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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

News Bodies of three Ibadan flood victims recovered P10 Sports Mikel, Osaze not for Nations Cup qualifiers, says Keshi P24 Business ICTP endorses NTDC as Nigeria’s destination member P59

VOL. 7, NO. 2190 WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2012

Fashola arrests Colonel on BRT lane




By Mariam Ndikanwu, Staff Reporter


HAT will make a Colonel rush out of his car, stand straight, raise his right hand and deliver a sharp salute right on the road on a sunny afternoon in Lagos? The fear of the law, of course. But, for Col. Ki Yusuf, it was not just the fear of the law, but the fear of the law officer. Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) arrested the top army officer and a Staff Sergeant, AJ Adeomi, who drove on the dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane yesterday. They were accosted on the BRT lane at

I don’t use the BRT lane; I sit down in traffic and I expect everyone who wants to drive his car to do the same. The alternative is to use the bus

•I AM SORR Y; VER Y, VER Y SORR Y: Col. Yusuf saluting Fashola...yesterday SORRY VERY VERY SORRY

the Outer Marina in Central Lagos. Col. Yusuf was driving in an army green Peugeot 406 with registration number BO1 – 150 NA. Staff Sergeant Adeomi drove in a black Toyota Camry. As Fashola moved towards the oncoming vehicle, Col. Yusuf came down from his car, saluted severally and kept muttering: “I am sorry; very, very sorry.” The Governor said: “Why, as a senior military officer, would you choose to break the law instead of preserving it?” A huge crowd of spectators gathered to watch the scene. Many praised Fashola for showing good leadership and expressed joy that the senior military officer got caught in the act. Fielding questions from reporters after the incident, Fashola described as “very unforContinued on page 4

•WHA T HAPPENED? Fashola asking Col. Yusuf...yesterday •WHAT

•Fashola confronting Staff Sergeant Adeomi...yesterday

Why PDP govt has failed to perform, by Jonathan President laments Boko Haram distraction at party’s NEC

T •Dr. Jonathan

HE President explained yesterday why the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is finding it difficult to deliver on its campaign promises. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan said his administration was being distracted by security challenges, especially the threat posed by the Islamist sect, Boko

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja Haram, which has claimed responsibility for bombings in the North. Hundreds have died in the attacks, which have been targeted at churches and other public places. It was all at the 60th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Describing insecurity as the most fundamental issue his administration is grappling with, the President added that the challenges have stood in the way of delivering on the ruling party’s campaign promises. He listed job creation and power supply as priority areas that were meant to be addressed in earnest but

which have been overshadowed by insecurity. Dr. Jonathan, however, expressed the optimism that the challenges posed by the sect would soon reduce, regretting that the relative peace experienced in the last three weeks was punctured by the recent attacks on Continued on page 4





Bodies policeman •Ajimobi condoles with victims’ families •Senator: Fed Govt has failed Ibadan •Vice-President Namadi Sambo(right) and the Secretary , National Planing Commission, Mr. Ntufam Fidel During National Economic Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja...yesterday PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

The true picture of the havoc caused by last weekend’s rain in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, is beginning to emerge, with the recovery of three bodies yesterday, report BISI OLADELE and OSEHEYE OKWUOFU


•Governor of Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (right) congratulating Edo State Governor Adams Oshiohmole on his reelection for a second term of office. With them are Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Anambra Satte Governor Peter PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN Obi at the National Economic Council meeting...yesterday.

•Ekiti State Deputy Governor Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, President General, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Gen Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd) and General Secretary of the council, Chief Idowun Sofola at the General Assembly of the Council which held in Ado- Ekiti…on Tuesday

• From left: Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the African Union Commission, Bulus Lolo, Permanent Secretary, ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Martins Uhuomoibhe, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Aisha Abdullahi and Minister of PHOTO: NAN Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, after the AU election in Addis Ababa.. on Monday

HREE bodies, including that of a man who was preparing for his wedding ceremony, were yesterday recovered from Dandaru stream, near Mokola, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. They were swept away during last weekend’s torrential rainfall, which flooded Ibadan and environs. The victims include a police sergeant, Ojo Adelusi, Wole Iyiola and his cousin, Sunkanmi Iyiola. The two cousins were said to have been swept by the flood at Tewogbade bridge in Bodija on Saturday evening. Another Sergeant, Ijebor Sunday, and Ope Ogungbemi are still being tracked by the recovery team. Hundreds of residents, who witnessed the recovery of the bodies from the stream, stood in awe while the action lasted. Relatives of the victims, who witnessed the recovery of the bodies, wept profusely. Emergency management officials had a hectic time controlling crowd and consoling sobbing relatives. The deputy governor, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, who witnessed the recovery exercise, fought back tears. A relative of the Iyiolas, Bunmi Kudus, said Wole, 24, who lived in Lagos, was visiting his family in Ibadan when the incident happened. Kudus disclosed that Wole had his marriage introduction 11 days ago and was preparing for his wedding ceremony. She said the family reported their disappearance to the police in Ikolaba the following morning and later reported at the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS), Iyaganku, when they did not hear anything about their whereabouts. They were on their way to a night club when their car was trapped on the bridge. The car was said to have been recovered near the bridge the following day. The flood destroyed bridges and submerged many roads. Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday commiserated with the families of the victims of the floods. A 36-hour rain pounded the city from Friday to Sunday leading to flood in several parts of the city. The swollen bodies of the flood victims were floating on the stream when the search operation team set up by the police sighted them. The recovery operation was carried out by the police, the Oyo State Fire Service, the State Emergency Management Agency and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC). The Police Public Relations Officer

President Goodluck Jonathan paid an onthe-spot assessment visit last year when scores of our people got killed and properties estimated at several millions of naira were lost to a flood disaster and he made some promises but since then nothing has come from the Federal Government to nip the problem in the bud at least to prevent a recurrence

(PPRO), DSP Olabisi Ilobanafor, who was at the scene of the operation, confirmed that the relatives reported the disappearance. According to her, it was reported that five young men were on their way to a club around Bodija. A friend of them who wanted to join them was contacting them through telephone during which they informed him that they had changed their mind to patronise another night club at Ring Road. Ilobanafor said: “On Sunday, a search team set to work and, on Monday, members of the team were divided into three to be able to comb the city for the victims. The team that came to this stream discovered three floating bodies. We are working with the Emergency Management Agency, the NSDC and the Fire Service. One Ope Ogungbemi and Ijebor Sunday are still missing.” Ajimobi, who supervised the evacuation of the bodies, described the incident as unfortunate and tragic. Represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, he reiterated his administration’s commitment to




of groom-to-be, cousin, recovered from stream CLOCKWISE from left: The rescue team; Oyo Deputy Governor Adeyemo and other government officials... yesterday; and the collapse bridge- which submerged a car PHOTOS: NAN

addressing the problem of flooding in the state. The governor said the Federal Government has failed to keep its promise to assist the state government in arresting flooding. According to him, the reconstruction of bridges, roads and culverts that were destroyed by the flood disaster of last year and that of Saturday night would cost government N20 billion. He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently come to the aid of the state government. The governor said his administration would strive to ensure that flooding was a thing of the past. He said his administration has started the process further dredging more rivers and streams. The senator representing Oyo South at the National Assembly, Olufemi Lanlehin, criticised the Federal Government for its alleged indifference to the plight of the residents of Ibadan. In a statement by his media aide, Olawale Sadare, the senator said the Federal Government was unfair to Ibadan residents for failing to collaborate with the state government to tackle perennial flooding in the ancient city. The statement reads: “The status of

the Oyo State capital as the largest city in the whole of Subsaharan Africa coupled with its population density should be enough to elicit seriousness on the part of the Jonathan administration regarding the desired funding of some special ecological projects expected to fix the problems of flooding in Ibadan. “President Goodluck Jonathan paid an on-the-spot assessment visit last year when scores of our people got killed and properties estimated at several millions of naira were lost to a flood disaster and he made some promises but since then nothing has come from the Federal Government to nip the problem in the bud at least to prevent a recurrence. “Inasmuch as our people are not prepared for any condolence visits again on account of preventable disasters, we urge the President to mobilise officials of the Ministries of Environment, Health, Works among other relevant agencies to Ibadan with a view to assessing the situation and carrying out necessary action capable of ameliorating the suffering of the people.” The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Planning,

Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation sympathised with the victims of the last weekend flooding which sacked most residents of areas such as Oke Ayo, Apete, OdoOna Elewe among others from their homes urging them to cooperate with the government to find a lasting solution to the problem. The flood has made the government revoke the contract for the reconstruction of the Apete bridge. Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde, said: "The council equally considered the Apete Bridge today and resolved that because of the current development and the heavy downpour that had suddenly occurred, there is the need to take a drastic action on the bridge construction so as to ameliorate the suffering of our people. In this wise, council decided that the drastic measure would have to be a reassessment and re-awarding of the bridge contract which should take place within the next 24 hours. "The government is beginning soon the second phase of the removal of such structures (built on flood plains). However, we are in-

hibited by the activities of some landlords and landlords' associations whose houses are located on flood plains who have taken government to court even for marking their structures for demolition. But we do plan to embark on the demolition exercise very soon. We have marked the structures and we are going to remove them but we may not cover them in totality due to these court injunctions. "Because the task of reconstructing these bridges is so massive and is beyond the state government alone, immediately after the last year flood, Governor Abiola Ajimobi met with officials of the World Bank and did a power-point presentation on the case of Ibadan flood disaster, upon which the bank sent its representatives to the state for an assessment. The report has culminated in the bank, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, agreeing in principle to grant the state government the sum of N200 million emergency relief, which is almost ready. "Part of the fund is to channelise the 30km Ona River and complete the Upper Ogunpa River, along with helping solve the state waste man-

agement challenges, from storage, collection, transportation to disposal sites, so as to turn them into sanitary landfills and to eventually begin a waste-to-wealth programme. An absence of these efforts has often been a major cause of flood disasters. According to the release, part of the government's efforts at ensuring that the flood disaster of last year does not reoccur was to also partner with the World Bank on the Eleyele Dam. The report which came out after this partnership discovered that the Eleyele dam had not been silted in its 47 years of existence. "A little over a week ago, Governor Ajimobi had to urgently rush to the World Bank office in Abuja, as a result of the predicted heavy rainfall. He further made a presentation to World Bank officials in Washington through teleconferencing in Abuja to show the emergency nature of the Eleyele Dam. This led to the palliative measures taken by the state government in the reconstruction of Eleyele Dam's broken slabs. Perhaps if this had not been done today, the flooding situation would have been more chaotic."



NEWS Fashola arrests Army Colonel on BRT lane Continued from page 1

•A relation of one of the victims of the Ibadan floods being consoled at the Dandaru River where decomposing bodies of three victims PHOTO: NAN were recovered by Fire Service men…yesterday.

tunate” the fact that those who ought to stand in defence of the democratic values of the nation are the ones violating the law. The governor, who noted that the highest levels of the Military Command have expressed continuously their commitment to supporting democracy and to subjecting themselves and their officers to the laws of the country, said: “Those officers that I caught today are a very bad example for the military.” The Governor said he had already made a representation to the superiors of the culprits, expressing optimism that they would be sanctioned appropriately. He, however, added: “But it signifies my commitment and the commitment of the Lagos State Government that all those who will not comply with our laws should leave our state. We will not back down.” “There is a zero tolerance for lawlessness. There is zero tol-

Why PDP govt has failed to perform, by Jonathan Continued from page 1

mourners in Plateau State. A senator, Dr. Gyang Dantong and a member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Gyang Fulani, were two of the over 100 persons who died in a rash of attacks carried out by rampaging gunmen. “Security is the most fundamental issue, particularly the threat by Boko Haram. But we experienced relative peace in the last three weeks before the last attack in Plateau in which a senator was killed “Security agencies are working hard on the problem in Plateau and God willing, the issue of Boko Haram will soon come down.” Taking a swipe at opposition parties, the President at-


tributed what he described as stability in the polity to the robustness of the ruling PDP, which, he said, prevented the republic from collapsing. President Jonathan said: “The opposition parties want to drown the PDP. We believe that if we do not have a party as robust as the PDP, probably, the republic would have collapsed. Because we witnessed what happened in the First Republic and we know the circumstances that led to the collapse of the First Republic and the Second Republic. “We know what is happening in other African countries. If the ruling party over intimidates and over imposes, using the weight of the Federal Government; and the citizens revolt, it weakens the politi-

cal system and creates confusion and instability. “But the PDP, even though, we control the Federal Government, we operate a system that even the opposition fly higher than us. They abuse us more, but we allow it. It is the PDP’s handling of the affairs of the country that is stabilising democracy in the country.” Also speaking at the meeting, PDP National Chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur decried the call for regional autonomy which he dismissed as a call for ethnic segregation, informed by political selfishness. “Nigerians believe in peaceful co-existence but many are in support of regional autonomy probably for political selfishness,” Alhaji Tukur

said, adding: “We publicly denounce ethnic segregation and struggle to become local leaders and not national champions, thus creating more discomfort for our image in the face of globalisation”, Tukur stated. The chairman deplored the scramble for power and positions within the PDP and the resultant strangulation of the party’s constitution, a development which, he said, has become a source of worry to the leadership. “Lack of enforcement of disciplinary actions has been identified as the genesis of the disregard for the party’s constitution while resistance to internal democracy cannot be ruled out, until all of us have agreed to respect and protect the party’s constitution,” he said.

Two former chairmen of the party’s Board of Trustees, Chiefs Olusegun Obasanjo and Tony Anenih, did not attend the meeting. National Publicity Secretary Chief Olisa Metuh spoke on their absence. “Chief Obasanjo was here earlier but he had to excuse himself to travel out of the country. Chief Anenih has just gone through the Edo State election and he is taking a rest,” Metuh said. The meeting accepted Obasanjo’s resignation as the chair of the BoT but the party would not appoint a new BoT chair until issues arising from its amended constitution have been resolved. Also at the meeting were Senate President David Mark, House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and some governors.

erance for breach of our regulations and we are going to do more of this. We are going to take control of our traffic. We cannot build our way out of traffic congestion; our responsibility is to manage traffic and manage congestion,” the Governor said. Insisting that people must behave well, Fashola said: “I don’t use the BRT lane; I sit down in traffic and I expect everyone who wants to drive his car to do the same. The alternative is to use the bus. “The bus is for those who cannot afford to buy cars. They have the right also to use the road and we cannot encroach on that lane which we have reserved for them. This is democratisation of the road and I will defend it.”

Wali leads NBA From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


KECHUKWU Wali (SAN) emerged yesterday as the Presidentelect of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He polled 688 to defeat Emeka Ngige (SAN) who came second with 449 votes Emoneka Ukiri scored two votes to come third. Chairman of the Election Committee, Chief Lanke Odogiyan announced the names of other winners as Emeka Obegolu, who emerged as the Secretary, O.J. Irabor (First Vice-President), Francis Okoeri (third Vice-President), Kelvin Ezelonu (Welfare), Afam Obi (Publicity Secretary), Joy Oduah (Treasurer), while U.F.O Nnaemeka won the second Vice-president position. Odogiyan urged winners to remember their campaign promises. He urged the electorate to remind them should they forgot. Wali solicited for support to move the association forward. He thanked the outgoing leadership under Joseph Daudu (SAN) for the achievements and for conducting a successful election.

Fed Govt, states to settle Excess Crude Account crisis out of court

HE Federal Government and states yesterday agreed to an out-of-court resolution of their difference on the Excess Crude Account (ECA). The decision was taken at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The Supreme Court has given the parties till September to resolve their disagreements otherwise it would proceed to make a pronouncement. But after yesterday’s meeting, lawyers representing both sides were mandated to work out an out-of-court settlement which will be discussed at next month’s meeting of the NEC. The Vice President presides over the NEC which is made up of governors, Ministers of Finance, National Planning, Justice and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). NEC also reviewed the state of indebtedness of the country and disaster management. The Excess Crude Account was created by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in 2004 as a stabilisation fund to protect the country against global economic crisis as witnessed during the 2008-2009 global meltdown. The idea was however

•Debt profile ‘nothing to worry about’

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

turned down by the governors who contested its legal status and the control of the fund which they said is exclusive to the Federal Government. The governors recently threatened to approach the Supreme Court to stop the Federal Government from further deduction from source, money to finance the fuel subsidy, which they described as “illegal”. CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said lawyers from both sides have been working to beat the deadline issued by the Supreme Court on an outof-court settlement. Sanusi who briefed reporters in company with Governors Peter Obi (Anambra), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and the Minister of State, Finance, Yerima Ngama also noted that significant progress had been achieved as most issues of contention were sorted out. He said: “The sub-committee that was set up which had a number of governors, ministers and the CBN to try to fashion out out-of-court settlement has submitted its report. It is an interim report, there has been a significant progress in

term of harmonising positions. “The major issues that were the subject of contention were the excess crude account, the signature bonuses; collection cost; waivers and concessions; other dividends and Internal Generated Revenue (IGR); CBN charges which has been sorted out; NLG dividends; proceeds on sale of government properties; privatisation proceeds; establishments and operation of Federation Account and incidental mattersFG expenditure on state and Local Government Areas. “The decision of NEC is that within two weeks, the lawyers should finalise the positions and the Ministry of Finance and the governors should sit and agree and at the next NEC meeting, we should be able to get a solution. This solution is important because the Supreme Court has given us till September for an out-of-court settlement to be reached. If it is not reached then, the trial will continue. But from all indications, both parties are willing to arrive at an understanding of what is due to each party and also an understanding of how the indebtedness of any party to the other will be settled.” Government also said there

is nothing to worry about on the country’s debt profile. Domestic and foreign debts put together constitute only 17 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is below the International threshold of 40 per cent of GDP, Minister of State Finance, Yerima Ngama, said yesterday. “Actually, Nigeria’s indebtedness is not a problem. Currently, both domestic and foreign debts put together constitute only 17 per cent of our GDP. The statistics in most countries are either above 30 and even in Europe 60 or 70 per cent. Internationally, the threshold is 40 per cent. So, any country that has less than 40 per cent debt to GDP ratio, is not facing any critical debt problem. “If you look at our total debt, only about $5billion is foreign debts and these are 100 per cent concessional. “These are loans on which we pay actually zero interest, these are loans that we get for 40 years. “The bulk of our debts are domestic debts. Even then, the level is not critical. “Our own problem is the interest rate which is about 17 per cent and we know it is

high.” He noted that the country was working towards slowing down on domestic debts. “On a policy level, we want to slow down on the domestic debts. In fact, we want to ensure that going forward, that the level of deficit in our budget is reduced significantly so that we don’t add on to the domestic debts. So, we are actually mindful of our debts level, it has not reached critical level, we are not going to banks to borrow, we are going to development institutions and some of these are like our rights. These are avenues to get soft money to implement the transformation agenda,” he said. Governor Obi, who supported the minister’s submission said: “There is nothing wrong in borrowing if you are going to borrow for production and not for consumption. If you borrow for production, you will be able to help the economy and create jobs. So, we should encourage borrowing for production. What people are complaining is that it should not be used for consumption.” He said the NEC discussed the country’s borrowing plan for the next three years. Another issue that was discussed at the council meeting


according to Governor Fayemi was disaster management. The governor said council agreed that states should establish State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) and Local Emergency Management Councils (LEMCs). The essence, according to Dr Fayemi is to provide effective and speedy disaster management in Nigeria. The 36 States and FCT are to equip and fund SEMA in line with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Establishment Act; (part III, Section 8) He also noted that NEMA has been directed to provide technical support and necessary training to aid the States to establish SEMA and LEMC.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678




NBA names national secretariat after Akeredolu From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has named its new national secretariat in Abuja after its former President and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), governorship hopeful in Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN). Akeredolu served as the NBA President between 2008 and 2010. Commissioning the building in Abuja, the outgoing NBA President, Joseph Daudu (SAN) said Akeredolu deserved the honour for serving the Bar meritoriously. He said: “Everything in the NBA is usually highly politicised. The sheer courage for him to go through the rigour is a testimony to his selfless service. Rather than going into any argument, honour must be given to whom it is due to. The presidency has decided that things should be properly documented and named after the person that made it achievable.” Akeredolu said the honour came to him as a surprise, adding that he didn’t lobby for it like many politicians would do for cheap popularity. He said he had information that the award given to the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko by a faction of the Ondo State students created ripples among them. According to him, a governor, who has failed to pay bursary to students deserves no award from them. He told reporters that his ambition

•Former Presidents, NBA,Chief OCJ Okocha ( SAN) (left), Akeredolu (SAN) (secondright), former Minister for Justice, Akinlolu Olujinmi SAN (right) and the PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE Daudu during the commissioning of Oluwarotimi Akeredodu NBA House in Abuja... yesterday

was borne out of desire to serve his people and bring the dividends of democracy to their door steps. He said: “I can assure you by the grace of God, we ( ACN) will win the governorship election.”

On the honour, he said: “I’m accepting this on behalf of all the members of the executives that we did it together. I feel humble. It is a great honour. I’m overwhelmed. I never thought of the award. Although my

executives conceptualised the purchase of this property, but it is not a must that it must be named after you.” At the event were former NBA President, O.C.J Okocha (SAN), Femi Falana, Austine Alegeh (SAN); former

House to INEC: delineate Federal constituencies, senatorial districts now T

HE House of Representatives wants the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the Federal constituencies and senatorial districts. The country is operating 360 Federal constituencies and 109 senatorial districts. The decision of the lawmakers followed a motion sponsored by Mohammed Shamsidin Abdulahi, who cited the increase in the nation’s population.

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

According to him, Section 73(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) gives INEC powers to review the constituencies every 10 years. He said the review would help safeguard the interest of the people socially, economically and politically. The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers after voice vote. The House also mandated its joint

Committee on Customs, Road Safety and Environment to investigate the environmental impact of over aged vehicles imported into the country. Chairman of the House Committee on Human Rights, Beni Lar (PDP, Plateau), who moved the motion, said the planned decision of the Federal Government to increase the age limit of imported used vehicles was wrong. She said other countries have low-

ered the age limit of used vehicles to five years. Lar said: “Further upward review would have negative impact on local auto manufacturers, in addition to causing environmental associated problems by their emissions.” She said the increased of age limit of such vehicles from five to 10 years last year by government had led to influx of poorly maintained vehicles. The joint committee was given four weeks to report back to the House.

Mark condemns abandonment of projects


ENATE President David Mark has condemned abandonment of government projects. He said the development has affected the country’s economic growth. Mark spoke yesterday during Senator Zainab Kure’s Poverty Eradication and Economic Empowerment Intervention Programme for Niger South Senatorial district at Katcha Local Government Area of Niger State. He said the Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) Act would address the environmental and economic challenges faced by the riverside communities. Mark urged all-well meaning people in the state to emulate Kure. He said:” If all elected political office holders are doing what Senator Zainab Kure is doing today, Nigeria will be better for it in terms of empowerment of the people.” Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu urged indigenes of the state “to come together to help Niger State and Nigeria as a whole”. He applauded the effort of Kure, saying “whosoever delivers to the people, people will continue to vote for the person”. Kure said: “I have in the past few years committed both my energy

Okadigbo, Ewuga now Senators From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor


FTER a protracted legal battle that lasted over one year, wife of former Senate President, Mrs. Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, was yesterday sworn-in as a senator. Chuba-Okadigbo represents Anambra North. The seat has been vacant since the proclamation of the Senate on June 6, 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan. The ceremony was performed by the Clerk of the Senate, Mr. Ben Efeture as directed by Senate President David Mark. The inauguration of Okadigbo followed the ruling of the Supreme Court, which on July 6 held that she was the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 2011 Senatorial election. The judgment of the apex Court shot out Senator Alphonsus Igbeke and Chief John Emeka who were other contenders to the seat. Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, described the inauguration of Senator Chuba-Okadigbo as exceptional. Abaribe, at news conference, said: “This is the first time the spouse of a former Senator was sworn-in as a Senator. It is good for our democracy. The Senate warmly welcomes the wife of former Senate President, Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo.” Former Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Josephine Anenih led other high profile Anambra women to witness the inauguration. Apart from Senator Okadigbo, former Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Solomon Ewuga, was also sworn-in as a senator. Ewuga replaces Senator Musa Yusuf Nagogo (Nasarawa North). The Supreme Court on July 6 declared Ewuga the authentic candidate of the CPC for the April 2011 Senatorial election for Nasarawa North. and fund towards the reconstruction of Agaie, Katcha and Baro road. This is one project very close

AGF, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), Layi Babatunde (SAN), Ikeazor Akaraiwe, Adekunle Ojo, Gani Ajape, Solomon Umoh (SAN), FIDA President, Stella Mbuma; NBA Secretary, Olumuyiwa Akinboro and other National Executive members.

PIB not yet with us, says Senate From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

THE Senate yesterday said the Presidency has not sent the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the National Assembly for consideration. Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe spoke at a press conference in Abuja. He said: “The Senate has not received the PIB. Any time the Bill comes, the Senate will commence consideration of the Bill. We are still awaiting the PIB from the Presidency.” Abaribe said as far as the Senate was concerned, any version of the Bill transmitted by the Presidency would be the proper one for the Senate to consider. He said the Senate would commence its long vacation tomorrow. Today’s session is in honour of the late Senator Gyang Dantong (Plateau North), he said.

Tambuwal sues for peaceful co-existence From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo


“I am determined to continue, over time, with progressive increase of effort towards economic empowerment and development initiatives for good of my people in line with my conviction of human development approach. I will also avail myself to other stakeholders within the Senatorial District so that together to my heart even though its current we could produce a synergy to drive condition is such a sad and terrible home more development packages for the benefit of our people.” one.

House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwa has called on Nigerians, irrespective of their ethnic differences, to learn to co-exist. He spoke in Mutum-Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State. Tambuwa, who accompanied the member representing Bali and Gassol Federal Constituency, Haruna Manu to Mutum-Biyu, said: “Unless Nigerians learn how to accommodate one another as brothers, despite the ethnic and religious differences, there will be no peace in the country. “Until peace is embraced in the country by all, there can never be any meaningful development, because development thrives only in peaceful atmospher.”



NEWS Jonathan withdraws Elechi’s nomination as ICPC boss From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday wrote the Senate to withdraw the nomination of Mr Francis Elechi as Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission (ICPC). In Elechi’s place, Jonathan sent the name of Acting Chairman of the ICPC, Ekpo Una Nta, to be confirmed as a substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency. Senate President David Mark read the letter of the withdrawal of Elechi’s nomination and its substitution with Nta’s name. President Jonathan noted that due to circumstances preventing Elechi from assuming the position, he had to forward the name of Ekpo Nna Nta, a member of the ICPC for consideration and confirmation as chairman of the board. “I hereby wish to formally withdraw the earlier nomination of Mr Francis Elechi as Chairman of the Board,” Jonathan said.

Reps probe East-West road project after tanker fire


HE House of Representatives has said it will probe the dualisation of the East-West road. It has urged the Federal Government to expedite action on the completion of the road. The House appeal was anchored on the July 12 petrol tanker accident, which led to the death of 150 persons. It said the deplorable condition of the road contributed to the accident. The decision of the House followed the adoption of a motion by Asita Honourable (PDP, Rivers). He said the tragedy could have been averted if the road had been in good condition. The lawmakers resolved to commiserate with the

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

families of the victims of the fire disaster, especially the Okogbe community, the Ahoada West Local Government and Rivers State Government. They urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other health agencies to provide adequate medical and relief facilities for the survivors and families of the victims. It appealed to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to remove all abandoned vehicles on the EastWest road and other Federal roads across the country. The Committee on Niger Delta was given 21 days to turn in its report on the road project.

YCE advocates restructuring of revenue formula


HE Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) yesterday canvassed a restructuring of the revenue allocation formula. It said a review of the allocation woud enable states to execute more capital projects. The group spoke yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. A communiqué issued after its meeting and signed by the body’s President-General, Major-Gen Adeyinka Adebayo; Secretary-General, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN); and National Publicity Secretary, Chief Oluyemi Falade, said the proposed rail system by the Southwest governors should penetrate all the states in the region. Supporting the activities of Southwest governors in economic development, health, education, roads and agricul-

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

ture, YCE appealed to the Federal Government to “repair/rebuild” the IbadanOgbomoso to Ilorin; LagosIbadan and Sagamu-OreBenin expressways. Urging the Federal Government to “diversify the country’s economy and emphasise agriculture, the group said it should give priority to youth employment and the aged. YCE regretted the spate of bombings and killings of innocent Nigerians in the North and urged the Federal Government to seek ways of stopping the dreaded Boko Haram group. The elders frowned at the “inadequate representation of Yoruba in the administration of Nigeria.”

The communique reads: “...recent publications allege that the topmost positions in a critical organisation as INEC does not include a Yoruba. The Federal Character Commission is advised to take a look at placement in public offices of Yoruba nationals.’’ Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, represented at the event by Deputy Governor Funmi Olayinka, blamed the region’s decay in infrastructural facilities on the selfishness of a few privileged ones. He solicited the support of the elders on the regional integration of the Southwest states. Fayemi said: “This is not what history tells us about the Yoruba. And because our voices are different and divided, we became pawns in

Nigeria’s political chess game. The effect of this is seen in the comatose infrastructural facilities. “Failed road networks, lopsided appointments skewed against the Southwest and other unwarranted short–changing ironically became the lot of a people that are articulate, enlightened and socially alert”, Fayemi said. Other dignitaries at the event are Chief Deji Fasuan, retired permanent secretary in the old Ondo State and Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, former Governor of the old Ondo State. Also present were traditional rulers, including the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Oba Ademola Ajakaye; Alara of Aramoko-Ekiti, Oba Olu Adeyemi and Onisan of IsanEkiti, Oba Sunday Ajiboye.

NUC restores JABU’s licence From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja


HE licence of Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State, which was suspended by the National Universities Commission (NUC) on July 4, has been restored by the Commission. A statement issued by the Registrar, Wale Aderibigbe said: “This was made known through a letter from the NUC: NUC/ ES/259/Vol.I/219, dated July 16, 2012, duly signed by the Commission Deputy Executive Secretary, A.S. Agbaoye, and addressed to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sola Fajana. “This Press Statement becomes imperative as JABU was among seven private universities, whose licences were suspended by the NUC. “With this news, the university management, through the help of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council, swung into consultation with the NUC. Coupled with these were several efforts made to align with the Commission’s directives. “The university management has resumed immediately the 2012/2013 admission process, which was stalled owing to the development. We also use this medium to notify our prospective candidates, who are yet to apply to do so as soon as possible. “Joseph Ayo Babalola University is poised to provide both moral and intellectual education to our young leaders of tomorrow who pass through its corridors. It is well positioned to coin out a household name for itself, not only in Nigeria, but Africa and the world at large.”

British Council partners on programme


HE Lagos MultiDoor Courthouse (LMDC), in conjunction with the Bristish Council Justice for All programme (J4A), has inaugurated the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Mediation Certificate Programme for Citizens Mediation Centres (CMC) in Lagos State. Speaking at the opening, Justice Opeyemi Oke, Chairperson, Lagos MultiDoor Courthouse Ceremony Council, hailed the initiative by the Council and the Ministry of Justice. The LMDC is an initiative of the Mediation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG), a nonprofit, non-governmental organisation which promotes ADR in Nigeria. The 2002 project was the first in Africa.

The Multi-Door Courthouse concept proposes that ADR should provide options for disputants and alternatives to the traditional MonoDoor of litigation, such as Arbitration, Mediation, Early Neutral Evaluation. State Attorney-General Mr. Ade Ipaye said is one of the core targets of the government to bring about a quick and efficient legal service to reduce the number of awaiting trials in prison and help decongest prisons. CMC’s Director Mrs. S. Ogunsanya said CMC was established in 1999 as a unit under the Directorate for Citizens Rights of the state Ministry of Justice to enlarge access to justice and provide free mediation to the residents through alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

• Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere with Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka standing next to him (middle), during an interactive session organised for some pupils and Soyinka by the state at the Government House in Uyo...yesterday

Fed Govt spends N31.5b on new varsities


HE Federal Government has spent N31.5 billion as take-off grant for the nine new universities. Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Kashere, Professor Mohammed Kabir, Gombe State, spoke at a news conference to mark the beginning of academic activities. Prof. Kabir said N1.5 billion was initially released to each of the universities in 2011

From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). He said with the money, the university built three hostels, two faculties, science laboratories, library, ICT Centre, offices and classrooms. He said in addition to their budgetary provision, the institutions also got N2 billion through the TETFund.

The vice-chancellor said 350 students were admitted for the 2010/2011 academic session into its two faculties – Humanities, Management and Social Sciences as well as Sciences. Prof. Kabir said the university has 300 academic and nonacademic staff besides the team of experts from the United States of America, who came for a training workshop.

He said the workshop was meant to expose the school’s academic staff to the global concept of teaching and prepare them for global competition. A student, Marcel Emmanuel, who was admitted to read Business Administration, hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for his initiative and commitment to the development of education in Nigeria.

Traffic officers foil NURTW’s plot to smuggle 40 buses EHICLE Inspection Officers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have foiled a plot by the FCT chapter of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to smuggle 40 buses distributed to the union by the FCT Administration to Lagos State. The buses were part of the 100 given to the union as a palliative measure to cushion the effect of the removal of petroleum subsidy by the Federal Government in January.


From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

It was gathered that officials of the union had perfected plans to move the buses, which were meant for the FCT, out of Abuja, but were stopped by officials of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), also known as VIO. The Public Relations Officer, FCT Transportation Secretariat, Mrs Stella Ojeme, said the Secretary, Jonathan Achara Ivoke, got wind of the plan and directed the DRTS to block the Gwagwalada-Lokoja road

linking Lagos and the Southwest. The union officials had driven the buses from a green area near the Nigerian Television Authority at Area 10, Garki. Mrs. Ojeme said the secretary confronted the leaders of the union, who said they could not meet up with the payment demand of the Urban Development Bank, which collaborated with the Federal Government mass transit scheme. The scheme was intended to cushion the effect of the high fares on Nigerians as

a result of the deregulation. Three hundred buses went to the FCT, which gave out 100 to the FCT chapter of the NURTW. The NURTW was expected to pay a certain percentage to the bank after two months. But rather than put the buses on the road, the union parked them near the NTA. The PRO said the union also failed to collect the remaining 60 buses from the bank despite calls on it to take delivery of the buses.



NEWS We’re committed to agric, says Aregbesola

Performance: TUC scores Amosun high From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta


HE Ogun State chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday hailed Governor Ibikunle Amosun for his people-oriented programmes and policies. The union said these have impacted positively on the lives of the residents. Speaking through its chairman, Comrade Seyi Adebanjo, TUC noted that Amosun has demonstrated genuine commitment to the welfare of the people. It said: “This government has, in the last one year, justified the confidence reposed in it by the people. We are seeing its efforts in all ramifications. Governance is now a practical thing. I want to say we enjoy this administration.” The leadership of the labour union spoke in Abeokuta, the state capital, when members of its State Executive Committee visited the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa. Adebanjo hailed the Amosun administration for prompt payment of salaries and allowances of workers in the last one year. He also hailed the government for settling some backlogs of unremitted deductions and allowances inherited from the last administration. The labour leader urged the government to address pension arrears, saying these have not been paid to retirees since January. 2012. Adeoluwa said the Amosun administration is committed to even development of the state, adding that all nooks and crannies of the state would be developed in due course. Thanking civil servants and trade unions for supporting the government, the SSG said the present administration would not rest on its oars.

38,846 uninhabitable homes in Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


HE Osun State Government has discovered 38,846 houses that are said to be unfit for human habitation in the 30 local government areas. The Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Muyiwa Ige, spoke yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, at the quarterly ministerial media briefing. He said his ministry embarked on the enumeration of dilapidated buildings to remove slums from “our society so that we can begin to promote healthy living among the people, in line with the Aregbesola administration’s Six Integral Action Plan”. Analysing the state of the structures, the commissioner said their enumeration showed that there were 24,049 deteriorating buildings and 14,797 dilapidated ones. Ige noted that the discovery was saddening, adding that the ministry would invite some international donor agencies to solve the problem.

•From left: Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun (Larooye II); his wife, Olori Bilkis Adeola; Otun Ajagunna of Osogbo, Chief Popo Bolarinwa; and Chief Ifagbemisola Aare, at a media briefing on this year’s Osun Osogbo Festival in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

No cholera outbreak in Ekiti, says govt


HE Ekiti State Government yesterday debunked the rumour of a cholera outbreak in Igbara Odo, Ekiti Southwest Local Government Area. Speaking through the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Olusola Fasubaa, the government said there was no cholera outbreak in any part of the state. Fasubaa spoke in AdoEkiti, the state capital, when he received the interim re-

By Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

port of the State Rapid Response Health team drafted to the community to ascertain the veracity of the outbreak. The commissioner explained that contrary to insinuations, there was only an isolated case of diarrhoea and vomiting, which he said is not the same as cholera. The team, led by the State Director of Disease Control,

Dr. Ayodele Soluwa, visited the general hospital as well as Tayo and Tayo Medical Clinic and Maternity in Ilawe-Ekiti, where the residents were receiving treatment for diarrhoea and vomiting. The proprietors of the private clinic, Dr. Akeem Olaniyan, told the health team that none of the patients had cholera. He added that neither had any of them died of the ailment.

The commissioner said the patients were positively responding to treatment as at the time of the visit and that the state health ministry was on top of the situation. The Caretaker Chairman of the Local Government, Mr Genge Kolawole, hailed the government for its quick response. He advised the residents to use the health facilities in the area for their health needs.

Osun buys N150m drugs


HE Osun State Government has spent N150 million on essential drugs and distributed them to its hospitals. It has also awarded a N19 million contract for medical equipment. Governor Rauf Aregbesola broke the news yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, when he flagged off a twoday medical mission organised by the government in collaboration with the state chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). Represented by his deputy, Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, the governor noted that the commitment of his administration to the health sector would improve the

well-being and medical welfare of the residents. Over 3000 patients with different ailments, ranging from anaemia, eyes screening and treatment; screening and surgery for breast and cervical cancers, as well as other diseases, were registered. The patients would be operated within the two days of the exercise. The free surgery operation is being carried out simultaneously in five stateowned hospitals in Osogbo, Ikire, Ilesa, Iwo and Ila-Orangun. Aregbesola said the state government has sponsored similar programmes in which foreign medical ex-

perts and Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora provided medical service for the people. He said it is the resolve of his administration to ensure sound health delivery to Osun State residents. Reeling out some of his administration’s efforts in health care delivery, particularly the sponsorship of medical doctors on overseas trainning, the governor assured that his government would continue to sponsor more health professionals on periodic overseas training. Aregbesola added that his administration has been pursuing its health policy and objectives with vigour. The Commissioner for

‘Falana deserves SAN’ By Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


Health, Dr. Temitope Ilori, said it is a good omen that the NMA was collaborating with the government to improve healthy living among the people. She urged other professional bodies to work with the government to transform the health system and other sectors.

Oyo warns against vandalism of electricity projects


HE Oyo State Government has warned those vandalising electricity projects in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, and its environs, to keep off or face the wrath of the law. The chairman of the state Rural Electrification Board, Dr. Bayo Ogundele, spoke in Ibadan at the inaugural meeting of a committee on restructuring and re-engineering of the electrification projects in the state.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

The board chief said the committee members have been working in the last six months. According to him, vandalism of electricity poles and transformers has been the major challenge facing the Transformation Agenda of the Abiola Ajimobi administration at improving power generation for the residents. Ogundele said the realisa-

tion of the electric power mandate of the government has a timeline and that the destruction of Power Holding Company (PHCN) and the state government power properties is unacceptable. He advised the residents to be vigilant and protect electricity projects in their communities. The board chairman advised the people to report any act of vandalism of cables, poles, street light fittings and transformers to appropriate

authorities. Ogundele said the committee has put in place strategies to improve electrification of the state, adding that the 33 local governments would benefit from the projects. Other members of the committee at the meeting were: Michael Sangotoyinbo, Adeagbo Niyi, Prince Yomi Adefusi, Ganiyu Adejare, Abiodun Hammed, Alhaja Tanimowo Serifat, among others.

OPC seeks compensation for security work


HE founder and President of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr Fredric Fasehun, has urged Southwest governors to consider the vigilance group in their security votes to boost security situation in the region. He alleged that some illegal aliens have become assassins,

By Oluwakemi Dauda

marauders, kidnappers and armed robbers in Yoruba land. The medical doctor warned landlords harbouring such people to eject them before OPC members arrest them. Addressing reporters at his Century Hotel, Okota, Lagos yesterday, Fasehun said OPC

has voluntarily provided security for residents of Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Edo, Ekiti, Osun, Kwara, Oyo, and Kogi states in the last 18 years without collecting money from any state government. He urged the governors to support the group with security votes.

OSUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday restated his administration’s commitment to agriculture. The governor spoke at Mukoro, Ilesa, at the launch of O-REAP Youth Academy and the rollout of GES programme on cocoa. Aregbesola, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, said his administration’s interest in agriculture could be appreciated from the fact that three of its Six Cardinal Programmes are on agriculture. He said the interest of his government in agriculture is not limited to its economic importance but also because it is one of the cardinal programmes of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state, as encapsulated in its Six Integral Action Plan. Aregbesola said: “Three of the six Integral Action Plan of the government dovetailed into the agricultural sector of the economy directly or indirectly. That is, banish hunger, banish poverty and banish unemployment. It is in realisation of this that the State of Osun has taken the bull by the horn by injecting into the agricultural sector a crop of enlightened and dedicated O-YES cadets. There is also the roll-out of Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) on Cocoa Chain Development.

Fasehun said OPC members have been intimidated, maimed and killed while providing security for the people. According to him, they have also endured unemployment and deprivations and, therefore, deserve governments’ support to function well.

The Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi, Afuntade I, yesterday said the conferment of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on Mr Femi Falana is well deserved and timely. Falana, a Lagos lawyer and rights’ activist, hails from Ilawe-Ekiti in Ekiti Southwest Local Government Area of the state. He was last week appointed into the prestigious SANs camp. In a statement in AdoEkiti, the state capital, the monarch said Falana’s achievements make him a good candidate for the honour. According to him, the people of Ilawe-Ekiti join the rest of well-wishers to congratulate the frontline lawyer for the achievement. The monarch urged Falana to continue the fight for the masses and honourable deeds he is known him. Oba Alabi said: “We consider this honour a welldeserved one, because of your achievements at the Bar and contributions to the growth and development of the legal profession in Nigeria, Africa and the world, through your advocacies, seminars, lectures and free legal services to the oppressed. “We feel highly gladdened that this is happening at this time of a new dawn in Ilawe-Ekiti. It is our prayers that you will live long in the service of the downtrodden in our country and use the silk to effect positive changes in the socio-political sphere of Nigeria.”




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Cleric arraigned for ‘defrauding’ banker

•One of the demolished shanties... yesterday.


Tears trail demolition of Makoko shanties


EJECTED men, women and children stood in groups in Makoko, a shanty town in Yaba, Lagos, yesterday bemoaning their fate as bulldozers rumbled through their homes. Over 5000 persons were said to have been displaced in the exercise which began on Monday. The demolition is being done under the supervision of armed soldiers, policemen and paramilitary officials. Among structures demolished were houses, schools and shop. The affected residents, mainly of Ilaje and Egun stock, were counting their losses yesterday. Many expressed disappointments with the exercise, saying they were only given three-day notice to leave. Others queried the government’s right to eject them and demolish their homes without providing them alternatives. The Secretary of the Ilaje Crayfish/Fishermen Association, Ewanjane Osowo, who spoke on behalf of others, described the government’s action as callous. “I was born in Makoko and all my life I have lived here. The government has demolished what we know as home without giving us enough time to vacate and did not provide any alternatives,” said the 33-year-old resident.

Why we took action, by govt HE Lagos State Government has said it cleared the shanties at the Makoko and Iwaya water front in Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), to secure lives and facilitate government’s original plan for the area. Waterfront Infrastructure Development Commissioner, Prince Adesegun Oniru, told reporters yesterday in Alausa that government, prior to the demolition, held a meeting with leaders of the communities to inform them that their continuous stay at the waterfronts would put them at the mercy of being victims of environmental hazards. According to him, “the reason is for the safety of the areas and dwellers. “What we intend to do is to clear the environment and the entire vicinity of the danger that is looming in that area. I’m talking about the rise in water level, with regards to thunder storm and heavy rain that we are having in that area and in Lagos generally. If you look at that area properly, there is an electrical pilot in that area that goes across the shanties on the water. “Now with those shanties there, all you need is a spark and everything will disappear overnight. We all live in Lagos and we know the

By Miriam Ndikanwu thunderstorms that we have been experiencing. So, what we are doing there is to protect lives of the people on that water,” he explained. He said the government met with leaders from the seven communities in the area about a month ago and informed them of the plan by government and the need for them to quit living on the water, saying the 72-hours ultimatum issued to them last Friday was to show the seriousness of government. Responding to a question on whether the government has any plan to relocate the residents, Oniru said there was no such plan. He urged residents to return to where they came from, adding that most of those who lived on the water were aliens. “Should they be there at all? The answer is No; the water body is not a fixed address for anybody. If you are to ask me what plans do we have for them, where are we relocating them to? My answer to that is that these people came from somewhere. They didn’t just grow up on that water and wherever it is that they came from they can easily go back to the place. That area is not a safe place for anybody to reside.

By Segun Balogun

vacate their homes when its officials visited last week. “Where do we sleep now? Families of eight, nine and 10 lived


Osowo said the Ministry of the Waterfront gave them 72 hours to

here where does the governor want them to sleep?” Osawo asked. “We told them that the time was too short and that they should provide us with alternative abodes; but we were shocked when about noon on Monday, heavily armed soldiers, police and other security agents stormed our homes destroying things,” he added. Reacting, Chairman, Mainland Otto Slum Dwellers Agbodimu Musbau accused the government of insensitivity. Agbodimu appealed to the government to provide alternatives for those displaced and compensate them for their loss. Another resident, Seun Mohammed, condemned the demolition, describing it as unjust. “It is not right to go ahead and demolish people’s homes just like that without giving them an alternative. Moreover, the people living there are majorly lowincome earners. Can the government demolish Lekki like that? After all, it also gets flooded,” Mohammed argued. At the wake of the recent flooding in Lagos, the government called on residents of coastal areas and places liable to flooding to leave. The areas include Makoko, Ikosi-Ketu and Alpha Beach.

My father is not dead, says Gawat’s son •Lawmaker, cleric plead for information •Prayer tomorrow


HE search for the missing popular broadcaster Alhaji Rasak Gawat has been taken to the social media network. In a message on facebook yesterday, Gawat’s son, Jubril, said it was “unimaginable” that his father could disappear. Restating his belief that his father “is not dead,” Jubril urged Islamic faithful to continue to pray for him. Jubril told The Nation yesterday “I believe my dad is still alive.” “I still cannot believe this is happening to him. If I was to predict 1,000 things that could happen to him this year, this will never make the list,” he said. Jubril, who was among those that searched his car which was found on Eko Bridge, said there was no evidence of tampering with anything in it as all the documents inside were neatly arranged. “His car was untouched as at the time we got to the office of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA). It was locked with remote control. We had to use the extra key but that could only open the ignition. Later, we called on a

•Gawat’s retrived car, Inset Gawat By Tajudeen Adebanjo

panel beater who helped open it. Just like the body of the car was neat, the interior was also neat. There was no trace of scuffle,” he said. Jubril urged Nigerians to pray for the safety of his father and his release in good health. The Nation learnt that a special prayer will be held for Gawat tomorrow at the Secretariat Mosque, Alausa, Ikeja. A lawmaker representing Lagos Island Constituency 2, (Gawat’s constituency), in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Wahab AlawiyeKing, has appealed for information that could lead to Gawat’s safe return

of the missing man to assist the security agencies with such information. Alawiye-King stated that it is disheartening that the popular presenter has not been found since he disappeared nine days ago. “This is the time to show love to his family and one way we can do this is to assist with necessary information which can lead to the safe return of Alhaji Gawat,” the lawmaker said. He said all hands must be on deck to ensure that Gawat returned home safely. “The State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has taken the positive step in

offering incentive to people with information that can lead to Gawat’s safe return and I hope this will go a long way in assisting the police in locating his whereabouts,” he said. While praying for Gawat’s safe return, Alawiye-King praised his family for their steadfastness, urging them not to lose faith but have hope in God that he will soon return home. Mufti, Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi’I described Gawat’s disappearance as sorrowful. At a lecture in Lagos yesterday, Sheikh Shafi’I said the incident was a slap on the face of the people of Lagos. “His role is special especially among the Muslim faithful. We rarely find someone who fits into his shoe. He is like a bridge-builder among the various sects of Muslim in the South West. His E ji Sari dawn programme even attracted Christians who took part in the questions and answers segment and are rewarded with expensive gifts,” he said. The renowned scholar lamented the low publicity the search for Gawat has received, saying: “We all keep quiet as if nothing has happened. He is not someone like that considering his contribution to the society. The role of government, the police, politicians and religious leaders in his search must be pronounced and pragmatic.”

By Tumininu Owolabi A 43-year-old Islamic cleric was yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, for allegedly defrauding a banker, Olakudu Ayoola, of N1.6 million. Badmus Arowolo was docked on a three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence and stealing. Prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Barth Nwaokeye told the court that Arowolo with an accomplice sometime in April and May, this year falsely collected N1.6million from Ayoola. Nwaokeye alleged that the accused told Ayoola that he had prophetic unction and that his destiny was not to be a banker, but a businessman. The prosecutor claimed that the cleric asked Ayoola for prayers to enable him to start a lucrative business. He said Arowolo collected the said amount and disappeared. The alleged offences, according to Nwaokeye, contravened Sections 285, 312 and 323 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State, 2011. The accused, whose residential address was given as new site, Igbo Olomu, Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos, pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Olufemi Isaac, granted him N200, 000 bail and adjourned the case to August 15.

Bring your complaints, residents told By Segun Balogun LAGOS residents have been advised to make use of the quick, professional and free services of Lagos State Public Advice Centre (PAC). The agency’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Alex Omorodion, told The Nation that the agency is established to be a ready help in time of need for vulnerable residents in the state. He said the agency is crucial to government’s objective of improving the standard of living of residents, as its data will inform government’s future policies on social welfare. He said the “elderly; Illiterate; unemployed; physically challenged; widows/widowers; teenage single mothers; touts; retirees and people who have been discriminated against or victimised” could walk into the agency’s offices with their complaints and they would leave smiling. He said the agency, first of its kind in Nigeria, has resolved 139 cases, representing 54.3 per cent of 256 cases it handled between May, 2011 and March, this year. The remaining 117 cases, he said, are pending “either because the complainants and petitioners failed to provide sufficient information or the matters are in progress.” Analysis of the resolved cases showed that the centre got redress for “numerous tenants who were unlawfully ejected by unscrupulous landlords, resolved several matrimonial and custody matters, and ensured legal representation of complainants in several criminal and civil cases.” Omorodion complained about residents’ lack of adequate information concerning the agency’s work, which he attributed to the relative low patronage of the centre. “There are more than 15 million people in Lagos and majority of them are indigent with, at least, one pressing issue. These people can confidently walk into our office to seek redress,” he said.

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2012 08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-



Fashola inaugurates CG-Eko automobile centre •Offers free training for 640 mechanics


AGOS State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday inaugurated the CG-EKO Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Automobile Centre, a joint venture between the state government and Coscharis group geared towards providing first class automobile services and capacity development for the youth. The 25 years joint venture automobile centre integrated with sales, after sales maintenance service, will commence operation by offering training to no fewer than 640 auto-mechanics. Governor Fashola while inaugurating the facility situated at former PWD yard, Ikeja, said the development was borne out of the desire to ensure that vehicles no matter how sophisticated are fixed locally. He said: “For me, this represents a new vista of opportunities for you to be what you want to be, if you are willing to venture, if you are willing to work hard and

By Miriam Ndikanwu if you respect our laws. The sky is not even the limit, irrespective of where you come from so long you are a law abiding citizen. “What we see today is the result of the commitment of my team and I thank every member of my team for making this possible .But we must thank some of my predecessors. “These are the things that strengthen our philosophy that PPP is strategic to achieving our objectives in the state. The concept of ownership requires that we rethink and rework our model. What do we want to achieve? For me our greatest achievements would be the skilled personnel that we are going to turn out when the centre finally kicks off”. The governor also explained that the Automobile centre was established as a LLP under the Lagos State LLP Law of 2009 in order to fully leverage the fiscal advantages that the structure presents for parties.

Earlier, Special Adviser/ Director General Office of Public –Private Partnerships Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi said the government through the partnership resuscitated the hitherto Eko Engineering Ventures Limited originally set up as an automobile workshop to maintain the state government vehicle fleet and also cater for private vehicles. Gbeleyi noted that the old company lacked the wherewithal to compete favourably in the market segment and had to venture into such low end jobs like the fabrication/construction of menial tools. “The previous facility which had in the main three Bay warehouses and few other facilities in poor state of repair has been transformed and remodel into three automobile workshops with state-of- the art diagnostic and service equipment and tools, oven baked spray boot, a training centre, an ultralmodern show room, a staff canteen and a staff clinic. “The centre would play considerable role in our

capacity building and skill acquisition training programmes for our teeming youths population leading necessary professional certification. “This centre shall train 160 Auto Mechanics annually. It is expected that these graduates would in turn establish their own workshop across the state accessing micro- finance from the state and other sources, with tremendous multiplier effects on the whole populace.” he said. In his brief remark Chairman Coscharis Group, Mr. Cosmas Maduka, said the idea was to create a resources pull by mentoring young professionals. He said the initiative will help rewrite the history of the nation automobile services, assuring of its readiness to provide first class service both to the government fleet which is its primary focus as well as to private individuals who will need their services. The Managing Director of Coshacaris, Mr. Josiah Samuel, said about one billion naira was expended to refurbished the moribund facility into a world class automobile centre.

•Governor Babatunde Fashola (2nd right), cutting the tape at the inauguration of CG-Eko LLP Automobile Centre at the PWD old secretariat, Ikeja. With him are Special Adviser/Director General, Office of Public Private Partnerships, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, (right) former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson (left) and President, Coscharis Group, Mr. Cosmas Maduka... yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Ron Kenoly comes to town as Baptist dedicates church


merican praise and worship songs leader, Ron Kenoly will feature at the dedication of the Ikoyi Baptist Church on Sunday. The new sanctuary cost over N1 billion. An eight-day dedication programme which would begin on July 22 will feature among others, a praise night to be led by the renowned singer Kenoly. He would also lead worship service on July 29. “Just like King Solomon and the people of Israel did when dedicating the first temple, this eight days will capture the awesome goodness of God,” host Pastor Dr Abayomi Lawal said. The dedication is themed: Celebrating God’s Glory. The state of the art auditorium has a sitting

By Nneka Nwaneri

capacity for 2,500 persons and with state of the art gadgets and equipment. Lawal who conducted reporters round the edifice said the all glass auditorium was

structurally done to bring in natural illumination and the granite flooring was specifically chosen to aid the brightness of the church interior. Among other special feature of the new church is the underground pool,

constructed for purpose of conducting baptism which was strategically placed in the middle of the sanctuary and a 46 car underground parking space, meant to assist in taking care of traffic in the neighbourhood.

•From right: Oduwole, Dr. Lawal, Adaji and Dr. Roberts at the event PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI



NEWS Ondo ex-LP lawmaker, supporters defect to ACN From Damisi Ojo, Akure

A FORMER member of Ondo State House of Assembly, representing Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Kele Boleodeoku, yesterday dumped the ruling Labour Party (LP) for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Bolodeoku is a lecturer at the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU), Akungba-Akoko, and former Chairman of the House Committee on Information. Addressing reporters in Akure, the state capital, after he and his supporters were received into ACN by the party’s State Secretary, Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe, the former lawmaker said he dumped the ruling party because of its leaders’ alleged fraudulent acts. He said the LP administration has failed Ondo State with its window-dressing projects.

Court orders police, prisons chief to imprison Ogun PDP chieftains


BOUT two weeks after a Federal High Court in Lagos convicted three chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State for contempt, the court has ordered the police and prison authorities to arrest and imprison them. The PDP chieftains are: Chief Ireti Oniyide, Amb. Tunde Oladunjoye (media aide to Agriculture Minister, Akin Adesina) and Faisiu Bakenne. They claimed to be principal officers of a purported

By Eric Ikhilae

Caretaker Committee of the party in the state. The court ordered them to be remanded in prison for six months for flouting its orders, contained in a May 2 judgment, that the Adebayo Dayo-led Executive Committee is the only authentic management body of the party in the state. The court also ordered the party and its national leadership not to deal with the Ogun State PDP except through the

Adebayo Dayo-led Executive Committee. In a ruling, Justice Charles Archibong ordered the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 2, Lagos, to execute his July 4 order for the imprisonment of the three PDP leaders by “apprehending the three contemnors/convicts and delivering them to Kirikiri Prison”. The court also made an “order directing the Comptroller/Chief Warden of Kirikiri Prison to take custody of the three convicts/contemnors

until further order of this honourable court”. It was leant yesterday that the orders have been served on the AIG, Zone 2, and the Comptroller of Prison, Kirikiri, both in Lagos. The three Ogun PDP chieftains were ordered by the court to be remanded in prison on July 4. But they ignored the order and went about their duties. This reportedly prompted a fresh application by the Adebayo Dayo-led Exco of the party.

Governor congratulates CJN Mukhtar OYO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has congratulated Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar on her appointment as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, the governor described Justice Mukhtar as a pride to womanhood and the Nigerian judiciary. He said: “On behalf of the people and Government of Oyo State, I congratulate Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar on her confirmation by the Senate as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). “Aside Hon. Justice Mukhtar’s appointment as an affirmation of providence’s equal deposit of quality brain in both male and female genders, the appointment is also a great pointer to the limitless possibilities in the world for a hardworking, trustworthy and conscientious creation of God Almighty.”

Christ’s school old boy dies at 66 A CLERIC, Venerable Ibukun Falope, has died in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He was 66. A statement by the Chairman of the home branch of the Old Boys’ Association of Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, his alma mater, Mr Akuajo Olugbayo Ogunleye, said the cleric died on July 8. It said the late cleric was a member of the 1958-‘62/’64 set. T.T, as he was fondly called, contributed to social clubs, sports and academic activities. He graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI) and later became a cleric in the Anglican Communion, where he was a Venerable until his death. A funeral service will be held for him on July 24 at St. James’ Cathedral, Oke-Bola, Ibadan, Oyo State, at 11am. All old boys are enjoined to attend.

•Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Reginald Ihejiahi (middle); renowned poet and writer, Odia Ofeimum (left); Aminatta Forna, author and winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Book Award in 2011, Aminatta Forna (second left); a professor at George Mason University, Virginia, USA, and winner of Colorado Prize for Poetry, Sally Keith; and Professor of Creative Writing, George Mason University, Virginia, Helon Habila, at the closing ceremony and official presentation of the revised edition of Dreams at Dawn: the Anthology of Short Stories from the last two workshops organised by the bank. PHOTO: ADEOLA SOLOMON

‘Stop causing distractions in Osun’


GROUP in Ondo State, Action Youth Movement (AYM), yesterday urged an Abuja lawyer, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, to stop distracting Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola by calling for a medical report on his health status. The group noted that a recent suit the lawyer instituted, on which the governor’s doctor and Osun State House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salam were summoned by the court, has shown that the lawyer was working for some desperate politicians to cause confusion in Osun State. Addressing reporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the group’s Coordinator,

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Mr. Dada Olawale Eminence, alleged that Ajulo, who is an indigene of Ondo State but contested for a senatorial seat in Abuja in last year’s election under the platform of Labour Party (LP), is acting under the instruction of the Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Ajulo, who claimed to be working under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, has been asking the governor’s personal physician to furnish him with information on Aregbesola’s health status. Eminence noted that the monthly physical exercise led by the governor for government officials, is enough

to prove that Aregbesola is healthy. He said: “…Ajulo is working under the instructions of Governor Mimiko, who believes that all Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governors are his enemies. We all know …the relationship between Ajulo and Mimiko. He is a member of the LP, sent by his boss to cause a crisis in Osun State. “Another thing is that Ajulo is looking for cheap publicity to boost his legal career as a young lawyer. But, my advice for him is that he does not need to work for another man’s downfall before reaching the top. “I think by now, Ajulo, an indigene of Ondo State,

should have taken some steps to query the present administration in his state on how it spent over N500billion and the impact of such income on the poor masses, as someone who wants to be a successful lawyer. “I believe that in Nigeria today, we have some unbiased legal practitioners, like Femi Falana, Rotimi Akeredolu, Morakinyo Ogele, who are always bold to challenge any wrong activity of a government. They do not mind their relationship with such a government. Ajulo should emulate these people, if he wants Nigerians to celebrate him, instead of acting as an errand boy to Ondo State governor.”

Ajimobi mourns NANS leaders


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has condoled with the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the families of the leaders of the association who died in an accident on Lokoja-Abuja Road last week-end. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, the governor described the death of the students’ leaders as unfortunate and disheartening. He said: “Our hearts go to the families of the students who died in the motor accident. It is sad that these young and promising youths, to whom the country is looking forward, were cut down in their prime. But

•Ondo in UK condemn award for Mimiko From Damisi Ojo, Akure

who are we to blame God, as He does things according to His will?” The governor urged the families, friends and associates of the deceased to take the incident as an act of God. He prayed for the repose of their souls. The governor also wished those injured and are receiving treatment in hospitals speedy recovery. The United Kingdom (UK) chapter of a pressure group, Akoko Elite Forum (AEF), yesterday condemned the award given to Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko by some students’ leaders.

The Students’ Union Government (SUG) leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) died in an accident when they were returning from Abuja, where they gave the governor the award. The group commiserated with the families of the SUG leaders – Oluwaseun Awopegba, Akintola Abiodun and Oyinkansola Olotu. In a statement in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the group criticised the essence of the award. It said: “What has Governor Mimiko done in the area of students’ empowerment programme, through bursa-


ry and scholarship scheme, in the last three years?” At a meeting held in London, the United Kingdom (UK), the President of Ondo State Students’ Residents in UK, Mr Mobolaji Ogunbodede, expressed disappointment on the incident.

Ogun to outlaw child hawking in November S from November, child hawking will become a punishable offence for parents in Ogun State. The Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Elizabeth Sonubi, spoke in Abeokuta, the state capital, on the government’s plan to enact an equal opportunity law to assist women in the state. The commissioner noted that criminalising child hawking would ensure that parents take advantage of the government’s free primary and secondary education policy. In a statement by She said a bill outlawing the social vice has been passed into law by the House of Assembly, adding that the government would embark on an aggressive enlightenment campaign in the next three months to educate parents on the evil of disallowing their wards to attend school. Mrs Sonubi explained that every child of school age must be given the opportunity of early education, “especially with the free education policy of the state government”. The commissioner warned parents not to toy with the future of their wards. Mrs Sonubi added: “Education is very important to this administration and we will not compromise children of school age parading the streets under the guise of assisting their parents economically. Parents should know they are putting these children at grave disadvantage.


Thank Aregbesola for averting floods From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

HE Osun State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged the residents to thank God and appreciate the efforts of the Rauf Aregbesola administration at preventing flood from damaging their property and killing during this year’s “unusually heavy” rainy season. In a statement by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, the party said the people were fortunate to have a visionary and proactive governor, whose efforts have staved off floods that might have destroyed property and killed many people in the prevailing “heavy and stormy rains”. The statement reads: “In the years of the locust, the government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) abandoned its responsibility to the people and let many of them die and their property destroyed by flooding like a yearly ritual sacrifice. It was unfortunate that the PDP leadership looted the state treasury and did not care for those they claimed to lead. “Today, no loss of life or destruction of property has been recorded (in Osun). This is a very significant demonstration of the quality of leadership which Aregbesola has brought into governance.”






The real issue is domestic borrowing even though citizens are not bothered as they believe domestic debt is just domestic and as such, the government can always borrow if it needs to. - Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Minister of Finance

Miners fret over diversion of N700b intervention fund

Shell disagrees with $5b Nigeria fine

From John Ofikhenua,

• Uduaghan hails fine



HE Miners Association of Nigeria yesterday raised the alarm over the diversion of the N700billion fund earmarked for the development of the solid mineral sector into other unrelated uses. President of the association, Alhaji Sani Shehu, who spoke in Abuja, said N44billion allegedly got missing from the fund in the process of diversion. Shehu said: “About a week ago, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Ahmed Lawan raised an alarm on the diversion of funds meant for the sector into other unrelated frivolous uses. “According to the law maker, over N700billion, which would have gone into the development of our vast mineral resources was expended on other uses, with N44billion missing in the process, while the solid minerals sector continued to suffer acute neglect.” He, therefore, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to direct that the balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund be released to the Solid Minerals Development Fund as take off grant. He appealed the President Jonathan to direct the immediate take-off of the Solid Minerals Development Fund. appeal Shehu also pleaded with the President to curb the criminal diversion of the Natural Resources fund, adding that the government should come out with a distribution formula among the beneficiaries, with solid minerals sector having the lion share owing to its huge potentials and huge development capital.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil - $123.6/barrel Cocoa - $2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold - $1,800/troy ounce Rubber - ¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 245 $ 156.4 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 241 RIYAL 40.472


• From left: Mrs Onagorowa; former Managing Director, Transcorp NITEL, Abubakar Nahuche, and former Minister Of State for Communication, Mr Ibrahim Nakande, at the Hearing in Abuja ... on Tuesday.


NITEL owes N182 billion

HE Nigeria Telecommunication Limited (NITEL) and its Global System for Mobile Telecommunication (GSM) subsidiary owe N182 billion. While NITEL is indebted to the tune of N79 billion, its subsidiary owes N103 billion. However, despite the national carrier’s inactiveness for more than five years, the telecoms company generated N101.38 billion from 2009 till date. This is in spite of the dispute between the Bureau of Public Entreprise (BPE) and the management of NITEL on the sale of the first national carrier. The revenue was generated from the Sat-3 submarine cable. These were disclosed yesterday at the commencement of a public hearing on the privatisation of the national carrier organised by

• Generates N101b From Dele Anofi, Abuja

Joint House Committed on Privatisation, Finance, Communications, Public Procurement and Information Technology headed by Khadijat Abba Ibrahim. The lawmaker queried BPE over the N172billion differential in the debts compiled by BPE and NITEL, as well as other issues on the over six unsuccessful privatisation conducted by BPE, and the eventual collapse of the companies. While she regretted the poor state of privatised companies, the Chairman said: “I see no reason the Federal Government cannot put money into NITEL and Mtel to resuscitate them.” NITEL’s Chief Executive Officer, Illyasu-Sa’ad, who, in

her presentation, disclosed that $5million is required to maintain Sat-3 yearly, however, emphasised that no core investor can take possession of the 7.33 per cent share of Sat-3/WASC/SAFE. “Such sale would contravene the agreement signed by the 33-member states that owned the submarine cable. “It is only member- states that can acquire the share,” added. The NITEL boss regretted that the expansion programmes of NITEL and Mtel were stalled by the privatisation. The company generated N2.5billion in 2009, N2.3billion in 2010 but recorded a decline in its revenue to N853million in 2011. She also revealed that local currency domiciled was worth N105,286million and $182,649.79 as at June 2009, adding that Mtel was owing banks, contractors and inter-

connect for N79billion and N45billion owed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). In her presentation, BPE’s Director General, Ms Bola Onagoruwa, said contrary to the position of NITEL’s chief executive, selling NITEL would not create any legal challenges as the pritivatisation would be done under ‘guided liquidation’. She said the debt profile stood at N354 billion, adding that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) is favourably disposed to adopting‘guided liquidation’ against the injection of $1billion for the re-activation of the two telecoms firms as alternatives. She said NITEL generated $3.6million from Sat-3 submarine cable and remitted $2.8million in the domiciliary account while $521,990 was generated from British Telecoms, $290,230 from cable and wireless services, in addition to $1,249.84 realised from interest.

Only MTN is making profit, says NCC


HE Executive ViceChairman of the Nige rian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, has said only MTN Nigeria is making profits in the country. Juwah made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja at the commencement of a two-day public hearing by the Senate Committee on Communications on deteriorating telecoms services in the country. He told the committee that records available to the NCC showed that other networks were not making any profit from the statutory account presented to the commission by the service providers. He said: “Statutorily, they present us with their account because they have to pay us some levy based on the accounts. So we see their ac-

• ’Sanctions have put operators on their toes’ counts and see the ones making profit and the ones that are not making profit.” The committee was apparently not satisfied with this revelation as the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, said it was presumptuous for the NCC boss to make such revelations. “Executive Vice Chairman, remember that you are under oath and you have to be careful in whatever you are saying, and whatever figure you are giving to us. There is no way we can agree that it is only MTN that is making profit in the telecoms industry in Nigeria, so what you are not sure of, you better say that you are not very sure of it,’”

the senator said. The committee advised NCC to go back and double check the accounts of the other Telcos to substantiate claims that only MTN was making profit. Meanwhile, the commission has said the recent sanctions imposed on some operators had helped to improve the quality of telecoms service. Head of Public Affairs at the NCC, Mr Reuben Mouka, told NAN that the measure had also put the operators “on their toes.” Muoka said the outcome of the sanctions had compelled the operators to improve service delivery to subscribers. The commission had in May, imposed a fine of N1.17billion on the four GSM providers for poor service delivery. Muoka said: “The sanction has now put the operators on

their toes on the issue of service delivery. You may not notice it that soon after the sanction, a lot of them are now involved in expansion programmes; the operators now see quality of service as no joke. `This is all aimed at improving the quality of service to the subscribers,” Muoka said. He said the last sanction was not the first time the commission would be imposing sanctions on operators, saying sanctions were part of regulation. He added that the sanction was more severe than the others because the commission had been “more involved” in enforcement programmes. He pointed out that monitoring of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by the commission was stronger, adding that law enforcement was now a serious business to the commission.

OYAL Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) has confirmed that it faces a $5 billion fine for its Bonga oil spill offshore Nigeria late last year, but added that it doesn’t “believe there is any basis in law” for such a punishment. In a stement, the company’s Nigerian subsidiary said it ‘responded to this incident with professionalism and acted with the consent of the necessary authorities to prevent environmental impact as a result of the incident.’ The leak at the 200,000 barrel-a-day Bonga field in December, was Nigeria’s worst offshore spill in more than a decade and resulted in at least 40,000 barrels-a-day of oil spilling into the ocean. The Federal Government had asked Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) to pay $5 billion for the oil spill that occurred in its Bonga oil field in December last year. The Managing Director of SNEPCO, Chike Onyejekwe, said at a meeting by the House of Representatives Committee on Environment that it was aimed at ascertaining the progress report on the Bonga oil spill. Chairman of the Committee, Uche Ekwenife, said going by reports and complaints from affected communities no clean-up had been carried out by the oil giant, adding that there was a need to have a knolwledge of efforts taken so far by the government and the oil company. Meanwhile, the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has commended the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) for imposing a $5 billion on Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company for the Bonga Oil spill of December 2011. Governor Uduaghan, who was reacting to the penalty yesterday, called on Shell to quickly comply with the order to pay the fines, reminding Shell that BP paid fines and compensation of over $30 billion over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. He said: “In December 2011, I lamented the damage to the environment following the Bonga oil spill. Communities in the state and the Niger Delta were put in serious harm’s way after the spill occurred. At that time I called on the relevant authorities (NOSDRA and NIMASA) to step in and take immediate action to mitigate the damage of the spill and I demanded that further steps be taken to look into compensation for the communities affected and that a remediation strategy should be activated to recover the water and soil that were being destroyed by the spillage.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

NESREA: why Julius Berger, Arab Contractors were sealed

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. -----------------------6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. -------------------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. ------------------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. -----------------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


tions on the environment,” Oyofo stated. He said the agency had earlier invited the construction companies with others to deliberate on likely remediation, adding that the effort was part of their compliance, monitoring and enforcement drive to ensure the environment is safe. The statement reads in part: “Arising from this development the agency in pursuit of compliance monitoring and enforcement drive, especially as they affect the environment and to prevent further degradation invited Julius Berger and Arab Contractors along with other companies to see what could be done in line with remediation.

“A number of these companies responded while others didn’t. Those who did not meet up were subsequently written and given an ultimatum to submit the Environmental Impact Statement of their on-going activities. “It was at the expiration of the ultimatum, with some grace period, that the agency moved and sealed some of these construction companies for non-compliance. Some of the affected companies who promptly complied with the requirement were unsealed same day. “The agency intends to continue with this drive, until compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act and other Environmental Laws is attained,” he added.

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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 -----------Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 ------14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

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

From Olugbenga Adanikin,

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. ----------------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. ----------------11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik


HE National Environmental Standards and Regulation En forcement Agency (NESREA) yesterday explained why the Abuja headquarters of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Arab Contractors were sealed off. In a statement, the agency’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sule Oyofo, said the firms failed to adhere to the nation’s environment laws. He said members of the public also lodged various complaint on the firms destruction of roadside plantings and other forms of environmental degradation. “The agency’s actions followed the huge public complaints about the destruction of road side plantings by these construction companies and their non-compliance with the laws guiding opera-

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

• From left: Sean O’Hara, Vice President, Europe, Latin America & America, BBC Worldwide, Kayode Akinyemi, CEO, Powerlight Communications and Katie Waxman, BBC Advertising Director for Africa, at the Business Launch of the partnership between BBC, and their Nigerian Representatives, Powerlight Communications, for Captains of industries at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos ... on Tuesday.

‘75% of taxes in FCT not remitted’


BOUT 75 per cent of taxes col lected by the Federal Capi tal Territory (FCT) is not being remitted into government’s coffers, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has said. Adeyemi, while commenting on the two Bills he introduced in Abuja, said the money collected as taxes ended in private pockets because there are no laws on the taxes collection in the FCT. “About 75 -85 per cent of all the taxes you see people collect in Abuja go to private pockets. That explains why it suits some senior staff of the FCT that we don’t have a board of internal revenue. So it pays them that this law is not passed. “But when you have a board in place you can sit down and articu-

late all the taxes and levies you are supposed to collect, ‘’ he said. He said the property tax is aimed at getting the wealthy people to contribute to the well-being of the masses, adding that the use of the proceeds would be effectively monitored “This bill is targeted at the high brow areas of Abuja. Let them pay because they can afford it. Let’s take from the rich people and provide for the poor. “ We are going to make sure that the proceeds coming from property tax will not be used to pay contractors constructing roads in Abuja. We are going to focus on development that will impact positively on the lives of the people of the FCT. In his contribution, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu,

said the laws must provide checks to guard against abuses and sharp practices. “It’s our responsibility to legislate on taxes. However, we have to make sure they are flexible to allow the revenue board to determine rates that will be paid. The bills must be proactive enough and make it leak-proof so as to check any leakages of funds,’’ he said. Senator Ahmed Lawan (ANPP – Yobe) urged the Senate to ensure that only people with integrity were appointed into the FCT internal revenue board. “Those who are going to collect the taxes and levies must be very honest and transparent people. There’s need to make it impossible that exemptions are granted to some members of the public by the Minister, ‘’ he added.

Chinese, Nigerian firms partner on $4b coal CHINESE firm, Sepco111 that he would bring in power plant level,adding and a Nigerian company, more Chinese companies to aid Ni-


Pacific Energy L i m ited, are set to construct 1,200 megawatts (MW) coal power plant worth $4 billion in Benue State. The Chairman of Pacific Energy, Dr. Adedeji Adeleke, disclosed this yesterday at the opening ceremony of the Sepco-Pacific Electric Power Training Centre in Olorunsogo, Ogun State. He said the two firms have concluded preparations on the groundbreaking of the project, which he described as a major milestone in achieving the aspirations of the Federal Government in the power sector.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

Sepco111 also built and is managing the Olorunsogo power plant Phase 2, which is superintended by the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), which has the capacity to generate 750mw. Also, the Chinese Consular-General, Dr. Liu Xianfa, said the volume of trade between his country and Africa, rose from $10 billion in 2000 to $166.3 billion in 2011, while the trade volume between China and Nigeria stood at $10.8 billion at end of 2011. He promised to take the NigeriaChina partnership to a new

geria in fixing its power sector. The Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr James Olotu, lauded Sepco111 for its commitment to improving power supply in Nigeria. He said that the company has four gas turbines that have been inaugurated with capacity to deliver 500mw into the grid, but are being hindered by lack of gas. The Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji had earlier said the government wants to diversify the sources of electricity power generation and intends to build three coal power plants in Enugu, Benue and Kogi States.

Fed Govt compiles list of locally produced goods • Anambra gets top rating on SMEs From Nwanosike Onu Awka and Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


HE Federal government has directed the Trade and In vestment Ministry to compile the list of goods produced by Nigerian firms aimed at banning of these products. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga disclosed this during a facililty visit of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Plant and Innoson Industrial Plastic Plant in Enugu and Anambra states. He said this is part of a deliberate policy to protect local industries, boost their productivity and create more job opportunities for Nigerians. “Already, the President has directed us to compile the list of goods produced by Nigerian companies so that we will not have reasons to import those things into the country. We are going to do same thing in the states by adopting the same policy. “I have already met with the Chairman of Nnewi Chamber of Commerce and Industry over this matter and they will submit their list to me within the next one week. Also, the Anambra State governor is doing the same thing as well the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. Once we complete the process, nobody will be allowed to import those things we produce into the country, especially those items that we have comparative and competitive advantage.” He noted that the new initiative was part of the National Industrial Revolution Plan of the Ministry aimed at repositioning the manufacturing sector in line with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. Aganga also disclosed that the Federal Government was planning to review the country’s public system to give more opportunities for Nigerian companies to in line with his ministry’s Industrial Revolution Plan. He said Anambra was rated first in a recent survey by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS) as a State with the highest member of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.

Akwa Ibom spends $500m on gas project


ORE than $500 million has been spent by Akwa Ibom Government in building its gas project in Esit Eket Local Government Area. Governor Godswill Akpabio stated this yesterday in Uyo during a breakfast meeting with 30 members of Lagos State House of Assembly led by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Kolawole Taiwo . Akpabio said the government was trying to domesticate gas production for use by Ibom Power Plant. He noted: ’’Akwa Ibom State is, traditionally, a civil service state. Only government can jump-start the economy. My vision is to bring international conferences to the state.’’ The governor said the underlying tone in getting to an office was service, saying, ‘’As participants in democracy, there’s no way I would not have received you. I want you to criticise whatever you are seeing in this state. We are trying to give hope to the people and deepen democracy. Demoracy can only survive if you give hope to it’’.










Tax Administration in Nigeria v. mediation by other State Governments, Federal Government agencies /other organs of Movement, such as the Judiciary. However, where the judiciary is involved, mediation shall be carried out in a manner as not to affect the independence or impartiality of the Judiciary, given that the dispute may subsequently be referred to the judiciary for adjudication.

5.8.1 Tax Refund Mechanism To be eligible for refund, a genuine case of overpayment must be established by the taxpayer. As provided under our tax laws, the relevant revenue authority is required to subject all claims to sufficient verification and make ALL genuine refunds within 90 days of reaching a decision on the entitlement or other of the taxpayer to a refund. In this regard, it is expected that tax authorities would give priority to refund requests and that the verification process shall be rigorous, fair and objective and that decisions are made within a reasonable time from the date of application by the taxpayer. Tax authorities, would therefore be required to provide clarifications to taxpayers in the event of an undue delay in reaching a decision on the refund application of the taxpayer. In this regard, tax authorities shall ensure that there is a structured system in place to ensure timely verification and payment of claims to tax payers.

Once disputes are referred to the Supreme Court and a decision is reached, it expected that all parties shall comply strictly with the decision of the Court and such a dispute would be deemed as fully resolved. In no instance should any party to a dispute resort to extra-legal methods to resolve such disputes. Between State and Local Governments Dispute between State and Local Governments shall as much as possible be resolved informaIIy without resort to litigation. This is particularly important given the close relationship and interdependence between States and Local Government and the potential dislocation and distraction to Governance which such disputes may trigger. It is expected that all available avenues, such as deliberations between relevant officials, mediation by traditional rulers and other State and Local Government organs and other relevant stakeholders at State and Local Government levels would be considered.

5.8.2 Source of Funding for Tax Refund It is expected that all tax/revenue authorities that have refund obligations will meet them diligently and efficiently. To facilitate these refunds, a specified percentage of total revenue collected by these authorities in any financial year, shall be set aside to meet these obligations in the following year. The amount set aside for refunds should be duly appropriated by the National Assembly or State House of Assembly (as the case maybe) in their budgetary allocation to enable tax authorities meet these obligations. Any unspent portion of the appropriated fund at the end of the financial year should be returned to the relevant tier of government in line with existing financial regulations. 5.9Automation of Processes A recurring theme throughout the discussion of various components of the tax administration process has been the use and deployment of technology related systems in various aspects of tax administration. In this regard, it is recognised that certain areas of the tax administration are more amenable to the use of electronic and technology systems than others. Notwithstanding, it shall be the duty of tax authorities to work towards the automation of all processes involved in tax administration to avoid uneven development of certain aspects of tax administration to the detriment of others. Tax authorities shall therefore ensure uniform deployment of technology in the aid of all aspects of tax administration. It shall be the responsibility of Government to provide the required funding and platform for the automation of tax administration processes, as this would aid effective and efficient administration of taxes in Nigeria. Automated processes would minimise or eliminate leakages in the system, which may be due to error or misconduct on the part of tax officials or taxpayers, safeguard the integrity of the system and lead to greater professionalism on the part of tax officials and greater confidence on the part of taxpayers. In addition automated systems would lead to greater specialisation and reduce the costs and time required in the tax administration process thereby leading to higher compliance by taxpayers due to the ease with which processes can be commenced and completed. It is expected that all processes starting from registration of taxpayers, filing of returns, audits and investigations, payment of taxes and including correspondence with taxpayers would be automated. Where there are gaps in current tax laws or where the laws do not support: the use of such systems, necessary amendments shall be made to ensure that the use of the systems are in line with the law. Where electronic systems are already in use, they shall be standardised to ensure that there can be seamless interaction between all tax administrative processes. Tax officials shall be trained in the use and maintenance of automated systems and the general public and taxpayers encouraged to embrace the use of these systems so that Nigeria can have a tax system that is in line with global best practices. 5.10 Accounting for Tax Revenue Collected At the completion of the tax administration process, it is expected that tax revenue would have been paid by the taxpayers and collected by the tax authority. This is usually viewed as the end of the compliance process in relation to interaction between taxpayers and the tax authorities. The end of this process is the commencement of another process, whereby tax authorities are required to account for tax revenue collected. This process is not usually open to the taxpayer or general public and may therefore not be treated with deserving attention. It shall therefore be the responsibility of all tax authorities to ensure that proper, timely and complete account is given of all tax revenue collected within specified periods. This is necessary to assure taxpayers that revenue being collected is accounted for and to ensure that there are no leakages on the part of tax authorities or their collecting agents (such as banks, government Ministries, Departments and Agencies). Tax authorities shall ensure that records of revenue collected are published in a manner in which it would be available to the general public and other stakeholders in the tax system. Tax authorities shall also provide these records formally to the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General’s Office at various levels of Government. This process would act. as a check on the collection and accounting systems of tax authorities. In this way, leakages can be promptly identified and necessary action taken to safeguard tax revenue. In addition, this would enable tax authorities properly monitor tax collection, so that tax revenue which is not being collected can be easily and promptly identified and collected. In addition, accounting for tax revenue assists tax authorities and the Government in fiscal planning, since collection trends can be used to project revenue which would be available to the government. Like all other aspects of the tax administration process, tax authorities shall also utilise electronic and technology based systems for the purpose of accounting for tax revenue. Adequate training and resources shall be provided to tax officials to ensure that tax revenue is properly accounted for. Where certain persons/institutions are identified as being responsible for leakage of tax revenue, such person/institutions shall be treated in line with existing provisions of the law.

Where all alternative dispute resolution mechanisms fail, disputes may be submitted for judicial adjudication as a last resort. Once disputes are referred to the Judiciary and a decision is reached, it expected that all parties shall comply strictly with the decision of the Court and such dispute would be deemed as fully resolved. In no instance should any party to a dispute to extra-legal methods to resolve such disputes. • ALHAJI KABIR MOHAMMED MASHI, AG. EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, FIRS

The U- TIN will provide a uniform mode of identification for all taxpayers in Nigeria. Government at all levels are therefore enjoined to support the introduction of a uniform system of registration and allocation of U-TIN and the creation of a data-base accessible to all tax authorities (and other Federal, State and Local government agencies) in the Country. FISCAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION (APPEAL) MECHANISMS In the course of frequent interaction and engagement between the various levels and tiers of Government, and between Government and the taxpayer, or between taxpayers, it is expected that disputes would arise from time to time. Such disputes may extend to general fiscal issues, of which taxation is a key component. In the past, little or no efforts were made to promptly address and resolve such issues. In addition, there are usually weak formal and informal structures and in some cases, complete absence of a workable and acceptable structure or framework for the resolution of such disputes.<The Tax Policy therefore seeks to address this challenge and provide a general framework for the resolution of such disputes as follows: 6.1 Between Federal and State Governments The Nigerian Constitution provides that disputes between Federal and State Governments in Nigeria on certain matters shall be referred to the Supreme Court as a court of first and final instance. It is therefore not the intention of the Tax Policy to detract from this constitutional provision: However, it is expected that resort to the Supreme Court shall be the final option and that all necessary avenues shall be explored for the resolution of such disputes before there is a resort to litigation. Such avenues which may be explored include: i. the Governor’s forum, where the Federal Government may be invited to deliberate on such disputes with the affected State or State Governments; ii. deliberations at the National Economic Council, where the affected Federal, State or Local Governments may be invited to resolve the issues in dispute; iii. deliberations at the Federal/State Executive Council, where the affected Federal/State/Local Government Ministry, Department or Agency may be invited to resolve the issues in dispute; iv. deliberations at the Council of State level, which is a more formal process than (i) to (iii) above; and v. mediation by other State Governments or Federal Government agencies/other organs of Government, such as the Judiciary. However, where the Judiciary is involved, mediation shall be carried out in a manner as not to affect the independence or impartiality of the Judiciary, given that the dispute may subsequently be referred to the judiciary for adjudication. Once disputes are referred to the Supreme Court and a decision is reached, it is expected that all parties shall comply strictly with the decision of the Court and such a dispute would be deemed as fully resolved. In no instance should any party to a dispute resort to extra-legal methods to resolve such disputes. 6.2 Between State Governments The Nigerian Constitution also provides that disputes between State Governments shall be referred to the Supreme Court for adjudication. However, as stated above such option shall be deemed as the final option when all other dispute resolution mechanisms may have been exhausted. In this regard, avenues, which may be explored include: i. deliberation between the State Governments, by their Attorney Generals, Commissioners or Finance or any other relevant State officials or agencyii. deliberation at the level of the Governor’s forum; , iii. deliberation at the level of the National Economic Council; iv. deliberations at the level of Council of States, which would be a more formal process than (i) to (iii) above; and

6.4 Between the Executive and Legislature Disputes between the Executive and the Legislature shall as much as possible be resolved informally without resort to litigation. This is particularly important given the close relationship and interdependence between the Executive and Legislative arms of Government and the potential dislocation and distraction to Governance which such disputes may trigger. In this regard, it is expected that all available avenues such as deliberations between relevant officials, mediation by traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders and institution of State (such as Federal and State Executive Councils, Council of State, National Economic Council) at Federal or State level would be first considered. The Executive and Legislature should also establish informal and formal processes for resolution of disputes, such as the use of liaison officers and the organs of the Judiciary (such as the National Judicial Council). In certain instances, it may however, be necessary to refer certain in critical issues to the Judiciary for clarification and resolution in order to aid the development of the Nigerian economy and bring certainty into Government Policy and administration. Where such matters are referred to the Judiciary and a decision is reached, it expected that all parties shall comply strictly with the decision of the Court and such a dispute would be deemed as fully resolved. In no instance should any party to a dispute resort to extra-legal methods to resolve such disputes. 6.5 Amongst and between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary Following from the above, it is also expected that disputes between any of the three arms of Government shall be resolved amicably. The processes identified above shall also be considered here, so that as much as is possible, such disputes are resolved in an informal setting given the important role each arm of Government plays in the administration of the country and the potential dislocation and distraction which a prolonged dispute may bring to Governance. In particular, disputes between any of the other arms and the Judiciary shall be resolved amicably and in a discreet manner. This is particularly necessary to safeguard and maintain the integrity, independence and impartiality of the Judiciary, as it may be called upon to resolve disputes between the other arms. 6.6 With Taxpayers It is expected that there would be disputes between taxpayers and organs of Government. This is normal in any society and our laws therefore provide detailed processes for resolving such disputes. In this regard, the Nigerian Constitution recognises the right of every Nigerian to submit disputes to the Courts for adjudication, whether he is a taxpayer or not. Other than such general disputes, there are specialised processes relating to the resolution of tax or fiscal disputes between taxpayers and tax or revenue authorities. In this regard, the Tax Appeal process, which is an integral and important part of the tax administration process, is provided for under relevant tax legislation. The appeal process is available to every taxpayer, who is aggrieved or dissatisfied with a decision or ruling made by the tax authority, relating to the tax status of such taxpayer, the interpretation /application of tax laws, and such other matters affecting the rights and status of the taxpayer. It shall therefore be the responsibility of tax authorities to ensure that the tax appeal process is easily accessible to taxpayers and all its processes and procedures simplified. In this way tax- payers would be encouraged to take benefit of the process to resolve tax disputes, rather than resort to self help. Tax authorities shall carry out enlightenment campaigns on the availability of the appeal process, so that all tax-payers, large or small, corporate entities and individuals are aware that they have a right to submit their disputes for adjudication. Alongside this, however, alternative dispute resolution procedures should also be encouraged between the tax authorities and the taxpayers, so that only matters which cannot be resolved otherwise are submitted for adjudication. Where matters are submitted for adjudication, the integrity, independence and impartiality of the tax appeal process should be guaranteed to ensure that an aggrieved taxpayer can seek redress with the confidence that his dispute would be considered in a free, fair and objective manner. In this regard, tax appeal bodies and all their organs should be provided relevant autonomy and funding to enable them discharge their duties and guarantee their independence.

• To be cotinued




Nigerian banks most capitalised in Africa, T says CBN chief HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said banks remain the most capitalised in Africa. Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Kingsley Moghalu said the average capital adequacy ratio is about 18 per cent, which is quite high; the average liquidity ratio is about 64 per cent. According to him, the average non-performing loan ratio is about 4.5 per cent, a sharp contrast with the 30 per cent it stood before the reform. The total assets of the sector stands at about N19.5 trillion and have led to a reduction in average non-performing loans (NPLs) of banks from 30 per cent to 4.5 per cent. He said although the banking reforms have not been completed, a standard for financial stability has been set by the apex bank. “We all saw the positive earnings announced by banks in the first quarter of he year and all these were as a result of AMCON’s intervention. Today, non-performing loan (NPL) in the industry is

Stories by Collins Nweze

below five per cent,” he said. He said banking reforms, which saw banks taking closer look at risk management structures have led to improvements in corporate governance in banks and impacted positively in the operations of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Moghalu said available statistics point that banks are actually very healthy. For instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducted a stress test for the banking system; the results show the banks are in a sound state of health. “Today, Nigerian banks are about the most capitalised in Africa. The average capital adequacy ratio is about 18 per cent, which is quite high; the average liquidity ratio is about 64 per cent. The average non-performing loan ratio is

about 4.5 per cent, a sharp contrast with the 30 per cent it stood before the reform. The total assets of the sector stand at about N19.5 trillion while total deposits are N12.5 trillion,” he said. Moghalu said the banking industry is constantly evolving across the world, adding that the apex bank operates in the context of wider microeconomic environment. He said it is important to note that the role of fiscal managers is as critical as that of the supervisory institution in ensuring stability of the banking system. According to him, the challenge now is for the regulator to look beyond the strength of an individual bank and emphasise the link between the banks and the microeconomy as well as the real economy. This is because, if the real sector is not developed, banks will not have basis to sustain their

growth. They will be tempted to go into speculation, and this is what we need to guard against. “We should make sure that the real economy is revived. Manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure have to come back on track to liberate the potentials of the economy. We need mutually beneficial relationship between the banking sector and the economy,” he said. AMCON, last April, listed N1.7 trillion bond issues to buy NPLs from the books of banks in the country. The bond was meant to takeoff NPLs valued at N2.2 trillion from the books of all the banks. The listing was meant to put some earning assets on the books of banks, especially the rescued ones, which have sold the largest chunk of NPLs to AMCON. AMCON has, since December 2010, issued bonds in several tranches to Nigerian banks in exchange for NPLs on their books. The bad bank had as at December

• Moghalu

31, 2011 completed the acquisition of NPLs totaling N2.78 trillion face value. The NPLs were from 21 banks representing over 95 per cent of all outstanding bad loans in the sector.

CIBN tackles customers’ complaints


• From left: Permanent Secretary, Debt Management Office (DMO), Olabowale Ademola; Commissioner for Finance, Adetokunbo Abiru; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA Trustees Nigeria Limited, Oluwatoyin Sanni and Managing Director, Skye Trustees Nigeria Limited, Funmi Ekundayo at the 2nd & 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Lagos State Bond Issuance Programme.

‘Board diversity will strengthen banking sector’


ENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has called for diversified boards where men and women have equal chances to contribute to the growth of the banking sector. Speaking at the two-day African Women’s Economic Summit entitled: African Women Financing the Future’ held in Lagos, he said male and female bankers have skills needed to move the sector to the next level of growth. Sanusi said men and women are equal and should be treated equally in management institutions. “I am not one of those that believe that all men are better than women or that women are better than men. You need both to have diversity on the board. Any board that has a combination of men and women is better than any one that has men only or women only,” he said. The apex bank boss said there is a deliberate plan to empower women as such would boost the Federal Government’s programme on job creation and poverty alleviation. The CBN boss also hinted that the Bankers’ Committee had declared the 2012 financial period “a year of women empowerment,” adding that a sub-committee had been formed to enable Deposit

Money Banks (DMBs) achieve that objective. “The Bankers’ Committee has made 2012 the year of women empowerment. A sub-committee on women empowerment has been formed. We are working at establishing a special fund by the end of the year that will provide credit facilities to women at a single digit interest rate.” Already, CBN data indicate women already occupy 27 per cent of senior management positions and 15 per cent of board seats in all the banks, the Bankers’ Committee said. The apex bank said the feat is in line with the apex bank’s directive that banks achieve a 40 per cent senior management positions and 30 per cent board seat for women by 2014. “We are making serious progress in achieving the set target. Majority of banks are complying and this has led to the positive result we have today,” it said. It said interests expressed by banks on the policy has been encouraging, adding that there has been sensitisation and gradual implementation of the policy in majority of the banks. The Nation gathered that some banks have started taking census of gender distribution in their banks to avert CBN’s sanctions. Many of the banks have set up com-

mittees to decide processes and plans that will assist them address the gender imbalance in their respective institutions. The apex bank has also taken measures to ensure that the policy is well implemented. It has advised banks to make public, their levels of compliance with the policy. The regulator has also said it will monitor to ensure that banks include their level of compliance with the policy in their annual reports.

HE Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has commenced campaigns aimed at addressing customers’ complaints. The institute recently organised workshops on Complaints Management in three major cities. The programme tagged Complaints Management in the Nigerian Banking Industry was held in Ibadan, Owerri and Abuja and was at the instance of the sub-Committee on Ethics and Professionalism of the Bankers’ Committee. A statement from the institute said there is need to instill culture of excellence in the management of consumer complaints in banks with a view to restoring banking public confidence as well as to forestall preventable risks and losses. It said during the exercise, experienced professionals were able to

Banks boost mobile banking


GREEMENTS signed between telecoms companies and banks look set to shore up a nationwide campaign to boost mobile banking services in the country. While the cash-less initiative poses challenges, such as a lack of infrastructure and connectivity problems in rural areas, industry players are optimistic that mobile money will go a long way in bridging the divide between the banked and unbanked segments of the population. Director of Business Development for eTranzact, Sullivan Akala, , highlighted the rate at which mobile telephony was developing,

Private equity investment rises to $3b


address key strategic issues such as consumer complaints management in the sector, best practices in managing complaints and challenges in the Nigerian banking environment, ways of coping, handling and satisfying difficult customers, framework for complaints management in banks, practical case studies from the sub-Committee on Ethics and Professionalism, among others. The statement said customer complaints come mainly because of poor customer service, high bank tariffs, frauds and forgeries as well as bank distress, and such could threaten confidence in the banking system. The training is also aimed at encouraging good banking habits and promoting efficiency in the delivery of financial services as well as boosting public confidence in the system.

RIVATE equity investment into Africa more than tripled in 2011 to reach $3 billion, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said. In a statement, the bank’s Chief Economist, Mthuli Ncube said the figure will rise further as investors move into consumer products and services on the continent instead of the traditional targets of natural resources, infrastructure and renewable energy. “Private equity investors closed $3 billion worth of deals in Africa, up from $890 million in 2010. As a result, sub-Saharan Africa now accounts for six percent of total emerging markets private equity investment, double the 2007 share of three percent,” he said. He said about 200 equity investors are actively involved in the African market, and that beyond traditional development institutions and institutional investors, more global frontier investors are exploring opportunities in Africa, seeking to diversify risk, improve efficiency and unlock value. “The bulk of equity funds attracted to Africa are specialised funds, focusing on natural resources, infrastructure and the renewable energy sectors. However, funds targeting other sectors, principally those driven by the growing appetite of Africans for quality consumer products and services, are poised to be the main drivers of private equity to the region in the coming years,” he maintained.

saying he believed Nigeria had the potential to become the largest mobile payment market in Africa. Akala pointed out that although banking was well established in Nigeria, there were only 25 million accounts in existence, while the number of mobile phone subscribers had already topped 80 million, just 10 years after the telecoms sector was deregulated. Mainstreet Bank, together with five other financial institutions, launched the Quick Teller Mobile Banking product (QTM) in partnership with Globacom. According to the head of telebanking at Glo, Tunde Kuponiyi, the internet-based mobile platform incorporates the core applications of partner banks to deliver mobile banking services to customers on the Glo network. The MTN Nigeria had earlier finalised an agreement with Stanbic IBTC Bank, to provide mobile money services to Nigerian nationals. The deal follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in February between First Bank of Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria to offer mobile banking services throughout the country. Stanbic IBTC Bank agreed that mobile banking offered key advantages for the West African nation’s economic development. “Mobile money solutions will play a major role in integrating Nigeria’s huge informal economy, which is driven by small-scale farmers, traders, craftsmen and other types of small and medium-sized businesses, into the formal economy,” the bank said.




African banks’ rankings drop among top 1000 • Zenith emerges ‘number one in Nigeria


FRICAN banks suffered a major setback in this year’s Top 1000 rankings conducted by The Banker magazine. The decline stemmed from weaknesses of their currencies, many of which occurred against the dollar in the second half of 2011. The Banker’s report tagged: Top 1,000 World Banks 2012 showed South African banks were among the hardest hit, with the rand sliding almost 19 per cent against the dollar. In 2011, 30 African banks made it to the top 1000, whereas 31 made it this year. However, the continent’s lenders still account for a small proportion of the global Tier 1 capital, collectively making up 0.9 per cent of the total in the Top 1000, down slightly from last year. Standard Bank retained its position as the largest bank on the continent by tier 1 capital asset. It was closely followed by FirstRand, Nedbank Group and Investec in that order. Zenith Bank Plc emerged seventh in Africa. Zenith emerged 322nd position

By Collins Nweze

in the Top 1,000 banks in the world, but made it to the first position among Nigerian banks. It was closely followed by First Bank of Nigeria Plc (338), GTBank Plc (455), Access Bank (541), United Bank for Africa (563), Fidelity Bank (618), First City Monument Bank 710 among others. “While Nigerian lenders did not move up the tier 1 ranking significantly, Access Bank’s assets increased 93 per cent to $10.3 billion, thanks to its takeover of local rival-Intercontinental Bank. This made this lenders move from 805th to 635th in the assets ranking. Togolese-based Ecobank moved from 609 to 498 in terms of assets, thanks mainly to its acquisition of Nigeria’s former Oceanic Bank. “The Banker’s Top 1,000 World Banks’ ranking of bank holding companies is based on tier 1 capital. It excludes banks with latest available figures. The ranking are based on the definition of tier 1 capital as set out by Basel’s Bank for International Settlement

(BIS). “The survey aims to show banks’ soundness in relations to the Basel guidelines on capital adequacy,” the report said. Mauritian banks assisted by the rupee being one the few African currencies to hold its own against the dollar in 2011, were some of the fastest risers in this year’s ranking. Two of them, Mauritius Commercial Bank and Sate Bank of Mauritius, were among the four African banks that increased their Tier 1 capital the most. Angola’s banks also had a good outing. Banco de Poupanca e Credito is a new entrant to the Top 1,000, after its Tier 1 capital rose 31 per cent to $870 million, and assets expanded by 42 per cent to $12 billion. This caused it to climb the global assets ranking from 674 th to 596th. The Banker’s report explained: “African Banks suffered in this year’s Top 1,000 ranking from the weakness of their currencies many of which fell against the dollar in the second half of 2011.”

‘Bankers’ lack skill’ THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed shock over the continued decline in knowledge gap among bankers. In a statement by Director, Financial Policy and Regulations, Chris Chukwu, CBN said the recent global financial crisis exposed the inadequacy of skills and dearth of executive capacity in the sector. The skill gap, he said manifested in, among others the lack of indepth knowledge of core banking functions and poor understanding of basic banking operations; poor understanding of banking regulations and poor risk management and corporate governance practices. He expressed the regulator’s readiness to critically facilitate improvement in the quality of the industry’s human capital. “There have also been knowledge gaps in financial markets and treasury management, business development practices; and poor relationship management techniques mainly due to poor training,” he said. With stability now restored to the banking system following several measures and initiatives taken by the CBN under the on-going banking sector reforms, it is imperative that immediate steps be taken to consciously re-direct the banking industry towards the path of entrenching a sequenced competency development programme,” he added. According to him, the exercise is predicated on the need for banks to accord high priority to the continuous enhancement of human capital and lifelong learning. This will imbue banking professionals with the requisite skills and expertise not only at the strategic and management levels, but also at the technical and operational levels. He said the availability of appropriately trained and competent human resources is a critical factor in supporting the effective performance of the banking industry. This, in essence, implies that continuous strengthening of intellectual resources and capabilities must be undertaken to create a pool of talented and high calibre professionals in the banking industry.

FirstBank boosts SMEs with U-First FIRSTBank of Nigeria Plc is giving Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to grow their businesses. In a statement, the bank said although the sector has potentials to employ a large portion of the population, lack of support from banks has derailed the sector’s vision. It said the bank has progressively demonstrated that its product offering transcends the regular lending, deposits, trade and treasury products, to the development of financial solutions that enable business owners serve their clients efficiently. This ultimately empowers them to make informed financial decisions for sustained business success. FirstBank’s Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said U-First is a suite of retail and consumer loan products designed to enable individuals and small businesses meet their business and personal needs under a flexible repayment structure that is in sync with the best global practices. Ani-Mumuney said with the U-First loans, small business operators are empowered to take little steps that will ultimately grow their businesses. “Under the U-First umbrella, we have a set of homogeneous loans targeted at individuals and small & medium enterprises (SMEs). The set targeted at individuals are classified as Consumer Loan Products while those targeted at SMEs and entrepreneurs are classified as Retail Loan Products. Every product provides a unique opportunity for beneficiaries to effectively grow their businesses,” she adds.

Access gets certification

• From left: Group President, Major General Adebanjo Awosanya (Rtd) and MD/CEO, Mr. Kola Abdul, during the AGM of Skyfield Mortgage & Loans Ltd at Palmview Hotel, Lagos.

CBN seeks OPS’ data on economic growth


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has called on manufacturers to provide it with data to foster the growth of the economy. CBN said the development became necessary to ensure the timely release of monetary, financial and balance of payment information needed to galvanise economic growth. According to the Director, Statistics Department (CBN), Mr Sani Doguwa, the idea would help in providing solutions to the problems besetting the economy. Doguwa, during a stakeholders forum in Lagos, said the department is committed to providing data that would aid macro-eco-

By Akinola Ajibade

nomic development. He said: “ In view of the heavy demand and timely release of monetary financial, and balance of payment data which are veritable tools for policy formulation, the Statistics department of CBN forged ahead to actualising its mandate of collecting and collating statistical data relating to various aspects of the economy (including manufacturing, public finance, agric and energy production, foreign investments, money and banking, and balance of payment”. He said the OPS and financial experts are abreast with development in the economy, adding that their

inputs would help the CBN and the National Bureau Statistics (NBS) to collate data that would be useful in tracking problems in the macro economy. He said CBN can only solve the problems of inflation and balance of payment equilibrium, when there are adequate, reliable and upto-date data. According to him, the contributions of key players in the economy are vital to the success of any regulatory policies. Doguwa said data is being collected globally for economic growth, adding that Nigeria would not be an exception when its comes to using the instrumentality of the OPS to achieve growth.

ACCESS Bank has been awarded the ISO 27001, a global standard for information security management, for efficiency of its security management process, by the British Standard Institute. In a statement, the bank said the certification is a validation of its industry leadership in e-payment and compliance with best practice. Access Bank’s Chief Risk Officer Greg Jobome said: “This is a demonstration of our commitment to setting standards for sustainable business practices; subjecting our processes to a rigorous evaluation by a reputable organisation like the British Standards Institute, demonstrates the length we can go as a bank to ensure the security of our customers’ transactions.” Chief Information Officer, Access Bank, Tunde Coker added: “The experience has improved our information assets and processes with evidence in the safety of our platforms and processes for customer transactions.” The bank’s certification, according to the statement, is a tacit endorsement of its safety of transaction platforms and information assets which guarantees the highest level of security for customers’ details and information. The ISO 27001 certification is awarded to organisations that have conformed to the highest standards of information security.

Finance confab holds July 23 THE ESQ Project Finance Summit will hold between July 23 and 27 in Lagos. The event, which will provide insights into project financing in Africa, will focus on different sectors of the economy including power, oil and gas, telecommunications, transport, among others. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Legal Blitz, Mr Lere Fashola, the summit which is being supported by Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as well as the law firm of Banwo & Ighodalo, was conceived to assist stakeholders in moving project initiatives forward across the continent. Legal Blitz is the organiser of the summit. Speakers expected at this event include the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Dr. Kingsley Moghalu and his Ghanaian counterpart, Mr Ousmane Dore; Commissioner, Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Goodie Ibru; General Counsel, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Nigeria) Mr J.A.M. Ohiani and Chairman Stanbic Bank, Botswana. Mr Parks Tafa.





Sinking fund to the rescue •Sinking fund good; reining in appetite for debts is better


INALLY, it seems that the nation’s bourgeoning domestic debt is set to receive some attention. At a consultative meeting with members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the 2013 budget last week, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spoke of the Federal Government’s plan to establish a sinking fund to retire some of the nation’s domestic debt. Her words: “We are proposing opening a sinking fund, where we are going to take a chunk of our money and put in the fund. We are going to take money from there and retire one or two of the bonds. We are not going to just keep on refinancing our debt. The budget (2013) is going to be tight. We are going to use money upfront, with Mr. President’s permission to pay our debt”. It is a significant step forward no doubt –from the annual claptrap of bemoaning the debt situation. The idea of a drastic reduction of the domestic debt stock obviously aligns with our earlier calls on the government to do something about the debt. Considering that the entire stock of domestic debts ballooned from $12 billion to $41 billion in under 10 years, we can only hope that the measure stems from the need to have a fundamental break with the vicious cycle that is neither sustainable nor desirable. Aside the trajectory of the debt accumulation, one other notorious fact about the mountain of debts is the difficulties

that Nigerians have had in pin-pointing the values delivered in terms of the projects, with substantial impact on the lives of the people. Several other reasons of course render the retirement of the debts important. First, it seems one sure strategy to get the economy reflated. In other words, leaving that volume of debts unpaid would continually sap the private sector of the vital juice with which to grow the economy. Second, it allows the debts to be more manageable, and finally, it demonstrates that the government is coming to terms with the requirements of fiscal responsibility. The sinking fund is however nothing but a trade-off between settling past obligations and incurring new expenditures for the 2013 fiscal year – and with it the opportunity costs. That, of course is inevitable, given that the fund will be drawn from the Federal Government’s share of the distributable pool. What Nigerians should worry about are the specific sacrifices they will be called to make in the coming year by a Federal Government that has shown very little inclination to deal with corruption and wastes in government. This is even more so as successive budgets have never pretended to address the most basic of their concerns. The point bears repeating that very little lessons appear to have been learnt since the nation’s celebrated exit from the Paris and London clubs of creditors in 2005/6. Rather, what has happened is the shift-

ing of the pendulum. If the nation nearly asphyxiated with foreign debts then; now, it is being crippled by its domestic variant. While both are symptomatic of the same malignancy – the spendthrift culture at all levels - they produce the same results in the inability of the Federal Government to deliver on meaningful economic growth. Above all, the sinking fund is only a means to an end. The end of course is greater fiscal responsibility by governments at all levels. Nigerians expect to see the Federal Government take the lead in practising what it preaches. The sinking fund idea isn’t even a distant start from that.

‘The sinking fund is however nothing but a trade-off between settling past obligations and incurring new expenditures for the 2013 fiscal year – and with it the opportunity costs. That, of course is inevitable, given that the fund will be drawn from the Federal Government’s share of the distributable pool. What Nigerians should worry about are the specific sacrifices they will be called to make in the coming year by a Federal Government that has shown very little inclination to deal with corruption and wastes in government’

Ceded oil wells •What is important is how well the returns from them are used, not just the ownership


HE judgment of the Supreme Court ceding the 76 disputed oil wells between Akwa Ibom and Cross River states to the former has once again exposed the danger in Nigeria’s over-dependence on a mono-economy. While the people of Akwa Ibom State are praising the judgment, their counterparts from Cross River are mourning what they see as a huge blow to a major source of funding for the development of their state. The dispute over the ownership of the oil wells arose following the Federal Government’s implementation of the Green Tree Agreement, between Cameroun and Nigeria. By that agreement, Nigeria accepted a peaceful implementation of the World Court’s judgment in favour of Cameroun as the owners of the Bakassi Peninsula. That judgment confirmed that Nigeria had voluntarily ceded the disputed region, abutting the seaward boundaries of Cross River State to the Cameroun during the Nigerian civil war, and the implication, according to the Supreme Court, is that Cross River State was no longer a littoral state. Accordingly, the state became incapacitated to own the disputed 76 oil wells, situate offshore. With Cross River State adjudged a landlocked state, Akwa Ibom was gifted with the ownership of the offshore oil wells. This judgment obviously has far-reaching consequences on the economies of the two states, principally because the Nigerian economy is dependent on the petro-dollars received from the exploration of crude oil in the Niger Delta region. In the words of Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, “the loss of oil wells is not the end of life”. He also emotionally

recalled 2008 when the 76 oil wells were first handed over to Akwa Ibom State, in these ennobling words, “it is a testimony to our faith, the wisdom of this administration and our collective resolve that in 2012, four years after 76 oil wells were taken from us, Cross River has been adjudged the fastest growing state in Nigeria in terms of physical development and the improvement of the living conditions of the people”. We join in calling for calm and continued reinvention on the part of the Cross River State government. The modern world has indeed confirmed as also stated by Governor Imoke in his state address, that, “there is more wealth to be made from our intellectual resources and what lies on the surface of the earth than from fossils that lie underneath”. Ample evidence of this lies across the world; many of the most developed economies (like Japan) have no or inconsequential deposits of natural resources. Conversely, countries (like the Democratic Republic of Congo) with abundant deposit of natural resources have remained down the index of human development. What has made the difference and will continue to make the difference is human capital development. In America, the desert state of Nevada, hosting the famous city of Las Vegas is richer than Texas, an oil state. What made the difference across the Atlantic was the resolve of the people of the state of Nevada not to look down in search of natural resources, but to look up to their natural brain power, which they have used to create immeasurable wealth. Unfortunately in Nigeria, many of the 36 states are considered unviable, simply because they have no

deposit of fossil fuel; and many blessed with other types of mineral deposits remain poor and a burden to national development. As Akwa Ibom State savours its victory, we also note that the state has shown tremendous strides in infrastructure and education under Governor Godswill Akpabio, and he should continue. We remind the states enjoying the flowing petro-dollars that fossil fuel is a wasting asset, and those temporarily enjoying this nature’s conferred advantage must invest the returns in the more enduring human capital, if they are interested in the future of their next generation. Hence we should also commend the programme of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who looks forward to a Delta State without oil.

‘As Akwa Ibom State savours its victory, we also note that the state has shown tremendous strides in infrastructure and education under Governor Godswill Akpabio, and he should continue. We remind the states enjoying the flowing petro-dollars that fossil fuel is a wasting asset, and those temporarily enjoying this nature’s conferred advantage must invest the returns in the more enduring human capital, if they are interested in the future of their next generation’

Taxing online purchases


N INCREASING number of states have passed laws that require customers to pay sales tax on Internet purchases. Although a 1992 Supreme Court ruling — Quill v. North Dakota — holds that companies without a “substantial nexus” (read: physical presence) in a given state don’t have to pay taxes on purchases made there, that changes when corporations such as Amazon name local affiliates or set up physical distribution centers. Virginia voted this year to close the so-called “Amazon loophole,” which allows the online retailer to avoid paying the same local sales taxes that brick-and-mortar establishments charge. California and Texas have taken steps to do the same. The change is overdue. There’s no reason to favor e-commerce at the expense of other business, and it makes no sense to require some businesses to charge more for the same goods. To that end, a bipartisan bill under consideration in the Senate, the Marketplace Fairness Act, would grant states the authority to require “remote sellers” to collect sales tax in exactly the same way as local businesses are already made to do. Of course, that’s much more difficult than it sounds, and critics are right to point out that two Supreme Court rulings have warned of the complications that will inevitably arise in any attempt by retailers to collect sales tax from multiple states at once. To answer those concerns, the legislation requires that those states that choose to adopt online sales taxes must either implement a common set of guidelines for streamlining and simplifying tax collection or, if not, meet five basic simplification mandates stipulated in the bill. Whether these requirements are enough to streamline tax collection is not certain, but they are at least a step in the right direction. Critics also allege that the revenue that states would receive under the bill wouldn’t add up to 1 percent of the total annual revenue derived from sales taxes. As The Post reported last week, however, up to $23 billion in revenue could be generated if online retailers were required to charge the same amount of sales tax as brick-and-mortar establishments. Had the act already been in effect this past year, Virginia could have gained an estimated $432 million, Maryland $376 million and the District $72 million. Given that Maryland and Virginia faced projected budget shortfalls of $145 million and $1.1 billion in advance of fiscal 2013, that’s money that could be well spent. The Marketplace Fairness Act may be imperfect, but the price of maintaining the status quo is too high. For the sake of state coffers and local businesses, Congress should approve it — and states should adopt it in due course. – Washington Post TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: Tunde Bakare, pioneer pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly has been persecuted on all fronts by Nigerians for choosing a path he considers right. He started out as a lawyer before he was called into ministry. In 2010, he became the convener of the Save Nigeria Group and later ran for the office of vicepresident on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change in the April 2011 presidential election. Many have tagged him controversial because of the role he has played in our recent history. Some have even labeled him a false prophet who has desecrated the exalted office of clergyman. But on what facts do these people base their theories. Critics of Bakare say that as a man of God, he should steer clear of politics as it is meant for only those who are professionals in the art of


Bakare and his critics do or die politics. They wonder why Bakare would want to link religion with politics. In their view, a man of God should not aspire to a position of leadership but rather be content to remain just a doyen of the pulpit. These people have also fallen for a propaganda orchestrated by those who do not want the liberation of Nigerians. They claim that since Bakare lost the election, he was begrudged and therefore led the massive Ojota protest against the removal of fuel subsidy

in January. They accuse him of using any means necessary to insult President Goodluck Jonathan and discredit his government. But is this propaganda really true? Should Bakare be labeled a villain for taking the bold step to speak truth to power? Is what he is saying not the obvious? Should he be condemned for running for the office of vice-president especially when he says God is backing him? Does he no longer have this right like any other Nigerian? Before we answer these questions

however, let us go back a little in history. The Save Nigeria Group was created in January 2010 to, more or less, save this country from disintegration. Have we forgotten the cabal? These were the people who held the nation to ransom when late President Yar’Adua was ill. They created a power vacuum by refusing to allow presidential powers to be transferred to then vice-president, Goodluck Jonathan. It was Bakare and his group that marched on the streets of Lagos and Abuja to compel the National

Two Amazons and Nigeria’s economic woes


IR: Two women, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Mrs. Diezani AllisonMadueke, are behind Nigeria’s economic misfortunes. But they are not to blame. President Goodluck Jonathan put them in positions that are beyond them. He ignored the popular outcry against the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, and the re-appointment of AllisonMadueke as the Minister of Petroleum Resources. Okonjo-Iweala could not find solution to the problems of corruption; she does not even preoccupy herself with it, but keeps focusing on managing Nigeria’s external and internal debts. Beyond that, she keeps telling Jonathan that removal of “fuel subsidy” is the only solution to mass poverty, and the removal must be total to have any effect. Ask Okonjo-Iweala why, as the finance minister and coordinator of the economy, she claims to know nothing about any of the corruption cases in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or

any other corruption case at the federal level. What then is she coordinating? She is coordinating fuel subsidy removal and debts. For instance, she claims to be seeking how we can “buffer our economy in these uncertain times, and how do we diversify the economic base for long-term sustainable growth”. On the other hand, AllisonMadueke admitted knowing that there have been cases of corruption in the NNPC, but she could not say who and who perpetrated them. I read, for instance, that “the Federal Government lost over N104 billion (about $65million) as demurrage from 2007 to 2010 due to alleged ‘inefficiency’ in the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)”. Even if she knows anything about it, as usual, she won’t say who and who were involved, or what led to inefficiency. She would rather say, “We are trying to improve”. Under the watchful eyes of Allison-Madueke, two of Nigeria’s four refineries became dysfunctional, and the other two perform at an abysmally low level.

Yet, you need to see the woman smartly dressed, visiting sites, and making hope-raising statements. Usually, whether such a statement is made by Jonathan or any of his ministers, you are not expected to assume that something wonderful is happening or about to happen. Take, for instance, the cases of oil and gas, electricity, and agriculture, which you hear often since 1999 till date, without any positive outcome. In view of the foregoing, I was not surprised to read that “a group

of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) urged the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Iweala and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke to resign their appointments, or in the alternative be fired by President Goodluck Jonathan.” How can Jonathan fire his allies in economic mismanagement? • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.

Assembly to invoke the doctrine of necessity that allowed Jonathan to become president in acting capacity. This same Bakare has now been condemned by some for standing on the side of truth rather than on the side of the president and for fighting the massive corruption of the subsidy regime. Since when has it become a crime for a clergyman to lead protests? Some of those who accuse Bakare of desecrating his office by leading protests are simply hypocrites. These people are quick to hail and salute clergymen such as Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Martin Luther King Jnr. of America for the roles they played in liberating their countries from the dungeon of apartheid and the shackles of racism. Those who say a man of the pulpit cannot run for an office have gotten it wrong. How can you say that as a man of God, he has a right to, say freedom of speech and has no right to be voted for? Even the prophets that grace the Holy Bible were leaders of their time. The likes of David, Moses and Nehemiah occupied both the office of prophets and leaders. Others such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Elijah spoke the hard truth to power and damned the consequences. So, if these biblical prophets played the role of what I call national assignment and are praised as our spiritual role models, why should Bakare’s case be any different? • Obia Vincent Adakole, University of Lagos.

NCC and GSM providers


IR: the recent imposition of almost one billion naira fine on major GSM service providers in teh country for poor service by the NCC is quite disheartening and a clear sign of insensitivity on the part of the NCC. Again, what was the yardstick used in arriving at this monumental fine? It is unfortunate that the NCC allowed itself to be overwhelmed by the National Assembly resolution. By this action of the NCC, it means

that the NCC does not appreciate the circumstances under which these companies operate. Apart from the constant tehfts of their heavy duty generators and other vital equipment, these companies are on 24 hours generator service. Sometimes these companies cannot even access their satelite bases due to poor access roads. There is also the wanton destruction of their underground cables by road contractors, the shutting down of facilities

by State and Local Government agencies on flimsy excuses, and other operational problems. The telecom industry undoubtedly remains the largest employers of labour in this country and the most efficient service provider. The NCC should look for ways to ameliorate the companies instead of compounding them. • Iheanetu Ebere, Nwogu Street, Aba, Abia State.




Oshiomhole; CBN: Nigerian bank rates, the naira fall; Tax; Nigerian lottery does not need foreigners


ONGRATULATIONS to Adams Oshiomhole on his re-election. Please continue the good work and become another Ogbemudia The Great! Tony Smell the money? The Marinho Nigerian banking system stinks as much as the Barclays Bank ‘London Interbank Offer Rate’, LIBOR, scandal and scandals from major international bank conglomerates abroad. Why is the Nigerian base interbank lending rate so high? Why is the spread between rate of interest on deposit of 2-5% and rate of interest on loans of 19-25% so immorally wide when elsewhere in the world the difference between deposit and lending interest rates is 2-4%? Are they LIBORing us, using Lagos instead of London as a basis for ‘interest rate fixing’? If they do it in London, bankers must do it in Nigeria? Has the CBN justified its independence which is being threatened by National Assembly (NASS)? Monopolies are never good for citizens. But is CBN a justifiable exception? People are unhappy with the methods and odour from the oversight functions of the NASS, which is not known for its probity. An independent CBN may be desirable but CBN activities must not lead to another financial catastrophe similar to when Babangida devalued the naira by 100%! The CBN’s own policies have ‘recovered’ the falling naira in spite of massive increased dollar earnings. Who will write ‘How and why the CBN undervalued the naira’ along the lines of the book ‘How the West underdeveloped Africa’? A currency is the pride of a nation and not toilet paper! What is the Jonathan/CBN policy on naira value? Properly managed with huge gas and oil sales the naira could be made to appreciate at N1/1-4weeks to N100:$1 in 1-2 years and eventually N1:$1. This will massively reduce poverty and those living on less than $2/ day. Granted the CBN cried out against an over-bloated bureaucracy along with the coordinating minister for the economy, but government

remains over-bloated. Nigerians must urgently demand a reduction in salaries and cancellation of NASS Constituency Allowances/Vote/ Grants which make Nigeria’s democracy a laughing stock. However should CBN spend on targeted ‘needs’? Should the CBN be the sole player in the dollar sales market? The CBN is accused of making the naira weak against the dollar as a strategy to benefit banks and government budgets needing huge naira flows. We have watched our naira fall and have all suffered the chronic consequences. The CBN has followed international directives to devalue the naira from foreign ‘experts’ in banks abroad which are now proven to be corrupt or acting maliciously! We have suffered at the hands of the IMF, which was shown to be disastrously wrong in the 80s and was until recently led by a man of questionable moral virtue if not questionable monetary virtue! Bankers and stock brokers and pension fund managers laugh all the way to the bank whether you live or die, go broke or get rich, beg to borrow or beg to deposit. The banking experience in Nigeria is excruciatingly expensive. Nigeria’s bank cartels definitely fix interest rates with or without the ‘guidance’ of the Central Bank of Nigeria. This must be illegal. CBN claims it is investigating exorbitant COT and other charges which were invented to extract money from and punish simple wage earners who do not borrow or take overdrafts. The best and biggest buildings are banks in Nigeria though there are no landmark modern museums or exhibition buildings for the youth. Banks are offering newer ‘products’ to sell to stupid people! If only our bank and other regulators in the power and communications sector were up and doing and not suffering from various “Sting-gate syndromes’ like the ‘Farcrook and Otedollar’ saga. In fact Nigerians are really great and actually financial miracle workers to survive the ‘First Extractive Industry’ called ‘Banking and finance Extractive Industry’ as it extracts profit and squeezes citizens and extracts its pound of flesh from customers seeking the minimum services expected of banks i.e. deposits and withdrawals, business and personal loans and interest on deposits. Remember that the citizens

and their businesses already miraculously contend with the huge hurdles to normal social and economic survival. Add to that the heavy burdens unimaginable in the UK or USA or Europe. Such burdens include the cost to each Nigerian of Nigeria’s powerlessness; the lack of funds in circulation due directly to millions of pensioners and government contractors denied their legitimate verified fees and earnings. Add to these the negative effect on incomes of a reawakened tiger called the Tax Regime which does not include relief for ‘Hardship of Doing Business and Living-In-Nigeria Allowance’. The implementation of the Tax policies should not include intimidation, excessive and unrealistic intimidating tax Demand Notices to frighten citizens and businesses into paying not only the tax but a bribe as well. It is hard being a Nigerian. Besides there is no tax for the extra cost of being African and ‘one’s brother’s keeper’ and looking after aged parents suffering from ‘stolen pensions’ disease. Is it irresponsible inviting foreigners into our local Nigerian lottery business? What is difficult about running a lottery? We have many hungry IT graduates who could put a lottery together overnight. Lottery is not nuclear physics. Also, in a poverty struck country like Nigeria we must insist on multiple monthly actual winners of small N10,000- 100,000 –N1,000,000 prizes and not roll-overs of huge N50m for one person with no winners sometimes. Picking winning numbers only from tickets actually bought will guarantee this.

‘The implementation of the Tax policies should not include intimidation, excessive and unrealistic intimidating tax Demand Notices to frighten citizens and businesses into paying not only the tax but a bribe as well’

Encounter with IG Abubakar


EETING with M.D. Abubakar, the InspectorGeneral, IG, of police, in his office in Abuja was a pleasant experience in many ways. That afternoon, four of us had driven to Louis Edet House, the headquarters of the Nigeria Police. Remember, the rudderless Boko Haram insurgents had left their signature mark on the complex several months ago at the height of the orgy of violence and bloodshed it unleashed on the society. Apart from reading about the attack in the media at that time, I had not had anything to do with that complex until that afternoon. So, when we got there, we were halted at the entrance by a horde of security operatives in uniform and mufti. They were polite though, as they asked us questions. Later, one of them used a hand-held bombdetection device to frisk our vehicle. After observing all protocol, we were cleared to proceed to the main building. At the entrance to the building was another set of security operatives who were monitoring all movement in and out of the place. As we entered the building, we passed through a giant scanner watched over by more than half-adozen policemen who were seated behind a long table. We exchanged pleasantries with them and walked through the scanner. At the exact floor, where the IG’s office is located, there were almost a dozen policemen and women with inquisitive eyes on the visitors. Three or four other young men in suits

were standing at the doorway, I guess, as a final buffer zone to assess visitors. We were politely ushered into the office of the Personal Assistant to the IG, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP. A jolly good fellow, the PA dashed in and out to make sure that all was well, and in less than 30 minutes, we were asked to move to the IG’s waiting room. As we entered the reception area, I stumbled on Paddy Ogon, a former police public relations officer, PPRO, Lagos Police Command in the mid-1990s. Now a CSP, Ogon told me during our brief meeting that he was now a Law lecturer at the Police Staff College in Jos. But as he made to leave, another known face sauntered into the reception. This time, it was Olusola Amore, Deputy Commissioner of Police and (at that time), Force Police Public Relations Officer. He was also at one time the Public Relations Officer of the Force HQ Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos. We went in with Amore, who was clutching a few files. At last, we were face to face with the man that is saddled with the task of ensuring security of lives and property in the country. As he sat at the head of a modest conference table which, I learnt, he has turned into his permanent sitting position since he took over the mantle of leadership, he looked cool and peaceful. Looking round the whole office, one could notice the drastic transformation which had taken place. After all, I had vis-

‘At any rate, Abubakar seems poised to make a difference. There appears to be some modicum of sincerity, the zeal to excel and the determination to surmount obstacles and move the police forward in him’

ited the same office during the time of former IGs Tafa Balogun, Sunday Ehindero and Mike Okiro. I only spoke with Ogbonaya Onovo several times on the phone when he was IGP and never visited or had cause to visit the place under Hafiz Ringim. As earlier stated, the IG’s office under MD has become totally transformed. It is neat, well-organised and exudes an atmosphere of comfort and serenity conducive to work. As we exchanged pleasantries with the IG, one could notice a man who was brimming with confidence in his ability to move the service to the next level. We spoke about the image of the police, its crime-fighting ability, training, welfare of the officers and men, and modern policing, among others. The IG was passionate about redeeming the image of the service. I guess that was why, at inception, he put together a committee to work out modalities for improving the image of the police. The committee had journalists, technocrats and former police image makers as members. On the issue of crime fighting, the IGP reiterated his preparedness to go the whole hog to give criminals a fight. As a first step, he said, the intelligencegathering mechanism of the police would be overhauled to enable the force give its optimal performance. He believes that with appropriate and good intelligence gathering, the problem of criminality will be brought to its lowest ebb. He also said that he would be all out to source for modern equipment to fight crime. Also paramount in his thought is the issue of scientific policing, which will require biometric capture of “persons of interest”, otherwise known as criminals. According to the IG, these persons of interest will be entered into a data through the biometric capture of

their10 fingers and their faces. This, he said, would help the police in the area of crime prevention and detection. From all what he said, the days of criminals or persons of interest evading arrest may soon be over. This is because whether a crime is committed in Maiduguri or Lagos, if the person of interest, for instance, runs to Sokoto, Kano or Calabar, he can be traced. Even if he or she assumes a new identity or changes his features through, say, plastic surgery, he or she will still be detected through the existing data. One only hopes that this system of crime prevention and detection, when fully operational, will also make the incidence of missing files, missing rifles or arms from the armory and so on a thing of the past. It is widely known that the greatest challenge facing the police in Nigeria is prevention and detection of crime as well as lack of equipment to work with. Apart from obsolete equipment, there are no forensic laboratories to analyze fingerprints or even take fingerprints in the first instance. When the police eventually make a breakthrough in investigations, case files are either tampered with or they get missing in mysterious circumstances, leading to poor handling of cases. This has often led to public disgust and outcry against the police. There is no doubt that Abubakar is a man who wears the shoe and, therefore, knows where it pinches. But will he be given a chance to, at least, move the service forward for once? This is a big question in a country where policy makers constitute the highest proportion of lawbreakers. I am not sure that those before the new IG did not have any vision for the police at all during their time. Some might have been overwhelmed by the problems bedeviling the police to

Dele Agekameh the point that they lost the courage to surmount the obstacles, or their hands were simply ‘tied’ as they say in a clever way to wriggle out of a complex issue in high places. I believe that while many IGs before MD could have been overwhelmed, they themselves, never for once, summoned courage to face these issues headlong. Some of them, especially those who took over under this civilian era, might have become more politician than the real politicians. At any rate, Abubakar seems poised to make a difference. There appears to be some modicum of sincerity, the zeal to excel and the determination to surmount obstacles and move the police forward in him. One only hopes that the unseen hands that control the affairs of such men in sensitive positions will allow him to make positive impact on the service and the society at large. The new IG, to me, looks like a man who has come not only to see but to conquer. However, he can only achieve this if he remains focused and determined to match his words with actions! Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘Sir, All the easily-tricked panderers who collaborated to eliminate the President-elect Abiola should always note that whether they like it or not, death is inevitable. No mortal can be good enough for death. Our immortality lies only in our deeds, the signature that becomes our surrogate, ghosting about in the memory of the living and in history books. The deadly conspirators could not kill the spirit of M.K.O. Abiola.’

•Patience Jonathan

For Segun Gbadegesin Uncle Segun, many thanks for your insightful topic - It’s still about education. I agree with your stand on the subject. From Rotimi, Jos I wonder how well we decieve ourselves in this part of the world. How can the government lie to the nation that the asset of PHCN is valued at N200billion in the guise of some power sector reform. From Ochu We give insurgents 48 hours to run. You cannot use conventional means to defeat an unconventional army; that is why the United States uses drones and hit and run tactics. Anonymous Yours on Zero capacity for surprise was a “master on duty.” The appointment of the First Lady as Perm Sec by the Bayelsa State Government is smart. She could be re-cycled as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) now or in the future - anything can happen. This is Nigeria! Anonymous Segun, I would have failed you, if I were your examiner on Zero capacity for surprise. I expected to read from you how the First Lady was employed and promoted before the husband became Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice-President and President. You did not say anything about her career. You wrote all your surprises in Nigeria without your target First Lady. From Felix Segun, can you force one to worship your so called god by force? What a pity. Lateef Adegbite has been silent on what the Qur’an says on the matter. And for the impatient Patience, she will operate from Abuja or relocate. All she is after is severance benefit, a case of long throat and ingratitude to God - all is vanity after death. Thanks. From Olufemi Jacobs I agree with the piece that there is nothing new under the sun as far as the neo-colonial Nigeria is concerned.The truth is that the social system is based on irresponsible individualism. Congratulations, First Lady. From Amos Ejimonye, Kaduna Hello, Mr Segun, this is just to let you know that I read your piece and I found out that in Nigeria, anything can happen. That the First Lady was appointed Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State should not be a surprise to us because something worse than this would happen if nothing was done about it.Thanks and keep giving us interesting articles. Regards! From Olufowobi Babatunde What else can I say than that the Bayelsa Governor is acting weird. If he was actually voted for by the people, he should work and not act the way he liked. Anonymous Patience Jonathan before now was seen as a ‘mama put’ merchant. Only few knew she attended a university and that she is an educationist. This appointment is good; we now know she too has her own personality. From Eni Umukoro, Amukpe Prof., tell your friend not to worry but wait for the ‘big cake’! You will never know, our brand new ‘Perm Sec’ may be promoted to ‘Presido’. First, she will send Ebele to the kitchen, then will come the first ‘Executive Order’ directing that whenever she is in the

air on a trip, ‘All Nigerians wherever they are, must be on their knees until her plane lands. Violators will be dealt with accordingly.’ How about that for starters, Prof.? With all the clowning going on, I am usually surprised people still wonder why we are the way we are. Ah, ah! Regards. From Olu Segun, thanks for your article: “Zero capacity for surprise”. My understanding of the appointment of Mrs. Jonathan as Permanent Secretary is an indirect way of His Excellency, the Governor of Bayelsa State informing people like me that Mr President may have more than one wife. However, if this “Mrs. Jonathan” is my beloved First Lady of Nigeria, then there must be a problem somewhere. From Utobong Umoh No one should blame this very creative Governor. What better way to please madam and oga other than giving madam an accesss to the state treasury through the appoinment as permanent Secretary? Go and check the allocation of funds to her ministry and see if the Governor will not be killing two birds with one stone. When it comes to corruption, Bayelsa is it. Your excellency, please deploy madam to the ministry of finance to complete the good job you have started. From Tunde Sapara Appointing First Lady as Permanent Secretary is wrong. But was she expecting the position? If she was, then she brought herself low. From Mr. Wisdom Efenudu, Delta State Please, has the President proscribed the office of the First Lady? Anonymous It is a surprise that Patience is appointed a Permanent Secretary. From the way she spoke, I used to think of her as an illiterate. Anonymous For Gbenga Omotoso Gbenga, you are as sweet as honey. A President, who does give a damn, what else do you want from him? He deployed soldiers to Edo State to intimidate voters. A President, who had no shoes in Bayelsa some years ago, has become a shoe manufacturer. It will be sucidal if he succumbs to rascals in PDP rigging in Edo State. For Jos, I think the President needs the Minister of Condolences to free him of such hard work. From Hamza, Apapa Dockyard, Lagos Gbenga, your article on election rigging (As Edo votes) was good and worth paying billions of dollars for. In fact, our great party, PDP, is already using almost 80 per cent of your thesis. You cannot claim its sole ownership. Let PDP rig Edo election and see the fury that will follow. Anonymous A masterpiece, it depicts the desperateness of the PDP - People Deceiving People - to take over power from the opposition (however good) by all means using State Apparatus. Anonymous If it were an advanced country where all these senseless killings are taking place, the President would have resigned before now or face mass action against such weak leadership. I don’t think we have a capable president. Anonymous The Federal Government has failed us. Plateau people should know their enemies and protect their families and way of life before they are all killed since we cannot co-exist, then we must exist. Anonymous The answer to this mayhem and systematic annihilation of defenceless Christians in Plateau was given by Boko Haram in The Nation of July 11, 2012, where they stated their mis-

sion of Islamising the State. The Federal Government has given up on Plateau, because life has become so cheap, as people are being killed with impunity without any positive response from the government at the centre. With all the security votes, yet our military does not have the sophistication the Fulani insurgents have been exhibiting in Plateau. Anonymous Senator Dan Fulani and his cohort died running. He ran; he and his peoples died running. No body shot them. When they saw Mau Mau running down from Mangu hilltop, they ran and ran and died; nobody chased them. Mangu, bury the dead on the hilltop where they buried Lere in 1982. Anonymous ‘Plateau bloodbath’ A Minister of condolences? No need for that. Rueben Abati is best suited for the job. From ADEYCorsim, Osodi, Lagos Re: Plateau bloodbath. Brilliant idea! Very brilliant! From Timothy I do not even know what Mr President intends or will tell the electorate whenever he wants to lead a campaign for the so called useless PDP whose major achievements were to waste innocent lives. This is the first time that Nigeria will have such a parochial and very weak president. Anonymous Gbenga, do not mind the government. God will definitely look down on us in Nigeria and send a Rawlings to deliver us from the senseless government with no good plan. From Dr. Yomi Gbenga, Nigeria will overcome all odds including electoral deformity. But Nigerians will pay the price of her survival with their blood. Politicians have not learnt any lesson from past mistakes, but I have one word for the politicians - “change”. And one word for the electorate - “watch”. May God help us. From Evang. Okoye M. For Olatunji Dare Sir, it is true that MKO Abiola was killed because he refused to surrender his mandate. He is a rare African. May his labour not go in vain! From Gbenga Aloko, Kabba Ha, Dr. Dare, you may be wrong in your assertion that there is no greater honour shown by MKO by refusing to trade his mandate! Mr Jonathan in his perverse acknowledgment, thinks re-naming UNILAG speaks to a higher honour! In the warped thinking of liliputians, that may be true within their canopy of jesters! From Dokun Adedeji, Ikeja Lagos Sir, all the easily-tricked panderers who collaborated to eliminate the President-elect Abiola should always note that whether they like it or not, death is inevitable. No mortal can be good enough for death. Our immortality lies only in our deeds, the signature that becomes our surrogate, ghosting about in the memory of the living and in history books. The deadly conspirators could not kill the spirit of M.K.O. Abiola. What a shame! From Adegoke O. O. Ikhin, Edo State Dear Dare, your article on the annulment of June 12 election and subsequent death of Chief M.K.O. Abiola in the hand of compromised international community made my day. Spiritualy, Nigiria must urgently atone the spirit of Abiola, Bola Ige and Ken Saro Wiwa, who were murdered in cold blood. The Federal Government must urgently posthumously declare Abiola the President of Nigeria and name Abuja Stadium in his honour being the hero of our democratic struggle.

• Abiola

From Tope Omobulejo Olatunji Dare, what else do you expect from the U.S.? A country, which confessed that there is no permanent friend but permanent enemy as its foreign policy, such a country cannot be faulted when they take decisions over situations that do not favour them. From Alex Taiwo Ariyo Sir, I really enjoyed your article today. The question is, when are we going to witness a probe on the death of Abiola? Sir, the boat has to be rocked. Thanks! Anonymous A great hero indeed. God has made him the President of this country. It is evil men that denied him his mandate. But thank God, he made a history - June 12 forever. Anonymous MKO Abiola is dead, but the truth is that he did not die in vain, but a hero because he fought for the truth which he was denied by the government of the day. One thing is clear here: you can only kill the dreamer, but the dream lives on to testify against the dream killers on judgment day before the creator. From Pastor Gospel Ejeson, Abuja I have always said it. Abiola still remains a hero no matter what wrong he might have done to individuals. If he had been confirmed the President, I know he would not have allowed all the thieves that have been ruling to come to the frontburners. Nigeria still has a long way to go. Moshood Kasimawo Olanbiwonninu Kolawole Abiola is a name to beat. From Lawal, Abuja Re: The day President-elect Abiola died. Thank you for sharing with us, the bitter truth! I believe that Abiola’s and Abacha’s deaths were premeditated conspiracy plotted by the West and executed by their scions just to move forward financially as the impasse was clearly damaging to their businesses. Abiola died for what he believed in; he died for something, ‘an idea’ and not for nothing! As you rightly said, ‘his spirit lives o’’. From Kayode A., Abeokuta Dear Dr Dare, your piece on the death of President Abiola refers. Yes, I agree with you that he died with the greatest honour, but perhaps, with hindsight, you should have let your instinct prevail- to have raised the alarm. Perhaps the country would have been saved from all these drama of the absurd that we are watching today. Perhaps Abiola would have ended up as President and Nigeria would have been a better country today. From Bola Olugbade, Saapade Remo,Ogun State It is a fact that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has outlived its relevance and is due for scrapping. Youth corps members should be posted to their geopolitical zones. The memories of corps members murdered during the 2011 elections are still fresh. To honour them, the NYSC should declare an annual memorial day for them. - Azeez Adekola - Ogudu, Lagos It is only when those who are in Abuja declare June12 as national democracy day; otherwise his ghost will continue to chase the ungrateful benefactors. From Wale Ajegunle, Lagos You have written well, but neither Abacha, Abiola nor any other person could have avoided the way they died. Qadara or destiny is the reason. From Abdul



Roads excite Abeokuta residents

‘Infant mortality still high’







780 artisans trained Lagos


Page 25


Sokoto votes N9b for roads


•Governor Wamakko

OKOTO State government has approved over N9b for road construction. One of the roads is by the Nigerian border with Niger Republic, a development which has spread joy in the communities on the Nigerian side of the border. Two communities, Balle and Kurdula in Gudu Local Government Area, are the immediate beneficiaries of the project. The residents are thankful to Governor Aliyu Wamakko because the roads will open up their communities to other parts of the state, thereby boosting their local economy. The sum of N4.5 billion was ap-

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

proved for the project. Also listed for construction is the 37.1km Rundi-Katami-Silami Road, whose cost is put at over N1 billion. It is reckoned that the roads will also enhance the operations of security personnel who are fighting cross-border crimes as well as illegal immigration from neighbouring Niger. Farmers are also happy because the roads will ensure smooth transportation from their rural locations to urban markets where they sell

their produce. Also awarded to be made a dualcarriageway is the 18.7km Western bye-pass road of Gidan Mai AdaTashan Illela - Damboa along the Eastern Bye-pass . It is valued at N3.5 billion. The two contracts have a one-year completion period. The state government has also provided over N145 million for the procurement of 15,000 bags of assorted grains for sale at subsidised rates to the general public in the state. The grains include 9000 bags of millet, 3000 of sorghum and maize. The state Commissioners for Agriculture, Dr. Muhammadu Jabbi

Kilgori, Mr Nasiru Dantsoho of Lands and Housing and their Solid Minerals counterpart, Mallam Dahiru Maishanu said the road projects are to enhance the socio-economic well-being of the people of the border towns. Dr. Kilgori while explaining the procurement of grains said the gesture was aimed at cushioning the effect of the price increase of foodstuff. He said the effort of the state government will “go a long way in enhancing the welfare and well-being of people of the state.” One of the road contracts approved for construction by the state government is the 13km Tambawal-Romon Sarki Road at the cost of N649.8 million.

Hope for Kano youths K

ANO State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso has continued to create jobs, with no fewer than 800 youths being the latest to benefit from his Youth Empowerment Scheme. The government has been engaging idle youths as a way of keeping them off crime and, to boot, helping them to lead productive lives. The effort is in keeping with Kwankwaso’s electioneering campaign promise of tackling youth unemployment. In those days, he toured every part of the state, including the hinterlands, promising to rid the state of the menace of yandabas (local terrorists) and youth restiveness. Being a former Minister of Defence, his critics had thought he was going to use force to get the youths off the streets. But in the past one year, the governor has been able to turn around the lives of Kano youths through the jobs scheme. Speaking to Newsextra on the scheme, the Coordinator of the Lafiya Jari, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Yammedi, a former federal lawmaker, explained that when Kwankwaso took over the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2011, he was mindful of the need to better the lives of young people, particularly the youths in the ru-

•Some of the youths

800 benefit from jobs scheme Kwankwaso gets kudos From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ral areas, many of who were unemployed and and in poor health. On his second coming, Kwankwaso set about ensuring that the youth were comprehensively re-oriented to lead exemplary lives and become even more useful to themselves and the society. “To achieve this feat, the Kwankwaso administration established the Kano State Lafiya Jari

Scheme, saddled with the responsibility of training and re-training youths in the area of administering first aid treatment and capacity building on health issues. In all, about 400 youths have already graduated from the scheme after three weeks of intensive reorientation,” he said. In addition, the governor has given N50,000 cheques and assorted drugs to the graduates at Africa House, Kano Government House.

In addition, the government has opened 800 chemists across the 44 local government areas of the state. Kwankwaso said those 800 youths have been taken off idleness and pains of joblessness, having graduated from the stateowned school of Hygiene and Health Technology through a scholarship sponsored by the state government. Governor Kwankwaso urged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of the state and the Kwankwasiyya philosophy by making judicious use of the opportunities available to them. “With this your new financial sta•Continued on Page 26

•Governor Kwankwaso



Hope for Kano youths •Continued from Page 25 tus, you can now become the breadwinners of your families and can also cater for your personal needs,” he said, adding that it does not take becoming a civil servant to be rich, famous or contented. The governor reiterated his desire to promote the principles of self-reliance among Kano youths, arguing that if every youth in the state can be engaged in productive projects, the spate of violence would be significantly reduced. The governor urged the graduates of the scheme to shun extravagance, and be committed to their duties. Kwankwaso also reminded them that their response to their jobs would determine the level of success they can achieve. Malam Lawal Umar, a graduate of School of Health Technology and a beneficiary of the Lafiya Jari scheme, said: “I am very grateful to Governor Kwankwaso for initiat-


OME Customs officers who retired from service between 2004 and 2010 have appealed to the Comptroller General of the service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, to facilitate the payment of their benefits. The group’s spokesperson, Mr. Edet Esin, who was the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the service, said he and others who retired between 2004 and 2010 have been having a hard time, alongside their families and other dependants, as a result of the nonpayment of their benefits. Esin, whose last station in service was the Western Marine Command, Lagos, said the retirees are worried about a number of issues. He said the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has not refunded their co-operative contributions, being the sum of their mandatory N500 monthly deductions while they were in service. Esin said most of

ing this programme. “No one is happier than me today because I can comfortably take care of my aged parents, my five children and wife, my brothers and sisters, with this opportunity. I have dreamt of this and I thank Allah for a dream come true.” Another beneficiary, Hajiya Binta Ibrahim did not hide her joy as she jumped around praising the governor who, he said, has changed her life for the better. According to her, the capital at her disposal was enough to build up a large patent store in her community and even spread branches in neighbouring communities, adding that, “with this, I can never beg to feed my family; and I remain in the position to render help to others.” In his remarks, Alhaji Bala Mohammed Tukur, chairman of Entrepreneurship Institute which served as one of the training grounds for the youths, described Kwankwaso as a man of vision whose desire is to build a model state.

•Some of the medical supplies

Retired Customs officers seek unpaid benefits By Uyoatta Eshiet

them have not received their contributions since their retirement. Another grouse of the retirees is, according to him, the failure of the National Housing Funds (NHF) administrators to refund the money paid into the fund while they were serving. He said the money was deducted according to the officer’s rank. Esin said the money has not been refunded to the retired officers despite their efforts, adding that about September 2011, the NCS sent a message to all the retirees requesting them to send their account details to the Customs Establishment Office in Abuja to enable the office forward same to the Federal Mortgage

Spokesperson of the retired Customs officers said they and their families and other dependants have been having a hard time as a result of the non-payment of their benefits

Bank for the refunds to be made. However, he said, after almost a year, no payment has been received from the bank and no further information from the Customs despite their efforts. On behalf of the retirees, Esin appealed to Alhaji Dikko, the Comptroller General, being a humane and compassionate leader, to ensure that the situation is resolved. The group also accused the PFAs managing their retirement funds of insensitivity. The group members alleged that the PFAs are using their money to generate huge profits without sharing the profit with the retirees who suffered for it. Another fear of the retirees is that their pension funds may be exhausted after a certain number of years. Mr. Edet Esin said his PFA, Premium Pensions Limited (PPL), told him his pension will be exhausted in 18 years while Mr. Augustine Akerele said he was told by PPL that his own will run out in 15 years. Mr. Ita Jeremiah Umoh, another customs retiree, complained that his PFA, which is IBTC Pensions Limited, does not pay interest on his money. He said he was told that his money will be exhausted in 15 years and after that no more

•Chairman, Ikeja Local Government, Hon Wale Odunlami, presenting a GCE CD form to a beneficiary at the secretariat

payment would be made to him. Reacting to the fears expressed by the retirees, Mrs. Funmi Femi Obalemo, Head, Corporate Affairs Department, Premium Pensions Limited (PPL) who spoke to Newsextra on the telephone, said there is no cause for alarm. She assured the retirees that it is not correct to say that their money will get exhausted after certain number of years. She said as long as the retirees live they will be paid their pension as the bulk of the profit made by the PFAs through investments goes back into their account. In the event of

death, she said the balance in the account is paid to the next of kin on the retiree’s form and the account closed finally. She said they pray for the retirees to live long because it pays the PFAs as well. She said for any retiree who wishes to collect more lump sum out of his retirement savings with any of the PFAs after the initial one, the new PENCOM policy is that such a retiree should apply to the Commission and upon approval, which depends on some factors, such additional lump sum could be paid to the retiree.

Roads excite Ogun residents


ESIDENTS of Olomore area of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, have expressed joy at the completion of roads in their community. Residents of Akeem Oladipupo and Oloruntele streets are happy that the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun has built the roads in the area, thus enhancing motoring and socio-economic activities in the area. The Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, an architect, said in his office in Abeokuta that the roads were asphalted and provided with drainages to allow free flow of water and avoid flood especially during this rainy period. Adegbite also said that the Ministry has embarked on the rehabilitation of some roads in different parts of the state to enhance movement during the rainy season. He added that comprehensive contruction work will resume after the rains. Adegbite said the Amosun administration has zero tolerance for potholes. The roads, according to him, include Panseke-Sapon, Iberekodo–

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Alowonle, Isabo and Saje Junction in Abeokuta, Osinubi Street, Erunwon and Abeokuta Road in Ijebu-Ode, Oke-Agbo Street in Ijebu-Igbo as well as Ajegunle and Isale-Oko Streets in Sagamu.

•Governor Amosun




EMBERS of the South West Youth Leaders Association, a nonpartisan group, have taken its campaign for better Nigeria to the School of the Handicapped, Osogbo, Osun State where materials valued at about N500, 000 were distributed to the students. The group, which is made up of youth leaders from the Southwest, advocates for credible elections. The group, operating from Akure, the Ondo State capital, also campaigns for the actualisation of the dreams of late iconic Yoruba figures whose lifelong pursuit was uniting the race towards achieving a common objective. Seeing the plight of the needy in the society, the group presented various gifts ranging from food items to toiletries and bottled water to the physically challenged. The Secretary General of the Group, Segun Awoyinfa, who led other members to present the gifts to the school management, said the gesture was to promote the culture of giving which is fast fading among the Yoruba people. He said the gesture was to challenge Nigerian leaders to be prudent and focus more on the need to of the physically challenged students. He said: “As youth leaders of the descendants of Oduduwa, we deemed it fight to give these gifts to the physically challenged students in order to promote the culture of giving which is being fast eroded by the selfish posture of the people. “We are also challenging our leaders, the managers of our collective resources, to cultivate the habit of giving to the less privileged in the society. It is sad that our leaders loot the treasury without paying adequate attention to the people’s need. “Since the death of the late

•Members of the Southwest Youth Leaders Group presenting gift items to the management of the School of the Handicapped, Osun State

A lift for the needy in Ondo From Damisi Ojo, Akure

MKO Abiola, a great philanthropist, many rich persons have failed to come to the rescue of many of the less privileged.” Awoyinfa criticised lawmakers who specialise in distributing motorcycles to youths as empowerment materials, describ-

ing the idea as uncalled for, saying such empowerment is nothing but exposing youths to early graves. The statement reads further: “It is sad that our lawmakers and political appointees present okada and crash helmets to youths as their own share of the national cake. This is nothing but sheer rubbish”.

He also urged students of the University of Lagos and their management to accept the renaming of their institution after the acclaimed winner of the June 12 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola. According to him, the contributions of the late politician to the nation’s development should be applauded by every Nigeri-

ans without being sentimental. As part of the efforts to recognise Yoruba leaders who have contributed to the development of the race, Awoyinfa said four persons will be honoured with awards. The awardees include a notable Ifa priest, Chief Yemi Eleburu Ibon, the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, Senator Omomowuware Babajide and Senator Hamzat Adeseun.

‘Planting trees gives life’ HAIRMAN of Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area, Hon Kayode Robert has called on residents of the council to make tree-planting a way of life, explaining that the culture enhances life by protecting the environment. Robert spoke at Etegbin Primary School during this year’s tree-planting campaign organised by his adminstration. He urged the people to abstain from the habit of felling trees, and develop the lifestyle of planting them. “I want to strongly appeal to residents to take care of trees and plant more. When we plant trees, we give life, we plant hope for us and future generations,” he said. “Let all of us continuously complement the state government’s policy efforts in this onerous task of planting trees for a sustainable environment.” The council chief, clad in gloves, led other members of the executive to lower a young tree into the earth during the event. Robert said the campaign was to help create a culture of planting trees in order to tap into the benefits such a lifestyle offers. Last year, the council started a competition called ‘Me and my tree’ in which residents were encouraged to plant and nurture trees to maturity, with the best trees attracting prizes for their planters. Mr Segun Aina and Mr Kayode Ogunfuyi were announced winners in the competition and will soon


By Emmanuel Udodinma

get their prizes at the council sectretariat. In an address, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, represented by Mr. Omotosho Oni, urged the people to continue to heed the advice of the experts by creating a suitable environment for living and promoting biodiversity. He said abundant forests do not just enhance life; they save it too. Representative of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, Hon Taiwo Adenekan, said the state is a green, serene and beautiful environment. “To sustain life on earth, God made trees and thick forests as buffer zones for various atmospheric occurrences and balance of critical gases such as oxygen and carbon-dioxide necessary for different forms of existence.” “Tree planting also provides shade and protects our properties, prevents erosion, helps minimise flooding and acts as wind-breakers, thereby protecting us from the adverse affects of windstorm and hazards of nature. “To realise the importance of trees in sustainable environments, our tree planting campaign continues to wax stronger, having planted over three millon trees across since 2008. The air around Lagos is now fresher and cleaner,“ he said. He noted that the administration has intensified campaign on the best drainage management and the

•Hon. Robert (left), Mr. Oni and Hon Adenekan at this year’s tree planting campaign at Oto-Awori Local Development Area, Lagos construction of primary and secondary drainages and channels to contain excess storm water. He said the Fashola administration has taken the initiative of saving the earth by adopting measures to combat the effects of climate change. Tree-planting is one of those measures. Adenekan said it is unwise to fell a tree without replacing it with another. “Where it is necessary to fell a tree, five should be planted in its place,” he urged.




Fed Govt releases N3.5b to Federal University, Kashere

HE Federal Government has released a total of N3.5 billion for development of infrastructure in the newly-established Federal University, Kashere, in Gombe State. Prof. Kabir Farouk, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, announced this at a news conference in Kashere on Monday. He said the first grant of N1.5 billion was used in providing two male and one female hostels, two faculty buildings, a student centre and academic and administrative offices. Other facilities provided with the fund, he said, are science laboratory, classrooms, information, and communication centre, ve-

Gombe hicles, works and physical planning building, a clinic and a library. Farouk said the second grant of N2 billion, which was given through the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND), would be used in providing a befitting library, senate building, ICT centre and other faculty buildings. He said the institution was committed to excellence and integrity in the pursuit of

Firm initiates school-based management committees


IN its bid to improve the lives of its host communities as part of its corporate social responsibilities, the United Cement Company (UNICEM), Akamkpa in Cross River State has established a machinery that will drive the school- based management committees (SMBC) in its operating environment. The SMBC is a policy of the Federal Government aimed at engendering participation of community leaders, parents and principals in the management of schools for improvement in the administration of schools and ultimately the performance of students. Working with a non-governmental organisation, Development in Nigeria (DIN), the company took the responsibility in two government secondary schools in Akansoko, Akpabuyo and Anigeje in Akamkpa local government areas. Corporate Affairs Manager of the company, Mr Ayi Ita Ayi, said they wanted to domesticate the programme within the schools as part of efforts to institute good governance. Speaking at the opening of a capacity building training to strengthen the capacities of the com-

Cross River From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

munity leaders, principals and parents in Akpabuyo, Ayi said the programme provided a holistic approach to addressing the issue of improved education. According to him, few students benefit from their scholarship programmes, but with the SBMC, more people would be able to benefit from the improvement in the education sector. Project Director of DIN, James Odey said SBMC is a Federal Government initiative that has been made public and there is a policy to that effect and all the state governments are supposed to domesticate it. Principal of Government Secondary School, Akasnoko, Juliana Agba, said the programme would enhance greater involvement of all the stakeholders in the educational sector. “We are so happy with the organisers because it would help all the stakeholders to know what to do and what is expected of them so as to move the education sector to where it ought to be,” she said.

knowledge. “The Federal University, Kashere, is an institution that is committed to excellence and integrity in the pursuit of knowledge within an environment that respects diversity, the worth of the individual and academic freedom. It is also committed to service, learning and a shared responsibility for applying knowledge and skills, to address interrelated issues affecting local, national and global communities.’’ The vice chancellor said in order to prepare a solid and befitting foundation for academic excellence, the university had invited teams of academics and experts from the U.S. for a service learning workshop for its academic staff. “The workshop is intended to expose our academic staff to the global concepts of imparting knowledge to students, and to prepare their mind for global competition in the academic sphere,” he said. Farouk said academic activities in the institution began on Monday with the registration of the 315 pioneer students admitted into the Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science. He said students were admitted to study accounting, Business Administration, Economics and Development Studies, geography, history and Diplomatic Studies, Political Science, Sociology and Islamic studies. Farouk said the courses in the faculty of science included biology, chemistry, mathematics, Physics and Computer Science.


•From left: Chairman Kaduna State PDP, Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga; his wife; VicePresident Namadi Sambo; Kaduna State governor Patrick Yakowa and others during a thanksgiving reception for Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga in Kaduna recently HE victory of Governor Adam’s Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in last Saturday’s governorship election was celebrated not only in Edo State but beyond. In far away Kogi State, members of the National Democracy Advancement Group, (NDAG), a non-governmental organisation took over major streets of Lokoja, the state capital to celebrate the Comrade’s victory at the polls. The National President of the group, Comrade Abubakar Suleiman, who led the jubilation, told journalists that the group was not surprised at


Commission impounds pirated books


HE Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) has confiscated pirated books worth N1.5 b. The books, which were imported into the country, were intercepted at one of the Nigerian Ports in Lagos. The books were loaded in seven containers. The Director-General of the commission, Mr Afam Ezekude said the containers were intercepted at the Apapa Wharf Port, Lagos. “The commission, working with the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC), has intercepted seven containers loaded with suspected pirated books imported from China. The containers impounded at the Apapa Wharf, Lagos has about 10,000 cartons of over 30 titles, mainly educational books, whose copyright belongs to both foreign and local publishers,’’ he said. Ezekude said the commission is resolute in its fight against piracy, pledging that the commission would bring to book perpetrators of piracy in Nigeria. “The commission is resolute on dealing with this new trend. Apart from increasing the surveillance and investigative skills of our operatives, we are also relying on inter-agency collaboration with relevant government agencies as well as some international agencies,”

•From left:: Wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Chief Executive Officer Emzor Pharmaceuticals Dr. Stella Okoli; and wife of Adamawa State governor, Hajia Zainab Nyako, at the Second African Women's Summit in Lagos.

HE Abia State chapter of the National Population Commission (NPC) has raised the alarm that the infant mortality rate in the state is still on the high side, even as the present administration is working hard to ensure that it is brought down to a manageable level. The federal Commissioner of NPC in the state, Dr Sam Ahaiwe said this in Umuahia during the celebration of this year’s World Population Day. He added that the state government has shown much commitment towards reducing this rate by building over 210 health centres in all parts of the state. He said that the state government is worried about the high child and maternal mortality rates and had gone ahead, apart from the several health centres it has built, to instruct the health centres to grant free antenatal care to all pregnant women in the state. The federal NPC Commissioner said that one of the ways to avoid population explosion is for the health centres to commence the free distribution of condoms and contraceptives to people. “This is one of the ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the contracting of sexually-transmitted diseases,” he said. Ahaiwe, who was a former Commissioner for Health in the state, also noted that parents and schools should commence the early sex education of the children to prevent

‘Infant mortality still high in Abia’ Abia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

them from experimenting in that area to their detriment. He noted that if the parents and schools refuse to start the early sex education, “we may end up doing more harm than good as the children of these days are free with internet and could access it on the net.” Ahaiwe further explained that the state and Federal Governments should start the process of population control early, stressing that as at month, the population of the country stands at 171 million and that it is expected to go up to 177 million next year. The commissioner described this year’s World Population Day celebration theme which is ‘Universal Access to Reproductive Health Service’ as

•Governor Orji apt. “As MDGs four and five are targeted at reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.” He regretted that 75 out of every1, 000 children die before their first birthday across the country, while 40 per 1, 000 children die before the age of one month and 35 per 1, 000 between one and 12 months.

NGO celebrates Oshiomhole’s victory

Oshiomole’s victory considering his monumental achievement in Edo State. He added that the group is non-partisan, even as he added that good governance is the main objective of the group. “We are so much happy for his victory because his administration is an example of good governance. We will also celebrate any governor who delivers good governance to the people irrespective of his political party. What we are doing today is a support for good governance and hard work. “And Oshiomole really deserved this victory because he has saved the people from maladministration. We will continue to support him as long as his administration continues to have

direct bearing on the people of the state,” he added. He hinted that the group, before the election, had embarked on an independent assessment tour of selected areas of Edo State. During the tour, he said, “we discovered that rapid development has taken place under Oshiomole’s administration. NDAG President, however, urged the comrade governor to build the support and solidarity he has enjoyed from the people despite strong opposition and continue his good work for the people.

Lawmaker presents scorecard

By Amidu Arije

he said. In achieving the aim of the commission in the fight against piracy in the country, Ezekude noted that the commission had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). “The commission already enjoys a strong collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service, which is being formalised with execution of a memorandum of understanding,” he said. Ezekude further said that with the signing of the MoU, the sea would no longer be a safe passage for the smuggling of pirated products into the country. He said pirating the books involved both the local and foreign books. Ezekude maintained that the commission is committed to its avowed zero tolerance on piracy in Nigeria. “The commission is aware of the keen interest of stakeholders at national and international levels on its efforts in addressing the problem of piracy. “Consequently, the commission remains resolute and committed to its zero tolerance policy on piracy,’’ he noted.



•From left: Chairman Iba Local Council Development Area, Princess Adeyeri Oseni, Oba Goriola Oseni, Oniba of Iba; respresentative Ministry of the Environment Mrs Modupe Akinwunmi and Pastor C. Oyefolu Ojelabi Commissioner for Rural Development during the annual Tree Planting at the secretariat. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

Aregbesola’s wife makes case for women, children W IFE of Osun State governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola has urged the three tiers of government to empower women and invest in the education of children, even as she said doing so will help in improving the quality of their lives. She spoke in Iwo, the headquarters of Iwo Local Government Area of the state during the inauguration of the Economic Empowerment Scheme facilitated by Senator Mudashiru Hussein representing Osun West Senatorial District. Mrs. Aregbesola described women and children as the future of the country. She further said that investing in women and children should include exposing them to vocational training and skill acquisition. Mrs Aregbesola, who said that the training would enable the women to stand on their own and contribute to the development of the country, challenged those in position of authority to always look for avenues to give back to the society, especially through empowerment of people in their localities. She noted that giving back to the society must not be limited to giving out money to the people but aiding them to be eman-

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

cipated economically, which she said would not only enhance their living standard, but would also serve as “complementary enzyme” for the development programmes of the state government. She disclosed that Osun is known as a state with responsible leadership in various arms of government, stressing that once the people are feeling the impact of government, they would have a sense of belonging in the democratic system of governance. She assured the people that the Aregbesola administration is poised to create a better economic atmosphere in the state. Mrs. Aregbesola, therefore, called on goodspirited individuals and organisations to join hands with government in order to empower the less- privileged and vulnerable segment in the society, saying government alone cannot do it all. Mrs. Aregbesola, who commended Senator Hussein, the initiator of the empowerment scheme, described the initiative as noble. In his own address, Hon. Hussein said that more palliative measures are underway to empower people of his constituency.

HE lawmaker representing Ikorodu Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola has marked her one year in office during which she gave account of her stewardship to the people of her constituency. In her remark, she said she had been able to touch every area within the short time she has been in office. This, she said, ranged from infrastructural development, youth empowerment/employment, education, community development projects, poverty alleviation programmes and actively participated in the passage into law of some salient bills in the House. The lawmaker said she had facilitated the employment of sizeable number of youths in government agencies such as LASSA, LAWMA, KAI, LIRS, SUBEB. This, she said, would help in reducing unemployment. She said: “Frankly speaking, a legislator should have no business with the execution of certain projects but I have resolved to dedicate a portion


Church holds programme THE Dynamic Faith Bible Church will hold an Altar of Glory Prophetic Revival on Friday, July 20, 2012 from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the church’s auditorium, Iju Ogundimu Ajuwon Road, beside Dutun Petrol Station. The theme of the programme is “Merciful God, at the Junction of Mercy.” It will be a 24-hour prayer encounter. The host, Pastor (Mrs) O. Oriola said in a release that “it is a prophetic programme. God will have mercy on the sick. He will rescue those who are oppressed and deliver people from bondage. Ministering alongside with the host is Prophet J. O. Jegede and other anointed men of •Jegede God.

By Damilola Bamidele

of my statutory income to some communityoriented projects in keeping with this commitment. Igbogbo Central Night Market was presented with three 400w high metal light. Again, a 3.5KVA power generating set, and high quality public address system were donated to Obada Market Imota.” Continuing, she said: “I had facilitated the donation of transformers to Olaparun VillageIbeshe, Ewu Elepo-Igbogbo, Igbopa Villageabule eko in Ijede, Hamzat Junction-Marculey Village in Bayeku, and Muslim praying ground in Imota.” The lawmaker also said she had sponsored youths from her constituency on different skill acquisition programmes. “I have also sponsored 16 youths from the constituency to participate in training on fish farming at Ikorodu Fish Farm Estate. This is in order to develop skills in the management of a viable fish farming enterprise. This was on April 26, 2012. And recently, 50 people were sponsored to participate in state Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) for skill acquisition which is still ongoing on,” she said.


Council chief urges youths to be productive

HE chairman of Surulere Local Government Area Mr. Tajudeen Ajide has said his administration would work hard to implement the programme of his party the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which puts the welfare of the people above other pecuniary interests. He said it was time people disabused their minds that council’s revenue is meant to be shared instead of being deployed for public good. According to him, this has often led to challenges confronting councils in the country. Ajide, who conducted Newsextra on inspection of some of the ongoing projects, stated that it was better for posterity to adjudge his administration than allowed narrow interests

•Hon. Ajide (middle) and some staff of Surulere Local Government Area during a press conference

Adamawa to be emancipated economically, which she said would not only enhance their living standard, but would also serve as “complimentary enzyme” for the development programmes of the state government.

•From left: Secretary to Ikeja Local Government Area Hon. Segun Odunbaku, Vice-Chairman Mojeed Balogun, chairperson Ikeja Lions, District 404B, Mrs Stella Agbogun and the Council Manager, Mrs Tanwa Godo during the club’s visit to the council recently

By Musa Odoshimokhe

to sway him from the programmes of his party which believes in service to the people. “We have created job opportunities for the youth by involving them in levy collection for the council. This they remit into government’s accounts and equally earn income for themselves. But some of them who have not actually embraced productivity are trying to drag us back but we won’t succumb,” he said. The chairman explained that the resources at the disposal of the council were being judiciously utilised to bridge the gap in infrastructural development. Acknowledging the fact that some people who were used to the previous way of doing things have not embraced the new culture, he disclosed that they were bent on truncating the programme, even as he said he had advised them to deploy such efforts into productive ventures. “If we fail to do our job as elected representatives of the people, then posterity will not judge us in good light. I can authoritatively tell you that we have empowered over 350 youths in the council. “This administration is not only renovating schools, we will build new ones. Some of these schools have been there since the colonial time but we felt it was time we should give them facelift and even construct new buildings to replace the old ones,” he said. Ajide, who stated that the council had improved the workers’ take-home pay, also stated that it has organised refreshers’ courses to enhance performance of the staff in order to contribute their quota to the development of the council. “When we came into office, the workers requested for some facilities which we have started putting in place.




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Text only: 08023058761 Remembering



Teenager rewrites history – Page 31

So that the poor will be literate – Page 33 • From left: Ms Daniels, Ms Yoman and Ms Akintomide

Hope rises for emerging African women entrepreneurs ‘Embrace advocacy in reporting arts’ – Page 35

‘We are missing a very good opportunity in Africa if we don’t invest in women and the girls. If you invest in women, you are investing in humanity’ – Okonjo-Iweala. SEE PAGE 30



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They are smart, innovative and ready to take on the world. But for long, they have been voiceless and faceless. Behold, the third largest emerging Small and Medium Enterprise ( SME) market – African women. Nigeria hosted this crop of innovators at the African Women Entrepreneurs Summit (AWES). EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

Hope rises for emerging African women entrepreneurs


EAUTIFULLY-MADE African attires and accessories greeted visitors at the African Women Entrepreneurs Summit (AWES). The two-day conference brought together about 150 individuals and companies with a common goal. Their interest is to engender innovative investment in African women; and ensure that they add value to the global economy. Aside its innovative economic sessions that highlighted topics, such as, “capacity building”, “access to funding”, “leadership”, the conference also featured art exhibition. Among others, it showcased three Nigerian designers, Patience Please design label, Ituen Basi Collection and Ma’Kays Décor Nigerian Enterprise - under the auspices of the Bank of Industry (BoI). Visitors came face-to-face with home accessories and interiors, clothes, costumes and jewelry, including bikinis and lingerie made from Africa prints and local fabrics. For Chief Executive Officer, Ma’Kays Décor Chioma Okam Okwuosa and her colleagues, the event has not only helped place their businesses on an international pedestal, they have also benefited from the economic sessions. “As entrepreneurs, it is not an easy task accessing financial help from banks. But we have learnt why it is so. They said it is because of branding and packaging. And so they talked to us about it and how we can be able to brand ourselves better to be able to do so and stand out in the continent. The Bank of Industry (BoI) has also approached us on that. The bank has not only sponsored our exhibition at the conference by subsidising our displays, they have also helped us showcase our products at this year’s Olympics. My products are there along with those of my colleagues here. “ Not far from the venue is Joyce Onya, a fashion designer and entrepreneur in her own right, even though her business is not yet competing in the continental market as that of Okwuosa’s. But, according to Onya, she lacks financial support that would grow it on a bigger scale. And more than that, she lacks the understanding and training that would give her business the needed branding and packaging required. “I do not have what it takes financially to take my business to a bigger level. You talk of packaging; I do not know what you mean. All I know is that banks charge very high interests and that is why I have not approached them, Even the microfinance would ask fo collateral and I do not what it takes,” she said. The summit, the organisers, New Faces New Voices (NFNV) and African Development Bank (AfDB), said was meant for women like Okwuosa and Onya. NFNV Executive Director, Ms Nomsa Daniels, said: “It is packaged to find innovative ways to accelerate growth in the female economy; explore the current contribution of African women to their economies. Celebrate the size and importance of the female market. NFNV and the African Development Bank (AfDB) recognise the importance of women in fostering economic growth. Both organisations seek to open dialogue with key stakeholders in the financial sector on how to harness the untapped potential of women to strengthen African economies and the economic well-being of women and their families.” Okwuosa and Onya are not the only ones faced with the problem of accessing financial help and lack of required education, it was learnt. At the event, experts observed that even though “31 to 38 per cent of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets are female or partially female-led (this number is lower for sub-Saharan Africa – 21 to 26 per cent, however, 41 to 51 per cent of sub Saharan SME’s with at least one woman owner have identified access to finance as a major barrier.”

•From left: Ms Daniels and Dr. Moyo,

• From left: Ms Yoman and Ms Akintomide


•Ituen Basi models showcasing their wares

EMPOWERMENT So, like Okwuosa, according to Ms Daniels, most African women entrepreneurs who want to grow their business lack access to finance and financial services. This, she said, is due to also lack of education and access to information.

She said: “Women in Africa don’t know what products banks offer; whether those products are really suited to their need. They tend to be less educated than men. And so, even if they have the ability to engage financial institutions, they don’t have sufficient • Continued on page 31



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Nigerian teenager rewrites history Tosin Omosebi, 17, is already wowing Nick Hytner and parliament, says Naina Bajekal


IKE many 17-year-old students across the country Tosin Omosebi has just finished her AS level and dreams of studying English literature at university. Unlike her peers, though, after finishing school for the summer on Wednesday, she headed straight for the Houses of Parliament. She is thought to be the first writer to have a play staged in Westminster Hall in its 900-year history, as part of the Arts in parliament programme. Her play Re-write, chosen from 175 submissions as the winner of the National Theatre’s New Views competition, focuses on two characters convicted of murder and imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital and about to have their lives “rewritten” by their doctors. Tosin, who is British-Nigerian, lives with her parent in Ealing. “They are probably even more excited than I am,” she says. Born and bred in the capital, Omosebi’s first choice of University is King’s College, University of London, and she can’t imagine why anybody growing up in London would want to leave. Alongside studying for AS levels at Greenford High School in Southall, Omosebi and her English classmate followed the New Views online playwriting courses, although most of them dropped out after the first couple of weeks. Re-write is her first play. “When I started it, I didn’t expect to come up with a finished product, so to find out that I won was a total shock. I didn’t really

RECOGNITION believe it,” she says. Sporting a coloring pencil in one of her many ear piercings, Omosebi has always loved English Literature but is also enthusiastic about music technology, one of her A-level choices. She based Kingsley and Tommy, the two protagonists, on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, the Chicago students who murdered 14-yearold Bobby Franks in 1924 in an attempt to commit the perfect crime. Learning about the case in philosophy lessons, Omosebi drew much of the subject matter of Re-write from the classroom discussions about whether people are born evil and whether they can be reformed. “I think you can teach people to change their actions, but essentially you’re always going to be who you are”, she says. Baroness Lola Young, one of the judges of

‘I like how she keeps everything grounded, it’s all real and relatable. You can understand it even if you are not in that exact situation’


the New Views, described the plays as “an inventive critique of the mental health system”. Omosebi has had personal experience dealing with mental illness. One of her close friends suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and while she recognises that this was one individual case, she doesn’t believe he got the necessary support. Re-write has been described as “absurdist and darkly comic” but, despite having some Samuel Beckett plays at home, Omosebi says she didn’t discover what absurdist was until her play was described as such. Rather, she cites the children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson as a literary model.

Hope rises for emerging African women entrepreneurs

•Culled from The Times of UK


Dreams death in the air By Olamilekan Andu

(For June 3, 2012 Dana crash victims)

Oh, perilous Death! You watched them with imperious eyes But none of the passengers was any wise. Your presence with them was so strong But no one knew something would go wrong.

• Continued from page 30

business training when it comes to capturing their ideas and putting them in a form that banks are receptive to, women are at the disadvantage.” Ms Daniels also named lack of collateral and social prejudices as other constraints to women financial empowerment. Also, she observed that the total loan size to total revenue of female-led SMEs is low compared to male-led in sub Saharan Africa, saying most women rely on family (over 45 per cent) to start up their business. “Another disadvantage women suffer from is lack of collateral. In many African countries, women are not able to own fixed assets, land, in particular. And a lot of banks, in order to lend money, require some form of collateral which they most often do not have. Borrowing rates for entrepreneurs can be very high I think that is a very severe limiting factor for women. There are also social and legal constraints.” To address the issues, experts called for a collective affirmative action. The role of women to Africa’s economic growth, they said, cannot be overstressed. According to Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, women constitute the largest number in emerging market. Minister of Finance Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also noted that: “We are missing a very good opportunity in Africa if we don’t invest in women and the girls. If you invest in women, you are investing in humanity. African states need to address high maternal mortality, lack of education, gender inequality and a lack of access to political power if women are to attain economic progress.” Executive Chairman, Mandela Institute for Development Studies, Dr Nkosana Moyo reiterated Okonjo-Iweala word’s saying: “Women are an asset.

“I like how she keeps everything grounded, it’s all real and relatable. You can understand it even if you are not in that exact situation,” she says. Nicholas Hytner, the director the director of the National Theatre has called Omosebi “a real writer” with “a future as a playwright,” a comment which “made my year”, she grins. Modest but quietly self-assured, Omosebi unfazed by any potential pressure on her regarding the future. “ A lot of people have said I should go on to write more if I want to. I think I might like to be a writer, but who knows what else might happen?”

They exchanged banters at the departure hall Familial conviviality, laughter and all. They filed into the doomed Dana aeroplane Their destinies you sealed to end in pain. The pilot made the dizzying pronouncement Dual engine failure the final announcement. Prayers were said with million pleas All you ignored to give them eternal bliss.


The society at large, including each of us, must begin to pay attention to empowering women. Most families de p e n d o n w o m e n . M o s t w o m e n a r e t h e breadwinners of most families. We need to stop and think because it is not just a human rights issue but also a social one. A lot of women are head of their households. One in three African women are running a business. If we can bring up women and educate them economically, it would impact on the general GDP of Africa. Until we are equal partners, Africa would not have a head way,” he said. Also at the event were the Executive Director of World Bank, Renosi Mokafe; Vice-President and Secretary-General, AfDB, Ms Cecilia Akintomide and AfDB Division Manager, Tunisia, Ms Ginette Yoman, among others.

Two minutes to their Lagos destination You struck the air with fatal devastation. You turned the passengers into sudden history You left no one to recount the mystery. Even innocent kids you refused to spare With twelve on ground; that’s not fair! You forced the day to shatter our existence Except for those with deceased conscience. Miscreants ventured near the crashed plane To rob the dead and for whatever to gain. Good people are we, the minister once said But only the depraved steal from the dead. Now the innocent souls are forever gone No more shall your harms to them be done. They stay with God without fear or fever And your cold hands will touch them never.



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A Nite With Nollywood Stars & Celebrities, was supposed to be a funfilled event, but it turned out to be an interactive session with the media. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

Nollywood stars on parade


HE atmosphere was relaxed and inviting as entertainment reporters met with key-players in the movie industry in Lagos. Tagged: A Nite With Nollywood Stars & Celebrities, Nollywood icons and the media sought ways of partnership to move the industry forward. The all-night event organised by the Association of Movie Journalists of Nigeria (AMJ), was attended by ace producers such as Zeb Ejiro and Madu Chikwendu, Actors Guild of Nigeria’s Vice President, Hakeem Rahman; a foremost movie and television star, Ngozi Nwosu; Jerry Amilo; ace comedian Oke McAnthony, popularly known as Oke Bakassi; Dozie Eboh; Rita Anigogu; Nobert Ajaegbu, and Hogan Bassey Jr. According to Ejiro, media’s role in the development of any country cannot be overemphasised. “A failed nation means we have a failed Fourth Estate of the Realm. The development of any nation is in the hand of the media,” he said while calling for close partnership with the press. He said: “And the media has played a great role in the development of the movie industry. There is need for close partnership between the media and the industry players for more development to occur.” Journalists were advised to cross-check their facts before rushing to the press. Nwosu, popularly known as Ije Kpoms, for her role in Ikuku, said she was bitter with the media, particularly a Lagos-based newspaper that published an unconfirmed report about her health last year. “The paper went to town with a very untrue story about my ill health last year without making any effort to contact me. They said I had leukemia and HIV/AIDS whereas my medical report confirmed I was suffering from an acute pile which made me to lose a lot of blood. My doctor advised that I trimmed down for quick recovery. I was so devastated when my attention was drawn to that report. I wondered why a fellow man would be so wicked to put such a story in print when he knew that what he wrote was very far from the truth,” Ngozi lamented before the large audience which comprised Nollywood practitioners, musicians, comedians and other celebrities. Highlights of the event which was attended by Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Umar Manko, as special guest of honour included a panel discussion on the topic, “Fostering a better relationship between film makers and the media”, Star on Hot Seat, and scintillating performances by music acts. The peak of it was the handing over of the mantle of leadership of the Association to Sunny Okim, former Senior Editor of HINTS magazine and fore-

•Allamloooo and Mr and Mrs Okoronkwo

•From left: Rowland Okorie, Okezie Ihediuwa and Chikwendu

MOVIE most entertainment journalist popularly known as the Grandmaster (of Nigeria’s movie journalism).

Okim will serve as the association’s interim president for six months during which period he is expected to organise a credible election to usher in a new executives.

Commission deplores donation of stolen artefacts to US museum


•Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa

NSTEAD of being returned, artefacts stolen from the old Benin Empire in 1897 are being donated to charity. Twenty-eight bronze heads of six ivories were donated by Robert Owen, whose father was among those who invaded Benin then, to the Museaum of Fine Art in Boston, United States (US). Condemning the donation, Director-General of National Commisson for Museums and Monuments, Mr. Yusuf Abdallah Usman, demanded the artefacts’ return . He said it was saddening that the US Museum which claims to be the new beneficiary of these works, is insisting that that the donation met all legal standards.“One wonders what they mean by this? Are they working out of the UNESCO Conventions and other standard setting instruments,” he asked. Usman said the collections, which form part of the exploits of the British expedition, were taken out illegally on the pretext of spoils of war. He noted that these artworks are heirloom of the great people of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria generally, adding that they form part of the history of the people. The gap created by this senseless exploitation, according to him, is causing our people untold anguish, discomfort and disillusionment.

By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)

HERITAGE “We are vehemently opposed to this stance by the management of the Museum of Fine Art. Objects taken illegally should be returned to their rightful owners and in this case the people of Nigeria. No one can give objective and true history of their patrimony, however, much they tried than the true owners. “If these art works adjudged to be great, are so wonderful to move into the public domain of the United State, would it not be more appropriate if they are first returned to their home where they will be meaningful and happy to thrive helping to define reality for the people, explaining the past and shaping the future,” the Director-General added. He stressed that the commission demands, as it has always done, the return of these looted works and all stolen, removed or looted artifacts from Nigeria under whatever guise. The commission also called on the management of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, United States to, as a matter of self-respect return the 32 works to Nigeria, the rightful owners, forthwith.



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A don, Prof Chukwuemeka Eze Onukaogu of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, was recently honoured by friends and relations when he turned 65, reports Edozie Udeze.


E is committed to the promotion of literacy and it’s development in Nigeria. For Chukwuemeka Eze Onukaogu, a professor of English and Literary Studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe, Osun State and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Anambra State, no society can develop when majority of its people are not well educated. While celebrating his 65 th birthday at Ile-Ife, his friends and well-wishers published a book in his honour entitled: The Professor Onukaogu Festchrift - Celebrating a Great Scholar, Pastor and Humanist. (The book chronicles) Onukaogu’s efforts, over the years to ensure that book clubs are formed in schools and communities to enhance the literacy, especially among the youth. In his opening remarks, the celebrator pointed out that, “we need to bring out the communal features of reading and then make them easily accessible and digestible to and by our primary and secondary school children.” This was one of the primary reasons he and other literary minded scholars formed the Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN) through which they have been developing ideas and encouraging students to form the habit of reading and writing. Chairman of the occasion Prof Mkpa A. Mkpa, a former Vice-chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu and the Secretary to Abia State government, described Onukaogu as the motivator of the Reading Association of Nigeria. “This is why we all are here to celebrate with this unique individual, a vibrant scholar who has chosen to invest in the leaders of tomorrow.” he said. Mkpa, who stood in for the Abia State governor, Dr. T. A. Orji, reminded guests that the celebrator deliberately chose to do his Doctorate degree programme in literacy reading. “This is a rare feat. And this is one of the reasons he is dear to us. He has been to almost all parts of Abia State and Nigeria to develop young brains; to make children show more interest in story – telling, and other aspects of literary matters.” Mkpa noted with enthusiasm. In his tribute entitled :– To a scholar – Mentor, Segun Kolawole, a professor of Education at OAU, advised his colleagues to emulate Onukaogu whom he noted has been working tirelessly to promote book reading culture across Africa. He said: “This handsome, quintessential, unassuming and gentle pastor and a scholar deserves whatever accolade anybody can shower on him today. This is because he is a jolly good fellow; someone who is a motivator, an organiser and a mentor.” According to Kolawole, he and other budding scholars developed interest in reading as a discipline due to Onukaogu’s exemplary conducts. “In fact we began to show more interest in the activities of the Reading Association of Nigeria and literacy promotion through our interaction with this academic per excellence. We have not lost him to the vagaries of Nigerian politics where he holds forte as the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner. In fact, it seems he even has more zeal and motivation now for the books.” Although other scholars spoke in the same vein, one thing was clear: Onukaogu’s commitment to the growth of literacy in the society is incontrovertible. He said: “I have spent all my life doing this and I will never relent. At 65, I seem to derive more pleasure reaching out to the people. And how I wish more state governments will do what the Governor of River State, Rotimi Amaechi is doing in the state to promote literacy and spread the gospel of educational development.” In all, the celebrator thanked his wife Comfort,


NMMA, ANA mourn Olusola By Evelyn Osagie


•Prof. Onukaogu

So that the poor will be literate LITERATURE

‘We need to bring out the communal features of reading and then make them easily accessible and digestible to and by our primary and secondary school children... This is a rare feat. And this is one of the reasons he is dear to us. He has been to almost all parts of Abia State and Nigeria to develop young brains; to make children show more interest in story – telling, and other aspects of literary matters’ whom he described as a well – rounded individual. “She helped to repackage me when other women refused to have me. With her by my side, it has been good all the way,” he enthused. Onukaogu had his education both at OAU and the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. Present on the occasion were scholars from far and near. From Awka, Anambra State, came staff of INEC who praised him as a worthy and humble leader. Also present were the choires of the Apostolic Church where the celebrator is a pastor and other ministers of God who came to identify with him.

HE Ambassador Olusegun Olusola has been described as a culture icon who put his footprints in his sands of time. In condolence messages to his family, Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) and Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) said his death is a national loss. The Chairman, NMMA Board of Trustees (BoT), Hadj Alade Odunewu and Vincent Maduka, described him as “a cultural icon, veteran broadcaster, nationalist, humanitarian, peace ambassador, philanthropist and active member of the NMMA Board.” NMMA said the late Olusola, who was a member of the Bot, was a patriotic Nigerian who contributed to the growth and development of Nigeria. “The transition of our dearly valued Olusola is more painful to us in that he departed at a period when his invaluable advice to the ruling class on the development of the nation is very much needed. However, we are consoled by the fact that he left his footprints in the sand of time and his contributions to the growth of all segments of the society are cherished and will forever be remembered by all and sundry,” NMMA. ANA, called for the immortalisation of the late patriarch of the arts, Ambassador Segun Olusola who passed away last month at 77. It called him the “Choice Patron of all the Arts”, saying his contribution to the development of the arts and creative writing in the country will be forever remembered. They mourned his death, noting that Nigeria has lost a major artistic and cultural force. “Ambassador has lived a much fulfilled life both for himself as well as for the arts,” the Chairman of Lagos chapter of ANA, Dagga Tolar has said. Olusola was said to have seen the arts as an instrument that can also be used to help bring awareness to the decadence in our society, according to ANA Lagos chair. He said: “Despite being 77 years old, given the fact that he offered us no notification of any failure in health or frailness that would gradually have eaten life out of him. That we would no longer see his face, this gentle elderly soul that guided all of us in the arts inflicts the heart of all those in the arts with grieve. Ambassador was a rich example of humility, and at no time did he feel slighted, or refrain from honouring an invitation even from an “unknown person” to a function that was geared towards enhancing the Arts. “ANA Lagos cannot but call for the immortalisation of this great patron of the Art, an institutionalisation of his works in our higher institution, especially given his pioneering role in Television through the now rested programme “Village Headmaster”. These scripts should be made available for students to study and learn from. Unfortunately the unbelievable rumour that rushes of this early production do not exist is one great disservice this country might have done to him, even before his death. Ambassador Olusola proved himself to be the ‘Choice Patron of all the Arts’. He was one person who saw and knew the interconnectivity of all aspect of the arts, be it graphic, literary or the performing art, at no time did he shy away from lending his wide range of experiences to various younger generations of Arts. This is one death that cannot but be mourned, for the singular fact that we shall all miss his elderly wisdom, patronage and presence.... as sad as his demise is, we cannot but celebrate the fact of his life that the Arts is better for it by his being among us, for he lived and shared a greater majority of the quality of his life and times with the Art, enriching this discipline in all ramification. We shall all miss him. Baba su ree.”

Online book access made easy


N on-line bookshop,, is to provide over 20,000 book titles across the board to its customers. It offers other products, such electronics, games, mobile phones and home appliances but the online bookstore is its biggest game changer. The new millennium has brought with it country-wide literacy growth, and a renewed appreciation of culture and literature, informing the company’s decision to invest in books on children, business management, religion and lifestyle. “This, without a doubt, eliminates the limitations on access to titles and an absence of choice that has constrained a lot of the Nigerian reading audience, says the firm’s public relations manager, Buki Animashaun. “That appetite for reading has guided our strategy in this area, to expand the options beyond internal supplies and small book shops to pro-

PUBLISHING viding access to a huge resource of thousands of titles,” she added. In line with firm’s core purpose of delivering exceptional value its customers, said that there is no need for laboured trips and traffic to buy electronic, books, and the many other items. No more standing in line at the counter or having your debit card declined because of service failures. Consumers can shop from the comfort of their homes, have their items delivered and get a great bargain too. “In just a few weeks, the response from the market has been extremely delightful. We are well on our way to becoming Nigeria’s number one online retailer. has been a product of careful thinking and technological advancement has made just about anything available to consumers at the touch of a button, Nigeria should be no different.” Animashaun says.

•The Late Olusola



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Artistes seek culture promotion


OME artistes were among selected role models who read to thousands of students at the launch of the Bayelsa State Bring Back The Book campaign in Yenagoa, the capital last week. Leading the pack was wife of Governor of Bayelsa State, Mrs. Racheal Dickson, who read chapters one and two of the award-winning book, Eno’s Story. Other readers included Omotola JoladeEkeinde, Desmond Elliot, Dakore Egbuson, Omoni Oboli, Igoni Barrett, Lambert Ototo Bina Nengi Ilagha and Dara Horsfall. The event was not all about reading as African Rapper Number One, M I drew the students to the dance floor with his scintillating musical performance. Also, the Bayelsa Cultural Troupe’s drama sketch presentation spiced the event that was preceded by the inauguration of Prof. E.J. Alagoa’s modern library in Yenogoa on Wednesday. President Goodluck Jonathan,The subject of law-making, therefore, cannot be discussed without the judiciary in the law making process, he said.The subject of law-making, therefore, cannot be discussed without the judiciary in the law making process, he said.who launched the Bring Back The Book campaign in Lagos in December 2010, used the occasion to explain why his administration is promoting enhanced reading culture among Nigerians. He said it is aimed at advancing the process of development in the country. He said with better reading culture, Nigerians would be better equipped to aid development. Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, the President said: “Let us collectively ignite the flame of reading in our communities, so that we can forge a greater, more enlightened and developed nationhood, together.” He said his involvement in the Bring Back the Book initiative is borne out of the desire to encourage young Nigerians to imbibe the culture of reading. Jonathan said: “The initiative was conceived as a citizen’s framework after much consultation. It was in response to lingering concerns over flagging reading culture in our country and general apathy to books, especially among the youth, who represent our collective future.” He said with necessary encouragement, children would be readers and productive all through their lives. He commended Rotimi Babatunde, who won the Caine Prize for African Writing, pointing out: “there is a flowering of talent and creative expression, which can only inspire young ones.” Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson represented by the Secretary to State Government, Prof Allison Oguru, said improving the reading culture of Nigerians would empower them to contribute to development programmes. Renowned poet, Prof. John Pepper Clark–Bekederemo, who chaired the launch told the students to consider books which they are holding in their hands as their partner for life because there would be no divorce from it. He urged them to treasure book as they would treasure their loved partners. Alagoa said the history of Niger Delta has been that of struggle against odds, a struggle to protect the interests of minorities. “It has always taken the form of a David challenging a Goliath: king Koko attacking the Royal Niger Company and the British Empire behind it to regain legitimate rights, an Isaac Adaka Boro taking on the

•Elliot, Egbuson and Iboli

•Students at the reading By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)

BOOKS Nigerian armed forces, or the Niger Delta militants taking the fight to the international oil cartel and their local partners, and opinion leaders articulating demands fro resource control and true federalism in the nation against the entrenched establishment,” he said. Special guest and widow of the late Ken Saro-Wiwa, Maria, who

commended Jonathan for his commitment to reading, said the future of the country would depend on how much the nation invest on education. She noted that unless ‘we pay attention to education we will be left behind by other nations.’ The Bring Back The Book initiative is to among others revitalise the reading culture, with knowledge serving as a tool for development. In appreciation of Mr. President’s book initiative, a lover of books and businessman, Alhaji Musa Bello, donated 50 computers to the schools as a way of boosting the Bring Back The Book campaign.

Indecent music lyrics abusive, say experts


OES indecent music lyrics have any effect on growth of children? Yes, they do, say some experts. According to them, some songs played at parties are adverse to the societal campaign of protecting children from sexual abuse. Sexual abuse, according to a psychologist with Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mrs Toyin Jaiyeola, goes beyond physical and violent attack. She added the exposure of children to indecent music lyrics is a form of sexual abuse. She spoke at a child conference entitled: Abused, what can my counsellor do for me? Mrs. Jaiyeola said: “It is important to recognise that sexual abuse does not always involve body contact. Exposing a child to sexual situations or sexual materials – music or video – is sexually abusive, whether or not touching is involved. Children are highly impressionable and therefore must be guided accordingly to set standards. According to Haim Ginott, an Israeli Teacher and Child Psychologist, which says ‘children are like wet cement; whatever falls on them makes an impression.” Risqué lyrics, according to her, have great influence on a child’s thinking. “It is garbage in garbage out. What they (children) are fed with is what they will demonstrate.” A visit to any party involving children will immediately cut the picture that children are allowed to dress and dance suggestively, while the society cry against sexual abuse. Strangely, schools, rather than being institutions for character training, are most guilty of this form of abuse. It is third term in their calendar; therefore, it is time for graduation and

By Segun Balogun

valedictory ceremonies, picnics, funfest, and end-of-the-year parties. Two things are common with all these events, especially when held in privately-owned secondary schools. First, there is always a deejay occupying a prominent position at the venue of the event. Second, it seems the deejays have an arrangement for exchanging playlists because they serve the same songs at these juvenile events, irrespective of the status of the school. No magical guess is needed to predict that the following songs would be on the playlist: DBanj’s “Oliver Twist,” Olu Maintain’s “Yahoozee,” Flavour’s “Ashawo,” Terry G’s “Free Madness” etc. The songs – many of them by Nigerian artistes – have lyrics that edge very closely to indecency. The question is: whose responsibility is it to protect children from this form of abuse? Mrs. Jaiyeola said the buck stops at the table of School Heads, who, therefore, should be more resolute in putting a stop to this “abusive practice,” as they appear to be in controlling classroom learning experiences. However, The Nation’s investigation revealed that nobody wants to take responsibility for this practice as the stakeholders trade blame – though they all agreed it is ideally bad to expose children to indecent lyrics. Mrs. Ajala, a parent who spoke to The Nation blamed school administrators for her son’s fantasy of wanting to be like a popular Nigeria artiste. “I control what my son watches and listens to but a time came he was always saying he wanted to be like Terry G. I discovered he knew about the artiste at a party organised by his school. I had to change my son’s school immediately,” she said.

But according to our investigation, many private schools’ patronage depends on the kind of report children give their parents at home. Therefore, they tend to pander to the children’s demands. “It is not as if there are no songs with lyrics suitable for children,” said an administrator of a private secondary school, who does not want his school’s name in print, “but the children consider them boring. They don’t like such songs and if you insist, you don’t know what they will tell their parents at home. You see, most parents do not control what their children listen to or watch. So, parents must lead the campaign and we will comply.” A Deejay, Kazeem Agboola, blamed the “society” for the proliferation of this abusive practice. “The world has changed, you know. It is difficult now for a parent to stop his or her children from listening to these songs because they are played everywhere. Our artistes are no longer singing songs that are suitable for children. They sing what sells in the market. May be government should find a way to regulate where and when these songs are played,” he said. When The Nation visited the office of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in Lagos, an official, who declined to give her name, said “NBC’s mandate is only to regulate what is aired on TV and Radio. We have banned many songs that we considered are inappropriate from being played on TV and Radio stations but those songs, unfortunately, still get played at parties.” A sociologist, Gbadebo Akinsola, however, supported Mrs. Jaiyeola’s position and advised: “it is true there are many avenues but if we compile the list of places children can have access to these songs, schools should not be on that list because schools are meant to be pacesetters and not trendy institutions.”



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Local designs for global market


ESPITE the early morning down pour, over 300 guests comprising family, friends and professionals, such as architects, property developers, engineers, interior designers, art collectors andreporters came for the opening of Colours in Africa's showroom and exhibition at Victoria Island, Lagos. Among the guests were the Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, the General Manager, Bank of Industry, Mr. Isaac Ofu, Mr. Muni Shonibare of Interior Options, Mr. Kwabena Smith of Orun Energy, Chike Iroegbunam, Mr. Jide Adeniyi-Jones, proprietor of Treasure Art Gallery, Mr. Fusi Akinkugbe Mr. Olaseinde Odimayo, MD of MultiChoice, Biola Alabi. Others were Dr Adebimpe Adebajo of Gbagada General Hospital, Eyo Effiong, Eje Coker, Ijeoma Agbo of Installations Ltd, Titilola Pitan of Protea Hotel, Kuramo Waters, and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Poverty Eradication, Mr Idowu Senbanjo. The Chief Executive Officer of

EXHIBITION Stories by Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

Colours in Africa, Dr. Soji Akinkugbe, recalled that his entrepreneurial journey started with the sale of ethnic T-shirts while in the medical school. He said his training in medicine has helped him in his 'carpentry' as one cannot make a mistake with a human being. This, he said, has driven his quest for perfection. Dr. Akinkugbe however decried the many challenges in the manufacturing industry, which include the lack of infrastructure and power. "The company runs seven generators," he noted. Notwithstanding, he urged all present to take pride in what is ours and buy Nigerian goods as a way to support local industry. Special guest of honour, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu commended his perseverance in forging ahead in spite of the odds facing manufacturing. Mrs. Ifeoma Idigbe, of the BeninOwena River Basin Authority, in her presentation entitled: The Nigerian

• Dr Akinkugbe and other guests at the event

Standard sum up that there is no Nigerian standard unless mediocrity and inconsistency would be described as standard. "It is in this regard that Colours in Africa has made its mark. This is its sustaining principle, together with sensitivity to their customers and responsive-

ness to the signs and needs of the times," she added. A seven-minute documentary on the company’s factory, which highlighted the production of the pieces of furniture was shown to the guests who were also taken through the different departments from weaving to

carving. The guests were entertained with music by Ayo Bankole's band as they savoured the wellfinished pieces on display, which comprised doors, beds, bars, outdoor and patio furniture as well as construction furniture.

‘Embrace advocacy in reporting arts’


HE need to abide by media ethics and the Constitution formed the thrust of presentations at a national media workshop in Lagos. The quarterly workshop, which attracted more than 30 arts reporters, was organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) as a capacity building process for those on the arts and culture desk. The theme was Propagating Peace and security through the Media: Agenda for arts writers and editors.The event was chaired by Prince Yemisi Shyllon. The speakers, Prof. Femi Shaka, Ben Tomoloju and Jahman Anikulapo, urged the participants to practise advocacy journalism in order to address the country’s security challenges. Shaka, a professor of film and media art at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said adhering to ethics in the media was important, adding that lack of it would be a drawback to media practitioners' goals. In his paper, Media Ethics and Security Reporting: Agenda for Media Practitioners, he noted that it is also a problem to media institutions aiming to strike a balance between profit and the responsibility of acting as the conscience of society. He said many stakeholders would wish that media ethics are perceived from their perspective adding that moral degeneration among media practitioners because of the influx of all manner of persons into the profession remained one of the impediments. He also identified lack of regular in-service training for journalists, placing of journalists on the same salary scale with other public servants operating from 8am to 4pm, lack of a compre-

• Tomoloju

WORKSHOP hensive insurance policy, harassment by government officials, poor remuneration and pressures from publishers and owners of media institutions as other forms of drawbacks. These impediments, he said, are major sources of moral compromise, which negated the desire of the media practitioners to furnish the public with the "truth" who the media practitioner is morally duty bound. He however asked who the media practitioners owe their moral duty to? "To themselves as professionals, to their clientele of readers and viewers, to their media organisations or firms, to their professional colleagues, or to their society?" he asked. He noted that the issue of ethics and professionalism is a subject that

• Shaka

requires regular scrutiny so as to guide the conscience of journalists in the line of their duties. "So for media practitioners to make judgments based on a sound ethical principle, they should be made to undergo regular in-service trainings, and this kind of workshop being organised by NICO," Shaka advised. Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, Jahman Anikulapo, in his paper: Why have you stopped asking questions? raised fundamental questions on the Nigerian nation, its people and habits, the manner journalism is being practised, the attitude of people and publishers towards journalism and the journalists in addition to the perception of the journalists towards the job. He hailed NICO for organising the workshop despite the limitations. "This kind of workshop by NICO is very important. I commend the


Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, for it; because in the media houses, reporters do not have this kind of opportunity. If such an idea is mooted, what you will be asked is: How much will it cost? It is always seen from the point of view of the money that will be spent. The journalists need constant training. The society needs the journalists. I remember that when the Cultural Policy for Nigeria was formulated 25 years ago, as journalists, we were invited. Journalists were part of it. Culture is important to every nation. The question is: How has the policy been implemented?" Anikulapo asked. Continuing, he said: "As an arts writer, we were into review of books, drama, and art exhibition. We gave attention to Nigerian literature, theatre and art, including artists, authors, publishers and

‘I am concerned that journalists are no longer asking questions on the state of arts and culture in Nigeria. The same is applied to security challenges and why we do not have peace in Nigeria. My recommendation is that we should practise advocacy journalism, which will afford journalists the opportunity to ask relevant questions. In addressing such questions, the journalism you practice will be beneficial to the people’

publishing houses. But at a point, we decided to go into advocacy journalism, where we reported the issues that came up in these places, the feeling of the people about the arts, literature and culture. There are so many issues; like the state of National Arts Theatre, the declining standard of reading and education. Questions need to be asked on these issues. That was why I decided to title my paper, Why have we stopped asking questions. “I am concerned that journalists are no longer asking questions on the state of arts and culture in Nigeria. The same is applied to security challenges and why we do not have peace in Nigeria. My recommendation is that we should practice advocacy journalism, which will afford journalists the opportunity to ask relevant questions. In addressing such questions, the journalism you practice will be beneficial to the people." Former Deputy Editor of The Guardian, Mr Ben Tomoloju, said arts writers should be at home with issues on constitutionality by arming themselves with the Nigerian Constitution, because "it will help them educate and inform the people when their rights are being infringed upon. This is because the arts writers are the conscience of the people that will always tell them the truth."



The Midweek Magazine How to promote personal growth through skill acquisition


HE Lagos State Skill Acquisition Centre, Ikorodu, Lagos was filled to capacity when the State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire led officials of the Osun State Government on visit to the centre to study the model of the place. At the centre were men and women, youths and school leavers who were busy working on the various trades such as soap and pomade making, fashion and decoration, tie and dye, bead making, hair dressing, rat poison production, stove wicks making, hat making, catering among others. Impressed by this, Mrs Orelope-Adefulire, who initiated the programme during her tenure as the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said the programme was borne out of the need to empower women and become self reliance. According to her, “gone are the days when we had women as full housewives. We believe that because of the economic recession, with no enough job opportunities in the country, we are of the opinion that if our women are able to do something, given opportunity to learn one trade or the other, they will be able to contribute to the development of the home, assist their husbands, and support their children. ”Yes, we offer quality education in the state, but the children sometimes need N10 or N20 to get to school and if the woman does not have the wherewithal and the father is not around, it means that the child will forfeit going to school that day. So it is that gap that we want to bridge, so that women can assist the husbands. In the situation where you say the man should do eve-


By Miriam Ndikanwu

SKILL ACQUISITION rything alone, pay for house rent, school fees, feed the family and take extended family responsibilities, it will create a lot of domestic violence in the home.” She said there was no limit to what people would do with their hands that there are 17 skills acquisition centres in the state for the youths, young school leavers, dropouts and graduates. “We have about 10,000 students there. We have a short-term one in eight centres for housewives, widows and retirees. It is a six-week programme,” she said. She explained that medical examination is conducted two weeks to the end of the programme for participants to check their state of health and are referred for treatment if observed to have any health challenges. “We do a lot of follow-up and during the last week of the programme, they will do co-operative formation in groups with class captains, who will collate information about them. An official will educate them about the cooperative and book-keeping. So, if they want loan to start their business, they will be able to get information. We are not only just training them; we back it up with after entrepreneurial training programme, which is also free as the loan. That we are the one that train them is enough collateral to get loan from the Lagos Micro Finance Scheme,” she added. The deputy governor advocated a regional partnership among states to achieve poverty eradication and youth empower-

•From left: Mrs Akiyode, Mrs Orelope-Adefulire, Mrs Adegboyega and Mrs Williams, during a visit and facility tour of Skills and Vocational Centers in Lagos State.

ment. She observed that when states in the same region come together, it would ensure equal development among the people and also help reduce problem of migration and population explosion in major cities. “If we are able to have the same rate of development in our states, our people can stay in their respective states to enjoy the benefits rather than migrate to other states and add to the already blotted population,” she said. She noted that since inception, over 300,000 Lagosians have benefited from the various programmes at the centres adding that another 9,000 trainees are expected to graduate from the 17 centres before the end of the year. Satisfied with the facilities and the programme, Osun State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs. Mofolake Adegboyega commended the initiative which she said will be replicated

it in her state to create employment and alleviate poverty. “We have come on a learning visit, because we know that Lagos State is doing a lot of work, not just because of the population. We are from the Osun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare. “We do things like this but not as good as this, and we want to see what we can take. In fact, we have seen a lot. This is a lot of work and I know it will take time to get to this stage. So, our intention is to go back and replicate what we have seen in senatorial and constituency districts and may be later on, in every local government area. The buildings and infrastructures will cost money for the model of the centres but we will start,” she said. “Our mission is not just to copy everything on ground, but to learn the basis of how a model like this can help in creating employment. We have to look at the people of Osun State and replicate in areas that is relevant to them, she added.

Day Ajapa feted kids


OLKLORE is not lost after all as is presumed in certain quarters. Consisting of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales, stories, tall tales, and customs that all form a part of the people’s culture, the country’s folklore is rich. With the fear of losing its richness and the moral hold folklore and theatre has on kids, Parable Productions set out to not only entertain but to educate its audience. In droves, school children defiled the downpour to be a part of the excitement which Ajapa brings. And true to the promise of the organisers, Ajapa filled the children with excitement. An interactive drama, the mischief is the tortoise who was taken in the folktale and given a modern flavour. The particular presentation of the day was the popular story of how Ajapa deceived the birds and went with them on a feast. All the birds have been invited to a feast and knowing Ajapa for what he is, they decided to keep it a secret from him. However, Ayepoto the nosy bird finds this hard. In exchange for some mango fruits, the reveals to Ajapa the intention of her specie. This leaves the birds irate, given that ajapa ought to have known about the trip, possibly because of his treachery. “Oh amebo, what will you gain if you destroy another,” they sang. Ajapa on the other hand, heads to the market square where the birds where convened. In his usual manner, he hoodwinks the birds into believing that they cannot make it to heaven without him. The birds were excited that Ajapa was with them to take them there but there is a small difficulty; Ajapa cannot fly. Spiced with all kinds of songs and dance from folk to contemporary, the interactive drama engaged the school children tasking them on several moral values. As the tale goes, they all each give Ajapa a feather which he develops into two wings and he successfully leads the birds to heaven. Getting to heaven, Ajapa was overcome with joy and in his usual treachery; he tells the birds that it is only customary for each of them to pick aliases. He gives all of them a chance to pick after which he chose the name All of You.

By Ovwe Medeme

THEATRE The birds have a good laugh not seeing the import of the name. Just as the feast was about to begin, Ajapa asks the angels who the food was meant for and they promptly answer, ‘All of You’. This gives Ajapa a freehand with the food while the birds, the original guests, were left to contend with remnants. Angered by his deception, they all take back their feathers and return to earth. Ayepoto though helps him take a message to his wife. Contrary to what he asked, she tell Ajapa’s wife to bring out all the hard things in the house. Ajapa jumps from heaven only to land on earth shattering his shell. There is a new twist. Ajapa, the deceptive tortoise discovers that lying will only bring him pain so, filled with remorse, he goes to the gathering of the birds to apologise in tears. With about 50 schools and over 3,500 children present, the event of the day was spiced by dance, music and special performances by schools. It also featured a presentation by MTN project fame contestant, Chidinma. Akin Braithwaite is the Producer and Founder of Ajapa World, a series poised towards not only sustaining the ancient art of delivering morals through culture, but also giving it a modern flavour. “The Ajapa show is a world of children, it is a world of adventure and it is a world of folklore. We are trying to bring a relation to folklore in the Nigerian culture back into the lives of children. We are also trying to bring kids to theatre through wonderful, interactive presentations,” he said. All countries have their local cartoon characters, he says, but in the case of Nigeria, there is Ajapa, a lovable and mischievous wise, street smart Tortoise. “The particular story we showcased today talks about how he got himself to go to heaven with the birds, really cheated them out of their meal but there was a sort of recompense when they dealt with him. He learnt his lesson. The idea behind our folklore is always essentially to teach kids a moral story so that we bring back the moral fibre in society and we have

•Children audience enjoying the show

•Cast of Ajapa on stage

to catch them in their young age. When they are learning at this age, they begin to understand the difference between good, bad,” Braithwaite added. Describing theatre is a interactive. It certainly affected me when i was growing up as a child. unlike cinema which is ppassive, with theatre, you have the opportunity ti interact with the character on stage. it is more real to life. the expressions come alive. you hear of 3D but i would describe theatre as being foru dimensional. you can participate, you can see them. you can even call out to the

characters and they respond back. that whole interactivity, that interaction that comes with it. theartre give you all that. “The Ajapa series has been going on for a couple of years and it has been growing massively. This is the biggest audience we have ever played to. There were over 50 schools present and we had to do two shows. The auditorium is a 2,000 sitter. We had up to 3,500 school children present here. The first show was packed full and we are proud to say that the Ajapa message is going out there,” he enthused.

eds er or on



Lawmaker lifts constituents


OME residents of Oshodi/ Isolo 2 constituency in Lagos have had cause to smile as their representative at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet reached out to them at an enlightenment and empowerment programme. Olatunji-Edet distributed deep freezers, fridges, pop-corn making machines, recharge card printing machines, sewing machines, driers, standing fans, and grinding machines, amongst others, to over 100 constituents of the semi-urban area at a colourful ceremony, which held in Isolo area of the constituency. Omowunmi told her constituents that she has been performing her duties of making laws, embarking on oversight functions and moving motions that would benefit the residents of the area since she got to the House five years ago. According to her, she has helped many youths of the area gain employment in government parastatals and ministries, secured admission for students, facilitated construction of roads and drainages and gave scholarships to many students in the constituency, amongst other achievements. She said: “Over 200 students have benefited from our scholarship scheme; we empowered widows,

By Oziegbe Okoeki

gave interest-free loans to market men and women. For the empowerment we are having today, we have selected people from the 13 wards in the area, and those who could not benefit now should wait for their time since another one is still coming,” she said. The lawmaker said she organises the programmes regularly because it is something she derives pleasure in doing. “It is one of the things I have passion for. You have to look at the number of people that will benefit from the programme. I have 1.2 million people in the constituency; can you cater for all of them, but I want to give out things to people, each time I want to do this, I look at between 100 and 150 people. So, in my budget, I provide for about 150 people, it costs millions of naira to put this kind of thing together, you must have enough resources to reach out to a lot of people, and this determines how far you can go to make people smile.” She maintained that when people are economically strong, there would be fewer issues, less problems, adding that when a man is angry, it is because there are things that are not making him happy, and that

Over 200 students have benefited from our scholarship scheme; we empowered widows, gave interest-free loans to market men and women. We have selected people from the 13 wards in the area

•From left: Hon Sanai Agunbiade, Ikorodu 1, one of the beneficiaries, Deputy Governor Mrs OrelopeAdefulire, Hon Olatunji-Edet and Hon Wahab Alawiye-King during presentation of the items if we have a lot of people doing this kind of programmes, poverty would be reduced in our communities”. The lawmaker stated that the materials are given to people based on their professions, and that researches are done at the preparatory stage to determine what should be given to whom. She said driers are given to those who have salons, and that whatever people are given is based on their line of business. “We don’t have to police people here and there; we leave them with their conscience, so I have given them what they asked me to give to them based on their needs. I want to advise the beneficiaries that what they are getting today is somebody’s sweat and that if they don’t make

proper use of it, it means they are saying that the person that gave it to them is a fool. I will advise them to make use of the items and empower others, as we are giving to them, they should affect other lives too,” she said. The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who was the special guest of honour at the occasion, said that it is a good thing that legislators in the state are always giving back to the society. She said that it is when people have financial empowerment that there would be peace in the constituency. Adefulire explained that when a woman is empowered, domestic violence would reduce, and that being a housewife is no longer fash-

ionable in the country. “This is why we orgainse shortterm vocational training programmes for women in Lagos State. The legislators are complementing the efforts of the executive in this regard and that is good,” she said. A beneficiary, who is the women leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the area, said that the programme was laudable and that Hon. Edet has done many things for school children, the aged and widows in the area. Also present at the ceremony were the Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Commerce and Industry, Hon. Seye Oladejo, party leaders, market women and men as well as several residents of the area.


HE Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Nsebong Charles Akpabio has urged members to be good ambassadors of the Corps. Akpabio made the appeal at the Ikotun Alimosho unit of the command. The FRSC chief in Lagos urged personnel of the Corps to be of good behaviour, bearing in mind that members of the public look up to them. The unit commander, Mrs. Chinwendu Iwuoha, however, highlighted the needs and challenges of the unit, which she urged the visiting sector commander to consider as urgent. The needs included manpower, logistics, traffic congestion, and assault from some members of the public. “Our vehicles are fairly old, with problems developing here and there, even though we are trying our best to put them in good condition but our best at times seems not good enough.” She also spoke of the area that brings joy to the unit. “Sir, I must mention the activities of the Special Marshals in the command; they are wonderful people. They answer us whenever we call,” she said. “The command is in dire need of

•Mr. Akpabio (middle, front row) with members of the visiting team and host personnel

FRSC urges members to be good ambassadors By Adejo David

drivers, more workforce, fuelling of our vehicles and promoting the staff to motivate them,” Iwuoha said. Responding, the sector com-

mander commended the cooperation and effort of the unit and the support of the Special Marshal to the unit. He called for more of such cooperation, adding that the FRSC needs people who are committed and dedicated in complementing

the efforts of regular staff in solving traffic related issues. Apkabio said: “You should all be disciplined, report any violent offender to the police for prosecution and do not take bribe from anyone; I will punish and dismiss any-

Ogun warns illegal structure owners


EOPLE who put up illegal structures in Ogun State markets have been told to desist from the act as government will not hesitate to pull them down. This is because the state government wants to implement provisions of its master plan on markets. The State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru stated this during an

inspection tour of some markets in the state. He said he was displeased at the rate at which illegal structures were springing up around the markets, observing that this would not only deface the markets, but could also pose a threat to the life and property of operators, particularly during emergencies. Otunba Ashiru directed owners of

abandoned vehicles and mechanics operating around the market to move out of the premises within the next one month and 90 days respectively or risked being confiscated by government. The Commissioner assured the traders that government would continue to provide necessary amenities to make the markets more conducive, adding that ad-

equate security measures would be put in place to protect them and their wares, promising that government would look into the problem of electricity facing them. The Commissioner implored the traders to always keep their environment clean and stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse, as no meaningful socio-economic activity can take place in a filthy environment.

one caught in the act of collecting bribe. Be diligent in discharging your duties; be in peaceful co-existence with all other agencies in Lagos State, since we need each other to do the work.” The sector commander pledged the command’s commitment in providing vehicle for the unit as soon as the national headquarters allocate the next order, but advised that they should try and maintain the ones available. “I want you all to lay good examples for the incoming new members and be a good ambassador of the corps as the public is looking up to us,” he said He promised to promote hard working staff and asked those with lower qualifications to develop themselves by attending training programmes.



Vocational training for Lagos council youths


Communty-based organisation, Oshodi Noble Heritage (ONH) has trained over 30 youths in various vocations that will help them to be economically independent. Speaking on the purpose of the training, the founder of the association, Mr Hakeem Opadijo stated that ONH is aimed at ameliorating the suffering of the youths through continuous training in the area. “The aim is to train the residents of Oshodi on various skills to help ameliorate the suffering of the youths by empowering them through the training so that they will become economically independent,” he said. He stated this during the presentation of certificates to the trainees at the Oshodi Isolo Local Government Secretariat Marriage Registry Hall. The youths were trained in the making of soap, yoghurt, installation of satellite television, insecticide products, among others. The trainees were also lectured by Mr Olawale Rasheed, a lawyer, on how to register their company names with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The lawyer stated that the essence of the registration is to make their business unique and marketable. It will also help them to be recognised by the government, thereby creating avenue for them to establish themselves in the wider range of business. He, however, urged the youths


HE National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Ondo State has introduced a new way of creating jobs. The directorate has trained youths in providing alternative power supply through solar energy. According to the state coordinator, Mr Olayinka Joseph Olaitan, the NDE has discovered ways of improving on defi-

I say a big thank you to the organisers of this training programme because they have really helped me to bring out the potential in me By Amidu Arije

to be cautious in registering their company names in order not to fall into the hands of fraudulent agents. One of the trainees, Munirat Emike Muhammad, said she was very excited sat being trained in soap making. “I have been able to do some things alone which I had never been able to do before, but after the training, I have learnt to do them now; I can now make yoghurt, air freshener, liquid soap, party decorations and custard. “I will go further to make use of what I have learnt. I will continue to learn more and package my

• A beneficiary displaying his cheque products, “I say a big thank you to the organisers of this training programme because they have really helped me to bring out the potential in me.” Another trainee, Esther Friday, said she has learnt to make soap,

yoghurt and other things. “I have learnt soap making, air freshener, antiseptic liquid, among others. I am planning to further the learning and establish myself in the labour market so as to become economically independent,” she said.

Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Hakeem Ishola, urged the trainees to take what they learnt seriously and make optimal use of it. “Add value to what you have learnt,” he said. “Be cautious, don not waste the talents you have acquired, try to put them to use,” he urged.

Ondo NDE trains youths in solar energy From Damisi Ojo, Akure

cit power supply after series of research work. According to him, the renewed energy which is in vogue the

After the training, participants would be helped to start off on their own while the best 10 would be sent to Abuja for further training

world, over could serve as an alternative way of generating the required megawatts that the country needs. Olayinka disclosed that a twoweek solar energy training workshop organised by the NDE for the unemployed graduates in the state at the Akure centre, would help in no small measure to end epileptic power supply. Declaring the two-week workshop open, the Director General of NDE, Mallam Abubakar Muhammed who was represented by his Deputy, Special Public Works Department, Mr. A. Adegbite, an enginer, said, it is

goodbye to the search for white collar jobs by university graduates. And as such, he said, youths should endeavour to embrace the opportunities offered by the NDE which are capable of making them to be self-employed and self-reliant. He assured that after the training, participants would be helped to start off on their own while the best 10 among them would be sent for further training in solar energy in Abuja. A team of consultants, led by Prof. O. O. Faboya from the Ladoke Akintola University,

Ogun urges residents to embrace health insurance


•Mrs Tinuke Oyenuga, a business consultant (left), with Mr Tola Onajobi, an administrator (middle), and Mr Ayodeji Osilowo, an engineer and building consultant at the funeral of a cleric, Apostle Olubunmi ObatoluOlowu, at Ikoyi Cemetery, Lagos

Ogbomosho trained over 50 unemployed university graduates in various disciplines and human endeavours. In his welcome address, Olayinka gave kudos to the management of NDE for always putting Ondo State into consideration in its programmes. He acknowledged the fact that the state was lucky to be among 18 others in the federation which benefited from the solar energy scheme. The state coordinator urged participants to avail themselves the opportunity offered them by the directorate to become employers of labour.

ESIDENTS of Ogun State have been advised to embrace the Community Health Insurance Scheme being floated by the state government as part of measures to provide them with affordable health care services. Consultant to the state government on the health insurance scheme, Dr. Bosola Egbe-Oluwa gave the advice while addressing members of Agbara Community Development Association in Ado/Odo-Ota Local Government area of the state. Dr. Egbe-Oluwa pointed out that the programme has numerous benefits as it would enable both government and the people, particularly those living in the grassroot to collaborate on the provision of adequate health care. ”The programme is targeted particularly at members of Community Development Associations, Wards, Development Com-

mittees and other Communityoriented welfare and interest groups because an important element in the success of the insurance scheme is that they are owned and run by communities. Egbe-Oluwa described Community Development Association as a link between the scheme and their members, charging that they should take necessary step to ensure that their members understand the scheme and its benefits and coordinates it in their various communities. Addressing members of the CDA, the Chairman Mr. Olayode Saula described “the health insurance scheme as a welcome development that is capable of assisting the people to pick their medical bills without stress. He enjoined fellow CDA Leaders across the State to sensitise their members on the advantages of the scheme and take necessary steps to get it going.



The capacity building scheme was initiated to showcase the contributions of the informal sector to the economy of Lagos, enhance its productivity and ultimately engender transformation of the sector


O fewer than 780 people have been trained in the Lagos State Tradesmen and Artisans Empowerment Programme. The scheme was initiated last year at the tradesmen and artisans’ stakeholders’ forum to train and retrain artisans and tradesmen in order to enhance their productivity. The workmen under their umbrella body, Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans (LACOSTA) celebrated their day in Ikaja. The event afforded them the opportunity to showcase their products and services as well as take stock of their achievements in the last one year. Mechanics, tailors, hairdressers, bricklayers, carpenters, welders and so many other artisans in the state were present to witness the colourful occasion, which also saw about 691 artisans receive certifications after completing their training. The training was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with the state Vocational and Technical Education Board(LASVEB). At the event, Governor Babatunde Fashola reminded the artisans of the important role they play in the growth of the nation’s economy. He called on them to partner with the government in its drive to realise its economic objectives in four key sectors such as Power-AgricultureTransportation and Housing (PATH). He urged them to refrain from cutting corners while delivering services, saying they not only lose value when they do so, but may constitute danger to users of their services. He recalled his time as a bachelor when his motor mechanic exemplified not only true professionalism but also the right attitude and manners. “My car at that time was a second hand car,” he said. “Someone sold it to me and sometimes it will break down and I will ask the First Lady to come down and use a taxi to the office. But each time it had a problem, I went to my mechanic, who

• Participants at the event

Lagos trains 780 artisans By Miriam Ndikanwu

was more like a rewire (technician) under the Costain Bridge; his name was Ismaila. Each time I went there, he would ask politely if I could wait and he would ask if I will take a bottle of coke while I waited. He showed what an artisan should be

and you will not only earn respect but also attract the kind of people who will appreciate your services.” He said the decision to train them was to acquaint them with modern technologies and keep them abreast of new trends and developments in their fields. He urged them to imbibe the values of honesty and diligence in their

The programme has attracted the attention of the international organisations which have offered to partner the state government

service, saying that they remain a pivotal cornerstone if the country and the state in particular will make any meaningful progress. Fashola threw a challenge to artisans and tradesmen to join the state government in realising the potentials of four key sectors of the state economy: Power-AgricultureTransportation and Housing (PATH). He said: “These are where we can create the quickest and largest opportunities for people”. He listed the roles actors in the sector could play in realising the ideals of PATH to include fabrication of various aiding agro-allied equipment: electricity poles, wiring and fixing of bulbs (in power sec-

tor); block moulding, roofing, tiling, painting in the housing sector; repair of vehicles as well as fabrication of both ship and automobile parts, among others. Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Commerce and Industry, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, said the capacity building scheme which saw about 780 artisans and tradesmen trained in various vocations, was initiated to showcase the contributions of the informal sector to the economy of Lagos, enhance their productivity and ultimately engender transformation of the sector. This basically informed the choice of the theme for this year’s celebration which is “taking the informal sector to the next level” Oladejo disclosed that the programme has so far attracted the attention of the international organisations which have offered to partner the state government.

Student wins N6m scholarship


first-year student of University of Lagos, Miss Feyintola Okunbi, has won a N6m scholarship to study in any Canadian university of her choice. The scholarship was given by

I’m glad that I have finally got the chance to study Biomedical Engineering in Canada so that I can come back to Nigeria where I can make an impact by establishing a centre where artificial limbs would be produced

By Rita Ohai

Comfort Zone Educational Services, operators of the Luz Neema Foundation as a way of encouraging academic excellence and preparing youths for leadership roles. The selection process which kicked off in March was keenly contested by students across Lagos State. Feyintola who was elated at being given the opportunity, said: “I’m glad that I have finally got the chance to study Biomedical Engineering in Canada so that I can come back to Nigeria where I can make an impact by establishing a centre where artificial limbs would be produced and people would be trained locally to fill the competency gap. It is a dream come true and this is confirmation of God’s help for me.” Also speaking at the award ceremony, the Executive Director of the Luz Neema, Mrs. Mobo Oresegun said: “The idea behind the scholarship scheme is to enrich lives at the grassroots. It is our way of giving back to the community. We made sure that in choosing our candidate, we picked a person who would rep-

•From left: Mrs. Mobo Oresegun, Executive Director of Luz Neema Foundation, Hon Adebayo Adeyeye and Mr. Femi Odugbemi presenting the award to Miss Feyintola Okunbi

resent Nigeria properly both in academics and in character.” Other finalists for this edi-

tion were Tom-Ita David, Shofoluwe-Bakare Oluwaseyi and Ogunyebi Oluwatobi. The foundation is scheduled

to hold another award in the last quarter of the year to enable fresh secondary school leavers to participate in the scheme.






The Nwodo political dynasty in Enugu State is well known. However, since its bid to wrest power from Governor Sullivan Chime, the Nwodo siblings have seemingly vanished from public glare. Correspondent CHRIS OJI asks what has become of the popular dynasty.

Is it all over for Nwodo political dynasty? I

N Enugu State, the name Nwodo is well known. It is a family of politicians and the dynasty is known both within the state and beyond it. But for some time, the Nwodo siblings have been very scarce to find in both political and social circles. And, as to be expected, tongues are already wagging. Questions are being asked whether their last political bout with Governor Sullivan Chime has finally sent them out of both the political and social scenes in the country. As a testimony to this, three major funerals took place recently in Enugu. They drew what could be described as who is who on the Nigerian political scene. But, curiously, none of the Nwodos was present at the ceremonies. First was the burial of the former Biafran leader, the late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. This was followed by the burial of the governor’s mother and that of the father of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. The Nwodos were missing. The encounter with the governor soon after Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo emerged the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been said to be the undoing of the Nwodos. That encounter drew so much flak from the people against them. They said it was a demonstration of their seeming insatiable love for power and desire for political dominance. Since then, things have changed. In Enugu North Senatorial zone (Nsukka) where they used to hold sway, the political configuration has now changed dramatically, with the emergence of younger and vibrant politicians who are said to be making things happen in the zone. The beginning of the dynasty has been traced back to the days of their late father, Igwe John Nwodo, who was a minister in the First Republic. This was what the children built upon. Though they hail from Ukehe clan of the Ojebogene stock, they belong to Nsukka, administratively and politically. The foundation laid by their father made it possible for them to have participated in the politics of all the Republics. Their father was minister in the First Republic under the administration of Chief Michael Okpara. John Nnia Nwodo (Jnr), the third son, was also a minister in the Second Republic under President Shehu Shagari. He returned as a Minister of Information during the military government of General Abdulsalami Abubakar. The second son, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, became the Governor of Enugu State during the Ibrahim Babangida botched transition and later became the first National Secretary of the PDP. In 2003, Okwesilieze contested the Nsukka Senatorial seat on the platform of the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP), but lost to

• Chime

• Nwodo

‘The major political setback of the Nwodos was however inflicted on them by the Ebeano political structure founded by former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. The former governor was said to have sensed the domineering character of the Nwodos and felt that his position was on the line with Okwesilieze being the national secretary of PDP’ a lesser known candidate, Senator Fidelis Okoro of the PDP - no thanks to the influence of then Ebeano political structure. The eldest son, Dr. Joe Nwodo was in the race for governor before he was stopped by Babangida as a result of the fierce contest between him and Hyde Onuaguluchi. He was immediately replaced by his younger brother, Okwesilieze. Joe went further to contest the presidential primaries of the then National Republican Convention (NRC) but came second after Alhaji Bashir Tofa, who picked the ticket. The Nwodo sisters are not left out in the dynasty. Their eldest sister, Mrs. Grace Obayi, has been commissioner in various administrations of Enugu and the old the Anambra State. And the trend has continued thereafter that no matter the dispensation, there must be at least one Nwodo either at the state level or at the Federal level.

The major political setback of the Nwodos was, however, inflicted on them by the Ebeano political structure weaved by former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. The former governor, was said to have sensed the domineering character of the Nwodos and felt that his position was on the line with Okwesilieze being the national secretary of PDP. For this fear, Nnamani was said to have masterminded the removal of Okwesilieze Nwodo as the national secretary of the PDP. Nnamani rather picked the position of national Auditor for his state in the zoning arrangement of the party. He did not stop at that. He made sure that they remained politically irrelevant for the eight years he ruled Enugu State. Another Enugu prominent politician that dealt a deadly blow on the Nwodos is the former governor of old Anambra state, Senator Jim Nwobodo. It was

Nwobodo who in 1999 halted the Nwodos bid to take control of Enugu State by straddling Chimaroke Nnamani on his back to defeat Okwesilieze Nwodo’s candidate, Victor Agu in clinching the ticket of PDP for the governorship race. But an opportunity for them to relaunch themselves into the mainstream of Nigerian politics after losing out as the national secretary of the PDP came on a platter of gold when Okwesilieze emerged as the national chairman of the PDP. But they threw that opportunity to the wind. Instead of Nwodo concentrating on his national party assignment, he was more concerned in wresting power from the incumbent governor of his home state. That failed venture cost the family a lot of political fortunes. The generality of Enugu people started seeing them as self centred for their desire to unseat a governor through whom they enjoyed de-

mocracy dividends. One thing that cannot be denied the Nwodos is their power of oratory. It is only the stone hearted that will not melt at their oratorical speeches. In addition, they are highly connected nationwide. They used this attribute to sway some support to their side during the onslaught on Governor Chime. They had almost succeeded in snatching the structure but a wiser and more articulate Chime absorbed all the punches and stoutly defended his position and those of his allies. People wondered at the stance of the Nwodos against Chime. It was Chime, who took it upon himself to reconcile and rehabilitate all those who were displaced politically by his predecessor, Nnamani and brought in the Nwodo brothers, Okwesilieze and John Nnia into the Enugu elders council, an advisory body aimed at directing the governor through the right paths. John Nnia was appointed the chairman of Enugu Centenary Celebration but he resigned from that position immediately his brother emerged the national chairman of the PDP. Chime was actually warned against supporting the Nwodo candidature for the national chairmanship. But he did not care a hoof then. He intervened and got Nwodo out of the National Identity Card mess which nearly marred his political career. He threw his weight behind his candidature and provided funds and materials to ensure his success. Chime threw caution to the wind and went ahead. His insistence of having Nwodo as the national chairman of the party was borne out of his desperation to stop the Ebeano candidate, late Chief Bernard Eze. Ebeano was then seen as the main threat and opposition to his administration. No sooner had Nwodo settled than things started going awry. The Nwodos started the political manouvres for which they are well known. The control of the political structure in the state became their target. Chime’s reluctance to deny some of the incumbent legislators 2011 ticket became his undoing. The Nwodos capitalized on this to effect their plan. John Nnia Nwodo (Jnr.) was seeking to replace Senator Ayogu Eze for the Enugu North senatorial zone on the platform of the PDP. Nnia has been a card carrying member of the ANPP. Ayogu Eze was personal assistant to Okwesilieze Nwodo when he was the Governor of old Enugu State. But that onslaught on Chime has now turned out to be their greatest undoing. Today, the once dreaded political dynasty has ebbed considerably in terms of influence, connection and ability to call the shots. They are today, completely schemed out of the political and social scenes of not only Enugu State but the entire country. Could this be the end of a political dynasty which started in the 60s?




Edo: Failure of ‘the complete circle’


OW are the mighty fallen”, a commercial motorcyclist who gave his name as John said repeatedly when asked about his impression of the results of the Edo governorship election declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The results showed that it was an historic event where a candidate of a political party would secure victory in all the 18 local government areas in Adams. Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) polled 477,478 votes to defeat his rival Major-General Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 144,235. Oshiomhole had the highest votes from Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha where he had 66,522 and 58,809. John’s comments could not have been unconnected with the defeat of many political bigwigs. The parade of political heavyweights by the PDP as the election approached heightened tension and supporters of the ACN were apprehensive about the magic wand the PDP bigwigs could sway. However, the PDP heavyweights have been humbled and they have been crushed. ‘The complete circle’ of Anenih, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia and Chief Gabriel Igbinedion including others failed to stop Oshiomhole. Top on the list is Chief Tony Anenih who many said hoped to retire to a fulfilled retirement from active politics after overseeing the restoration of PDP back to power in the state. Before the 2011 election, the blessing of Chief Anenih was sought after by aspirants seeking political offices. Anybody politically blessed by Anenih is confident of securing victory at the polls. Anenih was a colossus not only in Edo but across the state. In 1983, he led the NPN who fielded Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia to defeat incumbent Prof. Ambrose Alli of the UPN. During General Ibrahim Babaginda transition programme, Chief Anenih led the Social Democratic Party to victory in Edo State and eventually to the annulled June 1993 presidential election. In 1999, he also saw the emergence of the PDP to power in the state. His ability to deliver at elections

• Anenih

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

earned him ‘Mr. Fix it’ but a Prof. said “Mr. Fix it has been fixed”. Anenih had repeatedly vowed to restore Edo State to the PDP since 2008. In one of the PDP rallies, he said, “I mean it, I mean it, I mean it.” In another rally, he said politics were not played on the pages of newspaper and that the PDP must get back to Osadebey Avenue no matter how long it takes. The grip Anenih had on Edo politics started to dwindle last year when he managed to win in five local governments in Edo State. The victory at the five local polls gave the PDP hope that Mr fix it could still fix things. After the results were announced, Anenih realised that his Uromi kinsmen had lost faith in his leadership. The PDP polled 12,478 to ACN’s 13,086 votes in Esan North East. The Uromi Chief once declared that he would be finished politically if the PDP lost an election in the state. Another PDP chieftain that was humbled is Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin. He is the father of Lucky who governed the state between 1999 and 2007. To show his determination for the restoration of the PDP to power in the state, Chief Igbinedion dressed in red attire to a PDP rally at his hometown where he begged his people to vote for the PDP. His support for the PDP gave the PDP supporters hope that victory is secure in Ovia North East and Oredo where Igbinedion is thought to hold great political influence. What he perhaps did not realised was that the people had not forgotten the infrastructural decay his son left after eight years. The PDP lost at the polling units where he voted at Oredo local council and also in Ovia North East local council where he hails from. ACN scored 26, 835 votes to PDP 5,427 votes. When a retired pilot, Captain Hosa Okunbo declared support for the PDP, it was thought that his financial muscle could do the magic for the PDP in Oredo local council. A former financial of the ACN in the state, Captain Hosa in an interview said he left ACN because the Benins lacked political leadership at the federal level. He founded the Oghomwan group to rally the Benins support for the PDP but the PDP only scored 9,081 votes to 66,522 votes garnered by the ACN. In Estako Central, two prominent leaders of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih and Chief Mike Ogiadomhe were taught some lessons. Chief Orbih is the State Chairman of the PDP while Ogiadomhe was a former Deputy Governor and presently Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan. They have been repeatedly defeated in all elections conducted in Estako Central since 2008. They both lost in their polling units. The PDP had 5,113 while the ACN had 13,499. Other PDP bigwigs that were humbled included Mr. Lucky Imasuen, Johnsons Agbolagba, Pascal Ugbome, Ken Imasuangbon known as ‘Rice man’, Kassim Ozetu and many others.


Edo: PDP and the challenge of change


HE Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, once a strong political institution, has in the last seven years suffered a self-induced dwindling of fortunes both in terms of depleting membership and electoral defeats. The July 14, 2012 governorship election defeat may well signal the ‘’death’’ of the party in Edo State. It would be helpful for a fuller and better understanding of how and why the party in Edo State came to this sorry state. After the unfortunate and ill-advised annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by late M.K.O. Abiola of the Social Democratic Party an Interim National Government headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan was put in place by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in August 1993. The Interim Government had lasted barely three months when it was overthrown in November of the same year by Gen. Sani Abacha who was then the Chief of Defence Staff. Gen. Abacha promptly dissolved all political structures in the country including the two political parties (SDP and NRC), the National Assembly, state assemblies and governments. His attempt at giving the nation a democratic government led to the formation of political parties that later became known as the “five leperous fingers”. The idea to transform self from military head of state to a democratically elected president reared its head at this time. The subsequent death in 1998 of Gen. Abacha and the ascendancy to leadership by Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar thereafter paved the way for the resumption of full political activities with the announcement of a transition time table programmed to end with presidential elections in 1999. It was, therefore, in 1998 that several political players dubbed old and new breed politicians held meetings that culminated in the formation and registration of several political parties prominent amongst which are PDP, ANPP, AD, ACN, APGA and LP. In Edo State, prominent political figures teamed up in Edo Solidarity Movement (ESM) to “scout” for a national party which they believed could win election and form the government both at the state and national levels. These figures include Chief Tony Anenih, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Chief Tom Ikimi , Chief J.B. Momoh and a host of others. One of such consultative meetings was held at the Saidi Centre in Benin City in August 1998. It was attended by notable political figures from outside the state as Dr. Joseph Wayas, former President of the Senate. The alliances formed before and after this consultative meeting led to the three major political gladiators in the state, Chief Anenih, Dr. Ogbemudia and Chief Igbinedion, teaming up in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. This simple fact of these leaders who had previously held sway in different parties joining forces in the same party gave the PDP an edge over other parties in the state. In the 1999 elections the PDP

•Arhiavbere By Nasamu Jacobson

natorial election of April 2007 on the platform of ACN, which mandate was hijacked by the PDP but eventually reclaimed in November 2008. The woes of the PDP have since then multiplied beyond manageable proportions with the Oshiomhole administration’s transparently committed and systematic application of state resources to better the lives of the people of the state. Every where one goes in Edo State today one is confronted with visible signs of transformation that is going on. In a short space of three and a half years the Comrade Oshiomhole administration has done what the PDP governments could not do in the almost ten years they were in power in the state. Every aspect of governance has been affected positively. The present administration in Edo State has constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated more than fifty inter and intra-city roads most of them complete with covered side drains, walkways and street lights; primary and secondary schools have been reconstructed and furnished; primary healthcare centres have been built and renovated and furnished; one hundred new buses have been acquired and running; thousands of youths have been employed; Sam Ogbemudia stadium has been renewed; the Kings Square is wearing a new look and has become a tourist delight; a new central hospital building is being constructed; human capacity capital is receiveing priority attention; several communities now have portable water; electricity has reached hitherto forgotten communities while erosion control in Benin City is receiving attention. There is no doubt that the average Edo man and woman has become proud once again that the state is working. This is why thousands of Edo people in other parties have decided to identify with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the ACN. Since visible signs of progress started to show in 2009 that the state was working again, the ranks of other political parties, particularly the PDP, have continued to dwindle across the state. From Agenebode to Okada, from Ewohimi to Ososo, from Uromi to Ologbo, members of the PDP have dumped the party for the progressive, people-friendly, visionary and development conscious ACN in Edo state. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the ACN have shown to the satisfaction of Edo people what governance is all about: planning, mobilising and utilising state resources transparently for the uplift of the living standard of the majority of the people. The woeful failure of the PDP at the governorship election last Saturday must be seen as punishment for its misrule of the past. It represents a rejection of dictatorship by one man and god-fatherism. It is doubtful if the party can pick together all the pieces of its shattered old self again. For the PDP in Edo State it is till the next generation or, as we say it in Bini, airhiavbere.

performed so well that it appeared it was the only party that contested elections in the state. It would be safe to say that the PDP stranglehold on the political landscape in Edo State ended with its victory at the 2003 governorship election. In 2004, in the heat of the diabolical plan of President Olusegun Obasanjo to secure an illegal third tenure, the leadership of the party with active support of then chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT), Chief Tony Anenih, hatched a membership re-registration scheme designed to deregister all those who were perceived not to support the self perpetuation plan of President Olusegun Obasanjo. More than half of the members of the party were thus shut out, resulting in the depleted membership strength with which the party went into the 2007 gubernatorial poll in Edo State. That election, in the main, was not only a battle between PDP and other parties but a battle between the PDP of Chief Obasanjo/Anenih and the PDP Grace Group comprising all those (Tony Omoaghe, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu & co.) who were deregistered in the 2004 re-registration exercise. The latter group even though had joined forces with the few Action Congress of Democrats (ACD) and later ACN members in the state, saw their exclusion from the PDP as a punishable act for which electoral defeat was appropriate and fitting remedy. Thus, the parting of ways between the three top leaders of Chief Anenih, Dr. Ogbemudia and Chief Igbinedion had effectively begun. And even though Dr. Ogbemudia is still in the PDP the centre has not been able to hold for him and Chief Anenih. The rest of the story which we can simply dub “the beginning of the end” of PDP in Edo State is well-known in Nigeria. One other factor which has torn things apart for the PDP in Edo State is the fortuitous emergence of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole as gover- Comrade Nasamu Jacobson, a politinor of the state, having won the guber- cal affairs analyst, lives in Benin City

• From left: Deputy President, Campaign for Democracy Mr Bako Usman, General Secretary Mr Solomon Sobade, President Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Lamorde during the visit to the EFCC in Abuja









•From left: Managing Director, Best Foods, Mr Emmanuel Ijewere; Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm PLC, Dr. G. Herfer; Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, at CEO’s Quarterly Dinner organised by the NSE in Lagos.

Transcorp winds up nine subsidiaries


RANSNATIONAL Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) PLC is winding up nine out of its 14 subsidiaries, removing twothirds of the conglomerate’s outlined business interests. In a latest report on the operations of the conglomerate, the Transcorp indicated that it has started to wind up nine subsidiaries due to inactivity. The conglomerate will wind up its businesses in oil refining, telecommunications, internet, car rental, power generation, maritime operations, commodities trading and eateries. Altogether, the nine companies have total issued share capital of N81 million, about 67 per cent of the N121 million total issued share capital of the group’s businesses. Transcorp’s interests in the N81 million share capital totalled about N79 million. Six out of the nine were incorporated in 2008; two were incorporated in 2006 while one was incorporated in 2005. The affected companies include Transcorp Refining Company Limited, Transcorp Telecomms Limited, Telecommunications Backbone Development Company Limited,

Stories by Taofik Salako

Transcorp Hotels and Leisure Limited, Transcorp Infrastructure Limited, Transcorp Trading and Logistics Limited, Transcorp Commodities Limited, Transcorp Hilton Limited and Allied Commodities Limited. Telecommunications Backbone Development Company Limited, Transcorp Hotels and Leisure Limited, Transcorp Infrastructure Limited, Transcorp Commodities Limited, Transcorp Hilton Limited and Allied Commodities Limited were all incorporated in 2008 and have issued share capital of N10 million each. Transcorp Refining Company Limited was incorporated in 2005 and has issued share capital of N1 million while the duo of Transcorp Telecomms and Transcorp Trading and Logistics were incorporated in 2006 with issued share capital of N10 million each. According to declaration of interests filed by the conglomerate, Transcorp Refining Company Limited, Transcorp Telecomms Limited and Transcorp Trading and Logistics Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of the conglomerate while it has 99 per cent equity stake each in Tele-

communications Backbone Development Company Limited and Transcorp Hilton Limited. Transcorp holds 95 per cent equity stake in each of Transcorp Hotels and Leisure Limited, Transcorp Infrastructure Limited, Transcorp Commodities Limited and Allied Commodities Limited. A source in the know of the winding up proceedings said the conglomerate was weeding out the inactive companies to streamline its operations for better performance. Speaking on the transformation of the conglomerate, President, Transcorp, Mr Obinna Ufudo, said conglomerate has gathered momentum and has been positioned for a stronger performance. According to him, Transcorp is undergoing a transformation, driven principally to create value for shareholders. “Our major priorities now are creating value for our stakeholders as well as making profits for our shareholders, and we believe very strongly that the foundation that we are laying, and our hard work, will lead to dividends being paid by the end of this financial year,” Ufudo said.

Firms flay NSE’s handling of IFRS compliance


EVERAL quoted companies have decried alleged highhandedness and insensitivity on the part of management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) over the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). Corporate sources alleged that management of the NSE has been turning down and refusing to publish to the investing public quarterly reports filed by companies under the excuse that the reports did not comply with IFRS. However, the deadline for quoted companies to convert to IFRS is December 31, this year, implying that companies are expected to present their annual reports and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2012 or thereafter in IFRS format. Some early adopters among the quoted companies have started to issue their quarterly reports in the IFRS format. But corporate sources said the insistence of the NSE on presentation of quarterly reports in IFRS by all companies ran contrary to the deadline, which gives companies up till December 2012 to comply with the new accounting format. They said they had submitted their quarterly reports as scheduled by postlisting requirements and their classi-

fication as performing below listings standard was a misinformation being fed to the investing public. In its corporate governance and rules compliance assessment report known as X-Compliance Report, NSE identified four different kinds of tags or symbols to alert investors about the status of each quoted company. These included below listings standard (BLS), the first degree alert level indicating a company that has not complied with post listing rules such as late submission of financial statements, unauthorised publication, management failures among others. “We had submitted our first quarter report, which was impressive but NSE refused to publish the report on the excuse that it was not in compliance with IFRS. That’s why investors are not seeing some reports,” an official of a company stated. Corporate sources said the punitive stance and insensitivity to the plight of mid and small cap companies might lessen the attractiveness of secondary listing. They noted that compliance with IFRS requires huge financial commitments and procedural changes, which several companies are struggling to cope with ahead of the deadline.

Forecasts Q3 Sept 2012 Total Nigeria Turnover N54.466b Profit after tax N1.804b Red Star Express Turnover N2.888b Profit after tax N200.557m Cadbury Nig Turnover N9.873b Profit after tax N735m Okomu Oil Turnover N2.176b Profit after tax N667.068m Continental Re Turnover N10.028b Profit after tax N1.207b Livestock Feeds Turnover N1.379b Profit after tax N51.654m IEI Gross Premium N4.250b

Profit after tax N533.898m Cornerstone Ins Premium Revenue N919.418m Profit after tax N41.002m Skye Bank Gross earnings N99.710b Profit after tax N13.933b CCNN Turnover N3.683b Profit after Tax N402.165m Custodian & Allied Gross Premium N8.540b Profit after tax N1.345b UPDC Turnover N10.274b Profit after tax N1.002b Nestle Nig Turnover N28.850b Profit after tax N4.014b UACN

Turnover N48.313b Profit after tax N4.611b Julius Berger Turnover N125.541b Profit after tax N3.993b Diamond Bank Gross earnings N27.315b Profit after tax N3.107b Oando Turnover N123.207b Profit after tax N2.967b Presco Turnover N2.400b Profit after tax N613.760m Berger Paints Turnover N976.303m Profit after tax N88.258m Oasis Ins Turnover N450m Profit after tax N63.894m

Access Bank Gross earnings N54.782b Profit after tax N11.907b Resort Savings & Loans Gross earnings N960.736m Profit after tax N165.540m Trans-Nationwide Exp Gross earnings N170.342m Profit after tax N40.568m GT Assure Gross premium N9.525b Profit after tax N1.241b Pharma-Deko Turnover N454m Profit before tax N10m Eterna Turnover N56.413b Profit after tax N859.734m Consolidated Hallmark Ins Gross premium N4.110b Profit after tax N511.564m

MRS Oil Nig Turnover N76.804b Profit after tax N1.068b Transcorp Total income N2.658b Profit after tax N1.507b Evans Medicals Revenue N1.619b Profit after tax N64.656m AIICO Ins Gross premium N2.561b Profit after tax N344.406m GSK Nig Turnover N6.756b Profit after taxation N580.824m Abbey Building Society Gross earnings N1.300b Profit after tax N217.537m Regency Alliance Gross premium N1.300b Profit after tax N303.777m




Analysts upgrade UBA’s stocks M

ARKET pundits have reviewed their target returns on United Bank for Africa (UBA) upward, citing the impressive performance in the first half, which placed the bank in strong position to surpass earlier estimates. Interim report and accounts of UBA for the first half ended June 30, 2012 showed profit before tax of N31.84 billion in 2012 as against N12.3 billion in corresponding period of 2011. Profit after tax also indicated an impressive 138 per cent growth from N10.3 billion to N27.1 billion. Gross earnings rose by 22 per cent to N111 billion compared with N91.3 billion in the corresponding period in 2011. Investment advisors and analysts, several investment firms including FBN Capital, Afrinvest West Africa, Citi Research and Stanbic IBTC said the first half performance substantially surpassed earlier estimates and put the bank in good stead for

By Taofik Salako

higher returns this year. “The results reflect the benefits of having a highly liquid balance sheet in a positive real rate environment. Also, having addressed most of its back book concerns with its fourth quarter 2011 write-offs, the improved revenue growth of the business is finally hitting the bottomline and this is driving the outperformance. We remain buyers of UBA and expect consensus upgrades to support the shares over the near-term,” analysts at Citi Research, a division of Citigroup Global Markets, stated. Citi Research analysts said they expected UBA’s share price to hit N7 per share, noting that to calculate their fair value estimate for UBA, they applied standard five-year dividend discount model. Analysts at Stanbic IBTC noted that UBA’s operating efficiency has continued to improve and was

ahead of their full year expectations. According to analysts, the cost to income ratio declined to 61 per cent in first half from 65 per cent in first quarter, falling below their full year estimate of 68 per cent. “On the strength of this performance, we will review our full year 2012 forecasts, as the banks Pan-African expansion strategy has begun to show promising signs, albeit still early days,” analysts at Afrinvest stated. Afrinvest pointed out that from its book value, UBA is undervalued by some 36 per cent and recommend the stock with a buy sign, implying that investors still buying the stock have prospects of making appreciable returns. Analysts at FBN Capital said the first half report showed that the bank was “running well ahead of 20 per cent return on equity guidance for the full year.” Citing the pre and post tax profits of the bank, analysts at FBN Capi-



tal also said the improvements confirm that the recovery in UBA’s financials in the frits quarter continued into the second quarter. “Compared with our estimates, these second quarter figures are better-than-expected. Profit before tax and profit after tax beat our forecasts by 26 per cent and 45 per cent respectively. The positive surprise was driven by several lines: the income lines were ahead of expectations; especially non-interest income while interest expense and operating expenses were below our forecasts,” FBN Capital stated. Analysts said UBA’s first half amounted to return on equity of about 26 per cent as against the bank’s guidance of 20 per cent for 2012 and FBN Capital estimate of 18.8 per cent. Analysts pointed out that notwithstanding that UBA share price has gained 61 per cent so far this year, the share price could rise further on the back of the second quar-


ter results. Meanwhile, Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr Phillips Oduoza, has said the first half performance was an indication of how the bank expects to consolidate its growth in the periods ahead.


DN Meyer vs Paints & Coatings: Rainbow of colours


HE paints and chemical sector parades a rich blend of colours in its products and services, histories, fundamentals and pricing trends at the secondary market. With eight quoted companies, it’s a relatively large sector and with earliest incorporation in 1959 and earliest quotation in 1974. It’s also one of the oldest surviving business groups. The diversity of products and several blends of colours oftentimes indicate a vibrant sector. From decorative paints, to adhesives, wood finishes, auto finishes, marine coatings, industrial coatings to high-protective coatings, the paints and chemical sector touches every facet of the economy. Besides, many paints and chemical companies engage in allied products or entirely different products including fire extinguishers, agro-chemicals, tiles and road repair products. The sector can be divided into two groups - the old and the new generation, the large size, medium and small size group. Just like the colours they produce, paints and chemical companies are oftentimes mixtures of several categorisations. DN Meyer Plc is one of the oldest paints and chemical companies. Although it had been in operations since 1940, it was incorporated in 1960 and listed its shares in 1979. It parades some of the historic brands and it colours mark several national icons. On the other hand, Paints & Coatings Manufacturers Plc is one of the newest companies having been incorporated in 2001. They also differ in terms of ownership-DN Meyer is wholly owned and managed by Nigerian investors while Paints & Coatings has a strand of foreign ownership and management. However, they both have significant majority shareholders and fall within the medium and small size category with total assets and turnover within same range. They also run the normal Gregorian calendar year ending December 31 as their business year. In operation, size, fundamentals and other key variables, they are similar and comparable companies. Latest audited reports and accounts of the two companies for the year ended December 31, 2011 showed appreciable improvements in sales and profitability, but they remained essentially on different path. DN Meyer has made appreciable progress, but it’s still struggling to come out of its losing streak. Paints & Coatings sustained impressive growth in sales, but its profitability weakened during the period. It however, retained positive bottom-line

DN Meyer

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

Paints & Coatings

2011 %

2010 %

Average %

15 16.5 -59.6 37.2 -6.9 -58.6 -3.9 -16.5 49.1 85.4

-37.4 8.25 -50.6 36.7 -19.6 -62.3 -8.7 -40.2 3.1 6.0

-11.2 -55.1 36.95 -13.25 -60.45 -6.3 -28.35 26.1 45.7

Pre-tax profit margin (DN Meyer)

By Taofik Salako

and returns as against continuing negative performance of DN Meyer. On the average, Paints & Coatings appears more colourful, although the prospects of DN Meyer are also becoming increasingly brighter.

Sales generation Both companies witnessed appreciable improvements in turnover last year. DN Meyer made a strong comeback with 15 per cent growth in sales in 2011 compared with a decline of 37 per cent in 2010. Paints & Coatings consolidated its jumpy growth of 126 per cent in 2010 with another 42 per cent increase in 2011, implying average sales growth of 84 per cent in the past two years. However, within the not too distant past overshadowing the recent, DN Meyer still carries average sale drop of 11 per cent.

Profitability On the face of it, Paints & Coatings’ profitability appears brighter, but

fundamentally, DN Meyer outshines its peer. Paints & Coatings witnessed modest growth in profit but underlying profit-making capacity weakened during the period. While gross profit rose by 26 per cent in 2011, underlying gross profit margin dropped from 39 per cent in 2010 to 35 per cent in 2011. Profit before tax grew by 13 per cent as against a leap of 276 per cent. The underlying pretax profit margin showed that the company made less profit on average unit of sales at 6.9 per cent as against 8.7 per cent. Net profit improved by 15 per cent during the review period compared with increase of 494 per cent in 2010. On the other hand, DN Meyer remained a loss-making entity although it reduced considerably the extent of losses. Gross profit rose by 16.5 per cent in 2011 just as the underlying margin firmed up to 37.2 per cent in 2011 as against 36.7 per cent in 2010. It continued to reduce the substance of its losses. Average loss per unit of sales, as measured by pre-tax margin, dropped from 19.6 per cent in 2010 to 6.9 per cent in 201.

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

2011 %

2010 %

Average %

42.2 26.3 12.8 35 6.9 15 7.2 10.5 1.6 2.7

126 13.15 275.91 38.6 8.7 494.4 6.8 11.8 11.15 1.1 1.6

84.1 44.35 36.8 7.8 254.7 7 37.15 1.35 2.15

Pre-tax profit margin (Paints & Coatings)

Actual returns Since earnings to a large extent, determine returns, shareholders and other stakeholders of the companies faced different scenarios, although everyone has something cheering. Paints & Coatings has been paying cash dividend while its returns have been positive. DN Meyer has not paid any dividend for several years due to its negative returns. Paints and Coatings returned 7.2 per cent on total assets in 2011 as against 6.8 per cent in 2010, representing average return on assets of 7.0 per cent over the years. Return on equity however, fell below the 11.15 per cent average in 2011 at 10.5 per cent. It posted return on equity of 11.8 per cent in 2010. DN Meyer took another step towards getting out of the wood. Although still negative, returns improved considerably in 2011 above the recent averages. Return on total assets improved from -8.7 per cent in 2010 to -3.9 per cent in 2011. Return on equity also improved

from -40 per cent to -16.5 per cent.

Bottom-line Closely related with other sectors such as building and construction and real estate sectors, paints and chemical industry thrives on the booms of public and private construction as well as industrial activities. Slowdown in the economy, especially in manufacturing, construction and real estate businesses, no doubt usually influences the performance of the sector. But the colour of the operational report of each company would be largely determined by its sales strategy, cost management and balance sheet structure. While Paints & Coatings’ admirable zero leverage balance sheet provided cushions from further complications from finance charges and helped to moderate significant top and mid lines costs, DN Meyer struggled to manage growth in the face of historic debts. Altogether, it was a fair competition; they both only need to add more colours.








Insurers cut costs to stay afloat I

N response to the prevailing economic reality, insurers are cutting cost to remain in business, The Nation has learnt. Investigations revealed that most companies no longer sponsor their management and middle level staff on foreign trips. An insurer, who asked not to be named, said her firm has stopped sponsoring foreign engagements, not only for directors, but also for management and other senior staff. She said the measure was

Stories by Chuks Udo Okonta

aimed at reducing overheads, which often arise from management expenses, adding that staff training has also be streamlined. Managing Director, Niger Insurance Plc, Clinton Uranta, said his firm made profit last year, after posting a loss in 2010, by reducing its expenses. The Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel, said a situation where 40 per cent of companies’expenses arise from

management cost is inimical to the industry’s development, arguing that firms could only thrive when operators put a check on their managements’ overheads. He said: “The management expenses of insurers, compared with their foreign counterparts is something that should be properly considered. That of South Africa is probably about 15 per cent. But in Nigeria, the management expenses are about 40 per cent and that is criminal.” He urged shareholders to chal-

lenge their companies’ management to improve their performance by leveraging on the opportunities created by the government and NAICOM. “In one of the Annual General Meetings, shareholders were so angry, saying if NAICOM is implementing these compulsory insurance, we will be making more money and be sharing dividends, but I think what they did not ask themselves was how the management of their companies were keying into the windows that we had opened. We are not

meant to be selling insurance. Hence, I am not expected to go and sell for anybody,” he said. Daniel called on insurers to be proactive and embrace the MDRI programme, adding that NAICOM will only open up opportunities for them and would not help them sell insurance. He urged shareholders to challenge their companies’ managements to improve their performance by leveraging on the opportunities created by the government and the regulatory body.

Shareholders seek new businesses


•Former Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi (left) and Chairman, Remi Olowude, at the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

Five million register for pension scheme


ENSION Fund Administrators (PFAs) will intensify efforts to get more employees integrated in the pension scheme, Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PENOP), Dave Uduanu, has said. He said the industry was growing at 35 per cent per annum, adding that about five million employees had been registered in the scheme, so far. He said operators were working to meet the 40 million employees’ registration target, adding that some operators were enhancing their human capacity to reach out to workers in some states that just signed the Pension Act into law. He said the move to review the Act would help widen pension operations, adding that, over time, PFAs would have more products in their kitty to meet market demands. Stakeholders in the industry, he said, were working to ensure that the transfer window policy which would enable contributors change their PFAs becomes operational. He said: “I believe the transfer window is important, for there are people complaining of their PFAs. We are working hard to ensure that the window is open.”

Uduanu called for closer ties among pension operators, stressing that the industry needs stronger firms to enable them provide more improved services. To expand the market frontier of the industry, Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mohammad Ahmad, said the commission will push for an amendment of the Pension Reform Act (PRA), 2004 to institute protection of contributors’ fund. He said Section 69 of PRA 2004, may need to be amended to provide for the establishment of a “Pension Protection Fund”, adding that the fund would, among others, guarantee minimum pension to retirees as well as take care of retires with low balances in their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) at retirement. He said: “Section 173(3) of the 1999 constitution provides for pension review every five years or together with salary increases whichever is earlier, as inflationary adjustment. “However, the compulsory pension scheme was not designed to incorporate increases in pension as inflationary adjustments are reflected in the investment yields of accumulated pension assets, while monthly

contributions do increase whenever salaries are reviewed. “There is, however, the need to adjust the pension element of the accrued benefits of retirees in accordance with the provisions of Section 173(3) of the 1999 Constitution. “To protect participants in the compulsory pension scheme in case there is any shortfall or financial losses arising from the activities of the Pension Fund Administrators, Section 69 of PRA 2004 may need to be amended to provide for the establishment of a ‘Pension Protection Fund’. The fund would, among others, guarantee minimum pension to retirees as well as take care of retires with low balances in their RSAs at retirement. A detailed proposal by the Commission would soon be presented to the Federal Government.” He stated that the pool of pension funds and assets generated by the compulsory pension scheme have deepened the financial sector and provided a platform for executing the transformation agenda of the government in infrastructure, energy provision, employment generation and the development of the real sector of the economy.

HAREHOLDERS have called on insurers to intensify efforts in harnessing untapped opportunities. The President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, said investors were worried over insurers’inability to harness untapped potential in the country. He price of insurance stock, he said, was worrisome, adding that urgent steps should be taken by the government, regulators and operators to reverse the trend. He called on operators to liaise with regulators to find lasting solutions to the problem that has befallen the capital market in recent times. Nwosu urged insurers to redouble their efforts in products and service delivery, adding that the various initiatives introduced by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) should be leveraged on to improve the industry. “To grow the industry, all new initiatives by NAICOM, such as compulsory insurance for building

and buildings under construction, should be looked into effectively. Operators must begin to seek ways to improve their services. They should also consider areas that have not been tapped.” Secretary, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA) Gbadebo Olatokunbo, said firms should co-operate with the regulator to foster growth. He urged governments to help deepen the sector by insuring workers, adding that when people receive benefits from governance insurance cover, they would buy their personal products. The President, Nigerian Shareholders’ Renaissance Association (NSRA), Olufemi Timothy, urged insurers to intensify efforts to market their products. He noted that the public would only patronise insurance when operators are proactive. He noted that insurance has no reason to call banks, adding that all that was required was to place insurers above bankers in the economy.

LASACO targets dollar-denominated risks


ANAGING Director, Lasaco Assurance Plc, Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, has said the company would focus more on dollar-denominated risks to boost its performance. He told The Nation that, at present, the company was the leader in such risks, adding that the firm would venture into every area of insurance and take the challenge, learn the technique and new things. He said: “Special risks are denominated in hard currencies. These risks are oil and gas, construction, energy, space and more. We have various businesses in special risks. But, basically, any business that is denominated in hard currency – dollar – is called special risk. Lasaco prides itself as a leader in such businesses. We want to go into every area of insurance and take the challenge, learn the technique and new things.” Ladipo-Ajayi said in special risks, the firm was fully empowered, and has the enabling environment to meet its obligations, adding that

most of the problems of insurance companies resulting in not being able to pay claims, emanates from the fact that the premiums are not paid on time. He said with regards to special risks, premiums are paid quickly; every obligation is met quickly. He noted that Lasaco would remain top in special risks, adding that the company led a consortium of firms to underwrite Nigerian satellite last year, an uncommon achievement in time past. He said: “What we are trying to do is to carve a niche for ourselves in the special risks, without loosing sight of the everyday insurance. Special risks are the type of risks that are denominated in dollars. They are international business. They give you a window into the international realm of insurance. You have an idea of best international practices. The major problems that Nigerian insurers face does not exist in special risk and that is prompt ensures payment of premium.”

Africa-Re maintains S & P’s top rating


FRICAN Reinsurance Cor pora-tion (Africa-Re) has re tained its top rating in reports released by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and A.M Best, global credit and insurer rating experts. Standard & Poor’s, a division of McGraw-Hill Companies, has assigned a Stable A- rating to Africa Re’s operating structure, affirming its strong financial strength, counterparty credit rating, diversified competitiveness in the African insurance markets and impressive business outlook. According to the agency, “Africa Re continues to be supported by strong capitalisation, including a

growing level of capital redundancy, which is supportive of future premium growth. On December 31, 2011, Africa Re’s capital adequacy was redundant to 40 per cent above the A rating level. Its capital adequacy was boosted by recent capital injection, primarily from existing shareholders. Capitalisation is also supported by appropriate reserving policies and retrocession protection.” It noted that as a regional reinsurer, Africa Re’s operating performance remained strong and stable, improving its net combined ratio in 2011 to 92 per cent below its already-strong five-year average.

Also, its return on revenue improved to 13 per cent in 2011 from nine per cent in 2010, with strong competitiveness across the African market netting approximately 10 per cent market share. The agency said African Reinsurance Corp enjoys financial flexibility and credit worthiness, and follows good corporate governance procedures. S&P noted that Africa Re’s corporate governance procedures are in line with accepted international standards. It noted that the company benefits from its limited investment risk appetite, predominance of short term non-life

insurance and a large capital cushions. Its dedicated risk management team headed by a chief risk officer is well integrated into daily business management and supported by robust supervisory controls. “The corporation continues to improve its capital modeling capabilities and operational risk system, moving towards a model that allows the risk management team measure capital requirements for investment and underwriting risk. Its personnel have also been educated to identify and assess risks and controls,” the agency said.

•Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance




• Mrs Odutola

-Adebola Orolugbagbe

‘How to make money from publishing’ P

UBLISHER, Winning Strategies Magazine, Sam Hunsu, is an entrepreneur helping young and upcoming authors to find cheap ways of getting their works published and making income that can sustain them for a lifetime. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Hunsu said many Nigerians have dreams of becoming accomplished authors. Many, he said, cannot publish a book not to talk of making a living from writing. He attributed this to lack of financial support to make the first attempt. Hunsu has established a resource centre to help new authors. The initiative,Aspiring African Authors Project, connects

By Daniel Essiet

new and existing authors with a publishing platform, which accept manuscripts, edit and prepare them into publishable products. The project, he explained, is part of his efforts to raise outstanding young authors. The platform will assist the writers sell the books in international markets. With the project, Hunsu said his organisation would reduce poverty and engage the youths in useful activities, which could give them financial independence. “We have a vision of publishing one million books and raising 500,000 authors before 2020.” We can make an author within a month. An online foreign firm is

handling this project .This makes the process less cumbersome, “ he added. According to him: “We are also negotiating with foreign online book stores, such as Google, Barnes & Noble’s, Yahoo, Amazon, Createspace, among others, to market the books on their platforms, either as e-books and print books and royalties will be sent to the account of participating authors. “ After the writers subscribe, his organisation help them to set up an account, edit the manuscript, create internal, front and back cover designs, get ISBN numbers and imprint name for the book, set up price (Dollar, Euro Pound sterling etc) , author’s page on The other services include previewing the book, designing author’s blog, and listing the books for online promotion. As soon as they are through the author get complimentary hardcopy. All the books are published by Perfect Publishers Inc. Mexico, and printed in USA by Createspace Inc. The project is inspiring entrepreneurs to connect and share their questions on how to achieve financial independence through writing. The company charges new authors from $350 per book project. He said a writer can make up to $2,000 from one book. Hunsu,who is the President of Business Professionals Outreach Inc, described the project as an opportunity for young Nigerians

• Hunsu

to expose their writing skills and to make an income even while working. He is teaching Nigerians how to get work online and developing relationships with magazines and editors.

Producing cosmetics


• From left: Training Consultant, Mr Sam Akinsulere; Vice-Chairman, Lagos Island West Local Government Area, Hon. Toye Olusi; and Managing Director, Chanelle MFB, Mrs. Anire Celey-Okogun, at the youth empowerment workshop in Lagos.

Online media is threat to print industry, says expert


HE print communications industry is under threat from the online media, an expert has

said. The Sales Manager, Hunter Penrose Supplies Limited, United Kingdom, Mr David Thomas, spoke at a conference by TACLAWNA Printing Press Limited,Lagos and his firm. The printing press is owned by The Apostolic Church (TAC), LAWNA Territory. He said the competition from online media is affecting the industry’s revenue. Thomas said the global press industry loses 20 per cent of its revenue annually to the threat of online press. According to him, the stage is set for what would become of the printing from the competition. He said digital printing has become an attractive alternative for the production of short-run, print-on-demand and direct mail products. As these trends accelerate, he noted that they cast an evil spell on the industry. With the growth of e-readers, he noted that a “survival of the fittest” environment has been created. He said news consumers have mul-

tiple and sophisticated devices and access to internet than ever. This, he explained, allowed for news consumption in mass media. The fast decline of the media, Thomas noted, is simply astounding and the severity of its impact is seen as the online channel gains momentum. He stressed that the industry would be negatively affected by competition from substitutes to commercially printed material. He said, however, that the industry in Nigeria still offer more opportunities for operators. Thomas said his company is partnering with The Apostolic Church to introduce the latest technologies in printing. He said the plan of the church to establish a world class press,would help the organisation produce standard publications, which are essential part of its operations nationwide. The Chairman, TACLAWNA Printing Press, Overseer Ephraim Ojo, said the deal is aimed at providing the most modern and reliable technologies in the sector, adding that the initiative would create room for more jobs as the staff would be trained on how to func-

tion in the industry. He said the church is determined to change the face of printing, using the latest technology and utilising bright, creative, enthusiastic people with various skills. To this end, it set in motion the plan to establish a world class printing press. This, he explained, prompted the invitation of the Hunter Penrose Supplies Limited to partner with it to help get modern equipment. The National President of the church, Pastor Gabriel Olutola, said the partnership was also aimed at reducing the level of joblessness and boost the economy. Olutola said the church would invest in printing equipment to enable it meet global standard of production. According to him,when the press is fully established, it would offer employment to the unemployed youths and build local print capacity. Olutola said the church is positioning itself to produce the books and publications required by organisations in the country with the assistance of competent and experienced professionals .

Firm to train youths for foreign jobs FIRM, E4glanx Group of Companies, is set to train unemployed youths for international jobs. Speaking in Lagos, the company's Executive Director, Ngozika Agu, said the group was in the country to empower youths in different areas of the economy. The company , Agu said, would employ graduates of various disciplines who would be trained in Dubai, to run the businesses of the group. For a start, she said the com-


pany is planning to train no fewer than 80 graduates at its empowerment summit. According to her, the company has concluded arrangements with its partners in Dubai to hold the summit in September , this year, adding: "The interesting thing about this summit is that we will pay those who will be selected. They will stand a good opportunity of gaining temporary employment, which will last about six months. At the expiration of this period, those who are com-

petent will gain permanent employment with our group. “In addition, E4glanx's remuneration for those who will be employed will be competitive and attractive because we are building a worldclass company that will set new standards in Nigeria. Already, we have printed the materials for the summit including the journals, folders as well as other writing materials and have made adequate accommodation arrangement with the Metropolitan Hotel, Dubai.

OSMETICS are applied to the body for beautifying, preserving, or altering the appearance for cleansing, colouring, conditioning, or protecting the skin, hair, nails, lips, eyes or teeth. The use of cosmetics goes back to early times. Almost 6,000 years ago, various cosmetics were already used in Egypt. In Rome, during Nero administration, cosmetics and perfumes were widely used. They were: white lead and chalk to whiten the skin; paint for the eye lids and lashes; a rough for the cheeks and lips, barely flour and butter as a cure for blemishes; and pumice stone for whitening the teeth. They also had a kind of soap for bleaching the hair. The complete range of a medium size plant/ machinery for cosmetic production is about N12 million. Raw materials for production of hair care products, skin and body creams are mainly petrochemicals and could be sourced locally from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), firms importing from abroad and from the open market. The production process involve various stages which include gathering appropriate measure of the different raw materials, mixing with either oil or water, or both, taking the materials through heating and/ or mixing to form the required cosmetics. The final products are filled into jars, using special machineries. The jars are then coded, sealed

By Edwin Agbaike (Projects, Financial & Management Consultant)

and arranged in cartons, then moved to warehouses for distribution and sales. The cosmetic products are packaged in different sizes ranging from big, medium, small and semi-small or solo jars. The packaging materials are locally produced or sourced. The total raw material inputs utilised determines the output levels. Installed capacity of the plant under consideration is capable of utilizsing raw material input of N56.5 million that will produce 13,335 cartons per annum. The open market price ranges to about N7,500 per carton. At 50 per cent first year capacity utilization, turnover is expected at N50 million and a profit of N21.75 million. This project stands a good chance of attracting finance from the banks. A well-packaged feasibility report is a prerequisite to securing finance for the project. For details on how to implement this project or any other, please contact us. We are willing to assist potential investors on any aspect of the project. Prospective investors may get in touch with us at the address stated below. Kris-Ed Brilliant Limited [Brilliant Consulting]. 395, Borno Way, Harbert Macualy Road, Sabo-Yaba, Lagos State. Tel. Nos. 08098525122; 08023381900. E-mail: krisedbrilliant@

Ex-model urges free training for talented youths


HE Managing Director of the 2Side Modelling Management Academy, Lagos, Mrs Juliet Geoffrey, has called on governments at various levels to encourage the development of talented youths through scholarships. In an interview with The Nation, Mrs Geoffrey, a former model, also urged well-meaning individuals to join the government to scout for talented youths and assist in training them. She said many youths are talented but lack the finance to achieve their dreams. She said many youths could become good artists, footballers and models, if encouraged. Mrs Geoffrey also called for the establishment of academies where the skills of talented youths could be honed. She said the youths were tomorrow’s leaders and their proper development would facilitate Nigeria’s growth. She said modeling is an area that the government could focus on. The former model said she set

up the academy to train models free to enable them to make their marks.

Firm to hold conference


HE lntegrity Leadership conference holds at Paloma Hotel & Suites Conference Hall in Accra, Ghana on September 1, this year. In a statement, the group’s Head, Africa Operations, Dr Richard Ikpada, stated that the event is aimed at promoting integrity in the workplace the West Africa subregion. Entitled: Security, good governance and leadership in Africa: The way forward, it will be chaired by Prof Pat Utomi, founder, Centre for Values in Leadership while the keynote address will be delivered by Prof E. T. Eshett, a former deputy vice chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). Expected at the one day forum are President Goodluck Jonathan, Ghanaian President Atta Mill and his Liberia, counterpart, Sir Leaf Johnson as well as Gombe State Governor Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwabo.






All-Share Index hits 23,039 points


HE bulls continued to have a field day at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as the lead indicators – the All-Share Index yesterday crossed the 23,000 points achieved in August 2011. This was made possible by value gains posted by a mixture of high and mid capitalised stocks. Consequently, the AllShare Index gained 61.13 points, representing 0.27 per cent growth, to close higher at 23,039.27 points. Similarly, the Market Capitalisation gained N20 billion also representing 0.27 per cent appreciations, to close higher at N7.355 trillion. Tuesday’s upturn was boosted by value gains recorded by First Bank (1.65 per cent), Flour Mills (3.77 per cent), United Bank for Africa (4.07 per cent), Nigerian Breweries (0.18 per cent), Cadbury (2.10 per cent) and GT Bank (1.74 per cent). In all, 42 equities recorded price change with 26 appreciating while the remaining 16 reduced in value. Flourmills led the gainers’ table with price increase of N2.00 to close at N55.00 followed by Chemical and Al-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

lied Products with a price rise of N0.96 to close at N24.10. Also on the table were Total, Cadbury, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa, Nigerian Breweries, First Bank, Ashaka Cement and Eterna with N0.50, N0.30, N0.29, N0.22, N0.20, N0.19, N0.15 and N0.13 respectively. On the losers’ table, Arbico led with a price drop of N1.05 to close at N20.14 followed by WAPCO with price drop of N0.50 to close at N43.00. Others are Access Bank, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Union Bank of Nigeria, Vitafoam, UAC-Property, NASCON, NAHCO and May and Baker. However, investors transacted a total of 414.110 million shares worth N3.075 billion in 5,375 deals. Finance Services contributed the largest chunk of 316.824 million shares worth N2.114 billion across 2,902 deals. The Conglomerates sector followed with 46.193 million shares worth N53.500 million in 223 deals. Others with relatively high volume

were Industrial Goods, Consumer Goods, Oil & Gas, Health Care, Services and Construction/Real Estate with 15.499 million shares, 13.115 million shares, 11.779 million shares, 3.222 million shares, 2.958 million shares and 2.767 million shares. Specifically, UBA continued to enjoy support yesterday as it picked up maximum points at the close of the session. GTBank also rallied, though N17.00 appeared to be a resistance level yesterday, as participants were reluctant to bid significantly above this price. Closing demand however, remained strong and could tip it past the N17.00 point today. In the breweries sector, NB remained upbeat today though booking marginal gains; strong demand indicated that this trend is likely to continue. Guinness however, closed flat. In other sectors, news of an acquisition of majority equity stake of Portland Paints by UACN, spurred buying sentiments, with healthy demand at limit up for the duration of trading. Offers were, however, scarce, resulting in no change to its current price. Half year results for Transcorp also translated to a 4.6 per cent mark-up, with a surge in demand and closing sentiments that could lead to further gains today.






EPOSIT Money Banks’ (DMBs) assets rose from N17.3 trillion in 2010 to N19.3 trillion in 2011, indicating a leap of N2 trillion or 11.6 per cent, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. In its 2011 Annual Report, the banking watchdog said that its assets rose from N8.7 trillion to N15.7 trillion during the same periods, depicting an increase of 80.4 per cent or N7 trillion. It also noted that banks’ assets had recorded progressive increases from N10.9 trillion in 2007; N15.9 trillion in 2008 and N15.5 trillion in 2009. According to the apex bank, net foreign assets of the banking system, stood at N7.1 trillion, representing increase of 10.4 per cent, in contrast with the decline of 14.3 per cent at the end of the preceding year. The movement in money supply (M2) was largely driven by the expansion in

Banks’ assets hit N19.3tr Stories by Collins Nweze

domestic credit and foreign assets of the banking system. It rose to N5.8 trillion at end of December 2011 from N5.3 trillion at end of December 2010. As a share of M2, NFA accounted for 54.0 per cent and contributed 5.9 per cent to its growth. Credit to the domestic economy grew by 42.4 per cent compared with 10 per cent in 2010. At that level, domestic credit exceeded the indicative benchmark of 29.3 per cent for fiscal 2011. The development reflected the 52.7 per cent growth in credit to the Federal Government and the 31.6 per cent rise in credit to the private sector. The result also showed that net domestic credit to the economy contributed 32.1 per

The apex bank in a statement said the rise in volume was due largely to the slow implementation of the Federal Government’s e-payment policy in respect of taxes, staff salaries, pensions and contractors’ payments. Clearing activities nationwide had peaked at N2.33 trillion in November, due to the increase in business activities that preceded the end of year festivities. The Lagos Clearing Zone accounted for 74.5 per cent (volume) and 70.9 per cent (value) of the total cheque transactions in 2011. This, it said, was attributed to the fact that Lagos remained the economic and commercial hub of the country. Cheque clearing activities in the Abuja Zone, however, shrank because of the implementation of e-payment by the

cent to the growth of total monetary assets (M2). Net credit to government (NCG) rose by 52.7 per cent, compared with 51.3 per cent at end of December 2010 and the indicative benchmark of 29.3 per cent for fiscal 2011. The substantial growth in credit to the Federal Government was attributable to the issuance of treasury bills and bonds during the review period. Notwithstanding, the Federal Government remained a net creditor to the banking system in 2011, as in the preceding year. The report also showed that the value of cleared cheques rise to N22 trillion, from N19 trillion the previous year. Likewise, the volume of cheques increased by 11 per cent to 37.72 million from 33.99 million recorded in 2010.

ICAN advocates improved skills for accountants


HE Registrar and Chief Executive, Institute of Chartered Accountants Nigeria (ICAN), Olutoyin Adepate has emphasised the need for improved skills among accounting experts to tackle money laundering and financial crimes in the country. Addressing the induction ceremony of new members of the Association of Accounting Technicians in Lagos , Adepate noted that the promulgation of the money laundering 2011 and

anti-terrorism acts demanded for specialised professional expertise to deal with emerging issues in the banking and economic environment. He said accounting technicians need to develop skills to assist the government in the crusade to curtail the growth of the practice. With the government making legislations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, Adepate urged accounting officers to ensure the soundness, integrity and stability of the financial sys-

reporting . The registrar said the world is moving to a single set of high quality accounting standards, ones that would make financial statements comparable around the world.

tem is not compromised. He stressed the need for officers to acquaint themselves with international accounting standards to institutionalise greater transparency in financial

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


NIFIED Payment Services Limited has received, “The Best Acquiring Institution in Sub-Saharan Africa” award for its commitment to providing secure and reliable technology in the issuance and acceptance space. The Award is instituted by Visa

Incorporated for financial institutions that recognise best practices in risk management. Unified Payment Services, formerly ValuCard, is a card-neutral and option-neutral Payments Service Provider owned by a consortium of leading Nigerian banks. It operates as a shared infrastruc-

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




53.00 23.14 130.00 14.30 16.71 4.53 112.00 11.54 9.10 2.63


25.00 24.10 130.50 14.60 17.00 4.75 112.20 11.73 9.25 2.76

O/PRICE 21.19 43.50 7.97 4.94 4.42 3.29 10.00 4.70 6.00 1.72

C/PRICE 20.14 43.00 7.60 4.70 4.24 3.13 9.89 4.60 5.90 1.64


HE Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has set up twoyear committees to drive its activities. The committees are expected to be meeting on regular basis to articulate new initiatives, ideas and strategies, making recommendations among other functions aimed at transforming the Institute and its activities.

CIBN President/Chairman of Council, Segun Aina said the committee was set up to ensure better services delivery to all stakeholders. According to him, the committees were approved by the Governing Council of the Institute, and are comprised of experts and professionals with unique and varied experience, skills and other competencies.

ture for the banking community in the country. A statement by Visa Inc. said the award was aimed at advancing the risk management standards across all financial institutions by honouring those that had successfully implemented a secure and reliable infrastructure

that countered fraud across all channels. Head of Risk, Visa sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Bryce Thorrold, said: “Societies are increasingly moving from cash to electronic payments because they offer greater security, reliability and convenience than cash.”

CHANGE 1.05 0.50 0.37 0.24 0.18 0.16 0.11 0.10 0.10 0.08

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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


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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

Dec ’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% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%



2.00 0.96 0.50 0.30 0.29 0.22 0.20 0.19 0.15 0.13

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m


LOSERS AS AT 17-7-12


CIBN inaugurates committees

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


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

attributed to enhanced public confidence in electronic card payments.



OBB Rate Call Rate





•CBN Governor, Lamido

Visa rewards Unified Payments on risk mgt


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

Federal Government for staff salaries, suppliers’ and contractors’ payments. According to the apex bank, the volume and value of interbank funds transfer, through the Interbank Fund Transfer System , increased by 32.1 and 26.1 per cent to 492,953 and N117.2 trillion in 2011, respectively compared with 373,248 and N92.9 trillion the previous year. The volume and value of electronic card transactions increased significantly from 195.5 million and N1 trillion in 2010 to 355.5 million and N1.6 trillion, reflecting an increase of 81.5 and 55.8 per cent, respectively. The increase was

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 122.36 105.46 0.72 1.09 0.93 1,712.68 8.51 1.33 1.80 7,847.32 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS US, Canada to build medical lab in Enugu


•Igwe Ekwueme (middle) with Nwankwo (left) and others...yesterday

Monarch cries out over fresh landslide in community •Oko poly Rector seeks govt’s help to save institution


HE fear of a fresh landslide has thrown Oko, a community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State into panic Many residents fear their houses are threatened. Oko monarch Igwe Laz Ekwueme, has cried out to both the federal and state governments to save his domain from the lurking calamity. Ekwueme, who wept yesterday at while hosting Ben Nwankwo, who is representing the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, listed his palace among the threatened property. He said the landslide, which took a new dimension, few weeks back, happened again on Sunda, threatened his palace.

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

It was learnt that the erosion has been threatening the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Innovative Centre (the Art Gallery) being built at the permanent site of Oko Federal Polytechnic. Rector of the institution, Prof. Godwin Onu, who took the federal lawmaker round the premises, said the school’s meager resources cannot save

them from the erosion menace. Ekwueme told Nwankwo that work had stopped at the erosion site after it was recently flagged off by Governor Peter Obi. The contractors handling the project claimed that they have not been paid any mobilisation fee. He said: “Landslide wants to drive me and my subjects out of Oko community. We are no longer safe in our land, we thought the problem had abated but it happened again on Sunday night and we are now leaving at the mercy of God. “Please, help us talk to our governor, Mr. Peter Obi and the Federal Government to come to our rescue by making funds available to the contractors to save our lives.”

AGF to Okorocha: reinstate sacked council chiefs


TTORNEY-GENERAL of the Federation Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) has directed Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to reinstate all the sacked chairmen of the 27 local government areas as ruled by the Court of Appeal. He said the directive was in line with the Federal Government’s position on the matter. Adoke, who made the government’s stand known yester-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

day in a statement in Abuja, asked the government and all relevant agencies to abide by the appellate court’s decision. The Court of Appeal, sitting in Owerri, the state capital, on July 5, reinstated all the chairmen and councillors, who were sacked by Okorocha. The governor, in his maiden broadcast in June, 2011, announced the dissolution of the councils and appointed care-

taker committees to steer their affairs. But the sacked officials sought judicial redress and told the court that the governor lacked the powers to remove elected council officials. In his July 5 ruling, Justice Uwani Abbaji of the appellate court nullified the appointment of transition committee chairmen appointed by the governor to manage the council areas.

Boko Haram victims plan N5b investment have been over five N5 billion investment for Anambra There bomb blasts in Suleja in recent is in the offing for Antimes and Anambra people are


ambra State, it was learnt yesterday. It is being packaged by indigenes of the state, who were displaced in Suleja, Niger State, by the activities of the of Boko Haram Islamist sect. The secretary of the “returnees”, Obi Nnamdi, told reporters in Awka that members of his group had concluded arrangements to invest in the hospitality sector if Governor Peter Obi approved their request for lands. He said his team was a delegation from indigenes of the

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

state in Suleja, who asked them to seek audience with the governor on their resolve to return home and start life afresh. He said: “We have reviewed the situation and concluded that no place is better than home. “So, as a body, we decided that it is necessary and important to come back home and invest. “We can no longer be victims of all these bomb blasts.

always the victims of such incidents. “We are at home to consult with our governor for land to invest heavily in the state.” More than 70 per cent of non indigenes’ investments in Suleja are believed to be in the hands of Anambra people resident in Niger State. Nnamdi said: “We have captains of industries there; one particular hotel built by an Anambra person in the area is worth more than N100 million”.

The governor has not complied with the judgment two weeks after it was given by the court. In the statement, Adoke urged the governor to respect the judgment. It reads: “The attention of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the lingering controversy that has trailed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri

Anambra court jails man, 42, for fake drugs •Judge worried over substandard drugs


USTICE Peter Olayiwola of the Federal High Court sitting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, has bemoaned the unrelenting attitude of some businessmen in the production of fake and substandard drugs. This, according to him, informed the enactment of stiff penalties, including the death sentence on any person caught in the act by some countries. The judge spoke yesterday

MASSOB not part of plot to declare Biafra Republic, OVEMENT for the says Uwazuruike Actualisation of Sovereign State of


Biafra (MASSOB) leader Ralph Uwazuruike has dissociated the movement from the proposed declaration of a sovereign Biafra Republic on November 5 this year or any other date. He said that MASSOB has nothing to do with the purported declaration. According to him, MASSOB, as a non violent organisation, will not identify with any agenda involving arms or violence to actualise the Biafran mandate, which he said is becoming more feasi-

From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha

ble by the day. A separatist group, known as the Biafra Zionist Movement, has threatened to declare Biafra Republic by November 5 after its general meeting in Enugu State. But Uwazuruike, who spoke with The Nation on the telephone, said: “I am not aware of any date; MASSOB is not a party to any plan to employ violence as a means of pursuing our agenda; we are non violent and will remain so. It is through that in this struggle we have splinter groups,

but I am neither aware of what happens in their camp nor do I support their plans of action.” The MASSOB chief noted that the agitation for a sovereign Biafra is beyond verbal threats and counter threats, adding that his group is still on course and will not be distracted by the activities of others that may wish to disagree with MASSOB’s non-violent approach. He said: “MASSOB is very much focused and the liberation of Ndigbo is still our

Judicial Division in Appeal No. CA/OW/215/2011, Barr Enyinna Onuegbu & 26 Ors v. Attorney-General of Imo State & 3 Ors dated 5th July 2012 which declared as illegal and unconstitutional the action of the Governor of Imo State, purporting to dissolve the democratically elected local government areas in the state before the expiration of their constitutionally guaranteed tenure.”

priority, but we will not allow unnecessary sentiments to dictate our mode of operation. MASSOB should be counted out completely from the November 5 ultimatum. We are not part of it and will never be. “MASSOB will achieve Biafra Republic without firing a shot. The current events in the country and across the world have supported our struggle in no little means and at the very right time, which may not be far from now, a sovereign Biafra will be born”.

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

while sentencing an Onitsha businessman, Peter Otuome, to two years imprisonment for illegally producing, supplying, distributing and selling fake, uncertified and unwholesome water for injection. The suspect, who was arrested in 2007 at his Onitsha home, from where he produced, supplied and distributed fake drugs, was found guilty as charged. Counsel to the National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr Kingsley Ejiofor expressed satisfaction with the verdict. Otuome was arrested and taken to court by officials of the agency. Ejiofor noted that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to other unscrupulous businessmen, pointing out that more than 200, 000 injection valves were also recovered from the accused during the raid by NAFDAC operatives. But counsel to the accused, Mr. Emmanuel Obidinma, sai his client would appeal the judgment.

HE United States (U.S.) Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and Canada’s Global Partnership Programme Department of Foreign Affair are collaborating with the Enugu State government to establish an African Centre for Laboratory Maintenance in the state. The centre, which will be sponsored by the U.S. President’s Emergency Programme For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with assistance from the two agencies, would be sited at the Annunciation Hospital Emene, Enugu The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Okey Nwanyawu, dropped the hint while leading a team of professionals from the centre and other stakeholders in the project on a courtesy visit to Government House in Enugu. Nwanyawu told the governor that the WHO – AFRO and the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) have also endorsed the project and will be extensively involved with its development.

Fulani herdsmen attack Enugu community From Chris Oji, Enugu


HE quick intervention of security agencies has brought under control the conflict that erupted between the Ishi Ozalla community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State and some Fulani herdsmen. An itinerant herdsman and two cows died during the clash, which occured on Monday. It was learnt that some youths in Ishi Ozalla clashed with some Fulani herdsmen within the community for allegedly destroying crops belonging to some natives as well as raping some women in the area. Following the disagreement between the parties, a fierce fight ensued during which the herdsman and two cows were killed while some natives sustained severe injuries. The development heightened tension in the community before a combined team of soldiers and policemen were drafted to the place. The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said that the quick deployment of security operatives to the area prevented the escalation of the dispute. He said the parties were summoned by the Commissioner of Police where a truce was brokered. According to him, the operatives have been stationed in the community to maintain peace and order to enable residents go about their normal businesses without molestation. The General Overseer of Amazing Love Assembly, Bishop Amaechi Nwachukwu, appealed to the Inspector General of Police, the Director of Security Services (SSS) and security agencies in the state to use their good offices to restore peace to the community.




Oshiomhole gets Certificate of Return


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole was yesterday presented with a Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The certificate was presented by a National Commissioner, Col. Mohammed Kurmi Hammanga. Leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state and heads of security outfits in the state witnessed the presentation.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Speaking at the event, Resident Electoral Commissioner Kassim Gaidam said the event was in compliance with Section 75(1) of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that winners of election are presented Certificate of Return within seven days. Gaidam said last Saturday’s election has the largest turnout of voters since 2007 with 647,698, which he said represented 39.1 per cent.

He congratulated the governor on his victory, adding that Nigeria needs leaders who can deliver on electoral promises. Hammanga said INEC is committed to transparency without fear or favour. He said the electoral agency was glad with the conduct of the election, pointing out that the commission’s target is to get a perfect election. The governor said the certificate was a marching order

for him to return to work and deliver more social responsibilities to the people. Oshiomhole said the complaints he made during the conduct of the election were done in good faith. His words: “The election was outstanding. It reassures Nigerians and the international community that we are capable of conducting transparent elections.” Deputy Governor Pius Odubu was also presented with a Certificate of Return.

ACN promises more development From Osagie Otabor, Benin


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State has promised to ensure more meaningful development across the state. It said the victory has challenged them to give better services to the state. Its Publicity Secretary, Dan Owegie, in a statement yesterday, said the ACN-administration, led by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, will continue on-going development in the state and initiate new ones. Owegie urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega to revisit challenges in the election for people to vote in future elections without fear.

Divers still searching for bodies From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin


HE search for the missing bodies of the policeman and ad-hoc official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) involved in a boat mishap in Ethiope River, near Ologbo town, last Saturday entered the third day yesterday. The bodies of Inspectors Isaac Aigbokhaeubo and Johnson Aghedo were recovered on Monday. A police officer, who witnessed the exercise, said if the bodies are not washed ashore, the search will continue until they are recovered. The Commissioner of Police in charge of the election, Olufemi Adenaike, said the driver of the boat was drunk. He said the driver escaped while the owner has been arrested and is being interrogated.

Observers declare election peaceful From Osagie Otabor, Benin


OMESTIC observers, who monitored last Saturday’s election in Edo State have declared the election as peaceful, free, fair and credible. They said the result declared was a true reflection of the wishes of the people. The observers, in a communique signed by the 22 accredited organisations, said the election was in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. Addressing reporters in Benin City yesteday, Dr. Onyike Isaac of the Centre for Strategic Management, who read the communique, said the challenges observed during the conduct of the election were not enough to affect the results declared by INEC.

Reps urge PDP to accept result

•Oshiomhole displaying his Certificate of Return in Benin...yesterday. With him is Hammanga

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

Governors, lawmakers, greet governor


HE Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has congratulated Governor Adams Oshiomhole on his re-election. In a statement by the forum’s Director-General, Asishana Okauru, said: “The election exemplifies the confidence of the people in his leadership. “While we congratulate the governor for his victory, we congratulate the people for their conduct during the election. “The people have made Nigeria proud by demonstrating, again, that Nigerians, on their own, can choose their own leaders on their own terms, in an ordered manner.” Two members of the

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja and Tajudeen Adebanjo

House of Representatives, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and a local government chairman in Lagos State have congratulated the governor on his reelection victory. James Abiodun Faleke, member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency; his counterpart from Oshodi/ Isolo Federal Constituency 2, Hakeem Abiodun Muniru; member representing Lagos Island Constituency 2 Wahab Alawiye King and chairman of Odiolowo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Adeyemi Alli said

the comrade governor has proved that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) cares about the people. Faleke said: “The result of the election has shown that Nigerians are in love with our great party. There is no doubt that Oshiomhole’s strict implementation of our party’s programme has impressed the people and they rewarded him with a second term. Muniru said: “Oshiomhole’s victory gladdens my heart. “In fact, it is a good omen for us in the ACN. I know this is a good sign for us as our great party gets set to take over Ondo State in October.” Alawiye-King said: “ I will

like to congratulate not only Oshiomhole but also the leadership of our great party. This is a victory worth celebrating. “Nigerians are sophisticated people. The Edo people have tasted good governance and they don’t want to lose it, hence their overwhelming votes for Oshiomhole. “It is now the turn of Ondo State and I’m optimistic that we will triumph. Congratulations comrade governor and leaders of our party.” Alli said: “Oshiomhole’s victory has confirmed that Nigerians are now putting their trust in the hands of ACN and I want to assure Nigerians that ACN will not disappoint them.”

Ihonvbere: PDP is finished in Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin



ORMER Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and

governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prof. Julius Ihonvbere yesterday said the fate of the party is sealed in the state. He said: “Nothing can revive the PDP in Edo State.” Ihonvbere, who joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before the election, said Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s performance did the victory magic for the ACN. He spoke in an interview with reporters in Benin City. Ihonvbere said the result showed that the people re-

jected the PDP “as a party of wickedness, failure, and darkness, a party led by insensitive people, who do not mean well for the people. “Our victory is 100 per cent. The godfather could not find God neither could he find the Father. “The fixer was thoroughly and mercilessly fixed. “He lost his ward, local government and senatorial district. The ACN is on solid ground. “ What may come up is what kind of political future would Oshiomhole be looking at after four years? “He may decide to say I have done enough, I am

popular, call it quits and set up an institute on labour relations. “He may decide to go for higher office and then begin to calculate what kind of alliance. “What will determine the future of Edo State is what will determine the nature of the next presidential election. Adams has nothing to worry about at all.” Ihonvbere added that the governor has a duty to handover an ACN that will win the next governorship election “because he (Oshiomhole) has to lead the campaign.”


HE House of Representatives has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to accept the results of last Saturday’s governorship election. This followed the explanation raised under point of order by the Deputy Minority Leader, Samson Osagie (Action Congress of Nigeria ACN), yesterday after he briefed the House on the election. Speaker Aminu Tambuwal advised Oshiomhole to be magmanimous in victory and be fair to the people, irrespective of party affiliations. He said: “I am happy that you are not here to complain that military personnel favoured any party. I have pleaded with PDP members to accept the result of the election.”

‘PDP to learn from Oshiomhole in 2015’


From Dele Anofi, Abuja

PECIAL Adviser to the President on Technical Matters Akachukwu Nwakpo has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would learn the art of winning from Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Nwakpa, who spoke in Abuja yesterday, said the people of Edo have sent clear signals of a new era to Nigerians that 2015 elections would be decided on merit and performance. He, however, urged Nigerians not to lose focus of the contributions of President Goodluck Jonathan, who provided the enabling environment for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to carry out their responsibilities as expected. He said the President played a major role in the success of the election.

The people triumphed, says Babangida From Osagie Otabor, Benin


ORMER military president Ibrahim Babangida has described Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s election victory as a manifestation of the people’s power. He said the people spoke in unity, leading to the credible election that is being celebrated today. In a statement, the ex-military leader said: “The just concluded election has once again created a new perspective to election conduct in Nigeria. “It has re-enacted the doctrine of one-man-one-vote very loudly across Nigeria. ”It has reassured the polity that under a well coordinated electoral engagement, the people’s power will prevail. “It is in the light of this that I wish to congratulate the voters for doing justice to their consciences. “The lesson from this is that Nigeria can truly get it right, if we all are resolved that we will not rig elections and if election outcomes are made to reflect the wishes of the people. “



NEWS Akpabio: workers shortchanging govt From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo


KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday said 22 civil servants were caught attempting to collect double salaries from the government. Akpabio said the government may save N400 million monthly, which was usually paid to ghost workers. The government recently introduced Biometric Capture exercise. The governor spoke during a meeting with senior civil servants to resolve payment of salaries to workers. He said the government, after proper investigation, would penalise the culprits, according to Civil Service Rules. Akpabio described as criminal a situation where many retired workers had been collecting salary as staff and pensioners. The governor said the meeting was convened after he received report that civil servants were owed three months salary.

Flood kills two in Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin


WO teenage siblings have been killed in a flood at Triangle Avenue, off Erediauwa Street, on Upper Sokponba Road in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government of Edo State. The teenagers reportedly fell into the flood while going home after a heavy downpour. A third teenager, who was rescued, is receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. It took several hours before the bodies could be recovered. Erediauwa Street and its environs have been ravaged by flood which has made many landlords to abandon their homes.

PDP has learnt a lesson, says Mark From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


ENATE President David Mark yesterday declared that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has learnt the hard lesson that imposition of candidates for an election should be a thing of the past. Mark spoke after the confirmation of Habu Zarma Hinna ( Gombe), Ikoiwak Aniedi Abasi (Akwa Ibom) and Baritor Lenusikpugi Kpagih (Rivers) as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Senate President said Nigerians must be allowed to choose their leaders. The confirmation of the nominees followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on INEC. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Andy Uba, who presented the report, asked the Senate to approve the nominees. Uba said his committee noted that security agencies cleared the nominees. He said his committee found the nominees worthy to be appointed by INEC. Mark said: “I believe that the legacy all of us here would like to leave behind is that elections in this country will be free, they will be fair and they will be credible. “Everybody’s votes will count and Nigerians should be allowed to choose their own leaders, no imposition of any kind whatsoever should surface any more in this country. “And I think that is a hard lesson that the majority party has learnt from the Edo election. “We hope that when these nominees go to INEC, they will ensure that elections are free, fair and that they are credible and that the PDP government will like to ensure that.”

‘Support Fashola’s agenda’


KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday advised lawmakers of the Lagos State House of Assembly to support Governor Babatunde Fashola’s transformation agenda. Akpabio spoke at a breakfast meeting with the lawmakers, who are in Uyo for a retreat. The governor identified

LOSS OF DOCUMENT Original Certificate of Occupancy registered as No. 72 at page 72 in volume 1989C at the Lagos State Land Registry transfered to and in the custody of O.J Adewumi is missing.

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo harmonious working relationship between the legislature and executive as the recipe for the rapid development of Lagos State. He acknowledged that the cordial working relationship between the two arms of government has contributed to the development of the state. Akpabio said: “Lagos means a lot of things to many Nigerians. Everybody is a Lagosian. Lagos is a multiethnic centre in Nigeria. Lagos encourages non-indigenes to develop. Cities that do not welcome visitors cannot develop.”

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun addressing Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) supporters at a campiagn rally in Remo North Local Government. With him are State Chairman Tajudeen Bello (left) and the chairmanship candidate Abayomi Soyemi

Tribunal dismisses petition against Imoke


HE Cross River State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar yesterday dismissed the petition by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) challenging the February 25 electoral victory of Governor Liyel Imoke. The ACN, on March 23, filed a petition against the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). ACN and its candidate, Usani Usani, claimed that the PDP did not conduct primaries in accordance with Section 8 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. The party, therefore, challenged the validity of the nomination of Imoke as PDP candidate. The ACN also alleged irregularities in the conduct of the election and inflation of results, in violation of Section 138 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. The party urged the Tribu-

•ACN to appeal From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

nal to either disqualify the PDP candidate and declare the ACN candidate winner of the election or nullify the election. But Justice Ishaq Bello said the nomination of a candidate by any party to stand for election on its behalf is its sole responsibility. He also maintained that it is only a member of the same party who can challenge the nomination of any candidate by a party. “It is only a member of the same party who can challenge the nomination of a candidate,“ he said. The judge said the Supreme Court ruling on January 27, which terminated the tenure of Imoke, did not say anything about primary election. “The election primary was never part of the ruling of the Supreme Court,” he said. He said postponing the

election time table from April 14 to February 25 by INEC was for the convenience of the commission. He said it is the commission’s constitutional right to adjust the time table in view of the prevailing circumstance. Bello said the Supreme Court judgment did not alter or cancel the PDP primary held on January 23, which produced Imoke as PDP candidate. He said the statement by INEC directing all parties to conduct their primaries before February 7 was not an order because it is not the responsibility of INEC to conduct party primaries. Justice Bello said the case was a pre-election matter, adding that it is outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal. The Tribunal further stated that petitioners had not proved the allegations of electoral irregularities brought against

the first and second respondents, INEC and REC. He said: “No evidence was tendered to support the allegations of irregularities during the election; the allegations were catalogue of violation of electoral acts. “ We hereby resolve the issue in favour of the respondents. “The said election was conducted in partial fulfillment of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and the petition is hereby dismissed as lacking in merit.” ACN’s counsel Prof. Tony Ukam said he was disappointed with the judgment. “We are very disappointed but thank God there is always opportunity for redress,” he said. Counsel to the PDP, Barth Izato described the judgment as very right and thanked the judges for their objectivity. “The judgment is very efficient; I thank the judge for his objectivity, ‘’ he said.

Ogoni monarchs raise alarm over imminent hunger


ONARCHS in Ogoni have raised the alarm over an imminent hunger strike in the community. They gave the warning yesterday during a visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, in Abuja. They said the Federal Government should support their community through fishing and mechanised farming. King of Gokana Kingdom Barnabas Bagia lamented the effect of environmental degradation on their community and their drive for food sufficiency. Bagia said:“The interrela-


•Seeks Fed Govt’s support on farming From Olugbenga Adanikin and Halima Sogbesan, Abuja

tionship between the environment and agriculture has inevitably placed Ogoni in need of urgent intervention. “The massive environmental pollution and refusal to clean up have placed our survival in serious jeopardy.” The traditional ruler, who was represented by Mene Baate Kupie, decried the deficient of arable land. He called for quick intervention to solve the community’s problems.

Bagia said agriculture has the potential to address the high unemployment rate, if the government can support them with soft loans and fertilisers, among others. “Decades of Shell’s oil exploration and exploitation ventures, aided by the related destructive activities of bunkering and illegal refining activities, have left wanton destruction of wide life and plant life, poisoned air, water courses and our once very fertile agricultural land,” he added. Adesina said the future of the country largely depends

on how much it is able to diversify its economy. He noted that government is committed to exploring agricultural potentials inherent in the Niger Delta, especially in areas of rice, cassava and cocoa plantation. According to the minister, “there is rice sufficiency plan for Nigeria and the Ogoni community remains major stakeholders in realizing this goal.” The minister urged the traditional rulers to mobilise youths to take advantage of agriculture in order to reduce unemployment rate in the country.

Interdenominational service for fire victims

KOGBE indigenes in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State will round off their seven-day mourning of victims of last Thursday’s tanker fire with an interdenominational service on Sunday. The Okogbe monarch, King Joshua Eziba said the service would bid the souls of over 143 of their kinsmen farewell, pray for their families and seek the face of God for pro-

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

tection. The representative of Ahoada West/Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Asita, blamed the accident on the deplorable East-West Road, being dualised by the Federal Government. Asita called on the Federal Government to be alive to its

responsibilities and prevail on Setraco Construction Company, to speedily complete the road. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) supplied medical items to the authorities of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), for the treatment of survivors. The NEMA boss, Sani Sidi, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Training,

Mrs. Clem Aisueni, while handing over the items to the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UPTH, Prof. Aaron Ojule, said the gesture was to provide special attention in the treatment of the victims. He said the items, consisting of assorted drugs and medical consumables for the treatment of burns, was in line with the directives of President Goodluck Jonathan.



NEWS Refugees Commission Board sacked •Govt suspends CEO From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja •Commissioner for Health (left), Dr Temitope Ilori, Deputy Governor, State of Osun, Otunba Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori and Chairman, House Committee on Health Leke Ogunsola during the twoday Medical Ceremony of Mission organised by the state government in collaboration with the Nigeria Medical Association at the State Hospital Asubiaro, Osogbo.


HE Federal Government has sacked the Board of the National Commission for Refugees. It also placed its Commissioner for Refugees/Chief Executive Officer, Hajiya Hadiza Sani Kangiwa on indefinite suspension The most senior director in the commission was directed to take charge of the agency. According to a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, the steps became imperative because of the recent developments which have hampered the smooth operations at the commission. The National Commission for Refugees (NCFR) was established by Decree 52 of 1989 now Cap N21 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria to cater for Refugees and asylum seekers in the country It was also mandated in 2002 by the government to manage Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and saddled with additional responsibility in 2009 to co-ordinate the migration and development.

Why Veterinary Council won’t accredit varsities Olugbenga Adanikin and Halima Sogbesan, Abuja


HE Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) has explained why it will not register graduates of veterinary medicine from the University of Abuja, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike and the University of Ilorin. Graduates of other varsities running unaccredited programmes would also be denied registration. President of the council, Prof. Gabriel Ogundipe made the disclosure yesterday at the council’s 103rd regular meeting, held at its Abuja headquarters. He said: “Those three universities do not have the required facilities for the training of veterinary doctors. That is why the veterinary council has not given them accreditation. “So, we are going to discuss the report of our notification to those in practice in respect of University of Agriculture Umudike, University of Abuja and the University of Ilorin. “If we find out that the situation in any university is lacking, we will tell them not to continue till they update their facilities because the veterinary council of Nigeria will not register graduates from that university to practice in Nigeria.” During the meeting, the council inducted new members from Kaduna, Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Adamawa and Benue states while the development in some of the affected varsities was assessed.

Driver’s licence to go next year F

ROM October 1, next year, all old drivers’ licences will cease to be valid. Vehicles must carry the new number plates by July 31 next year, government said yesterday. The decision may not be unconnected with the desire of the government to aggressively pursue all sources of revenue to swell the nation’s depleting treasury. Secretary of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) Mallam Mohammed Abubakar stated in Abuja that the board of the JTB had approved a downward review of the enhanced vehicle and number plates with effect from

Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

August 1 as follows: standard number plates; revalidation N10,000, and new registration N12,000. Motorcycle number plates revalidation, N2,000 and new registration N2,500. However, the prices of other categories of number plates and driver’s licence he said, remain unchanged. The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), which was represented at the meeting in Abuja said “there has been an improvement in the production and distribution of licences and number plates.” It was also resolved at the

meeting that the Biometric Central Motor Registry (BCMR) or the Electronic Central Motor registry (ECMR) is no longer a requirement for registration of motor vehicles. The JTB at the meeting rejected the request by the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) for a unified local government vehicle revenue permit but instead opted for a decentralised local government vehicle revenue permit according to the dictates of the individual local lovernment authorities. The board of the JTB has directed State Boards of Internal

Revenue (SBIR) to monitor all revenues from their state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for proper accountability and planning. The monitoring of state MDAs, the board noted, will further assist the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to correctly compute how much should accrue to the states. State governments were enjoined to compile their revenue laws in order to minimise the menace of multiple taxation while all tax authorities

should adopt strategies that will increase their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The JTB lamented that “not up to 90 per cent of realisable revenue were being collected by the states.” To address the short fall, the secretariat of the JTB was mandated to develop and circulate a unified template for IGR and development of a statistical tax data bank to be used by states to report their IGRs figures. The secretariat was also asked “to trigger discussions with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel to explore ways to improve revenue from the sector.

Jonathan sets up committee on constitutional conference From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja



RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the establishment of a cabinet panel to study the report submitted by the Presidential Committee on the review

of outstanding issues arising from the recent constitutional conference. Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke was named as the panel chairman, while the Ministers of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman (National Planning), Senator Idris A. Umar the (Transport) and Mr. Labaran Maku (Information) are members Others are: Hajia Hadiza Ibra-

him Mailafia (Environment), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide (Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory) and a representative of the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who will serve as secretary. The committee has three weeks to conclude its assignment. In a statement signed by the SGF office listed the terms of reference for the committee as: to identify the areas, issues on which the review committee affirmed the consensus earlier reached in previous conference

Council endorses NTDC as first destination HE International Counmember in Nigeria cil of Tourism Partners


(ICTP) has named the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) as its first destination member in the country. According to a statement by the NTDC, the gesture was to market and promote Nigeria as a preferred business and leisuredestination in Africa . The statement quoted the ICTP President, Prof Geoffrey Lipman as describing the country as the biggest market on the continent. Lipman said: “Nigeria is the biggest market in Africa with significant ‘travelism’ promise, as a member of the ICTP; the Tourism Development Corporation will have a great opportunity to build environmental

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

management at the heart of its development strategies. We look forward to working with them and Nigeria’s aviation and tourism sectors. On his part, the Chairman of ICTP, Juergen T. Steinmetzs, described Nigeria’s membership as a laudable initiative by the NTDC. He said: “We could not find a better representative to be our first destination member from Nigeria than the NTDC itself. It has a long history of commitment to and passion for the tourism industry in its country” The Director-General of the NTDC, Otunba Olusegun Run-

sewe described it as a worthy step in the coporation’s effort at marketing and promoting the country. Runsewe said: “ Nigeria’s membership of ICTP as a destination member justifies all our efforts at marketing Nigeria. It is a remarkable achievement and heart-warming. “ Nigeria is blessed with abundant cultural tourism and diversity. To complement this legacy is the uncommon warmth and hospitality of Nigerians. “Foreigners are often amazed when they visit Nigeria and experience the Nigerian hospitality and they always look forward to coming back.”

and for which the review committee prepared draft bills for consideration and legislation and identify the area, issues on which past constitutional conference has arrived at a consensus but which the review committee felt the consensus was no longer current or relevant and therefore did not prepare any draft bill. For this issue to be identified, it is ideal to consider whether the position of review committee is sustainable or if government should reconsider the issues. Othe mandates include:

identify areas, issues on which the previous conference and review committee did not reach consensus and study the draft bill submitted by the review committee and make recommendations for the government to either accept, modify or reject them in part or whole as the case may be, and any other relevant matters arising from the report that promotes or affects the government’s overall objectives to entrench democracy, constitutionalism and good governance for the purpose of cohesion and transformation.

Ali Modu emerges ANPP’s BoT chair


From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

ORMER Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff yesterday in Abuja emerged the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Also elected after the inauguration of the reconstituted BoT by the party’s National Chairman Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, amidst heavy security drawn from the police, SSS were Admiral Lanre Amosu (rtd), who retained his seat as the BoT vice chairman, while the national secretary of the party, Alhaji Tijjani Musa Tumsah will serve as the interim secretary of the board . In his remark, Onu said the event marked another milestone in the journey towards a new beginning, adding that it shows that despite the prevailing challenges, the party is resolved to work tirelessly for progress. He reminded the leadership of Nigerians negative perception of the party, urging party members to stop anti-party activities if there must be any meaningful development. The party chair, frowned at the use of the military during the conduct of elections, citing the just concluded gubernatorial election in Edo State. His words: “Nigerians are worried about our party. They are worried about our past.They are worried about whether they can trust us to provide a credible alternative to the ruling party. They are worried about the attitude of some of our members who are ANPP in the morning only to go the other way in the night.”




Gunmen kill six-year-old in Jos

FCT Minister names new boards’ heads



HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, has approved the reconstitution of the boards of agencies and parastatals under the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). Austine Opara will chair the new board of the Abuja Investment Company Limited, while Adamu Ismaila, the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority will chair the board of the Abuja Investment and Infrastructure Centre. The boards of the Abuja Broadcasting Corporation, Abuja Environmental Protection Board and FCT Water Board will be chaired by Mr. Dennis Sammy, Fiberesima Iyoyo and Alhaji Alhassan Gwagwa. The boards of the FCT Universal Basic Education Board, FCT Secondary Education Board, Area Council

•Mohammed From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

Service Commission and FCT Primary Health Care Development Board will be chaired by Umar Barau Ningi, Maroof Akinwande, Ambassador Adamu Aliyu and Yusuf Lamido Tambuwal. Mr. Emeziem Alexander will chair the FCT Scholarship Board, while Johnson E. Ameh is the new chairman of the Abuja Property Development Company. The boards will be inaugurated later this week.

AUCTION SALES The general public is hereby notified that the following vehicles and order house items shall be auctioned 21 days after this publication claimants should report at the Nigeria Police Station Divisional Headquarters, Rumuepirikom, Port Harcourt. 1) CHEROKE JEEP AS 556 WER 2) BMW CAR CG 526 PHC 3) TOYOTA CAMRY CAR DV 651 P.H.C 4) PEUGEOT 504 AS 719 ENU Signed: VICTOR OBEAHON (Auctioneer)

LOSS OF CERTIFICATE OF TITTLE We have the instruction of our client to notify the general public the loss of her certificate of title to a parcel of land lying at No. 95 Ibadan Street Ebute Meta Lagos. Dated 30th day of December 1954 and registered as No. 46 at page 46 volume 988 at Lagos Land Registry. All efforts made to recover the said title Document had proved abortive. The Lagos State Lands Registry and the general public should take note. M.O OMONUSI Esq. 2A, Oyetola Idowu Street, Ilupeju, Lagos.

UNMEN yesterday shot a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) at the Jos South Local Government Secretariat and Nurul Islamic Private School in Bukuru, the headquarters of Jos South Local Government. They, however, missed their target. The two establishments are situated close to each other. An eyewitness said a sixyear-old boy, who was passing by at the time of the attack, was killed. He said sporadic gunshots were heard and residents scampered for safety. The source said the gunmen drove an Opel Vectra car, stopped, brought out a gun and fired into the build-

•Widow, three children too From Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

ings. But they missed target. He said he believed that their target was the local government secretariat. Men of the Special Task Force (STF) have restored normalcy to the area. Confirming the incident, spokesman for the STF Captain Salisu Mustapha said: “We received a distress call that there was a crisis in Bukuru. When we arrived the place, we discovered that the situation was tense. An RPG was fired, it hit the wall of a house and killed a six-year-

old boy who was passing by.” Mustapha said the STF shot into the air and threw teargas canisters to disperse the crowd. When our reporter visited the temporary orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Bukuru, corps members were seen going about their activities. Security was tightened. The Commissioner for Youth Development, Lohfa Bako and the Coordinator of the NYSC, Maful Maram, who spoke at the camp, assured corps members of safety. They said the incident

did not affect the camp. Four people were also killed yesterday by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen at Sabon Gida Kanap, Bukuru, in Jos South Local Government. The attackers were said to have invaded a house about 2am and killed a widow and her three children. The STF spokesman said: “In the early hours of today (yesterday), we received a report that there was a robbery in one house around General area. Our men stormed the scene and there was an exchange of gunshots. Nobody was arrested and I don’t have the casualty figure.”

Robbery gang kills policeman in Kwara


GANG of armed robbers has allegedly killed a policeman and stole property and cash worth N2million in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. The robbers, who were said to have struck on Shara/ Tsaragi Road in Ifelodun Local Government at noon, allegedly dispossessed people in commercial and private vehicles of their personal effects. One of the victims, Nureni

•Woman dies after sex with lover From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Adisa, said the robbers found a police identification card on the deceased. He said the hoodlums, who operated with locally-made guns and other weapons, on identifying the policeman, shot him dead. Adisa alleged that the robbers stole N56,000 from him. He said the money was meant for a contract, adding

that the robbers also stole his mobile phone after beating him with a stick. He said they struck at a spot where the vigilante stayed to provide security. Police spokesman Olufemi Fabode, who confirmed the incident, said no policeman died. A middle-aged woman has allegedly died after having sex with her lover. The victim reportedly

hailed from Ile Adanlawo at Babanloma village, Ifelodun Local Government. It was learnt that the lover, now at large, had been having an affair with the deceased before she died. He was said to be the son of the former Akogun Isegun of Babanloma. The police have begun investigation into the matter. Fabode said the command is on the trail of the man. He assured that very soon he would be in the police net.

Mark, Awoniyi, Audu, others mourn ENATE President David urged the Etsu Nupe and Mark yesterday com- Attah of Igala members of his family to take


miserated with the Kogi State Government on the death of the Attah of Igala, Alhaji Aliyu Obaje. Mark, in a statement by his media aide, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, also sympathised with the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, over the death of his mother, Hajia Gogo Bantiga. He described the passing on of the Attah of Igala as the end of a successful reign. Mark attributed the peace that characterised his reign to his fair and equitable disposition to all Igala. He said: “We are pained and

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja and Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

saddened at the news of the death of one of Nigeria’s foremost traditional rulers, the Attah of Igala Kingdom. Although, he is dead, his legacies will live forever among us. “He reigned peacefully and championed the cause of his subjects and by extension the unity of Nigeria. He is cherished and loved by all because of his uniqueness in promoting our cultural heritage.” The Senate President also

solace in the values for which their mother was known. The people of Kogi State have been mourning, following the death of Attah of Igala. The paramount ruler, who has since been buried according to Islamic rites, was described by the indigenes of the state as a great leader. Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi, at the funeral of the late monarch, described him as a peacemaker who worked for the stability and unity of the state and the nation. The governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kogi State and former governorship aspirant


of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Abubakar Audu and Alhaji Abdulrazak Isah Kutepa, in their condolence messages, described the monarch’s death as painful. They prayed that God should grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Couple, teacher remanded over stolen vehicles

A PUBLIC NOTICE DISTINCTION MINISTRY This is to inform the general public that the above named Ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration Under Part “C”of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE; 1) PASTOR ALFRED C. AKUNCHUKWU ------ Senior Cleric 2) KINGSLEY OWUNNA 3) KELVIN EKELECHUKWU UMEJURU AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To operate as a religious group for ecclesiastical purposes. 2) To conduct local services by the Direction and perfect leader ship of the Holy Spirit. 3) To propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Ad ministrative Head quarters. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) plot 420 Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: P.R. BASSEY, Esq.

N Ilorin Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday ordered the remand of a couple and a teacher over recovered stolen cars. The accused are Ajarat Alhassan Adamu, Adamu Husseini (the couple) and Yusuf Olowojare (the teacher). They were arraigned on a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, assisting in the concealment of stolen property and dishonestly receiving stolen property. The offences contravene sections 97, 319 and 317 of the penal code. According to the charge sheet, one Rover 1983 model saloon car with registration number ABUJA- AW 967 GWA valued at N670,000 was stolen from Tajudeen Lawal and his mother, Muyibat Oladipo, in their home at Aiyetoro, Ilorin by armed robbers. The stolen car was recovered without the registration number where it was dis-

From Samson Ademola, Ilorin

played for sale on Taiwo Road, Ilorin, leading to the arrest of Ajarat Alhassan Adamu of Garoba compound, Idah, Kogi State. Prosecutor Salman Ajao told the court that four other vehicles with documents bearing the name of Ajarat’s husband were recovered from her during investigation. The recovered vehicles include Sienna space wagon bus with registration number LAGOS— DV 445 LSD, Honda Halla car with regis-

tration number LAGOS—EG 629 EKY, Volkswagen Golf 3 car with registration number KWARA—AR 031 LRN and Mazda 121 saloon car with registration number KWARA—AB 498 ARP. Ajao also told the court that one of the accused, Ajarat Adamu Hussein, bought the vehicles from three men simply identified as Kareem, Kabiru and Segun, who are still at large, through Yusuf Olowojare of Adeta in Ilorin, who has been concealing the stolen vehicles. The charge sheet revealed that the Sienna space wagon

bus was stolen from Olukoya Abiodun in his home at Ganmo, Ilorin by the robbers. The prosecutor said the offences are not bailable and that bail is at the discretion of the court. Counsel to the accused, Ibrahim Malik, urged the court to release his clients on bail. Magistrate Olamilekan Adegbite ordered the remand of the accused in the Federal Prison, Oke-kura, Ilorin. The case was adjourned till July 30.

Fed Govt launches growth programme in Yobe


HE Federal Ministry of Agriculture has launched a growth enhancement support programme scheme designed by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to enhance agricultural development in the country. The Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Bukar Tijjani, who launched the programme in Damagum, the headquarters of Fune Local Government, Yobe State, said it is aimed at achieving food security, youth and women

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

empowerment, increased income for farmers and curtailing of the activities of middlemen in the sale and distribution of fertiliser and seedlings in the country. Tijjani, who hailed the agricultural policies of the Yobe State Government aimed at complementing the efforts of the Federal Government, said the federal and state governments, under the current scheme, would share 50 per cent, while farmers would pay the remaining 50 per cent of the cost of the fertiliser.






ver and over again we are compelled by circumstances to come to press as a herald of the impending doom that is waiting to befall our nation as we see the deliberate neglect of duty in the face of man's inhumanity to man in our country Nigeria. We have once again been awaken to the sad news of the senseless killings on the Plateau among whom are two notable sons of Plateau State who have always brought succor to the people they represent. Distinguished Senator (Dr) Gyang Dantong is a returning member of the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly having served one term in both the lower and upper chamber, while Hon. Gyang James Fulani is also a two term member of the Plateau State House of Assembly as well as the majority Leader. Late Senator Dantong as the senate committee chairman on Health is no doubt a source of pride to Plateau. Their death at this period of our history is a great loss that cannot be quantified. EVENTS OF THE PAST ONE WEEK What is disturbing about this madness that has been left to flourish by the inaction and complicity of those in whose hands lie the onerous responsibility of the protection of lives and property is that, it has attained the level of sponsored genocide with women and children massacred even when they helplessly surrender and run to places of worship for refuge. Houses are burnt, farm lands are destroyed, women killed, unborn children are torn open from their dead mothers' wombs as if to convince the murderer that no seed is spared for likely survival of the objects and victims of attack. The attack and retreat into some communities/ hordes of Fulani settlements that have quartered them has remained a subject of concern particularly that in ten years (10) and still counting, no one has been arrested and prosecuted despite several calls to this regard The attacks on Kakuruk, Kuzen, Sho, Jol, Banghai, Sop, Tahoss, Bachit, Shonong and Maseh Communities in the early hours of Saturday 7th day of July, 2012 in which about 250 persons mainly children and women lost their lives including the Distinguished Senator and Hon. Member is only a pointer to the level that unchecked inhumanity can attain. It needs to be placed on records that the attack on Maseh village was done in contravention of all known norms of civilized conduct. The frightened and fleeing hopeless villagers who had been surrounded on all sides were left with only one option to take refuge within the precincts of the local church but alas that was where they met their waterloo. EMERGENCY RULE AND THE FALLACY OF MAINTENANCE OF PEACE It would be recalled that Mr. President placed Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGA's are under emergency rule. It is curious to observe that in spite of the imposition of emergency rule, the area is continuously under one form of attack or the other perpetrated by Fulani militants or their agents for no justifiable reason whatsoever. These atrocious acts have become a regular pastime and are being waged despite the presence of security personnel deployed to these communities. We wish to further say this is an affront on the state which is tantamount to an open declaration of war and the absence of the willpower by the security agencies to arrest the invaders and nip the situation in the bud smacks of compromise. We are further poised to ask the justification for the retention of the state of emergency if it does not produce result. THE PLATEAU CRISIS AND THE PROPOSED NATIONAL GRAZING RESERVE BILL It is instructive to note that we are viewing with keen interest the move in the Senate to introduce a bill for an Act for the establishment of a Grazing Reserve Commission. The bill seeks to provide grazing reserves for pastoralists as a means of reducing friction between them and farmers. What remains to be seen is its workability in the light of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the farmer to his land vis-à-vis the traditional, cultural and religious rights of the natives. This current phase of the struggle by the aggressors is to seek a fitting complementary legal justification for their expansionist tendencies which have found expression in the wave of ferocious and inhuman attacks on villages close to where they have settled for grazing purposes. THE ILLEGAL MAHANGA SETTLEMENT AND THE THREAT IT POSES TO THE PEACE PROCESS. In order to situate the crisis in its proper perspective, there is the need to x-ray the Mahanga Settlement as a key factor in the ongoing saga. The settlement sprang up as a result of fleeing displaced Fulanis from parts of the country; it has therefore become a melting pot of troublesome individuals who are schooled in the art of violent conflict. Apart from the fact that they are in illegal occupation of the hand, they have persistently been in conflict with the indigenous farming population when they let their cattle graze in farmlands and eat up arable crops of the indigenous accommodating communities. There is no gainsaying the fact that besides becoming an abode for Fulani mercenaries, the Mahanga settlement has constituted itself into a law of its own as it does not owe allegiance to the host traditional institution or any constituted authorities. This lawlessness has also been allowed to continue in other non indigenous settlements within the Jos metropolis and without. Mahanga Community through its Fulani leadership, maintain links only with external emirate leadership and other bodies along religious lines and do not see any other constituted authority as worthy of recognition and respect. It is therefore not a surprise that the Ardo (Fulani leader) has severally refused to attend any security or peace meeting called by the Riyom Local Government Council. Permit us to also highlight here in the wake of the 48 hours quit and search order issued by the special Task Force (STF) in the 5 villages of Maseh, Kuzen, Kakuruk, Shong and Mahanga of Bachit and Gashish districts of Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGC. This we have been informed by the Special Task Force (STF) is a routine intervention exercise in crisis situation of this magnitude and it is intended to enable the Military fish out Mercenaries and illegal weapons warehoused and used for the mass killings. We wish to state that should the Fulani carry out their severally issued threats of not complying with the evacuation order of only one settlement (Mahanga) as against the 4 villages of the indigenous Berom natives affected by the order, without the STF giving effect to that order, we will be compelled to re-order protected re-entry as a right of protest against injustice. THE DISCORDANT TUNES OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NORTHERN GOVERNORS FORUM AND MOCK SOLIDARITY OF THE HAUSA FULANI COMMUNITY IN JOS It is rather unfortunate at this time of the nation’s outright condemnation of the massacre of innocent lives by the Fulani Mercenaries/Militia the person of the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum; Alhaji Babangida Aliyu will call for a cessation of action by the special Task Force in the 48 hours declaration for the evacuation of the communities that were attacked. We view his statement as very long in protestation but short in perception and understanding particularly that, as the chairman of Northern Governors Forum Plateau is still awaiting his proffered solution to the problem that has lingered for a decade. Come to think of it we wonder whether he is speaking as a sympathizer of the Fulani communities who are the aggressors or the bereaved Berom Ethnic Nationality who are also part of the so-called Northern Nigeria; so much to argue for “one Northern Nigeria” you may say. Further laughable is the declaration of the sit at home prayer solidarity of the Hausa Fulani Moslem community in Plateau for the Fulani aggressors who are increasingly and all around Nigeria becoming the major ethnic group to contend with in our collective drive to sustain the corporate existence of Nigeria. This is the height of hypocrisy when viewed against the back drop of unabated attacks which we all claimed to be against the interest of peace and unity of this country. OUR STAND As plateau Youth, we are committed to restoring the State to its past glory as the “HOME OF PEACE AND TOURISM” and will not stop at anything in achieving this. However, we wish to make it unequivocally clear that no single individual or group has monopoly of violence and if the government of the day does not live up to her number one constitutional responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of the Plateau people, we will be compelled to ensure our survival. We charge all sponsors, collaborators, security operatives, political office holders, religious and community leaders to know that should we let the Killings continue we will be volunteering for the disintegration of Nigeria; the task of letting Nigeria be or not is in our hands but until we choose the path that will lead to the disintegration of this country which must not be with blood shed, this is our stand and demand; 1. An immediate declaration of Humanitarian Emergency in the affected Areas by the Federal Government and for NEMA in conjunction with the State Government to rise to the occasion of sheltering, clothing and feeding the displaced persons as well as well as off-setting the burial and

2 3.

4. 5.

6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

medical expenses of those killed and hospitalized immediately. An immediate search, arrest, disarmament and prosecution of the Mercenaries by the security operatives and Government for which we salute the 48 hours evacuation initiative. The continuous killing under the state of emergency has left much to be desired of our security agencies and intelligence gathering ability. Consequently, we demand that the Federal Government as a matter of urgency overhaul the security agencies with the view of flushing out unprofessional officers. In the same light, Government should fish out the infiltration of Boko Haram into the security network of this country. The interrogation of former and serving Governors and National Assembly members who have come out to apologize to Boko haram with a view to unveiling their links with the Sect which has claimed responsibilities for close to a 1000 death in the last 5 years including that of July 7th, 2012. That on the strength of oral testimonies and evidence that have shown that the killer squad that perpetrated the attack on armless Berom communities are Fulanis, the Fulani leaders within Riyom and Barkin Ladi should be arrested and interrogated to enable the nation know and prosecute the masterminds of the attacks. The detachment of STF providing Security over the areas of Massacre and those present at the Mass Burial be investigated for complicity in the death of Berom natives, Distinguish Senator Dantong and Hon. Gyang Fulani. The overhaul of the security mechanism over Jos to guarantee security of the villages that border Fulani settlements to forestall a repeat or even reprisal attack. The need to revisit the constitutional question of establishment of State Police as a further safeguard against terrorism and to further place the burden of security responsibility with commensurate authority on Governors. The provision of a special Intervention Funds be made available to Plateau State to facilitate the development of the areas that have been devastated by the prolong crises and to rehabilitate the bereaved families and Plateau youth who have been traumatized in the decade of blood letting on the Plateau so that they can be properly integrated into the Nigerian project as it’s being done with the Almajiri Educational Bilingual project in the country. The purported National Grazing Reserves bill should be quashed in the interest of peace. It has no value addition to the peace process rather than to escalate violet upheavals. The urgent mapping and patrol of cattle routes as a check against immigrant criminals and pastoralist involved in cross border Arms trafficking. The release and implementation of the several Jos Crisis Judicial Panel of Inquiry reports and recommendations as part of the long lasting solution to myriad crisis bedeviling the state. We charge communities to be proactive in terms of security vigilance and we request all the youth to partner with the Security operatives in ensuring that our communities are safe. We urge all ethnic Nationalities on the Plateau to be united and view an injury to one as an injury to all particularly from the political elites to all communities on the Plateau.

CONCLUSION Our stand and demand is a statement of resolve and intent to see to an immediate end to the abuse of our humanity, our liberty, our God giving freedom and right to life and we are sure it will be only be wise for all who believe in the one Nigeria Project to join hands. We passionately appeal to Mr. President, the Federal and State Government to as a matter of urgency address the issues highlighted in this write up with a view of ending this massacre on the Plateau. If this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, we shall be left with no alternative but to conclude that the Federal Government has endorsed the ongoing genocide and we shall certainly not sit by and watch our people helplessly get wiped off the face of the earth. To all Plateau People and the bereaved families of all killed and injured by the Merchants of death, we stand with you in prayers and ask God to grant you His Peace and comfort. Plateau is God's hand work and no amount of conspiracy and attack against our people can deter us from serving God and remaining the ever hospitable State to all peace loving Nigerians.




NOC presents 116 strong Contingent to 2012 London Olympics


O FEWER than 116 Team Nigeria contingent would represent the country in eight sports codes at the 2012 London Olympic Games, scheduled for between July 27 and Aug. 12 in London. The team would be expected to access the Games Village in London from their bases in Germany and Surrey, England According to the contingent list released by the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) in Lagos at the conclusion of the Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM), they would be made up of 55 athletes, 12 coaches, 29 administrative officials and nine medical personnel. Others were five contingent officials and six secretariat official. The eight sports are: -Athletics, Basketball, Boxing Canoeing, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting and Wrestling. Athletics would be represented by 49 persons, 29 athletes, 14 coaches and two administrative staff; Basketball with a team of 16, 12 players, two coaches and two accompanying officials.

Boxing had a total of seven – three boxers, two coaches and two accompanying officials. Others are: Canoeing to be represented by four – an athlete, a coach and two administrative staff; Table Tennis (eight), four athletes – two coaches and two accompanying officials; Taekwondo (six), two practitioners, two coaches and two administrative staff. The rest are: weightlifting (5), two weightlifters, a coach and two other officials; Wrestling (seven), four wrestlers, a coach and two administrative officers, while the contingent officials (20), six from the NOC, nine medical personnel and five other officials. The comprehensive list is as follows: TEAM LIST - NIGERIAN DELEGATION ATHLETICS Women 100m Women 1. Blessing Okagbare 2. Gloria Asumnu 3. Lawretta Ozoh 200m Women 1. Gloria Asumnu 2 Lawretta Ozoh 3. Christy Udoh 400m Women 1. Regina George 2. Omolara Omotosho

400m H Women 1. Ajoke Odumosu High Jump Women 1. Doreen Amata Long Jump 1. Blessing Okagbare Shot Put 1. Vivian Chukwuemeka Hepthatlon 1. Uhunoma Naomi Osazuwa Marathon 1. Esther Obiekwe 100m H Women 1. Seun Adigun 4 x 100 m Women 1. Blessing Okagbare 2. Gloria Sunmu 3. Lawretta Ozoh 4. Oluwadamola Osayomi 5. Wisdom Isoken 6. Christy Udoh 4 x 400 m Women 1. Regina George 2. Omolara Omotosho 3. Bukola Abogunloko 4. Endurance Abinuwa 5. Idara Otu 6. Margaret Etim ATHLETICS - Men 100 m Men 1. Obinna Joseph Metu 2. Ogho Oghene Egwero 3. Peter Emelieze 110 H Men 1. Selim Nurudeen 400 m H Men 1. Ameadi Morton

Long Jump Triple Jump 1. Oluwatosin Oke Probation – 200m Men 1. Noah Akwu 2. Stanley Azie 100m H Women 3. Jessica Ohanaja 1. Stanley Gbageke Officials 1. Yusuf Alli 2. Innocent Egbunike (Head Coach) 3. Nat Page 4. Gabriel Okon 5. Christopher Doomes 6.Garfield Ellenwood (Personal) 7. Ken Onuagulichi (Persoanl) 8.Paul Obodochima (Personal) 9.Daniel Etsebimor (Personal) 10.Oluyomi Sule (Personal) 11.Gabriel Opuana (Personal) 12.Solomon Aliu (Personal) 13.Sunday Uti (Personal) 14.Falilat Ogunkoya (Personal) 15.Maria Wophill Admin. Personnel 16. Chief Solomon Ogba Team Leader BASKETBALL 1. Oyedeji Olumide 2. Diogu Ikechukwu Somto 3. Richard Dean Chukwuma 4. Ugboaja Ejike 5.Dagunduro Adedokun 6. Oguchi Chamberlain 7. Aminu Abdul Alade

8. Ibekwe Ekenechukwu 9. Archibong Aniekan Okon 10.Aminu Al Farouk 11.Obasohan Osamuuyi 12.Skinn Anthony Oludewa 13.Ayodele Bakare Head Coach 14.Sani Ahmed Coach 15.Francis Gbiri Admin. Personnel 16.Tijjani Umar Team Leader BOXING 1. Akanji Muideen Olalekan 75kg 2. Lawal Lukmon Olaiwola 81kg 3. Ogoke Edith Agu (Female)75kg 4. Idika Nsofor Coach 5. Anthony Konyegwachie Coach 6. Patrick Uwagbale Admin. Personnel 7. Major-Gen. Tobiah Minimah Team Leader CANOEING 1. Jonathan Peter Akinyemi K1 Slalom 2. Ebenezer Ukwunna Coach 3. Olubunmi Oluode Admin. Personnel 4. Rear Adm. Festus Porbeni Team Leader TABLE TENNIS Male 1. Aruna Quadri

2. Segun Toriola Female 1. Edem Offiong 2. Olufunke Oshonaike Officials 1. Nosiru Bello Coach 2. Richard Edem Coach 3. Segun Oguntade Admin. Personnel 4.Alhaji Kayode Abdulwahab Omotose Team Leader TAEKWONDO 1. Chika Chukwumerije +80 kg 2. Isa Mohammed 68 kg 3. Keum Silwan Coach 4.Carl Lewis Langan Coach 5. Chinedu Ezealah- Admin. Personnel 6. Chief Jonathan Nnaji Team Leader WEIGHTLIFTING 1.Ekpo Felix Cobham 77kg 2. Usman Maryam (Female)+75kg 3. Patrick Bassey Coach 4. Uche Onwumeh Admin. Personnel 5. Mr. Chimdi Ejiogu Team Leader WRESTLING Male 1. Boltic Sinivie -96kg Freestyle 2. Dick Adibo - 84kg Freestyle Female 1. Obiajunwa Amarachi 72kg Freestyle 2. Oborodudu Blessing 63kg Freestyle





‘‘At any rate, Abubakar seems poised to make a difference. There appears to be some modicum of sincerity, the zeal to excel and the determination to surmount obstacles and move the police forward in him? ’ VOL.7 NO.2192



AST Friday, July 13, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), Lagos, held the fourth of its annual Media Lecture Series, also named after the Nobel Literature Laureate. I was the keynote speaker. Professor Lai Oso, the Dean of School of Communications, Lagos State University (LASU), was the moderator. Three individuals (Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard and President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Shehu Sani, renowned human rights activist and author, and Mr John Momoh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television) and four institutions (the army, the police, the Ministry of Defence and the State Security Service [SSS]) were billed to discuss my submission. Of the three individuals, Adefaye came in person. Colonel Gabriel Ajayi (retired), Sani’s prison mate for their alleged role in the “phantom” coup of 1995 against military ruler, General Sani Abacha, stood in for the human rights activist. Momoh was represented by Patrick Obuseh, Channel’s station manager. None of the four institutions, whose briefs have a lot to do with our civil liberties, turned up or sent any apologies, in themselves a measure of the esteem in which they hold our liberties. According to the WSCIJ, the lecture series “is designed to examine varying topical issues that bear salience on the performance of our media, the health of our country, and its democracy in keeping with the fact that only a media that constantly engages in deep reflection will be able to realise its full potential as a guardian of good governance and tribune of sustainable development.” Given the topicality of the issue of widespread insecurity in the country, especially the one linked to the three-year old insurgency of Boko Haram - the Islamic sect whose declared mission is to Islamise Nigeria - it was not surprising that this year’s lecture was titled “Media and Civil Liberties When the Clouds of Fear Gather.” According to the WSCIJ’s four-page brochure of the event, the Nigerian media “has been cowered in the face of the horror of terror, especially with the dual bomb attacks of Thisday in Abuja and Kano (actually it was in Kaduna) on April 26 to which Boko Haram claimed responsibility with a promise to attack more media houses.” Reading the brochure, I thought its conclusion about the media being cowed by Boko Haram, in the sense of either self-censoring their reports of, or glorifying, the sect’s violence out of fear, was certainly wrong. If anything, the media coverage of the sect has been as robust as those of any media can be in portraying the sect as the No 1, if not THE, problem of Nigeria, at least since 2009. Indeed so much has the media come to loath the sect that it seems to have wittingly or unwittingly become a tool of government’s exploitation of the fear of Boko Haram to assault the civil liberties of Nigerians in the name of fighting religious extremism. Since 2009 when the sect, which started in

People and Politics By MOHAMMED HARUNA

The media, civil liberties, Boko Haram and Nigeria

•The late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf

2002 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, turned insurrectionist in the face of its constant harassment by the security forces at the instigation of the state authorities whose governance the sect had been trenchantly critical of, hundreds of Nigerians have been detained without trial, maimed or even killed, and their properties destroyed by the security forces on no better evidence than mere suspicions that they are members or even mere supporters or sympathisers of the sect. You will search the Nigerian media almost in vain to read about any serious concern, never mind a sustained one, being raised about these flagrant trampling of the civil liberties of Nigerians. Instead the vast majority of the media have endorsed, and in some cases, even canvassed this highhanded approach to ending the sect’s terror. Indeed some of the media see this scorched earth approach, as an “appeasement,” to use Soyinka’s expression in his condemnation of Boko Haram in an article in January in which he described the sect as “The Butchers of Nigeria.” (To think the centre was named after the Nobel Laureate


Yes...TREK TO WORK. It’s good for those with POT-BELLY

‘The sooner the Nigerian media begins to report the seemingly sectarian and ethnic conflicts in the country with more accuracy, balance and fairness than they have done so far, the better the chances of a lasting solution to the threats posed by these conflicts’ because of what its founders believe are, no doubt, his formidable credentials as “a central actor in the fight against oppression of all shades.”) There can be no justification for the terrorist activities of Boko Haram. But the way the media has reported its activities you would be pardoned the conclusion that it is the only purveyor of terrorism in Nigeria. You can even get away with the assumption that its only targets are Christians and southerners. The fact is that the sect has targeted Muslims and Northerners. It is also a notorious fact that there are non-Muslim militias that have engaged in revenge killings of Muslims and in the destruction of their mosques and properties. There are even evidences to show that on several occasions Christians have disguised themselves as Muslims to attack churches and fellow Christians in an evil agenda to set Christians and Muslims against each other. In their 2003 book, WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, two former American reporters working for the Centre for Media and Democracy founded in 1993 “to monitor and expose deceptive public relations campaigns and other propa-



HEN the news hit the airwaves and the Internet, it appeared it was an unholy plot to smear the First Lady. But it was official. Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson made it official and asked his spokesman to release a statement announcing the appointment of Dame Patience Jonathan as a permanent secretary in the state civil service. Many have asked questions as to when did she last take a chair and seat as an employee of the civil service? It was stated that she served until 1999 under the old Rivers State government and her services were transferred to Bayelsa. The post of permanent secretary is a serious one, and by all accounts it is a career position. How did the First Lady qualify to become permanent secretary when those who served in the ministry have not seen her work there in years? We know certain facts. Her husband served under D.S.P. Alamiesiegha as deputy

Her ghostly majesty governor for a few years. Later, he became governor. After that Goodluck Jonathan became Vice-President under the late Umaru Yar’Adua. On the latter’s passing, he became Acting President and confirmed President, the post he has held ever since. This implies that Dame Patience Jonathan has since the advent of this repuplic served as second lady of Bayelsa State, first lady of Bayelsa State, second lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and First Lady. In all these years, was she an employee of the civil service? If that is true, did she double as First Lady and enjoyed official perquisites while also receiving salaries as an employee of the ministry of education in Bayelsa State?


ganda sponsored by corporations and government,” quote James E. Lukaszewski, a public relations consultant for the Pentagon and major US corporations, as describing the relationship between media and terrorism as incestuous. “Media coverage and terrorism,” Lukaszewski reportedly said, “are soul mates. They feed off each other. They together create a dance of death – the one for political or ideological motives, the other for commercial success.” Deriving from this observation, Rampton and Stauber came to the conclusion that the mass media, public relations, advertising and terrorism have one thing in common: “a one-sided approach to communications that can best be thought of as ‘a propaganda model.’” This model, as opposed to the kind of model that is appropriate for a democracy, they argued, views communication as a way of indoctrinating a target audience. As such it feeds on the fears of its audience rather than appeal to their rationality. In covering the Boko Haram insurrection and even the wider ostensibly religious conflicts that have predated Boko Haram, it seems to me that the Nigerian media have been more propagandist than factual and objective; they have behaved more as weapons of mass deception for ideological and commercial reasons, than as weapons of mass education of the people about the complexity that Nigeria is. This has made it difficult, if not impossible, to isolate and deal with the Boko Haram terror because the media has chosen to blame virtually every terrorist activity in the land on the sect, or worse still, on Muslims in general. It is obvious that this one-sided coverage of terrorism suits the country’s authorities just fine if only because it diverts attention away from their incredible venality – witness the many shocking trillion Naira scandals that have been exposed in the last couple of years alone - and incompetence. No doubt Boko Haram poses an existential threat to Nigerians and to Nigeria itself. But it is not the only existential threat facing Nigerians and their country. And properly isolated it is not even the most serious threat. Certainly, the way the federal authorities have taken sides over the ostensibly religious conflict in the country, the most glaring manifestation of which was last Monday’s unbelievable 24-hour Federal Government ultimatum for the Fulanis, regarded as “settlers,” to vacate some areas in Plateau State over their violent conflict with the Berom “indigenes”, or face the wrath of the Federal might, poses a greater danger to the very existence of the country. The sooner the Nigerian media begins to report the seemingly sectarian and ethnic conflicts in the country with more accuracy, balance and fairness than they have done so far, the better the chances of a lasting solution to the threats posed by these conflicts. •For comments, send SMS to 08054502909

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above We know it is against the law to do so, and if it is true it means the First Lady broke the law. If that is the case, should she not be prosecuted rather than elevated? Governor Dickson asserted that she was a director in the ministry. When was the last time she pushed a file, signed a document and took part in a top meeting in the state? It has also been reported that she worked briefly at a bank after 1999. Did she not follow the right process to disengage from the ministry? If she did not get a proper leave of absence from the state, it means that she operated as a ghost worker. So did Governor Dickson promote a ghost worker to the post of permanent secretary? The position is a career one, and if the governor wanted to reward the First Lady for helping him in his quest for governor of Bayelsa, he could have looked for some other honorary positions for her. This is an abuse of privilege.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation July 18, 2012  

The Nation July 18, 2012

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