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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

S D N NEWS – PAGE 2 FU LD TES O H RA AIN S K AS EM T 1 N R FLA P 1 •Bomb kills four worshippers in Suleja church BA

17 dead as military team retaliates Boko Haram attacks

VOL. 6, NO. 1817 MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011



OUNDED: The Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos submerged by the floods ... yesterday •GR GROUNDED

Floods of fury in cities Lagos calls for calm Eight dead in Katsina Panic in Ibadan Boy dead, dad, sister hospitalised in school fence collapse


AGOSIANS were told yesterday not to panic, as rains pounded the city, flooding roads and homes. It was cloudy and cold. Electricity supplies were cut off in many areas. The government urged residents to remain indoors for the downpour to subside. In many families, it was a flood of tears, especially in areas susceptible to flooding, such as Aguda, Mile 12,

Adekunle, Lagos Mainland. Musa and Rukayat were rushed to the Orthopaedic Specialist Hospital, Igbobi and a clinic at Adekunle for treatment after Doctors without Borders had administered first aid on them. It was gathered that Alaba’s famHomes were flooded. Musiliu, died. He and his five-year- ily was hit by the fence of Talimul One family that will forever live old daughter, Rukayat, were in- Islam Ahamadiya Nursery and Priwith the effect of the heavy rainfall jured when the fence of a school mary school which collapsed at is that of Mr Musa Alaba. collapsed on a makeshift accommoAlaba’s seven-year old son, dation that was their home in Continued on page 2

All our resources have been deployed to minimise the impact of the floods and minimise the inconvenience of this natural occurrence. Our men are on the field 24 hours to assuage the suffering of Lagosians during these times. By Our Reporters

Agiliti, Thomas Laniyan Estate, Owode-Onirin, Agboyi, OwodeElede, Maidan and Isheri North.




NEWS DOWNPOUR IN CITIES Continued from page 1

about 9a.m. The incident was reported at the Adekunle Police Station. The unusual rainfall forced many residents to remain indoors. The rain, which started at about 5a.m., in some parts of the city continued non-stop till late evening. Many churches were completely deserted as worshippers did not show up. Vehicles were submerged in Okokomaiko, Mile 2, FESTAC Town, Ikorodu Road and ApapaOshodi Expressway. It was rough, also on Agege Motor Road and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, with traffic stuck in many places. Residential areas were not spared as many residents waded through the flood to return home. Passengers who could not bear the logjam alighted from commercial buses and walked to their destinations, drenched. Many residents cancelled their appointments for the day as commercial motorcyclists increased their fares. A trip from Okokomaiko to Mile 2, which usually costs between N300 and N400, was hiked to N1,500. The Nigerian Meteorological

Floods of fury in cities By Jude Isiguzo, Miriam Ndikanwu and Tajudeen Adebanjo

Agency (NIMET) had warned that Lagos would witness heavy downpour this year, due to its coastal nature. Mushin, Ilasamaja, Surulere, Lawanson and Ejigbo were flooded. Commuters resulted to prayers for safe trips to their destination as the flood had overwhelmed the drains, submerging roads. Traffic was crawling in Mushin, particularly on Isolo Road. In the middle of the road, near Alafia junction, a gorge made it impossible for motorists to pass. Some motorists whose vehicles had been trapped had to contend with the menace of social miscreants, who demanded “huge” compensation to assist in lifting the cars out. “Never in my life will I go out on a day like this,” said Olayiwola Aremu, a motorist. “I left home early to catch an appointment, but could not meet up due to the traffic jam resulting from this heavy rain. Now, I face another problem; my car got stuck in this hole and these guys are all after me,

demanding exorbitant fees to help remove my car,” Aremu said. At Mushin roundabout, pedestrians removed their foot wears, rolled up their trousers to the thigh before they could pass though the flood. Commissioner for the Environment Mr. Tunji Bello cautioned residents against panic. He urged them to remain indoors for the rains to subside. He attributed the heavy downpour to the rise in water level which, according to him, has risen incredibly, “so that the channels that are meant to discharge water from the roads and drainages are completely blocked because of the high tide and because both the Atlantic Ocean and the Lagoon that receive water from our channels have risen more than usual”. Bello’s text message to residents, said: “Today’s downpour has been heavier than normal as the state government had earlier warned. It has been raining since 5a.m. in many areas and it hasn’t stopped. Please be calm and do not panic. Once the rains subside, the water on the roads would gradually disappear. Our men are on the field working to manage this situation.”

Lagos asks pupils to stay away from school


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday directed children in public schools to remain at home to enable the government assess the impact of the flood that accompanied yesterday’s downpour on property and social infrastructure across the state. A statement by Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello last night said: “Mindful of the fact that examinations commence on Tuesday, the governor wishes to appeal for special dispensation to protect these children- the most vulnerable members of our society – from the devastating effects floods and heavy rains can cause. “Proprietors of private schools are also advised to take a cue from this and keep their children at home as much as possible, until the impact of the heavy rains have been suitably assessed and potential dangers addressed. “The rains that began as early as 5 am today (yesterday) have continued consistently and created a situation where the channels (that are supposed to discharge water from the roads and drainages into the lagoon) are locked. The tide is unusually high, and the level of the Atlantic Ocean has risen significantly. “Even though the drainages across the state were recently cleared and fully operative, the high levels of water from the rainfall like recent occurrences in the developed and developing world have been unusually high, which no

standard drainage- no matter how efficient can contain. “The State Government had earlier warned that the rains this year are likely to be more intense than usual, and these predictions are manifesting. There are no guarantees that these intense rains will not continue. “What the State Government guarantees however, is that all our resources have been deployed to minimise the impact of the floods and minimise the inconvenience of this natural occurrence. Our men are on the field 24 hours to assuage the suffering of Lagosians during these times. “We therefore appeal for patience and extra precaution from all Lagosians to mitigate the dangers that the persistent rains have caused. We would like to seize this opportunity to appeal to workers to as much as possible keep within the confines of their homes to avoid congestion on the roads and highways. Businessmen and self-employed citizens who can afford to work from home should please do so to enable us work throughout tomorrow without congestion on the roads. While we are working hard on a long-term solution to the flooding challenges in Lagos State, we appeal to Lagosians to please keep aware of their personal safety and security, and direct all your questions and emergencies to: “Mr Tunji Bello: Hon. Commissioner for Environment: 08035272200, Mr. Akinsanya- 08034026936, Mr. Ogunbambi: 08023119254.

•The fence of Talimul Islam Ahamadiya Nursery and Primary school which collapsed

Flood kills eight in Katsina •100 families rendered homeless


IGHT persons were killed and 100 families rendered homeless following a heavy downpour in Katsina on Friday. The rainfall, which started at about 4pm and lasted about three hours, caused many houses to collapse. Most affected areas included Kofar Marusa, Sabuwar Unguwa, Kofar Marusa, Kofar Durbi, Kofar Sauri, Rafukka and Tudun Yan’lifidda. NAN learnt that seven persons,

Five-hour downpour triggers panic in Ibadan


FIVE-hour downpour in Ibadan yesterday triggered another heavy flooding that kept residents panicky. The rain, which started at about 11:30am continued till about 5pm

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

before it subsided. Worshippers in churches and many residents who went out for business transactions were stranded. Travel-

lers encountered traffic snarls due to flood and absence of traffic wardens to control vehicular movement at major junctions within the city. At the Onipepeye area of old Ife road, the flood overflowed the

17 dead as military strikes Boko Haram


T was another bloody weekend in Maiduguri, with bombs going off on Saturday night and yesterday morning. Members of the joint Military/Police Task Force patrol team were believed to have been the target of the bombers, who the military said were members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Five task force members were injured. In retaliation, soldiers shot and killed 17 people – 11 of whom they claimed were members of Boko Haram (Western education is evil). In Suleja – a Niger State town close to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, bombs were thrown at a church, yesterday. Four people died. Four people died at the All Christian Fellowship Mission including three women at the All Christian Fellowship Mis-

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna, Abiodun Joseph, Maiduguri and Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

sion. Secretary to the pastor of the church also died. A man, who is a member of the church, lost his legs. No group has taken responsibility for the action. The bomb was thrown at 2.30pm in front of the church on Church Road, Suleja. The building housing the nearby Faith Mission Church was affected by the explosion. Details of the bombing were sketchy last night, but the thinking in security circles is that the perpetrators might have thrown the explosives from a moving motorcycle into the church premises. The effect of the explosion would have been monumenContinued on page 3

•The scene of the explosion in Suleja ... yesterday

bridge again, leading to cars breaking down in heavy flood. The heavy rain was the third in three weeks. It destroyed many roads and property of residents and shop owners along the streams.

including some children, died in Kofar Marusa ward a child reportedly drowned at Rafukka. Alhaji Hussaini Ahmed, the Director of the State Department of Environment, confirmed the deaths when Alhaji Muntari Ibrahim, the representative of Governor Ibrahim Shema, and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), visited Kofar Marusa visited. Ahmed attributed the flooding to indiscriminate dumping of refuse, which he said blocked the drains. One of the victims, Alhaji Badamasi Machika, called for the enforcement of environmental laws. Ibrahim, who condoled with the families of the deceased and symapthised with other victims, urged residents to desist from blocking waterways through indiscriminate dumping of refuse.




•The frontage of police station in Lagos ... yesterday

apsed at about 9am ... yesterday •Some motorists daring the floods ... yesterday

•The situation in Ogba on the outskirts of Lagos ... yesterday Continued from page 2

tal because the area accommodates churches and many worshippers would have been affected, but worshippers had retired home after the day’s service. It was gathered that the victims of the attack were at a meeting after the service. The victims’ bodies were deposited while at the Suleja General Hospital. The injured were transferred to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital. The police cordoned off the area. Traders hurriedly locked up their stalls in the pandemonium that ensued after the news of the bomb blast went round the town. The explosion is the third in Suleja in the last five months. The first explosion was on March 3 during the zonal campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ten people were killed. The second explosion occurred on the eve of the National Assembly elections at the Suleja Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office, killing eight people. Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu condemned the “terrorist attack”, which he described as “callous” and “inhuman”. In a statement by his Deputy Chief Press Secretary Bala Bitrus, the gov-

•Residents wading through the flood on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway ... yesterday

17 dead as military strikes Boko Haram Manhunt for sect member’s brother


From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

ECURITY agencies yesterday suspected reprisals behind the latest bomb attacks in Suleja following the arrest and detention of a Boko Haram member, who had been fingered in a spate of bomb explosions in the town. The agencies are working on the theory that the brother of the detained Boko Haram member might have organised the reprisals. A manhunt has however been launched for the suspected ring leader (brother) and other Boko Haram members in Suleja. But indications emerged yesterday that interrogation of over 100 suspected sect members has yielded useful revelations.

Investigation by our correspondent showed that security agencies have been grilling a Boko Haram member from Suleja, who was suspected to be a brother to the leader of a bombing syndicate in the area. It was gathered that the arrest of the suspected Boko Haram member by security agencies had angered the sect members who nursed the fear that the suspect may reveal more about their operations. A security source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Intelligence reports have confirmed that Boko Haram members were worried about the arrest of one of their foot-soldiers in Suleja. The brother of the foot-soldier,

who is alleged to be the leader of the bombing syndicate, had gone underground amid worry that we are closing in on him. “So, we are definitely suspecting reprisals from the ring leader from his hide out. But it is a matter of time, we will get him. “The latest explosion has also justified the security measures put in place in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in recent times. “It has been difficult for the Boko Haram members to invade the nation’s capital.” As at press time, it was gathered that the interrogation of 100 Boko Haram members recently arrested by the State Security Service (SSS), has begun.

ernor was quoted as saying that the people of the state cannot be intimidated by the dastardly act. “We want to declare our stand that government would not be cajoled or intimidated by reactionary forces and agents of darkness; government will do everything to fish out the perpetrators,” Aliyu reportedly said

The governor promised that government and security agencies would ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. He said the government would reach out to the families of the victims. Saturday’s explosions in Maiduguri occurred around 9pm at London Cikin in Gwanje Ward. The second was at 8.30am yesterday

at Glandan Roundabout. Many Christians could not go to church. They rushed back home in fear as news of the explosions spread. There was panic in the city. JTF Commander Brig.-Gen. Jack Nwaogbo confirmed the two incidents. Gen. Nwaogbo told reporters that six people and 11 suspected members of Boko Haram were killed during an op-

eration on Saturday evening. He declined to comment on how they died. An eye witness, Usman Abdullahi, said soldiers shot at people in the streets after accusing them of being sect members. But Nwaogbo insisted the operation was a response to a sect attack that wounded five soldiers. The Centre for Policy and Human Rights Issues yesterday cautioned the Federal Government against granting amnesty to Boko Haram members the same manner amnesty was granted to Niger Delta militants by the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. Director-General of the group, Mbet Okpongete, told reporters in Uyo that granting amnesty to the sect would portray President Goodluck Jonathan as incompetent in handling security issues. Drawing a distinction between the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram, Okpongete said the former only constituted a pressure group that agitated against years of socia-political and economic exploitation while Boko Haram constitutes a religious sect with an unconstitutional drive towards islamising Nigeria. He condemned the Boko Haram stance on western education and its preference for Sharia, saying Nigeria, by constitution, remained a secular state.



NEWS Mark to ministers: you mustn’t fail From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

SENATE President David Mark had a piece of advice for ministers at the weekend. He urged them to brace up to the task of transforming all sectors of the economy. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Paul Mumeh, Mark noted that Nigeria is no longer a toddler whose first faltering steps must be tolerated in life. Speaking while hosting in Abuja, Abba Moro and Dr. Sam Ortom, the two new ministers for Benue, Mark said: “We have come of age and we must hit the ground running. “Nigeria is in a hurry to develop and therefore requires men and women of good conscience, competent, capable hands and patriots committed to the ideals of nationhood. “It is God’s appointed time that you are ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at this time of our history. You must therefore prove that you are the right choices. “You must perform to make the positive difference. That is the only way you can justify your appointments and make us proud.” Mark insisted that the National Assembly and in particular the Senate, would no longer accept excuses or failure to implement annual budgets. He said that everything must be done to comply with the 2011 Appropriation Acts forthwith.

ACN to Jonathan: your ICPC chair nominee is PDP member T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday accused President Goodluck Jonathan of nominating a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Francis Ugochukwu Elechi, as chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC). The party asked the President to withdraw his nomination, if indeed he is serious about fighting corruption. ACN said while Mr. Elechi has the right to hold any public office despite his political affiliation, it is morally unjustifiable to appoint him as the head of the ICPC, which may have cause to probe members of his party which, as the ruling party, has the highest number of political office holders. It said it may constitute a proportionate number of those who may be investi-

•Party urges President to withdraw nomination

By Sunday Omoniyi

gated by the commission. In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said in the event that the President fails to heed the call to drop Elechi, the Senate should reject his nomination, in the interest of the nation. The party said Elechi is a member of the PDP and a close associate of several stalwarts of the party, including Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who apparently ‘’pushed his nomination’’. ACN wondered whether Jonathan is aware that Elechi previously served as a member of the PDP National Com-

mittee that reviewed the report of the Alex Ekwueme Reconciliation Committee; served on the Amaechi’s Economic Advisory Committee in 2007 and attempted to contest the PDP primaries for the Ikwerre/Emuoha Federal Constituency seat in December 2002, on the platform of the PDP, before he was advised by his friend, Amaechi, to step down for Hon. Andrew Uchendu. ‘’Mr. President may want to reward his supporters in the last election by offering them key posts in his administration. ‘’But appointing a known PDP member into a body stra-

tegically placed at the centre of the country’s epic battle against corruption is to show his lack of commitment to the anti-corruption battle. ‘’We have waited this long, since the nomination was announced in May, because we thought President Jonathan will come to realise that his nominee cannot advance the fight against corruption because he comes with a lot of baggage in view of his political affiliation. ‘’We do not want to believe the insinuations in certain circles that the President’s motive in appointing his party man into the ICPC is to water down the fight against corruption. What we believe is that the President did not carry out a thorough investigation before forwarding the name of Mr. Elechi to the Senate for confirmation. “We are therefore compelled to ask him to withdraw

Saudi Arabia beheads three Nigerians for murder


AUDI Arabia yesterday beheaded three Nigerians accused of murdering and robbing a fellow citizen, the Interior ministry said, in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency. Mohammed Ismail, Abdulqudus Adam and Mohammed Kabir Ali broke into the house of Omar Mohammed

Adam where “they beat him and his wife, tied them down and strangled Omar to death”, said the statement. Then they burgled their compatriot’s home, it added. The beheadings in the western Red Sea city of Jeddah brings the number of executions in the ultra-conservative kingdom this year to

31, according to an AFP tally based on official and human rights group reports. On June 10, London-based watchdog Amnesty International called on Saudi Arabia to stop applying the death penalty, saying there had been a significant rise in the number of executions in the previous six weeks.

It said 15 people were executed in May alone. In 2009, the number of executions reached 67, compared to 102 in 2008. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

Pharmacists reject Health Bill Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

THE Ogun Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) at the weekend raised the alarm over provisions of the Health Bill. It said it would not only deepen what it called the unnecessary rivalry between pharmacists and doctors, but also stand in the way of quality healthcare delivery to Nigerians. The Bill was recently passed by the National Assembly. PSN claimed the Bill reeks with “discriminatory clauses” that placed the nation’s medical doctors at vantage position over pharmacists and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to “withhold assent” to it. “We believe that the genuine intention of the Health Bill must not be allowed to be jeopardised by a few selfish and overbearing provisions which tend to promote one profession over other stakeholders and thus negate the tenets of an otherwise good bill,” the group said. At a press conference addressed in Abeokuta, the PSN’s General Secretary, Aiyelabola Lawrence, noted that Bill was an attempt to develop a National Health System, but said Sections 8[2] and 11[2] of it contain an “aberration,” that tends to recognise medical doctors

•Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs. Joke Orelope-Adefulire cutting the tape to open Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac Town…at the weekend. With her are Group Managing Director/CEO of UAC of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Larry Ettah (second left), Mr. Hakeem Oguniran, Managing Director, Property Development Company Plc (third left), Lagos Head of Service Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, Commissioner for Tourism Mr. Oladisun Holloway and Secretary to the State Government Mrs Oluranti Adebule PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES



the nomination without delay, and replace Mr. Elechi with a nominee who is nonpartisan and who possesses the moral strength to combat corruption, without worrying about his/her political associates,’’ ACN said.

Nigerian warship from U.S. delayed till October


HE departure of a Nigerian Warship, NNS Aradu F90, and its 150naval crew stationed at the U.S Coast Guard base in Alameda, California, has been delayed till October. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the 378foot cutter donated to the Nigeria Navy by the U.S Coast Guard was due to depart its base in California this month. The officials, however, told NAN that “ the contractor handling the painting of the ship began work behind schedule’’. They also said only the first phase of a three phase installation of equipment on the ship had been completed. The new departure date of early October is consequent upon the completion of the painting work on the ship and installation of communication equipment. NAN reports that going by the new schedule, the ship will not arrive in Nigeria until December. In June, the Captain of NNS Thunder, Navy Capt. Muhammad Nagenu, told NAN that all members of the crew had arrived in the Alameda base and were undergoing series of sea training around the US. The first batch of the crew came into the U.S in March. The Federal Government is investing close to $8 million to refurbish the U. S. Coast Guard Warship, USCGC CHASE (WHEC-718), a senior military official said in May at the official handover of the ship to Nigeria.

Challenges of Nigerian migrants in the UK, byTafida

NADEQUATE information and a lack of awareness on rights, duties, obligations and processes have been identified as some of the major challenges facing Nigerian migrants in Britain. Nigeria’s High Commissioner Dr Dalhatu Tafida made this known in London at the launch of free legal information session for the Nigerian Community in the United Kingdom (UK). The occasion was organised by the British Nigerian Law Forum (BNLF) and the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) in London. He said the challenges had made it impossible for the migrants to actualise their human rights and protect

themselves from discrimination, injustice, victimisation and abuse. “Many Nigerians in this country, be they regular or irregular migrants, are often least aware of their rights and obligations under the law (British),’’ the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Tafida as saying. ‘The law offers protection to everyone, including the vulnerable and the less privileged regardless of status,’’ he added. The envoy explained that creating awareness about legal protection, including the mechanisms for seeking redress was essential to the full enjoyment of human rights under any law.

He urged Nigerians in the UK to take advantage of the British, European laws and international human right instruments and conventions, to seek for legal redress and protection. Tafida, who also praised the organisers of the occasion for the initiative, the first of its kind in the UK, expressed the hope that the session would impact significantly on those with immigration, legal and social challenges. Earlier, Mr Babs Akinyanju, the Chairman of the BNLF said for Nigerians to operate unencumbered in the British society, they needed to know their rights and responsibilities. Akinyanju said in order to do this; they needed to seek

legal information services from solicitors and lawyers. He, however, expressed concern over the inability of many Nigerians with immigration challenges to access legal services in the UK, due to a lack of funds. Akinyanju said in order to impact on the community, BNLF decided to partner with CANUK to provide free legal services to Nigerians with immigration problems under strict confidentiality. “The free legal services were initiated at a smaller scale in the Nigerian Chaplaincy Church at Marylebone in 2006. “We thought, in collaboration with CANUK with a wider reach, we will be able to provide these free services to the members of the Nigerian

community better because we live in a democratic society,’’ Akinyanju said. Similarly, Mr Bimbo Folayan, the CANUK Chairman, said that migration issue had become a major challenge for many Nigerians living in the UK. He, however, expressed the association’s commitment to the welfare of members of the Nigerian community in the UK. NAN reports that the topics of the session included general immigration issues such as family re-unification, “over-stayers” and European Economic Area (EEA) marriages and family permit as well as Tiers 1 and 4 of the Point Based System (PBS) visa requirements.



NEWS A senior police officer’s shoddy probe of phone hacking allegations has ended an impressive run of the 168-year-old News of the World . But John Yates, an Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has shown remorse. He spoke with The Sunday Telegraph

Closure of 168 year-old newspaper: ‘I failed victims of News of the World phone hacking’


HE News International has shut down the News of the World tabloid, which was at the center of phone hacking scandal where reporters hacked into the phones of celebrities, royalty and other citizens and listened to messages. The 168-year-old newspaper published its last edition on Sunday (yesterday). The scandal has cost the paper prestige and advertisers. I think it’s quite telling that technology and the ability to hack into someone’s phone was at the root of a print institution (and on old-fashioned but respected form of media) shutting down. But, John Yates, the senior police officer who failed fully to investigate phone hacking at the News of the World, has issued an unprecedented apology for letting down the victims. Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner says his decision not to reopen an investigation into News International in 2009 had been “a pretty crap one”, which he now deeply regretted. In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr. Yates also accuses senior executives at the Murdoch-owned company of failing to co-operate with the original Scotland Yard inquiry, first begun in 2005. The newspaper had covered up the “industrial scale” of its phone hacking operation by insisting that one “rogue reporter” was to blame. He says Scotland Yard’s reputation had been “very damaged” by its failures and adds: “I have regrettably said the initial inquiry was a success. Clearly, now that looks very different.” Mr. Yates had the opportunity to reopen the case in 2009 but chose not to do so after just eight hours’ consideration, including consultations with other senior detectives and Crown Prosecution lawyers. His admission coincides with the News of the World publishing today for the last time in its 168year history. In a further series of twists in the phone hacking scandal, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal: • Max Mosley, who won a privacy case against the News of the World over articles detailing his sadomasochistic sexual practices, has been secretly bankrolling civil cases being brought by phone hacking victims against the tabloid; • Rebekah Brooks will be questioned by police in coming days, according to a senior News International source; • Rupert Murdoch, who is expected to fly into Britain today, may be called to give evidence at a parliamentary inquiry; • Mrs. Brooks has written to the home affairs select committee, saying she had “no reason to believe” hacking had taken place at other News International titles. In his interview, Mr. Yates addresses last week’s revelation that Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working for the News of the World, had allegedly hacked into teenage murder victim Milly Dowler’s mobile phone and then deleted messages. “We are all extremely shocked by it and it is a matter of massive regret we didn’t deal with it earlier,” he says. “My byword has always been you look after the victims and the job will always resolve itself. I always put the victim first but here I didn’t follow my principle and that is my greatest regret.”

Jonathan urged to declare assets From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

A POLITICAL group - Clean Nigeria Campaign (CNC) yesterday advised President Goodluck Jonathan to declare his asserts if “he is really interested in fighting corruption.” Jonathan, according to CNC, should also compel his ministers and special advisers to declare their assets. Open declaration of asset, the group noted “will be the sign-post for devotion to the war against corruption.” It said in a statement that President Jonathan’s luke- warm attitude to war against corruption gives: “the some of us goose pimples; for no patriot can wish away the fundamental economic problems confronting our dear country, the urgency to fix our decayed infrastructure and hence the imperative of zero tolerance for corruption.”

Aircraft overshoots runway in Benin From Osagie Otabor, Benin

• the weekend

Milly Dowler’s details—along with those of other alleged phone hacking victims including relatives of dead soldiers, 7/7 victims and the Soham schoolgirls killed by Ian Huntley—were contained in 11,000 pages of material seized by police when Mulcaire was first arrested in 2006. Mr. Yates was asked by the Met Commissioner to look at the case again in July 2009, amid growing disquiet at the scale of the hacking. He concluded within the space of a working day that there was no fresh material that could lead to further convictions. Mr. Yates says: “I didn’t do a review. Had I known then what I know now — all bets are off: I would never have reached this conclusion … I am accountable and it happened on my watch and it’s clear I could have done more.” Of the News of the World’s failure to disclose emails relating to the case until January this year — and whether that might constitute a criminal offence — he says: “That is a matter for the new team. In my view, it was extremely unhelpful to receive it five or six years later.” Asked if he thought Mrs Brooks should quit, Mr. Yates replies: “I think it is a matter for Rebekah, her company and her conscience.” He says that any officers found to have been paid money by the News of the World for information would be jailed and adds that the whole scandal has been “a very damaging episode for us and we have got to work hard to rebuild the trust in the Met”. The police face being dragged through the civil courts by claimants, including Brian Paddick, the former deputy assistant commissioner, who accuse the Met of failing in their duty of care by neglecting to inform possible victims of phone hacking whose names appeared on Mulcaire’s list. Officers with Operation Weeting, the hacking investigation, are now combing Mulcaire’s papers and contacting possible victims systematically. One source close to the Metropolitan Police Authority said: “We have seen serious lapses of judgement right at the top of the Met. “It would not surprise me if sen-

“I didn’t do a review. Had I known then what I know now — all bets are off: I would never have reached this conclusion … I am accountable and it happened on my watch and it’s clear I could have done more.” ior officers did things that now look stupid and potentially compromising — but that is not the same as something potentially criminal.” Yesterday, speaking publicly for the first time since the announcement of the News of the World’s closure, Rupert Murdoch said it was “a collective decision”. Mr. Murdoch, attending a media conference in Idaho in America, refused to elaborate. The mounting crisis has badly affected share prices in both the News Corp, News International’s parent company, and BSkyB, the broadcaster it part owns. Permission for a full takeover of BSkyB has been delayed by the government as a result of the crisis and could be refused. Tom Watson, the Labour MP who has played a central role in publicising many of the phone hacking allegations, called on Mr. Murdoch to be hauled before MPs. He said: “After James Murdoch’s statement, in which he admitted that a parliamentary committee had been misled, I will insist that Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks come to the Culture Media and Sport committee to explain themselves. Rupert Murdoch is the most powerful media mogul in the UK and he has never answered questions in Parliament.” The Church of England’s investment arm said it was considering

withdrawing nearly £4 million worth of shares it holds in News Corp. In a further development, Tony Blair was yesterday forced to deny allegations that he had contacted Gordon Brown before the last election to try to prevent Mr. Watson pursuing phone hacking allegations. In a final email to staff yesterday, Colin Myler, the outgoing editor of the News of the World, said: “I could not have been more proud or privileged to have you as my colleagues. Let’s try to make the most of this incredibly sad but historic day.” The man he replaced, Andy Coulson, who was arrested on Friday, said outside his home yesterday that he really “felt for” staff facing redundancy. It also emerged yesterday that Mrs. Brooks wrote last week to Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, which is planning to question a series of people over the scandal. They will question police this week. Mrs. Brooks told them there was “no reason to believe” the practice had taken place at News International’s other titles — which include the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times. She also reiterated her denial of any knowledge of hacking during her editorship. Last night David Cameron set broad terms for the twin inquiries that will be conducted to explore the issues raised by the phone hacking scandal. The first, led by a judge to be appointed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, will be held in public and have the power to summon witnesses to be cross examined under oath. It will focus on phone hacking allegations and any other allegedly illegal or improper acts at the News of the World or any other newspaper and the way these were investigated by police. For the second inquiry, a “credible panel of senior figures”, will be asked to recommend a new framework for press regulation — striking a suitable balance between the importance of maintaining a free press and protecting the rights of individuals, Mr. Cameron said.

THREE persons aboard a private airline with registration number 5NBEX yesterday escaped unhurt as their plane over ran the runway at the Benin Airport after several unsuccessful attempts to land. The 10-seater plane believed to be owned Senator Andy Uba finally made a stop at a grassland several feet from the run way. It was gathered that the private aircraft was chartered to pick up a passenger whose identity was unknown as at press time. Officials of the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria refused to comment on the development. Some junior officers attributed the emergency landing to bad weather. A passenger waiting to board a flight said the incident occurred between 10am and 11am and that the plane hovered in the sky for several minutes.

Senator rejects governor’s comment on fuel subsidy By Emmanuel Oladesu

A SENATOR representing Kogi Central on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has condemned what he called the insistence of some governors on the removal of fuel subsidy as a condition for them to pay the new minimum wage of N18,000. The senator, made the condemnation in a statement yesterday. He was reacting to a comment by Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam that oil subsidy must go and revenue allocation formula reviewed for governors to be able to “conveniently” implement the minimum wage. Condemning Suswam’s insistence on the removal of fuel subsidy, Abatemi-Usman argued that such an act would amount to insensitivity to the plight of the people. He maintained that the governors have no excuse as far as the implementation of the N18000 minimum wage was concerned, as according to him, it has become a matter of law. The former Special Assistant to Dimeji Bankole, the embattled exSpeaker of the House of Representatives, warned that on no account should such anti-people’s request be granted in the spirit of democracy.




Jonathan wants Niger Delta projects completed by 2015, says Orubebe

Protest in Benue over killing of two brothers From Uja Emmanuel, Makuri

THERE was protest yesterday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, following the killing of two brothers. Trouble started when an Avalon Toyota car belonging to an employee of the state university hit and killed two brothers on “B” Division Police Station road. More than five hours after the incident, some commercial motorcyclists mobilised their members and went to the police station where the car was parked. They wanted to set it ablaze. But they were prevented by the policemen on duty, after which they took to the streets, making bonfire and forcing motorists to carry green leaves in solidarity with them. The protest spread from High-Level area to Wurukum Roundabout until the intervention of riot policemen, who tear-gassed the rioters and forced them to flee. Many motorcycles were set ablaze. At press time, the Makurdi streets were littered with debris from the bonfire made by the protesters. Contacted, the Police Command declined to comment on the incident.


INISTER of Niger Delta Affairs Elder Godswill Orubebe has said President Goodluck Jonathan would transform the Niger Delta region before he leaves office in 2015. He spoke in Egbema, Imo State, during a three-day inspection of the ministry’s projects in the region. The minister inspected ongoing projects, including the East/West road, skills acquisition centres and housing schemes in the region’s nine states. Those yet to begin include the coastal roads, coastal railway, shoreline protection and new town development projects, among others. Orubebe said the people of the region and other Nigerians would not forgive the government if it failed to develop the region. He said: “These projects are dear to Mr. President, whose desires are to complete them in the life of this administration. “Mr. President cannot stay in office beyond 2015. If after

•‘We will transform region’

From Dele Anofi, Port Harcourt and Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

2015, we talk about who to develop the Niger Delta, people will not forgive us. We have to start doing the right thing to ensure that the needed development is brought to Niger Delta”. The government demonstrated its seriousness to complete ongoing projects on schedule when it revoked the contract for building two skills acquisition centres, estimated at N5billion each in Edo and Delta states. About five contractors handling some sections of the 40-unit housing scheme in Edo and Imo states were disengaged for allegedly failing to meet the government expectation. Orubebe noted because the region would be given accelerated development, the government would not allow unpatriotic contractors to slow down work.

He said: “The days of patronage have gone; this is the time to show that the government is committed to the transformation of the region. We will look for more capable hands to handle the projects immediately anyone is found deficient.” He directed the ministry’s Legal Unit to begin the termination of the contracts for the N5 billion skills acquisition centres in Edo, Delta and others for not exceeding 10 per cent for over a year. The minister expressed satisfaction with the work on the East-West road projects, saying the government would ensure that fund is provided for its completion. Orubebe said 360 units of two and three bedroom bungalows would be allocated to indigent families from the nine states. He said: “We have been discussing and it is resolved that those houses would be made available for the poor masses of Niger Delta. It would not

be allocated to any big time personality, it will be strictly for the masses and we are going to work out the modalities where only the masses will be the direct beneficiaries. “The process will be transparent; it will be done in the open where everybody will see how it was done.” He added that the President will inaugurate the first batch of the housing project in January, next year. The minister yesterday in Kano assured that the projects the government promised to execute under its amnesty programme for Niger Delta militants would be completed. Speaking with The Nation, Orubebe said the Federal Government had implemented over 50 per cent of the Niger Delta amnesty programmes, adding that the government would not relent until all is achieved. He said: “As you can see,

‘Don’t give Boko Haram amnesty’

Lagos holds retreat for exco MEMBERS of the Lagos State Executive Council and permanent secretaries at the weekend rounded off a threeday retreat with Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN). They declared that the new team was ready to hit the ground running. Fashola, who addressed reporters after the closing ceremony, said the retreat sought ways of getting the members to work together and know one another more quickly. The governor said with the retreat, government was going back to the rule of team building, which worked for the past administration. He said: “We are familiarising them with their obligations under the law. Many of them, who have been in private practice before, are coming into government and becoming public officers. This also means that they are politically exposed persons, and that comes with its own incidents under the law.” The theme of the retreat was: Leveraging on Current Achievements for a Brighter, Rewarding Future.

Lagos to link public schools to health centres LAGOS State Government is to link public primary schools with primary healthcare centres to improve the well-being of public school children, Deputy Governor Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire, has said. Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire spoke at the weekend at the launch of school health clubs in public schools. She said government was concerned about the health and education of children, adding that the Babatunde Fashola administration would ensure its sustenance for the benefits of the future leaders.

we are making headway. You no longer hear the story of pipeline vandalism or attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region. We spoke with the ex-militants and they saw reasons why peace must reign. They have surrendered their arms and I must tell you that most of them are now well engaged to become positively productive for this country.” On the case of John Togo, who allegedly rejected the amnesty, Orubebe said: “Security issues are very critical to the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. John Togo or any other person, who is involved in one trouble or the other, must be listened to, because they are Nigerians. “I must tell you that the Federal Government is having a comprehensive plan on what to do with all the security situation. At the appropriate time, we will come up with a policy that will proffer solutions to all the security problems we are facing in the Niger Delta.”

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

•From left: Chief Missioner, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad; his Fathi Quareeb Society of Nigeria counterpart, Sheikh AbdurRahman Adangba; Imam, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, Sheikh Trimidhi Jamiu and Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof Is-haq Akintola at a briefing organised by the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) on Islamic banking system at Ansar-ud-Deen Headquarters, Surulere, Lagos ... yesterday. PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO.

Ex-Kogi governor Audu joins ACN today


LL is set for the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to receive former governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, into the party today. Audu will bring thousands of his supporters in his former party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) into ACN at Lokoja Township Stadium in the state capital. ACN Chairman Mallam Haddy Ametuo told reporters in preparation for the ceremony that arrangements had been concluded to re-

From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

ceive the former ANPP leader and governorship candidate. Ametuo said the ceremony would be attended by ACN National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, among other top party chieftains. Others expected are the national executives of the party, ACN governors, party members at the National and state assemblies.

Ametuo said Tinubu would lead the party’s leadership and supporters from the Southwest, Northcentral, particularly Kwara, Benue, Niger and Nasarawa states for the ceremony. Audu has said the people of Kogi were ready for the ceremony. Addressing reporters at the weekend at his home in Lokoja after receiving scores of defectors from other parties, who were ready to move into ACN with him, the former governor said the party was the only option for Kogi to enjoy good

governance. He urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to kill opposition parties, adding that dissenting voices would encourage participatory democracy. Audu noted that a vibrant opposition would give more room for development and good governance. He said his decision to join the ACN with his supporters was to reclaim Kogi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s governorship election.

THE Centre for Policy and Human Rights Issues yesterday cautioned the Federal Government against granting amnesty to Boko Haram religious sect as the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua did for Niger Delta militants. Addressing reporters in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, its Director-General Mbet Okpongete said granting amnesty to the sect would portray President Goodluck Jonathan as incompetent in handling security matters. The centre made a distinction between the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram, saying the former was a pressure group that agitated a change against years of social, political and economic exploitation by the nation’s leadership. According to Okpongete, Boko Haram is a religious sect with an unconstitutional drive towards Islamising the country. He condemned the sect’s stance on Western education and its preference for Sharia, saying Nigeria is constitutionally a secular state. Okpongete condoles with the families of those killed by the religious sect, urging security agencies to tighten security and prevent further violence.

Akume gets rousing welcome in Makurdi


ORMER Benue State Governor George Akume at the weekend received a rousing welcome in Makurdi, the state capital. Akume, who is Senate Minority Leader, was in the city for the first time since his election as one of the principal officers of the Senate. He won the senatorial elec-

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

tion on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Even though the welcome party began at 4pm at Agan old toll gate, the residents had gathered there as early as 8am. The crowd, which cut across party affiliations, took over

the Makurdi-Lafia highway, dancing and singing. Among the songs for the senator was: Akume nyior ishoir chenji and Tor u lu party la abugh wegh, se nenge ikyev we la mende iche yo (ACN has changed the game in Benue). When his convoy arrived the old toll gate at 4pm, the crowd became ecstatic, waving the broom - symbol of the

ACN - as they danced round the senator’s four-wheel drive. The overwhelmed lawmaker alighted from his vehicle and boarded an open car, which drove round major streets of the capital city with the residents cheering him. Akume was accompanied by his wife, Regina, and ACN governorship candidate, Prof

Steven Ugba, party chieftains, members and supporters. Addressing supporters at his home in Gboko Judges Quarters, Makurdi, Akume praised them for keeping faith with the party during and after the elections. He urged them to shun acts that might jeopardise its image.




Many states can’t afford minimum wage, says Ahmed WARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed at the weekend said paucity of funds may hinder many states, including Kwara, from paying the N18,000 minimum wage to their workers. All though the governor noted that the assent to the minimum wage law by President Goodluck Jonathan was “the best thing to have happened in Nigeria”, he regretted that the states were not carried along before the final decision on the matter was taken. Addressing reporters in Ilorin, the state capital, on the retreat for senior government officials, Ahmed restated the commitment of his administration to implementing the new pay, in principle. He said there was need for local government workers to benefit from the new salary, adding that most of them were still finding it difficult to pay the old N9,000 minimum wage. Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Chairman in Plateau State Comrade Nicholas Kemi Nshe urged council workers not to expect the N18,000 minimum wage. Nshe, who also chairs Shendam Local Government, spoke in Shendam,


•‘Plateau council workers should forget new pay’

Fuel subsidy is biggest fraud, says Saraki ORMER Kwara State Governor Dr Bukola Saraki, has described fuel subsidy as the biggest fraud in Nigeria. He said retaining it had robbed the nation of huge revenue, noting that the addition of kerosine this year would worsen the nation’s revenue. Saraki, who is now a senator, addressed reporters in Ilorin, the state capital. He said total deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry and provision of palliative measures would curb the fuel subsidy fraud. Governors have said the removal of fuel subsidy would increase their monthly allocations from the Federation Account and enable them pay the N18,000 minimum wage. Saraki said: “I see the subsidy as the biggest fraud in this country. That money can better be used to impact positively on the lives of majority of Nigerians. “Presently, the country spends about $4billion (N600billion) yearly on fuel subsidy. That means if shared among Nigerians, everyone will have N4million per year. Fuel subsidy is supposed to be a palliative measure to help Nigerians, but at the instant it has not served that purpose, most of the money ends up in the pockets of a few individuals. “It will be worst this year as kerosine is being subsi-


From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin , and Marie-Therese Peter, Jos

headquarters of the council, when the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) visited him. The council chief said most local governments were finan-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

dised. It will be in the region of $6billion. It is almost the country’s capital expenditure for the year. “To move this country forward, we have to learn from the mistakes of the past. We should not allow the mistake of the past hold us back. We must have faith in the government.” The Senator noted that the Boko Haram religious sect posed a security threat to Nigeria, saying: “It is a great concern to all of us. One needs to see it as a problem for not only Mr. President or the executive governor; it is a problem for our country. “We must apply all measures; we must be able to understand why this is coming up. I believe dialogue must come along with whatever action is beings taken to curb the menace. “Nigeria must address whatever their agitations are as a group and bring a halt to all this. The National Assembly is committed in whatever ways necessary to supporting security agencies to bring back the confidence of the group. “There must be investment in our security apparatus; private sector will not stake its investment in an insecure environment.”

cially constrained to pay their workers N6,500 and meet other needs. He said: “My council collects an average of N56million or N57 million monthly and we spend about N47million monthly on workers’ salaries. With this

Kaduna Poly ASUP suspends six-month strike


CADEMIC activities may resume today at the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna, following the suspension of

the six-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP). Members of the union were protesting alleged mismanagement of the institution by the management and Governing Council. They demanded the sack of the management and the dissolution of the Governing Council because of alleged gross incompetence. The Federal Government at the weekend sacked the management of the polytechnic and dissolved its Governing Council. It setup a panel to investigate the allegations of mismanagement against the sacked management. ASUP Chairman at the polytechnic, Mustapha Yahaya Bida, told The Nation that the union would resume academic activities

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

today. Praising the Federal Government for rescuing the polytechnic from collapse, Bida noted that sacking the principal officers and the Governing Council were among the union’s demands. He said because of the government’s intervention, lecturers would resume work immediately, adding that a congress of the union would hold today at the Tudun-Wada main campus. Bida said the union leaders would also address a news conference today. The ASUP chairman called for an upgrade of facilities at the polytechnic to creat a friendlier learning environment. He praised his colleagues, students, parents and the media for their understanding, support and steadfastness in the quest for improved infrastructure at the school.

Abuja sex workers urged to embrace reform


OMMERCIAL sex workers in Abuja and other parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been urged to embrace the rehabilitation plan of the FCT administration to enable them have a new lease of life. Repentant commercial sex workers are expected to enjoy start-off loans for small businesses after training. The Cordinator of the Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria (SAP-CLN) Mrs Grace

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

Adogo, spoke in Abuja at the weekend on the need for the sex workers to be rehabilitated. She praised President Goodluck Jonathan for reappointing Senator Bala Mohammed the FCT Minister and Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade, the Minister of State, noting that their appointments would increase the tempo of the war against prostitution and child labour in the FCT.

Adogo said stakeholders and residents awaited the appointment of FCT minister after the dissolution of the cabinet on May 29. She said: “Since the Mohammed administration in his first tenure in office was able to initiate and enforce the ban on street prostitution and establish properly furnished centres at Lugbe and Bwari for repentant commercial sex workers and the physically challenged, we were anxious if the incoming minister would buy into the policy.

The Nation man’s mum’s funeral tomorrow


RINCESS Dooshima Ihyongo, mother of The Nation Senior Correspondent in Taraba State, Fanen Ihyongo, will be buried tomorrow at Gbise, Katsina-Ala Local Government, Benue State. She was 50. The late Mrs. Ihyongo was a teacher, farmer and business woman. A statement by her son, Fanen Ihyongo, said the deceased is survived by her husband, mother, four children, two grandchildren and many brothers and sisters. The statement said a wake-keep was held yesterday at her home in Katsina-Ala. Her remains will leave the General Hospi-

tal, Katsina-Ala today, for Gbise. According to the statement, a funeral service this morning before internment. The late Mrs Ihyongo was the first child of Igba Baka Utume, a retired soldier from the Royal British Army (RBA) who became a Kindred Head in Utenge-Kpav, Shitile, Yooyo Ward of Tor-Donga, Katsina-Ala. She attended the Native Education Authority (now LGA) Primary School, Tor-Donga and Lesel Community Secondary School, Ushongo. The late Mrs Ihyongo btained the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) at the College of Education, Katsina-Ala. She was a devout Christian.

situation, where would the council get additional resources? Other chairmen are facing similar situations. “We would be glad to pay even N40,000, if the sharing formula is reversed and local governments are allocated 30 per cent of the revenue.” Ahmed expressed similar fears about sources of funds and how Kwara could develop with the allocation it gets from the Federal Government, among other sources.

The governor expressed optimism about the way out. “I am sure the Federal Government is working hard to review the situation,” he said, in response to a question on the likelihood of a workers’ strike if states failed to pay the new salary. Saying an additional N500 million monthly would put his administration in good stead, Ahmed hoped that Kwara workers understood the situation. He said his administration would focus on human capital development and use agriculture to drive the economy, adding that residents would not walk more than 500 metres to get potable water and primary health services. Ahmed said the retreat decided to rename the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to reflect the new focus of the government and enhance the ministry’s status. He said: “During the campaign, we saw many areas that needed to be brought to the front burner. For instance, we saw that we must make deliberate efforts to rehabilitate our youths to enable them have functional skills. Ahmed, a former banker, dismissed the fears on Islamic banking, saying: “It is just another banking product, whose only connection with Islam is that it originated from Islamic countries and attracts no interest.”



NEWS NULGE writes Elechi over redeployment From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakiliki


ATIONAL Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ebonyi State chapter, has petitioned Governor Martin Elechi and its national body over an alleged plot by Local Government Service Commission to deploy workers of the ministries to the local government. Addressing reporters in Abakiliki, State union chairman,Comrade Leonard Nkah said the union would resist attempt to deploy civil servants from the ministries in the 13 Local Governments of the state. Nkah described the action as illegal and a breach of civil service rules. “About 250 of them in the ministries would soon change service to local government, having been interviewed against the civil service rule. “I said this because more than 500 persons from the civil service, who want to come into the local government service, were being interviewed. About 250 would be deployed to the local governments as Treasurers, Head of Personnel Managers and Auditors. “ Imo, Abia and Anambra states tried it twice but failed,” he said. The NULGE chairman urged the commission to rescind the plan, adding: “If they want to favour anybody, they should remove the embargo on employment so that people could be employed from Grade level 04, from where they will move up.” Nkah said some local governments and development centres no longer have junior officers on Grade level 01-06 and suggested that government could employ from the cadre instead of bringing people from the ministry. “We are going to protect the interest of our members. We want government to know that what they are doing is illegal. Board Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Evangelist Anthony Nwigberi denied the allegation. He said the commission had no plan of moving Heads of Personnel Managements and Treasurers to the ministries.

NANS hails governors on minimum wage


HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has hailed state governors, who have complied with the new Minimum Wage Law. President of NANS Comrade Bassey Etuk Williams commended the decision of the governors to pay the N18,000 minimum wage to their workers. He urged governors, who have not approved the minimum wage to do so without further delay. The NANS president observed that the new wage would enable indigent parents to send their children to school.

Bassey warned that any governor that refuses to implement the new minimum wage would incur the wrath of NANS. He said: “We commend those governors that have agreed to pay the N18,000 minimum wage.We hailed those governors for their commitment to the welfare of workers in their respective states.” Bassey advised state governors to devise means of meeting the challenges that would arise from the implementation of the new minimum wage. He said implementation of the minimum wage would promote harmonious relationship.

Obi urged to resolve strike


ll Nigeria Peoples party (ANPP), Anambra State chapter, has urged Governor Peter Obi to resolve the lingering health and judiciary workers strike. The workers have been on strike for six months following government’s failure to meet their demands. Pat Orjiakor, leader of the party in the state, urged the governor to meet with the state branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the matter. Orjiakor said: “We have only 54 doctors and the government cannot

pay them .Some people have died as a result of this strike. “The governor should consider the plight of the judiciary and health workers. Let him call them to a meeting where they would proffer solutions to the strike.” The ANPP leader urged Obi to implement the minimum wage. According to him,” refusal to pay the money is an abuse of constitutional provision.” The governor said he would pay the minimum wage if the Federal Government increases state allocations.

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (right), Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, Prof Tale Omole, Fayemi’s wife Bisi and OAU Registrar ,Mr Ayo Ogunruku during a courtesy visit by the Vice Chancellor on the governor in Ado-Ekiti.

FAAN loses bid to appeal MMA2 concession verdict


N Abuja Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) challenging a 2009 judgment in favour of Bi-Courtney Limited, over the concession agreement at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Domestic Terminal 2 (MMA2) in Lagos. Justice Jimi Olukayode Bada said FAAN’s application lacked merit , having failed the requirements under Order 7, Rule 10(2) of the Court of Appeal Rules 2007, which is the same as the Court of Appeal Rules 2011. FAAN sought orders to extend time to appeal as an interested party, against the March 3, 2009 judgment by the Federal High Court, Abuja in the case between Bi-Courtney and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). It had sought to appeal the decision on the grounds that it was a party to the April 24, 2003 Concession Agreement , which is the subject matter of the case. It argued

From Eric Ikhilae

that it was not made a party to the suit that affected its interest, rights, and obligations under the concession agreement. Justice Bada held that FAAN was not a necessary party in the case, noting that FAAN being an agency of the Federal Government, its interest cannot be different from that of the Federal Government. The court held that there was no interest FAAN could advocate in the appeal, which the Attorney General cannot argue and protect. . “In the circumstance, it is my view that the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, being the Chief Law Officer, is, at all times, responsible for conducting the case of the Federal Government and its agencies whenever their interest is an issue, he said. “Consequent upon the foregoing, it is my view that the applicant has not been able to establish any superior legally recognisable interest that would enable this court exercise its discretion in the

‘With the resolution of the two issues in this application against the Applicant/Party Interested, therefore the application lacks merit, and it is hereby dismissed.’ applicant’s favour,” the court held. On whether the applicant has given good and substantial reasons for failing to appeal or seek leave to do so within time, the court held that it was absurd that after it got the authorisation to appeal in March, the applicant failed to take steps until June 29 last year. “After a careful perusal of the affidavit in support of the application, the counter affidavit, the applicant’s reply to the first respondent’s counter-affidavit and submissions of counsel for parties, it is my view that the applicant

has not shown good and substantial reasons for failure to appeal or seek leave to appeal against the judgment of the lower court. Equity will not aid an indolent applicant. ”In the instant case under consideration, the applicant failed to satisfy the first condition as required, under Order 7, Rule 10(2) of the Court of Appeal Rules 2007, by not showing any good and substantial reason explaining its failure to appeal within the prescribed time. “Since the two requirements under Order 10, Rule 7(2) must co-exist conjunctively, the Applicant has not satisfied the condition relevant to the grant of the prayers being sought.” Justice Bada ruled: “With the resolution of the two issues in this application against the Applicant/Party Interested, therefore the application lacks merit, and it is hereby dismissed. “In order to promote reconciliation between the Applicant and the 1st Respondent, I will not award any cost,” the court held.

INEC to conduct election in Oguta


HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to conduct election in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State. The Assembly had urged the Inec Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, to conclude the House of Assembly election for Oguta. The Speaker, Ben

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Uwajumogu, announced this during a special sitting after the presentation of a report of the Adhoc Committee which visited Jega in Abuja. The Speaker read the letter from Jega. Governor Rochas Okorocha

had made a similar visit and assured that the election would be conducted soon. He said logistics were being put in place for the election and commended the constituency for its support and patience. The House had through a motion, sponsored by member representing Ideato

South constituency, Ikechukwu Anuka and six others, urged INEC to conduct and conclude the Assembly election for Oguta to enable the constituents to be represented Assembly. Consequently, the Speaker set up a five man Ad-hoc Committee to liaise with INEC on the matter.

Eastern Bar Forum proffers solution to judiciary crisis


ISTURBED by the six months- old strike embarked upon by the judiciary workers in Anambra State, the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has met in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to proffer solutions to the crisis. The strike has paralysed judicial activities in the state. Chairman of the Forum,Kemesuode Wodu spoke at its maiden meeting

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

after the swearing-in of the new exco. The Yenagoa meeting was attended by representatives of the bar in Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River, AkwaIbom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Abia states. The meeting, according to Wodu, would discuss ways to enhance the law . He said the Forum was formed to ensure that the

ethics of NBA were upheld and debunked rumours that the body was in conflict with the national body of the NBA. Wodu said: “Activities of EBF would complement that of the NBA national body. We will use this platform to ensure members are represented in the affairs of the national body of NBA. Next year, a member of this forum will become the President of the NBA”, he said.

Chief Judge of Bayelsa State Justice Kate Abiri called for a stronger and effective forum of Chief Judges in the old eastern states to enable them rub minds on issues. She promised to revive the Eastern Chief Judges Forum. She hailed Governor Timipre Sylva for the Yenagoa campus of the Nigeria Law School. She said the school has begun academic activities with 250 students.



NEWS Delta rerun: Tribunal bars coverage From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

CHAIRMAN of the Delta State Election Petitions Tribunal Justice Uzoamaka Ogwurike has barred electronic coverage of tribunal proceedings following a protest by counsel to the Democratic People Party (DPP) governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru. DPP’s counsel Mr. Mogbeyi Sagay, had complained of the reporting of tribunal proceedings on the stateowned electronic media. He said testimonies of key witnesses were aired. Sagay (SAN) said this had put the lives of some of the witnesses in danger. He also complained of biased reporting of tribunal proceedings by a national newspaper (not The Nation). But Mr. Wole Olanipekun (SAN) urged the tribunal to allow the press to do its job. He said a local newspaper had repeatedly published uncharitable reports about his client, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (first respondent). He urged the tribunal to disregard such instances of yellow journalism. His words: “I can say the media coverage is even. What we are doing this morning is unnecessary. “

Don alleges threat to life Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

A dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Prof. Des Wilson, has alleged threat to his life. Wilson had written to the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, of alleged electoral malpractices in the April 2011 National Assembly Election in the state. He was the Returning Officer for Akwa Ibom North Senatorial District (Ikot Ekpene). The don accused Commissioners for Information and Works, Aniekan Umanah and Don Etim of diverting electoral materials to an unknown location during the polls. In a letter; “REQUEST FOR PROTECTION OF MY LIFE” and addressed to the National Security Adviser; DirectorGeneral, State Security Service; Chairman, INEC; President, ASUU; Chairman, ASUU, Uniuyo; and the Inspector General of Police AIG, Zone 6 COMPOL, Wilson asked for protection for his family.

NNPC official kidnapped in Rivers


N OFFICIAL of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Benin, Edo State, Mr. Monday Uebari, has been kidnapped from his Baen, Ogoni hometown in Khana Local Government of Rivers State. Uebari, 50, was yesterday morning snatched at

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

gunpoint by three men, who put him in his black 2009/2010 model Passat Volkswagen car and sped off to an unknown destination. The kidnappers have made no demand for ransom.

Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam confirmed the incident. Ugwuegbulam said: “Around 8 am on Sunday, Augustine Okosun came to the Bori (headquarters of Khana LGA) Police Station and reported that they arrived Baen village last (Saturday) night with his master, Monday Uebari, a staff

of NNPC, Benin. “That at about 6:15 am, three armed men entered the compound and kidnapped his master, put him in his black Passat 2009/ 2010 model . “The victim is about 50 years. DPO (Divisional Police Officer) mobilised men for a search, while police’s Anti-Kidnapping and SOS

(Swift Operation Squad) reinforced the team for search and rescue. “By 10:30 am, the victim’s car was recovered on Kpean-Andoni Road.” The police spokesman added that efforts were being intensified to rescue Uebari and arrest the hoodlums.

Monarch restates support for Oshiomhole


HE Oba of Benin, Omo n’Oba Erediauwa, has reiterated his support for Governor Adams Oshiomhole, saying his relationship with the Governor is very cordial. The royal father made the submission just as the Christian Association of Nigeria

(CAN) in the state led by its Chairman, Bishop Peter Imasuen, asked public officials to work for the people so as not to soil the governor’s name. The monarch said this when the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Simon Imuekemhe, visited

him. He said: “By the grace of God, the relationship between me and your boss, the Governor, as you know, is very cordial. So I beg you, let it remain so and let all the commissioners help continue with all the infrastructural developments

going on. I thank you.” The SSG thanked the Oba for his support for the administration, saying “I want to thank you for the support you have given the governor and there is no doubt that without your blessings, nothing would have moved in Edo State.




NEWS Decentralise police, says Ojudu From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has renewed calls for decentralised police to enable states and local governments have separate police structures. Ojudu said the decision of the Federal Government to control the police has aided terrorism and other crimes. He said in the United States and Europe, the police have remained a decentralised entity, adding that some educational institutions even run their own police. He said the Boko Haram sect has a good security network that will be difficult to match. The lawmaker said it would be difficult for security agencies to arrest the sect as its members have acquired foreign training “in the act of terrorism”. Ojudu said security chiefs would have to redouble efforts to stop the dangerous sect. He advised that security agencies should send officers on special overseas training to help combat terrorism.

Why governors must pay minimum wage, by Akande N ATIONAL Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Bisi Akande has explained why governors should pay the N18,000 minimum wage. “It is a matter of law and the law must be obeyed,”he said. Akande, who said his party would not join in lawlessness by not paying, said ACN governors have been instructed by the party to pay the minimum wage. He spoke with reporters yesterday at his Ila-Oragun country home in Osun State after receiving an award from St. Matthew Anglican Church. Akande said it might be difficult for the ACN governors to pay but that the law must be obeyed. His words: “As a party and government, we have asked all our governors to pay the minimum wage because we will not join lawless people or parties, who may refuse to effect the payment. “The minimum wage is a matter of law, therefore, all laws relating to it must be obeyed.” Akande, who was gover-

Ondo: we consulted From Damisi Ojo, Akure


HE Ondo State Government yesterday debunked insinuations that it agreed to pay the N18,000 National Minimum Wage because of the pressure mounted on it by a party. The government had announced its decision to pay the new wage with effect from next month. The Commissioner for Information, Ranti Akerele, said what the government did was to submit to the will of the law and its commitment to the advancement of its workforce. His words: “Governor Olusegun Mimiko consulted widely with stakeholders and acted on the advice of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. The governor was informed of the need to be obedient to the Act given the provisions therein. “We as a Labour Party (LP) Government vis-à-vis our avowed commitment to the welfare of our workers decided to ensure that we do our best for them and ensure that they are happy at all times. “And we are gratified by the outpour of joy and goodwill that has continued to greet the decision by the Government ever since the arrangement was done by the governor.” From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

nor of Osun from 1999 to 2003, assured that the party would not disappoint the people of Southwest. “The party will not share

public funds among its members or government contractors. “We have all jointly agreed that as a law abiding party, we would not steal public money. Therefore, all

our governors have been told not to exhibit corrupt tendencies because they are accountable to the electorate and God,” he said. Commenting on the crisis rocking the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, the ACN chair said since the party was operating a collaborative government in the Southwest, the institution’s problem would soon be resolved. He advised the people of Oyo and Osun states to be patient and assured them that the owners would resolve the crisis. Guests at the event include: the governors of Ekiti and Oyo states, Kayode Fayemi and Abiola Ajimobi; Osun State Deputy Governor Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, who represented Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Osun State Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; Aregbesola’s Chief of Staff Gboyega Oyetola; ACN state chairman Adebiyi Adelowo; Secretary Gboyega Famodun and Director of Research and Strategy Sunday Akere.


Market razed in Oyo A MARKET in Iseyin Local Government of Oyo State, Oja-Oba market, was razed yesterday. According to an eyewitness, Rasheed Abayomi, the inferno started at about 12.05am. He said: “The fire claimed property worth millions of naira.” Abayomi called on the government to assist the victims as part of its social responsibility. The Iyaloja of Iseyin, Nimota Wahab, said the cause of the inferno was unknown. “Government should please come to our aid to renovate the affected shops and compensate the victims,” she said.

•From right: Dr. Bode Olajumoke; National President of People with disability Danlami Basharu and Dr. Tunji Abayomi at a PHOTO: ADEJO reception in honour of Olajumoke in the weekend DAVID

Warri jail break: Two prisoners still on the run T WO prisoners were still unaccounted for yesterday, 24 hours after some inmates of the

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

Warri Prison in Delta State, blew up a hole in one of the prison’s cells with an expolsive. It was gathered that security operatives have joined the search for the prisoners, whose identities remained unknown. But police spokesman Charles Muka said he was not aware that there were two missing prisoners. A source said: “Although we don’t want to highlight it (missing prisoners) at this moment, two prisoners are still on the run. “They have remained unaccounted for since the incident occurred at the weekend. “The initial roll call yes-

terday and another one this morning confirmed that two inmates are missing. “What we are trying to do now is to get their names.” Sources said the cell that was blown up houses hardened criminals, including convicted kidnappers and armed robbers. The daring break was carried out during a heavy downpour that was accompanied by thunderstorm. A warder and mobile policeman were injured during the incident. It was gathered that heads may roll at the Nigerian Prison Services, following the manner in which security at the prison was breached. There were “concerns” that the perpetrators might

have had some internal assistance. A source said: “The incident showed a serious flaw, either deliberate or otherwise, in the security of the prison. “The major question for now is how the explosives used to blow up the wall was sneaked into the prison. “Even if the bomb was planted outside, those who did it had to know where that cell was to place it accurately. “Another issue is the initial report that the prisoners used weapons, maybe not the AK-47 rifles initially suspected. “How they came about the gun is another concern: If they dispossessed the guards or had their own, either way, something is still very wrong too.”

Osun is ripe for investors, says Aregbesola


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has urged Chinese investors to partner the state in agriculture, industrialisation and job creation. He spoke at an investors’ forum in China. Aregbesola told the investors that the three areas were critical to the revival of the state’s economy. The gathering, facilitated by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, provided the governor the platform to enunciate the agenda for the development of the state. He said his administration required co-operation in the agricultural sector through capital investment and technical partnership. His words: “We require partnership in the tourism and culture sector through investment in tourist services and facilities. “Capacity building for employment of youths/ workers in vocational activities and social orientation. “Aggressive renewal of urban centres which will involve construction of roads, landscaping and general upgrading of the environment and redevelopment of water supply schemes.” Aregbesola told the gathering that his administration had taken steps to encourage farmers, adding that a fertile environment exists for the investors in the state. “The need to improve performance in this area is made even more poignant by Nigeria’s massive $5billion annual food import bill. “As part of its efforts to expand the agricultural base, the government has recently acquired 30,000 hectares across the state to allocate to new farmers. “This is in addition to an already existing 18,000 hectares of land in nine farm settlements.” He hoped that these areas addressed will make Osun a showpiece of modern development in Africa.

Rain blows off LAUTECH’ hospital roofs From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan


HE newly built Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, was destroyed by rainstorm as the roofs of some buildings were blown off. The incident came barely 40 days after the N24 billion structure, located along Ilorin Road, was inaugurated by former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala. At the hospital complex, the roofs of some buildings were partly blown off and the debris left uncleared. No one was injured in the incident.





Banks hold funds as interbank rates remain flat By Collins Nweze


IGERIAN interbank lending rates were un changed at an average of 9.0 per cent last week as banks held on to their funds amid uncertainty over the fate of lenders rescued in a 2009 bailout, traders said last Friday. Traders said a number of banks were unwilling to place funds with other institutions ahead of the expected September expiry of an interbank guarantee put in place by the CBN in the wake of the N620 billion banking sector rescue. The apex bank has said it cannot afford to keep the guarantee in place indefinitely and set the deadline for the rescued lenders to recapitalise or face possible liquidation. “A lot of banks have started exiting the interbank market because of the soon-to-be-expired central bank guarantee on interbank placements with the rescued banks,” one dealer told Reuters. The secured Open Buy Back (OBB) closed flat at 8.0 per cent, in line with the central bank’s benchmark rate and 200 basis points over the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate. Overnight placement and call money were also unchanged at 9.0 per cent and 10.0 per cent respectively. Dealers said there were no major outflows from the system this week as a result of the reduced demand at the biweekly foreign exchange auctions and the lack of any T-bill auction. “We still have the overhang of inflows of budget allocations to government agencies in the previous week in the system, so the market is liquid enough to deal with the volume of transactions,” another dealer said.

COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$114.2/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.82 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES

Inflation -12.4% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -8% Foreign Reserve -$31.6bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 218 £ 242.5 $ 150.9 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 241.5 RIYAL 39.3

Insurance is quite different from banking. What happened in the banks cannot transpire in the insurance sector. NAICOM is presently moving towards riskbased recapitalisation because the parameter for judging insurance and banks differs. Risk is fundamental for insurance. –Director-General Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Sunday Thomas

Fed Govt deletes 43,000 ghost workers from payroll, says Aganga


ORTY-THREE thousand ghost workers were expunged from the Federal Government’s payroll, former Minister of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has said. He also said a N50billion Public Works Programme geared towards job creation and a N10billion mass transit scheme, a programme which will ease transportation before the Abuja/Katsina rail project comes on stream, have been incorporated into the 2011 budget. Aganga disclosed these at the weekend in Lagos, shortly after receiving the Young Men’s Christian Association award for exemplary public office life. He said the removal of the “ghost workers” from the payroll was achieved in the last one year through the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS). Aganga said the country had

By Ayodele Aminu,

Group Business Editor

to trim its personnel cost, which formed a major part of the unnecessary costs distorting the country’s expenditure pattern. He noted that personnel cost increased from N850billion to N1.3trillion between 2009 and 2010, adding that with the implementation of the IPPIS in 36 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), it was discovered that 43,000 people should not have been on the government’s payroll. He said: “As part of the Federal Government’s effort to reduce the level of recurrent expenditure, in particular, personnel cost, which represents more than 50 per cent of recurrent expenditure, we have deepened the implementation of the IPPIS programme in the last year and have identified 43,000 names, which should not have been on the

payroll. This will lead to considerable savings.” Aganga, whose new portfolio has not been officially announced, disclosed that the implementation of the IPPIS in the 36 MDAs had been divided into three phases and that the first phase, which covered seven MDAs, saved the country over N12billion. According to him, the savings represent the difference between releases to the MDAs based on their nominal roll submissions before enrolment into the IPPIS and the actual salaries paid through IPPIS after the exercise. He said the second and third phases will cover 11 and 18 MDAs . “We had to take action to reduce the overhead cost, that was why we introduced the IPPIS, where you take workers’ ‘biodata’, they thumbprint and salaries are paid directly through bank accounts. We’ve done that in

36 MDAs, but the exercise is ongoing. When it is completed, we expect to see considerable savings,” Aganga said. Besides, he noted that in the 2011 budget, the government also reduced the level of overhead for both the executive and the legislature by 30 per cent and the level of borrowing from about N1.3trillion to N850billion. Acknowledging that the 2011 budget signalled the beginning of the fiscal consolidation process, Aganga, stressed the need for the country to deepen the fiscal consolidation exercise. “The introduction of the performance-based budgeting, where every penny spent has to be accounted for, is also to reduce government expenditure, while the multi-year budgeting system will reduce the incidence of uncompleted projects,” he said.

Muslim clerics caution CAN on Islamic banking By Tajudeen Adebanjo


OTABLE Islamic organisations, mosques, arabic schools and renowned scholars have called on the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to stop heating up the polity under the guise of condemning Islamic banking in Nigeria. The Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) yesterday held a press briefing at Ansarud-Deen headquarters, Ajao, Surulere, Lagos. It described the attack that trailed the introduction of Non Interest/Islamic banking as sheer ignorance and diversionary. The Chief missioner, Ansarud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad, explained that Islamic banking is purely financial and constitutional–issues that do not concern religious leaders. He said comments from Christians, linking the system to terrorism called for CIO’s reaction. He urged the Federal Government to consult widely, saying the views of experts such as former Managing Director of the World Bank, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Prof Charles Soludo, respected economist Prof Lai Olurode and University of Ilorin vice chancellor Prof Ishaq Oloyede on the matter considered. The nation, Ahmad said, should avoid bad precedents by disturbing the Central Bank from doing its statutory duties. “The security agents should beam their search-light on those calling for the break of the country in the name of fighting Islamic banking,” Ahmad stressed.

Obama faces new obstacles in debt talks


• From Left, Executive Vice President, Institutional Banking, FirstBank, Mr. Bayo Adeleke; an official of Commonwealth Business Council, Mr. Peter Longworth; Chairman of FirstBank, Prince Ajibola Afonja; Chief Risk Officer of FirstBank, Mrs. Remi Odunlami; Director General of Commonwealth Business Council, Dr. Mohan Kaul; GMD/CEO of FirstBank, Mr. Bisi Onasanya; and a former MD of Wema Bank, Chief Samuel Adegbite, during a dinner hosted by Onasanya for Kaul, at the Radisson Blu Anchorage, Victoria Island, Lagos.

N34.5b spent on kerosine importation in June


HE Federal Government spent over N34.5 billion to import kerosine in June, it was gathered at the weekend. An official of the Petroleum Ministry, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, decried the huge expenditure The official, who was making a case for Nigerians to support full deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, said with the way the government was going with subsidy of premium motor spirit (petrol) and kerosine, it might be difficult to have funds to develop other sectors of the economy. According to the source, the

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) imported 244,681,538 litres or 200,558.6 metric tonnes of kerosene in June. “In June, Platt, freight and other costs brought the landing cost to N141 per litre. This excludes the distribution margin and other intangible costs. Let’s just multiply the N141 by 244,681,538 litres, we will arrive at N34,500,096,858,” the source said. The distribution margin for kerosine in June as published on the PPPRA website was

N13.20 per litre, which include retailers (N4.60 per litre), transporters (N2.75 per litre), dealers margin (N1.75 per litre), bridging fund plus marine transport average, MTA (N3.95 per litre) and administrative charge (N0.15 per litre). The distribution margin for June also revealed an expenditure of N3, 229,796,301, which brings the total amount spent on the commodity by the government within the month to over N37.7 billion. Kerosine has been scarce since the beginning of the year. This had driven the price of the commodity to about N140 per litre as

against the stipulated price of N50 per litre. To address the problem, the government had through the NNPC embarked on massive importation of the product. Besides, the NNPC entered into partnership with the major and independent oil marketers to ensure the product gets to consumers at the regulated price. The corporation also sets up a distribution monitoring committee including the major marketers, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the NNPC.

RESIDENT Barack Obama sought "the biggest deal possible" in talks yesterday aimed at averting a debt default after Republicans shied away from a $4 trillion deficit-reduction deal because it would raise taxes. Obama and the top US Republican, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, are to meet with other congressional leaders at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) at the White House for high-stakes deliberations with an August 2 deadline looming larger. Failure to seal a deal by August 2 could mean the first-ever default on the nation's financial obligations, which the White House and private economists warn could push the United States back into recession and trigger global financial chaos, Reuters said yesterday. Boehner, facing stiff opposition from fellow Republicans over the prospects of higher taxes as part of a largescale $4 trillion budget deal, told the Democratic president on Saturday he would only pursue a smaller, $2 trillion package.



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 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana 1. IRS 2. Arik

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 11.15 13.15 15.50 18.00

LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

08.00 18.00

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

• An attendant dispensing kerosene at Oando Service station, Maryland, Lagos... at the weekend.

Fed Govt to review airport concessions, says minister


HE concession agreement be tween agencies in the Minis try of Aviation and the firms would soon be reviewed by the Federal Government, it was learnt yesterday. The minister, who dropped this hint, said this is part of her evolving plan to turnaround the aviation sector for efficient service delivery and safety. In a statement from by Adviser on Technical Matters, Mr Oche Victor Elias, she affirmed that attaining such height is part of the transformation agenda of the government. She said: “ A review of the performance of the concessionaires is also on the agenda, with a view to exploring opportunities for enhanced service delivery. To this end, an Investment forum where foreign and local investors, concessionaires, financial/technical partners will gather to chart a new course for the sector is being put together.” The new master plan, she explained, “will incorporate valuable input from all stakeholders where

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

issues and challenges in the sector will be identified and concrete strategies adopted for its implementation. The master plan is already at an advanced stage and will be unveiled after wide consultations and deliberations would have been concluded with stakeholders. Our plan is to involve all stakeholders in order to achieve synergy during the implementation phase.” She listed issues that must be tackled and resolved in the first few weeks of her tenure to include improvement of security in and around the nation’s airports, safety in the skies, efficient services at the airport for travelers’ comfort, and the adoption of strategies for enhanced government-private sector partnership for the development of the aviation sector in the country. The minister said to ensure security of lives and property in and around the airports, the installation of explosive detectors at all entrances (gates) and car parks is billed

to commence soon. “This is intended to boost confidence in the safety of airports and act as incentive to foreigners who intend to travel to Nigeria as a safe destination for both business and leisure,” she added. Other issues on top of the agenda of the minister include resolution of the growing concerns over the rising cost of aviation fuel and the concomitant hike in airfares, workers’ welfare as well as collaboration with aviation experts for the implementation of a new roadmap for the aviation sector in Nigeria. Meanwhile, members of the National Association of AirTraffic Engineers (NAAE) have urged the minister to write her name in gold in the industry through the transformation of the sector. In a statement signed by NAAE’s National President and Secretary, Isaac Orishaleye and Bulus Bodam respectively, while congratulating the minister advised her to surpass her predecessors by ensuring that all the facilities yearning for attention were replaced.

Court strikes out libel suit against Springbank, LAGOS High Court in Ikeja Technology Plc) had last year, altwo others has struck out a suit by an leged that Spring Bank and some investment firm, Strand of its officers stole N5.2 billion of


Capital Partners Limited for lacking competence. Strand Capital had sued Spring Bank Plc, its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Sola Ayodele and Leaders and Company Limited, publishers of ThisDay newspapers, alleging libel. Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie in a ruling upheld defendants’ preliminary objection and held that the suit was defective because its originating processes were not endorsed by a legal practitioner as required under Order 6 Rule 2(3) of the Lagos High Court (Civil procedure) Rules 2004. “It is not enough for the owner of the signature to swear to a subsequent affidavit claiming that he, it was, who actually signed the process for and on behalf of the legal

By Eric Ikhilae

practitioner. His name, in my opinion, should have been endorsed under his signature, the failure of which is fundamentally defective to the process. “I do not consider a signature by an unnamed person for and on behalf of the plaintiff’s counsel, a mere irregularity, but hold it to be a fundamental requirement of the law,” the court held. Relying on an unreported decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Sunday Adeneye and another against Alhaji Bukar Yaro (CA/L/266/2002), Justice AdefopeOkojie held that the suit’s originating processes were fundamentally defective. Strand Capital Partners Limited and National Sports Lottery Plc (now known as Secured Electronic

their money. In response to the said allegation, Springbank Plc, in an advertorial, which appeared in ThisDay and entitled “How NSL/Strand Capital, companies belonging to the Kola Daisi family planned to defraud Springbank Plc of N5.2billion,” provided a compelling response to it. Strand Capital consequently instituted three libel suits against Springbank Plc, its GMD and Leaders and Company, claiming various sums of money as damages, on the grounds that its character and that of National Sports Lottery had been defamed in the said publication. Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Strand Capital has since instituted a fresh action on the same issue.

FMBN offers N2b housing loan to Oyo


EDERAL Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has offered a housing loan of N2 billion to the Oyo State Government under the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FMBN, Mr Gimba Ya’u Kumo, disclosed this in Ibadan, Oyo State capital when the management of the bank paid the governor a courtesy visit at the weekend. The bank’s team led by its Chairman, Alhaji Deda Atta, congratulated the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on his election victory at

the polls on April 14, 2011. Atta, according to a statement, said that the expectations of the people of Oyo State were high, noting that he is confident that the Governor will not fail them going by his antecedents in the private sector of economy. Kumo noted that Ibadan is one of the biggest cities in Africa and, because of its housing deficit, the situation in the state requires drastic attention, which is why the “Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria is offering the Oyo State Government a N2 billion facility to construct

housing estates in the state”. He envisaged that the loan facility can finance the government’s proposed Ajoda Housing Estate in partnership with Coop Building Society Limited, or any other estate developer of the State Government’s choice. The FMBN managing director explained that the National Housing Fund (NHF) is a mandatory savings scheme for Nigerian workers from which they can access mortgage loans at low interest rates to build, buy or renovate residential houses in any part of the country.

Unity Bank promotes 340


NITY Bank Plc has promoted its deserving staff in an exer cise aimed at boosting the morale of its workforce. According to a statement, a total of 340 benefitted from the promotion exercise, which has been done by the Management in the last four years. The promotion exercise is for the year 2010 in which one of the staff was promoted to the position of general manager, three Assistant general managers to deputy general manager position and four others to Assistant general manager grades. The promotion, which was announced by the Bank at the weekend indicated that in addition, 16 managers were moved to the next grade of senior manager and 21 to manager position from the rank of deputy manager. The exercise cut across all cadre of staff in the bank, which has a staff strength of almost 3,000. Those who were not promoted got measured salary increases. Unity Bank according to the statement, has been consistent in the promotion of its staff as it also promoted 400 for the year 2009. Speaking on the issue of staff morale and productivity, the new Managing Director, Ado Yakubu Wanka pledged that the bank would not relent to recognize good and exceptional performance by staff. Wanka pledged that the bank was bent on realizing its goal of becoming one of the largest banks in Nigeria by the year 2016 and maintained that staff performance was critical to the attainment of that objective. He assured the bank’s shareholders and other stakeholders of the consistent growth of the bank and its determination to continue to make superior returns to them.

Intercontinental Promo: ‘Customers to benefit’


HE Chairman of Elizade Mo tors/Toyota Nigeria Ltd, Chief Mike Ade-Ojo has disclosed that Intercontinental Bank customers would definitely enjoy huge benefits from the on-going ISave, I-Win Promo as the Bank is set to unveil the first set of winners at the regional and zonal draw scheduled for Abuja on Thursday, July 21 2011. According to Ojo, “my relationship with Intercontinental Bank dates from inception, I am one of those who did not disengage from this Bank during its critical moments, I have received support from the Bank, so we are partners in progress. I want to assure all Customers that they are in to enjoy huge benefits by embracing this savings promo initiative.” In the promo mechanics made available to our correspondent, every lodgement of N5, 000, deposits would qualify for an instant gift, while N50, 000 deposits and its multiple for 90 days qualifies customers for the zonal draws like the Abuja draws.



ISSUES The United Bank for African (UBA) has introduced a policy mandating customers to either leave a minimum balance of N25,000 in their accounts or migrate to its self-service channel. This has sparked protests by customers amid the bank’s attempt to explain its position. COLLINS NWEZE writes.

Betwen a rock and a hard place

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi


OR many low income earners banking with the United Bank for African (UBA), there is nothing cheery about the news. They are not happy with the bank’s decision pegging its minimum deposit for some accounts at N25,000. To them, it is the bank’s way of ostracising them. But is that so? It is not so, says UBA, which under the new deposit regime, is seeking to migrate customers whose balances are below N25,000 and unable to upgrade between July 1 and September 1 to its self-service channel known as U-Mo. Already, migration to U-Mo, a product designed to help such customers, has started through the various business offices of the bank where the respective accounts are domiciled in a “simplified process, devoid of any hassles, a statement from UBA explained.” These platforms, according to the bank, provide customers much more convenience and access compared to brick and mortar based services.” But the bank is having difficulty selling the policy to its customers, the regulators and other stakeholders in the financial services industry.

UBA speaks For UBA, migrating customers with less than N25,000 balance in their accounts is to provide them with convenience of instant online mobile banking while creating higher values for them. The bank also said its new mobile banking initiative, U-Mo Mobile Money Account, would serve as a convenient and quality alternative channel for retail customers while improving the overall quality of the bank’s ser-

•GMD, UBA Phillips Oduoza

vice. Executive Director, Corporate and International Banking, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Ifeatu Onejeme, said the bank has exempted certain categories of account holders from the new minimum balance requirement. They include all salary and pension accounts-savings or current, overdraft and facility-linked current accounts, loan accounts, savings and current accounts linked to deposits and investments. Also included are paramilitary, military and ex-servicemen. He noted that with seven million customers and 700 branches, UBA is committed to exploring opportunities to ensure that all customers have satisfying banking experience while simultaneously adding value to shareholders. He added that with U-Mo, all UBA customers would be able to access cash and conduct transactions without necessarily visiting a banking hall. Onejeme explained that with U-Mo, a customer can save and transfer money to another phone,

pay bills as well as withdraw and deposit money at any UBA branch and agent. The bank has also refuted claims that it is financially distressed. UBA Change Manager, Ben Odukwe said UBA is the most liquid banking institution around. “Our liquidity is over 40 per cent. The new balance would not affect salary accounts,” he said. Odukwe said the idea was to encourage savings culture, promote the mobile money initiative and pave the way for efficient services. Commenting on the increase in the minimum balance Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, Executive Director, Resources said the initiative was based on management’s continuous efforts to improve on customer service delivery in the bank. “This decision is motivated by our desire to serve our customers better. We want to significantly improve customer service and optimise our resources” he said. In the implementation of this new initiative, the bank is not unmindful of some of the incon-

‘It should be made clear that the matter is for the banks because CBN does not micro manage. The action we are taking with UBA is not regulatory but just intervening to understand the objective of the policy with a view to ensuring that the policy does not crowd out a segment of the population from banking services. We are surely proceeding with the dialogue with them’

veniences it would cause. According to Uzoka, “cheques drawn on all current accounts, which will cause them go below the N25,000 minimum balance will be honoured and an auto alert generated and sent to the affected customer’s mobile phone and email, with the information ‘the below N25,000 account balance” and an advise to regularise”

CBN’s stand The CBN spokesman, Mohammed Abdullahi said the apex bank does not want to micromanage banks. He said the action the CBN is taking is not regulatory but simply to dialogue with the bank to understand the objective of the policy. “It should be made clear that the matter is for the banks because CBN does not micro manage. The action we are taking with UBA is not regulatory but just intervening to understand the objective of the policy with a view to ensuring that the policy does not crowd out a segment of the population from banking services. We are surely proceeding with the dialogue with them,” he told The Naion. The Deputy Governor, Operations, Tunde Lemo, while responding to a question on the UBA policy ratings last Tuesday, said the apex bank would invite the management of UBA to explain the reason for introducing such a policy. Lemo said: “The UBA’s N25,000 minimum cash balance policy is not a Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy. We do not prescribe how banks conduct •Continued on page 14




Betwen a rock and a hard place •Continued from page 13

their business up to a point that we begin to specify the account balances of bank customers. We generally would not be happy to see the banking system actually conducting its activities to the exclusion of very small savers.” Lemo said UBA will have to explain what the policy is all about. But he said the bank may be looking at the fact that there are close to 1,000 microfinance banks in the country, which provide alternatives for them. “This is not a CBN policy. We do not prescribe how banks conduct their business to a point that we begin to specify what the account balances of customers should be. We don’t micromanage. We generally would not be happy to see banks actually conduct their banking to the exclusion of very small savers. We are going to find out what it is all about,” Lemo said.

Shareholders’ kick President, Concerned Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Olusegun Owolabi said the policy cannot work because majority of Nigerians earn less that N25,000 and cannot save more than their income. “The policy if enforced, will have a negative impact on the bank’s gross earnings,” he said. He said the bank still has time to reverse itself on the policy which has the tendency of reducing returns on investment on the bank shares. President, Renaissance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Olufemi Timothy, said the N25,000 minimum account balance is a “bad policy.” He said the policy will discourage small savers and reduce the bank’s profitability. “I don’t know how a bank can operate without small savers and still remain in business. It is a backward policy that shouldn’t be supported by neither shareholders nor customers,” he said.

Customers’ protest The issue has drawn the ire of customers nationwide. In virtually all states, depositors are protesting the policy, which they believe is aimed at shutting them out of the banking system.



‘For UBA, migrating customers with less ‘The policy if enforced, will have a than N25,000 balance in their accounts is to negative impact on the bank’s gross provide them with convenience of instant earnings ... I don’t know how a bank online mobile banking while creating higher values for them. The bank also said can operate without small savers and still remain in business. It is a its new mobile banking initiative, U-Mo Mobile Money Account, would serve as a backward policy that shouldn’t be convenient and quality alternative channel supported by neither shareholders for retail customers while improving the nor customers’ overall quality of the bank’s service’

Lagos The new policy seems to have caught many of the bank's customers unaware as they expressed shock over the amount involved. The Nation witnessed a rowdy scene at the bank's Ogba branch in Lagos as many depositors who had come to pay in funds angrily went away without doing so. Some sought clarifications on the new policy and what it meant for their businesses with the bank. “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be aware of the economic implications of disfranchising small savers in the financial services sector. The UBA is carrying out a policy summersault that is at variance with the apex bank’s policy on banking the unbanked. We are now in a regime of uncoordinated banking supervisions if this agenda is allowed to sail through at the expense of poor savers,” Jide Akintunde, Managing Director, Financial Nigeria said. But he admitted that the bank has a choice to either play at the retail end of the market or not but must be innovative in carrying out its agenda. UBA, he said can deploy Mobile banking to capture these customers it considers not profitable or economical to maintain but should wait until the apex bank completes licencing of mobile banking. “The bank should have waited for mobile banking service to start before implementing this policy, which if not curtailed, will throw more funds outside the banking system at a time where the regulator is canvassing for rural banking,” he said. Mobile banking is expected to help the bank move these accounts to a platform that will not be difficult to manage, he said, adding that the regulators should prevail on the bank to retrace its steps. President National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) Chuku Wachukwu said the policy is not going to fly. For him, since it’s the small scale industries that will lead to the revival of the economy, a policy limiting their business operations with banks will be counterproductive both to the enforcer and the larger economy. “By cutting off the businesses that feed small scale industrialists from financial services, the economy will definitely been adversely affected. “NASSI will not accept this proposal,” he said. A parent, who asked not to be named said, she may move her daughters account to another bank if the bank refuses to change its stand. “How can I keep N25,000 balance with a bank when I have other pressing needs to do with money,” she said. She wondered if the bank is indirectly excluding students and low income earners from their services. One of the students who introduced himself as Kingsley Obinna, of undergraduate at the University of Lagos, said he might end up closing his account if the policy is not reversed. “If the bank insists that I must keep behind a minimum of N25,000 in my account, then there is no point paying in any money into this account." A female depositor of about 28 years old, who said she had come to pay in some money into the account of her ward, who was studying in one of the nation's universities angrily left the branch without depositing the money after understanding the new policy.

Edo In Benin City, many customers of the bank have threatened to close their accounts. In the UBA branch at Ekenwan Road, Benin City, most of the customers were withdrawing cash while others made inquiries about the planned minimum balance. It could not, however, be confirmed if such withdrawals were because of the increase minimum balance but some customers who spoke to The Nation said they would rather close their accounts than increase their minimum balance to N25, 000 while others insisted that the decision will not be implemented. A member of the National Youth Service Corp, Joel Esangbedo said the decision would not work. “How can I leave N25,000 with a bank? It would not work because they would lose many customers. I will close my account if they start the implementation.” Dickson Oarhe said the decision was not student friendly. “I will abandon the account since they cannot close it. I will make use of my accounts in other banks.” For Osaolor Patrick Ahanor, “It will be difficult for customers to maintain. There are times you will need to N3000 for immediate need and the bank will tell you that you cannot take out of N25,000. It is not for the poor. I will close the account because I am a low income earner.”

Kano Customers of UBA in Kano have threatened to embark on massive withdrawals and outright closure of their bank accounts, following the proposed introduction of N25,000 minimum account balance. A survey by this reporter in the ancient city of Kano shows that the proposed introduction of the policy has sent jitters down the spines of its numerous customers. At the Bello Road Branch of the bank, customers were seen in large numbers, queuing up either to withdraw their money or close their accounts for their inability to meet the N25,000 bench mark. Also, at the airport branch of the bank, some customers were also withdrawing money but could not be ascertained whether the withdrawals were of fear arising from the proposed policy. It was also difficult to authenticate whether some of the customers closed their accounts with the Airport branch of the bank. Normal banking operations were noticed at the banking hall, as most of the customers were making inquiries on the latest development.

Anambra In Onitsha Main Market, Anambra State, many of the customers are still not aware of the policy. But in many of the branches visited, the customer service officers tried to explain to some that knew about the new changes, the options avail-

able. The customers were told that the policy does not mean their accounts will be closed, but they will be migrated a new banking platform that will make their transactions easier and more convenient.

Rivers A cross-section of UBA customers in Rivers State have threatened to close their accounts with the bank, if the management insists on the N25,000 minimum balance from September 1. Pa LongJohn banking at UBA's Azikwe Road branch, near UTC Junction in Port Harcourt, said it would be impossible for him, as a petty trader, to have the minimum balance of N25,000 in his account. He said he does not earn such amount in a month and there was no way he could maintain such minimum balance. He urged the management of UBA to rescind the decision, because of the suffering masses, while calling on the CBN to prevail on UBA not to implement the "harsh" policy. At the Port Harcourt Main Branch of UBA, near Isaac Boro Park in the Rivers State capital, another customer, Miss Uche, who is an applicant, said immediately the implementation of the policy commences, she would simply close her account. A civil servant at the Emenike Junction, Ikwerre Road, Port Harcourt branch of UBA, who preferred to be identified as Lucky, said the bank have gotten many customers and wanted some to move to other banks that would be considerate and would not take irrational decision like UBA.

Imo A visit to one of the branches of the bank along Bank road, Owerri indicates that there was no panic withdrawal but people want the bank to reconsider its stand. Eugene Dibiagu a businessman stated that for him, he would like the bank to take into consideration the plight of low income earners as all fingers are not equal. “I think the bank should drop this policy because of its poor customers who may not be able to maintain the balance,” he said.

Plateau In Jos, there is no panic withdrawal. Some customers banking at UBA’s Bank Road branch, in Jos came to make enquiries about the new policy but were assured that the bank will continue to keep them as customers after migrating them to new platforms. The customers were advised not to close their accounts with the bank. Besides, a bank official who asked not to be named said majority of the accounts domiciled at the branch are salary accounts, which will not be affected. •Additional reports by Kolade Adeyemi, Nwanosike Onu, Friday Otabor, Yusuf Aminu, Bisi Olaniyi and Emma Mgbeahurike.






MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011



The last legislative elections brought in new times in the Edo State House of Assembly. Now, both the legislature and the executive are controlled by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). In this report, OSAGIE OTABOR recalls the intrigues that rocked the expired Assembly and previews what to expect in the new dispensation.

Edo Assembly: Fresh air after stormy era T

thought were crucial to the development of Edo State were removed. I can confirm to you that the 2009 budget of Edo State was settled in the quiet living room of Chief Tony Anenih in his residence in Abuja. I was asked to go to the private sitting room of Tony Anenih where I had to table the budget line-by-line. And all the key proposals, the building of 19 model schools across the state, the purchase of mass transit buses, were deleted by Chief Tony Anenih with his own biro.” The governor further recalled: “After the deduction, what was left was such that it would be impossible to start work on Airport Road and the Ugbowo-Lagos Road. So, the end of it is that if I do not do the job, the prediction of the House that the job could not be done would have become valid.” “I returned to Benin like a chick that had been abandoned by the mother hen. I came back to wait for the House to pass the budget as amended by the godfather himself who dictated the 2009 budget.” ”Of course, I knew it was not time to fight because I had not grown the teeth with which to fight. And there was no need to be aggressive over it. Everyone was abusing me, that I was Mr. Stooge, but I knew my day would come and when it would come, there would be no doubt that I have arrived.” Edo State House of Assembly then lifted the suspension order it placed on former Speaker Zakawanu Garuba and three others with conditions. Besides, the House refused to clear Oshiomhole’s nominees for the State Universal Basic Education Board which made the state forfeit N2.2 billion counterpart. With judgments from the Court of Appeal and two re-run elections won by ACN, the strength of the PDP was reduced to 12 members and the ACN members rose to 12. What the ACN needed was for a PDP lawmaker to defect to the ACN for it to take control of the assembly. In February 2010, the 12 PDP lawmakers addressed a press conference where they called on the ACN-led government to desist from inducing its members with

HE people of Edo State had never witnessed the political intrigues that characterised the just-ended Fourth Assembly headed by Hon Bright Omokhodion. It was an assembly, according to many, of betrayal and infighting. Now, the old order has given way. All over the state, indices of development have taken firm roots in the interest of the people. In 2007, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), being the ruling party then, had 16 members. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had eight. The Assembly was headed by Hon Zakawanu Garuba. With Governor Adams Oshiomhole struggling then at the tribunal to retrieve his mandate, ACN lawmakers could not provide the needed opposition in the Assembly, which turned the law making body to a one-party House. The first case was when ousted Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor sent a request to the House for the dissolution of the board of Edo State Independent Electoral Commission headed Gabriel Okungbowa. With 16 members, the PDP needed consent by an ACN lawmaker as the Speaker could not vote. The leadership of ACN in the state kicked against the planned dissolution of members of EDSIEC and urged its members not to sign. But one of its members, Hon Paul Ohonbamu, supported the dissolution. A new board headed by Anthony Okunega was constituted for EDSIEC. After Oshiomhole emerged governor in November 2008, the PDP was still in effective control of the House of Assembly and it became a source of headache for the Oshiomhole administration as the House refused to pass the 2009 budget until the intervention of Chief Tony Anenih. Oshiomhole later revealed that some projects were deleted from the 2009 budget proposal by Anenih before the lawmakers were directed to pass the budget. Oshiomhole put it thus: ”There were controversies because the budget the House of Assembly approved were mutilated. A number of projects that I

• Oshiomhole

• Omokhodion

N50 million to defect to the ACN. Three of the PDP lawmakers, Hon. Blessing Agbebaku, Hon Segun Saiki, and Hon Sunday Ereghan, confirmed that they were approached by ACN leaders in the state with over N50 million and a promise of automatic tickets in the 2011 elections if they quit the PDP. Former speaker Garuba even threatened to invoke section 109 of the Constitution if any PDP lawmaker defected to another party. However, one week later, a free-for-all broke out during a plenary session when former Speaker Zakawanu Garuba adjourned sitting sine die after apparently sensing that Hon Omokhodion of the PDP wanted to announce his defection to the ACN and the signing of his impeachment by 16 lawmakers. Dangerous weapons were used by the lawmakers during the chaos and policemen had to seal off the premises to prevent destruction of the complex. The ACN later secured a court injunction which enabled them to enter the complex where they impeached Garuba and made Peter Aliu Protem Speaker.

Omokhodion later announced his defection to the ACN and two days later, he was elected Speaker of the Assembly. The new ACN leadership suspended Garuba, Agbebaku and Frank Okiye. They cleared the names of the Board of SUBEB and those of the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC). In the 2010 budget, many projects earlier deleted from the 2009 budget by Anenih were reflected again and passed by the ACN-led assembly. Angered by the manner Zakawanu was impeached, the PDP lawmakers boycotted sitting and only 14 ACN lawmakers attended plenary throughout the 15 months of the ACN leadership under Bright Omokhodion. The State House of Assembly is now led by Hon Uyi Igbe and the PDP has only five members, while the ACN has 19. The PDP and ACN are relying of court judgments and re-run elections to change the House membership status. However, one thing is certain: The PDP has lost out in the power play in the state. That is until the next governorship election.

Rep member worried over growing insecurity


ON. Hamzat Ganiyu, member, House of Repre sentatives, is unhappy. He is incensed over the worrisome spate of bomb attacks being perpetrated by the Boko Haram group in the North. Hence, he has called for the establishment of state police to effectively tackle the menace of insecurity in the country. Ganiyu, a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) who spoke to The Nation explained that the call became necessary as it would, further improve the security profile of the country. He said: “When you have state police, like they have in America,


By Musa Odoshimokhe

they will complement the efforts of the national police security will improve. This even goes beyond the state police; we should look at the local government police as well, so that people within that locality could help identify the perpetrators of crimes because they know those who reside within their communities.” He noted that the unfortunate development underpins repeated calls for the practice of fiscal federalism, which allows for the creation of state police. He expressed concern that the country has become volatile and unsafe because of the activities of

groups which take the law into their hands. He expressed disappointment about people comparing the activities of Boko Haram with the acts that had been perpetrated by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Egbesu Boys and Bakassi Boys in the past. He said: “You will recall that on October 1, when we were celebrating 50 years of nationhood, some cruel and wicked people maimed and killed innocent people. Boko Haram claimed responsibilities. But when last have you heard of Bakassi Boys or OPC fomenting trouble? I think it is time to sheathe the

sword and work for a purposeful Nigeria.” The legislator, however, noted that the Mushin Constituency which he represents had been repackaged to shed off the toga of notoriety through collaborative efforts with the state government and concerned organisations. This, he said, had brought tremendous peace to the community in recent times. He said he was doing everything within his power to ensure that people from his constituency had better dealing in term of socio-economic benefit, and that as a representative of the people, he would always readily take up their challenges.




Lagos Assembly: On the march again The 7th Lagos State House of Assembly has commenced legislative business. OZIEGBE OKOEKI takes a look at the direction that the widely acclaimed House of Excellence will likely focus in the new dispensation.


HE Lagos State House of As sembly, at the end of the re treat it held at Akodo for both returning and newly elected members before the inauguration of the 7th Assembly, resolved to maintain a robust but dispassionate relationship with other arms of government, especially the executive, in order to move the state forward. Two important developments, since the House resumed plenary sessions, show that the state is set for improved relationship between the two arms in the overall interest of the state and its citizens. When the House resumed plenary sessions on June 20, approved a request from the state executive council for the release of N700 million from the Local Government Intervention Fund (LGIF) for the purchase of 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) for the police. LGIF is a special fund set aside to be used for the execution of projects nominated by the lawmakers in their different constituencies. The essence of the Fund according to the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, is to take care of those areas that do not have enough government presence. Corroborating Taiwo, the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Rotimi Abiru said, “the intervention fund is to be utilized in developing those areas of the state that seem to have been neglected so far”. However, despite this understanding, because of the resolve of the House to maintain a cordial relationship with the executive and because it is an issue that has to do with the general security of the state the lawmakers gave its nod to the executive for the requested amount to be withdrawn from the fund. A second development was the express screening and confirmation of the 37 nominees for commissioners and special advisers sent in by the Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, to the House. The lawmakers who had already embarked on recess had to call off their break to screen the nominees and gave the 37 nominees a clean bill of health. Even though there were petitions against two of the nominees from their constituencies, the lawmakers confirmed all the nominees having found no merit in the petitions, but advised the petitioners to direct their petitions to the governor who nominated them. If these two developments are anything to go by, it means Lagosians may be in for a healthier relationship between the Legislature and the Executive in the 7th Assembly. According to one of the lawmakers, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, “part of the agenda of the seventh Assembly is the resolve to sustain the harmonious relationship we have always had with the executive. We need a cordial relationship between the Legislature and the Executive to make Lagos a better state.” While acknowledging the new spirit in the House, Hon. Segun Olulade, a new member representing Epe1 Constituency, said: “I believe this spirit of working in harmony with the Executive will continue this way. And once we can work in harmony and collaborate, we will deliver the dividends of democracy to our people.” However, Taiwo added: “The relationship does not mean we are not going to perform our oversight

‘The lawmakers who had already embarked on recess had to call off their break to screen the nominees and they gave the 37 nominees a clean bill of health. Even though there were petitions against two of the nominees from their constituencies, the lawmakers confirmed all the nominees having found no merit in the petitions, but advised the petitioners to direct their petitions to the governor who nominated them’ • Ikuforiji

functions, but we will perform them in such a way that people will not see us as being antagonistic to the executive.” At the Akodo retreat, the lawmakers would seem to have set an agenda for the 7th Assembly. After agreeing with the Clerk of the House, Mr. Taiwo Olatunji to be more punctual at sittings, the House, according to Abiru, “resolved to take their legislative duties very seriously; first, by adhering to the time which we have chosen to sit”. And for the two weeks the House has sat since inauguration, it has indeed kept to time, starting plenary between the hours of 10 and 11am, unlike in the 6th Assembly where sitting did not start until between 2 and 4pm. According to the leader of the House, Hon. Ajibayo Adeyeye, “we have tried to improve on the issue of timing and to a large extent, I think we have kept to the sitting time.” And Taiwo said: “We are determined to make sure that we keep to time in the 7th Assembly”. Although, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1) said that the leadership of the House would set the agenda for the 7th Assembly while taking into consideration, contribution of members, and a situation where laws made for the people are brought closer to their understanding. Agunbiade said: “We should be able to find a mechanism through which the people will be abreast of the lawmaking process; what laws have been made and what the major ingredients of the law are, including the things the law want the people to know. So, I am advocating for a situation where we will create a forum for the public to know their laws because the essence of the law is to regulate the activities of the people.” He would also want the 7th Assembly to persuade the executive to execute some of the projects that were identified by the legislators during the town hall meetings. The Assembly, Abiru said, intended to support the government to be very prudent with the budget and its expenditure for this year and subsequent years. “We have also resolved to set up a budget research office and possibly pass a budget law by which we could regulate the components of the appropriation. Also we intend to reach out to the people for them to be very conversant with the activi-

• Agunbiade

ties of this Assembly. So we are going to set up a very rich library where people can come to do research, this will also be very useful to the honourable members in developing themselves too for the legislative business. “We also intend to use Information Technology in disseminating some of our activities because there is need for the people to understand what we do. Through this, we would project the House and its activities.” Though he said some of the issues were yet to be discussed with members, he added, “but this is the thinking of the House.” Agreeing with Abiru, Olulade said: “We need to project the House in the right direction for people to know what we are really doing as members of the House because there is misconception about the House by the people that must be corrected”. According to Taiwo, the 7th Assembly would adopt the British style where the public are told at the beginning of every session, the number of private bills the House is entitled to pass. And unlike in the 6th Assembly were most bills passed emanated from the exco, “we want to be promoting more of private member bills because they talk more of the public than the executive bills which talk

more about the government,” Taiwo said. Coupled with this, he said, “we want to strengthen our constituency relationship, we have agreed that we will have a very sound and well-equipped constituency office with sound officers where our people can go”. Abiru also said: “We are going to look into the procedure by which committees operate such that we can set a time-frame for committee assignment and make sure that members adhere strictly to it”. Speaking on the pending bills that had reached advanced stages in the 6th Assembly, Adeyeye explained: “Unless we amend our rules, those bills will have to start all over again and we are in the process of doing that so that the constraints of not taking off from where the 6th Assembly stopped would be taken off, so that we can continue from there.” Already, The Nation learnt, a committee has been set up for the purpose of amending the House rules. The House would strive to ensure that the LGIF is spent on projects nominated by the legislators as this would ensure even development in the state. “This,” Alawiye-King said, “is what the constituency fund is meant to take care of, to ensure even distribution of projects in the state. The essence is to ensure that legislators are carried along in

• New Commissioners of Delta State taking their Oath of office in Asaba recently.

projects that are going to be sited in our constituencies and by so doing we are ensuring even distribution of projects in our constituencies,” Alawiye-King said. Speaking along the same vein, Agunbiade said, “we want a situation where there would be more development in the local areas so as to decongest some over populated areas, to reduce the human and vehicular movements in these urban areas. The less developed areas of the state should be concentrated on more this time as a way of spreading further dividends of democracy and making life more meaningful for the people”, Agunbiade said. As per general wellbeing of Lagosians, Taiwo said, “the House is serious about coming out with beautiful laws that would make Lagos state better, therefore, Lagosians should expect laws that will better their lot”. Adeyeye said, “we have experienced legislators, 22 out of 40 are returning, even the 18 new members have very good pedigree, I expect a very good 7th Assembly” Abiru said: “We will prioritize bills, giving more attention to those that are more germane to the development of Lagos and Lagosians”. Agunbiade said: “We shall work together with the executive to give Lagosians the dividends of democracy. We are going to have better performance in the 7th Assembly because the House is more strengthened with more vigour. We are ready to do something that will justify our elections”. To Alawiye-King, “We are going to make sure the interests of our constituents are well protected and we are going to do everything that will make life meaningful for Lagosians. We would continue to work in harmony with the executive and by so doing; dividends of democracy will surely come to them. And Olulade said: “We have to make laws that will orientate people; laws that protect their wellbeing and integrity and project their state as a state of excellence. We have to sit down and look at areas that will be beneficial to the people and legislate on them because we are always on the side of the people as their representatives and spokesperson.”






A Pakistani Journalist’s murder

Unacceptable •Nigerians do not have to catch cold when one cement producer sneezes


ANGOTE Cement Plc, the dominant player in the cement manufacturing business in Nigeria has announced a significant cut in the price of cement from about N2,700 to NI,350 per bag. The price of cement per unit stood at N1,600 for more than 18 months, until suddenly, it skyrocketed to between N2,300 and then N2,700. The marketers made effective use of the concept of scarcity, and thus, the mere rumour of the product’s unavailability further drove the price beyond the precincts of economic rationality. As it is always the case, the cement deport managers, distributors, middlemen, retailers, and even truck drivers had a field day while the maddening business of ‘cement hoarding’ and price manipulation lasted. The intervention of the Federal Government, though belated, was in order. As a developing economy, cement is stra-

‘... It’s high time the country’s industrial policy was overhauled. Government puts itself in a precarious situation when a crucial commodity such as cement is left in the hands of a few, to the effect that this few, working as a cartel, or one of them, is powerful enough to distort the market and or wield the power of monopoly’

tegic to the domestic economy. The ripples generated by its scarcity, deepening unemployment, lopsided income distribution, robust inducement for corruption and other probable implications warranted an earlier intervention of the Federal Government. In other civilised climes, matters such as this are treated as national priority because of its implication for national security. However, if only to provide a form of relief for what Nigerians had suffered in the last six months, groaning under the yoke of artificially created scarcity and a negative price regime that took the commodity out of the reach of most Nigerians, a cut in the price of cement is highly desirable. At least it would put an end to the national embarrassment which the scarcity of the product caused. The announcement had an instant, if not magical effect on the market; cement price per unit has begun a downward slope towards Dangote’s prescribed benchmark. We believe the price could still come further down. Notwithstanding, it’s high time the country’s industrial policy was overhauled. Government puts itself in a precarious situation when a crucial commodity such as cement is left in the hands of a few, to the effect that this few, working as a cartel, or one of them, is powerful enough to distort the market and or wield the power of monopoly. Also, businesses that enjoy economic incentives such as import duty waivers, tax holidays, etc., should learn to give back to the society; it is an unwritten moral code.

When in 1999, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson handed down a blunt 412-paragraph judgment that nailed Bill Gates Microsoft behemoth, two issues stood out. First, that Microsoft had monopoly control over Personal Computers operating systems. Second, and perhaps more important, that it wielded that power in ways that harmed American consumers. The scenario here may not be totally the same, but Dangote Cement Plc uses its dominant share of the market and immense profit therein, to distort the cement market and the government seems handicapped. For instance, when the price cut was announced, no reference was made to the parley that the Federal Government had with cement manufacturers last month, where President Goodluck Jonathan specifically gave one month ultimatum to them to reduce the price of cement. Rather, Dangote Cement Plc attributed the cut in price to the company’s declared policy to make cement affordable to Nigerians. Where was this policy when the price hit the rooftops? Aiding and abetting this falsehood is the secretary of Cement Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (CMAN), Mr James Salako, who also claimed that the price cut was for the benefit of Nigerians, in line with CMAN’s objectives. The way forward is for the Federal Government to liberalise the cement sector and allow more players to come in. There is no guarantee that we won’t witness another price hike in the future under this present arrangement.

Redeploy them This is what NYSC owes corps members who reject posting to ‘hot spots’


E are still ruminating over whether indeed authorities of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have any respect for the sanctity of human lives. If it does, then such is suspect with the insensitivity depicted in the postings of some graduate students for the 2011 Batch “B” service nationwide. These students were posted to Borno State for the one year compulsory national service. Quite expectedly, they rejected their deployment to a state where daily killings by the Boko Haram religious sect has become a routine. The 25 affected students from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, have unequivocally turned down what they perceived as ‘death warrant’ by the NYSC. Obaji Okereke, their spokesman declared: “…The truth is that those of us posted there(Borno) are not ready to go, not even for the three weeks orientation because we never can say what the Boko Haram people will do. The Boko Haram people have made it clear that they don’t want Western education and this is what we represent. We are not going to Borno State but we want to serve… Our parents too are not happy about it. Already, they have told some of us to forget about the service and just return home. Our decision is that if our request is not granted, we will all stay back with our parents.” The rejection of their posting to Borno State is against the backdrop of the insecurity resulting from the heinous activi-

ties of the Boko Haram which, in Hausa language means “Western education is sin”. The dreaded sect, since its debut in June 2009 has reportedly killed over 1,000 people and has claimed responsibilities for the bombings of important public buildings, including the Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Abuja, several Army barracks, police stations and market places, among others. We recall that not less than 10 corps members were killed in Bauchi and Borno states shortly after the announcement of the presidential election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in April. Till now, nobody has been convicted for the gruesome murder of these promising Nigerians that were mauled down in their prime. All the government did was to give their families a token monetary compensation ofN5million each. The question now is: Can human lives be quantified in monetary terms? If not, why is the government still allowing the NYSC to post graduates on national service to states where it has failed in its constitutional responsibility of providing security for the inhabitants? President Goodluck Jonathan has said that he would not scrap the scheme despite the outcry against its continued operation in its present form. But he owes Nigerians, especially parents, the duty of ensuring that he stops the scheme from

being turned into a slaughter slab, where promising young graduates on national service are routinely killed, sadly, without their killers being apprehended, not to talk of being punished. The sanctity of human lives as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution can be guaranteed only in an atmosphere where lives and property are secure. We doubt if this could be said of the volatile situations in Borno, Bauchi, Yobe and some other states where corps members are being posted and have been wantonly killed in recent past. The NYSC should redeploy the OAU students to more secure places and as well note that it can no longer force people to serve in places where security cannot be guaranteed.

‘The sanctity of human lives as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution can be guaranteed only in an atmosphere where lives and property are secure. We doubt if this could be said of the volatile situations in Borno, Bauchi, Yobe and some other states ... The NYSC should redeploy the OAU students to more secure places and as well note that it can no longer force people to serve in places where security cannot be guaranteed’


FTER the Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was murdered in May, suspicion fell on Inter-Services Intelligence, the country’s powerful spy agency. Mr. Shahzad reported aggressively on the infiltration of militants into Pakistan’s military and had received repeated threats from ISI. Other journalists said they, too, have been threatened, even tortured, by security forces. Now the Obama administration has evidence implicating the ISI in this brutal killing. According to The Times’s Jane Perlez and Eric Schmitt, American officials say new intelligence indicates that senior ISI officials ordered the attack on Mr. Shahzad to silence him. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed on Thursday that Pakistan’s government “sanctioned” the killing, but he did not tie it directly to ISI. The murder will make journalists and other critics of the regime even more reluctant to expose politically sensitive news. The ISI is also proving to be an increasingly dangerous counterterrorism partner for the United States. After Mr. Shahzad’s killing, ISI insisted it had no role, contending the death would be “used to target and malign” its reputation. The ISI and the army, which oversees the intelligence agency, were once considered Pakistan’s most respected institutions. Now they are sharply criticized at home for malfeasance and incompetence. There is evidence that they were complicit in hiding Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and that the ISI helped plan the Mumbai attack in 2008. They failed to prevent the recent attack on a naval base in Karachi. Mr. Shahzad disappeared two days after publishing an article suggesting the attack was retaliation for the navy’s attempt to crack down on Al Qaeda militants in the armed forces. It’s not clear how high up the culpability for Mr. Shahzad’s murder goes — or whether there are any officials left in the ISI or the army who have the power and desire to reform the spy agency. President Asif Ali Zardari and his government, while not implicated in these heinous acts, have been a disappointment, largely letting the military go its own way. They need to find Mr. Shahzad’s murderers and hold them accountable. And they must find the courage to assert civilian control over security services that have too much power and are running amok. Mr. Zardari needs to speak out firmly against abuses, insist on adherence to the rule of law and join his political rival, Nawaz Sharif, in pressing the security services to change. That can start by insisting on the retirement of Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI chief, and the appointment of a more credible successor. The United States needs to use its influence to hasten Mr. Pasha’s departure. It should tell Pakistan’s security leadership that if Washington identifies anyone in ISI or the army as abetting terrorists, those individuals will face sanctions like travel bans or other measures. The ISI has become inimical to Pakistani and American interests. – New York Times

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IR: Shortly after the inauguration of the ministers last week, the newly sworn in minister of information and communication, Comrade Labaran Maku, showed the press a copy of, From Third World to First written by Singapore’s former leader, Lee Kuan Yew – a gift from President, Goodluck Jonathan to each member of the new team. The intention was for them to read it, think it and borrow from the man’s ideology. First, I was shocked, and began to wonder within myself that I hope the president read the book and understands it before giving it out to these ministers. The book is a revolutionary one, the author, a radical interested in change. This book chronicled how a sincere, visionary and determined leader can change his country positively. A leader with clear focus and determination to lead his people out of squalor, poverty and underdevelopment, agreed that corruption especially among public servants must be fought frontally, moved his country and people to a developed world. Does it mean that President Jonathan is going to make the story in this book his guiding principle at governing Nigeria? From Third World to First talked about the patriotic and nationalistic zeal of the leadership, how leaders governed by example, the people were led with respect for human dignity. Emphasis was laid on discipline, national orientation, everything in and about Singapore was commonly owned by the people with pride hence, they all must get involved to make it great. Today, there is no doubt that that country is one of the great Asian tigers to be proud of. Because the leader then, Lee Kuan Yew, rose to his feet, silenced selfish interest, patriotism was highly considered over and above all considerations. He and his team looked inwards more than they did outside. They ate, drank and wore made in


Jonathan’s gift of From Third World to First Singapore to prove to their country men and women that they meant business revamping their country’s comatose economy. Kuan Yew team were men and women, if any, who were interested in belonging to the right side of their country’s history whenever, wherever it is told. If President Jonathan is using this as yardstick to guide his performance and achievement, it is a welcome development. What he is practically telling Nigerians is to expect

speedy development that would be anchored on discipline, rule of law, patriotism, national orientation, respect for the people and our diverse culture, promotion and support for Nigerian made goods. The Singapore hero fought corruption within government quarters irrespective of who was involved because he understood perfectly that it is a cancerous disease that terminates life no matter the speed.

In the next six months we would know the direction Nigeria is heading to, either to First World or remain where we are presently, fourth. Nigeria, in truth does not deserve its present position, considering its enormous human and economic resources. We are richly blessed, but bad leadership, mismanagement, corruption and political, ethnic and religious differences have not helped us to move forward.

Fashola and the Human Rights of Nigeria’s Children


IR: Thanks to recent legislation passed in Lagos State by the administration of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, caning, beating or physical torture of school students, and of workplace apprentices, has been outlawed entirely, and declared both illegal and criminally culpable throughout that state. This recognition accorded the basic human rights of Lagos State’s children by Governor Fashola, is one of the most constructive, progressive and profoundly humanitarian initiatives ever set forth into law by ANY Nigerian elected leader, since the nation’s 1960 independence. A simple internet search yields an abundance of thoroughly documented medical evidence, which unambiguously links the “punitive” beating of human beings to very severe and permanently debilitating injuries that range from blindness-inducing eye damage, to life-long paralysis of the legs, pos-

sible from SINGLE blunt-force cane impacts to the sciatic nerve, which runs close to the spine in the lower back, just beneath the skin. A research paper recently published by the Department of Ophthalmology, at the College of Health Sciences in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, cited a four-year study which concluded that an astonishing 30.3% of all eye injuries, presented at that hospital alone, by children aged between 5 and 15 years old, were DIRECTLY attributed to caning or whipping attacks that went horribly wrong, either in schools or at home. From a purely medical standpoint, there is NO safe area of the human body suitable for assault with a stick or other blunt-force weapon. Just as easily as a canestrike to the lower back carries the potential to inflict lifetime lower limb paralysis on the victim, an errant stick, whip or belt-buckle impact to the wrist is equally li-

able to fracture, deform or displace the delicate wrist carpal bones that articulate within very tight tolerances, thus degrading forever the wrist’s flexibility and range of motion. Caning the hands of a student, such that permanent bone injury and loss of flexibility to the hands results, would effectively END whatever aspirations the victim may have held of becoming a surgeon later in life. The disastrous effects of losing one’s sight or mobility to a caning incident would be no less life-destroying, and require no elaboration. The injurious psychological effects, of exposing children to physical brutality in the name of discipline, can last a lifetime, but do also manifest behaviorally in the short term, as illustrated by the extremely high prevalence of school-yard bullying of juniors by senior students, whose own corporal punishment and physical torture by school authority figures imparts a miscon-

Don’t remove fuel subsidy


IR: The call by the Governors forum for the removal of fuel subsidy as a prerequisite to pay N18,000 minimum wage amounts to betrayal of those who elected them, the welfare of whom they promised to promote. Fuel subsidy has been a contentious issue in the past. In developing economy like Nigeria’s, after power, fuel is the next engine room for development. Power is epilep-

Nigeria indeed is a country in dire need of a Lee Kuan Yew, to take it to greater heights. No magic, no spirit or god will do it but, a man committed like Lee Kuan Yew. I do believe most sincerely that a president as leader number one can lead his people out of the doldrums. Any Nigerian president with patriotic goal, corruption free mind, detribalized, bold, prepared to lay down his life if need be for his country can take Nigeria to its greater glory. The Nigerian masses are prepared to follow such a leader but, where is he or she? Is President Jonathan about to unleash Lee Kuan Yew philosophy on Nigeria? Can he? Is he prepared for such? Nigerians will in 2015 judge him with this singular action. • Uzodinma Nwaogbe Lagos.

tic already, if there is hike in prices of petroleum products, more industries will close shops, and unemployment would increase while social upheaval being witnessed in the country at present would escalate. Deregulation of the dowsnstream sector and removal of subsidy would not do the nation any good. The root of that crisis in the oil industry is the collapse of our refin-

eries. Nigeria is about the only country that produces crude oil for export and re-import finished products for its domestic use. President Jonathan’s government should establish more refineries and repair grounded ones in the country to solve our energy crisis and safe the nation of self inflicted upheavals that may result from removal of fuel subsidy. Instead of removal of subsidy on

petroleum products, governor’s forum should call for a true federalism where each state would control its affairs. In this wise, each state government would be able negotiate the wages with its work force within the ambience of available resources. • Adewuyi Adegbite Apake, Ogbomoso, Oyo State

ception of normalcy to the use of violence as a tool to gain “respect” and the illusion of compliance. In nearby Ghana, by way of comparison, where all forms of corporal punishment have been outlawed for decades, school-yard bullying is virtually non-existent, while a very high level of orderliness and discipline is maintained in Ghanaian secondary schools, without any recourse to violence by school authorities. Unsurprisingly, the Ghanaian education system remains one of the best in Africa today, producing highly proficient graduates who are in great demand globally. Governor Fashola’s administration has boldly righted a festering injustice that has for decades been perpetrated against Nigerian children enrolled in schools nationwide, as well as in places of trade apprenticeship. Once again, Governor Fashola lives up to his billing as a leader far ahead of his time, now by endorsing the imperative to safeguard the BASIC human rights of Nigeria’s most important citizens – her children. For the betterment of Nigerian youth enrolled in schools and workplaces across the entire federation, the stellar, inspirational example just set by Governor Fashola is one well worthy of emulation, as it stands to swiftly transform Nigeria’s primary and secondary educational systems for the infinitely better. • Tunde Solarin, Ikenne, Ogun State




South West: Back to the basics


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko stirred the nest last week. In as much as his proposal of a regional integration that would accelerate economic development, not only in the South West but the entire nation, is in line with what his Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) counterparts needed to do to make the difference in impactful governance, his advocacy that it should not be based on political aspirations emits some deficiencies. Last Friday, the ACN governors were to meet in Ado-Ekiti. This was after this column had been written, hence the inability to factor in the gathering’s outcome. But one thing I believe must have been at the centre of ponderings was how to work together to move the zone forward from the visionless eight- year imposed rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It makes sense that a performance becomes outstanding when it has a solid base. A political party without ideological backing and definable goal might just be wavering and fluxing in activities with little or no impact on the reality of the citizenry. The truth remains that ACN’s sweeping victory in the April general elections in the South West was a return to history; a homecoming to the political custom and tradition of the Yoruba people. Under the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Action Group established itself as a party with urbane political ideology and purposeful governance. It was a political organisation with patently obvious and demonstrable commitment to the people’s welfare. It was steadfast in its obligation to provide functional free education, quality health care service, integrated rural development and basic infrastructure. It’s on record that it was the AG government in the West that wholly funded free and compulsory primary education when the other regions were still dilly-dallying on how – or if, to educate their people. And that was a party policy that has been bearing fruits across generations for more than five decades. The AG government invested in agriculture and the region became the nation’s food basket. It was also responsible for the establishment of industrial estates in Ikeja and the prestigious University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife as a model African tertiary institution. Infrastructurally, it was the same Awo government under a focussed political party programme that established Africa’s first


OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole has a farm in Edo State. If you call it factory or industry; you are on track. It is a capital intensive industry and non revenue generating gulping billions of Naira. This non-money spinning industry in Oshiomhole’s Edo is education and this is the governor’s priority; how to better the lots of our children and re-direct the fortunes of generations yet un-born. This ministry is the largest and most embracing among other ministries in the state. It comprises of institutions and renders services to all communities, social economic and political groups in the state and beyond. This broad ministry has eight departments, two units, 25 field offices and eight parastatals. Apart from parastatals under the ministry such as the Agency for Adult and Non-Formal Education; Edo State Library Board; and State Primary Education Board (SPEB); the state hosts the largest tertiary education institutions in the country. There is the University of Benin, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Igbinedion University, Okada, Benson Idahosa University, Benin, Federal Polytechnic Auchi, College of Education, Ekiadolor, College of Education, Igueben , Institute of Management and Technology, Usen, College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi with another a Campus in Igueben, School of Physical Education, Afuze, Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)and Shaka Momodu Polytechnic, Ogiso in Benin City. Isn’t this an industry? That a state is hosting over 12 tertiary institutions? So advantageous though, it is, however, capital intensive, maintaining the structures and facilities, while annual subventions for the running of the institutions are on the increase. Again, it is without a commensurate and corresponding derivable income as it is not a revenue yielding industry. While grappling with this reality, Governor Oshiomhole, only penultimate week, went on to establish model colleges in Edo North, Edo Central and Edo South Senatorial Districts. Apart from the on-going massive construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation work in the primary and secondary schools across the state with facilities worth over N6 billion, the Governor sited one of the model secondary schools at the Old Pilgrim Baptist College, Ewohimi, in Edo Central; Iyamho, Uzairue in Etsako West, Edo North and two in Benin City, Edo South. To refer to education as an industry may appear fundamentally as a misnomer. Essentially, industry means that sector of the economy that is concerned with manufacturing. The term, however, is also used to describe various large-scale moneyspinning ventures, such as the hotel and tourism industry, the entertainment industry, among others. To attempt, therefore, to describe education in the latter sense is to subvert the true meaning. Despite observable distortions, money-making is not at the heart of education. Among its many utilities, education services industry by producing personnel and by advances in research. Indeed, education is an investment in human capital, which, if properly husbanded, provides a granite-solid foundation for enduring development, of which industry is a critical component. Since the Oshiomhole administration in Edo State, the education ministry has witnessed a phenomenal growth and transformation. From the primary and secondary stages, to the ter-

television station and built the Liberty Stadium and Cocoa House edifices in Ibadan. When the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) under Awo took over the West encompassing the old Bendel State again in the Second Republic, the party adopted progressive ideology with four cardinal points of development similar to AG’s, which incorporated health, housing, education and rural integration. With committed party men in charge, the region accomplished noteworthy achievements beyond others, simply because they faithfully executed the party’s cardinal programmes. Talk of affordable housing, Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s remarkable achievements, among others in Lagos State remain indelible till date. The metroline project he envisaged but was aborted by the Gen. Muhammadu Buhari junta is now being revived more than 30 years after by a government with similar party orientation and focus. By the time the military disrupted the nation’s political process, the LOOBO states could hardly be faulted even when the dictatorial junta chose to be vindictive. In the aspect of education, there was programme integration. Beyond free education, Ambrose Alli established, among others the Bendel State University, Ekpoma, just as Bisi Onabanjo established the Ogun State University now deservedly named after them. In the old Oyo State, Bola Ige established the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, while Ajasin established the Ondo State University and the Jakande’s administration started off Lagos State University. Under the current post-military democratic dispensation, a model for modern governance was provided in Lagos State. The internally generated revenue of the state was lifted up to the extent that an Obasanjo federal administration’s illegal withholding of the state’s monthly allocated revenue could not hinder the party’s programme of road construction and infrastructural development among other activities. When the Alliance for Democracy was rigged out of power in other states, Lagos defiantly remained untouchable by the political hijackers. With the transformation to the ACN, the historic course of the South-West in meeting the hope of the people’s basic but enlightened expectations was merely revived. Just as Papa Awolowo moulded the AG and UPN into an effective political machine, the ACN is being re-engineered and repositioned as the most effective opposition political party in Nigeria with its virtual reclamation of Awo’s LOBOO states with 69 members in the House of Representatives, 18 senators and sizeable members in several Houses of Assembly. I’ve gone through this length to show the necessity of good and formidable structure and the fact that party ideology and strategy cannot just be wished away. While I concur that the South West integration should be based on ideas, it must be on consensus ideas. Governor Mimiko is right on the need to leverage on the homogeneity of the zone in consideration of the greater interest of

the people, but it is not entirely true that ideology is only in the minds of people and not in political parties. For sure, structures and environment influence the mind and capable of changing mindsets. The party one belongs largely determines performance. The orientation of the PDP as a party where people scramble for personal opportunities made for its lack lustre performance in its eight years in power in the South West. The legacy it has left behind in states like Oyo, Osun and Ogun are of massive corruption and gross indebtedness. This was why the considerable free and fair electoral opening bestowed by INEC was seized by the conscious electorate to sweep away the dirt. Yes, politics and parties are vehicles that could change anytime; but solid ideological legacies like the one left by Awo’s political reign are ever enduring. True Awoism cannot be measured in name only; rather, it is in those who are committed to following the progressive footsteps of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s engraved political ideals and party performance to positively touch and transform the lives and fortunes of the people.

Oshiomhole: changing the face of education in Edo

has considered as an urgent item on the state’s agenda for development, to improve upon, rapidly and significantly, the self-deprecating description of a “civil service state with the major industry of education”. To be sure, Oshiomhole’s enlightened decision to embark on this project was borne of the recognition that education is the driving force for manpower development; it has been known to change the economic fortunes of many impoverished nations and seemingly hopeless people. Education is an indispensable key for eradicating illiteracy, underdevelopment, inferiority complex, ignorance and diseases. This explains why the administration gave priority to the sector; it also explains why it empowered the State Universal Primary Education Board. These efforts are now yielding the desired results in raising the educational standard in the state. Many factors are responsible for this success. Among this is the entrenchment of credible school time table and uniform examination across the state; the commitment of government and teachers to their duties arising from enhanced remunerations and good working conditions and environment among others. Infrastructural development at all levels of our education is also a contributory factor. At the primary and secondary school levels, for instance, many uncompleted and dilapidated structures are being renovated, culminating in the motivation of our children/wards to their studies and to classroom. To say there is a massive infrastructural development of our primary and secondary schools in the state is to state the obvious. The efforts by government to provide adequate desks and chairs for both primary and secondary schools in the state to make learning more appealing fits snugly with the overall resolve to make learning environment conducive. Moreover, government recruited additional qualified teachers to fill vacancies for key subjects in both junior and secondary schools. Rome, they say, was not built in a day. Neither should one expect Oshiomhole’s drive for educational industrialization to reach destination during his first term in office. It is a process that is on-going. What is required, and which Governor Oshiomhole has in abundance is focus, sincerity of purpose and an acute desire to make life better for Edo people, and to make education more meaningful. Let us encourage the Comrade to expand the frontiers of our “primary industry”.

By Onaivi Cephas tiary level, evidence abounds of this transformation. Schools are more in number, and enrolment figures are of an exponential nature in public schools. It is also a field in which private sector participation has been on the upswing. All of these changes have been driven by population pressures, politics, changes in socio-cultural norms, alterations in systems of economic production and invariably the demands of modernity pervading the state. This reality gave birth to the Oshiomhole’s design that each model college, when completed will be made up of two blocks of 27 standard classrooms, three fully equipped science laboratories, a fully stocked library, students canteen, 1,500 capacity hall and sporting facilities. This, it is believed, would fix what is wrong and give Edo children the platform they need to realize their potentials. The schools, according to the design when completed, would compare favourably with any secondary school anywhere in the world. The policy is that Edo people deserve the best and a cursory look at the schools renovated would convince that the Governor is not just talking, but practicing what he says. When the four model schools are completed, Edo people will be proud of what they have. The idea is that, whereas, everybody may never become a graduate, everybody can be educated enough to be able to acquire skills to be able to contribute to the development of the society and to fend for his or her family. Government’s enormous investment in education was to ensure that every Edo child develops his potentials. Besides, Comrade Oshiomhole has also unfolded plans to rehabilitate and reposition the Benin Technical College to meet the challenges of producing middle level manpower. Government would also convert portion of the college’s vast land to a football academy. It is the governor’s believe that if this school is well equipped, it can produce people who can be self employed, people who can be bricklayers, mechanics and electricians, middle level workers who would be self-employed. Edo State Government has approached the Canadian Embassy to help up-grade the equipments in Benin Technical College just as the governor promised to look inwards to procure some equipment for the college. Herein lies one of the challenges for what is popularly called the “primary industry” of Edo State. Oshiomhole is therefore, striving for that quality education which will actuate desirable personality development for the survival and growth of the individual and society. Besides, he is expanding the frontiers of the so-called “primary industry”, and as such, giving effect to the nexus between education and industrialization. Therefore, while it is noble and desirable to deepen the scope and value of this “primary industry”, Governor Oshiomhole

FEEDBACK After reading such a passionate piece, it left much to be desired about the state of our nation. But I’m optimistic with the emergence of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the eagle called Nigeria will fly... If only Dr. Jonathan will shun political predators and bring men and women with integrity into his cabinet. - George Emem, Port Harcourt. Justice is the sure foundation upon which orderly and peaceful foundation is built. It is good to remove subsidy, but it can only be justified after all government appointees have been stopped from going on medical trips abroad on tax payers’ bill, corruptly enriching themselves and collecting illegal allowances. He who wants equity must do equity. – Ogele Ozoemela Oyibo, Omoku, Rivers State. I like your well-informed contributions. Gov Rotimi Amaechi does not know how to talk. Some of the governors lack direction. They are looters just like the National Assembly members. – Tayo Tola Agbaje, Garki, Abuja. Your piece on Akala is reviving. He was a complete misfit as far as governance in the pace setting state is concerned. May we never have another Akala, whether in name or character...not in Oyo or Nigeria. Amen. -Rufus, Port Harcourt. Sir, your story on Alao-Akala’s messy legacy is quite interesting. My prayer is that may Almighty God save Oyo State of any akalamagbo ruling again. Amen. Anonymous I greatly enjoy your write up on Alao-Akala, especially his new name, “Akalamagbo”. Keep writing and we shall keep reading. Bravo, Uncle Soji. -2348025693324 Greater work Sir. Good article. -Anonymous. You actually said it as it is about Alao-Akala. You didn’t even let him leave the office. I enjoyed your opinion; but beware of diplomatic immunity. –Ronke.

• Cephas is the Department of International Studies and Diplomacy, University of Benin.

‘This reality gave birth to the Oshiomhole’s design that each model college, when completed will be made up of two blocks of 27 standard classrooms, three fully equipped science laboratories, a fully stocked library, students canteen, 1,500 capacity hall and sporting facilities’




ITHOUT being an alarmist, the fact is that the race to Nigerian Armageddon has in fact finally begun. Tell it on the roof tops and low terrace that the fractured structure called Nigeria may not be able to repel the forces arrayed against her forceful cohabitation any longer. That the recent bomb blast at the Police Headquarters in Abuja is another incredible watershed of the exposure of the underbelly of Nigerian’s lack-lustre security status has in fact become a national tragedy is not in doubt. That the Nigerian government has not thought it fit and proper to sack security officers for this criminal lapse is a further reminder that successive governments in Nigeria exist to compound people’s daily worries rather than ameliorate them. Perhaps it needs to be repeated here again that even though there are too many governments in Nigeria: one central, 36 state, one FCT and 774 local ones, yet, there is very little quality governance to show for the misuse of over 80% of earnings to run our political bureaucracy. The leadership of the Nigerian Police in particular should have tendered an unreserved apology to Nigerians because of its abysmal failure and negligence which allowed members of the Boko Haram sect to detonate bombs at its national headquarters. The fact that the men of the underworld can strike at the headquarters (war council room) of Nigerian civil administration cannot inspire the confidence of any foreign investor. The Nigerian Police leadership by its professional incompetence and possible compromise has contributed in no small measure to the economic adversity of the country because the much expected Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will further shrink since the owners of the investments funds rarely put their money into an environment that is not safe. Objective and painstaking analysts have always wondered why the promoters of violence in various forms have not been exposed and prosecuted. We can now tell it the way it is that it is the Nigerian State that has no political will or credibility to lift the veil over those organizers and promoters of violence. This, perhaps might be because most of the political operators at the highest level of our governments are usually sponsored and promoted into political offices by the questionable wealthy clique who sometimes resorts to instigating violence sometimes to score a


Time to rethink the Nigeria structure By Ayo Opadokun

point or to blackmail their allies in government probably for one reason or the other. Why have the reports and recommendations on the major civil disorders in the country not been published? The reports of the Maitatsine riots in Kano and Gongola in the 1980s, the religious riots in Borno and Yobe States since the 90s, several religious violence in Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna States in the last decade and perhaps the very grievous civil disorder that happened severally in Plateau State have remained in government dustbins to our collective shame. One hopes that our political operators can understand that the major reason for the cynicism of the public over its current rigmarole and posturing is that government’s past promises have never been delivered or fulfilled whenever similar insecurity matters have arisen. Killers of Chief Bola Ige, Chief Marshall Harry, Engineer Funsho Williams and others are yet to be apprehended and prosecuted till date. With particular reference to the BOKO HARAM, the current political operators must be willing to think outside the box. The Governors Forum’s call on the federal government to repeat the “Amnesty” strategy as it was done in the Niger Delta areas constitutes a cheap and easy resort to “the line of least resistance”. The comparison of the two militant groups must be clearly defined. While MEND is about economic (resource control) and political challenge, the BOKO HARAM is about religious and political preference. In fact, the similarity and common ground of the two is about their demand for self determination. THE WAY FORWARD For once, our loose national unity, peace and development are under a very severe threat. It is the duty of all of us to join forces with other well-meaning Nigerians to take steps that would assist the country to be truly federal and acceptable to all and sundry. There are critical political platforms, nationality organizations and groups that have one issue

or the other with Nigeria and how it is run. No one should pretend to claim ignorance of the fact that today, the Boko Haram is revolting against western education and government set-up because they are not in compliance with Sharia. Also the MASSOB as a body has decided on self-determination to the extent that the organization has produced Biafran constitution, flags and even currency that are being used in its catchments area. Furthermore, Egbesu, MEND, Ijaw National Congress and others are still clamouring for resource control even though one of them is the current President of Nigeria. We cannot pretend not to notice that apart from the OPC, there are other pressure groups calling for self-determination of Yorubaland for its progress and development to be left unhindered. There are political platforms in the Middle Belt Zones like the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, (SOKAPU) Middle Belt Youth Assembly, and Northern Youth Movement equally agitating for selfdetermination. Given the fact of our national history, government and people should appreciate that force is most unlikely to resolve the multifaceted crisis we are in. For example, where two different military units are into face to face combat, the commanders could have reasonably prepared the modality for their encounter. Those in the regular Army are masters of their arts in such a situation. However, the kind of proxy war, irregular military combat where one is a regimented army while the other is a guerilla kind, faceless, striking and immediately getting lost in the crowd is a very difficult war. That can explain why the Boko Haram elements can attack and hide themselves among the community with the possibility of some of those faceless combatants pretending to be part of the sympathizing crowd. In a given situation as we have now, it is logical, pragmatic and productive for President Jonathan to start the process of consultations with diverse ethnic nationalities and

other organized bodies to package a genuine national conference as soon as possible. A Sovereign National Conference will allow all stakeholders to present their suggested constitutions, discuss, and negotiate among the diverse groups on equal terms. The conclusions of such a conference will then be the basis for writing an all-inclusive constitution that all Nigerians will accept as their own. We must remind ourselves about the fact of our history that Nigeria has never had a truly autochthonous constitution. Our preindependence constitutions were superintended by our colonial master, the imperialist Great Britain. Since the military insurrection on January 15, 1966, all other constitutions have been delivered to us by the military rulers in spite of their pretences of using some of the military surrogates, military confederates, military sympathizers, military loyalists and military fronts to sign up the decrees called constitutions as proposed by the sitting military junta. The pretence that the existing National Assembly is capable of re-writing the constitution is structurally a hog wash. First, the operating constitution lies to itself when it claims in its preamble “THAT WE THE PEOPLE” when in fact it was another kind of military imposition. Nigerians never sat together to approve of its draft. Second, none of the current political parties or candidates promised to write a new constitution in their manifesto and so have no mandate for constitutional making. Third, a new constitution will ultimately be a bye product of the resolution and conclusion of a representative assembly of our nationalities and other stakeholders who must have faithfully responded to the National Question. Nigerians have not been privileged to be democratically requested to volunteer an opinion as to whether or not they wish to be part of this edifice called Nigeria. Nations like the USSR and Yugoslavia have broken into pieces, and are no more on the world map because for some time they forced nationalities to live together. We should never play the ostrich in our reactions to the predictions of the intelligent roundtable of the USA which in 2005 or thereabout predicted the possibility of Nigeria breaking up by 2015. Will President Jonathan quickly set in motion acts to halt the drift?



HIS Saturday, July 9, the Republic of South Sudan will join the community of nations. Foreign dignitaries will converge on its capital, Juba, to watch the new country raise its flag and inaugurate a first president, Salva Kiir Mayardit. For the more than 8 million citizens of South Sudan, it will be a momentous and emotional day. In January, they voted in an historic referendum to separate from the rest of Sudan. That they did so peacefully is a credit to both the North and South Sudanese leadership. Yet nationhood has come at steep cost: A staggering number of lives lost and people displaced in a 21-year civil war that ended only in 2005. When the assembled presidents and prime ministers board their official planes to return home, the challenges that remain will be daunting indeed. On the day of its birth, South Sudan will rank near the bottom of all recognized human development indices. The statistics are truly humbling. It has the world’s highest maternal mortality rate. Estimates of

‘On Saturday, I will join other leaders in Juba to mark the birth of South Sudan. The last thing a new nation needs is a celebration as it springs into existence, only to then be forgotten until the next crisis. Our purpose is to do more than celebrate this milestone’

Standing by South Sudan By Ban Ki-Moon illiteracy among the female population exceed 80 percent. More than half of its people must feed, clothe and shelter themselves on less than a dollar a day. Critical issues of poverty, insecurity and lack of infrastructure must all be addressed by a relatively new government with little experience and only embryonic institutions. I came to appreciate the sheer scale of these challenges, for myself, when I first visited South Sudan in 2007 — an area of 620,000 square kilometers with less than 100 kilometers of paved road. Within this larger context, the risk of increased violence, harm to civilian populations and further humanitarian suffering is very real. At the same time, South Sudan has remarkable potential. With substantial oil reserves, huge amounts of arable land and the Nile flowing through its center, South Sudan could grow into a prosperous, selfsustaining nation capable of providing security, services and employment for its population. Alone, South Sudan cannot meet these challenges nor realize its potential. Doing so will require partnership — a full (and on-going) engagement with the international community and, most especially, South Sudan’s neighbors. First and foremost, the new leaders of South Sudan should reach out to their counterparts in Khartoum. Strong, peaceful relations with the North are essential. A priority for both countries is agreement on their common border, sustainable relations to ensure both states can benefit from

the oil revenues in the region, and crossborder arrangements to continue their strong historical, economic and cultural ties. Recent instability in Southern Kordofan and Abyei have strained North-South relations and heightened political rhetoric. Now is the time for both the North and the South to think of the long-term benefits of working together, not short-term political gains at the other’s expense. South Sudan must also reach out to its other neighbors. Across the globe — and in Africa, especially — the trend is toward regional partnerships. South Sudan will be strengthened by becoming an active participant in the regional organizations of East Africa and developing durable trade and political ties throughout the continent. Finally, South Sudan must reach out to its own people. It must find strength in diversity and build institutions that represent the full constellation of its broad geographic and ethnic communities. The basics of any modern, democratic state must be guaranteed: free expression, full political rights, inclusive institutions that extend benefits to citizens of rural areas as well as regions affected by conflict. In the 21st century, the international community has increasingly come to recognize the responsibilities of governments to their citizens, including the protection of political space and democratic rights. The popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East have shown what can happen when governments are inattentive

to the needs of their people. The United Nations is committed to assisting the government of South Sudan to meet its many responsibilities. That is why I have proposed a new United Nations mission in South Sudan: to help build the institutions that the country needs to stand on its own. In doing so, let us remember that the United Nations is only one part of a broader set of partnerships that the government should develop — with the North, with its neighbors in the region and beyond and, most importantly, with its own people. On Saturday, I will join other leaders in Juba to mark the birth of South Sudan. The last thing a new nation needs is a celebration as it springs into existence, only to then be forgotten until the next crisis. Our purpose is to do more than celebrate this milestone. It is to highlight the international obligation to stand by the people of South Sudan as they seek to build a stable, strong and ultimately prosperous nation. • Ban Ki-moon is secretary general of the United Nations.

‘Yet nationhood has come at steep cost: A staggering number of lives lost and people displaced in a 21year civil war that ended only in 2005. When the assembled presidents and prime ministers board their official planes to return home, the challenges that remain will be daunting indeed’



MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011




Garden City Games surpasses previous sports festivals –Sambo


IGERIA’s Vice President Alhaji Namadi Sambo, says the 17th National Sports Festival, tagged Garden City Games, 2011, hosted by Rivers State, has surpassed the previous sports festivals since its inception in 1973. Alhaji Sambo stated this Saturday night during the closing ceremony of the 17th National Sports Festival, at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt. The Vice president said the improvements recorded in the provision of sporting facilities, organisation and the competitive spirit among athletes shows, that Port Harcourt is back to take its pride of place in Nigeria as it has transformed the festival. According to him, Garden City Games is one festival that has showcased huge talents which abound in the country, stressing that with the record of achievements, Nigeria will have athletes that would represent it in international sporting events. He explained that sports play a critical role in modern society as most countries are reaping great benefits from sports, emphasising that athletes at the festival gave their best to achieve results for their various states. Alhaji Sambo, hinted that with the standard set at the Garden City games, the benefit of hosting the festival are now more enhanced and urged other states to show interest to harvest from the games. The vice president charged the National Sports Commission (NSC) to sustain the innovation introduced in the Sport Festival to enable them nurture and harness the athletes that were discovered during the games. He commended the Rivers State Government for hosting and winning the highest number of medals, adding that the state has given the most colourful opening and closing ceremony. In his speech, the Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said the festival achieved its aim of fostering friendship,

brotherly love and unity among the diverse groups in the country. Governor Amaechi remarked that from the onset the state promised to host one of the best sporting festivals in recent history, explaining that reports received, indicate that the state has set another standard for future hosts of the festival. The Governor noted that the State of the Art sporting facilities at the sports complex has started receiving request for use by the various sports federations and promised to cooperate with those interests in the use of the facilities. He described the festival as most exciting and lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for his love for the youths of Nigeria as well as for sports development, pointing out that the efforts of the MOC and the LOC were immense in setting the high standard of the games. The Governor said the commitment, dedication and hard work of the state was responsible for the high performance of Team Rivers, while commending journalists for the effective coverage of the festival. Earlier, the Director General, National Sports Commission (NSC) Dr. Patrick Ekeji, said the festival which started in 1973, has witnessed great improvement as the athletes competed in 28 sports. Dr. Ekeji said the NSC has introduced a number of innovations in the management of the sports festival and to evolve ways of strengthening it, noting that the impressive performance of athletes was encouraging for sports development in Nigeria. He described the 2011 Garden City Games as great technical success in the history of the festival and congratulated Rivers State for hosting a remarkable festival which they also won with 135 Gold, 29 silver and 85 Bronze medals to place first while Delta and Edo states came second and third respectively. Highlight of the closing ceremony was the presentation of trophies to the winners and the putting out of the Torch of Unity.

•Vice president Namadi Sambo with D-G NSC Patrick Ekeji(l) and Rivers governor Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi (r) at the Garden City Games closing ceremony on Saturday . PHOTO: Bola Omilabu

Mimiko congratulates state althetes


NDO state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has congratulated the state contingent to the National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt, Rivers State for doing the state proud. The Governor in his message said It was a thing of joy and pride that state athletes improved tremendously from their eleventh position in the past two National Sports Festivals in Abeokuta and Kaduna to now occupy the 4th position at the current edition in Port Harcourt which closes today. He noted that despite that fact that state did not join other states to use mercenaries as competitors, the state still performed well in the competition. According to him, the admirable

From Damisi Ojo, Akure performance of athletes and their officials goes to show that his administration moderate but consistent contribution to sports and youth development is on the right path more. He said, “I am particularly proud that our sportsmen and women have been performing well in competitions, what with the current position of Sunshine Stars Football Club in the National Premier League and international competitions. “The government shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that Ondo state is ranked among the best sporting states if not the overall best in Nigeria”.

NATION SPORT Aberdeen test game back on

Obuh visits Venlo NFF receives apology from NFF pays German assistant coach N9.6m for Musa’s release Qatar whistleblower •Received 16,000USD for four months T


LYING EAGLES coach John Obuh will visit Dutch club VVV Venlo to fast track the release of Ahmed Musa for the Under-20 World Cup. Team secretary, Sirajo Hassan, said a formal request has been made to VVV Venlo to release Musa for the World Cup in Colombia and Obuh will now ensure the player is freed in time for him to pick up his Colombian visa in Portugal, where the rest of the squad have been training in readiness for the tournament.

NFF hits N1.8bn Globacom goldmine •Now Major Sponsors of all national teams •To cover Fed Cup as Presenting sponsor •Also major Sponsors of national,

“The chief coach will be in Holland to meet with club officials for Musa’s release and rejoin the team Tuesday in Lisbon in time for the friendly against Portugal the following day,” Hassan disclosed. Olympic team players Terna Suswan and Emmanuel Anyanwu are already scheduled to join the Flying Eagles in Lisbon Tuesday afternoon in time for Wednesday’s clash. However, there is no definite arrival time for the trio of skipper Ramon Azeez, Stanley Okoro, Olanrewaju Kayode and Aliyu Mohammed. But officials are confident these players will also be with the team this week. Obuh is expected to name his final 21man squad Friday and the team will jet out from Portugal to Panama for a fournation tournament the following day.

•Still owing Eucharia for two years


IGERIA, Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire have all received written apologies from the Qatar whistleblower for fabricating lies about FIFA exco members receiving bribes from the Qatar bid. Arab-American Phaedra Almajid has been outed as the whistleblower and admitted to former World Soccer editor Keira Radnedge that she did something very wrong. “I did something very wrong and I have to do everything I can, to put the records straight. I have to clear my conscience and cannot live with these lies anymore and I am very sorry to everyone I hurt, especially all my colleagues at the Qatar Bid.”

Almajid was employed by the Qatar bid between May 2009 and March 2010 and held the position of International Media Specialist, working closely with chief executive Hassan Al-Thawadi. Almajid confessed that she fabricated the reports because she was upset at being sacked. Part of the fabrication included claiming the bid offered bribes to FIFA executive committee members Issa Hayatou, Jacques Anouma and Amos Adamu and that it had been considering financial support for the Argentine federation led by Julio Grondona, FIFA’s senior vicepresident. Following her confession, she has

now sent a letter of apology accompanied by a sworn affidavit of the true facts to FIFA, the Asian Confederation, CAF, the Qatar FA, and the Qatar World Cup 2022 Bid Committee as well as to Nigeria's NFF, Cameroon's FECAFOOT and Cote d'Ivoire's FIF. Adamu and Reynaldo Temarii had earlier been suspended by FIFA on a separate vote-buying charges intigated by a sting carried out by the Sunday Times. Almajid told Radnedge she had decided to make her retraction “because it is the right thing to do” and insisted she had not come under any outside pressure nor had she been offered any financial inducement.


ERMAN ASSISTANT coach to the Super Falcons, Thomas Obliers was collecting N9.6million while with the women national team. A competent source revealed to NationSport that the 43 years old coach was receiving 16,000USD from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) right from April when he officially resumed. His contract has since been terminated with the exit of the Falcons from the FIFA Women's World Cup. When he got the national job which was his first major assisgnment, Obliers who is a native of Colonge was the head coach of SC 07 Bad Neuenahr, a first division women side


OOTBALL sponsorship in Nigeria received a boost at the weekend, when the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), signed a mouth-watering 5-year deal with Nigeria’s foremost football and sports sponsorship communication’s giantGlobocam. The deal, which will last for an initial period of five years is worth a whopping N1.8billion and will see Globacom returning as the major sponsor of all Nigerian national teams. The deal will also cover the Federation Cup, which is Nigeria’s oldest Cup competition, formerly known as Governor’s Cup, later Challenge Cup and then FA Cup before its present name of the Federation Cup. Globacom will now be powering the Federations Cup as the Presenting sponsor. The National League, Amateur League and the moribund Women League, will also benefit from the deal, it was revealed as Globacom to be the major sponsors of the three developmental leagues with pundits hailing the sponsorship of the Women League. Chairman of the Marketing Company to the NFF, Mr Mike Itemuagbor of Pamodzi,said after sealing the deal that Glo will now be the exclusive MAJOR Partner to the NFF and will use its Glo brand to build a positive association with all the national teams as well as having the right to use the status in its brand,products & services for advertising, sales promotion packaging and all internal and external communication purposes. A delighted NFF leadership was represented at the signing ceremony by the President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and Secretary General, Barrister Musa Ahmadu, in the deal brokered Friday, July 8 in the Federal Capital, Abuja. Officials of Globacom, were led to the signing ceremony by the company’s COO,who was represented by Director, Special Promotions, Mr Bode Opeseitan, while the leadership of the NFF Marketing Consultants was led by Pamodzi Chairman,Chief Mike Itemuagbor. Speaking on the latest deal Alhaji Maigari described Globacom as God sent. He praised the continued support of Globacom to football not only in Nigeria but in the African continent generally and called on other corporate organisations to borrow a leaf from them. Opeseitan on his part reiterated Globacom unflinching determination to continue to back football, and sports generally, declaring that the youths engagements and redirection of the boundless energies, remain a cardinal point of Glo’s corporate responsibility.

From Ejiro Femi-Babafemi, in Germany in Germany. Yet NFF is still owing chief coach, Eucharia Uche for two years. 'The mother of two who unfortunately is a widow is supposed to be receiving about N300,000 every month which is what her contract stated but as we speak no payment has come to her,' said the source. When NationSport contacted NFF technical committee chairman, Barrister Chris Green for further clarification, he referred us to the acting secretary general,Musa Ahmadu. 'I am traveling at the moment please contact the secretariat,' he said on phone on Friday afternoon. However, Ahmadu was not forthcoming on the issue. 'Was that what the German told you? He asked. 'Well l cannot comment on the matter,' he responded. Speculation in the local media had indicated that the arrival of Obliers suggested that Uche would not lead the team to the World Cup. But NFF through its spokesman Olajire was quick to dispel the rumours. He also insisted that the issue with her two year's worth of unpaid salary would be dealt with.

HE Flying Eagles will test their readiness for the U-20 World Cup with a friendly against Aberdeen U-19 side Monday after coach John Obuh rescinded an earlier decision to cancel. “The match will now be played,” said Obuh, who had earlier cancelled the game following a spate of injuries in the squad. First choice goalkeeper Danjuma Paul is nursing a knee injury and Chidi Osuchukwu has a shin complaint, but team doctor, Ozi Salami Jnr, said both players should be fit Monday. Kelly Godwin picked up a groin injury while Jamiu Alimi suffered by a thigh strain in Saturday’s bruising test game among the squad. Aberdeen Friday at the Browns Sports and Leisure Club beat a local side here 6-1. The Flying Eagles will take on Portugal on Wednesday in Lisbon.

Germany World Cup exit •Fans remember Dede's predictions From Ejiro Femi-Babafemi, in Germany HE predictions of Super Falcons captain and goalkeeper, Precious Dede that Germany would not go far in the on-going FIFA Women's World Cup have been remembered by the fans. On Saturday in Wolfsburg, the world champions were knocked by a resilient Japanese side whose winning goal was scored in extra time in the quarter final match. Six fans of the home team told NationSport that they listened to Dede's comments on the television. The Nigerian keeper was interviewed by a German TV shortly after their 1-0 loss to host team in the second match of Group A in Frankfurt. 'With the way the Germans played us l do not see them retaining the trophy because we played better,' she said. Germany will also not take part in the women soccer event of the 2012 London Olympics going by the new rule. Only the two European semi finalists will represent the continent. Japan now faces Sweden who beat Australia 3-1 in one of the semi final matches on Wednesday in Frankfurt. While France will play the winner of the USA and Brazil match.


•Olajide Abiola of Oyo State tripple jump event. PHOTO: Bola Omilabu

Chelsea fan blasts Mikel's critics •Says Nigerian's game is dictated more by 'fear of failure' than any other emotion passionate Chelsea FC of England fan Writer: Saber merlin has hit hard on critics of Nigeria international john Mikel Obi for failing to appreciate his contributions to the team stressing that: "Let me put up my hand and say this first, yes, shame on us (myself included) for giving the poor lad so much slack. Clearly Mikel is just one of those guys people never seem to appreciate.


Writing in the website Vital Chelsea for the fans and by the fans, Merlin argued that: "But there are some strong reasons for this mess, and its just not the coaches and the fans the man himself is to blame. Here's why - 1. Confidence - I`ve never seen any player who plays with such a lack of confidence or self belief. It`s appalling to see the confidence on Malouda's face even when he's playing like crap, and the

lack of it on Mikel's face even when he plays well. The man simply needs to step up and pump his fist "2. Out of Position - He's John Obi Mikel, not John Obi Makalele for Christ's sake. Countless managers have just mismanaged his true ability and the same would have happened to young Josh had Carlo stayed (notice how Josh was played as an ultra defensive and no freedom DM just to accommodate the 'stars' in the

team). It`s about time Mikel steps up and tells the manager what he really wants to do.. "3. Ambition - Or the lack of it is another problem. He needs to want to be the best at what he does, but you get a feeling he's more than happy being the regular guy. "4. Leadership - he has to take up more responsibility, not just for himself but as the team as a whole. How often has Mikel given a rallying

cry like Ballack would? How often has he intimidated an opponent by his presence? "And finally- 5. Enjoy your game It`s been scientifically proven that you tend to be really good at what you do when you enjoy it. But I can`t help but feel Mikel's game is dictated more by 'fear of failure' than any other emotion. Like they say - you don`t learn how to walk if you are too afraid to fall," Merlin wrote on Sunday night.


•John Obuh

Salami adds meat to Downs


HE former Sunshine Stars hitman and 2009 Nigeria Under-20 World Cup squad member, becomes the second attacker brought in by new Sundowns boss Johan Neeskens in the off-season following the arrival of Zimbabwean Simba Sithole. The news almost certainly marks the end of Katlego Mphela's Downs career as he has been heavily tipped with a move abroad. A source close to the club said Salami had agreed a two-year deal at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, although he joins on the back of a one-year suspension in his homeland league after being found guilty of threatening behavior towards a referee during a domestic match. The suspension has since been lifted, and the forward has been included in the Brazilians' squad that travels to Mbabane for a twoweek training camp





Living in the ‘shadow of death’ Residents of a Lagos estate are surprised that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is yet to fix a burst pipeline, months after it was discovered. Now, there is a massive environmental pollution and the residents are crying for help. Who will rescue them? JUDE ISIGUZO reports


ROM outside, the estate looks well planned and inviting.But many of those now residing at Diamond Estate on LASU-Iba Road Isheri, Olofin, Lagos, have a sad story to tell. Every day, they live with their hearts in their mouth, because of the fear of imminent pipeline explosion. There is a ruptured Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline around the estate’s fence, with fuel spilling from it. The damaged pipe has been there for long. The spilled fuel has contaminated wells and boreholes.Besides, the air is thick with petrol fumes. The residents fear that if the pipeline is not fixed, an explosion may occur. Over 4,000 residents of the estate have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, to save them from this imminent danger. The petition, signed by the association’s Chairman and Secretary-General, Mr Samson Adebayo and Olayinka Olorunlogo, is seeking the president’s intervention. Mrs. Tolani Odutayo, who lives on Road 20, Plot 2, is one of those affected by the environmental pollution. She recounted her family’s bitter experience in the last one year. She said as a young couple, they moved into the area a few years ago, with a lot of enthusiasm. But the hope of living in a peaceful, safe and pollution-free environment now appears dim because they live in constant fear of what may become of them in the event of an explosion. Mrs. Odutayo said: “When we moved into the estate we were relying on satchet water at first, but we decided to sink our borehole the month that he (David,the couple’s first child) was born. As part of the requirements, we took the sample to the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) officials, who certified the water drinkable. But in March, last year, we began to perceive fuel fumes everywhere. But it was unthinkable that there could be fuel in our water. “But in June, last year, my house help cried out and said it was only fuel coming out of the tap and when I got there it was fuel, but we thought it was just a little. We tried to pump it out, but it became obvious that it was not going to stop. So, we disconnected the pipe that went into the overhead tank supplying water into the house. “We have been buying water since then...After the explosion, which happened

on December 16, last year, NNPC has been evacuating fuel almost everyday. Most times, when we go to work we get information that they were here. There were times they came like three times a day and they always brought 20, 000-litre tanker. But my argument is that if evacuation is the solution, it would have been done with, but it is still there ... “At a point when we were using water from our neighbour’s house, to have our bath, we had skin lesions, and we had to visit the General Hospital at Igando. Life has become very horrible for us. I must confess.” She went on:“Most times, we have to relocate to friends’places when it becomes too unbearable for us as a family. It is that bad because we are living like refugees in our own house.” Another resident, Avoseh Hodewu-Suru, a lawmaker representing Badagry Constituency (II), at the Lagos State House of Assembly, said they live in constant fear and threat to their safety. Said Hodewu-Suru: “We learnt and have seen that most of our residents here, their taps are flowing with petroleum and when I first heard about it, I duly informed LASEPA. But there is little they could do, because as you know, petroleum is a federal matter. NNPC and some power brokers are behind this vandalism; if not, real action should have been taken to forestall a reccurrence. We have been inhaling these gaseous fumes, and ,God forbid, if we die suddenly from a heart disease as a result of this crisis.” The residents said there was an explosion on December 16, last year that almost engulfed the estate, but for the prompt response of various fire brigade teams that eventually put out the fire which raged for three days. Their petition said : “Surprisingly, the NNPC and all its allied agencies could not find, locate or make public the source or sources of the petrol leakage of such terrific, dangerous and mystifying quantity from its pipelines up till date. “The management of NNPC after a series of visits, calls and appeals to the residents before and after the presidential election now went underground without any solution to the plight of the residents.” The estate president explained that after the explosion, the NNPC came around and promised to carry out some temporary

Lagos to hold lecture on tourism LAGOS State government plans to hold a public lecture on the investment opportunities that abound in the tourism sector. The event, which will hold at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa Secretariat, is slated for July 14. The guest lecturers are Mr Peter Bekker of Protea Group; Mr. Vernord Pag of ARM Hospitality and Retail Funds and Mr. Ernest Orji of Southern Sun. They will be speaking on the theme Investment in the Hospitality Sector of Lagos State: Prospect and Challenges.


• Mrs Oguntayo and son, David

• A sample of the fuel from one of the water wells

Custom impounds 1,516 vehicles

Alpha, Lekki residents decry N N N N N C N C S C N abandoned shipwrecks

THE Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos has impounded 1,516 vehicles imported illegally in the first quarter of 2011. Acting Comptroller of the unit, David Dimka, told reporters in Lagos that 259 persons were arrested in connection with the vehicles, which he said , were valued at N1.2 billion . He said five of the suspects have been sentenced to various jail terms. Dimka said 269.5 million was the total duty value of the vehicles while the duty paid value was N1.5 billion.

RESIDENTS of Alpha and Lekki Beaches in Lagos have called on the Lagos State government to remove shipwrecks on the coast. The residents, who staged a protest around the beach, blamed the shipwreck for the erosion of about 100 metres of the beach in the last one year. Placards by the protesters had inscriptions such as 'Mr President, come to our rescue' 'Help us NIMASA'. Traditional head of Alpha Beach, Mr Yusuff Atewolara, urged the government to expedite action on the removal of the shipwrecks. Chairman Alpha Beach Residents Association, Mr Sylvester Obuta, stressed that the beach requires urgent attention to forestall emergencies.



CITY BEATS Living in the ‘shadow of death’

• Continued from page 25

That woman is one of the victims. She has been breathing petrol. It is as serious as that. You can even see the effect on their faces. All our babies are breathing petrol. We have taken them to hospital and they are now checking their lungs. You know what it means to have lung cancer. That is why we are calling on the President. We are demanding compensation.

measures which are still being awaited. Adebayo noted that some of the promises made by the NNPC are: immediate provision of an industrial water-treatment plant to supply good water to the residents; protective/safety control measures; fire fighting team; medical team/experts and a security patrol/control teams. He said none of the promises had been redeemed, apart from a oneman patrol team that was deployed to the estate. Adebayo said:“The contractor brought basket-like rim. It has been here for more than two months. We have been left on our own to sleep with petrol fumes day and night. Thank God, it is raining; a lot of people that are heavily affected use rain water for laundry. It is very horrible. NNPC is claiming there is nothing it can do. “ It is very pathetic and we don’t know what to do. We are living in a situation that there is no concern. It has happened in several places in Lagos. When the petrol start exploding and there are disasters here and there, maybe that is when they will start to act. We have been crying out for more than two years now, they will come and inspect and go home and then go to sleep. We are not sleeping here because of the issue. There are over 4,000 people here. It is horrible”, he added. Mr Olusegun Spencer, a resident, said: “We have written to the Federal Housing Authority in Abuja. They have meetings with NNPC officials, promising heaven-on earth. Nothing has been done. “The rains are here. During the rain, you can’t even enter. The rains are underground and pushing this petrol up. So, the entire wells are all petrol. “That woman is one of the victims. She has been breathing petrol. It is as serious as that. You can even see the effect on their faces. All our babies are breathing petrol. We have taken them to hospital and they are now checking their lungs. You know what it means to have lung cancer. That is why we are calling on the President. We are demanding compensation. The estate is built in the name of Federal Government, a

1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 08023321770; 080-56374036.

•Mrs Oguntayo's well filled with fuel

general is here. We are directing our pleas to President Goodluck Jonathan. After this briefing, our lawyers are picking up the issue. Look at the buildings here; we bought them with our money. We don’t want money. We want good health care. But in the absence of this, we take our money and get out of here. Let them turn it to graveyard. There is no sympathy from the government.” The chairman said over 40 heavy NNPC trucks were evacuated from the estate to an unknown destination. “The residents were cajoled to believe that a huge sum of money had been earmarked for the award of the water/treatment plant since February, yet nothing has been done. We want the EFCC to come in and investigate the allegation. We want Mr President to save us

•Some journalists taking sample of the fuel from one of the wells

from this impending and hanging disaster,” they lamented. The residents resolved that because of NNPC’s negligence, incompetence and care-free attitude to the lives of residence in the estate, we are demanding compensation N20 billion from the NNPC, the FHA and the Federal Government of Nigeria,”the petition read. NNPC spokesman Dr Livinus Ajonuma told our correspondent that as a socially-responsible organisation, the NNPC has been showing care. “The problem basically has been resolved. The sabotaged pipe has been fixed. What remains is the remediation of the environment. We have put everything in place for the remediation exercise, which will be carried out soon. We sympathise with them and assure them of our commitment,” he said.

•Mrs Modupe Spencer


Incessant bombings: Ex-SSS boss seeks overhaul of security agencies •

•Former IG Smith (left), Ona Ekhomu and KB Ati John


ORMER Director, State Security Services (SSS) Sam Ejiofor, has attributed the spate of bombings in the country to the failure of security agencies. He suggested an overhaul of all security apparatuses. His position is contained in a paper entitled “Utilisation of Intelli2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No: 080-77690200; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-776909201; 01-2881304 FRSC Emergency No: 070-022553772

By Jude Isiguzo

gence in the Fight against Terrorism,” which he delivered at a oneday conference with the theme: Combating Terrorism in Nigeria, organised by the Association of Industrial Security of Nigeria AISSON). Ejiofor, a lawyer, hinged his sug-

gestion on the possibility that the recent bomb explosion at the Police Headquarters could not have been coincidental. He said it was possible that the extremists might have either infiltrated the security agencies or have some security officers who sympathise with their cause. He regretted that instead of interservice co-operation among the security agencies, they were engrossed in rivalry to the detriment of the nation. Ejiofor said his call for the overhaul of the services was imperative because the government has failed in its duty of protecting the citizens’ lives and property. “All over the world, the war on terrorism is intelligence driven. The world is gradually moving from armament to intelligence-led methodology. So, where such intelligence on the part of the security agencies is lacking, it is certain that there would be operational failure,” Ejiofor said. Consul-General of the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Joseph Strafford, described terrorism as a destructive transnational phenomenon which should be addressed through inter-agency cooperation and effective co-ordination of the

EMERGENCY LINES 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 080-75005411; 080-60152462 080-23111742; 080-29728371 080-23909364; 080-77551000 01-7904983

4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 070-35068242 080-79279349; 080-63299264 070-55462708; 080-65154338

nation’s intelligence agencies. Strafford said constant collection, sharing and analysis of intelligence and an effective judicial system are vital for control of terrorism. Strafford, who decried the spate of terrorism in the country, noted that Nigeria remained a strong ally to the United States in “post blast investigations and training of counter-terrorism experts,” said that the judicial system should also be empowered to fight terrorism, even as the civilian population are sensitised on their role. Former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, who chaired the occasion, called for an inter-agency data base under the office of the National Intelligence Agency or Office of the National Security Adviser for the gathering, analysing and utilisation for addressing the nation’s myriads of security problems. He said the recent security lapses and bombing in the country has been very embarrassing pointing that security agencies must rise to the call of their duties, especially by ensuring effective co-ordination or the nation’s security and intelligence agencies for protection of the country.

767 or email: 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.




National Assembly urged to develop grassroots


Y the time the history of the current dispensation is due for writing, I want the present leadership of our dear country, especially at the National Assembly, to see to it that their contribution to grassroots development has a clear mention.” This challenge was thrown by the Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Mr. Ayodeji Joseph, while bemoaning the ignorance of many on the importance of local government administration. “Given what we undergo as grassroots leaders, I always feel badly touched when some people who know little or nothing about how vital the local government administration is to spreading the fruits of democracy say things that tend to disparage the system. We are the grassroots people and a lot is expected from us. “We have standard roads to fix with the paltry allocation we often get. We need to fight flood; face poverty-stricken people on a daily basis; sooth the nerves of orphans, widows and widowers; lift schools and pupils; pay staff salaries; ensure a sane environment; tackle insecurity and what have you! “This is why we often crave improved and just revenue-sharing formula that will give the local government nothing less than 30 per cent, thereby assuaging the pressure we now have to shoulder

Committee to clean up Kuramo Beach


By Dada Aladelokun

APAPA to make do with the small money we get in effort to satisfy the growing yearnings of our impatient people. This, I therefore felt, can be actualised if the current leadership of the country improves the fortunes of the local government by giving it its dues, all in the interest of fairness,” Joseph said. Expatiating, he said: “It will be deemed apt and patriotic if both the Senate and the House of Representatives table the local government matter in their chambers. “We need more money through better revenue formula and they have both the knife and the yam. They can make laws to effect it in the interest of their constituencies.” He praised former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for bringing governance closer to Lagos people through the creation of additional 37 Lagos Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to complement the existing 20 councils. He added: “Since the LCDAs berthed, we could all see what they have been contributing to grassroots development in the state. Therefore, our present leadership in this country must learn from Asiwaju Tinubu if it truly wants

• Joseph development to develop taproots in our system.” Joseph, who is being praised for utilising the council’s resources judiciously, especially in the provision of services to the people on all fronts, however, lamented that Apapa had been abandoned by the Federal Government, despite the huge sums of money it makes at the Apapa Ports daily. “It is sad that the Federal Government has decided to close its eyes against the nuisance being caused by its agencies’ activities here, leaving the council to bear the burden,” he said.

OISED to arrest untoward acts perpetrated on the Kuramo Beach, the Chairman, Iru- Victoria Island Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos, Hon Abayomi Daramola, has set up a committee on the popular Lagos relaxation centre. Daramola, inaugurating the committee in his office, urged the members to be diligent in carrying out the assignment. He expressed dissatisfaction with the negative reports emanating from the community about the resort centre. “The nefarious activities going on at Kuramo such as child abuse, prostitution and drug peddling is worrisome. We are not happy with the illegal activities at the place. The government has to stand up to at least see what we can do because it is a place where people come to relax and have fun. “Reports are coming in constantly about the unpleasant things going on there and now we are trying to do some thing about it. It looks like more problems are being created there and that is why we want to stand up to it now,” he said. Kuramo Beach, the council boss said, is important to the nation because of its big name outside the shores of Nigeria. “It is a place that has existed for a very long time, it is a place people come to have fun, it is a place that people come in to relax, and it is a place that provides succour to people away from their homes.

By Bukola Akinjole

VICTORIA ISLAND “You find out that lots of people come outside Lagos even outside Nigeria to relax. “I was in Brazil few months ago, some body was asking me how is Kuramo beach? That tells me that Kuramo beach is known all over the world,” he said. Chairman of the committee, Hon Olusegun Ajiboye promised the committee would live up to expectation. Ajiboye, the council Supervisor for Works, lamented that hoodlums and touts have taken over the beach. He urged residents of the area to stop aiding nefarious activities at the beach. Also speaking, another member of the committee, Ms Ufuoma Emerhor, hailed the council boss deem it fit to raise the committee. Ms Emerhor, Chief Executive Officer, Fair Life African Foundation, stated the purpose of the foundation and how they could help the situation. She said the council chairman gesture is in line with the objective of her organisation to eradicate the street child problem in Nigeria. “I am happy to start at Kuramo. We are very glad to be involved in the matter. It shows government concern for an average citizen and highly encouraging that the local government is taking the matter seriously,” she said.

Council chair urges youths to shun crime


• Daramola (fourth right) with members of the committee

Lawmaker donates bus to pupils


MEMBER of the House of Representatives representing Lagos Island Constituency 2, Hon Yakub Balogun, has donated a shuttle bus to pupils. The bus will convey pupils from CMS to Obalende daily. Speaking during the inauguration of the bus, attended by community leaders , Balogun promised to provide five additional buses to aid transportation. He said he was motivated to give out because of the plight of the pupils and to fulfil his campaign promises. He said: “There was a time I was at the Campos Square with some community leaders and we were discussing. We saw one of the pupils in this area that lives at Kakawa, who was walking to school. He said his school was at Lafiaji near Obalende, very far and he was walking to school because he had no fare. I made a decision right there that I was going to do something about it.

By Sunday Ogundugba

LAGOS ISLAND So, I consulted the community leaders and I was told that the idea of providing buses is very good. “Apart from this, more buses will be released for the pupils very soon. There will be two plying CMS to Obalende; another two for Adeniji Adele to Sura because we have a number of schools there; two others will be stationed on other routes. As you can see, it is rainy season. Early in the morning and after school, the buses will be available for them free. “I have also plans to liaise with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to provide zebra crossings near schools where pupils cross the roads. Somebody will be engaged to stop oncoming vehicles for

them. Plans are also underway to provide free exercise books and textbooks to the pupils because my target is reaching out to over 2,000 pupils in the area”, he said. Education Secretary, Lagos Island Local Government Education Authority, Mr Mayegun Moshood, praised the initiative and described it as a good gesture. His words: “This is the first of its kind in Lagos Island. By giving this bus, it will relieve the problem of transportation for the pupils in Lagos Island area. “The bus is meant for students on the Lagos Island be it private or public. And he said more are still coming because he promised to provide at least six of these buses. He is lover of children and he has been doing wonderfully well since he assumed office.” A community leader, Mr Emilola Dakobiri, urged parents to avail themselves of the opportunity as it is free.

HE Chairman of Oshodi/ Isolo Local Government, Hon Afeez Ipesa-Balogun, has urged youths to desist from hooliganism. He stated this at the monthly halfmarathon race organised by the council. Hon Ipesa-Balogun also urged the youth to take to sports as it would help them grow. He said the monthly exercise is sustained because of his administration’s commitment to improve the health of the people through regular sports. “It is sustained because of our commitment to encourage our community members to take to sport as a means of improving their health,” he said. He urged the youth to engage in more sporting activities. “The youth should discover their

By Amidu Arije

OSHODI/ISOLO talents in sporting activities instead of becoming miscreants and committing crimes. They should shun crimes and all that is associated to it,” he said, stating that the council has committed a lot in providing sporting materials for the youth. Ipesa thanked Mr Jamiu Badru, Nigeria Bottling Company (Eva Water), Base Aviation and others for sponsoring the event always. Winners of this month’s marathon included Rasak Azeem, Oyetunji Tobi, Ezekiel Essein, Rasheed at Oyetola, Azeez Shittu and Lateef Oyerinde. They thanked the chairman for the improvement of the youth in all ramifications.

•Balogun presenting gift to one of the the winners




Fashola praised for signing special people bill into law


O V E R N O R Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has been praised for signing into law, the Lagos State Special People Bill and the Lagos State Public Private Partnership Bill. The commendation came from a pro-democracy group, Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP). The GROUP also wants the governor to expedite action on several other critical bills that were passed by the State House of Assembly towards the end of the tenure of the Sixth Assembly and are still awaiting the Governor's accent. Rising from a meeting of the group's Steering Committee held at Ojota, the group noted that some of these bills like the Lagos State Procurement Bill 2009, Lagos State Tenancy Bill

By Oziegbe Okoeki

2009, Lagos State Public Finance Management Bill 2010, all passed on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 and the Criminal Law of Lagos State Bill 2010, passed on Thursday June 2, 2011, are bills that when assented to will have far-reaching impact on the lives of millions of Lagosians. "In view of the imperative need for adequate legislation to cater for issues emerging from the state government developmental drive, LACSOP is using this opportunity to encourage His Excellency to give urgent and priority attention to these all important bills in the first weeks of his new administration ensure that no time is wasted before they are assented to. "LACSOP also believes

strongly that these bills will empower the poor and socially marginalised people of Lagos State and foster greater popular participation in the ongoing transformation of the state. The bills will also go a long way to increase citizens voice and strengthen accountability in public finance management and Lagos State should be a pace setter in striving to achieve that goal. "We are quite convinced that His Excellency will see the opportunity to consolidate on the gains of the last four years by giving these additional laws to the citizens of the state as veritable tools to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and the actualization of Lagos State as "Africa's model Mega City", LACSOP said.

‘Yaba council’ll reward outstanding HE Chairman of Yaba ing them to maintain the staff’ Local Council Develstatus of the council as the


opment Area (LCDA), Lagos State, Hon. Jide Jimoh, has promised that outstanding staff of the council would be rewarded for their hardwork and compliance with the civil service rules. Declaring open this year’s ‘Public Service Week’ at the council secretariat, he charged them to support the elected and appointed functionaries of the council in the implementation of policies and programmes. The Week was celebrated across Africa in conformity with the 1994 Tangier Declaration made by Ministers of Civil Service in the continent. The goal is to recognise committed employees, who have shown capacity for efficient service delivery and good governance. The theme: Transformative Leadership in Public Adminis-

By Emmanuel Oladesu

tration and innovative in Governance: Creating Better Life For All. It offered an opportunity for felicitation and renewal of faith in the civil service code. Apart from the lecture alerting and sensitising the employees to the imperative of pension scheme and investment opportunities, they also participated in games, including Table Tennis, ludo, draught, ayo and chess. Jimoh said the theme was a wake-up call on the grassroots civil service to rededicate itself to the challenges of leadership by rededicating itself to the service of the local people. He congratulated the employees for their diligent services to the people, urg-

pivotal of development at the grassroots. Jimoh said the council would not relent in promoting their welfare, adding that star employees would also be adequately rewarded. The chairman said that the success of the council can only be guaranteed by a hardworking civil service that is ready to generate ideas and initiate suggestions for improved service delivery at all times. He added: “As the nation has just transited into another political dispensation following the April elections, there is no auspicious time than now for the political elite and civil servants saddled with the execution of policies and implementation of programmes.”


Hairdresser seeks dissolution of 17-year-old marriage


33-YEAR-OLD hairdresser, Mrs Bisi Fatimiro, last Thursday pleaded with a Grade "A" Customary Court in Mushin to dissolve her 17year-old marriage, alleging constant battery by her husband. "My husband always beats me each time I ask for money to support my financial responsibilities toward the family. He does not understand any other language than beating. In 2008, I got frustrated and I ran to my parents together with

our four children," she said. She pleaded with the court to dissolve her marriage to Mr Wale Fatimiro, 42, saying she does not love him anymore. Bisi (37) said her husband had not been responsible for the up keep of their children, saying he usually gave their four children, aged 17, 13, 10 and six years, N1,000 for three weeks. "Since I ran out of the matrimonial home, my husband had refused to reconcile with me and had married another wife who bore him a child.

"My husband had been ignoring my calls since May 3. We came to court for mediation. I know that he does not love me but I want him to care for the children," Bisi said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the respondent, Fatimiro, was not in court to answer to the allegations levelled against him. The Court President, Dr Abayomi Ipaye, ordered the court registrar to invite the respondent to appear in court on July 18, the next adjourned date.

Job applicant in court for slapping 33-YEAR-OLD job police officer manner likely to cause a applicant, who alleg-


edly slapped a policewoman, on Friday appeared before an IlupejuOshodi Magistrates` Court in Lagos, charged with assault. Roseline Azuamairo was accused of slapping Cpl Merit Enabulele who stopped a commercial vehicle in which Azuamairo was on June 18 at about 8.10 p.m. on Church Street, Oshodi. The accused is facing a two-count charge of breach of the peace and causing bod-

ily harm before Magistrate M.R. Osho-Adebiyi. The job applicant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was granted bail in the sum of N100,000 and two sureties in like sum. The prosecutor, Cpl. Kehinde Olatunde, submitted that the accused also bit the policewoman. He added that the accused called Enabulele and some other police officers thieves. "She conducted herself in a

breach of the peace by calling policemen and women, who were on duty, thieves. "The policemen and women stopped the commercial bus in which Roseline was inside, for routine check, when she started calling them thieves. He said the alleged offences contravened Sections 249 (d) and 356 (2) C17 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State. The case was adjourned till July 13 for further hearing.

Woman secures divorce after three MUSHIN Customabortions that Oladisu (41) constantly ary Court has


granted divorce to a 34-year-old teacher who claimed that her husband compelled her to abort three pregnancies. The court dissolved the 12year-old marriage of the teacher, Mrs Adesola Ogunyemi, and Mr Oladisu Ogunyemi, a fashion designer, following a petition filed by the teacher on March 15. The Court President, Dr Abayomi Ipaye, held that the efforts of the court to recon-

cile the estranged couple failed as both insisted on divorce. "The marriage is hereby dissolved; the two parties are to keep to public peace," Ipaye odered. He referred the custody of their three children to the family court for adjudication. The president noted that the children, aged 10, seven and five, were living with their father and that their mother wanted their custody. Adesola had told the court

beats her. She said he compelled her to remove three pregnancies in a bid to kill her. "My husband is not responsible. He never loved me. He smokes Indian hemp and was bringing concubines into our matrimonial home,'' she said, adding that the respondent was fetish. She told the court that she packed out of her matrimonial home since 2009 after the beatings she got from Oladisu.

Houseboy bags six years for theft


• From left: Toyin Adewale, Nurse, Wotj Trustee Specialist Hospital; Dr David Olusegun Roberts, National Co-ordinator, Support for Women; Dr Yewande Oluwaseun Ijose, Medical Officer, Shomolu General Hospital; Mrs Alu Justina Odimma, National Orthopeadic Hospital, Igbobi; Mrs Esther Ajibola Aiyepola, Senior Matron, Lagos Island General Hospital and Mrs Dorcas Osho of Laughter Foundation Oregun, Lagos at the event. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

Group holds health campaign


GROUP, Support for Women Initiative, has held a seminar to educate women on health care in Yaba, Lagos. The seminar also featured free medical check up on hypertension, diabetes, breast cancer and pregnancy complications. National Co-ordinator of the group, Dr Olusegun Robert, said the seminar was organised to correct the abysmal cases of deadly diseases in the hospital and to

By Adejo David

encourage preventive medicine. He also said the efforts were geared towards helping vulnerable women and to take healthcare to the grassroots. The seminar attracted over 150 participants. Those diagnosed with diseases were directed to the hospitals and enlightened. They were advised to regularly go for medical check-ups to

ascertain their health status while those with challenges were enlightened on what to do to manage their cases. Dr Yewande Ijose of Shomolu General Hospital advised the participants to be mindful of their diet and have regular exercise. She stressed that eating good diet wards off diseases and helps the body to build immunity against avoidable diseases.

SOMOLU Magistrates` Court in Lagos on Friday sentenced a 21-year-old houseboy, Monday John, to six years imprisonment for stealing a laptop and camcorder from his employer. Senior Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi sentenced the accused after he pleaded guilty to a three-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and breaking into a house. Osunsanmi sentenced the accused to three years jail term on the first count, one year on the second count and two years on the third

count. She, however, said the sentences would run concurrently. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that John was arraigned along with two of his friends on January 27, 2010. They are John Odu (30) and Sampson Ikade (35). The trio had pleaded not guilty on arraignment but John pleaded guilty after five adjournments. The senior magistrate had granted them bail on January 27, 2010 for N300,000 and two sureties in like sum. However, only Odu and

Ikade were able to meet the bail conditions on October 18, 2010 while John remained in custody. The prosecutor, Insp. Adegoke Akinlebi had submitted that the trio stole the laptop and the camcorder worth N350,000 and N150,000 respectively from Mrs Biola Afolaranmi. Akinlebi had noted that the offences contravened Sections, 516, 411 and 390 of the Criminal Code, Law of Lagos State, 2003. The case was adjourned till July 26 for continuation of trial of the other accused persons.

Estate agent docked over alleged fraud


N estate agent, Gbolade Oludare, was on Friday docked in Lagos for allegedly defrauding two prospective tenants of N900,000. Oludare, 33, is facing a twocount charge of fraud before Magistrate A.O. Olatunji of the Ebute Metta Magistrates' Court. The prosecutor, Cpl. Isaac Aminu, said the accused had in his capacity as an agent, collected N300,000 from

Julius Sonabe with a promise to provide him accommodation. He told the court that Oludare also collected N600,000 from Femi Balogun under the pretext of letting out a mini-flat to him. The prosecutor said in both cases, the accused failed to provide the accommodation as promised. Aminu said the incident occurred between April 19 and May at 37, Tapa St., Ebute

Metta, Lagos. He said the offence contravened Section 419 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State and carried seven years imprisonment on conviction. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Olatunji granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum. The case was adjourned to July 25 for further hearing.

Partnering for development

Ondo farmers reap FADAMA benefits Ondo



MONDAY JULY 11, 2011

‘Support Southwest leadership’ Lagos 36


Page 29


75 communities to benefit from Ondo quick-win projects


•Dr Mimiko

EVENTY-FIVE communities in Ondo State stand to benefit from the phase two of the state government’s Quick Win programme. Under the programme, communities identify and recommend projects they need, while the state government executes them. Already, the pilot scheme and phase one of the programme, which is driven by the state Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives Services, have accelerated development in over 230 communities. Over 190 of projects executed in

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

these communities have been inaugurated by Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Speaking with community leaders while on an assessment tour of Ondo West and East local government areas, the Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperative Services, Mr. Clement Faboyede said government is fully committed to bringing good governance to the doorsteps of the people. The commissioner visited about seven communities which included Pele, Igbindo,

Gbagiha Oja, Italuogho Ojokodo Igbado and Epe. Faboyede noted that it is now the function of the communities to name their most essential needs. His words: “In order to make this easy, the government has orientated some youths called “Community Change Agents” whose function is to meet with people of the rural communities, the young and old ones. They will ask them questions on their needs, like basic health centre, boreholes, markets, bridges, drainage, among others. “It is now the function of the

community to vote among themselves on these various projects and the one with the highest vote will now be executed by the state government. These community change agents will spend five days in the various communities where they are posted. At the end of their exercise, they will come back to Akure, the state capital, with their reports from the communities which government will now deliberate upon. “The ministry started with the present Governor •Continued on Page 31


O fewer than 350 youths in Ijebu-Ode Federal Constituency, Ogun State, have begun an 18month vocational course. On graduation, they will be supported to set up their own businesses, putting them well on their way to self-reliance. OK Foundation, the organisation behind it, has provided N1,750,000 for the equipment the trainees will need for the course. The youth are being trained in tailoring and dress-making, barbing and hair-dressing, among other vocations, at designated workshops and centres within Ijebu-Ode Central Federal Constituency comprising three local government areas Ijebu-Ode, Odogbolu and Ijebu North–East. Organisers of the programme set up several of such workshops and training centres to ensure that no trainee is prevented from attending the course, owing to transport difficulties. While the initial apprenticeship kits valued at N1,750,000 were provided free of charge to them, the foundation also pledged that upon graduation, beneficiaries would be assisted to rent shops by giving them take-off financial grants. Addressing the beneficiaries at the Baptist Primary School, Ogbogbo during an orientation organised for them, the promoter of OK Foundation, Hon. Odunneye Kehinde, said he wanted to “empower the youth of my constituency towards a self-reliant life in future” regardless of the cost implications. Kehinde, a lawmaker representing Ijebu-Ode Central Federal Constituency at the National Assembly on the ticket of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), said the entrepreneurship skills gained at the end of

•The trainees

Youths in life-changing vocational training NGO commits N1.7m to programme From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

the training “will stabilise the beneficiaries in employment and income generation”. His words: “This will stabilise

you and be able to spread the multiplier effect to your immediate family and environment. The truth is, government can’t do everything for every citizen and everybody can’t get a white-collar job.

“That is why it is important that you avail yourself of the opportunity to acquire a vocation capable of bringing food on the table and income to the home. “We have liaised with your trainers who are established in

their respective vocations. This empowerment is not going to be like anyone you have heard of or seen in the past. “ Kehinde noted that a system of check and balance has been put in place to ensure that the trainees and project will suc•Continued on Page 30



Customs accused of aiding smugglers


EMBERS of Indigenous Soap Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (ISMAN) have accused men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) of compromising their statutory duties and aiding the importation of banned soaps into the country. The association also bemoaned the rate at which foreign soaps flood the nation’s markets, while the Nigerian Customs officers, saddled with the responsibility of curbing their illegal influx, allegedly look the other way. The association is therefore calling on the Federal Government to save it from the harsh conditions allegedly being imposed on the manufacturers by the Customs officials, lest what happened to many blue chip companies that relocated to neighbouring nations happen to the cottage industries. The manufacturers said they operate under harrowing conditions, especially in Lagos State, where they alleged series of taxes are being imposed on them. Mr Moses Adeyemo, Secretary of the association, said: “When, last year, Customs Command in Lagos State wrote to our factories demanding payment of excise duties, we appealed to them that we could not because we are all at cottage stage with no machinery, while many are still producing using old methods of exothermic process. “We are fully aware that soap and detergent have been exempted from the payment of excise, yet the Customs Service refused to listen to us. “Going into major Nigerian markets today, a lot of banned foreign soaps and detergents flood them. The Customs has jettisoned their primary assignment of curbing smugglers. Where do these soaps

From Osheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

come from? They pass through our borders, especially Seme, under the noses of the Customs officers, unchallenged. This is unfavourable to us as local producers.” Adeyemo explained that the banned

soaps, which find their way into the Nigerian markets come from Malaysia “where the cost of production is low. A tonne of palm kernel oil is below N100, 000 but in Nigeria today, it is N250, 000, whereas palm kernel oil is a 77 per cent material input in soap production.” The association maintained that many

There is no country in any part of the world that can plan for solid economic base without planning for the development of local manufacturers. We are the bedrock of our nation’s economy

Nigerians prefer to buy the low standard soaps from Malaysia to the locally-produced ones, “yet in the harrowing conditions of epileptic power supply, consumption of diesel to power generators, we cannot increase prices of our products, unless we want to close shop. We had informed the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the poor standard of these banned imported soaps, but till now, there has been no response.” As one of the ways out, the association has therefore urged the Federal Government “to map out a bilateral plan between the indigenous soap manufacturers and the Bank of Industry for loans, especially in material sourcing. “With this, we can be assisted to better the economy of this nation. There is no country in any part of the world that can plan for solid economy base without planning for the development of local manufacturers. We are the bedrock of our nation’s economy,” the association stressed.

NDE trains 400 unemployed persons


HE National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is set to train about 400 unemployed persons in Ondo State in modern agricultural production methods and basic skill acquisition. This disclosure was made in Akure, the state capital, during the orientation programme organised by the Directorate’s Coordinator in Ondo State, Mr. Joseph Olaitan Olayinka. Olayinka said the training is designed to consolidate the NDE’s effort in sustain-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ing employment generation intervention and poverty reduction in order to engage idle hands. He said the programme will keep them busy and out of criminal activities. He disclosed that 120 trainees will go for a three-month training course under Rural Agricultural Development Training Scheme in Crop and Livestock Farming, Fisheries and Bee Production, after which

they will be attached to agro-enterprise firms for practical experience. A total number of 278 trainees will also undergo training in various vocations under the Basic Skill Acquisition Training Scheme (B-SATS) formerly known as National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (NOAS). The vocations include welding, panelbeating, computer operations, fashion design, GSM repair, hair-dressing, aluminum fabrication, and generator maintenance, among others. The state coordinator further disclosed that all the trainees in the two schemes will be entitled to training allowances as incentives to boost their morale. Olayinka, however, advised the trainees to seize this rare opportunity by taking their training seriously. He also asked other job seekers still roaming the streets to approach the NDE in order to access the job opportunities still open.

278 trainees will also undergo training in various vocations under the Basic Skill Acquisition Training Scheme (B-SATS) formerly known as National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (NOAS) •Participants at the orientation programme organised for the trainee youths

Youths in life-changing vocational training •Continued from Page 25

ceed and stand the test of time. “This one is a bit unique because there will be monitoring and evaluation teams to assess progress and make recommendations in respect of every trainee and the project itself. “And whoever that does not take his or her training serious will not graduate along with others and may run the risk of

forfeiting the opportunities and privileges attached to it,” he said. Also, Hon. Abiodun Akinlade representing Egbado South-Ipokia Federal Constituency, who supported the initiative financially, encouraged the trainees to take the window of opportunity offered them seriously. Akinlade, an ACN Federal lawmaker, said the vocational training will not only balance classroom education with practical skills, but will also help to address

unemployment and poverty of the youth. “This training is meant to teach you how to catch fish by yourself so that you can be independent. You have to acquire skills in any vocation that can bring income with which to attend to your needs and those of your immediate families,” Akinlade said.



MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011

Ondo farmers reap FADAMA benefits


HE third phase of the Ondo State FADAMA project has boosted the capacity of farmers. Over 260 empowered groups have executed 338 productive ventures in different farming operations such as cropping, bee-keeping, poultry, piggery, fishery, goat-keeping and other activities. The agricultural interventionist agency has also assisted 49 communities in executing projects such as open market stalls, lock-up shops, grading of farm roads, drilling of boreholes, culverts and drains in the communities. Other projects include 13 boreholes and wells with overhead tanks, 72 food processing machines and accessories, 30 fish ponds and 51 different types of livestock farming. Over 250 farmers have received training in different areas of agricultural practices. At a one-day sensitisation meeting organised for journalists, the state Project Coordinator, Mrs. Beatrice Adefulire described the FADAMA III project as community-oriented in view of the fact that projects executed are actually what the farmers needed. She explained that FADAMA III is a project that focuses on productive Community-Driven Development (CDD) in the sense that the economic interest and wellbeing of the rural farmers are the major concerns of the project, stressing that the project strives to make sure that decisions and steps taken by the farmers are not inimical to their economic development. Mrs. Adefulire said that informed prioritising the capacity building of the farmers and offering cutting edge advisory services that will improve their yield and income.

•A farmer tends her vegetables From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The project coordinator announced another sum of N42m to be disbursed to 14 FADAMA communities and 125 FADAMA groups, stressing that grants

will be released quickly enough so that farmers could benefit maximally from the project. She solicited the support of the media as a veritable partner in achieving the project’s development objectives.

Delta community gives Shell 21-day ultimatum From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Ughelli


OUTHS of Ugolo community in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State have directed the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to retract, within 21 days, claim that it donated a civic centre valued at N18, 161, 000 to the community. In a press release signed by the leader of the youth body, Mr. Edafe Onokpite and made available to journalists stated that the community did appreciate the effort of the SPDC for putting a skeletal structure in Ugolo community that was not completed, even as he added that Shell also claimed to have furnished and equipped the said hall with modern facilities. The press release which gave SPDC a 21day ultimatum to retract publication in the Urhobo Voice of May 23, 2011, on page three and attributed to the Government and Community Relations Manager, SPDC, Mr. Donald Ovberedjo, said that the civic centre claimed by SPDC to have been completed, equipped and furnished is overgrown by grasses and has become a den for reptiles. “The civic centre which SPDC said has been connected to the national grid and which will serve as a good venue for social events in the community, has no single ion chair let alone being furnished. “We have not even seen where the borehole and water tank are at the civic centre. So, we are wondering where SPDC is getting its information from. That is why we are giving it a 21-day ultimatum to retract the publication in order to put the records straight.”

•Faboyede (right) presents the change agents to a community

75 communities to benefit from projects •Continued from Page 29

Olusegun Mimiko administration. Since 35 years when the state was created, no government has touched the lives of people in rural communities like this present administration. “When the Mimiko-led administration began this programme, it started with a pilot scheme from which 80 communities benefitted; later on, the phase one

programme came in 150 communities and benefited 230 communities. Over 190 projects have been commissioned by Mr. Governor.” The commissioner said Mimiko’s major concern is how to change the lives of people in the rural communities. He further said the governor has charged his ministry to ensure that all communities feel the impact of the government.

He also disclosed that government has been training five people from each community which benefitted from the quick-win projects to monitor and maintain government projects in their communities. He however urged the citizens of the state to continue to support the government.



Ekiti harvests partners on development

T •Fayemi

HE African Development Bank (ADB), American and Swedish governments have expressed their desire to partner with the Ekiti State government in the area of infrastructural development. The American and Swedish governments, according to a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, had “shown considerable interests in working with the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration

Prospect for Osun, China’s partnership


HERE is a prospect of robust partnership between the Osun State government and the Republic of China in critical areas of development as the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, commences a working visit China. According to a statement signed by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, major areas of interest between Osun State and China include agriculture and farm produce processing, education and cultural exchanges. Okanlawon said the governor is expected to present the Osun State Economic Development Agenda to a gathering of Chinese investors and government officials at a seminar facilitated by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. The governor’s spokesman said that the ACFTU would seek massive investments in critical areas in Nigeria with a special attention on Osun State. The statement said Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola told the Chinese Xinhua that his government is keen on agricultural

Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

programmes and projects, particularly food production and security. Quoting the governor, the statement said: “So, we are going to explore possibility of engagement in food production programmes and activities. We are equally keen on logistics, movement of agricultural produce from our remotely located state to Lagos where the market is.” Okanlawon said the governor informed the gathering that he would also explore the possibility of having investment in heavy agricultural equipment. “Osun State is blessed with vast mineral resources including gold, clay, limestone, kaolin and granite. The state is also blessed with abundant tourist centres. We welcome the Chinese investors to tap the burgeoning industry.

9,000 youths register for scheme



From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

in the realisation of some aspects of its eightpoint agenda for development.” According to the statement, the desire to partner with the state government was “the fallout of series of meetings by a delegation led by Governor Fayemi and representatives of the foreign governments and the ADB in Abuja and Lagos recently. It said the meetings succeeded “in highlighting areas of opportunities for foreign investments as well as areas of technical support for the state,” adding that “the Country Representative of ADB, Mr. Ousmane Dore, assured Governor Fayemi of the financial institution’s readiness to assist the state in the area of infrastructural development.” It further stated that “specifically, Dore said the ADB would assist the state government in its rural road projects with a view to boosting agriculture in the state.” After a meeting with the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, the state government said: “Health and educational institutions would benefit from technical support from their counterparts in the United States,” adding that there was also the possibility of Private Public Partnership (PPP) with some American companies. The release also noted that Governor Fayemi’s meeting with the United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development, Mr. Andrew Mitchell, in Lagos explored areas of support for the administration’s development efforts. The Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Per Lindgarde, at a meeting with the governor also hinted the possibility of collaboration with Swedish companies in the areas of agriculture and environmental sustainability.

O fewer than 50,000 unemployed youths have registered under the Kwara Bridge Empowerment Schemes (KWABES). Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed has promised to engage 2,000 unemployed youths within the first 100 days of his administration. This came just as the state government explained the rationale behind the use of voter’s card as a means of identification in the ongoing registration of unemployed youths. But the state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had decried the state government’s decision to use voter’s card as a yardstick for employment. The state government has clarified that “the government is harping on the biometrics identification used by INEC as an acknowledgement of its reliability, as the voter’s card remains the most recent • Lagos State Governor Raji Fashola congratulating Mrs Oluranti Adebule on her appointment as Secretary to the State Government (SSG)

Fed Govt revokes N2.7b contract


N2.7bn contract for the construction of the Federal Government skills acquisition centre in Iguelegba, Orhimwon Local Government Area in Edo State has been terminated by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe. The contract was awarded in March, 2010. Orubebe, who was on an inspection tour of projects in Edo, Delta and Rivers states berated the contractors handling the project. Expressing disappointment at the pace of work at the skills acquisition centre, Orubebe said the

Council chief gives free GCE forms


HE Chairman,Mushin Local Government, Hon. Olatunde Adepitan has distributed free G.C.E. forms to students in the council. Speaking at the event, Adepitan enjoined the beneficiaries who are mostly youths, to study hard to fulfill their dreams as the effort from the council is a measure of their tremendous support at the last general elections. According to him, “We shall consistently plough back to the society that produced us. Our emergence as council chairman was because of your support. While we appreciate the efforts of the youths, we are using this gesture to cushion the effects of the harsh economic condition on our parents. You will not need to hawk, prostitute, engage in touting, thuggery or any unholy hard labour before you can raise money to buy G.C.E., My appeal to you is to concentrate fully on your studies, as we have the intention of organising free G.C.E. coaching classes for you, as tradition. “Ladies and gentleman, I wish to assure you that once you are able to make your papers,

Lagos you automatically join the elite class because it will guarantee you admission into the university”. Majority of the 200 beneficiaries are residents of Mushin Local Government Area, which cut across the 10 wards that make-up the council. Speaking at the occasion, the President of National Union of Teachers, Mushin, branch Comrade Osoba Akheituame Commended the chairman for the initiative. He charged him to increase the number of beneficiaries, stressing that lots of parents would wish their children went to school, but they are hampered by finances. One of the beneficiaries Mr Tolulope Ajayi thanked the council for the kind gesture, pointing out that it would remain indelible in their memories. They promised to do well in their forthcoming examination in order to encourage the council to do more for others next years.

Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin

activities of the contractors were not in tune with the development agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. He said: “In the first place, I am not impressed in what the contractors and consultants are doing. This project has been on ground for almost two years now and I remember that when most of these contracts were awarded, there were a lot of considerations. “I have held over five meetings with them (contractors and consultants) in my office before the last exco was dissolved and I have sent some people here for inspection, and you can see today that after two years, there is nothing on the ground. There are some we have gone to that are nearly completed and we cannot go on like this. “At this stage, everybody in the Niger Delta is in a hurry to see that there is development in the region and if we continue with these contractors, this means that people will come and say we are not serious. We have the opportunity to make a difference.” Addressing some youths at the Benin Airport, Orubebe said the Federal Government was not relenting in solving the problems of unemployment in the country.

•From left: The Cabinet Treasurer, District 404B, Lions International, Lioness Carol Enuwa with the Region two Chairperson, Lioness Dr Funke Adebajo, welcoming the District 404b Governor, Lion Senator Olusegun Bamigbetan Baju to the inauguration of some optical equipment donated by the District to the state Hospital Otta, Ogun State, by the Governor


OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said the state government is considering the possibility of returning schools to missions to ensure that government’s investment in schools are not left to rot. Speaking at the foundation-laying ceremony of a new Model College at the old Pilgrims Baptist College, Ewohinmi, Edo Central, the governor however assured that a memorandum of understanding would be made to ensure that children of the poor have access to such schools. According to Oshiomhole, my late wife told me about the school and how it has been abandoned. When I came, I wanted to walk to see for myself what has happened to the structure. It was intended to be one of the flagships, but as you can see, it has suffered complete abandonment.” He however lamented that, while the old Pilgrims Baptist College had no pupils, it had a principal and teachers. He said: “The Local Government Chairman told me that although there are no pupils in the school, we do have teachers including a principal. I’m sure that the Hon. Commissioner for Education is as anxious as myself to find out the daily workload of the principal and the teachers who are still here.” On plans to return some schools to missions, Governor Oshiomhole said: “One thing we can do to prevent the rot we witnessed in the past and stop future governments from de-boarding schools

Youths advised on self-growth HE Programme Officer, Success Gate International, Tutu Adeniji has challenged young Nigerians on personal development as it remain a major recipe for employment in our ever growing competitive world. Adeniji made this at a two-day empowerment seminar organised by Success Gate International at Mr. Biggs, Akonwonjo, Egbeda, Lagos. The programme with the theme: Position for Greatness had over 50 youths in Lagos with lectures on personal development, marketing, branding, leadership and management skills and consulting which was educative and interactive. According to her, we can only address the varying social-political and economic challenges of our country if young people develop the will and capacity that is needed in solving these problems. She said: “The world is less concerned about once colour, race, traditions, language or belief but better option and alternatives that is being proffered in making our world a better place to live in”. Adeniji noted that the problems faced in Nigeria are opportunities for those who can bring the needed changes through

Lagos By Adeola Ogunlade

pragmatic approach. Although, she stated that government at all levels should strengthen her institutions and structure so that the dreams of Nigeria youth can fly, she said “young Nigeria should not live in the economic of the government to survive but harnessed the varying opportunities around them for survival”. Adeniji cited the creator of Facebook, Twitter, Myspace who are young people in their 30s but have made significant contribution to the development of new digital technology that is providing employments for millions of people across the world. She added “there are emerging opportunities in the agricultural sector, Information Communication Technology, (ICT), insurance, transportation, textile, event management, fashion designing, catering, shoe cobbling which can be harnessed for profitability. In an interview with Newsextra, one of the participants, Funmi Akinbo, said: “I am being empowered and have resolved to explore the windows of opportunities that have been expose to at this event”.

Council of Ndi Ezeudos advises Northern governors THE Council of Ndi Ezeudo in Lagos has urged Northern governors to work with their traditional rulers to stem the spate of bombing in their states. The advice was given at the end of their meeting in the palace of Ezeudo Ndigbo of Ibo Local Council Development Area, Eze John Gre Ezebuadi. The council said: “This strategy will help bring out those involved in throwing

Kwara From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

credible identification that could be relied on.” In a statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Alhaji Abduwahab Oba said “the employment scheme should therefore not be mistaken for political patronage as it is meant for all youths, including non-indigenes irrespective of party affiliation.” It said the decision of government to identify eligible registrants with voter’s cards was to demonstrate the importance it attached to the scheme, warning that, “no one should trivialise or attempt to trivialise it based on primordial sentiments.” Oba added that “the scheme was put in place by the state government primarily to benefit the youth; having realised the high prevalence of unemployment among them. This, in the

•Ahmed main, is in order to stem the tide and checkmate youth restiveness.”

Edo to return schools to missions



Hon Adepitan presenting free G.C.E form to one of the beneficiaries at the event


bombs as they are members of the society with fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters living in those communities. The monarchs urged the security chiefs to put heads together and move against those involved in the bombings. They thanked the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Oliver Akubueze for issuing every Igbo resident in Lagos with an identity card.

Edo and reducing flagships to abandoned territories is that we may have to consider the possibility of returning schools that we cannot manage to those missions that can manage them and do a memorandum of understanding to ensure that the children of the poor have access to these quality schools. “This is a matter that we have to reflect on and resolve very quickly to move education

forward. No society makes progress without education.” Restating government’s determination to reposition education in the state, Oshiomhole said: “I appreciate that we must continue to make the right investment in education because that is the future of our people. I believe that the greatest legacy we can give to our children is education. If we give them education, they can go out there and navigate.”

Olanipekun marks 20th Bar anniversary


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan; Speaker, House of Representatives; former Nigerian Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade are among top-flight dignitaries expected to share fun-filled moments in Lagos soon. They are billed to grace the book presentation and reception lined up for the celebration of the 20th year anniversary of the call to Inner Bar of former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN). The event, which The Nation learnt, would attract the presence of all Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and all Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) among others will hold at The Oriental Hotel on Lekki-Epe Expressway, Victoria Island, Lagos, at 11 am on July 22. The President, Igbimo Ure Ekiti, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi who sits atop popular Juli Pharmacy Plc, Olanipekun confirmed, will do the official presentation of the book. Also expected at the event include: Chairman, Council on Legal Education, Hon. Justice Moronkeji Onalaja, and Governors of Lagos, Edo, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Kebbi, Katsina, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Kaduna and Plateau among others. Speaking on the event, Olanipekun disclosed that it would be a modest outing, which “is aimed at basically appreciating God for what He has done for Wole Olanipekun Chamber and indeed, what it has pleased Him to use the Chamber to do for mankind.” “What we are celebrating is not a vain display of opulence nor are we flaunting what I would call our modest achievements as legal practitioners; we are out to give back to The Almighty who has remained our unfailing


Lagos By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

Pillar, and what are we giving back? Gratitude! So, we are out to thank God for the journey so far,” he added. Ekiti State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, one of Olanipekun’s “professional sons,” told The Nation that he had been part of efforts to make the celebration a success because according to him, the legal icon and his exemplary contribution to law practice are worthy of the celebration. Sources also hinted that notable indigenes of his cherished home town, Ikere, a foremost Ekiti State community, and indeed, the Gateways State, are billed to attend the event in celebration of their illustrious own.

Vehicle owners warned THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of these abandoned vehicles to remove them immediately or forfeit same through auction. Dentine Division Oyingbo 1 1. Mitsubishi Colt - AX 390 AKD 2. Mercedes Benz -190 AG 836 FFF 3. Toyota Corolla - DX 489 AAA 4. Honda Accord FJ 679 EKY 5. Honda Accord - RD 128 AAA At Airport Police Command, Ikeja 1. Honda Civic DE 694 LSR 2. Isuzu Pick-up van unregistered Ipakodo Division Ikorodu 1. Mitsubishi Gallant - AU 770 JJJ

2.Mitsubishi L 300 bus - AH 368 AKD Sabo Police Station 1. Toyota Camry PZ 474 KJA 2. DAE 3600 Truck XA 643 FKY Ketu Police Station 1. Volkswagen bus - XP 238 FST 2. Nissan Bluebird car - DR 194 KJA 3. Mazda car - AA 556 TRE 4. Toyota Taxcel car - BW 620 SMK 5. Volkswagen Vanagon bus unregistered 6. Nissan Bluebird - BH 352 SMK

•From left: Lioness Felicia Iyabode Koleosho with Lioness Oluwatosin Itunu Balogun Charter President of Lagos Emerald Lion Club District 4040 of Nigeria during her inauguration at Eyal Hall Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos



MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011

59 medical students get Orhii scholarship


IFTY-NINE medical students from various universities in Nigeria have received scholarship grants from the Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii. Each of the students, drawn from the 14 Tiv-speaking areas of Benue State, received a cheque of N50,000 except one student of Pharmacy who received N40,000. The event took place at the auditorium of the College of Health Sciences of the Benue State University. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Orhii said he initiated the scheme out of the necessity to alleviate the sufferings of indigent but brilliant medical students. He explained that from primary through secondary and tertiary schools, he was one of the poorest students who lacked basic necessities, hence his determination to make a contribution towards helping students in similar circumstances. According to the Director-General, a reflection on his experiences during school days also encouraged him to renovate and upgrade the primary school he attended as well as provide solar power to the secondary school he graduated from.


IOLENCE against women has been identified as a major impediment to women’s participation in decision-making and development process as well as their ability to exercise their rights. This assertion was contained in a 78page situation report on gender equality and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria carried out in 2010 by the country’s women under the aegis of the Global Fund for Women Grantees Network in Nigeria (GFWGN). The report was presented to its members from the Southeast and South- South zones during a oneday capacity building workshop put together for them in Enugu. The report, in relation to the Millennium Development Goals and the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), is a documentation of data and efforts towards promoting awareness that good governance remains one of the most crucial determinants of the success or failure of the MDGs in by 2015. Presenting the research document earlier, National Secretary of GFWGN, Mrs Chigoziri Orjiaka, a Barrister, explained that it is an outcome of an investigation conducted by the body with the objective

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Dr. Orhii also stated that he had initiated two other scholarship schemes for two Science undergraduates from each of the 23 local government areas and 20 undergraduates of the University of Mkar. He charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the funds in order to secure a better future. Dr. Orhii, while fielding questions from journalists also stated that he was sponsoring the scheme from savings made from his salary and travel allowances. He said that those who didn’t benefit in the phase one of the award would be accommodated in subsequent disbursements upon their application and acceptance. Speaking earlier, coordinator of the event and Special Assistant to the Director-General, Dr. Monica Eimunjeze, stated that the initiative was borne out of the need to build capacity in the health sector. “The shortage of medical personnel •Continued on Page 35

•Governor Suswam gives a cheque to a beneficiary, as Orhii watches

How violence affects women, by report From Chris Oji, Enugu

to, among others, examine, document, and publicise the real situation on gender equality as well as the MDGs attainment in the country in 2010, five years before the expected date of the attainment of the MDG goals. Besides, the report also noted that 10 years into the country’s democratic dis-

pensation, women’s participation in politics had remained inconsequential despite their numerical strength, even as it described the situation as quite unfortunate. The report indicates that the situation does not fall in line with the MDG goal three which is promoting gender equality and empowering women. “According to the 2006 census figure, about 48 per cent of the nation’s populations are women. It was contrary

There is the need for government at all levels to always promote issues relating to gender equality, women rights as well as women empowerment. This is because they are part of the essential ingredients of democracy and good governance

•Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire inaugurates a health centre in Ejigbo LCDA. Third from right is Kehinde Bamigbetan, council chairman. To his right is Mrs Yewande Adesina, Special Adviser to Lagos State governor. Second from left, Mrs Risikat Akiode, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

to the trend towards the greater representation of women in national political life in other African countries” the report read in part. The report, supported by Global Fund for women and Exxon Mobil, revealed that in 1999, only 12 (1.2%) females (against 978 or 98.8% males) were elected into the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Houses of Assembly; three females (2.7%) out of 109 Senators and only 13 (3.6%) females in the 360-member House of Representatives as against 347 (96.4%) males. However, it said there is the need for government at all levels to always promote issues relating to gender equality, women rights as well as women empowerment. This is because they are part of the essential ingredients of democracy and good governance. In her address of welcome earlier, National Coordinator GFWGN, Mrs. Bimbo Oloyede, flanked by the National Secretary and Southeast zonal coordinator, Barrister Margaret Nwagbo explained that the Global Fund for Women is a nonprofit, grant-making, publicly-supported foundation committed to advancing women’s human rights by funding organisations led by women globally. She disclosed that since 1987, support grants have been given to over 4,200 women rights organisations in no fewer than 172 countries across the world, including Nigeria. The National Coordinator hinted that the Global Fund for Women Grantees Network in Nigeria is currently made up of 51 organisations that have so far benefited from such grants from the parent body over the years. She further said that the grants were meant to facilitate projects at local, regional, and national levels, with a view to enabling women and girls to realise their potential as well as live a life free of discrimination and violence. She stated that such benefiting organisations have initiated innovative strategies to either build their capacities to effectively address the concern of Nigerian women and girls or designed solutions that challenge and overcome injustice in communities and regions. Addressing the forum, Enugu State Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Ndidi Chukwu, represented by a Director n the ministry, Mrs. Angela Gbanite, assured the women of state government’s readiness to partner with proactive non-governmental organisations (NGOs), adding that the Governor Sullivan Chime-led administration had always been gender sensitive since inception.



MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011

Lagos to enforce housing rules By Emmanuel Oladesu


•A cross section of beneficiaries •Continued from Page 34

across the globe is one that rings true, especially within Benue State,” she stated. Continuing, she said: “It is hoped that this scholarship will provide some form of financial reprieve and relieve some of the burdens and hardships experienced by these students.” Presenting cheques to the beneficiaries, Benue State Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, commended Dr. Orhii for the gesture and called on other rich individuals to emulate him. He announced that he would flag off the construction of an ultra-modern hostel that would accommodate 400 students at the state university, adding that contracts for the building of a befitting auditorium for the Faculty of Law as well as the library had also been awarded. Dr. Suswam stated that work on the projects would commence soon. Highlights of the occasion included the pledges by Dr. Isaac Egboja, Board Chairman of the Veterinary Institute Vom, to extend the scheme to cover three more students, Jennifer Ehimika’s group and to provide similar scholarship to one student as well as the promise of Managing Director of Nexim Bank, Mr. Robert Orya to support the scheme with N10, 000 for

The shortage of medical personnel across the globe is one that rings true, especially within Benue State...sIt is hoped that this scholarship will provide some form of financial reprieve and relieve some of the burdens and hardships experienced by these students

59 medical students get Orhii scholarship each recipient. Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Charity Angya, represented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Nicholas Ada, and her counterpart from the University of Mkar, Prof. Nancy Agbe commended Dr. Orhii for the gesture. In his remarks, President, Benue State University Medical Students, Abah Innocent Ochigbo, who spoke on behalf of the

recipients, said the award was timely and helpful. He stressed that Dr. Orhii initiated the scheme because he has a heart to give not necessarily because of his abundance. He pledged that the students would put the funds to good use. The award-winning Benue State Arts Council was on hand to thrill the audience.

AGOS State Housing Commissioner Bosun Jeje has reiterated government’s determination to enforce housing plans and rules to prevent the incidence of collapsed building. Jeje, who visited the scene of the collapsed building at Mogaji Close, Idumota, Lagos Island, sympathised with the victims of the tragedy, assuring that government would not abandon them. Also, Information and Strategy Commissioner Hon. Lateef Ibirogba, appealed to members of the public to report distressed buildings and illegal constructions around them to the appropriate authorities. The commissioner, who lamented the loss of lives in the incident, said that the delay in rescuing those still trapped in the collapsed structure was as a result of the inability of Lagos State Emergency Management (LASEMA), Red Cross, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASEMBUS) and other relevant agencies to move heavy machines to the site. Ibirogba said the owners of the three adjoining buildings discovered to be distressed have agreed that their structures be pulled down to allow for the movement of heavy machines to the site of the collapsed building. Jeje, who was at the scene with his Physical Planning and Urban Development counterpart, Toyin Ayinde, said government will not compromise its housing plans and rules as part of measures to prevent the reoccurrence of the disaster. He added: “We will move swiftly to arrest this embarrassing trend. We will insist on standard and rules guilding housing in the state. We will wage war against the use of sub-standard building materials. We will not allow quacks to inflict pains on people recklessly. We will investigate the immediate and remote causes of the collapse and take strong and concrete measures to prevent a re-occurrence.” Ibirogba urged engineers, builders, architects, and other professionals to ensure that they authenticate their materials from the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory. He also urged building owners to subject them to structural integrity test to determine their suitability for habitation. He pointed out that owners of distress or defective buildings should demolish them or surrender them for government demolition.

Okorocha flags off immunisation campaign


MO State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has flagged off the 2011 Maternal New Born and Child Health immunisation. Addressing a crow at the flag-off ceremony held at Umugwuma, Owerri West Local Government Area headquarters, governor Okorocha urged women to save their children by bringing them for proper immunisation. According to him, early and adequate immunisation of children will prevent them from sustaining life pains and as well reduce childhood mortality rate, even as he stressed the need for a regular health status check-up. Governor Okorocha further urged the people to cultivate the habit of eating the right food; keeping clean environment and regular health check-up to detect early killer diseases like HIV/AIDS, polio and breast cancer. The Governor, who stressed that the administration’s Rescue Agenda is geared towards lifting the living standard of Imo people, enjoined the people to stop celebrating poverty, both in their attitude and dressing. In his remarks, the Chairman at the occasion, Mr Chikodi Igbokwe expressed his gratitude to God for governor Okorocha’s victory during the 2011 gubernatorial election, recalling that he (Okorocha) had made several efforts in the past to ensure the health and improvement of life of the downtrodden in the society. Also in her address, wife of the governor, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha said that the Maternal New Born Child Health Initiative is an integrated strategy aimed at achieving proper development and child survival. “Effective implementation of primary healthcare is one of the cardinal policies of this administration, and every effort must be made to ensure that every child, no matter where he or she lives, is reached for the exercise,” she said.

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Commissioner for Health, Dr Njoku Obi in his address noted that planning and implementation process of immunisation exercise revolves in achieving convergence, which include the involvement of different stakeholders to have great impact in the best interest of mother and child. Dr Njoku further disclosed that the exercise is packaged to administer vitamin A supplement to children between the ages of six months and nine months, in addition to routine vaccines of children who are less than one year. The state Federal Commissioner, National Population, Mr Joe Ndu, a Barrister, stated that his commission has improved on the birth registration coverage in the state by employing different strategies, especially the integration of the birth registration into routine child health programme carried out quarterly. Mr Ndu however disclosed that the commission is faced with some constraints as they are yet to attain 100 per cent coverage of over five million births that occur yearly in the state. He thanked the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other donor partners for providing a launch pad for the success they have achieved so far.

•Okorocha Present at the ceremony were Imo women and their children who participated actively in the immunisation exercise and members of Umugwuma community.

Effective implementation of primary healthcare is one of the cardinal policies of this administration, and every effort must be made to ensure that every child, no matter where he or she lives, is reached for the exercise

MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011


It was disheartening that thousands of people including the most vulnerable-women and children-were displaced as they lost their houses and means of livelihood to the blaze

Fire disasters worry Cross River emergency agency


HE Director-General of the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr. Vincent Aquah has decried the spate of fire disaster in recent times. He disclosed that the state has witnessed over 15 cases of such disasters this year, even as he said properties estimated at over N50m were destroyed. He also revealed that more than 4,000 people were displaced in the process. Mr Aquah stated this while assessing the level of destruction at Ikot Offiong Ambai in Akpabuyo Local Government Area. Mostly affected by the fire incidents, he said, are fishing communities, residential houses, business centres and farms. He further said that it was disheartening that thousands of people including the most vulnerable-women and children-were displaced as they lost their houses and means of livelihood to the blaze. According to him, the pathetic situation which has occurred in almost all parts of the state has negatively affected the socioeconomic condition of both government and the victims. The D-G stated that though the state government has shown a reasonable level of commitment in responding to the plight of the victims, many are still traumatised as the recovery process is normally slow and uneventful. The SEMA boss, who attributed the frequent fire disasters to carelessness, said that such trend can be checked if the people heed to public enlightenment campaigns on the need to switch off all electrical appliances that are not in use and safe handling and storage of petrol and other flammable materials. While praising the state fire service for its role in quelling most of the fire outbreaks, Mr. Aquah called for sustainable collaborative efforts with SEMA and other stakeholders especially in the area of sensitisation in order to eliminate the incidences of the unpleasant trend. He said: “The psychological experience victims of such disasters are subjected to could be traumatic, having lost every property including clothes, foodstuff, cash, livestock and even human lives.” He noted that such destruction can hardly be quantified. Narrating his ordeal, the landlord of a 24room building at number 51, Ikot Offiong Ambai, Akpabuyo Elder Elijah Nnah Affang said that the source of the fire which gutted the entire compound remained a mystery. Elder Affang said that the fire that started at about 2:30 a.m. on Monday, June 1, 2011

•Fire disaster scene in Akpabuyo Local Government

•SEMA staff assessing the fire disaster From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

engulfed the only exit in the compound, trapping over 32 occupants of the building. He stated that in the midst of the confusion and smoke which choked children and

women, men summoned courage to crack open one of the rooms through which they escaped unhurt, leaving. He also said that the tenants watched helplessly from a safe distance as the entire house was razed. According to him, the arrival of the state fire service about 30 minutes later could not

salvage anything from the house, even as he said that the inferno spread to adjourning buildings. Recently, four similar disasters occurred in Calabar where houses were burnt, leaving many people displaced and property worth millions of Naira destroyed.

‘Support Southwest leadership’



HE Majority Leader of the Ikeja Local Government Council, Lagos, Mr. Edward Samuel Arogbonjoh has urged residents of the the area to support their governors and newly elected representatives in order to pave way for good governance in the region. Arogbonjoh, in a chat with Newsextra, said that the legacy of good governance exhibited by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola will be replicated in all the states in the Southwest if the people are ready to work with the government on policies and programmes that will make for sustainable development. He said Fashola’s giant strides which have become a reference point were made possible by the support and en-

By Adeola Ogunlade

couragement given to him by the people of Lagos. Arogbonjoh, who is Chairman, Committee on Education, Youth and Sport in the council, noted that the track record of the newly elected representatives in the region will put them in good stead to deliver on their campaign promises. “Good governance is about the people, thus monitoring and evaluating the programme and policy of the newly elected representatives is key for socio-economic development in Nigeria”. He urged Nigerians to support their leaders but hold them accountable. He decried the situation where the people

often tell their leaders only what they want to hear. He continued: “The task of removing Nigeria from the quagmire of dearth of infrastructural facilities, unmitigated unemployment, unreliable electricity, inadequate water supply, bad roads, skyrocketing food prices lies with the people who are ready at every given point in time to engage their elected representative”. He said it is high time that Nigerians did away with long speeches or routine programmes, and concentrated on the development of the people. He appealed to political office holders to rule with the fear of God and the interest of the people at heart.






Two docked for cutting off suspected thief’s arm


WO men, who allegedly cut off the right hand of a suspected thief before bringing him to the police station, were on Friday arraigned in Lagos for causing grievous bodily harm. Tunde Osubu, 46 and Koku Kofi, 43, were alleged to have cut off the hand of Collins Okeke ,who they alleged, stole the headlamp of a car on June 17 at their Oniwinde St. Aguda, Surulere. The duo are facing a twocount charge of conspiracy and causing grievous bodily harm before a Surulere Magistrates' Court. Osubu and Kofi pleaded not guilty to the charges. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Senior Magistrate M.K.O. Fadeyi had ordered the arrest

Okeke was held by a vigilante group as the suspected thief cut off Okeke's right hand

of the accused who were complainants in the case against Okeke when he was brought before the court on June 22 with blood drpping from the stump of his severed arm. Okeke had told the court that his right hand was crudely amputated by the duo over allegations that he stole the headlamp of a vehicle. He denied being guilty of the theft charge for which he lost an arm. Okeke was not in court on Friday as he was reported to be on admission in hospital for the "Sharia-like" cutting of his arm. At the proceeding last Fri-

Share owner sues broker for alleged stealing


STOCKBROKER, Dewale Bodunrin, was on Thursday arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrates' Court, Lagos, for allegedly stealing a customer's shares, valued at N1.2 million. The prosecutor, Mr Augustine Onwuemena, said that the accused on May 19 stole 125,000 shares belonging to Mr Athekame Oyathelemi.

Onwuemena said that the offence contravened Sections 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2003. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Magistrate, Mrs A.J. Awope, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000, with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case till July 7 for further hearing.

• • • • • •

day, the prosecutor, Sgt. Idowu Onime told the court that Osubu and Kofi committed the offence on June 17 but the accused was brought to court on June 22. He said the pitiable sight of Okeke with his stump dropping blood forced the magistrate to grant him bail on lenient grounds so that he could get medical attention denied him while in custody for about six days. "Osubu, who was asleep in his house, was woken by Kofi and told the headlight of his car had been stolen. "Osubu on getting to the scene where Okeke was held by a vigilante group as the suspected thief, cut off Okeke's right hand,`` Onime said. He objected to the bail application of the duo, saying: ”the nature of the charge is serious and if the accused are granted bail, they may abscond.” The prosecutor said the alleged offences contravened Sections 332 and 516 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State. Fadeyi, however, granted the accused bail in the sum of N250,000 each with two sureties in like sum. She adjourned the case till July 20 for further hearing.

Police arraign five for attempted murder


IVE men were on Friday in Lagos arraigned for allegedly attempting to kill three persons over a land dispute. The accused, Taiwo Onanjo, 35; Kehinde Akinyoyo, 32; Lukman Oshikalu, 30; Olayiga Abraham, 28 and Tajudeen Sholaru, 56, are facing a two count-charge of attempted murder and kidnapping at a Yaba Magistrates` Court. The prosecutor, Sgt.

Chinalu Uwadiore, told the court that the accused committed the offences on December 10, 2010 at Oke Gbodo, Ikorodu. He said the accused attempted to kill Adebowale Adedoyin, Lateef Olayiga and Ahmed Olayiga, when they shot at them while trying to survey the plots of land bought by Adedoyin. He also told the court that during the attack, the accused also kidnapped Oriyomi

Anjorin and Abiodun Ogundare who were among the team surveying the land. The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 320 and 364 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Demi Ajayi granted them bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum. She adjourned the case till July 22, for further hearing.

Accused remanded for ‘stabbing man to death’


N Ebute Meta Magistrates' Court, Lagos, on Friday remanded 26-year-old Afeez Fatai at Ikoyi Prisons for allegedly stabbing a man to death with a broken bottle. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fatai's plea, who is standing trial on a charge of murder, was not taken by the magistrate. The Magistrate, Mrs


Folashade Kayode, ordered that the accused be kept behind bars pending when the court would get an advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The prosecutor, Insp. Paul Inedu, told the court that the accused allegedly used a broken bottle to stab Taoreed Bello during a brawl. According to him, Bello later died of injuries he sus-

tained during the fight. Inedu said the offence which was committed on May 10 at Akpakpa, Pako-Ajegunle, a Lagos suburb, contravened Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State. NAN also reports that the accused, on conviction, may be sentenced to death. The case has been adjourned to August 26 for further hearing.

Police arrest three robbery HE police in Lagos policemen on routine suspects that on Friday arrested patrol in FESTAC Town ar-

two robbery suspects with a locally-made shotgun and six live cartridges near the Alaba International Market, Ojo. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suspects were arrested after allegedly robbing a lorry with registration number XC 460 KJA. The lorry was conveying some goods to the market.

Confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Samuel Jinadu, said that the suspects were arrested by a team of anti-robbery policemen from the Ojo Police Station. He said that the suspects were within the ages of 25 and 27. Jinadu also told NAN

rested a robbery suspect with a locally-made pistol and two live cartridges. According to him, the suspect was arrested on June 29 in an uncompleted building. Jinadu said that all the suspects would be transferred to the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, for further investigations.

• • • • •

Be cautious when entering private vehicles that operate as taxis Avoid spending the night with free women In crowded bus stops, hold tight to your bags and pockets in order not to be robbed by pick pockets Do not leave your children with strangers, especially in religious places of worship. Always secure your residence by locking up the place. Do not allow a stranger to embrace you in the public as such person may be out to pick your wallet Mind how you leave your car with strangers as some may be robbers. Be observant inside and outside bank premises in order not to be trailed by robbers. Provide adequate security for cash in transit, including the use of police escort, also stop keeping money or valuables inside your car. Help the police to help you. Let us join hands to rid our society of crime. It is our collective responsibility. Report suspicious movement within your vicinity to the Police, never confront crimi nals as your life is very important, call the police on the following numbers: Police Control Room 1 emergency/distress call telephone numbers 07055350249, 07035068242, RRS Control 2 Alausa 08065154338, 07055462708, Control Room 3 SHQ: 08079279349, 08063299264 and 767 Toll free line. MISSING PERSONS


One Nneoma Grace Ogba ‘f’ aged 14yrs old about 3ft tall, fair complexion, speaks English and Igbo language fluently. If seen, contact one Chima Obuma ‘m’ of No. 8, Abimbola Odunsi Street, Ifako Ijaiye Lagos or Ikeja Police Station.


One Folake Godonu ‘f’ aged 27yrs old about 6ft tall dark in complexion, speaks Yoruba and Egun Languages fluently. If seen contact one Joseph Godwin ‘m’ of Ikoga Zebbe Badagry Lagos or Badagry Police Station.


One Benjamin Onuikpu ‘m’ aged 30yrs about 4.8ft tall fair complexion, speaks English and Hausa Languages fluently. If seen contact one Monisola Adetola ‘f’ of Block 94 Flat, 1 Jakande Estate Isolo or Festac Police Station.


One Feyisara Oyindamola Shittu ‘f’ aged 32yrs old about 5ft tall, dark in complexion, speaks English and Yoruba Language fluently. If seen contact one Mr. Shittu Kamoru ‘m’ of No. 6/ 8, Rufai Street, Onipanu Shomolu Lagos or Onipanu, Police Station. One Blessing Ojumo ‘f’ aged 21yrs old about 4ft tall dark in complexion speaks Awori Egun Languages fluently. If seen contact one Hajia Muse Ariyo ‘m’ of No. 10, Okoya Ilomas Close Surulere Lagos or Surulere Police Station. One James nkama ‘m’ aged 29yrs old about 5ft tall light in complexion speaks English and Igbo Language fluently. If seen contact oen Mrs. Udok Eze Onelaka ‘f’ of No. 17A Broad Street or Ebute Ero Police Station. One Olalekan Alawode ‘m’ aged 41yrs old about 5ft tall dark in complexion speaks Yoruba and English Language fluently. If seen contact one Taiwo Alawode ‘m’ of No. 28 Mourning Star Street, Ejigbo, Lagos Police Station.

5. 6. 7.


One Toyota highlander Jeep with Reg. No. ET 250 SMK Colour Navy Blue with Chassis No. JTEDP21A340001497 and Engine No. 3MZ0037370. If seen contact any nearest Police Station or Itire Police Station.


One Toyota Corolla S/car with Reg. No. LN 471 EKY Colour Ash with Chassis No. JTDBR32E530012917. If seen contact any nearest Police Station.


One Toyota Camry S/Car with Reg. No. AR 700 KUJ with Chassis No. 4T15KIZESPU1803 and Engine No. 551818765. If seen contact any nearest Police Station.


One Toyota Camry and Reg. No. RZ 435 AAA Colour Grey with chassis No. J4T1BG22K8WU267091 and Engine No. 556469891. If seen contact any nearest Police Station. RECOVERED VEHICLES

The Lagos State Police Command recovered a total number of 28 vehicles from 18th - 23rd May, 2011 suspected to have been stolen from different location in Lagos and the vehicles can be located at the station mentioned against each of the recovered vehicles as follows:S/NO





1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.


DC 470 MUS BW 624 AKL EY 442 APP TU 730 KJA BZ 638 KSF PP 856 RBC EE 809 KJA DG 491 GGE ET 398 APP SM 974 KJA EP 61 KRD SD 242 KJA DY 489 AAA DN 623 LSD FW 449 LSR DE 934 RBC NW 137 AAA CS 239 MUS JF 80 KJA 473 APP DE 686 KTU XC 691 LSD XZ 184 MUS DR 921 ABJ FY 993 EKY XU 119 APP DA 244 APP BF 734 GWD



Members of the public who have claims to the recovered vehicles should check at the police station mentioned against each recovered vehicles with original documents. Claimants should endeavour to check the engine numbers as the original registration numbers may have been tampered with.



CITY BEATS Lagos marks African Child’s Day


HE Lagos State Government has held the African Child’s Day. The anniversary was set aside by the United Nations (UN) to commemorate what happened 35 years ago when pupils took to the streets of Soweto in South Africa, protesting their rights to quality education and the use of local languages in public schools, were massacred. This year’s celebration held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, amid pomp and pageantry, as the government assembled thousands of school children who performed creatively to the admiration of the large audience. Pupils from the state primary schools set the pace for the event with a beautiful dance presentation popularly known as Atilogwu. There was also a drama sketch and various forms of performances from the students to depict the plight of the African child. They told the story of the African child who is subjected to a lot of hardship as a result of the poor income of their family that is barely sufficient to feed let alone having the opportunity to be educated. The children, through their presentation, appealed to the government to take more than a passive interest in the plight and affairs of the African child through the establishment of programmes and policies that would address their situation In her presentation, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Risqat Akiyode, quoted the UN statistics as saying that the population of street children worldwide is about 150 million, while that of the Africa child is about 30 million. “This figure is disturbing when

Stories by Miriam Ndikanwu

you consider the fact that children constitute 34 per cent of the global population, and in many developing countries including Nigeria children make-up 50 per cent of the population. “The genesis of such large number of African children on the street could be traced to bad leadership, economic crisis, and civil strife, inadequate and collapsed socioeconomic infrastructures, weak legal institution, poverty and lackadaisical attitude by the ruled and rulers to the plight of children. “At the same time, the United Nations Millennium campaign claims that a significant number of African children under five years die from preventable and or curable diseases every year. Therefore, this year’s celebration is a clarion call for all to come together for urgent action in their favour,” she said. According to her, “the condition of street children is pathetic because they are the victims of sexual abuse, forced marriage, child labour, economic exploitation, deprivation, denial of rights and lack of access to medical care and education. These are part of the problems confronting children on the street and also militating against their growth, development and survival as members of the larger society. “To address issues affecting them, the state government has put in place a policy that guarantees their rights protection and structure that will enable them to live a dignified life. In Lagos State, the full implementation of Child Rights Law is the beginning of wisdom for child abusers.” Akiyode said many children had been rescued and errant parents and guardians were being prosecuted, while she implored NonGovernmental Organisations,

• The pupils at the event

The United Nations Millennium campaign claims that a significant number of African children under five die from preventable or curable diseases every year

parents, guardians, schools, traditional and religious societies to team-up with the state, as the government alone could not shoulder this responsibility. She implored the children to always open up and share their experiences with their mates, teachers, counsellors as well as government officials. The Director of Child Development, Mrs. Alaba Fadiro, enjoined the children to engage in activities that would improve their lots. She assured them of the government’s commitment to programmes that would address the right of children in the state.

Fadiro enjoined them to take particular interest in self development, adding that God has given to each and every individual unique talents which must be identified to suit the right purpose. “You must recognise what you are good at, some children are gifted in talking, and today Alibaba and Basketmouth are making a living out of talking. People queue in Nigeria and even outside the country to see their shows so I am appealing to you to identify what you are good at and make the best out of it.” Speaker of the Youth Parliament, Emmanuel Awobonor said the Day of African Child “implies the day we commemorate the massacre of

children in South Africa and it helps us to exhibit the potential that we have in us. Children are the future of tomorrow, and when they are given the opportunity to express themselves, they excel.” “The Lagos State Government in the last four years has done so well in regards to children programme, especially as it concerns implementation of the Child’s Act Law, but there is still more to be done, especially for children in the developing parts of the state to be given a chance to take their future in their hands and become what they want to be.” A Senior Secondary School III student of Opebi Senior Grammar School, Rita Ayere, said: “I lost my dad when I was 13 years old and when that happened I felt that everything has come to a standstill. “I was almost giving up on myself, but help came through my aunt who made me realise that I have a future.”

Residents urge Fed Govt to repair Apapa –Oshodi Expressway


HE Apapa-Oshodi Expressway is one of the major roads that connect the nation’s sea ports. This road, which was once a pathway that drives economic activities, has collapsed due to neglect. Motorists and residents groan on the pothole-ridden road that causes harrowing experience. More worrisome is the constant flood at some strategic locations after a heavy rainfall due to blockages of the drainage channels. These pools are right in front of Zenon Petrol Filling Station immediately after Cele bus stop, Fagbems filling station by Mile 11 bus stop, from Oshodi-Apapa. There are also flooded areas around Texaco and around Coker bus stop en-route Apapa-Oshodi, among others. The pathetic situation on the road has led to frequent break down of

vehicles, especially trailers and heavy duty trucks. The road also poses a security threat as robbers take advantage of the traffic snarls to unleash mayhem on its users. Narrating his ordeal on the road, Mr Johnson Udoh, a bus driver, said the state of the road poses a serious challenge to transporters on the route “The situation is really bad and it has affected our job badly. You can notice that these days, there is perpetual traffic on the route because of the many potholes and flooded

areas. “I have been on this job for about 10 years and I can tell you it has not been like this. We can no longer meet up with the number of trips we used to run daily because of the constant traffic holdups on the road. Besides, some bus drivers have diverted to other routes to meet their targets.” He lamented the constant attacks on motorists by robbers on the route, saying this would not have been the case if the road was in good shape with the traffic flow-

We pay our tax and expected that the government in return should provide the basic infrastructure needed. If the contract for the repairs of the road has been awarded as claimed, how come it is taking so long before it is fixed?

Lagos, stakeholders to partner on tourism


HE LAGOS State Government and stakeholders in the hospitality industry have brainstormed on the strategy that would help reposition the state as one of the world’s tourism destinations. The forum, which held at the Conference Hall of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEMA) featured many participants from both public and private sectors. State Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr Oladisun Holloway,

who spoke on the theme, Tourism as a veritable source of revenue generation for private and public sectors in Lagos State, explained that the development was to identify ways through which tourism can contribute to the economic prosperity of the state. The commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ashamu Sewanu, said that this was expedient based on the investment of the government in the tourism potential of the state. According to him, ”the state government has done much in the last

four years, particularly in the area of urban renewal, roads development and maintenance, good transportation, traffic controls, security of lives and properties as well as creating enabling environment to promote the growth of tourism and hospitality industry in the state.” He explained that the state is endowed with tourism resources which include a 180- killometre beach front, multiple island of about 350 kilometres lagoon foreshores, histories, heritage sites on slave trade and hospitality establishment.

ing freely. “A lot of people now avoid the Apapa –Oshodi route when it is getting dark because of the incessant harassment from robbers. We are appealing to the government to come to our aid and reconstruct the road,” he said. A resident, Mrs. Rosemary Ogunjobi, lamented the state of the collapsed road: “I don’t understand the rationale behind the politics that the Federal Government is playing on a major road like this. Last year, we learnt that the contract for the rehabilitation of the road was awarded and we were so happy that construction would have progressed before the rains arrived. “We pay our tax and expect that the government in return should provide the basic infrastructure needed. If the contract for the repairs of the road has been awarded as claimed, how come it is taking so long before it is fixed? There is construction going on the Badagry Expressway and even a blind man can feel the impact of that project, but we cannot say the same on the Apapa-Oshodi route. “Each time it rains, the road is flooded and we find it very diffi-

cult to either leave for work or return from the office to our respective homes.” She noted that there was an urgent need for the government to address the situation which she said has not only affected businesses along the Apapa axis, but has become a national shame. Another motorist, Mr. Matthew Ogwugwa, blamed the collapse on the road on negligence by both the Federal and state government. “The situation is so glaring and there is no way the road will not be flooded, especially when the drainages are blocked. Another resident Kazeem Ugbodaga said the experience on the road has been appalling and it is a national shame that the Federal Government has not deemed it fit for several years to put it in shape. It is sad that a road that leads to the nation’s port is abandoned with impunity. My experience on that road so far has shown that the ocean on the road has led to untold traffic gridlock as motorists spend hours plying the route instead of about 30 minutes.





IVE patients have benefitted from the Open Heart Mission surgeries organised by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and its foreign experts from India. This brings to 55 the number of those who gained since the subsidised cardiac surgery mission begun six years ago. According to the LASUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof Wale Oke, the Lagos State Government aims to ensure that cardiac patients have surgeries at reduced costs through its Open Heart Mission to prevent them from travelling abroad. He said the state had demonstrated its readiness by allocating N35million for cardiac surgeries with N25million already spent to treat patients. “Governor Babatunde Fashola’s plan is to ensure that patients are operated in the state rather than travelling abroad to spend $3million in the United States or two million pounds in the United Kingdom for a surgery that can be done in Nigeria,” he added. Oke said the completion of the state’s Renal and Cardiac Centre at Gbagada was an indication to show the state’s commitment to patient’s care. “The hospital is also concentrating on interventional and surgical solution. Its focus is on preventive medicine than curative medicine,” he said. Oke warned of the danger of taking local concoction or herbs known as agbo, adding that nobody knows its chemical composition and as such may affect the heart when drunk. “In addition to that, smoking and alcohol consumption may also trigger heart diseases,” he said. He identified hypertension and diabetes as two major causes of heart disease, adding that some patients develop heart diseases due to their genetic pre-disposition because they were born into a family where the disease is common. “If you have a relation who has the disease, you may also have it. It may run in the family, “he said. LASUTH”s Paediatric Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Barakat Animashaun, said the

•From left: LASUTH Deputy Director, Hospital Administration, Mrs Olajumoke Akinlawon, Board Member, Otunba Muili Ayodele Alakija, Prof Oke and Board member, Dr Waliu Braimo at the event.

LASUTH treats five, offers subsidised cardiac surgeries By Wale Adepoju

hospital has been closing holes in patients’ hearts since 2005 when the mission begun, but stated that the hospital was still lacking in capacity to handle very complicated surgeries that needed very advanced technology. “It is not all problems that the hospital can address yet, but 70 per cent of the problems can be solved or managed by surgical

intervention. The complicated ones need to be sponsored,” she said. Animashaun, who is of the Department of Paediatric and Child Health of the hospital, said LASUTH could do intervention because holes in the heart can be closed without opening up the heart. They are closed using dark patches. She said: “We were able to close two holes in the hearts of two children, another two

benefitted from other surgeries and one adult was also operated on.” The cardiologist said many were not born with rheumatic heart disease, but developed it, adding that mothers who feed on diet without folic acid may give birth to babies with congenital heart disease. Mrs Animashaun warned that babies born blue instead of red or pink should be taken to the hospital immediately as they are at risk of having heart problems. On more symptoms, she said: “The way a child breathes is faster than that of an adult but if it is too fast then it may be a pointer to heart disease. Babies with heart problems may also cry excessively and uncontrollably.

Council pledges commitment to agric


•From left: Bashorun, Prof. Osuntogun and Mrs Ayo Awokulehin, during the 2011 International Cooperative Day in Lagos.

Experts canvass youths participation in co-operative societies


HE need to establish programmes that will promote youth participation in cooperative societies was the main focus of the 2011 International Day of Cooperative in Lagos State. The week-long event, which climaxed with a lecture and the ground breaking of the state cooperative college at Johnson Agric Complex Okooba, Agege. The event geared towards the United Nations (UN) objectives of increasing awareness on cooperative activities, highlighting the UN and international cooperative movement goals and underscoring the contribution of both agencies to the resolution of the major problems of unemployment and poverty alleviation. In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos

By Miriam Ndikanwu

State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr. Yakub Basorun, said the state cooperative, which started with the Agege Planters’ Union (APU) in 1907 and developed to 108 cooperative societies in 1996, has witnessed tremendous increase of 12,000 societies of which over 8,000 active societies have cumulative asset base in excess of N40billion. He said the rapid development in the state cooperative activities has come with various challenges which must be resolved by the stakeholders to forge a common front towards achieving the objective. Basorun listed the achievements recorded to include investment in landed properties, adding that the various banking facilities and

opportunities has exposed the societies to many temptations to increase its liquidity base. The permanent secretary also called for members contributions in research, saying this should be done in collaboration with the ministry so that maximum value would be achieved to the benefit of all and sundry. The former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof Adeniyi Osuntogun, in his lecture, entitled Youth the future of cooperatives enterprises, emphasised the need for the government to mainstream cooperatives in all programmes of youth in the state. Highlighting the importance of cooperative in youth development, Osuntogun noted that par-

ticipation in cooperative provides young people opportunities to address their practical and strategic needs; offer them a model of enterprise to create their own business and opportunities to be employed with enterprises that address young people’s concerns for more democratic, responsible and ethical business operations. He listed other strategic importance to include the provision of opportunities for the youths, creation of models that embody collaborative forms of actions appalling to the younger generation as well as provision of a platform to gain employment experiences, further their education and provide capacity building and participation in decision making in cooperatives.

ETERMINED to increase the capacity of local farmers in the council to enhance their capacity to produce food, the Chairman of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, Mr Demola Doherty,has pledged his readiness to increase the council’s investment in the agricultural sector. Doherty made this known last Tuesday after a tour of some farms across the council. He equally spoke of the determination of his council to upgrade all major markets in the local government. He said his administration’s commitment to agriculture is to ensure food sufficiency in the local government. Doherty said: “My government is interested in feeding its people. If farmers want more support from the local government council, we are ready to do so because of our commitment to ensuring food sufficiency in the council.” He rated as satisfactory the performance of all farmers who are enjoying the FADAMA III in the council. “I am actually impressed by all what I have seen and these have encouraged me. This FADAMA project is what every local government should endeavour to support as it assures food

By Yinka Aderibigbe

sufficiency and empowers small farmers.” Earlier, the Chairman of the FADAMA Community Association (FCA), for IfakoIjaiye Mr Joseph Adeniyi Bankole, said the FADAMA User Groups have benefitted assets such as poultry cages, plastic ponds, generating sets, freezers, submersible pumps cutlasses, surface pumps and grinding machines for farmers and widows of the council. He said: “To enjoy the benefits in FADAMA, you have to register as a group of not less than 10 farmers with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the certificate would, thereafter, be presented to FADAMA with a list of requests by the group.” He said FADAMA is a World Ban- assisted agriculture-based project with counterpart funding from the Federal Government, the state as well as the local governments. Individual beneficiaries are also required to put down 30 percent of the cost of the inputs. “The FADAMA project is aimed at assisting backyard or low end farmers to develop capacity aimed at making them self-sufficient in food production for the purpose of making food available for the people.”

MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011



QUOTE OF THE WEEK “The Lagos State government’s efforts to curb the occurence of building collapse can only yield results when everyone conscientously complies with all relevant regulations, especially those that impacts on human life. Senator Oluremi Tinubu speaking on a collapsed building in Lagos last week.

‘Please, rescue us from flood’


NE man’s meat is another man’s poison. So, holds a popular saying. While some crave for the rains, many fervently pray against it, even on mountain tops, particularly when it comes with loss of lives and property. About six streets - Akin Olugbade, Church, Alhaja Mama, Bilesanmi Adedayo and Jemi Alade in the Egbeda-Idimu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State – are submerged. They are among the streets in the metropolis that will never pray for rain, not even drizzles. The early morning down-pour

By Dada Aladelokun

last Sunday did the havoc. An unlucky 16-year-old boy almost drowned. Two persons had, the previous Wednesday, lost their lives in the same area during a downpour. Mrs. Florence Adebowale whose son, Segun,16, was resuscitated at a nearby hospital, said Segun had gone to the bathroom to ease himself when she started hearing shouts for help. “All the neighbours rushed out and I was shouting Segun, Segun even as I rushed to the backyard. As I got there, other neighbours standing

Two people died in this same flood issue last week and if not for the prompt action of the people, we would have lost another person

by the entrance of the corridor just pointed to the flood. Just then, two men emerged and jumped into it. A few minutes later they brought out Segun and so we quickly rushed him to the hospital. If not for the neighbours, the boy would have gone,” she said. The rains started shortly after 4am. Mike Okwara, chairman of Akin Olugbade Landlord Association, explained that the problem with the area was the absence of a functional drain that would take the water down to the LASUIba Express Road. “We have made representation to the state government about the flood in this area. We met with the then Commissioner for the Environment, Muiz Banire, who assured us that the area would be looked into in 2008. But this is 2011; nothing has been done even though, on several occasions, the

officials of the Ministry of the Environment were here. That is all we have seen. “Two people died in a similar flood last week and if not for the prompt action of the people we would have lost another person. A lot of us relocated last week when it was flooded only to return a few days later but here we are again, we had to move out again. “We are tax-paying residents who should at least enjoy some government benefits such as simple functional drains. As you can see no road is accessible here now and it will remain like this until another four days that is if there is no constant rain. We don’t want to lose another life even if we have to lose property but not lives like that of last week. “We appeal to our leaders in government both here in the EgbeIdimu Council Area and Alausa to help out in the drains. One of the promises former deputy governor Mrs. Sarah Sosan made to this area when she was campaigning in 2003 was that the drains would be done, but here we are, back to square one,” he lamented. Mr Ajibola, a resident of Jemi Alade Street, one of the affected

streets, said members had made representations to the former deputy governor through her husband, retired Commander Sosan, on the need to construct the drains to avert further disaster in the environs. “Some four years back, a house collapsed in this vicinity, the only grace at that time was that there was nobody in the building before it came down. Another life was lost here in 2006 when a woman slipped and fell into the flowing flood. “We have even on our own carried out the survey of this place when the Environment officials came here and were talking about survey. We submitted it to them in their office. We just hope and pray that the government will fulfill this promise. The difference between this government and any other one is its integrity. We pray they will still keep up to that,” he said. The Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, Chairman, Mr. Waheed Bello, could not be reached for comment. He did not pick his call neither did he return the text message sent to him. However, a breather seems on the way for the residents and others in the state as the state government has reiterated its determination to tackle flooding, especially in floodprone areas.

Cleric condemns violence


CLERIC has criticised the Boko Haram Islamic sect for unleashing violence in some parts of the North. The Episcopal Vicar, Ikeja Region, Rev. Fr. John Aniagwu, urged the group not to give Islam a bad name through its violent streak. Speaking at the Feast celebration/ inauguration of St Anthony’s Police Catholic Chaplaincy, Mopol 20 Barracks, Ikeja, Lagos, Aniagwu said: “The way the founders of Islam practised Islam is not the way the Boko Haram group is practising it. “They should not hide under Islam to commit atrocities. Their practice negates the real concept of Islam.” In his welcome address, the parish priest, Rev. Fr (ASP) Paul Omotosho, said it has not been easy combining police and priestly work, saying, “for I’ve come to discover that the police is a special apostelate and that is why we thank God. I am proud to tell you that in the Police Barracks in Nigeria, this is the first that has a grotto.” He also stressed the importance of prayer safe-guarding lives and property. On why they were building churches in Police Barracks, he said a signal came from Abuja that every police barracks should have a Catholic Church, a Protestant church and a mosque. His words: “Thus, we appeal to our big parishes to help build churches in the barracks around them; help us run them till we have enough manpower to handle them for we have

• The affected streets


LAWMAKER at the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Epe 11 constituency, Segun Olulade, has stressed on the need to educate Lagosians on the activities of the House so as to dispel misconceptions. He stated this in an interview with CityBeats in his office at the Assembly complex last week. According to Olulade, many people blame the House if anything goes wrong in their constituencies or if things don’t go the way they expect.

By Ebele Boniface

less priests. We even solicit for individuals to help in this cause too.” Father Aniagwu said people should no longer fold their hands and watch them kill and maim innocent people but they should, pray to God to make them have a change of heart and the politicians who use them to unleash terror on the populace. On the establishment of police chaplains in barracks, the Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Samuel Jinadu, said police barracks is a complete community and police officers and men including their families need prayers daily for God’s protection, provision of good health and peace saying the: “Church also promotes morals discipline, spiritual strength, especially prayers to meet challenges of policing daily and protection against the work hazards.” A group, Organisation of Responsible Men and Women for Peace in Nigeria, has condemned Boko Haram sect. In a statement, the group said: “Boko Haram people have been using dangerous weapons to destroy lives and properties. These acts, we believe threaten the security of the nation. Therefore, it is our view that those already caught as members of the group be urgently tried in accordance with the Law of the land in order to serve as deterrent to others.”

Lawmaker decries misconception about Assembly By Oziegbe Okoeki

He said: “We need to project the House in the right direction and we need to let the people know what we are really doing here. There is a lot of misconception about the House. For example, people expect us to fix bad roads and all that. “There is need to let them know that some of these things are not our responsibilities as lawmakers.”

He said he also had misconceptions about the House until he became a member and now knows better. “It is quite different from what you see outside,” he said. He said: “People think that here you, just come around, sit down and maybe talk for two or four hours and go home and at the end of the day you are paid; that they are not even doing anything. But we do a lot of research here. We do public hearing. We go into committee stage, three times a week; Mondays, Tuesdays

and Thursdays, we are having our sitting and it is a continuous thing. “At times, we close by 10pm. We are working on one issue or the other. We take note of issues and people’s opinions and we look at it and research on it to find out what is really going on in those areas, we go out to even investigate some matters that are brought to us. But people think the few hours we spend in plenary is all what we do here. And that is the perception I used to see the House

before coming here. But it is more than that. Now that I am here I know that it is a different ball game, I know that you have to do a lot of things, Olulade said. Olulade said he would also want the Seventh Assembly to make laws that are people oriented and that the people will appreciate. “Laws that the people will be happy about; that yes, this is the kind of laws that protect their integrity and project their state as a state of excellence,” he added.








• Steel construction and welding

Welding no longer a menial job Welding is commonly seen as a roadside job performed by school dropouts. But it is much more than that because it cuts across every facet of human endeavour - shipping, aeronautics, automobile and manufacturing. Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) President Mr Solomon Edebiri says the group is about to give Nigerians the competitive edge in the global market. DANIEL ESSIET reports.


UNLE Folarin (not real name) started his welding and fabricating trade over 10 years ago. He went into it because he couldn’t advance beyond primary education. He started small. He enjoys his daily tasks which sometimes fetch him good money. To his advantage is the fact that he possesses the characteristics that make up a good welder, which include a steady hand and a meticulous eye. Folarin is good with his hands. Having been trained in welding steel and aluminum parts, he is comfortable applying heat to metals and fusing them in an incredibly strong permanent bond. He is used to hot metals and intense light and heat common to the work environment. Over the years, Folarin has been using electrode arc, gas flame and electric beam to weld metals and steel together. He would have grown big, but he lacks

knowledge about the skills he needs. A visit to his business premises shows that he doesn’t know that he needs tools and safety supplies for such an endeavour. If he was trained, his basic supplies would include: a tig welder, a mig welder, cylinders, stick welders, plasma cutters, fume extractor, welding helmets, respirator helmets, protective clothing, welding blankets, welding goggles, welding clamps, turntables, ground clamps, cable connectors, power tools and abrasives. His inventory would include all weldingrelated equipment, as well as other officerelated equipment, such as telephones, tables, chairs, computers and peripherals. He has a strong desire to provide the area with quality welding services, but the basic tools are not there. Consequently, he cannot engage in big time welding in such areas as ship repairs, automobile manufacturing, aerospace applications and thousands of other manufactur-

ing activities. Contractors cannot use him to join beams when constructing buildings, bridges, and other structures, and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries. There are thousands like him that will not help the nation to actualise its dream of being an industrial super power in the subregion in line with the local content law. According to the President, Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW), Solomon Edebiri, welding is not about repairing items at home or serving cottage industries. He said Nigerians now see welding as a common trade from people who enter the production process as lower skilled operators performing simple tasks. Even when they are employed in industries such as automobile, shipping, aerospace and construction, he noted that such positions are taken by expatriates because there are few Nigerians trained and certified to carry out the job.

He said companies use welders to build structures and join pipes in pipelines, power plants and refineries, adding that at this stage of the nation’s development, there should be capable Nigerians constructing ships, automobiles and aerospace crafts. To Edebiri, people like Folarin should be trained such that if they are ready to expand, they will be able to seek assistance with developing financial projections in order to apply for loans. When they are trained they will be able to develop detailed financial projections and also benefit from training to become welding engineers. He said the overall projections for the future were generally optimistic, but a few gray areas remain in the horizon because the industry is not organised. Edebiri said welding would continue to • Continued on page 44




Welding no longer a menial job • Continued from last week

be used more in the future because it has been proven to be a productive and costeffective way to join metals. Increasingly, Edebiri said welders require training as machinery become more complex, and as growing numbers of operating and maintenance positions are highly skilled, and employers prefer to hire graduates of welding technology. Overall, the NIW President said local welding competencies should keep pace with growth in specialised segments, such as aluminum.He said Nigerians need more training to be able to carry out welding with mixed gas shielding; sheet metal industry; construction industry; infrastructure repair; transportation industry; marine structures; aerospace and automotive. Without the development of an indigenous welding industry, he said economic stability will not return and the need for infrastructure will continue to grow. According to him, welding is a key element of the steel manufacturing industry which is an intensely competitive one. He said the capability of local welders have to improve to keep pace with the manufacturing processes, adding ,however, that there are Nigerians who can be used to revive industries such as Ajaokuta Steel project because of their proven skills to increase productivity sufficiently to make the company remain competitive in the regional and local market for steel products. Despite the fact that welding is used in virtually every industry, Edebiri regretted that the profession is virtually ignored as a manufacturing science, probably because of the shortage of certified welders in most

major market areas. This shortage, he noted will worsen unless substantial programmes are implemented to promote welding as an attractive career choice for young people.” For Nigerians not to be marginalised, he said his institute wants to do away with plain skill welders as the need for welding engineers will increase dramatically as welding automation becomes more prominent. He said its certification programme will include training to create standard certification for welding expertise on all platforms, adding that the institute wants to transfer welding knowledge to the factory floor as more trained professionals and dissemination of knowledge are needed. As the technology that runs many of the steel and finishing mills becomes more complicated, Edebiri noted that welding skill levels needed to operate these plants has grown. While some entry-level workers need only trading to carry out simple tasks, further education is usually required to obtain more skilled production jobs. According to him, the government and the private sector need to see the reputation of welded components being reliable and economical, the industry’s commitment to research and development and the dedication of its work force - as signs of its strength. The other issue is to use welding technology to prevent costly failures from ever taking place. Edebiri said his institute believes in improving the image of welding so that students will be drawn to the industry and that better training methods for welders and

welding engineers are the keys to the profession’s future. He said there is improved level of cooperation between the institute and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) to update the skills of welders through technical training and technology advancement. According to him, the industry can provide 500,000 jobs. He said the major industries which are significant users of steel include manufacturers of structural metal products used in construction, motor vehicle parts and equipment. For skilled production jobs, welders with higher qualification welding technology or equivalent training will have very good job opportunities. Over the next one year, he said a large number of Nigerians will acquire training in underwater welding to enable them take up offshore assignments. He said the institute is launching a capacity building campaign to empower Nigerians to take positions in the steel industry. Edebiri said the move is borne out of the aim to improve the competitive edge of Nigerians in the global market, where the demand for steel work is expanding. To ensure the implementation of Federal Government directives and address other key capacity building issues, Edebiri said the institute is working with the NNPC, through its Nigerian Content Division (NCD), on a series of interventions aimed at bridging skills gaps and removing blockers to local fabrication companies participating in the industry. He said a skill upgrade programme aimed

• Edebiri


at training a sizeable number of welders in modern welding techniques is being sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), adding that the training will upgrade the welder’s capability in fabrication involving pipes, plates and associated structures. Edebiri said the institute is working with the West African Welding Association to package a certification upgrade programme that will involve standardisation and unification of welders assessment.


NNPC gets new company secretary/legal adviser


• Madichie

HE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the appointment of Mr Anthony Chukwuemeka Madichie as the Company Secretary and Legal Adviser as well as the Group General Manager, Corporate Secretariat and Legal Division of the Corporation. He replaces Prof. Yinka Omoregbe. Born on January 18, 1955 in Onitsha, Anambra State, Madichie obtained his law degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in

1981 and was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982 to commence his three decade old glorious practice of the legal profession. During his mandatory National Youth Service Scheme(NYSC), he functioned as the Senior State Counsel to the Vice President at the then State House, Ribadu Road, Lagos. Straight from youth service, he joined the NNPC in 1984 as a Legal Officer and in the years ahead,

Madichie rose to become Company Secretary and Legal Adviser of Napoli Bermuda Limited and Duke Oil Limited both subsidiaries of the NNPC. In 2006, he was promoted General Manager, Legal and Insurance of the National Petroleum Management Services, NAPIMS, a division of the NNPC. Subsequently, Madichie was appointed Group General Manager, Tenders, Contract Administration and Upstream Department, Corpo-

rate Secretariat and Legal Division of the Corporation. He is a member of various associations and professional bodies including the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association and Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, among others. An indigene of Awgbu, Orumba North Local Government Area, Anambra State, Madichie is an active member of the prestigious Out-Okiwu. He is married with children.


Are you not supposed to be employed by now? A

RE you still wondering why you have not yet secured your dream job? Or even worse, why you are not even being called in for a job interview by the recruitment agency let alone the employer? Well, have you taken a step back and looked at the package that you are offering and how you are presenting it? Maybe your offering is just not packaged together correctly which is why you are continuously being overlooked, even though you just know you are the right person for that job. With the unofficial unemployment rate in Nigeria standing at over 30 per cent, there are millions of un-employed Job Seekers scouting the marketplace for their ideal job, and even more employed professionals applying for the same jobs, it is imperative that you take every effort of going above and beyond to ensure that you stand out from the crowds.

Let’s start by considering the basics, Your resume

By Olu Oyeniran

Clean up your resume and ensure that it is professionally put-together with no typographical, spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure that the layout and format conforms to that of a professional resume. Your strengths and key skills – as they relate specifically to the job that you are applying to – should be clearly highlighted and visible at a glance at the off-set. Be sure not to make silly mistakes that can get you eliminated even before the short-list stage. Go through your resume to ensure that you have covered all essential aspects that make up a professional resume.

Next, develop a professionally-written application When applying for a job opening, please extend the recruiter the courtesy of ensuring that your skills do in fact meet the minimum requirements that they have set-out in the job advertisements. Do not apply to job advertisements that

you are not suitably qualified for as this wastes both your time and that of the recruiter. If you do believe that you closely match the requirements and skills contained in the job advertisement, then be sure to create a professional, top self-selling customised application, sometimes referred to as cover-note (not a standard one-size-fits-all) that is addressed personally to the hiring manager (not personnel/human resource dept), if possible, and that refers to the job title and where you saw the job advertised and on which date. Then, immediately get to the point and explain briefly why your skills best match the job and why you should be considered. End off by thanking the recruiter for their time. Be sure to include any relevant documentation or information that the recruiter might have asked for in the job advertisement. (see more on this at

Finally, present yourself in

the most professional manner.

Should you be fortunate enough to secure an interview either with a recruitment agency or the employer directly, be sure that the product (you) matches the brochure (your resume) in the most professional manner. Be mindful of your interview manners, but most importantly, dress appropriately for the job interview. Remember to prepare to dazzle in the job interview by researching the company, understanding the job requirements and knowing your strengths and how to communicate these effectively and in context to the job that you are being interviewed for. Consider carefully the type of interview body language that you are giving off and be careful to avoid as far as possible - making any of the common job interview mistakes. Come prepared with a set of interview questions yourself. Job seekers who attend a job interview with a well-prepared set of interviewee questions are always most successful.

Remember, every job interview is an employment opportunity. Should you be called back for a second interview, take just as much time preparing for the second job interview as you would on the initial meeting. When getting a call back for a second job interview, ask the interviewer if there is anything that you specifically need to prepare for. Without being over confident, attend your second job interview with the same intention as you did the first. Carry yourself with poise and professionalism. One more thing, remember that the best way to prepare is by anticipating securing your dream job. Good luck. Now go and secure that dream job now! Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates. Website: E-mail: Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




• Thomas

Insurance is one subject that elicits passionate debates among people. There is a general belief that insurers do not fulfil their obligations when the need arises. But the operators have their challenges too, according to the Director-General, Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Sunday Thomas, in this interview with CHUKS UDO OKONTA.

‘Govt is killing insurance with discriminatory taxation’ W

HY is electronic insurance certificate on hold? When the exercise came up, we seemed to have underestimated what is actually required to commence implementation. As we got deep into the processes and procedures that we needed to follow to make it a sustainable project, we encountered some things we did not envisage. What we have done, so far, is to run through the procedures and we observed that deeper

documentations have to be made. We have been discussing with stakeholders and, more or less, got approval from almost of them. Right now, we are almost at the stage of test-running the project and ensuring that it works as it ought to. It is not just enough for us to start. It is not a project that we can start and not continue with. So, sustainability is our major concern and we are trying to do all that is necessary to ensure we reduce human error in the processes. I can tell you that we

are closer to flagging-off the initiative. When will the initiative commence? I’m a bit careful here. We have got some data from some of our members, but I cannot tell you that we have received data from all members. However, we have set this month as deadline. We would work with whatever is available and ensure the initiative is on. What is the score card of the sector? As for performance, we have not got the 2010 data. So far, we have that of 2009 which

has a lot of improvement over what we had in 2008. In 2008, the industry had about N157 billion premium income. In 2009, it increased to about N178 billion. It is expected that in 2010, we should go above N200 billion. In terms of volume, there was a remarkable improvement, but we are not quite satisfied with the rate of increase. We believe that if our target for 2012 is to be met, we • Continued on page 46



THE CEO • Continued from page 45

need to fast track things and make sure that the rate of increase is higher than what we are presently experiencing. How has the NIA’s customers’ complaint bureau fared? Actually, it has been quite helpful. Complaints are being resolved without we making noise about them. Some of the complaints are resolved as they come; some are minor while others are major. But much more that that, a lot are still on-going and we intend by the end of this month to do an appraisal, so we can actually evaluate the impact on making insurance quite friendly to the public. Extensively, it has shore-up some level of confidence on insurance operations and we are coming up with advertorials that will make the people know that they can take advantage of the bureau. What is your strategy for salvaging the industry’s market agreement initiative? The issue of market agreement is not just about rates, but about service delivery. People would have misconstrued market agreement to mean rates. They have actually taken market agreement to be synonymous with rates cutting. It is beyond that. A lot of things are meant to be achieved through appropriate rating of risks in the insurance market. I can say the market agreement is working. We have had interventions on issues that relate to the market agreement. We had understanding on the perception of our members, hence we had a retreat and the focus of the retreat essentially is to review the agreement and make it more workable. That is exactly what we have done. So far, members are respecting the agreement. We have not had serious complaints as we had prior to the retreat. How do you enforce compliance with rules? We have a disciplinary committee among members that discipline errant members. Some members have been suspended and on serious cases, some members have been expelled. Ours is a voluntary association. If the way and manner a member conducts his affairs is not consistenct with the belief of the association, the association has the right to excuse the fellow. If the association sees that what you are doing is not helping the interest of the association, they would ask you to move, which is part of the constitution of the association. What is the association doing to deepen insurance penetration? There are efforts to deepen penetration. One of them is the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) which we are working on, closely with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and we are doing very well in this regard. I know companies that have capitalised on it and it is really boosting their business as reflected in their results. Those firms that have embraced the initiative, their premium income has gone-up and their rating in terms of performance and volume has actually increased and I want to tell you that, as far as that is concerned, we have an ongoing publicity campaign, based on general and life businesses. We have the campaign on WAZOBIA radio stations in Lagos and Abuja. We hope to extend this to other regions. Of course, the bureau is also set to instill confidence in the populace. Then, we have also strengthened our human capital development, through training programmes. In the last six months, we have had trainings at different levels, just to make sure that there is a retooling of the workforce. There is now information dissemination. We believe all these things are needed to ensure that performance is impacted and increase in volume is achieved. Why has the MDRI not fully commenced? The initiative is not pending as people think. Companies have actually capitalised on the initiative to grow their businesses. I do not want to mention companies’ names, but I am aware of some companies that have capitalised and taking advantage of the initiative. We do not need all the companies to go into it at the same time. The initiative is gathering momentum and it is when it gets to crescendo that some companies would key in. But now some have keyed in and they are trying to position themselves. I am aware of some companies that are actually going from house to house trying to ensure they educate the people on the initiative. What is happening now is the combination in implementation and awareness. I guess that when every body catches up with the awareness and implementation there would be great benefits from the initiative. Is the delay by NAICOM in enforcing the implementation of the initiative not affecting operators? No! What NAICOM is doing is to ensure

‘Govt is killing insurance with discriminatory taxation’

• Thomas

‘Insurance is quite different from the banks. What happened in the banks cannot happen in insurance. What will happen is what NAICOM is doing, which is risk-based recapitalisation. The parameter for judging insurance and banks differs. While the risk is the fundamental for insurance, the scope is what the banks are using’

• Thomas

that the environment is conducive. They are creating the framework for effective implementation. Now they are withdrawing. They would just withdraw to the back seat and monitor to see that what they have laboured for is yielding the right fruit. That is exactly what they are doing. It is not their responsibility to go into the market. They are to work with relevant government agencies to make sure that beyond certain level, people are compelled to do what they should do. For example, the motor insurance and group life

are part of the MDRI. These are things that have been on and people do not comply fully with them. With the MDRI, awareness is increasing and people would now be made to comply. We are aware that the National Pensions Commission (PenCom) has sent out circulars to institutions that, for them to get a contract in government circle, if you employ more than five employees, you must have evidence of a group life. This are evidence of enforcement. On the motor side, what we are trying to do

is to back-up what NAICOM is doing. So, by the time all these things come on stream, what we are going to see would not be arithmetic progression, it is going to be geometric. Then, companies that have been doing N6 million income would go to N6 billion. This gives me hope about our N1 trillion income target by 2012. I am actually monitoring the performance of one company that has keyed into the initiative and observed that, within a short period, it has moved from 20 to the first 10. Now, you see companies declaring profits in billions that had never happened before. Where are the billions coming from? It is as a result of these initiatives that some have keyed into. Can the industry meet the N1 trillion premium income target by next year? Setting a target is a way of challenging the operators. If they cannot achieve it, it would have set in motion improvement in the industry’s performance. If for any reason we cannot achieve it, we have already set in motion the process of achieving it. The moment we realise that we have set a target for ourselves and are working towards it, if we did not achieve it, we are on our way to achieving it. Has the Local Content Act impacted the sector? Essentially, it has. If you look at the last three years, companies that played in the oil and gas did tremendously well. So, there is a value added. Apart from that, the number of companies involved in technology-driven business practice are increasing. I read in the papers that one of them is organising training on oil and gas; this is because they have seen the need to increase capacity in those areas. The number of companies that have established specialised departments to deal in those areas has increased. And this is the way to go. Because of the enforcement of the Local Content Act, people have now seen the need to build their capacity. Three years ago, can you imagine a local company talking about space insurance? You cannot think of it. These developments are really good for the industry. Can the capital base of operators handle emerging risks? The capital base may not be adequate, but I am aware that companies that want to operate within the Local Content are making efforts to shore-up their capital. Also, NAICOM is working very hard to put in place riskbased supervision. And one of the fundamentals of risk-based supervision is risk-based recapitalisation. Risk-based recapitalisation measures the type of business in relation to the capital to back-up the business. Some companies may not be there now, but they would not be allowed to operate beyond their capacity. I think NAICOM is doing a good job in that direction. For the industry, efforts are being made to shore-up capital and of course, there have been discussions about mergers and how companies can be bigger, because companies have realised that there is beauty in been big. If they are big, they will be able to increase their capacity to retain more businesses and that will impact the economy through job creation. Do you foresee insurers toeing the line of banks as regard their capital base? Insurance is quite different from the banks. What happened in the banks cannot happen in insurance. What will happen is what NAICOM is doing, which is risk-based recapitalisation. The parameter for judging insurance and banks differs. While the risk is the fundamental for insurance, the scope is what the banks are using. For insurance, if you want to write a low level line of business you have to get the capital base and no body would trouble you, but the moment you want to go to high level risk area, you will have to acquire more capital and that is what NAICOM is doing. In effect, the banks are more or less taking cues from what insurers have lain down to do. What do you want the government to do to boost insurance? Fundamentally, one of the things that the insurance industry suffers is tax discrimination. Things like taxing of premium and commissions are not good for the industry. I am not sure that there is a jurisdiction where such things exit. I am aware also that the Federal Inland Revenue is listening to us and I believe it is going to do something about it. Another thing is that it is believed that the government has no business in business, except putting in place a favourable environment. I do not understand why a government agency wants to go into an area where private sector has excelled. The education system also affects insurance for that is where the raw material comes from. The stability of the education system will go a long way to help the insurance industry.





Investor’s Worth

A journalist’s store of values


MBASSADOR Patrick Dele Cole is a man of many parts. But his career as a newspaperman looms large, than many of his other endeavours. From his roles as a former managing director of Daily Times of Nigeria Plc to his current roles as a member of the board of Guardian Newspaper, Cole’s life-long thrust has been the public good. His main preoccupations have been discovering issues, institutions and individuals that could contribute to the general wellbeing of the society; informing and educating the society on these; reintegrating unavoidable societal changes in a way to continuously sustain the ethical, moral and intellectual balance and from time to time creating positive entertaining ways to let out built-up tensions and rigours that come with human relationships. Cole has, however, all the time remained conscious of the fact that societal stability depends on individual stability and there

could be no stable mind or character without stable and sustainable stream of incomes. While espousing ideas and leading the rigourous newspaperman’s life of protecting the interest of all even to the detriment of one’s personal interest, Cole has maintained a balance of ideologies by building up investment back-ups that could guarantee the independence of his mind, and his judgments, and stability of his thought process. As chairman of boards of directors of the only two quoted and dominant aviation companies - Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco) Plc and Airline Services and Logistics (ASL) Plc, Cole sits atop the private segment of the aviation services industry. While many states, and by implications their indigenes, which were pre-allotted ordinary shares in Nahco in the 2005, the Federal Government’s 60 per cent divestment programme did not realise the investment potential in the then ailing government-controlled company and, therefore,

FTER outlining invest ment objectives and types of assets as well as understanding the periodic cycles that determine the entry and exit rules in each investment market, an individual needs to understand the defining characteristics of each entry point to the investment market. •Cole

failed to pick their allotments, Cole’s nose was not only able to pick the news but also the investment value in Nahco. He took a position and hedged the future with shares of Nahco. His shareholding of some 0.24 per cent in Nahco turns an average of N1.3 million as cash dividends annually. Cole also holds about 0.24 per cent equity stake in ASL, which has proved to be a regular source of expendable cash. Both Nahco and ASL are valued at about N11 billion and many analysts still categorise the companies as growth stocks. Besides, Cole’s multi-million naira emoluments and fees as chairman of boards of the companies present ethical means of additional cash flow for the septuagenarian.

Ask a Broker


HN stands for Clearing House Number and it is a unique number assigned to each shareholder by the Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS). The CHN usually starts with the alphabet ‘C’ and ends with two alphabets derived from the surname of the shareholder. The CHN is somewhat similar to account number usually

What is CHN? issued by banks. Just as all deposits and withdrawals go into the bank account number, all shareholdings by an investor are entered into his CHN, provided that those shares have been dematerialised- that is, converted from physical certificate to electronic form.

As a central depository for his investments, a shareholder needs only to have a single CHN while maintaining investment relationships with several stockbrokers. This enables one to efficiently manage one’s portfolio irrespective of the multiplicity of the transaction channels.

Ways and Means

Finbank: Winning through savings

•Mrs. Suzanne


AVINGS account provides opportunities to manage, accumulate and grow savings without necessarily incurring any costs, the process of transactions. But banks such as FinBank Plc provide additional incentives to inculcate savings habits and encourage savings account holders. With the periodic FinSplash Savings Promo, FinBank gives savings account holders some other reasons to save. With prizes ranging from a car to 10, LCD television sets, five 5.5 KVA generators, 15 laptops, 20 Blackberry phones and cash, an account holder only needs to take two simple actions to be provisionally qualified for the largesse - open and keep money in a new savings account or hold money in existing savings accounts with FinBank for upwards of three months. FinBank has continued to demonstrate the reality of its savings promo with customers, customer protection agencies, activists and public opinion analysts bearing testimonies to the sincerity and regularity of the promo. At the June 29, 2011 national draw for the last promo, Tanimu Muhammad, whose ac-

count is domiciled in Murtala Muhammed Way branch, Jos, won the star prize of a Kia Rio saloon car. The national draw was the climax of a winning streak that included 16 zonal draws in various cities over a period of five months. In all, over 678 persons won various prizes at both the zonal and national draws. Sixteen customers won N250,000 in each of the 16 zonal draws while two LCD television sets, five generators, 20 DVD players and other cash prizes of N5,000 were won by 10 persons in each of the draws. The FinSplash Promo brings pleasant surprises and adds to benefits of being a savings account holder. The star prize winner at the just concluded draw, Tanimu Muhammad, testified to this. “When somebody called me and said I have won a car, I thought it was 419, but now I believe it is real. FinBank has been very good to me. I have been banking with FinBank for three years. “Their services are convenient. I thank my God, FinBank and its Management for being the star prize winner. For me, I encourage other people to bank with FinBank because it is for real,” Muhammad said as he received the keys to his new car. Besides, institutional savings account holders also stand to benefit from the largesse. At the last draw, four zonal star prizes went to non-personal account holders. Faith Works Orphanage Ministry, Kaduna, Faith Power Chris-

Starting your investment portfolio (3) A

tian Centre, Port Harcourt and United Missionary Comprehensive College, a secondary school in Ibadan, won the star prizes of N250,000 each for the Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Ibadan zonal draws, while that of Enugu zone went to a women groupEkwulobia Catholic Women Organization (ECWO) “Unlike other promos where prizes are only seen on TV or on the pages of newspapers, that of FinBank’s is different, having verifiably issued all prizes won to customers,” immediate past commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Lagos State, Mr. Jide Sanwoolu, who served as the chairman at the recent national draw of FinSplash” said. But even with all these gifts showered on the customers, Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive of FinBank, Mrs. Suzanne Iroche, said the customers deserved the gifts for staying the course. “We thank customers for staying course. We recognise that you do have a choice. But to have stayed with FinBank, we say thank you,” Iroche said. She urged customers to continue to keep faith with the bank as the bank will continue to celebrate all its customers through exceptional service delivery. Savings promotions such as FinSplash provide veritable avenues to inculcate savings culture among Nigerians. Savings it should be emphasised is the bedrock of national capital formation, the main vehicle to national economic growth and development.

Where to buy “Where to buy”, the 4th of the 5Ws and H investment process, denotes the entry point to any investment. Each marketplace has its peculiarities and a good understanding of these characteristics can greatly influence the success or otherwise of a portfolio. There are two entry points to any investment, through the primary or new issue market or through the secondary market. The primary market, as the name implies, is the entry point of securities, debt or equities, to the public domain. Previously unquoted companies and quoted companies and other issuers such as governments issue new securities to the investing public or select group of investors. The secondary market is an organised formal market for trading of previously issued securities. While the money from new issues revert to the issuers, money from secondary market transactions revert to the parties to the exchange. The major distinguishing factors between the primary market and the secondary market are pricing and cost. The issuer and the professional parties, especially the issuing house, determine the price of an issue in the primary market whereas in the secondary market, the traditional market forces of demand and supply and related variables determines the value per unit of each security. The entry point through the primary market requires no cost to the investor while both the entry and exit points in the secondary market require payments of charges and fees by the investors. Also, in the area of allotment, the issuer and its professional advisers determine allotments under primary issue while bids and supply are electronically matched in the secondary market. In these major differences lie the advantages and disadvantages of the two entry points. Many new issues have turned to be goldmines for investors because there is tendency to undervalue previously unquoted companies. Also, the current macroeconomic situation and industry outlook sometime necessitate under-valuation of new issues. The recent recession in the financial markets has moderated the pricing of many shares and as such may play influential role in the future valuation of new issues. Companies returning to the market for new funds would definitely benchmark their offer prices against average market considerations. In addition, the absence of entry cost makes new issues good opportunities for discerning investors. But there are dangers in the valuation mechanism of primary issues. Many new issuers have

By Taofik Salako

been found to engage in material misstatement and under-hand increase of their secondary market values to favour high offer prices for their impending new issues. Many so-called discounts on market prices are nothing but recent increases influenced by the issuers. Compared with valuation in mergers and acquisitions where the basis of valuation and the valuation method are extensively explained, the bases of prices of new issues are exclusive preserves of the issuers and the issuing house. So, an investor must scrutinise properly to ensure that the offer price gives best value for money. Selection of an agent Every endeavour in life requires intermediation, though the level of intermediation usually depends on the operating laws and circumstances. One of the most crucial decisions is the selection of the stockbroker or dealer to use as agent. The “who to buy through” question deals with the defining characteristics of the professional that one may choose to work with in the investment process. In every issue of this life, one needs to work with someone else to facilitate the achievement of his aim and so it is for investment. Stockbrokers are by law the only persons allowed to buy and sell shares. This makes dealing with stockbrokers unavoidable. Stockbrokers, by virtue of their position and the various elements of the investment process earlier discussed especially timing, are crucial to the success of an investor. There are six basic considerations in choosing a stockbroking firm: authorisation, clientele, products and services, research and information, synergies and longevity. Authorisation deals with the legality and genuineness of the operations of the stockbroking firm. By this, an investor seeks to ascertain that his agent is legally recognised and authorised to carry out the business of stockbroking. There are three institutions that altogether confer authority on a stockbroking firm in Nigeria. The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), the statutory regulator of the stockbroking profession, confers authority to practice on individuals after due qualifi-

‘There are six basic considerations in choosing a stockbroking firm: authorisation, clientele, products and services, research and information, synergies and longevity’

cations. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the apex capital market regulator, registers and regulates all operators in the capital market including stockbrokers while the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), a self-regulatory body, also trains, certifies and regulates whomever to trade on its floor as a stockbroker. Since Nigeria operates a mono-stock exchange policy that confers monopoly on the NSE, the authorisation by the NSE is also a sine qua non to buying and selling shares. It should however be pointed out that while, CIS certifies everyone that qualified as a stockbroker, SEC and NSE registers companies as dealing firms on its floor, with the principal requirement being that such firms must have qualified stockbrokers as chief executive and dealing clerks. The three authorisations thus make for a wholly recognised stockbroker. SEC and NSE from time to time publish the list of registered stockbroking firms. So, an investor must look out for the Certificate of Incorporation of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Professional Certificate of the CIS, Certificate of Registration with SEC and Membership Certificate of the NSE. All these four are expected to be conspicuously display at the reception of each stockbroking firm and in the absence of any, an investor can request to confirm the genuineness of the company. It benefits all stakeholders including investors, regulators and professionals to report quacks and impersonators appropriate authorities. Besides authorisation, perhaps the most important consideration in choosing a stockbroking firm is the clientele. Clientele involves the nature of the organisation, its business model and corporate values and norms. The nature of the organisation involves its location, structures and reach. Investor should choose a stockbroker within reach, both physically and electronically and with structures to accommodate his needs and peculiarities. These factors often depend on the business model of the company. Some stockbrokers operate the ‘wholesale model’ with their operations, structures and location skewed to attract medium to high networth individual and institutional investors while some run extensively ‘retail model’ that thrives on the mass market, made up primarily by investors of modest means. The business model is clearly a delineating factor and besides the fact that it benefits investors to choose a company that fit their means, stockbrokers also place barriers to sieve investors in line with their business models. For instance, while the popular assumption is that one can start investment with as little as N1,000 there are some stockbrokers, which stipulate minimum start-up sum of N2 million to N5 million. •To be continued




Investors spend N4.92b on bank stocks


ANKING stocks retained the leadership position at the Exchange last week with 0.68 billion units’ worth N4.92 billion in 13,042 deals. Investors in the industry had exchanged 0.25 billion units valued at N1.64 billion in 5,269 deals a fortnight ago. The banking sector, controlled 56.67 per cent of the total activities at the exchange last week. This pointed out that the banking stocks were actively traded at the exchange compared to 46.29 per cent the penultimate week, the value of money spent on banking stocks remain strong as it stood at 46.59 per cent. The Insurance sector occupied the first runner-up with 110.39 million units worth N 86.10 million in 577 deals. On average evaluation, the Insurance sub-sector accounted for approximately 9.17 per cent of the total activity and 0.81 per cent of the total funds invested at the Exchange during the week under review. On the whole, activities at the exchange last week further deepened by 2.52 per cen as against the decrease recorded a fortnight ago. The magnitude of the decrease in the activities stood at 2.35 per cent. The continuous bearish note was as a result of recent development in the financial sector coupled with the fact that investors’confidence was not strong enough to drive the general market performance. The worth of activities last week stood at N 10.56 billion with the volume of transaction of 1.20 billion shares as against the trading of 0.97 billion shares worth N 3.31 billion a fortnight ago. The Market capitalisation which measures the share price movement further dropped from N 7.89 trillion a fortnight ago to N 7.78 trillion last week. The All Share Index also declined to 24,350.18 from 24,696.83, representing a 2.52 per cent decrease on weekly assessment. Apparently, the braIndex® also fell by 2.20 per cen. Shares of Zenith Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Intercontinental Bank Plc were the toast of investors as they were actively traded in terms of volume and total investment. In terms of transactional volume, the petroleum marketing sub-sector’s performance represented an improvement of about 3.33 per cent last week. The total weekly value of stocks in this sub-sector stood at N 1.93 billion. All the three market indicators fell last week showing that overall activities in terms of volume and fund invested may decrease noticeably. The returns of both benchmarks were greater than two index point and attributable to the recent development in the banking sector. On a year-to-date basis, both benchmarks - the NSE All-Share Index and the braIndex® - showed gains of 3.53 per cent and 3.25 per cent. Stock Market Sectoral Performance Investors in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc exchanged 99.63 million units in 1345 deals worth N 1.47 million. The average number of deals remained over 269 deals per day during the week. Diamond Bank Plc was second with 98.53 million shares worth N0.50 billion. In the Insurance sub-sector, Continental ReInsurance Plc led with 36.55 million shares worth N41.75 million. The sectoral volume amounted to almost 110.39 million units and constituted over 9.17 per cent of the sector’s trading volume.

Table 1: A 5-Day Moving Average Data of the Market Indices Change(%) Index(%) Year To Date (YTD)

Average Average Average Weekly Depth 1.75

Market Capitalisation (%) (2.02)

All-Share (2.04) (2.11)



Month To Date (MTD)




Week To Date(WTD) Values

(2.50) Market Cap(trillion Naira)

(2.52) All-Share Index

(2.20) braIndex®

As of closing on July 07, 2011




Source: NSE & bra Limited Table 2: Stock Market Summary Statistics for the week ending July 7, 2011. Period Market Capitalisation (Trillion) 30/06/2011 7.98 01/07/2011 7.89 04/07/2011 7.84 05/07/2011 7.82 06/07/2011 7.75 07/07/2011 7.78 Source: NSE & Bra Limited

All-Share Index (Base Points) 24,980.20 24,696.83 24,536.96 24,465.50 24,256.97 24,350.18

braIndex® (Base Points) 16.33 16.30 16.09 15.97 15.93 15.97

Table 3: Statistics on Weekly Sectoral Contribution Sectors Banking Hotel and Restaurants Food, Beverages and Tobacco Petroleum Marketing Insurance Source: bra Limited

% of Total Trading Net Worth 46.59% 0.47% 9.18% 18.27% 0.81%

Trading Net Worth(in Naira Millions ) 3,310.77 49.58 970.58 1,936.01 86.10

Figure 1a: The All Share Index and braIndex® Performance at a Glance

Source: BRA Computation

Source: BRA Computation

Companies Appraisal The most active company in the Banking sub-sector was Zenith Bank Plc, followed by the Diamond Bank Plc. The company closed the week at N0.50 billion in 426 deals. Among the most active companies in the Insurance sub-sector were Continental ReInsurance Plc, NEM Insurance Co. (Nig) Plc, Lasaco Assurance Plc, and Aiico Insurance Plc. In the Petroleum Marketing Industry, apart from Oando Plc, Conoil Plc and Eternal Oil and Gas Plc, claimed the very active companies in the sector in terms of trading. The Food, Beverages and Tobacco industry was also active in terms of

the market value. Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, National Salt Plc, and Cadbury Nigeria Plc were some of the most active stocks in the sub-sector. Last week, shareholders of Conoil Plc, Chellarams Plc, PZ Cussons Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc saw the value of their investments earning profit by almost five per cent while investors in Diamond Bank Plc, Capital Hotels Plc, Unity Bank Plc and CCNN Plc made less than five per cent loss daily. Points to note: The weekly stock market analy-

sis reports the current position of the outlook of the stock of the companies listed on the Exchange and the aggregate market. The NSE closed the 27th trading week on a bearish note. The movement supports our statement last week as we suggested strides towards a bearish stand. The expected improvement may, however, be small in the coming week. Historical analysis of trading volume shows that in the new week, the Banking, Insurance and Food, Beverages and Tobacco stocks are likely to continue to be the toast of investors.

Disclaimer This report has been prepared for information purposes only and for private use. Whilst reasonable care had been taken in its production, bra Limited does not guarantee the correctness of its contents nor does the company accept liability for any loss arising from a reliance on its contents. Kindly note that our suggested recommendations and other tactical actions are based on bra Limited best estimates which are guided by generally available information and our Proprietary Tools. This is not an invitation or a solicitation to deal in any stocks and we do not guarantee the future outcome of such recommendation.



CAPITAL MARKET Bond and Money Market Review


OND Market activities ended on a bullish note last week, as capitalisation increased by 0.08 per cent. The volume of market transaction increased to close at 1,480.11 points, as it started the week with 1479.11 points. Against its norms, last week the stock market on the other hand, ended activities on bearish stand last week, to replicate what was observed a fortnight ago. Market capitalisation closed with N 1.796 trillion to end last week transaction as against N 1.795 trillion observed in the penultimate week, the daily changes in the index increased by 0.05 per cent. The index movement shows that there was an improvement in the market performance though this changes are insignificant and the prices of long term instruments increased trivially. These are the major drivers of the market performance last week, though fortnight ago, the prices of traded bonds increase tremendously. The overall market review showed positive signal last week. Clearly, the market appreciated trivially as the prices of most long term instruments remain the major driving force of the overall market performance. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bond Index began the week at 1,478.85 and closed at 1,480.11 points, increasing by 126 basis points in support of a rise of 2,564 basis points a fortnight ago. It ended the week at 1,480.11 points. Average index stayed at 1,481.02 points, compared with 1,473.28 points the previous week. There was therefore an increase on the average evaluation by 1,659 basis points. The 30day, 60-day and 90-day indices dropped by 17 bps, 17 bps and 25 bps to 12.83 per cent, 13.29 per cent and 13.70 per cent respectively. Among the 15 traded bonds, most of the traded bonds had their price increased throughout last week’s trading activities. Except the short term instruments, which witnessed price stumbled. The top price gainer was the 20-year bond, 15.00 per cent FGN Nov 2028, which appreciated by 130 basis points to close at 116.02. However, the 10-year bond, 10.70 per cent FGN March 2018, which slightly rose by 75 basis points to end the week at 93.61. Figure 1 illustrates the six-month change in the bra FGN bond Index. The bra FGN bond index is a market value weighted index and is designed to measure the performance of the Nigerian investment-grade fixed income market. Although the index remained flat during most of January and February as seen, it recorded a sharp drop in March as investor outlook turned negative in the bond market in anticipation of elections. The FGN index recorded its biggest decline (108 points) in March losing roughly seven per cent of its value. We observe the stabilisation of the declining trend in April and a gradual recovery in May. The month of June shows a continuation of this improving trend with the index values reaching their March levels. The index increased by 2.1 per cent in June recovering some of its losses since mid March. Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold foreign exchange worth $182.96 million to authorised dealers at the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) window as against $400 million a fortnight ago. The dealers had demanded $182.96 million before the auction while the actual amount offered stood at $200 million. Investors in treasury bills also parted with N120.33 billion on three financial instruments maturing between three and 12 months. The bonds comprised the N29.6 billion (91-day), N40.6 billion (182-day) and N50.0 billion (364-day) tenors at the stop rates of 8.62 per cent, 9.39 per

Capitalisation hits N1.79 tr Table 4: Key Statistics of Market’s Stock Performance as of July 07, 2011 S/N

Company Name

Share Price Gain (‘N)

% of Shares’ Gain by Investors


Conoil Plc




Chellarams Plc




PZ Cussons Plc




Nigerian Breweries Plc




Dangote Cement Plc



Capital Hotel Plc




Diamond Bank Plc




Abbeybds Plc





Unity Bank Plc




C.I. Lease Plc



Source: NSE and bra Limited Indicator Turnover Value Deals FGN Bond Index Market Capitalization Index Weekly Returns (%) Index Year-to-Date Returns (%) 1-Month Returns (%) 3-Month Returns (%) 12-Month Returns (%)

CurrentWeek 197.8 million N160.43 billion 1,301 1,480.11 N1.79 trillion 1.75 5.25 0.69 5.28 18.60

PreviousWeek 192.8 million N157.84 billion 1,296 1,478.09 N1.78 trillion 1.75 5.21 0.66 5.24 18.49

% Change 2.59 1.64 0.13 0.56 0.01 0.76 4.54 0.76 0.59

Source: BRA Figure 1: FGN Bond Index

Source: FMDA Figure 2: Nigerian T-bill Primary Market Auctions

Primary Market Auction

Source: Financial Markets Dealers Association cent and 10.99 per cent respectively. The public subscriptions were N58.017 billion, N74.017 billion and N178.773 billion for the 91-day, 182day and 364-day coupons. The over-the-counter bond market notched up by 2.59 per cent last week, yielding N160.43 billion with a turnover of 197.8 million units in 1,301 deals. The amount compared favourably with the N157.84 billion invested on 192.8 million units in 1,296 deals a fortnight ago. The activity was boosted by the 20-year bond, due in July 2030, with 10.0 per cent coupon rate. It traded 41.95 million units valued at N31.30 billion in 316 deals.

This was followed by the three-year bond, 5.5 per cent FGN Feb. 2013 ,which traded 33.55 million units valued at N30.04 billion in 281 deals. Sixteen of the available 34 FGN bonds were traded during the week, compared with 12 the previous week. There were eight issues of NTBs in June worth N340 billion; this is a significant increase from May when the Nigerian Treasury issued no bills in the primary market. The yield on the one year NTBs ranged from 9.89 per cent to 10.37 per cent. In terms of long term bonds, there were two issues of FGN bonds worth N70 billion. The yield on these three and five year maturity new issues were

11.69 per cent and 12.75 per cent. Both rates were higher than rates realised in May. These rates suggest a decrease in investor demand for the FGN debt. Figure 23 shows the volume of the NTB and FGN Auctions in the Primary Market. Nigerian Yield Curves An increase was observed in the short-end of the Nigerian Interbank Treasury Bills True Fixing Yield (NITTY) curve in May compared to April and the beginning of the year. The yield on the 30-day T-bill increased to 6.83 per cent up more than 100 bp compared to 5.25 per cent in April but relatively less than the

record yield of 8.03 per cent in March. The yield on the one-year T-bill stood at 10.52 per cent down from 11.74 per cent a month earlier. This was substantially higher than the yields seen at the end of February when the one-year NITT Yield stood at 8.98 per cent. Figure 3 shows the NITT Yield curves for the last three months. The increase in the short-end of the yield curve as well as the drop in the longend suggests investors’ appetite for holding short-term debt has moderated while six-month and one-year bills have become more attractive. We believe this is a sign of improving political risk conditions in Nigeria.




Workers set for strike over minimum wage • Two-week ultimatum expires on Thursday


ILL workers go on strike over the N18,000 minimum wage? This is the question agitating the minds of the public as the workers’ ultimatum to the government to pay the wage or face a strike expires on Thursday. At the weekend, there seemed to be no headway in resolving the issue nationwide, even though some states have resolved to pay. The Federal Government has also promised to pay and is working on getting all the states to do so. Labour Minister Emeka Wogu has visited the national secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to avert the planned strike. However, the visit did not achieve much as NLC announced immediately after the Minister’s visit that the ultimatum was still on. NLC and its counterpart, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), made it clear that the non-implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage would result in mass protests across the country. They said no excuse would stop the implementation. They also vowed to do everything possible to ensure the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage with arrears. Wogu assured the NLC that the

Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu N18,000 wage would be paid, but was silent on its timing. “This second time around, although the Nigeria Labour Congress has issued a notice to go on strike, my emphasis will not only be on how to curtail strikes, there are other aspects of the Ministry that have to be pursued, such as employment generation, improved productivity and other related assignments given to the Ministry under the constitution,” Wogu told his staff after the NLC visit. The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, also affirmed that it would play its own part in the wage implementation issue, saying it would issue a circular for the implementation as soon as it gets the go- ahead to do so. The Chairman, Chief Richard Egbule, in response to Labour’s accusation that the Commission was reluctant to issue guidelines on the implementation of the new national minimum wage, said the Commission does not issue guidelines. “First, we do not issue guidelines. We issue circulars on the implementation because it is a law that must be implemented and the

• Wogu

• Omar

• Esele

process of issuing circular is for us (commission) to prepare the position and send it up.’’ Egbule, however, said there were issues to be cleared before the circular could be issued and that they were being addressed. “In a short while, it will be cleared and then the directive must come from the top for it (circular) to be issued. All the necessary clearance is being done. “It is not as if we are unwilling. As soon as we get the necessary clearance, then we will issue the circular. Right now, there is no problem, the process to issue the circular is on.’’ Labour had accused the agency of reluctance or unwillingness to issue a guideline for the payment of the new wage in the Federal service. President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Peter Esele, de-

scribed the failure to implement the minimum wage as a negation of the law. He lamented alleged unwillingness of the National Salaries and Wages Commission to produce a table for implementation to enable the Federal Government implement the law. He, however, said the government is indebted to the workers to the tune of five months salary arrears because the N18,000 minimum wage became effective in March, this year, when President Goodluck Jonathan signed the new minimum wage into law State chapters of the NLC and TUC are also warming up for the strike. Uyime Usoro, the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom chapter of the NLC, said the state workers will embark on strike once signals come from the NLC National secretariat over the National Minimum Wage, adding that the state

government was yet to implement the new wage as promised. According to the chairman, the government said the delay is due to administrative and bureaucratic problems. “Whatever that means we don’t know, all we know is that they have committed themselves to pay the new minimum wage and with effect from April.” Usoro urged the government to pay the wage effective from April. He said members of the congress would not accept “piece meal payment”, noting that the longer the postponement of payment, the more the arrears. “For us, whatever the bureaucratic or administrative reason they have for not paying, we will try our best to be patient but if we get signals from the national body of NLC to down tools, Akwa Ibom will be the first.”

Canadian writes NLC President over Secretary Odah’s sack


HE last is yet to be heard of the crisis that has engulfed the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), following the termination of its General Secretary, John Odah’s appointment. A former foreign ally of the Congress Paul Puritt has written the President of the NLC, Abdulwaheed Omar, claiming to be disappointed with the Congress’ actions concerning Odah. He said he could not bring himself to wear the NLC cap given to him again as the Congress has lost what it represented in terms of fighting for workers’ rights. In his letter to Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, Puritt, a retired officer of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) wrote: “I was given an NLC cap some years ago as a token of the NLC’s appreciation of my efforts in your education programme when I participated in Rain and Harmattan schools even after our own CLC project was completed. I used to wear this cap with pride. “Mr President, I am now ashamed to put this cap on my head. And in fact, I have vowed that I will not wear it again until John Odah is reinstated into his position as General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress.” Puritt, who had worked with the NLC on its education programmes, especially the establishment of the Rain School, and who facilitated NLC’s working relationship with CLC, urged the NLC “to reverse the situation as soon as possible.” He said the NLC has a reputation not only as the largest trade union body on the African continent, but also abroad due to John Odah’s efforts and reputation as a champion of workers’ rights. And that Omar’s actions concerning Odah, lack any semblance of due process and are widely seen as undermining the legitimacy and credibility of the NLC. Puritt added that John Odah’s sack “lacks any semblance of due process and undermines the credibility of the NLC. He, therefore, urged the NLC President to reinstate the embattled General Secretary. “I trust that you will see the light, act like a real trade unionist yourself and reverse this situation as soon as possible.” Puritt’s letter reads in part: “Mr President (Omar), even though I am retired, I am in

‘Even though I am retired, I am in touch with several people both within and outside of the NLC who are deeply concerned about the organisation, and its mandate to represent workers in Nigeria. Those I have corresponded with in Nigeria and outside as far away as South Africa are unanimously outraged by the recent abusive treatment of Comrade John Odah’

• Odah

touch with several people both within and outside of the NLC who are deeply concerned about the organisation, and its mandate to represent workers in Nigeria. Those I have corresponded with in Nigeria and outside as far away as South Africa are unanimously outraged by the recent abusive treatment of Comrade John Odah. “I had worked closely with John from 1996 to 2001 in an education project on democracy in West Africa along with participants from Nigeria and four other West African national centres. I have since followed very closely John’s tireless efforts on behalf of

the NLC and the workers it represents... I know him to be highly respected by many good trade unionists on the African continent and in North America and Europe as well...” The NLC crisis got to a head last week as one of its officers, Owei Lakemfa and the embattled Odah briefed the press separately on the goings on in the General Secretaryship saga. Lakemfa did a disclaimer on Odah, claiming he had no right to use the Congress’ letter heads. Odah, however, said his termination of appointment could not stand because

it did not follow due process. Odah threatened legal redress even as Lakemfa also threatened court action. Reacting to the disclaimer, Odah told reporters: “I reminded the new NLC leadership that the NLC has used this principle as a major point of advocacy in the struggle to defend the rights and interests of its members and that it is, therefore, only in a worldturned-upside-down that the NLC can now proceed to deal summarily with its own employees in utter violation and disregard of the very principles that it has sought to apply and teach to employers of labour, including the government. “I pointed out that in the desperation and hurry to deal with me, the new leadership of the NLC has thrown away all fairness and decency. I emphasised that I was never accused of any wrong doing for which my appointment has been purportedly terminated and that even if it can be assumed that any accusations were made, I was never made to answer the charges before my accusers.” Unionists, at home and abroad, have tried in vain to restore normalcy at the NLC.




MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011




Acura ZDX: blend of luxury, modernity The 2011 Acura ZDX’s curved and bulging body panels give it a certain appeal rare among crossover SUVs. But its form comes at the expense of function, especially when you consider it is a re-bodied Acura MDX, writes TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO.


N the plus side, the 2011 Acura ZDX features an interior that artfully blends luxury and modernity. There is a unique “Monolith” centre stack that fades to black when powered down, and sumptuous handstitched leather graces a surprising amount of surfaces. But that is tempered by the cargo and rear-seat comfort issues, along with the ZDX’s meager 1,500pound tow rating (which compares to the MDX’s 5,000-pound limit). The ZDX’s dramatically sloping roof line shaves off more than three inches of rear-seat headroom, challenging even average-sized adults to find comfort. It also eliminates about a third of the maximum cargo space found in the MDX. Being about five inches shorter than the MDX, and with a lower centre of gravity, the ZDX should be blessed with better handling. But in testing, the MDX either meets or beats the ZDX in every performance metric. Taking everything into consideration, the Acura ZDX seems to place style over substance, much like the conceptually similar BMW X6 (although the Acura costs about $10,000 less than the BMW). It is an interesting idea to create a sporty, all-weather utility vehicle that is about driving instead of hauling. But we also think this makes the ZDX a fringe vehicle compared to more conventional choices such as the Acura MDX, BMW X5 or Land Rover LR4. Body styles The ZDX is a midsize five-passenger crossover SUV. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, heated outside mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, ambient cabin lighting, a back-up camera with a rear-view mirror display, a leatherwrapped multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power heated front seats (10way-adjustable driver seat with memory, eight-way for the front passenger), leather upholstery and interior trim, a trip computer, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, Bluetooth and a power lift-gate. An eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and a USB/auxiliary audio jack is also standard. There are two significant option packages for the ZDX. The Technology package adds keyless ignition and entry, perforated premium leather seats, a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, a multi-view backup camera, added Bluetooth phone functions with streaming audio and an upgraded Acura/ELS surround-sound stereo with a built-in 15GB hard drive. The Advance package includes these features plus electronically adjustable suspension dampers, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise

•Acura ZDX

engages the brakes and tightens the driver’s seatbelt. If the system deems a collision inevitable, it increases braking force and tightens both front seatbelts.

•Interior of the car

control, a collision warning and mitigation system, heated and ventilated front seats and a sport steering wheel. Power trains and performance Powering the ZDX is a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only available transmission. Auto experts estimates fuel economy at 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg in combined driving. The ZDX’s maximum towing capacity is an underwhelming 1,500 pounds. The ZDX features the same Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system found in other Acuras, capable of transferring different levels of power to individual wheels to maximize traction

and grip through turns and in inclement weather. In recent testing, the ZDX accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, which is about a second slower than the BMW X5 or X6. Safety Standard safety equipment for the car includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Opting for the advance package adds blind-spot monitoring and a collision mitigation braking system paired to the adaptive cruise control. This system detects the likelihood of a front-end collision and alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings. If the driver takes no action, the system

Interior design and special features The ZDX features an appealing cockpit, notable for its intriguing design and liberal use of leather. Controls are arranged much like as in other Acuras, but the monolithic centre stack that fades to black when the car is powered down is unique to the ZDX. There is an abundance of buttons within reach of the driver, but for the most part, operation is fairly simple. Adding in the Technology or Advanced packages tends to clutter the centre stack’s appearance, though. Handstitched leather graces the dash pad, centre console and door panels for an upmarket look and feel. Front-seat passengers are treated to comfortable and supportive seats, but those relegated to the rear will likely find accommodations less hospitable. The sloping roof line reduces headroom to the point that even average-sized adults will brush up against the headliner. Legroom is also notably lacking, exacerbated by seat cushions mounted uncomfortably close to the floor. The ZDX also comes up short in useful cargo space. Behind the rear seats, up to 26 cubic feet can be stuffed to the glass. With the seats folded flat, maximum cargo space is only increased to 56 cubes, well short of other midsize luxury SUVs. Driving impressions Despite its sporty, rakish appearance, the car does not perform any better than the MDX crossover — one of the most athletic SUVs on the market — on which it is based. The 3.7-litre V6 provides an inspiring soundtrack, but the power it generates lacks low-end torque and falls just short of impressive. The six-speed automatic transmission executes up-shifts quickly and smoothly, however, but downshifts tend to be sluggish.












NERFUND recovers N5b from 215 SMEs


HE National Economic Re construction Fund (NERFUND) has recovered N5.1 billion from loans given to 215 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The recovery constitutes 81 per cent of the total outstanding loans to the firms as at the end December, 2010. NERFUND, said it is committed to recovering other outstanding loans against another 45 projects. It’s spokesman, Dahiru Ali, said the period of 1989 to 1999, was a difficult one for the agency. He said: “As at end December 2010, N5.11 billion was recovered from 215 SMEs, while efforts are on-going to recover various amounts outstanding against 45 projects. Upon the resumption of normal operations in 2010, the Fund has been providing credit to Micro Enterprises, either directly or through Partner Institutions,” Ali stated. He explained that NERFUND has broadened its reach to include Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), being the engine room of the economy, adding that the body recently disbursed N1.2 billion to 433 micro enterprises. The funded firms were drawn from the 721 micro industries approved by the agency at the beginning of its operations last year. The beneficiary enterprises, also referred to as projects, are those whose promoters have met the minimum conditions precedent to draw down, Ali, said. It is estimated that when fully operational, the disbursed projects will generate over 4,031 direct employment and will continue to put machineries in place to ensure that borrowers repay their loans promptly.

Stories by Collins Nweze Senior Correspondent

The Managing Director, Baba Maina Gimba, called on promoters of approved projects to complete documentations required for disbursement. He said the organisation is expediting efforts to conclude disbursement to the remaining projects so as to clear the way for further approvals, adding that some of the entrepreneurs whose

projects were financed late last year, have commenced repayment. Conditions set for accessing the NERFUND Micro Enterprises Credit Scheme, he said, entails that prospecting businesses must be engaged in manufacturing, mining, quarrying, agro-allied, industrial support services, equipment leasing and other ancillary services. Besides, the enterprise should be wholly Nigerian owned and must source its raw materials for the project locally, but could source

plant and machinery either locally or from abroad. The projects to be financed must be financially and economically viable, and should have positive impact especially in employment creation in the operating environment, Gimba said. He explained that the expected project could be a start-up, expansion, rehabilitation or diversification of existing business, while the beneficiaries are expected to own 10 per cent equity of the proposed business. The prospective beneficiary must have a limited liability

GTBank adjudged ‘Best Bank in Nigeria’ by Euromoney G

UARANTY Trust Bank has been named “Best Bank in Nigeria” by international finance magazine Euromoney. The award, which is the third in a series, was last week presented at the 2011 Euromoney Awards for Excellence Dinner, held in London. Euromoney Editor, Clive Horwood, said: “ Although the bank is only 20 years old, it is the flagship institution for the sector, employing up-to-date banking practices and technology to grow organically into one of the country’s five biggest banks. “With its London share listing, GTBank remains the firm favourite

He said the award is a testimony to the dedication and efforts of all GTBank staff, in ensuring that the bank continually sets new heights in banking excellence in Nigeria and other countries where it operates Regarded as the benchmark awards for financial services globally, Euromoney, through its Awards for Excellence, has singled out outstanding institutions in finance since 1992. This year’s awards process attracted over 600 submissions from the world’s banks and brokerage houses. Euromoney’s dedicated research team and awards panel, then rated

in terms of transparency, corporate governance, risk management and consistency of profitability,” Horwood said. Speaking at the event, Acting Managing Director, Segun Agbaje, attributed the award to a conscious adherence to the principles of professionalism, financial excellence and integrity by the bank, which have translated into the development of a strong, stable and profitable brand that the public is willing to associate with.


HE Diamond Visa Credit Card has been acclaimed the Best Credit Card in Nigeria. The award came at the just concluded Card, ATM & Mobile Expo Africa 2011 held in Lagos. The bank said the award was in recognition of the product features which promotes electronic payments and in line with the initiative of the Central Bank of Ni-

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

geria towards ushering in a cashless system in the country from 2012. Since its launch in December 2008, the Diamond Visa Credit card has provided Nigerians a convenient payment option, and a line of credit that gives customers flexible repayment terms. The product comes in three variants - Classic, Gold and Platinum cards - that employ the

Europay, MasterCard and VISA (EMV), standard application to ensure the cards work at all Visa merchants and, most importantly, that they are secure with Chip and Pin. The product has been used all over the world including the continents of Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia. The card is accepted at 160 million outlets both locally and abroad.

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


Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 4.24 4.90 0.87 0.50 14.32 27.00 0.84 0.57 1.06 3.70

C/PRICE 4.45 5.14 0.91 0.52 14.89 28.00 0.87 0.59 1.09 3.80

CHANGE 0.21 0.249 0.04 0.02 0.57 1.00 0.03 0.02 0.03 0.10


O/PRICE 2.20 25.60 88.60 59.15 1.01 1.83 1.23 4.52 1.10 1.36

C/PRICE 2.09 24.32 84.18 56.20 0.96 1.74 1.17 4.30 1.05 1.30

Robert Giles, Head, Cards, Diamond Bank, said having a Diamond Visa Card is the most convenient, flexible and safe way of paying for goods and services. It is also very rewarding. As well as these benefits, the line of credit also gives our customers access to funds when they need it most, wherever they are in the world. It’s simply better than cash.”

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 467.7m 400m 452.3m 500m 499,8m


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

all the submissions on both quantitative and qualitative factors, financial ratios and innovation over the 12 month period to decide the award winners.



OBB Rate Call Rate

•Segun Agbaje

Diamond Visa voted Best Credit Card



company or registered enterprise and can only access between N100, 000 and N5 million. The agency, said the first step aimed at securing the loan is the identification of a bankable project, which is one that is technically feasible and commercially viable. Also, applications for funding, are to be accompanied with a simple business plan attached with a proforma invoice, stating the price and source of proposed plant and machinery.

CHANGE 0.11 1.28 4.428 2.95 0.05 0.09 0.06 0.22 0.05 0.06

Amount Sold ($) 400m 400m 499.8m

Exchange Rate (N) 153.59 153.4 153.45

Date 25-5-11 23-5-11 16-5-11


Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %






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

239.4810 212.4997

244.0123 207.9023

245.6422 209.2910

-2.57 -1.51















January ’11

February ’11

May ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%

% Change 0.2% 0.2%

Rate (Previous) 04 MAR, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 24, MAY, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.62 1,586.00 0.83 0.99 1,586.00 9.97 1.39 1.87 8,827.74 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.16 1,576.75 0.80 0.99 1,576.75 9.48 1.33 1.80 8,557.25 191.08



7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

08-07-11 N7.773tr 24,310.03




07-07-11 N7.786tr 24,350.18


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 MAR, 2011

Current 07, MAR, 2011





8.5000 8.0833





No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.50 100 100

Value of Shares (N) 50.00 50.00


No of Deals 2 7 9

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.50 100,000 8.00 704,400 804,400

Value of Shares (N) 50,000.00 5,635,264.00 5,685,264.00

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 7.55 498,876 498,876

Value of Shares (N) 3,776,908.49 3,776,908.49

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.50 273,000 2.09 253,967 526,967

Value of Shares (N) 136,500.00 530,791.03 667,291.03

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 7.00 2,856,809 1.05 4,371,145 5.21 4,493,934 2.80 83,260 6.90 529,717 2.43 24,524,611 12.49 14,581,324 0.59 15,059,522 15.04 17,386,004 9.48 421,121 1.01 3,874,103 1.30 5,684,345 0.79 5,173,711 7.30 2,209,803 0.85 60,000 1.69 2,016,500 5.37 4,022,430 2.39 3,921,848 0.91 2,449,691 0.87 2,273,705 14.60 118,055,468 234,049,051

Value of Shares (N) 19,979,332.60 4,634,294.19 23,383,903.06 235,642.67 3,655,227.30 60,474,198.99 179,660,866.42 8,806,007.98 262,079,881.85 3,995,698.96 4,050,535.74 7,322,610.20 4,109,171.67 16,056,133.97 48,600.00 3,327,560.00 21,809,881.41 9,687,498.17 2,226,858.81 1,992,303.47 1,734,133,271.45 2,371,669,478.91

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 244.99 148,413 6.39 3,000 88.00 409,659 561,072

Value of Shares (N) 36,338,672.50 18,240.00 35,976,404.14 72,333,316.64


No of Deals 67 67


No of Deals 3 15 18 BANKING


No of Deals 111 49 51 16 14 1,056 542 81 496 46 78 75 63 84 18 32 192 130 24 33 337 3,528 BREWERIES


No of Deals 59 1 93 153


No of Deals 69 13 40 42 164

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 21.00 409,328 9.30 51,088 122.40 220,046 48.02 456,318 1,136,780

Value of Shares (N) 8,503,461.18 470,708.40 26,871,624.68 21,906,607.51 57,752,401.77

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 9.91 800 34.22 88,383 1.38 100 89,283

Value of Shares (N) 7,536.00 2,883,636.98 132.00 2,891,304.98


No of Deals 1 32 1 34


No of Deals 4 4 5 13

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.50 355,000 0.96 420,000 2.80 88,600 863,600

Value of Shares (N) 177,500.00 403,200.00 236,262.00 816,962.00

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 36.80 168,069 1.03 250,661 39.01 380,520 28.00 924,732 1,723,982

Value of Shares (N) 6,284,370.96 258,180.83 14,929,439.86 25,656,759.61 47,128,751.26

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 2.56 98,484 56.20 170,724 269,208

Value of Shares (N) 263,692.64 9,594,700.90 9,858,393.54


No of Deals 56 12 49 63 180

Ghana leads equities returns, Nigeria relapses G HANA emerged with the highest return in the first half of 2011, but advanced markets largely outshined emerging markets with strong gains in America and Europe. Year-to-date return analysis of key advanced and emerging capital markets for the first half of 2011, showed Ghana leading with returns twice the amount of the closest rival. Nigeria closed the first half with a return of 0.84 per cent. The Ghana Stock Exchange’s (GSE) All Share Index, indicated a benchmark six-month return of 18.89 per cent. The three key indices that measured the performance of the US, showed a fast-recovering market with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), returning 7.23 per cent within the period. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index returned 5.01 per cent, while the NASDAQ indicated average return of 4.55 per cent. European markets generally showed a positive outlook with Germany’s DAX Index showing an average return of about 6.68 per cent for the first half. France’s CAC 40 Index posted average gain of 4.66 per cent, while Britain’s benchmark index, the FTSE 100 Index, returned 0.78 per cent within the six-month period. Spain’s SMSI Index grew by 4.59 per cent. The emerging markets bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), was largely on the downtrend with three of the markets tracked, indicating negative returns. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) All Share Index of South Africa posted a six-

No of Deals 13 18 31


No of Deals 6 6

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 2.28 48,000 48,000

Value of Shares (N) 109,483.20 109,483.20


No of Deals 13 41 11 99 174 9 1 37 28 40 1 1 1 456

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 45.00 12,649 18.50 265,202 16.00 17,542 12.00 2,980,677 84.18 2,773,742 4.25 44,550 1.78 50 5.14 1,458,879 41.50 139,560 400.01 48,084 26.00 1,000 0.50 11,500 0.68 5,000 7,758,435

Value of Shares (N) 569,605.30 4,771,129.76 280,672.00 35,730,969.78 234,039,441.71 189,363.50 85.00 7,455,531.70 5,841,724.59 19,291,109.42 24,700.00 5,750.00 3,250.00 308,203,332.76

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 1.20 7,000 1.74 1,301,000 24.32 147,010 3.80 550,693 1.70 6,000 2,011,703

Value of Shares (N) 7,980.00 2,278,148.64 3,575,283.20 2,051,845.55 9,720.00 7,922,977.39

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 4.45 82,200 1.46 614,855 697,055

Value of Shares (N) 365,460.00 897,688.30 1,263,148.30


No of Deals 2 9 11


No of Deals 15 15

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 6.00 284,228 284,228

Value of Shares (N) 1,706,384.80 1,706,384.80


No of Deals 2 9 11

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.50 63,100 0.52 306,134 369,234

Value of Shares (N) 31,550.00 158,067.00 189,617.00

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.72 756,405 1.10 1,524,500 0.50 70,000 3.00 756,400 0.50 1,650,000 0.50 2,000 0.50 55,389,000 1.30 138,145 0.50 2,100,000 0.50 1,940 0.50 0 0.54 951,935 0.55 287,088 1.75 45,539 0.50 6,250 0.50 20,000 0.50 597,015 64,296,217

Value of Shares (N) 555,259.10 1,676,950.00 35,000.00 2,269,240.00 825,000.00 1,000.00 27,719,500.00 184,798.72 1,050,000.00 970.00 0.00 509,407.40 157,898.40 83,336.37 3,125.00 10,000.00 298,507.50 35,379,992.49


No of Deals 24 4 1 10 2 1 8 4 18 1 0 16 5 7 1 1 2 105

month yield of -0.79 per cent, while Brazil’s Bovespa Index and India’s BSE 30 Index returned -9.70 per cent and -8.11 per cent respectively. Egypt, which witnessed unprecedented political upheaval during the period, expectedly led the losers’ table. Cairo Stock Exchange General Index showed a negative return of 43.43 per cent. Both Switzerland and Hong Kong were also negative with Swiss’ SMI Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index returning 3.87 per cent and 2.77 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, average return on the Nigerian market at the weekend worsened to a negative 1.86 per cent as a largely bearish start for the second half eroded marginal gain posted in the second half. The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s (NSE) All Share Index (ASI), depreciated by 1.57 per cent last week to close at 24,310.03 points, indicating a year-to-date return of -1.86 per cent. Most other tracked advanced and emerging markets retained their outlooks, while South Africa returned to positive with a year-to-date gain of some 0.55 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted companies on the NSE dropped to N7.77 trillion at the weekend as against N7.85 trillion recorded last Monday. For every gainer last week, there were two losers as panicky investors sought to lock in profits and cut losses. Twenty three stocks recorded gains while 51 stocks depreciated. Unilever Nigeria

Plc, led on the gainers’ table with a gain of N1 to close at N28 per share, while Capital Hotels Plc followed with a gain of 95 to close at N4.45 per share. On the other hand, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, led the losers dropping by N10.82 to close at N84.18 per share, while Julius Berger Nigeria Plc followed with a loss of N6.06 to close at N56.20 per share. Total turnover stood at 1.7 billion shares worth N12.7 billion in 29,688 deals last week, as against a total of 2.34 billion shares valued at N10.58 billion traded in 27,001 deals in the previous week. Banking subsector was the most active with 899.25 million shares worth N7.19 billion exchanged in 15,571 deals. Insurance subsector finished on the week’s activity chart with a subsector turnover of 449.43 million shares valued at N468.22 million in 733 deals. Analysts at First Securities Discount House (FSDH) Group, said the free-fall in the equities market in the last few weeks has become a source of concerns for all market participants. According to analysts, a combination of high yields on fixed income securities and the security challenges in the country may be responsible for this downward trend. Most analysts however, saw the downtrend as an opportunity for discerning investors to take strategic position in stocks that have strong fundamentals, urging investors to maintain a medium-to-long term investment horizon.



Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

DAILY SUMMARY LEASINGAS AT 08-07-11 Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 14 14

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 1.17 562,000 562,000

Value of Shares (N) 681,528.56 681,528.56

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 1.09 4,150,057 4,150,057

Value of Shares (N) 4,431,486.07 4,431,486.07

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.51 100,000,000 0.50 217,000 100,217,000

Value of Shares (N) 51,000,000.00 108,500.00 51,108,500.00


No of Deals 89 89


No of Deals 1 30 31



No of Deals 34 20 54

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 1.43 9,397,888 0.54 1,334,145 10,732,033

Value of Shares (N) 12,784,627.68 721,329.44 13,505,957.12


No of Deals 2 1 9 2 14

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.50 14,240 2.02 250 1.11 185,000 0.50 24,857 224,347

Value of Shares (N) 7,120.00 505.00 196,100.00 12,428.50 216,153.50

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 2.53 3,038,823 1.10 50,050 3,088,873

Value of Shares (N) 7,551,581.24 55,055.00 7,606,636.24


No of Deals 1,606 2 1,608


No of Deals 3 3 21 6 10 11 205 15 274

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 0.50 206,446 72.00 11,000 34.30 90,269 4.30 63,264 19.28 37,186 157.50 5,670 40.89 2,370,866 195.50 63,380 2,848,081

Value of Shares (N) 103,223.00 752,400.00 2,953,866.08 272,035.20 716,946.08 883,154.13 96,985,808.13 12,676,192.47 115,343,625.09


No of Deals 9 9

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 5.00 210,269 210,269

Value of Shares (N) 1,049,051.75 1,049,051.75

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 20.00 2,350 2,350

Value of Shares (N) 45,100.00 45,100.00


No of Deals 3 3


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 50.00 80,000 80,000

Value of Shares (N) 4,000,000.00 4,000,000.00


No of Deals 36 36

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded 14.89 559,610 559,610 6,999 438,662,811

Value of Shares (N) 8,343,773.50 8,343,773.50 3,133,686,870.39









FOREIGN NEWS Senegal suspends Habre’s repatriation


ENEGAL has suspended its planned repatriation of Chad’s former President Hissene Habre, who has been sentenced to death in his home country, Senegal’s foreign minister has said. The move followed an appeal by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay. Ms Pillay had expressed concern that Habre could be tortured in Chad. Habre is blamed for killing and torturing tens of thousands of opponents between 1982 and 1990, charges he denies. Senegal’s Foreign Minister Madicke Niang yesterday announced that government had reversed its decision to return Habre following the UN plea. Niang told state broadcaster RTS that Senegal would hold talks with the UN and European Union to try to solve the situation. Earlier Ms Pillay said in a statement: “I urge the government of Senegal to review its decision.

38 killed in India’s train crash A

T least 38 people have been killed and almost 200 injured in a train derailment in northern India. Thirteen coaches of the Kalka Mail passenger train left the rails near the town of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh. Rescue workers and locals were working into the night to try to free trapped passengers from the badly damaged carriages. The train was travelling from Howrah near Calcutta to the capital Delhi and derailed at more than 100km/ h (62mph).

The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed his deep concern over the accident, the second in a week in Uttar Pradesh, and has directed the railway authorities to use all available resources for the relief operation. Soldiers were deployed to help in the rescue effort. The cause of the derailment, about 120km (75 miles) south-east of Uttar Pradesh’s capital, Lucknow, was not immediately clear. Television footage showed carriages at skewed

angles, with one on the roof of another and a third thrown clear of the train. One passenger told CNNIBN television: “We were sitting in our seats when suddenly everything turned upside down. When the train stopped we broke the glass windows to jump out on the track.” The driver was among those injured. The BBC’s Ram Dutt Tripathi in Lucknow says most of those hurt are being treated in hospitals in Fatehpur but the seriously injured have been taken to Lucknow,

Kanpur and Allahabad. The number of people on board was not immediately clear but reports said there may have been up to 1,000 passengers. Accidents are common on the state-owned Indian railway, an immense network connecting every corner of the vast country. It operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers every day. On Thursday, 38 people died in Uttar Pradesh when a train hit a bus carrying a wedding party.

Murdoch meets NoW editor


EWS Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has said Rebekah Brooks is his first priority, after arriving in the UK to handle the News of the World phone-hacking crisis. He flew into London yesterday and went to News International (NI), which

News Corp owns, for talks with executives. He appeared later with Mrs Brooks, NI chief executive. Asked what his priority was, he said “this one” gesturing at her and smiling. She has been under pressure about her former editorship of News of the

World. It was announced just last week that the paper would close, with its final edition printed yesterday and about 200 people losing their jobs. Mrs Brooks was the NoW editor in 2002 when voicemails on murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s mobile phone

were allegedly intercepted. Milly’s relatives will meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today to discuss the independent inquiries related to the phone-hacking scandal, before meeting Labour leader Ed Miliband and Prime Minister David Cameron later in the week.

Mexican Army frees kidnap victims THE Mexican Army has freed 20 people, who were kidnapped in the northern industrial city of Monterrey. Soldiers found them gagged, bound and huddled together in a tiny make-shift shack in a northern neighbourhood of the city. Some of the hostages said they had been held for 11 days while their captors tried to negotiate ransom demands. The man guarding them was arrested and two long-range weapons and ammunition were seized. They said the kidnappers had asked for between $3,000 (£1,850) and $5,000 in ransom. Monterrey, Mexico’s richest city, has seen increasing levels of violence in recent years, which the authorities blame on a bitter turf war between the Zetas and Gulf drug cartels.






Ghana completes AAG double over Nigeria G

HANA are through to the 2011 All Africa Games after a 20 win over Nigeria in Kumasi. The Black Meteors scored a goal in each half to take the tie 3-3 on away goals, after losing the first leg 13. Ghana complained about poor officiating after the first leg and the Nigerians did the same, barking at the Ivorian referee on the ground that there had been a foul on one of their players in the build-up to the crucial second goal. In truth they paid the price for a defence that bad looked a bit slow and out of sorts from the open minutes. Ghana's first goal arrived through Emmanuel Agyemang Badu from a 25yard free-kick on 11 minutes to set Ghana up for the perfect start. Ghana should have scored more afterwards but Dominic Adiyiah in particular was sluggish in front of goal. Nigeria had their moments too but retreated as the second half progressed. They were then caught off

guard when Adiyiah ran down the right side of their defence to set up Richard Mpong on minute. Then came the long ball tactics from Nigeria and the theatrical tumble down the turf moments from the Ghana players who miraculously were going down in turns claiming to have cramps. In the end Ghana held on and the Nigerian players focussed their fury on Ivorian referee Dennis Dembele who Austin Eguavon claimed had used his experience "to puncture our play in crucial moments". Ghana 's response from coach Kwesi Appiah was to insist they should have had at least one penalty and to point out they were by far the better football side. "If anyone has reason to complain, it should be us from the first leg," Appiah claimed. The victory in Kumasi means Ghana have knocked out Nigeria from both the women and men's football competition at the All Africa Games. For Ghanaians, that means the world.

NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL FINAL MEDALS TABLE SN 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33 34. 35. 36. 37.



Rivers Delta Edo Ondo Bayelsa Ogun Oyo Benue Lagos Akwa Ibom Kano Plateau Abia Imo Cross River FCT Kaduna Kwara Bauchi Ekiti Enugu Kebbi Anambra Katsina Osun Nasarawa Niger Borno Jigawa Adamawa Kogi Taraba Yobe Ebonyi Zamfara Gombe Sokoto

135 82 46 30 19 19 17 17 16 16 12 10 10 8 7 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Triathlon athletes set for national camp


IX triathlon athletes are already training in Abuja ahead of camping for the All Africa Games (AAG). The Games comes up in September in Maputo, Mozambique. The athletes are expected to resume camping in two weeks time but the Nigeria Triathlon Union (NTU) is already putting its athletes in shape for the AAG. President of the NTU, Dr Lanre Glover, who disclosed this after the body’s meeting at the weekend said the athletes are Perelate Gbagi, a seasoned campaigner, Meibeka Aggo, Tekena Osita and Victor Aladin who will vie for the sole ticket in the men’s category. The women are Merit Bomei Jebbi and Gift Nsirin. Glover said that the athletes would also undergo series of training programmes abroad to sharpen their skills and ensure they were in top shape for the AAG. He noted that Nigeria’s participation at the AAG would give the African Triathlon Union (ATU) some credibility. The NTU boss also stated that it would have been unimaginable not to have Nigeria at the AAG owing to its front-runner role in the ATU. He said it was also important for the athletes to put up a medal-winning performance in Maputo to convince the National Sports Commission of triathlon’s potential at major international competition. “It is important that we do well in Maputo so that we can give the sports the popularity it deserves. I am also happy that we got the nod of the NSC to be at the games so our athletes must give their best,” he added.

By Innocent Amomoh Coach of the team, Mohammed Bashir also said that the six athletes in camp were mainly cycling and swimmers but he was working round the clock to ensure that the athletes become good in swimming, cycling and running, which are the three events that make up triathlon.

Bashir said that he was working hard to improve the technique of the athletes while they would all be given the opportunity to prove their worth. The coach noted that cycling was the most difficult aspect of triathlon and assured that he would do everything possible to improve the athletes’ skills.

Silver 79 89 41 32 23 22 21 14 16 8 7 22 9 16 12 12 6 6 7 6 4 0 6 2 0 0 3 3 2 2 3 2 1 1 1 0 0

Bronze 85 81 43 43 38 46 28 25 29 26 10 16 19 37 17 22 12 12 7 8 6 0 14 5 11 7 9 8 5 3 7 3 4 2 2 0 0

Total 299 252 130 105 80 87 66 56 61 50 29 48 38 61 36 40 23 23 18 18 13 3 22 9 13 9 13 12 8 6 10 5 5 3 3 0 0

We beat Nigeria through a wing play—Ghana coach • Says Dream team V shouldn’t have played defensive game


HANA coach Kwasi Appiah has decried the tactics used by the Nigerian technical crew during the team’s 2-0 loss against the Black Meteors in the second leg All Africa Game qualifier played at the Baba Yara Stadium yesterday. The Ghanaian team scored the needed two goals to qualify for the final stage of the competition slated for Mozambique, Maputo in September, to cancel Nigeria’s 3-1 first leg advantage recorded a fortnight ago in an encounter played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin. Ghana qualified on a goal rule advantage. Adjeyman Badu shot the home team into the lead in

• Kwasi Appiah

From Taofeek Babalola from Kumasi, Ghana the 10th minute of the first half through a direct free kick outside the Nigeria 18 yard box before Richard Mpong sealed the victory in the 70th to ensure that Ghana participate in the football event at the 10th edition of the tournament. Speaking after the match, coach Appiah said: We took our chances and I believe our boys were tactical better than Nigeria today. We knew the only way to beat Nigeria is to play through the wing which we did, that is why we were able to create some chances that enabled us to score the two goals. “I think Nigeria shouldn’t have defended, if I were the Nigerian coach I would have told my boys to go all out in the game because we were down by 31 and the only way to scale through is to put pressure on us which they failed to do.” On the performances of the Nigerian team, Appiah, said: “They played well only that they did not utilised their chances well. If you look at the caliber of players Nigeria paraded during the game you have to give it to them. Although we won but Nigeria team are not bad side.'



‘The young Dr. Rahman Segun Mimiko was special assistant to Chief Segun Adegoke, one of Governor Michael Ajasin’s commissioners and die-hard loyalists. Contrary to your claim, he was NEVER in the Omoboriowo camp in the heady days of 1982-83!’ OLAKUNLE ABIMBOLA

VOL. 6, NO. 1,817



ALLAM Nasir El-Rufai is a Nigerian who basks in controversy like a reptile out of water in high noon. It does not matter in what hue or in whose company you find him. He is ready to square up to the next guy. It is all about ElRufai’s interest even if it masquerades as a national pride. He is one of our enduring peacocks. He is also a chameleon of interest. Whether as a lackey, a bureaucrat, a protégé, a master, or a turncoat, he is not afraid to stake a claim, and he is always smoking for a fight like a snake backed into a corner. He may strike and he may even be stricken. But boredom is the last emotion you feel with this slight man of Napoleonic ego. El-Rufai is not about the morality or justice. He is about the fight, the theatrics of the brickbat hurled. He knows his quarry well, so he engages him or them with the gusto of a marksman. He is amoral, a neutralist with an armour. He shoots but he does not always hit the target. Hitting the target is not important if by merely shooting you set all the birds aflutter and screaming for shelter. He has done these well in the course of his public career. Now, he seems ready to play the role not only as a critic, but I daresay as a “revolutionary.” That is why the recent controversy over an article he wrote was only a phase in the metamorphosis of this man who understands his country so well. He is our subversive cynic. Sometimes I think of him the way I think of such artistes in the United States as Britney Speers and Madonna, who have a knack for unveiling the foibles of the system. Many speak ill of them, but the same society craves for a new act in their evolving histrionics. They love them. They hate them. But they want them. El-Rufai does not have the thespian assiduity of these accomplished beauties. But he does know how to work the society to his own frenzy. He is a vain man, and he is not afraid to flaunt that either. He makes gaffes, and he does not regret that, too. He just has to set the fire on the roof top and he will jubilate in quiet mischief as everyone in the house runs like a hare. Quietude is not what you normally associate with him though. Once or twice, when I have met with him, he looked like someone caged in until he got the chance to talk. And he loved the opportunity. In a few minutes, the roof caved in. It is in the context that we must understand the recent article he wrote. It was meant to stir, and there was nothing wrong with that if you asked him. He probably did not intend to correct, but to infuriate, to remind the National Security Adviser that the El-Rufai who was in office a few years ago



IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009 (D.A.M.E) •Columnist of the Year 2009 (NMMA)

A perfect chameleon ‘El-Rufai knew how to work the system...In the way he allocated land, we learned how government shares our resources. From his role as a lackey, we knew how people moved up in government. From his serial betrayals, we understood that playing the harlot is the way to gains. ‘ •El-Rufai

and who stirred controversy over land allocation and corruption issues, and who was in exile, is not about to be coaxed or coerced into silence. El-Rufai wrote the article and the NSA’s men claimed he got the facts wrong, about how much was allocated to his office, over N200 billion. They said he got it wrong, and they picked him up. One year ago or even when he was the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, it would have been unthinkable to say that El-Rufai was arrested by the security forces. Yet, they picked him up. El-Rufai says he got his facts from the budget, and he has the right to say so. So there. If he got his facts wrong, arresting him was not the place of democracy. The security forces fell into his hands. Rather than win on the platform of



...okay, what’s his NAME?

debate, they resorted to the strong arm and lost the argument. This is a system for the force of facts, not the force of arms. Unwittingly, they turned El-Rufai, who once defended a system of feline and corrupt rule, into a hero of free speech. If the security forces had their facts, they could easily have turned him into a public shame. Rather, it is the small man who now looms large for civility. I learnt they were disappointed that he was a turncoat. How could anyone be disappointed at El-Rufai? A man who is capable of any emotion is capable of any betrayal. So he was once in government. Does that mean he should not take on government? What makes the government sacrosanct? We want more people in government who will lash out at government and unveil its seedy underside. In the U.S., it is common. A man serves in

ARLY last week in Kaduna, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, assured Nigerians the process of creating more states would be set in motion soon in order to finalise it not later than 2013. It is not known whether the House has any number in mind, but the Speaker gave the impression more states would be created, as he put it evasively, on merit. The sixth assembly tried to do something about the issue, he said, but it was hamstrung by many considerations. In any case, other than the Tafawa Balewa government, which created the Mid-West region out of the Western Region, perhaps to punish Chief Obafemi Awolowo, no civilian government has managed to create states. But the four military governments that created states since the Yakubu Gowon regime down to the Sani Abacha government never really bothered about the viability of the states, obviously because the anti-federalist revenue allocation formula in use since unitary government was instituted in 1966, and which got progressively inequitable, made

government and he gives his honest account or, at least, an honest account as he sees it. We saw the story of Rumsfeld, or Clinton. They told their stories. It is an opportunity for us to see how the systems work from inside. At one time, El-Rufai was the good guy of the security forces. He was the one with whom the Owu chief was well pleased, the one who knew who was safe for Nigeria and who should go to jail. He was the quintessential patriot, and he condemned others for lack of fervour for Nigeria. Yet if you looked at his career well, you would admit that as FCT minister, he was transformational. He brought order, neatness and even picturesque allure to the city that was falling into an Alao-Akala Ibadan. So, he did well as a minister. But also as a minister he was Baba’s lackey, fighting his every war and defending the corrupt system and the despotic “democrat.” He once told me in an interview that the time had not come for us to be worried over the issue of conflict of interest in office. Even when some raised uproar over it, he never tried to my knowledge to defend himself. He served Atiku well when he was his protégé. When he turned over to OBJ and OBJ fought with Atiku, he knew where the power lay, so he turned coat and pitched his tent with the Owu chief. It was the amoral El-Rufai at work. He swung without a squeak. When Yar’Adua took over, he was Yar’Adua’s man before he was not. When Jonathan became president, he was for the meek man until things turned sour. Now he is serenading Buhari whom we once nudged as unelectable. In an interview in The Nation on Sunday, he said that the man has changed. Changed from what, Nasir? Other than his allegiance to democracy over a decade ago, he is still as inflexible as his ramrod stature. El-Rufai knew how to work the system, and somehow, it made him into a sort of public cause célèbre. He somehow helps to show us the bad side of the system because he has not been the good side himself. In the way he allocated land, we learned how government shares our resources. From his role as a lackey, we knew how people moved up in government. From his serial betrayals, we understood that playing the harlot is the way to gains. As master, he made people work for him and that, ironically, is how you command loyalists even if you are not one yourself. As a critic and “revolutionary,” he is trying to come full cycle. He is telling us that he can reveal and revel in the rottenness of our system, he being part of it. He knows how to game the system, draw attention to himself, laugh at us, and still sleep well at night. From the recent fight with the system, he has shown that you can move from being an establishment mainstay to a nemesis of the system. We need more of him.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Tambuwal and creation of states it unnecessary for the government of the day to show any semblance of fiscal responsibility. If Tambuwal could get the House to do something about states creation, and the process is carried through, it would be a first. Indeed, there are already many requests from all over the country asking for new states. All the requests naturally back their positions with unverifiable economic arguments that suggest the new states would be viable. Apart from the starry-eyed proponents of new states, no one else is fooled. Given the trouble everyone is getting himself into in Nigeria paying civil servants, their powerful unions, and their infallible economists, and given the recent disclosure that the country is spending an unhealthy and disproportionate percentage of its revenue on recurrent expenses, it must beggar belief that any legislator would find the unearthly equanimity to lobby for the creation of states. But, like the men we put in government, legisla-

tors are often not incommoded by both economic rationalisations and common sense. But whether they are incommoded by anything or not, or whether they are so blind and insensitive to the reality of our social and economic predicaments or not, the message must be sent to them loud and clear that new states are haram. If Tambuwal and his men are looking for a just and public cause, they should lobby for or legislate the merger of states. Most of the existing 36 states are unviable, unnecessary and merely exist to massage the egos of some important personalities. It should shame every Nigerian that the first three regional governments in the 1950s ran far more sensible and effective bureaucracies at cost effective prices than 36 bloated governments are now doing in a most irritating effort to bankrupt us. The House of Representatives should perish the idea of states creation and look for more noble causes.

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The Nation July 11 2011  

The Nation July 11 2011