off. But you can change your future by taking an active approach to your job search as well as keeping a positive attitude embroidered with common sense. This is very important. Estienne de Beer, author of the book “Boosting Your Career Tips from Top Executives”, educates that positive thinking without common sense is like operating your computer without anti-virus software. It causes illogical and unnecessary and avoidable threat to one’s career and business. In short, zeal or passion without knowledge or natural capacity is dangerous. Positive thinking without substance is nothing but self-deceit. So placing too much emphasis on positive thinking at the expense of other critical success factors will only lead to frustration, disappointment and em-
Networking Networking is one of the major keys to finding another good job. It is simply about informing friends and contacts that you are in the job market and would appreciate if they would let others know. It is about communicating and tapping into all available resources. Contact your friends and ask them to let you know of any possible job openings. They will network for you by asking other friends about opportunities. Do not take for granted that the people you come in contact with will know how to ask about job opportunities for you. Be specific and ask them for leads.
What to do When you begin your job search, you may find that your skills need to be upgraded, especially if you have been in the same job or industry for many years. Now would be the time to look into retraining options. According to Beer, one of your strongest assets will be your willingness to learn and adapt to change. When you start interviewing, prospective employers will ask you about the lay-off. Be careful not to say anything negative. A good answer may be something like, “The company was reconstructed and my position was affected” or “The company closed the division where I worked.”
Addition One main concern of the laidoff employees is how to pay their bills. Experts advise that the best
thing to do is to create a budget and items such as rent, utility bills, vehicle payments, etc., should be included. It is important to be realistic and put all necessary items on your list. You will use this list to create a budget that will tell you how much money you need to make to pay all your bills. If you have money in your bank account(s), you can use this budget to find out how long your money will last. Pay at least the minimum payments and call the creditors to see if there is anyway you can reduce those payments if even for a short time. Explain to them what your circumstances are and that you are currently actively searching for a job. Most creditors are willing to help you stay on tract as long as you let them know what is happening ahead of time. Others may not feel concerned too.
Last note Being laid off is not the end of the world, even if it looks like that at the time. Most employees are laid off at least one time in their lifetime. Some people believe that all jobs are temporary; it just depends on how long you keep them. This is a good philosophy to keep in mind and stay active in your job-search efforts. PS: For those making inquiries about our Public Speaking, Business Presentation and Professional Writing Skills programme, please visit the website indicated on this page for details. HAPPY NEW YEAR. Till we meet on Wednesday.
Best managerial approach to workplace excuses
ET me first say Happy New Year to you all. The year will be that of divine fortune, exceptional breakthrough, enduring peace and sound health for all of us. Managing a business is very challenging. As a manager, there are occasions when you will be compelled to make tough calls concerning your subordinates. Are you clever enough to help them keep their jobs without losing your own? As a manager, there is tendency for you to be fed with different types of excuses on a daily basis by those who work with you. Yet, Hans Finzel, author of “The Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make” says leaders and managers should desist from top-down approach to leadership or management. Top-down approach manifests in the form of abusive authority, deplorable delegation, lack of listening, dictatorship in decision-making, egocentric manner, etc.
Inevitability It is a fact that we all have an excuse once in a while. There are times when excuses are legitimate and unknown, such as a death in the family, a car accident, or the illness of a loved one. Mitchell T. T. of Mitchell Consulting, specialist in helping companies produce more effective and satisfied employees at all levels, says but overall, we hate when someone comes to us with an excuse. We hate having to deal with tardiness, or too many sick calls. We hate when people make too many errors and do not seem
By Goke Ilesanmi
accountable for their duties. We hate that it all falls on our shoulders to have to make the tough call as to what to do all the time because we feel that just as we do things correctly, so everyone else should too.
Freedom If you are a supervisor, you probably have a little bit more freedom than your subordinates in some things. Surely, you have deadlines to meet, just like everyone else, but you have some benefits your employees lack. You can probably take a longer break here and there. But you do have more pressure because you are accountable for the work your employees do or do not do, but you also have more freedom. And, since you allow yourself to be promoted, you should be holding yourself to a higher standard than your employees. “That doesn’t mean you should let your employees get away with murder; it just means you should view your situation in a different light than you view that of those who report to you,” stresses Mitchell.
Lateness Lateness seems to be one of the biggest complaints ever heard about employees. However, some employees seem to violate this more often than others. As a manager, it is up to you to at least talk to the employees involved to discover whether there is an issue they cannot overcome or
whether they are just unreliable.
Uncompleted assignments A lot of reasons account for uncompleted assignments. The first is that you do not ensure the employees know what is expected of them, or do not ensure they understand you. The second is that the time frame is unreasonable, and no allowances are made for outside obstacles. The third is that the employees are incapable of the task just because they are not up to the department standards.
What to do As a way out of the problem of uncompleted assignments identified above, it is always up to the managers to ensure those who work for them understand exactly what they expect of them. If you say they ought to know and you have never told them, no matter how reasonable you feel you are, you cannot get expected results. Unless you have worked with every person in your office for 25 years so that you definitely know each other’s habits, you need to verify. Though this seems tedious, you have to ask yourself if you are looking to get things right or not. When all is said and done, you are the one who is going to be asked by upper management why things are not going right. How do you do all of this? One, you could write it out. Two, you could ask them to repeat to you what you said. Three, you could have regular meetings with your employees so that they can get to
know you better, you get to know them better, and you then have better understanding of what they need from you to get things accomplished correctly.
Addition As a manager, you need to know whether your expectations for certain tasks are reasonable or not, as well as whether there are factors which could change the time frame. Experts say, for instance, if you have a time-sensitive project and you have given it to a person whose main duties are to talk to customers on the phone, you have set this person up to fail. Or if you give extra work to the one person in the office you feel is capable of handling it, then that person is sick and no one else picks up the slack, you might not have a certain project completed. Mitchell says work has to be as balanced as possible, and you have to plan for contingencies. You cannot expect unrealistic results from an uneven playing field. In today’s working environment, you cannot expect to be able to push people unreasonably all the time; they just are not going to respond to it as they might have in the past.
Getting too close As a manager, you do not need to carry on someone who is holding down the department. All managers are guilty of this at some point. What happens is that sometimes we get too close to a person emotionally for one reason or another. We allow the ex-
cuses because someone may really be getting sick, or having family issues, or a myriad of other things. Sometimes we can get by because the rest of the team are holding up, and if you can deal with that, then fine. However, if you cannot, you have to be willing and ready to talk to this person, help him raise his work performance, monitor him with his knowledge, and, if all else fails, let him go, or move him elsewhere.
Final words Everyone has an excuse once in a while. Therefore, excuses should be allowed, if kept to a minimum. After all, we are only human. But you have to be ready not only to look at the person, but the situation, if your issues are recurring. As a manager, do not let the excuses cause you to make excuses to someone else or the upper management later. Till we meet on Wednesday.
•GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: email@example.com Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Taxation Positioning the tax system in line with 21st century trend (2) Tax system and Vision 20: 2020
HE Nigerian Vision 20: 2020 falls within the 21st century and it is envisioned that by 2020, Nigeria will be one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena. Nigeria’s tax system has to be well positioned to meet the aspirations of Vision 20: 2020 and with sustained reforms in critical areas it will get there. Other considerations have been identified as being aligned to the attainment of Nigeria’s Vision 20: 2020:
Transfer pricing: Transfer pricing (sometimes referred to as transfer mispricing because of its misapplication by multinational corporations) is a veritable tool for tax planning for entities operating across multiple tax jurisdictions and entities belonging to the same group or parent. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has its own guidelines for transfer pricing and in order to align Nigeria with the 21st century trends, Nigeria, through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has released its own transfer pricing guidelines. The regulations, which have an effective date of August 2, 2012, aim to prevent tax base erosion, ensure certainty in the treatment of related party transactions and reduce the risk of economic double taxation. The regulations can be seen as the efforts of the government to shift the over-dependence on oil revenue to non-oil tax revenue.
Multiple taxation The concept of multiple taxation applies to the subjection of the same income to more than one tax treatment or the imposition of several taxes on the same taxpayer. In effect, tax is paid on similar taxes on the same or substantially similar tax base. Given the fact that Nigeria is a federation, there is a tendency for tax competition amongst the three tiers of government. This creates a situation of multiple taxation. In order to position the Nigerian tax system appropriately in line with the 21st century trends, there must be a conscious and sustained effort to curtail, if not completely eliminate all the nuances associated with multiple taxation at all the three tiers of government. Hence, all new tax bills from all the tiers of government, whether federal, state or local government SHOULD be harmonised and benchmarked against the dictates of the National Tax Policy by the central tax agency - the Joint Tax Board - before such bills are presented to the legislatures for debate. This will eliminate conflicts to a great extent after such laws have been passed.
Curtailing tax evasion This is another bane to economic growth that must be eradicated or at best reduced to a manageable level. There are some forms of tax evasion which Nigeria’s and the United Kingdom’s tax laws have identified and provided sanctions against in order to prevent them. These include: i. Making an incorrect return by omitting or understating income; ii. Outright refusal or neglect to pay tax; iii. Omission to state income received in or brought into Nigeria from sources outside Nigeria; iv. False claims of contributions to a pension scheme etc. Enforcement of legal proceedings against convicted tax evaders will bring some sanity into the tax environment and enhance tax compliance. This should be done with transparency and without regard to social status. However, this will require a reform in the Nigerian legal system.
Improved revenue yield Tax collection must be greatly enhanced and the tempo of tax collection must be maintained. Since the onset of the current tax reforms arising from the Dotun Philips Study Group report, the Nigerian tax system has actually repositioned itself with an improved revenue yield. The 2012 financial year closed on a high note of N5.007 trillion as total revenue collection from taxes, including Petroleum Profits Tax ( PPT), the highest cumulative tax collected in the history of the FIRS. The agency realised about N4.628 trillion in 2011. Of this figure, oil taxes accounted for N3.201 trillion, or 63.93 per cent, up from N3.070 trillion in 2011, while N1.806 trillion, or about 36.07 per cent, came from non-oil taxes. The performances are significantly above a projection of N3.635 trillion in the budget for all its taxes, which grew by N379.4 billion or 8.20 per cent, when compared with the 2011 all-taxes figures. This positive trend must be sustained in future years in order for the country to actualise the positioning of the tax system in line with the 21st century trends.
Creation of simplified tax systems: Another way in which changes to the tax system can help economic growth is by easing the administrative burden on businesses – reducing the time which businesses need to spend dealing with tax matters and the complexity of the payment system. This suggests that governments keen to create a more business-friendly
tax climate which is more supportive of economic growth need to focus not only on the overall rates and burden of taxation, but also on minimizing the time and effort which businesses need to spend complying with their tax rules and regulations. The fall out of an overly complicated tax system is tax evasion. This is why it is imperative, for instance, that all tax forms both at the federal and state levels should be reviewed and redesigned.
Concise and simple tax laws: Tax revenues depend on government’s administrative capacity to collect taxes and taxpayers’ willingness to comply. Compliance with tax laws is important to keep the system working for all and to support the programmes and services that improve lives. Keeping the rules concise, simple and as clear as possible will be helpful to taxpayers.
Review of obnoxious tax laws: There are still some contradictions, gaps and overlaps in some existing tax laws that require urgent amendment. The timeliness of review of tax laws as events unfold should also be addressed expeditiously so that the tax environment can respond positively to the dynamism in the global economy.
Coordinated approach to tax reforms : There is need for the country to develop a coordinated approach to tax reforms. While many countries have improved their tax systems significantly and still continue to do so, tax reform is very high on governments’ agenda around the world. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ publication on ‘Paying Taxes 2012’, during 2010/2011, 33 economies made it easier to pay taxes or reduced tax rates. Introducing electronic systems to make compliance easier was the most common feature of tax reform during the period. Tax reforms provide the platform for creating a more business-friendly tax system. Tax rates which directly bear on business activity can be brought down by shifting the burden of tax away from wealth-generating activities to consumption activities such as personal expenditures vide VAT and other indirect taxes. Another way in which tax reform can help create a better climate for business, is by broadening the tax base which enables the same amount of taxation to be raised with a lower overall tax rate. The UK’s current approach to corporate tax reform is an example of this. It should also be noted that this is the position proposed by the NTP. Hence there is need to implement all the reforms proposed in the policy as earlier stated. In this regard, therefore, Kabir M. Mashi, the Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS had posited that a tax system that will take Nigeria to 2020 and beyond should: Have an effective linkage of all the revenue collection agencies with an empowered and elevated common policy making organ (JTB). • Be fully automated for easy information capturing and sharing, such that no transaction with some tax implication will take place without passing through the tax system. • Have a taxpayer data base that can be updated from time to time, and that can reveal the profile of every taxpayer. • Stand on the tripod of quality service delivery, effective taxpayer education and an enforcement and compliance strategy that will make tax evasion in any form very unprofitable. • Rely on proper self-assessment, supported by an effective compliance/enforcement machinery, transparency and accountability entrenched as part of the culture of quality service delivery. • Raise the level of tax morality to such a level that will make tax payment a routine patriotic obligation. The role of professionalism in positioning the tax system in the 21st Century
‘The regulation of the tax practice and administration in any country is necessary to discourage sharp practices. This apart, the low level of tax education among the populace has made voluntary compliance quite difficult, hence, the need to consult members of a regulatory body such as the CITN for professional tax advice and guidance’
• Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed
Mashi The role of tax professionals in fostering a good and effective tax system cannot be over-emphasized because of the changing times which require bringing the varied professional skills and experience to the fore front of improving the tax system. Since professionals are at the vanguard of development initiatives in other parts of the world, especially in developed economies. Nigerian professionals, (chartered tax practitioners) should not only be involved but also allowed to play leading roles in any tax reform process. This is the only sure way to achieve our collective desire for a fully professionalised tax system in our country. The government should encourage the use of tax professionals who are members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria(CITN) to handle their tax matters in order to eliminate quacks in the tax system. The regulation of the tax practice and administration in any country is necessary to discourage sharp practices. This apart, the low level of tax education among the populace has made voluntary compliance quite difficult, hence, the need to consult members of a regulatory body such as the CITN for professional tax advice and guidance. There is the need to have professionals within the tax system to drive this all important sector of the nation’s economy. It is our belief that government policies and programmes in the area of increased revenue generation can be best implemented with a State Internal Revenue Service (SIRS) that is autonomous and managed by professionally competent chartered tax administrators in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Unless the revenue agency is totally independent with powers to carry out its assignments without hindrance but in compliance with the dictates of the law, government shall continue to lose revenue. The political will of government shall be a morale booster for the improvement of the state’s internally generated revenue. Poser: The era of desktop has faded away and the era of laptops is fading away gradually. Conducting business in a physical office is going viral. Is the tax system moving along? Unless and until it is recognised that the Nigerian tax system moves as fast as the world is moving or pick up speed to meet up, it will be difficult to achieve the aim of positioning the tax system for globalisation. Tax reforms and improvement of the tax system should be left in the hands of professionals who have been trained to carry out their professional duties so that the citizenry and investors will not continue to complain of such vices as multiple taxation, inefficient and ineffective administration, obsolete tax laws, extortion, evasion and low revenue. A good and efficient tax system will help to achieve the following: • Better taxpayer enlightenment programme • Encourage voluntary tax compliance • Simpler assessment and payment procedures • Comprehensive and reliable database • Automation of tax administration processes • Better remuneration for tax administrators • Training and motivation of revenue officers • Accountability on the part of the collecting agencies as taxpayers have a right to demand for this • Fool-proof tax clearance certification • Mutually beneficial relationship between government and private agencies • Promoting government support of tax administration for enforcement of tax laws. The tax system is gradually coming of age and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the reforms are fully implemented.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Correspondent DAMISI OJO writes on preparations for the House of Representatives by-election in Ilaje/Ese-Odo Constituency, Ondo State by the Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
LP, PDP, APC for Reps by-election in Ilaje/Ese-Odo
HE stage is set for the House of Representatives by-election in Ilaje/Ese-Odo Constituency, Ondo State. Many aspirants are vying for the vacant seat on the platforms of the Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party (LP) and the All progressives Congress (APC). The seat became vacant, following the sudden death of the LP lawmaker, Hon. Raphael Nomiye. He was 50. The popular politician, who was fondly called ‘Groovy’, died in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on November 22, last year. Even, before his burial, many politicians in the area had commenced political manoeuvering and mobilising stakeholders for their ambitions. The late Nomiye was a former member of the board of the Oil producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) under the Olusegun Agagau Administration. He also served as the Chairman of the Ilaje Regional Development Committee (IRDC) established in 2005 to interface between the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture and 46 communities. The committee was set up for the purpose of sustaining development and peace in the oil communities. Nomiye was active in the peace process, until he was elected into the Lower Chamber in 2011. When he relinquished his position as the IRDC Chairman, he was succeeded by his brother, Prince Jackson Nomiye, based on the consent of the stakeholders. The Ilaje/Ese-Odo Constituency seat is being rotated between the two local governments, Ilaje and EseOdo. The deceased legislator had succeeded Hon. Agboola Ajayi from Ese-Odo local government, who was elected into the House on the platform of the PDP when Agagu was the governor. Nomiye was from Ilaje Cnstituency 1, which is the heart of Ugboland. When he passed on, his kinsmen were seized by grief. They started clamouring for a candidate from the area to replace him in the spirit of continuity. But, the people of EseOdo are also showing keen interest. The argument of Ilaje stakeholders is that their son died without completing his tenure of four years. Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to fix a date for the by-election, aspirants have started jostling for the position. The political parties have also resumed their acrimony. Three major political parties-the APC, the LP and the PDP- are working assudiously to get the seat. But, some candidates are also coveting the slot from other mushroom parties. APC aspirants include Comrade Bola Ajimuda, Mr. Adebambo Odoro, Prince Adewale Omojuwa, the former Chairman of the OSOPADEC, Prince Soji Ehin-lanwo, a former governorship aspirant, Mr. Felix Rawa, and Mr. Lucky Ayedatiwa. Ajimuda, a banker, was the President of the Student Union Government, Ondo State University, AdoEkiti. He is a committed APC chieftain; vocal, cerebral and pragmatic. Omojuwa had wanted to become the running amte to the defunct Ac-
•The late Nomiye
‘The people have been complaining that, although LP and PDP federal legislators have represented the constituency in the past, there was nothing to show for it. Therefore, change should be the slogan of the APC during the contest’ •Edema
tion Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) during the 2012 election. But, the party selected Dr. Paul Akintelure for the role. Ehinlanwo was the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship aspirant. In the ruling LP, the competition is
hot among the aspirants. The contenders include Mr. Kolade Akinjo, former Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prince Abayomi Akinruntan, the son of the Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Frederick Akinruntan, the Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on
Information , Hon Oyebo Aladetan, Mr. Gbenga Edema, lawyer and member of the House of Assembly, Mr. Ige Asemudara, and Prince Bayo Omotoye. The PDP aspirants are Mr. Bisi Ilawole, Tola Alabere, Idowu Mafimisebi, Kenneth Odusola, Adewale Kukute from Mahin Ward and Ranti Netufo.
Observers contend that the race will be interesting because the feud between the LP and the APC will be rekindled. The exercise is a challenge to the APC, which is testing its popularity and strength in Ondo State for the first time, since it was registered by the electoral agency. Party sources disclosed that more aspirants may join the contest. The aspirants on the field now have gone far in terms of consultations, mobilisation and campaigns at the grassroots. One major issue that will shape the contest is the Ilaje factor. Since power will shift to Ese-Odo in 2015, the people of Ilaje believe that an Ilaje politician should succeed the deceased legislator. The contenders are not push overs. Princes Omojuwa, Ehinlanwo, Ajimuda and others running in the APC have good pedigrees. The people believe that they will add value to representative democracy, if elected as legislators. But, to win the seat, the APC have to mobilise aggressively in the area, unlike what happened during the 2012 governorship poll. The people have been complaining that, although LP and PDP federal legislators have represented the constituency in the past, there was nothing to show for it. Therefore, change should be the slogan of the APC during the contest. Various groups and associations have been endorsing candidates of their choice for the position. In a statement, the Ondo Youth Assembly (OYA), urged the stakeholders to support Ehinlanwo for the position. The statement signed by its chairman, Ayoola Julius, and secretary, Caleb Akerele, pointed out that the politician is a man of immense experience and and impeccable character. The LP is basking in the euphoria of incumbency. The party has said that it will retain the seat. A source said that, immediately the guidelines are released by the INEC, the LP will set up a campaign committee and swing into action. The LP also have good materials for the position. But, the ruling party has a hurdle to cross. The people of Ilaje/EseOdo have often alleged marginalisation by the government. Many indigenes of the oil communities are not comfortable with the slow pace of development in the area. Thus, they may not support the LP candidate, unless there is strategic mence mending, ahead of the poll. If this is done, the two LP aspirants-Akinjo and Omotoye- may spring surpise as candidates. Some people have sympathy for Omotoye. He had contested the position against the late Nomiye, but lost because he lacked the financial muscle. The PDP also parades credible aspirants for the bye-election. But, the lingering crisis in the party may not allow it to fully concentrate on the by-election. Although, the INEC is yet to for the release guidelines campaigns, it is envisaged that the poll may hold in March. The electoral agency is expected to to give a 90-day notice, in accordance with the Electoral Act.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
‘APC ‘ll rule in 2015’
Senator GbengaAshafa, who represents the Lagos East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, bared his mind on his activities in the Senate and other national issues. He spoke with WALE AJETUNMOBI.
ANY members of the House of Representatives have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Is the same scenario expected in the Senate? The mood in the Senate is not different from what was witnessed in the House of Representatives. And to confirm this, we only have to wait till we resume to see what is going to happen. To my knowledge, at least, 22 senators from the Peoples Democratic Party (DPD) will be moving to the APC. I am not sure about the numbers because so many things would have come in before the ultimate decision is made. But, at the last count, we have been able to count 22 of the PDP senators and what that means is that, there is every likelihood that the APC will hold majority, just like what we are witnessing in the House of Representatives. We are hoping very much on that; that is what will happen when we resume. Do you share the sentiment that the romance of APC leaders with aggrieved PDP members and some retired military generals is an attempt to sell the Southwest cheaply to the North? First, the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was not a Yoruba party. So, to that extent, whoever is nursing that notion, I would say, it is misplaced. The APC, as currently constituted, is a national party and I am sure that our leaders, when they started on this move, wanted the whole nation to feel what we are seeing now. That anybody cannot just say that the APC is leaning towards any ethnic or religious group. We are making progress in this direction. At the end of the day, Nigerians will see that the APC is a party that truly represents the entire multireligious and multi-ethnic nature of Nigeria. What value do you think the defected G-7 governors will bring to the APC? Many people are calling these governors rebels, but I would not want to refer to them with that appellation because they are progressiveminded. They saw that what the PDP was putting forward to the Nigerian people would not save this nation. They dared to call the bluff of the party’s leadership and moved to the right party. They joined a party, which the people of Nigeria are waiting for to take the mantle of leadership in 2015. This is the APC. An average Nigerian sees hope in that party. And I pray that, when that time comes, this country will be saved by the movement and collective efforts that Nigerians are making at present to ensure that the progressives assume power at the centre. The APC will do the right thing come 2015. There is this agitation for Lagos governorship by your senatorial district. Is it true that the zone would produce the next governor? There is a formula on ground and that is tilting towards the Lagos East Senatorial District where I represent in the National Assembly. Obviously, since 1999, other districts have occupied the position, except the Lagos East. It would be the pride of the people of the area to produce a governor. The leadership of the party is not insensitive to that quest. Whoever the cap fits from that district would wear it when the time comes. All I know that is there are credible, qualified and sophisticated people in the Lagos East who can govern Lagos. The rumour is rife that you are nursing the ambition to succeed Governor Babatunde Fashola as Lagos State governor. Is this true? The issue is not about me having a governorship ambition. I am a disciplined and committed party member of the APC and all that I seek and crave for is good governance. I beg to say that my ambition is to see a vibrant Lagos State where the living conditions of the citizen are improved; where education, health and other social infrastructure are in order. I know you would have expected to hear from me whether I would run or not; that is not the priority now. What is paramount is to allow the process of good governance in Lagos State to continue, while we, the repository of the people’s mandate and trust, are expected to remain focused and be committed to legitimate public service. We all knew how our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met Lagos in 1999 and how he worked assiduously to transform the state from what it was then, and the template he was able to put in place, which Governor Fashola is building on. We are running a party that has focus, agenda and discipline. Can you share your achievement, since you became a Senator? I have achieved so many, even as a first-time senator. But, in the last three years, I have done my best for the people that I represent, in terms of constituency projects. By the grace of God and with strategic experience in both public and private sectors, I had played a leadership role as the Executive Secretary and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands of Lagos State for almost a decade before I was elected a senator in 2011. I was trained in Morgan State University, Maryland, and later at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, United States. I have sponsored and co-sponsored several bills and motions, including a Language Bill, Income Tax Holiday Bill, Social Housing Bill; Prohibition of Same Sex Marriage Bill; and the Lagos State Special Economic Assistance Bill, Treaty (Amendment) Bill, Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill, National Directorate of Employment (Amendment) Bill, Harmful Waste (Amendment) Bill, Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill and Minerals and Minerals (Amendment) Bill. I also moved motions on the deteriorating services of GSM providers and the imminent collapse of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos. The motions include those on Lagos Flood; Solution to Terrorism in Nigeria and Creation of Unemployment Data and Job Centres in the country. I was instrumental to the execution of Federal Constituency Projects worth over N573 million in my senatorial district between June 2011 and December 2013. • Ashafa
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Chief Bayo Dayo, spoke on the party’s crises, former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and 2015 polls. Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN met him.
‘Ogun PDP has grouse against Oyinlola’
HAT do Ogun State PDP leaders have against Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the embattled National Secretary of the party? Oyinlola has never offended me or the PDP in Ogun. What we are fighting for is the rule of law. The Dayo Soremi-led executive went to the court to clarify, if they had the right to conduct the congress that brought us into office. The court gave Soremi the go ahead order. The people that conducted the congress that nominated Oyinlola as the secretary were not in the majority. We went to Abuja to stop the congress. The court ruled that the executive led by Dayo Soremi had the right to conduct the congress. Oyinlola was not happy with the court ruling because he had wanted his group to be controlling the state chapter. I went to Abuja with my leader, Chief Buruji Kashamu, to see Oyinlola. We had series of discussion with him. We begged him to see reason why we should have our own congress. He worked against us and prevented the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) from recognising our state executive. We went to court to seek the validation of the congress that brought us to office. The court said our congress was in order. Soremi took the Southwest executive to court to stop the congress that took place in Oshogbo. The court ruled that there should be no congress, until the case in court was disposed. They ignored the court ruling and held the congress. We went back to the court to challenge the validity or otherwise of the Southwest congress. The court nullified the congress. Since the Southwest congress was nullified by the court, it means that Oyinlola’s nomination for the post of the National Secretary was not in order. When we got the court judgment, we served the NEC in Abuja with a copy which removed Oyinlola from office. There was nothing personal. Oyinlola’s nomination did not follow due process. But, why is the Ogun State chapter spearheading his removal, following his reinstatement by the Court of Appeal? We are not satisfied with the ruling of Court of Appeal that reinstated him. That was why we went to Supreme Court to exercise our fundamental right. Ogun State Chapter is a stakeholder in the nomination of candidate for the office of the secretary. We can’t accept a candidate whose nomination did not follow the due process. The High Court vindicated our position in its ruling. Have you reconciled with Dipo Odunjurin group that is loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo? Odunjurin used to be a complete gentleman, but he has suddenly changed and do not have the love of the PDP at heart anymore. He’s holding two board appointments. I don’t hold any Federal government appointment. I still remain in the party and my loyalty is not in doubt. But, Odunjurin is a different case entirely. During the 2011 elections, he was incharge of his local government in Remo. We lost the governorship election by 250 votes. All he was interested was what he could gain from the election. He was a senator on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP). He won because of the popularity of the SDP in the Southwest. He doesn’t believe in striving for position and getting it on merit. Rather, he wants someone to raise up his hand and pronounce him chairman. The era of name dropping is gone. You have to prove your worth before you can be trusted with leadership position. He handled the 2011 elections for selfish gain. I’m trying my best to ensure
that the PDP gains ground in my ward and local government and the state at large. He (Odunjurin) always wait for position but we believe in proper election. We are going to win in Remo without him. He has nothing to offer us in Remo North. Have you written off Odunjurin and his group in your reconciliation effort to reposition the party? For all those who belong to PDP proper we are together and working as a group irrespective of the camp that they belong. Our ultimate goal is to win the state for PDP in 2015. Former governor Gbenga Daniel has joined the Labour Party. Is that not a loss to the PDP? A committee has been set up to start reconciliation and bring every aggrieved party members including Otunba Gbenga Daniel into the fold. It is only in Ogun State that we have a befitting party secretariat like this. It was built during Otunba Daniel’s tenure as state governor from contributions made by elective office holders and party chieftains. We have initiated discussion with the representatives of Daniel and we hope very soon we will break through. In 2011, he formed PPN and he is now moving to Labour Party. I don’t know why people that have gained so much from PDP are deserting the party when their services are needed? Former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote an 18-page letter to President Jonathan. What is your comment on the contents of the letter? Pa Obasanjo is our father politically. But, when you look at the letter written by Baba and the one written by her daughter,Iyabo, you will find out that Obasanjo doesn’t love his children. If you don’t love your children, you can’t love the nation. Thus, there is nobody he loves. Obasanjo has commended Governor Ibikunle Amosun for his developmental projects and urban renewal programmes. Do you share his views? Obasanjo is not a politician. He is entitled to his opinion. Amosun is not doing the right thing in his party. The party is polarised from the ward to the state level. In a ward, you find
‘Pa Obasanjo is our father politically. But, when you look at the letter written by Baba and the one written by her daughter,Iyabo, you will find out that Obasanjo doesn’t love his children. If you don’t love your children, you can’t love the nation. Thus, there is nobody he loves’
two secretariats of theAPC; one owned by SIA (Senator Ibikunle Amosun) camp and the other by another faction. Amosun has concentrated his projects in Abeokuta as if Abeokuta is the only community in the state. He is working to develop only the Ogun Central at the expense of other parts of the state. In Remo, he’s constructing roads in Sagamu, neglecting the suburbs like Ikenne, Ishara and Iperu, There are roads in these places that need urgent repairs. Amosun is pulling down houses because he wants to construct six lanes roads, which I consider as a waste of public funds. Look at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the major road linking every part of Nigeria, it is still four lanes. The most annoying thing is that the contractors engaged by Amosun for the road construction are not using local labour. They don’t procure materials locally. Whose interest are they protecting? Amosun is spending all funds on roads, leaving other sectors to suffer. Agric sector is suffering. Teachers were promoted without being paid. Market women too are complaining. Amosun doesn’t consult with people. I remember when Chief Olusegun Osoba was the governor on the platform of the defunct SDP, he involved the opposition- National Republican Convention (NRC)-in his administration through consultation on major decision making. Amosun sees himself as the governor of APC members. Obasanjo is entitled to his opinion on Amosun’s government. Also, we are entitled to our views on the state government. Can the PDP withstand theAPC in Ogun State in 2015? I can tell you that the PDP is not afraid of the APC any day. The PDP controls 70 per cent of the electorate in the state. Even though the local government election was won by the APC, we are firmly on ground. The state electoral commission members are APC card-carrying members. You can’t conduct an exam for yourself and fail. It happens in all states because governors want to control the local councils. The PDP has more followers than any other party in the state. Come 2015, there is no doubt that the PDP is winning by the grace of God. Have you made recommendation to fill the ministerial slot for Ogun State? At present, each state in the Southwest has a minister, except Osun State. The minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina , is an Ogun nominee. Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the Southwest nominee, not Ogun, although he’s an indigene of Ogun State. We have made recommendation to Mr President and very soon, you will hear the result. All the six states are entitled to the extra slot. We made a joint recommendation, which was signed by party leaders and elders from the six states. What is your view on the protracted crises in the PDP? Many people crying wolves in the PDP are selfish. They only think of themselves, not the party. President Goodluck Jonathan is trying his best to ensure peace and harmony within the party. By trying to bring everybody together, they are playing on his intelligence. Only governors that are serving second term are complaining of being marginalised. The first term governors are not complaining. Some of the second term governors want to be Vice President or want to go to the Senate. Those who want to leave should go; many would replace them. Is it not funning that Oyinlola has teamed up with those who removed him from office as the governor? Many of our people do not know what they are doing. They are in politics for what they can gain and not the interest of the people.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Hyundai unveils new model H
YUNDAI Motors Nigeria has introduced another model for customers looking for small-to-mediumsized hatchback car for everyday ride. An A2 segment premium hatchback car, Hyundai i20, as it is named, has sitting capacity for five people with roomy, spacious and elegant interior with generous legroom and headroom for the driver and passengers. Although the i20 may not be as famous as the i10 and i30, it is a great choice for car freaks looking for an attractivelypriced functional car of between N2million and N3million yet with the practicality of a mid-toup-scale sedan. Hyundai designed the car for customers who want something trendier, bigger and sophisticated than the i10. The exterior dimensions of the i20 says more with the length put at 3940mm, width 1710mm; height 1505mm and a wheelbase of 2525mm. This is in addition to the ground clearance of 165mm, which makes the car remarkably comfortable for rides on bumpy roads. Coupled with outstanding features like rear parking camera with display in the cabin, supervision cluster, fully automatic temperature control, clean air-cluster ionizer for fresh air in the cabin, the Hyundai i20 could from all
Stories by Tajudeen Adebanjo
indication, soon take the lead in the A2 segment, where Nissan Micra, Suzuki Swift and Ford Fiesta hold sway. The car is also loaded with premium features like multi information display, 2-DIN CD/MP3 audio system with four speakers and two tweeters, USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity along with steering mounted audio and Bluetooth controls. Hyundai says every drive in the i20 is an experience in itself, especially when viewed against a long list of new features including theatre dimming central
room lamp, centre console multipurpose storage box, front door map pockets, passenger side seat back pocket, coat hook, luggage hooks and glove box. The company’s Head, Sales and Marketing, Mr Jatin Nadkarni, said the car is available in four main specifications (entry-level Classic, mid-range Active, fuel-efficient Blue and Active Blue, and top-of-the-range Style) but only the topof-the-range style with automatic transmission will be sold in the local markets, owing to customers convenience and traffic conditions. This variant is mated to a 1.4Litre Gamma engine with 4-speed automatic
PAN adopts new strategy
O boost its fortunes in 2014 and enable it to retake its position as Nigeria’s leading auto manufacturer, every staff member of PAN Nigeria Limited will now take part in sales, the firm’s management has said. Tagged New DRIVE: Goal 6000, the new strategy is aimed at encouraging and empowering staff for optimum results. DRIVE, which means Dedication, Responsibility, Innovation, Value, Excellence, is expected to be the driver for the attainment of 6000 vehicle unit sales in the year. It is an acronym for the core principles expected to reshape the thought and attitude of staff, while Goal 6000 is a tacit sales mandate on the staff. At the launch of the logo, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of PAN Nigeria Limited, Mr Ibrahim Boyi, said the strategy became necessary to create growth paths for the company. “It is also to complement the efforts of the Federal Government’s new policy to reposition the automotive industry for sustained profitability and productivity,” he said. Assuring that the company is determined to turn around its auto business and its dealership, to guarantee high capacity building and commitment to the brand, Boyi said the new strategy based on collectivism, is targeted at positive changes which would in the end make PAN to become self-reliant for the growth of the nation’s auto industry. While expressing satisfaction with the steps taken so far by the Federal Government to reinvigorate the ailing auto sector, he pledged to carry the management and staff along, maintain sound corporate governance to put PAN on a progressive path. “Goal 6000 would go a long way in encouraging dedicated staff to work even harder to engender the breakthrough as this new initiative makes every staff a salesman or saleswoman for PAN Nigeria Limited,” he added. •Mr Boyi unveiling the new logo.
transmission, delivering 98.6bhp and 136Nm of torque. Nadkarni said: “The new i20 will provide passengers with another level of choice and comfort especially when considered against its upscale features such as leather - wrapped steering wheel, driver seat arm rest, gear shift knob, tilt and telescopic steering, 60:40 split seats with cushion pop-ups for optimum passenger and luggage space utilisation.” According to him, the Hyundai i20 is safe with an ultimate braking system equipped with Anti-lock Braking System(ABS) and EBD that helps in preventing wheel lock up during panic braking. “The front brakes of Hyundai i20 are disc brakes across the variants but the 1.4Litre variant comes with rear disc brakes,” he said.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (right) greeting Hon Victor Odunsi (from Ikorodu) at an Island Club party in Lagos.
•Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Madam Comfort Eke during the governor’s inspection of the Oba Market Road in Benin City.
•Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido (right) and House of Assembly Speaker Alhaji Ahmed Adamu, at the 2013 Legal Year in Dutse ... on Wednesday. •Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda (middle); his deputy, Alhaji Sagir Saleh (second right); Chief Medical Director, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBUTH), Mohammed Alkali (left); Chairman, Board of ATBUTH, Maj.Gen. Sulaiman Sa’id (second left) and Commissioner for Health, Dr Sani Malami, when the management of ATBUTH visited the governor.
•Former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Bello Adejare (third left) presenting a motorcycle to Mr Abdullahi Bakare (third right) during Zakat Distribution Ceremony organised by Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) in Ede, Osun State. With them are ZSF Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib (second right); Chairman, Board of Directors, Prince Sulayman Olagunju (right); Operations Manager Mallam Ahmed Ma’aruf (second left) and Secretary of Board of Directors, Alhaji AbdulWaheed Amida.
•Former Kaduna State Governor Alhaji Balarabe Musa (second right); Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu (second left); his wife Hamdalat (left) and President, National Union of Textile and Garment Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Tunde Hunsu, at a fitness exercise to mark Comrade Aremu’s 53th birthday in Kaduna.
•Chairman, Mushin Local Government, Olatunde Adepitan (middle) carrying the council’s First Baby of the year. He presented a cash gift of (N200,000.00) and baby materials to the parents. With them are Mr and Mrs Aishat Lawal at Omodigbo Primary Health Care Centre.
•Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof Amos Utuama (middle) (representing Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan), Chief Judge, Justice Abiodun Smith (left) and Chairman, Nigeria Legion, Major Daniel Armereh, at the launch of the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem Appeal Week in Asaba.
•All Progressives Congress(APC) chief Makinde Araoye (right) presenting a cash gift to Mrs Martina Oge and other beneficiaries at Ilawe-Ekiti.
•Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni presenting a cash gift to one of the beneficiaries during the eighth edition of social security for the aged at the local government.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking on – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.
130TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING
PREPARED BY COUNCIL AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, KANO.
he Kano State Government currently under the capable, conscientious, transparent and prudent leadership of the second incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE has persistently and unfailingly convened Executive Council Meetings weekly especially on Wednesdays. Nevertheless, few Wednesdays that coincide with public holidays or official engagements of the Chairman elsewhere, were exempted though the characteristic weekly meetings were held on other days. For example, Wednesday 25th December and Wednesday 1stJanuary, 2014 were observed throughout Nigeria along with other nations in the World for the celebration of Christmas and New Year days respectively. Notably, the characteristic weekly Kano State Executive Council sittings scheduled for Wednesday 25thDecember, 2013 and Wednesday1stJanuary, 2014 were respectively rescheduled to be held on Friday 27thDecember, 2013 and Sunday, 5thJanuary, 2014. These two (2) sittings respectively accounted for the 129th and 130th times such august activities were held by the Kano State Executive Council. Conspicuously, the unrelenting tendency of the Kano State Executive Council to hold its characteristic weekly sittings had its genesis in the resolve to transform the State spanning all sectors especially those continually highlighted by Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE prior to his popular second mandate. These include Education, Health, Water Supply, Agriculture, Environmental Sanitation, Empowerment, Infrastructure (provision/development and maintenance), etc. In any case, the Education Sector continues to occupy the apex position on priorities granted by the present administration, which considers Education as the basis for human existence. The main thrust of the transformation overhaul is multidimensional as it is based on the correct perspective taken from an informed stand point that, "an educated Community/Society is a productive/successful one". This way the Kano State Government adopts the general policy of transformation unseen before for the upliftment of the sector at all levels and ramifications. In line with global consensus, the incumbent administration in Kano State vigorously pursues and steers the transformation of the Education Sector in agreement with the National Policy on Education and cognizant of the peculiar requirements of the good people of the State so as to produce and sustain citizens with the following qualities: i. God fearing citizens, ii. Law abiding citizens, iii. Patriotic citizens that love their Country, iv. Literate citizens who can read and write competently. v. Citizens with an acceptable aptitude for numeracy, vi. Knowledgeable and environmentally aware citizens, vii. Responsible citizens, viii. Productive citizens, ix. Professional/crafty/industrious citizens, x. Skillful citizens capable of producing/creation of wealth for their respective individual benefit and that of their immediate society, the Nigerian Nation and the World at large, etc. Education as a system is a sure avenue to modernization and is professionally designed to encompass the "Basic Level", the Intermediate level and tertiary level especially in Nigeria. o The Basic Education Levels This entails the lower basic (pre-nursery, nursery and junior primary), Middle Basic:- senior primary and upper basic, Junior Secondary. o The Intermediate Level This entails the senior secondary education level. o The tertiary level This entails the entire post - secondary level. Specifically, each of the three (3) levels of education are undertaken in appropriately designed facilities called schools, colleges and/ or universities depending on the level. Such require provision of specified resources suitable for teaching and learning. Schools, Colleges and Universities are specific locations or sites for the dispensation and general inculcation of regular education, which have physical, material and personal requirements that have to be provided qualitatively. o Physical requirements o Material requirements o Personnel requirements Notably, vocational Training Schools and Technical Colleges, along with their peculiar requirements are included in the regular education system. The present administration did more by incorporating the irregular Tsangaya Schools into the regular education system and initiating the establishment of Skills Acquisition Institutes for the empowerment of the teeming unemployed youths in the State. In fact, from inception to date, the present administration in Kano State transformed the entire education system to a copious stage by: i. Improving intake and regular attendance in primary schools across the 44 LGCAS in the State by virtue of implementing the laudable dual policies of feeding pupils free of charge and the provision of two (2) sets of brand new school uniforms to new intakes. ii. Construction/furnishing of over two thousand (2000) brand new classrooms and maintenance/repairs/furnishing of multitude of others to improve accommodation of pupils and students of basic and intermediate schools level across the State to a more manageable ratio of sixty (60) pupils/students per classroom. iii. Establishment of schools of Islamic Studies across the 44 LGCAS of the State. iv. Establishment of Technical Colleges across the 44 LGCAS of Kano State. v. Establishment of Governor's and First Lady's Colleges and many others through the conversion of unused/under-utilised Government owned buildings and facilities for use as viable secondary schools. vi. Establishment of eighteen (18) Skills Acquisition Institutes spanning the entire State. vii. Establishment of the Northwest University, Kano in addition to the Kano University of Science and Technology (KUST), Wudil. viii. Granting sponsorship/scholarship to over two thousand (2000) eligible and qualified Kano State indigenous students for studies at graduate and postgraduate professional/academic levels at universities/colleges abroad and locally (in other States of Nigeria). Most of the sponsored students were to undergo training/studies in viable/required courses such as Medicine (MBBS), Pharmacy, Maritime studies, Commercial Pilot, Accounting, Architecture, etc. The Executive Council heralded its one hundred and thirtieth (130th) sitting today Sunday 5th January, 2014 (4thRabi'ulAwwal, 1435AH) by acknowledging and applauding the patriotic declaration by Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso,FNSE that "Education at all levels (Basic to Tertiary) will henceforth be provided free of charge in Kano State". As such, Council dedicate its 130th sitting today Sunday 5thJanuary, 2014 to Education and commenced by unanimously congratulating the good citizens of Kano State, the Nigerian Federation and the entire World for entering the new year (2014) wishing for good tidings and prosperity for all and sundry. Eleven (11) MDAs submitted forty-three (43) memoranda for deliberation by Council of which thirteen (13) were approved for execution with expenditure of Two Hundred and Sixty Two Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand, Seven Hundred and Four Naira, Eighty Four Kobo (N262,254,704.84) covering twelve (12) projects as follows:1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This office submitted twenty-four (24) memoranda on behalf of the Chairman and some MDAs for deliberations by Council. Eight (8) of them were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for funds from the Kano Scholarship Board to conduct interviews for 2011/2012 and 1st batch of 2013 Academic Sessions:The Kano State Scholarship Board usually visit and interview eligible indigenous Kano State Students that gained admission into various tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The usual practice is to ascertain/verify and generally assess the suitability of the students for the State's sponsorship. The exercise requires funds to cater for Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) for the assigned officials and other logistics. Seven (7) panels comprising eight (8) members each and three (3) supervisors are slated for the endeavour totalling fifty-nine (59) officials. The State Scholarship Board submitted a request to Council for granting approval for the release of the sum of N2,853,000.00 as recommended and fully endorsed by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for the stated purpose. The request was considered relevant as Council approved the release of the sum of N2,853,000.00 for the stated purpose in view of its significance to educational/empowerment policy of the present administration. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Facilitation of the Operations of the Multi - Agency Task Force on Drug and Illicit Trafficking in Kano State:Activities of the Multi - Agency Task Force on Drug and Illicit Trafficking in Kano State are wholesome and among the endearing performances of Government Organs for which the incumbent administration is commended. To enable the continuation of the operations of the cited Task Force the Secretary to the State Government endorsed the request, as recommended by the Special Services Directorate, for the release of the sum of N6,927,000.00 for the purpose. The details submitted were appraised by Council prior to granting approval for the release of the sum of N6,927,000.00 to the Special Services Directorate to enable the continuation of the activities of the sixty-nine (69) -Member Task Force Committee on Drug and Illicit Trafficking in Kano State. c) Request for Funds to Intensify Mass Public Campaign on Reorientation on the Menace of Polio to Sensitize the Public so as to Ensure a Polio - Free - Society Especially in Kano State:Radio is considered to be the most flexible and affordable as well as accessible means of communication among all the media outlets. Its usage to reach majority of the populace on anything of importance is worthwhile and capable of yielding the envisaged goal. Constant/frequent dissemination of information on the menace of the disabling polio disease is paramount so as to reorient the general disposition of the people on the disease to present their children/wards for the necessary required immunization provided free of charge by the Government in collaboration with Development Partners. As such, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested the release of the sum of N3,945,000.00 by Council to enable the production of a Radio Programme by Cool FM Radio, Kano for one (1) hour every Saturday of the week in its three (3) Stations for thirteen (13) weeks. Council considered the request as relevant and approved the release of the requested sum of N3,945,000.00 for the stated purpose. d) Request for Funds to Facilitate the Gazetting of Laws Enacted by the State Honourable House of Assembly:Gazetting is an important tool for keeping in safe custody all Government Official Documents and a medium of promoting public awareness on Government Policies and Regulations especially those passed into Law by the State House of Assembly. Office of the Secretary to the State Government endorsed the request from the State Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture for the release of the sum of N4,416,000.00 for the cited request. Routine nature of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N4,416,000.00 to the Government Printer to facilitate the Gazetting of Laws enacted by the State House of Assembly. e) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Annual School Census (ASC) 2013/2014 Academic Year:The cited exercise is in line with the Nigerian Education Management Information System (NEMIS) policy guidelines and is required for effective educational planning. The State Ministry of Education submitted to Council that the DFID/ESSPIN confirmed its willingness and commitment to support Kano State in conducting the Annual School Census (ASC) 2013/2014 academic year with the sum of N1,074,792.00 and bear the cost of update for ISDP data base, its publication and dissemination. The Kano State Government will be responsible for other aspects of the exercise costed to the tune of N7,630,140.00, which was requested for release by Council for consideration. Details were presented to Council for consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N7,630,000.00 to the State Ministry of Education for the conduct of the Annual School Census (ASC) 2013/2014. f) Request for Funds to Enable the Completion of Some Electrification Projects at Dawakin Tofa LGCA among which are the Connection to the National Grid of Walawa, Ilesha and Madaci Villages and Renovation of the Vandalized High Tension (HT)
Electricity Transformer at Kunya - Geza:The Secretary to the State Government endorsed the report of the Special Adviser on Education and Local Government Projects Monitoring, which was passed through and assessed/evaluated by the State Rural Electrification Board (REB) under the auspices of the Ministry of Rural and Community Development. The report was on the need to complete/connect the abandoned electrification projects in some Communities in D/Tofa LGCA. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N5,093,634.00 for the purpose. Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N5,093,634.00 to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable the REB execute the stated projects. g) Request for Funds to Enable Admission Processes and Faculty Preparation for Twenty (20) Eligible and Qualified Kano State Indigenous Students to Pursue Masters (Pharmacy) and PhD (Pharmacy). Programmes at Texas A and M University USA:The contents of this memorandum amply reminded Council of its approval granted for the release of $1,671,07 for funding the admission and faculty preparation of twenty (20) eligible and qualified Kano State Indigenous Students to pursue Master (Pharmacy) and PhD (Pharmacy) Programmes at Texas A and M University USA under collaboration between Kano State Government, Reach - Care Foundation and the University. Relatedly, the Secretary to the State Government reported that arrangements had been completed for the immediate departure of the second (2nd) batch of six (6) candidates in addition to the first (1st) batch of six (6) that are already at the University in Texas. This makes a total of the twelve (12) listed below: o First (1st) Batch i. Mustapha Ibrahim Karaye ii. Fahad Mukhtar iii. Abdul ' Aziz Bako Tijjani iv. Bashir Dabo v. Tijjani Sani vi. Abdullahi Ibrahim o Second (2nd) Batch i. Ibrahim Halliru Gwarzo ii. Sagir Muhammad iii. Ibrahim Musa Idris iv. Sadiya Mansur v. Mahmud Ma'aruf vi. Rayya Garba Details on the financial implications to cater for their air tickets, hotel, feeding and housing/rent deposit for the twelve (12) candidates were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N9,744,408.00 for the purpose. Congruence of the request to the empowerment policy of the present administration in Kano Stateprompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N9,744,408.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for the cited purpose(s). h) Presentation of report on the Preparations So Far for the Commencement of the Training of 120 Fishermen on Modern Fishing and Craft Technology at Magaga Fisheries/Skills Acquisition Center:The Secretary to the State Government intimated Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, preparations for the cited training have reached advanced stages. As such, the Senior Special Assistant Fisheries presented two (2) endorsed prayers on the issue for consideration and approval by Council sequel to its earlier approval granted for the release of the requested sum of N7,598,000.00. The prayers include the following: i. Approval to be granted for the commencement of the training of 120 Fishermen on Modern Fishing and Craft Technology; ii. Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE to personally accept to grace the occasion on the stated date in (i.) Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation and approved the execution of the two (2) prayers on the issue under consideration. 2. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT The four (4) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Some Essential Working Equipment by the Kano State Government Printing Press:The Kano State Government Printing Press as the main custodian to all printing commitments of Government documents submitted the cited request through the State Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture as its supervising Ministry. The Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture endorsed and recommended to Council to approve release of the aggregate sum of N13,000,000.00 to enable the Government Printer procure the following: i. One (1) 100KVA electricity generator = N8,000,000.00. ii. Two (2) Numbering Machines = N5,000,000.00 As mandated, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport vetted and appraised the cost down to the aggregate sum of N10,781,500.00 disaggregated as follows: i. One (1) 100KVA electricity generator = N4,082,500.00. ii. Two (2) Numbering Machines = N6,669,000.00 at N3,349,500.00 each. As such, Council was requested to approve the release of the trimmed down sum of N10,781,500.00 to enable the procurement of the two (2) essential working equipment for the Government Printer so as to enhance its performance to meet the challenges of modern printing technology. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment for Diesel (AGO) Supplied/Consumed by the Task Force Committee on Installation/ Repairs/Reactivation of Street and Traffic Control Lights in the Month of November, 2013:Since inception of the second (2nd) incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, implementation of laudable policy of Urban Beautification in Kano State has been commendably executed in the following ways and more: i. Provision of Garden Interlock Tiles on Pedestrian Walkways along major roads of the metropolis. ii. Construction/maintenance of roads in the metropolis. iii. Evacuating major drainage to forestall unwanted flooding in the metropolis. iv. Provision/repairs/reactivation of street and traffic control lights, etc. The enacted Committee on the Installation/Repairs/Reactivation of Street and Traffic Control Lights under the supervision of the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport performs creditably in the execution of its assignment in the course of which diesel (AGO) as fuel to power electricity generators is consumed. Details on the diesel consumed by the Committee for the month of November, 2013 were presented to Council for consideration along with the contents of five (5) receipts indicating an aggregate sum of N70,425,960.00, which was requested for release by Council. Council considered the relevance of the request and approved the release of the requested sum of N70,425,960.00 to enable the Task Force Committee on Installation/Repairs/Reactivation of Street and Traffic Lights effect the stated payment. c) Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement and Installation of Furniture at the Recently Completed Civil Engineering Office Block at the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport:The request cited was instigated by the need to provide proper and befitting furnishing for the highly professional staff of the Civil Engineering Department, which is among the highly patronized Departments in the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. Details of the requirements were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N28,096,925.85 for the purpose. The project was acknowledged appropriate by Council, which approved the release of the requested sum of N28,096,925.85 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to be utilized according to the details presented. d) Re - Memorandum on Variations Encountered in the Course of Execution of the Project on Re - Fencing, Provision of Garden Interlock Tiles and Other Works Executed in the Generation Renovation at Government House, Kano:The Kano State Government House currently wears/present a new deservedly befitting look within and outside the general premises. The Government House, Kano had been generally renovated in the course of which variations were encountered as compared to the original estimates for the entire project. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport appraised and appropriated the Contractor's claim down to the tune of N22,330,051.99, which was requested for release by Council to enable the payment for the encountered variation in the execution of the general renovation project of the Kano State Government House. Authenticity of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the vetted/trimmed down sum of N22,330,051.99 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the payment. 3. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING This Ministry submitted four (4) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Only one (1) was approved for execution. Thus: Request for Funds for the Continuation of Routine Maintenance Works of Metropolitan Roads:KNUPDA and KARMA are the two (2) agencies under the respective supervision of the Ministries of Land and Physical Planning and that of Works, Housing and Transport charged with the execution of routine maintenance works of Kano Metropolitan Roads. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning presented highlights for consideration by Council on six (6) approvals granted to KNUPDA for the execution of routine maintenance of metropolitan roads from 2011 to 2013. The contents of this memorandum reiterated that the recent approval granted for the release of the sum of N90,000,000.00 to enable the continuation of routine maintenance works on forty-seven (47) earlier selected metropolitan roads was judiciously expended leaving an outstanding balance of N17,949,632.08. Main highlights were presented as follows: i. Number of roads maintenance works completed to 100% = 25. ii. Number of roads maintenance works executed ranging from 20% to 95% level of completion = 22. Yet, KNUPDA requested Council to approve the release of the sum of N150,000,000.00 to enable settlement of payment for outstanding unpaid works and continuation of the routine maintenance works on the uncompleted twenty-two (22) roads according to the details presented. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N90,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable KNUPDA settle its liabilities and continue with the good work of maintaining metropolitan roads. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 130TH EXCO SITTING 1. GRADUATION OF 681 GRADUATES FROM THE NIGERIAN POLICE ACADEMY, WUDIL Council acknowledged the successful graduation of 681 Officers from the Nigerian Police Academy Wudil. Out of that number eight (8) Assistant Superintendent of Police and eight (8) Inspectors are indigenous to Kano State. Council expressed its unhappiness to the lopsided admission policy of the Academy. 2. WEDDING CEREMONY OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR'S SON AT YOLA, ADAMAWA STATE Council witnessed the wedding ceremony of the Deputy Governor's son, Umar Abdullahi Umar Ganduje at Yola, Adamawa State along with other dignitaries from the State and across the nation. Council wishes the newly married couple happy and prosperous married life. 3. RESUMPTION OF KANO STATE INDIGENOUS STUDENTS STUDYING AT ENGR. RABI'U MUSA KWANKWASO BILINGUAL COLLEGE NIAMEY, NIGER REPUBLIC Council noted the resumption of the State Indigenous students back to studies at the Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso Bilingual College Niamey, Niger Republic on Monday6thJanuary, 2014.
Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking on – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.
131TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING
PREPARED BY COUNCIL AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, KANO. oday Wednesday 18th January, 2014 (7th Rabi'ul Awwal 1435 AH) the Kano State Executive Council held its one hundred and thirty-first (131st) sitting presided over by Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Eight (8) MDAs submitted twenty-six (26) memoranda for deliberation by Council of which fourteen (14) were approved for execution with an expenditure of Four
Hundred and Twenty Three Million, Four Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Six Naira, Seventy Seven Kobo (N423,464,646.77) covering fourteen (14) projects as follows; 1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted five (5) memoranda for deliberation by Council on behalf of the Chairman and some other MDAs. Two (2) were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of ECOWAS Passport in Respect of the One Hundred (100) Kano State Indigenous Secondary School Students of Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso Bilingual College Niamey, Niger Republic:The laudable policy to transform Education (the Sector and System) for the better transcended Kano State extended to the neighbouring Niger Republic under a wholesome collaboration between the Kano State Government and the Niger Republic. The two (2) Governments collaborated to establish the only Bilingual Boarding College in Niamey, Niger Republic under the arrangement that each of them will place (admit) one hundred (100) students of which Kano State had already sent in its share in respect of which the cited request was submitted to Council for consideration and approval. The Special Adviser on Interior recommended to Council, as endorsed by the Secretary to the State Government, to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N370,000.00 to enable the provision of ECOWAS Passports for the one hundred (100) Kano State Indigenous Students already admitted into the Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso Bilingual College in Niamey, Niger Republic. Council acknowledged the recommendation and approved the release of the requested sum of N370,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to enable the process of providing ECOWAS Passports for the one hundred (100) Kano State Indigenous Students already admitted and in Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso Bilingual College, Niamey, Niger Republic. b) Request for Funds to Enable Sponsoring of Adequate Publicity to the Proposed Kwankwasiyya Youths Football Tournament:Office of the Special Adviser on Sports submitted the cited request as endorsed by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for the release of the sum of N3,860,000.00 to enable sponsoring of adequate publicity for the proposed Kwankwasiyya Youth Soccer Tournament which aims at scouting for untapped talents for grooming into professional footballers for self - reliance. Council noted, considered and approved release of the requested sum of N3,860,000.00 to the Office of the Special Adviser on Sports to enable sponsoring adequate publicity for the Kwankwasiyya Youths Soccer Tournament in Kano State. 2. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Six (6) of the eleven (11) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of Murtala Muhammad Flyover Diversion Roads:The Murtala Muhammad Way is among the most important major roads in the main Business District of Kano that provides a major corridor of business for the Abubakar Rimi Market (Sabon Gari). Meanwhile, a mega project (costing over N10 billion) among the most celebrated executed by the present administration in Kano State, under the Second (2nd) incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, of the construction of a flyover on the Murtala Muhammad Way is in progress. To ensure the smooth flow of motorized and other vehicular traffic as well as pedestrian movement without obstruction, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport observed that Galadima and Court Roads need to be reconstructed in order to provide effective diversions while the Abubakar Rimi Market (Sabon Gari) and Galadima Market could be assessed through France, Court and Hausa/Ibo Roads. Details on the requirements for the scope of works were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N243,047,482.63 for the purpose. Relevance of the request and congruence of the entire project to the policy of the present administration to provide required qualitative infrastructure for use by the citizenry in the State, prompted Council to approve the release of the requested aggregate sum of N243,047,482.63 to enable the construction of diversion roads to pave way for the execution of Murtala Muhammad Flyover project. b) Presentation of Progress and Request for Funds by Kano Road Maintenance Agency (KARMA) for Roads Maintenance Works:Provision and qualitative maintenance of required infrastructure for use by the citizenry in Kano State is among the commendable preoccupations of the present administration under the capable second (2nd) incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Road construction and maintenance top the list. The latter (Road Maintenance) is the preserve of two (2) Agencies as mandated by the State Government of the day. They include: i. Kano Urban Planning and Development Agency (KNUPDA) under the direct supervision of the State Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. ii. Kano Road Maintenance Agency (KARMA) under the direct supervision of the State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. The contents of this memorandum presented the cited progress report and requested for funds by KARMA for consideration by Council, through its supervising Ministry (Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport). The report presented highlights on ten (10) projects executed utilizing the N90,000,000.00 approved for release by Council on 20th November, 2013 to KARMA. The projects included: i. Renovation of Minjibir to Gezawa Road. ii. Renovation of Tarauni Market Road. iii. Renovation of Foundation Road. iv. Grading of Earth Fill of Unguwar Geza, Tukuntawa Quarters Road. v. Renovation of Dankura (Gandun Albasa) Road. vi. Renovation of Kurna Babban - Layi Katsina Road Junction. vii. Renovation of Failed Section of Bello Terrace Road. viii. Repairs of Failed Section of Katsina Road by Gidan Baban Gwari. ix. Overlay of Lawn Tennis Courts at Government House, Kano. x. Construction of Conduit Concrete Ring Pipes Drainage along Kwanar Diso - Kwanar Mandawari Road. Items (i. to ix.) were completed to 100% level as estimated leaving only item (x.) on - going. To continue the good work, KARMA requested Council to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N150,000,000.00 to enable the procurement of five (5) items for the continuation of the Road Maintenance and other related works. The items include: i. Asphalt - 5000 metric tonnes at N20,000.00 = N100,000,000.00. ii. Bitumen - 150 metric tonnes at N162,000.00 = N24,300,000.00. iii. Rock aggregates 4,000M at N4,800.00 = N19,200,000.00. iv. Fuel and Lubricants L.S. = N5,000,000.00. v. Miscellaneous = N1,500,000.00. Total = N150,000,000.00. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation, appraised the request and approved the release of the sum of N90,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for onward payment to KARMA for the continuation of the good work on road maintenance and related works. c ) Re - Presentation of Request for the Ratification of Contract on the Conversion of Shops to Police Outpost, Observation Tower, Perimeter Wall Fence, Gate and Culvert Construction at Gidan Murtala K/Nassarawa, Kano:The Hon. Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport reminded Council, through the contents of this memorandum, of the demolition of the Police Surveillance Tower that existed at Kano Fire Service Headquarters and its surroundings so as to pave way for the on - going flyover construction. Consequent to this, some Shops that existed adjacent to the Gidan Murtala Complex necessarily need to be converted into a Police Outpost for security purposes. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport assessed the extent of works required and prepared a Bill of Quantities in the sum of N14,962,054.20. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for approval and ratification of the project at the presented sum of N14,962,054.20. Council noted, considered, ratified and approved the release of the sum of N14,962,054.20 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the stated project in view of its significance. d) Presentation on Re-Formalization of Instructions Issued on the Construction of Perimeter Wall Fence and Steel Rails Around Ten (10) Guest Houses in Government House, Kano:The contents of this memorandum amply notified Council of the need for formalization of received instructions on the fabrication and placement of drainage cover and construction of perimeter wall fence at the cited location. The two (2) projects were executed at the verified aggregate sum of N8,445,047.10 disaggregated as follows: i. Fabrication and placement of drainage cover = N3,092,988.15. ii. Construction of perimeter wall fence = N5,352,058.95. Total = N8,445,047.10. Considering the authenticity of the request, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N8,445,047.10 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable settlement of payment for the executed stated works at the ten (10) Guest Chalets in the Government House, Kano. e) Presentation of Progress Report in Respect of Clearance of Access Roads at Kuyan - Ta' Inna High Density Layout Located Along Madobi Road:The Kano Road Maintenance Agency (KARMA) submitted the cited progress report, through the contents of this memorandum presented to Council for noting by its supervising Ministry (i.e. Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport). Council was politely reminded of its directive issued to KARMA to carry out site clearance at Kuyan Ta' Inna proposed high density layout. The project entailed clearance for all access roads into the site. Such were segmented into 30M wide primary roads, 20M wide secondary roads and 15M wide connecting (tertiary) roads. KARMA mobilized to site and commenced work and made progress to about 90% completion level of which highlights presented to Council for consideration include: o 30M wide primary roads
All affected roads of this category have been cleared completely for a distance of 3.97KM. o 20M wide secondary roads This category of road was cleared to a distance of about 1.36KM. o 15M wide connecting(tertiary) roads Only about 1.02KM distance of this category of connecting or tertiary roads have been cleared. In all, a distance of about 6.35KM was cleared, which accounted for about 90% of the entire road clearance works assigned to KARMA. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, as the supervising Ministry, reported to Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, the quality and progress of work was satisfactory and commendable, which was acknowledged and appreciated by the sitting. f) Re - Presentation of Situation/Progress Report and Request for Funds to Enable the Conversion of Shops to Police Outpost, Observation Tower, Perimeter Wall Fence, Gate and Culvert Constructions at Gidan Murtala Complex, Kofar Nassarawa, Kano:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport amply substantiated and commended timely completion of the works cited especially that of the Police Outpost which only awaits occupation for utilization so as to enhance the security situation in the area and the entire State. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport identified that the newly constructed Police Outpost requires befitting furnishing prior to being occupied for proper utilization, which was assessed and estimated to the tune of N1,866,700.00. Details were presented to Council for consideration and granting approval for release. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,866,700.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the furnishing of the newly constructed Police Outpost at Gidan Murtala for immediate occupation and utilization to enhance the security situation in the area.
3. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Two (2) of the three (3) memoranda submitted for deliberations by Council from the Ministry of Health were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of the First (1st) Round of Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) (2014) Campaign in Kano State:The contents of this memorandum amply substantiated that, Kano State made tremendous commendable efforts toward the eradication of polio virus especially in improving the quality and frequency of Immunization Services in general over the last twelve (12) months (i.e. in the year 2013). Kano State witnessed the implementation of a number of initiatives, which translated into marked improvement of the quality indicators for Polio Immunization Exercise in the State. Sustaining and building on the current gains is paramount and critical for speedy achievement of the envisaged goal of interrupting the transmission of polio virus in the State by June, 2014. Council was reminded of the commitment declared by Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE at the end of the 2013 review of Kano State - Bill Gates and Dangote Foundations Immunization Partnership. The Executive Declaration was that henceforth, "Kano State Government and Local Government Council Areas Counterpart Funds for Immunization Campaigns be released on six (6) months basis for enhanced readiness and commitment". Notably, the first (1st) round of the 2014 National Polio Immunization Campaign was scheduled to take place within the 18th to 21st January, 2014. To comply necessitated the submission of the cited request to Council for the granting of approval for the release of the sum of N5,969,000.00 as the Kano State Government's counterpart support for the exercise. Details presented for consideration were appraised and accepted as Council approved the release of the requested sum of N5,969,000.00 to the Ministry of Health as the State Government's counterpart support to enable the conduct of the First (1st) Round Polio Immunization Campaign 2014. b) Re - Presentation of the Request for Approval to Employ 130 Supporting Staff for the Three (3) Newly Established and Old Health Institutions:The contents of this memorandum abundantly notified Council that, its directive contained in the Executive Council Extract No. SSCA/CA/EX/4/I/1676 dated 30st September, 2013 regarding the cited issue was complied with as follows: i. Office of the Head of Civil Service was requested to provide thirty seven (37) security personnel that graduated from the Corporate Security Institute Zakirai, Gabasawa LGCA for security duties at the institutions. ii. The Office of the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport was requested to provide twelve (12) Drivers that graduated from the Driving School, Kano to drive the institutions' vehicles. iii. The Chairman, Community Re - orientation Council (CRC) was requested to provide eight (8) Plumbers from those trained under Youths Empowerment Programme for the maintenance of the institutions' facilities. Yet, no response was reported to the Ministry of Health, which instigated the request for Government to approve the granting of permission to the Ministry of Health for the direct immediate employment of ninety-six (96) Supporting Staff according to the details presented for consideration. Council acknowledged the presentation and approved as follows: i. Cadre - Health Attendant on (GL 02). ii. Cadre - Matron (GL 02) School of Nursing Madobi - 2 School of Nursing Madobi - 1 School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa - 2 School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa - 1 School of Health Technology Bebeji - 2 School of Health Technology Bebeji - 1 School of Nursing Kano - 5 School of Nursing Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Kano - 2 School of Midwifery Dambatta - 1 School of Midwifery Dambatta - 2 School of Midwifery Kano - 1 School of Health Technology Kano - 2 School of Health Technology Kano - 1 Sub - total = 17 Sub - total = 07 iii. Cadre - Messenger on (GL02) iv. Cadre - Electrician on (GL 03) School of Nursing Madobi - 1 School of Nursing Madobi - 1 School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa - 1 School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa - 1 School of Health Technology Bebeji - 1 School of Health Technology Bebeji - 1 School of Nursing Kano - 1 School of Nursing Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Dambatta - 1 School of Midwifery Dambatta - 1 School of Health Technology Kano - 1 School of Health Technology Kano - 1 Sub - total = 07 Sub - total = 07 v. Cadre - Laboratory Attendant on (GL 02) vi. Cadre - Clerical Officer on (GL 03) School of Nursing Madobi - 1 School of Nursing Madobi - 1 School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa - 1 School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa - 1 School of Health Technology Bebeji - 1 School of Health Technology Bebeji - 1 School of Nursing Kano - 1 School of Nursing Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Dambatta - 1 School of Midwifery Dambatta - 1 School of Health Technology Kano - 1 School of Health Technology Kano - 1 Sub - total = 07 Sub - total = 07 vii. Cadre - C/A Officer Accounts on (GL 04) School of Nursing Madobi - 1 School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa - 1 School of Health Technology Bebeji - 1 School of Nursing Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Kano - 1 School of Midwifery Dambatta - 1 School of Health Technology Kano - 1 Sub - total = 07. The grand total number of Supporting Staff approved for employment by the Ministry of Health is fifty- nine (59) to be deployed to the Health Institutions across the State in accordance with the amendments presented above. The directive given was for all those employed to be from the locality the institution is sited. 4. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Both memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning were approved for execution. Thus: a) Presentation of Request for Funds for the Revalidation of Contract Awarded for the Construction of Asphaltic Concrete Road Network within the Housing Estate along Zoo Road, Kano:The Hon. Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning reminded Council, through the contents of this memorandum, of an approval by the previous administration for the award of the cited Contract at a total cost of N91,673,379.11 on 29th December, 2010. The Contractor was paid the sum of N27,502,013.73 as advance payment to mobilize to site leading to the execution of some works verified for payment in his favour via the contents of Certificate No. 2 for the sum of N36,334,339.84. This administration inherited the project and this unpaid certificate awaiting payment. Essentially, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested Council to approve the revalidation of the Contract at the original sum of N91,673,379.11. In the process of revalidating the contract, the Contractor presented and requested payment for works already executed to the tune of N36,334,339.84 as verified by the contents of the presented Certificate No. 2 for consideration. After due deliberation, Council approved as follows: i. The Revalidation of the Contract at the sum of N91,673,379.11. ii. The Release of the sum of N36,334,339.84 to enable settlement of payment for Certificate No. 2. iii. Subsequent payments of the remaining balance of N27,837,025.54 minus 5% discount (N1,391,851.28) or specifically the sum of N26,445,174.26 to be made upon the presentation of Valuation Certificate(s) at the completion of the project. b) Presentation of Request for Funds for the Revalidation of Contract for the Construction of Asphaltic Concrete Road at Yahaya Muhammad Kyabo Road:The contents of this memorandum reminded Council that the cited Contract was originally awarded at the sum of N73,442,780.68 on 28th October, 2010 by the previous regime and was left abandoned like numerous ones inherited by this administration. In the process of revalidating the project the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning submitted that the sum of N22,032,834.20 was paid to the Contractor as mobilization fees. The Contractor executed some works, which was verified for payment in his favour by the contents of Certificate No. 2 to the tune of N22,084,834.36. Council acknowledged the presentation and approved as follows:
i. The Revalidation of the Contract at the sum of N73,442,780.68. ii. The Release of the sum of N22,084,023.36 to enable the settlement of payment for Certificate No 2. iii. Subsequent payment of the remaining balance of N29,325,923.12 minus 5% discount (N1,446,296.16) or specifically (N27,854,626.96) to be made upon the presentation of valuation Certificate(s) on completion of the project.
Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso
5. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/HON. COMMISSIONER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS This Office submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Both were noted and appreciated as follows: a) Presentation of Information Memorandum (IM) on the Handing Over of the Repatriated Refugees from the Central Africa Republic to their Relations/Families:The contents of this memorandum substantiated compliance to the directives issued on the cited pathetic situation, which involves 474 refugees repatriated from the Central Africa Republic as being Indigenous to Kano State. This resulted from the unfortunate crisis in the country. Council was informed that: i. Complying with the State Government's directive, the State Hisbah Board, State Emergency Management Agency, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the Immigration Services Department have set to work on the situation. ii. It was realized that 458 of the unfortunate refugees are actually Indigenous to Kano. iii. It was realized that of the remaining sixteen (16) one (1) is a Malian while fifteen (15) are Chadian. iv. Appropriate and proper screening informed the decision to hand over 337 of the refugees to their respective relations/families. v. That one (1) among the refugees (a man) and his entire household will be transported to Takai Town as his identified/verified Local Government of origin. vi. That eighty-three (83) of the refugees are ill, including one (1) woman confirmed to be in labour for Child Delivery. All the eighty-three (83) require medical attention as the woman in labour was already conveyed to Hospital for proper medical attention. Details were presented for consideration/information. vii. That the screening and repatriation process is still on - going earnestly so as to facilitate speedy connection of the unfortunate refugees to their relations/families. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation. b) Presentation of Submission of the Draft Law on Kano Residents Registration Agency Bill 2014 as Examined by the State Ministry of Justice to be Transmitted to the State House of Assembly for Passage into Law:The Draft Law cited was considered paramount for implementation by the Deputy Governor/ Honourable Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments as was examined and confirmed appropriate by the State Ministry of Justice, which recommended for its transmission to the State House of Assembly for passage into Law due to the following reasons: o It is imperative to have a data base/bio data of all persons resident in Kano State due to rising security concerns. o The Agency will provide information for social welfare, political, security and demographic statistics amongst others for the purpose of a successful Health Insurance Scheme and other vital needs. o The Agency will ensure easy identification of residents and facilitate unified planning and implementation of development projects. o The Agency will be responsible for the issuance of identification cards to all residents in Kano State. Based on the preceding highlights, Council was requested to grant approval for submitting the Draft Law to the State House of Assembly for passage into Law. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation and approved as requested. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 131stKANO STATE EXCUTIVE COUNCIL SITTING 1. CONDEMNATION OF THE RECENT ATTACK ON THE DISTRICT HEAD OF MADOBI Council condemned the recent attack on the District Head of Madobi, Alh. Musa Saleh Kwankwaso, the father to Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. The cowardly attack took place inside a mosque at his Palace in Kwankwaso, Madobi Local Government Area on Tuesday during Ishsha'i prayer. Kano State Executive Council joined the Kano Emirate Council, the good citizens of Kano State, the Nigerian Nation and the entire World in condemning the attack and directed for a thorough investigation into the matter so as to bring the attackers to justice. 2. GRADUATION OF 1000 TRAINED YOUTHS ON GSM REPAIRS AND 150 STUDENTS OF HOSPITALITY INSTITUTE Council appreciated the successful conduct of the graduation ceremony of 1000 youths trained on GSM repairs and 150 students from Hospitality and Tourism Institute in the State. The State Government issued empowerment package to each of the respective beneficiariesas is the tradition. Youths trained on the repairs of GSM were given N10,000.00 each and Kits Package to start their maintenance business. Those who graduated from the Hospitality and Tourism Institute were trained on interior decoration, commercial laundry, hospitality management, art and Painting and leather works. Government expended the sum of N22,350,000.00 on these students for the procurement of working materials/equipment and operational capital. 3. NORTHERN ELDERS FORUM COURTESY CALL ON GOVERNOR ENGR. RABI'U MUSA KWANKWASO, FNSE Council acknowledged the recent visit by the delegation of the Northern Elders Forum headed by Maitama Sule and Paul Onongo to the Government House to congratulate and commend the efforts and achievements of the State Government from the inception of the present administration under the leadership of the second (2nd) incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. 4. PRESENTATION OF REPORT BY THE HORSE RACING COMMITTEE Council acknowledged the presentation of a report from the Horse Racing Committee and directed Kano Urban Planning and Development Agency (KNUPDA) to execute the removal of illegal structures at the Race Course at the expiration of two weeks. Accordingly, Council noted the need for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with any responsible partner to manage the site and also directed for the appointment of a Race Course Management Committee to facilitate the immediate revitalization of horse race sporting activities in the State. 5. SIGNING OF THE RECENTLY AMENDED STATE REVENUE LAW Council acknowledged the signing of the recently amended State Revenue Law by Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, which harmonizes rates and taxes chargeable between Local Governments & State Government Revenue Generation Agencies. The idea is to, among others; enhance revenue generation drive by the two (2) arms of Government so that the State can be self-reliant in financing its meaningful development projects and other activities through internally generated revenue (IGR). 6. CALL FOR SPONSORSHIP/SCHOLARSHIP TO KANO STATE INDIGENOUS STUDENTS THAT GAIN ADMISSION INTO NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS Council appreciated the rise in the number of qualified and eligible Kano State Indigenous Students for admission into Higher Institutions of Learning (Tertiary Institutions). Such Students need to be placed into appropriate Higher Institutions across the nation/abroad. Accordingly, Council urged other private/public Universities to reserve appreciable quota for Kano State for the impending academic session 2014. 7. EXPRESSION OF INTEREST TO JOINTLY ESTABLISH A MEDICAL UNIVERSITY BETWEEN ELRAZI COLLEGE OF MEDICAL & TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES, SUDAN AND KANO STATE GOVERNMENT Council noted the recent indication of interest by Elrazi College of Medical and Technological Science, Sudan to enter into agreement with the Kano State Government for the establishment of a Medical University in the State. Council pledged to appraise all possibilities of such a venture and directed the Ministry of Higher Education to send an invitation to the College for a stakeholders meeting in Nigeria. 8. PRESENTATION OF AWARDS Council witnessed the presentation of Awards and Appreciations sent to Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE for the implementation of laudable policies as follows: o An Award of Pre - Eminence to the Governor by the Kano State Nigerian Students Association in Sudan (KASNISAS). o An Award of Outstanding achievement to the Governor by the G.S.S Dala and G.T.C Kano Old Students Associations. o A Letter of Recognition for Government's effort on AQUA Culture from the FMARD for the establishment of Kano Fisheries Institute. o A Donation of 6200 'Day old Chicks' to the Kano Poultry Institute Tukui, in support of the 'Young Farmers Club' project of the State Government.
Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2014
N expectant mother and infants were among the 10 persons burnt to death in Effurun, Delta State yesterday when a government-owned commercial bus caught fire. The 14-seater Delta City bus went up in flames on the PTI–Jakpa Junction route. Eyewitnesses and security operatives told our reporter that 10 of the 14 passengers were burnt to death. It was learnt that the incident occurred after a passenger entered the bus with a jerry can containing a substance suspected to be petrol. Commissioner for Transport Mr. Ben Igbakpa, who visited the scene shortly after the incident, said: “I was told by a survivor that the fire was caused by a woman who entered the bus with fuel in a four-litre jerry can. “We will intensify our monitoring. We urge drivers to be cautious. They should not allow passengers to enter buses with petrol. It’s unfortunate. “We are mourning. Government is sad that such a tragic incident has happened.” The Nation gathered that the driver, conductor and two other persons survived the incident. One of the survivors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the incident occurred about three minutes after the petrol-carrying woman boarded the bus. He said: “What we saw was an explosion. I escaped through the booth of the bus. I am short of words. My escape is a miracle.” It was learnt that the
Politicians out to blackmail Akpabio, says commissioner •Governor denies presidential, vice-presidential ambition
•The affected bus...yesterday.
Expectant mother, nine others burnt to death From Shola O’Neil, South/ south Regional Editor
death toll might have been low had youths allowed the fire fighters and rescuers access to the scene. The Delta State Coordinator, Federal Road Safety
Corps, Mr. Danie Amromawhe, said: “It was unfortunate that youths restricted the fire service truck. I was told that on arrival, youths chased away the fire fighters, saying they were late. This is not the first time
they are doing this. “The most painful thing is that the police, who arrived first, were injured. The youth broke one of the officers’ head with a stone. Government should do something.”
Monarch’s mother, granddaughter released
HE kidnapped 74year-old mother of the King of Agrisaba community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Mrs. Ikhiogha Walter and her 24-year-old granddaughter, Tamuno Joseph, have been released by their abductors. It was learnt that the woman and her granddaughter were dropped at Bassambiri about 11pm on Saturday. Although a ransom was said to have been paid to the kidnappers, it was not clear how much they collected. The Nation gathered that the gunmen established contact with the monarch two days after whisking away the woman and her granddaughter.
•’Kidnappers initially demanded N60m’ From Mike Odiegwu Yenagoa
A security source said the hoodlums initially demanded N60 million. The source, who pleaded anonymity, said the traditional ruler negotiated with the kidnappers and insisted that he could only pay N1 million. “The king begged them to accept N1 million. They were engaged in a negotiation. We knew that the kidnappers would reduce the ransom, but we don’t know how much they eventually agreed on,” he said. Women in the community, which is under Mini-Ikensi Rural Development Authority,
were said to have prayed and fasted for the release of the septuagenarian and her granddaughter. The police claimed no ransom was paid. The septuagenarian and her granddaughter were abducted on January 6 by the bandits, who arrived the community at 3am through the waterways. They were said to have headed for the home of their victims located close to the creeks and kidnapped them without shooting a bullet. Agrisaba, a riverine community, has been embroiled in a kingship tussle with many of the chiefs condemning the
Dickson to APC: resolve your leadership tussle in Bayelsa
AYELSA State governor Seriake Dickson has urged the national leadership of the All Progressives Alliance (APC) to resolve the crisis rocking the state’s chapter. Dickson, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said his administration would not allow the crisis to threaten peace and security. He urged the police and other security agents to ensure security at the secretariat of the APC in Yenagoa. The governor said the directive was to maintain the policy of the present administration of ensuring security of life and property of residents and visitors. Said he: “As a responsive
From Mike Odiegwu Yenagoa
government, we will not abandon what is our duty of providing security and ensuring that people go about their duties without molestation.” Dickson said a building owned by Mr. Richard Kpodo, which he recently converted to APC’s secretariat, had been earmarked for demolition alongside other structures, to make way for the second flyover bridge in the area. He said government had set aside N1 billion for the payment of compensation to owners of the affected property. According to him, the demolition, which would soon begin, was not designed to victimise anybody or group.
The governor said the exercise was intended to develop the capital in line with the restoration agenda of the government. He recalled that a section of his property was pulled down to pave the way for the ongoing expansion of the new Opolo/Elebele Expressway. Dickson said it was a price everybody had to pay for the development of the state. Appealing to the national body of the APC to resolve the leadership tussle among its members in Bayelsa, the governor expressed concern about the bitter rivalry among members of the party in the state. Said he: “The rift in APC is between loyalists of former Governor Timipre Sylva and members of the defunct Action
process, which led to the emergence of the king. The police have confirmed the arrest of one Ezekiel, 32, over allegations bordering on the abduction of the daughter of a former member of the House of Representatives Mr. Clement Eneh. Eneh’s daughter was kidnapped on December 26, but was rescued by men of the anti-kidnapping squad of the Bayelsa State Police Command. She was freed after a shootout between the police and the kidnappers near Mbiama in Yenagoa, the state capital. The kidnappers were said to have abandoned a Mazda 323 with registration number Yen 350 SY after the shootout.
KWA Ibom State government has cried out that some politicians are determined to blackmail Governor Godswill Akpabio. According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, the politicians are out to discredit Akpabio, who is also the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum (PDPGF). The government urged the public to be wary of contemptible politicking, adding that politics should be about issues not people. It said those who hoped to use smear campaigns in next year’s governorship election should know that a wrong road could not lead to a right destination. The government warned a former state official, who is the sponsor of the media onslaught against Akpabio and the state to tell the state the justification for his ambition, rather than seeking to sacrifice ethnic and historical ties at the altar of selfish ambition. The Information and Communications commissioner said it was regrettable that the disgruntled politicians were irked by Akpabio’s public advice to the state that in line with the principles of equity, fairness and justice, the governorship seat should go to Eket. Umanah said instead of masterminding several invidious messages through different avenues such as the mass media and the Internet, to undermine the governor, they should explain to the state the justification for their ambition. He said it was unfortunate that some politicians based in Abuja and working in concert with their colleagues in the state had resorted to lies and misinformation against the governor, embarking on a smear campaign, using fictitious groups to churn out disparaging statements against
the governor. According to Umanah, “part of their strategy is to make unfounded allegations against Governor Akpabio and create a bad blood between him and political leaders in the country, particularly in the Presidency.” He said he had faith that the Presidency would see through their veil of lies, adding that their evil plot would not succeed. “In a fight between truth and falsehood, truth will always prevail. “It is our duty to alert the public that a plot has been uncovered that in the coming days, more advertorials will be published in the newspapers to tarnish the image of the governor and blackmail the Akwa Ibom State government. “We urge the public and the media to be wary of the antics and stay on the path of truth and objectivity.” Contrary to allegations in some quarters that the governor is nursing an ambition to become the president or vicepresident next year, government has said that there was no in the allegations. It described them as an “invidious campaign of calumny and blackmail.” In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, government said the smear campaign, which had been on in the print, electronic, social media as well as Internet and bulk SMS, was part of a conspiracy to misrepresent Akpabio and cause tension in the polity. “For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state in clear and unambiguous terms that Governor Akpabio is not interested in and not nursing any presidential or vice-presidential ambition,” the statement said. It urged President Goodluck Jonathan; his wife, Patience; the Governors’ Forum; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nigerians to “disregard the evil conspiracy and campaign of lies and falsehood.”
Ikot Abasi adopts Ekere as governorship candidate
OUNDING fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo/ Mkpat Enin Federal Constituency have adopted the immediate past deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State, Nsima Ekere, as their candidate for the governorship election next year.
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
They urged him to vie for the governorship ticket of the PDP. The politicians took the decision yesterday during a New Year visit to them by a group of Ekere’s friends, led by Joseph Effiong, an engineer.
Akpabio hails Nest Oil Group
Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who have been in the opposition all the while and a part of the new alliance, which gave birth to the APC. “Another thorny issue in the party is that two of Sylva’s loyalists (Richard Kpodo and Godwin Sidi) have reportedly imposed themselves on the party as chairman and secretary and sited the state secretariat at Kpodo’s building at Etegwe in Yenagoa without consultation.”
OVERNOR Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State yesterday attributed the success of Nest Oil Group of Companies to the seriousness of its top personnel and the initiatives introduced by the company. He spoke during a luncheon at the Governor’s Lodge, Uyo for the President/Chief Executive Officer of Nest Oil Group of Companies, Dr. Ernest Azudialu Obiejesi and the management staff of the company, after their retreat. Akpabio said: “The success of an organisation starts
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
from the nature of the personnel. If you bring in people who are dedicated, passionate and serious, the organisation will succeed. “If you bring in people who are nonchalant and non-committed, the organisation is bound to fail. I congratulate you today because the success of your Group of Companies is a result of your commitment, passion and dedication to work.” Dr. Obiejesi lauded Governor Akpabio for opening up Akwa Ibom State through the provision of infrastructure.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
Police shoot senator in bid to smash rally Continued from page 4
the place. We took over the place,” Mbu said. In the past, they applied and got permission for rallies, he said, adding that the rally attended by APC leaders where Governor Amaechi declared was not authorised but the police just decided not to disrupt it. Police spokesman Ahmad Muhammad claimed that no ammunition was expended by the policemen, whom he said used “minimum” force. He said the policemen did not use rubber bullets and that the SRM’s leaders did not obtain police permit. The gathering was illegal, he said. Muhammad, at 5:06 pm yesterday through the telephone, while still at Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt, said: “We (policemen) only use rubber bullets during training. No single ammunition was expended at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt and at the Civic Centre, Rumuigbo. “We used minimum force. We did not use rubber bullets. The leaders of SRM never wrote to the Rivers State Police Command for permit to hold the rallies and they did not obtain permit from the Rivers State Commissioner of Police for the rallies, which are illegal gatherings.” The spokesman claimed that there was a ban on rallies in Rivers State, insisting that police permit must be obtained before protest, demonstration, gathering or rally could be held. When our reporter got to the College of Arts and Science at 12:55 pm yesterday, for the 1 pm inauguration of SRM, the dualised road from Rumuola Bus Stop, off Aba Road, to Rumuokwuta Roundabout on Ikwerre Road, was barricaded by the police. Pedestrians were forced to trek about five kilometres while motorists were also groaning. At 1:02 pm, five police patrol vans were used in barricading the Rumuola Road in front of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Rumuadaolu, Port Harcourt, while seven police patrol vans were stationed at the main gate of the college. One patrol van and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) were positioned inside the institution. Six police patrol vans were positioned at the Rumuigbo Junction on Rumuola Road. They are backed by two APCs, marked: NPF 4075 A and NPF 1028 B, with armed policemen flooding the area, thereby causing panic.
Some passersby were overheard saying: “Will you support this Jonathan’s bad government that is blocking the roads?”, “They want to turn Port Harcourt into a battleground”; and “This is war.” The minister later stated that persons dragging his name to the police’s action should be ignored and that the SRM’s rallies were not enough proof of Amaechi’s popularity. Wike said: “I influenced the police? Were they there when I influenced the police to disrupt their rally? Have they not done their rally before at the Stadium (Liberation Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt)? I did not use the police. Did they not hold their rally at Eleme council? I did not use the police. What is my business with them? What kind of talk is that?” Okocha said: “This morning was a huge surprise to me. It was the turn of Obio/Akpor Local Government to host the SRM. We had gone to Eleme and Asari-Toru LGAs. Today (yesterday) was the turn of Obio/Akpor council and as law abiding citizens of Nigeria, we wrote to the police, informing them of our programme, and there was no negative response. “We chose the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Rumuola, Port Harcourt because it is more expansive. It can accommodate about 10,000 persons who will come out of Obio/Akpor LGA today for the SRM’s inauguration. “About 4:30 am, our men on ground at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, who were left there to secure the gadgets and facilities to be used, called me to say that the police had taken over the place. For God’s sake, we are defenceless, free citizens of Nigeria. We do not carry arms. “Save Rivers Movement is an organisation that insists that Rivers State must be saved from political buccaneers, who want to put Rivers State into their pockets. That is what we are doing. We are in the business of sensitising our people from local government to local government. “You are aware of a group called the GDI (which has Wike as the grand patron). The members go through all the local government areas with convoys of police, giving them all kinds of protection, including the Commissioner of Police (Mbu). He (CP) is always in the convoys, providing security for them and ensuring that all the things they do are trouble-free.” Despite of receiving the call from one of his associates in the early hours of the day, Okocha said he decided to move to the
Rivers College of Arts and Science, to assess the situation. The chief of staff said: “When they called me. So, I had to go there by myself to see things. I was smoked as if I was a rabbit. I ran into someone’s house and, unfortunately, the man has children. They were all suffocating. They were all dying. So, we had to improvise. They said we should use coke; some said kerosene would work. We had to use all of that to ensure that the man’s children live. That was what I saw. I was quarantined in somebody’s house. “I was wondering whether it is the Commissioner of Police (Mbu) that is the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State or the Governor. I mean by law. They said the CP ordered that we should not gather and I said our rights to gather and associate are inalienable. You cannot take them away from us. “As I talk to you, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is lying critically ill in the hospital. I learnt arrangements are being made to fly him out of the country. We were together. He was even trying to make contacts with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP, Muhammed Abubakar), when they (policemen) shot him point blank. “Senator Magnus Abe was shot in the chest, with their (policemen’s) rubber bullet. My own was teargas shells. If they were doing the right thing, they would not be shooting teargas and be picking the shells. So, they knew they were doing the wrong thing. “They brought in seven Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) inside the Rivers State College of Arts and Science to kill common criminals? Are we criminals? These are defenceless citizens of Rivers State and Nigeria. We have our rights and we are not aware of any court order that has taken these rights away or restricted us from gathering. “This is not the end of it. We are out to prove to the world that the people of Obio/Akpor LGA are with Governor Rotimi Amaechi and that we will continue to support him. “I heard that a young boy in the company of his mother, coming to church, suffocated and died instantly. I also heard that one house at No. 1, Elegbam Road, Port Harcourt was burnt, because of the canister of teargas shot on its roof. They said it almost burnt down, but people came to help put it out. A lot of people have been injured, people with all degrees of injuries.” Okocha said he and Abe were trying to speak with the policemen when the shooting began. The Rivers Information Commissioner said: “Today’s (yesterday’s) attack on the members of the SRM, a Non-Governmental Organisation, at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Rumuola, Port Harcourt and especially the unprovoked shooting of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, the senator representing Rivers SouthEast Senatorial District, is cause for worry and an indication of the length that the PDP is willing to go to silence opposing views. “The Rivers State government
has it on good authority that Senator Abe took the bullet originally meant for Governor Chibuike Amaechi, who was billed to be present at the event. This is disconcerting, especially in the light of recent revelations that the Presidency may be training snipers ahead of the 2015 elections and that Governor Amaechi is top on the list of those to be eliminated. “The Rivers State government wishes to request the Federal Government and its agencies to respect the rules of democratic engagement in their misguided fight against the people of Rivers State and especially save our nation from the unnecessary chaos, into which federal agents such as Mbu want to plunge it, ahead of the 2015 elections.” The Rivers government called for Mbu’s redeployment to stop him from turning the state into a graveyard, in view of his intolerance and unprofessional behaviour. Semenitari noted that Mbu would prefer to be a “policetician” rather than a responsible police officer, but requested that he should attempt to at least protect the lives and property of the poor Rivers taxpayers, who had been paying his salaries. The Chairman of the SRM, Aholu Okechukwu, made available a copy of the application for permit to hold the rally, written to the police command on January 7. The SRM’s application letter was received by a police officer, on behalf of the Rivers police command on the same day and signed by Charles Aholu. The Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, through its Chairman, HRH Mene Swanu Baridan condemned the police attack on one of its illustrious sons(Abe) and warned the leadership of the country on the life and safety of the senator. The royal father said: “We condemn in its entirety, the attack on Senator Magnus Abe. It is unnecessary and uncalled for. We hereby warn the President (Goodluck Jonathan) over the safety of our son (Abe, from Gokana LGA, Ogoniland), the Senator.” Baridan also admonished Ogoni and other Rivers people to remain calm in the face of provocation and continue to be law abiding.
Abe: Akume, Saraki, Peterside, Fani-Kayode kick Continued from page 4
again I wish to know whether there is any truth in the allegation that he was in North Korea on that day and if he was, what was he doing there? Senate Minority Leader George Akume also condemned the shooting of Senator Magnus Abe. He described it as senseless and desperation of the side of the ruling party to clinch to power. Speaking in Makurdi, the Benue State capital during the inauguration of the Benue Sate Chapter of the Interim Executive Council(IEC) , Senator Akume urged the international community to intervene before Nigeria go the way of Sudan and Rwanda. The former governor of Benue State decried the worsening security in the country where hundreds are killed daily. A few day ago, the father of Kano State governor was attacked and today (yesterday) Senator Abe was shot by the police who are supposed to protect
him, for the simple reason that he is from the opposition. He called on Nigerians to resist tyranny and vote out bad governors. A former Chairman of the Rivers State Chapter of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Apostle Eugene Ogu, described yesterday’s attack by the police on Senator Magnus Abe as an affront on the National Assembly. He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to redeploy Commissioner of Police Mbu Joseph Mbu from the state. He said: “No pursuit of any office, whether political or otherwise, is enough to put the life of any person at risk as has been done to Senator Magnus Abe. It is condemnable in the strongest term, it is evil and satanic. “The attack on is an assault on the National Assembly, the Ogoni people, the Rivers people and Nigerians at large. Everybody must rise at this point to resist this evil. Enough must be enough,” Apostle Ogu stated.
‘Police reign of impunity must stop’ Continued from page 4
‘’Mbu, who is going down in Nigeria’s history as a classic example of an officer of the law turned the biggest violator of the law, has not only defied the resolutions of the National Assembly, he has also thumbed his nose at the ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He is the Alternate Inspector General of the Police who takes orders only from a conniving Presidency,’’ the party said. It said the only reason the impunity in Rivers could have continued unabated is because it is a dress rehearsal for what is being planned for 2015, hence the APC has continued to raise the alarm over the instigated crisis in Rivers. ‘’Since this reign of impunity started, the Rivers Governor has been barred from accessing his official residence by the police; members of the State House of Assembly have been tear-gassed and harassed endlessly; the plane owned by the state government has been grounded, using the institu-
tions of state; and even a chartered plane bearing the Governor has been prevented from take-off, not minding that the member of the state House of Assembly which the plane was supposed to be carrying was not on board. No one has apologised for this chutzpah. ‘’This is all happening under the watch of a President who has been widely quoted as saying his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. The statement now rings hollow, considering what is happening in Rivers and elsewhere, which is widely regarded as a sign of things to come ahead of 2015. ‘’President Jonathan should act today to bring Rivers State and indeed Nigeria back from the brink of lawlessness. His body language must discourage the likes of Mbu from turning Nigerian into a lawless nation. He must differentiate his position as the leader of the PDP from his perch as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ the APC said.
Rivers APC, PDP disagree Continued from page 4
er, Media to the Chairman, Chief Felix Obuah, alleged that the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) did not obtain police permit, before yesterday’s rally, which it said made the police to stop the members. The PDP said: “In November 2013, when Governor Rotimi Amaechi led irate youths to destroy the gate to the Port Harcourt International Airport, he directed all his loyalists to henceforth physical confront the police in Rivers State. “Senator Magnus Abe, Tony Okocha and others today (yes-
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terday) confronted the police, as earlier directed by their master, Governor Rotimi Amaechi. “It is most shameful and disgraceful that a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Abe) would reduce to the level of confronting the Nigeria Police and turned a law breaker. “The actions of Magnus Abe and Tony Okocha today (yesterday), underscore Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s level of lawlessness and rascality.” The PDP also described as “unfounded,” the shooting Abe, a former Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), the killing of 5 children, as stated by the APC in Rivers state and taking the senator out of Port Harcourt yesterday evening in a private jet as laughable. The ruling party said: “We
challenge Governor Rotimi Amaechi, APC and their co-travellers to show us a bullet wound on Senator Magnus Abe. “Their claim that Senator Magnus Abe was shot and wounded, as shown in pictures being circulated, and being flown out for better treatment, are all untrue and completely false. “Their aim therefore, is to continue to further paint false impression that Senator Magnus Abe was shot and wounded by the police, to justify their call for the removal of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu.” The PDP in Rivers also stated that Wike and the PDP in the state had no hands in the APC and SRM’s alleged “concocted” lies, which it said were aimed at deceiving the Rivers people and other Nigerians.
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THE NATION MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2014
NEWS Naval chief warns officers
By Precious Igbonwelundu
T •Traders attending to customers during the poll.
•An empty polling booth in Awka
Outrage over council poll in Anambra
HERE is outrage in Anambra State, following the local government election conducted by the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) on Saturday. Opposition parties had refused to participate, alleging that ANSIEC and the state government were insincere. But the All Progressives Congress (APC) announced its withdrawal before the parties, under the aegis of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), decided not to take part in the election. Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour
•APGA sweeps poll •A sham, says Ngige From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
Party (LP), who showed interest, cried foul over alleged manipulation by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Some APGA members protested that the list of those contesting the poll was changed. The election was marred by violence and general apathy, with people complaining of the non-availability of electoral materials. Declaring the results yesterday at the ANSIEC headquar-
ters in Awka, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sylvester Okonkwo, said APGA won 20 seats, excluding Nnewi North Local Government. Problems arising from the the exercise made the commission to cancel the result. A new election has been fixed for Saturday. Some of the 20 councils where the party won are Ayamelum, Njikoka, Awka South, Awka North, Orumba South, Orumba North, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Anambra East, Anambra
West, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Aguata, Idemili North and South. The party also won 304 councillorship seats, leaving 12 for PDP and one for UPP. A chairmanship candidates of LP in Awka South, Mr. Uche Ifediorah, decried what happened in Anambra, saying the state had no political future. State Coordinator of Transform Nigeria Movement (TNM) Comrade Obi Ochije condemned the election. The leader of the Progressives
Peoples’ Alliance (PPA) in the state, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, said ANSIEC did not do a good job, having planned the election for almost eight years. He said logistic problems could have been solved to make for a smoother exercise. Senator Ngige yesterday wrote off the election as a “sham” He said the All Progressives Congress would head for the court to quash the results. According to him, what happened on Saturday such as lack of election materials at the polling units were predetermined so as to give the results to candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Igbo youths threaten Jonathan’s 2015 ambition
HE crisis rocking the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), following the removal of the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the Governing council, Dr. Emeka Enejere, has taken a new dimension. Igbo youths have sworn to work against the ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 if the pro-chancellor is not reinstated. The youth are also unhappy with the position of the Igbo apex
Chime endorsed for Enugu West
NUGU State Stakeholders Advisory Group, an assembly of eminent persons from
the state, has urged Governor Sullivan Chime to contest the Enugu West seat next year. The group made the call in a statement in Enugu yesterday, signed by its Chairman, Prof. Solomon Anadike and Secretary, Chief Sunday Ojiogu. It enjoined Chime to yield to the demands of the people on the senatorial bid after he might have completed his term as governor. “Considering Chime’s exceptional performance in the state, it will be most appropriate to have him continue serving the people of Enugu, this time in the Senate. “We are sure he will again record another exceptional performance there,” the group said. It urged the governor to ensure that the agreement to produce the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate from the Enugu North and the replacement of legislators, who had served two terms at both state and national levels were implemented.
•Want UNN’s Pro-chancellor reinstated •Berate Ohanaeze Ndigbo From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on the issue. In a letter to the Ime Obi Ohanaeze under the aegis of Ohanaeze Ndigbo youth wing at the weekend, they called for the sack of the UNN Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Batho Okolo and his arrest and probe by anti-graft bodies.
The letter was signed by the Ohanaeze youth wing leader, Ibuchukwu Nwodo. The youth urged the Supervising Minister for Education Nyesom Wike to recall Enejere. “Ohanaeze Ndigbo should, as a mater of urgency, stand up in defence of one of its own and make representations to the president.
the support of the Presidency. Therefore, we shall mobilise our members for a review of our political stand in 2015.”
Suspected thugs attack Borno Governor
OME thugs on Saturday attacked the convoy of Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima while on his way to inspect equipment deployed in Maiduguri International Airport by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) as part of steps to reopen the airport. But the ambush was repelled by security agents who dispersed the thugs without any injury. The attack was, however, suspected to have been engineered by a former governor , who is allegedly opposed to the second term bid of the Shettima. The spokesman of the governor, Alhaji Isa Gusau, however , said his principal was undaunted by attempt to intimidate him. He said the governor believes that Allah will determine who will be the governor in 2015 and not any man. According to a source, the former governor, who allegedly had disagreement with the incumbent governor had mobilized the hired thugs ( known as ECOMOG) to attack Kashim having got wind of his plans to be at the airport. The source said: “The whole plot is a scheme by a former Governor of Borno State. He hired thugs that were
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
members of his ECOMOG and mobilised them to the airport knowing the governor was scheduled to visit the airport on inspection of NAMA equipment. “The ex-governor had hidden under a condolence visit to Shani, which lost its Emir recently, to plot the attack against the governor. “His aim was to destabilise the state but Governor Shettima has been able to calm the situation. “The Governor held security meeting on Saturday after that incident and then met his supporters and appealed for calm. “Theformergovernorhasn’tbeen happy with the way Shettima has managed the security situation and doing well. The ex-governor is just egoistic, he believes no one should have a second term like he did. He wants to remain the first and the only politician to be re-elected as the Governor of Borno State. When contacted, the Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the governor, Alhaji Isa Gusau, confirmed the incident. He said: “Some thugs believed to have been hired outside Borno State, were smuggled into Maidug-
2015: Oyo Senator, 11 council chiefs meet ENATOR Ayo Adeseun representing Oyo Central Senatorial district and the 11 local government Caretaker Chairmen in the zone yesterday held a close door meeting on ways to win the 2015 polls. They meeting was held when the 11 council bosses paid him a solidarity visit and political familiarization at his Castle of Joy, Onipanu residence, Ogbomosho, Oyo State.
“If our demands are not met within one week, we will mobilise other youths and women across the country for a protest at the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Assembly,” they said. According to the letter, “we shall mobilise forces against the re-opening of UNN, an action, which may negatively affect other higher institutions. “We see what is happening at UNN as an act of insolence on the generality of Ndigbo, with
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
The council chairmen expressed absolute confidence on his ever increasing electoral value and political relevance needed to put the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the lead in Oyo State ahead of the approaching 2015 general elections. Issues relating to how certain differences threatening the fabric of the newly formed APC will be re-
solved was part of the essence of the meeting. The Local Government Chairmen in attendance were that of Egbeda, Ona-Ara, Oluyole, Akinyele, Lagelu, Oyo West, Oyo east, Atiba, Afijio, Surulere and Ogo-Oluwa. Also at Onipanu were Mr Temi Adibi of Ogbomoso North and Mr Wasiu Adewale Olatunbosun of Ibadan North west to solidarise with their colleagues on the visit.
uri for the sole purpose of breaching the emerging peace in the city. “Governor Kashim Shettima was on his way to the Maiduguri International airport on Saturday, for the purpose of inspecting facilities brought in from Lagos by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to speed up the reopening of Maiduguri’s airspace for use by air travellers. The visit was meant to be a follow up of the Governor’s meeting with the M.D of NAMA as well as Chairman,CEO of Arik Airline in Lagos, two weeks ago, towards the reopening of the airport which had been closed down. “ While the Governor was heading towards the airport, the hired thugs attempted to breach his convoy by exhibiting all manner of behaviours true to the jobs they were hired to do. “ If Governor Kashim Shettima were to be violent, he could have directed his security details to descend on the thugs but instead, he calmed nerves and ensured that there was no breach of peace with no injury. He calmed members of his entourage and security details. The police dispersed the youths. “The governor went on and completed his inspection, he spoke with NAMA officials and to his credit, Maiduguri’s airspace is now open to all flight operations. After the inspection, Governor Shettima trekked for two kilometres from the airport acknowledging cheers from residents who obviously appreciated his effort in gaining peace and progress in Borno State. We do not know those behind that attempt, it is the responsibility of security agencies and journalists to identify them. “But what we do know is that Governor Shettima’s focus is entirely on delivering projects and programmes to better the lives. The
Governor has constituted a small team of aides to organise an internal retreat involving Commissioners, advisers,permanent secretaries and directors to develop strategies to accelerate completion of ongoing projects and implementation of programmes and as well as to monitor new projects and programmes to be put in place soon. “Governor Shettima has passed through the tougher times of Boko Haram insurgency and succeeded in attracting peace and development. The behaviour of imported thugs cannot cause the slightest obstacle to him and to the people of Borno State. “ If anything, the incident has increased his commitment to serve the people of Borno State and has strengthened his fate and made him stronger with reaffirmed covenant with the people of Borno State. “The Governor believes that the 2015 elections,if that the reason for which thugs were hired, is far from all mortals and where we all remain alive to that time, it is Allah,in the final analysis,that will give power to anyone He wills. “The Governor expresses his deep appreciation to the people of Borno for the tremendous show of concern they express through numerous solidarity visits, phone calls,text messages and e-mails and promises to remain committed to rebuilding Borno State. He called on all residents to support good and pray for it. “ The Governor also thanks the security agencies and members of the civilian JTF and all citizens for their sacrifices, working with him in making Borno State safer since he inherited the Boko Haram crisis in 2011. He prays for the progress of Borno and Nigeria at large”.
HE Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) Rear Admiral Goddy Anyankpele, has warned naval personnel against breaking traffic rules, just as he called for the arrest of any officer found wanting. Anyankpele gave the warning at the weekend in Lagos. It was at a lecture on understanding the highway code and road traffic rules. He noted that the military and traffic authorities have not enjoyed cordial relationship, just as he urged the traffic regulatory agencies to expose all areas naval personnels have hindered their jobs. Anyankpele said: “Today’s lecture is one of such fora we are using to caution our officers. You will be surprised to hear from me that most VIPs are not also happy with the attitude of their pilot vehicles drivers on the road. “And from time to time as soon as we arrive our destinations, we have a way of cautioning them to behave appropriately while on the road. “Nobody is above the law. Any naval or military personnel who breaks traffic rules should be arrested. We have gone a step further by giving Federal Road Safety Commission(FRSC) and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials the contact details of the Command Provost Marshall, so that we will assist them should any of our personnel caught try to resist arrest. “I expect the attitude of men to improve after this lecture. In the course of the lecture, our eyes have been opened to a lot of things we have been doing wrongly as far as road traffic is concerned. So, I do not expect any of the officers or ratings to be found wanting after the expository lecture we have received,” he said. Opening the lecture the FOC Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, urged the FRSC to ensure quick issuance of drivers’ licence by removing all unnecessary bottlenecks. He stressed the need for naval officers to have legitimate drivers’ licence, frowning at situations whereby most uniformed personnel will flash their identification cards when asked to show their drivers’ licence. He attributed the high rate of accidents across the country to recklessness and impatience of drivers. It is important to always remind ourselves of the responsibility we owe pedestrians and other commuters, he said. Deputy Commander, of the FRSC, Godwin Oweni, educating participants on the highway code, noted that 90 percent of accidents across the world are caused by human factors. “The road speaks but most drivers do not understand. Every week, vehicles plunge into a river along Lagos-Ore road irrespective of the signs placed about 200metres from the river indicating a narrow bend. “Road traffic injuries are fast becoming a source of public health concern with an estimated 1.2 million people dying from road crash annually...”
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
PDP crisis: NWC members opt to boycott meeting with Tukur
EADERS of the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) are not getting close to peace, with National Working Committee(NWC) members vowing yesterday to boycott any meeting with National Chairman Bamanga Tukur. They said Tukur should meet them on Thursday at the National Executive Committee (NEC) session of the party where a decision will be taken to either sack or retain him. The 11 NWC members are angry that Tukur’s loyalists accused them of taking between N30million and N40million bribe each to demand for his removal. But Tukur, who is banking on First Lady Patience Jonathan for survival, embarked on intense
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
horse-trading among governors and party leaders last night to retain his job. Some of his loyalists may head for court to stop the NEC from entertaining issues regarding his removal pending the determination of a motion on notice. It was gathered that the NWC members opted to boycott any meeting with Tukur at an impromptu strategy meeting yesterday. The meeting was held in Abuja. They asked Tukur to state his position on the bribery allegations leveled against the NWC members by some of his loyalists.
Gusau gives conditions to accept minister’s job Continued from page 1
Gen. Gusau is being offered the portfolio of the Minister of Defence. It was gathered that when Mark met with Gen. Gusau, he pleaded with him to put national interest above personal consideration. It was learnt that Gen. Gusau gave some conditions on which he could return to the cabinet. The conditions are: * a free hand to operate and reorganise the Armed Forces and security agencies; *all service chiefs, security agencies and their directors will report to the Defence Minister for better synergy; *adequate funding of the Armed Forces and security agencies to restore normalcy to all parts of the country; and *political will to back up recommendations on how to address security challenged as they occur. Jonathan wants Gen. Gusau back because of his rich experience, a source said. A source close to Gen. Gusau said he would accept the offer to help his country, but with some conditions. “He does not want to be messed up with dirty politics. He is coming to address the security challenges in the country,” the source said. There are indications that Gen. Agwai may replace Balat. Another source in the Presidency said: “Agwai may come on board as a replacement for Balat. I think some people were trying to raise issues on Balat about some comments which ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo made some years back during a cabinet reshuffle. “Yet, no allegation or proof of
any misdemeanour has been found against Balat while in office as a minister. But you know in politics, mischievous people rake up one insinuation or the other once you have an edge. “Those against Agwai are also flaunting the credentials of a Senator. Whatever it is, the slot is for Southern Kaduna to fill the vacuum created by the death of ex-Governor Patrick Yakowa. The people of Southern Kaduna have been complaining of marginalisation since the demise of Yakowa.” As at press time, the battle for Niger State’s slot was still on. Some stakeholders are said to be in favour of former Governor Abdulkadir Kure, who they feel can deliver Niger State to PDP. Others are opposed to Kure’s choice because, according to sources, his wife is a senator. “Also both the governor and Kure have some political differences. With Kure as a Minister, the influence of the governor might be whittled down. Babangida Aliyu will have cause to eventually leave PDP,” a source said, adding: “Yet, the President is determined to retain the governor in PDP having listened to his plea not to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC). At least, the governor deserves compensation for being ‘loyal’.” Hajiya Kuchi is seeking reinstatement, having been removed for identifying with the Niger governor during the G-7 crisis in PDP. “There may however be a moral dilemma for the President in reinstating Kuchi. Nigerians would have confirmed that the sack of nine ministers last year had political undertone,” said the source.
An NWC member said: “We have resolved not to sit with Tukur or hold any NWC meeting with him again. We cannot have any session with someone who is accusing us of taking bribes to remove him. “We know that since the game is up against him, Tukur’s strategists have resorted to voodoo politics. They have forgotten that we all have impeccable antecedents. It is so sad that they attempted to smear our image.” Another NWC member added: “We have explained our side of the crisis to the President; we have also reached out to First Lady Patience Jonathan to ignore sentiments from Tukur that we are plotting against the President. “Tukur is not the only one that
loves the President; NWC members do too. This was why we told the President on Thursday that with Tukur in charge, PDP will lose in 2015 because he is not adding any value to the party. “The cock and bull story of loving or protecting the interest of the President will not work. This is politics of burning goats alive.” A third source in NWC said the party had uncovered alleged plans by Tukur’s camp to head for court on Monday to stop the NEC meeting from holding until some issues are resolved. But, in his view, going to court will not help matters “because the era of frivolous injunctions is gone”. But Tukur remained hopeful last night.
A source in Tukur’s camp said: “This is the third time the PDP National Chairman will face rebellion from NWC members; he will survive. Some governors and party leaders are solidly behind Tukur as a reformist; they believe the party needs to change from the old order. “I can tell you that horse-trading is ongoing, Tukur is reaching out to all organs, governors and BOT members to appreciate why he is leading the campaign for change in 2015. He will certainly survive this latest crisis.” Responding to a question, the source said: “If NWC members are threatening to boycott statutory meetings with the National Chairman, they are living up to their agenda. The President
should find out who is pulling the strings.” On recourse to court, the source said: “I will not respond to presumptive allegation; wait and see whether they are telling you the truth or peddling falsehood.” PDP leaders from the Northeast were last night opposed to any plan to replace Tukur with Deputy National Chairman Uche Secondus from the Southsouth, should the need to arise. A chieftain of the party said: “It would amount to double jeopardy for the Northeast to sacrifice Tukur and forego the right to replace him. This will amount to political injustice. Our position is that if Tukur leaves, another chairman must come from the Northeast.”
Egypt students injured in protest against coup, referendum
LASHES erupted outside Giza Security Directorate, Dokki in Egypt yesterday between Students Against the Coup (SAC) demonstrators and Central Security Forces (CSF). A march of dozens of students moved from Cairo University and headed to Nahda Square. The march was organised through the student movement's official Facebook page, and led by flag bearers
who chanted to students holding up four fingers, the sign of Rabaa. Protesters blocked the road at Nahda, where they then started a tire fire as their numbers swelled to the hundreds. After causing a traffic jam, the group returned to Cairo University; female protesters demonstrated in front of the main gate while male protesters headed to the Giza Security Directorate.
Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, who eventually retreated to Cairo University. Some of them were injured. Clashes lasted for hours as the CSF failed to disperse the demonstrations. Protesters were able to set fire to the hatch of one of the pursuing police trucks with a thrown Molotov cocktail, prompting the officers' retreat back to the Security Directorate. Mean-
•One of the injured students being carried away for treatment by fellow students...yesterday.
while, protesters were able to wrest a general's cap and a teargas rifle from security forces. With officers having left the scene, protesters and a number of unidentified personnel in civilian clothes began to throw rocks at one another until all visible SAC members retreated inside Cairo University. The gates were subsequently closed and the unidentified personnel circled the university's main gate, including one carrying an assault rifle. The administrative security asked the students inside the university to leave the campus through the side gates and to clear the area in front of the main gate. Students Against the Coup has occasionally mobilised students to protest through its Facebook pages. The group recently announced their boycott of the 14-15 January referendum on the new constitution, naming it "the putschist document" and has called Sunday's protests a part of "The Week of Student Rage." Protests have taken place at Cairo, Al-Azhar, Ain Shams, and other universities, and have all resulted in clashes with security forces.
France brokers partial truce in CAR
IVAL militiamen have embraced each other in a district of the Central African Republic capital Bangui after the French military brokered a truce. Gunmen laid down arms in the city's southern district of Bimbo after days of bitter
fighting between Muslim and Christian groups. The violence-racked city is much calmer though fighting continues elsewhere, a BBC correspondent reports. Talks are due to begin on Monday on electing a new, acting president.
Michel Djotodia, who served as interim president after his mainly Muslim Seleka rebels took power in a coup last March, has left the country, with reports that he will go into exile in Benin. At least 1,000 people have been killed and tens of thou-
sands have fled their homes since violence broke out in the Christian-majority country in December. France, the former colonial power, has deployed 1,600 troops to try to restore peace, along with an African Union force of some 4,000.
South Sudan seeks Khartoum help on oilfields
•The late Messe
World’s oldest man dies at 140
N Algerian man, Mubarak Rahmani Messe, believed to be the world's oldest, passed away on Saturday evening. He was 140. The late Rahmani was treated in hospital two years ago for the first time in his life to cure a stomach illness. Messe, it is believed, was born in 1884 in El Oued district, southeast Algeria, near the Libyan border. Messe witnessed the last century's two great world wars; Algeria's liberation revolution; the global economic crisis of 1929, the Palestinian Nakba in 1948 and his country's independence. The great grandfather who worked as a camel shepherd married three times; he is survived by nearly a hundred grandchildren.
IL production, which formed more than 95 per cent of South Sudan's fledgling economy before the fighting began, has been affected by recent fighting. South Sudan's oil minister is seeking Sudanese help to restore oilfields damaged during fighting between government and rebel forces, official media reports say. Stephen Dhieu Dau, who met his Sudanese counterpart Makawi Mohammed Awad, said the visit aimed to
benefit "from the Sudanese experience to resume the oil pumping at Unity state's oilfields," the SUNA news
agency said. Unity is a key oil producing region of South Sudan, where crude production fell
by about 15 per cent after fighting began in mid-December, industry sources said earlier.
French First Lady in hospital after alleged Hollande affair
RENCH First Lady Valerie Trierweiler has been admitted to hospital after media reports of an alleged affair involving President Francois Hollande. She entered hospital on Friday "for rest and some tests", her office said, after Closer magazine published images linking him to actress Julie Gayet. Mr Hollande did not deny the report but protested at invasion of his privacy.
Conservative opposition leader Jean-Francois Cope has suggested the drama has damaged France's image abroad. Ms Trierweiler is expected to leave hospital on Monday, her office told AFP news agency. A presidential news conference scheduled for Tuesday on plans to boost the flagging economy now looks like being overshadowed by Mr Hollande's private life, correspondents say.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
DISSECTING SENATOR GEORGE AKUME’S VILE ATTACKS ON HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR GABRIEL SUSWAM Inan advertorial published on page 4 in the January 11, 2014 edition of The Nation newspaper, Barrister Targema Takema, threw decency to the wind and launched unprovoked attacks on the person and administration of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam, Executive Governor of Benue state.His advertorial was supposed to be a rejoinder to an earlier article published by Rt. Hon Terngu Tsegba, who used the medium to engage Senator George Akume on a number of issues. It is unfortunate that Tarkema left the solid issues unattended and instead branched out to attack Governor Suswam who was not the subject matter in the original advertorial all in the desperation to impress his paymaster and accordingly justify his paycheck.
General of NYSC. It is therefore. completely outrageous for Takema to claim as he did that “the camp was operationalized before Senator Akume’s exit from power”. From the foregoing, it is evident that Governor Suswam has, contrary to Takema’s erroneous claims paid uncommon attention to the projects initiated by his predecessor in office. Barrister has inadvertently exposed the corruption that characterized that era as far as project execution was concerened. 3.
Federation Account Accruals: In his haste to retain the confidence of his paymaster, Takema resorted to reckless statements on public financial issues and ended up exposing his cras ignorance same. For instance, he claimed Governor Suswam has received over N300billion from the Federation Account in about six and half years whereas Akume received over N180billion in eight years. Takema failed to state the source of his figures just as he failed to state what he wanted to achieve by simply throwing up the incorrect figures. Whatever the case, Takema needs some basic lessons in Economics to understand that since independence, the national budget has always increased in quantum on an annual basis due to expansion of the economy among other factors. This necessarily translates to annual increments in the accruals to states most of which depend on the federation account. Given this scenario, it logically follows that Governor Suswam would definitely receive more funds than his predecessor in quantum just the same way Senator Akume earned more than his predecessor. Barrister Takema must face the fact that Governor Suswam has shown uncommon frugality in the management of public funds. He has over the years used state resources to most aggressively provide the critical infrastructure like roads, water, electricity etc in spite of increases in personnel costs occasioned by the new national minimum wage among others. His achievement in this regard has earned him the sobriquet of “Mr. Infrastructure.”He has also won numerous awards locally and internationally in recognition of his achievements. His allegation that state SURE-P funds have ben embezzled is banal, petty and completely false as the state SURE-P funds are intact. In fact, Benue state has one of the most comprehensive SURE-P programmes by any state in the country with the plan to engage 8,500 youths in the various schemes(Graduate placement, sports, environmental sanitation, skills acquisition, health workers and teachers) under the programme. Already recruitment has been completed and the candidates are scheduled to start work from 1st February, 2014. On the issue of foreign debt repayment, Takema again displayed his ignorance about how the debt forgiveness from the Paris Club came about when he scandalously credited Akume for the repayment of $242million and 92milliion Pound Sterling to the Paris and London Clubs of Creditors. Unknown to Takema, the debt forgiveness for Nigeria was the outcome of long negotiations of Nigeria’s debts with the Creditors in the Paris Club.The programme was driven byformer President Obasanjo’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Debt Management Office. As part of the deal, debts owed by sub-national entities were cancelled. The Benue state government under Akume like other states became beneficiaries even though they did not initiate the negotiations. Although some states enjoyed fabulous repayments from over deductions after reconciliations, Benue state unfortunately got very little. Takema’s claim that Governor Suswam got a $10million refund exists only in his fertile imagination. His threat to unleash to the public domain, non-existent records of “reckless financial abuses” by Governor Suswam is empty and amounts to a piece of blackmail to which Governor Suswam will never succumb as he has no skeletons in his cupboard nor his briefcase. While we await the “sworn affidavits” Takema boasts that he has obtained from a “Nigerian Law Court”, the Barrister must take note that the original records of the preceding era in which he has an active participant are intact and will be availed the public at the appropriate time to see how much of financial abuses occurred at the time. When the time comes, he might be called upon to explain his roles as well.
Political Violence and Communal crisis: One of GovernorSuswam‘s mostpronounced achievements is in the area of peace and security. The unfortunate incessant clashes between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Guma, Makurdi and Gwer-West LGAs would have since spread to other areas were it not for pro-active measures usually taken by Governor Suswam. Benue state is adjudged one of the most peaceful states in the country today. In the last three years,the state has remained the most preferred venue for conferences, seminars, workshops and other national and international engagements. Takema who resides in Abuja is most probablynot in touch with the reality at home and therefore uninformed about the stable security situation in his home state. His reference to isolated criminal cases in the state which led to unfortunate lost of lives cannot be equated with the coordinated political violence in Kwande and Tarka LGAs during Akume’s tenure which led to the death of dozens of people and destruction of property worth millions of naira. The inter-state crisis between Benue and her neighbouring states of Nasarawa, Taraba and Cross Rivers which resultedin the displacement of thousands of people under Akume’s authority ought to be fresh in Takema’s memory. The infamous military invasion of Zaki-Biam and the razing down of Gbeji, Vaase and Tse-Adoor communities were the peak of violence and insecurity under Akume’s Benue. Against this background, its laughable for Takema to accuse Governor Suswam’s of inability to provide security in the state. Governor Suswam has exercised tremendous calm in the face of provocation from the opposition all in the interest of peace. Takema in his privacy will also attest to Governor Suswam’s commitment to peace and security.
Teachers Salaries and Students Scholarship: Governor Suswam has a very cordial working relationship with teachers in the state.When he assumed office in 2007, he cleared over two months salary arrears amounting to over N400 miilion inherited from the Akume administration. He moved onto voluntarily increase the pay packet of teachers. Governor Suswam was one of the first governors to implement the 27.5% nationwide special increase in teachers’ salaries. The recent strike embarked upon by the teachers was to press for the implementation of the new national minimum wage. In the week preceding the last Christmas, Governor directed that all teachers be paid their salaries based on the new rates and this was carried out. Takema however, tried to sweep the facts under the carpet when heaverred that teachers in Benue state are still owed salaries. This is outright mischief at its worst. For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Suswam has paid teachers in Benue state up to date and no teacher is owed his or her salaries.
As a responsible leader, Governor Suswam subscribes to the highest ideals of probity and accountability in public office and would at any point in time give account of his stewardship. It is in this spirit that we deem it necessary to quickly respond to the tissues of lies poorly crafted and pushed out to the public domain by Barrister Takemabefore they settle in the minds of some unsuspecting members of the public. The unsubstantiated allegations, conjectures and bare faced lies parroted by Takemain a disjointed manner have been carefully isolated for an informed response so long as the issues touch and concern the administration of Governor Suswam. 1.
N1billion Agric Loan: As part of his administration’s policy to boost agriculture, Governor Suswam disbursed exactly N1billion in micro credit loans to farmers in the state soe time in 2012. The exercise was done publicly at the IBB square in Mkaurdi. And Rt. Hon Terngu Tsegba was a not a beneficiary of the loan scheme. The claim by Takema that Governor Suswam gave out N20million in state agric loan to Tsegba as “a just payment to a pawn” is ridiculous, lacking in substance and petty. Even if Rt. Hon Tsegba applied and took the loan in accordance with the laid down procedures, there is absolutely nothing wrong in a citizen taking a loan to promote agriculture which the nation’s constitution allows even for public officers. Takema perhaps has forgotten that in the past political dispensation in which he was an active participant, state funds were doled out in the best tradition of “Father Christmas” to cronies and praise singers at the expense of capital projects to improve the lives of the people.
Governor Suswam’s Handling Industrial Projects Initiated by Senator Akume: In his presentation, Takema accused Governor Suswam of “deconstructing” industrial projects initiated by his predecessor. In his words: “Suswam’s most singular achievement in government is that he has killed all factories established by Akume.”Takema knows too well that the projects he talks about in such glowing terms were nothing but conduit pipes for siphoning public funds and Takema was involved in this perfidy against the people of Benue state since he was a super consultant for most of the failed projects he now writes about. A few examples will make the matter a lot clearer. (a) Wannune Tomato and Mango Juice Factory: This factory located in Akume’s hometown was built at a scandalously inflated cost. The machines ordered from Italy for the project arrived at the cost of E12,091,000. This cost was more than 400% the cost of a factory line of that standard. More bizarre was the fact that part of the equipment were obsolete. In the same vein, two factory buildings were built at the whopping cost of N679,721,345.35. The technical evaluation by experts revealed that the building at the highest accepted professional standards would have been N120million. Interestingly, while the payments were made in full, work on site was less than 70 per cent completed. Governor Suswam who believes that government should be continuum has since ordered fresh equipment for the factory. The first consignment has arrived the factory site while the second consignment has arrived Lagos wharf and awaiting clearance. These facts can be verified at the factory site. (b) Benfruit Factory: This factory located in Makurdi Industrial layout was initiated by the Akume administration. Like the Wannune factory, it was not completed before Akume exited office. When President Olusegun Obasanjo visited Benue to launch Presidential campaigns in March 2007, he was taken to the factory to perform the official for commissioning. But after about thirty minutes, the august guest could not gain access to the factory as it was under lock and key. The guards on duty were said to have made away with the keys. The truth of the matter however, was that the factory was not in anyway ready for commissioning. A disappointed President Obasanjo whistled and left the premises in anger! Governor Suswam has since completed the factory and leased out to Messrs Transcorp Plc which is producing orange concentrates for the West African market at the facility under the trade name of Teragro Nig.ltd. (c) Makurdi International Hotel: The 300-bed hotel was initiated by the second republic administration of the late Aper Aku. Construction work had gone to an advanced stage when the military took over power in 1983 and the project was abandoned. When Senator Akume became Governor, he awarded contract to an expatriate(Asian)firm to complete the project. The company disappeared into thin air after receiving payments of about N1billion without any commensurate work on site. The good news is that Governor Suswam has completed the hotel under a Public Private Partnership(PPP) arrangement and the new hotel is due to commence operations in the first quarter of this year. (d) Fruitcon Nigeria Ltd Katsina-Ala-This orange juice processing factory was initiated by the Adasu administration.During Governor Akume’s tenure, equipment were ordered for the factorybut the contractors only supplied part of the equipment. Before the expiration of the tenure of the administration however, the equipment were carted away and sold under watchful eyes of senior government officials. The factory project was then abandoned. The barren site is there for everybody to see. (e) Taraku Mills Ltd- The soyabean oil mill was established by late Governor Aper Aku. The plant was already in commercial production by 1999 when Akume assumed duty as Governor. During his tenure, huge loans were takenfrom financial houses to ostensibly revitalize the company. The loans were poorly administered and in some instances diverted. By 2007 when Governor Suswam assumed office, the company was placed on receivership over a debt of N70million which was a balance of unpaid bank loans. Governor Suswam rescued the company from the claws of the receiver and today it has been fully resuscitated and leased out to a private firm. The company has already commenced the production of soya cakes and oil. (f) Benue Plastic Factory: This Plastic industry was built by the same Asian firm which abandoned the Makurdi International Hotel contract.Why a company with such a poor track record was considered for another job shortly after abandoning a contract with the same government is anybody’s guess. Like the other sister companies, Benkims Plastic company suffered from the supply of wrong and obsolete machinery and therefore, could not carry out the intended business of producing sacks, plastic containers, containers, PVC ceilings, pipes etc. The factory was then closed down and workers sent home with salary arrears of over 24 months unpaid. Governor Suswam has since completed a turn -aroundof the company and leased out to a private firm. The commissioning of the plant is scheduled for the first quarter of this year. (g) Lobi Cassava Factory: This factory was established by the Akume administration and built by a Dutch Company. Upon completion, the Dutch firm again took over the company on a supposed lease. Unfortunately nothing was paid to the state government. The company siphoned about N82million from the factory’s operations and closed shop. Governor Suswam’s administration has only recently appointed a new firm to manage the Lobi Cassava plant. (h) Benue State University Teaching Hospital- The multi-billion naira hospital complex was initiated by the Akume administration. The project was about 40-50% executed when Governor Suswam came on board. This ultra-modern health facility has been completed and was commissioned by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on March 9, 2012 during his state visit. (i) NYSC Orientation Camp Wannune- This project was also initiated by Governor Akume and sited in his hometown. The proposed houses in the complex split into various contracts and awarded to his kinsmen and political associates. Although the contract sums were paid, most of the blocks were built just a little above the foundation level. Governor Suswam on assumption of office completed this project and was commissioned in 2009 by Brigadier-General Tsiga, then Director-
On the issue of scholarship allowance, Takema again displayed apparent loss of memory when he said Governor Suswam has instituted a scholarship scheme of N5,000. For the recordslet it be known that this amount was inherited from the Akume administration but the Governor has gone beyond that. Governor Suswam has instituted several scholarship schemes which Takema chose to ignore. For instance all medical students of Benue origin from the fourth year have been placed on salary Grade Level 06 every month until they graduate. Benue students admitted into the Law School also receive grants from the state government for their tuition. There is a foreign scholarship programme for Benue students undertaking post-Graduate programmes in certain areas of knowledge in foreign Universities. In conclusion, Governor Suswam wishes to re-assure the good people of Benue state of his commitment to provide critical infrastructure and basic amenities for their comfort and would remain committed to the social contract with his people. Governor Suswam is determined to remain focused on providing good governance and would not be distracted by irritants, retrogressive elements and self-seeking individuals who masquerade as social critics. Dr Cletus Akwaya Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs.
THE NATION MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014
SPORT EXTRA Sunshine, Crown, others to set Ijebu Ode on fire
•As Gold Cup pre-season tournament kicks off Thursday
HE Gold Cup PreSeason Football Tournament is scheduled to kick off on Thursday January 16, at the Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode, with the aim of getting the teams some competitive games going into the 2013/2014 league season. The tournament will feature Sunshine Stars International Football Club of Akure, Crown Football Club of Ogbomosho, Prime Football Club and FC Ebedei of Sagamu. The teams are expected to play 3 matches with the team with the highest number of points declared winner. The Gold Cup 2014 kicks off at 9.am on Thursday January 16, with Sunshine Stars taking on Prime FC. Crown then face FC Ebedei at 4.pm. On Friday January 17, Crown will lock horns against Sunshine Stars at 9.am, while Prime FC tradetackles FC with Ebedei at 4.pm. On Saturday January 18, matches will be played simultaneously to avoid foul play, Sunshine Stars host FC Ebedei (4.pm) and Crown FC battles Prime FC. According to the tournament
General Coordinator, Tunde Shamsudeen, who stated that the winner of the 3-Day competition will go home with a giant trophy. He further informed that the competition will help the teams to test their players before the league hostilities. The draws for the 6th edition of the Hon. Abdulazeez Mohammed pre-season tournament was held yesterday at the Ahmadu Bello stadium media centre with eight teams divided into two groups of A and B. In group A we have teams like Bayelsa United,Jigawa Golden stars,Ranchers bees fc and Niger Tornadoes,while Kadua united ,Kaduna Bees,Wikki tourist and dss fc of Kaduna are in group B. Two teams will qualify from each group for the semi finals. Two pitches will be used,the Ahmadu Bello stadium and the kaduna township stadium,in the opening matches today,Bayelsa United will lock horns with Jigawa by 2pm at the Ahmadu Bello stadium,Wikki Tourist will play DSS FC at the Kaduna Township stadium also by 2pm.
Lagos Sports Council partners NAPHER – SD
N a bid to consolidate on the efforts of Lagos State Government in the area of grassroots sports development in the State, the Lagos State Sports Council and Nigeria Association of Physical & Health Education, Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD), Lagos State Chapter have set in motion plans to collaborate in their area. This collaboration was secured when NAPHER-SD Executive Committee paid a courtesy call on the Director of Sports, Lagos State, Dr. Kweku Tandoh at Lagos State Sports Council, Rowe Park Sports Complex, Yaba. NAPHER-SD, an organisation set up to encourage, support and promote the development of physical education, health education, sports and other in all Institutions of Learning , all public and private establishments and organizations in Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in general. According to the Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NAPHER-SD, Dr. Raheem Moronfolu, the Association operates in 20 Zones in Lagos State with Zonal Coordinators
running its affairs. He disclosed that NAPHER –SD as a Professional Association is ready to assist Lagos State Sports Council in achieving some of its set down programs towards improving and developing sports at the grassroots. Adding that together with the Lagos Sports Council, a high performance laboratory that can help in the improvement of athletes and coaches psychology and development of sports at the grassroots as obtainable in developed world will be set up.
RESULTS England - Premier League Newcastle 0 - 2 Man City Stoke City 3 - 5 Liverpool France - Ligue 1 Nantes 1-0 Lorient E/TG 1 - 2 Olympique M Italy - Serie A Torino 0 - 0 Fiorentina Atalanta 2-1 Catania Cagliari 1 - 4 Juventus Hellas Verona 0 - 3 Napoli Roma 4 - 0 Genoa Spain - Primera División Getafe 0 - 1 R/Vallecano Real Betis 1 - 2 Osasuna Espanyol 0 - 1 R/Madrid
Madrid narrows gap at the top
EAL MADRID narrowed the gap between themselves and joint leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to three points with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Espanyol in a Spanish La Liga encounter at the Estadi Cornella- El Prat on Sunday evening. Pepe’s solitary strike in the second half proved to be enough on the day as Los Blancos continued their fine form in the league.Real had an opportunity to close at the top following Barca and Atleti’s goalless draw on Saturday. Espanyol’s top scorer and captain Sergio Garcia missed
Team P Manchester City 21 Chelsea 21 Arsenal 20 Liverpool 21 Everton 21 Tottenham 21 Manchester United 21 Newcastle United 21 Southampton 21 Hull City 21 Aston Villa 20 Stoke City 21 Swansea City 21 West Bromwich 21 Norwich City 21 Fulham 21 West Ham United 21 Cardiff City 21 Sunderland 21 Crystal Palace 21
W 15 14 14 13 11 12 11 10 8 6 6 5 5 4 5 6 4 4 4 5
D 2 4 3 3 8 4 4 3 6 5 5 7 6 9 5 1 6 6 5 2
L 4 3 3 5 2 5 6 8 7 10 9 9 10 8 11 14 11 11 12 14
the area but he uncharacteristically scuffed his resulting attempt with only the keeper to beat. Real continued to look the most likely to open the scoring going close through di Maria and Luka Modric who’s powerful effort beamed over Kiko Casilla’s crossbar. Ronaldo pulled the best out of Casilla in the 37th minute, the Espanyol keeper did well to keep out the Ballon d’Or finalist’s low drive from the edge of the box. Los Blancos looked more threating as the half drew on and should’ve probably been ahead at the interval.Espanyol
0-0 Real Madrid at the break. Madrid finally found the opener, 10 minutes into the second stanza. Modric’s perfectly floated free-kick into the area found Pepe who rose highest before nodding in from close range, 1-0. Ronaldo continued to threaten for the visitors as he looked to impress a night before the announcement of the 2013 Ballon d’Or winner but he was frustrated by some poor finishing on his part and fine goalkeeping. The win moves Real within three points of rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona after 19 rounds of fixtures.
season. Everything was done professionally, I’ve my contract paper with me and they’ve theirs and I strongly believe all the parties to the contract will play by the rule at the appropriate time. “The new salary structure in place right now is satisfactory including the individual package I’m happy with what I was shown. “Heartland are the club for me despite the difficulties
we encountered last season I believe the changes the management has put in place will greatly bring normalcy to the side in the new season. “I assure you we’re prepared to fight for the league and Federation Cup and ultimately launch the side back to the continent where it rightly belonged. “I took my time to reach the decision to stay with the side for another season and I believe it’s for good, at least,
I’ve other offers from other clubs before agreeing to stay back at Heartland. “With the cooperation of everybody both the old and new players our campaign this term will be very successful,” Osas said to supersport.com. Osas was a key factor to the side’s survival from the drop and helped them finish in 11th place on 52 points in the 2012/13 Glo Premier League season.
Osas extends Heartland stay
EARTLAND winger, Jolly Osas has penned a new deal with the Owerri side for the 2013/14 Glo Premier League season. The petite left winger signed the contract paper on Friday after he was presented with the new salary regime document by the club’s management. The former 3SC striker played a crucial role in the side's back-to-back victory in the Federation Cup. Osas said he shunned overtures from other clubs for the Naze Millionaires because of his conviction that the side are the right place to fight for laurels in the upcoming football season. “I’ve signed a new contract with Heartland for the 2013/ 14 Glo Premier League
ENGLISH BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE Pos 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
out through suspension, as a result youngster Jhon Cordoba started up front as the lone striker for the hosts. Meanwhile, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti opted to play the trio of Angel Di Maria, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo with the Argentine playing in the hole in place of Isco who dropped to the bench. Espanyol were quick out of the blocks with Christian Stuani going close for Los Pericos in the fourth minute, his header flashing past Diego Lopez right hand upright. The first chance for Real fell to Ronaldo in the 19th minute. Karim Benzema picked out the Portuguese winger inside
GF 59 40 39 51 34 26 35 29 27 22 19 22 26 23 17 22 21 15 19 13
GA 23 19 18 26 19 25 24 27 23 27 25 35 30 28 35 46 30 34 34 31
GD 36 21 21 25 15 1 11 2 4 -5 -6 -13 -4 -5 -18 -24 -9 -19 -15 -18
Pts 47 46 45 42 41 40 37 33 30 23 23 22 21 21 20 19 18 18 17 17
2014 CHAN:Amosun charges Eagles to brace up
GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has charged the Home-Based Eagles competing in the ongoing African Nation Championship in SouthAfrica to bounce back from the loss recorded in their first game and do Nigeria proud at the competition. Nigeria started their CHAN campaign on a losing note when they were defeated by West African rivals Mali 1-2 in their Group A encounter at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night. In a statement signed on his behalf by the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Prince Lanre Tejuoso, Governor Amosun, it is by so doing that they will confirm that Nigeria's achievements last year was not a fluke. While noting that the nation achieved greatly in 2013 with African Nation Cup trophy, the Under-17 World Cup triumph and qualification for
this year's World Cup in Brazil, Governor Amosun said the ongoing CHAN competition had given Nigeria a good opportunity of starting year 2014 on another good note. Governor Amosun also praised Coach Steven Keshi and his assistants for gradually intergrating the home-based professionals into the main Super-Eagles, saying that with dedication and patriotic zeal on the part of the entire contigent the country will reap the benefit of that experiment as some of the players have been exposed adequately before CHAN competition. Noting that at a time the Nigeria league was rated the best in Africa, Governor Amosun urged the players to use that rating as a platform and beat all their opponents to the trophy. Governor Amosun did not forget to praise the Nigeria football Federation for their
achievement in 2013, urging the Alhaji Aminu Maigari led board and the management of the federation not to rest on their laurels but always be determined to achieve greater things for Nigeria and millions of soccer followers.
WHO SAID WHAT
MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
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Only 2,570 BAGS...I bet, the OWNERS didn’t SETTLE
The President should know our laws and Sanusi our figures. Neither did either. Sanusi reacted with penitence and Jonathan with impunity •Dr Jonathan
Could it then be Gulak? I don’t know. If the president acted on the advice of these aides, then we must expect that they told him the proper thing. So, did the President know the truth and ignored advice and plunged precipitously into that phone conversation? It is either that the President was ill-advised in the sense that he did not seek advice or he was misadvised in the sense that his advisers gave him the wrong counsel. Either way, the President is to blame because, at his level, any advice he accepts becomes his wisdom or otherwise. He made that conversation and not any other person in government, and what a conversation it was. Many might fantasize about the details of the exchange. What was the decibel of the president’s voice and the counter-decibel of the CBN boss’? What diction did they command, irate, gentlemanly, glum, aplomb?
RIPPLES CUSTOMS SEIZES 2,570 BAGS OF RICE– News
VOL 9 NO 2,729
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
ANY who view President Goodluck Jonathan as a meek and gentle soul will find it hard to reconcile that image with the news of his hectoring phone conversation with Lamido Sanusi, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The President was angry, but meek souls are permitted to fly even into rage. The President betrayed impatience, and meek souls have the occasional free rein to fly off their hinges. The President did not understand the law, and meek souls sometimes are forgiven their lack of familiarity with the law, even though it is no excuse. If meek souls are permitted to infringe on all of these rules, can we allow a president of a republic that kind of latitude and attitude? That was the question I could not live with or live down as I contemplated the story, first carried by Thisday, about the exchange between the President and the boss of the nation’s financial holy of holies. President Jonathan has a lot in his hands these days. When Rivers State is not stewing impetuously in his pot, he is at war with his party governors who want the head of the head of PDP. And if that is not enough, he is wrestling with the forces of conscience, who want him to fire his aviation dame, or basking or writhing from the after-waves of his letter slugfest with his former mentor Obasanjo. Some may excuse the President some irritability, except that he exercised that emotion without much charity. How could a President ask a CBN boss to quit without first checking if the law gave him the right? We know the enormous powers of a president in a presidential system. Even then, it has its checks. Philosophers have shown that history has never thrown up an absolute monarch or dictator, from Caligula to Franco. Despots don’t hang in the air. They depend on certain individuals or stakeholders. The presidential system bows to the constitution. Did the President just wake up one morning and flew into a rage about the CBN boss and decided to fire him? Presidents do not act that way. I like to think the President did not just jump into such an impulse. So, he must have deliberated over the matter with his advisers. He must have discussed with his coordinating minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. With all her pedigree about the interaction between finance and political authority, she could not have advised the President to do so. If she did, she was diabolical. His secretary to the government Anyim Pius Anyim was a senate helmsman, and he too knows that the law does not allow for such presidential arbitrariness. His attorney general Adoke is also knowledgeable in the matter and I expect that he gave no such advice.
"I have always said it that any ambition I have at any time is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. I will never ever expect a Nigerian to spill a drop of his blood because Goodluck Jonathan must fulfil his ambition.
Did they interrupt each other? Did they spit out invectives involuntarily or deliberately? Did it cruise on perfidious calm? How did the conversation end? With a warning, threat or counter-threat? How did the President feel later when he learned he acted beyond his powers when Sanusi told him he required two-third of the senate to oust him? One is baffled at the quickness with which he decided to oust the CBN boss when he shillyshallied like a wishy-washy over other matters like the still smouldering matter over his aviation minister Stella Oduah who has also not responded to charges of certificate fraud. That matter has been on his table for several weeks, and he could not fire her. He does not need any senate or house input to fire his ministers but he wants to do same to CBN boss who is not under his control any longer. With
HE 105-kilometre Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is in the news again, predictably for the wrong reasons. The challenge of rebuilding the major road, which has been dogged by inexcusable delay, may be further complicated by funding issues, following the government’s position that it would provide only N25 billion of its counterpart funds this year, and the balance of N25 billion in 2015. Under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement, the Federal Government is expected to bear 30 per cent of the estimated N167 billion cost of reconstruction, which is about N50 billion. Private investors will bear the remaining 70 per cent of the cost, which is about N117 billion. At the launch of the project in July last year, President Goodluck Jonathan gave a completion period of 48 months, but it remains to be seen whether the contractors, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Reynolds Construction Company Plc, will be able to work according to this schedule. It is a reflection of the hurdles in the path of contract implementation that the government in November 2012 terminated the 25year concession given to Bi-Courtney Limited for the reconstruction and maintenance
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN
Sanusi, does the reader not see the hint of the pharaoh that he forswore in the house of the Lord some time ago? The issue at contention is the leaked letter Sanusi wrote him over $48.9 billion of crude oil sales he alleged was unaccounted for. Sanusi’s letter was a false alarm. He gave a mea culpa for that misleading missive. It was a scandal that a CBN chief did not do his homework before writing such a letter, and it makes one wonder what other miscues happen on his watch. He admitted it was an error and, short of resigning, he apologised. We are compelled to accept his contrition since the senate would not fire him and he would not resign. The job of the vicar of our financial sanctuary should not be subjected to such calculations of errors or errors of calculations. He has a few months at the helm and he should sin no more. But he did the right thing to stand up to the President. Nonetheless, he noted that $12 billion has not been accounted for, but Okonjo-Iweala said it was $10.8 billion. They made it look like it was only $10.8 billion. Newspapers have become addicted to writing in dollars rather than Naira, and sometimes the real sense of the amount is lost on the people. The sum of $10.8 billion is about N2 trillion. That amount of money could have funded the allocation nightmares of last year when the nation could not pay the states their due money. Yet the NNPC says the money went to operational matters. The group managing director, Andrew Yakubu, said most of the money went to subsidy. That is $8.49 billion, and the balance to pipeline repairs and maintenance, crude oil losses and holding the strategic reserve. Is this not a scandal? I thought we were through with such disbursements on subsidy. The scandal is also that the NNPC has such discretion with our oil funds and can decide on its own how much to spend on what without checks. No one saw the President’s alarm over that outrage. Yet, he has not relieved Oduah of her job over the car scandal, and was mute over the N2 billion oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke spent on travels. The President clearly has a good reason to be angry over the leaked letter. However, he received the letter in September but did nothing in spite of its weighty allegations until December when he learnt it leaked. What other grave matters are on the president’s table that we know little about? That is the real challenge of President Jonathan’s encounter with Lamido Sanusi, the most colourful eccentric to head the CBN. The President should know our laws and Sanusi our figures. Neither did either. Sanusi reacted with penitence and Jonathan with impunity.
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Fooling around on expressway of the expressway, alleging failure to adhere to the terms. The 2009 concession to the company was valued at N89.53 billion. Against such bumpy background and government’s reported silence on a fresh concession and new investors, the project’s future appears bleak indeed, despite official claims that the contractors are working according to plan. If any evidence was needed that the government may be living in a fool’s paradise, the statement by the Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Works, Mr. Bisi Agbonhin, provided proof. According to him, “It is evident that road users who plied the road during the 2013 yuletide season enjoyed seamless motoring as there was free flow of traffic due to the reconstruction efforts embarked upon by the construction companies.” No one is fooled by the clearly sugarcoated exaggeration, not to say falsehood. The rosy picture painted by the official is a far cry from reality as experienced by users of the expressway who continue to bemoan not only its deplorable state but also the
hellish feeling it brings. Sadly, the road is symbolic of the country’s progressively decaying infrastructure; and the apparent official tardiness is emblematic of its increasingly aloof government. At this rate, given the consistent disruption of work on the expressway, it will not be much of a surprise if there is yet another counter-productive policy somersault along the way. It is noteworthy that, apart from the LagosIbadan Expressway, there are a good number of similarly neglected road projects across the country, a situation that has worsened the safety rating of the road network, which remains the most used transport infrastructure. The fate of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is unfortunately tied to the lives of people who regularly travel on the road, a reality that the government will do well to appreciate. The administration’s order of priorities, however, remains shamefully unpredictable, especially with the approach of the all-important 2015 general elections and the politicisation of governmental functions to the detriment of socio-economic development.
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