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News Lagosians reclaim their city as soldiers pull out Sport Liverpool considers bid for Osaze Odemwingie Business Alison-Madueke clears air on petrol consumption row

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VOL. 7, NO. 2015 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2012




•TOP: A brother of the suspect, stands beside a bullet-riddled car inside the house of the suspected sect members ... yesterday •Policemen carry defused homemade bombs unto a waiting vans ... yesterday.

•A police bomb disposal expert packs defused home-made bombs made from cans of soft drinks at the bomb disposal unit of the Kano State police command in Kano ... yesterday. PHOTOS: AFP

Guns boom in Kano Police kill suspected Boko Haram sponsor, wife Explosions at police station Victims buried


UNS boomed again in Kano yesterday. Security agents stormed a Boko Haram hideout at Tsamiya Boka in the beleaguered city and engaged the sect members in a gun duel, which lasted for over four hours. The battle raged all night till about 5a.m, residents said. When all went quiet, two suspected “key” Boko Haram members lay dead. A

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

military officer was feared dead. The dead included a man the authorities believed to be a sponsor of the sect, Uzairu Abba Abdullahi, a textile merchant and his wife. Terrified residents described the gunshots they heard as “music of war”. “Let me tell you, from midnight till 5 a.m., we could not sleep. A

neighbour of mine who has high blood pressure collapsed. He was revived this morning,” a resident of Tsammiya Boka, who does not want his name in print, told our correspondent on the telephone. A security source said many members of the sect were arrested. Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Idris merely said “there is reenforcement, and we are on ground”. He advised residents to go

about their normal duties and report any suspicious movement to the police. Residents relieved the fighting. “They came in large numbers. Some of them stayed on the main road while others came in through the alley. They began shooting, and he fired back... This was followed by a barrage of gunfire by the Continued on page 4

Shake-up: Jonathan set to drop Ringim, DIGs •Ringim walking out of the Villa ... yesterday PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

AIG may become Inspector-General of Police






National Conference a must, says Soyinka N

OBEL laureate Prof Wole Soyinka yesterday said Nigeria needs to convoke a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to resolve its problems . Soyinka spoke yesterday in Lagos, at the post-humous birthday of Martin Luther King Jr and the American Civil Rights Movement (ACRM), organised by the Public Affairs Section of the United States (U.S.) Consulate-General in Lagos and the Freedom Park. On Boko Haram, he said, its activities were progressing towards secession because of the way the sect members have been driving people out of some states in the North. Speaking on the theme: Martin Luther King: The quest for Justice, Tolerance and American Civil

By Ozolua Uhakheme and Wale Adepoju

Rights Movement, Soyinka said Nigeria was conceived through fiat. He said the country’s constitution was not established in freedom, hence the need to have a truly Sovereign National Conference that would be comprehensive and allinclusive. “There was a fundamental cheat behind the way the constitution was formulated. It should be established in freedom and not something forced down our throat”, he added. According to the literay giant, the federal system of government in the country was not suitable. Comparing the civil rights movement of the U.S. and Nigeria, he said,

they were not equal but were driving force meant to effect changes in the societies. Soyinka said the march on the streets of Washington DC by King Jr and other activists was similar to the Ojota protests, saying: “Peace and justice are twins but not identical.” The professor said peace was never real without justice, saying certain values were seen as the enemies of peace. He praised King Jr for his non-violence approach to protest, saying it did not mean he was not a combatant but the methodology was different. Soyinka said King Jr demonstrated the power of the mind and will to resist oppressive government.

Bishop urges Fed Govt to overhaul security agencies


ISHOP of the Diocese of Lagos West, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rev. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, yesterday called for an overhaul of the security agencies. Rev. Adebiyi, in a statement, said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Ringim, should be sacked. He said an overhaul of the agencies would help restore the confidence of the people in his government. The statement reads: “In order to demonstrate your political will to carry out the exercise, and as a first step, the time has come for the Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim to be relieved of his duties. This is to allow for a more competent, vibrant and committed officer to take over the mantle of leadership of the Force, as it is becoming very apparent that the Police Force, under the present IGP, can no longer be trusted to adequately protect the life and property of Nigerians. “The carnage that followed the coordinated and multiple attacks by the Boko Haram sect is no doubt, a dangerous reflection of the decay within the nation’s security apparatus itself. “How can a high-profile alleged terrorist arrested by the Police, within 48 hours of his arrest vanish into thin air? How can we believe the story of a purported mob attack on the armed police officers that were detailed to investigate him,

•Seeks Ringim’s sack

Oyo police allay fear on Boko Haram From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


YO State Police Commissioner Mr Moses Onireti yesterday said the fear of Boko Haram members invading the state was unfounded. He spoke with The Nation on telephone. Onireti said: “ I can tell you that there is no Boko Haram in Oyo State. So, let the people go about their business without fear or panic because as I said, there is no Boko Haram in Oyo State. There is no Boko Haram in Oyo state. No Boko Haram in the state.” He assured the people of protection from any form of harm. The police commissioner, who was in Abuja while speaking with this reporter, said the command would not leave any stone unturned to ensure that the existing peace in the state is not tampered with . By Wale Ajetunmobi

without any casualty resulting from either side? “Perhaps, if the alleged terrorist had not escaped, the Kano multiple bomb explosions may not have occurred. How are we sure it was not the same alleged terrorist that coordinated the Kano bombings in order to prove that our security agencies may have been compromised and buttress the point earlier credited to the President, that members of the notorious sect may have infiltrated his government? “In order to avoid the disintegration of the country as a result of recent happenings, there is an urgent need to have a new orientation and constitution that will guarantee the safety of life and continued unity of Nigerians living in all parts of the country. This can only be achieved

by the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference. “Therefore, I wish to passionately appeal to the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to urgently take steps that will instil the confidence of the people in his government. This he can and should do, by appointing very competent, committed and reliable persons, who will exhibit a higher sense of responsibility in the sensitive positions they occupy and towards the onerous duty of state to which they are called. “Those who have let down the people by their ineptitude and obvious lack of understanding of the need of Nigeria at this point in time, should be shown the way out of the government, so that our dear country’s nascent democracy can be fully nurtured to maturity in the no distant future.”

US to modernise security agencies •Fed Govt to counter Boko Haram


NITED States yesterday said it would help boost the capabilities of Nigeria’s security agencies. Its Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Mr. William Fitzgerald, read the communiqué at the end of a two-day Regional Security Cooperation Working Group meeting under the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Abuja yesterday. The meeting discussed the Boko Haram menace extensively. Fitzgerald said: “Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the operational capabilities of the Nigerian security services by identifying avenues that would enable them to respond appropriately to internal security challenges and other threats. “Prominent areas of collaboration may include training, intelligence sharing, modernisation of the secu-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

rity services, logistics and other requirements. “Nigeria and the United States governments resolved to participate in more sustained working level engagement and cooperation on security matters, through the United States Embassy in Abuja, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant security agencies. “Finally, both the Nigerian and US governments agreed to followup on these commitments and seek further collaboration to address the challenges that have been identified during the meeting. “Both countries welcome the involvement of civil society, community-level organisations and other stakeholders in the next meeting of the Regional Security Cooperation Working Group.” The Permanent Secretary in the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martin Uhomoibhi, said: “You do know that government is continuing to exert its efforts locally to deal with these challenges that we face at this time. This is a national responsibility, a responsibility to be discharged by all Nigerians and indeed all residents in the territorial state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” The Federal Government yesterday launched two projects under the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism (I-ACT). The projects, which were initiated by the United Nations Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), UNESCO, INTERPOL, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are aimed at countering terrorism and Information-sharing among law enforcement agencies.

•Residents of the Tsamiyar Boka neighborhood of Kano gathered yesterday outside the house of textile merchant and suspected member of the Boko Haram insurgent group, Uzairu Abba Abdullahi, after he and his wife were shot dead in an overnight raid by military and State Security Service operatives. PHOTO: AFP

• Fitzgerald and Uhomoibhi in Abuja …on Monday

End of Boko Haram is here, says PFN


HE Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) yesterday encouraged Christians living in the North not to despair, saying the end to the activities of the Boko Haram sect is here. Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the fellowship Bishop Taiwo Adelakun made the prediction in a chat with reporters in Ibadan. He said: “God has a purpose for Nigeria. That is why the devil is fighting to scuttle it. But because it is the purpose of God, Satan cannot prevail. The dragon of Boko Haram shall not prevail in our nation. We, in the PFN, are praying for the nation and we shall continue to pray. Let everyone hold his peace and it shall be well with us. “There is an end to this menace. It has come to the climax… Watch out in the next few weeks, they will begin to fight themselves. God will go into their midst to scatter them. None can escape the hand of God. The end has come. It got to the climax in Kano and it has come to an end. “We believe the perpetrators, their collaborators and sponsors have a different agenda. They have deliberately tried to incite Christians against Muslims by their bombings of churches and killings of Christians for it to look like a religious war. They have also tried to incite the South against the North. These are

God will not allow them to succeed in this their evil agenda. We also will not allow them. Our nation cannot survive another civil war. We all must come together to fight this evil of Boko Haram

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

all ploys to hide their real agenda. “God will not allow them to succeed in this evil agenda. We also will not allow them. Our nation cannot survive another civil war. We all must come together to fight this evil of Boko Haram. This is the time for all well-meaning Nigerians to stand up and be counted. This is the time we all need to call on God to heal our land and put to shame and dishonour all the perpetrators, collaborators and sponsors of the orgy of violence and destruction that pervade our nation. “




Should the world rescue Nigeria from the brink ?


•Police officers entering the house of Abdullahi ,...yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

•Debris remain on the ground outside a destroyed corner shop attached to the Bompai police barracks in Kano...yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Editors condole with Channels over slain reporter



HE Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) yesterday visited Channels Television headquarters in Lagos to condole with the management on the death of its reporter, Mr Enenche Akogwu.

Akogwu was killed on January 20 in Kano when the Boko Haram sect attacked and bombed security agencies in the city. Mr Gbenga Adefaye, the President of NGE, said the visit was to support and leverage the morale of the staff of the organisation, particularly journalists. Adefaye said that while all professional journalists mourned with Channels, Akogwu’s loss should be seen as an added impetus to perform without fear or favour. Mr Steve Judo, General Manager, Special Duties at Channels TV, who welcomed the team, described the late Akogwu as the pillar of the organisation’s operations in the northern part of the country.

He said the late reporter’s dedication, resourcefulness and quality contributions “made Channels authoritative in domestic and international news’’. NAN reports that late Akogwu, who hailed from Aiodio in Benue, would be buried next week. Others on the NGE delegation were the Managing Director of National Mirror, Mr Steve Ayorinde and the Deputy Managing Director of The Sun, Mr Femi Adesina. Mrs Ibironke Atolagbe, an Assistant Director, Voice of Nigeria; and the General Secretary of the Guild, Mr Isaac Ighure, a Director with the News Agency of Nigeria, were also in the delegation.

Bombings: NIREC calls for thorough investigation


HE Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) yesterday urged the Federal Government to conduct a thorough investigation into the spate of bombings in the North. Its Executive Secretary, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, said a thorough investigation and coordinated security measures would reassure all citizens of basic protection by the government. In the statement entitled: “This ungodly act must stop’’, NIREC condemned the attacks and urged any aggrieved group to embrace dialogue.

The statement reads: “It is with heavy hearts that we once again call on perpetrators of the bombings in Nigeria to put a halt to the incalculable damage being done to religion in general (Islam in particular), Nigeria and civilisation by the dastardly act. “The only efficient and effective process of resolving any perceived or real conflict or addressing any grievance is dialogue.’’ The Council sympathised with all peace-loving Nigerians and the victims in particular, and appealed to government to ensure adequate security for the citizenry.

HIS month, the BBC asked in a trenchant report, “Is Nigeria on the brink?” It’s a question that, in my 12 years of Nigeriawatching, I’ve heard international observers ask about Nigeria many times. Is this latest episode the endgame, the opening act of the collapse of Africa’s most populous nationstate — and the largest supplier of African oil to the United States? It may be, but it’s not too late for Nigerians and world leaders to bring about an overdue solution for this long-troubled country. Originally three separate regions that British colonialists united into one untenable country, Nigeria’s best solution for its past and present crises might be to split back up. The bombings and killings this weekend in Kano, a city that for centuries has anchored the Islamic commercial community in northern Nigerian, are only latest sign of severe crisis. Nearly every week brings fresh instances of the failure of Nigeria as a nation-state. The deadly Christmas Day bombing in a Catholic church in Abuja, which killed at least 37 people, was again in the news this past week because the government admitted that the alleged mastermind of the attack had escaped from custody. The escape ignited new complaints about the incompetence of Nigeria’s police — as well as fears that Boko Haram or other opponents of the government had infiltrated the police leadership. The escape forced President Gooluck Jonathan to threaten to fire his national police chief — and brought renewed attention to his failing presidency. Jonathan was re-elected last year over the opposition of much of the country’s Muslim community, which comprises an estimated half of Nigeria’s population and felt it was the “turn” of a Muslim to hold the presidency. It is possible that some of Nigeria’s deterioration reflects defiance by Muslims who do not favor extremism but feel the grand bargain of Nigerian history — the trading back and forth between Muslim and Christian presidents — has been broken. Jonathan has also hurt himself, especially by agreeing to raise prices on gasoline, which ignited nationwide protests. Only days after the government reversed its decision came the violence in Kano, and another crisis. That the Muslim extremist group, Boko Haram immediately claimed responsibility for the Kano carnage heightened the sense of impending doom in Nigeria. The current U.S. policy posture of non-involvement seems less and less credible. Nigeria is too large, and too economically important to the U.S., for the Obama administration to essentially play the innocent bystander. The U.S. must act. The question is how? The Obama administration’s repeated insistence — made rhetorically by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and U.S. ambassador Terence P. McCulley - is that Nigerian government must address socio-economic deprivation and the severe wealth inequality among its people. This is surely fair advice but ignores the urgent need for an international plan to hold Nigeria together against the forces of disorder. The question of Nigeria’s future is no academic parlor game. The potential violence to the people of Nigeria is now unacceptably high. Worse, the entire West African sub-region, the most densely populated area south of the Sahara, could be dragged down by any implosion of Nigeria. The need for a new approach to Nigeria is long in coming. As long ago as July 2000, when I met the astute Nigeria-watcher, Karl Maier, in London, I was struck by the imagery of Nigeria on the brink, poised to

VIEW FROM ABROAD By Pascal Zachary

collapse into unimaginable disorder. In July, Maier published his consequential snapshot of Nigeria, This House Has Fallen, which chronicled the disorder, the corruption, the rising religious and ethnic tensions and the squandered wealthy that continues to bedeveil this country of 160 million people. Without intervention — without sanity — Maier foresaw a doomed Nigeria, a wounded giant in inexorable collapse. No, 12 years later, Nigeria’s condition looks unchanged or worse. Outside observers, even of Nigerian descent, will tell you from the safety of London or Toronto or San Francisco that their country of origin has been on the brink before. Perhaps as a result, there’s a distinct sense of complacency among them. My wife, who hails from the oil-center of Port Harcourt, has seen Nigeria muddle through before. She and others say that Nigeria is forever on the brink; it’s a kind of regular, normal reality. To these diaspora Nigerians, the country is perpetually running out of time, but the country’s elite seem to do little beyond planning for the short term when the long term could bring disaster. And because morning still comes, some of the most respected Nigerians in the diaspora counsel patience. Possibly the greatest living Nigerian artist, the eminent Chinua Achebe, author of the best-selling novel of all time by an African, Things Fall Apart, is so imbued with a sense of Nigeria’s manifest destiny that, writing one year ago in The New York Times, he envisioned a “Nigerian solution” emerging over decades through a slow fitful movement towards stronger democratic institutions. In the end of this lengthy process, he predicts, corruption will retreat and a new kind of African democrat, “humbled by the trust placed on him by the people, will emerge, wiling to use the power given to him for the good of the people.” Achebe is a great story-teller; his predictions from January 2011 amount to a fairytale, sadly. Nigeria, as we now know it, is nearly out of time. The scenario Achebe so eloquently presents was the same scenario presented 50 years ago by the Nigerian independence leaders and British bureaucrats who created the country. All agreed to what seemed like a convenient fiction -- that Nigerians needed to nurture and strengthen democratic processes. Now a halfcentury cannot be replayed and, besides, the game was a con. The deep underlying differences between different ethnic groups, religious groups, and geographic groups within the country are not subject to being "democratized" away by formal processes conceived by the British and delivered by a Nigerian elite that was birthed, bought, and sold by the colonial process. Today, the two-minute football drill is the only way of playing game that Nigeria's elite has ever known. The U.S. must call time-out and bring a diverse array of Nigeria's leaders - including the marginalised Muslim northerners and the militant evangelical Christians of the oil-rich south -to a meeting room. Bring them to an international conference, chaired by the U.S., and ask them to think in a new way. Not to settle differences in a hurry, but to explore, document, and address underlying divisions that cannot be argued away by soaring rhetoric but instead reflect enduring, undeniable, and legitimate conflicts of interest among parties to Nigeria's many conflicts. -Culled from The Atlantic



NEWS US, Nigeria Commission meets

Kano police go after Boko Haram suspects Continued from page 1

security men,” a neighbour, Mohammed Maikubi Bala said. Empty bullet shells lay strewn in a pool of blood just a few steps into the house. A man described as the killed suspect’s cousin squatted near the blood. Outside, a woman said to be his aunt was sobbing. “I was called and told that my brother and his wife had been shot. He was a simple man known to be peaceful and as far as I know, he has never been questioned by the security over any links with Boko Haram,” said cousin Shehu Idris. A car in the driveway was riddled with bullets and its windshield smashed.

Relatives and a crowd of curious neighbours mingled outside before police came to search the house. Explosions were heard, but it was not clear where the sound emanated from, although a resident suggested there was use of heavy machine guns during the raid. “Everybody in the neighbourhood was in fear. We couldn’t sleep,” said a man who lives a few houses away. Residents had feared the city was under fresh attacks, just days after co-ordinated gun-and-bomb attacks on Friday killed 185 people, more than two dozen of them policemen, in Boko Haram’s deadliest ever operation. Boko Haram has killed no

fewer than 935 people since it launched an uprising in 2009. The figure includes more than 250 this month alone, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful”, is loosely modelled on Afghanistan’s Taliban. It has claimed responsibility for bombing churches, police stations, military facilities, banks and beer parlours in the north. The sect focuses its attacks mostly on the police, military and government, but has increased its attacks on Christian institutions. It says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.

•HRW condemns Boko Haram


•Police Commissioner Idris speaking ... yesterday.

•Abdullahi’s aunt mourning him ... yesterday PHOTOS: AFP

Lagosians hail withdrawal of soldiers from streets


AGOSIANS reclaimed their city yesterday without a fight. Gone were soldiers deployed by the Federal Government to smash the popular anti-fuel subsidy removal protest. They stole out of the metropolis the way they came in early January 16. Lagosians woke up on that day to find military men on the streets following labour’s suspension of the national strike against petrol subsidy removal and termination of

By Miriam Ndikanwu and Adebisi Onanuga

street protests. Lagosians were united in their rejection of the troops’ presence in the city. Governor Babatunde Fashola, in a broadcast called for the withdrawal of the troops. He followed up with a letter to the President to press home the request. Elder statesmen – Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Dr Tunji Braithwaite, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu – among others marched on the

streets in protest. They were tear-gassed by policemen. The troops were no longer at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park. All the military trucks, pick up vans and three armoured tanks deployed at the Freedom Park, scene of the protests, and on Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, had been removed. Soldiers have vacated the popular Ikorodu Oga Roundabout at Garage bus stop, Gbagada and Oshodi. However, the police are still

mounting guard at the Fawehinmi Park and at other locations within Lagos and on the outskirts of the city. A driver at the motor park near the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park told our reporters that he saw the military vehicles and the personnel moving away from the Park towards Maryland early yesterday. Troops were no longer at Agege, Falomo, Agboju, Ijora, Costain and Ojuelegba. Residents hailed the withdrawal of the troops. They

said that their continuous presence was fast becoming an embarrassment to the nation in the wake of serious security threats in Northern Nigeria. “See what happened in Kano on Friday; we lost about 200 innocent Nigerians, and here you had soldiers who looked poised for war, sleeping all day. If they were deployed in Kano, we couldn’t have had that kind of devastating incident. Lagos is peaceful and will always remain peaceful. They would be more useful in the North”.

Jonathan set to drop IG Ringim, DIGs


HE President seemed set yesterday to tell police chief Hafiz Ringim: time is up. Baring a last-minute change of mind, Dr Goodluck Jonathan will ask InspectorGeneral Hafiz Ringim and all the Deputy Inspectors-General of Police to go. An Assistant InspectorGeneral of Police is likely to stop into Ringim’s shoes. He is also from the North. The President is said to have planned the overhaul of the Police management to address the increasing insecurity in the country. It was learnt that the President may have confided in Ringim yesterday his plan to ask him to proceed on retirement with his colleagues. The police chief is believed to be due for retirement in about two months. He was at the Presidential Villa yesterday, but he was

From Yusuf Alli and Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

not his usually boisterous self. Ringim avoided reporters, pleading that he would brief them later. The DIGs, who may retire with Ringim, are: Mrs. Ivy Okoronkwo, Second in Command (2i/c); Mr. Azubuko Udah DIG “A” (Administration); Audu Abubakar DIG “B” Operations; Saleh Abubakar DIG “C” (Logistics and Supply); Alhaji Sardauna Abubakar DIG “E” (Training); and Mohammed Yesufu DIG “F” (Management Services). A source, who pleaded not to be named, said: “The government has opted for a breath of fresh air in the police by asking the police management to step aside. A new IGP is due to take over from Ringim.

“The government is looking beyond the DIGs because they were part of Ringim’s team that did not achieve much in policing the country. They have all reached their limit. “To avoid ethnic insinuations, the new IGP, who is a tested hand, has also been picked from the North. He has a mandate to address the Boko Harm menace. “So far, the AIG has undergone security checks ahead of the formal disengagement of Ringim by the Presidency.” The source added that the need to cleanse the police informed the President’s cancellation of his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos. But a Presidency source said Dr Jonathan will be at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa from January 28 to 30. Responding to a question, another source said the new

IGP’s appointment will be in acting capacity, until the President convenes a session of the Nigeria Police Council and the National Council of State. Sections 27 and 28 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution states: “The Nigeria Police Council shall comprise the following members: (a) the President who shall be the Chairman; (b) the Governor of each state of the Federation; (c) the Chairman of the Police Service Commission; and (d) the InspectorGeneral of Police. “The functions of the Nigeria Police Council shall include (a) the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force and all other matters relating thereto (not being matters relating to the use and operational control of the Force or the appointment, disciplinary control and dismissal of members of the Force) (b) the general supervision of the Nigeria Police Force; and (c) advising the President on the appointment of the InspectorGeneral of Police.” In the past six months, Ringim has been engrossed in a game of survival, with calls for the government to fire him. But his fate became clearer, with the escape of a Boko Haram suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, from police custody. The suspect was alleged to be one of the masterminds of the

Mass burial for victims •Dr Jonathan

Christmas Day bombings in Madalla, Niger State in which 44 people died. Besides the suspension of a Police Commissioner, Zakari Biu, the IGP was also queried by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade. A source said: “The IGP lost whatever goodwill he has been enjoying. He has to proceed on retirement before his exit date.” The IG is facing a panel set up by National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi to look into his response to the query issued him following Sokoto’s dramatic escape. NSA’s panel is expected to submit its report on the IG’s response to the query on Friday. Ringim, who was at the Villa for the first time since Sokoto’s escape, told reporters: “Please, please, not now. I will brief you later.”


•Vice Consul, U.S. Consulate, Mr Chris Richardson (middle); Public Diplomacy Officer, Mr Peter Piness and Prof. Wole Soyinka at the Martin Luther King Day in Lagos ... yesterday PHOTO: NAN

HE United StatesNigeria binational security commission met on Tuesday. Discussions included the latest Boko Haram attacks and finding ways to stem the violence, diplomatic sources said. The commission usually meets at least once a year. “Boko Haram’s attacks show a complete and utter disregard for human life,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Nigerian authorities need to call a halt to this campaign of terror and bring to justice those responsible for planning and carrying out these reprehensible crimes.” The report said 550 people were killed in 115 attacks by Boko Haram last year, mostly in the far northeastern state of Borno, where the sect was founded in 2002. Boko Haram has moved from drive-by shootings and petrol bombs to suicide attacks, using large and increasingly sophisticated explosives. A suicide car bomb last year killed 25 people at the United Nations headquarters in the capital Abuja. In July 2009, the sect launched an uprising in the northeast in which more than 800 people were killed in five days of fighting with security forces. The sect originally said it wanted sharia (Islamic law) to be applied more widely across Nigeria.

Re: 185 soldiers arrested My attention has been drawn to your lead story of Tuesday 24th January, 2010 where I was quoted to have confirmed the arrest of “185 suspects by the police” regarding the Kano crisis of Friday 20th. This is not correct as I didn’t talk or give any figure of arrests. In fact, how could I have done so when I work only for the Executive Governor and not in anyway in a position to speak for the police? That figure I gave was of those that lost their lives as given in a press release by the Kano State Commissioner of Police which he personally signed. – Baba Dantiye, Director of Communication and Public Relations, to the Kano State Governor


NIDENTIFIED bodies of victims of last Friday’s bomb blast in Kano, were yesterday given mass burial. Paramedics at Murtala Muhammed Hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said over 50 decomposing bodies were buried yesterday in Kalebewa village along Dambatta Way. It was learnt that the state government may have provided land for the burial. Hospital authorities are keeping mute about the development.

Explosions at police station


ARGE explosions were heard last night at the Shaka Police station in the metropolis. Details of the explosions, the casualty figure and how they were carried out, were sketchy at press time. The explosions occurred around 7.30 pm. The explosions believed to have been carried out by members of the Boko Haram sect completely destroyed the police station, it was gathered. The Police station had been a target of the sect. It was the place where vehicles laden with explosives were found on Monday.

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NEWS Group, ACN, PDP quarrel over Kwara’s N10b loan From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


SOCIO-cultural group, Orisun Igbomina, as well as the Kwara State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have disagreed on the approval granted the government to secure N10billion loan for some ongoing projects. The House of Assembly had, last week, approved the request of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to take the facility from Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc. But ACN state Chairman Kayode Olawepo dismissed the exercise as dubious and sheer profligacy. He said: “We wish to dismiss as dubious, sheer profligacy and mindless disrespect for the Kwara public, the decision of the illegitimate Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the state to borrow N10billion to sponsor some phoney developmental projects. “The hurried manner with which the PDP-dominated House of Assembly approved the request, without any thorough debate or committee works, raises many questions.” In a statement yesterday, President of Orisun Igbomina, Chief Gbenga Awoyale, urged Kwara residents to disregard the ACN’s position on the matter. Awoyale wondered why any resident, who desires the growth and development of the state, would condemn the government for borrowing money to finance projects. He said: “The state government, among other things, needs money to put in place the satellite campuses of the state’s University (KWASU) in Osi (Kwara South), and Baruten (Kwara North). “Besides, the government followed due process in obtaining the loan. It is on record that Governor Ahmed sought the approval of the House of Assembly and got it before obtaining the loan.” Awoyale urged the opposition to stop politicising issues affecting the development of the state and government policies for improving the living conditions of the people. He added: “If opposition members are truly interested in the well-being of Kwarans, they should stop politicising issues geared towards attracting investments to the state. Rather, they should help the government in achieving its lofty developmental programmes through constructive criticisms.”

Army Chief to Fed Govt: don’t negotiate with Boko Haram


HE Federal Government must not negotiate with the Boko Haram sect to end the spate of bombings in the country, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has warned. The Army Chief noted that dialogue cannot be an effective antidote to the terrorism the sect has unleashed on the nation. Ihejirika spoke yesterday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of this year’s second seminar on national security with the theme: Nation Building and National Orientation, Imperatives for National Security. The seminar was organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College in collaboration with the National Defence College (NDC). Dismissing calls by some segments of the public for dialogue with the sect, the Army Chief berated those

He urged them •Top officers for questioning expectations. to focus attention on nationFrom Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

who may want to justify the violent activities of the sect. “No matter and whatever the measure you put in place, we will not get the best result through negotiation, unless the society as a whole rejects terrorism without any justification. “Those who try to justify acts of terrorism market it and fuel the terrorists. They do this only to discover later that terrorism is not a matter to negotiate and win,” he said. President of the association, Rear Admiral Amos Adedeji (rtd.), identified the neglect of the socio-economic matters in favour of political grandstanding by the political class. This, he said, is the problem with the polity.

According to him, the neglect has become a threat to national security, manifesting in ethnic and religious upheavals with the attendant problems. He urged the nation’s leaders to address the problems with sincerity. Adedeji accused the political elite of employing divide-and-rule tactics to deny the people their inalienable rights. He warned that the nation would not record any progress, if the trend continues. The leadership, he said, should not conduct the affairs of the nation in a way that promotes lopsidedness in the polity. Referring to the recent nationwide protests against the withdrawal of petrol subsidy, Adedeji warned the ruling class against depriving the people of their social

building. A former Commandant of the Defence College, General Chris Garuba, called for a national conference, where all stakeholders would be free to proffer solutions to the problems confronting the nation. Garuba faulted the arguments in certain quarters that such a conference could lead to the break-up of the country. According to him, a plural society with diverse ethnic and religious compositions, such as Nigeria, cannot do without periodical national conference. He called for a review of the Constitution to expunge or amend some sections that promote disunity and other related problems. Garuba advised the leadership against narrowing down the internal security of the country to a military affair.


PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will be honoured at this year’s edition of Samuel Ladoke Akintola memorial annual lecture. Others are: Senate President David Mark and House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal. The lecture, for remembering the late Premier of Western Region, will hold on January 28 at the home of the late politician at OkeAdo, Ogbomoso, Oyo State. A statement by the chairman of the lecture committee, Elder Yemi Adedokun, said the lecture is part of activities to celebrate the late nationalist. It said: “The memorial lecture is part of activities lined up to celebrate the late nationalist and former Premier of the defunct Western Region, who fought ceaselessly for the independence, unity and corporate existence of Nigeria. Ladoke Akintola moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence on March 26, 1957, and also served as minister of the federal republic.”

ANPP Sokoto office vandalised not razed, says Bolanta •Party spokesman: Three offices burnt From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

•From left: Austin Aipoh, Zonal Commander, RS7, Abuja; Bisi Kazeem, Deputy Corps Public Education Officer; Kehinde Adeleye, Head of Section, Manpower Development; Kayode Fanola, Corps Secretary, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), at this year’s certification of fleet operators in Lagos...yesterday.

Supreme Court fixes Feb 17 for ruling on Borno governorship suit


HE Supreme Court has adjourned ruling till February 17 in an appeal filed by Borno State Governor Shettima Kashim challenging the Court of Appeal’s order for a retrial of a petition against his election. Alhaji Mohammed Goni, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the April election, had filed a petition challenging the victory of Kashim of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Justice Walters Ononghen,

who led five other Justices, gave the date for the ruling after the parties had submitted their written addresses. Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), counsel to Kashim, had argued that the apex court would be doing the public justice if the decision of the Borno State Election Petitions Tribunal of November 12, last year, was upheld. Izinyon submitted that Goni’s petition was dismissed because the tribunal

agreed with the governor’s objection on violation of the Electoral Act, as the petitioner was penalised for filing the pre-hearing notice out of time. “My Lords, law is about technicalities, adherence to rules and the court’s practice direction. The petitioner violated the Electoral Act, which is the guideline for adjudication on all election matters; he simply has not sought equity with clean

hands,” he said. Mr Tayo Oyetibu (SAN), counsel to Goni, urged the court to uphold the decision of the appellate court on the matter, saying the tribunal denied his client fair hearing which led to a miscarriage of justice. “The decision of the Court of Appeal should be allowed to stand because the substantive issues captured in the petition were not heard at all. This appeal is baseless, and it is an attempt by the governor to stampede justice,” Oyetibu said.

Fed Govt, Plateau, others sued over Sallah mayhem in Jos

HE Federal High Court in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday mentioned the suit filed by Saidu Idris Malwa and 127 others against the Federal Government, Plateau State Government and 12 others, over the alleged attack on Muslim worshippers at the Rukuba Road praying ground on August 29, last year. The plaintiffs are accusing

Jonathan, Mark, Tambuwal to be honoured

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

the Federal Government and its security agencies of negligence of duty and inaction, which allegedly resulted in the death of some worshippers as well as the destruction of their property. The defendants are: the Federal Government, the Nigeria Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Nigeria Police,

the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General of the federation and Minister for Justice as well as the Plateau State Government. Others are: Plateau State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, former Commander of the Special Task Force (STF), Major General Hassan Umar, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC), among others.

The lead counsel to the plaintiffs, Hassan Liman, urged the court to declare that the defendants’ negligence and inaction were responsible for the death of some worshippers and the destruction of their property. The plaintiffs asked for general damages of N50 billion to the victims and N50 million to each of the victims. A. B. James and A. A. Ego,

counsel to the accused, confirmed receiving notice of the suit, saying they were ready for the hearing. Justice Ambrose Alagoa, Chief Justice adjourned hearing till March 8. He warned the counsel over application for extension of time, saying it is against his policy to extend cases unnecessarily because of the excuses by the counsel.

THE Sokoto State secretariat of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) was on Monday torched by suspected thugs from the opposition party. Documents and valuables were said to have been burnt in the inferno. Though no one died in the fire, it was learnt that many people were injured in the clash that followed the incident. An eyewitness said the fire occurred at 6.30pm. Passersby reportedly raised the alarm that attracted the residents. The fire reportedly destroyed three offices. But Police Commissioner Baba Adisa Bolanta told reporters yesterday that some youths from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vandalised the office. He said: “The office was not set on fire but vandalised by some PDP youths, and we have made some arrests.” According to him, investigation is still ongoing. “We will, at the end of the investigation, prosecute them in court,” Bolanta said. The police chief confirmed a similar incident in Kebbe, South of the state capital, saying the command quelled a political clash between two opposing groups in the area. “Both incidents, at the ANPP office and that of Kebbe, left some victims with several degrees of injury,” he said. ANPP spokesman Alhaji Saidu Gumburawa dismissed Bolanta’s statement, saying three offices were burnt. He added: “These series of intimidation will not deter our efforts but will only strength us towards actualising our cause to regain power from the government of the day.”



NEWS Appeal Court order Makarfi inaugurated as senator Fron Tony Akowe, Kaduna


HE Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna yesterday ordered the swearing-in of formeer Kaduna State Governor Ahmed Makarfi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the senator representing the Senatorial district at the National Assembly. The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal on November 14, 2011, nullified the election of Yusuf Datti Baba Ahmed of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) as the senator representing the district and declared Makarfi as duly elected. Justice Amina Augie said in a 22-minute judgment, which ended at 7.33 pm last night that by the provisions of the constitution which stipulates a period of 60 days for the filing of an appeal, the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the appeal. Justice Augie said Section 285, sub-section 7 of the 1999 Constitution stipulates the time frame of 60 days for the hearing of an appeal from election tribunal to be filed before the Appeal Court. He said even if the court decides to hear the appeal, there was no appeal before the court regarding the judgment of the lower tribunal. According to her, “What is before the court as we speak are applications for extension of time to file the appeal proper and application to regularise the appellant’s appeal before the court. We can only say the court has an appeal before it when there is an application for appeal and record of proceedings of the previous judgment”. Counsel to the CPC senator, Abbas Ibrahim, had told the Court that the 60 days stipulated by the copnstitution ought to have lapsed on January 12, adding that in view of the nationwide strike and the 24 -hour curfew imposed on Kaduna state during the fuel subsidy protest, the court has the jurisdiction to hear the appeal. “If the court looked critically at the provision of section 285; 7 with the aim of ensuring justice, not merely looking at it technically, the court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal”, he said. Counsel to Makarfi, Yunus Usta Usman (SAN), said the appellant has himself to blame for the delay in filing the appeal considering his failure to file the appeal before the court within the stipulated period of 60 days. He noted that the provision of Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution was that “irrespective of the prevailing circumstances, as far as the 60 days has lapsed, the Court of Appeal no longer has jurisdiction to hear the appeal”.


Yobe proposes N77.55b OBE State Governor appropriation Ibrahim Gaidam

yesterday presented this year’s appropriation bill of N77,550,000,000 to the House of Assembly. The figure represents an increase of N8,286,000,000, or 11 per cent, over last year’s appropriation. The governor said N31,148,951,000 is for recurrent expenditure and the remaining N46,401,049,000 for capital expenditure, representing 40.2per cent and 59.8per cent of the proposal. According to the governor, the proposal, tagged: Budget of Focused Soci-Economic

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

Transformation, “seeks to meet the expectations of our people as well as ensuring concretisation of the numerous efforts in all sectors of our state economy”. He added: “In short, it is a budget that will further sustain the tempo of delivery of better services to our people thereby giving focus to the revitalization of economic activities. It is aimed at ongoing projects and ushering in the commencement of new ones…” Gaidam said.

Bauchi NDLEA arrests two suspected drug traffickers •Seizes 70kg of Indian hemp from suspects From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi


HE Bauchi State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it has seized 70kilogramme of Indian hemp from two suspected drug traffickers, Imrana Shuaibu and Mohammed Jibrin. Parading the suspects yesterday at the command’s headquarters in Bauchi, its Commandant Sule Mamadu said: “Based on a tip-off, the command intercepted a bunker carrying 70kilogrammes of Indian hemp from Gwagwalada in Abuja to Bauchi State.” The NDLEA commandant said the two drug dealers were arrested when their Vehicle broke down at one of the check points set up by the command along Zaranda road in Bauchi. He said: “Thirteen bags if Indian hemp were neatly concealed in the Bunka vehicle and the vehicle was constructed in such a way that it is extremely difficult for one to notice immediately that they are Indian hemp in the vehicle. There was no indication at all that something was hidden in the vehicle, but due to the command’s years of experience and from intelligence gathering on the job, we were able to detect the hidden Indian hemp”. He added that the suspects were taking the consignment to a notorious drug baron, who has a network of drug traffickers in the state. Restating the commitment of the command to curtailing the menace of illicit drug trafficking, Mamadu urged the House of Assembly to expedite action on the passage on the bill of drug abuse. He added that its failure to do so would aggravate illicit drug abuse.

• Members of the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development: Senators Aisha Alhasan (left); Kabir Gaya (second left); and Vice-Chairman Gbenga Ashafa, when they visited the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Dwevelopment in Abuja...yesterday

Madalla bombing: Church holds mass burial for 20 victims February 1


BOUT 20 victims of the Christmas Day bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, will be given mass burial at the church premises on February 1. A representative of the Pope may attend the burial. But the Catholic Priest in charge of the church, Rev. Isaac Achi, yesterday said most parishioners were unhappy about the escape of the alleged mastermind of the church bombing, Kabiru Sokoto, from the police. Achi, who spoke exclusively with our correspondent, said the church chose its premises for the burial because the 20 victims were killed there. According to him, of the 44 parishioners and unidentified persons who died in

•Protests Sokoto’s escape From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

the Christmas Day explosions, 26 were members of the church. He said: “We lost 26 parishioners, but six bodies have been claimed by their relations based on family request. So, we are set for the mass burial of 20 victims on Wednesday, February 1. “We do not know if more families will come to claim the remains of some of these martyrs, but we know we are working on 20. We have decided to bury them within the church compound because that was where they were killed. “All the security agencies have been duly informed. The police have given assur-

ance that they will give us adequate coverage for a hitch-free mass burial.” Responding to a question, Achi said: “I think a representative of the Pope may attend the burial, but the Catholic Bishop will be in a better position to talk on that.” On the escape of Sokoto, the priest said: “Definitely, most parishioners are not happy with this development. It is an unfortunate development. I think that is a lax from the Nigeria Police. They are not representing us well. “Our security agencies, especially the police, should rise up to the challenge. They are to fight crime and not to condone it. If you have a criminal of that calibre, they should not have

allowed him to escape. “Even though we said we have forgiven those behind the bombing, our members are disturbed by the escape of Sokoto. The police cannot just wake up and tell 160 million Nigerians or over seven billion people in the world that a suspected bomber had escaped from their custody. “It means we are not safe; it means there are dangers ahead. We are worried because not up to four days after the escape of Sokoto, there were multiple bombings in Kano. “The escape of the suspect does not speak well of us. We stand condemned in the comity of nations. We will still encourage Mr. President to continue to do his best to provide security for all Nigerians, whatever is the cost.”

Alleged forgery: ANPP candidate testifies against Suswam at Benue tribunal


HOSE who stormed the venue of the Benue State Governorship Election Tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, the state capital, with the hope of seeing Governor Gabriel Suswam’s alleged forged West African Examinations Council (WAEC) result were disappointed yesterday. The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate, Prof Daniel Saror, did not present it in his evidence-in-chief before the tribunal. Saror testified and tendered some documents to support his petition challenging the election of Suswam on the ground of nonqualification. The former senator, representing Benue North East, told the tribunal that he knew about Suswam’s alleged forgery through the public domain and a case pending against him before a Federal High Court in Abuja by Chigozie Okpabio. The ANPP candidate tendered four documents: the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form EC8; Power Sterling magazine of February 9, 2010; a copy of National Life of February 1, 2011; and records of the proceedings from a Federal High Court, Abuja. They were admitted and

marked as exhibit A, B, C and D. Donald Dewingwe (SAN) cross-examined Saror on behalf of Suswam’s legal team. Counsel: Do you know the suit for which you tendered documents here is still pending? Saror; Yes, it is still pending. Counsel: Do you know the papers and magazine are what the National Library received from publishers? Saror: I believe so. Counsel: Look at the INEC Form EC8. Is there any forged certificate? Saror: There is no certificate. That’s why I asked WAEC to produce the certificate but it refused. Counsel: Does Chigozie Okpabio exist? Saror: I don’t know. I only heard about him and I don’t know his whereabouts. Counsel: The only basis of your petition, which you said

Suswam did not qualify, is that he presented a forged certificate? Saror: That is the substance of my petition. Counsel: Were you present when Suswam submitted his form and presented the ‘forged certificate’? Saror: No, I was not. Counsel: You were told he presented a forged certificate? Saror: I got the information in the public domain. Counsel: Which public domain? Saror: Newspapers and magazine are public domains. Counsel: The facts are not true. Saror: They are true. Counsel: You are not entitled to any relief in this petition. Saror: It is left for the tribunal to decide; not me. (Tribunal members burst into laugh-

ter). The second respondent in the petition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), brought its witness, Bem Dzoho, the party’s Secretary in the state. He told the tribunal that Suswam did not submit his certificate because INEC, the third respondent, did not demand for it. Dzoho, who filed his reply with the witness’ statement on oath (which was disposed to before the Commissioner for Oaths) told the tribunal that he processed all the necessary documents of the governor. According to him, everything was in order when they were submitted and that he did not know about the alleged forged certificate. The petitioner and the respondents closed their case yesterday. The tribunal fixed February 9 for the adoption of addresses.

Plateau council chiefs call for sustainable peace


HE newly sworn-in management committee chairmen of the 17 local government areas of Plateau State have urged the residents to sustain the relative peace now prevalent in the state. They reminded the people that unstable political environment threatens meaningful growth and development. The council chiefs spoke in their local governments’ headquarters during the inauguration of management committee members

From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos

who will assist the chairmen in the administration of the councils until a local government election is conducted later in the year. The Jos South Local Government Area Chairman Peter Dung urged the residents to allow peace to reign. He urged traditional and community leaders to be vigilant and report suspicious movements to security agencies.




Ogun takes ex-CJ before panel over property T

HE Ogun State Government has taken a former Chief Judge, Justice Oluremi Jacobs (rtd.), before the Lands Judicial Commission of Enquiry, sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital for allegedly buying the official resi-

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

dence of the State’s Chief Judge illegally. The government petitioned the five-man panel, headed by Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, claiming that the Chief Judge’s Residence at 15, Oba Ademola road, Ibara Govern-

OSPOLY begins session

ment Reserved Area (GRA), Abeokuta, is the property of the Judiciary. The government alleged that the property was illegally sold to Justice Jacobs by the Federal Controller of Lands and Housing in Ogun State, Mr. M. Folayan. The petitioner urged the commis-

sion to set aside the purported sale, lease or allocation of the property to Justice Jacobs. When the petition came up for hearing yesterday, counsel to the Lands Commission, Mr. James Omotosho, objected to the case being heard by the panel on the grounds that there is a pending case

before Justice Phillip Onomade of the State High Court in respect of the property. Omotosho tendered exhibits and copies of the subsisting suit. Justice Akinyemi directed that copies of the suit be served on all parties and adjourned the case till Friday.

Lagos, Ogun meet to resolve boundary issues

THE Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, has commenced its 2011/2012 academic session. In a statement, the institution’s spokesman, Mr. Tope Abiola, said students’ registration would close on February 3. Abiola said: “Any student who refuses to resume and pay the necessary fees by February 3 may forfeit the admission, as lectures will begin on February 6.” New students are expected to report at the Academic Affairs Unit of the institution for further briefing. HND II and ND II students, who are not on the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), are to resume on Monday, January 30.

Lagos may shut Mile 12 market By Miriam Ndikanwu

THE Lagos State Government may shut the ever-busy Mile 12 market, if its leaders fail to stop traders from obstructing traffic flow on Ikorodu Road. The General Manager of the State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Babatunde Edu, and the Chairman of the State Task force on Environmental and Other Special Offences, Supol Bayo Sulaiman, visited the market yesterday and issued a warning notice to the traders. Edu said the market would be shut if the traders continue to constitute nuisance on the road. He lamented that vehicles loaded with perishable goods are always carelessly packed around the market, making movement difficult for other road users. Sulaiman decried the activities of some traders, who sell on the road. He said: “This is the last warning for those selling ois warning, we shall begin enforcement.” The General Secretary, Perishable Food Association, Abdul Muhammed, said the association will comply with the directives of the government.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola presenting the Support our Schools Corporate Responsibility Award to the representative of Chief Rasaq Okoya, Abimbola Okoya (left), during the Support our Schools Corporate Social Responsibility Awards / Breakfast Meeting at the Event Centre, Central Business District (CBD) , Alausa, Ikeja, ...yesterday. With them is the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinkan Oladujoye.

Lawmaker, party chieftain dump Ondo LP


HE member representing Akure North/South Constituency at the House of Representatives, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, yesterday dumped the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). This is coming barely a month after another federal lawmaker, Senator Ajayi Boroffice representing Ondo North District, quit the LP. The LP Vice-Chairman in Akure South Local Government, Chief Bankole Ajayi, also dumped the party yesterday. Abegunde’s resignation letter to the LP chairman of Ward Nine, Akure South Local Government, reads: “I wish to resign my membership of the LP with effect from Tuesday, January 24, 2012. “Although the decision is painful, however, events in the past few months, which led to a series of intra-party crisis at the state and local

•Hausa community joins ACN ‘Defection can’t stop Mimiko’s re-election’ From Leke Akeredolu, Akure


NDO State Labour Party (LP) Chairman Mr. Olumide Ogidan yesterday said the defection of some members will not stop Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s re-election next year. He said those who left the party are not strong enough to decide the future of the state. Ogidan spoke at the party’s state secretariat in Akure, the state capital, while receiving leaders of the governor’s re-election campaign group, Iroko 2013. He said LP is still popular in the state. Ogidan said: “We are not surprised that some people who stole our platform to win election are now leaving. People like Senator Ajayi Boroffice only won on the popularity of the party and the governor. If he had contested on another platform, he would have lost his wards.” Ogidan alleged that the factional chairman of the party, Mr. Kunle Odidi, is no more a member of the LP. He alleged that Odidi is a card-carrying member of an opposition party. Chairman of Iroko 2013 Chief Ayo Oyinsan said the group would continue to sensitise the people on the need to re-elect Mimiko. From Damisi Ojo, Akure

government levels that invariably led to court litiga-

tion, called for this action. “The crisis is highly regretted. As an elected representative of the people, I can-

not continue to support one faction against the other. Also, I cannot effectively discharge my constitutional responsibilities because of the development.” The Chairman, House Committee on Emergency Disaster and Preparedness, thanked LP for giving him the platform to serve his people. He also thanked his loyalists for their support. Ajayi said the LP is no longer conducive for him. The former Deputy Coordinator for Iroko 2013 in Akure South said he has paid his dues but have nothing to show for it. Also yesterday, members of the Hausa Community joined the ACN. Among them are its Chairman, Lawali Garba; Vice-Chairman Tukur Amadu; Secretary Zayanu Abdulahi; Coordinator Aminu Koli; and Woman Leader Mama Usama.

More vehicles, personnel for Oyo security team


• Ajimobi

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said more vehicles and logistics will be provided for the Joint Security Task Force, tagged: “Operation Burst”. Ajimobi spoke on Monday at the parade ground of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, while addressing officers and men of the task force. He said: “Operation Burst is a very good scheme and

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

we are planning to increase the number of officers and men, as well as vehicles and other facilities you require for effective performance. You are very important in the maintenance of peace and security.” Ajimobi praised members of the task force for ensuring peace during the Yuletide and maintaining order during

the protests against petrol subsidy removal. He said: “We thank you for the good job you did during the subsidy removal demonstrations; you effectively controlled the violence. “Our administration rewards productivity. You made a lot of sacrifices to make the state peaceful and conducive. Even though we are not averse to anyone protesting, as it is their legitimate and

constitutional right to do so peacefully, miscreants, brigands and thugs hijacked the protests and introduced violence. If not for you, we would have been telling another story now.” On the allegation that members of the task force harassed indecently-dressed persons, the governor said the squad is not a moral force, but a security team. He urged it to focus on protecting the life and property of the people.

REPRESENTATIVES of Lagos and Ogun states yesterday met to settle matters relating to boundary demarcation and tax remittance of residents living around their shared boundaries. At the meeting held at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State Deputy Governor Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire said it is necessary for the two states to formulate a common policy on boundary and tax issues. Stressing the need for peaceful co-existence between them, Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire said: “Lagos State is ready to go by the law and ensure peace between both states. We will ensure that what belongs to Ogun State is given to it and we will expect it to do same to Lagos State.” Ogun State Deputy Governor Segun Adesegun said there is need for the states’ Surveyor-Generals and that of the Federal Government to reinstall pillars at the borders for clear demarcation. Adesegun said: “All the beacons should be properly lined, while the missing pillars should be installed to properly demarcate boundaries, especially in disputed areas.”

Ondo pensioners get N1.4b gratuity ONDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has approved N1.4 billion for the payment of last year’s gratuity of retired local government workers. Mimiko spoke yesterday in Akure, the state capital, while presenting the last batch of gratuity cheques to retirees of the State Local Government Staff Pension’s Board. About 180 retirees received cheques for their gratuities. Mimiko, represented by Deputy Governor Ali Olanusi, said: “This is a pragmatic departure from how things used to be before this administration came on board in 2009. It was so terrible then that hundreds of retirees did not receive gratuities for over five years.” The governor advised the pensioners to invest their gratuities wisely. Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission Alhaji Sadiq Obanoyen said the board would continue to ensure that retirees get their gratuities on time.



NEWS Obi condoles with Channels ANAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has condoled with Channels TV on the death of its Kano correspondent, Enenche Godwin. Obi said the circumstance surrounding his death called for sober reflection about the future of Nigeria and the futility of Nigerians killing one another without compunction. He called on Nigerians to embrace dialogue rather than violence. His words: “Much as Enenche’s death is painful, that he died in the course of carrying out official duty is a lesson on dedication to duty.” He prayed to God to grant his family, the management and staff of Channels and all those affected by his death the fortitude to bear the loss.

NACO calls for peoples’ constitution

Sylva asks Supreme Court to declare him PDP candidate



AYELSA State Governor Timipre Sylva has asked the Supreme Court to declare him the lawful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the February 11 governorship election. In a notice of cross appeal filed by his counsel, Lateef

Fagbemi (SAN), the governor is contending that he remains the authentic candidate having won the primary election conducted by the party last year, which was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to him, he has neither resigned nor died; the two circumstances upon which his nomination could be replaced. Sylva told the apex court that time is of the essence as the election is fast approaching. He urged the court to invoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to decide who the lawful candidate of the PDP is. He therefore sought “an order that in view of all urgency and circumstances of this case, this is a case in which the powers of the Su-

‘An order that in view of all urgency and circumstances of this case, this is a case in which the powers of the Supreme Court in Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act ought to be invoked and to so determine the merit of the case’ From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

preme Court in Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act ought to be invoked and to

so determine the merit of the case.” He prayed for “an order granting all the reliefs of the cross–appellant/plaintiff as contained in his originating summons before the Federal High Court and any other consequential order(s)”. An Abuja Federal High Court had warned the PDP against conducting a fresh primary. Following an exparte application by Sylva, Justice Gabriel Kolawole summoned the defendants to show cause why he should not grant all the reliefs sought. Ignoring the warning, the PDP conducted the primary, which produced Henry Seriake Dickson as winner.

M-Net announces N48m BBA prize M-NET has announced the return of its biggest realityTV franchise, Big Brother Africa. It has introduced a brand new cash prize of $300,000 (up from $200,000), two new countries and most importantly, that entrants must DOUBLE-UP to compete. This means that anyone who wants to enter Season 7 must partner another person to enter as a pair. M-Net Africa Managing Director Biola Alabi said: “The really big news this season is that entrants must enter as pairs. It will definitely make a dramatic addition to the series so we urge people to enter and experience what will be a uniquely different Big Brother Africa!” The new countries joining the pack are Liberia and Sierra Leone. Both partners must come from the same country, must be 21 years or older, must be fluent in English and must have a valid passport. The series starts May 6.

Orubebe’s Delta home bombed From Shola O’Neil, Warri

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

THE National Action Coalition (NACO), led by Dr Tunji Braithwaite, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to seek any international assistance in tackling the menace of BokoHaram. The group also advised religious leaders to avoid making inflammable statements on the bombings. NACO reiterated its call for a peoples’ constitution and Sovereign National Conference (SNC), stressing that the restructuring of the polity can no more be delayed. The group also called for a re-invigorated battle against corruption in high places to prevent the recurrent capital flight into private hands. It warned against the refusal of government to heed the timely warning against graft, pointing out that there can never be development in an atmosphere of corruption.

Following an appeal by the PDP and Dickson, the Court of Appeal, Abuja, remitted the case back to the Federal High Court and asked the Chief Judge to assign the case to a new judge. The Appeal Court which agreed that the judge overreached himself, however, rejected PDP’s contention that the court had no jurisdiction over the dispute arising from the candidacy of a political party. PDP and Sylva were both dissatisfied and filed an appeal and cross appeal at the Supreme Court. Fagbemi submitted that “a court of law has a duty to protect the sanctity of its proceedings” and “a party cannot be allowed to foist a fait accompli on a court of law.”


•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (second left), Deputy Governor Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural Development Kunle Ige and a beneficiary from Ejigbo Local Government, Oyedokun Amuda, at the official distribution of farm input to 1,830 farmers in Osogbo...yesterday

Use ICT to tackle terrorism, Senate tells minister •Johnson defends N18.3b budget


HE Senate yesterday urged the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to tackle terrorism and national insecurity. Mrs. Johnson was also asked to use ICT to create jobs and wealth for the country. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications Gilbert Nnaji gave the advice as the minister defended N18,305,107,488 allocated to her ministry in the 2012 budget proposal. Nnaji regretted that the contribution of ICT to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is low. The country, he said, still ranked very low in terms of knowledge creation, penetration of ICT, access to and usage of Internet as well as telephone penetration and physical infrastructure.

Alison-Madueke’s absence stalls defence


HE absence of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, at a scheduled 2012 budget defence stalled the exercise yesterday in the Senate. The Senate Committee on Gas Resources had invited the minister to appear before it to defend her 2012 budget proposal for the gas sector. But Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s failure to honour the invitation infuriated members of the committee. Chairman of the Committee Senator Nkechi Nwaogu was furious that Mrs. Alison-Madueke claimed to have travelled to Switzerland when she was in the country. She said: “We take exception to the way her inability to appear before this committee was conveyed. She is in the country; she did not travel to Switzerland. From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja He challenged the minister to use ICT to address terrorism and national security and above all, for job and wealth creation. The committee wanted to know why the ministry recorded only 29.8 per cent budget performance last

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

“All we are trying to do is to peruse the draft budget and the 2011 budget performance. The minister is not in Switzerland as we speak. We want to express our displeasure and dismay over the development.” The Committee Chairman said: “This committee will not condone any attempt to look down on this exercise.” She threatened to conduct the budget defence without input from the minister. “I want this message to get to the minister because we will not take it,” she warned. The budget proposal, she said, contained important issues that required the presence of the minister, “especially as it concerns whether we are paying lip-service to the issue of gas development or not.”

year. It also queried why the Southeast was omitted in project allocation in the budget proposal. The minister said late budget release affected the performance of the budget in her ministry last year. She said the funds were too meagre for better achievement. Mrs. Johnson, however,

assured that her ministry would continue to strive for increased capital allocation to enhance performance. On the omission of the Southeast in projects allocation, the minister promised to address the situation. She said the ministry would establish citizens information centres across the country.

HE country home of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, in Ogbubagbene Community, Burutu Local Government of Delta State, was yesterday morning bombed by suspected robbers. Residents of the town said they heard a loud explosion and felt the tremor from the explosion at about 12:45am. Sources said only a tiny portion of the mansion was destroyed by the explosion. A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the invaders apparently believed that they could hit a goldmine in the minister’s house. “Everybody knows that the minister is a big (wealthy) man so maybe the boys believe they will get a lot of hard currency from the house,” he said. It was, however, unclear if the hoodlums’ mission was successful, although residents said the house was ransacked by the hoodlums. Reports of sporadic gunfire resulting from a clash with security men at the building and the attackers could not be independently confirmed. Another source said the attack may not be unconnected with disaffection with the minister’s style of leadership, especially among angry Ijaw exmilitants, who have accused him and the Kingsley Kukuled Amnesty Committee of neglect. Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Tsafe has ordered a round-the-clock security guard at the house. Police spokesman Charles said the commissioner and a team of policemen have visited the scene to get first hand information of the incident.







2,000 protest against govt

‘Treat Corps members well’ From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt


HE Rivers State Co-ordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mrs. Josephine Okuonghae, has urged community leaders to treat corps members as their children and protect them. Mrs. Okuonghae spoke in Port Harcourt, the state capital yesterday, in an interactive session with reporters. She said: “When corps members are posted to communities to serve, we always inform the leaders and the local government chairmen. “The rescued corps members are in good health. In the Etche incident, the leaders of the communities assisted in ensuring their rescue from the kidnappers’ hideout, in collaboration with security personnel.”

Robbers attack bank in Cross River


GANG of robbers at tempted to rob a first generation bank in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government of Cross River State yesterday. It was gathered that the robbers came in three vehicles but were resisted by security personnel and residents. An eye-witness said there was a shootout in which some people died. The robbers escaped to-

Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

wards Afikpo in Ebonyi State. Although they could not enter the bank, it was learnt that the building was vandalised. Unconfirmed reports claimed that two of the robbers were killed in a shootout when they ran into military officers on the Amasiri/ Afikpo junction. Police spokesman Hogan Bassey confirmed the incident.

Oba of Benin advises Jonathan From Osagie Otabor, Benin HE Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa, has called on Presi dent Goodluck Jonathan to fulfill his promise to address the gully erosion threatening some parts of Edo State . Oba Erediauwa named Auchi in Etsako West Local Government, Ugbowo campus of the University of Benin, Ekenhuan road axis and the Queen Ede College. The monarch spoke at his palace when members of Batch 34 Senior Staff College, Jaji in Kaduna State, led by Commodore Ferguson Buvai, visited him. Oba Erediauwa told Buvai to remind the President to assist him before some parts of his kingdom are washed away by erosion.


VER 2,000 people, in cluding youths, men, women and children, from Izzi Local Government of Ebonyi State yesterday marched on the streets of Abakaliki, protesting what they described as “Governor Martin Elechi’s unfavourable policies to the Izzi people”. The protesters carried placards, with inscriptions such as: “Government give us back our land”; “Elechi’s policies are targeted against nonindigenes”; “Governor Elechi, stop destroying our property”; “Elechi, compensate us for our property forcefully taken by your government” and “Your government has brought untold hardship to the people of Ebonyi”. Most of the protesters tied palmfronds around their waists, singing war songs and marched on Afikpo Road through Ogoja Road before converging on the Government House roundabout. At the Government House

policies in Ebonyi From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

‘Why have they refused to compensate us after four years? The government is insensitivity to the plight of the masses’ roundabout, they disrupted traffic before they were dispersed by the police. They reconvened at the Union Bank junction, marching through Ogoja and Afikpo roads,destroying flowers and puling down some streetlights. At the office of Brass Engineering and Construction Company on Enugu-

Abakaliki-Ogoja Road owned by Deputy Governor Dave Umahi, the protesters destroyed equipment and vandalised the office. Policemen intervened to stop the protesters. The Chairman of Agbagu Unughu Youth, Ikechukwu Agiriga, said some of Elechi’s policies have not benefited the people. Agiriga said since the government took their land to build the Ochoudu city, it is yet to compensate the community. He said: “We are four villages that came on this protest; Igbeagu, Amachi, Agbaja and Inyimagu, these four communities have suffered since the assumption of the administration of Martin Elechi. “First, our land was forcefully taken, rendering us homeless.

“Since the land was taken, the government is yet to start work there apart from the secretariat complex. “Why have they refused to compensate us after four years? “The government is insensitivity to the plight of the masses.” Some of the protesters decried the proposed relocation of Abakaliki rice mill to Iboko, Ikwo and Oso Eddah ,adding that the policy is targeted at non-indigenes, who own 60 per cent of the rice mills. They urged the government to revert its decision in the interest of the masses. The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Chike Onwe said the decision to relocate the rice mills is irrevocable. Onwe said the government’s policies are aimed at alleviating the suffering of the masses. He urged the protesters not to allow themselves to be used by the opposition.


Bayelsa gets committee on HE Bayelsa State Gov gas explosion


ernment has set up a committee to access the extent of damage caused by the Chevron gas explosion. It condemned the firm’s attitude to the incident. The government asked Chevron to send relief materials to the communities. It had invited the company’s management to the Government House for a meeting on Monday. Deputy Governor Werinipre Seibarugu, who represented Governor Timipre Sylva, condemned

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

what he called the lukewarm attitude of the company’s officials. Sylva urged Chevron authorities to be “more responsible and responsive to corporate individuals”. The governor condemned the statement by the Company’s Area Manager, Eastern Operations, Joe Jakpa, who said the gas was not harmful. To this, Sylva replied: “I disagree with you that the gas is not harmful.”

Court orders Edo’s Attorney General’s arrest By Eric Ikhilae


FEDERAL High Court in Benin, Edo State, yesterday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Osagie Obayuwana, over a contempt case pending against him before the court. Justice Adamu Hobon issued the warrant, following Obayuwana’ s continued absence in court despite an earlier order directing him to appear in person over the case. The court ordered the Commissioner of Police to execute the bench warrant by effecting Obayuwana’s arrest. It adjourned till January 30 for the hearing of committal proceedings. The committal proceedings were initiated against Obayuwana and Osaro Idah by Churchgate Industries Limited over the government’s alleged refusal to obey an injunction given against it in 2003 by the Federal High Court, Benin. The court had, upon a case by Churchgate, restrained the government from interfering with the management of Bendel Brewery Limited constituted by Churchgate, which was then the core investor upon a privatisation agreement between the state and Churchgate. The injunction of the Federal High Court was later upheld by the Court of Appeal, Benin on October 17, 2006. It dismissed the appeal filed by the government for lacking in merit. A dispute arose between Churchgate and the government in 2003 over the management of Bendel Brewery, previously owned and managed by the state. The control of the brewery was later transferred to Churchgate in 1992 under a privatisation agreement, which gave 51 per cent equity to Churchgate, leaving the state with 24 per cent and others 19 per cent. The dispute was ignited when the state attempted to reassume management of the brewery despite the pendency of the privatisation agreement.

•The protesters...yesterday


Dickson/Jonah begins ward-to-ward campaigns


HOUGH the formal take-off of the Peo ples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign for the February 11 election has been suspended indefinitely, the Seriake Dickson/Jonah Campaign Organisation is set to go on. The organisation has adopted a blueprint for the open campaign rallies, which will include ward– to-ward community-based campaign. A statement by PDP’s Director of Publicity, Boyelayefa Debekeme, said the decision was reached at an enlarged stakeholders meeting, led by the Chairman, Campaign Caucus,

•Alamieyeseigha, Alaibe support From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

Timi Alaibe, in Yenagoa on Monday. The special stakeholders meeting was also attended by former Governor Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha. The ward-to-ward campaign will begin today in Yenagoa Local Government. The campaign train will move to Sagbama and Kolokuma/Opokuma local governments tomorrow. On Friday, the train will move to Ogbia Local Government and Ekeremor Local Government on Saturday.

Brass Local Government will host the campaign on Monday. The train moves to Nembe Local Government on Tuesday. It will terminate in the Southern Ijaw Local Government on February 6. Alamieyeseigha said the party was confident of victory because of the choice of the candidates. He said: “The primaries have come and gone. PDP has spoken and we now have a candidate for the February 11 election. “We believe in him. He is a very good product. The foundation of the state is laid and we have no doubt

that he will take the state to the next level. “My plea to Bayelsans is to maintain the peace. People should go out freely, unmolested to cast their vote. “Nobody should shed any blood. I repeat, no blood should be shed.” Alaibe said: “When we have chosen a candidate, especially under the platform of the PDP, we all come together to support him. In this case, this is a candidate we can vouch for. “We have taken time to study him in the National Assembly. “We the elders of the party are ready to go places with this candidate. “

22 arraigned for anti-subsidy removal protest in Edo


HE police in Edo State have slammed a threecount charge on 22 persons arrested for alleged violence during the protest against the removal of fuel subsidy in Benin City, the Edo State capital. The accused were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Peter Asemota of the Oredo Magistrate’s Court. Those arraigned include

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Destiny Okundaye; Humprey Ukwuabi; Blessing Itobore; Osaiene Osayande; Friday Sunday; Odu Frank; Emeka Obi; Shola Raji; Osas Uwagboi; Obinna Abbe; Ganiyu Igene; Uyi Enoghaghe,; Osaigbovo Igbinesigie. Others are Godstime David, Mamuzo Okozi,

Emmanuel Osayande, Robinson Iyere, Daniel Ukah, Uhumaoghe Samson, Stephen Michael, Austine Osawe and Isiche Chinedu. They were said to have on January 10 conspired to commit felony, by engaging in riotous and unlawful assembly, an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code.

The accused, according to the charge sheet, were said to have conducted themselves in such a manner to cause fear and disturbing the public peace. However, the accused pleaded not guilty. Chief Magistrate Asemota granted them bail at N50,000 each. He adjourned the case till February 1.





• Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu flanked by Chief Executive Officer, Oando Supply and Trading Dimeji Edwards (left) and Chief Executive Officer, Marketing, Yomi Awobokin, at the probe on the management of Fuel Subsidy at the National Assembly, Abuja ... yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

The PHCN has been issued with this transfer order by the authorities, which has occasioned the current transfer of PHCN corporate headquarter staff not only to the various successor companies but also to the parent ministry. - Prof Barth Nnaji Minister of Power

• Ifeanyi Uba

• Alison-Madueke

Alison-Madueke clears air on petrol consumption controversy T

HE Minister of Petro leum Resources, Diezani AlisonMadueke, has cleared the controversy surrounding the actual volume of petrol consumed daily in relation to the subsidy paid. Besides, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said despite actual payment of N1.736 trillion for subsidy on petrol between January and December 2011, the apex bank is still be expected to honour outstanding payments. The Minister and the CBN Governor spoke at the resumed public hearing on the management of subsidy regime by the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee in Abuja. Alison-Madueke was reportedly said to have claimed that the country consumed 35 million litres daily

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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $33.01b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

• CBN to probe banks in February • Says 2011 subsidy hits N1.73tr From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

and that was what the subsidy cost was based upon. But the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Reginald Stanley, said the country consumed 59 million litres of petrol daily indicating a differential of 24 million litres. The Minister denied this figure, claiming that 35 million litres of petrol were being consumed daily and lamented the spate of “sharp practices” in the oil industry. She said the 35 million litres per day was a generic figure presented for planning that have been done for many years, noting that the figure has been increasing ever since. “At no time did I say that the payments for subsidy were based on 35 million litres per day rate. It is not possible,” she added.

She said in 2006, daily consumption was 26. 9 million litres per day and by 2008, it has increased to 38.5 million litres. I also added that by 2010, our daily consumption was found to be 46.9 million litres. The reason that I could give those particular figures was that in general, daily consumption was usually taken as what was delivered with the exception of end of year stock, she added. She agreed that subsidy paid over the years has been on the increase since 2006 relative to the figures the country have had from N261 billion in 2006 to N1.348 trillion in 2011 that has not been completed until all volumes have been captured for the year She, however, said the Federal Government has started sweeping reforms in the oil and gas industry aimed at tackling the menace of corruption, smuggling and ma-

nipulations in the subsidy regime. She further noted that President Goodluck Jonathan had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other regulatory agencies as part of effort to sanitise the system. While she condemned the rot in the system, the Minister asserted that the PPPRA have to clarify some issues on payment of certificates for subsidy “before we come to grasp on actual problem on ground.” She also refuted claims that she sold off some oil blocks since assumption of office, saying, “No oil block has been sold since I came into the office. What we did was to build the National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Exploration and Production (E&) arm of NNPC and to transfer NNPC interest

Reps flay minister on budget preparation


HE House Committee on Agriculture yester day criticised the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, for employing consultants to prepare the ministry’s budget. The Committee chaired by Alhaji Muhammed Mongolo stated this in Abuja during its oversight visit. He said the ministry’s budget preparation didn’t have input of top officials of the ministry. He noted that there has been complaints about how the ministry is run and what the committee saw confirmed that the budget lacked input of bureaucrats of the ministry.

Nigeria crisis hurts PZ Cussons


From: Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

He said: “There have been series of reports reaching us that the budget of the ministry was prepared by consultants devoid of input of bureaucrats of the ministry and it’s reflective of what is going on in the ministry. There have been a lot of complaints, but I decided to reserve them until when you come for defence. We will reserve our comments until you come because there are a lot of other issues we observed in the 2012 budget.” However, the Minister explained that there was need to devise new ways of

in certain blocks to NPDC.” On KPMG report, she said: ‘’Of course I have seen a copy of it, but it has not been officially translated to us and the reconciliation meeting has not happened. ‘’I will like to point out that other than that because I cannot comment on the actual report, that as you mentioned, the report was commissioned for a period that was actually before my assumption of office, but I think with the Governance and Control Task Force that has been set up, we have in fact probably already taken steps to deal with fundamental issues that will probably arise from the audit. ‘’Through that task force, various governance and control measures with wide ranging terms of reference or reform which will be implemented over the next couple of months, I think those reforms will actually

deal with major findings of the KPMG audit. ‘’I can’t go into details until it is officially translated to me. ‘’On scarcity of fuel, arising from the floor of this hearing, an impression may have been created that the budget for payment for fuel subsidy, the amount to be paid for fuel subsidy will not be put in the budget, that has caused an immediate reaction. In separate presentations, the TUC and former Minister of Petroleum Resources doubted the claims that the 35 million litres per day consumption was fraught with fraud. TUC President, Peter Esele, said it has become imperative to know the actual amount of fuel consumed in the country. “It is on the basis of this that the corruption in the subsidy regime was perpetrated,” he said. While he described the PPPRA template for subsidy payment as deficient, Esele called for an overhaul of the regulatory agencies, adding that transparency must be institutionalised in the operations of the PPPRA and NNPC.

• Adesina

doing things, particularly in the ministry, adding that the ministry had to involve the service of a consultant to ensure effective implementation of the agricultural transformation agenda.

RITISH soap maker PZ Cussons has warned that it is likely to report disappointing full year profits, pointing to political upheaval in Nigeria, challenging trading conditions in Australia and high raw materials costs. Shares in the maker of Imperial Leather soap according to Reuters News fell as much as 8.4 per cent on yesterday after it reported an 11.7 per cent drop in first half pretax profit and said fullyear results would be towards the bottom end of current market expectations. It had already issued a profit warning in December as pressure on consumers compounded the pain of high raw materials costs and adverse moves in exchange

rates. PZ Cussons said it was monitoring social and economic tensions in Nigeria closely after gun and bomb attacks by Islamist insurgents in the northern city of Kano last week killed at least 186 people. Nigeria, PZ Cussons’ biggest single market, accounts for about 40 per cent of the group’s total revenue. This month’s removal of an $8 billion petrol subsidy by the government as part of economic reforms also resulted in a costly eightday national strike that paralysed Africa’s second biggest economy and the worsening violence has prompted some to question whether Nigeria is sliding into civil war.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 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

Business, Kingsley Ojoh, said: “It is important to note that we must explore if we want to continue from where we stopped. Exploration is the key to this country’s future, it is important for exploration to be encouraged, because there is need for replenishment.” He said: “We were doing over 60 wells post independence, up till 1970 and now there is decline. What is going on is catastrophic. Exploration is going down because those wells you are seeing were based on exploration we have done in the past. If we don’t start aggressive exploration now, and delay putting them on stream, we have a future that may be jeopardised. “I don’t want to be the last generation that will experience exploration in Nigeria; there is necessity for the authority to take a decision that will harness instant exploration.There is need to promote aggressive exploration because production is cash flow basically, but exploration is the future. Compared to Brazil, Nigeria’s future is not as easy because there has been no reserve replacement.”

In his presentation, Onyejekwe said Shell has done a lot of investment in the industry including pioneering some technologies that have significantly boosted the industry performance, but noted that there is need for a stable operating environment. Onyejekwe said: “Investors don’t like uncertainties. They want stable terms and conditions. That’s particularly true in energy, where projects lead times are sometimes 10-year long and facilities operate for decades. Investors need the rule of law and respect for contracts, rules that allow investors to compete fairly in the market. They want good incentives and fair balance risks and rewards. “I believe the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is central to Nigeria and in particular to deepwater offshore exploration and production activity. Recent events suggest that the government is about to redouble efforts at getting the PIB passed. This is good news. An investment-friendly bill will enable substantial coordination, will hold immense and enduring benefits for Nigeria, the oil and gas industry and of course Shell.”


09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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


LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

HE Basel III bank reforms in the works probably won’t prevent banks taking on excessive risk because they are too soft at influencing behaviour, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi, said on Monday. Pointing to Nigeria’s own reforms, Sanusi told Dow Jones that regulators around the world should force banks to change, rather than trying to nudge them through measures such as higher capital requirements. He also said the Federal Government’s fuel subsidies aren’t “sustainable” because they foment corruption and deplete government coffers. Labour unions in a nationwide strike which began January 9, shut banks, businesses and ports, as petrol prices more than doubled from N65 ($0.40) a litre after the government scrapped fuel subsidies. The strike was suspended on January 16 after President Goodluck Jonathan reduced petrol-price to N97 a litre. The subsidies cost the government $8 billion last year, equivalent to all the revenue it received from the oil industry, Sanusi said during a speech in London.

12.15 12.45

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. Dana


PERATORS of the oil and gas industry in the country have expressed concern over the declining investment in the upstream sector of the industry, describing the situation as catastrophic. The level of investment in that sector, according to them, doesn’t guarantee energy for the future and that of oil and gas industry in the country. They noted that it is not in the interest of the country to deplete its oil reserves through continuous use without replenishment. Speaking at the four-day Offshore West Africa Conference and Exhibition (OWA 2012), which started yesterday in Abuja, the Managing Directors of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) Chike Onyejekwe and Total Exploration and Production Nigeria (TEPN), Guy Maurice, warned on the danger ahead and advised the government to encourage exploration for more oil to guarantee the future of the industry. Total chief, who was represented by the company’s Executive Director, Corporate Goesciences and

Global bank reforms too soft, says Sanusi

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20

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. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

Oil majors fret over declining investment in exploration


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

• From left: Minister, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru; Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun, Group Chairman, First City Group; Otunba Bimbola Ashiru, Commissioner, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ogun State; Prof. Oluwatoyin Ashiru, Chief Executive Officer, Tricontinental Oil; at a special reception organised by Otunba Balogun in honour of the Ashirus in Lagos ... on Sunday.

SEC okays Union Bank’s Rights Issue extension


HE Union Bank Rights Issue, which ended on January 20, has been extended by 21 days. It will now end on February 10, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said. In a statement the Head, Corporate Affairs Department of the bank, Mr Francis Barde, said the the extension became necessary because of the one week strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Civil Society Groups over the removal of the fuel subsidy. “The strike slowed us down and made it impossible for most of our shareholders to take their rights,” he said. Union Bank is offering about 1.41 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N6.81 per share in the ratio of five new ordinary shares for every nine ordinary shares held as at October 21, last year. The application list opened on December 14, 2011. Already, parties to the Union Rights Issue have expressed confidence that it would be a huge success. Managing Director, Union Capital Markets Limited, one of the issuing houses to the issue, Mr Tunde Yamah, said shareholders would be fully allotted their

By Tonia Osundolire

shares and any application for more would be considered. He said shareholders have been enthusiastic about picking their Rights, noting that the discount of 30 per cent and the prospects of increased holdings in a recapitalised leading bank are some of its benefits. Yamah added that shareholders, who are applying for more shares, could earn interest on their money if there are no more allotments for them. He said unqualified investors, have been making enquiries on opportunities to buy, which further illustrates their attractiveness. Yamah said the trading on the rights will open in the last week of the offer. He claimed the issue is the most attractive offer in the markets at the moment with the prospect of yielding above the money market instruments and other equities. Managing Director, Union Registrars Limited, the registrars to the issue, Mr Tunde Ayeni, said the interface between parties to the issue and shareholders confirmed that the latter have received their circulars. He, however, called on share-

holders who have any problem to visit any branch of the bank or Union Registrars. Ayeni added that the bank has provided extensive communication channels for shareholders to interact with the officials of the bank and parties to the issue in resolving any complaint. The bank’s Executive Director, Corporate, International and Investment Banking and Treasury, Mr Philip Ikeazor, said the bank would ensure that all shareholders have opportunity to pick their rights. ”We are desirous and eager to redeem our earlier pledge of giving opportunities to the existing shareholders to take up their rights in line with their clamour to do so during the recapitalisation process,” Ikeazor said. Citing subscription reports that showed a high enthusiasm among shareholders, he said the Rights Issue has started well and the bank has now firmly been placed on the path towards reclaiming its leadership position. He pointed out that the Rights Issue is the last phase of the bank’s recapitalisation programme as the bank has completed other steps including the reconstruction of its shares.

Dangote donates N18.7m to Kaduna, Gombe refugees


HE Dangote Foundation yes terday said it had started the disbursement of funds and relief materials to 187 families in Kaduna and Gombe states. In a statement, the firm said this was in continuation of its humanitarian assistance to victims of postelection violence. The Dangote Foundation had earmarked about N350million for victims of post-election crisis in some parts of the North. The latest disbursement, which started on Monday, according to the statement, covers 120 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kaduna and 67 in Gombe. The Foundation also distributed hundreds of household items including food items, such as Dangote Spaghetti, noodles and DanVita. Speaking at the camp, leader of the IDPs, Pastor Francis Tarzang said the refugees have been taking refuge in the Dan Kande police barracks in Kaduna since April 18, last year. He said the money will be used to rebuild the burnt houses of the victims and resettle them, while others will invest the money in businesses.




Retirement Saving Account (RSA) registration by sector They are sights to behold on long queues. Some of them collapse and die while waiting to collect their pensions. To stop this sad occurrences, the government introduced the contributory pension scheme as a safety valve. Employers and employees contribute to the scheme for a secured future. CHUKS UDO OKONTA writes.

Making contributory pension T scheme work

HE labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain is a major line in the National Anthem. But upholding this is a major challenge, as most of the heroes who served the country virtually go through hell before getting their pensions. Many retirees have not lived to enjoy their pension as they die in the cause of processing or collecting their entitlement. To reverse this tread, the government in 2004 introduced the contributory pension scheme to ensure that employers and employees contribute toward better retirement of workers. In the scheme, public sector workers contribute a minimum of 7.5 per cent of their monthly emolument, public sector contributes 7.5 per cent on behalf of its workers, while employers and employees in the private sector contribute a minimum of 7.5 per cent each. An employer is obliged to deduct and remit contributions to a custodian within seven days from the day the employee is paid his/her salary, while the Pension Fund Custodian (PFC) shall notify the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) within 24 hours of the receipt of such contribution. In spite of the uniqueness of the scheme, it is still clogged with challenges such as

weak business environment, reluctance of some employers due to perceived increased personnel cost, non or irregular funding of contributions, remittance without correct schedules, the large informal sector, low salary/purchasing power, low financial literacy level, inadequate marketing drive, customer/service delivery, inadequate coverage and dearth of investment outlet.

Operators’ perspective Stakeholders said the challenges should be tackled effectively to ensure that the objective of the scheme is achieved and lives of workers improved in their retirement. Chairman, Pension Operators Association of Nigeria Mr Dave Uduanu, called on the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to open the transfer window to give contributors the option of changing their pension fund administrator, increased supervision and regulatory vigilance to weed out weak operators, improve the institutional framework of the industry by encouraging con-

solidation among marginal players, constantly reviewing the investment guideline to enable pension fund administrators invest in secure instruments that engage in impactful but profitable investments. He also called for the decentralisation of the activities of PENCOM by creating regional offices in each of the six geo-political zones, needs to collaborate effectively with other regulators in the economy such as National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that regulatory goal congruence is achieved, especially in the areas of policy formulation and implementation. “Most importantly, there is the need to work closely with NAICOM to ensure full compliance in group life insurance which is one of the strong pillars of the PRA 2004. The risk management techniques of insurance firms that provide retirement annuities should also be closely monitored with such standard practices as biannual actuarial valuations, strict investment guidelines similar

to what is applicable to PFAs and the separation of the annuity funds from their other insurance funds to ensure that pension assets are well-protected. It is also important to ensure that assets are not co-mingled and any deficit in valuation must be met immediately. “In addition, since insurance companies unlike Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) bear the investment risk in annuities, it is important to tie the size of their annuity funds to the shareholders fund of the parent insurance company. It will, therefore, not make sense to have an insurance company with N2billion in equity manage an annuity fund of N20billion. It must have adequate capital to underwrite potential investment losses,” he said. Uduanu urged pension operators (PFAs, PFCs and Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFAs) to improve on their service delivery, adding that this is necessary to retain the confidence of not only the contributors but all other stakeholders in the industry. He noted that this will also reduce the pressure from the dissatisfied segment of the contributing public to exit from the scheme. “As a means of sustaining the • Continued on page 14




Making contributory pension scheme work • Continued from page 13

benefits of the scheme, the operators need to have a physical presence in all parts of the country. The retail nature of the pension business calls for close contact with contributors. There is a need for significant investments in information technology (IT) and other operating infrastructure so as to deliver good services and, therefore, retain the confidence of scheme subscribers. “Operators must have relationship managers to liaise with contributors and their employers to ensure issues and conflicts are resolved promptly. The amount of un-credited contributions in the industry must be reduced significantly from what it is now to an acceptable level,” he added. He called on operators to ensure reduction in the turn-around time for paying retirees and the estate of deceased contributors, ensure that remittances received from contributors are promptly credited to respective RSA accounts, ensure that investment returns are competitive and consistently above inflation on an annualised basis. He also stressed the need for capacity building to train their staff in best class standards of customer service, brand building, communication and advertisements to project the image of their organisation and the industry positively and carry out customer education in the areas of pensions, investments and retirement planning to ensure that contributors are better informed of the scheme. “Operators must also run a highly ethical organisation and be prepared to compete on the basis of service quality rather than cut corners to achieve short term gains. “Operators must bond together through the umbrella of pension operators to advance the industry, achieve a collective solution to industry problems and form a common front against any emerging threat to the survival of the scheme. Unnecessary bottlenecks between the operators and the regulators that serve as blockages for services being offered to the customer must be avoided. The plan by PENCOM to establish regional offices in each of the geopolitical zones will lead to a quick resolution of issues, especially those requesting minor approvals. This will impact greatly on service delivery standards in the industry,” he added. He urged contributors to update their knowledge of the scheme and its various guidelines to enable them make informed choices regarding the PFA to use, issue of transfer or change of PFA, the Fund to buy when the multi-fund regime comes into place and the withdrawal option between programme withdrawal and annuities. Managing Director, First Registers Nigeria Limited, Mr Bayo Olugbemi, said the benefits from pension are enormous. He called on operators and workers to play their roles effectively to achieve their set goals. “It is worthy to state that the new contributory pension scheme is undoubtedly a new dawn for pension fund management in Nigeria with obvious benefits for employer, employees, government and the economy as a whole,” he said.

Regulator perspectives Director General, PenCom, Mr Mohammad Ahmad, said the commission has aggressively intensified its compliance mechanism by

taking legal action against defaulting employers. He noted that compliance by the informal sector received a major boost last year as the two million membership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) signified their intention to embrace the scheme. He said the industry is working towards registering them into the scheme. He also called on organisations in the informal sector to subscribe to the scheme as it is a veritable source of income for all categories of employees after retirement. Board Member, National Pension Commission (PenCom) Mr Ivor Takor, urged organisations to have a robust payment package for their workers, adding that workers can only generate sufficient savings for retirement through improved remuneration. Takor noted that to guarantee and sustain the financial well being of retirees, pension reform should be lined with social security reform such as those of housing and health. He said the pension reform is too recent for better evaluation, especially as regards the effect on the financial well being of retirees, adding that only after a relative long period of time will it be possible to know the real impact of the reform on the living conditions of retirees. “There is, however, a fundamental matter, which is creating conditions for workers to generate sufficient savings in their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs). Such an environment can only be derived through higher levels of work-related revenue or other forms of remuneration,” he said. Takor noted that non compliance in remittance of contributions by organisations would affect their workers when they retire. He called on organisations to embrace the pension scheme and remit their contributions promptly to forestall bleak future for their workers adding that pension is the most visible programme of any social security scheme, which provides protection to citizens from old age poverty. Takor said until the enactment of the Pension Reform Act 2004, pension in Nigeria had a limited coverage, covering only workers in the formal sector, leaving workers in the informal sector without any pension protection. He noted that the reform in the pension sector is still too recent for a better evaluation regarding the effects on the financial well being of retirees. “Only after a relative long period of time, will it be possible to know the real impact of the reform on the living conditions of retirees. There is however, a fundamental matter, which is creating conditions for workers to generate sufficient saving in their retirement saving accounts. Such an environment can only be derived through

• Ahmad

• Takor

Pension Assets as Proportion of GDP higher levels of working related revenue or other forms of remuneration. There is also a need to link pension reform with a more encompassing social security reform, including those of health and housing if the financial well being of retirees is to be guaranteed and sustained,” he added. Commissioner (Technical), National Pension Commission (PenCom), Ms Eyamba Henshaw, noted that for workers to maximise the benefits of pension scheme, issues such as weak business environment, semi-formal nature of most businesses, perceived increase personal cost should be addressed. She said PenCom has intensified efforts to educate organisations on the need for them to embrace the scheme to forestall incidences where people retire and have nothing to leverage on. She urged pension operators to intensify efforts in their market drive, customer service and branch

expansion to boost awareness of the scheme. He added that the nation stands to benefit tremendously if the scheme is effectively entrenched. She also called on operators to keep their customers abreast of trends in their operations. Head, Compliance and Enforcement, PenCom Mr Mahammad Umar, said pension is addressing the challenges confronting the pension scheme through the development of a comprehensive employer data base, engagement of consultants for recovery of outstanding monthly contributions, introduction of the framework for voluntary contribution and informal sector participation in the CPS, increase capital base to N1 billion with a deadline of June 2012, review of the PRA 2004 to address identified lapses and working with other regulators to develop financial market and create alternative investment securities to increase public awareness. He urged employers to comply

‘As a means of sustaining the benefits of the scheme, the operators need to have a physical presence in all parts of the country. The retail nature of the pension business calls for close contact with contributors. There is a need for significant investments in information technology (IT) and other operating infrastructure so as to deliver good services and, therefore, retain the confidence of scheme subscribers’

with the scheme to forestall bleak future for retirees. He said the level of implementation of the CPS by the 36 states of the Federation as at November 2011 are as follows: Commenced full implementation (six), partial implementation (11), pension bills with State Assemblies (17) and no action states (two). He said many private operators are being encouraged to embrace the scheme.

Conclusion According to PenCom, the RSA registration by age distribution of participants shows that the number of contributors in the age bracket “30 to 40” accounted for the highest proportion of RSA holders in 2010. It noted that this age category accounted for 35.24 per cent of RSA holders that year. This was closely followed by those in the age category “less than 30 years”, which accounted for 28.14 per cent of RSA holders in 2010. These age categories accounted for 63.38 per cent of RSA holders in the public and private sectors during the period. PenCom noted that the working population is relatively young and the issue of ageing is not yet a concern for Nigeria as it is in many other African countries. It said a large percentage of contributors still have at least more years of contributions under the compulsory pension scheme before they can enjoy pension. It also suggests that pension funds can be successfully invested in long-term instruments in line with the reviewed pension fund investment guidelines.








INVESTORS Nigeria ‘s stock market trails Ghana’s, S/Africa’s A

MONG major Africa stock markets, Nigeria’s was the worst performer last year, according to an analysis. The poor performance was attributed to uncertainties in the banking sector and the monetary tight-

Stories by Taofik Salako

ening policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which deflated initial optimism that had seen the market with double-digit gain in the early part of the year. Peer analysis of returns by the

three major African markets of South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana showed Nigeria with the highest negative return, although the two other markets also closed with marginal declines. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index at the Nigerian

•From left: AGM/Head, Administration, Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), Ado Yola; Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, Adeolu Bajomo; CEO, Mr Oscar Onyema and Chief of Staff/Head, Corporate Division, Bola Akeko, at the stock exchange‘s World Press on appraisal of capital market performance in Lagos. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

Stock Exchange which serves as the common gauge for all quoted companies as well as country index for Nigeria, fell by 16.31 per cent in 2011. The ASI closed the year at 20,730.63 points as against its 2011’s value-on-board of 24,770.52 points, indicating a negative return of 16.31 per cent, which translated to almost N1.4 trillion loss. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities slumped to N6.533 trillion at the end of last trading session for 2011 as against the year’s opening value of N7.914 trillion. South Africa, Africa’s largest stock market, was almost flat as the All Share Index (ASI) of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSEASI) returned -0.38 per cent by December 29, 2011. Ghana Stock Exchange’s All Share Index (GSE ASI), the benchmark index for the Ghanaian stock market posted a year-to-date negative return of 3.0 per cent. Analysts blamed the performance of the stock market on uncertainties in the banking sector, monetary tightening policy of the apex bank, lack of investors’ confidence in the market and absence of a clear policy direction on the recovery of the market from the regulators. Global stock market benchmark indices showed a mixed-grill for the stock market last year. While the United States of America (USA) showed positive return, investors’

fortunes worsened considerably in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and Standards and Poor’s 500 index, two key indices for the USA market, returned 6.13 per cent and 0.43 per cent respectively. However, France’s benchmark CAC 40 Index posted a return of 17.80 per cent while Germany DAX Index and United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 Index returned -15.4 per cent and -5.65 per cent. Meanwhile, analysts at FSDH Research have projected that the stock market would recover in 2012 with a possible full-year benchmark return of 13.30 per cent. According to FSDH, year 2012 would be better for equities investors as the global economy and the domestic economy improve. Analysts outlined that improved corporate earnings; less aggressive monetary policy implementation by the CBN and improved disclosure by quoted companies due to adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) would serve as catalysts for the market recovery. They added that efforts by the government to improve infrastructure in the country and the current low valuation of quoted companies would provide impetus for market growth. “We maintain that investors should take strategic positions, maintaining a long term view with the mind that the current situation in the market will not last for too long,” FSDH advised.

Shareholders decry attacks on oil chiefs over subsidy


HAREHOLDERS are unhappy with insinuations that some reputable public quoted oil companies were beneficiaries of bogus fuel subsidy payment. They warned against undermining the integrity and reputation of the country’s leading downstream sector operators. During the protests against subsidy removal, a hacker hacked into the website of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleging the arrest of some individuals, who he referred to as “cabals”. But EFCC denied the allegation, saying its website was not hacked. According to shareholders, personalising quoted companies under the attempt to mudsling their chairmen is anti-thetical to the con-


cept of a public limited liability company and the spirit of public quotation of companies. National General Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr Adebayo Adeleke, said publicly quoted companies have many levels of corporate governance structures that oftentimes insulate them from abuses and malpractices. “That was malicious information; it shows the lack of understanding of corporate governance by those peddling the mischief. Even Lamido Sanusi did not hold chairman of any bank for the infractions in the banks because a non-executive chairman does not preside over day-to-day operations of the company,” Adeleke

said. He said oil majors stand to benefit more from the full deregulation of the downstream oil sector given their investments, retail and storage capacity, financial capacity and long established governance and operating structures. According to him, full deregulation would lead to appreciation in the share prices of quoted oil majors as the resultant competition from full deregulation would concentrate activities in the downstream sectors within the five quoted oil majors. Founding member of the Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA) Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo said besides compliance with oil industry regulations,

the annual reports and accounts of quoted oil marketing companies are usually made available annually for public scrutiny while the companies also subscribe to best practices and regulations as stipulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Olatokunbo said the Chairman of Conoil, Dr. Mike Adenuga, who holds a non-executive position, and other board members were appointed by shareholders to protect the interests of over 200,000 Nigerian investors in the oil major. “Corporate firms have standards that they follow that are even far beyond what’s applicable in the public sector. The problem is that

most people are ignorant of how quoted companies are run. Such misleading information was only to find scapegoats,” Gbadebo said. President, United Shareholders’ Front, Mr Gbenga Idowu, said the corporate governance structures of publicly quoted companies separate non-executive functioning from executive functioning noting that while the board provides policy guidelines and corporate targets in line with shareholders’ mandate, the management is responsible for the operations of the company. He said the chairmanship of a company could only be held responsible for operations of the company in the event of an executive chairman who combines both executive and non-executive functions.

Market recovery depends on sustained reforms, says firm

INANCIAL markets regulators have been thrown a challenge. They have been told to sustain reforms in the sector and ensure companies adopt best practices in their operations to engender stable recovery of the capital market. Financial Derivatives Company (FDC), an economic research firm owned by Mr Bismarck Rewane, said sustained recovery of the stock market would depend largely on the effectiveness and continuation of the reform in the financial market. In the latest preview of 2012, the research firm said continued stringent regulatory activities would make the financial sector to be more ethical and responsible, thus enabling it to serve the needs of the economy. According to the report, the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by quoted com-

panies is a step in the right direction that would enhance both the values of quoted companies and the Nigerian market. The report, signed by Akintola Salami, noted that IFRS reporting would result in better corporate governance and higher financial reporting information, thereby lowering cost of capital. “IFRS reporting will also lead to convergence benefits, such as lowering the costs of comparing firms‘financial position and performance, and enable Nigeria capital market to be more globally competitive,” the report noted. FDC predicted that the new issue segment of the capital market would be busy in 2012 as corporate entities consider capital raising through equities and bond issues. Citing a rush of fund raisings in the

fourth quarter of 2011 by companies such Lafarge Wapco Cement, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, Dana Group, Flour Mills and Union Bank of Nigeria, FDC said it expected the primary market to remain on the upswing in the new year. “We also expect new listings in 2012, with Notore Chemical expected to be the biggest with a $300million listing,” FDC noted. The firm, however, cautioned on the demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), pointing out that the bourse should attain optimal management and operation standards before demutualisation “It is also important to note that efficiency must precede demutualisation and sophistication. Maximum value can only be extracted from demutualisation of the NSE

when it has metamorphosed into the most efficient and agile entity possible,” it stated. FDC identified value investment as the best investment strategy for 2012 advising investors to focus on the core fundamentals, management and sustainable operations of quoted companies. According to the report, with stocks currently trading at low valuations and multiples, several investment opportunities exist in the stock market but investors would do better by targeting good companies trading below their intrinsic value. “We believe the Nigerian banking sector is cheap on both an absolute basis and relative to emerging market peers….We acknowledge that economic prospects for the Nigerian economy, bolstered by sustained oil prices, remains good and that banks

will benefit from this environment,” FDC stated. Analysts said the share prices of Nigerian banks have been depressed due to high yields in fixed income securities, a weakening global GDP growth outlook and the Euro-zone sovereign debt crisis diminishing the appeal of frontier markets to global equity investors. “As a result of the discounted share prices and strong potential for growth, we believe it‘s a good entry point for investors to invest in the banking sector,” the report stated. It, however, pointed out that the banking sector still faces considerable risks including concentrated client bases, margin pressures due to increased competition, continued weak asset quality and efficiencies, political risks and vulnerability to the oil price.





The changing face of Africa

HAT a change a decade makes. Africa has come a long way since the Economist headline (now described as “regrettable”) of May 11, 2000 which referred to Africa as “The Hopeless Continent”. We are seeing a noticeable shift in the way the continent is perceived from the outside. At the beginning of the year, the London Guardian published an editorial: A fresh chapter is opening in Africa’s history and the Financial Times followed up with Why Africa is leaving Europe behind.The Economist, itself, in a dramatic reversal, entitled its most recent issue Africa Rising. These days, it is no longer unusual to come across reports by global financial institutions revealing impressive economic growth, or unprecedented economic opportunities in many parts of the continent. But even more important than what outsiders think of the continent is what Africans themselves think. We are currently experiencing an exciting transformation in the way we perceive ourselves. A revival of self-confidence is taking place all around us. We are witnessing a series of political reawakenings that seek to enthrone democracy and the rule of law. Africans are getting more and more used to the idea of deciding, through the ballot-box, their political leadership. Africans who have achieved some measure of success abroad are returning home

By Tony Elumelu

in increasing numbers, driven by the belief that there is no place like “home”, and armed with a determination to replicate their overseas successes in their own countries. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates have more than doubled in sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade, compared to the 1990s. During the same period, six of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world were sub-Saharan African countries: Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique, and Rwanda. That trend is certain to continue into the near future. This year, the World Bank upgraded Zambia and Ghana into the “middle-income” category. Consumer spending on the continent, currently approaching a trillion dollars per annum, is expected to double over the next decade as the middle-class begins to reemerge and assert itself. A decade ago, there were less than 100,000 mobile phone lines in Nigeria. Today, there are close to a hundred million. Recent estimates indicate that as many as 40 million Nigerians – a quarter of the population – regularly use the Internet. New infrastructure (roads, railways, power stations, airports) and reform-oriented legislation is being created across the continent. There is a growing shift in emphasis from foreign aid to foreign direct investment – driven by Afri-

can talent. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an African Union development agency, estimates that in the last decade, FDI into Africa grew from $9 billion to $88 billion. What is becoming clearer by the day is that the private sector, working intelligently and confidently, can fashion home-grown solutions to poverty and economic stagnation. I am excited about this, especially because I do not think that there will be a future for the world without a confident, self-propelling Africa – an Africa which, armed with the realisation that poverty is not an inescapable curse, actually takes responsibility for its immense potential for economic growth and prosperity. My belief is that through an energised private sector, Africa can take its place in the driver’s seat and transform itself economically through investments that generate not only economic prosperity but also social wealth. This, in a nutshell, is my philosophy of ‘Africapitalism’. Africapitalism is not capitalism with an African twist; it is a rallying cry for empowering the private sector to drive Africa’s economic and social growth. This belief has led me to set up two institutions: Heirs Holdings, an African proprietary investment firm committed to the economic transformation of Africa by generating long-term investments



through economic prosperity and social wealth; and The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a non-profit organisation that champions impact investing. Impact investing combines the profit motive of traditional investing with the social and developmental outcomes of philanthropy. We look for a double-bottom line: like all investments, we are keen to generate financial return, which helps ensure sustainability, but are also focused on achieving social and communal good. It is a beneficial and valueadding middle-way between the profit obsession of traditional investing, and the often unsustainable ‘hand-out’ approach of traditional philanthropy. Impact investing aims to displace the old and damaging idea of Africa as a perpetual laboratory for aid experiments. The vision of The Tony Elumelu Foundation is to catalyse and promote impact investing on the continent (and what better way to promote this than by demonstrating it), and also to nurture and support a new generation of African entrepreneurs and business leaders. Together, both institutions, working in close collaboration with other institutions across the world – we are very much open to partnership, but a partnership of equals – are committed to tackling some of the many challenges that businesses have to deal with on the African continent: regional trade barriers, inadequacy of manage-

• Elumelu

rial talent, overemphasis on debt capital as opposed to equity capital, absence of a sufficiently competitive business landscape, harmful overdependence on aid, the absence of a system for measuring the social and developmental effectiveness of investments, among others. In this series of blog posts, I will further explain why I am optimistic about the economic future of Africa, I will also shed more light on Africapitalism and impact investing, and on the work that Heirs Holdings and The Tony Elumelu Foundation are doing in the quest to set new standards for investing and philanthropy on the African continent. •Elumelu is Chairman Heirs Holdings


University Press vs Learn Africa: Reading between the lines


NIVERSITY Press (UP) Plc and Learn Africa Plc are the two leading printing and publishing companies in the stock market.With market capitalisation of about N6 billion, the printing and publishing sector consists of four small-cap companies. University Press and Learn Africa account for two-thirds of the sectoral market capitalisation, a position that reflects their longstanding leaderships in the sector. One of the oldest industries in Nigeria, the changing economic landscapes have withered the fortunes of several printing and publishing companies. Even today, the printing and publishing industry still struggles under adverse impacts of the economic recession and the compounded effects of industry peculiarities. With piracy, dumping, and substandard products forming a hydraheaded tripod against publishers, poor and low education budget, credit squeeze and general slowdown in the economy among other macroeconomic challenges have watered down performances across the printing and publishing sector. But amid these challenges, the duo of UP and Learn Africa has sustained profitability, although the growth trajectories waver between ups and downs. Learn Africa, formerly Longman Nigeria, is older and the most capitalised publisher. But UP has shown to be more nimble and resilient than competitors. While two-year average indices of Learn Africa largely showed negative performances, UP’s performance indices remained positive and reassuring. Sales Generation Industry-wide decline in sales reflected on the performances of the two companies, but Learn Africa lost more ground than its competitor. Learn Africa has suffered two consecutive declines in sales with turnover dropping by 16.3 per cent and 8.6 per cent in 2009 and 2010. This indicate average decline of 12.45 per cent in recent years. UP has managed to sustain turnover growth within the comparative





% -8.6 -30.3 -70.4 40.7 9.3 -68.5 4.3 6.6

% -16.3

% -12.45 -15.15 -30.3 47.05 19 -31.25 8.9 13.3



% -2.9 -4.9 -20.4 54.8 17.5 -23.6 8.8 11.9

% 19.2 19.8 22 55.9 21.3 14.7 20.3 22

Average Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity

9.8 53.4 28.7 6.0 13.5 20.0

Pre-tax profit margin (UPL)

Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity

% 8.15 7.45 0.8 55.35 19.4 -4.45 14.55 16.95

Pre-tax profit margin (Longman)

By Taofik Salako

period with a two-year average sales growth of 8.15 per cent. Although sales dropped by 2.9 per cent during the year ended March 31, 2011, 19.2 per cent sales growth in the previous year had cushioned the overall impact on the top-line. Profitability The contagious decline in sales amidst rising costs encumbered profitability of printing and publishing

companies. UP, however, remain more profitable and maintain a positive profit outlook in spite of the contraction in the immediate past year. UP’s average gross profit margin in recent years stood at 55.4 per cent while pre-tax profit margin was 19.4 per cent compared with 47 per cent and 19 per cent recorded by Learn Africa. UP gross profit margin had

dropped by a point from about 56 per cent in 2010 to 55 per cent in 2011 while pre-tax profit margin slipped from 21 per cent to about 18 per cent. Learn Africa had seen its gross profit margin down from 53 per cent in 2009 to about 41 per cent in 2010. Pre-tax profit margin nosed down from 29 per cent to 9.3 per cent. In actual figures, Learn Africa’s gross profit dropped by 30.3 per cent

in the immediate past year, which ballooned into 70 per cent decline in pre-tax profit. Pre-tax profit had grown by about 10 per cent in 2009. Net profit dropped by 68.5 per cent in 2010 compared with marginal growth of six per cent in previous year. These indicate negative average pre and post tax profit growths of 30 per cent and 31 per cent over a two-year period.





Yet another presidential gaffe •Jonathan’s attempt to demonise Lagos over fuel protests is careless and condemnable


ERHAPS it is not inconceivable that even kings and presidents sulk, either when generally things have not gone their way; or when a policy they laid much store by has taken a terrible hiding from an irreverent public. What is not conceivable is when such sulking is made a piece of public presidential speech. Worst still: when the audience of that presidential address are youths being given a pat on the back for doing well; and when the logic of that rather simplistic sulking is no more than presidential old wives’ tale! That is the sum total of the latest exchange between President Goodluck Jonathan and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on a rather careless presidential comment on Lagos, vis-a-vis the controversial withdrawal of fuel subsidy, a strike on which ground the country for the whole of seven days, from January 9 to 15, until the strike was called off on January 16. Hosting National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who made the NYSC President’s Honours Award in Abuja on January 16, President Jonathan had grumbled rather aloud that his government could not continue to subsidise the pump price of petrol for adult delinquents who had 10 to 15 cars, and gave those cars to their juvenile delinquent children to cruise around by the grace of cheap petrol “in Lagos”! This rather careless statement has worked up to lather the ACN, the ruling party in the state. In a riposte fired by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ACN’s national publicity secretary, the party interpreted the president’s comments to be an assault on the integrity of Lagos as a city-state

and foremost economic contributor to the Nigerian pot; as well as the proud bastion of democratic dissent that has not only kept budding Nigerian dictators at bay, but secured the delicate balance of the Nigerian polity. The party, quite correctly, cautioned the president against ethnicising pan-Nigeria anger against his ill-thought out fuel subsidy removal policy. It also told the president to be wary of making Lagos and Lagosians the wilful object of his ire, else he might just box himself into a politically precarious corner. The ACN then asked for a presidential apology to the government and people of Lagos. To start with, the ACN rebuke is welcome and we fully ally ourselves with it. The reason is simple: the presidential cut is most unkind and unfair. Lagos might have been the beach head for the mass protest against the hugely unpopular petroleum downstream deregulation policy. But then the same Lagos just taught the rest of Nigeria the beauty of largely violent-free protests, in which the people, without breaking heads or hacking limbs, made their voices heard loud and clear. But even the more sublime beauty of the Lagos protests, with its epicentre at the Gani Fawehinmi Park (GFP), now informally renamed Gani Freedom Park (GFP), was the tenor and composition of the protesters. Though Lagos is ethnically Yoruba, the organisers built on the city’s status as a former federal capital and the enduring commercial capital to amass a truly metropolitan and articulate pan-Nigeria crowd that proved democratic dissent is not necessarily treason. Why the president should pooh-pooh the

city’s demonstration of solid democratic culture with insult is bewildering. But, of course, the president with his misguided handlers wanted to secure a regime, even if it harbours dangerous anti-democratic tendencies. But the Lagos protesters did not want to topple the government, even if they were determined to topple its anti-democratic penchant. Still, all these niceties are often lost to desperate power merchants, driven by power for power’s sake. But on that, Lagos has bad news. From the colonial age of Lugard, to the military generation of power ruffians and now to the present age of “cabals” (for and against Jonathan), Lagos has stood firm to insist on what is best for the democratic polity. Even a president with a notorious record of unforced gaffes ought to have kept quiet to lick his wounds, instead of enveloping himself in another avoidable controversy from which he would emerge even more diminished.

‘From the colonial age of Lugard, to the military generation of power ruffians and now to the present age of “cabals” (for and against Jonathan), Lagos has stood firm to insist on what is best for the democratic polity. Even a president with a notorious record of unforced gaffes ought to have kept quiet to lick his wounds, instead of enveloping himself in another avoidable controversy from which he would emerge even more diminished’

Restructure or perish! •That is crystal clear and it does not matter whether or not it came from IBB


EE who is pushing true federalism and power devolution? General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, IBB! The temptation is to jerk and rock with uncontrollable laughter! At the apex of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s power as selfnamed military president, he not only developed the unassailable economic theory of TINA: “There Is No Alternative”, to his structural adjustment programme (SAP) liberalisation policy. That theory also came with its political twin of No-go areas. By no-go areas, IBB trumpeted that everything about the Nigerian state was settled – and that included a top heavy and parasitic centre, much similar to the military central command. That centre was not only (and still is) a watering ground for soulless corruption but also provided an unrepentant lead, to smaller components of governments in the federation, in sleaze and unending racketeering, which fatten the few freeloaders in government but subjects the lawful majority to abject poverty. So, why is a former campaigner for unbridled centralism now an apostle of federalism and power devolution? Is he playing to the gallery to suit the present political reality and therefore redeem himself in the eyes of gullible Nigerians? Maybe. Or is he getting wise after the facts, to demonise the incumbent president who, after all, trumped IBB and the rest of the Northern political armada, in the bid for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket, after President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s unfortunate death in office? Maybe!

But whatever the motive behind IBB’s new pitch, it would be a tragedy of monumental proportions if his current calls are dismissed as senseless, simply because many would love to dismiss his credibility as the source making that pitch. That would be committing an ad hominen fallacy. Despite IBB’s stance in the past on the federal question, and despite the notorious fact that many would spring to their guard when the subject is trusting this former army general, IBB stands in the tribe of the very few who could attest to the non-workability of Nigeria as it is currently constituted. The main reason is that he has been there. Despite the opium of youth and the vainglory of power, a chastened, older and wiser IBB stands as a credible witness that the present structure is a journey to nowhere. That ought to get the current brood of rulers thinking hard! Besides, with the progressive democratisation of poverty in this current democracy, and its dangerous flip of producing a few public-fund driven aristocrats, it is clear the economy, and how it delivers development and prosperity for the vast majority, in the spirit of Jeremy Bentham’s greatest good of the greatest number, is the key determinant. In other words, on the economy the present crumbling pillars of Nigeria will hold or fall! But as the federal structure drives the economy, particularly when government is still the dominant business, no matter how much the neo-liberal lobby in government chirp that the private sector seize the commanding heights of the economy, it is clear the present structure of a domi-

nant federal partner, hoarding much of the scarce cash to the detriment of the states thirsting for development, is economically explosive and politically dangerous. Let the Jonathan presidency and other critical stakeholders then take the IBB call as a timely intervention. If Nigeria must thrive as a united political entity, and if this country must deliver development and prosperity to the majority, then it must politically restructure rather urgently. Let the excess but idle funds at the centre move to where they are sorely needed for development. With sharpened citizens’ appetite for their right to know, it would only be a matter of time before the cost centres the state currently are become competing development cells, as true federal components should be.

‘Despite IBB’s stance in the past on the federal question, and despite the notorious fact that many would spring to their guard when the subject is trusting this former army general, IBB stands in the tribe of the very few who could attest to the non-workability of Nigeria as it is currently constituted. The main reason is that he has been there’

Young strivers in two worlds HAT is it like to get up at 3 every morning to leave the country to go to school? To walk for miles and wait in long lines at an international crossing, to hustle along by trolley and bus, worrying all the while about missing the 8 a.m. bell? This is the bleary-eyed world of young Mexican-Americans who live in Tijuana and go to school in Chula Vista, Calif., as described by Patricia Leigh Brown in The Times. These striving students, or “transfronterizos,” are not immigrants but American citizens, lawfully crossing the border to get an education. They are toiling toward the honorable goal of a good education, but some stay below the radar because they are not residents of the school districts they attend. Their parents have been deported or have willingly left the United States; some can’t or won’t pay the out-of-district tuition. It’s possible to say their children are contributing to America’s greatness or stealing from it. Or both. Here is a mirror of America’s battle over immigration — a battle with itself and its future. Courtesy of some Republican politicians, we are fighting it in the worst way possible, with spasms of anti-immigrant loathing and rigid enforcement schemes. The problem with working so hard to keep people out, each of whom comes with different circumstances, is that you fail to tap the restless doggedness of those who want in. When our laws needlessly divide families and discourage beneficial migration, they drain the ambition and energy that are America’s constantly renewable resource. At a time when border crossings are at historic lows, when illegal immigration is greatly diminished, the story of the transfronterizos is a reminder of the vast potential of smart young people. While our laws and policies focus heavily on punishing first-generation illegal immigrants, we forget that it is in our vital interest to make sure their American children and grandchildren succeed.


– New York Times

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IR: In the late 70s and early part of the 80s, the State of Osun was reputed to be a haven of good education in Nigeria. There was a successful edu-tourism with students from other states chosing schools like Baptist High School, Iwo; Osun State College of Arts and Science (OSCAS), Ile-Ife and Osogbo Grammar School, Osogbo, among others, as their schools of choice. This legacy has since been lost because of lack of support for education by past administrations. In the quest for good governance, the current administration developed a strategic plan. The plan is encapsulated in the document ‘My Pact with the People of Osun State’ authored by the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. The objectives of the pact are: “to banish poverty, to banish hunger, to banish unemployment (create work/ wealth), reduce healthy living, promote functional education and enhance communal peace and progress”. Education is a priority project because it can help drive the wheels of other needs like good health, reduction of poverty, banishment of hunger etc. According to the World Bank under its Education and Development project, “Education is central to development. It empowers people and strengthens nations. It is a powerful “equalizer”, opening doors to all to lift themselves out of poverty. It is critical to the world’s attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”. “Two of the eight MDGs pertain to education — namely, universal primary completion and gender parity in primary and secondary schooling. Moreover, education —


Sustainable education in the State of Osun especially girls’ education — has a direct and proven impact on the goals related to child and reproductive health and environmental sustainability. Education also promotes economic growth, national productivity and innovation, and values of democracy and social cohesion”. Investmenting in education benefits the individual, nationstates, and the world as a whole. Broad-based education of good quality is among the most powerful instruments known to reduce

poverty and inequality. For individuals and nations, it is key to creating, applying, and spreading knowledge — and thus to the development of dynamic, globally competitive economies. Functional education entails proper planning. That was why there was Osun State Education Summit in early 2010 to discuss the state of education in Osun State and the way forward. The outcome of this summit is what we are beginning to see in the state in the form of sustainable education


The bereaved nurse and are comforted by the hope that perpetrators of the act, be they hired assassins or robbers, would be caught by long arm of the law and brought speedily to justice. The wait for justice can last a lifetime in Nigeria. That is why some family members of those killed resort to raining curses on the perpetrator(s) of the dastardly act, invoking Divine justice. That brings to mind the killing of Otunba Dipo Dina, former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) gubernatorial candidate in Ogun State in the 2007 elections. D.D Direct, as Dina was fondly called, was killed on Monday, January 25, 2010, by assassins at Ota, Ogun

development. The approach to sustainable development of education in the State of Osun involves: construction of 170 units of Model elementary schools for primary 1 to 3. This is called Neighbourhood Schools because it will serve the neighbourhoods in the State of Osun. Baptist Primary School, IleIfe has been chosen as the testing ground of this exercise. Primary 4 to Junior Secondary School 3 (JSS3) students will be tutored in Middle Schools. Fifty

Two years on, Dipo Dina lives

IR: Every religion in the world frowns at murder and suicide. Unless ordered by a competent court of law, killing, in whatever form, is also frowned at by most countries. But in Nigeria, people are being stabbed or gunned down in their homes or on the streets with the offenders going scotfree. All across the country, people are constantly felled by assassins’ bullets and other dangerous weapons. For every person killed, only the family understands the depth of the pain. Other mourners may weep in sympathy, but definitely, not for as long as the bereaved. Accompanying the weeping and agonizing is the longing for justice.

State on his way back to his Lagos home after attending a meeting with some unknown persons. Two years after, the killers’ identity remains in obscurity. As expected, families, friends and sympathizers consistently rain curses on his killers. Most of these people are beneficiaries of the philanthropic ways of the late Dipo Dina who until his death was the breadwinner of the Dina’s dynasty. It would be recalled that on that unfortunate day, Dina was attacked while returning from Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to his home in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi. He was abducted and taken in another car to unknown destination where he was

Nigeria: a country of anything goes


IR: One of the striking developing stories today is the case of Kabiru Sokoto {an alleged mastermind of the Christmas-day bombing at Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State} who was arrested, but later disappeared. He was said to have escaped from the police when he was being taken on a search of his apartment. It is also important to know that the suspect was in company of about 10 police men when the incident occurred. I am not completely surprised at the development. At different occasions, we have seen policemen

units of this type of schools will be constructed as models across the state. The third tier of these model schools is the High School which will accommodate Senior Seconday School 1 to 3 (SSS1-3) students, with 20 units of its type. To encourage total concentration of students to their studies and to accommodate students with parents living in other states, the State of Osun will enter into partnership with private developers and managers of student hostels under public-private partnership (PPP). This is the state’s way of reconstructing the foundation of education, of promoting functional education in Nigeria and serving as a model of education restructuring in Nigeria. It is another first in this category and a giant step to push the state forwatd. • Olufemi Oyedele, Osogbo, State of Osun.

kill innocent people over inability to pay 20 Naira bribe. If policemen can kill citizens unjustly, take bribe, help criminals to escape, then what is the rationale for the force? A former Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Lawrence Alobi said in an interview aired on Africa Independent Television January 19 that ‘’the police are facing antagonism from the society. The force is also facing the problem of lack of training, lack of arms, safety, as well as starvation of fund and so on’’. If these are what the force is facing, then there is need for government to find solutions to the

various challenges identified. Not too long ago, President Goodluck Jonathan made an assertion that our security has been compromised and that there are many people in positions of authority who are members of Boko Haram. So when the issue of Kabiru Sokoto occurred, my mind immediately went to the president’s statement. The President needs to be awake to the challenges and employ different strategies to curb the menace. If dialogue will solve this problem, I don’t see why it should not be embraced. Our eyes are full of tears. We cannot continue like this.

The recent deployment of military men to streets in some states to prevent civilians from protesting on the fuel price hike, including Lagos where the protest was peaceful, is a depiction that the government has lost focus. It is just being not responsive to vital cases but attending to wrong issues. The real threat in the country today remains Boko Haram! Why is the government not tackling this? Why would government not leave the citizens alone to express their minds? • Muritala Omikunle Agbologun, Ipokia local government, Ogun State.

brutally assassinated. Reacting to the incident then, National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said whether assassination or robbery, the killing had shown the level of insecurity in the country. “Given the politically battles he has fought in the last two years, it makes all politicians feel unsafe. and going by the records of such killings, the real killers are never known”, said Mohammed in 2010. Accusing fingers were pointed at the state government, with whom he was locked in a fierce legal battle over the outcome of the 2007 gubernatorial poll. Whatever the situation, while Dipo Dina continue to rests in peace, there is no doubt that his killers wherever they are, remain restless. While Dina’s killers remain restless, members of the United African Methodist Church, the church that the late Dina was the treasurer till death, have promised to continue to remember the late politician. According to the lay president of the organisation, Dr. Akinola Ogunlewe, the late Dipo Dina will forever be remembered in the church for the roles he played while alive. Secretary General (administration) of the organisation, Peter Payne, said a minute silence will be observed in his honour during the opening ceremony of the organisation’s annual conference billed for Abeokuta, Ogun State this weekend. • Ayo Bada Lagos.




Anticorruption PPP –Petroleum, Ports, Pensions Probes’; NNPC; TTD: ‘Occupy the Media’


ASS murder in Kano, 162 dead and 1,500 injured as collateral damage, as Nigeria shamefacedly watches The Africa Cup of Tony Nations it failed to Marinho qualify for. Shamefully, government shares N559b for January 2012 but still no libraries or footballs in schools or youth centres. The real annual ‘phantom subsidy’ N250-300b is less than one month’s allocation of N559b. Nigeria’s the children ask why, with multimillion naira policy meetings in Ladi Kwali Hall, our building blocks of nationhood -schools- lie unfertilised without books, libraries or even library boxes costing just N1-200,000/ annum/school or N7-14b for 70,000 schools- disgusting learning environments, not ‘fit for purpose’. Stop meeting and equip schools with the money! Painfully, after all our expectations and billions, the lie is finally out. Minister Barth Nnaji offers Nigeria a tiny 1,000Mw in 2012, exposing a 13 year old government unable to fill the ‘electricity gap’, between 2,500Mw now and 100,000 160,000Mw at 1Mw/million population, needed now? Nigeria needs ‘Emergency Electric Power’ growth of 1520,000Mw/ annum x 10 years to break Nigeria’s power jinx that makes Nigeria a technological midget and laughing stock worldwide losing employment and development. The ‘Generator cabal’ is alive and well, even making a new generator especially for Nigeria. Nigeria should indeed ‘Never Expect Power Again’, Yepa! Nigerians may have to boycott or force government generators to shut down. NLC/ TUC should campaign for an injunction against or boycott of generators in government offices and homes except hospitals. No worker or politician dealing with power should own a generator. The immediate power problem requires 10,000Kw from massive generator ships, remember ENRON, connected to the grid at national, state or LGA levels. These will to be replaced by power plants over time. Ask the Americans in war-torn Iraq how they got their 20,000Mw in the green zone.

The Nigerian government selfishly provides for its officials maybe 5,000Mw of generated power for their offices and official homes. What is the true figure? Publicise your estimate. What is the Presidency’s power generation 2012 budget? N1b? Academics, economists and politicians across party lines must do forensic research into petroleum issues. No one, not even Nigerians want a powerful Nigeria. No to N97/litre petrol. There is no ‘fuel subsidy’ to remove. The word ‘subsidy’ deceives Nigerians into parting with money so government does not have to borrow or pay interest to fill the gap created by its own CINS- ‘Corruption, Incompetence, Neglect and Selfishness’. Government has shifted its guilt onto the shoulders of the masses. The real victory is a sustained anti-corruption drive engulfing all sectors. Open new fronts in the movement against corruption, a multi-pronged ‘Anti-Corruption PPP Investigation’ targeting Petroleum, Ports, Pensions etcetera. The loss of N151b in pension scams is robbery. Ports include FAAN and NPA dealing with huge undeclared dollar revenues, bunkering and landing costs and licences for offshore fishing in our ‘unpatrolled’ 200 kilometre territorial waters. Look at the maths of corruption and mismanagement. An NNPC official said that locally refining petrol saves only N11/litre. It must be more but the Reps did not question further. He is saying that ‘round-tripping’ oil by ship, refining and re-shipping and re-importing it costs just N11/litre. For the needed 24-40million litres a day refining locally saves N240-400million or $1.5-2.8million/day excluding job opportunities and by-products sales. This is an incredible $547.5m- 1,006 billion wasted now. This would pay for the TAM, Turn Around Maintenance. NNPC should be prosecuted. In fact Nigerians must demand immediate urgent 3-6 month refinery repair and refining of 1m-2.4million barrels/day in Nigeria to bring massive work and savings/ earnings of more than $10b/year. All Nigerians must research and report their findings to confirm if NNPC figures are truthful? Use social media! Nigeria is at the ‘Crossroads in its Crisis of Corruption’. A TTD, ‘Things To Do’ strategy is important. Each NLC/TUC union requires a ‘Union XYZ Anti-Corruption Working Document’ quickly and whistleblowers needing more

National Assembly and judicial investigations and a ‘Union XYZ Anti-Corruption Blueprint’. Expand the anti-corruption investigation to NPA, FAAN etcetera immediately with jobs for forensic accountants and bookkeeping investigators in ICPC/EFCC for 50 corruption investigations. Watch for ‘miraculous’ accounts offices’ fires. And keep EFCC and ICPC clean. And probe and curb corruption in uniformed services! The next Inspector General of Police must swear to ‘Say NO to the N30b+ annual checkpoint and station corruption kickback’ with confirmation as IGP only if checkpoints are sanitised immediately or sack him or her in one month. This is additional to fixing the abominable security situation. We must continue the revolutionary drive to seize the media anti-corruption hour. Journalists must (1) Give investigative hours and (2) Increase public media airtime for corruption investigations. No trivial transmissions. We must ‘Occupy the media’ with more corruption revelations from investigations and analysis! The Anti-Corruption Revolution needs weekly ‘Corruption Media Editorial Meetings’. Put corruption on every media agenda. It must ‘Suspend Most Normal Programming’ for 1-3 months in favour of investigations into NNPC and other places and the contents of U-Tube can be broadcast. Announcers must deliver corruption analysis. Frivolous quips must stop or the corrupt to escape during the laughter. We must maintain the publicity spotlight on politicians and parastatals and civil servants. Sports journalists must investigate sport administration! The media should seek those with knowledge in their specialty. University students should engage in international research for the comparative cost and percentage of tax in fuel pricing which is up to 40% in Europe. There are a lot of TTD!

‘NLC/TUC should campaign for an injunction against or boycott of generators in government offices and homes except hospitals. No worker or politician dealing with power should own a generator’

DIA and national security


HE orgy of bomb blasts and gun fire that rocked the ancient city of Kano last Friday and also reared its ugly head in the wee hour of Sunday in Bauchi State has again brought to the fore the noticeable failure of intelligence pervading the nation’s security network. Unfortunately, for quite some time now, attention seems to have been concentrated only on the inability of the police to rise up to the internal security challenges confronting the nation. With the recent ‘escape’ of a highprized Boko Haram agent from police custody, nobody should be in doubt that the police has finally lost grip of the nation’s security, if it had any before. But we all know that the police alone cannot provide adequate security for the nation. That is why there are other sister agencies with clear-cut mandates. One of these agencies which have escaped public binoculars is the Defence Intelligence Agency, DIA. It is, perhaps, one of the agencies that are in a better position to neutralise the current scourge of Boko Haram’s insurgency. Regrettably today, the DIA is a shadow of itself. But how did it get to this sorry pass? With the redeployment of Major General Babagana Monguno from the agency to the Defence Headquarters a few months ago, many of its staff breathe the air of respite. Why was it so? Monguno was appointed Chief of Defence Intelligence, CDI, in July 2009 but throughout his tenure, the agency retrogressed in terms of manpower development and relevance to national security. Monguno closed down all the

offices of the agency in the states with the exception of Abuja and Lagos. Even at that, the agency’s office in Lagos operates with skeletal staff, most of whom are artisans. One of the problems confronting the agency is a sort of military oligarchy that exists in the system. It is a kind of enthroned dictatorship that has been ravaging the place. DIA was established along with the State Security Service, SSS, and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, in 1986. The agency was supposed to be modelled after the American Defence Intelligence Agency, comprising 30 percent of serving military personnel and 70 percent civilians. A fundamental crisis erupted when the military started seeing the agency as a “welfare ground”. Those at the helm of affairs, therefore, started their own restructuring by posting military personnel to the agency indiscriminately without any recourse to the act establishing it. In no time, the agency became flooded with military personnel while the number of civilians there took a sharp nosedive. The CDI and deputy CDI have consistently been military officers. What is happening at the agency is the promotion of military supremacy, as it has long become a custom for the military personnel posted to the agency to rub it on their civilian colleagues that they are “bloody civilians”. The irony of the whole scenario is that the military personnel are visibly idle even though they enjoy the luxury and privileges of being there, including training programmes

‘The greatest problem in the security network of the country at the moment seems to be inter and intra-agency rivalries. This may have been responsible for the constant failure of intelligence in the country’s security system’

abroad which have become their exclusive preserve while the “bloody civilians” are denied this opportunity. The foreign training is like “settlement” as they never come back to put their newly acquired knowledge to work, thus leaving vital security assignments that naturally fall within DIA’s orbit for other sister agencies to perform. No wonder the agency has literally been relegated to irrelevance in security matters in the country. Not only this. Monguno’s era witnessed a gradual decapitation of the agency as the total staff strength fell from about 100,000 to a miserable 10,000. Mostly affected were civilian staff, many of whom were compulsorily retired without any gratuity. As a result of this, many of the victims have dragged the agency to court. Currently, the agency operates about 11 departments. Out of these, only two departments that are less consequential are allocated to civilians. This is breeding a lot of suspicion and animosity between the military and civilian staff of the agency. Monguno’s tenure was an era of terror itself for an agency that could have easily fought the current wave of terrorism to a standstill. His professional background as an architect and someone who had no previous intelligence training must have robbed the agency of the required direction it needed during his tenure. In many instances, instead of a properly coordinated security duties, he usually resorted to ad hoc arrangements which exposed his naivety. During the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29, 2011, it was a fidgety Monguno who ordered the network providers to shut down Abuja networks for the duration of the ceremony out of fear of terrorists’ strike. He also ordered the closure of the entry routes into the city. The only respite was to

allow those who wanted to leave the city to do so. Imagine the security agencies in say United States closing down Washington for a President’s inauguration even after 9/11 episode. What you have there is total covert operations that have often yielded good results. Such covert operations are alien to the security agency like DIA, which is saddled with internal security network. Monguno had the exclusive past time of putting fears in the minds of the staff, particularly the civilians, threatening and sacking them at the slightest opportunity. In addition to this, field officers were starved of funds while money was allocated for events that had no bearing with the job of the agency. For instance, during the wedding ceremony of the daughter of AVM Faloyin, his deputy, in 2011, the vault of the agency was thrown open as military officers allegedly flew Business Class to the occasion in the United States with estacodes while ordinary bulbs could not be replaced as money was not released for operations. If we are to fight the current resurgence of terrorists activities in the country, the Presidency should take more than a passing look at the DIA as a whole so as to enable it to function as it ought to be. One way to do this is to make sure that professionalism is enthroned in the agency. It is good news that the new CDI, Major General S.Y Audu, is an intelligence officer who understands the terrain. The tyrannical tenure of Monguno, an indigene of Borno State, may have compromised national security. This is because at the inception of Boko Haram insurgency, those who were apprehended were handled with kid gloves, as they were left in the agency’s visitors’ room instead of cells. This enabled them to move freely and even got to know that

Dele Agekameh the agency had internal problems. It sounds unbelievable that the Boko Haram suspects were being served special meals from Mr. Biggs and others, while Monguno kept referring to them as “friends of the agency”. What is needed at this stage is a total overhaul, re-organisation and restructuring of the agency to enable it to meet the exigency of the moment. The DIA should revert to the good old days when its operatives were everywhere. The greatest problem in the security network of the country at the moment seems to be inter and intraagency rivalry. This may have been responsible for the constant failure of intelligence in the country’s security system. The security apparatuses need to come together and work for the common good of the country. This can only be achieved through concerted efforts in the area of interagencies’ cooperation. The plethora of security agencies too must put their house in order by engaging in confidence building, training in modern crime prevention and detection as well as provision of good working conditions for their operatives so as to encourage them to offer their best for the country. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



EDITORIAL/OPINION FROM THE CELL PHONE ‘I think there is an urgent need for the Federal Government to abolish the monthly security votes that some of the political office holder are enjoying. This huge sum of money is being diverted to the pockets of the politicians at the expense of the masses. The media should start a vigorous campaign to compel government to stop it. This money can be channeled to projects that will promote the growth of the nation. Anonymous’

• Jonathan

For Olatunji Dare A diminished presidency, indeed! Actually, it is a cretinous and mindless presidency further diminished by the egregious attempt to unleash the terror machine of the state on a people peacefully demanding the return of a small bit of their patrimony brazenly stolen by the cabal running the state and its presidency. From Segun Osoba. I read your article on January 17. It was extremely good, but for that part referring to President Jonathan’s wife as her excellency. Why do we keep referring to wives of our elected officials as “Her excellency”? We thereby assist them in perptuating the illegality of creating an “official office” for their spouses. President Obama’s wife is not referred to as “Her excellency”. Kindly stop this mis-representation. Yours in a better Nigeria. I think there is an urgent need for the Federal Government to abolish the monthly security votes that some of the political office holder are enjoying. This huge sum of money is being diverted to the pockets of the politicians at the expense of the masses. The media should start a vigorous campaign to compel government to stop it. This money can be channeled to projects that will promote the growth of the nation. Anonymous Thanks for your write-up. Have you forgotten that everything goes in Naija? I weep for the generation unborn. From Dr W. Ekaun You should realise that President Jonathan inherited most of these problems. What happened to the architects of our present mess? From Osondu Re:“A diminished Presidency” is a good piece. Creativity becomes the essence for and by the people when government apologists are not pragmatic but too quick to twist issues on their head. Well meaning and selfless Nigerians who saw the need to rise up to the occasion under SNG over the late Yar’Adua’s health issues leading to the “doctrine of necessity” are now being vilified for going against an unpopular policy! I subscribe to the charters of the Reclaim and Occupy Nigeria Organisation and wish that government reconsiders. From Opuene David. Well written article! They should also add that no public officer should send his/her children abroad to study. Otherwise, our education system will continue to be degrading, and the naira will keep depreciating. Anonymous God bless you men of the press who stand for the truth and by the truth. Please, I want to plead that as these numerous issues which were brought to the fore by the strike/protest actions are discussed, you people should also endeavour to look into the plight, the welfare of some Nigerians employed by some foreign firms. Anonymous President Jonathan’s government is prodigal. He must have learnt a lesson now that no matter the power at his disposal he cannot crush the will of the people. N97 per litre is too high in an oil-producing state, he should cut down the wastage in the 2012 budget. From Alh. Adeboye Lawal, Felele, Ibadan. If not GEJ, then, there’s a strong indication that some evil forces close to him are working

for the dissolution of Nigeria. The madness started when The Nation was attacked; then the illegal suspension of Justice Salami, now the deployment of soldiers against people. Blame gullible voters who voted for goodluck in place of vision and competence. From Olu Falarungbon. I think we should be grateful to Jonathan. Now the ordinary man knows what subsidy is. It takes rare boldness and uncommon patriotism to tackle the problem of subsidy the way he did. The undiminished Presidents before him could not do it. They rather ensured that they set new records in looting the country through the petroleum sector. Anonymous I read your write-up titled “A diminished Presidency”. In fact, I love it, especially where he feigned empathy, “I feel your pain.” I want to ask, can Jonathan ever feel our pain? May be before he started wearing shoes. Presently, with N3 million for foods and drinks daily, no way! No where to feel the pain let alone sharing it. As it is now, we all have to seek divine intervention for our survival in this country. From Obeki, Ibadan Your piece on a”A diminished Presidency” is hilarious, thought provoking and modest. It depicts the mindset of majority of Nigerian youths. From Olumayowa Adeyemi, Lagos I honestly think that President Jonathan was ill advised. But, unfortunately, he is the President and not Okonjo-Iwerala. He should no longer make us his fanatics to concur with those who are making a mockery of his doctorate in Zoology or that his is an accidental President. Nigeria is no zoo. From KTJ . Jonathan ought to know by now that when a masquarade dances naked in the market square, it is no longer a festival. He is on his own, the gods have lost interest. Now is the best time to redeem his battered image if he truly feels our pains as claimed. Fuel subsidy removal is not the best available option on this issue. From KTJ Your write-up on the back page of The Nation, Tuesday, January 17, made an interesting reading. Much attention seems to be focused on the ills of Federal Government. The people’s worst enemies are the governors. They are very extravagant. Those who masqueraded as fighting for the masses before becoming governors have now unmasked and shown their true characters. Some give cars to their girl friends and buy houses for them with tax payers’ money. Visit some Government Houses, expensive cars are always there for gifts. Local government monthly allocations are always there for them. Can you get accountability from a caretaker local government committee? Who are they accountable to? Time to tell the truth... From Harry Okojie. I was convinced about his incompetence when I saw soldiers who are supposed to be in Maiduguri on the streets of my beloved Lagos. From Leke, Ajah, Lagos Re:A diminished Presidency: It has happened! President Goodluck Jonathan proclaimed wrongly on January 1, 2012. I am sure he has realised his mistakes as well as his defiance. I am also sure he will not toy with the people till he leaves office in May, 2015. The fuel subsidy removal really diminished the Jonathan Presidency. It was a bitter lesson, learnt by the opponents and proponents of fuel subsidy. Jonathan tried his best but still diminished his presidency. From Lanre Oseni, Lagos. I have been following your comments on national issues since the time of Abiola’s nullified election and have always found them very objective. I feel a sense of victory when I read your view is with the masses.

From Abdullahi, Niger State You have said it all. GEJ is not the same man again; he has lost popularity and the power of deception. To Nigerians, he lacks compassion and he is insensitive. Mr President is also seen to be incompetent for claiming that a cabal hinders his performance yet, he cannot prosecute them. Incompetence or dereliction of duty, which one? May be both. From ADEYCorsim,Oshodi, Lagos For Segun Gbadegesin The battle line is drawn again. Back to June12, back to the trenches. Voting PDP and GEJ was a criminal mistake. Now we must pay for that stupidity. From Edo Osa Don, Benin. Re: “The MRI of a nation.” One is a forwardlooking democrat, an engaging technocrat, a practical admimistrator and a man of the people while the other is a lucky recluse, an intellectually-deficient ruler always relying on illogical analysis based on conflicting data founded on fraud by a rapacious band of venal individuals. The difference is like water and local gin! From Kayode A., Abeokuta. We are their masters during campaign; we become politicians, slaves, thugs and all sorts when the staff of office is handed to them. Your piece on January17, is quite interesting. You see, all of us are guilty. Our religious leaders promote and abate corruption at all levels. People steal public funds/property and are celebrated and worshiped for such crimes. It is bad. Anonymous I wish to thank you for your wonderful column titled “The MRI of a nation”. The write-up has exposed the evils of tribalism and efforts of those in government and its beneficiaries to stunt the growth of our country by their selfish and demonic conducts and behaviours. Those promoting these vices will not go unpunished. Please, keep up the good work and do not be deterred by threats from the oppressive agents of government. From James O., Ughelli, Delta State As usual sir, your piece “The MRI of a nation” excellently portrays the misfortunes and fortunes of our nation. The physician for Nigeria’s ailment can only be politicians and technocrats who are passionate and capable of rising above primodial and petty sentiments. A leader must be mindful of the needs of the led and harmony in the social fabric. At the centre, this is lacking. But the spontaneous unity we experienced among the oppressed signifies an opportunity the progressives should harness in 2015. From Adamade Thank you, sir, for providing the physician, the truth, which is usually bitter to swallow. From Dare, lkorodu I read your article “The MRI of a nation”. The last paragraph speaks my mind. If some people will claim to know the president and refuse to tell him the truth, then we have a big problem in this country. After all, he became the president by votes from both sides. From D. Y. Shagaya, Kaduna Your piece “The MRI of a nation” is superb. The Ijaws must understand that their lessthan- two million votes could not have made GEJ president of Nigeria. From Idi, Lagos Excellent and well analysed, but what of betrayals of Nigerians by the NLC/TUC leaders? Please, carry out av MRI test on them. Anonymous The subsidy strike has also shown the geographical space in Nigeria with the highest number of the ‘rascals’ in our midst.The beasts among our political leadership were also highlighted by the event. It is a pity that a struggle against economic strangulation could be reduced to a fratricidal war by some tribal chiefs and


political elite. From Prince Oloyede Adeoye, Igboora. Re: “The MRI of a nation”. It had happened and ended in a manner of ‘roforofo’ fight. In governing the people, government must carry people along and also respect their opinions unlike what President GEJ did on January 1. The protests should make the government think twicw next time, before forcing a policy or decision on the populace! However, genuine protesters are always welcome while situation-hijackers who destroy and injure innocent people should always attempt to show their fury in Government Houses! President Goodluck Jonathan and his governors/ministers need to be benevolent, henceforth. From Lanre O. You sound patriotic in your write-up “The MRI of a nation”. Have you ever thought of the loved ones lost in Boko Haram calamity. There are sections of this country that herald any crisis and demonstrate but would not want a frontal engagement to end it. What is wrong in massive demonstation against Boko Haram? We are all learning to be diplomatic. From Phiolo, Warri. Your piece captioned ‘’The limits of rationality’’ published in The Nation on January 13, was a tongue twister. I read it with consumate relish. From Pastor Bovet Omang, Ogoja, Cross River State Wonderful piece there! It is pathetic that the democracy which eminent Nigerians paid the ultimate price for is in the hands of people like GEJ. Is this what we want? From Bello. “The MRI of a nation” was incisive and inspiring. The nation is sick and needs MRI to scan her body to verify the type of ailment it habours in order to prescribe a medical remedy or surgical operation to correct the malady plaguing her. The nation is faced with various problems militating against her greatness due to economic and political injustices. Everything that we associate with progress and development does not appear civilized, decent, democratic and fair, any more. Nigerians are becoming hopeless, and despair about their future. The psyches of our political leaders have been polluted by corruption and self-interests. And the President we put at the helm of affairs is surrounded by sycophants and bad advisers. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote: “Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good.” In the circumstance, the President should do away with his numerous advisers who advise him wrongly. His humility and luck earned him the position he now occupies and if he is not careful, he may not succeed. We have been having leaders in this country but we now need a good reformer to reform the country and bring us out of the mess we found ourselves. Therefore, a Soveriegn National Conference will be a good step in the right direction. This is the urgent surgical operation which the nation needs. From Prince Adewumi Agunloye Jonathan is a product of impoverished community consumed by people who used jets to school. His problem is status shock. From Prof I eagerly await your comment on morbid, murdering Boko Haram and Nigeria’s fearful, tearful, boastful, clueless-seeming President! From Kayode Adebayo, Alapoti, Ogun State.





NATION SPORT Onuoha favours Everton move


ANCHESTER City defender Nedum Onuoha is keen on a move to Everton. The People says QPR boss Mark Hughes was willing to pay £60,000 a week to lure Onuoha to West London. But the 26-year-old wants to stay in the North West and Everton manager David Moyes hopes that will work in his favour. Moyes wanted a central defender and defensive central midfielder during this transfer window, and has already taken Darron Gibson from Manchester United. Landing Onuoha, who can operate anywhere across the back line but predominantly in the centre, would complete a good window for the Everton gaffer.


Ike Uche gets new coach at Granada A

FTER losing four from the five matches played in the Spanish La Liga, Ike Uche's spanish club Granada has former Atletico Madrid boss Abel Resino as a new coach Resino replaced Fabriciano Gonzalez, having won promotion to the top flight last season for the first time in 35 years, are just a point above the relegation. "Granada CF announces the hiring of Abel Resino as the red and whites' new coach until next June 30," the club said in a statement on their website ( The 51-year-old, who also played in

Olofinjana eyes Crawley match




ULL CITY player Seyi Olofinjana has hinted that he is fit and ready to play 90 minutes football for Hull City this season. Knee surgery in the summer kept Olofinjana out of action in the first half of the 2011- 2012 campaign , were he spent almost four months in the treatment room, but a return to first team action came his way in City's FA Cup win against Ipswich on January 7. The out of favor Nigeria international has told that he his back to full action , and fully ready to play in the weekend's game against Crawley town in the English FA Cup. Hull City is Olofinjana's third club in England following his move from Norwegian side SK Brann in the summer of 2008.

By Danmole Olaitan

goal for Atletico, oversaw his first training session yesterday before being presented to the media. Resino, whose latest coaching job was at second-division Real Valladolid, was hired by Atletico in February 2009 to replace Mexican Javier Aguirre. He engineered a late surge to grab fourth place in the league and a slot in the Champions League playoff round before being let go after a poor start to the 2009-10 campaign. Gonzalez, known as Fabri, was dismissed on Sunday following Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Espanyol which left Granada one point above the La Liga relegation places. He led the Andalusians back to the top flight after a 35-year absence, winning consecutive promotions from the third tier and the second division. Saturday's reverse was their third in a row, including a 5-1 drubbing at leaders Real Madrid, and their fifth in seven games.

Liverpool may consider Osaze bid L

IVERPOOL may consider a bid for Nigerian striker Osaze Odemwingie to solve the club's under-performing forward line. West Brom boss Roy Hodgson who was a former Liverpool boss, placed an £8 million price tag on Osaze to ward off clubs like Fulham or Wigan from bidding for the striker, whom he says is good enough to play for a top side. It was gathered that Liverpool is planning a bid for Darren Bent valued over £24 million, but with the form of Osaze, the Nigerian international is said to be just right to fill the position. It is expected that if signed, Osaze would join Suarez, Carroll and Bellamy in attack, and offers a combination of pace, technique and finishing that none of the previous

By Bimbo Adesina three mesh together as well as he does. "We are not saying he will come in and be number one striker at Anfield, but the previous month has shown Liverpool need a goalscorer, and he certainly is that. Playing as a lone forward for West Brom last season Odemwingie was a revelation, scoring 15 times," source close the Anfield said. Despite starting this season with an injury, Osaze has continued to score, including an outstanding winner against Blackburn at Ewood Park. He also has Champions League pedigree, netting at the San Siro in his days at Lille.

•Nigeria international Taye Taiwo signed a six months loan deal with English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers (QPR) yesterday


IGERIA Premier League (NPL) champions, Dolphins have announced that midfielder Abduljeleel Ajagun has absconded from their team's camp. A statement from the club on Monday revealed that Ajagun has been away without permission for more than a week. "Ajagun absconded from the camp of the team more than a week ago and has not been seen ever since or made any contact with the club," a part of the statement read. The midfielder was said to have told a few of his teammates that he was going to Kaduna. “He told a few players he was going to Kaduna but never informed the club officially. Now his phones are not reachable leading us to believe he may be out of the country on trials of some sorts. “It is sad that at this point in Ajagun’s career he is still doing this. Remember he has been suspended by Dolphins before for absconding like this and he was once dropped from the national Under20 team for truancy and absconding from duties. “Maybe this shows he is a very undisciplined player and the club

"If he were to form a potential partnership with Suarez, the pair could rejuvenate Liverpool's bid to reach the Champions League. Liverpool don't need to spend megamoney on an extra striker, that approach hardly worked with Carroll, so Odemwingie, a proven quantity, would be a prudent and low-risk signing," the source added. He added: "Liverpool's reputation has suffered in the racial abuse scandal of the Suarez affair. Signing Odemwingie, who himself suffered racial abuse in Russia, would be a PR coup and assist in repairing the club's tarnished image.For it is Odemwingie's talent, availability, and price tag, that Liverpool should make him their number one target ahead of deadline day.

•Members charged to resuscitate sports development


S the Lagos State government yesterday inaugurated the various sports associations, Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development in the state, Wahid Enitan Oshodi has called on members to resuscitate the development of sports in line with Government’s agenda. Making his speech at the Molade Okoya Thomas Multipurpose Hall, Surulere, the ace sports administrator said though the major priority is the stage a successful competition as host of the National Sports Festival (NSF), concentration will also be to win as much medals as possible. “To paraphrase His Excellency’s words on our position vis-à-vis the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival, set to be held in Lagos from November 27 – December 9, 2012. Your appointments are the first phase of this Governments agenda to resuscitate the development of sports in Lagos state, and not a last ditch effort to win medals at the Sports Festival. “As the host state, our primary focus


By Innocent Amomoh and Togo has been named as the new host. But the February 6 to 12 date remained intact. We had to call for meeting for the players to relate the news to them while we were also forced to reduce their number to 22 before the final selection. As host, you are expected to present two teams made of 11 players per team. But with this new development, we are now expected to present one team made up of six boys and five girls. So we need to continue to work on the players while the best hands will be chosen by Sunday that will represent Nigeria at the qualifiers in Togo next month,” Ubale lamented. Abuja was initially named as the host city for the qualifiers, but it has now been replaced by Lome. Also, the team camp is made possible through the efforts of NTF and an Abuja-based businessman, Aminu Kurfi “aka Banarewa,” who has been supporting the game so much. The technical crew of made up coaches like Babatunde Abe, Margaret Oladunjoye and Benson Ishicheli while the only bronze-badge International Tennis Federation umpire in West and Central Africa, Seidu Musa, will assist the crew during the camping.


and Dolphins, discussions between officials of both sides lasted till late at night until they agreed on a fee. Isiaka returned to Port Harcourt with the rest of the team on Sunday. Isiaka said shortly after that he is very elated at the conclusion of the deal. “I am actually very excited at joining Dolphins knowing they have been chasing me for about two years now,” Olawale said.

By Innocent Amomoh is to ensure we stage an excellent Sports Festival, underpinned by organisational efficiency, excellent planning, and successful implementation that showcases the best of Lagos to a National and Global audience. In saying that, we do not intend to shirk our sporting responsibilities and as such we are fully intent on putting on a good performance as the host State. “I am of the firm belief that with dedication to our cause and ensuring that the welfare of our athletes comes first, we shall be in a position to challenge for top honours at the festival. I must at this juncture emphasise that our first and uppermost duty as members of the association is to ensure that we give the best possible care to our athletes,” he said. Oshodi congratulated the appointed members of the various Sports Associations of the Lagos State Sports Council, while stating that they been

appointed based on their keen interest and past contributions to sports in general and the specific sport in particular. “ I am confident we have chosen the right people to help reverse the downturn in our sporting fortunes and chart a period of unprecedented sporting growth and development in Lagos. Let me take this opportunity to remind you of your responsibility as members. The Sports Associations form the bedrock of sports in Lagos and are very key to the development of sports in the State. While the Ministry fully intends to take up its supervisory role over sports in general, it is clear that the growth, propagation and overall development of each sport must emanate and be driven from the Sports Association. By accepting your appointment each of you individually accepts responsibility for the growth and development of your sport” he said. The members of the various associations are expected to commence work immediately.


Tunisia coach hails 'heroic' win over Morocco


•Karl Henry and Seyi Olofinjana (l) battle for the ball in the air

Dolphins grabs Olawale from Kwara FTER protracted negotiations, Dolphins and Kwara United finally agreed on a fee for the transfer of central midfielder, Isiaka Olawale to the League champions. Olawale has been a Dolphins target for two seasons now but they always failed to get him to agree on a deal. However, on Saturday night, after the league game between Kwara United


Lagos inaugurates sports associations

ITF denies Nigeria hosting right over Boko Haram threat HREATS from the Boko Haram sect in the country has been decleard as the reason for the withdrawal from Nigeria the hosting right for the 2012 Africa Junior Tennis Championship (AJC) qualifiers for West and Central nations accoprding to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Monday. The world tennis ruling body has given the right to Togo to host the 15 countries that are expected to compete for places in the AJC qualifiers from the regions. With this development, Nigeria has been forced to reduce the number of players to 11 from the initial 22 as the host nation. Disclosing this yesterday, national junior coach, Mohammed Ubale, said the withdrawal was communicated to the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) late on Monday following complains from other participating teams that the country is not safe enough to host such event. A sad Ubale said it was painful that among the 34 players in camp for the qualifiers, 12 of them were decamped yesterday in order to reduce the number to 12 before the final selection is made on Sunday. “We got the information that we will not be hosting again on Monday

frowns at attitude like this,” the statement from Dolphins offered. Dolphins also said they will report Ajagun to the NPL, as they are yet to deliberate on sanctions for his misbehaviour. Ajagun joined Dolphins in 2008 from amateur side, El Cruzeiro and has also been an integral part of Dolphins especially last season when they won the NPL.



•Turns to Togo

Ajagun goes AWOL

“Actually, family pressure kept me away from joining Dolphins two seasons ago because when I was at Lobi Stars my people wanted me to return home and that is why I chose Kwara United then. But after serving them well I have said it is time to move on and that is why I am here at Dolphins. I hope to give my best to this club and help them achieve their targets for the season,” Olawale said.

3SC ban: Olarinoye assures on Awolowo Stadium


OLLOWING the ejection 3SC from its home ground, the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium Ibadan over what the Nigeria Football League (NPL) described as the 'television unfriendly' state Stadium’s pitch after watching last Saturday's encounter between 3SC and Rising Stars taken live on SuperSport television, the Zonal Coordinator of National Sports Commission zone 1, Steve Olarinoye has pleaded on behalf of the team while promising to revive the pitch

very soon. Olarinoye, the former executive secretary of Nigerian Professional League before it changed to NPL disclosed to sporting press in Ibadan while reacting on the development that the weather and fuel subsidy strike was what hampered his men who have been working to fix the pitch back ahead of the league. He however, pleaded with the NPL not to wield its big stick on the Ibadan

darling team yet while he assured that before the next home of 3SC scheduled for 4th of February the pitch would have been lush green as his men are wetting it morning and night every day. His words: “I have been in the shoes of the NPL’s scribe before so I know how one would feel seeing team playing on bad pitch, but the bad weather and the workers strike contributed to the situation. We have been working day and night to revive it which I know will give us quick result.

“I want NPL to give the stadium a second chance by coming to inspect it in few days time which I’m sure they would be convinced before hammering Shooting Stars. Meanwhile, Oyo Sports boss, Dapo LamAdesina who visited the refurbished Lekan Salami Adamasigba stadium on Tuesday to inspect and motivate the contractors who had just returned back to finish the stadium renovations also pleaded with the NPL to give 3SC a soft landing.

UNISIA coach Sami Trabelsi has hailed his side's 2-1 win over Morocco at the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday as "heroic". The Carthage Eagles edged their North African neighbours with a gutsy performance, which Trabelsi attributed to their aggressive approach. "It's a precious win, which is going to help us in our journey during this cup," he said. "Without our spirit and aggression we wouldn't have won." "We were up against a technically very good side but my men were excellent." Goals from Khaled Korbi and a superb solo effort from Youssef Msakni put the Tunisians two up, before Houcine Kharjah pulled one back for the Moroccans, in a highly entertaining game in Libreville. Trabelsi, however, immediately afterwards turned to his side's next game against debutants Niger - who were beaten 2-0 by co-hosts Gabon earlier on Monday - saying a result in that game on Friday was even more important.

Tunisia captain Karim Haggui says the Carthage Eagles' mix of youth and experience can help them to challenge for their first Nations Cup trophy since 2004, when they triumphed over Morocco in the final by the same scoreline. "Tunisia's new generation wants to write its own history and looking at the potential of these young players that we've got, I really hope we can write it at this Nations Cup," Haggui said. Morocco coach Eric Gerets, meanwhile, attributed his side's opening defeat to a period in the second half when his team "lost their heads and played with their hearts", resulting in Msakni's second for Tunisia. "For nine or ten minutes we forgot our tactical organisation and that's why [Tunisia] were able to score. With a little bit of luck we could have come away with a draw, that would have been fairer than zero points. For 20 minutes in the second half I believe my team showed why we qualified, we played very good power-play football. [But] this cup can produce

surprises, that's life." Gerets also admitted the pressure was now firmly on his men in Group C, ahead of Friday's tie against Gabon. "The next match is an all or nothing affair," he said. "We've got more pressure on us now."

•Sami Trabelsi




60 fish farmers get support

Adeboye, Ashimolowo visit Aregbesola

‘Anambra committed to child-friendly policies’









Page 25

•Mr Ortwsen and his wife, Rebecca greeting the audience at the event


RECEPTION organised for an inspirational Tiv man, Mr. Emmanuel Msugh Ortwsen in Mbawar, Wukari in Taraba State, has served as a platform to rally the community for unity and more development. Ortwsen was honoured with Nom Ivaan of Mbawar or ‘the Arrow of Mbawar’ title for his contribution to the growth of the Tiv community. The event attracted a large crowd of dignitaries, including the Special Adviser to the state governor on political matters, Mrs. Rebecca Manasseh Tor-Peva. But it turned out to be more than a mere appreciation of one man’s developmental efforts. Mbawar people were urged to be more united. They were also

Tiv community craves unity, development Honoured couple pledges more Suntai’s aide seeks harmony From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

called upon to contribute more to the uplift of their community. The community head, Zaki Samuel Naan, made the call. So

did Governor Danbaba Suntai’s aide, as well as chairman of Wukari Local Government Council, Hon. Dan Azurmi. Mr. Ortwsen, Taraba’s first chartered stock broker, was recently elevated to the position of

Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IEI Anchor Pension Managers Limited. Wukari was agog, as the people rolled out the drums to honour him.

The carnival-like occasion took place at Sev-av Primary School, Wukari. It witnessed an unprecedented convergence of people, including top government functionaries, traditional rulers and other dignitaries from all walks of life. It was a traditional Tiv forum at which they congratulated their beloved kinsman for his achievements. It was also an avenue to thank Ortwsen and reciprocate his philanthropic gesture, unwavering commitment and honesty with the people. Ortwsen was given a standing ovation when he was called up to be confered with the Nom Ivaan of Mbawar. He was deco•Continued on Page 26

Boko Haram: Religious leaders hold peace talk


•Archbishop Onaiyekan

HE profile of insecurity in the country, worsened by frequent terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram sect, has prompted a meeting of Christian and Muslim leaders in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The meeting was part of efforts to ensure peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic groups in the country. The parley was initiated by the Abuja-based Interfaith Peace Building Forum. Speaking during its inaugural

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

session at the National Mosque in Abuja, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. John Onaiyekan said the forum seeks to address the incessant religious crises ravaging the country. He said the nation has suffered so much loss of life and property, necessitating concerted efforts to put an end to violence through approriate strategies that would enable adherents of both reli-

gions to build peace among themselves. The clergy added that a concrete structure must be established to sustain the attainment of their goals. His words: “There is no doubt that we are living through very critical times [necessitating] serious decisions about where we are going as a nation. “The purpose of creating a standing forum for mutual relations and cooperation has become urgent in the light of fre-

quent religious crises bedeviling our country presently. “The house would devise better ways of living together as brothers and sisters, Christians and Muslims since we have no other option than to live in peace.” Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Muslim Consultative Forum, Gen. Abubarkar Mamma said the forum would create platform for mutual understanding •Continued on Page 26



•Swange dancers at the event •Continued from Page 25

rated in the venerated cultural regalia, the Zebra Black and White Angel, with a spear in hand and Tiv’s most idolised oxblood ‘three-folder bag.’ For her supportive role in her husband’s huge success, his wife, Annah, was also decorated. She was crowned the ‘Gbandavaan of Mbawar’, meaning ‘the Quiver of the Arrow of Mbawar’. After the decoration, Ortwsen, accompanied by his wife, went round saluting the audience. He brandished his spear to the admiration of all. The cultural troupe thrilled the gathering with the popular Swange music and dexterous dance steps. As a metaphoric arrow of his community, Ortwsen has become the eyes and ears of the grassroots people, wherever he goes and works. His brief is to ensure that Mbawar community develops fast, via the “seek and feedback etymological principle”. His wife is also expected to play a crucial role: to hold firmly

•Swange performers

Tiv community craves unity, development to the “Arrow” and prevent it from being put to untoward purposes. If it is released to stalk an animal, it should do just that. The decision to honour the icon was reached by all the elders of the community, Newsextra learnt. Many extolled the virtues of the new Mbawar arrow. Ward Head of the communtiy, Zaki Samuel Naan, who presided over the ritual and sacramental proceedings, explained that Ortwsen has brought tremendous development to Mbawar. He described him as a “worthy son” and urged others to emulate his exemplary life. “He has achieved a feat worthy of celebration, having emerged as the first chartered stock broker from Taraba State”, chairman of the occasion and member, Taraba State House of Assembly representing Wukari constituency, Hon. Josiah Sabo Kente, said through a representative.

The lady chairman of the event and Special Adviser to Taraba State Governor on Political Matters, Mrs. Rebecca Manasseh TorPeva appreciated the efforts made by the Kurashibi family, which organised the event in honour of Ortswen. She said: “Ortwsen has distinguished himself in his chosen career.” She applauded him for his “meaningful projects”, which she noted, “have direct bearing on Mbawar people”. Mrs Tor-Peva added: “I am sure that this honour will spur him on, to do more”. “He is the pride of Mbawar”, said the chairman, Central Planning Committee, Mr. Jime Yongo, a lawyer. Chief Host and Chairman, Wukari Local Government Council, Hon. Dan Azurmi Agbu stressed the need for the event to be a continuum, where the community would always look back to celebrate illustrious sons. He

described Ortswen as a great achiever. Agbu sued for unity of purpose in the area and urged other Taraba sons and daughters to contribute to the development of the state. “I want to advise the people of Mbawar to be their brother’s keeper”, he said, promising that his administration would work in their interest. In his response, Ortwsen thanked the Kurashibi family and the entire Mbawar community for the honour bestowed on him and

his wife. “This gesture,” he said, “will encourage me to do more for Mbawar. “With this honour, I am challenged. I will go out there and bring more developmental projects to this community, by the grace of God”. Ortwsen solicited more support from his kinsmen and promptly made a cash donation towards the ompletion of a bridge along the Sev-av-Gbeji Road, to ease transportation.

Boko Haram: Religious leaders hold peace talk •Continued from Page 25

and relationship in view of unusual events that have happened between the two religious groups. Mamma who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Mosque Abuja, Alhaji Ibrahim Jega, said the forum would be a good example for both religions to project peace in the country and the continent. He said: “The purpose of this forum is to initiate good understanding and excellent relationships in view of events that have happened recently. It is aimed to lay a foundation of peace for both Christian and Muslim faithful across the country and to serve as a good example for the Muslims and Christians in the African continent and not only at the

Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “ While admitting that the group may be small in number, he expressed optimism that their objective of creating lasting peace would be achieved within a short period of time. In his remarks, the Imam of Zone 3 Mosque, Alhaji Tajudeen Adigun decried the prevalence of corruption in the country. He said it is rooted in the entire system while urging the forum to use the medium in addressing the menace. The group admitted that “there is great distrust, fear and disunity in the country and among the two main religious organisations in the country, resulting in the current tension, crises, killings and destruction of churches, properties etc by the Islamic terrorist group called Boko Haram.”



Lawmakers urge Fed Govt to remove soldiers


WO members of the Ondo State House of Assembly have called on the federal government to immediately withdraw military men that were deployed to different parts of the country during the protests that followed the removal of oil subsidy Fatai Olotu and Ayodele Arowele described the action of the federal government as unconstitutional. The two lawmakers in separate interviews with reporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said the action of President Goodluck Jonathan reminds people of the bad days of military rule when the rights of the people were violated. The Labour Party lawmakers said it was worrisome that even when the strike ended, military men were still present in some parts of Lagos State. They noted that since the protest in Lagos was peaceful, there was no need to deploy military men to the state in the first place. They also commended the people of Ondo State for the peaceful way they conducted themselves during the protest against the removal of fuel subsidy. The two lawmakers attributed the positive development to the dynamic leadership qualities of the state governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who he said has been doing everything possible to ensure peace exists across the state. Specifically, Olotu said: “Our people are lovers of peace. This is because they know that without peace, there cannot be meaningful development. Throughout the period of strike and protests over the removal of fuel subsidy, there was no fight, molestation or destruction of private or public facilities in any part of the state. “I want to use this medium to appreciate our good and wise people for displaying their maturity at this period. We are aware of what happened in other states of the federation during the protests. In some states, many people lost their lives while private and public properties were destroyed by aggrieved Nigerians”.

•Alimosho council chair Hon. Israel Adekunle (left) and the new officers at the swearing-in ceremony


HE secretary to the Alimosho Local Government, Lagos State has been sworn in. Also inaugurated were supervisors in the council. It was a remarkable moment for the council chairman Hon. Olusola Israel Adekunle who promptly announced that with the inauguration of the officers, the council was now ready to implement its developmental programme for its constituents. “A few weeks ago,” Adekunle said, “I inaugurated the Legislative Arm of the Local Government. [This] ceremony, therefore, is the last in the series of activities putting

Council chief swears in officers the local government administration in full operation.” The chairman explained that the swearing-in ceremony was delayed “for certain logistic reasons that have just been overcome.” He also expressed full confidence in the council secretary as well as the supervisors. “I have the honour and privilege to inform you that functionaries appointed and sworn in today have been chosen after a careful consideration of their abilities. They have

emerged because they are men and women of integrity and impeccable character who have all it takes to serve the people. They are the people we need to take Alimosho Local Government to greater heights of development.” But he also called on the new officers to give their best to the council in order not to disappoint the council authorities and the constituency. “Let me seize this opportunity to advise the new appointees that they

should be loyal to the administration and identify with its programmes,” Adekunle said. “This call to service should be an opportunity for you to showcase your abilities as a man is adjudged by the content of his character and not by who he or she adores or worships. “I also need to let you know that a high sense of orderliness and comportment in the eyes of the general public is also an added credential.”

Fayemi resuscitates burnt bricks factory



HE moribund burnt brick factory in Ire-Ekiti, Ekiti State, will soon come alive, Newsextra has learnt. Once a viable industry, the brick factory has been abandoned for about two decades. It will now be revived within the next eight months. The state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi confirmed this shortly after signing an agreement with ERATEC, the Belgian company which originally built the factory, on its refurbishment programme that will bring it back to full production. The refurbishment project is jointly sponsored by the state government and Odua Group of Companies. The governor said the resuscita-

Fayemi expressed joy that the factory would also be another means of winning the war that his administration was waging against unemployment in the state

tion of the brick industry was a positive step for his administration as it has also brought life back to O’dua Textile which was recently converted to an enterprise centre, housing a skill acquisition centre, a builder’s mart and a park. Fayemi said he was particularly happy that the efforts have enabled the state to get away from the erroneous impression it was neither an industrial centre nor a choice destination for investors. Fayemi said: “What we are doing is to restore confidence by pulling back even though you helped build the factory years ago; of course you left it for us to run and we all know what has happened in the course of the past two or three decades of that industry being there. We are delighted that it is during our time that many of these institutions are being revived.” The governor assured that a bill would be sent to the state House of Assembly to encourage government’s patronage of the factory products when it commences full operation so that it won’t go bankrupt again. “I will even take a step further and send a bill to our legislature that would encourage us to use a percentage of what you produce for every government building projects in the state. And we will encourage everyone who wants to

come to the state to be involved in any building construction also to use local contents once that factory begins operation”. Fayemi expressed joy that the factory would also be another means of winning the war that his administration was waging against unemployment in the state. He urged the O’dua Group to begin training of youths who would work in the factory to enhance its sustainability. He expressed optimism that the factory would do well with the vast resources available to it since the state is rich in kaolin clay found in Ire, Ilupeju, Isan and Ara Ekiti, among others. The representative of CERATEC, Mr. Daniel Deconinck assured that refurbishment work would take off immediately at the factory and would

be completed within the next eight months. Deconinck said government should rest assured that the plant would be revived since it would be repaired by the company which built it. He, however, appealed that government at all levels should patronise the factory when it commences operation in September. In attendance at the event were the Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and cooperatives, Otunba Remi Bodunrin, Group Managing Director of Odua Group, Mr Adebayo Jimoh, Ekiti representative on the board of Odua Group, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Director-General of Ekiti Enterprise Development Agency, Mr Seyi Ayeleso and Managing Director of Fountain Holdings, Mr. Olusegun Osikalu.



N300m electrification project for six communities

60 fish farmers get support


• Governor Nyako

N African Development Bank (AfDB) initiative is supporting 60 fish farmers in Adamawa State with farm inputs. The initiative is being coordinated by the Community Development Based Agriculture and Rural Development Project (AfDBCBARDP) The Co-ordinator of the initiative, Mr Mustafa Raji, told journalists in Yola that the benefitting farmers were from Wuro Abbo and Paka in Jada and Maiha local government areas respectively. Raji said that the inputs given to them included homestead fisheries equipment and more than 3,000 fingerlings. “Three demonstration fish farms were constructed and more than 600 farmers received training in different fish farming skills,’’ the coordinator said.

Gombe to tackle jobs, transportation


HE Gombe State government is seeking the intervention of the Federal Government to enable it tackle transportation and unemployment challenges. The state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, disclosed this during a meeting with the Minister of Trade and Investment, in Abuja, stating that the government will want to key into the Federal Government’s industrialisation policy as well as the recently inaugurated mass transit scheme to create jobs and generate wealth. He said: “The state government is ready to partner the Ministry of Trade and Investment on the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, especially in the area of skills acquisition. “The state government had embarked on the construction and rehabilitation of urban and rural roads to facilitate the smooth operations of Federal Assisted Mass Transit Buses. “This is the first time we are having a coordinated mass transit programme that will address the transport challenges across the country, create jobs and generate employment for our people. “We want to key into this scheme through

Gombe From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

the Gombe State Transport Corporation. Already, we have embarked on massive construction and rehabilitation of 43 roads across the state to facilitate smooth operation of the mass transit scheme in the state. “We are ready to contribute in any way the Federal Government wants us to in order to ensure the success of the mass transit programme. The Federal Government’s assisted mass transit programme has a multiplier effect in terms of reducing the transportation cost and also creating jobs for our people. “The way we are looking at it is that if we are given 100 buses, we will give each bus to three youths who will work in the morning, afternoon and night shifts. This means that about 300 people will be directly employed. We believe that this is a scheme that will take a lot of unemployed people off the streets.” “We are also ready to partner the ministry especially in the areas that we have competitive advantage.”

Council urges appointees to be prudent


HE Chairman of Eti Osa Local Government Area, Hon. Olanrewaju Elegushi, has urged the newly inaugurated supervisory councillors, special advisers and secretary to the council to use their wealth of experience to develop the area. Elegushi noted that it would no longer be business as usual because the people at the grassroots were yearning for dividends of democracy and the council could not afford to be different. He pleaded with the people to also extend their co-operation to the newly appointed officials to do their job instead of diverting their attention by seeking favours or assistance likely to encroach on public funds. He said: “It is very important that I let you know that the officials will always render account to the people in terms of resources at their disposal. Therefore, don’t expect much from them because apart from their imprest account, the only thing they have is just their salaries.” The council chief emphasised that those appointed were recommended by the party hierarchy, given their integrity in public record. This they were expected to use in the development of the council and all hands must



HE Kogi State government has awarded a N300 million contract for the electrification of six communities on Lokoja-Koton Karfe trunk line. The Commissioner for Information, Mr Tom Ohikere, told journalists in Lokoja that the befitting communities were Karara, Jamata, Banda, Kungbami, Ohono and Akpanya. Ohikere said that the scope of the project covered the stepping down and provision of 300 KVA transformers in each of the communities. He told newsmen that the contract was

He said that the goal of the initiative was to reduce poverty through improved livelihood and living conditions of rural communities.

Kaduna plans for subsidy largesse Kaduna From Tony Akowe, Kaduna


HE Kaduna State government has constituted a high-powered executive committee made up of commissioners to identify programmes, projects and activities to be executed with the state government’s share of revenue accruing to the state from the subsidy reduction fund. The state government has also dissolved the state Board of Internal Revenue, asking the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Finance, Saidu Kakangi to oversee the affairs of the board pending its reconstitution. In a statement made available to Newsextra and signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Reuben Buhari, the government said that the 15-man committee will be headed by the Deputy Governor and is expected to advise on any other ways of judicious utilisation of proceeds from the subsidy reduction. The statement noted that the governor “is fully desirous of ensuring that concrete and visible measures aimed at delivering robust and comprehensive interventions in all aspects of the state is quickly and effectively achieved. Members of the committee are Commissioners for Finance, Rural and Community Development, Economic Planning, Local Government, Transport, Health, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs, Special Duties, Agriculture, Education and the Chief of Staff to the governor, while the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Projects will serve as the Secretary.

•Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Comrade Ayodele Adewale,State (middle) with Mr. Victor Layeni, Council Manager (right) and Miss Folashade Ajao, Secretary to the council during the Local Government 2012 Budget Retreat at Whispering Palms Resort, Badagry

Sokoto donates relief materials to flood victims T

HE Sokoto State government has donated relief materials worth N50 million to victims of the 2011 flood disaster in the state. The flood destroyed lives and properties in nine of the 23 local government areas. The Commissioner for Agriculture,Dr Jabbi Kilgori, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Sokoto. Kilgori said that the beneficiaries were from Isa, Wamakko, Wurno, Goronyo, Gada, Illela, Silame, Kware and Gwadabawa local government areas. He said that the relief items were 500 water pumps, 3,600 bags of Urea brand of fertilisers, improved seeds and pesticides, among others. “The water pumps cost the government over N20 million, the fertilisers cost N18 million while the other items cost about N12 million,’’ he said. Kilgori said that the administration was already constructing 1000 unit of houses worth N 2.4 billion for the flood victims in Goronyo, Silame and Gada local government areas.

He also said it constructed houses worth N50 million and made a cash donation of N300 million to victims of the 2010 flood disaster in state. In another development, the state government is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and tomatoes processing industries to establish two value chains for tomatoes farmers in the state. Kilgori told journalists that the project was under the CBN National Incentive-based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). “The chain entails an end-to-end handling of tomatoes from planting, harvesting, processing to marketing,’’ he said. He said that beneficiaries of the project would be provided with improved seeds, credit facilities at low interest rates, capacity building and guaranteed market, among other incentives. “A feasibility study and survey of the project are being undertaken to establish the number of the benefiting farmers, inputs, capital and expanse of land needed for the project.’’

Ex-lawmaker seeks Ringim’s sack

•Officails attending to children at the event

Foundation remembers the poor


• Hon Elegushi cogratulating one of the new officials



S part of the activities toward giving hope to the less privileged, Pink Pearl Foundation with support from Oaken Events recently gave out gift items to 300 children from different orphanages in Lagos. The event, tagged ‘December Giveaway’ and held at the Kings College Annex, Victoria Island, Lagos, had in attendance the wife of Delta State Governor , Mrs Roli Uduaghan, her Lagos State counterpart, Mrs Abimbola Fashola and children from different motherless babies homes and correctional facilities such as Special Correctional Centre for Boys Oregun, Children Centre Idi Araba, Girls Centre Idi Araba and Girls Remand Home, Idi Araba, Lagos. Speaking at the event, CEO, Oaken Events, Ayiri Oladunmoye said: “we planned this event to reach out to young ones who are too often forgotten this season. A lot of us connect and share love with our family and friends but do not remember to spread the love to people who may not enjoy these privileges.

Niger revokes contract Niger From Jide Orintunsin- Minna

By Musa Odoshimokhe

be on deck to actualise it. “It is important to note that the appointees were considered based on their flawless records and selfless contribution to our community and the great party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). “Let me reaffirm our administration’s commitment to the programmes and projects of Governor Babatunde Fashola. He has demonstrated impeccable leadership style which those of us at the grassroots must emulate in the discharge of our duties. The Eti-Osa council recognise this fact and will march on the path set by government.” The chairman maintained that as government policies often affects the people at the grassroots, he urged the Federal Government to deploy good judgement on issue that affect the country. He expressed dismay over the deployment of soldiers to Lagos because this was capable of sending wrong signals to the peace-loving people of the state who had gone about their lawful business without fomenting trouble. He resolved that a timely withdrawal of soldiers from the streets of Lagos was what Lagosians wanted now.


By Adeola Ogunlade

In addition to reaching out directly, we also used the event to encourage the spirit of giving.” Also, The Patron of the Pink Pearl Foundation Orode Jade said: “Today was yet another eye opener for me as a lot of kids came with no shoes and left with new pairs. We should be grateful for what we have, because the things we take for granted are dreams for some others.” Speaking at the event, one of the children, Seun Ayodele, said: “I am very happy about today. We had enough to eat, danced and enjoyed ourselves. We even got a lot of gifts to take home. I am very grateful to the organisers and hope more people will help us and other children like us. The event was also cosponsored by Crystal Party Solutions. Other attendees included OC Ukeje and Ajegunle Ghetto Soldier, and Daddy Showkey.

A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Uche Onyeagucha, has described the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, as a colossal failure, who should be sacked without further delay by President Goodluck Jonathan, over the Boko Haram actions He also advocated the appointment of a non-policeman as Ringim’s successor, with the police to be totally overhauled. Onyeagucha, a Port Harcourt, Rivers State-based lawyer, in a telephone interview from Abuja , described Nigeria as underpoliced, with the policemen underequipped. He alleged that most of the funds allocated to the police had not been going beyond the office of the IG, which he described as very unfortunate. Ringim is to retire in March this year, while the Federal Government has set up a committee to probe the escape of a terrorist, Kabiru Umar, aka Kabiru Sokoto, which was seen as negligence on the part of the police authorities in Abuja. Onyeagucha, a former governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Imo State and exmember of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Police, said President Jonathan must be firm and decisive in sanitising the police and ensuring safety of lives and property in Nigeria. He said: “Ringim has failed as IGP. He also failed as AIG in Umuahia, as he could not confront the kidnappers in Abia State, who were terrorising the residents, until soldiers were deployed to restore law and order. Therefore, there is no reason to continue keeping Ringim as IG”.


IGER State government has revoked the contract for the construction of the new permanent site of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in the state. The revocation order was issued after a state executive council meeting in Minna. The construction of the orientation camp located in Paiko, Paikoro Local Government Area of the state was given to the contractor in May 2011 with a six months completion period but has not gone halfway when the contact was revoked. Commissioner for Justice, Mr Bawa Wuse, disclosed this while briefing newsmen after the executive council meeting in Minna. According to Bawa, N42 million out of N115, 435,134 of the total contract amount had been advanced to the contactor who later abandoned the site without making any effort to return and complete the job, adding that all efforts by the state government to get him back to site proved abortive. The commissioner said that the contractor claimed that he had no financial ability to continue the work and would only return to site when further payment had been made, a demand contrary to the terms of the contract. “The Niger State government has revoked the contract of the contractor engaged to build the NYSC permanent orientation camp in Paiko. The government has realised that the contractor does not have the financial strength to complete it. The government had earlier given him N42 million as stated in the contract and since he cannot complete the rest due to financial constraints, government has decided to revoke the contract”, he stated. Bawa further said that the state government is instituting legal action against the contractor to recover from the N42 million advanced to the contractor as the estimate of the job done by the contractor was worth N20 million.

Kogi awarded to the New Moon Nigeria Ltd. on December 28 last year and was expected to be completed within three months. The commissioner also said that the administration had approved N53.6 million to carry out additional work on Isanlu township road. According to him, the additional work will include provision of drainages, roundabout and expansion of the 4.1 kilometre road. He said that the contract was awarded to TEC Engineering Company. Ohikere assured the people that all the ongoing projects in the state would be completed within the tenure of the


administration. The administration’s tenure would end on April 5.

Honour for ex-Yobe governor


ORMER governor of Yobe State, Senator Bukar Abba-Ibrahim has been honoured for his contributions toward the development of education. At a ceremony organised by the Education Development Magazine, held at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Resource Centre, Abuja, Ibrahim was commended for his outstanding effort which led to impressive improvement of the education sector in his state. Other awardees include, Olori Maria Olobayo, Mrs. Rahab Ejiofor, the Vice –Chancellor of Adamawa State University (ADSU) Dr. Alkasum Abba, Hajiya Lailatu Nomah, Mrs. Iyabo Medupin among others. In his address, the Editor of the magazine, Mr. Alex Bamgbade explained that the awardees were selected based on their contributions to the development of education in their various states.

“We have carefully picked the recipients because they have contributed immensely to the development of education across the states of the federation.” While receiving his award, Ibrahim promised to sustain his philanthropic gesture to education advancement in the society. “As a governor, my administration ensured that there was great improvement in the performance of students by embarking on massive infrastructural development in schools and provision of enabling environment, good teachers, learning aid among others. “As a lawmaker, I have not stopped to contribute my quota in furtherance of my belief that education is key to the socio-economic advancement of a society like ours and I shall continue to sustain my contributions in that regard.”

• Abba-Ibrahim (right) receiving his award on the occasion

‘Be agents of change’ HE Chairman of Mushin Local Government, Hon Olatunde Adepitan, has urged the newly appointed Secretary to the Local Government and the Supervisors to be agents of positive change. He made the call while swearing in the

• Governor Idris

members of the executive council recently. According to the chairman, there are three major organs in the local government system that must be ready to work together, they are the executive, the legislative arm and the management.

•From left :Hon Yahya; Hon. Adepitan, Hon Lukman and Hon Fayinka at the ceremony

The entire citizens and the members of staff are stakeholders. The organs must be prepared to bring positive change. “I urge you to work with the councillors and the entire staff in order to ensure that Mushin Local Government is pushed to the next level”. Speaking further, the chairman enjoined the members of the executive to come up with ideas that can forster peace, unity and progress. Adepitan admonished the supervisors to see their appointment as an act of God and service to humanity. He charged them to live above board as any act displayed by them could have negative or positive impact on the image of the council. He told them to contribute their quotas to bring about rapid development in all the 10 wards that make up the local government area. He said the primary object of his administration is to ensure that all roads in Mushin Local Government area are motorable, youths employment, good health services and others. Those sworn in are: The Secretary to the Local Government, Hon. Ismail Yahya, Hon. Olajide Lukman, Supervisor for Agric and Natural Resources, Hon. Toyin Fayinka, Supervisor for Chieftaincy and Boundary Adjustment Matter, Hon. Olamide William, Supervisor for the Environment and Waste Management, Hon. Tiwalade Joseph Aina, Supervisor for Works and Housing, Hon. Rafiu Olowonyo, Supervisor for Education and Library Services, Hon. Taofik Oriyomi, Supervisor for Market and Revenue Generation Unit, Hon. Medinat Kadiri and Hon. Mallam Sulaimon Garba.




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‘We are ready to go digital’

Creative hand behind the scene

– Page 33

– Page 34

‘My name is Charlie. I recently found out I was not going to die’ A boy who survived cancer has written a heartbreaking letter about his treatment. CHARLIE WILLIAMS was five when he was found to have medulloblastome, a rare and deadly cancer. Seven years on, he has been given the all-clear. He wrote the letter at his school in Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk. His mother Beverley said: “We are so very proud of him and we years.” – SEE PAGE 31 know he is an amazing boy who is very wise for his years.”



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‘My travails in the hands of gunmen’ The history of Ondo State will be incomplete without the mention of Chief Sanya Oyinsan. He was the General Manager, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Akure, which announced the controversial election results during the Ajasin-Omoboriowo crisis in the state. The former director of programmes, Ondo State Radio Corporation (OSRC), who retired 14 years ago, spoke with Damisi Ojo on digitilisation in broadcasting, founding of an FM station in Akure and his travails during the Ajasin/Omoboriowo election crisis, among others.


OU were Director, Programmes at the old Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC). How fulfilling is this return journey? Every height a man or woman attains in life is by the special grace of God. I don’t believe anything happens by accident. My return to OSRC, Akure after 40 years in-between is an arrangement from God and fulfilling experience. Such occurrence doesn’t happen every time, in my own situation, it happens with a purpose and I believe God knows about it. That purpose is unfolding by the day, unknown to many people, I was a pioneer General Manager of Radio Nigeria in the early 80s in Akure and the very location of the new FM station for OSRC is now on the same site along Irese road. The monumental development that is on-going on that site is a beauty to behold, a real symbol of rebirth of transformation. Incidentally, I supervised the construction of Radio Nigeria in Akure and I am now supervising new OSRC FM station 30 years later. My vision is to see to the completion of the building and make a breakthrough on the issue that does not happened all the time. Your days in broadcasting were primarily analogue based. Today, NBC is considering digitalizing the sector in six months time. How practicable is this and what are the pros and cons of this policy? I often call myself an analogue-broadcaster, when I started off, the computer-age had not come, but to the glory of God, today, there is a step up in terms of technological advancement. Though, I am skeptical on whether the skills are moving in the same way of the technology. This poses a question-has the ICT experience occurs in terms of skill and expertise in the knitty-gritty of the job, I believe the answer is never here or there and this is unfortunate. For example, the level of training I was able to go through within and outside the country prior to the time I started featuring in radio or Television station was no longer exist. There are more half-baked broadcasters now than in my time. In my time, you went into broadcasting because of outright conviction, you look forward to true fulfillment of the totality of your person, sadly today, 80 percent of those recruiting into broadcasting stumbled on the job because of lack of opportunities in other areas of endeavours and they also stumbled out as soon as new opportunities came especially in banking and oil companies. In broadcasting industry, you are bound to be cerebral and intellectually groomed before, during and after stepping into the job, now, the listening public and your impact on them as well as their satisfaction were the major yardsticks to measure your success in the job, not godfatherism or godmotherism. That translated into the idea that you must be jack of all trades and master of all, because in the course of your career, you will have to interact intelligently with all manners of people and discipline in your target audience, like the Boys scout “you must be prepared”. It also took a lot of courage almost at par with the military to function and succeed on the job. The new FM Station at OSRC is perceived as political tool rather than economic, what’s your take? It is a laughable idea. It is completely out of tune with the real focus of the policy. With my age and professional pedigree, I cannot be used by any individual or political party to turn a state apparatus to propaganda machinery. In fact, God cannot be happy with me in that situation, for a career I had built for over four decades, I owe the responsibility to God and the entire citizenry of the state to make the station available to all shades of opinion and report facts, I want to put on record that no single individual has approached the station to express opposing views that will be turned back or anybody with adverts or jingles be ignored on the basis of his or her political lining, if anything of such has happened, I throw an open challenge to anybody, but having said that, the FM station cannot be used by either government, individuals, corporate bodies or anybody to work against the interest, peace, law and ethical values of the people of Ondo State and Nigeria in general. However, I will not subscribe to somebody coming to call a governor a thief or to slander government officials based on sentiments. Criticisms must be positive, logical and backed by very viable facts and figures provable in the court of law, so that the station will not be liable for slander or libel. I want to emphasise that all political parties, individuals and corporate bodies are welcome to the station. OSRC is no longer a tool for political vendetta. God is my witness that the incumbent Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has not for a minute teleguided the FM Station. Instead, he will encourage people to criticise or abuse him because it makes him laugh in as much as people are seeing visibly the achievements of his administration in the past three years.


BROADCASTING Sir, a rider to the last question. Can you dismiss that view, considering what happened during the Omoboriowo election crisis in the old Ondo State, when you were in charge of FRCN, Akure?

‘You should remember that I was the one who recorded and relayed the news on Akin Omoboriowo. But I discovered that the voice on the tape announced was that of a retired federal civil servant already identified and an indigene of Ekiti State’


Oh! Beautiful question. You should remember that I was the one who recorded and relayed the news on Akin Omoboriowo. But I discovered that the voice on the tape announced was that of a retired federal civil servant already identified and an indigene of Ekiti State [name withheld]. He was on the team of Army and police officers who came to drive me out of my residence in the wee hours with a readymade tape escorted by a detachment of police and Army officers to go and relay the news, even against my strong protest. The incident was more or less a civilian coup, but I was so unlucky that time to be the General Manager. So, they had to come to my house, nobody could be blamed in such circumstance. As an accounting officer of the corporation, nobody can argue with a gunman who posed to do the bidding of a strong man in that situation. In fact, immediately I was moved out of my residence around the midnight of that fateful day, I quickly ordered my wife to move our children out of my residence to any safer destination, since I was aware of the implication of the entire drama. But thank God, I am alive today and the incident had become a • Continued on page 32



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•Charlie and mum, Beverley

Charlie Williams’s parents, Beverley and Adrian, were at his beside throughout his treatment. He had not told them about the the letter. “When I brought it home and mum read it, it made her cry,” he said. Beverley said the letter had given her the chance to find out how her son was feeling, but added that he “may have had some help with writing it at school.”

‘My name is Charlie. I recently found out I was not going to die’

Charlie’s letter


HIS is a story of a child called Charlie who was diagnosed with cancer when he was only five years old. In fact, on the fifth day of the fifth month of 2005. My name is Charlie Willams. I could have died by now. I recently found out I was not going to die. At Addenbrookes Hospital I had to endure medical treatments that included radiotherapy, which involved me going into a cylindrical tunnel for about half an hour, which is quite scary for a six year old, as I was at the time. I also had several MRI scans also in a cylindrical tunnel, with all kinds of noises while you are inside. The chemotherapy was through a drip which was inserted into my body, in my upper chest, like a transfusion, and went on for a few hours at a time every month. I also had to have lots of blood transfusions. Needles aren’t the nicest thing in the world, and I used to be petrified of them, so you can imagine what it felt like for me to have them inserted into me so often as a child. But I’m used to them now. Do you think you could cope with all that medical treatment? How do you think it would change you as a person? Being ill, and knowing that there may be a chance that you will lose the things that make up your life, makes you value those things. For instance, material things like computers and calculators, even pens and pencils, become special things in a way, because you realise that without them you would not have the tools for your education. A simple pencil may mean nothing to a child in my school, but to a child in, say, a poor village in Uganda, it may just be the start of a lifetime of education. I think about these kinds of things now after being ill for so long. In most classes in this school, there will always be one child (sometimes more, sometimes even three) who will distract the rest of the children by doing something daft.

HUMAN INTEREST In Nigeria, cancer has claimed the lives of notable people, such as the late Maryam Babangida, Gani Fawehinmi, Simbiat Abiola, Tina Onwudiwe, musician, Edith Odu and broadcaster Yinka Craig. According to a consultant radiotherapist and oncotologist, Anthonia Sowunmi of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), cancer is no respecter of persons, and most patients do not know what cancer means. It affects the young and old, rich or poor. It happens so often, maybe every five minutes, sometimes every minute. The person doing it seems to want to be the centre of attention he uses the whole class as his stage, to do his performance. He doesn’t really care that there are other people there who really want to learn the subject the teacher is teaching. He just wants to distract anyone else who, like him, doesn’t care about learning. He is basically being selfish. I just look at people like him and think, why? Once in a blue moon, I will also misbehave, don’t we all, whether we are children or adults, its part of growing up, and part of life. But like I said, its once in a blue moon, not every minute of the day. Being seriously ill makes you think about these sorts of things, because you think about what is important and whats not. I wonder if those children, who don’t care and don’t behave, all had cancer one day, like me. Would it change them? For all you children, food is not just vital, you love good food, think about all those things you love to eat: chocolate, cheeseburgers, fries, sweets, cakes, sausages, roast dinner and loads of other things.

But imagine several days of not being able to put anything, even a drop of water, in your mouth. When you have to have so many operations and medicines, you just cant keep anything down. While in hospital, I would go to the canteen and watch people eating, but not be able to eat anything myself. Just think if you were that person dying for something to eat and all you can think about is food, but you have to fast for so many hours. Since I couldn’t eat much, I was fitted with a tube up my nose (sounds horrible but you have to have what you need or die). It was a little machine fitted with a glass bottle which gave me everything I needed for nourishment. All that time, I couldn’t eat like a normal child, made me fussy about my food; now I know what I am safe with and what I like I have sausages every night! Parents may seem unfair or not let you do things you want, but they will always help you. They feed you, they clothe you and they give you a home, but most of all they help you when you are hurt. My mum and dad sat with me day after day in the hospital, and watched me being pulled about, having all kinds of medical treatment I couldn’t stand. I know first hand what parents go through when they see their children in pain. I am sure that when I was diagnosed with the brain tumour, they thought I would not get through it. Can you imagine if your parents thought you were going to die? Now you have heard from a real life cancer survivor, I hope my story has shocked you in some way into thinking about your own lives. Here I am a normal child but one who has had an awful journey in the start of his childhood. But I have also had something positive from it all in that I am more serious and thoughtful about life. It makes me behave better at school and work harder. Cancer has made me take a step back and look through the window of life at what is ahead of me.” • Culled from The Times of UK



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UNN honours Achebe, Edeh


T was a gathering of scholars, scientists and policymakers at the international conference on Philosophy, Science and Human Development at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus. The two-day conference was part of the celebration of the 50 years of the premier Nigerian university. Egg-heads such as the renowned novelist, Prof Chinua Achebe and Very Rev. Fr. Prof Emmanuel Matthew Paul Edeh, were honoured for their contributions to the world of learning and knowledge. The chairman, Conference Organising Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ome, described Father Edeh as ‘a great articulator of African philosophy. “You have, in your intellectual, priestly and social life, married theory and practice, showing that metaphysics of being implies metaphysics of action. “As a priest-philosopher and humanitarian, the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka has invited you to this international conference to present a paper entitled Philosophy and Social Action in an African Philosophy. He presented the lead paper, entitled Philosophy and Social Action in an African Philosophy: A Case Study of Igbo Metaphysics, and was honoured with the award of a great articulator of African Philosophy by the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria Nsukka. While presenting the award, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Administration, Prof. Egbeke Aja said “the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria Nsukka in appreciation for your great contribution to African philosophy and the intellectual world at large present to you this plaque, a mark of honour, to you as A Great Articulator Of African Philosophy. Fr. Edeh is the author of Towards an Igbo Metaphysics, which has been internationally evaluated as a milestone in the history of thoughts in Africa and beyond. In this masterpiece, Fr. Edeh does not mince words in maintaining that African philosophy glides inseparably from theory to practice. In other words thought and action are inseparable in African philosophy. For him, the whole world derives its being from Chineke-God and this led to his God-man-world conceptual scheme. This metaphysical scheme of being, the God-man-world scheme is metaphysics of being which invariably implies a metaphysic of action. Therefore, it is a conceptual scheme that makes a demand on humanity to be stewards towards God’s creatures with special emphasis on caring for one’s fellow human beings. Edeh defines a human being as rnrnadi, “the good that is”. This is not only an ontological confession, not only an axiological affirmation, but also an aesthetic manifestation of the reality of authentic human existence. Igbo metaphysics of being as articulated by Fr. Edeh through his Igbo metaphysics leads to concrete existential

•Fr. Ede (right) receiving the award from Prof. Egbeke Aja From Chris Oji, Enugu

AWARD action aimed at uplifting the living condition of human beings who are seen as “the goods that are” because they share in the ultimate goodness, Ch in eke, Osebuluwa, Chukwu. Inspired by this metaphysics of being and action, Fr. Edeh has concretely established so many flourishing institutions to sustain and spread the African philosophy.

‘In this masterpiece, Fr. Edeh does not mince words in maintaining that African philosophy glides inseparably from theory to practice. In other words thought and action are inseparable in African philosophy. For him, the whole world derives its being from Chineke-God and this led to his God-man-world conceptual scheme’

Debutant at last year’s Bamako photography biennale Ghanaian photographer Nyani Quarmyne is joint winner of the European Union award with Burkina Faso’s Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo. Forty-five photographers and 10 vidoegraphers from 27 African countries featured at the festival. Quarmyne spoke with Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME on his dream and fulfillment in photography.

‘Winning the European Union award is big honour’ As a joint winner of the EU award, how do you feel? It is a pleasant surprise to be joint winner because the week has been quite fantastic. Back in Ghana the opportunity of working with curators and other notable photographers on the continent is few and far between. But I got the opportunity to look at the best works that come out of the continent, network with other photographers and curators on the continent as well as have portfolio reviews. It also afforded me the opportunity of sharing issues on what we grapple with in photography on the continent. So, it has been brilliant from that point of view; and my standing on the same podium with South Africa’s Pieter Hugo to receive awards was a pleasant one. At what point did you linked up with the organisers of the biennale and which entry won this award? I got linked up by another Ghanaian photographer, Nii Obodai. I put in my entries when he held a selection workshop on photography in Accra, Ghana. I put in one series on climate change. Would you have felt bad if you did not win any award? No, absolutely not. I would not have felt bad if I had not won. There are so many deserving photographers here at the biennale. There are lots of works I looked at here and I was wowed. What next after this award? Photography is still a fairly new career for me. I am looking forward to be able to do more indepth works. Hopefully,


PHOTOGRAPHY what I learnt here would be brought to bear on it. How will your family and close ones in Ghana feel about this award? They will be glad at home for the awards. I have been into photography for two years. I took a year off to study photography. And, surely, it is my main source of income and livelihood.

Some of these institutions include Centre for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation Elele, Rivers State; the Catholic Prayer Ministry of the Holy Spirit World-wide; the Pilgrimage Centre of Eucharistic Adoration and Special Marian Devotion Elele, one of the most vibrant pilgrimage centres in the world and the fifth largest pilgrimage centre in the world after Jerusalem, Rome, Lourdes and Fatima; Madonna University Nigeria; Caritas University Enugu; OSISA TECH Polytechnic and College of Education Enugu, Sisters of Jesus the Saviour, Elele, Rivers State; Fathers of Jesus the Saviour, Ugwuoba, Oji River, Enugu State; Male Contemplatives of Jesus the Saviour, Elele, Rivers State and Female Contemplatives of Jesus the Saviour, Amorji-Nike, Enugu, among others. All these institutions were established by Fr. Edeh in the light of his deep spirituality and philosophy of thought and action popularly called EPTAisrn-Edeh’s Philosophy of Thought and Action, which of course is grounded on compassionate caring (charity) for human beings and is consequently aimed at instilling peace into the millions of people who would definitely be touched by the metaphysical scheme in action. It is in recognition of this rare achievement that the Philosophy Department of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka deemed it fit to honour Fr. Edeh as not just an articulator of African Philosophy but A Great Articulator of African Philosophy – who of course said what is to be done and did what he said.

‘My travails in the hands of gunmen’ • Continued from page 30

past event. At 68, what would you like to be remembered for particularly in the state? I want to be remembered as a man who got favours, as one of the luckiest persons in my generation, as one who dreamt and saw it through, to be remembered as a man who made some slight difference to the career of broadcasting and who struggled hard to leave his footsteps on the sands of time. What gives you faith in the administration of Mimiko? My primary reason for associating and working for this government is directly linked to the personality, quality of character and sincerity of leadership of the present government in the state. Mimiko, who in spite of his younger age than me, is a role model. It is not the number of years, you are but the impact, you can make in life to the society. Mimiko had surpassed the electoral promises he gave, he had worked the talk, not just rhetoric, but worked practically with results to show for people. He has been matching his words with action. I also see a bit of myself in his caring Heart programme. The Governor had epitomised the philosophy of passion to spread welfare among the downtrodden. I care very little about acquisition of material wealth, just to have money to take care of my family and Mimiko is also in that pattern of life, I admire any person with strong vision and who can translate that vision with passion to mission that everybody can see, feel and hear about. I want to make it abundantly clear that I have not received a kobo from Governor Mimiko or anybody in government as reward for believing and working for this government apart from my legitimate earning as Chairman, Board of Directors of OSRC. Looking back, any regret being a broadcaster? I had a fulfilling time. There was no dull moment even, if I come back to life I will still work as a broadcaster. I thank God there was no regrets at all.



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Mr Ladi Akeredolu-Ale is a known face in the broadcasting industry. On March 2, 2009, the former newscaster at Channels Television, Lagos, was appointed director-general of the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), Akure. His duty is to reposition the corporation. He speaks with Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME on his fears over the proposed digitilisation of broadcasting, repositioning the OSRC, the establishment of a new FM radio station and the challenges of restoring acceptability and credibility in the audience.

‘We are ready to go digital’

I Am He (Mark of the Beast) By Uche Nwosu

The sun will die, the stars will fall And the universe will roll away Every prophet will claim, he’ll save the earth And science shall fail Some will say yes, some will say no Then suddenly I shall come To heal the universe I am He, he, he, I am He I am He, he, he, I am He You read of me in revelation That I’ll come to stop your tribulation I am inspiration, I’m soul-revival To near-extinction, I’ll bring you survival


ESPITE initial challenges, the DirectorGeneral of OSRC, Mr Ladi Akeredolu-Ale is still passionate about charting a new road map for the revival of the 36 year old corporation. He said a new multi-million naira FM radio station under construction at the old FRCN station at Irese, near Akure, would soon be inaugurated for operation. He said all equipment for the station has arrived and would be installed in a few weeks. Akeredolu-Ale explained that being a state-owned service provider would not foreclose the FM station from making profit, noting that it would be a mixture of service provision and commercial. “We intend moving towards trends in global broadcasting that attract audience participation,” he said. He assured that the corporation was ready to go digital should the regulatory agency, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) insist on the June 17, deadline. He, however, expressed fears over the practicability of such policy considering the many challenges confronting its implementation. He observed that there is no law in the country to that effect yet; and that it is more complicated than meets the eyes. He added that countries that implemented the digitalisation policy encountered many difficulties. “Unfortunately, virtually all the television sets in the country are analogue and no set up boxes. Now, are the consumers going to pay for changing their TV sets to set up boxes? It is not likely going to happen. In fact, everybody is waiting. Should the operators comply, how about the consumers? Anyway, as far as that is concern, we can go digital and we are ready,” Akeredolu-Ale wondered. The encounter with the DG was more than down to earth. Apart from commenting on national issues, such as digitalisation of broadcasting, he reflected on his mandate at the corporation. He said on assumption of office as the chief executive officer of the corporation, Governor Segun Mimiko mandated him to extend the coverage area of the station, transform the corporation into a professionally driven organisation, improve on staff welfare and general environment, especially training. These, he said, were at first challenging to him considering that he came from the private sector. “My ambition is to work with those I met who are professionals and willing to make the change to realise governor’s vision. In 2009, the organisation had problems, and it lost its credibility because of politics. That was the first challenge. But we tried to stick to the rules. “Mimiko gave me his assurance before I agreed to take the job and that executive interference which characterised the corporation’s activities before his administration would no longer arise. In fact, that’s why a man in the calibre of Sanya Oyinsan would agree to be the chairman of the board. It was a huge shift from what was in place before now. And in the past three years, the governor has kept to that and there has been no political interference,” he said. He noted that though with the characteristic of being owned by the state (giving viewers and listeners government programmes), the stations also take feedback from the audience to government. He said people had started believing in the corporation, which is one of the greatest achievements so far recorded by his administration. Explaining the reasons for the shift from AM to FM, Akeredolu-Ale said the old OSRC was operating one AM station, an FM station and the television. But because of the non-popularity of AM station, it was more difficult getting replacement for parts. “Eventually, the station was closed. Many members of the staff were transferred to the television and the FM stations. The philosophy behind the old system was that AM radio serves as a grassroots medium, while the


I’ll touch your soul to its very essence Listen to silence you’ll hear my presence I’ll help you capture, the light of the future Throughout the rapture no soul will rupture To every nation regeneration Restitution, final restoration I am He I raise your dead by nodding my head To make you born-again Grow the vine, don’t kill the weed I come with fire to judge the earth When the survival of consciousness Shall rest on a string


But I pull you back from the edge of the cliff You’ll have my comfort if you know my name I’ll bring you laughter on the verge of tears

Grandpa The grandpa sat, grizzle-haired Absently listening to the pattering of feet in the hallway in the past ten years Blind, now ninety He had perfected his His perception sharpened His senses of footfalls •Some of the equipment at the station

BROADCASTING FM is for the urbanised people with lots of music and entertainment content. When the AM was shut down, we transferred lots of the programmes that most of the grassroots people identified with to the FM. This created a problem for us in terms of philosophy, because it appears no one knows what the station stood for. To resolve this, the administration preceding this, decided to reactivate the AM station,” he recalled. But to avoid the wastages when spare parts are obsolete and difficult to get, Mimiko’s administration thought it would be much better to retain the AM vision of programmes, while operating an FM station. This guiding philosophy, he said, has evolved over time as new trends in broadcasting continue to contend for consideration. On the sustenance of the legacy he would leave behind, Akeredolu-Ale said such an issue should be left for God to determine, adding that it also depends on the philosophy of who succeeds him as CEO. “Regardless of the man in charge, it is the inputs by the various people that make any institution stronger. So, our prayer is that whoever succeeds us should be those wishing to improve on what we left behind.”

‘My ambition is to work with those I met who are professionals and willing to make the change to realise governor’s vision. In 2009, the organisation had problems, and it lost its credibility because of politics. That was the first challenge. But we tried to stick to the rules’

Now when he says: “watch-out There’s a toddler in the hallway.” All know without looking There’s a toddler in the hallway

If only we’ll wait By Yomi Oguntoyinbo

Twilight’ll give birth to dawn Thickest darkness overshadows the lawn Vanishes at slightest confrontation of the light Verily, the mountain that claims to be right Valley in tune of time is made. Though, Just soul acquainted with sorrow Joy surely’ll be decorated in the morrow If only we’ll wait A mustard seed to the soil the farmer laboured A bountiful rewarding harvest’ll be favoured Even the accursed ‘Barren’, within a time sweep Rocks her children’s children in the cradle to sleep Oh! What a surprise to behold?! Yesterday, a beggar with lack Today, a generous giver with lark All at the peril of mind’s ignorance Connected to the subliminal message of time If only we’ll wait Throw not to the bin your patience For of great reward it yields Today may be rough and full of thorns Tomorrow will be rosy, full of songs Surely, to the patient everything is possible, Achievable, surmountable, movable, conquerable… The world bowing at one’s feet If only we’ll wait … If only we’ll just wait



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Creative hand behind the scene


OR many years, Mr Collins Onuosa’s face has remained relatively unpopular at the openings of most major exhibitions organised by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments. Yet, Onuosa, a chief technical officer and head of the exhibition section of the commission (who is a key figure in exhibition design and space utilisation) finds more fulfillments in achieving results than being in the public glare. He has over the years handled the design of museum’s major exhibitions such as the Brazil, China exhibition, the Benin Kings and Royalty exhibition in Austria, African Lace exhibition, Lagos, Nigerian art in cycle of life, Lagos, Nigeria at 50 exhibition at Abuja, Portrait exhibition, National Museum exhibition in Port Harcourt, 2008, All is not lost, an exhibition sponsored by Ford Foundation and Bayelsa State Museum among others. In a chat with The Nation at the opening of an on-going exhibition in Lagos Museum, Onuosa said he would have done better as a technical person if the museum has been operating exhibitions calendar each year that would allow for adequate planning. He noted that the absence of such calendar has affected negatively the planning and quality of some of its major exhibitions. “I see all exhibition projects in the same light. What is my challenge is time. Also, we don’t have an exhibition calendar in the museum. And the result of course, is obvious. Let the museum draw up an exhibition calendar for a minimum of six months and accompany it with estimates for effective planning,” he said. He observed that if committed like-minds come together to man the creative industry, the sector would be the second money spinner after oil and gas. He, however, said that there are no systematic planning processes geared towards development of the sector. He added that if there are, they are not properly administered. He also noted that check and balances are missing in the effective utilisation of the nation’s resources saying, from the budget office to the ministry, agencies and committees, there should be adequate monitoring. Onuosa, who identified technical know-how, skill and capital as essential elements that would galvanise the sector, said red tape is a cancer militating against growth

‘I see all exhibition projects in the same light. What is my challenge is time. Also, we don’t have an exhibition calendar in the museum. And the result, of course, is obvious. Let the museum draw up an exhibition calendar for a minimum of six months and accompany it with estimates for effective planning’ EXHIBITION in civil service, which is why public private partnership must be encouraged. On his dream for the museum, he said the commission should deploy more young staff to the exhibition section to learn the practical aspects of the job and build confidence. This, he said, was how he learnt on the job to get this far. “The commission agreed to allow few of the young graduates to accompany me to every exhibition in order to learn on the job. But, the implementation of this was another headache as paucity of fund will be excused,” he said. Onuosa who is a 1983/84 set at the School of Museum Studies, Jos, recalled that he had advised the commission on the need to train young graduates in the relevant sections, especially exhibition. In spite of being one of the oldest and largest Federal government cultural agencies, the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) is seemingly being underutilised by most Nigerians. With a mandate

Firm wins award


PROCTER & Gamble (P&G)’s efforts in realising its purpose of touching and improving the lives of Nigerian consumers was recognised last Friday by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who presented P&G Nigeria with the prestigious U.S. Secretary of State Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for 2011. Bob McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer of Procter & Gamble Company received the award at a ceremony held in Washington D.C. on January 18, 2012. P&G received one of two awards at the ceremony. One presented to a multinational, and the other presented to ‘small to medium-sized enterprises’ (SME’s). In her opening statement at the ceremony, the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, said, “We are honouring these two companies because they have had an exceptional impact in giving back to the communities where they do business. They are setting the highest standards for corporate social responsibility. They are showing the world that it is indeed possible to do well by doing good”. P&G was nominated by the US Embassy in Nigeria as well as Pakistan for this award and was shortlisted in November 2011 amongst 11 companies globally. P&G is the first company to win for programmes in two countries i.e. Nigeria and Pakistan. According to US State Department, P&G Nigeria was recognised for the company’s corporate and brand CSR programme under the ‘Live, Learn and Thrive’ platform, to improve local communities’ water supply through education and purification technology; provision for a safe and healthy working environment; supporting the health and well-being of new and expectant mothers and children through mobile clinics; and innovative educational programmes for teenage girls. Bob McDonald said: “P&G’s purpose as a company is to touch and improve lives, now and for generations to come. Our Purpose guides and inspires everything we do. For 175 years our Purpose has focused us on finding ways to make people’s everyday lives a little better. We improve lives with our brands, with our business growth, with our employee programs and with our social responsibility efforts. When we improve lives, we grow our business and by growing our business we

•From left: Hillary Clinton and McDonald during the award

AWARD are able to improve even more lives. It is a virtuous cycle and entirely congruent.” The Managing Director for P&G West Africa, Manoj Kumar, who joined the ceremony virtually from the US Consulate in Lagos, said “P&G Nigeria is honored and

‘P&G Nigeria was recognised for the company’s corporate and brand CSR programme under the ‘Live, Learn and Thrive’ platform, to improve local communities’ water supply through education and purification technology; provision for a safe and healthy working environment...’


of collecting, preserving and presenting the nation’s heritage for education and enjoyment of the people, the commission is managing 34 museums across the federation. Yet, many Nigerians are yet to fully appreciate the contributions of museum to the nation’s socio-cultural development. Driven by the resolve to contain the declining interest of youths in our culture and a possible extinction of our heritage, the commission opened three major exhibitions within six months of last year: African Lace, Nigerian arts in the cycle of life and Ezi Na Ulo Ndoi Igbo (Igbo Household), in Lagos and Owerri museums. humbled by this award that is focused on improving lives,” adding that “this is the core of our purpose as a company and we are very fortunate to work with strong partners who share this vision – our distributors, agencies, suppliers and non-profit organizations such as Sponsor a Child, Society for Family Health and Adolescent Health and Information Projects (AHIP). Together, these organizations have implemented and are indeed still delivering truly excellent work that brings our purpose to life everyday in Nigeria.” Since its establishment in Nigeria in 1992, P&G has invested millions of dollars in fixed capital including a Plant in Ibadan, Oyo State where its products Pampers diapers, Ariel detergent, Always sanitary pads, Vicks throat drops and Bonux Detergent are manufactured. Making up over 85% of P&G products sold in Nigeria, these brands have grown to become leading household names in Nigeria. P&G employs about 3000 people directly and indirectly with Nigerians making up over 95% of its managers locally and some on international assignments. The company has created over 200 new successful entrepreneurs with sustained training and marketing support in rural and semi-urban areas over the past five years. P&G is expanding across West Africa with Nigeria as its central business hub the entire region. P&G’s social responsibility programme called Live, Learn and Thrive (LLT) focuses on the development of children of ages 0-13. With its ‘Always Care programme’ Procter and Gamble provides feminine hygiene and puberty education to over 700,000 Nigerian girls every year. The company’s Pampers Baby Care Hospital Program and Mobile Clinics, touch the lives of 1.5 million young Nigerian mothers and their babies annually. ‘Building Futures’ program, a collaboration between P&G and non-profit organisation ‘Sponsor a Child’ donates P&G products; Pampers diapers, Ariel detergent and PUR purifier of water purifier as well as providing learning facilities to orphanages across Nigeria. Procter and Gamble collaborates with non-profit organization, Society for Family Health on the ‘Safe Water for Nigerian Children’ programme, which has provided millions of litres of safe drinking water in Nigeria and the company’s Pampers/UNICEF program has provided over 7.5 million tetanus vaccines to mothers and their babies in Nigeria. P&G has gained significant recognition in Nigeria. Over the past year, the company won the prestigious SERA award for Best Company in Child-Focused CSR 2011, Best Company in Corporate Social Responsibility 2011 awarded by Institute of Brand Management of Nigeria and the Conglomerate Employer of Choice 2011 award by Multi-Talent Heritage.



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The oracle ...In the is not of to spirit blame Christmas



The Indigo Glass


O’Yemi Atolabi

Publisher:; 2011


Uzor Maxim Uzoatu




Nigerian who marries a foreigner is a twice-told staple of fiction. The usual arrangement can somewhat be summed up as black-andwhite in love. It amounts to going beyond the norm when the foreigner happens to be black who is just as well seen as an “oyinbo”. O’Yemi Afolabi in her debut novel The Indigo Glass limits the emotional world of the Nigerian man-about-town Morak Olaifa who marries the personable lady Berenice from Guyana. Morak happens to be the archetypal contractor whose fortune goes up and down in line with the multiform regime changes in the country. To compound matters, a second wife comes into the picture much to the chagrin of the eternally loving and rendering Berenice. She had met Morak in the summer of 1968 at a birthday party in Camberwell, South London. As a rokie author, it is interesting to note O’Yemi Afolabi’s approach to the writing life. According to her, “Writing this book was like preparing a meal. I knew what I wanted to cook but I had no stove, no kerosene and no ingredients. Forget to mention that I had neither spoon, knife nor matches (sic). At certain points in time, I didn’t even have a place from which segments of the story could be linked together.” Even so, she persevered and we do have a book, a work of the imagination that un-

dertakes a sweeping view of Nigeria from the vestiges of the post-civil war and the oil boom years to the days of the boomerang of doom. Ms Afolabi depicts the beginnings thus: “The early years of the re-

Transforming of Tiv society


OLLOWING misconception that Nigeria lacks indigenous political institutions capable of providing stable government, warrant chiefs, were introduced by colonial administration to fill the gaps. And for lack of trust and misunderstanding the chiefs outstepped their bounds in the discharge of their duties which caused a dislocation in the polity. In Tiv society, just like other climes, the immediate fallout of the colonial experiment led to decades of political struggle after independence. Dr Saawua Nyityo, lecturer, Benue State University focuses in his doctoral thesis revises the development in his book Political Centralisation in Nigeria: Nature and Transformation of Tiv Society 1900-1965. According to the Nyito, the study examines the phenomenon of political centralisation and its implication for segmented society with particular reference to the Tiv of Central Nigeria. It also interfaces on attempts by latter day politicians to stabilise the polity. The British authorities and its apologists who placed the Tiv land in the garb of acephalous society, sets in motion what it believes will make the people to relate in confidence with other Nigerian groups who have more stable political structures. By 1900, the book notes that Tiv land has transformed from the hitherto segmented society into a centralised one. Not only is the centralisation of authority felt in the hands of a small group of social actors but has produced diverse social consequences which made the elders’ leadership to lose its control over the youth. Linking the political connection between the Tiv, the colonial state and its successor Northern Nigerian regional government with its attendant response to the machinations of the colonial state, the Tiv are neither passive nor compliant rather they actively resisted coercion and subordination.

BOOK REVIEW Title: Political Centralization in Nigeria: Nature & Transformation of Tiv Society 1900 – 1965. Author:

Dr Saawua Nyityo

Publisher: Africa

BookBuilders Editions


Musa Odoshimokhe



Drawing on the interaction between the colonial state and Tiv society, the book demonstrates that the manner in which the Tiv society resisted political domination and the resultant conflict could best be understood when the colonial authorities and the subsequent government attempt to centralise governance in the hitherto segmented society. For instance, Tiv sociopolitical structure based on identifiable lineage had evolved through a system of marriage by exchange. This method of obtaining a wife by giving away a sister or daughter in marriage to the person that would give his sister or daughter in marriage for theirs was important within the context of the society, a phenomenon which

turn of Berenice and her family from England were the happy ones. The time of their arrival in Nigeria coincided with the beginning of the oil boom. There was so much wealth around that the then military leader boasted to the whole world that money was not Nigeria’s problem but how to spend it.” After enjoying the music of Nigeria’s legendary Ambrose Campbell in London nightlife, the couple returned to the grooving Lagos of Bobby Benson’s Caban Bamboo on Ikorodu Road, Gondola in Yaba, Beachcomber in Maryland, Surulere Nite Club, Batakoto on Broad Street, and Phoenicia Night Club on Martins Street etc. Berenice takes up appointment at the General Hospital on Lagos Island, some three years after the end of the Biafra war, noticing that “Doctors and nurses belonging to the tribes in the war-affected parts who had abandoned their posts during the Civil War had to serve under those who were once their juniors.” Her husband Morak sets up shop as a government contractor, using his contacts in high places to make a killing in the celebrated Nigerian way of “you rub my back and I rub yours.” With the wealth he quickly amassed the couple could boast of a home in the “upmarket zone” of Queen’s Garden in Victoria Island. Of course, in due course, a military coup occurs and Morak’s contacts are perforce retired with “immediate effect”. Such a topsy-turvy life leads to a chain reaction that ends in tragedy. A very powerful presence in the novel is Morak’s mother, simply addressed as Mama, who brings to bear on Berenice Yoruba traditional religious beliefs. Mama for instance narrates the story of the expatriate manager of the then British Bank of West Africa who caught and ate the sacred fish in the Osun River and ended up dying with all who ate it including his dog that ate only the bones! Berenice finds anchor in the friendship of her sister-in-law Modu who earns the wrath

of Mama for having a French boyfriend Jeannot. The mysterious death of Jeannot while swimming in Ganvier in the then Dahomey, now Benin Republic, is placed on the voodoo doorsteps of Mama by Modu much to Berenice’s mystification. A distraught Modu takes flight to a job with an international organisation based in Dakar, Senegal, where she meets the Muslim Fathi who ends up fathering her out-of-wedlock children Jean-Malik and QuiQui. A turning-point in Berenice’s life is Mama’s revelation of Orisa’s message. Berenice then has a strange dream and thereafter Morak disappears and then meets with gruesome death under a bridge in the area boys’ zone in Lagos. With the message relayed from the Oracle, Berenice becomes duty-bound to return to her native Guyana to atone the disturbed spirit of her family totem. Despite her sorrows, Berenice had lived a well-rounded life as the mother of her biological children Beni and Bebi, the stepchildren Salewa and Bolu, and served as the pivot of other expatriate wives in Nigeria known as Nigerwives. Even at the testiest of times when Mama reminds Berenice that Morak the husband sucked her breasts to grow up, Berenice pointedly replies that it’s her own breasts that the man’s sucking now! O’Yemi Afolabi in The Indigo Glass imbues contemporary life with mythic qualities. The words echo long after the pages are closed, for example: “My daughter, in a few weeks’ time there won’t be any father’s house. Your father mortgaged the future of all of us.” There are however some errors in the rendering, like Morak Olaifa being spelt as “OlaIfa” in places, and some sentences having missing articles such as “Berenice invited to the Queen’s Garden house to stay for as long as she wanted.” (Pg 78.) Be that as it may, O’Yemi Afolabi tells a very passionate tale that touches the heartstrings. She goes to the heart of the matter and lays bare the unseen hurts. Her work deserves considerable attention.

naturally bonds communities. During the pre-colonial era, the basic structure of Tiv society is the Ya (compound), clan and kindred which made strong impact on the society. These levels are not hierarchical administrative units. Even the centralised kingdom with the hierarchy of state officials still have to depend on them for effective co-ordination. The book stresses that the control of scarce labour is paramount within the context of the Ya. The basic unit of production which consumption is the nuclear family, though no family could however, survive in isolation each needed the cooperation of other families in seasonal agricultural production and in rearing of domestic animals. The Tiv pre-colonial farmers move their crops from one farmland to another, they also move their compounds, a practice which made it difficult to organise any kind of centralised political machinery.Viewed in the context of a society traditionally organised on the basis of linage and prior to the coming of British, the creation of Tiv Division in 1917 marks an important beginning in its political history, a period which initiates the process of centralisation with profound implication. In chapter one and two which harps on the foundation of centralisation 1900-1915, the book examines the formation of a western elite group which subsequently assumed leadership in Tiv land. The creation of district areas, a pseudo bureaucratic arrangement designed to centralize the political machinery of the Tiv; the abrogation of some socioreligious institutions further weaken the Tiv norms, customs and tradition, a development which underscored the search for stable governance. In chapter three the book takes a look at the impact of centralist policies on the Tiv 1910-1930 here the colonial state began with a presupposition that a strong central government institution was a precondition for initiating the transformation of the Nigerian society and economy. This process designed to achieve a number of objectives which included the need to obtain cheap and constant supply of raw materials for European industries and secure market for the products of its expanding industries with a view to create new outlets for investments. Centralisation and the extension of

colonial control of 1930-1950 explores in chapter four. The author notes that Tiv society like other Nigerian groups, do not willingly accept their incorporation into the Nigerian state. It is a drive viewed as entrenching its hegemonic control over a hitherto segmented society. Consequently they did not accept Lugard’s amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914. Chapter five projects into the politics of domination of 1945-1955 the period which saw the registration of Tiv grievances within the established institutional framework of the Northern regional government, they began to articulate their concern through the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC). By 1955, the UMBC became more stridently opposed to the policy of exclusion and domination by the National Peoples Congress (NPC) regional government. Electoral politics 1950-1965 dominate chapter six of the book, a period that marks the Tiv first test of electoral politics. The exercise is repeated in 1950, 1955, 1959 and 1964 before the military takeover of government from the civilians in 1966. These electoral contests are meant to elect Tiv to either the regional or House of Representatives in Lagos. Chapter seven focuses on centralisation and transformation j the struggle between UMBC and NPC resulted in virtual war during the immediate post colonial period. The increased interaction of various ethnic groups at the period had significant implication on their political, economic and social activities at the local level as well as the national level. However, the author insatiable quest to supply further information on happening in Tiv land after the abrogation of the first republic in 1966 by the military putsch is explored in a postscrips an era which saw the emergence of the likes of J.S Tarka, Aper Aku, Vincent Shirsha, Simon Gbough Bai, Paul Unongu, Dominic Tyungu etc elites of the Tiv society playing role in the unfolding march to political stability. This period which spans from 1966 to the emergence of the second republic was paraphrased outside the scope of the book in the cover and safe for the post-scrip, the period outside 1965 will probably not be thought of on first contact with the book. By and large it was a masterpiece on Tiv society.



The Midweek Magazine




Fresh battle against piracy Amidst intractable leadership and organisational imbroglio that has over time bedeviled the umbrella body of the Nigerian musicians, Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), its Lagos State chapter, led by Ras Baker has forged on to inaugurate a five-man antipiracy committee to tackle the problem of piracy within its domain. Supported by a Lagos-based music label, Megish Music, the chapter at a brief inaugural ceremony, outlined its intentions as regards fighting piracy to include frontally confronting anything found to be inimical to the welfare of musicians, scientifically approaching all manner of piracy no matter under any guise among others. Speaking at the event, Zim Zimakoy, PMAN national coordinator of anti-piracy and a musician said piracy had remained the bane of the music industry in Nigeria, adding that the scourge had persisted because institutions and agencies responsible for checking it had not done their jobs well enough. The anti-piracy task force comprising four males and a female were charged to among other things, search for and stop all acts of piracy; enforce and collect union levies and free Lagos of all forms of piracy. According to the marketing coordinator for the chapter, Isaac Osaikwiwu, the members who are to operate in a fashion reminiscent of high caliber state security operatives, would have their identities jealously guarded to avoid unnecessary exposure even as they would serve as representatives of the union and the exco.

Making of History for launch The Femi Akinsanya African Art Collection in collaboration with the Collectors’ Series 11 will tomorrow present a book titled; Making History, African Collectors and The Cannon of African Art by Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, art historian and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. The book presentation will also feature a reception and salon exhibition of art works at the same venue, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe (Agbogidi), the Obi of Onitsha will be the father of the day. Making History exposes how traditional art owned by African collectors has been largely ignored in the international art scene, which focuses almost exclusively on African Art in Western collections. The book documents over two hundred astounding, museum quality examples of traditional Nigerian art spanning several hundred years from the Femi Akinsanya African Art Collection (FAAAC) and suggests that there are world-class collections of African art in Nigeria and other parts of Africa that are waiting to be documented and presented to the world. The book also evaluates the historic marginalisation of traditional African art that is located on the continent, and throws light on the mechanics of a global market in African art that purposefully transfers African cultural patrimony to the West. The book challenges its audience to consider a new class of African collectors who have been invisible in the discourse of African art. Its groundbreaking analysis of art collection practices will forever change the way African art is perceived.

Seun Kuti at New Afrika Shrine Saturday Fela’s Egypt 80 Band led by Seun Anikulapo Kuti will be performing on Saturday at the New Afrika Shrine Ikeja, Lagos, January 28 from 10pm. The show promises to be exciting as Seun will be thrilling the fans with heavy Afro beat vibes amid political commentaries on the state of the nation.

•Scenes from protests against fuel subsidy removal in Lagos.






OMMUTERS on the Ikorodu-Mile 12 Road, Lagos have relived their ordeal, saying the constant traffic jam on it robs them of precious times. Udoma Edet (not real names) is an accountant with the Federal Inland Revenue, Lagos. And he lives in Ikorodu. Every morning, he leaves home by 5:30 to be able to beat the usual Lagos traffic and be in the office early enough to start the day’s work. This is a routine he’s been used to since four years when he moved into Ikorodu. But in the last two weeks life has been hellish and unbearable for him and most other Ikorodu residents due to the terrible traffic on Mile 12– Ikorodu Road every morning. As early as 5.00a.m, the traffic would have started building and stretching to over two kilometres from the Ikorodu end of the road to Mile 12. Presently commuters and motorists spend over three hours to get to their destinations every morning. Last weekend was so terrible that even this reporter spent over three hours to get out of the traffic. A journey that would have lasted for 30 minutes took almost the whole morning that at the end of it, it was really too frustrating to point to one reasonable factor as being responsible for the traffic build-up on the road. In the words of Edet “It is simply the irresponsible attitude of the officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), who look the other way, while commercial bus drivers drop and pick passengers at random on the highway that causes this big problem. Over time, some of them have become too big for their job and therefore do not even care what happens to the public”, Edet said, sighing. The traffic jam has been so disturbing that a lot of workers have, on their own, relocated to different places in Lagos from where they go to work everyday. “Yes, I am, staying with my sister at Ilupeju because since, after the 6 day strike I went to work late twice and my boss was not happy about it. Now, I do not want to lose my job and at the same time I do not blame my boss”, so said Okebola, who works with a private firm at Iganmu, Lagos. “The truth of the matter”, Okebola continued, frowning deeply, “is that many of these yellow buses are allegedly owned by the LASTMA officials and they find it uncomfortable controlling them. Even when the Lagos State Government says that they should follow only the service lane, LASTMA Officials encourage them to flout the law, thereby constituting big menace to other road users. I find this very uncomfortable and unfortunate”, he said.

•Mile 12 Express Road


Commuters bemoan gridlock on Lagos road By Edozie Udeze

As the traffic builds every morning, you find most of the danfo drivers running against traffic thus causing more havoc on both sides of the road. It is unusual to see a LASTMA official cautioning or even arresting these defaulters who have indeed constituted themselves into being monsters, terrorizing people and causing even more headache to motorists and other road users. The confusion is endless, agonising and disturbing. Edet said “in my presence last week, an official of LASTMA was seen waving a commercial bus driver through when an oncoming driver complained to him that the driver’s attitude posed serious danger to other road users. You know what the LASTMA person said, ‘oga follow you own way and leave this matter for us to solve’. And with that he looked the other way”.

Increasingly, residents of Ikorodu are beginning to bemoan their fortunes calling on the Lagos State Government to come to their aid so that the time and man – hour wasted on this road will come to an end. “It is simply a question of making those incharge sit up for once”, was how Okebola put it. “I don’t know how I can abandon my two-bed room apartment in town and be hanging out in my sister’s home, due to the official neglect of those who are being paid by government to do their jobs? It is so disheartening and annoying and the Lagos State Government should do something urgent to arrest the situation”. When confronted with some of these allegations of official neglect and the ownership of some of the buses plying the route, a LASTMA official who gave his name simply as Taju denied it and even dared the reporter to go to Alausa, Ikeja,

to file an official report. “The truth is that these bus drivers are too stubborn. They break traffic rules at random and we do all we can to checkmate them”, he said, brandishing a whip. Apart from the menace of these drivers, the Ikorodu–Mile 12 Road is so bad that most private car owners have vowed never to drive at night. Often it is a combination of both problems that help to increase the traffic buildup on that road. The potholes are so many that many cars develop too many mechanical faults almost on a daily basis. Apart from

Community seeks Fashola’s intervention on bad roads

•Chief Dada


•Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly Hon Siraj Adekunbi (second right) presenting a carpentry machine to one of the beneficiaries during the distribution of zakat at NUT Hall, Kuto, Ogun State. With them is the Executive Director Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib

a few patches and sand fillings here and there, the condition of road is enough to give driver migraine and nightmare. Although, it is a Federal road, a lot of residents had hoped that the Lagos State Government would look into it since it formed part of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s electioneering promises last year. But as it is now, it seems the people will have to live with both the menace of commercial bus drivers/LASTMA officials and the bad road itself for a long time to come. Only time will tell.

HE people of Agbado OkeOdo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State have appealed to Governor Babatunde Fashola for help over the deplorable state of some roads in the council area. The Baale of Igbomedu, Oke Odo, High Chief Saliu Akinlabi Dada and Hon. Bankole Moshood, secretary to the family, made the appeal in a commendation letter to the governor.

They expressed delight over Fashola’s developmental projects, not only in the community, but across the entire state. They said the governor has taken “Lagos to another level”, adding, “Virtually the face of Lagos State has already been changed by your administration.” Nevertheless, the duo appealed to Fashola to continue the good job by rescuing some areas in the LCDA, including Kareem, Aderupoko, Akano, Aleratu Badejo, Ogunjobi and other streets that are badly in need of drainage and motorable roads. “Furthermore, at Ile-Epo Bus stop, we need an overhead bridge to reduce death rate in our areas,” they added in the letter, copy of which was made available to newsmen. The Baale particularly appealed to Governor Fashola to quickly “come to the rescue of all these areas because the residents of these areas are facing so many difficulties and they are living in stress.”



Adeboye, Ashimolowo visit Aregbesola


WO prominent clergymen have visited Osun State Rauf Aregbesola, applauding his administration and pledging their support. One was Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), the other Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, founder of the Kings International Christian Centre (KICC). The governor impressed Adeboye with his amazing knowledge of the Bible when the clergyman recently paid him a visit in his office in Osogbo, the state capital. With ease uncommon among non-Christians, Aregbesola recounted many historical narratives and teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. The revered man of God was in Osun State to minister to the people at the Osogbo Township Stadium at the 2011 Go-A-Fishing programme of the RCCG. But in spite of their tight schedule, Adeboye and his entourage went to see the governor. Word had reached them that Aregbesola was delivering on his mandate. Appreciating the man of God, Governor Aregbesola likened the visit to the biblical story of Zachaeus, the tax collector, who in his desperation to see Jesus, climbed a tree only to be noticed by Jesus after which He requested him to take Him to his house. “Salvation comes to your house today!” the governor quoted Jesus telling Zachaeus. To the governor, Adeboye’s voluntary visit to Osun State was like that of Jesus to Zachaeus. Also, the governor recalled the story of Jesus and the disillusioned fishermen who had spent the whole day at the Sea of Galilee to catch some fishes without any luck. With Jesus’ blessings, the fishermen had more than enough catch that same day. In Aregbesola’s words: “Even though we know we have been catching fish, we know our harvest will multiply in geometric proportion. We know by the grace of this visit, whatever level of support we have will increase in a fold that the entire world will be forced to look at us as wonders.”

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola showing a prototype of Osun Model Schools to Pastor Ashimolowo (second left). With them are the Deputy Governor, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori (left); the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Wale Afolabi (third left); Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon (third right) and others, during Ashimolowo’s visit From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Still appreciating the visit and its significance, Aregbesola said: “We see this as a clear testimony of what the Almighty plans for our race; what God will do in our lives. This visit, to us, is not an ordinary one. It is a sign of the readiness of God to use us an instrument to demonstrate how to govern people for results in their lives in terms of physical prosperity; to reflect in their lives in terms of spiritual depth; to reflect in their lives, government-people relationship.” Responding, the RCCG’s General Overseer said “nothing happens except God allows it.” He said further: “You are not here by accident. You are here because God had decided it. I want to assure you that we are constantly praying for you. Osun state

is my roots. It does not matter what a man becomes. If he forgets his source; the river that forgets its source will dry up.” While the people of the state were just moving out of the festivities for Christmas and end of the year, another man of God opened the New Year with new hope for the people with his visit to the governor. When Adeboye came in the last week of the 2011, Founder of the Kings International Christian Centre (KICC), Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo, came in the first week of the New Year. With the profile of his church as perhaps, the biggest and most populated in the United Kingdom, Ashimolowo came with enormous goodwill and respect. During Ashimolowo’s visit, he identified with the giant strides of the Aregbesola administration in

•Pastor Adeboye

the areas of education, the environment, urban renewal, youth employment, health care delivery, infrastructure upgrade and provisions and transportation. “I am proud of you in engaging and giving employment to 20,000

young people,” he told the governor. “I believe that any man who is indolent cannot make a difference. We salute you for that vision of creating employment for 20,000 youths. I feel proud to tell everyone anywhere in the world that I am from Osun State. We feel that Osun State has a great future. This was what prompted me to challenge our church in London that God has placed in my heart to build an institution in Osun State.” Recognising the two great men of God as ambassadors of the state, Governor Arergbesola would not let them to go without being decorated with the insignia of the new identity of the state and its people. He presented them with the flag, the brooches that carry the new crest, CDs with the now popular anthem of Osun. The governor said these would serve as memorabilia of their visits. The two pastors showered the state with prayers and blessings.

Traditional rulers assert authority in Osun


•Women and children washing at a stream in Abaji FCT, Abuja


ONARCHS in the Ijesha North Traditional Council of Osun State have resolved to assert their authority over their council area. Rising from their meeting, they advised the general public to that the Ijesha North Traditional Council, being one of the 15 traditional councils in the state, is autonomous. The Publicity Secretary of the traditional council, Olotan of Otan-Ile, Oba Sunday Adegbemi Olatokun, who spoke with reporters after the meeting, said: “We claim that the paramountcy for our people in Ijesha North area resides in our traditional council.” The monarchs maintained that they are not subject to any other authority in their deliberations and decisions except as may be required to be approved by the Council of Obas in Osun State or the state government.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

It would be recalled that Ijesha North Traditional Council, comprising Oriade and Obokun Local Governments, was carved out of the six council areas in Ijeshaland, formerly under the authority of Owa Adimula of Ijeshaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, during Chief Adebisi Akande’s administration. Two other council areas, the Atakumosa West and Atakumosa East, were also carved out of the four councils from the area over which Oba Aromolaran exercised authority during the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Oba Aromolaran now presides over only Ilesa West and Ilesa East local governments of Ijeshaland as paramount ruler.



These babies are bundles of joy not only to their parents but also to the good people of Anambra State because the child heralded good tidings for the year


HE wife of Anambra State Governor, Mrs. Margaret Obi has assured that the Peter Obi-led administration would continue to evolve and implement child-friendly policies. She also asked for proper documentation of a two-year-old baby abandoned around the hospital premises for onward transfer to the state Model Motherless Baby’s Home. Mrs. Obi stated this when she visited the Holy Rosary Specialist Hospital and Maternity, Waterside Onitsha with the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Mrs Ego Cordelia Uzoezie and other officers of the Ministry where she made N50, 000 and packs of toiletries, cartons of beverage, babies clothes, among others to Mrs Beatrice Ezeugwuonye, mother of little Miss Favour Ezeugwuonye for the baby’s upkeep. Favour Ezeugwuonye was the first baby to be born in Anambra State on January 1, 2012. Expressing her joy over the gift of the children, Mrs. Obi said: “These babies are bundles of joy not only to their parents but also to the good people of Anambra State because the child heralded good tidings for the year. “I have urged mothers to assist in praying for the numerous challenges we are experiencing in our country for His will to be done. I remind you that society depends on families for survival; and the trainings by mothers in various families determine the actions and inactions of our children in the society. “So, I am appealing to you mothers to put appropriate measures in place to ensure that the pains of delivery of these babies are kept in the front burner to enable you to give these beautiful children that God has given you the best. This is so because the family remains the pivot of molding characters of the children as future leaders. Mothers of other babies born on January 1, 2012 were also given gifts worth thousands of Naira with a charge to bring up their children with fear of God. They were also urged to inculcate in

•Mrs Margaret Peter Obi carrying Favour, first baby of the year

‘Anambra committed to child-friendly policies’ From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu

them respect and love for their father land to enable them to be good ambassadors in future Director of Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr. Emeka Ejide told Newsextra that Little Favour was born at 12:05 the Ezeugwuonyes of Nsukka Town of Enugu State and

weighed 3.9 kg. Contributing, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Mrs. Ego Cordelia Uzoezie noted that Mrs Obi’s visit to the hospital to search for the first baby of the year was borne out of her sincere concern in improving lives of women and children in the state. She prayed that the little baby of the year will be a blessing to her family and Anambra State as well as

Enugu State. Mrs. Uzoezie restated that government would expedite action towards making lives of women and children more meaningful this year through acquisition of skill and other programmes that aim at empowering people. In an interview with Newsextra after the event, the Director of Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Emeka Ejide thanked the wife of the governor for her kind gesture to the families that delivered on the first day of January, 2012 as her donation will go a long way in helping the families in taking proper care of the children. He announced that the govern-

ment has perfected better plans to crack down on illegal home operators best described as baby factories. He described their activities as inhuman and dehumanising. He assured that all abuses and exploitation of children would be checked. . Responding, Mrs. Ezeugwuonye prayed for God’s continued protection on Mrs Obi and her family as well as that of the Commissioner and her supporting staff for remembering them even when they are not from Anambra State. She pledged that the cash and items donated would be judiciously utilised for the baby’s benefit. •Odogwu wrote from Nnewi, Anambra State

Council appointees get portfolios T

•Chairman of Mosan-Okunola Local Council Development Area, Hon Abiodun Mafe (left) congratulating secretary to the Local government (SLG) Prince Akintola Falade during the swear-in of the executive council in Lagos

HE newly political appointees in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, who were sworn in recently, have been assigned their portfolios by the council chairman, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan. Mr Bamigbetan announced the portfolios on Monday, during the first executive meeting held in his office. The meeting was attended by the appointees. Those in charge of the different portfolios are the Vice-Chairman of the council, Alhaji Monsurudeen Bello-Oba as the Supervisor for Works and Infrastructure, and Mr Remi Gbadegeshin as the Secretary to the Local Government. Others are Muritala Olaiwon

By Duro Babayemi

who is the Supervisor for Agriculture, Rural and Social Development, Mrs Onyinye Okoroji as Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and Mr Peter Ajayi who is Supervisor for Market and Revenue Generation. Mr Wasiu Atinsola is the Supervisor for Environment and Waste Management, while Mr. Taiwo Taheed Adebayo is the Special Adviser on Chieftaincy, Boundary and Cultural Affairs, to the chairman and Mrs Oluwayemisi Alashe who is the Special Adviser on Primary Healthcare Services to the chairman.











Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju was the governor of Anambra State between 1999 and 2003. Nine years after he left office, Governor Peter Obi has just paid him his pension, thus signifying political rapprochement. In this interview with some journalists, Mbadinuju speaks about his life after public service, his political ambition and the fuel subsidy removal, among other things. EMEKA ODOGWU was there.

I have one more term to serve, says Mbadinuju T HERE have been speculations of recent that you are back in the race for governorship of the state. Is this

true? Well, I was like a baby who was sucking her mother’s breast, if you go by force and remove the baby’s mouth from the breast, you know you are committing suicide. So, my mouth was taken away without ceremony from my mother. I wish former President Olusegun Obasanjo had left me because I won the primaries thrice.. He should have allowed me to go on and then let him work with the opposition to make sure that I failed. Rather than stopping me, he would have allowed me go through the process and then fail. Let me tell you, I won the primaries three times and even if you conducted the main election three times, I would still have won because I had something on ground. Look at the person who replaced me, Ngige, didn’t they fight throughout the two and something years. There was a list of 80 governors from 1979 during the time of Jim Nwobodo till today, all ex-governors list was compiled. I was the only ex-governor from Anambra and then of course Okwadike, that is Old Testament now, so Ngige was not on the list, Uba was not on the list, don’t you see nemesis working? They say I shouldn’t go for second term, now they themselves, by nemesis, could not even go. So, what did they get by fighting against me? That is the way God does his own thing. Any governor or President has the constitutional right to go for a second term, if you go third term that is your business, there is no law covering you there. So as long as I am alive and interested in politics, I still have one term left. What happened to you appears to be playing-out in Bayelsa today. The party somehow stopped the incumbent governor from re-contesting. Do you think there is a similarity? Yeah, I am aware of what is going on in Bayelsa today, but it is not quite similar to what I went through. In the case of Bayelsa, I read in the paper that the elders, politicians and so on of Bayelsa got together and decided that Sylva will not go second term. It might be so but to me, I would have preferred that the voters, the people should say that. But it is still a simple one if you said all the elders and politicians, they represent their own class, without them nothing happens in the state. And if they all agree that they need to have another governor, so be it there. But that was not my case. My case is that one man came out one afternoon and said although he knew I had done well as governor in the first term, he had decided that this time around, he would stop me from going second term. There is a difference between that. A man from somewhere else, he didn’t even win election in his own state and stopped a governor. I was elected the same year with him. We learnt you recently visited the governor at the Lodge, can you tell us why you went there? Well, I don’t know why one has to give reasons. Government Lodge is for Anambra State, although inhabited by a governor at a time. I have not been here for long. I have not been in Anambra for long; I mean the Government lodge as a place. Though, it is a place I lived for four years, there must be reason for everything, time for every purpose. It has to do with my pension arrears. You know I disengaged from public service as a governor in 2003 and for eight years now, I have not had my pension. It has been shrouded in controversy and surprisingly the governor, Mr. Peter Obi, phoned me while I was in Abuja that I should come for

• Mbadinuju visits Gov Peter Obi at the Government House, Awka

my pension. He was the man who was quoted in the papers that I will not be paid because I didn’t pay others when I was governor. But, really, you didn’t pay others? It is not that I didn’t pay others; really, there was no money budgeted from Abuja and sent to Anambra for pension which we didn’t pay except that the one they were talking about did not come. Even they took us to ICPC, we were taken to ICPC but it was discovered that the money didn’t come to Anambra not to talk of misusing it. But surprisingly, the governor said I should come and have my own and I have been here for few days, he is a busy man, we talk sometime in the morning, sometime in the evening. The primary problem we had was that the civil servants said that there was a pensions law passed in 2005 and then 2008 and that they were using that of 2008 to pay me, and I was trying to educate them that we made a law during my tenure in 2002/ 2003, we made a law and the House of Assembly passed it and said only the governor and deputy can receive pension that 2003. It is possible that Dr. Ngige in 2005 made another Pensions Law and expanded it in terms of people who should benefit and then may be in 2008, there was one they were preparing under Governor Peter Obi which Governor Obi has not shown interest in. When I got here, we tried to let them know that during my tenure, there was pension’s law, passed by the House of Assembly signed by the Governor, myself, and gazetted. So if any other person made law later, it was not annulling my own law. So for days now, we haggled and haggled over it, eventually everybody agreed that it should be 2003 and it was this morning that the Governor gave me a hefty package, I call it

so, I mean it was like manna from heaven. I was saying at a time that I need help because the only thing you have after you have served is this pension. Part of the problem is that crooked people in Anambra said that I called pensioners “dead woods”. Dead wood is not my language. I have sworn enough to say that I didn’t use such language. I didn’t say so, I wasn’t where it was said. I just finished writing my autobiography on how I governed Anambra State and this matter came up, I gave it time and discovered that there was no such thing. And the second point is to deny before Anambra workers through the governor that I didn’t have anything to do with Igwe and his wife. Nothing like that, I never thought of it or asked anybody. When Igwe and his wife died, I was in Houston attending the World Igbo Congress. And it was there I was given a call that they had killed the man and his wife. How could I have come from Houston to kill the man and go back. It was physically impossible, spiritually impossible. How do you feel about that pension and will it restore a good working relationship between you and the governor? Definitely, for the governor to bring out time to phone me at Abuja and say that I should come down for my pension, we never saw it before, after all Dr. Ngige was there, he never even mentioned it. Dr. Ngige was my man when I was governor, he was the secretary of the party in Anambra and when he came to Abuja, I accommodated him and I bought chassis car for him to work. But when he became governor, he colluded with my opponents “the Ubas” and he tried to reverse everything I had done. He did his best to try to reverse them. It is not fair. So the fact that a sitting governor called me and said I should come, it means that God is already in him.

‘The State University, I established it but he has expanded it and I looked at his infrastructure development, they are good, very good. The man is a gentleman and he is guided. I think he is from a good Christian background. I think Governor Peter Obi is doing the will of God’

The point I am making is that it was good that the governor invited me not me now forcing myself and fighting over it. So it came to me normally and naturally and I used the opportunity to look at what the governor has done. The State University, I established it but he has expanded it and I looked at his infrastructure development, they are good, very good. The man is a gentleman and he is guided. I think he is from a good Christian background. I think Governor Peter Obi is doing the will of God. In retrospect, given the things you did, can you tell us if there are certain things you did then that you regret or things you would have done differently if you were given another opportunity. And, are all these in your autobiography? Well, my autobiography has covered everything you can think of what I did or even omitted to do, if at all any. I don’t think there is anything I did as governor of Anambra State which I can regret. I don’t remember one. When we came, the workers were down in spirit because the military were leaving, they were being owed four months salary, I cleared those four months salary and began to pay them Christmas bonus which no governor has done till today. The Judiciary Headquarters which I built, ABS, Women Development Centre which I imported the upholstery from London and fully air-conditioned, where London and fully air-conditioned, where Obasanjo came after inspecting my infrastructure everywhere, he marveled and as he sat down at Women Development Centre, air-condition was blowing him on his face. He didn’t know when he started to confess that “I have come, I have seen, I have heard and I am satisfied with what I saw on the ground.” A-plus he gave me on infrastructure development, for a man who has done that now, why kill him. And when it came to second term, the man who praised me so much, he wrote in The News December 27, 2004, that he, President Obasanjo, single handed stopped my second term in office. He is the person who said I scored A-plus in infrastructure and when it came to peace and security, I got Gold cup in National Competition in Abuja and in infrastructural development I got B second position, so in terms of working as a governor of a state nobody can challenge me. On the closure of schools for one academic year and non-payment of pension during your administration, what do you say? What is life like after leaving office and do you have any political ambition? The point is that we must realise that I had the most vicious opposition in Anambra State. The Anambra Peoples Forum led by Chief Emeka Ofor, moneybag, he had a lot of money but he supported my bid to become the governor and whatever he asked I gave him. I gave him commissioners, gave him Special Advisers, gave him whatever he asked for. But I noticed that he was gunning at being governor, not just satisfied with having commissioners. And I said, well, there is a process, for you to be governor now you have to go through election. So, all these rumours you were hearing about what I did or did not do was just as a result of the actions of the opposition led by the moneybag, oil group people. I want Anambra people to be involved in oil, but not to use it to destroy Anambra State or destroy individuals. I didn’t close schools for one year. I went to America and studied, my Bachelors degree and Masters Degree and Ph.D and Law, how can I, having acquired such education come back to close schools for one year? It is just propaganda. Two students from DMGS during that year they said I closed schools, came first in Physics and Chemistry in the whole Nigeria. So they didn’t study in their mother’s kitchen.








Banks halt easy loans for oil T workers, others

HE era of easy loans for workers in multinational companies, oil and gas, telecom and banking sectors may be gone for good. The loans enable these workers to acquire personal items like cars, household equipment and related facilities. Banks, which hitherto granted them loans without collaterals or guarantor, are now demanding from their employers 100 per cent cover in case of default. This means that if the borrower fails to meet his obligation, his employer will be held liable. The banks are tightening the screws on personal loans following a high default risk and new risk management guidelines by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The loans are being given at an interest rate of between 25 per cent and 30 per cent per annum and tenure ranges from six months to two years depending on the bank. Before the new rule, demands for personal loans outstripped supply, leading to delays in the processing of loans. This comes at a time some institutions are taking a maximum

Stories by Collins Nweze of one month to process personal loans, with others having suspended the issuance of loans to clear applications. “The banks are becoming wiser in terms of lending, as they may not want the ugly situation of the past where bad loans crippled their liquidity to repeat itself. As things stand now, no bank wants to be put in a precarious condition,” the source said. The policy places more responsibility on the employer than the borrowing staff, thereby reducing the lender’s risk ratio to almost zero. He said that although consumer banking is the provision of products and services to meet the financial needs of individuals with a steady and verifiable income flow but there is need to safeguard depositors’ funds through quality lending. Michael Obi, a customer relations

officer in one of the telecoms companies, said the consumer credit policy defeats the privacy that surrounds it as many borrowers would prefer to keep their relationship with the banks private. “I think that consumer credit is a personal transaction that, unless so demanded, is not supposed to be disclosed to a third party when the borrower can meet all the lending requirements,” he said. Although many believe that banks are just being more painstaking in their credit granting to avoid repeat of what happened in the past where non-performing loans eroded their liquidity and profitability but they need to remember that security does not repay loans. “It is the willingness and ability of the borrower that determines how soon a loan is repaid, not the guarantor or collateral,” he insisted. He described consumer credit as loans provided to individuals to

meet personal, family or household needs. Through such credit, the consumer will be able to meet his needs immediately, while payment is deferred or spread conveniently over a period of time. Consumer credit products such as credit cards, automobile loans, household equipment loan, student loans, share purchase loans, personal loans and mortgages loans are just a few examples. Obi said considering the population of the working class, it was clear the consumer credit market had not even been scratched. Although many of the banks have developed consumer products, not many have fully tapped into the goldmine. Huge opportunity abounds to grow consumer credit as people have basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, education, transportation among others. These needs have to be met one way or the other and are developing with the growth of the economy. He explained that in-

HAT are the key components of the 2012 budget? This is a question to which a civil society organisation is seeking an anwer from Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. In a letter to the minister, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is demanding a breakdown of the budget’s key components to enable the public know were funds are being channelled and what they will be spent on. The letter entitled: “Request for the details of statutory transfers in the 2012 Appropriation Bill” signed by CSJ Director Eze Onyekpere said: “We have gone through the details of the 2012 Appropriation Bill and the estimates as detailed in the website of the Budget Office of the Federation and the printed version and discovered that statutory transfers are stated as lump sums without any details or desegregation,” it said. Part of the observations, Onyekpere said, was that the National Judicial Council was allocated N85 billion, National Assembly N150 billion, Universal Basic Edu-

‘Banks face operational risks’


ANKS may face operation challenges following a drop in their loan-to-deposit ratio below the stipulated maximum target of 80 per cent. This, it was learnt, may lead to a rise in the cost of banking operations. The loan-to deposit declined to 43.6 per cent and 36.4 per cent below 80 per cent target, says CBN. The loan-to-deposit ratio of banks is used routinely by analysts and regulators to evaluate a bank’s ability to repay depositors and other creditors without incurring excessive costs. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) data obtained by The Nation, shows that banks hold a substantial amount of government securities. Aggregate banking system‘s claims on the Federal Government stood at negative N908 billion, reflecting, largely, the increase in the banking system‘s holding of treasury securities, particularly Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds. In the latest available review by the CBN in 2011, the total assets and liabilities of the banks amounted to N19.4 trillion, with

funds sourced from increased capitalisation and draw-down on reserves. The credit to the domestic economy now stood at N12 trillion while CBN‘s credit to banks, comprising mainly of loans and advances was N384 billion. Also, specified liquid assets of banks was 21.5 per cent of their total current liabilities with a figure of N3116 billion. The Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Bismarck Rewane, who collaborated the CBN’s report on the January FDC Economic Review, said the Federal Government, remained a net lender to the banking system. For him, two key developments that will affect the banking sector with regard to government securities in the coming year is the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) reporting and the possible imposition on banks to post government securities as collateral for any money taken from the government. He said that for sustained recovery of the equity market, effective reform of the financial market must continue. “Continued

stringent regulatory activities should also make the financial sector more ethical and responsible, thus enabling it to serve the needs of the economy. The adoption of IFRS by listed companies is a step in the right direction. The IFRS reporting should result in better corporate governance and higher financial reporting information, thereby lowering information asymmetry between firms and investors and information risk and, thus, cost of capital,” he said. Rewane added that the IFRS reporting will also lead to convergence benefits, such as lowering the costs of comparing firms’ financial position and performance, and enable Nigeria capital market to be more globally competitive. He projected a 6.8 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, bolstered by sustained oil prices which will benefit the banking sector. Despite this, the banking sector still faces considerable risks from both an operational and macro perspective. Key risks include banks’ concentrated client bases, margin pressures due to in-

creased consumer lending leads to more demands for goods and services, expansion of productive capacity, increased employment, income tax revenue and wealth creation for the economy.

Group seeks breakdown of budget’s key components


•From left: Director, Mechnical and Signal Operation, Idet Okhirib; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Adeseyi Sijuwade; Chairman, House Committee on Land Transport, Hon Musa Sarkin Adar and Member National Assembly, Hon Emmanuel Goar, during a visit by the Committee, at Nigeria Railway Corporation in Lagos. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

• Mallam Sanusi

creased competition and continued weak asset quality and efficiencies. Political risks and vulnerability to the oil price remain key risks for all the banks. The newly adopted IFRS will also lead to most banks holding their fixed income assets to maturity rather than holding as tradable securities. He hinted that the story of the banking sector has always been dominated by capital inadequacy, lack of transparency, and non-performing loans. Meanwhile, share prices of Nigerian banks are depressed due to high yields in fixed income securities, a weakening global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth outlook and the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis diminishing the appeal of frontier markets to global equity investors. The withdrawer of foreign capital from the stock exchange has also kept bank shares low as they are more affected due to their liquidity. In comparison to the Allshare index and other indices, the banking index has performed the worst this year.

cation got N68 billion and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) got N40 billion among others, but there were no details on the budget on how and where the funds will be spent. He said unlike the estimates of other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) including the Presidency and the Ministry of Finance, there are no details showing the components of the lump sums and how the Ministry of Finance arrived at these sums stated as statutory transfers. “Due to the way these statutory transfers are stated as lump sums, Nigerians have been denied the opportunity of making inputs into the approval process of the budgets of these agencies of government. This is not acceptable in a constitutional democracy founded on the rule of law and the sovereignty of the people. Indeed, no agency of government, under any guise, should be allowed to spend public resources in a way and manner and for purposes not known to citizens,” Onyekpere said. He argued that the right to information guaranteed all Nigerians by the Freedom of Information Act and to request for the details of these statutory transfers in the form used to present other MDA expenditures. “Our request is further strengthened by section 48 (1) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 which requires the Federal Government to ensure that its financial and fiscal affairs are conducted in a transparent manner and accordingly ensure full and timely disclosure and wide publication of all transactions and decisions involving public revenues and expenditures and their implications for its finances,” he argued. The CSJ Director said he decided to contact the Minister of Finance on the matter because the Minister is authorised by the Finance (Control and Management) Act “to cause to be prepared in each financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditures of the Federation for the next following financial year, which shall be presented to the President for approval and thereafter laid before each House of the National Assembly in accordance with the Constitution,”. Onyekpere said that complying with this directive will not only make the budget implementation process more transparent, but will assist the people in understanding the areas that the funds has been spent on.





More brokers bid for NNPC jobs


FRESH scramble has begun for the multi-billion naira insurance deals of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The President, Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Mr Tunde Oguntade, said many brokering firms have submitted bids for the job. He told The Nation that to meet the 70 per cent provided by the Local Content Act for brokers, those denied opportunities in the past have strengthened their operations and want to participate in the business this year. He said only 34 out of 572 brokers were appointed for the business last year. He noted that though the number was low, it was welcomed by the operators, adding that the opportunity created avenue for the brokers to acquire knowledge on the workings of the oil and gas business. He said: “After signing the Local Content Act last year, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) appointed 34 brokers to handle their businesses. This was welcomed by the operators. At

Stories by Chuks Udo Okonta

least, the 34 brokers would learned some new things and developments in the market and we are hoping that next year, many more brokers would benefit. This would boost our capacity building and growth. Underwriters locally, too, now have a very good share of the market. We are looking at 70 per cent as stated in the law that means that the 70 per cent premium that used to go outside the country in the past, now have to be with local underwriters. This would enable to the underwriters to improve their capacity, train, source good rate and do corporate social responsibilities. “This year, given the publicity for the bid, a lot of brokers were able to run around to put their papers in place and we are seriously hoping that the numbers would increase. Note that it is not everybody that is licensed to do oil and gas, but we believe that with time the number would increase as the expatriate increases the volume of businesses would also increase, the brokering fraternity would earn more from the oil and gas industry.”

He noted that the participation of his colleagues in the oil and gas business would help develop the insurance industry and enable operators to engage in activities such as corporate social responsibilities which is not common within the industry. He said banks do engage in such act because of the large funds at their disposal. He said the engagement of insurers was a good development, noting that with funds people can be trained, capacity built and the industry moved to the next level. “Brokers have been attending training. A number of brokers were in Dubai last month for an oil and gas seminar. This year, within Nigeria, we had about four local training and seminars and individuals have been partnering with foreign firms to learn and facilitate their knowledge of the oil and gas industry. People are taking personal development drives and they are also using the industrial opportunities like seminars organised by National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), and other avenues,” he said.

Insurance can combat poverty


HE government, donor agencies have been told to use insurance as a weapon to combat poverty. The Deputy Manager Authorisation and Policy National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr Adeola Bakare, told The Nation that insurance remains one of the ways people can protect themselves against poverty. He noted that low income households are often more exposed to risks, crop failure and climate change and in extreme cases, loss of household bread winners. He said: “One way for the poor to protect themselves is through micro insurance. By helping low income household manage risk, micro insurance can assist them to main a sense of financial confidence even in the face of significant vulnerability. If government, donors, development agencies and others are serious about combating poverty, insurance has to be one of the weapons in their arsenal.” He said micro credit has had an important impact on the ability of poor people to rise above the poverty line, adding that this is done through the provision of protection against certain perils. He noted that micro insurance serves as a natural compliment to other financial and social services for the poor, adding that for low income earners to fulfil their potentials, insur-

ance culture should be develop for them, including as products that meet their primary needs. He said the basis for providing risk management services to the poor is a sound regulatory and corruption-free political foundation, noting that without these two elements the need of the poor can never be met. “Insurance needs to be a highly regulated industry, because building a risk management culture is difficult enough. It only takes one or two companies failures to destroy it. Insurance supervisors are primarily responsible for consumer protection, which comes in two main forms – protecting policy holders in general against insurance company failure and protecting individual policyholders against unscrupulous sales and unfair policy document. There is also a third type of consumer protection-concern for the protection of those who cannot access insurance which represents a market development function for insurance regulators.” Director-General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mr Adegboyega Adepegba, said people consider insurance last in their list of scale of preference, noting that improvement in the living standard of people will make them buy insurance.

PenCom moves to cover more states


• From left: World Bank Country representative Marie Francoise Marie-nelly; Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpa; Permanent Secretary, Dr Godknows Igali, and ADB Country Director, Dr Ousmane Dore, at a workshop on designing and implementing successful utility reform in water supply and sanitation in Abuja.

NAICOM: Evaluation of divested firm begins in June


STOCK taking of insurance firms which divested from banks will begin in June, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has said. The Commissioner for Insurance Fola Daniel told The Nation that efforts are on to ensure that companies are properly separated from their parent-companies. Some, he said, have successfully concluded their divestment; others are still trying to reach an agreement with willing investors. He said companies still have up to April to perfect their arrangements and salvage the underwriting firms from collapse. He said: “The firms are still within the deadline. So NAICOM cannot take stock until April, which is the deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and it has not been extended. A lot of activities are going on. I know one or two have divested. For instance, Diamond Bank Plc has divested from Adic Insurance Limited, which was sold to a foreign firm. I know a good number of them are talking and moving towards complying with the CBN directive. Of course, a number of them also opted for holding arrangement – such as the FirstBank group, United Bank of Africa and others. We may not be able to effectively take stock until about

mid year, if the deadline is still subsisting.” He noted that the banks, which acquired the parents of the underwriting firm are to conclude the divestment process initiated by the parent banks of the underwriting firms. “If any bank is acquired, I believe they subsidiaries will also be acquired alongside. They have given us detail on how they want to comply with the CBN. It means whatever commitment they have gave; it is the commitment of the new company that acquired them,” he added. A staff member of Insurance PHB, who pleaded anonymity, said there are efforts by the bank to divest from the insurance firm, adding that some firms have indicated interest to acquire the insurance company. “We are divesting, but it is not yet clear who is buying. Note that is the bank that is divesting and they have the details. But some people have indicated interest. I believe they will meet the deadline and if they could not, they will be able to get some understanding from CBN considering the peculiar situation of the bank,” he explained. The source noted that the nation-

alisation of the bank did not affect the operations of its subsidiaries, noting that they still bear the parent company’s names despite the change of the name of the bank. Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Sunday Thomas, said the association is working hard to ensure that companies affected by the divestment come out stronger. He said the association is showing serious concern on the issue as the progress of firms is for the good of the industry. He said many investors are interested in investing in the industry, adding that there may not be room for mergers. He noted that many investors have made an overture to the companies and all that is left now is for the owners of the firms to dispose their stakes. Managing Director Niger Insurance Plc, Mr Clinton Uranta, said members of the NIA are talking of engaging themselves on how to rescue the bank-owned firms from liquidation. He noted that strong firms are being encouraged to buy the insurance firms, adding that the underwriters are worried about the effect the liquidation of any of the firms would have on their operations.

HE National Pension Commission (PenCom) has said it is intensifying efforts to cover more states. This was contained in statement issued by the commission’s General Manager, Public Sector Pensions, Mrs Grace Usoro. Entitled Procedure for registration of state and local government employment, she said without prejudice to the provisions of Section 11 (1) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004, the commission gave forbearance to states to adopt suitable structures for the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). She said the objective of forbearance was to ensure complete coverage in the states within the shortest possible time, in view of the time it took the Commission to engage the States and secure their buy-in into the CPS. PenCom noted that the concession given to the States for implementing the structured approach to the registration of their employ-

ees was an interim arrangement, which should not last for more than 12 months. The commission said it expects that the employees could afterwards opt for Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) of their choice in accordance with Section 11 (1) and (2) of the PRA 2004, by which time the transfer window would have been opened. The commission said as at November last year the level of implementation of the CPS by the 36 State of the Federation was as follows: six states have commenced full implementation, 11 have partial implementation and 17 have their pension bills with their State’s Assemblies. Pencom said more states are embracing the implementation of the CPS. “ In addition, Niger State and Ogun Local Government Pension Bureaux have commenced funding of their Retirement Benefit Redemption Bond Accounts with balances of N1.127 billion and N1.43 billion.”

Insurers to post $6.1tr premiums by 2015


LOBAL Insurance industry will register $6.1 trillion in insurance premiums by 2015, Global Industry Analysts Incorporated, has said The United States firm and a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research, said the growth in insurance premiums worldwide over the next few years, will be primarily driven by favourable demographic trends, introduction of innovative products, efficient processing methods, increasing use of technology to drive sales, and robust demand from developing markets, particularly in Asia-Pacific. It noted that global insurance industry is principally dominated by industrialised countries, which account for a lion’s share in both life and non-life insurance sectors. It said the US, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and France represent leading markets for insurance worldwide, adding that highly developed Western European markets with their liberal taxation regimes, and opening up of East European markets, position Europe as the most prominent regional market for life insurance worldwide. It said: “While the mature markets of North America also play an important role in shaping industry

fortunes, they are also fraught with sluggish growth opportunities, primarily on account of protracted weakness in long-term savings market and heightening competition from high-earnings oriented financial services. On the Japanese front, financial reforms underway are fortifying the country’s life insurance sector. Leading insurers will continue to expand operations in China and other developing Asian markets. Also poised to witness the strongest growth are private and public pension plans, given the growing base of aging population worldwide.” It noted that internet is rapidly turning out to be a key platform for transacting business in the global insurance industry and that burgeoning usage of Internet has significantly reduced the gap between the insurance providers and the customers by offering a flexible and user-friendly interface. “Internet provides a principal medium for companies to showcase their products and reach a large clientele rapidly, thereby helping boost opportunities in the global insurance industry. It also reduces administration and marketing costs of companies by eliminating the need to employ sales agents,” it said.




‘Fish farming is gold mine’ O

CEAN fishing cannot produce enough fish to meet national demand. Besides, there is the threat of overfishing resulting in inadequate supply to the growing population. Fish stocks in the rivers and lakes are depleting as well. This is good news for Prince Arinze Onebunne, Chief Executive, Jovana Farms, Lagos, and fish farmers, who have an opportunity to make money by filling the gap. For this reason, he is promoting fish farming as part of a nationwide movement to produce food locally. He said his campaign is to provide opportunities for people to make money out of fish farming. Aquaculture businesses can be in a various sizes, which makes the field a good place for part-time farmers. For him, people can build fish farms in the backyard. The Jovana Farms boss is a supporter of small scale aquaculture farms used by family farmers to grow their own fresh fish for personal consumption or for sale. He encourages farmers to cultivate locally available fish species. This provides an environmentally sustainable and financially profitable alternative to imported breeds. For him, success in fish farming will give Nigerians a new found confi-

By Daniel Essiet

dence and they need not migrate from their villages in search of employment to the cities. He is conducting training as well as helping people get input for fish farming activities across the country. Hundreds of fishponds have been constructed through the initiative. Onebunne said catfish farming requires low setup capital and grows rapidly within a short period thereby generating quick and high turnover. “A modern fish farm does not require large expanse of land to succeed. If you have regular water supply and land/space like the size of a room apartment, then you don’t have problem starting this project. With N80, 000, you can set up a small scale fish fingerling producing business. You need a hatching pond of (12ft by 4ft) constructed like a box. The materials you need to accomplish this are five planks, nails and 3”x2” wood. You lay tarpaulin or thick waterproof material inside the box, put clean water and start your hatchery activities. But, if one prefers to go for Grow-out fish farming (raising fingerlings to table sized fish suitable for consumption). It will take about N300, 000 to construct a standard concrete

• Onebunne (right) at his pond.

fish pond (16ft by 10ft), stock it with 1,000 fingerlings and feed them till maturity (four to six months) depending on the fish species and age. “ I advise people to buy juveniles of 18 weeks old. They are older than fingerlings of six to eight weeks. In addition, you don’t have to depend solely on expensive imported feed, since one can learn to produce local cheap feed.” According to him, catfish is highly productive. “Six females and two males’ fish brood stock can give you up to 20,000 fingerlings at a go. I have witnessed 32,700 at once in my farm, if you do not have a place to expand; you can start selling their babies (fingerlings) for N15 each. “Every fish farmer strives to breed a fish to one kilogramme body weight or more in the shortest possible time, usually between four and six months if properly done. Unit price for table sized is averagely N550-N650 per kg at the farm gate, N800-950 at the retail outlet, and N1, 300N1, 800 in restaurants depending on the size. You get more profit if you operate a market outlet, cut off shylock middlemen; profit from such sales from

‘Every fish farmer strives to breed a fish to one kilogrammebody weight or more in the shortest possible time, usually between four and six months if properly done. Unit price for table size is averagely N550-N650 per kg at the farm gate, N800-950 at the retail outlet, and N1, 300-N1, 800 in restaurants depending on the size’ experience is about 40 to 50 percent above what was invested.” He said an undergraduate or the unemployed can start with N80, 000 and make profits. “If you buy them and rear for four to six months, you sell them and make more profits. At my farm, I sell fingerlings N15 while a juvenile is N25 depending on the species of fish. If well managed, this specie can attain 2-4kg in five months.” On why he prefers catfish, the Jovana Farms boss said the specie is popular and in high demand. “It is traditionally positioned as a semi-luxury product. Although relatively expensive, it is consumed by all classes of people.”

On challenges, he said people find it difficult to get the fast growing species of fish. “I am happy to tell you that in my farms we have high quality fish fingerlings and Juveniles you can start your fish farming business with. This catfish species is called Hetero-Clarias, I use Hetero-Branchus for crossing and they grow faster and heavier than any other catfish specie. Visit our website: The other one, Onebunne mentioned is technical background. He said people need to go for proper practical training before venturing into the fish farming business. “Some people who started the business without the right specie of fish or with-

out practical training have shut down. They did it as a hobby, and at the end of the day, abandoned the business because of one mistake or the other.” For this reason, he is on nationwide training campaign to reach Nigerians interested in fish farming. His organisation offers practical training programmes in its Lagos, Owerri and Enugu farms. “We have decided to spread our practical seminars across major cities in Nigeria. The primary objective is to bring this golden opportunity to the door step of every Nigerian and see how we can lift as, many Nigerians from poverty. Participants learn about pond construction, designing and maintenance. They realise at the end how pond water depth, productivity and water quality are critical for business success. The goal is to enrich livelihoods by helping smallholder farmers, processors, and other market players to raise fish for food and income. As Jovana farms grown in size and services to meet the needs of Nigerians, Onebunne has become a valuable partner in the government’s efforts to build a competitive and profitable aquaculture economy.

FATE Foundation joins Youth Business International


ATE Foundation has joined Youth Business International (YBI), a group of initiatives in 34 countries working to support young entrepreneurs in business. The addition of Fate Foundation, a statement said, is an important development for YBI as it seeks to achieve its goal of supporting 100,000 entrepreneurs a year by 2020. “YBI is very excited to add such a progressive organisation to its network, especially one working in

acute need,” said Andrew Devenport, YBI Chief Executive. “Nigeria is an example of a country that can benefit from highly targeted and proven systems of enterprise support.” “FATE Foundation is very pleased to be a member of Youth Business International network,” said Osayi Alile Oruene, Executive Director, FATE Foundation. “This partnership will be instrumental in deploying responsive qualitative and well researched enterprise

development strategies thus providing more opportunities within the Nigerian space for both aspiring and emerging young Nigerian entrepreneurs as well as facilitating a reach to their global counterparts through knowledge exchange and markets.” Established in 2000 by Mr Fola Adeola, founder and pioneer MD of Guaranty Trust Bank, FATE Foundation’s mission is to reduce unemployment and poverty in the country

through helping Nigerians to establish and grow successful businesses by equipping them with the tools, skills, networks and financing required for the task. The organisation’s aim is to help establish 5,000 new businesses by 2015, creating sustainable employment for 50,000 Nigerians in the process. In 2005 being the first five years of their operation, it surpassed their intermediate target of supporting 1,000 businesses.












MfBs, Finance Houses get common-year end timeline


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines that will assist Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), Microfinance Banks (MfBs) and Finance Houses adopt a uniform accounting year effective December 2012. The banking watchdog, according to a circular from CBN Director, Financial Policy & Regulation Department, Chris Chukwu, took this decision to avoid regulatory arbitrage and provide a level playing field for all operators in the Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) sub-sector. The common year end, which first introduced in June 2009 for banks, was instituted by the CBN to strengthen its effectiveness in risk based supervision. It was designed to enhance the regulator’s hand-on knowledge of the banks’ opera-

Stories by Collins Nweze

tions, the complexity of their risk profile and to provide real-time and continuous evaluation of their operations. The circular dated January 10, 2012, said the CBN previous circular dated June 18, 2009 requiring banks and discount houses in Nigeria to adopt 31 December as a uniform accounting year-end from June 2009 will henceforth be applicable to OFIs. “For the avoidance of doubt, all PMIs MfBs, and finance companies, are required to adopt 31 December as their accounting year-end with effect from December, 2012,” he said. The apex bank therefore advised directors of OFIs, to as a first step, pass a resolution to that effect and inform the relevant agencies in line

31 January 2012 as their common year-ends will submit pro-rated result for 11 months; 29 February will submit for 10 months; 31 march for nine months; 30 April for eight months and 31 May for seven months. Chukwu also said that OFIs with 30 June year-ends have options to submit 12 months result or 18 months result while those with 31 July to 30 November have been elongated to December 2012. “The audited accounts for pro-rated period should equally be submitted not later than four months after the period-end for CBN approval and subsequent publication, in line with the section 27 and 28 of Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), 1991 (as amended),” he said.

with section 334(4) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990, as amended. During the period of transaction, a maximum accounting period of 18 months and a maximum of six months are allowable, in line with accepted accounting practice. Chukwu directed OFIs whose accounting year ends on 31 December, to as usual, forward their full year’ accounts for CBN approval not later than four months after the year-end. However, those with year-ends between January and May 2012 are to submit the normal audited accounts of 12 months for CBN approval and thereafter, submit their audited account for their pro-rated period 31 December, 2012. This means those companies with

Fund managers see Africa as next investment frontier G

LOBAL institutional inves tors plan to boost their asset allocation in African markets over the next five years. The investors are also shifting to long-term investment strategies from more speculative, short-term bets, a survey showed. It is believed that Africa's frontier markets the smallest, less developed and less liquid among emerging economies will offer the best overall prospects for investment growth in the next decade. Reuters News said the report emerged after 51 per cent of the 158 investors polled by Invest the Invest AD and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Two-thirds of investors with an interest in frontier markets see Nigeria or Kenya holding the greatest opportunity, putting the continent ahead of frontier markets in Asia and Latin America, the survey showed. Even among frontier markets in-

vestors, most are only just starting to explore African markets, with one in five of those surveyed having zero allocations. Among larger investors with more than $10 billion under management, this is closer to one in three, according to the survey. By 2016, however, all expect to have some exposure to emerging Africa, with nearly one-third expecting to shift at least five percent of their fund value there. In terms of popularity with investors, Nigeria and Kenya top the list, followed by Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ghana and Libya. Investors eye Africa's emerging middle class as the most attractive aspect of the continent, which until now has been a largely natural resources play. "Interestingly, the Invest AD-EIU survey suggests that

confab in Lagos


HE West Africa Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI) will be holding international tax conference in Lagos. The WAUTI is the umbrella body for all tax professional bodies in West Africa. The Union, which was pioneered by the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana, The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and other notable stakeholders in the west coast of Africa was inaugurated in Abuja last May by the ECOWAS President, Mr James Victor Gbebo. Chairman of Publicity and Publications WAUTI, Chukwuemeka Eze explained in a statement that the tax body was established to serve as the voice of tax professional bodies in West Africa and develop and promote Taxation as the centre of eco-

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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


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 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 2.97 0.90 0.90 0.68 0.70 10.00 4.70 8.90 1.48 188.10

C/PRICE 3.11 0.94 0.94 0.71 0.73 10.29 4.80 9.05 1.60 190.01

CHANGE 0.14 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.03 0.29 0.10 0.15 0.02 1.91


O/PRICE 59.00 8.60 8.47 5.65 9.57 4.70 5.34 11.12 7.73 0.65

C/PRICE 56.05 8.17 8.05 5.37 9.10 4.47 5.08 10.58 7.36 0.62


Offered ($) Demanded ($)


OBB Rate Call Rate

nomic development in the continent as in other developed regions. He said the organisers chose the theme: “Taxation: A Tool for Regional Sustainability and Development” According to him, the maiden Annual Tax Conference will hold from February 28 to 29 at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos. The participants expected at the conference include members of international tax-related professional bodies; staff of control, operations, compliance and inspection department of banks. Others are staff of finance and account departments of non-banking institutions, tax auditors, tax practitioners, officials of tax agencies, among others who are expected from within West Africa and beyond.




The 2011 financial year marked the first full year of implementation on the common-year-end policy for commercial banks as instituted by the apex bank.

Institute holds tax

investors are largely drawn by the same "income convergence" story that has played out in China and India not the worn, one-dimensional motivation of mineral extraction," Nazem Fawwaz Al Kudsi, chief executive office at Invest AD, said. Still, institutional investors have several concerns about investing in the continent, according to the report titled "Into Africa: Institutional Investor Intentions to 2016.""Africa's biggest challenge is to overcome deeply entrenched perceptions. But a striking shift that can be observed among investors is a change in focus from macroeconomic and political worries towards more technical market concerns," according to the report. Although bribery and corruption is the headline worry for investors, concerns about weak institutions and illiquidity in capital markets are not far behind.


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

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

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

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


CHANGE 2.95 0.43 0.42 0.28 0.47 0.23 0.26 0.54 0.37 0.03


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011












NEWS Subsidy removal: ‘Necessary sacrifice for future prosperity’ From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


HE Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism Chief Maja Umeh has urged Nigerians to see the removal of fuel subsidy as a necessary sacrifice for future prosperity. Addressing reporters yesterday in Awka, Umeh hailed Federal Government for pledging to cut down the cost of governance and other palliative measures put in place to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal. The commissioner said judging from his experience in Anambra State where Governor Peter Obi has, over the past six years, cut the cost of governance, the sacrifice would be worth it at the end of the day. He said the governor had, at the inception of his administration in 2006, cut down the salaries and allowances of all public office holders. Umeh hailed Mrs Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala’s leadership virtues. She urged other members of the National Economic Team to be above board in the discharge of their duties.

Delta warns erring contractors


HE Delta State government has warned contractors handling government contracts of dire consequences if they fail to mobilise to site. It warned that contractors may be blacklisted,and asked to refund money paid for abandoned jobs. “We will blacklist them and seek some forces to enquire into the activities of the company and recover any money that is not commensurate with the work done” Commissioner for Works Solomon Funkekeme said contractors have no reason to stay away from project sites because they have been paid. He said: “The ministry

Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

would expect that contractors mobilise to site immediately so that the weather which may become unpredictable does not catch up with us.” He warned contractors against shoddy jobs. Funkekeme said his ministry would patronise only contractors that have good track records. He directed that contractors must submit work programmes to the ministry officials, adding that six zonal offices across the three senatorial districts have been established to monitor government projects.

N18b for Ibom Airport international wing

•Akpabio From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

ment to the state government. The governor said that so far, the Ibom International Airport has airlifted 403,663 passengers using 7,749 flights in less than two years. “The statistics available now showed that Ibom International Airport, apart from being the most industry compliance airport in the country, has been the fastest growing airport in the world.”

Calabar residents cry for help Nicholas Kalu, Calabar



HE ancient city of Nri in Anaocha Local Government of Anamra State is unarguably the ancestral home of Ndigbo. This explains why it is the custodian of Igbo culture and tradition and the highly revered ‘ofor’ (staff)Ndigbo. On installation as Eze-Gburu Gburu, the highest single title in Igboland, one is presented the Ofor as a symbol of leadership of the Igbo race. At the demise of Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu, the stool of Eze-Gburu Gburu became vacant and the entire Ndigbo, who were thrown into mourning, were quietly waiting for a successor to take over the non-political and non- religious leadership of Igbo people. The waiting was not for long as traditional ruler of Nri, Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, broke their suspense with the announcement of the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, as the new Eze-Gburu GBuru. Eze Onyesoh, during the installation ceremony that set the ancient city agog, noted that the choice of Uwazurike as Ojukwu’s successor was divinely inspired and

•Eze Onyesoh (right) presenting Uwazuruike with one of his insignia of office...yesterday From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha

devoid of any selfish interest or other pecuniary considerations. He said Ojukwu anointed Uwazuruike as his successor when he was still alive because he did not only work according to Ojukwu’s directives but also respected him much as the then Eze Gburu GBuru. Eze Onyesoh further noted that the selection of Uwazuruike as the new Eze Igbo was done purely on merit

because he has the largest heart to fight the Igbo cause, noting that he never resorted to violence in his quest for the actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra. He added: “These unusual leadership qualities distinguished him from the committee of Igbo sons”. The monarch expressed confidence that with Uwazuruike as Igbo leader, the 2015 Igbo presidency project would be easier to realise since he already has leadership acumen to command the respect of the

larger Igbo populace. “After Ojukwu, Ndigbo needed a vibrant and fearless leader like Uwazuruike, who will assemble Igbo youths that will vote for Igbo presidency because the five Southeastern states have tremendous voters”, Onyesoh said. He added: “Ojukwu even anointed Uwazuruike when he was still alive to take over from him and we are here to help him take over. But you have to be straight-forward and be prepared for attacks from certain quarters”.

EFCC withdraws request for transfer of Nnamani’s, others’ case T


OVERNOR Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State yesterday awarded a contract of N18.055 billion for the construction of the International Wing of Ibom Airport. The contract was awarded to Alkon Nigeria Limited. Alkon is the company that constructed the first phase of the airport. Akpabio said the state government was encouraged to give the contract to Alkon Nigeria Limited after a wonderful performance during the first phase of the airport. The governor assured that the project would be delivered within 24 months. He warned the contractor to work within the time limit, saying the state government would accept any variations in the project sum. Akpabio urged the host communities to cooperate with the construction company, saying since the landing of the first inaugural flight in September 2009 at Ibom Airport, the traffic of passengers at the airport has been a source of encourage-

How Uwazuruike became Eze-Gburu Gburu

ESIDENTS of Calabar South Local Government in Cross River State have urged the government to curb the insecurity in the area. Armed groups have been robbing shops and residences in the area in the past weeks. The groups armed with machetes and guns reportedly storm people’s shops and residences between 7 to 9pm. The people now live in fear as the robbers strike without any resistance. Streets worse hit include Ekpo Abasi, Mayne Avenue, Mount Zion, Atakpa, Atamunu, Azikiwe, Ndon Edet, Yellow Duke, Palm Street, Target, Inyang, Abasi Obori, Uwanse, Goldie, Eastern Highway, among others. A young man was reportedly shot dead on Tuesday night last week on Mount Zion road.

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday changed its mind over its earlier request that the case against former Enugu State Governor Chimaroke Nnamani and some of its aides be transferred to a new judge. At the resumed hearing yesterday before the Federal High Court, Lagos. The commission’s lawyer, Kelvin Uzozie, told the court that his client was willing to withdraw the application it filed, seeking the transfer of the case. He asked the court to adjourn the case to a later date to enable the prosecution sort out some issues. Justice Charles Achibong

By Eric IKhilae

struck out the application. As regards Uzozie’s request for adjournment, the judge frowned at the delay in the trial and refused Uzozie’s request. “We cannot just be adjourning without cause. I don’t know what is happening. Don’t scandalise the court while taking your time. You either move the motion or I will strike it out.” Nnamani’s lawyer, Rickey Tarfa and other defence lawyers agreed that the application be struck out.

Tarfa , Onyechi Ikpeazu and others argued that it was a matter of priority for the application to be struck out before the court could fix date for trial because the EFCC’s application touched on the jurisdiction of the court. In a June 27, 2011 letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, the EFCC had alleged that some comments and conduct of Archibong, during proceedings were prejudicial to the case. It cited an instance where the judge on July 22, 2010, allegedly said he would not try the

case if the prosecution refused to reduce the number of counts contained in the charge to four. On trial with Nnamani are former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Sam Ejiofor and a consultant to the state government, Victor Udeh, Sunday Anyaogu, a Permanent Secretary in the Enugu State Civil Service and six companies. They are Rainbownet Nig Ltd, Hillgate Nig Ltd, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nig Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School. Further hearing in the case has been fixed for April 4.

Ogun PDP crisis: Court summons party leaders


FEDERAL High Court in Lagos has summoned the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) National Vice- Chairman, Southwest, Tajudeen Oladipo, National Legal Adviser, Olusola Oke and some factional leaders of the party in Ogun State to appear before it in respect of a contempt proceedings brought against them. Justice Charles Achibong yesterday ordered them to appear before him following arguments by their lawyers, Olajide Ajana and Gani Bello, that the alleged contemnors were not served copies of a motion seeking their committal to prison for allegedly violating the court’s orders. Also summoned are PDP, its National Organising Secretary, Uche Secondus, Jimoh Adigun, Mustapha Olabode, Titus Eweje, Fasiu Bakene, Gbenga Shobowale, Dipo Odujirin, Michela Fasinu, Dayo Adebayo, Iyabo A p a m p a , S e g u n Showunmi,Monsurudeen Os-

By Eric IKhilae

holake and Lekan Mustapha. They are to appear before the court on January 27, when the court is also expected to rule on the substantive suit and the preliminary objection filed against it by the respondents. The judge also ordered that court processes in respect of the contempt case be served on the defendants through substituted means. He also ordered Ajana (PDP’s lawyer) to hand over court documents already served on him to his client. In the motion filed by Ajibola Oluyede, lawyer to the plaintiffs, the alleged contemnors - 16 in all –were accused of disobeying an order of the court made on October 25, December 14 and 15 to the effect that parties should maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit. The court, on October 25, ordered parties to maintain status quo; on December 14.

It ordered that parties should refrain from issuing and compiling registers of members of the party in Ogun; and on December 15 , it ordered that the election of new leaders of the party at all levels in the state be conducted by the Executive Committee, headed by Dayo Soremi. The plaintiffs - Soremi, Bayo Dayo and Taiwo Abisekan – argued that despite being aware of the said court orders, the PDP, Oladipo, Secondus, Adigun, Secondus, Oke and some unnamed members of the party in Southwest allegedly inaugurated an ad hoc committee to supplant the Executive Committee headed by Soremi. While urging the court to commit the alleged contemnors to one year imprisonment for alleged contempt, the plaintiffs argued that the act of contempt which they allegedly committed was intended to challenge the court’s power. While adopting his written submission in support of the

origination summons, Oluyede urged the court to grant all his client’s prayers, which include an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from usurping or interfering with the activities of the Soremi-led Executive Committee as per the order of Justice Okechukwu Okeke made on September 21, 2010. They also sought a declaration that neither the PDP nor any of its national officers could validly interfere with the applicants in the performance of their functions and the exercise of powers bestowed on them by the constitution of the party until a valid congress is held. Ajana, while adopting his submission in support of his preliminary objection and counter affidavit, urged the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it was incompetent. He said it was an abuse of court process . Bello adopted Ajana’s argument and urged the court to dismiss it.



NEWS PENCOM urged to ensure transparency


HE National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has been admonished to address issues of corrupt practices and ensure transparency in the activities of pension fund custodians, so as to achieve the goal of the scheme and guarantee sociosecurity-plan for workers after their retirement. Speaking at a symposium organised by AL-IHSAN IsLOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the general public that an Irrevocable Power of Attorney registered as No. 7, at page 7, volume 231 belonging to Bro. Ifeanyi Emmanuel Nwabuike is hereby reported missing. The general public should take note.

lamic Welfare Foundation in Osogbo, Osun State capital, yesterday, guest speakers identified corruption as a major factor militating against the success of the scheme and charged pension fund administrators in the country to fear God. A chartered accountant, Tajudeen Adetokunbo, who delivered a paper, noted that “shortcomings of the current system are unlikely to be addressed by reforms within the existing paradigm and that alternative policy such as noncontributory universal social pensions should be considered to expand basic social security in the Nigerian context.”

‘Why ASUU strike won’t end soon’


HE Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Ignatius Ajuru (formerly Rivers State) University of Education (IAUOE), Port Harcourt, Dr. Ugochukwu Agi, has said universities in Nigeria would not reopen soon. Agi, while briefing reporters yesterday at IAUOE, after ASUU’s Owerri zonal meeting, said the sevenweek-old indefinite nationwide strike would not be

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

suspended until the demands of the lecturers are met by the Federal Government. He said Federal Government voluntarily signed the 2009 agreement with ASUU, but refused to fully implement the terms. Agi said that ASUU members in the zone would maintain their earlier position of full implementa-

tion of the 2009 agreement, with the demands to be communicated to ASUU’s national headquarters in Abuja, through the Zonal Coordinator, Emilia Jaja. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, (RSUST), Port Harcourt; Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri; University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT); Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Ow-

erri and IAUOE. ASUU’s chairman, IAUOE chapter also faulted the claim of the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, that the nationwide strike ought to have been called off on Monday. Agi lamented that the Rivers State Government owed IAUOE lecturers 24 months salary. He urged Governor Rotimi Amaechi to pay the money, to motivate the staff for greater productivity.

Senate faults 51% reduction of EFCC’s budget


HE Senate yesterday faulted the reduction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) 2012 budget estimates. Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and AntiCorruption, Senator Victor Lar, expressed reservation over the reduction of the EFCC budget estimates at a meeting in Abuja . Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, presented the EFCC’s budget proposal to it. A proposal of N10.9billion, as allocated by the Budget Office, was presented. This represents a 51 per cent reduction in the overall N21.8billion request made by the EFCC. Lamorde gave a breakdown of the budget as Personnel costs, N6 billion, Overhead costs, N1.7 billion, Capital N3.1billion which gave a total of N10.9 billion.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

The Acting Chairman said it was important to note that for the 2012 budget, “we requested for 21.8 billion from the Budget Office of the Federation out of which only 10.9billion was allocated.” Lar described the reduction of the allocation to the commission as totally unwarranted. He said: “I think that government must take a more realistic look at the approach and the budgeting system for the agencies charged with the responsibility to fight corruption.” The lawmaker noted that a situation where government proposed a budget of over N4 trillion for the entire nation but only allocated a miserly N40 billion for all the agencies fighting corruption was unrealistic. He wondered why EFCC was offered N13.8billion in 2011 and N10.9billion in 2012.

He expressed the Senate’s determination to ensure improved funding of the EFCC and advocated financial autonomy for the EFCC as well as the re-instatement of a Life Insurance policy for all EFCC staff. He said: “Those of us that were privileged to watch the carnage and nature of the protests that Nigerians embarked upon during the fuel subsidy removal strike, noted that there was an underlying mistrust and suspicion that ran through all the comments made by everybody in the streets which was corruption, corruption and corruption. “Corruption was and still is the base of that mistrust and the mandate to curb corruption, reduce it and exterminate it completely rests with the EFCC. As a committee, we shall support you to deliver on this mandate.” Lamorde appealed to the Senate to intervene by reinstating the exact amount re-

Bode George denies seeking presidential pardon


ORMER Southwest Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has said that he was not going to push for presidential pardon, as he was prepared to pursue his case to the Supreme Court to prove his innocence. George was sentenced to two years imprisonment in 2009 over allegation of contract splitting and inflation by a Lagos High Court. Attempt to quash the sentence at the Court of Appeal failed. The crime was said to have been committed at the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) where he served as the Chairman of the Board between 2000 and 2003. He was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2008 for contract inflation to the tune of N84 billion with five other board members. According to EFCC, contracts were split and inflated by the Board and advance payments above the 25 per cent limit approved by the government were made in the award of 15 contracts. He and others were alleged to have, among others, conspired about June 6, 2003 to inflate the contract price for the rehabilitation of Kalmar Container Handler from 215,555.52 Euro to 269,965.71 Euro. They were also alleged to have inflated contract awarded to Dateks Ltd for the replacement and installation of

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

six 11KVA High Tension Panels with accessories at Sub-station C, Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, from 310,500.40 Euro to 345,925.00 Euro. Sentenced with him were former NPA Managing Director, Aminu Dabo, Olusegun Abidoye, Abdullahi Aminu Tafida, Zanna Maidaribe and Sule Aliyu. George, who was at the Presidential Villa yesterday, however, insisted that he was innocent of the crime which took him to jail. He said he did not steal any money from the government. He also denied that there was a crisis in Lagos PDP, saying the party is waxing strong. He added: “There is no crisis in PDP. This is just the figment of the imagination of those who don’t understand and are perpetually trying to misinform the public that there is problem in PDP”. On the comments made by Adeseye Ogunlewe about the party, George said: “Forget about Ogunlewe, is he a member of the party? Below is his interview with reporters: Why are you here? I am here to see the President; he is the leader of my party. Is it in respect of party affairs? It could be in respect of anything. One, he is the leader of my party and two; he is

quested from the government by the EFCC. The cuts in the budget, according to him, will hinder the successful execution of the EFCC’s mandate in all ramifications He further told the committee that no allocation was made for ICT/Forensic Laboratory equipment, as well as legal services and insurance premium in the proposal. This, he said, would negatively affect activities of the Commission in 2012. The Senate Committee expressed its interest to promote the independence of the EFCC by enhancing its funding structure through the amendment of its Establishment Act. The presentation was attended by Lar (Chairman), Uche Chukwumerije, Mohammed Sani Sale, Umaru Dahiru and Udo Adekunle; while the EFCC team was led by Lamorde.

Fed Govt begins pro-subsidy campaign in Southwest From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan


the President of the country. This is why sometimes we show courtesy to come and pay our respects. There is this report that there are moves for you to get presidential pardon. Is this visit part of it? Ah! Ah! Ah! You must be kidding; it has nothing to do with it at all. Those who did the thing they did, God is the greatest judge, isn’t He? If you were conspired against, then what do you do? Thank God the judge himself said we didn’t steal one kobo. So what did I do? So are you saying you won’t make any move to seek presidential pardon? The judicial thing is still there, it is right all the way to the top. Let’s get down there before we sum it up.

THE Federal Government yesterday initiated Town Hall meetings to educate Nigerians, particularly youths, on the benefits of deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry in the Southwest. The Oyo State Town Hall meeting, the first in the Southwest, was held yesterday at the Millennium Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan. The hall was filled by youths drawn from various groups under the umbrella of the Committee of Nigerian Youth Groups for the Advocacy of Full Deregulation of the Downstream Sector of the oil industry, Oyo State chapter. They were led by Comrade Ropo Egbeleke, the secretary of the forum. The guest lecturer, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, highlighted the benefits derivable from the government’s initiatives, stressing that the era where few privileged Nigerians benefit from the subsidy is over. Olafeso assured the youths that government would be ready to be held accountable for the proceeds accruing to its purse through the deregulation. He said between now and December, a lot of developmental projects including rebuilding of infrastructures will be put in place as President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to the growth and development of the nation.




Global economy ‘in danger zone’ over euro crisis, says IMF


HE world’s economy is “deeply into the danger zone” because of risks from the eurozone, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. The IMF predicts the global economy will grow by 3.25% in 2012, down from an earlier forecast of 4%. The growth forecast for the UK economy has been cut to 0.6% from 1.6%. But the eurozone is set for a “mild recession” in 2012, with GDP expected to shrink by 0.5%, compared with a previous forecast of 1.1% growth. Growth estimates have been reduced for the main eurozone countries, including Germany, which is widely seen as the powerhouse of the region.

Germany is forecast to grow 0.3% in 2012, down from the 1.3% originally predicted in September. France is expected to show 0.2% growth in 2012, down from 1.4%. However, the IMF stands by its 1.8% growth prediction for the US, based on recent strong domestic data on jobs and manufacturing. Emerging markets, such as central and eastern Europe and Asia, could also be hit by the eurozone crisis. The IMF said: “While these markets have been quite resilient to shocks and developments in major economies in the past year, recent indicators have weakened significantly and the general business climate has deteriorated.”

The IMF said Europe’s most pressing challenge was to restore confidence and put an end to the crisis in the euro area. It added that world economies needed “decisive and consistent policy action” to improve the current financial environment. “There are three requirements for a more resilient recovery: sustained but gradual adjustment, ample liquidity and easy monetary policy, mainly in advanced economies, and restored confidence in policymakers’ ability to act.” Separately, EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said he expected a “moderate recession” across Europe in the first half of this year.

Egypt’s military ruler partially lifts emergency law


GYPT’s military ruler has said the decadesold state of emergency will be lifted partially today, the first anniversary of the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said the law would still be applied in cases of “thuggery”, without giving any details. The military has used the term “thugs” to justify the crackdown on people demanding a return to civilian rule. Egypt has been governed under emergency law almost continuously since 1967. It gave the authorities extensive powers to suspend basic rights, such as prohibiting protests, censoring the media, monitoring personal communications, and detaining people indefinitely without charge. Mr Mubarak repeatedly broke promises to lift the state of emergency, which has been in place without interruption since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Field Marshal Tantawi’s announcement came a day after the lower house of Egypt’s parliament held its first session since Mr Mubarak stepped down and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took power. “Today, after the people said their word and chose their MPs in the People’s Assembly to assume legislative and monitoring tasks, I took a decision to end the

state of emergency in the entire republic except in confronting the crimes of thuggery,” he said in a televised address. “This decision will take effect on the morning of 25 January.” Correspondents say the partial lifting of the emergency law is unlikely to satisfy pro-democracy protesters and human rights groups.

Gaddafi’s green flag raised in Libyan town after bloody uprising


IBYA’s ramshackle government lost control of a former Gaddafi stronghold yesterday after locals staged an armed uprising. Forces loyal to ousted, and now dead, leader Muammar Gaddafi seized control of Bani Walid and then raised in celebration the deposed regime’s green flag on hundreds of buildings. The re-taking of the town, which saw elders driven out in a lengthy bloody gunbattle

which killed four people and left 25 others wounded, raises the spectre that the country will descend into civil war. The return of violence to the oil-rich North African nation will also be met with a rolling of the eyes in Washington and London, who both spent billions in pushing Gaddafi out. This week’s bloodshed in Bani Walid poses the gravest challenge yet to the country’s new rulers - the National Transitional Council.

NEWS Uba’s petition for hearing


HE Court of Appeal will tomorrow in Enugu hear a motion by Senator Andy Uba challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal Election Panel, that nullified his election as Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District. Uba is by a motion asking the court to set aside the decision of its election panel headed by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, delivered last December22. The decision to hear the motion followed a petition by Uba to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the President of the Court of Appeal, alleging miscarriage of Justice by the Justice Ogunwumiju-led panel.Uba hinged his motion on the ground that the Appeal Court Panel granted more reliefs than sought by the appellant in the matter, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe,

former member of the House of Representatives. He also argued that the court nullified elections in all the 110 wards in the seven local government areas of the Senatorial District, when the appellant only complained of irregularities in 14 wards, which accounts for only 12 per cent of votes in the entire Senatorial District. He said the Court of Appeal overreached itself and acted in disregard of the law and fact before it, leading to miscarriage of justice. The petition recalled that in a similar matter last year between Senator Chris Ngige and former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, the Court of Appeal ruled that a re-run of the election be held only in the wards where Mrs Akunyili had complained of invalid votes and not across the entire Senatorial District.

Amnesty to Fed Govt: protect your citizens LOBAL rights watchdog-Amnesty International yesterday urged the Federal Government to do more to protect its citizens in the wake of deadly attacks blamed on the Boko Haram group. At least, 185 people were killed in bomb and gun attacks last Friday in Kano, the second largest in the country. Nine assailants also died in the assaults. Attacks by Boko Haram killed at least 500 people last year, according to both Amnesty and


Human Rights Watch. The group “has perpetrated numerous human rights abuses and shows contempt for life. They must stop the attacks,” Amnesty said in a statement. It went on: “However, the Nigerian government has repeatedly failed to prevent, investigate, prosecute or punish these acts. “These horrific crimes by Boko Haram must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.”





No of Deals 2 14 7 1 24

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.71 24.25 8.67

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 20,000 10,000.00 1,669,336 1,153,731.84 24,150 562,216.00 2,500 20,600.00 1,715,986 1,746,547.84

Quotation(N) 2.07 6.47

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 55,010 114,772.50 602,095 3,913,979.60 657,105 4,028,752.10

Quotation(N) 1.22

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 28,810 35,143.80 28,810 35,143.80

Quotation(N) 4.80 2.10 4.00 1.30 9.05 13.02 7.36 3.53 0.94 2.19 9.10 0.52 0.51 11.96

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,980,828 28,670,837.62 2,468,917 5,190,392.80 154,400 592,194.00 10,439,147 14,218,329.15 43,462,744 391,702,244.34 9,674,216 128,906,920.30 158,300 1,175,318.00 5,436,073 19,269,911.57 2,841,807 2,570,361.72 9,654,155 21,181,765.49 63,128 574,464.80 744,600 387,362.00 5,130,100 2,585,750.00 8,274,937 99,238,678.93 104,483,352 716,264,530.72

Quotation(N) 230.00 5.70 93.00 0.88

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 760,535 174,469,055.56 20,632,987 111,864,069.54 5,540,073 514,910,542.83 300 252.00 26,933,895 801,243,919.93


No of Deals 3 54 57


No of Deals 8 8 BANKING


No of Deals 100 44 12 49 532 456 22 69 26 158 6 9 36 286 1,805 BREWERIES


No of Deals 144 23 214 1 382


No of Deals 53 7 40 62 162

Quotation(N) 10.58 5.37 117.98 44.30

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 642,813 6,862,181.08 105,570 567,430.90 145,215 17,113,114.98 264,565 11,684,070.70 1,158,163 36,226,797.66

Quotation(N) 8.05 15.22

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 66,318 533,942.30 66,240 1,013,897.90 132,558 1,547,840.20


No of Deals 7 21 28

Banks, others slip to lowest prices


ANKING stocks heralded the fall of most equities to their lowest prices yesterday at the Nigerian stock market as the unyielding downtrend further shaved off N27 billion from investors’ fortunes. Most equities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) are now trading at their year-todate lows after another bearish trading session sent most banking stocks and other leading stocks to bottom of their recent pricing trends. Two-third of share price changes in the banking sectors ended on the negative, pushing most banking stocks to their lows. Seven banks including Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Unity Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc slumped to their lowest prices after yesterday’s losses. Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), which has scheduled a board meeting this week to discuss its 2011 earnings and dividend recommendation, slipped by 48 kobo to close at a low of N13.02 per share. Zenith Bank, which could also announce its 2011 earnings and dividends after board meeting next week, dropped by 4.0 kobo to close at N11.96. UBA slipped by a kobo to N2.19. Unity Bank lost 2.0 kobo to close at N52 kobo. Fidelity Bank dropped by 6.0 kobo to close at N1.30. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc lost 37 kobo to close at N7.36 while UBN dropped by 47 kobo to

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

close at N9.10 per share. Also, MRS Oil Nigeria, which led the slackers with a loss of N2.95 slipped to a low of N56.05. Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped by N1.90 to close at N60.10. Julius Berger Nigeria lost N1.35 to close at N30.70 per share. Ashaka Cement dropped by 54 kobo to close at N10.58. Nigerian Breweries lost 50 kobo to close at a low of N93 while Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 11 kobo to close at a low of N4.49 per share. With nearly three losers to a gainer, aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted companies slipped from N6.518 trillion to N6.491 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), which serves a s benchmark index for all equities, dropped from 20,683.46 points to 20,598.67 points. Most sectoral indices also reflected the widespread of the downtrend. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised stocks, dropped from 925.26 points to 921.18 points. The NSE Food and Beverages Index declined from 1,682.37 points to 1,674.92 points while the NSE Banking Index slipped to 260.97 points as against opening index of 264.24 points. However, the NSE Oil and Gas Index appreciated from 225.69 points to 226.44 points as oil majors appeared to be benefitting from positive

sentiments on the deregulation of the downstream oil sector. The NSE Insurance Index also rode on the back of gains by two insurance companies to 125.99 points compared with its opening index of 125.80 points. Nestle Nigeria topped the gainers’ list with a gain of N3.50 to close at N423 per share. Total Nigeria followed with a gain of N1.91 to close at N190.01. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated gained 29 kobo to close at N10.29. First Bank of Nigeria added 15 kobo to close at N9.05. Honeywell Flour Mills rose by 14 kobo to close at N3.11. Access Bank gained 10 kobo to close at N4.80. Dangote Cement added 9.0 kobo to close at N117.98 per share. Prestige Assurance and Sterling Bank chalked up 4.0 kobo each to close at 94 kobo each while Livestock Feeds and Continental Reinsurance rose by 3.0 kobo each to close at 71 kobo and 73 kobo respectively. Total turnover stood at 215.89 million shares valued at N2.08 billion in 3,688 deals. Banking subsector remained atop the activity chart with a turnover of 107.02 million shares worth N742.32 million in 1,858 deals. Insurance subgroup followed with a turnover of 58.4 million shares worth N44.38 million in 94 deals. Breweries subsector ranked third with a turnover of 26.93 million shares valued at N801.24 million in 382 deals.


No of Deals 8 8

Quotation(N) 2.30


Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 162,787 370,985.19 162,787 370,985.19



No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 2.94

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,445 6,846.00 6,846.00 2,445

Quotation(N) 1.47 29.40 0.55 28.90 29.60

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 30,151 45,878.95 480,926 14,399,110.03 4,516,636 2,476,499.08 492,993 14,214,960.65 433,767 12,930,627.77 5,954,473 44,067,076.48


No of Deals 7 100 37 58 83 285


4 10 2 1 5 4 6 94

No of Deals 12 3 15

No of Deals 4 4

Quotation(N) 30.70 8.69

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 71,000 2,182,600.00 20,238 184,165.88 91,238 2,366,765.88

Quotation(N) 1.48

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 105,370 155,947.60 105,370 155,947.60


No of Deals 9 43 50 66 64 19 15 62 1 2 331

Quotation(N) 46.00 11.15 5.08 4.49 60.10 3.11 4.10 423.00 0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,683 483,269.99 1,075,714 11,888,740.96 774,019 3,950,671.14 1,852,539 8,438,957.91 332,268 20,158,078.31 1,013,704 2,981,675.88 555,930 2,305,164.94 595,033 252,296,673.17 10,000 5,000.00 10,550 5,275.00 6,230,440 302,513,507.30

Quotation(N) 0.67 0.87 23.00 2.74 8.17 1.03

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 23,400 14,976.00 96,095 83,602.65 17,775 388,383.75 33,149 86,940.90 140,000 1,143,800.00 2,705 2,650.90 313,124 1,720,354.20


No of Deals 2 5 3 5 5 1 21


No of Deals 1 3 9 13

Quotation(N) 11.15 6.85 4.47

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 300 3,180.00 3,548 23,106.18 274,500 1,228,570.00 278,348 1,254,856.18


No of Deals 1 7 8

No of Deals 13 13

Quotation(N) 4.94 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 300 1,410.00 500,000 250,000.00 500,300 251,410.00

Quotation(N) 0.53 0.73 0.50 2.20 0.62

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 964,812 505,702.24 45,833,511 33,410,684.03 1,000,000 500,000.00 2,308,198 5,089,617.11 5,070,000 3,145,500.00


No of Deals 39 39

No of Deals 22 19 1 15 5

Quotation(N) 0.53

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 492,971 263,804.45 492,971 263,804.45

Quotation(N) 0.75

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,275,189 962,543.45 1,275,189 962,543.45


No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,200,000 600,000.00 1,200,000 600,000.00

Quotation(N) 5.65 1.60 13.28

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,171 6,288.27 325,237 505,568.10 600 8,364.00 327,008 520,220.37


No of Deals 1 34 1 36


No of Deals 15 12 28 5 17 142 12 231

Quotation(N) 56.05 31.50 2.70 12.18 133.91 20.00 190.01

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 198,879 11,147,167.95 10,541 316,300.52 880,542 2,355,657.32 1,500 17,370.00 26,925 3,534,059.00 949,651 19,006,573.96 114,138 21,687,362.88 2,182,176 58,064,491.63


No of Deals 6 6

Quotation(N) 3.25

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 122,357 394,323.13 122,357 394,323.13

Quotation(N) 12.60

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 33,025 395,309.25 33,025 395,309.25


No of Deals 2 2


No of Deals 51 51

Quotation(N) 50.00

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 545,400 27,270,000.00 545,400 27,270,000.00



79,017.30 125,372.50 2,871.30 500.00 146,804.47 100,050.00 1,270,719.50 44,376,838.45



66,370 250,745 5,630 1,000 158,674 200,100 2,541,439 58,400,479

LEASING Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals


1.24 0.50 0.53 0.50 0.94 0.50 0.50

No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 14,000 7,000.00 14,000 7,000.00


No of Deals 53 53

Quotation(N) 10.29

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 2,541,122 26,058,992.67 2,541,122 26,058,992.67









ERARD, how does it feel to be chosen as part of the FIFA/FIFPro World XI again? It’s a real honour being part of a team alongside the world’s best. Even more so because this XI was chosen by our fellow players, who are the ones that know best. That selection capped another wonderful year, during which you and Barcelona won almost every competition you entered. What was the secret behind all this success? Pep Guardiola. Ever since he came back to the club, he has kept us at the very top thanks to the way he sees football and the way he motivates us. We won virtually everything last year, which makes me very proud and satisfied. Particularly because I’m doing all of this on my home turf, at my hometown club and the one I’ve always supported. Staying on Guardiola, can you give us a little more insight into what makes him such a special coach? On one hand, he sees football in ways nobody else does, and then he explains it better than anyone. Lots of coaches just tell you to move right or move left, but he gives you the reasons why, which means you clearly understand why you’re doing something. And so, without even realising it, you learn more and more every day and start to make your own decisions out on the pitch. On top of that, you have the way he motivates us. Loads of teams have won a lot of titles but then started losing their hunger, whereas we’re getting hungrier all the time. We want to have that feeling of pleasure, when you feel like you’re the best, again and again. Pep doesn’t let us take our foot off the pedal. He’s always on our case and trying to get the very best out of each one of us.

•Gerard Pique with Pep Guardiola

Pique: Guardiola’s vision is unique Ask anyone to make a list of the finest defenders on the planet and the chances are that Gerard Pique’s name will feature. Boasting an exquisite blend of skill, strength and intelligence, the classy 24-year-old has proved himself one of the most complete performers around for club and country in recent years. A serial medal collector with his beloved Barcelona and a 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa winner with Spain, Pique’s fellow professionals have also voted him into the FIFA/FIFPro World XI for the past two years. In conversation with, the former Manchester United man took the time to tell us about his extraordinary recent success and the challenges that lay ahead in 2012. When we spoke to Guardiola himself, he told us how important it was to treat players like adults and make them responsible for their own actions… He makes you feel like a professional. It seems like he gives us more freedom, but in fact what he does is give us decision-making power. It’s as if he were saying, ‘Do you really want to make a living doing this? Do you want to be the greatest and win lots of trophies? It all depends on you. I’ll let you spend the night before a game at home, doing whatever you like, but you should know that if you don’t play well, you won’t start the next match.’ This makes you much more mature as well as making you feel you owe him something, so you feel like you have to perform out on the pitch. Something else that also catches the eye is that this Barça team proved they can find their best form on the biggest occasions, such as the 2011 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United and in clásicos against Real Madrid… I thought we played a brilliant game against United. Not only was it one of the best performances I’ve been involved in, it was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Not just the result, but the way we won too – by playing well, dominating the game and creating chances. Normally in finals you see a lot of nervousness, with teams just trying to grab a goal and then cling on to a 1-0 win. The

same thing happened against Madrid [as against United], because we’re now so used to playing games that are like finals. This team knows how to perform on the big occasions and it’s slight edges like that which make the difference between winning titles and falling short. Barcelona have often deployed a back three this season. Where did the idea come from and how have the team gone about working on it? We started doing it in preseason more or less, and the gaffer got the idea because he felt we were getting too predictable: everyone knew all about us and played with every man behind the ball. The idea behind the 3-4-3 is to make us more attacking, give us more possession, and help us create more goalscoring chances. Having started working on it in pre-season, we’ve had to grow more comfortable with it during the season, because it’s not an easy system. Particularly as a defender… You have to do much more running. After matches you’re noticeably more tired because you have to deal with more attacks, you get pulled out into wide areas. It’s more punishing for the centre-backs. That said, it’s been a very good thing for me personally, as it’s made me more versatile. You’ve been privileged enough to work under two greats in the shape of Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson. How different are they? Very. Ferguson is a manager and he often doesn’t come down to the training pitch. He stays in his office and does a lot of different tasks at the club. I think that he’s more of a father figure, at least that’s how he was with me when I joined them at 17. He was a great motivator: the way he spoke in the moments before games was fantastic. Guardiola, meanwhile, spends all day with the players and then sits through ten hours of video so he can show us footage of our opponents and how to attack them. Maybe it’s simply a question of how long they’ve been coaching: Pep’s just starting out while Sir Alex is much more experienced. In general terms though, there are major differences between the role of a coach in Spain and a manager in England, right? Yes, even the dugouts in the Premier League are higher up and aren’t covered - you’re almost sat right next to the fans! The countries have different cultures and their football is different too. It’s very passionate in England, it’s a fiesta: you turn up and there’s a

brilliant atmosphere, the stadium’s full and the fans never stop cheering you on, even if you’re losing. In Spain it’s a bit trickier, culturally speaking, because the fans tend to stay at home more and the stadiums are only full for the bigger games. Perhaps we’re a bit more reserved in that sense, we don’t get behind the players as much, but we do demand more from them. Finally, though 2011 was undoubtedly a wonderful year, there are greater

challenges ahead in 2012. In La Liga, for instance, Real Madrid are already clear at the top and Barça have found the going tougher. What are your thoughts on that? I suppose that when you’ve won as much as we have, it makes things tougher, because every opponent gives 110 per cent. In their eyes, being able to beat us is a real feat. Besides which, our games are seen across the globe and everyone puts us under the microscope. However much we want to try


new things and make small adjustments, people know how we play, sit very deep and line up with six or seven defenders, especially away from home. At Camp Nou the pitch is bigger, so there’s more space, and the fans apply pressure and it makes things easier. We’ve also been a little short of luck recently. Anyway, the only thing we can do is keep working hard and the wins will come - as will the silverware. I’ve no doubt about that. Culled from







Woods reveals appearance fees decides tour schedule


IGER Woods has admitted receiving appearance money affects which tournaments he chooses to play. He is rumoured to be getting

more than $2m (£1.3m) to play in this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship. The former world number one has chosen to play in the Middle East instead of the usual PGA Tour season

opener at Torrey Pines in California. Asked whether the payment influenced his scheduling, Woods said: "I'd have to say yes, it certainly does." He added: "That's one of the

Murray still maturing —Ivan Lendl


VAN Lendl admits he was one of the "slower ones" when it came to breaking his grand slam duck, but is confident Andy Murray has enough experience from previous majors to end his own drought. Lendl was named as the British No 1's coach before the Australian Open and watched on as he eased into the last eight of the first grand slam of the season on Monday after Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin was forced to retire after losing the opening two sets due to a hip flexor problem. Murray's 6-1, 6-1, 1-0 victory in just 49 minutes gave him his seventh quarter-final appearance in his last nine grand slam events, and Lendl believes his consistency and experience gathered on his way will stand him in good stead. He said: "Part of it is maturing, he is still a fairly young player, he is 25 this year. He needs experience and some players learn quicker than others, I was one of the slower ones. "You just do your thing and keep on doing it and when the door opens you have to step through it." Murray has reached three grand slam finals but has yet to win one - failing even to take a set - while Lendl lost his first four before going on to land eight major crowns. And the 51 year-old points to the quality of the opposition the Scot has faced as another reason not to panic. He added: "Everyone makes a big thing of Andy being 0-3 in finals but he lost twice to Roger (Federer), arguably the best player of all time and certainly in the open era. "Losing to Novak (Djokovic) here last year at the time looked like a bad loss but if that had happened at the US Open everyone would have said Novak had had a fantastic

year and no-one would have been riding Andy's tail." Next up for Murray is a meeting with young Japanese star Kei Nishikori, who stunned sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in five sets. And Lendl was refusing to look beyond that. He said: "It's one match at a time, no player gets to the quarters without being a very good player. "Nishikori is a young player, he played a very good match today and this is the next goal." Although Murray was not tested on Monday - he went back out on court shortly afterwards for a longer workout - he was pleased to have made easy progress through the draw, especially given the searing heat in Melbourne.


He said: "It's perfect because you conserve energy. You can't look at it as a negative. You just need to make sure you hit enough balls (in practice) to make sure you don't lose any rhythm. "At this stage of the tournament to be off the court in 45 minutes or so isn't bad." That was the only positive as far as he was concerned, however, after a sterile encounter in which Kukushkin's injury meant it was never a genuine contest. "It was boring," said Murray. "There was nothing happening on the court. I didn't have to do anything, just hit the ball in court and he wasn't running. He was making mistakes the first or second ball of the rally. That was it."

reasons why a lot of the guys who play in Europe do play in Europe, and they do get paid [appearance fees]. "I think the only tour that doesn't pay is the US Tour, but you know a lot of guys play all around the world and they do get appearance fees." Woods won his last major title, the 2008 US Open, at Torrey Pines and in 12 Tour events at the San Diego course he has won on six occasions. The only time he has finished out of the top 10 there was last year. "Torrey has been a golf course I have enjoyed playing since junior golf. Unfortunately scheduling wise, it just didn't work out," Woods said. In his last outing, the 14-time major champion won his own World Challenge tournament in California to record his first victory for two years. And Woods insists he is the fittest he has been in around a decade heading into the new season. "It's been quite a few years since I've been physically fit," he said. "So I'm looking forward to getting out there and giving it a full season, which I haven't done in a while. It's probably been about eight, 10, 12 years [since] I felt 100% [fit]. I had surgery in 2002. I had surgery in 2008. A couple of others ones in there, too. I missed most of last year and then to finally be able to get ready for a tournament properly and to do the type of lifting that I think I need to do to be ready, I was finally able to do that. Hence my game came around, so it's very exciting. I played really well in my last three events, so I'm really looking forward to this year."

•David Haye

Haye-Klitschko heavyweight reunion talks stalled


EGOTIATIONS between David Haye and the Klitschko camp over possible mega-fight this summer hits an impasse, according to manager of former WBA heavyweight champion. Haye announced his retirement in October following his points defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg last summer, but revealed earlier this month that he is seeking a return to the ring. The Londoner, 31, said he would only come out of retirement to face Wladimir, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion, or his 40-year-old brother Vitali,

who holds the WBC title. Talks between the two camps – who have never hidden their dislike of each other – began at the end of last year, but appear to have stalled, according to Haye's trainer and manager Adam Booth. Booth, who has looked after Haye's affairs throughout his career, thought the two parties had been making good progress on negotiations to set up a summer fight with Vitali, but he now admits talks are far from completion and has suggested that the Ukrainian brothers are using Haye's name to gain publicity.



‘What preventive steps have we taken to stop further attacks by the group. None whatsoever. It is a big shame that we have not been able to find a solution to Boko Haram since the group started terrorising us in 2002’ VOL.7 NO.2015



XCEPT for Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, and Pastor Tunde Bakare, the convener of the Save Nigeria Group and the vice-presidential candidate of the CPC in the last elections, who the advert by the Ijaw Youth Council barely stopped short of naming, it did not directly identify the names of those in the group that it alleged were after the president. Even then, the signatories to the advert hardly left anyone in doubt that the group was the usual suspect of Muslim northerners, whose presumed crime was that they had insisted the ruling party obey the provisions of power rotation among the country’s six geo-political zones written in cold print in its own charter and to which the president himself was a signatory. “For the first time in Nigeria’s 51 years,” Mr. Kuromiema, et al said, “they are not in power and the current president is not their anointed candidate.” These villains, they said in a thinly disguised attempt at pitching Igbos against northerners and Muslims against Christians, “are the ones breeding and sponsoring Boko Haram, (the) devilish group (that) is currently killing innocent Igbos and Christian minorities in the North.” Obviously, the fact that the group has killed many Muslims, including leading Islamic clerics who disagreed with the sect’s version of Islam, seems lost on the IYC leaders. Even more obviously, the fact that Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a scion of the most powerful emirate in the North (Kano) – the most authoritative is Sokoto – is the most vigorous and rigorous defender of FSR - Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, the finance and co-ordinating minister included - seems to have escaped the blinkered eyes of the leaders of the IYC. Likewise, the fact that the protest against the FSR has been organised and led by leaders of a coalition of labour unions, civil society and other organisations, supported by legislators in both chambers of the National Assembly across ethnic, sectional and sectarian divides seems to have escaped the hate-filled eyes and minds of the IYC leaders. Not surprisingly, they proceeded in their bigoted publication to single out the North for attack over the war on the FSR and to renew its call for “Resource Control.” The Kaduna Refinery, they declared accordingly, is “an illegal refinery” and they will “no longer allow any drop of oil extracted from Ijawland to be refined outside Ijawland.” They also threatened to “secure” the country’s oil rigs should PENGASSAN, the union of oil and gas workers, carry out its threat of joining the NLC/TUC strike if the Federal Government did not reach an agreement with the unions by the penultimate weekend. The IYC concluded its publication by issuing the ominous threat that “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may well be the last President

People and Politics By MOHAMMED HARUNA

FSR and government’s resort to blackmail (II)

•Dr Jonathan

of a united Nigeria. So be it.” That the government is complicit in all these crude blackmail and threats is obvious from its deafening silence over the threats, in sharp contrast with its vigorous and loud reactions to the threat from Boko Haram. In blaming the North for the Delta region’s grinding poverty in spite of its oil riches, it is obvious that Chief Clark himself has all too soon forgotten - and militants like Dokubo have probably never read - some of the things the Ijaw leader told newspapers about the causes of the region’s poverty as recently as less than five years ago. For example, in an interview in The Nation (August 11, 2007), he decried what he said in effect was the kid-gloves treatment of the governors of the Delta region by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its war on corruption. “Nigerians,” he said, “are worried ...why recent activities of EFCC resulting in the arrest of certain governors in the country has not affected the former governors of the Niger Delta who were known all over the country and world as the most corrupt and investigated



lords and ladies at the expense of their own people. Now, they are blaming Nigeria.” Aluko’s wife of many decades, incidentally, happens to be Esan from the Southsouth. In threatening to revive their demand for resource control, it is obvious that the hotheaded militants of the IYC have either never read the wise counsel of Dr. Sunday Mbang, the former Primate of the Methodist Church who comes from the oil producing AkwaIbom State and who was himself a fiery president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in an interview in the Vanguard (April 1, 2001), or the militants have chosen to ignore his prudent words. Asked by the newspaper if he believed in resource control, he replied emphatically that he did not. “We are,” he said, “living in a funny country. Those who are pushing for resource control may have resources today. Do they know tomorrow? The southern governors pushing for resource control because it suits their purpose for the moment are being short-sighted. If the oil for which they are pushing for resource control gets exhausted today and tomorrow something more valuable is found in the North, what happens? They go to the North to beg them to reverse the situation?” The retired senior cleric concluded by telling the champions of resource control in effect to shut up. “Don’t,” he said, “talk about resource control because when you start the resource control grammar you don’t know where it will end. Now it is the state, before you know it, it will be the local government. Before you know it, it will be the community... I come from AkwaIbom and I can assure you if you press for resource control in AkwaIbom, the local government where those things are located will soon say they should control them. And there will be no end to it. So let us be careful.” When President Jonathan declared his candidature for the presidency at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on September 18, 2010, he said he “...came to launch a campaign of ideas not calumny. I have come to preach love, not hate. I have come to break you away from the divisive tendencies of the past which has slowed down our drive to nationhood. I have no enemies to fight.” Very fine and inspiring words. Trouble is, the way the man’s presidency has all too often winked at, and possibly sometimes even instigated, the divisive utterances and tendencies of so many elderly and not-so-elderly leaders and groups from his region and his religion suggests he never meant what he preached that fine day 16 months ago. Truth be told, the man has talked and acted more like he is the president of a section of this country than that of all Nigerians. In spite of those fine and inspiring words, his presidency has been the most divisive and clueless the country has ever had. •For comments, send SMS to 08054502909

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Ending the nefarious military occupation of Lagos


...and that will be a MIRACLE!

governors by EFCC.” Earlier in the interview, he had talked about how he could not defend the governors of the region over allegations of corruption during the 2005 National Conference under President Olusegun Obasanjo. “It would be recalled that in 2005 at the National Conference,” he said, “the Southsouth delegates under my leadership...could not defend accusations by other delegates from the other five zones that our governors were corrupt and that if the 13 per cent paid as derivation to develop the area had been judiciously utilised, the crisis in the Niger Delta would have reduced, if not ended. Sadly, we had no answer because the truth is bitter and we could only tell them it was an internal problem which we were going back to address.” Apparently, the chief could not make up his mind whether the issue of the alleged corruption by the governors of the Niger Delta region as a, if not the, primary source of the grinding poverty in the region was a family or a national affair. In yet another interview in The Guardian (September 9, 2007), the Ijaw leader wondered why people were talking about the alleged corruption of “(Saminu) Turaki (the Governor of Jigawa State) and other governors who received very little money from the Federation Account, whereas (Peter) Odili (Rivers) received about N20 billion...(James) Ibori (Delta) received over N 10 billion monthly.” “But where is the money?” he asked. “Does Asaba look like a capital city after eight years? It does not. So that is the problem. Benin is worse than when we were there in 1975 during (Dr. Samuel) Ogbemudia’s administration.” Even more damning about who bears responsibility for the sorry state of the Delta region were the remarks of Professor Sam Aluko, veteran economist, in an interview in The Country weekly newspaper (May 20-26,2002), since rested. “When I was chairman of NEIC (National Economic Intelligence Commission),” he said, “we monitored OMPADEC. It was calamitous. You would weep for the people, seeing what their own leaders did for themselves. They were living like


ESTERDAY morning, soldiers deployed in Lagos streets, particularly in Gani Fawehinmi Park, were quietly withdrawn the same way they came. Policemen, however, replaced them – a game of musical chairs of greater subversion, giving way to smaller subversion. The philosophy and principles underlying the Federal Government’s decision to occupy Gani Park are apparently not affected by the rotation of armed men, whether malignant or benign. Instead, the military/police occupation of the park has become a pun on the motto of fuel subsidy protesters who championed the occupation of Nigeria. Recall that as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called off its strike and street protests against fuel subsidy removal early last week, the military occupied the park to keep civil society groups, which were using it for their carnival-like protests, from having access. It was clear that military occupation of the park was meant to undermine the constitutional right to protest. The withdrawal of troops from the park appears to be a response to public outcry.

The Lagos State government had denounced the occupation and called for the withdrawal of troops. The press, opinion leaders and many other civil society groups had also called for an end to military occupation of Gani Park and a few other parts of Lagos. At first, the government had, through the Minister of Defence, insisted the occupation would continue until it was satisfied that normality had been restored. Then, perhaps embarrassed that it had overstepped its democratic boundaries, the government caused the military to deny that the initiative to occupy the park came from the army. The state government invited the troops, they said gamely, to the chagrin of Governor Babatunde Fashola. It is also possible that the government recognised the folly of causing trouble in Lagos while it had its back to the wall in many northern cities, the most recent of which was the Boko Haram attacks in Kano. But whether troops have been withdrawn from Lagos streets or not, the damage to government reputation will take time to repair. By deploying troops in Lagos, the Federal Government showed it had some difficulties appreciating what democracy is all about, a weak-

ness compounded by an improper and continuing inability to gauge the public mood. It is unlikely, henceforth, that Lagosians would be in a hurry to trust the government again. They do not know whether ending military occupation proceeded from the government’s epiphanic realisation that democracy abhorred the sort of tactics that led to the subversion of popular protests or whether it was occasioned by the bloody conflict ravaging the northern part of the country. Though it came embarrassingly late, it is still a relief that the Federal Government has seen reason to end the deployment of troops in Lagos. However, no one is sure that if faced with the kind of challenges that accompanied the subsidy removal protests, the Jonathan presidency would not once again fecklessly embrace desperate measures. The government deserves no credit for grudgingly and quietly rectifying what it unwisely initiated. Instead, Nigerians will have to be on their toes at all times to foil the government’s often simplistic and potentially destabilising resort to anti-democratic tactics.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation January 25, 2012  

The Nation January 25, 2012